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Full text of "The rebel's daughter; a story of love, politics, and war"

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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 




B Y 


Illustrated by E G Witter. 





Copyright, 1899, 

Press of 

Nixon ■ JoHi's Printing Co., 

St. Louis. 

To Mrs. Rust] Canqpbell Owen, of Springfield, Mis- 
souri— wl^o sf^ares tf|e aiitfior's recollecttoris 
of May Meadows - tf|is volUrr\e is 
respectfully dedicated. 

Sf. Loin's. Noremher, ISUU. 





I. A Lesson in Woodcraft 1 

II, One of the F. F. V. out West .... 17 

III. A Western Town and its Rival Stores . . 36 

IV". Bunkum: Mercantile and Literary ... 50 

V. A Peep at the " Peculiar " Institution . . 66 

VI. Literary Culture in the Backwoods ... 83 

VII. A Candidate in a Quandary *J9 

VIII. Barbecue and Spread Eagle 118 

IX. Post-Prandial Plotting 140 

X. Before the C4rand Inquest 156 

XI. -Justice Seasoned with Politics 168 

XII. The Genesis of Public Opinion . . , . 181 

XIII. Sovereigns in Primordial Quale .... 193 

XIV. A New Departure 212 

XV. Awakening from Love's Young Dream . . 229 


XVI. Gambrinus Under a Cloud 250 

XVII. From our Washington Correspondent . . 267 



XVIII. The Philosophy of Carving 276 

XIX. The Ever New Old Story 21)4 

XX. Shadows of Coming Events in a Sanctum . 314 

XXI. How the Machine is Worked 323 

XXII. Deniocracv in Convention 340 

XX III. Too Late 357 

XXIV. Private and Confidential 377 

XXV. Storm-clouds in the Horizon 4H'.» 

XXVI. Magnetism — Repellant and Attractional . 403 

XXVII. Philosophers at Tea 420 

XXVIII. " The Demos Krateo Principle " . . . 431 

XXIX. The fiat of King Caucus 447 

XXX. Cruel Conscience tricking Cupid .... 4fi7 



XXXI. A Cataleptic Government 481 

XXXII. The Torpor Broken 494 

XXXIII. The War Fever in a Western Town . . . 513 

XXXIV. After the Battle 530 

XXXV. Friends and Foes 555 

XXXVI. A Study in Black and White .... 5(;it 

XXXVII. Confessions and Confidings 5H4 

XXXVIII. Judge and Advocate 5!»7 

XXXIX. Justice at the Drum-head •■'12 

XL. A Wooer's Wile <i'^l 

XLI. The Tester Tested . . .• <>41» 

XLII. Cupid's Counter Coup *'*>'^ 



XLIII. Glimpses of War (ii»0 

XLIV. A Rebel Doctor 710 

XLV. Sisters and Brothers I'^tl 

XLVI. Before the Dawn . . . . . . . ' . 74H 

XLVII. After the War 757 


Opposite Pagk 

So he stepped boldly forward and seized the dainty fingers 14 

There stood Victor with downcast eyes 74 

" Yoii are a liar! " Victor hurled back 95 

' ' Apologize — to him ? To this greenhorn Dutchman ? " 113 

" You think you can leave my pony behind? " . . . 124 

The speech of the colonel created the wildest enthusiasm. 137 
' ' I trust that your Honor may excuse my unceremonious 

intrusion here." 177 

"Whither bound, gentlemen both? " 188 

"Faithful fiddlesticks! " Leslie spoke up .... 244 
" Do you know, Mr. May, that you are hardly a stranger 

to me? " 257 

Prof. Rauhenfels favored the company with a loquacious 

dissertation on the art of carving 282 

Leslie closely watching her, she placed the paper on the 

rack, and began to sing 311 

" There! " he said, holding out the paper to his visitor, 

" What do you say to that ? " 344 

He gazed into her face with unfeigned tenderness . . 367 

" But what are we going to do with these bouquets? " . 41!> 

The venerable senator bowed with courtly grace . . . 442 
"Well, my young friend," said the colonel to Victor, 

" you have not answered my question " . . . . 4(il 
Nellie saw what for a moment filled her with superstitious 

fear 548 

And before the word ' ' fire ' ' was uttered she stood in front 

of the muskets leveled at her brother 560 

"Cressie! Is that the young lady's name? " . . . 576 
Victor had addressed the last few remarks singly to Col. 

Scheffel 630 

Pauline, kneeling by the bedside, took one of his hands 

in both her own 72i* 

" Soul of my life, why grudge me the sweetness of the 

admission? " 740 



A Story of Love, Politics and War. 



IfN ante-belluui days a heavily-laden t'reight-wagon rolled 
I along the great State-road api)roaching Brookfield from 

■ the East. The road over the mountains was rough in 
mountainous parts, not without steep acclivities ; and in the 
valleys, after rains, and during heavy thaws, the mud, both 
deep and tenacious, at times offered serious impediment to 
locomotion, requiring power in the draft animals and skill in 
their handhng to avoid tedious delays. 

On that bright summer day, however, the stately six horses 
drew the wagon, heavily freighted as it was, with perfect ease 
along the level stretch of road across Kickapoo Prairie, (xuided 
by a cunning hand, the well-conditioned animals stepped 
nimbly forward. Equipped with whip ;unl line, the driver 
bestrode the saddle-horse, not without a boorish dignity : the 
consciousness of sovereign sway over that powerful, thoroughly 
trained team, obeying the slightest touch of the line, imparted 



to his otherwise' stolid ft'aturcs :i oleaiii of iiiti'llii;eiHH'. Nor 
woiihl Ills weathiT-taiuicMl face and coinpact. WL'U-kiiit frame 
compare unfavorably with the lank, gawky youth who sat 
behind him on the waoon-board. havino- sought shelter there, 
undei' the wa^'on cover, from the fervid rays of the sun. 

The ])aleness of the latter's Itoyish face betrayed that little 
of sunshine had hitherto fallen to his lot. llis forehead riv- 
alled in whiteness the drillinii' witii which the wa^on was cov- 
ered and which, bleached by the alternate rain and shine of 
byoone years, encompassed him like an aureole. But — alas 
for the I'oinancel — the picture could not in truth be calle(l a 
charminu' one: to a supt-rlicial oi)server not even pathetic. 
What it mulely |)roclaime(l of past privation and unsatislied 
lonoing miyht be uottMltoa caicfiil ol)S('r\-ei' ol human nature; 
not at all, lor instance, to Ihe uusophisticaled It'anisler on \]\v 

Hut then he on the wayon-ltoard posed not for a picture. 
He revelled in bliss, for the moment unalloyed. Care and 
worry he had left behind in the city from which he had escaped. 
In contrast with the weariness of mind and Ixxly lu'ousiiit on 
by incessant toil, the sense of rest and peace to which he now 
abandoned himself ))e<'ame douldy deliijhtfnl. . Sweet to him 
was the fragrance of o-mss and the perfume of llowei's wafted 
on the soft breeze that caressed his face. The profound soli- 
tude was enhanced rather than disturbed by the drowsy creak- 
ing of the wagon-longue ; the buzzing of insects, and the rustling 
of grass : the scampering of a timid hare aci'Oss the road, or the 
circling of a hawk in dizzy height overhead intensified rather 
than disturbed the restful, silent solitude. 

It was a lovely day. ( )ne of those perfect days of Spring or 
early Summer, of which the climate of the Southwest, delight- 
ing to rush from raw wintry blasts into enervating Slimmer 
sultriness, is usually so sparing. Densely blue the sky above, 
relieved here and there l)y fleecy clouds, soft and white, like 
cotton bursting from its boll; bright the Kickapoo Prairie in 
festi\(' garb below. The jiiicv green of grass and herbs liut 



brighteued the glow aud color of tlie wild Uoweis with which 
the prairie was studded. A playful zephyr teases now the 
laughiug blossoms, now the waving grass, until, thrilled with 
iiis wanton caresses, the verdant blades and blushing blossoms 
dance in merry glee. Swelling anon into mischievous mood, 
he lashes them in turn, and they boAv their heads and toss 
about coni2)lainingly, changing the smiling prairie into a surg- 
ing ocean of verdure. And through it all winds the dusty 
yellow road, not unlike a gigantic serpent lazily basking in the 
sun, hiding here behind some tall bush or shrub, or slinking 
away there out of sight in following a depression in the ground ; 
but always emerging again into the sunshine until it finally 
disappears in the distant forest that closes in the prairie. 

But Yahkop, the autocrat of whip and line, is serenely indif- 
ferent to tlie genial mood of the weather. Tlie charms that 
deligiit ills young friend on the wagoH-))oar(I have a soporific 
effect upon him only. 'Die landscape, so ciiarniiiig in its love- 
liness to his young companion, is to liini of wearisome monot- 
ony. The hununing of insects and the rustling of leaves and 
grassblades become a lullaby, to which the measured pace of 
the horses marks time. Unconsciously he nods in response to 
the step of his saddle-horse, as if the two held mysterious con- 
verse, betokening wonderful unanimity by continual nodding 
of tlieir heads. 

Now Victor, the young man in the wagon, thought highly of 
the capabilities of his friend. To doubt this friend's infalli- 
bility as an hostler would have seemed to him rank treason. 
But the remarkable uniformity of the motion of the respective 
heads of Yahko]) and tiie horse he was riding bi'ought a smile 
to his lips ; for, as the former bowed lower and lower, and was 
then suddenly jerked up, only to repeat the l)obbing. l)owing 
and jerking, again aud again, he could not ignore the convic- 
tion that the redoubtable teamster was dozing on his lofty 
saddle-throne. But i)resently his smile of amusement gave 
way to an expectant mien. Was not liere the opportunity to 
uratifv his lonii-chci'ishcd anibilion to drive tliis o]oi-i<nis team 


of six all bv liiiiist'll'r He (k'tonniiu'd lo try liis luck: Yahkop 
could })ut refuse or at the woi-st lecture liiui for his audacity. 
So, summouing the reiiuisite couraue. he spoke up : 

'' Yahkop I " {\\\ faultless Kuolish his name ought to have 
tteeu Jacob or even .Tanu's ; but those who knew liim well pre- 
ferred to call him, in deference to his (German nativity and 
broad brogue, as he had been called in the fatherland.) 
" Yahko]) ! (4et into the wagon nnd sleep! Come: let me 

At the U'-st sound ot \'ictor"s \<tici'. Yahkop suddenly 
assumed a bolt upright position and cracked his whij) with w 
vehemence that started his horses into a lively trot. Then he 
turned, with a lyriskness (juite unusual in him. toward his com- 
panion, and laughed. His voice, ordinarily of baritone pitch, 
on this occasion assumed a shrill tre))le calcidated to demon- 
strate the a) (surdity of :tny suspicion that he might have l)een 
caught napping. •• \'hat r "" he said. ■• yon vill drihfe? " 

" Yes," the young man spoke uj) eagei'ly. •• You get into 
the wagon and sleep. I will drive for yon." 

A pause. The teamster pondered deeply the singular ])ropo- 
sition of his young friend. Then. " Hut you don't ken drihfe," 
he said. 

" Oh, yes, 1 can," the youth replied, parading a confidence 
which he did not feel. '' 1 have seen you at it so often, that it 
would be funny if I could not do it too." 

Another pause and a dubious shake of the head. " I dou't 
b'lief you ken drihfe," he grumbled, rather to himself, how- 
ever. Presently a cunning expression spread over his physi- 
ognomy, as he turned t<i his comrade and asked: " Veil, how 
you mek tshee ? ' ' 

" Gee? " Victor repeated in blank astonishment. •• What 
is gee ? ' ' 

Yahkop enjoyed the success of his shrewd expedient im- 
mensely. ''Ho hoi " he laughed, ''you vill drihfe, und 
don't ken mek tshei' I " Then he continued his catechising : 
" I'ud how you mek hah? 


But the youth was auaiii drivcu to coutess his io-norance. and 
auain the cuiiiiiuii- ti'anister vojoicecl. After a brief pause he 
inquired: •■ \'ell, how you mek de hosses go riji'ht? " 

•■ I know I " was tlie eao-er rejily. -'You give two jerks 
with the line, and tiie lead iiorsc will turn to the I'iiiht." 

" Hni — yahs. ish sol "' saiil Yahkop. nodding oravely. 
•• Uud how you mek de hosses o-o left? 

•' This way.'" |)roni|)tly responded \'ietor. ilhistratiuii- the 
motion with arm and hand. •• Yon pull the line steadily until 
the leader has turned as far to the left as you want him.'" 

"■ Hm, yahs," with much nodding. " You pull mit der 
line, uud dat ish tshee : uud you tsherk mit der line, uud dat 
ish hah." And the ignoranee of Victor as to so simple a 
matter as gee and hah struck him as so funny, that he gave 
vent to a renewed lit of laughter, emphasizing his own superior 
knowledge by adding: " Und you vill drihfe uud don't ken 
mek tshee und hah I I'nd yon l)een longer in dis kundree 
OSS 1 ! " 

'• But one does not learn such things in a city, at least not 
in a bake shop." The answer came in tones of regret, as if 
Victor wished to apologize for his lamentable ignorance. 

'• Uud you don't ken learn it in der shcool. too." said Yah- 
kop. mollified by Victor's apologetic voice. •• Ven you will 
lern somedings, you must do it. Ven you lerus it in der 
shcool, you don't ken do it." 

'• But I have not been to school much, either," Victor 
enlightened his friend. "Three or four years, hardly: and 
in a public school, at that." 

•• Plenty shcool fur der packwoots." was Yahkop's opinion, 
emphatically expressed. •• Und more oss der packwoots 
beeple got, vhat ve vill see." With this he vacated his saddle. 
and said, beckoning the young man to mount. •■ now show how 
you ken drihfe." 

Victor complied with alacrity, leaping from his seat to the 
tongue of the wagon, and climbing thence into the saddle. He 
took whip and line in either hand, and prepared to show off. 


Nothing could be easier ; tlie excellently trained animals 
obeyed as readily, as if a more experienced hand had hold of 
the line. He turned to the right, then to the left; he brought 
the horses to a halt, and started them again — just as the 
skeptical teamster demanded. The latter seemed well [)leased 
with the result of the investigation, and prepared to retire 
into the interior of the wagon, to seek Avhat comfort he might 
upon the boxes and barrels composing the freight. 

P^irst, however, he strictly charged the iieAvly installed driver 
to be very careful in the handling of the horses. " 1 let you 
drihfe, now," he said in a soleniu voice. " Und you teks 
care — uudershtand ^ Und you don't mek no foolishness mit 
der bosses — undershtand? You drihfes shteddy : und you 
looks on der road, und you don't vi}) der bosses — under- 
shtand r Und ven, in 'bout a' hour odder dree quarter, der 
hill gums, odder veu somedings else gums, und you don't 
undershtand, you shtops, und lioUcr nie — underslitand ? 
Now, drihfe on I " 

Of course, A'ictor readily |)n)niisc<l lull conipliauce witli all 
that was (leuiandi'd of him. for he burned witli anxiety to as- 
sume su|)reme conunand of the glorious team. All went well. 
Proud as a king, — happier, perchance — he sat on his leather 
throne, flourishing his whip for a scepter and ruling his ol)e- 
dient subjects by means of the line with sovereign caprice. 
Well might the sober leader be puzzled, why he was not per- 
mitted to keep eitlier tlie right or the left, or yet the middle of 
the road, but nuist descril)e a zigzag between the two sides: 
he obeyed with stolid indifference each contradictory command 
as conveyed to him by the magic line, and kept his peace, as 
became a loyal subject. In like, manner the other horses 
followed their leader; and even Uncas, the faithful watchdog, 
trotted serenely alongside, with lolling tongue, not even a wag 
of his tail betraying astonishment at the new ruler in the 

When the team had reached the conttnes of the prairie, the 
road became narrower, and shorter curves appeared. This 

.1 ij'jssox /x W()()/)(/:.\Fr. / 

gave \'ict()r new pli'iismr ; lor wliiU' he li.-id liitlicilo loiiud no 
oecasion lo use citluT line or \vhi|), tlic lioi'scs now must 1h' 
guided, to avoid bad pliuH's in the road, or liciv and tlu'ic a 
stump projecting into it. iciidi-ring necessary the use not only 
of the line. Imt nlso of tiu' bridle of tiie horse lu- \v:is liding. 
Yahkop was still snoring lustily, when \'ictor peiceived what 
appeared to him tolte si stee]) declivity of the road, and regret- 
fully prepared to alxlicMte his l»rief authority. Hut he soon 
discovered that the descent was not nearly so steej) as he had 
at first imagined. He hesitnted : the road was in good con- 
dition: the horses had hitherto promptly responded to every 
indication given with the line — Avhat need was there to dis- 
tnrl) his comrade's sAveet sluml)er? 

While he was still hesitating, the horses had reached the 
brow of the declivity, and stood suddenly still, of their OAvn 
accord. What did this mean? ^'ictor was puzzled. He i"e- 
memliered that Yahkop had sometimes permitted the horses to 
rest at particularly I'ough places of the road: but that had 
always l)een when traveling np hill, and the horses, just now- 
seemed hardlv tired. Again he was nboiit to cnll on Yidikop. 
and again he hesitated and timidly signalled the animals to 
start. But he was more than ever surprised by the promjjf- 
ness with which tlu'v olieved and the vigor with which they 
pulled. The im[)etus they imparted to the wagon wns so for- 
cible, that the rear horses were jnished into a brisk trot, and 
the whole team accelerated their pace. The descent was gained 
in a brief inoment, and \'ictor, really frighteneil now. called 
frantically on the teamster for hel[). 

When Yahkop. I'oused by the cries, scraml)le(l to the front 
of the wagon, the whole team was rushing down hill with alarm- 
ing speed. •• Lick der ol'f-hoss^an hart lick 1 "' he cried in a 
voice of thnnder; for his ex])erienced eye detected dtinger in a 
direction not visible to Victoi'. 

So impressive and urgent weri' Yahkop's lone and manner. 
that Victor was spurred into innnediate action. Unfortunately, 
he had not the remotest idea which was the off-horse : but it was 


evident lo him that lie wns expected to strike a blow, and so 
lie sti'iiek at random, and il lell on the saddle-horse. 

Tile effect was disastrous. N'ictor had used the wliip witli 
vio-or, if not with judgment, and caused the horse wliich he 
was riding to make a sndcU'n leap forward, which Yahko]) liad 
intended the other horse to make, and thus precipitated the 
catastrophe which the teamster had meant to avert. There 
was a crash. The wagon-tongue was hurled to the right with 
such violence as to dash both the rear horses to the ground, 
and Victor was flung headlong out on the road. 

Yahkop had leaped from the wagon with astonishing celerity 
and assisted the fallen horses to regain their feet. They snorted 
and tri'iiililed with fear: hut his (juick eye soon assured him 
that they had sustained no serious injury. A few caresses and 
soothing expressions sufficed to quiet them. The other horses 
had stood still of their own accord, and neither they nor the 
wagon showed any indication of damage. Having satisfied 
himself in this respect, Yahkop found time to look around for 
the unlucky youth, who stood there the picture of consterna- 
tion and anxiety, his clothes covered with dust, surveying the 
contusion produced Ity his imprudence. For him, the irate 
teamsti'r had neither caresses nor sootiiing words. His eyes 
l)lazed with wi'ath. He was angered l)eyond measure at the 
thoughtlessness of the boy, and at the flagrant violation of the 
l)eremptory orders he had given him : his wrath heightened not 
a little by the consciousness of his own imprudence in com- 
mitting the team to the inexperienced hands of the young lad. 
He sought relief for his overcharged feelings in a Ihxxl of 
invectives sucli as \'ictor had never listened to before. 

'• Vy in Dunder you lick der sattle-hoss ven I tells you lick 
der off-lioss. hey?" he burst out. •• You don't ken der off- 
hoss, hey r und you don't ken der sattle-hoss? " 

Victor was disarmed. He stood with downcast eyes, saying 
not a word in defense or justification. 

"• Und vy in Dunder you don't holler me ven der hill gums. 
lie\- ? " he continued savagelv. •■ Don't I tell you, holler me 

A A/;.S'6'0.V IN WOUDLHAFr. 'J 

veil (lev hill onms, hey? I'lid vy in DuikIcm- you don't shtop. 
nnd holler ine ven der hill oiinis ? " 

A olow of shame eolored Victor's cheeks. He felt the 
rebuke to be just, and had nothincr to say. 

•• I'nd vy in Dunder you drihfe down der hill niit a owick- 
ness like you vill o() to der hell, hey? Mit six hosses und 
tiftig huudert pound in der vaggen. hey? Und vy in Dunder 
you drihfe down der hill und got no shoes on, hey? " 

" Shoes? " Victor inquired in utter bewilderment, casting a 
wondering glance at the covering of his feet, and then at his 

"• Yahs, shoes! " thundered the teamster. '' Vy you don't 
put der shoes on ven you drihfe down der hill mit fiftig hundert 
pound in der vaggen? " 

" But I had my shoes on," said Victor, in meek astonish- 
ment at this strange accusation. 

'' Your shoes! " screamed Yahkop, a curious mingling of 
anger, sarcasm and amusement working in his features. 
•'Who talks 'liout yovr shoes! I don't talk 'bout yovr 
shoes; I talk 'bout der vaggen shoes, der lock-shoes — desf 
shoes! " And he pointed to the irons hanging on either side 
of the wagon, attached to strong chains, and intended to serve 
as drags in descending steep places, at the same time locking the 
hind wheels and protecting the tires against ruinous friction. 

A sudden gleam of light burst in upon the bcAvildered boy. 
This, then, was the secret why the sagacious animals had 
halted on the brow of the descent, —they had meant to give 
him time t*) lock the wheels : and he had so stupidly failed to 
understand them. This, too, explained their vigorous pull on 
starting again ! He felt deeply humiliated. But he must not 
permit Yahkop to believe that he had wantonly invited the 
danger. " I did not believe the descent to be either steep or 
long," he said meekly. •• And I forgot about locking the 

" Yahs! " growled the teamster, •• you tingks you drihfe a 
babv-vaggen mit ooats f)n :i waxt floor I " 


Presently he continued in a nioie moderate voice, "' Now you 
I'un der vag^en in der mire, now you j)ull 'iin out I " 

Yahkop examined the .situation. The waaou had l)een run 
against an oak of consideral)k' size, hy tliat unlucky lick given 
to tlic wrong liorsc. and \\\v iiuestion Mas liow to get clear of 
it. It was wedged in hi'twccii the right lore-wheel and tiie 
tongue, and so violent liad lieen the collision, that the trace- 
chains had snapped like glass. ■• \'liat ve go do now ? " he 
asked witli a scowl. 

\'ictoi- coidd give no ini'orniation. The striking I'esults of 
his skill in driving had quite exhausted his scanty stock of 
self-assurance. Nevertheless, since an answer was evidently 
expected of him, he timidly suggested : *• Could we not hitch 
the horses on Itehind and haul away tlie wagon? " 

'"Vliatl Putt der vaggen liefore der hoss ? Ain't you 
shmart I " said Vahko]), with profound contempt. But lie 
nevei'theiess walked straightway to the rear, as if to ascertain 
the feasil)ility of the plan suggested. An emphatic shaking of 
the head soon sliowed liis companion that it found no favor in 
Yahko|)'s eyes. ■• Der hosses don't ken ])ull l»ehind." he 
announced, and walked round to the front again, wiiere the 
pi'ospect was equally unpromising. 

^' Could we not unload the goods, and then draw away the 
empty wagon? " Victor once more ventured to intimate. 

The answer came i)romi)tly, and quite as Victor had expected. 
" Yaiis," the teamster sneered, " mehliy ve trow out der goots. 
I'nd who go trow 'em in again den? You go trow a hoxett in 
der vago'en uiit half tousend pound? You eat moi'e ]iacon 
und corn-bret fust, ven yon do dat." 

" Some people may ])ass. wlio will he willing to help us," 
^'ictor suggested. 

'•You shust vissle fur 'em 1 " Yahkoj) gi'owled. He had 
not yet recovered his temper. 

Victor ventiiretl no more suggestions. •■ If only that tree 
were out of the way I " lie sighed, in hoj)eless dejection. 

•• Dunderation I " cried Yahkop: ''dat ish der ting. Ven 


(ler vago\'ii (.loii't ou out dcr tree's vay. den der tice li'o oiil der 
vaggen's vay. Ken aou cliop niit der axt ? 

Yalikoj)".-; voiee had sounded so much less aerinionious. thai 
\'ietor felt orcntly relievi-d. Adniittinu' that he had never done 
any work in tliat line, he tliouiilil that he could easily do it. 
and inquired eauvrly whether lu- was to chop down the tree. 

A curious expression llitte<l across Yahkop's face. II was 
not a "■enuine smile, nor even a i>rin. that found lodi>inent in 
it : hut a sly. tliouoh not ill-natured suo-oestion of triumph 
disj)laced the ano-ry scowl that had hitherto dwelt there. 
•■ Yahs,"" he said. ■• <iit dev axt and choj) down der dree. I'nd 
don't you oo do it too ywick." 

Victor went to work Avith great alacrity. Ilioh he swuiio; 
the ax. and weiuhty lilows he struck the doomed oak. Deep 
in the trunk he Imried the *ilitterino- Idade, so that it cost him 
quite an effort to dislodoe it after every hlow. But it required 
many strokes l)efore he even chipped off a piece of l>ark : he- 
cause he never struck twice at the same place. Pausino-. pres- 
ently, to wipe the persj)iration from his face, he was dismaye<l 
to lind what little in'ogress hi' had made. Yahkop watched him 
complacently. Finally, a broad grin liohted up his face as he 
said. •• (tuui. Fictor. let me try. You ken drihfe more better 
OSS chop drees. You chop so o-wick, oss a new dree grows u[) 
before dis dree falls down." 

Ashamed of his lack of skill in even so rude an accomjilish- 
ment as chopping trees. Victor yielded the ax as readily as he 
had taken it uj), and his sturdy comrade went to work with a will. 
He had better success; the chips tlew merrily in all directions. 
But the oak against which he essayed his power was a stately 
tree. More than a hundred snnnners had contributed to its 
groAvth : the storms of more than a hnntlred winters had wrestled 
with it, achieving no greater things against it, than to despoil 
it of its annual cro[» of leaves and acorns. And very soon 
Yahkop, too, ])ansed in his work, to breathe and wipe his fore- 
head, and to look with dismay upon the insignilicance of the 
work he had accomplished. 


Before he resumed, the rumlih^ of an approaching vehick' 
was heard, which soon emerged from the woods and proved to 
be a light and elegant, though strongly built traveling wagon, 
drawn liy a span of line horses. The reins were in the hands 
of a rather tall, somewhat sparely built man of middle age, 
who occupied the front seat. Another ligure was discernible 
in the interior of the wagon, but so deeply shaded by the 
leather covering of the vehicle, that Victor could not plainly 
make it out. Having reached the scene of Victor's late exploit, 
the gentleman halted his horses and exclaimed : 

'" Why halloo, friend Yahkop ! What in the world are you 
doing here? You don't mean to camp so early in the day? " 

•* No, Kernel May," said Yahkop laconically. '' Not ven 
I not must." 

''Aha I " cried the stranger, whom Yahkop addressed as 
Colonel May. •■ 1 see what is up. You have run against a 
tree? " 

" Y'ahs," the teamster admitted, with an indifferent attemjit 
at a smile. '• Ind I vish it vas down." 

'• A thing that will not happen very soon if you don't do 
better work than this." the gentleman observed, the smile upon 
his face giving it, as Victor thought, a very winning expression. 
" But how, in the name of mischief, could such a thing happen 
to you, who are known as the best driver between the city and 
Brook field? " 

" So: " said the teamster, his face aglow with pleasure over 
the compliment to his skill; "I got a new drihfer, und he 
found a new vay to Brooktield, und der new vay go across der 
dree." A slight shrug of his shoulder in the direction of 
Victor sei'ved to indicate who the new drivei- was. and a cun- 
ning grin accompanied the joke. 

Colonel May glanced at Victor, who blushed with pleasure. 
The gentleman in the carriage possessed a strong fascination 
for him. And the blush deepened when the stranger asked 
Yahkop to introduce him to the young man. 

" Dis ish my new drihfer," said Yahkop, winking slyly. 


•• He go slitoi-ckipptT tiirold man N'aii HraakiMi : iiiid liis iiaiiic Fictor mil liis t'l-ont name, mid W'aldhorst mil liis name 

" Well, youug man," saitl the straiioer. with a gi-acious 
l»()\v and a smile that completely won Vietor'.s heart. " it seems 
to nie that 1 have heard of you before. My friend, the Myn- 
heer Van Braaken, informed me that he expects a young gen- 
tleman from the city to assist him as salesman in his extensive 
establishment. I trust that you may like our people when 
you get to know them, and I bid you welcome as a new 

The friendly greeting delighted Victor, but he was at a sad 
loss to know what to do or say. While in the act of imitating 
the bow he had seen Colonel May exe(nite. a lovely head 
Imbbed out of the carriage and a maiden's silvery voice 
resounded in merry laughter. 

C'Olonel May regarded the young lady with a rebuking glance. 
Luabashed, however, she cHmbed into the front seat by his 
side, and said, as soon as her fit of laughter subsided, •• Oh. 
l)apa, he is such a funny gentleman ! And it must be so droll 
to hear him, and Yahkop, and Mr. Van Braaken talk gibberish 
in the Dutch store I ' ' 

" Do not mind the child's silly talk, Mr. Waldhorst," said 
the Colonel. •' But let me introduce you to my daughter 
Eleonora, whom we call Nellie for short. You have probably 
heard our friend Yahkop call me May. Xellie. my child, this 
is Mr. Waldhorst, who is to be our neighbor soon." 

Victor had never lieen introduced to a lady audAvas painfully 
conscious of his profound ignorance how to behave on the 
occasion. To be sure. Miss Xellie was not a grown up lady : 
l)ut then this consideration by no means lessened the embar- 
rassment of the awkward boy, for the self-possession of the 
damsel impressed him all the more, perhaps, on that account. 
Blushing to the roots of his hair, he mechanically repeated the 
motions through which he had gone in imitation of the Colonel's 
bow, and did this in so original a manner, that the voung ladv 


found it difficult to resist a new outburst of merriment. Mind- 
ful of paj^a's reproachful glance, however, she bravely con- 
quered the temptation and extended her hand with so winning- 
a smile, that \'ict<M' was charmed out of what little presence of 
mind was left to him. There was no misunderstanding that 
inviting gesture, however ; so he stepped boldly forward and 
seized the dainty lingers, carrying them, on an unconscious 
impulse of galhintry, to his lips. 

The hand was (piickly withdrawn. IJut she said, in the 
sweetest voice tliat ^'ictor thought he had ever lieard. •• I am 
very glad, Mr. Waldhorst, to make your acipiaintauce, and 
that we are to be neighliors. You must come and see us right 

•' May I ? " he iiuiuired with an eagerness that left no doubt 
as to the sincerity of his pleasure on receiving the invitation. 

•• Why of course,"" slu- I'cpUcd. looking al liim as if wonder- 
ing :it the ([uestion. and then ;id(le(I : ■• And you pardon my 
rudeness, do you not ? 

\'ietor was in a mood in which he would gladly have |i:ii'- 
doned any crime the young lady could have connnitted, and 
was on the point of telling her so. when it occurred to him, 
that to grant a ])ardon presu])posed an offense, and he could 
not couscientiously admit that he had been offended, (^nite 
the contrary: he had never lieen so sweetly charmed, as when 
he heard liis fidl name, coupled with the title •• iNIister '" pro- 
nounced by her rosy lips. So he answered, with a diplomacy 
quite foreign to his nature: •' If J had anything to forgive, I 
would gladly do so for the pleasure of hearing you laugh as 
you did a while ago." 

Victor had innnediate reward for his gallantry : for she. 
1hu-> encouraged, indulged herself in an unchecked peal of 
nuisical merriment, before she exclaimed, ••Yon aic indeed a 
droll young man, JMr. Waldhorst." 

'• He has given you an example of courtesy worthy of imita- 
tion," said the Colonel. Then seeing that Yahko]) had resumed 
his laborious task, he tnriiecl to him, saying: •• Hut our friend 




here needs a lesson in wood-em ft. This is an ar( upon which 
we in the t)!U'k-woo(ls pride ourselves." ^^'ith these words he 
threw the reins to his daughter and leaped to the ground. 
Divesting himself of his coat, he took the ax from Yahkop's 
hand. '* You are making sorry work of this," he said. •' if 
you go on in this way, the tree, Avhen you get it down, will 
(jbstruct the course of the wagon. IJesides, you must do bet- 
ter than this with the ax." — pointing to the Jagged, irregular 
opening that had been cut into the trunk of the tree — •• if 
you don't want to be laughed at by our backwoodsmen." 

]ioth \'ictor and Yalikop were astonished to see with what 
ease and dexterity he swung the ax ; the blows fell rajjidly and 
with a precision which i)roduced a perfectly even, smooth sur- 
face of ))otli edges of the triangular section he cut into the 
trunk. Even the chips which his swift strokes dislodged, were 
larger and more reguhir than those that Yahkop had ])rodiUK'd. 
Presently hemotioniMl his daughter to drive a little further 
down the hill, so as to l)e out of danger from the tailing tree, 
ill case it should come down in an unforeseen direction, and 
induced Yahko]) and Victor to remove the wagon horses also, 
to make sure against an accident. 

A few more weighty l)lows, and the tree swayed slowly from 
side to side, as if making ready for the tumble ; then the crown 
inclined majestically toward his brethren of the forest, main- 
taining his dignity to the last. A loud crash now spoke his 
angry protest against the violence done him : then accelerated 
downward movement, renewed crashing, a hissing of the leaves 
and twigs as they were forced through the air, and the giant 
lay prostrate. It had fallen precisely as indicated by the 
Colonel, and the road was clear for the wagon to pass on. 

Yahkop approached the Colonel, who leant upon the ax and 
complacently regarded the result of his Avork. They shook 
hands, and Yahko[) was al)0ut to say something in acknowl- 
edgment of the valual)le aid received from him, when the 
Colonel interrupted : 

"Spare your words, my friend. (Jim neighbor nuist always 



be ready to assist another l)y any such trivial service as this. 
Besides, you know, 1 am a candidate. If you want to do me 
a particular favor, you may vote for me for Congress at the 
next election, if it don't go against your conscience." 

"I bet chew I " the teamster exclaimed, shaking the Colonel 
vigorously by the hand. •' Und I licks all mine friends vhat 
don't go wote fur you, ebery times." 

Victor looked about for the carriage with the young lady : 
it was gone. He ran out into the road, to see: there, some 
distance down, where there was a curve in the road, he saw the 
vehicle, the horses running with frantic speed. 

"Colonel — your daughter I " he cried, turning deadly 
pale. Then he ran, as he had never run before. 



IN the viilli'v iipprotu-luMl Ity the road ran a creek of eon- 
siderable size, which, after the heavy rains sometimes 

■ experienced in this latitude, assumed the proportions of a 
lively river, to cros^ which safely it was necessary to And some 
place known as a reliable ford. 

To reach such a ford, the road led asi(,U' from its direct 
course up the creek for some distance, until the ford was 
reacheil. and on the other side retracino- its course alonu' the 
creek to a point almost opjjosite the ])lace where the detonr 
beoan. Much of the l)cnd so descril)ed was visible from the 
elevation where the travelers had met. 

Colonel May, the moment his attention had l)een called to 
the dauo-er of his dauo-hter, mounted that one of Yahkop's 
horses which, after a swift glance at them all, he judged to be 
the fleetest, and dashed down the road at the top of his speed. 
Victor had dashed off in a different direction. Surmising that 
the frightened horses would in their flight keep to the road, 
he plunged through the woods down a steep descent, making a 
bee-line for the nearest part of the road on the other side of 
the creek, which he hoped to reach lief ore the horses, because 
he thus cut off the great detour described by the road in 
the shape of a horse-shoe. To l)e sure, the declivity Avas 
very steep on the line in which he ran, and dense brush 
and underwood often rendered his progress difflcult : but 
he was swift of foot, and the ol»stacles in his way only 
lired his zeal. On reaching tlu' valley, the road again be- 
came visil)le and the sight of the runaway horses, having 
l)y this time crossed the creek, and tearing down the road 
with terrific speed, spurred him to renewecl cnergv. Hav- 



ing reachfd the creek, he plunged iu without a moment's 
hesitation. The water was deeper than he had calculated: 
after pressing forward a few steps, it reached to his armpits, 
and the strong current carried him a considerable distance 
down stream. But he did not lose his footing, and soon 
gained the other shore. On dry land again, he rushed onward, 
and reached the I'oad as he had hoped, before the runaways 
had passed. He placed himself directly in their way. stretch- 
ing out both arms to intercept them. Of course, he failed to 
stop them ; but their endeavor to avoid him — one of them 
pulling to the one, the other to the other side of him — lessened 
their speed considerably. As they came within reach, Victor 
seized the bridle of either horse, one in each hand, and hung 
on with liis whole weight. He was quickly lifted from off his 
feet by the rcai'ing animals, and dragged along by them ; but 
as he held on with iron grip, lie })resently regained his foot- 
hold. His efforts were seconded by a strong pull on the lines 
from within the carriage : and it was not long before the ani- 
mals were conquered, and stood, trembling and snorting with 
fear, but reduced to obedience once more. 

Victor likewise stood trembliDg and panting. The exertion 
liad been well-nigh too much for him. His heart beat in violent 
throbs. Ills lnvast heaved with a vehemence that seemed to 
shake his body to pieces. But a triumphant smile lit up his 
features, and became an eloquent substitute for the words 
which his agitation prevented him from uttering, as he stepped 
around to make his bow before the young lady. She sat 
quietly, lier little hands still holding the reins firmly; her face 
a shade paler than was natural to her. but otherwise cool and 
self-possessed. If she had been really frightened or excited, 
Victor could see no trace of it. 

Great was his astonishment on beholding the unparalleled 
courage and presence of mind of this remarkable little lady. 
But his enthusiasm received a sudden check when a hearty peal 
of laughter greeted him from those beautiful lips, before he 
liad been able to sav a word. The voice was clear and silvery. 


as it was wheu he bad tirst heard and found it so sweetly 
melodious. But he did not now so much enjoy it. It occurred 
to him tlial her hilarity was. under the circumstances, a trifle 
out of place. He had expected to find her wild with excitement 
and fear: yet there she sat, as unconcerned, apparently, as if, 
since he had seen her before, a life bad not been in jeopardy, 
to save which he had periled bis own — and laughed at him 
for his pains. 

•* Ob, Mr. Waldhorst! " she said, as soon as she recovered 
her voice, '' if you knew bow you do look, — for all the world 
just like the scare-crow papa put up in our wbeat-lield ! " 

Victor cast a glance over his person, and became aware of 
the cause of her merriment. She Avas right. A scare-crow 
coi;ld not present a more comical sight than be did at this 
moment. Both sleeves of his light coat bad been violenth' 
torn and buug in great rags, leaving one of his arms quite bare, 
and the other visible through a torn shirt sleeve. The coat- 
tails bad gained in leugth what they bad lost in breadth and 
symmetry, in consequence of great rents sustained by them, and 
his pantaloons gave ocular demonstration that their fal)ric bad 
l)een unequal to tlie strain upon them by the briars and brush 
of the thickets through which he had forced bis way. Even 
his shoes proved the worse for their rough usage in Victor's 
encouuter with the horses, exposing through great gaps between 
their soles and uppers bis toes, innocent of covering save by a 
layer of dust. Dust profusely clung, also, to the remaining 
portions of his garments, which the soaking they had received 
in the creek rendered peculiarly adhesive. 

She was right. This was not a plight to appear before any 
one. least of all before the sharp eyes of the mirthful young 
maiden who sat there so provokingly self-possessed. His bumili- 
atiou was complete ; but with it was blended a keener pain, — a 
sense of injury, of wrong — the source of which was as yet a 
mystery to him. Perhaps, if be could have accounted to him- 
self for the huii; to his feelings, he would have ascribed it to 
the dimming of the bright image that h:id won for itself a place 


in his heart. He sought refuge behind the carriage, which 
served him at once to hide his hidicrous phght, and to conceal 
the chagrin and mortification tliat he could not at once repress, 
from those keen, sparkling eyes. 

He had not been in hiding long, however, when he heard a 
soft, half coaxing, half reproachful vc^ice })ronounce his name : 

" Mr. Waldhorst! " 

The voice had great charm for Victor. (Still there was a 
trace of the deep disappointment he felt audible in his answer : 

" Yes, Ma'am? " 

' ' You are not going to run away ? ' ' 

" Indeed, I should like to." 

" And leave me to the mercy of these wild horses? " 

" You do not seem to be the least bit afraid oi them." 

"■ Oh, but you do not know what a terrible fi-ight I was in," 
the sweet voice continued to pU'ad, •• when tlie liorses I'jin with 
such terrilic speed down that long hill, and I luul great trouble 
to keep them in the middle of the roatl, and I feared every 
moment, that they might dash the wagon against a tree, or 
upset it ! And then what courage it gave me to see you fly to 
my rescue — yes, literally fly — for then I knew that you 
would save me, and I was no longer afraid, not even when you 
threw yourself right before the horses, like a hero of olden 
time. If you leave me now, I shall just jump out, and let the 
horses run away again." 

How eagerly the proud boy drank in the delicious flattery! 
What a glorious thing it would be, to accept the tempting 
situation and play protector to the pretty child I WnX lie 
remembered that she had shown greater skill and self-])Osses- 
sion than lu'. in tlie management of the i-unaways : nor could 
he forget the ringing laugh of a moment ago — nothing should 
induce him to subject himself a seconil time to such [)ainful 

" Please excuse me," he said rather reluctantly, however. 
" I really cannot show myself in the presence of a lady in the 
lix I am in." 

ONE OF Till-: F. F. I'. OUT WFST. 21 

" Pshaw I I ain iiut a lady at all," Nellie retorted, a little 
impatiently. '' I am only a school girl and spoiled with too 
much j)ettino;, papa says. I shouldn't think a brave hero like 
you would mind the silliness of a little school girl. Do come 
in and tiike the lines, until papa comes I " 

\'ictor. who found it exceedingly diHlcult to resist the 
maiden's entreaty, was saved the necessity of further strug- 
gling against his own inclination Ity the appearance of Colonel 
May, who came galloping up as fast as the borrowed horse 
could carry him. •' Here comes your father," said Victor 
with a sigh of relief. 

Nellie, hearing her father mentioned, leaped from the car- 
riage and ran to meet him with outstretched arms, while 
Victor stepped to the front to hold the horses, and to conceal 
his deranged toilet from the eyes of father and daughter. The 
Colonel sprang from his horse and embraced the girl. 

"Here I am. dear papal " she exclaimed, returning tlie 
embrace with fervor. •• All safe and sound! " 

•• Thank God I " he cried. " I hold you in my arms, unhurt 
and safe I But what a fright yon have given me I " 

" I was frightened too, papal " she said with a sweet smile. 
•' But you see all is well. And for this we are indebted to the 
mercy of God and the courage of Mr. Waldhorst." 

"Tell me, how on earth did it nil hapjien? " the Colonel 
inquired eagerly. 

" The horses were frightened by the terrific crash of the 
tree as it fell," Nellie related, as they walked leisurely toward 
the caiTiage, the Colonel leading his horse by the bridle. '' At 
first it was only Alec that shied ; but I never saw him so wildly 
excited. For a little while Pompey was perfectly quiet and 
tractable: but Alec dragged him along down the hill, and 
pretty soon Pompey got wild also, and then both ran with all 
their might. It was impossible to check them. When they 
got to the creek, I was awfully afraid that they would upset 
and. drown me ; but you see we got through all right. And 
then I caught a glimpse of Mr. "Waldhorst tearing down 


throuoh the brush and briers : and 1 knew he was comiua; to 
head off the runaways. I was perfectly sure that he would 
master them. And oh, you just ought to have seen him — 
how he dashed right into the horses while they were running at 
2.40 speed, and caught them by the bridles, and how they just 
lifted him up from his feet, and how he held on to them, like 
/grim death, and made them stop! Oh, he was just like a 
Roman hero I ' ' 

"So Mr, Waldhorst proved a readier and more etticient 
champion than 1 1 " said the Colonel, smiling fondly on the 
enthusiastic girl. " But Avhere is the young hero, that T may 
thank him for his chivalrous exploit? " 

''He is hiding on the other side of the wagon," Nellie 
answered, with downcast eyes. Then, raising them to her 
father's face with a look blending humble penitence with 
roguish assurance, " Only think," she said, " how naughty I 
have been ! But he looked too funny for anything ! In tear- 
ing down the hill, you know, and rushing right through densest 
brier-bushes and everything, and swimming through the creek, 
and swooping down on the horses like a whirlwind, he muddied 
and tore liis clothes, and looked sucli a perfect scarecrow, 
that I could not, to save my life, help laughing at him." 

They had by this time approached so near, that Victor could 
not, "without silly affectation, avoid meeting them. Nellie 
approached with beaming face and offered both her hands. 
'' Let me thank you for your brave and noble deed, as I ought 
to have done long ago! " she said, " instead of laughing at 
you like an ungrateful goose." 

" She is a child," said the Colonel, uoav also stepping for- 
ward and shaking him heartily by the hand. " A very much 
spoiled child, I am afraid. But don't stand there and blush, 
as if you were ashamed of the heroic deed you have done. 
Truly, I count it high honor to shake your hand, and hope 
that you will permit me to regard you as my friend. That 
naughty puss there, and I, we are both too deeply indebted to 
you to square accounts by saying I thanlc you . ' ' 


•• ludeed. J do not deserve such kindness I " stannuered the 
bashful boy. But notwithstanding his depi-ecatory words, he 
revelled in an ocean of bliss. 

" And may I now further trespass upon youi' good nature bv 
askino- you to drive our wagon back to the place where we left 
our friend Yalikop'r " said the Colonel. •• He must have his 
horse back : and after her experience just now, I would not let 
my hairbrained girl try another experiment with these horses." 

'^ Oh. Mr. May." said Victor. i)leading with evident earnest- 
ness. •' Miss Xellie would surely prefer that you should drive 
instead of me : and I can return the horse to Yahkop so that 
you need not be at the trouble to turn back."' 

•• Well." said the Colonel, after a brief pause. •• if you insist 
on it, yon may oblige us in this respect also. I only fear that. 
wearied as you feel, you will find a ride witliout a saddle rather 

'' Not in the least I " Victor asserted eagerly. ''I am 
quite accustomed to riding bare-back." Saying this, he led 
the horse to the other side of the wagon, and proved the truth 
of his assertion by straightway climbing on his back. 

He could not refrain from looking back before he had trotted 
a hundred paces, and was surprised to see that the carriage 
had not moved. When, on reaching a bend of the road which 
would take them out of his sight, he ventured another back- 
ward glance, he saw the carriage still in the road, but father 
and daughter were no longer visible — they must have gotten 
into the vehicle. 

At the ford of the creek, he dismounted, and went through 
a process of ablution, bestowing much more care upon this 
operation than had been his wont. Before he had quite fin- 
ished, he saw the freight-wagon approach from the other side 
of the creek. Yahkop had driven down the hill with four 
horses, the fifth tied on behind. As soon as Victor could get 
at the wagon, while Yahkop was hitching up the third pair of 
horses, he got out a bundle containing his Sunday clothes, and 
hurried to put them on, in place of the rags he had brought 


]»nck from his adventure. Of course the teamster plied him 
with numerous (questions as to the outcome of the runaway, 
and kept Mctor busy in satisfying his curiosity touching the 
details. He was thoroughly laughed at on honestly mention- 
ing the condition of his wardrobe at the termination of the 
affair, and poutingly informed Yahkop that the young lady had 
already performed that job in a very sufficient manner, though 
he kept to himself what the damsel had said about a scare- 

When he had got through with his toilet, Yahkop had also 
completed the hitching of the horses, and Victor bestrode the 
off-horse to continue his chat with the teamster. He was 
Iniruing with curiosity to learn from the latter all he knew 
about the gentleman who had so thoroughly aroused his 
interest, hoping to gain, incidentally, some information touch- 
ing the young lady. To his great disgust, Y^ahkop disposed 
of the latter by calling her a forward little hussey, badly 
spoiled by her parents and brother, because she was the pet of 
the family. The Colonel, however, he described as the ricrhest 
man in Vernal County, having many friends, and also many 
enemies, and who expected to be elected to Congress at the 
next election. He grew quite enthusiastic in dwelling on the 
many excellent qualities of this remarkable gentleman, — the 
best farmer in the County, he described him, " if he do come 
from Ole Wirtshinny," where they generally know precious 
little about farming, — a talker, that could out-talk any lawyer, 
and not even tell a lie, — a friend of the poor, not too proud 
to speak with a common chap. " Und how he ken blay mit 
der axt, you seen yourselfes," he concluded. " I shust vish 
1 ken blay mit der axt like he ! " 

The team had meanwhile reached tlie bend in the road where 
Victor had last seen the carriage, and he was surprised to see 
it still standing there — a circumstance, to which he at once 
called Y'^ahkop's attention. 

" Shoor! " said Yahkop. " Y'ou dingks der Kernel ride to 
Brookfield mitout der coat on 'is back? " 

ONE OF Till-: F. F. V. OUT WEST. 25 

\'i('t()r I'omemberetl that the Colonel had pulled off his coat 
before felliiijj- the tree, and eagerly inquired: " Did you bring 
it along? " 

'' Vhat you dingks?" Yahkoj) rejoined. " You dingks der 
Kernel's coat ish too nuich fur four bosses to pull? " 

The Colonel met them with a pleasant smile. As if in 
response to Yahkop's statement, he said: '' You have brought 
my coat, have you not? " 

'' Shoor," the teamster replied, "der vaggeu got room 
fur yer coat. Fictor, you git der Kernel's coat out der 
vaggeu . ' ' 

While Victor complied with alacrity, the Colonel expressed 
his obligation. " But this is not all that I have waited for," 
he went on. ^' If I can prevail on the young man there, I 
wish to take him from you for the rest of the trip to Brook- 
field. Can you spare him to us? " 

" Y"ou likes to hire a new dribfer? " Yahkop inquired with 
a sly grin. " Tek him. Und tek der axt too. Mebbe you 
chop down some more oak drees." 

But Victor protested. "I — I thank you," he said, color- 
ing deeply at the prospect of a ride in the same vehicle with 
the young lady who had such sharp eyes, and could laugh so 
merrily and unmercifully. "I believe it would be improper 
for me to leave the team. Mr. Van Braaken might be dis- 

" Leave that to me," said the Colonel, in a tone at once so 
kind, and yet so authoritative, that Victor's resistance melted 
away like snow in the sun. • " I propose to introduce you to 
Mynheer Van Braaken myself. In two hours we will reach 
Brookfield. You must be our guest for to-night, and to-mor- 
row morning we will ]iay our respects to the Mynheer, before 
Yahkop gets there." 

'• We see, ven you git dere fust," growled Yahkop. " Ven 
Fictor find some more drees, und you chops 'em down, den ve 
see . ' ' 

" I like you for this," said the young lad}', receiving Victor 


with a gracious smile, and making room for liim on her own 
seat in the rear. " I would have been quite put out, if you 
had refused papa's invitation." 

The Colonel follow^ed, after a few parting words with Yahkop. 
and started his horses at so lively a trot, that they quickly left 
Yahkoii with his team far behind. Victor found riding in the 
elegant spring wagon, seated on a soft cushion, quite a novel 
luxury. And w'hen the Colonel, by a few well directed ques- 
tions, had succeeded in putting him at his ease, he quickly 
forgot all his shyness, and talked as confidentially with his new 
friends, as if he had known them all his life. 

One of the subjects of their conversation was Victor's knowl- 
edge of the English language. It interested Nellie vastly to 
learn, that he had hardly ever spoken English with any one 
since leaving school, where he had been compelled to learn the 
language, because no one there spoke his own. 

" Have you learned French, too? " asked Nellie. 

' ' Oh, no ! " was his reph'. • ' I am very sorry to know, that I 
have learned very little, indeed. One of the reasons Avhy I am 
very glad to get the situation in Mr. Van Braaken's store, is 
the promise he made me, that I shall have leisure to improve 
myself by private study." 

" What, for instance, would you like to learn? " the Colonel 
made inquiry. 

•'Oh, everything! " Victor said. "I should like to study 
mathematics, and Latin, so that I might become acquainted 
with the works of great men who explain to the world the 
nature of things, and justice, and freedom." 

The Colonel looked at Victor in some surprise. •' So am- 
bitious? " he said smiling. "But you need not study Latin 
in order to become acquainted with the works of the greatest 
of men. Your own fatherland has produced a number of as 
good and great men as ever lived, while the history of England 
is replete with shining examples of wisdom, virtue and heroism. 
Above all, however, let me recommend to you the teachings 
of the founders of this glorious republic of ours. All of them 

ONE OF THE F. F. I'. ol'T WEST. 27 

speak to you in our own tongue, of which you have sutlioieiit 
knowledge for all purposes of study." 

Victor listened with deep attention. *' But," he ventured 
to suggest, ■' did not the governments of Greece and Rome 
serve as models of our own. and is it not necessary to become 
acquainted with the Avorks of their statesmen, in order to under- 
stand ours ? ' ' 

'' Hardly," said the Colonel with some complaisance. •■ The 
form of government established for the republic of the United 
States of America is without parallel or precedent, — so far 
above the republics of Greece nnd Rome, as the Nineteenth 
Century is above the middle ages in culture and civiliza- 

Victor made no answer, pondering over what he had heard. 
But Nellie soon interrupted his meditation. 

" Tell me about the school you attended. Was it a large 
one ? ' ' 

" Rather a large one," Victor informed her. •' In the de- 
partment of the boys there were about four hundred pupils ; 
but only one teacher." 

" Did you say four hundred boys, and only one schoolmas- 
ter? " the Colonel inquired. "^ I have read of such schools, 
conducted on what is called I believe, Joseph Lancaster's 
System. Does the plan work well? " 

" Quite well," said Victor; " at least I believe that it did 
so in the school which I attended. The master conducted 
the upper two or three classes in person, the pupils of which 
took turns in instructing the children of the lower classes. 
Monitors were appointed daily to note the names of all the 
boys who, in any way, violated the rules. The offenders were 
punished by the master in person, who inflicted chastisement 
by means of a thin rattan, the number of cuts being determined 
by the grade of the offense charged against the culprit. The 
list of delinquents was called at a regular hour every day, 
and it usually required from tea to fifteen minutes to get 
through with this part of the discipline." 


Nellie found the school quite au amusing theme and asked 
numerous questions, which Victor conscientiously answered. 

But the Colonel, wishing to learn more of Victor's personal 
history, directed his questions to that end, and soon drew from 
him a simple narration of as much of his previous life, as 
Victor thought worth mentioning. He informed his attentive 
listeners, that he had come to this country with his parents, 
when he was quite a young boy ; that his father invested the 
greater part of his means in the purchase of a house and lot, 
for which he paid cash, and did quite Avell for awhile, cai-rying 
on a bakery, " until one day a stranger called at the house and 
told father, that the house and lot belonged to him, demanding 
payment for it. Father showed him the deed but the stranger 
laughed at it, saying it was signed by his son, who had the 
same name as he, but that the house did not belong to the son, 
but to himself. At this father got angry, and told the man to 
leave the house. After that he came back one day with another 
man, who said he was a sheriff, and left a paper with father: 
and three or four months after that, this sheriff drove us out 
of the house, put our furniture in the street, and we had to 
rent a house to live in. We were then quite poor, for father 
had not much money left after paying for the house he had 

" What scoundrels those men were I '" said Nellie, coloring 
with indignation . 

" But — did not your father employ a lawyer? " the Colonel 
inquired with some astonishment. 

"Yes," said Victor, " but not until after the sheriff had 
taken possession of our house. It was then too late, the lawyer 
said. But he also explained to us, that he could not have 
helped us, even if father had employed him at once, for that 
we had been defrauded by a i'ascal, and that we could not 
recover anything from him by law, because he had no property 
in his own name." 

The Colonel remained silent ; but Nellie queried further : 

' ' What happened to you then ? ' ' 


'' My I'atlRT," Victor coiiliinied, •• was vci-y iniicli ij;rievc(l 
over our loss. His husiiu'ss did not prosper after that, and 
we had sad times. Then caine the cholera, both parents took 
it and died in the same week." 

••And then? " Nellie eaovrly pressed, as X'iclor ovei-come 
by the sad memory pansed in his narration. 

" And then," he went on. •• when our parents liad l)een 
l)nried, and the sale of our household "(x^ds had produced 
hardly enough to pay the doctor and undertaker, we had noth- 
ino". 1 hired out as a Journeyman l)aker. an occupation which 
I haye followed ever since, and my sister found a home in the 
family of a distant relative of ours, back in the city.*' 

'• Oh, then you have a sister? '" exclaimed Nellie witli anima- 
tion. •• Tell us all about her I " 

••She is the dearest sister a brother I'ver iind I "' \'ictor 
announced |)rou(lly. '* Not (piite so old as I am." lie added 
in response to Nellie's eai>ei' (luestioning-, •• and her name is 

"A pretty name. — I'auline ! " Nellie mused. ■• Is she a 
beauty? Does she look like you? " 

•• Like me? No indeed! " Victor protested, blushing vio- 
lently. '• She is not so beautiful as some ladies," he con- 
tinued, throwing a sidelong glance at his fair neighbor. •• but 
I don't think you would laugh on seeing her for the lirst 

" Now, Mr. Waldhorst ! " the young lady p(nited, shaking 
her forefinger at him, •• you ought to l)e ashamed of yourself 
foi' reminding me of my silliness. Please, don't do that 

"Indeed, indeed. Miss Nellie, 1 meant no rt'proach I " |)ro- 
tested Mctor, so earnestly, as to |)reclude any doubt of his 
sincerity, •• I only meant lo say that my ^ister is not so — so 
awkward, as I am." 

•• I venture to say," tiu- C'olont'l interferetl, suspecting that 
further words on the subject might increase the bashful young 
man's eml)arrassment, •• that JNFiss Waldhorst is an accom- 


plished young lady, whom Nellie would be proud to beconu' 
acquainted with . ' ' 

"Of course I would," Nellie eagerly assented. " 1 know 
I should love her if she is as good as Mr. Waldhorst says she 
is. I have a brother, Mr. Waldhorst, but no sister. It must 
be beautiful to have a sister." 

■' Is your brother older, or younger tlian yourself? " queried 
the young man. 

" Oh, he is much older than I am," Nellie went on. •• Why. 
he is really a grown man. I think you will like him, Mr. 
Waldhorst, when you get to know him. Everybody likes my 
brother Leslie." 

'• I Jim sure I shall like him. if — '" 

Wlnitcver he was going to say remained unsaid ; for he cast 
down his t'ves mid blushed, instead of finishing his remark. 

■• I know \vh:i1 you were going to say,"" proclaimed Nellie, 
laughing lilitlicly. •• Yon were going to sny. if lie is like me. 
Xow tluit would li;i\c' been :i pretty compliment. :uid you need 
not be ashamed of it." 

'' Does he live with you at Brookheldr " 

" Yes, when we are at home: that is, we live at May Mead- 
ows, which is the name of our place : it is quite close to Brook- 
tield, but not just in it. I expect to meet brother Leslie, who 
is home from Ilai-vnid iiy this time. And 1 will be so glad to 
sec him. after being away from him for nearly a year. For I 
iini myself just on my way home from the seminary at Columl)i{i 
for the vacation."" 

'' Ah I And bi'olher Leslie is also at home for the v;ic!i- 
tion y " \'ictor incpiired. '• Where is Harvard? 

" Why, don"t you know :d)out Harvjird L'niversity ? " said 
the girl, evidently |)itying his ignorance. " It is a great 
college, or something, away down East, among the Y'ankees, 
in Cambridge, or Boston, or somewhere. My brother was very 
proud, when papa sent him to Harvard." 

■' How I should like to go to college! " said Victor, evi- 
dently envying the happy brother. 


"' You liavo no cause fcr regret, 3'ouuo- man." said the 
Colonel assuringly. '• The lessons which you have learned, 
and are still learning, I trust, by being thrown on your own 
resources, are worth more to you in the way of your education 
and development, than a regular course in the best college in 
the world could ever be, if, as I am sure is the case, you have 
the stuff in ^-ou to make a man of." 

In the course of the conversation Nellie had mentioned the 
fact, that she had emigrated, with the rest of the family, from 
Virginia, — emphasizing the name of her native State with a 
degree of patent pride which made Victor wonder — while still 
a child, but that she remembered their great plantation which 
papa had sold ; and that they had brought all their negroes to 
this State, because papa would not sell them to strangers. 

•• The negroes? " Victor inquired, with a puzzled air. 

•■ Why yes : the slaves, you know." 

•■ Slaves? " Victor repeated, with still greater astonishment. 

" Our 3'oung friend probably forgets, that ours is a slave 
State," Colonel May remarked. " I fear that you consider us 
behind the enlightenment of your native Germany, in this 
respect, since they no longer tolerate slavery there." 

'"They ncAcr had slaves in Germany! " Victor declared, 
with great emphasis. 

•• I would not insist on that so lirmly," the Colonel replied 
with au indulgent smile. -It is not a thousand years ago, 
that men there sold themselves and their children into slavery, 
and the law tolerated this, and protected the masters in their 
right over their slaves. 1 remember having read of one in- 
stance, where a father, having gambled away all his posses- 
sions, staked his own daughter, who was the most beautiful 
maiden of the tribe, and she was delivered over to the winner 
as his absolute property. — So you are not pleased with this 
• peculiar institution ' of ours? " 

"How can you ask me?" said Victor, who had listened 
with astonishment to the Colonel's words, and was strongly 
inclined to doubt the correctness of his information as to the 


existence of slaverv in (Teniiauv. • '• Can it \w right, oi' just, 
or wise, to deprive a human Iteing of his freedom ? Why, to 
me this seems a greater wrong than to take away his life." 

" Let us not ]nirsne this topic," said the Colonel, quietly, 
but authoritatively. •' We will hardly liave time to come to an 
understanding on so important and vexed a question; for there 
I see the grove Avhich shelters our dwelling. We will reach it 
in a few minutes. But permit me to caution you against mak- 
ing any but your most intimate friends the confidants of your 
very positive views on this subject. You will hardly make 
converts, and it might entangle you into unpleasant, even 
dangerous, complications. ' ' 

Victor remained silent. Colonel May had evidently spoken 
with the kindliest intention. But why should it be necessary 
for him to conceal his conviction on so important a sul)ject, 
the right and the wrong of wliich were so palpal)ly evident? 
Could this ))e a free country, if the exjjression of his opinion 
could draw after it " unpleasant, even dangerous complica- 
tions? " Wherein, then, consisted the freedom of speech and 
conscience, which he had so often heard extolled and prized as 
the proud privilege of the citizens of his adopted country? 

The long summer day was meanwhile drawing to its close. 
When the travelers arrived in front of the gate to the grounds 
of the mansion bright lights were already shining through the 
doors and windows. It was not so dark, however, but that 
Victor could see, and greatly admire the tastefully laid out little 
park, with its broad, gravelled walks, smoothly shaved grass- 
plots and brightly blooming shrubs and flowers. The whole 
was surrounded by a grove of stately old trees of original 
forest growth, thinned out and cleared of underbrush to invite 
the Itreezes of summer, without admitting the full rays of the 
sun. L'[)on Mctor the Colonel's residence produced the im- 
pression of comfort and elegance, which greatly enhanced his 
appreciation of thi' honor involved in being invited to enjov 
the owner's hospitality. 

A number of dusky servants I'an to assist the travelers in 

<)NI<: OF THE F. F. V. OUT WFST. :i3 

alighting. TIr'V <>l)c'iied Uu'galc and U)ok c-liargv ol' llic Ikji'sl'S 
and carriage. The young guest watched the scene with curious 
interest. He was surprised to find quite a different picture 
from that which liis imagination liad created. Could these 
faces, sliining witli contfutmcnt. many of tliem ))riglit with 
evident i)leasure in welcoming their master, for each of whom 
he had a word of cheer or encouragement, l)elong to the class 
of abused victims of o})prcssion and tyranny? Here was sub- 
jection, unquestioning obedience, indeed. l>ut where was the 
look of abject terror, the eloquent though unspoken, protest of 
a down-trodden race against the despoiliT of their human 
rights, which the innnigrant boy connected in his imagination 
with the condition of slavery Ir Nothing saw ^'ict()r of any 
such : these slaves enjoyed their mastej''s jokes as keenly as if 
they were his equals, and sometimes retaliated with ready wit. 

At the gate stood a lady of i)Ieasant appearance, into whose 
open arms Nellie sprang the instant her feet touched the 
ground. "'My child I " and ••Mama I — dearest mama I " 
Victor heard, as they eml)raced and kissed. A tall, handsome 
young man, of intellectual features, so far as \'ictor could dis- 
cern in the twilight, stepped out and cordially shook hands 
with the Colonel. •• You are late, })apa I " he said. •• What 
kept you so long? " 

" Yes," the Colonel replied cheerfully, ■•' we had quite an 
adventure. There will be something to talk about at the 
supper table." 

Nellie had hardly quitted the arms of her mother, when both 
her hands were seized by a liright quadroon woman, who cov- 
ered them with kisses, and then, holding out the girl at arm's 
length from her, seemed to devour the lovely tigure with hungry 
eyes. •• jNIy darling honey I " she addressed her, •• sweet balm 
to my tired old eyes. I How it rests 'em to look at yer purty 
doll-face 1 Ye're bringin' sunshine back wid ye, an' good luck 
to de ole place. An' my, how you's growed ! An' what a 
fine lady you got to lie I God bless you, my sweetest young 
missis' I " 



" \\'(.'ll, C'U'o. are you g'oing to .U'ive me a chance after a 
while, ())• (h) you mean to keep your young mistress all to 
yourself? " the yctung man spoke up. as liis father saluted his 

'•My dearest Leslie I " the girl exclaimed, Hying towards 
her brother, who took her bodily up in his arms, and carried 
her straightway into the house, in spilt' of her laughter, strug- 
gles and protestations that siie was no longer a baby. 

The Colonel and his wife now a|)proached Victor. " My 
dear," she said, "1 have brought you an honored guest, to 
whom we are deeply indebted. This is he, — Mr. Waldhorst. 
Mr. Waldhorst, let me present you to Mrs. May I " 

The lady bowed with much grace and dignity. '* I am 
happy," she said, " to become acquainted with a friend of my 
husband, and to welcome you to our home." 

The great sitting room was lighted up brilliantly, and a 
cheerful fire crackled in the spacious fire-jtlace. Male and 
female servants, in all shades of cok)r, from the light yellow of 
the quadroon to the honest black of the unmixed African, 
flitted about. C)ne of them conducted Victor to a room, which 
he was told to consider as his own during his stay. The 
servant also informed him, that after he had arranged his toilet, 
he AA'ould l)e called down to tea. 

Before taking their seats at the table. Colonel May intro- 
duced "\Mct(jr to his son Leslie May, and also to his overseer, 
JNIr. Jeffreys^, who had been invited to take his meal with the 
family on this occasion. At table the conversation soon turned 
upon the adventure with the runaway horses and Victor's ex- 
ploit in connection therewilh. The Colonel related what he 
knew of the matter, Init Nellie frequently interrupted him with 
droll remarks, taking care, however, always to turn the laugh 
against herself, while she lauded Victor's prowess without 
stint. The latter would gladly have escai)ed the lavish praise 
liestowed on him, and endeavored to hide his l)lushes by keep- 
ing his eyes upon his plate ; but he could not avoid noticing, 
tliat Mr. .Jeffreys seemed nuich displeased with the favor shown 

ONE OF TJIK F. F. T. 06^7' WF.ST. 


him hv all the members of the family, for even Leslie was pi'O- 
fuse in showing his appreciation of what Victor had done for 
his sister Nellie to whom he was tenderly attached . 

When, late in the evening, Victor was condneted to his 
chamber, he left his newly found friends with the conviction 
that they constituted the noblest and happiest family he had 
ever met. The promise of Colonel May to introduce him in 
person to his new employer, led him to hope that he might 
thereby gain in the merchant's esteem, and perhaps improve 
his future prospects. But his happiest reflection when the 
events of the bygone day passed in review before his mind, 
was that he counted among his friends the noble, high-minded 
Colonel May, his frank, good-natured son Leslie, and — by 
no means least — the Ijright merry maiden, who could laugh 
so cruelly, and so charmingly, and who was so proud of belong- 
ino; to one of the First Families of Virmnia. 



BROOKFIELI), f>ituate near the edge of the forest which 
) had, in the coursie of time, encroached on the prairie, 
once constituting a part of the great plains extending 
from the Ozark to the Rocky mountains, was a small town, 
owing its origin to the intersection of two important roads, one 
of which traversed the State from east to west, the other from 
north to south. To its locality on this intersection was due, 
also, its dignity as the county seat of Vernal County, in virtue 
of which it numbered a court house among its public buildings. 
The court house w^as the only brick structure within a cir- 
cumference of many miles. It stood on the jjrecise spot where 
the two "roads crossed each other, in the center of a square 
into which the roads led from the four cardinal points of the 

This court house was no less conspicuous for its prominent 
location, than for the important functions it served in the 
affairs of the town. Its legitimate purpose was, of course, to 
furnish the place for holding court, and the offices for the cir- 
cuit clerk, the sheriff, and the State's attorney. But incident- 
ally it served as a public hall, where the citizens were wont to 
meet on occasions demanding a discussion of measures of pub- 
lic concern. In it sat the conventions of both political parties 
when laying their plans for the capture of lucrative offices. 
On Sundays and holidays it served as the meeting house of the 
Christian sects of Brooklield and its environments — Camp- 
bellites using it in the morning. Baptists in the evening and 
Methodists in the night ; or haply in the reverse order. Travel- 
ing minstrels and itinerant lecturers disi)ensed amusement and 
instruction in useful knowledge within the sacred Temple of 


Justice to all who had a (luarter to spare, or could borrow one 
for the occasion. 

On the north side of the Square, where the Bo<Miville road 
debouched into it, stood the hotel, with its l)road porch ex- 
tending along the whole of its front, facing the court house, 
next after which it was the largest building in town. Its chief 
characteristic and ornament was a cupola in which there hung 
a bell — a veritable bell, perhaps the only one in all the south- 
western part of the State. Naturally, the Brookfielders were 
proud of this bell, which constituted one of the chief features 
of the town. Its primary office was to summon the guests of 
the hotel, three times a day, to its dining room. But since 
the fewest of the inhabitants sported the luxury of a watch of 
their own, it performed the functions of a town clock, and 
housewives learned to regulate their meal-times by its ringing. 
It pleased mine host to hear it said, that the sun regulates his 
rising and setting Ity the ringing of this bell. Then, too, it 
did extra duty on Sundays, calling church-goers to their devo- 
tions, evincing most liberal tolerance, in that it made no kind 
of distinction between the sects in this respect. It was equally 
impartial in sunnnoning wiiigs and democrats to their party 
])Ow-wows ; and when, on extra occasions, there were public 
festivities, or if the mortal remains of a departed fellow-being 
were to be conducted to their final resting place, it gave the 
joyful signal, or sounded the funeral knell with serene equan- 

The chief pride of Brooklield, however, was that it boasted 
two stores, — one on the east side of the Square, and one on 
the west side. It seemed almost providential, that the court 
house stood between them : for such was the spirit of rivalry 
possessing their resjx'ctive owners, that but for the iuter- 
])osition of that august structure, whidi served as a screen to 
hide the doings of either from the keenly watching optics of 
the other, serious consequences, affecting the peace of the 
town might have been apprehended. The stores Avere inferior 
in size to no olhcr l»uilding in town, save the court house, and 


the iiotfl. Tliey vied with each otlier in showing the smoothest 
weather-ljoarding, coated with tlie hriglitest of white lead, aud 
the most intensely green window-ljliuds. But if their exterior 
was gaudy enough to attract the eyes of the idlers, the untiring 
efforts of the owners to lure customers originated a lavish 
hospitality, which made them the favored resorts of all wh(^se 
time hung heavily on their hands. To this rivalry Brookfield 
chiefly owed its commercial importance : for the constant 
endeavor of both merchants to capture each other's customers 
by cutting down the prices of goods, and to give the greatest 
])ossible puldicity to their determination in this respect, secured 
for the town the reputation, that goods were sold cheaper here, 
and customers served more promptly, than at any other place 
outside of the metropolis. Thus it came to pass, that buyers 
from all parts of the Southwest ])oui-ed into the town to do 
their trading, niaiiy of them ])assing by larger towns lacking 
such fame. 

Historical accuracy compels the admission, that Mr. Barnes, 
the proprietor of the older establishment, situate on the east 
side of the Square, was an unwilling jxirty to the fierce com- 
petition. He was one of the original settlers of the town, aud 
. took much credit to himself as having established, not only the 
business i)resided over by himself, but that of the whole set- 
tlement. It pleased him to consider himself one of the impor- 
tant men of the country, a pioneer w^ho had introduced the bless- 
ings of civilization into a remote wilderness, to whom the later 
comers owed tlieir comforts, — even, to a great degree, their 
pros])erity. For it was he, who. in tlie remote antiquity (some 
live years or so ago) when the Kii'kai)oo Indians had just left 
the neighboi'hood to settle upon their reservation in the Indian 
Ti'rritory, liad lirought from tlie far off city a stock of coffee, 
sugai', spun cotloii, unl)leaclu'(l muslin (known more popularly 
as domestic) together with some Itoxes of iron, tin and earthern 
ware, and offered them for sale in a primitive log house erected 
near the cross roads, or to take in exchange for them the furs, 
peltries, or wax froni \\\.v hives of wil(l Itees o-athered liv the 


luintiTs. A hlucksiiiitli, mikI Uu'd :i wiuH'lwiiolit , soon (.'rcctcd 
their shops in the iieighijorhood of the '' store," to wliicii. in 
the eonrse of time, :i harness maker and a cobbler added their 
loo- eabins. And when Mr. Barnes had sold out his goods, or 
bartered them for the products of the chase, he sent the latter 
to the city, where he disposed of them with handsome profit, 
and " imported " a new stock of merchandise — a procedure, 
which he repeated annually ever after with great regularity. 
Notwithstanding the scarcity of cash in those times, — for the 
new settlers rarely brought with them more than necessary to 
[)ay for the land which they required to live on — his business 
prospered and increased. It would have l)een his own fault if 
he had not grown wealthy, since he tixed his own prices, as 
well for the goods which he sold, as for those he took in 
exchange, (^ame was still plenty ; and for a long time properly 
■prepared skins served as legitimate curi'ency, exchangeable in 
the East for silver and gold. (Tovernment found it necessary, 
after a time, to locate a land office and appoint a receiver of 
public moneys at Brookfield, to accommodate the steadily 
increasing stream of emigration from the South, North and 
East; a post office, serving as a distributing office for quite an 
extensive territory, followed, and the town prosj)ered. and 
increased its population. 

Mr. Barnes began to be looked upon, as he had long con- 
sidered himself, a merchant prince. But the monopoly he 
enjoyed became oppressive, I)ecause he could not be induced 
to send for goods oftener than once a year. Prudent mer- 
chant that he was, he always [)roportioned his orders to the 
sales of the in'eceding year : and since the demand for goods 
increased with the population, it frequently happened that the 
supply gave out, and there was dissatisfaction and grumbling 
among the disappointed customers. 

One day, when the stock of goods hapi)ened to l)e at an el»b, 
a rather heavily freighted two-horse wagon drove into the 
town and stopped in front of the hotel. An elderly, but (piite 
active little man with a weather-tanned face and one clear, oray 


eye, alighted from it and demanded aceommodation for himself 
and beasts. The Brookhelders were on the look-out : for the 
appearance of the wagon, i-eeoonized at once as belonging to a 
peddler, had aroused their curiosity. The quaint, outlandish 
look of the mercurial little man made him the object of unusual 
interest : and it was not long before the spacious porch in 
front of the hotel was lilled with inquisitive idlers of the town. 
which seemed greatly to please the newcomer. He nodded 
familiarly to all Avho approached, gleefully rubbed his hands, 
and while with his sound eye he surveyed the crowd surround- 
ing him, a spasmodic twitching of tlie lids of the one he had 
lost produced so comit^al an effect upon the audience that a 
titter of half suppressed merriment became audiV)le. When 
the colored gi'oom had nnliitchcij and taken charge of his 
horses, he took out of his wagon a box of considerable size, 
set it down on the porch, and took off the li<l. 

'' You wish to l)uy? " he addressed tlie by-standers in lluent 
English but with so foivign an accent, that he greatly touched 
the I'isibility of the onlookers. " I have in this wonderful box 
cverytliing that heart may wisli for, exct'pt money, and that I 
wish to get from you." lie tlien cast a swift, keen look over 
his audience, and continued, taking out of the box one article 
after the other, and showing it ai-ound. '* Suspenders! Every 
man of you wears, 1 dare say, his own breeches, even if he is 
married. Don't he? Therefore he wants suspenders. Or 
))reeches : Suspenders witliont breeches :ire of no use, exce{)t 
up(jn a gallow ; and tiiere tliey use a rope instead. But if yon 
are all supplied with breeches, you may need l)uttons. Here 
theyai'cl Big and little, white and black — • manufactui-i'd 
out of honest l)one, or horn, warranted to stick until torn off. 
Or thread, to sew them on with, or have tiiem sewed on l»y a 
prettv girl. Or needh's : Foi' without needles the sharpest 
lassie will lie unable to piei'ce a button. Talking about lasses — 
I know vdu like to hear ahout them — see. I have something 
here for the dailings: scissors I They can nsi' them to cut 
off the thread, as tliev cut off the thi-ead ol' a sweetheart when 


treiicliiiig on forbidden ground. See, most wondcrliil scissors I 
Keen and sharp as a woman's tongue — bright and clear as a 
maiden's eye — of adamantine hardness, like the heart of a 
lassie when she gives you the mitten. Don't you all want :t 
pair of such wonderful scissors? See, — the blades ;irc like 
two lawyers trying u case ; they slash away at each other, but 
cut only the jnirses'of the clients that come between them." 

In such manner the peddler showed around his goods, 
nnuising the crowil by tlroll c(jnceits, the effect of which was 
heightened l»y the nervous manner in which he jerked out his 
sentences, and his outlandish pronunciation. In the crowd 
stood Mr. Barnes, the i)ioneer merchant. He volunteered the 
opinion, delivered with a smile of derision, that this man might 
make an excellent clown in a circus, Imt had not the stuff in 
him for a decent i)eddler. "Has he succeeded in selling a 
single article? " he impiired of Mr. Smith, standing beside 
him. " He seems more desirous of parading his stale jokes, 
than of selling his wares." 

"You may be right, neighbor Barnes," said Mr. Smith, 
who was none other tlian mine host of the hotel. •• If he 
knew what he was about he might do a smashing business now, 
for you've had nothing worth looking at in your store for a 
young coon's age." 

" I shall start for the city to replenish my stock next week," 
Mr. Barnes replied a little testily : "• and then I will show you 
goods, alongside of which this Iniffoon would not dare to let 
his rubbish be seen. Everybody knows that I am to be relied 
on, and you might have patience for a few days." 

" You give us no otlu'r chance," Mr. Smith rei)lied. '• But 
look: Old Jones is standing in front of his l)ox. Doesn't he 
look exactly as if he meant to buy that watch he is picking up?" 

"Indeed," cried JNIr. Barnes sneeringly. ••The peddler 
really thinks he has found a customer. If he had a grain of 
knowledge of human nature, he would know at once, that tlxd 
fellow hasn't got a cent that lie (lon't need to color his nose 


It really seemed iis if the [)e(Ullei' had set i)is heart on 
securing a customer in Mr. Jones, — him of the copper-eohjred 
nose; for he addressed himself to this individual with such a 
Ci)mieal twilcii of his eyelid as to produce a shout of laughter. 
'• J)o you need a watch, my friend ? " he jerked out. " Look: 
here is one expressly imported for you from the city. It is 
made of })ure metal, warranted not to cut in the eye. Its 
works are a marvel to behold. It keeps time, twice a day, as 
accurately as a chronometer for wliich you would have to pay 
a hundred pounds. If you want it, I will sell it to you at 
your own ])rice. Name your figure ! 

Jones had by this tune succeeded in opening the case. 
''Why, I see no works in it at all I " he exclaimed, looking 

''No?" queried the peddler, putting on a perfectly inno- 
cent face, all spoiled, however, l)y that unfortunate twit(^hing 
of his eyelid, which made him winking in a droll manner. 
" Then I am sorry lor you, my friend. For that is a sad sign 
of weak eyes. Weakened, perhai)s, l)y the red glare from 
your nose. Try a i)air of my excellent specs. Cheap at half 
the price ! " 

The well known character of Jones as a lazy, drunken loafer, 
gave point to the peddler's words, and turned the laugli against 

"That })eddler isn't (piite the fool you took him for," Mr. 
Smith remarked to Mr. Barnes, smiling mischievously. " He 
seems to hit .lones' character exactly." 

"As if that meant anything!" said Mr. IJarnes suj)erciU- 
ously. '• Any bal)y might read Jones' character in his besot- 
ted face. That doesn't prove any business capacity in this 
itinerant clown. He has not sold a thing yet." 

" How can lie expect to make customers of men he insults 
so shamefully? " asked a by-stander. " And 1 don't suppose 
that people like to trade on the open street. He don't ap|)ear 
to understand his liusiuess." 

'•• You ari' riulil. neighbor Ibndcii." said l>ai-ncs. rejoiced to 


liud lii.s viows sa[)|)t)i'ti'(l hy a IVUow lowiismau. " It is iiupai- 
donablo in a nu'ivhant to tivat his pultlic with such downrisjht 

Tilt' pc'(hlli'r. iioweviT, srciiird not ill ploast'd to havi.- tlu' 
people laui>h. rather than buy, just yet. Haviny shown most 
of the goods iu the box, he i*arefully replaced them and re- 
turned the box to the Avagou. '■ There," he said, cheerfully, 
" there are many such boxes in that stylish turn-out of mine. 
Nobody has asked for the price of the goods, so I will volun- 
teer the information, for the benefit of the public, that I can 
afford to sell cheaper than any other honest man, and meau to 
so do, because I l)iiy all my stock at auction for one (juarter 
its value ; then when I get one half of what the things are 
worth, I still make one hundred per cent ijrollt. You will l)e 
astonished, when I call on you at your houses, how dog-cheap 
the linest goods can be sold, and what tremendous l)argains 
you are going to make." 

Then, bowing to all around him, he retired into the hotel. 

" That's about it, 1 guess," said Mr. Barnes, smiling trium- 
phantly. " He has bought up a pile of rubbish that no one 
else would have, at some auction, and now expects to ])alm them 
off on us in the backwoods here, at prices for which the best 
articles could be furnished." 

The peddler counted on the notoriety which the oddity of 
his course was likely to obtain for him, and he was not mis- 
taken. When, after taking his meal, l»e called at the several 
homes of the inhaliitants, he was looked for with lively curi- 
osity by the fairer portion of the community, and his goods 
found ready purchasers at very fair prices. His success was 
so far above his most sanguine expectations, that he was in- 
duced to inquire more minutely into the conditio)* of affairs. 
As the result of his inquiries he determined to conqjete with the 
merchant pioneer foi- the trade which Brookfield had to olfei-. 

Thus it had come to pass that a new impulse was given to 
the prosperity of Brookfield by the establishment of a second 
store, Barnes soon found Mr. Van Braakcn. whose capacity' 


for busiiiejss he held in such utter contempt, an iiK-ouveiiieut 
and formidable competitor. The first innovation he intro- 
duced was the purchase of a stout freight wagon and the neces- 
sary horses, which he kept almost continually on the road be- 
tween the metropolis and Brooklield, thus enabling him to have 
a fresh supply of goods always on hand. His success was 
chiefly due, however, to the great i-eduction in prices which he 
introduced from the start. The " Dutch Store " soon gained 
the reputation of l)eing the place Avhere the best bargains were 
to be made far and wide. 

The nickname of " Dutch Store," which Barnes had given 
to his rival's establishment, clung to it ineffaceal)ly. He had 
counted on the i)rejudice of tlie liackwoodsmen against for- 
eigners, and particularly against the " Dutch." — a term that 
had become opprobrious in its application, not so nnicli to the 
natives of Holland, luit rather to the Germans, who were 
looked upon as descendants fi'oui those vile Hessians that liad 
been sent o\er by the Britishei-s to crush out the spirit (jf 
American ludependenci" — tiiinUing. \)\ fastening upon liim 
this offensive epitliet, to di'aghim down to ignominious failure. 

Mynheer \'an liraaken, liowever. who, as a native Hollander, 
saw no disgrace in the word '• Dutch," was not slow to appre- 
ciate and utilize for his own advantage this convenient cogno- 
men, which, he at once saw, would most effectually bring his 
business into i)ul)lic notice. The good natured naivete, with 
which lie acu-epted the ttffensive byname, disarmed oi)position 
and deprived the word of its sting. It was noticed with amaze- 
ment, tliat the new merchant seemed to be as proud of the 
distinction conl'erred upon him. as if llu- word •• Dutclnnan 
weiv inten(le<l for a coinpliment. in I'ecognition of his merit in 
coming ani(»iig tliem as :i stranger. He took special ])ains to 
sprt'ad it as wicU-ly as possibh'. so tlial the fame of tlie-- Dutch 
Store " soon extended to the southei'u and western limits of tiiv 
State: and all along tlie great State roads: from the East and 
from llie .North the ^' Dutch Merchant " was known. IJarnes 
(lis<'overe(I too late, that he ha<l himself foriicd tiie mightiest 


weapon with wliicli liis rival was Uohting him. lie saw, and 
bowed to, the necessity of employing other means of warfare 
against his active competitor besides derisions and sneers ; he 
was forced to content himself with smaller {)ronts, and to 
replenish his stock of merchandise at shorter intervals, and 
with greater circumspection. But he had suffered his rival to 
gain too great a start, rendering exertion and sacrifices neces- 
sary to enable him to hold his own. 

Of course, there was no lack of secret envy and open oppo- 
sition to be encountered by the adacious interloper. After the 
lirst wave of his popularity had begun to subside, some of the 
oldest inhaltitants of lirooklield thought it incumbent upon 
them to espouse the cause of their ancient townsman against 
tliis intruder, who was, besides, a foreigner. C)tliers. on the 
contrary, thought him a valuable addition to the population, 
whose business success meant prosperity and success for the 
town. Thus two parties gradually formed, with Barnes and 
^^ln Braaken for leaders, which soon assumed the semblance 
of organization. Not unlike two hostile armies in the held, 
they had their outi)Osts, their scouts and spies. They met in 
skirmishes, and even in severer encounters, tighting the Ijattle 
between progress and conservatism, their watch words being 
'' Dutch Store "" and '' Pioneer." 

The commercial greatness of Brookfield could not but gain 
by this rivalry. Even Mr. Barnes saw the validity of his 
rival's motto, "Competition is the life of trade." Thougli 
his gains were smaller than they had lieen under the enormous 
protits of former years, he could not deny that twice tifty pre- 
cisely equaled once one hundred ; and that many sales with 
small profits might add as much to his gains, as greater protits 
with fewer sales. 

On the morning after Victor's arrival Colonel May accom- 
panied him to Van Braaken 's store. As the Colonel had 
predicted, Yahkop had not yet an-ived with the wagon. 
Mynheer, as the Colonel persisted in calling the Dutch mer- 


chant, was not a little astonished to see his new assistant 
approach the store in Colonel May's company, and without 
Yahkop. This at once aronsed his anxiety as to the safety of 
his wares, and he inqnired eagerly, " Where is Yahko])? 
Where is the wagon ? Has anything happened to the horses? " 
The Colonel answered instead of the young man. '' l^on't 
he alarmed, Mynheer, we left Yahkop with the team safe and 
sound some twelve miles out, hist evening. If he hnrries 
along, he will be here in an liour or two at the outside. Mr. 
Waldhorst has put us — I mean my daughter and myself — 
under very great obligation, and we did ourselves the honor to 
bring him to our home, where we kept him for the night. I 
now deliver him into your charge, as I had promised him before 
he w(juld consent to come witli us. I hoi)e, Mynheer, that 
you will pardon the liljerty that we allowed ourselves in mak- 
ing Mr. Waldhorst our guest before he paid his respects to 

' ' So you have already made his acquaintance ? ' ' spoke the 
Mynheer, eyeing the Colonel somewhat suspiciously. " I like 
that. And you are pleased with him? I like that. And 1 
like it that he has come. When the wagon comes with the 
goods we will have plenty of w'ork in the Dutch Store. Does 
he know that our store is the Dutch Store ? ' ' 

" I believe that my daughter has mentioned it to him," the 
Colonel said, smiling, wlule Mynheer's eye-lid twitched re- 

" Yes," the latter went on. " The Dutch Store. But step 
in, Colonel. And you, Victor — that is your name, is it? — 
look about on the scene of your future fame. Because you 
belong to the Dutch Store, you will soon be much renowned." 

"You will excuse me now," said the Colonel. -'• Having 
redeemed my promise to introduce the young man to you, 1 
must look about after other affairs. So bAe-bye." 

^' 1 guess you are in a hurry," said the merchant. *' You 
have your hands full, as a candidate? But your election is 
sure. 1 don't think vou ought to trouble yourself." 

.1 WESTEllN TOWN AND ITS ItlVAL ,ST<Jli'J:,s. 17 

'' All, do yoii ivally think so? " the Colonel asked suavely. 
•■ And may I count on your intlucnee'r " — 

••Xol" tlu' nieichant shouted, in eag-er deprecation. 
•• Don'l count on inlluence from me I " Then he added 
aixiloiietically : •• I am a man of business, and have no time 
for politics. Besides, 1 have no vote. 1 never staid long 
enough at any place to entitle me to my citizen papers. 
And what inlluence I may have, 1 need for the Dutch 
Store. But that will make no difference to you ; you will 
he elected all the same. And I thank you for your kindness 
to Victor here. 1 am sure he ought to be much obliged to 
you . ' ' 

" Tut I The obligation is all on my side, I assure you, " 
the Colonel replied, cordially shaking hands with Mynheer. 
•' And you, Mr. Waldhorst," he continued, turning to Victor, 
" must not forget to be a frequent visitor at our house, where 
you will always find a hearty welcome." 

Victor followed his new chief into the interior of the store, 
and was introduced to the head-clerk, Mr. Miller, as well as to 
a youth of about his own age, whose name was Robert Roun- 
tree, usually called Bob. The introduction over. Mynheer Van 
Braaken addressed himself to the by-standers. ' ' Gentlemen, ' ' 
he said, ''this is our new German clerk, who will hereafter 
take pleasure in serving the patrons of the Dutch Store. He 
will have little or no occasion to use his mother-tongue : for I 
suppose that with the exception of my driver Yahkop, there 
is not another German nearer than fifty miles of here. I 
myself, you know," he continued, nodding with a condes- 
cending air, '' am not a German, but a Dutchman, from whom 
the Dutch Store gets its name." 

Later, when Mynheer inquired into the particulars of the 
journey from the city, N'ictor conscientiously related the cir- 
cumstances which had led to the collision. A shadow of 
decided displeasure settled on the merchant's face, as Victor 
honestly related the mishap to the wagon. 

" Yahkop did not right to let you drive that team," he said 

48 Till-: 11EBF.L\S DAlUniTKR. 

rather severely. '• 1 employed liini to take eliarge of the 
horses and wagon, and want you hi the store. Go on." 

The recital of his exploit in trying to stop the runaway 
horses seemed to please the merchant. " That was a smart 
thing you did there," he said, nodding his head repeatedly. 
" Acquiuntance with Colonel May will bring you advantage, 
for he can't help patronizing you. He is a candidate and will 
talk to many ])eople about himself, and will mention you, and 
the Dutch Store."" 

\'ictor found very little edilication in the words and manner 
of his chief. He had expected a different leception of the 
news he was communicating. What Mr. Van Braaken meant 
by the advantage of l»eing talked about, was a mystery to him. 
But he said nothing: only the words of his chief had jarred on 
his ears, and he was at a loss to account for the de])ression 
they produced. 

The establishment into which A'ictor had l>een admitted as 
youngest apprentice, was (illed with wares and merchandise of 
all kinds. It was divided into compartments for the several 
classes of goods kept for sale. One of them was devoted to 
the exhibition of dry goods ; hardware was stored in another ; 
in a third, groceries and provisions were kept, while a fourth 
was used for the display of boots, shoes and hats. There were 
separate divisions for books and stationery, and even medi- 
cines, — among which quinine, Brandreth's pills and opedeldoc 
ligured cons])ieuously, — had a i)articular corner assigned to 
them. In a little back building or annex, furs, peltries, and 
what other articles of l)arter the country afforded, were stored. 
The extent of the business carried on by Mr. Van Braaken, 
astonished Victor, and tilled him with pride at the thought of 
identifying himself with an establishment of such magnitude. 
He examined everything with minute attention, and would 
have l)een pleased to enter on the discharge of his duties at 
once ; but these consisted, for the present, in nothing more 
than to learn the names of the articles, and to note the prices 
and places where kept. 


The arrival of the wagon with new goods from tiie metropo- 
lis always ereated a considerable stir in the little town. Even 
oil ordinary ocrasioiis it was a ti'eal for the idlers and loafers 
ai)onl town to wateh the unloading of the wagon and the 
ti'ansfer of the freight to the stores; and of all the wagoners 
enijiloyed liy the mei'chants, none enjoyed greater popularity 
than droll, simple Yahkoj). whose sententious sayings and 
broken English afforded a rich source of fun and annisement. 
To-day in [)articular, when he narrated Victcjr's ex[)loits in 
driving the team against a tree, — not, of course, without 
adding various emltellishments and exaggeratic^ns, — a great 
crowd of townsmen surrounded the wagon, until the last box, 
barrel and Ijale had been unloaded and transferred to the 
interior of the store. The adventure itself, and Yahkop's 
comical manner of relating it, caused great merriment among 
the crowd, and the good-natured manner in which Victor 
sometimes joined in the laugh against himself, jnade him quite 
a favorite among them, so thatlMynheer Van liraaken felicitated 
himself upon his valualde acquisition in his new a])prentice. 

Victor assisted with a hearty good will in unloading, packing 
and arranging the goods upon their shelves, showing such 
aptitude and docility in all that he put his hands to, that he 
gained the encouraging approbation of his chief, in this respect 



yjCTOK readily adapted himself to his new avocation. 
He mastered the details of the business with ease and 
' rai)idity, and discharged his duties diligently and 
cheerfully. Mr. Miller, his immediate superior, was a not 
unamiable man, who patiently answered the numerous ques- 
tions Victor had to ask about the rules of the establishment, 
nor disdained to satisfy his curiosity concerning the town, the 
country and the people, and other general topics. 

In one respect, however, Victor found it exceedingly dilti- 
cult to satisfy the expectations of his superiors. He could not 
understand how^ it could possibly conduce to the advantage of 
his employer, to deceive the customers as to the real quality or 
value of the goods they wished to purchase. He betrayed his 
lamentable ignorance — stupidity. Bob Rountree would have 
said — in the rudimentary principles of trade, by suggesting 
the silly and antiquated notion, that it was wrong to lie about 
the wares one had for sale, and that the habit of doing so 
nuist, in the long run, destroy one's business by frightening 
off the customers. Mr. Miller, in particular, was put to much 
trouble in the endeavor to correct Victor's heresies, and to 
impress him with sounder, more business like views. 

One day, after Victor had made some progress in learning 
the names and prices of the various articles in stock, two 
ladies entered the store, to wait upon whom the chief himself, 
as well as every one of the employees showed great alacrity. 
Mynheer Van Braaken received them at tlu' door and courte- 
ously escorted them to the counter ; Mr. Miller made his 
politest bow, and stood ready on the inside of the counter 
to take tlieir orders; even Boli Rountree ostentatiously jiaraded 



hiniself before them to ^illo\v his readiness to serve them, if he 
shoiikl be wanted. Victor's lieart beat faster when his eyes 
fell on tliese ladies : witli a tlirill of genuine pleasure he saw 
them walk straight uj) to himself, and noted the kindly manner 
in which they acknowledged his salutation. 

They were his acquaintances, INIrs. May and her daughter 

" Are you aware, sir, that you have been very naughty, Mr. 
Waldhorst? " These were the first words that Nellie addressed 
to him as soon as she had responded to his bow. '• How 
many days have you been here, now, without once coming to 
see us, and telling us how you are pleased with our ])eople. 
and your place, and in(iuiring after our health? " 

" You are most kind, Miss May," stammered Victor, blush- 
ing with pleasure. '" I shall nnike carlv use of your invita- 

'* So y.ou have said before," the girl replied. '' But now 
that we are here to remind you of your promise, we may as 
well get you to show us some of the fine things you have for 
sale. I persuaded mamma to make our purchases in your store 
this time, to give you a chance to show off as a salesman." 

" Was it not to hear us talk Dutch in the Dutch Store? " 
Victor inquired, with a bashful smile. "But Yahkop is not 
here to-day." 

'• You might talk Dutch with the Mynheer, as papa calls 
your boss," Nellie retaliated saucily. •• But 1 regret to see 
that 1 was mistaken in you. 1 took you for a model gentle- 
man, and now you take delight in teasing me with the silly 
words you heard nie say." 

" What does the girl niean ? " Van Braaken asked Victor in 
German. '' Answer in German. It will please her." 

Victor complied and the result showed that the Mynheer 
was right, for Nellie l>urst out in a merry peal of laughter. 
" That sounds for all the world like the gabble of the Chicka- 
saw Indians, that passed through here two years ago," she 
exclaimed, on recoverino- her breath. 


" Nellie, you ought to be ashamed of yourself I " Mrs. May 
said reproachfully. '' When will you learn to behave like a 

*' IJut il sounds so funny, nianuna I " said tlie girl, endeav- 
oring, with indifferent success, to compose her beaming fea- 
tures. '' Well, then, Mr. Waldhorst, show me some of your 
finest white hose." 

"Hose?" ^'ictor repeated boklly. thougli he iiad not the 
faintest idea of the meaning of the word. " For yourself? " 
he added leisurely, to gain time. Then it Hashed into his mind 
that he had seen a box labeled '■' Misses' White Silk Hose," 
which he triumphantly produced, and submitted the contents 
to her inspection. 

Having selected a pair whose elasticity she was testing liy 
stretching them out to their full length, she inquired: '' How 
high do these come ? ' ' 

Instead of answering, Victor V) hi shed scarlet. 

" Well," said the young lady, looking up in surprise, 
" can't you tell me the price? " 

"Oh, the price! " came from Victor in a voice hardly 
audible, the color deepening on his face. "The price is six 
bits." He looked as if it would be a relief to him to be 
engulfed by an earthquake, or to be carried off l)y some 
friendly monster, out of range of those wide open, wondering 

A faint retlex of the color in his face and a hardly percept- 
ible smile brightened the face of INfrs. May, as she promptly 
came to Victor's rescue, by requesting him to show her some 
stuffs suitable for a dress for Nellie. With a profoundly 
grateful heart Victor piled up everything of line dress goods 
the liouse contained before them on the counter. Tlie hidies 
examined, admired, compared, — notliing just suited them. 
At last Mrs. May requested him to show them a piece of silk, 
of a delicate 1)lue color, which he had purposely not removed 
from the shelf. Victor complied with jierceptible hesitation. 
He had addressed himself exclusivelv to Mrs. Mav tvfter 


st:itiii<>' tlu' \)v\vv of till' hose; l)ut lie now cast a I'lirtivi' li'lance 
ill till' ilii'i'i'tioii wliei'o Ni'llie stood, — not, however at lier. 
hut at Mr. Van J3raaken, standing iininediately hack of the 
youiiii' lady. He took no notice of A'ictoi-'s ulance. JMrs. 
JNIay seemed pleased Avith the article shown her. and inciuired 
the price. Again Victor hesitated : cast an appealing look at 
Mr. ^Miller, then another at his chief, and as neither of them 
seemed to understand his signal of distress, he stammered out, 
his voice gaining lirmness, however, as he went on : 

'• We cannot recommend this article to you, Ma'am. It is 
a poor quality of goods, and the color will fade in the sun." 

The ladies looked at him in astonishment. They seemed 
nettled. Mr. JNIiller promptly stepped forward and said, with 
a most amiable smile, " The young man is mistaken, ladies. 
Tins is a most excellent and exceedingly line quality of silk, 
and if the color suits your taste, you need not hesitate t(j buy. 
J assure you, that the sun will have no effect upon it." 

•• 1 am not mistaken," answered Victor, turning pale before 
the menacing frown he saw gathering on the brow of the chief, 
but standing his ground bravely. " I have my information 
from Mr. Van Braakeu, who said that we had been shamefully 
cheated in this piece of goods, because neither the fabric nor 
the color was genuine." 

'• This is a strange misunderstanding on the part of our 
young friend here," Mr. Miller rejoined, keeping up his 
sweetest smile before the ladies. " I was never more deceived 
in my life, if this is not as line a piece of goods as Avas ever 
brought to Brooklield. Just feel this soft and delicate, yet 
lirm and solid texture ; and the color is as true as gold. I 
take some credit to myself as a competent judge of this kind 
of goods. But here is Mr. Van Braaken, to Avhom the boy has 
appealed. He, surely, can give us the best information." 

Thus referred to Mr. Van Braaken could not avoid givino- 
his judgment. He stepped up with a sober face, passed the 
silk lightly through his lingers, and said, regarding the ladies 
with a benignant look: " As usual, the young man is right. 


I am extremely sorrv, ladies, that I cannot, on this occasion, 
acquiesce in the judoment of Mr. Miller, who is usually so 
correct and relialile. That hoy is an extraordinary boy — 
the smartest boy in Vernal County. You wouldn't take him 
to be a Dutchman." 

And Mr. Van IJraaken's eyelid twitched, and Nellie thought 
he was winking at them, and it looked so funny, that she found 
it exceedingly dillicult to restrain her merriment. Mr. Miller, 
of course, was highly astonished. He deemed it scarcely pos- 
sible that the beautiful, soft and even textile, which he again 
examined with engrossing attention, should be a base imitation. 
But Victor, in the joy of his heart, forgave his emi)loyer all 
the humiliating ei)itliets Avith which he had so often wounded 
him. Was not his integrity, — aye. his judgment, too, — 
gloriously vindicated ])efore the ladies? Let Bob Kountree 
sneer and grin, if it pleased him : Nellie had I)een a witness to 
his triumi)h I 

" Well, IMr. Waldhorst," said Mrs. May on recovering from 
her astonishment, "■ since you insist on vetoing our own choice, 
suppose you indicate to us what yours woidd lie. Show us the 
goods that you would select for a dress for my daughter." 

" Yes," Nellie chimed in, '• display your good taste by 
picking out for me the loveliest dress you've got in the estab- 

" If you would do me the honor to be guided by my choice," 
said Victor, modestly, but with the tone of conviction that 
knows no doubt, "you Avill take this." And he displayed 
before them a l)olt of nuislin de laine, which the ladies had laid 
aside without bestowing a second look at it. " Is not this a 
beautiful design? " 

"Very pretty, indeed," said Mrs. May. ''But unfortun- 
ately for your choice, Nellie already possesses a dress of this 
same pattern . ' ' 

"But not in wool, mama," Nellie suggested with some 
eagerness. " See how nuich richer and brighter these colors 
shoAV, and how much lovelier the pattern looks than on calico." 


"I never saw a lovelier dress on a lady, than this," said 
Victor enthusiastically. " It becomes yon wonderfully." 

"• What makes you so sure? " asked Nellie. 

" I have seen you in one like it." 

"When — that day in the woods, when tiie horses ran 
away?" the girl asked in high glee, as if much pk-ascd. 
'' Sure enough, mama, I wore that calico dress on my way 
home from the seminary. Is it not strange, that Mr. Wald- 
horst should have noticed it, and remember it so accurately? " 

Mrs. May smiled graciously. " Well," said she, " if your 
friend insists on it, I don't see how we can avoid buying it." 
Then, turning to the merchant she said, " And you, Mr. Van 
Braaken, I must congratulate on your disinterested sincerity. 
I ho])e that you may prove the adage, that honesty is the best 
l)olicy. For my part, I shall hereafter deal exclusively at 
your establishment ; for it is quite a relief to be able to rely 
implicitly on your word and judgment, as, from what I have 
experienced here to-day, 1 feel confident I may do with entire 

" Very much obliged for your good oi^inion, Madam." 
said the merchant. "You are very right: Honesty is the 
best policy. And you may rest assured, we in the Dutch 
Store always speak the truth. One of the lirst [)rinciples 1 
taught our young friend here was, to speak the truth to our 
customers always. And you see, he is an apt scholar. He 
will always, mindful of my teachings, sj^eak the truth, even if, 
for the time being, it will lead to the loss of a bargain. Yes, 
indeed, Honesty is the best policy ; and it is the motto of the 
Dutch Store." 

Victor hardly dared trust his ears. Had he so thoroughly 
misunderstood his chief, in suspecting him of encouraging 
unfair dealing with the customers? Why, what Mr. ^'an 
Braaken had said to Mrs. May was exactly what he himself 
thought right, and fair and wise. Of course, honesty is the 
best policy ; and lo I tiiis was the motto of the establishment I 
He must have [)ut a wrong construction on the previous con- 


duct and noi'ds of his su[)eriors in tlie store, and done his 
employer orievous injustice. 

But when tlie ladies had left the store, not without having 
repeated I heir invitation to Victor to visit them at an early 
daVi Van Uraaken informed him that lie had. on this occasion, 
shown himself a fool. Mctor cohered with honest indiiination, 
Init listened (piietly to what his chief had to s;iy to him. Only 
when the latter repeatt'd with emphasis, that a competent sales- 
man imist 1)1' able to pi'aise up and to sell a poor article as 
\\v\\ as :i uood one he modestly suo-gested that Mr. ^'an 
Braaken had himself (U'clared honesty and truth to be the 
proper rule of action, which would insure success in business, 
and was promptly told for answer, that this declaration was 
meant for the customer, who must of course l)elieve in the 
honesty of the dealer. But a merchant nuist not permit him- 
self to l)e susi)ected of having been imposed upon ; and the 
endeavor to convince a customer of the worthlessuess of the 
goods his customer wishes to l)uy. was paving the way to 

Victor listened with eyes and mouth wide open. He was 
deeply impressed with the words of wisdom that fell from the 
lips of his chief ; but the reflection was not edifying. He 
began to suspect, that there was a radical defect in the training- 
he had received ; that he lacked the essential elements for 
success in mercantile business. Not even the consolatory 
remarks with which his chief closed his harangue, restored his 

"•But we have gained one great advantage to-day," said 
Mr. \wn Braaken. "We have secured the custom of the 
Mays, and all their inlluence. They will swear by the Dutch 

Store hereafter." 

* * * 

The young man found solace in the leisui'e which his duties 
left him. and which he utilized to pick' up such sci'aps of in- 
formation, as the scanty means at his own command rendered 
j)ossil»le. and which ])ut augmented his thirst for the knowledge 


and cultuiv, the lack of which he felt so keenly. Among the 
books kept for saU' in the store, he found Lindley Murray's 
Grammar of the Ensilisii Language, and set diligently to work 
in studying it. IJut lie found great dilllculties to surmount : 
the text book liiat had fallen \nU) his hands was calcuhited for 
the use of schools, presupposing the assistance of a teacher. 
Nothing daunted, however, he plodded on. making what 
progress he could. 

One evening, on returning to the store after supper, he met 
with Leslie ^Nlay. who was leisurely sauntering across the 
Square. He shook liim cordially by the hand, and inquired 
what he was doing. In the conversation that followed, Victor 
confided to his friend the difficulties he found in the study of 

'' Cxrammar? " exclaimed Leslie, in some surprise. '• Are 
you studying grammar? Then who is your teacher? " 

'' That is the trouble," Victor replied. " I iiave no teacher. 
And there are passages in my book which the closest attention 
does not enable me to understand." 

"• I should think so," said Leslie. '' What I " he continued, 
with a smile of incredulity, " Studying grammar, and no 
teacher? A>'hat. in all the world, possesses you to take up 
this driest and most tedious of all subjects. — and without a 
master, too? " 

•* I am ashamed of my ignorance," said Mctor. •' J know 
neither my own mother-tongue, nor the language of this 
country. P2veryone ought at least t(^ understand his own 
language . " 

" Well! " re[)lied his young friend, with an inflection imply- 
ing wonder, if not doubt. '' You have undertaken a job, sure 
enough; and 1 am not surprised that you get stuck at times. 
For though English grammar is sheer child's play alongside of 
Latin, I wouldn't for the finest horse in Vernal County be put 
through the drcai'y drill again. If you like it, you're a diyer 
I)oke than 1 took you for, from what Nellie told me about you. 
But talking; about a master — we've got one among us right 


now. Huveu't you heard that there is to l)e a lecture this 
very evening on this same subject of grammar ? 

'' A lecture on grammar? " exclaimed Victor, eagerly. 
•' Where? By whom? " 

'' Why, — haven't you heard about it? That is strange. I 
thought you folks at the store got all the news lirsthand. It's 
at the court house. Time: T.oO. Close at hand now. Ad- 
mission, free. It's some scheme most likely, to humbug the 
green ones out of • their money. For who would expect a 
Yankee to do anything for anybody without i)ay, unless it were 
bait to some trap ? ' ' 

'' You know the lecturer, do you? " 

" No. I have never seen him." 

