Infomotions, Inc.èle Dubois A Story of the Lovely Miramichi Valley in New Brunswick / Savage, Mrs. William T.



Author: Savage, Mrs. William T.
Title: èle Dubois A Story of the Lovely Miramichi Valley in New Brunswick
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): adele; dubois; micah; norton; miramichi; mcnab; lansdowne; adele dubois; aunt patty; micah mummychog; miss adele; aunt esther
Contributor(s): Hogg, James, 1830-1910 [Editor]
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Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 59,075 words (short) Grade range: 9-11 (high school) Readability score: 61 (easy)
Identifier: etext16207
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Title: Adele Dubois
       A Story of the Lovely Miramichi Valley in New Brunswick

Author: Mrs. William T. Savage

Release Date: July 5, 2005 [EBook #16207]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ADELE DUBOIS ***




Produced by Robert Cicconetti, Sankar Viswanathan and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net








                             ADELE DUBOIS:

                                A Story

                                OF THE

                       LOVELY MIRAMICHI VALLEY,

                                  IN

                            NEW BRUNSWICK.




                          LORING, Publisher,

                        319 WASHINGTON STREET,

                               BOSTON.



      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by

                             A.K. LORING,

    In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of
                            Massachusetts.


                         ROCKWELL & ROLLINS,

       PRINTERS AND STEREOTYPERS, 122 WASHINGTON STREET, BOSTON.







CHAPTER I.

THE DUBOIS HOUSE.


"Well, verily, I didn't expect to find anything like this, in such a
wild region", said Mr. Norton, as he settled himself comfortably in a
curiously carved, old-fashioned arm-chair, before the fire that blazed
cheerily on the broad hearth of the Dubois House. "'Tis not a Yankee
family either", added he, mentally. "Everything agreeable and tidy,
but it looks unlike home. It is an Elim in the desert! Goodly
palmtrees and abundant water! O! why", he exclaimed aloud, in an
impatient tone, as if chiding himself, "should I ever distrust the
goodness of the Lord?"

The firelight, playing over his honest face, revealed eyes moistened
with the gratitude welling up in his heart. He sat a few minutes
gazing at the glowing logs, and then his eyelids closed in the blessed
calm of sleep. Weary traveller! He has well earned repose.

There will not be time, during his brief nap, to tell who and what he
was, and why he had come to sojourn far away from home and friends.
But let the curtain be drawn back for a moment, to reveal a glimpse of
that strange, questionable country over which he has been wandering
for the last few months, doing hard service.

Miramichi,[A] a name unfamiliar, perhaps, to those who may chance to
read these pages, is the designation of a fertile, though partially
cultivated portion of the important province of New Brunswick,
belonging to the British Crown. The name, by no means uneuphonious, is
yet suggestive of associations far from attractive. The Miramichi
River, which gives title to this region, has its rise near the centre
of the province, and flowing eastward empties into the Gulf of St.
Lawrence, with Chatham, a town of considerable importance, located at
its mouth.

[Footnote A: Pronounced _Mir'imishee_.]

The land had originally been settled by English, Scotch, and Irish,
whose business consisted mostly of fishing and lumbering. These
occupations, pursued in a wayward and lawless manner, had not exerted
on them an elevating or refining influence, and the character of the
people had degenerated from year to year. From the remoteness and
obscurity of the country, it had become a convenient hiding-place for
the outlaw and the criminal, and its surface was sprinkled over with
the refuse and offscouring of the New England States and the Province.
With a few rare exceptions, it was a realm of almost heathenish
darkness and vice. Such Mr. Norton found it, when, with heart full of
compassion and benevolence, thirty-five years ago, he came to bear
the message of heavenly love and forgiveness to these dwellers in
death shade.

The Dubois House, where Mr. Norton had found shelter for the night,
was situated on the northern bank of the river, about sixty miles west
from Chatham. It was a respectable looking, two story building, with
large barns adjacent. Standing on a graceful bend of the broad stream,
it commanded river views, several miles in extent, in two directions,
with a nearer prospect around, consisting of reaches of tall forest,
interspersed with occasional openings, made by the rude settlers.

Being the only dwelling in the neighborhood sufficiently commodious
for the purpose, its occupants, making a virtue of necessity, were in
the habit of entertaining occasional travellers who happened to visit
the region.

But, softly,--Mr. Norton has wakened. He was just beginning to dream
of home and its dear delights, when a door-latch was lifted, and a
young girl entering, began to make preparations for supper. She moved
quickly towards the fire, and with a pair of iron tongs, deftly raided
the ponderous cover of the Dutch oven, hanging over the blaze. The
wheaten rolls it contained were nearly baked, and emitted a fragrant
and appetizing odor.

She refitted the cover, and then opening a closet, took from it a
lacquered Chinese tea-caddy and a silver urn, and proceeded to arrange
the tea-table.

Mr. Norton, observing her attentively with his keen, gray eyes, asked,
"How long has your father lived in this place, my child?"

The maiden paused in her employment, and glancing at the broad,
stalwart form and shrewd yet honest face of the questioner, replied,
"Nearly twenty years, sir".

Mr. Norton's quick ear immediately detected, in her words a delicate,
foreign accent, quite unfamiliar to him. After a moment's silence he
spoke again.

"Dubois,--that is your name, is it not? A French name?"

"Yes, sir, my parents are natives of France".

"Ah! indeed!" responded Mr. Norton, and the family in which he found
himself was immediately invested with new interest in his eyes.

"Where is your father at the present time, my dear child?"

"He is away at Fredericton. He has gone to obtain family supplies. I
hope he is not obliged to be out this stormy night, but I fear he is".

She made the sign of the cross on her breast and glanced upward.

Mr. Norton observed the movement, and at the same time saw, what had
before escaped his notice, a string of glittering, black beads upon
her neck, with a black cross, half hidden by the folds in the waist of
her dress. It was an instant revelation to hint of the faith in which
she had been trained. He fell into a fit of musing.

In the mean time, Adele Dubois completed her preparations for the
tea-table,--not one of her accustomed duties, but one which she
sometimes took a fancy to perform.

She was sixteen years old,--tall already, and rapidly growing taller,
with a figure neither large, nor slender. Her complexion was pure
white, scarcely tinged with rose; her eyes were large and brown, now
shooting out a bright, joyous light, then veiled in dreamy shadows. A
rich mass of dark hair was divided into braids, gracefully looped up
around her head. Her dress was composed of a plain red material of
wool. Her only ornaments were the rosary and cross on her neck.

A mulatto girl now appeared from the adjoining kitchen and placed upon
the table a dish of cold, sliced chicken, boiled eggs and pickles,
together with the steaming wheaten rolls from the Dutch oven.

Adele having put some tea in the urn, poured boiling water upon it and
left the room.

Returning in a few minutes, accompanied by her mother and Mrs. McNab,
they soon drew up around the tea-table.

When seated, Mrs. Dubois and Adele made the sign of the cross and
closed their eyes. Mrs. McNab, glancing at them deprecatingly for a
moment, at length fixed her gaze on Mr. Norton. He also closed his
eyes and asked a mute blessing upon the food.

Mrs. Dubois was endowed with delicate features, a soft, Madonna like
expression of countenance, elegance of movement and a quiet, yet
gracious manner. Attentive to those around the board, she said but
little. Occasionally, she listened in abstracted mood to the beating
storm without.

Mrs. McNab, a middle-aged Scotch woman, with a short, square, ample
form, filled up a large portion of the side of the table she
occupied. Her coarse-featured, heavy fare, surrounded by a broad,
muslin cap frill, that nearly covered her harsh yellow hair, was
lighted up by a pair of small gray eyes, expressing a mixture of
cunning and curiosity. Her rubicund visage, gaudy-colored chintz
dress, and yellow bandanna handkerchief, produced a sort of glaring
sun-flower effect, not mitigated by the contrast afforded by the other
members of the group.

"Madam", said Mr. Norton to Mrs. Dubois, on seeing her glance
anxiously at the windows, as the wild, equinoctial gale caused them to
clatter violently, "do you fear that your husband is exposed to any
particular danger at this time?"

"No special danger. But it is a lawless country. The night is dark and
the storm is loud. I wish he were safely at home", replied the lady.

"Your solicitude is not strange. But you may trust him with the Lord.
Under His protection, not a hair of his head can be touched".

Before Mrs. Dubois had time to reply, Mrs. McNab, looking rather
fiercely at Mr. Norton, said, "Yer dinna suppose, sir, if the Lord had
decreed from all eternity that Mr. Doobyce should be drowned, or
rabbed, or murdered to-night, that our prayin' an' trustin' wad cause
Him to revoorse His foreordained purpose? Adely", she continued, "I
dinna mind if I take anither egg an' a trifle more o' chicken an' some
pickle".

By no means taken aback by this pointed inquiry, Mr. Norton replied
very gently, "I believe, ma'am, in the power of prayer to move the
Almighty throne, when it comes from a sincere and humble heart, and
that He will bestow His blessing in return".

"Weel", said Mrs. McNab, "I was brought up in the church o' Scotland,
and dinna believe anything anent this new-light doctrine o' God's
bein' turned roun' an' givin' up his decrees an' a'that. I think it's
the ward o' Satan", and she passed her cup to be again refilled with
tea.

Adele, who had noticed that Mrs. McNab's observations had suggested
new solicitudes to her mother's mind, remarked, "What you said just
now, Aunt Patty, is not very consoling. Whoever thought that my father
would meet with anything worse than perhaps being drenched by the
storm, and half eaten up with vermin in the dirty inns where he will
have to lodge? I do not doubt he will be home in good time".

"Yes, Miss Adely, yes. I ken it", said Aunt Patty, as she saw a firm,
defiant expression gathering in the young girl's countenance. "I'd a
dream anent him last night that makes me think he's comin".

"Hark!" said Adele, starting and speaking in a clear, ringing tone,
"he has come. I hear his voice on the lawn".

Murmuring a word or two of excuse, she rose instantly from the table,
requested Bess, the servant, to hand her a lantern, and arrayed
herself quickly in hood and cloak.

As she opened the door, her father was standing on the step, in the
driving rain, supporting in his arms the form of a gentleman, who
seemed to be almost in a state of insensibility.

"Make way! make way, Adele. Here's a sick man. Throw some blankets on
the floor, and come, all hands, and rub him. My dear, order something
warm for him to drink".

Mrs. Dubois caught a pile of bedding from a neighboring closet and
arranged it upon the floor, near the fire. Mr. Dubois laid the
stranger down upon it. Mr. Norton immediately rose from the tea-table,
drew off the boots of the fainting man, and began to chafe his feet
with his warm, broad hand.

"Put a dash of cold water on his face, child", said he to Adele, "and
he'll come to, in a minute". Adele obeyed.

The stranger opened his eyes suddenly and looked around in
astonishment upon the group.

"Ah! yes. I see", he said, "I have been faint, or something of the
kind. I believe I am not quite well".

He attempted to rise, but sank back, powerless. He turned his head
slowly towards Mr. Dubois, and said, "Friend Dubois, I think I am
going to be ill, and must trust myself to your compassion", when
immediately his eyes closed and his countenance assumed the paleness
of death.

"Don't be down-hearted, Mr. Brown", said Mr. Dubois. "You are not used
to this Miramichi staging. You'll be better by and by. My dear, give
me the cordial,--he needs stimulating".

He took a cup of French brandy, mixed with sugar and boiling water,
from the hand of Mrs. Dubois, and administered it slowly to the
exhausted man. It seemed to have a quieting effect, and after awhile
Mr. Brown sank into a disturbed slumber.

Observing this, and finding that his limbs, which had been cold and
benumbed, were now thoroughly warmed, Mr. Dubois rose from his
kneeling position and turning to his daughter, said, "Now then, Adele,
take the lantern and go with me to the stables. I must see for myself
that the horses are properly cared for. They are both tired and
famished".

Adele caught up the lantern, but Mr. Norton interposed. "Allow me,
sir, to assist you", he said, rising quickly. "It will expose the
young lady to go out in the storm. Let me go, sir".

He approached Adele to take the lantern from her hand, but she drew
back and held it fast.

"I don't mind weather, sir", she said, with a little sniff of contempt
at the thought. "And my father usually prefers my attendance. I thank
you. Will you please stay with the sick gentleman?"

Mr. Norton bowed, smiled, and reseated himself near the invalid.

In the mean time, Mr. Dubois and his daughter went through the rain to
the stables; his wife replenished the tea-urn and began to rearrange
the table.

Mrs. McNab, during the scene that had thus unexpectedly occurred, had
been waddling from one part of the room to the other, exclaiming,
"The Lord be gude to us!" Her presence, however, seemed for the time
to be ignored.

When she heard the gentle movements made by Mrs. Dubois among the
dishes, her dream seemed suddenly to fade out of view. Seating herself
again at the table, she diligently pursued the task of finishing her
supper, yet ever and anon examining the prostrate form upon the floor.

"Peradventure he's a mon fra' the States. His claithes look pretty
nice. As a gen'al thing them people fra' the States hae plenty o'
plack in their pockets. What do you think, sir?"

"He is undoubtedly a gentleman from New England", said Mr. Norton.




CHAPTER II.

MRS. M'NAB.


Mrs. McNab was a native of Dumfries, Scotland, and had made her advent
in the Miramichi country about five years previous to the occurrences
just mentioned.

Having buried her husband, mother, and two children,--hoping that
change of scene might lighten the weight upon her spirits, she had
concluded to emigrate with some intimate acquaintances to the Province
of New Brunswick.

On first reaching the settlement, she had spent several weeks at the
Dubois House, where she set immediately at work to prove her
accomplishments, by assisting in making up dresses for Mrs. Dubois and
Adele.

She entertained them with accounts of her former life in
Scotland,--talking largely about her acquaintance with the family of
Lord Lindsay, in which she had served in the capacity of nurse. She
described the castle in which they resided, the furniture, the
servants, and the grand company; and, more than all, she knew or
pretended to know the traditions, legends, and ghost stories
connected, for many generations past, with the Lindsay race.

She talked untiringly of these matters to the neighbors, exciting
their interest and wonder by the new phases of life presented, and
furnishing food for the superstitious tendencies always rife in new
and ignorant settlements. In short, by these means, she won her way
gradually in the community, until she came to be the general factotum.

It was noticed, indeed, that in the annual round of her visits from
house to house, Mrs. McNab had a peculiar faculty of securing to
herself the various material comforts available, having an excellent
appetite and a genius for appropriating the warmest seat at the
fireplace and any other little luxury a-going. These things were,
however, overlooked, especially by the women of the region, on account
of her social qualities, she being an invaluable companion during the
long days and evenings when their husbands and sons were away, engaged
in lumbering or fishing. When the family with which she happened to be
sojourning were engaged in domestic occupations, Mrs. McNab,
established in some cosey corner, told her old wife stories and whiled
away the long and dismal wintry hours.

Of all the people among whom she moved, Adele Dubois least exercised
the grace of patience toward her.

On the return of Mr. Dubois and his daughter to the house, after
having seen the horses safely stowed away, he refreshed himself at the
tea-table and left the room to attend to necessary business. Mrs.
Dubois and Mrs. McNab went to fit up an apartment for the stranger.

In the mean time Mr. Norton and Adele were left with the invalid.

Mr. Brown's face had lost its pallid hue and was now overspread with
the fiery glow of fever. He grew more and more restless in his sleep,
until at length he opened his eyes wide and began to talk deliriously.
At the first sound of his voice, Adele started from her seat,
expecting to hear some request from his lips.

Gazing at her wildly for a moment, he exclaimed, "What, _you_ here,
Agnes! you, travelling in this horrible wilderness! Where's your
husband? Where's John, the brave boy? Don't bring them here to taunt
me. Go away! Don't look at me!"

With an expression of terror on his countenance, he sank back upon the
pillow and closed his eyes. Mr. Norton knelt down by the couch and
made slow, soothing motions with his hand upon the hot and fevered
head, until the sick man sank again into slumber. Seeing this, Adele,
who had been standing in mute bewilderment, came softly near and
whispered, "He has been doing something wrong, has he not, sir?"

"I hope not", said the good man, "He is not himself now, and is not
aware what he is saying. His fever causes his mind to wander".

"Yes, sir. But I think he is unhappy beside being sick. That sigh was
_so_ sorrowful!"

"It was sad enough", said Mr. Norton. After a pause, he continued, "I
will stay by his bed and take care of him to-night".

"Ah! will you, sir?" said Adele. "That is kind, but Aunt Patty, I
know, will insist on taking charge of him. She thinks it her right to
take care of all the sick people. But I don't wish her to stay with
this gentleman to-night. If he talks again as he did just now, she
will tell it all over the neighborhood".

At that moment, the door opened, and Mrs. McNab came waddling in,
followed by Mr. and Mrs. Dubois.

"Now, Mr. Doobyce", said she, "if you and this pusson will just carry
the patient up stairs, and place him on the bed, that's a' ye need do.
I'll tak' care o' him".

"Permit me the privilege of watching by the gentleman's bed to-night",
said Mr. Norton, turning to Mr. Dubois.

"By no means, sir", said his host; "you have had a long ride through
the forest to-day and must be tired. Aunt Patty here prefers to take
charge of him".

"Sir", said Mr. Norton, "I observed awhile ago, that his mind was
quite wandering. He is greatly excited by fever, but I succeeded in
quieting him once and perhaps may be able to do so again".

Here Mrs. McNab interposed in tones somewhat loud and irate.

"That's the way pussons fra' your country always talk. They think they
can do everything better'n anybody else. What can a mon do at nussin',
I wad ken?"

"Mr. Norton will nurse him well, I know. Let him take care of the
gentleman, father", said Adele.

"Hush, my dear", said Mr. Dubois, decidedly, "it is proper that Mrs.
McNab take charge of Mr. Brown to-night".

Adele made no reply, and only showed her vexation by casting a defiant
look on the redoubtable aunt Patty, whose face was overspread with a
grin of satisfaction at having carried her point.

Mr. Norton, of course, did not press his proposal farther, but
consoled himself with the thought, that some future opportunity might
occur, enabling him to fulfil his benevolent intentions.

A quieting powder was administered and Mrs. McNab established herself
beside the fire that had been kindled in Mr. Brown's apartment.

After having indicated to Mr. Norton the bedroom he was to occupy for
the night, the family retired, leaving him the only inmate of the
room.

As he sat and watched the dying embers, he fell into a reverie
concerning the events of the evening. His musings were of a somewhat
perplexed nature. He was at a loss to account for the appearance of a
gentleman, bearing unmistakable marks of refinement and wealth, as did
Mr. Brown, under such circumstances, and in such a region as
Miramichi. The words he had uttered in his delirium, added to the
mystery. He was also puzzled about the family of Dubois. How came
people of such culture and superiority in this dark portion of the
earth? How strange, that they had lived here so many years, without
assimilating to the common herd around them.

Thus his mind, excited by what had recently occurred, wandered on,
until at length his thoughts fell into their accustomed
channel,--dwelling on his own mission to this benighted land, and
framing various schemes by which he might accomplish the object so
dear to his heart.

In the mean time, having turned his face partially aside from the
fire, he was watching unconsciously the fitful gleaming of a light
cast on the opposite wall by the occasional flaring up of a tongue of
flame from the dying embers.

Suddenly he heard a deep, whirring sound as if the springs of some
complicated machinery had just then been set in motion.

Looking around to find whence the noise proceeded, he was rather
startled on observing in the wall, in one corner, just under the
ceiling, a tiny door fly open, and emerging thence a grotesque,
miniature man, holding, uplifted in his hand, a hammer of size
proportionate to his own figure. Mr. Norton sat motionless, while this
small specimen proceeded, with a jerky gait and many bobbing grimaces,
across a wire stretched to the opposite corner of the room, where
stood a tall, ebony clock. When within a short distance of the clock
another tiny door in its side flew open; the little man entered and
struck deliberately with the hammer the hour of midnight. Near the top
of the dial-plate was seen from without the regular uplifting of the
little arm, applying its stroke to the bell within. Having performed
his duty, this personage jerked out of the clock, the tiny door
closing behind him, bobbed and jerked along the wire as before, and
disappeared at the door in the wall, which also immediately closed
after his exit.

Having witnessed the whole manoeuvre with comic wonder and curiosity,
Mr. Norton burst into a loud and hearty peal of laughter, that was
still resounding in the room when he became suddenly aware of the
presence of Mrs. McNab. There she stood in the centre of the
apartment, her firm, square figure apparently rooted to the floor, her
head enveloped in innumerable folds of white cotton, a tower of
strength and defiance.

Her unexpected appearance changed in a moment the mood of the good
man, and he inquired anxiously, "Is the gentleman more ill? Can I
assist you?"

"He's just this minnut closed his eyes to sleep, and naw I expect he's
wide awake again, with the dreadfu' racket you were just a makin' O!
my! wadna you hae made a good nuss?"

Mr. Norton truly grieved at his inadvertency in disturbing the
household at this late hour of the night, begged pardon, and told Mrs.
McNab he would not be guilty of a like offence.

"How has the gentleman been during the evening?" he asked.

"O! he's been ravin' crazy a'maist, and obstacled everything I've done
for him. He's a very sick pusson naw. I cam' down to get a bottle of
muddeson", and Mrs. McNab went to a closet and took from it the
identical bottle of brandy from which Mrs. Dubois had poured when
preparing the stimulating dose for the invalid. Mr. Norton observed
this performance with a twinkle of the eye, but making no comment, the
worthy woman retired from the room.

That night Mr. Norton slept indifferently, being disturbed by exciting
and bewildering dreams. In his slumbers he saw an immense cathedral,
lighted only by what seemed some great conflagration without, which,
glaring in, with horrid, crimson hue upon the pictured walls, gave the
place the strange, lurid aspect of Pandemonium. The effect was
heightened by the appearance of thousands of small, grotesque beings,
all bearing more or less resemblance to the little man of the clock,
who were flying and bobbing, jerking and grinning through the air,
beneath the great vault, as if madly revelling in the scene. Yet the
good man all the while had a vague sense of some awful, impending
calamity, which increased as he wandered around in great perplexity,
exploring the countenances of the various groups scattered over the
place.

Once he stumbled over a dead body and found it the corpse of the
invalid in the room above. He seemed to himself to be lifting it
carefully, when a lady, fair and stately, in rich, sweeping garments,
took the burden from his arms, and, sinking with it on the floor,
kissed it tenderly and then bent over it with a look of intense
sorrow.

Farther on he saw Mr. and Mrs. Dubois, with Adele, kneeling
imploringly, with terror-stricken faces, before a representation of
the Virgin Mary and her divine boy. Then the glare of light in the
building increased. Rushing to the entrance to look for the cause of
it, he there met Mrs. McNab coming towards him with a wild, disordered
countenance,--her white cotton headgear floating out like a banner to
the breeze,--shaking a brandy bottle in the faces of all she met. He
gained the door and found himself enwrapped in a sheet of flame.

Suddenly the whole scene passed. He woke. A glorious September sun was
irradiating the walls of his bedroom. He heard the movements of the
family below, and rose hastily.

A few moments of thought and prayer sufficed to clear his healthy
brain of the fantastic forms and scenes which had invaded it, and he
was himself again, ready and panting for service.




CHAPTER III.

MR. NORTON.


In order to bring Mr. Norton more distinctly before the reader, it is
necessary to give a few particulars of his previous life.

He was the son of a New England farmer. His father had given him a
good moral and religious training and the usual common school
education, but, being poor and having a large family to provide for,
he had turned him adrift upon the sea of life, to shape his own course
and win his own fortunes. These, in some respects, he was well
calculated to do.

He possessed a frame hardened by labor, and, to a native shrewdness
and self reliance, added traits which threw light and warmth into his
character. His sympathies were easily roused by suffering and want. He
spurned everything mean and ungenerous,--was genial in disposition,
indeed brimming with mirthfulness, and, in every situation, attracted
to himself numerous friends. He was, moreover, an excellent
blacksmith.

After leaving his father's roof, for a half score of years, he was led
into scenes of temptation and danger. But, having passed through
various fortunes, the whispers of the internal monitor, and the voice
of a loving wife, drew him into better and safer paths. He betook
himself unremittingly to the duties of his occupation.

By the influence of early parental training, and the teachings of the
Heavenly Spirit, he was led into a religious life. He dedicated
himself unreservedly to Christ. This introduced him into a new sphere
of effort, one, in which his naturally expansive nature found free
scope. He became an active, devoted, joyous follower of the Great
Master, and, thenceforward, desired nothing so much as to labor in his
service.

About a year after this important change, a circumstance occurred
which altered the course of his outward life.

It happened that a stranger came to pass a night at his, house. During
the conversation of a long winter evening, his curiosity became
greatly excited, in an account, given by his guest, of the Miramichi
region. He was astonished at the moral darkness reigning there. The
place was distant, and, at that time, almost inaccessible to any, save
the strong and hardy. But the light of life ought to be thrown into
that darkness. Who should go as a torch-bearer? The inquiry had
scarcely risen in his breast, before he thought he heard the words
spoken almost audibly, _Thou must go_.

Here, a peculiarity of the good blacksmith must be explained.
Possessed of great practical wisdom and sagacity, he was yet easily
affected by preternatural influences. He was subject to very strong
"impressions of mind", as he called them, by which he was urged to
pursue one course of conduct instead of another; to follow out one
plan of business in preference to another, even when there seemed to
be no apparent reason, why the one course was better than its
alternative. He had sometimes obeyed these impressions, sometimes had
not. But he thought he had found, in the end, that he should have
invariably followed them.

A particular instance confirmed him in this belief. One day, being in
New York, he was extremely anxious to complete his business in order
to take passage home in a sloop, announced to leave port at a certain
hour in the afternoon. Resolving to be on board the vessel at the time
appointed, he hurried from place to place, from street to street, in
the accomplishment of his plan. But he was strangely hindered in his
arrangements and haunted by an impression of trouble connected with
the vessel. Having, however, left his wife ill at home, and being
still determined to go, he pressed on. It happened that he arrived at
the wharf just as the sloop had got beyond the possibility of reaching
her, and he turned away bitterly disappointed. The night that followed
was one of darkness and horror; the sloop caught fire and all on board
perished.

He had now received an impression that it was his duty to go, as an
ambassador of Christ, to Miramichi.

Having for sometime previous, "exercised his gift" with acceptance at
various social religious meetings, he applied to the authorities of
his religious denomination for license to preach.

After passing a creditable examination on points deemed essential in
the case, he obtained a commission and a cordial God speed from his
brethren. They augured well for his success.

To be sure, the deficiencies of his early education sometimes made
themselves manifest, notwithstanding the diligent efforts he had put
forth, of late years, to remedy the lack. But on the other hand, he
had knowledge of human nature, sagacity in adapting means to ends, a
wide tolerance of those unfortunate ones, involved by whatever ways in
guilt, deep and earnest piety, and a remarkable natural eloquence,
both winning and forcible.

So he had started on his long journey through the wilderness, and
here, at last, he is found, on the banks of the Miramichi, cheerful
and active, engaged in his great work.

The reader was informed, at the close of the last chapter, that after
the perplexing visions of the night, by the use of charms of which he
well knew the power, Mr. Norton had cleared his brain of the
unpleasant phantoms that had invaded it during his slumbers. Being
quick and forgetive in his mental operations, even while completing
his toilet, he had formed a plan for an attack upon the kingdom of
darkness lying around him.

As he entered the room, the scene of his last night's adventure, his
face beaming with cheerfulness and courage, Adele, who was just then
laying the table, thought his appearance there like another sunrise.

After the morning salutations were over, he looked around the
apartment, observing it, in its daylight aspect, with a somewhat
puzzled air. In some respects, it was entirely unlike what he had
seen before. The broad stone hearth, with its large blazing fire, the
Dutch oven, the air of neatness and thrift, were like those of a New
England kitchen, but here the resemblance ceased.

A paper-hanging, whose originally rich hues had become in a measure
dimmed, covered the walls; and curious old pictures hung around; the
chairs and tables were of heavy dark wood, elaborately and grotesquely
carved, as was also the ebony clock in the corner, whose wonderful
mechanism had so astonished him on the previous evening. A low lounge,
covered with a crimson material, occupied a remote corner of the room,
with a Turkish mat spread on the floor before it. At the head of the
couch was a case, curiously carved, filled with books, and beneath, in
a little niche in the wall, a yellow ivory crucifix.

It did not occur to the good man to make any comparison between this
room with its peculiar adornings, and the Puritan kitchen with its
stiff, stark furniture. One of the latter description was found in his
own home, and the place where his loved ones lived and moved, was to
him invested with a beauty altogether independent of outward form and
show. But, as he looked around with an air of satisfaction, this room
evidently pleased his eye, and he paid an involuntary tribute to its
historic suggestiveness, by falling into a reverie concerning the life
and times of the good Roman Catholic Fenelon, whose memoir and
writings he had read.

Soon Adele called him to the breakfast-table.

Mrs. McNab not having made her appearance, he inquired if any tidings
had been heard from the sick-room. Mrs. Dubois replied, that she had
listened at the door and hearing no sound, concluded Mr. Brown was
quiet under the influence of the sleeping powder, and consequently,
she did not run the risk of disturbing him by going in.

"Should Aunt Patty happen to begin snoring in her chair, as she often
does", said Adele, "Mr. Brown would be obliged to wake up. I defy any
one to sleep when she gets into one of those fits".

"Adele", said her father, while a smile played round his mouth and
twinkled in his usually grave eyes, "can't you let Mrs. McNab have any
peace?"

"Is Mr. Brown a friend of yours?" inquired Mr. Norton of his host.

"I met him for the first time at Fredericton. He was at the hotel when
I arrived there. We accidentally fell into conversation one evening.
He made, then and subsequently, many inquiries about this region, and
when I was ready to start for home, said that, with my permission, he
would travel with me. I fancy", Mr. Dubois added, "he was somewhat ill
when we left, but he did not speak of it. We had a rough journey and I
think the exposure to which he was subjected has increased his
sickness. If he proves to be no better to-day, I shall send Micah for
Dr. Wright", said he, turning to his wife. "I hope you will, father",
said Adele, speaking very decidedly. "I should be sorry to have him
consigned over wholly to the tender mercies of Mrs. McNab".

"Mr. Dubois", said the missionary, laying down his knife and fork,
suddenly, "I must confess, I am perfectly surprised to find such a
family as yours in this place. From previous report, and indeed from
my own observation in reaching here, I had received the idea, that the
inhabitants were not only a wicked, but a very rude and uncouth set of
people".

"Whatever may be your opinion of ourselves, sir", replied his host,
"you are not far amiss in regard to the character of the people. They
are, in general, a rough set".

"Well, sir", said Mr. Norton, "as an honest man, I must inform you,
that I came here with a purpose in view. I have a message to this
people,--a message of love and mercy; and I trust it will not be
displeasing to you, if I promulgate it in this neighborhood".

"I do not understand your meaning", said Mr. Dubois.

"I wish, sir, to teach these people, some of the truths of morality
and religion such as are found in the Bible. I have ventured to guess
that you and your family are of the Roman Catholic faith".

"We belong to the communion of that church, sir".

"That being the case, and thinking you may have some interest in this
matter, I would say, that I wish to make an attempt to teach the
knowledge of divine things to this people, hoping thereby to raise
them from their present state to something better and holier".

"A worthy object, sir, but altogether a hopeless one. You have no idea
of the condition of the settlers here. You cannot get a hearing. They
scoff at such things utterly", said Mr. Dubois.

"Is there any objection in your own mind against an endeavor to enlist
their interest?" asked Mr. Norton.

"Not the least", said Mr. Dubois.

"Then I will try to collect the people together and tell them my views
and wishes. Is there any man here having influence with this class,
who would be willing to aid me in this movement?"

Mr. Dubois meditated.

"I do not know of one, sir", he said. "They all drink, swear, gamble,
and profane holy things, and seem to have no respect for either God or
man".

"It is too true", remarked Mrs. Dubois.

"Now, father", said Adele, assuming an air of wisdom, that sat rather
comically on her youthful brow, "_I_ think Micah Mummychog would be
just the person to help this gentleman".

"Micah Mummychog!" exclaimed Mr. Norton, throwing himself back in his
chair and shaking out of his lungs a huge, involuntary haw, haw,
"where does the person you speak of hail from to own such a name as
_that_, my dear child?"

"I rather think he came from Yankee land,--from your part of the
country, sir", said Adele, mischievously.

"Ah, well", said Mr. Norton, with another peal of laughter, "we _do_
have some curious names in our parts".

"Micah Mummychog!" exclaimed Mr. Dubois, "what are you thinking of,
Adele? Why, the fellow drinks and swears as hard as the rest of them".

"Not quite", persisted the child, "and besides, he has some good about
him, I know".

"What have you seen good about him, pray?" said her father.

"Why, you remember that when I discovered the little girl floating
down the river, Micah took his boat and went out to bring her ashore.
He took the body, dripping, in his arms, carried it to his house, and
laid it down as tenderly as if it had been his own sister. He asked me
to please go and get Mrs. McNab to come and prepare it for burial. The
little thing, he said, was entirely dead and gone. I started to go, as
he wished, but happened to think I would just step back and look at
the sweet face once more. When I opened the door, Micah was bending
over it, with his eyes full of tears. When I asked, what is the
matter, Micah? he said he was thinking of a little sister of his that
was drowned just so in the Kennebec River, many years ago".

"That showed some feeling, certainly", said Mrs. Dubois.

"Then, too, I know", continued Adele, "that the people here like him.
If any one can get them together, Micah can".

"Well!" said Mr. Dubois looking at his child with a fond pride, yet as
if doubting whether she were not already half spoiled, "it seems you
are the wiseacre of the family. I know Micah has always been a
favorite of yours. Perhaps the gentleman will give your views some
consideration".

"Father", replied Adele, "I have only said what I think about it".

"I'll try what I can do with Micah Mummychog", said Mr. Norton
decidedly, and the conversation ended.




CHAPTER IV.

MICAH MUMMYCHOG.


About ten years before the period when this narrative begins, Micah
Mummychog had come to this country from the Kennebec River, in the
State of Maine.

He soon purchased a dozen acres of land, partially cleared them, and
built a large-sized, comfortable log house. It was situated not far
from the Dubois house, at a short distance from the bank of the river,
and on the edge of a grove of forest trees.

