clue to his own detection and identity. To save his perceiving Meldrum come forth, he affected not to pay child he might lose himself :-he paused between the any particular attention to him, but allowing him to prorescue of his own flesh and blood, and the terror of the ceed a certain distance, he then followed carefully, but gallows.

with as quiet a manner as possible. In this dilemma, he turned again to the good Nancy But there requires no great circumstance to alarm the Tulloch. There was but one thing--if he could but see vigilance of a guilty conscience-there requires much his daughter, and prevail on her to assume his present to escape it. name--but that he feared hopeless-the name of Dinah Meldrum perceived his enemy and his object, and reMeldrum was too notorious in certain quarters, and to solved to encounter art with art. Instead, therefore, of too many of the lowest grade of London characters. going home, he took his course over London Bridge, on Could he prevail on her to ignore their relationship? the centre of which he paused, as if surveying the shipIt was the sole hope, and catching at this, he sounded ping. He saw Brassington cross over the road, and proMrs. Tulloch as to her willingness to assist in saving ceed over the bridge on the other side. He waiched him this poor girl, and found her, as usual, willing to do to the end of the bridge, and so markedly that Braswhat she could. Happy herself, and seeming as if she sington did not venture to pause, but looking back once never had known what vice or sorrow was, she was, or twice to see that his prey was still there, went on. still ever eager to aid in saving the fallen.

This accomplished, Meldrum, made a rapid retreatEncouraged by this hope, Meldrum set about to trace cowering as he went, to avoid the eye of Brassington, out the haunts of Dinah, to track her thence home, and amid the throng, and suddenly darting down the steps to strive with all his power, to bring her back to the which lead to the steam wharf, he flew along till he paths of virtue. The very idea seemed to diffuse a could plunge into a cross street, and here, perceiving peace and a strength into his own mind. He went to nothing of his pursuer, as suddenly wheeled into a his day's labour with the purpose, at its close, of com- third, going in another direction. In a little while, he mencing his endeavours to this end. But to the path was pacing along Crutched Friars, down St. John-street, of return to the right, how many are the obstacles that Swan-street, and thence into Prescot-street, by Goodpresent themselves !

man’s-fields. Before issuing from this street, he waited Issuing from the warehouse door during the day, some time to see whether his enemy would appear, but with a large packing.case on his back, Meldrum saw a he saw nothing of him. Fearing, however, to approach form flit past, that sent a thrill of icy terror through nearer to his lodgings, till more assured, he turned once him. He felt that he could not be mistaken in that fi- more, and descending White Lion-street, he proceeded gure-that step-that threadbare black dress glazed with along Castle-street. Here, however, he had not gone a grease and filth. He was not long left in doubt-at the hundred yards, when he perceived that he had done well corner of the next street, it once more passed him-it not to go nearer to his home. The crafty and stealthy was he !--Brassington, and no other!

foe was still on his track. Roused to a spirit of resentIf a tiger, a lion, or the archfiend himself had cros- ment by the sight, he now resolved to give the fellow a sed his path, it would have excited less horror in him. good run, and, turning up Cannon-street-road, he In that man's recognition there was death and the galo started on at his fleetest walking pace, brooding over lows. Meldrum felt ready to drop under his load; yet desperate thoughts more deeply at every step: Reaching he put forth all his strength, and did not pause, or at- Whitechapel-road, he plunged into that wilderness of tempt to rest even against the wall or a post. He la- life lying between Bishopsgate-street, the Hackneyboured on, hardly knowing what he did, to the wagon road, and Bethnal Green-road, and following first one office, whither he was bound. When he had deli- and then another direction, continued his progress for vered his load he came out expecting to encoun- some time. As the night had set in, and the object ter Brassington, with police to secure him, but no of Meldrum became obvious, Brassington, however, had Brassington was to be seen. Somewhat relieved by this, assumed a bolder aspect, had come up nearer to his and trusting that he had escaped the recognition of this prey, and kept an undisguised, sharp look out upon him, man, he returned to the warehouse, and completed his lest he should disappear in some unlighted street or day; though everything seemed to spin round about entry. Perceiving this, Meldrum again struck out right him, and he felt, as it were, flames burning in every a-head down the Bethnal Green-road, crossed Bethnalvein and limb.

