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"It seems to be pretty well emptied," said Godfrey, palling out one drawer after another; "nothing left but some scraps of waste-paper. But here is a place in this corner where there is some room not accounted for. Here must be a secret drawer. I must find the spring."
He now pulled out a drawer contiguous to the space, found a spring, pressed it, and out flew a drawer without any knob or handle to indicate its existence. In this drawer lay the long lost ivory box.
"There is that queer little box, I declare," said Lizzie. "Now let us see what is in it."
It was speedily opened and a brilliant flash of light dazzled their eyes, reflected from the numerous facets of an enormous diamond. It was immense. Neither of them had ever seen anything like it. It was not set. There was only the bare gem.
They took it out and held it up to the light, admiring the beams of light which it caused to flash round the room.
"I wonder what it is worth," said Godfrey.
BT THE AUTHOR OF
I'm awfully tired of being cooped up like a felon. I'd give ten dollars for a good promenade on Fifth Avenue, such as I used to indulge in every afternoon before I met that fatal green merino. For four weeks I've been confined to this fifth-story back room. Might as well be boarding with the Hottentots as in the St. Nicholas, as far as improving opportunities goes. My clothes are getting out of date, and the people here begin to look as if they thought I needed watching. Very particular to send the bill up at the end of the week. Expect they've made me out a forger, or a counterfeiter, or a political spy by this time. Wouldn't believe, if I'd swear to it, that I was hiding away from an old green merino dress.
I can't decide what to do. I've not got money enough to pay for a first-class passage to California, and I shall never have any peace of mind in this country. It's giving me the dyspepsia, eating my meals alone in my room, when I might be the observed of all the handsome young ladies who happen to stop here. If I should venture down to dinner, Bangs would be sure to be hanging around, and put that woman on the track. I wish he'd marry and leave the city.
"Whocan tell?" said Lizzie. "See if there is no memorandum in the box."
"Yes, here is a piece of paper at the bottom of the box."
This being unfolded was found to oontaivt the following memorandum in the hand-writing of Mr. Evelyn.
"This diamond was presented to me by the Nabob of Arcot, after I had cured him of a dangerous fever. Rom-di-dol-Day, who is a good jndge of gems, says it is worth half a million rupees."
"I did not know that grandpa was a doctor," said Lizzie.
"Yes, he stndied medicine when he was young; but getting a clerkship in India, he gave up practice."
"How much is a rupee?"
"About half a dollar."
"Then we are rich. For the diamond is certainly ours. I always thought there was something queer about that little old ivory box."
-SETTLES IN LIFE.
"M IS8 BLIMMB R 0."
There's no telling how many chances I've lost since I made that miserable mistake. As I was promenading in the hall this morning for a little exercise, a young lady came out of the room next beyond mine on the opposite side, with a couple who seemed to be her parents. They had such a distinguished air; I haven't the least doubt they 're immensely wealthy— travelling for pleasure. She was pretty, very! and she noticed me with so much interest. I was looking my best, I think, for I had just finished my hair. She was evidently struck with my appearance; I presume it would have become a case of love at first sight if I'd been free to follow up the acquaintance. A lovely purple silk, with pearl-colored spots; a lilac bonnet, uncut velvet, with a silvery plume; lilac gloves, with pearl-colored embroidery; a velvet cloak, with purple cording. That cweture, whoever she was, was one whose taste is as fastidious as my own. It has made that wretched phantom which haunts me appear more uubearable still. I could tear out my own hair to think what a fool I made of myself. 1 can't endure it another week; tomething must be done.
Waiter, bring me the morning paper.
Doll work, this reading. When a fellah has to read the dailies for amusement, he 's badly off for a way to spend his time. I never took to print before; but I'm such I've perused this stupid sheet from A to izzard every day for the last fortnight, advertisements inclnded. Speaking of advertisements, I've read so many matrimonial ones I wonder I didn't resort to that plan long ago, before it was too late.