Micah inhabited his house usually only a few months during the year,
as he was a cordial lover of the unbroken wilderness, and was as
migratory in his habits as the native Indian. On the morning after the
events related in the last chapter, he happened to be at home. While
Adele was guiding the missionary to his cottage, he was sitting in his
kitchen, which also served for a general reception room, burnishing up
an old Dutch fowling-piece.

The apartment was furnished with cooking utensils, and coarse wooden
furniture; the walls hung around with fishing tackle, moose-horns,
skins of wild animals and a variety of firearms.

Micah was no common, stupid, bumpkin-looking person. Belonging to the
genus Yankee, he had yet a few peculiar traits of his own. He had a
smallish, bullet-shaped head, set, with dignified poise, on a pair of
wide, flat shoulders. His chest was broad and swelling, his limbs
straight, muscular, and strong. His eyes were large, round, and blue.
When his mind was in a state of repose and his countenance at rest,
they had a solemn, owl-like expression. But when in an excited,
observant mood, they were keen and searching; and human orbs surely
never expressed more rollicking fun than did his, in his hours of
recreation. He had a habit of darting them around a wide circle of
objects, without turning his head a hairsbreadth. This, together with
another peculiarity of turning his head, occasionally, at a sharp
angle, with the quick and sudden motion of a cat, probably was
acquired in his hunting life.

Micah had never taken to himself a helpmate, and as far as mere
housekeeping was concerned, one would judge, on looking around the
decent, tidy apartment in which he sat and of which he had the sole
care, that he did not particularly need one. He washed, scoured,
baked, brewed, swept and dusted as deftly as any woman, and did it all
as a matter of course. These were, however, only his minor
accomplishments. He commanded the highest wages in the lumber camp,
was the best fisherman to be found in the region, and had the good
luck of always bringing down any game he had set his heart upon.

Micah had faults, but let these pass for the present. There was one
achievement of his, worthy of all praise.

It was remarked, that the loggery was situated on the edge of a grove.
This grove, when Micah came, was "a piece of woods", of the densest
and most tangled sort. By his strong arm, it had been transformed into
a scene of exceeding beauty. He had cut away the under growth and
smaller trees, leaving the taller sons of the forest still rising
loftily and waving their banners toward heaven. It formed a
magnificent natural temple, and as the sun struck in through the long,
broad aisles, soft and rich were the lights and shadows that flickered
over the green floor. The lofty arches, formed by the meeting and
interlaced branches above, were often resonant with music. During the
spring and summer months, matin worship was constantly performed by a
multitudinous choir, and praises were chanted by tiny-throated
warblers, raising their notes upon the deep, organ base, rolled into
the harmony by the grand old pines.

It is true, that hardly a human soul worshipped here, but when the "Te
Deum" rose toward heaven, thousands of blue, pink, and white blossoms
turned their eyes upward wet with dewy moisture, the hoary mosses
waved their tresses, the larches shook their tassels gayly, the
birches quivered and thrilled with joy in every leaf, and the rivulets
gurgled forth a silvery sound of gladness. On this particular
September morning Micah's grove was radiant with beauty. The wild
equinoctial storm, which had so fiercely assailed it the day before,
had brightened it into fresh verdure and now it glittered in the
sunbeams as if bejewelled with emerald.

Mr. Norton and Adele reached the cottage door, on which she tapped
softly.

"Come in", Micah almost shouted, without moving from his seat or
looking up from his occupation.

The maiden opened the door, and said, "Good morning, Micah".

At the sound of her voice he rose instantly and handing a chair into
the middle of the floor, said, "O! come in, Miss Ady; I didn't know ez
it was yeou".

"I cannot stop now, Micah, but here is a gentleman who has a little
business with you. I came to show him the way. This is Mr. Norton".

And away Adele sped, without farther ceremony.

Micah looked after her for a moment, with a half smile on his
weather-beaten face, then turned and motioning Mr. Norton to a chair,
reseated himself on a wooden chest, with his gun, upon which he again
commenced operations, his countenance setting into its usual owl-like
solemnity.

He was not courtly in his reception of strangers. The missionary,
however, had dealt with several varieties of the human animal before,
and was by no means disturbed at this nonchalance.

"I believe you are from the States, as well as myself, Mr. Mummychog",
said he, after a short silence.

"I'm from the Kennebec River", said Micah, laconically.

"I am quite extensively acquainted in that region, but do not remember
to have heard your name before. It is rather an uncommon one".

"I guess ye won't find many folks in them parts, ez is called
Mummychog", said Micah, with a twinkle of the eye and something like a
grin, on his sombre visage.

"You've a snug place here, Mr. Micah", said Mr. Norton, who, having
found some difficulty in restraining a smile, when repeating Mr.
Mummychog's surname, concluded to drop it altogether, "but what could
have induced you to leave the pleasant Kennebec and come to this
distant spot?"

"Well, I cam' to git a chance and be somwhere, where I could jest be
let alone".

"A chance for what, Mr. Micah?"

"Why, hang it, a chance to live an' dew abeout what I want tew. The
moose an' wolves an' wildcats hev all ben hunted eout o' that kentry.
Thar wa'nt no kind ev a chance there. So I cam' here".

"You have a wife, I suppose, Mr. Micah?"

"Wife! no. Do ye spose I want to hev a woman kep' skeered a most to
death abeout me, all the time? I'm a fishin' an' huntin good part o'
the year. Wild beasts and sech, is what I like".

"Don't you feel lonely here, sometimes, Mr. Micah?"

"Lunsum! no. There's plenty o' fellers reound here, all the time.
They're a heowlin' set tew, ez ever I see".

"You have a good gun there", suggested the missionary.

"Well, tolable", said Micah, looking up for the first time since Mr.
Norton had entered the house, and scanning him from head to foot with
his keen, penetrating glance. "I spose you aint much used to
firearms?"

"I have some acquaintance with them; but my present vocation don't
require their use".

Here Mr. Mummychog rose, and laying his gun on the table, scratched
his head, turned toward Mr. Norton and said, "Hev yeou any pertikilar
business with me?"

"Yes sir, I have. I came to Miramichi to accomplish an important
object, and I don't know of another person who can help me about it so
well as you can".

"Well, I dunno. What upon arth is it?"

"To be plain upon the point", said the missionary, looking serious and
earnest, "I have come here to preach the gospel of Christ".

"Whew! religin, is it? I can tell ye right off, its no go en these ere
parts".

"Don't you think a little religion is needed here, Mr. Micah?"

"Well, I dunno. Taint _wanted_. Folks ez lives here, can't abide
sermans and prayers en that doleful stuff".

"You say you came here for a chance, Mr. Micah. I suppose your friends
came for the same purpose. Now, I have come to show them, not a
_chance_, but a glorious certainty for happiness in this world and in
the eternity beyond".

"Well, they don't want tew know anything abeout it. They just want tew
be let alone", said Micah.

"I suppose they do wish to be let alone", said Mr. Norton. "But I
cannot permit them to go down to wretchedness and sorrow unwarned. You
have influence with your friends here, Mr. Micah. If you will collect
the men, women, and children of this neighborhood together, some
afternoon, in your beautiful grove, I will promise to give them not a
long sermon, but something that will do them good to hear".

"I can't dew it no heow. There's ben preachers along here afore, an'
a few 'ud go eout o' curiosity, an' some to make a disturbance an'
sech, an' it never 'meounts to anything, no heow. Then sposin we haint
dun jest as we'd oughter, who'se gin _yeou_ the right tew twit us on
it?"

"I certainly have no right, on my own responsibility, to reproach you,
or your friends for sin, for I am a sinful man myself and have daily
need of repentance. But I trust I have found out a way of redemption
from guilt, and I wish to communicate it to my fellow-beings that they
also may have knowledge of it, and fly to Christ, their only safety
and happiness in this world".

Micah made no reply.

There was a pause of several minutes, and then the missionary rose and
said, "Well, Mr. Micah, if you can't help me, you can't. The little
maiden that came with me, told me you could render me aid, if any one
could, and from what she said, I entertained a hope of your
assistance. The Lord will remove the obstacles to proclaiming this
salvation in some way, I know".

"Miss Ady didn't say I could help ye neow, did she?" said Micah,
scratching his head.

"Certainly. Why did she bring me here?"

"Well, ef that aint tarnal queer", said Micah, falling into a deep
reverie.

In a few moments, Mr. Norton shook his new acquaintance heartily by
the hand and bade him good morning. Was the good man discouraged in
his efforts? By no means.

He had placed in the mind of Micah Mummychog a small fusee, so to
speak, which he foresaw would fire a whole train of discarded ideas
and cast-off thoughts, and he expected to hear from it.

He filled up the day with a round of calls upon the various families
of the neighborhood, and came home to his lodgings at Mr. Dubois's
with his heart overwhelmed by the ignorance and debasement he had
witnessed.

Yet his courage and hopes were strong.




CHAPTER V.

MRS. LANSDOWNE.


P---- is a city by the sea. Built upon an elevated peninsula,
surrounded by a country of manifold resources of beauty and fertility,
with a fine, broad harbor, it sits queenlike in conscious power,
facing with serene aspect the ever-restless waves that wash
continually its feet. The place might be called ancient, if that term
could properly be applied to any of the works of man on New England
shores. There are parts of it, where the architecture of whole streets
looks quaint and time-worn; here and there a few antique churches
appear, but modern structures predominate, and the place is full of
vigorous life and industry.

It was sunset. The sky was suffused with the richest carmine. The
waters lay quivering beneath the palpitating, rosy light. The spires
and domes of the town caught the ethereal hues and the emerald hills
were bathed in the glowing atmosphere.

In a large apartment, in the second story of a tall, brick mansion
on ---- street, sat Mrs. Lansdowne. Susceptible though she was to the
attractions of the scene before her, they did not now occupy her
attention. Her brow was contracted with painful thought, her lip
quivered with deep emotion. The greatest sorrow she had known had
fallen upon her through the error of one whom she fondly loved.

Though enwrapped in a cloud of grief, one could see that she possessed
beauty of a rich and rare type. She had the delicate, aquiline nose,
the dark, lustrous eyes and hair, the finely arched eyebrows of the
Hebrew woman. But she was no Jewess.

Mrs. Lansdowne could number in her ancestry men who had been notable
leaders in the Revolutionary war with England, and, later in our
history, others, who were remarkable for patriotism, nobility of
character, intellectual ability, and high moral and religious culture.

Early in life, she had been united to Mr. Lansdowne, a gentleman
moving in the same rank of society with herself. His health obliged
him to give up the professional life he anticipated, and he had become
a prosperous and enterprising merchant in his native city. They had an
only child, a son eighteen years old, who in the progress of his
collegiate course had just entered the senior year.

Edward Somers was Mrs. Lansdowne's only brother, her mother having
died a week after his birth. She was eleven years of age at the time,
and from that early period had watched over and loved him tenderly. He
had grown up handsome and accomplished, fascinating in manners and
most affectionate toward herself. She had learned that he had been
engaged in what appeared, upon the face of it, a dishonorable affair,
and her sensitive nature had been greatly shocked.

Two years before, Mr. Lansdowne had taken him as a junior partner in
his business. He had since been a member of his sister's family.

A young foreigner had come to reside in the city, professing himself a
member of a noble Italian family. Giuseppe Rossini was poet, orator,
and musician. As poet and orator he was pleasing and graceful; as a
musician he excelled. He was a brilliant and not obtrusive
conversationalist. His enthusiastic expressions of admiration for our
free institutions won him favor with all classes. In the fashionable
circle he soon became a pet.

Mrs. Lansdowne had from the first distrusted him. There was no
tangible foundation for her suspicions, but she had not been able to
overcome a certain instinct that warned her from his presence. She
watched, with misgivings of heart, her brother's growing familiarity
with the Italian. A facility of temper, his characteristic from
boyhood, made her fear that he might not be able to withstand the
soft, insinuating voice that veils guilty designs by winning
sophistics and appeals to sympathy and friendship. And so it proved.

One day, in extreme agitation, Rossini came to Mr. Somers, requesting
the loan of a considerable sum of money, to meet demands made upon
him. Remittances daily expected from Europe had failed to reach him.
Mr. Somers was unable to command so large a sum as he required. His
senior partner was absent from home. But the wily Rossini so won upon
his sympathies, that he went to the private safe of his
brother-in-law, and took from thence the money necessary to free his
friend from embarrassment. He never saw the Italian again.

When the treachery of which he had been the victim burst upon him,
together with his own weakness and guilt, he was filled with shame and
remorse. Mr. Lansdowne was a man of stern integrity and uncompromising
justice. He dared not meet his eye on his return, and he dreaded to
communicate the unworthy transaction to his sister, who had so gently
yet so faithfully warned him.

He made desperate efforts to get traces of the villain who had
deceived him. Unsuccessful--maddened with sorrow and shame, he wrote a
brief note of farewell to Mrs. Lansdowne, in which he confessed the
wrong he had committed against her husband, which Mr. Lansdowne would
reveal to her. He begged her to think as kindly of him as possible,
averring that an hour before the deed was done, he could not have
believed himself capable of it. Then he forsook the city.

When these occurrences were communicated to Mr. Lansdowne, he was
filled with surprise and indignation,--not at the pecuniary loss,
which, with his ample wealth, was of little moment to him, but on
account of such imprudence and folly, where he least expected it.

A few hours, however, greatly modified his view of the case. He had
found, in the safe, a note from Mr. Somers, stating the circumstances
under which he had taken the money and also the disappearance of
Rossini. This, together with his wife's distress, softened his
feelings to such a degree that he consented to recall his brother and
reinstate him in his former place in business.

But whither had the fugitive gone? Mrs. Lansdowne found no clue to his
intended destination.

During the morning of the day on which she is first introduced to the
attention of the reader, she had visited his apartment to make a more
thorough exploration. Looking around the room, she saw lying in the
fireplace a bit of paper, half buried in the ashes. She drew it out,
and after examining carefully found written upon it a few words that
kindled a new hope in her heart. Taking it to her husband, a
consultation was held upon its contents and an expedition planned, of
which an account will be given in the next chapter.

She was now the prey of conflicting emotions. The expedition, which
had that day been arranged, involved a sacrifice of feeling on her
part, greater she feared than she would be able to make.

But in order to recover her brother to home, honor, and happiness, it
seemed necessary to be made. Voices from the dead were pleading at her
heart incessantly, urging her, at whatever cost, to seek and save him,
who, with herself, constituted the only remnant of their family left
on earth. Her own affection for him also pressed its eloquent suit,
and at last the decision was confirmed. She resolved to venture her
son in the quest.

In the mean time, the sunset hues had faded from the sky and evening
had approached. The golden full moon had risen and was now shining in
at the broad window, bringing into beautiful relief the delicate
tracery on the high cornices, the rich carvings of the mahogany
furniture, and striking out a soft sheen from Mrs. Lansdowne's black
satin dress, as she moved slowly to and fro, through the light.

She seated herself once more at the window and gazed upon the lovely
orb of night. A portion of its serenity entered and tranquillized her
soul. The cloud of care and anxiety passed from her brow, leaving it
smooth and pure as that of an angel.




CHAPTER VI.

"JOHN, DEAR".


On the evening that Mrs. Lansdowne was thus occupied, John, her son,
who had been out on the bay all the afternoon, rushed past the
drawing-room door, bounded up the long staircase; entered his room,
situated on the same floor, not far from his mother's, and rang the
bell violently.

In a few minutes, Aunt Esther, an ancient black woman, who had long
been in the service of the family, made her appearance at the door,
and inquired what "Massa John" wanted.

"I want some fire here, Aunt Esther. I've been out on the bay,
fishing. Our smack got run down, and I've had a ducking; I feel
decidedly chilly".

"Law sakes!" said she, in great trepidation, "yer orter get warm right
away", and hastened down stairs.

A stout, hale man, soon entered the room, with a basket of wood and a
pan of coals, followed immediately by Aunt Esther, who began to
arrange them on the hearth.

Aunt Esther's complexion was of a pure shining black, her features of
the size and cut usually accompanying that hue, and lighted up by a
contented, sunshiny expression, which truly indicated the normal
state of her mind. A brilliant, yellow turban sat well upon her woolly
locks and a blue and red chintz dress, striped perpendicularly,
somewhat elongated the effect of her stout dumpy figure. She had taken
care of John during his babyhood and early boyhood, and he remained to
this day her especial pet and pride.

"Aunt Esther", said that young man, throwing himself into an
easy-chair, and assuming as lackadaisical an expression as his frank
and roguish face would allow, "I have just lost a friend".

"Yer have?" said his old nurse, looking round compassionately.

When did yer lose him?"

"About an hour ago".

"What did he die of, Massa John?"

"Of a painful nervous disease", said he.

"How old was he?"

"A few years younger than I am".

"Did he die hard?"

"Very hard, Aunt Esther", said John, looking solemn.

"Had yer known him long?"

"Yes, a long time".

Aunt Esther gave a deep sigh. "Does yer know weder he was pious?"

"Well, here he is. Perhaps you can tell by looking at him", said he,
handing her a tooth, he had just had extracted, and bursting into a
boyish laugh.

"O! yer go along, Massa John. I might hev knowed it was one of yer
deceitful tricks", said Aunt Esther, trying to conceal her amusement,
by putting on an injured look. "There, the fire burns now. Yer jest
put on them dry clothes as quick as ever yer can, or mebbe ye'll lose
another friend before long".

"It shall be done as you say, beloved Aunt Esther", said he, rising
and bowing profoundly, as she left the room.

Having obeyed the worthy woman's injunction, he drew the easy-chair to
the fire, leaned his head back and spent the next half hour hovering
between consciousness and dreamland.

From this state, he was roused by a gentle tap on his door, followed
by his mother's voice, saying, "John, dear?"

John rose instantly, threw the door wide open and ushered in the lady,
saying, "Come in, little queen mother, come in", and bowing over her
hand with a pompous, yet courtly grace.

Mrs. Lansdowne, when seen a short time since walking in her solitude,
seemed quite lofty in stature, but now, standing for a moment beside
the regal height of her son, one could fully justify him in bestowing
upon her the title with which he had greeted her.

John Lansdowne was fast developing, physically as well as mentally
into a noble manhood, and it was no wonder that his mother's heart
swelled with pride and joy when she looked upon him. Straight,
muscular, and vigorous in form, his features and expression were
precisely her own, enlarged and intensified. Open and generous in
disposition, his character had a certain quality of firmness, quite in
contrast with that of his uncle Edward, and this she had carefully
sought to strengthen. In the pursuit of his studies, he had thus far
been earnest and successful.

During the last half year, however, he had chafed under the
confinements of student life, and having now become quite restive in
the harness, he had asked his father for a few months of freedom from
books. He wished to explore a wilderness, to go on a foreign voyage,
to wander away, away, anywhere beyond the sight of college walls.

"John", said Mrs. Lansdowne, "I have been conversing with your father
on the subject, and he has consented to an expedition for you".

"O! glorious! mother where am I to go? to the Barcan desert, or to the
Arctic Ocean?"

"You are to make a journey to the Miramichi River?"

"Miramichi!" said John, after a brief pause, "I thought I had a slight
acquaintance with geography, but where in the wide world is
Miramichi?"

"It is in the province of New Brunswick. You will have seventy-five
miles of almost unbroken wilderness to pass through".

"Seventy-five miles of wilderness! magnificent! where's my rifle,
mother? I haven't seen it for an age".

"Don't be so impetuous, John. This journey through the wilderness will
be anything but magnificent. You will meet many dangers by the way and
will encounter many hardships".

"But, mother, what care I for the perils of the way. Look at that
powerful member", stretching out his large, muscular arm.

"Don't trust too much in that, John. Your strong arm is a good weapon,
but you may meet something yet that is more than a match for it".

"Possibly", said John, with a sceptical air, "but when am I to start,
mother?"

"To-morrow".

"To-morrow! that is fine. Well! I must bestir myself", said he,
rising.

"Not to-night, my dear. You've nothing to do at present. Arrangements
are made. Be quiet, John. We may not sit thus together again for a
long while".

"True, mother", said he, reseating himself. "But how did you happen to
think of Miramichi?" he asked, after a pause.

"That is what I must explain to you. Your uncle Edward has committed
an act of imprudence which he fancies your father will not forgive
him. He has left us without giving any information of his destination.
We hope you will find him in New Brunswick, and this is your errand.
You must seek him and bring him back to us".

John had been absent at the time of Mr. Somers's departure, and,
without making definite inquiries, supposed him to be away on ordinary
business.

After his first surprise at his mother's announcement, he was quite
silent for a few moments.

Then he said, firmly, "If he is there, I will find him".

Mrs. Lansdowne did not explain to him the nature of her brother's
offence, but simply communicated her earnest desire for his return.
Then going together to the library they consulted the map of Maine
and New Brunswick. Mr. Lansdowne joined them,--the route was fully
discussed, and John retired to dream of the delights of a life
untrammelled by college, or city walls.




CHAPTER VII.

A JOURNEY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS.


Two days after the arrival of Mr. Norton at the Dubois House, on the
banks of the Miramichi, John Lansdowne, on a brilliant September
morning, started on his memorable journey to that region.

He was up betimes, and made his appearance at the stables just as
James, the stout little coachman, was completing Caesar's elaborate
toilet.

Caesar was a noble-looking, black animal, whose strength and capacity
for endurance had been well tested. This morning he was in high
spirits and looked good for months of rough-and-tumble service.

"Here's yer rifle, Mister John. I put it in trim for ye yesterday. I
s'pose ye'll be a squintin' reound sharp for bears and wolves and
other livin' wild beasts when ye git inter the woods".

"Certainly, James. I expect to set the savage old monsters scattering
in every direction".

"Well, but lookeout, Mister John and keep number one eout o' fire and
water and sech".

"Trust me for doing that, James".

After many affectionate counsels and adieus from his parents, John,
mounted on the gallant Caesar, with his rifle and portmanteau, posted
on at a rapid rate, soon leaving the city far behind.

The position of one who sits confidently upon the back of a brave and
spirited horse, is surely enviable. The mastery of a creature of such
strength and capacity--whose neck is clothed with thunder--the glory
of whose nostrils is terrible, gives to the rider a sense of freedom
and power not often felt amidst the common conditions of life. No
wonder that the Bedouin of the desert, crafty, cringing, abject in
cities, when he mounts his Arab steed and is off to the burning sands,
becomes dignified and courteous. Liberty and power are his. They
elevate him for the time in the scale of existence.

John was a superb rider. From his first trial, he had sat on
horseback, firm and kingly.

He and Caesar apparently indulged in common emotions on this morning of
their departure from home. They did not it is true "smell the battle
afar off, the thunder of the captains and the shouting," but they
smelt the wilderness, the wild, the fresh, the free, and they said ha!
ha! And so they sped on their long journey.

The young man made a partial acquaintance with lumbering operations at
Bangor; had his sublime ideas of the nobility of the aborigines of the
country somewhat discomposed by the experience of a day spent in the
Indian settlement at Oldtown; found a decent shelter at Mattawamkeag
Point, and, at last, with an exultant bound of heart, struck into the
forest.

The only road through this solitary domain was the rough path made by
lumbermen, in hauling supplies to the various camps, scattered at
intervals through the dense wilderness, extending seventy-five miles,
from Mattawamkeag Point to the British boundary.

Here Nature was found in magnificent wildness and disarray, her hair
quite unkempt. Great pines, shooting up immense distances in the sky
skirted the path and flung their green-gray, trailing mosses abroad on
the breeze; crowds of fir, spruce, hemlock, and cedar trees stood
waving aloft their rich, dark banners; clusters of tall, white
birches, scattered here and there, relieved and brightened the sombre
evergreen depths, and the maple with its affluent foliage crowned each
swell of the densely covered land. Here and there, a scarlet tree or
bush shot out its sanguine hue, betokening the maturity of the season
and the near approach of autumn's latest splendor. Big boulders of
granite, overlaid with lichens, were profusely ornamented with crimson
creepers. Everything appeared in splendid and wasteful confusion.
There were huge trees with branches partially torn away; others, with
split trunks leaning in slow death against their fellows; others,
prostrate on the ground; and around and among all, grew brakes and
ferns and parasitic vines; and nodded purple, red, and golden berries.

The brown squirrels ran up and down the trees and over the tangled
rubbish, chirping merrily; a few late lingering birds sang little
jerky notes of music, and the woodpecker made loud tapping sounds
which echoed like the strokes of the woodman's axe. The air was rich
and balmy,--spiced with cedar, pine, and hemlock, and a thousand
unknown odors.

The path through this wild of forest was rude and difficult, but the
travellers held on their way unflinchingly,--the horse with
unfaltering courage and patience, and his rider with unceasing wonder
and delight.

At noon they came to a halt, just where the sun looked down golden and
cheery on a little dancing rivulet that babbled by the wayside. Here
Caesar received his oats, for which his master had made room in his
portmanteau, at the expense, somewhat, of his own convenience. The
young man partook of a hearty lunch and resigned himself to dreams of
life under the greenwood tree.

After an hour's rest, again in the saddle and on--on, through
recurring scenes of wildness, waste, and beauty. Just as the stars
began to glint forth and the traveller and horse felt willing perhaps
to confess to a little weariness, they saw the light of the expected
cabin fire in the distance. Caesar gave a low whinny of approval and
hastened on.

Two or three red-shirted, long-bearded men gave them a rude welcome.
They blanketed and fed Caesar, and picketed him under a low shed built
of logs.

John, as hungry as a famished bear, drank a deep draught of a black
concoction called tea, which his friends here presented to him, ate a
powerful piece of dark bread, interlarded with fried pork, drew up
with the others around the fire, and, in reply to their curious
questionings, gave them the latest news from the outside world.

For this information he was rewarded by the strange and stirring
adventures of wilderness life they related during the quickly flitting
evening hours.

They told of the scores who went into the forest in the early part of
winter, not to return until late in the spring; of snow-storms and
packs of wolves; of herds of deer and moose; they related thrilling
stories of men crushed by falling trees, or jammed between logs in the
streams, together with incidents of the long winter evenings, usually
spent by them in story telling and card playing. Thus he became
acquainted with the routine of camp life.

Wearied at last with the unaccustomed fatigues of the day, he wrapped
himself in his cloak, placed his portmanteau under his head for a
pillow and floated off to dreamland, under the impression that this
gypsying sort of life, was just the one of all others he should most
like to live.

The following morning, the path of our traveller struck through a
broad reach of the melancholy, weird desolation, called a burnt
district. He rode out, suddenly, from the dewy greenness and
balm-breathing atmosphere of the unblighted forest, into sunshine that
poured down in torrents from the sky, falling on charred, shining
shafts and stumps of trees, and a brilliant carpet of fireweed.

It is nearly impossible to give one who has not seen something of the
kind, an adequate impression of the peculiar appearance of such a
region. The strange, grotesque-looking stems, of every imaginable
shape, left standing like a company of black dwarfs and giants
scattered over the land, some of them surmounted with ebony crowns;
some, with heads covered like olden warriors, with jetty helmets;
some with brawny, long arms stretched over the pathway as if to seize
the passer by, and all with feet planted, seemingly in deep and
flaming fire. How quickly nature goes about repairing her desolations!
So great in this case is her haste to cover up the black, unseemly
surface of the earth, that, from the strange resemblance of the weed
with which she clothes it to the fiery elements, it would seem as if
she had not yet been able to thrust the raging glow out of her fancy,
and so its type has crept again over the blighted spot.

John rode on over the glowing ground, the black monsters grimacing and
scowling at him as he passed. What a nice eerie place this would be
thought he for witches, wizards, and all Satan's gentry, of every
shape and hue, to hold their high revels in. And he actually began to
shout the witches song--


   "Black spirits and white,
   Red spirits and gray".


At which adjuration, Caesar, doubtless knowing who were called upon,
pricked up his ears and started on a full run, probably not wishing to
find himself in such company just at that time.

An establishment similar to the one that had sheltered him the night
previous, proffered its entertainment at the close of our adventurer's
second day. The third day in the wilderness was signalized by an
incident, which excited such triumphant emotions as to cause it to be
long remembered. About an hour subsequent to his noon halt, as he and
Caesar were proceeding along at a moderate pace, he heard a rustling,
crackling noise on the right side of the path and suddenly a deer,
frightened and panting, flew across the road, turned for a moment an
almost human, despairing look toward him, plunged into the tangled
under-growth on the left and was gone from sight. John drew his reins
instantly, bringing his horse to a dead stand, loosened his rifle from
his shoulder and after examining it closely, remained quiet. His
patience was not taxed by long waiting. Within the space of two
minutes, there was another sharp crunching and crackling of dry
boughs, when a wolf, large, gray, and fierce, sprang into the path
from the same opening, following on the trail of the deer. He had
nearly crossed the narrow road in hot pursuit and was about springing
into the thicket beyond, when an accidental turn of his head brought
our hero suddenly to his attention. He stopped, as if struck by a
spell of enchantment.

Whiz! the ball flew. The very instant it struck, the bloodthirsty
monster fell dead. When John reached the spot, there was scarcely the
quiver of a limb, so well had the work of death been accomplished. Yet
the wolfish face grinned still a savage, horrible defiance.

"Here, Caesar", he exclaimed, in a boastful tone, "do you know that
this old fellow lying here, won't get the drink out of the veins of
that dainty creature he was so thirsty for? No! nor ever cheat any
sweet little Red Riding Hood into thinking him her grandmother? This
is the last of him. Didn't I do the neat thing, Caesar?"

Caesar threw his head on one side, with an air of admiration and gave a
low whinny, that betokened a state of intense satisfaction at the
whole transaction.

It may appear frivolous to those who have read with unwavering
credulity the olden tales of the prowess and achievements of knights
errant in the days of chivalry, that one should stop to relate such a
commonplace incident as the shooting of a wolf, and above all, that
the hero of this narrative, should betray, even to his horse, such a
decided emotion of self admiration for having performed the feat. Such
a trifle would not indeed be worth mentioning in company with the
marvellous deeds and mysterious sorceries of the old romaunt, but this
being a true story, the hero young, and this the first game of the
kind he has yet brought down, it must be excused.

After a critical examination of his victim, our traveller mounted his
horse and proceeded on his journey, much gratified at his afternoon's
work, and inwardly resolving how he would make the eyes of James and
Aunt Esther stand out, while listening to the account of it he should
give them, on his return home.

In about seventeen days after his departure from P., John safely
accomplished his journey. Amidst the subsequent hardships, rough fare
and toils of that journey, which, in truth, thirty-five years ago,
were things not to be laughed at, he had a constant satisfaction in
the recollection of having, with one keen shot, killed a large,
fierce, gray wolf.




CHAPTER VIII.

A FUNERAL.


The day following the call made by Mr. Norton on Micah Mummychog, the
last-named personage came to Mr. Dubois's house and Adele happening to
open the outside door, just as he hove in sight, he called out, "Miss
Ady, do ye know where that individooal that ye brought to my heouse
yisterday, is?"

"You mean the missionary?" said Adele.

"Well, yis, I spose so; where is he?"

"He is engaged with a sick gentleman we have here. He has taken the
place of Aunt Patty, who is tired out and has gone to rest".

"Well, that piece of flesh, what's called McNab, has the greatest
fakkilty of gittin' tired eout when there's any work reound, that ever
I see. Any heow, she's got to stir herself this time. But I want to
see the minister, neow".

"Yes, I will speak to him. But I shall not call Aunt Patty. She _is_
tired now. I can take care of the sick gentleman. But what has
happened, Micah?"

"Well, there's goin' to be a funeral. I can't jestly tell ye abeout
it neow. Ye can ax yer sir, when he comes in", said Micah, reluctant
to go into particulars which he knew would shock Adele.

"Well, Captin", said Micah, when Mr. Norton made his appearance at the
door, here's a reg'lar wind-fall for ye. Here's an Irishman over here,
as is dead as a door nail. He's goin' to be buried to-night, 'beout
sunset, and I dun no but what I can git a chance for ye to hold forth
a spell in the grove, jest afore they put him under greound".

"Dead! the poor man dead! indeed!" exclaimed Mr. Norton.

"Yis. He was shot right through his heart, and I hope a swingin' cuss
'ill come on him that put the ball threough, tew".

"Why, how was it, Mr. Micah?" said Mr. Norton earnestly.

"Well, yeou jest tell me fust wether yeou'll say prayers, or somethin'
or 'nother over the poor chap's reeliks".

"Certainly, I will, Mr. Micah".

"Well, ye see, Pat McGrath lived back here, half a mile or so, an'
he's got lots o' cousins an' friends 'ut live all along on this 'ere
river, more or less, till ye git to Chartham, _that's_ sitooated to
the mouth. Well, these fellers has been in the habit o' gittin'
together and goin' deown river and hirin' once in a spell, some sort
of old, cranky craft and goin' skylarking reound to Eastport and
Portland. Arter a while they'd cum back and smuggle in a cargo o'
somethin' or 'nother from the States, and sheirk the dooties. Well,
'beout a week ago, there was a confounded old crittur 'ut lives
halfway from here to Chartham, that informed on' em. So they jes'
collected together--'beout twenty fellers--and mobbed him. And the old
cuss fired into 'em and killed this 'ere man. So neow they've brought
his body hum, and his wife's a poor shiftless thing, and she's been a
hollerin' and screechin' ever sence she heerd of it".

"Poor woman!" said Mr. Norton, greatly shocked.

"Well, I might as well tell yer the whole on't", said Micah,
scratching his head. "Yer see, he was one o' these Catholics, this Pat
was, and the fellers went to the priest (he lives deown river, little
better'n ten mile from here) in course to git him to dew what's to be
done to the funeral, and the tarnal old heathen wouldn't dew it. He
sed Pat had gone agin the law o' the kentry, and he wouldn't hev
anything to do 'beout it. So the fellers brought the body along, and I
swear, Pat McGrath shall hev a decent funeral, any way".

"Where is the funeral to be?" asked Mr. Norton, after listening
attentively to the account Micah had given him.

"O! deown here 'n the grove. The body's to my heouse, and Maggie his
wife's there a screechin'. The graveyard's close here, and so they
didn't carry him hum".

"I'll, go down and see this poor Maggie", said Mr. Norton.

"Don't, for the Lord's sake. I'm eenermost crazy neow. The heouse is
jammed full o' folks, and there ain't nothin, ready. You jes' wait
here, till I git things in shape and I'll cum arter ye".