'' Then Ik^w do you know him to be a Yankee? " 

'' Oh, no one but a Yankee Avould ever think of lecturing on 
grammar. Besides, I have heard his name ; it is Caleb Amos. 
Ca-leb A-mos ! Is that proof enough that he is a Yankee? " 

"I would like above all things to hear him," said Victor. 
'' Are you going? " 

'• Well, yes, I believe I will," Leslie remarked leisurely, as 
if the matter were not yet quite certain. ''Yes: I think 
there are several reasons to induce me. Jn the first place, I 
don't know what else to do with myself this evening. Next, 
as the admission is free, I expect Brooklield to turn out 
strong. The young ladies will be there to a man — " 

'■'■ To a girl, you mean," Victor interrupted, with a smile. 

" To see the man, let us say, then," Leslie continued good 
naturedly. '' Or rather to be seen by the man. At least to 
air their new bonnets, and i)atronize Art and Science. Thirdly 
and lastly, 1 have really some curiosity to learn what a keen- 
witted Yankee can find to say in a lecture on grammar." 

' ' May I go ^^ ith you ? ' ' 

■' Come, by all means," said Leslie cordially. " Let us go 
now; the time lias almost come, and we must be early, so as 
to get a place from where we can muster the ladies as they 


The two vuiiiiii" iiu'ii tiinu'tl their steps tinvard tlie (^jiirt 
house, wliere they foiuul ii few early comers ah-eady seated. 

Darkness had not (luite set in yet in tlie open air; but the 
oreat hall of the court house was g-looniy enough, though 
ilhiiiiinated by two tallow candles, perched on the desk at 
wliich the lecturer was to hold forth, serving rather to make 
visible, than to dispel, the gloom. 

•' Will Colonel ^Nlay be here? " asked Victor, as they entered. 

•• My governor? Why. of course. He is.always in for any- 
thing of this kind ; and just now, when he is a candidate, you 
know, he must improve every opportunity to soft-soap the 
monster, and wheedle them into voting for him." 

Victor was puzzled to know what Leslie meant by soft-soap- 
ing the monster, but felt bashful about inquiring. He sat 
down by the side of his friend, near the door, where every one 
that came in had to pass by them. Leslie had prophesied 
truly ; more than half of the audience which l)egan to pour in 
as soon as the l)ell in the cupola of the hotel had tolled out the 
in\itation, consisted of ladies, old and young, and Victor was 
proud to see how many of the fair comers had a smile and a 
nod of recognition for his friend. After a while there was a 
smile from a well-known face for him, too, and a maiden's 
pleasant voice whispered: " Good evening, Mr. WaldhorstI " 

It was Nellie's voice, as she entered by the side of her 
mother. Passing by her brother, she said: "Why, what 
brought //o*« here? This is the last place at which I would 
haA'e expected to see you." 

Leslie paid no attention to what his sister said, but whis- 
pered into Victor's ear: " See, that is the lecturer I That 
fellow% that's holding on to the governor." 

'•' I thought you said you did not know him? " Victor asked. 

*' Nor do I," replied Leslie. " But that long, narrow face, 
the sandy hair and whiskers, those ferret-like, hypocritical eyes 
and sharp nose can belong to no one 1»ut a Yankee. There, — 
seel the governor steps on the platform with him. That is the 


He was rio-ht. C(j1oik'1 May k'tl the straiiyer to tlie plat- 
fovin with the courtesy and attention, which a Soutlieru uen- 
tlenian bestows on an lionored i>nest. He ra})ped on the table 
in riMiuest of silence, and said, .-iddressino; the audience: 

"• Ladies and oentlemen I Friends and fellow citizens 1 To 
nie has fallen the distinouished honor and pleasing duty to 
introdut-e to you our illustrious oiiest. Personally, he is a 
stranger among vis. But his fame as a man of learning, as an 
indefatigal:)le worker in the realm of science, as one of the 
great lexicographers of our age and c<juntrv, has gone ])efore 
him and reached us, in the primitive backwoods. — on the 
conlines, so to speak, of civilization, west of the mighty 
JNIississippi. You will hear a mune. familiar to you all as a 
household word, when 1 introduce to you the illustrious Pro- 
fessor Caleb Amos, as the orator of the evening." 

The gxMitleman thus introduced Ixjwed on all sides, and a 
general stamping of feet was the welcome accorded him l)v the 
audience. The Colonel, however, continued : 

'• I net'd not, ladies and gentlemen, remind you of the honor 
conferred upon us in the backwoods, here, upon Brookfield, 
upon the whole Southwest of our glorious State, l)y the appear- 
ance among us of the renowned Caleb Amos, who will thus 
retlect u})ou us the splendor of his name and fame. And 
you, — all oi you, — feel it to be, as I feel it to be, a sacred 
obligation upon us, to sustain the reputation of our country 
and people as patrons of the sciences, of enlightenment, and of 
progress, — thus doing our^ share of the work of building the 
Temi)le of Liberty, begun by our forefathers, so that (nii- 
glorious Repulilic may truly become a Haven of Kefuge and 
an Asylum for the oppressed of all Nations ! 

" Now isn't that precious stuff ! " whispered Leslie into his 
friend's ear, us soon as the storm of applause had subsided, 
which the Colonel's patriotic speech had called forth. " It is 
])ei'fectly astonishing, what amount of nonsense my governor 
can supply, when he tries I 

Victor made no reply. It |)UzzU'(l him somewhat to under- 


slnnd tlif ('ouncclioii liclwccii llu' niory ol' the Ivcpiililic iiiid :i 
U'ctuiv on i>r:iiiiiiiMr ; Imt he vciituix'd no ciiticisin. 

The U'ctuirr now took tlu' Colonel's jjIiu-c. lie had no 
manuscript. Imt at once launclK-d out on the patriotic stream 
of laudation, taking' his cui' I'rom his prcdet'essor. pronoiniccd 
a loud, if nut clo(iuc'nt, pancjivric upon Liberty ; paid a ulow- 
ino- tri])ute to the valoi' of the American peojjle in their struo-olc 
against tyraimy and oppression : reminded his iiearers of the 
necessity of eternal watchfulness as the price of liherty, and 
demanded that every one of them stand to his post, restinoj, if 
need lie, on their armour in the Held. Then he spoke of Intel- 
lioence as the mighty weapon with wliicli alone the American 
people could successfully resist the enemy from alu'oad, and 
treason from within. " For intelligence," he pi'oclaimed, ''is 
knowledge, and knowledge is power I To gain power, you 
must possess knowledge, and to gain knowledge, you must l>e 
master of your language. Language is the key to all knowl- 
edge. Thus you see the vital importance of Language to your 
lil)erty and to the welfare of the American i)eoi)le, and how 
essential it is to supply the rising generation with the powerful 
weapon Intelligence, for the struggle, the everlasting struggle, 
against Oppression, Tyranny and Treason, from within and 
without I " 

The honest backwoodsmen applauded vigorously. Victor 
listened with rapt attention, beginning- to see the point of the 
orator's patriotism. But Leslie whispered, with a sneer, 
''Now watch, Victor. Directly you will see the Yankee 
schoolmaster crop out, angling for pupils, with patriotism for 
bait: " 

•• For in a free country," the orator continued with unction. 
•' Truth is mighty, and must prevail. But Truth is Thought, 
and Thought is Spirit, and Spirit dwells in the Word — in tlu' 
Word as written, or printed; chiefly as spoken. And who is 
there among you, my fellow citizens, upon whom your country 
may not, some day, call to stand ujj in the fight for Truth, for 
Right, for Freedom? And how will vou obey the glorious 


summons without a thorough knowledge of your mother 
tongue, — that glorious tongue whose destiny it is, in the not 
far off future, to rule over the face of the civilized world? That 
blessed tongue, whose mission it is to bear the torch of Free- 
dom and Enlightenment to the Nations languishing in dark- 
ness and ignorance ? ' ' 

The speaker paused, to give the audience time for a new 
round of apj^lause. " Can you tell me," again whispered. 
Leslie, " who deserves the palm for stupidity, — the hypocriti- 
cal Yankee with his bombastic nonsense, or that gaping crowd 
so eagerly swallowing his clumsy bait? " 

Professor Caleb Amos concluded his oration by a few ex- 
planatory remarks on the nature of grammar, comparing the 
aggregate of English words with the soldiers of a great army, 
suggested that as these, by a systematic division into companies, 
))attalious and regiments were transformed from an unwieldy 
mol) into a highly etticacious instrument in the hands of a 
general, so the former, by the science of grammar, were ar- 
ranged into easily distinguishable classes, groups and orders ; 
and then announced that he was ready, by means of an entirely 
new system, invented by himself, to teach the whole science of 
grammar in ten days, for the insignificant fee of one dollar, 
payable in advance, provided that a class of at least forty per- 
sons, without reference to age or sex, participated ; the only 
condition imposed being, that they coidd read and write in the 
English language. 

"There!" exclaimed Leslie triumphantly. "Do you see? 
That's the barl) so bombastically baited. Forty dollars in ten 
days! Not so bad for the Yankee, eh? Wonder if he will 
tuid forty male and female fools in the settlement anxious to be 
humbugged by him ? ' ' 

Victor said nothing. He was nervously excited. The goal, 
so distant, and of so laborious approach to him, was shown by 
the lecturer to be within such easy reach. Only ten days ! 
Only one dollar ! He trembled with eager hope that his em- 
ployer might allow him to improve this grand ojjportunity, and 


revolved in his mind tlie monientous question, wliether he 
might venture tlie suggestion. 

Just then INIr. Van Braaken, who had also attended the lec- 
ture, approached, and elei^trified him with the proposition that 
he should test his mettle in the grammar class. 

'• I would be but too glad to do so ! " he replied eagerly. 

" Then you shall try," said Van Braaken. " Come along. 
1 see the new schoolmaster is ready to take subscriptions. 
Step up I ' ' 

They went up to the table where Mr. Caleb Amos was 
explaining to a group of citizens his terms and conditions, and 
inviting them to sign his list. Colonel May, Mr. Smith the 
proprietor of the hotel, and Mr. Barnes the rival merchant, 
were discussing the importance of the science of grammar, 
agreeing that it was a good thing and ought to be encouraged. 

" So I think," said Van Braaken, not without ostentation. 
" And I mean to give my Dutch apprentice a chance. You 
shall see that he will beat all the young men in the class, if he 
is a Dutchman. Put your name on the list, Victor, and show 
them that you are the smartest boy in the county. ' ' 

Victor blushed over the bombastic boasting of his chief ; 
but he was too haj^py to take offense. His name was the first 
on tlie list. 

" Here is his dollar," Mr. Van Braaken continued, taking a 
Mexican dollar from his pocket and handing it to the Profes- 
sor. " And if he needs books or anything else, he shall have 
them. We are not stingy at the Dutch Store." 

"Well done I " exclaimed Colonel May. "I know of no 
young man that deserves encouragement more than my young- 
friend Waldhorst." 

Victor's eyes sparkled with pleasure at the Colonel's words, 
and Yan Braaken walked away from the grouj) with a com- 
plaisant smile and twitching eye-lid. 

" We must give the townsi^eople a good example," the 
Colonel went on. "My children are studying at the univer- 
sity and seminary ; but it will do them no harm to brighten up 


i\ little (luriiiii- the vacation. Put your name down, Leslie, and 
put down Nellie's, also."" 

'•I ?"" incjuired Leslie, in very evident surprise and dis- 
l)leusure. " Why should 1 attt-nd the class? J went Ihrouuh 
English oj-;unniar some years ago." 

'' Never mind," said the Colonel good huinoredly. •• It 
won't hurt you to go over it again. .7nst ]>ut your name 

"Oh yes, Leslie, do I " " whispered Nellie, who had ap- 
proached with her mother. •• It will be so much nicer than at 
school I All the girls are going, and we will have such fun I 

"Are they really such geese ?" Leslie replied, also in a 
^vhisper. " Are they going, sure enough? Who, for 
instance? " 

•■ Why, Hettie Shannon, for one," lireathed Nellie, with an 
arch smile and a meaning glance at her brother. " And then 
Emily Matlack will be sure to come, of course." 

Leslie hesitated no longer. " Well, Pa," he said, with a 
droll smile of ivsignation, " it you insist on offering u\) your 
own children on the altar of [Science and Patriotism, — why, 
let the grim Moloch devour us. So here — Nel-lie and 
Les-lie — May I " The two signatures followed Victoi's in a 
bold, dashing hand. 

It Avas an auspicious beginning for Caleb Amos. ]\L'. 
Barnes found it prudent to follow suit. So did Mr. Smith, 
and Mr. Jones, and after them many of the prominent citizens 
of the town, who sul>scribed for their children of lioth sexes 
and various ages. The re([uisite number of pupils was ol>- 
tained before the meeting was over : Mr. Caleb Amos gleefully 
rubl)ed his hands, and the audience began to leave the coui't- 
house with the exalting consciousness of having saved the 
honor of Brook/leld, and lighted a torcli whose splendor would 
confound the Powers of Darkness. 

lint no one was happier than Mctor, who indulged in delight- 
ful anticipations of slaking his ardent thirst for knowledge and 
culture. And when Colonel May requested his son to escort 

UUyKUM: M/Jh'CA.V'J'/Lh- AXD Llli:i;M!Y. 


tilt' ladies lioiiif. liccaiisc -.oiiif li'i\ial luisiiicss would detain 
liiin yi't a wliili- in town, and Leslie invited liis younu' friend to 
Join tlu'iii and conclude the evenino- with a walk in the l)enuti- 
ful Hioonliiihl , hi' accepted without hesitation. And he aston- 
ished Nellie liy l'or<>-ettin(i- his l)aslifulness in the picsence of 
the vivacious younu' lady, and still increasiuii' hei' wonder by 
tlu' readiness and spirit with which he met and parried her 
sallies on their walk to May Meadows. 

\'ictor loni>- reiiieinl)i'red that deliuhtful walk, and tlu- events 
to which it o'ave rise. 


/liM FTER a deliglitful hour .spent iu the company of the 
Jjiy^ ladies and Leslie, on the broad porch of the mansion 
' ^\^ at May Meadows, Victor took his departure, bravely 
resisting the tempting invitation to stay all night. 

It Avas not yet beyond the middle of June, and the weather 
was delightful. A soft, refreshing breeze, peculiarly grateful 
.•liter a hot June day, caressingly fanned his cheeks and fore- 
head. The moon, in her crescent, sent down a dreamy light. 
Her rays, percolating through the Uuttering foliage of the 
grove that surrounded the May mansion, sketched grotesque 
mosaics (jn tlie graveled walks, and cast romantic glamour 
over the little village of huts just Iteyond, that served as 
roosting places for the negroes. Profound peace reigned all 
about; not a sound reached Victor's ears, save that of his 
own foot-falls. The cabins lay there in the bright moon- 
shine like huge grids fashioned into gigantic squirrel cages. 
Victor had often seen these log cabins in the day-time, 
without noticing them closely, except to smile at the primitive 
architecture which constructed a habitation out of unhewn logs 
piled over each other ; but now, in the serene calmness of the 
moon-lit landscape, they made an impressive picture. His 
imagination busily peopled the unpretentious hovels with men 
and women whose destiny it Avas to sow, for others to reap ; 
whose toil i)roduced the wealth iu wliicli their master reveled, 
while they subsisted on cornbread and bacon, wore rags to 
cover their nakedness, and were housed in these — picturesque 
cabins. He drew aside from his direct path, almost involun- 
tarily, in the direction of the negro quarters, and the desire 
was strong upon him to witness the doings of the humble crea- 


tiires wlicn ainoiio- tluMiisolvc's. lie noticed, us he ap[)roaelieil 
that most of the ciiltins were surrounded by vegetable Hardens 
aiul melon patelies ; many I'ven were ornamented witli llower 
beds and sliowy shrubs. In front of one or two of the cabins 
he noticed dusky Ijoures stretched on the grass, but no other 
sign ot lite. Every one seemed to have gone to sleep, for no 
light was visible anywhere. Victor stood still to take in the 
scene he gazed on. Presently he saw what appeared to him, 
after all, to be a light, through the crevices between two logs of 
a hut just ahead of him. His curiosity was aroused ; he ap- 
proached stealthily to satisfy himself whether what he saw was 
really the light of a candle. He noticed that the door was 
closed, and that the window, composed of a single pane of 
glass, was curtained within. But he saw plainly, now, that the 
ray of light nuist come from a candle burning in that cabin, 
(living way to the hnpulse of his curiosity, he peeped through 
the interstice, and saw a powerful negro seated on a low stool, 
a book upon his knees from which he seemed to be reading, 
but in so l(jw a voice that Victor could not understand a word. 
At his side knelt a young girl, one arm resting on the negro's 
knee, the other holding the stump of a candle, by the light of 
which he was reading. She was evidently listening with close 
attention. Her face was turned from Victor, so that he could 
not see it; but her form, full of grace and beautifully propor- 
tioned, gave him the imi)ression of exquisite loveliness. On a 
low bed, directly opposite, lay an old quadroon woman, whom 
Mctor at once recognized as the one he had seen on the evening 
of his first arrival at JNIay Meadows. This woman listened 
as eagerly as did the girl. Unable to make out a word of what 
the negro was reading, and curious to know what liook it could 
be that interested them so much, Victor knocked for admission. 

There was no answer. 

Thinking that he had not l)een heard, he repeated the knock- 
ing with more emphasis. 

" Who dat knocken' at de doah' ? " came, iu a fretful voice, 
from within. 


"A stranger I " said \'ietor, surprised by the hesitation to 
give him admission. •• May I eonie in r '" 

Tlic door w:is now o[)ened. liiit \'ictor snw no light in the 
room. EviTV thing was in dnri<nes.-,. Hut the moon shed 
sufficient light lor liim to recognize tiie negro that had Ijeen 
reading. He asked \'ictor what he wished. Although his 
words were deferential, there was the same peevishness in his 
voice, as of one who had been roused from slumber. 

•• I thouglit you were reading just now," said Mctor, more 
and more astonished at the strange things he saw. •• Did you 
not have a light in the room? '" 

" Light, Mars' ? Did yo' see light in dis yere cabin? " 
asked the negro, the intlexion of his voice indicating the highest 
degree of astonishment on his part. 

Before Victor could answer he heard another voice, — evi- 
dently that of the young girl he had seen — whispering con - 
iidentially : •• It is ^Malist' Walders. riicle Xerxes. Let hiiu 
come in ; there is no danger." 

The negro meekly begged ^'ictor's pardon, and asked him 
to come in. Not until Xerxes had carefully closed the door 
again and l)olted it, did the girl relight the stumj) of the candle, 
using for the jiurpose a friction match, which she ignited by 
drawing it through a piece of doubled up sandpaper. 

By the hght of the candle Victor now beheld a head of sur- 
prising l)eanty. From a face of purest oval, surmounted hj a 
luxuriant growth of wavy Itlack hair, a pair of large dark eyes 
of liquid lustre met his gtize with an appealing, timid, yet 
confiding look that strangely imi)ressed him. The lips were 
full, but exquisitely formed, and of vermilion brightness : and 
through the clear, transparent skin of her round cheeks, a 
warm glow of rich carmine asserted itself, even by the dim 
light of the tallow dip. 

•' I am sorry to have disturbed you," said Mctor. •"• But I 
saw yon reading, and have some curiosity- to know what book 
it is that interests you so deeply." 

The old quadroon on the bed and the nea'ro whom the o-irl 


hiid lueiitiuiied us Xerxes, looked at e:u'li other witli troulded 
faces, but without sayintj; a word. 

"Don't fear; Just tell him," he heartl thi' uirl say, in a 
soft, tiute-like voice. " He has seen us any how, and IVIahst" 
Walders will not V)etray us." 

The oirl accompanied the last words with an aj)|)ealin^, 
precatory look, which so impressed Victor that it haunted him 
for many days. 

•' Betray? " he said wonderingly. " What is there to 
betray? " 

••You see," said the neoro man, •• dis yere Cressie — we 
calls "er Cressie fur short, but 'er name's Loocreshy — she 
larns me read'u' 'cause she lanit it from 'er missis, 'n' I — 
I jiss ben read'n' to 'er." 

••And so you can read?" asked Victor, addressinu' the 
ii'irl. •• And your mistress taught you herself? 

••Oh no! no, no! " protested Lucretia, with an earnestness 
in tone and manner, as if she were defendino- her mistress 
aoainst a grave accusation. •• I only looked on when she was 
gettino- her lessons," she continued, with downcast eyes, as if 
confessing to some serious offense, •• and I learned almost 
without knowing how." 

•'You learned all by yourself ? "" nuised Victor, who was 
not rejoiced, somehow, to learn that it was not his young 
friend Nellie that was responsil)k' for Cressie's education. He 
regarded the graceful llgure and im})osing beauty of the 
Octoroon girl with increasing admiration. •• And you are 
really a — " 

•• Slave," the girl said in completion of tlu' sentence, which 
Victor, l)luslung, had left unllnished. '• Y\'s, I am Missis 
Nellie's own slave. And she is the sweetest, kindest mistress 
in the world. Mahst" May, he l)ought nie for her. because my 
niaunny nursed her, and she always liked me." 

•• 'n' der nevvah. nevvah was a bettah niarse 'n' Mars" May ; 
nur a better missis in de wu'ld ! " Uncle Xerxes i)roclaimed 
with solenniilv. 


" I am very iilad to hear you say so," Victor remarked. 
"•' Then 1 suppose you are all happy here at May Meadows, 
although you are — slaves I " 

*' Puftlckly happy. Mars' Wallers, eff on'y — " The 
negro hesitated, and left the sentence unlinished. ButMctor's 
curiosity prompted him to ask : 

" Well — if only what?" 

Instead of answering, the negro looked uneasily at the 
others, and seemed to fear that he had already said too nuich. 
Victor, seeing his embarrassment, i)ressed no further. " But 
you have not yet shown me the book you were reading when 1 
lirst saw you," he said, to change the subject. 

" It's de book o' books," said Xerxes, with solemn rever- 
ence. He drew away the stool upon which he had been sitting, 
removed a piece of the flooring of the cabin, and produced 
from the cavity beneath a well-worn l)ook. which he handed 
to Victor. 

"• The Bible! " exclaimed the latter in surprise. 

" Yes, Mars' Wallers," said the negro reverentially. " It's 
de preshus promise o' de Lo'd to 'is lowest crechahs." 

'' Food to dem w'at's hungry : drink to dem w'at's thirsty ; 
comfort to dem w'at lanngAvish," recited the quadroon from 
her bed. 

Victor was astonished at the profound earnestness of the 
negroes. He l)egged them to read to him. Xerxes looked 
inquiringly at the girl and on her nodding lightly, took the 
book from Victor and, opening it at a i)lace marked with a 
slender ribbon, commenced to read : 

" Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, antl 
I will give you rest. 

' • Take my yoke upon you and learn of me ; for I am meek 
and lowly of heart: and you sliall lind rest unto your 

Xerxes read with a slowness and dilliculty painful to wit- 
ness ; but the solemn emphasis with which he pronounced each 
word after he had s|)ell('(l it out. invested him with a dignity 


\vliifli relieved his effort from tedioiisness, and ^i-eatiy impressed 
his audience, ^'ietor not excepted. 

Lucretia now took tlie Bible and proceeded : 

'' For my yoke is easy, and my burden is liiiht." 

She read with tluenc^v, and a remarkably correct pronuncia- 
tion. For a moment slie paused, as if to oive Victor the 
opportiuiity ■ to speak, if he wished; l)ut he I'emained in his 
listening attitude, and slie proceeded, turning to a passage in 
the Old Testament : 

''He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, 
and acquainted with grief ; and we hid, as it were, our faces 
from him; he Avas despised, and we esteemed him not. 

'• Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; 
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted; 

'' But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised 
for our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peace was upon him ; 
and with his stripes we are healed." 

The girl had long ceased, and given back the book t(j 
Xerxes. Victor pondered on what he had heard. Was this 
genuine piety; was it religious conviction that brought these 
})eople together here? Did they find in the word of (4od com- 
fort and strength to l)ear the bitter lot assigned them ? Did 
the jn'omise of redemption reconcile them with the ignominy 
and debasement to which the law of the land condemned them 
without guilt of theirs? This powerful robust negro, in the 
strength of health and youth, — this aged, decrepit woman, 
near the close of a life of trouble and in-ivation, — this lieauti- 
ful Octoroon, of voluptuous beauty and graceful presence — 
Avas there for all of them but the one hope for liberation from 
the yoke that rested on their necks, — beyond the grave? 

A feeling of depression came over him as he remembered 
the words which Colonel May had once spoken to him. that it 
might prove dangerous to give expressi<in to iiis views on 

In the silence, into whicli all present Inul relapsed, the 
thrice repeated plaintive nc^te of some bird of the night was 


distinctly Mudihle. It prodiici-d ;i stiaiiiic eliect on the occii- 
|)ants of tlir cnliin : wiicii liic nit'hiuclioly soiunl wns first 
iieai'd, tile slaws lookt-d at i'a(^li otlu-r in evident alarm. At 
its re[)etiti()n Xerxes replaced the l>il»le in the eavily nnderthe 
lloor. and hurriedly extinonished the candle. \'ict()r hardly 
I'ealized what was lioino- on when he felt himself pushed s>eutlv 
into a corner by the soft arm> of the Octoroon. "For 
heaven's sake, Mahst'." she ra])idly whispered into his ear, 
" don't betray us I Kee|) yourself hidden, let no one lind you 
here I " At the same time >lie spread a dress, that huna- on 
the wall above his lu'ad. in such manner over his person, as to 
(juite conceal him. As she stealthily joined the (piadroon on 
the bed. steps without wt-re heard ap[)roaclun*i' the cabin, and 
l>efore \'ietor had time to rellect on the strange proceeding", 
and the odd |)redicament in which he was placed, the rickety 
dooi' was thrown wide open by a vigorous kick. 

'' Whar's the light 'at's jist been burniu' yere? '" thundered 
an angry voice, Avhich Victor recognized at once as that of 
.Jeffreys', the ovei'seer. 

There was no answer. 

" Who's yere, anyhow r " the overseer sternly demanded. 

" It'son'y me, INIars' Jeffreys," the negro airs wered meekly, 
" an' Cassandra, 'n' C'ressie." 

'• Light a candle," .Jeffreys commanded in a much moUilied 

As soon as the light had l)een struck, which this time was 
accomplished by nu-ans of a flint and steel, and a tinder-box, 
.Jt'ffreys aj>proached the l)ed upon which Cassandra and the 
Octoroon were now seated. 

In doing so his foot stumbU>d ovt-r the piece of plank which 
the negro had not accurately fitted into tlu' lloor. 

" Hallo! \>''s this? " lie cried, kicking aside the plank, 
and peering into the hollow beneath, from which he soon 
brought forth the liilile that had been hidden there. •• Hallo 1 " 
he shouted in the triumphant tone of a lieadle having caught a 
deliiHiuent in Ji(i(jniiit(' rlHirfo^ "is that what you're up to i' 


llold'n' ;i piayiT iiicutin'. iirc ve'r .Vu" wliur's IIr' [):rs<)n ? 
VVliich ()' yi'"s bi'cn do'iT tlu' iVMd'ii' ? " 

No oiu' iimdo tinswci-. 

"• 'riuinder an' blazes! " i-oari'd the irate overset'i'. •• Ye 
don't mean to poke it down my throat 'at ye've been sitt'n' 
yere doin" noth'n? Didn't I see the light shiueu' thronoh 
the eraoivs o" yere mizzible shanty? Don't lie 'bont it, 
now I 

The neo'roes sat with heads Ijowed low: but none of them 
made answer. 

"If 'twas you, me beaut'." he said. a|)proa('hini>' the 
Octoroon with an amorous g-fin, ''I'll let ye off easy. I'll 
not tell yer master, nur Hog ye nieself, this time. fSay, was't 
you ? ' ' 

The Octoroon looked up. She saw the other two regarding 
her with deep anxiety. This seemed to arouse her to a resolve. 
Perhaps she eitnsidered, tliat tliey, at least, might be spared 
the punishment. •• Do you promise, that none of us will be 
l)unished. if I tell you? " she inquired of the overseer, lixing 
her eyes upon him in a searching gaze. 

" Xe'er a time I " sneered Jeffreys. •• That's not the bar- 
gain. If 'twas you, I'll let jiok off, mind, if ye'll promise not 
to be so cantankerously ugly to me, when I'm doiu' my level 
best to please ye I ' ' 

"It was me I " said Lucretia, witli proudly curled lips, 
'' I've learned to read from my missis, and come down to read 
the Bible to Uncle Xerxes and INIannnie Cassandra." 

''Now see, what lady-airs ye do [)Ut on I " said .Jeffreys. 
" I knowed ye'd make a capital pa 'son. Well, I'll stick to 
my word; no Hoggin' this time. See, how good I am to ye ; 
now won't ye l)e friendly an' return the favor? " 

'• You know that it is not for me to grant favors," said tiie 
girl with haughty dignity. 

Jeffreys cast an angry, threatening glance at her. ■• D'ye 
mean to defy me? " he cried. '' Look out I Ye might rue it I 
An" \()u." he turni'd to Cassandra and Xerxes with a nienaciui^ 


frown. •■ let this be the hist time 'at I keteh ye witli liglit in 
yer dirty sliauty, after nine o'clock, if this yere stuck up 
wench he with ye or not. Ye know nie, an' I'll stand no 
foolin' I " 

Victor was in a most painful situation. He felt the hot 
blood of shame rushing to his face at the thought of acting the 
despicable part of an eavesdroj)per. Nothing but the fear of 
compromising the poor slaves, and liringing further troul)le 
upon their heads — which he instinctively felt would be the 
case if he were discovered there now — prevented him from 
stepping forth and making known his presence to the overseer. 

" Git, now! " commanded the latter. "Off to yer quarters. 
I'm goin' to go along — to see ye safe home I " 

" I can go alone," Lucretia answered, preparing to leave 
the cabin. '• Where is my shawl, Mammie? " 

''There it hangs, Honey! " the quadroon replied, pointing 
to the corner where it covered the very dress which Lucretia 
had drawn over Victor to conceal him from the eyes of the 
overseer. Her eyes followed the direction indicated and 
dropped instantly, saying, as if she had changed her mind, " I 
believe I don't want it; its too warm, any how." And with 
these words she started towards the door with an air of utmost 

" Stop! " shouted Jeffreys, who had noted the sudden drop- 
ping of the girl's eyes, and whose distrustful mind at once 
suspected a secret. " Wait a spell ; I'll jist git ye yere shawl. 
Ye might take cold without." He had by this time removed 
the dress together with the shawl from the nail on which it 
hung. There stood Victor, with downcast eyes, shame and 
confusion but too visible in his burning face. 

"Mr. Wallerst I " exclaimed the overseer in genuine 
astonishment. " An' what may yon be doin' yere? '" 

Victor was about to answer, Init before he had said a word, 
Jeffreys whose surprise quickly gave way to intense wrath, 
continued : 

" I s'pose this 'ere ])rayor meot'n' 's o' your gittin' u]), is 


it? 'Pears to lue ye're gittiu' 'long party durned fast with tlic 
niggers, I do say, — 'l)nsin' yer friend's hospitality, gittin' u]) 
onlawful midnight nu-etin's. 'n' havin' rendyvoos with 'is 
nigger wenches I ' ' 

"'There is no rendezvous, 1 assure you," said X'ietwr, rais- 
ing his eyes, hut ([uickly dropping them again before the fierce 
scowl on tlie overseer's face. " My presence here is quite by 

" Oh, 3'aars, in course I " said Jeffreys with cutting sarcasm. 
" At this time o' night — in yer friend's nigger cabin — all by 
accident I " 

" I meant no wrong," Victor stammered, deeply humiliated 
by the consciousness of having been surprised in a dishonorable 

" D'ye take me fur a darnation fool? " hissed the overseer, 
whose wrath increased as he saw the dejection of the young 
man. " Comin' yere in the deep o' the night, an' lockin' 
yourself up with a yaller wench ! Blowin' out the light an' 
creeping under 'er petticoat when ye hear a white man comin' ; 
an' ye think a w'hite man '11 b'lieve ye, that ye meant uothin' ye 
need be ashamed of ? " 

" Ask the negroes — ask the girl herself," Victor begged 
him. '^ She will tell you, that until a few minutes ago we 
never interchanged a word in our lives." 

" Ye don't say so ! Ye want me to ast the niggers, do ye? 
The niggers, — ha, ha, ha I " laughed Jeffreys, grimly. " The 
go-betweens — the pimps, d — n their black souls ! The cussed 
yaller wench, 'at put 'er petticoat on top o' ye to hide ye — 
the low-lived strumpet, 'at lets an outlandish Hessian Dutch- 
man court 'er — " 

"Stop, sir! What do you mean?" exclaimed Victor 
with spirit. Shame and the consciousness of thoughtless folly, 
as he now thought it to be, had disarmed him against wliat he 
thought justitiable rebuke from a man who was responsible for 
the conduct of the negroes. But the shameful insult conveyed 
b\- the last words stunu- liini into resentment. " Do vou sus- 


pect nil' of anytliiuiJ' wroiiii; l)Osides enterinii' here without your 
permission ? " 

" Suspect r Oil, no, nu' line bird. Wliat J see, I needn't 
suspect. I know it I " The overseer spoke tliese Avords witli 
derisive triumph. He then turned suddenly on the Octoroon 
and hissed out witli increasing wrath : '• As fur 30U. me liypo- 
critical wench, ye sliall taste the lash on yer naked skin to cure 
ye of yci' runnin' after a Hessian Dutchman." 

lie had seized tlie girl by the arm, and pressed and pinclied 
it with such violence as to extort from her a sharp cry of pain. 
Victor sprang forward and tore her from him. "• Moderate 
your passion, sir I " he ex(^laimed. " ^Vnd satisfy yourself, 
that there is no cause for your shameful suspicion. What has 
ha|)])ened here, is by my fault entirely, and I do not mean to 
shirk my responsibility for it. These poor slaves are not to 
blame. But what you say about a preconcerted meeting witli 
this girl, is simply a lie." 

Victor had spoken with warmth and emphasis. The revolt 
of feeling caused ])y the overseer's tyiannical cruelty to the 
defenseless slaves, lent to liis voice a vigor, and to his 
manner an earnestness, which was not without effect on the 
blustering tyrant. Nevertheless, he surveyed the slender 
form of the young man before him with a menacing air, as if 
he meant to chastise him on the spot. lie concluded other- 
wise, however. " You call me a liar, sir? " he cried, with a 
haughty swagger. '' Me, a free white man? 'I'iiat's an insult 
to me, sir, 'at I'll thrash you fur, as soon as I'll git ready, 
.list now, I consitler it me duty to the boss, to let 'im know 
what's goin' on behind 'is l)ack. It's "is liizness to settle 
with you fur meddlin' with 'is nigger wencli. an' stirrin' up 'is 
slaves to sedition an' nnitiny. You'll follow me, sir, to the 
nianshun. an' tliar" ye shall answer Colonel Mav fur \er doin's 

This prosjx'ct (illed poor Victor with dismay. What nuist 
his generous friend think of him, if he should hear how 
thoughtlessly and indiscreetly he had l»eiiaved? IIow painful 

A pi:i:r at the ''PKCULiAir' institution. " 

the pr<)sj)t'ct of Imvinjj' to talk with hhn on this imtortuiiatc 
happeiiino". Hut worse than this would it lie to put liiiusclf 
in llic power of fliis euraux'd overseer liy Itetrayiu^' fear 
or liesitation. lie would surely i>"ive a i2;arlile(l necount of 
the matter, preseiitini>- the oecuvreuce not only in its worst 
aspect, tiut in a false liaht. So he coneluded to l»e pi'esent 
with Jeff leys when he made his aecusation, and promptly 
notified bini that he was ready to visit the Colonel. 

The Octoroon had already left the hut when Jeffreys, havinL>; 
in vain looked for her, marched off with Victor for the man- 

The Colonel had just returned from Brookfield, and seemed 
to lie in excellent humor. He smilingly commented on the 
honor done him l»y so late a visit from the two gentlemen. 
Jeffreys apologized for disturhing him at so unreasonable an 
hour; but the emergency, he said, was such as to call for 
prompt action. He dwelt upon the demoralizing effect upon 
the negroes by the presence of white people, or people that 
thought themselves white, at surreptitious and unlawful mid- 
night gatherings at the negro quarters, who encouraged them 
in their seditious spirit, and outraged decency by shameful 
behavior with lewd colored wenches. Urged by the Colonel to 
speak more plainly, he related much of what he had seen at 
the negro cabin, and more that he surmised, not omitting gross 
exaggeration and mahcious insinuations. He concluded by 
magnanimously submitting the nature of the punishment to be 
inflicted upon the young foreigner to the Colonel's discretion, 
but demanding for himself unlimited authority to deal with the 
negroes, and particularly with the obstreperous Octoi'oon, 
whose condign punishment was necessary as a warning example 
for the upholding of discipline on the plantation. 

Astonished beyond measure, Victor listened to the shameful 
perversions of the overseer. It surprised him that the Colonel 
permitted such passionate language in his presence, on the 
part of an employee. It shocked him to perceive that the 
Colonel listened to the cruel threat against defenseless slaves, 


who liad not, even on tlio overseof's own sliowinu', foniinilU'd 
any offense, withont protest or fonmient. 

As Victor was about to speak, a fonunaiuUng' gesture of 
Colonel May denuiuded silence of him. At the very beginning 
of the overseer's report his brows had contracted ; but he 
listened patiently until the close ; put a few questions to 
obtain a clear insight into all the facts, and then dismissed the 
overseer with the injunction to take no stei)s in the matter 
until he received further instructions, and then addressed 
Victor: "To you, young man, I have a word to say; please 

In leaving the room Jeffreys cast a malevolent look of 
triumph at Victor, which forewarned him as to what he might 
exi)ect at the hands of Colonel May. 

The high esteem in which Victor held the Colonel, gave 
double pungency to the harsh words. He had not for a 
moment doubted that the Colonel would grant him a fair hear- 
ing, and that a truthful statement of the occurrence, such as 
he supposed the Colonel would give credence to in preference 
to the malicious tissue of falsehoods on the part of the over- 
seer, for whose wrath he found it impossible to account, would 
disarm the worst displeasure of his friend. But the Colonel 
had not permitted him even to speak in his own defense 1 

When, after Jeffreys' departure, the Colonel desired him to 
give his side of the story, Victor's predominant feeling was 
one of indignation against the injustice threatened the poor 
slaves. Hence he spoke rather to establish their perfect inno- 
cence than exculpate himself, and the warmth with which he 
espoused their cause aroused the Colonel not a little. 

"Do you know," he interrupted him on one occasion, 
" that the zeal with which you defend this Octoroon girl is a 
very suspicious circumstance? " 

Victor was startled. "What can you mean?" he asked 

"Why," replied the Colonel, a scarcely perceptible smile 
illumining his face, " you are so enthusiastic in the description 


ol ln'i' woiidcrrul In'autv tlial one iiiight well suppose you would 
ahidly iiii[)i'o\\' :iii op[)oiliiiiilv to arrange a rendezvous with 

The young man's I'aee grew scarlet. " 1 give you my sacred 
Avord of honor," he exclaimed, " that I never in my life saw 
her, much less spoke to her, before! " 

" Well, now, that is remarkable," the Colonel went on, with- 
out changing a muscle of his face. " Then why does the minx 
blow out her candle, as soon as you knock at the door? " 

" I am sure I do not know%" said Victor, still deeply 

" And why did you hide under a woman's dress as soon as 
you heard some one approach? " 

" That was the girl's doing; and what in the world could 
have been her motive for it, is a mystery to me." 

The Colonel seemed to enjoy the young man's embarrass- 
ment, but after a moment said, in a kind and confidential tone, 
" I Avill give you the key to this great mystery, my young 
friend. You do not know, I apprehend, that the blacks are 
forbidden to have candle-light in their cabins after a certain 
hour of the night ? ' ' 

"No," said Victor, " I did not know that. It explains 
their anxiety to prevent the light from being seen on the out- 

"Quite right! " said the other. "Perhaps, also, you are 
not aware that it is a punishable offense for anyone to teach 
them to read ! ' ' 

"No, indeed! " exclaimed Victor, greatly shocked, and for- 
getting, in his indignant surprise at so inhuman a law, as it 
appeared to him, his own embarrassed predicament. " And it 
is hard to believe, although I do not doubt your word. How- 
ever harsh some masters may be in this resjoect, surely it is 
strange that the hue should deprive a race of human beings of 
the possibility of culture and improvement. You, Colonel 
May, are not so cruel as to take from your slaves the comfort 
they might derive from reading, for instance the Bible." 


" Tliuiik you tor the com])liiiient," said the Colonel, with 
quiet humor. " For I take it that you mean it as such, though 
in reality what you say implies, from your point of view, 
oravc censure. Because I do not happen to think it cruel at 
all to depiive the slaves of what you call culture." 

\'ictor looked at the Colonel with amazement : he found it 
dittieult to harmonize what he heard, with his estimate of his 
nolile friend's character. 

'' Judge for yourself." the latter continued, addressing the 
young man in a gentle voice. l)ut with an earnestness that 
thrilled him, " would it be a kindness to these j)eoi)le, Avhom 
we deprive — whether justly or unjustly, let us leave undecided 
just now — of their human I'ights, to teach them the magnitude 
and value of that of which we rob them? " 

'' True enough." Victor replied, after pondering a moment, 
" they would feel all the more keenly their degradation and 
wrong, the higher they rose in culture and refinement. IJut," 
he added more eagerly, '^ is it permitted to brutalize a human 
being just to keep from him the knowledge of the magnitude of 
the crime connnitted against him? Is it not doubling the sin 
to rob him not only of his liberty, but also of his dignity as a 
human being? " 

"'Let me suggest to you, young man," said the Colonel 
Avith im])ressive emphasis, " that no one can be robbed of that 
which is not his. A slave possesses neither human dignity, 
nor freedom. No free man has ever been degraded into 

^'i(•tor regarded the Colonel with a (piestioning look, indi- 
cating that he did not take in the full force of the remark. 

" But," the Colonel continued in a milder tone, *' although 
J am sincere in my opinion, that the law. wliich deprives the 
servile race of the means of ac(piiring education and culture, 
accords with the dictates of gemiine humanity, and is there- 
fore a blessing to themselves, yet I do not pretend that it was 
enacted for their benefit. Its purpose is rather to serve as a 
barrier against the intlammatorv literature, the libelous and 


seditious tr;u'1s nnd pniiipiiK'ts lii.-il .'ire lK'iii<i- scnitcicd Itiond- 
cast over tiie hiiid by iiiischievoiis .-diolitionists, nml so, in h 
cortaia sense, to protect our ■ property,' if that woi'd is not 
offensive to your fastidious ears. Uut he tiiat as it may." the 
Colonel added, reuardinu' the youn<J' man witii a smile, " so 
the law is written, and you will do well to I'ememher it. 
C'ressie knew tiiis, ;is well as the other slaves, and for that 
reason endeavored to conceal the fact that tlie\ had leai'ued to 
read . ' ' 

The latter words had Iieen spoken with tlie smile on Colonel 
May's face that was so fascinating to Victor. He was not 
ready to assent to all that the Colonel had said; hut he was so 
stronoly attracted by the mao-netisni of bis personality, that he 
felt neither the desire nor the al)ility to attemi)t an answer. 
'' Bnt I still cannot understand why the Octoroon was so 
anxions to conceal ///// presence in the cahin ? " he said, after 
a short pause. 

"There are two reasons for that," the Colonel informed 
him. ^" In the lirst i)lace, the girl most likely suspected that 
your presence in the cabin together with her might l»e offensive 
to the overseer — how true her instinct was you have yourself 
seen — and then, in the next place, there is another law that 
you violated. Neither negroes, nor negroes or whites, are 
permitted to assemble in the negro (piarters after dark. So 
you see, it was kind enough in the girl to trv to shield vou 
against the consecpiences of your own indiscretion, or ignorance, 
if you please." 

" How thoughtless 1 Ikiw het'ii 1 " exclaimed \'ictor. '• And 
how much I need your kind indulgence to obtain your forgive- 
ness I May I hope," he added with precatory earnestness, 
" that you will not permit the poor slaves to he made to 
suffer for my folly r 

A cloud again lowi'ied upon the face of the Colonel. ■• I 
cannot promisi- pei'fect innuunity for them," he said. •• The 
authority of the overseer nuist not be jeoi>arded. Although J 
do not justify his over-severity in this matter, yet he must be 




upheld ill the enforcement of discipline. But you must excuse 
me now, young friend; 1 am weary after a busy day's work, 
and it is late in the night. Stay with us until morning ; I will 
have a room made ready for you in two seconds." 

Victor declined the i)roferred hospitality for the second tim-e 
this day. He feared to displease his employer by remaining 
away from the store for the night. 

•' Let your mind rest easy about the slaves," said the 
Colonel on bidding him good night. *' I shall see to it, that 
their punislunent be not excessive." 



MON(4 the i)uhlic institutions of Brooklield, the i)riiitiiio' 
ottice, second in importance only to tlie stores, tlis- 
j(_ l)uted priority witii the post-ottice itself. Modest 
enough in architectural pretension — unitinsj- in one room of 
moderate size the editor's sanctum, the proprietor's business 
ottice, and the printer's press and composino; room, with 
space in one corner for the pallet of the jjrinter's devil. 
Thence issued, in reoular weekly editions of more than one 
hundred (copies, the (hark Argils, self-appointed (Guardian of 
Freedom, keeping watch ovei' the interests of Vernal County 
and the adjacent districts. A\'itli praisewoi-thy zeal and fidelity 
he proclaimed the gospel of Freedom according to the dogma 
of the Democratic party, and lashed, with inexorable severity, 
the pernicious heresies of the Whigs. The Constitution of the 
I'nited States, as interpreted by Thomas .Jefferson, constituted 
his Holy Writ of statesmanshij). To doubt the infallibility of 
(ieneral Jackson, was rank treason. He was the terror of 
demagogues and delincpient otKce holders, of the wrong i)arty, 
as well as the reliance and stronghold of political as[)irants of 
the (nthodox faith. What wonder, then, that the Ozark 
Arijat^ should be the pride of Hnjoklield and the oracle of its 
])oliticians of the Democratic stripe? 

The enteri)rise and ])ublic-spirited activity of him of the 
hundred eyes was not limited, however, to the lield of politics. 
He announced on his title-j)age, in bold, ))lack type, that he 
also proposed to be an ■• Organ of Art, Literature and 
Science." This part of his self-imposed task he performed by 
[)ublishing weekly cliapters of love-romances, or stories of 
adventure with robbei-s or ghosts; also by disseminating use- 



fill receipts for the prepai'ation of corn-salve, or some^iew way 
of making- excellent pumpkin pie, and giving pulilicity to the 
sublime effusions of love-sick village poets and poetesses. liy 
this means he gained the goodwill of the fairer and frailer half 
of the backwoods population in s(j far, that is to say, as these 
were accessible to the printed form of thought. 

But the peculiar element of his utility, and wherein he shone 
a bright particular star, challenging tlie admiration of his con- 
temporaries and of posterity as well, was referred to ))y tlie 
modest phrase: "And Chronicle of the Southwest." lit' 
sought and found his greatest pride in bringing to the knowl- 
edge of his fello\v-(!itizens, and particularly of the citizenesses, 
all cases of births, deaths, engagements and weddings, as well 
as such other highly important items of news as serve to 
enliven the hum-drum of everv-day-life. — who it was, for in- 
stance, that escorted the beautiful and fascinating Miss Molly 
Mumps, on last Sunday evening, from the meeting-house to 
the residence of her father, our highly respected fellow-citizen, 
Mopsey Mumps, Esq., and that the modest but aspiring young- 
suitor had cast a timid, but signiiicant glance at the blushing- 
maiden ; that Farmer Brown's exceedingly gifted housewife 
had appeared at meeting in a highly tasteful linsey-woolsey 
dress, spun from home-raised linen and wool, woven, dyed, 
patterned, cut out, sewn and ornamented by her OAvn cunning 
hands ; and what more there were of such curious and edifying- 

That an event of such far-reaching importance to the citi- 
zens of Brookfield, as the opening of a '' Course in the Science 
of Grammar," under the auspices of Caleb Amos, Esq., the far 
famed Professor of Lexicography, A. B., LL.I)., &c., should 
escape the hundred eyes of the ^iri/ns, was of course out 
of the questio-.i. If it had, l)y any accident, done so. there 
was the patriotically inclined Caleb Amos to prevent so deplor- 
able an omission of duty. For this deserving benefactor of 
ignorant humanity, nnndful of the Savior's injunction, was not 
dis])ose(l to hide his liglit under a bushel, but meant it to shine 


ItriLihtlv ill tlic L'vos of in;uikiii(l. To this end he souolit out 
the editor of the •• Ciii-oiiiele of tlie Soutlnvest," and imparted 
to him the iilad tidinys of tlie blessin,<>-s in store for the l>e- 
iii»>hted Itaekwoodsnien. And the •• ChronieU' " sounded its 
trumpet, spreadiny- the news in bold disphty of type and 
eml)ellislied with a profusion of exchimation points (at a low 
lioure, and with a discount for cash) so that no reader of the 
Ozark ^Injus need lie ignorant of tlie merit of the new system, 
nor of the fame and liio-h sounding- titles of C'alel) Amos. Esq., 
Professor. A. B.. LL.D.. &c. 

Precisely at the appointed hour of the day llxed for the 
momentous event, the ding-dong: of the bell in the cupola of 
the hotel announced the beginning of the •' Course in the 
Science of (Grammar." Thanks to the trumpet-tong-ued prom- 
ulgations in the Ozarl: ^irc/vs, the i)articipants had increased 
to such a numlier that no room in town was sulticient to con- 
tain them, and the court house was put in requisition. To the 
c(_)urt iiouse, then, at the lirst tap of the Ix'll, trooped the 
embryo grammarians, among them sons and daughters of well- 
to-do farmers of the vicinity ; boys and girls, misses in their 
teens and virgins of riper years, as well as youths and young 
men. Leslie May was there Avith his sister Nellie, and the 
full complement of their male and female comrades. P^mily 
Matlack eml traced her •■ sweet friend " Xellie with gush and 
ostentation, while Hettie Shannon, a brown-eyed, dark-com- 
plexioned lieauty of sixteen, gave her S(jft Itrown hand to the 
brother, inquiring anxiously after his health, and after the 
health of all the dear friends at May Meadows. Leslie squeezed 
the little hand and made a motion as if to carry it to his lips. 
whereat the little lady uttered a small scream, and Leslie moved 
away to speak to other ladies. It appeared to ^'ictor, who 
patiently w^aited at a distance for an opportunity to speak to 
the brother and sister, as if Leslie were a decided favorite 
among the fair ones. He noticed that he had a friendly word 
for each, and now and tlien a Idushing cheek or a sparkle of 
the eye gave token of the pleasure he conferred. As soon as 


he cauo-ht sioht of \'ictor, hv stepped forward and seized him 
l)y the arm. 

"• Come, my l>ov." he said pleasantly, '* we are about to 
embark for a voyaiie on the Ocean of Science, and it will l>e 
well for yon to make the acquaintance of some of your felloAv- 
voyaoers." Whereupon he introduced Victor to a number of 
the l)ystanders with many a jocose remark. Victor ascribed 
the politeness witli which he was received to the popularity 
of his friend. 

Nellie, too, was suiTounded hy a bevy of young- girls, so 
that she was dillicult of a})[)roach. Jiut when Leslie had 
released his arm, to speak to some young farmers that had just 
entered, Victor ell)owed his way toward her, and Nellie came 
to his assistance by calling out to him as sc^on as she saw him. 
•' Why. how do you do, Mr. A\'aldhorst? Come right along: 
1 have some news for you fiom May Meadows, which, J am 
sure, will interest you." 

But l)efore she had time to impart to him the '^ interesting 
news " from May Meadows, the tinkling of a l)ell in the hands 
of the teacher connnamled attention. The buzz of general 
conversation ceased, and the pu])ils seated themselves on 
benches and chairs, as they happened to find them. Caleb 
Amos began his lecture. He sketched the plan u[)on which 
he pro2)Osed to conduct the studies, and begged the pujiils to 
give their undivided attention to the matter before them. 
"Business V»efore pleasure."' he said. '■ This is a sound and 
thoroughly American maxim, and we will scrupulously observe 
it, and may then exj)ect a highly satisfactory result. For my 
(jwn reminiseenci's of the rosy time of youth are not so far 
faded, but that 1 can heartily sympathize with the innocent 
pleasures of young people. And I see before me so much youth 
and beauty, so nuu-h intelligeiu-e and manliness in the faces of 
future citizens of our Repul)lic, that I |n'omisc myself many 
pleasant hours in their company. Now. then, for business! " 

Tt was (>vident that his words had produced a favorable 
impression. •• Ilunibug! " Leslie whispered; but his loudly 


clappiiiij; hniuls uavc tlu' si<>;ii;il ior univcisnl iipphiusc, in 
which the snuiUest hoys iiuidc the greatest uoisi', and even tlu- 
hulies (lid not refuse to Join. 'I'his ])ro('ce(liiio- ustonisiied 
Victor. It was (jnite dilTeri'iit from tiie prouram \\v h:id ex- 
pected; but as he saw timt the ti-aciici' sch'uhmI [)ic;iscd with tiie 
approbation ol' liis pupils, he, too, elai)|)ed his hands : tor 
Caleb Amos had won his hearty goodwill. 

The plan of tuition was based on '• Kirkhain's Lectures on 
(4raiuniai-." (from which the teacher had also borrowed the 
com])arison of the orannnatical classification of words with 
military oriianization ) commencing with an essay on the j)hi- 
losophy of language in general, and then proceeding to discuss 
the system and peculiarities of the English language. Caleb 
Amos had not a more attentive or more diligent pupil tiiaii 
Victor Waldhorst. 

IJnt, gratifying as was the |)rogress he made in his studies, 
it gained him neither esteem nor goodwill among his class- 
mates. The fewest of them were disposed to study with the 
close application demanded l)y the teacher and liis system. 
Many attended the class for the sole purpose of " having a 
good time," as Nellie and Leslie had suggested, bv meeting, 
under pretense of studying, with j(^lly peoj)le of their own and 
the other sex. Of course, tlie deportment of these was in 
contrast with that of Victor, which was felt by them as a silent 
but irksome reproach. And when, one day, the teacher took 
occasion to publicly praise him and hold him up to the class 
as an example for imitation, it drew down upon him the ill-will 
of them all. Even Nellie, whose existence he, in the fervor of 
his zeal, had almost ignored since the opening of the class, 
and who had waited in vain for him to demand of her the 
interesting news from May ^Meadows which she had promised 
him, felt provoked. It was a new experience to her to be 
slighted and to see her advances i)assed by unnoticed. And 
as she was conscious of having rather distinguished him bv 
her favor, she felt his indifference, and the publich' expressed 
praise of the tea<;her, almost as a personal gricAance. 


When, tlu'i'i'forc, Iut s(.';it-in'iglil)or, Miss Kiiiily Matlack, 
poiitiuiily ivniavked, "How l)ig that a^awkv Diitclnnau must 
think liiiuselfl " Nellie nodded vig-orously. and added: "The 
scare-crow!" And as pooi- Mctor's lioiiri> occurred to her, 
as he had presented himself hel'ore iier after her encounter with 
the runaway lioises. she shook witli suppn-ssed merriment. 
The consecpience was. tiiat siie had to ivlate tiie occurivnce to 
iier intimate friend. nucU-r the injunction, of course, of tlie 
strictest secrecy. Nellie possessed a lively imagination and 
great talent in rehiting a story, and so iier intimate fi'iend was 
vastly annised. Tlie audil)le titter and ciuickling of the latter 
aroused tile curiosity (»f lu'r intimate fi'iend on her other side, 
and as tlu' tiling was too good, under present circumstances, to 
keep, slie related it to Ilettie Sliannon, of course under 
injunction of strict secrecy. And as Ilettie had another 
intimate friend, and so on. \'ictor"s adventure, listened to by 
a lot of young and tlioiigiitless peo|)le, most of wliom liad, just 
then, a feeling of resentment against him, had soon made tlie 
round of tlie class, not without having gained, on the way, in 
[)i(iuancy and orna.mentation, to add zest to it, according to 
the taste of the individual chaiuiel through which it passed. 
Neither Caleb Amos, nor the unsuspecting ^'ictor, could account 
for the ri])ph's of merriment all around, the eager whisperings, 
and halt siii)pressed laughter. But Nellie, if it really had 
been her intention to humble her (lerman friend, had accom- 
])lished more than she had, bargained for in telling that little 
story aljout the scare-crow. 

On the very next day the teacher took occasion to congrat- 
ulate the whole class upon tlii' progress made by each and all 
of them ; he was proud of their acliievements, and expressed 
what he termed a well-grounded li()])e, that each (Jiie would 
become an excellent grammarian. IJut befort' entering on the 
next division of the text-book, he |)roposed to recapitulate 
what they had already gone over, so as to thoroughly jirepare 
them for the lessons to follow. Ih' suggested that this could 
be best accomplished by means of an examination ; and in 


order to cxcilc m spirit of ciiuihition. and also iiivi'sl the pro- 
(•eedini>- witli a hiuiici' intcrol. lie ])roposcd to cnlivcii it l)y a 
l)ar»siii*i' iiiMtcli. so tliat any nuv failinii" to answer ])roperly 
should 1)0 •• turned down "' liy tlie next one who ii-ave a correct 

The proposition was i-eceived witli apphiusc. 

••It remains now to detei'nn'ne.'" said the master. •• liow tlu' 
hidies and gentlemen propose to ])e seated tor the start. It 
wouUl he dillicuh. it not iini)ossible, to arrunoe you all accord- 
ing to your proliciency. J have therefore concluded that you 
should tortile l)ei>inning Ite seated by lot. To that end I have 
l)repared a number ot ])aper slips which I will ])lace in a hat. 
correspondiuii: to the number of pupils, each containino; a num- 
l)er ; of these each of you will draw one, and take the seat 
indicated by the number he or she has drawn. Let me request 
you, ladies and gentlemen, n(.)t to open your papers until the 
drawiuiJ- is concluded." 

The teacher then called the names in the order in which they 
were entered on the subscription list, hence ^'ictor took the 
lirst i)aper, with which he withdrew without openino; it, mind- 
ful of the teacher's request. Leslie was less scrupulous. The 
triunq)h visilde in his features lietrayed that he had secured a 
small numl)er. Nellie could not V)e expected to behave more 
discreetly than her elder l)rother, and she also peei)ed into the 
pai)er she had drawn. Hut what she saw there brouo-ht no 
smile to her face. There was a very perceptilde pout, rather, 
and A'ictor, whom she asked as she passed him, to show her 
his number, thought he detected a tremor in her voice. 

'' I have not looked at my luimber." he answered, •' l)ecause 
the teacher did not wish us to." 

" I did." said Nellie, showing him her number, which 
proved to l»e one of the highest. "See what luck I had I " 
she added. •• I dare say that you have l)een more fortunate." 
A scowl darkened her lovely face, and a sinister expression, 
as of envy, for a moment disfigured the mouth that \'ictor 
thought so sweet wlien it smiled. It pained him to sch' her 


so impatient. Acting upon a sudden inijjulse, he said, with 
a sparkle in his dreamy eyes, '' Will you do me a great favor, 
Miss May? " 

'' What can 30U want of nic? "' she asked in return. 

" I have not seen my luimber; it may be a higher one than 
yours. But 1 would like to exchange with you." 

'• Ydii want to swap with mp:* " she exclaimed in blaniv 

" Yes, if you please." 

Victor was electrilied by the briglit snule tliat suddenly 
lighted up lier face. * " Here," she said, '■ take my a])omin- 
able ticket. Yours caimot be worse." 

She hastily opened the i)aper that Victor gave lier, and he 
heard again that sweet voice in the silvery laughter that he 
knew so well. '^ Xumlier one I " she proclaimed in high glee, 
holding uj) the paper for inspection, and dancing with it from 
friend to friend. " I've got the liead ])lace and I mean to 
keej) it I " 

Victor's pleasure, though not so demonstrative, was |)er- 
haps fully as intense as Nellie's, in s])ite of the conviction, 
ruefully entertained, that lie had now barred himself of the 
chance of attaining a high rank in the parsing match. 

When all the tickets had been drawn, the examination began. 
At first there was much merriment Avhen anyone liad to give 
up his place to a more fortunate comjjetitor ; l)ut the interest 
excited l)y the rivalry soon became so intense as to exclude 
every other consideration. Save a few of the most indolent ones, 
all exerted their utmost al)ility to maintain their places, or turn 
down some one al)Ove them. Victor, originally one of the last, 
advanced rapidly, until he reached somewhere near the middle 
of the class ; his progress then became more and nioi'e diffi- 
cult, because those above him were more experienced scholars. 
Among the latter were Nellie and Leslie. The brother had 
advanced until lie occupied the seat next to liis sister, who on 
her part bravely maintained the place of honor at the head of the 
(rlass, having siiccessfidly answei'ed every (jiiestion pul lo her. 


Oiiee, when it was lier turn, the teacher asked, " How are 
absti'aot nouns usually distinouislied from their adjectives? " 
Simple as the (luestion seemed. Nellie was at fault. 

" Well, Miss May."' the teacher said encouragiuii'ly, " surely 
you can tell us that?" But he was mistaken : Nellie could 
not ffive the information, and after the ominous '' ( )ik' — two — 
three I " spoken, [)erhap.s, a shade more lingeringly than usual, 
he added. •• Why, then, Miss INIay. you will have to tjive up 
the place of honoi' ti> your brother." 

lint Leslie could not. or would not, at least did not, deprive 
his sister of iier preference. '• 1 don't know I '' he answered 
curtly, when the question came to him. 

'• Well, this is stranoe," said the teacher. " Next I " 

But neither the next nor a number of those following, gave 
the answer. 

Miss Hettie Shannon, when the cpiestion was put to her, 
answered timidly: •' By their meaning! 

" Very good I " said the teacher. '' One knows a lady by 
her — being a lady. But that does not answer the question. 
Next: " 

Victor watched the proceeding with eager interest. His 
face colored with excitement. He thought he knew the an- 
swer which the master expected, and was astonished that 
no one el^e had thought of it. If it should coine his 
turn — " 

The next answer was wrong again. ]Mr. Caleb Amos grew 
impatient. •• Miss Matlack, do you clear u[) the matter." he 
said, as he came u\) to her. •' How — " 

" By the form," answered the young lady. 

" Well,"' exclaimed the teacher, •'•that is something. But 
the goose has a form as well as the swallow ; and by the test 
you have given us we would not be able to distinguish one 
from the othei'. Next ! '" 

Victor's heart beat violently in breathless suspense. \\'hen 
the cpiestion reached his next neighbor, lie was almost sure 
that the answer would come : for he had been told that this 


young man had been a student at a colleg-e for some years. 
But Kalpli Favton, instead of answering the question, seemed 
disposed to (juarrel witli the teacher. 

" A swallow is distinguished from the goose, among other 
things, by its tail," he exclaimed, to the great amusement of 
the class. " IJut I fail to see that either adjectives or nouns 
have tails." 

''You do?" counter-(|Ucried the l^rofessor, opening wide 
his eyi's, and betraying surprise l»y the inilection of his voice. 
"' You must l)e exceedingly averse to ligurative language, or 
jiossess a tame imagination. I see no impropriety in com})aring 
sullixes of words with lails. \\\\-,\\ think you. ]\Ir. ^>'aldhorst ? 
How— " 

Victor. trenil)ling with excitement, fairly jumped from his 
seat, and shouted before the question was linisju'd. •' liy the 
end-syllable n-e-s-s I " 

■• You sec," the master spoke up. '• ^Ir. U'aldhorst has 
saved the honor of the class. He has discoveri'd the tail of 
abstract nouns, and so raised himself to the head <jf the class. 
Take yoxxY seat at the right hand of Miss INIay." 

Victor complied with palpitating heart and Hushing cheek. 
His blazing eyes were bent to the (loor ; but he could not con- 
ceal the exultant triumph that radiated from them. Both 
Nellie and Leslie welcomed him with pleasant smiles and 
encouraging nods, and when he sat down by the side of Nellie, 
the young conqueror was reveling in unalloyed bliss. 

But he was not long to enjoy his triumph. Energetic whis- 
pers were heard all around the circle of i)Ui3ils, which soon 
swelled into open expressions of discontent and anger. " It 
is not right I " was plainly heard. " The teacher is partial — 
He helped him — He always did favor the Dutchman — This 
foreignt'r siia'nt make fools of us — \\v won't stand it ' — and 
other like accusations and criminations were heard on all sides. 
The temper of the pupils was wrought up to a |)itch threaten- 
ing ojx'u revolt. Let the teacher connnand silence never so 
authoi'itatively, — he succeeded in (pielling the uproar for brief 


moments only, and then it vvonid break out anew witli increased 
violence. In vain he appealed to their self-respect and sense 
ol' dignity : in vain to his antlunity as teaciier. •• You liave 
abused your autliority 1 " Ralph l*ayton exclaimed in a loud 
voice. '■ Uy your silly metaphor of the word tails you indi- 
cated to your pet the answer you wanted, and heli)ed him to 
an honor which is a shame and a disg-race to him and to you." 
The speaker was uot a popular member of the class. A 
show of haughty reserve, as Avell as a considerable degree of 
self-conceit, which he took no pains to conceal, had madi' him 
more opponents than friends. But in giving- vent to his spite 
against the young " Dutchman " he had expressed the feeling 
ni)perinost, just then, in the minds of most of the i)ui)ils, and 
they heartily applauded him. 

'^And besides," the young orator went on, emboldened by 
the success that had attended his first speech, '• your question 
and the answer to it were equfilly false and absurd. Abstract 
nouns have no connnon ending. It was nonsense to say that 
they ended in ' ness '. And the promotion of the Dutchman 
for giving such an answer is a shame, and an insult to free and 
independent Americans. ' ' 

The -'free and indei)endent Americans" i)resent in the 
class, including the fairer half of them, expressed their sym- 
pathy with the sentiment uttered l)y the speaker, by vociferous 
applause. Victor was at a loss to understand all this commo- 
tion. The teacher lost the coolness and self-possession so 
necessary for the control of an assemblage under excitement, 
though it be but of school-lioys. He permitted himself to be 
betrayed into an angry reply, undertaking to defend both the 
(question and the answer as perfectly correct, and designated 
the statement of the sjieaker as a pitiful attempt to cover his 
own defeat. This added fuel to the liames of discontent; for 
Ralph Payton's accusation gave a color of justice to the assault 
upon Victor, without which the clamor against the latter might 
seem to arise out of envious jealousy. Hence the attack on 
Payton's position was equivalent to an attack on their own 


conduct. ••Payton is riorht I " resounded through the hall. 
"We will not suffer him to he insulted I "' And a voice, 
louder tluin the rest, shouted: " Jt is a disgrace to our class, 
to have at its Iteatl a iniserMhle Dutch abolitionist and — scare- 
crow I ' ' 

Victor, notwithstanding tlie warning received from Colonel 
May on the sul)ject of aliolitionism, was not aware of the full 
extent of the insult intended. Jiut the word " scare-crow " 
wounded him deeply. lie cast an invohuitary glance at his 
neighbor, as if lookiug for explanation from her. She dro])ped 
her eyes before his appealing glance, while a Hood of scarlet 
suffused her face and neck. Hut (luickly looking n\) again, 
her eyes met liis untlinchingly, and with her sweetest smile she 
Avhispered: "Don't be angry I I have been silly and thought- 
less, liut that fellow," she continued, throwing her eyes with 
a withering glance in the direction of the last speaker, •• is 
low and mean. I hope you will care as little for his cowardly 
insult, as for my thoughtless folly." 

In the earnestness of her request, she had placed the tips of 
her lingers on his arm, and Victor felt a thrill of delight at the 
soft pressure. He knew not what answer to make, nor was 
there time to say anything; for Leslie, — who had jumped up 
on hearing the word " abolitionist," and placed himself in 
front of Victor, as if to shield him against harm, — now spoke 
loudly, but without passion or excitement : 

'' Boys, it is my opinion, that the greatest shame and disgrace 
to our class is to forget what we owe ourselves and to our teacher. 
In the presence of the ladies, tool Let us, before the gentler 
sex, at least, behave like gentlemen, and not like silly school- 
boys who are put out because somclxxly I'lsc has learned liis 
lesson better." 

Leslie's words met with favorable reception. The noise 
subsided percei)tilily. liut l)efore the master could folloAV u]) 
tiie advantage so gained, and restore order, Orlando .Tones, 
who had spoken the offensive words, again arose, and said: 

•■ Li'slie Mav. \«)u ouuht to be the last one to undertake the 

YoK lue u liiir ! " N'ictor iiuiiud buck. 


defense of a sneaking spy, who stirs up your father's slaves to 
disobedience and revolt, — who in his own person, teaches 
tlieni to read and to write, — an outlandish rudlan, who don't 
know anythinii- about propriety and decency, and who lias 
shamefully insulted your own sister." 

This was more than ^'ict()r could stand. lie was stunned 
at the audacious perversion of the affair in the negro cabin, 
shocked at being called a s[)y and a rultian ; but to be accused 
of indecency, and more than all, of having insulted Miss 
iMay, — here in the ])resence of the young lady herself, befoi'e 
the whole class — this could not ])e tolerated. Forgetting all 
else in his intense indignation, he leaped to his feet and 
shouted, his eyes Hashing with wrath, his voice trembling with 
passion: — •' This is an infamous lii- 1 And he who says it, is 
an infamous liar I " 

Orlando .bnies, as the backwoods code of honor i)rescril)ed, 
nuist chastise the offender on the spot. He {)romptly stepjjed 
forward with clenched hsts and threatening gestures, 

"Who do you call a liar I " he yelled hercely. "Take 
l)ack that word or I'll knock your teeth down your insolent 
tlu'oat !" 

^ Yon are a liar I " Victor hurled l)ack. •• You and auy- 
Ijody who says that 1 intentionally insulted Miss May." 

Young Jones drew back his arm for a blow at Victor. But 
Victor, whose blood was boiling, anticipated him. He was not 
an adept in the noble art of boxing; had never been engaged 
in a list-light in all liis life. 13ut he was in a furious passion, 
and sprang blindly at his antagonist, dealing him a ))low in 
the face that felled him to the floor. At this moment Halpli 
Payton rushed up. evidt'utlv to the rescue of his fallen [)ar- 

" Back I " was heard the loud, but still unim[)assioned, and 
therefore all the more authoritative voice of Leslie. '• Fair 
play I Let these two light out their quarrel, Ralph Payton : 
and if your list itches for a light, try it on me I 

••Let him come I " shouted Victor. "He wh(j lies is a 


coward, and I am not uirnid of all the liars in the ela«s. if they 
are as bio-, every one of them, as the oiant CJoliathI 

Victor could not have adopted more ellicient means to secnre 
the respect of his fellow-pupils, than this display of }>ersonat 
intrepidity. Many of the old settlers remembered the time 
when prudence and v:\lor were indispensable re([uisites for the 
})rotection of life and i)ro])erty aoainst treacherous and cruel 
enenues, and courage was still looked on as the chief manly 
virtue. \'ictor knew notliiu<>- of this, nor that lie was brave or 
couraoeous. Jiut Hal[)h I'ayton knew it, and saw to his cha- 
grin that so far the assault on the foreiofner had resulted to his 
decided advautao-e. And Orlando Jones knew it, and felt the 
disgrace of defeat all the more keenly. 

Threatening dire vengeance he arose from the lloor. He 
permitted himself, with feigned resistance, to V)e led away, 
rej)eating when beyond the reach of Victor's long arms, his 
slanderous charges, counting on the popular intolerance against 
abolitionism, and emphazing \'ictor's low instincts. " You 
have all seen," he cried when at a safe distance, '' how this 
rowdy attacked me like an assassin. That proves the truth of 
what I say, that he is a dangerous abolitionist, who will bring 
bloodshetl and servile insurrection into the land. I tell you he 
is ripe for the penitentiary. For a monster wIkj will assassi- 
nate a defenseless num uuawares, and disgi-ace a harmless 
girl, is capal)le of any crime." 

Again Mctor's passion carried him Iteyond control. He 
tore away from those surrounding him and rushed upon his 
adversary, striking at him in blind fury. Jones scarcely re- 
sisted, seeking only to i)rotect his face and head against the 
weighty blows that Victor's arm indicted. 

" Enough I " Jones presently shouted, thus proclaiming his 
defeat. Victor ought now to have desisted ; but he was 
lamentably ignorant of the code nmong tlie backwoodsmen, 
and kei)t pounding his adversaiy in di'liaiice of code and 

" Ahl " and •• Oh I " came from the lips of some of the 


timid fair ones; •' shame I " and •• mercN I '" fi'oiu othei's. 
The teacher, in tiuinder tones, eonnnanded order: but \'i('tor 
heard liini not. Ralph Payton au^aiu spranu' ti> the rescue oJ' iiis 
l)arty friend, and a<>ain Leslie interposed, di'niandinii- fair play. 

" Do you eall that fair phiy when the up])er man heats the 
one that is down, afti'r he has aeknowledfivd his defeat ? " 

Leslie saw that Payton was riuht. " Jt is enouo'h now, 
Vietorl " he saicL l>ut \'ietor still heard not. lie was liter- 
ally beside himself with furious passion. 

Nellie had witneissed the contest with sparkling eyes and in 
l)reathless suspense. Her sympathy was evidently with Victor ; 
but when she saw that he continued to beat his opponent after 
he had said •• enough I " her l)rows contracte(L and she shook 
her head in decided disaj)proval. Then she sprang forward, 
laid her hand on Victor's arm, and said: " That will do, Mr. 
^yaldhol•st. You must not strike a man after he says 
' enough.' " 

The touch of that little hand at once paralyzed Victor's arm. 
He stood speechless and motionless while Orlando .Tones made 
good his retreat, and gazed at the intrepid gii'l. 

The whole affair had lasted probably not longer than a 
minute or two ; but to Victor it seemed an age since he had 
conquered the place at the head of the class, and the privilege 
to sit by the side of Nellie. And now she stood there, looking 
at him so reproachfully. With the return of his self-possession 
came the bitter self-accusation, that by giving way to his pas- 
sion he had forfeited the esteem of his friends — that he 
proved himself guilty of the ruffianism with which Ralph Payton 
and Orlando Jones had charged him. 

" Par-don me I " he stammered, manfully fighting back the 
tears that would force themselves into his eyes, as if taking 
advantage of the weakness and depression that followed the 
tension of his nerves during his late excitement. " I — I — 
meant not to insult you I " 

"Of course not I " spoke Nellie, in her clear, bell-like 
voice, so as to attract general attention. " I know von, Mr. 


Waldliorst, for a thorouo-h o-entlonian and a brave hero, who 
saved my life at the peril of his own."" And ha vino- thus 
made ample re})aratioii for the unintentional injury she had 
done him, she held out her hand to him and said ?' cornel " 

He followed her, not able to thank her in words. Before 
they reached their seats he heard Leslie say, also addressino; 
the whole class : 

" I deem it my duty to add a word in justiiication of my 
friend. It has been [)ulili(tly charged here that he is an abo- 
litionist, and carries on illicit intercourse with my father's 
negroes. I can give a shrewd guess at the source whence this 
infamous slander emanates. The originator of it is a dastardly 
liar, whoever he is. The disseminator is a no less dastardly 
slanderer. One such has to-day received well-deserved chas- 
tisement at the hands of my friend, and the like treatment 
awaits all that may follow the slanderer's example. 1 wish to 
add, that whoever doubts my word in this matter, may say so, 
and I am ready to settle with him at any time or ])lace, as soon 
as the class will be dismissed." 

In speaking the latter words, Leslie cast a look of deliance 
at Ralph Pay ton, of which that gentleman chose to take no 

"And now, fellow students," concluded Leslie, " let us, 
with the j)ermission of our highly honored teacher, give a hur- 
rah to the young man who by his natural capability and indef- 
atigable diligence, has won the lirst place in our class, and 
by his personal courage and prowess has won our respect and 
esteem. Hip — hip — hurrah ! Hurrah ! Hnrrah ! ! ! " 

The class — at least the great majority of them — heartily 
responded. The ladies were not tardy in their demonstra- 
tions. Miss Emily Matlack and Miss Ilettie Shannon waving 
their handkerchiefs almost as enthusiastically as did Nellie 
May; even the teacher smiled approliation. When the noise 
had subsided, the latter declared the class dismissed for the 
day, and admonished the {Hipils to return jjromptly in the 
morniuii' for the renewal of their studies. 



bt; IC'TOK left the court house iu :i state of bewiklennent 
\w// brought on by eonllieting emotions. Elation over his 
' signal success in the class ; shame and poignant dis- 
tress at thought of the spectacle he had made of himself Ijy 
giving way to his passion ; exultant delight over the decided 
partiality shown him by Nellie and Leslie, — all these con- 
tended for the mastery in his bosom. And above it all the 
puzzling experience, that he had been most applauded for that 
of which he was most ashamed, — the disgraceful broil witli 
Orlando Jones. Not even the teacher had reprimanded him 
for his unseemly violence I Jiut he felt keenly the humiliation 
that lay in Nellie's gentle rebuke. What must she have 
thought of his temper, and of his manuers, to lind it necessary 
to remind him of his cowardice toward a helpless adversary I 

The l)rotlier and sister had cordialh' invited him to accom- 
l)any them to May Meadows. It needed very little coaxing 
to induce him to accept the tempting invitation. He felt that 
nothing would so effectually restore his mental equililirium, as 
the delightful companionship of his young friends. 

"Tell me, Victor," said Leslie with a jocular smile, when 
all three were on their way to the Colonel's residence, " were 
you born with a caul, and did some benevolent fairy stand god- 
mother at you baptism? That was a happy inspiration, this 
morning, that prompted you to the one only course to stop the 
mischievous gadding of those rowdies in the class. I confess, 
that I was always afraid that your excessive modest}', the like 
of which no maiden in Vernal County is blessed with, would 
ruin your prospects in life, at least before the public. But 



to-dav you luive convinced mc, that yon liavc tlic stuff in you 
for a politician who Avill lind \'ernal County too narrow, some 
day, for his a.niV)ition.'" 

This swct'ijino- anuounccniciil startled and puzzled Mctor. 
He was afraid his friend Avas (piizziny- him. " What is a pol- 
itician? " he incpiired. 

'■ Wliat a question I " exclaimed Leslie. " ^^liy, politician 
comes from politics. A politician is a man who engages in 

"• Papa is a politician, is he not? " suggested Nellie. 

" I should think so ! " the young man asserted. "And 
what a politician I He has made most wonderful progress 
in the line art of humbugging since this campaign began." 

" Is humbugging the height of a politician's art? " Victor 
inquired naively. 

"■ Why, of course! " Leslie answered promptly, regarding 
his companion with an amused smile. " A politician goes in 
to win; and to win, he must stand in with the people. If he 
wants an office, he must make the honest voters believe that 
he accepts it from motives of sheer patriotism, at great per- 
sonal sacrifice to himself ; and he Avheedles them into voting 
for him by promising all sorts of impossible things, — that the 
millennium will come, if they only will elect him, — and such — 

" Then your father is not a politician I " Victor proclaimed, 
with an air of conviction that precluded doubt. 

" Well, and why not? " 

" Because INIr. May is too thoroughly a gentleman to do so 
dishonorable a thing! " Victor responded with enthusiasm. 

Nellie gave him a proud and grateful look, while Leslie, 
looking a little ashamed, cordially shook him by the hand, 
saying " I think you are right, \'ictor. In that view of the 
case, the governor is not, perhaps, a politician. But we are 
so in the habit of using the word to describe a man who makes 
a business of politics ; who hangs out the show-bill of patriot- 
ism, and makes of patriotic party platforms so many cloaks 


for liis ainhitious, or ('(n'l'toiis. Inil alwnys sc'llisU (.'uds. Is not 
that luunhug':' " 

'' And why do you think that 1 will bi' a successful politi- 
cian? " ^'ictor asked. 

" You prove it just now by dealing nie this poser^" said 
Leslie, laughing-. '' It would be diiticult, indeed, to imagine 
you as dealing in hypocrisy or humbug, or believe you capable 
of deceiving even a babe. But I am right, for all that. 
Wrong perhaps in applying the Avord in this sense, to the 
governor. And yet, has he not produced an infiuite amount 
of humbug and nonsense during this campaign? Let me re- 
mind you of the precious stuff he got off on the occasion of 
his introducing Professor Caleb Amos to the people of Brook- 
lield. But, my friend," he added, turning with smiling face 
to Victor, "there are politicians, also, in a nobler sense. 
.Statesmen, if you please, who devote themselves to the science 
of political economy ; who organize parties on political princi- 
l)les, and w'ho are as innocent of ottice-hunting, in the vulgar 
sense, as you or the governor. You would not object to being 
a politician in this sense, would you? " 

" Still, I cannot imagine how you connect my behavior to- 
day with this subject," Victor remarked. 

'• I will tell you," the other rejoined. " You were in a most 
critical predicament to-day. How near you came to being a 
victim to the base slanders of your jealous detractors, you 
probably never suspected, nor realize even now. People stand 
no tom-foolery in this part of the country from abolitionists, 
nor allow the negroes to be encouraged in their discontent and 
wild notions of bettering their condition. And that is just 
what they represented you as being and doing. That is why 
it pleased me so well to see you nip the foul conspiracy in the 
bud l)y an emphatic word and a stinging t^low, which at once 
made you the master of the situation." 

'' 1 can't imagine how that helped me I " said Victor, shaking 
his head dubiously. 

•• lint I can see! " Nellie exclaimed eagerlv. " It was a 


mean thing of Orlando Jones to state publicly what I had 
meant for a harmless joke, to an intimate friend, and then to 
pervert it so shamefully, and make a public accusation of it. 
And so everybody was glad that you thrashed him for it." 

" Let it be a lesson to you, my giddy-headed little sister, to 
keep that unruly tongue of yours under better control! " 
moralized the liig brother. 

"I know I You needn't preach me a sermon alxjut it," 
said Nellie, trying honestly but with indifferent success, to 
put a sober expression on her face. 

" liut that wasn't the main thing," said Leslie. "That 
was only a private affair between you and Nellie — " 

" But it Avas an infamous lie I " Victor shouted, with return- 
ing indignation. 

" Of course it was I " Leslie assented. "• And your tower- 
ing i>assion and the energy with which you hurled the lie at 
him, showed uj) not only this infamy, but also — and that was 
of greater importance — the utter groundlessness of the cock- 
and-bull story about the negroes. And this is what 1 meant, 
when 1 said that you had the stuff in you for a thorough poli- 
tician, who knows how to do the right thing at the right time." 

" Ah," said Victor, with an admiring glance at the little 
lady and her brother, and blushing with pleasure, " it was not 
my doing that rescued me from disgrace, but yours. Miss May, 
and yours, Leslie. You both stood by me so bravely, and 
everybody admires and loves you so nuich, that for your sake 
they finally pnt up with me also. Plow immensely popular you 
are I " 

" I hope you are right I '" said I^eslie, laughing. •• A little 
popularity just now would not come amiss to the governor. 
The cam])aigu is getting hot, and there is no telling what the 
end will ]»e. It would be a deuced nuisance, if that sneaking- 
whig \\'a(l(lie were to beat him." 

"Your father?" (In a tone of incredulity.) "Why. 
surely, that cannot be. Kveryltody, I should think, is going 
to vote for Colonel Mnv." 


" ^V f(insuiiim:ili()ii dcvoiitlN to hi- wislied I "' (.'xcl:iiiiic(l the 
son. •• But I would unicli [)i'efer certainty to the liopi-. 'I'linl 
business about -lelTrevs is uo;ly. If only the oovernor were 
free to deal with him as he ought to be dealt with for his 
insolence I " 

'' With .Jeffreys, your overseer? " asked Victor, eaoerly. 

'•Why, yes," Nellie spoke up. •' Did I not tell you ;i 
week ago, that I had news to tell you from May JNIeadows tliat 
Avould interest you ? lint you never once came near me, so 
that I could tell." 

'* How stupid of me 1 " he replied, and then added eagerly: 
■ • Please tell me now . ' ' 

" It concerns you somewhat, also," Leslie answered for his 
sister. " Jeffreys insists on it that you were stirring up the 
negroes, were teaching them to read and write, and such 
nonsense, — well, about the same thing that rowdy Jones said 
in the class. Now the governor did not want to believe every- 
thing he said, and they quarreled. There were not many words, 
but pretty sharp ones. Jeffreys will have it that there must 
l)e exemplary punishment of the negroes. Among the rest, 
he wants Cressie publicly Hogged. He says that she is one of 
the worst ringleaders, and openly defied his authority. But 
Cressie belongs to sister Nellie, and she has taken it int(j her 
head, that Cressie shall not be whipped, and the governor takes 
Nellie's view of the matter." 

" Don't you think it would be cruel and wrong to punish 
Cressie, just because the overseer is mad at something? " 
Nellie spoke these words with an inquiring look at Victor, as 
if she hoped, but was not quite sure, that he would agree 
with her. 

•' It would be the heiglit of tyrannic injustice! " the hitter 
exclaimed warmly. " But is not Colonel May tlie master? 
And if he will not permit this wrong to be done, does not that 
settle the matter? " 

" Under ordinary circumstances it would, of course," 
Leslie explained. " But Jeffreys is headstrong and vindictive. 


:uul thivatoiis to leave the place if he does not yet his way. 
If he makes o-ood his threat, of coiirse there will he a big row 
about it and all sorts of talk ainoiio- the peoj)le. Jeffreys will 
certainly put the matter in the worst ])ossil)le light, that is too 
plain U) be doubted. The whigs would make tremendous 
capital out of it, and defeat the governor almost to a certainty." 

'' How in the world can this thing injure your father? " 
(pieried Victor, in anxious surprise. " It is not wrong for a 
master to discharge a servant who will not obey, is it? And 
whose business is this, but his own? "' 

" 80 I say! " Nellie j)ut in. •• Papa must know Ijest what 
to do al)out his own affairs, and if he lets Mr. Jeffreys go, 
because they cannot l)otli be boss, nobody can object." 

'' No one," replied Leslie, speaking more soberly than was 
his custom, " who knows the facts of the case. On the con- 
trary, every one that will take the trouble to examine the facts 
at all, will say that he is right. But the (piestion is not so 
much whether he is right or wrong, but how to avoid a scand.-d 
that will certainly prove disastrous on the eve of the election." 

It troubled \'ictor to notice tlie seriousness of his friend 
Leslie, and he listened \\'ith a solicitude arising from a guilty 
feeling that his own im[)rudence had brought on all this trouble. 

Leslie continued: "You see, if Jeffreys is discharged, the 
whigs will take up his side of the story and magnify it so as 
to make it a hundred times worse than even Jeffreys now puts 
it. The governor will l)e held up as a renegade on the slavery 
(question, Avhich just now causes so much excitement all over 
the South. They will make him out a hypocrite, who secretly 
does that which he publicly i-ondenuis ; a traitor to the cause 
of the South, by permitting sedition and insurrection to be 
taught to the negroes of his own household, 'i'he discharged 
overseei' will pose as a martyr, who would rather sacrilice a 
})rolitable position than l)ecome a tool in the hands of a traitor 
to his country I Orlando Jones has shown you this very day. 
how t'asy it is to spivad lies, and how readily they are Itelieved." 

" Hut you have also shown how easy it was to put down Ihe 


lies!" Victor oxclaiined exultantly. •• A word Iroiii Miss 
Nellie, a simple statement l»y you, were sulHcient to sweep away 
their wel) of lies." 

" You lia[)[)en to he mistaken, young man," said Leslie. 
'' Your thundering • liar I ' and your ready list did that. But, 
you see," he continued, relapsing into the sober tone in which 
he had been speaking, '• we cannot lock up the whole body of 
voters in a schoolroom : nor can the governor demonstrate 
to them all with his list, that his enemies are lying. No 
harm can come to him from any one whom he can meet face 
to face ; danger threatens only from the lie that sneaks in the 
dark, like the snake in the grass that shuns the open light of 

They walked on in silence for a while, pondering the situa- 
tion. Presently Victor inquired, '" What has your father con- 
cluded to do in the matter? " 

'' Nothing as yet," answered Leslie. " liut 1 fear that he 
will yield to Jeffreys." 

"Yield! " Victor repeated, emphasizing the word so as to 
almost make Leslie blush. 

" AVill Jidre to yield," the latter added quickly. •• Would 
you have him throw away his chance for the election, just to 
shield a slave from a Hogging which she, ])erhaps, after all, 
deserves ? ' ' 

The young German shook his head dubiously, but made no 

They had now reached the grounds of May Meadows. In 
passing the place from which the negro quarters could be seen, 
Victor looked eagerly in that direction. He seemed to regard 
with his eyes the hut in which he had surprised the negroes 
reading the Bible. 

•* Cressie is not there," said Nellie, who liad followed the 
direction of his look, with a smile. " I ordered her to remain 
in the house until this matter is settled." 

"That will do C'ressie no good," Leslie remarked. "Jef- 
freys will not be tlnvarte<l in iiis [)urj)ose ])\ your opposition." 


"We shall see I " said Nellie, proudly lioldiiiiJ- up lier 
shapely head. 

Dinner was just about to be served at the mansion when 
they arrived there. Victor was kindly received, particularly 
by the Colonel, who had not long before returned from an 
electioneering; tour, and was in high spirits. He expressed his 
pleasure at seeing the young man as a guest at his table, and 
inquired about the progress he was making in his grammatical 
studies. Of course, Nellie at once launched into a narration 
of the important events that had transpired at the class. Her 
vivacious description, spiced with droll imitations, put the 
com}mny at the table in the pleasantest humor, and so engaged 
their attention, that none of them noticed how the entrance of 
Lucretia, who was waiting at table, affected the guest. He 
found the girl still more beautiful, if possible, in the full light 
of day, than when he had seen her by the flicker of the tallow- 
candle. She was of the same age as Nellie, but taller and 
more fully deVeloi)ed. The plainness of the garb she wore did 
not altogether hide the soft outlines of her voluptuous, Junonic 
form. Her whole appearance contrasted strongly with that of 
her sjjrightly, vivacious young mistress ; yet it seemed to 
Victor that the charms of each were heightened by the com- 
parison. Especially remarkable did he lind the features of the 
two maidens, when Lucretia stoo])ed by the side of her mis- 
tress to pass her some dish from the table, and brought the 
two faces into close juxtaposition, enabling him to note the 
hapi)y, child-like, yet piquant and highly intellectual look 
beaming from Nellie's clear grey eyes, in contrast with the soft, 
dreamy, almost plaintive expression characterizing the liquid, 
dark, yet lustrous eyes of the Octoroon. 

But it was not the ap})earance of the two girls that en- 
gaged Victor's busy thoughts. He pondered over the political 
necessity which subjected the faithful servant to the cruel 
caprice of a brutal hireling, uotwithstandiug the desire of a 
kind mistress to protect her. and the conviction of her master 
that she wns inuoccnt — Ix'caiisc the soveiTJon voters uiiuht 


choost' to look oil her inipuiuty as a proof of u tiv:isoiial)l(' 
heresy in the master, from wliom they must withhold their 

" Now seel " exclaimed the Colonel, with a pleasant lautih, 
as Nellie related the triumph achieved by Victor, in giving" tiie 
correct answer to the ([uestion that battled the rest of the 
class, '* What an honor for us to entertain the Corypheus of 
grammatical science at our table I " 

"Yes, indeed," Nellie continued; "and that was the 
smallest of his victories." And she went on to relate the 
remainder of the morning's experiences, interrupted now and 
then by a correction or explanation on the part of Leslie. 
The Colonel listened with attention, his interest in the narrative 
increasing when the slanderous charges against Victor were 
mentioned. His face took on a sober expression. When 
Leslie, who had assumed this part of the narration, mentioned 
the intrepidity with which Victor had met the charges and 
hurled the lie at the accusers, he threw^ an approving glance at 
the young man which brought a blush to his cheek. After 
listening with evident satisfaction to the further development 
of the fracas, he whispered a fcAv words into his wife's ear, 
whereupon the latter sent Lucretia on an errand resulting in 
her protracted absence. 

" It is high time," said the Colonel, after Lucretia had left 
the room, without lietraying h\ look or gesture, how much she 
would have liked to remain — •' it is high time that I should 
come to an understanding with -Jeffreys about that unpleasant 
dispute between us. I infer from what you related of the 
occurrence in the class, that he has already, partially at least, 
made good his threats. What those silly boys tattled out in 
the grammar school is l)ut the beginning of the attack on me. 
.Jeffreys has evidently spread the matter and colored it to suit 
his purposes. His plnu is to corner me by prejudicing the 
public opinion. It is a l)ad business 1 " There was a pause 
during which the Colonel thoughtfully paced the room. •• If 
only llie chM'tion were a little further off I " he ])res('ntly cim- 


tinned. " 1 haw but a single day to spare for Broolviield ; all 
the remainder of the time Ijetore the first Monday in Angnst 
is cnt ont for bnsiness elsewhere. And if this talk gets ont, 
my presence here will ]>e indispeusal)le."' 

" It is aggravating to think that this insolent Jeffreys is to 
have his own way, after all! " said Leslie. 

"I jnst hate him I " Nellie chimed in; and the cloud 
gathering upon her forehead looked even more portentous than 
that on her Ijrother's face. '' And I hoi)e that you will show 
him who is master here." 

" What do jioii think of this?" asked the Colonel, turning 
round toward Victor. 

'' I? " stammered the young man, disconcerted by the 
sudden (juestion. •• I cannot presume to express an opinion. 
1 cannot judge what your situation demands." 

'' But you liafp an opinion':' " 

" It is Avorth nothing to you." 

" Speak, nevertheless. I wish to know your opinion." 

•* I have spoken. You know Avhat I think," Victor said in 
a low voice, and with downcast eyes. 

" And do you persist in your view, after all I tolil you the 
other night about })ublic opinion in this country? " 

" I nuist repeat, that I cannot judge as to your })ersonal in- 
terests," said Victor, in almost a whisper, and under evidently 
Ijainful eml)arrassment. 

'' tSui)i)()sing that it will cost me my election if I discharge 
this Jeffreys? " 

" If the Octoroon girl is to be punished for learning to 
read," said Victor, with a rapid glance at Leslie and Nellie, 
who were both listening attentively, " or because she went in 
the night time to her uncle and mother, to read tlie J5ible to 
them, it is very cruel, but may be just, under your law. JJut 
if— " 

" Don't be so pathetic about the uncle and mother," the 
Colonel interrui)ted him with a smile. '' Xerxes is neither the 
uncle, nor Cassandra the mollier ol' Cressie. Tliat is a wa\' 


(larUic^ liuvc ol' tMlkiiiji' siboiit ciicii otlii'i'. (';iss:iii(lr:i was tin- 
nurse of Ci'ossic, as she was of Xcllie. I>ut — \\\va\ were 
you u'oiuii to say ? 

\'i('tor cast a basliful look al Nellie and eoiitiuued wilh 
downcast eyes: '^ IJut if the auger of JMr. Jeffreys is due to 
another cause, that is an honor to her, then lier jjunishnient 
would be a cruel and tyrannical mockery of justice'. And," 
he added, suddenly raising up his head and looking the 
Colonel full in tiie face, '' in such case you will not 
permit it." 

'•'■ Not even if I were to lose my election in consequence? " 
the Colonel asked him, with a look that puzzled Victor. 

'' Not even then I " he promptly exclaimed, his eyes spark- 
ling with eager enthusiasm. " But I do not understand how a 
simple act of justice should endanger your election." 

''Victor is right I " shouted Nellie, leaping to her feet. 
'' Papa is not afraid of Mr. Jeffreys, 1 know. Cressie has 
learned to read long ago, and no one has ever found fault with 
her for it; and papa is not going to have her flogged, just 
because Mr. Jeffreys wishes it." 

Colonel May looked at his children with a peculiar smile. 
" 1 think we will hear what Jeffreys has to say for himself," 
he remarked. '■ And you will oblige me by remaining," he 
added, as Victor rose to leave the room. '• What is about to 
transpire here, will hardly remain a secret. And then, you 
know, you are, in a measure, personally interested in the 

Jeffreys appeared. When he learned for what purpose he 
had been calletl, he cast a sinister glance at all present. His 
face assumed a sullen, almost defiant, expression when his eye 
fell on Victor. " Are all these to stay yere while we do our 
talkin' ? " he moodily inquired. 

"Mr. Waldhorst has done me the iionor to consent, at my 
request, to be present at our interview," said the Colonel, 
quietly. '* Your respective statements do not harmonize on 
all the facts of the case." 


" D^xi.' moan me to defend me words aoin tliis — Hessian? " 
asked the overseer, in a tone iK'traying- irritation. 

" Mr. Jeffreys, pray do not forget that Mr. A>'aldhorst is a 
guest at iny house, and a gentleman," said the Colonel, some- 
what severely. 

''Time was, when a sneakin' abolitioner wa'n't allowed to 
count fur a gentleman," said Jeffreys, with increased ill humor, 
" An' as to Ms bein' yur guest, 'e shamefully 'bused yer hos- 
pitality fur dirty doin's — " 

Victor sprang to his feet. He was about to utter his indig- 
nant protest, when the Coloiu'l interruj^ted liim and, with a 
peremptory gesture, demanded his silence. Then, turning to 
the overseer with the dignity of a Southern gentleman vindicat- 
ing the honor of his house, he sternly said: "Not another 
word, Mr. Jeffreys, of this kind. Remember that you are 
addressing me. and that there are ladies present." 

The connnanding attitude assumed l>y Colonel May, and the 
dignified emphasis of his voice, failed not of their effect. The 
overseer made an effort to moderate his inanner. ■' I'm real 
sorry," he said lowering his eyes before the keen glance of his 
master, " 'at nur me actions nur me words are to the likin' o' 
the ladies. I aint got the gift 'o tiatterin' speech : 'n' 1 like 
to name things be thar right names." 

" I learn from Mr. Waldhorst," the Colonel continued, 
"that on the evening in question, his curiosity led him to 
Xerxes' cal)in, where he found the negroes reading the 
Bil,le — " 

Jeffreys interrni)ted him with a scornful laugh, and the 
question " Is that what made "im blow out the* light r " 

" No interruptions, sir I " the Colonel exclaimed severely. 
'' You are aware, are you not, that the light was blown out by 
the negroes, because they feared to be discovered l)y you? 
Now, it is against orders for them to have a light in their 
cabin ; and it was w^'ong in Lucretia to go there without first 
obtaining permission from you. But the offense is not so 
orave a (jue as to call for the infliction of the lash — " 


"Oil," .Ic'l't'rcys ao'iiiii iiilcMrii])tO(l with :i iiKilicioiis siicoi', 
" 'twas all right fur that 'ere sassy wench 'ii tin' Hessian 
thar — " 

"Silence, sir! " exclainiecl the Colonel in a voice so stern 
as to awe the overseer into compliance. Upon a significant 
gesture from her husband, Mrs. May left the room, taking 
Xellie with her. " 1 had hoped," he then continued, " that 
the presence of the ladies would lie a sutiicient restraint upon 
your rudeness of speech: 1 was mistaken. You have made it 
l)lain enough what foul purj)ose you impute to Mr. Waldhorst's 
presence there, and with the mention of which you were about 
to insult the ladies. 1 now repeat to you, that your surmises 
are utterly without foundation. From this you may infer, that 
I do not deem the whole affair worthy of further notice. Let 
it drop right here." 

The overseer regarded his chief with unconcealed rage. 
" D'ye mean this fur yer List word? " he linally hissed out. 

" 1 have nothing to add to' it." 

" But me inllooence over the niggers '11 not be wuth shucks, 
if ye balk me in this way! " he cried with increasing wrath. 
" If 1 can't be 'lowed to have me own Avay, I can't be 
responsible fur the niggers — " 

" I will assume the responsibility," said the Colonel. 

" Then take the work too I " A look of tierce defiance, not 
unmixed with lurking triumph, accompanied these words of the 
overseer, which contained an open declaration of war ; for he 
deemed it impossible, under the circumstances, that his services 
would be dispensed with. 

" Yon mean — " 

" I mean," interrupted Jeffreys, giving full sway to his 
violent rage, " 'at I'm not goin' to stay at a place, whar the 
master takes sides 'ith the niggers agin' the overseer, 'n' whar 
the whim of a bal\v counts more nur the discipline of the 
slaves; 'n' whar' an outlandish 'venturer 's openly 'lowed to 
'pint randyvous with lewd nigger wenches — " 

" Enough! " the Colonel exclaimed. His brows contracted, 

11^2 ' rilE BE BEL'S DAUGUTEli. 

and liis eyes Hashed Ihivatciiiiiiilv. " Your iulauious suspicion 
proclaims unmistakably the source of your jealous rage. Jt is 
well, Mr. Jeffreys, that you are minded to (juit my service. It 
saA'es me the necessity of dischargina" you." 

•Jeffreys liad not t-ounti'd on being discharged. •' Are ye 
thinkin' o' the crops 'at hain't been put l»y yet? " he asked in 
a moderated tone. " 'N' 'at this is 'bout the bizziest season 
o' the year? " 

•'The negroes will luiA'e to get along without your superin- 
tendence," the master promptly replied. 

" 'N' now, with yer 'lection on hand, ye hain't got time to 
be lookin' after the niggers," the overseer suggested meekly. 

" Permit me to manage my own affairs," the Colonel re- 

.Teffreys saAV that he had gone too far. lie had deemed the 
threat of leaving sufUcient to compel compliance with his de- 
mand and was not i)repared for the contingency of its accept- 
ance. To Victor's unbounded astonishment, and immensely 
to his relief, the overseer changed his tone of defiance to one 
of almost cringing meekness, as he replied: "But lue time's 
uot up. J'm not goin' to leave ye Jest when ye need me 

" I have already indicated,'" the Colonel said quietly, '' that 
I deem myself capable of managing my own Vtusiness. You 
iteed not remain on my account." 

" But me contract binds me, 'n' gives me the right to stay 
vere till the crops are in in the fall. 1 shan't break me con- 
tract, nur 'low you ter break it." 

" Does that mean," asked the Colonel, " that you take back, 
without reserve, the threat to leave? " 

" Well, yes, if you want me to say so." 

" And you will obey my orders without gainsay? " 

" About the niggers? Well, yes, then. Say no more about 
'em. But ye'll have to take the consequences on yer own 

Victor had followed the conversation with intense interest. 

" Apologize — to him? To this greenhorn of ti Dutehniani:' " 


Hetwccii his indignation over tlic tliiciitcncd crui-lty 1o llic 
slaves, tlie etliical baseness of Avliieh lie felt all the more keenly 
l»y reason of the liioh esteem in whieh he held Colonel May 
and all his family, and the disastrous eonse(inenees to l)e ap- 
[)rehended from the vindietive .lelfreys if he should earry oul 
his threat, his feelinos were wrouoht up to a painful tension. 
lie felt profoundly relieved, therefore, when the interview be- 
tween the two men, that had beoiin so stormily, took this pacilie 
turn. He east a look of triumphant joy at his friend Leslie. 
This young man smiled misehievously, and whispered: " Just 
wait ; the fun is not over yet. The governor is not the man to 
be played with so easily." 

" Let me understand, then," said the Colonel, " that the 
matter is settled on this basis. There is not to lie another 
word about it ; neither to Xerxes, nor to Cassandra, nor to 
any living soul. And now, just one thing more. You have 
deeply insulted my friend, Mr. Waldhorst, and I deem it due 
to him, and to my honoi', to demand that you should apologize 
to him. When you have done so, I expeet from his courtesy 
to me, that he, too, will make no further mention of this dis- 
agreeable matter." 

•'What I To him? To this greenhorn of a Dutchman ? " 
fairly yelled the overseer in newly kindled wrath. '' Apolo- 
gize — to him? Not by a d d sight I Why, I'd ruther 

beg pard'n o' the luggers 'emselves, uur o' this d d Dutch 

abolitioner ! " 

" But you will do jt, if we are to remain friends I " said the 
Colonel with that air of (juiet determination, which brooked no 

Jeffreys gnashed his teeth, and regarded the young man with 
a look of intense hatred. 

''Please, Colonel, omit thisl" begged \'ictor, wiio felt 
exceedingly uncomfortable, in a beseeching tone. •• I wish no 
apology from ]\h'. Jeffreys." 

'" It nuist be I " the Colonel answered, unmoved by Vict(n''s 
recpiest and by Jeffreys' rage. " Mr. Jeffreys himself under- 


Ill rui'j nh:i;i:us daughter. 

stands, that an insnlt to a gut'st in my honse is an insult to nij 
lionor, which I cannot permit without dcmandino; reparation." 

" ] shan't do it 1 " roared Jeffreys. 

" You mean then, to carry out your throat? " 

•' Me contract don't bind me to no sich conditions," fumed 
the overseer. 

''You forget, JMr. Jeffreys, tliat you, not I, canceled the 
contract," said Colonel May with emphasis. "• You will either 
give me the satisfaction which I demand, or the contract be- 
tween us is at an end. 1 do not permit terms to be dictated 
to me by my — servant." 

The scarcely perceptible emphasis upon the last word seemed 
to sting dee])ly. " T^on't forget," roared the overseer in a fit 
of ])assion in wiiicli he disregarded every consideration of pru- 
(h'nce and pi-o]>riety, '' 'at the ' sarvant ' is a free American 
citizen 1 You'll lind out, on 'lection day, what it is to insult 
a free voter I This country isn't sunk so low, yet, as to 'leet 
a sneak, 'n' a traitor, 'n' a hy])ocrit I I'll see to it, 'at the 
people iintls out who 'tis 'at's whinin' fur thar' votes I I'll 
show 'em the wolf in sheep skin I A mau't pretends to be a 
Demicrat, 'n' cringes to an outlandish abolitioner I Think o' 
me, Kuruel May, when 'lection day comes! " 

The Colonel regarded his adversary with ])rou(l contempt. 
The scornful smile that curled his lips, proclaimed more sting- 
ingly than the keenest words could have done, how utterly he 
des[)ised his now openly avowed enemy. '' You wish to show 
the people a wolf in sheep's clothing, do you? A traitor? A 
tyrant? A hyimcrite? You will not fail to accomplish your 
purpose. To be sure, I have never enjoyed the ojjportunity to 
admire your eloquence, except when you stood, lash in hand, 
before a trembling slave; but to show the ])eople a low 
sneaking wolf, whose I'apacity is visible even through his 
sheepish physiognomy, yon need no other eloquence than your 
own appearance. l>ut yon will no doubt understand, Mr. 
Jeffreys, that it is high time for you to begin your patriotic 
mission. The sooner you begin it," he added, pointing with 


iiiipcM-ious o-cstiirc to tlu' door. •• the li(>t1('r it will \)v for your 
Itodily \vi'lt';in'.'" 

Leslie riihlu'd iiis IkukIs in liioli <r\vv. \'ielor was clmriued 
l)y the (lionity and loftiness of the Colonel's bearing", bvit 
exceedingly a|)|)i-eluMisive of the consequences that he might 
have lirought down upon himself. Jeffreys had been lashed fury. — less by the cutting words, than by the intense 
scorn and contempt of the tone and manner in which they had 
been uttered. He stood with gnashing teeth and clenched list. 
For a while it seemed as though he meant to rush n])on his 
eni'my and fell him to the ground : but the Colonel stood linn, 
not moving a muscle, and the steady look that met the over- 
seer, out of the Colonel's clear, grey eyes, cowed him. He 
slowly retreated toward the door. Not until he had gained it 
did he say a word : but then he raised his list menacingly, and 
shouted : " Ye'U hear from me on 'lection day I 

When he had gone. Colonel May turned with smiling face to 
A'ictor and said: •' Did I right, my young friend? "" 

"Indeed you did I "' exclaimed Victor with unfeigned 
admiration. '' Nothing could surpass the dignity and nobility 
of yonr bearing. But," he added, as the Hush of admiration 
passed from his cheeks, " was it politic to challenge his wrath 
to the utmost ir Have you not made of him an implacable 
enemy ? ' ' 

" What?" cried the Colonel, in a tone of mock surprise, 
" do I hear aright? Does my (Tcrman friend inquire, whether 
I acted prudently? Has your keen sense of rectitude already 
suffered demoralization in this land of politics? " 

Victor made no answer. But Leslie shook his father's hand, 
and exclaimed : " You hit the nail squarely on the head this 
thne. Pal The pronounced enmity of this scoundrel is far 
less to l)e feared, than his underhanded machinations in the 
dark, while still in your service." 

" Of course," said the Colonel. " Half-way measures 
would have accomplished nothing here. Besides, his stay at 
May Meadows was impossi))le for the further reason, that his 


I'uiming after the Octoroon girl would have given rise to 
scandal and offense. It is clear from your statement of the 
affair at the grammar class, that he has talked about it to 
others ; and though he did this simply out of jealousy of our 
young friend here, I could not permit it to go on. Yes, yes," 
he continued, with a mischievous smile toward Victor, "you 
have made him fiercely jealous by your meeting with Lucretia. 
Quite .without reason," he made haste to add, as Victor, 1)lush- 
ing deeply, gave him a beseeching look ; "it is only his guilly 
conscience that has conjured up the preposterous idea." 

