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seems like a dream. Did I ever walk in its gay streets in the golden air? Oh, the delight and pain and passion of that sweet human life!”
Philip became conscious that the gloom, the silence, and the cold were gradually conquering him. The feverish activity of his brain brought on a reaction. He grew lethargic, he sunk down on the steps, and thought of nothing. His hand fell by chance on one of the pieces of candle; he grasped it and devoured it mechanically. This revived him. “How strange,” he thought, “that I am not thirsty. Is it possible that the dampness of the walls, which I must inhale with every breath, has supplied the need of water? Not a drop has passed my lips for two days, and still I experience no thirst. That drowsiness, thank Heaven, has gone. I think I was never wide-awake until now. It would be an anodyne like poison that could weigh down my eyelids. No doubt the dread of sleep has something to do with it."
The minutes were like hours. Now he walked as briskly as he dared up and down the tomb; now he rested against the door. More than once he was tempted to throw himself upon the stone coffin that held Julie, and make no further struggle for his life.
Only one piece of candle remained. He had eaten the third portion, not to satisfy hunger, but from a precautionary motive. He had taken it as a man takes some disagreeable drug upon the result of which hangs safety. The time was rapidly approaching when even this poor substitute for nourishment would be exhausted. He delayed that moment. He gave himself a long fast this time. The half-inch of candle which he held in his hand was a sacred thing. It was his last defense against death.
At length, with such a sinking at heart as he had not known before, he raised it to his lips. Then he paused, then he hurled the fragment across the tomb, then the oaken door was flung open, and Philip, with dazzled eyes, saw M. Dorine's form sharply defined against the blue sky.
When they led him out, half-blinded, into the broad daylight, M. Dorine noticed that Philip's hair, which a short time since was as black as a crow's wing, had actually turned gray in places. The man's eyes, too, had faded; the darkness had spoiled their lustre.
“And how long was he really confined in the tomb?” I asked, as Mr. H concluded the story.
“Just one hour and twenty minutes!” replied Mr. H—, smiling blandly.
As he spoke, the little sloops, with their sails all blown out like white roses, came floating bravely into port, and Philip Wentworth lounged by us, wearily, in the pleasant April sunshine.
Mr. H—'s narrative made a deep impression on me. Here was a man who had undergone a strange ordeal. Here was a man whose sufferings were unique. His was no threadbare experience. Eighty minutes had seemed like two days to him! If he had really been immured two days in the tomb, the story, from my point of view, would have lost its tragic element.
After this, it was but natural that I should regard Mr. Wentworth with deepened interest. As I met him from day to day, passing through the Common with that same abstracted air, there was something in his loneliness which touched me. I wondered that I had
not before read in his pale meditative face some such sad history as Mr. H—had confided to me. I formed the resolution of speaking to him, though with what purpose was not very clear to my mind.
One May morning we met at the intersection of two paths. He courteously halted to allow me the precedence.
“Mr. Wentworth,” I began, “I— ”
He interrupted me. “My name, sir,” he said, in an off-hand manner, “is Jones.”
“Jo-Jo-Jones!” I gasped. “Not Jo Jones,” he returned coldly, “Frederick.”
Mr. Jones, or whatever his name is, will never know, unless he reads these pages, why a man accosted him one morning, as “Mr. Wentworth,” and then abruptly rushed down the nearest path, and disappeared in the crowd.
The fact is, I had been duped by Mr. H- Mr. H occasionally contributes a story to the magazines. He had actually tried the effect of one of his romances on me!
My hero, as I subsequently learned, is no hero at all, but a commonplace young man who has some connection with the building of that pretty granite bridge which will shortly span the crooked little lake in the Public Garden.
When I think of the cool ingenuity and readiness with which Mr. H— built up his airy fabric on my credulity, I am half inclined to laugh; though I feel not slightly irritated at having been the unresisting victim of his Black Art.
BY ESTHER AND BRAINARD BATES
The mist lay still on Heartbreak Hill,
The sea was cold below,
Broke heavily and slow;
And through the clouds the gray gulls fled,
The gannets whistled past, Across the dunes the wailing loons
Hid from the rising blast.
The moaning wind, that all day long
Had haunted marsh and lea, Went mad by night, and, beating round,
Fled shrieking out to sea.
The crested waves turned gray to white,
That tossed the drifting spar,
Old Harry Main, wild Harry Main,
Upon the shifting sand
To lure the ships to land.
The storm breaks out and far to-night,
They seek a port to bide;
Your ships shall surely ride.
“They see my fires, my dancing fires,
They lay their courses down, And ill betide the mariners
That make for Ipswich town!
“For mine the wreck, and mine the gold,
With none to lay the blame, —
And I will feed the flame!”
Oh, dark the night and wild the gale!
The skipper hither turned
The treacherous beacon burned;
With singing shrouds and snapping sheets
The vessel swiftly bore
Which shone along the shore.
The shoaling waters told no tale,
The tempest made no sign,
Flashed out a whitened line;
She struck, - she heeled, — the parting stays
Went by with mast and spar,
The light on Ipswich Bar.