green, followed the length of Chester-place, went down As he quitted the warehouse in the evening, the very Green-street, and turning at right angles, issued out first object on which his eye fell was the man-spider upon that waste piece of ground, called Bonner's Brassington, who, posted on the opposite side of the Field. street was evidently awaiting him. For a month, in These fields have, since this memorable evening of deed, had he been traversing every street, alley and Meldrum’s life, undergone great changes. Then, the quay, in the cast of London in pursuit of his victim. old House of Bloody Bonner, probably that in which he For a long time he had fixed his attention only on men used to keep Protestant martyrs in his coal hole, and in the sailor garb; but of late he had given up this in brought them out daily to whip them himself

, was despair. He was persuaded that if Meldrum was in standing, with three or four other tenements adjoining London, he had again changed his dress, and, accor- in their gardens. These have since been pulled down dingly, he scrutinized every man that was about the for improving the entrance to the new Victoria Park, and same size. He followed the great thoroughfares, rea- their place is only known by some few straggling trees, ding the face of every working man that he met. He and traces where the foundations have been dug out. turned down all courts, and alleys, towards every quay

Meldrum at first wound leisurely along the outskirts and dock, and haunted the doors of shops and ware- of this large, and then ill-lighted common. He linhouses. At length he had found his man, and this time gered under the shadow of the trees nearthe new church, he resolved to be sure. With his usual avarice, huw- then strolled past Bonner's Hall, and traversing the out. ever, he hesitated to calla policeman and seize him in the skirts of the adjoining houses and gardens, hesitated street, lest, by any chance, the man might put in an ari- whether he should cioss the fields to Hackney Grove, ful claim of his own, and outwit him of his fee, or at and so out into the country, and towards Lea Bridge, least share it to too great an extent. He determined, and thence to the forest. Fearing, however, that Brastherefore, to dog his victim to his lodging, and then sington, seeing this design, and not choosing to trust laying the information before the magistrate himself, himself with him in the country, should take the opclaim the necessary aid from him, and thus unquestion portunity to call some passing policeman to his aid, ably secure the whole reward. Satistied, therefore, with hc abruptly proceeded across the field, and reach

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

his enemy.


ing another group of large trees close to a pool of wa- there. He could see nothing. He entered the town ter, he determined to make a stand here, and come to again, and hiding first in one place and then in another close quarters, it possible, with his persevering foe. till he could hear something-he at length learned that

He looked round. The spot seemed exactly adapted Brassington was not dead, but that he had recovered, to his purpose. It was at a good distance from Bon- and was alive. The water was not deep. It but served ner's Hall. The side of the field beyond was at the to refresh him and recal life. He had not entirely back of the great Bethnal Green Union. No one could ceased to breathe-he recovered; and now a fresh hue come soon from that quarter-or were indeed likely to and cry was abroad after Meldrum. He was now idenhear. All was gloomy, silent, and remote. Here then, tified as the murderer of the old lady and the attempier he suddenly disappeared behind the massy bole of an of this second murder. old elm tree, and rearing himself close to the trurik, he Terrified at the certain prospect of the gallows, he awaited the event.

now made a desperate push for life. There was an emiIt was exactly as he had calculated. Brassington, grant ship lying at the London Docks. He got aboard now becoming anxious, and losing sight of his object, just before sailing, paid his passage, and was soon de. dashed forward in alarm, and stood face to face with his scending the Thames. Wearied with his terrible transiintended prey.

tion of exasperated passions, and the agonies of a crime. i “So you are here!” said Meldrum, gruffly addressing haunted soul, and anxious not to be seen, he plunged

into his berth, and lay for a day and a night. And you!” replied Brassington

He hoped when out at sea to be out of danger, but Meldrum grasped the collar of Brassington, and giving Providence had decreed otherwise. Blood cned from him a fierce shake, felt the spirit of vengeance rising the ground against him, and the ocean refused to harin his soul, and glanced a savage scowl on the thin old bour him. Contrary winds prevented the vessel from

getting off the coast. It continued tossing to and fro “What is it you would have with me?" he exclaimed. in the Downs, and the captain, unwilling to put into any “What do you dog me for in this manner ? But as port on account of the heavy dues, cast anchor. Brit you are come thus far, you shall not come for nothing." ihey soon slipped cable and were off again. The ful

With that he gave the old man another terrible shake, lowing night it blew fiercely, and was intensely dark. and Brassington, terrified at the strength of the man By some mistake of the signals at midnight they ran soul into whose hands he had suffered his avarice to beguile of another vessel, and there was every prospect of both him ; now said hurriedly,

going down together. The masts entangled togeiher, You wont hurt me! You wont kill me! Let me caused the vessels to work below as if they would suck go-and I'll not say anything."

each other down into the sea. The masts were cut away, “Yes,” said Meldrum I'll trust you -I should and the next day the two dismantled vessels were lowed think I may, after what I've seen to night-after what away by passing steamers. I saw t’other day."