" But will not Mr. Jeffreys do everything in his power to 
defeat you at the election? " asked Victor, to cover his con- 
fusion. " I fear, that my silly conduct has greatly endangered 
your success." 

" Have no fear, young man," said the Colonel, with an air 
of such confident assurance, as tended greatly to relieve Vic- 
tor's anxiety. " J even expect to make some capital out of 
the affair. It is fortunate, that in this case the public good 
is identified with my personal interest. I am much mistaken 
in the temper of my fellow citizens, if I do not succeed in 
furthering my own prospects by exposing this villain." 

" You see," Avhispered Leslie, " therein the governor shows 
his greatness as a politician." 

" I see nothing wrong in it I " Victor replied, cheerfully. 

" But now we must reassure the ladies, who have been 
driven away by this ruttian," the Colonel remarked. "I 
apj)rehend that they are anxious to learn the upshot of our 
doings here. And I must take measures to supply the place 
of Jeffreys in directing the work of the negroes." 

When Mctor, on his way home, again passed the neighbor- 
hood of the negro huts, he suddenly saw the Herculean frame 
of Xerxes before him. He approached meekly, holding in his 
hand a tattered rag that served him for a hat. 

" Mars' Wallers," the negro addressed him in a low, 
mysterious whisper, "am it true — is Mars' Jeffreys gone — 
f ui" good ? " 


Victor assured him tliat Jeffreys would return no nic^re. 

Tlie negro reverently folded his hands, raising his eyes to 
the sky and spoke, in a voii-e whose solemnity and deep 
earnestness profoundly impressed Victor: " De Lawd hah 
heard de pra'er ob his unwutliy sa'vent. (Tlory be to Gawd 
on high I Amen I " Then he added with a signilicant look at 
Victor, *• now JMay JMeadows am a ])ai'adise. an' de sarpent's 

While Xerxes was yet speaking, two cither ligures appeared, 
\'ictor knew not Avhence. Cassandra, led by the Octoroon 
girl, seized his hand and spoke reverently: " De Lawd hab 
sent his angel fur our salvation. (Jlory to (^awd fur ebber 
and el)l)er I " 

When she had dropped his hand, the Octoroon knelt before 
him, seized the hem of his coat and pressed it to her lips. 
•' JMiss Nellie has told me," she said in a feverish wdiisper. 
•• And it was grand and noble. God bless you! And (nrod 
bless Miss Nellie: (;od bless you both! " 

Before \'ict(jr had fully realized what had taken place, the 
girl had arisen and disappeared with the others. 



W/HE oraininar school class met uext day, as usual; but 
^- Kalpli Payton and Orlando Jones knew it no more 
^"^ forever. Victor remained at its head to the end. 
This procured for him tlie I'eputation, wliether rightfully 
or otherwise has never l)een authoritatively decided — of 
being the best grammarian in Vernal County, — a distinction 
of which no one boasted more loudly than Mynheer Van 
Braakeu. He was really grateful to his apjjrentice for having 
redeemed liis vaunt of having the smartest boy in the county 
in his store. His speculation had proved a prolital)le one; 
for ^'ictor was much talked about, autl when his name was 
mentioned, the ■• Dutch St(U-e " was mostly alluded to also. 
Motor, in turn, was grateful to his chief, to whose lil)erality 
he owed the advantage gained by his connection Avith the 
grannnar class. He applied himself diligently to his duties at 
the store, where he likewise made good progress, excejjt in the 
one particular in which he was so lamentaldy remiss, — the 
ability to deceive customers as to the quality and value of the 
goods kept for sale. The involuntary faltering of his voice 
and the tell-tale blush upon his cheeks, just when bold-faced 
effrontery or insinuating cajolery was wanted for the l)usiness 
in hand, rendered all his efforts at improvement in this direc- 
tion fruitless. Not even the example of his colleague. Bolt 
Rountree, availed him, although he soon convinced himself 
that most customers greatly preferred to deal with Bolt, because 
they were assured that they got their goods from him at less 
than their cost to the merchant himself, by the simple process 
of permitting himself to l)e •• beat down "' from a prici- jjlaced 
))Ui'posely high at first to admit of this pi'ocess witlioiit loss. 



JJiil soon niter the closiiiti- of tlie chiss ;i coiiiiiiu' event of 
even liiulier interest to the pnlilic ;it laroc niono|)oli/.e(I the 
town-talk aniono- the gossips of Brooi^lield. 'I'lie Fourth ot 
.Inly was approacliinii- 1 And tiie politicians had dftei-inined 
to make it the oeeasion of a threat festival tor tiie inhaliilants 
not only of IJrooklield and vicinity, l)ut of ail Vernal C'ountv, 
whereat the natal day of American Jnde[)endence was to he 
honored l)y patriotic speeches and the roasting- whole and eat- 
ing' of oxen. \'ictoi-'s expectation was raised to tlie top notch 
by the excitement which stirred the Brooklleldeis in respect of 
the magnillcence of tlie coming demonstration, whicii was to 
eclipse anything of the kind that had ever heen seen west of 
the Mississipi)i River. It was to he a feast tit for the gods, 
not only in a culinary point of view l»ut also as an intellectual 
treat, steeping back-woods Americans in the ])liss of self-con- 
scious patriotism. Hob Kountree indulged in i)old prophesies 
of the grand surprise in store for the friends of his friend, 
Ralph Payton : regretting, however, that he was not permitted 
to go into i)articulars. These vague hints Mctor was disposed 
to attribute to a touch of envy on the part of his young col- 
league, which had been noticeable, now and- then, particularly 
since the grammar class had made him a rather prominent sub- 
ject of gossip. But even the prosaic head-clerk, Mr. Miller, 
grew- enthusiastic over the prospective event, and ventured the 
remark, that Victor would see something to cherish in memory 
for the remainder of his life. 

Leslie had nuich to say about the fun ahead. •• You will 
get to see a wIk^Ic menagerie of all the species of the (/(-ims 
//o//;o," he said to Victor, '' who will stand around open- 
mouthed, eagerly swallowing the i)atriotic clap-trap and worn- 
out phrases used in tickling the ears of independent American 
citizens. On the galleries you will l)ehold the fairer half of 
Vernal County in all the colors of the rainbow, gaudy with o-av 
ribbons and the latest monstrosities usui'ping the name of bon- 
nets. Look out for fun I " 

Nellie had conlided to him that she had an invitation from 


Ralph Paytou. — •' that liatclul IVllow in the chiss, you 
know," as slie ackU'd, to Victor's orcat satisfaction, — to 
accept him as her t'scort to the l)ar))ecue on In(U^i)en(lence 
Day ; and slie adtU'c], to his even o-reater disgnst, that she knew 
of no plausible excuse to decline the proffered honor. This 
last piece of information had an unaccountabh' dei)ressino; 
effect on A'ictor. It was suliicient to tone down his anticii)ated 
enjoyment of the jjlorious I^'onrth. 

In the store too, and in the business (.lone there, the exi-ite- 
ment was apparent. Customers made [)urchases with reference 
to the festival ; u;ossii)s criticised the merits of the speakers in 
advance; even the negroes of both sexes whispered and tittered 
among one another how they meant to enjoy Indi'pendence 
Day, and resni-rected their hoai'ih'd up (pmrtt'rs and dimes for 
the accpiisition of fineries :uid gee-gaws to l»e displayed on the 
festive occasion. 

- Mynheei'A'an lii'aaken, whose absorption by and devotion to 
the cares of his business i-endere<^l him callous to the sentiment 
of patriotism, was drawn into the vortex of pul)lic excitement 
on his own level. When the connnittee appointed to solicit, 
donations for the celebration called on lum, Victor was api)re- 
hensive that the chief might refuse to respond and thereby 
incur the displeasure and invite the criticism of the public. 
But therein he greatly underrated the business abilities of his 
chief. For no sooner had he — wary merchant that he Avas — 
discovered that his rival on the other side of the scpiare had 
distinguished himself by the donation of *' one whole ox," 
than he subscribed his name to the list, and set opposite 
thereto: One sack Java coffee (scarce 'in those days, in Ver- 
nal County, and dear) ; One barrel sugar; One barrel line rye 
whisky; live ])oxes Princijje cigars. " Yes, yes," he said, as 
the connnittee, speechless with astonishment at this unparalleled 
liberality, received l)ack the paper, " they shall not say that 
the Dutchman is niggardly. Mr. liaiiies need not brag about 
his ' wlK)le ox ! ' " 

Such munilicence was witiiout |)recedeiit in \'ernal County. 


Till' two li'ciillciiicii coiiiposiiiu- the (•oiiiiiiittt'c ('X|>r('ssc(l llicir 
tlitmks ill l»i'li;ill' n\ tlic ariiti'lul ('(»ii)imiiiity and in tlic iiame 
of tlic "(ioddi'ss of Liberty," liopiiijj' tliilt so si<>ii;il a proof 
of whole-souled liberality of the generous donor would be duly 
ap[)reeiated. S(), too. iioped Mynheer \i\\\ IJraakeu ; and the 
secpiel j)roved that he had reekoned well. For though the 
IJarnes ])arty hinted at pompous lioasting and a transparent 
attempt to bias public opinion, yet the citizens l(^oked with 
great favor on the generous offering, and the party of the 
Dutcli Store scored several points in their favor. 

lk'f(^re sunrise of the eventful day \'ictor appeared at May 
^Meadows ; for he and Leslie had agreed to make the trip to 
the s[)ot where the festival was to come off, on horsel)ack. 
Notwithstanding the early hour of the morning, he found everv 
one on the place uj) and stirring. The negroes were unusually 
alert, and busily engaged in the various preparations for 
starting. Leslie had two tine horses under saddle, which 
stood pawing impatiently in front of the dwelling house. For 
Nellie, a pretty pony st(Jod ready to be mounted l»y his young 
mistri'ss. The Colonel issued what orders he deemed neces- 
sary for the c(Miduct of the darkies at the barl)ecue, and then 
joined Mrs. May in the traveling carriage, where Lucretia and 
Cassandra had already been placed, and started for the scene 
of the day's festivities. 

After the departure of the family carriage the good humor 
of the negroes seemed, if possible, to increase. They teased 
each other in merry mood, i)aying but little heed to the pres- 
ence of the young master in preparing to get away ; while he, 
on liis part, excited boisterous laughter, by many a rough jest. 
Some of the negroes were oljliged to travel to the grand rendez- 
vous on foot. They left in groups of two and three, chatter- 
ing freely as they went their way. Others made free use of 
the remaining draught-animals and vehicles of the most varied 
description, to save the lalior of walking. One whole family 
foiiiKl accommodation on an ox-cai't : quite a number of voung 
and old of t)otli sexes climbed upon a hav-wauon. di'awii bv a 


yoke' ol' oxen and a snperannuatod nuile. Some, also, ntilized 
old plongli-liorses to ride, single ov donble, as the temper of 
the animals ])ermitted, oi' the riders eould agree, to the place 
of great attraction. 

Victor was interested in and naich anuised by the stirring 
and pictnresciue scene developing l)efore him. 

Presently Nellie ai)peared. She wore the dress which Victor 
had selected for her. and he thonght he had never seen her so 

'■How charming yon look in yonr new dress!" he ex- 
claimed, almost involuntarily, Init witli such I'vident and sin- 
cere admiration, that the young Uuly blushed with ])leasure. 

•' Why, iNIr. Waldhorst, you have actually i)aid me a com- 
pliment I " she said, with a gracious smile. "I have never 
heard you make so gallant a speech before. You have learned 
that from brother Leslie, I su})pose. J5ut let me caution you 
not to contract his outrageous habit of flattering young girls. 
lie is incorrigible in this respect." 

" You shall iKjt say that I am dishonest with you. at least," 
the brother retorted, while scanning her ligure from head to 
foot. '■ It is painfully evident to me, that your glass and your 
maid have l»oth played you false to-day. You look as dowdy- 
ish as an unkempt owl in daylight." 

■'You unmannerly slanderer! " pouted Nellie. " Why 
can't you l_)e as nice to your sister as you are to other young- 
ladies? " 

■• because my sister wants me to be honest," sand Leslie, 
regarding her with a mock-serious mien. 

" Jf you were honest," said ^'ictor warmly, "you would not 
have found fault with Miss Nellie's toilet. It is not more 
honest to censure unjustly, than to praise without cause." 

" Now you hear the words of wisdom! " Nellie exclaimed 
triumphantly, and botli she and Leslie indulged in merry 
laughter, keenly enjoying Victor's sober earnestness. " Let 
me advise ifon to learn from Mr. Waldhorst iiow to appreciate 
your sister's excpiisite taste. And I am sure tiiat "Slv. Payton 


will a<ii*'i' with him ; Ik- will tell you so to 3'oiir face wIrmi he 

•' Tf']w eoiiu's, you mean ! " teased Leslie. •' You may have 
to wait a loiiii' time for //////. He has his grand oration to pre- 
pare tor the barbecue. With his head full of so big a j)roject, 
it will not be surprising if he forgets the little school-girl he 
has promised to escort on the way." 

''• Is it true? " Nellie inquired, showing such evident interest 
in the subject as caused Victor to wonder. •• Will Mr. Payton 
sjjcak to-day ? ' ' 

••Of course I " the l)rother answered. -'He is down as 
the lirst orator on the program. Immediately after the Decla- 
ration of Independence, he will see justice done to the sjjread 
eagle, and demonstrate that without it there could be no liberty, 
nor equality, nor independence. I'nder such (arcumstances you 
must excuse him if, until the supreme moment has come, when 
the eyes of Vernal County literally, and those of the whole 
unbounded continent iiguratively, hang upon his lips, he shall 
l)rove a little tacitui'n and distracted, or, what is more likely 
to happen, if he shall forget all about the existence of the 
patient young girl so anxiously awaiting his coming." 

The news imparted by Leslie had a strangely depressing- 
effect on Motor ; but Mr. Payton's appearance at that moment 
precluded further discussion concerning him. Nellie returned 
his greeting very graciously, and announced herself ready t(j 
start. As she stepped toward her pony, Ralph sprang from 
his horse to assist her to mount. Victor thought he had 
never seen a more graceful act of gallantry in his life. Ralph, 
whose powerful frame at this moment seemed to him the 
embodiment of manly vigor and beauty, seized the bridle of 
the pony with his left hand, and held out his right, so as to 
form a convenient purchase for Nelhe's foot, from wdiich. with 
an agile spring, she leaped into the saddle, thanking him, as 
she adjusted herself, with a bright smile and gracious nod, for 
his knightly service. Victor was enchanted by the elegance 
and grace of the lovely maiden on horsel)ack. When Ralph 


joined licr, slie tunit'd to him a face beaiuiiig in youtlifiil 
vivacity ; and as Victor Avatched thein cantering away, eno^aged 
in spirited conversation, he wished in liis lieart to l)e in Pay- 
ton's ])lace. 

"Well, don't yon think we had better follow them ?" the 
voice of Leslie broke in u])on him, as he gazed in perfect for- 
getfnlness after the eqnestrians. '' The snn is rising, and we 
Avill have a piece of shar]) riding to do, if we mean to be off 
tlie road ])efore the heat of the day sets in." 

Victor, thus aroused from his reverie, mounted his horse, 
and the two set out on their journey. 

Their I'oad at lirst traversed the open [)rairie. and the 
riders urged their horses to a lively pace. They overtook 
other travelers on foot and in all manner of vehicles. To 
Victor it seemed as if the i)opulation of all Vernal County had 
turned out upon a pilgrimage. The charm of novelty-, the 
refreshing inUuence of the balmy morning breeze, and Leslie's 
sparkling conversation, turning every occurring incident into 
a droll joke, soon elevated Victor's s^jirits ; and by the time 
they had overtaken the other coujjle he heartily enjoyed the 
drolleries of his friend. 

" Come ! " exclaimed Leslie, spurring his horse into a gallop, 
as they passed Pay ton and Nellie, the latter listening, as it 
seemed, to a narration from her escort; " let us not disturl) 
mighty genius in its bold flight. It is evidently big with a 
grand idea, and if we interrupt it in its la])or. it might bring 
forth a frightened little — mcjuse I ' ' 

They dashed past the two in a sweeping gallop, \'ictor to the 
right, Leslie t(^ the left. If Payton really engaged the atten- 
tion of his fair companion Avith a rehearsal of the si)eech he 
intended for the grand occasi(jn, the exercises Avere abruptly 
closed, for XeUie, as soon as the tAvo horsemen came alongside, 
touched her pony with the riding Avhip, and in a very fcAv 
seconds she was riding betAveen her brother and Victor. 

" You Ihink you can leave my pony behind? " she said to 
\'ictoi'. in :i tone clearlv showing tliat she meant to challenge 

'' You think you can leave my pony behind? " she 
said to Victor. 


him t(» a trial of tiu' speed of tiieir respective horses. ^ '■ If you 
do, you are mistaken. I eau beat you thi'ce leu<i;ths at least 
in reacliing' that yrove ahead of us." 

Again the Avhip tell smartly on the pony's hide, and sent 
him forward at the toj) of his sj)eed. Of course, there was 
nothino- for Victor to do but accept the challenuv. So he like- 
wise ur<>ed his horse to his utmost, and for a while maintained 
his j)lace at her side. But it soon became apparent that it was 
not the pony's speed that was to decide the victory, but rather 
the skill of the rider. Xellie dexterously avoided the passen- 
"•ers and vehicles on the road without in the least interferin<)- 
with the pony's gait, while Victor, less skilled in the handling 
of his horse, seriously impeded his speed by awkward at- 
tempts to turn out, fearing danger to those whom he passed, 
or to himself, so that Nellie easily came off winner in the race. 

" iSii", your gallantry is getting the better of your honesty I 
Nellie exclaimed, with uplifted finger and a rej)i'oachful smile. 
'' You are not just to the horse you are riding." 

'' What do you mean? " queried Victor. 

-'I know that my pony is swift of foot, and that there are 
not many horses in this part of the country that can show him 
their heels in a race, particularly when I ride him myself. 
But Grace Darling, — that is the mare papa had saddled for 
you — can give him several lengths in a quarter and always 
beat him. You have lost the race on purpose to please me." 

'" Upon my word, I did not I " said ^'ictor, deeply morti- 
lied. '' I did my best; but poor Grace Darling was not swift 
enough to make up for your superior skill in horsemanship. — 
But what a pretty name — Grace Darling I She must be a 
great favorite of yours." 

" She is," said Nellie, as they trotted along, without wait- 
ing for Leslie and Ralph Payton to catch up Avith them. '^ 1 
selected the name myself. She is papa's favorite saddle-horse. 
We raised her on the plantation, and papa allowed me to name 
her. I am proud to know that you approve of the choice I 


Tlie remainder of the road took them through a rather dense 
piece of wood, and Motor maintained his plaee at Nellie's side, 
even after tiie otliers had come uj). until they arrived at their 

The i)lace selected for tlie day's enjoyment was a grove of 
considerable size, quite free from undergrowth, dotted sulfi- 
ciently with nuvjestic forest trees to afford protection against 
the sun, without excluding the grateful l)reezes of the hot sum- 
mer day nor seriously obstructing the outlook. The grassy 
sward was smooth as a carpet, sloping gently toward the east, 
where a brook of clear water meandered gracefully along the 
vale, offering its liquid treasures to the tliirsty and panting 
animals. For the delectation of the human kind numerous 
gourds had l)een jirepared as drinking vessels, and hung up 
near a sj)ring, inviting the nuiltitnde t<^ quencli their thirst 
with its pure, clear water. 

A murmuring of many voices, sounding in tl>e distance like 
the buzzing of a swarm of bees, arose from the place. Along 
the lirook, and all around the spot selected for the day's exer- 
cises, inclosing it on all sides like a corral, stood the wagons 
and other vehicles of those who had arrived before them, dis- 
phiying in motley array the Avealth of the county in vehicles of 
every imaginable kind, size and construction — everything, in 
fact, that the county had on wheels. Within the inclosure thus 
formed there was a scene of lively commotion, — men and 
women moving to and fro, grown people and children, black 
and white, all preparing for the coining frolic. And still they 
kept coming, — whole families on horseback, in wagons and 
cari'iages, and on foot: well dressed men and women, and men 
and women in gaudy llnerv : stalwart farmers in suits of liut- 
ter-nnt jeans, and portly farmer's wives in neat, home-spun 
linsey-woolsey dresses ; sturdy youths and l)nxom nu\idens. 
ruddy and rosy mostly, yet among them faces paled and 
pinched by rcfieated attacks of fever-and-ague. Slaves, too, 
in all colors and shades, from the honest jet-black of the wool- 
capped African, to the yellow of tlie nudntto and the counter- 


feit pallor of the ([uadroou and octoroon, — some but scantily 
clad, others decked with kerchiefs, ribbons and feathers of the 
brightest hues. 

Victor oazed in wonderment at the kaleidoscopic panorama. 

Nellie had joined some girl friends whom she met there, and 
Ralph Pavtou disappeared as soon as the horses had l)een 
given in charge of the darkies. Leslie took Victor with him, 
to show him the preparations for the barbecue. 

•• What is this scaffolding for? " Victor inipiired, pointing 
to a doul»le row of boards nailed on i)Osts set in the ground, 
and inclosing a large sc^uare on three of its sides. 

''That is the gallery for the ladies," Leslie informed him. 
•■ One should think that here were space enough for the whole 
po|)ulation of Vernal County ; but not a male soul will lind room 
when the exercises begin. Pro Ikk^c rice, as the lawyers say, 
we men will assume an upright standing, and look down upon 
woman-kind with the proud consciouness of our superiority." 

" And that little house there, hung all round with oak 
leaves and garlands, and a ladder leading uj) to it. — what 
does that mean? " 

" Why, that is the platform ! " Leslie explained, with some 
liveliness of manner. " A literal, dcnvnright platform, made 
of honest planks from FulUiright's saw-mill. It doesn't look 
overly strong ; but I dare say that the governor will feel more 
at home upon it than u[)on the rickety concern which his party 
has constructed and calls the platform of its candidates. — Up 
yonder," Leslie continued, " the speakers will hold forth. 
From thence, the gospel of Liberty is to be proclaimed ; up 
there our friend Pay ton will cull his laurels, — or put up with 
oak leaves instead. — By the bye, he confessed to me, after 
you and Nellie had galloped away from us in that wild goose 
race, that he had gathered his inspiration for his maiden speech 
from you." 

" From me! " exclaimed Victor, in great surprise. 

"From you! "Leslie repeated laconically. "But ask no 
questions; you will soon lind out how." 

128 THE HE BE us DAUGHTEli. 

Tliey walked on miuI soon (.'aiiR' to the eating- lahlcs. — tliat 
is to say, to a long row of un])laned boards i)laeed upon 
slender stakes stuck in the ground. Here there was great display 
of activity. Huge baskets were brought forth from' various 
of the wagons, yielding lil)eral supplies of delph, cutlery and 
other eating utensils, picturesque in their variety, if not re- 
niarkal)le for elegance. Not far off there were numerous lires, 
utilized by cohered cooks for the roasting and cooking of 
coffee. IJusy darkies ran hither and thither, fetching fuel, and 
water, and executing other orders of their masters or mis- 
tresses, to Avhom the superintendence of this department had 
been conlided. Down by the brook experienced huntsmen 
were engaged in the i)reparation of the barl)ecue proper, — 
the roasting of poultry, game, mutton, pork, and ))eef — each 
animal being carefully cleaned and split in halves left hanging 
together by the back lione, and in this condition roasted 
whole, — from tip to tail — '' htirh>'-((-<jiieii«^ " — on live coals. 
To this end trenches were dug in the ground and lilled. to the 
depth of a foot or more, with the glowing coals of hickory or 
pecan wood. Poles were laid across the trenches, and u})on 
these the meat was spread, as upon a gigantic gridiron. None 
but experienced campers were intrusted with the responsible 
oliice of directing the barbecuing process, and greatly im- 
pressed were they with the dignity of their position. (Travely, 
like generals marshaling their troops in a charge on the enemy, 
did they order about the busy darkies : directing a fresh supply 
of live coals where the lire burned low ; now ordering a piece 
done to the precise shade of brown desired, to be taken from 
the lire, or to be turned over, or to ))e replaced 1)V another ; 
then, after critical inspection, causing hot gravy to be poured 
over it, and the projier quantity of salt to be api)lied ; keeping, 
all the while the willing darkies Hying busily from ]ilace to 

In order to furnish a sullicieiit supply of live coals, great 
lires of hickory and pecan wood were kei)t uj) at different 
places. It was a novel and interesting sight to Victor, to be- 


hold tlie briiihtly ^ilowiiiti- (^);ils (illt'd into colossul kettles and. 
suspi'iuU'd on lon^- poles, cari'ied about l)y powerful negroes 
from place to place as wanted. And tlien the lono- lines of 
lieiy ditciies upon whicli tlie hui>e inasst's of meat lay siz- 
zliuii' and seudiiio- ont an appetizinu' odor, — the u'rave, 
critical fetitures of the diiinilii'il cooks, — tlie merry <>amhols 
of the tleliuhted nciiroes. — the picturesque ""roups and couples 
of chatterinii' and lauiihiuu' humanity, — Victor would not soon 
foro'et the strikiiiu' and fascinatino- pan(jrama. 

Toward eleven o'clock in the morniuii' a lono--dra\vn, shrill 
blast on a conch announced the l)eo'inning of the festivities. 
The crowd poured in from all sides toward the u'alleries, which, 
as Leslie had foreseen, were monopolized by the female [lortion 
of the audience. "• Come," said Leslie, taking his friend by 
the arm, '^ let us pick out a [ilace where we can nuister the 
lieauties on exhibition here. Jt will lie a h^ng- time before you 
will again see such an agtrregation of feminine loveliness, and 
lind so inviting an oppoi'tuiiity of witnessing how sweetly the 
dear creatures blend envious jealousy and haughty [iride with 
dove-like meekness and cocpiettish innocence. See, how 
charmingly patriotism sits u])on the faces of our country 
daisies I ' ' 

Victor followed without gainsay. They ap[)roached the 
platform, on which the most i)rominent citizens of the county 
were now taking seats. C)ne of the foremost of them was 
Kalph Payton, who climbed up the ladder with an air of 
conscious superiority. 

*• See," whispered Leslie, " does he not ape a Roman sena- 
tor to perfection? It needs but the toga now, to make him 
forget that he is — a silly youngster I " 

Colonel May, too, was among those who ascended the lad- 
der : likewise, to Mctor's wonderment. Mynheer Van Braaken. 
(Gratitude for his lil)eral donation had procurt'd for him tliis 
distinction. Of c(jurse, a like honor was due to Mr. Barnes, 
as the pioneer merchant of Brookiield. Among the prominent 
(Mtizens, were, also, ]\rr. Rountree, the father of Bob Kountree, 



sheriff of the county. '• Yes," said Leslie, as Victor called 
his attention to the presence of the sheriff, ''and yonder is 
liol) hinisell' — see liim?^ — talking to our discharged overseer. 
These two are up to some niiscliief, you may depend upon it ; 
and let me advise you, Vietor, to be on your guard against 
that precious eoUeague of yours. Birds of a feather you 
know." It was very evident that the suV)ject of conversation 
between them was of absorbing interest to both and the scowl 
on the overseer's face i)ortended no good. Victor turned to his 
(U)mpanion, as if for explanation ; but the latter found no time 
to enlighten him, if, indeed, he possessed the requisite infor- 
mation ; for just then they Avere l)rought in contact with two 
young ladies, — the Misses Emily Matlack and Hettie kShan- 
non — both of Avhom claimed the attention of Leslie, for a few 
words of friendly chat, at least. While they were yet talking, 
Mrs. May came toAvard them leading Nellie by the arm. and 
beckoned her son to her side the moment she saw hhn. 

•' You nuist accompany us," she said to him. " Mr. Pay- 
ton, Avho Avas to escort Nellie, is wanted on the platform Avhere 
the speakers are assembling." 

" Ah, yes," said Leslie, offering his arm Avith ready acqui- 
escence, " the American Eagle needs his sustaining eloquence. 
I told you," he added AAith a mischievous glance at his sister, 
'' that your lieau Avould forsake you. But you needn't get 
jealous; the American P^agle will drop him soon enough, and 
then you can go and comfort him."' 

Nellie had disengaged herself from her mother's arm. l>ecause 
they found it impossible to Avalk three abreast in the dense 
throng, and conlidingly took that of Vietor, Avhereat the young 
man l>lushed with pleasure. 

The seats, Avhich Leslie skillfully captured for the ladies, 
eommanded s. luie vicAv over the whole gallery, and were near 
enough to the platform to enable every word spoken there to 
be easily heard. The male portion of the audience formed a 
dense circle on the outside of the gallery, in Avhich Victor and 
Leslie stood in the iciir of their ladies. It Avas indeed a mot- 


ley yet imposing siglit tliat met Victor's gaze, and he listened 
with but half an ear to Leslie's droll comments on the various 
people and their doings. 

Another loud blast on the couch, sounded by one of the 
men on the platform, had the effect of silencing the immense 

" I move that the Honorable Thomas Shannon be elected 
president of this grand assemblage of the people I " proclaimed 
a stentorian voice. " All favoring this motiou say, aye I " 

A thousand voices assented ; whereupon the same voice an- 
nounced the unanimous election of the Honorable Thomas 
Shannon, requesting him to step forward and take his seat as 
president of the meeting. To execute an awkward bow, and 
comply with the request to take his seat, seemed to exhaust 
the sphere of the president's duties ; for not a word did the 
portly old gentleman, thus distinguished, say, and not another 
thing did Victor see him do after taking his seat. 

" Is this gentleman a })roniinent citizen:' " Victor whispered 
into Leslie's ear. 

'' You see," said the latter, •' that he is a man of consider- 
able weight. He is Justice of the Peace of Clear SiJring town- 
ship, and possesses the merit of being Miss Hettie Shannon's 

After the applause, with which the weighty president had 
been recognized, had subsided, the voice moved the further 
election of a numlier of vice-presidents, one for each of the 
thirteen original States, all of whom, as Victor wonderingly 
ol)served, happened to be present on the platform, and all of 
them were unanimously elected. As the name of Mynheer 
Van Braaken was put to the vote. Victor betrayed some un- 
easiness as to the result. '' Don't be afraid," Leslie whis- 
pered. " On an occasion of this kind everybody votes aye. 
To make sure of unanimity, the nays are not taken. The 
otlicers are all selected lieforehand : the whole program is cut 
and dried." 

With the election of the thirteen vice-presidents, the organ- 


izatiou of the "grand assemblage of people " was complete, 
and the oftieial celebration ])egan. Reverend Joel Hayden 
stepped to the front of the platform, and read the Declaration 
of Inde})endenc'e in a clear, sonorous voice. IJiit few of those 
present had never read, or heard read, this ever memorable 
document, by which a nation had announced its right to i)oliti- 
cal autonomy ; yet every one of them listened with proud self- 
consciousness and profound attention to the eloquent logic of 
the words, in which Thomas Jefferson had given expression to 
a people's demand of their right. Upon Victor the simple, 
yet convincing language of the alleged founder of the DeuKi- 
cratic party wrought a powerful effect. Long after the julti- 
lant applause, which had rewarded the eloquent reader, had 
died away, the closing words rang in his ears: " And for the 
support of this declaration, with a (inn reliance upon the protec- 
tion of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other 
our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." 

The appearance of Ralph Payton tit the front of the plat- 
form, announced as the first of the speakers, aroused him from 
his revery. The applause, with which the young man was 
greeted, involuntarily increased Victor's respect forliim. JJut 
when he saw Nellie wave her handkerchief and regard the 
young orator with sparkling eyes and an indescribal)ly sweet 
smile, a keen pang shot through his heart, and he would have 
given worlds to be in his place, — to stand thus before a con- 
course of peo])le, reveling in the incense of their applause, 
and gathering inspiration from the smiles of a lovely maiden. 

Ralph, however, enjoyed his happiness for but a brief 
moment. As the applause died away, so faded the color from 
his face. Leslie lient down t() liis sister and whispered into 
her ear: " We nuist conu' to the rescue of your Demosthenes ; 
his knees are shaking I "" and without heeding lier reproving 
'' be ashamed of yourself I " lie started a new roinul of vigor- 
ous cheering. 

"My fellow-citizens I " came in a faint voice from the lips 
of the orator. 


" Louder I Louder 1 " was shouted ou all sides. 

''Ladies and (4eutlenien I " Kalph continued. His voice 
still trembled; but the exertion to make himself heard served, 
in a measure, to break his staoe-frioht. " This is a free 
country I Yes, my fellow-citizens, it is a free and a great 
country I It is free, because Americans made it free, and 
have enriched it with their heart's blood I " 

This announcement was a bold one, and was innuediately 
rewarded by a round of vociferous cheering. " Good I " whis- 
pered Leslie, loud enough, however, to be heard by Nellie and 
A'ictor, '' Heart's blood of free Americans makes excellent 
manure I 

'• And this is an independent country I " the orator went on. 
•' An independent country of all the world ! It is independ- 
ent, liecause the noble American Eagle, the proud American 
bird, striking his talons in the Alleghany Mountains on the 
one hand, and grasping the Rockies with the other, dipping 
his beak here into the Atlantic and thei'e into the Pacific 
Ocean, and laving his breast in the mighty Huron, while his 
tail sweeps the boundless plains — ." 

The sketch of the American bird was too magnilicent not 
to arouse the enthusiasm of the backwoodsmen. A loud and 
prolonged round of hurrahing and cheering interrupted the 
speaker before he had placed the wings. Ralph had by this 
time fairly overcome the nervousness attending his opening- 
words, and wiped the perspiration from his forehead. Leslie 
Avas one of the loudest in his demonstrations of ai)proval, and 
exclaimed: " r4ood ! Now engage the Eagle in a set-to with 
the British Lion, so as to give him something to do with his 
wings I " 

" Fellow-citizens! " Ralph spoke on, "• this is an independ- 
ent country. ])ecause the valiant American Eagle has rescued 
it from the claws of the IJritish Lion. (Renewed cheering.) 
And not only from the British Lion, Init also from the Hessian 
hirelings, who helped him. And we conquered them all. And 
therefore this is n free :uid independent country." 


The speaker piui.sed and again drew the luindkercliief over 
his face, then continued with unction: 

" But, fellow-citizens, ^thc price of liberty is eternal watch- 
fulness. Therefore let us be watchful against the British Lion, 
and also against the Hessian hirelings. America belongs to the 
Americans; therefore let us suffer no Hessians among us! " 

" That is meant for you, ^'i(•tor," said Leslie. '" The milk 
in the cocoanut is, that he is appealing from the school-master 
in the class to the prejudice of the masses here asseml)led. 
He thinks he has got you at a disadvantage here, and that he 
can get his revenge for your turning liim down. But in that 
he is mistaken, unless 1 am."" 

Strange to say, the pause which the orator here made, was 
not lilled up by the applause of the audience. He therefore 
concluded to bring his big guns to bear: "What says the 
Father of his Country? "' he asked. " What says Washing- 
ton, — he that was iirst in war, lirst in peace and first in the 
hearts of his countrymen? (Enthusiastic cheering.) He says. 
' History and experience prove that foreign intluence is one of 
the most baneful foes of Republican government.' And 
again, he says, ' Against the insiduous wiles of foreign 
intluence (I conjure you, fellow-citizens, to believe me) the 
jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake.' So 
spoke Washington, the first in war, the iirst in peace, and the 
lirst in the hearts of his countrymen. (Renewed cheers for 
Washington.) Therefore, fellow-citizens, like Washington 1 
say to you, let us suffer no foreigners among us I I make this 
appeal to you to-day, on the auspicious birthday of American 
Independence, and on the natal day of American liberty I I 
say, let us lirmly resolve to stand manfully by America, for 
American Jndependence ! I^et us thrust forth from us the 
foreigners, — be they Bi-itishers, or be they Hessians — lest 
their baneful inlluence rob us of our l)irthi'iglit as Amei'icans ! 
This is the parting advice given to the American people, by 
the greatest of men, Washington, that was lirst in war, lirst 
in ponce, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." 

liAHIiKCUl-: AND SPlil'JAD NAGLh'. loO 

Sly Ralph luul couiitcMl on the assistance oi the lalhci-ol his 
country foi' an clTcctivc peroration to his speech. IJnt Toi- 
some reason incomprehensible to him, the charm tailed to \v(,ik. 
Probably the ehxpient quotation had been repeated once too 
often, so as to wear off the spice of novelty. Even after he 
had made his bow to the audience, to indicate that he would 
quote Washiuiiton no more to them on that day, there was but 
a faint nuirnuir of applause, the lukewarmness of which divw 
from Leslie the stale reproach of the ino-ratitude of re|)ublics, 
seeino- that Ralph Payton had oenevously given uj) the lloor to 
other speakers. 

C)f these there were quite a number. The star-spangled 
t)anner, the land of the free and the home of the Itrave, and 
otlier patriotic themes obtained due recognition after the 
spread eagle. At last, Colonel May was announced as the 
"Orator of the Day." The simple mention of his name had 
the effect to stay the demoi-alizing tendency of the audii'iice 
to scatter. After some pleasant introductory remarks and an 
anecdote or two, to put his hearers in good humor, he con- 
tinued : 

"The lirst of the talented speakers who addressed you on 
this auspicious occasicni, observed, that this is the land of 
freedom. That was a liappy thought, my friends. — a great, 
a noble thought I Yes, this is indeed the land of freedom, — 
the land of free thought, of free speech, of a free press! We 
are free to worship Almighty (xod according to the dictates of 
our own conscience, and to act as we think riaiit, so lono- as 
we infringe not the rights of others. Ilei'e indeed, divine 
Lil>erty has reared her tiMn|)le, and l)eck()ns to the {)ersecuted 
and opi)ressed of all nations, holding out to them the promise 
of their ])irthright, that Godlike quality of man, — freedom, 
given of (-rod to freemen only I " 

Victor listened with closest attention. It escaped his 
notice, that Ralph Payton had approached Nellie, and was 
probably claiming his reward for the morning's brilliant per- 
formance ; nor did he perceive the gii-Ps curt manner, refusins," 


to have Ikt attention diverted from her father's address. 
Victor's eyes were riveted npon the speaker, his ears closed to 
everythino- Imt the oM'rpowerino' words issuinu' from those 
eloquent h'ps. The orutor depicted in glowing' words, yet 
simple and diieet, the dionity and sacredness of freedom. 
The conviction Itegan to dawn in ^'i(•tor's mind, that freedom 
is the one essential attribute of man. 

From this introduction the speaker passed on U) a panegvi'ic 
on the work accomplished by tiie revolutionary fathers in 
erecting that magnilicent temple, in which Lil)erty is now 
enthroned, — the central piUar and keystone of which is the 
Constitution of {\\v I iiited States. In crisp and pointed words 
he sketched the fundanuMital principh's of tlie government, as 
embodied in that instrument : autonomy of domestic interests, 
unity in national functions and foreign relations. As the 
State is a unit, though compost'd of individuals possessing 
inaliena])le rights, so is the Nation a unit, though composed of 
States which, under that constitution possess rights that ma\- 
not l)e disregarded. 

"• One dissonant element,'" lie then continued, '■ has tempted 
internal demagogues and foreign enemies of free government to 
assail that sacivd instrument : its implied sanction of slavery. 
As if slavi'ry had beiMi created by that instrument I As if it 
had not been forced upon the colonies by tiie mercenary policy 
of the mother country, and was uot a deeply rooted institution 
with which the framers of the constitution were confronted I 
As if the glorious boon of freedom could ever have been 
secured to this blessed land upDU any other condition than the 
perfect autonomy of the States I 

This part of tlie Colonel's oration impressed \Mctor deeply. 
It seemed to him, sometimes. — and the hot blood rushed to 
his face at the tiiought — that the speaker's argument was 
aimed at him pi-rsonally even as the speaker's eye most often 
sought out his. 

Elaborating the impossibility of the formation of the Inion 
witiiout a recognition of the existeuci' of slaverv, and dwelliuii' 

f ," ti 


upon the (lisaslmus coiisi'ijiu'iici's to tlic cDuft'di'i'iitioii timt must 
have attended its jihandonnieut, he once more indulged in a 
o-lowino- eulooy upon tiu' pros[)erity and lil)erty that had been 
secured thereliy, and then asked: '' Wiiat would have been 
your choice, iny friends, if you had had the constitution to 
frame. — a I'nion, such as we have it, leaving- tlu; questi(jn of 
slavery to l)e decided by the States themselves, with the right 
to abolisli it. if they deemed it right, or wise, to do so? Or 
would you have sacriliced the I'nion to the barren assertion of 
an abstract principle, which would, in all human probability, 
have resulted in the sulijugation of the States l)y some foreign 
power, remembering that Inited we Stand, Divided we Fall? "' 

The jubilant applause, in which even Victor joined, left wo 
doubt as to the views of the audience on this point. Then 
followed the argument, which Victor had already heard from 
the Colonel's lips in private c(jnversation, against the party of 
fanatics and hypocrites who made it their mission to cast the 
firebrand of insurrection and civil commotion among the people, 
accusing the slave-holders of the l:)lackest of crimes for simply 
claiming their inherited rights, guaranteed l)y the laws of God 
and num. — whiHjranded that sacred constitution as a cove- 
nant witii hell, and sought to paralyze the power of the South 
and West by means of iniquitous tariff laws, and making war 
upon its thne-honored institutions. Ju a scathing diatribe, the 
speaker depicted the hyi)ocrisy of the Croesuses of the North 
and P2ast, who grew fat ujuju the Ijlood and marrow of the 
operatives in their mills and factories, extorting from them the 
labor of their l)est years for scanty wages, and leaving them iu 
their old age. with their heli)less wives and children, to starva- 
tion and misery, while they turned up their sanctimonious 
eyes in make-believe horror at the sins committed in the South 
against their black lirctlircn. 

The speecli of the Colonel, whatever may have been its de- 
merits, created the wildest enthusiasm of his audience. They 
questioned neither the truth of his statements, nor the logic of 
his reasoning, but abandoned themselves to the i)ower of liis 


eloquence, which so triunii)hautly demonstrated to them the 
truth of what they wished to be convinced of. But A'ictor 
listened as to the annunciation of a new gospel — a revelation 
of the orandeur of the laud of his adoption. In his exultation 
lie then and tliere vowed to liiniself to love and cherish this 
i^lorious land, and to defend and serve it to tlie utmost of his 
humble ability, lint the sentiment upi)ermost in liis heart was 
that of admiration and reverence, amounting ahnost to adora- 
tion, for the man whose words were so grand and eiuiobliug, 
whose elocinence was so overpowering. 

The Colonel was too experienced a sj)eaker to conclude 
without a striking climax. Pointing to some of the slaves 
skipping blithely about the grounds, and beckoning to some 
of his own servants to approach, he exclaimed: "Look there 
my fellow-citizens! Oliserve the jolly, shining faces, l)eaming 
with contentment and good cheer; imagine, alongside of them, 
the [)inched physiognomies of Northern factory operatives, 
their scantily fed children, care-worn wives and emaciated old 
men, and tell me, which class of slaves ajjpeals most to the 
sympathy of good men? '' 

When the thousand-voiced cheers elicited by this t-ompa- 
rison had subsided, the Colonel ])egged permission to add a 
word in defense of himself, and alluded to the slanderous re- 
ports industriously circulated against him. as he had heard. 
l)y his enemies. Without mentioning names, he proceeded to 
narrate trutlifully the occurrences already detailed between 
Victor, the negroes and the overseer, ^'ictor blushed deeply 
as he listened ; Nellie regarded him witli smiling face, and 
Leslie whispered into his ear: " This is the milk in the cocoa- 
nut! His whole speech was but tlie introduction to this 
llagellation of that miserable .Jeffreys. Do you believe, now, 
that the governor understands his Inisiness as a ])olitician? " 

The llippanl words of Leslie gratecl hai'slily on \'ictor's car. 
How could his own son speak so irreverently of the man whom 
he himself worshiped in his inmost heart? 

The Colonel closed witli an appeal to those ])resent. all of 



Avliom luid known him long and well, for a just and inipaitiul 
judgment between him and his tiaducers, and left the phitforni 
amid the deafening cheers of the applauding nudtitnde. 

This eoneluded the ■• intelleetual part of the program." as 
Leslie descril)ed it, and a third blast on the eoneh announced 
the beginning of the more lively exercises at the tables. Tiiat 
the excited crowd rushed forward to the tables set in the shadv 
grove in picturestpie confusion, and devoured the tempting 
viands, prejiared according to the most approved rules of the 
l»arbecue, with ravenous ai)petites, — that the crowd of 
human ])eings, so long condemned to silence, now sought to 
indemnify themselves liy lioisterous chatting and laughter, — 
that Colonel May was shaken by the hand and congratulated 
on all sides, goes without saying. 

As Nellie succeeded in getting at him, she threw her arms 
about him and kissed him in view of all the people. 

Victor regarded him in silent admiration. The Colonel 
took him by the hand and said, with his winning smile, " Well, 
my friend, how did you like my speech?" Whereat Victor 
made no answer in words, but reverently kissed the hand that 
had been offered him. 

" Some of my arguments were meant for your especial 
consideration," said the Colonel, and led Mrs. May to the 



^^ffl'HE profound imiu'esssion made upon Victor by the speech 
[[[ of Colonel May unlitted him for the enjoyment of the 
" scenes which grew livelier and more boisterous as the 
day wore on. He felt the need of solitude to dig'est and 
assimilate the mio-hty thoughts that he had heard expounded. 
In his exalted mood he felt the clamoi'ous applause accorded to 
the rude jokes of s(^me rural Demosthenes as a jarring dis- 
cord. His soul was not attuned to the hilarious mood of those 
around him. Thus it happened that he paid but little heed to 
the lionizing attentions received by Ralph Payton as the just 
tril)uti' to his genius; that even lovely Nellie's lavish smiles 
upon the petted orator, and the complaisance Avith which she 
permitted him to entertain her, failed to arouse ^'ictor's 
uneasiness. Nor did it attract his notice that one of the post- 
prandial orators, when the whiskey donated by his chief was 
being tapped and distributed to tiie thirsty revelers, gave, as a 
toast in honor of JNIynheer ^'an Hraaken, the sentiment : " To 
the liberal Dutch ^Merchant I " and heard but as in a dream, 
that liis fi'ieiid Li'slic undertook to answer (wlu-n INIynheer 
failed to respond, except by vigorcMisly nodding his head and 
winking with his twitching eye). It may as well l)e men- 
tioned iiere, that, although \'ictor lost the full benelit of his 
friend's lemarks, Leslie was lavish in his praise of '' the 
liberal-minded and generous (h)nor,'" and " took this festive 
occasion '" luilhei'inore. to exjU'ess tht' gratitude of the com- 
nnmity to this ■• distinguished and highly honorable foreigner " 
for the impetus given Ijy him to the pr()si)erity and commercial 
progress of Hrookliejd, and of all the Southwi'stern part of the 
State. Of course, Victor failed, also, to notice, that Leslie, 


under guise of extravaguut encomiums upon Kalpli Payton's 
maiden speech, dealt tliis gentleman some ugly left-handed com- 
pliments and that ho aroused the adherents of ISrynheer to wild 
enthusiasm, to whicli the Barnes party could not even make oi)[)<)- 
sitioii. Nor, of course, did he see how Kalpli Payton changed 
color when Leslie alluded to his oration, and al)rui)tly de{)arted 
from Nellie's. presence without so much as taking leave of her, 
although this demure maiden, barring a sparkle in her eye, 
seemed imiocence itself. As soon as opportunity offered, 
\'ictor left the scenes of gayety and sought the solitude of the 
woods to connnune with his thoughts. 

Ralph Payton, for his part, was not disposed to seek soli- 
tude. He moved about among the excited crowd until his 
eyes fell upon a small group engaged in earnest, though low- 
voiced, conversation, toward which he straightway directed his 
steps. It was a singular coincidence, that he himself and the 
rough handling he and his speech had just received at Leslie's 
hands, constituted the theme of discussion. .But the balm for 
his wounded self-esteem, if such he was in search of, came in 
an undesirabU' form ; for Gregory Jeffreys, the foremost of the 
group he had joined, accosted him with a derisive grin, and 
said : 

■' AVell, Ral[)h Payton, be ye sat'stied now, o' the rakin' 
down ye'r been gittin' from that puppy Leslie ? Sarves ye right 
'nough. 'Cause I been warnin' ye agin the silly notion o' 
makin' a speech agin tliese d — d fur'ners. But ye knowed 
better, an' now ye got it." 

Ralph turned red in the face. " \yhat do you want, Jef- 
reys?" he retaliated, almost liercely. '"I made that speech 
with the best intention. I thought that you all wanted these 
upstart foreigners to be put down a peg oi' two. How can 1 
help it, that Colonel IMay takes so much stock in then;? Or 
that his son Leslie seems to find a pleasure in insulting me for 
their benefit r ' ' 

" That thar' old Dutchman 's leadin' public 'pinion by the 
nose with 'is braggin' 'bout cheap goods, an' competition, an' 


all that, an' giy'u' away a bar'l o' rot-gut whiskey," Jeffreys 
retorted. " An' the young gawk 's got in fash'n, 'cause 'e's 
a d — d little sneak 'at worms into the lik'n' o' silly wiinen- 
folks. It was a d — d piece of foolishness to 'tack 'em in 
public, an' give that blatherskit'n' Kurnel May the chance to 
put it in politics." 

" How else can you assail them? " Ralph broke in. " In 
this way only, by arousing and turning against them th(^ 
patriotic indignation of the public, can you safely get at them." 

" Payton is right," said Orlando Jones, another of the 
disputants. " We must show up the danger these foreigners 
bring to our country. I hate them like poison." 

" And no wonder," the last of the trio chimed in, who was 
no other than Bo)) Rountree, Victor's colleague in the Dutch 
Store. '' It was a perfect shame, the way old \m\ treated 
your father, without cause or provocation." 

" Hold your tongue, youngster, until your o[)ini(Mi is 
wanted," exclaimed Orlando, highly incensed by the allusion 
to the practical joke played on old Jones by the peddler. 

" And Victor is insufferably proud and conceited," Bob 
continued, emphasizing his words by a vigorous shake of the 
head. ''And it will be doing him a real service to let him 
know his proper place among white folks. That is Mr. 
Jeffreys' opinion, and it is mine." 

" Sart'nly," Jeffreys assented. " What 'ud the outlandish 
gawk ])e 'thout the partiality o' the Kurnel 'n' 'is kith 'n' kin? 
An' how kin you, Raljjh Payton, stomach the 'ristocratic airs 
o' that conceited i)up 'at gave ye sich a kickin' t'other day at 
the grammar scliool, an' now agin here, to-day? An' the 
little hussey 'at carries her head so high 's no better — " 

"Not a word al)out the lady I " Ralph exclaimed with em- 
pliasis. " I sliare your antipathy against the Dutchman, and 
grant you that Leslie has treated me shamefully. But all that 
is no reason for mixing up Miss May in the matter. 1 will 
not suffer it, as I want you, once for all, to understand." 

"More tool vou I " sneered Jeffreys. "She's lead'n' ve 


b_v the nose. She tliiiiks a heap more o' that outlandish 
greenhorn 'n she docs o" yon, 'n' yon an honest 'nierican. 
I'd just like to know, how the ngly scarecrow turns the heads 
o' the silly winien-folks ; lir 'e's cock in the roost with the 
missis an" the maid." That 'ere Octoroon gal 's crazy 's a 
loon after 'im." 

'' Come, now, Jeffreys," said Orlando Jones, '• 'taint as bad 
as that, is it? " 

" Oh, they say that the overseer is sort of jealous of that 
Octoroon girl and my partner, the 3'oung Dutchman," said 
Bob Rountree, with a teasing smile that exasperated Jeffreys. 

" Is that the reason why he hates the young foreigner so 
cordially? " Ralph Payton asked. '' Xo wonder, then, that 
he owes him no good will. I am with him there. But," he 
added, turning to Jeffreys, '• I don't want Miss ]May, or any 
of her family, disturbed. Mind that." 

" Young man," the overseer exclaimed in great irritation, 
" I've been deadly insulted 1 Both on 'em insulted me, — that 
d — d Hessian, an' ek'ly that slick-tongued Kuruel. An' 
I'm not a dog, to lick the hand 'at's dealt me a blow. If 
sich is j^ore sentiment, we won't hitch hosses. I'm in fur 
payin' back an insult with int'rest. My 'pinion is 'at Kurnel 
May 's got to be ])ut down I We kin do it easy, by provin' 
in a court o' law what a dirty comp'uy 'e keeps, an' showin' 
np 'is dirty doin's, 'at give the lie to 'is speeches an' palaver 
in public. Let's show 'im uj) fur the white-livered abolitioner 
'at 'e is, protectin' that 'are d — d Dutch upstart, an' sid'n' 
with niggers agin white folks. Ye needn't bring charges 
ag'n' the Kurnel at all, lest ye'r amind to. It'll all come out 
loud 'nongh, if ye on'y git that d — d young fur'ner in 

•'Them's my sentiments to a Tl " Orlando Jones pro- 
claimed. " He assailed me from behind, like a coward and 
an assassin ; he insulted me before the whole class. That is 
against the law, and he must be punished. We have laws in 
this country-, and we should appeal to them to get justice." 


" Nonsense I '" excltiinied Kalph Paytou. ''You bring an 
action aoainst liini for assault and battery, and if you convict 
liini, lie will ))e sentenced to pay a line of one dollar, niayl)e : 
and like as not, somebody else will pay that for him. No. 
sirree! That's not ///// opinion.'" 

" Nor yet mine I " Jeffreys announced, assuming an air of 
special im[)ortance. " If you bring the action, Orlando .Jones, 
ye'll have the costs to pay, like 'nough, into the bargain. 
'Cause I hear'n say ye made the fust assault yerself, an' they 
might prove it on ye. But thar's a law ag'in' sociatin' with 
niggers, au' stirrin' up niggers to sedition an' revolt. An' 
'e must l)e indicted by the grand jury, whar' there'll be no 
risk for the informer; an' it's felony, an" it'll be penitentiary 
if they fetch 'im in guilty." 

"Yes I And if they don't, there is Judge Lynch to ride 
him on a rail, with a coat of tar and feathers on ! " suggested 
Bob Kountree, rubbing his hands in high glee. 

"•At least, which would be better, he would ))e banished 
from the country," said Ralph Pay ton. 

•• Then we are agreed to this? " Jeffreys inquired. " If we 
are, let us consider, how we'll git 'im indicted. Fur if 'e's 
got friends on the grand Jury they'll never indict 'im." 

"How so?" asked Kali)li Paytou. "Are they not sworn 
to lind according to law, without fear, favor or affection? You 
must have proof and they must find according to the evidence," 

•• Of course! " Jeffreys explained to the others, contracting 
one of his eyebrows so as to indicate his superior crafti- 
ness. " We know all 'l)out the impartiality o' grand juries. 
But the case is this: If 'e has friends on the grand jury, 
they'll not lind the evidence sutlicient an' ther'll be no 

" But if the grand jurors are his enemies, — leastwise not 
his friends — • then justice will get her own I " Bob Rountree 
remarked excitedly. " My daddy is sheriff, and I am his 
son ! ' ' 

" Now, if Jones, Orlando's old man. 'ud be on the jury," 


Ji'l'fl'cys hinted, willi :i sly uliiiicc :il Uoli. •• "I'M see ':il the 
hiws ()" the l;iii(l "ud Ix- ohi'ved. There'd lie no t rnit "rous 
s_viii|):ithiziir with I'lir'n spies tn cloud'n 'is Judo'ineiit. iiiirto 
liiiuler' 'iiu I'roiii doin" 'is (Utoty." 

'• He woiihl iXMiieiiiher foreiii'ii peddk'is and hate Diilcli in- 
terl()i)ers," put in IJolf Koiintree. onee moiv i'iil)hino- his hands 
in excited luuuor. 

" F<ireio:n iuUiience is one of the most banelul toes of re- 
puMiean uovermnent I " quoted Kalpli Payton from his speech. 

" And I think ]\[r. Jeffreys ought to be on the grand jury," 
said Orhindo .Jones. '^ He knows more al)()ut tlie evidence 
than anybody else, and owes a duty to the community." 

" Mebbe ye're riglit," the overseer generously admitted. 

" And Mr. Barnes I " added liol) ; " and all of Mr. Barnes' 
friends. There are enough of true men left in this country 
who are not afraid to do their duty against these upstart for- 
eigners. And my daddy slian't know a thing about the whole 
matter. ' ' 

" Bob's a smart young man, now, ain't 'e? " said Jeffreys, 
patting the apprentice on the shouhler witii a patronizing 
smile. •' It mightn't bi- nice to see tlie old man an' the 
Kurnel at loggerheads, as miglit liap[)en if anything leaked 
out. An' it 'ud be foolish to let the enemy look into our 
liands. An' that reminds me." he added, casting a searching 
glance at the surroundings, •• that we musn't stand vert' 
whispering any more. I seen that 'ere Leslie's eyes on us onc't 
or twic't. an' 'e's the veiy devil to put this an' that together." 

'' All right." said the a[)prentice. exchanging a look of 
tacit understanding with Jeffreys. ^' I've got mv cue. 
Neither my boss, the Dutchman, nor my daddy, are to smell 
a rat. But if the next grand jury should indict my dear 
friend We for high treason, — you know wIks's sheriff, and 
who's his son." 

'• I guess we'd better scatter easy, like, so's not to draw 
attention," said Jeffreys; and Orlando Jones, acting upon the 
suggestion, moved away. 


He TllE li'E BEL'S DAUGllTEU. 

" And I shall devote myself to the pleasure of the fair sex,'* 
said Bob Rountree. " Some of them have, no doid)t, sadly 
missed me." 

And the group dispersed. '' For all the woild," thought 
Paytou, not without a touch of misoiving, " like a l)and of 

The promising young apprentice was in a highly exhilarated 
UK^od. The fair Emily Matlack was pleasantly surprised by 
his animated (tonversatiou, and the self-possessed smile that 
illumined his face. She was ready to make the most of his 
amiable attentions, notwithstanding — or perhaps because of — 
the slight Avhich she fancier} to have received from Leslie May. 
She was determined to prove to that young gentleman, that she 
could amuse herself quite agreeably without his compan}- , and 
that there was no lack of admirers who sought her favor. He 
should be made to understand, that it was a matter of supreme 
indifference to her, whether he bestowed his favors here or 
elsewhere. In this spirit of laudable independence, she 
entered enthusiastically into the vivacious mood of her newly 
captured admirer. She found his attempts at witticism irre- 
sistibly funny, and rewarded his most trivial remarks with 
gracious smiles and appreciative laughter. This hitherto 
unexperienced success fired the young man to renewed exer- 
tions and ever l)older attempts to excite his fair companion's 
risibility, so that the merry young couple were thoroughly 
successful in attracting public attention. 

But notwithstanding all this, Miss Emily seemed not alto- 
gether happy. A closer observer than Bob Rountree was at 
this moment, Avould have suspected the searching glances cast 
by the young maiden in every direction. But Bob saw in the 
excessive hilarity of his companion only the effect of his per- 
sonal amiability, and it escaped his notice entirely that some- 
times a shadow of keen disapj^ointment passed over her face, 
when Ttter wandering glances failed, evidently, to reveal the 
object of their diligent search. It was somewhat of a surprise 
to the voung man therefore, to hear her suddenlv exclaim '• I 


thoiiohl so! " just when he was o-ivino- her llic ln'iu'lit ol' a 
lively (leseriptiou of some startling adventure. 

'I'lie inniiediate cause ol' this exclamation was the discovery, 
on the part of Miss Emily, of Leslie, whom her sharp optics 
descried, in a distant part of the gTounds, leisurely escortinu- 
her intimate friend Ilettie Shannon toward the adjacent wood. 
IJolt, looking up into his fair companion's face, followed the 
direction of her intent gaze ; hut he saw neither Leslie nor the 
young lady he was escorting: his eyes, instead, fell on a group 
on the furthermost limits of the grounds, composed of Colonel 
May, his wife and daughter, and Ralph Payton. Naturally 
enough, he attributed her exclamation to her discovery of this 
group and more particularly to the fact of her noticing the 
attention paid to Miss Nellie by Kalph Payton. 'Now Bol) 
possessed considerable acuteness of intellect, and a lively 
imagination. He at once concluded that Miss Emily was an 
imi)lacable opponent of Victor Waldhorst, having heard from 
young Jones that it was she who had divulged the piquant 
anecdote of the scarecrow ; and that she was agreeably sur- 
[)rise(l to notice that Ralph Payton still enjoyed Miss Nellie's 
good will, notwithstanding what had passed between them 
in the grammar class, giving expression to her delight by the 
remark he had heard. His surmises in this direction were 
confirmed by the very evident haste with which the young 
lady pressed forward in the direction of tiie group men- 

" I am quite sure," said he, with the laudable desire to say 
something pleasant to his fair young friend, " that my poor 
colleague has nothing to hope for in that quai'ter. Ralph 
Payton has cut him clean out there." 

"Ralph Payton?" the young lady inquired iiuiocently. 
without, however, looking at her escort. " Where? " 

'' Why, there, where we are going; with Miss Nellie May," 
said Bob, wondering at Miss Matlack's obtuseness. 

" Ah, with Nellie May I " replied Emily rather absently. 
" Oh, ves 1 Why there she is sure enough. Let us not dis- 


turl) tlR'in. NN'ouldn't you like to tiike a wjilk with me in the 
cool shade of the wood? It is very warm to-day." 

Bol), of course, gladly asseuted. He was tleliiilited with 
the evident progress he was making in the young lady's favor, 
and stepped along so ])roudly l)y her side, that he failed to 
perceive her preoccupation, and the intentness with which she 
peered into tiie wood, which tliey were now rapidly approach- 
ing, lie made up for her taciturnity by eagerly pursuing the 
topic of conversation, — Ralph and Mctor — a theme whicii 
aroused his deepest interest, and upon which he had marvelous 
things to say. It was a pity, therefore, that his comi)auion 
listened with but half an ear, else she might have learned that 
Bob Rountree was a warm admirer of Ralph Payton, but had 
little love for Victor Waldhorst. 

In the cool and quiet solitude which they had now reached, 
iier sharp eyes soon discovered, visible between the foliage of 
the shrubs and bushes, the bright straw-colored dress of her 
friend Hettie. " I thought so! " was the ejaculation that for 
a second time almost escaped her, but which on this occasion 
she succeeded in suj)pressing. Slowly the two walked on, the 
diret^tion cliosen l)y lu'r enabling her to keep in sight the 
straw-colored caru-o dress, by the side of which the blue-jeans 
coat worn by Leslie May became visible. Bob's animated 
conversation must have reached the ears of those ahead, for 
the bine-jeans coat, as well as the yellow calico dress, came to 
a sudden standstill. Elmily took her [)artner a step or two 
farther, and then, declaring that she was too tired to proceed 
on the walk, proposed to rest a while. 

Meanwhile Leslie May, having reached this j)art of the wood 
in his i)romenade with the charming Hettie Shannon, was not 
a little surprised to hear the voice of the merchant's apprentice 
in lively conversation with Emily Matlack. Hettie, turning- 
round, beheld in Boll's companion her friend Emily, and put 
her linger to her lips, thns signaling Leslie to remain silent. 
Tlie latter raised his forelinger in mock remonstrance, and 
whispered a few words into lier ear which made her ))lush ; l»ut 


both iviikuiumI pc'i'fi'ctly sili'Ul. IJol) luid i>;ill;iiil l\' ^jircml liis 
silk li;iii(lki'icliicl' on tlic iiroiiiKl ior Miss Kiiiily ((j sil on. 
while Ir" hiiiisi'lf took :i ivcuinl)t'ut position l)y lu'i' sidr. con- 
tiiining to entertain her with praiseworthy /.eal. 

Leslie ^Nlay. wlio iiad remained silent, at first in delcMvuce to 
his lady's whim, soon listened with keen interest on his own 
aeeount to Bob's lively talk, and in tnrn sionaled his compan- 
ion to keep silenee wlu'n he saw lier start to approach the otlier 
couple. So communicative had liob become toward his fair 
listener, that he was presayino- all sorts of dark things for 
Victor, among them the |)ossibility of a trial for a great crime, 
and so many hints of trouble for the Dutch Store, that it was 
not difficult for Leslie to guess what was going on. He did 
not dream, however, of Jiolt Kountree's own jjart in the pro- 
gram, but imagined the whole plan an electioneering trick 
against his father. The importance of the interests at stake 
seemed to him to justify the part he was acting as eavesdrop- 
per. Besides, he had entered on the rolo originally only to 
please a charming young lady, whose curiosity had gotten the 
better of her discretion. 

But the attention of both was claimed in a new direction bv 
sounds as of one approaching. There was rustling of the 
leaves of the hazel bushes close by. and presently a hand 
became visible in the act of separating them to make room for 
the head that followed, and which Leslie recognized as that of 
young Victor. 

" Xow seel " he exclaimed, as unconcernedly as if the two 
liad met alone in the wood. '• Luihih in F((liiiUi ! " 

^liss Emily had also heard the approach of the footsteps, 
but paid no attention to them. Not so Bob Rountree. He 
was too busily engaged talking to his lady to notice the slight 
noise. Leslie's remark, therefore, startled him. He quicklv 
jumped up. and was disagreeably surprised to see Victor, as 
well as Leslie with his companion. The young lady also rose, 
but more leisurely, and lioth a])proached the others. Bob with 
a guilty look, but Emily as serenely and Avith a smile of such 


glad surprise, as if she had just tlien beconu' aware of the 
l)resence of Leslie and her dear friend Hettie. 

" Where on earth have you been all the afternoon? " asked 
Leslie of Victor. " One would almost suppose that you are 
afraid of the sovereigns on this birtliday of Iheir national 

"Don't pretend! " said Miss Emily, with a sweet, though 
somewhat ironically intended smile. " I hope Mr. Waldhorst 
has as good a right to liide himself in the solitude of the 
woods as — certain other people I " These last words were 
accompanied by a look of superb contempt at Miss Hettie 

" Oh, certainly I " the latter retorted, returning the sneer of 
her virtuous friend with an angry flash of her eyes, "• cer- 
tainly I Just as good a right, at least, as a certain young lady 
has to appoint a meeting with her ardent admirer in the forest, 
and — to wallow in the grass with him. all alone in the 
wood I 

'■'■ Honi .soit 'jid /lull !i piniae!^' exclaimed Leslie, stepping 
between the angry maidens. " Nobody to blame ! 1 declare 
to you upon my honor, Miss Matlack, that it Avas only at my 
urgent request, that Miss Shannon accompanied me on a voyage 
of discovery after my missing friend Victor. That our way 
led into the woods, was certainly not her fault. But you. 
]\liss Shannon," he continued, tui'ning to his lady, •• are in 
danger of doing great injustice to your amiable friend, if you 
deem her capable of braving the dangers of the forest, even 
under the protection of the redoubtable Mr. Eountree. if she 
had not knoAvn that she would find you here also." 

The ladies listened, not altogether sure of Leslie's sincerity. 
But this young gentleman, evidently sincere enough in his 
endeavors to reconcile the belligerent beauties, took one hand 
of each and laid it in that of the other. " I see," he said 
with a winning smile, " how greatly pleased you both are to 
meet each other here. Now give vent to your joy, pour out 
vour hearts lo each other, and afford ns ])oor youngsters the 


happiness of witnossiuij; the sisterly coiicord of so iiiiich 
feminine loveliness and l)eaut_v 1 

What remained for tlie pooi- o-irls to do, l)iit to (dasp ciu'li 
other's liands, and make at least an outward show ol that 
cordiality for which Leslie commended them ? Suspecting, in 
their secret hearts, that the saucy young- man was, in some 
way, fooling, or at least teasing, them, yet neither had the 
courage to resist his coaxing request, and both did us he hade 
t hem . 

Leslie himself then turned to ^'ictor. who stood there as 
perplexed and ignorant of the meaning of what was going on 
as was Bob Rountree, and whispered into his ear: " You must 
help me out of this scrape. Take that smiling Miss Hettie off 
my hands, or I shall incur the deadly enmity of the amiable 
Miss Emily." 

"Of Miss P^mily? " Victor asked, in surprise. "Why, 
she is friendliness itself. She fairly worships you." 

" That's just why," Leslie whispered energetically. "If 
you don't help me, the lovely- maidens will scratch out each 
other's beautiful eyes. I must take Miss E^mily back to the 
grounds, or there will be a hair-bristling catastrophe." 

'* But Miss P^mily has an escort," Victor protested. " Did 
she not come wdth Mr. Rountree'::' " 

" Never mind that youngster; I'll get rid of him easily 
enough," urged Leslie. " But I must have Hettie (jff my 
hands too, or I can't make up with Emily. And if I poke 
her off on Bob, she'll get her back up and the trouble will be 
equally great in the other quarter." 

Victor was about to object that he foresaw the same conse- 
quence in the case of Miss Shannon, if she were '■ poked off " 
on hiin, but Leslie had already left him. and was coaxing 
Bob Rountree " as a great favor" to himself, to hurry off 
and inform Mr. and Mrs. May and his sister Nellie, that it 
was high time to prepare for the return home, and that he, 
Leslie, would be with them in a very few moments. 

The young mtvn was, as he had expected, willing enough to 


()l)lig'c Leslie, :ni(l iiliidly embrueed tlu- (ipportuiiity to oet well 
out of the coiiii):iiiy in wliicli. since ^M(•tol■ had Joine(l them, lie 
felt ill Mt ensc. 

'' Now. wln'ii 1 \v:ili\ up with the two jj'irls," Leslie, return- 
iu<i', whispered in N'ictor's ear, '' you sidle uj) to llettie, and 
tell her somethinii- llatterino'. If it o'oes auainst your grain to 
rail her a heauty, or any sueh nice thing, say something com- 
plimentary of her father; that will do aliuost as well. Then 
\-ou walk on ahead witii her, or stay beiiind, whichever comes 
most natural. Slii'Ml not let go of you after that." 

'I'he voinig ladies graciously accepted his kindly offer to 
escort them hack to the grounds, and \'ictor, mindful of 
Leslie's ri'tpiest, walked Ity Ilettie's side, and ventured a few 
l)ashful remarks. Uul Ilettie's answers were so natural and 
amiable, that \'ictor began to hope that he might coin the c(jni- 
pliment which was expected of him, for the young lady her- 
self. \n pondering what to say, he happened to remember the 
imposing ligure and dignilied bearing of the gray-haired old 
man, who had ])resided over the great assemblage in the morn- 
ing, and completely won the heart of the filial daughter by the 
vivid descri[)tion of the impression made on him, so that fur- 
ther compliment became unnecessary. llettie, attaching her- 
self to Victor, and turning toward him with an eager face, the 
better to listeu to his remarks, loitered in her steps, so that the 
two couples Avere far enough apart to be out of ear-shot of 
private conversation. Thus it came about, that what Leslie 
said to conciliate the irritated Emily, remained a secret be- 
tween them. Hut it must have been perfectly satisfactory to 
the fair one, for ^"ictor noticed that she took his arm in a very 
cordial manner, and that the two chatted with each other, in 
livelv, but i)erfectly harmonious style. The example thus 
o-iveu was readily followed by Mctor, who thought it a |)art of 
the role he had assumed to offer his arm to his fair partner ; 
and when Hettie conlidingly put her plump little hand uj)on it, 
he magnanimously forgave his friend for •' poking off " this 
lovclv li'irl upon him. PLOTTIXG. 153 

In tliis \v;iy tlu'V successively renclied llie ui'duikIs. Leslie 
led his cimr<>(' str:iiuiit\v;iv to her |i:ii('iils ; liiit \' ictor wiis SO 
pleasantly entertained by his c(iin|)ani(in. tiiat he lortjot all 
about i>;<)in<»- houie. Nor did he [nkv note of tlu' circumstance 
that, wliile many of the participants iind already taken their 
departure home, those that remaincMl were so c()ns])icuously 
hilarious, as to point unmistakalily to the freely donated 
whiskey of ^Mynheer as the source of their inspiration. 

])Ut presently the silvery voici' of Nellie broke in upon the 
pleasant chat Itetween \'ictor and Miss Shannon. After a 
friendly word to the latter, she turned to Victor, and said, 
shakino- hei- uplifted linuer at him. in a serio-comic, chiding- 
voice: "• 1 am afraid, Mr. Waldhorst. that niy brother has 
already corrupted your exemplary manners. Jf any one had 
told me. I would not have believed, what I now see with my 
own eyes ; that you dared walk arm in arm with a young ladv, 
in broad daylight, at a public festival I And to })ass l»y 
your most intimate friends without even a nod of recog- 
nition ! 

Victor, with a vivid l)lush of conscious guilt, cowardly 
dropped the arm of the young lady he was escorting, and 
lowered his eyes before the mischievous smile of the wayward 
c'hild. " You forget," he stannnered in great enil)arrassment, 
•• that you yourself have done me the honor, to-day — " 

'• Oh, that was a mere make-shift," Nellie interrupted him. 
" I c-ould not squeeze through that crowd without an escort, 
could 1? But it seems to me, that you and Hettie came from 
a place where there was no crowd at all. Come, confess, sir, 
that l)rother Leslie has had you in training! " 

There is no certainty as to what \Mctor would have con- 
fessed, because just at that moment Ralph Payton came along 
and interru]>ted the conversation. For once the appearance of 
this young gentleman was welcome to Victor. He announced, 
that the pony had been saddled, and that every thing was 
ready for tlu' homewai'd ride. As Nellie turned toward IJalph 
Payton to accom])any him back, siie gave \'ictoi' a parting 


injunction. '' I chartre you," she said, in playful banter, " to 
follow soon, else (xrace Darling will tax the skill of her rider 
severely, if you want to catch up with us before reaching May 
Meadows. You have seen how swift of foot my ])ony is, and I 
surmise," — this Avith an arch look at Ralph — "that Mr. 
Payton's bosom has been relieved of an immense Aveight since 
morning, so that his horse, too, will travel smartly." 

She left Victor standing abashed, as she departed with her 
cavalier, gazing after her Avith the vague longing Avhich he had 
felt on seeing those tAvo dei)art from May Meadows in the 

Suddenly he l)ethought himself of the young lady Avhose arm 
he had so ignomiuiously forsaken, and turned Avith the inten- 
tion of thanking her for the pleasure she had conferred upon 
him. But she was nowhere to be seen. He looked around in 
peri)lexitv, and as he failed to discover the least trace of 
her, he concluded that the young ladv had joined her folks, 
and, extremely anxious to obey Nellie's parting injunction to 
be on the road as soon as i)Ossible, hurried on to lind Leslie. 
From one of the blacks he learned that Leslie had just been 
seen Avith a lady in a straAV-colored dress. -'In a straAv- 
colored dress!" mused Victor. " Why, that must l)e Miss 
Shannon. Where on earth did he meet her, and what can he 
want of her noAv ? " Shaking his head OA'er the incalculaljle 
moods of his friend, he quickly traversed the grounds. 

The turmoil increased, although great numbers were con- 
stantly leaving for home. Many of those Avhom he encov;ntered 
Avere evidently intoxicated. He felt ill at ease : and as he saw 
nothing of Leslie, he considered the propriety of ordering his 
horse and starting off alone. It Avould not be difficult, he rea- 
soned, to OA'ertake Nellie and Payton ; perhaps it inight i)lease 
the little lady to have two escorts in place of one. 

But before he could carry out his intention, some one seized 
his arm, and he felt wonderfully relieved to recognize his 
friend Leslie. 

>' Comi', my boy." said llic latter in liis cheery voice, " it is 


not safe to remain here mnch longer. Unless I am much mis- 
taken, there will Ije striking- illustrations before long, of the 
manly independence of the sovereigns. The Avhiskey of old Van 
Braaken is getting in its work." 

" Where have you been? " said Victor, taking Leslie's arm 
and keeping pace with hiin on the way to where the horses 
awaited them. " I have looked for you everywhere — " 

" And found me nowhere, certainly," said Leslie, in l)anter- 
ing tone. '* Now, are you not a pretty specimen of a cavalier, 
to stand there and permit the lady intrusted to your care to 
be whisked from your side, without your ever knowing it? " 

' ' Did you — ' ' 

' ' Of course ; I took Hettie to the bosom of her anxious 
family, for I saw that you would never succeed in accom- 
plishing that task yourself. Besides, we had a little account 
to settle between ourselves that required no witnesses." 

'' What do you mean? " asked Victor innocently. 

" Why, she owed me a fee for having made me the partici- 
l)ant of a great secret — . But there I I almost forgot that I 
must spare your sensitive ear. You might deem the reward I 
claimed almost as immoral as the conspiracy I traced by the 
aid of the fair one." 

"' Your words are all riddles to me I " said Victor. 

"You will solve them when the time comes." Leslie 
answered. "But now tell me, what do you think of a back- 
woods barbecue? " 

Victor complied. His naive remarks, as he related the 
experiences of the day, and the impressions they made upon 
his mind, elicited many a subdued chuckle of amusement from 
Leslie. But the enthusiasm which caused his eyes to sparkle 
as he described the powerful effect produced by his father's 
speech, and the adoration of the man, expressed more elo- 
quentlr by his rapt tone and transfigured features than liy his 
words, in turn impressed the son. 

To Victor's unspoken, but deep regret. Nellie and Payton 
were not overtaken bv them before reachino- home. 



I UK IJrodklicUU'i-s liahitually looked forward to the opon- 
**- iiiii' of court (on tho second Monday of July and 
.huiuarv each year) as an event fraught with great 
interest to them. Jt was a rare treat to the idlers and gossij)s. 
Not that there was pageantry, or i)i-illiant display, or inii)res- 
sive ceremonial of any kind. The judge wore neither ermine 
nor wig, nor was the sheriff armed with either sword or tij)- 
8taff. Yet there was much to see and hear. It was some- 
thing, for instance, to hear the sheriff's proclamation in 
opening court, perverting, to the disgust of judge and lawyers, 
the ancient foruuda of the Norman-French tongue " Oyez 1 
Oyez ! Oyez I " into the commonplace English •' O yes ! O yes ! 
O yes! " And then there were s[)eeches of the lawyers, 
belligerent and vehement, in the manner of lighting cocks ; and 
the torturing of witnesses on the rack of cross-examination ; 
and many a nugget of highly spiced scandal, furnishing wel- 
come topics for gossip at the stores and the veranda of the 
hotel for weeks to come. Jt was something, too, to see the 
new faces which court day brought; tirst of all the circuit 
attorney, and the rest of the lawyers wIk^ followed the judge 
itinerant from county seat to county seat, all over the circuit, 
like the tail of a comet; harvesting rich crops of fees, since 
even the Imc^kwoodsmen were aware how much a fat fee stimu- 
lates the alertr.ess and eloipieiice of a lawyer; wherefore 
anxious clients, on the eve of impending trials, came down more 
freely with their carefully hoarded •' dust." Then the liti- 
gating parties from far and near; the twice twelve citizens 
suiiuikhumI t() serve as traverse jiiroi's ; and linally. the grand 


iiuiuisitoi's, twenty in iimnhi'i', ciivt-lojx'd in tlic mystic niinhiis 
of secrecy. 

Mr. Rcjiaitree, the slieriff, was a coiiscientions ollici-r. IJe 
was deeply impressed with the o'rave res[)()nsil)ility restiny- 
npon him in dcsiiJiuitinu- tiie men who were to wield tiie power 
of calling' their fellow-men to account for crimes and misde- 
meanors connnitted. or alleged to have been committed. For 
this reason iVIi'. Rountree usually felt some anxiety on the 
api)roach of court terms. But on the occasion in question 
he had found this most trying of his olficial duties so easy, 
that he congratulated himself on his unex[)ected success, 
ascribing it to the routine acquired by practice. The list of 
names had occurred to him as if by intuition, on the very next 
day after the i)arl)ecue, and while engaged in an unusually 
pleasant chat with his son Bol). If in accounting to jiimself 
tor his extraordinary success he took undue credit to himself, 
ignoring entirely the merits of his son in this connection, let 
him not l»e judged harshly : for Bob was nuich too filially 
minded to i)ermit his father to even dream, that the happy 
composition of the grand in(iuisition was not due entirely to 
his own ability. 

More deeply, perhaps, than even the sheriff, was mine host 
of the Brookfield hotel interested in the advent of court days, 
in a pecuniary point of view at least. And no less the pro- 
prietors of the two stores whose respective establishments were 
crowded, on these occasions, with customers. 

It was a rather costly honor to Mr. Barnes, to oltlciate as 
grand juror at a time when his presence in the store was so 
imperatively demanded. The proud consciousness, however, 
of outranking his rival of the Dutch Store as an officer of court, 
outweighed his business scruples. It was a soothing balm to 
his vanity to reflect upon the distinction involved in this sac- 
rifice, which his country demanded of him. He saw in this 
mark of confidence on the part of his fellow-citizens a well- 
merited compliment in compensation for the unjust i)artiality 
shown to his rival on the occasion of the barbecue. And how 

ir>8 rilE n F.BEL'S DAUGIITEU. 

tlatterinsi" was the deference sliown him by his eolleauues I 
How assuring the ciruunistanoe, that not a single iueinl)er of 
the grand jury l)elonged to the partisans of the Dutch Store! 
True, he had never suspected what a dangerous, wicked indi- 
vidual his rival harbored in his store, in the person of his young 
apprentice, and wiiat a treasonalile intluenoe emanated from 
tliese foreigners. Mr. Jeffreys, his colleague on the grantl 
jury, opened his eyes in this respect, and Mr. Jones effec- 
tually seconded his efforts to warn the country of the dan- 
ger threatening the peace and welfare of the law-abiding 
population from this source; and before the grand jury had 
l)een closeted one hour, they had instructed the Circuit 
Attorney to prepare an indictment against Victor Waldhorst, 
charging him with felony : which, when it had been read to 
and sanctioned l)y the grand jurors, was signed by Mr. Barnes 
as foreman and returned into court as a true bill. 

Mynheer Van Braaken, meanwhile, was reaping a rich har- 
vest. Shoulder to shoulder stood the eager customers in his 
store. Mr. Miller, the head clerk, Mr. Van liraaken himself, 
as well as both apprentices, had their hands full to attend to 
the business. Victor, in happy unconsciousness of the por- 
tentous thunder-cloud gathering over his devoted head, forgot 
for once, in his zeal of activity, what was expected of him in 
the way of lauding the excellence of the goods ; and though 
he caught the eye of his young colleague resting upon him 
several times, with an unaccountable expression, in which both 
shyness and malice seemed blended, he was in no wise dis- 
concerted thereby. For he felt that to-day prompt attention 
to the wants of the customers, close watchfulness in the 
exchange of goods and money, and a careful scrutiny of liank- 
notes and coin was all that was expected or demanded of him. 
And in these respects he felt himself fully the equal of Bob 

Neither of the apprentices, however, was completely 
wrapped up in the l)usiness of the store. Victor's curiosity 
had been aroused bv the information he had gathered from 

Uh'FOIiE Tin-: (lUANl) INi^UEST. lo'J 

Leslie's coiiversntion nhout the powers and l'uiu-ti<)ii> «il' the 
Judge, jiirv and allonieys, ami aliout the several olllees ju-r- 
fornied by tlie onuid and petty juries, in the adniinistra- 
tiou of Justiee. The same sul)ject engaged the thoughts of 
Bob Kountree ; Avith tiiis difference, however, that in liis 
ease they assumed a more concrete shape, — the interest 
that he felt l>eing a direet and personal one. His thoughts 
engrossed him to such an extent, that his behavior excited the 
notice of his chief, as well as of Mr. Miller, and drew from 
them warning glances of disapproval. 

While Victor's sense of duty vvas sufficient to insure his 
undiminished attention to business, it did not exclude the 
lively desire to see, with his own eyes, an American court of 
Justice in all the majesty and panoply of its power. The 
" Grand Inquest," as Leslie had described it to him, more 
particularly piqued his curiosity. The imposing name sug- 
gested to him continually the stern austerity of the Spanish 
Inquisition, investing the subject with a degree of romantic 
interest contrasting strongly with the sober reality about him. 
Leslie May had in words not entirely devoid of pompous ex- 
aggeration, represented this institution as the grand bulwark 
of liberty, which the English people had, after many struggles, 
extorted from their rulers and incorporated in the Great Char- 
ter of English Liberties ; from which it had come down, as a 
precious inheritance from the mother country, to the American 
Colonies, and now constituted an essential part of the Bill of 
Rights of every American State. No wonder, then, that Vic- 
tor's lively imagination reverted, now and then, to the mys- 
terious doings that nuist be going on over at the court house, 
and that he regretted the impossibility of being an eye-witness 
to them. 

No wonder, either, that the summons of his employer, call- 
ing on him to accompany Leslie May to the court house, greatly 
astonished him, for though the crowd of customers had by this 
time perceptibly decreased, he had not noticed the entrance of 
Leslie, nor that this voung gentleman had been for some time 


('nJ4'iil>('(l ill ;in cjinu'st Ihouuli wiiispcrcd (■onvcrsutioii witli his 
cbief. He n-adiiy ioUowed his Iriciid, t(H'liii<i- iiratelul to him 
for his supposed [lurposc of iuakin<»' him acciuainted witli tlie 
jjractical workings of the court. Nor did. he note the 1o(j1< of 
open-mouthed exj)ectatiou witli whicli l>ol) I\ouiitree reu'arded 
the two as tliey left the store. 

Havinii" step})ed into tlie open air, Leslie eordially took 
Victor's arm. " Victor," he said lightly, " they are goiiiii- to 
phiy a joke on you. They want to vex and frighten you. Now 
promise mo, that you won't be ano-ry, or at least, that you will 
not let them see your ano'er ; and we will turn the joke against 
them so that all Vernal County shall shake with laughter at the 
stuj)id faces they will make on their disccjiniiture. Will you 
})romise ine? " 

" What do you mean? " said ^'ictol■. with a puzzled look. 

" Imagine," Leslie continued, not noticing his friend's 
question, "• that you were about to join the secret order of 
free masons. You know, don't you, that they try to frighten 
the candidates for the mysteries Avith all sorts of hocus-pocus 
and absurd monkey shines, to try their mettle? And you 
know, too, that not one of them was ever hurt so much as by 
crooking a hair of his head? So here: You will come out of 
it all without a scratch or a bruise. They shall not even rutHe 
your temper, if you only have faith in what I tell you." 

'' lint 1 don't understand you," said \'ictor. whose astonish- 
ment liegan to change to alarm at the strange words of liis 
companion. •• What do you want me to do? " 

" Nothing, but to be true to yourself, and to exhibit the 
courage of your true nature I " Leslie exclaimed, witii an 
encouraging look. '' Above all things, to believe me. when I 
tell you that you are in no real danger whatever." 

" liut I dream of no danger I " N'ictor replied, with a look 
of alarm that belied his words. •• 1 can't im:igiiie where there 
should be danger to me." 

" Well," said Leslie with a smile, the light irony of which 
did more to (piiet Victor's apprehensions than his reascming. 


" the fact is, tliat yon aiv attout to he conlTontcd witli the 
majesty of that bulwark of American IJherty tiiat J liave been 
tellina; you about. The grand jury has perpetrated the 
practical joke of finding a true bill against you, — that is, they 
have indicted you for treasonable conspiracy. " 

" Me? What for? AVhat have I done? " cried ^'ictor, 
turning pale now Avith real alarm. 

"Nothing l)ut ^vhat you thought right and just," replied 
Leslie, in a calm, assuring tone. " You see, the whole thing 
is intended for a cowardly attack on my governor. They 
know \ory Avell, that they cannot hurt him, or you either, by 
this proceeding in court ; but they mean to get up an excite- 
ment against the governor, so as to injure him in his election. 
At the same time they intend to frighten you, to revenge them- 
selves on you for the insult they imagine you ])ut on some 
of the silly fools. But if you will only keep a stiff upper lip, 
and laugh at them instead of giving them a chance to make 
merry over you, we shall turn the tables upon them in a way 
to make them laugh at the wrong corner of the mouth. vShow 
them the stuff you are made of I Prove that my sister is right 
when she calls you the proudest, and admires you as the 
bravest, boy in Vernal County! Will you promise? " 

Victor actually l>lushed with pleasure on hearing Nellie's 
opinion of him, notwithstanding the alarming nature of Les- 
lie's statement. But he made no reply, for they had by this 
time crossed the Square and reached the court house. They 
stood on the threshold of the temple of justice, which Victor 
entered with a feeling of suspense and awe never )>efore 

Just as they stepped in, the Mystic Twenty, constituting for 
the time being, the bulwark of American Liberty for the 
County of Vernal, stood up to receive from his Honor, the 
judge, further instructions touching their duties, and then 
marched by, in Indian file, on their way to the room assigned 
them for their deliberations, where they moved and carried an 
adjournment for the day. 



"Mark their faces! " Leslie whispered. "You know a 
sufficient number of them to be able to understand, now, how 
they came to accuse you of treasonable practices." 

"Why, there is Jeffreys! And Jones! And Matlack I " 
whisjx'red Victor eagerly. Are llic^c the men that constitute 
the Grand Inquest? "" 

" And Barnes and all his supporters," Leslie went on. 
'• Not one of them has any love for the Dutch Store. And 
Mr. Rountree is sheriff, and Bob is his son. Do you begin to 
see method in this madness? " 

" You don't mean to say that Bob — " 

" Y'es, I do, though! " Leslie interrupted him with an air 
of triumph that puzzled Victor still more. " Bob Rountree 
lias undertaken to personate, for once, the Genius of Liberty, 
and to have a hand in the construction of its bulwark. He 
has carried Ralph Payton's political maxim into practice, and 
here is his first blow at the baneful effect of foreign influence. 
Now for the first counter-stroke ! It will never do to give 
them the satisfaction of seeing you taken to jail, or even 
letting the sheriff lay hands on you." 

-Jail! Sheriff! " The words fell with terrific effect on 
poor Victor's ear. He began to understand, that there was no 
child's play going on, and that courage was, indeed, needed. 

But Leslie gave him no time to indulge in gloomy forebod- 
ings. " I have already engaged a lawyer to conduct your 
defense," he said. " There he is.. The first thing to be 
attended to is, I suppose, to get you off on bail, that has also 
l^een provided . ' ' 

The gentleman pointed out as Victor's defender approached 
as soon as he saw Leslie, who introduced him to Victor as Mr. 

"You are just in time to avoid the necessity of a bench 
warrant," he said, in a cheerful voice, to Victor. " The judge 
was al)out to issue one. You may now Avaive arraignment and 
the reading of the indictment. I will cause your ])lea of not 
guiltv to be entered of record, then we will give bail for you. and 


that will finish the busiui'ss for to-day. To-morrow, tlieu, the 
trial may begin, if I can get the State's attorney to consent." 

"But how can 1 plead not guilty, when I have not heard 
the accusation, and do not know with what offense I am 
charged? " Victor objected, with a seriousness which caused 
both the attorney and Leslie to smile. 

'• Oh. that is a mere form, my friend," said the lawyer. 
'' It is self-evident that you must plead not guilty, else there 
could not be a trial at all. And then I happen to know the 
content of the indictment; I looked over it just now, to see 
whether I could find a loop-hole in it, for which I might move 
to quash, or at least wear out the patience of the prosecution 
by dilatory motions. But brother Yancey is a sly old fox ; you 
might as well attempt to drill a hole through a cast steel bar 
with a rotten lead pencil, as to pick a flaw in one of his 

With these words, Mr. Bedford stepped forward to the plat- 
form, upon w^hich the judge sat behind his desk, thus cutting 
off Victor's eager questions as to the nature of the charge 
against him. 

" May it please 3'our Honor," Mr. Bedford spoke, " we are 
leady to Avaive the reading of the indictment in the case of 
The State vs. Victor Waldhorst. We plead not guilty, and 
praj' your Honor to fix the amount of bail to be given." 

The judge demanded the document for inspection and asked 
the State's attorney for liis opinion. "It is an unusual 
charge," said the judge apologeticallv. "I do not remember 
to have ever seen an indictment framed under this section 
of the statute." 

Victor listened attentively to the statements of the judge and 
the lawyers, hoping to gain some notion of the particulars of 
the charge against him: but he listened in vain. Neither the 
judge, nor any of the lawyers, ever mentioned the offense, the 
gravity of which they discussed with so much volubility. The 
only thing that Victor understood from the learned debate was, 
that bail was demanded in the sum of one thousand dollars, 


which his lawyer declared (but so as not to be heard by the 
judge) to be an outrageously high amount, and a plain viola- 
tion <^f the constituti(jnal inhibition against excessive l)ail. 
Leslie announced, that the amount was a matter of indiffer- 
ence, and nodded to a man evidently on hand for this purpose, 
who stepped forward, and declared himself indebted to the 
State in the sum of one thousand dollars, lawful money of the 
United States, to be well and truly paid, on condition however, 
that Whereas, &c. 

The judge then inquired of the counsel whether they had 
agreed on the day for Avhioh the trial was to be set. The 
prosecuting attorney answered that they had not been able to 
agree, and demanded sufficient time to consult with the wit- 
nesses, as well as to examine authorities and precedents, in 
order to be able to present the case properly ])efore the court 
and jury. But Victor's lawyer opposed delay. He was evi- 
dently acting in the interest of his employer, for he never even 
consulted the wishes of the real defendant in the case. Victor 
noted that his lawyer Avas possessed of an exceedingly ready 
tongue, and that he urged immediate action with a loquacious- 
ness which seemed to carry everything before it, until Mr. 
Yancey, the State's attorney, exposed the futility of his argu- 
ments in a few, in Victor's opinion, convincing words. If the 
latter had been free to choose his defender between the two 
lawyers, he would, without a moment's hesitation, have chosen 
Mr. Yancey. This gentleman was of tall, imposing stature ; a 
frank, kindly expression about the mouth redeemed the face 
from what would otherwise have stamped it as forbiddingly 
severe. His clear grey eyes had for a moment rested on 
^'ietor, and from this glance the boy caught the impression 
tliat the State's attorney Avas a reliable, whole-souled man. He 
spoke calmly and to the point ; his voice was both clear and 
melodious ; Victor felt instinctively that it would possess 
powerful influence over judge and jury. For the present, how- 
ever, his own lawyer scored a victory over his opponent ; for 
the judge, after listening patiently and with patent impartiality 


to the argument on both sides, cut off further deljatc l)y lixing 
the next morning for the beginning of the trial. "Justice 
delayed," he exi)lained sententiously, " is justice denied. 
The defendant has a constitutional right to a speedy trial." 

"Ah, ha! " Mr. Bedford exclaimed, turning with triumphant 
mien to Leslie, and rubbing his hands in high glee, " you see, 
we are one too many for the sly old fox. We have easily 
beaten off his first assault and I flatter myself that our coun- 
ter move has somewhat discomlited the enemy. It is quite 
an advantage gained over the old fellow to comi^el him to go 
into the light without preparation. Now, my young friends," 
he continued with a slight nod toward Victor, to indicate that 
he also was included, " let us discuss our plan of battle." 

Leslie proposed that they should all three repair to the May 
Mansion to talk over the matter. " It is possible," he said, 
" that my father, who is absent on an electioneering tour, may 
return at any moment ; and it seems to me to be important to 
have his views as to the course to be pursued in the defense." 

" Of course it would," Mr. Bedford promptly responded. 
" Indeed, it would be highly desirable that he should be pres- 
ent at the trial, so as to afford a sort of moral support to the 
defendant. Such things have a powerful effect on our honest 
yeoman sitting in the jury box." 

"Particularly, as the whole plot is but a poorly masked 
attack on himself, to defeat his election," added Leslie. 

" See, see! " Mr. Bedford remarked, seeming to be highly 
amused at this piece of news. "So you think that General 
AVaddle has his linger in this pie? A little bold, — don't you 
think ? — but sly, I grant you, prodigiously sly ! The idea of 
manipulating the grand jury in furthering his electioneering 
schemes! And you really think, that old Waddle invented 
this clever trick ? ' ' 

" No, I don't believe anything. of the kind," Leslie repUed. 
" I have no reason to impute particular intellectual ability to 
my father's opponent in this election ; nor do I think him a 
paragon of generosity. I think him quite capalde of acting 


upou the maxim, that in an electioneering canvass, as in love 
and war, everything is fair that promises success. But I do 
not think him such a knave, and certainly not such a fo(jl, as 
to attempt to bribe or influence the grand jury. No! This 
brilliant idea grew in another head ; and the motive was not 
love for General Waddle, but hatred for Colonel May." 

" You don't say! " exclaimed Mr. Bedford, casting an ad- 
miring glance at the young man. " You seem to be well 
informed. Where did you get your information? " 

" That is my secret! " said Leslie, laughing. '"But there 
is no magic about it. I only put this and that together." 

Victor listened with eager ears to the discussion that fol- 
lowed, in which Leslie explained to the lawyer the particulars 
of the case, so far as he knew them, but from which Motor 
could not learn more than that the charge against him was in 
some way connected with his visit to the negro quarters. Then 
it occurred to him, that Colonel May had warned him of the 
unlawfulness of meeting with negroes after dark, in their own 
quarters, without the consent of the owner or overseer. But 
the magnitude of the offense with Avhich he stood charged, as 
well as the extent of the penalty thereby incurred, still re- 
mained the subject of painful anxiety to him. As soon, there- 
fore, as he could succeed in putting in a Avord, he timidly 
inquired: "Is this matter so very serious? If I am found 
guilty, is there any danger of my going to the penitentiary? " 

" You are right, my young friend," the lawyer answered, with 
a coolness and unconcern that shocked poor Victor. •• In our 
slave states it is no joking matter to be accused of tampering 
with the negroes. It is almost equal to the crime of high treason, 
only that you may l)e found guilty on circumstantial evidence, 
while the constitution prohibits conviction for treason without 
the concurring testimony of two witnesses to the overt act." 

" Don't let this lawyer frighten you! " said Leslie, whose 
calmness and assuring smile did much to allay Victor's fears. 
" He is trying to exaggerate his case in order to quiet his con- 
science for ohargino- an exorV)itant fee. The long and short of 


the luattei- is. tlial you aii' cliarged with iiieitiiiu- my fatliei"s 
•slaves to insufroction. Do you understand, now, how utterly 
ridiculous the whole thing- is? " 

'• Less ridiculous than perilous." Mv. Bedford insisted. 
•• ^^'e u)ust i)roceed with the utmost caution in selecting our 
traverse Jury. For a mistake in that direction would surely 
prove fatal. Let one or two fire-eaters be among them, and 
they will so fanaticise the whole twelve, that you could no 
more prevent a verdict of guilty, than you could stop a runaway 
horse by holding on to its tail." 

•• Let it be my care to assist you in making your [)eremp- 
tory challenges," Leslie replied coniidently. ■• I am jiretty 
thoroughly acquainted with the citizens of the vicinage ; and 
while the grand jury seerns to have been picked out with con- 
sunnnate skill, I have no idea that the petty jurors have been 
tampered with. Depend on me and on the governor, if he 
should return befoi-e the trial begins." 

The conviction began to impress itself upon \'ictor's mind, 
that Leslie was not sincere in treating the matter so lightly, 
concealing his apprehensions only to spare his friend's feel- 
ings. His thoughts reverted to the intense hatred of Jeffreys, 
who had preferred to quit the service of Colonel May, rather 
than make friends with the despised foreigner. The Avarning 
uttered by Colonel May, during that memorable ride with him 
and Nellie, recurred to him with appalling meaning, — to con- 
fide his positive views on slavery to no one but his most inti- 
mate friends, lest disagreeable consequences arise. And he 
remembered, how seriously Leslie himself had viewed the 
situation before there had l)een an indictment. It was not 
surprising, then, that a keen sense of peril deeply moved 
Victor, and that he sought and improved the first opportunity 
to Avithdraw from a discussion which was growing painful to 
him. In the solitude of his own little chamber he endeavored 
to prepare himself for the coming ordeal, and gather what 
composure he might, so as not to disgrace his friends with 
cowardly ]iusi]lanimitv. 



^AKLY next moniing the partisans of the rival stores 
repaired in great numbers to tlieir resj)ective head- 
(piarters. On the Square numerous groups of men 
engaged in earnest conversation : the lawyers at the liotel, 
who after the morning menl resorted t(j the s|)acious porch to 
air their heels and pick their teeth, were joined l)y such of 
their lay ])rethren as l)raved the danger of incurring liability 
for a fee, in search of information which they were thought 
best able to impart, concerning the stirring news that agitated 
the tijwii. For not only there, but far around the country the 
rumor had quickly s]n'ead, that the '' young Dutchman " had 
been indicted l)y the grand jury for felonious misdeeds. 

Mighty consequential men. to-day, were tlie Mystic Twenty, 
stalking about with solenni faces, hjoking down upon their 
fellow-citizens with the proud consciousness of stern duty Avell 
performed. Many an admiring glance followed them as they 
strode on toward the court house, and great was the curiosity 
to learn tiie particulars of the horrible misdeeds, to avenge 
wliicli tliey had invoked the strong arm of the law. But 
neither l)r()ad hints nor suggestive insinuations, nor yet direct 
questioning, elicited more from the temporary Pillars of Justice 
than a })ortentous shaking of the head, or shrugging of the 

The disciples of lUackstoue [)roved, on this occasion, less 
close than the grand jurors. Tiiey freely vented their views 
as to tlie importance of the trial, and its probable issue. IJoth 
the friends and the opponents of the alleged culprit found 
their extremest o^jinions represented. 

Tlio liveliest interest in tliis (|ueslion was taken of course, 


by the respective adherents of the two iiiercaiitile estuhlish- 
ments. In the Dutch Store the view was openly expressed, 
that the indictment was a slianieful subversio'n of justice; for 
was it not pkiin that Mr. Barnes liad abused his official posi- 
tion, as a member of the grand jury, to strike a blow against 
his hated, because more successful, rival in business? Van 
Braaken himself said nothing ; but the vehemence with which 
he nodded and blinked assent to this opinion left no doubt as 
to his conviction on this point. In the conservative camp, on 
the contrary, there was congratulation and rejoicing, that so 
heinous a crime, threatening the peace and safety of the com- 
munity, was being dealt with in a lawful manner, thus avoiding 
the excesses of a self-constituted court of Judge Lynch. 

The croAvd of peo})le in and about the courthouse increased. 
Pale with suspense, but i)utting on a bold face, Victor ap- 
peared with his friend Leslie and his counsel Mr. Bedford. 
The latter, fully aware of his importance on the present occa- 
sion, elbowed a passage through the crowd for himself and his 
companions. He indulged himself in the blissful foretaste of 
the fame which he expected to achieve ; he imagined himself as 
the conqueror in this contest with the iState's attorney — as the 
successful champion of the standard bearer of the Democratic 
party, — as the gracious recipient of the homage of an admir- 
ing po[)ulace. For he had construed Leslie's statements as an 
indication that the political aspect of the case was of the lirst 
importance, to which the interest of the real defendant was but 

At nine o'clock the judge ascended the platform, and after 
the transaction of some routine business the case of the State 
vs. Victor Waldhorst was called for trial. There was, at first, 
considerable skirmishing between the two lawyers, in which 
Mr. Bedford showed himself a skillful tactician, who gave his 
adversary great trouble, contesting every inch of debatable 
ground. Voluble of tongue though he was, and prolilic of 
shrewd quibbles and technicalities, Victor's confidence in his 
defender was not such as to <>-ive him comfoi't or assurance. 


In vain he listened lor some emphatic avowal ol his innocence, 
some unequivocal expression ol confidence in the cause ol his 
client from the lip's ol his counsel : he heard but words and 
phrases devoid ol meaning to him. C^uite diHerent Avas Mr. 
Yancey's style. When the preliminaries had at last been set- 
tled, the jury selected and sworn, "and a true verdict to 
render, according to the law and evidence," the State's attor- 
ney rose to explain the nature ol the charge against the 
delendant. and the issue they were called on to try. 

He concluded his opening address to the jury by reminding 
them ol the solemn obligation resting upon them, cautioning 
them to let neither compassion lor the youth and inexperience 
ol the prisoner at the bar, nor bias or prejudice ol any kind 
against him, interlere with the conscientious discharge of their 

Whatever ellect his words might have produced on the judge 
or jury, they fell with crushing power on the prisoner, whose 
eyes were riveted, as if by a magic charm, on the eloquent lips 
that spoke his doom. For the first time, now, did he compre- 
hend the full import of the crime that he had committed. 
With fatal perspicuity the prosecuting officer pointed out fact 
after fact and circumstance after circumstance, until poor 
Victor doubted his innocence. It ceased to be a question, 
to his apprehension, of acquittal or conviction ; the extent and 
nature of the punishment was now alone the subject of deep 
anxiety to him. His feelings were wrought up to a {)itch dis- 
abling him from forming a clear judgment of what was going 
on about him. 

Ralph Payton was the first witness produced by the prose- 
cution. His testimony was successfully warded off by Mr. 
Bedford, depending, as it did, almost entirely on hearsay. 
When the State's attorney, in very evident disgust, dismissed 
him, without his having testified to a single relevant fact, the 
counsel for the defendant cheerfully rubbed his hands and put 
a variety of questions concerning matters as to which Mr. 
Pavton was compelled to answer that he knew nothing. An 


audible titter rewarded the attorney's poor joke, as he dis- 
missed the witness, about •' a fine specimen of an American 
Know-Nothing. ' ' 

The next witness, Orlando Jones, profited by the discom- 
fiture of his predecessor, and confined his statements to what 
was within his own personal knowledge. But since this knowl- 
edge was confined to what had transpired in tlie grammar 
class, he added but little to the strength of the case for the 
prosecution . 

After him, Bol) Kountree was called on the stand. The 
trouble with the preceding witnesses had been their swiftness 
in making damaging statements against the defendant : Bob 
Rountree, on the contrary, made it extremely difficult for the 
prosecution to get him to make any statement at all. He pro- 
tested with great zeal and vehemence, that the defendant was 
his comrade and friend, and that he knew nothing whatever to 
his discredit. Not until he had been sorely pressed, and in 
answer to leading questions permitted by the judge on account 
of his very evident unwillingness, did he confess with osten- 
tatious hesitation, that his friend Victor, had, on one occasion, 
•' in the goodness of his heart," admitted to him, that in a 
free country there ought to be no slaves. And after further 
coaxing and pressing he added, that he also had said, that it 
was the duty of ever}" patriot to assist the slaves in — he had 
forgotten now, whether in their Jiberation, or, perhaps it was 
only that, — protecting them in their rights. And he was sure, 
quite sure, that his friend Victor had meant no harm by that. 
In vain did the State's attorney press upon him the importance 
of remembering the exact words ; in vain did he remind him 
of his solemn duty to permit neither the bonds of friendship, 
nor the sentiment of affection, to prevent him from speaking 
the whole truth as a sworn witness. Bob Eountree stuck to it, 
that he knew nothing more. Only when the disgusted State's 
attorney was about to desist fijom further effort he remem- 
bered and admitted, in a voice trembling with repressed feeling, 
that Victor had once. — onh' once — told him that he had 


made it hot for the overseer, aud that the negroes would be no 
longer tyrannized by him. After this confession, extorted 
from him palpably against his will, Bob Rountree hung his 
head, and made no further revelation. The State's attorney 
passed him over to Mr. Bedford for cross-examination. 

To this gentleman's surprise and unfeigned disgust, Leslie 
bade him, in an energetic whisper, to abstain from putting a 
single question to Bob Rountree. " What," he replied, " let 
this insolent little hypocrite off without a scathing raking over 
the coals? Why, his testimony has prepared the jury io 
believe Muything that may be said against the defendant to his 
damage. We would be completely at the mercy of the jury." 
Leslie insisted on his view. After much protesting and 
shaking of his head, Mr. Bedford rmally consented to adopt 
the course demanded l)y him, on condition that he should 
justify this course to his father, while he washed his hands of 
the consequences. " We ought to expose the double-faced 
hypocrisy of the little villian," he said, in conclusion ; ''he 
has done us more injury, than if he had sworn to the most 
criminating acts." 

"Of course," Leslie assented. "But that is no reason 
Avhy w^e should give him the opportunity to intensify the effect 
of his evidence, as he will surely do if you let him. Spare 
your ammunition for the next witness." 

This was, as Leslie had surmised, the overseer Jeffreys. He 
proved, as was also foreseen , the most formidable witness against 
Victor, his testimony telling with fatal force l>y reason of the 
mistrust which the statements of Victor's colleague were cal- 
culated to arouse in the minds of the jurors. Jeffreys prefaced 
his testimony by sketching the condition of things at May 
Meadows before Victor's coming there. Xerxes he described 
as a sullen, reoelliously inclined, discontented negro, who 
could be kept in subjection by the utmost severity only. The 
Octoroon Lucretia, he said, was a docile, oljedient wench, 
much attached to her master's family, until the Dutchman 
ap])e:in'd on the scene, when she completely changed, became 


insolent and unmanageable, and openly defied his, the over- 
seer's, authority. After this introduction his testimony as to 
what he had Avitnessed in the negro quarters, in the night time, 
told witli powerful effect against tlie accused. It hardly 
needed the expression by the spiteful witness, — so vehe- 
mently objected to by Mr. Bedford and so promptly ruled out 
by the judge — of his inference, that there must have existed, 
and still exist, a conspiracy between the negroes and the 
Dutchman, which must demoralize the slave population, and 
prove dangerous to the peace and safety of the whole com- 

Victor was not surprised by the perversions and exaggera- 
tions of his revengeful enemy. He had expected nothing else. 
Mr. Bedford shot angry glances at the audacious witness ; 
even Leslie May was horrified by the boldness and persistence 
with Avhich the discharged overseer pursued his scheme for 
vengeance. The judge, jury and audience listened Avith 
breathless interest to the criminating revelations. Even a 
more experienced judge of human nature than Victor, might 
have been awed by the expressions visilde upon the faces of 
those about him — compassion, sympathy, apprehension, 
gratified malice — all according to the good or ill-will borne 
for the young prisoner. Leslie alone regarded the witness 
with a calm smile portending him no good. 