I have it! If I can't pay my own way to California, I 'll get somebody else to do it. I 'll advertise, not for a wife, but a situation. Maybe I can find somebody who 'll be fool enough to pay my expenses for the sake of my company. I 'll not be particular about California; a trip to Europe would be more agreeable, and perhaps by the time I return the green merino will be defunct. Let's try it:—
Wanted—A situation to accompany a gentleman's son on a tour through Europe, as travelling companion. The advantages of style and air guarantied. Or would go to California as agent, or take care of ladies committed to his charge. Is young and agreeable, and of the highest character. No objections to overseeing the young gentleman's wardrobe, and allowing him the use of my Hair Tonique. Address E. G. B., St. Nicholas Hotel.
E. G. B.—Ellerly Guy Babington—that's the name I've registered; obliged even to drop my own name to escape that woman. I 'll have that in the papers to-morrow, and see what comes of it. It's costing all I've got to stay here, and giving me nothing but dyspepsia in return.
Three days, and no answer to my advertisements. Ah, here's a note; my fingers are quite in a quiver as I try to open it. (Reads.)
If E. G. B. has not pre-engaged himself, and can give satisfactory references, a gentleman would negotiate with him to take charge of his aunt, an elderly invalid lady, timid about travelling, who is obliged to go to California rather suddenly, and who has no escort. His expenses would be paid in return for his services, which would simply be to see her safely to her destination. She wishes to sail in Saturday's steamer, and an immediate interview will be necessary. Please call at office No. 14, Blank Building, this afternoon, at four o'clock.
"Elderly invalid lady;" not quite so agreeable as it might be; but, as nobody has offered to take me to Europe with them, and I 'll have all my expenses paid for sitting beside the old lady at table, and handing her off the steamer
at the end of the journey, it isn't so hard as footing my own bills. She must be in easy circumstances, or she couldn't afford it. It may be that she will take a fancy to me—aw! and adopt me, if she has no sons of her own, and leave me her estates when she dies. It 's altogether likely she's going to look after several square miles of gold mines. She 'll get fond of me, and make me her confidential adviser— aw! There's two difficulties; one's about references, and one's about getting out to that office in broad daylight. I can't possibly give any references, when I'm sailing under an assumed name. I shall have to refer him to a few of the most conspicuous of my acquaintances, and then trust to his not taking the trouble to hunt them up; and in order to escape the possibility of meeting that virago I must muffle up, without regard to my looks, and take a hack.
I got along with it much better than I expected. Very nice, gentlemanly person, with weak eyes; had to wear green goggles; must be a terrible misfortune to have to wear goggles —spoils one's looks. He wasn't so particular about the references as I feared. When I mentioned Jenkins' name and Bangs', he said: "Bangs, Bangs f I know the whole family well. It's enough." And now, if he doesn't happen to meet any of 'em, and speak about that nice young fellow, Babington, friend of theirs, eto., I shall get along well enough. It's only two days to Saturday, and I must trust in Providence.
Now that the time approaches for sailing, I feel quite exhilarated. I haven't been myself for the last two months. Nothing on earth would tempt me to live them over again. I'm not fond of the ocean, and I expect to be frightfully seasick; yet I'm quite sure that I shall rejoice to see the green shore disappear, and that the last glimpse of it to me will seem like bidding farewell to the old merino. I shan't feel really easy till we 're outside the bay ; then I 'll give up and be sick, with pleasure.
"I haven't seen the elderly person yet, of whom I'm to take charge. The gentleman, her nephew, called on me yesterday and presented me with my tickets, telling me to be sure and be on hand at twelve o'clock, when he'd resign my charge into my care, on board the steamer. That pretty girl with the lilao bonnet and her parents have gone away, I presume, as their rooms are vacant now; it 'a lonely enough here; I feel desperate—quite up to the scratch of going to a new country and trying something novel. If I'd stayed in
my uncle's store, as lie wished, and sold stoves and kettles for a moderate salary, maybe he 'd have set me up in life, by this time, and I 'd been free to marry some pretty girl. But I speculated on my good looks, and got in the hands of sharpers.