Scarcely did the people appear on the deck of the vesAnd with that he seized the old man by the throat. sel in which Meldrum was, when amongst the crowd of

". Let me go, I say! Let me go !--and I'll give you emigrants, who should the flying malefactor see, but --I'll

large and rosy, and well-fed as ever, his old acquaintBut here his voice was silenced by the grasp of Melance Big Bow-wow! He stood amid a numerous group drum, whose passions were boiling, and heaven, carth, of wife and children, who were all seeking the shores of remorse, repentance, and the gallows alike forgot- | America.

The present, which decides the commission No sooner did Birkhampshire see Meldrum, than turnof crime, spite of judge, jury, or hangman, the ing to the captain, he said --" There is the Jonah!” present with all its violence of vengeance, was the There was an immediate commotion amongst the crew only power that swayed the malefactor's soul.

and passengers. Birkhampshire's story was eagerly lisA desperate struggle ensued. The old man, who had tened 10, and the captain ordered the men insianuly to cried out with the cowardly feeling of the mean lurker seize Meldrum, and secure him till they got back to for human blood, now, perceiving that there was no London, whither the steamer was hauling them, hope from any appeal to his enemy, with the cunning of His doom was fixed. He saw that the hand of God his character, plucked his case knife from his pocket, was against him, and at once the gallows, the shouting and as he was stifling in the iron grasp of his foe, began mocking crowds, and strangling coid were before him. franticly to stab at him with all his might.

In the next instant he was in the sea. It was the im. Meldrum, who received one or two wounds, now grew pulse of the inoment's terror of a public death and pubmad with rage, and striking Brassington with his fist, lic shame-a single leap and it was done. There was a felled him to the earth, and falling on him, wrested his cry—a rush to the boats-one had been crushed between knife from him, flung it to a distance, and again the two ships--the other was let down in all haste, but grasping the throat of the prostrate man, did not the felon was gone, and not a trace of him could be disrelease his liold till he ceased to struggle. He then covered. sprang up, cast a hasty glance around, and catching the Thus terminated the strange career of James Meldrum. gleam of the water in the hollow just by, he dragged Who could have imagined such a beginning and an endhis victim down, and plunging him in, hurried away, and ing. Who shall say what are the crimes that they give over the field at his highest speed.

origin to when they drive peaceable men desperate, and “Another!” said the murderer, as he rushed wildly close the avenues of life against them? What a wide disalong. “Another murder, and that designedly. The tance between James Meldrum the Methodist class leaddevil is sure of me now-there is nothing but damna- er and Meldrum the murderer. There was no need that tion for me--0, Zealous Scattergood-0, Nrs. Tulloch, one should have become the other. Under a better sysif you could know this! But the Devil is stronger than tem the better nature of the man had been mainyou and me, and all of us. He has me body and soul.”' | tained. He was ground, crushed, outraged, and he beThus did this frantic malefactor rave to himself as he came-what he was. The same process may be readily sped on. He knew not rightly whither he was going. It carried out in others. It becomes a wise Government was vain to think of returning to his lodgings or his em- and a Christian nation, that a better system shall proployment. Ile made for a lodging-house that he knew duce us better fruits. of, and concealing himself during the day, again issued forth at night, and sought the place of last night's tragedy. He wished to see whether the body still was It may be imagined that the astonishment of the Tul



lochs and Zealous Scattergood was not small when they whole land, now drives the labourer into the town, lest came to know the singular termination of the career of he should get a settlement and claim some support from Meldrum. But how did they come to know? They read, the land. The town is already swarming with men indeed, in the newspapers, of the death of Meldrum, without any'employment. In a vast number of the back the Berkshire murderer, by his jumping overboard at the streets of our metropolis, you find a crowd of wretched moment of detection on the emigrant ship, but it passed creatures existing amidst the most astonishing circumfrom their minds as such passages do in the multitude stances of filth and depravity. You see men and woof horrors with which modern life abounds—and there men in thousands spending their days in utter idleness; was no connexion in their thoughts between Meldrum they have no chance of useful employment, and are waitthe murderer and Jabez Baxter, who had suddenly dis- ing for the night to commence their work of darkness, appeared from his employment and his lodgings. and spoliation of society. We see a whole army of po

