Page images
PDF
EPUB

"To her! Why, she has a husband al- | find no more words to express his feelings. ready."

Besides, although all the words, ejacula“Oh, but she thinks he has been killed.” tions, and exclamations above reported

“Killed ? Good heavens! Is that real- were uttered with as much caution and in ly so? Poor old Russell! Oh, heavens! as low a tone as were consistent with The villains ! They'd do it, too."

his excited feelings, still they made more And Harry thought of the bonds and noise than was wise under the circumthe search after them. It seemed to him stances, and there were signs that some of not at all unlikely that they had killed the sleepers were restless. These at last Russell so as to get at these, or perhaps to attracted the attention of the two, and punish him for not giving them up. Hor- interrupted their conversation. Several ror now quite overwhelmed him. He felt heavy sighs from a remote corner of the even shocked at Katie's levity.

room showed that some one was awake or “But Mrs. Russell,” he said; “how does waking, and this warning forced them to she bear this horrible calamity ?"

keep silence for some time. At length all “Bear it?" said Katie; “why, she wants was still, and Harry ventured to speak to be Queen of Spain and France too." again.

What, when her husband lies mur- “Oh, Katie," said he, “can't you do dered close by? Oh, heavens!-oh, good something with that wretched woman?" heavens !"

"No," said Katie. “I'm sure all I say “Well, do you know, it does seem very only makes her worse. She wants me odd indeed."

now to address her as 'your Majesty.?” “But you, Katie-how can you talk of “She's mad," said Harry; "the wosuch horrors in such a way? What will man's utterly mad." be the fate of the rest of us after this?" “ Well, she's got some great secret now

“Why, you poor foolish boy, you which she won't tell. As ‘his Majesty needn't scold and go on so. I don't be was leaving the last time he kept up some lieve he's dead any more than you are. very mysterious whisperings with her. I believe that ‘his Majesty' only said it I've been teasing her all day to tell me in fun. In fact, he never did actually what they were, but in vain. She's as

close as the

grave. A great crisis is Harry sighed a sigh of perplexity. approaching. And the fun of it is, she

“But, you know," continued Katie, doesn't know that it's me, and not her, that “Mrs. Russell went and got it into her ‘his Majesty' means. poor old head. Oh, she's very, very im- "You! Oh, Katie, don't talk in that aginative, poor dear old auntie, and she indifferent way." would have it so. And she thinks that "Why?" all the speeches which ‘his Majesty' makes “Oh, don't you see? You are here so at me are intended for her.”

much in his power. Oh, we must fly. “The wretched creature!" said Harry, I'll hunt along the passage to-night, and "to speculate upon her husband's death, I'm sure I'll find something. I'm sure and think of such a thing as marriage!" there must be a way out."

"Oh, but she says that it is not love ' But I don't want to go," said Katie; that makes her think of it, but state " that is, not just yet." policy."

“Not want to go ?" “State fiddlesticks!"

“No, not till I have some more fun, "She says that Mary Queen of Scots and see how this is going to end; but-" married Bothwell, after her husband's Here Katie stopped abruptly and clutchmurder, from motives of state policy.” ed Harry's arm convulsively. Harry too

“Oh, good heavens !” said Harry, whose at the same instant started, and both stood sense of honor and loyalty and affection, peering into the dark, and listening attentand even of common decency, was utterly ively. outraged at such a revelation; "and she For there had come a sudden noise. always seemed such a quiet, good, well- It was a very peculiar and a very startmeaning sort of a person!”

ling noise. It was a low, shuffling sound, “But she means well now," said Katie. as of some one moving stealthily, and it “She says her marriage is to be for the came from the direction of the fire-placegood of Spain and the world generally." the very place where Harry's retreat would

At this Harry was silent. He could lie in case of discovery. But now that re

say so."

treat seemed cut off; and there seemed to here he entered the moonlight, so that it be some one there who perhaps had come was possible to see his outline, though not on his track. Harry's only thought was to distinguish features. It was a man, that his room had been entered and his he was unarmed, and all his gestures and absence discovered, upon which his guards motions indicated excessive caution and had at once come through in search of watchfulness. Harry and Katie both saw him. How many there were he could not him as he groped about and peered through tell. He could do nothing, however. He the gloom. could only stand still and watch. Soon, “It's ‘his Majesty,'” said Katie. he thought, others would come ; lights “H-s-s-s-h!" said Harry. would be produced, and he would be dis- The slight whispered sounds seemed to covered.

catch the ears of the visitor. He stood "Leave me!" said Harry, in a faint and listened. But the sounds were not whisper. “It's one of the guards. I'm repeated, and he resumed his progress. lost!"

“I know who it is,” said Harry, in the Katie's answer thrilled through every faintest possible whisper. nerve of the listener.

" Who?" "Then if you are lost, I will be lost “It's Ashby,” said Harry. with you!"

