[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

stump, with a nail through the centre, at

!ger fired first and struck the edge of the

yet.' The low country champion struck

‘Well, I don't know how I can stop,' said he in the coy spirit of one who wants a little pressing to sing or sport or do any thing in which he excels. . “Oh! nonsense!” cried they, “what, you're goin' sparking, I reckon 1 Miss Peggy will keep very well, and shoot you must, so come along.’, Thus urged, he entered the field behind the tavern, where the shooting was going on, and there stood a group of a dozen of men, old and young, who had assembled to see the trial of skill at their favourite exercise, and more were coming the tailor leaving his board add the smith his anvil, at the first crack of his rifle; while all the negroes on the premises stood around, their eyes shining, and their white teeth ...; in their excitement. The best shot was a tall sallow looking fellow from the low country, who being on a journey, had brought his rifle along, and had beaten all his opponents thus far. e wore immense black whiskers, and had altogether the air of a gambler. 'So stranger,’ said Daniel, ‘you’ve beat them all, I hear.” ‘And that's not much, neither,’ said the other with a sneer. But come youngster let's see what you can do.’ "Oh! I reckon you can beat mé easy enough, for I hav’nt got my rifle along— Pete Mckay, hand me yours; she carries the same ball as mine.” A circular piece of white paper, three inches in diameter, was stuck on a pine

which they were to fire seven shots each at arms length, at forty yards. The stran

paper. , Daniel's first ball missed it by an inch—the stranger grinned. ‘Better next time,' said Daniel, “I don't know the piece

the edge of the paper again. Hurra for tallow-face,’ was the cry.

Daniel fired again, and put his load an ||

inch within the margin. The man of whiskers looked grave. - . I hav’nt got her guage yet” said Dan

. The stranger fired again, having taken

within an inch of the nail. ‘See if you can beat that,' said he, ex

‘Here goes!' cried Daniel, and as the sharp crack of the rifle was heard, the paper whirled through the air, the nail which confined it having been struck right on the head and driven home. .

Two more of Daniel's struck the centre and the other two were in the paper;


shots more at five dollars each, but he de

ey. After some time spent in whiskey and talking, the subject of racing was

company for a quarters race. . “I’ve got a little mare here that I’d like

Araby blood in her. “Well,” said the other, “I’ll run my nag a quarter, for a ten dollar note.” The journey to a piece of road hard by where the races were commonly run, the nags were brought up and a little negro put on top of each, where they clung like monkeys, grinning with delight. The stranger's horse was a grey, with an ugly, heavy head, but of great bone and a promising shoulder. Kate. on the contrary, was a light, speedy looking animal, of more foot than bottom, and evidently the favourite for a quarter of a mile. They started and Kate won it easily. ‘Come,” said the stranger, ‘try it over again, double or quits.”

winner; and Daniel found himself richer by twenty dollars. - “A very pert little nag that,' said the

would use her up.” “I’m not sure of that,” said Daniel. ‘Dare you back up your opinion, then? said the other sneering. - “I’m just the chap,' said Daniel stoutly. ‘Come then, a mile race for a cool hundred.' ' Carried away by the spirit of gambling the imprudent young man staked the hundred dollars, against the advice of his


friends, and agreed to the race. - *

[ocr errors]

while his antagonist did not actually strike . the nail, though all his balls were in the . Daniel was proclaimed victor . . amid shouts of Rutherford forever ! The other then challenged him to shoot ten

It was done and again Kate was the

[ocr errors]

clined, saying that he never shot for mon- .

introduced, and the stranger boasted much of the horse he rode, and bantered the

to try with you,' said Daniel, confident in the powers of Kate, who had, as he said, "