There 's one of those lilac gloves on the hall oil-cloth j ast by her door. I suppose I can take it and keep it, as she 's gone away and left it. She 's as particular about her gloves as I am— not a spot of soil on it—No. 6, plump and tiny. What a splendid couple we would have made 1 We 'd have been remarked whenever we went abroad. Heigh-ho! And here I am crossing the ocean to get rid of a pair of black lace mittens. What I shall do when I land in a city of strangers is a mystery to me. If this unknown elderly lady doesn't present me with a goldmine, I believe I '11 go to manufacturing ray Hair Tonique. It will sell, I know it will— there are men living on Fifth Avenue now, who 've got rich with smaller things. It '11 be more valuable to mankind than sarsaparilla. I '11 have my own picture put on the wrappers as evidence of its beautifying results-aw. It '11 be the most convincing proof of its merits. Yes! I '11 manufacture Hair Tonique—it will sell; I shall grow rich; Miss Mudge, that uxu, will die; I shall return to New York; hunt up the owner of this perfumed glove; throw myself—haw I waiter, '' baggage for the steamer f" Yes.
Well, here I am, sir, all right. Oh, no—no danger of my being late. Where is the lady whose welfare it will be my constant effort to secure f I trust that she is as well as usual, and safely on board. "Your aunt is in the cabin, at present, but will come on deck before the boat leaves, when you will commit her to my charge.
Yes, a very fine day for leaving port; a very auspicious day, I may remark. (Confound it, it seems to me there 's something strangely familiar about my gentleman of the green goggles, now that I see him outside of that dingy office.) "Wonder why your aunt doesn't come tip on deck. Perhaps yon 'd better speak to her, as the last bell is ringing, and they 're about tocastoff." (His voice is peculiar—it reminds me of Bangs' every time I hear it. I wish he 'd hurry up the old lady. The wheel is already beginning to splash, and it Ml be awkward to have to introduce myself, after all.)
The boat's actually beginning to move, and he 's down in the cabin yet. No! he isn't— that's him on the dock; he got off in the nick of time. No, it isn't him—it'h Bangs! He's
holding the green goggles in his hand, and yelling something. Good Heavens! a horrible suspicion begins to take possession of me. That wretch has been playing off another trick on me. Captain—haw, captain, stop the steamer —do I I 've forgotten something; I want to get off I Yes, it's the green merino looming up from below, and that incorrigible villain yelling from the dock: "My deah Frederick, allow me to introduce you to—Mrs. Fitzquisite I I 'm rather late about it, but it don't mind. Take —good—care—of—my—dear—aunt."
I 've been sick, have I not? Are we on shore now f How dreadfully those waves tumbled and rolled! my brain kept going the same way. Did you say we were safe on shore t What's been the matter with me? "Brain fever." Well, really, I didn't know I had brains enough to get up a fever; I've been told I hadn't. You 've taken good care of me, I know; but I don't believe I should ever have recovered if you hadn't taken off that green merino dress. You see, I 'd taken a prejudice against it, and every time it came around my bed I had such horrible fancies. What shall I call you, my dear—Mudge f Although we 're bound together in the bonds of matrimony, I don't know your first name. "Belinda." Well, Belinda, yon 've been kinder to me than I deserved, considering the manner in which I treated you. I have got over my dislike to your worsted headdress and your black-lace mittens; I don't know but that I could even see you resume your green merino with composure. You 've been patient and good with me; I conld feel considerable affection for you if you were my aunt, and I wish you were, 1 do, indeed. I 'd be willing to go to work as soon as I got strong enough, and help support you, and be a good nephew to you.