Micah then departed to complete his arrangements, and Mr. Norton
returned to his post, in the sick-room.

It was nearly five o'clock in the afternoon, before a messenger came
to inform him that the hour of burial had arrived.

A strange scene presented itself to his view, as he approached the
grove. A motley company, composed of the settlers of every grade and
condition for miles around, had collected there. Men, women, and
children in various costume--the scarlet and crimson shirt, or tunic,
carrying it high above all other fashions--were standing, or walking
among the trees, conversing upon the event that had brought them
together.

As the missionary approached, the loud indignant voices subsided into
a low murmur, and the people made way for him to reach the centre of
the group.

Here he found the coffin, placed upon a pile of boards, entirely
uncovered to the light of day and to the inspection of the people, who
had, each in turn, gazed with curious eyes upon the lifeless clay it
enclosed.

In the absence of Mrs. McNab, who was still sleeping away the effects
of her late fatigues at the house of Mr. Dubois, the women of the
neighborhood had arrayed Patrick McGrath, very properly, in a clean
shirt of his accustomed wearing apparel, so arranging it that the
folds of the red tunic could be lifted in order to expose to those who
came to look upon him the wound he had received. There he lay, the
rude smuggler, turned gently upon his side, one cheek pressing the
pillow. Death had effaced from his countenance every trace of the
stormy passions which raged in his breast when the fatal bullet struck
him, and had sealed it with even a pleasant serenity.

Not so with the compeers of his race, who encircled the coffin. _They_
scowled a fierce fury from beneath their bushy brows and muttered vows
of vengeance. The rays of the sun, now rapidly declining, shot into
their angry faces, the evening breeze shook out their matted locks of
hair. A peculiar glow was cast over their wild, Erin features, now
gleaming with unholy passion.

Mr. Norton bent for a few minutes over the coffin, while an expression
of sorrow and deep commiseration overspread his countenance. Then he
stepped upon a slight knoll of ground near by, raised himself to his
full height and began to speak in a voice that rose above the crowd,
clear, melodious, full and penetrating as the notes of a bugle. It
thrilled on every ear and drew instant attention.

"Friends, brethren, fellow-sinners, one of our number has been
suddenly struck down by the relentless hand of death, and we are here
to pay the last honors to his mortal remains,--each and all to learn a
solemn lesson while standing at the mouth of the grave. Brethren, we
are to learn anew from this occasion that death often comes to man
with the suddenness of the lightning flash. One moment before your
comrade was struck by the fatal bullet, his eye glowed as keenly and
his right arm was as powerful as yours. The next moment he was
prostrate on the ground, with no power to move a single limb of his
body, or utter a single sigh, or breathe a single prayer. He was dead".

"I am ignorant whether he was prepared to make such a sudden transit
from this world to that scene of judgment to which he has been
summoned. _You_ know, who were his friends and comrades, what his
former course has been, and whether he was prepared to meet the Judge
of all the earth. I know nothing of all this, but I fervently hope
that at the last erring, awful moment, when he had just committed an
act of transgression against the laws of his country, he had in his
heart, and did, offer up this prayer, 'God be merciful to me, a
sinner.' We must leave him in the hands of the Almighty, who is both
merciful and just. We cannot change his lot, but we have it in our
power to profit by the circumstances of his death. Beholding how
suddenly he has been cut off, in the prime and strength of his days,
we may learn that we too may be called at some unexpected moment, and
that it behooves us to be found ever in the right path, so living, so
acting, that we shall be ready, when death comes, to meet our Judge
without fear and with the assurance that when we depart this life,
through the righteousness of Christ, we shall be introduced into a
better and nobler country. I beg of you earnestly, my dear brethren,
in order to secure this happy result, to turn immediately from your
sins, repenting of them without delay, and apply to Christ whose blood
can alone wash them away. Take the Bible, this precious gift from
Heaven, for your counsellor and guide, follow its instructions, and
you will be safe and happy, whether in life or in death".

"My brethren, I will say but one word more; that word I earnestly
implore you to listen to. This book from God says, vengeance is mine;
I will repay. I fear it is in your hearts to seek revenge upon him who
is the author of your comrade's death. I beseech you not to do it. God
knows where the wrong is, in this case, and He, the great Avenger,
will not suffer it to go unpunished. Sooner or later He brings every
wicked and wrong-doer to a just reward. Leave all in His righteous
hands, and stain not your souls with blood and violence. Let us seek
the divine blessing".

Mr. Norton then offered a short and simple prayer, imploring the
forgiveness of sins, and blessings upon Patrick's wife, his
companions, and the community.

Maggie, who had wailed herself into perfect exhaustion and almost
stupor, sat gazing fixedly in his face; the rest seemed hushed as by a
spell, and did not begin to move until some moments after his voice
ceased.

Then the tongues were loosened, and amid the ebbs and flows of
murmuring sound, the coffin was covered, placed upon a bier and borne
to the grave, followed by the crowd.

"And shure", said a poor Irishwoman to her crony, as they trudged
along behind, "the praste's voice sounded all the while like a great
blessed angel, a blowin' through a silver trumpet. Shure, he's a
saint, he is".




CHAPTER IX.

ADELE DUBOIS.


The Dubois family, though widely separated by social rank and worldly
possessions from the population around them, had yet, to a certain
degree, mingled freely with the people. Originating in France, they
possessed the peculiar national faculty of readily adapting themselves
to the manners and customs of races foreign to their own.

It is impossible to forget in the early history of the North American
colonies, what facility the French displayed, in contrast with the
English, in attaining communication with the children of the forest,
in acquiring and retaining their confidence, in taking on their rude
and uncultivated modes of life, and in shaping even their
superstitions to their own selfish purposes.

Of all the foreigners who have attempted to demonstrate to the world,
the social and political problems of America, who has investigated
with such insight, and developed so truly our manners and customs and
the spirit and genius of our government as Tocqueville?

Mr. Dubois, though possessing a conservative power that prevented him
from descending to the low type of character and the lax principles
of the country, yet never made any other than the most quiet assertion
of superiority. It was impossible indeed for him to hold business
connections with the rough settlers without mingling freely with them.
But he never assumed the air of a master. He frequently engaged with
them in bold, adventurous exploits, the accomplishment of which did
not involve an infringement of law; sometimes he put hand and shoulder
to the hard labors they endured, and he was ever ready with his
sympathy and aid in redressing their grievances. Though often shocked
at their lawless and profane customs, he yet recognized in many of
them traits of generosity and nobleness.

Without a particle of aggressiveness in his disposition, he had never
undertaken actively the work of reform, yet his example of uprightness
and integrity had made an impression upon the community. The people
treated him with unvarying respect and confidence, partly from a sense
of his real superiority, and partly, perhaps, from the very lack of
self-assertion on his side. Consequently without having made the least
effort to do so, he exercised an autocratic power among them.

Mrs. Dubois visited the women of the place frequently, particularly
when the men were absent in their lumbering, or fishing operations,
conversing with them freely, bearing patiently their superstitions and
ignorance, aiding them liberally in temporal things, and sometimes
mingling kindly words of counsel with her gifts.

Adele's intercourse with the settlers was in an altogether different
style. Her manner from earliest childhood, when she first began to
run about from one cottage to another, had been free, frank, and
imperious. Whether it was, that having sniffed from babyhood the fresh
forest air of the new world, its breath had inspired her with a
careless independence not shared by her parents, or, whether the
haughty blood that had flowed far back in the veins of ancestors,
after coursing quietly along the generations, had in her become
stimulated into new activity, certain it is, she had always the
bearing of one having authority and the art of governing seemed
natural to her. It was strange, therefore, that she should have been
such a universal favorite in the neighborhood. But so it was. Those
who habitually set public law at defiance, came readily under the
control of her youthful sway.

Possessing a full share of the irrepressible activity of childhood,
she enacted the part of lady of the Manor, assuming prerogatives that
even her mother did not think of exercising.

When about eleven summers old, she opened one afternoon the door of an
Irish cabin and received at once a cordial, noisy welcome from its
inmates. She did not however, make an immediate response, for she had
begun taking a minute survey of the not over-nice premises. At length
she deigned to speak.

"Bridget Malone, are you not ashamed to have such a disorderly house
as this? Why don't you sweep the floor and put things in place?"

"Och! hinny, and how can I swape the floor without a brum?" said
Bridget, looking up in some dismay.

"Didn't my father order James to give you a broom whenever you want
one? Here Pat", said she, to a ragged urchin about her own age, who
was tumbling about over the floor with a little dirty-faced baby,
"here, take this jack-knife and go down to the river by Mrs.
Campbell's new house and cut some hemlock boughs. Be quick, and bring
them back as fast as you can". Pat started at once.

Adele then deliberately took off her bonnet and shawl, rolled them up
into as small a package as she could make, and placed them on the
nearest approximation to a clean spot that could be found. Then she
stooped down, took the baby from the floor and handed him to his
mother.

Here, Bridget, take Johnny, wash his face and put him on a clean
dress. I know he has another dress and it ought to be clean".

"Yes. He's got one you gave him, Miss Ady, but it aint clane at all.
Shure it's time to wash I'm wanting, it is".

"Now, don't tell me, Bridget, that you have not time to wash your
children's clothes and keep them decent. You need not spend so many
hours smoking your pipe over the ashes".

"You wouldn't deprive a poor cratur of all the comfort she has in the
world, would ye, hinny?"

"You ought to take comfort in keeping your house and children clean,
Bridget".

In the meanwhile, Bridget had washed Johnny's face, and there being no
clean dress ready for the little fellow, Adele said, "Come, Bridget,
put on a kettle of water, pick up your clothes, and do your washing".

"Shure, and I will, if ye say so, Miss Ady".

The poor shiftless thing having placed the baby on the floor again,
began to stir about and make ready.

Adele sat poking and turning over the chubby little Johnny with her
foot.

At last, Pat appeared with a moderate quantity of hemlock boughs,
which Adele told him to throw upon the floor,--then to hand her the
knife and sit down by her side and learn to make a broom. She
selected, clipped, and laid together the boughs, until she had made
quite a pile; sent Pat for a strong piece of twine and an old broom
handle and then secured the boughs firmly upon it.

"Now Pat", she said, "here is a nice, new jack-knife. If you will
promise me that you will cut boughs and make your mother two new
brooms, just like this, every week, the knife shall be yours".

Pat, with eyes that stood out an unmentionable distance, and mouth
stretched from ear to ear, promised, and Adele proceeded vigorously to
sweep the apartment. In the course of half an hour, the room wore a
wholly different aspect.

"And who tould the like of ye, how to make a brum like that, hinny?"
said Bridget, looking on in admiration of her skill.

"Nobody told me. I saw Aunt Patty McNab do it once. You see it is easy
to do. Now, Bridget, remember. Have your house clean after this, or I
will not come to see you".

"Yes, shure, I'll have them blessed brums as long's there's a tree
grows".

And true it was, that Adele's threat not to visit her cabin proved
such a salutary terror to poor Bridget, that there was a perceptible
improvement in her domestic arrangements ever after.

As Adele grew older, the ascendency she had obtained in her obscure
empire daily increased. At twelve, she was sent to a convent at
Halifax, where she remained three years. At the end of that period,
she returned to Miramichi, and resumed at once her regal sceptre. The
sway she held over the people was really one of love, grounded on a
recognition of her superiority. Circulating among them freely, she
became thoroughly acquainted with their habits and modes of living,
and she was ever ready to aid them, under their outward wants and
their deeper heart troubles. A community must have some one to look up
to, whether conscious of the want or not. Hero-worship is natural to
the human soul, and the miscellaneous group of women and children
scattered over the settlement, found in Adele a strong, joyous,
self-relying spirit, able to help them out of their difficulties, who
could cheer them when down-hearted, and spur them up when getting
discouraged or inefficient.

But, added to this were the charms of her youthful beauty, which even
the humblest felt, without perhaps knowing it, and an air of authority
that swept away all opposition, and held, at times, even Aunt Patty
McNab at arms' length. Yes, it must be confessed that the young lady
was in the habit of queening it over the people; but they were
perfectly willing to have it so, and both loved and were proud of
their little despot.

In the mean time, the Dubois family were living a life within a life,
to the _locale_ of which the render must now be introduced.

It has been said that the outward aspect of their dwelling was
respectable, and in that regard was not greatly at variance, except in
size, with the surrounding habitations. Within, however, there were
apartments furnished and adorned in such a manner as to betoken the
character and tastes of the inmates.

In the second story, directly over the spacious dining room already
described, there was a long apartment with two windows reaching nearly
to the floor. It was carpeted with crimson and black Brussels,
contained two sofas of French workmanship, made in a heavy, though
rich style, covered with cloth also of crimson and black; with chairs
fashioned and carved to match the couches, and finished in the same
material. A quaint-looking piano stood in one corner of the room. In
the centre was a Chinese lacquered table on which stood a lamp in
bronze, the bowl of which was supported by various broadly-smiling,
grotesque creatures, belonging to a genus known only in the domain of
fable.

On the evening following the burial of poor Pat McGrath, Mrs. Dubois
sat in this apartment, engaged in embroidering a fancy piece of dress
for Adele. That young lady was reclining upon a sofa, and was looking
earnestly at a painting of the Madonna, a copy from some old master,
hanging nearly opposite to her. It was now bathed in the yellow
moonlight, which heightened the wonderfully saintly expression in the
countenances of the holy mother and child.

"See! _ma bonne mere_, the blessed Marie looks down on us with a sweet
smile to-night".

"She always looks kindly upon us, _chere_, when we try to do right",
said Mrs. Dubois, smiling. "Doubtless you have tried to be good to-day
and she approves your effort".

"Now, just tell me, _ma chere mere_, how she would regard me to-night
if I had committed one wicked deed to-day".

"This same Marie looks sad and wistful sometimes, my Adele".

"True. But not particularly at _such_ times. It depends on which side
the light strikes the picture, whether she looks sad or smiling. Just
that, and nothing more. Now the moonlight gives her a smiling
expression. And please listen, _chere mere_. I have heard that there
is, somewhere, a Madonna, into whose countenance the old painter
endeavored to throw an air of profoundest repose. He succeeded. I have
heard that that picture has a strange power to soothe. Gazing upon it
the spirit grows calm and the voice unconsciously sinks into a
whisper. Our priests would tell the common people that it is a
miraculous influence exerted upon them by the Virgin herself, whereas
it is only the effect produced by the exquisite skill of the artist.
_Eh, bien!_ our church is full of superstitions".

"We will talk no more of it, _ma fille_. You do not love the holy
_Marie_ as you ought, I fear".

"Love her! indeed I do. She is the most blest and honored among
women,--the mother of the Saviour. But why should we pray to her, when
Jesus is the only intercessor for our sins with the Father? Why, _ma
chere mere_?"

_"Helas! ma fille_. You learned to slight the intercession of the holy
saints while you were at the convent. It is strange. I thought I could
trust you there".

"Do not think it the fault of the sisters, _chere mere_. They did
their duty. This way of thinking _came_ to me. I did not seek it,
indeed".

"How did it come to you, _ma pauvre fille_?"

"I will tell you. The first time I went into the convent parlor,
Sister Adrienne, thinking to amuse me, took me around the room and
showed me its curiosities. But I was filled, with an infinite disgust.
I did not distinctly know then why I was so sickened, but I understand
it all now".

"What did you see, Adele?"

"Eh! those horrid relics of saints,--those teeth, those bones, those
locks of hair in the cabinet. Then that awful skeleton of sister
Agnes, who founded the convent and was the first Abbess, covered with
wax and preserved in a crystal case! I thought I was in some
charnel-house. I could hardly breathe. Do you like such parlor
ornaments as those, _ma chere mere_?"

"Not quite".

"What do we want of the dry bones of the saints, when we have memoirs
of their precious lives? They would themselves spurn the superstition
that consecrates mere earthly dust. It nauseates me to think of it".

"_Procedez, ma fille_".

"My friend from the States, Mabel Barton, came to the convent, the day
I arrived. As our studies were the same, and as, at first, we were
both homesick, the sisters permitted us to be together much of the
time. _Eh! bien!_ I read her books, her Bible, and so light dawned.
She used to pray to the Father, through the Redeemer. I liked that way
best. But _ma mere_, our cathedral service is sublime. There is
nothing like _that_. Now you will forgive me. The arches, the altar,
the incense, the glorious surging waves of music,--these raised me and
Mabel, likewise, up to the lofty third heaven. How high, how holy we
felt, when we worshipped there. Because I like the cathedral, you will
forgive me for all I said before,--will you not, _ma chere mere_?"

Turning her head suddenly towards her mother, Adele saw her eyes
filled with tears.

"_Eh! ma chere mere, pardonnez moi_. I have pained you". And she rose
and flung her arms, passionately, around her mother's neck.

"_Pauvre fille!_" said the mother, returning her embrace mournfully,
"you will wander away from the church,--our holy church. It would not
have been thus, had we remained in sunny Picardy. _Eh! oublier je ne
puis_."

"What is it, _chere mere_", said Adele, "that you cannot forget? There
is something I have long wished to know. What was there, before you
came here to live? Why do you sometimes sit and look so thoughtful, so
sad and wishful? Tell me;--tell me, that I may comfort you".

"I will tell you all, Adele, yes,--all. It is time for you to know,
but--not to-night--not to-night".

"To-morrow then, _ma mere_?"

"Yes. Yes--to-morrow".




CHAPTER X.

PICARDY.


"Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but, weep sore for him
that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native
country". The prophet, who wrote these words, well knew the exile's
grief. He was himself an exile. He thought of Jerusalem, the city of
his home, his love, and his heart was near to breaking. He hung his
harp upon the willow; he sat down by the streams of Babylon and wept.

The terrible malady of homesickness,--it has eaten out the vigor and
beauty of many a life. The soul, alien to all around, forlorn amid the
most enchanting scenes, filled with ceaseless longing for a renewal of
past delights, can never find a remedy, until it is transplanted back
to its native clime.

Nor was the prophet singular in his experience of the woes of exile.
We have heard of the lofty-spirited Dante, wandering from city to
city, carrying with him, in banishment, irrepressible and unsatisfied
yearnings for his beloved Florence; we have seen the Greek Islander,
borne a captive from home, sighing, in vain, for the dash and roar of
his familiar seas; we have seen the Switzer, transplanted to milder
climes and more radiant sides, yet longing for the stern mountain
forms, the breezes and echoes of his native land. Ah! who does not
remember, with a shudder, the despairing thoughts, choking tears, and
days of silent misery that clouded his own boyhood, and perhaps even
some days of his early manhood?

_Oublier je ne puis_. Poor lady! she had been homesick twenty years.

On the afternoon following the conversation recorded in the last
chapter, Mrs. Dubois was ready to unfold to Adele the story of her
past life. They were sitting in the parlor. The golden glory of the
September sun gave an intense hue to the crimson furniture, lighted up
the face of the Madonna with a new radiance, and touched the ivory
keys of the piano with a fresh polish. Adele's eyes were fixed with
eager expectation upon her mother.

"You know, _ma chere_", Mrs. Dubois began, "we once lived in France.
But you cannot know, I trust you never may, what it cost us to leave
our beautiful Picardy,--what we have suffered in remaining here,
exiled in this rude country. Yet then it seemed our best course.
Indeed, we thought there was no other path for us so good as this. We
were young, and did not enough consider, perhaps, what such a change
in our life involved. I must tell you, my Adele, how it came about.

"In the province of Picardy not many miles from the city of Amiens,
there was a fine, but not large estate, bordering on the River Somme.
A long avenue of poplars led from the main road up a gentle slope
until it opened upon a broad, green plateau of grass, studded with
giant trees, the growth of centuries. Here and there were trim little
flower-beds, laid out in a variety of fantastic shapes, with stiff,
glossy, green, closely-clipped borders of box. And, what was my
childish admiration and delight, there was a fountain that poured
itself out in oozing, dripping drops from the flowing hair and finger
tips of a marble Venus, just rising in the immense basin and wringing
out her locks. Then the park,--there was none more beautiful, more
stately, extending far back to the banks of the Somme, where birds sat
on every bough and the nightingale seemed to pour its very heart away,
singing so thrillingly and so long. I hear the liquid notes now, my
Adele, so tender, so sweet! At the end of the avenue of poplars of
which I spoke stood the chateau, with the trim flower-beds in front.
It was built of brown stone, not much ornamented externally, with four
round towers, one in each corner. Though not as old as some of those
castles, it had been reared several centuries before, by a Count de
Rossillon, who owned the estate and lived on it.

"In that chateau, I first saw the light of day, and there I spent my
happy childhood and youth.

"The estate of Rossillon had been bequeathed by the will of my
grandfather, to his two sons. The elder, the present Count de
Rossillon, inherited the larger portion; my father, the younger son,
the smaller share.

"My father was a Bonapartist, and at the time of his marriage held a
high rank in the army. During his absence from the country, my mother
resided at the chateau with her brother-in-law, the Count.

"One day in June, news arrived of the sudden death of my father. It was
communicated to my mother, by the messenger who brought it, without
precaution. That night, one hour after, I was ushered into an orphaned
existence and my mother took her departure from the world. Think of
me, Adele, thus thrown a waif upon the shore of life. Yet, though born
in the shadow of a great sorrow, sunlight struck across my path.

"The faithful _bonne_, who had taken care of my mother in her infancy
and had never left her, now took charge of me. She watched over me
faithfully and filled up my childhood with affectionate attention and
innocent pastime. My uncle, the Count, who had never been married,
loved, petted, and indulged me in every wish. When I grew old enough,
he secured a governess well qualified to teach and discipline me.
Under her care, with the aid of masters in Latin, music, and drawing,
from Amiens, I went through the course of instruction considered
necessary for young ladies at that time.

"I was at your age my Adele when I first met your father. He was not
the bronzed and careworn man you see him now. Ah! no. He was young and
gay, with a falcon glance and, black wreathing locks hanging over his
white, smooth brow. His father was of noble blood, and sympathized
warmly with the dethroned Bourbons. He was no lover of the great
Consul. The political troubles in France had operated in ways greatly
to impoverish his house.

"He owned and occupied only the remnant of what had been a large
estate, adjoining that of the Count de Ros.

"While acquiring his education, your father, except at occasional
intervals, was six years from home, and it so happened that I never
met him in my childhood. Indeed, the families were not on terms of
intimacy. On his return from the University, I first saw him. _Eh!
bien!_ It is the same old story that you have heard and read of, in
your books, my Adele. We became acquainted, I will not stop now, to
tell you how, and soon learned to love each other. Time passed on, and
at last your father sought the consent of my uncle, to our marriage.
But he put aside the proposition with anger and scorn. He thought that
Claude Dubois was neither distinguished nor rich enough to match his
niece. In his heart, he had reserved me for some conspicuous position
in the great circle at Paris, while I had given myself to an obscure
youth in Picardy.

"Your father was too honorable to ask me to marry him without the
consent of the Count, and too proud to take me in his poverty. So one
day, after his stormy interview with my uncle, he came to me and said
he was going away to endeavor to get fame, or wealth, to bestow upon
me and make himself more worthy in the eyes of the Count de Rossillon.
Yet he wished to release me from any feeling of obligation to him, as,
he said, I was too young and had too little acquaintance with life and
society to know fully my own heart. It would not be right, he thought,
to bind me to himself by any promise. I told him my affection for him
would never change, but acquiesced in his arrangements with a sad and
foreboding heart. In a few weeks, he embarked for India.

"Then my uncle roused himself from the inertia of his quiet habits and
made arrangements for a journey through France and Italy, which he
said I was to take with him.

"I received the announcement with indifference, being wholly occupied
with grief at the bitter separation from your father. The change
however proved salutary, and, in a week after our departure, I felt
hope once more dawning in my heart.

"The country through which we travelled was sunny and beautiful, veined
with sparkling streams, shadowed by forests, studded with the olive
and mulberry, and with vines bearing the luscious grape for the
vintage. The constant change of scene and the daily renewal of objects
of interest and novelty, combined with the elasticity of youth,
brought back some degree of my former buoyancy and gayety. My uncle
was so evidently delighted with the return of my old cheerfulness, and
exerted himself so much to heighten it in every way, that I knew he
sincerely loved me, and was doing what he really thought would in the
end contribute to my happiness. He judged that my affection for your
father was a transient, youthful dream, and would soon be forgotten;
he fancied, no doubt, I was even then beginning to wake up from it. He
wished to prevent me from forming an early and what he considered an
imprudent marriage, which I might one day regret, unavailingly.

"And it proved to be all right, my Adele. Your father and I were both
young, and the course the Count de Rossillon took with us, was a good
though severe test of our affection. In the meanwhile, I was secretly
sustained by the hope that your father's efforts would be crowned with
success, and that, after a few years, he would return and my uncle,
having found, that nothing could draw me from my attachment to him,
would out of his own love for me and consideration for my happiness,
at last consent to our union.

"We crossed the Alps and went into Italy. Here a new world was opened
to me,--a world of beauty and art. It bestowed upon me many hours of
exquisite enjoyment. The Count travelled with his own carriage and
servants, and we lingered wherever I felt a desire to prolong my
observations. He purchased a collection of pictures, statues, and
other gems and curiosities of art. Among the rest, the Madonna there,
my Adele, which he presented to me, because I so much liked it. But I
must not linger now. On our return to France, we spent a month at
Paris, and there, though too young to be introduced into society, I
met in private many distinguished and fashionable people, who were
friends of the Count.

"We were absent from the chateau one year. It was pleasant to get back
to the dear old place, where I had spent such a happy childhood, the
scene too of so many precious interviews with your beloved father. We
returned again to our former life of quiet ease, enlivened at frequent
intervals by the visits of guests from abroad and by those of friends
and acquaintances among the neighboring nobility. Though I received no
tidings from your father, a secret hope still sustained me. A few
times only, during the first three years of his absence, did I lose
my cheerfulness. Those were, when some lover pressed his suit and I
knew that in repelling it, I was upsetting some cherished scheme of my
uncle. But I will do him the justice to say that he bore it patiently,
and, only at long intervals, gave vent to his vexation and
disappointment.

"It was when my hope concerning your father's return began to fail, and
anxiety respecting his fate began to be indulged in its stead, that my
spirits gave way. At the close of the fourth year of his absence, my
peace was wholly gone and my days were spent in the restless agony of
suspense. My health was rapidly failing, and my uncle who knew the
cause of my prostration, instead of consulting a physician, in the
kindness of his heart, took me to Paris. But the gayeties to which I
was there introduced were distasteful to me. I grew every moment more
sad. Just when my uncle was in despair, I was introduced accidentally
to the Countess de Morny, a lovely lady, who had lost her husband and
three children, and had passed through much sorrow.

"Gradually, she drew me to her heart and I told her all my grief. She
dealt very tenderly with me, my Adele. She did not seek to cheer me by
inspiring fresh hopes of your father's return. No. She told me, I
might never be Claude Dubois's happy bride, but that I might be the
blessed bride of Jesus. In short, she led me gently into the
consolations of our Holy Church. Under her influence and guidance I
came into a state of sweet resignation to the divine will,--a peaceful
rest indeed, after the terrible alternations of suspense and despair
I had suffered. But, my Adele, it was only by constant prayers to the
blessed _Marie_ that my soul was kept from lapsing into its former
state of dreadful unrest. _Ma chere_ Adele, you know not what you do,
when you speak slightingly of our Holy Church. I should then have
died, had I not found rest in my prayers to the blessed mother. Now,
you are young and gay, but the world is full of sorrow. It may
overtake you as it did me. Then you will need a hope, a consolation, a
refuge. There is no peace like that found at the foot of the cross,
imploring the intercession of the compassionate, loving _Marie_. Do
not wander away from the sweet eyes of the mother of Christ, _ma
fille_".

Here Mrs. Dubois ceased speaking, and turned a tearful, affectionate
gaze upon her daughter. Adele's eyes, that had been fixed upon her
mother with earnest, absorbed attention, filled with tears, instantly.

"_Ma chere mere_, I would not make you unhappy. I will try not to give
you pain. Please go on and tell me all".

"_Eh! bien! ma chere_, my uncle was pleased to see me becoming more
peaceful. Finding I was not attracted by the pleasures of the gay
city, he proposed our return to the chateau, and begged the Countess
de Morny to accompany us. At my urgent request, she consented.

"On the day of our arrival, the Countess weary with the journey, having
gone to her own apartments, I went to stroll in the beautiful, beloved
park. It was June,--that month so full of leaves, flowers, birds, and
balmy summer winds. I sat at the foot of an old beech-tree, leaning
my head against its huge trunk, listening to the flow of the river,
indulging in dangerous reverie,--dangerous certainly to my peace of
mind. Suddenly, I was startled by the sound of footsteps. Before I
could collect my scattered senses, your father stood before me.
'_Marie_,' he said, '_Marie_.'

"For one moment, I met his earnest, questioning gaze, and then rushed
into his open arms. In short, he had come back from India, not a rich
man, but with a competence, and when he found I had not forgotten him,
but had clung to him still, through those weary years of absence, he
resolved to see the Count de Rossillon and renew the request he had
made four years previous.

"My uncle, though much surprised at his sudden appearance, received him
politely, if not cordially. When your father had laid before him a
simple statement of our case, he replied frankly."

"I am convinced", he said, "by what I have observed during your
absence, M. Dubois, that the arrangement you propose, is the only one,
which will secure Marie's happiness. I will say, however, honestly,
that it is far enough from what I designed for her. But the manliness
and honorable feeling you have manifested in the affair, make me more
willing to resign her to you than I should otherwise have been, as I
cannot but hope that, although deprived of the advantages of wealth
and station, she will yet have the faithful affection of a true and
noble heart". This was enough for us both and more than we expected".

"But a new difficulty arose. Upon observing the troubled and uncertain
state of affairs in France, your father became convinced that his
chances to secure the ends he had in view, would be greater in the new
world. After a brief period of deliberation, he fixed upon a plan of
going to British America, and purchasing there a large tract of land,
thus founding an estate, the value of which he anticipated would
increase with the growth of the country".

"To this arrangement, the Count was strenuously opposed. There was a
pretty embowered residence, a short distance from the chateau, on the
portion of the estate I had inherited from my father. There he wished
us to live. In short, he wished to retain us near himself. But your
father, with the enterprise and enthusiasm of youth, persisted in his
purpose. At last, my uncle gave a reluctant consent and purchased my
share of the estate of Rossillon".

"Not to my surprise, but to my great gratification, soon after this,
the gentle Countess de Morny consented to become the Countess de
Rossillon".

"Surrounded by a joyous group of friends, one bright September
morning, in the chapel of _St. Marie_, they were married, and then the
priest united me to your father. The sweet mother looked down from
above the altar and seemed to give us a smiling blessing. We were very
happy, my Adele".

"In a few days we set sail for New Brunswick. We arrived at St. John in
October and there spent the following winter. In the spring, your
father explored this region and made a large purchase of land here. At
that time it seemed a desirable investment. But you see how it is, my
Adele. All has resulted strangely different from what we anticipated.
And somehow it has always been difficult to change our home. From time
to time, we have thought of it,--obstacles have arisen and--we are
still here".

"But where is the Count de Rossillon, mother? It is twenty years, is
it not, since you left France? Does he yet live?"

"_Ah! ma chere_, we know not. After our departure from France we
received frequent letters from him and the dear Countess until five
years since, when the letters ceased. They constantly urged our return
to Rossillon. You remember well the thousand pretty toys and gifts
they showered upon your childhood?"

"Ah! yes, mother, I remember. And you have not heard a word from them
for five years!"

"Not a word".

"Do you wish to go back to France, mother?"

"It is the only wish of my heart that is unsatisfied. I am full of
ceaseless yearnings for the beautiful home of my youth. Would that we
could return there. But it may not be. France is in a state of
turmoil. I know not what fate has befallen either my uncle, or his
estate. He may be dead. Or, if living, he may no longer be the
proprietor of beautiful Rossillon. We cannot learn how it is".

"Cannot my father go to France and ascertain what has happened there?
Perhaps, mother, he might find a home for you once more in your dear
Picardy".

"He is thinking of it even now, _ma fille_".

"Is he, mother? Then be comforted. You will see that sweet home once
more, I feel assured".

She rose and flung her arms around Mrs. Dubois, exclaiming, "Dear,
beautiful mother!"

An hour later, Adele might have been seen, wandering about in Micah's
grove, her mind and heart overflowing with new, strange thoughts and
emotions. She had just received the first full revelation of the early
life of her parents. Her knowledge of it before had been merely vague
and confused. Now a new world was opened for her active fancy to revel
in, and fresh fountains of sympathy to pour forth, for those whom she
so fondly loved. She sighed as she recalled that yearning, wistful
look upon her mother's face, in those hours when her thoughts seemed
far away from the present scene, and grieved that her gentle spirit
should so long have suffered the exile's woe.

For weeks after, she continually fell into reverie. In her day dreams
she wandered through the saloons and corridors of the old chateau,
where her mother had spent so many years, chequered with sunshine and
shade. She rambled over the park and cooled her fevered head and hands
in the water that dripped from the tresses of the marble Aphrodite.
Fancy took her over the route of foreign travel, her mother had
pursued with the Count de Rossillon. She longed herself to visit those
regions of classic and romantic interest. During the long, golden,
September afternoons, she spent hours, in the Madonna room,
questioning her mother anew respecting the scenes and events of her
past life, and listening eagerly to her replies. The young examine
distant objects as through a prism. Adele's imagination invested these
scenes and events with rainbow splendors and revelled in the wealth
and beauty, she had herself partially created. The new world thus
opened to her was infinitely superior to the one in which she held her
commonplace, humdrum existence. She never wearied of her mother's
reminiscences of the past. Each fresh description, each recalled item
of that history, added to the extent and the charms of her new world.

Mrs. Dubois herself felt a degree of pleasure in thus living over
again her former life with one, who entered artlessly and
enthusiastically into its joys and sorrows. She also experienced an
infinite relief in pouring out to her sympathizing child the regrets
and longings which had, for so long a period, been closely pent in her
own breast. Mother and daughter were drawn nearer to each other day by
day, and those hours of sweet communion were among the purest, the
happiest of their lives.




CHAPTER XI.

MR. BROWN.


