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self in all places, and (once granted Gertrude received his story with that she was at peace) to be at her side those passionate imprecations and rewas to drink peace as fully in one place grets which were then in fashion. Beas in another.
fore long, Major Luttrel presented himRichard accordingly ate a great work- self, and for half an hour there was no ing-day dinner in Gertrude's despite, talk but about the battle. The talk, and she ate a small one for his sake. however, was chiefly between Gertrude She asked questions moreover, and of- and the Major, who found considerable fered counsel with most sisterly free- ground for difference, she being a great dom. She deplored the rents in his radical and he a decided conservative.. table-cloth, and the dismemberments Richard sat by, listening apparently, of his furniture ; and although by no but with the appearance of one to means absurdly fastidious in the matter whom the matter of the discourse was of household elegance, she could not but of much less interest than the manner think that Richard would be a happier of those engaged in it. At last, when and a better man if he were a little tea was announced, Gertrude told her more comfortable. She forbore, how- friends, very frankly, that she would not ever, to criticise the poverty of his en invite them to remain, -- that her heart tourage, for she felt that the obvious was too heavy with her country's woes, answer was, that such a state of things and with the thought of so great a was the penalty of his living alone; butchery, to allow her. to play the and it was desirable, under the circum- hostess, and that, in short, she was stances, that this idea should remain in the humor to be alone. Of course implied.
there was nothing for the gentlemen When at last Gertrude began to be- but to obey; but Richard went out think herself of going, Richard broke a cursing the law, under which, in the long silence by the following question: hour of his mistress's sorrow,, his "Gertrude, do you love that man?” company was a burden and not a re
Richard," she answered, “I refused lief. He watched in vain, as he bade to tell you before, because you asked her farewell, for some little sign that the question as a right. Of course you she would fain have him stay, but that do so no longer. No. I do not love as she wished to get rid of his comhim. I have been near it, but I have panion civility demanded that she missed it. And now good by."
should dismiss them both. No such For a week after her visit, Richard sign was forthcoming, for the simple worked as bravely and steadily as he reason that Gertrude was sensible of had done before it. But one morning no conflict between her desires. The he woke up lifeless, morally speaking. men mounted their horses in silence, His strength had suddenly left him. and rode slowly along the lane which He had been straining his faith in him- led from Miss Whittaker's stables to self to a prodigious tension, and the the high-road. As they approached chord had suddenly snapped. In the the top of the lane, they perceived in hope that Gertrude's tender fingers the twilight a mounted figure coming might repair it, he rode over to her to towards them. Richard's heart began wards evening. On his way through to beat with an angry foreboding, which the village, he found people gathered was confirmed as the rider drew near in knots, reading fresh copies of the and disclosed Captain Severn's feaBoston newspapers over each other's tures. Major Luttrel and he, being shoulders, and learned that tidings had bound in courtesy to a brief greeting, just come of a great battle in Virginia, pulled up their horses ; and as an which was also a great defeat. He attempt to pass them in narrow quarprocured a copy of the paper from a ters would have been a greater inciman who had read it out, and made vility than even Richard was prepared haste to Gertrude's dwelling. . to commit, he likewise halted.
“ This is ugly news, is n't it?" said revelation. He had served the Major Severn. "It has determined me to too. go back to-morrow."
“Ah? I 'm sorry,” said Severn, “Go back where ?" asked Richard. slacking his rein, — “I'm sorry." And “To my regiment.”
from his saddle he looked down to“ Are you well enough ?” asked ward the house more longingly and Major Luttrel. “How is that wound ?” regretfully than he knew..
“It's so much better that I believe Richard felt himself turning from it can finish getting well down there pale to consuming crimson. There as easily as here. Good by, Major. was a simple sincerity in Severn's I hope we shall meet again.” And words which was almost irresistible. he shook hands with Major Luttrel. For a moment he felt like shouting out “Good by, Mr. Clare." And, some- a loud denial of his falsehood : “She what to Richard's surprise, he stretched is there! she's alone and in tears, over and held out his hand to him. awaiting you. Go to her — and be
Richard felt that it was tremulous, damned !” But before he could gather and, looking hard into his face, he his words into his throat, they were thought it wore a certain unwonted arrested by Major Luttrel's cool, clear look of excitement. And then his voice, which in its calmness seemed to fancy coursed back to Gertrude, sit- cast scorn upon his weakness. ting where he had left her, in the sen- . “Captain," said the Major, “I shall timental twilight, alone with her heavy be very happy to take charge of your heart. With a word, he reflected, a farewell.” single little word, a look, a motion, " Thank you, Major. Pray do. Say this happy man whose hand I hold can how extremely sorry I was. Good by heal her sorrows. “Oh!” cried Rich again.” And Captain Severn hastily ard, “ that by this hand I might hold turned his horse about, gave him his him fast forever!”
spurs, and galloped away, leaving his It seemed to the Captain that Rich- friends standing alone in the middle of ard's grasp was needlessly protracted the road. As the sound of his retreat and severe. “What a grip the poor expired, Richard, in spite of himself, fellow has !” he thought. “Good by," drew a long breath. He sat motionhe repeated aloud, disengaging him- less in the saddle, hanging his head.
“Mr. Clare,” said the Major, at last, “Good by,” said Richard. And then that was very cleverly done." he added, he hardly knew why, “Are Richard looked up. “I never told you going to bid good by to Miss a lie before,” said he. Whittaker ?”
“Upon my soul, then, you did it un“Yes. Is n't she at home ?" commonly well. You did it so well I
Whether Richard really paused or almost believed you. No wonder that not before he answered, he never knew. Severn did." There suddenly arose such a tumult Richard was silent. Then suddenly in his bosom that it seemed to him he broke out, “In God's name, sir, several moments before he became why don't you call me a blackguard ? conscious of his reply. But it is prob- I've done a beastly act!” able that to Severn it came only too “0, come,” said the Major, “ you soon.
need n't mind that, with me. We'll "No," said Richard ; "she's not at consider that said. I feel bound to home. We have just been calling.” let you know that I'm very, very As he spoke, he shot a glance at his much obliged to you. If you had n't companion, armed with defiance of his spoken, how do you know but that I impending denial. But the Major just might?" met his glance and then dropped his “If you had, I would have given you eyes. This slight motion was a horrible the lie, square in your teeth.”
“ Would you, indeed ? It's very black eyes of yours that I held my fortunate, then, I held my tongue. If tongue. As for my loving or not lovyou will have it so, I won't deny that ing Miss Whittaker, I have no report your little improvisation sounded very to make to you about it. I will simply ugly. I'm devilish glad I did n't make say that I intend, if possible, to marry it, if you come to that.”
her." Richard felt his wit sharpened by a “She 'll not have you. She 'll never most unholy scorn, - a scorn far great- marry a cold-blooded rascal.” er for his companion than for himself. “I think she 'll prefer him to a hot*I am glad to hear that it did sound blooded one. Do you want to pick a ugly," he said. “To me, it seemed quarrel with me? Do you want to beautiful, holy, and just. For the make me lose my temper? I shall respace of a moment, it seemed absolute- fuse you that satisfaction. You have ly right that I should say what I did. been a coward, and you want to frightBut you saw the lie in its horrid na- en some one before you go to bed to kedness, and yet you let it pass. You make up for it. Strike me, and I 'll have no excuse."
strike you in self-defence, but I 'm not “I beg your pardon. You are im- going to mind your talk. Have you mensely ingenious, but you are im- anything to say? No? Well, then, mensely wrong. Are you going to good evening." And Major Luttrel make out that I am the guilty party?, started away. Upon my word, you 're a cool hand. It was with rage that Richard was I have an excuse. I have the excuse dumb. Had he been but a cat's-paw of being interested in Miss Whittaker's after all ? Heaven forbid! He sat remaining unengaged.”
irresolute for an instant, and then “So I suppose. But you don't love turned suddenly and cantered back to her. Otherwise —"
Gertrude's gate. Here he stopped Major Luttrel laid his hand on Rich- again; but after a short pause he went ard's bridle. “Mr. Clare," said he, in over the gravel with a fast-beating "I have no wish to talk metaphysics heart. O, if Luttrel were but there to over this matter. You had better say see him! For a moment he fancied he no more. I know that your feelings are heard the sound of the Major's returnnot of an enviable kind, and I am there- ing steps. If he would only come and fore prepared to be good-natured with find him at confession! It would be so you. But you must be civil yourself. easy to confess before him! He went You have done a shabby deed; you are along beside the house to the front, and ashamed of it, and you wish to shift stopped beneath the open drawingthe responsibility upon me, which is room window. more shabby still. My advice is, that “Gertrude!” he cried softly, from you behave like a man of spirit, and his saddle. swallow your apprehensions. I trust Gertrude immediately appeared. that you are not going to make a fool “You, Richard !” she exclaimed. of yourself by any apology or retrac- Her voice was neither harsh nor tion in any quarter. As for its have sweet ; but her words and her intonaing seemed holy and just to do what tion recalled vividly to Richard's mind you did, that is mere bosh. A lie is the scene in the conservatory. He a lie, and as such is often excusable. fancied them keenly expressive of disAs anything else, -- as a thing beau- appointment. He was invaded by a tiful, holy, or just, - it's quite inex- mischievous conviction that she had cusable. Yours was a lie to you, and been expecting Captain Severn, or that a lie to me. It serves me, and I ac- at the least she had mistaken his cept it. I suppose you understand me. voice for the Captain's. The truth is I adopt it. You don't suppose it was that she had half fancied it might be, — because I was frightened by those big Richard's call having been little more
than a loud whisper. The young man “ Nothing ! nothing !” cried the sat looking up at her, silent.
young man. “It 's no matter !" “What do you want?" she asked. He gave a great pull at his bridle, “ Can I do anything for you?”
and almost brought his horse back on Richard was not destined to do his his haunches, and then, wheeling him duty that evening. A certain infinitesi- about on himself, he thrust in his spurs mal dryness of tone on Gertrude's part and galloped out of the gate. was the inevitable result of her find- On the highway he came upon Major ing that that whispered summons came Luttrel, who stood looking down the only from Richard. She was preoccu- lane. . pied. Captain Severn had told her a “I'm going to the Devil, sir ! ” fortnight before, that, in case of news cried Richard. “Give me your hand of a defeat, he should not await the ex- on it." piration of his leave of absence to re- Luttrel held out his hand. “My turn. Such news had now come, and poor young man,” said he, “ you 're her inference was that her friend would out of your head. I'm sorry for you. immediately take his departure. She You have n't been making a fool of could not but suppose that he would yourself?” come and bid her farewell, and what “Yes, a damnable fool of myself !” might not be the incidents, the results, Luttrel breathed freely. “ You'd of such a visit ? To tell the whole truth, better go home and go to bed," he it was under the pressure of these re- said. “You 'll make yourself ill by flections that, twenty minutes before, going on at this rate.” Gertrude had dismissed our two gen- “1-I 'm afraid to go home,” said tlemen. That this long story should Richard, in a broken voice. “ For be told in the dozen words with which God's sake, come with me!” — and the she greeted Richard, will seem un wretched fellow burst into tears. “I'm natural to the disinterested reader. too bad for any company but yours,". But in those words, poor Richard, with he cried, in his sobs. a lover's clairvoyance, read it at a sin- The Major winced, but he took pity. gle glance. The same resentful im- “Come, come," said he, “we 'll pull pulse, the same sickening of the heart, through. I 'll go home with you." that he had felt in the conservatory, They rode off together. That night took possession of him once more. To Richard went to bed miserably drunk; be witness of Severn's passion for Ger- although Major Luttrel had left him at trude, -- that he could endure. To be ten o'clock, adjuring him to drink no witness of Gertrude's passion for Sev- more. He awoke the next morning in ern, - against that obligation his rea- a violent fever; and before evening son rebelled.
the doctor, whom one of his hired men “What is it you wish, Richard ?" had brought to his bedside, had come Gertrude repeated. “ Have you forgot- and looked grave and pronounced him ten anything ?”
A* my own fancy led me into the Greenland seas, so chance sent me into a Greenland port. It was a choice little harbor, a good way north of the Arctic Circle, –fairly within the realm of hyperborean barrenness, – very near the northernmost border of civilized settlement. But civilization was exhibited there by unmistakable evidences; — a very dilute civilization, it is true, yet, such as it was, outwardly recognizable ; for Christian habitations and Christian beings were in sight from the vessel's deck, -at least some of the human beings who appeared upon the beach were dressed like Christians, and veritable smoke curled gracefully upward into the bright air above the roofs of houses from veritable chim
We had been fighting the Arctic ice and the Arctic storms for so long a time, that it was truly refreshing to get into this good harbor. The little craft which had borne us thither seemed positively to enjoy her repose, as she lay quietly to her anchors on the still waters, in the calm air and the blazing sunshine of the Arctic noonday. As for myself, I was simply wondering what I should find ashore. A slender fringe of European custom bordering native barbarism and dirt was what I anticipated ; for, as I looked upon the naked rocks, – which there, as in other Greenland ports, afforded room for a few straggling huts of native fishermen and hunters, with only now and then a more pretentious white man’s lodge, – I could hardly imagine that much would be found seductive to the fancy or inviting to the eye. A country where there is no soil to yield any part of man's subsistence seemed to offer such a slender chance for man in the battle of life, that I could well imagine it to be repulsive rather than
attractive; yet I was eager to see how poor men might be, and live. While thus looking forward to a novel experience, I was unconsciously preparing myself for a great surprise. Whatever there might be of poverty in the condition of the few dozens of human beings who there forced a scanty subsistence from the sea, I was to discover one person in the place who did in no way share it, — who, born as it might seem to different destinies, yet, voluntarily choosing wild Nature for companionship, and rising superior to the forbidding climate and the general desolation, rejoiced here in his own strong manhood, and lived seemingly contented as well with himself as with the great world of which he heard from afar but the faint murmurs. The anchors had been down about an hour, and the bustle and confusion necessarily attending an entrance into port had subsided. The sails were stowed, the decks were cleared up, and the ropes were coiled. A port watch was set. The crew had received their “liberty,” and there was much wondering among them whether Esquimau eyes could speak a tender welcome. Nor had the Danish flag been forgotten. That swallow-tailed emblem of a gallant nationality—which, according to song and tradition, has the enviable distinction of having “Come from heaven down, my boys, Ay, come from heaven down"— was fluttering from a white flag-staff at the front of the government-house, and we had answered its display by running up our own Danish colors at the fore, and saluting them with our signal-gun in all due form and courtesy. Soon after reaching the anchorage I had despatched an officer to look up the chief ruler of the place, and to assure him of the great pleasure I should