Yes, I believe I could eat a little chickenbroth. I feel hungry to-day, and yon 've made this so nice. But say, Belinda, these rooms are dreadfully plain, and I 'd like to know what keeps you so busy out in the other one all day, and what that queer rub-a-dub is, that I hear so much. "Does it hurt my head?" Not particularly, only it bothered it, guessing what it could be. "Washing!" And what are you washing so much for ?" To earn something to keep me in wine and broth, and pay for these rooms, mean as they are." Haw! is it possible! Do you really sit up with me half the night, and then wash and iron all day to keep me comfortable? Haw! well, I never! You're a splendid woman, Belinda, if you don't know how to dress in good taste. You make me awfully ashamed of myself; you do, indeed I I '11 never marry another woman for the sake of being supported. Taking in washing! for the fellah that treated her so shabbily. My gwacions, it "s enough to make me excuse her mittens t
Belinda, have you such a thing as a mirror in the room? I 'd like to look at myself. I 've just been putting my hand np to my head— ha! it's a fact! Where's my hair gone? say, what's been done with my hair ?" Obliged to shave my head." Oh, horrible! what a fright I must be! No, it won't hurt me to look in the glass; it '11 hurt me more not to; I'm in such suspense it '11 be better to let me look. If you don't, I shall fret myself into another fever. Come, my dear woman, give me a mirror, do! Ridiculous! you don't pretend that's me in that bit of glass 1 Bring me another mirror; it must be the fault of the glass. Well, if that's really myself, I must say that if I 'd met Frederic Fitzquisite in his own old rooms, before his own old mirror, I shouldn't have recognized him. Heigh-ho! My dear, have you such a thing as a pair of old curling-tongs? I wish you 'd get them out of your trunk, and lay thein down here on the pillow. They remind me of old times. I 've no occasion for them now, but I 'd just like to look at them.
Belinda, what on earth is that fellah coming in here with his instruments for? Is he going to survey me ?" Only a photographer." What's a photographer to do here, I 'd like to know. Going to take my picture I No, he isn't; I won't allow it. Belinda, do you think I 'm going to die, and yet keep it from me? or what can be your reason for wishing to take my likeness now, when I look so perfectly frightful ?" You '11 tell me when I get well." I believe you 're out of your head, or are trying to get me out of mine. Look heah, fellah, you needn't get things ready, for I won't be taken. I 'II put my hands over my face, I '11 scowl, I '11 scare everybody. "That's just what you want; you don't care how bad I look; the worse the better!" Belinda, you're playing some joke on me; you 're going to mortify me by sending such a picture home to my friends. You sha'n't, you sha'n't. Photographer, if you dare, I '11 thrash you as soon as I get well enough. Let go my hands I let go! I '11 make a horrible face. There!
I told yon I would, my dear, and I did. I '11 wager that fellah never took a worse looking man in his life. Yon think so, tool you're delighted with it 1 "Will be worth a fortune
to us within a year." Well, my dear, if you're not about half crazed, I am. I didn't think you \1 be so mean as to take advantage of a sick mas. "I mustn't be sick any more, but must get well as fast as I can, and go to manufacturing Hair Toniqne. And in the mean time, I must use up what I have on hand on my own head." That's a good idea, my dear. I never expected to stand in such need of that Tonique. But, now that I 've nothing else to take up my mind, I '11 attend faithfully to my head. I '11 rub it in six times a day, half an hour at a time. While you 're busy with that dismal washing, I '11 attend to my hair. I shall feel happier to have something to do.
Six weeks has wrought perfect wonders I It's six weeks to-day since I began the use of the Tonique. Have you observed, my love, how abundant my hair has become, and what a beautiful natural curl there is to it. I shall never have to use the curling-tongs again. These ringlets are as lovely as a young girl's. I don't wonder you was tempted to kiss me this morning, my dear. I believe I look bettah than I did before I left New York. I 'm growing confounded handsome—aw 1 My dear wife, don't yon think so? My color is so fine, and my hair perfect. "Would like to have me walk out, and get my picture taken again?" Haw 1 there 's some sense in that, now. Willingly, if you 've got the money to pay for it. You must think a good deal of me, to be willing to do up six dozen shirts to pay for my photograph. It does a fellah good to be appreciated; if I ever get able, I '11 return the compliment, my dear. And, to tell the truth, Belinda, if you 'd follow my taste in your dress, and would use the Tonique, too, you 'd be a very passable woman yet. (A fellah don't feel like finding fault with a woman that takes in washing to keep him comfortable.)
I wish you 'd tell me what business you have on hand that yon keep such a secret from me. My curiosity has been aroused for some days, and here 's a perfect haystack of printed paper coming into the house. Let me see one of them, Belinda. Good gwacions I what have yon been about 1 If you haven't gone and got that frightful likeness of me engraved and printed on all those bills. Oh, ho 1 here 's the other, too! "Quite a contrast!" I should think there was! Why in thunder didn't you tell me what you were about, so that I needn't have made up suoh a terrible scowl. Really, my deah, it's too bad 1 I can't consent— "That's going to prove the success of the
whole matter." Haw! I suppose so ; but a fellah don't like to be caricatured for the benefit— "But the other likeness is flattering enough to make it all up." So it is—aw I it 'a very fine j in fact, I may say, excessively handsome, though I hardly think it flatters. And now let 'a see what further you've done. (Reacts.)