This disappearance had been a matter of much specu- lice kept to prevent, as much as possible, this inevitable lation, wonder, and concern, at Nancy Tulloch's. Mrs. outrage. The Parliament, the executive, the magisBrentnal professed not to wonder at all, but reminded tracy, the police, we all of us live from day to day, and Nancy that she had never liked the man, and had warn- year to year, quite cognizant of all this, and instead of ed her that sooner or later she would repent of her too attempting to extirpate the malady from the social congreat easiness with strange people. Nancy Tulloch was stitution by the proper remedies, we attempt to drive it twitted in a gentle way too by Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell for from the surface to the vitals by the topical application her introduction of this man to their notice. That he of police and coercion. The end of this cannot be overhad gone off voluntarily they did not doubt, but they looked by any reflecting man-it cannot be contemplatcould not perceive from what cause, or that he had ta- ed without horror; and if we value our country and our ken a farthing's worth of what did not belong to him; fellow-creatures, without indignation. on the contrary, he had left the greater part of a week's God and man, our profession of that religion which wages behind, which Mr. Maxwell handed to Mrs. Tul- bids us love our neighbour as ourself, call upon us to loch towards the arrears of lodging.

put an end to this revolting, this disgraceful, this unNancy Tulloch and good old Mr. Scattergood were christian state of things. It is time, if we would longer deeply concerned at the event. They bore patiently any claim the name of men, to destroy by a sweeping relittle cause of triumph against them, and were only form the too-long continued business of our statesmen grieved for the man himself. They did not believe but of merely occupying their places by defending all existthat some sudden circumstance had caused him to ing abuses. The end and object of government is differgo off; if, indeed, no accident had occurred to him.ent. It is to examine and amend the condition of the All this, however, might have remained a mystery, per- people. We must attempt this by easing the pressure at haps for ever, if Mr. Maxwell, without saying anything both ends. By extending our markets and our system to any one, but to satisfy his own mind, and perhaps of emigration. The remaining restrictions on trade must that of Mrs. Tulloch, for he had noticed her distress, and be abolished. TRADE MUST BE ENTIRELY Free. The had ceased to rally her on her Quixotism—had not monopolies, which ruin our colonies, especially those of put an advertisement in The Times, offering £5 reward the East Indies, and prevent their being, as they otherfor the discovery of what had become of his porter, who wise would be, vast markets for us, and

consumers of had so unaccountably disappeared. This advertisement our manufactures, must be abolished. We must send at once brought up old Brassington to the warehouse to out our surplus population to our colonies-and not let. claim the reward. He could at once identify Meldrum them go over to the United States, where they are not the Berkshire murderer and the porter of Mr. Maxwell, only lost to us, but strengthen our rivals and become riwho now bore the name of Jabez Baxter. Great was the vals themselves. These must be planted, say in Austraastonishment of Mr. Maxwell, not less that of Mrs. Tul- lia, in a fine climate, and on extensive lands, where loch and Zealous Scattergood. They felt almost horri- every man and woman, not only at once cease to be fied at having been in so close and continued an inter- miseries to themselves and nuisances to the public, but course with a murderer. Mrs. Brentnal had got a pro- become happy people and good subjects, producing proverb for life—“Nancy! Nancy! did'nt I say, be careful duce for our use, and demanding our manufactures. --Mercy on us—if he had killed the children-you, At home universal suffrage, universal admission of the me, and all of us before he went off !”

rights of all the common children of a common Creator, The remaining history of the Meldrum family may universal education, sanitary and social reform, must be told in a few words. Zealous Scattergood was, dur- replace that selfish, foolish, and ruinous legislation, ing the following summer, sent for to pray by a dying which has brought us to the condition in which we are. woman in a London Hospital. It was Dinah Meldrum. In fine, the world moves, and we must move with it. The course of her wretched life was about to close in The late magnificent and marvellous stirring of the spirit that misery and amid those appalling horrors which vice of God on the face of the great peopled ocean, has and gin so plentifully produce. The poor girl, like her fa- brought to light not merely the radical discontent of ther, had once wandered into Zealous's chapel, and the mankind with the longer continuance of the old system memory of what she there heard made her implore his of feudal despotism, but what is not less significantpresence by her dying bed. From her Mr. Scattergood that the seeds of an entirely new organization of human learned that her brothers were both transported—Job society are not only sown broadcast over the world, but for embezzling his master's money, and Sampson for a have already taken deep and ineradicable root. The rerobbery at Newmarket.

