صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

A savage look crossed the face of the row. I will not be so uncourteous as to young man. “ I have been in a Yankee disturb her at this hour. But I will prison."

know the truth or falsity of your tale, “Ah! How did that happen ?” and you will not leave this house to-night. He hesitated a moment before replying. You will find a comfortable bed in yon“I was decoyed into their hands." der room, which you will now seek, for I When, and in what way?.”

have other business on hand.” Again he hesitated, and the general Taking a candle from the table, Redsharply repeated his question.

man, without a word, but with a look “I was on my way dressed as a guer- which to his host seemed villanous, enrilla, to carry a message from you to Gen- tered the indicated room and shut the eral Johnston when I was overtaken by a door. In another moment the general young man who seemed to know my mis- had ordered a sentinel under its windows, sion and pretended to have been sent for- when, after a few remarks on the strange ward by you to guide me by a safer and story, the two gentlemen separated for the nearer route. As I was hesitating night, the doctor, in consequence of the whether to believe him or not, I found lateness of the hour, remaining at headmyself surrounded by a lot of Yankee quarters. soldiers, who took us both prisoners. As Once more alone, the general, as if I was dressed as a guerrilla, and likely to sleep were not one of the necessities of fare the worse for it, I consented to give life, sat down to a mass of written docuthe letter I carried into his hands to be ments which lay on the table ; but seemdelivered as soon as possible to General ing unable to give them his attention, he Johnston, thinking that he, being a civil- leaned his head upon his hand and gave ian, was not likely to be long detained.” himself up to thought. .

« But I do not see any reason for your Strange! - strange!” he many times assertion that you were decoyed into the repeated ; “and yet some things in her Yankees' hands."

conduct have long seemed inexplicable. Again the

savage look crossed the face Can it be that she is a traitor ? But I of the young man.

will not believe it." “ I soon learned that this young man, Compelling himself to give his attenwho was no other than Jean Delong, tion to the important documents before alias Mrs. McAlpine, had somehow ob- him, he soon became absorbed in their tained information of my business, and contents. That they were not pleasant had given the Yankees notice of the seemed evident. His pale face waxed matter, and that the letter went directly paler, and his restless eyes gleamed darkinto the hands of General Grant." ly from under his heavy brows, knit into

“This is a strange story, Redman, and a painful contraction. lacks confirmation, to say the least. But «The chances are wofully against us," even if true, I wish General Grant much he murmured; "but I will fight on. It good of the letter. It was written in ci- shall never be said that I surrendered pher. You will however allow me to say while mule meat could be obtained and that I do not believe a word of it from one round of ammunition was left. But beginning to end. What reason have the end draws near! - it draws near, and you for asserting that this boy, this Jean cannot be long averted!” Delong, is a woman, and that woman With a heavy sigh and a dreamy gaze Florence McAlpine ?”

around the apartment, the Confederate I have seen her in her own house and leader arose from his chair and began know her to be the same.”

slowly to pace to and fro, now and then “ Pshaw, man! And this is all the pausing to gaze from the windows out foundation for your shameless cock-and-over the devastated city. It was a melbull story? Well, sir, let me tell you. ancholy hour to him. He thought of the Mrs. McAlpine is now in this house, and thousands of women and children, hungry, you shall be confronted with her to-mor- emaciated for want of food, burrowing like foxes under the earth, slowly con- darkly on their leader's brow. Silently tracting the deadly fever or wasting away folding the papers, he placed them in his under the slow torture of consumption. pocket, and courteously turning to the His own wife had not yet consented, to courier, bade him welcome. remain in so dreary an abode, but in the “ But how did you enter the city? I face of every danger continued to occupy had thought no one could approach withthe dwelling which he himself held as in miles without being intercepted.” headquarters. By some fortunate inter- “I came through the fleet, sir, last position it had not yet been visited by a night, and met with no interruption.” shot or a shell, and the gentle mistress of " Through the fleet? But in what the mansion had almost begun to believe manner ? Surely, the Federals are not that they bore charmed lives.