stranger, but in a longer race my grey

Kate took the track for the first half

mile, closely followed by the horse, but the race was too much for her, and the race was won by the grey, by nearly a hundred yards. It was a hollow thing from the beginning. Daniel had to borrow a horse from the landord and leave poor Kate to recover from her fatigue; while the man of whiskers consoled himself for being outshot, with Daniel's eighty dollars. ‘What a great fool 1 was,’ thought our hero, as he paced along, “to let that fellow snack me in so. How can I get the money to make up that I have lost Well it's no use for me to go to Squire Jones now, and so I’ll ride over to the Colonel's and see if Margaret gan give me any comfort. As he entered the Colonel's plantation, and rode slowly along towards the house, and saw the fertile fields bending with corn, and the fat cattle in the pastures, and the groups of negroes at work, he said to himself, ‘what a glorious life could I lead here with little Peggy!" Just then he met an old woman who had been Margaret's nurse. , ‘How d'ye, Aunt Hannah!” “Berry well, Massa Daniel, hope you is de same " but there is a fine gemman up yonder, come to see Miss Marget, I reckon,” said the old woman laughing. The family was at supper, and the fine young gentleman was "Squire Jones, a fat widower of thirty, who was dressed in his best blue coat, and looking altogether awkward and suitor like. Margaret blushed a little as she bade him good evening, and Colonel Wilson asked him to draw up and take supper, though he did not look very glad to see him, and great justice our hero did to the eatables, however unprecedented a thing it may be in a lover. After supper Margaret slipped out Daniel had no difficulty in finding her on the piazza, apparently busy in smelling at a honeysuckle, “Tellme Margaret, what does this mean? What is that "Squire Jones here for!” Her lip tremble as she replied, “Father says he came to see me.’ ‘And how does your father approve of it?” ‘Yes he does, he told me'—she ped. ‘What Margaret?" said he taking her hand. - l


‘That he would like for me to marry him, but I won't—the old, ugly creature.' said she pouting. ‘Margaret,” said he putting his mouth close to her ear, “don’t you know how often I’ve told you that I loved you? And don't you believe it!” ‘Yes, Daniel,” said she softly. ‘And will you marry him?” ‘No, Daniel,” more softly. ‘And wont you marry me ! ‘Yes, Daniel,” in a whisper. “Then Squire Jones may go to the devil!' cried Daniel, rather louder than was prudent, for just then that worthy individual, entered along with the Colonel. ‘May be so, upon my word he is much obliged to you, but I think you are likely to get their first,” said the "Squire. “What do you mean by that, sir? ‘Oh, nothing, nothing, only you will hear from me to-morrow.' ' “I’m always on hand,” said Daniel. who thought a challenge was intended. ‘What,” said the Colonel, you don't take offence at any thing this foolish boy says, I hope l’ ‘Me, Colonel’ how could such a thing come into your head ' I was talking of a matter of business.’ He soon took his leave, and then Daniel finding himself alone with Colonel Wilson, began as follows: “I reckon, Colonel, that you know Margaret and me have a liking for each other.’ “No Mr. Johnstone, I don't know any such thing, and I tell you at once, for I am a plain man, that I'd be sorry for it.” ‘Why so, Colonel? you don't know any thing agin my character, I hope 1 for I am a plain man too, and I tell you I mean to marry your daughter if you please.” “But I don't please, Mr. Johnstone, you are a wild young man, and not fit match for my daughter—how do you mean to support a wife 7 with your rifle or by running horses 7 No, no, Margaret is promised to another man, and there is an end of the matter, and the less I see of you here the better.” “Well, Colonel, I wish you a good evening, but I mean to be your son-in-law for all that's passed.’ So saying he departed more out of spirits than he ever was before in all his life, and in truth he had some cause; he had lost his money, and his

sweatheart, pretty well for one day's work. 'Squire Jones, the rival of our hero, was a man possessed of more wealth than character. He had first made his appearance in those parts as a negro trader, in which traffic he accumulated a good deal of money. He was a hard grinding man of a violent and brutal temper, and was hated and feared by all who were unlucky enough to get into his power. He could be plausible enough when he pleased, and had got into favour with Colonel Wilson, who was no match for his cunning. Jones was pleased with the idea of getting so handsome a wife as Margaret Wilson, but his principal object was her father's wealth, of which she was to be sole heiress. He knew her attachment to Daniel, and that his best chance was to get his rival out of the way; this he hoped to accomplish by means of the claim on the Widow’s plantation, the interest of which not being paid he could turn them out at once, and clear the country of them very likely. Here we have got our hero into trouble after the most approved fashion of romance writers. In debt; for however ridiculous the want of a hundred dollars may appear to those whose talk is of thousands, yet the want of that sum to those who have no means of making it up, may be as distressing as the want of twenty thousand—this we happen to know. In love; with his passion crossed by one of those troublesome papas who have ever been a stumbling block in the path of true lovers. How then is he to be gotten out of these difficulties? Shall he shoot his rival? Shall he shoot himself! Shall he come down on the festival scene like Lord Lockinvar, and carry off his lady love en croupe? Or shall he, renouncing young romance, console himself with the natural charms of Miss Ann Palmer and her hundred negroes? Forbid it Love! Forbid it Honor Daniel put up his wearied mare and went to an unwearied pillow, and it was not till near dawn that he fell into a doze. He thought he was walking by the banks of the stream which flowed through the plantation, and was known by the name of