vision of the laws of property, the estimation of the real nature of labour, the science of the true diffusion of the

means of life and happiness on earth, are become, and Such is the history of the Meldrum family! It is a must continue to be, the great topics which will occupy melancholy one! The most melancholy fact is, that it is not only governments and peoples, but the highest and not a solitary one. The same causes are producing the best intellects of the family of man. To the great end same results plentifully in our present state society. of making practical the whole of the sublime and beneIn town and country these causes are every day operat- ficent doctrine of Christianity--and under its influence ing with augmenting force. A Government which for developing every power and every enjoyment of every generations has employed itself almost solely in wars, human being-all must devote their faculties. For this has covered us with debts which crush all our industry the philosopher, the poet, the law-giver, the inventor, into a profitless misery. A selfish aristocracy, not con- must unite. In the common good they will find their tent with having created this debt, and monopolized the common honour and happiness. Fame will no longer find

its roots in blood, or any echo from the adamantine rocks of oppression. The worldly and the selfish, the

A CHARACTER product of the old trading system of things may sneer WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THOMSox's CASTLE OF INDOLENCE. and mutter their counting-house oracles—but the Bible is still true, and “Peace on earth and good-will amongst

BY WILLIAM HOWITT. men" will duly arrive. We see the dawn of it-let us work, that our children may see its beaming and ad

A beetling crag is a most awful sight, vancing day.

But what so dreadful as a beetling wight?
ALAS! that such a wight should live on ground

As here sometime a bustling period passed. We had dropped the pen, when some one cried—“But None like him since the world's first day was found; we have not said good-bye to the Tullochs' and to good None such shall earth revisit till the last. old Zealous Scattergood.” Say it then.

His legs like grasshoppers' did fleet full fast; John Tulloch has returned from his voyage, and has His body lean, his visage lank and pale; announced that it is his last. He has arranged to go And two small eyes a wildish lustre cast into partnership with his brother in Rotherhithe. John 'Neath a huge pile of hair most like a bale has saved a good round sum of money. He has already Of black befrizzled wool, or a wild horse's tail. taken a house on that side of the water, in which not

Wonder of wonders was it to behold only Mrs. Brentnal, but Zealous Scattergood is to have a

His fits and starts, his actions that did mock room. He has already taken the whole family, child

All regularity-now still and cold, ren and all, to see this house, not by the Thames Tun

Now leaping up and standing like a rock, nel, be sure, good reader, for John hates all such un

Or rather like a steeple and town clock, derground, new-fangled “mowdiewarp burrows" (mole

Telling the hours. So would he talk for aye; burrows), and so long as he lives will sail over the sun

So would he talk, God knows, to stone or stock; shiny surface of the food in a natural and rational

The man seemed made a double part to play boat.

To talk and talk all night, and lie in bed all day. John Tulloch expected everybody to be charmed with his house, but at first they were all a good deal disap

His talk it was a torrent-it would drown, pointed, for it faced into a low and crowded and dirty

Drench, sweep away all topics, but the one street. But when they entered it, they found themselves

He seized on, like an eagle pouncing down proceeding along a long passage, and presently came to

Upon a mouse. He hated pro and con. a large room with a large window with a painted blind

Relish for conversation he had none: drawn down. This blind John, with a significant smile,

But he would fix upon a flea or feather, drew up, and exclaimed-“There then! What do you

And worry, argue, preach, though all were gone, think of that, mates?” The effect was testified by a

To prove some thing abstruse, such as that leather general exclamation of delight-for it gave a view out Would make a boot or shoe if neatly put together. upon the broad river, all alive with innumerable craft of Ah! well-a-day! this most afflicted man various kinds; large ships lying in forests near at hand, Was cursed with five mad maggots in his hair; steamers careering along with crowds of people in the And as they bit him, out of house he ran, middle of the watery way, and beyond, the vast mass of And roamed in woods, or peered about in lane, London with its warehouses, churches, and public As something lost he laboured to regain. buildings, up and down the river. The sun was shining Ah, woful man! what ailed him ? Rhyme. What more? brightly on all, and John Tulloch, assured by the plea Poverty;-and, that poor he might remain, sure evidenced on every face, said, “Well now, this is He painted; and, instead of golden ore, our common sitting-room--and now I'll show you where Hoarded up beetles, flies, and crickets by the score. we are each and all of us to stow ourselves away.” And with that he went and pointed out a snug room where

Ah! what a brain-struck, crazy man was he!