But the scheme of this witness included a purpose beyond 
the conviction of the hated foreigner. In the full fiush of his 
triumph over the latter, he now pushed on in pursuit of higher 
game. He must strike a blow at his equally hated former 
master. With this view he related how Colonel May had 
openly sided with the sneaking aljolitionist, and thus destroj-ed 
all discipline among the slaves ; it was in vain that Payton and 
Jones shook their heads in disapproval ; in vain that Mr. 
Yancey contracted his brows into a threatening scowl, — the 
spiteful .Jeffreys was not to be moved from his purpose of an- 
nihilating the democratic candidate for Congress. He pro- 
ceeded to show up his heretical stand on the slavery question, 


when the State's attorney, who had waited in vain for Mr. 
Bedford to interpose objection to the irrelevant testimony 
given by the witness, himself commanded him to desist. " We 
do not propose to listen to the private grievances between 
Colonel May and this man ; they have nothing whatever to do 
with the case on trial, and — ." 

He was interrupted by Jeffreys, who did not mean to be 
balked of his revenge. "But it's part o' me testimony I'm 
givin,' " he exclaimed. " I can't give in me testimony, 'thout 
I say what b'longs to't — ." 

Jeffreys was in his turn interrupted by the judge, who, with 
a threatening frown, commanded him to be silent. The ob- 
jection of the State's attorney was sustained ; and as he had 
no further questions to ask of the Avitness, the latter was turned 
over to the defendant's counsel for cross-examination. 

Now the moment had arrived when Mr. Bedfoixl saw himself 
called on to sustain, — if possible, to eclipse, — his reputation. 
It was necessary to destroy the evidence given by this man, in 
order to save, — not so much the defendant on trial, as the 
democratic candidate for Congress fi'om ignominious defeat. 
A cowardly assault had been made on him behind his back by 
an assassin that struck in the dark ; he must be vindicated in 
so thorough a manner, as to cover his enemies with confusion. 
And Mr. Bedford was the man to justify the confidence re- 
posed in him. He covered himself with glory, as his col- 
leagues at the bar subsequently assured him, in the memo- 
rable examination that now followed. 

Before entering on the main issues of the case, he led the 
witness through an exhaustive biography of himself, putting 
his questions with an air of such easy good nature as to com- 
pletely disarm the witness of any suspicion that there was an 
attempt to discredit him. Mr. Jeffre3^s became quite com- 
municative and confiding, congratulating himself that he had 
so impressed the defendant's counsel as to secure at his 
hands more considerate treatment than either Jones or Payton 
had received. Without intending, or indeed knowing, he 


drew a pleasant picture of the life at May Meadows, described 
the field hands as industrious and contented, the domestic 
servants as happy and devoted to the family. When, how- 
ever, he came to speak of Victor's visits to the place and of 
the orders given by Colonel May in reference to the affair at 
the negro cabin, he relapsed into his former bitterness of tone. 
It was then that the lawyer began to show his skill. First he 
encouraged and cajoled ; then sneered and vexed the witness 
with insinuations and irritating suggestions, and finally 
goading him with exasperating taunts into furious wrath, in 
which he gave vent to a torrent of invectives against the 
defendant and Colonel May, betraying his intense hatred and 
passion . 

From this point on there were frequent consultations 
l)etween Leslie and the counsel. The witness took alarm. 
His answers were given with greater deliberation, and he 
sometimes hesitated before replying to a question put to him. 
Some of these questions Avere, indeed, startling and utterly 
unlooked for; but the cross-examination went relentlessly on. 
The lawyer knew nor pity nor mercy, but with determined 
pertinacity pursued his inquiries, coercing answers to the 
strangest, most unexpected questions. One by one the real 
facts began to appear from his unwilling replies : His bootless 
advances to the pretty Octoroon girl, — his intense jealousy of 
the young foreigner, — the quarrel between him and Colonel 
May, because the latter would not permit the flogging of the 
young girl, — finally his ignominious dismissal from the Col- 
onel's service. — all came out with utmost minuteness of 
detail. Even the conversation of the conspirators at the bar- 
becue was dragged to light. Neither obstinate lying, nor 
cunning evasion, neither prevarication nor subterfuges availed 
the cornered Avitness. With inexorable persistence, assailing 
him from all directions of approach, came the questions, taking 
him often by utter surprise. There was something awful in 
the" power exerted by the relentless law-yer. The tenor of his 
questions proved him to be so thoroughly familiar with matters 


which could be knoAvn to no one but the witness' confederates, 
that for a moment the suspicion ilashed across his mind that 
he had been l)etrayed. Great ))eads of perspiration gatliered 
upon his forehead ; he hardly dared wipe them off, for fear of 
calling attention to his agitation. His eyes wandered uneasily 
al)out the room, until he finally fixed them, with fierce anger, 
upon Leslie who regarded him with a calm smile of triumphant 
superiority. It was he, then, that had " put this an' that 
together," — from what indicia was of course a mystery to 
him — and was posting the lawyer to put those terrible ques- 
tions ! But apprehension for his own safety soon gained the 
ascendency in his mind over every other consideration. The 
scowling faces about him boded him no good. He was in 
mortal dread that he might have made statements bringing 
himself in confiict with the criminal laws. 

This moment, in Avhich impotent rage and abject terror dis- 
torted the face of the principal witness for the State, Leslie 
deemed the proper one to impress upon the judge and jun', 
by refraining from further questioning. He had some diffi- 
culty in prevailing on Mr. Bedford to desist from the ])ractice 
he so keenly enjoyed ; he finally yielded to Leslie's urgent 
demand, only because he conceived Leslie to be his real client 
and ilid not wish to antagonize him. The prosecuting attorney 
hesitated ; he was undecided whether to put further questions 
or not, as it seemed a hopeless task to attempt to bolster up 
his badly damaged witness. Before he came to a conclusion, 
there was a commotion at the door, and some one Avas seen, 
presently, to elbow his way through the densely crowded 
court-room. It was Colonel May, who passed forward untd 
he had reached the counsel table. The perfect silence prevail- 
ing at this moment throughout the room was evidence of the 
eager curiosity with which the public watched the movements 
of this man, evidently exjiecting some startling development 
to follow his appearance. Victor, for his part, looked upon 
him as his guardian angel. His face brightened into an ex- 
pression of hope and renewed confidence : whatever might 


happen now, — of this he was sure, that he would not suffer 

" I trust that your Honor may excuse my unceremonious 
intrusion here," the Colonel said, addressino- the judge in a 
respectful manner; ''hut I deemed it my duty to offer my 
testimony in the interest of truth and justice. I ]>ray your 
Honor, therefore, if it be not too late, to permit me to appear 
as a witness in the case of my friend, Mr. Waldhorst." 

" It is by no means too late," spoke the judge, in his most 
amiable manner, '• whether you wish to testify for or against 
the accused, for the prosecution has not yet rested. But 
if I am not mistaken in supposing your testimony to be in- 
tended for his benefit," he added smiling significantly, " and 
if I understand the meaning of the black clond which I dis- 
cerned a moment ago on the usually placid countenance of 
Brother Yancey, there seems to be no necessity for testimony 
in that direction. At any rate, you will confer with the 
lawyers upon the subject." 

The State's attorney shook hands with the Colonel, and 
after exchanging a few words in whispers, he addressed the 
court. "Your Honor has interpreted the expression of my 
face correctly," he said. " It was my intention, even before 
the appearance of Colonel May, to ask permission of your 
Honor to enter my nolh prosequi in this case — " 

Before he could add another word, Mr. Bedford sprang to 
his feet, protesting in a lond voice against such a disposition. 
"We are entitled, if your Honor please," he urged strenu- 
ously, "to a verdict from the jury. It is a sacred right 
under the constitution, that no man shall be put twice in jeop- 
ardy — " 

"Spare your breath," Mr. Yancey interrupted him, and 
then continued, without taking further note of Mr. Bedford's 
protest, " I cannot close ray eyes to the palpable proof devel- 
oped in this case, that a most shocking crime has been 
committed here in the sacred name of justice. One of our 
time-honored institutions, the very fountain of justice and 



palUuliuui of our civil rights, lias been prostituted to the 
miserable purposes of political trickery and private malice. I 
l)eg to remind the grand jurors themselves, to remember, that 
their oaths bind them to present a true bill against all_ persons 
known, or with reasonable cause suspected, to have violated 
the law, though the culprit be one of their own number. In 
the cause of triith, however, and for the purpose of completely 
vindicating the victim of this foul conspiracy, I suggest that 
the testimony of one witness, at least, be heard for the de- 
fense. I allude to that of our illustrious fellow-citizen. 
Colonel May." 

The lustre of Victor's eyes, more eloquently than any other 
of his features, gave token of the revulsion of feeling expe- 
rienced by him. He felt like kneeling down and worshiping 
the man whose dignified words were grateful alike to his ears 
and heart. For they restored to liberty and honor, — his 
faith in truth and justice, — adding new proof of the greatness 
and glory of the land of his adoption. Yes ! No grander 
State existed ; no people could be freer ; nowhere was justice 
more lirmly enthroned, more proudly triumphant, than in this 
glorious land of ])erfect equality before the supreme arbiter of 
Jill — the law ! 

Neither .Jeffreys nor Bol) Kouutree remained to hear the 
testimony of Colonel May. At its conclusion there was 
tumultuous applause, which the combined efforts of the judge 
and sheriff were unavailing to suppress. The jurors unani- 
mously acquitted Victor without leaving their seats, and Victor 
was literally carried away on the hands of the excited multi- 
tude. Colonel May, too, achieved a great triumph. After 
the adjournment of court, there were enthusiastic hurrahs for 
the democratic candidate for Congress, and loud and repeated 
shouts demanded from him a speech. That he complied with 
the request, successfully haranguing the crowd from the judge's 
platform; that INIr, Bedford, the triumphant counsel for the 
defendant, as well as Mr. Yancey, the circuit attorney ; that 
judge and jury remained to participate in the meeting, now 


turned into a political gathering-, was as much a mystery to 
Victor, as the fact that LesUe exhibited neither exultation 
nor delight at the satisfactory termination of the trial. But 
when the latter, professing to be tired of the pohtical humbug, 
left the court house, Victor readily followed. 

Out in the Square he pressed Victor's hand. " We did well, 
you and I, did we not? " he said. " Do you see, now, that I 
was right in telling you, that there was not the least danger 
for you ? Bah ! I counted on the stupidity of these sneaking 
villains, and you see now how correctly I judged them." 

" Leslie May," said Victor, retaining Leslie's hands in both 
his own, " I know- not, howl deserve this exceeding kindness 
at your hands ; but forget it — I shall never — never ! ' ' 

"Bah!" Leslie exclaimed. " I was in for fun, and it was 
a grand success." And his merry laughter rang over the 

" You, and your father," Victor continued. " 1 shall never 
be able to repay the debt of gratitude which I owe to both of 

" Why, Avhat else could we do, but fight for our chance in 
the election?" Leslie exclaimed, still laughing. "Don't for 
a moment imagine, that either I or the governor acted from 
motives of the good Samaritan sort in this matter. Did it not 
occur to you, that we were all the while fighting our own 
battle? And do you not see, how the governor is scoring 
several tricks in his game against General Waddle? " 

Victor dropped his eyes. " Yes," he said in a low voice, 
as if ashamed of the confession he was making, " I did at 
one time fear, that you and the lawyer — well, that you did 
not consider my case as of the greatest importance. But I 
see, to my shame, how unjust my fears were in that respect." 

" Do not misunderstand me," exclaimed Leslie. " You 
were never in any real danger yourself ; or do you think it 
possible, that either the governor or myself would have sacri- 
ficed you? To be sure, when hour after hour passed, without 
the governor putting in an appearance, I did feel a littl^ 



squeamish ; and when Bob Rountree lied so masterfully, I was 
for a while nonplussed. But you saw, did you not? — that we 
would have come out all right, even if the governor had not 
appeared in the nick of time? " 

"Certainly I " Victor exclaimed with a touch of genuine 
emotion. " The State's attorney is a noble man, who Avould 
not permit injustice to be })erpetrated in the name of the law." 

" Not, at least," observed Leslie, with a playful smile, " if 
therel)y tlu' democratic candidate for Congress should come to 



YNHEER VAN BRAAKEX had. with what oraee he 
succeeded in assuiniug, })eriiiitted liis head clerk, Mr. 
Miller, to attend the trial at the court house ; and 
since both of his apprentices were present there without refer- 
ence to his consent, it had fallen to his lot to serve the cus- 
tomers of the Dutch Store in person. These were not many ; 
for the fewest of the visitors to Brooklield on that day kei)t 
away from the court house during that memorable trial. But 
next morning he demanded from Victor a minute account (^f 
the whole affair. Again and again he ruljbed his hands in 
high glee, and regarded his fortunate apprentice who had so 
signally succeeded in attracting public attention to himself, 
and incidentally to the Dutch Store, with evident satisfaction 
and spasmodic twitching of his eye-lid. Now and then Mr. 
Miller threw in a word, when Victor's modesty betrayed him 
into the omission of a particularly interesting feature of the 
proceedings, and thereby increased the good humor of the 
chief. In the course of Victor's narration a number of idlers 
found their way into the store, and stood listening. Of these, 
each had a word to say himself, for every one of them was 
proud of having been an eye-witness to the famous trial ; and 
it was a remarkable circumstance, that every one, to the last 
man of them, had foreseen and predicted the triumphant 
acquittal of the young man. The most enthusiastic of these 
ex post facto prophets was Bob Rountree. With ostentatious 
boastfulness he pointed out his own signal victory over the 
State's attorney, and bitterly complained of the persistent 
attempts made to entrap him int(^ the statement of something 
that might be construed to his friend's disadvantage. Em- 



pliatic was his assertion of ViL-tor's innocence of any of tlie 
groundless charges against him. He was out of all patience 
with the perjured villain, Jeffreys, who was alone at the 
bottom of the whole infamous prosecution — probably because 
he wanted to revenge himself for having lost a good situation. 
As if Victor could have possibly had anything to do with tli(d ! 

In connection with the name of Jeffreys several opinions 
were suggested touching the prol)ability of an indictment 
against him for perjury and misdemeanor in the office of grand 
juror. That the State's att(jrney had openly demanded this, 
was deemed by some a sure indication that it would speedily 
transpire. Others doubted whether tlie grand jury would find 
a bill against one of their own number. " A crow won't 
scratch out another crow's eyes! " suggested one. 

"Yes, crows! " Mynheer repeated, with a look at Bob 
Rountree, which, whether intended or accidental, sent the hot 
blood into the apprentice's cheeks. " And how do crows get 
on the grand jury? The flinging of this stone was meant to 
kill more than one bird. It was a stab at the Dutch Store. 
Is not Mr. Barnes the foreman of the grand jury? " 

"He is no longer! " exclaimed a bystander, who had just 
arrived from the court house. '' I myself heard the judge 
excuse him from further service." 

"Aha! " cried the Dutch merchant, energetically rubbing 
his hands. "The crow! Indeed, a crow won't scratch out 
another crow's eyes! ',' 

" But that is no reason why he should withdraw from the 
grand jury," Mr. Miller remarked. " I rather guess, that he 
is ashamed of the company he linds himself in. Jeffreys is 
smart enough not to be In the way of the sheriff, if that officer 
should have a writ for him." 

"You may be right," the Mynheer responded, his eyes 
twitching nervously. " Mr. Barnes has cause to be asliamed 
of himself. And we have a rule in our countr}^, which prob- 
ably holds good in America, never to liang a man before you 
(^at(^h him. — So, you think, tlie shive-driver is out of the way ? ' ' 


"Quite certain," Bob Rountree asserted, eoiilidi'iitially. 
'' Jeffreys is the man to save his hide, if there's danger al)()ut ; 
and I reckon that he is perfectly well aware that the climate 
of Brookfield, just now. is rather unliealthy for him. The 
perjured villain I " 

'' Now, what mought be //o/v- objection ag'in Jeffreys, 
young man?" asked one of the bystanders, regarding Bob 
with a show of simple curiositv. 

"Has he not sworn a false oath?" retaliated Bol>, with 
superb indignation. " Has he not sworn that my father, the 
sheriff, — and I should like to know who is the man that for a 
moment doubts the integrity of my father! — took a brilje to 
pack the grand jury with friends of his — " 

"And with enemies of the Dutch Store," the Mynheer 

"And with enemies of the Dutch Store," Bol) accepted 
the suggestion, blushing but evincing not the smallest embar- 
rassment, " and intimated, that I had helj)ed hiin — // " 

It was remarkable, that the * zeal with which the fdially 
minded son espoused the cause of his absent father, did not 
meet with enthusiastic applause on the part of the honest 
backwoodsmen. Probably the presence of the Dutch mer- 
chant, Avho had not yet expressed his views, prevented an 
unrestrained demonstration of apjn'oval of the youngster's 
chivalrous conduct. At any rate, there was significant silence, 
broken, linally, by the same voice that had been heard before. 

" Ya-as," he assented, " he did intimate that purty strong. 
'Pears to me, howsomever, 'at 'e testified to tliat 'ere p'int 
ag'in 'is will, 'e wriggled an' squirmed like as if 'e'd been 
stretched on a rack. That 'ere lawyer Bedford 's a boss hand 
to put the thumbscrews on a contrary witness, an' make 'im 
confess »///// irilly." 

" But 't warn't Bedford 'at made 'im scpit-al,"" remarked 
another. "Fact is, 'at all the hard ipiestions 'at made 'im 
sweat was put in the lawyer's head l)y that 'ere voung 


'■' From which 1 reckon," observed tlie former speaker, " 'at 
Leslie May knows more 'n' tlie lawyer does 'bout that 'ere 
scrape. An' I kind'er guess, 'at 'e knows more'n's comfort- 
able fur tliem 'at 's had their linger in the pie. Au' I shouldn't 
l)e a mite astonished, if there's bills found ag'in more "n one 
on 'em, 'fore this 'ere scrape 's seen to the end." 

More than one pair of eyes rested on tlie son who had so 
valiantly defended his father's integrity, and the latter felt 
called on to make answer to the last remark, as if addressed to 
him personally. " ^^'llat do I know about it! " he exclaimed, 
with great show of indignation. " 1 only know, that Jeffreys 
lied about everything he said. He lied about Victor ; and he 
lied about me." 

Bob seemed to feel that the one sound ey(^ of his chief 
rested upon him, for he cast his eyes down, and thereafter 
participated very sparingly in the further conversation. But 
the theme was too inviting to the gossip loving idlers congre- 
gated in the store, and Bob's ingenuity in parrying the curi- 
osity of eager interlocutors -Nvas put to a severe test. Victor 
had become silent. His thoughts were busy over the painful 
riddle, what it was that could have induced his young col- 
league to join hands with Jeffreys in the attempt to ruin him. 
Could it be that his employer Avas right, — that this animosity 
arose from sheer hatred of foreigners and ill-will against un- 
welcome competition ? 

The entrance into the store of young May himself produced 
a lull in the conversation. But lief ore a minute had passed, 
some one asked him point blank, what he thought of yester- 
day's trial. This was but the precursor to a torrent of ques- 
tions. With admirable tact the young man replied so as not 
to offend the sovereign voters, and yet without disclosing a 
single fact not already known to them, or giving the slightest 
clue to the source of his knowledge. 

" I come to you with a request," he said to Mynheer, as 
soon as he had gracefully shaken off his inquisitive interlocu- 
tors, " which, 1 hope you will not refuse me. 1 wish you to 


spare me oiii- young friend, the lion of the day, for an hour's 
Avallv, as I have some matters that 1 would like to talk over 
Avitli him." And without waiting for a reply, he addressed 
Victor: '■ You are ready to come with me, are you not? " 

Of course, Victor gladly put on his straw hat, and after a 
gracious nod of assent from his I'mployer, took the arm of his 
friend and left the store with him, to the very evident disap- 
pointment of the gossips, and eliciting a scowl from the re- 
maining apprentice. 

•' First of all, let me heartily thank you, in the name of my 
father, for the signal service you have done him," said 
Leslie, as soon as they had gained the open air and were 
be^'ond ear-shot of tlie loungers in the store. '' I dare say 
that you are hanlly aware of the extent to which you have 
helped liim in the election, and how much his prospects have 
improved since yesterday's affair at the court house. Why, 
it was a perfect ovation to liim that resulted from your ac- 
quittal I The unmasking of that villain, Jeffreys, set the 
public wild, and gained their favor naturally, as if the gov- 
ernor, and not you, had l)een the hero. Although you and I 
know better, yet he will get all the credit for, and the profit 
of, this thing. You do not grudge him the laurels he is stealing 
from 3'ou, do you? " 

Victor threw a glance of such radiant admiration and deep 
gratitude at his companion, that it proclaimed more eloquently 
than words what black ingratitude he Avould deem such a 
thought. " drudge him, I? " he stammered. " What have / 
done in this matter, that a'ou should for a moment think of 
me in connection with your father's triumph? To _?/o*r, Les- 
lie, to you alone, does he owe his success, if you call that 
success, which is but the spontaneous recognition on the part 
of the people of his rectitude." 

His voice trembled as he spoke. "'But tell me, Leslie," 
he continued, after a short pause, "how was it possible for 
you to detect and tear t(^ pieces the tissue of lies sworn to l)y 
Jeffreys? What did you know of the conspirac}" — for it must 


have been a regular coiis[)iracy between them — and why did 
you never say anything to nie about it? " 

" Well, you see, my boy," said Leslie, very complacently, 
" the fiat has gone forth from the family powers that be, that I 
am to be a lawyer, to gain renown and shed luster upon the 
family, at the bar. You, though unknown to yourself, hap- 
pened to be my first client. I could not wish for a more grate- 
ful one. That Payton and Jones have not much love for you, 
you may have surmised from your experience Avith them at the 
grammar school ; and I know it, perhajDS, better than you do. 
Nor is it a secret to you, that Bob Rountree is in danger of 
succuml)ing to jaundice, out of sheer envy of your popularity. 
What a row there has been between that scoundrel Jeffreys 
and the governor, you know equally well. So, you under- 
stand, it required no superhuman brilliance of intellect, but 
only a moderate share of very conunon sense to guess what the 
bond of sympathy was that l)rought these four worthies to- 
gether. And when they got into a corner at a public festival, 
and whispered among themselves in secret, — when one of 
them, whose father is sheriff, and selects the grand jury, un- 
dertakes to predict what indictments may be expected from 
them, even before they have been summoned — then, you see, 
I would be a poor stick for a lawyer indeed, if I failed to 
smell so big a rat. Don't you think so? " 

" I can only admire your keen sagacity ! " Victor exclaimed. 

" So you think I need not be ashamed of my lirst attempt 
at playing lawyer? " 

" How can you ask such a question ! Do you not think that 
I know, how far superior you are to Mr. Bedford as a lawyer? 
If it had not been for your prompting, he would never have 
gotten the better of Jeffreys — ' ' 

" No, by Jove! " Leslie interrupted. " And do you know, 
that I take greater credit to myself for having spoilt your 
precious colleague's cunning scheme of ruining you by his 
hypocritical [jrofessions of sympathy for you ? If Bedford had 
given him the chance, by undertaking to cross-examine him. 


the littlo scoundivl would have given the most incriminating 
evidence, doubly damaging because he would liave given it the 
appearance of being extorted from liim liy the counsel fov the 

" I don't believe that Mr. Yancey himself, or any lawyer in 
the State, will equal your fame, when once you Ijegin the 
practice in earnest. Ah, Avhat a grand and noble thing it is, 
to vindicate the hiw, to tear off the mask of treacherous vil- 
lainy, to punish the guilty and protect the innocent, — to be- 
come the valiant champion of Truth and Justice ! How I 
envy you this glory, l)ut wish you success, all the same, from 
the bottom of my heart I ' ' 

Leslie regarded his companion in wondering surprise at the 
enthusiasm displayed. '' AVhy," lie said, after a brief pause, 
"you talk as if you thought tlie profession of the law to be 
one of the grandest avocations of man. If that were my con- 
viction, 1 would, in your place, drop the counter-hopper at 
once, and become a disciple of Blackstone." 

"Oh, if that were possible!" Victor exclaimed eagerly. 
" It would be the happiness of my life ; but," he added with 
a sad smile of resignation, " where should the means come 
from to enable me to study law? And how could I dare enter 
on a course of study presupposing a liberal education, such as 
I never enjoyed? " 

" You have an exaggerated notion of the learning necessary 
to a lawyer," said Leslie. " A little Latin, of course, would 
come handy. It is by no means indispensable, though. With 
your patience, and your love for the driest kind of studies — 
for did you not undertake to study grammar without a mas- 
ter? — you will acquire a -better knoAvledge of law in a year or 
two, than I have now, with all my University education. If 
you are really in earnest about it, you will catch up with and 
beat me in a very short time." 

Leslie's words profoundly impressed Victor. The two young- 
men walked on for a while in silence. They had taken the 
road leading to May Meadows, and had now reac^hed a pleasant 


grove of trees affording grateful shelter against the scorching 
sun, when Victor was startled from his reverv l)y a voice 
breaking abruptly upon his ear. 

" AVhither l)Ound, gentlemen both? " 

Looking u}), he saw before him the gaunt, lean ligure of ]Mr. 
Iluffanl, tlie editor and ])roprietor of the fharlx Anjiis, — a 
gentleman, for whom Victor entertained the greatest respect, 
as ]»eing the leader and mouthi)iece of public opinion and the 
oracle of the Democratic i)arty of Vernal County. ]Mr. 
Iluffard was not a beautiful Adonis ; but from his rather long, 
sallow face, framed in by bushy brown whiskers and sporting 
a large, thin-liiiped mouth surmounted 1)V a iirominent nose, a 
l)air of clear brown eyes beamed forth the utmost good nature, 
their merry twinkle often heightening the effect of facetious 
drolleries that he loved to utter with gravest mien. 

" If May Meadows be your destination," he continued, 
afb'r amiably shaking hands with both the young men, " I beg 
to make one of your company, — that is, of course, if I don't 
make a crowd thereby. 1 have some business with Colonel 
May, touching his campaign ; but this fortunate falling in with 
you, young gentlemen, may enable me to kill two birds witli 
one stone. For I need some details and particulars to com- 
plete my report of the phenomenal trial of yesterday. The 
Ozar'k Aiyjus^'' he continued, addressing himself specially to 
Victor, "will claim the merit of first heralding to the world 
this highly important event. Yes, sirree ! A highly impor- 
tant event! I venture to predict, that this remarkable trial 
will open the eyes of our brethren in Yankeeland to the true 
status of public opinion in the South. , For our State is reck- 
oned among the Southern States, although, geographically 
considered, we belong to the great West, — and our Eastern 
brethren are systematically stirred up against us on that 
account. Our slaves, though better off than the white slaves 
of the Eastern factories, are held up to the world as the vic- 
tims of cruelty and tyranny. We art> ac(nised, 1)y tlu> hypo- 

Whither bound, gcutk'iueu Ixjth? " 


critical abolitionists, as savages, suppressing free speech and 
nianufacturiug public opinion in the interest of our slave- 
holders. We are branded as barliarians, clogging the onward 
march of civilization, and constituting a foul spot on the fair 
escutcheon of Liberty. Now the outcome of your trial will 
prove to every fair-minded person, that the reverse of all this 
is true of our State. It will throw a flood of light on the 
tolerant views of our population. It Avill incontestably dem- 
onstrate the incorruptible sense of justice prevailing in our 
courts, and controlling our public men ; and it will show the 
humanity and mildness with which we treat our slaves." 

Victor listened, not without interest, to the rhapsodies of 
the garrulous editor, while Leslie smiled at the rehearsal of 
what he evidently meant for a leader in his next issue of the 
Ozark Ar(jas. 

The editor, after exhausting the political aspect of the case, 
then connnented on the persons engaged in it, and now devel- 
oped a most astonishing curiosity touching the past history of 
Victor, his plans and prospects ; and particularly inquired 
about his opinions and views concerning American politics. 
Led on by a few suggestive remarks l)y Leslie, Victor gave a 
comprehensive statement of the prominent events of his life, 
and soon found himself defending, to his own astonishment, 
the political, social and civil institutions of the laud of his 
adoption, including the legal status of the slaves, which, a 
short time ago, he looked on as a foul blot on the country. 
Mr. Huffard liked his genuinely democratic principles, and 
Leslie jocosely prophesied for hhn a successful career as a 
democratic jjolitician, who was born for greater things than 
to figure as an insignificant counter-hopper. 

While engaged in such conversation, they reached May 

■ Meadows, where they were pleasantly received by the lady 

of the house, I)ut learned to Victor's keen regret, that Colonel 

May had departed from home a short time before their arrival. 

The edit(n' received this information with equanimity, although 


he had thus been disappointed of the chief purpose of his 
ostensible errand. Not so Victor. He not only regretted the 
absence of the Colonel, but the restlessness with which he 
looked about him, and the wistful glances he directed toward 
the open door and window, plainly betrayed that he missed the 
presence of some one else also. To add to his disappointment, 
the editor promptly declined the invitation extended to both of 
them to remain for dinner ; and since neither Mrs. May nor 
Leslie extended a special invitation to himself, he was compelled 
to comply, — reluctantly enough — with the urgent request of 
the loquacious editor, to accompany him back to town. His 
friend Leslie contented himself, somewhat to Victor's surprise, 
with a polite expression of regret at the departure of both the 
gentlemen ; and so he found liimself , a few minutes after his 
arrival, exchanging the pleasant, cool atmosphere of the 
elegant May mansion for tlie oppressive glare of the July sun 

He was a poor listener, and but slow in his responses to the 
numerous questions propounded by his talkative companion, 
and suddenly ceased to answer altogether, when a musical 
voice resounded through the garden. That was Nellie's room 
whence the voice was heard, and he promptly stopped to listen. 
There, at the window of Nellie's room, he saw a graceful female 
figure. But the eyes that beamed upon him from a face of 
wondrous beauty, and slowly sank before his eager gaze, were 
not the clear, gray, mirthful eyes he loved so well, but of 
gazelle-like softness in their dreamy expression. The sudden 
flush of his cheeks died out, and he bethought himself of the 
necessity of disarming any suspicion that his abstraction 
might have aroused on the part of Mr. Huffard, liy a closer 
attention to his questions. 

The next issue of the Ozark Argns, which appeared on the 
Saturday following, gave Victor the key to Leslie's purpose in 
taking him out for that walk, as well as to the meaning of that 


accidental meeting; with the inquisitive editor. The political 
side of the " Organ for Art, Science and Literature " shone 
now in the zenith of its power and glory. As the Democratic 
party proclaimed the gospel of Liberty, so its self-appointed 
Avatchmau on the battlement of the party had all its hundred 
eyes wide open to what was going on, and bravely sounded 
the tocsin calling the warriors to their tents, and marshaling 
them in battle against political heresies and traitors. The 
burden of its latest trumpet-blasts was Victor's famous trial. 
At the head of the paper appeared a double-headed leader, 
introduced by sensational head-lines in glaring capitals, in 
which Mr. Huffard undertook to give voice to public senti- 
ment on this important event. As an introduction to the facts 
developed in the trial, there was a biographical sketch of 
Victor Waldhorst's previous life, with special emphasis on his 
exploit in saving the life of the daughter of the democratic 
candidate for Congress. That this gentleman, moved by the 
generous and noble sentiment of gratitude, exerted himself to 
rescue the young man from the peril of becoming the victim of 
a diabolical conspii'acy on the part of his political opponents, 
discovered in the nick of time by the watchful energy of the 
young lady's brother — the talented sou of Colonel May — 
that by the combined exertions of father and son a most das- 
tardly scheme was successfully bafHed, was, the editor ob- 
served, but natural, and no more than was to be expected 
from the highly honorable and capable gentleman, who, in vin- 
dicating the cause of innocence and justice, demonstrated, 
also, that Honesty, Fairness and Love of Liberty were Demo- 
cratic Virtues, leaving low trickery and vile treachery to be 
sought for among the opponents of this glorious party. Then 
followed, in equally pompous phrases, an exposition of the 
national-political bearing of the affair, much as Mr. Huffard 
had foreshadowed in his conversation with Victor. 

It was, perhaps, not strange, that the young man permitted 
himself, in the flush of his triumph and the exultation induced 



by the lionizing tliat fell to his lot, to lie all too easily con- 
vinced of the groundlessness and injustice of his prejudice 
against a community that tolerated slavery as one of its cher- 
ished institutions, and to conceive an exalted opinion of the 
magnanimity and liberality of its people. The utterance of 
public opinion was so emphatically ou his side, — the side of 
Right and Justice, as Victor proudly thought — that it was 
dhtlcult to doubt the honesty of its expression. 



HE Democratic party might safely count on a decided 
majority in Vernal County. In the town of Brook- 
^'^ field, however, and that part of the adjacent country 
which was included in its electoral precinct, the political parties 
were very evenly balanced ; the natui'al consequence of which 
was, that discussions of the principles dividing them, as well 
as concerning the prospects for success of their respective 
candidates, were both numerous and animated, growing in 
vehemence as the election day drew nearer, Victor took a 
lively interest in these discussions, a due share of which were 
carried on in the Dutch Store, and soon learned enough of the 
current phrases employed by the disputants to enable him to 
participate in the debates. He felt himself drawn into the 
vortex of political strife with irresistible force ; for to the 
purely personal motive inspiring him with the desire to see 
that party victorious that had selected as their standard-bearer 
his patron. Colonel May, was superadded tlie firm conviction, 
that upon the triumph of democratic principles depended 
the welfare of the nation. Inflamed by the eloquence of 
Colonel May's speeches, he eagerly drank in the doctrines 
asserted weekly by the Ozark Argus, and more logically main- 
tained in the political pamphlets with which his democratic 
friends freely supplied him. He was still in that happ}^ period 
of life, when faith in the attainability of a cherished ideal is 
yet undimmed by the skepticism, which is but too often the 
bitter fruit of experience ; he entertained the fond conviction, 
that the dogmata of the Democratic party contained the catholic 
basis of Freedom indispensable to the liberty and prosperity 

13 (193) 


of the couutry. What wonder, then, that he looked upon the 
adversaries of this glorious party as enemies of true liberty, — 
that he deemed the conscious leaders of the whigs to be traitors 
to the cause of the people, and firmly believed it to be the duty 
of every patriot to contribute his best efforts to open the eyes 
of their deluded followers ? 

Earnestly did Victor devote himself to the faithful perform- 
ance of this sacred duty, — so earnestly, that he came to be 
looked on as a staunch champion of their cause by his party 
friends, and that the opposition considered him a youthful 
enthusiast, who would one day when his judgment matured, 
learn better ; — so earnestly that his zeal, sometimes, to the 
disgust of his employer, carried him away to the extent of 
neg-lecting his duties to the customers at the store. 

On the first Monday of the month of August the two parties 
arrayed themselves, throughout the State, for the decisive 
battle. And in Brookfield the rival mercantile establishments 
prepared for an arduous day's work. At an early hour, the 
doors and windows were opened for ventilation during the pro- 
cess of dusting and sweeping, so as to be ready to serve the 
multitude of customers expected. For it was the custom of 
voters, who came to town on election day for the exercise of 
their sovereign prerogative, to improve the occasion to barter 
for and purchase what store-goods were wanted at home. Even 
in the liquor shop (styled grocery by its frequenters, — prob- 
ably as a euphonism for groggery) down by the Boonville 
Road, a fresh supply of whiskey had been laid in, for there, 
too, an increased demand was anticipated, based upon the 
experience of former years, when patriotic candidates exercised 
a generous hospitality in regaling their friends, and the whip- 
pers-in of both parties repaired thither to encourage their ad- 
herents, infuse new spirit into the llagging and luke-warm, 
and gain new converts by lavish shaking of hands, cajoling 
speech and free drinks all round. 

The court house, however, formed the center of attraction 
on election daj'. Hither streamed the sovereigns from all 


points of^the compass to make known their sovereign pleasure 
at the polls. Before the sun had gilded the horizon, the 
judges of election appeared with their clerks, each of whom 
carried a gigantic poll-book with columns for the candidates 
and lines ruled for the names of the voters. These books 
were deposited upon a table standing directly in front of one of 
the windows, through which the process of voting was effected. 
No one was admitted into this room but the judges and clerks ; 
but on the outside, opposite to the window, stood candidates 
and their friends, to Ivcep watchful eye on what was going on. 
As soon as the first rays of the sun became visible, au officer 
appeared to swear in the judges and clerks, and then the 
sheriff made proclamation that the election for (naming the 
offices that were to be filled) had been legally inaugurated. 

During the early morning hours the throng of customers in 
the stores was not so great as was expected to be the case later 
in the day, and Victor readily obtained permission to satisfy 
his curiosity by witnessing the proceedings at the ballot-box. 
The word ballot-box, it should be remembered, being used in a 
figurative sense ; for in these early days men were supposed to 
be willing to have it known for whom they voted, so that it 
was the fashion of the voters to call out the names of the men 
of their choice viva voce., and there were no literal ballots, nor 
ballot-boxes. Victor was very glad to meet his friend Leslie 
in front of the court house, and at once asked him to exj^lain 
the process by which elections were accomplished. 

"Nothing more simple! " said Leslie. "But wait a mo- 
ment. I see your particular friend Ralph Fayton trotting 
toward this place. He has recently reached his majority and 
is about to cast his maiden vote. We will have a practical 
illustration of the whole thing directly." 

Young Payton seemed deeply impressed with the responsi- 
bility resting on his shoulders as a citizen of the Rei^ublic, 
about to decide its political future. He tied his horse to one 
of the many hitching posts provided for such occasions, and 
stepped pompously toward the group of men assembled in 


front of the window, acknowledging Leslie's and Victor's 
salutation with a hearty nod. 

"You see," whispered Leslie to his friend, " he is almost 
as proud in giving his first vote, as he was on the memorable 
occasion of his maiden speech at the barbecue. I wonder 
whether he will carry his spite against us to the extent of 
voting for the opposition man ; he and his whole family have 
always claimed to be democrats." 

" I have no fear as to that," said his friend. " It is only 
I whom he hates." 

As if to confirm these words Payton now stepped forward 
and expressed his hope to Leslie — completely ignoring the 
presence of Victor — that Colonel May would be elected by a 
sweeping majority. " I am most happy," he added with 
pomposity, " that it is my privilege to cast my first vote for 
so eminent a gentleman, and one so entirely worthy of the 

" I thank you, Ralph Payton," said Leslie, cordially shaking 
hands with Payton. " And I am sure that my father is proud 
of the high honor you confer upon him." Then, casting a 
rapid glance at Victor, he continued with a smile: "Mr. 
Waldhorst here is anxious to be initiated into the mystery by 
which American freemen make known their will. I am sure 
that he will be thankful to you, if you will permit him to 
witness the recording of your vote. Will you gratify his 
desire? " 

" Since the act of voting is a public one," said Ralph Pay- 
ton, not deigning to cast even a look at Victor, " I cannot 
hinder him from looking on." With these words he stepped 
in front of the window and spoke his name in a loud voice. 

"Ralph Payton! " one of the judges repeated, and the 
clerks entered the name on the poll books. " Your age? " 

" One-and-twenty years and over!" was the reply. 

' ' Residence ? ' ' 

" Clear Spring Township ; Vernal County." 

" Citizen? " 


" Natural born citizeu of the Uuited States, and also citizen 
of this State." 

" Then, Ralph Pay ton, for whom do you vote as your rep- 
resentative in the Congress of the United States ? ' ' 

" I vote for Leonard May! " the young citizen proclaimed 
with a proud consciousness that Victor envied him. 

The judge repeated the question in respect of every office 
that was to be voted for, and when Pay ton had answered the 
last of these questions, he stepped aside to make room for 
other voters. 

Victor had watched the proceedings with great interest. 
" How simple ! " he exclaimed, when it was all over. 

" Our young friend has discovered a profound truth," spoke 
Mr. Huffard, who had just approached, extending one hand 
toward Leslie, the other to Pay ton, while his eyes rested on 
Victor. " The grandest and most beautiful things are the 
most simple. And what can be grander or more beautiful, 
than the power of an American citizen, exercising his 
sovereignty in so simple and efficient a manner? — But 
how goes the election?" he continued, turning to Leslie; 
" and why is not your father here to watch and protect his 
interest ? ' ' 

"He left last night for Bolivar, where his presence is 
deemed to be of greater importance than here," Leslie replied. 
" He is foolish enough to believe, that I am sufficiently able to 
keep things right side up at home." Then, noting that Payton 
had sauntered off to join a group of men engaged in lively 
discussion, he continued in a subdued voice, " Between our- 
selves, I really believe the governor is right. From the cir- 
cumstance that even Payton voted for him, I infer, that he 
will poll the full party vote here in Brookfield, with a fair 
share of support from the wliigs. Old Waddle looks savage 
enough, which augurs well for our side." 

" Your father knew what he was about when he confided his 
interest to your keeping," said the editor, slapping the young 
man's shoulders with an admiring smile. " You dealt a stun- 


niiig blow against the old fox by getting that trial over before 
the election. That piece of engineering does you credit, 
whether as a politician, or as a lawyer. But I never doubted 
Ralph Payton's loyalty to the party. The Pay tons are de- 
scended from an old Virginia family, with whom desertion of 
party was always looked on as treacherous. To be sure, he 
strayed wildly in his absurd speech about foreigners and 
foreign influence, on the Fourth of July ; it puzzles me to 
account for his vagaries on that occasion. He is a young 
man, however, and has time before him to learn a great deal." 

" You may be right, Mr. Huffard," said Leslie, " as well in 
regard to his pai'ty fealty, as also in surmising that he may have 
nuich to learn. As to his hatred of foreigners, I suspect that 
it does not extend very far. It is purely personal, and springs 
from an experience he passed through at the grammar class — . 
But look! There is old Jones and his hopeful cub of a son. 
Doesn't the old man look as if he had already done a good 
day's work over at Burden's doggery? They are coming to 
vote, it seems. Now, I'll stake a five-dollar bill of the State 
Bank against a picayune, that they — or is Orlando too young 
to have a vote? — that the old man, at least, will vote against 
my father." 

LesUe's surmise was correct. If his offer of a wager had 
been accepted, he would have been a richer man by the 
picayune, for the two Joneses passed them with sullen faces, 
and the father voted, with great ostentation, for the whig 
Waddle, while the rest of the candidates were selected by him 
from the democratic ticket. Orlando, who had meanwhile 
carried on a lively conversation with Ralph Pay ton, in low 
voice, but accompanied by animated gesticulation, then stepped 
up to the window and gave his name. When the usual ques- 
tion as to age was put, Leslie regarded him with an eye of 
keen scrutiny. The answer came hesitatingly, and in a low 
voice. "Twenty-one — " 

" Hold! " exclaimed Leslie, noticing the blush that mounted 
to Orlando's face. He approached young Jones with the 


obvious intention of interfering with his vote. But before he 
reached him, the old man stepped between them. 

" Stand off, Leslie May! " he exclaimed in a loud threat- 
ening voice. " Me boy's jist as good a right yere, as you,' or 
any o' yer kith and kin, if ye do think yer got the vote o' 
Brookfield in yer pocket. Me boy, as did 'is father before 
'im, 's goin' to throw the weight o' 'is influence ag'in a purse- 
proud dimigogue, an' a renigade 'at's sold 'imself body an' 
soul to a trucklin' furr'ner. Go ahead, Orlando." 

"I don't believe the young man is of age," said Leslie 

" But I know 'e is ! " Jones shouted with great vehemence. 
" An' I guess I ought ter know, bein's I'm 'is father! " 

" I would believe your son in preference to yourself," Leslie 
replied, " even after the specimen I saw of his caliber in testi- 
fying, a few days ago. If he thinks that he has a right to 
vote, let him swear to it." 

Instead of replying to Leslie, Jones now turned to the 
judges of election. "Do we live in a free country, or don't 
we? " he exclaimed with pomjjous declamation. " Does the 
law protect a free American citizen, or don't it? Has a voter 
any rights, or not? Or are we vassals an' slaves o' this 'ere 
furr'n influence 'at wants to dictate to a free American who 
sh'll be 'lowed to vote an' who shan't? I demand the protec- 
tion o' the law, an' I demand it o' you, an' I sh'll hold you 

"The law is to be administered without fear, favor or 
affection! " said the officiating judge. " Who is it that chal- 
lenges this man's right to vote? " 

"I!" answered Leslie, "I doubt that he is twenty -one 
years old." 

" In such case the law provides, that the challenged party 
shall prove his right by an oath on the Holy Bible," the judge 
announced. "Are you ready to swear to your age young 
man? " 

Orlando changed color, and threw a precatory glance in the 


direction of his father. Meeting with no sympathy in this 
quarter, the young man assumed an air of injured innocence 
and spoke up, in a voice of defiant swagger, " I am not going 
to f?tand it, to be treated like a lying scoundrel ! If they won't 
let me vote without swearing, I'm not going to vote at all." 

His loud voice attracted attention among the by-standers. 
A little crowd gathered, among whom Mr. Waddle, the whig 
candidate for Congress, stood conspicuous. Jones the elder 
at once addressed him in excited tones. 

" Mr. Waddle, things be a-comin' to a purty pass, when an 
American citizen can't be 'lowed to vote, if 'e means to vote 
fur you ! " 

" Oh, it is not as bad as that, is it? " Mr. Waddle said, 
looking encouragingly at Mr. Jones. " I know the judges to 
be honest, worthy men ; surely, they will allow no one to be 
deprived of his constitutional rights. Tell me, what has 
happened? " 

" You are perfectly right, Mr. Waddle," Leslie May put in, 
before Jones had an opportunity to reply. " Our friend Jones 
is excited, because I have challenged his son's right to vote. 
I will leave it to you, Mr. Waddle : Is it the duty of the judges 
to take the oath of a man whose vote is challenged? " 

Mr. Waddle, a rather tall, though somewhat slender man, 
with gray hair and whiskers and smoothly shaven chin, seized 
the hand of Leslie, frankly extended to him, and gave it a 
hearty shake. " Ah," he said, smiling significantly, " the 
son of my opponent seems to be pretty sure of his case, since 
he leaves it to myself to decide. I might well decline the 
proffered honor, on the score of being directly interested in 
the question to be decided ; but you are a sly fox : you put me 
on my honor to decide, if at all possible, in favor of my highly 
esteemed rival. And so you doubt the majority of the young 
man? May I inquire, upon what you base your doubt? " 

" Look at him a little more closely; perhaps the reason will 
occur to you as readily as it does to me," Leslie smilingly 


Orlando Jones was evidently ill at ease. He still stood in 
front of the window, with sullen mien and downcast eyes, 
when Waddle turned toward him. 

" Well," he said, " I see a very good-looking young man 
before me ; and I am proud to learn that he intends to cast his 
vote for me ; 1 really do not see why he should not be twenty- 
one years old. What do you say yourself, my young friend? 
You surely ought to know your own age? " 

" I say, that I am not going to have my word doubted in 
this infamous way I " Orlando exclaimed in a tone of bravado 
and defiance. "I have already said, that if they won't let 
me vote without swearing, I am not going to vote at all." 

" I can well understand how you feel about this matter, 
young man," said Waddle, in a voice of fatherly admonition. 
' ' But you are not altogether in the right. The electoral fran- 
chise is not only the glorious privilege of a freeman, but also a 
sacred duty. A true American knows his rights ; and knowing 
dare maintain them." 

The crowd of by-standers had been considerably augmented 
by this time ; the curiosity of the sovereigns was aroused to a 
high pitch, to learn the outcome of the interesting dispute. 
No one listened more earnestly than Victor, into whose ear 
Leslie whispered : ' ' The sly old coon is going to draw it a 
little too fine, this time. He means to impress the crowd with 
.a notion of his high sense of honor and impartiality, without 
losing Orlando's vote. But you will see him sit down between 
two chairs directly." 

" Come, young man, don't let the rest of the voters wait 
all day for their turn," the judge now urged. "Tell us, 
whether you are going to swear or not, and make room for 

" Then why don't you take 'is vote? " old Jones exclaimed. 
" He stands there all the while fur ye to take 'is vote." 

" Exactly! " Waddle said. "If no one proves him to be 
under age, it is his privilege — I may say his duty — to cast 
his vote." 


The judge of election looked at the candidate in evident sur- 
prise. "I don't so understand the law," he said, hesitat- 
ingly, — embarrassed, evidently, by differing from such high 
authority as the whig candidate for Congress. " As I take it, 
it's for the voter whose right is challenged to prove it by his 
oath on the Bible, I don't pretend to be learned in the law, as 
you are. General; but I'm bound. to act on my understanding 
of it." 

While the judge consulted with his colleagues on the point, 
the dispute was taken up by the crowd outside. Some agreed 
with the judge that had spoken, others asserted that it was the 
young man's right to vote without being sworn. There was 
perceptible unanimity of opinion among the democrats against, 
and among the whigs in favor of the young man's right. The 
judges themselves divided on the question; and since there 
were two democrats and but one whig amongst them, the view 
of the presiding judge prevailed, and Orlando was ruled to 
either take the oath or leave the polls. To the disgust of his 
father and the chagrin of General Waddle, the young man 
chose the latter alternative, stepping aside with downcast eyes 
and a sullen face. This ended the dispute officially ; but only 
one-half of the sovereigns outside were convinced of the jus- 
tice of the decision — the democrats lauding the wisdom of 
the majority of the judges, while the whigs sympathized with 
the elder Jones, who wrathfully prophesied the early downfall 
of the Republic, and railed against the cowardly truckling to 
foreign influence. 

Victor was highly excited by what he had seen and heard. 
He was so absorbed in the contemplation of the novel and 
interesting scenes about him that he forgot all else, — forgot 
about the densely crowded store, forgot how necessary Avas his 
presence there on this day above all others. As the sun 
mounted toward the zenith, the Square, particularly about the 
court house, tilled with ever-increasing flocks of people, many 
of whom gave evidence by their lively gesticulation and hilari- 
ous conversation, of having already performed the pilgrimage 


to the Mecca on the Boonville Road. The sober dignity that 
had characterized the opening of the election day and produced 
so solemn an effect on Victor, was gradually changing into 
boisterousness, strongly reminding Victor of the closing scenes 
at the barbecue after Van Braaken's whiskey had begun to do 
its work. Leslie had left him, to look after his father's hiter- 
ests at the groggery, and Mr. Waddle improved the oppor- 
tunity of his absence from the polls to rally his own forces, 
and impress upon them the necessity of united and determined 
effort to avert defeat to the Whig party. He was soon sur- 
rounded by a number of devoted followers. Victor was 
shocked and mortified by their boasting assertions of perfect 
success of their party generally, but especially of the moral 
certainty of the election of their candidate for Congress. 

" Ef it hadn't been fur that consarned ass of an overseer," 
he heard one of them say, "we'd 'a' swept the county 
clean ! ' ' 

" Why, didn't he just show up the rottenness o' the demo- 
crats? " was demanded by another. 

"You're foolin' yeself thar' ! " was the emphatic reply. 
" 'e jist showed up 'is own rottenness. Colonel May's made 
more out'n that d — d trial 'n the best dozen o' stump speeches 
'e ever made. Why, didn't I hear old Burden say, — 'n' 'e's 
as stiff a whig as ever trod sole leather — 'at 'e was goin' to 
vote fur 'im ? The d — d old dish-rag ! ' ' 

" Ya-as," exclaimed another, " 'n Boyd! Didn't Squire 
Boyd say, sez 'e, 'at 'e wasn't goin' to vote the whig ticket 
any more, not 'thout the whigs was goin' to indict the grand 
jury? " 

' ' Nonsense ! ' ' exclaimed Qeneral Waddle in a tone of con- 
lident assurance; "don't you see, that for every whig that 
votes for Colonel May on account of that fuss with his over- 
seer, two democrats vaW vote against him ? There are two sides 
to this thing. Some people mav think that the grand jury 
overshot the mark by indicting a foolish boy ; but there are 
more who heartily approve their watchfulness, and feel it to 


be their duty to come to the defense of this tiiue-houored in- 
stitution. This is the feeling of all substantial, well-disposed 
citizens. Be assured, my friends, that the honest majority of 
the people will not stand by a man who resents the attempt 
of his own servant to defend our firesides against servile insur- 
rection by ignominous dismissal from his service." 

''Do you know, General, why the Colonel discharged his 
overseer? " inquired Mr. Huffard, wlio had meanwhile ap- 
proached the speaker. " It seems that you have not read the 
report of the trial published in the ^irgns." 

"You must excuse me, Mr. Huffard," the General retali- 
ated, " if I find better employment for my time than to study 
your, no doubt highly interesting paper. I get my views from 
more reliable sources." 

" Probably from the immaculate Jeff reys himself! " sneered 
the editor. " What a pity, that your ' reliable ' witness left 
the countiy for his country's good." 

" There be other witness," Jones the elder now spoke up. 
" We're not 'bleeged to put up with your say-so." 

"Exactly," Mr. Huffard assented. " There, for instance, 
is the young man himself, who was tried. Or," he added 
with a significant glance at General Waddle, " who furnished 
the pretext for a trial. Shall we hear what he has to say about 
the case? " 

" I don't see why I should take the testimony of a lad who, 
so far as I know, is not old enough to vote, and whose testi- 
mony was not admissible even at the trial." 

"An' who's an outlandisli furr'ner! " added Jones, " 'at 
understands 'bout as much of our institootions as a jackass 
does of algebray ! ' ' 

" Stick to the point," said the editor, without noticing 
Jones' remark. " We are not in court just now, and here the 
testimony of Mr. Waldhorst weighs as heavy as that of any 
of the witnesses who were examined at that remarkable trial. 
And there," he added, pointing to a group of men a|)proach- 
ing tlie court house from the direction of the Boonville road. 


" comes one whose comi)cteiu'y and veracity even you, General 
Waddle, Avill not think of questioning." 

In the midst of the group pointed out, Victor observed 
Leslie in the company of Yahkop, the teamster, who was clad 
in his Sunday best and strutted along with the air of a puffed 
up turkey gobbler. Victor smiled, as he recalled Yahkop's 
boast, that he would not only vote for Colonel May, but also 
" lick " every one of his friends who would not do so likewise. 
Yahkop seemed fully determined to redeem his promise. 

The editor requested Leslie to correct the erroneous impres- 
sions that might exist in respect of the affair with the overseer. 
But the young politician adopted a different line of tactics. 

" Oh, let us hear no more about that," he said, with a 
smile and a significant glance at his father's opponent. 
" We've had enough of it in court and on the stump. Let 
us rather attend to the business of the day. I have brought 
some citizens with me, who wish to do their duty to the coun- 
try. Make way at the w^indow, there! " 

Yahkop had probably been instructed as to what was ex- 
pected of him at the polls ; for he stepped proudly forward 
and gave his name as " Tshakop Fershter, mit a tshay in der 

The announcement caused some merriment among the by- 
standers ; Mr. Jones, still wrothy over the discomfiture of his 
son, and whose pugnacity had been fortified by frequent visits 
that morning at the rum shop on the Boonville road, alone 
saw cause for offense in the pompous swagger put on by the 
clownish teamster. "What!" he cried excitedly, "D'ye 
mean to let this lout have a vote, when you refused it to my 
son — a native born American — 'at's been twice as long in the 
country as this 'ere Hessian ! " 

These words kindled the wrath of the teamster. " Tat Ish 
an high lie!" he exclaimed. " I gums from Bahden — you 
know vere ish Bahden ? Und I be a burger from Amerikah — 
undershtand? Und I wotes fur mine frined, der Kurnel 
May — undershtand you ? — ebery times ! ' ' 


It is hardly probable that the irate teamster was aware of 
the peculiar significance attached to the word Hessian in 
America, and particularly among the backwoodsmen. But 
this term, usually coupled wdth the predicate " blind," served 
in his native laud as a contemptuous jeer and nickname, and 
in this sense, in which Yahkop necessarily understood it, it 
conveyed a galling insult to him, and his pugnacity was 
heightened, no doubt, by the generous potations of whiskey, in 
which he had indulged in honor of the day, until Leslie suc- 
ceeded in coaxing him away from the rum shop. But while 
the spirits imbibed had effectually overcome the habitual 
phlegma of his nature, they in no wise added to his vocabulary 
of English, nor aided the perspicuity of his delivery. The 
jargon that resulted, accentuated by violent, if not expressive, 
gesticulation, touched the risibility of all who heard or saw 
him, and gave rise to cheering and laughter. 

' ' You an American citizen ? ' ' Jones asked with a sneer of 
such withering contempt as ought to have abashed a more 
sensitive person than the one he was addressing. " Why, you 
can't even talk American! Any baby can see 'at you're 
nothin' but a d — d Hessian." 

Yahkop, upon whom the word " Hessian " produced the 
same effect as a red rag upon an enraged bull, turned upon 
his adversary with obviously hostile intent ; but Leslie and 
Mr. Huffard both held on to him with strong arms, and finally 
succeeded in persuading him, that it was his first duty to se- 
cure his vote for Colonel May, according to his promise. To 
the question put to him by the judge of election, whether he 
was a citizen, he gave an angry, most emphatic affirmation. 
But before the voting proceeded, Mr, Jones again interfered, 
this time by a peremptory challenge of his vote. 

"What is the ground of your challenge?" the judge in- 

"Why, he's a furr'ner!" cried Jones, triumphantly. 
" Anybody 'at's hear'in 'im jabber can know 'at 'e's no 
American citizen." 


" Equality before the law is at the root of justice! " pro- 
flaiuied the judge seuteiitiously. '' It has already been decided 
that a voter, whose right is challeuged, must qualify himself by 
an oath on the Holy Bible. Are you ready to prove your citi- 
zenship by an oath on the Holy Bible ? ' ' 

" Ebery times! " growled Yahkop, with a withering glance 
of defiance and hatred at Jones. " Git your Bibles ! " 

The judge was about to admininister the oath. Huffard 
and Leslie looked smiling. The crowd was highly amused by 
Yahkop 's grimaces and droll speech, and there was lively 
cheering and laughter. Waddle saw with chagrin, that things 
looked unfavorable for his cause ; something must be done to 
turn the tide of public sentiment. He resolved to take a bold 

" Hold! " he said, in a peremptory voice. " You are mis- 
taken, Judge. The law demands the best proof always. 
Now, in this case, the best proof of this gentleman's right to 
vote is not his oath, but a certified copy of his naturalization 
decree. You have heard him say, that he was born in Baden, 
which is, of course, a foreign country. He cannot, therefore, be 
allowed to vote, unless he produces his naturalization papers." 

"Aha! " crowed Jones. "D'ye hear that? A Hessian 
hireling can't swear 'imself into the right to vote ! America 
belongs to the Americans yet." 

The already deep scarlet of Yahkop 's weather-tanned face 
took on a deeper shade. But he was determined to let nothing 
interfere with the fulfillment of his promise to vote for Colonel 
May, and bravely choked down his passion. 

The judge was embarrassed. To be compelled to overrule, 
for the second time to-day, so eminent a lawyer as General 
Waddle was known to be, staggered him. Yet he had done 
his best ; he had even felt relief in being able to show his im- 
partiality by ruling, this second time, in favor, as he thought, 
of Waddle's side. He turned to Huffard and Leslie with 
the question, " What do you think, gentlemen, about this 
matter? " 


" I think as you do," the editor answered. " What is sauce 
for the goose ought to be sauce for the gander. What do you 
say, Leslie May? " 

"It is my opinion," said Leslie, " that our friend Yahkop 
don't care the snap of his finger for these legal quibbles. I 
dare say, that he will not object to relieve the tender con- 
science of the whig candidate for Congress, and take a load off 
the mind of our patriotic friend Jones, by showing the judge 
his naturalization papers. Am I right, Yahkop? " 

" Ebery times ! " growled the teamster, diving with his right 
hand into the spacious breast pocket of his Sunday coat, and 
producing thence a carefully wrapped up paper, which he 
handed to the judge, with the question " Shwear I now? " 

General Waddle had taken the paper from the judge's hands 
and examined it. He now answered, instead of the judge, 
"it is not necessary. These papers conclusively prove your 
right to vote." 

This unforeseen result of Jones' challenge was hailed by 
boisterous laughter and cheering by the populace. " Hurrah 
for the Dutchman ! " " Bully for the Hessian ! " was shouted, 
while the judge proceeded to take Yahkop 's vote. He roared 
out the name of Colonel May with such hearty good will, that 
it was heard above the noise of the crowd, and increased 
their good humor. 

But now, having redeemed his promise, Yahkop felt no 
further interest in the fate of either of the political parties, 
but turned square round in search of his adversary, bent on 
wiping out the stigma put on his fair name by that foul epithet 
" Hessian." Just as the judge asked him to name his choice 
for the State senate, he caught sight of Jones, as he was 
edging his way out of the crowd in the direction of the 
Boonville road, and shouted: " Mishter Tshones ! Mishter 
Tshones ! " at the top of his stentorian voice. This was by 
most of the by-standers misunderstood as the name of the 
candidate to be voted for, and caused new merriment over the 
Dutchman's funny mistake. But Yahkop was minded to 


honor " Mishter Tshones " in a different fashion. "You 
we'ht an little und gum und she'hk hands mit der Hess! " he 
shouted, breaking away from Leslie and Huffard, who both 
I'ndeavored to hold him back, and forced his way through the 
thickest of the crowd toward his adversary. 

Before Jones, taken entirely unawares by the prompt action 
of the infuriated teamster, could ward it off, he had received 
a weighty blow from Yahkop's powerful fist. But he was not 
slow to return it. In the twinkling of an eye the crowd had 
formed a ring around the pugilists, and all were eager to wit- 
ness the sport and to see fair play. 

For a while it seemed as if the undisciplined strength of 
the burly German's arms would be more than neutralized by 
the superior skill of the American champion , who was a boxer 
of no mean experience. He easily parried the blows aimed at 
him in blind rage, with one arm, while the fist of the other did 
fearful execution on Yahkop's unprotected physiognomy. The 
onlookers took eager interest in the combat; even the judges 
of election and their clerks stretched their necks and poked 
their heads out of the window to lose none of the exciting 
sport. For a long time both of the combatants held their 
own: skill, routine on the one side, fairly balanced by sheer 
power of muscle and weather-hardened toughness on the other. 
Opinions differed as to what the final outcome would be ; 
wagers were offered and accepted, and the backers of each 
cheered lustily over the slightest advantage gained by either. 
Victor looked on with^the liveliest interest ; he noticed with a 
sense of exultation that he could not quite suppress, that 
Y'ahkop's iron muscle and superior strength were beginning 
to tell on his opponent, who was naturally a weaker man, and 
whose constitution had been undermined by excessive alcoholic 
indulgence. Y'ahkop finally succeeded in throwing him to 
the ground ; and then it was not long before Jones cried 
" 'nough! " and a deafening shout proclaimed the Dutchman 

The word " 'nough" vividly recalled to Victor's mind the 



scene iu the class-room, when it had required the gentle touch 
of Nellie's hand to stay his arm. As though he still felt that 
electric thrill, a hot blush mounted to his face as he saw 
Yahkop continue to pound his vanquished, now helpless ad- 
versary. Rushing up to his friend, he earnestly called on 
him to desist. Some of the by-standers, ignorant of the 
import of the words which Victor had spoken in German, and 
misinterpreting the purpose of his movement, seized him 
rudely by the arm ; and when he struggled to free himself 
from their grasp, one of them exclaimed, " For shame! To 
rush upon a man that's down, two to one! " at the same 
time dealing him a blow in the face that knocked Victor 

Leslie and the editor picked him up, while others pulled the 
infuriated teamster away from his enemy, now thoroughly de- 
moralized. When Victor recovered consciousness, he was 
being led away from the crowd by his two friends. His nose 
bled profusely ; one of his eyes was swollen so as to almost 
close it. Some men were leading Yahkop toward Van Braak- 
en's store, and the two groups reached it almost simulta- 
neously. Victor was appalled by the frightful appearance of 
his friend's face. He was bleeding from mouth and nose. 
The blood had saturated his garments. His features had been 
bruised into an unrecognizable mass. He himself had re- 
ceived but a single blow ; but he felt that it had been sufficient 
to disligure him. They found the store nearly empty of cus- 
tomers, for most of them had rushed out to witness the fight 
and were now following Yahkop and Victor l)ack again — these 
two constituting just now the center of attraction. 

Mynheer Van Braaken stood behind the counter at his post, 
surveying- his apprentice with a look that sent dismay to his 
heart ; for he saw in it less of anger, than of contempt, and 
Victor's conscience told him how richly he deserved it. 

" We bring the wounded from the field of battle," said the 
editor, jocosely. "They deserve well of their country, for 
which they have fought and bled." 


" And fallen," added Leslie. " The dust on their gar- 
ments bears witness. The country owes them a debt of 

" Then let the country pay its debts," retorted Mynheer, 
the lid of his left eye twitching spasmodically. "For this 
young man may need it. I guess he tliinks more of his 
country anyhow than is good for him, or me. I guess he 
will make a better politician than a storekeeper. I guess he 
has learned too much for a storekeeper." 

" Fictohr ish all right! " Yahkop proclaimed dogmatically. 
" Und he learn blenty for der packwoots. Und ven he git vip, 
I don't ken know; und ven an tam fool say ' Hess,' und 
he lick him, Fictohr ish all right, ebery times." 

"That Avill do, Yahkop," said Van Braaken. " You can 
go ; and if your condition allows, tend to your horses. We 
will have a talk later. And Victor may go with you, or 
wherever he likes. We have no use for such a looking chap 
in a decent place, as the Dutch Store is. Even a politician 
might be ashamed to show himself in his plight." 

Victor hung his head in deej) dejection. He Avas not pained 
so much by the harsh, ungracious words of his chief, as by 
the depressing consciousness that his anger was just and 

But Yahkop had not lost faith in him. " Hang not der 
headt ! " he said in his rough way, as the two left the store 
together. " Ven he say ' Hess,' you lick 'im, ebery times. 
Und der old man lick 'im too, ven he say ' Hess,' und git 'is 
odder eye knockt out." 

There was no comfort for Victor in this consoling prospect. 
Yahkop continued his tirade in mixed English and German 
against the rascally " Tshones " in vain. 

They had not proceeded far, when Leslie and Mr. Huffard 
overtook them and respectively invited Victor to May Meadows 
and the printing office to arrange his toilet. He gratefully 
accepted the latter offer, for he shuddered at the thought of 
being seen at May Meadows in his present condition. 



ICTOR, when they reached the iji'inting office, was glad 
Jw// to fhid it deserted by its inmates. The working force 
of the Ozark Argns consisting for the time being of a 
pressman, who also did duty as a compositor, foreman and 
proof-reader, and a small boy, who personated the printer's 
devil and had gone off to assist at the election. Mr. Huffard, 
after filling the w^ash-basin with water and placing a towel and 
comb at his disposition, bid him make himself at home and 
take his own time in performing his ablutions. To put him 
entirely at his ease, the discreet editor then left the office, say- 
ing that he must see how things were going on at the polls. 
Victor felt thankful for the considerate kindness of his friend in 
leaving him alone. He set about removing, so far as he could, 
the traces of his misadventure from face and garments, 
troubled, meanwhile, by thoughts of his future ; for if Myn- 
heer Van Braaken were to discharge him from his service, 
what would become of him ? He felt that his employer would 
be fully justified in having nothing more to do with him. 

Out on the Square the noise made by the populace, now 
numbering not a few intoxicated men among them, continued. 
Victor wondered, sometimes, when he heard their lusty cheer- 
ing for some favored candidate, whether there could really be any 
doubt of the triumph of Truth — by which he meant the success 
of the Democratic party — and the election, by an overwhelm- 
ing majorit}'^, of his friend. Colonel May, to the Congress of the 
United States. Then his thoughts wandered off to the events 
which had brought him in contact with this man of wonderful 
magnetism, — with Leslie, and with — Nellie May. He won- 
dered, whether, if he lost his place in Van Braaken's store, 


these friends would disappear from his horizon? A deep 
longing came over him, the earnest aspiration to prove himself 
worthy of their friendship, to do some grand and noble deed 
compelling the admiration of men. How, or what, he knew 
not ; so much only he began to suspect, that there was but 
little hope for him to achieve distinction as a country store- 

On looking about in the printing office, his eyes fell upon 
the imposing stone in the middle of the room, on which lay the 
dead form of the last number of the Ozark Argus ready for the 
distribution of its types into the printer's cases. He whiled 
away the time by spelling out the words presented inversely in 
the metal. Noticing a composing stick on one of the cases, 
partly filled with type, and on the upper case in front of it a 
printed paper, with, a guide on one of its articles marked with 
a red pencil, it interested him to find that the words in the 
composing stick corresponded with those of the article to which 
the guide pointed. Here was a discovery ! The veil that had 
shrouded the mystic art of printing was rent asunder ; the secret 
of the compositor's stick lay open to his gaze — by putting the 
types into that stick, he could make them spell the words of 
the copy before him, or anything he pleased. 

He could not, of course, resist the temptation to put his 
discovery to the practical test. But simple as the matter 
looked, he found it a tedious task to pick out the proper letters, 
each one of which he found it necessary to examine before 
placing it. He wondered why no one had thought to label the 
compartments into which the types were sorted, so as to save 
the loss of time consumed in finding the particular types 
wanted. In the course of time, however, he remembered the 
places where to find letters most in use, and began to make 
better headway in his play at composing. So interested did 
he become in his novel amusement, that he forgot all else 
about him, and was astonished when Mr. Huffard returned, 
to find that the day was almost spent. 

" Well, well! " said the editor, smiling pleasantly. '' What 


mischief are jou up to noAv? I fear that you have been making 
sad havoc among the types." 

Victor proudly showed the result of his work. A broad 
grin spread over the editor's face as he inspected the achieve- 
ment of the amateur printer. " Why, you are a genius! " he 
exclaimed. " This is very creditable showing off for a tyro. 
When once you have learned to distinguish a q from a b, and 
a p from a d, and how to place the types right side up, you 
may begin to pose for a printer's devil." 

Victor blushed vividly. But he eagerly inquired of his 
friend, whether he thought it possible that he should ever 
become a good printer. 

"Of course you could! " the editor responded promptly. 
He looked at the lad for a second or two, and then added: 
" You possess every qualification for an excellent printer, and 
I have no doubt that you will achieve great success if you take 
to the business. But why do you ask the question? Are you 
afraid, that old Van will give you your walking papers? Are 
you looking for a new situation? " 

Victor thus suddenly confronted with the thought which he 
had hardly formulated in his own mind, was half frightened 
by it. He answered evasively. But a few questions put by 
the shrewd editor elicited the whole truth. Not only that 
Victor actually feared to be discharged for his shameful con- 
duct, but also, that he secretly hoped so, and that the boy's 
mind was intent upon becoming a printer. The prospect of 
having the young man in his own office was not displeasing to 
him. He was sure that he could utilize him in more ways than 
by his simple work as a printer. But he was really a kind 
man, and believed that Victor's capacities would find a wider 
scope to assert themselves in than the avocation of a merchant. 
Besides, he had no idea that Van Braaken would willingly 
part with the young man. He therefore rather discouraged 
Victor's notion of becoming a printer, advising him to think 
well over the nialter before taking a decisive step. 

The setting of the sun marked the close of the election. 


Victor, on stepping out into the Square, was met by Leslie, 
wlio informed him that the judges of election and the clerks 
would soon begin to count the votes, and invited him to 
be present with himself to witness the operation. Although 
most of the voters that had come from a distance had already 
left for home, there was still quite a crowd surrounding the 
court house, impatiently^ awaiting the return of the officers, 
who had locked up the poll books and gone to partake of re- 
freshments after the fatiguing labors of the day. It was not 
long before the sheriff, followed by the judges and clerks, 
appeared and proceeded to unlock the door of the room in 
which the counting was to take place. The candidates that 
happened to be on hand, as well as a number of the most 
prominent citizens — not less than ten of each of the political 
parties, as the law prescribed — entered also. Leslie May, 
representing his father, was of course one of them. Victor 
found no difficulty in gaining admission with him. 

His eagerness to learn the verdict of the people on the pai'ty 
issues, and particularly as to the fate of his patron — in re- 
spect to whom his anxiety exceeded, is possible, that of 
Leslie himself — made the leisurely preparations for the work 
to follow a sore trial of his patience. At last the clerks were 
seated, each with one of the books before him in which the 
voters' names had been recorded, the judges at another table, 
also with books before them, in which to enter the number of 
votes cast for each candidate ; and everything was ready. To 
make sure of a correct count, each vote was called out by one 
of the clerks and verified by the other; the judges repeated 
the names of the candidates voted for, and entered them each in 
his own book. Victor was deeply impressed with the precau- 
tions taken to secure a faithful record of the will of the people. 

The vote for the congressional candidates was counted first. 
Leslie jotted down the votes, as called out, on a slip of paper; 
Victor kept an accurate tally without the aid of a written 
memorandum. His face visibly brightened as the clerks 
announced, and the judges repeated, in monotonous, but to 


Victor highly musical iteration: "For Congress, Leonard 
May! " scarcely relieved, now and then, by a run of two or 
three votes for the opposing candidate. Victor's exultant 
enthusiasm made it impossible for him to remain quiet ; he 
rushed up to Leslie, even before the judges had cast up the 
total vote, and impulsively embraced him. It was an unusual 
thing for Victor to do ; for however enthusiastic his nature, he 
was by no means demonstrative. " Colonel May is the wisest, 
best and noblest of men," he exclaimed, " and the voters know 
it! How could they help electing him? They honored 
themselves in honoring him." 

' How could Leslie remain cold in view of the unprecedented 
popularity of his father, evidenced by the heavy majority 
polled for him by the voters of his own precinct? But he 
only said : " The governor's head is level ; he played his cards 
for all they were worth ! ' ' 

The official announcement by the judges was: " For Con- 
gress, Colonel Leonard May, 193 ; General John Waddle, 37." 

After a deafening round of cheers at this proclamation, in 
which Victor joined with all his heart, the count proceeded. 
Mr. Huffard had made his way into the room, and Victor 
noticed that he and Leslie engaged in earnest conversation. 
His interest in the counting had now much abated. Still, he 
was somewhat curious to compare the Colonel's vote with that 
of the other candidates on his ticket. He hardly knew 
whether, as a patriotic democrat, to regret that the others fell 
far behind their leader, or, as an ardent admirer of Colonel 
May, to rejoice over this result. There was, on the average, 
a small majority for the democrats. 

Victor was about to leave the room, as most of the others 
were now doing, when Leslie hastily approached him " to shake 
hands once moie, before parting for the night," he said. " And 
I want you," he added, " to promise to call at May Meadows, 
to-morrow morning, before going to the store. I hope the 
governor will have some news for us that it will please you to 
hear." Victor was but too happy to promise. 


He found the family assembled at breakfast when he reached 
May Meadows next morning. He brought a heavy heart with 
him ; the pleasant walk and lovely summer morning had not 
dispelled the gloom produced on his mind by reflecting on his 
conduct of the day before. His gloomy thoughts, however, 
vanished before the genial, cheerful welcome accorded him at 
the Colonel's mansion. There must indeed have been pleasant 
news ; for an atmosphere of bright sunshine pervaded the room 
when he entered. P^very countenance was illumined by a 
pleasant smile ; even the pathetic face of Lucretia, who waited 
at table, wore an unusually contented expression, and bright- 
ened up when she beheld the early visitor. Nellie, first to 
address him, jumped up from her chair, and, seizing his hands 
with both of hers, exclaimed, " Here is Victor, — the victor! 
I am so glad to see you, Mr. Waldhorst, for papa says you 
helped him win the election." 

" Good morning, my young friend! " said the Colonel, also 
rising to shake hands with Victor. " Nellie is right. 1 did 
say — aud I mean it — that if I am elected, no small share of 
the responsibility for the result will fall on your shoulders. 
I am very glad to see you here this morning, so that I may 
shake hands with you on the probability of my success. 
According to the information which I have been able to pick 
up on my way home last night, the chances are very promis- 

Mrs. May, too, was unusually friendly in her welcome, 
insisting that the guest should join them at table, notwith- 
standing his protestations of having already breakfasted. At 
a nod from her mistress, Lucretia laid a plate and placed a 
chair for him, and he gladly accepted the cordial hospitality. 
Conversation became lively and general ; each one had some- 
thing to say about the canvass through which the Colonel had 
just passed, and the changes in their mode of life which his 
election would involve. Nellie clamored for the removal of 
the whole family to Washington City when her father went 
there to take his seat in Congress — a proposition which the 


Colonel declared to be ridiculous. But Victor noticed, — not 
without dismay at the thought of the separation which Nellie's 
scheme would involve for him, that not only Leslie, but also 
Mrs. May, seemed to look on it with favor. 

Of course, the mishaps to both himself and his friend, the 
teamster Yahkop, at the polls, did not escape discussion. 
Leslie gave a lively account of the droll speeches of the irate 
voter, and of his ungovernable wrath on being called a Hessian, 
so that even Victor could not help joining Nellie's merriment 
over the recital. But he grew sober when the recollection of 
his own situation in consequenee of yesterday's events again 
confronted him with the problem of his immediate future. 
The Colonel, noticing his sudden depression, said, with his 
pleasant smile and in his kind voice, " Are you thinking 
of Mynheer's blunt speech of yesterday? Leslie tells me, 
that he handled you rather roughly, and perhaps undeservedly 

" Not undeservedly," was Victor's honest reply. " It will 
be but justice, if he dismiss me at once." 

" You need fear nothing of the kind," the Colonel assured 
him. " He will readily pardon your zeal in m}^ cause. Be- 
sides, I happen to know, that he would on no account spare 
you willingly from his business. He thinks too highly of the 
value of your services." 

"As to the value of my services," Victor replied, "he 
has told me repeatedly that I lack very much of being fitted 
for a merchant." 

Leslie and Nellie looked at each other with a significant 
smile, but said nothing. 

" And what is your own opinion in this respect? " the 
Colonel queried. 

" I think he is right," said Victor. 

A smile now played about the lips of Colonel May also, but 
he quickly suppressed it, and continued: "Now, Mr. Wald- 
horst, I want you to understand, that the little unpleasantness 
which 30U believe to exist between Mynheer Van Braaken and 


yourself, ueed not trouble you. Not another word will be 
said to you on the subject. But how would it suit you to take 
up another vocation? How would you like to engage in the 
printing business ? ' ' 

Victor gave a furtive glance at Leslie, whose face, however, 
remained perfectly impassive. " I think I would like it very 
much," he answered eagerly. 

" Mr. Huffard, as Leslie tells me," the Colonel continued, 
" is convinced that you will make an excellent printer. And 
I am sure that you will make your mark as an editor. Your 
thirst for knowledge, your eagerness for politics, your enthu- 
siastic championship of what you deem right and just, will lind 
a much wider field for development in a printing office, than 
behind the counter of a country store." 

"I? An editor? " the young man gasped. But he could 
not conceal his delight at the Colonel's words. 

"You need not assume the chief editorship of a leading 
journal just yet," said the Colonel. " There will be much for 
you to learn ; and some things, no doubt you will have to 
unlearn. But don't let that deter 3'ou, if 3'ou feel that you 
would rather be a printer than a merchant." 

" Indeed, I should like very much to become a printer! " 
was Victor's almost involuntary reply. 

" Then we will consider it settled that you are to join the 
working staff of the Ozark Argus. Mr. Huffard says that he 
will be glad to receive you. Some day perhaps you will be 
called on to serve in a different capacity : for a large propor- 
tion of our public men have risen from the ranks of the printers. 
I am convinced, that in one way or another you will distinguish 

' ' But I thought that you had set your heart on becoming a 
lawyer! " said Leslie, smiling curiously, and interrupting Vic- 
tor's stammering efforts to express his thanks. "Have you 
thought better of that ? ' ' 

"Oh, you know that is out of the question! " Victor 
replied, " and you know the reason why." 


"He is afraid," said Leslie, addressing his father, "that 
he has not learned enough Latin. As if one who mastered 
the English grammar in a course of ten days could not just as 
easy pick up Latin enough to understand Story's pedantic 
quotations from the civil law, and the maxims scattered through 
the text books and judges' opinions, chiefly to create the 
impression that there is something in the law known to them, 
which common people should not know ! I had a talk with 
Yancey last night, and he says, that the time spent in our 
colleges in the study of Latin could be much more profitably 
employed in the study of approved text writers. Yancey 
thinks that Victor could study in his office, and is willing to 
give him the use of his books." 

This was great news for Victor. He looked from one of the 
gentlemen to the other with eager, questioning eyes, hardly 
daring to believe in the reality of the good fortune that prom- 
ised to put him in the way of gratifying his secret, most 
cherished ambition. 

The Colonel regarded him with a quizzical smile. " Do you 
believe yourself competent," he said, " to devote an hour or 
two every day to the acquisition of a smattering of Latin, and 
in the course of time to the devouring of ponderous law 
books, in addition to the tasks that will be imi)osed on you as 
a jirinter's devil? " 

" I'would surely try," was the answer, given in a low voice, 
while a crimson glow spread over his eager features. 

" Then, I know, you will surely succeed," the Colonel went 
on. " You know that ' where there's a will there's a way,' or, 
as the Latin maxim has it, ' Labor omnia vincit.' If you are 
really in earnest, as I have no doubt that you are, your chance 
is fully as good, indeed better, than Leslie's, with^all his 
university training, to become a successful, if not distinguished, 
lawyer. And in your political aspirations, if you have any, 
the profession of the law, again, will prove a highly useful 
stepping stone." 

" Why, just think," Nellie spoke up, " what fun it would 


be to have Mr. Waldhorst iu partnership with Leslie I "What 
an odd team they would make ! ' ' 

Mrs. May seemed not to take so kindly to the idea of a bus- 
iness connection between her son and Victor. " But do you 
think," she said, " that our young friend possesses sufficient — 
what shall 1 call it — assurance or boldness — ' ' 

" Call it cheek, mama, or brass, if that's what you mean," 
suggested Leslie. 

— "to become a successful lawyer? " she continued, not 
heeding Leslie's interruption. " Mr. Waldhorst is so — gen- 
tle, so — " 

" So diffident and bashful! " Leslie again put iu. "Yes, 
he will have to get over that amiable foible of his, if he ever 
expects to rescue a horse-thief from the clutches of a backwoods 

" Yes," Mrs. May continued, smiling graciously, " I may 
say it without wishing to disparage the merits of our friend, 
that in my opinion his modesty will sadly interfere w'ith his 
success as an advocate." 

" Truly, he that bloweth not his own horn, his horn shall 
not be blown ! ' ' said Leslie with a mischievous twinkle of the 

" Never fear as to that ! " said roguish Nellie. " If brother 
Leslie is in the firm, there will be brass and cheek enough for 
both, and to spare. Mr. Waldhorst will do the work, and 
Leslie the tooting ; and it will be just splendid ! " 

"And if we should lack for business," the brother retal- 
iated, " Sissy will help us out with that tell-tale tongue of 
hers. She has already helped us to one pretty extensive law- 
suit by stirring up her silly admirers against each other ; with 
a little practice she will soon be able to furnish more business 
than we can attend to. I suppose, Nell, that we will have to 
give you an interest in the firm." 

" That will do, children! " said the Colonel, putting an end 
to their good-humored banter. 

When he, true to his promise, accompanied Victor to the 


store, Victor was agreeably surprised to notice the utter ab- 
sence of anything like displeasure or ill-feeling on the part of 
the merchant, who seemed to regard Victor's plans for the 
future, involving his withdrawal from the Dutch Store, as 
quite a matter of course. They talked the subject over in the 
most amicable mood, Victor himself saying but little. When 
they had discussed the whole matter as to Victor's immediate 
plans, the Colonel said something about his studying law, 
whereat the merchant grew unusually lively. " Yes, yes," he 
said, nodding vigorously, and with a nervous twitching of his 
weak eye-lid. "I always knew there was something in the 
boy. He is going to make a man some day. But he has 
much to learn, yet," winking slyly at the Colonel, with a 
grimace that was meant for a smile — "he has a great lesson 
to learn. He is smart enough to be a lawyer, and he knows 
enough to be a politician. But it will be bad for his clients if 
he tells the jury all he knows about them. And he will never 
be elected when he runs for office if he tells the voters what he 
thinks of them. And he is going to do all that, if he don't 
learn how not to tell the truth sometimes." 
* * * 

Victor applied himself diligently to the discharge of his 
duties in the new sphere of his activity. Simple enough they 
w^ere, at first, though irksome, at times, requiring the per- 
formance of the merest drudgery. He acquitted himself to 
the perfect satisfaction of Mr. Huffard, who congratulated 
himself on the acquisition of so apt an apprentice. Plenty of 
leisure was at bis disposal, which he conscientiously utilized 
by earnestly devoting himself to the mastering of the Latin 
grammar, an old copy of which Leslie had placed at his dis- 
posal. This gentleman even conquered his aversion to the dry 
details of the study, from which he himself had but recently 
been absolved, so far as to help his young friend over its initial 
difficulties. But this assistance ceased when, early in the 
month following, Leslie returned to Harvard University. 
Nellie, too, was taken back to Columbia, the Colonel himself 


escorting her thither, to continue her course at the Young 
Ladies' Seminary. A lonely time ensued for Victor, upon 
whom the absence of his young friends weighed heavily. His 
visits to May Meadows that had been to him bright gleams of 
sunshine in the somber monotony of life, uovv ceased almost 
entirely save that the Colonel, after his return from Columbia, 
now and then insisted on taking him home for a Sunday din- 
ner, or an afternoon drive. These occasions served only to 
emphasize the absence of the young people ; — he sadly missed 
the vivacious sallies of Nellie, and Leslie's good-natured 

The conversation of the Colonel was not without its charm, 
however, and Victor soon learned to listen with a new and 
quite different interest. For the congressman-elect often dis- 
cussed before him the political program he was chalking out 
for himself and the party he I'epresented ; and the young man, 
proud of the confidence thus reposed in him, eagerly absorbed 
the views of his patron and promised to become an enthusiastic 
champion of whatever policy was thus unfolded before him. 
Utterly unconscious of himself, Victor in this way became a 
stout adherent to the States-right-school of the Democratic 
party. It never occurred to him that his own crude, unsophis- 
ticated view^s of right and justice were of any value to his 
friend. He accepted the favors shown him by the Colonel, 
with a grateful heart, and adopted his political principles with- 
out question or doubt, — having neither the disposition, nor, 
indeed, the mental ripeness, to detect their truth or error. 

During the first few mouths after Leslie's return to college 
Victor found great solace in a voluminous correspondence with 
his absent friend. For a while the collegian answered 
promptly, and Victor was led to believe that his gushing 
effusions gave as much satisfaction to Leslie as the replies did 
to himself. But soon the answers grew shorter and less 
regular, and although Leslie excused his want of promptness 
on the score of absorbing studies, rendering necessary the 
most assiduous application to insure a diploma at the end of 


the year, when he proposed to orraduate, yet Victor reluctantly 
admitted to himself that Leslie's increasing taciturnity must 
be due rather to his want of inclination to write, than to the 
lack of opportunity. 

In the course of time, Victor was promoted from his devil- 
ship in the printing office to the dignity of compositor and 
pressman. He had made such rapid progress in both branches 
of the business, that Mr. Huffard found it profitable to take 
another apprentice in his place and let him do the work of a 
journeyman. But this advancement was not half so encour- 
aging to him as the acceptance by the editor of an essay writ- 
ten by him on the political issues then before the country. It 
was a proud day for him when he first saw his own thoughts 
confront him from the printed sheet of the Ozark Argus. A 
part of his inmost self gone forth from him, beyond his reach, 
forever, to influence others. For good? He hoped so, — aye, 
he was sure of it : for truth needs but manifest itself to be 
triumphant. And was he not adding his testimony to the 
cause of truth ? No doubt of it ; for the editor of the Demo- 
cratic organ of the Southwest had agreed with his views, and 
the congressman-elect had approved of them. Even Leslie, to 
whom he had, in the first flush of his joy, sent a copy of the 
paper containing his article, marked with a red pencil, had 
written to congratulate him, saying no one but his gifted, 
aspiring, honest young friend could be the author of so noble a 
defense of Democracy. His success inspired him to further 
efforts, and it was not long before Mr. Huffard left him to 
manage a considerable share of the editorial work on the 
Argus, to his own liking. The young recruit to the editorial 
staff displayed quite an aptitude in getting up interesting 
items of news, and penning them in pleasing style, as well as 
in the writing of political leading articles. He seemed in a 
fair way to realize Colonel May's prediction that he would 
make an excellent editor. 

About this time the formation of a new political party, 
having for its object the disfranchising of Catholics and natu- 


ralized citizens, strongly enlisted Victor's opposition. Being 
himself a '' foreigner," it was but natural that be should 
keenly feel the narrowness of the maxim, tliat " America 
belongs to the Americans ; " and the stand taken by the great 
majority of the democrats against the new doctrine served to 
increase, if possible, his veneration for the party, whose tenets 
demanded equality of rights for all American citizens, of what- 
ever religious creed, or nativity. The little town of Brook- 
field, to be sure, afforded but small vantage ground for the 
American party. Besides Orlando Jones and his father, whose 
personal experience inclined them to side with the new doc- 
trine, and Mr. Barnes and a few of his friends, who had not 
forgotten the inconvenient competition of the Dutch merchant, 
there were hardly any converts. Even Ralph Pay ton, not- 
withstanding the eloquent protest he had launched against the 
foreigners in his maiden speech at the barbecue, was not ready 
to join a party, whose leading object was plainly to disorganize 
the Democracy. 

Nor was there much promise of success for the American 
party in any part of the State, save in one or two of its larger 
cities ; or, indeed, in any of the Western States. But in the 
exchange papers, to peruse which was now a part of Victor's 
duty, he found enthusiastic accounts of its rapid spread in the 
East, and particularly in the Middle States. He was troubled 
to perceive that the tidal wave assumed such mighty propor- 
tions as to threaten at no distant day to engulf the entire 
nation. True, the Democracy everywhere stood firmly by 
their colors ; but the new party was drawing to its support the 
discontented elements of all other political organizations. The 
whigs, who had hitherto presented an unbroken line of bat- 
tle against the democrats, were evidently demoralized by 
their signal defeat at the last election, and their party was 
plainly in the process of disintegration. Great numbers of 
them, not willing to ally themselves with the other new 
party, whose opposition to Democracv sprang from their ab- 
horrence of slavery, acted in concert with the Know-Nothings, 



and secured for them victory in many State elections. It was 
but natural, therefore, that Victor looked forward to the final 
issue of the struggle, involving his own rights as a citizen, 
with apprehensive anxietj^, and that he put forward his best 
arguments in defense of Democra,cy, in the articles which 
appeared from his pen in the Ozark Argus. 

In writing these articles he soon made the discovery, which 
greatly startled him, that his strongest motive in their compo- 
sition was a personal one. He asked himself, what would be 
his attitude toward the party, if he were a native born Ameri- 
can? The answer, which he could not conceal from himself, 
gave him much trouble and perplexit3^ It was but right and 
wise, that Americans should rule America. It was but just 
and proper that the American nation should resist all foreign 
influence, naturally directed against our republican institu- 
tions, in all lawful ways. And what duty could be more 
sacred and binding, than that of preserving and upholding the 
Union and constitution of the United States? 

Meanwhile time passed and Victor diligently discharged his 
duties in the printing office, and studied Latin. On one occa- 
sion he asked the assistance of Mr. Yancey to unravel for him 
a knotty point. The lawyer met him with much kindness, and 
after giving him the desired information, entered into a gen- 
eral conversation which drifted into politics, involving the 
prospects of the American party. Victor soon betrayed his 
perplexity in respect of the principles which he thought so 
true, that they could not be conscientiously opposed. 

" Let me understand to what principles you refer," said 
Mr. Yancey quietly. 

" Loyalty to the Union ; jealousy against foreign influence ; 
preservation of republican institutions," answered Victor. 

' ' Does any one propose to annul any of these ? ' ' queried 
Mr. Yancey further. 

"Not directly, perhaps," said Victor, after pondering 
awhile. "But then, you know, the abolitionists think slavery 
a greater evil than the disruption of the Union. And some 


of^them ^have actuallj^ denounced the constitution as wicked 
and an abomination. And then — are not some of the foreign- 
ers too ignorant to be intrusted with the privilege of the 

""Why, yes," the lawyer replied, a scarcely perceptible 
smile lighting up his features. " Some of the fanatics have 
gone the length of denouncing the constitution as a compact 
with the devil, and the Union a league with hell, or something 
of that sort. I quote from memory. But have you not 
noticed that many of the recruits to the Know-Nothing party 
come from these same abolitionists? Such is, at least, a fair 
inference from the fact, that their first successes were 
achieved in the States most strongly infested by them. And 
does it occur to you, that their ' jealousy of foreign influence ' 
is due chiefly to the circumstance that the great majority of 
German and Irish emigrants persistently vote the Democratic 

" Is not that," suggested Victor, though hesitatingly, " a 
corroboration of the assertion, that they are too ignorant to 
have an opinion of their own, and therefore become pliant 
tools in the hands of designing demagogues? " 

" It proves, at any rate," said the other, " that they have 
faith in Democratic principles, which the opponents of the 
Democratic party have not. There is greater significance in 
this than is apparent on the surface. If it be true, as you 
and I are certainly convinced, that the Democratic party 
represent the true theory of our government, then this so-called 
American party is not only un-democratic, but emphatically 
un-American. Universal freedom is the caixlinal principle of 
the American government, as it is the cardinal tenet of the 
Democratic party. Hence the emigrant, seeking refuge from 
oppression, — whether industrial, social, or political — in this 
land of promise, naturally identifies himself with the party 
which has inscribed the promise of this freedom on its banner. 
But what is the principle — if it be not an abuse of the word 
to apply it to this organization, whose sole cohesive force con- 



sists of its opposition to Democracy — by which they propose 
to rule Amei'ica? How are tliey going to 'resist foreign in- 
fluence,' and ' protect and uphold the constitution and the 
Union ? ' On their own showing they mean to abolish free- 
dom of religion, the equality of man before the law, the elect- 
ive franchise for freemen. Catholics are to be denied the 
rights of citizenship, emigrants to be branded as political out- 
casts, the right of suffrage to be exercised according to the 
flat of a secret association. What would be the value of a 
Union 'preserved,' of a constitution 'protected' in such 
fashion? " 

How easy it was to convince Victor of what he was so eager 
to believe ! Mr. Yancey's words impressed themselves deeply 
on his mind and memory. The light in which Mr. Yancey 
had put the argument against Know-Nothingism relieved him 
entirely of the scruples with which his tender conscience had 
oppressed him. His articles in the Ozark Argus henceforth 
were noticeably bolder and more incisive, and he had the sat- 
isfaction to see most of them coi^ied and strongly commended 
by the exchange papers that came to his hands. 



'HROUGHOUT all the long winter that followed, — a 
winter unequaled in duration and severity by any 
within the memory of the oldest inhabitant — Victor 
had looked forward with yearning heart. Not that time passed 
heavily with him. What with his duties at the case and press ; 
with now and then an hour or two devoted to the penning of 
local items for the " Chronicle of the Southwest," and the 
pursuit of his studies under the guidance of Mr. Yancey, he 
was kept busy enough. Nor was it alone the coming of 
Spring, — that season so full of promise and delight to the 
young and hopeful — that he so eagerly awaited. Life seemed 
pleasant enough to the aspiring young man, who had con- 
vinced himself that he was preparing for a life of usefulness 
and activity, — not void, either, of a lurking hope, that 
success, perhaps, was in store for him. How hapj^y it would 
make him, if he should justify the good opinion of his friends — 
of Colonel May, of Leslie — , Might not Nellie, then, forget 
that he was of graceless and ungainly person? It was this 
hope, which had taken hold of him far more iirmly than he 
was aware, that occupied his thoughts and wove pleasant 
fancies into his waking dreams. The inclemency of the season 
had no terror for him. However fiercely the tempest howled 
without, the dingy little office, from which the Ozark Argus 
took its weekly flights into the surrounding country, afforded 
cosy shelter to the young man who was busy with himself — 
and looked forward. 

Spring came at last, as Spring will always come, when 
winter is over, — tardily, this time, but all the more joyfully 
welcomed by old and young ; for all had grown weary of 



winter's protracted tyranny. Springtime and May — delight- 
ful to Victor as to every one ; still he looked forward. 

For Spring would be followed by Summer, and Summer — 
early, in the season — would bring Leslie home from the uni- 
versity, laden with honors, no doubt; for had not Leslie 
written to him that he meant to achieve snmma cum kmde, and 
was there anything that Leslie could not achieve, if he wished 
to? And — well, yes! he thought of that, too — the early 
Summer would end Nellie's term at the Young Ladies Seminary 
at Columbia. So he looked forward. 

But hope's fruition rarely equals the joy of anticipation. 
Nor was Victor's case an exception, when the time came to 
which he had looked forward. For when, in the bright and 
sunny month of June, with its fresh green foliage and delight- 
ful breezes, Leslie returned, he brought with him, among 
other trophies culled during his Harvard campaign, a mus- 
tache, — not heavy, nor bristling, nor yet of jetty hue; but 
visible to Victor's naked eye and palpable to the touch — at 
least Victor so inferred from the frequency with which his 
friend's thumb and forefinger fondled it. 

Now there was nothing startling in the fact of his friend's 
sporting a mustache, except, perhaps, that mustaches and 
beards were not in fashion in those days, in the backwoods. 
But the young student had, together with the mustache, 
assumed an expression of face that did not fully correspond to 
the image that Victor treasured in his memory, and so the joy 
experienced on his friend's return was dimmed by a shadow, — 
a vague disappointment ; almost, as if a beloved friend, from 
whom he had parted nearly a year before, had not really come 
back, but was about to go away from him forever. 

Nellie, too, returned soon after. She, to be sure, wore 
no mustache, however greatly she admired that of her 
brother, and thereby set an example to the young ladies of 
Brookfield, who thenceforth unanimously found the tuft of 
hair on Leslie's upper lip just too charming for anything. 
But she had become taller in stature, and her figure had gained 


wonderfully in grace of outline. She, too, presented a con- 
trast, though a most delightful one, to the image which he 
had been cherishing in his inmost heart. 

But her smile was as sweet as ever, and the cordiality with 
which she greeted him on his first visit to May Meadows after 
her return, made it easy for him to make friends with the fas- 
cinating young lady that had come back in place of the 
sprightly young school-girl of last Summer. It was through 
the influence of Nellie, who had in reality changed more than 
Leslie, that Victor soon regained his old footing with both. 
And yet there was a drop of bitterness in the sweet draught of 
bliss, — a keen pang of genuine pain that disturbed, now and 
then, the delight which he found in the intercourse with the 
inmates of May Meadows. As coming events cast their 
shadows before, so the dread of the Colonel's departure for 
Washington threw a shadow on Victor's sunny path. Nellie 
had succeeded in persuading her parents to adopt her scheme 
of removing with the whole family to the Capitol, for one 
season at least. The plan was frequently discussed in his 
presence, for the young people took great delight in dwelling 
upon the pleasure anticipated from their admission to Washing- 
ton society, and Victor vaguely felt that the separation from 
his young friends would prove more thorough than a tempo- 
rary cessation of personal intercourse. 

But his dread of what the future had in store for him was 
not the only, nor indeed his most formidable trouble. It was 
clearly wrong and unreasonable in him to regard it as a trouble 
at all, that the young men in and around Brookfield should 
share his admiration of Nellie May and heavily tax the hospi- 
tality of May Meadows by the assiduity of their attentions 
to her. No one knew better than Victor, how ungenerous it 
was to the young lady, to grudge her the triumphs which she 
enjoyed, evidently enough, with great relish. He was ashamed 
of the feeling, too ; yet he could not conquer it, and it made 
him downright miserable to notice the frequency of Ralph 
Payton's visits, and the very evident pleasure he took in 


Nellie's society. Nellie herself was equall}- frieudl}' to all her 
callers ; she treated even Orlando Jones, whose father had 
taken so decided a part against her own father at the election, 
with friendly courtesy. 

As the time approached, when preparations had to be made 
for the departure of the May family, it was determined that a 
great party should be given in honor of the occasion. It was 
to take place in the mansion of the congressman-elect. The 
wealthiest and most influential inhabitants of Brookfield were 
to be there as guests, not excluding, however, the humbler, 
and even humblest, classes. Expectation was on tip-toe ; the 
gathering was talked of long beforehand as an event in the 
history of the town, second only — if second at all — to the 
great barbecue of last year. Of course, the Chronicle of the 
Southwest could not afford to ignore this stirring topic of 
news, and Victor received orders from Mr. Huffard to try him- 
self at writing a " stunning puff " for the member of Congress 
in connection with the " grand soiree," — which the editor-in- 
chief directed his assistant to spell ' ' swaree " — to be given 
his constituents on the eve of his departure for Washington. 

The getting up of the " puff " was easy enough for the enthu- 
siastic admirer of Colonel May; the only danger was, indeed, 
that it would assume proportions entirelj' too " stunning " to 
go into print. But the backwoodsmen were not fastidious in 
their taste, as Mr. Huffard knew, and so he allowed his assist- 
ant's enthusiasm full sway. The " swaree," however, proved a 
difficult matter for him to handle. He had no clear notion of 
the meaning of the word, nor had he ever been present at any 
of the social gatherings at which young people of both sexes 
amuse themselves after a da}' spent in helping the host shuck 
corn, raise a log cabin quilt coverlet, or do some such work 
requiring many hands, and offering opportunity, under specious 
pretense, for social intercourse in the evening. A broad grin 
overspread the editor's face as Victor confessed his perplexity ; 
but he relieved his assistant's doubts by dashing off a few 
lines himself, descriptive of the frolic to be expected, and 


appended it to Victor's glowing panegyric. Tlius it happened, 
that the party to be given at May Meadows was heralded to 
the world with a bombast hardly inferior to that which, a year 
or so before, had ushered in the great barbecue. 

To Nellie the event promised illimitable enjoyment — " fun " 
was her expression for it. She meant to have all the fun there 
was in it. She meant to show what could be done in the way 
of giving a party by one of the first families of Virginia. 
Leslie, too, looked with some expectation for the frolic to come 
off. His mustache had grown somewhat during the Summer, 
and assumed a tinge distinctly contrasting with his fine com- 
plexion. So he coveted the opportunity of trying its effect on 
the susceptible rural belles, before pursuing more difficult 
game at Washington. Victor was of course among the in- 
vited. He would have greatly preferred a quiet evening with 
Nellie and Leslie to the finest party in the world, and abso- 
lutely cast about for an excuse to remain away. It might 
have been better for his subsequent peace of mind if he had 
succeeded in finding a pretext for absence from the dreaded 
ordeal ; but his conscience forbade a direct untruth, and he 
found no plausible pretext for a refusal to come. 

It was a beautiful evening tow-ard the end of October, when 
Victor accompanied by his chief set oufupou the well-known 
path leading to May Meadows. Mr. Huffard was in one of 
his talkative moods, entertaining, or thinking that he enter- 
tained, Victor — (for this young man was nervously thinking 
of the party) — with reminiscences of similar affairs through 
which he had gone in his youth. But his anecdotes failed to 
enliven Victor's spirits ; they rather depressed him, for in 
every one of them the hero turned out superior to his sur- 
roundings, achieving his triumphs by dint of ready wit, or 
wonderful presence of mind — qualities, in which Victor felt 
his inferiority but too keenly. The story of the scarecrow 
haunted his memory like a nightmare. 

Both he and the editor were received kindly enough, how- 
ever. The Colonel, as he shook hands in courtlv, vet cordial 


manner, expressed the great pleasure it gave him to see the 
" gentlemen of the press," in whose pleasure it lay " to make 
or mar " the reputations of public men. Nellie was all smiles 
and whispered to the young man her hope, that he would 
amuse himself well enough to insert a favorable notice of the 
party in the Argus. Both Colonel and Mrs. May showed their 
Southern blood by the quiet tact displayed as host and hostess, 
in putting their guests at ease. A considerable number of 
these had already arrived. Among them Ralph Payton and 
other members of the last year's grammar class. The rival 
merchants of Brookfleld were there — Mynheer Van Braaken 
deeming it wise to come, in the interest of the Dutch Store, 
while Mr, Barnes was anxious to jDropitiate the member of 
Congress for the district, although he had not voted for him. 

As yet the sexes seemed afraid of each other ; the young 
men held themselves strictly aloof from the ladies, — talking 
in little groups among themselves, and showing, by the readi- 
ness with which they laughed, loud and boisterously, over 
each puny attempt at witticism, how thoroughly self-possessed 
they were, and how immensely they enjoyed themselves. Not 
to be behind them in the display of sociability, the girls on 
their part giggled among themselves. 

Leslie, noticing the constraint that kept the young people 
apart, determined to break the ice for them. An old-fash- 
ioned " play-song " he knew to be as efficient to bring to- 
gether a room full of people anxious to be sociable, as the 
Polonaise in opening a ball. He beckoned to Ralph Payton, 
requesting him to choose a partner and lead off. Nothing loth, 
the young man stepped up to Miss May and begged her, with 
a graceful bow, to honor him, while Leslie did the same with 
Miss Matlack. The quartette promenaded through the room 
singing, to a popular melod}^, words, which Victor understood 
about as follows : 

" We are marching on to Baltimore, 
Two behind, and two before; 
Let our band be never parted. 


But when you see a soldier true, 
And a faithful lassie too, 

Then open the ring 

And let another in 
That you think will prove true-hearted." 

The i)romenaders were just passing Victor when they sang 
the last w^ords, and he was puzzled on receiving a curtsy from 
Miss Matlack ; Miss Shannon, who had received a similar 
compliment from Leslie, approached from the other side of the 
room and took Victor by the hand. Then he understood that 
he was the " soldier true " of whom they had been singing, 
and that Miss Shannon must be the lassie allotted to be faithful 
to him. So he bravely marched along in the procession with his 
fair partner, swelling the chorus of voices that were now again 

" — marching on to Baltimore," 

until they had ' ' taken another in ; " after which the singing 
and marching continued, until as many as wished to participate 
had taken up the march to Baltimore. 

Victor having never seen anything of the kind before, was 
for a while quite interested. It amused him to see how 
anxious some of the outsiders seemed, to be elected into the 
patriotic band. But as the procession grew in numbers, and 
the same words Avere repeated without variation, the interest 
slackened, and he wondered how long the thing was going to 
last in this way. A question to this effect brought from his 
fair partner an exultant smile. " Oh — don't you know? " she 
whispered eagerly, " why, all the fun is going to come in the 
wind-up. You will see." 

And he did see. Upon a signal from Pay ton the procession 
came to a halt, the song ceased, and he led Miss May into the 
middle of the room, the others joining hands and forming a 
circle around the couple in the center. Leslie then led off 
with a new song to a different air, somewhat in this fashion : 

" King William was King James's son, 
Upon a royal race the}' run ; 


Upon his breast he wore a star 
That shone near and that shone far. 
Down on the carpet you must kneel 
As sure as grass grows on the field — ' ' 

Ralph Pay ton gracefully complied with this injunction, and 
it gave Victor a genuine pang of distress to notice the charm- 
ing tableau presented by the couple in this attitude — Nellie 
standing erect, radiant in her loveliness, looking down upon 
her gallant adorer with a roguish smile ; Ralph in elegant 
pose, holding tlie tips of her fingers in his right hand, gazing 
with rapt admiration into her beautiful face. The song 
continued : 

' ' Salute your bride and kiss her sweet — ' ' 

Suiting the action to the words Ralph leaped up, encircled the 
lovely maiden with his arm, and culled from her tempting lips 
the reward for his chivalry. 