PRESTIDIGITORIAL HAIR TONIQUE.
This wonderful invention of the proprietor is very properly called the "prestidigitorial," not only because it requires nothing but a faithful application with the digits to the capillary roots, but because of its sndden and marvellous effects, resembling those produced by the most celebrated magicians of the day. It would be idle to attempt to set forth its merits in words; the resources of the printer are not sufficient; we have therefore called to our aid the photographer. The sun oannot be made to tell lies; he has here faithfully depicted two likenesses of the same individual; one taken immediately after the total loss of his hair by brain fever; the other only six weeks later, during which period he relied solely upon a constant application of the Toniqur. We feel that no other proof is required of its remarkable and astonishing efficacy. Look at these two photographs of the same individual, and go immediately to any respectable druggist or merchant, and buy a bottle of the Hair Tonique.
You 're right, Belinda. The loss of my hair is going to be the gain of my fortune. All we need to do is to advertise. Just get these two faces before the public—print 'em in papers and magazines, frame 'em and hang 'em up in shops and steamboats, wrap 'em around bottles —that's the idea. Hail Columbia! I didn't think yon were so much of a woman, when I dodged you so desperately for so many weeks. For that injustice I beg your pardon. Let bygones be by-gones. I married a fortune, after all, when I married you, my dear. We '11 sell our Hair Tonique all over the world, and when we get able, we '1 1 go back to New York, and build a brown stone on Fifth Avenue, and I '11 resume my old occupation of promenading the fashionable thoroughfares, and being admired by the ladies—aw! No objections, I s'pose, my deah, seeing I can't help being goodlooking.
"Did I ever guess how it was that Bangs came to answer my advertisement?" No; how was itf "It was the reference to the Tonique that betrayed me." Hawl I shouldn't wonder! Really, I never thought of it before. Well, my deah, I '11 give you the receipt for the
Tonique, and you can get help, and set to work and get it into market. My part will be to look well on the wrappers. I always had a presentiment that I wasn't created so confounded good-looking for no purpose. I've found ont now it's my destiny to adorn the labels of the great Prestidigitorial Hair Tonique—aw 1 All right. Go ahead. Some men are bor n great, and some have greatness thrnst upon them. I belong to both classes. If the public are as satisfied with the results of the great prestidigatorial, as I am with my destiny, they'1l never quarrel with the Tonique. Go ahead, Belinda.
In ft recent number of the Book we asked for a receipt to prepare Skeleton Flowers. An obliging subscriber has furnished us with the following. Another method will be found ou page 80 of the July number, 1861.
Directions.—The leaves should be steeped in rain-water in broad open bowls, and exposed to the sun and air until all the soft parts are perfectly decayed. The water should not be changed, but the bowls filled as the water evaporates. Some kinds of leaves will be ready to clean in the course of three or four weeks, others will require a much longer time; but as it depends very much upon the heat of the sun and the age of the leaves when gathered, no precise period can be.named. In some leaves the skin will peel off in small particles, in others it can be peeled off entire, or it may decay altogether.
The bowls should be examined occasionally, and the leaves ready for cleaning removed to a basin of soft water; they should then be gently rubbed in the water with the fingers till every particle of skin or green pulp is removed from the fibre: should this not succeed, the stronger leaves may be cleaned with soap and flannel. This will finish the skeletonizing process. The fibres should then be carefully dried, having first pressed them in a soft towel, in order to remove the moisture. They are now ready for bleaching, and may be laid away until a sufficient quantity is collected.
The liquor for bleaching is prepared by pouring a quart of boiling water upon a quarter of a pound of chloride of lime, in the powder. This should be allowed to stand until cold, and the clear liquor strained off, whioh may be bottled for use. When wanted for bleaching, mix with cold water in about the proportions