Katie said not a word in reply, but the Saying this, she clasped both her hands effect of that name upon her was none the round his arm, and held it tight.

less manifest. The hands which had been Harry stood erect, vigilant, staring. clasping Harry's arm relaxed their hold;

she moved away from him. Harry caught her hand and tried to detain her, but Katie

snatched it away, and Harry was afraid to CHAPTER XXX.

insist. It was evident that she was offend

ed; and at what ? Was it at the mention HOW SEVERAL OF OUR FRIENDS FIND THEM of Ashby's name? And but a moment

SELVES IN A MOST EXTRAORDINARY SIT-before she had said that she would share UATION.

his fate: “Then if you are lost, I will be So Harry stood, with his retreat cut off, lost with you!" Those were her words. staring into the darkness, while Katie, And now she was offended ! clinging to him, awaited the result. Har- Harry could not believe it. He took a ry expected every minute that lights step after her and found her again. He would be produced and everything re- sought again to take her hand.

It was vealed. But the lights did not come, and not now refused. Katie seemed to have the discovery was delayed.

There oc

overcome her irritation. The quarrel was curred a pause, during which Harry wait- over. So overjoyed was he that he put ed, after which the sliding, shuffling sounds his arm round her slender form, and unrecommenced.

consciously pressed her close to his heart, They now came nearer. Then came while her head sank down on his breast. the sound of a stealthy footfall — very And there, all the time, only a few paces slow, too, and very cautious. The new off, was Ashby himself! comer, the supposed pursuer, whoever he But the beauty of it was that Ashby just was, seemed now to be in the room, and then was not thinking of Katie at all. He cautiously advancing. As yet he was had come here to see Dolores. For her he under the shadow, and was therefore in- was making this venture, having stolen in visible in the gloom; but he was approach through the passageway which she had ing the place where the moonbeams fell— shown him. He had promised, it is true, where he might be seen. Harry noted not to visit her except in cases of extreme this, and wondered how many more of necessity; but as he had felt very lonely, them there might be. Katie also looked he concluded that this was the necessity up now, and stood listening. Both of in question, and had come to this place. these were waiting for a chance to sepa- The room seemed to him very silent. rate, if possible-Katie to go back to her He had come down the chimney with very own place, and Harry to fly back to his little noise, and had surveyed the scene room.

from the dark recesses of the fire-place. At length the advancing figure reached The corners of the room were all in darkthe place where the moonbeams fell, and I ness, but the floor was illuminated here and there by the moonbeams. Having hand. Away now went all thoughts of thus taken a general view, Ashby could do fight with Ashby. Vengeance alone renothing else but go forward; and this he mained for her to think of vengeance did, thinking that every one was asleep, full and complete, which should involve and that by some happy luck he would both Ashby and the English maiden. find Dolores.

What this vengeance was to be, however, As for Dolores, she was not asleep at she could not think of as yet; but she that time, nor had she been asleep at all. knew that in order to make it as full and Katie had taken for granted that the beau- complete as possible it would be necestiful Spaniard was in the land of forget-sary to think it all over from every point fulness; but Katie had never in her life of view. been more entirely mistaken. Dolores In this amiable frame of mind Dolores was wide-awake, and had been engaged was waiting and listening-stung to madin thoughts and speculations which made ness by every new whisper, and noursleep impossible. It was nothing less than ishing her own rage all the more every a plan of escape, over which her busy brain moment-until at length she became gradwas occupied, and there were certain diffi- ually aware of a sound proceeding from culties about it, through which she could another quarter, and not coming from the not see her way clearly. It was over these two whisperers in the corner at all. There that she was puzzling her brain when her was some one in the fire-place—some newattention was roused by certain strange comer who had approached by that way. movements in the room.

What did this mean? Who could this be? These were, first, the movements of Did others know of the secret passageway? Katie as she stole to the fire-place and If so, then her surroundings were very waited there.

different from what she had supposed, and Secondly, the movements of Harry as her whole course of action would have to he shuffled down to Katie's side.

be changed. Thirdly, the preliminary whisperings of Dolores watched, and at length saw the Harry and Katie.

figure of the new-comer quite distinct in Fourthly, the movements of these two the moonlight, yet not so distinct as to out of the fire-place into the corner of the enable her to ascertain who it was. The room.

idea was so firmly fixed in her mind that Fifthly, their continuous whisperings, the first comer was Ashby that she could which sometimes were so animated that only suppose this new visitor to be one of they might have wakened any sleeper. the Carlists, perhaps his Majesty" him