This filled Victor's cup of misery. It cost him a powerful 
effort to conceal his emotion, and it was absolutely impossible 
for him to answer in words the tittering remark of his partner, 
" Didn't they do it nicely? " His heart beat in almost audi- 
ble throbs as she said, " I wonder who is going to be her real 
choice? " 

The song went on : — 

" Now you may rise upon your feet — " 

whereupon Ralph, with courtly bow, answered by an equally 
graceful curtsy from her, left the circle. Still the song went 
on; Nellie, meanwhile, mustering the faces of those com^wsing 
the ring : 

" If he's not here to take your part, 
Go choose another with all your heart ; 
Go choose in the East, go choose in the West, 
Go choose the one that you love best ! ' ' 

Victor was intensely excited. She was now to " choose the 
one that she loves best." Whom ivill she choose? Nellie's 


eyes, in sweeping over tlie circle, caught the intensely eager 
gaze of Victor, and a bright smile illumined her face. But 
only for a moment. Then her eyes turned from him, searching 
for some one else. As the words were reached : 

" Go choose the one that you love best " 

she nodded, smiled sweetly, — not on Victor. He was petri- 
fied with dismay to see Orlando Jones step into the ring, kneel 
to her, and be kissed by her ! Orlando Jones — his bitter 
enemy from the grammar class, — his traducer, he, whom 
Nellie, a little more than a year ago, had called a low, mean 
fellow, and now, to Jiiss him! He never forgot the bitterness 
of that moment. But for the soreness of his heart his wounded 
vanity might have been soothed by the malice of Miss Shan- 
non's remark, "isn't it just too ridiculous to see Mr. Jones 
stand up with Nellie May, after Ralph Pay ton? " Even Nel- 
lie's encouraging smile and the assurance whispered into his 
ear as she passed out of the circle to resume her duties as 
hostess, that his time to choose and be chosen would soon 
come, failed to lighten the burden at his heart. What cared 
he to be chosen by any but the one maiden in all the world , or 
to choose, when she was not to be chosen? 

The song went on as if nothing had happened to blot out the 
sunshine of his life. One by one the youths and lasses were 
invited into the coveted ch'cle, and dismissed from it, until his 
own turn came ; he went through the motions as he had seen 
others do, chosen by whom he cared not ; choosing, he hardly 
knew whom; kissing with an indifference hardly just to his 
fair partners. 

The introductory play-song and its winding up had occupied 
a considerable portion of the evening, and Leslie had fully 
accomplished his purpose. The conversation was general and 
very lively long before its completion. The older guests had 
grouped themselves according to their inclinations and talked 
about politics, crops, the marvelous development of Brook- 
field, and whatever other topics that lay nearest their interests, 


while the younger ones discussed affairs most interesting to 
them, much as young people do everywhere, finding ever new 
fascination in the old, old story. Nellie flitted about among 
her guests like a lovely butterfly, laughing and chatting now 
with one group, now with another, always merry, always 
graceful, the favorite of young and old, having won the aj}- 
proval of even the young lady guests by her tact in choosing 
the least popular young swains to be favored with her kiss, 
whereby she had so deeply wounded poor Victor. But she 
had determined with equal tact on compensating him in her 
own way, later in the evening. Refreshments Avere not want- 
ing: Lemonade for the ladies ; for the men, — patronized not 
exclusively by the elder ones — the staple beverage of the 
country, whiskey. For those who liked it, the Colonel had 
provided wine, relished, however, by but few. What with the 
exhilarating effects of the whiskey, the wine, and the cheering 
influence of pleasant and social intercourse, the assemblage 
was soon in the best possible spirits. 

Games of various kinds were introduced and participated in 
with enthusiastic enjoyment. In one of them it fell to the lot 
of Leslie to name the penance by which a forfeit was to be 
redeemed. Although his eyes were bandaged, he correctly 
surmised the pawn to belong to Victor, and, having noticed 
the young man's depression, determined to give him an oppor- 
tunity to show off in his own line, and put himself in a better 
light before the company. So he decreed that the ow^ner of 
the pawn must instantly pronounce a funeral sermon on the 
demise of the Whig party. Victor was greatly embarrassed. 
But he must not show the white feather. Summoning all his 
courage, he stepped forward and claimed the pawn. " I will 
give you a few words of lament instead of the sermon," he 
said, when the applause had subsided, with which the company 
had received the announcement of the sentence against the 
owner of the forfeit ; ' ' such as a patriotic whig might be 
supposed to indulge in after the defeat of his party. I shall 
call it 



Old Tip is dead 

And the coons are fled 
To a country all unknown, Sir! 

Our cider's spilt 

And the cabins we built 
Are up to the moon all blown, Sir ! 

And Tyler, too, 

Has proved untrue 
Since the coons away did go. Sir! 

And so we moan 

Forlorn and lone 
Like a widow without a beau , Sir ! 

Here's Harry, who 

Oft tried to woo 
The people in his way. Sir ! 

But his ways don't take. 

And 'tis a mistake 
To trust this kind of Clay, Sir! 

Even God-like Dan 

Is not the man 
That can us now avail. Sir ! 

So we must weep 

Our misery deep 
And up Salt Eiver sail, Sir! " 

The beginning of the declamation, spoken in a low, uncer- 
tain voice, amid the buzz of conversation carried on outside 
of the circle of those participating in the game, was lost to 
most of the company; but before he had concluded, the 
utmost silence prevailed, and when he was through there was 
a general clamor for a repetition, in which General Waddle 
the defeated whig candidate for Congress, joined. So Victor, 
although he had honestly redeemed his forfeit, was by general 
acclamation sentenced to pay the i^enalty a second time. 


Restored to a degree of confldeuce by the flattering request, 
he succeeded in reciting the little lampoon in a steadier voice 
emphasizing the tone of dejection and philosophical resigna- 
tion he meant to express, and thus greatly heightening the 
effect upon the company. The applause was spontaneous and 
cordial; more so from the older than from the younger folks, 
for every line contained some illusion to the well-remembered 
" hard cider and log cabin " campaign, in which the " coons," 
as the whigs were derisively called, had gained so brilliant a 
victory, and been so bitterly disappointed of its fruits in con- 
sequence of the death of the president and defection of the 

" A very creditable performance," was the verdict of Gen- 
eral Waddle. " If the situation depicted were only true, I 
would call it a most excellent performance. As it is, we must 
give our Democratic young friend credit for a lively imagina- 
tion, and a marvelous proficiency in improvisation." 

Victor blushed with pleasure, and his eyes sought out 
Nellie, who beamed upon him an approval that he prized more 
highly than even the encomiums from her father, and all the 
rest of the company together. But his honesty would not per- 
mit him to api^ropriate laurels not strictly his due. " It is 
not an improvisation," he said. "I had thought it out 

"What! " exclaimed Mr. Huffard, his brows contracting 
with comical indignation, " and kept it treacherously to your- 
self? Don't you know, that your brain, and all its political 
and poetical i)roductions belong to the Argus? To think that 
it should have been despoiled of its legitimate dues in this sur- 
reptitious manner! You'll bear watching, young man! " 

" We will have it in the Argus in proper time," cried 
Leslie, well pleased by his success in bringing Victor out of 
his dumps. "But just now we will make a song of it. It 
will go excellently well to the tune of " Sitting on a Rail." 
So let us have the words once more, Victor, and the whole 
company, whigs and all, will join in the chorus." 


The song was a social success. Every person present was 
familiar with the tune to which " The Lay of a Gone Coon," 
was sung with a hearty good will. 

But the grand feature of the May Meadows party was still 
in petto of Nellie and Leslie. It was nothing less than a mock- 
marriage, with all the pomp and circumstance of a real one, — 
a bride, bridesmaids, groom, groomsmen, parson, ceremony, 
reception, festive wedding supper, and dancing for those whose 
conscience did not forbid the delightful pastime. The idea 
had originated with Nellie, who would of course personate the 
bride, and she had extensively provided herself with the neces- 
sary ornaments and trappings appropriate to the occasion — 
bridal robe, veil, wreath, rings and all. Although Leslie had, 
at first, been reluctant to enter into the scheme, he, when his 
impetuous sister had coaxed him into it, seconded her plans 
with energy, and had undertaken to acquaint the company at 
the proper time with the proposed entertainment, as well as to 
attend to such other matters of detail as would more properly 
be attended to by him. It fell to his lot to select the ladies 
and gentlemen who were to act as bridesmaids and groomsmen, 
and also to inform the groom himself of the high distinction 
that was to be conferred upon him. The brother and sister 
had kept the whole thing a profound secret until the time for 
action came, — partly because it would enhance the enjoyment 
of the affair if sprung upon the company as a surprise, and 
partly because the}' wished to avoid the gossip that might busy 
itself with the relations between Nellie and the gentleman chosen 
as groom. 

During a somewhat protracted absence of Nellie from the 
room, the cause of which Victor sought in vain to imagine, 
Leslie surprised him by a whispered invitation to follow him 
into a side room, where he completely took away his breath by 
the inquiry, how he would like it to become Nellie's husband? 
A crimson flood suffused the 3'oung man's cheeks and fore- 
head, followed swiftly by a deathly pallor. 

"Nellie's husband!" he stammered, stunned by the bare 



mention of that as a possibility, which he had in his inmost 
lieart, in rare moments only, dared to picture to himself as 
supreme, but utterly unattainable, bliss. "What — what do 
you mean? " 

- " Just what I say," Leslie, replied, smiling mischievously. 
" Nellie wants to get married to-night, and has hit upon you 
for a partner. Have you any objection? " 

" I? Marry 3Iiss Nellie? " Victor slowly repeated, gazing 
into her brother's face in helpless bewilderment. " You do 
not — you cannot — .mean it ? " 

" Why not? " replied Leslie, with a tantalizing smile, keenly 
enjoying Victor's dazed astonishment. Then, as if taking 
pity ou his painful perplexity, he added: " Not for good, you 
know, but just in fun. We wish to entertain our guests with 
the sijectacle of a wedding, and Nellie believes it will give you 
pleasure to stand up with her for the mock ceremony. It is 
all play, you know : but I dare say that many of the l)oys will 
envy you the fun you will have." 

"Oh! " sighed Victor, catching his breath, as if relieved 
from a heavy burden. "Just for fun! " Then he added, 
the color coming back into his face more deeply than before, 
" Miss Nellie wishes 'to marry — me — in fun! " 

"Yes," Leslie rejoined, "I am sure it will be capital 
sport to you and Nellie, — and to the whole company — to go 
through the whole rigmarole of a marriage ceremony, — the 
parson standing before you, joining your hands and preaching 
to you about the duties of married life, and all that. By the 
by, I mean to have Huffard act the parson. Won't he put all 
the • mock gravity and sanctimonious unction required for the 
solemnity of the occasion into his part? I think I hear him 
enjoin you to ' love, honor and obey ' sister Nellie! Beware, 
Victor, how you promise, or she will make you her abject 
slave for the rest of your life." 

Again the color faded from Victor's face, — hardly, how- 
ever, because he feai'ed the doom of slavery at Nellie's hands — 
for he said, with an imploring look into Leslie's eyes, genuine 


agony audible even in liis whis^jered words : "I am sorry, Mr. 
May, that Miss May wishes to marry — in fan." 

' ' Sorry , Victor ? Why ? " 

Victor made no answer to this question, but continued, after 
a brief pause, during which his eyes had slowly dropped, as if 
unable to Ijear .the astonished gaze of his friend: •' I thank 
you, and I thank your sister, from the bottom of my heart, for 
your very great kindness. It was, indeed, very kind of you — 
of both of you — to think of me in — in this way. But I — I 
cannot stand up with Miss May — in fun ! ' ' 

" What do you mean? What on earth can be your objec- 
tion?" Leslie exclaimed, his astonishment fast turning into 
anger. " You have always professed such chivalrous devo- 
tion to my sister, that we thought that this thing would be a 
gratification to you. And now you say that you can't do it? 
Nellie will be even more surprised than I am ! " 

" Oh, do not be angry, Mr. May! " implored Victor. " It 
would make me but too happy to do anything for you and Miss 
May — anything compatible with honor and duty — " 

" Compatible with honor and duty! " Leslie repeated in a 
tone of withering sarcasm, his brows contracting to a sinister 
scowl that absolutely frightened Victor, who had never seen 
his friend in such a mood. "And pray, Mr. Waldhorst, do 
you consider it incompatible with honor and duty to stand up 
with Miss May ? ' ' 

" To make sport of so sacred a thing! " said Victor, in a 
whisper hai'dly audible. " It would be committing sacrilege, 
to repeat, before a whole room full of people, who would 
giggle and laugh, words of the most sacred import, in wanton 

He had hardly finished these words when the door opened 
and Nellie, wreathed in smiles, and in Victor's eyes unspeak- 
ably beautiful in the bridal robe of snowy whiteness, entered 
and, walking straight up to Leslie, asked him whether he had 
gotten through with all the arrangements ; but w^ithout waiting 
for an answer, she turned to Victor, who stood spellbound in 


the presence of such ravishing beauty, and asked him with a 
gracious smile: "How do you like your bride, Mr. Wald- 

Victor made no answer. The beads of perspiration gathering 
on his forehead gave token of the anguish that racked his soul. 

Nellie sobered up. " Why, what is the matter, Mr. Wald- 
horst? " she asked. " I expected a different welcome to 
this, from my devoted cavalier, when he is about to receive 
his reward for his faithful constancy." 

"Faithful fiddlesticks!" Leslie spoke up. "Behold a 
sanctimonious Puritan, who finds it ' incompatible with honor 
and duty ' to marry my sister, even in fun ! He evidently 
thinks you a forward minx, to ask him to marry j^ou, and 
sternly gives you the mitten. Serves us right, though, for our 
folly in not taking into account the fastidious taste of your — 
outlandish beau." 

The girl turned as white as her bridal robe. " Is this so, 
Mr. Waldhorst? " she inquired in low accents, regarding 
Victor with pathetic appeal for contradiction. But as Victor 
hung his head without replying in words, the blood rushed 
back in a mighty flood, dying her neck, cheeks and forehead 
with lovely crimson ; and she flashed upon him such a look of 
angry indignation and fierce scorn, as might have caused a 
bolder man than Victor to quail. Turning to her brother, she 
bade him at once summon Mr. Payton, adding that he, at 
least, would not disgrace her by a shameful repulse. 

When Leslie had left the room, after assuring his sister that 
everything would be ready in a minute or two, Victor essayed 
to beg forgiveness of the haughty beauty. His voice sounded 
hollow, even to his own ear; but he managed, by a mighty 
effort, to stammer out a few words. Instead of answering 
him, she said, in a voice that froze the young man's blood, 
" I have a great favor to ask of you. If you possess a spark 
of manhood, you will not refuse it. I beg of you, that you 
will not boast of the triumph you have gained over me this 

^v/v^... . 

'' Faithful McUesticks 1 " Leslie spoke up. 


" You wrong ine, Miss Nellie ! Oh, how you misunderstand 
me! " The words were wrung from Victor in very torture, 
and Avere his only reply to Nellie's cruel speech. 

" My name is Eleonora ; and strangers call me by the name 
mj' father bears," she said, haughtil}'. 

The entrance of Ralph Payton, at this moment, smiling in 
eager expectation, relieved Victor from the necessity of reply- 
ing, and made it impossible to seek to explain himself more 
fully. He felt himself dismissed. 

In leaving the room he caught what appeared to him a glance 
of malicious triumph from Payton, and noticed the unusual 
paleness of Nellie's face, as she smiled upon the latter. He 
noticed also that she had not quite relaxed her haughty 

* * * 

It is not important to dwell upon the further events transpir- 
ing at the party. So much may be recorded, that the mock 
marriage was gone through with, almost literally in accordance 
with the program laid down by the brother and sister, save 
that Nellie was led to the improvised altar with a grace and 
elegance that Victor could not have displayed. The reception 
after the ceremony, at which the bride was kissed by all the 
gentlemen present, as was the fashion at real weddings, — the 
sumptuous supper, served in a style befitting the hospitality of 
the May family — the dance, to the music of two negro fid- 
dlers, at which the bridal couple led off in a waltz, and had 
all the floor to themselves, round dances being comparatively 
unknown at Brookfield, — all came off to the great edification 
of the assemblage, who voted the May party a grand success 
and noted the feature of the mock-marriage for imitation on 
future occasions. 

When the guests had departed, Nellie sat weai'ily upon a 
lounge, reflecting, with a far-off look in her eyes, on the 
occurrences of the night. Leslie broke in upon her revery 
with the question: " Well, Sissy, and what do you think of 
our part}'? I rather flatter myself that it was comme il faat. 


The palm of success is unquestionably due to you, for I fancy 
that that mock-marriage astonished the natives and will become 
an institution at all their frolics hereafter." 

Nellie was wrapped in deep thought. Without looking at 
her brother she said: "I wish, that we had not set the 

" What? " exclaimed Leslie, regarding his sister with un- 
feigned astonishment. " Wh}', I almost believe that that 
silly boy has infected you with his Puritanical squeamish- 
ness. He deserves a cowhiding for his shameful insult to 

"Victor is a romantic dunce," said the girl, deliberately, 
" and he has thoroughly spoilt for me the enjoyment of the 
evening, to which I had looked forward so eagerly. But his 
punishment has been far more severe than his offense. I dare 
say that he will not soon forget the cut I gave him." 

" And serve him right ! " Leslie interrupted her. " It makes 
my blood boil even now to think of his insolence and ingrati- 
tude, after the petting he has received in this house. Don't 
let the thought of him disturb your enjoyment of the triumph 
in the success of our — let me say your — stroke of genius." 

" Was it quite the thing, Leslie, for me to make a spectacle 
of myself, for the amusement and gratification of vulgar 
loobies? " Nellie asked, her manner indicating that her Avords 
implied an assertion rather than a question. 

" For mercy's sake, Nellie, don't become a sentimental fool, 
like this German dreamer ! You will make yourself the laugh- 
ing stock of the whole town. Talking about loobies, — think 
what a painful experience you escaped in not having to go 
through the ceremony with him." 

" Yes, Leslie. And it was Victor that saved me from that 
ordeal. Don't you think that he showed himself more of a 
gentleman — ' ' 

" Than? " demanded Leslie, as Nellie hesitated. 

"Than I showed myself a lady?" said Nellie, smiling 


"Bosh! Get off to bed ! " said Leslie. "You are worn 
out and sleepy. To-morrow you will be yourself again, and 
be proud of the triumj)hs you have scored to-night." 

" I hope I will," was Nellie's response, as she languidly 
bid her brother good-night. 

Whatever effect the party at May Meadows may have had 
on the young people having attended it, it certainly proved 
a turning point in the life of the printer's apprentice. The 
May family departed for Washington a few days afterwards, 
and so Victor was deprived of the melancholy pleasure of 
bidding farewell to his young friends. For it occurred to him 
that under the circumstances it would be for him a humil- 
iation to visit May Meadows. So he saw nothing more of 
either Leslie or Nellie. Colonel May himself was as cordial 
as ever when, on the morning of the departure, he came to 
the printing office to say good-bye to Huffard and Victor, 
playfully requesting the latter to remember him kindly, 
and leniently criticise his official conduct in Congress. It 
w^as, of course, out of the question, he knew, for the young- 
lady to call on him ; but he had secretly hoped that Leslie 
would shake hands with him before leaving, and perhaps say 
that Nellie wished him good-bye. It stung him to the quick, 
therefore, to see the carriages start for the metropolis, where 
the family were to take boat for Pittsburg, without his having 
received so much as a word or a glance from either. 

Perhaps it was well for Victor that things took this turn. 
For even his infatuation did not prevent him from seeing, — 
though so thoroughly biased in their favor — the cruel injustice 
of their conduct. His mettle was, for once, aroused. Pride 
came to his aid in battling with his feeling of bitter disappoint- 
ment. He had acted rightly. They were in the wrong. But 
however soothing to his dignity, the spirit of resentment and 
retaliation engendered by the contemplation of their injustice, 
was not so potent as to heal the ache in the innermost recesses 
of his heart. Deep down, there was woe more bitter than the 
wounds caused by the harsh treatment he ha(,l received, — an 


agony all the more poignant because he was hardly aware of 
its true cause. Nellie herself had dimmed the lustre of the 
halo created about her person by his poetic imagination. She 
had, with cruel hand, sullied his divinely beautiful ideal of 
womanhood, — most cruel, because none other than her own 
hand could besmirch his worshiped idol. 

But the rude awakening from his romantic dreams, so far 
from crushing out his ambitious aspirations, served as a new 
impetus to school himself for a life of usefulness in the service 
of humanity — of freedom, as ideally embodied in the princi- 
ples underljang the American government, — of Democracy, 
as the party whose goal was the realization of his ideal. 
Firm in this conviction, he devoted himself to the task of 
becoming a true democrat, and threw himself with all his 
might upon the discharge of the duties immediately before 

During the next few years he thoroughly mastered the de- 
tails of the printing business, so far as the limited resources 
of a country office permitted. Nor did he neglect the diligent 
study of the law under the guidance of Mr. Yancey, making 
such progress therein as elicited admiration and sincere com- 
mendation from this gentleman. He took occasion, indeed, to 
suggest to Victor to seek a wider field for the display of his 
talent than Brookfleld afforded, — a piece of advice that im- 
pressed the young man, because it so perfectly accorded with 
nis own inclination. 

Colonel May had ])een twice re-elected to Congress, owing 
much of his success, at home at least, to the loyal, vigorous 
support received fixDm the Ozark Argus, the leading articles of 
which emanated mostly from Victor's pen. He spent several 
months during the recess of Congress, at home ; but the family 
had not returned. They spent the most of the time when 
Congress was not in session in traveling, both in Europe and 
in the United States, accompanied, sometimes, by Leslie, who, 
as Victor had learned from the Colonel, was now about to 
settle in the metropolis for the practice of the law. The attach- 


ment of the youug man for his early patron suffered no 
diminution ; indeed, their intercourse was, considering the dif- 
ference in their ages and position in life, remarkably intimate, 
arid the interchange of letters between them livel}^ But while 
Victor preserved the most ardent sentiments of gratitude and 
admiration for his benefactor, their communications related 
mostly to political affairs, and the magnet that had once drawn 
him so powerfully to May Meadows, was no longer there. 
Nellie and Leslie gone, what was there to attract Victor? 

Letters about this time received from his sister, breathing a 
love and affection very grateful to his hungry heart, awakened 
a feeling akin to homesickness which, in connection with advice 
received from Mr. Yancey, ripened in his mind the resolution, 
to turn his back upon the town of Brookfield, and to seek in 
the great city, a iield of activity at once more congenial to his 
tastes and more promising to his ambition. 

He left the town, one lovely day of Spring, in company of 
his old companion, Yahkop, regretted by none so much as by 
Mr. Huffard, who, however, joined his former chief, Mynheer 
Van Braaken, in prophesying for him a bright future, in a 
sphere af^jrding scope for his ambition. 




HS^ politics of the country, as viewed by politicians of 
the ordinary calibre, were in a muddle. Self-consti- 
tuted rulers of primaries and ward-meeting orators 
had lost their reckoning. For the straws that indicated the 
public mind were blown, by fitful gusts of political winds, in 
unexpected and incalculable directions. Fickleness was a 
mild term to apply to the mood in which the political weather- 
vane boxed the compass in erratic jumps. Croakers there 
were, who saw portentous clouds arise in the political hori- 
zon, auguring foul weather to follow. But they shared the 
fate of curse-stricken Cassandra, whose prophesies of evil 
fell upon listless ears. Hopeful, easy going patriots of the 
stay-at-home class dreamed not of danger ; for had not many 
clouds come and gone in the horizon, leaving the ship of State 
serenely sailing its wonted course, favored by the fairest 
weather? Sore-heads there always had been; misunderstood, 
unappreciated statesmen, disappointed demagogues, purse- 
poor patriots with unappeased hunger for office, — who of 
course must presage utter ruin to a misguided, unappreciative 
country. For what good is in a commonwealth that is deaf to 
their wisdom, unresponsive to their appeals, inexcusably blind 
to their claims for office ? They have croaked before ; they 
will go on croaking, unless their mouths are stopped Avith 
official pap. Still, even hopefully inclined politicians were 


puzzled to make out their course, or to predict the direction 
into which the political wind would eventually settle. 

One of the symptoms of the time, unaccountable to many, 
was the meteor-like brilliancy with which the new light of 
Know-Nothingism dazzled the people. Some, to be sure, saw 
in it the legitimate fruition of the disorganizing effect pro- 
duced by the final collapse of the Whig party. Triumphant 
Democracy, no longer held together by pressure from without, 
gave signs of falling to pieces of its own weight. The active 
principles of its vitality, no longer directed against the veteran 
enemy with whom it had measured swords so often, began to 
attack its own vitals. It had outgrown the proportions of a 
party, being no longer a part only of the Avhole ; and must 
now disintegrate into new parties. Then had come the tempt- 
ing opportunity for crafty politicians to foist off upon the 
community their counterfeit patriotism. Ardent love for the 
constitution and devotion to the Union, paraded along with an 
array of cabalistic catch-words, shrouded in mysterious sym- 
bolism, dazzled and dazed the voters, who believed that the 
purity of the ballot can be preserved by the use of secret signs 
and passwords, and rascals kept out of a patriotic party by 
arming its honest followers with a Shibboleth and a secret grip. 
Thus reasoned they who thought to ascribe the phenomenal 
success of the Know-Nothing party to the ordinary law of cause 
and effect ; and marveled not thereat. 

There was another factor, too, to be reckoned with in sum- 
ming up the political situation. Among those who were not 
caught by the hocus-pocus of Know-Nothingism, and who 
could not sanction its proscriptive policy, were many who had 
identified themselves with that band of persistent enthusiasts, 
whose earnest zeal in the cause of freedom had won for them 
the nick-name of " Freedom Shriekers," because they 
marched, just then, to the battle-cry of " Free-Soil, Free 
Speech, Free Labor, Free Men!" Their opponents, who 
agreed in nothing so well as in making common cause against 
these enthusiasts, conducted the warfare against them largely 


with the weapons of mockery and ridicule. But neither sport- 
ive raillery, nor keen satire, nor venomous shafts of sarcasm, 
deterred the zealots from their jjurpose. They seemed to 
thrive under this system of opposition, which they chose to 
point out as persecution and denial of sacred right. However 
ridiculous might be their pretensions, it behooved wise poli- 
ticians to take them into account in figuring on the probabili- 
ties of future elections. Let triumphant Democracy, in par- 
ticular, summon Israel to its tents ; for the battle is not 
always to the strong, nor the race to the swift. 

Victor Waldhorst had returned to the metropolis. He 
found, that there the party that he had so faithfully combatted 
in the columns of the Ozark Avijiis, had it all their own way. 
The city had yielded at almost the first onslaught, surrendering 
unconditionally to the victorious Know-No things. They had 
captured the office of the chief executive, a decisive majority 
in both branches of its legislative councils, as well as the 
judiciary (in the shape of the police judge, then styled 
Recorder). New brooms proverbially sweep clean, and so 
there was, of course, a decidedly clean sweep from office of 
the petty placemen, who held appointments more or less fat, 
as compensation for the services rendered as partisans of the 
now dethroned party potentates. Loud were the wails that 
went up from the victims of the municipal new broom, and 
bitter the imprecations heaped upon the heads of the new 
administration, amid impotent gnashing of teeth. But after 
the usual storm of indignation and Cassandra prophesies of 
turned out office-holders things went on very much as before. 
There was plenty of remunerative work for those unfortunates 
that had to be weaned from the official fleshpots, if they de- 
sired to earn the bread they ate, even though they belonged to 
the class of Dutch, Irish or Catholics proscribed by the party 
of patriots in power. And even those who possessed the pass- 
words and grips of the Mystic Order, — at least such of them 
as had not been admitted to the Holy of Holies, — had no 
bread to eat not spiced l)y the sweat of their brow. Rum 


shops ami beer houses still did a thriving business, tliough 
now begiiiuing to arrogate to themselves the more euphonious 
appellation of " saloons." On Sundays, the spacious beer 
gardens, located mostly in the suburbs, though not scarce in 
the city proper, were well patronized by socially disposed 
citizens of Teutonic descent, seeking there, with their wives 
and children, recreation in the open air, and enjoying the 
national beverage with pretzels and Limburg cheese, listening 
the while to soothing or inspiring strains of music discoursed 
by well trained bands. 

Ah, those beer gardens ! That desecration of the Holy 
Sabbath Day by music from brass and stringed instruments ! 
What a flagrant violation of the law of the land ! For was 
there not an ordinance of the city prohibiting the keeping open 
of any place for the sale of intoxicating drinks on the first 
day of the week, commonly called Sunday? Did not the 
statute of the State declare such to be a misdemeanor, indict- 
able by the grand jury and punishable by fine not exceeding 
fifty dollars? Surely, this was a signal instance of the law- 
lessness of the foreign population, and of the rottenness of the 
old parties that had winked at and connived with the evil 
doers, thus encouraging open defiance of law and order. 

Here, then, was a task worthy of the municipal broom. The 
law must be vindicated. The American party must weed out 
these heathenish customs and protect the country against dan- 
gerous foreign influence. And the American party shrank not 
from its self-imposed task: it was equal to the emergency, — 
the fiat went forth : The beer garden must go ! 

A glorious time ensued for the lawyers. Sheriff, marshal, 
clerks of the criminal courts and prosecuting officers grew fat, 
metaphorically speaking, on the plentiful harvest of fees inuring 
to them out of the crusade against beer gardens. True bills 
for the violation of the Sunday law monopolized the attention 
of the grand jury ; their trials engaged the time of the criminal 
courts to the extent of crowding cases against murderers, 
thieves and other common malefactors. 


The jimior member of one of the law firms retahied to de- 
fend the proprietor of an extensive beer garden under indict- 
ment, was a young man who had recently settled in the Qiiy 
for the practice of the law. An old practitioner entered into 
partnership with him in the hope of an advantageous increase 
of business. The case in hand fell to the management of the 
junior partner. It involved not a single question of law that 
had not already been decided by the Supreme Court adversely 
to their client, so that the only possibility of a favorable issue 
lay in the highly Improbable chance of breaking down the 
testimony of the prosecution. The client had been fairly 
informed of the hopelessness of his chances, and the implicit 
confidence placed by him in the integrity of his lawyers put 
them on their mettle. The young man determined to bring 
his utmost ability to bear in the achievement of an acquittal of 
his client if within the reach of human exertion. With the view 
of posting himself on the details involved in the trial, and to 
familiarize himself with the manner in which business was 
conducted in these places, he determined to visit the establish- 
ment of his client, and study the character and habits of its 

Leslie May — for such was the name of the junior i3artner 
of the firm of Simms & May, — reached the pleasant grounds 
known as Vaux Hall Park on a bright, sunny Sunday after- 
noon in the month of July. It was accessible not only to 
pedestrians, but Avas, on line Sundays, equally the resort of 
pleasure seekers who came on horseback, in buggies, ba- 
rouches and carriages of higher pretensions ; and most of all 
in those omnibuses of illimitable capacity, in which there is 
always room for one more passenger. Mr. May found the cool 
shade and green foliage of the pax'k exceedingly refreshing 
after his hot walk in the scorching July sun, and sat down to 
one of the many tables provided for the accommodation of the 
guests, wiping the perspiration from his streaming forehead. 
He ordered the waiter, who promptly approached, in shirt- 
sleeves and apron of immaculate white, to bring him a glass of 


the "ice-cold lemonade," of which guests were reniinded by 
little signs hung up ou the ti'unks of the trees. " Don't forget 
to put plenty of ice in it! " he called out in a loud voice, as 
the waiter hurried away. 

The young lawyer looked around. The spacious grounds 
were not yet half filled with guests, although a continuous 
stream of perspiring humanity poured in from the dusty roads 
outside, through gates at opposite sides. Leslie noticed that 
there were almost as many ladies and children among the 
comers as men, and they came mostly in groups, or at least in 
couples. They seated themselves at a convenient distance 
from the music stand, where an orchestra of twelve musicians 
were already tuning their instruments. The table next his 
own was but a few feet off, and Leslie noticed that the single 
occupant of the bench before it was regarding him with 
evident interest. 

" It is a warm day," said the stranger, as soon as their 
eyes met. 

"I have found it to be so in reaching this place," Leslie 

" You did come by foot, sir? " the other continued. 

" Exactly so," said Leslie, amused by the curiosity of his 
interlocutor. " And I found it quite a hot walk." 

" Pardo?; / " said the neighbor, pronouncing the last sylla- 
ble with a strong emphasis. " I see you are very much 
warmed. And I did hear you command cold lemonade. With 
plenty ice in it. You wish to drink ice-cold lemonade, when 
you are very much warmed ? ' ' 

" Why, yes," said Leslie May, smiling. " That is just 
what I crave. I want cooling off, and a glass of iced lemon- 
ade is, I think, about the thing." 

" Psivdon ! " the stranger repeated, rolling the r sufficiently 
to betray that he was not speaking in his mother tongue. 
' ' Have you already 'owned a horse ? Yes ? And when you 
drive him fast on a warm day, like it is this day, and when he 
is very much warmed, like you are warmed, just now, gave 


you him cold water to drink, first? No? Tlieii, why will 
you be more considerate with your horse, as you will be with 
yourself? " 

The earnestness of the stranger's manner precluded the idea 
of officious meddling, and highly amused the young lawyer. 
Before he made answer the waiter appeared, bearing on a tray 
a large glass with a straw in it. As Leslie was parang the 
waiter, the stranger continued : 

"You must not drink that stuff, so warm as you are! If 
you will honor me, drink with me a glass beer. It is excel- 
lent to-day. It is of Uhrig's choice brew. Or drink with me 
a glass wine, if you like better. Then if you are cooled, I 
will drink with you lemonade, and it will not make you sick. 
If you drink that stuff now, it will be, for you, poison." 

" Do you think that drinking wine will cool me off? " Leslie 
inquired with a smile. 

" It will warm for you the stomach," the other replietl 
gravely, " and make the blood to circulate, and cold water will 
afterward not hurt you. Shall I order a bottle wine, or prefer 
you beer ? ' ' 

"I will leave that entirely to your choice, since you take 
such interest in my health," Leslie replied. " But may I in- 
quire, what induces you to favor me with your, no doubt 
excellent, advice? " 

" Right, young man! " the old gentleman spoke up, apolo- 
getically. "My name is Auf dem Busoh ; and I am a mer- 
chant. — Waiter ! A bottle Riidesheimer ! — I have no motive, 
but wish not to see a young man to ruin his constitution, when 
he is heated, like you are." 

"My name is Leslie May! " the lawyer explained. " I 
am very thankful to you for your kindness ; though I must 
say, that I have never experienced any injurious effects from 
drinking lemonade, while I have seen bad results from the use 
of more ardent drinks." 

Mr. Auf dem Busch shook hands with Leslie on learning his 
name, and proceeded to enlighten the latter on the evils of in- 


" Do yoLi know. Mi-. May, that you are hardly 
a stranger to me ' " 


teniporaiK'c, in {iiiy shape, — even in the drinking of vo\(\ 
lemonade. A lively conversation ensued between the two as 
they quaffed their wine, which Leslie found to l)e of excellent 
(luality. lie readily fell in with the humor of his newly found 
friend ; and adroitly turned the conversation on the subject of 
the enforcement of the Sunday-law, with the view of picking 
up any information that he might utilize in the coming trial. 

The interchange of opinions l)etween them was so interesting 
to both that they paid but little attention to the really excellent 
music discoursed by the band, nor heeded the arrival of the 
numerous guests that began to collect at the tables around 
them. Not even a party of ladies and gentlemen, until these 
had approached quite near, and Leslie heard his name called 
out by a voice betraying joyful surprise. On looking up, 
V^ictor Waldhorst stood before him, offering both hands in 
cordial welcome. Leslie himself was both pleased and sur- 
prised to meet his Brookfield crony so unexpectedly ; but the 
delight of the latter was unbounded. After heartily shaking 
hands, — finding it difRcult to repress a strong impulse to 
embrace his friend Leslie then and there — he turned with 
beaming face to the old gentleman with whom Leslie had been 
conversing and said: " Uncle Auf dem Busch, permit me to 
introduce to you ray dearest friend, Leslie May, who, as well 
as his excellent father, has been a real benefactor to me." 
Then, turning to a lady of rather stout build and comely 
appearance, he added, " and this, Leslie, is my aunt, Mrs. 
Auf dem Busch ; and this " — turning to a young lady, who 
blushed on being referred to — "is my sister Pauline." 

Leslie had courteously bowed to Mrs. Auf dem Busch ; but 
when Miss Pauline was introduced to him, he rose with easy 
grace, and offered his hand, which was cordially clasped by 
the young lady. " Do you know, Mr. May," she said, smilino- 
pleasantly, "that you are hardly a stranger to me? M}^ 
brother has spoken so often of you, and is so enthusiastic in 
your praise, that I feel as if I had known you for a long time." 

' ' I fear that the fond partiality of your brother has endowed 



me with virtues and hero-like qualities whose absence you will, 
on nearer acquaintance, but too speedily discover," said the 
young man, looking well pleased, nevertheless, and scarcely 
betraying the modesty he professed. "I only hope that in 
your kindness you will look leniently on the great disparity 
between your brother's idealized hero and ray commonplace 

The company, in taking seats, distributed themselves so as 
to occupy both tables, and Leslie adroitly placed himself 
beside Victor's sister. There was another gentleman in the 
party, whom Victor introduced as his cousin, Woldemar Auf 
dem Busch, and who, in consequence of Leslie's maneuvering, 
found himself at the same table with his father and mother, 
leaving the young lady seated between her brother and the 
young lawyer, — an arrangement, Avhich was not, apparently, 
to the taste of the young man last introduced ; for an unmis- 
takable frown darkened his face, — unnoticed by the others, 
but acknowledged by Leslie with a scarcely perceptible smile. 
Whether this frown excited Leslie's mischievous propensity to 
tease, or whether he was prompted by an amiable desire to 
please the sister of his friend, who had received him so 
graciously, certain it is that he brought his conversational 
powers into full play, and succeeded in charming not only the 
young lady, who proved an attentive listener, but also, and 
particularly, the old gentleman. Victor, who was eager to 
hear about Nellie, inquired after the family of Colonel May ; 
but Leslie put him off with the promise to satisfy his curiosity 
to the fullest extent as soon as occasion offered for a talk 
between themselves, proceeding meanwhile to entertain his 
hearers with a sprightly account of his experiences of Wash- 
ington life, as well as of his travels. The close attention 
which was paid to everything he said must have gratified his 
vanity ; and the few questions addressed to him by the elder 
Auf dem Busch enabled him to divine and dwell upon the 
topics most interesting to his auditors. Several more bottles 
of Kiidesheimer were disposed of by the company, and it is to 


be feared that the young lawyer sadly forgot the main {)uri)Ose 
of his visit to Vaux Hall Park, whatever progress he made in 
gaining the good will of his new acquaintances. 

The sun was declining in the west, and a cool breeze fanned 
the heated faces of the guests at the Park, now glowing, 
mostly, with a fervor not due to tlie external temperature 
alone. The band had left the platform on which they had 
performed during the afternoon, and were now striking up 
dance melodies in a large pavilon devoted to the worshipers 
of Terpsichore. Many of the guests were leaving, and Mrs. 
Auf dem Busch reminded her husband that it was time to think 
of going home. The young lady promptly arose on hearing 
the suggestion, and Leslie, following her example, expressed 
his regret that the extremely pleasant time he was enjoying 
should end so soon. " Surely, Miss Waldhorst," looking 
coaxingly into the fair, fresh face of the young girl, — " you 
may stay just long enough to honor me with your hand for a 
turn in that exquisite waltz they are playing ? Listen — It is 
Strauss' 'Beautiful Blue Danube! ' Can you resist the 
allurement of those inspiring strains? " 

Pauline looked at him for a second in mild wonderment. 
The slightest touch of a smile brightened her rosy lips and 
found reflection in her brown eyes, as she threw a glance 
toward the gentleman at the other table, meeting a frown of 
pronounced disapproval on the face of the younger Auf dem 
Busch, not unnoticed by Leslie; " You must excuse me, Mr. 
May," she said, " do you think it would be quite the proper 
thing to do? " 

" Why not? " Leshe rejoined eagerly. " See how all those 
young people are enjoying themselves ! You are not averse to 
dancing, are you ? " 

" On the contrary, I am very fond of it! " said Pauline, her 
sparkling eyes giving emphasis to her words. ' ' But — it is too 
late. We must be going home." 

" I am sure that Mrs. Auf dem Busch, and you, Mr. Auf 
dem Busch," said Leslie, turning to the elder members of the 


party with the most winning smile of entreaty, " will gladly 
postpone your departure for a few moments to give me the 
pleasure of a dance with Miss Waldhorst, if she does not 

"But she does object!" exclaimed the old gentleman 
bluntly. " Said she not, it is not proper? She has right. 
Mark you the dancers on the dance-floor. See you any there 
besides servant-maids and work-folks? Dancing on Sunday, 
in a public park, is for them right. They shall enjoy so much 
as they can on Sunday ; because they have only one Sunday 
in the week. If you will dance, or if Pauline will dance, you 
shall dance every day in the week, on a day more fitting as 
Sunday, and in a place for you more fit as a park." 

Leslie yielded gracefully, although it puzzled him to account 
for his discomfiture. Did the young lady really consider it 
bad taste to dance on Sunday? Now he thought of it, her 
behavior had been jjerfectly consistent with such refinement. 
The recollection of Victor's conduct toward Nellie on the occa- 
sion of that last party at Brookfield flashed through his mind. 
But the old gentleman — did /;e consider his family too good 
to mix with "servant-maids" and " work -folks ? " Then 
why were they in the park at all ? Or had the frown on young 
Auf dem Busch's face anything to do with the girl's refusal? 
Perhaps so. At least his suspicions in that direction gained 
consistency when she, as he was about to escort her to the 
gate, where the carriage was waiting for the party, somewhat 
hastily accepted her cousin's arm, who officiously helped her to 
her seat and thus cut off further opportunity for conversation. 

" I will take your place in the carriage," the old gentleman 
said to Victor ; ' ' for you will like it to have more conversation 
with your friend. And forget not," he added, as he climbed 
into the carriage, " Professor Rauhenfels comes after-to-mor- 
row. Miss not to come." 

Victor was but too glad to see them leave, and Leslie, 
whether glad or not, bowed his adieux as they drove off, and 
took Victor's arm. 


" Let us go back to the garden," he said; " we can talk 
there as well as anywhere else, and I have taken a fancy to 
that ' Riidesheimer ' your uncle introduced us to. And now, 
before you ply me with the thousand and one questions that 
are on the tip of your tongue, let me put you through your 
catechism. Tell me, first of all, how you got away from 
Brookfield, and what you are doing here." 

Victor felt the old fascination in Leslie's company. The 
last harsh speech he had spoken before their parting was for- 
given, if not forgotten. However great the change which the 
experience of years had wrought in both young men, — change 
never more pronounced than in the period of adolescence 
through which they had both passed — it had not diminished 
the glowing, devoted friendship between them, at least on 
Victor's part. As of old, the slightest wish of his friend was 
to him as a peremptory command. And so, though his heart 
fairly ached to hear about the other members of the May 
family, he willingly complied with the request to speak of him- 
self first. 

There was not so much to tell. He modestly alluded to the 
desolation he felt after the departure of the Mays from Brook- 
field ; of the progress he made in learning his trade, and of his 
studies ; of his conviction, that there was so much more to learn 
than could be taught him at Brookfield ; and wound up by 
stating that he had finally concluded to return to the metrop- 
olis, where he had found congenial employment as editor of 
a German newspaper. " And now tell me, Leslie," he 
begged, when he had finishsd his little narration, " where 
have you been during all the time I have not seen you ? — I 
learned from your father that you had traveled much of the 
time, and was delighted with the account you gave us this 
afternoon of some of your interesting experiences. But I want 
to hear about yourself and about your mother, and — " 

" About Nellie," Leslie interrupted him, " yes, I know. 
I am going to tell you all about all of them presently. But 
you have not told me half 1 want to know about yourself. Who 


is this uncle of yours ; and how do you stand with him ? Do 
you live at his house? " 

" No," was the answer. " Nor is he my uncle. Our re- 
lationship is very distant. But he was a friend of my father, 
and after the death of my parents took care of my sister Pauline. 
He was very kind to her, treating her in every respect as if she 
were his own daughter, although he has a number of children of 
his own." 

" Of whom this cousin of 3'ours, this Woldemar, is one? " 

" Exactly. He is the oldest of them, and both Mrs. and 
Mr. Auf dem Busch are very proud of him — " 

" I should think so," said Leslie, not waiting for the finish- 
ing of the sentence. " But tell me, Victor, are >/on proud of 
him, too? " 

"I? Why should / be proud of him? I have no proprie- 
torship in him ; and our relationship is so distant, that neither 
of us lays stress upon it, though Uncle Auf dem Busch wishes 
us to call one another cousin." 

" I see," said Leslie musing. Then he continued : "But 
do you like him ? ' ' 

" Of course I like him ! " Victor answered promptly. " He 
is a manly fellow ; a little proud, which I think he has a right 
to be—" 

" And not a little imperious ! " Leslie again interrupted. 

" Why, yes, he is rather imperious," Victor smilingly ad- 
mitted. " But what makes you think so? I believe he has 
hardly spoken a dozen words in your hearing." 

" And a little jealous? " 

" Jealous ! What do you mean? Jealous of what? " 

"Of your sister's admirers, for instance. She has many, 
has she not? " 

"I have never seen anything like jealousy on his part," 
said Victor. "But — " 


" 1 think he is kind to my sister; yes, I am sure, he is very 
kind to her." 


" Oh, no doubt of that," said Leslie, not without a slight 
sneer. " And that is not wliat you started to say. But never 
mind. Tell me about the paper you are editing. AVhat is its 
political creed? " 

•'How can you ask me that!"' the young man exclaimed, 
almost reproachfully. " You know my politics as well as I do, 
seeing that I am but your father's disciple." 

"Yes, certainly. But I did not ask you about '/oi'u- poli- 
tics, but about the creed of the paper you are editing." 

" Do you believe me capable of advocating anything but my 
convictions ? ' ' 

" No I " Leslie admitted frankly. "And I might have 
known better than, to ask the question. I have heard say, that 
an editor trims his sails, sometimes, so as to please not only 
the proprietor, but also his readers." 

" Such an editor is to be despised. 1 could not, if I would, 
take charge of a paper on such conditions." 

"And would not, if you could!" Leslie exclaimed cor- 
dially. " Forgive me, if my question suggested a doubt, 
which I did not entertain. — I suppose that you take a 
decided stand against this warfare on Sunday beer gardens? " 

A deep blush spread over Victor's face. "I — I must 
confess," he said, somewhat dejected, " that in this particular 
the articles in my paper do not exactly reflect my conviction. 
I cannot conceal to myself, that it is wrong to openly defy 
the law, even if the law is an obnoxious one — " 

"Therein you differ from some of your countrymen," 
Leslie interrupted. " I heard one of them argue, — no less 
a person, than the proprietor of this establishment, who is a 
client of mine — that it is a sacred duty to combat wrong in 
whatever shape we meet it, though it assume the shape of a 
law — ' ' 

" Yes, I know; " Victor broke in. " That is the higher 
law doctrine, which neither you nor I believe in. But it is 
not in good taste, for one class of citizens to array themselves 
against another class — presumably the majority, else it would 


not be the law — as my German speaking fellow-citizens are 
doing in this matter of the Sunday laws." 

' ' Do not forget the Irish ! ' ' put in the young lawyer. ' ' They 
are in full accord with you Germans on this question." 

" Nor am I sure that the law is not in the main a wise one," 
Victor continued, looking intently at the glass before him, half 
tilled with the golden juice from the Rhein. " Is there not a 
fascination aV)out this delicious beverage Avhich some people 
find it impossible to resist — entii'ely too many, as you may 
satisfy yourself by looking around you — and who abandon 
themselves to its influence to an extent depriving them 
temporarily of the full use of reason? " 

" Bah ! " rejoined Leslie contemptuously, " I dare say, that 
hardly one in twenty of the guests here rise above the level of 
their beloved lager beer — ' Uiirig's choice brew,' as your 
uncle named it — and those that do are surely none the worse 
for the inspii'ation and quicl^ening of their wits imbibed with 
this glorious nectar! " Then, emptying his glass with great 
gusto, he added: '' Ah! There is a drink truly fit for the 
gods ! Your uncle is an excellent judge of wine, A'ictor ; there 
is no denying that." 

" So he is," said Victor, " and of beer, too. Perhaps these 
men around us get as nuich enjoyment out of their beer, as 
you or I do out of this excellent wine. And I fear that the 
consequences, when nature exacts the penalty for the violation 
of her immutable laws, will be much the same in either case." 
" Katzenjammer? " suggested Leslie, with such a droll 
smile, and so grotesque a pronunciation, that Victor could not 
suppress a burst of laughter. 

" Where did you pick up that word, and what do you know 
about it? " he asked. 

" When I was at Heidelberg," Leslie explained, " I was 
naturally curious to see the sights of the great university, 
making use of my sheepskin from Harvard to get an intro- 
duction. Well, I succeeded to the length of obtaining an 
invitation to one of their drinking bouts in honor of Alma 


Mater, which they call Comraers, and where they ' rubbed the 
Salamander,' avowedly in honor of their distinguished Amer- 
ican visitor, with such hearty good will, that a plentiful crop 
of ' Katzenjaranier ' was the result next morning. An old 
professor of philology, whose acquaintance I had made at one 
of the ' Kneipen ' resorted to by students, and who helped me 
get away with many a Schoppen of their excellent Neckar 
wine, cheerfully expounded to me the mysterious misery of 
this significant word, involving the explanation that it in no 
wise referred to cats, as an ignorant foreigner might be led to 
suppose, but really meant something far less itsthetic, — 
exactly expressive, however, of the humor of the stomach 
after attending a Commers." 

"But that is the smallest part of the evil brought on by 
excessive indulgence — " 

"Do spare me! " Leslie interrupted the moralizing editor. 
" I've had a sermon on temperance from your uncle already, 
and I wish you would tell me about the professor that you are 
to meet ' after-to-morrow ' at your uncle's. Who and what is 
he? " 

" I know very little about him, except that uncle picked 
him up somewhere in the interior of the State, while he was on 
a hunting excursion. Uncle says that he is the most learned 
man he has ever met with, and that his book learning has not 
spoilt his common sense, for he is an excellent shot and a 
remarkably successful huntsman, knowing all about the haunts 
and habits of game. I think he lives alone in a log cabin in the 
woods, dividing his time between study and shooting game, 
on which he manages to live. Just at present he is teaching 
philosophy to a class of students of Hegel, and uncle wishes 
me to become acquainted with him. He thinks that I will 
greatly profit by the intercourse." 

"So, so! A philosopher! " said Leslie, with a quizzical 
look at Victor. "I should like to see him. Couldn't you 
manage to introduce me? " 

" Nothing easier! " Victor replied eagerly. " Come along 


with me to uncle's to meet him. I shall be very glad to have 
you with me, for, to tell the truth, I expect to be dreadfully 
bored by him, especially if he gives us some tough hunting 
yarns, as uncle does, sometimes, or quizzes me on philosophy. 
Do come with me, if your time permits. I am sure uncle will 
be very much pleased to have you come. He has evidently 
taken a great liking to you." 

" Consider it settled that I come," said Leslie, rather 
patronizingly, yet evidently much pleased. " And now I will 
treat you to a thrilling account of The Adventures of the May 
Family Abroad." 

Victor listened eagerly, as Leslie, in his vivacious way, 
recounted the experiences of their Washington life, and of 
their travels to the mountains, the seashore and to Europe. 
Victor judged from Leslie's account that Nellie must have 
been a reigning belle in Washington, as well as wherever else 
she graced society with her presence. " She is now at Sara- 
toga with mama," Leslie concluded, " where they expect to 
remain until the season is over, when the governor will join 
them and escort them back to the city." 

" And so you were not in Washington, last winter, at all? " 
asked Victor. 

" No," Leslie replied. " I w^as at Cambridge, taking a 
post-graduate course in the law-school, to brush up for 
practice, which I have now begun in downright earnest. That 
reminds me," he added, " that I have a letter from Nellie in 
my room, which you may like to read. It was written to me 
from Washington just before I left Boston, and is full of her 
notion of things, political and otherwise, that hap|)ened there 
last winter." 

It was late when the friends parted that night, and Victor 
accompanied the young lawyer to his room, eager to get Nellie's 
letter. His impatience to peruse it did not permit him to 
accept Leslie's pressing invitation to stay longer. But he 
promised him that he would call to take him along to his 
uncle's house, where they were to meet Professor Rauhenfels. 



Jr WONDER whether you will believe me, dear brother 
[ mine, when I tell you that I am honestly — what you 

■ lawyers would call bonajide — glad that Lent has come? 
Truly, it is even so. For although stern Society wield her 
scepter never more tyrannically, exacting unabated assiduity 
(Heavens ! what a string of dictionary words ! ) in attending 
parties, suppers (which they mostly call dinners here), not to 
mention at homes, soirees, conversazioni, and what not, all to 
be gone through with e?t grande toilette; yet balls are over for 
the season, hops are under a ban, and the german is inter- 
dicted during Lent. From which it follows, that Society's 
muchly tried votaries enjoy a qualified respite from daily 
toil-e^ — relief and rest, if only by way of change in the pro- 
gram, as one finds rest in that delightful new trick of revers- 
ing in the waltz — and now and then — just think of the 
glorious boon! — an evening to be spent at one's own sweet 

And so, vwit cher frere, you will rejoice with me at the 
advent of Lent. For behold ! one of the delightful free 
evenings has come to me that are so grudgingl}^ doled out by 
stern Society aforesaid, and I am going to devote it to a big 
brother at Boston, for whose edification I propose to compose 
a charmingly nonsensical letter, full of delightful gossip. Oh, 
you may turn up that nose of youj's, like a solemn bird of 
Minerva, as becomes a denizen of the Hub of the Universe, — 
but don't I know how dearly that wise brother of mine loves 
gossip, especiall}' if there be no sense in it? And I am not 
in the mood to restrict myself to the tedious rules of ele- 
gant diction and timid propriety, nor even to conform to the 



canons of syntax that Professor Caleb Amos tried so hard to 
rub into us at that famous grammar class. So look out for a 
cosy chat, with plenty of nonsense, and don't be shocked at 
a bit of slang, now and then, to hit off what I could not say 
so well in regulation language. 

I have given strict orders to Cressie, (who, let me tell you, 
has developed into an accomplished lady's maid under the 
influence of Washington Society) that I am not at home to 
any one this evening ; least of all to the empty-pated gentle- 
men in glossy broadcloth and immaculate kids, who essay to 
curry favor with pa by paying court to his lovely daughter. 
Cressie is very loyal to me. I can trust her, not only as to 
her honesty, but, what is of more importance, sometimes, her 
discretion. This, you will understand, is very high praise of 
a domestic in Washington. So I anticipate a delightfully 
quiet time ; immunity, for once, from the stereotype phrases of 
polite company, so pleasantly suggestive, once, to the un- 
sophisticated maiden ; grown, now, oh ! so stale and wearying in 
their ever recurring iteration and unmeaningness ! 

— Apro2)os of admirers, can you guess who called on me last 
week ? Let me draw the picture for you : A young man — 
mark you, a max, — by which I mean, in this instance, some- 
thing more than the current term gentleman imports — of say 
twenty-five ; a little disguised in a faultless evening costume, 
not omitting the white cravat and stovepipe of intensest 
gloss; rather tall, with a round, honest face, haughty eyes, 
and a saucy mustache of russet hue. Do you recognize him? 
Of course you do. Let me add that he brought with him the 
aroma of Western Prairies, and that he addressed me in 
the dear familiar dialect of Virginians emigrated to the West- 
ern backwoods, that reminded me so vividly of bygone days 
in our delightful Western home. Of course he was none other 
than my sturdy rural beau, whose attentions to me were so sore 
a trial to poor, bashful Victor Waldhorst. Yes, it was Ralph 
Payton. You cannot imagine how glad I was to see him. 
He presented so agreeable a contrast to the regulation society 


ligures at Washington. Not Init that he wonld hold his own 
on the score of etiquette in any company ; for he is neither 
ignorant of the forms of good breeding demanded by Society, 
nor backward in tlie use of the stereot\'])e phrases she pre- 
scribes. But these phrases, when they are uttered by him, 
sound, somehow, as if they meant something. When he 
expressed his pleasure at seeing me, I believed him, and the 
pleasure was mutual and genuine. I was happy in the i-emi- 
niscenees of olden times, and eagerly abandoned myself to 
their influence. But he soon dashed cold water over my 
idyllic mood, and spoiled my pleasure by a silly joke. I hap- 
pened to ask him what business had brought him to Washing- 
ton, and he answered that the most important part of his 
business here was — to see his bride ! The remark was 
accompanied by so significant a smile, that it would have been 
silly in me to ignore its meaning: so I had to smile also, or 
appear rude. It must have been a sickly attempt for I felt 
myself blushing violently. His remark was not in good taste, 
was it, Leslie? I am sure that that silly boy, Victor, who 
dared even under the influence of his painful bashfulness, to 
question the propriety of my conduct on the occasion of that 
mock-marriage, would have jDossessed more delicacy than to 
allude to it, under the circumstances. Victor offended me 
deeply in that affair; but has it ever occurred to you, that 
his conduct on the occasion was that of a true gentleman, and 
that he displayed a courage and heroism of which the bolder 
man was incapable ? 

Payton's unfortunate allusion thoroughly spoiled the rest 
of his visit for me. Luckily, there had been no other person 
near enough to hear or at least to understand the remark, 
and I showed him so plainly that the subject was distasteful to 
me, that he will not, probably, allude to it again. Still I did 
not venture to repeat my question as to his business here, and 
he did not volunteer the information. Nor has he repeated 
his visit. I learn from papa that he is still in the city, and 
has called on him several times. Can he be seeking for office, 


do you think, and wants papa's influence with the govern- 
ment ? 

— In speaking of stereotype Society figures at Washington, 
I do not mean to be understood as seeing no difference in 
them. I am aware, of course, that no city in the world 
boasts such a variety of types and specimens of humanity, 
probably, as the cajjital of our nation. One hears the state- 
ment so often in conversation, and meets with it so often in print 
that it has become trite. What I mean is, that Society pol- 
ishes down those whom it admits within its jealously guarded 
precincts, freezing out all sharp edges and acute angles of 
personal characteristics by the uniformity of dress, deportment, 
even of conversation, which she decrees, and will not permit 
to be departed from. Now this uniform fits some better than 
others, and some not at all. Consequently one m-ay discern 
cliaracter and individuality by the way the uniform fits the 
wearer; and it is a source of amusement to some of us, to 
guess whether a gentleman introduced to us is a member of Con- 
gress, a government officer, or a lobbyist with a big or a little 
ax to grind, by the way he uses his napkin or eats his soup. 
I have made some pretty sharp guesses in this way. But one 
is picked up, sometimes, in forming the estimate of a man's 
character or standing by the way he conducts himself in 
Society. A rather annoying, — I may admit to you, svJt rosa, 
humiliating — thing happened to me the other night in this 
direction, which I don't mind telling you — minding that the 
miles between Washington and Boston protect me equally 
against your mischievous smiles and your polite sarcasms. 

We had all been invited to a conversazione at the hotel of 
the Secretary of War, whose daughter, you remember is an inti- 
mate friend of mine. Jennie had often invited me to tea ; and 
as papa was not certain whether he would have time to escort 
us in the evening, I persuaded mama to go there with me in 
the afternoon and remain, feeling sure that Mrs. Secretary 
Would be glad enough to have us assist in receiving the guests. 

I made in this way a number of new acquaintances. Sena- 


tors, Members, Judges, Lawyers and people of all sorts were 
iutroduced. I could not possibly remember all the names. 
Among them were two who had come together, and who hardly 
separated from each other during the whole evening. I could 
not help noticing them, for they presented a striking contrast : 
the one being a small, rotund, dumpy little gentleman, while 
the other was tall, lean, gawky, — overtopping his companion 
by a head and a shoulder, — a goodly sized shoulder at that. I 
had not caught their names, when they were introduced to the 
hostess ; but somehow I had the impression that the tall one 
was a Methodist preacher. Perhaps it was because he had a 
long, sallow face, closely shaven ; dark eyes, and a great 
mouth, which gave him a pious look. The length of his arms 
was wonderful. It seemed to trouble him greatly to know just 
what to do with them. While I was noticing these things, a 
gentleman passed in front of us, bearing refreshments upon a 
tray to a group of ladies, and I could not help imagining what 
a funny figure our tall visitor would make, steering through 
the room with such a waiter poised upon his elongated arms. 
Jennie laughed as I whispered something of the kind into her 
ear, and left me with the remark — ' Let us have the picture 
by all means.' 

Before I was fairly aware of her intention, she had crossed 
over to where the two gentlemen were conversing with Mrs. 
Secretary and mama. I could not hear what she said to them ; 
but i^reseutly the tall one threw a glance in the direction where 
I stood, then bowed to Jennie and started off toward the 
buffet. When he returned, he walked slowly, his eyes riveted 
on the tray he was bearing, holding it out at arm's length, and 
grasping it firmly with both hands. He seemed to be painfully 
apprehensive that the two glasses of water freighting it might 
slip off and spill their contents on the carpet. Jennie, as well 
as the short-statured friend, looked on with evident amusement, 
and many eyes were turned on him, including my own, taking 
in the fun of the situation. I am afraid that he may have 
read something of the kind in my face ; for when, having 


bowed, not ungracefully, to both Jennie and myself, as we 
each took one of the glasses, he looked at me, his bright eyes 
twinkling with fun, and a good-natured smile made his big 
mouth really handsome. 

" I am happy," he said, " in liaving been permitted to 
render a slight service to ladies so fair. But I fear it would 
go hard with me to make my living as a waiter in Washington 
City. Carrying this load has been rather harder work to me 
than splitting rails. But," he added, a flash of irresistible 
drollery lighting up his face, "waiters rarely receive such 
precious wages as I am getting." 

I thanked him, as courteously as if he had been the most 
accomplished cavalier, for the trouble he had put himself to on 
our account and asked him what he meant by wages. 

" Don't you know? " he asked in return. " Why, that re- 
minds me of a story — no, I mean of a ballad I once read. 
Are you acquainted with the poems of Schiller? " 

I regretted my ignorance. 

" Then there is a treat in store for you," he went on. 
" Schiller felt, and in his poems knew how to describe in 
burning colors, the exquisite bliss, as well as the keen torture 
of human passion. He was, if not a keen observer of, cer- 
tainly in genuine sympathy with, the virtues and frailties of 
men and Avomen. You will be delighted and imj) roved by 
reading the excellent translation by Bulwer. — Unless, in- 
deed," he added with a questioning bow, "the original is 
accessible to you ? — And when you come across the ballad of 
The Glove, you will know what I mean by wages. Mean- 
while ladies, I have been very happy to make your acquaint- 

Saying which, he bowed himself away, and joined his com- 
panion, with whom he had a jolly laugh. And, oh Leslie, 
they must have laughed at me ! For when Jennie asked me 
how I liked my Methodist preacher as a cavalier, she laughed 
too ; and when I pressed her to tell me the names of the two 
gentlemen, I was petrified to learn that the short one was the 


Senator from Illinois, anil the tall one was his late competitor, 
and the long and short of it is, that they are the two most 
famous men in the United States just now on account of their 
brilliant joint debate, a year ago last fall, on the slavery 
question. It was a shabby trick of Jennie to get me into such 
a scrape, was it not? I was awfully mad at her, and did not 
fail to let her know ; but that did not mend matters any. 
And I don't like the Illinois Senator any the better for drag- 
ging his rail-splitting opponent into our conversazione getting 
me into a scrape. And oh, Leslie, tell me, what did he mean 
by that ballad of The Glove? 

* * * 

— It is several days since I began this tediously long letter 
to you. I got to thinking about the ballad of The Glove, and 
whether that gawky rail-splitter meant to deal me as severe a 
blow as he did his opponent in that joint debate : for reallj-, 
he had the best of the argument, did he not? Because I 
remember hearing papa say that he had given the Squatter 
Sovereignty doctrine a settler for good and all. But I am 
glad that he was not elected senator. Papa is glad too, I be- 
lieve. And in thinking over these things, I got sleepy, and 
put off finishing this letter. The next time I got time, I 
didn't have time : for hardly had I sat down to read the stuff 
that I had written, preparatory to a continuation, when 
Cressie announced a visitor, and brought me the card of Ralph 
Payton. Of course, I was at home to him; so the letter to 
you flew unceremoniously into my desk, and Ralph Payton 
presented himself, gotten up in prime style by barber and 
hairdresser, and showing good taste in the selection of his 
tailor. Conversation between us was brisk enough this time. 
And what do 3'ou think it was that brought him to Washington 
City? He told me of his own accord. He wants to bring 
out papa as a candidate for the United States Senate ! 
And he came to offer his services in the canvass. Think 
how I wronged him in supposing that he wanted papa's 
influence for himself! He is perfectly sure that papa will 



succeed witli ease. So am 1, if papa will consent to make the 
race. And the thouoht of seeing; him in the Senate chamber, 
mama and I looking down ni)on him from the gallery reserved 
for the families of Senators, listening to his stirring appeals 
for the rights of the South — it almost lills the measure of my 
ambition. I was so glad over the news, that I believe I 
danced, and laughed, and scpieezed his hands, and made a 
fool of myself generally. I think it was just grand in him to 
come all the way to Washington to offer his help to papa to 
make him a United States Senator. Don't you? 

* * * 

There was another interruption, of course, to prevent me 
from finishing this epistle to yon. I am hurrying on to the 
end now, else I fear you may never get it. Well, as soon as 
Mr. Payton left that evening, I ran up to mama's room to talk 
over the great news with her. She took it very coolly, I 
thought. Perhaps papa has already talked it over with her. 
Pretty soon papa himself came home, and I of course tackled 
him upon the subject uppermost in my mind. It is all true, 
Leslie! At hrst he was rather ba(?kward in owning up, talk- 
ing about the dirticulty of making a canvass all over the State ; 
but finally it all came out, and he admitted that he had fully 
made up his mind to make the run. And you know, as well 
as I do, that if papa tries, the thing is as good as settled. In 
my joy I mentioned to him what Ralph had told me about 
helping him; whereat he smiled, saying that Mr. Payton evi- 
dently knew on which side his liread was buttei'ed, for that his 
own election to the House of Representatives was dependent 
on papa's election to the Senate. Just think of it, Leslie ! 
Papa in the Senate, and Ralph Payton in the House, and both 
from the little town of Brookfield! Won't Brookfleld feel 

proud ? 

* * * 

.lust one thing more, before 1 send off this interminable 
letter. The senatorial election, so I heard i)apa say, does not 
come off until next winter. l>nl I do l)elieve that he is already 


preparing for the race. He made a great s{)eecli this evening 
in Congress, in wliich lie just demolished the Know-Nothiugs, 
sailed into the black republicans, and regretted that the only 
honest enemies the democrats ever had, the whigs, were now 
fighting under false colors and helping the common enemy of 
whigs and democrats undermine the constitution. The con- 
stitution, he said, must be our watchword; its strict inter- 
pretation our creed; its preservation our slieet-anchor of hope, 
and its principles — Freedom and Equality before the Law — 
the highest aim and motive of political charity. What do you 
think of such a speech for a campaign document? Of course, 
every one that has talked to me or in my presence about it, is 
extravagant in its praise ; but then you know, we can't take 
nmch stock in what people say to our faces. Papa is going to 
have ever so many thousand copies of it printed and scattered 
all over the State. That looks like business, does it not? I 
wish we were at home, for I do believe I could help papa in 
some wa_^ in this matter. Won't you try and persuade mama 
to make a visit, at least, to Brookfteld, before the election for 
senator comes off next winter? Papa will have to come any 
how, I suppose, and 1 feel like doing some electioneering for 

We are all well. B^ven Cressie, who wishes she were away 
from this wicked place. Mama sends her love. Papa hopes 
you will settle down to the practice of law soon. And nobody 
is going to be prouder of your success at the bar than 

Your loving sister 




HE firm of Auf dem Buseh and Son was well known on 
Main street. Its senior member, not without shrewd 
business tact, had made for himself a reputation for 
honesty, punctuality and strictly upright dealing, which had 
gone far to secure success. His gains had accumulated 
slowly, for he was cautious and shy of hazardous speculations ; 
steadily, because he was waiy and watchful in taking advan- 
tage of turns in the market. And so, when his eldest son had 
returned from Europe, whither he had been sent to receive a 
thorough mercantile training, the new firm entei'ed on its 
career under favorable auspices. 

The old gentleman was proud of his son. His joy, how- 
ever, was not without its drop of bitterness. There was 
a lack of enthusiasm in the son's nature. He did not seem to 
appreciate the signal advantages that had fallen to his 
lot. This first puzzled, then pained the fond father. In the 
fullness of his joy he had tendered the young man an interest 
in the firm, — the highest mark of confidence and approbation 
in his power to bestow ; — it had been received with cool 
politeness, as if the young man thought that in accepting the 
partnership he was conferring a benefit on his father rather 
than receiving one. It nettled the old gentleman also, that 
Woldemar exhibited no slightest emotion on being welcomed, 
on his return, in a charming new residence, which the mer- 
chant had acquired during his absence, and of which no men- 
tion had been made in the letters to him, on purpose to give 
him an agreeable surprise. So, too, he had quietly accepted 
the addition to the family circle of a grown up young lady, 
without comment or question. And yet the father was very 


proud, of both the new villa in the suburbs, and of the young 
lady cousin, whom he had adopted into the family, and whom 
he thought a paragon of beauty and excellence. 

Probably the old gentleman was unreasonable in expectino- 
Woldemar to take as much interest in these things as he did 
himself ; at least Woldemar thought so. For Woldemar had 
been to Europe. He had seen great cities, whose architectural 
displays would put to blush the modest pretensions of his 
father's villa. How could one be proud of anything this 
Western world afforded, after seeing the great palaces, the 
imposing, artistic structures, the " frozen harmony " as he 
had heard it called, of cathedrals and domes in the old 
country ? 

And as to the young lady — why, he had been smiled upon 
and made much of by those who were infinitely above Pauline 
in point of beauty, familj^ and wealth, not to mention refine- 
ment and culture. How could he be expected to go into 
ecstacies over a simple maid like Pauline ? Plainly his father 
did not take into account the superior educational advantages 
he had enjoyed, nor the polish acquired by social intercourse 
with people of high culture. 

Still, he found Pauline not so bad in her way. True, she 
had not so many compliments for him as some of the Fraulein 
in the old country had lavished upon him ; and seemed scarcely 
impressed with the high value of his good opinion. But then 
she had a pleasant way of looking straight at him out of her 
clear round eyes when she spoke to him ; her mouth was reallv 
pretty when she smiled, as she did on small jDro vocation. 
And one day, when there was company in the parlor, he was 
quite astonished to find that she could entertain the visitors, 
in the absence of Mrs. Auf dem Busch, with perfect self-pos- 
session, and that they listened to her sprighly conversation 
with as much jileasure, — almost, — as to his own interestino- 
accounts of foreign experiences. 

Pauline herself seemed well pleased with him. Her 
" Cousin " Woldemar had, before his return from Germany, 


been freely talked over in the family. His brilliant future 
was a theme upon which her " Uncle " Auf dem Busch had 
loved to dAvell. So she had come to look upon her " cousin " 
as a paragon of excellence, to win whose approbation might be 
as high a boon as Fortune had in store for any young lady. 
She was heart-free, knowing of love just what she had learned 
from books, and as yet her ideal hero had not assumed a clearly 
defined shape. Bound by the deepest sentiment of gratitude 
to the family that had received her with open arms when she 
was cast upon the world a homeless orphan, treated by Uncle 
Auf dem Busch with all the tenderness and protecting care of 
a father, she repaid the Ivindness and love of those in Avhose 
midst she had found a happy home with fervent affection. 
What more natural, then, than that she should deem the evi- 
dent wish of her benefactor in respect of her relations to 
Woldemar a new proof of his kindness ? Yes ; it was an easy 
and not at all unpleasant task to try and win the love of the 
excellent young man, if she could ; and to marr^^ him, if he 
wanted her. 

Thus there was a tacit understanding in the family, that at 
some future time tliere might be a more binding tie between 
Woldemar and Pauline, than that of the distant relationsliip 
now existing. Not expressed in words, however, even by the 
merchant himself ; least of all by the young man. He would 
not displease his father liy showing opposition ; but it was 
surely not necessary to entangle himself by any avowal of 
intention which might be considered binding. And things 
went on in this way, pleasantly enough, until the Sunday 
afternoon, when the appearance of Leslie May in Vaux Hall 
Garden had aroused Woldemar's displeasure. Pauline, for 
her part, was not. at all displeased. She was rather gratified 
to meet the idolized friend of her brother, and was at a loss to 
account for the very evident aversion displayed by Woldemar. 
But she asked no questions, and, indeed, soon dismissed the 
subject from her mind. 

Victor had informed his uncle of his intention to bring Mr. 

THE riiiLosoniY of cauvinu. 279 

May with liiiu to meet Professor Raubenfels ; and on the day 
appointed for the visit preparations were going on at Bnsch 
Bluff — so the merchant had named his pretty villa — for the 
reception of the guests. Pauline was busy, flitting from 
parlor to kitchen and dining room, when Woldemarcame home, 
rather earlier than was his wont, announcing that Mr. Auf dem 
Busch would soon follow with the visitors. The busj' young 
girl welcomed him with her usual smile and pleasant greeting, 
and he could not help noticing that she looked more than 
usually charming. His acknowledgment, however, was not 
more friendly than usual, but rather less so, showing, indeed, 
an ostentatious disapproval of the cheerfulness with which she 
tidied the parlor and superintended the cooking. He made it 
evident that he not only disliked the expected visitors, but 
also that he felt it to be a personal grievance that Pauline 
declined to share his aversion. To be sure, she showed no 
particular interest in that conceited bear, Professor Rauhen- 
fels, who in some unaccountable way fascinated his father ; 
but then, Victor meant to bring, also, that insolent young 
Southerner, who had so importunately persecuted the young 
lady with his attentions. What business had he in this house? 
And what business had she to expect the coming of the guests 
with such evident eagerness? Surely, she must know, that it 
was unlady-like to receive the unsolicited attentions of a silly 
3'oung coxcomb, who was a perfect stranger to her, without 
protest! The correct young gentleman, who had been to 
Europe, would not stand it. He must tell her so. 

But, whether for weal or ill, the young gentleman was pre- 
vented from carrying out his well-meant resolution. Before 
he had settled on the proper words to say, and on the manner 
of saying them, he heard the deep bass of Professor Kauhen- 
fels, which he hated, and saw his father approach through the 
grounds, engaged in lively conversation with the guests he 
was bringing, Woldemar went to the door and received the 
company with elaborate politeness, contrasting perceptibly 
with the cordial h')spitality of the owner of the mansion, and 


the bright welcome extended to them by the young lady, who 
had also gone to the door to meet them. They were soon 
seated in the parlor, where Professor Rauhenfels continued 
the narration of a marvelous hunting story. Leslie May was 
seated opposite to him and found, for the first time since his 
introduction in Mr. Auf dem Busch's store, an oj^portunity 
to notice his personal appearance. Paying no attention to 
the story he was telling, which he supposed to be on a par 
with the yarns usually spun by amateur sportsmen, he 
leisurely took a mental inventory of the Professor's prominent 
traits . 

A man, he found him, of rather tall stature, well propor- 
tioned, broad shouldered ; clad in sovereign contempt of fickle 
fashion and arbitrary rules of etiquette, almost to the defiance 
of conventional propriety. His feet were encased in a pair of 
low shoes, not always closely laced ; and as the extremities of 
his nether garments did not quite reach the top of his shoes, a 
considerable expanse of sock was visible, now and then, which, 
in default of garters, sat loosely, in picturesque, if not grace- 
ful, undulations. The weather being of the kind to which the 
denizens of the Western metropolis were accustomed in high 
summer, a waistcoat was clearly a superfluous luxury: the 
lio-ht jacket of brown holland that he wore, affording sufficient 
covering. The only portion of his wardrobe making any pre- 
tension to amplitude was his shirt collar. Not a sham imitation 
in paper, — he hated shams in any shape — nor even of snowy 
linen ; but a genuine part of the garment itself, turned over a 
ribbon doing service as a neck-tie, somewhat in the fashion 
which painters love to give to the collars of Schiller and 
Byron, and which, in connection with his jetty hair, worn 
long, might remind one who had known him of the romancist 
Ned Buntline. Leslie took in the peculiarities of his dress at a 
glance. But the expression of his features, — bold and 
striking though they were — was not so easily read. 

A broad, high, somewhat retreating forehead, suggestive of 
poetic power and force of imagination ; a prominent aquiline 


nose, indicative of strong will ; square jaws and high cheek- 
bones, giving him, especially when seen in profile, a command- 
ing, eagle-like mien, in no wise softened by the sparkle of his 
keen, brown-black eyes set far apart. His rather large, 
mobile mouth might have betokened sensuality, but for 
the slight downward curve of the corners, which readily 
assumed the proportions of a sneer, and was capable of im- 
parting to his features the expression of intense scorn, or, 
when under excitement, of impassioned enthusiasm. 

One of the peculiarities about him was the rich, deep bass 
of his voice, which commanded attention even in ordinary con- 
versation, such as he was engaged in while Leslie observed 
him. But when the ladies appeared to summon the guests to 
table, it put the observer to a severe test to maintain his 
gravity; for as he rose to greet Mrs. Auf dem Busch, his 
inquiry after her health was couched in falsetto, an octave or 
two above the usual pitch of his voice, and with an inflection 
of the tenderest solicitude. 

It was also a surjjrise to Leslie, to see the host motioning 
the professor to the head of the table. " You shall be sur- 
prised," he explained to the other guests, " to see and admire 
our friend's wonderful skillfulness, which he has in the art of 
carving. If it be a turkey, or if it be a goose ; and much 
more, if it be a matter of carving a smaller bird. It is not 
now the time for turkeys ; but one of the consignors to our 
firm has honored me with a prairie chicken or two, and it shall 
taste to us better, when our friend has so skillfully carved it 
like he can do." 

Leslie, who had promjjtly offered his arm to Miss Wald- 
horst, was less amused by this speech than he would probably 
have been, if his attention had not been attracted by the scowl 
on young Auf dem Busch's face, as he, Leslie, took his seat 
by the side of that which Mrs. Auf dem Busch assigned to 
Pauline, quietly ignoring the evident intention of that lady 
that her son Woldemar should occupy it. Mrs. Auf dem 
Busch, whose plans were thus crossed, had not the presence of 


mind to call her guest's attention to the mistake he had made, 
and the old gentleman failed to notice it. 

Nevertheless, conversation in no wise flagged. Professor 
Rauheufels, deprecating the merchant's compliments to his 
skill, favored the company with a loquacious dissertation on 
the art of carving, demonstrating that the chief requisite of a 
successful carver consisted in the accurate knowledge of the 
anatomy of the bird. 

" Oh, ho! " the A'ounger merchant exclaimed ; " give me a 
fat bird and a sharp knife, and I will guarantee you that I get 
away with the meat, if I were at all hungry, with or without 
knowing anatom3^" 

" Yes," observed Leslie, " or even with a dull knife, or none 
at all. But then the professor might say, that that was 
carving with Alexander's sword, which was simply cutting 
through the knot instead of unraveling it." 

" Just so," the professor assented. " The kind of carving 
the wolf does, when he munches the lamb he has stolen. But 
mark you, the wolf is not so ignorant of the lamb's anatomy 
as our young friend here assumes in his hypothesis — " 

"When he is through with his meal," Leslie interrupted, "he 
has probably devoured the whole subject, anatomy and all." 

" But the professor will say, that is munching, and not carv- 
ing, " said Victor. 

"Exactly;" Rauheufels replied, somewhat emphatically. 
" Do you not see that the bird and the knife, as well as the 
hand that holds it, are but tools, that obey the carver's will? " 

" Granted ! " Woldemar threw in. " So the wolf also works 
his will on the lamb. What difference, then, between the 

" Only this," said the professor, " the carver — presumably 
a rational being — exercises his free will, while the wolf 
blindly obeys his appetite. The one is a master ruling, the 
other a servant ruled by nature." 

" Are we masters, ruling nature? " Victor inquired in 

O ?o 


"Oh, no," sneered Woldeniar. "You misunderstand. It 
is only the adept at carving that rises to that dignity." 

"Just so," said the professor looking sharply at the last 
speaker for a second, but then addressing himself to Victor. 
"Nature has given us eyes to see; that much she has done 
for the wolf also. But she has given us^ what she has not 
given the wolf, reason — that divine attribute in virtue of 
which man rules the world." 

" Rules the world ?" Victor repeated with eagerly questioning 
eyes. " How can that be, when so many human beings 
annually perish for the want of simple means of subsistence, 
or fall victims in other wa3's to the inexorable laws of nature, 
which man is utterly impotent to abrogate, or even modify? " 

" Right, my friend," the professor answered, complacently. 
"The laws of nature are eternal and immutable. What an 
insigniiicant accident man would be, were it otherwise! 
Imagine, if you can, what must follow an instant's cessation 
of the law of gravity. Chaos ? Not *so much as that : for in 
chaos, in so far as we can conceive it at all, is relation and 
coherence. But utter nothingness : for the single substantial 
quality of all matter is gravitation." 

Leslie, witli a good-natured smile of incredulity, addressed 
this question, rather to his fair neighbor: " What then does 
man's supreme rule of tlie world amount to, in view of the 
supremacy of the law, for instance, of gravitation? " 

" Man cannot, of course, ignore the law of nature in any 
direction," the professor answered, " any more than he could 
create it. But he can subordinate it to his purposes. He 
commands this gigantic monster, gravitation, to do his bid- 
ding, and it yields unquestioning obedience. It grinds for 
him his corn, it holds together his habitations, carries him and 
his wares across continents, over oceans, and through the air; 
it points out to him the paths of the heavenly bodies, and 
measures for him time and space. Which, think you, is the 
master, and which the servant? " 

" I should tiiink, that they took turns about in having things 


their own way," Leslie suggested. " Wlien tliis monster plays 
snow-balling with mighty avalanches, or shakes down houses 
and cities during an earthquake, his obedience shines con- 
spicuously by absence. Where, under such circumstances, is 
man's mastery? " 

"Asleep!" Rauhenfels almost shouted, "Don't blame 
man's stupidity on the faithful servant who simply does what 
he is bid to do. Let me help you to a fine piece of tlie breast 
of this bird. See, — I lay it on your plate, and this monster, 
gravitation, holds it there for you, like the obedient servant he 
is. Now you know that he would dash it to the floor with 
equal readiness, if you ordered him to do so by the way you 
hold your plate. Would it not, then, be ridiculously unjust to 
hold him responsible for your awkwardness if you should 
drop the meat from your plate? And just so if a man puts 
himself in the pathway of the falling avalanche, or builds top- 
heavy houses in the regions of earthquakes." 

" Then," interposed Leslie, " to guard against avalanches, 
you expect man to level the mountain, so as to keep the snow- 
ball out of the monster's power? " 

" An easier way would be for him to keep away from the 
mountains during snowstorms," said Rauhenfels. " But 
supposing that the occasional recurrence of avalanches were 
known to threaten extermination of the human race, then were 
it not willful self-destruction if it failed to level the moun- 
tains, — that being the only means of avoiding avalanches? 
So, you see," he continued, again turning to Victor, " that 
the question of mastery between man and the forces, or laws, 
as we have called them, of nature, is quite easil}^ settled. 
Remembering that man is free — that is to say, that his will 
is first cause, or self-cause, his superiority over that which is 
unfree, or cause only as it is effect, is patent." 

Victor had listened with deep attention. " Do you then 
mean to say," he now inquired eagerly, " that man is above 
the law? Why, that would clothe him with the attributes of 
divinity ! ' ' 


" Well," the professor replied, his voice assuming its bass 
pitch, and his eyes beginning to sparkle, " and is not freedom 
divine ? Is not God freedom ? And do 3^011 not claim that 
God-like atti'ibute for yourself ? Understand, — I do not mean 
the potentiality to do or not to do which is all that some people 
see in will, or liberty. That is will in its capricious, arbitrary 
form, which man possesses in common with the mule and 
which is the highest law to the wolf when he devours the lamb. 
Man possesses a goodly share of this kind of will, or freedom. 
Vast numbers of men and women never rise higher in the 
realm of existence. There are slaves, — aye, and more of 
them than are now held in bondage in this free land of ours — 
who prove, by their very condition as slaves, their incapacity 
for freedom, — for free men cannot be made slaves. So there 
are tyrants, despots, whose claim to the divine attribute stands 
upon no higher ground. And you are right, my young 
friend, in doubting the attributes of divinity of either extreme." 

" Then, I understand, after all, that man is not above the 
law? " said Victor interrogatively. 

" But man may antagonize the laws of nature against each 
other," exclaimed the professor with some animation, "and 
thus make them his servants. He commands Gravitation to 
float his ships, and Boreas to waft them over the ocean ; or, if 
he desires a more relialjle agent, he harnesses Phcebus himself 
to his chariots, compelling him to propel them with the swift- 
ness of the fleetest bird whither he listeth ; he has wrested the 
thunderbolt from Jupiter's hand, and sends his messenger 
more swiftly over the earth, than Hermes served Jove of old. 
Is not man greater than the mythological gods? " 

" Mythological gods, yes," Woldemar spoke up. " But 
they, like the laws Victor spoke of, are of man's making. 
Not much divinity about them, I should think." 

The professor fixed a keen glance upon the new speaker, the 
curves of his mouth assuming a contemptuous expression. 
" You seem to think," said he, " that man can make laws, as 
well as o-ods ? ' ' 


" Of course," was Woldemar's prompt auswer. " In 
monarchies, rulers, ' by the grace of God ' fashion the laws 
to their liking ; in republics, they are made by the people 
themselves. You do not question so much, I hope? " 

" And will you please inform me, what you understand by 
law? " the professor asked with a show of innocent curiosity. 

"Why, law, in the sense I spoke of it, is the will of the 
people, expressed in some form recognized as binding," Victor 
answered, instead of Woldemar. 

" An act of the legislature, whether it exjiresses the will of 
the people or not," suggested Leslie, who, though really 
anxious to draw the ladies into participation, had shown him- 
self an attentive listener. 

" Why not say plainly, the pretended will of the sovereignty, 
if that is what you are driving at? " said tlie professor, suavely- 
enough. But suddenly assuming a severity of tone and a 
lierceness of manner that startled Victor, he added: "But 
tliat is a miserable makeshift. You can find half a dozen 
sucli delinitious in the ordinary dictionaries. Why, even 
Blackstone knew that much, only it took him a great many 
more words to say it. And every jackanapes of a lawyer that 
has bought him a sheep-skin from some diploma-mill chatters 
it after him ever since. That, to be sure, is the kind of 
law that the British Parliament, the American Congress, and 
every puny State legislature grinds out daily by the cart-load. 
You can get it made to order, cheap for cash. The capricious 
whimsicalities of unlimited monarchs are on a par with the 
trash given us by constitutional governments, — for, — mark 
you, Blackstone is not sure but that anything Parliament sa3's, 
no matter how absurdly ridiculous, is law. And I suppose I 
need not tell you, gentlemen, that whoever has an axe to 
grind, or even a small hatchet, is a welcome guest in the halls 
of your legislatures, not to mention the smaller fry of city 
coinicils and other law-making corporosities, provided he 
furnish the sugar to sweeten their tempers. Lcmo^ indeed ! 
If this sort of law did not, fortunately, possess the knack of 


the Kilkenny cats, which, you know, ate each other up until 
nothing was left of them but the tails, it would long ago have 
inundated the world, like a second Deluge." 

When Rauhenfels made mention of " jackanapes " of law- 
yers, Leslie had winked at Victor so droll a grimace as to 
start the young Auf dem Buschs into an audible smile, 
severely testing the self-control of the ladies to avoid following 
their example. He now improved the opportunity afforded 
by the pause, to demurely inquire, what, in the professor's 
opinion, became of the tails left by all the Kilkenny cats? 

" Tails, is it? " snorted the professor, flashing a keen glance 
of defiance at the demure speaker. " Pray sir, will you tell 
me, what it is, that your statute books contain, but just cats' 
tails? From cover to cover, from A to Izzard, what Init cats' 
tails? Not even assorted, but just thrown together, pell-mell, 
relying on the charitable presumption that judges and lawyers 
know their A-B-C-, the scientific jirineiple upon which indexes 
are constructed, by means of which to put their hands on tail 
A or tail Izzard, as occasion may require! Why, my young 
friend, eliminate from your Statutes at Large, your Common 
Law, your Omnium-gatherum of Chancery Rules, stolen from 
the Civil Law, — eliminate from them the few ingots of 
rational thought that have come down to us from such ven- 
erable seers as composed the decalogue and like codes, and 
you will have a vast and imposing mass of cats' tails for your 
trouble. Put them into your pipe and smoke them ! " 

" You would not impose so cruel a task on me, now would 
you ? ' ' said Leslie, with pleading voice. ' ' Even if I deserved it, 
it would be unmerciful to the ladies, who, I submit, are not to 
be blamed for the cats' tails in our statute books. I trust, 
rather, that you will condescend to enlighten us as to liow we 
are to obtain a better quality of law. For if neither monarchs 
nor legislative assemblies are to be relied on, I can think of but 
one other source from which law could emanate, — the people 
themselves, in their original sovereign capacity. But the only 
instance I can remember in historv or fiction, in which that 


plan received a trial, was a signal failure. Even our Pilgrim 
Fathers, who for a time undertook to personate legislatures, 
judges and executioners in their aggregate capacity, soon 
found, that a pure Democracy would not, to use a phrase of 
Carlyle, march." 

" I should think not," sneered the professor, the down- 
ward curves of his mouth deepening perceptibly. " And sup- 
posing it did march, think you that the quality of the law 
would thereby improve? I may grant you, that the people 
have a marvelous proficiency in picking out knaves and fools 
as their representatives ; but they are representatives ; and 
since the stream can rise no higher than its source, they reflect 
truly the calibre of their constituents. No, my young friend! 
The chances are, that a hundred thousand fools will quite equal, 
in their aggregate stupidity, the folly of any smaller number 
of them, just as the tyranny of majorities is as destructive of 
liberty, as that of a single-headed despot. Oh, no, do not 
understand me as joining in the popular cry, in this sense, of 
Vox Populi vox Dei ! " 

" But you have not vouchsafed the information we crave," 
Leslie insisted. " You have, instead, only cut off one more 
source of possible legislative authority, and I am at my wits' 
end to imagine how the evil you so graphically describe might 
be remedied." 

" Don't you see," said Woldemar, who could not resist the 
temptation to pour what he deemed a broadside into the 
enemy's unprotected front, although it went sorely against his 
grain that in doing so he was siding with the Southern 
lawyer, — " don't you see what the gentleman is driving at? 
He has distinctly disavowed all authority. Except metaphy- 
sics. Ask him, and if he confesses his real view, he will tell 
you, that not only the State, but the whole Universe, is gov- 
erned by speculative philosophy, whose high priest is Hegel, 
the inventor of a mystical system of Trinity, whose corner- 
stone is the doctrine that Being and Naught are identical, and 
that the identitj' of the two constitutes the World. No won- 


der, then, thut he spurns all laws emanating from a source that 
recognizes common sense. For he who enters the realm of 
Hegelian Speculative Mysticism must leave understanding 

Rauhenfels turned to the new speaker with a sarcastic smile. 
" I congratulate you," he said, '• on the good use you seem to 
have made of your time while in Germany. No doubt, you 
made a profound study of Hegel and his philosophy ; or, if 
not of Hegel, at least of those of his adversaries, who prove 
in learned disquisitions how much of a mystery Hegel has 
remained to them. You quote Diihring almost verbatim. 
Yes, sir! The world /x governed, — not by speculative phi- 
losophy, but by reason, which it is the ottioe of speculative 
philosophy — speculative .^ mark, not in the sense in which your 
highly respectable firm deals in sugar and coffee, or a land 
shark in acres and town-lots, but as searching after Truth — 
to discover, and of the legislature, or other law-announcing 
authority to announce. Yes, sir! This same Hegel, and 
every thinker who has searched after and discovered Truth, 
are the real law-makers. For whatever is, is by virtue of the 
reason for its being. Discover that, and you have its law ; 
and he who announces it, is the legislator. Who, think you, 
was the true legislator, — Galileo, the humble Italian astrono- 
mer, or Urban VIII, backed by the wisdom and power of the 
inquisition? Surely, the Pope was in authority, wielding the 
power of the Christian Church. He haughtily commanded the 
Sun to dance attendance upon our Earth, the Earth to stand 
as the lixed center of the Universe. Y'et do we not all agree, 
that the philosopher's whispered '■ E pur se muoce!' was the 
more potent decree ? ' ' 

" But this is a mere fable I " Woldemar announced, oracu- 
larly. "It is now admitted l>y those best informed on his- 
tory, that Galileo did not utter these famous words at all, nor 
ever retracted his recantation." 

" Well, is not Fable more true than History? " demanded 
the professor, with some animation. 



" Of course," put in Victor, eagerly. " It is the judgment 
of the world, that this was the proper thing for Galileo to say 
under the circumstances ; and whether he spoke the words or 
not, they are perfectly true." With some hesitation he then 
added: "But it seems to me, that Mr. May's question has 
not yet been answered. If the acts of Congress, or the State 
legislature, are not the law, what are they? " 

" Exactly so," said Auf dem Busch Senior. "It is neces- 
sary that we have law, and the law shall be reasonable, as the 
professor has well spoken. Now I like some upclearing, who 
shall say, if the law be reasonable? Shall I myself say so? 
Then all say that is law, what they like. We have a Sunday 
law ; and some people say it is reasonable. I think it is 
tyranny. Now who has right? " 

" Ah, that is a very different thing," said the professor, 
with great deference. " Right — that is, the law of God, — 
is eternal and immutable, as God himself is. But since it ex- 
ists in our consciousness only, constituting our conscience., 
every man carries in his own breast the criterion for right and 
wrong. And you, Mr. Auf dem Busch, have forcibly pointed 
out the necessity of some external criterion, to decide authori- 
tatively between individuals who differ, whether honestly or 
wickedly, in their assertions of right. It was this necessity, 
that gave us the decalogue on tables of stone. It was this 
necessity, too, that brought us Christ, who established a 
religion of Mercy instead of the rigid rule of jealous Jehovah. 
It is this necessity, in fine, that gives us parliaments and 
congresses, and legislative bodies of all sorts. Yes, you have 
pithily put it: There must be authoritative statement of what 
is right and wrong. Whether this be by an autocrat or a par- 
liament, a king or a popular assembly, matters really very 
little. The essential thing is that it be recognized as authori- 
tative, and that it be obeyed as such. As the Church demands 
faith in its dogmata, on pain of excommunication, so the State 
coerces obedience to its commands, though it cost the prop- 
erty, the life, or even the liberty of its defier — " 


" How far, then," Leslie inteiTupted, " does your definition 
of liiw differ from tliat given by Mr. Waldhorst, or Mr, Auf 
deni Buscli, or even myself':' " 

' ' As the true does from the false ! ' ' the professor exclaimed 
promptly. "The dogma of the Church is infallible, because 
to the faith of the believer it is divine revelation. But how 
about the unbeliever? Can it be law to him? So with the 
citizen : Possessing in his own breast the highest criterion for 
right and wrong, he necessarily measures the law by that 
standard. If he find it true and just, he will abide by it, and 
that law is iDrobably a divine revelation to him. But if it be 
of the Kilkenny Cat kind, made to-day, to be repealed to- 
morrow, or changed, modified, or amended — what shall be 
said of it? Or if it be a gigantic steal from the many to 
enrich a favored few? Or if it be an infamous piece of 
barbarism — ' ' 

" For instance? " Leslie inquired. 

" You want an instance? " the professor exclaimed, his eyes 
rtashing, his mouth curving downward, his voice trembling 
with excitement. " Let me mention only the statutes of half 
the States of this Union, which in all seriousness proclaim 
l^roperty in man ! Think of the monstrous contradiction — 
man, whose essential quality is freedom, to be declared by the 
laic to be property! And, not enough that the slave States 
enact such damnable heresy against human dignity, but the 
federal government itself, — representing slave and free 
States — by a statute to which it proposes to exact obedience, 
degrades every freeman in the land to the level of a Jack- 
Ketch, condemning him, at the beck of the vilest dealer in 
human flesh, to help hunt down, like a bloodhound, his run- 
awaj' ' chattel,' and deliver back into slavery a manor woman, 
to be scourged by an enraged mastei- for the crime of having 
aspired to their God-given freedom ! Is this instance enough 
to justify a freeman in protesting that such cannot be law? " 

The words of the professor, spoken with impressive pathos, 
produced a different result upon his several hearers. Wolde- 


mar Auf dem Busch had iiiil)it)t'd, during his absence in 
Europe, the positive views prevalent among the Germans on 
the sul)ject of slavery ; and it was natural that the closing 
words of his antagonist should command his assent. But it 
was equally natural that he should dislike to applaud a man so 
utterly unsympathetic to him ; so he remained silent, 

Leslie had a smile for the professor's earnestness. He 
looked at the young lady by his side to note the effect pro- 
duced upon her, and neither he nor Woldemar was pleased bj^ 
the eager assent to be read in her sparkling eyes and from her 
eager, half -parted lips. 

Victor was the one most deeply interested in the views ex- 
pressed by the professor. There was a dazed look upon his 
features that betrayed the difficulty he found in weighing the 
argument. Absurd, had the professor said, were the laws of 
slavery? Surely, he must be ignorant of the true condition of 
things in the slave States. And yet, — he was so positive ! 
And of his sincerity there could be no doubt. And — he was 
certainly no fool ! For however paradoxical had been liis talk 
about law, he could not, at bottom, deny any of those striking- 

Victor again experienced the doubts and trouldes that Col- 
onel May had awakened in talking on this subject ; only now 
the shock was greater, and it came in the opposite direction. 
It pained him to hear the institution of slavery so savagely 

Auf dem Busch Senior, alone expressed his thorougii ap- 
proval of the professor's words. " It has been as I thought," 
he said, with an air of unmistakable relief, " that we have 
been misunderstanding the professor. He has well spoken 
the truth. In this matter, like in all other matters when he 
speaks in earnest. He denies not that we must obey the law ; 
but he is in wrath about foolisli law, like Sunday law, and 
slave law. But we will be vexatious no more to-day with 
slavery. It is not yet dark ; 1 will enjoy a smoke in the open 
air. So I ask the gentlemen to join me, if it shall be pleasing 


to them. You are a judge of a line cigar, Mr. May? Our 
frieud Raulienfels is also a judge, and when he has not his 
cob-pipe and country tobacco, he is not afraid of my brand. 
You Avill like it, I make no doubt. You are not to mind the 
ladies. We have seasoned them. What, Pauline? " 

" Indeed, you may say so," the maiden responded ; " and 
the drawing-room as well. You can have no idea, Mr. 
May," she continued, turning to this gentleman as she arose 
with the others, " what German gentlemen can do in the 
smoking line. When uncle puts his Meerschaum into requi- 
sition, and Cousin Woldemar joins him with a favorite El Sol 
Regalia, and Professor Rauhenfels puffs away at his cob, the 
fragrance is sometimes overpowering, even to me, who am 
partial to the aroma of tobacco smoke ; and the atmosphere 
around them is as foggy as the philosophy they discuss." 

" There," said the uncle, shaking his forefinger at the girl, 
" make us not so black a picture before Mr. May." 

" No blacker than the color of aunt's curtains in the morn- 
ing after one of your revels," the girl retorted. " But don't 
let us spoil your enjoyment, gentlemen. I am sorry not to be 
able to inhale the fragrance of your cigars, in the open air, 
with you, but some domestic duties claim my attention for a 
while. Presently I will be happy to join you, if you have no 
objection to my com.pany ; and I expect to find you all in ex- 
cellent spirits, 3'our tempers mellowed by the soothing influence 
of a fine Havana." 

It annoyed Leslie to hear of the girl's detention in the 
house, for politeness forbade his remaining. All the greater 
was his gratitude to the old gentleman, when he heard him de- 
cree that the domestic duties must give way, for once, to the 
more immediate duties to their guests. " I want, that you 
show^ Mr. May what we have in the garden," he said; and 
then to Leslie: " You will admire the skill that she has as a 
gardener. " 



^USCH BLUFF was a pretty villa, Avhich had not yet 
lost the charm of novelty, in the eyes of its owner at 
least. Perched on the summit of a graceful knoll on 
the range of bluffs from which it took its name, environed of 
all sides except that toward the river by a grove of thrifty 
forest trees, it commanded an extensive view of the river, as 
well as of the bottom lands and bluffs far up and down on the 
other side. A mile or two to the southward the swift current 
of the turbid stream slackened its speed, seeming to linger 
fondly near the town of Pennyville, where it had washed out 
for itself a deep, broad basin in the angle formed by veering a 
point or two to the left. On the north the Arsenal Island, — 
named so because located opposite the national armory, more 
popularly known as the Arsenal — divided the rushing Avaters 
into two channels. It was covered with a dense growth of 
young willows and sycamores ; uninhabited, save that a few 
rugged fishermen had erected there a rude hut or two to shel- 
ter them against the rain or storm while plying their vocation. 
Further up, on the other side of the river, the log cabins and 
board shanties of PapstoAvn dotted the shore, Avhile below in 
a southeasterly direction, the distant hamlet of Cahokia nestled 
among the majestic trees produced by the rich alluvial soil of 
the American Bottom, just visible from the most elevated point 
of the grounds around the villa. Its owner, w'ith exultant 
sense of proprietorship, not unpardonable under the circum- 
stances nor always successfully concealed, pointed out to his 
new friend, the young lawj^er, the salient traits of the land- 
scape, adding to his explanation of the scenery, such items of 
historical, legendary and scientific information as he had stored 


in his mind, chiefly gleaned from conversations with his friend, 
the professor. For the latter gentleman prided himself upon 
his artistic tastes, and his powers of accurate observation, and 
the merchant delighted to repeat some of the high sounding 
phrases in which the professor indulged, now and then. Thus, 
in commenting upon the peculiar vegetation of Arsenal Island, 
he informed his politely listening young companion, that the 
perennial youth of the trees was due to the ambulatory nature 
of the island. 

" Yes, sir," he said, " ambulatory is how the professor calls 
it. You see, it is so : The water dashes with great might 
against the upper point and all the time carries away some 
earth. This makes the trees to fall into the river, and they 
sometimes make snags, so dangerous, you know, to steam- 
boats. But on the back part the earth sticks fast, and when 
the water is low, and the sun shines on the new earth, it 
makes willow trees to grow, and maybe sycamores, or some 
other trees which like to grow in moist earth. And so, you 
see, the island melts in front, and grows behind, and travels 
down stream all the time and the trees are always young." 

They had now reached the spot from which the aspiring 
church steeple of Cahokia, topped with the Roman cross, came 
into sight, as well as a few of the lowlier habitations, cluster- 
ing about the church, with their moss covered roofs. The sun 
was low in the horizon ; the western shore of the river along 
the bluffs facing the east, somber with the descending shad- 
ows of approaching twilight. But the slanting rays of the 
crimson luminary nearing his couch in the Avest, bathed the 
bluffs on the opposite side in a flood of mellow light, bringing 
them into bold relief against the intervening miles of heavily 
timbered bottom-lands, checkered, here and there, with patches 
of luxurious corn fields in the vicinity of Cahokia. Here, 
again, the didactic instinct of the merchant asserted itself, and 
he proceeded to enlighten his young friend on the history and 
peculiarities of this venerable town. 

" More ancient," he explained, '• than our own proud city. 


It is inhabited chiefly by descendants of French-American and 
Spanish- American Creoles, who have great pride and squalor; 
also great poverty and independence. Their pride and inde- 
pendence makes them to hate civilization ; and their poverty 
makes them proud. They are much skilled in lish-catching. 
For our river has tine Cat and Buffalo, if you know how to 
catch them. They cultivate some corn in the fat l)ottom-land, 
more than a hundred bushels on the acre. And they smoke 
tobacco which they plant themselves. AVhen a young Creole 
Avants to buy a ribbon for his sweetheart, or maybe coffee or 
something for his old folks, he choj^s down a pecan tree, or an 
ash or hickory, like they have some splendid trees all over the 
l)ottom-lands, and hauls it to our city in an ox-cart, and sells 
it for six bits a load, and is for a while rich." 

Leslie seemed to listen with profound interest ; but his eyes 
rested not on the distant view of the svm-bathed church spire, 
nor even on the majestic steamer soaring into sight on the river 
below, moving with swan-like grace on the bosom of the placid 
waters opposite rennyville. And it is to be feared that he did 
not reap the full benefit of the merchant's sage teachings ; for 
on sighting the approaching steamer, the latter launched out 
into an instructive discourse on the vastness of the carrying 
trade and interstate commerce of our Western metroi)olis. A 
l)icture closer by riveted Leslie's gaze, — one more beautiful 
than which no painter in happiest mood ever conceived. For 
there, a little in advance of them, stood Pauline, more tall and 
erect, seemingly, than Leslie had deemed her, — her finely 
shaped figure in bright summer robe gracefully outlined 
against the darker foliage of the shrubbery. One of her hands 
was raised on high in the act of drawing down toward her the 
branch of a tall oleander, while with the other she bent its 
cluster of flowers toward her companion, as if to invite him to 
inhale its fragrance. It was Woldemar that stood there beside 
her, erect also, and much taller than she, so that her shapely 
head was turned upward to meet his eye. An eager look was 
in her own eyes, — a pleading, expectant look, and a winning 


smile slightly parted her rosy lips. Was tlie young lawyer 
much to blame tliat he forgot Cahokia, Arsenal Island and 
steamboat, in gazing upon those expressive brown eyes and 
distractingly tempting lips ? Or that he was deaf to the in- 
structive discourse of the sage merchant, straining his ears, 
instead, to catch, if possible, the import of the conversation 
carried on by those two ? 

What he heard, when he did hear, was commonplace enough. 
It was Woldemar that spoke: "Yes; it reminds me of the 
fragrant almond." Not much surely; and when he had said 
these words, Pauline geiith' released the slender twig, casting 
upon the shrul) a last loving glance as it swung into position. 
When she turned her face in the direction where Leslie was 
standing, she saw the gaze of intense admiration with which 
he regarded her. She blushed. It was a weakness of hers to 
blush. Her words to Woldemar could not have been of much 
imi)ortance to elicit the reply he had heard ; but commonplace 
as was that reply, it had startled him. For Woldemar had 
accompanied his words with an expression of tenderness that 
Avas an entirely new feature to the eyes of Leslie, and which, 
together with the smile that brightened his countenance as he 
looked at his fair companion, gave it a dangerous charm. At 
least Leslie thought so ; and he acted promptly on the spur of 
this thought., 

" Pardon me. Miss Waldhorst," he said, loud enough to 
compel the lady's attention; "is this shrub, on which you 
lavish such tender regard, one of the triumphs of your genius 
for gardening, of which 3'Our uncle is so proud? " And quit- 
ting the side of his host with an apologetic bow, he joined the 
young lady. 

"This shrub, sir," she said in playful banter, "is the 
triumph of no one's genius, unless it be the waterfng pot. It 
is the result of Uncle Auf dem Busch's liberality in allowing 
me to order an unlimited suppl}^ of these useful exotics, with- 
out which I don't know what we should have done the first 
year or two with our patch of a garden. This rose-tree is a 


gem, repaying the small attention it requires with a profusion 
of beautiful and delightfully fragrant blossoms ; its graceful, 
tree-like shape, with its showy leaves, at the same time, 
furnishing valuable material for the arrangement of ornamental 

At the first words addressed by the young lady to Leslie, 
Woldemar bowed and left them, joining his father; and the 
young lawyer had the satisfaction of witnessing, once more, 
the scowl on Woldemar's face, which Leslie had come to 
regard as habitual to it. 

" Rose-tree, did you say? " the rejoicing young man in- 
quired with a deferential show of curiosity. " I thought it 
was an oleander." 

"So it is," Miss Waldhorst responded. " But I like pet 
names, — suggestive ones, you know. And having heard the 
professor one day explain that oleander is a name corrupted 
from two words of some dead language, meaning rose and 
tree — coming to think of it, now, he said bay — I pre- 
ferred the name rose-tree, as being prettier, and very 
appropriate. Do you think so? " 

"Beautifully aj^propriate, indeed!" Leslie replied with 
warmth. Then, turning his hungry eyes reluctantly from the 
bright face before him to the oleander, and thence toward the 
flower beds and bosquets surrounding them, he added : " The 
same unerring taste inspired this pet name — so suggestive of 
beauty and strength — that created this delightful little para- 
dise. I thoroughly agree with Mr. Auf dera Busch in his 
appreciation of your talent — genius, I ought to say — for 
landscape gardening. This, indeed, is Art in high perfection." 

Miss Waldhorst flushed. Not, as Leslie for a moment im- 
agined, with pleasure. The smile faded from her lips as she 
answered: "Please, Mr. May, spare me the humiliation of 
such remarks. I am happy to think that uncle takes pleasure 
in n\y way of arranging his flower beds and grouping the 
shrubbery. I make no pretension to art, or landscaping." 

" Forgive me, Miss Waldhorst," spoke Leslie, in deferential 


earnestness. " Not for what I said, which should not offend 
you, but for having — unintentionally, you will believe me, I 
hope, — seemed to flatter you, and thus to wound your sen- 
sitiveness. I plead the absolute sincerity of my words in 
extenuation of my fault." 

" Surely, sir," said the young lady, " your remark becomes 
offensive by repetition, in pushing me to disclaim modesty." 