Nearly two weeks had elapsed since the night when Mr. Dubois had
brought Mr. Brown, in a sick and fainting condition, into his house.
That gentleman had lain very ill ever since. The disease was typhoid
fever; the patient was in a critical state, and nothing now but the
utmost care and quiet could save his life.

"What directions have you left for to-day, Dr. Wright?" said Adele to
the physician, as he came one morning from the sick-room.

"Mrs. McNab has the programme", he replied.

"Will you please repeat it to me, sir? Mrs. McNab has been called
elsewhere, and will not have charge of the gentleman to-day".

Mrs. Dubois looked at Adele with some surprise. She made no remark,
however, as Dr. Wright immediately began to give the directions for
his patient to that young lady.

When he had taken leave and closed the door, Adele turned to her
mother and said, "I have suspected for several days that things were
not going on properly in that sick-room. Last night, I became
convinced of it. I cannot stop to tell you about it now, mamma, as
there is no time to lose with our invalid. But Mrs. McNab must
decamp. I have it all arranged, and I promise you I will not offend
Aunt Patty, but will dismiss her peaceably. Do trust her to me once,
mamma. Please go now and tell her there is a message waiting for her
in the dining-room. Stay with Mr. Brown just one half hour, and you
shall have no more trouble to-day".

"But, _ma chere_, you have no patience with Aunt Patty. I am afraid
you will be too abrupt with her".

"Don't fear, mamma, I promise you I will not outrage Aunt Patty.
Please go".

"Ah! well! I will go", said Mrs. Dubois.

Mrs. McNab soon made her appearance in the dining-room, and, with some
degree of trepidation, inquired who wanted her there.

"Micah was here an hour ago", replied Adele, "and said Mrs. Campbell
sent him here to ask you to come and help her. Four of her children
are sick with the measles and she is nearly down herself, in
consequence of fatigue and watching. I did not speak to you then, as I
supposed you were sleeping. I told Micah I had no doubt you would
come, as there are enough here to take care of the sick gentleman, and
Mrs. Campbell needs you so much".

"Weel, Miss Ady", said Mrs. McNab, twitching violently a stray lock of
her flaming hair and tucking it beneath her cap, "I dinna ken how you
could tak' upon yourself to send such a ward as that, when Mr. Brown
is just on the creesis of his fever and not one of ye as knows how-to
tak' care o' him more than a nussin' babe".

"Ah! indeed! Aunt Patty", said Adele, pretending to be offended, "do
you say that my mother knows nothing about sickness, when you are
aware she has carried my father through two dangerous fevers and me
through all the diseases of babyhood and childhood?"

"That mon 'ull never get weel if I leave him noo, when I've the run of
the muddesons and directions. A strange hand 'ull put everything wrang
and he'll dee, that's a'".

"And if he does die", said Adele, "you will not be responsible. You
have done what you could for him and now you are called away. I am
sure you will not permit Mrs. Campbell to suffer, when she gave you a
comfortable home in her house all last winter".

"Weel, Mrs. Cawmmells' a gude woman enough and I'm sorry the bairns
are sick. But what's the measles to a fever like this, and the mon
nigh dead noo?" Aunt Patty's face flushed scarlet.

"Aunt Patty", said Adele, very slowly and decidedly, "Mr. Brown is my
father's guest. We are accountable for his treatment, and not you. My
mother and I are going to take charge of him now. I sent word to Mrs.
Campbell that there was nothing to prevent you from coming to assist
her. You have had your share of the fatigue and watching with our
invalid. Now we are going to relieve you". There was something in
Adele's determined air, that convinced Mrs. McNab the time for her to
yield had at length come, and that it was of no use for her to contest
the field longer. Feeling sure of this, there were various reasons,
occurring to her on the instant, that restrained her from a further
expression of her vexation. After a few moments of sullen silence, she
rose and said--

"Weel! I'll go and put my things tegither, that's in Mr. Brown's room,
and tell Mrs. Doobyce aboot the muddesons and so on".

"That is not necessary", said Adele; "The Dr. has given me directions
about the medicines. Here is breakfast all ready for you, Aunt Patty.
Sit down and eat it, while it is hot. I will go to the gentleman's
room and gather up what you have left there. Come, sit down now".

Adele placed a pot of hot coffee and a plate of warm rolls upon the
table.

Mrs. McNab stood for a moment, much perplexed between her impulse to
go back to Mr. Brown's room and unburden her mind to Mrs. Dubois, and
the desire to partake immediately of the tempting array upon the
breakfast-table. Finally, her material wants gained the ascendency and
she sat down very composedly to a discussion of the refreshments,
while Adele, anticipating that result, hastened up stairs to collect
the remaining insignia of that worthy woman's departing greatness.

Mrs. Dubois, on going to Mr. Brown's room, had found the atmosphere
close and suffocating, and that gentleman, tossing restlessly on the
bed from side to side, talking to himself in a wild delirium. She left
the door ajar and began bathing his fevered head in cool water. This
seemed to soothe him greatly and he sank back almost immediately into
a deathlike slumber, in which he lay when Adele entered the chamber.

Cautioned by her mother's uplifted finger, she moved about
noiselessly, until she had made up a large and miscellaneous package
of articles; then descended quietly, inwardly resolving that the
"Nuss" as she called herself, should not for several weeks at least,
revisit the scene of her late operations.

Mrs. McNab was still pursuing her breakfast, and Adele sat down, with
what patience she could command, to wait for the close.

"You'll be wanting some ain to watch to-night, Miss Ady", said Aunt
Patty.

"Yes, Mr. Norton will do that. He has offered many times to watch. He
will be very kind and attentive to the invalid, I know".

"I s'pose he'll do as weel as he knows hoo, but I havena much faith in
a mon that sings profane sangs and ca's 'em relegious heems, to a
people that need the bread o' life broken to 'em".

"Have you heard him sing, Aunt Patty? I did not know you had attended
his meetings at the grove".

"I havena, surely. But when the windows were up, I heard him singin'
them jigs and reels, and I expectin' every minut to see the men,
women, and bairns a dancin'".

"They sit perfectly still, while he is singing", said Adele, "and
listen as intently as if they heard an angel. His voice is sometimes
like a flute, sometimes like a trumpet. Did you hear the words he
sang?"

"The wards! yes! them's the warst of a!" said Mrs. McNab, expanding
her nostrils with a snort of contempt. "They bear na resemblance
whatever to the Psalms o' David. I should as soon think o' singing
the' sangs o' Robby Burns at a relegious service as them blasphemous
things".

"Oh! Aunt Patty, you are wrong. He sings beautiful hymns, and he tells
these people just what they need. I hope they will listen to him and
reform".

"Weel he's a very light way o' carryin himself, for a minister o' the
gospel, I must say".

"He is cheerful, to be sure, and sympathizes with the people, and
helps them in their daily labor sometimes, if that is what you refer
to. I am sure that is right, and I like him for it", said Adele.

"Weel! I see he's a' in a' with you, noo", said Mrs. McNab, at last
rising from the table. "I'll go up noo and tak' leave o' the patient".

"No, no", said Adele. "He is sleeping. He must not be disturbed on any
account. His life may depend upon this slumber remaining unbroken".

She rose involuntarily and placed herself against the door leading to
the stairs.

Mrs. McNab grew red with anger, at being thus foiled. Turning aside to
hide her vexation, she waddled across the room, took her bonnet and
shawl from a peg she had appropriated to her special use, and
proceeded to invest herself for her departure.

"Weel! I s'pose ye'll expect me to come when ye send for me", said
she, turning round in the doorway with a grotesque distortion of her
face intended for an ironical smile.

"That is just as you please, Aunt Patty. We shall be happy to see you
whenever you choose to come. Good-by".

"Good by", said Mrs. McNab in a quacking, quavering, half resentful
tone, as she closed the door behind her.

Adele went immediately to the adjoining pantry, called Bess, a tidy
looking mulatto, gave her directions for the morning work and then
went up stairs to relieve her mother. Mrs. Dubois made signs to her
that she preferred not to resign her post. But Adele silently insisted
she should do so.

After her mother had left the room, she placed herself near the
bedside that she might observe the countenance and the breathing of
the invalid. His face was pale as that of death. His breath came and
went almost imperceptibly. The physician had excluded every ray of
sunshine and a hush, like that of the grave, reigned in the apartment.
In her intercourse with the people of the settlement, Adele had often
witnessed extreme illness and several dying scenes; but she had never
before felt herself so oppressed and awestruck as now. As she sat
there alone with the apparently dying man, she felt that a silent, yet
mighty struggle was going on between the forces of life and death. She
feared death would obtain the victory. By a terrible fascination, her
eyes became fixed on the ghastly face over which she fancied she could
perceive, more and more distinctly, shadows cast by the hand of the
destroyer. Every moment she thought of recalling her mother, but
feared that the slightest jarring movement of the atmosphere might
stop at once that feeble respiration. So she remained, watching terror
stricken, waiting for the last, absolute silence,--the immovable
repose.

Suddenly, she heard a long, deep-drawn sigh. She saw the head of the
sufferer turn gently on one side, pressing the pillow. A color--the
faintest in the world, stole over the features. The countenance
gradually settled into a calm, natural expression. The respiration
became stronger and more regular. In a few moments, he slept as softly
as a little child.

Adele's heart gave one bound, and then for a moment stood still. She
uttered a sigh of relief, but sank back in her chair, wearied by
excess of emotion. She felt instinctively, that the crisis had been
safely passed, that there was hope for the invalid.

Then, for a long time, her mind was occupied with thoughts respecting
death and the beyond.

Suddenly a shadow, flitting across the curtained window recalled her
to the present scene.

Ah! what a mercy, she thought, that Aunt Patty did not kill him,
before I discovered her beautiful mode of nursing sick people. No
wonder he has been crazed all this time, with those strange manoeuvres
of hers!

On the previous, night, Adele had been the last of the family to
retire. Stealing noiselessly past the door of the sick-room, which was
somewhat ajar, her steps were arrested by hearing Aunt Patty, whose
voice was pitched on a very high key, singing some old Scotch song.
Thinking this rather a strange method of composing the nervous system
of a delirious patient, she stood and listened. Up, far up, into the
loftiest regions of sound, went Aunt Patty's cracked and quavering
voice, and then it came down with a heavy, precipitous fall into a
loud grumble and tumble below. She repeated again and again, in a most
hilarious tone, the words--


   "Let us go, lassie, go,
      To the braes of Balquhither,
    Where the blaebarries grow.
      'Mang the bonnie Highland heather".


In the midst of this, Adele heard a deep groan. Then she heard the
invalid say in a feeble, deprecating tone--

"Ah! why do you mock me? Am I not miserable enough?"

Mrs. McNab stopped a moment, then replied in a sharp voice, "Mockin'
ye! indeed, it's na such thing. If ye had an atom o' moosic in ye, ye
wad ken at ance, its a sweet Scotch sang I'm singin' to ye. I've sung
mony a bairn to sleep wi' it".

There was no reply to this remark. All was quiet for a moment, when
Adele, fancying she heard the clinking of a spoon against the side of
a tumbler, leaned forward a little and looked through the aperture
made by the partially opened door. The nurse was sitting by the fire,
in her huge headgear, wrapped in a shawl and carefully stirring, what
seemed, by the odor exhaled, to be whiskey. Her face was very red and
her eyes wide open, staring at the coals.

The sufferer uttered some words, which Adele could not distinguish, in
an excited voice.

"I tell ye, there isna ony hope for ye", said Mrs. McNab, who, for
some reason, not apparent, seemed to be greatly irritated by whatever
remarks her patient made.

"There isna ony hope for thum that hasna been elected. Ye might talk
an' pray a' yer life and 'twould do ye na gude, I dinna ken where
you've been a' yer life, not to ken that afore. With a' yer furbelowed
claithes and jewelled watch and trinkets, ye dinna ken much aboot the
gospel. And then, this new preacher a' tellin' the people they can be
saved ony minut they choose to gie up their hearts to the Lord! Its a'
tegither false. I was taught in the Kirk o' Scotland, that a mon might
pray and pray a' his days, and then he wadna be sure o' bein' saved.
That's the blessed doctrine I was taught. If ye are to be saved, ye
will be. There noo, go to sleep. I'll read the ward o' God to ye".

Alas! for the venerable church of old Scotia, had she many such
exponents of her doctrine as Mrs. McNab.

Having thus relieved her mind, the nurse swallowed the contents of the
tumbler. She then rose, drew a chair towards a table, on which stood a
shaded lamp and took from thence a Bible; but finding her eyesight
rather dim, withdrew to a cot in one corner of the room, threw herself
down and was soon sleeping, and snoring prodigiously.

Adele, who had, during the enactment of this scene, been prevented
from rushing in and deposing Mrs. McNab at once, only by a fear of
exciting the patient to a degree of frenzy, stole in quietly, bathed
his head with some perfumed water, smoothed his pillow and seated
herself, near the fire, where she remained until morning.

Mr. Brown slept only during the briefest intervals and was turning
restlessly and talking incoherently all night.

Soon after day dawn, Aunt Patty began to bestir herself, but before
she had observed her presence, Adele had escaped to her own room.
Soon, hearing Micah's voice, she went to the kitchen. She found his
message from Mrs. Campbell, just the excuse she needed to enable her
to dispose of Mrs. McNab. She had become quite convinced that whatever
good qualities that worthy woman might possess as a nurse, her
unfortunate proclivities towards the whiskey bottle, united with her
rigid theological tenets, rendered it rather unsafe to trust her
longer with a patient, whose case required the most delicate care and
attention.

The queer, old clock in the dining-room struck one. Adele heard it.
She was still watching. Mr. Brown still slept that quiet sleep. Just
then, Mrs. Dubois entered, took her daughter's hand, led her to the
door, and whispered--

"Now, take some food and go to rest. I will not leave him". Adele
obeyed.




CHAPTER XII.

A CASE OF CONSCIENCE.


Mr. Brown remained in a peaceful slumber during the afternoon. Mrs.
Dubois aroused him occasionally, in order to moisten his parched lips,
and with her husband's aid and Mr. Norton's to change his position in
the bed. At such times he opened his eyes, gazed at them inquiringly,
feebly assented to their arrangements, then sank away into sleep
again.

The members of the family felt a peculiar interest in the stranger.
Mr. Dubois had described him, as a man of intelligence, refined and
elegant in his deportment and tastes. He had noticed in him, an air of
melancholy, which even ludicrous events on the journey had dissipated,
but for the moment. The wild words he had uttered on the night of his
arrival, revealed some deep disquiet of mind. Away from home, hovering
between life and death, and thrown on the tender mercies of strangers,
Mrs. Dubois was filled with compassion and solicitude in his behalf.

Having confidence in Mrs. McNab's skill as a nurse, she had not
suspected that her partiality for a hot dose at night, would
interfere with her faithfulness to her charge. Not having communicated
with Adele, she did not yet know why it had been deemed important to
dispose of her so summarily, and she secretly wondered how it had been
accomplished with so little ado. When informed, she approved Adele's
decisive action.

Mr. Norton had fully shared the interest felt by the family in the
stranger, and was happy to relieve Mrs. Dubois in the evening and to
remain by his bedside during the night. Since his first interview with
Mr. Brown, on the day of his arrival, he had felt that, in
accordance-with the vows by which he had bound himself to the great
Master, the unfortunate stranger had a claim on him, which he resolved
to fulfil at the earliest moment possible. He had had no opportunity
as yet, of executing his purpose, Mrs. McNab having guarded the door
of the sick-room like a lioness watching her cubs. When she had by
chance permitted him to enter, he had found her patient wandering in
mind and entirely incapable of coherent conversation.

Meantime, he had prayed earnestly for his recovery and secretly
felicitated himself with the hope of leading him to a rock of
refuge,--a tower of defence, which would secure him from sin and
sorrow.

Mr. Brown continued to sleep so peacefully during the night, that Mr.
Norton, whose hopes for his recovery had been increasing every hour,
was not surprised at the dawn of day to perceive his eyes open,
examining the objects in the room, with the air of a person just
awakened from a bewildering dream.

He gazed curiously at the heavy, carved bureau of dark wood, at the
grotesque little table, covered with vials and cups, at the cabinet
filled with specimens of foreign skill and art, at the Venetian carpet
and at last, his eyes remained fixed upon a black crucifix, placed in
the centre of the mantle. He uttered a deep sigh.

Mr. Norton, convinced that he had fully collected his scattered
thoughts and become aware of the realities of his situation, stepped
gently forward from his station behind the bed and taking Mr. Brown's
hand, said, in a cheerful tone, "How do you find yourself, my dear
sir?"

After a momentary surprise, Mr. Brown replied--

"Better, I think, sir, better".

"Yes sir. You _are_ better. I thank God for it. And also for this
hospitable roof and the kind care these people have taken of you in
your illness. The Lord's angel must have guided your steps to this
house, and mine also".

"This house, sir! whose is it?"

"It belongs to Mr. Dubois".

"Ah! I recollect. I came here with him and have been ill several days.
And the country is--"

"Miramichi", said Mr. Norton. "A desperate region sir. A land where
the darkness may be _felt_".

Just then a ray of red, burning sunshine shot into the room. The good
man modified his remark, exclaiming, "Morally, sir, morally".

Observing a cloud of anxiety stealing over Mr. Brown's face, he went
on.

"Now, my dear sir, let me tell you--you have been very ill for two
weeks. The danger in your case is now over, but you are extremely
weak, and need, for a time, the attention of the two lovely nurses,
who watched over you yesterday and are ready to bestow kind care upon
you again to-day. You must lay aside, for the present, all troubles of
mind and estate, and devote yourself to getting well. When you are
somewhat stronger, I have excellent things to tell you".

"Excellent things!" exclaimed Mr. Brown, excitedly,--a flush
overspreading his wan features. "Has the traitor been found?" Then
with a profound sigh of disappointment, he uttered feebly--

"Ah! you do not know".

"I do not know what your particular trouble is, my dear sir, but I
know of a way to relieve you of that, or any other burden that weighs
on your spirits. I will inform you when you get stronger. What you
need now, is a cup of oatmeal gruel, mingled with a tea-spoonful of
wine, which shall immediately be presented to you by the youthful
queen of this mansion".

He turned to go and call Adele. But Mr. Brown motioned him to remain.

"Do you reside here, sir?" he asked, in accents indicating great
prostration and despondency.

"No, sir. I arrived here only a few hours before you. I am from the
State of ----. You are also from that region, and I shall not leave you
until I see you with your face set towards your native soil. Now, my
dear sir, be quiet. Perhaps your life depends on it".

"My life is not worth a penny to anybody".

"It is worth ten thousand pounds and more to your friends. Be quiet, I
say".

And Mr. Norton went out of the room, gently but decisively. Mr.
Brown's eyes followed him as he closed the door.

Already he felt the magnetic power of that good and sympathizing
heart, of that honest, upright soul, which inspired by heavenly love
and zeal, cast rays of life and happiness wherever it moved.

Moreover, he was too much prostrated in mind and body, vigorously to
grasp the circumstances of his situation, whatever they might be. Pain
and debility had dulled his faculties and the sharpness of his sorrow
also. The good missionary's cheery voice and heartfelt smile soothed,
for the time, his wounded spirit. It was as if he had taken a sip of
Lethe and had come into the land in which it always seemeth afternoon.

Soon Adele opened the door and approaching the table gently, placed
upon it the gruel. When she turned her eyes full of sympathy and
kindness upon him and inquired for his health, he started with a
remembrance that gave him both pain and pleasure. She reminded him
strangely of the being he loved more than any other on earth--his
sister. He answered her question confusedly.

She then raised his head upon the pillow with one hand and presented
the cup to his lips with the other. He drank its contents,
mechanically.

Adele proceeded noiselessly to arrange the somewhat disordered room,
and after placing a screen between it and the bed, raised a window,
through winch the warm September atmosphere wandered in, indolently
bathing his weary brow. As he felt its soft undulations on his face,
and looking around the pleasant apartment observed the graceful
motions of his youthful nurse, the scenes through which he had
recently passed, appeared like those of an ugly nightmare, and floated
away from his memory. The old flow of his life seemed to come back
again and he gave himself up to pleasant dreams.

Mr. Brown continued thenceforward to improve in health, though slowly.
Mr. Norton slept on a cot in his room every night and spent a part of
every day with him, assisting in his toilet, conversing with him of
the affairs, business and political, of their native State, and
reading to him occasionally from books furnished by Mr. Dubois's
library.

He informed Mr. Brown of his mission to this wild region of Miramichi,
and the motives that induced it. That gentleman admired the purity and
singleness of purpose which had led this man, unfavored indeed by a
careful classical culture, but possessing many gifts and much
practical knowledge, thus to sacrifice himself in this abyss of
ignorance and sin. He was drawn to him daily by the magnetism which a
strong, yet heroic and genial soul always exercises upon those who
approach it.

In a few days he had, without any effort of the good man and
involuntarily on his own part, confided to him the heavy weight that
troubled his conscience.

"Ah!" said Mr. Norton, his eyes full of profound sorrow, and probing
the wound now laid open to the quick, "it was a terrible weakness to
have yielded thus to the wiles of that artful foreigner. May Heaven
forgive you!"

Surprised and shocked at this reception of his confession, Mr. Brown,
who had hoped-for consolation or counsel from his sympathizing
companion, felt cut to the heart. His countenance settled into an
expression of utter despair.

"Why have you sought so diligently to restore me to health,--to a
disgraced and miserable existence? You must have known, from the
delirous words of my illness, of which you have told me, that life
would be a worthless thing to me. You should have permitted me the
privilege of death", said he bitterly.

"The privilege of death!" said Mr. Norton. "Don't you know, my dear
sir, that a man unprepared to live, is also unprepared to die? Every
effort I have put forth during your illness has been for the purpose
of saving you for a happy life here, and for a blissful immortality".

"A happy life here! For me, who have deeply offended and disgraced my
friends and my pure and unstained ancestry!"

"It is true, in an hour of weakness and irresolution, you have sinned
against your friends. But you have sinned all your life against a
Being infinitely higher that earthly friends. Your conduct has
disturbed family pride and honor, and thereby destroyed your peace.
But, do you never think of your transgressions against God? For a
world, I would not have had you present yourself before His just
tribunal, with your sins against Him unrepented of. Is there no other
thought in your heart, than to escape the misery of the present?"

Mr. Brown was silent. Mr. Norton continued.

"It is utter weakness and cowardice, in order to escape present
discomfort and wretchedness, to rush from this world into another,
without knowing what we are to meet there".

A flush of resentment at these words covered the invalid's face. Just
then Adele knocked on the door, and said a poor woman below wished to
see Mr. Norton.

He rose instantly, went towards Mr. Brown, and taking his thin hand
between his own and pressing it affectionately, said, "Look back upon
your past life,--look into your heart. Believe me, my dear sir, I am
your friend".

Then he went to obey the summons, and Mr. Brown was left alone.

The emotion of anger towards his benefactor soon passed away. He had
been trained early in life to religious truth, and he knew that Mr.
Norton presented to him the stern requisitions of that truth, only in
friendliness and love. The good man was absent several hours, and the
time was employed, as well as the solitude of several subsequent days,
by Mr. Brown, in looking into his heart and into his past life. He
found there many things he had not even suspected. He saw clearly,
that he had hitherto held himself amenable only to the judgment of
the world. Its standard of propriety, taste, honor, had been his. He
had not looked higher.

His friend Mr. Norton, on the contrary, held himself accountable to
God's tribunal. His whole conversation, conduct, and spirit, showed
the ennobling effect which that sublime test of character had upon
him. In fine, he perceived that the basis of his own character had
been false and therefore frail. The superstructure he had raised upon
it, had been fair and imposing to the world, but, when its strength
came to be tried, it had given way and fallen. He felt that he had
neglected his true interests, and had been wholly indifferent to the
just claims of the only Being, who could have sustained him in the
hour of temptation. He saw his past errors, he moaned over them, but
alas! he considered it too late to repair them. His life, he believed
to be irretrievably lost, and he wished only to commit himself to the
mercy of God, and die.

For a few days, he remained reserved and sunk in a deep melancholy.

At length, Mr. Norton said to him, "I trust you are not offended with
me, my dear sir, for those plain words I addressed to you the other
day. Be assured that though stern, they were dictated by my friendship
for you and my duty towards God".

"Offended! my good friend. O no. What you said, is true. But it is too
late for me to know it. Through the merits of Christ, I hope for the
pardon of my sins. I am willing to live and suffer, if it is His
behest. But you perceive my power to act for the cause of truth is
gone. My past has taken away all good influence from my future course.
Who will accept my testimony now? I have probably lost caste in my own
circle, and have, doubtless, lost my power to influence it, even
should I be received back to its ties. In society, I am a dishonored
man. I cannot have the happiness of working for the truth,--for
Christ. My power is destroyed".

"You are wrong, entirely wrong, my dear sir. Have courage. Shall not
that man walk erect and joyous before the whole world, whatever his
past may have been, whose sins have been washed away in the blood of
Christ and whose soul is inspired by a determination to abide by faith
in Him forever? I say, yes. Do the work of God. He will take care of
you. Live, with your eye fixed on Him, ready to obey His will, seeking
His heavenly aid, and you can face the frowns of men, while serene
peace fills your heart".

Thus cheered and strengthened from day to day, Mr. Brown gained
gradually in health and hope. Especially did Mr. Norton strive to
invigorate his faith. He justly thought, it was only a strong grasp on
eternal realities, that could supply the place of those granite
qualities of the soul, so lacking in this lovable, fascinating young
man.




CHAPTER XIII.

THE GROVE.


In the meanwhile, three or four times during the week, Mr. Norton
continued to hold meetings for the people in Micah's Grove.

There had been but little rain in the Miramichi region during the
summer and autumn. In fact, none worthy of note had fallen for two
months, except what came during the late equinoctial storm. The grass
was parched with heat, the roads were ground to a fine dust, which a
breath of wind drove, like clouds of smoke, into the burning air; the
forest leaves, which had been so recently stained with a marvellous
beauty of brown, crimson and gold, became dim and shrivelled; a slight
touch snapped, with a sharp, crackling sound, the dried branches of
the trees; even the golden rod and the purple aster, those hardy
children of autumn, began to hang their heads with thirst. All day
long, the grasshopper and locust sent through the hot, panting air,
their shrill notes, stinging the ear with discord. The heaven above
looked like a dome of brass, and a thin, filmy smoke gathered around
the horizon.

Even the rude settlers, with nerves toughened by hardship,
unsusceptible of atmospheric changes, were oppressed by the long,
desolating drought.

It was only when the shadows of afternoon began to lengthen and the
sun's rays to strike obliquely through the stately trees of the Grove,
that they were able to gather there and listen to the voice of the
missionary. He had so far succeeded in his work, as to be able to draw
the people together, from a considerable distance around, and their
number increased daily.

On the opposite bank of the river, half way up a slight eminence,
stood a small stone chapel. Tasteful and elegant in its proportions,
it presented a picturesque and attractive appearance. There, once on
each Sunday, the service of the Church of England was read, together
with a brief discourse by a clergyman of that order.

Behind the chapel, and near the top of the hill, was a large stone
cottage surrounded by pretty grounds and with ample stable
conveniences. It was the Rectory.

The Chapel and Rectory had been built and the clergyman was sustained,
at a somewhat large cost, by the Establishment, for the purpose of
enlightening and Christianizing the population of the parish of ----.

Unfortunately, the incumbent was not the self-sacrificing person
needed to elevate such a community. Though ministering at the altar of
God, he had no true religious feeling, no disinterested love for men.
He was simply a man of the world, a _bon vivant_, a horse jockey and
sportsman, who consoled himself in the summer and autumn for his exile
in that barbarous region, by filling his house with provincial
friends, who helped him while away the time in fishing, hunting, and
racing. The winter months, he usually spent at Fredericton, and
during that interval no service was held in the chapel. Of late, the
few, who were in the habit of attending the formal worship there, had
forsaken it for the more animating services held in the Grove.

Not only the habitual church-goers, but the people of the parish at
large, began to feel the magnetizing influence, and were drawn towards
the same spot. For a week or more past, late in the afternoons on
which the meetings were held, little skiffs might have been seen
putting off from the opposite shore, freighted with men, women, and
children, crossing over to hear the wonderful preachings of the
missionary.

What attracted them thither? Not surely the love of the truth.

Most of them disliked it in their hearts, and had not even began to
think of practising it in their lives. They were interested in the
man. They were, in some sort, compelled by the magical power he held
over them, to listen to entreaties and counsels, similar to those to
which they had often hitherto turned a deaf ear.

Mr. Norton spent much of the time with them, going from house to
house, partaking of their rude fare, sympathizing in their joys and
sorrows, occasionally lending them a helping hand in their toils, and
aiding them sometimes by his ingenuity and skill as an artisan. They
found in him a hearty, genial, and unselfish friend. Hence when he
appeared among them at the Grove, their personal interest in him
secured a certain degree of order and decorum, and caused them to
listen to him respectfully.

Even beyond this, he held a power over them, by means of his natural
and persuasive eloquence, enlivened by varied and graphic
illustrations, drawn from objects within their ken, and by the
wonderful intonations of his powerful and harmonious voice. He began
his work by presenting to them the love of Christ and the winning
promises of the gospel.

This was his favorite mode of reaching the heart.

On most of these occasions, Adele went to the Grove. It varied her
monotonous life. The strange, motley crowd gathered under the
magnificent trees, sitting on the ground, or standing in groups
beneath the tall arches made by the overlapping boughs; the level rays
of the declining sun, bringing out, in broad relief, their grotesque
varieties of costume; the gradual creeping on of the sobering
twilight; the alternating expressions of emotions visible on the
countenances of the listeners, made the scene striking to her
observing eye.

Another burning, dusty day had culminated. It was nearly five o'clock
in the afternoon. Mr. Norton was lying upon a lounge in Mr. Brown's
apartment. Both gentlemen appeared to be in a meditative mood. The
silence was only interrupted by the unusual sound of an occasional
sigh from the missionary.

"Why! friend Norton;" at length exclaimed Mr. Brown, "have you really
lost your cheerfulness, at last?"

"Yes", replied Mr. Norton, slowly. "I must confess that I am wellnigh
discouraged respecting the reformation of this people. Here, I have
been preaching to them these weeks the gospel of love, presenting
Christ to them as their friend and Saviour, holding up the truth in
its most lovely and winning forms. It has apparently made no
impression upon their hearts. It is true, they come in crowds to hear
me, but what I say to them makes no permanent mark. They forget it,
the moment the echo of my voice dies upon their ears. The fact is,
friend Brown, I am disappointed. I did hope the Lord would have given
this people unto me. But", continued he, after a moment's pause, "what
right have I to be desponding? God reigns".

"According to all accounts", replied Mr. Brown, "they must be a hard
set to deal with, both mentally and morally. I should judge, from what
Miss Adele tells me of your instructions, that you have not put them
upon the same rigid regimen of law and truth, that you may remember
you prescribed for my spiritual cure". Mr. Brown smiled. "Perhaps", he
continued, "these men are not capable of appreciating the mild aspect
of mercy. They do not possess the susceptibility to which you have
been appealing. They need to have the terrors of the law preached to
them".

"Ah! that is it, friend Brown, you have it. I am convinced it is so. I
have fell it for several days past. But I do dislike, extremely, to
endeavor to chain them to the truth by fear. Love is so much more
noble a passion to enlist for Christ. Yet they must be drawn by some
motive from their sins. Love often follows in the wake and casts out
fear".

"I remember", said Mr. Brown, "to have heard Mr. N----, the famous
Maine lumber-merchant, who you know is an infidel, say that the only
way the lumbermen can be kept from stealing each other's logs, is by
preaching to them eternal punishment".

"No doubt it is true", replied the good man, "and if these souls
cannot be sweetly constrained into the beautiful fields of peace, they
must be compelled into them by the terrors of that death that hangs
over the transgressor. Besides, I feel a strong presentiment that some
great judgment is about to descend upon this people. All day, the
thought has weighed upon me like an incubus. I cannot shake it off.
Something terrible is in store for them. What it may be, I know not.
But I am impressed with the duty of preaching a judgment to come to
them, this very afternoon. I will do it".

A slight rattling of dishes at the door announced the arrival of Bess,
with a tray of refreshment for Mr. Brown, and, at the same moment, the
tinkling of a bell below, summoned Mr. Norton to the table.

Half an hour later, the missionary, with a slow pace and the air of
one oppressed with a great burden, walked to the Grove. He seated
himself on a rustic bench and with his head resting on the trunk of an
immense elm, which overshadowed him, sat absorbed in earnest thought,
while the people gathered in a crowd around him.

At length, the murmuring voices were hushed into quiet. He rose, took
up his pocket Testament, read a portion of the tenth chapter of
Hebrews, offered a prayer, and then sang in his trumpet tones,
Charles Wesley's magnificently solemn hymn, commencing,--


   "Lo! on a narrow neck of land
    'Twixt two unbounded seas, I stand
      Secure! insensible!"


He then repeated a clause in the chapter he had just read to them. "If
we sin wilfully after that we have received a knowledge of the truth,
there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful
looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the
adversaries".

He began his discourse by reminding the people of the truths he had
presented to them during the weeks past. He had told them faithfully
of their sinfulness before a holy God, and pointed out the way of
safety and purification through a crucified Saviour. And he had
earnestly sought to induce them, by the love this Saviour bore them,
to forsake their transgressions and exercise trust in Him. He now told
them, in accents broken with grief, that he had every reason to fear
they had not followed his counsel, and observing their hardness of
heart, he felt constrained to bring them another and different
message,--a message less tender, but coming from the same divine
source. He then unfolded to them the wrath of the Most High, kindled
against those who scorn the voice of mercy from a dying Saviour.

They listened intently. His voice, his manner, his words electrified
them. His countenance was illumined with an awful light, such as they
had not before witnessed there. His eye shot out prophetic meanings.
At the close, he said, in a low tone, like the murmur of distant
thunder, "what I have told you, is true,--true, as that we stand on
this solid ground,--true, as that sky that bends above us. This book
says it. It is, therefore, eternal truth. I have it impressed upon my
mind, that a judgment, a swift, tremendous judgment, is about to
descend upon this people on account of their sins. I cannot shake off
this impression, and, under its power, I warn you to prepare your
souls to meet some dreadful calamity.

"I know not how it will come,--in what shape, with what power. But I
feel that death is near. It seems to me that I see many before me, who
will soon be beyond the bounds of time. I feel constrained to say this
to you. I beg you prepare to meet your God".

When he ceased, a visible shudder ran through the multitude. They rose
slowly and wended their way homeward, many with blanched faces, and
even the hardiest with a vague sense of some startling event
impending.




CHAPTER XIV.

JOHN AND CAESAR.


At four o'clock in the afternoon on the following day Mrs. Dubois sat
in the Madonna room. Her fingers were employed upon a bit of exquisite
embroidery, over which she bent with a contracted brow, as if her mind
was filled with anxious thought.

Adele, robed in a French silk of delicate blue, her rich, dark hair
looped up in massive braids, sat listlessly, poring over a volume of
old French romance.

Suddenly rising, she threw it hastily aside, exclaiming as she went
towards an open window, "O! this interminable drought! It makes me
feel so miserable and restless. Does it not oppress you, _ma chere
mere?_"

Mrs. Dubois started suddenly, as Adele spoke.

"Ah! yes. It is very wearisome", she replied.

"_Ma mere_, I have disturbed you. Of what were you thinking when I
spoke?"

"Thinking of the chateau de Rossillon and its inmates. It is very long
since we have had news of them. I am much troubled about the dear
friends. It would be like rain on the parched ground, could I once
more hear my uncle's voice. The good, kind old man!"

"Never fear, _ma mere_. You shall hear it. I have a plan that will
soon take us all to Picardy. You smile, but do I not accomplish my
little schemes? Do not ask me, please, how I shall do it. The
expedition is not wholly matured".

"Not wholly matured, indeed!" said Mrs. Dubois, with an incredulous
smile.

"Nevertheless, it will take place, _ma mere_. But not this week. In
the mean time, I am going to invite the gentlemen, who are doubtless
moping in Mr. Brown's room, as we are here, to come in and examine
that curiously illuminated missal of yours. How agreeable Mr. Brown
is, now that he is getting well! Don't you think so? And Mr. Norton is
as good and radiant as a seraph! No doubt, they are pining with
homesickness, just as you are, and will be glad of our society".

Adele left the room, and soon returned, accompanied by the two
individuals, of whom she had gone in search.

She placed Mr. Brown, who looked quite superb in his brilliantly
flowered dressing-gown, in a corner of a sofa. Having examined the
missal with interest, for a time, he handed it to Mr. Norton, and was
soon engaged in an animated conversation with Mrs. Dubois, respecting
various works of ancient art, they had both seen in Europe.

Adele watched with pleasure the light kindling in her mother's eyes,
as she went back, in memory and thought, to other days.

Mr. Norton gazed at his friend Brown, transfigured suddenly from the
despairing invalid, who had lost all interest in life, to the
animated being before him, with traces indeed of languor and disease
upon his person, but glowing now with life, thought, and emotion. "A
precious jewel gathered for the crown of Him, who sits on the throne
above", he whispered to himself.

Felicitating himself with this thought, he divided his attention
between the conversation of Mrs. Dubois and Mr. Brown, and the marvels
of skill, labor, and beauty traced by the old monk upon the pages
before him.

"I must say, Miss Adele, that these lines and colors are put on most
ingeniously. But I cannot help thinking those ancient men might have
been better employed in tracing the characters of divine truth upon
the hearts of their fellow-beings".

"True", said Adele, "had they been free to do it. But they were shut
up from the world and could not. Illuminating missals was far better
than to pass their lives in perfect idleness and inanition".

"Don't you think, my dear", said the missionary, who had wisely never
before questioned any member of the family on the points of religious
faith, "that the cloister life was a strange one to live, for men who
professed to have the love of God in their hearts, with a whole world
lying in sin around them, for a field to labor in?"

"Yes, I do, and I think too many other things are wrong about the
Roman Church, but it pains my mother to hear me speak of them", said
Adele, in a low tone, glancing at her mother.

"Is it so?" exclaimed the good man. His face lighted up with a secret
satisfaction. But he fixed his eyes upon the book and was silent.

Just then, some one knocked on the parlor door. Adele opened it and
beheld Mrs. McNab,--her broad figure adorned with the brilliant chintz
dress and yellow bandanna handkerchief, filling up the entire doorway,
and her face surrounded by the wide, full frill, its usual framework,
expressing a curious mixture of shyness and audacity.

It was her first call at the house, since Adele's summary process of
ejection had been served upon her, and it was not until that young
lady had welcomed her cordially and invited her to come in, that she
ventured beyond the threshold. She then came forward, made a low
courtesy, and seating herself near the door, remarked that Bess was
not below, and hearing voices in the picture parlor, wishing to hear
from the patient, she had ventured up.

"An' how do ye find yersel' Mr. Brown?" said she, turning to that
gentleman. "But I needna ask the question, sin' yer looks tell ye're
amaist weel".

Mr. Brown assented to her remark upon his health, and expressed to her
his obligations for her attentions to him during his illness.

"Them's naethin;" she replied with a conscious air of benevolence.
"'Tis the buzziness o' my life to tak' care o' sick bodies".

"How are Mrs. Campbell's children?" inquired Mrs. Dubois.

"All got weel, but Katy. She's mizerble eneugh".

"Has she not recovered from the measles, Mrs. McNab?"

"The measles are gone, but sunthin' has settled on her lights. She
coughs like a woodchuck. An' I must be a goin', for I tole Mrs.
Cawmell, I wadna stay a bit, but wad come back, immediate".

As she rose to go, she caught a sight of several objects on the lawn
below, that rooted her to the spot.

"Why ther's Mummychog", she exclaimed, "leading a gran' black charger,
wi' a tall brave youth a walkin' by his side. Wha can he be?"

At that moment a low, clear laugh rang out upon the air, reaching the
ears of the little company assembled in the parlor.

At the sound, Mr. Brown's pale face changed to a perfectly ashen hue,
then flushed to a deep crimson. He started to his feet, and exclaimed,
"John Lansdowne! brave fellow!"

It was even so. John and Caesar had reached their destination.




CHAPTER XV.

TRAVELLING IN NEW BRUNSWICK.


The following morning, Mr. Norton, Mr. Somers, alias Mr. Brown and
John Lansdowne were sitting together, talking of the route from ---- to
Miramichi.

"You must have had a tedious journey, Mr. Lansdowne", observed the
missionary.

"By no means, sir. Never had a more glorious time in my life. The
reach through the forest was magnificent. By the way, Ned, I shot a
wolf. I'll tell you how it was, sometime. But how soon shall you feel
able to start for home?"

"In two or three weeks, Dr. Wright says", replied Mr. Somers.

"You must not take the road again, young gentleman", remarked Mr.
Norton, "until we have had a fall of rain. The country is scorched
with heat beyond anything I ever knew. Fine scenery on the St. John
River, Mr. Lansdowne".

"Wonderfully fine and varied! Like the unfolding of a splendid
panorama! In fact, it nearly consoled me for the sleepless nights and
horribly cooked dinners".

"Ah! well--. I've had some experience while passing up and down in
these parts. In some localities, the country is pretty well
populated", said Mr. Norton with a broad smile.

"I can certify to that geographical fact", said John, laughing. "One
night, after retiring, I found that a large and active family of mice
had taken previous shares in the straw cot furnished me. A stirring
time, they had, I assure you. The following night, I was roused up
from a ten horse-power slumber, by a little million of enterprising
insects,--well,--their style of locomotion, though irregular,
accomplishes remarkable results. By the way, I doubt that story of a
pair of fleas, harnessed into a tiny chariot and broken into a trot".

"So do I," said Mr. Norton. "'Tis a libel on them. They couldn't go
such a humdrum gait".

"That reminds me", said Mr. Somers, "of a very curious and original
painting I saw in England. It represented the ghost of a flea".

"Ridiculous!" exclaimed John. "You are romancing, Ned".

"I am stating a fact. It was painted by that eccentric genius, Blake,
upon a panel, and exhibited to me by an aquaintance, who was a friend
of the artist".

"What was it like?" said John.

"It was a naked figure with a strong body and a short neck, with
burning eyes longing for moisture, and a face worthy of a murderer,
holding a bloody cup in its clawed hands, out of which it seemed eager
to drink. The shape was strange enough and the coloring splendid,--a
kind of glistening green and dusky gold,--beautifully varnished. It
was in fact the spiritualization of a flea".

"What a conception!" exclaimed Mr. Norton. "The artist's imagination
must have been stimulated by intense personal sufferings from said
insect. The savage little wretch. How did you manage the diet, Mr.
Lansdowne?" continued the missionary, a smile twinkling all over his
face.

"Ah! yes, the _table d'hote_. I found eggs and potatoes safe, and
devoted myself to them, I was always sure to get snagged, when I tried
anything else".

"Verily, there is room for improvement in the mode of living, among
His Majesty's loyal subjects of this Province. I should say, that in
most respects, they are about half a century behind the age", said Mr.
Norton.

"How did you ascertain I was here, John?" inquired Mr. Somers.

"I learned at Fredericton that you had left with Mr. Dubois, and I
obtained directions there, for my route. Really", added John, "you are
fortunate to have found such an establishment as this to be laid up
in".

"Yes. God be thanked for the attention and care received in this house
and for the kindness of this good friend", said Mr. Somers, laying his
hand affectionately on the missionary's arm.

"But this Mummychog", said John, breaking into a clear, musical laugh,
"that I came across last night. He is a curiosity. That, of course,
isn't his real name. What is it?"

"He goes by no other name here", replied Mr. Norton. "I met him", said
John, "a few rods from here", and asked him if he could inform me where
Mr. Dubois lived. "Well, s'pose I ken", he said. After waiting a few
minutes for some direction, and none forthcoming, I asked, "will you
have the goodness to show me the house, sir?" "S'pose you hev
particiler business there", he inquired. "Yes. I have, sir". "Well! I
s'pose ye are goin' fur to see _hur_?"

"Hur!" I exclaimed, my mind immediately reverting to the worthy
ancient, who assisted Aaron in holding up the hands of Moses on a
certain occasion, mentioned in the old Testament. "Hur! who is Hur? I
am in pursuit of a gentleman,--a friend of mine. I know no other
person here". "O well! come then; I'll show ye". As he was walking
along by Caesar's side, I heard him say, apparently to himself, "He's a
gone 'un, any way".

"He is a queer specimen", said Mr. Norton. "And now I think of it, Mr.
Somers, Micah told me this morning, that a good horse will be brought
into the settlement, by a friend of his, in about a week. He thinks,
if you like the animal, he can make a bargain and get it for you".

"Thank you for your trouble about it, my dear sir", replied Mr.
Somers.

"Two weeks then, Ned", said John, "before the Doctor will let you
start. That will give me ample opportunity to explore the length of
the Miramichi River. What are the fishing privileges in this region?"

"Fine,--remarkably good!" said the missionary.

In the course of a few minutes, John, with the assistance of Mr.
Norton, arranged a plan for a fishing and hunting excursion, upon
which, if Micah's services could be obtained, he was to start the next
day.

After inquiring for the most feasible way of transmitting a letter, he
retired to relieve the anxiety of his parents by informing them of the
success of his journey. As might have been expected, after a somewhat
detailed account of his travels, the remainder of his epistle home was
filled with the effervescence of his excitement at having found Mr.
Somers, and thus triumphantly accomplished the object of his
expedition.

Beneath the flash and foam of John's youthful spirit, there were
depths of hidden tenderness and truth. He was warmly attached to his
uncle. The difference in age between them was not great, and even
that, was considerably diminished by the peculiar traits of each. John
possessed the hardier features of character. He had developed a
strong, determined will and other granite qualities, which promised to
make him a tower of defence to those that might shelter themselves
beneath his wing. These traits, contrasting with his own, Mr. Somers
appreciated and admired. They imparted to him a strengthening
influence. John, on the other hand, was charmed with the genial
disposition, the mobile and brilliant intellect of his uncle, and the
ready sympathy he extended him in his pursuits. In short, they were
drawn together in that peculiar, but not uncommon bond of friendship,
symbolized by the old intimacy of the ivy and the oak.




CHAPTER XVI.

THE FLOWER UNFOLDING.


There is nothing in human life more lovely than the transition of a
young girl from childhood into womanhood. It suggests the springtime
of the year, when the leaf buds are partly opened and the tender
blossoms wave in the genial sunshine; when the colors so airy and
delicate are set and the ethereal odors are wafted gently to the
senses; when earth and air are filled with sweet prophecies of the
ripened splendor of summer. It is like the moments of early morn, when
the newly risen sun throws abroad his light, giving token of the
majestic glories of noon-day, while the earth exhales a dewy freshness
and the air is enchanted by the songs of birds, just wakened from
their nests. It recalls the overture of a grand musical drama
introducing the joyous melodies, the wailing minors, the noble chords
and sublime symphonies of the glorious harmony.

The development of the maiden is like the opening of some lovely
flower-bud. As life unfolds, the tender smile and blush of childhood
mingle with the grace of maidenly repose; the upturned, radiant eye
gathers new depths of thought and emotion; the delicate features, the
wavy, pliant form, begin to reveal their wealth of grace and beauty.

Sometimes, the overstimulated bud is forced into intense and unnatural
life and bloom. Sometimes, the development is slow and almost
imperceptible. Fed gently by the light and dews of heaven, the flower,
at length, circles forth in perfected beauty. Here, the airy grace and
playfulness of a Rosalind, or the purity and goodness of a Desdemona
is developed; there, the intense, passionate nature of a Juliet, or
the rich intellect and lofty elegance of a Portia.

But, how brief is that bright period of transition! Scarcely can the
artist catch the beautiful creation and transfer it to the canvas, ere
it has changed, or faded.


   "How small a part of time they share,
   That are so wondrous sweet and fair!"


Adele Dubois had just reached this period of life. Her form was
ripening into a noble and statuesque symmetry; the light in her eyes
shot forth from darkening depths; a faint bloom was creeping into her
cheek; a soft smile was wreathing those lips, wrought by nature, into
a somewhat haughty curve; the frank, careless, yet imperious manner
was chastening into a calmer grace; a transforming glory shone around
her, making her one of those visions that sometimes waylay and haunt a
man's life forever.

Her physical and intellectual growth were symmetrical. Her mind was
quick, penetrative, and in constant exercise. Truthful and upright,
her soul shone through her form and features, as a clear flame, placed
within a transparent vase, brings out the adornments of flower, leaf,
and gem, with which it is enriched.

In a brown stone house, in the city of P., State of ----, there hangs
in one of the chambers a picture of Adele, representing her as she was
at this period of her life. It is full of beauty and elegance.
Sun-painting was an art unknown in the days when it was executed. But
the modern photographist could hardly have produced a picture so
exquisitely truthful as well as lovely.




CHAPTER XVII.

THE DEER HUNT.


Early in the morning, John Lansdowne, having donned his hunting suit
and taken a hasty breakfast, seized his rifle and joined Micah,
already waiting for him on the lawn in front of the house.

He was equipped in a tunic-like shirt of dressed buckskin, with
leggings and moccasins of the same material, each curiously
embroidered and fringed. The suit was a present from his
mother,--procured by her from Canada. His head was surmounted by a
blue military cap and his belt adorned with powder pouch and
hunting-knife. Micah with a heavy blanket coat of a dingy, brown
color, leggings of embroidered buckskin, skull cap of gray fox skin,
and Indian moccasins; wore at his belt a butcher knife in a scabbard,
a tomahawk, otter-skin pouch, containing bullets and other necessaries
for such an expedition.

In the dim morning light they walked briskly to a little cove in the
river, where Micah's birchen canoe lay, and found it already stored
with supplies for the excursion. There were bags of provisions,
cooking utensils, a small tent, neatly folded, Micah's old Dutch
rifle, fishing tackle, and other articles of minor account.

"Ever traviled much in a canoo?" inquired Micah.

"None at all", replied John.

"Well, then I'll jest mention, yeou needn't jump into it, like a
catameount rampagin' arter fodder. Yeou step in kinder keerful and set
deown and don't move reound more'n ye ken help. It's a mighty crank
little critter, I tell ye. 'Twould be tolable unconvenient to upset
and git eour cargo turned into the stream".

"It would indeed!" said John. "I'll obey orders, Mummychog".

John entered the canoe with tact, apparently to Micah's satisfaction
and soon they were gliding down the river, now, owing to the
long-continued drought, considerably shrunk within its banks.

Just as night gave its parting salute to the advancing day, the
voyagers passed into a region densely wooded down to the water's edge.
Oaks, elms, and maples, birches of different sorts, willows and
cranberry, grew in wild luxuriance along the margin, tinged with the
rich hues of autumn. A thousand spicy odors exhaled from the
frostbitten plants and shrubs, filling the senses with an intoxicating
incense. When the rising sun shot its level rays through the trees,
the clear stream quivered with golden arrows.

John viewed the scenes through which they glided with eager eye.

Micah's countenance expressed intense satisfaction. He sat bolt
upright in the stern of the canoe, steering with his paddle, his keen
bullet eyes dancing from side to side examining every object as they
passed along. Both were silent.

At length, Micah exclaimed, "Well, Captin', this is the pootiest way
of livin' I know on, any heow. My 'pinion is that human natur was
meant to live reound on rivers and in the woods, or vyagin' on lakes,
and sech. I never breathe jest nateral and lively, till I git eout o'
between heouse walls into the free air".

"'Tis a glorious life, Micah! I agree to it".

"Hark!" said Micah! "Got yer piece ready? Maybe you'll hev' a chance
to bring sumthin' deown. I heerd an old squaw holler jest neow".

"I'm ready", said John. "But I didn't hear any sound. What was it
like?"

"O! kinder a scoldin' seound. Cawcawee! cawcawee! Don't yer hear the
critter reelin' of it off? Ha! 'tis dyin' away, though. We shall hear
it agin, by and by".

"An old squaw", said John, as the excitement the prospect of a shot
had raised in his mind subsided. "Do you have such game as _that_, in
Miramichi? I've heard of witches flying on broomsticks through the
air, but didn't know before that squaws are in the habit of skylarking
about in that way".

"Well, ye'll know it by observation, before long", said Micah, with a
slight twitch of one eye. "Them's ducks from Canada, a goin'
south'ard, as they allers do in the fall o' the year. They keep up
that ere scoldin' seound, day and night. Cawcawee! cawcawee! kind of
an aggravatin' holler! But I like it, ruther. It allers 'minds me of a
bustin' good feller that was deown here from Canada once".

"How remind you of him?" inquired John.

"Well, he cam' deown on bissiniss, but he ran afowl o' me, and we was
eout in the woods together, consid'able. He used to set eoutside the
camp, bright, starlight nights, and sing songs, and sech. He had a
powerful, sweet v'ice, and it allers 'peared to me as ef every kind of
a livin' thing hushed up and listened, when he sung o' nights. He
could reel off most anything you can think on. There was one kind of a
mournful ditty he sung, and once in a while he brung in a
chorus,--cawcawee! cawcawee,--jest like what them ducks say, only, the
way he made it seound, was soft and meller and doleful-like. I liked
to hear him sing that, only he was so solemn arter it, and would set
and fetch up great long sythes. And once I asked him what made him so
sober and take on so, arter singin' it. He said, Micah, my good lad,
when I war a young man, I had a little French wife, that could run
like a hind and sing like a wild bird. Well, she died. The very last
thing she sung, was, that 'ere song. When I see how he felt, I never
asked him another question. He sot and sythed a spell and then got up,
took a most oncommon swig of old Jamaky and turned into his blanket".

Just as Micah ended this account, John caught sight of a large bird at
a distance directly ahead of them, and his attention became entirely
absorbed. It took flight from a partly decayed tree on the northern
bank, and commenced wheeling around, above the water. The canoe was
rapidly nearing this promising game.

Micah said not a word, but observed, in an apparently careless mood,
the movements of his young companion.

Suddenly, the bird poised himself for an instant in the air, then
closed his wings and shot downward. A whizzing sound! then a plash,
and he disappeared beneath the surface, throwing up the water into
sparkling foam-wreaths. He was absent but a moment, and then bore
upward into the air a large fish.

John's shot took him on the wing, and he dropped dead, his claws yet
grasping the fish, on the water's edge.

"Ruther harnsum than otherwise!" exclaimed Micah. "You've got your
dinner, Captin'".

And he put the canoe rapidly towards the river-bank, to pick up the
game.

They found it to be a large fish-hawk, with a good-sized salmon in its
fierce embrace. It was a noble specimen of the bird, tinted with
brown, ashy white, and blue, with eyes of deep orange color.

"Well, that are a prize", said Micah. "Them birds ain't common in
these parts, bein' as they mostly live on sea-coasts. But this un was
on his way seouth, and his journey has ended quite unexpected".

Saying which, he threw both bird and fish into the canoe, and darted
forward on the river again.

"When shall we reach the deer feeding-ground you spoke of, Micah?"

"O! not afore night", said Micah. "And then we mustn't go anyst it
till mornin'".

"I suppose you have brought down some scores of deer in your hunting
raids, Micah?"

"Why, yes,--takin' it by and large, I've handled over consid'able
many of 'em. 'Tis a critter I hate to kill, Captin', though I s'pose
it seounds soft to say so. Ef 't wan't for thinkin' they'll git picked
off, anyway, I dunno but I should let 'em alone altogether".

"Why do you dislike to kill them?"

"Well, to begin with, they're a harnsum critter. They hev sech
graceful ways with 'em, kinder grand ones tew, specially them bucks,
with their crests reared up agin the sky, lookin' so bold and free
like. And them bright little does,--sometimes they hev sech a skeerd,
tender look in their eyes,--and I've seen the tears roll out on 'em,
when they lay wounded and disabled like, jest like a human critter. It
allers makes me feel kind o' puggetty to see that".

They made a noon halt, in the shadows cast by a clump of silver
birches, and did ample justice to the provision supplied from the
pantry of the Dubois house.

At four o'clock they proceeded onward towards the deer hunt. John
listened with unwearied interest to Micah's stories of peril and
hair-breadth 'scapes, by flood, field, and forest, gathering many
valuable hints in the science of woodcraft from the practised hunter.

Just at dark, they reached a broad part of the stream, and selected
their camping-ground.

The tent was soon pitched, a fire of brushwood kindled and the salmon
broiled to a relish that an epicure could not have cavilled at. The
table, a flat rock, was also garnished with white French rolls, sliced
ham, brown bread, blocks of savory cheese, and tea, smoking hot.

The sylvan scene,--the moon shedding its light around, the low music
of the gently rippling waves, the spicy odor of the burning cedar, the
snow-white clouds and deep blue of the sky mirrored in the stream,
made it a place fit at least for rural divinities. Pan might have
looked in,--ah! he is dead,--his ghost then might have looked in upon
them from behind some old gnarled tree, with a frown of envy at this
intrusion upon his ancient domain.

On the following morning, at the first faint glimmering of light,
Micah was alert. He shook our young hero's shoulder and woke him from
a pleasant dream.

"Neow's the time, Captin'", said Micah, speaking in a cautious
undertone, "neow's the time, ef we do it at all, to nab them deer.
While your gittin' rigged and takin' a cold bite, I'll tell ye the lay
o' things. Ye see, don't ye, that pint o' land ahead on us, a juttin'
out into the stream? Well, we've got to put the canoe on the water
right away, hustle in the things, and percede just as whist and
keerful as we ken, to that pint. Jest beyend that, I expect the
animils, when day's fairly up, will come to drink. And there's where
we'll get a shot at 'em".

"But what makes you expect they'll come to drink at that particular
place, Micah?"

"You see that pooty steep hill, that slopes up jest back o' the pint
o' land, don't ye? Well, behind that hill which is steeper 'n it looks
to be, there's a largish, level piece of greound that's been burnt
over within a few years, and it's grown up to tall grass and got a
number o' clumps of young trees on it, and it's 'bout surreounded by a
lot o' master rocky hills. That's the feedin' greound. There's a deep
gorge cut right inter that hill, back 'o the pint. The gorge has a
pooty smooth rocky bed. In the spring o' the year, there's a brook
runs through there and pours inter the river jest below. But it's all
dry neow, and the deer, as a gen'al thing scramble eout of their
feedin' place into this gorge and foller it deown to the river to git
their drink. It brings 'em eout jest below the pint. We have got neow
to cross over to the pint, huggin' the bank, so the critters shan't
see us, and take a shot from there. Git yer piece ready, Captin. Ef
there's tew, or more, I'll hev the fust shot and you the second. Don't
speak, arter we git on to the pint, the leastest word".

"I understand", said John, as he examined his rifle, to see that all
was right.

"Now for it", said Micah, as having finished their arrangements, they
entered the canoe.

Silently, they paddled along, sheltered from observation by the little
wooded promontory and following as nearly as possible the crankling
river as it indented into the land. In a few minutes, they landed and
proceeded noiselessly to get a view of the bank below.

After a moment's reconnoitre, John turned his face towards Micah with
a look of blank disappointment.

But Micah looked cool and expectant. He merely pointed up the rocky
gorge and said under his breath--

"'T aint time to expect 'em yet. The wind, what there is on it, is
favorable tew,--it blows right in our faces and can't kerry any smell
of us to 'em. Neow hide yourself right away. Keep near me, Captin',
so that we ken make motions to each other".

In a few moments they had secured their ambuscade, each lying on the
ground at full length, concealed by low, scrubby trees. By a slight
turn of the head, each could command a view up the gorge for a
considerable distance.

Just as the sun began to show his broad, red disc in the east, new
light shot forth from the eyes of the hunters, as they perceived a
small herd coming down the rocky pathway. The creatures bounded along
with a wild and graceful freedom, until they reached the debouche of
the pass into the valley. There they paused,--scanned the scene with
eager eyes and snuffed the morning breeze. The wind brought no tale of
their enemies, close at hand, and they bounded on fearlessly to the
river's brink.

It was apparently a family party, a noble buck leading the group,
followed by a doe and two young hinds. They soon had their noses in
the stream. The buck took large draughts and then raising his haughty
front, tossed his antlers, as if in defiance, in the face of the god
of day.

Micah's eye was at his rifle. A crack and a whizz in the air. The
noble creature gave one mighty bound and fell dead. The ball had
entered his broad forehead and penetrated to the brain.

At the report of the rifle, the doe, who was still drinking, gave a
bound in the air, scattering the spray from her dripping mouth,
wheeled with the rapidity of lightning, and sprang towards the gorge.
But John's instantaneous shot sped through the air and the animal fell
dead from her second bound, the ball having entered the heart. In the
midst of their triumph, John and Micah watched, with relenting eyes
the two hinds, while they took, as on the wings of the wind, their
forlorn flight up the fatal pathway.

Having slung their booty on the boughs of a wide-branching tree, and
taken some refreshment from the supplies in the canoe, Micah declared
himself good for a scramble up the hill to the feeding-ground, a
proposition John readily accepted.

Over rock, bush and brier, up hill and down, for five hours, they
pursued their way with unmitigated zeal and energy. They scaled the
hill, cut by the gorge,--approaching, cautiously, its brow,
overlooking the deer haunt. But they could perceive no trace of the
herd.

"It's abeout as I expected", said Micah, "them two little hinds we
skeered, gin the alarm to the rest on 'em and they've all skulked off
to some covit or ruther. S'pose Captin', we jest make a surkit reound
through the rest of these hills, maybe we'll light on 'em agin".

"Agreed", responded John.

They skirted the enclosure, but without a chance for another shot. As,
about noon, they were rapidly descending the gorge, on their way back
to the promontory, the scene of their morning success, Micah proposed
that they should have "a nice brile out of that fat buck at the pint,
and then put for the settlement".

"Not yet", said John. "Why, we are just getting into this glorious
life. What's your hurry, Mummychog?"

"Well, ye see", said Micah, "I can't be gone from hum, no longer
neow, any heow. Next week, I'll try it with ye agin, if ye say so".

John acceded reluctantly to the arrangement, though his disappointment
was somewhat mitigated by the prospect of another similar excursion.

The meal prepared by Micah, for their closing repast, considering the
circumstances, might have been pronounced as achieved in the highest
style of art. Under a bright sky, shadowed by soft, quivering
birch-trees, scattering broken lights all over their rustic table,
never surely was a dinner eaten with greater gusto.

Life in the forest! ended all too soon. But thy memories live.
Memories redolent of youth, health, strength, freedom, and beauty,
come through the long years, laden with dews, sunshine, and fragrance,
and scatter over the time-worn spirit refreshment and delight.

As our voyagers were paddling up stream in the afternoon, in answer to
questions put by John to Micah, respecting the Dubois family, he
remarked--

"Them Doobyce's came to the kentry, jest ten year before I did. Well,
I've heerd say, the Square came fust. He didn't set himself up for
anything great at all, but explored reound the region a spell, and was
kinder pleasant to most anybody he came across. Somehow, or 'nuther,
he had a kind of a kingly turn with him, that seemed jest as nateral
as did to breathe, and ye could see that he warn't no ways used to
sech a wildcat sort of a place as Miramichi was then".

"I wonder that he remained here", said John.

"Well, the pesky critters reound here ruther took to him, and he
bought a great lot o' land and got workmen and built a house, and
fetched his wife and baby here. So they've lived here ever since. But
they're no more like the rest o' the people in these parts, than I'm
like you, and it has allers been a mystery to me why they should stay.
But I s'pose they know their own bissiniss best. They're allers givin'
to the poor, and they try to make the settlers more decent every way,
but 'taint been o' much use".

After a long, meditative pause, Micah said, "Neow Captin', I want yeou
to answer me one question, honestly. I aint a goin' to ask any thing
sarcy. Did ye ever in yer life see a harnsumer, witchiner critter than
Miss Adele is?"

Micah fixed his keen eye triumphantly upon our hero, as if he was
aware beforehand that but one response could be made. John surprised
by the suddenness of the question, and somewhat confused, for the
moment, by a vague consciousness that his companion had found the key
to his thoughts, hesitated a little, but soon recovered sufficiently
to parry the stroke.

"You don't mean to say, Micah, that there's any person for beauty and
bewitchingness to be compared with Mrs. McNab?"

"Whew-ew", uttered Micah, while every line and feature in his
countenance expressed ineffable scorn. He gave several extra strokes
of the paddle with great energy. Suddenly, his grim features broke
into a genial smile.

"Well, Captin'", he said, "ef yeou choose to play 'possum that way,
ye ken. But ye needn't expect _me_ to believe in them tricks, cos I'm
an old 'un".

John laughed and replied, "Mummychog, Miss Adele Dubois is a perfect
beauty. I can't deny it".

"And a parfeck angel tew", said Micah.

"I don't doubt it", said John, energetically. "When shall we reach the
settlement, Micah?"

"Abeout three hours arter moonrise".

And just at that time our voyagers touched the spot they had started
from the day before, and unloaded their cargo. They were received at
the Dubois house with the compliments due to successful hunters.




CHAPTER XVIII.

THE PERSECUTION.


On the following afternoon, Mr. Norton preached to a larger and far
more attentive audience than usual. The solemn warnings he had uttered
and the fearful presentiments of coming evil he had expressed on the
last occasion of assembling at the Grove, had been communicated from
mouth to mouth. Curiosity, and perhaps some more elevated motive, had
drawn a numerous crowd of people together to hear him.

He spoke to them plainly of their sinful conduct, particularizing the
vices of intemperance, profanity, gambling, and Sabbath-breaking, to
which many of them were addicted. He earnestly besought them to turn
from these evil ways and accept pardon for their past transgressions
and mercy through Christ. He showed them the consequences of their
refusal to listen to the teachings and counsels of the book of God,
and, at last, depicted to them, with great vividness, the awful
glories and terrors of the day of final account,


   "When the Judge shall come in splendor,
   Strict to mark and just to render".


As his mind dilated with the awful grandeur of the theme, his thoughts
kindled to a white heat, and he flung off words that seemed to scorch
and burn even the callous souls of those time-hardened transgressors.
He poured upon their ears, in tones of trumpet power and fulness,
echoed from the hills around, the stern threatenings of injured
justice; he besought them, in low, sweet, thrilling accents, to yield
themselves heart and life to the Great Judge, who will preside in the
day of impartial accounts, and thus avert his wrath and be happy
forever.

At the close, he threw himself for a few moments upon the rustic bench
appropriated to him, covered his face with his hands and seemed in
silent prayer. The people involuntarily bent their heads in sympathy
and remained motionless. Then, he rose and gave them the evening
benediction.

Mr. Somers, his nephew, and Adele had been sitting under the shade of
an odorous balm poplar, on the skirt of the crowd, at first watching
its movements, and then drawn away from these observations, by the
impressive discourse of Mr. Norton.

"What a clear, melodious voice he has!" said John in an undertone to
Adele, as the missionary finished the opening service.

"Wait, until you hear its trumpet tones, Mr. Lansdowne. Those will
come, by and by. They are magnificent. Please listen". And Adele
placed a finger upon her lips, in token of silence.

John listened, at first, in obedience to her request, but he soon
became enchained by the speaker.

After the discourse was concluded, the trio remained sitting as if
spellbound, quite unobservant of the crowd, slowly dispersing around
them.

"What would that man have been, Ned", at length exclaimed John, "had
he received the culture which such munificent gifts demand? Why, he
would have been the orator of our nation".

"Ay, John", replied Mr. Somers, "but it is the solemn truth of his
theme that gives him half his power".

"It is as if I had heard the _Dies irae_ chanted", said Adele.

As they walked on towards the house in silence, they encountered a
company of persons, of which Mr. Dubois and the missionary were the
centre. These two were conversing quite composedly, but the
surrounding groups seemed to be under some excitement.

At the dispersion of the gathering at the Grove, as Mr. Norton was on
his way to the quiet of his own room, Mr. Dubois had presented to him
the bearer of a dispatch from Fredericton. The messenger said he had
been instructed to announce that the Provincial Court was in session
in that city, and that a complaint had been lodged with the grand jury
against Mr. Norton, and he was requested to meet the charge
immediately.

Mr. Norton was surprised, but said very calmly--

"Can you inform me, sir, what the charge is!"

"It is a charge for having preached in the Province of Brunswick,
without a license".

"Can you tell me by whom the charge was brought?"

"By the reverend Francis Dinsmoor, a clergyman of the Established
Church, of the parish of ----".

"Yes, sir. I understand. He is your neighbor on the other side of the
river, Mr. Dubois. Well, sir", continued Mr. Norton, "I suppose you
have just arrived and stand in need of refreshment. I will confer with
you, by and by".

The messenger retraced his steps towards the house.

In the mean time, a few rough-looking men had overheard the
conversation, taken in its import, and now came about Mr. Dubois and
Mr. Norton, making inquiries.

Tom Hunkins, more noted for profanity, hard drinking, and gambling,
than any man in the settlement, and whom Mr. Norton at the risk of
making him a violent enemy, had on one occasion severely reprehended
for the pernicious influence he exerted in the community,--here
interposed a word of counsel. He was just speaking, when Adele, Mr.
Somers, and John, joined the group.

"Neow ef I may be so bold", said Tom, "I wouldn't go anyst the cussed
court. It's nothin' at all, but the meanness and envy o' that rowdy
priest over the river there. He's jest mad, cos the people come over
here to git fodder instid o' goin' to his empty corncrib. They like to
hear yer talk better than they do him, and that's the hull on it. I'd
let the condemed critter and court whizz, both on 'em. I would't go
aynst 'em".

"But Mr. Hunkins", said Mr. Norton, "I must attend to this matter. I
am exposed to a fine of fifty pounds and six months' imprisonment, for
breaking a law enacted by the Assembly of His Majesty's Province".

"I'll tell ye what ye can do, parson. I'll take and put ye right
through to Chartham this very night, and ye ken take a schooner that I
know is going to sail to-morrow for Eastport. That 'ill land ye safe
in the State of Maine, where ye ken stay till the Court is over, and
the fox has gone back to his hole, and then we'll give ye a lift back
agin and ye ken go on with yer preachin'".

"I thank you for your kind feeling towards me, Mr. Hunkins, but I must
go to Fredericton. The case is just this. I knew, before I came to
Miramichi, that the government was not particularly favorable to
dissenting ministers, and also that the Assembly had passed this law.
But I had heard of the condition of this people and felt constrained
to come here, by my desire to serve Christ, my Master and my King. By
so doing, I took all the risks in the case. Now, if I, for
conscience's sake, have violated an unjust law, I am willing to pay
the penalty. I have not wittingly done harm to any of His Majesty's
subjects, or endeavored to draw them away from their loyalty. I will
therefore go with the messenger to Fredericton and meet this charge. I
am not afraid of what evil-minded men can do unto me".

"That is right, Mr. Norton", exclaimed Adele, who had been listening
attentively to his words. "Will you not go with him, father?"

After a moment's meditation, Mr. Dubois replied, "If it is Mr.
Norton's wish. I have a friend who is a member of the Assembly. A
favorable statement of the case from him, would doubtless have much
weight with the jury".

"Thank you, sir, thank you. Such an arrangement would doubtless be of
great service to me. I should be exceedingly grateful for it".

Micah, who had been hitherto a quiet listener to the colloquy, now
gave a short, violent cough, and said, "Captin', it's kinder queer I
should happen to hev an arrand reound to Fredericton to-morrow. But
I've jest thought that as long as I'm a goin' to be in the place, I
might as well step in afore the jury and say what I know abeout the
case".

"Thank you, Micah. I believe you have been present whenever I have
discoursed to our friends, and know precisely what I have said to
them".

"Well, I guess I dew, pooty nigh".

The affair being thus arranged, the party separated.

Mr. Norton informed the messenger of his intention, early in the
morning, to depart with him for Fredericton.

He then retired to his room, spent an hour in reflecting upon the
course he had adopted, examined faithfully the motives that influenced
him, and finally came to the conclusion that he was in the right path.
He firmly believed God had sent him to Miramichi to preach the gospel,
and resolved that he would not be driven from thence by any power of
men or evil spirits. He then committed himself to the care of the
Almighty Being, and slept securely under the wing of his love.

In the mean time, there was a high breeze of excitement blowing
through the settlement, the people taking up the matter and making
common cause with Mr. Norton. He seemed to have fairly won their good
will, although he had not yet induced them, except in a few instances,
to reform their habits of life. They ventilated their indignation
against the unfortunate clergyman of the parish of ----, in no measured
terms.

There was, however, one exception to the kind feeling manifested by
the settlers, towards the missionary at this time, in the person of
Mrs. McNab. She informed Mrs. Campbell, as they were discussing the
matter before retiring for the night, that it was just what she had
expected.

"Na gude comes o' sech hurry-flurry kind o' doctrenes as that man
preaches. I dinna believe pussons can be carried into the kingdom o'
heaven on a wharlwind, as he'd have us to think".

"Well", said Mrs. Campbell, who had been much impressed with Mr.
Norton's teachings, "I don't think there's much likelihood of many
folks round here bein kerried that way, or any other, into the
kingdom. And I shall always bless that man for his kindness to the
children when they were so sick, and for the consoling way in which he
talked to me at that time".

"His doctrenes are every way delytarious, and you'll find that's the
end on't", said Mrs. McNab.

To this dogmatic remark Mrs. Campbell made no reply.

Sitting in the Madonna room, that evening, John remarked to Mr.
Somers, "I have a growing admiration for your missionary. Did you
notice what he said, in reply to the man who counselled him to fly
into Maine and so evade the charge brought against him? Small things
sometimes suggest great ones. I was reminded of what Luther said, when
cited before the diet of Worms, and when his friends advised him not
to go. 'I am lawfully called to appear in that city, and thither I
will go, in the name of the Lord, though as many devils as tiles upon
the houses were assembled against me.'"

"Ay, John. There are materials in the character of that man for the
making of another Luther. Truth, courage, power,--he has them all".




CHAPTER XIX.

THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.


The next morning at an early hour, Mr. Dubois and Mr. Norton,
accompanied by the bearer of the despatch, started for Fredericton.
They were joined by Micah, whose alleged urgent business in that city
proved to be nothing more nor less than to lend his aid towards
getting the missionary out of what he called "a bad fix!"

Proceeding up the Miramichi River a short distance, they came to the
portage, where travelling through the wilderness twenty miles to the
Nashwauk, they passed down that stream to its junction with the St.
John's River, opposite Fredericton.

After throwing off the dust of travel and resting somewhat from their
fatigue, the two gentlemen first named, went to call on Col. Allen,
the friend of whom Mr. Dubois had spoken, who was a resident of the
Capital.

He was a man of wealth and consideration in the province. Having
listened attentively to the statement made by Mr. Dubois respecting
the arrest of Mr. Norton, he promised to do all in his power to secure
for him a fair trial.

Although a high churchman in principle and feeling, he was yet candid
and upright in his judgments, and happened, moreover, to be well
acquainted with the character of the clergyman of the parish of ----,
who had brought the charge against Mr. Norton. He made a few inquiries
respecting the evidence the missionary could produce of good character
in his native State.

"It will be well", he remarked, "to call on his Excellency, the
Governor, and put him in possession of these facts. It is possible the
case may take some shape in which his action may be called for. It
will do no harm for him to have a knowledge of the circumstances from
yourselves, gentlemen. Will you accompany me to the Government House?"

The Government House, a large building of stone, is situated near the
northern entrance to the city. With its extensive wings, beautiful
grounds and military appointments, it presents an imposing appearance.
In the rear of the mansion, a fine park slopes down to the bank of the
river, of which it commands frequent and enchanting views.

The three gentlemen alighted at the entrance to the grounds, opening
from the broad street, and after passing the sentry were conducted by
a page to the Governor's office. His Excellency shortly appeared and
gave them a courteous welcome. In brief terms Col. Allen presented to
him the case.

The Governor remarked in reply, that the law prohibiting persons from
publicly preaching, or teaching, without a license, had been passed
many years ago, in consequence of disturbances made by a set of
fanatics, who promulgated among the lower classes certain extravagant
dogmas by which they were led on even to commit murder; thinking they
were doing God service. The purpose of the law, he said, having been
thus generally understood, few, if any clergymen, belonging either to
the Established Church or to Dissenting congregations, had applied for
a license, and this was the first complaint to his knowledge, that had
been entered, alleging a violation of the law. He said, also, that
from the statement Col. Allen had made, he apprehended no danger to
Mr. Norton, as he thought the charge brought against him could not be
maintained.

"I advise you, sir", said he, turning to the missionary, "to go to the
Secretary's office and take the oath of allegiance to the government.
Mr. Dubois states you are exerting a good influence at Miramichi. I
will see that you receive no further annoyance".

"I thank your Honor", Mr. Norton replied, "for your kind assurances,
and I declare to you, sir, that I have the most friendly feelings
towards His Majesty's subjects and government, as I have given some
proof in coming to labor at Miramichi. But, sir, I cannot
conscientiously take an oath of allegiance to your government, when my
love and duty are pledged to another. I earnestly hope that the
present amicable relations may ever continue to exist between the two
powers, but, sir, _should_ any conflict arise between them, the
impropriety of my having taken such an oath would become too evident".

"You are right. You are right, my good sir", replied the Governor. "I
promise you that as long as you continue your work in the rational
mode you have already pursued, making no effort to excite treasonable
feelings towards His Majesty's government, you shall not be interfered
with".

His Excellency then made numerous inquiries of Mr. Dubois and Mr.
Norton, respecting the condition of society, business, means of
education and religious worship in the Miramichi country. He already
knew Mr. Dubois by reputation, and was gratified to have this
opportunity of meeting him. He inquired of the missionary how he
happened to light upon New Brunswick as the scene of his religious
labors, and listened to Mr. Norton's account of his "call" to
Miramichi with unaffected interest.

The next day the case was brought before the Jury. The charge having
been read, Mr. Dubois appeared in behalf of the missionary, testifying
to his good character and to the nature of his spiritual teachings. He
also presented to the Jury three commissions from the Governor of the
State of ----, which Mr. Norton had in his possession, one of them
being a commission as Chaplain of the Regiment to which he belonged.
Inquiry being made whether Mr. Norton's preaching was calculated to
disaffect subjects towards the government, no evidence was found to
that effect. On the contrary, witnesses were brought to prove the
reverse.

Mr. Mummychog, aware before he left Miramichi, that a number of his
compeers in that region, who had been in the habit of coming to the
Grove to hear Mr. Norton discourse, were just now at Fredericton, on
lumbering business, had been beating up these as recruits for the
occasion, and now brought forward quite an overpowering weight of
evidence in favor of the defendant. These men testified that he had
preached to them the importance of fulfilling their duties as
citizens, telling them, that unless they were good subjects to the
civil government, they could not be good subjects in Christ's kingdom.
They testified, also, that they had frequently heard him pray in
public, for the health, happiness, and prosperity of His Majesty, and
for blessings on the Lord Lieutenant-Governor.

After a few minutes of conversation, the Jury dismissed the charge.

The party retired, much gratified at the favorable conclusion of what
might, under other circumstances, have proved to the missionary an
annoying affair. Mr. Norton warmly expressed his gratitude to Mr.
Dubois, as having been the main instrument, in securing this result.
He also cordially thanked Micah and his friends, for their prompt
efforts in his behalf.

"Twant much of a chore, any heow", said Micah. "I never could stan' by
and see any critter put upon by another he'd done no harm to, and I
never will".

As they returned to the hotel, Mr. Dubois remarked that this journey
to the Capital, after all, might not be without good results.

"You made", he said to Mr. Norton, "an extremely favorable impression
on the minds of several gentlemen, who wield power in the province,
and should you be subjected to future persecutions, you will probably
be able to secure their protection".

"Possibly--possibly. I am grateful, if I have in any way secured the
good will of those gentlemen. I was particularly impressed by their
dignity, affability, and readiness to oblige yourself. But, my dear
sir, it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in
princes".




CHAPTER XX.

MR. LANSDOWNE SUBMITS TO THE INEVITABLE.


In the meanwhile, a change had come upon John Lansdowne. Only a few
weeks ago, he was a careless youth, of keen and vigorous intellectual
powers, satiated with books and tired of college walls, with the boy
spirit in the ascendant within him. His eye was wide open and
observant, and his ringing laugh was so merry, that it brought an
involuntary smile upon any one who might chance to hear its rich
peals. His talk was rapid, gay, and brilliant, with but the slightest
dash of sentiment, and his manner frank and fearless.

But now his bearing had become quiet and dignified; his conversation
was more thoughtful and deep-flowing, less dashing and free; he spoke
in a lower key; his laugh was less loud but far sweeter and more
thrilling; his eyes had grown larger, darker, deeper, and sometimes
they were shadowed with a soft and tender mist, not wont to overspread
them before. The angel of Love had touched him, and opened a new and
living spring in his heart. Boiling and bubbling in its hidden recess,
an ethereal vapor mounted up and mantled those blazing orbs in a dim
and dreamy veil. A charmed wand had touched every sense, every power
of his being, and held him fast in a rapturous thrall, from which he
did not wish to be released. Under the spell of this enchantment, the
careless boy had passed into the reflective man.

Stories are told of knights errant, in the times of Merlin and the
good King Arthur, who, while ranging the world in quest of adventures,
were bewitched by lovely wood fairies or were lulled into delicious
slumber by some syren's song, or were shut up in pleasant durance in
enchanted castles. Accounts of similar character are found, even in
the pages of grave chroniclers of modern date, to say nothing of what
books of fiction tell, and what we observe with our own eyes, in the
actual world. The truth is, Love smites his victims, just when and
where he finds them. Mr. Lansdowne's case then, is not an
unprecedented one. The keen Damascus blade, used to pierce our hero
and bring him to the pitiful condition of the conquered, had been
placed in the hand of Adele. Whether Love intended to employ that
young lady in healing the cruel wound she had made, remains to be
seen.

At the beginning of their acquaintance, they had found a common ground
of interest in the love of music.

They both sang well. Adele played the piano and John discoursed on the
flute. From these employments, they passed to books. They rummaged Mr.
Dubois's library and read together, selected passages from favorite
authors. Occasionally, John gave her little episodes of his past life,
his childish, his school, and college days. In return, Adele told him
of her term at Halifax in the convent; of the routine of life and
study there; of her friendships, and very privately, of the disgust
she took, while there, to what she called the superstitions, the
mummeries and idolatry of the Catholic church.

When Mr. Somers had acquired strength enough for exercise on
horseback, Mrs. Dubois, Adele, and John were accustomed to accompany
him. Daily, about an hour after breakfast, the little party might have
been seen fitting off for a canter through the forest. In the evening,
the group was joined by Mr. Dubois and the missionary. The atmosphere
being exceedingly dry, both by day and night, they often sat and
talked by moonlight, on a balcony, built over the large, porch-like
entrance to the main door of the house.

Thus John and Adele daily grew into a more familiar acquaintance.

During the absence of Mr. Dubois at Fredericton, Mr. Somers announced
to John that he felt himself strong enough to undertake the ride
through the wilderness, and proposed that, as soon as their host
returned, they should start on their journey home.

With increasing strength, Mr. Somers had become impatient to return to
the duties he had so summarily forsaken.

He wished to test, in active life, his power to maintain the new
principles he had espoused and to ascertain if the nobler and holier
hopes that now animated him, would give him peace, strength, and
buoyancy, amid the temptations and trials of the future.

John, for several days, had been living in a delicious reverie, and
was quite startled by the proposition. Though aware how anxiously his
parents were awaiting his return, and that there was no reasonable
excuse for farther delay, he inwardly repudiated the thought of
departure. He even indicated a wish to delay the journey beyond the
time Mr. Somers had designated. A piercing look of inquiry from that
gentleman recalled him to his senses, and after a moment of
hesitation, he assented to the arrangement. But the beautiful dream
was broken. He was thrown at once into a tumult of emotion. Unwilling
to expose his agitation to the observation of others, he went directly
to his room and locked himself in.

After sitting half an hour with his face buried in his hands, the
chaos of his soul formed itself into definite shape. His first clear
thought was this,--"Without Adele, my life will be a blank. She is
absolutely necessary to my existence. I must win her". A very decided
conclusion certainly, for a young gentleman to reach, who when he
arrived at this house, but a few weeks before, seemed to be enjoying a
liberal share of hope and happiness. The question arose, Does she care
for me? Does she regard me with any special interest beyond the
kindness and courtesy she accords to all her father's guests? On this
point, he could not satisfy himself. He was torn by a conflict of
doubt, hope, and fear. He thought her not averse to him. She
conversed, sang, and rode with him as if it were agreeable to her.
Indeed she seemed to enjoy his society. But she was equally pleased to
converse and ride with Mr. Somers and good Mr. Norton. He was unable
to determine the sentiments she really cherished and remained tossed
to and fro in painful suspense and agitation.

A couple of hours passed and found him in the same state. Mr. Somers
came and tapped upon his door. Unwilling to awaken a suspicion of any
unusual discomposure, John opened it and let him in.

"Hope I don't intrude", said Mr. Somers, "but I want you to look at
the horse Mummychog has brought for me".

"Ah! yes", said John, and seizing his hat, he accompanied his friend
to the stables.

Their observations over, they returned to the house.

"You have had a fit of solitude, quite unusual, my boy", said Mr.
Somers, planting his hand on John's shoulder.

"Yes, quite. For a novelty, I have been collecting my thoughts". John
meant to speak in a gay, indifferent tone, and thought he had done so,
but this was a mistake.

Besides he had in fact a decidedly conscious look.

"If you have any momentous affair on hand, I advise you to wait, until
you reach _home_ before you decide upon it, my boy", said Mr. Somers,
with a light laugh, but a strong emphasis upon the word, home.

And he passed up-stairs, leaving John, standing bewildered in the
hall-door.

"Ah! Ned has discovered it all", said he to himself. But he was too
much occupied with other thoughts to be annoyed by it now.

Mr. Somers's last remark had turned the course of his meditations
somewhat. He began to question what opinion his parents might have in
regard to the sentiments he entertained towards Adele, and the plan
he had formed of endeavoring to secure her love. He knew, they
considered him as yet hardly out of boyhood. He had indeed, until
within a few weeks, looked upon himself in that light.

Not yet freed from college halls,--would they not think him foolish
and precipitate? Would they approve his choice?

But these queries and others of like character he disposed of
summarily and decisively. He felt that, no matter how recently he had
passed the limits of boyhood and become a man, it was no boy's passion
that now swayed his whole being, it seemed to him that, should he make
the effort, he could not expel it from his soul. But he did not wish
to make the effort. Adele was worthy the love of any man.

It had been his fortune to find a jewel, when he least expected it.
Why should he not avail himself of the golden opportunity and secure
the treasure? Would his parents approve his choice? Certainly, Adele
was "beautiful as the Houries and wise as Zobeide". Considerations of
policy and expediency, which sometimes appear on the mental horizon of
older people, were quite unknown to our young hero.

So he returned to the only aspect of the case that gave him real
disquiet. He had fears respecting Adele's sentiments towards himself,
and doubts of his ability to inspire in her a love equal to his own.
But he must be left for the present to adjust himself to his new
situation as best he can.




CHAPTER XXI.

TROUBLED HEARTS.


On the afternoon of the day following, Adele was sitting alone in the
parlor. She held a book in her hand, but evidently it did not much
interest her, as her eyes wandered continually from its pages and
rested, abstractedly, upon any object they happened to meet.

She felt lonely, and wondered why Mr. Lansdowne did not, as usual at
that hour, come to the parlor. She thought how vacant and sad her life
would be, after he and Mr. Somers had departed from Miramichi. She
queried whether she should ever meet them again; whether, indeed,
either of them, after a short time, would ever think of the
acquaintances they had formed here, except when recalled by some
accident of memory, or association. She feared they might wholly
forget all these scenes, fraught with so much interest and pleasure to
her, and that fear took possession of her heart and made her almost
miserable. She strove to turn her mind upon her favorite project of
returning with her parents, to France. But, notwithstanding her
efforts, her thoughts lingered around the departing gentlemen, and the
close of her acquaintance with them.

Suddenly she heard Mr. Lansdowne's step approaching the room.
Conscious that her heart was at this moment in her eyes, she hastily
threw the book upon the table. Taking her embroidery, she bent her
attention closely upon it, thus veiling the tell-tale orbs, with their
long dark lashes.

She looked up a moment, as he entered, to give him a nod of
recognition. A flash of lightning will reveal at once the whole
paraphernalia of a room, even to its remotest corners; or disclose the
scenery of an entire landscape, in its minutest details, each
previously wrapt by the darkness in perfect mystery; so, one single
glance of the eye may unveil and discover a profound secret, that has
hitherto never been indicated, by either word or motion. By that quick
glance, Adele saw Mr. Lansdowne's face, very pale with the struggle he
had just gone through, and a strange light glowing from his eyes, that
caused her to withdraw her own immediately.

Her heart beat rapidly,--she was conscious that a tide of crimson was
creeping up to her cheek, and felt herself tremulous in every limb, as
Mr. Lansdowne approached and drew a seat near her. But pride came to
her aid. One strong effort of the will, and the young creature, novice
as she was in the arts of society, succeeded in partially covering the
flutter and agitation of spirit caused by the sudden discovery of her
lover's secret.

"When do you expect your father's return, Miss Adele?" inquired Mr.
Lansdowne.

"In a day or two", was the reply.

"Do you know that my uncle and I will be obliged to leave our
newly-found friends here, soon after your father gets home?"

"I know", replied Adele, with apparent calmness, "that Mr. Somers's
health has greatly improved and I supposed you would probably go away
soon".

"Pardon me, Miss Adele", said John, in a voice that betrayed his
emotion, "but shall you miss us at all? Shall you regret our absence?"

Again Adele's heart bounded quickly. She felt irritated and ashamed of
its tumult.

By another strong effort, she answered simply, "Certainly, Mr.
Lansdowne, we shall all miss you. You have greatly enlivened our
narrow family circle. We shall be very sorry to lose you".

How indifferent she is, thought John. She does not dream of my love.

"Miss Adele", he exclaimed passionately, "it will be the greatest
calamity of my life to leave you".

For a moment, the young girl was silent. His voice both thrilled and
fascinated her. Partly proud, partly shy, like the bird who shuns the
snare set for it, only fluttering its wings over the spot for an
instant, and then flying to a greater distance, Adele bestirred her
powers and resolved not to suffer herself to be drawn into the meshes.
She felt a new, strange influence creeping over her, to which she was
half afraid, half too haughty to yield without a struggle.

"Mr. Lansdowne, I am happy yo learn you place some value on our
friendship, as we do on yours. But surely, your own home, such as you
have described it to me, must be the most attractive spot on earth to
you".

"Is it possible", said Mr. Lansdowne vehemently, taking her hand and
holding it fast in his, "that you cannot understand me,--that you do
not know that I love you infinitely more than father, or mother, or
any human creature?"

Surprised at the abruptness of this outburst, bewildered and
distressed by her own conflicting emotions, Adele knew not what to
say, and wished only to fly away into solitude that she might collect
her scattered powers.

"Mr. Lansdowne, I am not prepared for this. Let me go. I must leave
you", she exclaimed.

Suddenly drawing her hand from his, she fled to her own room, locked
the door and burst into a passionate flood of tears. Poor child! Her
lover with his unpractised hand, had opened a new chapter in her life,
too precipitately. She was not prepared for its revelations, and the
shock had shaken her a little too rudely.

John remained sitting, white and dumb, as if a thunderbolt had fallen
upon him.

"Gone! gone!" he exclaimed at length, "she does not love me! And, fool
that I was, I have frightened her from me forever!"

He bowed his head upon the table and uttered a groan of despair.

Mr. Lansdowne returned to the solitude of his own room, sufficiently
miserable. He feared he had offended Adele past healing. Looking over
the events of the week, he thought he could perceive that she had been
teased by his attentions, and that she wished to indicate this by the
coolness of her manner and words to him, during their recent
interview. And he had recklessly, though unwittingly, put the climax
to her annoyance by this abrupt disclosure of his love. He berated
himself unmercifully for his folly. For a full hour, he believed that
his blundering impetuosity had cost him the loss of Adele forever.

But it is hard for hope to forsake the young. It can never wholly
leave any soul, except by a slow process of bitter disappointment.
John saw that he had made a mistake. The strength and tumult of his
passion for Adele had led him thoughtlessly into what probably
appeared to her, an attempt to storm the citadel of her heart, and in
her pride, she had repulsed him.

He bethought him that there were gentler modes of reaching that seat
of life and love. He became a tactician. He resolved he would, by his
future conduct, perhaps by some chance word, indicate to Adele that he
understood her repulse and did not intend to repeat his offence. He
would not hereafter seek her presence unduly, but when they were
thrown together, would show himself merely gentle and brotherly. And
then,--he would trust to time, to circumstances, to his lucky star, to
bring her to his side.

In the mean time, after her tears had subsided, Adele found, somewhat
to her surprise, that this sudden disturbance of her usual equilibrium
came from the very deep interest she felt for Mr. Lansdowne. And,
moreover, she was annoyed to find it so, and did not at all like to
own it to herself. Naturally proud, self-relying, and in the habit of
choosing her own path, she had an instinctive feeling that this new
passion might lay upon her a certain thralldom, not congenial to her
haughty spirit. This consciousness made her distant and reserved, when
she again met Mr. Lansdowne at the tea-table.

In fact, the manner of each towards the other had wholly changed.

John was calm, respectful, gentle, but made no effort to draw Adele's
attention. After tea he asked Mrs. Dubois to play backgammon with him.

Adele worked on her embroidery, and Mr. Somers sat beside her,
sketching on paper with his pencil, various bits of ruin and scenery
in Europe, mixed up with all sorts of grotesque shapes and monsters.
Mr. Lansdowne appeared, all the evening, so composed, so natural, and
simply brotherly, that when Adele went to her room for the night, the
interview of the afternoon seemed almost like a dream. She thought
that the peculiar reception she had given to his avowal, might have
quite disenchanted her lover. And the thought disturbed her. After
much questioning and surmising, she went to sleep.

The next day and the next, Mr. Lansdowne's manner towards Adele
continued the same. She supposed he might renew the subject of their
last conversation, but he did not, although several opportunities
presented, when he might have done so. Occasionally, she strove to
read his emotions by observing his countenance, but his eyes were
averted to other objects. He no longer glanced towards her. "Ah!
well", said Adele to herself, "his affection for me could not be so
easily repulsed, were it so very profound. I will care nothing for
him". And yet, somehow, her footstep lagged wearily and her eye
occasionally gathered mists on its brightness.

It was now the eve of the fifth of October. An unnatural heat
prevailed, consequent on the long drought, the horizon was skirted
with a smoky haze and the atmosphere was exceedingly oppressive. Mrs.
Dubois, who was suffering from a severe headache, sat in the parlor,
half buried in the cushions of an easy-chair. Adele stood beside her,
bathing her head with perfumed water, while Mr. Somers, prostrated by
the weather, lay, apparently asleep, upon a sofa.

"That will do, Adele", said Mrs. Dubois, making a slight motion
towards her daughter. "That will do, _ma chere_, my head is cooler
now. Go out and watch for your father. He will surely be here
to-night".

Adele stepped softly out, through the window upon the balcony.

A few minutes after, Mr. Lansdowne came to the parlor door, looked in,
inquired for Mrs. Dubois's headache, gazed for a moment, at the serene
face of the sleeper on the sofa, and then, perceiving Adele sitting
outside, impelled by an irresistible impulse, went out and joined her.

She was leaning her head upon her hand, with her arm supported by a
low, rude balustrade, that ran round the edge of the balcony, and was
looking earnestly up the road, to catch the first glimpse of her
father. Her countenance had a subdued, sad expression. She was indeed
very unhappy. The distance and reserve that had grown up so suddenly
between herself and Mr. Lansdowne had become painful to her. She would
have rejoiced to return once more to their former habits of frank and
vivacious conversation. But she waited for him to renew the
familiarity of the past.

She turned her head towards him as he approached, and without raising
her eyes, said, "Good evening, Mr. Lansdowne". He bowed, sat down, and
they remained several minutes in silence.

"I suppose", said John, at length, making a desperate effort to
preserve a composure of manner, entirely at variance with the
tumultuous throbbings of his heart, "you are confident of your
father's return to-night?"

"O, yes. I look for him every moment. I am quite anxious to hear the
result of the expedition".

"I am, also. I hope no harm will come to our good friend, Mr. Norton.
Do you know whether he intends to spend the winter here, Miss Adele?"

"I think he will return to his family. But we shall endeavor to retain
him, until we go ourselves".

"_You_ go, Miss Adele", exclaimed John, unable to conceal his eager
interest, "do you leave here?"

"We go to France next month".

"To France!" repeated the young man.

"My father and mother are going to visit their early home. I shall
accompany them". John, aroused by information containing so much of
importance in regard to Adele's future, could not restrain himself
from prolonging the conversation. Adele was willing to answer his
inquiries, and in a few minutes they were talking almost as freely and
frankly as in the days before Mr. Lansdowne's unfortunately rash
avowal of his passion.

Suddenly a thick cloud of dust appeared in the road, and Mr. Dubois,
Mr. Norton, and Micah, were soon distinguished turning the heads of
their horses towards the house.

Adele uttered an exclamation of joy, and bounded from her seat. As Mr.
Lansdowne made way for her to reach the window, she glanced for a
moment at his face, and there beheld again the strange light glowing
in his eyes. It communicated a great hope to her heart.

She hastened past him to greet her father.




CHAPTER XXII.

A MEMORABLE EVENT.


The morning of the sixth of October dawned. The heat of the weather
had increased and become wellnigh intolerable. At breakfast, Mr.
Dubois and Mr. Norton gave accounts of fires they had seen in various
parts of the country, some of them not far off, and owing to the
prevalence of the forest and the extreme dryness of the trees and
shrubs, expressed fears of great devastation.

They united in thinking it would be dangerous for the two gentlemen to
undertake their journey home, until a copious rain should have fallen.

During the forenoon, the crackling of the fires and the sound of
falling-trees in the distant forest could be distinctly heard,
announcing that the terrible element was at work.

Mr. Dubois, accompanied by Mr. Norton and John, ascended the most
prominent hills in the neighborhood to watch the direction in which
the clouds of smoke appeared. These observations only confirmed their
fears. They warned the people around of the danger, but these paid
little heed. In the afternoon, the missionary crossed, from the Dubois
house, on the northern side of the river, to the southern bank, and
explored the country to a considerable distance around.

In the evening, when the family met in the Madonna room, cheerfulness
had forsaken the party. The languor produced by the heat and the
heavily-laden atmosphere, solicitude felt for the dwellers in the
forest, through which the fire was now sweeping, a hoarse rumbling
noise like distant thunder, occasionally booming on their ears, and
gloomy forebodings of impending calamity, all weighed upon the
dispirited group.

Mr. Norton said it was his firm conviction that God was about to
display His power in a signal manner to this people in order to arouse
them to a sense of their guilt.

Before separating for the night, he requested permission to offer up a
prayer to heaven. The whole circle knelt, while he implored the Great
Ruler of all, to take them as a family under his protecting love,
whether life or death awaited them, and that He would, if consistent
with His great and wise plans, avert His wrath from the people.

The night was a dismal, and for the most of the family, a sleepless
one. The morning rose once more, but it brought no cheering sound of
blessed rain-drops. The air was still hot and stifling.

About noon, the missionary came in from a round of observation he had
been making, and urged Mr. Dubois to take his family immediately to
the south bank of the river. The fires were advancing towards them
from the north, and would inevitably be upon them soon. He had not
been able to discover any appearance of fire upon the southern side
of the river. It was true the approaching flames might be driven
across, but the stream being for some distance quite wide, this might
not take place. In any event, the southern side was the safest, at the
present moment. He had faith in the instinct of animals, and for
several hours past he had seen cattle and geese leaving their usual
places of resort and swimming to the opposite shore.

Mr. Dubois, also convinced that there was no other feasible method of
escape, hastened to make arrangements for immediate departure.

A mist, tinged with deep purple, now poured in from the wilderness and
overspread the horizon. A dark cloud wrapped the land in a dismal
gloom. The heat grew nearly insupportable. Rapid explosions, loud and
startling noises, filled the air, and the forest thrilled and shook
with the raging flames. Soon a fiery belt encircled them on the east,
north, and west, and advancing rapidly, threatened to cover the whole
area. The river was the only object which, by any possibility, could
stay its course.

Then followed a scene of wildest confusion. The people, aroused at
last to their danger, rushed terrified to the river, unmoored their
boats and fled across. Hosts of women, whose husbands were absent in
the forest, came with their children, imploring to be taken to the
other side. The remainder of the day was occupied in this work, and at
the close of it, most of those living in the Dubois settlement had
been safely landed on the southern shore; and there they stood huddled
together in horror-stricken groups, on the highest points they could
reach, watching the terrible, yet majestic scene.

Mr. Somers had been occupied in this way all the afternoon and was
greatly exhausted. As the darkness of night shut down upon the scene,
he landed a party of women and children, who rushed up, precipitately,
to join those who had crossed before. He had handed the last passenger
over the edge of the boat, when a sudden faintness, produced by the
excessive heat and fatigue, overpowered him. He tottered backward and
fell, striking his head violently upon some object in the bottom of
the boat. It was a deathblow.

There he lay, with face upturned towards the lurid glare that lit up
the darkness. The boat nestled about in the little cove, rocked upon
the waves, presenting the pale countenance, now half in shadow, now
wholly concealed by the overhanging shrubs, and now in full relief,
but always with a sweet, radiant, immovable calm upon the features, in
strange contrast to the elemental roar and tumult around him.

In the mean time, the fires drew nearer and nearer the northern bank
of the river. A strong breeze sprang up and immense columns of smoke
mounted to the sky. Then came showers of ashes, cinders and burning
brands. At last, a tornado, terrible in fury, arose to mingle its
horrors with the fire. Thunderbolt on thunderbolt, crash on crash rent
the air. At intervals of momentary lull in the storm, the roar of the
flames was heard. Rapidly advancing, they shot fiery tongues into
every beast lair of the forest, into every serpent-haunted crevice of
the rock, sending forth their denizens bellowing and writhing with
anguish and death; onward still they rushed licking up with hissing
sound every rivulet and shallow pond, twisting and coiling round the
glorious pines, that had battled the winds and tempests hundreds of
years, but now to be snapped and demolished by this new enemy.

With breathless interest, the inhabitants of the settlement watched
the progress of the flames. The hamlet where they lived was situated
on a wide point of land, around which the Miramichi made an unusually
bold sweep. Micah's Grove partly skirted it on the north.

From the Grove to the river, the forest-trees had been cleared,
leaving the open space dotted with the houses of the settlers. The
fire pressed steadily on toward the Grove. The destruction of that
forest fane, consecrated so recently to the worship of God, and the
burning of their homes and earthly goods seemed inevitable. The
people, with pale, excited faces, awaited this heart-rending
spectacle.

Just at this moment, the tornado, coming from the North, with terrific
fury, drawing flames, trees, and every movable object in its wake,
whirling forward with gigantic power, suddenly turned in its path,
veered towards the east, swept past the Grove and past the settlement,
leaving them wholly untouched, and took its destructive course onward
to the ocean. The people were dumb with amazement. Ruin had seemed so
sure that they scarcely trusted the evidence of their senses.

They dared not even think they had been saved from so much misery. For
a time, not a word was uttered, not a muscle moved.

Mr. Mummychog was the first to-recover his voice.

"'Tis a maracle! and nuthin' else", he exclaimed, "and we've jest got
to thank Captin' Norton for it. He's been a prayin' ut we might be
past by, all 'long and 'tis likely the Lord has heerd him. 'Tain't on
eour own acceounts, my worthy feller-sinners, that we've been spared.
Mind ye remember _that_".

The people in their joy gathered around the missionary, and united
with Micah, in acknowledging their belief, that his prayers had
averted from them this great calamity. For a moment, their attention
was distracted from the still raging horrors of the scene by the sense
of relief from threatened danger.

It was during this brief lull of intense anxiety and expectation, that
our friends first became aware of the absence of Mr. Somers. They had
supposed, of course, that he was standing somewhere among the groups
of people, his attention riveted, like their own, upon the scene
before them. Adele first woke to the consciousness that he was not
with them.

She turned her head and explored with earnest gaze the people around.
She could see distinctly by the intense red light, nearly every
countenance there, but did not recognize that of Mr. Somers. A painful
anxiety immediately seized her, which she strove in vain to conceal.
She approached near where Mr. Lansdowne stood, by the side of her
mother, gazing after the fire, placed her hand lightly on his arm, and
asked, "Can you tell me where Mr. Somers is to be found?"

"Mr. Somers! yes,--Ned. Where is he?" he exclaimed, turning, half
bewildered by her question, and looking in her face.

In an instant, the solicitude her features expressed, passed into his
own, the same sudden presentiment of evil possessed him.

Drawing Adele's arm hurriedly into his, he said, "please go with me to
seek him".

Hastening along, they went from one to another, making inquiries. It
appeared that Mr. Somers had not been seen for several hours.

Immediately, the whole company took the alarm and the search for him
commenced.

John and Adele, after fruitless efforts among the houses, at length
took their way to the river bank. As they were hastening forward, a
woman standing upon a rock overhanging the path they pursued, told
them that Mr. Somers brought herself and children over in the boat,
just at dark,--that she had not seen him since, and she remembered
now, that she did not see him come up from the river after he landed
them.

"Lead us to the spot where you left the boat", said Adele. "Go on as
quickly as you can".

The woman descended from her perch upon the rock and plunged before
them into the path.

"I remember now", she said with sudden compunctions, at her own
selfish indifference, "that the gentleman looked pale and seemed to be
dreadful tired like".

Neither John nor Adele made reply, and the woman hurried on. In a few
minutes, a sudden turn in the path brought them to the little cove
where the boat still lay.

The woman first caught sight of the wan face in the bottom of the
boat, and uttered a scream of horror. The lips of the others were
frozen into silence by the dread spectacle.

Scarcely a moment seemed to have passed, before John rushed down into
the water, reached the boat, raised thence the lifeless form, bore it
to the shore and laid the dripping head into the arms of Adele, who
seated herself on the grass to receive it.

"Go quickly", she said to the woman, "go for Dr. Wright. I saw him
only a moment ago. Find him and bring him here".

John threw himself upon his knees and began chafing Mr. Somers's
hands. "He is dead! he is dead!" he whispered, in a voice, hoarse and
unnatural with fear and anxiety.

"Let us hope not", said Adele in a tone of tenderness. "Perhaps it is
only a swoon. We will convey him to some shelter and restore him". And
she wrung the rain from his curls of long brown hair.

John's finger was upon Mr. Somers's wrist. "It will break my mother's
heart", he said, in the same hoarse whisper. At that moment, Dr.
Wright's voice was heard. He placed himself, without a word, upon the
grass, looked at the pale face, unfastened the dripping garments,
thrust his hand in beneath them, and laid it upon the young man's
heart.

"He is dead!" said Dr. Wright. "Friends, get a bit of canvas and a
blanket and take him to some house, till day breaks".

John, stupefied with horror and grief, still knelt by Mr. Somers,
chafing his hands and wringing the water from his wet garments. At
length, Mr. Dubois gently roused him from his task, telling him they
would now remove their friend to a house, where he might be properly
cared for.

"Let me lift him", said Micah to the young man. But John shook his
head and stooping, raised Mr. Somers and laid him on the canvas as
gently as if he were a sleeping infant.

Mr. Dubois, the missionary, John, and Micah conveyed the precious
charge. The Doctor, with Mrs. Dubois and Adele followed in melancholy
silence. The crowd came behind. The terrific events of the night had
made the people quiet, thoughtful, and sympathetic.

Once, after the prolonged, clinging gaze of each upon the face of the
sleeper, the eyes of the missionary and John met.

"My dear young man", said Mr. Norton, in a low, emphatic voice, "God
has taken him in mercy. The dear friend whom we loved, is himself
satisfied, I doubt not. May the Eternal Father grant us all at the end
of our course here a like blessed deliverance. Amen".

John looked in the good man's face, as if he but half understood his
words, and fixed his eyes again upon Mr. Somers.

At length, the party reached a house near the river bank, where they
deposited the dead.

Mrs. McNab, who had followed close on their footsteps, when they
reached the door, drew Adele aside and said,

"Naw, Miss Ady, I want the preevaleege o' trying to resoositate that
puir gentelman. It wad be like rasin' the dead, but there'll be nae
harm in tryin', to be sure".

"He is dead. The doctor says so, Aunt Patty". And Adele turned away
quickly.

But Mrs. McNab caught her shawl and held it.

"Naw, Miss Ady, dinna turn awa' fram a puir body, that was overtook
ance or twice with the whiskey, when a was tired and worrit for want
o' sleep. I wad nae ha' hurt a hair o' the gentelman's head. An' I wad
like the preevaleege o' wrappin' some blankets round him an' puttin'
some bottles o' hot water to his feet".

Adele, who had listened more patiently than she was wont, now turned
and glancing at Aunt Patty, saw that she really looked humble and
wishful, and two great tears were in her eyes.

"Well, I will see", said she, struck with this new phase of Mrs.
McNab's countenance. She went into the apartment, where they had just
laid Mr. Somers upon a bed.

In a few minutes, she returned.

"The doctor says it will be of no use, Aunt Patty. But Mr. Lansdowne
would like to make an attempt to restore him. So come, mamma and I
will help you".

Notwithstanding Mrs. McNab's subdued state of mind and her genuine,
unselfish wish to do all in her power to bring consciousness to the
stricken form, she could not avoid, as she made one application after
another, making also a few indicative observations to Mrs. Dubois.

"Did ye hear what the preacher said to the young mon as we cam' alang?
He's a mighty quick way o' desmeesin a' bonnie creetur like this out
o' the warld and sayin' he's satisfied aboot it".

"That was not what the missionary said, Mrs. McNab", replied Mrs.
Dubois. "He said that Mr. Somers is happy now. He is in Paradise, and
we must not wish him back. He is satisfied to be with Jesus and the
angels and his own mother. That is what he meant. And does he not
_look_ satisfied? See his blissful countenance!"

Mrs. Dubois leaned over him a moment, and thinking of his sister, Mrs.
Lansdowne, parted his hair with her pale, slender fingers and
imprinted a kiss on his forehead.

All efforts to restore warmth, or life to that marble form were in
vain, and at length they covered his face gently, until the day-dawn.

John sat by the bedside, his head buried in his hands, until morning.
He thought over all his past companionship with this youthful Uncle
Ned, of his pleasantness, wit and fascination, of his generous spirit,
of his love for his mother and himself, and wondered at the awful
strangeness that had thus fallen, in a moment, between them. Then the
thought of his mother's bitter grief swept over him like a flood and
nearly unmanned him. Like the drowning man, his brain was stimulated
to an unwonted activity. He lived over again his whole life, in a few
minutes of time. This dread Power, who had never crossed his path
before, shocked him inexpressibly. Who of the young, unstricken by
sorrow, ever associates death with himself or with those he loves,
till the Arch Reaper comes some day and cuts down and garners his
precious treasure?

John had heard of death, but he had heard of it just as he had heard
of the poisonous Upas-tree, growing on some distant ocean island, or
of an evil star, under whose baleful influence he might never fall.

The young live as if this life were immortal. So much the more bitter
their experience, when they wake up from the delusion.

The others of the party were gathered in an adjoining room, gazing
silently at the scene without. It was fearful, yet sublime. The whole
northern side of the Miramichi river, for over one hundred miles, had
become involved in one mighty sheet of flame, which was sweeping on in
swift destruction to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The river boiled with
the fierce heat and tossed its foaming waters, filled with its now
lifeless inhabitants, to the shore. The fire was fed by six thousand
square miles of primeval forest,--a dense growth of resinous
trees,--by houses and barns filled with crops, and by thriving towns
upon the river's bank.

Above all, the people could not put aside the horrible truth, that
hundreds of men, women, and children,--their friends and their
acquaintances,--were perishing by the all-consuming element. They
could not exclude from fancy, the agonized and dying shrieks of those
dear to them, and the demoniac light shone on countenances, expressing
emotions of pity, grief, horror, and despair.

While the missionary sat there waiting for the day, he recalled with
startling distinctness the wild dream he dreamed, on that first night
he spent at the Dubois House. Of course, his belief in foregleams of
future events was confirmed by the scenes transpiring around him.

Mrs. Dubois sat near him, her countenance expressing profound grief.

"The dear young man!" she said. "How sad and awful thus to die!"

"My dear madam", said Mr. Norton, "let us not mourn as those who have
no hope. Our beloved friend, brilliant and susceptible, aspiring and
tender, was illy fitted for the rude struggle of life. It is true he
might have fought his way through, girt with the armor of Christian
faith and prayer, as many others, like him, have done. But the fight
would have been a hard one. So he has been kindly taken home. Sad and
awful thus to die? Say rather, infinitely blest the God-protected
soul, thus snatched away from this terrific uproar of natural elements
into the sphere of majestic harmonies, of stupendous yet peaceful
powers".

At daybreak the little community took to their boats, crossed the
river and re-entered once more the dwellings they had but a few hours
before left, never expecting to return to them again. Some went home
and gathered their families in unbroken numbers around them. Others,
whose husbands and sons had been absent in the forest at the time of
the breaking out of the fire, over whose fate remained a terrible
uncertainty, gathered in silence around lonely hearths. The terrors of
the past night were, to such, supplemented by days and even weeks of
heartbreaking anxiety and suspense, closed at last by the knowledge of
certain bereavement.

All had been deeply impressed with the horror of the scene, and
sobered into thoughtfulness. A few felt truly grateful to the Most
High for their wonderful preservation.




CHAPTER XXIII.

THE SEPARATION.


With the morning light and the return to the settlement, Mr. Lansdowne
awoke to a consciousness of the duty immediately before him, that of
making arrangements for the safe conveyance home of the precious form
now consigned to his care.

His friends at the Dubois house manifested the deepest sympathy in his
affliction, and aided him in every possible way. In making his journey
he concluded to take a boat conveyance to Chatham, and a trading
vessel thence to his native city.

The missionary, who since the early spring had been laboring up and
down the rivers St. John and Miramichi, now concluded to return to his
family for the coming winter. Such had been his intention and his
promise to Mrs. Norton, when he left home. He was induced to go at
this particular time partly by the hope of rendering some service to
Mr. Lansdowne during his journey, and partly in order to see Mrs.
Lansdowne and impart to her the particulars of her brother's residence
and illness at Miramichi. A scheme of mercy on the part of the good
man.

On the return of Mr. Dubois to his house, he found a package of
letters, which, in the confusion and anxiety of the previous day, had
remained unopened. There was one from the Count de Rossillon,
announcing the death of the Countess. He wrote as if deeply depressed
in mind, speaking of the infirmities of age weighing heavily upon him,
and of his loneliness, and imploring Mr. Dubois to come, make his
abode at the chateau and take charge of the estate, which, at his
death, he added, would pass into the possession of Mrs. Dubois and
Adele.

Mrs. Dubois's heart beat with delight and her eyes swam with tears of
pleasure, at the prospect of once more returning to her beloved
Picardy. Yet her joy was severely chastened by the loss of the
Countess, whom she had fondly loved.

Adele felt a satisfaction in the anticipation of being restored to the
dignities of Rossillon, which she was too proud to manifest.

Mr. Dubois alone hesitated in entertaining the idea of a return. His
innate love of independence, together with a remembrance of the early
antipathy the Count had shown to the marriage with his niece, made the
thought repellant to him. A calmer consideration, however, changed his
view of the case. He recollected that the Count had at last consented
to his union with Mrs. Dubois, and reflected that the infirmities and
loneliness of the Count laid on them obligations they should not
neglect. He found, also, that his own love of home and country, now
that it could at last with propriety be gratified, welled up and
overflowed like a newly sprung fountain.

The tornado had spent itself, the fire had rushed on to the ocean, the
atmosphere had became comparatively clear and the weather cool and
bracing.

On the evening before the departure of Mr. Norton and Mr. Lansdowne,
the family met, as on many previous occasions, in the Madonna room. In
itself, the apartment was as cheerful and attractive as ever, but each
one present felt a sense of vacancy, a shrinking of the heart. The
sunny changeful glow of one bright face was no longer there, and the
shadows of approaching separation cast a gloom over the scene.

These people, so strangely thrown together in this wild, obscure
region of Miramichi, drawn hither by such differing objects of
pursuit, bound by such various ties in life, occupying such divergent
positions in the social scale, had grown by contact and sympathy into
a warm friendship toward each other. Their daily intercourse was now
to be broken up, the moment of adieu drew nigh, and the prospect of
future meeting was, to say the least, precarious. Was it strange that
some sharp pangs of regret filled their hearts?

Mr. Lansdowne, who had up to this time been wholly occupied with his
preparations for departure, was sitting, in an attitude betokening
weariness and despondency, leaning his arms upon a table, shading his
face with his hand. A few days of grief and anxiety had greatly
changed him. He looked pale and languid, but Adele thought, as she
occasionally glanced at him from the sofa opposite, that she had never
seen his countenance so clothed with spiritual beauty.

Mr. Dubois, who had not yet spoken to his friends of his intention to
remove to France, now broke the heavy silence, by announcing his
purpose to leave, in the course of a week, and return with his family
to Picardy.

Mr. Lansdowne started suddenly and uttered a slight exclamation. Adele
looked at him involuntarily. He was gazing at her intently. The
strange light again glowed in his eyes. Her own fell slowly. She could
not keep her lids lifted beneath his gaze.

After the plans of Mr. Dubois had been discussed, mutual inquiries and
communications respecting future prospects were made, until the
evening hours were gone.

"If my life is spared, I shall come here and spend another season, as
I have spent the one just closing", said Mr. Norton.

Thus they parted for the night.

In the morning there was time for nothing, but a few hasty words.

Adele's face was very pale. Mr. Lansdowne, looking as if he had not
slept for many hours, took her hand, bent over it silently for a
moment, then walked slowly to the boat without turning his head.

During days and weeks of tranquil pleasure in each other's
companionship, these two young beings had unconsciously become lovers.
No sooner had they awakened to a knowledge of this fact, than a great
danger and an unlooked for sorrow, while deepening the current of
their existence, had also deepened their affection. Was that formal,
restrained adieu to be the end of all this?




CHAPTER XXIV.

CHATEAU DE ROSSILLON.


In the year 1828, three years after the occurrences related in the
last chapter, Adele Dubois, grown into a superb beauty, stood near the
Aphrodite fountain, in front of the chateau de Rossillon, feeding from
her hand a beautiful white fawn. It was a warm, sunny afternoon in
June. Majestic trees shaded the green lawn, and the dark brown hue of
the old chateau formed a fitting background for the charming tableau.
Adele was enveloped in a cloud of white gauzy drapery, a black velvet
girdle encircling her waist, fastened by a clasp of gold and pearls.
Her hair was laid in smooth bands over her brow, then drawn into one
mass of heavy braids upon the back of the head, and secured by a
golden arrow shot through it.

One who by chance had seen Adele in the wilds of Miramichi, at the age
of sixteen, would at once recognize the lady feeding the fawn as the
same. At a second glance, the hair would be seen to have grown a shade
darker and a gleam more shining, the large sloe-colored eyes more
thoughtful and dreamy, the complexion of a more transparent
whiteness, and the figure to have ripened into a fuller and richer
symmetry.

Nothing could surpass the exquisite moulding and fairness of the arm
extended alternately to feed and caress the pet animal before her. No
wonder the little creature looked up at her with its soft, almost
human eyes, and gazed in her face, as if half bewildered by her
beauty.

With a proud and stately grace, she moved over the sward, up the
marble steps and passed through the great saloon of the chateau. Was
there not a slight air of indifference and _ennui_ in her face and
movements? Possibly. It has been noticed that people who are loved,
petted, and admired, who have plenty of gold and jewels, who sit at
feasts made for princes, and have the grand shine of splendor always
gleaming round them, are more likely to carry that weary aspect, than
others. Queens even do not look pleased and happy more than half the
time. The fact was, that Adele of Miramichi, having spent much time in
Paris, during the last three years, where she had been greatly
admired, now that the novelty was over, had become tired of playing a
part in the pageantry of courtly life and longed for something more
substantial.

As she crossed the saloon, a page informed her that Mrs. Dubois wished
her presence in the library. She immediately obeyed the summons.

This apartment, one of the pleasantest in the chateau, was a favorite
with the Count; and as age and infirmity crept upon him, he grew more
and more attached to it, and was accustomed to spend there the greater
part of his time, amused and soothed by the attentions of Mrs. Dubois
and Adele. It was a lofty, but not very large apartment, the walls
nearly covered with bookcases of oak, carved in quaint old patterns
and filled with choice books in various languages. Several finely
executed statues were placed in niches, and one large picture, by
Rubens, gathered a stream of sunshine upon its gorgeous canvas.

The Count was sitting, buried in the purple cushions of an easy-chair,
fast asleep, and as Adele entered the room, her mother held up her
finger, warningly.

"_Ma chere_", said Mrs. Dubois, in a low tone, "here is a packet of
letters for you, from Paris".

Adele took them from her mother's hand, indifferently. She read and
crushed together a note bearing the impression of a coat of arms.

"Count D'Orsay and sister wish to come here next week", she said, with
a half sigh.

"_Eh, bien! ma chere_, they are agreeable people. I shall be glad to
see them".

"Yes", replied Adele, "Gabrielle is very lovely.
Nevertheless, I regret they are coming".

"Do you know, Adele, how highly your father esteems the young Count?"

"Yes, mamma, and that is one reason why I do not wish him to come now
to Rossillon. You know he loves me, and my father approves. I can
never marry him. But I esteem and respect him so much, that it will
give me infinite pain to say nay".

Mrs. Dubois looked at Adele very tenderly, yet gravely, and said,
"_Ma fille_, do not throw away a true, devoted affection, for the sake
of a phantom one. I fear that, while you are dreaming and waiting,
happiness will slip out of your path".

"Dreaming and waiting", repeated Adele, a slight red color kindling on
her cheek, "_am_ I dreaming and waiting?"

"It seems to me you are, _ma chere_; I fear it will at last spoil your
peace. I do not see how the Count D'Orsay can fail to win your heart.
Do not decide hastily, Adele".

"I have considered the affair a long time already. I have looked into
my heart and find nothing there, for Count D'Orsay, but simple
respect, esteem, and friendship. It would be a wrong to him, should I
consent to marry him, without a warmer, deeper sentiment. It is of no
use thinking about it longer. The subject must be closed. I know I
shall not change, and his affection is too true and pure to be
tampered with. I shall tell him all frankly next week".

"_Eh, bien_!" said Mrs. Dubois, with a sigh, and returned to her
letters.

Adele, who felt quite unhappy to disappoint her mother's hopes in the
case, looked thoughtful. They were both silent for several minutes.

"Here is a letter from the good missionary", suddenly whispered Mrs.
Dubois, holding up to her daughter several sheets of large paper, well
covered. "See what a nice long one. Now we shall hear the news from
our old home".

She began to read the missive in a low tone, looking occasionally to
see if her voice disturbed the sleeper, and Adele, whose countenance
had instantly brightened upon the mention of the letter, drew her seat
nearer to her mother and listened intently.


   MIRAMICHI RIVER, APRIL, 1828.

   DEAR FRIENDS--


I am again on the memorable spot. You can scarcely imagine my interest
in retracing the scene of my brief mission here, in the summer and
autumn of 1825, or the deep emotion with which I revisit your former
residence, the house under whose roof you so kindly sheltered and
entertained one, then exiled, like yourselves, from home. I shall ever
rejoice that Providence threw me into your society, and bestowed upon
me the precious gift of your friendship.

Three years have passed since those eventful weeks we spent together,
on the banks of this beautiful river, and you will be interested to
know what changes have taken place here during that time.

Traces are still distinctly visible of the awful fire, but Time, the
great healer of wounds, and Nature, who is ever striving to cover up
the desolations of earth, are both at work, silently but diligently
overlaying the hideous black disfigurement with greenness and beauty.
The Miramichi and its picturesque precincts are now more alive than
ever, with a hardy and active population. New villages are springing
up on the banks of the river, and business, especially in the branches
of lumbering and fishing, is greatly increasing. There is also a
marvellous change in the moral aspect of the country. It is ascribed
in a great degree to the deep impression made upon the minds of the
people by the conflagration, and doubtless this is the fact. It must
be that God had a retributory end in view in that great event. It was
a judgment upon the community for its exceeding wickedness. Nothing
short of a grand, widespread illumination like that, could have
penetrated the gross darkness that hung over the land.

The way has been thus prepared for the reception of the truth; and
whereas formerly the people, if they came at all to hear the preaching
of God's word, were only drawn by motives of vain curiosity, or the
desire of novelty, they now come in great numbers and with a sincere
desire, as I believe, to be instructed in the way of salvation. Last
year, I came to this region early in the spring and labored until late
in the autumn, preaching up and down the river, from house to house
and from grove to grove, and found the people, almost everywhere,
ready to hear. Many were baptized in the flowing waters of the
Miramichi, made a profession of their faith in Christ, and have since
exhibited in their daily lives, good and in some cases shining
evidence of their sincerity.

You may perhaps be interested to know that yesterday, which was the
Sabbath, I discoursed, as in days gone by, in Micah's Grove. The
people came in from a great distance around, and it was estimated that
there were not less than eight hundred present.

My soul was completely filled with a sense of God's unbounded love to
the human family, and my heart was enlarged to speak of the wonderful
things belonging to His goodness and mercy towards us, as a race. I
was like a bottle filled with new wine, my heart overflowing with the
remembrance of God's love. Conviction was carried in a most signal
manner to the souls of many present. The whole assembly seemed for a
time to be overshadowed by the immediate Divine presence.

It is remarkable, that though the people do at the present time seem
to be under profound religious impressions, yet there are scarcely any
traces of the delusion and wildfire usually accompanying such seasons,
among a somewhat uncultivated and undisciplined population. That great
fire sobered them, perhaps.

But, my dear friends, I know you are impatient to hear some details
respecting the state of affairs at the "Dubois Settlement", so called
from the grateful attachment felt by the inhabitants for a
distinguished family once residing there. The new people who have
established themselves here of late, are acquainted with the family
just alluded to, of course only by tradition, but so deep has been the
impression made upon the minds of the new comers, by Mrs. McNab, Micah
Mummychog, and others, of the worth, benevolence, power, and present
grandeur of said family, that these persons are more than willing,
they feel honored in retaining the name of Dubois in this parish. The
above is written, to elucidate to your minds the fact, obvious enough
here, that you are not forgotten.

Now, you will wish to hear what has befallen some of the queer
notabilities of the Settlement. By courtesy, I begin with Mrs. McNab.
You will remember her, as the general oracle and adviser of a certain
portion of the female population in the neighborhood, and as greatly
opposed to some of the "doctreenes", as she called my instructions to
the people. Well, she remains in her entireness and individuality, her
costume as grotesque and her speech as Scotch as ever.

You will be surprised, however, to learn that she has a far more
favorable opinion of your humble servant than formerly. I have had
some difficulty in accounting for this change in her disposition. It
seems, however, that she had early taken a prejudice against Yankees,
and had got an idea, in the beginning, that I had some wily and
sinister intentions toward the people, connected with my labors here.
No developments of that kind having been made, she began to look more
complacently upon my efforts, and she thinks now that the way in which
I have endeavored to lead the community, is not so bad after all.

"The warst thing I had agen ye, was this", she said to me not long
since. "My meenister o' the Kirk at Dumfries used to preach that a
pusson, might repent o' his sins, an' pray and pray a' his life lang,
but wad nae ken, in this warld, whether or nae he was to be saved.
Whereas, ye ken ye told the people that ef they repented o' their sins
and believed in Christ and gave the evidence o' gude warks they might
settle right doon, and ken they'd be saved, anyhow. I ca' that a
peskalent doctreen, an a loose ane to promoolgate. Though I must
confess, ye hae na dune the meeschief I luked for".

I did not think it best to go into a discussion of our theological
differences, lest it should stir up the waters of strife, and
therefore waived the subject.

Mrs. McNab occupies two comfortable rooms at Mrs. Campbell's house,
from whence she issues forth, whenever occasion calls, to perform the
duties of nurse, counsellor, and supervisor-general of the domestic
affairs of the community. The tea-drinkings in her parlor seem to be
occasions of great social enjoyment to the fortunate neighbors
invited. After the regular gossip of the day has been discussed, she
entertains her company with the same old stories of her former life in
Scotland, among its grand families, and to these she has added, for
the benefit of those who have more recently come into the Settlement,
accounts of the "Doobyce" family, characterizing its members by
remarking, that "Mr. Doobyce was a braw, princely mon, his wife a
sweet, fair spoken leddy, an' Miss Ady was a born queen, ef there ever
was ane. She had her ane way wi' everybody, an' e'en I mysel' hae gien
up to her, whiles".

Micah Mummychog, alias Jones, Miss Adele's special devotee, never a
bad-hearted person, has now become one of the influential men of the
neighborhood, and sustains here every good word and work. About a year
after the great fire, he had a long and dangerous illness, brought on
by great exposure to cold while lumbering in the woods.

Mrs. McNab voluntarily went to his house and took care of him most
assiduously, for many weeks, until his recovery. Micah said, that "it
looked remarkable kind in the old soul to come of her own accord and
take keer of him, when he'd allers plagued her so unmascifully".

He felt very grateful to her and paid her handsomely for her services.
Nevertheless, he teases her yet occasionally and says "he dont know
neow, which skeered him most, the great fire, or comin' to his senses
one night when he was sick, and seein' Aunt McNab with her head
wropped up in its cotton night gear".

Subsequent to Micah's recovery, he went to the Kennebec River and
visited his friends. After his return, he commenced trading, and is
now doing quite an extensive business. He has entirely broken off from
his old habits of swearing and gambling, and discountenances them
among the people. He attends religious worship constantly, and sets a
worthy example in keeping the Sabbath day.

He is also getting his ideas up on the subject of education. Not long
since, he told me it was his opinion that "there warn't half school
larnin' enuf among the people, and there'd oughter to be longer
schools. There's Jinny Campbell, there, a bright leetle imp as ever
was, and ef she'd had a chance would a taken to her books, like a
chicken to a dough dish. And there's others, most as smart as she is,
all reound, that need schoolin'. I feel the want of it myself, neow
its tew late to git it".

A few days ago, Micah told me he expected to build a new house for
himself soon.

"Ah! Micah", said I, "have you got tired of that comfortable old house
of yours, where we have had so many nice suppers and cosey times
together?"

"Well, no, Captin'; I hain't, and I'm afeerd I shall never like
another place as I dew that. But ye see, ef a feller is a goin' to git
merried, he's got to stir reound and dew what suits other folks as
well as hisself".

"Married! Micah", I said, in complete astonishment, "are you going to
be married?"

"That's jest the way I expected yeou'd look", said he, "when I told ye
abeout it, because ye knew I used to talk agin it, like fury. But ye
see, Captin'; I aint just as I used to be, abeout some things. I'll
tell ye heow it came reound, any heow, so as to sahtisfy ye I ain't
crazy. Well, when I was a beginnin' to git better o' that terable
sickness, the fust and only one I ever had in my life, Miss Campbell,
she used to send Jinny up, with bits o' briled chicken, nice broth and
sech, to kinder tempt my appetite like. The little critter used to
bring 'em in and be so pitiful to me and say, do Micah try to eat
this, so that you may git well; and she seemed so pooty, sincere and
nateral like in all her ways, that I took to her mightily, specially
as I hadn't Miss Adele to look arter and chore reound for, any more.
Once or twice, when she came to bring suthin, Ant McNab kinder advised
her to do this and that, and the way the leetle critter spunked up and
had her own way, made me think o' Miss Adele and pleased me some, I
tell ye.

"Well, arter I got well, she seemed to be just as chipper and pleasant
as ever, and was allers glad when I went to the heouse, and so it went
on (I won't bother abeout the rest on't) till six months ago. As I was
a walkin' hum from a meetin' at the Grove with her, she sed, 'what a
pooty Grove that is, of yours, Micah;' Witheout a considerin' a half a
minit, I sed, right away, 'Jinny, I'd give yeou that Grove and all I
have beside, upon one condition.' I looked at her, arter I'd sed it,
as skeered as I could be, fur fear she'd fly right at me, fur sayin'
sech a thing. But she didn't. She only colored up awfully and sed, in
a fluttered kinder way, 'what condition, Micah?' 'Pon condition that
you'd merry me, Jinny.' You may believe that arter I sed that, my
heart stood still, better'n a minit. She didn't say a word at fust,
seemed ruther took by surprise, and then, all of a sudding, she turned
her head and looked up inter my face as sarcy as ye ever see anything,
and says she, 'Do yeou think I'd ever merry a man with sech a horrid
name as Mummychog?' 'Is that all the objection you hev, Jinny?' ses I.
Ses she, ''Tis the greatest, I know of.' Then ses I, 'There ain't no
diffikilty, for my name aint Mummychog, and never was. When I came
deown to this kentry, I was a wild, reckless kind of a critter, and I
thought I'd take some outlandish name, jest for the joke on it. I took
Mummychog, and they allers called me so. But my real name is Jones.'
'Well, Mr. Jones,' ses she, lookin' sarcier than ever, 'I shall expect
yeou to hev a sign painted with your real name on it and put up on
your store, and yeou must build a new heouse before I merry yeou.'
That sobered me deown a leetle. I sed, 'But Jinny, I don't want ye to
merry me, unless ye like me. I'll build a heouse and gin it tew ye, ef
that's what ye want. But ye needn't merry me unless ye like me--neow
remember.' She looked at me, jest as soon as I sed that, and caught up
my big hand inter her little one, and ses she, 'O law, Micah, I'd
merry ye ef yer name _was_ Mummychog, and ye needn't build a heouse,
nor nuthin'. I ken go right to the old place jest as well. I'd merry
ye ef ye hadn't a cent, for I like ye better'n anybody else in the
world, Micah.' And then she began to cry, and I hushed her up. And so,
neow it's all settled".

"Well Micah", said I, after hearing this account of his courtship of
Jenny Campbell, "I congratulate you on your choice; Jenny is a good
girl and a pretty one. But isn't she rather young?"

"Well, yis. I thought yeou'd be speakin' o' that. I'm forty year old
and she's abeout eighteen, or so. Consid'able difference in eour ages.
I told her abeout that t'other day, and she sed, well she didn't see
but I 'peared abeout as young as she did. She didn't see much
difference. So ef she's sahtisfied, I'd oughter be. But Captin,' I'll
tell ye, she's a curus leetle critter as ever ye see. She has spells
of playin' off all kinds o' tricks on me and hectorin' me every way
she ken, but the minit she sees me look sober, as ef I felt any way
bad, she leaves right off, and comes up and kisses me, and ses she
didn't mean anything by it, and is as good as a kitten".

Alas! poor Micah! You see, Miss Adele, he is in the meshes, and there
we must leave him for the present. I have taken pains to give you the
above in his own language, as it is so much more graphic than any I
could employ.

My letter of Miramichi gossip has, swollen, unconsciously, to an
enormous size, and I fear I am getting tedious. Be patient a few
minutes longer, dear friends, while I tell you of Mr. John Lansdowne.

I happened in the city of P---- last winter, on business, and just
before leaving town I went to call on Mr. Lansdowne. Aunt Esther, Mr.
John's nurse, an aged negro woman who has been a member of the
household many years, answered my ring at the door. Finding that none
of the family were at home, I was turning to leave when Aunt Esther
begged me to come in, saying she reckoned they would soon be back, as
they had already been several hours absent, adding, good soul, that
"they'd all be dreffully disapinted not to see me."

I knew that several months prior to this, Mr. Lansdowne had been
admitted to the practice of law and had become junior partner in
business, to the distinguished Mr. Eldon of P. And I now gathered from
Aunt Esther, that the Supreme Court was in session, and that a great
criminal case was being tried before the jury. Mr. Eldon had been
taken ill, just before the trial came on, and had urged Mr. Lansdowne
to take his place in Court, saying, he could argue the case as well as
himself. Mr. John, as Aunt Esther informed me, did it with great
reluctance, though she didn't see why. "He always does everything he
sets out to do, 'markable nice. But Massa and Missus felt kind of
anxious, and they v'e gone into Court, with other gemmen and ladies,
to hear how't goes. I feel no concern about it. I know he'll make a
splen'id talk, anyhow, cos he always does".

After waiting half an hour, I was obliged to leave messages of regret
with Aunt Esther and hasten home.

I observed in "The Eastern Gazette" of the following week, a notice of
Mr. Lansdowne's plea before the jury, in the great case of "The
Commonwealth _vs_ Jenkins," in which he was eulogized in the highest
terms. He was said to have displayed "great acumen, extensive legal
acquirements, and magnificent powers of oratory." So, Aunt Esther's
confidence, about the "splen'id talk," was not without a reasonable
basis.

I was highly gratified, myself, in reading the flattering paragraphs.
You know we all greatly admired the young gentleman at Miramichi. He
has a brilliant earthly future before him, should his life and
faculties be spared.

Micah was much charmed with the intelligence I brought him of his old
favorite.

"I ain't a mite surprised at what you v'e sed abeout the young man.
Ever sence I took that trip inter the woods with him, I know'd he'd
the genooine ring o' trew metal tew him. When he gits to be President
o' the United States, I shall sell eout here and go hum to the
Kennebec".

Please let me hear from you soon, my dear friends. It seems long since
I have had tidings from you.

With an abiding gratitude for past kindness, shown by you to a weary
wanderer from home, and with the warmest respect and friendship, I
remain as ever,


   Yours truly,

   SAMUEL J. NORTON.


Mrs. Dubois not having but one pair of eyes, and those being fully
occupied with the contents of the above letter, and the Count de
Rossillon remaining asleep during the entire reading, of course it
could not be expected that they observed the changes that took place
on Adele's countenance. But an author, as is well known, has ways and
means of observation not common to others, and here it may be
remarked, that that young lady's face, had exhibited, during the last
fifteen minutes, or more, quite a variety of emotions. It had at
first, been thoughtful and interested, then lighted with smiles, then
radiant with enjoyment of the good missionary's sketches of Mrs. McNab
and Micah. But the moment her mother read the name of John Lansdowne,
her face was suffused with a deep crimson, and she listened almost
breathlessly, and with glistening eyes, to the close.

"Oh! the good noble man!" said Mrs. Dubois, as she folded up the
sheets. "It will please your father to read this, where is he, Adele?"

"He rode away with Pierre, not long ago. Please let me take the
letter. I must read it again", said Adele, having conquered her
emotion, without her mother perceiving it.

She took it away to her own boudoir, and as she read the pages, the
flowing tears fell fast. Why should she weep over such a cheerful
letter as that? Why?




CHAPTER XXV.

THE LAST SLEEP.


Adele had long since discovered that the events of greatest interest
in her life had transpired before she entered the walls of Rossillon,
or mingled in the festivities of the Court at Paris.

The scenes that occurred at Miramichi, during Mr. Lansdowne's
accidental residence there, were fraught with a power over her heart,
continually deepening with the flight of time. Those golden days, when
their lives flowed side by side, had been filled with the strange,
sweet agitations, the aerial dreams, the bewitching glamour, the
intoxicating happiness of a first and youthful love. Those days were
imprinted yet more deeply in her memory by a consciousness that there
was somewhat with which to reproach herself connected with them. Just
when she had reached the top of bliss, her pride had sprung up, and
like a dark stormcloud, had shadowed the scene. She could not forget
that cold, sad parting from her lover.

And now, though the ocean rolled between them, and the spheres in
which each moved were so widely separated and the years had come and
gone, she was yet calculating and balancing the probabilities, that
they might meet again and the wrong of the past be cancelled.

Mr. Lansdowne had been plodding among musty law books and threading
legal intricacies, with occasional interruptions, caused by fits of
impatience and disgust at the detail and tedium of study, until he had
at length fought his way through and placed himself in the front rank
of his profession. His brilliant achievement in the famous Jenkins
case, in the outset of his career, had at once won for him a position
at the bar which most young men have to toil years to obtain. His
family was wealthy and influential. It was not strange that with these
advantages, united to the possession of remarkable personal beauty, he
should be the centre of a numerous group of friends and admirers. He
was the object of pride among the older barristers and gentlemen of
the bench, the cynosure of the young men, and the one among a thousand
whom elegant mammas and smiling maidens wooed with their selectest
influences.

Yet one great element of earthly happiness was wanting to his life. He
could not forget the enchantment of those days spent in the far-off
wilds of Miramichi. He turned continually to those scenes, as the most
prominent of his existence. There he had stepped from boyhood into
manhood. There he had seen life in new and before untried forms. He
had there witnessed a wonderful display of God's power through the
terrible agency of the all-devouring flame, and there, for the first
time, he had confronted death and sorrow. There, he had loved once and
as he believed, forever. He recalled Adele, as she first appeared
before him,--an unexpected vision of beauty, in all her careless grace
and sweet, confiding frankness; in her moments of stately pride, when
she chilled him from her side and kept him afar off; and in her
moments of affectionate kindness, and generous enthusiasm. In short,
in all her changeful moods she was daily flitting before him and he
confessed to himself, that he had never met a being so rich in nature
and varied in powers, so noble in impulse and purpose, so peerlessly
beautiful in person.

Thus he lived on from day to day, remembering and yearning and
dreaming,--the ocean yawning between him and his love. Concealed in
the depths of his soul, there was, however, a hope fondly cherished,
and a purpose half formed.

A few weeks after the reception of Mr. Norton's letter, the Count de
Rossillon died. Sitting, as usual, in his great purple-cushioned
arm-chair, taking his afternoon nap, he expired so gently that Mrs.
Dubois, who was reading by the window, did not know, or even suspect,
when the parting between spirit and body occurred. Kindly, genial, and
peaceful had been his last years, and his life went out calmly as the
light of day goes out amid the mellow tints of a pleasant autumn
sunset.

When Mrs. Dubois went to arouse him from what seemed an unusually long
slumber, she found a volume of Fenelon spread open upon his knee, and
turning it, her eye ran over passages full of lofty and devout
aspiration. These, probably expressed the latest thoughts and desires
of the good chevalier, for as she looked from the pages to his face,
turned upward toward the ceiling, a smile of assent and satisfaction
was still lingering there, although his breath had departed and his
pulse was still.

Mrs. Dubois stooped to kiss the forehead of her uncle, but started
back with a sudden thrill of fear. She gazed searchingly at him for a
moment, and then she knew that Death, the conqueror, stood there with
her, looking upon his completed work.

After the first shock of surprise was over, she remained gazing upon
the spectacle in perfect silence. A truly devout Catholic, in her
grief she leaned with all a woman's trust and confidingness upon the
love and power of Christ, and something of the divine calmness which
we associate with the character of the mother of our Lord, and which
has been so wonderfully depicted to the eye by some of the older
painters, pervaded her spirit.

As she thus stood, spellbound, entranced, her eyes fixed upon the
noble features irradiated with a smile of content and peace, the long
silvery locks parted away from the forehead and flowing around the
head, like a halo, she thought it the countenance of a saint, and her
poetic fancy created at once a vision of the Saviour, with an aspect
grand, glorious, yet gracious and benign, placing with His right hand
a golden jewelled crown upon her uncle's head. A cloud swept up over
the gorgeous earthliness of the great Rubens picture, and from out its
folds shone sweet and smiling angel faces, looking down upon the
scene.

Mrs. Dubois never knew how long she remained thus absorbed. She was
first aroused by hearing a voice saying, in tones of fervor, "How
blessed it is to die!" And Adele, who had entered the room a little
time before, and had uttered these words, stepped forward and
imprinted a kiss upon the pale uplifted brow of the sleeper.




CHAPTER XXVI.

POMPEII.


About this period, Mrs. Lansdowne, whose health had been declining for
nearly a year, was urgently advised by her physician to seek a milder
climate. John immediately offered himself as her _compagnon de
voyage_, and manifested great alacrity in the preparations for their
departure for Italy.

After a favorable sea passage, they landed at Civita Vecchia, and,
with brief delays at Rome and Naples, went to Sorrento, intending to
remain there several months.

This place combines the most striking peculiarities of Italian
scenery. It stands on a wide and beautiful plain, shut in by the
mountains and the sea. The fertile soil produces oranges, lemons,
grapes, and figs of the richest quality and in great abundance. The
coast line, a wall of volcanic rock, is broken into varied forms, by
the constant action of the waters. Here, they spent day after day,
rambling about the old town, making excursions into the neighboring
mountains, or crossing the bay to different points of interest. They
delighted particularly in sailing under the shadow of the cliffs,
watching the varying colors, blue, purple, and green, presented by the
glassy surface, peering into the arched caverns, worn into the rock
by the waves, and looking upward at the gay profusion of wild flowers,
which, growing in every crevice, adorned its face with beauty. From
the balcony of the house they occupied, they looked upon gardens,
invisible from the street, so closely were they walled in from the
view of the passer by, and beheld orange and lemon trees, with rounded
tops of dark green foliage, golden fruit, and snowy blossoms. The soft
air permitted them to sit during the evenings and listen to the
whisper of the sea on the beach, to watch the sails of the fishing
vessels gleaming in the moonlight, and gaze at the dark form of
Vesuvius, with his lighted torch, brooding at a distance, over the
scene.

A month had thus passed away. A marked improvement had taken place in
Mrs. Lansdowne's health, and John proposed that they should go to
Naples and make an excursion thence to Pompeii.

One morning, they drove out from the swarming city toward those famous
ruins, revealing to the curious so much of the old Roman civilization.
After a drive of twelve miles past fields of lava and ashes, the
accumulations from recent irruptions of Vesuvius, they arrived at the
street of tombs, a fitting entrance to the desolated city. Here, the
beautifully sculptured monuments, memorials of a departed generation,
awoke in their hearts a peculiar interest. Through these they entered
at once into the inner life of joys and sorrows of an extinct race.

"How terrible death must have been to these people, whose ideas of the
future world were so vague and unsatisfying, and who had really no
knowledge of immortality!" said Mrs. Lansdowne.

"Yes", replied John. "And with nothing brighter or more glorious to
look forward to in the beyond, how reluctant they must have felt to
leave these glowing skies, this delicious air, these scenes of beauty
and art, for the darkness of the grave. I fancy it must have been
harder for them than if they had been surrounded with the sombre
tints, the chilling atmosphere, and the more subdued forms of life in
our own clime".

Leaving the cemetery, they passed on through the narrow streets, paved
with blocks of lava, on which were the traces of carriage wheels worn
into the material more than eighteen hundred years ago. They went into
the Pompeian houses, walked over the marble mosaic floors, looked at
the paintings on the walls, examined the bronzes, the statues, the
domestic utensils, the shop of the oil merchant, with his name on it
still legible, until, in imagination, they began to people the
solitude,--bringing back the gay, luxurious, beauty-loving Pompeians
again to live and revel in their former haunts.

At length, quite exhausted, Mrs. Lansdowne sank down on a seat in one
of the porticoes, and John, placing himself by her side, tempted her
to partake of a lunch he had provided for the occasion.

Soon, the pensive influences of the scene stole over them, and they
sat for some time in perfect silence.

Mrs. Lansdowne first interrupted it, by exclaiming, "John, what are
you thinking of?"

"Thinking of! why I was thinking just then how those Pompeians used to
sit in these porticoes and talk of the deeds of Caesar and of the
eloquence of Cicero, while those renowned men were yet living, and how
they discussed the great combats in the amphitheatres of Rome. And
what were you cogitating, my dear mother?" said he, smiling.

"Oh! I was thinking woman's thoughts. How slowly they excavate here! I
have an extreme curiosity to know what there is, yet uncovered to the
light of day, beyond that dead wall of ashes".

"If I were a magician, I would apply to your eyes some unguent, which
should unveil what is there concealed", said John, smiling. "Will you
go now to the theatre?"

He drew his mother's arm within his, and they moved on. That portion
of the city appeared as if it had been partially destroyed by a
conflagration.

Looking towards Vesuvius, he said, "I can easily imagine the
sensations of those who gazed at the volcano on that terrible day and
saw for the first time its flames bursting out, and throwing their
horrid glare on the snow-capped mountains around. Fire is a
tremendous element".

As he uttered the words, the scene of the great conflagration at
Miramichi rose to his view.

"_Salve! Salve!_" exclaimed a rich, musical voice near him, just at
that moment.

The word and the tone in which it was uttered, thrilled him, like an
electric shock. He looked, with a bewildered air, in the direction
from whence the voice proceeded, and saw, standing before the
threshold of one of the Pompeian houses, a tall, elegant female
figure, habited in mourning.

Her eyes were fixed upon the word of salutation, written on the
threshold, at the entrance. After contemplating it a moment, she
turned her head involuntarily towards Mr. Lansdowne, who stood
transfixed to the spot. Their eyes met in instant recognition. Neither
moved--they were both paralyzed with sudden emotion.

Mrs. Lansdowne looked up in surprise.

"What is it, John?"

"It is", said he, recovering himself, "it is, that I am astonished to
meet here, so unexpectedly, a friend whom I supposed to be in
France--certainly not here".

He led his mother forward a few steps and presented her to
Mademoiselle Dubois.

M. and Mdme. Dubois, who were standing a little apart, examining some
objects of interest, while this scene of recognition transpired, now
joined the group and were presented to Mrs. Lansdowne. During the
remainder of the day, the two families formed one party.

They visited the ruined theatre, the Forum, the temples of Isis and
Hercules, but the spell of Pompeii no longer bound the souls of John
and Adele. It is true, they walked on, sometimes side by side,
sometimes with other forms between, absorbed, entranced; but a spirit
more potent than any inhabiting the walls of the old Roman city had
touched the powers of their being and woven its sorceries around them.
The living present had suddenly shut out the past.

So, after three years, they had met. Such meetings are critical. In
the lapse of time, what changes may occur! There is so much in life to
mar the loveliest and noblest! In regard to character, of course no
one can stand still. There is either a process of deterioration going
on, or a work of intellectual and spiritual advancement. Memory and
imagination glorify the absent and the dead. The lovers had been
constantly exercising, respecting each other, their faculty of
idealization. When they parted, they were young, with limited
experiences of life, with slight knowledge of their own hearts. It was
a dangerous moment when they thus met.

But there was no disappointment. Mr. Lansdowne gazed upon Adele, with
emotions of surprise and astonishment at the change a few years had
wrought in her and marvelled at the perfection of her beauty and
manner.

Adele, albeit she was not used to the reverential mood, experienced an
emotion almost verging into awe, mingled with her admiration of the
noble form, the dignity and stately grace of him who had so charmed
her girlish days.

Thus the acquaintance, broken off, in that cold, restrained morning
adieu, on the banks of the Miramichi, was renewed under the sunny,
joyous sky of Italy. Their communion with one another was now no
longer marred by youthful waywardness and caprice. During those long
years of separation, they had learned so thoroughly the miseries
attending the alienation of truly loving hearts, that there was no
inclination on the part of either, to trifle now. Day by day, the
hours they spent together became sweeter, dearer, more full of love's
enchantment.

"Mademoiselle Dubois", said Mr. Lansdowne, a few weeks after their
recognition at Pompeii, "I think I did not quite do justice to that
famous excavated city, when I visited it. I was so occupied with the
pleasure of meeting old friends that I really did not examine objects
with the attention they deserve. To-morrow I intend to revisit the
spot and make amends for my neglect. Will you give me the pleasure of
your company?"

"Thank you, Mr. Lansdowne, I shall be happy to go with you. A week
spent there, could not exhaust the interest of the place".

The two families were still at Naples and from that city Mr. Lansdowne
and Adele started again to visit Pompeii.

No evidence, as to the amount of antiquarian lore acquired on that day
by our two lovers has yet transpired, but it is certain that, while
wandering among the ruins, they came before the threshold of the door,
where Adele was standing, when first recognized, by Mr. Lansdowne.
There, he gently detained her, and explained, how that ancient salute
of welcome to the guest and the stranger, when uttered by her lips,
had thrilled his heart; how it had been treasured there as an omen of
good for the future, and how the memory of it now emboldened him to
speak the words he was about to utter. There, within sight of Vesuvius
and with the fiery memories of Miramichi hanging upon the hour, he
renewed the avowal of his love, first made in the haste and
effervescence of youthful passion.

And now, Adele did not, as then, fly from his presence. She simply put
her hand in his, and pronounced in sweet and almost solemn accents,
the irrevocable promise.

In the meantime, Mrs. Lansdowne had been cultivating the friendship of
M. and Mdme. Dubois. She was gratified to have an opportunity of
thanking them in person, for their hospitality and kindness to her son
and brother in Miramichi. Her profound gratitude for attentions to
those so dear to her, would have proved a bond of sufficient strength
to unite her to these new acquaintances. But she was attracted to them
also by traits of mind and character unfolded in their daily
intercourse.

The discovery of John's attachment to Adele explained many things in
his conduct, during the last few years, that had appeared enigmatical.
With this fact made clear to her mind, it may well be supposed that
she observed the young lady with keen scrutiny. At the end of a week,
John confessed his intention to win Adele if possible for his wife.
His mother had no objection to such an alliance, and only wished him
success in his efforts.

Having spent six weeks together at Naples and Sorrento, the party
pursued their travels leisurely, for several months, through Italy and
Germany, until at length they reached France. After a visit at Paris,
they located themselves quietly at the chateau de Rossillon, where
preparations were soon commenced for the marriage.

It was observed, that the lovers, supposed to be the parties most
particularly interested, were remarkably indifferent in regard to
these affairs. When needed for consultation on important arrangements,
they were reported to be off, riding or driving or wandering in some
remote part of the park, and when at last, an opportunity occurred to
present some point for their consideration, they seemed to have no
particular opinions on the subject.

With a very decided taste of her own, in matters of dress, not less
than in other things, Adele could not be made to attend to the details
of the _trousseau_, and at last the two older ladies took it into
their own hands.

In the mean time, the lovers were leading a rapturous life in the
past, the present, the future. In the past they remembered the morning
glories of Miramichi; in the present they saw, daily, in each other's
eyes, unfathomed depths of love; as to the future it shone out before
them, resplendent with the light of an earthly Paradise.

At last, the wedding day came, and the parting between Adele and her
parents. It was a great sacrifice on the part of M. and Mdme. Dubois.
But, remembering their own early trials, they made no opposition to
Adele's choice. They sought only her happiness.




CHAPTER XXVII.

CONCLUSION.


On a dark, stormy day, in the winter of 1845, at ten o'clock,
afternoon, a tall, stout, elderly man, muffled in fur, rang at the
door of Mr. Lansdowne.

The house was large, of brown stone, and situated on H---- Street, in
the city of P----.

As the servant opened the door, the hall light fell upon a face of
strongly marked features, irradiated by an expression of almost
youthful cheerfulness. To the inquiry, if Mr. and Mrs. Lansdowne were
at home, the servant replied, that they were absent, but would return
shortly.

"Miss Adele is in the drawing-room sir", he added, immediately
throwing open the door of that apartment, to its widest extent, as if
to insure the entrance of Mr. Norton, for it was no other than the
good missionary of Miramichi. He was still the warmly cherished and
highly revered friend of the entire family.

Adele, a young lady of sixteen, was sitting on a low seat in the
drawing-room, beneath a blaze of waxen candles, intently occupied with
a new book. She gave a start, on being recalled so suddenly from the
fancy land in which she was roaming, but after a moment of
bewilderment, flung aside her book, came quickly forward, put her arms
around the neck of Mr. Norton, who bent down to receive them, and
welcomed him with a cordial kiss.

"Every day more and more like your mother, Miss Adele", said he, as,
after returning her salutation, he held her at arm's length and
surveyed her from head to foot.

"Papa and mamma will be home soon", said Adele. "They went to dine at
Mr. Holbrook's. It is time for their return".

"All right, my dear. And how are you all?"

The young lady led him to a large, cushioned arm-chair.

"How did you leave mamma Norton, Jenny, and Fanny?"

"All quite well. And they sent love;" replied the missionary.

"How is Gray Eagle?"

"Ah! Gray Eagle is good for many a trot round the parish yet".

"I have not forgotten how he shot over the hills with me, last summer.
He began his scamper, the moment I was fairly seated on his back. I
hope he has sobered down a little since then", said Adele.

"Yes, I remember. Gray Eagle knew well enough that the little sprite
he carried, liked a scamper as well as himself. The animal is quite
well, I thank you, and is on good behavior. So are your other
acquaintances, Cherry, the cow, and Hodge, the cat".

"I am glad to hear it. I had a charming visit at Rockdale last
summer. Johnny and Gabrielle are wild to go there. But mamma and I,
and all of us, were so disappointed because you would not consent to
Fanny and Jenny coming to spend the winter with us. Mamma says she
does not quite understand yet why you objected".

"Ah! well, my dear, I'll make it all right with your mamma. The fact
is, I wish to get a few rational ideas into the heads of those
precious little ladies before they are launched out into city life.
Just a little ballast to keep them from capsizing in a gale".

"Mamma says they are both very much like you", said Adele, archly.

"True, my dear. That makes it all the more necessary to look after
them carefully".

After a few moments of chat, Adele left the room to give orders for
hastening supper.

During her absence, Mr. Norton, with his eyes fixed upon the glowing
grate, fell into a fit of musing. Look at him a moment, while he sits
thus, occupied with the memories of the past. Twenty years have passed
since he was introduced to the attention of the reader, a missionary
to a remote and benighted region. He is now sixty years old, and very
few have passed through greater toil and hardships than he has
endured, in asserting the claims of the Redeemer to the gratitude and
love of the race. Yet his health and vigor of mind are scarcely
impaired, and his zeal continues unabated.

Beginning his journey early each spring and returning to his family
late every autumn, he had spent sixteen successive summers in
Miramichi, engaged in self-imposed labors. Each winter, he wrought at
his anvil, and thus helped to maintain an honest independence.

Four years previous, a parish having become vacant, in the town where
he resided, it was urged upon his acceptance, by the unanimous voice
of the people. By his efforts, a great change had been wrought in the
field of his past labors and a supply of suitable religious teachers
having been provided there, he accepted the invitation as a call of
Divine Providence, and had ministered to the spiritual wants of the
people of Rockdale since.

Business called him occasionally to the city of P. His visits there
were always regarded by the Lansdownes as especial favors. The two
families had frequently interchanged visits and had grown into habits
of the closest intimacy.

Having been in the city several hours and dispatched the affairs which
drew him thither, he had now come to look in upon his friends for the
night, expecting to hasten away at day dawn.

There was something in his situation this evening, thus housed in
warmth, light, and comfort, protected from the darkness and the storm
without, and ministered unto by a lovely young maiden, that reminded
him of a like scene, that had occurred, twenty years ago. He vividly
recalled the evening, when, after a day of toil and travel on the
banks of the distant Miramichi, he reached the house of Dubois, and
how while the tempest raged without he was cheered by the light and
warmth within, and was ministered unto by another youthful maiden, in
form and feature so like her, who had just left him, that he could
almost imagine them the same. A glance around the apartment, however,
dispelled the momentary fancy. Its rich and beautiful adornments
afforded a striking contrast to the appointments of that humble room.

He was roused from his meditations by the ringing of the street bell,
and in a moment Mr. and Mrs. Lansdowne came forward to welcome their
early and long-tried friend.

The good man, who loved them with an affection akin to that which he
felt for his own family, had preserved a watchful care over their
earthly and spiritual welfare. Sometimes he feared that their wealth
and fame might draw away their hearts from the highest good and impair
the simplicity of their religious faith.

After the first cordial greetings, in accordance with his habit on
occasions like this, he indulged in a careful scrutiny of his two
friends.

Time had in no wise impaired the charms of Mrs. Lansdowne. Experience
of life, maternal cares, and religious duties had added a softer light
to her once proud beauty, and her old friend might well be pardoned a
thrill of admiration as he gazed and thought within his heart, that
Mrs. Lansdowne, robed in black velvet, Mechlin lace, and the diamonds
of the house of Rossillon, surpassed in loveliness, the radiant Adele
Dubois, arrayed in the aerial garments of girlhood.

When also his keen eye had wandered over the face and figure of John
Lansdowne, it returned from its explorations satisfied. No habits of
excess had impaired the muscular strength and vigor of his form. Nor
had ungoverned passion, avarice, political craft, or disappointed
ambition drawn deep defacing lives, to mar the noble beauty of his
countenance.

"It is well with them still", ejaculated the good man mentally, "and
may God bless them forever".

THE END.

       *       *       *       *       *





Loring's Railway Library.

ADELE DUBOIS:

A STORY OF

The Lovely Miramichi Valley,

IN NEW BRUNSWICK.

LORING, Publisher:

BOSTON.



Loring's Publications.


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   THE GAYWORTHYS. By the Author of
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   RUNNING THE GAUNTLET.   "     "                    3d Ed.   1.50

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   A LOST LOVE. By ASHFORD OWEN.                     4th Ed.   1.25

       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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   Or sent by Mail, free of Postage, on receipt of the advertised price.



   LORING'S PUBLICATIONS.

   LORING'S RAILWAY NOVELS.

   THE ROUA PASS: or, Englishmen in the Highlands.            $0.75
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     _Florence Marryat's successful Novels_.
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   TOO GOOD FOR HIM.                                             75
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   FOR EVER AND EVER.                                            75
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   HUNTED TO DEATH: A Story of Love and Adventure.               75
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   BROKEN TO HARNESS.      "      "                              75
   RUNNING THE GAUNTLET.   "      "                              75
   MOODS. By LOUISA M. ALCOTT.                                   75
   A LOST LOVE. By ASHFORD OWEN.                                 75
   PIQUE: A Tale of the English Aristocracy.                     75
   SIMPLICITY AND FASCINATION.                                   75
   MEDUSA AND OTHER STORIES
   ADELE DUBOIS: A Story of the lovely Miramichi Valley.         75
   MAINSTONE'S HOUSEKEEPER.                                      75
   LUCY: Or, MARRIED FROM PIQUE.                                 30
   LESLIE TYRRELL. By GEORGIANA M. CRAIK.                        30
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   PROVERB STORIES. BY LOUISA M. ALCOTT.                         25

       *       *       *       *       *

   WAS IT A GHOST?

   The Murders in Bussey's Wood, is not a "sensational" story, as many
   suppose. It is a simple recital of all the facts that are or can be
   known in connection with this fearful tragedy, by one who lived in the
   immediate vicinity. The spiritual apparition was to him a reality.

   A dual murder, so unaccountable, should not be allowed to die out
   till Justice is satisfied.

   In this sense this book has a mission.




   PIQUE:

   A Tale of the English Aristocracy.

   11th edition. 1 vol. 12mo. Price $2.00.


   Three thousand eight hundred and seventy-six new books were
   published in England this last year, which is about the average
   number of past years.

   Thirteen years ago PIQUE was first published in London, and
   up to the present time, notwithstanding the enormous number
   of new books that have been issued, the effect of which is to
   crowd the old ones out of sight, this remarkable novel has continued
   to have a large sale.

   This is the strongest praise that can be bestowed on any book.

   It is not in the least "sensational", but relies solely on its rare
   beauty of style and truthfulness to nature for its popularity.

   It has the merit of being amusing, pleasantly written, and
   engrossing.

   The characters being high-bred men and women, are charming
   companions for an hour's solitude, and one puts the book aside
   regretfully, even as one closes the eyes on a delicious vision.
   The American edition has taken everyone by surprise, that so
   remarkably good a novel should have so long escaped attention.

   Everybody is charmed with it, and its sale is immense, and
   will endure for years to come.


   FAITH GARTNEY'S GIRLHOOD.

   By the Author of "Boys at Chequasset".

   11th edition. 1 vol., 12mo. Cloth. Price $1.75.


   This charming story fills a void long felt for something for a
   young girl, growing into womanhood, to read.

   It depicts that bewitching period in life, lying between FOURTEEN
   and TWENTY, with its noble aspirations, and fresh enthusiasm.
   It is written by a very accomplished lady, whose previous
   book was universally pronounced to be "the best Boys' book
   written".

   A lady of rare culture, and wide experience, says,--


  "'Faith Gartney's Girlhood,' is a noble, good work, that could only
   have been accomplished by an elevated mind united to a chaste, tender
   heart. From the first page to the last, the impression is received of
   a life which has been lived; the characters are genuine, well drawn,
   skilfully presented; they are received at once with kind, friendly
   greeting, and followed with interest, till the last page compels a
   reluctant farewell.

   "'The book is written for girls, growing as they grow to womanhood.'
   The story has an interest, far beyond that found in modern romances of
   the day, conveyed in pure, refined language; suggestive, pleasing
   thoughts are unfolded on every page; the reflective and descriptive
   passages are natural, simple, and exquisitely finished.

   "In these days, when the tendency of society is to educate girls for
   heartless, aimless, factitious life, a book like this is to be
   welcomed and gratefully received. Wherever it is read, it will be
   retained as a thoughtful, suggestive--if silent--friend".


   _Parents, give it a wide circulation_.



   Margaret and her Bridesmaids.

   BY THE AUTHOR OF

   "The Lady of Glynne", "Mr. and Mrs. Ashton", "Valley of a Hundred
   Fires", "The Ladies of Lovel Leigh", "The Challenge", "The Queen of
   the County".

   3d edition. 1 vol., 12mo. Cloth. Price $2.00.


   This talented authoress ranks first among the successful female novel
   writers of England. Her books are immensely popular there; edition
   after edition of each has been called for, and the announcement of a
   new one from her pen creates a new demand, and increases the
   popularity of what has been published. By an arrangement with her and
   her English publishers, all her books are to be brought before the
   American public, where she is almost wholly unknown, except to the
   readers at LORING'S CIRCULATING LIBRARY, and they are enthusiastic
   over them.

   "Margaret and Her Bridesmaids" is the one chosen to introduce her
   with, as this, she writes me, has enjoyed the greatest popularity in
   England. This will be followed by "THE QUEEN OF THE COUNTY", and the
   others, as fast as compatible.

   It is the history of four school-girls.

   The _London Athenaeum_, the highest literary authority, says of it:
   "We may save ourselves the trouble of giving any lengthened review of
   this book, for we recommend all who are in search of a fascinating
   novel, to read it for themselves. They will find it well worth their
   while. There is a freshness and originality about it quite charming,
   and there is a certain nobleness in the treatment, both of sentiment
   and incident, which is not often found. We imagine that few can read
   it without deriving some comfort or profit from the quiet good sense
   and unobtrusive words of counsel with which it abounds".

   The story is very interesting. It is the history of four
   school-fellows. Margaret, the heroine, is, of course, a woman in the
   highest state of perfection. But Lotty--the little, wilful, wild,
   fascinating, brave Lotty--is the gem of the book, and, as far as our
   experience in novel reading goes, is an entirely original character--a
   creation--and a very charming one. No story that occurs to our memory
   contains more interest than this for novel readers, particularly those
   of the tender sex, to whom it will be a dear favorite.

   We hope the authoress will give us some more novels, as good as
   "Margaret and her Bridesmaids".


   TWICE LOST.

   A NOVEL.

   By S.M., Author of "Linnet's Trial".


   Read the Opinions of the English Press.


   Another first-rate novel by a woman! The plot well conceived and
   worked out, the characters individualized and clear-cut, and the story
   so admirably told that you are hurried along for two hours and a half
   with a smile often breaking out at the humor, a tear ready to start at
   the pathos, and with unflagging interest, till the heroine's release
   from all trouble is announced at the end. *** We heartily recommend
   the book to all readers. It is more full of character than any book we
   remember since Charles Reade's "Christie Johnstone".--_Reader_.

   "Twice Lost" is an entertaining novel; the struggle between the
   high-spirited, generous, half-savage heroine, and her specious,
   handsome, unprincipled, _soi-disant_ father, is exciting; and the
   sympathy of the reader is cleverly enlisted for the heroine, Lucia,
   from the first moment. The personages have all of them a certain look
   of reality, and there is a notion of likeness which insures the
   reader's interest. We can recommend "Twice Lost" as a novel worth
   reading.--_Athenaeum_.

   By far the cleverest book on our list is "Twice Lost".... This is bold
   and skilful drawing, and it is a fair sample of the earlier half of
   the volume. The combined vigor, ease, and perspicuity of the writing
   is unusual.--_Guardian_.

   Nothing can be better of its kind than the first portion of "Twice
   Lost".... The caustic humor and strong common sense which mark the
   sketches of character in this book, betray a keenness of observation
   and aptitude for producing a telling likeness with a few strokes,
   which need only a wider cultivation to secure a more complete success
   than has been attained in "Twice Lost".--_Westminster Review_.

   It is quite clear that the author has given a good deal of thought to
   the construction of the story, with a view to producing strong
   interest without the use of the common sensational expedients. To say
   that "Twice Lost" is very well written, and very interesting, would
   not be doing it justice.--_Morning Herald_.

   There can be no doubt of the author's power. She holds her characters
   and incidents well in hand, writes firmly, and often very happily, and
   there are many passages which indicate power much above
   mediocrity.--_London Review_.

   Not very often do we meet with a novel so thoroughly good as "Twice
   Lost". If, as may be assumed from both subject and style, its author
   is a woman, she may at once be classed with the Bronte sisters and
   George Eliot. She has the firm conception and distinct touch of the
   first-class artist. Her characters are real and individual.--_Press_.

   This is a well-written romantic tale, in which we find many pleasing
   incidents and some successful portraiture of character. The character
   of Miss Derwent, the companion and governess of the heroine, Miss
   Langley, is very well developed in the course of the narrative. The
   moral tone of the book is very good, and so far as religious matters
   are touched upon, they are treated with propriety and reverence.--
   _English Churchman_.

   The characters are well drawn--the situations are new, the sentiments
   are unsentimental, and the incidental remarks those of a clever woman
   who is reasonable and tolerant.--_Globe_.

   The plot of this tale is an original one, and well worked out.... We
   can sincerely recommend this tale; it is quite out of the general run
   of books, and is sure to prove an interesting one.--_Observer_.

   We notice this story because its authoress will one day, we believe,
   produce a powerful novel.--_Spectator_.

   The reader is carried along with unflagging and exciting interest, and
   the book is full of characters finely sketched, and of passages
   powerfully written.--_Patriot_.

   That the author of "Twice Lost" can write well, the book itself
   furnishes sufficient evidence.--_Nation_.

   This is a striking story. It has a freshness and originality about it
   which are very pleasant.--_Morning Advertiser_.

   Without being a sensation novel this is a most exciting and attractive
   story.--_Daily News_.

   A most romantic story, the interest being well sustained throughout,
   and everything coming right at the end. Any one must be entertained
   by it.--_John Bull_.







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