wont to be so courteous to those wishing “ But it makes little difference now," to visit us.” he thought. « The Federal leader has “ I owe them small thanks for their hemmed us in like a badger in its hole, courtesy in my case, sir. In fact, I kept and my surrender is only a question of out of their way. I came down the Yatime. Starvation will soon decide the zoo River in a little skiff to its confluence hour, if the shells of the enemy do not. with the Mississippi, where I went ashore, Where can Johnston be? Can it be true and tying my boat to a tree, entered the that, as the villain Redman asserts, the woods and waited until night. When it widow of one of my best friends has be- grew too dark for me to be observed, I trayed me? I will not believe it; yet took off my clothes, wrapped my dethe morrow must make the matter sure, spatches in them, and bound all firmly to by bringing her face to face with her ac- a piece of plank. With this I entered cuser. The emergency warrants any step the river and, holding on to it and just which may seem necessary, however in- keeping my head above water, I floated hospitable or uncourteous.

down the river, making my way unob" And that Federal officer she was har- served through the fleet, and before light boring in her cave! It looks suspicious. this morning I was two miles below it, He must be in my hands before many and had entered Vicksburg.” hours. But I see the signs of morning, My brave fellow !” exclaimed the and must sleep."

general, holding out his hand, “what do Turning from the window, the general I not owe you for your daring feat? But extinguished the light in the apartment you must be faint and nearly exhausted and rolling himself in his blanket threw remaining all night in the water. I think himself upon a lounge and was soon we can manage to procure wood enough sound asleep.

to make a little fire on the hearth, where An hour later he was awakened by a you can warm your chilled frame until slight confusion outside. Springing to breakfast is ready. You are fond of his feet, he was about opening the door to mule steak, I hope, as that is the only inquire its cause when a gentleman was luxury I shall be able to offer you aside announced, - courier from Johnston. from very good bread.”

“I bring you despatches," said he, The courier smiled. Anything that “ from General Johnston, and letters for you can make use of as food will answer yourself and wife.”

But I am prepared to enjoy the “ From Johnston? Ah! give them to luxury of this warm fire,” he continued, me.”

rubbing his hands and holding them out Hardly could he restrain his impa to the glow; “ for in truth I am pretty tience long enough to break the seals, thoroughly chilled with my protracted when with an eager eye he ran over their bath.” contents. What their nature was did Drawing a comfortable chair to the

[ocr errors]

for me.

man,

passed on to the room occupied by Red- (From Goethe's Wilhelm Meisler." On opening the door, he found

THE SONG OF MIGNON. that he was not there, the open window

By Lilly Waters.. betraying the means of bis escape.

Mignon is one of the most interesting char. “ The rascal ! " he exclaimed; " · why was he not better watched ? Lieuten- childhood she was stolen from her home in

acters in Wilhelm, Meister.' In her earliest ant!” he called to a young officer below, Italy by a company of strolling jugglers and " where is the man I ordered you to taught to perform feats on the rope. Meister guard last night ?”

one day chanced to witness the performances • Within that room, I suppose ; surely, of this troop, during which the child was unhe cannot have escaped. No one has mercifully abused ; he obtained possession of passed this way since I received your or- her, and became her protector. One morning ders but one of our own men.”

he was surprised to find her before his door “ Ah! the rascal! another of his singing to a cithern which had accidentally tricks! Well, they who play with fire fallen into her hands. On finishing her song must sometimes be burned ;” and dis- she looked keenly at Wilhelm a moment, then missing all thought of the affair, he re. asked, “Knowest thou the land ?' He said, “It turned to his guest, determining to re-ex.

must be Italy. (The history of the child was amine Florence during the morning, as yet a mystery to him.) Where didst thuu though sure, by the evasion of her accus- ,get that little song?' Italy !'' said Mignon, er, that she was innocent of the charges with au earnest air; “if thou go to Italy, take brought against her.

me along with thee, for I am too cold here.' “I will ask her point-blank, and I

Hast thou been there already, little dear?' know, whatever else she may have been said he; but the child was silent and nothing guilty of, that she will not tell me a faise

more could be got out of her.” hood."