"Ah, how can you help disclaiming modesty! " Leslie ex- 
claimed, in a tone of sincerity and earnestness not usual to 
him. "True modesty cannot possibh^ be conscious of itsdf. 
I am a poor hand to quote poetry ; but I remember a line, 
written by a gentleman whose acquaintance I made in Venice, 
expressing so exactly and forcibly what I mean, that you will 
pardon me for quoting : 

" Never can modesty, e'en in a dream, proclaim her own 
nature ; 
With but the word she is lost, fled at the sound of her 

Just as Leslie was reciting the lines, Professor Rauheufels 
approached with Victor, and both stopped to listen. Victor 
seemed pleased l)ut the professor with a smile of conscious 
superiority, remarked: "It seems to me as if I had heard 
these lines before. Where did you get them? " 

Leslie hardly deigned to conceal his chagrin at the interrup- 
tion, and it imparted some asj^erity to his voice, as he promptly 
responded, placing himself squarely in front of the professor 
in doing so: "From the author himself, as I have just 
informed Miss Waldhorst I ' ' 

" I know the author well," the other continued, serenely 
ignoring Leslie's impatience. "He is a pupil of mine in the 
philosophy class, and a man of considerable ability. He 
would surely make his mark in the world, if he could rid him- 
self of his unfortunate hallucination of being a poet." 

" Well, I think I should share this hallucination, if it be 
one," observed Victor, who was evidently impressed with the 


beauty of tlie epigram recited by Leslie. "To me the senti- 
ment expressed seems wonderfully true, and the language terse 
and apt." 

"Perhaps so," Rauhenfels assented. "But that does not 
make it poetical. Why, he himself expresses the same thought 
in a much more poetical form. Something like this: 

" ' Modesty's speech is always a silence that tells she is 
modest ; 
Never declaring her own, has she the sweetest of praise.' 

But, not content to let the distich remain in this rather neat 
shape, he must needs inform us, that 

" ' Modesty, sweetest of maidens, is not aware she is modest; 
When she kuoweth herself, then she is never herself.' 

Observe, he still has an image — the maiden — to symbolize 
modesty. But then, afraid, apparently, Ihat even in this form 
his wisdom may not sufficiently impress itself upon his reader, 
he proceeds to give the utterly a]>stract statement to which 
Miss Waldhorst has just been treated." 

Had Leslie's desire to be alone with Miss Waldhorst Iteen 
less urgent, the announcement, that the author was a member 
of the professor's class, might have elicited further inquiries. 
But just now the one thought uppermost in his mind was 
Pauline Waldhorst. It was to his infinite satisfaction, there- 
fore, that Victor, evidently bent on learning more of the poet, 
drew the professor away with him to prosecute his ques- 

As soon as the others were fairly beyond ear-shot, he eagerly 
turned to the young lady, saying " You have not yet given me 
the assurance of your forgiveness, Miss Waldhorst." 

" For what? " she asked. 

" For the awkwardness, with which I seem to have offended 
you . ' ' 

" Are you quite sure, Mr, May, that I have nothing to for- 
give but awkwardness? " The words were spoken with such 


demure simijlicity, that Leslie was really at a loss to under- 
standTier drift. 

But, "Indeed, if you will believe me, nothing else! " he 
answered without hesitation. " And surely you will not 
punish me for what was really not a fault, but truly my 

" Punish you ? " 

" Cruelly, by not forgiving." 

" Sir," she said, a faint smile working its way to her lips, 
'■ I fear that what you call your misfortune is really a grave 
fault, — the sad disposition to tease. But I must not shame 
your poet-friend by assuming a modesty which would prove 
me immodest. Let me assure you, that I have nothing to for- 
give on the score of awkwardness. And it will l)e my turn to 
sue for forgiveness, if — " 

" If? " 

The smile on the young lady's face brightened and took on 
such arch roguishness in the fresh young face, as to set the 
beholder wild with delight. " If you can establish your sin- 
cerity," she continued. " Are you willing to submit yourself 
to an unerring test ? " 

"Nothing M'ould make me more happy! " he replied with 

"Then tell me: Have you ever seen the plant commonly 
called Touch-me-not? " 

"Only in the shape of a prudish old maid," he replied 

" Or a Mimosa? " 

" The name I have heard ; but I cannot associate it with a 

" Itis well. Follow me." 

She led the way to a secluded part of the garden, anil 
stopped in front of some potted plants resembling, Leslie 
thought, tiny Acacia or Locust trees, carefully protected 
against rough northerly winds. " Now sir," she said, speak- 
ing in a solemn whisper, and endeavoring to compose her 


features into owl-like gravity, in exquisite contrast with her 
mirth-beaming eyes, " you are in the presence of the never- 
erring oracle Mimosa Sensitiva. Kneel to it, as if you meant 
to worship. You may spread your handkerchief to protect 
your knees against the dust. Place your right hand over your 
breast where you are supposed to have a heart. Then, look- 
ing me full in the face, repeat the words you wish me to 
believe ; and in token of your sincerity, bow to the oracle and 
press its topmost twig with your left hand to your lips. If 
you prevaricate, it will droop in shame and sorrow on your 
I^olluting touch." 

Leslie did as he was bidden. It was clear enough that she 
was playing a trick on him that would, in the end, result in 
his being laughed at ; but was it not a delightful thing to kneel 
there, almost as if he were kneeling to herself, and to obey 
literally her injunction to look her full in the face? This lat- 
ter part of the program he protracted to a shameful extent ; 
twice had he spoken the words ; and still his eyes were fixed 
in eager gaze upon the lovely priestess of the oracle, until, 
with imperious gesture, neck and face suffused with crimson 
visible even in the darkening twilight, she exclaimed with 
solemn voice: "The oracle, sir, demands your homage! 
Remember your promise ! ' ' 

Then, conscious of the rudeness of further delay, he boldly 
grasped the topmost branch of the little plant and pressed it to 
his lips. His curiosity was on tip- toe to see what would 
come. The effect startled him. Although expecting some 
such issue, he was surprised to see the little plant close up its 
leaves pair by pair, with deliberate regularitj^ then bend down 
its twigs and shrivel up and die, apparently, within a few 

The maiden evidently enjoyed his perplexity and indulged in 
a peal of triumphant, though musical laughter. " How now, 
Sir Knight! " she cried. " What am I to think of your 
protestations of sincerity? " 

" I suppose I ought to shrivel up and sink into the ground, 


as that idiotic thing is trying to do," he rephed, leaping to 
his feet, and joining in the laugh as loudly, if not as merrily, 
as Pauline. "But tell me," he asked her, " must this poor 
Mimosa die in consequence of my iniquities? Is the stab 
which its oracular sentence has inflicted on my reputation, like 
the sting of a vengeful bee, to cost its life? " 

"Oh, no, Mr. May," said the lady, in soft, reassuring 
tones, delightfully sympathetic in Leslie's ears, notwithstand- 
ing the tinge of irony audible in the voice, "it is to be hoped 
that the touch of your lips is not quite so venomous as that. I 
venture to prophesy that in a few minutes it will unfold its pretty 
leaves, straighten out its drooping limbs and, w^holly resusci- 
tated, rejoice with me that you have so bravely passed through 
the ordeal." 

"Passed through the ordeal! " the astonished young man 
repeated. " It has disgraced me. It has tarnished my honor. 
Surely, Miss Waldhorst, you do not rejoice over the foul spot 
your oracle has cast over my fair name ? ' ' 

" Why, Mr. May! " the young girl exclaimed, astonished 
in her turn, but smiling pleasantly. " Do you not see the 
point? The Mimosa would have been as sensitive to my touch 
as to yours. Its oracular virtue consists in testing your cour- 
age, so long as you are unacquainted with its peculiar charac- 
teristic. If you had not been honest, you would not have 
dared to touch the plant. So you see that the oracle has hon- 
orably acquitted you, and it now becomes me to ask j^our 
pardon. Are you generous enough to grant it? " 

He snatched up the hand and carried it to his lips. "I 
thank you for the delightful lesson you have given me, most 
wise and beautiful priestess! " he said, and would have re- 
tained the dainty fingers that sent thrills of ecstacy to his 
heart, but that the heavy footfalls of Mr. Auf dem Busch 
Senior announced his approach. 

"It is already late to be in the open air," he said. " We 
will go in. The others are already in the parlor. We will 
have some music, if Mr. May likes." 


Leslie was about to answer in the stereotype phrases used 
on such occasions, but the old gentleman continued : 

" I heard laughing. Has Pauline played her Touch-me-not 

The question elicited no audible answer. Pauline, who had, 
indeed, often amused herself by showing off the peculiar 
quality of the Sensitive plant, was, for the first time in her 
experience, anxiously considering what effect the experiment 
might have produced upon her visitor. He had called her a 
?c/.sp, as well as a beautiful, priestess. Was he mocking her? 

Leslie, on his part, was puzzled to decide, whether he was 
pleased or otherwise to learn, from the old gentleman's ques- 
tion, that she had played this trick before. The exultant 
consciousness of success, which she took no pains to conceal, 
might have assisted him in finding an answer to his doubt. 

The i)arlor by lamplight (gas had not yet been introduced 
to this part of tlie suburbs) presented quite a cheerful appear- 
ance. Its furniture had evidently been selected with an eye 
to comfort and ease rather than elegance. The chairs and 
sofas liad a look almut them as if they would enjoy being sat 
upon. The table in the center was large and solid enougli to 
hold books, writing materials, or papers for the temporary 
accommodation of those inclined to so use it. One article of 
ecpupment alone bore evidence of a disregard of cost in the 
lifting up of the room : An elegant, very line piano (a Chick- 
ering Grand, the dealer liad called it). This liad been })ur- 
chased by the merchant on the suggestion of Pauline's nuisic 
teacher, that her [)rogrcss in the art warranted a l)etter instru- 
ment than tlie one that had been used in the Auf dem liusch 
family from time innnemorial. 

When they entered, Pauline, whispering a few words into the 
ear of Mrs. Auf dem Busch, immediately disappeared into 
another room, to tlie visible displeasure of Auf dem Busch, 
Senior. Leslie, with a newly formed determination to make 
his peace with Auf dem Busch Junior, appropriated the vacant 
chair at his side and opened conversation. "I take it for 


granted," he said, " that you have seen, during your sojourn 
in Europe, nuuiy line residences and beautiful private parks, 
so that naturally your judgment is more critical than that of 
us simple Americans. But is not this villa of your father's a 
bright gem in its way ? Particularly when viewed in contrast 
with the showy, but sometimes utterly tasteless houses and 
yards affected by our men of — money? " 

"Professor Rauhenfels has told father many times, that 
ours is a very line place," Woldemar made answer, with cool 

" Oh, the professor I " exclaimed Leslie, the slightest touch 
of a sneer in his voice. " I don't take much stock in his 
opinions. Except," he added with a low laugh, " on cats' 
tails. Ah, what a center shot 3^ou gave him at the table about 
his Hegelian philosophy." 

The professor and Victor were engaged in an animated dis- 
cussion sufficiently far off from Woldemar and Leslie, to be 
out of ordinary hearing distance. Woldemar, casting a look 
in their direction, replied: " He deserved it. I wish I could 
tell him what 1 think of him openly ; but father has taken such 
a liking to him that he would be deeply offended if I did not 
keep on good terms with him. And see there; even Victor, 
who up to this time has shared my antipathy to this man, is 
now charmed by him, like a helpless bird by a snake ! I gave 
Victor credit for better taste and sterner self-respect." 

" n you knew Victor as well as I do," Leslie replied in a 
confidential whisper, "you would not be surprised to see 
him take up with any man who has a positive opinion on any 
matter, and is not backward in asserting himself. And our 
friend Rauhenfels is not overly bashful, — do you think? " 

Leslie had touched Woldemar in the right place, if he was 
really in earnest about propitiating his young host. " I should 
think not I " he replied, whispering also, but with some em- 
phasis. " He is as crammed full of conceit as a two bushel 
sack with three bushels of chaff in it." 

Having said these words, he seemed to regret them, or to 



resent, perhaps, the familiarity in which the young lawyer had 
indulged towards him. For he relapsed at once into uncon- 
genial silence. But Leslie was not to be put off so easily. He 
continued the conversation with that winning candor and frank- 
ness that had so enslaved Victor, and against which not even 
Woldemar was proof, now that it suited Leslie's purpose to 
conciliate his rival. (For Leslie had never for a moment 
(loul)ted that Woldemar sustained the relation, in very dicta- 
torial manner, of lover to Miss Waldhorst.) He succeeded in 
melting away the icy reserve of the young merchant, and was 
making brave headway in gaining his good will, when the old 
gentleman, frowning at the protracted absence of Pauline, 
called upon his son to entertain the company with music, thus 
putting an end to the conversation with Leslie. 

" If ladies find not the time to do honor to honored guests, 
we will teach them a lesson in what is polite," said the old 
merchant. " Woldemar, play you something for Mr. May 
and the professor, what they will like." 

"What irill the gentlemen like?" said Woldemar, with a 
smile. Without waiting for an answer, however, he continued : 
" Perhaps Mr. May would like a real German Folk-song? " 

Of course, Leslie would be very much pleased with a Ger- 
man Folk-song, and the professor said that no music could be 
better. So Woldemar sat down to the piano, and sang, in a 
resonant, pleasing voice, the song of " Heiden Roslein," 
accompanying himself on the piano. Before he had concluded 
the first line, Mrs. Auf dem Busch joined her son, singing the 
melody in a clear soprano ; then the husband followed with his 
deep bass, and Victor completed the quartette. When the 
refrain was reached, several of the younger members of the 
Auf dem Busch family, who had been granted the privilege of 
the parlor on this occasion, joined in the chorus, and all the 
singers united, with evident enjoyment and heart}^ good will, 
in swelling the melodious harmony of the chorus refrain 

" Koslein, Koslein, Koslein roth, 
Roslein auf der Heiden ! ' ' 


During- the singing of the second verse Leslie's enjoyment 
was heightened b}- the re-entrance of Miss Waldhorst, who 
joined in the soprano with her own bell-like voice, thus 
enabling Woldemar to reinforce the bass, adding percei^tibly 
to the musical effect. 

" Would you not explain to me the burden of the song? " 
Leslie asked the young lady when the singing ceased. " Every 
one seems to enjoy so thoroughly the meaning of the words, 
that I am sure it would add to my own enjoyment of the 
glorious music, if I understood the import of the words." 

" It is all about a little wild rose," Pauline explained blush- 
ing without conscious cause. " I have a translation of the 
song somewhere, which I will show you if you wish." 

," And sing it to me? " he added eagerly. " I am sure it 
will be a rare treat to me to hear you sing this song in 

" Certainly, if it will please you," she assented, selecting 
one of the books on the music stand, and placing it open on 
the rack of the piano. " Woldemar, will you ha^e the kind- 
ness to accompany me ? ' ' 

For answer the young merchant at once intonated the pre- 
lude, its softness contrasting, though not unpleasantly, with 
the more powerful chords of his previous rendition. Perfect 
silence pervaded the room as she sang. She had a sweet, 
clear voice, of volume sufficient to fill the parlor. No one 
joined in the chorus of the refrain. Even the youngsters, 
eager enough to take part in musical performance, instinctively 
restrained themselves, and thus avoided marring the effect of 
Pauline's pure voice, as it swelled into a ringing fortissimo 
just before the conclusion. 

Leslie was deeplv impressed. " How touchingly beauti- 
ful! " he exclaimed, as he caught his breath, after the 
singing had ceased. '' What exquisite tenderness in the 
sentiment ! ' ' 

"Exquisite fiddlesticks!" the professor exclaimed, ap- 
proaching the piano, and taking from it the book from which 


Pauline had sung. " Miss Waldhorst has enchanted us all 
with the wonderful sweetness of her singing. But try to read 
the words without the insinuating charm of her voice, and you 
will liud love-sick sentimentality instead of sentiment — un- 
meaning, flat twaddle, instead of the spirited, sparkling little 
gem of Gothe, so touching in its sim[)licity, so genuine in its 
metaphor. This translation sounds like the lackadaisical 
gushing of a sentimental school-girl over a valentine, with a 
vignette of two hearts transpierced b}' Cupid's arrow." 

" What is the matter with this i)oetry':' " inquired Victor, 
who had been rudely shocked by the professor's discordant 
remarks. " You cannot demand in a translation the force 
and beauty of the original. And I look upon this poem as a 
very creditable imitation in Englisli of the poet's idea. A 
literal rendering of the w^ords would necessarily have destroyed 
the rhythm and rhyme, without improving the mere content." 

" Decidedly not! " sneered the professor. 

Leslie was incensed at wliat he deemed a wanton piece of 
effrontery to the whole company. " I learn with astonish- 
ment," he said, speaking in a tone of such withering contempt 
as Victor had never — save on one unforgotten occasion — 
heard his friend use, " that the gentleman is as much at home 
on the subject of poetry, as on that of metaphysics, or carving 
grouse. Perhaps he possesses the ' divine afflatus ' in a higher 
degree than my unfortunate Venetian friend, or the author of 
the P^nglish version of the ' Wild Rose.' In which case it would 
be uncharitable to suppose that his remarks are dictated rather 
by envy, than strict regard for poetical truth," 

The professor's eyes flashed, and the corners of his mouth 
assumed a decided downward tendency. But the torrent of 
invective, anticipated by those who knew him well, was stayed 
yet a while by the remarks of Woldemar, who, deeming him- 
self an ardent admirer of Gothe, could not permit this oppor- 
tunity to pass by without breaking a lance in defense of his 
favorite poet, and at the same time assist in the discomfiture of 
Professor Rauhenfels. 


"The professor is right in one respect," he said; "the 
lines of Gothe are certainly more spirited, — more spicy, if I 
may use that expression, than this translation. How could it 
be otherwise ? I agree with Cousin Victor, that no transla- 
tion can ever equal an original poem, unless, as I believe I 
heard the professor say, the translator surpass the author in 

" As Shakespear and (4othe himself did in reproducing the 
works of those whom they glorilied ! " the professor mter- 

" Then Mr. Rauheufels has it in his power to vindicate 
Gothe's Heidenroslein," young Auf dem Busch continued, 
" and to prove himself the peer of Shakespear, by reproducing 
"The Heideu Roslein " in English, in a version not so flat 
and wishy-washy as he characterizes the one we have heard." 

" Gentlemen," the professor said, pouring out his words 
with iierce defiance, " do you mean to deny a freeman the 
right to speak his conviction? You flare up at my remarks, 
as if they were in disparagement of your own merits. Apply 
them so, if you feel the smart of the lash. As to the diflfl- 
culty of translating a poem from one language into another, 
that is a remark that has been made before, and the wisdom 
of the company here assembled will hardly mark an epoch in 
the history of literature. Nor is there any terror for me in 
your sneering challenge. No one is more sincere in his admi- 
ration of Gothe than myself ; and let me say, with deference to 
the present company, that the men who rise to an adequate 
appreciation of his greatness, are exceedingly rare. I do not 
claim to be a poet ; but if I could not do better in the transla- 
tion of a poem than this author has done, I would not offer to 
let other people get sight of my productions." 

Auf dem Busch listened to the quarrel with amusement at 
first; but when the professor's vehement speech threatened 
unpleasant consequences, he essayed to pour oil on the troubled 
waters. Having unbounded confidence in the ability of his 
friend to make good any of his assertions, he interrupted the 


speaker with a proposition. " 1 have heard say, that Ameri- 
cans try pudding by eating it. Suppose now, you eat the 
pudding, and tell us in English, what Gothe says in the Heiden 

Without another word, the professor drew forth a scrap of 
paper and a pencil, and sat down, staring at the ceiling, as if 
the poem he was to translate was written there. 

Meanwhile Leslie turned to Miss Waldhorst and asked her 
opinion on the professor's judgment, volunteering the infor- 
mation that he, for his part, deemed the poem he had heard 
her sing with such exquisite pathos, to be very line. 

"I — I must say," the maiden answered with some hesita- 
tion, "that I like the German much better. The tenor is, 
that a wanton boy saw a rose, — a little rose, you know, a 
diminutive for which sounds well in German, but it would 
be absurd to say ' roselet ' in a poem — and, boy-like, he 
wanted to break it for himself, — pluck it I mean. There is a 
line, wiiich I am sure that even the professor cannot put into 
P^nglish with the beautiful effect of the original — 

' War so jung, so morgenschon ! ' 

— you cannot say that in ILnglish. And it is so touching 
when the little rose defends herself with her thorns, and the 
wild boy, — not minding them at all — plucks her from her 
parent stem, and the rose can do nothing but suffer it. And I 
cannot describe to you the pathos and tenderness of the 
refrain, simple as the words are — 

' Eoslein, Koslein, Kosleiu Roth, 
Rosleiu auf der Heiden ! ' 

But see : the professor seems to have finished his task. I am 
eager to know what he has made of it." 

The professor read over wdiat he had written, and, turning 
to Miss Waldhorst, said, loud enough to be heard by all pres- 
ent: "• Here is, in such crude form as my limited time enabled 
me to employ, mij version of the Heidenrosleiu in English 




words. Will you honor iiie, Miss Walclhorst, by singing it to 
the company with tliat grace and pathos, whicli Avill nialvc it 
tolerable to them ? ' ' 

" Let us hear the words tirst! " cried Victor, " that we may 
have them clearly before us. The professor himself said that 
music bribes the ear." 

" You shall be fair," proclaimed the host. " If the pro- 
fessor likes first to have the singing, Pauline shall first 

This decree was not demurred to, and the young lady took 
the paper handed to her. But the professor's chirography 
was not as legible as print, and she had to call the writer to 
her assistance to decipher it. A flush of pleasurable excite- 
ment was visible in her face, as, Leslie closely watching her, 
she placed the paper on the rack, and sat down to sing, play- 
ing the accompaniment this time herself. Everyone, of 
course, listened with silent attention. 

"■ Youth espied a rosebud rare, 

Kosebud on the heather ; 
Dew-gemmed in the morning air, — 
And he yearned the rose so fair 

From its stalk to gather. 
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red. 

Rosebud on the heather. 

He would pluck the rosebud rare. 

Rosebud on the heather ! 
Rosebud cried : My thorns bewai'e I 
I will prick thee, if thou dare 

From my stalk me gather. 
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red. 

Rosebud on the heather. 

Wantonly he seized his prize, 
Rosebud on the heather ! 
Vain was struggling, vain were sighs, — 


Boldly plucked lie, spite all cries, 

Rose and thorns together. 
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red, 

Rosebud on the heather ! " 

' ' Bravo ! ' ' exclaimed the old gentleman , when the song was 
iiuished. " And I will say ' brava I ' too, because I know not 
if the writing is liner or the singing of Pauline. Ah, the pro- 
fessor was wise, when he wished Pauline to first sing his song. 
But now. Professor, you will read it? Victor and Mr. May 
shall now judge, if it be good poetry." 

"I know one thing already," said Victor; "and that is, 
that the music sounds better with these words than with the 
others. That may be, because the professor gives us the 
same image which we get from the original." 

The professor seemed much pleased with Victor's remark. 
But a recognition that he might have prized more highly came 
from the young lady, Avho extended to him her hand and said, 
her face beaming with delight, " I thank you, Professor 
Rauhenfels, for having made Gothe speak to me in English. 
This is the ' Heidenroslein ' as he pictured her, — to me, at 
least. Will you believe me, when I tell you, that your rendi- 
tion has put the pathos into the refrain, which makes it so 
touching in the original, and which I entirely missed in the 
other translation, although the words are very much alike? It 
suggests admiration, tender solicitude, and finally sympathetic 
regret for the fate of the poor rose." 

" And yet," was the professor's answer, "it is the fate of 
roses to be plucked." 

" Therein seems to lie the touching power of this poem," 
said Pauline. " We feel, that the rare rose is destined to be 
appropriated by the hand that is not afraid of her thorns. 
And there is no escape from destiny- ! ' ' 

" Yours is a genuinely poetic instinct, Miss Waldhorst," 
the professor exclaimed, in undisguised admiration. "You 
have caught the poet at his trick. How is it that Gothe him- 


self pats it ? — He ' calls the particular to its universal con- 
secration ! ' And Heine, less philosophically, but more 
popularly, perhaps, suggests, that 

"' It is an old, old story. 
And yet forever new ; 
And he, to whom' it happens. 
His heart doth break in two.' " 

There was more music after this, and animated conversation, 
to which they all contributed their due share. Miss Waldhorst's 
vivacity was a surprise to both Woldemar and Leslie, with 
very different effect on each. When the guests had taken their 
departure, at a late hour in the night, the one was overjoyed, 
the other dismayed, by the cordial and pressing invitation 
extended by the host to the young lawyer to repeat his visit 
at an early day, with the evidently sincere assurance, that he 
would be always welcome. 

Perhaps the dismay would have been deeper, if Woldemar 
had caught the look of eager expectation with which Pauline 
regarded the guest until his answer came, or the vivid flush 
that suffused her face wlien she shook hands with him on 
saying good-night. 



.OLDEMAR AUF DEM BUSCH'S statement that 
Victor was, like a helpless bird, under the charm of 
Professor Rauhenfels, was not without an element of 
truth, though in a manner and for a reason better compre- 
hended by Leslie. Not attracted toward the stranger himself, 
he naturally ascribed the influence he had gained over his 
uncle to successful wiles of sycophantic blandiloquence. The 
antipathy thus experienced grew into positive dislike by 
reason of the stranger's offensive habit of announcing his 
opinions, often unasked, on any and all subjects that hap- 
pened to be under discussion in his presence, — announced, 
too, with an exasperating air of infallibility, and many times 
in direct contradiction of Victor's sincerely cherished convic- 

The consequence w^as that Victor shunned him whenever he 
could do so without offending his uncle. But Victor was a 
sincere searcher after truth, and battled against error when- 
ever he recognized it as such, though at the cost of the merci- 
less demolition of fondly hugged illusions. Permitting himself, 
one day, to be betrayed into a fierce wrangle with the profes- 
sor on a topic upon which he entertained very positive views 
in direct opposition to those of the professor, the latter 
scattered Victor's arguments like empty chaff before the 
wind. Victor felt deeply humiliated ; but however hotly he 
resented his discomfiture, he could not but admit the force of 
his adversary's logic, and bow, with what grace he might, to 
the power of a superior intellect. After this, again and again, 
he engaged in fierce debate with the professor, on such topics 


of science, religion, and particularly politics, on which he had 
formed decided opinions, suffering defeat after defeat. Al- 
though many of his jDet theories were cruelly shaken to pieces 
in the hot contentions, his impressible nature, ever ready to 
accept what he recognized to be true, just or real, was gradu- 
ally drawn towards his opponent, his distrust melted away, 
and his antipathy changed to wonderment and awe before the 
towering intellect of this marvelous man. 

Such was the magic spell that fascinated Victor's mind. Its 
influence became so great, that Victor ceased to feel humilia- 
tion when the professor made light of convictions that had 
been sacred to the young man, as the embodiment of truth to 
him. He instinctively felt that the mind of Professor Rauhen- 
fels condescended from its own loftier level to cope with a 
weaker intellect, and took comfort in the belief, that he was 
himself thereby elevated to a higher plane. His opponent, 
in some way impressed him with the thought, that aspiration 
after truth was the truly divine afflatus, — that quality of 
human nature, implanted by the Creator, through Avhich re- 
demption from error and sin is accomplished — the possession 
of which he felt to be a common trait between the professor 
and himself. 

His editorial duties left him little leisure to devote to the 
study of poets, or the laborious task of wrestling with the 
abstruse reasoning of Hegel. He was nominally the assistant, 
in fact however the principal, editor of the Beobachter im 
Thai, a daily newspaper published in the German language. 
It were, perhaps, nearer the truth to say that he was its only 
editor. For Mr. Becker, whose name figured at the head of 
the paper as " Proprietor and Editor in Chief," was a gentle- 
man of Pennsj'lvanian ancestry, whose acquaintance with the 
German language and literature extended no further than to 
the ixitois known as " Pennsylvanisch Deutseh," which he 
spoke with the liberal admixture of Americanisms idiomatic 
to the " Pfjilzer " settlers in Pennsylvania. Victor might well, 
therefore, be held responsible for the political and literary 


coloring of the paijer edited by bini, though only as " assist- 

To infer, from this condition of things, that Motor was 
sovereign ruler in the sanctum, would be pardonable, but 
ncA^ertheless gross error. P'or Mr. Becker, whatever was his 
proficiency in the other two "R's," had certainly mastered 
the elements of his " 'rithmetic." He knew how to put two 
and two together for a purpose. Now his purpose, besides 
enjoying his glass of beer (or several glasses of beer) and 
game of Solo in the company of boon companions, was the 
accumulation of dollars. He reasoned that his hoard of dol- 
lars would increase with the pojnilarity of his i^aper. And to 
secure popularity, the paper must advocate the views held by 
the public, so he argued. Now the views of the public came 
to him through the medium of his friends of the saloons ; and 
these were not always in accord with the views entertained by 
Victor. There was, in consequence, many a dispute between 
the d(illar loving proprietor, and his, in this respect, at least, 
impractical editor. On the question of the enforcement of the 
Sunday law, for instance, there were heated discussions in the 
sanctum. And so with regard to the kindred subjects of 
Temperance, or Total Abstinence Societies, on which their 
views differed rather widely. Finally, a peace was patched 
uji l)etween them which, although its terms satisfied neither 
party, yet enal)led them to get along without hostility. But 
then came another topic that began to agitate public opinion, 
especially in the circles in which the Beobarhter had its 
readers and subscribers, and which threatened to become more 
troublesome than any of their previous differences, because 
Victor stood firm and was intractable on all questions involv- 
ing his conviction. 

Leslie Ma^^ was a frequent and always welcome visitor at 
the sanctum about this time. Welcome not only to Victor. 
For Mr. Becker legarded the young lawyer as a man of rising 
importance, to be reckoned among whose friends was an honor, 
and might prove of advantage to the Beohar/iter. Mr. Becker's 


friends looked ii[)oii the youug man as tlie champion of per- 
sonal liberty and of the freedom of conscience, — that Inightest 
oem in the escutcheon of the laud of their adoption — who 
had vindicated the law by turning it against itself. This arose 
out of the fact, that Leslie had succeeded in breaking down 
the prosecution of the Sunday cases to the surprise and envy of 
his brother lawyers ; to the admiration and gratitude of most 
citizens of Teutonic origin, who hailed his success as the 
Triumph of Truth and Freedom ; and to the no small chagrin 
of politicians of the Know-Nothing stripe. To Victor, the 
result had been no surprise ; but his joy was none the less ex- 
ultant when Leslie, in the first flush of his triumph, himself 
informed him of his success. A romantic incident connected 
Vv'ith the trial not only added greatly to the young lawyer's 
personal interest therein, but led Victor, when, on a subse- 
quent occasion he learned the particulars, to see in it the hand 
of Providence, dealing out retribution and poetic justice. 

For the prosecuting witness, on whose testimony the prose- 
(tuting attorney relied to prove the facts of the case, was none 
other than Victor's old enemy, the whilom overseer Jeffreys, 
to demolish whose credibility as a witness had been an easy 
and most delightful task to the young lawyer. Of course, 
neither Mr. Becker nor his friends knew of this circumstance, 
and all the more admired the astute man of law, in tearing off 
the mask of sanctimonious hypocrisy from the informer. 
Victor had not become acquainted with this feature of the 
trial until afterward ; but the success of his friend was in itself 
so joyful an event, that in the exuberance of his spirits he 
was not content to talk the matter over in his sanctum, but 
3'earued to impart the great news to sympathizing friends, and 
in this mood proposed a visit to the villa. The readiness of 
his friend in accepting the invitation pleased him much, and he 
found it quite natural that Leslie should, on this occasion, be 
the lion of the evening, and monopolize the lion's share of con- 
versation at Busch Bluff. The cordial words of praise that 
fell from his uncle's lips, the profuse and somewhat exagger- 


ated compliments paid liim by Cousin Woldemar and even the 
elegant homage that lay in his sister's eager attention and 
sparkling eyes were so entirely in accordance with his own 
feelings, that he saw nothing in them but the well merited 
tribute due to superior ability. 

The renewed intimacy between the two young men, however 
welcome to both, was not wholly conducive to harmony in the 
sanctum. Unconsciously to the editor, not unnoticed by 
others, the Beohachter grew more em[)hatic in its advocacy of 
the particular shade of Democratic doctrine that had been 
instilled in liis mind by the teachings of Colonel May. These 
doctrines were advocated by Leslie with a fervor which aston- 
ished Victor, Avho had never noticed enthusiasm as a trait in 
his friend's character; just now, however, he was certainly 
enthusiastic on the subject of State Sovereignty, going to an 
extreme in this direction to which Victor could not follow. 
But his own views became more jDOsitive, his editorials more 
decided, in suj)port of the constitution. He saw in the strict 
construction of its provisions, by which the sovereignty of the 
nation was divided between the several States on the one hand 
and the Federal government on the other, the safeguard to ward 
off the danger that, in the minds of many, threatened to shake 
the government to pieces. Loyalty to the constitution for- 
bade warfare against slavery by the general government, be- 
cause it vested all power over slavery in the States. But the 
majority of the readers of the Beohachter were not disposed to 
draw this distinction, and Mr. Becker insisted on more vigor- 
ous articles against slavery. Victor responded by a zealous 
advocacy of the Emancipation Societies then springing up in 
various of the slave States. This course satisfied some of the 
city subscribers ; but as the Beohachter circulated quite 
extensively in the surrounding fi'ee States, at least in its weekly 
edition, and as the P'ugitive Slave law was beginning, under the 
interpretation it had received by the Federal courts, to arouse 
serious opposition in these States, Mr. Becker was not satisfied, 
but demanded outspoken radical anti-slavery editorials. 


The proi)rietor of the paper was not equal to the editor in 
carrying on a dispute on the basis of legitimate argument, to 
be decided by common sense or reason. Victor had not 
hitherto found it difficult to avoid a direct surrender of his 
own convictions in conducting the paper. Even the compro- 
mise on the subject of Sunday laws and temperance agitation 
could not be claimed as a victory by the proprietor. And as 
Mr. Becker's political views accommodated themselves rather 
easily to the demands of temporary expediency, Victor might 
have come off triumphantly in the hot disi^utes that followed 
on the slavery question, but for the impenetrable shield with 
which his opponent's utter inaccessibility to argument armed 
him, when it was his pohcy not to be convinced. The fear of 
losing subscribers was to him an argument more potent than 
any that Victor could bring to bear. It was during one of 
the violent contentions between them, in which the proprie- 
tor's ultimatum followed by a peremptory refusal on the part 
of the editor, was about to produce an immediate rupture be- 
tween the belligerents, that the entrance of Leslie May into 
the sanctum caused, for the moment at least, a suspension of 
hostilities. The excitement of both the disputants was too 
great to be concealed from the visitor, and Mr. Becker him- 
self, to Victor's relief, stated the cause of their quarrel, ap- 
pealing to the young lawyer for aid in bringing the editor to 
his senses. 

Leslie had at that time attained to a popularity, in conse- 
quence of his success in defeating the Sunday-law-cases, — a 
popularity greatest among the very people with whom Mr. 
Becker associated — which commanded the respect of the pro- 
prietor of the BeobacJiter. He also possessed, as Victor so 
well knew, the gift of seductive persuasion which made him 
almost irresistible in carrying his point, when he was in ear- 
nest. And just now he seemed, for a reason not quite appar- 
ent to Victor, to have set his heart on keeping the present 
editor of the Beobachter at his post. But it was no easy task 
even for the diplomatic skill of Leslie May, to pour oil on the 


troubled waters : for Victor was inflexible iu what lie deemed 
a matter of duty, and Mr. Becker stultborn in his zeal to 
please his subscribers. All the efforts of tlie mediator seemed 
in vain, until, in the very nick of time, he advanced a propo- 
sition that set ]K)th the disputants to tliinking. He suggested 
the candidacy of the young editor for the legislature, — a 
proposition that dazed Victor. He saw a hitherto secretly 
clierished am)>ition thrust forth from the innermost recesses of 
his heart into the glaring light of day, and rudely pushing 
him to action liefore the time had come tor which he was wait- 
ing. Yes : It was a dream in which he had fondly indulged. 
He had thirsted for the 'opportunity of distinguishing himself 
as a pu))lic man. Having served as a mem))er of the General 
Asseml)ly might put him in the way of an election to Congress 
and — to meet Nellie May on lier own level. Nellie May! 
The proud lieauty, the worshii)ed idol of his heart, whose 
image liad been newly enthroned therein by the reading of that 
letter intrusted to him by Leslie, and wliich he had not re- 
turned, but — how he blushed, even now, to think of it! — 
appropriated as a priceless treasure! Once again, it seemed, 
fate was hurrying hi)n on to the realization of a plan that lie 
had relegated to the far-off future. Leslie's suggestion must 
be considered, — must, indeed, be answered. 

Was it feasible ? 

The same (question was in the mind of Mr. Becker. The 
prospect of the editor of his paper being a member of the 
legislature was an alluring one to him. It would be a great 
card for the Beobachter. And what was even of greater im- 
j)ortance, it would put his paper in the way of patronage. 
Advertisements, at good, round prices, payable out of the 
government funds, would pour in, at the mere nod of the edi- 
tor, if he possessed any influence at all, — and he knew Mr. 
^N'aldhorst well enough to be easy on that score. He would, he 
was sure, make his mark. Posted, as he was, on the political 
questions of the time, it was not at all improbable that he 
would rise to a position of a leader in the House, or at least 


of his pMily ill tho House. Not quite so sure was lie, whethei-, 
supposing him to have attained inUuence, he would Avield it in 
dispensing patronage to the paper. But then he was perfectly 
sure that he could rely on his editor's loyalty, and trusted to 
his own diplomatic skill in manipulating the legislature, if 
need be, under cover of Victor's popularity. By all means, 
then, let Mr. AValdhorst be elected to the legislature as a 
representative German, from the editorial staff of the Beo- 
hdi-Iitt^r I in TJxiI .' And ^Ir. Becker, too, pondered the question, 
Was it feasil)le ? 

So conlldeut did ^Nlr. May profess to l)e on this j)oint 
that all doul)t vanished from the mind of the proprietor, 
and even Victor found it easier to stifle the misgivings of his 
natural dilfidencc. ^' You see," he explained to the hopeful 
proprietor, '• I am mvself more deeply interested in the matter 
than even you or my friend, Mr. Waldhorst ; for my father is 
a candidate for the United States Senate. It is very impor- 
tant for us to have so staunch a supporter of his party as well 
as so firm a personal friend as 1 know Mr. Waldhorst to be, 
as a member of the General Assembly when the election comes 

Of course I 

Nellie's words in connection with this scheme were graven 
on Victor's memory, and the vivid recollection of her enthusi- 
astic gratitude for the assistance volunteered by Ralph Payton 
fired him with zeal, before which his party loyalty, even his 
profound sense of duty to the country, paled into insignifi- 
cance. His mind, if he had known it, had been made up on 
the first instant, to accept Leslie's suggestion. The prospect 
of being able to contribute by his vote as well as the whole of 
any influence he could bring to bear — whatever that might 
amount to — to the elevation of his friend and benefactor to 
the United States Senate, appealing to his profound sense of 
obligation and gratitude, constituted an overpowering motive, 
sufficient in itself to put to shame all possible doubts and ob- 
jections. And above all these considerations, and at the 




bottom of all his thoughts in connection therewith, there was 
the distant vision of a radiantly beautiful face, irresistibly 
luring him on with its entrancing smile. 

And so Leslie's plan met with cordial approval by the 
powers of the sanctum, and, for the present at least, peace and 
harmony reigned supreme there once more. It was settled 
that neither Mr. Becker nor Victor should put themselves, just 
yet, to any trouble at all, but leave the matter to the manage- 
ment of the young lawyer, Avho promised to secure Victor's 
nomination by the county convention, if he would only 


^VENTS soon proved that Leslie had not j^romised more 

,j, than he was a])le to perform. 

It was a trying time to Democracy. Victor exerted 
his utmost abiUty to vindicate its doctrines in their pristine 
purity. But while he combated political heresies in the columns 
of his paper, Leslie, in a more quiet and unostentatious way, did 
far more effective practical work. It was his creed that politi- 
cal principles are best vindicated by the success of the party 
advocating them : hence he looked upon victory in the elec- 
tions as of greater importance than the discussion of abstract 
principles. To him it was of far less moment that the demo- 
crats should be convinced of the truth and justice of their 
cause, than that democrats should win. He wanted his father 
elected to the United States Senate ; and that could be accom- 
plished only by having a Democratic majority in the General 
Assembly. He therefore bent his energies to swell the num- 
bers of Democratic voters. Nor could his father be elected 
unless he was the choice of a majority of the democrats in the 
legislature ; hence he labored to procure the election of as 
many adherents to the cause re^jresented by his father as jjos- 
sible. That Victor should be one of these, he had, as we have 
seen, early determined ; and as he was perfectly sure of Vic- 
tor's loyalty to whatever cause he espoused, he took more than 
ordinary pains to commit him to the policy advocated by his 
father. It may be inferred from the stand taken by Victor 
against his principal, to what extent he had been successful in 
this resi^ect. Yet he deemed it of great importance to guard, 
as far as possible, against the danger of adverse influence, the 
gi'eatest of which he reckoned Victor's extreme conscien- 



The Democratic County Coiiveutiou liad been called for an 
unusually late day. The leaders of the party, burdened with 
self-imposed resi^onsibility for the welfare of the State, had 
held back with the promulgation of the policy according to 
which the country was to l^e saved from the misrule and cor- 
ruption under which it had suffered at the hands of Know- 
Nothingism without subjecting it to the mercy of the republi- 
cans, who were to be even more feared on account of their 
avowed purpose of subverting the constitution. It had be- 
come obvious that there would l:)e at least three parties opposed 
to one another in the impending contest ; and the Democratic 
leaders had determined to wait until the last possible moment 
before giving out th-e watchword under which Democracy was 
to do battle. The know-nothings made a gallant stand, in- 
scribing upon their banner the magic words that led them to 
victory before. " The Constitution " and " America for 
Americans " was their war cry. The republicans followed, 
calling upon Freemen to vindicate Freedom. Both of these 
parties had nominated tickets for the State and county officers, 
and the construction of a Democratic platform and nomination 
of Democratic candidates could be put off no longer. 

So, finally, the convention was called, and primary meetings 
appointed for the wards of the city and the townships of the 
county, to select delegates. Then came a busy time for central 
committeemen, members of the Democratic clubs, and wire- 
pullers and ward politicians generally. The Democratic news- 
papers were full of stirring appeals to the Democratic voters to 
be on hand in the primary meetings for the purpose of electing 
representatives to the party convention. 

Victor, who had always conscientiously performed a voter's 
duty in this respect, was sincere and earnest in his editorial 
exhortations. He emphasized strongly the great importance 
of primary meetings, as constituting the foundation upon which 
the party organization was built up, the fountain so to speak 
from which all its authority flowed, and in whose hands lay 
the determination of the principles for which the party con- 


tended. He demonstrated that in a government l)used upon 
the will of the majority of the people, the omission to express 
this will in the only authentic and efficient manner in which it 
can be done, is a treasonable dereliction of duty. 

But Victor, on this occasion, did not confine his activity to 
the writing of editorials in his newspaper. His patriotism 
and loyalty to the Democratic party had been perceptibly 
quickened by the prospect of being a candidate himself. He 
called on as many of his personal friends as his time would 
allow, reminding them of their duty to the country. At Busch 
Bluff, the way to Avhich had not been so long as to deter him 
from making a visit there, he was received with significant 
smiles by his uncle and cousin, and the voluntary promise of 
the former that he would not forget to vote for him. It was 
evident that Leslie had forestalled him there, and that the old 
gentleman had received his cue from the young lawyer. 
Pauline, also, mentioned to him, as she attended him to the gate 
on his departure, that Mr. May had told her the grand news 
of her brother's going to the legislature. " And he says," 
she added with an eager, triumphant look into his eyes, " that 
you are going to make a United States senator of his father." 

On the evening appointed for the meeting in his ward Victor 
was on hand at the precise hour of the call. He was sur- 
prised and much pleased to find the hall respectably filled at 
this early hour. But his surprise was still greater on hearing 
a well-known member of the central committee, almost as soon 
as he had entered the hall, call the meeting to order, and propose 
Mr. Victor Waldhorst for chairman. Victor protested ; but his 
feeble stammering was drowned by the voice of the committee- 
man, who demanded that all democrats favoring his motion 
should say aye ! and then, that all opposing should say no ! 
whereupon lie proclaimed that the motion had been carried, and 
called on Victor to take his seat on the platform. 

Victor was really and truly unprepared for the honor thus 
thrust upon him. But as there was no time for deliberation, 
and principally because he lacked the presence of mind to so 


word a refusal as not to give offense to the uieetiug, he bash- 
fully permitted himself to be conducted to the chair. 

The smiling face of Mr. Becker was the first he encountered 
on looking around, and his love for this gentleman was by no 
means stimulated by the thought that flashed upon him, that 
he owed his present uneasy position to the ambitious scheming 
of the newspaper proprietor. He was confirmed in this 
suspicion by the next move of the committeeman, who thus 
addressed him : 

" I now move you, Mr. Chairman, that that active and 
prominent democrat Nehemia Becker, Esq., be elected secre- 
tary of this meeting." 

The motion having been duly seconded, was mechanically 
put to a vote by the chairman. 

A voice from another part of the hall then moved the ap- 
pointment by the chair of a committee of five, to select and 
present to the meeting the names of five reliable democrats, to 
lie voted for as delegates to the county convention to be held 
at Hamilton Hall on Monday next. 

The motion had hardly been put and carried, when a paper 
was slipped into his hand, containing the names of five per- 
sons, of whom Victor was personally acquainted with but one, 
and that was his employer, Mr. Becker. The chairman's em- 
barrassment was great. It was not in accordance with his 
views that matters should be precipitated at this rate. The 
selection of delegates to the county convention was a duty of 
such momentous importance as to demand careful delibera- 
tion. Nor was he at all satisfied that Mr. Becker was a proper 
person to be intrusted with any discretion in connection there- 
with. But what was he to do ? The meeting was waiting for 
his action. He personally knew but few of the persons pres- 
ent. So he reluctantly announced the gentlemen named on the 
paper before him, which he had fortunately recognized as being 
in the handwriting of Leslie May, to constitute the committee 
of five. The persons designated rose, and left the hall for 


It was then, before the door had been closed upon the retir- 
ing committee, that a new surprise awaited the astonished 
chairman. A voice from a distant part of the room cried out: 
" Mr. Chairman ! " Victor was not acquainted with the voice, 
nor with the gentleman standing up and evidently claiming the 
floor. At this crisis, to his great relief, some one close by 
whispered into his ear: "Dr. Moorman! " So he recog- 
nized Dr. Moorman as being entitled to the floor. Dr. Moor- 
man wished to offer a Preamble and Resolutions, for the 
consideration of the democrats present at the meeting, and 
sent them up to the secretary's desk to have them read. As 
Mr. Becker, the secretary, had left the room on committee 
duty, the task to read fell on the chairman. The paper was as 
follows : — 

" Whereas, we claim it to be the right, as it is the sacred 
duty, of democrats in primary meeting assembled, to make 
known their views, and speak out their sentiments, touching 
the affairs of the nation ; and 

Whereas, we deem it of essential importance, that our 
representatives in the General Assembly be informed of our 
views and convictions touching the election of the representa- 
tive of our glorious State in the Senate of the United States ; 

Whereas, we have witnessed with profound satisfaction the 
congressional career of that staunch and reliable democrat, 
the Honorable Leonard May, who has so ably and successfully 
represented the interests of our State in the Congress of the 
United States for three consecutive congressional terms ; there- 
fore be it 

Resolved, by the democrats of the Fourth Ward in primary 
meeting assembled, that the delegates to the couuty conven- 
tion to be elected by this meeting be, and they hereby are, 
instructed to A'ote for such candidates for election to the Gen- 
eral Assembly, as may be known to be favorable to the election 
of our distinguished fellow citizen, the Honorable Leonard 
May, to the Senate of the United States. 


Eesolced, moreover, that we request the count}' oonventiou 
to instruct the candidates to be nominated by said convention, 
and who may be elected to the General Assembly, to cast their 
votes in favor of the said Leonahd May at the election of a 
United States senator." 

The reading of the paper was followed by the clapping of 
hands, the stamping of feet, the clatter of canes and shrill 
shouts of hurrah ! usual on such occasions. The resolutions 
seemed to express the unanimous opinion of the people, for 
not a dissentient voice was raised. Victor, who was inclined, 
but for the verbosity employed, to hold his friend Leslie re- 
sponsible for the authorship of the paper, was so thoroughly 
in accord with its purpose, tliat he spoke for the first time 
during the evening, in a loud, ringing voice as he put the 
(juestion, and when he announced the unanimous adojition of 
the preamble and resolutions. 

But not even yet had the end of surprises for the chairman 
of the meeting been reached. At the precise moment when lie 
had announced the vote as having been carried, the Committee 
on Nominations re-entered the hall, and Mr. Becker, as its 
chairman, submitted a list of names, including his own, as 
well as that of Victor, together with three well-known friends 
of Mr. Becker, whom Mctor had never susj^ected of higher 
pretensions of statesmanship than noisy declamation in bar- 
rooms, emphasized by calling all present to join him in a 
drink. He felt ill at gase. But the report must be put to 
a vote ; and when it had been unanimously adopted, nothing- 
remained for him to do but to announce the gentlemen therein 
named as the choice of the Democracy of the Fourth Ward as 
delegates to the county convention. As soon as this had 
been done, some one moved that the meeting do now adjourn, 
and in less than fifteen minutes after it had been called to 
order by the committeeman all was over, and the democrats 
of the Fourth Ward had spoken, so far as the election of the 
members for the county coijvention for that year was coq- 
cerned , 


Victor was not at all pleased with the result of the evening's 
work ; least of all with his own share in it. He felt, as if the 
participants in the meeting had been used as puppets, bobbing 
up and down at the pleasure of some one behind the scenes 
pulling the wires. He was perfectly sure of this, so far as 
himself was concerned. Was this the way in which freemen 
exercised their sacred right of determining the pohcy of a 
[)arty, as he had so glowingly set forth in his editorials? As 
it was still early in the evening, Victor proposed to Mr. Becker 
that each of them should visit some other ward meeting, with 
the view of obtaining fuller particulars for the Beobachter 
than would likely be furnished by the professional reporters. 
He for his own part immediately set out for the First Ward. 

The meeting for this ward was held in a market house, which 
Victor I'eached in a few minutes. His suspicion that Leslie 
had obtained great influence with the Democratic Central Com- 
mittee, and was manipulating the ward meetings in the interest 
of Colonel May, was strongly confirmed by the unexpected 
fact, that he found his own uncle, Auf dem Busch, Senior, 
occupying the chair. The further fact, that a set of resolu- 
tions similar to those that had been adopted in the Fourth 
Ward were offered here, did not so much surprise him, after 
the experiences of the evening. But there was here no such 
unanimity as had characterized the Fourth Ward meeting. 
After the reading of the resolutions there was applause, but 
thei'e was also dissent. A loud voice demanded to know : 
" Who is this Mr. May? " Whereupon the mover of the 
resolutions answered sharply, that such a question could only 
proceed from ignorance or from gross prejudice ; for that Mr. 
May had been for many years an illustrious leader of the 
Democratic party of the State, and its veteran champion in the 
National House of Representatives. " Then let him stay in 
the House of Reijresentatives," the first speaker replied 
vehemently, "and let us keep our long tried senator at his 
post in the Senate. I move you, Mr, Chairman, to lay these 
resolutions ou the table," 


Victor saw that one of the men on the platform approached 
the chairman and whispered into his ear, whereupon the latter 
brought down his hammer with great energy, and succeeded 
presently in quieting the storm of applause and hisses that 
followed the words 6f the last speaker. " It is a motion," he 
said with quiet dignity, " and it is a second, that we shall put 
the resolutions, which we have heard, on the table. And I 
have heard that if it is a motion to put on the table, it shall 
not be debatable. Also, I decide, that it shall not be 

Victor blushed at the thought that his uncle might, from 
ignorance or in his bewilderment, omit to put the question ; 
but a renewed storm of applause from the one, and of hisses 
and groans from the other side of the disputants, rendering 
the further use of the gavel necessary by the chairman, 
relieved him for the moment of his anxiety. Loud exclama- 
tions of " Shame! " " No gagging here! " and of "Ques- 
tion! " " Take the vote on tabling! " resounded through the 
hall. Mr. Auf dem Busch was in no wise disconcerted. He 
soon restored order and continued, after again lending ear to 
the busy whisperer, "I put now the question, if we put 
the resolutions on the table. If you wish it, say aye! " The 
ayes were loud and numerous. Then the chairman demanded : 
" If you not wish it, say no! " And the noes, to Victor's 
anxious ears, were not so boisterous, but rather more 

Before the chairman had time to give his opinion as to the 
result of the vote, there were many clamorous demands for a 
division. This time the chairman spontaneously bent his head 
toward the man who did the whispering, and then proclaimed, 
" I do appoint tellers to count the hands. I appoint my son, 
Woldemar Auf dem Busch, and my nephew, Victor Waldhorst, 
to be tellers. If you wish to lay on the table, raise up your 
hands ! ' ' 

It is probable that Mr. Auf dem Busch could not have 
selected two more conscientious tellers in the audience ; but 


the sovereigus present were not going to put up with such 
barefaced and shameful nepotism on the part of the chairman ; 
and they were not slow in letting him know this. Besides, it 
soon leaked out that Victor was not a resident of the First 
Ward at all, and had no right, therefore, to participate in the 
meeting. So the chairman was compelled to select other tel- 
lers. He did so with as much coolness and dignity as if the 
faux pas made in the first selection were due to some one else's 
blunderiug. As soon as, by dint of vigorous hammering with 
the gavel, he had quieted the laughter and yells of the crowd, 
he directed the tellers to count the uplifted hands (" only 
the right hands! " he enjoined on them), and announced after 
the count, that the motion to table was lost. The resolutions 
were finally passed by a small majority. 

Victor had every reason to be proud of the success of the 
cause he advocated. In the Fifth Ward also, delegates had 
been chosen who favored the election of Colonel May, and of 
the May candidates to the legislature. Yet he left the hall in 
anything but a triumphant mood. But what most deeply 
pained him. was the wound that his self-respect received by the 
conviction, which he could no longer ignore, that some one 
had prepared the program which had been so accurately car- 
ried out in both the wards at which he had attended ; and that 
the same thing had been done, or at least attempted, in the 
other wards was too plain to admit of doubt. That this per- 
son was Leslie May, was equally apparent. It was humiliat- 
ing to think that not only himself, but also his uncle and cousin 
had been used as involuntary, even unconscious tools in 
accomplishing another's purpose. That this purpose was, so 
far as he could see, proper and meritorious, — that his friend 
Leslie had accomplished, far more efficiently and successfully 
than he Wmself could have di'eamed of doing, his own purpose 
and aim, — did not blind his eyes to the danger that threat- 
ened, bv practices of this kind, to undermine the liberties of 
the people. Leslie May was a wise, generous, well-meaning 
man — second in generosity and whole-souled patriotism to no 


man, save, perhaps, Colonel May himself; — but what of that? 
What if a designing demagogue pursued a similar course in 
furtherance of wicked, selfish ends? What if a motive ulterior 
to the welfare of the State inspired the hand that fixed the 
wires and moved the puppets ? 

And he had, but that day, lauded in glowiug words, the 
primaries as the palladium that shielded the liberties of American 
P'reemeu ! 

He reached the otlice in a dubious mood. Dubious, because 
it was agreeable, after all, to know that a man of adroitness 
and skill was managing his election. He could not help 
rejoicing over the prospect of success, so greatly enhanced by 
Leslie's interest therein. His prospect of success! And 
what it meant to him, if he had the mettle to improve it — 
to compel the respect, if not more, of Eleouora May! For he 
had not forgotten the cruel emphasis with which she had insisted 
on her full title, the last time she had spoken to him, now so 
many years ago. 

Yes, Miss Eleonora j\Iay, yon shall yet learn to respect your 
" outlandish beau I " 

He had hardly conunenced to reduce the reports of the 
evening's work at the primaries into shape for a leading article 
in the morning's paj^er, when Mr. Becker entered, his face 
Hushed with excitement and exultation. " Mr. W^aldhorst! " 
he exclaimed, " congratulate yourself! The day is ours! If 
I were only as sure of being elected State Printer as you are 
of going to the legislature, I would consider my fortune made. 
But that lawyer friend of yours is a trump, and no mistake ! 
Why, he had the whole thing fixed beforehand, everything cut 
and dried. If his father is half the man that his son is, he 
will go to the Senate in spite of anything the democrats, re- 
publicans and know-nothings can do, or all of them put 
together ! ' " 

The exuberance of Mr. Becker infected Victor to some ex- 
tent. " Yes," he said, " I know that Mr. May is a keen, 
shrewd and wise politician, And the most wonderful thing 


about him is, that lie makes peojile do what he wants wliether 
they consent or not. e)r even whether they know it or not! " 
he added, his cheeks Hushing with shame at the recollection of 
the parts that he and his uncle had been made to play that 
evening in Leslie's program of the primary meetings. " And 
he is a warm and faithful friend! " 

'• Particularly in getting you into the legislature to vote for 
his father," the proprietor added, somewhat more soberly. 
" But he plays his cards well. I shall try to be on good terms 
with him." 

Just then Leslie himself entered the office, bringing Pro- 
fessor Rauhenfels with him. Of course, Victor was eager to 
learn the result of the meetings in the other wards, and plied 
both Leslie and the professor with questions. Leslie was in 
an extremely pleasant mood ; but his quiet subdued behavior 
contrasted strongly Avith the excitement of the professor, 
whose nervous boisterousness and exuberant hilarity greatly 
astonished Victor, who had never seen him under such excite- 

" Sir! " he exclaimed, in answer to one of Victor's ques- 
tions, " we are going to astonish the Old Fogies that have 
been running this town. We will capture the enemy, horse, 
foot and dragoons ! We'll show the know-nothings, that they 
were never so wise as in choosing their name. We'll teach 
the abolitionists that they can't abolish the constitution, just 
yet. My friend, — Mr. May — and I, we will for once put 
the electioneering machine on its proper basis, and show the 
world, what a little brains and tact can do! " 

''Call it audacity, Professor! " said Leslie, with a quiet 
smile, " or cheek. For our success, so far, is due to nothing 
so much as to the boldness and audacity with which we specu- 
lated on the good nature of our friends, the metropolitan poli- 
ticians, and of those of our friends that ought to be politicians. 
Our friend Victor, for instance," he added, turning his smiling 
face toward the editor, " must have been astonished this even- 
ing, when called on to preside over a ward meeting. Tell me : 


How did you get along? It was so much easier tliau you 
thought, was it not? Of the result of the voting I have been 
informed, as also of the result in the First Ward, where your 
excellent uncle did good execution with the gavel, I am told. 
There must be an unruly set down there," 

" But uncle got along with them sj)leudidly ! " said Victor, 
rather jjroudly, '' I could not have done half so well I " 

" Oh, yes, you could! " was Leslie's reply. " The fact is 
that you don't know what you can do until you try. But I 
wish you had some of your uncle's pugnacity, I suspect that 
he rather enjoys a spirited encounter now and then, aud I 
would not like to be his opponent when he knows that he is in 
the right," 

" But why did you not let me know what you were going to 
do? " asked Victor, with an undertone of reproach in his voice, 
" I was terribly embarrassed when the chairmanship was 
sprung on me without a moment's warning. And don't you 
believe that it was taking an unfair advantage of the voters to 
pack the meeting the way j'ou did ? — why, you must have had 
twenty-five or fifty men in each of the meetings — and to have 
everything prepared beforehand, cut and dried, so as to leave 
nothing for the real voters to do, but to say aye ! This is 
Democracy with a vengeance, I should think! " 

" Ho ho! " the jorofessor spoke up in the place of Leslie, 
" So you wanted your friend to let you know beforehand what 
was going to be done at the meeting? You wanted to be in 
the ring, did you? It would have been Simon Pure Democ- 
racy, if you had had a hand in doing the cutting and drying ! " 
Then he turned to Leslie and continued: "It is well that we 
know this, Mr, May, Hereafter we shall have to take our 
young friend into the conspiracy, to hoodwink aud betray the 
real voters into saying aye to our treasonable plots," 

Victor was dumfounded. He had a vague notion that he 
had said something foolish, without clearly knowiug what. 
While he pondered over the professor's words, Leslie said, 
quietly: "That is just what the professor proj^osed to do. 


He suggested that we should talk the matter over with you, so 
that you might be prepared to act when the time came. But I 
told him that I knew you better," he added, looking signifi- 
cantly at Victor. " I told him that I was pretty sure that you 
would have nothing to do with the whole matter, if you got it 
into your head that it was putting up a job. And you seem to 
take that view of it ; don't you? " 

" Of course we were putting up a job," the professor broke 
in ; " and a good sized one at that. Nothing less than regen- 
erating sleepy old Democracy : waking her up to the work that 
is on hand for her ; securing a convention that may be able to 
cope with the know-nothings, and trip up the fanatical republi- 
cans in their treasonable attempt to undermine the constitution ! 
I reckon that you are proud that you had nothing to do with 
putting up a job like that ! " 

"But," said Victor, hesitating, and much abashed by the 
professor's sarcasms, "the best end cannot justify improper 
means. Packing a meeting seems to me a great wrong com- 
mitted against the majesty of the people. I do not see the 
difference between it and cheating, or lying, or committing 
forgery. For it is intended to be, and has the effect of, a 
falsification of the real sentiment entertained by them, — 
making them responsible for what they themselves have neither 
done, said, or intended." 

" I think you are putting it in rather strong terms, Victor," 
said Leslie, more seriously than usual. " In the first place, I 
wish to disabuse your mind of the idea, that we sent either 
twenty-five or fifty men to any meeting. In the Fourth Ward, 
for instance, there were only three men with whom either the 
professor or I spoke a word before the meeting took place. 
One of these was the committeeman whose business it was to 
see to the organization of the meeting ; a second one was the 
mover of the resolution you passed, and the third was our 
friend here, Mr. Becker, whom I requested to furnish us with 
the names of some friends upon whom we could rely as being 
in harmony with our views, to serve on the committee to make 


iioniiuatious. Of t', the central eoiniiiittee always has 
some man at every meeting to prompt the chairman, in case 
he should need assistance. 80 in the First Ward : I believe 
that I saw no one that attended that meeting but your uncle 
and your cousin — " 

" Yes," Victor indignantly interrupted, " and my cousin 
did not vote for your resolutions, either I " 

" Well, it seems that they were passed without his vote," said 
Leslie with a smile. " Don't be too hard on him. The mover 
of the resolution in that ward professes to be a Avarm friend of 
father, and of course I asked him to be on hand. So in all 
the other wards; you Avill believe me when I tell you that be- 
sides seeing that some one should offer, and if need ])e defend, 
the resolutions, and that trustworthy persons should l)e selected 
to nominate friendly delegates to the convention, I did abso- 
lutely nothing to intluence the result. And in this matter I 
received valualile assistance from the professor. ♦ This is about 
the size of the ' packing ' that either or both of us did." 

" I should not wonder if our young friend did a great deal 
more in the packing line," said the professor. " I should 
wonder, though, if he did not do his level best in the columns 
of his paper during the last few days, to get his friends to at- 
tend the meeting. He may have gone to the length of asking 
some of them jx^rsonalh/ to come ; but of course, if he did, he 
begged them to use all their influence against his nomination, 
and against any measure tViat he might favor." The peal of 
laughter with which the professor pointed his irony was ex- 
ceedingly distasteful to Victor. 

"In the next place," Leslie continued, " I would like to 
know of you, w'hether anything Avas done at the meetings of 
which you have any information, that was not perfectly square, 
open and aboAe lioard r Do you not fully and freely concur 
in all that was done, including the resolutions instructing for 
the Colonel? " 

"Most certainly I do!" was Victor's hearty response. 
" And the resolutions in particular speak my inmost convic- 


tion. 1 do not object to irjnit was cloiic, l)iit only to the ineaiis 
employed in doing it." 

" I will tell you wiiat it is that trouVjles our young friend," 
the professor reniarlved sententiously. " He suspects that we 
have, in preparing the resolutions, in looking out for proper 
men to i)ropose as chairmen, and, in general, to keep the 
meetings to their proi)er work, meddled with — usurped, if 
you please, — the legitimate functions of sovereign demo- 
crats — " 

" And is it not so? " Victor interrupted. 

"Oh, to be sure, we are not sovereign democrats, you 
know 1 " continued the professor, addressing his words, with 
smiling irony, to Leslie and Mr. Becker. " He confounds a 
primary meeting with a jury box ; the voter must have no 
more knowledge of the man he is called on to vote for, or of 
his political principles, than the juror should know of the man 
or of the case he is called on to try, — so that he may cast his 
vote with the utmost ignorance obtainable under the circum- 
stances. He is afraid to vote for a personal friend, lest it be 
selfish partiality on his part ; or to advocate a policy which 
might 1)y possibility result in benefiting himself, or a personal 
friend, because these are the practices resorted to by dema- 
gogues — ." 

Leslie slyly winked at Mr. Becker, who nodded eagerly. 
But the professor continued to speak in the high key ha1)itual 
to him when in sarcastic mood, and concluded with the remark : 
" You see, Mr. Waldhorst will have no bias, no preconceived 
opinion of what may be best for the true interest of the 
country — in short, he would have no partisanship in his 

"You willfully misrepresent and wrong me I " cried Victor, 
in great indignation. " I have said or done nothing to justify 
you in accusing me of such gross absurdities. What I said, 
or intended to say, is, that for a set of men to combine to- 
gether to carry this or that man for this or that committee at a 
proposed meeting, to determine in advance on a set of resolu- 


tions to be passed, and agreeing on the delegates to be sent to 
the convention," is to rehearse a farce, to the performance 
of which you graciously invite the public as spectators. Or, 
to put it in your own words, to do yourselves the work which 
the voters ought to do. It is worse — it is tampering with the 
highest safeguards of lil^erty. Granting that your work has 
accomplished what is right ; aye, that you have done much 
better than the voters, uninfluenced by your plotting, could 
have done : — what is to hinder unscrupulous men to follow 
your example with less pure motives ? The toleration of such 
practices would make of the government by the jjeople a de- 
lusion and a snare. Nothing could prevent unprincipled 
demagogues from controlling the elections, the legislature, the 
whole government ! It would bring us tyranny in the most 
oppressive shape that you yourself have so eloquently de- 
nounced — the misrule by secret and irresponsible con- 
spirators ! ' ' 

Victor's blood was up, and he had not weighed niceh' the 
words he employed. The professor smiled, as he replied : " I 
am glad that you see the absurdity of some of your statements. 
For note : It is not / that accuse : I have but drawn the logical 
result of your own words. And I dare say, that you will be 
equally astonished when you come to see, as you will on a 
Httle reflection — the contradiction involved in your explana- 
tion. Does it not strike you, for instance, that the audience 
you mention in connection with the farce did as much, if not 
more, of the acting than those whom you call the conspirators? 
Admitting that they were, what by their being at the meeting 
they held themselves out to be — democrats — was not their 
authority in every particular precisely equal to that of the so- 
called actors ? The vote of each counted one : the majority 
spoke for aV . The binding authority of a primary meeting 
depends, and can depend, only on the theory, that, as every 
member of the party is invited to be present and participate in 
the proceedings, so the whole party is — must be — deemed to 
have been present and to have spoken its will. This theory 


applies more forcibl}- still, of course, to all who were present 
at the meeting. Presumably they did what they came there 
to do, — voted their conviction. If so, they are bound by the 
majority. But if they aV)stained from voting, what better 
right have they to complain than if they stayed at home ? Or 
is it censurable that .some — those whom you called the actors — 
came [jrepared to do their work, having thought over and con- 
sulted about the questions to be decided :ind the men to be 
elected ? You are pleased to designate this the rehearsal of a 
farce : don't you think it would have been much moi'c of a farce, 
if nobody had come prei)ared to work? " 

Victor made no answer. The professor's M^ords sounded 
very much like some of the arguments he had himself urged 
upon the voters in drumming them up to attend the primaries. 
Again he |)ondered. But Mr. Becker seemed highly pleased 
and was not at all backward in letting the professor know that 
he approved of his sentiments. " You have spoken like a 
book," he said, as he approached the professor to shake hands 
with him. " I hope that Mr. Waldhorst will profit by your wis- 
dom. The young man, in my opinion, carries his squeamish- 
ness entirely too far. I have often told him so. If, for 
instance, it came in his way, as a member of the legislature, 
to benefit his own paper, and advance his own interest, by 
shoving a printing job at his friend, for which the State pays 
a fair price, would there be anything wrong in his doing so? 
And ought he not strain a point to enable him to serve his 
party, himself and an old friend at the same time? " 

"■ There is practical sense for you I " exclaimed Leslie, with 
a loud laugh and a sly wink at the professor. 

But the latter cast a searching glance at the printer, and 
said: " Well, Mr. Becker, that is a matter about which we 
may talk hereafter. Let us not dispose of our chickens before 
thev are hatched." 



Sundays were red-letter days in Victor's caleiulav. He 
^^\) looked forward to them with j^leasant ex])ec'tation. He 
reckoned events with reference to their proximity to 
Sunday. Of all the Aveek-days he liked Saturday l»est, be- 
cause it would l)e followed by Sunday. He loved to hear the 
(thimes ring Ave Maria on Saturday evening, because their 
stirring concord (distinguished from the single bell of other 
days), gave joyful promise of the golden morrow. Sweet to 
him was the peal of the bells on Sunday morning, attuning his 
mind to loftier aspirations ; sweet the rolling music of organ 
and choir, so suggestive of high and ennobling thoughts. He 
felt as if Clod were nearer to him on this day : that the Sab- 
bath day is truly a divine institution. And he blessed in his 
heart the Hel)rew law-giver tor the rigor with which he exacted 
its observance l)y the Chosen People. 

One of the features distinguishing the German from the 
Anglo-American newspapers of the ])eriod was, that the latter 
omitted Sunday from their regular publication days, l>ut 
included Mondays ; requiring, in order to furnish the latest 
news, editors, reporters, compositors and printers to devote at 
least a part of their Sundays to their regular vocation. Victor 
thought the plan adopted by the German papers, of issuing a 
Sunday and omitting the issue of a Monday paper, much more 
rational. The custom of publishing Sunday papers was in 
course of time adopted by the Anglo-American press, without, 
however, omitting the Monday paper, so that for their em- 
ployees there is now no Sunday at all. Under the combined 
influence of lieree competition, each paper striving to excel all 
others in the variety and amount of reading matter furnished 


to their readers ou Sunday, and the liberal patronage of adver- 
tisers, who soon discovered the peculiar value of Sunday 
papers for their purposes, they were increased in size to such 
enormous proportions, as to put it out of the question for 
ordinary mortals to wade through them, and to embitter the 
life of editors whose duty compelled them to make a mental 
inventory, at least, of the contents of the several contem- 
poraries . 

Things had not reached this pass, however, in ante-bellum 
days. It was still a pleasure to Victor to scan the Sunday 
papers while sipping his coffee and lingering over his Sunday 
breakfast. First, of course, his own Beobachter. For he had 
not yet lost the zest of taking in the full effect of his articles 
in their liuished, printed form, and took considerable pride — 
none the less gratifying because coyly concealed — in the tact 
and judgment evidenced by a more than usually successful or 
interesting number, satisfying his own critical standard. Then 
he would skim over the other German papers, making note of 
any item of news or article of interest that might be utilized 
for his paper. But on the morning after the primary meetings 
he took up the opposition paper before his own, not, perhaps, 
because his own candidacy had stimulated his interest in 
political polemics, but in sympathy with the general excitement 
prevalent on the subject. At any rate he was eager to learn 
the attitude assumed by his competitor toward the convention 
to be held next day, and what, if anything, he had to say 
touching the resolutions instructing for a United States Senator 
in the person of Colonel May. His curiosity was satisfied to 
the fullest extent. He had credited his rival, with whom he 
was carrying on a bitter warfare on political grounds, all the 
more intense because both papers belonged to the same polit- 
ical party, with such sovereign contempt for truth and decency, 
that he honestly believed that no statement of his would ever 
sur])rise him. But on this Sunday morning he discovered that 
he had been mistaken in this belief. He was not only sur- 
l)rised, but absolutely stunned by the unparalleled feats of 


perversion aud distortion accomplished by the rival editor. 
His eye was first caught by one of the brief paragraphs in the 
editorial column, which may be given in English about as 
follows : 

'•' Kick Them Oit I We are cnedibly informed, that at the 
meetings last night a disreputable set of rowdies succeeded in 
terrorizing the legitimate voters, and foisted in their bogus 
material as delegates to the convention. Let this body strictly 
investigate, and purify itself of the impostors! " 

Victor at once surmised that this was a blow aimed, if not 
personally against himself, then at least against the paper he 
edited. On i-eading further, he found his surmise but too 
fully corroborated. His cheeks blanched, though he was all 
alone in the room, as he read : 

*' A I)is(UiA('EFUL Row last night brought shame on the 
First Ward. A lot of hirelings, evidently in the pay of some 
corrupt political aspirant, or of a striker obeying higher orders, 
poured in on the ])rimni'y meeting there, and overpowered the 
peaceful citizens. They seated a pliant tool as chairman, who 
ruled all points of order in their favor, and he had the insolence 
to ajjpoint his own son and his own nephew as tellers to count 
the votes. In this way they succeeded in falsifying the views 
of the people of the First Ward, aud declaring a set of 
dplegates elected who are said to favor an obscure individual 
from the backwoods to replace our long tried Nestor in the 
United States Senate. Let the convention redeem the fair 
name of our city, and save the First Ward from humiliation 
and shame ! ' ' 

A little further on, this paragraph stared him in the face: 

'' CoM.^iEXT UxxECESSAKT. It givcs US siucere pain to learn 
that our highly esteemed colleague of the Beobachter, Mr. 
Victor Waldhorst, has seriously stultified himself by taking 
part in the shameful proceedings in the First Ward last night ; 
and that, too, after he had participated in a high-hnnded piece of 
defraudation in the P'ourth Ward. By a trick unworthy of his 
hitherto unsullied reputation he, with a few of the personal 


friends of the backwoods aspirant for the United States sena- 
torship, organized a meetini>- in tlie Fourth Ward before the 
time for which it had been called, and with resolutions cut and 
dried in his pocket, and a list of delegates agreed on before- 
hand, went through the motions of voting, and adjourned the 
meeting within live minutes after the regular time for which the 
voters had been notilied to be there." 

Victor's first impulse on reading the insulting charges was, 
to hunt up the rival editor and compel him to retract, or in- 
flict upon him such personal chastisement as might warn the 
miscreant to have some slight regard for truth and common 
decency. He leaped up from his chair and paced the room in 
rapid strides, lashing his anger into furious wrath, until it 
reached a pitch at which it must boil over, or find vent in some 
deed of violence. Yes; he must horsewhip the audacious, 
lying scoundrel, — would do it to-day, — now I What though 
it ivas Sunday ! Not a day, not an hour must be lost in delay- 
ing the vindication of his personal honor. 

The resolution so formed seemed to relieve the violence of 
his passion. He sat down again to his nntasted coffee and read 
over the scurrilous paragraphs with closer attention. The 
second reading did not mend matters much. There were the 
infamous chai*ges, the stinging insults that could not be tamely 
submitted to. There was the dastardly lie against his uncle, 
so entirely cut out of whole cloth ; for a more sincere, well- 
meaning man than his uncle never lived. There was the 
assassin's blow, at his revered friend, Colonel May. No! such 
cowardly calumny must be signally refuted. The only proper 
answer, in case he refused complete and unconditional 
retraction, was to administer a horse-whipping to the lying 

But soup is rarely eaten so hot as it is served. Victor re- 
flected that there should be a witness to the execution of the 
summary punishment. Not, indeed, for his own assistance, — 
for he never once contemplated the possibility of taking, in- 
stead of giving a whipping, — but only to witness the fact. 


Of course, this witness must be Leslie. Indeed, coming to 
think of it, Leslie was almost as deeply interested in this mat- 
ter as himself, and would certainly take an active part in de- 
feuding his father. But he should only stand by ; Victor owed 
it to himself, to his uncle, and certainly to the Colonel, to keep 
the control of the matter in his own hands. 

A rap at the door disturbed his busy tlioughts, and simul- 
taneously with his aln'upt "come! " Professor Rauhenfels 
entered, accosting him with a cheerful "Good Morning I " 
He waited for no salutation from Victor, but plunged headlong 
into conversation, speaking cheerfully and in a tone of assur- 
ance and confidence that failed not of its effect on the editor. 
"The gods are propitious!" he said. "Apollo himself 
could not have favored us w'ith finer weather for the work we 
have in liand. This raw, chilling, blustering atmosphere is 
just the thing to drive to cover the game we are pursuing. 
We shall find the new-fledged delegates squatting snugly in the 
back door bar-room attachment to some family grocery store, 
ready to dicker with the highest bidder for their votes, guzzling 
beer or tippling whiskey. Let us put in a good day's work 
before the l)attle opens, and we will have smooth sailing in the 
convention to-morrow. ' ' 

Victor's face had brightened on seeing the professor. Pos- 
sessing unbounded confidence in the wisdom and keen intelli- 
gence of his friend, he was eager to hear his opinion on the 
subject uppermost in his mind. The professor's remarks 
puzzled him, and he was not sure of apprehending their full 
import ; but the matter in hand was too pressing to talk about 
anything else. " There! " he said, holding out the paper to 
his visitor, pointing with his thumb to the offensive items. 
" What do you say to that? " 

The profess'or took the paper and leisurely read the para- 
graphs pointed out. Victor keenly watched the play of his 
features. There was at first a slight contraction of the eye- 
brows ; but after a while a broad grin spread over his face, 
giving it a sardonic exi>ression of triumph. "(rJood!" he 

he s;u(1. lioldiiiy out the \n\\)ev to his visitor, 
' ' AN'hat do j-oii say to tlitit r ' ' 


exclaimed, dashiuij; the paper away. '' So they are sf|uealing 
already, are tliey ? They'll squeal Avorse than that before we 
are throiio-h with them. Kick them out, indeed I If any 
kicking is to be done, we intend to have a hand in it, — or a 
foot, rather — hey, Victor?" He concluded his remark with 
a ringing laugh, puzzling Victor whether to ascribe it to the 
intended pun, or to the imaginary discomtiture of the ad- 

"Do you think, as I do, that I ought to cowhide this 
villainous liar? Does he not deserve a thrashing? ■" 

'• For his good will, yes," the professor replied sol)erly. 
"If a person low enough to administer it could be found. 
But it is out of the question for you to dirty your hands with 
such a job. And why should you or I, or any one on our 
side of the question, think of punishing even an enemy for 
working into our hands in such glorious style? " 

" Working into our hands?" Victor repeated in unfeigned 
astonishment. " What can you mean? " 

''Just what I say. This editor friend of yours, — quite 
innocent of any intention to do so, I am sure — has done more 
f(^r y(ju and for the cause you advocate in your paper, than 
you could possibly have done without his gratuitous assist- 
ance. It is to be hoped that this scurvy sheet has been ex- 
tensivel}^ circulated this morning ; for it will serve better to 
introduce you to the members of the convention than a score 
of articles in your paper, or a column of extravagant eulogy 
and softsoap in that of your opponent. Just come out and 
see how eager they will all be to speak to you, and if you 
don't turn the talk to your own advantage, it will be your own 
fault. Besides, your adversary has laid himself so terrifically 
open to attack from you, that you must be a poor scribe 
indeed if you don't make him sick of his dirty tricks." 

" But the convention will sit to-morrow, and no paper will 
appear until the day after," Victor, rather taken aback by the 
professor's way of looking at things, suggested. 

'•'■ We have all day before us to work for the nomination," 


was the answer, " and a good two Aveeks after that for the 
election. With the start you have got, thanks to your invol- 
untary helper, you may consider the question of your nomina- 
tion as settled ; and if you can only goad him into a few more 
specimens of such patriotic effusions as these, made, if pos- 
sible, a little more personal to yourself, you may likewise 
count on your election, whatever may be the fate of the ticket 
on which you run. — But come! It is time to begin our 
day's work. If you must put yourself on a level with this 
blackguard, or prove that he is wrong by administering to him 
a well-deserved thrashing — or taking one, whether deserved 
or not — put off the cowhiding to some other day. TJiis is 
the Lord's Day ; let us serve the Lord by serving our coun- 

Loth as Victor was to sacrifice his precious Sunday leisure 
to any ordinary business matters, the stirring interests involved 
in the election left no room for hesitation or doubt as to wliat 
he must do. Nor was he unwilling to postpone the chastisement 
of the editor to some future time. " But where is Mr. May? " 
he queried, as he was getting ready to accompany the profes- 
sor. " I thought we would go together." 

" He has gone down to Busch Bluff," the professor answered 
casting a meaning smile at Victor. " He told me that he 
wished to consult the old gentleman on some electioneering- 
business. We are to meet him at the Vaux Hall Saloon." 

Victor pocketed the paper containing the offensive articles, 
as well as that morning's Beohacliter, the latter containing a 
list of the delegates elected the night before, which might serve 
them as a guide to the places to be visited during the day. 
As they were about leaving the professor remarked : 

'"I supjDOse you have not forgotten lago's advice to 
Roderigo? " 

" What was that? " Victor innocently inquired. 

" Put money in thy purse! " 

Victor returned to his lodging that night, or it may be nearer 
the truth to say next morning, with a stock of newly gathered 


experience and heaclache, purchased, — perhaps not too 
dearly — at the cost of the ready cash with which he had set 
out. Besides that, lie had become indebted to his friend for 
a small loan, and a perceptible cooling off of his desire to 
cowhide his rascally colleague. 

* * * 

Monday was ushered in by a bright, crisp October morning, 
all too early to give Victor an opportunity to witness its glori- 
ous sunrise. Hamilton Hall had the advantage of him in this 
respect. Its hospitable doors, as well as its windows, had 
been flung wide open long before Aurora was ready to gild its 
walls, or to illumine the clouds of dust sent forth by busy bar- 
keepers and porters with brush and broom. For Hamilton 
Hall constituted the second story of a building known as Ham- 
ilton Retreat, a well-known popular resort, much frequented, 
even on Sundays, the know-nothing crusade against Sunday 
saloons and beerhouses notwithstanding, b}^ politicians of 
ward renown and petty statesmen generally. Yesterday had 
been a day of bustle and activity at Hamilton Hall. Many 
barrels had been emptied of their contents, much dirt and litter 
scattered on the floors and a general cleaning up on Monday 
morning w^as excusable, in view of the rush that was to be 
expected on the assembling of the democratic convention. 
Thus, while yet the silence of the streets was scarcely inter- 
rupted by the rumbling, now and then, of a solitary milk or 
baker's wagon or the footsteps of an early wanderer echoed 
from across the way, there was within the Hall the din and 
bustling of dusting and sweeping, of scrubbing and scouring, 
of polishing decanters and replenishing them with the contents 
of round-bellied jugs, — of tables, chaii's and benches moved 
from place to place, and of kegs and barrels rolled into place 
for use. When the sun had risen, and sent its first slanting 
rays through the freshly cleaned windows, the stir within sub- 
sided, and the city without began to rub its eyes and to put on 
its working-day garb. The streets grew livelier as mechanics 
and laborers trouped their way toward the treadmills, and 


drays and carts rattled noisily over the. rough macadam. The 
sky was beautifully blue ; the atmosphere clear and bracing ; 
the bright October morning altogether lovely ; yet few of the 
passers-by lingered to enjoy its glorious charm. Even the 
rosy -nosed bummer, who would rival Croesus in wealth if 
time were money, as is sometimes asserted, wended his way 
to the bar-room in search of a tonic more potent than the 
freshness of the morning afforded. Shrill- voiced newsboys 
lustily shouted the names of their papers : " 'ere's yer Herald ! 
'ere's yer 'Publican! " adding by way of whetting the ap- 
petite of sensation-loving readers, " All 'bout the 'lopement in 
high life! "or: " All 'bout the murder in Happy Hollow I " 
or all about whatever tidbit of scandal or horror they had to 

As the inorning drew on apace, more customers found their 
way into the bar-room of the Hamilton Retreat, — the politicians 
of the small-fry sort, mostly, Avho had gone through a lively 
time yesterday, and were again on hand for to-day to feast, 
like a swarm of hungry mosquitoes, on the blood of tender- 
skinned candidates. Some of these worthies, fortunate in the 
possession of a stray picayune, anticipated the arrival of their 
victims by investing in a drink of whiskey, invariably demand- 
ing a Meelee cigar (retailed at the price of ten for a picayune) 
free into the bargain. But this extravagant outlay of money 
ceased as soon as the candidates, with now and then a stray 
delegate or two. began to drop in. The latter were promptly 
pounced on and buttonholed by those of the candidates that 
l)elieved, or made believe, that their claims for past services 
demanded recognition by the party : others, less experienced in 
the practice of office-seeking, and therefore more diffident, 
gladly availed themselves of the offers of the patriotic bum- 
mers to introduce them to their friends — all of them men of 
great influence, these friends of the bummers — who would 
determine by their vote in convention the vote of the whole 
delegation from their respective ward. Corroboration of the 
great influenee of the deleaate thus introduced would follow 


on the part of soiue brother liuiaiiier wlio hai)i)eiie(l, l)y tlie 
merest chauee, to be standing near ; and if (juite sure to what 
office the eandidate aspired, he, or some comrade, would 
inform the delegate, in a stage whisper, that there was not a 
more popular man mentioned in connection with such office, 
than the gentleman just introduced. The invitation to the 
drinks naturally followed, as the most convenient inducement 
to conversation with the delegate. 

Quite a difference now developed in the tastes of the gentle- 
men invited: the whiskey straight, ordered before ou pecuniary 
grounds, was now abandoned for brandy smashes, mint juleps, 
sherry cobblers, or such cocktails and toddies as a veteran 
toper might indulge in regardless of expense. In the matter of 
cigars, too, the plebeian Meelee was flung aAvay with contempt, 
and even the Half-Spanish, and the Principe, ordinarily re- 
garded as a luxury too costly, were now, when a candidate 
stood treat, slighted for the royal Regalia or Plantation Havana, 
furnished at the liar at a picayune apiece. 

Toward the hour of ten in the forenoon the bar-room was 
crowded to an uncomfortable degree. The bartender, rein- 
forced now by an assistant and the boss himself, was kept busy 
enough ; yet many, indeed most of the men, Avere there tor 
pu]-pos(,'s other than drinking. Much talk was going on, — 
here in whispers, there in loud declamation ; among groups of 
two or three or more ; in front of the bar, where argument was 
emphasized, sometimes, by bringing list or tumbler violently 
in contact with the counter ; or in the comparative privacy of 
some nook or corner ; soliciting votes or influence, denouncing 
rival candidates, promises to and by delegates, and to and by 
candidates and their friends — dickering, bargaining, plotting. 
Little knots of men gathering in the hallway and under the 
stairs leading to the hall above, obviously intent upon keeping 
secret whatever negotiations they were carrying on. When the 
hands of the bar-room clock indicated the hour of ten, a grad- 
ual exodus to the hall above began to thin out the crowd below, 
leaving the saloon in the possession of idlers, and of such of 


the active politicians — committeemen and agents of rings and 
bosses — as were still busily engaged in planning and plotting 
for the nominations to be made upstairs. 

The hall in which the convention was to sit began to fill up. 
A number of benches, sulliciently long to seat, each, a full 
delegation, were arranged on the floor, not unlike the pews hi 
a church ; a little banner suspended at the head of each in- 
dicated the number of the ward or the name of the township to 
which the bench was assigned. At one end of the room a 
platform was raised a foot or two above the level of the floor, 
just large enough to accommodate the officers of the conven- 
tion. Besides the chairs and tables on the platform, and the 
row of benches lining the walls, intended for the accoinmoda- 
tion of that most indispensable adjunct to representative bodies 
in the United States — the lobby — there was no furniture in 
the hall. 

Victor was the first member of the Fourth Ward delegation 
that took his seat in the bench assigned to them, long before 
the secretary of the central committee called the convention to 
order. He looked about him, noticing with considerable inter- 
est the buzz and commotion of the men swarming into the hall, 
gathering, mostly, in little knots and groups, whispering ex- 
citedly, or making wise faces at each other. Professor Rau- 
henfels was there, walking about with the air of a very busy 
man, now among the delegates, shaking hands and grinning 
pleasantly, as if much delighted in doing so, anon accosting 
someone in the lobby gesticulating wildly, as if in demonstra- 
tion of some hotly contested proposition. There was Uncle 
Auf dem Busch, also, sitting among the delegates from the 
First Ward, serenely contemplating his surroundings, evidently 
ready to act with becoming dignity in whatever character his 
services might be demanded. Leslie May, cool and jjerfectly 
at ease as ever, leisurely paced the jjlatfonn, exchanging nods 
and whispered remarks with the gentleinen there ; and Mr. 
Becker, delegate from the same ward with Victor, was on hand, 
but as yet too busy to take his seat. Indeed every one, — so 


it seemed to Victor — was actively engaged in furthering some 
definite scheme, in which he was particularly, if not personally 
interested. It occurred to Victor that many of the delegates 
had. in political slang, " an axe to grind " in the convention, 
and that he was not alone in the awkward predicament of being 
a candidate before the same body of which he was a member. 

When the convention was called to order, considerably after 
the time for which its opening had been announced, its organi- 
zation was speedily effected by the election of a temporary 
chairman, a sergeant-at-arms and two secretaries. Victor took 
alarm as he noticed that not a single dissentient voice was 
raised against the chairman nominated by the central commit- 
teeman, whom he knew to be an ardent supporter of the com- 
petitor of Colonel May for the United States Senate. Every- 
thing moved smoothly, until the motion was put for the 
appointment, by the chair, of a committee on credentials, 
when a motion to amend by substituting a committee of one 
from each ward and township gave rise to a heated discussion, 
turning chiefly upon the impropriety involved in the amendment 
of putting men on the committee of credentials whose seats were 
contested. Victor felt greatly embarrassed how to vote on this 
question, as he feared that the right of the whole Fourth Ward 
delegation to their seats might be challenged. During the de- 
bate Mr. Becker appeared in his seat and added to his anxiety 
by the whisi^ered remark, that Mr. May considered the fate of 
his father's candidacy to depend on the issue of the vote on 
this amendment. Yet he deemed it wi'ong that one, whose 
right is in question, should be made the judge of such right. 
Must he oppose the amendment, as decency and justice seemed 
to him to require, and thus jeopard, as far as his vote would 
go, the cause of his friend and benefactor, and with it the 
cause of Democracy and truth, as he understood them? 

Before he came to a conclusion satisfying his judgment, the 
roll of the delegates was called on the amendment, and Mr. 
Becker promptly responded for the Fourth Ward: "Five in 
the affirmative I ' ' 


Now A'iftor looked upon this act of his chief as an unwar- 
rantable usurpation, for neither had Mr. Becker been appointed 
spokesman for the delegation, nor had A'ictor been consulted 
as to his vote. But the Fifth Ward had ))een called on to vote 
before he made up his mind whether it was his duty to disturb 
the proceedings by a protest ; and after that it would have 
been exceedingly awkward and ungracious to do so. Thus it 
ha])pened that Victor's vote counted in exact accordance with 
his personal wish, though not at all with his sense of justice. 
The amendment was adopted ; and after the appointment of a 
further connnittee on the permanent organization and the order 
of business, the convention took a recess until tlie hour of two, 
to give the committee time to rei)ort. 

The signal advantage gained over their opponents ))y the 
friends of Colonel May, developed after the reassembling of the 
convention in the afternoon. The lirst business in order being 
the I'cport of tlie connnittee on credentials, its chairman 
announced that in the oi)inion of the conmiittee, all sitting- 
members were entitled to their seats ; concluding with the 
recommendation that the petitions of the contestants be laid on 
the table. A minority report read by a warm adherent of 
Colonel May's opponent, declared it to be the opinion of said 
minority that the election of the delegates from several of the 
wards including the First and Fourth, had been clearly inegu- 
lar, and that the contestants ought of right to be recognized as 
the legitimate representatives of the Democratic voters of these 
wards. The motion to ado])t the minority report was ruled to 
be out of order, as violative of parliamentary usage, and the 
question stated to be on the adoption of the majority report. 
Victor was surprised at this ruling, especially in view of the 
temporary chairman's opi)Osition to Colonel May's interests, 
nnd wondered ndiether to ascribe it to his idea of parliament- 
ary usage, or perhaps to a shrewd move to conceal his real 
position from the Colonel's followers, or even to some of 
Leslie's maneuvering during the recess. At all events, Vic- 
tor, conceiving that the convention ought to be permitted to 


express its preference between the two reports, before coniniit- 
ting themselves to either, rose, Avith the obvious intention of 
appealing- from the ruling of the chair ; l)ut in doing so caught 
the eye of Leslie May, who indicated by a slight but nnmis- 
takable motion of the head, decided disapproval of Victor's 
purpose. At the same time Mr. Becker tugged at his coat 
tail, whispering energetically "Don't." And again Victor 
was too slow to seize the proper moment for his purpose, and 
again a vote was recorded that outraged his sense of pro- 
priety, but accomplished precisely what Victor most wished. 
The majority report was adopted, and thns all question of a 
contest avoided. 

The convention now settled down to its business in good 
earnest. In the struggle for the permanent presidency the 
temporary chairman, notwithstanding his ruling just made, 
and supported by the opponents of Colonel May, was de- 
feated. The president elect, in returning thanks to the con- 
vention for the honor conferred upon him, called attention 
to the perilous condition of the country, which, he said, 
was about to be shaken in its very foundation by a partv 
of zealots who in their reckless fanaticism menaced the 
sacred constitution itself. "So shape your action," he con- 
cluded, "as to bring about the triumi^h of those principles 
of our party, rather than the victory of this or that man, or 
of this or that section. Never for a moment forget that 
although you are democrats, you are first of all Americans, — 
that you are democrats bfx'aise you are true Americans ! ' ' 

Victor was much pleased with the president's remarks. He 
was in full sympathy with their import and registered an 
inward vow that he would, to the best of his ability, vindicate 
the grand cause of Democracy. As if in response to this 
patriotic resolve, came from the president the announcement 
assigning him to a place on the committee of fifteen to drauo-ht 
the platform of the party for the impending campaign. It 
was with a profound sense of responsibility that he followed 
the chairman of his committee into the side-room assigned 



them for their deliberations. He found himself closeted with 
the most prominent men of the party in the city, feeling at 
once depressed with a sense of littleness in their presence, and 
elevated by a consciousness of the magnitude of the trust 
imposed upon him. 

In the committee room the high pitch to which his expec- 
tation had been raised was toned down. The chairman 
submitted a paper, directly after the reading of which he 
called for a vote. It pledged the Democracy to the support 
of the platform of principles announced by the national con- 
vention that had adjourned from Charleston to Baltimore. 
Discussion grew passionate, and when at last a vote was 
reached, it was by a majority of one that the committee de- 
clared its preference for the national democratic platform. 

No sooner had the committee risen, than a call was heard 
demanding the minority to remain and vote upon the question 
of submitting a report to the convention recommending for its 
adoption the platform of the free Democracy, which had just 
been rejected by the majority. Every member of the minority 
favored the proposition, and so it came about that the com- 
mittee on the platform submitted two reports to the conven- 
tion, — one signed by eight, the other by seven of its members. 

If the contention had been hot in the committee, the wrangle 
that follow^ed in the body of the convention itself on the read- 
ing of the two reports was fierce to begin with, and increased 
in passionate intensity with each speaker that succeeded in 
obtaining the floor. 

Victor could not understand how any true democrat should 
entertain the slightest doubt on the subject. He was eager to 
join in the debate, fully convinced that if gentlemen would 
only listen to the reasons he had to urge as to the imperative 
necessity of preserving inviolate the constitution, they could 
not help seeing where the path of duty la^-. But as yet he was 
too inexperienced in the ways of politicians to secure recogni- 
tion by the chairman, and entirely too diffident of his own im- 
portance to force himself on the notice of the convention. 


And so the convention lost the benelit of his wisdom, and had 
to content itself with the aid given Ijy his unexplained vote. 

As soon as the president succeeded in making himself heard 
long enough to state the question and call for the roll, the up- 
roar subsided and breathless silence immediately settled on the 
convention. All eyes were turned toward the secretary as he 
called the names of the delegates ; all ears were strained to 
catch the responses, and but few of the members omitted to 
keep close tally of the yeas and nays. An exultant shout of 
triumph on the part of the national democrats proclaimed their 
victory long before the secretary or president could be heard 
to announce the adoption of the majority report. But pres- 
ently the deafening yells ceased. The sullen faces of the 
defeated side served to sober down the exuberance of the 
victors. Thoughful men saw trouble ahead. Victor trembled 
for the success of the party under the circumstances. How 
could men, whose earnest convictions were so emphatically 
ignored by the platform just adopted, be enthusiastic in the 
support of the party ? 

Just then the smiling face of Leslie May appeared to Victor 
like a harbinger of good tidings. " We have done well, so 
far," he whispered into Victor's ear. " Things are o-oing 
exactly as I hoped. A little prudence now in the selection of 
the ticket, and there can be no doubt of our success." 

" But will the free democrats submit, and heartily support 
a party with whose fundamental tenets they are not in accord ? " 
queried Victor, who was, nevertheless, much soothed and com- 
forted by the assuring smiles of his friend, and eager in the 
hope that he would be able to dispel his own doubts and 

" What can they do? " suggested Leslie. " They want 
offices for themselves or their friends. They can get them only 
by the nomination of this convention. It would be suicidal 
for them to withdraw in wrath, or to give aid and comfort to 
the enemy, by either active or passive opposition. But we 
must make it to their interest to support the ticket by givino- 


them a liberal share of the offices. You needn't be afraid for 
yourself," he added, with a smile that, however friendly it 
was meant to be, was deeply offensive to Victor ; " your name 
is sure to be on the ticket, and you are sure to be elected. So 
much 1 will undertake to guarantee to you." 

" So Professor Rauhenfels has told me," said Victor 
dreamily ; " though how either he or you should know, I don't 

As Leslie turned away the president was addressing the 
convention. His words sounded like an echo to what Leslie 
had just told Victor. He counselled harmony, reminding the 
victorious majority that had shaped the platform to their own 
views, that it was now their duty to conciliate, on the less 
important matter of nominating candidates for office, their less 
successful brethi-en. " Let me again beseech you," he said, 
" to have an eye single to the success of the party as such. 
It matters not so much what democrat you nominate, as that 
your nominee shall be elected. Remember that ' United we 
stand; divided we fall.' Let the Democracy, of the county 
present an unbroken front to the enemy, and victory will perch 
on our banner. — Nominations for the office of sheriff are now 
in order." 

The address of the president seemed to have a good effect on 
the ruffled temper of the minority, as well as on the minds of 
the majority. The nominations ])rogressed without disturb- 
ance. If there had been danger of a bolt, it was allayed by 
the liberal concessions made to the minority. They received 
the lion's share of the lucrative offices, the candidates for 
Congress and the legislature were alone given to the national 
democrats. It was resolved, also, though by as clos« a vote as 
that by which the platform had been carried, that the candidates 
for the General Assembly be instructed to use their influence, 
if elected, to secure the election of the Honorable Leonard May 
to the United States Senate. 



W ND so it was that Victor becarne a candidate ; for tlie 
present, a patliway not strewn with roses ; involving 
duties not only onerous, but most distasteful to him. 
It was not his nature to shirk duty, recognized as such. 
Hence he willingly attended the gatherings of the Democracy 
at mass meetings and ward meetings. He even executed, to 
the best of his poor ability, stump speeches, whenever thereto 
appointed by the central committee. But when his col- 
leagues on the ticket demanded other things, — such as visit- 
ing bar-rooms, treating crowds promiscuously, shaking hands 
with the unwashed sovereigns, and professing friendship and 
brotherhood with bummers, beats and frauds, he demurred. 
To Leslie and Professor Rauhenfels, with both of whom he 
silent much of his time in those days, he confided that he 
thought such methods of soliciting votes to be degrading and 
vile. Leslie laughed at him in his pleasant way, twitting him 
on his aristocratic pride ; and when he gave indications of dis- 
tress, endeavored to reassure him and put him at his ease by 
reminding him that there was really no need for exertion on 
his part at all. But the professor took him reluctantly to task 
for his silly prudishness, — so he called it — and lack of logic. 
" A rational man," he harangued, " who proposes to accom- 
plish an object, must not shrink from using the necessary 
means. None but a fool hopes for success otherwise." 

When Victor, abashed by the professor's dogmatic assertions, 
which yet seemed to have a basis in sound reason, timidly in- 
quired whether he meant to assert that the end ever justified 
tlie means, the answer came quick as thought: " Always! else 
how could any end be accomplished? " 



" But does this mean, that I may do wrong that good may 
come thereof ?" Victor persisted. 

" Wrong is never justifiable ! " the professor proclaimed, his 
eyes sparkling, " But what is wrong? I dare say that you hold 
it wrong to lie. And so, indeed, it is, if you lie to gain an 
unfair advantage over your neighbor. But how, if you lie to 
2)leafie your neighbor, as you do every time you smile upon a 
bore who keeps you from your work, instead of kicking him out 
of the office as you would like to do ? In a similar way you lie 
twenty times a day, and I doubt that you consider it wrong. — 
It is surely wrong to kill ; but only if the killing is without 
adequate motive. You would not blame the executioner for 
carrying out the sentence of the law on a condemned criminal ? 
So the most rigid code of law deems killing in self-defense a 
justifiable act. Aye, — the law itself commands killing, and 
that by wholesale, when deemed a means to accomplish a higher 
end ; and none but Quakers object. Let me use a loftier illus- 
tration : Rebellion is the gravest offense against either human or 
divine law ; yet the apostasy of Luther is glorified by all Prot- 
estants ; and the rebellion of the colonies is looked upon, by 
Americans at least, as the grandest achievement in our history. ' ' 

"Lucifer rebelled, also," said Victor, musingly, " and the 
world assigns to him the lowest pit in hell." 

"And justly so! " the professor replied with animation. 
" Lucifer, according to Dante's Divine Comedy, abides in hell, 
because he would rather be First there, than Second in Heaven. 
Rebellion against tyranny is loyalty to the divine Right ; but 
Lucifer rebelled against the divine order, — doing wrong for 
the sake of wrong — and has hell for his reward." 

' ' But how does all this affect my electioneering ? ' ' Victor 

"Don't you see? Then let me tell you. I assume, that 
when you accepted the Democratic nomination for the General 
Assembly, you honestly meant to be elected. You honestly 
mean to be, now ; if you did not, you would be a fraud and a 
hy]xicrite. To accomplish this end, you must have votes, — 

TOO LATE. 359 

more of thi'in than your competitors on the other tickets. You 
want as many as you can get, for you do not know how many 
either you or your opponents are going to get. The rational 
thing, then, is, to get them ! Get them by all lawful means at 
your command. Get them with clean fingers, if you can, — 
but get them ! Nor let the fear of dirtying your hands deter 
you from doing your work. You can wash your hands when 
the work is done, and the ballots do not smell after they are 

Poor Victor, who had a powerful motive to be elected, 
beyond what even the professor suspected, was carried along 
by the eloquence of his philosophical friend, and knew not 
how, if even he had wished it, to meet the arguments advanced. 
And as his duty was thus plausibly shown to be identical Avith 
his strong desire, namely, to secure his election to the 
legislature, he bravely set about doing the things that were 
popularly supposed to be necessary to catch votes, — such 
things as he supposed the professor meant when he spoke of 
dirtying his fingers. He professed to enjoy the rough jokes 
current in bar-rooms. He pretended to believe in the disin- 
terested friendship of professional patriots, who proffered their 
services in behalf of the good cause, stijjulating for a dollar or 
two to set up the drinks for the boys, so as to get a chance to 
talk to them. He bought tickets for raflfles which he sus- 
pected would never come off, and for concerts which he did 
not mean to attend. He invested heavily in charity fairs, and 
subscribed liberally to funds for the relief of supposititious 
widows and orphans. He shook hands with everybody he 
knew or supposed that he ought to know, heroically dispensing 
bland smiles and sugary compliments promiscuously. And 
he did all of these things with a show of such hearty good will 
as to challenge the admiration of his friend Leslie, and even to 
command the approval of Professor Kauhenfels, notwithstand- 
ing his secret conviction, that all this cajolery, flattery, — this 
sycophantic fawning and toadying to the voters in reality 
never changed any one's mind, and that he was a despicable 


coward, truckling to a base and really unfounded popular 

Down at Busch Bluff bis course did not meet with unani- 
mous favor. The old gentleman, to be sure, thought his can- 
didacy quite the proper thing for an editor and a lawyer, 
and was not disposed, therefore, to find fault with Victor's 
efforts to court popularity. His sister Pauline, too, looked 
upon his prospective election to the legislature with not a little 
pride, never once questioning its absolute certainty, and took 
pleasure in hearing the subject discussed, particularly when it 
was discussed by the young lawyer, who was such a firm friend 
of her brother, and who could talk so fascinatingly about her 
brother's jjrospects — or about anything else that formed the 
subject of talk between them. But Woldemar's aristocratic 
notions, accumulated during his European experience, rebelled 
against what he termed cowardly cringing before the rabble. 
It was bad enough that a member of the family should be 
identified with politicians, and he could hardly forgive Victor 
for standing as a candidate. But that he should degrade him- 
self to the level of the scum of the city, fawning like a servile 
dog before the rag-tag populace supposed to have votes, — 
this was more than the stomach of Woldemar Auf dem Busch 
could stand without violent protest. And so he protested. 
Protested in sharply sarcastic rebukes administered without 
stint. All the more bitter when the young lawyer was by, 
whom he never failed to include in his sneers, and whom he 
openly blamed as the seducer of his cousin, misleading him 
and corrupting his morals. 

Toward Pauline Woldemar's manner had undergone a re- 
markable change of late. The lofty condescension, that had 
formerly characterized his intercourse, was no longer observ- 
able. His patronizing airs were now supplanted by a show of 
deferential devotion that puzzled, while it pleased, Pauline. 
Assiduous court he paid when alone with her, or at least when 
the young Southerner was not bj', so that Pauliue often avou- 
dered whether Cousin Woldemar was profiting by Mr. May's 

TOO LATE. 361 

example of politeness. But the frigid reserve displayed when- 
ever the latter was present, as well as the severity of his com- 
ments on the disgraceful doings of Victor under the influence 
of Mr. May, too plainly indicated his aversion. 

One other member of the family, — Mrs. Auf dem Busch 
herself, — took sides with her son in these dissensions, so far 
at least as to show herself less gracious than formerly in her 
intercourse with both the young politicians. Victor, on his 
part, ascribed the loss of favor to the fact that he was a can- 
didate, and it did not trouble him much. Nor did her haughty 
deuieanor toward Mr. May lessen the frequency of this gentle- 
man's visits to the villa. What with friendly calln on the 
ladies, such as might be demanded by, or at least find excuse 
in, social etiquette, calls on the old gentleman for advice (which 
he professed to value most highly), on imi^ortant business 
matters, calls in the comjDauy of the professor, appointments 
with Victor to start out on some pre-arranged electioneering 
jaunt, which invariably landed him at Busch Bluff — there was 
never lack of occasion to visit the place where Pauline Wald- 
horst dwelt. 

Perhaps Victor was mistaken as to the cause of Mrs. Auf 
dem Busch 's coolness toward him. It may have been less the 
sympathy with her son's aversion to politicians that produced 
it, than the conviction, reached by a mother's reasoning, that 
Victor was to blame for Woldemar's uncomfortable state of 
mind, because he had originally brought the smooth-tongued 
Southerner into contact with the family. Victor was blissfully 
ignorant of the offense he had thus given, as also of the dis- 
comfort experienced by Woldemar in consequence of the 
intimacy springing up between the Southerner and his sister 
Pauline, — an intimacy patent to every one but him. The old 
gentleman noticed it with profound regret, for it sadly threat- 
ened his pet plan of obtaining Pauline for a daughter-in-law. 
Mrs. Auf dem Busch saw it, of course, for it gave uneasiness 
to her son. It was not in her nature to hate cordially ; but 
Leslie May came as near to arouse this feeling in her breast as 


anyone had ever done. She did not love her foster-daughter 
with any degree of cordiality ; but she had accustomed herself 
to look upon her as Woldemar's future wife, and the evident 
favor with which the young girl received the attentions of the 
stranger, she thought unbecoming in one aspiring to the honor 
of becoming her daughter-in-law. The thought of serious in- 
tentions on the part of the young lawyer did not trouble her ; 
she was, on the contrary, firmly convinced that he was an arrant 
flirt, playing with the girl's affections for his mere amusement. 
That Pauline should, in her giddy vanity, permit this trifling, — 
that she should so far forget her own dignity and the relations 
she sustained to the family — this it was that tried her patience. 
And on this point there was perfect unanimity between mother 
and son, although not a word had ever been spoken on the sub- 
ject by either. But the mother's eye was quick to discern, 
and her heart tender to sympathize, with the trouble of her off- 
spring. It needed no words to reveal to her that Woldemar 
suffered, — more keenly, perhaps, than he was willing to con- 
fess even to himself. 

It was indeed a strange experience through which the young 
merchant was passing. Why should he be so keenly vexed by 
Pauline's impropriety of conduct — for he was honestly con- 
vinced that it was improper — toward this presumptuous young 
Southerner? He was not her guardian, not her brother, — not 
even her suitor. 

Not her suitor ! 