hand, and was looking for catfish and suckers, which abounded in this stream. He had gone a long distance without seeing any fish, when in a certain deep pool at the upper end of the swamp, near the foot of the hills, he saw the tail of an immense catfish sticking out from under the root of an old oak tree, which grew close to the bank; with breathless eagerness he crept up and drove his gig into the monster, whose weight was so great that he was obliged to seize him by the tail with both hands to drag him forth upon terra firma. The belly seemed distended as if he had swallowed all the other fish in the stream. Daniel drew his knife and ripped open the paunch, when lo! there rushed forth such a shower of coined money as can find a parallell only in the auriferous depositaries of the Metalic currency. It actually made a pile on the grass two feet high. Daniel threw himself upon the treasure, and— found himself on the floor of his chamber. He rose, and looked round, but so vivid was the impression produced hy his dream that it was some minutes before he could connect his thoughts. - The cool, grey dawn was appearing, and the east was slightly reddened by the approaching sun. He looked out of the window towards the swamp. “Any how,” said he, “I’ll go up the branch and take a look for the big fish, I'm sure he's there, whether his belly is full of money or not, for I can see his tail wagging under the stump.” Old Moses was sitting at the door of his hut smoking his pipe, as Daniel passed. “Golly! Dinah,” said the old negro to his wife, ‘Massa Dan'l in mighty hurry for fis dis morning, he jump over de gate all same as deer.” Daniel followed the stream till he came to the well known pool; there it lay, with the steam rising from the black looking water, and curling away in thick wreaths which almost hid the hill sides from his view. There was the old oak with its huge arms spread abroad, on one of which sat a blue jay, disturbing with its discordant cry, the perfect stillness of the scene. As he softly, and with beating heart, approached the spot, a fox bounced from the long grass, and Driver looked at his

Turkey Creek. He had his fish gig in his

master in amazement that dered to chase it. He little. knew what sort master had in view. “I’ll be shot,” said h a'nt the fish l’ Something seemed to twinkle in the water, and he raised the fish gig and drove it with all his force. It grated against the stones at the bottom. . The weapon came up very heavy; some ponderous substance was fast to it. A lump of Gold as big as his two fists ... • Daniel had ran many never did he cover the same space of ground in so short a time as now, carrying weight though he did, and Driver followed,

he was not or

of game his

e to himself, if there

as he best might, thinking in his simples - - | Of all the months of the year, Novem.

head, that his master had lost his wits. . At Rutherford Court House lived the man who owned the largest mining establishment at that time, for they were just beginning to find gold in that region, and some of the store keepers had commenced buying it. Thither went Daniel, as fast as Kate could gallop, and the worthy miner was almost petrified into primitive Trap at the sight of the glittering mass, which weighed twenty pounds, and produced the sum of 3S40 dollars. I like to be exact in money matters. . . . . . Greatly was "Squire Jones surprised, when on calling at the Widow Johnstone for his money, he was paid both principal and interest; and furious, was he, when after the papers were all signed, Daniel told him of the gold having been found in Turkey Creek. - • : That such a prize should have slipped through his fingers, would have raised the dander' of a milder man than "Squire Jones, and he became so outrageous that Daniel was obliged to lead him to the outside of the house by the collar, an operation which he performed with so little gentleness, that the "Squire was convinced of the propriety of an immediate retreat from the premises, which one hour before he had fondly looked upon as his own, A swarm of speculators flocked to Turkey Creek when the news spread abroad, and the Widow sold this place for money enough to make her as rich as Colonel Wilson himself. - Then, did “the course of true love run smooth,’ and Daniel married Margaret as

|and horses in the country, and when in

foot races, but

he had threatened her father that he would do. In the course of time the old man was gathered to his fathers, and Daniel reigned in his stead. He is the same jolly sportsman as ever, and keeps the best dogs

the year 1830, I stopped at his house for a night, he shewed me a chestnut filly, a great great grand daughter of old Kate, which he said had distanced a large field the fall previous at Mecklenburg.