Over all this Dolores was deeply agi- self. tated. Who, she asked herself, was this Meanwhile this new-comer had been visitor to Katie? It could be one, and stealthily moving along, and Dolores one only. That one was Ashby. She watched and listened. Now was the time had shown him the way. He alone knew which she might seize, if she chose, as the it. He had promised her not to come, but time for vengeance. If this was really he had broken his word and had come. one of the Carlists, above all, if this was And why? Not for her, but for this Eng-“his Majesty," she might have sweet relish maiden! There were these two now venge by denouncing the false traitor Ashplotting and whispering in her presence, by on the spot, before he could escape. It and that too after Ashby had disowned would be sweet to see the dismay of the with scorn this English maiden, and had traitor when thus discovered under her spoken such words to her! What could own eyes. Still, even in that hour of her she do now? For such outraged love, madness and her fury, she felt that before such treachery, and such intolerable in taking the irrevocable step and denounsult, what revenge could suffice?

cing Ashby it would be necessary to be Revenge! Yes, nothing less than re- perfectly sure. So Dolores waited. venge! For Dolores was not one of those Meanwhile Ashby in his progress had tender and sensitive creatures who could passed beyond the place where Dolores lie down and die under a cruel wrong. was, and had traversed more than half the Her ardent Southern nature was roused apartment. At this moment he was at to fury, and she remained there motion- fault, and felt anxious to know where to less, but like some wild beast ready to direct his way. He thought the best way start from its lair when the prey is at would be to try first if Dolores was awake,

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

wild revulsion of feeling took place. She took it for Dolores. So he folded that had been mistaken-the first visitor was figure fondly in his arms, and the “figure" not Ashby. Ashby was not false. He was reciprocated to the fullest extent. true. He had come, but he had come for “Oh, my own love and darling!" sighed her-herself. It was her name that he Ashby, in Spanish. called. In that sudden revulsion of feel- Mrs. Russell understood not a word of ing she almost shouted for joy. She start- Spanish. She thought, however, that if ed up, and, regardless of everything but his Majesty” could express himself more her own heart, was about to steal toward freely in that language it was certainly Ashby, when suddenly she was arrested in quite natural for him to use it; yet it did her attempt.

seem rather unfair to her to come here There arose another sound from some and talk love and use endearing expresone near the door.

sions in an unknown tongue. “His Maj“Here, here," said a whisper" here Iesty" seemed very eloquent and strongly How long you've been !"

agitated, yet Mrs. Russell could not make Ashby heard this voice, and thinking it out what he said, nor had she a chance to was Dolores', hurried there. Dolores heard explain. it, understood Ashby's action, and sank For in the midst of all this there ocdown in consternation and despair. Katie curred a new interruption. This was the and Harry heard it, and thought it was sound of a key turning in the door. The “his Majesty" on his way to Mrs. Russell. door opened immediately behind Mrs. And they thought that others of “his Russell, and a soft voice said, in familiar Majesty's" followers were in the chimney. tones and in a husky whisper:

Ashby saw a figure dimly defined in “Whis-s-s-s-sht, darlin'—are ye awake, the gloom. It was indistinguishable. He thin? Sure I hope the gyerruls are aslape."

am.

THE BRITISH YOKE. COW deep and tender was the love not there draw in our first breath! Did not nists looked back to their early home! Did not that Land first beare us, even that Many proofs of this might be cited from pleasant Island, but for sinne, I would say, that their writings, but I know of none quite Garden of the Lord, that Paradise ?" so eloquent as that burst of impassioned What changed all this deep tenderness feeling in a sermon by William Hooke into the spirit that found the British yoke cousin and afterward chaplain of Oliver detestable, and at length cast it off ? Cromwell-who came to America about There have been many other great 1636, and preached this discourse at Taun- changes in America since that day. The ton, July 3, 1640, under the title, “New American fields have been altered by the England's Teares for Old England's steady advance of imported weeds and Feares." This whole production is mark- flowers; the buttercup, the dandelion, and ed by a learning and eloquence that re- the ox-eyed daisy displacing the anemone mind us of one who may have been and violet. The American physique is Hooke's fellow-student at Oxford, Jeremy changed to a slenderer and more finely Taylor; indeed it contains a description of organized type; the American temperaa battle which, if Taylor had written it, ment has grown more sensitive, more pliwould have been quoted in every history ant, more adaptive; the American voice of English literature until this day. And has been shifted to a higher key, perhaps in this sermon the clergyman thus speaks yielding greater music when fitly trained. of the mother-country:

Of all these changes we see the result, but

can not trace the steps; and it is almost as “ There is no Land that claimes our name difficult to trace the successive impulses but England; wee are distinguished from all the by which the love of everything that was Nations in the World by the name of English English was transformed into a hatred of There is no Potentate breathing that wee call

the British yoke. our dread Sovereigne but King Charles, nor Lawes of any Land have civilized us but Eng

Yet its beginnings may be observed in land's; there is no Nation that calls us Conn- much that the colonists did, and in some trey-men but the English. Brethren! Did wee things which they omitted. Within ten

« PreviousContinue »