Yet she must know that it was his father's darling wish that 
she should be his wife. To be sure, he himself had never 
spoken a word either to her or to any one else, that might be 
construed as a promise, or as in any wise pledging him. He 
had been too wise and too guarded in his conduct for that. 
And, coming to think of it, might not her conduct be accounted 
for on the theory that Pauline was piqued by his lack of lover- 
like attentions toward her? He had heard of such things as 
young ladies coquetting with others for the purpose of rousing 
the jealousy of those whom they wished to attract. Yes ! 

TOO LATE. • 363 

That must be it. Well, thcu, he would drive this presump- 
tuous stranger out of the field by treating the lady with a little 
more cionsideratiou and devotion. He might go so far without 
irretrievably committing himself. This thought flattered his 
vanity. He found it easy, — found it delightfully agreeable, 
indeed, — to j^ay courtly attentions, in a mild, non-committal 
way, to his fair cousin. But the effect on Pauline was not as 
he had anticipated. She seemed very much pleased, indeed, 
by his kind treatment ; but the smile of sisterly gratitude with 
which she rewarded him was cold and tame in comparison with 
the beaming joy that flushed her cheeks when welcoming the 
young lawyer. The flirtation with the latter, as he was pleased 
to consider it, continued unabated, and Woldemar began to 
suspect his cousin of being a heartless coquette. How strange 
that he should discover this trait in her character just now ! 
How, stranger still, that he found it so difficult to believe ; how 
■strangest of all that this discovery should make him miserable ! 

Miserable ! That Pauline was a coquette ! What business 
was that of his ? His pride took alarm. The coquette must 
be left to her fate. This savage resolution soothed his ruffled 
temper for a time, at least when Leslie May was present. But 
in his absence, a word, a look from Pauline was sufficient to 
melt it into thin nothingness. Then he came to the conclusion 
that charity toward the poor girl demanded a heroic sacrifice 
on his part. Filial duty pointed in the same direction. He 
must commit himself openly by appearing as Pauline's suitor. 

It astonished Woldemar how little effort it cost him to 
adjust himself to this situation when he had resolved to make 
the plunge. He admitted to himself, with a feeling something 
like compunction, that he ought to have done so long ago. It 
would have pleased his father. It would have saved Pauline 
the humiliation of this disgraceful flirtation with a stranger. 
And he gloated veugefully on the anticipated discomfiture of 
the detested lawyer, to forbid whose further intercoure with 
Pauline would be his first care after informing the fortunate 
young maiden of the distinction awaiting her. Still, he put 


off the decisive word from day to day, hardly knowiug how to 
account to himself for the delay. Surely, it could not be that 
he was afraid? Oh, no! Diffidence was not his weakness. 
He had fully made up his mind ; his opportunities to be alone 
with the maiden — he might now truly say, the maiden of his 
choice — were ample ; there was no conceivable obstacle in the 
way: Why, then, delay? 

But one morning, — the morning of a glorious, mellow Sun- 
day in October, full of sunshine and that soft, hazy Indian 
Summer brightness peculiar to Western Autumn weather, — 
the young lawyer was on hand directly after breakfast, wait- 
ing, he said, for Victor and the professor, who were to meet 
him here for a canvassing tour into the suburbs, to make sure 
of some voters supposed to be doubtful. He ])rofessed sur- 
])rise that the others had not yet arrived ; but Woldemar sus- 
pected that he did not feel his disappointment too keenly. 
And the readiness with which he joined Pauline in a walk over 
the grounds, to insi)ect chrysanthemums and asters, the dahlias 
and what other floral tribute generous Autumn yielded, and the 
])leasure mirrored in Pauline's face seemed to sujjport his mis- 
givings. It was very evident that the time before the arrival 
of the other conspirators against Woldemar 's peace passed 
more heavily to him than to either Mr. May or his cousin. 
During the exceedingly tedious interval of half an hour, while 
he was watching the yoiuig couple from an upi)er windoAv of 
the house, the resolution rii)ened in Woldemar's breast that he 
would not Avait another day — not another hour — before he 
would claim at Pauline's hand the privilege of getting rid of 
the hated, dangerous, soft-spoken — intruder, — rival, he 
came near thinking, but that he indignantly suppressed the 
word as being unworthy of himself. In accordance with this 
resolution he threw off his dressing gown, worn, as was cus- 
tomary at Busch Bluff Villa on Sunday mornings, for comfort ; 
made an unusually careful toilet, and placed himself in ambush 
to intercept Pauline before she should return to the house after 
seeing the politicians off. 


Presentlj' he saw her wave her handkerchief to the young 
men, as they drove away in the barouche, and turn her face 
toward the villa. He watched her fi'om a bosquet of dense 
foliage, as she stepped leisurely along the graveled pathway, 
not aware that she was being observed. Her face glowed with 
unusual animation, though her eyes had an absent, dreamy 
look, as if her thoughts were far away. When she passed the 
bosquet, Woldemar stepped forth from his ambush, accosting 
her with an abrupt request for a moment's conversation. 

"Cousin Woldemar! " she exclaimed, with a little shriek 
of surprise at the sudden apparition. " How 3'ou have fright- 
ened me ! ' ' 

"I beg your pardon, Pauline," he said in reply. "And 
I hope that your surprise will be of a more pleasing nature 
when you have heard what I wish to say to you. May I 
detain you for just a little while before you return to the 
house? " 

" Why, certainly. Cousin Woldemar," said the girl, recover- 
ing herself. " But why not go in ? We have all the forenoon 
before us ; and if what you have to say is pleasant, as you 
suggest, let uncle and aunt share the pleasure with us. Or," 
she added, casting a glance at his full toilet, " are you on your 
way up town ? ' ' 

"Not unless you send me away," he said with a com- 
plaisant air, and a smiling look into her wondering eyes, which 
for some reason unaccountable to her, she was not pleased 
with. " Can you not guess what it is that I wish to say? " 

" No, Cousin Woldemar, I have not the least idea. Unless," 
she added archly, "you have changed your mind about poor 
Victor's electioneering. Is it something about the election? " 

" Election ! " he repeated, disgust audible in his voice, and 
a shade of disappointment visible in his eye. " You can think 
of nothing, of late, but polities and politicians. No ; I have 
that to say that concerns you and me more nearly." 

The light died out of Pauline's eyes. The roguish smile 
that had accompanied her last words, faded from her face. 


Woldemar could not but notice the change. " Be not afraid," 
he said, forcing a smile, but not able to hide all traces of 
disappointment. " I am not going to scold you. Although," 
he added, with an indifferent attempt at playfulness of manner, 
" some people might have deemed it their duty, in my place, 
to caution you against such improprieties of conduct as you 
have indulged in. But — " 

"Improprieties of conduct?" the girl repeated, turning 
pale. " What do you mean? " 

" Oh, nothing in particular," was the answer, given a little 
reluctantly. " Let it go. I was about to say — " 

"But wherein have I been guilty of improprieties?" 
Pauline demanded, in a low, but emphatic voice. " I have a 
right to know." 

" Well, I mean of course, your toleration of the shameful 
way in which this young hot-blood of a Southerner has been 
paying court to you," said Woldemar. 

" Shameful, Cousin Woldemar? " The blood had retreated 
from the face of the young girl, leaving it as white as the lace 
collar that encircled her throat. " What word has he spoken 
that was not gentle and courteous? What act has he been 
guilty of, that was not worthy of a gentleman? " 

" Oh, I dare say that he was polite and courteous enough — 
to you at least. But do you believe it to be consistent with 
maidenly modesty and good manners, that one, who is to be 
the wife of another man, should accept such attentions? " 

" Was I to be the wife of another man? " Pauline asked, 
fixing a searching glance on the young man's face. " If so, 
it is strange that no one ever told me of it." 

" Oh, well, the matter has not been put into the shape of a 
written contract, ' ' Woldemar replied, a little petulantly. "But 
you know, as well as I do, that it is my father's wish that I 
should marry you. Why do you, then, let this fine-spoken 
gentleman play with you as if you belonged to him ? Why 
lavish upon him smiles, and favors, and compliments, such as 
you have never bestowed upon me? " 

He oazed into her face with unleiiiiied tenderness. 

TOO LATE. 367 

A deep Hush for a momeut crimsoued Pauline's face, to 
leave it, iu the uext, as pale as before. " Cousiu Woldemar," 
she said, speaking in a low unimpassioned voice, hardly above 
a whisjjer, yet with an emphasis that deeply impressed her 
cousin, " 1 am glad, that you throw all the blame on me. For 
that proves, that Mr. May has not, even in your estimation, 
been guilty of the shameful improprieties of which you speak. 
I doubt that he or any one else could infer from your conduct 
that I was to be your wife, or that you loved me. As to myself, 
I sincerely grieve that by any act of mine I have forfeited your 
esteem. But would you have deemed it maidenly modesty in 
me to give Mr. May to understand that any other than a cousinly 
relation existed between you and me, when you had never, 
by any word, conduct, or even gesture, hinted such a thing? " 

Her words fell heavily on his ear. He felt himself decidedly 
at a disadvantage. But never before had Pauline appeared to 
him so queenlike in her dignity, so charming in her exquisite 
beauty, so altogether lovable as now. And he understood, 
now, what a faux pas he had committed in opening the conver- 
sation, and was eager to repair his mistake, 

' ' But I do love you ! " he exclaimed with greater warmth of 
feeling than he had ever displayed in her presence before. " I 
love you with all my heart ! And I came here to tell you so. 
Pardon me, Pauline, for offending you. I did not mean it. 
Forget my rude words. It was a mistake I made ; I see now 
that I have been iu the wrong all the time. You are good and 
wise; you wnll forgive my blindness, will you not? And all 
will be well with us, now that you know that I love you." 

He gazed into her face with unfeigned tenderness ; he sought 
to seize her slender white hand. But the hand moved away 
from his, and his eager ^aze was met by an earnest, almost 
sympathetic look out of her soft brow^n eyes, — a look so 
eloquent of tender regret, and withal of a deep joy which she 
could not wholly conceal, that it thi-illed him with ecstatic de- 
light, while yet it gave him vague alarm. "*I have nothing to 
forgive, Cousiu Woldemar," she said, " although some of your 


words have deeply pained nie. I, too, may pain you by what 
I have to say ; but you will be glad of it in the end. For you 
are right in saying' that I knew it to be your father'.s wiyh that 
I should marry you. At least I was presumptuous enough to 
so imagine from his genuine kindness and fatherly tender- 
ness toward me at all times. But it was never your wish, Cousin 
Woldemar. You never loved me. You do not love me now. 
If it be your intention to marry me, it may be beeause you are 
angry with Mr. May ; or because you wish to please your 
father ; or even because you wish to please me. That is kind 
and generous of you ; but it is not love." 

Her words stung Woldemar to the quick, for he felt them to 
be literally true, so far as they referred to the past. And in 
his present mood it maddened him to think how foolishly he 
had underrated the priceless treasure so long as it was within 
easy reach. But why should she doubt his protestations 
now? That his present feeling toward her was that of 
love — of passionate, mad, unreasoning love — was beyond 
question to him. And she ought to know it, because he 
had told her so. Perhaps he had not been emj^hatic enough 
in his declaration. Was she right, — had he given her 
sufficient reason to suppose that he was acting simply in obe- 
dience to his father's wishes? It began to dawn upon him that 
Pauline might possess a degree of pride that he had never sus- 
pected, and that she might insist on being wooed for her own 
sake. It cost him no effort, now, to meet her on this level. 
So he repeated his assurances with greater warmth and emphasis. 
He called on God to witness the sincerity of his passion. He 
had recourse to the vows and oaths of which lovers are so 
prolific to gain their ends. He would have knelt to her, but 
for Pauline's imperious gesture forlAdding it. For the first 
time in his life he doubted his oratorical powers, and condes- 
cended to precatory phrases. 

With indifferent success, or rather, without success. For a 
faint smile of incredulity curled the girl's lips as she answered, 
improving the first pause he made in the flow of his earnest 

TOO LATE. 369 

protestations, " How can you believe that you love me, when 
you have such sharp eyes for my ' improprieties ? ' Is not Love 
usually depicted with bandaged eyes, and ought he not to l)e — 
just a little — blind ! " 

Her self-possession and calmness, emphasized by that shadow 
of a smile, contrasted sharply with the fever of passion into 
which he had worked himself. Her lack of response to his 
l)leadiugs began to alarm him. The thought maddened him 
that his suit might meet with a rebuff. His wounded pride 
got the better of his judgment. 

" What is it that you demand of " he exclaimed hotly. 
" Must I be blind, in order that you may believe in my love, 
or in the sincerity of my words ? ' ' 

The smile vanished from her face. "I do not doubt the 
sincerity of your words, Cousin Woldemar," she said, the 
calm assurance of her manner impressing him more even than 
her words. " I am sure that you are incapable of any inten- 
tion to deceive me. But I am equally sure that you are 
deceiving yourself." 

" Oh, Pauline, how can you speak so cruelly! " he protested 
anew. " Do you doubt the genuineness of my passion, when 
every fiber of my heart quivers with intense longing for your 
love ! What can it be but love that compels me to confess to 
you how wrong I have been all this time ? Or am I indifferent 
to you? Have I sinned, in my blindness, beyond forgive- 
ness? " 

Pauline was about to answer, when the voice of Mrs. Auf 
dem Busch was heard from the house, summoning the girl to 
the performance of some household duty, which summons she 
hailed as a most welcome pretext to shirk an answer. But as 
she turned to obey, Woldemar seized her hand with a firm 

"Let mama wait! " he exclaimed peremptorily. "Speak 
to me before you leave me." 

"Then listen, Cousin Woldemar," she said, speaking in 
low, measured accents, looking him full in the face, for a sec- 



ond, then dropping her eyes to the grouud. "I do not love 
you. I know, now, that I never did love you. There was a 
time when I would gladly have assented to your father's wish 
to become your wife ; that time is gone by. I can never be 
your wife." 

She again started to go ; again he stopped her. " Stay! " 
he cried. " Tell me, when did you learn that jow cannot love 
me? When did you find out that you can never be my wife? " 
" You have no right to ask me such a question," she replied, 
drawing herself up to her full height. " But I will tell 3"Ou. 
It was when I became convinced that you did not love me. 
Then I knew that I could not ; that I would not accept your 
hand or fortune as a beggar accepts alms." 

" Ah, that is it! " he exclaimed, in a tone blending sarcasm, 
anger and defiance. " This fine Southern gentleman has 
taught you what love is, and now you turn your back on your 
earlier friends. You and your brother Victor worship this 
paragon of a backwoodsman as if he were a superior being. 
You are both attracted by him as the moth is by a brilliaut 
light. And you will both learn, that although his light is but 
the murky flame of a tallow dip, it is sufficiently hot to burn 
to a cinder your showy wings, and leave you maimed for 

Then, flinging away the hand he had held in his iron grasp, 
as if he were hurling the girl herself from his pathway through 
life, he made for the garden gate in angry strides, leaving 
Pauline free to join his mother iu the house, 

Mrs. Auf dem Busch had witnessed the angry departure of 
her son, and probably heard the last loudly sj5oken words. 
She accosted Pauline as to what had happened between her 
and Woldemar. 

" He is angry with me," said the girl, hoping, though 
faintly, that something might happen to avert the necessity of 
an ex})lanation. 

" I could see that myself," the lady replied. " I wish to 
know what von naid to make him angrv." 

TOO LATE. 371 

Pauline looked around uneasily as they passed through the 
hall toward the sittino- room. She knew that Uncle Auf dem 
Busch was in the library reading his Sunday paper: If he 
would only call her! They reached the sittihg-room, and 
Pauline, seeing no escape from the impending doom, nerved 
herself for the ordeal. She gave a simple and truthful account 
of what had been said, making no attempt to shield or excuse 
herself, or to throw any blame on her cousin. 

A cloud had been gathering on the face of Mrs. Auf dem 
Busch which made Pauline exceedingly uncomfortable. When 
it broke at the conclusion of the recital, there was a storm which 
the girl suffered to blow over without murmur or resistance. 
Mrs. Auf dem Busch summoned and pressed into service her 
whole stock of sarcasm (easily exhausted) and invective (of 
which she possessed a goodlier store) to do justice to the 
occasion. The poor girl was enlightened as to many traits in 
her character the existence of w-hich she had not before sus- 
pected. Fickleness, ingratitude, head-strongness, coquetry, 
self-conceit, silliness, were some of the ingredients composing 
it, as she might learn from her aunt's schedule of them. The 
voice of the latter lady was somewhat more emphatic than 
usual. It was sufficient in volume to penetrate to the library 
and attract the attention of her husband, who presently made his 
way into the sitting-room to learn the cause of the excitement. 
Mrs. Auf dem Busch spared the girl the pain of repeating her 
confession by volunteering the desired information, given not 
so tamely, perhaps, as Pauline had given it to her, but with an 
emphasis and accentuation of particular phrases, which, to- 
gether with some embellishments that added spice to the plain 
truth, made Mrs. Auf dem Busch' s version much more pointed 
and exciting to the old gentleman than Pauline's would have 

But Mr. Auf dem Busch did not duly appreciate the rhe- 
torical accomplishment of his spouse ; or, perhaps, overrated 
the same. For he capriciously insisted on hearing the story 
over again from Pauline herself, ungallantly suggesting that 


perhaps the lady's presence was ueeessarv in the^kitchen, to 
insure the success of their Sunday dinner, while he put the girl 
through her catechism, 

" Yes," said Mrs, Auf dem Busch, getting ready to obey 
her husband's broad hint, " this hussy is not worth the spoiling 
of our dinner on her account. To refuse our Woldeniar ! 
Does she expect a prince out of a story book to come and 
marry her ? ' ' 

She was about to leave the room, when she suddenly turned 
to the girl, commanding her to see to the cooking in the 
kitchen. Then, when the girl had obeyed, she addressed 
herself to her husband, " Now what are you going to do about 
the matter? You will have to speak an earnest word, to In'ing 
her to her senses. If the shameful ogling and coquetting with 
this wind-bag of a lawyer, whom Victor has brought into our 
house, is not stopped, and that right soon, she will become the 
talk of everybody that knows us. It looks as if she has got 
it into her silly head that this coxcomb :neans to marry her : 
but he has no more notion of it than of marrying our kitchen 
girl. He is just making a fool of her for his amusement. 
Now, you talk to her, as you can when you are in earnest. — 
The idea of her refusing our Woldemar ! " 

The old gentleman was more deeply affected than he cared 
to show, " It is a case of much stupidness," he said at last, 
interrupting the strides with which he was measuring the lloor. 
" Much stupiduess ! More of Woldemar than Pauline, If I 
had the chance, like Woldemar has the chance, this Mr. May 
would have no chance. But Woldemar learned stupidness in 
Germany, and he brought it home with him. And he lets it 
grow here. So a fool he is! The beautifullest plun'i just 
waited that he opened his mouth, and wanted to just plump 
in. And he looks in the clouds, and lets another fellow 
snap up the plum right before his nose. It is enough to get 
mad ! ' ' 

'^ Busch, you are a fool! " Mrs. Auf dem Busch informed 
him, with an air of sincerity that ought to have carried con vie- 

TOO LATE. '373 

tion to the merchaut's mind, " You are so gone on this girl, 
that I do jjelieve you would marry her yourself, if you had the 

" Then I would be not a fool ; contrary, wise. But because 
I am not a widower, and possess not the right of a Mormon, 
you are enough wives for me." 

" And are you going to uphold this vixen in her self-willed 
foolishness? " the lady went on, ignoring his allusion to Mor- 
monism. "She will listen to no one but you. I might talk 
to her until I am hoarse, and she would no more mind it than 
if I talked to the wind. A stern,, severe sermon from you 
might bring her to her senses." 

" Mean you, that I shall frighten her to love Woldemar? " 
he asked, soberly. " I will not shame my son so much as that. 
If he is proud, as he shows to be, he wishes not a wife that I 
court for him. And it is not right that I thrash Pauline if she 
says no. But you have so much right : I must talk to her. 
Go, send her here. But scold her not, mind! You don't 
know how your talk makes her grieve, and it is not her fault, 
when your talk does no good. It is I who shall scold so much 
as it is good for her." 

Mrs. Auf dem Busch shook her head doubtlngly as she left 
the room. She clearly mistrusted her husband's willingness 
to impress the wayward girl with the enormity of the offense 
of rejecting the suit of her son Woldemar. 

Some minutes passed before Pauline came back. Whatever 
her uncle had intended to say to her, was postponed for the 
moment, when he noticed a suspicious redness about her eyes. 
' ' Did your aunt say something to you before you left her ? ' ' 
he inquired instead, betraying ungallaut doubt whether his 
spouse had obeyed his parting injunction. 

Pauline shirked a direct answer. She approach him with 
downcast eyes. But when she raised her face to look into 
his, he saw therein freshly shed tears. " Are you very angrv 
with me. Uncle?" came from her lips, in a voice of anxious 


"You feel, that I have right to be angry, — not?" he 
blustered, more sternly than was his wont in speaking to her. 

"Oh, Uncle, I am so sorry! So sorry!" she went on, 
looking at him out of her great, tear-dimmed eyes in pathetic 
appeal. " Oh, if you knew how sorry I am ! " 

"You have right to be sorry, not? " His voice sounded 
rougher, even, than before. 

" It makes me so miserable, dear Uncle, to know that you 
are displeased with what I have done." 

" Nonsense! " the father of Woldemar exclaimed, a gleam 
of hope brightening for a. moment his sober face. "If you 
sorry, all is yet right. Woldemar is not so a fool, as he tries 
to be to you. He will speak over, and you speak so that you 
are not sorry." 

" But oh, dear Uncle, I cannot speak so that you will not be 
sorry," the girl sobbed out in keen distress. " For 3^ou wish 
me to say yes, do you not? That is what makes aunt angry, 
because I did not say yes. And I must say no, dear Uncle, 
indeed I must! " 

" So, so, you must say no? " he remarked, eyeing her 
sharply. " Why must you say no? Is not Woldemar good 
enough for you ? " 

" Oh, how can you ask me such a question! " she replied, 
looking at him reproachfully. " Cousin Woldemar is high- 
minded, noble and generous. He is good enough for the 
proudest lady in the land. And I thought it would be so easy 
a task to love him — ' ' 

' ' Easy task ! ' ' the old gentleman shouted. ' ' Task ! Well , 
and why loved you him not ? ' ' 

A deep blush suffused her cheeks. Whether of anger or of 
shame he could not be sure. She dropped her eyes as she an- 
swered, almost in a whisper : "Because he did not ask me to." 

"So an ass! " the irate man almost shouted. Then, turn- 
ing to the girl with scowling face, he added: " Because you 
never helped him, — not? Because he could read in your 
face that you would say no, when he would ask you, — not? " 

TOO LATE. 375 

" If he had asked me, I would not have said no, dear rneli', 
I am sure I would not." 

" But you said no, when he asked you this mornino-, — not? 
Why said you no this morning? " 

" Because, " she stammered, "he — he asked me — too 
late! " 

A low whistle, a look into her face betraying genuine sur- 
prise, regret and unmistakable vexation, marked the effect 
upon him of her words. " So, — that is the time of day? " he 
said, after a little pause. "Too late! Then, also, you are 
already bespoken ? ' ' 

" No, oh no," she exclaimed hurriedly. " Do you mean, 
whether I am engaged? No. If you mean that, you are mis- 
taken. Uncle." 

" Not engaged? " he queried wonderingly. " Then if you 
are not engaged, why spoke Woldemar too late? You like 
him. You say he is good enough for anybody. He asks 
you to marry him. Then, if you are not engaged, Avh}^ say 
you no? " 

"Because, dear Uncle, I cannot love him." Her eyes 
sought the floor, and a crimson flood suffused her neck and 
cheeks, mounting upward over even her forehead as she spoke. 
"I know now, that it would be a lie, if I promised to love 

" More and more stupiduess ! " Uncle Auf dem Busch ex- 
claimed. " Woldemar betook himself like an ass, I know. 
Because he was in Germany. But you have been here with 
me. I am proud over your good sense. What makes you 
a fool now ? ' ' 

" Dear Uncle, be not angry," said the girl, in low, pleading 
accents and with a look of painful distress he found diUicult to 
resist. " I could not do otherwise, indeed I could not." 

" Women and mystery! " the old gentleman mused. " You 
like Woldemar. You like to please me. You like to please 
your aunt. And you are not engaged. Then why not marry 
Woldemar? " 


" Because it would be wrong to man-y a luau I do not love." 

" Then love Woldemar ! " 

'•But, Uncle, Love comes not for the asking. Do you not 
know, that he laughs at the foolish heart that would compel 
him? And when he comes, he knocks not for admittance. He 
takes possession of the heart and rules tvTaunically. All the 
senses are in league with him ; all the affections center in him. ■ 
He glorifies our very being. He elevates us into the realm of 
the Divine ; for love is the God-like gift of God to those whom 
he exhalts." 

Pauline stood erect, as she spoke. A rosy hue overspread 
her face and glorified its expression, as she raised her spark- 
ling eyes, looking, — not at, but thiough her uncle, into the 

"Oh! " said the uncle, raising his eye-brows. "Well, 
Pauline, if you are not bespoken, maybe you ought to be. It 
is a case of much stupidness." 



^ECCAVI! I freely confess, adorable sister mine, that 
six months, — or is it seven? — is entirely too long to 
keep you waiting for the answer to that pathetic ques- 
tion you put to me about the railsplitter's ballad of The 
Glove. And since I am no better acquainted with Schiller's 
poems than yourself, I can only give, by way of an excuse for 
the answer, a rough guess : Let us suppose that the Ger- 
mans, in their inscrutable philosophy, spurn the distinction 
between a mitten and a glove ; and let us suppose, further, 
that the ceremony of presenting the mitten is, among poetical 
Germans, not exclusively a privilege of the lovely sex, as it is 
among us prosaic Americans; then, — don't you see? — the 
application is easy enough. He would politely decline your 
thanks, — give you the mitten, as Victor did when you asked 
him to marry you — in fun. If this explanation is not satis- 
factory, let me suggest to you to get Leigh Hunt's The Lady 
and the Glove, or Bulwer's translation of Schiller's Poems, — 
either of which you will find, no doubt, in the congressional 
library — and read the poem for yourself. 

And having now fully answered the momentous query, I 
will proceed to do such ample penance for my remissness in the 
epistolary duties of an exemplary brother, as shall secure abso- 
lution from even so stern a Father Confessor as Lovely Woman 
can be when she's in a tantrum. I propose to send you such a 
budget of spicy news, as shall cause your feminine heart to 
beat with the very ecstasy of feminine delight. I give you 
fair warning that I mean to disarm your just anger by tickling 
your palate and cramming your maw with the choicest morsels 
of gossip and delicate tid-bits of a swell brother's confidence. 



— To begin with, I might say, as did Citsar to his frieud 
Armiutus, Veni, Vi(h\ Vici. For that is about the size of 
it. But then your woman's fancy might jump to a woman's 
conclusion, and tempt your diminutive wits to set about the 
unmaking of a match that is not yet made. I am sorry that I 
cannot indulge you in such exquisite sport, just now. For 
spoiling a match is, to the girl of the jjeriod, the rarest fun, is 
it not? Always saving, of course, that pinnacle of her ambi- 
tion, — of hooking a lish for one's self, and then flinging the 
silly gudgeon back into the water, with lacerated gills ; or leav- 
ing him to gasp away his miserable life at one's feet, while 
bating the hook for a fresh victim. Oh, no, Nell. I have, 
sometimes, swallowed bait; but never the hook. I manage, 
mostly, to turn the laugh against the fair anglers. 

— But you may congratulate me all the same. For have I 
not realized the maxim taught us by Caleb Amos, — business 
before pleasure? — Nay, have I not inade of business a 
})leasure, while you, poor slave of Society and shuttle-cock of 
Fashion, are making the pursuit of pleasure a laborious, un- 
satisfactory business ? At least I judge from your last effusion 
that you are beginning to realize how high a price you are pay- 
ing for the morbid ambition of shining as the acknowledged 
bell-wether — I mean belle — at Saratoga, or even at the capi- 
tal. I can well imagine how sated — surfeited, rather, — you 
are by this time, of the fulsome adulation of short- witted fojis, 
who brag among themselves of the favors secretly granted 
them by that " adowable creecher ; " and how skeptical you 
have grown of the gushing admiration and friendship of lesser 
stars of the feminine persuasion, who do not believe half the 
horrid stories of your being an incurable flirt and shameless 
coquette — until they have repeated them the half a dozenth 
time. Of course I know how immaculate my charming sister 
is in this respect ; but how are you to stop those tongues from 
wagging, when they Avag in such lovely feminine mouths ? 

— But to my text. The way I took this city by storm, and 
became at once a famous, if not case-hardened lawyer, would 


have astouislied Blackstoue himself, and is, if uot miraculous, 
at least a trifle romantic. My gushing young friend Victor 
Waldhorst (of whom I shall have something more to say by 
and by) was the first to discover my dormant genius, you 
know, and is now fii'mly convinced that destiny means me to 
wear the silken gown and bestride the woolsack as Chief 
Justice of these United States. You would agree with him, I 
have no doubt, in ascribing my phenomenal success to my own 
sterling merits, did not my equally phenomenal modesty impel 
me to give the devil his due, — that is, to admit, that I owe 
my success chiefly to our whilom overseer, old Jeffreys ; it 
came about thusly : 

— On my arrival in this city, I joined shingles with an old 
fox of a lawyer named Simms, and launched my barque to 
pilot confiding clients upon the storm-tossed billows of litiga- 
tion into the haven of success — or defeat. AVell, our firm 
was retained to defend the Quixotic proprietor of a beer gar- 
den, who was indicted for selling beer on Sunday. There had 
been many hundred indictments of the same kind ; for the 
Germans are partial to a drink of beer or wine on Sunday, 
even such of them, if any, that drink nothing but water during 
the balance of the week, and the Sunday law had not been 
enforced until the know-nothings captured the city. So it 
came hard on the keepers of the beer houses to knock under 
to the new regime. I spoke of our client as Quixotic, because 
there was hardly a chance in a thousand to clear him. For 
every phase of the Sunday law had been passed on by the 
Supreme Court. Conviction must inevitably follow proof of 
selling, or even of keeping open an establishment for the sale 
of, beer, or any other alcoholic di'ink, on Sunday. So we 
informed our client of the hopelessness of any defense we could 
make, and suggested to him that by a plea of guilty he would 
not only save his lawyer's fee, but also escape with a far 
smaller penalty.- But he was clear grit : he insisted on being 
defended against an iniquitous and tyrannical law, holding that 
it would be cowardly and wrong for him to submit Avithout 


resistance. So, you see, we lawyers were put on our mettle, 
and I, for one, determined to secure an acquittal, if it were 
within human endeavor. 

It fell to my lot to bear the brunt of probable defeat, as 
being the junior partner, old Simms telling me with a sly wink, 
that one of the most important things for a young lawyer to 
learn was to bear defeat with equanimity. But I determined 
to die game, if die I must ; and knowing that there was no 
hope on the law of the case, I set about studying the chances 
on the facts, by which I mean that I tried to find out what kind 
of evidence would likely be given before the jury to prove our 
client's guilt. With this view I visited the establishment kept 
by him — a beer garden of considerable pretensions and cor- 
responding popularity. There I made some important, at 
least very interesting discoveries ; but of these I will tell you 
later on, for they had no connection with the case in hand, and 
afforded no encouragement in that direction. So I next visited 
the clerk's office of the criminal court, to examine the indict- 
ment. And here, at last, a gleam of light broke in upon the 
hitherto gloomy outlook. Not that I found the indictment 
defective, or the smallest loophole through which I might have 
attempted to extricate my client: The work of the State's 
attorney was properly waterproof. But on turning over the 
paper I found indorsed thereon the name of our former over- 
seer as the sole witness for the prosecution. Here was a pros- 
pect of fun, at least, if not of success. My face must have 
shone with exultation ; for one of the clerks, looking at me 
with an expectant smile, asked me what flaw I had found in the 
indictment. I duly blushed for the unlawyerlike freshness I 
had displayed. A case-hardened lawyer, you know, would have 
reserved all show of feeling for the jury. 

But when the trial came off, I showed my brethren of the 
bar what a lawyer from the backwoods can do by way of 
dressing down a swift witness. The old villain knew me at 
once, of course, and I could see by the fiu'tive glances with 
which he regarded me, that he was not quite at ease. But he 


gave his testimony with remarkable directness and effect, so 
long as he was in the hands of the prosecuting attorue3% He 
had evidently improved in style by the experience he had gone 
thi-ough in the criminal court, — for he was the prosecuting 
witness in a large number of the Sunday cases docketed for 
that term. And even when my turn came to put questions to 
him, he answered boldly and readily enough, until I tackled 
him about his Brookfleld experiences. Of course he denied 
that he had run off from there, and that he had sworn falsely, 
and that he had abused his position as gi"and juror to revenge 
himself upon his employer for having discharged him. Of 
course, too, he lied glibly in answer to my questions as to what 
he had done before he left Brookfleld. It was then that I put 
him through a course of sprouts that opened the eyes of the 
jury. It was absolutely painful, though amusing in the highest 
degree, to witness his awkward attempts to wi'iggle out of one lie 
by telling another, until at last he stuck in the quagmire of his 
lies so firmly, that every motion he made but sunk him deeper, 
and he finally gave up in sullen helplessness. It was an 
easy thing, then, to show by his own testimony that he had 
been hired by a temperance lodge to visit as many of the beer 
houses and pleasure gardens as he could on a Sunday, and 
either to buy and pay for, or induce some other person in 
his presence to order and pay for, beer, wine or other alco- 
holic di'ink so as to be able to swear to enough to secure con- 
viction, in which event he was to be paid by the lodge, in 
addition to the witness fee to be paid out of the costs of the 
case, a certain sum of money. My success was complete. I 
take credit to myself for the hit I made about the pay from 
the temperance lodge ; that was not a random shot, but a 
shi'ewd guess, based on the fact that Jeffreys was the prose- 
cuting witness in so many cases, and my opinion of the narrow- 
minded calibre of the average temperance fanatics. Not only 
was our client cleared, but every defendant, against whom 
Jeffreys was the witness, came off scot-free, because the State's 
attornej' with the approbation of the judge, refused to go to 


the jury iu auy single ease on the unsupported testimony of 
the self-convicted perjuror. There was great rejoicing among 
the Teutons, you may believe, and the law-fii-m of Simms & 
May now enjo^^s great popularity among them. 

— So much for my success at the bar. My career as a poli- 
tician, though equally brief, was even more brilliant. In this 
regard the laconism of Ci^sar would, also, be appropriate and 
expressive. You need not excuse me in your shallow-brained 
fashion, of tooting my own horn, when I say to you: Get 
ready your frippery to shine on the next higher round of the 
Washington Society ladder. Let mama practice to put a little 
extra stiffness into her courtesies to the lions visiting the cai)i- 
tal, so as to support the projier dignity of a senator's wife. 
Now I do not claim the merit of having elected pa._ As you 
hint, in your famous letter to me, he is a perfect team in him- 
self, and has done, no doubt, Herculean work in canvassing 
the State. And I hoi)e, among other things, that Ralph 
Fayton has done his share of work in the vSouthwest, as he 
promised, and as was not only his duty, but to his own inter- 
est to do. But this I may say, defying contradiction, that I 
have done such work, as a veteran wire-puller might be proud 
of. I have hitched teams with a cranky philosopher in run- 
ning the primaries, and keeping the convention straight. We 
succeeded in pledging most of the members nominated for the 
General Assembly, from this county, for pa, and the conven- 
tion endorsed him b}^ special resolution. But above all things 
1 have secured a powerful element of the press, — an element 
that will most likely gain us a number of votes outside 
of our own party. And I have succeeded, — not without 
the aid of the cranky philosopher aforesaid, — in pledging 
Victor Waldhorst to our cause, and securing his powerful 
influence in the interest of pa. You think that was not much 
of a job, do you? But you should know better. You should 
remember that he carries his squeamish conscientiousness to a 
ridiculous extent. He would no more vote for pa, if he be- 
lieved him to be wrong on some serious question of public 


policy, tliau he would lie or steal. But I flatter myself that 
we have him pretty safely bound. He was chairman of a mass 
meeting that instructed for pa ; he was a member of the com- 
mittee, in the convention, that reported in his favor, and 
things must happen strangely indeed, if he can be induced to 
desert our cause, even if he be put to a severe test. 

— Speaking of Victor Waldhorst reminds me, that I must 
tell you the i)articulars of my visit to Vaux Hall Park. That 
is the name of the public garden kept by the client I spoke of. 
Do you remember the place we visited one Sunday afternoon 
while at Stuttgart, called Fran Harm's Garden? Well, this 
Vaux Hall Park is in many respects very much like it. If 
you can bring your mind to bear on the amusing things we 
witnessed there, you will have an excellent idea of the circum- 
stances under which I made the acquaintance of its patrons. 
One of these was a quaint old gentleman, who lectured me in 
a droll compound of Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon on the danger 
of drinking iced lemonade in hot weather. While conversing 
with him and drinking — not lemonade ! — w^ho should rush in 
on us, with radiant face and an exclamation of glad surprise, 
but Victor Waldhorst ! This was interesting in itself ; but it 
became more so by the fact, that he was accompanied by a 
sister, and a cousin and an aunt ; and that the old gentleman 
who had cautioned me against lemonade turned out to be the 
father of the cousin and the husband of the aunt, and therefore 
the uncle of Victor and the sister. Not exactly an uncle in 
fact, as Victor subsequently informed me, but a distant rela- 
tive, called " uncle " by courtesy, as was the " cousin," also 
by courtesy. But the sister was genuine. He introduced her 
as Pauline. That makes her Pauline Waldhorst, — a name 
that sounded not unfamiliar, and not at all unpleasant. Rather 
euphonious I found it in contrast with that oddity that served 
the others for a patronymic, — Auf dem Busch ! — But I think 
the name Pauline alone so pretty, and so much nicer than the 
formal Miss Waldhorst, that you will permit me, at least in the 
privacy of our confidential correspondence, to call her Pauline. 


Well, we had a great afternoon of it. I was polite to the 
ladies (note that I use the plural!) and tried to put my best 
foot foremost, entertaining the company with as lively an ac- 
count of our travels (for I took care to keep you in the fore- 
ground) as I knew how. I needed but slight varnish to my 
colors, for I had very attentive listeners. Pauline, at least, 
and Victor, displayed a degree of interest that was very flat- 
tering to the narrator. Even the old gentleman (who, in spite 
of his whimsicalities, is by no means a fool) never took his eyes 
off my face, except to press upon me, now and then, the very 
excellent Khein wine he had ordered. The cousin alone, whom 
they had introduced as Woldemar Auf dem Busch, seemed 
really bored. I must have trodden on some corn of his. 
Perhaps dimming his lustre as a traveler, for I learned he had 
returned, not so very long before, from a sojourn of several 
years in the old country. Whatever may have been the cause, 
the fact was, that he took no sort of pains to conceal his bad 
humor, and I was rather amused at the grimaces by which he 
betrayed it, and may have, on my part, transcended the limits 
of good form in trying his patience. You need, however, 
waste no sympathy on him. He is big enough to take care of 
himself, and has been to Germany. If he learned manners 
there, it is about time that he should conform to our American 
standard. He deserved all he got from me, and more than I 
gave him, for the exasperating air of proprietorship with which 
he lorded it over that glorious creature who calls him cousin. 

Glorious, did I say? Well, let it stand. I may as well 
confess that I mean it. She is glorious. No newly opening 
rose-bud, gemmed with pearls of dewy morn, can vie with her 
in loveliness. (These words may sound to you like something 
you have heard before ; so I will claim no copyright to them. 
But they express my opinion of her exactly. So I may as well 
employ a few more flowers in sketching her to you.) No daisy 
is more simple, no mignonette more unpretendingly modest 
than she ; yet no camelia more queenlike in regal grace and 
beauty! Her smile, when it comes, (and it is easy to make it 


eomc) nc'celerates the pulse and wuims the heart, as if one had 
drauk sweet wiue. She is not a bkie-stocking ; but has akuack 
of applying dainty scraps of poetry just in the right places. 
Neither forward with her opinion, nor of what you might call a 
talkative disposition, she converses charmingly, and when her 
interest is aroused, her sallies are effective, usually, by their 
naive drollery and vivacious playfulness. 

But she has her faults, too. In all the arts of coquetry her 
education has been sadly neglected. And then her angelic 
goodness makes one feel uncomfortable. I miss the wings on 
her shoulders. Her perfection puts me out of conceit with 
myself. I can see that she ought to naarry some good man, — 
some such paragon of excellence as her brother will be some 
day, when he gets his sentimental nonsense knocked out of 
him by a little rough experience ; or even as her cousin Wol- 
demar might be. if he had not been to Germany. From these 
confessions you will understand that 1 do not propose making 
Victor your brother-in-law, nor, on the other hand, do I con- 
template to give up, just yet, the exquisite sjjort of rousing the 
angry jealousy of the imperious, self-sufficient German Cousin 
Woldemar, by playing lover to this rare piece of girlish love- 
liness. It may prove a blessing in disguise to both. Do you 
understand ? 

— The discovery in Vaux Hall Park had other consequences 
also. It is evident to you, I suppose, that I made liberal use 
of my invitation to visit the villa of Mr. Auf dem Busch. 
There, on my fbrst visit, I became acquainted with an odd 
genius, — no less a personage than a live philosoj^her, who 
gave us a scientific disquisition of the art of carving — in 
which, to do him justice, he is an adept — involving the law as 
a science, and winding up with a sermon on Cats' Tails and 
the absurdity of slave laws. A strange man! Repellant, yet 
fascinating. His influence over the inmates of the old mer- 
chant's household is truly marvelous, though exceedingly di- 
verse. The old gentleman himself admires him as a hunter, 
and is thoroughlv convinced that there is not a more learned 


or profound man in the State. Pauline is infatuated with him 
as a poet ; for she told me that he was the only man who 
had been able to make Goethe speak to her in English. She 
regards him as a superior man, I doubt not; though I hardly 
believe she likes him. Woldemar Auf dem Busch is, in this 
one respect at least, like me : We both look upon him as crack- 
brained, having succumbed to the influence of German meta- 
physics and speculative philosophy. But, unlike Mr. Auf dem 
Busch, who believes him to be an impractical visionary, I am 
convinced that he possesses, in spite of his cranky notions 
about philosophy, a keen insight into the motives and weak- 
nesses of human nature, and a power of organization that is 
truly astonishing. I have akeady indicated to you that it was 
chiefly through his aid that we succeeded in pledging the mem- 
bers of the legislature in pa's favor, and what is almost of 
graver importance, that both Victor and the paper he edits are 
indissolubly attat^hed to his interest. It would have amused 
you to listen to the arguments by which he corrected Victor's 
squeamishness. The latter's nice sense of honor rebelled 
against employing any but the most scrupulously straightfor- 
ward means in carrying on the canvass. But the professor 
convinced him, in spite of himself, that h\^ocrisy and lying were 
conunendable in a good cause. It sounded odd to hear him 
defend hypocrisy and prevarication, and I was sorely afraid 
that he was di'iving Victor into the opposition to our cause ; 
l)ut the professor's words were to him " confirmation strong as 
proof of Holy Writ," and Victor swallowed them all. Young 
Auf dem Busch once told me, that the professor's influence 
over Victor was like that of a snake charming a bird. Now 
doesn't that look like it? Yet Victor would indignantly deny 
that the professor had any influence over him at all, but that 
he only yielded to the force of the reasoning employed by him. 
If so, then reason is the God he worships, and Professor 
Rauhenfels is his Prophet. 

— By the way, Nellie, are you not a little curious to know, 
whether Victor is given to worship any other idol besides Rea- 


son ? I dare say that you have not forgotten the devotion that 
attached him to a little lassie, who played havoc with the hearts 
of the laddies ever so long ago. Have you not his scalp dan- 
gling from your girdle-belt, — one of the earliest trophies of 
your prowess in the warfare against the sterner sex? His 
scalpwound, however, seems not to have proved fatal, — so 
much I can demonstrate, for he still wears a goodly head of 
hair. But as to the condition of his heart — why, you might 
come here yourself. You mean to come at any rate, don't 
you? To help electioneer for pa, you know; for you can do 
more in this line, than any other person, or half dozen per- 
sons, — more than even the professor. For in a certain con- 
tingency, which may or may not arise, his interest will be 
adverse to us, and in that case, nothing will hold Victor, unless it 
be your coaxing. If that contingency should come to pass it may 
turn out, too, that nothing can save pa but Victor and his ad- 
herents. So, if you are in earnest about doing something for 
the honor of our family, don't fail to induce pa and ma to 
make a stay of a few days, on your way home from Washing- 
ton, at this gay metropolis of the West! Don't shirk duty! 
You know as well as I, that your power to lead Victor is 
limited only by the limits of the possible. So come, at the 
risk, if need be, of arousing a little jealousy on the part of your 
intended. — For I suppose that by this time 3^ou have com- 
mitted yourself in the direction of that "sturdy Western 
beau " who went all the way to Washington to angle for an 
heiress and a seat in Congress ? You ought to be weary of 
distributing mittens ; and I judge that Payton has laid close 
siege to your heart, or what there is left of it. I cannot say that 
he is the one whom I would have selected as my brother-in-law ; 
but then this match is your funeral, not mine. I don't admire the 
grit of a man, who has promised his support to pa, in a highly 
important election, and who is himself a candidate for Con- 
gressional honors, and instead- of attending to his business, 
wastes his time in running after his girl, — even if he does 
believe the heiress to be worth more to him than his seat in 



Congress. For I iufer from some of pa's letters that he must 
have been dancing attendance on you at Saratoga, and followed 
you to the mountains ! — But then he's a lucky man, I suppose, 
in having wormed himself into the heart of my giddy sister ; 
and the Germans have a jjroverb that it is the lucky man that 
brings home the bride ! And I hope that it may be his luck to 
lead home the daughter of a United States senator. To insure for 
him this luck, I strongly advise, out of abundance of caution, 
the careful lawyer would say, that you arrange a stay of at 
least a few days, in this city, and duly notify of the day of 
your coming, 

Your indulgent brother 

Leslik May. 



MEMORABLE to Victor Waldhorst was the election of 
1860. While his party had carried their legislative 
ticket by a slight majority, his own vote had been 
largely in excess of that of his colleagues, notwithstanding in- 
cessant vituperative attacks made upon him during the whole of 
the cauvass, in the columns of the rival newspaper. It was a 
vindication, also, of Professor Rauhenfels' prediction of the 
rival editor's discomfiture. " Naturally," he said, in talking 
over the result, "The jaundice-livered miscreant lied; and 
lies have the trick of the boomerang to cut back, sometimes, 
on the projector." 

"Now do you see," said Leslie May triumphantly, "what 
I told you at Brookfield, so many years ago, that you have the 
address of an adroit politician ? ' ' 

The pleasant smile that accompanied Leslie's words carried 
Victor back to the delightful time when they two, with Nellie 
May as an enthusiastic listener, had talked over the colonel's 
chance of success. 

" Of course," had been the echo from Mr. Becker, " our 
editor of the Beobachter has been, thanks to our friend of the 
ojjposition paper, the best advertised candidate in the State." 
And, rubbing his hands in high glee, he added: " He will 
have things his own way in the legislature, and will have no 
trouble in electing a State printer." 

" I hope," was Woldemar Auf dem Busch's comment, 
" that Victor will not sink the character of a gentleman in 
that of the politician, no matter how successful he may be 
as such." 

" Fear you not for our Victor," the old gentleman spoke up. 



" Our Victor is through and through a gentleman. When he 
is a politician, then a politician is a gentleman." 

Memorable, too, was the election of 1860 to politicians ; even 
to statesmen. Memorable, because Democracy, triumphant 
hitherto in the Federal elections, had been hurled from power. 
Not by the verdict of the people in their original capacity : a 
majority of them had cast their votes against the man who 
would be President of the United States by choice of the 
electoral college. A large majority had been cast against those 
who would represent the people in the Congress. But 
Democracy had been dethi'oned, because a house divided 
against itself cannot stand. The democrats had split their 
forces into two angrily contending factions, neither of which, 
alone, was strong enough to outnumber the common adver- 
sary. And thus, although know-nothingism had received its 
quietus, — a fate from which not even the magic of its watch- 
word ' ' Constitutional Union ' ' had saved it — the republicans 
had succeeded, by uniting their vote (not much larger than 
that of either moiety of the democrats) to elect an overwhelm- 
ing majority of the electoral college and of the members of the 
House of Representatives. And politicians and statesmen were 
confronted with a problem whose solution would tax to the 
utmost their united astuteness and wisdom. 

Memorable, above all others, was that election of 1860 to 
patriotically-minded citizens in every part of the Union. It 
aroused fierce anger in one section of the country, finding 
utterauce in wrathful threats of forcible disruption : while in 
the other it fortifled a determined spirit to check the growth 
of slavery and maintain the Union at all cost. As yet there 
was only talk on both sides, though talk fierce and passionate. 
Most people fondly imagined that the quarrel was but a squab- 
ble among politicians ; that the vindictive threats and taunts 
hurled forth and back were but the ravings of magniloquent 
fire-eating fanatics ; and that whatever of real difference there 


might be between the sections would be smoothed over, as so 
many previous quarrels in the history of the nation had been, 
by compromise. For it was monstrous to contemplate that a 
nation of brothers, grown mighty and prosperous under a 
common flag, having by a common effort shaken off the yoke 
of tyranny, shining, the glorious beacon of freedom to all the 
world, should now bespatter the Goddess of Liberty with reek- 
ing gore in fratricidal strife. It was horrible to imagine 
brothers thirsting for their brothers' heart-blood, — kinsmen 
devastating the homes of kinsmen with sword and fire. So 
monstrous and horrible was the contemplation of these things, 
that few people deemed them possible in a Christian country, 
in the nineteenth century. 

Yet there were those, who, albeit not pessimistically inclined, 
were deeply anxious. 

Among these was Victor. The result of the election had 
forced on him the recognition of a phase in the issue between 
North and South which he had hitherto i)ersistently ignored, 
and which now gave rise to gloomy forebodings touching the 
fate of the Republic. As an opponent of slavery on principle 
he had indulged in the hope that its limitation to the States in 
which it now prevailed would of necessity bring about its 
final extinction, and had hailed such a result as the most 
natural and desirable solution of the problem. Now that the 
election had demonstrated the hopelessness of further aggrand- 
izement of slave territory, he saw with appalling distinctness 
that the people of the South understood fully as well as he what 
such limitation of slavery must necessarily lead to. Having 
lost the political ascendency hitherto enjoyed, which had 
enabled them to legislate for the protection of their property, 
they now struggled for its bare preservation. The gradual 
extinction of slavery, Victor now saw with deep anxiety, was 
as much a deprivation of property solemnly guaranteed by the 
constitution, as direct abolition. If aliolitiou was wrong, how 
could it be right to reach the same result by other means? 
And if the South was right in this struggle, w^hat course did 


duty point out for himself ? He was deeply perplexed by the 
distressing uncertainty as to what Justice and Right demanded 
touching this burning question, which he was soon to be called 
on for decisive action. 

But care and anxiety were forgotten when, one day, Leslie 
May informed him that his father, with mother and sister, had 
arrived in the city, and would make a stay of some days be- 
fore proceeding on their way to the capital. Leslie had 
spoken in his usual quiet way, but was keenly observant of the 
effect of his statement on Victor. 

" Really? " the latter exclaimed, steadying his voice with an 
effort, but unable to repress the flush spreading over his face, 
' ' Have you seen them ? And how are they ? ' ' 

" I have seen them, and they are well," replied Leslie, 
smiling at Victor's illy-concealed eagerness. " Both the gov- 
ernor and Nellie inquired after you, and are impatient to see 
you . " 

" I thank you." And after a swift glance into the eyes of 
his friend he added: " And them. Of course 1 shall pay my 
res[)ects to Colonel May. It is highly important that I should 
consult him. And if Miss Nellie — pardon me, I mean Miss 
May — " 

" Now, have done with that nonsense! " Leslie interrupted 
him, assuming that half-dictatorial, half -precatory, but wholly 
irresistible air that he found so effective in cajoling Victor. 
" It is not a question of mock marriage to-day, and you know, 
or ought to know, that my sister is quite ashamed of her 
conduct on that occasion." 

" — If Miss Nellie will do me the honor to receive me, I will 
also call on her." The blush deepened on Victor's cheeks as 
he spoke, but Leslie was, for a moment, uncertain, whether the 
name " Nellie " possessed for the young editor the charm of 

'•'• You need not call on the governor," he said. " I have 
given him your address, and he will hunt you up as soon as 
he has the time. But Nellie and ma ai-e at their rooms in the 


Planters' House, and they will no doubt feel highly compli- 
mented if you will take the trouble to call on them." 

" I shall be happy to do so," said Victor speaking in a tone 
of indifference assumed with a powerful effort. " What hour, 
do you think, would be proper for a visit to the ladies? " 

" No hour better than the present," Leslie answered, con- 
sulting his watch. " They are through with dinner by this 
time, I suppose, and if you do not object, we will just step over 
to the Planters.' " 

Victor was ready for a visit to the ladies of the May family, 
no matter how important the business in hand might be. The 
walk to the hotel was but short. In less than five minutes the 
gentlemen had sent up their cards to the ladies, but were 
informed by the returning messenger that the ladies were not 
in, although their doors were unbolted. 

" Well," said Leslie, " this is unpleasant. But they can- 
not be far off at any rate. Will we wait for them in the 
parlor? " 

Victor had no objection, and followed Leslie. They had to 
pass the ladies' parlor, the door of which stood ajar. Victor 
cast a glance into the richly appointed saloon, and stood sud- 
denly still, — his eyes fixed upon a tableau that deeply im- 
pressed him. On a sofa facing the door sat Ralph Pay ton, 
engaged in eager conversation with a lady by his side, — a lady 
whom Victor so well knew ; and yet he beheld for the first time 
that perfection of beauty that burst upon his intoxicated gaze 
from the sofa there. He stood spell-bound. Every fibre of 
his body thrilled with ecstatic transports. Those clear, gray 
eyes were Nellie's eyes, whose bright flashes had so often pene- 
trated to his heart ; yet now, as they were bent upon her com- 
panion's face, they beamed with a tenderness that was a new 
experience to Victor. That sweet mouth with its rosy lips, that 
had so often charmed him with its make-believe pouts, its 
droll mimicry, its irresistible smiles, was Nellie's mouth, 
tempting, as of old, but expressive, now, of a capacity for 
pathos, as well as humor, that was a new revelation. The 


lady ou the sofa was undoubtedly Nellie May : not the lovely 
child that Victor had known, but a radiantly beautiful 
woman, — the full-blown flower redeeming in resplendent 
brightness the promise given by the exquisite bud. Nellie 
May : But Victor felt as if it would be a desecration to apply 
the endearing diminutive to that maguilicently beautiful woman, 
and repeated mentally : Eleonora ! 

As Victor paused, Leslie looked around. 

" So, this is where you receive your friends? " he said, as 
his eye fell on the occupants of. the sofa. " Well, Mr. Fayton, 
how do you find yourself ? And to what are we indejjted for 
the pleasure of seeing you here ? ' ' 

The lady promptly rose on hearing her brother's voice, and 
while Payton and Leslie were shaking hands she held out hers to 
Victor with a cordial smile of welcome. The blood rushed 
hotly to Victor's head as he stepped forward to clasp the hands 
so graciously extended. " Mr. Waldhorst! " she exclaimed, 
her face beaming with such genuine, unfeigned pleasure as to 
throw her visitor into raptures of delight. "You cannot 
believe how happy it makes me to see you after so long a time. 
You are glad too, are you not? " 

" Indeed I am very glad to see you. Miss May ! " 

" There — please don't Miss May me, unless you wi^sh to 
dis-may me, by remembering those silly words of mine that I 
had hoped you had forgotten ! ' ' She accented her word-play 
with a ripple of low, silvery laughter. " To you, you know, I 
wish to be Nellie. Or have I changed so much, that you do 
not recognize in me your old classmate ? By the way, Victor — 
pardon, Mr. Waldhorst, I should say — you have changed in- 
deed, and very much for the better. I would like to say, if 1 
were not afraid that you would deem me guilty of clumny 
flattery, that you have grown to be quite handsome." 

" Have I outgrown the scarecrow, do you think? " 

" Well, I don't know that I can, or wish to, say that! " she 
replied looking at him with a smile of unmistakable admira- 
tion. " For, do you know, Mr. Waldhorst, that I shall 


always cherish the memory of that brave act of yours as a 
bright, romantic incident in my prosaic life ? That scarecrow 
has taken, in my mind, the shape of a chivalrous knight, whose 
devotion to me I would not willingly forget. — But the change 
I notice in you is less, perhaps, a physical growth, than an in- 
tellectual development ; you have certainly improved in this 
respect since I last saw you at Brookfield." 

" How silly I must have appeared to you in those days! " 

" Unless, indeed," she continued, taking no notice of his 
remark, "it is my own growth and development that enables 
me to see you more truly now. For I, too, have grown some- 
what since then, don't you thiuk, Mr. Waldhorst? " 

To answer this question advisedly, required a closer sui-vey 
of her person, and afforded Victor an excuse to feast his eyes 
anew without seeming to be rude, — an opportunity of which 
he availed himself to the utmost limits of propriety. " Won- 
derfully ! " he said at last, in a subdued voice. Ralph Payton 
was within earshot and Victor felt annoyed by the thought of 
being overheard, so he said nothing. 

Mr. Payton meanwhile chafed under the necessity of answer- 
ing Leslie's questions, and Avas casting uneasy glances in the 
direction of the lady, — a decided frown darkening his fea- 
tures whenever his eye fell on Victor. He was unsuccessful 
in concealing his vexation, if he made the attempt at all, in 
having his tete-a-tete with Miss May interrupted, and Leslie, in 
the sprit of mischief, or for some reason sufficient to himself, 
proceeded to add fuel to the flames of his anger. He took the 
young gentleman's arm and said, in his bantering, pleasant 
voice : 

"Come, Ralph! You have not yet spoken to Mr, Wald- 
horst. Tell him how glad you are to see him ; and then let us 
go and hunt up the governor. NelUe, I suspect, and our friend 
Victor will not be sorry to have us leave them to themselves. 
They surely have a good deal to say to each other after such 
long absence." 

Payton grew wroth. But what was there for him to do? 


Miss May looked as if her -brother's remark quite suited her. 
So he stepped forward to shake hands with Victor, saying, 
with a scowl on his face that belied his words: " I rejoice to 
see you so well, Mr. Waldhorst? " 

Victor's acknowledgment sounded just as cordial. 

After shaking hands. Pay ton bowed to the lady, and saying 
that he hoped to see her later on, when she might be at more 
leisure, he left the room, without wasting another look at Victor. 

" Come and sit down by me," said Nellie, as soon as the 
others had left. -'I am sorry that both papa and mama are 
out, but they will be back soon, and you must content yourself 
with my company the while. I am anxious that papa should 
find you here, for he is real desirous of having a talk with 

Victor gladly complied with her request to sit down beside 
her. He secretly hoped that some propitious power might 
postpone indefinitely the return of both Colonel and Mrs. 
May, while he was contenting himself with Miss May's com- 
pany. The conversation between them was lively, as conver- 
sation with Nellie always was. So lively, that before Victor 
thought the time long, they had thoroughly talked over the 
probabihty of Colonel May's election, agreeing that small 
room for doubt remained, — the daughter ex]>ressing not only 
hope, but firm confidence on this point, and Victor pledging 
his utmost efforts to bring it about. They had engaged, also, 
in a stirring debate on the political situation, their opinions 
diverging just enough to make the discussion highly interesting. 
The lady had the advantage over him in having formed a de- 
cided opinion as to the course which it was the duty of the 
Federal government to pursue toward the States. There was 
no room for doubt in her mind. The whole matter lay in a 
nutshell : The Federal government had absolutely no right to 
interfere with the domestic affairs of the States, but must 
protect the right of property in the slave-holding States as 
effectually as in non-slaveholding States. Any usurpation of 
power to distinguish between them was a breach of the consti- 


tutiou and must be resisted, — by force, if necessary. Her 
reasoning- was plausible, to Victor, at least, who was carried 
away by it in spite of a vague, uneasy suspicion that she was 
repeating the arguments of Southern extremists, which he could 
not wholly sanction. 

After one of her enthusiastic utterings in this direction, 
Victor ventured to suggest: " Don't you think. Miss Nellie, 
that our opponents Avould be right in calling you a pronounced 
flre-eater? " 

" Well, sir, if the assertion of our rights and of our deter- 
mination to maintain them, makes me a fireeater, you may 
set me down as one. And I look upon a man who would do 
less as upon a coward not fit to live in a free land. Is it not 
your opinion, Mr. Waldhorst, that tyi-anny exists, not because 
oppressors are tyrants, but because the oppressed are cowards? 
Then give me a brave fire-eater always before a tamely sub- 
mitting coward ! ' ' 

The conversation was interrupted by a soft knocking at the 
open door. Victor beheld a neatly clad servant of striking 
appearance. Was not that Lucre tia, the slave-maiden belong- 
ing to Nellie? As he looked at her, a slight flush suffused her 
face. It might be because of his rude stare, or it might be 
because she recognized him, — not the slightest twitching of a 
muscle of her face gave indication, unless the dropping of her 
eyes before his gaze might be counted as such. She too had 
grown to be very beautiful, and his mind recalled vividly a 
scene when this superb woman of Junonic grace even then, was 
threatened with the lash in the hands of a brutal overseer. 

"Well, Cressie, what is it?" the mistress inquired, while 
Victor still gazed and mused. 

" Missis May sent me to find you; she is in her room," 
was the answer, spoken in a mellow, pleasant voice, possessing 
all the sweetness but hardly a trace of the pfdois, or lingo 
peculiar to negroes. 

" Very well, Cressie. Tell her I am coming. And tell her 
I. will bring Mr. Waldhorst along, who has called to see her." 


" Yes, ma'am," said the octoroou, casting one eager glance, 
though furtively, at Victor. 

The latter was still looking at the oi)eu door through which 
the gii'l had disappeared when Nellie asked him : 

" You remember Cressie, don't you? Has she not grown 
and improved as much as any of us? " 

" As much as any of us ! " he echoed. 

" I am proud of her," Nellie went on. " She is perfectly 
devoted to me. I can trust her as if she were a sister. I 
sometimes think — now don't you laugh at me ! — I sometimes 
really think that she is trustier, and — well, wiser than I am. 
Now what do you say to that? " 

" That you are fortunate in having so reliable a servant," 
said Victor; "and that her praise, out of your mouth, is 
doubly your own. Imagine her at the mercy of a t>T:ant like 
Jeffreys ! ' ' 

" Don't mention the brute! " Nellie exclaimed, puckering up 
her face into a momentary scowl. Then, brightening, she 
added : " Come now, Mr. Waldhorst, and pay your respects to 
mama. She will be delighted to see you." 

When Victor parted from the ladies, it was after a cordial 
invitation from both to call again before they left the city. 

Victor stepped out of the hotel in exuberant spirits. He 
walked with head erect and eyes turned sk^'ward, as if soaring 
through space. He felt as if he must shout out to the world 
the wild joy of his heart in having found the maiden that had 
won his undying love, — his boyish ideal, cherished so loj^ally 
as the embodiment of feminine grace and beauty transformed 
into a revelation of the Divine, before which he must kneel and 
worship. Yes ! This woman transcended the image hitherto 
enshrined in his bosom as far as his imagination had idealized 
the Nellie May of his boyish days. And she had been so 
gracious, — had received him with such cordiality! How 
could he help reveling in the memory of her smiles, of exulting 
in the touching confidence she so trustfully placed in his ability 
to further the interests of her father ! 


It was a comfort to reflect, that they had, iu the inaiu, 
agreed in their political views. Yet, on recalling her positive 
statements as to the rights of the .South, and the duties of 
freemen, a vague presentiment of trouble crept stealthily into 
his mind, imj^artiug to his blissful day-dreaming the spice of 
uncertainty. What if they should disagree? He choked 
down the doubt as quickly as it arose. Were they not, Nellie 
and he, of one mind on the all-important, to the loving daugh- 
ter overshadowing, subject of Colonel May's election to the 
Senate ! He surely desired his election as ardently as did she ; 
and she knew that he did. What mattered then, disagreement 
on minor points? Could it, if it did exist, endanger the 
cordial relations between them ? 

Then loomed up, in the midst of his busy imaginings, the 
frowning physiognomy of Ralph Payton. A dark shadow ; 
first contrasting with, then imparting its somber hue to, the rose- 
tinted pictures his fancy was weaving. The shadow grew 
darker as he dwelt upon the eagerness depicted on the two 
faces that he had seen turned to one another on that sofa. 

To be sure, there was great unanimity on polities between 
these two, — greater than that between Miss May and himself. 
Naturally : They were both Virginians by birth and Southerners 
by instinct, while he, Victor, had grafted his Southern j)ro- 
clivities on a vigorous stock of anti-slavery convictions. It 
was quite possible, then, that their conversation had turned 
upon the relations between Payton, as the colonel's successor 
in the House of Representatives, and the colonel as a candidate 
before the legislature. But then, why that frown on Payton 's 
face when Victor appeared? If he and Nellie had been talk- 
ing politics would not Payton have hailed Victor as a co-worker 
in a common cause ? And that look of eager tenderness on 
Nellie's face — was it not eloquent of an interest more tender 
than that conditioned by a common political purpose ? The 
brightly colored visions darkened under the shadow of gloomy 
doubt, asserting itself, and demanding recognition. Lucretia's 
pathetic face haunted him, too. Wh}' should it? What had 


he done to the beautiful oetoroou, that her peusive features 
should disturb his peace of mind? Perhaps, — if he had ana- 
lyzed his feelings — he saw in her concrete case the difficulty 
of the problem that was agitating the nation, — a problem that 
had no difficulty for Ralph Pay ton, nor, as he well knew, for 
Miss May. But Miss May's solution was incompatible with 
human rights for the octoroon girl ! 

Nellie's letter to her brother occurred to Victor. " Poor 
Victor," she had written. — And she had told him of her 
" sturdy rural beau," who was to her more than a mere gen- 
tleman, — Poor Victor, indeed ! He experienced an agonizing 
revulsion from the height of human bliss to the depths of doubt 
and despair, as the thought confronted him that the cordial 
welcome she had extended to him was possibly but a form 
demanded by common politeness. Her smiles and pleasant 
words were but the tribute of courtesy and good-nature. She 
felt some compunction, perhaps, for the cruel words she had 
spoken to him before leaving Brookfield, and meant to atone 
for them in this way. Perhaps — he paled at the thought, but 
it forced itself upon him again and again — her feeling toward 
him was simply that of pity. Pity! Oh, if so, what a fool 
he had been ! 

The thought was too humiliating to be borne with equanim- 
ity. A touch of pride came to his aid and for a moment 
assuaged the poignancy of his woe. She need not pity him ! 
No ! Not even from Nellie May, — though dearer to him than 
his heart's blood — would he accept such alms. He would com- 
pel her to respect him. He would teach her that he was the 
equal, at least, of the man upon whom she lavished the price- 
less boon of her affections. 

As for Ralph Payton, — let him beware how he cross the 
path of Victor Waldhorst ! 

Victor had looked forward to the interview with Colonel May 
in the eager hope that the veteran statesman might clear up 
the doubts that harassed him about the political situation. 


Vaguely apprehensive that the attitude of some of the Southern 
States might call for coercive measures on the part of the 
Federal government not consistent with the views of extreme 
adherents to the doctrine of States' Rights, and that in such 
case it would become necessary to take sides for or against the 
adoption of such measures, he yearned for light to guide him 
in determining the course he oiight to take. 

But when they met, their conversation hardly touched upon 
politics at all. The colonel, being well aware of Victor's 
loyalty and devotion to him and his cause, spoke upon matters 
personal and easily can-ied Victor along, — obtaining from him 
a minute account of his life and experiences after leaving 
Brooklield, including a description of his present surroundings. 
Victor's narration led the colonel to express a desire to become 
acquainted with some of the people whom he described, where- 
upon Victor immediately proposed a visit to the store of the 
Auf dem Busches on Main Street, where the colonel and the 
two merchants were introduced to each other. 

The junior meml)er of the llrm showed a decided reserve in 
his demeanor, unwilling to enter into conversation beyond what 
mere politeness required ; but the two elder gentlemen took a 
liking to each other at once. So well pleased with his distin- 
guished visitor was Uncle Auf dem Busch, that he extended to 
him and to his wife and daughter an invitation to spend an 
evening at Busch Bluff before leaving the city, — an invita- 
tion which the colonel, in behalf of himself and his ladies, 
promptly accepted. 

'• To-morrow, if it be suiting to you," the merchant pro- 
posed. "Or, if it be that you have not fear before philosophers, 
after-to-morrow. On that evening the Philosophical Society 
hold a sitting at our house, and the philosophers will reckon 
it to their honor if you shall be present." 

' ' What — a regular society for the cultivation of philos- 
ophy?" the colonel inquired. "Then, will it not disturb 
them if strangers intrude on their deliberations? " 

"Oh," said the merchant, "you disturb them not. See 



you, that they disturb uot you. They are not a club, you 
know, — eorporated ; they are meu who meet together, to study 
how to know things. And sometimes women come and help 
them, when it is a fine paper to read. They have meetings 
sometimes in one house, and then in another house, and after- 
to-morrow they shall have meeting at Busch Bluff." 

" You arouse my curiosity, Mr. Auf dem Busch," said the 
colonel. " I take it for granted that you are a member of 
this i)hilosopliical society? " 

" Oh, no! " the merchant rei^lied, with a humorous chuckle. 
" I am not philosopher; sure not speculative philosopher. I 
speculate only sometimes on Main Street. The president of 
the Philosophical Society is a friend, and he honors me to 
bring the society to my house : and 1 like it to hear them talk, 
and sometimes I understand it what they talk. But when I 
understand it, then it is not si)eculative philosophy: contrary, 
common sense. I make no doubt it will interest Colonel May 
and his ladies, to take tea, once, with speculative philosophers." 

"Indeed it will be," said the colonel. "Mrs. Ma^^ will 
feel highly honored, and I am sure my daughter Nellie will 
look upon such an opportunity as a rare treat." 

' ' So after-to-morrow will be fitting to you ? ' ' 

" Certainly. I hope that the ladies will be through with 
their shopping by that time, and will have the more leisure to 
enjoy their visit to Busch Bluff." 

" Also, then on after-to-morroAV evening," said the merchant, 
nodding his head. " I will do me the honor to send the car- 
riage for you, at the Planters', at four o'clock." 


ff/HE news of the iuvitation, wheu auuounced by the 
*• colonel at the Planters' House, did not produce the 
same effect upon the mother as upon the daughter. 
Mrs. May expressed, and still more emphatically looked, de- 
cided disapprobation. " I do not understand," she explained, 
in tone of unmistakable protest, " how you could accept so 
Yery informal an invitation. Who is this man with an un- 
pronounceable name, that he should invite ladies to his house 
who are perfect strangers to him ? ' ' 

" But, Mama," Xellie broke in, " surely, jaapa's name is 
well enough known to be received as a voucher for the respecta- 
bility of his wife and daughter ? ' ' 

" I dare say it is," the elder lady replied, a touch of sarcasm 
in her voice, while a slight nod of the head might have been 
understood as suggestive of reproof to her daughter. " The 
question, however, is not as to our, but as to his respectability. 
Who is there to vouch for the respectability of his wife and 
daughter? " 

" Why, Mama, Leslie is on intimate terms with the family ! " 
the sister urged with some warmth. 

" You are aware, my daughter," came from Mrs. May 
frigidly, " that your brother Leslie enjoys a degree of freedom 
in the choice of his associates, that is not permitted to ladies. 
And I dare say that you are aware, also, of your brother's 
propensity to run after every pretty face, or what he deems a 
pretty face, without inquiring into the social standing of its 

"But he — I mean Mr. Auf dem Busch — is Victor's 
uncle," the young lady persisted. " And I am just wild to 
become acquainted with Victor's sister." 



"Perhaps, my dear," the mother admonished, "it would 
be more appropriate for you to speak of Mr. Waldhorst with 
less familiarity. He is uo longer the young shopkeeper whom 
it was our pleasure, — or let us say, our duty — to patronize 
in Brookfield. It might now displease him, as well as Mr. 
Payton, to hear you call him by his first name." 

A merry little laugh preceded the daughter's answer. 
" Why, to be sure, he has become the Honorable Victor Wald- 
horst ! And 1 have really forgotten to tease him with his new 
title. He is the editor of a newspaper with a name unspeak- 
able except in the German tongue. And the Honorable Ralph 
Payton honors him Avith his jealousy. You are right, Mama, I 
must be more cautious to avoid taking the Christian names of 
these Honorables in vain. At least in their absence." Then 
she added more soberly, " Now is not that respectability 
enough? The uncle, the aunt and the sister of an Hon- 
orable? And, Mama, coming to think of it, this uncle has 
quite a claim to papa's recognition on his own account. He 
presided at the mass meeting which instructed for him as 
United States senator, and was a member of the convention." 

" Such an upstart he must be! " the elder lady ejaculated, 
in no wise propitiated by Nellie's playful attempts at concilia- 
tion. " To think, that he should put upon us the affront of 
offering to send us his carriage ! " 

" Pray, Louise, is that the head and front of his offending? " 
the Colonel queried, smiling quizzically. " I ask for informa- 
tion, because I was impressed with the notion that it was 
rather thoughtful of the old gentleman, to spare us the annoy- 
ance of having to inquire our way to his villa." 

" Villa ! " the lady repeated disdainfully. " What airs these 
Germans put on about their suburban roost ! ' ' And then she 
added, a little more resignedly, assuming the air of an injured 
victim to the exactions of tyrannical Democracy, " To think, 
that the wife and daughter of a — congressman, should be 
called on to ride in the carriage of a parvenu, merely to gratify 
his vulgar ambition! " 


" Well, my dear, the mischief is done," said the colonel, 
good-naturedly. "There is no use crying over spilt milk. 
We are going to see what a galaxy of speculative philosophers 
looks like, when assembled at tea." 

And Mrs. May accepted the inevitable with what grace she 
might, solacing herself Avith the reflection that the ladies they 
were going to visit were unknown to Washington society, and 
strangers to Brookfleld, so that it w^as very improbable indeed 
that she should ever be called on to extend social recognition, 
as a senator's wife, to any of the family. 

Uncle Auf dem Busch passed through a similar experience 
on making known to his family the honor in store for them by 
no less an event than the visit, with wife and daughter, of 
a prospective United States senator. " It was very thought- 
less of you to invite guests for the evening when you know the 
philosophical society is going to swarm here," Mrs. Auf dem 
Busch remarked, the while a perceptible frown darkened her 
comely features, caused, perhaps, by honest dread of the task 
of entertaining guests of such high quality. 

" Contrary, thoughtful," was the merchant's reply. " The 
colo-nell and the ladies from Washington will find pleasure to 
look at philosophers when they drink tea. The colo-nell said 
it expressly. 

"Drink tea?" the lady inquired. "Did you invite them 
for tea, or for supper, or dinner? " 

"Tea? Supper? Dinner? the merchant repeated with a 
look of bewilderment. " I invited riot for dinner, not for sup- 
per ! I invited for four o'clock. Four o'clock p. m. Means 
that dinner? Get we dinner, after four o'clock p. m., before 
next day? " 

" Yes, Uncle," said Pauline pleasantly. " I have been 
told, that at Washington the dinner hour is usually six. Some 
aristocratic people in our own city have dinner even later, when 
they have company. So you see it is difficult for aunt to know 
how to receive her Washington guests properly, if thej'^ have 
not been informed of the nature of the entertainment to which 


they have been invited. They should know in what dress to 

" It affects nothing how they dress," the merchant ex- 
claimed, vexed as well as amused by his wife's distress, which he 
ascribed to a hypercritical vagary of the female mind. " They 
know they come to sit down with philosophers, and they get to 
eat. Now you give them to eat something nice, how you can 
cook, and tea, or something else what they like to di'ink. 
Then the colo-nell and his Washington ladies eat supper, or if 
they like better, dinner ; our philosophers drink tea ; and it 
shall be a party A No. one, — if they dress white, or black, or 
if they put on a rainbow. Not, Pauline? " 

The diversion attempted by Pauline for the benefit of her 
aunt, had not been graciously received by that lady. But, 
nothing daunted, the young girl persisted in her effort to put 
the hostess at ease, and therefore said, with a pleasant smile, 
" I am sure that Colonel May will be pleased with you and 
with our philosophical friends, whether we give them a dinner, 
or other meal. And if the ladies should be bored by meta- 
physical discussions at table, aunt and I will leave the lords of 
creation to enjoy their inevitable smoke in dining-room or 
library, and retire with Mrs. and Miss May to the parlor. I 
am sure," she added, addressing herself with a smile of perfect 
confidence to Mrs. Auf dem Busch, " that aunt will make it 
pleasant for the ladies, even if the gentlemen should prefer 
smoke and philosophy." 

The lady addressed vouchsafed no indication whether 
Pauline's effort was a success. But the old gentleman seemed 
to understand the situation. He nodded with a smile of dry 
humor, as he said: " When the}^ like to smoke, better as talk 
to you, they are in a fog." Turning to his wife, he continued : 
" Believe you, that you can manage, as Pauline has well said? 
She has right. She can make an evening pleasant for an3'body. 
You and she," he hurriedly added, as his wife cast a searching 
glance at him. " If the gentlemen are like me, the ladies will 
not be alone." 


"No, I expect not," muttered Mrs. Auf deui liuseli, 
turning her reproachful eyes from her husband to PauHne. 
" Not if that coxcomb of a lawyer is among them." 

Mrs. May was destined to receive one more shock to her 
sense of propriety, when, punctual to the appointed hour, the 
colonel and his ladies were invited to step into — not an 
elegant carriage, such as she had anticipated, but an open 
barouche ; driven — not by a coachman in livery, but by the 
merchant Auf dem Busch himself. "The insolence of this 
man ! ' ' she exclaimed (though in a whisper) to her daughter 
as they descended the steps leading to the sidewalk in front 
of the hotel. " See, how he is appropriating us, just as if^we 
were his equals." 

" Indeed, Mama, I hope we are! " Nellie remarked, with an 
arch smile. " The fact, that papa is just noAV expecting most 
important services from them need not raise them above our 
level at all." 

They had by this time reached the sidewalk, and Nellie 
exclaimed with a little shout of delight, " Oh, just loolv at 
that splendid span of horses ! I am going to sit on the front 
seat with the driver. It will be a delightful drive." 

Sure enough, when the merchant, having bowed to the ladies 
on being introduced to them by the colonel, not without stately 
courtesy, was handing Mrs. May to her seat in the rear, the 
girl leaped nimbly up into the front seat, saying, with the 
enchanting smile that was at her command when she wished to 
please, "You will let me sit by you, will you not, Mr. Auf 
dem Busch ? Papa must for once take a back seat. I admire 
your splendid horses, and would like to see you handle them." 

Of course the young lady had her way. She completely 
won the merchant's heart by the intelligent questions she put 
to him, and by her enthusiasm over his really fine turnout. 
It was not long before she had coaxed him to intrust her with 
the reins, and then she challenged his admiration by the skill 
and coolness with which she managed the spirited steeds. All 


iu all, the two on the front seat were on excellent terms with 
each other long before they reached the merchant's pretty 

The meeting between Mrs. May and Mrs. Anf dem Busch 
would have amused Leslie, If his attention had not been 
engrossed in watching the first approaches between his sister 
and Pauline Waldhorst. This circumstance deprived him of 
the enjoyment of marking the expression of mutual aversion 
which for a brief moment marred the features of each 
matron, — con])led here with a look of haughty superiority, 
there with a glance of sullen antagonism — before the smile 
accompanying the conventional phrases stereotyped for such 
occasions masked their countenances. He saw, instead, a more 
l)eautif ul s(;ene : Pauline watching the descent of his sister 
from the barouche, her features animated with eager expectation, 
lips slightly parted, her face gradually brightening into an ex- 
pression of hearty approval of the beautiful stranger, whose 
graceful elastic movements she followed with sparkling eyes, 
until they encountered Nellie's searching gaze. Then, a vivid 
flush heightening the color of her cheeks and betokening the 
pleasure of mutual recognition, the bright smile on Nellie's face 
found glad reflection in her own. 

A scene charming enough to quicken even Leslie May's 

Nellie waited for no formal introduction. Impulsively she 
flew toward Pauline, exclaiming, " You are Victor's sister? " 
' ' And you are Miss Nellie May ? ' ' Pauline rejilied in a soft 
glad voice, looking eagerly into Nellie's eyes, and reading there 
such assurance of friendly good will, as to prompt her to meet 
half-way the proffered kiss and embrace. 

There had been other eyes besides those of Leslie May to 
watch the meeting of the young gii'ls. Victor, when he saw 
the cordial welcome of each to each, breathed a sigh of deep 
joy. He felt as if the dawn of friendship, rose-tinting the 
horizon of the maidens, had for him, too, a ray of brightness, — 
and of promise. 


Youug Auf clem Busch was likewise affected. Not with 
pleasure wholly unalloyed ; for his self-comi)lacency was dis- 
turbed. He had in his own mind set down the Southern belle 
as a much spoiled pet of society, and concluded that it would 
be the proper thing for him to ignore her so far as he might 
without downriglit rudeness. On witnessing the strong attrac- 
tion that drew the young girls toward each other, and noting the 
exquisite play of her features, whose beauty was not at all 
marred by their intellectual expression, a vague apprehension 
dawned upon him, that it might be difficult to carry out 
his program, if she should take it into her head not to be 
ignored. But relying on his superior tact, he resolved to 
let her see, that he, too, had seen the world, and that he knew 
how^ to keep arrogance within proper bounds. But for some 
reason unaccountable to him he found his thoughts dwelliuof 
on the ridiculous proposition, how he would take it to be 
ignored by her. 

The introduction of the Washington guests to the gentlemen 
of the Philosophical Society took place in the parlor. Among 
the latter was Doctor Taylor, with whom the young Mays had 
become acquainted at Venice, during their European tour. 
Doctor Taylor was a man of rather slender build, tall, and of 
comely appearance. His complexion, contrasting with his 
luxuriant, densely black hair, seemed fairer than it was. A 
mustache, sparse, but as dark in hue as the hair of his head, 
added piquancy to his frank ingenuous countenance, the pre- 
dominant expression of which was that of calm serenity. His 
eyes, deep set, not large, snapped and sparkled with infectious 
mirth on slightest provocation of fun or humor, for the detec- 
tion of the slightest trace of which he possessed a keen sense. 
This quahty, which Miss May had not been slow to discover, 
as well as the zest with which he enjoyed a joke, which he in- 
variably emphasized with Homeric laughter that never failed to 
carry his auditors with him, had led both the brother and sister 
during theu" sojourn in the city on the Adriatic, to cultivate 
his acquaintance. 


Nellie, in particular, was pleased to meet with him again. 
" I am so glad to see you here," she said, on shaking hands 
with him. " Do you live here? You never told us, that you 
were from our own State, when we met in Venice." 

" No," said Doctor Taylor, evidently pleased by her words. 
"I have not lived here long. — So, you remember me, do 
you? " 

" Indeed, sir, I should be ashamed of myself , if I did not," 
said Miss May with some emphasis. 

" 1 am very glad of it. This meeting with you is such an 
unexpected, agreeable surprise." 

" Ah, I am sure I shall never forget how deeply we are in- 
debted to you for the pleasant days we spent in Italy," said 
Nellie. " But for the highly interesting criticisms with which 
you favored us, we should have come away from that classic 
land without seeing, or, having seen, without understanding, a 
tithe of the literary and art treasures which you so kindly 
taught us to see, with the mental as Avell as the i)hysical eye. 
You made so clear to us — to me, at least the world-historical 
significance of what I would otherwise have passed by as com- 
monplace or unmeaning. Do you recall the time we met you 
at the Grand Square of St. Mark's, when we spent the time, — 
all that was at my disposal — in the Great Council Chamber of 
the Ducal Palace one day, examining the manuscripts and pic- 
tures of the St. Mark's Library, and how we listened — oh, 
for an hour or more — to your fascinating talk on Art, sug- 
gested by our inquiries touching Tintoretto's great painting of 
' The Paradise? ' " 

" I remember," said the doctor, breaking into a peal of 
merry laughter; and then added: " And I remember, how my 
eloquence drove you away from the PJazzo Ducale; how, in- 
terrupting me with a lame excuse, in the middle of a linely 
worded sentence, you made your escape, rushing down the 
Giant's Stairway in a headlong run, colliding with, and nearly 
upsetting your own clumsy gondolier, who stood there, waiting 
for you." 


" Yes," Nellie admitted with a smile. " We had planned an 
excursion that day for Trieste, and came very near missing 
the steamer, notwithstanding our hasty and undignified retreat. 
And so I missed the sight of the Bridge of Sighs, and of more 
than half of the wonderful things marked down in our guide 
book as being crowded together there." 

" And, Doctor," put in Leslie, who had been attracted by the 
laughter, and had heard the latter part of the conversation, 
" we might as well have given up that trip to Trieste, for all 
the pleasure or profit we had of it." 

" Why? " queried the doctor. '• Was it so dreary an 

"Stupid," said Leslie. "If I had not, fortunately, had 
the copy of your ' Epigrammatic Voyage ' with me, which you 
had so kindly placed at my disposal, I don't know how I should 
have passed the time. And Sis, here, fared not much better." 

' ' And so you had a stupid time of it with my ' Epigram- 
matic Voyage,' did you? " asked the doctor, with a grin. 

" On the contrary," said Leslie, " I got so interested in 
trying to find out what your verses meant, that I forgot the 
dullness of the company." 

" Not on the homoeopathic principle, I hope? " And after 
another peal of laughter the doctor added : "So my epigrams 
were conundi'ums to you, were they? " 

" That is what you meant them for, did j^ou not? " asked 
Leslie in his turn, with a quizzical look at the doctor. 

" Why — what makes you think that I meant the epigrams 
for conundrums? " 

"Because you say, or rather you have one of the epigrams 
to say : 

' Voyager, I cannot say I am modest, because I am modest ; 
If I could tell what I am, thou wouldst love me no more.' 

This epigram cannot tell what it is, for fear of becoming 
prosaically plain ; therefore the reader must guess. That is 
your purpose, is it not? " 


A renewed burst of laughter was all the answer Leslie got. 
Then, turning to Miss May, he asked her, whether she, too, 
had taken a hand at riddle-guessing. 

" I like your closing verses best," the young lady replied, 
" and they are not riddles. At least to me they are word- 
paintings that tell their story very eloquently." 

Doctor Taylor regarded the fair speaker with a pleased and 
eager face. "Word-paintings?" he repeated. "What do 
you mean? What did the picture say to you? " 

" It seemed to open up before me a mythological landscape, 
crowded with temples and statues of gods and goddesses 
taking on Homeric life. The columns, of the temples dance, 
like a chorus of dazzling Greek maidens, beckoning the wan- 
derer from the other side of the world to enter and behold the 
Goddess, combining with the wisdom of age the beauty of 
youth, filling the heart of her worshipers with classic joy." 

" Go on ! " the doctor cried, as the lady paused. 

She continued : " The picture brought to mind the delightful 
talks you had given us on the construction and meaning of 
great art works, so that I enjoyed over again the pleasure of 
your company, almost as if you had been personally present." 

The doctor's eager, hungry eyes, fixed in a keen gaze on the 
lovely face before him, said, more emphatically than the words 
he had just spoken, that he longed for her to "go on." But 
Nellie had caught a glimpse of Pauline, out in the garden all 
by herself, and obej^ed a sudden impulse to join her. Offering 
a brief apology, she left him ; and as she glided out of the 
room, his gaze followed her with a wistfulness that even the 
Greek maidens of his own Epigrammatic Voyage would hardly 
have called forth. 

The early frosts of October had ruthlessly stripped the gai'- 
den of its softer floral wealth, leaving only the hardiest autumn 
blossoms to brighten the lovely Indian Summer days that fol- 
lowed. Among these Pauline was busy, cutting what flowers 
she found, when Nellie approached her. 


" Do you propose to get flowers enough out of this garden, 
at this time of the ,year, for a presentable nosegay? " she 
asked, as she watched Pauline's deft fingers snipping away 
among the chrysanthemum stalks with a pair of scissors. " I 
would say, you will find hardly enough flowers for buttonhole 
bouquets to go round among your gentlemen guests." 

" Oh, yes," Pauline replied, smiling and blushing at sight 
of Leslie's sister. " You underrate the capacity of our garden. 
There are blossoms enough here, spared by the nipping frost, 
for several hundred buttonhole bouquets. But my purpose is 
a little more ambitious. I wish to fill a vase or two with 
flowers for the table. Will you help me? " 

" If you will let me," said Xellie, with alacrity. " But 1 
have no scissors. Shall I run into the house and get a pair? " 

" Take these, if you please, and cut as many crysanthemums 
as you may find with long, straight stems. Meanwhile I will 
try to find some asparagus ferns, if the frost has left any 

Nellie, like all her fair sisters, was fond of flowers. When 
Pauline returned, with quite a handful of the desired ferns, 
she showed her a formidable collection of perfect blossoms, in- 
cluding, besides the chi'ysanthemums of various shades of color, 
salvias of dazzling scarlet, and a few chalices of deep blue ; 
besides dahlias of exquisite hues, and a number of gaudy Ian- 
tanas. " What do you say to this? " she exclaimed, holding 
out her floral treasures for Pauline's inspection, with a trium- 
phant smile. Where are the vases? Let us fill them out 

Pauline turned toward a little pavilion. "In here, if 3'ou ' 
please. The vases are on the table." 

The filling in of the flowers occupied the girls but a short 
time. Yet they produced a couple of bouquets, that without 
too great a stretch of laudation might be designated as works 
of art. Beautiful, both. Yet so different in construction and 
effect, as to astonish the young artists themselves, perhaps 
most of all'. That they complimented one another on their 


respective successes, was but natural, characteristic, however, 
was the sincerity with which either ascribed to the other the 
superior skill. Nellie had chosen the brightest blossoms at 
her command and combined them with such consummate taste as 
to produce an exquisite effect in the contrast and harmony of 
colors. Pauline had paid more attention to the contour of the 
material employed, building up her floral structure with the 
eye of an architect rather than that of a painter, pleasing 
less by brilliance of color than by the grace and symmetry of 

"Oh, what an exquisite picture you have composed! " 
Pauline exclaimed. " If I had not seen you do it, it would be 
hard for me to believe that so brilliant an effect can be pro- 
duced with such common flowers. I could not equal it^ 
beauty with a hot-house full of exotics at my disposal." 

" Ah, but where in my bouquet is the charm of symmetr}-, 
the elegance of pose, if 3'ou won't laugh at the expression, of 
every blade of grass and leaf of fern that makes of yours a 
clief-cVoeuvre? " Nellie's face shone in such genuine admira- 
tion, as she spoke these words, as to put their sincerity out of 
doubt. "But, never mind!" she added. "The two to- 
gether will complement one another, and thus keep each other 
in countenance, if you put them on the same table. And 
together they will proclaim the floral wealth of your garden, 
and the taste of its mistress ! " 

" And the skill of Miss May! " added Pauline with an an- 
swering smile. " Your composition suggests the luxuriance 
of a Jiright June morning bathing his blooming treasures in the 
mellow sunlight of a serene autumn day — " 

" Do not, please, cast about for complimentary phrases," 
Nellie interrupted her. "They put me in mind of the con- 
ventional taffy they expect us to feed on in fashionable society. 
And I hate shams — " 

' ' Meaning flattery ? ' ' 

" Meaning flattery, most decidedly! " 

" Therein, then, we quite agree," said Pauline. " The 


only trouble is, to detect it; for its iusidious charm so easily 
cheats our judgment. Decius, you know, says of Citsar 

' But when I tell him he hates flatterers, 
He says he does, being then most flattered.' " 

"Then let us drOp compliments, and speak rational^, like 
the good friends we are going to be," Nellie suggested. 

" With all my heart," responded Pauline promptly, a flush 
of pleasure coloring her cheek. " And since it is the office of 
a friend to speak the truth, whereat the friend's friend must 
not take offense, let me remind you, that it was you that set 
the example of paying compliments — ' ' 

" While you, I suppose you want me to believe, spoke the 
unadorned truth," Nellie broke in with her silvery laugh. 
" Well, for the sake of peace, let us pretend that all we said 
to one another is true." She was playfully arranging some of 
the flowers remaining after filling the vases, into pretty little 
bunches, as she added: " Would you mind telling me some- 
thing of the philosophers we are to meet at table ? Doctor 
Taylor, for instance ; do you know him well? " 

Pauhne followed the example of her guest in working up the 
flowers into tiny bouquets. It was not long before a number 
of the dainty posies lay before the young girls. " I am very 
slightly acquainted with Doctor Taylor," she said ; " but my 
brother Victor thinks highly of him." 

" Your brother thinks highly of every one, does he not? " 

Pauline cast a searching glance at her questioner, as if to 
make sure of her sincerity. " Of every one that commands 
his respect," she answered. " He entertains a very high opin- 
ion of the gentlemen of the Philosophical Society ; Mr. Taylor, 
in particular, he esteems not only as a philosopher, but also as 
a poet of high power." 

" Poet ! " Nellie repeated, musing. " Yes ; that must be it. 
None but a poet could so fascinatingly discourse on subjects 
that were usually dull and indifferent to me. Why, he held 
brother Leslie and me spellbound, one day at Venice, explain- 


iiig to us what art meant. He made me forget and nearly miss 
an engagement I had that day, and ever since then I thought 
more highly of art, and of artists." 

Pauline regarded Nellie with a shy little glance, as she asked : 
" Mr. May — I mean your brother — shares j^our admiration 
of Mr. Taylor as a poet, does he not? " 

" What makes you think so? " 

Pauline as she answered, was very busy, taking extraordi- 
nary pains about the flowers she was tying, so that she could not 
look at her companion. " I heard him say something of the 
kind. He seemed to be much pleased with something the doctor 
had written, and which he repeated to me." 

" That is great news," said Nellie. " I never knew Leslie 
to take interest in any kind of poetry. At least not in lyric 
poetry. Was it something in the lyrical line he quoted to 
you ? ' ' 

Although Nellie's look and voice betrayed no interest save 
that of innocent curiosity, still the delicate pink on Pauline's 
cheek deepened preceptibly as she made answer : "I cannot 
tell exactly. Perhaps it was didactic. It was in praise of 

" Ah ! in praise of modesty ! " Nellie repeated with perfectly 
sober mien. "Yes; it must have been didactic, if brother 
Leslie took enough interest in it to remember it. It must have 
been one of the epigrams that he admires as conundrums." 

Pauline, still concentrating her attention on the posy she was 
so assiduously at work on, said nothing. After a brief pause, 
Nellie went on : 

" So this is all that you know about Doctor Taylor? — Well, 
who is that benevolent looking gentleman that wears blue 
glasses? He was introduced to me as Professor Something — 
I have forgotten his name — ' ' 

" Rauhenfels ? " Pauline suggested. " But he does not wear 

" No! " was Nellie's prompt response. " Nor is benevo- 
lence a salient feature of his physiognomy. I shall never for- 


gt't tlic expii'ssion oi his Jacc wlu'ii he was iutrochiccHl to mo. 
It wiis tliat ol' a liawk on the h>okout for pre v." 

PauHiie smiled. '' You are severe," she said. '• There is, 
it must l)e granted, something eagle-like in his face, when seen 
in i)rolile ; but when, i)artieularly under excitement over some 
])ernieious error, or public wrong, he utters withering sarcasms 
and lierce denunciations in his powerful, deep voice, he puts 
me in mind of an ancient Hebrew seer proclaiming the divine 
wrath of Jehovah." 

" Ah, PauUne, I suspect that you, like your brother Victor, 
are given to idealizing people. He is of a lively imagination, 
and seizes upon and exaggerates all the plausible traits 
he finds or invents — charitably ignoring even grave defects — 
in those with whom he comes in contact. But the gentleman 
aliout whom 1 am asking you — ah, now I remember. Professor 
Altrue is what they call him — has a round, fair face, a massive 
forehead, and a mouth of almost feminine sweetness. I did 
not catch the color of his eyes behind his glasses, but they 
must be blue, to harmonize with the expression of kind-hearted- 
ness and intelligence beaming from his countenance." 

'•O, of course, I know Professor Altrue," said Pauline, 
looking np as if interested. " They mostly call him Domine, 
or, in a playful way, Doctor Domine. Because," she added, 
in answer to a questioning look of Nellie, '* he is looked up 
to as a great authority on pedagogy." 

■■' A schoolmaster, is he? " 

" Well, yes, you may call him a schoolmaster. He was 
once the principal of a grammar school ; but now is at the 
head of the school system of our city. Professor Rauhenfels 
says that he has a national reputation as an organizer, and has 
secured for our public schools the fame of being the best 
organized in the United States. He is very proud of the 
Domine, as being one of the very few of his disciples that has 
really mastered Hegel's logic — whatever that means." 

''Disciples, did you say? Is Professor Rauhenfels also a 
schoohnaster ? " 


" lu a seuse, yes. He is the leader of what my brother 
calls the Philosophical Class." 

" And is your brother a philosopher too? " 

"Only a most devoted disciple," said Pauline, smiling. 
"And he is thoroughly convinced that there is not a pro- 
founder thinker in all the State, than Professor Raahenfels, or 
a more competent teacher." 

" Cease to laud this paragon of wisdom in my presence, or 
I shall hate him!" said Nellie, frowning. "Indeed, I hate 
him as it is." 

" How can you hate one of whom you know little or noth- 
ing? " Pauline asked, looking a little surprised. 

"It is a woman's privilege, don't you know, to love and 
hate without reason or rhyme," Nellie ansAfered, smiling, as if 
she enjoyed Pauline's wonderment at such levity* "But I 
may know more about this Rauhenfels than you imagine. 
Never mind now. — That line looking young man, Mr. Auf dem 
Busch Junior, — he is your cousin, is he not? " 

" A very distant cousin, so far as blood relationshiii goes." 

"So far as blood relationship goes, — I see," remarked 
Nellie, with a meaning smile that embarrassed Pauline. " Is 
he a philosopher, too? " 

"Not of the Hegelian kind, at least," smiling. "He 
sympathizes with you in hating Professor Rauhenfels, whom he 
calls a Mephistopheles." 

" How came he to call him Mephistopheles? " 

" Oh, brother Victor, one day, remarked of the philosophy 
class, that some of its members reminded him of the Olympian 
Gods, ascribing to the Domine the attributes of blue-eyed 
Athene, to Doctor Taylor those of the song-dispensing, sun- 
light-shedding Apollo, and to Professor Rauhenfels the 
majesty of thunder-voiced Jupiter, when cousin Woldemar 
interrupted him, saying that he was cheating the devil of 
his due, for that Rauhenfels was as complete a Mephistopheles 
as Gothe had in mind when he wrote his Faust." 

"Good for your cousin! " said Nellie. "He shall have 

' But what are we goiug to do with these bouquets :■ " 


ouc of my li nest posies for that. Mepliisto ! That describes 
him better thau hawk ! ' ' 

" But it is time that I should be thinking of the table," said 
Pauline. " Would you mind carrying one of the vases? " 

" With the greatest pleasure. But what are we going to do 
with these bouquets ? ' ' 

" They are to be utilized in giving the table a cheerful ap- 
pearance. Each one of the guests is to have one tucked in his 

" Here is a little beauty that I mean to pin on your uncle's 
coat-lapel," said Nellie. " I owe him an acknowledgment for 
his courtesy in letting me drive his glorious team." 

" That will please him greatly," Pauline remarked. " You 
must have made a very favorable impression on him, if he 
intrusted you with the reins while he was by." 

"And one for your cousin — Woldemar, is it? What a 
fine name ! — for the smart thing he said of Eauhenfels. And 
your brother Victor shall have one, for old acquaintance' sake. 
I am quite sure that he will be proud to wear a flower that I 
gave him, don't you think? " 

" But if you thus decorate the gentlemen of the house, it 
will be a slight to our guests, unless we remember them the 
same way." 

" Well, you may honor my father if you will," said Nellie, 
smiling pleasantly. " And if Leslie has behaved i^roperly, you 
may put one in his buttonhole. As to the philosophers, we 
will go snacks in supplying them with floral favors. It looks 
as if there were enough to go round." 



'HE meal passed off pleasantly. The distribution, by the 
yonng ladies, of the pretty posies, had put the gentle- 
men in good humor, and started the conversation in 
merry mood. Like a babbling brooklet the stream of talk 
flowed on, — smoothly now, now breaking into purling ripples 
of sparkling repartee ; not deep, but gliding briskly over the 
well-worn pebbles of generalities, moving over such topics as 
educed from each guest some jjleasant remark. Doctor Taylor, 
for instance, said something pretty about the atfinity lietween 
the bloom of flowers and the bloom of the maidens dispensing 
tliem ; Professor Rauhenfels indulged in some i)unning on the 
names of May and Waldhorst, which latter he explained as 
meaning a nest in the forest ; he was in turn corrected by 
Professor Altrue, who asserted that the word " horst " meant 
not a nest, but the place where birds of prey build their nests, 
the exact equivalent of our " aerie," or, as the word is spelled 
in our editions of Shakespear, " eyry." Then Woldemar Auf 
dem Busch had his fling at Professor Rauhenfels, wherein he 
was seconded by Miss May, who said some sharp things about 
German names, but was glad, in the end, that the professor's 
barbed shafts of cutting retort were aimed rather at the young 
merchant than at her. Pauline spoke but little. By a judicious 
remark, now and then, she suggested a i)leasant subject, u])on 
which otliers dilated. Colonel May noted, with silent approval, 
the unpretending efficiency with wliich she assisted the hostess. 
Both he and Mrs. May were highly amused by the curioiis 
English in which Auf dem Busch Senior served up the few 
remarks in which he indulged, — furnishing to the lady proof 
indul»itable of the correctness of her estimate of his low origin. 

rillLOSOPllEES AT TEA. 421 

But a remark made by the host himself presently turued the 
conversation into a deeper channel . ' ' Go you straightway 
home from herewith your madam and daughter," he inquired. 
' ^ or go you first to the State capital ? ' ' 

" Our route home passes very closely by tlu- cnfjitnl, so thai 
we shall not lose much time by a visit there," was thf 
colonel's answer. " I shall be detained a few days in the 
city; but then Ave shall start for home. If we find it necessary 
on reaching the cajiital, we shall remain there until the 
convening of the General Assembly. Otherwise I may take 
the ladies home first, and then return to the capital." 

'' But you will let me stay in .the capital, papa? " said Miss 
May, in a tone that was at once precatory and confident. "• I 
have never attended at a governor's reception yet, and thisjs 
too good an opportunity to be neglected." Then, with a sly 
look at Victor, she added: "'And I wish to have a dance 
witli the Honorable Victor Waldhorst at the governor's rece[)- 
tiou . ' ' 

•' May 1 tai\e you at your word. Miss Nellie? " said \'irlor, 
rtushing deeply. 

'' Of course, Miss May will be at the governor's reception," 
Professor Rauhenfels spoke up. '-I take it for granted, that 
you wish to be elected to the United States Senate, Colonel 
May; and even if it should not be your wish, you owe it to 
these gentlemen here, most of whom have been pretty active 
in your l)ehalf, to make the best race you know how. And 
if you do not suspect it yourself, these gentlemen here — Mr. 
Waldhorst not excepted — are satisfied, that ISIiss May's pres- 
ence at the capital next week will put your election out of 
doubt, whatever your chances otherwise may be." 

"■ The professor has right, like always," Mr. Auf dem 
Busch Senior proclaimed. ''If the colo-uell is prudent, then 
Miss May shall be in the capital. The colo-uell's election is 
may be sure ; but double-stitched holds better." 

" Apropos of the election," said Woldemar, thereby cutting 
off whatever reply might have been intended to Miss May's 


suggestion, " is the outlook quite so clear as the present com- 
pany seem to wish? To me it seems, that Lincoln's election 
has so complicated the slavery question, that political combina- 
tions are uncertain." 

" One thing, however, is certain," the colonel observed, 
amid profound silence of the others. " If this Union is to be 
preserved, as I devoutly hope and trust it shall be, it will be 
upon condition that one-half of the people shall not be robbed 
of their property by the other half." 

" Robbed? " said Woldemar. " Is not that a stronger term 
than you meant to use ? ' ' 

" It is not too strong a term ! " Victor almost shouted in his 
eagerness. " It is just the right term. If a lot of pharisaical 
hypocrites should demand of you to turn loose your horses and 
cattle, because they are God's creatures as well as you, — 
would you do it? And if you were made to do it by force, 
would not that be robbery ? ' ' 

" Horses and cattle are not human beings," said Woldemar 
confidently. " Nor is it proposed, so far as I understand, to 
liberate the slaves by force, or at all." 

" Call it liberation or not as you please," said Leslie May. 
" You deprive us of our property, if you interfere with us in 
its use. And mark me, sir, the South will not tamely submit 
to such monstrous spoliation, as the abolition of slavery would 
involve. If it be attempted under color of law, it will be such 
law as the highwayman imposes upon his victim, with the knife 
at his throat." 

" The South will never yield to force ! " Nellie added, with 
flashing eyes. "If it comes to that, the Yankees will find that 
two can play at the game. I hope — no, I don't hope for war. 
But if war ever comes, let the Y^ankees beware ! " 

" Peace, children! " the colonel demanded. " Y"ou talk as 
though it were proposed to fight. The dauger does not lie 
there. There will be no fighting ; l)ut there may be disruption 
of the countr\'. It is very clear, that if the abolitionists carry 
out their fanatical program, the constitution will be violated — 


broken, in fact, — and what will there be then to hold the 
country together? " 

" There will be a new constitution," Doctor Taylor now 
spoke. " Our i:)resent constitution seems too narrow for the 
vigoi"Ous people to which we have grown. Our nation has 
been expanding in every direction, — in territorial extent, in 
population, in power and wealth, and, — may I add? — in 
moral tone. But our constitution which fitted us very well 
just after the Revolution, is now the same as it was then. 
Fixed and rigid in its inflexible written form, it could not, like 
for instance the British constitution, ffrow with the OTowth of 
the nation — " 

" You forget, sir, the chief characteristics of the American 
constitution," the colonel thi'ew in, " which is precisely the 
quality that your statement denies it, — its capacity to conform 
to the changing views and needs of the people." 

" By means of constitutional amendments, do you mean, 
sir? " 


" But if what I say is true, — if the growth of the constitu- 
tion has not kept pace with the growth of the people, then its 
amendability has been of little avail, so far. Nor is the pros- 
pect promising, that the slavery quarrel will be settled by that 
means. Your son has just now stated, — and I believe that 
he fairly voices the Southern sentiment in this particular — 
that the South will not submit to what he calls — justly, let us 
admit — being robbed of their slaves. Mr. Auf dem Busch — 
the young man, I mean — incHnes to the view that the aboli- 
tion of slavery is demanded by public opinion, at least by a 
sufficient majority of the people to put it into the shape of a 
law. Thus you will have a breach of the constitution : for 
interference with the right of slaveholders in the States, in any 
manner other than by an amendment of the constitution, is, I 
take it, indubitably a breach of that instrument." 

" I beg that you will not misunderstand my statement," 
young Auf dem Busch protested. "■ I distinctly disavow any 


intention that Congress sluill interfere with slavery in the 
States. I siin])ly desire that it shall be con lined to the States 
in which it now exists." 

"Well," said Victor, rather warmly, "do you not intend 
thereby to eventually exterminate slavery? For, whether you 
confess it or not, is it not i)erfectly evident, that your policy 
will ])revent any new slave State from Ijeing added to the 
Union? And do you not therel)y deprive those States, whose 
interest requires the recognition of slavery, of their due share 
of influence in the councils of the nation ? And will not that 
lead to the abolition of slavery as inevitably as direct al)olition 
would ? ' ' 

'' It strikes me that my young friend has fairly and accurately 
stated the case," Colonel May remarked. " Whether it l>e the 
conscious policy of the free soil party to enhance the prosperity 
of one section of the country at the cost of the ruin and beg- 
gary of the prosperous citizens of the other, or not, — tliat is 
certainly the prospect before us, if Lincoln should side with 
the radical wing of the party that elected him. I am happy to 
say, that I do not believe he will." 

" There is an element of profound truth in what our friend, 
Doctor Taylor, has suggested, that deserves, 1 l)elieve, closer 

It was Professor Altrue that spoke, in a low, melodious 
voice, that, however, made itself distinctly heard. " He has 
pointed out the impossibility that a written constitution should 
acH'urately or truly represent the consciousness of a nation. 
Sir, I dare say, that if you will abstract from the political 
bearing of the question, you will readily see that this constitu- 
tion, which you, very properly, so strongly defend as the safe- 
guard of your rights, does not reflect the conviction which you 
yourself entertain on the morality of slavery." 

'' Whether I see this or not, you will readily grant me," 
said the colonel, " that an individual cannot be i^ermitted 
to set up his own opinion as the standard of right and 


" Clearly not for others," Professor Altrue asseuted. 
" Else no one's rigUts foiild be protected — " 

"Then," the colonel interrupted, "let me say, that the 
constitution is good enough for me, and that I do not propose 
to sit in judgment on its morality." 