Thus wrapt in mist—Milton.

ber is usually deemed the lesst agreeable. Autumn is now withering into winter; the hale old man is losing his strength, and do. cripitude follows... Perhaps the disagree. ables of this month are felt the more acutely from the clear bright ones which have preceeded it. It is the first which may be termed winter-like, and on that account meets not a hearty welcome; for, however we may enjoy the winter even ings, and the cheerful fireside, there are few who do not witness the departure of summer hours with regret. . . November, it is not thy dense atmos phere which makes thee dreary, it is the absence of the eyes which were wont to meet mine with a look of tenderness, the lips which addressed me in words of as fection; yet am I not wholly unblest by these even now. Gentle Reader, if thou hast a cheerful home, and those around thee to whom love has cemented thee in tenderest bonds, murmur not at the month and its dreariness, suffer it not to produce ennut, but grasp all the pleasures it can produce, and ask thyself how melancho might it be were some one most dearly brized removed from thy home circle et gratitude usurp the place of discontem" | and the breast in which that seraphic guest is an inhabitant cannot be one of" talunhappiness. -

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


When I was a younger man, says Philip Thicknesse, I often visited a distant relation, to whom I and my family had been much obliged. This gentleman had nine agreeable, may beautiful dau ters, who had often entertained me with the slop conversation, of a rich, but low, unbred woman, their neighbour, whose husband being appointed high sheriff, occasioned her to talk much to these ladies, about the grand sheriff dinner she was to give. “I am determined' said she ‘to have no custards, for if I have custards I must have cheesecakes, and if I have cheese-cakes I must have jellies, if jellies, fruits &c.

As I usually spent my Christmas at the country

seat of this friend, with his lovely family, there!

sometimes arose a kind of merriment called Christmas gambols."guestions and commands, &c. Nowthese innocent sports led the gentlemenan some - times to salute the young ladies all round ; a pleasure which I alone, who perhaps loved them best, always declined partaking. This shyness in me seemed so unaccountable to them, that. they one and all seized an occasion to rally me for possessing a mauvais homte, so contrary to the etiquette at that time of the year. I. confessed the force of the charge and fully acknowledged my guilt; adding that the only excuse that I could offer was, that if I had custards, I must have cheese-cakes; if cheese-cakes

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

left me on the field of battle, and never rallied to

make an attack on me again.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

boy. The other ear was taken off by one stroke of the knife. “And now," said Morillo," depart! the fa. ther of such a son is dangerous to Spain; he must pay the forfeit of his life.” The maimed child passed from the quarters of the General, but to witness the execution of his father. . . . . .


SHE NEVER SMILED AGAIN. She was in youth's bright happy day, The fairest of the fair; She was the gayest of the gay,+ A stranger e'er to care. Othen her smile so full of mirth, , Would cheer the heart of pain— . Alas! misfortune pierc'd her own; She never smil'd again.

. She loved—lov'd deep and fervently—
Her’s was the love of love, -
• Pure, fix'd, unchangeable as that
Which binds in Heaven above:
‘Twas then her brightest smile she wore—
Her love was not in vain,
Alas! the beauteous vision fled—
She never smil'd again. -

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In vain from land to land she roam’d— Wain was the banquet's show— And vain were music's charms awak'd . To soothe her of her wo:— . He heard them not—he was not there; They ever gave new pain: Alas! affection thus should bleed— She never smil'd again

Her hair turn'd grey—’twas not from years—
'Twas sickness of the heart,
In which were sorrow's frozen tears,
That time could never start.
'Tis said that time will bring relief,
Unto the heart of pain;
Alas! it never did to her's—
She never smil'd again.

The Last Man.-A lady, a few evenings ago, after having for some time attentively read Mrs. Shelley', novel entitled “The Last Man,” threw down the book and emphatically exclaimed, “The Last Man! Bless me! if such a thing were to happen, what would be. come of the women?” "

« ElőzőTovább »