Krow'st thou the land where the citron flower “The city has a new sensation,” said blows, he to the courier ; " the news of your Where 'mid its dark leaves the gold orange gallant feat in making your way into the glows, city will be better than a breakfast to the And by heaven's soft wind are tenderly fanned poor people, and I doubt not the only one The low green myrtle and old laurels grand ? many of them will have.”

Know'st thou it? — say ! “And has it come to that ?” inquired

Oh, there ! ob, there ! the courier, a look of deep pity and mor

Take me with thee! beloved, hear my prayer ! tification settling on his face. “I was Know'st thou the house with towering columns none too soon, then, with my orders.” tall,

" It has come to that. You probably The brilliant rooms and festive glittering hall ? know the nature of the despatches you The marble pictures stand and look on me, brought ?"

As saying, “ Poor child, are they grieving “ | do.”

thee?“ That the city must be surrendered!”

Know'st thou it? - say! (To be continued )

Oh, there ! oh, there !

Take me with thee! protector, hear my prayer! THERE are many men, I fear, who Know'st thou the mountain and the lone path

[ocr errors]

IT IT

THE MOTHER'S FOOTFALL.

mortal tongue or written by human fin. By Mrs. Caroline A. Soule. gers. Had not her heart been half

par• They took him from the battle-field alyzed by the sudden shock, she could upon a stretcher; he was so shattered never have sat there in that breathless that the jar of the ambulance, though agony, seemingly chained to those cushnerer so carefully driven, would have ions, as maniacs are fettered. White, killed him before it reached the hospital. cold, and tearless, she sat there, counting They lifted him upon the cot as gently as the milestones in the sunlight, and the though he had been a new-horn babe, and hours all through the night. while one bathed his forehead continual- And her boy, her youngest born, her ly, another moistened his lips, and yet darling, pride, and idol ? For the first another stood by and fanned him till the few hours, they stilled his groans and surgeon came to bind up his wounds. pain with morphine. Afterwards, as the When the last bandage was fastened, and purple seams grew broader over the the sheet, he was too sore to bear even wounds, and the dark spots spread larger, the weight of a single blanket, was they only gave him now and then, a drop drawn over his mangled limbs, and the of wine or brandy, or a spoonful of green assistants had departed, he turned his tea,-something to keep his strength up till face, ghastly as that of a corpse, to the his mother came; for the pain had ceased, surgeon, and whispered in tremulous and the ominous peace came on that tones,

sometimes slowly, but ever surely, pre“ I want to see my mother!

cedes the dying hour. “ You shall, my boy ; ” and taking out As the surgeon made his rounds the his note-book, the man bent his ear close second morning, the poor wounded hero to the white lips, and listened as they opened his eyes and said, " Will she told hiin her name and place of residence. come ?" Pepcilling them down, he said,

“ Yes, my boy, she is on her way;" “You shall see her in forty-eight but he sighed as he replaced the white hours."

fingers under the sheet; for the pulse “ But I can't live so long as that.” flickered as a lamp in an autumn wind.

“ Yes, you can; keep up a good heart. After that George did not speak; he You shall see your mother;" yet as he did not even stir hand or foot, but lay spoke the tears stood in his eyes, for he there so pale, so still, that they could knew the poor boy's life was ebbing at only tell he breathed by putting their every pulse.

ears close to his mouth, or else touching Fifteen minutes from the time he left the flesh above his heart. They spoke to that bedside, these words were flashing him, but he did not answer; they parted over the wires to Mrs. M-; “Your son his lips and dropped stimulants between George is mortally wounded. He wants his teeth, and the liquids trickled slowly to see you." Brief sentences, the one over his chin and stained the sheets. a dirge, the other a hope !