These were stark madness, but not half the worst; Zealous and his books might be, and another for Mrs. Brentnal. In the elation of his heart Uncle John expa

He had the strangest fancy that could be tiated on the plans he had laid down. Zealous was to go

To do besides, what wise man never durst. and preach still to his old congregation, and they would

He ran, he leapt, he flew to be the first go with him. He was to teach the children here in the

Each powerful booby of his faults to tell. house, and every now and then they would make a ho.

Was there a sore ? He probed it till it burst. liday by going down to Greenwich and having a day of He popped his head beneath, and loved the knock right

A strong arm raised that might a bullock fell ? it. Would not the children roll down the hills in the

well. park? Would not they have some fine cracks with the old sailors ?-And would not they have some famous tea

Dearly he loved to tell truth out of season! drinkings?

'Twas noble, glorious, gainful to make foes! And there they are; and should any of my readers on

Did his young brats for bread cry with good reason? one of their holiday excursions to that popular spot be

What cared he? he had beetles pinned in rows; hold a jolly, happy looking sailor, with his pretty little

Daubings in paint, in poetry and prose; merry wife, each with a child by the hand, and a thin

And if his wife complained of want of cash, and grave old Dissenting minister having on his arm a

Some distant wood for solitude he chose, stout old country dame, that does not like going up hill,

Where he would give some rotten tree a gash, they need not send for me to ask who they may be -- | And as the grubs ran out he deemed the world but trash. they will know at once--certainly!---and will wish as Thus oddly did he stay—as oddly went;they pass them with a smile-Long Life to Uncle John By some one he was noticed at the last and all his family!

Stretched a whole day upon the summer bent,
With scores of pill-boxes about him cast,
In which were swarms of insects prisoned fast.
But no one knows what afterwards befell.
Perhaps into some owl his spirit passed;

Perhaps he went with Will-o'-wisp to dwell,
Or tumbled from some crag, or walked into some well.

[ocr errors]


As I “flunked,'' as he phrased it, from the first chalA SPORTSMAN'S ADVENTURES IN AMERICA. lenge, Bram offered any odds upon his smooth-bore; and

as I wanted a guide in my first introduction to the It is nearly forty years since that I took up my resi- marsh, I agreed io try conclusions with him, and invited dence in one of the counties bordering upon Pennsylva- him out with me next day to beat up the quarters of the nia, and stretching along the lakes and rivers of that ducks, which were beginning to flock in great numbers. region. It was what is called a new country-very The morning came, and Bram was no laggard. The sparsely settled, and inhabited by a frontier population, ducks were feeding in a pond, which afforded no opporof the usual border character.

tunity for me to attempt them; and Bram, by making a I had scarcely unpacked my gun and prepared it for circuit of some distance, obtained a chance for a long service, when the news of a strange man, with a strange shot, and blazed away. While he was crawling up to kind of dog, brought me many visitors. Indeed, I am the game I ensconced myself in a patch of wild rice, not quite sure that my canine friend (a beautiful cocker, not too high to obstruct the view, and awaited the issue. out of Harry York's Myrtle, with ears as thick as a board, I was fortunate in selecting my position; a large flock and hanging below his nose) had more than his share of of black ducks, roused by the salvo of Bram, came very this civility, if indeed, it was intended as such. Among fairly flying over me, and I dropped two with each barthe rest, came Bram Derwilliger, a character of very rel. My companion, intent upon his own game, had not marked distinction. I am not going to use a “foreign noticed the fall of the birds; and in his progress to the slip slop,” and say he was distingue, for that would not deep recesses of the pond, he roused its inhabitan is, and unfold my meaning; and he will be better understood, I took toll, more or less, as every flight passed me. as I shall describe his personal appearance and conver The sport was declining, and gathering my birds in a sation. Bram might properly be considered the elite” heap, I covered them with sedge; and seeing that some of the settlement, for he was the tallest fellow, in every of Bram's wounded had got into deep water, and were not sense of the word, in the country-six feet two inches recoverable without the dog, I left my spoil and went to high, bony and muscular. His father was an emigrant, join him. We had secured them all, and were turning perhaps an escape, from Spanktown, or Saddle river, in homeward, when a single-crowned Merganser, the small. the Jerseys, and had been much celebrated for the pro- est of the species, came down the wind with a very raminence of the bump of acquisitiveness upon his cra- pid motion. I wanted a specimen, and immediately nium: he“ swore the legiblest of any man christened,” dropped him into the pond, where it was some two feet in Dutch and English; and Bram was the son of his fa- deep; and instantly as he struck the water he disa ther. This important personage was a squatter, with peared. A single rush marked the spot where he fell; pretensions as exorbitant as those of any of the tribe in and the dog swam round and round it, in expectation. modern times; since squatters and squatting have ac “A very good chance shot,” said Bram; but you could quired the peculiar favour and protection of the govern- not do it again in a hundred times trying.” The water