"• That is a thing that you cannot help doing, sir," said the 
Domine amid the breatldess attention of the others. '■ For 
while your own opinion has no binding force for others, it is 
the voice of God to yourself, and this very constitution that 
you set up as your standard demands of you that you judge it 
by that divine criterion." 

" Wliy must I judge it at all? " 

" By judging I do not mean, necessarily condemning. But 
you do decide (for yourself, and so far as your influence goes) 
whether the constitution adequately performs its functions. 
The humblest citizen does this every time he performs his 
duty at the polls : how much more yourself, who are called on, 
as an illustrious statesman, to guide the ship of State. You 
certainly know it to be your duty to actively assist in amend- 
ing the constitution so as to purify it from any defect that has 
become api)arent to you. Is not that a judgment against 
its adequacy ? Or you may opi^ose any suggested amendment, 
or simply remain inactive. Is not that a judgment in its favor? 
In this way every human being that owes allegiance to our 
government continually passes judgment on the sutliciency of 
the constitution." 

" And in doing so," Doctor Taylor interjected, " they have 
no higher criterion than their conscience." 

" Precisely," the Domine assented. " Now, what I wished 
to comment on is, as Doctor Taylor happily pointed out, the 
necessarily unequal development of the people and their con- 
stitution. Grant that a law, when enacted, represents the 
clear judgment of a majority of the people. That is the theory 
upon which we recognize its binding validity. To-morrow, 
changing circumstances, or it might be, the riper judgment of 
the people, may have changed the views of some of them, so that 


the law no longer represents, the opinion of the majorit3^ Such 
changes are of daily 'Occurrence ; and it is obvious, that until 
such law can be amended or repealed, there is a tension between 
the will of the people and the law which, theoretically, ex- 
presses it. Ordinarily, such amendment or repeal follows as 
soon as this tension has made itself felt by the majority. But 
how, when the amendment requires more than a majority? 
Such substantially unanimous concurrence of opinion, for 
instance, as is conditioned by a majority of two-thirds of each 
House of Congress, to be ratified by a majority of everyone of 
three-fourths of the State legislatures? It is evident, that a 
determined minority — it may be of less than one-tenth of the 
people — may defeat the will of the other nine-tenths, provided 
that they constitute the majority in one more than one-fourth 
of the States, though they be of the smallest. If the majority, 
then, is as determined as the minority, the tension will be- 
come so great, that a rupture, such as is dreaded by Colonel 
May, would not be surprising ; nor, as Doctor Taylor sug- 
gests, that a new constitution — even several new constitu- 
tions — should result, if the old one, instead of being amended, 
should be fractured by the tension." 

" Which may God hinder! " the old merchant exclaimed. 
" Professor Rauheufels, you have said us nothing over this 
point. We might hear an opinion of you." 

' ' Why do you want another opinion ? ' ' the professor re- 
sponded, looking around at all the company, and then address- 
ing the host with an amiable face. " Opinions are cheap, and 
worth about what they cost. Every man has, or ought to 
have, one of his own, worth more to him, probably, than to 
any one else. Does any one expect to change his opinion on 
hearing some one else's? I can give a shrewd guess, that 
Colonel May still wishes to preserve the Union, slavery and 
all, although he may not be able to refute the argument of 
Doctor Taylor that it is superannuated and needs overhauling ; 
or the reasoning of our friend, the Domine, that written con- 
stitutions are like a tightly fitting garment on a fast growing 


youth, that must presently be rent asunder, unless replaced by 
one of ampler dmiensions. And so, I suspect, our young 
friend Auf dem Busch Avill still insist that it is the duty of a 
Christian government to abolish slavery, although Mr, Wald- 
liorst indignantly proves this to be highway-robbery, and 
young Mr. May shows us that if it is done, it must be done 
by sheer force, the which Miss May is equally sure, will be 
met with like force." 

"But will you not favor us with your views on the sub- 
ject? " Colonel May inquired. " I will confess that I am very 
eager to hear from you, after what Leslie has written and 
spoken to me of your part in the election." 

"Do, Professor," said the Domine. " I am sure the whole 
company are anxious to hear your views." 

There was general assent to this statement. 

"My views as to what?" said the professor. "Do you 
wish to know, why I am in favor of Colonel May for the 
United States Senate? I will tell you : Because, by his course 
in Congress, he has given ample proof of his devotion to the 
American principle, — which demands Liberty through Law, 
and Law in Liberty. He knows, that there can be no liberty 
without law% and therefore demands the strict and literal 
compliance with our written constitution, as the only safe- 
guard of our rights. And yet I agree with the Domine and 
Doctor Taylor, that a written constitution does not grow with 
the body politic, hke the bark of a tree, which expands as the 
tree grows. But I see just in the tension which these gentle- 
men emphasize, as a possible consequence of the fluctuation, 
in public sentiment, the Magna Chartaof individual liberty, — 
since it operates as a check upon the caprice of the people. 
For no tyranny is more oppressive and galling than the des- 
potism of unbridled majorities. Colonel May recognizes in the 
conservative element of our government the sheet-anchor of 
Freedom and Right. So do I. He has evaded the question 
put to him by the Domine, as to his view on the morality of 
slavery : I care not what it is ; under the present condition of 


tilings it is of far greater importance to humanity, — to the 
cause of freedom — that our government remain intact, than 
that the normal condition of the slaves be changed. As 
Doctor Taylor once neatly expressed it, — 

' 'Tis not the outward bond that makes the slave, — 
But the base craven thought within the man.' 

Slaves are such upon their own compliance. No freeman, 
loving liberty above life or ease, was ever yet made a slave. 
To the slave, then, manumission is of no benefit. The 
vice of slavery consists in its degradation to the master, 
because slavery is incompatible with his own freedom. Its 
recognition in the constitution is a monstrous contradiction of 
the principle of our government, and of the solemn declaration 
upon which we achieved independence. In depriving a human 
being of his liberty (for though this cannot be done with the 
slave's consent, neither can it be done without the master's 
act) he destroys the divine quality wherein man is the image 
of (xod. This is the sin that will bring upon us retributive 
punishment as surely as effect follows cause. But the forcible 
abolition of shnxny would be no remedy : It would be a new 
crime. Not only sinning against the constitutional rights of 
the slave-owner, but adding the base perfidy of violating our 
own solemn covenant. Colonel May, whether abhorring slav- 
ery or not, abhors the treachery involved of robbing the South 
of the property solemnly guaranteed to them by the constitu- 
tion. To this extent he truty represents my political convic- 

"It is your conviction, then, that slavery cannot be abol- 
lished under the constitution?" This question was put by 

"Only by the spontaneous co-operation of the States," 
the professor answered, with impressive emphasis. 

"So! " said Woldemar Auf dem Busch, a perceptible touch 
of sneering sarcasm in voice and mien. " That means, that 
under the constitution human freedom is at a discount, — good 


only for oue class, wicked in iinotUcr. How glorious the ' Ituid 
of the free, and the home of the brave!' " 

" That means," the professor repeated, closely imitating the 
young man's sneering voice and manner, " that in this ' land of 
the free and home of the brave ' neither covert theft nor open 
robbery are reckoned, as yet, among the virtues to be culti- 
vated." Then, laying down his knife and fork, and fixing his 
opponent with a look of fierce contempt, he added, his voice 
pitched to the deepest bass, the impassioned earnestness of 
which impressed his audience with the solemn gravity of the 
subject: " Sir, you have probably studied Mrs. Stowe's ' Uncle 
Tom's Cabin,' and learned from her soul-stirring pictures of 
Life among the Lowly how easily Eva St. Clair Avould have 
settled this question that is agitating the country. Romantic 
sentiment makes short work of problems, such as these, that 
sorely try the wit of the anxious statesmen, philanthropists 
and philosophers. It is so easy to follow the dictates of the 
heart if you can only stifle the skeptical protests of the head, — 
most easy to tliose w^ho are least oppressed with brains. What 
a glorious task is that of the poet, or even of a poetess, or one 
who is reckoned so, to divide mankind into two classes, — the 
wMcked, who, like Shylock, stand on their bond, in this case 
the constitution, and the pious, the good, w^ho insist that their 
neighbors shall liberate their slaves, constitution or no consti- 
tution — taking the latter to the place where little Eva and 
Uncle Tom are supposed to have gone, while providing for the 
former a warmer reception elsewhere. Is this, sir, what your 
wisdom comes to ? Out upon such hypocritical cant ! Such 
nursery-room morality, such St. Crispin virtue ! You will not 
solve the eternal conflict between conscience and law by 
imposing your conscience as law upon others. Liberate your 
slaves, if you have any, and appease your conscience ; but let 
your neighbor liberate or keep his, as his conscience may 
demand. That, sir, is the law of the land. Let no one 
violate it, pleading a higher law of God. Be warned by the 
fate of Antigone: She obeyed what she felt to be the law 



written in her breast by tlie gods themselves in preference to 
the king's decree, and perished, because Institutions are valid, 
though individuals deem them cruel or absurd. So shall they 
perish, who lay sacrilegious hands on the constitution, come 
they from the North, or come they from the South! " 











ESLIE MAY did not share the confidence of his father 
and sister in Victor's loyal adherence to the colonel's 
cause. The speech of Professor Rauhenfels had con- 
firmed him in the conviction, that neither the professor, nor 
Victor, nor any of their friends,, would ever co-operate with 
avowed secessionists. He himself thought secession to be 
as efficient a plan as the South could adopt for the furtherance 
of its own interests, and accordingly believed so much more 
readily than did his father, that the threats in which the slave- 
holding States were indulging, would be carried into execution. 
That in case of actual disruption his father would not be able 
to retain his seat in the Senate did not trouble his mind, nor 
in any wise abate his strong desire for his father's election ; 
for not only would his influence in such case be highly valu- 
able in securing favorable terms of separation, but Leslie 
reflected, his father's claim to preferment in the new govern- 
ment would be projDortioued to the height of the place he gave 
up in the old. Who could surmise, what distinction was not 
in store for a patriotic Southerner, who threw up a United 
States senatorship to serve the South ? — On the other hand he 
was well pleased to note the zeal of Victor in vindicating the 
constitutional rights of the South. And he noted with equal 
satisfaction that his sister had taken a decided liking to 
Pauline Waldhorst, and that she had adopted just the most 
effectual course in her behavior toward the Auf dem Busch 

The political exposition of Professor Rauhenfels had taken a 
load off of Victor's mind. His duty now lay plainly before 
him : Obedience to the law of the land, unswerving fealty 



to the cou.stitutioii, whatever might lie his eonvietion as to its 
morality from the standpoint of his private conscience. How 
happy the coincidence of duty with inclination ! He was now 
in ])erfect accord with the Mays, — the father, the son, and — 
how his heart leaped to think it ! — the daughter. Nellie had 
been very gracious to him at his uncle's house. She had given 
him a bouquet with a smile that was brighter than the flowers, 
and had begged him to accept her gift — for old acquaintance' 
sake. A firm friendship seemed forming between her and his 
sister Pauline. And beside all this, he was to meet her at the 
capital, under circumstances enabling him to approach her 
more nearly upon her own social level. She had promised him 
her first dance at the governor's reception ; and Victor grate- 
fully remembered the persistency with which his sister had 
coaxed him to take dancing lessons during the pi'eceding win- 
ter. No wonder, then, that he revelled in blissful anticipation 
of the moments when, while guiding her through the mazes of 
the waltz, it would be his precious privilege to hold her hand, 
ti) hold within his arm that divine form, — forgetting in his 
rapture all about Kalph Payton I 

The meeting of the General Assembly required the presence 
of Victor Waldhorst at the State capital. He met there a 
motley crowd of all sorts of people : Not to mention the mem- 
Ijers of the legislature, of both houses, there were aspirants for 
the United States Senate, their agents, friends and understrap- 
pers. Candidates for the various clerkships in either House of 
the Assembly, their friends and backers. Applicants for 
smaller places, such as door-keepers, sergeants-at-arms, fold- 
ers, pages, and what not. Mr. Becker was there, to Victor's 
disgust, who had vainly hoped to keep him at home by repre- 
senting to him the necessity of looking after the interests of the 
Beohacliter during the absence of its regular editor. But Mr. 
Becker was convinced that the paper would be best subserved 
by securing the appointment as State printer, and his chances 
for this would be improved ]\v his own presence at the cai)ital, 


with his friends, to explain to the members how the welfare of 
the State would be greatly enhanced l)y his appointment. 
Numerous other patriots were there, ready to serve the country 
by accepting place in whatever capacity they should be called 
on. Disinterested statesmen, also, in great numbers, ready to 
lighten the labors of the members in the arduous task of law- 
making, having brought with them carpet-bags full of bills 
ready drafted, — embryonic laws for the advantage and profit 
of scheming adventurers, corporations, rings and syndicates. 
Men among these lobbyists of highest ability, whose services 
commanded a higher price than the State could afford, or was 
wiUing to pay its officers without indirection: Plausible men, 
skilled in the use of logic, enabling them to convince skeptical 
legislators of the wisdom of measures of hidden import ; orators 
of rhetorical powers to persuade the superficial and enthuse the 
emotional ; of honeyed phrases to entrap the vain and conceited 
with gross or covert flattery. Others, too — of smaller calibre, 
yet able, on occasion, to eke out an argument with glittering 
sophisms, for want of solid reasons ; smaller fry of smaller pre- 
tensions (to be had, therefore, at smaller price) who retailed the 
pettifoggers' and shysters' tricks, — not afraid to lie, or if need 
were, — to swear to a lie, in the real or imaginary interest of 
those who paid them. Not to forget those, who were enabled to 
reinforce their eloquence by bribes in the most varied shapes, — 
seductive smiles of wily Cyprians, dispensing favors at the 
beck of those fishing for big game, whose plethoric purses 
allow them the use of such costly bait ; promises of prefer- 
ment, influence, patronage ; by the furthering of schemes 
known to constitute a member's hobby, or supposed to be so ; 
and the more simple, but a little hazardous expedient of direct 
payment of money, in sums proportioned to the virtue of the 
members to be bribed, or the magnitude of the job to be 
accomplished. Thus the population of the town was swelled 
by a numerous lol)by, termed, in legislative slang, the Third 
House, — more potent, probably, than either of the legitimate 
houses, for effective legislation in special directions. 


Professor Rauhenfels was there. IMueh to the surprise of 
Victor ; for the professor had never even hinted an intention to 
visit the capital. It was a surprise too, tliat he lodged in the 
house' that Colonel May had selected for his headquarters. 
Leslie was at some pains to exi)lain to Victor, that this court- 
esy had been extended to the professor, because he had been 
disappointed in obtaining suitable accommodations elsewhere. 
But greater, far, than his surprise, was Victor's dehght over 
the professor's i)resence in the capital ; for he anticipated valu- 
able assistance from him in the discharge of his legislative 
duties, and Leslie had informed him that he would remain until 
the senatorial election was over. 

Less unexpected but all the more unwelcome was the pres- 
ence of Ralph Payton. To be sure, they had not offered him 
lodgings at the colonel's headquarters, as they had done for 
the professor ; but Victor doubted not but that, as the colonel's 
successor in Congress he would be expected to be very active 
in the colonel's canvass for the Senate, which would necessarily 
require him to spend much of his time in the company of 
Colonel May and his family. He knew, too, that Nellie was 
quite as enthusiastic in her father's cause as her brother, and 
would thus be thrown much in Payton 's company. The con- 
templation of the opportunities that would thus be enjoyed by 
his rival to press his suit for Nellie's hand embittered his life, 
and clouded even the brightness of the anticipated enjoyment 
of the dance that Nellie had promised him at the governor's 

It was well for Victor that the 0})ening of the legislative 
session just then distracted him from the morbid fancies tliat 
disturbed his mental equilibrium. His lirst experience as a 
legislator impressed him profoundly. The presiding officer 
happened to be an able iiarliamentarian, of stately presence 
and dignilied deportment. His voice possessed the rare com- 
bination of musical sweetness with resonant power, so that it 
reached without effort or shrillness, to the remotest parts of 
the chamber, commanding attention although the members, in 


tui'buk'nt mood, ong'aged in noise and confusion. Victor 
would never forget the thrill of solemnity, — akin to awe — 
that electrified him on first hearing the speaker address him 
as one of the representatives of the sovereign people. 

To his vivid imagination the speaker appeared the eml)od- 
ied spirit of the State constitution, giving voice to the will 
of the people in their sovereign majesty, — while he himself, 
in casting his vote, felt that the people were speaking their will 
through his mouth. It was. a sublime moment to the young 

His glowing enthusiasm was toned down somewhat by the 
shower of motions that followed the passage of the appropria- 
tion bill. It was moved and resolved, that the sergeant-at- 
arms supply each member, officer and employee of the House 
with one hundred three-cent postage stamps, and a like num- 
ber of two-cent stamps, to be paid for out of the contingent 
fund of the House. Stationery, in liberal quantity, was voted 
to each member and officer, including clerks of committees and 
pages. Clerks were allowed to each standing committee, with 
per diem and mileage equal to that of the members. Quite a 
breezy debate sprang up on the motion, numerously seconded, 
to authorize the sergeant-at-arms to order, for the use of each 
member, during the session, three newsjjapers (named in the 
resolution), to be paid for out of the contingent fund. Numer- 
ous amendments were offered, substituting the names of other 
papers. To Victor's disgust, Mr. Becker approached, de- 
manding of him in all seriousness, to suggest the naming of 
the Beobarhter as one of the papers to be ordered. Of course, 
lie indignantly refused : but his indignation turned to disgust 
on hearing a member from one of the interior counties making 
the same demand for an insignificant little weekly of his 
county, and a dozen or more similar motions from all sides of 
the House. Victor wondered whetiier he was dreaming, or 
whether the House was taking leave of its senses. 

A similar grab-game came off in relation to the governor's 
message. Motions to print it, " with the accompanying docu- 


nients " in fabulous numbers — five thousand, ten, fifteen, 
twenty, fifty thousand — chased each other in swift succession. 
Again Mr. Becker approached Victor, "suggesting, in energetic 
whispers, that Victor move the printing of ten thousand copies 
of the message — or say, since it was just as easy to carry, 
twenty-five thousand — with the accompanying documents in 
the German language. " The Deobachter will get the printing 
just as sure as you ask for it," Mr. Becker urged, " and the 
translation will be a fat job for you, or for some of your 
friends, if you are too proud to do it yourself." But the 
obtuse editor failed to see the good thing within his reach, and 
Mr. Becker's little scheme fell through. And again Victor's 
sense of honesty, as. well as decency, was shocked, by 
the passage of a resolution authorizing the printing of ten 
thousand copies of the message and accompanying documents 
in the German language, by the State Printer ; and again he 
owned to himself that his chief was not far wrong, when, with 
a reproachful look, he grumbled: "We might have secured 
that plum to ourselves, if you had only consented." 

The inauguration of the governor-elect, which took place in 
the presence of both branches of the legislature, assembled 
for this purpose in the hall of the House of Representatives, 
was witnessed by as many of the temporary and permanent 
residents of the capital as the spacious chamber could hold. 
A number of seats, elevated above the level of the floor, so as 
to command a fair outlook over all the chamber, had been 
reserved for the ladies, a bright bevy of whom, in elegant cos- 
tume, were assembling in the lobl)y, affording, in the bright 
colors of their robes and gaudy headdresses, a cheerful con- 
trast to the soberly clad visitors of the male sex. Many an 
eager glance strayed in the direction of their division of the 
lobby, from the seats of members, — and not exclusively from 
the rustics representing interior districts. For the capital had 
turned out an array of beauty challenging the admiration of the 
most fastidious critics. Victor's eyes, too, were bent in this 
direction, with a wistful, expectant look. If any one had 


watched him at this time, it might have puzzled the observer 
to aeeount for the swift changes of expression chasing each 
other over Victor's face. Eager expectancy, vanishing for an 
instant as Raljih Fayton stalked into the chamber, beneath the 
shadow of sharp disappointment. This cloud passed away as 
soon as he saw that Payton was alone ; a look of pleasant 
anticipation took its place when Leslie May appeared at the 
door, changing into an uneasy apprehension as the colonel fol- 
lowed, also alone. But a tlash of exultant joy illumined his 
whole countenance as Nellie entered, escorted by Professor 
Rauhenfels. She took her seat with quiet dignity and looked 
about her with the air of a queen graciously accepting the 
homage that lay in the admiring glances she attracted from all 
sides. As her eyes encountered those of Victor, she recognized 
him with a gracious nod and pleasant smile, eliciting from him 
a vivid blush and answering bow. 

The maneuver did not, apparently, escape notice, for his 
seat-neighbor to the right inquired of him, '' Do you know the 
lady who has just taken her seat in the lobby? " 

" I do," Victor answered proudly. " I have known her 
from her childhood." 

" Could you manage to give me an introduction? " asked his 
neighbor to the left. 

" With the greatest pleasure," said Victor, glad to find so 
convenient an opportunity for conversation with the .young 
lady. "She is the daughter of Colonel May, — one of the 
candidates, you know, for the United States Senate. She 
will, no doubt, be highly pleased to make your acquaint- 

" And will you do the like favor for me? " asked the gen- 
tleman who had first spoken. 

" It will give me great pleasure to do so," said Victor, ris- 
ing. " If you have no objection, gentlemen, we will call on 
the young lady at once." 

But just as they were about leaving their seats, Professor 
Rauhenfels stepped up to Victor, saying, with an air of mock 


pomposity, " I am commissioned by her ladyship, Miss 
Eleonova May, to summon you into her presence that you may 
there give an account of yourself and your doings since your 
arrival at the capital. And hereof you are in no wise to fail, 
at your peril." 

"It behooves her ladyship's loyal servitor to obey with 
alacrity," said Victor, playfully imitating the professor's 
solemn voice. " You will pardon me, gentlemen, for a few 
moments?" he added, turning to his colleagues. "I will 
return as soon as her ladyship has granted me absolution for 
my offense, whatever that may be. But before I go, let me 
introduce you to my friend. Professor Rauhenfels." And 
after mentioning the names of the two members, he left them 
together to talk over the topic uppermost, just now, in the 
minds of most of the members of the legislature, — the senato- 
rial election. 

Nellie received Victor with a roguish pout. " Is this the 
way you treat your friends? " she said, shaking her finger at 
him. " Here you have been more than two days in the city, 
and have never called on me. And I really believe that you 
would not even now have deemed it worth your Avhile to walk 
the distance from your seat to this lobby, if I had not sent 
your old master after you with strict injunction to bring you 
before me, dead or alive." The pout melted into a gracious 
smile as she shook hands with him and i)ointed to a seat by her 
side, which the professor had vacated. 

" You see that the professor, Avho has proved a kind master 
indeed, had no trouble to fetch me ; for here I am, and very 
much alive at that," said Victor, with beaming face. " But 
there was no occasion for the embassy ; I had already started 
to pay you my compliments and inquire after your health, 
when your message reached me." 

" Truly? Then I am sorry that I sent away the professor." 

" I hope, not sorry, — " 

" Coming to think of it, no. You must keep that seat 
awhile, and point out some of the lions here. Who, for 


iustauce, is that gcntk'iuuii with whom the professor is tulkiiig 
so busily, and that other one, listeuiiig so intently? " 

"The three of us occupy adjoining seats in the House," 
Victor informed lier. " He on the right is Mr. George 
Wasliington Colly, of Pulaski ; the other, Mr. Lafayette 
Jackson Morrow, of Newton." 

"Do you know anything about them? Of what party are 

"Oh, they are democrats to the core, both of them. Mr. 
Colly is, so he tells me, a country merchant — " 

" Married? " Nellie interrupted. 

"He has not informed me; but I judge that he is 

' ' Where does he room ? ' ' 

"At the City Hotel— " 

' ' Where you also put up ? ' ' 

" Exactly." 

"How is he on the senatorial question? Is he safe for 
pa ? ' ' 

" I fear not," Victor answered soberly. " He is an enthu- 
siastic admirer of our present senator, and I have found it 
impossible to shake his loyalty to him." 

" So! "mused Nellie, with her eyes on the group engaged 
in earnest couTersation. " The professor seems to hold his 
attention. And how about the other? " 

" I have hopes of gaining over Mr. Morrow," said Victor; 
" although he, too, has expressed a decided preference for 
General Hart." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed Nellie thoughtfully. " Why do you 
believe, that you can win over Mr. Morrow? " 

" Oh, because he is a very fair-minded man, who seems to be 
feeling his way cautiously," Victor answered confidently. " I 
can argue with a man like him : and there is little danger that 
Colonel INIay will fail to command the sup[)ort of any man open 
to reason." 

" Thank you," said Nellie, rewarding the young man's trib- 


ute to her father with a gracious smile. " Can you tell me 
whether either of them came uuder instructions from their 
constituents how to vote ? ' ' 

Victor did not know. 

"Then will you be so good," she continued, "to hunt up 
brother Leslie — he is over there talking to the president of 
the Senate — and get me the information from him ? He has 
a list of all the counties that have instructed, and for whom. 
And would you mind stepping up to the professor as you go, 
and get him to introduce these gentlemen? " 

" Pardon me," replied Victor, the " gentlemen lioth have my 
promise to introduce them to you. Indeed, the professor in- 
terrupted us as I was in the act of bringing them here. May 
I do so now? 

" By all means," said Nellie, apparently much pleased. 
' ' Bring them at once ! ' ' 

As he was leaving her, she called him back, adding in a 
whisper, " if they are still here when you return with the in- 
formation about the instruction, just give it me by a nod or 
shake of the head." 

The introduction was speedily accomplished, and Victor 
sought out Leslie. When he returned, he found Mr. Colly 
seated in the chair beside Miss May, rising, however, to make 
room for Victor, while Mr. Morrow was standing in front of 
the lady, deep in conversation with her. When Victor ap- 
peared, she accosted him with eager face. 

" Just imagine, Mr. Waldhorst," she said, excitedly, as if 
she were communicating the most joyful news, " I have discov- 
ered a relative in Mr. Morrow. It turns out that his grand- 
father was mama's own cousin." 

Just then the gavel of the president of the Senate, who was 
presiding over the joint session together with the speaker of 
the House of Representatives, called the meeting to order, and 
Mr. Colly, as well as Mr. Morrow, hurried off to their seats. 
As they took their leave of Miss May, she said to the latter, in 
beseeching voice, " Be A^ery sure to call on mama, as soon as 


ever you liiul the time, iiud do uot I'tiil to bring your Irieud Mr. 
Colly, with you." 

Which Mr. Morrow gladly promised. 

The ceremony of the inauguration had begun. The retiring 
governor had introduced his successor to the audience ; the 
oath of office was administered l\v the chief justice of the 
su})reme court, and the new governor was delivering his 
inaugural. Victor, still standing by Nellie's side, was debating 
with himself whether propriety would permit him to occupy 
the chair next to hers, when the appearance of Professor Rau- 
henfels settled the question for him. As he bowed himself 
away, he heard the professor say to Xellie, that Senator Essex, 
of Randolph, desired an introduction ; to which the young lady 
nodded a gracious assent. 

The governor spoke well. Victor was soon deeply inter- 
ested in his speech. So, it seemed, was the whole audience ; 
for profound silence prevailed throughout the hall, densely 
crowded as it was. Victor noted, not without serious misgiv- 
ings, the defiant attitude assumed by the speaker toward the 
general government. An involuntary glance toward Nellie 
and the professor showed him that both of them were also 
listening with rapt attention, — one of them with evident 
gratification, the other with knit brow. 

At the conclusion of the address, there was clapping of 
hands, stamping of feet, and rattling of canes, as well as loud 
shouts of applause, followed by a lively buzzing and humming 
of voices. Every one seemed to have something to say about 
the course of action pointed out for the State by the governor's 
address. Opinions, however, were clearly not unanimous, 
although the governor's partisans seemed to predominate. 

The hammer of the presiding officer fell after the declaration 
that the meeting was adjourned ; but the masses were loth to 
quit the hall. Victor naturally bent his eyes in the direction 
of Nellie's seat. He beheld her the center of a numerous 
group of admirers, of whom some had evidently just been, 
while others were waiting to be, introduced ; for there was 


Leslie, talking pleasantly to those al)oiit him, and there was 
Ralph Pay ton, regarding the young lady, the cynosure of all 
eyes, with a complacent air of proprietorship. Nellie herself, 
though her eyes sparkled with animation, was cool and col- 
lected, and nodded graciously as Pay ton presented this, or 
Leslie that gentleman, having a bright smile and a pleasant 
word for each. It put Victor, as he was slowly moving toward 
the group, in mind of a sovereign lady, deigning to accept the 
homage of her loyal courtiers. 

A hush seemed suddenly to have fallen upon them. All 
eyes turned in the direction from which Victor was approach- 
ing. The gentlemen fell back on either side, thus opening an 
avenue of approach toward the young lady. Looking around 
for the cause of this commotion, Victor beheld, close behind 
him. Colonel May, who was walking with deliberate step and 
proud bearing toward his daughter, accompanied by General 
Hart, United States senator, candidate for re-election, and 
thus the rival of Colonel May. Victor had never seen a man 
of more imposing appearance than Senator Hart. Tall and of 
magnificent stature, proudly erect in bearing, of majestic, 
commanding physiognomy, he presented a strong contrast to 
Colonel May. The first impression of which Victor became 
conscious, was that of awe, followed by a chilling sense of in- 
feriority, which instinctively put him on his guard, as if appre- 
hensive of tyrannical abuse of the colossal will-power evidenced 
by that massive forehead. It afforded him quite welcome re- 
lief to turn from the icy features of General Hart to the genial 
face of Colonel May, illumined by the irresistible smile that 
always warmed Victor's heart on beholding it. 

The two gentlemen stood before Miss May. 

" My daughter," said the colonel, " General Hart has done 
you and me the distinguished honor of requesting an introduc- 
tion. General Hart, my daughter, Eleonora." 

The venerable senator bowed with courtly grace. " I am 
indebted," he said, while taking the chair by Nellie's side, 
" to my honorable adversary for this act of courtesy. For it 

The veuenible seiiutor bowed with courtly grace. 


is indeed a pleasure to become acquainted witli you." His 
voice, ricli, deep and melodious, possessed a singular fascina- 
tion. As he spoke, his eyes rested on the bright young face 
before him with an intensity that deepened the carmine on her 

. " Sir, you are most kind," she said, " Let me assure you 
that I, for my part, am deeply impressed with the honor that 
you are conferring on me — on papa, I mean." 

"Tut, tut! Don't mention it! " he replied, with gracious 
condescension. " Your father is an aspirant for the high office 
now held by me : and on this floor, on which Ave both appear 
as candidates soliciting favor at the hands of the representa- 
tives of the Demos, we are equals. And you were right in 
ascribing, as you involuntarily did, to me, the desire of honor- 
ing you. For I accord all honor to a daughter who bravely 
does battle in her father's cause." 

Again the color deepened on Miss May's cheeks. But there 
was a sparkle of mischief in her eyes as she said: "Now, 
Senator, your gallantry overwhelms me. You surely do not 
take me for a politician? " 

" If I did, young lady, you need not be ashamed — " 

" No," she interrupted him. '^ But if I were a politician, I 
ought to be doing battle in my country's, not my father's, 

" Ah, my dear Miss May," the old senator continued, after 
another searching glance into her face, "yours is an exalted 
o])inion of politicians. It were well for our beloved country, 
if they deserved the high compliment which your words imply. 
For our government is based upon the principle Demos Krateo. 
But they do not. The average politician thinks of country 
last, and least, if at all." 

"I hope, Senator, that you exaggerate! " exclaimed the 
yoiing lady. 

"I wish I did," the senator replied: "or that I could 
truthfully Vtelieve 1 did." Tiie tinge of sadness with which he 
had spoken these words, disappeared, as he added, almost 


playfully, '' But does it uot occur to you, that if you believe 
your father to be in the right, as you surely do — " 

"You judge me truly, Senator!" the lady promptly 
assented. " I surely do." 

" — that in serving your father, you are serving your 
country? For at your age one does not doubt the final tri- 
umph of right over wrong." Looking around at the group 
surrounding them, he continued, "Yes, yes; I suspect that 
you have been making sad havoc of my prospects for re- 
election among my younger friends! " with a slight accent on 
the latter adjective. 

"Ah, Senator," came with a frank smile from the young 
beauty, "I suspect that you permit your proverbial courtesy 
to my sex to shape your statements, rather than regard for 
strict accuracy, whereby you would humble me. You overrate 
both my patriotism and my filial devotion. For — just 
imagine my indolence — 1 have not asked one of these gen- 
tlemen, though opportunity had offered, to vote for papa, or 
even against you . ' ' 

Colonel May chuckled. " You see," he said to General 
Hart, " what a poor hand she is at electioneering." 

But the general shook his head. A faint smile stole into his 
austere countenance, not distinctly visible as such, but lighting 
up his features into a pleasing exj^ression. " Qui s' excuse, 
s' accuse!" he said as if in answer to the colonel's remark. 
Then to the lady: "I did not accuse you of having asked 
these or any gentlemen to vote for your excellent papa. I dare 
say that your electioneering is of a much more subtle charac- 
ter, than a mere clumsy, direct begging for votes would be. 
I could wish, for my sake, that your influence were limited to 
that. But a glance from your bright eyes, a smile from your 
ruby lips, are weapons more dangerous to my cause than 
political harangue or precatory prattle." 

" Political harangue," said Nellie, with some animation, " is 
as distasteful to me, I suppose, as it is to most ladies ; and 
my precatory prattle, as you are pleased to style it, is, I will 


vouch, of no greater force than a girl's gossip elsewhere. But 
I hope, that our Southern statesmen and legislators are made 
of sterner i^tuff, than could be moulded by a woman's whim." 
Indicating witli a sweeping gesture of the hand the group of 
men around her, she added proudly: " Of all these gentlemen 
not one, I am sure, would betray his party, or become untrue 
to his conviction, for my sake, or for the sake of my father." 

"Nor for my sake, let us hope," added General Hart, the 
severity of his features relaxing into a pronounced smile, 
" unless he can do so conscientiously; and for a little strain 
upon his conscience, I promise him absolution." Then, the 
smile fading out of his face, he continued : " You have spoken 
bravely and well, young lady, and like a consummate poli- 
tician, though you disclaim being one. But men have before 
now betrayed party and country, lured on to recklessness by a 
woman's smile not more fascinating than yours can be. The 
women of the South are enthusiastic, — their iutluence greater, 
l)erhaps, than that of their brothers and lovers. If ever that 
terrible scourge of humanity, civil war, engendered by rebellion 
or secession, should devastate our fair land — which the 
Almighty in His infinite mercy, may forefend — no small share 
of the responsibility will fall on the women of the South." 

" And of the glory, if God vindicate the right! " exclaimed 
Nellie, not defiantly, but as if in self-defense. But the words 
sent a cold chill to Victor's heart, nevertheless. 

The senator bowed, as if he had nothing to say in reply, and 
rose from his chair. Nellie followed his example. " Colonel," 
he said to his competitor, " let me repeat, that I appreciate 
your courtesy. And you, young lady, will you pardon me any 
words distasteful to you that I may have spoken? " 

" Oh, General, there is nothing to pardon," she replied 

" Then give me your hand," he said, extending his own. 

" With all my heart," she responded cordially. 

" Nay," he said, smiling, " if that be still at your disposal, 
I must leave it for you to bestow upon some more fortunate 


mortal." He kept her hand a trille longer, in his own, than 
was necessary for the conventional shake of new acquaintances 
at parting, while she retorted with a gay little laugh : 

" Just at present, sir, my heart is wholly in my father's 
cause, which, as you have taught me, is my country's cause ; 
wherefore, on your authority, I am a patriot, notwithstanding 
my Southern nativity." 

" And proclivity," the venerable senator added. " I am 
sure that you mean well, and wish, though I hardly dare hope, 
that you may think the same of me." 

There was a mutual bow, a majestic wave of the hand toward 
the gentlemen around, and the senator, escorted by Colonel 
May, walked slowly away. 

A buzz of lively conversation arose on the part of those who 
remained, though Nellie herself was, perhaps, a shade more 
thoughtful than usual. So at least thought Victor, who was 
watching her with keen interest. He pondered, uneasily, over 
the words that had fallen from the lips of the venerable states- 
man, who was Colonel May's rival for the suffrages of the 
legislature. Ralj:)]! Payton was extravagant in laudation of 
the keen retorts given by Nellie to the audacious insult of 
Southern ladies by that " insufferably conceited old senator." 
But instead of rewarding him for his fulsome compliments, 
Nellie turned eagerly toward Professor Rauhenfels, who was 
approaching with Senator Essex, asking him what he thought 
of Senator Hart. 

" He is a grand old man," rephed the professor, " to defeat 
whom will redound greatly to the fame of your father." 

" And will he defeat him, do you think? " she asked with 
an eagerness unusual to her. 

" As sure as Colonel May does not defeat himself," was the 


, III HE inauguration ball at the governor's mansion, pre- 
*^- ceded by the governor's reception, was a swell affair ; 
so the denizens of the capital delighted to boast. 
Invitations had been issued on a lavish scale ; no lady between 
fifteen and iifty had been overlooked. Few of those so favored 
failed to avail themselves of the governor's hospitality. A 
tacit understanding among the people of the capital had grown 
up to make the sojourn among them of the members of the 
legislature, most of whom were compelled to remain away 
from home all winter, as pleasant as possible, by enabling them 
to become acquainted with the inhabitants, their wives, and 
daughters. To this end it had grown into a custom to supple- 
ment the biennial inauguration reception of newly elected 
governors with an inauguration ball, and a laudable emulation 
among the fair ones to favorably imjjress the guests of the 
city induced them to adorn themselves with all the finery they 
owned, or could hire or borrow. So there w^as on the present 
occasion, as usual, a brilliant assemblage of beauty and fashion 
collected in the spacious apartments of the gubernatorial 

Victor's ambitious aspiration had been realized : he was the 
escort of Nellie May to the reception and l)all. It was on his 
"arm that she leaned when her name, along with that of the 
Honorable Victor AValdhorst, was mentioned to, and repeated 
by, the governor, with the stereotype phrases of welcome. It 
was at his side that she promenaded through the various halls 
and chambers of the mansion that were thrown open on this 
occasion. It was in her presence that Victor w'as accosted by 
numerous gentlemen claiming acquaintance with him. At 



every turn, or step almost, some representative or senator 
nodded to him familiarly and extended his hand for a friendly 
shake. It was surprising, (most of all to Victor himself), to 
how many gentlemen he had become known during the brief 
period of his legislative career. But few of them were known 
to him personally ; but they all had a pleasant way of men- 
tioning their names, and joking him upon his forgetting theirs, 
by reason of his devotion to his public duties. Gratifying as 
was this proof of his popularity in presence of Miss May, it 
became annoying as Victor found that they naturally stopped 
long enough to make it necessary for him to introduce the lady 
on his arm. She herself seemed greatly to enjoy these intro- 
ductions ; her face glowed with animation ; her lips were 
wreathed in the most fascinating smiles, and her eyes twinkled 
with fun and humor, as she replied to the small talk retailed 
to her by the gentlemen introduced, with bright and witty say- 
ings, ever original, pointed and appropriate. Even Victor, 
who had alwaj^s admired her for her gay vivacity, marveled 
at her inexhaustible fund of sprightliness and humor. 

While yet the seemingly endless presentations to the gov- 
ernor and shaking of hands was going on, the fine band, im- 
ported for the occasion from the metropolis, struck up a 
polonaise. Such of the visitors as felt inclined to dance 
repaired to the great hall used as the ballroom to which as 
many couples only were admitted as would comfoi'tabl}^ fill it. 
The principal feature of the polonaise consisted of a figure, in 
which each dancer changed his partner every few seconds, 
until, every lady having paired off with each gentleman, the 
original couples were again brought together. At this point, 
the music glided into one of Strauss' enchanting waltzes, so 
irresistible to youthful feet in their dance-compelling rhythm. 
Victor and Nellie stepped into line at once ; her right hand 
naturally slipped into his left, while his right arm encircled her 
waist. And they were carried away with the gay multitude of 
waltzing humanity. 


Carried away — Victor at least — by the witching strains of 
music ; transported with the joyous consciousness of holding 
Nellie in his embrace ; thrilled with ecstatic delight by the 
touch of the divinely beautiful form he held close to his heart. 
Nellie danced like a fairy. Her nimble feet accented the 
musical rhythm as truly as did the leader's baton, so that Victor 
found it easy to keep time with her. And thus the two glided 
gracefully through the gp-ations of the waltz, abandoning 
themselves to the delightful exhilaration of the poesy of motion. 
Once Victor yielded to the temptation to look iuto his partner's 
eyes. When he met hers, she smiled and whispered a compli- 
ment to his accomplished dancing. " I did not expect it of 
you," she added. From any other lips, these words might 
have annoyed him ; coming from Nellie, he took them as 
gracious recognition, and they would have quickened his pulse 
and heightened his joy, if that had been possible. And on 
they tip-toed, — as if soaring through space, scarcely touching 
the polished floor, — moving, not with conscious volition, but 
swayed by the rhythmical harmony of the tuneful orchestra. 
He guided her skillfully through the surging crowd of awkward 
dancers without colliding ; yet he saw nothing but her. The 
outside world was forgotten. The brilliantly illumined hall, 
with its festive multitude of gay humanity, had no existence for 
him, as he floated on, alone with Nellie, literally intoxicated 
with the bliss of holding Nellie's hand, of holding Nellie herself 
in his arm. 

When the music ceased, Victor's waltz with Nellie had come 
to an end. All too soon ; and Victor surmised, that the 
daughter of the prominent candidate for the United States 
Senate would be sought by too many gentlemen, — whether for 
her own sake, as the " bright particular star " of the evening, 
or as a compliment to her father — to allow her to accord more 
than one dance to any one of them. His apprehension in this 
respect was confirmed as he led the way to the buffet, where he 
proposed to capture an ice or a sherbet for his partner ; they 
were intercepted by numbers of supplicants for her hand in a 



dauce, none of whom Miss May felt at liberty to refuse, for 
each of them was the formidable possessor of a vote at the 
impending election. But she staggered Victor by whispering 
softly : "I have never enjoyed a dance so much in all my life. 
I wish you would find out for me whether there is to be an- 
other waltz during the evening ; and if so, be sure to take rae 
for your partner. I shall make it a point to reserve the waltz 
for you." 

There was not time to say more ; nor did Victor make 
answer in words : but his eyes spoke a language eloquent 
enough to assure Nellie that he would waltz with no other 

It had been written in the stars, that there should be no 
more waltzing that night at the governor's mansion. The 
master of ceremonies turned a deaf ear to Victor's ardent 
pleading for just one more waltz ; he gave it as his conviction, 
that of fifty persons present hardly one would enjoy a round 
dance. So Victor had to content himself with living over 
again in memory the rapturous moments gone by. His exalta- 
tion was such that he was in no mood even to quarrel with the 
master of ceremonies for denying him their repetition. Like 
the Moor of Venice, he might have sighed 

" My soul hath her content so absolute, 
That not another comfort like to this 
Succeeds in unknown fate." 

His joy abated not, though Nellie's smiles thenceforth were 
lavished all on the politicians, who claimed her society in right 
of introduction by her father, or brother, or even by Professor 
Rauhenfels, or himself. Until the time came when the festivi- 
ties closed, and he claimed his privilege of escorting her home, 
he feasted his eyes upon her from afar, following her every 
motion with eager gaze, so far as permissible without attracting 

The walk to Nellie's lodging — all too short to permit of 
much conversation, — afforded him one more copious draught 


from the beaker of bliss which the gods theiuselves might have 
envied him. 'Just before taking leave of him, in front of the 
entrance to her residence, she turned toward him with bright 
face, saying, in a voice of playful banter, " You have proved a 
devoted cavalier to me. Will you remember to be my brave 
and loyal knight to-morrow ? " - 

' ' To-morrow ? ' ' 

' ' Aye ! You have not forgotten the grand tournament to 
come off to-morrow — to-day rather — in the capitol, have 
you ? ' ' 

"You mean the caucus!" he exclaimed with animation. 
" Be assured, Miss Nellie, that no chivalrous knight ever 
championed lady fair more loyally, than I shall remain true to 
your colors! Happy I, that in serving my country, I may be 
serving my friends ! " 

" Then I shall think of you as my cavalier ' sans peur et sans 
reproche ! ' Good-night!" 

' ' Good-night ! ' ' said Victor ; and after cordially shaking- 
hands, they parted. 

The caucus for the nomination of the candidate upon whom 
the democrats would unite as their choice for the Senate of the 
United States turned out a lively gathering of the Democratic 
members of both houses of the General Assembly. They 
constituted an overwhelming majority of the legislature in joint 
session, so that it seemed a hopeless undertaking for the 
republicans to put up a candidate in opposition. The know- 
nothings, who had never shown great strength in this State, 
outside of the large cities, were practically unrepresented. 
Hence the nomination bj^ the Democratic caucus was looked 
upon as equivalent to the election ; and although there were 
substantially but two candidates in the field, the friends of 
both were very zealous, and party feeling ran high. 

General Hart possessed an advantage over Colonel Maj- in 
the prestige arising out of his experience as the Nestor of the 
Senate ; for although Colonel May had served several terms in 


the lower house of Congress, and was looked up to as one of its 
most influential members, the general had represented his 
State in the Senate ever since its admission into the Union, 
and was recognized at home as the highly successful champion 
of its interests in the national legislature. He enjoyed the 
reputation of being an assiduous worker, studying closely and 
thoroughly every subject that came before the Senate to 
prepare himself for the debate thereon and thus acquired 
powerful influence in that body, which he brought to bear on 
every question affecting the welfare of his State. And his 
standing in the Senate naturally gave him great power at home, 
so that for many years he had substantially dictated the policy 
of the Democratic party of the State. It would thus appear 
that his chances of success ought to be much greater than 
those of Colonel May. 

But the very power wielded by General Hart had made him 
many enemies, and thus became an element of weakness. He 
was not of a conciliatory disposition, but proud, and overbear- 
ing. His egotism, but for his excessive pride, might have 
passed for self-conceit, and had become proverbial. While the 
integrity of his character, his sincere devotion to the true in- 
terests of the people, and the firmness with which he resisted 
all encroachments on the inviolability of the constitution 
secured to him the enthusiastic admiration of the masses, who 
knew him only as their stout champion in the Senate, — his 
austerity had estranged many of those with whom he came into 
closer contact, so that in the course of time a faction had 
grown up of bitter personal enemies, implacable in their hatred 
of the great senator. 

Colonel May, on the other hand, was a man of great per- 
sonal magnetism. Though a strict partisan, firm as a rock in 
his adherence to the policy adopted by his party, yet his ardor 
never betrayed him into bitterness, or personal offensiveness. 
Aside from his political conviction and the line of duty con- 
ditioned by principle, he knew no party lines ; treating all, 
whether adherents to his own party or opponents, with equal 


courtesy and amiable good-nature. He thus attained a degree 
of popularity utterly lacking in the renown of his more famous 
rival, which went far to equalize their chances before the 

But there was another element entering into the present polit- 
ical campaign that still more leveled the advantage that per- 
sonal prestige might have given to the one or the other of the 
aspirants. Political feeling ran so high in consequence of 
recent events, that the personality of the candidates dwindled 
into insigniticance before the stirring questions that awaited the 
action of Congress. The old party lines themselves were be- 
coming obscured by the overshadowing issues springing up 
between the Federal and the State governments, or rather 
among the States themselves, as inclining to the one or other . 
of the extreme sectional views. For some of the Southern 
States, — South Carolina in the lead — had verified their 
threats of attempting to break loose from the Union. Sym- 
pathies among the democrats were greatly divided. The gov- 
ernor of their own State had openly espoused the cause of 
the seceded States, and urged upon the General Assembly to 
give aid and comfort to the oppressed South, even if averse 
to immediate secession. A coimnissiouer from one of the 
seceded States had demanded a hearing, to lay liefore the 
authorities a plan for concert of action against the encroach- 
ments of the Federal government on the rights of the sov- 
ereign States, and the governor had sent a special mes- 
sage to the General Assembly, urging them to invite the 
commissioner to address them in joint session. The General 
Assembly had not yet acted on this message. A pre- 
monition of the violence of the storm to be expected on its 
discussion excited the caucus, in consequence of a resolution 
moved by a member to pledge the democrats in support of the 
governor's recommendation, which threw open the whole field 
of discussion on this agitating subject. 

General Hart was known as an uncompromising opponent to 
any agitation on the subject of slavery, and hence of every 


measure resorted to by the South for the protectiou of its 
iuterests in this direction. His followers were, self -evidently, 
opposed to the course recommended by the governor. Colonel 
May, although a strict constructionist, resting the rights of 
the South on the rigid adherence to the constitution, was driven 
to assume the leadership of the partisans of the extreme 
Southerners, who, of course, favored the reception of the 
commissioner. After a stormy debate lasting several hours, 
the vote resulted in a small majority for the motion, and the 
caucus adjourned, without transacting any other business, to 
await the action of the legislature, and the addi'ess of the 
Southern commissioner. 

Victor was greatly troubled by the course the caucus had 
taken. He had not participated in the debate, although he 
was decidedly averse to the reception of the commissioner by 
the legislature. He was eager to meet his friend Rauheufels, 
to talk over with him the political situation, which, he feared, 
was beginning to assume a critical aspect, and pondered how 
he could make him understand the circumstances without vio- 
lating his imjilied pledge of secrecy touching the doings of the 
caucus in secret session. Expecting to find Rauhenfels at the 
headquarters of Colonel May, he directed his steps thither, but 
found the door locked. Surprised at this unusual thing, he 
was about to leave w^heu the door opened and Leslie appeared, 
welcoming him with a cordiality quite unusual in him. After 
again locking the door, Leslie conducted him into an inner 
room, where he found Colonel May and his daughter Nellie, 
Professor Rauhenfels and Ralph Payton closeted together. 

" Your coming is very opportune," said the colonel, shak- 
ing hands with Victor. " I am informed, that you had a lively 
time of it in the caucus this afternoon, and that you adjourned 
without doing anything, except to make trouble for the can- 

" How trouble for the candidates? " inquired Victor. 

" Don't pretend to be so innocent," exclaimed Leslie, some- 
what brusquely. " No one knows better than you do how the 


caiunis has complicated matters for father. Or say," he added 
regarding Victor with an eager searching look, " does it not 
bother you, that the democrats committed themselves to side 
with the governor, in this muddle? Because, you know, you 
voted the other way yourself." 

" How do you know I did? " asked Victor sternly. 

"Oh, come, Victor!" said Leslie, laughing. "As if I 
could not swear how you would vote on this question ? But 
aside from that, we are as well posted as you are, on the doings 
in your secret conclave, although you did have the doors 
locked. There are keyholes, and windows and transoms, — 
besides leaky brethren, that are easily pumped. You need 
not flatter yourself that you kept us in the dark about the 
transactions of your caucus." 

" We are glad that you came," said the colonel, " because 
our friend, the professor, insists that the action of the caucus 
has been very unwise, and I for my part would like to hear 
your view in the matter." 

' ' I can only give you my impression as to the resolution 
you refer to," said Victor in a low voice, as if desirous to 
apologize for what that opinion might be. " I deem it in very 
bad taste. It is not compatible with my view of the dignity 
of a legislative body to listen to overtures from a foreign 
State, communicated in an irregular and illegal form. But I do 
not propose to judge as to its effect upon the candidates." 

" In bad taste, do you say? " the colonel repeated reflect- 
ively. " Is this the most lenient construction that 3'ou can 
put on that resolution ? ' ' 

" I should rather inquire of our young friend, whether that 
is the severest light in which he views it? " 

It was Professor Rauhenfels Avho spoke thus, a sneering 
expression accompanying his words. 

" Yes," said Victor unhesitatingly. " As yet it has done no 
further harm than to make the Democracy of our State appear 
in a false position, from which it may, and no doubt will, 
readily retrieve itself." 


" But how about the candidates ? " Nelhe spoke up. " How 
do you think it will affect them ? ' ' 

Victor made answer to Nellie's question ; but in doing so he 
looked not at her, but at the colonel. " If the caucus follows 
up this resolution with one committing the party to secession, 
or even to a friendly attitude toward the seceded States, it will 
make the situation critical for them." 

" General Hart is opposed to secession," said Nellie, " and 
if such a resolution receives the sanction of a majority, it will 
put him in the minority ; and will not that secure papa's 
nomination? " 

Again Victor's eyes for a swift moment sought those of 
Colonel May before he fixed them on the eager face of the 
maiden. " Would your father accept the nomination under 
such circumstances? " he asked, betraying as much anxiety as 
Nellie had shown. 

" What a question! " ejaculated Ralph Paytou. 

" Why of course ; " Nellie exclaimed. 

But the eyes of all present in the room, including those of 
Professor Rauhenfels, were riveted on Victor's face, as he said, 
" But what, in such case, about his election? " 

"The nomination means the election! " exclaimed Pay ton, 

" Unless there be treason in camp! " Leslie added. 

" Don't you think so? " the colonel asked quietly. " Our 
party is so overwhelmingly in the majority, that its nominee is 
sure to be elected unless there be very great defection." 

" Perhaps that is so," said Victor. -' But then the nominee 
will be committed to the doctrine expressed in the resolu- 

" Whicli is good sound Democratic doctrine! " exclaimed 
Pay ton elatedly. " What have you got to say to tliat? " 

Again Victor was the cynosure of all eyes, as he replied 
looking not at Pay ton but at the colonel, " That I hope it is a 
mistake. For if this were Democracy, I fear that I would not 
be counted a democrat." 


" Does that mean that you would lly the track if such a 
resolution were adopted? " asked Leslie, rather warmly. 

" Are you going to set yourself up as authority above the 
caucus, and above the party?" Pay ton inquired, speaking 
with a vehemence that imparted a touch of insolence to his 
voice and manner. 

The colonel cast a frowning glance at the forward young 
man, and then turned to Victor. " I would not like to put it 
in that way, Mr. Waldhorst," he said, in a friendly voice, as 
if desiring to apologize for Payton's rudeness. " But it is 
really important for me to know, whether I can count on your 
support in the caucus for the nomination, and in the legislature 
for the election, if the party should fall in with the views of 
the governor. You will therefore pardon our solicitude in this 
matter, and believe us, that no rudeness is intended." 

"Why, father, it is surely an insult to Mr, Waldhorst to 
put such a question implying doubt," said Nellie, with an 
expression of such perfect truthfulness in her face, that it made 
Payton wince. " Don't you know, that you have not a more 
loyal and staunch supporter in the world, than our old friend 
Victor?" And with a smile that went straight to Victor's 
heart, she added, " Am I right, Mr. Waldhorst? " 

" God knows. Miss May, that no one is more keenly alive 
to the debt of gratitude which I owe to Colonel May, than I 
am, and that there is no man on earth that commands, in so 
high a degree, my unwavering confidence, my love, my 

" Well, I am very proud to know that," said the colonel, 
good-naturedly. " But the point is, just now, whether I can 
count on your vote ? ' ' 

"He is quite sure of that, is he not, Mr. Waldhorst?" 
Nellie said, looking at the young man with eager eyes. 

The question startled Victor. It had loomed up in his mind, 
this same question, and paralyzed his very thought, like a 
hideous monster in a nightmare, driving him to this very place 
in search of help from his friend Rauhenfels, hoping to be 


taught how to answer, or what were even better, how to not 
answer, this awful question, whether it were possible that he 
should A'ote against the wisest, truest, best of men, — his 
generous benefactor, his boyhood's friend? 

As if in response to Victor's unuttered appeal, the professor 
interposed. " The point of inquiry," said he, speaking in a 
deep voice that impressed itself upon all within its reach, 
" would rather seem to be, will Colonel May make it impossi- 
ble for him to do so, by giving the lie to the record of his past 
life? A senatorship is no trivial affair. It is important to 
the nation, in whose council he proposes to lift his voice ; im- 
portant to the individual who is to embody the divided sover- 
eignty of both his State and his nation. And such is the 
quality of ambition, that it warps men's judgment; — aye, so 
fiercely burn its fires in minds of towering aspiration, that in 
the strain to reach one single, shining goal the structure of a 
lifetiihe sinks in ashes. Is Colonel May one of these? That, 
to my view, is the pertinent question. For though you may 
hide to yourself, for a while, you cannot avoid the issue attend- 
ant upon your becoming the candidate of a faction pledged to 
subvert the government. It will be the passing of the Rubicon 
that separates the illustrious patriot from the rebel and the — 
traitor! " 

Nellie, stung to the quick by the closing word of the pro- 
fessor, turned upon him with a fiush of indignation. "Sir! " 
she exclaimed, her eyes ablaze with anger, while yet a sneer of 
contempt curled her proud hps, " you are insolent! " 

LesHe looked at Rauhenfels with a frown, but said nothing. 
Payton, however, assuming a menacing attitude, blustered 
out, "How dare j^ou, sir, employ such language to Colonel 

Rauhenfels turned toward Payton. But if he intended a 
sharp answer for this young gentleman, it was checked by a 
deprecating wave of the colonel's hand. 

The colonel smiled ; a smile, the sadness of which betrayed 
to Victor that the professor's words had wounded him as 


deeply as they had Nellie, bat that he forebore to resent the 
personal attack. " You use a strangely harsh word, my 
friend," he said, somewhat more calmly than was his custom- 
ary speech, " and, it seems to me, rather inconsistently. For 
the legal crime of treason consists, under our constitution, in 
levying war against the United States, or giving aid and com- 
fort to their enemies. You surely cannot predicate treason, in 
this sense, of mere friendliness to the South. But if you re- 
fer to treason in its general sense, — that of attempting to 
shake off the yoke of tyrannical government — then the word 
has no terror for me. I deem it a flattery to be classed with 
such men as, for instance, signed the Declaration of Inde- 

" I would be justified. Colonel May," the professor rejoined, 
his manner becoming more and more earnest as he proceeded, 
" to accuse you of quibbling, but for the fact that there has 
been nothing but quibbling by the politicians, on both sides of 
the question. Argument has been lost sight of: groundless 
assertions are in vogue. You, Colonel May, know full weU, 
that secession means war ; for no government on earth can idly 
tolerate its own disruption. And if in that war you are found 
in arms against your government, you will be a traitor, in the 
legal, constitutional sense ; and no arrogation of the patriotism 
that has canonized the Fathers of the Revolution will protect 
you against the punishment due a traitor, — aye, nor even 
conciliate your conscience. You are attempting to cheat 
yourself into the belief that it is not dishonorable to be known 
as a rebel and a traitor to a tyrannical government, or one that 
you choose to stigmatize as such. Has not the shudder of 
your daughter at the bare mention of such a possibility, — has 
not the resentful insolence of this young dandy here, who 
deems himself called on to champion your honor, as if the 
mention of that word were a dire insult, taught you in what 
estimation the traitor is held, even by those who calmly con- 
template treason themselves ? ' ' 

" Speaking for my daughter," the colonel answered, re- 


garding Nellie with a sad, yet fond smile, " I would bespeak 
for her the consideration due to the inexperience of her sex, 
and, if you please, to the nature, hitherto, of her surroundings. 
You would make allowance for the feelings of a child that has 
been, foolishly perhaps, indulged by her parents, and by 
society, and who is not quick to weigh how much truth there 
may be in a remark that to her unsophisticated ear is degrading 
to her father," 

" But father," exclaimed Nellie, a vivid blush suffusing her 
cheek, " I beg of you to remember that I am not a babe ! And 
I think it is for Mr. Rauhenfels to apologize, not for you." 

" These are my sentiments exactly! " shouted Mr. Pay ton. 
But a frowning glance from Colonel May arrested any further 
words of approval he might have intended for Miss May. 

" My child," he then said, turning to the indignant maiden, 
" Professor Rauhenfels was right to call our attention to the 
consequences that may attend my candidacy." Then turning 
to the professor, he continued, " I myself sincerely trust that 
your apprehensions are too gloomy. I cannot bring myself to 
believe that the people of this country are so lost to common 
sense and to common decency, as to undertake to coerce either 
South Carolina or any other State to remain in the Union, after 
the constitution that bound them has been violated. It is not 
the South, — it is the North that has broken the bond. The 
seceded States have but technically named what the Federal 
government had in reality already done. I strongly hope, — 
I am satisfied, that there will be no war ; but if a war comes, it 
will be provoked by the North, — not by the South." 

" There, Colonel May, lies the vice of your position," the 
professor responded. " I wish I could make you understand 
how radically wrong you are in your assumption of facts, and 
how erroneous your deductions if even your premises were 
correct. It is not true that the North, or what to Southerners 
is the same, the Federal government, has violated the constitu- 
tion. As yet, any interference with the constitutional rights 
of the South, or of the States, is a phantom conjured up by 


the excited imagination of hot-headed Southern politicians, 
who, to use a slang phrase, squeal before they are hurt. What 
they complain of, and hold out to the Southern people as a 
deadly injury to their interests, namely, the forcible abolition 
of slavery, is as yet but the chimerical scheme of a fanatical 
faction. But do you not see, that secession is the one, — the 
only possible condition under which these fanatics might bring 
their project into realization? Reverence for the constitution 
is, to this day, so deeply rooted in the hes^rts of the people, 
both North and South, that they will tolerate no tampering 
with it, either by Northern ar by Southern fanatics. Break it, 
as secession must do, and slavery is doomed. For it has no 
hold on the majority of the people, save as it is guaranteed by 
the constitution. In the war that must follow secession, the 
forcible emancipation of slaves will be too powerful a weapon 
against the South to be neglected by the Federal government. 
There will be nothing, then, to save this fated institution from 
annihilation ; and when once extinct, it will be no more forever, 
on the North American continent at least. I am thoroughly 
sure, Colonel, that the immediate abolition of slavery is im- 
possible in this country, unless the way be paved for it by the 
attempt to destroy the national government." 

" Well, my young friend," said the colonel to Victor, who 
had listened to the discussion with the keenest interest, ' ' you 
have not answered my question. Supposing that the caucus 
should do this thing, which our friend Rauhenfels is pleased 
to call treasonable ; and suj^posing, further, that I should be 
a candidate on a platform friendly to the seceding States, to 
the extent, let us assume, of pledging the government to non- 
interference ; what would be your attitude toward me in the 
legislature ? " 

" On that score you need have no apprehension," said 
Leslie, with a keen glance at Victor, who had not Ijeeu prompt 
with his answer. " Whatever may be Mr. Waldhorst's pri- 
vate conviction in this matter, — he is a gentleman, taking 
pride in the most scrupulous faithfulness to his promises." 


" Yes," said Nellie, proudly, " Victor has promised to 
wear my colors in this tournament, and I know him to be a 
loyal knight. You can depend upon him, at least, although 
he has not answered your question yet." 

"I would be better satisfied," Payton threw in, "if he 
would pledge himself to vote for Colonel May. If he is sin- 
cere, he will not object to do so." 

" He is pledged," Leslie added, still regarding Victor with 
a searching gaze. " By his honor as a man, — by his fealty 
as a democrat, — by his loyalty as a citizen. No words of his 
can add to the sacredness of Ifis obligation." Turning to 
Professor Rauhenfels, he said: "You will bear testimony to 

Before the professor could answer, Nellie again spoke up. 
" Why do you speak of testimony? " she said. " I pledge 
my own word, that Mr. Waldhorst is true to his." 

" Precisely," came from the professor's lips. And the deep- 
ening of the curves of the corners of his mouth gave warning 
that he was in no gentle mood. " The young lady no doubt, 
correctly estimates Mr. Waldhorst' s character for probity and 
honor. But if she accord to him his due meed of common 
sense as well, it may dawn upon her mind, as it should sug- 
gest itself to the mind of her brother, here, that to enable him 
to keep his word. Colonel May must keep his also. Waldhorst 
is pledged, as Mr. May emphasizes, by his honor as a man, by 
his fealty as a democrat, by his loyalty as a citizen — to 
what? " 

" To vote for Colonel May! " exclaimed Leslie, interrupting 
the professor. 

" To vote for an unflinching Jeffersonian democrat," shouted 
the professor, " such as Waldhorst is, such as Colonel May 
has been up to this time ; for an uncompromising champion of 
the constitution and its strict construction, such as Colonel 
May has put himself upon the record during his congressional 
career, — the shining exemplar whom Waldhorst has patterned 
after ; for the aspirant to a seat in the Senate of the United 


States, who has often taken, and proclaims himself ready again 
to take, his solemn oath to support the constitution of the 
United States. To this he stands pledged ; and like Miss May 
I would stake my own word, that he is but too eager to redeem 
his pledge. What a sneaking, cowardly reijegade, — what a 
perfidious, dastardly betrayer of the trust reposed in him 
would he become, were he to vote, instead, for a recusant 
apostate, who, if not ready to plunge the knife into the heart 
of the country that has honored and trusted him, yet stands 
by, refusing to strike down the i^atricidal arm uplifted for the 
blow, and blandly invokes — non-interference! Yes, Miss 
May, you may rest assured, that Victor Waldhorst's faith is 
not of the Punic kind, nor of the quibbling sort 

' That keeps the word of promise to the ear. 
But breaks it to the hope.' 

He will vote for the true democrat, the loyal citizen, the 
champion of the constitution for whom he is instructed to 
vote ; but he cannot do that by voting for the nominee of a 
faction that avows its intention to stand by the enemies of the 

Leslie May, whose face had been reddening during the pro- 
fessor's speech, now turned upon him a look of angry con- 
tempt. " What kind of faith would you call that, sir," he 
said, with cutting sarcasm, " which permits you to accept my 
father's invitation and hospitality — " 

" Faith did you say? " the professor interrupted, regarding 
Leslie with a look of genuine surprise. 

" I said," Leslie went on, " what kind of faith is that, sir, 
that permits you to accept my father's invitation and hospital- 
ity— " 

" And money! " the professor suggested, again interrupting. 
" Don't be mealy-mouthed about it, if 3'ou wish to lay bare 
my sins, which, I venture to guess, is your object in asking 
the questions." 

— " And money, since you yourself insist on it," continued 


Leslie, uuable to suppress a shadow of annoyauce at the inter- 
ruption, " with the unclerstaudiiig that you would devote your 
time to assist him iu the canvass ; and now to do your l^est in 
coaxing and frightening away his firmest supporters? " 

" You want to know, what kind of faith permits me to do 
that, do you? " said Professor Rauhenf els, his features bright- 
ening into an almost humorous expression. " I will tell you, 
young man. It is the kind of faith which one gentleman puts 
in the integrity of another. A kind of faith to which, I hope, 
you are no stranger. Tliat kind of faith, sir, that would im- 
pel an honest man to pull away his friend from the brink of an 
abyss, even at the risk of being considered officious. In a 
word, good faith in the highest, truest, fullest sense." 

"Bosh!" exclaimed Leslie, with perceptible impatience. 
" You are dodging the question, sir ; and treating us to grandil- 
oquent phrases. The point is, how dare jou. betray the interests 
of a man who has confided in your honor, and whose money 
you have taken under promise of furthering his interests?" 

" So I did," remarked the professor. " I took his money, 
and I honestly tried to earn it. Let us see how we stand : 
Colonel May did me the honor to believe me — at your own 
suggestion, Mr. May, I have no doubt — capable of doing 
him some service, valuable enough (in his own estimation, 
mark I) to justify him in making me the offer to which you 
allude. Colonel May was, according to my sincere conviction, 
the best representative that our State could have in the Senate. 
His political views, under the existing condition of things, 
were mine. To further his prospects of election was my own 
desire and duty ; I did so without any promise or pay, to the 
best of my poor ability, as you well know. But I am not rich 
enough to quit my avocation and follow Colonel May to the 
capital without compensation. And as your father, and, I 
strongly suspect, yourself, wished me to be here during the 
senatorial campaign, I accepted his invitation, his hospitality, 
and his money, in the interest, I am sure, of the country, as 
well as of ourselves." 


" But — " Leslie was about to interrupt, when the profes- 
sor silenced him by an imperative gesture. 

"But," he continued, " Colonel May has to-day intimated 
that he coutemjjlates a change of his political course. This is a 
palpable breach of the contract between us. I consider seces- 
sion as treasonable and wickedly absurd. Neither the price 
that your father has paid me, nor any price within the power 
of man to pay, could induce me to advocate the caudidacj^ of 
a man pledged to such a course. And now, my dear young 
friend, no more insinuations of bad faith. If there is treach- 
ery in the camp, you know where to look for it. If you should 
ever regain your composure sufficiently to reflect calmly upon 
the situation of our friend Waldhorst, or even of myself, you 
will understand, that just now your father has no sincerer, 
more warml}' devoted friend than Waldhorst ; and that no 
service I may have performed for Colonel May in facilitating 
his campaign (and I am sure, that both he and yourself believe 
it to be considerable) deserves his gratitude more fully, than 
would my attempt to hold him back from the plunge he is con- 
templating, — the leap into the abyss that will make him a 
moral suicide." 

Whether Rauhenfels had more to say, remains unknown. 
For Leslie, whose discretion was succumbing to his impatience, 
interrupted him with angry words, spoken with sneering con- 
tempt. " Keep your advice for such as have patience to listen 
to it," he said. " We did not hire you for a Mentor. Neither 
are you father's guardian, whatever may be your authority 
over that boy yonder, who seems to have surrendered what 
little of spirit or manhood he ever possessed to his lord and 
master, whose nod and beck he obeys with the submissiveness 
of a well- trained spaniel." 

Victor started, as though he had received a heavy blow. 
But he was not quick at retort, and before he had uttered a 
word, Colonel May had arisen and was addressing his son with 
uplifted arm, and in stern and commanding tones demanded 
peace. Then, turning to both Victor and Rauhenfels he said : 



" YiXY be it from me, to question the right of either of you, 
gentlemen, to your own opinion, and to determine your own 
course of action. Claiming the same right for mj^self , I must 
be guided by ray own judgment. I cannot lift up my hand 
against my ow^n State. As Decatur spoke of his country, so 
would I say of ray State : Ma}' she always be in the right : but 
my State, right or wrong ! Let us drop a discussion that can 
lead to no result. I am satisfied that my young friend Wald- 
horst will not give me his vote unless we succeed in defeat- 
ing the resolution of sympathy with the seceded States. To 
that end let us now bend our energies." 

" Amen ! " said Professor Rauhenfels. 

But the fiat went forth from the caucus, and the resolution 
was adopted by both branches of the General Assembly. 



'HE caucus resolution had sounded the knell to Victor's 
dearest hopes. It sunk a chasm between him and the 
May family which he knew he could not overleap, — 
a chasm as broad as the decree of Fate, and as deep as his 
moral conviction. To vote against Colonel May would, he 
well knew, subject him to Leslie's sneering scorn, and to 
Nellie's anger and contempt. And the caucus resolution had 
made it impossible for him to vote for Colonel May. 

There were moments when the arch-fiend, taking advantage 
of his anguish, whispered into his ear. Why not join the domi- 
nant faction of the party ? And a dazzling light pierced the 
dismal blackness of his horizon for a brief moment, revealing 
before him a vision of supreme bliss : Nellie, smiling as she 
had smiled when last alone with him, Avhen she had called him 
her brave and loyal knight — holding out, as it seemed to him, 
her hand, to seize which and claim for his own he need but 
gratify that other dearest wish of his heart, to serve and vote 
for the man whom he loved and adored above all others in the 
world! But like the darkness rendered more intense after a 
lurid flash of lightning, so the brightness of this vision left him 
wrapped in deeper gloom, when his manhood reasserted itself, 
and put the Satanic temptation behind him. 

For it must not be. To vote for Colonel May, as pledged 
by that treasonable caucus resolution, would make a traitor of 
himself: Traitor to his constituents, to his country, to sacred 

He had burned his bridges behind him. When the caucus 
had committed itself to the doctrine that the Federal govern- 
ment was powerless under the constitution to prevent its own 



disintegration by the secession of the individual States, he had 
given notice, in moderate, but positive words, that he deemed 
further participation in the proceedings of the caucus imj^roper, 
because incompatible with his sense of duty to vote for a man 
pledged, as its nominee would be, to assist, either actively or 
passively, in the disruption of the Union. 

Victor's statement caused quite an uproar in the caucus. 
There was no lack of angry protest and warning prophesies of 
evil to the rash apostate. But amid the din of excited voices, 
Mr. Lafayette Jackson Morrow, Victor's seat-neighbor in the 
House, jumped on a chair, and cried, loud enough to secure 
general attention : 

" Fellow Democrats! All of you who believe, as I do, the 
real a^^ostates from Democracy to be the majority of this 
caucus, are invited to meet in the other chamber, to consult as 
to further steps to vindicate the integrity of the Democratic 
party in the senatorial election ! ' ' Twenty-two members 
left the chamber at once, in consequence of this invitation, 
among them Victor ; and others followed later ; and before even 
those who remained had finished the business of the caucus by 
the nomination of Colonel May, as their candidate for the 
United States Senate, the bolters had organized, 2)assed counter 
resolutions denouncing secession and expressive of the loyalty 
of the Democratic party to the Federal government ; and had 
nominated, as their candidate. General Hart. 

The contest that ensued in the legislature, among the three 
candidates and their adherents, was fierce and bitter. The two 
factions into which the democrats had split, made war on one 
another quite as stubbornly as on the republicans, their com- 
mon opponents. These had nominated a candidate as a 
matter of party organization, and as a protest against the 
principles represented by the democrats. But after the schism 
in the Democratic camp this nomination assumed a more prac- 
tical significance. There was not so much disparity, now, 
between the republicans and either faction of the democrats. 
And since it' required an absolute majority of all the votes to elect. 


the chances for success were about even. And so the ballot- 
ing proceeded, without result. A second ballot was ordered. 
Before the roll-call, loud and passionate speeches were indulged 
in, eulogizing the respective candidates by their supporters, and 
decrying them by their opponents, without affecting the ballot 
that followed. Again and again the roll was called ; and again 
and again no result was achieved. The joint session adjourned 
at a late hour to renew the struggle next day. The deadlock 
thus reached was the topic of conversation all over the city, 
and the next joint session was looked for with eager interest ;• 
but it brought no change in the situation. So the next, and 
again the next, — the only difference being in the attendance 
of the lobby, for the monotony of the unavailing voting began 
to wear out the patience of even professional politicians. 

In this way over one hundred and fifty ballots had been 
taken, with slight variation in the vote. A few gains for the 
one or the other of the candidates raised a flutter of hope, 
now and then, only to give way to disappointment in the result 
of the next ballot. The lobbies were gradually deserted by 
the general public. The joint session felt compelled, at last, 
to make a rule to take but one ballot on each day, so as to 
gain time to attend to some of the ordinary business of legis- 
lation. These daily ballotings were had in a perfunctory 
manner. Argument had long been abandoned ; no one thought 
of convincing any one else by speech-making. They hurried 
through the formality of calling the roll and voting, and then 
adjourned to go through the same routine on the next day. 

Professor Rauhenfels had left the capital soon after the con- 
sultation at the colonel's headquarters ; but the colonel him- 
self and his son and daughter remained, of course ; so did 
Pay ton. No one of these was ever absent at roll-call in the 
joint session. Victor had not ventured to visit or speak to any 
of them ; nor had any of them approached him since the pro- 
fessor's departure. But his thoughts were as busy with them 
as ever. More even than the gloomy outlook in the political 
horizon did the proximity trouble him into which Miss May 


and Ralph Paytou were daily thrown by their oommou interest 
in the election. Yet he saw nothing in their conduct indicating 
a closer relationship between them, that was not fully explained 
by their common interest in the absorbing events concerning 
her father's election. 

Meanwhile the deadlock in the legislature was assuming a 
serious aspect. The session had already lasted longer than 
the period usually consumed by a session, and not one-half of 
the business before them had been accomplished, aside from 
the senatorial question, which seemed no nearer its solution 
than at the outset. For still the daily roll-call in joint session 
disclosed the obdurate determination of each of the several 
parties to stick to their nominees without regard to conse- 
quences. Slight fluctuations in the votes had ceased to excite 
hope or fear, because, like undulating waves on a sheet of 
water, they were powerless to affect the general level, and 
vanished before account could be taken of them. 

Once, indeed, a breeze sprang up which seemed to blow 
steadily in the direction of Colonel May. He had gained in 
votes for four or five consecutive ballots, drawn in almost 
equal proportions, from both of the opposing candidates. 
Victor watched with the keenest interest, what effect this crumb 
of comfort was producing on the colonel's friends. Pay ton 
seemed much excited, hurrying busily from one to another of 
the members. Nellie brightened up perceptibly. Victor de- 
tected her once or twace in a furtive glance at himself, and saw 
her turn to Leslie in eager whispering. Leslie himself remained 
cool and self-possessed, as did the colonel. The ballot then 
in process resulted in bringing a new accession of two votes in 
his favor. Victor calculated, that if there were further voting 
that day, there would be considerable prospect of success for 
Colonel Ma}^ He blushed, when he caught himself secretly 
exulting at this thought, small as the colonel's advantage was. 
But the joint session adjourned, and no one could tell what 
result the next session w^ould bring. 

On the evening of the same day, while sitting at his desk in 


the House of Representatives, one of the pages notified Victor 
that his presence was desired in one of the committee rooms. 
He followed the page, and on being ushered in, stood in the 
presence of Leslie and his sister. So unexpected was this to 
Victor, that for a moment he was unable to reply to the warm 
greeting extended to him by Leslie, and when he did speak, 
his voice was constrained, and his manner awkward. But 
Leslie's words and cordial bearing were as winning as they had 
been of old. " I have come," he said, after shaking hands 
with Victor, " to apologize for my rudeness that evening when 
last we met. You forgive me, do you not? " 

Victor's heart yearned for the reconciliation which Leslie 
proffered. But the insult at his hands had stung too sharply 
to be easily forgotten. " You do me too much honor, sir! " 
he said, bowing stiffly. 

" Come, come, Victor! " said Leslie, in his most insinuat- 
ing manner. " You and I have known each other too long as 
friends, to permit a few hasty words to separate us." 

"No words of yours, Leslie Maj^ have separated us," he 
said, a tinge of sadness audible in his voice. " And as to 
apologizing, it is not necessary. For, cruel as was your 
taunt, I can fully sympathize with you in your anger, and 
freely forgive what you said in the smart of your disappoint- 

" Yes, Victor, I know you well enough to understand your 
great-hearted generosity, as well as your sincerity in this mat- 
ter, as in all matters. So let us say no more about it. — May 
I lock the door ? ' ' 

This request startled Victor. He looked at Leslie, then at 
Nellie, and his heart beat violently, for he divined that the 
temptation that was awaiting him, would try his very soul. 
Nellie had not yet spoken but her eyes rested upon his face 
with an expectant look, so trusting, so confiding, as to shame 
the resolute determination which he was summoning to his aid, 
in the instinctive endeavor to fortify himself for the coming 
ordeal. " If you wish, why not? " he answered simply. 


" Now, since your evil genius has quitted you for the time 
being," said Leslie, after locking the door, " I hope to find 
you accessible to argument and common sense. Let me say, 
first of all, that my bitter words, the other day, were meant 
not so much for you, as for that embodiment of mystical, out- 
landish abstractions, — your Professor Rauhenfels, who has 
clouded your usually clear judgment with metaphysical cob- 
webs that prevent you from seeing things as they are. I 
confidently hope to find you, now, j'^our old reasonable self." 

"I will try at least to deserve your kind criticism," said 
Victor soberly. — " What do you wish to say to me? " 

" Before I come to the main point, let me also say, that we 
are not here with the consent of father, much less at his 
request. It was Nellie, here, that suggested this conference 
with you. She has such confidence in your good sense, and in 
your — well, in your loyalty to her and to me, as the friends 
of your boyhood, — that she thought you would permit us to 
remind you of the times we had together at the grammar class, 
and at the barbecue, and how bravely you defended the 
' Governor,' as I used to call him, against any doubts of his 
being the purest and most generous man living — " 

' ' And would so defend him to-day ! ' ' Victor exclaimed 

"Don't I know it?" said Nellie triumphantly. "Victor 
has promised to wear my colors in the senatorial tournament. 
You will not forget that, Mr. Waldhorst? " 

"Oh, Miss Nellie — " 

" But I told her," Leslie interrupted, " that neither your 
friendship for her, nor for me, nor yet for even father, would 
be able to swerve you one inch from the path that duty points 
out to you." 

" I hope that I may be able to deserve your respect, at 
least," said Victor with downcast eyes. 

" And so I am going to appeal to your strong common 
sense," Leslie went on. " Putting aside, now, all considera- 
tions for the relations existing between us, as acquaintances or 


friends, I submit to you as a democrat, that it is in your power 
to do the party a great service ; to save it, I may say, from 

' ' How do you mean ? ' ' 

" As matters stand to-day, the question of election lies be- 
tween father and the republican candidate. General Hart is 
practically out of the race. Your vote for father, Victor, 
would, with the following it will have, secure his election at 
the next ballot." 

" Just think of it, Victor," said Nellie, looking eagerly into 
the face of the young man, " it lies in your power to elect pa 
to the United States Senate ! Do you remember how proud it 
made you to be told by him that you had greatly helped him 
to be elected to Congress ? How deeply he will feel indebted 
to you, if now you give him the senatorship ! And how the 
munificence of such a gift from you would endear you to brother 
Leslie and — to me ! ' ' 

Endear him to her ! What a precious guerdon to secure ! 
Could an;/ price be too high for that ? He turned pale ; beads 
of perspiration bedewed his forehead. All the kingdoms of 
the world, and the glory of them, would fail to lure him, — 
Avould he bend the knee to the temptation in the shape of an 
angel of light? But while yet regarding Nellie's eager face, 
the image of Ralph Payton suddenly occurred to him, throw- 
ing a shadow over the bewildering suggestiveness of her smile. 
SloAvly he turned his eyes toward Leslie, saying: " You are 
mistaken. I have no following, such as you suppose." 

But Leslie answered with unusual patience, " Not I, Victor, 
but you, are mistaken in this matter. It is your excessive 
modesty that prevents you from seeing your power. But let 
that rest. Apart from the question of your following, does it 
not occur to you that you have a duty to perform as a 
patriot, — as a lover of that party on which rests the hope of 
our country ? Ought you not to so vote as to help break the 
deadlock paralyzing the legislature ? The time of the mem- 
bers is being fruitlessly sacrificed by this unavailing balloting ; 


the money of the peoijle wantonly squandered, the welfare of 
the commonwealth put in jeopardy by this silly foolhardiness. 
It is obvious that if the members persist in their wayward 
caprice, no result can ever be reached. Common sense, then, 
plainly demands a yielding somewhere. By whom? Clearly 
by him who understands how foolish and wicked it is to persist 
against reason and hope. Did you not once tell me that, ac- 
cording to one of your German proverbs, ' He is the wiser 
who knows how to yield ? ' " 

Leslie was unusually earnest in his manner. Victor smiled, 
with a smile that betrayed the agony of his soul. " Do you 
not see," he answered, soberly, slowly, " that on your show- 
ing mulish obstinacy would prevail over the yielding wise man ? ' ' 

" But if it be rational to yield, will not the triunn)h of the 
obstinate fool accomplish the wise man's purpose? " persisted 
Leslie. " It seems to me, that even Rauheufels could not find 
fault with such a statement." 

"Perhaps not; and perhaps you are right, — always pro- 
viding that the effect of the fool's obstinacy serves the wise 
man's purpose. But let us not continue a discussion which 
can lead to no satisfactory result. I cannot vote for your 
father, so long as he does not disavow that resolution of the 
caucus, even if it were true, and made plain to my comprehen- 
sion, that my vote would elect him." 

It cost Victor a mighty effort to say these words. He wiped 
the perspiration from his brow. 

Leslie grew red in the face. 

"Can nothing move you?" he said, after a momentary 
pause. " Nothing that I have said? Nothing that Nellie has 
said? " 

" Nothing." 

"Is it true, then, that you have sold yourself, body and 
soul, to this double-faced friend, this sneering Mephistoj^heles, 
who, while eating my father's bread, poisons the mind of his 
most ardent friend against him ? For I happen to know, that 
it is only at his behest that you oppose our interest." 


"You are wrong, Leslie; Mr. Rauhenfels has, himself, 
disproved your accusation." 

"Wrong! " Leslie repeated, in louder voice. "Was all 
your regard, then, — all the devotion and reverence that you 
so constantly and ostentatiously paraded for Colonel May, 
mere cant and hypocrisy? Do you mean to tell me, that you 
lied, when you promised to vote for him, — lied when you 
pledged yourself in primary meeting, in the party convention, 
and again in accepting the votes of the people, as a democrat? 
Out upon such cowardly treachery! " 

" Oh, Leslie," said Victor after a brief pause, in which he 
regarded his adversary with a steady gaze, "you ought to 
know that you stab me to the heart with your cruelly unjust 
words, — to the heart that has given up all to preserve its 

' ' Fie on such honor ! The honor of an assassin that has 
knifed his truest friend I " 

" That he is ! " exclaimed Victor, interrupting. " As such 
I have well-nigh worshiped him." 

" With the devil's worship! " Leslie cried. " While bask- 
ing in the sunshine of his favor, you fawned and cringed, and 
spared not plentiful protestations of devotion to his person and 
his cause, in order the more surely to betray them both." 

Nellie had been listening intently. A frown now gathered 
on her face. She uttered the single word : " Ingrate ! " 

It stung Victor more sharply than Leslie's cutting invective. 
" Oh, Miss May," he pleaded earnestly, " do not you mis- 
judge me — " 

" Address yourself to me, sir! " Leslie sternly interrupted 

" Sir, it is your sister of whom I crave pardon for an act that 
in the doing inflicts agony on me a hundred times more bitter 
than any disappointment it may bring to either of j^ou." 

" The twinge of conscience you may feel is anything but an 
excuse, sir! " 

" Nor do I seek excuse," Victor continued. " Pray, do 


not misconstrue the torture I suffer into repentance of my 
course. It is my cruel fate that in the performance of my 
duty I must forfeit your friendship. But I am not ashamed 
of my deed . ' ' 

'.' I dare say," Leslie interjected, " that you take pride in 
your emancipation from the restraints imposed by honor, 
gratitude and good-faith." 

" Leslie May," said Victor, straightening up and regarding 
the brother with a defiant frown, " restrain your licentious 
tongue! Tempt me not too far! I have borne your taunts, 
your sneers and your insults and remembering what once we 
were to each other, forbore the fitting answer. But when you 
say, that I prostituted my honor — " 

" Well? " sneered Leslie, as Victor briefly paused. 

" You lie! " 

Victor spoke the word boldly, l)ut without passion. 

Leslie raised his clenched list, but dropped it, as Nellie 
softly touched his arm. The two men eyed each Other for a 
moment, then Leslie, with a bitter, satirical smile, turned to 
his sister. " Can you unriddle me this riddle, — honor? Here 
stands a man (for such, no doubt, he deems himself) convicted 
of perjury, of having basely betrayed friend, party, — the most 
sacred trust confided in him by his country, — and noAV poses 
for injured innocence, unblushingly proclaiming his untar- 
nished — honor ! Bah ! Such honor might Judas Iscariot 
claim, when he had earned his thirty pieces of silver." 

There was a slight pause before Victor answered. Then, 
regarding his former friend with a steady eye, he said : " Your 
words are keen-edged daggers, Leslie May. But they afford 
me this comfort, that they lighten much a burden on my 
heart, — the burden of gratitude to you ; for you have this day 
so heavily freighted the counter-scale, that the account between 
us is more nearly balanced. You will understand, some day, 
that I may have something to forgive, as well as my bene- 

Nellie now spoke up, "Oh," she said, imitating, perhaps 


unconsciously, the sarcastic tone of her brother, "you have 
something to forgive us, have you? Now, I am really curious 
to know what that can be. Is it, that when you came to 
Brookfield, an awkward, unmannered lad, you found a cordial 
welcome in our family? Is it, that papa gave you free access 
to his library, teaching you what books to read, and how to 
understand them ? Or that his children received you in their 
midst, as though you had been one of them, and through their 
patronage secured to you admission to the most select cu'cles 
of Brookfield society? Or is it, that papa initiated you into 
the intricacies of politics and statesmanship, honoring you with 
his confidence, withholding no secrets from you, as if you were 
his own, beloved child? Are these the things that you are 
going to forgive us ? " 

Victor made a gesture as if, overcome by her reproaches, he 
would speak, but Nellie continued : 

" Or do you mean to forgive us, that we have been betrayed 
and undone by one whom we fondly trusted, to whom we fur- 
nished the very means and weapons with which he is now 
assailing his benefactor? " Then dropping her sarcastic tone, 
she added with genuine pathos, " Tell me, sir, what is it, that 
you are going to forgive us ? ' ' 

Victor stood erect, pale, but more proudly than he had ever 
stood before Miss May, as he answered: " You, Miss May, I 
have nothing to forgive but the cruel injustice of your words 
just now. And I beg you in turn, to pardon what I say, not 
in idle boast, but because the torture you inflict upon me 
wrenches the words from my quivering lips : To keep unsullied 
mine own honor, I have yielded up the promise of heavenly 
bliss on earth, and now confront a dreary joyless future." 

Leslie put on his sarcastic sneer and opened his lips for a 
reply ; but Victor anticipated him. 

" As for you, sir," he said, turning to the brother, " we 
are quit. You have this day taken payment in full for all the 
bounties you so lavishly conferred upon me. You have set a 
price upon that which I held priceless, — your friendship. If 


honor has been forfeited in the relations between us, be sure, 
sir, that the loss has not fallen to me. It is not I that have 
betrayed a trust." 

"Do you hear that, Nellie?" was the brother's retort. 
' ' Next he will recite to us an inventory of our own short- 
comings toward him ! Such is the logic taught him by his 
lord and master, that Mephistophelian trickster, to whom he 
has bartered his soul. Come, Nellie ; let us go. We have 
done with Mr. Waldhorst." 

As they started to go, Victor turned to the lady, saying, 
' ' Would you vouchsafe me hearing for one word more ? ' ' 

•' To my sister? " asked Leslie. 

" Such is my desire, if she will kindly permit." 

" Shall I remain? " he inquired of bis sister. 

" I almost fear to be alone with him," whispered Nellie. 
" His face is portentous of a weighty purpose." 

" Then I shall remain," Leslie replied. 

" And yet," she mused, " what have I to fear? If he be- 
come too bold of speech or manner, I shall know how to bring 
him to senses. Go, Leslie ; I would fain learn what it is that 
he has to say to me in person." 

" All right, Nellie ; but I shall remain within earshot of your 
call, if you should want me." 

Leslie left the room. The young lady regarded Victor 
with an expectant look. 

" Well, sir," she said, " I am ready to hear." 

" I thank you for this act of kindness," he said, speaking 
with a tenderness he could not master, in spite of his mighty 
effort at composure. " There were happier days. Miss May, 
when it was my proudest boast that in your goodness you pei'- 
mitted me to think of you as a friend. My foolish heart, mis- 
led by your sweet graciousness, indulged in blissful dreams of 
yet a dearer name for you — " 

"Presumptuous youth!" the lady interrupted proudly. 
"How dared you infer the slightest encouragement on my 
part of such folly? " 


"Oh," said Victor, witli a bitter smile, "I know, now, 
that it was not intentional on your part. It was but my doting 
heart, so eager to hug the fond illusion, that nourished my 
aspiration. No Parsee ever worshiped with devotion deejjer 
the bright Luminary of Day, than I my life's glorious Sun. 
I beg you, in extenuation of my fault, to retlect that in my in- 
fatuation I prized a smile from your lips far higher than any 
woman's beauty in the world." 

"• Tell me," she asked with unbending hauteur, " to which 
of any words of mine do you attribute such incitement? " 

" Oh, not to any words," he replied sadly. " All that you 
said to me, as I now recall it, a sister might have spoken to a 
brother. Not icJiat you said, but hoio you said it, was the 
Siren's song that lured me to my destinj-. You but recall the 
words, — not the voice, whose melodious cadences thrilled my 
ear with ecstatic joy. You but recall the words, — not the 
sparkling e^^e, that eloquently proclaimed what the beggar 
speech was impotent to utter. You but recall the word, — not 
the warm breath that uttered it. You but remember that I 
held your hand , — not how that touch sent an electric thrill 
through my veins that like a magic spark set my very heart 

Nellie listened with rapt attention. In spite of herself, her 
haughty mien relaxed. 

" My glorious paradise, like some resplendent, sun-painted 
image in the clouds, has vanished into somber gloom," Victor 
continued. " The bright ideal, that but now refulgently lit 
up my pathway, is intercepted by destiny's mighty arm, 
snatching from me my soul's crowning desire. Should ever, 
in the future, your thoughts recur to me, then, Nellie May, 
think of me as one, whose love for you, was so unbounded and 
unselfish, that he elected rather to be worthy of you, than to 
possess you unworthily." 

The lady gazed on him in wonder. 

But Victor continued: "My path in the future will be 
rugged and thorny; j^et I shall pursue it. I shall even bear 


the loss of your father's love, of your brother's esteem, — 
heart- woven friends though they were. And I will not chide 
memory when it taunts me with ingratitude ; for I am patient, 
and God, in his infinite mercy, will grant me further strength. 
But Oh, Eleonora, who will save me from despair, when some 
foul fiend, in an unguarded hour, shall take advantage of my 
weakness, mocking my aching heart with jeering taunt: How 
cruel conscience tricked it of its due! " 

" Victor! " exclaimed the lady, in a tone blending entreaty 
and wonder, as he slowly left her presence. 

He paid no heed. 

Leslie returned, and asked: " What did the knave want of 
you ? ' ' 

" He is no knave, Leslie! " exclaimed Nellie gazing at the 
door through which Victor had disappeared. 

'' What do you mean? " asked Leslie, as they were leaving 
the room. 

" He is a man." 




HE interval between the election of President Lincoln 
and his inauguration witnessed the anomalous spectacle 
of a government professing itself incompetent, as being 
unauthorized by the terms of its organization, to assert and 
vindicate its own existence. The monster Secession, a many- 
headed hydra, assailed the Union, striking its venomous fangs 
into the vitals of the ReiDublic. From one after another of the 
sulking States came the audacious announcement, that it had 
severed the bond between it and the Federal Republic, thereby 
resuming its sovereignty as an independent State. In words of 
haughty bravado the Federal government was cautioned 
against exercising any authority within the borders of the 
newly proclaimed sovereignty. While yet sitting in the halls 
of Congress at Washington, participating in its deliberations 
concerning the new condition of things, Southern senators 
were planning a new Union, hurrying its organization as a 
' political fact — a fait accompli — with the avowed purpose of 
rallying outright secessionists, stimulating the masses, and 
coercing recalcitrants and phlegmatics. Loud and boisterous 
preparations were going on for the creation of the new republic, 
with slavery for its cornerstone, to rival and eclipse the old 
Union in power and prosperity, its individual States cemented 
by the guaranty of peaceful disruption at the pleasure of any 
of its sovereign members. By way of casting an anchor to 
windward, the arms and ammunition of the Federal govern- 

31 (481) 


ment were transferred to Southern arsenals, forts and barracks, 
and taken possession of by the insurgents, together with the 
forts and arsenals themselves. The Secretary of War, while 
yet retaining his place in the cabinet as the President's ad- 
viser, earned for himself the plaudits of the South — the South- 
ern press being naively outspoken in the matter, — by his zeal 
in this behalf. " We are much obliged to the Secretary of 
War," says one of their papers, " for the foresight he has dis- 
played in disarming the North and equipping the South for 
this emergency. The Springfield contribution alone would arm 
all the militiamen of Alabama and Mississippi." 

And all this without eliciting a single response from the gov- 
ernment assailed. Fearful, indeed, must be the predicament 
of a chief executive, who, knowing it to be his duty to execute 
the laws, feels his inability to do so. Abhorring civil war, he 
sees it coming, — knows that unless it be met with energy and 
determination at the outset, it will devastate the country North 
and South ; yet stirs not a finger nor raises an arm to throttle 
the infantine monster. He demonstrates with logic unanswer- 
able that secession is a political absurdity, consistent only 
with the theory that the Union is held together by a rope of 
sand. Knowing that under the constitution the withdrawal of 
a State from the Union is a mere nullity, he is yet unable to 
say what shall be the relation between a State that claims to 
have seceded, and the government which claims that it has 
not seceded, because the States have no such power. To 
coerce a State to remain in the Union, is, so his constitutional 
adviser, the Attorney -general, informs him, making war on such* 
State ; and it were rank usurpation in a mere executive officer 
to declare war on a State of the Union. So he will leave it 
to Congress to decide, whether the law can be so amended 
under the constitution, as to enable the government to assert 
and vindicate its integrity against discontented rebels. 

Meanwhile the arm of the government is palsied ; its head 
in a state of dazed bewilderment ; the cabinet divided, — some 
members advising energetic resistance to the contumacious 


rebels ; others coquetting with them . The .Secretary of State 
throws up his coimuissiou in patriotic anger, because the Presi- 
dent declines to reinforce the poorly garrisoned forts in Charles- 
ton harbor. The Secretary of War (he to whom the South 
is indebted for the arms with which it proposes to resist any 
attempt of the government to defend its property) having 
accomplished "much in the way of crippling the old Union, now 
relieves the cabinet of his presence, — ostensibly, because the 
President declines to withdraw the garrison from Charleston 
harbor. The Secretary of the Treasury tenders his resignation, 
deeming his position incompatible with his duty to his own 
State ; his successor does the same, because the President has not 
stopped the collection of the customs at the port of Charleston, 
while the Secretary of the Interior will presently resign, " be- 
cause he has heard that troops have been ordered to Charleston. ' ' 
Congress is in no better predicament. The republicans, 
indeed, are a unit, knowing distinctly what they mean to 
accomplish. But the democrats are in a panic, — demoral- 
ized, to say the least. Crittenden, for his part, has not lost 
faith in the virtue of compromise : he hopes to lure the hot- 
headed Southrons back into the Union by so amending the 
Federal constitution as to secure to them all the territories 
South of the Missouri Compromise line. But Congress is 
stubborn, and will not hear of it ; even the members from the 
Cotton States flout at the offer. In vain does the President 
urge, with what influence he can bring to bear, the adoption of 
this compromise, as the only possible means of averting the 
threatened disintegration of the United States. In vain do 
petitions, memorials and addresses pour in from all parts of 
the North, twenty-two thousand strong from Massachusetts 
alone, including the Mayor and members of the Board of Alder- 
men and the Common Council of the Citj' of Boston , pray ing for 
the adoption of the Crittenden Compromise. The Senate will 
not so much as listen to the bill, much less vote on it, save in 
the shape in which a republican senator derisively puts it, — by 
moving to substitute for it the platform of the republican party. 


Virginia, proud in the days gone by of the sobriquet accorded 
to her of " Mother of Presidents," is slow to catch the South- 
ern fever of secession, shuddering perhaps, over the prospect 
of being made the theater of fratricidal war that must ensue, 
should the old government wake up to a sense of its power. 
But she is prompt to denounce coercion as an insult to the 
dignity of a sovereign State, and emphatic in demanding that 
the Federal government shall maintain the statu quo; but turns 
a deaf ear, nevertheless, to the Commissioners from Mississippi 
and Alabama, who would persuade her to take a leading part 
in the formation of the new Union. Instead, she invites the 
several States to send Commissioners to Washington, to essay 
the saving of the Union by a solemn Peace Convention. Though 
Crittenden has failed — signall}^ — to impress upon Congress 
the wisdom of mutual concessions by the belligerent sections of 
the country, yet may there not be some virtue in the admoni- 
tions of a solemn Peace Convention, meeting under the auspices 
of grand old Virginia? Peace-loving citizens, frantic with 
apprehension of dire civil war, breathe more freely at thought 
of the oil that a solemn Peace Convention may pour on the 
troubled waters, blessing the hopeful Commissioners that 
assemble at the national capitol, to the number of one hundred 
and three-aud-thirty, representing more than one-half of the 
self-styled sovereign States, and fervently pray that the God 
of Peace may speed their patriotic purpose. Herculean, 
indeed, is the task set before them: No less a one than to pre- 
vail on Congress to so amend the constitution as to induce the 
Southern States to remain in, and those of the Cotton States 
that had already seceded, to return to, the Union. Courageous 
men, they ; of a hopeful turn of mind, to undertake to con- 
vince a Congress that means not to be convinced ; or else 
statesmen of the calibre that have faith in the magic of com- 
promise in spite of the Crittenden experience, and who cannot 
understand how any one will persist in his own opinion, if 
offered a sufficient consideration to change it. Patriotic citi- 
zens they were, willing to go great lengths in sacrificing their 


convictions, if peace can be had in exchange. It becomes 
manifest, soon, that the convention has been called at too late 
a day. For events have moulded ojjinions into full-grown 
prejudices during the last few months, — prejudices ranged on 
geographical lines, invisible as such to the sections themselves, 
though too palpable, unfortunately, each to the other. They 
will have a committee to report, — not later than the day after 
to-morrow (for time is very precious, the thirty-sixth Congress 
having but four weeks longer to exist) — what the convention 
may deem " right, necessary and proper to restore harmony 
and preserve the Union." Which committee wrangles for a 
week or ten days to find a formula suitable to theii* own views, 
and then report to the convention, which will wrangle for other 
ten days among themselves, to find that they cannot unite a 
majority of the States represented upon the proposition they 
wish to lay before Congress. What can Congress do with a 
project that does not even command the assent of the conven- 
tion itself (having received the votes of only nine of the nine- 
teen States, — three withholding their votes at all, seven voting 
nay), now, having but four days left within which it can do 
at all? One thing plainly appears, — it is not in the mood to 
appreciate the wisdom of the convention as embodied in their 
patriotic report. The Senate, in courtesy, has it referred to a 
select committee but will never directly vote upon it ; the House 
will not even permit its speaker to lay it before them. For 
Congress itself is in no better plight: it, too, wrestles in vain 
with the insoluble problem, how to find a formula that will 
satisfy an excited, frantic, clamorous people. Peace, it would 
seem from the fate of the Peace Convention, and of the Crit- 
tenden Compromise, as well as of the deadlock of the parties 
in Congress, is not to be had for any price short of war, or of 
the nation's death by inanition. 

The eyes of the nation, therefore, turn with anxious expect- 
ancy to the President-elect. Fears of violence entertained on 
the occasion of counting the electoral vote, prove to be un- 


founded. Muttered threats, that the new President shall not 
reach the seat of government alive, induce tha venerable 
General-in-Chief of the United States army, who is not so 
tender of the. constitutional rights of the enemies of his gov- 
ernment as is the President, to make such military arrange- 
ments as shall cool the ardor of mobocratically inclined assas- 
sins, should such infest the crowd of spectators at the inaugura- 
tion. Cannon planted at both ends of Pennsylvania avenue, 
armed cavalry lining every curbstone along the line of march 
of the procession, are sufficient to convince the boldest ruffian, 
that rioters would make but poor headway, though there were 
many in the immense throng minded that way. And so the 
President-elect, who has safely reached Washington despite 
the conspiracy to assassinate him on his way through Balti- 
more, is installed. The venerable Chief Justice of the United 
States, — he, whose celebrated decision of Scott vs. Sandford 
so thoroughly vindicated the constitutionality of slavery, and 
demonstrated the impotence of Congress to interfere with 
it — administered the oath of office. "Whose black robes, 
attenuated figure and cadaverous countenance," sa3^s an eye- 
witness to the ceremony, " reminded one of a galvanized 

Never before, perhaps, had inauguration ceremony been 
so impressive. At the eastern front of the capitol, upon a 
platform built out from the steps of the portico, are seated 
such of the senators and representatives as have remained at 
Washington ; the diplomatic corps, the judges of the Supreme 
courtj and the higher officers of the army and navy. Close 
by the gaunt form of the President-elect, stands the retiring 
President, — tall, dignilied, reserved; deeply grieved, — so 
the attentive observer notes, — at the part his party and posi- 
tion have compelled him to play in a national drama w^hich is 
now approaching a crisis. Douglas, too, is there, leaning for- 
ward to catch every word of the inaugural addi'ess, nodding 
emphatically at those passages that most please him, holding, 
the while, the President's new silk hat, Another senator is 


there, also ; from Texas, he, staudiug against the doorway of 
the capitol, 'looking down with folded arms and Mephistophe- 
lian contempt at the crowd and the ceremony. To him, — so 
his supercilious mien would indicate — the Southern Confed- 
eracy is .already an accomplished fact. He shall live to see it 
the saddest of lictions. 

And now, that a new president stands at the helm of the 
ship of State, the nation turns its eyes toward him in painful 
suspense, asking itself, What will he do? 

Victor Waldhorst, the editor of a metropolitan newspaper 
and member of a legislature with which he is not in sympathy, 
is deeply anxious. The assurances given by the President in 
his inaugural, do not satisfy him. They are full of promises 
to the South. He reiterates the assertions made by him before, 
that he will not, directly or indirectly, interfere with the insti- 
tution of slavery in the States where it exists. He quotes the 
fourth resolution of the republican platform, which he accepts 
as a law binding upon his party and him, and to Avhich he will 
firmly adhere, holding inviolate the right of each State to con- 
trol its domestic institutions according to its own judgment 
exclusively, and denouncing the lawless invasion by armed 
force of the soil of any State as among the gravest of crimes. 
He has no objection to a constitutional amendment classing 
slavery as one of the institutions so protected, believing, as he 
asserts, that such is implied by the existing constitution. He 
deprecates secession ; grows pathetic over ' ' the mystic chords 
of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriotic 
grave to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over the broad 
land," which, he predicts, "will yet swell the chorus of the 
Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the 
better angels of our nature." 

But he cannot doubt the right of the people to rid them- 
selves of a government of which they have grown weary, 

their constitutional right to amend, or their revolutionary right 


to overthrow it. Such being the program of the new Presi- 
dent, what comfort brings it to the heart of a Union-loving 
patriot ? 

To Victor Waldhorst the outlook appears gloomy enough. 
To be sure to him the darkness of the prospect is deepened by 
his own sorrow ; for he has suffered disappointment and sore 
grief. The bright sun that had illumined his future with a 
halo of glory is eclipsed by the black cloud of adversity. So 
his usually buoyant mind is now attuned to sinister forebodings. 
He sees in the President's inaugural an unwillingness to deal 
with secessionists as with traitors, or to invade the soil of any 
State #ith armed force. Is this to be the end? Victor finds 
but too much ground to fear so. For, propitious as had been 
the attitude of the late President toward the rebellious States, — 
permitting them to possess themselves of the forts and arsenals, 
of the arms and ammunition of the Federal government, — the 
present executive seems hardly more active in foiling their 
purpose. Under his administration the military officers of the 
United States, graduates from West Point, where i\xej had 
been educated at the nation's expense, are permitted to resign 
from the United States army, avowing theu- purpose of offer- 
ing their swords and what of military proficiency is theirs, to 
the new confederacy, until more than one-half of them, includ- 
ing the most talented, gallant and brave, have gone, — resigned 
or deserted, — carrying, in some instances, entire companies — 
even regiments — of the regular army with them, into the 
service of the seceded States. 

Victor Waldhorst reflects with a heavy heart that the South 
is fortifying itself with an energy and an enthusiasm that car- 
ries along the undecided and wavering with irresistible impetus, 
promising to involve the border States, and to swell the South- 
ern Confederacy to such power, as will enable it to successfully 
defy the old government, should it ever awake from its 
lethargy. No wonder to him, that Southern Commissioners 
solicit " an unofficial interview " with the Secretary of State, 
to talk over the matters in difference between the ' ' two gov- 


ernments," which, however, the secretary declines. Nor is it 
surprising, that on the next clay these gentlemen send a sealed 
communication to the secretary, in their official capacity, de- 
manding the appointment of an early day on which they may 
lay before the President their credentials as accredited agents 
of the Confederate government, " to negotiate for a speedy 
adjustment of all questions growing out of the political separa- 
tion of the seven States that had formed a government of their 

Yet there is a grain of comfort in the reply of the secretary, 
who " has no authority, nor is he at liberty, to recognize them 
as diplomatic agents," and informs them that his " official 
duties " do not at all embrace domestic questions, nor ques- 
tions arising between the several States and the Federal gov- 
ernment, but are confined to the conducting of the foreign 
affairs of the country. Plainly, Mr. Seward believes in no 
Confederate government, as yet. He has not yet lost faith in 
his prophesy that " all trouble will be over in three months." 

There is a gleam of hope too, in the thorough accord that 
exists between the President and his cabinet. The Secretary 
of War is mindful of the start which the South is daily gaining 
by its aggressive course, and is deeply apprehensive that the 
Confederate government may, by its very audacity and boast- 
fulness, achieve recognition from the powers abroad and the 
people at home, as an independent de /ctc^o government. But 
he is mindful, too, of the superior power and resources of the 
North, which, in a prolonged war, are sure to win. 

Is there, then, to be war? 

Virginia is deeply anxious to know. She has called her 
people together in a convention, and they resolve " that the 
uncertainty wMch prevails in the public mind as to the policy 
which the Federal executive intends to pursue toward the 
seceded States is extremely injurious to the industrial and 
commercial interests of the country, tends to keep up excite- 
ment which is unfavorable to the adjustment of the public 
peace." So they will send a committee to the President of the 


United States, to find out what he is going to do al^out it. 
And Victor finds in the answer of the President another gleam 
of encouragement. Oracular enough is this answer. He will 
"hold, occupy and possess" the property and places, — 
meaning the military posts — of the gov