“I almost wish she would not come Two hours from the time it started on till it is over,” whispered one.

“ It will its way, and it was in the mother's hands. be harder for her to see him this way One hour afterwards, and that mother than to find him dead." sat in a depot, counting the minutes till And so weary hours passed on.” The the train should rush along, - the train train rushed into the depot. . Many car. that was to bear her towards that guilty riages were filled in a moment's time, and South, upon one of whose crimson fields rolled off to the hospital. The steward her boy had shed his blood. What she met each pale-faced visitor with kindly suffered while she waited, — what she en- greetings, and directed them here and dured during the first long night, and the there. But when a lady said to him, “I tedious day, and the second yet longer want to see my George,” he took her by night, and the second yet more tedious the hand and led her to his own room, day, oh, never, never can it be told by I and told her exactly how George was.

a

She listened with apparent calmness, then MATERIALISTIC TENDENCIES. said quickly, “Let me go to him.” He

By M. Bautain, led her to the ward, and bidding her wait a moment at the door, went in and

EVERY science at present, which is not looked

subservient directly or indirectly to some upon the boy. There was no change, and the nurse said solemnly, material want or enjoyment, – that is, to He is almost gone, - nothing will rouse

something positive, as the saying is, him any more.”

falls into corruption or opprobrium, or is Going back, the steward motioned her at least abandoned. Philosophy furnishto enter. She went in with footfalls so

es a melancholy example. True, it has

well deserved this fate by its excess and light they would hardly have crushed a blade of grass. Closer and closer she extravagance in recent times; and the drew towards the cot. There was

same will invariably befall it, whenever it breathless silence in the ward. Another affects independence, and refuses fealty to step and yet another; one more, and she divine authority. It is the same with will stand beside him.

literature, the fine arts, and whatever pro“ Mother, is that you ?

motes the civilization of men and the tri. Whence came those words ? From the umph of the divine principle made after lips of that dying boy! Yes, the moth- the image of God over the brute formed er's footfall had been recognized, though noble objects are abandoned as useless, or

after the image of the world. All these for hours the ear had been hushed to of little importance to the wants and hapevery other sound, Mother, is that you ?

piness of actual society. Religion has Yes, George."

alone survived, thanks to her unchangeOh, I knew it I felt it; mother,

able teaching and her divine origin, mother, just so you used to come in when and the vicissitudes of earth. But for the

which place her above human institutions I was sick at home.” Whence came his strength, none knew;

Rock of the divine word, but for the di

vine foundation-stone on which she is but he lifted his arms and wound them about her neck, and kissed her cheeks

built, she, also, under pretence of renderand forehead and lips, and between every suited to the wants and lights of her age,

ing her more useful or more positive, more kiss said softly, “ My mother, O my would have been lowered and material. mother!” Afterwards she sat down upon the cot

ized; then the last link which binds huand they moved him till he lay with his manity to heaven would have been brohead upon her heart, her two arms folded ken, and the spiritual man would have about him. There were whispered words been wholly interred in the slough of this

world, buried in sensuality. of love, there were tears and kisses, such words, such tears, such kisses, as only mothers and children speak and SEE how things in the world of nature shed and give when each may be the last. live up to their best, and in their sphere

The clock struck twelve. Good-by fulfil à perfect work. Now, as at the - good-by! you'll come to me in first, it may be said of these that they are heaven.”

good.”

But how shall we gain such a " Yes, my boy."

benediction? Only as we, too, live up to I'll listen for you, mother. Good

our best, as we come into conscious by."

harmony, not only with nature, but with A few moments later, and gentle wo- the God of Nature, – the God of Life. men bore the fainting mother to another room, while waiting nurses shrouded her dead boy.

“ NETTIE GAY” is the name of a new

book by the wife of one of our clergyThe fatal fact in the case of a hypocrite men. It is an appropriate present to a is that he is a hypocrite.

miss of from eight to fourteen years.

« السابقةمتابعة »