He was of the class of shingle-weavers, and had was so shallow that the bird could not conceal itself taken possession of some hundreds of acres of the best long in motion; and it still remaining invisible, I be. pine lands in the country, and carried on that trade as came persuaded that it held on to the grass at the botà business; while hunting of every kind was his passion tom, and sent Bram in to obtain it. Sure enough he and amusement.

found it there; and securing it, he was wading to the Bram's arsenal was better provided than that of the shore, when, suddenly stopping, he roared, “ Heer donrest of his professional brethren; for in addition to a der ! what shall I do ?” Penn land rifle, garnished with deers' heads and horns “What is the matter?” inquired I. in abundance, he sported a smooth bore of formidable “I have got my foot upon a thundering great snaplength and calibre. He entered my room, fully equip- ping-turtle! ped for service, and challenged me to shoot him for any Well, take it off, and come on shore,” said I. quantity of drink I chose. Upon being informed that I No, I want to catch him," he rejoined. had no rifle, and that I did not value myself upon being “ Catch him then, and make haste,'' I replied. an adept with that weapon, he said, without ceremony, I don't know where his tail lies," said he, “ but that “I could not know much," and asked for a sight here goes!of my gun. The double-barrel was put into his hand, Ile was lucky enough to miss the head, and raising it and he eyed it with no little contempt; at the same to the surface, brought it on shore, hissing like twenty time commending his own gun as worth a ten acre lot ganders. It was the largest of the kind I ever saw; full of such as mine. I was not a little amazed at the and it would have been no sport to Bram had he thrust cool, horse-impudence of my visitor, and considered him his fingers within his vice; for he was uncommonly saas the most brazen specimen of the forked animal I had vage, and struck at every thing within his reach.

But I was mistaken in undervaluing Bram. Bram now inquired for my game, and upon receiving Progressive democracy had not then been heard of; and an evasive answer. Bram was a perfect pattern of this species, in an early “I knew," he said, “ you could do nothing with that state of development, and an original anti-renter in chry- short gun: it wou't throw far enough for ducks.” salis. All the principles which are now clearly defined After bleeding his captive, he shouldered him and his by the gentry who helped to call the present convention, ducks, and pointed to me a short cut homewards. My and vote themselves a farm, lay in him close packed in station lay in the direct road, and, making for it, we embryo; but he would have blushed-no, of that he crossed a tongue of meadow land, skirted by tall weeds was incapable--but he would have hesitated openly to and bushes, and soon walked into a bevy of quail, which avow them. He had no scruple to steal the trees from drove for the open marsh. They flew so fair, and were the soil; but to claim the land itself because he had at the right distance, so that, notwithstanding the coarsestripped it of its timber, was a stretch beyond even him, ness of the shot, each barrel secured a bird. whose conscience, if he had any, was of the most atten “You have good luck at chance shooting,” said Bram, uating caoutchouc. But Basta! I shall never have done .but you fired into the flock. I'll bet you all my birds if I dwell upon his excellences: suffice it to remark, to a pint of whiskey, you can't hit 'em single." that he must be non est at this present speaking, or he “ Done!” said I; and charging with No. 8, we follow. would be moving the convention for a special article fored the birds into the edge of the marsh, where, in the the protection and encouragement of shingle-weaving, most favourable ground imaginable, I had marked them and preparing to run as the anti-rent candidate for Go- down. The dog soon put up a couple at the proper disvernor at the next election.

tance, and, right and left, both were bagged.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ever met.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »