Infomotions, Inc.Daisy / Warner, Susan, 1819-1885



Author: Warner, Susan, 1819-1885
Title: Daisy
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): sandford; miss pinshon; preston; daisy; thorold; pinshon; miss cardigan; darry; cardigan; aunt gary; miss daisy; aunt; miss; miss randolph; miss cardigan's; miss macy
Contributor(s): Suomalainen, Samuli, 1850-1907 [Translator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 123,139 words (average) Grade range: 6-8 (grade school) Readability score: 75 (easy)
Identifier: etext18687
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Daisy, by Elizabeth Wetherell


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Title: Daisy


Author: Elizabeth Wetherell



Release Date: June 26, 2006  [eBook #18687]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DAISY***


Warner, Susan, 1819-1885, Daisy, 1868, Ward Lock edition n.d.


Produced by Daniel FROMONT



DAISY

BY
ELIZABETH WETHERELL

AUTHOR OF
"THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD," "QUEECHY,"
ETC., ETC.



LONDON :

WARD, LOCK & CO., LIMITED

NEW YORK AND MELBOURNE



CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. MISS PINSHON

CHAPTER II. MY HOME

CHAPTER III. THE MULTIPLICATION TABLE

CHAPTER IV. SEVEN HUNDRED PEOPLE

CHAPTER V. IN THE KITCHEN

CHAPTER VI. WINTER AND SUMMER

CHAPTER VII. SINGLEHANDED

CHAPTER VIII. EGYPTIAN GLASS

CHAPTER IX. SHOPPING

CHAPTER X. SCHOOL

CHAPTER XI. A PLACE IN THE WORLD

CHAPTER XII. FRENCH DRESSES

CHAPTER XIII. GREY COATS

CHAPTER XIV. YANKEES

CHAPTER XV. FORT PUTNAM

CHAPTER XVI. HOPS

CHAPTER XVII. OBEYING ORDERS

CHAPTER XVIII. SOUTH AND NORTH

CHAPTER XIX. ENTERED FOR THE WAR



CHAPTER I.

MISS PINSHON.

I want an excuse to myself for writing my own life; an excuse
for the indulgence of going it all over again, as I have so
often gone over bits. It has not been more remarkable than
thousands of others. Yet every life has in it a thread of
present truth and possible glory. Let me follow out the truth
to the glory.

The first bright years of my childhood I will pass. They were
childishly bright. They lasted till my eleventh summer. Then
the light of heavenly truth was woven in with the web of my
mortal existence; and whatever the rest of the web has been,
those golden threads have always run through it all the rest
of the way. Just as I reached my birthday that summer and was
ten years old, I became a Christian.

For the rest of that summer I was a glad child. The brightness
of those days is a treasure safe locked up in a chamber of my
memory. I have known other glad times too in my life; other
times of even higher enjoyment. But among all the dried
flowers of my memory, there is not one that keeps a fresher
perfume or a stronger scent of its life than this one. Those
were the days without cloud; before life shadows had begun to
cast their blackness over the landscape. And even though such
shadows do go as well as come, and leave the intervals as sun-
lit as ever; yet, after that change of the first life shadow
is once seen, it is impossible to forget that it may come
again and darken the sun. I do not mean that the days, of that
summer were absolutely without things to trouble me; I had
changes of light and shade; but on the whole, nothing that did
not heighten the light. They were pleasant days I had in
Juanita's cottage at the time when my ankle was broken; there
were hours of sweetness with crippled Molly; and it was simply
delight I had all alone with my pony Loupe, driving over the
sunny and shady roads, free to do as I liked and go where I
liked. And how I enjoyed studying English history with my
cousin Preston. It is all stowed away in my heart, as fresh
and sweet as at first. I will not pull it out now. The change,
and my first real life shadow came, when my father was thrown
from his horse and injured his head. Then the doctors decided
he must go abroad and travel, and mamma decided it was best
that I should go to Magnolia with aunt Gary and have a
governess.

There is no pleasure in thinking of those weeks. They went
very slowly, and yet very fast; while I counted every minute
and noted every step in the preparations. They were all over
at last; my little world was gone from me; and I was left
alone with aunt Gary.

Her preparations had been made too; and the day after the
steamer sailed we set off on our journey to the south. I do
not know much about that journey. For the most part the things
by the way were like objects in a mist to me and no more
clearly discerned. Now and then there came a rift in the mist;
something woke me up out of my sorrow-dream; and of those
points and of what struck my eyes at those minutes I have a
most intense and vivid recollection. I can feel yet the still
air of one early morning's start, and hear the talk between my
aunt and the hotel people about the luggage. My aunt was a
great traveller and wanted no one to help her or manage for
her. I remember acutely a beggar who spoke to us on the
sidewalk at Washington. We staid over a few days in
Washington, and then hurried on; for when she was on the road
my aunt Gary lost not a minute. We went, I presume, as fast as
we could without travelling all night; and our last day's
journey added that too.

By that time my head was getting steadied, perhaps, from the
grief which had bewildered it; or grief was settling down and
taking its proper place at the bottom of my heart, leaving the
surface as usual. For twelve hours that day we went by a slow
railway train through a country of weary monotony. Endless
forests of pine seemed all that was to be seen; scarce ever a
village; here and there a miserable clearing and forlorn-
looking house; here and there stoppages of a few minutes to
let somebody out or take somebody in; once, to my great
surprise, a stop of rather more than a few minutes to
accommodate a lady who wanted some flowers gathered for her. I
was surprised to see flowers wild in the woods at that time of
year, and much struck with the politeness of the railway train
that was willing to delay for such a reason. We got out of the
car for dinner, or for a short rest at dinner-time. My aunt
had brought her lunch in a basket. Then the forests and the
rumble of the cars began again. At one time the pine forests
were exchanged for oak, I remember; after that, nothing but
pine.

It was late in the day, when we left the cars at one of those
solitary wayside station-houses. I shall never forget the look
and feeling of the place. We had been for some miles going
through a region of swamp or swampy woods, where sometimes the
rails were laid on piles in the water. This little station-
house was in the midst of such a region. The woods were thick
and tangled with vines everywhere beyond the edge of the
clearing; the ground was wet beneath them and in places showed
standing water. There was scarcely a clearing; the forest was
all round the house; with only the two breaks in it where on
one side and on the other the iron rail track ran off into the
distance. It was a lonely place; almost nobody was there
waiting for the train; one or two forlorn coloured people and
a long lank-looking countryman, were all. Except what at first
prevented my seeing anything else — my cousin Preston. He met
me just as I was going to get down from the car; lifted me to
the platform; and then with his looks and words almost broke
up the composure which for several days had been growing upon
me. It was not hardened yet to bear attacks. I was like a poor
shell-fish, which having lost one coat of armour and defence,
craves a place of hiding and shelter for itself until its new
coat be grown. While he was begging me to come into the
station-house and rest, I stood still looking up the long line
of railway by which we had come, feeling as if my life lay at
the other end of it, out of sight and quite beyond reach. Yet
I asked him not to call me "poor" Daisy. I was very tired, and
I suppose my nerves not very steady. Preston said we must wait
at that place for another train; there was a fork in the road
beyond, and this train would not go the right way. It would
not take us to Baytown. So he had me into the station-house.

It wearied me, and so did all that my eyes lighted upon,
strange though it was. The bare room, not clean; the board
partition, with swinging doors, behind which, Preston said,
were the cook and the baker; the untidy waiting girls that
came and went, with scant gowns and coarse shoes, and no
thread of white collar to relieve the dusky throat and head
rising out of the dark gown; and no apron at all. Preston did
what he could. He sent away the girls with their trays of
eatables; he had a table pulled out from the wall and wiped
off; and then he ordered a supper of eggs, and johnny cake,
and all sorts of things. But I could not eat. As soon as
supper was over I went out on the platform to watch the long
lines of railway running off through the forest, and wait for
the coming train. The evening fell while we looked; the train
was late; and at last when it came I could only know it in the
distance by the red spark of its locomotive gleaming like a
firefly.

It was a freight train; there was but one passenger car, and
that was full. We got seats with difficulty, and apart from
each other. I hardly know whether that, or anything, could
have made me more forlorn. I was already stiff and weary with
the twelve hours of travelling we had gone through that day;
inexpressibly weary in heart. It seemed to me that I could not
endure long the rumble and the jar and the closeness of this
last car. The passengers, too, had habits which made me draw
my clothes as tight around me as I could, and shrink away
mentally into the smallest compass possible. I had noticed the
like, to be sure, ever since we left Washington; but to-night,
in my weary, faint, and tired-out state of mind and body,
every unseemly sight or sound struck my nerves with a sense of
pain that was hardly endurable. I wondered if the train would
go on all night; it went very slowly. And I noticed that
nobody seemed impatient or had the air of expecting that it
would soon find its journey's end. I felt as if I could not
bear it many half hours. My next neighbour was a fat, good-
natured old lady, who rather made matters worse by putting her
arm round me and hugging me up, and begging me to make a
pillow of her and go to sleep. My nerves were twitching with
impatience and the desire for relief; when suddenly the
thought came to me that I might please the Lord by being
patient. I remember what a lull the thought of Him brought;
and yet how difficult it was not to be impatient, till I fixed
my mind on some Bible words, — they were the words of the
twenty-third psalm, — and began to think and pray them over.
So good they were, that by and by they rested me. I dropped
asleep and forgot my aches and weariness until the train
arrived at Baytown.

They took me to a hotel then, and put me to bed, and I did not
get up for several days. I must have been feverish; for my
fancies wandered incessantly in unknown places with papa, in
regions of the old world; and sometimes, I think, took both
him and myself to rest and home where wanderings are over.
After a few days this passed away. I was able to come
downstairs; and both Preston and his mother did their best to
take good care of me. Especially Preston. He brought me books,
and fruit and birds to tempt me to eat; and was my kind and
constant companion when his mother was out, and indeed when
she was in, too. So I got better, by the help of oranges and
rice-birds. I could have got better faster, but for my dread
of a governess which was hanging over me. I heard nothing
about her, and could not bear to ask. One day Preston brought
the matter up and asked if Daisy was going to have a
schoolmistress?

"Certainly," my aunt Gary said. "She must be educated, you
know."

"_I_ don't know," said Preston; "but if they say so, I suppose
she must. Who is it to be, mamma?"

"You do not know anything about it," said aunt Gary. "If my
son was going to marry the greatest heiress in the State — and
she is very nearly that; — goodness! I did not see you were
there, Daisy, my dear; but it makes no difference; — I should
think it proper that she should be educated."

"I can't see what her being an heiress should have to do with
it," said Preston, — "except rather to make it unnecessary as
well as a bore. Who is it, mamma?"

"I have recommended Miss Pinshon."

"Oh, then, it is not fixed yet."

"Yes, it is fixed. Miss Pinshon is coming as soon as we get to
Magnolia."

"I'll be off before that," said Preston. "Who is Miss
Pinshon?"

"How should _you_ know? She has lived at Jessamine Bank, —
educated the Dalzell girls."

"What sort of a person, mamma?"

"What sort of a person?" said my aunt Gary; "why, a governess
sort of person. What sort should she be?"

"Any other sort in the world," said Preston, "for my money.
That is just the sort to worry poor little Daisy out of her
life."

"You are a foolish boy!" said aunt Gary. "Of course, if you
fill Daisy's head with notions, she will not get them out
again. If you have anything of that sort to say, you had
better say it where she will not hear."

"Daisy has eyes — and a head," said Preston.

As soon as I was able for it Preston took me out for short
walks; and as I grew stronger he made the walks longer. The
city was a strange place to me; very unlike New York; there
was much to see and many a story to hear; and Preston and I
enjoyed ourselves. Aunt Gary was busy making visits, I think.
There was a beautiful walk by the sea, which I liked best of
all; and when it was not too cold my greatest pleasure was to
sit there looking over the dark waters and sending my whole
soul across them to that unknown spot where my father and
mother were. "Home," that spot was to me. Preston did not know
what I liked the Esplanade for; he sometimes laughed at me for
being poetical and meditative; when I was only sending my
heart over the water. But he was glad to please me in all that
he could; and whenever it was not too cold, our walks always
took me there.

One day, sitting there, I remember we had a great argument
about studying. Preston began with saying that I must not mind
this governess that was coming, nor do anything she bade me
unless I liked it. As I gave him no answer, he repeated what
he had said.

"You know, Daisy, you are not obliged to care what she
thinks."

I said I thought I was.

"What for?" said Preston.

"I have a great deal to learn, you know," I said, feeling it
very gravely indeed in my little heart.

"What do you want to know so much?" said Preston.

I said, "everything". I was very ignorant.

"You are no such thing," said Preston. "Your head is full this
minute. I think you have about as much knowledge as is good
for you. I mean to take care that you do not get too much."

"Oh, Preston," said I, "that is very wrong. I have not any
knowledge scarcely."

"There is no occasion," said Preston stoutly. "I hate learned
women."

"Don't you like to learn things?"

"That's another matter," said he. "A man must know things, or
he can't get along. Women are different."

"But I think it is nice to know things too," said I. "I don't
see how it is different."

"Why, a woman need not be a lawyer, or a doctor, or a
professor," said Preston; "all she need do, is to have good
sense and dress herself nicely."

"Is dressing so important?" said I, with a new light breaking
over me.

"Certainly. Ribbands of the wrong colour will half kill a
woman. And I have heard aunt Randolph say that a particular
lady was ruined by her gloves."

"Ruined by her gloves!" said I. "Did she buy so many?"

Preston went into such a laugh at that, I had to wait some
time before I could go on. I saw I had made some mistake, and
I would not renew that subject.

"Do _you_ mean to be anything of that sort?" I said, with some
want of connection.

"What sort? Ruined by my gloves? Not if I know it."

"No, no! I mean, a lawyer or a doctor or a professor?"

"I should think not!" said Preston, with a more emphatic
denial.

"Then, what are you studying for?"

"Because, as I told you, Daisy, a man must know things, or he
cannot get on in the world."

I pondered the matter, and then I said, I should think good
sense would make a woman study too. I did not see the
difference. "Besides, Preston," I said, "if she didn't, they
would not be equal."

"Equal!" cried Preston. "Equal! Oh, Daisy, you ought to have
lived in some old times. You are two hundred years old, at
least. Now don't go to studying that, but come home. You have
sat here long enough."

It was my last hour of freedom. Perhaps for that reason I
remember every minute so distinctly. On our way home we met a
negro funeral. I stopped to look at it. Something, I do not
know what, in the long line of dark figures, orderly and even
stately in their demeanour, the white dresses of the women,
the peculiar faces of men and women both, fascinated my eyes.
Preston exclaimed at me again. It was the commonest sight in
the world, he said. It was their pride to have a grand
funeral. I asked if this was a grand funeral. Preston said
"Pretty well; there must be several hundred of them and they
were well dressed." And then he grew impatient and hurried me
on. But I was thinking; and before we got to the hotel where
we lodged, I asked Preston if there were many coloured people
at Magnolia.

"Lots of them," he said. "There isn't anything else."

"Preston," I said presently, "I want to buy some candy
somewhere."

Preston was very much pleased, I believe, thinking that my
thoughts had quite left the current of sober things. He took
me to a famous confectioner's; and there I bought sweet things
till my little stock of money was all gone.

"No more funds?" said Preston. Never mind, — go on, and I'll
help you. Why, I never knew you liked sugarplums so much. What
next? burnt almonds? this is good, Daisy, — this confection of
roses. But you must take all this sugar in small doses, or I
am afraid it wouldn't be just beneficial."

"Oh, Preston!" I said, — "I do not mean to eat all this
myself."

"Are you going to propitiate Miss Pinshon with it? I have a
presentiment that sweets wont sweeten her, Daisy."

"I don't know what "propitiate" means," I said, sighing. "I
will not take the almonds, Preston."

But he was determined I should; and to the almonds he added a
quantity of the delicate confection he spoke of, which I had
thought too delicate and costly for the uses I purposed; and
after the rose he ordered candied fruits; till a great package
of varieties was made up. Preston paid for them — I could not
help it — and desired them sent home; but I was bent on taking
the package myself. Preston would not let me do that, so he
carried it; which was a much more serious token of kindness,
in him, than footing the bill. It was but a little way,
however, to the hotel. We were in the hall, and I was just
taking my sugars from Preston to carry them upstairs, when I
heard aunt Gary call my name from the parlour. Instinctively,
I cannot tell how, I knew from her tone what she wanted me
for. I put back the package in Preston's hands, and walked in;
my play over.

How well I knew my play was over, when I saw my governess. She
was sitting by my aunt on the sofa. Quite different from what
I had expected, so different that I walked up to her in a
maze, and yet seemed to recognise in that first view all that
was coming after. Probably that is fancy; but it seems to me
now that all I ever knew or felt about Miss Pinshon in the
years that followed, was duly begun and betokened in those.
first five minutes. She was a young-looking lady, younger-
looking than she was. She had a dark, rich complexion, and a
face that I suppose would have been called handsome; it was
never handsome to me. Long black curls on each side of her
face, and large black eyes, were the features that first
struck one; but I immediately decided that Miss Pinshon was
not born a lady. I do not mean that I think blood and breeding
are unseverable; or that half a dozen lady ancestors in a
direct line secure the character to the seventh in descent;
though they _do_ often secure the look of it; nevertheless,
ladies are born who never know all their lives how to make a
curtsey, and curtseys are made with infinite grace by those
who have nothing of a lady beyond the trappings. I never saw
Miss Pinshon do a rude or an awkward thing, that I remember;
nor one which changed my first mind about her. She was
handsomely dressed; but there again I felt the same want. Miss
Pinshon's dresses made me think always of the mercer's counter
and the dressmaker's shop. My mother's robes always seemed
part of her own self; and so in a certain true sense they
were.

My aunt introduced me. Miss Pinshon studied me. Her first
remark was that I looked very young. My aunt excused that, on
the ground of my having been always a delicate child. Miss
Pinshon observed further that the way I wore my hair produced
part of the effect. My aunt explained _that_ to be my father's
and mother's fancy; and agreed that she thought cropped heads
were always ungraceful. If my hair were allowed to fall in
ringlets on my neck, I would look very different. Miss Pinshon
next inquired how much I knew? turning her great black eyes
from me to aunt Gary. My aunt declared she could not tell;
delicate health had also here interfered; and she appealed to
me to say what knowledge I was possessed of. I could not
answer. I could not say. It seemed to me I had not learned
anything. Then Preston spoke for me.

"Modesty is apt to be silent on its own merits," he said. "My
cousin has learned the usual rudiments; and in addition to
those the art of driving."

"Of _what?_ What did you say?" inquired my governess.

"Of driving, ma'am. Daisy is an excellent whip, for her years
and strength."

Miss Pinshon turned to Preston's mother. My aunt confirmed and
enlarged the statement, again throwing the blame on my father
and mother. For herself, she always thought it very dangerous
for a little girl like me to go about the country in a pony-
chaise all alone. Miss Pinshon's eyes could not be said to
express anything, but to my fancy they concealed a good deal.
She remarked that the roads were easy.

"Oh, it was not here," said my aunt; "it was at the North,
where the roads are not like our pine forests. However, the
roads were not dangerous there, that I know of; not for
anybody but a child. But horses and carriages are always
dangerous."

Miss Pinshon next applied herself to me. What did I know?
"beside this whip accomplishment," as she said. I was tongue-
tied. It did not seem to me that I knew anything. At last I
said so. Preston exclaimed. I looked at him to beg him to be
still; and I remember how he smiled at me.

"You can read, I suppose?" my governess went on.

"Yes, ma'am."

"And write, I suppose?"

"I do not think you would say I know how to write," I
answered. "I cannot do it at all well; and it takes me a long
time."

"Come back to the driving, Daisy," said Preston. "That is one
thing you do know. And English history, I will bear witness."

"What have you got there, Preston?" my aunt asked.

"Some hoarhound drops, mamma."

"You haven't a sore throat?" she asked eagerly.

"No, ma'am — not just now, but I had yesterday; and I thought
I would be provided."

"You seem provided for a long time —" Miss Pinshon remarked.

"Can't get anything up at Magnolia — except rice," said
Preston, after making the lady a bow which did not promise
good fellowship. "You must take with you what you are likely
to want there."

"You will not want all that," said his mother.

"No, ma'am, I hope not," said Preston, looking at his package
demurely. "Old uncle Lot, you know, always has a cough; and I
purpose delighting him with some of my purchases. I will go
and put them away."

"Old uncle Lot!" my aunt repeated. "What uncle Lot? I did not
know you had been enough at Magnolia to get the servants'
names. But I don't remember any uncle Lot."

Preston turned to leave the room with his candy, and in
turning gave me a look of such supreme fun — and mischief that
at another time I could hardly have helped laughing. But Miss
Pinshon was asking me if I understood arithmetic?

"I think — I know very little about it," I said hesitating. "I
can do a sum."

"In what?"

"On the slate, ma'am."

"Yes, but in what?"

"I don't know, ma'am — it is adding up the columns."

"Oh, in _addition_, then. Do you know the multiplication and
division tables?"

"No, ma'am."

"Go and get off your things, and then come back to me; and I
will have some more talk with you."

I remember to this day how heavily my feet went up the stairs.
I was not very strong yet in body, and now the strength seemed
to have gone out of my heart.

"I declare," said Preston, who waited for me on the landing,
"she falls into position easy! Does she think she is going to
take _that_ tone with you?"

I made no answer. Preston followed me into my room.

"I won't have it, little Daisy. Nobody shall be mistress at
Magnolia but you. This woman shall not. See, Daisy — I am
going to put these things in my trunk for you, until we get
where you want them. That will be safe."

I thanked him.

"What are you going to do now?"

"I am going downstairs, as soon as I am ready."

"Do you expect to be under all the commands this High
Mightiness may think proper to lay upon you?"

I begged him to be still and leave me.

"She will turn you into stone!" he exclaimed. "She is a
regular Gorgon, with those heavy eyes of hers. I never saw
such eyes. I believe she would petrify me if I had to bear
them. Don't you give Medusa one of those sweet almonds, Daisy,
— not one, do you hear?"

I heard too well. I faced round upon him and begged him to
remember that it was my _mother_ I must obey in Miss Pinshon's
orders; and said that he must not talk to me. Whereupon
Preston threw down his candies, and pulled my cloak out of my
unsteady hands, and locked his arms about me; kissing me and
lamenting over me that it was "too bad." I tried to keep my
self-command; but the end was a great burst of tears; and I
went down to Miss Pinshon with red eyes and at a disadvantage.
I think Preston was pleased.


I had need of all my quiet and self-command. My governess
stretched out her hand, drew me to her side and kissed me;
then with the other hand went on to arrange the ruffle round
my neck, stroking it and pulling it into order, and even
taking out a little bit of a pin I wore, and putting it in
again to suit herself. It annoyed me excessively. I knew all
was right about my ruffle and pin; I never left them
carelessly arranged; no fingers but mamma's had ever dared to
meddle with them before. But Miss Pinshon arranged the ruffle
and the pin, and still holding me, looked in my face with
those eyes of hers. I began to feel that they were "heavy."
They did not waver. They did not seem to wink, like other
eyes. They bore down upon my face with a steady power, that
was not bright but ponderous. Her first question was, whether
I was a good girl?

I could not tell how to answer. My aunt answered for me, that
she believed Daisy meant to be a good girl, though she liked
to have her own way.

Miss Pinshon ordered me to bring up a chair and sit down; and
then asked if I knew anything about mathematics; told me it
was the science of quantity; remarked to my aunt that it was
the very best study for teaching children to think, and that
she always gave them a great deal of it in the first years of
their pupilage. "It puts the mind in order," the black-eyed
lady went on; "and other things come so easily after it.
Daisy, do you know what I mean by 'quantity'?"

I knew what _I _ meant by quantity; but whether the English
language had anything in common for Miss Pinshon and me, I had
great doubts. I hesitated.

"I always teach my little girls to answer promptly when they
are asked anything. I notice that you do not answer promptly.
You can always tell whether you know a thing or whether you do
not."

I was not so sure of that. Miss Pinshon desired me now to
repeat the multiplication table. Here at least there was
certainty. I had never learned it.

"It appears to me," said my governess, "you have done very
little with the first ten years of your life. It gives you a
great deal to do for the next ten."

"Health has prevented her applying to her studies," said my
aunt.

"The want of health. Yes, I suppose so. I hope Daisy will be
very well now, for we must make up for lost time."

"I do not suppose so much time need have been lost," said my
aunt; "but parents are easily alarmed, you know; they think of
nothing but one thing."

So now there was nobody about me who would be easily alarmed.
I took the full force of that.

"Of course," said Miss Pinshon, "I shall have a careful regard
to her health. Nothing can be done without that. I shall take
her out regularly to walk with me, and see that she does not
expose herself in any way. Study is no hindrance to health;
learning has no malevolent effect upon the body. I think
people often get sick for want of something to think of."

How sure I felt, as I went up to bed that night, that no such
easy cause of sickness would be mine for long years to come!

CHAPTER II.

MY HOME.


The next day we were to go to Magnolia. It was a better day
than I expected. Preston kept me with him, away from aunt Gary
and my governess; who seemed to have a very comfortable time
together. Magnolia lay some miles inland, up a small stream or
inlet called the Sands river; the banks of which were studded
with gentlemen's houses. The houses were at large distances
from one another, miles of plantation often lying between. We
went by a small steamer which plied up and down the river; it
paddled along slowly, made a good many landings, and kept us
on board thus a great part of the day.

At last Preston pointed out to me a little wooden pier or
jetty ahead, which he said was my landing; and the steamer
soon drew up to it. I could see only a broken bank, fifteen
feet high, stretching all along the shore. However, a few
steps brought us to a receding level bit of ground, where
there was a break in the bank; the shore fell in a little, and
a wooded dell sloped back from the river. A carriage and
servants were waiting here.

Preston and I had arranged that we would walk up and let the
ladies ride. But as soon as they had taken their places I
heard myself called. We declared our purpose, Preston and I;
but Miss Pinshon said the ground was damp and she preferred I
should ride; and ordered me in. I obeyed, bitterly
disappointed; so much disappointed that I had the utmost
trouble not to let it be seen. For a little while I did not
know what we were passing. Then curiosity recovered itself.
The carriage was slowly making its way up a rough road. On
each side the wooded banks of the dell shut us in; and these
banks seemed to slope upward as well as the road, for though
we mounted and mounted, the sides of the dell grew no lower.
After a little, then, the hollow of the dell began to grow
wider, and its sides softly shelving down; and through the
trees on our left we could see a house, standing high above
us, but on ground which sloped towards the dell, which rose
and widened and spread out to meet it. This sloping ground was
studded with magnificent live oaks; each holding its place in
independent majesty, making no interference with the growth of
the rest. Some of these trees had a girth that half a dozen
men with their arms outstretched in a circle could not span;
they were green in spite of the winter; branching low, and
spreading into stately, beautiful heads of verdure, while grey
wreaths of moss hung drooping from some of them. The house was
seen not very distinctly among these trees; it showed low, and
in a long extent of building. I have never seen a prettier
approach to a house than that at Magnolia. My heart was full
of the beauty, this first time.

"This is Magnolia, Daisy," said my aunt. "This is your house."

"It appears a fine place," said Miss Pinshon.

"It is one of the finest on the river. This is your property,
Daisy."

"It is papa's," I answered.

"Well, — it belongs to your mother, and so you may say it
belongs to your father; but it is yours for all that. The
arrangement was, as I know," my aunt went on, addressing Miss
Pinshon, — "the arrangement in the marriage settlements was,
that the sons should have the father's property, and the
daughters the mother's. There is one son and one daughter; so
they will each have enough."

"But it is mamma's and papa's," I pleaded.

"Oh, well — it will be yours. That is what I mean. Ransom will
have Melbourne and the Virginia estates; and Magnolia is
yours. You ought to have a pretty good education."

I was so astonished at this way of looking at things, that
again I lost part of what was before me. The carriage went
gently along, passing the house, and coming up gradually to
the same level; then making a turn we drove at a better pace
back under some of those great evergreen oaks, till we drew up
at the house door. This was at a corner of the building, which
stretched in a long, low line towards the river. A verandah
skirted all that long front. As soon as I was out of the
carriage I ran to the furthest end. I found the verandah
turned the corner; the lawn too. All along the front, it
sloped to the dell; at the end of the house, it sloped more
gently and to greater distance down to the banks of the river.
I could not see the river itself. The view of the dell at my
left hand was lovely. A little stream which ran in the bottom
had been coaxed to form a clear pool in an open spot, where
the sunlight fell upon it, surrounded by a soft wilderness of
trees and climbers. Sweet branches of jessamine waved there in
their season; and a beautiful magnolia had been planted or
cherished there, and carefully kept in view of the house
windows. But the wide lawns, on one side and on the other,
grew nothing but the oaks; the gentle slope was a playground
for sunshine and shadow, as I first saw it; for then the
shadows of the oaks were lengthening over the grass, and the
waving grey wreaths of moss served sometimes as a foil,
sometimes as an her, to the sunbeams. I stood in a trance of
joy and sorrow; they were fighting so hard for the mastery;
till I knew that my aunt and Miss Pinshon had come up behind
me.

"This is a proud place!" my governess remarked.

I believe I looked at her. My aunt laughed; said she must not
teach me that; and led the way back to the entrance of the
house. All along the verandah I noticed that the green blinded
long windows made other entrances for whoever chose them.

The door was open for us already, and within was a row of dark
faces of men and women, and a show of white teeth that looked
like a welcome. I wondered aunt Gary did not say more to
answer the welcome; she only dropped a few careless words as
she went in, and asked if dinner was ready. I looked from one
to another of the strange faces and gleaming rows of teeth.
These were my mother's servants; that was something that came
near to my heart. I heard inquiries after "Mis' Felissy," and
"Mass' Randolph," and then the question, "Mis' 'Lizy, is this
little missis?" It was asked by an old, respectable-looking,
grey-haired negress. I did not hear my aunt's answer; but I
stopped and turned to the woman and laid my little hand in her
withered palm. I don't know what there was in that minute;
only I know that whereas I touched one hand, I touched a great
many hearts. Then and there began my good understanding with
all the coloured people on my mother's estate of Magnolia.
There was a general outburst of satisfaction and welcome. Some
of the voices blessed me; more than one remarked that I was
"like Mass' Randolph;" and I went into the parlour with a warm
spot in my heart, which had been very cold.

I was oddly at home at once. The room indeed was a room I had
never seen before; yet according to the mystery of such
things, the inanimate surroundings bore the mark of the tastes
and habits I had grown up among all my life. A great splendid
fire was blazing in the chimney; a rich carpet was on the
floor; the furniture was luxurious though not showy, and there
was plenty of it. So there was a plenty of works of art, in
home and foreign manufacture. Comfort, elegance, prettiness,
all around; and through the clear, glass of the long windows
the evergreen oaks on the lawn showed like guardians of the
place. I stood at one of them, with the pressure of that joy
and sorrow filling my childish heart.

My aunt presently called me from the window, and bade me let
Margaret take off my things. I got leave to go up stairs with
Margaret and take them off there. So I ran up the low easy
flight of stairs — they were wooden and uncarpeted — to a
matted gallery lit from the roof, with here and there a window
in a recess looking upon the lawn. Many rooms opened into this
gallery. I went from one to another. Here were great wood
fires burning too; here were snowy white beds, with light
muslin hangings; and dark cabinets and wardrobes; and mats on
the floors, with thick carpets and rugs laid down here and
there. And on one side and on the other side the windows
looked out upon the wide lawn, with its giant oaks hung with
grey wreaths of moss. My heart grew sore straitened. It was a
hard evening, that first evening at Magnolia; with the
loveliness and the brightness, the warm attraction, and the
bitter cold sense of loneliness. I longed to throw myself down
and cry. What I did, was to stand by one of the windows and
fight myself not to let the tears come. If _they_ were here, it
would be so happy! If they were here — oh, if they were here!

I believe the girl spoke to me without my hearing her. But
then came somebody whom I was obliged to hear, shouting
"Daisy" along the gallery. I faced him with a great effort. He
wanted to know what I was doing, and how I liked it, and where
my room was.

"Not found it yet?" said Preston. "Is this it? Whose room is
this, hey? — you somebody?"

"Maggie, massa," said the girl, dropping a curtsey.

"Maggie, where is your mistress's room?"

"This is Mis' 'Liza's room, sir."

"Nonsense! Mis' 'Liza is only here on a visit — _this_ is your
mistress. Where is her room, hey?"

"Oh, stop, Preston!" I begged him. "I am not mistress."

"Yes, you are. I'll roast anybody who says you ain't. Come
along, and you shall choose which room you will have; and if
it isn't ready they will get it ready. Come!"

I made him understand my choice might depend on where other
people's rooms were; and sent him off. Then I sent the girl
away — she was a pleasant-faced mulatto, very eager to help me
— and left to myself I hurriedly turned the key in the lock. I
_must_ have some minutes to myself, if I was to bear the burden
of that afternoon; and I knelt down with as heavy a heart,
almost, as I ever knew. In all my life I had never felt so
castaway and desolate. When my father and mother first went
from me, I was at least among the places where they had been;
June was with me still, and I knew not Miss Pinshon. The
journey had had its excitements and its interest. Now I was
alone; for June had decided, with tears and woeful looks, that
she would not come to Magnolia; and Preston would be soon on
his way back to college. I knew of only one comfort in the
world; that wonderful, "Lo, I am with you." Does anybody know
what that means, who has not made it the single plank bridge
over an abyss?

No one found out that anything was the matter with me, except
Preston. His caresses were dangerous to my composure. I kept
him off; and he ate his dinner with a thundercloud face which
foretold war with all governesses. For me, it was hard work
enough to maintain my quiet; everything made it hard. Each new
room, every arrangement of furniture, every table appointment,
though certainly not what I had seen before, yet seemed so
like home that I was constantly missing what would have made
it home indeed. It was the shell without the kernel. The soup
ladle seemed to be by mistake in the wrong hands; Preston
seemed to have no business with my father's carving knife and
fork; the sense of desolation pressed upon me everywhere.

After dinner, the ladies went up stairs to choose their rooms,
and Miss Pinshon avowed that she wished to have mine within
hers; it would be proper and convenient, she said. Aunt Gary
made no objection; but there was some difficulty, because all
the rooms had independent openings into the gallery. Miss
Pinshon hesitated a moment between one of two that opened into
each other and another that was pleasanter and larger but
would give her less facility for overlooking my affairs. For
one moment I drew a breath of hope; and then my hope was
quashed. Miss Pinshon chose one of the two that opened into
each other; and my only comfort was in the fact that my own
room had two doors and I was not obliged to go through Miss
Pinshon's to get to it. Just as this business was settled,
Preston called me out into the gallery and asked me to go for
a walk. I questioned with myself a second, whether I should
ask leave; but I had an inward assurance that to ask leave
would be not to go. I felt I must go. I ran back to the room
where my things lay, and in two minutes I was out of the
house.

My first introduction to Magnolia! How well I remember every
minute and every foot of the way. It was delicious, the
instant I stepped out among the oaks and into the sunshine.
Freedom was there, at all events.

"Now Daisy, we'll go to the stables," Preston said, "and see
if there is anything fit for you. I am afraid there isn't;
though Edwards told me he thought there was."

"Who is Edwards?" I asked, as we sped joyfully away through
the oaks, across shade and sunshine.

"Oh, he is the overseer."

"What is an overseer?"

"What is an overseer? — why, he is the man that looks after
things."

"What things?" I asked.

"All the things — everything, Daisy; all the affairs of the
plantation; the rice-fields and the cotton-fields, and the
people, and everything."

"Where are the stables? and where are we going?"

"Here — just here — a little way off. They are just in a dell
over here — the other side of the house, where the quarters
are."

"Quarters"? I repeated.

"Yes. Oh, you don't know anything down here, but you'll learn.
The stables and quarters are in this dell we are coming to;
nicely out of sight. Magnolia is one of the prettiest places
on the river."

We had passed through the grove of oaks on the further side of
the house, and then found the beginning of a dell which, like
the one by which we had come up a few hours before, sloped
gently down to the river. In its course it widened out to a
little low sheltered open ground, where a number of buildings
stood.

"So the house is between two dells," I said.

"Yes; and on that height up there, beyond the quarters, is the
cemetery; and from there you can see a great many fields and
the river and have a beautiful view. And there are capital
rides all about the place, Daisy."

When we came to the stables, Preston sent a boy in search of
"Darius." Darius, he told me, was the coachman, and chief in
charge of the stable department. Darius came presently. He was
a grey-headed, fine-looking, most respectable black man. He
had driven my mother and my mother's mother; and being a
trusted and important man on the place, and for other reasons,
he had a manner and bearing that were a model of dignified
propriety. Very grave "uncle Darry" was; stately and almost
courtly in his respectful courtesy; but he gave me a pleasant
smile when Preston presented him.

"We's happy to see Miss Daisy at her own home. Hope de Lord
bress her."

My heart warmed at these words like the ice-bound earth in a
spring day. They were not carelessly spoken, nor was the
welcome. My feet trod the greensward more firmly. Then all
other thoughts were for the moment put to flight by Preston's
calling for the pony and asking Darius what he thought of him,
and Darry's answer.

"Very far, massa; very far. Him no good for not'ing."

While I pondered what this judgment might amount to, the pony
was brought out. He was larger than Loupe, and had not Loupe's
peculiar symmetry of mane and tail; he was a fat dumpy little
fellow, sleek and short, dapple grey, with a good long tail
and a mild eye. Preston declared he had no shape at all and
was a poor concern of a pony; but to my eyes he was beautiful.
He took one or two sugarplums from my hand with as much
amenity as if we had been old acquaintances. Then a boy was
put on him, who rode him up and down with a halter.

"He'll do, Darius," said Preston.

"For little missis? Just big enough, massa. Got no tricks at
all, only he no like work. Not much spring in him."

"Daisy must take the whip, then. Come and let us go look at
some of the country where you will ride. Are you tired,
Daisy?"

"Oh, no," I said. "But wait a minute, Preston. Who lives in
all those houses?"

"The people. The hands. They are away in the fields at work
now."

"Does Darius live there?"

"Of course. They all live here."

"I should like to go nearer, and see the houses."

"Daisy, it is nothing on earth to see. They are all just
alike; and you see them from here."

"I want to look in," — I said, moving down the slope.

"Daisy," said Preston, you are just as fond of having your own
way as —"

"As what? I do not think I am, Preston."

"I suppose nobody thinks he is," grumbled Preston, following
me, — "except the fellows who can't get it."

I had by this time almost forgotten Miss Pinshon. I had almost
come to think that Magnolia might be a pleasant place. In the
intervals, when the pony was out of sight, I had improved my
knowledge of the old coachman; and every look added to my
liking. There was something I could not read that more and
more drew me to him. A simplicity in his good manners, a
placid expression in his gravity, a staid reserve in his
humility, were all there; and more yet. Also the scene in the
dell was charming to me. The ground about the negro cottages
was kept neat; they were neatly built of stone and stood round
the sides of a quadrangle; while on each side and below the
wooded slopes of ground closed in the picture. Sunlight was
streaming through and brightening up the cottages and resting
on uncle Darry's swarth face. Down through the sunlight I went
to the cottages. The first door stood open, and I looked in.
At the next I was about to knock, but Preston pushed open the
door for me; and so he did for a third and a fourth. Nobody
was in them. I was a good deal disappointed. They were empty,
bare, dirty, and seemed to me very forlorn. What a set of
people my mother's hands must be, I thought. Presently I came
upon a ring of girls, a little larger than I was, huddled
together behind one of the cottages. There was no manners
about them. They were giggling and grinning, hopping on one
foot, and going into other awkward antics; not the less that
most of them had their arms filled with little black babies. I
had got enough for that day, and turning about left the dell
with Preston.

At the head of the dell, Preston led off in a new direction,
along a wide avenue that ran through the woods. Perfectly
level and smooth, with the woods closing in on both sides and
making long vistas through their boles and under their boughs.
By and by we took another path that led off from this one,
wide enough for two horses to go abreast. The pine trees were
sweet overhead and on each hand, making the light soft and the
air fragrant. Preston and I wandered on in delightful roaming;
leaving the house and all that it contained at an unremembered
distance. Suddenly we came out upon a cleared field. It was
many acres large; in the distance a number of people were at
work. We turned back again.

"Preston," I said, after a silence of a few minutes, — "there
seemed to be no women in those cottages. I did not see any."

"I suppose not," said Preston; "because there were not any to
see."

"But had all those little babies no mothers?"

"Yes, of course, Daisy; but they were in the field."

"The mothers of those little babies?"

"Yes. What about it? Look here — are you getting tired?"

I said no; and he put his arm round me fondly, so as to hold
me up a little; and we wandered gently on, back to the avenue,
then down its smooth course further yet from the house, then
off by another wood path through the pines on the other side.
This was a narrower path, amidst sweeping pine branches and
hanging creepers, some of them prickly, which threw themselves
all across the way. It was not easy getting along. I remarked
that nobody seemed to come there much.

"I never came here myself," said Preston, "but I know it must
lead out upon the river somewhere, and that's what I am after.
— Hollo! we are coming to something. There is something white
through the trees. I declare, I believe —"

Preston had been out in his reckoning, and a second time had
brought me where he did not wish to bring me. We came
presently to an open place, or rather a place where the pines
stood a little apart; and there in the midst was a small
enclosure. A low brick wall surrounded a square bit of ground,
with an iron gate in one side of the square; within, the
grassy plot was spotted with the white marble of tombstones.
There were large and small. Overhead, the great pine trees
stood and waved their long branches gently in the wind. The
place was lonely and lovely. We had come, as Preston guessed,
to the river, and the shore was here high; so that we looked
down upon the dark little stream far below us. The sunlight,
getting low by this time, hardly touched it; but streamed
through the pine trees and over the grass and gilded the white
marble with gold.

"I did not mean to bring you here," said Preston. "I did not
know I was bringing you here. Come, Daisy — we'll go and try
again."

"Oh, stop!" I said — "I like it. I want to look at it."

"It is the cemetery," said Preston. "That tall column is the
monument of our great — no, of our great-great-grandfather;
and this brown one is for mamma's father. Come, Daisy! —"

"Wait a little," I said. "Whose is that with the vase on top?"

"Vase?" said Preston — "it's an urn. It is an urn, Daisy.
People do not put vases on tombstones."

I asked what the difference was.

"The difference? Oh, Daisy, Daisy! Why vases are to put
flowers in; and urns — I'll tell you, Daisy, — I believe it is
because the Romans used to burn the bodies of their friends
and gather up the ashes and keep them in a funeral urn. So an
urn comes to be appropriate to a tombstone."

"I do not see how," I said.

"Why, because an urn comes to be an emblem of mortality and
all that. Come, Daisy; let us go."

"I think a vase of flowers would be a great deal nicer," I
said. "We do not keep the ashes of our friends."

"We don't put signs of joy over their graves either," said
Preston.

"I should think we might," I said, meditatively. "When people
have gone to Jesus — they must be very glad!"

Preston burst out with an expression of hope that Miss Pinshon
would "do something" for me; and again would have led me away;
but I was not ready to go. My eye, roving beyond the white
marble and the low brick wall, had caught what seemed to be a
number of meaner monuments, scattered among the pine trees and
spreading down the slope of the ground on the further side,
where it fell off towards another dell. In one place a bit of
board was set up; further on, a cross; then I saw a great many
bits of board and crosses; some more and some less carefully
made; and still as my eye roved about over the ground they
seemed to start up to view in every direction; too low and too
humble and too near the colour of the fallen pine leaves to
make much show unless they were looked for. I asked what they
all were?

"Those? Oh, those are for the people, you know."

"The people?" — I repeated.

"Yes, the people — the hands."

"There are a great many of them!" I remarked.

"Of course," said Preston. "You see, Daisy, there have been I
don't know how many hundreds of hands here for a great many
years, ever since mother's grandfather's time."

"I should think," said I, looking at the little board slips
and crosses among the pine cones on the ground, — "I should
think they would like to have something nicer to put up over
their graves."

"Nicer? those are good enough," said Preston. "Good enough for
them."

"I should think they would like to have something better," I
said. "Poor people at the North have nicer monuments, I know.
I never saw such monuments in my life."

"Poor people!" cried Preston. "Why, these are the _hands_,
Daisy, — the coloured people. What do they want of monuments?"

"Don't they care?" said I, wondering.

"Who cares if they care? I don't know whether they care," said
Preston, quite out of patience with me, I thought.

"Only, if they cared, I should think they would have something
nicer," I said. "Where do they all go to church, Preston?"

"Who?" said Preston.

"These people?"

"What people? The families along the river, do you mean?"

"No, no," said I; "I mean _our_ people — these people; the
hands. You say there are hundreds of them. Where do they go to
church?"

I faced Preston now in my eagerness; for the little board
crosses and the forlorn look of the whole burying ground on
the side of the hill had given me a strange feeling.

"Where do they go to church, Preston?"

"Nowhere, I reckon."

I was shocked, and Preston was impatient. How should he know,
he said; he did not live at Magnolia. And he carried me off.
We went back to the avenue and slowly bent our steps again
towards the house; slowly, for I was tired, and we both, I
think, were busy with our thoughts. Presently I saw a man, a
negro, come into the avenue a little before us with a bundle
of tools on his back. He went as slowly as we, with an
indescribable, purposeless gait. His figure had the same look
too, from his lop-sided old white hat to every fold of his
clothing, which seemed to hang about him just as if it would
as lieve be off as on. I begged Preston to hail him and ask
him the question about church going, which sorely troubled me.
Preston was unwilling and resisted.

"What do you want me to do that for, Daisy?"

"Because aunt Gary told Miss Pinshon that we have to drive six
miles to go to church. Do ask him where they go!"

"They don't go _anywhere_, Daisy," said Preston impatiently;
"they don't care a straw about it, either. All the church they
care about is when they get together in somebody's house and
make a great muss."

"Make a muss!" said I.

"Yes; a regular muss; shouting and crying and having what they
call a good time. That's what some of them do; but I'll wager
if I were to ask him about going to church, this fellow here
would not know what I mean."

This did by no means quiet me. I insisted that Preston should
stop the man; and at last he did. I The fellow turned and came
back towards us, ducking his old white hat. His face was just
like the rest of him: there was no expression in it but an
expression of limp submissiveness.

"Sambo, your mistress wants to speak to you."

"Yes, massa. I's George, massa."

"George," said I, "I want to know where you go to church?"

"Yes, missis. What missis want to know?"

"Where do you and all the rest go to church?"

"Reckon don't go nowhar, missis."

"Don't you ever go to church?"

"Church for white folks, missis; bery far; long ways to ride."

"But you and the rest of the people — don't you go anywhere to
church? to hear preaching?"

"Reckon not, missis. De preachin's don't come dis way,
likely."

"Can you read the Bible, George?"

"Dunno read, missis. Never had no larnin'."

"Then don't you know anything about what is in the Bible?
don't you know about Jesus?"

"Reckon don't know not'ing, missis."

"About Jesus?" said I again.

" 'Clar, missis, dis nigger don't know not'ing, but de rice and
de corn. Missis talk to Darry; he most knowin' nigger on
plantation; knows a heap."

"There!" exclaimed Preston — "that will do. You go off to your
supper, George — and Daisy, you had better come on if you want
anything pleasant at home. What on earth have you got now by
that? What is the use? Of course they do not know anything;
and why should they? They have no time and no use for it."

"They have time on Sundays —" I said.

"Time to sleep. That is what they do. That is the only thing a
negro cares about, to go to sleep in the sun. It's all
nonsense, Daisy."

"They would care about something else, I dare say," I
answered, "if they could get it."

"Well, they can't get it. Now, Daisy, I want you to let these
fellows alone. You have nothing to do with them, and you did
not come to Magnolia for such work. You have nothing on earth
to do with them."

I had my own thoughts on the subject, but Preston was not a
sympathising hearer. I said no more. The evergreen oaks about
the house came presently in sight; then the low verandah that
ran round three sides of it; then we came to the door, and my
walk was over.

CHAPTER III.

THE MULTIPLICATION TABLE.

My life at Magnolia might be said to begin when I came down
stairs that evening. My aunt and Miss Pinshon were sitting in
the parlour, in the light of a glorious fire of light wood and
oak sticks. Miss Pinshon called me to her at once; inquired
where I had been; informed me I must not for the future take
such diversion without her leave first asked and obtained; and
then put me to reading aloud, that she might see how well I
could do it. She gave me a philosophical article in a magazine
for my proof piece; it was full of long words that I did not
know and about matters that I did not understand. I read
mechanically, of course; trying with all my might to speak the
long words right, that there might be no room for correction;
but Miss Pinshon's voice interrupted me again and again. I
felt cast away — in a foreign land; further and further from
the home feeling every minute; and it seemed besides as if the
climate had some power of petrifaction. I could not keep
Medusa out of my head. It was a relief at last when the tea
was brought in. Miss Pinshon took the magazine out of my hand.

"She has a good voice, but she wants expression," was her
remark.

"I could not understand what she was reading," said my aunt
Gary.

"Nor anybody else," said Preston. "How are you going to give
expression, when there is nothing to express?"

"That is where you feel the difference between a good reader
and one who is not trained," said my governess. "I presume
Daisy has never been trained."

"No, not in anything," said my aunt. "I dare say she wants a
good deal of it."

"We will try —" said Miss Pinshon.

It all comes back to me as I write, that beginning of my
Magnolia life. I remember how dazed and disheartened I sat at
the tea-table, yet letting nobody see it; how Preston made
violent efforts to change the character of the evening; and
did keep up a stir that at another time would have amused me.
And when I was dismissed to bed, Preston came after me to the
upper gallery and almost broke up my power of keeping quiet.
He gathered me in his arms, kissed me and lamented over me,
and denounced ferocious threats against "Medusa;" while I in
vain tried to stop him. He would not be sent away, till he had
come into my room and seen that the fire was burning and the
room warm, and Margaret ready for me.

With Margaret there was also an old coloured woman, dark and
wrinkled, my faithful old friend Mammy Theresa; but indeed I
could scarcely see her just then, for my eyes were full of big
tears when Preston left me; and I had to stand still before
the fire for some minutes before I could fight down the fresh
tears that were welling up and let those which veiled my
eyesight scatter away. I was conscious how silently the two
women waited upon me. I had a sense even then of the sympathy
they were giving. I knew they served me with a respect which
would have done for an Eastern princess; but I said nothing
hardly, nor they, that night.

If the tears came when I was alone, so did sleep too at last;
and I waked up the next morning a little revived. It was a
cool morning! and my eyes opened to see Margaret on her knees
making my fire. Two good oak sticks were on the fire dogs, and
a heap of light wood on the floor. I watched her piling and
preparing, and then kindling the wood with a splinter of light
wood which she lit in the candle. It was all very strange to
me. The bare painted and varnished floor; the rugs laid down
here and there; the old cupboards in the wall; the unwonted
furniture. It did not feel like home. I lay still, until the
fire blazed up and Margaret rose to her feet, and seeing my
eyes open dropped her curtsey.

"Please, missis, may I be Miss Daisy's girl?"

"I will ask aunt Gary," I answered; a good deal surprised.

"Miss Daisy is the mistress. We all belong to Miss Daisy. It
will be as she say."

I thought to myself that very little was going to be "as I
said." I got out of bed, feeling terribly slim-hearted, and
stood in my night-gown before the fire, trying to let the
blaze warm me. Margaret did her duties with a zeal of devotion
that reminded me of my old June.

"I will ask aunt Gary," I said; "and I think she will let you
build my fire, Margaret."

"Thank'e, ma'am. First rate fires, I'll make, Miss Daisy.
We'se all so glad Miss Daisy come to Magnoly."

Were they? I thought, and what did she mean by their all
"belonging to me"? I was not accustomed to quite so much
deference. However, I improved my opportunity by asking
Margaret my question of the day before about church. The girl
half laughed.

"Aint any church big enough to hold all de people," she said.
"Guess we coloured folks has to go widout."

"But where _is_ the church?" I said.

"Aint none, Miss Daisy. People enough to make a church full
all himselves."

"And don't you want to go?"

"Reckon it's o' no consequence, missis. It's a right smart
chance of a way to Bo'mbroke, where de white folks' church is.
Guess they don't have none for poor folks nor niggers in dese
parts."

"But Jesus died for poor people," I said, turning round upon
my attendant. She met me with a gaze I did not understand, and
said nothing. Margaret was not like my old June. She was a
clear mulatto, with a fresh colour and rather a handsome face;
and her eyes, unlike June's little anxious, restless, almond
shaped eyes, were liquid and full. She went on care- fully
with the toilet duties which busied her; and I was puzzled.

"Did you never hear of Jesus?" I said presently. "Don't you
know that He loves poor people?"

"Reckon He loves rich people de best, Miss Daisy," the girl
said, in a dry tone.

I faced about to deny this, and to explain how the Lord had a
special love and care for the poor. I saw that my hearer did
not believe me. "She had heerd so," she said.

The dressing-bell sounded long and loud, and I was obliged to
let Margaret go on with my dressing; but in the midst of my
puzzled state of mind, I felt childishly sure of the power of
that truth, of the Lord's love, to break down any hardness and
overcome any coldness. Yet, "how shall they hear without a
preacher?" and I had so little chance to speak.

"Then, Margaret," said I at last, "is there no place where you
can go to hear about the things in the Bible?"

"No, missis; I never goes."

"And does not anybody, except Darry when he goes with the
carriage?"

"Can't, Miss Daisy; it's miles and miles; and no place for
niggers neither."

"Can you read the Bible, Margaret?"

"Guess not, missis; we's too stupid; aint good for coloured
folks to read."

"Does _nobody_, among all the people, read the Bible?" said I,
once more stopping Margaret in my dismay.

"Uncle Darry — he does," said the girl; "and he — do 'spoun
some; but I don't make no count of his 'spoundations."

I did not know quite what she meant; but I had no time for
anything more. I let her go, locked my door and kneeled down;
with the burden on my heart of this new revelation; that there
were hundreds of people under the care of my father and
mother, who were living without church and without Bible, in
desperate ignorance of everything worth knowing. If I papa had
only been at Magnolia with me! I thought I could have
persuaded him to build a church and let somebody come and
teach the people. But now — what could I do? And I asked the
Lord, what could I do? but I did not see the answer.

Feeling the question on my two shoulders, I went down stairs.
To my astonishment, I found the family all gathered in solemn
order; the house servants at one end of the room, my aunt,
Miss Pinshon and Preston at the other, and before my aunt a
little table with books. I got a seat as soon as I could, for
it was plain that something was waiting for me. Then my aunt
opened the Bible and read a chapter, and followed it with a
prayer read out of another book. I was greatly amazed at the
whole proceeding. No such ceremony was ever gone through at
Melbourne; and certainly nothing had ever given me the notion
that my aunt Gary was any more fond of sacred things than the
rest of the family.

"An excellent plan," said Miss Pinshon, when we had risen from
our knees and the servants had filed off.

"Yes," my aunt said, somewhat as if it needed an apology; —
"it was the custom in my father's and grandfather's time; and
we always keep it up. I think old customs always should be
kept up."

"And do you have the same sort of thing on Sundays, for the
out-of-door hands?"

"What?" said my aunt. It was somewhat more abrupt than polite;
but she probably felt that Miss Pinshon was a governess.

"There were only the house servants gathered this morning."

"Of course; part of them."

"Have you any similar system of teaching for those who are
outside? I think you told me they have no church to go to."

"I should like to know what "system" you would adopt," said my
aunt, "to reach seven hundred people."

"A church and a minister would not be a bad thing."

"Or we might all turn missionaries," said Preston; "and go
among them with bags of Bibles round our necks. We might all
turn missionaries."

"Colporteurs," said Miss Pinshon.

Then I said in my heart, "I will be one." But I went on eating
my breakfast and did not look at anybody; only I listened with
all my might.

"I don't know about that" said my aunt. "I doubt whether a
church and a minister would be beneficial."

"Then you have a nation of heathen at your doors," said Miss
Pinshon.

"I don't know but they are just as well off," said my aunt. "I
doubt if more light would do them any good. They would not
understand it."

"They must be very dark, if they could not understand light,"
said my governess.

"Just as people that are very light cannot understand
darkness," said Preston.

"I think so," my aunt went on. "Our neighbour Colonel Joram,
down below here at Crofts, will not allow such a thing as
preaching or teaching on his plantation. He says it is bad for
them. We always allowed it; but I don't know."

"Colonel Joram is a heathen himself, you know, mother," said
Preston. "Don't hold _him_ up."

"I will hold him up for a gentleman, and a very successful
planter," said Mrs. Gary. "No place is better worked or
managed than Crofts. If the estate of Magnolia were worked and
kept as well, it would be worth half as much again as it ever
has been. But there is the difference of the master's eye. My
brother-in-law never could be induced to settle at Magnolia,
nor at his own estates either. He likes it better in the cold
North."

Miss Pinshon made no remark whatever in answer to this
statement; and the rest of the talk at the breakfast-table was
about rice.

After breakfast my school life at Magnolia began. It seems as
if all the threads of my life there were in a hurry to get
into my hand. Ah, I had a handful soon! But this was the
fashion of my first day with my governess. — All the days were
not quite so bad; however it gave the key of them all.

Miss Pinshon bade me come with her to the room she and my aunt
had agreed should be the schoolroom. It was the book room of
the house, though it had hardly books enough to be called a
library. It had been the study or private room of my
grandfather; there was a leather-covered table with an old
bronze standish; some plain book-cases; a large escritoire; a
terrestrial globe; a thermometer and barometer; and the rest
of the furniture was an abundance of chintz-covered chairs and
lounges. These were very easy and pleasant for use; and long
windows opening on the verandah looked off among the evergreen
oaks and their floating grey drapery; the light in the room
and the whole aspect of it was agreeable. If Miss Pinshon had
not been there! But she was there, with a terrible air of
business; setting one or two chairs in certain positions by a
window, and handling one or two books on the table. I stood
meek and helpless, expectant.

"Have you read any history, Daisy?"

I said no; then I said yes, I had; a little.

"What?"

"A little of the history of England last summer."

"Not of your own country?"

"No, ma'am."

"And no ancient history?"

"No, ma'am."

"You know nothing of the Division of the nations, of course?"

I answered, nothing. I had no idea what she meant; except that
England, and America, and France, were different, and of
course divided. Of Peleg the son of Eber and the brother of
Joktan, I then knew nothing.

"And arithmetic is something you do not understand," pursued
Miss Pinshon. "Come here and let me see how you can write."

With trembling, stiff little fingers — I feel them yet — I
wrote some lines under my governess' eye.

"Very unformed," was her comment. "And now, Daisy, you may sit
down there in the window and study the multiplication table.
See how much of it you can get this morning."

Was it to be a morning's work? My heart was heavy as lead. At
this hour, at Melbourne, my task would have been to get my
flat hat and rush out among the beds of flowers; and a little
later, to have up Loupe and go driving whither I would, among
the meadows and cornfields. Ah, yes; and there was Molly who
might be taught, and Juanita who might be visited; and Dr.
Sandford who might come like a pleasant gale of wind into the
midst of whatever I was about. I did not stop to think of them
now, though a waft of the sunny air through the open window
brought a violent rush of such images. I tried to shut them
out of my head and gave myself wistfully to "three times one
is three; three times two is six." Miss Pinshon helped me by
closing the window. I thought she might have let so much
sweetness as that come into the multiplication table. However
I studied its threes and fours steadily for some time dry;
then my attention flagged. It was very uninteresting. I had
never in all my life till then been obliged to study what gave
me no pleasure. My mind wandered, and then my eyes wandered,
to where the sunlight lay so golden under the live oaks. The
wreaths of grey moss stirred gently with the wind. I longed to
be out there. Miss Pinshon's voice startled me.

"Daisy, where are your thoughts?"

I hastily brought my eyes and wits home and answered, "Out
upon the lawn, ma'am."

"Do you find the multiplication table there?"

It was so needless to answer! I was mute. I would have come to
the rash conclusion that nature and mathematics had nothing to
do with each other.

"You must learn to command your attention," my governess went
on. "You must not let it wander. That is the first lesson you
have to learn. I shall give you mathematics till you have
learnt it. You can do nothing without attention."

I bent myself to the threes and fours again. But I was soon
weary; my mind escaped; and without turning my eyes off my
book, it swept over the distance between Magnolia and
Melbourne, and sat down by Molly Skelton to help her in
getting her letters. It was done and I was there. I could hear
the hesitating utterances; I could see the dull finger tracing
its way along the lines. And then would come the reading _to_
Molly, and the interested look of waiting attention, and once
in a while the strange softening of the poor hard face. From
there my mind went off to the people around me at Magnolia;
were there some to be taught here perhaps? and could I get at
them? and was there no other way — could it be there was no
other way but by my weak little voice — through which some of
them were ever to learn about my dear Saviour? I had got very
far from mathematics, and my book fell. I heard Miss Pinshon's
voice.

"Daisy, come here."

I obeyed, and came to the table, where my governess was
installed in the leather chair of my grandfather. She always
used it.

"I should like to know what you are doing."

"I was thinking —" I said.

"Did I give you thinking to do?"

"No, ma'am; not of that kind."

"What kind was it?"

"I was thinking, and remembering —"

"Pray, what were you remembering?"

"Things at home — and other things."

"Things and things," said Miss Pinshon. "That is not a very
elegant way of speaking. Let me hear how much you have
learned."

I began. About all of the "threes" was on my tongue; the rest
had got mixed up hopelessly with Molly Skelton and teaching
Bible reading. Miss Pinshon was not pleased.

"You must learn attention," she said. "I can do nothing with
you until you have succeeded in that. You _must_ attend. Now I
shall give you a motive for minding what you are about. Go and
sit down again and study this table till you know the threes
and the fours and the fives and the sixes, perfectly. Go and
sit down."

I sat down, and the life was all out of me. Tears in the first
place had a great mind to come, and would put themselves
between me and the figures in the multiplication table. I
governed them back after a while. But I could not study to
purpose. I was tired and down-spirited; I had not energy left
to spring to my task and accomplish it. Over and over again I
tried to put the changes of the numbers in my head; it seemed
like writing them in sand. My memory would not take hold of
them; could not keep them; with all my trying I grew only more
and more stupefied and fagged, and less capable of doing what
I had to do. So dinner came, and Miss Pinshon said I might get
myself ready for dinner and after dinner come back again to my
lesson. The lesson must be finished before anything else was
done.

I had no appetite. Preston was in a fume of vexation, partly
roused by my looks, partly by hearing that I was not yet free.
He was enraged beyond prudent speaking, but Miss Pinshon never
troubled herself about his words; and when the first and
second courses were removed, told me I might go to my work.
Preston called to me to stay and have some fruit; but I went
on to the study, not caring for fruit or for anything else. I
felt very dull and miserable. Then I remembered that my
governess probably did care for some fruit and would be
delayed a little while; and then I tried what is the best
preparation for study or anything else. I got down on my
knees, to ask that help which is as willingly given to a child
in her troubles as to the general of an army. I prayed that I
might be patient and obedient and take disagreeable things
pleasantly and do my duty in the multiplication table. And a
breath of rest came over my heart, and a sort of perfume of
remembered things which I had forgotten; and it quite changed
the multiplication table to think that God had given it to me
to learn, and so that some good would certainly come of
learning it; at least the good of pleasing Him. As long as I
dared I staid on my knees; then — I was strong for the fives
and sixes.

But it was not quick work; and though my patience did not flag
again nor my attention fail, the afternoon was well on the way
before I was dismissed. I had then permission to do what I
liked. Miss Pinshon said she would not go to walk that day; I
might follow my own pleasure.

I must have been very tired; for it seemed to me there was
hardly any pleasure left to follow. I got my flat and went
out. The sun was westing; the shadows stretched among the
evergreen oaks; the outer air was sweet. I had tried to find
Preston first, in the house; but he was not to be found; and
all alone I went out into the sunshine. It wooed me on.
Sunshine and I were always at home together. Without knowing
that I wanted to go anywhere, some secret attraction drew my
steps towards the dell where I had seen Darry. I followed one
of several well beaten paths that led towards the quarters
through the trees, and presently came out upon the stables
again. All along the dell the sunshine poured. The ground was
kept like a pleasure ground, it was so neat; the grass was as
clean as the grass of a park; the little stone houses
scattered away down towards the river, with shade trees among
them, and oaks lining the sides of the dell. I thought surely
Magnolia was a lovely place! if only my father and mother had
been there. But then, seeing the many cottages, my trouble of
the morning pressed upon me afresh. So many people, so many
homes, and the light of the Bible not on them, nor in them?
And, child as I was, and little as I knew, I knew the name of
Christ too unspeakably precious, for me to think without a
sore heart, that all these people were without what was the
jewel of my life. — And they my mother's servants! my father's
dependents! What could I do?

The dell was alone in the yellow sunlight which poured over
the slope from the west; and I went musing on till getting to
the corner of the stables I saw Darry just round the corner
grooming a black horse. He was working energetically and
humming to himself as he worked a refrain which I learned
afterwards to know well. — "All I could make out was, I'm going
home" — several times repeated. I came near before he saw me,
and he started; then bid me good evening and "hoped I found
Magnolia a pleasant place."

Since I have grown older I have read that wonderful story of
Mrs. Stowe's _Uncle Tom_; he reminded me of Darry then, and now
I never think of the one without thinking of the other. But
Darry, having served a different class of people from Uncle
Tom's first owners, had a more polished style of manners,
which I should almost call courtly; and he was besides a man
of higher natural parts, and somewhat more education. But much
commerce in the Court which is above all earthly dignities, no
doubt had more to do with his peculiarities than any other
cause.

I asked him what he was singing about home? and where his home
was? He turned his face full on me, letting me see how grave
and gentle his eye was, and at the same time there was a
wistful expression in it that I felt. "Home aint nowheres
here, missie," he said. "I'm 'spectin' to go by and by."

"Do you mean home up _there?_" said I, lifting my finger towards
the sky. Darry fairly laughed.

" 'Spect don't want no other home, missie. Heaven good enough."

I stood watching him as he rubbed down the black horse,
feeling surely that he and I would be friends.

"Where is your home here, Darry?"

"I got a place down there, little missie — not fur."

"When you have done that horse, will you show me your place? I
want to see where you live."

"Missie want to see Darry's house?" said he, showing his white
teeth. "Missie shall see what she mind to. I allus keeps
Saddler till the last, 'cause he's ontractable.".

The black horse was put in the stable, and I followed my black
groom down among the lines of stone huts, to which the working
parties had not yet returned. Darry's house was one of the
lowest in the dell, out of the quadrangle, and had a glimpse
of the river. It stood alone, in a pretty place, but something
about it did not satisfy me. It looked square and bare. The
stone walls within were rough as the stone-layer had left
them; one little four-paned window, or rather casement, stood
open; and the air was sweet; for Darry kept his place
scrupulously neat and clean. But there was not much to be
kept. A low bedstead; a wooden chest; an odd table made of a
piece of board on three legs; a shelf with some kitchen ware;
that was all the furniture. On the odd table there lay a
Bible, that had, I saw, been turned over many a time.

"Then you can read, uncle Darry," I said, pitching on the only
thing that pleased me.

"De good Lord, He give me dat happiness," the man answered
gravely.

"And you love Jesus, Darry," I said, feeling that we had
better come to an understanding as soon as possible. His
answer was an energetic —

"Bress de Lord! Do Miss Daisy love Him, den?"

I would have said yes; I did say yes, I believe; but I did not
know how or why, at this question there seemed a coming
together of gladness and pain which took away my breath. My
head dropped on Darry's little window-sill, and my tears
rushed forth, like the head of water behind a broken mill-dam.
Darry was startled and greatly concerned. He wanted to know if
I was not well — if I would send him for "su'thing" — I could
only shake my head and weep. I think Darry was the only
creature at Magnolia before whom I would have so broken down.
But somehow I felt safe with Darry. The tears cleared away
from my voice after a little; and I went on with my inquiries
again. It was a good chance.

"Uncle Darry, does no one else but you read the Bible?"

He looked dark and troubled. "Missie sees — de folks for most
part got no learnin'. Dey no read, sure."

"Do you read the Bible to them, Darry?"

"Miss Daisy knows, dere aint no great time. Dey's in de field
all day, most days, and dey hab no time for to hear."

"But Sundays? —" I said.

"Do try," — he said, looking graver yet. "Me do 'tempt
su'thin'. But missie knows, de Sabbat' be de only day de
people hab, and dey tink mostly of oder tings."

"And there is no church for you all to go to?"

"No, missis; no church."

There was a sad tone in this answer. I did not know how to go
on. I turned to something else.

"Uncle Darry, I don't think your home looks very comfortable."

Darry almost laughed at that. He said it was good enough;
would last very well a little while longer. I insisted that it
was not _comfortable_. It was cold.

"Sun warm, Miss Daisy. De good Lord, He make His sun warm. And
dere be fires enough."

"But it is very empty," I said. "You want something more in
it, to make it look nice."

"It never empty, Miss Daisy, when de Lord Hisself be here. And
He not leave His chil'n alone. Miss Daisy know dat?"

I stretched forth my little hand and laid it in Darry's great
— black palm. There was an absolute confidence established
between us.

"Uncle Darry" — I said, "I do love him — but sometimes, I want
to see papa! —"

And therewith my self-command was almost gone. I stood with
full eyes and quivering lips, my hand still in Darry's, who on
his part was speechless with sympathy.

"De time pass quick, and Miss Daisy see her pa'," — he said at
last.

I did not think the time passed quick. I said so.

"Do little missie ask de Lord for help?" Darry said, his eyes
by this time as watery as mine. "Do Miss Daisy know, it nebber
lonesome where de Lord be? He so good."

I could not stand any more. I pulled away my hand and stood
still, looking out of the window and seeing nothing, till I
could make myself quiet. Then I changed the subject and told
Darry I should like to go and see some of the other houses
again. I know now, I can see, looking back, how my childish
self-control and reserve made some of those impulsive natures
around me regard me with something like worshipful reverence.
I felt it then, without thinking of it or reasoning about it.
From Darry, and from Margaret, and from Mammy Theresa, and
from several others, I had a loving, tender reverence, which
not only felt for me as a sorrowful child, but bowed before me
as something of higher and stronger nature than themselves.
Darry silently attended me now from house to house of the
quarters; introducing and explaining and doing all he could to
make my progress interesting and amusing. Interested I was;
but most certainly not amused. I did not like the look of
things any better than I had done at first. The places were
not "nice;" there was a coarse, uncared-for air of everything
within, although the outside was in such well dressed
condition. No litter on the grass, no, untidiness of walls or
chimneys; and no seeming of comfortable homes when the door
was opened. The village, for it amounted to that, was almost
deserted at that hour; only a few crooning old women on the
sunny side of a wall, and a few half-grown girls, and a
quantity of little children, depending for all the care they
got upon one or the other of these.

"Haven't all these little babies got mothers?" I asked.

"For sure, Miss Daisy — dey's got modders."

"Where _are_ the mothers of all these babies, Darry?" I asked.

"Dey's in de field, Miss Daisy. Home d'rectly."

"Are they working like _men_, in the fields?" I asked.

"Dey's all at work," said Darry.

"Do they do the same work as the men?"

"All alike, Miss Daisy." Darry's answers were not hearty.

"But don't their little babies want them?" said I, looking at
a group of girls in whose hands were some very little babies
indeed. I think Darry made me no answer.

"But if the men and women both work out," I went on, "papa
must give them a great deal of money; I should think they
would have things more comfortable, Darry. Why don't they have
little carpets, and tables and chairs, and cups and saucers?
Hardly anybody has teacups and saucers. Have you _got_ any,
uncle Darry?"

" 'Spect I'se no good woman to brew de tea for her ole man,"
said Darry; but I thought he looked at me very oddly.

"Couldn't you make it for yourself, uncle Darry?"

"Poor folks don't live just like de rich folks," he answered
quietly, after a minute's pause. "And I don't count fur to
want no good t'ing, missie."

I went on with my observations; my questions I thought I would
not push any further at that time. I grew more and more
dissatisfied, that my father's workpeople should live in no
better style and in no better comfort. Even Molly Skelton had
a furnished and appointed house, compared with these little
bare stone huts; and mothers that would leave their babies for
the sake of more wages must, I thought, be very barbarous
mothers. This was all because, no doubt, of having no church
and no Bible. I grew weary. As we were going up the dell
towards the stables, I suddenly remembered my pony; and I
asked to see him.

Darry was much relieved, I fancy, to have me come back to a
child's sphere of action. He had out the fat little grey pony
and talked it over to me with great zeal. It came into my head
to ask for a saddle.

"Dere be a saddle" — Darry said doubtfully — "Massa Preston he
done got a saddle dis very day. Dunno where massa Preston can
be."

I did not heed this. I begged to have the saddle and be
allowed to try the pony. Now Preston had laid a plan that
nobody but himself should have the pleasure of first mounting
me; but I did not know of this plan. Darry hesitated, I saw,
but he had not the power to refuse me. The saddle was brought
out, put on, and carefully arranged.

"Uncle Darry, I want to get on him — may I ?"

"O' course — Miss Daisy do what she mind to. Him bery good,
only some lazy."

So I was mounted. Preston, Miss Pinshon, the servants'
quarters, the multiplication table, all were forgotten and
lost in a misty distance. I was in the saddle for the first
time, and delight held me by both hands. My first moment on
horseback! If Darry had guessed it he would have been terribly
concerned; but, as it happened, I knew how to take my seat; I
had watched my mother so often mounting her horse that every
detail was familiar to me; and Darry naturally supposed I knew
what I was about after I was in my seat. The reins were a
little confusing; however, the pony walked off lazily with me
to the head of the glen, and I thought he was an improvement
upon the old pony chaise. Finding myself coming out upon the
avenue, which I did not wish, it became necessary to get at
the practical use of my bridle. I was at some pains to do it;
finally I managed to turn the pony's head round, and we walked
back in the same sober style we had come up. Darry stood by
the stables, smiling and watching me; down among the quarters
the children and old people turned out to look after me; I
walked down as far as Darry's house, turned and came back
again. Darry stood ready to help me dismount; but it was too
pleasant. I went on to the avenue. Just as I turned there, I
caught, as it seemed to me, a glimpse of two ladies, coming
towards me from the house. Involuntarily I gave a sharper pull
at the bridle, and I suppose touched the pony's shoulder with
the switch Darry had put into my hand. The touch so woke him
up, that he shook off his laziness and broke into a short
galloping canter to go back to the stables. This was a new
experience. I thought for the first minute that I certainly
should be thrown off; I seemed to have no hold of anything,
and I was tossed up and down on my saddle in a way that boded
a landing on the ground every next time.

I was not timid with animals, whatever might be true of me in
other relations. My first comfort was finding that I did not
fall off; then I took heart, and settled myself in the saddle
more securely, gave myself to the motion, and began to think I
should like it by and by. Nevertheless, for this time I was
willing to stop at the stables; but the pony had only just
found how good it was to be moving, and he went by at full
canter. Down the dell, through the quarters, past the
cottages, till I saw Darry's house ahead of me, and began to
think how I _should_ get round again. At that pace I could not.
Could I stop the fellow? I tried, but there was not much
strength in my arms; one or two pulls did no good, and one or
two pulls more did no good; pony cantered on, and I saw we
were making straight for the river. I knew then I must stop
him; I threw so much good will into the handling of my reins
that, to my joy, the pony paused, let himself be turned about
placidly, and took up his leisurely walk again. But now I was
in a hurry, wanting to be dismounted before anybody should
come; and I was a little triumphant, having kept my seat and
turned my horse. Moreover, the walk was not good after that
stirring canter. I would try it again. But it took a little
earnestness now and more than one touch of my whip before the
pony would mind me. Then he obeyed in good style and we
cantered quietly up to where Darry was waiting. The thing was
done. The pony and I had come to an understanding. I was a
rider from that time, without fear or uncertainty. The first
gentle pull on the bridle was obeyed and I came to a stop in
front of Darry and my cousin Preston.

I have spent a great deal of time to tell of my ride. Yet not
more than its place in my life then deserved. It was my last
half-hour of pleasure for I think many a day. I had cantered
up the slope, all fresh in mind and body, excited and glad
with my achievement and with the pleasure of brisk motion; I
had forgotten everybody and everything disagreeable, or what I
did not forget I disregarded; but just before I stopped I saw
what sent another thrill than that of pleasure tingling
through all my veins. I saw Preston, who had but a moment
before reached the stables, I saw him lift his hand with a
light riding switch he carried, and draw the switch across
Darry's mouth. I shall never forget the coloured man's face,
as he stepped back a pace or two. I understood it afterwards;
I _felt_ it then. There was no resentment; there was no fire of
anger, which I should have expected; there was no manly and no
stolid disregard of what had been done. There was instead a
slight smile, which to this day I cannot bear to recall; it
spoke so much of patient and helpless humiliation; as of one
wincing at the galling of a sore and trying not to show he
winced. Preston took me off my horse, and began to speak. I
turned away from him to Darry, who now held two horses,
Preston having just dismounted; and I thanked him for my
pleasure, throwing into my manner all the studied courtesy I
could. Then I walked up the dell beside Preston, without
looking at him.

Preston scolded. He had prepared a surprise for me, and was
excited by his disappointment at my mounting without him. Of
course I had not known that; and Darry, who was in the secret,
had not known how to refuse me. I gave Preston no answer to
his charges and reproaches. At last I said I was tired and I
wished he would not talk.

"Tired! you are something besides tired," he said.

"I suppose I am," I answered with great deliberation.

He was eager to know what it was; but then we came out upon
the avenue and were met flush by my aunt and Miss Pinshon. My
aunt inquired, and Preston, who was by no means cool yet,
accused me about the doings of the afternoon. I scarcely
heeded one or the other; but I did feel Miss Pinshon's taking
my I hand and leading me home all the rest of the way. It was
not that I wanted to talk to Preston, for I was not ready to
talk to him; but this holding me like a little child was
excessively distasteful to my habit of freedom. My governess
would not loose her clasp when we got to the house; but kept
fast hold and led me up stairs to my own room.

CHAPTER IV.

SEVEN HUNDRED PEOPLE.


"Do you think that was a proper thing to do, Daisy?" my
governess asked when she released me.

"What thing, ma'am?" I asked.

"To tear about alone on that great grey pony."

"Yes, ma'am," I said.

"You think it _was_ proper?" said Miss Pinshon, coolly. "Whom
had you with you?"

"Nobody was riding with me."

"Your cousin was there?"

"No, ma'am."

"Who then?"

"I had Uncle Darry. I was only riding up and down the dell."

"The coachman! And were you riding up and down through the
quarters all the afternoon?"

"No, ma'am."

"What were you doing the rest of the time?"

"I was going about —" I hesitated.

"About where?"

"Through the place there."

"The quarters? Well, you think it proper amusement for your
mother's daughter? You are not to make companions of the
servants, Daisy. You are not to go to the quarters without my
permission, and I shall not give it frequently. Now get
yourself ready for tea."

I did feel as if Preston's prophecy were coming true and I in
a way to be gradually petrified; some slow, chill work of that
kind seemed already to be going on. But a little thing soon
stirred all the life there was in me. Miss Pinshon stepped to
the door which led from her room into mine, unlocked it, took
out the key, and put it on her own side of the door. I sprang
forward at that, with a word, I do not know what; and my
governess turned her lustrous, unmoved eyes calmly upon me. I
remember now how deadening their look was, in their very
lustre and moveless calm. I begged, however, for a reversal of
her last proceeding; I wanted my door locked sometimes, I
said.

"You can lock the other door."

"But I want both locked."

"I do not. This door remains open, Daisy. I must come in here
when I please. Now make haste and get ready."

I had no time for anything but to obey. I went down stairs, I
think, like a machine; my body obeying certain laws, while my
mind and spirit were scarcely present. I suppose I behaved
myself as usual; save that I would have nothing to do with
Preston, nor would I receive anything whatever at the table
from his hand. This, however, was known only to him and me. I
said nothing; not the less every word that others said
fastened itself in my memory. I was like a person dreaming.

"You have just tired yourself with mounting that wild thing,
Daisy," said my aunt Gary.

"Wild!" said Preston. "About as wild as a tame sloth."

"I always heard that was very wild indeed," said Miss Pinshon.
"The sloth cannot be tamed, can it?"

"Being stupid already, I suppose not," said Preston.

"Daisy looks pale at any rate," said my aunt.

"A little overdone," said Miss Pinshon. "She wants regular
exercise; but irregular exercise is very trying to any but a
strong person. I think Daisy will be stronger in a few weeks."

"What sort of exercise do you think will be good for her,
ma'am?" Preston said, with an expression out of all keeping
with his words, it was so fierce.

"I shall try different sorts," my governess answered,
composedly. "Exercise of patience is a very good thing, Master
Gary. I think gymnastics will be useful for Daisy, too. I
shall try them."

"That is what I have often said to my sister," said aunt Gary.
"I have no doubt that sort of training would establish Daisy's
strength more than anything in the world. She just wants that,
to develop her and bring out the muscles."

Preston almost groaned; pushed his chair from the table, and I
knew sat watching me. I would give him no opportunity, for my
opportunity I could not have then. I kept quiet till the
ladies moved; I moved with them; and sat all the evening
abstracted in my own meditations, without paying Preston any
attention; feeling indeed very old and grey, as no doubt I
looked. When I was ordered to bed, Miss Pinshon desired I
would hold no conversation with anybody. Whereupon Preston
took my candle and boldly marched out of the room with me.
When we were upstairs, he tried to make me disobey my orders.
He declared I was turning to stone already; he said a great
many hard words against my governess; threatened he would
write to my father; and when he could not prevail to make me
talk, dashed off passionately and left me. I went trembling
into my room. But my refuge there was gone. I had fallen upon
evil times. My door must not be locked, and Miss Pinshon might
come in any minute. I could not pray. I undressed and went to
bed; and lay there, waiting, all things in order, till my
governess looked in. Then the door was closed, and I hear her
steps moving about in her room. I lay and listened. At last
the door was softly set open again; and then after a few
minutes the sound of regular slow breathing proclaimed that
those wide-open black eyes were really closed for the night. I
got up, went to my governess's door and listened. She was
sleeping profoundly. I laid hold of the handle of the door and
drew it towards me; pulled out the key softly, put it in my
own side of the lock and shut the door. And after all I was
afraid to turn the key. The wicked sound of the lock might
enter those sleeping ears. But the door was closed; and I went
to my old place, the open window. It was not my window at
Melbourne, with balmy summer air, and the dewy scent of the
honeysuckle coming up, and the moonlight flooding all the
world beneath me. But neither was it in the regions of the
North. The night was still and mild, if not balmy; and the
stars were brilliant; and the evergreen oaks were masses of
dark shadow all over the lawn. I do not think I saw them at
first; for my look was up to the sky, where the stars shone
down to greet me, and where it was furthest from all the
troubles on the surface of the earth; and with one thought of
the Friend up there, who does not forget the troubles of even
His little children, the barrier in my heart gave way, my
tears gushed forth; my head lay on the windowsill at Magnolia,
more hopelessly than in my childish sorrow it had ever lain at
Melbourne. I kept my sobs quiet; I must; but they were deep,
heart-breaking sobs, for a long time.

Prayer got its chance after a while. I had a great deal to
pray for; it seemed to my child's heart now and then as if it
could hardly bear its troubles. And very much I felt I wanted
patience and wisdom. I thought there was a great deal to do,
even for my little hands; and promise of great hindrance and
opposition. And the only one pleasant thing I could think of
in my new life at Magnolia, was that I might tell of the truth
to those poor people who lived in the negro quarters.

Why I did not make myself immediately ill, with my night's
vigils and sorrow, I cannot tell; unless it were that great
excitement kept off the effects of chill air and damp.
However, the excitement had its own effects; and my eyes were
sadly heavy when they I opened the next morning to look at
Margaret lighting my fire.

"Margaret," I said, "shut Miss Pinshon's door, will you?"

She obeyed, and then turning to look at me, exclaimed that I
was not well.

"Did you say you could not read, Margaret?" was my answer.

"Read"! no, missis, Guess readin' aint no good for servants.
Seems like Miss Daisy aint lookin' peart, this mornin'."

"Would you _like_ to read?"

"Reckon don't care about it, Miss Daisy. Where'd us get books,
most likely?"

I said I would get the books; but Margaret turned to the fire
and made me no answer. I heard her mutter some ejaculation.

"Because, Margaret, don't you know," I said, raising myself on
my elbow, "God would like to have you learn to read, so that
you might know the Bible and come to heaven."

"Reckon folks aint a heap better that knows the Bible," said
the girl. "Pears as if it don't make no difference. Aint
nobody good in _this_ place, 'cept uncle Darry."

In another minute I was out of bed and standing before the
fire, my hand on her shoulder. I told her I wanted _her_ to be
good too, and that Jesus would make her good, if she would let
Him. Margaret gave me a hasty look and then finished her fire
making; but to my great astonishment, a few minutes after, I
saw that the tears were running down the girl's face. It
astonished me so much that I said no more; and Margaret was as
silent; only dressed me with the greatest attention and
tenderness.

"Ye want your breakfast bad, Miss Daisy," she remarked then in
a subdued tone; and I suppose my looks justified her words.
They created some excitement when I went down stairs. My aunt
exclaimed; Miss Pinshon inquired; Preston inveighed, at things
in general. He wanted to get me by myself, I knew; but he had
no chance. Immediately after breakfast Miss Pinshon took
possession of me.

The day was less weary than the day before, only I think
because I was tired beyond impatience or nervous excitement.
Not much was done; for though I was very willing I had very
little power. But the multiplication table, Miss Pinshon said,
was easy work; and at that and reading and writing, the
morning crept away. My hand was trembling, my voice was faint;
my memory grasped nothing so clearly as Margaret's tears that
morning, and Preston's behaviour the preceding day. My cheeks
were pale of course. Miss Pinshon said we would begin to set
that right with a walk after dinner.

The walk was had; but with my hand clasped in Miss Pinshon's I
only wished myself at home all the way. At home again, after a
while of lying down to rest, I was tried with a beginning of
calisthenics. A trial it was to me. The exercises, directed
and overseen by Miss Pinshon, seemed to me simply intolerable;
a weariness beyond all other weariness. Even the
multiplication table I liked better. Miss Pinshon was tired
perhaps herself at last. She let me go.

It was towards the end of the day. With no life left in me for
anything, I strolled out into the sunshine; aimlessly at
first; then led by a secret inclination I hardly knew or
questioned, my steps slowly made their way round by the avenue
to the stables. Darry was busy there as I had found him
yesterday. He looked hard at me as I came up; and asked me
earnestly how I felt that afternoon? I told him I was tired;
and then I sat down, on a huge log which lay there and watched
him at his work. By turns I watched the sunlight streaming
along the turf and lighting the foliage of the trees on the
other side of the dell; looking in a kind of dream, as if I
were not Daisy nor this Magnolia in any reality. I suddenly
started and awoke to realities as Darry began to sing —

"My Father's house is built on high,

Far, far above the starry sky;

And though like Lazarus sick and poor,

My heavenly mansion is secure.

I'm going home, —

I'm going home, —

I'm going home

To die no more!

To die no more —

To die no more —

I'm going home

To die no more!"

The word "home" at the end of each line was dwelt upon in a
prolonged sonorous note. It filled my ear with its melodious,
plaintive breath of repose; it rested and soothed me. I was
listening in a sort of trance, when another sound at my side
both stopped the song and quite broke up the effect. It was
Preston's voice. Now for it. He was all ready for a fight; and
I felt miserably battered and shaken and unfit to fight
anything.

"What are you doing here, Daisy?"

"I am doing nothing," I said.

"It is almost tea-time. Hadn't you better be walking come,
before Medusa comes looking out for you?"

I rose up, and bade uncle Darry good night.

"Good night, missis!" he said heartily — "and de morning dat
hab no night, for my dear little missis, by'm by."

I gave him my hand, and walked on.

"Stuff!" muttered Preston, by my side.

"You will not think it 'stuff' when the time comes," I said,
no doubt very gravely. Then Preston burst out.

"I only wish aunt Felicia was here! You will spoil these
people, Daisy, that's one thing; or you would if you were
older. As it is, you are spoiling yourself."

I made no answer. He went on with other angry and excited
words, wishing to draw me out perhaps; but I was in no mood to
talk to Preston in any tone but one. I went steadily and
slowly on, without even turning my head to look at him. I had
hardly life enough to talk to him in that tone.

"Will you tell me what is the matter with you?" he said, at
last, very impatiently.

"I am tired, I think."

"Think? Medusa is stiffening the life out of you. _Think_ you
are tired! You are tired to death; but that is not all. What
ails you?"

"I do not think anything ails me."

"What ails _me_, then? What is the matter? what makes you act
so? Speak, Daisy — you must speak!"

I turned about and faced him, and I know I did not speak then
as a child, but with a gravity befitting fifty years.

"Preston, did you strike Uncle Darry yesterday?"

"Pooh!" said Preston. But I stood and waited for his answer.

"Nonsense, Daisy!" he said again.

"What is nonsense?"

"Why, _you_. What are you talking about?"

"I asked you a question."

"A ridiculous question. You are just absurd."

"Will you please to answer it?"

"I don't know whether I will. What have you to do with it?"

"In the first place, Preston, Darry is not your servant."

"Upon my word!" said Preston. "But, yes, he is; for mamma is
regent here now. He must do what I order him, anyhow."

"And then, Preston, Darry is better than you, and will not
defend himself; and somebody ought to defend him; and there is
nobody but me."

"Defend himself!" echoed Preston.

"Yes. You insulted him yesterday."

"Insulted him!"

"You know you did. You know, Preston, some men would not have
borne it. If Darry had been like some men, he would have
knocked you down."

"Knock me down!" cried Preston. "The sneaking old scoundrel!
He knows that I would shoot him if he did."

"I am speaking seriously, Preston. It is no use to talk that
way."

"I am speaking very seriously," said my cousin. "I would shoot
him, upon my honour."

"Shoot him!"

"Certainly."

"What right have you to shoot a man for doing no worse than
you do? I would _rather_ somebody would knock me down, than do
what you did yesterday!" And my heart swelled within me.

"Come, Daisy, be a little sensible!" said Preston, who was in
a fume of impatience. "Do you think there is no difference
between me and an old nigger?"

"A great deal of difference," I said. "He is old and good; and
you are young, and I wish you were as good as Darry. And then
he can't help himself without perhaps losing his place, no
matter how you insult him. I think it is cowardly."

"Insult!" said Preston. "Lose his place! Heavens and earth,
Daisy! are you such a simpleton?"

"You insulted him very badly yesterday. I wondered how he bore
it of you; only Darry is a Christian."

"A fiddlestick!" said Preston impatiently. "He knows he must
bear whatever I choose to give him; and therein he is wiser
than you are."

"Because he is a Christian," said I.

"I don't know whether he is a Christian or not; and it is
nothing to the purpose. I don't care what he is."

"Oh, Preston! he is a good man — he is a servant of God; he
will wear a crown of gold in heaven; — and you have dared to
touch him!"

"Why, hoity toity!" said Preston. "What concern of mine is all
that! All I know is, that he did not do what I ordered him."

"What did you order him?"

"I ordered him not to show you the saddle I had got for you,
till I was there. I was going to surprise you. I am provoked
at him!"

"I am surprised —" I said. But feeling how little I prevailed
with Preston, and being weak in body as well as mind, I could
not keep back the tears. I began to walk on again, though they
blinded me.

"Daisy, don't be foolish. If Darry is to wear two crowns in
the other world, he is a servant in this, all the same; and he
must do his duty."

"I asked for the saddle —" I said.

"Why, Daisy, Daisy!" Preston exclaimed — "don't be such a
child. You know nothing about it. I didn't touch Darry to hurt
him."

"It was a sort of hurt that if he had not been a Christian he
would have made you sorry for."

"He knows I would shoot him if he did," said Preston coolly.

"Preston, don't speak so!" I pleaded.

"It is the simple truth. Why shouldn't I speak it?"

"You do not mean that you would do it?" I said, scarce opening
my eyes to the reality of what he said.

"I give you my word, I do! If one of these black fellows laid
a hand on me I would put a bullet through him, as quick as a
partridge."

"But then you would be a murderer —" said I. The ground seemed
taken away from under my feet. We were standing still now, and
facing each other.

"No, I shouldn't," said Preston. "The law takes better care of
us than that."

"The law would hang you," said I.

"I tell you, Daisy, it is no such thing! Gentlemen have a
right to defend themselves against the insolence of these
black fellows."

"And have not the black fellows a right to defend themselves
against the insolence of gentlemen?" said I.

"Daisy? you are talking the most unspeakable non- sense," said
Preston, quite put beyond himself now. "_Don't_ you know any
better than that? These people are our servants — they are our
property — we are to do what we like with them; and of course
the law must see that we are protected, or the blacks and the
whites could not live together."

"A man may be your servant, but he cannot be your property," I
said.

"Yes, he can! They are our property, just as much as the land
is; our goods, to do what we like with. Didn't you know that?"

"Property is something that you can buy and sell," I answered.

"And we sell these people, and buy them too, as fast as we
like."

"_Sell_ them!" I echoed, thinking of Darry.

"Certainly."

"And who would buy them?"

"Why, all the world; everybody. There has been nobody sold off
the Magnolia estate, I believe, in a long time; but nothing is
more common, Daisy; everybody is doing it everywhere, when he
has got too many servants, or when he has got too few."

"And do you mean," said I, "that Darry and Margaret and
Theresa and all the rest here, have been _bought?_"

"No; almost all of them have been born on the place."

"Then it is not true of these," I said.

"Yes, it is; for their mothers and fathers were bought. It is
the same thing."

"Who bought them?" I asked hastily.

"Why! our mothers, and grandfather and great-grandfather."

"_Bought_ the fathers and mothers of all these hundreds of
people?" said I, a slow horror creeping into my veins, that
yet held childish blood, and but half comprehended.

"Certainly — ages ago," said Preston. "Why, Daisy, I thought
you knew all about it."

"But who sold them first?" said I, my mind in its utter
rejection of what was told me, seeking every refuge from
accepting it. "Who sold them at first?"

"Who first? Oh, the people that brought them over from Africa,
I suppose; or the people in their own country that sold them
to _them_."

"They had no right to sell them," I said.

"Can't tell about that," said Preston. "We bought them. I
suppose we had a right to do that."

"But if the fathers and mothers were bought," I insisted,
"that gives us no right to have their children."

"I would like you to ask aunt Felicia or my uncle Randolph
such a question," said Preston. "Just see how they would like
the idea of giving up all their property! Why you would be as
poor as Job, Daisy."

"The land would be here all the same."

"Much good the land would do you, without people to work it."

"But other people could be hired as well as these," I said,
"if any of these wanted to go away."

"No they couldn't. White people cannot bear the climate nor do
the work. The crops cannot be raised without coloured labour."

"I do not understand," said I, feeling my child's head
puzzled. "Maybe none of our people would like to go away?"

"I dare say they wouldn't," said Preston carelessly. "They are
better off here than on most plantations. Uncle Randolph never
forbids his hands to have meat; and some planters do."

"Forbid them to have meat!" I said in utter bewilderment.

"Yes."

"Why?"

"They think it makes them fractious, and not so easy to
manage. Don't you know, it makes a dog savage to feed him on
raw meat? I suppose cooked meat has the same effect on men."

"But don't they get what they choose to eat?"

"Well, I should think not!" said Preston. "Fancy their asking
to be fed on chickens and pound cake. That is what they would
like."

"But cannot they spend their wages for what they like?"

"Wages!" said Preston.

"Yes," said I.

"My dear Daisy," said Preston, "you are talking of what you
just utterly don't understand; and I am a fool for bothering
you with it. Come! let us make it up and be friends."

He stooped to kiss me, but I stepped back.

"Stop," I said. "Tell me — can't they do what they like with
their wages?"

"I don't think they have wages enough to 'do what they like'
exactly," said Preston. "Why, they would 'Iike' to do nothing.
These black fellows are the laziest things living. They would
'like' to lie in the sun all day long."

"What wages does Darry have?" I asked.

"Now, Daisy, this is none of your business. Come, let us go
into the house and let it alone."

"I want to know, first," said I.

"Daisy, I never asked. What have I to do with Darry's wages?"

"I will ask himself," I said; and I turned about to go to the
stables.

"Stop, Daisy," cried Preston. "Daisy, Daisy! you are the most
obstinate Daisy that ever was, when once you have taken a
thing in your head. Daisy, what have you to do with all this.
Look here — these people don't want wages."

"Don't want wages!" I repeated.

"No; they don't want them. What would they do with wages? they
have everything they need given them already; their food and
their clothing and their houses. They do not want anything
more."

"You said they did not have the food they liked," I objected.

"Who does?" said Preston. "I am sure I don't, — not more than
one day in seven, on an average."

"But don't they have any wages at all?" I persisted. "Our
coachman at Melbourne had thirty dollars a month; and Logan
had forty dollars, and his house and garden. Why shouldn't
Darry have wages too? Don't they have any wages at all,
Preston?"

"Why, yes! they have plenty of corn bread and bacon, I tell
you; and their clothes. Daisy, they _belong_ to you, these
people do."

Corn bread and bacon was not much like chickens and pound
cake, I thought; and I remembered our servants at Melbourne
were very, very differently dressed from the women I saw about
me here; even in the house. I stood bewildered and pondering.
Preston tried to get me to go on.

"Why shouldn't they have wages?" I asked at length, with lips
which I believe were growing old with my thoughts.

"Daisy, they are your servants; they _belong_ to you. They have
no right to wages. Suppose you had to pay all these creatures
— seven hundred of them — as you pay people at Melbourne; how
much do you suppose you would have left to live upon
yourselves? What nonsense it is to talk!"

"But they work for us," I said.

"Certainly. There would not be anything for any of us if they
didn't. Here, at Magnolia, they raise rice crops and corn, as
well as cotton; at our place we grow nothing but cotton and
corn."

"Well, what pays them for working?"

"I told you! they have their living and clothing and no care;
and they are the happiest creatures the sun shines on."

"Are they willing to work for only that?" I asked.

"Willing!" said Preston.

"Yes," said I, feeling myself grow sick at heart.

"I fancy nobody asks them that question. They have to work, I
reckon, whether they like it or no."

"You said they _like_ to lie in the sun. What makes them work?"

"Makes them!" said Preston, who was getting irritated as well
as impatient. "They get a good flogging if they do not work —
that is all. They know, if they don't do their part, the lash
will come down; and it don't come down easy."

I suppose I must have looked as if it had come down: on me.
Preston stopped talking and began to take care of me; putting
his arm round me to support my steps homeward. In the verandah
my aunt met us. She immediately decided that I was ill, and
ordered me to go to bed at once. It was the thing of all
others I would have wished to do. It saved me from the
exertion of trying to hold myself up and of speaking and
moving and answering questions. I went to bed in dull misery,
longing to go to sleep and forget all my troubles of mind and
body together; but while the body vested, the mind would not.
That kept the consciousness of its burden; and it was that,
more than any physical ail, which took away my power of
eating, and created instead a wretched sort of half nausea,
which made even rest unrefreshing. As for rest in my mind and
heart, it seemed at that time as if I should never know it
again. Never again! I was a child — I had but vague ideas
respecting even what troubled me; nevertheless I had been
struck, where may few children be struck! in the very core and
quick of my heart's reverence and affection. It had come home
to me that papa was somehow doing wrong. My father was in my
childish thought and belief, the ideal of chivalrous and high-
bred excellence; — and _papa_ was doing wrong. I could not turn
my eyes from the truth; it was before me in too visible a
form. It did not arrange itself in words, either; not at
first; it only pressed upon my heart and brain that seven
hundred people on my father's property were injured, and by
his will, and for his interests. Dimly the consciousness came
to me; slowly it found its way and spread out; its details
before me; bit by bit one point after another came into my
mind to make the whole good; bit by bit one item after another
came in to explain and be explained and to add its quota of
testimony; all making clear and distinct and dazzling before
me the truth which at first it was so hard to grasp. And this
is not the less true because my childish thought at first took
everything vaguely and received it slowly. I was a child and a
simple child; but once getting hold of a clue of truth, my
mind never let it go. Step by step, as a child could, I
followed it out. And the balance of the golden rule, to which
I was accustomed, is an easy one to weigh things in; and even
little hands can manage it.

For an hour after they put me to bed my heart seemed to grow
chill from minute to minute; and my body, in curious sympathy,
shook as if I had an ague. My aunt and Miss Pinshon came and
went and were busy about me; making me drink negus and putting
hot bricks to my feet. Preston stole in to look at me; but I
gathered that neither then nor afterwards did he reveal to any
one the matter of our conversation the hour before. "Wearied"
— "homesick" — "feeble" — "with no sort of strength to bear
anything" — they said I was. All true, no doubt; and yet I was
not without powers of endurance, even bodily, if my mind gave
a little help. Now the trouble was, that all such help was
wanting. The dark figures of the servants came and went too,
with the others; came and stayed; Margaret and Mammy Theresa
took post in my room, and when they could do nothing for me,
crouched by the fire and spent their cares and energies in
keeping that in full blast. I could hardly bear to see them;
but I had no heart to speak even to ask that they might be
sent away, or for anything else; and I had a sense besides
that it was a gratification to them to be near me; and to
gratify any one of the race I would have borne a good deal of
pain.

It smites my heart now, to think of those hours. The image of
them is sharp and fresh as if the time were but last night. I
lay with shut eyes, taking in as it seemed to me, additional
loads of trouble with each quarter of an hour; as I thought
and thought and put one and another thing together, of things
past and present, to help my understanding. A child will carry
on that process fast and to far-off results; give her but the
key and set her off on the track of truth with a sufficient
impetus. My happy childlike ignorance and childlike life was
in a measure gone; I had come into the world of vexed
questions, of the oppressor and the oppressed, the full and
the empty, the rich and the poor. I could make nothing at all
of Preston's arguments and reasonings. The logic of expediency
and of consequences carried no weight with me, and as little
the logic of self-interest. I sometimes think a child's vision
is clearer, even in worldly matters, than the eyes of those
can be who have lived long among the fumes and vapours which
rise in these low grounds. Unless the eyes be washed day by
day in the spring of truth, and anointed with unearthly
ointment. The right and the wrong, were the two things that
presented themselves to my view; and oh, my sorrow and
heartbreak was, that papa was in the wrong. I could not
believe it, and yet I could not get rid of it. There were
oppressors and oppressed at the world; and he was one of the
oppressors. There is no sorrow that a child can bear, keener
and more gnawingly bitter than this. It has a sting all its
own, for which there is neither salve nor remedy; and it had
the aggravation, in my case, of the sense of personal
dishonour. The wrong done and the oppression inflicted were
not the whole; there was besides the intolerable sense of
living upon other's gains. It was more than my heart could
bear.

I could not write as I do, — I could not recall these thoughts
and that time, — if I had not another thought to bring to bear
upon them; a thought which at that time I was not able to
comprehend. It came to me later with its healing, and I have
seen and felt it more clearly as I grew older. I see it very
clearly now. I had not been mistaken in my childish notions of
the loftiness and generosity of my father's character. He was
what I had thought him. Neither was I a whit wrong in my
judgment of the things which it grieved me that he did and
allowed. But I saw afterwards how he, and others, had grown up
and been educated in a system and atmosphere of falsehood,
till he failed to perceive that it was false. His eyes had
lived in the darkness till it seemed quite comfortably light
to him; while to a fresh vision, accustomed to the sun, it was
pure and blank darkness, as thick as night. He followed what
others did and his father had done before him, without any
suspicion that it was an abnormal and morbid condition of
things they were all living in; more especially without a
tinge of misgiving that it might not be a noble, upright and
dignified way of life. But I, his little unreasoning child,
bringing the golden rule of the gospel only to judge of the
doings of hell, shrank back and fell to the ground, in my
heart, to find the one I loved best in the world concerned in
them.

So when I opened my eyes that night, and looked into the blaze
of the firelight, the dark figures that were there before it
stung me with pain every time; and a every soft word and
tender look on their faces — and I had many a one, both words
and looks — racked my heart in a way that was strange for a
child. The negus put me to sleep at last, or exhaustion did; I
think the latter, for it was very late; and the rest of that
night wore away.

When I awoke, the two women were there still, just as I had
left them when I went to sleep. I do not know if they sat
there all night, or if they had slept on the floor by my side;
but there they were, and talking softly to one another about
something that caught my attention. I bounced out of bed —
though I was so weak I remember I reeled as I went from my bed
to the fire — and steadied myself by laying my a hand on Mammy
Theresa's shoulder. I demanded of Margaret _what_ she had been
saying? The women both started, with expressions of surprise,
alarm, and tender affection, raised by my ghostly looks, and
begged me to get back into bed again. I stood fast, bearing on
Theresa's shoulder.

"What was it?" I asked.

" 'Twarn't nothin', Miss Daisy, dear!" said the girl.

"Hush! Don't tell me that," I said. "Tell me what it was —
tell me what it was. Nobody shall know; you need not be
afraid; nobody shall know." For I saw a cloud of hesitation in
Margaret's face.

" 'Twarn't nothin', Miss Daisy — only about Darry."

"What about Darry?" I said, trembling.

"He done went and had a praise-meetin'," said Theresa; "and he
knowed it war agin the rules; he knowed that. 'Course he did.
Rules mus' be kep'."

"Whose rules?" I asked.

"Laws, honey, 'taint 'cording to rules for we coloured folks
to hold meetin's no how. 'Course, we's ought to 'bey de rules;
dat's clar."

"Who made the rules?"

"Who make 'em? Mass' Ed'ards — he make de rules on dis
plantation. Reckon Mass' Randolph, he make 'em a heap
different."

"Does Mr. Edwards make it a rule that you are not to hold
prayer-meetings?"

"Can't spec' for to have everyt'ing jus' like de white folks,"
said the old woman. "We's no right to 'spect it. But Uncle
Darry, he sot a sight by his praise-meetin'. He's cur'ous, he
is. S'pose Darry's cur'ous."

"And does anybody say that you shall not have prayer-
meetings?"

"Laws, honey! What's we got to do wid praise-meetin's or any
sort o' meetin's? We'se got to work. Mass' Ed'ards, he say dat
de meetin's dey makes coloured folks onsettled; and dey don't
hoe de corn good if dey has too much prayin' to do."

"And does he forbid them then? Doesn't he let you have prayer-
meetings?"

" 'Taint Mr. Edwards alone, Miss Daisy," said Margaret,
speaking low. "It's agin the law for us to have meetin's
anyhow — 'cept we get leave, and say what house it shall be,
and who's a comin', and what we'se a comin' for. And it's no
use asking Mr. Edwards, 'cause he don't see no reason why
black folks should have meetin's."

"Did Darry have a prayer-meeting without leave?" I asked.

" 'Twarn't no count of a meetin'!" said Theresa, a little touch
of scorn, or indignation, coming into her voice; — "and Darry,
he war in his own house prayin'. Dere warn't nobody dere, but
Pete and ole 'Liza, and Maria cook, and dem two Johns dat come
from de lower plantation. Dey couldn't get a strong meetin'
into Uncle Darry's house; 'taint big enough to hold 'em."

"And what did the overseer do to Darry?" I asked.

"Laws, Miss Daisy," said Margaret, with a quick look at the
other woman, — "he didn't do nothin' to hurt Darry; he only
want to scare de folks."

"Dey's done scared —" said Theresa under her breath.

"What is it?" I said, steadying myself by my hold on Theresa's
shoulder, and feeling that I must stand till I had finished my
enquiry — how did he know about the meeting? and what did he
do to Darry? — Tell me! I must know. I must know, Margaret."

" 'Spect he was goin' through the quarters, and he heard Darry
at his prayin'," said Margaret. "Darry, he don't mind to keep
his prayers secret, he don't," — she added with a half laugh.
" 'Spect nothin' but they'll bust the walls o' that little
house some day."

"Dey's powerful!" added Theresa. "But he warn't prayin' no
harm; he was just prayin', 'Dy will be done, on de eart' as it
be in de heaven' — Pete, he tell me. Darry warn't saying
not'ing — he just pray 'Dy will be done.'!"

"Well?" I said, for Margaret kept silent.

"And de oberseer, he say — leastways he swore, he did, — dat
his will should be what is done on dis plantation, and he
wouldn't have no such work. He say, dere's nobody to come
togedder after it be dark, if it's two or t'ree, 'cept dey
gets his leave, Mass' Ed'ards, he say; and dey won't get it."

"But what did he do to Darry?" I could scarcely hold myself on
my feet by this time.

"He whipped him, I reckon," — said Margaret in a low tone, and
with a dark shadow crossing her face, very different from its
own brown duskiness.

"He don't have a light hand, Mass' Ed'ards," went on Theresa;
"and he got a sharp new whip. De second stripe, — Pete, he
tell me, — he tell me dis evenin' — and it war wet; and it war
wet enough before he got through. He war mad, I reckon;
certain Mass' Ed'ards, he war mad."

"_Wet?_" said I.

"Laws, Miss Daisy," said Margaret, " 'tain't nothin'. Them
whips, they draws the blood easy. Darry, he don't mind."

I have a recollection of the girl's terrified face, but I
heard nothing more. Such a deadly sickness came over me that
for a minute I must have been near fainting; happily it took
another turn amid the various confused feelings which
oppressed me, and I burst into tears. My eyes had not been wet
through all the hours of the evening and night; my heartache
had been dry. I think I was never very easy to move to tears,
even as a child. But now, well for me perhaps, some element of
the pain I was suffering found the unguarded point — or broke
up the guard. I wept as I have done very few times in my life.
I had thrown myself into Mammy Theresa's lap, in the weakness
which could not support itself, and in an abandonment of grief
which was careless of all the outside world; and there I lay,
clasped in her arms and sobbing. Grief, horror, tender
sympathy, and utter helplessness, striving together; there was
nothing for me at that moment but the woman's refuge and the
child's remedy of weeping. But the weeping was so bitter, so
violent, and so uncontrollable that the women were frightened.
I believe they shut the doors, to keep the sound of my sobs
from reaching other ears; for when I recovered the use of my
senses I saw that they were closed.

The certain strange relief which tears do bring, they gave to
me. I cannot tell why. My pain was not changed, my
helplessness was not done away; yet at least I had washed my
causes of sorrow in a flood of heart drops, and cleansed them
so somehow from any personal stain. Rather, I was perfectly
exhausted. The women put me to bed, as soon as I would let
them; and Margaret whispered an earnest, "Do, don't, Miss
Daisy, don't say nothin' about the prayer-meetin'!" — I shook
my head; I knew better than to say anything about it.

All the better not to betray them, and myself, I shut my eyes,
and tried to let my face grow quiet. I had succeeded, I
believe, before my aunt Gary and Miss Pinshon came in. The two
stood looking at me; my aunt in some consternation, my
governess reserving any expression of what she thought. I
fancied she did not trust my honesty. Another time I might
have made an effort to right myself in her opinion; but I was
past that and everything now. It was decided by my aunt that I
had better keep my bed as long as I felt like doing so.

So I lay there during the long hours of that day. I was glad
to be still, to keep out of the way in a corner, to hear
little and see nothing of what was going on; my own small
world of thoughts was enough to keep me busy. I grew utterly
weary at last of thinking, and gave it up, so far as I could;
submitting passively, in a state of pain sometimes dull and
sometimes acute, to what I had no power to change or remedy.
But my father had, I thought; and at those times my longing
was unspeakable to see him. I was very quiet all that day, I
believe, in spite of the rage of wishes and sorrows within me;
but it was not to be expected I should gain strength. On the
contrary, I think I grew feverish. If I could have laid down
my troubles in prayer! but at first, these troubles, I could
not. The core and root of them being my father's a share in
the rest. And I was not alone; and I had a certain
consciousness that if I allowed myself to go to my little
Bible for help, it would unbar my self-restraint with its
sweet and keen words, and I should give way again before
Margaret and Theresa; and I did not wish that.

"What shall we do with her?" said my aunt Gary, when she came
to me towards the evening. "She looks like a mere shadow. I
never saw such a change in a child in four weeks — never!"

"Try a different regimen to-morrow, I think," said my
governess, whose lustrous black eyes looked at me sick,
exactly as they had looked at me well.

"I shall send for a doctor, if she isn't better," said my
aunt. "She's feverish now."

"Keeping her bed all day," — said Miss Pinshon.

"Do you think so?" said my aunt.

"I have no doubt of it. It is very weakening."

"Then we will let her get up to-morrow, and see how that will
do."

They had been gone half an hour, when Preston stole in and
came to the side of my bed, between me and the firelight.

"Come, Daisy, let us be friends!" he said. And he was stooping
to kiss me; but I put out my hand to keep him back.

"Not till you have told Darry you are sorry," I said.

Preston was angry instantly, and stood upright.

"Ask pardon of a servant!" he said. "You would have the world
upside down directly."

I thought it was upside down already; but I was too weak and
downhearted to say so.

"Daisy, Daisy!" said Preston — "And there you lie, looking
like a poor little wood flower that has hardly strength to
hold up its head; and with about as much colour in your
cheeks. Come, Daisy, — kiss me, and let us be friends."

"If you will do what is right —" I said.

"I will — always," said Preston; "but this would be wrong, you
know." And he stooped again to kiss me. And again I would not
suffer him.

"Daisy, you are absurd," said Preston, vibrating between pity
and anger, I think, as he looked at me. "Darry is a servant,
and accustomed to a servant's place. What hurt you so much,
did not hurt him a bit. He knows where he belongs."

"You don't," — said I.

"What?"

"Know anything about it." I remember I spoke very feebly. I
had hardly energy left to speak at all. My words must have
come with a curious contrast between the meaning and the
manner.

"Know anything, about what, Daisy? You are as oracular and as
immoveable as one of Egypt's monuments; only they are very
hard, and — you are very soft, my dear little Daisy! — and
they are very brown, according to all I have heard, and you
are as white as a wind-flower. One can almost see through you.
What is it I don't know anything about?"

"I am so tired, Preston!"

"Yes, but what is it I don't know anything about?"

"Darry's place — and yours," I said.

"His place and mine! His place is a servant's, I take it,
belonging to Rudolf Randolph, of Magnolia. I am the unworthy
representative of an old Southern family, and a gentleman.
What have you to say about that?"

"He is a servant of the Lord of lords," I said; "and his
Master loves him. And He has a house of glory preparing for
him, and a crown of gold, and a white robe, such as the King's
children wear. And he will sit on a throne himself by and by.
Preston, where will _you_ be?"

These words were said without the least heat of manner —
almost languidly; but they put Preston in a fume. I could not
catch his excitement in the least; but I saw it. He stood up
again, hesitated, opened his mouth to speak and shut it
without speaking, turned and walked away and came back to me.
I did not wait for him then.

"You have offended one of the King's children," I said; "and
the King is offended."

"Daisy!" said Preston, in a sort of suppressed fury, "one
would think you had turned Abolitionist; only you never heard
of such a thing."

"What is it?" said I, shutting my eyes.

"It is just the meanest and most impudent shape a Northerner
can take; it is the lowest end of creation, an Abolitionist
is; and a Yankee is pretty much the same thing."

"Dr. Sandford is a Yankee," I remarked.

"Did you get it from _him?_" Preston asked fiercely.

"What?" said I, opening my eyes.

"Your nonsense. Has he taught you to turn Abolitionist?"

"I have not _turned_ at all," I said. "I wish you would. It is
only the people who are in the wrong that ought to turn."

"Daisy," said Preston, "you ought never to be away from aunt
Felicia and my uncle. Nobody else can manage you. I don't know
what you will become or what you will do, before they get
back."

I was silent; and Preston, I suppose, cooled down. He waited
awhile, and then again begged that I would kiss and be
friends. "You see, I am going away to- morrow morning, little
Daisy."

"I wish you had gone two days ago," I said.

And my mind did not change, even when the morning came.

CHAPTER V.

IN THE KITCHEN.


I was ill for days. It was not due to one thing, doubtless,
nor one sorrow; but the whole together. My aunt sent to
Baytown for the old family physician. He came up and looked at
me; and decided that I ought to "play" as much as possible!

"She isn't a child that likes play," said my aunt.

"Find some play that she does like, then. Where are her father
and mother?"

"Just sailed for Europe, a few weeks ago."

"The best thing would be, for her, to sail after them," said
the old doctor. And he went.

"We shall have to let her do just as they did at Melbourne,"
said my aunt.

"How was that?" said Miss Pinshon.

"Let her have just her own way."

"And what was that ?"

"Oh, queer," said my aunt. "She is not like other children.
But anything is better than to have her mope to death."

"I shall try and not have her mope," said Miss Pinshon.

But she had little chance to adopt her reforming regimen for
some time. It was plain I was not fit for anything but to be
let alone; like a weak plant struggling for its existence. All
you can do with it is to put it in the sun; and my aunt and
governess tacitly agreed upon the same plan of treatment for
me. Now the only thing wanting was sunshine; and it was long
before that could be had. After a day or two I left my bed,
and crept about the house, and out of the house under the
great oaks; where the material sunshine was warm and bright
enough, and caught itself in the grey wreaths of moss that
waved over my head, and seemed to come bodily to woo me to
life and cheer. It lay in the carpet under my feet; it
lingered in the leaves of the thick oaks; it wantoned in the
wind, as the long draperies of moss swung and moved gently to
and fro; but the very sunshine is cold where the ice meets it;
I could get no comfort. The thoughts that had so troubled me
the evening after my long talk with Preston, were always
present with me; they went out and came in with me; I slept
with them, and they met me when I woke. The sight of the
servants was wearying. I shunned Darry and the stables. I had
no heart for my pony. I would have liked to get away from
Magnolia. Yet, be I where I might, it would not alter my
father's position towards these seven hundred people. And
towards how many more? There were his estates in Virginia.

One of the first things I did, as soon as I could command my
fingers to do it, was to write to him. Not a remonstrance. I
knew better than to touch that. All I ventured, was to implore
that the people who desired it might be allowed to hold
prayer-meetings whenever they liked, and Mr. Edwards be
forbidden to interfere. Also I complained that the inside of
the cabins was not comfortable; that they were bare and empty.
I pleaded for a little bettering of them. It was not a long
letter that I wrote. My sorrow I could not tell, and my love
and my longing were equally beyond the region of words. I
fancy it would have I been thought by Miss Pinshon a very cold
little epistle; but Miss Pinshon did not see it. I wrote it
with weak trembling fingers, and closed it and sealed it and
sent it myself. Then I sank into a helpless, careless,
listless state of body and mind, which was very bad for me;
and there was no physician who could minister to me. I went
wandering about, mostly out of doors, alone with myself and my
sorrow. When I seemed a little stronger than usual, Miss
Pinshon tried the multiplication table; and I tried; but the
spring of my mind was for the time broken. All such trials
came to an end in such weakness and weariness, that my
governess herself was fain to take the book from my hands and
send me out into the sunshine again.

It was Darry at last who found me one day, and, distressed at
my looks, begged that I would let him bring up my pony. He was
so earnest that I yielded. I got leave, and went to ride.
Darry saddled another horse for himself and went with me. That
first ride did not help me much; but the second time, a little
tide of life began to steal into my veins. Darry encouraged
and instructed me; and when we came, cantering up to the door
of the house, my aunt who was watching there, cried out that I
had a bit of a tinge in my cheeks; and charged Darry to bring
the horses up every day.

With a little bodily vigour a little strength of mind seemed
to come; a little more power of bearing up against evils, or
of quietly standing under them. After the third time I went to
ride, having come home refreshed, I took my Bible and sat down
on the rug before the fire in my room to read. I had not been
able to get comfort in my Bible all those days; often I had
not liked to try. Right and wrong never met me in more
brilliant colours or startling shadows than within the covers
of that book. But to-day, soothed somehow, I went along with
the familiar words as one listens to old music, with the
soothing process going on all along. Right _was_ right, and
glorious, and would prevail some time; and nothing could
hinder it. And then I came to words which I knew, yet which
had never taken such hold of me before.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

"_That_ is what I have to do!" I thought immediately. "That is
my part. That is clear. What _I_ have to do, is to let my light
shine. And if the light shines, perhaps it will fall on
something. But what I have to do, is to shine. God has given
me nothing else."

It was a very simple, child's thought; but it brought
wonderful comfort with it. Doubtless, I would have liked
another part to play. I would have liked — if I could — to
have righted all the wrong in the world; to have broken every
yoke; to have filled every empty house, and built up a fire on
every cold hearth; but that was not what God had given me. All
He had given me, that I could see at the minute, was to shine.
What a little morsel of a light mine was, to be sure!

It was a good deal of a puzzle to me for days after that, _how_
I was to shine. What could I do? I was a little child; my only
duties some lessons to learn; not much of that, seeing I had
not strength for it. Certainly, I had sorrows to bear; but
bearing them well did not seem to me to come within the sphere
of _shining_. Who would know that I bore them well? And shining
is meant to be seen. I pondered the matter.

"When's Christmas, Miss Daisy?"

Margaret asked this question one morning as she was on her
knees making my fire. Christmas had been so shadowed a point
to me in the distance, I had not looked at it. I stopped to
calculate the days.

"It will be two weeks from Friday, Margaret."

"And Friday's to-morrow?" she asked.

"The day after to-morrow. What do you do at Christmas,
Margaret? all the people?"

"There aint no great doings, Miss Daisy. The people gets four
days, most of 'em."

"Four days — for what? —"

"For what they likes; they don't do no work, those days."

"And is that all?"

"No, Miss Daisy, 'taint just all; the women comes up to the
house — it's to the overseer's house now — and every one gets
a bowl o' flour, more or less, 'cordin' to size of family —
and a quart of molasses, and a piece o' pork."

"And what do they do to make the time pleasant?" I asked.

"Some on 'em's raised eggs and chickens; and they brings 'em
to the house and sells 'em; and they has the best dinner. Most
times they gets leave to have a meetin'."

"A prayer-meeting?" I said.

"Laws, no, Miss Daisy! not 'cept it were uncle Darry and _his_
set. The others don't make no count of a prayer-meetin'. They
likes to have a white-folks' meetin' and 'joy theirselves."

I thought very much over these statements; and for the next
two weeks, bowls of flour and quarts of molasses, as Christmas
doings, were mixed up in my mind with the question, how I was
to shine? or rather, alternated with it; and plans began to
turn themselves over and take shape in my thoughts.

"Margaret," said I, a day or two before Christmas, "can't the
people have those meetings you spoke of, without getting leave
of Mr. Edwards?"

"Can't have meetin's no how!" Margaret replied decidedly.

"But, if _I_ wanted to see them, couldn't they, some of them,
come together to see me?"

"To see Miss Daisy! Reckon Miss Daisy do what she like. 'Spect
Mass' Ed'ards let Miss Daisy 'lone!"

I was silent, pondering.

"Maria cook wants to see Miss Daisy bad. She bid me tell Miss
Daisy won't she come down in de kitchen, and see all the works
she's a-doin' for Christmas, and de glorifications?"

"I? I'll come if I can," I answered.

I asked my aunt and got easy leave; and Christmas eve I went
down to the kitchen. That was the chosen time when Maria
wished to see me. There was an assembly of servants gathered
in the room, some from out of the house. Darry was there; and
one or two other fine-looking men who were his prayer-meeting
friends. I supposed they were gathered to make merry for
Christmas eve; but, at any rate, they were all eager to see
we, and looked at me with smiles as gentle as have ever fallen
to my share. I felt it and enjoyed it. The effect was of
entering a warm, genial atmosphere, where grace and good will
were on every side; a change very noticeable from the cold and
careless habit of things up stairs. And _grace_ is not a
misapplied epithet; for these children of a luxurious and
beauty-loving race, even in their bondage had not forgotten
all traces of their origin. As I went in, I could not help
giving my hand to Darry; and then, in my childish feeling
towards them and in the tenderness of the Christmas-tide, I
could not help doing the same by all the others who were
present. And I remember now the dignity of mien in some, the
frank ease in others, both graceful and gracious, with which
my civility was met. If a few were a little shy, the rest more
than made it up by their welcome of me and a sort of
politeness which had almost something courtly in it. Darry and
Maria together gave me a seat, in the very centre and glow of
the kitchen light and warmth; and the rest made a half circle
around, leaving Maria's end of the room free for her
operations.

The kitchen was all aglow with the most splendid of fire of
pine knots it was ever my lot to see. The illumination was
such as threw all gaslights into shade. We were in a great,
stone-flagged room, low-roofed, with dark cupboard doors; not
cheerful, I fancy, in the mere light of day; but nothing could
resist the influence of those pine-knot flames. Maria herself
was a portly fat woman, as far as possible from handsome; but
she looked at me with a whole world of kindness in her dark
face. Indeed, I saw the same kindness more or less shining out
upon me in all the faces there. I cannot tell the mixed joy
and pain that it, and they, gave me. I suppose I showed little
of either, or of anything.

Maria entertained me with all she had. She brought out for my
view her various rich and immense stores of cakes and pies and
delicacies for the coming festival; told me what was good and
what I must be sure and eat; and what would be good for me.
And then, when that display was over, she began to be very
busy with beating of eggs in a huge wooden bowl; and bade
Darry see to the boiling of the kettle at the fire; and sent
Jem the waiter, for things he was to get up stairs; and all
the while talked to me. She and Darry and one or two more
talked, but especially she and Theresa and Jem; while all the
rest listened and laughed and exclaimed, and seemed to find me
as entertaining as a play. Maria was asking me about my own
little life and experiences before I came to Magnolia; what
sort of a place Melbourne was, and how things there differed
from the things she and the rest knew and were accustomed to
at the South; and about my old June, who had once been an
acquaintance of hers. Smiling at me the while, between the
thrusts of her curiosity, and over my answers, as if for sheer
pleasure she could not keep grave. The other faces were as
interested and as gracious. There was Pete, tall and very
black, and very grave, as Darry was also. There was Jem, full
of life and waggishness, and bright for any exercise of his
wits; and grave shadows used to come over his changeable face
often enough too. There was Margaret, with her sombre beauty;
and old Theresa with her worn old face. I think there was a
certain indescribable reserve of gravity upon them all, but
there was not one whose lips did not part in a white line when
looking at me, nor whose eyes and ears did not watch me with
an interest as benign as it was intent. I had been little
while seated before the kitchen fire of pine knots before I
felt that I was in the midst of a circle of personal friends;
and I feel it now, as I look back and remember them. They
would have done much for me, every one.

Meanwhile Maria beat and mixed and stirred the things in her
wooden bowl; and by and by ladled out a glassful of rich-
looking, yellow, creamy froth — I did not know what it was,
only it looked beautiful — and presented it to me.

"Miss Daisy mus' tell Mis' Felissy Maria haint forgot how to
make it — 'spect she haint, anyhow. Dat's for Miss Daisy's
Christmas."

"It's very nice!" I said.

"Reckon it is," was the capable answer.

"Won't you give everybody some, Maria?" For Jem had gone up
stairs with a tray of glasses, and Maria seemed to be resting
upon her labours.

"Dere'll come down orders for mo', chile; and 'spose I gives
it to de company, what'll Mis' Lisa do wid Maria? I have de
'sponsibility of Christmas."

"But you can make some more," I said, holding my glass in
waiting. "Do, Maria."

" 'Spose haint got de 'terials, hey?"

"What do you want? Aunt Gary will give it to you." And I
begged Jem to go up again and prefer my request to her for the
new filling of Maria's bowl. Jem shrugged his shoulders, but
he went; and I suppose he made a good story of it; for he came
down with whatever was wanted — my aunt Gary was in a mood to
refuse me nothing then — and Maria went anew about the
business of beating and mixing and compounding.

There was great enjoyment in the kitchen. It was a time of
high festival, what with me and the egg supper. Merriment and
jocularity, a little tide-wave of social excitement, swelled
and broke on all sides of me; making a soft ripply play of fun
and repartee, difficult to describe, and which touched me as
much as it amused. It was very unlike the enjoyment of a set
of white people holding the same social and intellectual
grade. It was the manifestation of another race, less coarse
and animal in their original nature, more sensitive and more
demonstrative, with a strange touch of the luxurious and
refined, for a people whose life has had nothing to do with
luxury and whom refinement leaves on one side as quite beyond
its sphere. But blood is a strange thing; and Ham's children
will show luxurious and aesthetic tastes, take them where you
will.

"Chillen, I hope you's enjoyed your supper," Maria said, when
the last lingering drops had been secured, and mugs and
glasses were coming back to the kitchen table.

Words and smiles answered her. "We's had a splendid time, aunt
Maria," said one young man as he set down his glass. He was a
worker in the garden.

"Den I hope we's all willin' to gib de Lord t'anks for his
goodness. Dere aint a night in de year when it's so proper to
gib de Lord t'anks, as it be dis precious night."

"It's to-morrow night, aunt Maria," said Pete. "To-morrow's
Christmas night."

"I don't care! One night's jus' as good as another, you Pete.
And now we's all together, you see, and comfortable together;
and I feel like giving t'anks, I do, to de Lord, for all his
mercies."

"What's Christmas, anyhow?" asked another.

"It's jus' de crown o' all de nights in de year. You Solomon,
it's a night dat dey keeps up in heaven. You know nothin'
about it, you poor critter. I done believe you never hearn no
one tell about it. Maybe Miss Daisy wouldn't read us de story,
and de angels, and de shepherds, and dat great light what come
down, and make us feel good for Christmas; and uncle Darry,
he'll t'ank de Lord."

The last words Were put in a half-questioning form to me,
rather taking for granted that I would readily do what was
requested. And hardly anything the world, I suppose, could
have given me such deep gratification at the moment. Margaret
was sent up stairs to fetch my Bible; the circle closed in
around the fire and me; a circle of listening, waiting, eager,
interested faces; some few of them shone with pleasure or grew
grave with reverent love, while, I read slowly the chapters
that tell of the first Christmas night. I read them from all
the gospels; picking the story out first in one, then in
another; answered sometimes by low words of praise that echoed
but did not interrupt me; — words that were but some dropped
notes of the song that began that night in heaven, and has
been running along the ages since, and is swelling and will
swell into a great chorus of earth and heaven, by and by. And
how glad I was in the words of the story myself, as I went
along. How heart-glad that here, in this region of riches and
hopes not earthly, those around me had as good welcome and as
open entrance, and as free right as I. "There is neither bond
nor free." "And base things of this world, and things which
are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not,
to bring to nought things that are."

I finished my reading at last, amid the hush of my listening
audience. Then Maria called upon Darry to pray, and we all
kneeled down.

It comes back to me now as I write — the hush, and the
breathing of the fire, and Darry's low voice and imperfect
English. Yes, and the incoming tide of rest and peace and
gladness which began to fill the dry places in my heart, and
rose and swelled till my heart was full. I lost my troubles
and forgot my difficulties. I forgot that my father and mother
were away, for the sense of loneliness was gone. I forgot that
those around me were in bonds, for I felt them free as I, and
inheritors of the same kingdom. I have not often in my life
listened to such a prayer, unless from the same lips. He was
one of those that make you feel that the door is open to their
knocking, and that they always find it so. His words were
seconded — not interrupted, even to my feeling — by low-
breathed echoes of praise and petition; too soft and deep to
leave any doubt of the movement that called them forth.

There was a quiet gravity upon the company when we rose to our
feet again. I knew I must go; but the kitchen had been the
pleasantest place to me in all Magnolia. I bade them good
night, answered with bows and curtseys and hearty wishes; and
as I passed out of the circle, tall black Pete, looking down
upon me with just a glimmer of white between his lips, added,
"Hope you'll come again."

A thought darted into my head which brought sunshine with it.
I seemed to see my way begin to open.

The hope was warm at my heart as soon as I was awake the next
morning. With more comfort than for many days I had known, I
lay and watched Margaret making my fire. Then suddenly I
remembered it was Christmas, and what thanksgivings had been
in heaven about it, and what should be on earth; and a
lingering of the notes of praise I had heard last night made a
sort of still music in the air. But I did not expect at all
that any of the ordinary Christmas festivities would come home
to me, seeing that my father and mother were away. Where
should Christmas festivities come from? So, when Margaret rose
up and showed all her teeth at me, I only thought last night
had given her pleasure; and I suspected nothing, even when she
stepped into the next room and brought in a little table
covered with a shawl, and set it close by my bedside. "Am I to
have breakfast in bed?" I asked. "What is this for?"

"Dunno, Miss Daisy," said Margaret, with all her white teeth
sparkling; — 'spose Miss Daisy take just a look, and see what
'pears like."

I felt the colour come into my face. I raised myself on my
elbow and lifted up cautiously one corner of the shawl.
Packages — white paper and brown paper — long and short, large
and small! "O Margaret, take off the shawl, won't you!" I
cried; — "and let me see what is here."

There was a good deal. But "From papa" caught my eye on a
little parcel. I seized it and unfolded. From papa, and he so
far away! But I guessed the riddle before I could get to the
last of the folds of paper that wrapped and enwrapped a little
morocco case. Papa and mamma, leaving me alone, had made
provision beforehand, that when this time came I might miss
nothing except themselves. They had thought and cared and
arranged for me; and now they were thinking about it, perhaps,
far away somewhere over the sea. I held the morocco case in my
hand a minute or two before I could open it. Then I found a
little watch; my dear little watch! which has gone with me
ever since, and never failed nor played tricks with me. My
mother had put in one of her own chains for me to wear with
it.

I lay a long time looking and thinking, raised up on my elbow
as I was, before I could leave the watch and go on to anything
else. Margaret spread round my shoulders the shawl which had
covered the Christmas table; and then she stood waiting, with
a good deal more impatience and curiosity than I showed. But
such a world of pleasure and pain gathered round that first
"bit of Christmas" — so many, many thoughts of one and the
other kind — that I for awhile had enough with that. At last I
closed the case, and keeping it yet in one hand, used the
other to make more discoveries. The package labelled "From
mamma," took my attention next; but I could make nothing of
it. An elegant little box, that was all, which I could not
open; only it felt so very heavy that I was persuaded there
must be something extraordinary inside. I could make nothing
of it; it was a beautiful box; that was all. Preston had
brought me a little riding whip; both costly and elegant. I
could not but be much pleased with it. A large, rather soft
package marked with aunt Gary's name, unfolded a riding cap to
match; at least it was exceeding rich and stylish, with a
black feather that waved away in curves that called forth
Margaret's delighted admiration. Nevertheless, I wondered,
while I admired, at my aunt Gary's choice of a present. I had
a straw hat which served all purposes, even of elegance, for
my notions. I was amazed to find that Miss Pinshon had not
forgotten me. There was a decorated pen, wreathed with a cord
of crimson and gold twist, and supplemented with two dangling
tassels. It was excessively pretty, as I thought of aunt
Gary's cap; and _not_ equally convenient. I looked at all these
things while Margaret was dressing me; but the case with the
watch, for the most part, I remember I kept in my hand.

"Aint you goin' to try it on and see some how pretty it looks,
Miss Daisy?" said my unsatisfied attendant.

"The cap?" said I. "Oh, I dare say it fits. Aunt Gary knows
how big my head is."

"Mass' Preston come last night," she went on; "so I reckon
Miss Daisy'll want to wear it by and by."

"Preston come last night!" I said. "After I was in bed?" — and
feeling that it was indeed Christmas, I finished getting ready
and went down stairs. I made up my mind I might as well be
friends with Preston, and not push any further my displeasure
at his behaviour. So we had a comfortable breakfast. My aunt
was pleased to see me, she said, look so much better. Miss
Pinshon was not given to expressing what she felt; but she
looked at me two or three times without saying anything, which
I suppose meant satisfaction. Preston was in high feather;
making all sorts of plans for my divertisement during the next
few days. I for my part had my own secret cherished plan,
which made my heart beat quicker whenever I thought of it. But
I wanted somebody's counsel and help; and on the whole I
thought my aunt Gary's would be the safest. So after breakfast
I consulted Preston only about my mysterious little box, which
would not open. Was it a paper weight?

Preston smiled, took up the box and performed some conjuration
upon it, and then — I cannot describe my entranced delight —
as he set it down again on the table, the room seemed to grow
musical. Softest, most liquid sweet notes came pouring forth
one after the other, binding my ears as if I had been in a
state of enchantment. Binding feet and hands and almost my
breath, as I stood hushed and listening to the liquid warbling
of delicious things, until the melody had run itself out. It
was a melody unknown to me; wild and dainty; it came out of a
famous opera I was told afterward. When the fairy notes sunk
into silence, I turned mutely towards Preston. Preston
laughed.

"I declare!" he said, — "I declare! Hurra! you have got colour
in your cheeks, Daisy; absolutely, my little Daisy! there is a
real streak of pink there where it was so white before."

"_What_ is it?" said I.

"Just a little good blood coming up under the skin."

"Oh, no, Preston — _this_; what is it?"

"A musical box."

"But where does the music come from?"

"Out of the box. See, Daisy; when it has done a tune and is
run out, you must wind it up, so, — like a watch."

He wound it up and set it on the table again. And again a
melody came forth, and this time it was different; not
plaintive and thoughtful, but jocund and glad; a little shout
and ring of merriment, like the feet of dancers scattering the
drops of dew in a bright morning; or like the chime of a
thousand little silver bells rung for laughter. A sort of
intoxication came into my heart. When Preston would have wound
up the box again, I stopped him. I was full of the delight. I
could not hear any mote just then.

"Why, Daisy, there are ever so many more tunes."

"Yes. I am glad. I will have them another time," I answered.
"How very kind of mamma!"

"Hit the right thing this time, didn't she? How's the riding
cap, Daisy?"

"It is very nice," I said. "Aunt Gary is very good; and I like
the whip very much, Preston."

"That fat little rascal will want it. Does the cap fit,
Daisy?"

"I don't know," I said. "Oh, yes, I suppose so."

Preston made an exclamation, and forthwith would have it tried
on to see how it looked. It satisfied him; somehow it did not
please me as well; but the ride did, which we had soon after;
and I found that my black feather certainly suited everybody
else. Darry smiled at me, and the house servants were exultant
over my appearance.

Amid all these distracting pleasures, I kept on the watch for
an opportunity to speak to aunt Gary alone. Christmas day I
could not. I could not get it till near the end of the next
day.

"Aunt Gary," I said, "I want to consult you about something."

"You have always something turning about in your head," — was
her answer.

"Do you think," said I slowly, "Mr. Edwards would have any
objection to some of the people coming to the kitchen Sunday
evenings to hear me read the Bible?"

"To hear _you_ read the Bible!" said my aunt.

"Yes, aunt Gary; I think they would like it. You know they
cannot read it for themselves."

"_They_ would like it. And you would be delighted, wouldn't
you?"

"Yes, aunt Gary. I should like it better than anything."

"You are a funny child! There is not a bit of your mother in
you — except your obstinacy."

And my aunt seemed to ponder my difference.

"Would Mr. Edwards object to it, do you think? Would he let
them come?"

"The question is, whether I will let them come. Mr. Edwards
has no business with what is done in the house."

"But, aunt Gary, you would not have any objection."

"I don't know, I am sure. I wish your father and mother had
never left you in my charge; for I don't know how to take care
of you."

"Aunt Gary," I said, "please don't object! There is nobody to
read the Bible to them — and I should like to do it very
much."

"Yes, I see you would. There — don't get excited about it —
every Sunday evening, did you say?"

"Yes, ma'am — if you please."

"Daisy, it will just tire you; that's what it will do. I know
it, just as well as if I had seen it. You are not strong
enough."

"I am sure it would refresh me, aunt Gary. It did the other
night."

"The other night?"

"Christmas eve, ma'am."

"Did you read to them then?"

"Yes, ma'am; they wanted to know what Christmas was about."

"And you read to them. You are the oddest child!"

"But, aunt Gary, never mind, — it would be the greatest
pleasure to me. Won't you give leave?"

"The servants hear the Bible read, child, every morning and
every night."

"Yes, but that is only a very few of the house servants. I
want some of the others to come — a good many, — as many as
can come."

"I wish your mother and father were here," sighed my aunt.

"Do you think Mr. Edwards would make any objection?" I asked
again, presuming on the main question being carried. "Would he
let them come?"

"Let them!" echoed my aunt. "Mr. Edwards would be well
employed, to interfere with anything the family choose to do."

"But you know he does not let them meet together, the people,
aunt Gary; not unless they have his permission."

"No, I suppose so. That is his business."

"Then will you speak to him, ma'am, so that he may not be
angry with the people when they come?"

"I? No," said my aunt. "I have nothing to do with your
father's overseer. It would just make difficulty maybe, Daisy;
you had better let this scheme of yours alone."

I could not, without bitter disappointment. Yet I did not know
how further to press the matter. I sat still and said nothing.

"I declare, if she isn't growing pale about it!" exclaimed my
aunt. "I know one thing, and that is, your father and mother
ought to have taken you along with them. I have not the least
idea how to manage you; not the least. What is it you want to
do, Daisy?"

I explained, over again.

"And now if you cannot have this trick of your fancy you will
just fidget yourself sick! I see it. Just as you went driving
all about Melbourne without company to take care of you. I am
sure I don't know. It is not in my way to meddle with
overseers — How many people do you want to read to at once,
Daisy?"

"As many as I can, aunt Gary. But Mr. Edwards will not let two
or three meet together anywhere."

"Well, I dare say he is right. You can't believe anything in
the world these people tell you, child. They will lie just as
fast as they will speak."

"But if they came to see _me_, aunt Gary?" I persisted, waiving
the other question.

"That's another thing, of course. Well, don't worry. Call
Preston. Why children cannot be children, passes my
comprehension!"

Preston came, and there was a good deal of discussing of my
plan; at which Preston frowned and whistled, but on the whole,
though I knew against his will, took my part. The end was, my
aunt sent for the overseer. She had some difficulty, I judge,
in carrying the point; and made capital of my ill-health and
delicacy and spoiled-child character. The overseer's unwilling
consent was gained at last; the conditions being, that every
one who came to hear the reading should have a ticket of
leave, written and signed by myself, for each evening; and
that I should be present with the assembly from the beginning
to the close of it.

My delight was very great. And my aunt, grumbling at the whole
matter and especially at her share in it, found an additional
cause of grumbling in that, she said, I had looked twenty per
cent. better ever since this foolish thing got possession of
my head. "I am wondering," she remarked to Miss Pinshon,
"whatever Daisy will do when she grows up. I expect nothing
but she will be — what do you call them? — one of those people
who run wild over the human race."

"Pirates?" suggested Preston. "Or corsairs?"

"Her mother will be disappointed," went on my aunt. "That is
what I confidently expect."

Miss Pinshon hinted something about the corrective qualities
of mathematics; but I was too happy to heed her or care. I was
stronger and better, I believe, from that day; though I had
not much to boast of. A true tonic had been administered to
me; my fainting energies took a new start.

I watched my opportunity, and went down to the kitchen one
evening to make my preparations. I found Maria alone and
sitting in state before the fire — which I believe was always
in the kitchen a regal one. I hardly ever saw it anything
else. She welcomed me with great suavity; drew up a chair for
me; and finding I had something to say, sat then quite grave
and still looking into the blaze, while I unfolded my plan.

"De Lord is bery good!" was her subdued comment, made when I
had done. "He hab sent His angel, sure!"

"Now, Maria," I went on, "you must tell me who would like to
come next Sundays, you think; and I must make tickets for
them. Every one must have my ticket, with his name on it; and
then there will be no fault found."

"I s'pose not," said Maria, — "wid Miss Daisy's name on it."

"Who will come, Maria?"

"Laws, chile, dere's heaps. Dere's Darry, and Pete — Pete, he
say de meetin' de oder night war 'bout de best meetin' he eber
'tended; he wouldn't miss it for not'ing in de world; he's
sure; and dere's ole 'Lize; and de two Jems — no, dere's _tree_
Jems dat is ser'ous; and Stark, and Carl and Sharlim —"

"_Sharlim?_" said I, not knowing that this was the Caffir for
Charlemagne.

"Sharlim," Maria repeated. "He don' know much; but he has a
leanin' for de good t'ings. And Darry, he can tell who'll
come. I done forget all de folks' names."

"Why, Maria," I said, "I did not know there were so many
people at Magnolia that cared about the Bible."

"What has 'um to care for, chile, I should like fur to know.
Dere aint much mo' in _dis_ world."

"But I thought there were only very few," I said.

" 'Spose um fifty," said Maria. "Fifty aint much, I reckon,
when dere's all de rest o' de folks what _don't_ care. De Lord's
people is a little people yet, for sure; and de world's a big
place. When de Lord come Hisself, to look for 'em, 'spect He
have to look mighty hard. De world's awful dark."

That brought to my mind my question. It was odd, no doubt, to
choose an old coloured woman for my adviser; but indeed I had
not much choice; and something had given me a confidence in
Maria's practical wisdom, which early as it had been formed,
nothing ever happened to shake. So, after considering the
fire and the matter a moment, I brought forth my doubt.

"Maria," said I, "what is the best way — I mean, how can one
let one's light shine?"

"What Miss Daisy talkin' about?"

"I mean, — you know what the Bible says — 'Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good works and
glorify your Father which is in heaven'?"

"For sure, I knows dat. Aint much shinin' in dese yere parts.
De people is dark, Miss Daisy; dey don' know. 'Spect dey would
try to shine, some on 'em, ef dey knowed. Feel sure dey
would."

"But that is what I wanted to ask about, Maria. How ought one
to let one's light shine?"

I remember now the kind of surveying look the woman gave me. I
do not know what she was thinking of; but she looked at me, up
and down, for a moment, with a wonderfully tender, soft
expression. Then turned away.

"How let um light shine?" she repeated. "De bestest way, Miss
Daisy, is fur to make him burn good."

I saw it all immediately; my question never puzzled me again.
Take care that the lamp is trimmed; take care that it is full
of oil; see that the flame mounts clear and steady towards
heaven; and the Lord will set it where its light will fall on
what pleases Him, and where it will reach mayhap, to what you
never dream of.

CHAPTER VI.

WINTER AND SUMMER.


From the Christmas holidays, I think I began slowly to mend.
My aunt watched me, and grumbled that kitchen amusements and
rides with Darry should prove the medicines most healing and
effectual; but she dared stop neither of them. I believe the
overseer remonstrated on the danger of the night gatherings;
but my aunt Gary had her answer ready, and warned him not to
do anything to hinder me, for I was the apple of my father's
eye. Miss Pinshon, sharing to the full my aunt's discontent,
would have got on horseback, I verily believe, to be with me
in my rides; but she was no rider. The sound of a horse's four
feet always, she confessed, stamped the courage out of her
heart. I was let alone; and the Sunday evenings in the
kitchen, and the bright morning hours in the pine avenues and
oak groves, were my refreshment and my pleasure, and my
strength.

What there was of it; for I had not much strength to boast for
many a day. Miss Pinshon tried her favorite recipe whenever
she thought she saw a chance, and I did my best with it. But
my education that winter was quite in another line. I could
not bear much arithmetic. Bending over a desk did not agree
with me. Reading aloud to Miss Pinshon never lasted for more
than a little while at a time. So it comes, that my
remembrance of that winter is not filled with school
exercises, and that Miss Pinshon's figure plays but a
subordinate part in its pictures. Instead of that, my memory
brings back first and chiefest of all, the circle of dark
faces round the kitchen light wood fire, and the yellow blaze
on the page from which I read; I a little figure in white,
sitting in the midst among them all. That picture — those
evenings — come back to me, with a kind of hallowed perfume of
truth and hope. Truth, it was in my lips and on my heart; I
was giving it out to those who had it not. And hope, — it was
in more hearts than mine, no doubt; but in mine it beat with
as steady a beat as the tickings of my little watch by my
side, and breathed sweet as the flowers that start in spring
from under the snow. I had often a large circle; and it was
part of my plan, and well carried into execution, that these
evenings of reading should supply also the place of the
missing prayer-meeting. Gradually I drew it on to be so
understood; and then my pieces of reading were scattered along
between the prayers, or sometimes all came at first, followed
by two or three earnest longer prayers from some of those that
were present. And then, without any planning of mine, came in
the singing. Not too much, lest as Maria said, we should "make
de folks up stairs t'ink dere war somethin' oncommon in de
kitchen;" but one or two hymns we would have, so full of
spirit and sweetness that often now-a-days they come back to
me, and I would give very much to hear the like again. So full
of music too. Voices untrained by art, but gifted by nature;
melodious and powerful; that took different parts in the tune,
and carried them through without the jar of a false note or a
false quantity; and a love both of song and of the truth which
made the music mighty. It was the greatest delight to me, that
singing, whether I joined them or only listened. One, — the
thought of it comes over me now and brings the water to my
eyes, —


"Am I a soldier of the cross —
Of the cross —
Of he cross —
A follower of the Lamb;
And shall I fear to own his cause,
Own his cause —
Own his cause, —
Or blush to speak His name?"


The repetitions at the end of every other line were: both
plaintive and strong; there was no weakness, but some
recognition of what it costs in certain circumstances to "own
His cause." I loved that dearly. But that was only one of
many.

Also the Bible words were wonderful sweet to me, as I was
giving them out to those who else had a "famine of the word."
Bread to the hungry, is quite another thing from bread on the
tables of the full.

The winter had worn well on, before I received the answer to
the letter I had written my father about the prayer-meetings
and Mr. Edwards. It was a short answer, not in terms but in
actual extent; showing that my father was not strong and well
yet. It was very kind and tender, as well as short; I felt
that in every word. In substance, however, it told me I had
better let Mr. Edwards alone. He knew what he ought to do,
about the prayer-meetings and about other things; and they
were what I could not judge about. So my letter said. It said
too, that things seemed strange to me because I was unused to
them; and that when I had lived longer at the South they would
cease to be strange, and I would understand them and look upon
them as every one else did.

I studied and pondered this letter; not greatly disappointed,
for I had had but slender hopes that my petition could work
anything. Yet I had a disappointment to get over. The first
practical use I made of my letter, I went where I could be
alone with it — indeed, I was that when I read it, — but I
went to a solitary lonely place, where I could not be
interrupted; and there I knelt down and prayed, that however
long I might live at the South, I might never get to look upon
evil as anything but evil, nor ever become accustomed to the
things I thought ought not to be, so as not to feel them. I
shall never forget that half hour. It broke my heart that my
father and I should look on such matters with so different
eyes; and with my prayer for myself, which came from the very
bottom of my heart, I poured out also a flood of love and
tears over him, and of petition that he might have better
eyesight one day. Ah yes! and before it should be too late to
right the wrong he was unconsciously doing.

For now I began to see, in the light of this letter first,
that my father's eyes were not clear but blind in regard to
these matters. And what he said about me led me to think and
believe that his blindness was the effect, not of any
particular hardness or fault in him, but of long teaching and
habit and custom. For I saw that everybody else around me
seemed to take the present condition of things as the true and
best one; only convenient, but natural and proper. Everybody,
that is, who did not suffer by it. I had more than suspicions
that the seven hundred on the estate were of a different mind
here from the half dozen who lived in the mansion; and that
the same relative difference existed on the other plantations
in the neighbourhood. We made visits occasionally, and the
visits were returned. I was not shut out from them, and so had
some chance to observe things within a circle of twenty miles.
Our "neighbourhood" reached so far. And child as I was, I
could not help seeing; and I could not help looking, half
unconsciously, for signs of what lay so close on my heart.

My father's letter thus held some material of comfort for me,
although it refused my request. Papa would not overset the
overseer's decision about the prayer-meetings. It held
something else. There was a little scrap of a note to aunt
Gary, saying, in the form of an order, that Daisy was to have
ten dollars paid to her every quarter; that Mrs. Gary would
see it done; and would further see that Daisy was not called
upon, by anybody, at any time, to give any account whatever of
her way of spending the same.


How I thanked papa for this! How I knew the tender affection
and knowledge of me which had prompted it. How well I
understood what it was meant to do. I had a little private
enjoyment of aunt Gary's disconsolate face and grudging hands
as she bestowed upon me the first ten dollars. It was not that
she loved money so well, but she thought this was another form
of my father's unwise indulging and spoiling of me; and that I
was spoiled already. But I — I saw in vision a large harvest
of joy, to be raised from this small seed crop.

At first I thought I must lay out a few shillings of my stock
upon a nice purse to keep the whole in. I put the purse down
at the head of the list of things I was making out, for
purchase, the first time I should go to Baytown, or have any
good chance of sending. I had a good deal of consideration
whether I would have a purse or a pocket-book. Then I had an
odd secret pleasure in my diplomatic way of finding out from
Darry and Maria and Margaret what were the wants most pressing
of the sick and the old among the people; or of the
industrious and the enterprising. Getting Darry to talk to me
in my rides, by degrees I came to know the stories and
characters of many of the hands; I picked up hints of a want
or a desire here and there, which Darry thought there was no
human means of meeting, or gratifying. Then, the next time I
had a chance, I brought up these persons and cases to Maria,
and supplemented Darry's hints with her information. Or I
attacked Margaret when she was making my fire, and drew from
her what she knew about the persons in whom I was interested.
So I learned — and put it down in my notebook accordingly —
that Pete could spell out words a little bit, and would like
mainly to read; if only he had a Testament in large type. He
could not manage little print; it bothered him. Also I
learned, that aunt Sarah, a middle-aged woman who worked in
the fields, "wanted terrible to come to de Sabbas meetin's,
but she war' shamed to come, 'cause her feet was mos' half out
of her shoes; and Mr. Ed'ards wouldn't give her no more till
de time come roun'." Sarah had "been and gone and done stuck
her feet in de fire, for to warm 'em, one time when dey was
mighty cold; and she burn her shoes. Learn her better next
time."

"But does she work every day in the field with her feet only
half covered?" I asked.

"Laws! she don't care," said Maria. "Taint no use give dem
darkies not'ing; dey not know how to keep' um."

But this was not Maria's real opinion, I knew. There was often
a strange sort of seeming hard edge of feeling put forth,
which I learned to know pointed a deep, deep, maybe only half-
conscious irony, and was in reality a bitter comment upon
facts. So a pair of new shoes for Sarah went down in my list
with a large print Testament for Pete. Then I found that some
of the people, some of the old ones, who in youth had been
accustomed to it, liked nothing so well as tea; it was
ambrosia and Lethe mingled; and a packet of tea was put in my
list next to the Testament. But the tea must have sugar; and I
could not bear that they should drink it out of mugs, without
any teaspoons; so to please myself I sent for a little delf
ware and a few pewter spoons. Little by little my list grew. I
found that Darry knew something about letters; could write a
bit; and would prize the means of writing as a very rare
treasure and pleasure. And with fingers that almost trembled
with delight, I wrote down paper and pens and a bottle of ink
for Darry. Next, I heard of an old woman at the quarters, who
was ailing and infirm, and I am afraid ill-treated, who at all
events was in need of comfort, and had nothing but straw and
the floor to rest her poor bones on at night. A soft pallet
for her went down instantly on my list; my ink and tears
mingling together as I wrote; and I soon found that my purse
must be cut off from the head of my list for that time. I
never ventured to put it at the head again; nor found a chance
to put it in anywhere else. I spent four winters at Magnolia
after that; and never had a new purse all the time.

I had to wait awhile for an opportunity to make my purchases;
then had the best in the world, for Darry was sent to Baytown
on business. To him I confided my list and my money, with my
mind on the matter; and I was served to a point and with
absolute secrecy. For that I had insisted on. Darry and Maria
were in my counsels, of course; but the rest of the poor
people knew only by guess who their friend was. Old Sarah
found her new shoes in her hut one evening, and in her noisy
delight declared that "some big angel had come t'rough de
quarters." The cups and saucers it was necessary to own, lest
more talk should have been made about them than at all suited
me; Darry let it be understood that nothing must be said and
nobody must know of the matter; and nobody did; but I took the
greatest enjoyment in hearing from Maria how the old women
(and one or two men) gathered together and were comforted over
their cups of tea. And over the _cups_, Maria said: the cups
and spoons made the tea twice as good; but I doubt their
relish of it was never half so exquisite as mine. I had to
give Pete his Testament; he would not think it the same thing
if he did not have it from my own hand, Maria said; and
Darry's pens and ink likewise. The poor woman for whom I had
got the bed, was, I fear, beyond enjoying anything; but it was
a comfort to me to know that she was lying on it. The people
kept my secret perfectly; my aunt and governess never, I
believe, heard anything of all these doings; I had my
enjoyment to myself.

And the Sunday evening prayer-meeting grew. Little by little.
Old Sarah and her new shoes were there of course, at once.
Those who first came never failed. And week by week, as I went
into the kitchen with my Bible, I saw a larger circle; found
the room better lined with dark forms and sable faces. They
come up before me now as I write, one and another. I loved
them all. I love them still, for I look to meet many of them
in glory; "where there is neither bond nor free." Nay, that is
_here_ and at present, to all who are in Christ; we do not wait
for heaven, to be all one.

And they loved me, those poor people. I think Pete had
something the same sort of notion about me that those
Ephesians had of their image of Diana, which they insisted had
fallen from heaven. I used to feel it then, and be amused by
it.

But I am too long about my story. No wonder I linger, when the
remembrance is so sweet. With this new interest that had come
into my life, my whole life brightened. I was no longer
spiritless. My strength little by little returned. And with
the relief of my heart about my father, my happiness sprung
back almost to its former and usual state when I was at
Melbourne. For I had by this time submitted to my father's and
mother's absence as a thing of necessity, and submitted
entirely. Yet my happiness was a subdued sort of thing; and my
aunt Gary still thought it necessary to be as careful of me,
she said, "as if I were an egg-shell." As I grew stronger,
Miss Pinshon made more and more demands upon my time with her
arithmetic lessons, and other things; but my rides with Darry
were never interfered with, nor my Sunday evening readings;
and indeed all the winter I continued too delicate and feeble
for much school work. My dreaded governess did not have near
so much to do with me as I thought she would.

The spring was not far advanced before it was necessary for us
to quit Magnolia. The climate after a certain day, or rather
the air, was not thought safe for white people. We left
Magnolia; and went first to Baytown and then to the North.
There our time was spent between one and another of several
watering-places. I longed for Melbourne; but the house was
shut up; we could not go there. The summer was very wearisome
to me. I did not like the houses in which our time was spent,
or the way of life led in them. Neither did Miss Pinshon, I
think; for she was out of her element, and had no chance to
follow her peculiar vocation. Of course, in a public hotel, we
could not have a schoolroom; and with the coming on of warm
weather my strength failed again, so sensibly, that all there
was to do was to give me sea air and bathing, and let me
alone. The bathing I enjoyed; those curling salt waves
breaking over my head, are the one image of anything fresh or
refreshing which my memory has kept. I should have liked the
beach; I did like it; only it was covered with bathers, or
else with promenaders in carriages and on foot, at all times
when I saw it; and though they were amusing, the beach was
spoiled. The hotel rooms were close and hot; I missed all the
dainty freedom and purity of my own home; the people I saw
were, it seemed to me, entirely in keeping with the rooms;
that is, they were stiff and fussy, not quiet and busy. They
were busy after their own fashion indeed; but it always seemed
to me, busy about nothing. The children I saw, too, did not
attract me; and I fear I did not attract them. I was sober-
hearted and low-toned in spirits and strength; while they were
as gay as their elders. And I was dressed according to my
mother's fancy, in childlike style, without hoops, and with my
hair cropped short all over my head. They were stately with
crinoline, and rich with embroidery, stiff with fine dresses
and plumes; while a white frock and a flat straw were all my
adornment, except a sash. I think they did not know what to
make of me; and I am sure I had nothing in common with them;
so we lived very much apart. There was a little variation in
my way of life when Preston came; yet not much. He took me
sometimes to drive, and did once go walking with me oil the
beach; but Preston found a great deal where I found nothing,
and was all the time taken up with people and pleasures;
boating and yachting and fishing expeditions; and I believe
with hops and balls too. But I was always fast asleep at those
times.

It was a relief to me when the season came to an end, and we
went to New York to make purchases before turning southward. I
had once hoped, that this time, the year's end, might see my
father and mother come home again. That hope had faded and
died a natural death a long while ago. Letters spoke my
father's health not restored; he was languid and spiritless
and lacked vigour; he would try the air of Switzerland; lie
would spend the winter in the Pyrenιes! If that did not work
well, my mother hinted, perhaps he would have to try the
effect of a long sea voyage. Hope shrunk into such small
dimensions that it filled but a very little corner of my
heart. Indeed, for the present I quite put it by and did not
look at it. One winter more must pass, at any rate, and maybe
a full year, before I could possibly see my father and mother
at home. I locked the door for the present upon hope; and
turned my thoughts to what things I had left with me. Chiefest
of all theses were my poor friends at Magnolia. My money had
accumulated during the summer; I had a nice little sum to lay
out for them, and in New York I had chance to do it well, and
to do it myself; which was a great additional pleasure. As I
could, bit by bit, when I was with aunt Gary shopping, when I
could get leave to go out alone with a careful servant to
attend me, I searched the shops and catered and bought, for
the comfort and pleasure of — seven hundred! I could do
little. Nay, but it was for so many of those as I could reach
with my weak hands; and I did not despise that good because I
could not reach them all. A few more large print Testaments I
laid in; some copies of the Gospel of John, in soft covers and
good type; a few hymn books. All these cost little. But for
Christmas gifts, and for new things to give help and comfort
to my poor pensioners, I both plagued and bewitched my brain.
It was sweet work. My heart went out towards making all the
people happy for once, at Christmas; but my purse would not
stretch so far; I had to let that go, with a thought and a
sigh.

One new thing came very happily into my head, and was worth a
Peruvian mine to me, in the pleasure and business it gave.
Going into a large greenhouse with my aunt, who wanted to
order a bouquet, I went wandering round the place while she
made her bargain. For my aunt Gary made a bargain of
everything. Wandering in thought as well, whither the sweet
breath of the roses and geraniums led me, I went back to Molly
in her cottage at Melbourne, and the Jewess geranium I had
carried her, and the rose tree; and suddenly the thought
started into my head, might not my dark friends at Magnolia,
so quick to see and enjoy anything of beauty that came in
their way — so fond of bright colour and grace and elegance —
a luxurious race, even in their downtrodden condition; might
not _they_ also feel the sweetness of a rose, or delight in the
petals of a tulip? It was a great idea; it grew into a full
formed purpose before I was called to follow aunt Gary out of
the greenhouse. The next day I went there on my own account. I
was sure I knew what I wanted to do; but I studied a long time
the best way of doing it. Roses? I could hardly transport pots
and trees so far; they were too cumbersome. Geraniums were
open to the same objection, besides being a little tender as
to the cold. Flower seeds could not be sown, if the people had
them; for no patch of garden belonged to their stone huts,
and they had no time to cultivate such a patch if they had it.
I must give what would call for no care, to speak of, and make
no demands upon overtasked strength and time. Neither could I
afford to take anything of such bulk as would draw attention
or call out questions and comments. I knew, as well as I know
now, what would be thought of any plan or action which
supposed _a love of the beautiful_ in creatures the only earthly
use of whom was to raise rice and cotton; who in fact were not
half so important as the harvests they grew. I knew what
unbounded scorn would visit any attempts of mine to minister
to an aesthetic taste in these creatures; and I was in no
mind to call it out upon myself. All the while I knew better.
I knew that Margaret and Stephanie could put on a turban like
no white woman I ever saw. I knew that even Marie could take
the full effect of my dress when I was decked — as I was
sometimes — for a dinner party; and that no fall of lace or
knot of ribband missed its errand to her eye. I knew that a
_picture_ raised the liveliest interest in all my circle of
Sunday hearers; and that they were quick to understand and
keen to take its bearings, far more then Molly Skelton would
have been, more than Logan, our Scotch gardener at Melbourne,
or than my little old friend Hephzibah and her mother. But the
question stood, in what form could I carry beauty to them out
of a florist's shop? I was fain to take the florist into my
partial confidence. It was well that I did. He at once
suggested bulbs. Bulbs! would they require much care? Hardly
any; no trouble at all. They could be easily transported;
easily kept. All they wanted, was a little pot of earth when I
was ready to plant them; a little judicious watering; an
unbounded supply of sunshine. And what sorts of bulbs were
there? I asked diplomatically; not myself knowing, to tell
truth, what bulbs were at all. Plenty of sorts, the florist
said; there were hyacinths — all colours — and tulips,
striped and plain, and very gay; and crocuses, those were of
nearly all colours too; and ranunculus, and anemones, and
snowdrops. Snowdrops were white; but of several of the other
kinds I could have every tint in the rainbow, both alone and
mixed. The florist stood waiting my pleasure, and nipped off a
dead leaf or two as he spoke, as if there was no hurry and I
could tale my time. I went into happy calculation, as to how
far my funds would reach; gave my orders, very slowly and very
carefully; and went away the owner of a nice little stock of
tulips, narcissus, crocuses, and above all, hyacinths. I chose
gay tints, and at the same time inexpensive kinds; so that my
stock was quite large enough for my purposes; it mattered
nothing to me whether a sweet double hyacinth was of a new or
an old kind, provided it was of first-rate quality; and I
confess it matters almost as little to me now. At any rate, I
went home a satisfied child; and figuratively speaking, dined
and supped off tulips and hyacinths, instead of mutton and
bread and butter.

That afternoon it fell out that my aunt took me with her to a
milliner's on some business. In the course of it, some talk
arose about feathers and the value of them; and my aunt made
a remark which, like Wat Tyrrell's arrow, glanced from its aim
and did execution in a quarter undreamed of.

"That feather you put in the little riding cap you sent me,"
she said to the milliner, — "your black feather, Daisy, you
know, — you charged me but fifteen dollars for that; why is
this so much more?"

I did not hear the milliner's answer. My whole thought went
off upon a track entirely new to me, and never entered before.
My feather cost fifteen dollars! Fifteen dollars! Supposing I
had that to buy tulips with? or in case I had already tulips
enough, suppose I had it to buy print gowns for Christmas
presents to the women, which I had desired and could not
afford? Or that I had it to lay out in tea and sugar, that my
poor old friends might oftener have the one solace that was
left to them, or that more might share it? Fifteen dollars! It
was equal to one quarter and a half's allowance. My fund for
more than a third of the year would be doubled, if I could
turn that black feather into silver or gold again. And the
feather was of no particular use, that I could see. It made me
look like the heiress of Magnolia, my aunt said; but neither
could I see any use in _that_. Everybody knew, that is, all the
servants and friends of the family knew, that I was that
heiress; I needed no black feather to proclaim it. And now it
seemed to me as if my riding cap was heavy with undeveloped
bulbs, uncrystallised sugar, unweighed green tea. No
transformation of the feather was possible; it must wave over
my brow in its old fashion, whether it were a misguided
feather or not; but my thoughts, once set a going in this
train, found a great deal to do. Truth to tell, they have not
done it all yet.

"Aunt Gary," I said that same evening, musing over the things
in my boxes, — "does lace cost much?"

"That is like the countryman who asked me once, if it took
long to play a piece of music! Daisy, don't you know any more
about lace than to ask such a question?"

"I don't know what it costs, aunt Gary. I never bought any."

"Bought! No; hardly. You are hardly at the age to _buy_ lace
yet. But you have worn a good deal of it."

"I cannot tell what it costs by looking at it," I answered.

"Well, _I_ can. And you will, one day, I hope; if you ever do
anything like other people."

"Is it costly, ma'am?"

"Your lace is rather costly," my aunt said, with a tone which
I felt implied satisfaction.

"How much?" I asked.

"How much does it cost? Why it is the countryman's question
over again, Daisy. Lace is all sort of prices. But the lace
you wear, is, I judge, somewhere about three and five, and one
of your dresses, ten, dollars a yard. That is pretty rich lace
for a young lady of your years to wear."

I never wore it, I must explain, unless in small quantity,
except on state occasions when my mother dressed me as a part
of herself.

"No, I am wrong," my aunt added presently; "that dress I am
thinking of is richer than that; the lace on that robe was
never bought for ten dollars, or fifteen either. What do you
want to know about it for, Daisy?"

I mused a great deal. Three and five, and ten, and fifteen
dollars a yard, on lace trimmings for me, and no tea, no cups
and saucers, no soft bed, no gardens and flowers, for many,
who were near me. I began to fill the meshes of my lace with
responsibilities too heavy for the delicate fabric to bear.
Nobody liked the looks of it better than I did. I always had a
fancy for lace, though not for feathers; its rich, delicate,
soft falls, to my notion, suited my mother's form and style
better than anything else, and suited me. My taste found no
fault. But now that so much gold was wrought into its slight
web, and so much silver lay hidden in every embroidered
flower, the thing was changed. Graceful, and becoming, and
elegant, more than any other adornment; what then? My mother
and father had a great deal of money too, to spare; enough, I
thought, for lace and for the above tea and sugar too; what
then? And what if not enough? I pondered, till my aunt Gary
broke out upon me, that I would grow a wizened old woman if I
sat musing at that rate; and sent me to bed. It stopped my
pondering for that night; but not for all the years since that
night.

My preparations were quite made before my aunt got her
feathers adjusted to her satisfaction; and in the bright days
of autumn we went back again to Magnolia. This was a joyful
journey and a glad arriving, compared to last year; and the
welcome I got was something which puzzled my heart between joy
and sorrow many times during the first few days.

And now Miss Pinshon's reign fairly began. I was stronger in
health, accustomed to my circumstances; there was no longer
any reason that the multiplication table and I should be
parted. My governess was determined to make up for lost time;
and the days of that winter were spent by me between the study
table and fire. That is, when I think of that winter my memory
finds me there. Multiplication and its correlatives were the
staple of existence; and the old book room of my grandfather
was the place where my harvests of learning were sown and
reaped.

Somehow, I do not think the crops were heavy. I tried my best;
and Miss Pinshon certainly tried her best. I went through and
over immense fields of figures; but I fancy the soil did not
suit the growth. I know the fruits were not satisfactory to
myself, and indeed were not fruits at all, to my sense of them;
but rather dry husks and hard nut shells, with the most
tasteless of small kernels inside. Yet Miss Pinshon did not
seem unsatisfied; and indeed occasionally remarked that she
believed I meant to be a good child. Perhaps that was
something out of my governess' former experience; for it was
the only style of commendation I ever knew her indulge in, and
I always took it as a compliment.

It would not do to tell all my childish life that winter. I
should never get through. For a child has as many experiences
in her little world as people of fifty years old have in
theirs; and to her they are not little experiences. It was not
a small trial of mind and body to spend the long mornings in
the study over the curious matters Miss Pinshon found for my
attention; and after the long morning the shorter afternoon
session was unmixed weariness. Yet I suffered most in the
morning; because then there was some life and energy within me
which rebelled against confinement, and panted to be free and
in the open air, looking after the very different work I could
find or make for myself. My feet longed for the turf; my
fingers wanted to throw down the slate pencil and gather up
the reins. I had a good fire and a pleasant room; but I wanted
to be abroad in the open sunshine, to feel the sweet breath of
the air in my face, and see the grey moss wave in the wind.
That was what I had been used to all my life; a sweet wild
roaming about, to pick up whatever pleasure presented itself.
I suppose Miss Pinshon herself had never been used to it nor
known it; for she did not seem to guess at what was in my
mind. But it made my mornings hard to get through. By the
afternoon the spirit was so utterly gone out of me and of
everything, that I took it all in a mechanical stupid way; and
only my back's aching made me impatient for the time to end.

I think I was fond of knowledge and fond of learning. I am
sure of it, for I love it dearly still. But there was no joy
about it at Magnolia. History, as I found it with my
governess, was not in the least like the history I had planned
on my tray of sand, and pointed out with red and black headed
pins. There was life and stir in that, and progress. Now there
was nothing but a string of names and dates to say to Miss
Pinshon. And dates were hard to remember, and did not seem to
mean anything. But Miss Pinshon's favourite idea was
mathematics. It was not my favourite idea; so every day I
wandered through a wilderness of figures and signs which were
a weariness to my mind and furnished no food for it. Nothing
was pleasant to me in my schoolroom, excepting my writing
lessons. They were welcomed as a relief from other things.

When the studies for the day were done, the next thing was to
prepare for a walk. A walk with Miss Pinshon alone, for my
aunt never joined us. Indeed, this winter my aunt was not
infrequently away from Magnolia altogether; finding Baytown
more diverting. It made a little difference to me; for when
she was not at home, the whole day, morning, afternoon and
evening, meal times and all times, seemed under a leaden grey
sky. Miss Pinshon discussed natural history to me when we were
walking — not the thing but the science; she asked me
questions in geography when we were eating breakfast, and
talked over some puzzle in arithmetic when we were at dinner.
I think it was refreshing to her; she liked it; but to me, the
sky closed over me in lead colour, one unbroken vault, as I
said, when my aunt was away. With her at home, all this could
not be; and any changes of colour were refreshing. All this
was not very good for me. My rides with Darry would have been
a great help; but now I only got a chance at them now and
then. I grew spiritless and weary. Sundays I would have begged
to be allowed to stay at home all day and rest; but I knew if
I pleaded fatigue my evenings with the people in the kitchen
would be immediately cut off; not my drives to church. Miss
Pinshon always drove the six miles to Bolingbroke every Sunday
morning, and took me with her. Oh how long the miles were! how
weary I was, with my back aching, and trying to find a
comfortable corner in the carriage; how I wanted to lie down
on the soft cushions in the pew and go to sleep during the
service. And when the miles home were finished, it seemed to
me that so was I. Then I used to pray to have strength in the
evening to read with the people. And I always had it; or at
least I always did it. I never failed; though the rest of the
Sunday hours were often spent on the bed. But indeed, that
Sunday evening reading was the one thing that saved my life
from growing, or settling, into a petrifaction. Those hours
gave me cheer, and some spirit to begin again on Monday
morning.

However, I was not thriving. I know I was losing colour, and
sinking in strength, day by day; yet very gradually; so that
my governess never noticed it. My aunt sometimes on her return
from an absence that had been longer than common, looked at me
uneasily.

"Miss Pinshon, what ails that child?" she would ask.

My governess said, "nothing." Miss Pinshon was the most
immovable person, I think, I have ever known. At least, so far
as one could judge from the outside.

"She looks to me," my aunt went on, "exactly like a cabbage,
or something else, that has been blanched under a barrel. A
kind of unhealthy colour. She is not strong."

"She has more strength than she shows," my governess answered.
"Daisy has a good deal of strength."

"Do you think so ?" said my aunt, looking doubtfully at me.
But she was comforted. And neither of them asked me about it.

One thing in the early half of the winter was a great help;
and for awhile stayed my flitting spirits and strength. My
father wrote an order, that Daisy should make arrangements for
giving all the people on the plantation a great entertainment
at Christmas. I was to do what I liked and have whatever I
chose too desire; no one altering or interfering with my word.
I shall never forget the overflowing of largest joy, with
which my heart swelled as I ran in to tell this news to aunt
Gary. But first I had to kneel down and give thanks for it.

I never saw my aunt more displeased about anything. Miss
Pinshon only lifted up her black eyes and looked me over. They
did not express curiosity or anything else; only observation.
My aunt spoke out.

"I think there must be some mistake, Daisy."

"No, aunt Gary; papa says just that."

"You mean the house servants, child."

"No, ma'am; papa, says everyone; all the people on the place."

"He means the white people, you foolish child; everybody's
head is not full of the servants, as yours is."

"He says, the coloured people, aunt Gary; all of them. It is
only the coloured people."

"Hear her!" said my aunt. "Now she would rather entertain
them, I don't doubt, than the best company that could be
gathered of her own sort."

I certainly would. Did I not think with joy at that very
minute of the words, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the
least of _these_, ye have done it unto Me"? I knew what Guest
would be among my poor despised company. But I said not a
word.

"Daisy," said my aunt, "you _must_ be under a mistake; you must
let me see what your father says. Why, to give all these
hundreds an entertainment, it would cost — have you any idea
what it would cost?"

I had not indeed. But my father's letter had mentioned a sum
which was to be the limit of my expenditure; within which I
was to be unlimited. It was a large sum, amounting to several
hundreds, and amply sufficient for all I could wish to do. I
told my aunt.

"Well!" she said, twisting herself round to the fire, "if your
father has money to fling about like that, I have of course no
more to say."

Miss Pinshon looked up again at me. Those black eyes were
always the same; the eyelids never drooped over them. "What
are you going to do, Daisy?" she asked.

Truly I did not know yet. I gave my aunt a note to the
overseer from my father, which I begged her to forward; and
ran away to take sweet counsel with myself.

I had had some little experience of such an entertainment in
the strawberry festival at Melbourne. I remembered that good
things to eat and drink were sure to be enjoyed, and not these
only, but also a pretty and festive air thrown about these
things. And much more would this be true among the beauty-
loving and luxurious-natured children of the tropics, than
with the comparatively barbarous Celtic blood. But between
entertaining thirty and seven hundred, there was a difference.
And between the season of roses and fruits, and the time of
mid-winter, even though in a southern clime, there was another
wide difference. I had need of a great deal of counsel-taking
with myself; and I took it; and it was very good for me. In
every interval between mathematical or arithmetical problems,
my mind ran off to this other one, with infinite refreshment.

Then I consulted Maria; she was a great help to me. I thought
at first I should have to build a place to hold our gatherings
in; the home kitchen was not a quarter large enough. But Darry
told me of an empty barn not far off, that was roomy and
clean. By virtue of my full powers, I seized upon this barn. I
had it well warmed with stoves; Darry saw to that for me and
that they were well and safely put up; I had it adorned and
clothed and made gay with evergreens and flowers, till it was
beautiful. The carpenters on the place put up long tables and
fitted plenty of seats. Then I had some rough kitchens
extemporised outside of it; and sent for loads of turkeys from
Baytown; and for days before and after Christmas my band of
cooks were busy, roasting and baking and cake-making. Coffee
was brewed without measure, as if we had been a nation of
Arabs. And then tickets were furnished to all the people on
the place, tickets of admission; and for all the holidays, or
for Christmas and three days after, I kept open house at the
barn. Night and day I kept open house. I went and came myself,
knowing that the sight of me hindered nobody's pleasure; but I
let in no other white person, and I believe I gained the
lasting ill will of the overseer by refusing him. I stood
responsible for everybody's good behaviour, and had no
forfeits to pay. And enjoyment reigned, during those days in
the barn; a gay enjoyment, full of talk and of singing as well
as of feasting; full of laughter and jokes, and full of utmost
good-humour and kindness from one to another. Again, most
unlike a party of Celtic origin. It was enjoyment to me too;
very great; — though dashed continually by the thought how
rare and strange it was to those around me. Only for my sake,
and dependent on my little hand of power; having no guarantee
or security else for its ever coming again. As the holiday
drew near its end, my heart grew sore often at the thought of
all my poor friends going back into their toil, hopeless and
spiritless as it was, without one ray to brighten the whole
year before them till Christmas should come round again. Ay,
and this feeling was quickened every now and then by a word,
or a look, or a tone, which told me that I was not the only
one who remembered it. "Christmas is almos' gone, Tony," I
heard one fine fellow say to another at the end of the third
day; and under the words there was a thread of meaning which
gave a twitch to my heartstrings. There were bursts of song
mingled with all this, which I could not bear to hear. In the
prayer-meetings I did not mind them; here, in the midst of
festivities, they almost choked me. "I'm going home" — sounded
now so much as if it were in a strange land; and once when a
chorus of them were singing, deep and slow, the refrain, —


"In the morning —
Chil'len, in the morning —"


I had a great heartbreak, and sat down and cried behind my
sugarplums.

I can bear to think of it all now. There were years when I
could not.

After this entertainment was over, and much more stupid ones
had been given among polished people at the house, and the New
Year had swept in upon us with its fresh breeze of life and
congratulations, the winter and Miss Pinshon settled down for
unbroken sway.

I had little to help me during those months from abroad. That
is, I had nothing. My father wrote seldom. My mother's letters
had small comfort for me. They said that papa's health mended
slowly — was very delicate — he could not bear much exertion —
his head would not endure any excitement. They were trying
constant changes of scene and air. They were at Spa, at Paris,
at Florence, at Vevay, in the Pyrenιes; not staying long
anywhere. The physicians talked of a long sea voyage. From all
which I gradually brought down my hopes into smaller and
smaller compass; till finally I packed them up and stowed
them away in the hidden furthermost corner of my heart; only
to be brought out and looked at when there should be occasion.
Spring came without the least prospect that such occasion
would be given me soon. My father and mother were making
preparation to journey in Norway; and already there was talk
of a third winter in Egypt! It was hoped that all these
changes were not without some slow and certain effect in the
way of improvement. I think on me they had another sort of
effect.

Spring as usual drove us away from Magnolia. This summer was
spent with my aunt Gary, at various pleasant and cool up-
country places; where hills were, and brooks, and sweet air,
and flowers; and where I might have found much to enjoy. But
always Miss Pinshon was with me; and the quiet and freedom of
these places, with the comparative cool climate, made it
possible for her to carry on all her schemes for my
improvement just as steadily as though we had been at
Magnolia. And I had not Darry and my pony, which indeed, the
latter, had been of small use to me this year; and I had not
my band of friends on the Sunday evening; and even my own maid
Margaret aunt Gary had chosen to leave behind. Miss Pinshon's
reign was absolute. I think some of the Medusa properties
Preston used to talk about must have had their effect upon me
at this time. I remember little of all that summer, save the
work for Miss Pinshon, and the walks with Miss Pinshon, and a
general impression of those black eyes and inflexible voice,
and mathematics and dates, and a dull round of lesson getting.
Not knowledge getting; — that would have been quite another
affair. I seemed to be all the while putting up a scaffolding,
and never coming to work on the actual Temple of Learning
itself. I know we were in beautiful regions that summer; but
my recollection is not of them but of rows of figures. And of
a very grave, I think dull, and very quiet little personage,
who went about like a mouse, for silentness, and gave no
trouble to anybody, excepting only to herself.

The next winter passed as the winter before had done; only I
had no Christmas entertainment. My father and mother were in
Egypt; perhaps he did not think of it. Perhaps he did not feel
that he could afford it. Perhaps my aunt and the overseer had
severally made representations to which my father thought it
best to listen. I had no festivities at any rate for my poor
coloured people; and it made my own holidays a very shaded
thing.

I found, however, this winter one source of amusement, and in
a measure, of comfort. In the bookcases which held my
grandfather's library, there was a pretty large collection of
books of travel. I wanted to know just then about Egypt, that
I might the better in imagination follow my father and mother.
I searched the shelves for Egypt; and was lucky enough to
light upon several works of authority and then recent
observation. I feasted on these. I began in the middle; then
very soon went back to the beginning; and read delightedly,
carefully, patiently, through every detail and discussion in
which the various authors indulged. Then I turned all their
pictures into living panorama; for I fancied my father and
mother in every place, looking at every wonder they described;
and I enjoyed not merely what they described, but my father's
and mother's enjoyment of it. This was a rare delight to me.
My favourite place was the corner of the study fire, at dusk,
when lessons and tiresome walks for the day were done, and
Miss Pinshon was taking her ease elsewhere in some other way.
I had the fire made up to burn brightly, and pine knots at
hand to throw on if wanted; and with the illumination dancing
all over my page, I went off to regions of enchantment,
pleasant to me beyond any fairy tale. I never cared much for
things that were not true. No chambers of Arabian fancy could
have had the fascination for me of those old Egyptian halls;
nor all the marvels of magic entranced me like the wonder-
working hand of time. Those books made my comfort and my
diversion all the winter. For I was not a galloping reader; I
went patiently through every page; and the volumes were many
enough and interesting enough to last me long. I dreamed under
the Sphynx; I wandered over the pyramids; no chamber nor nook
escaped me; I could have guided a traveller — in imagination.
I knew the prospect from the top, though I never wrote my name
there. It seemed to me that _that_ was barbarism. I sailed up
the Nile, — delightful journeys on board the Nile boats, —
forgetting Miss Pinshon and mathematics, except when I rather
pitied the ancient Egyptians for being so devoted to the
latter; forgetting Magnolia, and all the home things I could
not do and would have liked to do; forgetting everything, and
rapt in the enjoyment of tropical airy, and Eastern skies;
hearing the plash of water from the everlasting _shadoof_, and
watching the tints and colours on the ranges of hills
bordering the Nile valley. All _my_ hills were green; the hues
of those others were enough of themselves to make an enchanted
land. Still more, as I stopped at the various old temples
along the way, my feeling of enchantment increased. I threaded
the mazes of rubbish, and traced the plans of the ruins of
Thebes, till I was at home in every part of them. I studied
the hieroglyphics and the descriptions of the sculptures, till
the names of Thothmes III, and Amunoph III, and Sethos and
Rameses, Miamun and Rameses III, were as well known to me as
the names of the friends whom I met every Sunday evening. I
even studied out the old Egyptian mythology, the better to be
able to understand the sculptures, as well as the character of
those ancient people who wrought them; and to be able to fancy
the sort of services that were celebrated by the priests in
the splendid enclosures of the temples.

And then I went higher up the Nile and watched at the
uncovering of those wonderful colossal figures which stand, or
sit, before the temple of Abou-Simbel. I tried to imagine what
manner of things such large statues could be; I longed for one
sight of the faces, said to be so superb, which showed what
the great Rameses looked like. Mamma and papa could see them;
that was a great joy. Belzoni was one of my prime favourites;
and I liked particularly to travel with him, both there and at
the Tombs of the Kings. There were some engravings scattered
through the various volumes, and a good many plans, which
helped me. I studied them, faithfully; and got from them all
they could give me.

In the Tombs of the Kings, my childish imagination found, I
think, its highest point of revelling and delight. Those were
something stranger, more wonderful, and more splendid, even
than Abou-Simbel and Karnak, Many an evening, while the
firelight from a Southern pine knot danced on my page, I was
gone on the wings of fancy thousands of miles away; and went
with discoverers or explorers, up and down the passages and
halls and staircases and chambers, to which the entrance is
from _Biban el Malook_. I wondered over the empty sarcophagi;
held my breath at the pit's sides; and was never tired of
going over tile scenes and sculptures done in such brilliant
colours upon those white walls. Once in there, I quite forgot
that mamma and papa could see them; I was so busy seeing them
myself.

This amusement of mine was one which nobody interfered with;
and it lasted, as I said, all winter. All the winter my father
and mother were in Egypt. When spring came, I began to look
with trembling eagerness for a letter that should say they
would turn now homewards. I was disappointed. My father was so
much better that his physicians were encouraged to continue
their travelling regimen; and the word came that it was
thought best he should try a long sea voyage; he was going to
China. My mother would go with him.

I think never in my life my spirits sank lower than they did
when I heard this news. I was not strong nor very well, which
might have been in part the reason. And I was dull-hearted to
the last degree under the influence of Miss Pinshon's system
of management. There was no power of reaction in me. It was
plain that I was failing; and my aunt interrupted the lessons,
and took me again to watering places at the North, from one to
another, giving me as much change as possible. It was good for
me to be taken off study, which Miss Pinshon had pressed and
crowded during the winter. Sea bathing did me good, too; and
the change of scene and habits was useful. I did not rise to
the level of enjoying anything much; only the sea waves when I
was in them; at other times I sat on the bank and watched the
distant smoke stack of a steamer going out, with an
inexpressible longing and soreness of heart. Going, where I
would so like to go! But there was no word of that. And indeed
it would not have been advisable to take me to China. I did
think Egypt would not have been bad for me; but it was a
thought which I kept shut up in the furthest stores of my
heart.

The sea voyage however was delayed. My mother took sick; was
very ill; and then unable to undertake the going to China. My
father chose to wait for her; so the summer was spent by them
in Switzerland and the autumn in Paris. With the first of the
New Year they expected now to sail. It suddenly entered my
aunt Gary's head that it was a good time for _her_ to see Paris;
and she departed, taking Ransom with her, whom my father
wished to place in a German University, and meantime in a
French school. Preston had been placed at the Military Academy
at West Point; my aunt thinking that it made a nice finishing
of a gentleman's education, and would keep him out of mischief
till he was grown to man's estate. I was left alone with Miss
Pinshon to go back to Magnolia and take up my old life there.

CHAPTER VII.

SINGLEHANDED.


As my aunt set sail for the shores of Europe, and Miss Pinshon
and I turned our faces towards Magnolia, I seemed to see
before me a weary winter. I was alone now; there was nobody to
take my part in small or great things; my governess would have
her way. I was so much stronger now that no doubt she thought
I could bear it. So it was. The full tale of studies and tasks
was laid on me; and it lay on me from morning till night.

I had expected that. I had looked also for the comfort and
refreshment of ministering to my poor friends in the kitchen
on the Sunday evenings. I began as usual with them. But as the
Sundays came round, I found now and then a gap or two in the
circle; and the gaps as time went on did not fill up; or if
they did they were succeeded by other gaps. My hearers grew
fewer, instead of more; the fact was undoubted. Darry was
always on the spot; but the two Jems not always, and Pete was
not sure, and Eliza failed sometimes, and others; and this
grew worse. Moreover, a certain grave and sad air replaced the
enjoying, almost jocund, spirit of gladness which used to
welcome me and listen to the reading and join in the prayers
and raise the song. The singing was not less good than it used
to; but it fell oftener into the minor key, and then pouted
along with a steady, powerful volume, deepening and steadying
as it went, which somehow swept over my heart like a wind from
the desert. I could not well tell why, yet I felt it trouble
me; sometimes my heart trembled with the thrill of those sweet
and solemn vibrations. I fancied that Darry's prayers had a
somewhat different atmosphere from the old. Yet when I once or
twice asked Margaret the next morning why such and such a one
had not been at the reading, she gave me a careless answer,
that she supposed Mr. Edwards had found something for them to
do.

"But at night, Margaret?" I said. "Mr. Edwards cannot keep
them at work at night."

To which she made no answer; and I was for some reason
unwilling to press the matter. But things went on, not getting
better but worse, until I could not bear it. I watched my
opportunity and got Maria alone.

"What is the matter," I asked, "that the people do not come on
Sunday evening as they used? Are they tired of the reading,
Maria?"

"I 'spect dey's as tired as a fish mus' be of de water," said
Maria. She had a fine specimen under her hand at the moment,
which I suppose suggested the figure.

"Then why do they not come as usual, Maria? there were only a
few last night."

"Dere was so few, it was lonesome," said Maria.

"Then what is the reason?"

"Dere is more reasons for t'ings, den Maria can make out," —
she said thoughtfully. "Mebbe it's to make 'em love de
priv'lege mo'."

"But what keeps them away, Maria? what hinders?"

"Chile, de Lord hab His angels, and de devil he hab his
ministers; and dey takes all sorts o' shapes, de angels and de
ministers too. I reckon dere's some work o'dat sort goin'on."

Maria spoke in a sort of sententious wisdom which did not
satisfy me at all. I thought there was something behind.

"Who is doing the work, Maria?" I asked, after a minute.

"Miss Daisy," she said, "dere aint no happenin' at all widout
de Lord lets it happen. Dere is much contrairy in dis world, —
fact, dere is! — but I 'spect de Lord make it all up to us
by'm by."

And she turned her face full upon me with a smile of so much
quiet resting in that truth, that for just a moment it
silenced me.

"Miss Daisy aint lookin' quite so peart as she use to look,"
Maria went on. But I slipped away from that diversion.

"Maria," I said, "you don't tell me what is the matter; and I
wish to know. What keeps the people, Pete, and Eliza and all,
from coming? What hinders them, Maria? I wish to know."

Maria busied herself with her fish for a minute, turning and
washing it; then without looking up from her work she said in
a lowered tone, —

" 'Spect de overseer, he don't hab no favour to such ways and
meetin's."

"But, with _me?_" I said; "and with aunt Gary's leave?"

"S'pose he like to fix t'ings his own way," said Maria.

"Does he forbid them to come?" I asked.

"I reckon he do," — she said, with a sigh.

Maria was very even-tempered, quiet, and wise, in her own way.
Her sigh went through my heart. I stood thinking what plan I
could take.

"De Lord is bery good, Miss Daisy," she said, cheerily a
moment after; "I and dem dat love Him, dcre can be no sort
o'separation, no ways."

"Does Mr. Edwards forbid them _all_ to come?" I asked. "For a
good many do come."

" 'Spect he don't like de meetin's, no how," said Maria.

"But does he tell all the people they must not come?"

"I reckon he make it oncomfor'ble for 'em," Maria answered
gravely. "Dere is no end o' de mean ways o' sich folks. Know
he aint no gentleman, no how!"

"What does he do, Maria?" I said; trembling, yet unable to
keep back the question.

"He can do what he please, Miss Daisy," Maria said, in the
same grave way. " 'Cept de Lord above, dere no one can hinder —
now massa so fur. Bes' pray de Lord, and mebbe He sen' his
angel, some time."

Maria's fish was ready for the kettle; some of the other
servants came in; and I went with a heavy heart up the stairs.
"Massa so fur" — yes! I knew that; and Mr. Edwards knew it
too. Once sailed for China; and it would be long, long, before
my cry for help, in the shape of one of my little letters,
could reach him and get back the answer. My heart felt heavy
as if I could die, while I slowly mounted the stairs to my
room. It was not only that trouble was brought upon my poor
friends, nor even that their short enjoyment of the Word of
life was hindered and interrupted; above this and worse than
this was the sense of _wrong_, done to these helpless people,
and done by my own father and mother. This sense was something
too bitter for a child of my years to bear; it crushed me for
a time. Our people had a right to the Bible, as great as mine;
a right to dispose of themselves, as true as my father's right
to dispose of himself. Christ, my Lord, had died for them as
well as for me; and here was my father, — _my father_ —
practically saying that they should not hear of it, nor know
the message He had sent to them. And if anything could have
made this more bitter to me, it was the consciousness that the
reason of it all was that we might profit by it. Those unpaid
hands wrought that our hands might be free to do nothing;
those empty cabins were bare, in order that our houses might
be full of every soft luxury; those unlettered minds were kept
unlettered that the rarest of intellectual wealth might be
poured into our treasury. I knew it. For I had written to my
father once to beg his leave to establish schools, where the
people on the plantation might be taught to read and write. He
had sent a very kind answer, saying it was just like his
little Daisy to wish such a thing, and that his wish was not
against it, if it could be done; but that the laws of the
State, and for wise reasons, forbade it. Greatly puzzled by
this, I one day carried my puzzle to Preston. He laughed at me
as usual, but at the same time explained that it would not be
safe; for that if the slaves were allowed books and knowledge,
they would soon not be content with their condition, and would
be banding together to make themselves free. I knew all this,
and I had been brooding over it; and now when the powerful
hand of the overseer came in to hinder the little bit of good
and comfort I was trying to give the people, my heart was set
on fire with a sense of sorrow and wrong that, as I said, no
child ought ever to know.

I think it made me ill. I could not eat. I studied like a
machine, and went and came as Miss Pinshon bade me; all the
while brooding by myself and turning over and over in my heart
the furrows of thought, which seemed at first to promise no
harvest. Yet those furrows never break the soil for nothing.
In due time the seed fell; and the fruit of a ripened purpose
came to maturity.

I did not give up my Sunday readings; even although the
numbers of my hearers grew scantier. As many as could, we met
together to read and to pray, yes, and to sing. And I shall
never in this world hear such singing again. One refrain comes
back to me now —


"Oh, had I the wings of the morning —
Oh, had I the wings of the morning —
Oh, had I the wings of the morning —
I'd fly to my Jesus away!"


I used to feel so too, as I listened and sometimes sung with
them.

Meantime, all that I could do with my quarterly ten dollars, I
did. And there was many a little bit of pleasure I could give;
what with a tulip here and a cup of tea there, and a bright
handkerchief, or a pair of shoes. Few of the people had spirit
and cultivation enough to care for the flowers. But Maria
cherished some red and white tulips and a hyacinth in heir
kitchen window, as if they had been her children; and to Darry
a white rose-tree I had given him seemed almost to take the
place of a familiar spirit. Even grave Pete, whom I only saw
now and then this winter at my readings, nursed and tended and
watched a bed of crocuses with endless delight and care. All
the while, my Sunday circle of friends grew constantly fewer;
and the songs that were sung at our hindered meetings had a
spirit in them, which seemed to me to speak of a deep-lying
fire somewhere in the hearts of the singers, hidden, but
always ready to burst into a blaze. Was it because the fire
was burning in my own heart?

I met one of the two Jems in the pine avenue one day. He
greeted me with the pleasantest of broad smiles.

"Jem," said I, "why don't you come to the house Sunday
evenings, any more?"

"It don't 'pear practical, missie." Jem was given to large-
sized words, when he could get hold of them.

"Mr. Edwards hinders you?"

"Mass' Ed'ards bery smart man, Miss Daisy. He want massa's
work done up all jus' so."

"And he says that the prayer-meeting hinders the work, Jem?"

"Clar, missis, Mass' Ed'ards got long head; he see furder den
me," Jem said, shaking his own head as, if the whole thing
were beyond him. I let him go. But a day or two after I
attacked Margaret on the subject. She and Jem, I knew, were
particular friends. Margaret was oracular and mysterious, and
looked like a thunder cloud. I got nothing from her, except an
increase of uneasiness. I was afraid to go further in my
inquiries; yet could not rest without. The house servants, I
knew, would not be likely to tell me anything that would
trouble me, if they could help it. The only exception was
mammy Theresa; who with all her love for me had either less
tact, or had grown from long habit hardened to the state of
things in which she had been brought up. From her, by a little
cross questioning, I learned that Jem and others had been
forbidden to come to the Sunday readings; and their disobeying
had been visited with the lash, not once nor twice; till, as
mammy Theresa said, " 'peared like it warn't no use to try to
be good agin de devil."

And papa was away on his voyage to China, away on the high
seas, where no letter could reach him and Mr. Edwards knew
that. There was a fire in my heart now, that burned with sharp
pain. I felt as if it would burn my heart out. And now took
shape and form one single aim and purpose, which became for
years the foremost one of my life. It had been growing and
gathering. I set it clear before me from this time.

Meanwhile, my mother's daughter was not willing to be entirely
baffled by the overseer. I arranged with Darry that I would be
at the Cemetery hill on all pleasant Sunday afternoons; and
that all who wished to hear, me read, or who wished to learn
themselves, might meet me there. The Sunday afternoons were
often pleasant that winter. I was constantly at my post; and
many a one crept round to me from the quarters and made his
way through the graves and the trees to where I sat by the
iron railing. We were safe there. Nobody but me liked the
place. Miss Pinshon and the overseer agreed in shunning it.
And there was promise in the blue sky, and hope in the soft
sunshine, and sympathy in the sweet rustle of the pine leaves.
Why not? Are they not all God's voices. And the words of the
Book were very precious there, to me and many another. I was
rather more left to myself of late. My governess gave me my
lessons quite as assiduously as ever; but after lesson time
she seemed to have something else to take her attention. She
did not walk often with me, as the spring drew near; and my
Sunday afternoons were absolutely unquestioned.

One day in March, I had gone to my favourite place to get out
a lesson. It was not Sunday afternoon of course. I was tired
with my day's work, or I was not very strong; for though I had
work to do, the witcheries of nature prevailed with me to put
down my book. The scent of pine buds and flowers made the air
sweet to smell, and the spring sun made it delicious to feel.
The light won its way tenderly among the trees, touching the
white marble tombstones behind me, but resting with a more
gentle ray upon the moss and turf where only little bits of
rough board marked the sleeping places of our dependants. Just
out of sight, through the still air I could hear the river, in
its rippling, flow past the bank at the top of which I sat. My
book hung in my hand, and the course of Universal History was
forgotten; while I mused and mused over the two sorts of
graves that lay around me, the two races, the diverse fate
that attended them; while one blue sky was over, and one
sunlight fell down. And "while I was musing, the fire burned,"
more fiercely than ever. David's had occasion when he wrote
those words. "Then spake I with my tongue." I would have liked
to do that. But I could do nothing; only pray.

I was very much startled while I sat in my muse, to bear a
footstep coming. A steady, regular, footstep; no light trip of
children; and the hands were in the field, and this was not a
step like any of them. My first thought was, the overseer!
come to spy me out. The next minute I saw through the trees
and the iron railings behind me, that it was not the overseer.
I knew _his_ wide-awake; and this head was crowned with some
sort of a cap. I turned my head again and sat quiet; willing
to be overlooked, if that might be. The steps never slackened.
I heard them coming round the railing — then just at the
corner — I looked up, to see the cap lifted, and a smile
coming upon features that I knew; but my own thoughts were so
very far away that my visitor had almost reached my side
before I could recollect who it was. I remember I got up then
in a little hurry.

"It is Doctor Sandford!" I exclaimed, as his hand took mine.

"Is it Daisy?" answered the doctor.

"I think so," I said.

"And I _think so_," he said, looking at me after the old
fashion. "Sit down, and let me make sure."

"You must sit on the grass, then," I said.

"Not a bad thing, in such a pleasant place," he rejoined,
sending his blue eye all round my prospect. "But it is not so
pleasant a place as White Lake, Daisy."

Such a flood of memories and happy associations came rushing
into my mind at these words, — he had not given them time to
come in slowly, — I suppose my face showed it. The doctor
looked at me and smiled.

"I see it _is_ Daisy," he said. "I think it certainly Daisy. So
you do not like Magnolia?"

"Yes, I do," I said, wondering where he got that conclusion.
"I like the _place_ very much, if —"

"I should like to have the finishing of that 'if' — if you
have no objection."

"I like the _place_," I repeated. "There are some things about
it I do not like."

"Climate, perhaps?"

"I did not mean the climate. I do not think I meant anything
that belonged to the place itself."

"How do you do?" was the doctor's next question.

"I am very well, sir."

"How do you know it?"

"I suppose I am," I said. "I am not sick. I always say I am
well."

"For instance, you are so well that you never get tired?"

"Oh, I get tired very often. I always did."

"What sort of things make you tired? Do you take too long
drives in your pony-chaise?"

"I have no pony-chaise now, Dr. Sandford. Loupe was left at
Melbourne. I don't know what became of him."

"Why didn't you bring him along? But any other pony would do,
Daisy."

"I don't drive at all, Dr. Sandford. My aunt and governess do
not like to have me drive as I used to do. — I wish I could!"

"You would like to use your pony-chaise again?"

"Very much. I know it would rest me."

"And you have a governess, Daisy? That is something you had
not at Melbourne."

"No —" I said.

"A governess is a very nice thing," said the doctor, taking
off his hat and leaning back against the iron railing, — "if
she knows properly how to set people to play."

"To play!" I echoed. I don't know whether Miss Pinshon
approves of play."

"Oh! She approves of work then, does she?"

"She likes work," I answered.

"Keeps you busy?"

"Most of the day, sir."

"The evenings you have to yourself?"

"Sometimes. Not always. Sometimes I cannot get through with my
lessons, and they stretch on into the evening."

"How many lessons does this lady think a person of your age
and capacity can manage in the twenty-four hours?" said the
doctor, taking out his knife as he spoke and beginning to trim
the thorns off a bit of sweet-briar he had cut. I stopped to
make the reckoning.

"Give me the course of your day, Daisy. And, by the by, when
does your day begin?"

"It begins at half past seven, Dr. Sandford."

"With breakfast?"

"No, sir. I have a recitation before breakfast."

"Please, of what?"

"Miss Pinshon always begins with mathematics."

"As a bitters. Do you find that it gives you an appetite?"

By this time I was very near bursting into tears. The familiar
voice and way, the old time they brought back, the contrasts
they forced together, the different days of Melbourne and of
my Southern home, the forms and voices of mamma and papa, —
they all came crowding and flitting before me. I was obliged
to delay my answer. I knew that Dr. Sandford looked at me;
then he went on in a very gentle way —

"Sweetbriar is sweet, — Daisy" — putting it to my nose. "I
should like to know, how long does mathematics last, before
you are allowed to have coffee?"

"Mathematics only lasts half an hour. But then I have an hour
of study in Mental Philosophy before breakfast. We breakfast
at nine."

"It must take a great deal of coffee to wash down all that,"
said the doctor lazily trimming his sweetbriar. "Don't you
find that you are very hungry when you come to breakfast?"

"No, not generally," I said.

"How is that? Where there is so much sharpening of the wits,
people ought to be sharp otherwise."

"My wits do not get sharpened," I said, half laughing. "I
think they get dull; and I am often dull altogether by
breakfast time."

"What time in the day do you walk?"

"In the afternoon — when we have done with the schoolroom. But
lately Miss Pinshon does not walk much."

"So you take the best of the day for philosophy?"

"No, sir, for mathematics."

"Oh! — Well, Daisy, _after_ philosophy and mathematics have both
had their turn; what then? when breakfast is over."

"Oh, they have two or three more turns in the course; of the
day," I said. "Astronomy comes after breakfast; then Smith's
_Wealth of Nations_; then Chemistry. Then I have a long History
lesson to recite; then French. After dinner we have Natural
Philosophy, and Physical Geography and Mathematics; and then
we have generally done."

"And then what is left of you goes to walk," said the doctor.

"No, not very often now," I said. "I don't know why, Miss
Pinshon has very much given up walking of late."

"Then what becomes of you?"

"I do not often want to do much of anything," I said. "To-day
I came here."

"With a book," said the doctor. "Is it work or play?"

"My History lesson," I said, showing the book. "I had not
quite time enough at home."

"How much of a lesson, for instance?" said the doctor, taking
the book and turning over the leaves.

"I had to make a synopsis of the state of Europe from the
third century to the tenth; — synchronising the event and the
names."

"In writing?"

"I might write it if I chose, — I often do, — but I have to
give the synopsis by memory."

"Does it take long to prepare, Daisy?" said the doctor, still
turning over the leaves.

"Pretty long," I said, "when I am stupid. Sometimes I cannot
do the synchronising, my head gets so thick; and I have to
take two or three days for it."

"Don't you get punished, for letting your head get thick?"

"Sometimes I do."

"And what is the system of punishment at Magnolia for such
deeds?"

"I am kept in the house for the rest of the afternoon
sometimes," I said; "or I have an extra problem in mathematics
to get out for the next morning."

"And _that_ keeps you in, if the governess don't."

"Oh, no," I said; "I never can work at it then. I get up
earlier the next morning."

"Do you do nothing for exercise but those walks, which you do
not take?"

"I used to ride last year," I said; "and this year I was
stronger, and Miss Pinshon gave me more studies; and somehow I
have not cared to ride so much. I have felt more like being
still."

"You must have grown tremendously wise, Daisy," said the
doctor, looking round at me now with his old pleasant smile. I
cannot tell the pleasure and comfort it was to me to see him;
but I think I said nothing.

"It is near the time now when you always leave Magnolia — is
it not?"

"Very near now."

"Would it trouble you to have the time a little anticipated?"

I looked at him, in much doubt what this might mean. The
doctor fumbled in his breast pocket and fetched out a letter.

"Just before your father sailed for China, he sent me this. It
was some time before it reached me; and it was some time
longer before I could act upon it."

He put a letter in my hand, which I, wondering, read. It said,
the letter did, that papa was not at ease about me; that he
was not satisfied with my aunt's report of me, nor with the
style of my late letters; and begged Dr. Sandford would run
down to Magnolia at his earliest convenience and see me, and
make enquiry as to my well-being; and if he found things not
satisfactory, as my father feared he might and judged that the
rule of Miss Pinshon had not been good for me on the whole, my
father desired that Dr. Sandford would take measures to have
me removed to the North and placed in one of the best schools
there to be found; such a one as Mrs. Sandford might
recommend. The letter further desired, that Dr. Sandford would
keep a regular watch over my health, and suffer no school
training nor anything else to interfere with it; expressing
the writer's confidence that Dr. Sandford knew better than any
one what was good for me.

"So you see, Daisy," the doctor said, when I handed him back
the letter, "your father has constituted me in some sort your
guardian, until such time as he comes back."

"I am very glad," I said, smiling.

"Are you? That is kind. I am going to act upon my authority
immediately, and take you away."

"From Magnolia?" I said breathlessly.

"Yes. Wouldn't you like to go and see Melbourne again for a
little while?"

"Melbourne!" said I; and I remember how my cheeks grew warm.
"But — will Miss Pinshon go to Melbourne?"

"No; she will not. Nor anywhere else, Daisy, with my will and
permission, where you go. Will that distress you very much?"

I could not say yes, and I believe I made no answer, my
thoughts were in such a whirl.

"Is Mrs. Sandford in Melbourne — I mean, near Melbourne —
now?" I asked at length.

"No, she is in Washington. But she will be going to the old
place before long. Would you like to go, Daisy?"

I could hardly tell him. I could hardly think. It began to
rush over me, that this parting from Magnolia was likely to be
for a longer time than usual. The river murmured by — the
sunlight shone on the groves on the hillside. Who would look
after my poor people?

"You like Magnolia after all?" said the doctor. "I do not
wonder, as far as Magnolia goes. You are sorry to leave it."

"No," I said, — "I am not sorry at all to leave Magnolia; I am
very glad. I am only sorry to leave — some friends."

"Friends —" said the doctor.

"Yes."

"How many friends?"

"I don't know," said I. "I think there are a hundred or more."

"Seriously?"

"Oh, yes," I said, "They are all on the place here."

"How long will you want, Daisy, to take proper leave of these
friends?"

I had no idea he was in such practical haste; but I found it
was so.

CHAPTER VIII.

EGYPTIAN GLASS.


It became necessary for me to think how soon I could be ready,
and arrange to get my leave-takings over by a certain time.
Dr. Sandford could not wait for me. He was an army surgeon
now, I found, and stationed at Washington. He had to return to
his post and leave Miss Pinshon to bring me up to Washington.
I fancy matters were easily arranged with Miss Pinshon. She
was as meek as a lamb. But it never was her way to fight
against circumstances. The doctor ordered that I should come
up to Washington in a week or two.

I did not know till he was gone, what a hard week it was going
to be.

As soon as he had turned his back upon Magnolia, my leave-
takings began. I may say they began sooner: for in the morning
after his arrival, when Margaret was in my room, she fell to
questioning me about the truth of the rumour that had reached
the kitchen. Jim said I was going away, not to come back. I do
not know how he had got hold of the notion. And when I told
her it was true, she dropped the pine splinters out of her
hands, and rising to her feet, besought me that I would take
her with me. So eagerly she besought me, that I had much
difficulty to answer.

"I shall be in a school, Margaret," I said. "I could not have
anybody there to wait on me."

"Miss Daisy won't never do everything for herself."

"Yes, I must," I said. "All the girls do."

"I'd hire out then, Miss Daisy, while you don't want me — I'd
be right smart — and I'd bring all my earnin's to you regular.
'Deed I will! Till Miss Daisy want me herself."

I felt my cheeks flush. She would bring _her_ earnings to _me_.
Yes, that was what we were doing.

"Clar, Miss Daisy, do don't leave me behind! I could take
washin' and do all Miss Daisy's things up right smart — don't
believe they knows how to do things up there! — I'll come to
no good if I don't go with Miss Daisy, sure."

"You can be good here as well as anywhere, Margaret," I said.

"Miss Daisy don' know. Miss Daisy, 'spose the devil walkin'
round about a place; — think it a nice place fur to be good
in?"

"The devil is not in Magnolia more than anywhere else," I
said.

"Dere Mass' Edwards, —" Margaret said half under her breath.
Even in my room she would not speak the name out loud.

The end of it was, that I wrote up to Washington to Dr
Sandford to ask if I might take the girl with me; and his
answer came back, that if it were any pleasure to me I
certainly might. So that matter was settled. But the parting
with the rest was hard. I do not know whether it was hardest
for them or for me. Darry blessed me and prayed for me. Maria
wept over me. Theresa mourned and lamented. Tears and wailings
came from all the poor women who knew me best and used to come
to the Sunday readings; and Pete took occasion to make private
request, that when I was grown, or when at any time I should
want a man servant, I would remember and send for him. He
could do anything, he said; he could drive horses or milk cows
or take care of a garden, or _cook_. It was said in a subdued
voice, and though with a gleam of his white circle of teeth at
the last mentioned accomplishment, it was said with a depth of
grave earnestness which troubled me. I promised as well as I
could; but my heart was very sore for my poor people, left now
without anybody, even so much as a child, to look after their
comfort and give them any hopes for one world or the other.

Those heavy days were done at last. Margaret was speedy with
my packing; — a week from the time of Dr. Sandford's coming, I
had said my last lesson to Miss Pinshon, read my last reading
to my poor people, shaken the last hand-shakings; and we were
on the little steamer plying down the Sands river.

I think I was wearied out; for I remember no excitement or
interest about the journey, which ought to have had so much
for me. In a passive state of mind I followed Miss Pinshon
from steamer to station; from one train of cars to another;
and saw the familiar landscape flit before me as the cars
whirled us on. At Baytown we had been joined by a gentleman
who went with us all the rest of the way; and I began by
degrees to comprehend that my governess had changed her
vocation, and instead of taking care, as heretofore, was going
to be taken care of. It did not interest me. I saw it, that
was all. I saw Margaret's delight, too, shown by every quick
and thoughtful movement that could be of any service to me,
and by a certain inexpressible air of deliverance which sat on
her, I cannot tell how, from her bonnet down to her shoes. But
her delight reminded me of those that were not delivered.

I think, of all the crushing griefs that a young person can be
called to bear, one of the sorest is the feeling of wrong-
doing on the part of a beloved father or mother. I was sure
that my father, blinded by old habit and bound by the laws of
the country, did not in the least degree realise the true
state of the matter. I knew that the real colour of his gold
had never been seen by him. Not the less, _I_ knew now that it
was bloody; and what was worse, though I do not know _why_ it
should be worse, I knew that it was soiled. I knew that greed
and dishonour were the two collectors of our revenue, and
_wrong_ our agent. Do I use strong words? They are not too
strong for the feelings which constantly bore upon my heart,
nor too bitter; though my childish heart never put them into
such words at the time. That my father did not know, saved my
love and reverence for him; but it did not change anything
else.

In the last stage of our journey, as we left a station where
the train had stopped, I noticed a little book left on one of
the empty seats of the car. It lay there and nobody touched
it; till we were leaving the car at Alexandria and almost
everybody had gone out, and I saw that it lay there still and
nobody would claim it. In passing I took it up. It was a neat
little book, with gilt edges; no name in it; and having its
pages numbered for the days of the year. And each page was
full of Bible words. It looked nice. I put the book in my
pocket; and on board the ferryboat opened it again, and looked
for the date of the day in March where we were. I found the
words — "He preserveth the way of His saints." They were the
words heading the page. I had not time for another bit; but as
I left the boat this went into my heart like a cordial.

It was a damp, dark morning. The air was chill as we left the
little boat cabin; the streets were dirty; there was a
confusion of people seeking carriages or porters or baggage or
custom; then suddenly I felt as if I had lighted on a tower of
strength, for Dr. Sandford stood at my side. A good-humoured
sort of a tower he looked to me, in his steady, upright
bearing; and his military coat helped the impression of that.
I can see now his touch of his cap to Miss Pinshon, and then
the quick glance which took in Margaret and me. In another
minute I had shaken hands with my governess, and was in a
carriage with Margaret opposite me; and Dr. Sandford was
giving my baggage in charge to somebody. And then he took his
place beside me and we drove off. And I drew a long breath.

"Punctual to your time, Daisy," said the doctor. "But what
made you choose such a time? How much of yourself have you
left by the way?"

"Miss Pinshon liked better to travel all night," I said,
"because there was no place where she liked to stop to spend
the night."

"What was your opinion on that subject?"

"I was more tired than she was, I suppose."

"Has she managed things on the same system for the four years
past?"

The doctor put the question with such a cool gravity, that I
could not help laughing. Yet I believe my laughing was very
near crying. At first he did so put me in mind of all that was
about me when I used to see him in that time long before. And
an inexpressible feeling of comfort was in his presence now;
a feeling of being taken care of. I had been looked after,
undoubtedly, all these years; — sharply looked after; there
was never a night that I could go to sleep without my
governess coming in to see that I was in my room, or in bed,
and my clothes in order, and my light where it ought to be.
And my aunt had not forgotten me; nor her perplexities about
me. And Preston had petted me, when he was near. But even
Preston sometimes lost sight of me in the urgency of his own
pleasure or business. There was a great difference in the
strong hand of Dr. Sandford's care; and if you had ever looked
into his blue eyes, you would know that they forgot nothing.
They had always fascinated me; they did now.

Mrs. Sandford was not up when we got to the house where she
was staying. It was no matter, for a room was ready for me;
and Dr. Sandford had a nice little breakfast brought, and saw
me eat it, just as if I were a patient. Then he ordered me to
bed, and charged Margaret to watch over me, and he went away,
as he said, till luncheon time.

I drew two or three long breaths as Margaret was undressing
me; I felt so comfortable.

"Are Miss Pinshon done gone away, Miss Daisy?" my handmaid
asked.

"From Magnolia? yes."

"Where she gwine to?"

"I don't know."

"Then she don't go no furder along the way we're goin'?"

"No. I wonder, Margaret, if they will have any prayer-meetings
in Magnolia now?" For with the mention of Magnolia my thoughts
swept back.

" 'Spect the overseer have his ugly old way!" Margaret uttered
with great disgust. "Miss Daisy done promise me, I go 'long
with Miss Daisy?" she added anxiously.

"Yes. But what makes you want to get away from home more than
all the rest of them?"

"Reckon I'dc done gone kill myself, s'pose. Miss Daisy leave
me there," the girl said gloomily. "If dey send me down South,
I _would_."

"Send you South!" I said; "they would not do that, Margaret."

"Dere was man wantin' to buy me — give mighty high price de
overseer said." In excitement Margaret's tongue sometimes grew
thick like those of her neighbours.

"Mr. Edwards has no right to sell anybody away from the
place," I insisted, in mixed unbelief and horror.

"Dunno," said Margaret. "Don't make no difference, Miss Daisy.
Who care what he do? Dere's Pete's wife —"

"Pete's wife?" said I. "I didn't know Pete was married! What
of Pete's wife?"

"Dat doctor will kill me, for sure!" said Margaret, looking at
me. "Do, don't, Miss Daisy! The doctor say you must go right
to bed, now. See! you aint got your clothes off."

"Stop," said I. "What about Pete's wife?"

"I done forget. I thought Miss Daisy knowed. Mebbe it's before
Miss Daisy come home."

"What?" said I. "What —?"

"It's nothin", Miss Daisy. "The overseer he done got mad with
Pete's wife and he sold her down South, he did."

"Away from Pete?" said I.

"Pete, he's to de old place," said Margaret laconically.
" 'Spect he forgot all about it by dis time. Miss Daisy please
have her clothes off and go to bed?"

There was nothing more to wait for. I submitted, was
undressed; but the rest and sleep which had been desired were
far out of reach now. Pete's wife? — my good, strong, gentle,
and I remembered always _grave_, Pete! My heart was on fire with
indignation and torn to pieces with sorrow, both at once. Torn
with the helpless feeling too that I could not mend the wrong.
I do not mean this individual wrong, but the whole state of
things under which such wrong was possible. I was restless on
my bed, though very weary. I would rather have been up and
doing something, than to lie and look at my trouble; only that
being there kept me out of the way of seeing people and of
talking. Such things done under my father and mother's own
authority, — on their own land, — to their own helpless
dependants; whom yet it was _they_ made helpless and kept
subject to such possibilities. I turned and tossed, feeling
that I _must_ do something, while yet I knew I could do nothing.
Pete's wife! And where was she now? And _that_ was the secret of
the unvarying grave shadow that Pete's brow always wore. And
now that I had quitted Magnolia, no human friend for the
present remained to all that crowd of poor and ignorant and
needy humanity. Even their comfort of prayer forbidden;
except such comfort as each believer might take by himself
alone.

I did not know, I never did know till long after, how to many
at Magnolia that prohibition wrought no harm. I think Margaret
knew, and even then did not dare tell me. How the meetings for
prayer were not stopped. How watch was kept on certain nights,
till all stir had ceased in the little community; till lights
were out in the overseer's house (and at the great house,
while we were there); and how then, silently and softly from
their several cabins, the people stole away through the woods,
to a little hill beyond the cemetery, quite far out of hearing
or ken of anybody; and there prayed, and sang too, and
"praised God and shouted," as my informant told me; not
neglecting all the while to keep a picket watch about their
meeting place, to give the alarm in case anybody should come.
So under the soft moonlight skies and at depth of night, the
meetings which I had supposed broken up, took new life, and
grew, and lived; and prayers did not fail; and the Lord
hearkened and heard.

It would have comforted me greatly if I could have known this
at the time. But as I said, I suppose Margaret dared not tell
me. After a long while of weary tossing and heart ache, sleep
came at last to me; but it brought Pete and his wife and the
overseer and Margaret in new combinations of trouble; and I
got little refreshment.

"Now you have waked up, Miss Daisy?" said Margaret when I
opened my eyes. "That poundin' noise has done waked you!"

"What noise?"

"It's no Christian noise," said Margaret. "What's the use of
turnin' the house into a clap of thunder like that? But a man
was makin' it o' purpose, for I went out to see; and he telled
me it was to call folks to luncheon. Will you get up, Miss
Daisy?"

Margaret spoke as if she thought I had much better lie still;
but I was weary of the comfort I had found there and disposed
to try something else. I had just time to be ready, before Dr.
Sandford came for me and took me to his sister-in-law. Mrs.
Sandford welcomed me with great kindness, even tenderness;
exclaimed at my growth; but I saw by her glance at the doctor
that my appearance in other respects struck her unfavourably.
He made no answer to that, but carried us off to the luncheon
room.

There were other people lodging in the house besides my
friends; a long table was spread. Dr. Sandford, I saw, was an
immense favourite. Questions and demands upon his attention
came thick and fast, from both ends and all sides of the
table; about all sorts of subjects and in all manner of tones,
grave and gay. And he was at home to them all, but in the
midst of it never forgot me. He took careful heed to my
luncheon; prepared one thing, and called for another; it
reminded me of a time long gone by; but it did not help me to
eat. I could not eat. The last thing he did was to call for a
fresh raw egg, and break it into a half glass of milk. With
this in his hand we left the dining-room. As soon as we got to
Mrs. Sandford's parlour he gave it to me and ordered me to
swallow it. I suppose I looked dismayed.

"Poor child!" said Mrs. Sandford. "Let me have it beaten up
for her, Grant, with some sugar; she can't take it so."

"Daisy has done harder things," he said.

I saw he expected me to drink it, and so I did, I do not know
how.

"Thank you," he said, smiling, as he took the glass. "Now sit
down and I will talk to you."

"How she is growing tall, Grant!" said Mrs. Sandford.

"Yes," said he. "Did you sleep well, Daisy?"

"No, sir; I couldn't sleep. And then I dreamed."

"Dreaming is not a proper way of resting. So tired you could
not sleep?"

"I do not think it was that, Dr. Sandford."

"Do you know what it was?"

"I think I do," — I said, a little unwillingly.

"She is getting very much the look of her mother," Mrs.
Sandford remarked again. "Don't you see it, Grant?"

"I see more than that," he answered. "Daisy, do you think this
governess of yours has been a good governess?"

I looked wearily out of the window, and cast a weary mental
look over the four years of algebraics and philosophy, at the
bright little child I saw at the further end of them.

"I think I have grown dull, Dr. Sandford," I said.

He came up behind me, and put his arms round me, taking my
hand in his, and spoke in quite a different tone.

"Daisy, have you found many 'wonderful things' at Magnolia?"

I looked up, I remember, with the eagerness of a heart full of
thoughts, into his face; but I could not speak then.

"Have you looked through a microscope since you have been
there? and made discoveries?"

"Not in natural things, Dr. Sandford."

"Ha!" said the doctor. "Do you want to go and take a drive
with me?"

"Oh, yes!"

"Go and get ready then, please."

I had a very pleasant, quiet drive; the doctor showing me, as
he said, not wonderful things but new things, and taking means
to amuse me. And every day for several days I had a drive.
Sometimes we went to the country, sometimes got out and
examined something in the city. There was a soothing relief in
it all, and in the watchful care taken of me at home, and the
absence of mathematics and philosophy. All day when not
driving or at meals, I lay on Mrs. Sandford's sofa or curled
myself up in the depth of a great easy chair, and turned over
her books; or studied my own blue book which I had picked up
in the car, and which was so little I had Margaret make a big
pocket in my frock to hold it. But this life was not to last.
A few days was all Mrs. Sandford had to spend in Washington.

The place I liked best to go to was the Capitol. Several times
Dr. Sandford took me there, and showed me the various great
rooms, and paintings, and smaller rooms with their beautiful
adornments; and I watched the workmen at work; for the
renewing of the building was not yet finished. As long as he
had time to spare, Dr. Sandford let me amuse myself as I
would; and often got me into talks which refreshed me more
than anything. Still, though I was soothed, my trouble at
heart was not gone. One day we were sitting looking at the
pictures in the great vestibule, when Dr. Sandford suddenly
started a subject which put the Capitol out of my head.

"Daisy," said he, "was it your wish or Margaret's, that she
should go North with you?"

"Hers," I said, startled.

"Then it is not yours particularly?"

"Yes, it is, Dr. Sandford, _very_ particularly."

"How is that?" said he.

I hesitated. I shrank from the whole subject; it was so
extremely sore to me.

"I ought to warn you," he went on, "that if you take her
further, she may if she likes leave you, and claim her
freedom. That is the law. If her owner takes her into the free
States, she may remain in them if she will, whether he does or
not."

I was silent still, for the whole thing choked me. I was quite
willing she should have her freedom, get it any way she could;
but there was my father, and his pleasure and interest, which
might not choose to lose a piece of his property — and my
mother and _her_ interest and pleasure; I knew what both would
be. I was dumb.

"You had not thought of this before?" the doctor went on.

"No, sir."

"Does it not change your mind about taking her on?"

"No, sir."

"Did it ever occur to you, or rather, does it not occur to you
now, that the girl's design in coming may have been this very
purpose of her freedom?"

"I do not think it was," I said.

"Even if not, it will be surely put in her head by other
people before she has been at the North long; and she will
know that she is her own mistress."

I was silent still. I knew that I wished she might!

"Do you not think," Dr. Sandford went on, "that in this view
of the case we had better send her back to Magnolia when you
leave Washington?"

"No," I said.

"I think it would be better," he repeated.

"Oh, no!" I said. "Oh, no, Dr. Sandford. I can't send her
back. You will not send her hack, will you?"

"Be quiet," he said, holding fast the hand which in my
earnestness I had put in his; "she is not my servant; she is
yours; it is for you to say what you will do."

"I will not send her back," I said.

"But it may be right to consider what would be Mr. Randolph's
wish on the subject. If you take her, he may lose several
hundred dollars' worth of property; it is right for me to warn
you; would he choose to run the risk."

I remember now what a fire at my heart sent the blood to my
face. But with my hand in Dr. Sandford's, and those blue eyes
of his reading me, I could not keep back my thought.

"She ought to be her own mistress" — I said.

A brilliant flash of expression filled the blue eyes and
crossed his face. — I could hardly tell what, before it was
gone. Quick surprise — pleasure — amusement - agreement; the
first and the two last certainly; and the pleasure I could not
help fancying had lent its colour to that ray of light, which
had shot for one instant from those impenetrable eyes. He
spoke just as usual.

"But Daisy, have you studied this question?"

"I think, I have studied nothing else, Dr. Sandford!"

"You know the girl is not yours, but your father's."

"She isn't anybody's —" I said slowly, and with slow tears
gathering in my heart.

"How do you mean?" said he, with again the quiver of a smile
upon his lips.

"I mean," I said, struggling with my thoughts and myself, "I
mean, that nobody could have a right to her."

"Did not her parents belong to your father?"

"To my mother."

"Then she does."

"But, Dr. Sandford," I said, "nobody can belong to anybody in
that way."

"How do you make it out, Daisy?"

"Because, nobody can give anybody a _right_ to anybody else — in
that way."

"Does it not give your mother a right, that the mother of this
girl and probably her grandmother were the property of your
ancestors?"

"They could not be their property justly," I said, glad to get
back to my ancestors.

"The law made it so."

"Not God's law, Dr. Sandford," I said, looking up at him.

"No? Does not that law give a man a right to what he has
honestly bought?"

"No," I said, "it _can't_ — not if it has been dishonestly
sold."

"Explain, Daisy," said Dr. Sandford, very quietly; but I saw
the gleam of that light in his eye again. I had gone too far
to stop. I went on, ready to break my heart over the right and
the wrong I was separating.

"I mean, the _first_ people that sold the first of these
coloured people, —" I said.

"Well?" said the doctor.

"They could not have a right to sell them."

"Yes. Well?"

"Then the people that bought them could not have a right, any
more," I said.

"But, Daisy," said Dr. Sandford, "do you know that there are
different opinions on this very point?"

I was silent. It made no difference to me.

"Suppose for the moment that the first people, as you say, had
no precise right to sell the men and women they brought to
this country; yet those who bought them and paid honest money
for them, and possessed them from generation to generation, —
had not they a _right_ to pass them off upon other hands,
receiving their money back again?"

"I don't know how to explain it," I said. "I mean — if at
first — Dr. Sandford, hadn't the people that were sold, hadn't
they rights too?"

"Rights of what sort?"

"A right to do what they liked with themselves, and to earn
money, and to keep their wives?"

"But those rights were lost, you know, Daisy."

"But _could_ they be?" I said. "I mean — Dr. Sandford, for
instance, suppose somebody stole your watch from you; would
you lose the right to it?"

"It _seems_ to me that I should not, Daisy."

"That is what I mean," I said.

"But there is another view of the case, Daisy. Take Margaret,
for instance. From the time she was a child, your father's, or
your mother's, money has gone to support her; her food and
clothing and living have been wholly at their expense. Does
not that give them a right to her services? ought they not to
be repaid?"

I did not want to speak of my father and mother and Margaret.
It was coming too near home. I knew the food and clothing Dr.
Sandford spoke of; I knew a very few months of a northern
servant's wages would have paid for it all; was this girl's
whole life to be taken from her, and by my father and mother,
and for such a cause? The feeling of grief and wrong and shame
got possession of me. I was ready to break my heart in tears;
but I could not show Dr. Sandford what I felt, nor confess to
what I thought of my father's action. I had the greatest
struggle with myself not to give way and cry. I was very weak
bodily, but I know I stood still and did not shed a tear; till
I felt Dr. Sandford's hands take hold of me. They put me
gently back in the chair from which I had risen.

"What is the matter, Daisy?" he said.

I would not speak, and he did not urge it; but I saw that he
watched me, till I gained command of myself again.

"Shall we go home now?" he asked.

"In a minute. Dr. Sandford, I do not think papa knows about
all this — I do not think he knows about it as I do. I am sure
he does not; and when he knows, he will think as I do."

"Or perhaps you will think as he does."

I was silent. I wondered if that could be possible, if I too
could have my eyes blinded as I saw other people's were.

"Little Daisy," said my friend the doctor, — "but you are
getting to be not _little_ Daisy. How old are you?"

"I shall be fourteen in June."

"Fourteen. Well, it is no wonder that my friend whom I left a
philosopher at ten years old, I should find a woman at
fourteen — but, Daisy, you must not take it on your heart that
you have to teach all the ignorant and help all the distressed
that come in your way; because simply you cannot do it."

I looked up at him. I could not tell him what I thought,
because he would not, I feared, understand it. Christ came to
do just such work, and His servants must have it on their
heart to do the same. I cannot tell what was in my look; but I
thought the doctor's face changed.

"One Molly Skelton will do for one four years," he said as he
rose up. "Come, Daisy."

"But, Dr. Sandford," I said, as I followed him, "you will not
do anything about sending Margaret back?"

"Nothing, till you do, Daisy."

Arrived at home, the doctor made me drink a raw egg, and lie
down on Mrs. Sandford's sofa; and he sat down and looked at
me.

"You are the most troublesome patient that ever I had," said
he.

"I am?" I exclaimed.

"Yes. Quite innocently. You cannot help it, Daisy; and you
need not be troubled about it. It is all in the way of my
profession. It is as if a delicate vessel of Egyptian glass
were put to do the work of an iron smelting furnace; and I
have to think of all the possible bands and hardening
appliances that can be brought into use for the occasion."

"I do not understand —" I said.

"No. I suppose not. That is the worst of it."

"But why am I all _Egyptian_ glass?" I asked. "I am not very
old."

The doctor gave me one of those quick, bright glances and
smiles, that were very pleasant to get from him and not very
common. There came a sort of glow and sparkle in his blue eye
then, and a wonderful winsome and gracious trick of the lips.

"It is a very doubtful sort of a compliment," said Mrs.
Sandford.

"I did not mean it for a compliment at all," said the doctor.

"I don't believe you did," said his sister; "but what did you
mean? Grant, I should like to hear you pay a compliment for
once."

"You do not know Egyptian glass," said the doctor.

"No. What was it?"

"Very curious."

"Didn't I say that you couldn't pay compliments," said Mrs.
Sandford.

"And unlike any that is made now-a-days. There were curious
patterns wrought in the glass, made, it is supposed, by the
fusing together of rods of glass, extremely minute, of
different colours; so that the pattern once formed was
ineffaceable and indestructible, unless by the destruction of
the vessel which contained it. Sometimes a layer of gold was
introduced between the layers of glass."

"How very curious!" said Mrs. Sandford.

"I think I must take you into consultation, Daisy," the doctor
went on, turning to me. "It is found, that there must be a
little delay before you can go up to take a look at Melbourne.
Mrs. Sandford is obliged to stop in New York with a sick
sister; how long she may be kept there it is impossible to
say. Now you would have a dull time, I am afraid; and I am in
doubt whether it would not be pleasanter for you to enter
school at once. In about three months the school term will end
and the summer vacation begin; by that time Mrs. Sandford will
be at home and the country ready to receive you. But you shall
do whichever you like best."

"Mrs. Sandford will be in New York?" I said.

"Yes."

"And I would see you constantly, dear, and have you with me
all the Saturdays and Sundays and holidays. And if you like it
better, you shall be with me all the time; only I should be
obliged to leave you alone too much."

"How long does the summer vacation last?" I inquired.

"Till some time in September. You can enter school now, or
then, as you choose."

I thought and hesitated, and said I would enter at once. Dr.
Sandford said I was not fit for it, but it was on the whole
the best plan. So it was arranged; that I should just wait a
day or two in New York to get my wardrobe in order and then
begin my school experience.

But my thoughts went back afterwards, more than once, to the
former conversation; and I wondered what it was about me that
made Dr. Sandford liken me to Egyptian glass.

CHAPTER IX.

SHOPPING.


It was settled that I should wait a day or two in New York to
get my wardrobe arranged, and then begin my school experience.
But when we got to New York, we found Mrs. Sandford's sister
so ill as to claim her whole time. There was none to spare for
me and my wardrobe. Mrs. Sandford said I must attend to it
myself as well as I could, and the doctor would go with me. He
was off duty, he reported, and at leisure for ladies' affairs.
Mrs. Sandford told me what I would need. A warm school dress,
she said; for the days would be often cold in this latitude
until May, and even later; and schoolrooms not always warm. A
warm dress for every day was the first thing. A fine merino,
Mrs. Sandford said, would be, she thought, what my mother
would choose. I had silks which might be warm enough for other
occasions. Then I must have a thick coat or cloak. Long coats,
with sleeves, were fashionable then, she told me; the doctor
would take me where I would find plenty to choose from. And I
needed a hat, or a bonnet. Unless, Mrs. Sandford said, I chose
to wear my riding cap with the feather; that was warm, and
very pretty, and would do.

How much would it all cost? I asked. Mrs. Sandford made a
rapid calculation. The merino would be two dollars a yard, she
said; the coat might be got for thirty-five or thereabouts
sufficiently good; the hat was entirely what I chose to make
it. "But you know, my dear," Mrs. Sandford said, "the sort of
quality and style your mother likes, and you will be guided by
that."

Must I be guided by that? — I questioned with myself. Yes, I
knew. I knew very well; but I had other things to think of. I
pondered. While I was pondering, Dr. Sandford was quietly
opening his pocket-book and unfolding a roll of bills. He put
a number of them into my hand.

"That will cover it all, Daisy," he said. "It is money your
father has made over to my keeping, for this and similar
purposes."

"Oh, thank you !" I said, breathless; and then I counted the
bills. "Oh, thank you, Dr. Sandford! but may I spend all
this?"

"Certainly. Mr. Randolph desired it should go, this and more
of it, to your expenses, of whatever kind. This covers my
sister's estimate, and leaves something for your pocket
besides."

"And when shall we go?" I asked.

"To spend it? Now, if you like. Why, Daisy, I did now know —"

"What, sir?" I said as he paused.

"Really, nothing," he said, smiling. "Somehow I had not
fancied that you shared the passion of your sex for what they
call _shopping_. You are all alike, in some things."

"I like it very much to-day," I said.

"It would be safe, for you to keep Daisy's money in your own
pocket, Grant," Mrs. Sandford said. "It will be stolen from
her, certainly."

The doctor smiled and stretched out his hand; I put the bills
into it; and away we went. My head was very busy. I knew, as
Mrs. Sandford said, the sort and style of purchases my mother
would make and approve; but then on the other hand the
remembrance was burnt into me, whence that money came which I
was expected to spend so freely, and what other uses and calls
for it there were, even in the case of those very people whose
hands had earned it for us. Not to go further, Margaret's
wardrobe needed refitting quite as much as mine. She was quite
as unaccustomed as I to the chills and blasts of a cold
climate, and full as a unfurnished to meet them. I had seen
her draw her thin checked shawl around her, when I knew it was
not enough to save her from the weather, and that she had no
more. And her gowns, of thin cotton stuff, such as she wore
about her housework at Magnolia, were a bare provision against
the nipping bite of the air here at the North. Yet nobody
spoke of any addition to _her_ stock of clothes. It was on my
heart alone. But now it was in my hand too, and I felt very
glad; though just how to manage Dr. Sandford I did not know. I
thought a great deal about the whole matter as we went through
the streets; as I had also thought long before; and my mind
was clear, that while so many whom I knew needed the money, or
while _any_ whom I knew needed it, I would spend no useless
dollars upon myself. How should I manage Dr. Sandford? There
he was, my cash-keeper; and I had not the least wish to unfold
my plans to him.

"I suppose the dress is the first thing, Daisy," he said, as
we entered the great establishment where everything was to be
had; and he inquired for the counter where we should find
merinos. I had no objection ready.

"What colour, Daisy?"

"I want something dark —"

"Something dark and bright," said the doctor, seating himself.
"And fine quality. Not green, Daisy, if I might advise. It is
too cold."

"Cold!" said I.

"For this season. It is a very nice colour in summer, Daisy,"
he said, smiling.

And he looked on in a kind of amused way, while the clerk of
the merinos and I confronted each other. There was displayed
now before me a piece of claret-coloured stuff; "dark and
bright ;" a beautiful tint, and a very beautiful piece of
goods. I knew enough of the matter to know that. Fine and
thick and lustrous, it just suited my fancy; I knew it was
just what my mother would buy; I saw Dr. Sandford's eye watch
me in its amusement with a glance of expectation. But the
stuff was two dollars and a quarter a yard. Yes, it suited me
exactly; but what was to become of others if I were covered so
luxuriously? And how could I save money if I spent it? It was
hard to speak, too, before that shopman, who held the merino
in his hand expecting me to say I would take it; but I had no
way to escape that trouble. I turned from the rich folds of
claret stuff, to the doctor at my side.

"Dr. Sandford," I said, "I want to get something that will not
cost so much.

"Does it not please you?" he asked.

"Yes; I like it; but I want some stuff that will not cost so
much."

"This is not far above my sister's estimate, Daisy."

"No —" I said.

"And the difference is a trifle — if you like the piece."

"I like it," I said; "but it is very much above my estimate."

"You had one of your own!" said the doctor. "Do you like
something else here better? — or what is your estimate,
Daisy?"

"I do not want a poor merino," I said. "I would rather get
some other stuff — if I can. I do not want to give more than a
dollar."

"The young lady may find what will suit her at the plaid
counter," said the shopman, letting fall the rich drapery he
had been holding up. — "Just round that corner, sir, to the
left."

Dr. Sandford led the way, and I followed. There certainly I
found a plenty of warm stuffs, in various patterns and
colours, and with prices as various. But nothing to match the
grave elegance of those claret folds. It was coming down a
step, to leave that counter for this. I knew it perfectly
well; while I sought out the simplest and prettiest dark small
plaid I could find.

"Do you like these things better?" the doctor asked me
privately.

"No, sir," I said.

"Then why come here, Daisy? Pardon me, may I ask?"

"I have other things to get, Dr. Sandford," I said low.

"But, Daisy!" said the doctor, rousing up, — "I have performed
my part ill. You are not restricted — your father has not
restricted you. I am your banker for whatever sums you may
need — for whatever purposes."

"Yes," I said; "I know. Oh no, I know papa has not restricted
you; but I think I ought not to spend any more. It is my own
affair."

"And not mine. Pardon me, Daisy; I submit."

"Dr. Sandford, don't speak so!" I said. "I don't mean that. I
mean, it is my own affair and not papa's."

"Certainly, I have no more to say," said the doctor, smiling.

"I will tell you about it," — I said; and then I desired the
shopman to cut off the dress I had fixed upon; and we went up
stairs to look for cloaks; I feeling hot and confused and half
perplexed. I had never worn such a dress as this plaid I had
bought, in my life. It was nice and good, and pretty too; but
it did not match the quality or the elegance of the things my
mother always had got for me. _She_ would not have liked it nor
let me wear it; I knew that; but then — whence came the wealth
that flowed over in such exquisite forms upon her and upon me?
were not its original and proper channels bare? And whence
were they to be, even in any measure, refilled, if all the
supply must, as usual, be led off in other directions? I mused
as I went up the stair, feeling perplexed nevertheless at the
strangeness of the work I was doing, and with something in my
heart giving a pull to my judgment towards the side of what
was undoubtedly "pleasant to the eyes." So I followed Dr.
Sandford up the stair and into the wilderness of the cloak
department; where all manner of elegancies, in silk and velvet
and cloth, were displayed in orderly confusion. It was a
wilderness to me, in the mood of my thoughts. Was I going to
repeat here the process just gone through down stairs?

The doctor seated me, asked what I wanted to see, and gave the
order. And forthwith my eyes were regaled with a variety of
temptations. A nice little black silk pelisse was hung on the
stand opposite me; it was nice; a good gloss was upon the
silk, the article was in the neatest style, and trimmed with
great simplicity. I would have been well satisfied to wear
that. By its side was displayed another of velvet; then yet
another of very fine dark cloth; perfect in material and make,
faultless in its elegance of finish. But the silk was forty-
five, and the cloth was forty, and the velvet was sixty
dollars. I sat and looked at them. There is no denying that I
wanted the silk or the cloth. Either of them would do. Either
of them was utterly girl-like and plain, but both of them had
the finish of perfection, in make, style, and material. I
wanted the one or the other. But, if I had it, what would be
left for Margaret?

"Are you tired, Daisy?" said Dr. Sandford, bending down to
look in my face.

"No, sir. At least, that is not what I was thinking of."

"What then?" said he. "Will one of these do?"

"They would do," I said slowly. "But, Dr. Sandford, I should
like to see something else — something that would do for
somebody that was poorer than I."

"Poorer?" said the doctor, looking funny. "What is the matter,
Daisy? Have you suddenly become bankrupt? You need not be
afraid, for the bank is in my pocket; and I know it will stand
all your demands upon it."

"No, but — I would indeed, if you please, Dr. Sandford. These
things cost too much for what I want now."

"Do you like them?"

"I like them very well."

"Then take one, whichever you like best. That is my advice to
you, Daisy. The bank will bear it."

"I think I must not. Please, Dr. Sandford, I should like to
see something that would not cost so much. Do they _all_ cost as
much as these?"

The doctor gave the order, as I desired. The shopman who was
serving us cast another comprehensive glance at me — I had
seen him give one at the beginning — and tossing off the
velvet coat and twisting off the silk one, he walked away.
Presently came back with a brown silk which he hung in the
place of the velvet one, and a blue cloth, which replaced the
black silk. Every whit as costly, and almost as pretty, both
of them.

"No," said the doctor, — "you mistook me. We want to look at
some goods fitted for persons who have not long purses."

"Something inferior to these —" said the man. He was not
uncivil; he just stated the fact. In accordance with which he
replaced the last two coats with a little grey dreadnought,
and a black cloth; the first neat and rough, the last not to
be looked at. It was not in good taste, and a sort of thing
that I neither had worn nor could wear. But the grey
dreadnought was simple and warm and neat, and would offend
nobody. I looked from it to the pretty black cloth which still
hung opposed to it, the one of the first two. Certainly, in
style and elegance _this_ looked like my mother's child, and the
other did not. But this was forty dollars. The dreadnought was
exactly half that sum. I had a little debate with myself — I
remember it, for it was my first experience of that kind of
thing — and all my mother's training had refined in me the
sense of what was elegant and fitting, in dress as well as in
other matters. Until now, I had never had my fancy crossed by
anything I ever had to wear. The little grey dreadnought — how
would it go with my silk dresses? It was like what I had seen
other people dressed in; never my mother or me. Yet it was
perfectly fitting a lady's child, if she could not afford
other; and where was Margaret's cloak to come from? And who
had the best right? I pondered and debated, and then I told
Dr. Sandford I would have the grey coat. I believe I half
wished he would make some objection; but he did not; he paid
for the dreadnought and ordered it sent home; and then I began
to congratulate myself that Margaret's comfort was secure.

"Is that all, Daisy?" my friend asked.

"Dr. Sandford," said I, standing up and speaking low, "I want
to find — can I find here, do you think? — a good warm cloak
and dress for Margaret."

"For Margaret!" said the doctor.

"Yes; she is not used to the cold, you know; and she has
nothing to keep her comfortable."

"But, Daisy!" said the doctor, — "Sit down here again; I must
understand this. Was _Margaret_ at the bottom of all these
financial operations?"

"I knew she wanted something, ever since we came from
Washington," I said.

"Daisy, she could have had it."

"Yes, Dr. Sandford; — but —"

"But what, if you will be so good?"

"I think it was right for me to get it."

"I am sorry I do not agree with you at all. It was for _me_ to
get it — I am supplied with funds, Daisy — and your father has
entrusted to me the making of all arrangements which are in
any way good for your comfort. I think, with your leave, I
shall reverse these bargains. Have you been all this time
pleasing Margaret and not yourself?"

"No, sir," I said, — "if you please. I cannot explain it, Dr.
Sandford; but I know it is right."

"What is right, Daisy? My faculties are stupid."

"No, sir; but — let it be as it is, please."

"But won't you explain it? I ought to know what I am giving my
consent to, Daisy; for just now I am constituted your
guardian. What has Margaret to do with your cloaks? There is
enough for both."

"But," said I, in a great deal of difficulty, — "there is not
enough for me and everybody."

"Are you going to take care of the wants of everybody?"

"I think — I ought to take care of all that I can," I said.

"But you have not the power."

"I won't do but what I _have_ the power for."

"Daisy, what would your father and mother say to such a course
of action? would they allow it, do you think?"

"But _you_ are my guardian now, Dr. Sandford," — I said, looking
up at him. He paused a minute doubtfully.

"I am conquered!" he said. "You have absolutely conquered me,
Daisy. I have not a word to say. I wonder if that is the way
you are going through the world in future? What is it now
about Margaret? — for I was bewildered and did not
understand."

"A warm cloak and dress," I said, delighted; "that is what I
want. Can I get them here?"

"Doubtful, I should say," the doctor answered; "but we will
try."

And we did succeed in finding the dress, strong and warm and
suitable; the cloak we had to go to another shop for. On the
way we stopped at the milliner's. My aunt Gary and Mrs.
Sandford employed the same one.

"I put it in your hands, Daisy!" Dr. Sandford said, as we went
in. "Only let me look on."

I kept him waiting a good while, I am afraid; but he was very
patient and seemed amused. I was not. The business was very
troublesome to me. This was not so easy a matter as to choose
between stuffs and have the yards measured off. Bonnets are
bonnets, as my aunt always said; and things good in themselves
may not be in the least good for you. And I found the thing
that suited was even more tempting here than it had been in
the cloak ware-room. There was a little velvet hat which I
fancied mamma would have bought for me; it was so stylish, and
at the same time so simple, and became me so well. But it was
of a price corresponding with its beauty. I turned my back on
it, though I seemed to see it just as well through the back
of my head, and tried to find something else. The milliner
would have it there was nothing beside that fitted me. The hat
must go on.

"She has grown," said the milliner, appealing to Dr. Sandford;
"and you see this is the very thing. This tinge of colour
inside is just enough to relieve the pale cheeks. Do you see,
sir?"

"It is without a fault," said the doctor.

"Take it off, please," I said. "I want to find something that
will not cost so much — something that will not cost near so
much."

"There is that cap that is too large for Miss Van Allen —" the
milliner's assistant remarked.

"It would not suit Mrs. Randolph at all," was the answer
aside.

But I begged to see it. Now this was a comfortable, soft
quilted silk cap, with a chinchilla border. Not much style
about it, but also nothing to dislike, except its simplicity.
The price was moderate, and it fitted me.

You are going to be a different Daisy Randolph from what you
have been all your life — something whispered to me. And the
doctor said, "That makes you look about ten years old again,
Daisy." I had a minute of doubt and delay; then I said I would
have the cap; and the great business was ended.

Margaret's purchases were all found, and we went home, with
money still in my bank, Dr. Sandford informed me. I was very
tired; but on the whole I was very satisfied. Till my things
came home, and I saw that Mrs. Sandford did not like them.

"I wish I could have been with you!" she said.

"What is the matter?" said the doctor. It was the evening, and
we were all together for a few minutes, before Mrs. Sandford
went to her sister.

"Did you choose these things, Grant?"

"What is the matter with them?"

"They are hardly suitable."

"For the third time, what is the matter with them?" said the
doctor.

"They are neat, but they are not _handsome_."

"They will look handsome when they are on," said Dr. Sandford.

"No, they won't; they will look common. I don't mean _vulgar_ —
you could not buy anything in bad taste — but they are just
what anybody's child might wear."

"Then Mrs. Randolph's child might."

Mrs. Sandford gave him a look. "That is just the thing," she
said. "Mrs. Randolph's child might _not_. I never saw anybody
more elegant or more particular about the choice of her dress
than Mrs. Randolph; it is always perfect; and Daisy's always
was. Mrs. Randolph would not like these."

"Shall we change them, Daisy?" said the doctor.

I said "no —".

"Then I hope they will wear out before Mrs. Randolph comes
home," he said.

All this, somehow, made me uncomfortable. I went off to the
room which had been given to me, where a fire was kept; and I
sat down to think. Certainly, I would have liked the other
coat and hat better, that I had rejected; and the thought of
the rich soft folds of that silky merino were not pleasant to
me. The plaid I had bought _did_ wear a common look in
comparison. I knew it, quite as well as Mrs. Sandford; and
that I had never worn common things; and I knew that in the
merino, properly made; I should have looked my mother's child;
and that in the plaid my mother would not know me. Was I
right? was I wrong? I knelt down before the fire, feeling that
the straight path was not always easy to find. Yet I had
thought I saw it before me. I knelt before the fire, which was
the only light in the room, and opened the page of my dear
little book that had the Bible lessons for every day. This
day's lesson was headed, "That ye adorn the doctrine of God
our Saviour in all things."

The mist began to clear away. Between adorning and being
adorned, the difference was so great, it set my face quite
another way directly. I went on. "Let your conversation be as
it becometh the gospel of Christ."

And how should that be? Certainly the spirit of that gospel
had no regard to self-glorification; and had most tender
regard to the wants of others. I began to feel sure that I was
in the way and not out of it. Then came — "If ye be reproached
for the name of Christ, happy are ye. But let none of you
suffer . . . _as a thief, or as an evildoer_" — "Let your light
so shine before men" — "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee;
bind them about thy neck;" — "Whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are _just_ . . .
think on these things."

The words came about me, binding up my doubts, making sound my
heart, laying a soft touch upon every rough spot in my
thoughts. True, honest, just, lovely, and of good report —
yes, I would think on these things, and I would not be turned
aside from them. And if I suffered as a Christian, I
determined that I would not be ashamed; I prayed that I might
never; I would take as no dishonour the laughter or the
contempt of those who did not see the two sides of the
question; but as a _thief_ I would not suffer. I earnestly
prayed that I might not. No beauty of dresses or stylishness
of coats or bonnets should adorn me, the price of which God
saw belonged and was due to the suffering of others; more
especially, to the wants of those whose wants made my supply.
That my father and mother, with the usage of old habit, and
the influence of universal custom, should be blind to what I
saw so clearly, made no difference in my duty. I had the light
of the Bible rule, which was not yet, I knew, the lamp to
their feet. I must walk by it, all the same. And my thought
went back now with great tenderness to mammy Theresa's
rheumatism, which wanted flannel; to Maria's hyacinths, which
were her great earthly interest, out of the things of religion;
to Darry's lonely cottage, where he had no lamp to read the
Bible o' nights, and no oil to burn in it. To Pete's solitary
hut, too, where he was struggling to learn to read well, and
where a hymn-book would be the greatest comfort to him. To the
old people, whose one solace of a cup of tea would be gone
unless I gave it them; to the boys who were learning to read,
who wanted testaments; to the bed-ridden and sick who wanted
blankets; to the young and well who wanted gowns (not indeed
for decency, but for the natural pleasure of looking neat and
smart) — and to Margaret, first and last, who was nearest to
me, and who, I began to think, might want some other trifles
besides a cloak. The girl came in at the minute.

"Margaret," I said, "I have got you a warm gown and a good
thick warm cloak, to-day."

"A cloak! Miss Daisy —" Margaret's lips just parted and showed
the white beneath.

"Yes. I saw you were not warm in that thin shawl."

"It's mighty cold up these ways! —" the girl's shoulders drew
together with involuntary expression.

"And now, Margaret, what other things do you want, to be nice
and comfortable? You must tell me now, because after I go to
school I cannot see you often, you know."

"Reckon I find something to do at the school, Miss Daisy. Aint
there servants?"

"Yes, but I am afraid there may not be another wanted. What
else ought you to have, Margaret?"

"Miss Daisy knows, I'll hire myself out, and reckon I'll get a
right smart chance of wages; and then, if Miss Daisy let me
take some change, I'd like to get some things —"

"You may keep all your wages, Margaret," I said hastily; "you
need not bring them to me; but I want to know if you have all
you need now, to be nice and warm?"

" 'Spect I'd be better for some underclothes —" Margaret said,
half under her breath.

Of course! I knew it the moment she said it. I knew the
scanty, coarse supply which was furnished to the girls and
women at Magnolia; I knew that more was needed for neatness as
well as for comfort, and something different, now that she was
where no evil distinction would arise from her having it. — I
said I would get what she wanted; and went away back to the
parlour. I mused as I went. If I let Margaret keep her wages —
and I was very certain I could not receive them from her — I
must be prepared to answer it to my father. Perhaps, — yes, I
felt sure as I thought about it — I must contrive to save the
amount of her wages out of what was given to myself; or else
my grant might be reversed and my action disallowed, or at
least greatly disapproved. And my father had given me no right
to dispose of Margaret's wages, or of herself.

So I came into the parlour. Dr. Sandford alone was there,
lying on the sofa. He jumped up immediately; pulled a great
arm chair near to the fire, and taking hold of me, put me into
it. My purchases were lying on the table, where they had been
disapproved; but I knew what to think of them now. I could
look at them very contentedly.

"How do they seem, Daisy?" said the doctor, stretching himself
on the cushions again, after asking my permission and pardon.

"Very well" — I said, smiling.

"You are satisfied?"

I said "yes."

"Daisy," said he, "you have conquered me to-day — I have
yielded — I own myself conquered; but, won't you enlighten me?
As a matter of favour?"

"About what, Dr. Sandford?"

"I don't understand you."

I remember looking at him and smiling. It was so curious a
thing, both that he should, in his philosophy, be puzzled by a
child like me, and that he should care about undoing the
puzzle.

"There!" said he, — "that is my old little Daisy of ten years
old. Daisy, I used to think she was an extremely dainty and
particular little person."

"Yes —" said I.

"Was that correct?"

"I don't know," said I. "I think it was."

"Then, Daisy, honestly, — I am asking as a philosopher, and
that means a lover of knowledge, you know, — did you choose
those articles to-day to please yourself?"

"In one way, I did," I answered.

"Did they appear to you as they did to Mrs. Sandford, — at the
time?"

"Yes, Dr. Sandford."

"So I thought. — Then, Daisy, will you make me understand it?
For I am puzzled."

I was sorry that he cared about the puzzle, for I did not want
to go into it. I was almost sure he would not make it out if I
did.

However, he lay there looking at me and waiting.

"Those other things cost too much, Dr. Sandford — that was
all."

"There is the puzzle!" said the doctor. "You had the money in
your bank for them, and money for Margaret's things too, and
more if you wanted it; and no bottom to the bank at all, so
far as I could see. And you like pretty things, Daisy, and you
did not choose them."

"No, sir."

I hesitated, and he waited. How was I to tell him. He would
simply find it ridiculous. And then I thought — "If any of you
suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed."

"I thought I should be comfortable in these things, Dr.
Sandford," I then said, glancing at the little chinchilla cap
which lay on the table; — "and respectable. And there were
other people who needed all the money the other things would
have cost."

"What other people?" said the doctor. "As I am your guardian,
Daisy, it is proper for me to ask, and not impertinent."

I hesitated again. "I was thinking," I said, "of some of the
people I left at Magnolia."

"Do you mean the servants?"

"Yes, sir."

"Daisy, they are cared for."

I was silent.

"What do you think they want?"

"Some that are sick want comfort," I said; "and others who are
not sick want help; and others, I think, want a little
pleasure." I would fain not have spoken, but how could I help
it? The doctor brought his feet off the sofa and sat up and
confronted me.


"In the meantime," he said, "you are to be 'comfortable and
respectable.' But, Daisy, do you think your father and mother
would be satisfied with such a statement of your condition?"

"I suppose not," I was obliged to say.

"Then do you think it is proper for me to allow such to be the
fact?"

I looked at him. What there was in my look it is impossible
for me to say; but he laughed a little.

"Yes," he said, — "I know — you have conquered me to-day. I
own myself conquered — but the question I ask you is, whether
I am justifiable?"

"I think that depends," I answered, on whether I am
justifiable."

"Can you justify yourself, Daisy?" — he said, bringing his
hand clown gently over my smooth hair and touching my cheek.
It would have vexed me from anybody else; it did not vex me
from him. "Can you justify yourself, Daisy?" he repeated.

"Yes, sir," I said; but I felt troubled.

"Then do it."

"Dr. Sandford, the Bible says, 'Whatsoever ye would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them.' "

"Well?" said he, refusing to draw any conclusions for me.

"I have more than I want, and they have not enough. I don't
think I ought to keep more than I want."

"But then arises the question," said he, "how much do you
want? Where is the line, beyond which you, or I, for instance,
have too much?"

"I was not speaking of anybody but myself," I said.

"But a rule of action which is the right one for you, would be
right for everybody."

"Yes, but everybody must apply it for himself," I said. "I was
only applying it for myself."

"And applying it for yourself, Daisy, is it to cut off for the
future — or ought it — all elegance and beauty? Must you
restrict yourself to mere 'comfort and respectability'? Are
fur and feathers for instance wicked things?"

He did not speak mockingly; Dr. Sandford never could do an
ungentlemanly thing; he spoke kindly and with a little
rallying smile on his face. But I knew what he thought.

"Dr. Sandford," said I, "suppose I was a fairy, and that I
stripped the gown off a poor woman's back to change it into a
feather, and stole away her blankets to make them into fur;
what would you think of fur and feathers then?"

There came a curious lightning through the doctor's blue eyes.
I did not know in the least what it meant.

"Do you mean to say, Daisy, that the poor people down yonder
at Magnolia want such things as gowns and blankets?"

"Some do," I said. "You know, nobody is there, Dr. Sandford,
to look after them; and the overseer does not care. It would
be different if papa was at home."

"I will never interfere with you any more, Daisy," said the
doctor, — "any further than by a little very judicious
interference; and you shall find in me the best helper I can
be to all your plans. You may use me — you have conquered me,"
— said he, smiling, and laying himself back on his cushions
again.

I was very glad it had ended so, for I could hardly have
withstood Dr. Sandford if he had taken a different view of the
matter. And his help, I knew, might be very good in getting
things sent to Magnolia.

CHAPTER X.

SCHOOL.


I had another time the next day between Mrs Sandford and the
mantua-maker. The mantua-maker came to take orders about
making my school dress.

"How will you have it trimmed?" she asked. "This sort of stuff
will make no sort of an appearance unless it is well trimmed.
It wants that. You might have a border of dark green leaves —
dark green, like the colour of this stripe — going round the
skirt; that would have a good effect; the leaves set in and
edged with a very small red cord, or green if you like it
better. We trimmed a dress so last week, and it made a very
good appearance."

"What do you say, Daisy?"

"How much will it cost?" I asked.

"Oh, the cost is not very much," said the milliner. "I suppose
we would do it for you, Mrs. Sandford, for twenty-five
dollars."

"That is too much," I said.

"You wouldn't say so, if you knew the work it is to set those
leaves round," said the mantua-maker. "It takes hours and
hours; and the cording and all. And the silk, you know, Mrs.
Sandford, _that_ costs now-a-days. It takes a full yard of the
silk, and no washy lining silk, but good stiff dress silk.
Some has 'em made of velvet, but to be sure that would not be
suitable for a common stuff like this. It will be very common,
Mrs. Sandford, without you have it handsomely trimmed."

"Couldn't you put some other sort of trimming?"

"Well, there's no other way that looks _distinguι_ on this sort
of stuff; that's the most stylish. We could put a band of rows
of black velvet — an inch wide, or half an inch; if you have
it narrower you must put more of them; and then the sleeves
and body to match; but I don't think you would like it so well
as the green leaves. A great many people has 'em trimmed so;
you like it a little out of the common, Mrs. Sandford. Or, you
could have a green ribband."

"How much would _that_ be?" said Mrs. Sandford.

"Oh, really I don't just know," the woman answered; "depends
on the ribband; it don't make much difference to you, Mrs.
Sandford; it would be — let me see, — Oh, I suppose we could
do it with velvet for you for fifteen or twenty dollars. You
see, there must be buttons or rosettes at the joinings of the
velvets; and those come very expensive."

"How much would it be, to make the dress plain?" I asked.

"_That_ would be plain," the mantua-maker answered quickly. "The
style is, to trim everything very much. Oh, that would be
quite plain, with the velvet."

"But without any trimming at all?" I asked. "How much would
that be?" I felt an odd sort of shame at pressing the
question; yet I knew I must.

"Without trimming!" said the woman. "Oh, you could not have it
_without trimming;_ there is nothing made without trimming; it
would have no appearance at all. People would think you had
come out of the country. No young ladies have their dresses
made without trimming this winter."

"Mrs. Sandford," said I, "I should like to know what the dress
would be without trimming."

"What would it be, Melinda?" The woman was only a forewoman of
her establishment.

"Oh, well, Mrs. Sandford, the naked dress I have no doubt
could be made for you for five dollars."

"You would not have it _so_, Daisy, my dear?" said Mrs.
Sandford.

But I said I would have it so. It cost me a little difficulty,
and a little shrinking, I remember, to choose this and to hold
to it in the face of the other two. It was the last battle of
that campaign. I had my way; but I wondered privately to
myself whether I was going to look very unlike the children of
other ladies in my mother's position; and whether such
severity over myself was really needed. I turned the question
over again in my own room, and tried to find out why it
troubled me. I could not quite tell. Yet I thought, as I was
doing what I knew to be duty, I had no right to feel this
trouble about it. The trouble wore off before a little thought
of my poor friends at Magnolia. But the question came up again
at dinner.

"Daisy," said Mrs. Sandford, "did you ever have anything to do
with the Methodists?"

"No, ma'am," I said, wondering. "What are the Methodists?"

"I don't know, I am sure," she said, laughing; "only they are
people who sing hymns a great deal, and teach that nobody
ought to wear gay dresses."

"Why?" I asked.

"I can't say. I believe they hold that the Bible forbids
ornamenting ourselves."

I wondered if it did; and determined I would look, And I
thought the Methodists must be nice people.

"What is on the carpet now?" said the doctor. "Singing or
dressing? You are attacking Daisy, I see, on some score."

"She won't have her dress trimmed," said Mrs. Sandford.

The doctor turned round to me, with a wonderful genial
pleasant expression of his fine face; and his blue eye, that I
always liked to meet full, going through me with a sort of
soft power. He was not smiling, yet his look made me smile.

"Daisy," said he, "are you going to make yourself unlike other
people?"

"Only my dress, Dr. Sandford," I said.

"L'habit, c'est l'homme! —" he answered gravely, shaking his
head.

I remembered his question and words many times in the course
of the next six months.

In a day or two more my dress was done, and Dr. Sandford went
with me to introduce me at the school. He had already made the
necessary arrangements. It was a large establishment, reckoned
the most fashionable, and at the same time one of the most
thorough, in the city; the house, or houses, standing in one
of the broad clear Avenues, where the streams of human life
that went up and down were all of the sort that wore trimmed
dresses and rolled about in handsome carriages. Just in the
centre and height of the thoroughfare Mme. Ricard's
establishment looked over it. We went in at a stately doorway,
and were shown into a very elegant parlour; where at a grand
piano a young lady was taking a music lesson. The noise was
very disagreeable; but that was the only disagreeable thing in
the place. Pictures were on the walls, a soft carpet on the
floor; the colours of carpet and furniture were dark and rich;
books and trinkets and engravings in profusion gave the look
of cultivated life and the ease of plenty. It was not what I
had expected; nor was Mme. Ricard, who came in noiselessly and
stood before us while I was considering the wonderful
moustache of the music teacher. I saw a rather short, grave
person, very plainly dressed, — but indeed I never thought of
the dress she wore. The quiet composure of the figure, was
what attracted me, and the peculiar expression of the face. It
was sad, almost severe; so I thought it at first; till a smile
once for an instant broke upon the lips, like a flitting
sunbeam out of a cloudy sky; then I saw that kindliness was
quite at home there, and sympathy and a sense of merriment
were not wanting; but the clouds closed again, and the look of
care, or sorrow, I could not quite tell what it was, only that
it was unrest, retook its place on brow and lip. The eye I
think never lost it. Yet it was a searching and commanding
eye; I was sure it knew how to rule.

The introduction was soon made, and Dr. Sandford bid me good
bye. I felt as if my best friend was leaving me; the only one
I had trusted in since my father and mother had gone away. I
said nothing, but perhaps my face showed my thought, for he
stooped and kissed me.

"Good bye, Daisy. Remember, I shall expect a letter every
fortnight."

He had ordered me before to write him as often as that, and
give him a minute account of myself; how many studies I was
pursuing, how many hours I gave to them each day, what
exercise I took, and what amusement; and how I throve withal.
Mme. Ricard had offered to show me my room, and we were
mounting the long stairs while I thought this over.

"Is Dr. Sandford your cousin, Miss Randolph?" was the question
which came in upon my thoughts.

"No, ma'am," I answered in extreme surprise.

"Is he any relation to you?"

"He is my guardian."

"I think Dr. Sandford told me that your father and mother are
abroad?"

"Yes, ma'am; and Dr. Sandford is my guardian."

We had climbed two flights of stairs, and I was panting. As we
went up, I had noticed a little unusual murmur of noises which
told me I was in a new world. Little indistinguishable noises,
the stir and hum of the busy hive into which I had entered.
Now and then a door had opened, and a head or a figure came
out; but as instantly went back again on seeing Madame, and
the door was softly closed. We reached the third floor. There
a young lady appeared at the further end of the gallery, and
curtseyed to my conductress.

"Miss Bentley," said Madame, "this is your new companion, Miss
Randolph. Will you be so good as to show Miss Randolph her
room?"

Madame turned and left us, and the young lady led me into the
room she had just quitted. A large room, light and bright, and
pleasantly furnished; but the one thing that struck my
unaccustomed eyes was the evidence of fulness of occupation.
One bed stood opposite the fireplace; another across the head
of that, between it and one of the windows; a third was
between the doors on the inner side of the room. Moreover, the
first and the last of these were furnished with two pillows
each. I did not in the moment use my arithmetic; but the
feeling which instantly pressed upon me was that of want of
breath.

"This is the bed prepared for you, I believe," said my
companion civilly, pointing to the third one before the
window. "There isn't room for anybody to turn, round here
now."

I began mechanically to take off my cap and gloves, looking
hard at the little bed, and wondering what other rights of
possession were to be given me in this place. I saw a
washstand in one window and a large mahogany wardrobe on one
side of the fireplace; a dressing table or chest of drawers
between the windows. Everything was handsome and nice;
everything was in the neatest order; but — where were my
clothes to go? Before I had made up my mind to ask, there came
a rush into the room; I supposed, of the other inmates. One
was a very large, fat, dull-faced girl; I should have thought
her a young woman, only that she was here in a school.
Another, bright and pretty and very good-humoured if there was
any truth ill her smiling black eyes, was much slighter and
somewhat younger; a year or two in advance of myself. The
third was a girl about my own age, shorter and smaller than I,
with also a pretty face, but an eye that I was not so sure of.
She was the last one to come in, and she immediately stopped
and looked at me; I thought, with no pleasure.

"This is Miss Randolph, girls," said Miss Bentley. "Miss
Randolph, Miss Macy."

I curtseyed to the fat girl, who gave me a little nod.

"I am glad she isn't as big as I am," was her comment on the
introduction. I was glad, too.

"Miss Lansing —"

This was bright-eyes, who bowed and smiled — she always smiled
— and said, "How do you do?" Then rushed off to a drawer in
search of something.

"Miss St. Clair, will you come and be introduced to Miss
Randolph?"

The St. Clair walked up demurely and took my hand. Her words
were in abrupt contrast. "Where are her things going, Miss
Bentley?" I wondered that pretty lips could be so ungracious.
It was not temper which appeared on them, but cool rudeness.

"Madame said we must make some room for her," Miss Bentley
answered.

"I don't know where," remarked Miss Macy. "_I_ have not two
inches."

"She can't have a peg nor a drawer of mine," said the St.
Clair. "Don't you put her there, Bentley." And the young lady
left us with that.

"We must manage it somehow," said Miss Bentley. "Lansing, look
here, — can't you take your things out of this drawer? Miss
Randolph has no place to lay anything. She must have a little
place, you know."

Lansing looked up with a perplexed face, and Miss Macy
remarked that nobody had a bit of room to lay anything.

"I am very sorry —" I said.

"It is no use being sorry, child," said Miss Macy, "we have
got to fix it, somehow. I know who _ought_ to be sorry. Here — I
can take this pile of things out of this drawer; that is all I
can do. Can't she manage with this half?"

But Miss Lansing came and made her arrangements, and then it
was found that the smallest of the four drawers was cleared
and ready for my occupation.

"But if we give you a whole drawer," said Miss Macy, "you must
be content with one peg in the wardrobe — will you?"

"Oh, and she can have one or two hooks in the closet," said
bright-eyes. "Come here, Miss Randolph — I will show you —"

And there in the closet I found was another place for washing,
with cocks for hot and cold water; and a press and plenty of
iron hooks; with also plenty of dresses and hats hanging on
them. Miss Lansing moved and changed several of these, till
she had cleared a space for me.

"There —" she said, "now you'll do, won't you? I don't believe
you can get a scrap of a corner in the wardrobe; Macy and
Bentley and St. Clair take it up so. _I_ haven't but one dress
hanging there, but you've got a whole drawer in the bureau."

I was not very awkward and clumsy in my belongings, but an
elephant could scarcely have been more bewildered if he had
been requested to lay his proboscis up in a glove box. "I
cannot put a dress in the drawer," I remarked.

"Oh, you can hang one up, here, under your cap; and that is
all any of us do. Our things, all except our everyday things,
go down stairs in our trunks. Have you many trunks?"

I told her no, only one. I did not know why it was a little
disagreeable to me to say that. The feeling came and passed. I
hung up my coat and cap, and brushed my hair; my new companion
looking on. Without any remark, however, she presently rushed
off, and I was left alone. I began to appreciate that. I sat
down on the side of my little bed, — to my fancy the very
chairs were appropriated, — and looked at my new place in the
world.

Five of us in that room! I had always had the comfort of great
space and ample conveniences about me; was it a luxury I had
enjoyed? It had seemed nothing more than a necessity. And now,
must I dress and undress myself before so many spectators?
could I not lock up anything that belonged to me? were all my
nice and particular habits to be crushed into one drawer and
smothered on one or two clothes pins? Must everything I did be
seen? And above all, where could I pray? I looked round in a
sort of fright. There was but one closet in the room, and that
was a washing closet, and held besides a great quantity of
other people's belongings. I could not, even for a moment,
shut it against them. In a kind of terror, I looked to make
sure that I was alone, and fell on my knees. It seemed to me
that all I could do was to pray every minute that I should
have to myself. They would surely be none too many. Then
hearing a footstep somewhere, I rose again and took from my
bag my dear little book. It was so small I could carry it
where I had not room for my Bible. I looked for the page of
the day, I remember now, with my eyes full of tears.

"Be watchful" — were the first words that met me. Ay, I was
sure I would need it; but how was a watch to be kept up, if I
could never be alone to take counsel with myself? I did not
see it; this was another matter from Miss Pinshon's unlocked
door. After all, that door had not greatly troubled me; my
room had not been of late often invaded. Now I had no room.
What more would my dear little book say to me?

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a
roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

Was the battle to go so hard against me? and what should I do
without that old and well-tried weapon of "all-prayer"?
Nothing; I should be conquered. I must have and keep that, I
resolved; if I lay awake and got up at night to use it. Dr.
Sandford would not like such a proceeding; but there were
worse dangers than the danger of lessened health. I _would_
pray; but what next?

"Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently." — "What
I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."

I stood by the side of my bed, dashing the tears from my eyes.
Then I heard, as I thought, some one coming, and in haste
looked to see what else might be on the page; what further
message or warning. And something like a sunbeam of healing
flashed into my heart with the next words.

"Fear thou not: for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am
thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I
will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness."

"I, the Lord thy God, will hold thy right hand."

I was healed. I put up my little book in my bag again, feeling
whole and sound. It did not matter that I was crowded and
hindered and watched; for it was written also, "He preserveth
the way of his saints;" and I was safe.

I sat a little while longer alone. Then came a rush and rustle
of many feet upon the stairs, many dresses moving, many voices
blending in a little soft roar; as ominous as the roar of the
sea which one hears in a shell. My four room-mates poured into
the room, accompanied by one or two others; very busy and
eager about their affairs that they were discussing. Meanwhile
they all began to put themselves in order.

"The bell will ring for tea directly," said Miss Macy,
addressing herself to me, — "are you ready?"

"Tisn't much trouble to fix _her_ hair —" said my friend with
the black eyes.

Six pair of eyes for a moment were turned upon me.

"You are too old to have your hair so," remarked Miss Bentley.
"You ought to let it grow."

"Why don't you?" said Miss Lansing.

"She is a Roundhead," said the St. Clair, brushing her own
curls; which were beautiful and crinkled all over her head,
while my hair was straight. "I don't suppose she ever saw a
Cavalier before."

"St. Clair, you are too bad!" said Miss Mary. "Miss Randolph
is a stranger."

St. Clair made no answer, but finished her hair and ran off;
and presently the others filed off after her; and a loud
clanging bell giving the signal, I thought best to go too.
Every room was pouring forth its inmates; the halls and
passages were all alive and astir. In the train of the moving
crowd, I had no difficulty to find my way to the place of
gathering.

This was the school parlour; not the one where I had seen Mme.
Ricard. Parlours, rather; there was a suite of them, three
deep; for this part of the house had a building added in the
rear. The rooms were large and handsome; not like school
rooms, I thought; and yet very different from my home; for
they were bare. Carpets and curtains, sofas and chairs and
tables, were in them to be sure; and even pictures; yet they
were bare; for books and matters of art and little social
luxuries were wanting, such as I had all my life been
accustomed to, and such as filled Mme. Ricard's own rooms.
However, this first evening I could hardly see how the rooms
looked, for the lining of humanity which ran round all the
walls. There was a shimmer as of every colour in the rainbow;
and a buzz that could only come from a hive full. I, who had
lived all my life where people spoke softly, and where many
never spoke together, was bewildered.

The buzz hushed suddenly, and I saw Mme. Ricard's figure going
slowly down the rooms. She was in the uttermost contrast to
all her household. Ladylike always, and always dignified, her
style was her own, and I am sure that nobody ever felt that
she had not enough. Yet Mme. Ricard had nothing about her that
was conformed to the fashions of the day. Her dress was of a
soft kind of serge, which fell around her or swept across the
rooms in noiseless yielding folds. Hoops were the fashion of
the day; but Mme. Ricard wore no hoops; she went with ease and
silence where others went with a rustle and a warning to clear
the way. The back of her head was covered with a little cap as
plain as a nun's cap; and I never saw an ornament about her.
Yet criticism never touched Mme. Ricard. Not even the
criticism of a set of school-girls; and I had soon to learn
that there is none more relentless.

The tea-table was set in the further room of the three. Mime.
Ricard passed down to that. Presently I heard her low voice
saying, "Miss Randolph". Low as it always was, it was always
heard. I made my way down through the rooms to her presence;
and there I was introduced to the various teachers.
Mademoiselle Genevieve, Miss Babbitt, Mme. Jupon, and Miss
Dumps. I could not examine them just then. I felt I was on
exhibition myself.

"Is Miss Randolph to come to me, Madame?" the first of these
ladies asked. She was young, bright, black-eyed, and full of
energy; I saw so much.

"I fancy she will come to all of you," said Madame. "Except
Miss Babbitt. You can write and read, I dare say, Miss
Randolph?" she went on with a smile. I answered of course.

"What have been your principal studies for the past year?"

I said, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy and history.

"Then she is mine!" exclaimed Mlle. Genevieve.

"She is older than she looks," said Miss Babbitt.

"Her hair is young, but her eyes are not," said the former
speaker; who was a lively lady.

"French have you studied?" Madame went on.

"Not so much," I said.

"Mme. Jupon will want you."

"I am sure she is a good child," said Mme. Jupon, who was a
good-natured, plain-looking Frenchwoman without a particle of
a Frenchwoman's grace or address. "I will be charmed to have
her."

"You may go back to your place, Miss Randolph," said my
mistress. "We will arrange all the rest to-morrow."

"Shall I go back with you?" asked Mlle. Genevieve. "Do you
mind going alone?"

She spoke very kindly, but I was at a loss for her meaning. I
saw the kindness; why it showed itself in such an offer I
could not imagine.

"I am very much obliged to you, ma'am," — I began, when a
little burst of laughter stopped me. It came from all the
teachers; even Mme. Ricard was smiling.

"You are out for once, Genevieve," she said.

"La charmante!" said Mme. Jupon. "Voyez l'aplomb!"

"No, you don't want me," said Mlle. Genevieve nodding. "Go —
you'll do."

I went back to the upper room, and presently tea was served. I
sat alone; there was nobody near me who knew me; I had nothing
to do while munching my bread and butter but to examine the
new scene. There was a great deal to move my curiosity. In the
first place, I was surprised to see the rooms gay with fine
dresses. I had come from the quiet of Magnolia, and accustomed
to the simplicity of my mother's taste; which if it sometimes
adorned me, did it always in subdued fashion, and never
flaunted either its wealth or beauty. But on every side of me
I beheld startling costumes; dresses that explained my mantua-
maker's eagerness about velvet and green leaves. I saw that
she was right; her trimmings would have been "quiet" here.
Opposite me was a brown merino, bordered with blocks of blue
silk running round the skirt. Near it was a dress of brilliant
red picked out with black cord and heavy with large black
buttons. Then a black dress caught my eye which had an
embattled trimming of black and gold, continued round the
waist and completed with a large gold buckle. Then there was a
grey cashmere with red stars and a bronze-coloured silk with
black velvet a quarter of a yard wide let into the skirt; the
body all of black velvet. I could go on, if my memory would
serve me. The rooms were full of this sort of thing. Yet more
than the dresses the heads surprised me. Just at that time the
style of hair-dressing was one of those styles which are
endurable, and perhaps even very beautiful, in the hands of a
first-rate artist and on the heads of the few women who dress
well; but which are more and more hideous the further you get
from that distant pinnacle of the mode, and the lower down
they spread among the ranks of society. I thought, as I looked
from one to another, I had never seen anything so ill in
taste, so outraged in style, so unspeakable in ugliness as
well as in pretension. I supposed then it was the fashion
principally which was to blame. Since then, I have seen the
same fashion on one of those heads that never wear anything
but in good style. It gathered a great wealth of rich hair
into a mass at the back of the head, yet leaving the top and
front of the hair in soft waves; and the bound up mass behind
was loose and soft and flowed naturally from the head; it had
no hard outline nor regular shape; it was nature's luxuriance
just held in there from bursting down over neck and shoulders;
and hardly that, for some locks were almost escaping. The
whole was to the utmost simple, natural, graceful, rich. But
these caricatures! All that they knew was to mass the hair at
the back of the head; and that fact was attained. But some
looked as if they had a hard round cannon-ball fastened there;
others suggested a stuffed pincushion, ready for pins; others
had a mortar shell in place of a cannon-ball, the size was so
enormous; in nearly all, the hair was strained tight over or
under something; in not one was there an effect which the
originator of the fashion would not have abhorred. Girlish
grace was nowhere to be seen, either in heads or persons;
girlish simplicity had no place. It was a school; but the
company looked fitter for the stiff assemblages of ceremony
that should be twenty years later in their lives.

My heart grew very blank. I felt unspeakably alone; not merely
because there was nobody there whom I knew, but because there
was nobody whom it seemed to me I ever should know. I took my
tea and bits of bread and butter, feeling forlorn. A year in
that place seemed to me longer than I could bear. I had
exchanged my King Log for King Stork.

It was some relief when after tea we were separated into other
rooms and sat down to study. But I dreamed over my book. I
wondered how heads could study that had so much trouble on the
outside. I wandered over the seas to that spot somewhere that
was marked by the ship that carried my father and another.
Only now going out towards China; and low long months might
pass before China would be lone with and the ship be bearing
them back again. The lesson given me that night was not
difficult enough to bind my attention; and my heart grew very
heavy. So heavy, that I felt I must find help somewhere. And
when one's need is so shut in, then it looks in the right
quarter — the only one left open.

My little book was up stairs in my bag; but my thoughts flew
to my page of that day and the "Fear thou not, for I am with
thee." Nobody knows, who has not wanted them, how good those
words are. Nobody else can understand how sweet they were to
me. I lost for a little all sight of the study table and the
faces round it. I just remembered who was WITH ME; in the
freedom and joy of that presence both fears and loneliness
seemed to fade away. "I, the Lord, will hold thy right hand."
Yes, and I, a poor little child, put my hand in the hand of my
great Leader, and felt safe and strong.

I found very soon I had enemies to meet that I had not yet
reckoned with. The night passed peacefully enough; and the
next day I was put in the schoolroom and found my place in the
various classes. The schoolrooms were large and pleasant;
large they had need to be, for the number of day scholars who
attended in them was very great. They were many as well as
spacious; different ages being parted off from each other.
Besides the schoolrooms proper, there were rooms for
recitation, where the classes met their teachers; so we had
the change and variety of moving from one part of the house to
another. We met Mlle. Genevieve in one room, for mathematics
and Italian; Mme. Jupon in another, for French. Miss Dumps
seized us in another, for writing and geography, and made the
most of us; she was a severe little person in her teaching and
in her discipline; but she was good. We called her Miss Maria,
in general. Miss Babbitt had the history; and she did nothing
to make it intelligible or interesting. My best historical
times thus far, by much, had been over my clay map and my red-
headed and black-headed pins, studying the changes of England
and her people. But Mlle. Genevieve put a new life into
mathematics. I could never love the study; but she made it a
great deal better than Miss Pinshon made it. Indeed I believe
that to learn anything under Mlle. Genevieve, would have been
pleasant. She had so much fire and energy; she taught with
such a will; her black eyes were so keen both for her pupils
and her subject. One never thought of the discipline in Mlle.
Genevieve's room, but only of the study. I was young to be
there, in the class where she put me; but my training had
fitted me for it. With Mme. Jupon also I had an easy time. She
was good nature itself, and from the first showed a particular
favour and liking for me. And as I had no sort of wish to
break rules, with Miss Maria too I got on well. It was out of
school and out of study hours that my difficulties came upon
me.

For a day or two I did not meet them. I was busy with the
school routine, and beginning already to take pleasure in it.
Knowledge was to be had here; lay waiting to be gathered up;
and that gathering I always enjoyed. Miss Pinshon had kept me
on short allowance. It was the third or fourth day after my
arrival, that going up after dinner to get ready for a walk I
missed my chinchilla cap from its peg. I sought for it in
vain.

"Come, Daisy," said Miss Lansing, make haste. Babbitt will be
after you directly if you aren't ready. Put on your cap."

"I can't find it," I said. "I left it here, in its place, but
I can't find it."

There was a burst of laughter from three of my room-mates, as
Miss St. Clair danced out from the closet with the cap on her
own brows; and then with a caper of agility, taking it off,
flung it up to the chandelier, where it hung on one of the
burners.

"For shame, Faustina, that's too bad. How call she get it?"
said Miss Bentley.

"I don't want her to get it," said the St. Clair coolly.

"Then how can she go to walk?"

"I don't want her to go to walk."

"Faustina, that isn't right. Miss Randolph is a stranger; you
shouldn't play tricks on her."

"Roundheads were always revolutionists," said the girl
recklessly. "_A la lanterne!_ Heads or hats — it don't signify
which. That is an example of what our Madame calls
'symbolism.' "

"Hush — sh! Madame would call it something else. Now how are
we going to get the cap down?"

For the lamp hung high, having been pushed up out of reach for
the day. The St. Clair ran off, and Miss Macy followed; but
the two others consulted, and Lansing ran down to waylay the
chambermaid and beg a broom. By the help of the broom handle
my cap was at length dislodged from its perch, and restored to
me. But I was angry. I felt the fiery current running through
my veins; and the unspeakable saucy glance of St. Clair's eye,
as I passed her to take my place in the procession, threw fuel
on the fire. I think for years I had not been angry in such a
fashion. The indignation I had at different times felt against
the overseer at Magnolia was a justifiable thing. Now I was
angry and piqued. The feeling was new to me. — I had been
without it very long. I swallowed the ground with my feet
during that walk; but before the walk came to an end the
question began to come up in my mind, what was the matter? and
whether I did well? These sprinklings of water on the flame I
think made it leap into new life at first; but as they came
and came again, I had more to think about than St. Clair, when
I got back to the house. Yes, and as we were all taking off
our things together I was conscious that I shunned her; that
the sight of her was disagreeable; and that I would have liked
to visit some gentle punishment upon her careless head. The
bustle of business swallowed up the feeling for the rest of
the time till we went to bed.

But then it rose very fresh, and I began to question myself
about it in the silence and darkness. Finding myself inclined
to justify myself, I bethought me to try this new feeling by
some of the words I had been studying in my little book for a
few days past. "The entrance of Thy words giveth light" — was
the leading test for the day that had just gone; now I thought
I would try it in my difficulty. The very nest words on the
page, I remembered were these. "God is light, and in him is no
darkness at all."


It came into my mind as soon, that this feeling of anger and
resentment which troubled me had to do with darkness, not with
the light. In vain I reasoned; to prove the contrary; I _felt_
dark. I could not look up to that clear white light where God
dwells, and feel at all that I was "walking in the light as He
is in the light." Clearly Daisy Randolph was out of the way.
And I went on with bitterness of heart to the next words — "Ye
_were_ sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk
as children of light."

And what then? was I to pass by quietly the insolence of St.
Clair? was I to take it quite quietly, and give no sign even
of annoyance? take no means of showing my displeasure, or of
putting a stop to the naughtiness that called it forth? My
mind put these questions impatiently, and still, as it did so,
an answer came from somewhere, — "Walk as children of light."
I _knew_ that children of light would reprove darkness only with
light; and a struggle began. Other words came into my head
then, which made the matter only clearer. "If any man smite
thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other." "Love your
enemies." Ah, but how could I? with what should I put out this
fire kindled in my heart, which seemed only to burn the
fiercer whatever I threw upon it? And then, other words still
came sweeping upon me with their sweetness, and I remembered
who had said, "I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee."
I softly got out of bed, wrapped the coverlid round me, and
knelt down to pray. For I had no time to lose. To-morrow I
must meet my little companion, and to-morrow I _must_ be ready
to walk as a child of light, and to-night the fires of
darkness were burning in my heart. I was long on my knees. I
remember, in a kind of despair at last I flung myself on the
word of Jesus, and cried to Him as Peter did when he saw the
wind boisterous. I remember, how the fire died out in my
heart, till the very coals were dead; and how the day and the
sunlight came stealing in, till it was all sunshine. I gave my
thanks, and got into bed, and slept without a break the rest
of the night.

CHAPTER XI.

A PLACE IN THE WORLD.


I was a humbler child when I got out of bed the next morning,
I think, than ever I had been in my life before. But I had
another lesson to learn.

I was not angry any more at Miss St. Clair. That was gone.
Even when she did one or two other mischievous things to me,
the rising feeling of offence was quickly got under; and I
lived in great charity with her. My new lesson was of another
sort.

Two or three days passed, and then came Sunday. It was never a
comfortable day at Mme. Ricard's. We all went to church of
course, under the care of one or other of the teachers; and we
had our choice where to go. Miss Babbitt went to a
Presbyterian church. Miss Maria to a high Episcopal. Mme.
Jupon attended a little French Protestant chapel; and Mlle.
Genevieve and Mme. Ricard went to the Catholic church. The
first Sunday I had gone with them, not knowing at all whither.
I found that would not do; and since then I had tried the
other parties. But I was in a strait; for Miss Maria's church
seemed to me a faded image of Mlle. Genevieve's; the
Presbyterian church which Miss Babbitt went to was stiff and
dull; I was not at home in either of them, and could not
understand or enjoy what was spoken. The very music had an air
of incipient petrification, if I can speak so about sounds. At
the little French chapel I could as little comprehend the
words that were uttered. But in the pulpit there was a man
with a shining face; a face full of love and truth and
earnestness. He spoke out of his heart, and no set words; and
the singing was simple and sweet and the hymns beautiful. I
could understand them, for I had the hymn-book in my hands.
Also I had the French Bible, and Mme. Jupon, delighted to have
me with her, assured me that if I listened I would very soon
begin to understand the minister's preaching just as well as
if it were English. So I went with Mme. Jupon, and thereby
lost some part of Mlle. Genevieve's favour; but that I did not
understand till afterwards.

We had all been to church as usual, this Sunday, and we were
taking off our hats and things up stairs, after the second
service. My simple toilet was soon made; and I sat upon the
side of my little bed, watching those of my companions. They
were a contrast to mine. The utmost that money could do, to
bring girls into the fashion, was done for these girls; for
the patrons of Mme. Ricard's establishment were nearly all
rich.

Costly coats and cloaks, heavy trimmed, were surmounted with
every variety of showy head gear, in every variety of
unsuitableness. To study bad taste, one would want no better
field than the heads of Mme. Ricard's seventy boarders dressed
for church. Not that the articles which were worn on the heads
were always bad; some of them came from irreproachable
workshops; but there was everywhere the bad taste of
overdressing, and nowhere the tact of appropriation. The hats
were all on the wrong heads. Everybody was a testimony of what
money can do without art. I sat on my little bed, vaguely
speculating on all this as I watched my companions' disrobing;
at intervals humming the sweet French melody to which the last
hymn had been sung; when St. Clair paused in her talk and
threw a glance in my direction. It lighted on my plain plaid
frock and undressed hair.

"Don't you come from the country, Miss Randolph?" she said,
insolently enough.

I answered yes. And I remembered what my mantua-maker had
said.

"Did you have that dress made there?"

"For shame, St. Clair!" said Miss Bentley; "let Miss Randolph
alone. I am sure her dress is very neat."

"I wonder if women don't wear long hair where she came from —"
said the girl, turning away from me again. The others laughed.

I was as little pleased at that moment with the defence as
with the attack. The instant thought in my mind was, that Miss
Bentley knew no more how to conduct the one than Miss St.
Clair to make the other; if the latter had no civility, the
first had no style. Now the St. Clair was one of the best
dressed girls in school and came from one of the most
important families. I thought, if she knew where I came from,
and who my mother was, she would change her tone.
Nevertheless, I wished mamma would order me to let my hair
grow, and I began to think whether I might not do it without
order. And I thought also that the spring was advancing, and
warm weather would soon be upon us; and that these girls would
change their talk and their opinion about me when they saw my
summer frocks. There was nothing like _them_ in all the school.
I ran over in my mind their various elegance, of texture, and
lace, and fine embroidery, and graceful, simple drapery. And
also I thought, if these girls could see Magnolia, its
magnificent oaks, and its acres of timber, and its sweeps of
rich fields, and its troops of servants, their minds would be
enlightened as to me and my belongings.

These meditations were a mixture of comfort and discomfort to
me; but on the whole I was not comfortable. This process of
comparing myself with my neighbours, I was not accustomed to;
and even though its results were so favourable, I did not like
it. Neither did I quite relish living under a cloud; and my
eyes being a little sharpened now, I could see that not by my
young companions alone, but by every one of the four teachers,
I was looked upon as a harmless little girl whose mother knew
nothing about the fashionable world. I do not think that
anything in my manner showed either my pique or my disdain; I
believe I went about just as usual; but these things were
often in my thoughts, and taking by degrees more room in them.

It was not till the Sunday came round again, that I got any
more light. The afternoon service was over; we had come home
and laid off our bonnets and cloaks; for though we were in
April it was cold and windy; and my school-fellows had all
gone down stairs to the parlour, where they had the privilege
of doing what they pleased before tea. I was left alone. It
was almost my only time for being alone in the whole week. I
had an hour then; and I used to spend it in my bedroom with my
Bible. To-day I was reading the first epistle of John, which I
was very fond of, and as my custom was, not reading merely,
but pondering and praying over the words verse by verse. So I
found that I understood them better and enjoyed them a great
deal more. I came to these words, —

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world
knoweth us not, because it knew Him not."

I had dwelt some time upon the first part of the verse,
forgetting all my discomforts of the week past; and came in
due course to the next words. I never shall forget how they
swept in upon me. "_The world knoweth us not_." — What did that
mean? "Because it knew Him not." How did it not know Him? He
was in the midst of men; He lived no hidden life; the world
knew Him well enough as a benefactor, a teacher, a reprover;
in what sense did it _not_ know Him? And I remembered, it did
not know Him as one of its own party. He was "this fellow," —
and "the deceiver;" — "the Nazarene;" "they called the Master
of the house Beelzebub." And so, the world knoweth _us_ not; and
I knew well enough why; because we must be like Him. And then,
I found an unwillingness in myself to have these words true of
me. I had been very satisfied under the slighting tones and
looks of the little world around me, thinking that they were
mistaken and would by and by know it; they would know that in
all that they held so dear, of grace and fashion and elegance
and distinguished appearance, my mother, and of course I, were
not only their match but above them. Now, must I be content to
have them never know it? But, I thought, I could not help
their seeing the fact; if I dressed as my mother's child was
accustomed to dress, they would know what sphere of life I
belonged to. And then the words bore down upon me again, with
their uncompromising distinctness, — "_the world knoweth us
not_." I saw it was a mark and character of those that belonged
to Christ. I saw that, if I belonged to Him, the world must
not know me. The conclusion was very plain. And to secure the
conclusion, the way was very plain too; I must simply not be
like the world. I must not be of the world; and I must let it
be known that I was not.

Face to face with the issue, I started back. For not to be of
the world, meant, not to follow their ways. I did not want to
follow some of their ways; I had no desire to break the
Sabbath, for example; but I did like to wear pretty and
elegant and expensive things, and fashionable things. It is
very true, I had just denied myself this pleasure, and bought
a plain dress and coat that did not charm me; but that was in
favour of Margaret and to save money for her. And I had no
objection to do the same thing again and again, for the same
motive; and to deny myself to the end of the chapter, so long
as others were in need. But that was another matter from
shaking hands with the world at once, and being willing that
for all my life it should never know me as one of those whom
it honoured. Never _know_ me, in fact. I must be something out
of the world's consciousness, and of no importance to it. And
to begin with, I must never try to enlighten my school-
fellows' eyes about myself. Let them think that Daisy Randolph
came from somewhere in the country, and was accustomed to wear
no better dresses in ordinary than her school plaid. Let them
never be aware that I had ponies and servants and lands and
treasures. Nay, the force of the words I had read went further
than that. I felt it, down in my heart. Not only I must take
no measures to proclaim my title to the world's regard; but I
must be such and so unlike it in my whole way of life, dress
and all, that the world would not wish to recognise me, nor
have anything to do with me.

I counted the cost now, and it seemed heavy. There was Miss
Bentley, with her clumsy finery, put on as it were one dollar
above the other. She patronised me, as a little country-girl
who knew nothing. Must I not undeceive her? There was Faustina
St. Clair, really of a good family, and insolent on the
strength of it; must I never let her know that mine was as
good, and that my mother had as much knowledge of the
proprieties and elegancies of life as ever hers had? These
girls and plenty of the others looked down upon me as
something inferior; not belonging to their part of society;
must I be content henceforth to live so simply that these and
others who judge by the outside would never be any wiser as to
what I really was? Something in me rebelled. Yet the words I
had been reading were final and absolute. "The world knoweth
us _not_;" and "us," I knew, meant the little band in whose
hearts Christ is king. Surely I was one of them. But I was
unwilling to slip out of the world's view and be seen by it no
more. I struggled.

It was something very new in my experience. I had certainly
felt struggles of duty in other times, but they had never
lasted long. This lasted. With an eye made keen by conscience,
I looked now in my reading to see what else I might find that
would throw light on the matter and perhaps soften off the
uncompromising decision of the words of St. John. By and by I
came to these words —

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own. But
because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of
the world, _therefore the world hateth you_."

I shut the book. The issue could not be more plainly set
forth. I must choose between the one party and the other. Nay,
I had chosen; — but I must agree to belong but to one.

Would anybody say that a child could not have such a struggle?
that fourteen years do not know yet what "the world" means?
Alas, it is a relative term; and a child's "world" may be as
mighty for her to face, as any other she will ever know. I
think I never found any more formidable. Moreover, it is less
unlike the big world than some would suppose.

On the corner of the street, just opposite to our windows,
stood a large handsome house which we always noticed for its
flowers. The house stood in a little green courtyard,
exquisitely kept, which at one side and behind gave room for
several patches of flower beds, at this time filled with
bulbous plants. I always lingered as much as I could in
passing the iron railings, to have a peep at the beauty
within. The grass was now of a delicious green, and the tulips
and hyacinths and crocuses were in full bloom, in their
different oval-shaped beds, framed in with the green. Besides
these, from the windows of a greenhouse that stretched back
along the street, there looked over a brilliant array of other
beauty; I could not tell what; great bunches of scarlet and
tufts of white and gleamings of yellow, that made me long to
be there.

"Who lives in that house?" Miss Bentley asked one evening. It
was the hour before tea, and we were all at our room windows
gazing down into the avenue.

"Why don't you know?" said slow Miss Macy. That's Miss
Cardigan's house."

"I wonder who she is," said Miss Lansing. "It isn't a New York
name."

"Yes, it is," said Macy. "She's lived there forever. She used
to be there, and her flowers, when I was four years old."

"I guess she isn't anybody, is she?" said Miss Bentley. "I
never see any carriages at her door. Hasn't she a carriage of
her own, I wonder, or how does she travel? Such a house ought
to have a carriage."

"I'll tell you," said the St. Clair, coolly as usual. "She
goes out in a wagon with an awning to it. _She_ don't know
anything about carriages."

"But she must have money, you know," urged Miss Bentley. "She
couldn't keep up that house, and the flowers, and the
greenhouse and all, without money."

"She's got money," said the St. Clair. "Her mother made it
selling cabbages in the market. Very likely she sold flowers
too."

There was a general exclamation and laughter at what was
supposed to be one of St. Clair's flights of mischief; but the
young lady stood her ground calmly, and insisted that it was a
thing well known. "My grandmother used to buy vegetables from
old Mrs. Cardigan when we lived in Broadway," she said. "It's
quite true. That's why she knows nothing about carriages."

"That sort of thing don't hinder other people from having
carriages," said Miss Lansing. "There's Mr. Mason, next door
to Miss Cardigan, — his father was a tailor; and the Steppes,
two doors off, do you know what they were? They were millers,
a little way out of town; nothing else; had a mill and ground
flour. They made a fortune I suppose, and now here they are in
the midst of other people."

"Plenty of carriages, too," said Miss Macy; "and everything
else."

"After all," said Miss Bentley, after a pause, "I suppose
everybody's money had to be made somehow, in the first
instance. I suppose all the Millers in the world came from
real millers once; and the Wheelwrights from wheelwrights."

"And what a world of smiths there must have been, first and
last," said Miss Lansing. "The world is full of their
descendants."

"_Everybody's_ money wasn't made, though," said the St. Clair,
with an inexpressible attitude, of her short upper lip.

"I guess it was, — if you go back far enough," said Miss Macy,
whom nothing disturbed. But I saw that while Miss Lansing and
Miss St. Clair were at ease in the foregoing conversation,
Miss Bentley was not.

"You _can't_ go back far enough," said the St. Clair haughtily.

"How then?" said the other. "How do you account for it? Where
did their money come from?"

"It grew," said the St. Clair ineffably. "They were lords of
the soil."

"Oh! — But it had to be dug out, I suppose," said Miss Macy.

"There were others to do that."

"After all," said Miss Macy, "how is money that grew any
better than money that is made? It is all made by somebody,
too."

"If it is made by somebody else, it leaves your hands clean,"
the St. Clair answered, with an insolence worthy of maturer
years; for Miss Macy's family had grown rich by trade. She was
of a slow temper, however, and did not take fire."

"My grandfather's hands were clean," she said; "yet he made his
own money. Honest hands always are clean."

"Do you suppose Miss Cardigan's were when she was handling her
cabbages?" said St. Clair. "I have no doubt Miss Cardigan's
house smells of cabbages now."

"O St. Clair!" — Miss Lansing said, laughing.

"I always smell them when I go past," said the other,
elevating her scornful little nose; it was a handsome nose
too.

"I don't think it makes any difference," said Miss Bentley,
"provided people _have_ money, how they came by it. Money buys
the same things for one that it does for another."

"Now, my good Bentley, that is just what it _don't_," said St.
Clair, drumming upon the window-pane with the tips of her
fingers.

"Why not?"

"Because! — people that have always had money know how to use
it; and people that have just come into their money, _don't_
know. You can tell the one from the other as far off as the
head of the avenue."

"But what is to hinder their going to the same milliner and
mantua-maker, for instance, or the same cabinet-maker, — and
buying the same things?"

"Or the same jeweller, or the same — anything? So they could,
if they knew which they were."

"Which _what_ were? It is easy to tell which is a fashionable
milliner, or mantua-maker; everybody knows that."

"It don't do some people any good," said St. Clair, turning
away. "When they get in the shop, they do not know what to buy;
and if they buy it they can't put it on. People that are not
fashionable can't _be_ fashionable."

I saw the glance that fell, scarcely touching, on my plain
plaid frock. I was silly enough to feel it too. I was unused
to scorn. St. Clair returned to the window, perhaps sensible
that she had gone a little too far.

"I can tell you now," she said, "what that old Miss Cardigan
has got in her house — just as well as if I saw it."

"Did you ever go in?" said Lansing eagerly.

"We don't visit," said the other. "But I can tell you, just as
well; and you can send Daisy Randolph some day to see if it is
true."

"Well, go on, St. Clair — what is there?" said Miss Macy.

"There's a marble hall of course; that the mason built; it
isn't her fault. Then in the parlours there are thick carpets,
that cost a great deal of money and are as ugly as they can
be, with every colour in the world. The furniture is red
satin, or maybe blue, staring bright, against a light green
wall panelled with gold. The ceilings are gold and white, with
enormous chandeliers. On the wall there are some very big
picture frames, with nothing in them — to speak of; there is a
table in the middle of the floor with a marble top, and the
piers are filled with mirrors down to the floor; and the
second room is like the first and the third is like the
second, and there is nothing else in any of the rooms but what
I have told you."

"Well, it is a very handsome house, I should think, if you
have told true," said Miss Bentley.

St. Clair left the window with a scarce perceptible but most
wicked smile at her friend Miss Lansing; and the group
scattered. Only I remained to think it over and ask myself,
could I let go my vantage ground? could I make up my mind to
do forever without the smile and regard of that portion of the
world which little St. Clair represented? It is powerful, even
in a school!

I had seen how carelessly this undoubted child of birth and
fashion wielded the lash of her tongue; and how others bowed
before it. I had seen Miss Bentley wince, and Miss Macy bite
her lip; but neither of them dared affront the daughter of
Mrs. St. Clair. Miss Lansing was herself of the favoured
class, and had listened lightly. Fashion was power, that was
plain. Was I willing to forego it? was I willing to be one of
those whom fashion passes by as St. Clair had glanced on my
dress — as something not worthy a thought?

I was not happy, those days. Something within me was
struggling for self-assertion. It was new to me; for until
then I had never needed to assert my claims to anything. For
the first time, I was looked down upon, and I did not like it.
I do not quite know why I was made to know this so well. My
dress, if not showy or costly, was certainly without blame in
its neatness and niceness, and perfectly becoming my place as
a school-girl. And I had very little to do at that time with
my schoolmates, and that little was entirely friendly in its
character. I am obliged to think, looking back at it now, that
some rivalry was at work. I did not then understand it. But I
was taking a high place in all my classes. I had gone past St.
Clair in two or three things. Miss Lansing was too far behind
in her studies to feel any jealousy on that account; but
besides that, I was an unmistakeable favourite with all the
teachers. They liked to have me do anything for them or with
them; if any privilege was to be given, I was sure to be one
of the first names called to share it; if I was spoken to for
anything, the manner and tone were in contrast with those used
towards almost all my fellows. It may have been partly for
these reasons that there was a little positive element in the
slights which I felt. The effect of the whole was to make a
long struggle in my mind. "The world knoweth us not" — gave
the character and condition of that party to which I belonged.
I was feeling now what those words mean, — and it was not
pleasant.

This struggle had been going on for several weeks, and growing
more and more wearying, when Mrs. Sandford came one day to see
me. She said I did not look very well, and obtained leave for
me to take a walk with her. I was glad of the change. It was a
pleasant, bright afternoon; we strolled up the long avenue,
then gay and crowded with passers to and fro in every variety
and in the height of the mode; for our avenue was a favourite
and very fashionable promenade. The gay world nodded and bowed
to each other; the sun streamed on satins and laces, flowers
and embroidery; elegant toilettes passed and repassed each
other, with smiling recognition; the street was a show. I
walked by Mrs. Sandford's side in my chinchilla cap, for I had
not got a straw hat yet, though it was time; thinking, — "_The
world knoweth us not_" — and carrying on the struggle in my
heart all the while. By and by we turned to come down the
avenue.

"I want to stop a moment here on some business," said Mrs.
Sandford, as we came to Miss Cardigan's corner; "would you
like to go in with me, Daisy?"

I was pleased, and moreover glad that it was the hour for my
companions to be out walking. I did not wish to be seen going
in at that house and to have all the questions poured on me
that would be sure to come. Moreover I was curious to see how
far Miss St. Clair's judgment would be verified. The marble
hall was undoubted; it was large and square, with a handsome
staircase going up from it; but the parlour, into which we
were ushered the next minute, crossed all my expectations. It
was furnished with dark chintz; no satin, red or blue, was
anywhere to be seen; even the curtains were chintz. The carpet
was not rich; the engravings on the walls were in wooden
frames varnished; the long mirror between the windows, for
that was there, reflected a very simple mahogany table, on
which lay a large work basket, some rolls of muslin and
flannel, work cut and uncut, shears and spools of cotton.
Another smaller table held books and papers and writing
materials. This was shoved up to the corner of the hearth,
where a fire — a real, actual fire of sticks — was softly
burning. The room was full of the sweet smell of the burning
wood. Between the two tables, in a comfortable large chair,
sat the lady we had come to see. My heart warmed at the look
of her immediately. Such a face of genial gentle benevolence;
such a healthy sweet colour in the old cheeks; such a hearty,
kind, and withal shrewd and sound, expression of eye and lip.
She was stout and dumpy in figure, rather fat; with a little
plain cap on her head and a shawl pinned round her shoulders.
Somebody who had never been known to the world of fashion. But
oh, how homely and comfortable she and her room looked! she
and her room and her cat; for a great white cat sat with her
paws doubled under her in front of the fire.


"My sister begged that I would call and see you, Miss
Cardigan," Mrs. Sandford began, "about a poor family named
Whittaker, that live somewhere in Ellen Street."

"I know them. Be seated," said our hostess. "I know them well.
But I don't know this little lady."

"A little friend of mine, Miss Cardigan; she is at school with
your neighbour opposite, — Miss Daisy Randolph."

"If nearness made neighbourhood," said Miss Cardigan,
laughing, "Mme. Ricard and I would be neighbours; but I am
afraid the rule of the Good Samaritan would put us far apart.
Miss Daisy — do you like my cat; or would you like maybe to go
in and look at my flowers? — yes? — Step in that way, dear;
just go through that room, and on, straight through; you'll
smell them before you come to them."

I gladly obeyed her, stepping in through the darkened middle
room where already the greeting of the distant flowers met me;
then through a third smaller room, light and bright and full
of fragrance, and to my surprise, lined with books. From this
an open glass door let me into the greenhouse, and into the
presence of the beauties I had so often looked up to from the
street. I lost myself then. Geraniums breathed over me; roses
smiled at me; a daphne at one end of the room filled the whole
place with its fragrance. Amaryllis bulbs were magnificent;
fuchsias dropped with elegance; jonquils were shy and dainty;
violets were good; hyacinths were delicious; tulips were
splendid. Over and behind all these and others, were wonderful
ferns, and heaths most delicate in their simplicity, and
myrtles most beautiful with their shining dark foliage and
starry white blossoms. I lost myself at first, and wandered
past all these new and old friends in a dream; then I waked up
to an intense feeling of homesickness. I had not been in such
a greenhouse in a long time; the geraniums and roses and
myrtles summoned me back to the years when I was a little
happy thing at Melbourne House — or summoned the images of
that time back to me. Father and mother and home — the
delights and the freedoms of those days — the carelessness,
and the care — the blessed joys of that time before I knew
Miss Pinshon, or school, and before I was perplexed with the
sorrows and the wants of the world, and before I was alone —
above all, when papa and mamma and I were _at home_. The
geraniums and the roses set me back there so sharply that I
felt it all. I had lost myself at first going into the
greenhouse; and now I had quite lost sight of everything else,
and stood gazing at the faces of the flowers with some tears
on my own, and, I suppose, a good deal of revelation of my
feeling; for I was unutterably startled by the touch of two
hands upon my shoulders and a soft whisper in my ear. "What is
it, my bairn?"

It was Miss Cardigan's soft Scotch accent, and it was,
besides, a question of the tenderest sympathy. I looked at
her, saw the kind and strong grey eyes which were fixed on me
wistfully; and hiding my face in her bosom I sobbed aloud.

I don't know how I came to be there, in her arms, nor how I
did anything so unlike my habit; but there I was, and it was
done, and Miss Cardigan and I were in each other's confidence.
It was only for one moment that my tears came; then I
recovered myself.

"What sort of discourse did the flowers hold to you, little
one?" said Miss Cardigan's kind voice; while her stout person
hid all view of me that could have been had through the glass
door.

"Papa is away," I said, forcing myself to speak, — "and mamma;
— and we used to have these flowers —"

"Yes, yes; I know. I know very well," said my friend. "The
flowers didn't know but you were there yet. They hadn't
discretion. Mrs. Sandford wants to go, clear. — Will you come
again and see them? They will say something else next time."

"Oh, may I?" I said.

"Just whenever you like, and as often as you like. So I'll
expect you."

I went home, very glad at having escaped notice from my
schoolmates, and firmly bent on accepting Miss Cardigan's
invitation at the first chance I had. I asked about her of
Mrs. Sandford in the first place; and learned that she was "a
very good sort of person; a little queer, but very kind; a
person that did a great deal of good and had plenty of money.
Not in society, of course," Mrs. Sandford added; "but I dare
say she don't miss that; and she is just as useful as if she
were."

"Not in society." That meant, I supposed, that Miss Cardigan
would not be asked to companies where Mrs. Randolph would be
found, or Mrs. Sandford; that such people would not "know"
her, in fact. That would certainly be a loss to Miss Cardigan;
but I wondered how much? "The world knoweth us not," — the lot
of all Christ's people, — could it involve anything in itself
very bad? My old Juanita, for example, who held herself the
heir to a princely inheritance, was it any harm to her that
earthly palaces knew her only as a servant? But then, what did
not matter to Juanita or Miss Cardigan, might matter to
somebody who had been used to different things. I knew how it
had been with myself for a time past. I was puzzled. I
determined to wait and see, if I could, how much it mattered
to Miss Cardigan.

CHAPTER XII.

FRENCH DRESSES.


My new friend had given me free permission to come and see her
whenever I found myself able. Saturday afternoon we always had
to ourselves in the school; and the next Saturday found me at
Miss Cardigan's door again as soon as my friends and room-
mates were well out of my way. Miss Cardigan was not at home,
the servant said, but she would be in presently. I was just as
well pleased. I took off my cap, and carrying it in my hand I
went back through the rooms to the greenhouse. All still and
fresh and sweet, it seemed more delightful than ever, because
I knew there was nobody near. Some new flowers were out. An
azalea was in splendid beauty, and a white French rose, very
large and fair, was just blossoming, and with the red roses
and the hyacinths and the violets and the daphne and the
geraniums, made a wonderful sweet place of the little
greenhouse. I lost myself in delight again; but this time the
delight did not issue in homesickness. The flowers had another
message for me to-day. I did not heed it at first, busy with
examining and drinking in the fragrance and the loveliness
about me; but even as I looked and drank, the flowers began to
whisper to me. With their wealth of perfume, with all their
various, glorious beauty, one and another leaned towards me or
bent over me with the question — "Daisy are you afraid? —
Daisy, are you afraid? — The good God who has made us so rich,
do you think He will leave you poor? He loves you, Daisy. You
needn't be a bit afraid but that HE is enough, even if the
world does not know you. He is rich enough for you as well as
for us."

I heard no voice, but surely I heard that whisper, plain
enough. The roses seemed to kiss me with it. The sweet azalea
repeated it. The hyacinths stood witnesses of it. The gay
tulips and amaryllis held up a banner before me on which it
was blazoned.

I was so ashamed, and sorry, and glad, all at once, that I
fell down on my knees there, on the stone matted floor, and
gave up the world from my heart and for ever, and stretched
out my hands for the wealth that does not perish and the
blessing that has no sorrow with it.

I was afraid to stay long on my knees; but I could hardly get
my eyes dry again, I was so glad and so sorry. I remember I
was wiping a tear or two away when Miss Cardigan came in. She
greeted me kindly.

"There's a new rose out, did ye see it?" she said; "and this
blue hyacinth has opened its flowers. Isn't that bonny?"

"What is _bonny_, ma'am?" I asked.

Miss Cardigan laughed, the heartiest, sonsiest low laugh.

"There's a many things the Lord has made bonny," she said; "I
thank Him for it. Look at these violets — they're bonny; and
this sweet red rose." She broke it off the tree and gave it to
me. "It's bad that it shames your cheeks so. What's the matter
wi' em, my bairn?"

Miss Cardigan's soft finger touched my cheek as she spoke; and
the voice and tone of the question were so gently, tenderly
kind that it was pleasant to answer. I said I had not been
very strong.

"Nor just well in your mind. No, no. Well, what did the
flowers say to you to-day, my dear? Eh? They told you
something?"

"Oh, yes!" I said.

"Did they tell you that 'the Lord is good; a stronghold in the
day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him'?"

"Oh, yes," I said, looking up at her in surprise. "How did you
know?"

For all answer, Miss Cardigan folded her two arms tight about
me and kissed me with earnest good will.

"But they told me something else," I said, struggling to
command myself; — "they told me that I had _not_ 'trusted in
Him.' "

"Ah, my bairn!" she said. "But the Lord is good."

There was so much both of understanding and sympathy in her
tones, that I had a great deal of trouble to control myself. I
felt unspeakably happy too, that I had found a friend that
could understand. I was silent, and Miss Cardigan looked at
me.

"Is it all right, noo?" she asked.

"Except _me_, —" I said, with my eyes swimming.

"Ah, well!" she said. "You've seen the sky all black and
covered with the thick clouds — that's like our sins; but, 'I
have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a
cloud thy sins.' You know how it is when the wind comes and
clears the clouds off, and you can look up through the blue,
till it seems as if your eye would win into heaven itself.
Keep the sky clear, my darling, so that you can always see up
straight to God, with never the fleck of a cloud between. But
do you ken what will clear the clouds away?"

And I looked up now with a smile and answered, " 'The precious
blood of Christ' " — for the two texts had been close together
in one of the pages of my little book not long before.

Miss Cardigan clapped her hands together softly and laughed.
"Ye've got it!" she said. "Ye have gotten the pearl of great
price. And where did ye find it, my dear?"

"I had a friend, that taught me in a Sunday school, four years
ago, —" I said.

"Ah, there weren't so many Sunday schools in my day," said
Miss Cardigan. "And ye have found, maybe, that this other sort
of a school, that ye have gotten to now, isn't helpful
altogether? Is it a rough road, my bairn?"

"It is my own fault," I said, looking at her gratefully. The
tender voice went right into my heart.

"Well, noo, ye'll just stop and have tea with me here; and
whenever the way is rough, ye'll come over to my flowers and
rest yourself. And rest me too; it does me a world o' good to
see a young face. So take off your coat, my dear, and let us
sit down and be comfortable."

I was afraid at first that I could not; I had no liberty to be
absent at tea-time. But Miss Cardigan assured me I should be
home in good season; the school tea was at seven, and her own
was always served at six. So very gladly, with an
inexpressible sense of freedom and peace, I took off my coat,
and gloves, and followed my kind friend back to the parlour
where her fire was burning. For although it was late in April,
the day was cool and raw; and the fire one saw nowhere else
was delightful in Miss Cardigan's parlour.

Every minute of that afternoon was as bright as the fire glow.
I sat in the midst of that, on an ottoman, and Miss Cardigan,
busy between her two tables, made me very much interested in
her story of some distressed families for whom she was
working. She asked me very little about my own affairs;
nothing that the most delicate good breeding did not warrant;
but she found out that my father and mother were at a great
distance from me and I almost alone, and she gave me the
freedom of her house. I was to come there whenever I could and
liked; whenever I wanted to "rest my feet", as she said;
especially I might spend as much of every Sunday with her as I
could get leave for. And she made this first afternoon so
pleasant to me with her gentle beguiling talk, that the
permission to come often was like the entrance into a whole
world of comfort. She had plenty to talk about; plenty to
tell, of the poor people to whom she and others were
ministering; of plans and methods to do them good; all which
somehow she made exceedingly interesting. There was just a
little accent to her words, which made them, in their
peculiarity, all the more sweet to me; but she spoke good
English; the "noo" which slipped out now and then, with one or
two other like words, came only, I found, at times when the
fountain of feeling was more full than ordinary, and so flowed
over into the disused old channel. And her face was so fresh,
rosy, round and sweet, withal strong and sound, that it was a
perpetual pleasure to me.

As she told her stories of New York needy and suffering, I
mentally added my poor people at Magnolia, and began to wonder
with myself, was all the world so? Were these two spots but
samples of the whole? I got into a brown study, and was waked
out of it by Miss Cardigan's "What is it, my dear?"

"Ma'am?" I said.

"Ye are studying some deep question," she said, smiling.
"Maybe it's too big for you."

"So it is," said I, sighing. "Is it so everywhere, Miss
Cardigan?"

"So how, my bairn?"

"Is there so much trouble everywhere in the world?"

Her face clouded over.

"Jesus said, 'The poor ye have always with you, and whensoever
ye will ye may do them good.' "

"But that is what I don't understand about," I said. "_How much_
ought one to do, Miss Cardigan?"

There came a ray of infinite brightness over her features; I
can hardly describe it; it was warm with love, and bright with
pleasure, and — I thought sparkled with a little amusement.

"Have you thought upon that?" she said.

"Yes," I said, — "very much."

"It is a great question!" she said, her face becoming grave
again.

"I know," I said, "of course one ought to do all one can. But
what I want to know is, how much one _can_. How much ought one
to spend for such things?"

"It's a great question," Miss Cardigan repeated, more gravely
than before. "For when the King comes, to take account of His
servants, He will want to know what we have done with every
penny. Be sure, He will."

"Then how can one tell?" said I, hoping earnestly that now I
was going to get some help in my troubles. "How can one know?
It is very difficult."

"I'll no say it's not difficult," said Miss Cardigan, whose
thoughts seemed to have gone into the recesses of her own
mind. "Dear, it's nigh our tea-time. Let us go in."

I followed her, much disappointed, and feeling that if she
passed the subject by so, I could not bring it up again. We
went through to the inner room; the same from which the glass
door opened to the flowers. Here a small table was now spread.
This room was cosy. I had hardly seen it before. Low bookcases
lined it on every side; and above the bookcases hung maps;
maps of the city and of various parts of the world where
missionary stations were established. Along with the maps, a
few engravings and fine photographs. I remember one of the
Colosseum, which I used to study; and a very beautiful
engraving of Jerusalem. But the one that fixed my eyes this
first evening, perhaps because Miss Cardigan placed me in
front of it, was a picture of another sort. It was a good
photograph, and had beauty enough besides to hold my eyes. It
showed a group of three or four. A boy and girl in front,
handsome, careless, and well-to-do, passing along, with
wandering eyes. Behind them and disconnected from them by her
dress and expression, a tall woman in black robes with a baby
on her breast. The hand of the woman was stretched out with a
coin which she was about dropping into an iron-bound coffer
which stood at the side of the picture. It was "the widow's
mite;" and her face, wan, sad, sweet, yet loving and longing,
told the story. The two coin were going into the box with all
her heart.

"You know what it is?" said my hostess.

"I see, ma'am," I replied; "it is written under."

"That box is the Lord's treasury."

"Yes, ma'am," I said, — "I know."

"Do you remember how much that woman gave?"

"Two mites," — I said.

"It was something more than that," said my hostess. "It was
more than anybody else gave that day. Don't you recollect? It
was _all her living_."

I looked at Miss Cardigan, and she looked at me. Then my eyes
went back to the picture, and to the sad yet sweet and most
loving face of the poor woman there.

"Ma'am," said I, "do you think people that are _rich_ ought to
give all they have?"

"I only know, my Lord was pleased with her," said Miss
Cardigan softly; "and I always think I should like to have Him
pleased with me too."

I was silent, looking at the picture and thinking.

"You know what made that poor widow give her two mites?" Miss
Cardigan asked presently.

"I suppose she wanted to give them," I said.

"Ay," said my hostess, turning away, — "she loved the Lord's
glory beyond her own comfort. Come, my love, and let us have
some tea. She gave all she had, Miss Daisy, and the Lord liked
it; do ye think you and me can do less?"

"But that is what I do not understand," I said, following Miss
Cardigan to the little tea-table, and watching with great
comfort the bright unruffled face which promised to be such a
help to me.

"Now you'll sit down there," said my hostess, "where you can
see my flowers while I can see you. It's poor work eating, if
we cannot look at something or hear something at the same
time; and maybe we'll do the two things. And ye'll have a bit
of honey — here it is. And Lotty will bring us up a bit of hot
toast — or is the bread better, my dear? Now ye're at home;
and maybe you'll come over and drink tea with me whenever you
can run away from over there. I'll have Lotty set a place for
you. And then, when ye think of the empty place, you will know
you had better come over and fill it. See — you could bring
your study book and study here in this quiet little corner by
the flowers."

I gave my very glad thanks. I knew I could often do this.

"And now for the 'not understanding,' " said Miss Cardigan,
when tea was half over. "How was it, my dear?"

"I have been puzzled," I said, "about giving — how much one
ought to give, and how much one ought to spend — I mean, for
oneself."

"Well," said Miss Cardigan brightly, "we have fixed that. The
poor woman gave _all her living_."

"But one must spend some money for oneself," I said. "One must
have bonnets and cloaks and dresses."

"And houses, and books, and pictures," said Miss Cardigan,
looking around her. "My lamb, let us go to the Bible again.
That says, 'whether ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do
all to the glory of God.' So I suppose we must buy cloaks and
bonnets on the same principle."

I turned this over in mind. Had I done this, when I was
choosing my chinchilla cap and grey cloak? A little ray of
infinite brightness began to steal in upon their quiet colours
and despised forms.

"If the rich are to give their all, as well as the poor, it
doesn't say — mind you — that they are to give it all to the
hungry, or all to the destitute; but only, they are to give it
all _to Christ_. Then, he will tell them what to do with it; do
ye understand, my dear?"

Miss Cardigan's eye was watching me, not more kindly than
keen. A wise and clear grey eye it was.

"But isn't it difficult to know sometimes what to do?" I said.
"I have been so puzzled to know about dresses. Mamma is away,
and I had to decide."

"It's no very difficult," said Miss Cardigan, — "if once ye
set your face in the right _airth_ — as we speak. My dear,
there's a great many sorts of dresses and bonnets and things;
and I'd always buy just that bonnet and that gown, in which I
thought I could do most work for my Master; and that wouldn't
be the same sort of bonnet for you and for me," she said with
a merry smile. "Now ye'll have another cup of tea, and ye'll
tell me if my tea's good."

It was wonderfully good to me. I felt like a plant dried up
for want of water, suddenly set in a spring shower.
Refreshment was all around me, without and within. The faces
of the flowers looked at me through the glass, and the sweet
breath of them came from the open door. The room where I was
sitting pleased me mightily, in its comfortable and pretty
simplicity; and I had found a friend, even better than my old
Maria and Darry at Magnolia. It was not very long before I
told all about these to my new counsellor.

For the friendship between us ripened and grew. I often found
a chance to fill my place at the dear little tea-table.
Sundays I could always be there; and I went there straight
from afternoon church, and rested among Miss Cardigan's books
and in her sweet society and in the happy freedom and rest of
her house, with an intensity of enjoyment which words can but
feebly tell. So in time I came to tell her all my troubles and
the perplexities which had filled me; I was willing to talk to
Miss Cardigan about things that I would have breathed to no
other ear upon earth. She was so removed from all the sphere
of my past or present life, so utterly disconnected from all
the persons and things with which I had had to do, it was like
telling about them to a being of another planet. Yet she was
not so removed but that her sympathies and her judgment could
be living and full grown for my help; all ready to take hold
of the facts and to enter into the circumstances, and to give
me precious comfort and counsel. Miss Cardigan and I came to
be very dear to each other.

All this took time. Nobody noticed at first, or seemed to
notice, my visits to the "house with the flowers," as the
girls called it. I believe, in my plain dress, I was not
thought of importance enough to be watched. I went and came
very comfortably; and the weeks that remained before the
summer vacation slipped away ill quiet order.

Just before the vacation, my aunt came home from Europe. With
her came the end of my obscurity. She brought me, from my
mother, a great supply of all sorts of pretty French dresses,
hats, gloves, and varieties. — Chosen by my mother; — as
pretty and elegant, and simple too, as they could be; but once
putting them on, I could never be unnoticed by my schoolmates
any more. I knew it, with a certain feeling that was not
displeasure. Was it pride? Was it anything more than my
pleasure in all pretty things? I thought it was something
more. And I determined that I would not put on any of them
till school was broken up. If it _was_ pride, I was ashamed of
it. But besides French dresses, my aunt brought me a better
thing; a promise from my father.

"He said I was to tell you, Daisy my dear, — and I hope you
will be a good child and take it as you ought, — but dear me!
how she is growing," said Mrs. Gary, turning to Mme. Ricard;
"I cannot talk about Daisy as a 'child' much longer. She's
tall."

"Not too tall," said Madame.

"No, but she is going to be tall. She has a right; her mother
is tall, and her father. Daisy, my dear, I do believe you are
going to look like your mother. You'll be very handsome if you
do. And yet, you look different —"

"Miss Randolph will not shame anybody belonging to her," said
Mme. Ricard, graciously.

"Well, I suppose not," said my aunt. "I was going to tell you
what your father said, Daisy. He said — you know it takes a
long while to get to China and back, and if it does him good
he will stay a little while there; and then there's the return
voyage, and there may be delays; so altogether it was
impossible to say exactly how long he and your mother will be
gone. I mean, it was impossible to know certainly that they
would be able to come home by next summer; indeed I doubt if
your father ever does come home."

I waited, in silence.

"So altogether," my aunt went on, turning for a moment to Mme.
Ricard, "there was a doubt about it; and your father said, he
charged me to tell Daisy, that if she will make herself
contented — that is, supposing they cannot come home next
year, you know, — if she will make herself happy and be
patient and bear one or two years more, and stay at school and
do the best she can, then, the year after next or the next
year, he will send for you, your father says, unless they come
home themselves, — they will send, for you; and then, your
father says, he will give you any request you like to make of
him. Ask anything you can think of, that you would like best,
and he will do it or get it, whatever it is. He didn't say
like king Herod, 'to the half of his kingdom,' but I suppose
he meant that. And meanwhile, you know you have a guardian
now, Daisy, and there is no use for me in your affairs; and
having conveyed to you your mother's gifts and your father's
promises, I suppose there is nothing further for me to do."


I was silent yet, thinking. Two years more would be a dear
purchase of any pleasure that might come after. Two years! And
four were gone already. It seemed impossible to wait or to
bear it. I heard no more of what my aunt was saying, till she
turned to me again and asked, —

"Where are you going to pass the vacation?"

I did not know, for Mrs. Sandford was obliged to be with her
sister still, so that I could not go to Melbourne.

"Well, if your new guardian thinks well of it — you can
consult him if it is necessary — and if he does not object,
you can be with me if you like. Preston has leave of absence
this summer, I believe; and he will be with us."

It was in effect arranged so. My aunt took me about the
country from one watering place to another; from Saratoga to
the White Mountains; and Preston's being with us made it a gay
time. Preston had been for two years at West Point; he was
grown and improved everybody said; but to me he was just the
same. If anything, _not_ improved; the old grace and
graciousness of his manner was edged with an occasional
hardness or abruptness which did not use to belong to him; and
which I did not understand. There seemed to be a latent cause
of irritation somewhere.

However, my summer went off smoothly enough. September brought
me back to Mme. Ricard's, and in view of Miss Cardigan's late
roses and budding chrysanthemums. I was not sorry. I had set
my heart on doing as much as could be done in these next two
years, if two they must be.

I was the first in my room; but before the end of the day they
all came pouring in; the two older and the two younger girls.
"Here's somebody already," exclaimed Miss Macy as she saw me.
"Why, Daisy Randolph! is it possible that's you? Is it Daisy
Randolph? what have you done to yourself? How you _have_
improved!"

"She is very much improved," said Miss Bentley more soberly.

"She has been learning the fashions," said Miss Lansing, her
bright eyes dancing as good-humouredly as ever. "Daisy, now
when your hair gets long you'll look quite nice. That frock is
made very well."

"She is changed —" said Miss St. Clair, with a look I could
not quite make out.

"No," I said, — "I hope I am not changed."

"Your dress is," said St. Clair.

I thought of Dr. Sandford's "_L'habit c'est l'homme_." "My
mother had this dress made," I said; "and I ordered the other
one; that is all the difference."

"You're on the right side of the difference, then," said Miss
St. Clair.

"Has your mother come back, Daisy?" Miss Lansing asked.

"Not yet. She sent me this from Paris."

"It's very pretty!" she said; with, I saw, an increase of
admiration; but St. Clair gave me another strange look. "How
much prettier Paris things are than American!" Lansing went
on. "I wish I could have all my dresses from Paris. Why,
Daisy, you've grown handsome."

"Nonsense!" said Miss Macy; "she always was, only you didn't
see it."

"Style is more than a face," remarked Miss St. Clair
cavalierly. Somehow I felt that this little lady was not in a
good mood towards me. I boded mischief; for being nearly of an
age, we were together in most of our classes, studied the same
things and recited at the same times. There was an opportunity
for clashing.

They soon ran off, all four, to see their friends and
acquaintances and learn the news of the school. I was left
alone, making my arrangement of clothes and things in my
drawer and my corner of the closet; and I found that some
disturbance, in those few moments, had quite disarranged the
thoughts in my heart. They were peaceful enough before. There
was some confusion now. I could not at first tell what was
uppermost; only that St. Clair's words were those that most
returned to me. "She has changed. "_Had_ I changed? or was I
going to change? was I going to enter the lists of fashion
with my young companions, and try who would win the race? No
doubt my mother could dress me better than almost any of their
mothers could dress them; what then? would this be a triumph?
or was this the sort of name and notoriety that became and
befitted a servant of Jesus? I could not help my dresses being
pretty; no, but I could help making much display of them. I
could wear my own school plaid when the weather grew cooler;
and one or two others of my wardrobe were all I need show.
"Style is more than a face." No doubt. What _then?_ Did I want
style and a face too? Was I wishing to confound St. Clair? Was
I escaping already from that bond and mark of a Christian, —
"The world knoweth us not"? I was startled and afraid. I fell
down on my knees by the side of my bed, and tried to look at
the matter as God looked at it. And the Daisy I thought He
would be pleased with, was one who ran no race for worldly
supremacy. I resolved she should not. The praise of God, I
thought, was far better than the praise of men.

My mind was quite made up when I rose from my knees; but I
looked forward to a less quiet school term than the last had
been. Something told me that the rest of the girls would take
me up now, for good and for evil. My Paris dress set me in a
new position, no longer beneath their notice. I was an object
of attention. Even that first evening I felt the difference.

"Daisy, when is your mother coming home?" — "Oh, she is gone
to China; Daisy's mother is gone to China!" — "She'll bring
you lots of queer things, won't she?" — "What a sweet dress!"
— "_That_ didn't come from China?" — "Daisy, who's head in
mathematics, you or St. Clair? I hope you will get before
her!"

"Why?" I ventured to ask.

"Oh, you're the best of the two; everybody knows that. But St.
Clair is smart, isn't she?"

"She thinks she is," answered another speaker; "she believes
she's at the tip top of creation; but she never had such a
pretty dress on as that in her days; and she knows it and she
don't like it. It's real fun to see St. Clair beat! she thinks
she is so much better than other girls, and she has such a way
of twisting that upper lip of hers. Do you know how St. Clair
twists her upper lip? Look! — she's doing it now."

"She's handsome though, aint she?" said Miss Macy. "She'll be
beautiful."

"No," said Mlle. Genevieve; "not that. Never that. She will be
handsome; but beauty is a thing of the soul. She will not be
beautiful. Daisy, are you going to work hard this year?"

"Yes, mademoiselle."

"I believe you," she said, taking my face between her two
hands and kissing it.

"Who ever saw Mlle. Genevieve do that before!" said Miss Macy,
as the other left us. "She is not apt to like the scholars."

I knew she had always liked me. But everybody had always liked
me, I reflected; this time at school was the first of my
knowing anything different. And in this there now came a
change. Since my wearing and using the Paris things sent me by
my mother, which I dared not fail to use and wear, I noticed
that my company was more sought in the school. Also my words
were deferred to, in a way they had not been before. I found,
and it was lot an unpleasant thing, that I had grown to be a
person of consequence. Even with the French and English
teachers; I observed that they treated me with more
consideration. And so, I reflected within myself again over
Dr. Sandford's observation, "_L'habit, c'est l'homme_." Of
course, it was a consideration given to my clothes, a
consideration also to be given up if I did not wear such
clothes. I saw all that. The world _knew me_, just for the
moment.

Well, the smooth way was very pleasant. I had it with
everybody for a time.

My little room-mate and classmate St. Clair was perhaps the
only exception to the general rule. I never felt that she
liked me much. She let me alone, however; until one unlucky
day — I do not mean to call it unlucky, either — when we had,
as usual, compositions to write, and the theme given out was
"Ruins." It was a delightful theme to me. I did not always
enjoy writing compositions; this one gave me permission to
roam in thoughts and imaginations that I liked. I went back to
my old Egyptian studies at Magnolia, and wrote my composition
about "Karnak." The subject was full in my memory; I had gone
over and over and all through it; I had measured the enormous
pillars and great gateways, and studied the sculptures on the
walls, and paced up and down the great avenue of sphinxes.
Sethos, and Amunoph and Rameses, the second and third, were
all known and familiar to me; and I knew just where Shishak
had recorded his triumphs over the land of Judea. I wrote my
composition with the greatest delight. The only danger was
that I might make it too long.

One evening I was using the last of the light, writing in the
window recess of the school parlour, when I felt a hand laid
on my shoulders.

"You are so hard at work!" said the voice of Mlle. Genevieve.

"Yes, mademoiselle, I like it."

"Have you got all the books and all that you want?"

"Books, mademoiselle?" — I said, wondering.

"Yes; have you got all you want?"

"I have not got any books," I said; "there are none that I
want in the school library."

"Have you never been in Madame's library?"

"No, mademoiselle."

"Come!"

I jumped up and followed her, up and down stairs and through
halls and turnings, till she brought me into a pretty room
lined with books from floor to ceiling. Nobody was there.
Mademoiselle lit the gas with great energy, and then turned to
me, her great black eyes shining.

"Now what do you want, _mon enfant?_ here is everything."

"Is there anything about Egypt?"

"Egypt! Are you in Egypt? — See here — look, here is Denon —
here is Laborde; here is two or three more. Do you like that?
Ah! I see by the way your grey eyes grow big. — Now sit down,
and do what you like. Nobody will disturb you. You can come
here every evening for the hour before tea."

Mademoiselle scarce staid for my thanks, and left me alone. I
had not seen either Laborde or Denon in my grandfather's
library at Magnolia; they were after his time. The engravings
and illustrations also had not been very many or very fine in
his collection of travellers' books. It was the greatest joy
to me to see some of those things in Mme. Ricard's library,
that I had read and dreamed about so long in my head. It was
adding eyesight to hearsay. I found a good deal too that I
wanted to read, in these later authorities. Evening after
evening I was in Madame's library, lost among the halls of the
old Egyptian conquerors.

The interest and delight of my work quite filled me, so that
the fate of my composition hardly came into my thoughts, or
the fact that other people were writing compositions too. And
when it was done, I was simply very sorry that it was done. I
had not written it for honour or for duty, but for love. I
suppose that was the reason why it succeeded. I remember I was
anything but satisfied with it myself, as I was reading it
aloud for the benefit of my judges. For it was a day of prize
compositions; and before the whole school and even some
visitors, the writings of the girls were given aloud, each by
its author. I thought, as I read mine, how poor it was, and
how magnificent my subject demanded that it should be. Under
the shade of the great columns, before those fine old
sphinxes, my words and myself seemed very small. I sat down in
my place again, glad that the reading was over.

But there was a little buzz; then a dead expectant silence;
then Mme. Ricard arose. My composition had been the last one.
I looked up, with the rest, to hear the award that she would
speak; and was at first very much confounded to hear my own
name called. "Miss Randolph —" It did not occur to me what it
was spoken for; I sat still a moment in a maze. Mme. Ricard
stood waiting; all the room was in a hush.

"Don't you hear yourself called?" said a voice behind me. "Why
don't you go?"

I looked round at Miss Macy, who was my adviser, then
doubtfully I looked away from her and caught the eyes of Mlle.
Genevieve. She nodded and beckoned me to come forward. I did
it hastily then, and found myself curtseying in front of the
platform where stood Madame.

"The prize is yours, Miss Randolph," she said graciously.
"Your paper is approved by all the judges."

"Quite artistic," — I heard a gentleman say at her elbow. "And
it shows an amount of thorough study and perfect preparation,
which I can but hold up as a model to all my young ladies. You
deserve this, my dear."

I was confounded; and a low curtsey was only a natural relief
to my feelings. But Madame unhappily took it otherwise.

"This is yours," she said, putting into my hands an elegant
little bronze standish; — "and if I had another prize to
bestow for grace of good manners, I am sure I would have the
pleasure of giving you that too."

I bent again before Madame, and got back to my seat as I
could. The great business of the day was over, and we soon
scattered to our rooms. And I had not been in mine five
minutes before the penalties of being distinguished began to
come upon me.

"Well, Daisy! —" said Miss Lansing — "you've got it. How
pretty! Isn't it, Macy?"

"It isn't a bit prettier than it ought to be, for a prize in
such a school," said Miss Macy. "It will do."

"I've seen handsomer prizes," said Miss Bentley.

"But you've got it, more ways than one, Daisy," Miss Lansing
went on. "I declare! Aren't you a distinguished young lady!
Madame, too! Why, we all used to think we behaved pretty well
_before company_, — didn't we, St. Clair?"

"I hate favour and favouritism!" said that young lady, her
upper lip taking the peculiar turn to which my attention had
once been called. "Madame likes whatever is French."

"But Randolph is not French, are you, Randolph ?" said Black-
eyes, who was good-natured through everything.

"Madame is not French herself," said Miss Bentley.

"I hate everything at school!" St. Clair went on.

"It is too bad," said her friend. "Do you know, Daisy, St.
Clair always has the prize for compositions. What made you go
and write that long stuff about Rameses? the people didn't
understand it, and so they thought it was fine."

"I am sure there was a great deal finer writing in Faustina's
composition," said Miss Bentley.

I knew very well that Miss St. Clair had been accustomed to
win this half yearly prize for good writing. I had expected
nothing but that she would win it this time. I had counted
neither o n my own success nor on the displeasure it would
raise. I took my hat and went over to my dear Miss Cardigan;
hoping that ill-humour would have worked itself out by
bedtime. But I was mistaken.

St. Clair and I had been pretty near each other in our
classes, though once or twice lately I had got an advantage
over her; but we had kept on terms of cool social distance
until now. Now the spirit of rivalry was awake. I think it
began to stir at my Paris dresses and things; Karnak and Mme.
Ricard finished the mischief.

On my first coming to school I had been tempted, in my horror
at the utter want of privacy, to go to bed without prayer;
waiting till the rest were all laid down and asleep and the
lights out, and then slipping out of bed with great care not
to make a noise, and watching that no whisper of my lips
should be loud enough to disturb anybody's slumbers. But I was
sure, after a while, that this was a cowardly way of doing;
and I could not bear the words, "Whosoever shall be ashamed of
Me, and of My words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when He cometh in the glory of His Father." I determined in
the vacation that I would do so no more, cost what it might
the contrary. It cost a tremendous struggle. I think, in all
my life I have done few harder things, than it was to me then
to kneel down by the side of my bed in full blaze of the
gaslights and with four curious pairs of eyes around to look
on; to say nothing of the four busy tongues wagging about
nothing all the time. I remember what a hush fell upon them
the first night; while beyond the posture of prayer I could do
little. Only unformed or half formed thoughts and petitions
struggled in my mind, through a crowd of jostling regrets and
wishes and confusions, in which I could hardly distinguish
anything. But no explosion followed, of either ridicule or
amusement, and I had been suffered from that night to do as I
would, not certainly always in silence, but quite unmolested.

I had carried over my standish to Miss Cardigan to ask her to
take care of it for me; I had no place to keep it. But Miss
Cardigan was not satisfied to see the prize; she wanted to
hear the essay read; and was altogether so elated that a
little undue elation perhaps crept into my own heart. It was
not a good preparation for what was coming.

I went home in good time. In the hall, however, Mlle.
Genevieve seized upon me; she had several things to say, and
before I got up stairs to my room all the rest of its inmates
were in bed. I hoped they were asleep. I heard no sound while
I was undressing, nor while I knelt, as usual now, by my
bedside. But as I rose from my knees I was startled by a sort
of grunt that came from St. Clair's corner.

"Humph! — Dear me! We're so good, — Grace and Devotion, —
Christian grace, too!"

"Hold your tongue, St. Clair," said Miss Macy, but not in a
way, I thought, to check her; if she could have been checked.

"But it's too bad, Macy," said the girl. "We're all so rough,
you know. We don't know how to behave ourselves; we can't make
curtsies; our mothers never taught us anything, — and dancing
masters are no good. We ought to go to Egypt. There isn't
anything so truly dignified as a pyramid. There is a great
deal of _ΰ plomb_ there!"

"Who talked about _ΰ plomb_?" said Miss Bentley.

"You have enough of that, at any rate, Faustina," said
Lansing.

"Mrs. St. Clair's child ought to have that," said Miss Macy.

"Ah, but it isn't Christian grace, after all," persisted
Faustina. "You want a cross at the top of a pyramid to make it
perfect."

"Hush, Faustina!" said Miss Macy.

"It's fair," said Miss Bentley.

"You had better not talk about Christian grace, girls. That
isn't a matter of opinion."

"Oh, isn't it!" cried St. Clair, half rising up in her bed.
"What is it, then?"

Nobody answered.

"I say! — Macy, what _is_ Christian grace — if you know? If you
_don't_ know, I'll put you in the way to find out."

"How shall I find out?"

"Will you do it, if I show it to you?"

"Yes."

"Ask Randolph. That's the first step. Ask her, — yes! just ask
her, if you want to know. I wish Mme. Ricard was here to hear
the answer."

"Nonsense!" said Macy.

"Ask her! You said you would. Now ask her."

"What _is_ Christian grace, Daisy?" said Miss Bentley.

I heard, but I would not answer. I hoped the storm would blow
over, after a puff or two. But Black-eyes, without any ill-
nature, I think, which was not in her, had got into the gale.
She slipped out of bed and came to my side, putting her hand
on my shoulder and bringing her laughing mouth down near my
ear. A very angry impulse moved me before she spoke.

"Daisy!" — she said, laughing, in a loud whisper, — "come,
wake up! You're not asleep, you know. Wake up and tell us; —
everybody knows _you_ know; — what _is_ Christian grace? Daisy! —"

She shook me a little.

"If you knew, you would not ask me," — I said in great
displeasure. But a delighted shout from all my room-mates
answered this unlucky speech, which I had been too excited to
make logical.

"Capital!" cried St. Clair. "That's just it — we _don't_ know;
and we only want to find out whether she a does. Make her
tell, Lansing — prick a little pin into her — that will bring
it out."

I was struggling between anger and sorrow, feeling very hurt,
and at the same time determined not to cry. I kept absolutely
still, fighting the fight of silence with myself. Then
Lansing, in a fit of thoughtless mischief, finding her shakes
and questions vain, actually put in practice St. Clair's
suggestion and attacked me with a pin from the dressing table.
The first prick of it overthrew the last remnant of my
patience.

"Miss Lansing!" — I exclaimed, rousing up in bed and
confronting her. They all shouted again.

"Now we'll have it!" cried St. Clair. "Keep cool, Black-eyes;
let's hear — we'll have an exposition now. Theme, Christian
grace."

Ah, there rushed through my heart with her words a remembrance
of other words — a fluttering vision of something "gentle and
easy to be entreated" — "first pure, then peaceable" —
"gentleness, goodness, meekness." — But the grip of passion
held them all down or kept them all back. After St. Clair's
first burst, the girls were still and waited for what I would
say. I was facing Miss Lansing, who had taken her hand from my
shoulder.

"Are you not ashamed of yourself?" I said; and I remember I
thought how my mother would have spoken to them. "Miss
Lansing's good nature" — I went on slowly, — "Miss Macy's
kindness — Miss Bentley's independence — and Miss St. Clair's
good breeding!" —

"_And_ Miss Randolph's religion!" echoed the last-named, with a
quiet distinctness which went into my heart.

"What about my independence?" said Miss Bentley.

"Now we've got enough, girls, — lie down and go to sleep,"
said Miss Macy. "There's quite enough of this. There was too
much before we began. Stop where you are."

They did not stop, however, without a good deal of noisy
chaffing and arguing, none of which I heard. Only the words,
"Miss Randolph's religion," rung in my ears. I lay down with
them lying like lead on my heart. I went to sleep under them.
I woke up early, while all the rest were asleep, and began to
study them.

"Miss Randolph's religion!" If it had been only that, only
mine. But the religion I professed was the religion of Christ;
the name I was called by was His name; the thing I had brought
into discredit was His truth. I hope in all my life I may
never know again the heart-pangs that this thought cost me. I
studied how to undo the mischief I had done. I could find no
way. I had seemed to prove my religion an unsteady,
superficial thing; the evidence I had given I could not
withdraw; it must stand. I lay thinking, with the heartache,
until the rousing bell rang, and the sleepers began to stir
from their slumbers. I got up and began, to dress with the
rest.

"What was it all that happened last night?" said Miss Lansing.

"Advancement in knowledge," — said. Miss St. Clair.

"Now, girls — don't begin again," said Miss Macy.

"Knowledge is a good thing," said the other, with pins in her
mouth. "I intend to take every opportunity that offers of
increasing mine; especially I mean to study Egyptians and
Christians. I haven't any Christians among my own family or
acquaintance — so you see, naturally, Macy, I am curious; and
when a good specimen offers —"

"I am not a good specimen," I said.

"People are not good judges of themselves, it is said," the
girl went on. "Everybody considers Miss Randolph a sample of
what that article ought to be."

"You don't use the word right," remarked Miss Macy. "A _sample_
is taken from what is, — not from what ought to be."

"I don't care," was St. Clair's reply.

"I did not behave like a Christian last night," I forced
myself to say. "I was impatient."

"Like an impatient Christian then, I suppose," said St. Clair.

I felt myself getting impatient again, with all my sorrow and
humiliation of heart. And yet more humbled at the
consciousness, I hastened to get out of the room. It was a
miserable day, that day of my first school triumphs, and so
were several more that followed. I was very busy; I had no
time for recollection and prayer; I was in the midst of
gratulations and plaudits from my companions and the teachers;
and I missed, Oh how I missed, the praise of God. I felt like
a traitor. In the heat of the fight, I had let my colours come
to the ground. I had dishonoured my Captain. Some would say it
was a little thing; but I felt then and I know now, there are
no little things; I knew I had done harm; how much, it was
utterly beyond my reach to know.

As soon as I could I seized an opportunity to get to Miss
Cardigan. I found her among her flowers, nipping off here a
leaf and there a flower that had passed its time; so busy,
that for a few moments she did not see that I was different
from usual. Then came the question which I had been looking
for.

"Daisy, you are not right to-day?"

"I haven't been right since I got that standish," I burst
forth.

Miss Cardigan looked at me again, and then did what I had not
expected; she took my head between her two hands and kissed
me. Not loosing her hold, she looked into my face.

"What is it, my pet?"

"Miss Cardigan," I said, "can any one be a Christian and yet —
yet —"

"Do something unworthy a Christian?" she said. "I wot well,
they can! But then, they are weak Christians."

I knew that before. But somehow, hearing her say it brought
the shame and the sorrow more fresh to the surface. The tears
came. Miss Cardigan pulled me into the next room and sat down,
drawing me into her arms; and I wept there with her arms about
me.

"What then, Daisy?" she asked at length, as if the suspense
pained her.

"I acted so, Miss Cardigan," I said; and I told her about it.

"So the devil has found a weak spot in your armour," she said.
"You must guard it well, Daisy."

"How can I?"

"How can you? Keep your shield before it, my bairn. What is
your shield for? The Lord has given you a great strong shield,
big enough to cover you from head to foot, if your hands know
how to manage it."

"What is that, Miss Cardigan?"

"The shield of _faith_, dear. Only believe. According to your
faith be it unto you."

"Believe what?" I asked, lifting my head at last.

"Believe that if you are a weak little soldier, your Captain
knows all about it; and any fight that you go into for his
sake, he will bear you through. I don't care what. Any fight,
Daisy."

"But I got impatient," I said, "at the girls' way of talking."

"And perhaps you were a wee bit set up in your heart because
you had got the prize of the day."

"_Proud?_" said I.

"Don't it look like it? Even proud of being a Christian,
mayhap."

"Could I!" — I said. "Was I?"

"It wouldn't be the first time one with as little cause had
got puffed up a bit. But heavenly charity 'is not puffed up.' "

"I know that," — I said; and my tears started afresh.

"How shall I help it in future?" I asked after a while, during
which my friend had been silent.

"Help it?" she said cheerfully. "You can't help it, — but
Jesus can."

"But my impatience, and — my pride," I said, very downcast.

" 'Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall
arise.' But there is no need you should fall, Daisy. Remember,
'The Lord is able to make him stand' — may be said of every
one of the Lord's people."

"But will He keep me from impatience, and take pride out of my
heart? Why, I did not know it was there, Miss Cardigan."

"Did He say, 'Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do
it?' And when He has written 'Whatsoever,' are you going to
write it over and put 'anything not too hard'? Neither you nor
me, Daisy!"

" '_Whatsoever_' — Miss Cardigan?" I said slowly.

"He said so. Are you going to write it over again?"

"No," I said. "But then, may one have _anything_ one asks for?"

"Anything in the world — if it is not contrary to His will —
provided we ask in faith, nothing doubting. 'For he that
wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and
tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive
anything of the Lord.' "

"But how can we _know_ what is according to His will?"

"_This_ is, at any rate," said Miss Cardigan; "for He has
commanded us to be holy as He is holy."

"But — other things?" I said. "How can one for everything 'in
faith, nothing wavering'? How can one be sure?"

"Only just this one way, Daisy my dear," Miss Cardigan
answered; — and I remember to this day the accent of her
native land which touched every word. "If ye're wholly the
Lord's — wholly, mind, — ye'll not like aught but what the
Lord likes; ye'll know what to ask for, and ye'll know the
Lord will give it to you; — that is, if ye want it _enough_. But
a 'double-minded man is unstable in all his ways;' and his
prayers can't hit the mark, no more than a gun that's twisted
when it's going off."

"Then," — I began and stopped, looking at her with my eyes
full of tears.

"Ay!" she said, — "just so. There's no need that you nor me
should be under the power of the evil one, for we're _free_. The
Lord's words aren't too good to be true; every one of 'em is
as high as heaven; and there isn't a sin nor an enemy but you
and I may be safe from, if we trust the Lord."

I do not remember any more of the conversation. I only know
that the sun rose on my difficulties, and the shadows melted
away. I had a happy evening with my dear old friend, and went
home quite heart-whole.

CHAPTER XIII.

GREY COATS.


I went back to school comforted. I had got strength to face
all that might be coming in the future. And life has been a
different thing to me ever since. Paul's words, "I can do all
things through Christ," — I have learned are not his words any
more than mine.

From that time I grew more and more popular in the school. I
cannot tell why; but, popularity is a thing that grows upon
its own growth. It was only a little while before my
companions almost all made a pet of me. It is humbling to know
that this effect was hastened by some of the French dresses my
mother had sent me, and which convenience obliged me to wear.
They were extremely pretty; the girls came round me to know
where I got them, and talked about who I was; and "Daisy
Randolph," was the name most favoured by their lips from that
time until school closed. — With the exception, I must add, of
my four room-mates. Miss St. Clair held herself entirely aloof
from me, and the others chose her party rather than mine. St.
Clair never lost, I think, any good chance or omitted any fair
scheme to provoke me; but all she could do had lost its power.
I tried to soften her; but Faustina was a rock to my advances.
I knew I had done irreparable wrong that evening; the thought
of it was almost the only trouble I had during those months.

An old trouble was brought suddenly home to me one day. I was
told a person wanted to speak to me in the lower hall. I ran
down, and found Margaret. She was in the cloak and dress I had
bought for her; looking at first very gleeful, and then very
business-like, as she brought out from under her cloak a bit
of paper folded with something in it.

"What is this?" I said, finding a roll of bills.

"It's my wages, Miss Daisy. I only kept out two dollars, ma'am
— I wanted a pair of shoes so bad — and I couldn't be let go
about the house in them old shoes with holes in 'em; there was
holes in both of 'em, Miss Daisy."

"But your wages, Margaret?" I said; "I have nothing to do with
your wages."

"Yes, Miss Daisy — they belongs to master, and I allowed to
bring 'em to you. They's all there so fur. It's all right."

I felt the hot shame mounting to my face. I put the money back
in Margaret's hand, and hurriedly told her to keep it; we were
not at Magnolia; she might do what she liked with the money;
it was her own earnings.

I shall never forget the girl's confounded look, and then her
grin of brilliant pleasure. I could have burst into tears as I
went up the stairs, thinking of others at home. Yet the
question came too, would my father like what I had been doing?
He held the girl to be his property and her earnings his
earnings. Had I been giving Margaret a lesson in rebellion,
and preparing her to claim her rights at some future day?
Perhaps. And I made up my mind that I did not care. Live upon
stolen money I would not, — any more than I could help. But
was I not living on it all the while? The old subject brought
back! I worried over it all the rest of the day, with many a
look forward and back.

As the time of the vacation drew near, I looked hard for news
of my father and mother, or tidings of their coming home.
There were none. Indeed, I got no letters at all. That was
nothing to cause uneasiness; the intervals were often long
between one packet of letters and the next; but now I wanted
to hear of some change, now that the school year was ended. It
had been a good year to me. In that little world I had met and
faced some of the hardest temptations of the great world; they
could never be new to me again; and I had learned both my
weakness and my strength.

No summons to happiness reached me that year. My vacation was
spent again with my aunt Gary, and without Preston. September
saw me quietly settled at my studies for another school year;
to be gone through with what patience I might.

That school year had nothing to chronicle. I was very busy,
very popular, kindly treated by my teachers, and happy in a
smooth course of life. Faustina St. Clair had been removed
from the school; to some other I believe; and with her went
all my causes of annoyance. The year rolled round, my father
and mother in China or on the high seas; and my sixteenth
summer opened upon me.

A day or two before the close of school, I was called to the
parlour to see a lady. Not my aunt; it was Mrs. Sandford; and
the doctor was with her.

I had not seen Mrs. Sandford, I must explain, for nearly a
year; she had been away in another part of the country, far
from New York.

"Why, Daisy! — is this Daisy?" she exclaimed.

"Is it not?" I asked.

"Not the old Daisy. You are so grown, my dear! — so — That's
right, Grant; let us have a little light to see each other
by."

"It is Miss Randolph —" said the doctor, after he had drawn up
the window shade.

"Like her mother! Isn't she? and yet, not like —"

"Not at all like."

"She is, though, Grant; you are mistaken; she is like her
mother; though as I said, she isn't. I never saw anybody so
improved. My dear, I shall tell all my friends to send their
daughters to Mme. Ricard."

"Dr. Sandford," said I, "Mme. Ricard does not like to have the
sun shine into this room."

"It's Daisy too," said the doctor, smiling, as he drew clown
the shade again. "Don't you like it, Miss Daisy?"

"Yes, of course," I said; "but she does not."

"It is not at all a matter of course," said he; "except as you
are Daisy. Some people, as you have just told me, are afraid
of the sun."

"Oh, that is only for the carpets," I said.

Dr. Sandford gave me a good look, like one of his looks of old
times, that carried me right back somehow to Juanita's
cottage.

"How do you do, Daisy?"

"A little pale," said Mrs. Sandford.

"Let her speak for herself."

I said I did not know I was pale.

"Did you know you had headache a good deal of the time?"

"Yes, Dr. Sandford, I knew that. It is not very bad."

"Does not hinder you from going on with study?"

"Oh no, never."

"You have a good deal of time for study at night, too, do you
not? — after the lights are out?"

"At night? how did you know that? But it is not always _study_."

"No. You consume also a good deal of beef and mutton, now-a-
days? you prefer substantials in food as in everything else?"

I looked at my guardian, very much surprised that he should
see all this in my face, and with a little of my childish
fascination about those steady blue eyes. I could not deny
that in these days I scarcely lived by eating. But in the
eagerness and pleasure of my pursuits I had not missed it, and
amid my many busy and anxious thoughts I had not cared about
it.

"That will do," said the doctor. "Daisy, have you heard lately
from your father or mother?"

My breath came short, as I said no.

"Nor have I. Failing orders from them, you are bound to
respect mine; and I order you change of air, and to go
wherever Mrs. Sandford proposes to take you."

"Not before school closes, Dr. Sandford?"

"Do you care about that?"

"My dear child," said Mrs. Sandford, "we are going to West
Point — and we want to take you with us. I know you will enjoy
it, my dear; and I shall be delighted to have you. But we want
to go next week."

"Do you care, Daisy?" Dr. Sandford repeated.

I had to consider. One week more, and the examination would be
over and the school term ended. I was ready for the
examination; I expected to keep my standing, which was very
high; by going away now I should lose that, and miss some
distinction. So at least I thought. I found that several
things were at work in my heart that I had not known were
there. After a minute I told Mrs. Sandford I would go with her
when she pleased.

"You have made up your mind that you do not care about staying
to the end here?" said the doctor.

"Dr. Sandford," I said, "I believe I _do_ care; but not about
anything worth while."

He took both my hands, standing before me, and looked at me, I
thought, as if I were the old little child again.

"A course of fresh air," he said, "will do you more good than
a course of any other thing just now. And we may find
'wonderful things' at West Point, Daisy."

"I expect you will enjoy it, Daisy," Mrs. Sandford repeated.

There was no fear. I knew I should see Preston at any rate;
and I had been among brick walls for many months. I winced a
little at thought of missing all I had counted upon at the
close of term; but it was mainly pride that winced, so it was
no matter.

We left the city three or four days later. It was a June day —
can I ever forget it? What a brilliance of remembrance comes
over me now! The bustle of the close schoolrooms, the heat and
dust of the sunny city streets, were all left behind in an
hour; and New York was nowhere! The waves of the river
sparkled under a summer breeze; the wall of the palisades
stretched along, like the barriers of fairyland; so they
seemed to me; only the barrier was open and I was about to
enter. So till their grey and green ramparts were passed, and
the broader reaches of the river beyond, and as evening began
to draw in we came to higher shores and a narrower channel,
and were threading our way among the lights and shadows of
opposing headlands and hilltops. It grew but more fresh and
fair as the sun got lower. Then, in a place where the river
seemed to come to an end, the _Pipe of Peace_ drew close, in
under the western shore, to a landing. Buildings of grey stone
clustered and looked over the bank. Close under the bank's
green fringes a little boat-house and large clean wooden pier
received us; from the landing a road went steeply sloping up.
I see it all now in the colours which clothed it then. I think
I entered fairyland when I touched foot to shore. Even down at
the landing, everything was clean and fresh and in order. The
green branches of that thick fringe which reached to the top
of the bank had no dust on them; the rocks were parti-coloured
with lichens; the river was bright, flowing and rippling past;
the _Pipe of Peace_ had pushed off and sped on, and in another
minute or two was turning the point, and then — out of sight.
Stillness seemed to fill the woods and the air as the beat of
her paddles was lost. I breathed stillness. New York was fifty
miles away, physically and morally at the antipodes.

I find it hard to write without epithets. As I said I was in
fairyland; and how shall one describe fairyland?

Dr. Sandford broke upon my reverie by putting me into the
omnibus. But the omnibus quite belonged to fairyland too; it
did not go rattling and jolting, but stole quietly up the long
hill; letting me enjoy a view of the river and the hills of
the opposite shore, coloured as they were by the setting sun,
and crisp and sharp in the cool June air. Then a great round-
topped building came in place of my view; the road took a turn
behind it.

"What is that?" I asked the doctor.

"I am sorry, Daisy, I don't know. I am quite as ignorant as
yourself."

"That is the riding-hall," I heard somebody say.

One omnibus full had gone up before us; and there, were only
two or three people in ours besides our own party. I looked
round, and saw that the information had been given by a young
man in a sort of uniform; he was all in grey, with large round
gilt buttons on his coat, and a soldier's cap. The words had
been spoken in a civil tone, that tempted me on.

"Thank you!" I said. "The riding-hall! — who rides in it?"

"We do," he said, and then smiled, — "the cadets."

It was a frank smile and a pleasant face and utterly the look
of a gentleman. So, though I saw that he was very much amused,
either at himself or me, I went on —

"And those other buildings ?"

"Those are the stables."

I wondered at the neat, beautiful order of the place. Then,
the omnibus slowly mounting the hill, the riding-hall and
stables were lost to sight. Another building, of more
pretension, appeared on our left hand, on the brow of the
ascent; our road turned the corner round this building, and
beneath a grove of young trees the gothic buttresses and
windows of grey stone peeped out. Carefully dressed green
turf, with gravelled walks leading front different directions
to the doors, looked as if this was a place of business.
Somebody pulled the string here and the omnibus stopped.

"This is the library," my neighbour in grey remarked — and
with that rising and lifting his cap, he jumped out. I watched
him rapidly walking into the library; he was tall, very erect,
with a fine free carriage and firm step. But then the omnibus
was moving on and I turned to the other side. And the beauty
took away my breath. There was the green plain, girdled with
trees and houses, beset with hills, the tops of which I could
see in the distance, with the evening light upon them. The
omnibus went straight over the plain; green and smooth and
fresh, it lay on the one side and on the other side of us,
excepting one broad strip on the right. I wondered what had
taken off the grass there; but then we passed within a hedge
enclosure and drew up at the hotel steps.

"Have you met an acquaintance already, Daisy?" Dr. Sandford
asked as he handed me out.

"An acquaintance?" said I. "No, but I shall fine him soon, I
suppose." For I was thinking of Preston. But I forgot Preston
the next minute. Mrs. Sandford had seized my hand and drew me
up the piazza steps and through the hall, out to the piazza at
the north side of the house. I was in fairyland surely! I had
thought so before, but I knew it now. Those grand hills, in
the evening colours, standing over against each other on the
east and on the west, and the full magnificent river lying
between them, bright and stately, were like nothing I had ever
seen or imagined. My memory goes back now to point after point
of delight which bewildered me. There was a dainty little sail
sweeping across just at the bend of the river; I have seen
many since; I never forget that one. There was a shoulder of
one of the eastern hills, thrown out towards the south-west,
over which the evening light fell in a mantle of soft gold,
with a fold of shadow on the other side. The tops of those
eastern hills were warm with sunlight, and here and there a
slope of the western hills. There was a point of lower ground,
thrust out into the river between me and the eastern shore,
which lay wholly in shadow, one soft mass of dusky green,
rounding out into a promontory. Above it, beyond it, at the
foot of the hills, a white church spire rose sharp as a
needle. It is all before me, even the summer stillness in
which my senses were rapt. There was a clatter in the house
behind me, but I did not hear it then.

I was obliged to go away to get ready for tea. The house was
full; only one room could be spared for Mrs. Sandford and me.
That one had been engaged beforehand, and its window looked
over the same view I had seen from the piazza. I took my post
at this window while waiting for Mrs. Sandford. Cooler and
crisper the lights, cooler and grayer the shadows had grown;
the shoulder of the east mountain had lost its mantle of
light; just a gleam rested on a peak higher up; and my single
white sail was getting small in the distance, beating up the
river. I was very happy. My school year, practically, was
finished, and I was vaguely expecting some order or turn of
affairs which would join me to my father and mother. I
remember well what a flood of satisfied joy poured into my
heart as I stood at the window. I seemed to myself so very
rich, to taste all that delight of hills and river; the
richness of God's giving struck me with a sort of wonder. And
then, being so enriched, and tasting the deep treasures of
heaven and earth which I had been made to know, happy so
exceedingly, — it came to my heart with a kind of pang, the
longing to make others know what I knew; and the secret
determination to use all my strength as Christ's servant, — in
bringing others to the joy of the knowledge of him.

I was called from my window then, and my view was exchanged
for the crowded dining-room, where I could eat nothing. But
after tea we got out upon the piazza again, and a soft north-
west breeze seemed to be food and refreshment too. Mrs.
Sandford soon found a colonel and a general to talk to; but
Dr. Sandford sat down by me.

"How do you like it, Daisy?"

I told him, and thanked him for bringing me.

"Are you tired?"

"No — I don't think I am tired."

"You are not hungry of course, for you can eat nothing. Do you
think you shall sleep?"

"I don't feel like it now. I do not generally get sleepy till a
great while after this."

"You will go to sleep somewhere about nine o'clock," said the
doctor; "and not wake up till you are called in the morning."

I thought he was mistaken, but as I could not prove it I said
nothing.

"Are you glad to get away from school?"

"On some accounts. I like school too, Dr. Sandford; but there
are some things I do not like."

"That remark might be made, Daisy, about every condition of
life with which I am acquainted."

"I could not make it just now," I said.

He smiled.

"Have you secured a large circle of friends among your
schoolmates, — that are to last for ever?"

"I do not think they love me well enough for that," I said,
wondering somewhat at my guardian's questioning mood.

"Nor you them?"

"I suppose not."

"Why, Daisy," said Mrs. Sandford, "I am surprised! I thought
you used to love everybody."

I tried to think how that might be, and whether I had changed.
Dr. Sandford interrupted my thoughts again —

"How is it with friends out of school?"

"I have none," I said; thinking only of girls like myself.

"None?" he said. "Do you really know nobody in New York?"

"Nobody, — but one old lady."

"Who is that, Daisy?"

He asked short and coolly, like one who had a right to know;
and then I remembered he had the right. I gave him Miss
Cardigan's name and number.

"Who is she? and who lives with her?"

"Nobody lives with her; she has only her servants."

"What do you know about her then, besides what she has told
you? Excuse me, and please have the grace to satisfy me."

"I know I must," I said half laughing.

"_Must?_"

"You know I must too, Dr. Sandford."

"I don't know it indeed," said he. "I know I must ask; but I
do not know what power can force you to answer."

"Isn't it my duty, Dr. Sandford?"

"Nobody but Daisy Randolph would have asked that question," he
said. "Well, if duty is on my side, I know I am powerful. But,
Daisy, you always used to answer me, in times when there was
no duty in the case."

"I remember," I said, smiling to think of it; "but I was a
child then, Dr. Sandford."

"Oh! — Well, apropos of duty, you may go on about Miss
Cardigan."

"I do not know a great deal to tell. Only that she is very
good, very kind to me and everybody; very rich, I believe; and
very wise, I think. I know nothing more — except the way her
money was made."

"How was it ?"

"I have heard that her mother was a market-woman," I said very
unwillingly; for I knew the conclusions that would be drawn.

"Is it likely," Dr. Sandford said slowly, "that the daughter
of a market-woman should be a good friend in every respect for
the daughter of Mrs. Randolph?"

"It may not be _likely_," I answered with equal slowness; — "but
it is true."

"Can you prove your position, Daisy?"

"What is your objection to her, Dr. Sandford?"

"Simply what you have told me. The different classes of
society are better apart."

I was silent. If Miss Cardigan was not of my class, I knew I
wanted to be of hers. There were certain words running in my
head about "a royal priesthood, a peculiar people," and
certain other words too — which I thought it was no use to
tell Dr. Sandford.

"She has no family, you say, nor friends who live with her, or
whom you meet at her house?"

"None at all. I think she is quite alone."

There was silence again. That is, between the doctor and me.
Mrs. Sandford and her officers kept up a great run of talk
hard by.

"Now, Daisy," said the doctor, "you have studied the matter,
and I do not doubt have formed a philosophy of your own by
this time. Pray make me the wiser."

"I have no philosophy of my own, Dr. Sandford."

"Your own thus far, that nobody shares it with you."

"Is that your notion of me," I said, laughing.

"A very good notion. Nothing is worse than commonplace people.
Indulge me, Daisy."

So I thought I had better.

"Dr. Sandford, — if you will indulge me. What is _your_ notion
of dignity ?"

He passed his hand over his hair, with a comical face. It was
a very fine face, as I knew long ago; even a noble face. A
steady, clear blue eye like his, gives one a sure impression
of power in the character, and of sweetness too. I was glad he
had asked me the question, but I waited for him to answer mine
first.

"My notion of dignity!" he exclaimed. "I don't believe I have
any, Daisy."

"No, but we are talking seriously."

"Very. We always are, when you are one of the talkers."

"Then please explain your notion of dignity."

"I know it when I see it," said the doctor; "but faith! I
don't know what makes it."

"Yes, but you think some people, or some classes, are set up
above others."

"So do you."

"What do you think makes the highest class, then?"

"You are going too deep, or too high, which is the same thing.
All I mean is, that certain feet which fate has planted on
lofty levels, ought not to come down from them."

"But it is good to know where we stand."

"Very," said Dr. Sandford, laughing. That is, in his way of
laughing. It was never loud.

"I will tell you where I want to stand," I went on. "It is the
highest level of all. The Lord Jesus said, 'Whosoever shall do
the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is MY
BROTHER, and MY SISTER, and MOTHER.' I want to be one of
those."

"But, Daisy," said Dr. Sandford, "the society of the world is
not arranged on that principle."

I knew it very well. I said nothing.

"And you cannot, just yet, go out of the world."

It was no use to tell Dr. Sandford what I thought. I was
silent still.

"Daisy," said he, "you are worse than you used to be." And I
heard a little concern in his words, only half hid by the
tone.

"You do not suppose that such words as those you quoted just
now, were meant to be a practical guide in the daily affairs
of life? Do you ?"

"How can I help it, Dr. Sandford?" I answered. "I would like
to have my friends among those whom the King will call His
sisters and brothers."

"And what do you think of correct grammar, and clean hands?"
he asked.

"Clean hands!" I echoed.

"You like them," he said smiling. "The people you mean often
go without them — if report says true."

"Not the people _I_ mean," I said.

"And education, Daisy; and refined manners; and cultivated
tastes; what will you do without all these? In the society you
speak of they are seldom found."

"You do not know the society I speak of, Dr. Sandford; and
Miss Cardigan has all these, more or less; besides something a
great deal better."

Dr. Sandford rose up suddenly and introduced me to a Captain
Southgate who came up; and the conversation ran upon West
Point things and nothings after that. I was going back over my
memory, to find in how far religion had been associated with
some other valued things in the instances of my experience,
and I heard little of what was said. Mr. Dinwiddie had been a
gentleman, as much as any one I ever knew; he was the first.
My old Juanita had the manners of a princess, and the tact of
a fine lady. Miss Cardigan was a capital compound of sense,
goodness, business energies, and gentle wisdom. The others, —
well, yes, they were of the despised orders of the world. My
friend Darry, at the stables of Magnolia, — my friend Maria,
in the kitchen of the great house, — the other sable and sober
faces that came around theirs in memory's grouping, — they
were not educated nor polished nor elegant. Yet well I knew,
that having owned Christ before me, He would own them before
the angels of heaven; and what would they be in that day! I
was satisfied to be numbered with them.

I slept, as Dr. Sandford had prophesied I would, that night. I
awoke to a vision of beauty.

My remembrance of those days that followed is like a summer
morning, with a diamond hanging to every blade of grass.

I awoke suddenly, that first day, and rushed to the window.
The light had broken, the sun was up; the crown of the morning
was upon the heads of the hills; here and there a light wreath
of mist lay along their sides, floating slowly off, or softly
dispersing; the river lay in quiet beauty waiting for the
gilding that should come upon it. I listened — the brisk notes
of a drum and fife came to my ear, playing one after another
joyous and dancing melody. I thought that never was a place so
utterly delightsome as this place. With all speed I dressed
myself, noiselessly, so as not to waken Mrs. Sandford; and
then I resolved I would go out and see if I could not find a
place where I could be by myself; for in the house there was
no chance of it. I took Mr. Dinwiddie's Bible and stole down
stairs. From the piazza where we had sat last night, a flight
of steps led down. I followed it, and found another flight,
and still another. The last landed me in a gravelled path; one
track went down the steep face of the bank, on the brow of
which the hotel stood; another track crossed that and wound
away to my right, with a gentle downward slope. I went this
way. The air was delicious; the woods were musical with birds
the morning light filled my pathway and, glancing from trees
or rocks ahead of me, lured me on with a promise of glory. I
seemed to gather the promise as I went, and still I was drawn
further and further. Glimpses of the river began to show
through the trees; for all this bank side was thickly wooded.
I left walking and took to running. At last I came out upon
another gravelled walk, low down on the hillside, lying
parallel with the river and open to it. Nothing lay between
but some masses of granite rock, grey and lichened, and a soft
fringe of green underbrush and small wood in the intervals.
Moreover, I presently found a comfortable seat on a huge grey
stone, where the view was uninterrupted, by any wood growth;
and if I thought before that this was fairyland, I now almost
thought myself a fairy. The broad river was at my feet; the
morning light was on all the shores, sparkled from the granite
rocks below me and flashed from the polished leaves, and
glittered on the water; filling all the blue above with
radiance; touching here and there a little downy cloud;
entering in and lying on my heart. I shall never forget it.
The taste of the air was as one tastes life and strength and
vigour. It all rolled in on me a great burden of joy.

It was not the worst time or place in the world to read the
Bible. But how all the voices of nature seemed to flow in and
mix with the reading, I cannot tell, no more than I can number
them; the whirr of a bird's wing, the liquid note of a wood
thrush, the stir and movement of a thousand leaves, the gurgle
of rippling water, the crow's call, and the song-sparrow's
ecstasy. Once or twice the notes of a bugle found their way
down the hill, and reminded me that I was in a place of
delightful novelty. It was just a fillip to my enjoyment, as I
looked on and off my page alternately.

By and by I heard footsteps, quick yet light footsteps,
sounding on the gravel. Measured and quick they came; then two
figures rounded a point close by me. There were two, but their
footfalls had sounded as one. They were dressed alike, all in
grey, like my friend in the omnibus. As they passed me, the
nearest one hastily pulled off his cap, and I caught just a
flash from a bright eye. It was the same. I looked after them
as they left my point and were soon lost behind another;
thinking that probably Preston was dressed so and had been
taught to walk so; and with renewed admiration of a place
where the inhabitants kept such an exquisite neatness in their
dress and moved like music. There was a fulness of content in
my mind, as at length I slowly went back up my winding path to
the hotel, warned by the furious sounds of a gong that
breakfast was in preparation.

As I toiled up the last flight of steps I saw Dr. Sandford on
the piazza. His blue eye looked me all over and looked me
through, I felt. I was accustomed to that, both from the
friend and the physician, and rather liked it.

"What is on the other side of the house?" I asked.

"Let us go and see." And as we went, the doctor took my book
from my hand to carry it for me. He opened it, too, and looked
at it. On the other side or two sides of the house stretched
away the level green plain. At the back of it, stood houses
half hidden by trees; indeed all round two sides of the plain
there vas a border of buildings and of flourishing trees as
yell. Down the north side, from the hotel where we were, a
road went winding; likewise under arching trees; here and
there I could see cannon and a bit of some military work. All
the centre of the plain was level and green, and empty; and
from the hotel to the library stretched a broad strip of bare
ground, brown and dusty, alongside of the road by which we had
come across last night. In the morning sun, as indeed under
all other lights and at all other hours, this scene was one of
satisfying beauty. Behind the row of houses at the western
edge of the plain, the hills rose up, green and wooded, height
above height; and an old fortification stood out now under the
eastern illumination, picturesque and grey, high up among
them. As Dr. Sandford and I were silent and looking, I saw
another grey figure pass down the road.

"Who are those people that wear grey, with a black stripe down
the leg?" I asked.

"Grey?" said the doctor. "Where?"

"There is one yonder under the trees," I said, "and there was
one in the omnibus yesterday. Are those the cadets?"

"I suppose so."

"Then Preston wears that dress. I wonder how I shall find him,
Dr. Sandford?"

"Find whom?" said the doctor, waking up.

"My cousin Preston — Preston Gary. He is here."

"Here?" repeated the doctor.

"Yes — he is a cadet — didn't you know it? He has been here a
long while; he has only one more year, I believe. How can we
find him, Dr. Sandford?"

"I am ignorant, Daisy."

"But we must find him," I said, "for of course he will want to
see me, and I want to see him, very much."

The doctor was silent, and I remember an odd sense I had that
he was not pleased. I cannot tell how I got it; he neither did
nor said anything to make me think so; he did not even look
anywise different from usual; yet I felt it and was sure of
it, and unspeakably mystified at it. Could Preston have been
doing anything wrong? Yet the doctor would not know that, for
he was not even aware that Preston was in the Military Academy
till I told him.

"I do not know, Daisy," he said at last; "but we can find out.
I will ask Captain Southgate or somebody else."

"Thank you," I said. "Who are those, Dr. Sandford, those
others dressed in dark frock coats, with bright bars over
their shoulders? — like that one just now going out of the
gate?"

"Those are officers of the army."

"There are a good many of them. What are they here for? Are
there many soldiers here?"

"No —" said the doctor — "I believe not. I think these
gentlemen are put here to look after the grey coats — the
cadets, Daisy. The cadets are here in training, you know."

"But that officer who just went out — who is walking over the
plain now — he wore a sword, Dr. Sandford, and a red sash.
They do not all wear them. What is that for?"

"What is under discussion?" said Mrs. Sandford, coming out.
"How well Daisy looks this morning, don't she?"

"She has caught the military fever already," said the doctor.
"I brought her here for a sedative; but I find it is no such
matter."

"Sedative!" — said Mrs. Sandford; but at this instant my ears
were "caught" by a burst of music on the plain. Mrs. Sandford
broke into a fit of laughter. The doctor's hand touched my
shoulder.

"Get your hat, Daisy," he said. "I will go with you to hear
it."

I might tell of pleasure from minute to minute of that day,
and of the days following. The breath of the air, the notes of
the wind instruments, the flicker of sunlight on the gravel,
all come back to me as I write, and I taste them again. Dr.
Sandford and I went down the road I have described, leading
along the edge of the plain at its northern border; from which
the view up over the river, between the hills, was very
glorious. Fine young trees shaded this road; on one side a
deep hollow or cup in the green plain excited my curiosity;
on the other, lying a little down the bank, a military work of
some odd sort planted with guns. Then one or two little
pyramidal heaps of cannon-balls by the side of the road,
marked this out as unlike all other roads I had ever
traversed. At the further side of the plain we came to the row
of houses I had seen from a distance, which ran north and
south, looking eastward over all the plain. The road which
skirted these houses was shaded with large old trees; and on
the edge of the greensward under the trees, we found a number
of iron seats placed for the convenience of spectators. And
here, among many others, Dr. Sandford and I sat down.

There was a long line of the grey uniforms now drawn up in
front of us; at some little distance; standing still and doing
nothing, that I could see. Nearer to us and facing them stood
a single grey figure; I looked hard, but could not make out
that it was Preston. Nearer still, stood with arms folded one
of those who the doctor had said were army officers; I
thought, the very one I had seen leave the hotel; but all like
statues, motionless and fixed. Only the band seemed to have
some life in them.

"What is it, Dr. Sandford?" I whispered, after a few minutes
of intense enjoyment.

"Don't know, Daisy."

"But what are they doing?"

"I don't know, Daisy."

I nestled down into silence again, listening, almost with a
doubt of my own senses, as the notes of the instruments
mingled with the summer breeze and filled the June sunshine.
The plain looked most beautiful, edged with trees on three
sides, and bounded to the east, in front of me, by a chain of
hills soft and wooded, which I afterwards found were beyond
the river. Near at hand, the order of military array, the
flash of a sword, the glitter of an epaulette, the glance of
red sashes here and there, the regularity of a perfect
machine. I said nothing more to Dr. Sandford; but I gathered
drop by drop the sweetness of the time.

The statues broke into life a few minutes later, and there was
a stir of business of some sort; but I could make out nothing
of what they were doing. I took it on trust, and enjoyed
everything to the full till the show was over.

CHAPTER XIV.

YANKEES.


For several days I saw nothing of Preston. He was hardly
missed.

I found that such a parade as that which pleased me the first
morning, came off twice daily; and other military displays,
more extended and more interesting, were to be looked for
every day at irregular times. I failed not of one. So surely
as the roll of the drum or a strain of music announced that
something of the sort was on hand, I caught up my hat and was
ready. And so was Dr. Sandford. Mrs. Sandford would often not
go; but the doctor's hat was as easily put on as mine, and as
readily; and he attended me, I used to think, as patiently as
a great Newfoundland dog. As patient, and as supreme. The
evolutions of soldiers and clangour of martial music were
nothing to _him;_ but he must wait upon his little mistress. I
mean of course the Newfoundland dog; not Dr. Sandford.

"Will you go for a walk, Daisy?" he said, the morning of the
third or fourth day. "There is nothing doing on the plain, I
find."

"A walk? Oh, yes!" I said. "Where shall we go?"

"To look for wonderful things," he said.

"Only don't take the child among the rattlesnakes," said Mrs.
Sandford. "_They_ are wonderful, I suppose, but not pleasant.
You will get her all tanned, Grant!"

But I took these hints of danger as coolly as the doctor
himself did; and another of my West-Point delights began.

We went beyond the limits of the post, passed out at one of
the gates which shut it in from the common world, and forgot
for the moment drums and fifes. Up the mountain side, under
the shadow of the trees most of the time, though along a good
road; with the wild hill at one hand rising sharp above us.
Turning round that, we finally plunged down into a grand dell
of the hills, leaving all roads behind and all civilisation,
and having a whole mountain between us and the West-Point
plain. I suppose it might have been a region for rattlesnakes,
but I never thought of them. I had never seen such a place in
my life. From the bottom of the gorge where we were, the
opposite mountain side sloped up to a great height; wild,
lonely, green with a wealth of wood, stupendous, as it seemed
to me, in its towering expanse. At our backs, a rocky and
green precipice rose up more steeply yet, though to a lesser
elevation, topped with the grey walls of the old fort, the
other face of which I had seen from our hotel. A wilderness of
nature it was; — wild and stern. I feasted on it. Dr. Sandford
was moving about, looking for something; he helped me over
rocks, and jumped me across morasses, and kept watchful guard
of me; but else he let me alone; he did lot talk; and I had
quite enough without. The strong delight of the novelty, the
freedom, the delicious wild things around, the bracing air,
the wonderful lofty beauty, made me as happy as I thought I
could be. I feasted on the rocks and wild verdure, the mosses
and ferns and lichen, the scrub forest and tangled
undergrowth, among which we plunged and scrambled; above all,
on those vast leafy walls which shut in the glen, and almost
took away my breath with their towering lonely grandeur. All
this time Dr. Sandford was as busy as a bee, in quest of
something. He was a great geologist and mineralogist; a lover
of all natural science, but particularly of chemistry and
geology. When I stopped to look at him, I thought he must have
put his own tastes in his pocket for several days past, that
he might gratify mine. I was standing on a rock, high and dry
and grey with lichen; he was poking about in some swampy
ground.

"Are you tired, Daisy?" he said, looking up.

"My feet are tired," I said.

"That is all of you that can be tired. Sit down where you are
— I will come to you directly."

So I sat down, and watched him, and looked off between whiles
to the wonderful green walls of the glen. The summer blue was
very clear overhead; the stillness of the place very deep;
insects, birds, a flutter of leaves, and the grating of Dr.
Sandford's boot upon a stone, all the sound that could be
heard.

"Why, you are warm, as well as tired, Daisy," he said, coming
up to my rock at last.

"It is warm," I answered.

"Warm?" said he. "Look here, Daisy!"

"Well, what in the world is that?" I said laughing. "A little
mud or earth is all that I can see."

"Ah, your eyes are not good for much, Daisy — except to look
at."

"Not good for much for _that_," I said, amused; for his eyes
were bent upon the earth in his hand.

"I don't know" — said he, getting up on the rock beside me and
sitting down. "I used to find strange things in them once. But
this is something you will like, Daisy."

"Is it?"

"If you like wonderful things as well as ever."

"Oh, I do!" I said. "What is it, Dr. Sandford?"

He carefully wrapped up his treasure in a bit of paper and put
it in his pocket; then he cut down a small hickory branch and
began to fan me with it; and while he sat there fanning me he
entered upon a lecture such as I had never listened to in my
life. I had studied a little geology of course, as well as a
little of everything else; but no lesson like this had come in
the course of my experience. Taking his text from the very
wild glen where we were sitting and the mountain sides upon
which I had been gazing, Dr. Sandford spread a clear page of
nature before me and interpreted it. He answered unspoken
questions; he filled great vacancies of my ignorance; into
what had been abysms of thought he poured a whole treasury of
intelligence and brought floods of light. All so quietly, so
luminously, with such a wealth of knowledge and facility of
giving it, that it is a simple thing to say no story of
Eastern magic was ever given into more charmed ears around an
Arabian desert fire. I listened, and he talked and fanned me.
He talked like one occupied with his subject and not with me;
but he met every half uttered doubt or question, and before he
had done he satisfied it fully. I had always liked Dr.
Sandford; I had never liked him so much. I had never, since
the old childish times, had such a free talk with him. And
now, he did not talk to me as a child or a very young girl,
except in bending himself to my ignorance; but as one who
loves knowledge likes to give it to others, so he gave it to
me. Only I do not remember seeing him like to give it in such
manner to anybody else. I think the novelty added to the zest
when I thought about: it; at the moment I had no time for side
thoughts. At the moment my ears could but receive the pearls
and diamonds of knowledge which came from the speaker's lips,
set in silver of the simplest clear English. I notice that the
people who have the most thorough grasp of a subject make ever
least difficulty of words about it.

The sun was high and hot when we returned, but I cared nothing
for that. I was more than ever sure that West Point was
fairyland. The old spring of childish glee seemed to have come
back to my nerves.

"Dinner is just ready," said Mrs. Sandford, meeting us in the
hall. "Why, where _have_ you been? And look at the colour of
Daisy's face! Oh, Grant, what have you done with her?"

"Very good colour —" said the doctor, peering under my hat.

"She's all flushed and sunburnt, and overheated."

"Daisy is never anything but cool;" he said, "unless when she
gets hold of a principle, and somebody else gets hold of the
other end. We'll look at these things after dinner, Daisy."

"Principles?" half exclaimed Mrs. Sandford, with so dismayed
an expression that the doctor and I both laughed.

"Not exactly," — said the doctor, putting his hand in his
pocket. "Look here."

"I see nothing but a little dirt."

"You shall see something else by and by — if you will."

"You have never brought your microscope here, Grant? Where in
the world will you set it up?"

"In your room — after dinner — if you permit."

Mrs. Sandford permitted; and though she did not care much
about the investigations that followed, the doctor and I did.
As delightful as the morning had been, the long afternoon
stretched its bright hours along; till Mrs. Sandford insisted
I must be dressed, and pushed the microscope into a corner and
ordered the doctor away.

That was the beginning of the pleasantest course of lessons I
ever had in my life. From that time Dr. Sandford and I spent a
large part of every day in the hills; and often another large
part over the microscope. No palace and gardens in the Arabian
nights were ever more enchanting, than the glories of nature
through which he led me; nor half so wonderful. "A little
dirt," as it seemed to ordinary eyes, was the hidden entrance
way ofttimes to halls of knowledge more magnificent and more
rich than my fancy had ever dreamed of.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Sandford found a great many officers to talk
to.

It was not till the evening of the next day following my first
walk into the mountains, that I saw Preston. — It was parade
time; and I was sitting as usual on one of the iron settees
which are placed for the convenience of spectators. I was
almost always there at parade and guard-mounting. The picture
had a continual fascination for me, whether under the morning
sun, or the evening sunset; and the music was charming. This
time I was alone, Dr. and Mrs. Sandford being engaged in
conversation with friends at a little distance. Following with
my ear the variations of the air the band were playing, my
mind was at the same time dwelling on the riches it had just
gained in the natural history researches of the day, and also
taking in half consciously the colours of the hills and the
light that spread over the plain; musing, in short, in a kind
of dream of delight; when a grey figure came between me and my
picture. Finding that it did not move, I raised my eyes.

"The same Daisy as ever!" said Preston, his eyes all alight
with fun and pleasure. "The same as ever! And how came you
here? and when did you come? and how did you come?"

"We have been here ever since Friday. Why haven't you been to
see me? Dr. Sandford sent word to you."

"Dr. Sandford!" said Preston, taking the place by my side.
"How did you come here, Daisy?"

"I came by the boat, last Friday. How should I come?"

"Who are you with?"

"Dr. Sandford — and Mrs. Sandford."

"_Mrs_. Sandford, and Dr. Sandford," said Preston, pointedly.
"You are not with the doctor, I suppose."

"Why, yes, I am," I answered. "He is my guardian — don't you
know, Preston? He brought me. How tall you have grown!"

"A parcel of Yankees," said Preston. "Poor little Daisy."

"What do you mean by 'Yankees'?" I said. "You do not mean just
people at the North, for you speak as if it was something
bad."

"It is. So I do," said Preston. "They are a mean set — fit for
nothing but to eat codfish and scrape. I wish you had nothing
to do with Yankees."

I thought how all the South lived upon stolen earnings. It was
a disagreeable turn to my meditations for a moment.

"Where have you hid yourself since you have come here?"
Preston went on. "I have been to the hotel time and again to
find you."

"Have you!" I said. "Oh, I suppose I was out walking."

"With whom were you walking?"

"I don't know anybody here, but those I came with. But
Preston, why are you not over yonder with the others?"

I was looking at the long grey line formed in front of us on
the plain.

"I got leave of absence, to come and see you, Daisy. And _you_
have grown, and improved. You're wonderfully improved. Are you
the very same Daisy? and what are you going to do here?"

"Oh, I'm enjoying myself. Now, Preston, why does that man
stand so?"

"What man?"

"That officer — here in front, standing all alone, with the
sash and sword. Why does he stand so?"

"Hush. That is Captain Percival. He is the officer in charge."

"What is that?"

"Oh, he looks after the parade, and things."

"But why does he stand so, Preston?"

"Stand how?" said Preston, unsympathisingly. "That is good
standing."

"Why, with his shoulders up to his ears," I said; "and his
arms lifted up as if he was trying to put his elbows upon a
high shelf. It is _very_ awkward."

"They all stand so," said Preston. "That's right enough."

"It is ungraceful."

"It is military."

"Must one be ungraceful in order to be military?"

"_He_ isn't ungraceful. That is Percival — of South Carolina."

"The officer yesterday stood a great deal better," I went on.

"Yesterday? That was Blunt. He's a Yankee."

"Well, what then, Preston?" I said, laughing.

"I despise them!"

"Aren't there Yankees among the cadets?"

"Of course; but they are no count — only here and there
there's one of good family. Don't you have anything to do with
them, Daisy — mind; — not with one of them, unless I tell you
who he is."

"With one of whom? what are you speaking of?"

"The cadets."

"Why, I have nothing to do with them," I said. "How should I?"

Preston looked at me curiously.

"Nor at the hotel, neither, Daisy — more than you can help.
Have nothing to say to the Yankees."

I thought Preston had taken a strange fancy. I was silent.

"It is not fitting," he went on. "We are going to change all
that. I want to have nothing to do with Yankees."

"What are you going to change?" I asked. "I don't see how you
can help having to do with them. They are among the cadets,
and they are among the officers."

"We have our own set," said Preston. "I have nothing to do
with them in the corps."

"Now, Preston, look; what are they about? All the red sashes
are getting together."

"Parade is dismissed. They are coming up to salute the officer
in charge."

"It is so pretty!" I said, as the music burst out again, and
the measured steps of the advancing line of "red sashes"
marked it. "And now Captain Percival will unbend his stiff
elbows. Why could not all that be done easily, Preston?"

"Nonsense, Daisy! — it is military."

"Is it? But Mr. Blunt did it a great deal better. Now they are
going. — Must you go?"

"Yes. What are you going to do to-morrow?"

"I don't know — I suppose, we shall go into the woods again."

"When the examination is over, I can attend to you. I haven't
much time just now. But there is really nothing to be done
here, since one can't get on horseback out of the hours."

"I don't want anything better than I can get on my own feet,"
I said joyously. "I find plenty to do."

"Look here, Daisy," said Preston — "don't you turn into a
masculine, muscular woman, that can walk her twenty miles and
wear hob-nailed shoes — like the Yankees you are among. Don't
forget that you are the daughter of a Southern gentleman —"

He touched his cap hastily and turned away — walking with
those measured steps towards the barracks; whither now all the
companies of grey figures were in full retreat. I stood
wondering, and then slowly returned with my friends to the
hotel; much puzzled to account for Preston's discomposure and
strange injunctions. The sunlight had left the tops of the
hills; the river slept in the gathering grey shadows, soft,
tranquil, reposeful. Before I got to the hotel, I had quite
made up my mind that my cousin's eccentricities were of no
consequence.

They recurred to me, however, and were as puzzling as ever. I
had no key at the time.

The next afternoon was given to a very lively show: the light
artillery drill before the Board of Visitors. We sat out under
the trees to behold it; and I found out now the meaning of the
broad strip of plain between the hotel and the library, which
was brown and dusty in the midst of the universal green. Over
this strip, round and round, back and forth and across, the
light artillery wagons rushed, as if to show what they could
do in time of need. It was a beautiful sight, exciting and
stirring; with the beat of horses' hoofs, the clatter of
harness, the rumble of wheels tearing along over the ground,
the flash of a sabre now and then, the ringing words of
command, and the soft shrill echoing bugle which repeated
them. I only wanted to understand it all; and in the evening I
plied Preston with questions. He explained things to me
patiently.

"I understand," I said, at last, — "I understand what it would
do in war time. But we are not at war, Preston."

"No."

"Nor in the least likely to be."

"We can't tell. It is good to be ready."

"But what do you mean?" I remember saying. "You speak as if we
might be at war. Who is there for us to fight?"

"Anybody that wants putting in order," said Preston. "The
Indians."

"O Preston, Preston!" I exclaimed. "The Indians! when we have
been doing them wrong ever since the white men came here; and
you want to do them more wrong!"

"I want to hinder them from doing us wrong. But I don't care
about the Indians, little Daisy. I would just as lief fight
the Yankees."

"Preston, I think you are very wrong."

"You think all the world is," he said.

We were silent, and I felt very dissatisfied. What was all
this military schooling a preparation for, perhaps? How could
we know. Maybe these heads and hands, so gay to-day in their
mock fight, would be grimly and sadly at work by and by, in
real encounter with some real enemy.

"Do you see that man, Daisy?" whispered Preston suddenly in my
ear. "That one talking to a lady in blue —"

We were on the parade ground, among a crowd of spectators, for
the hotels were very full, and the Point very gay now. I said
I saw him.

"That is a great man."

"Is he?" I said, looking and wondering if a great man could
hide behind such a physiognomy.

"Other people think so, I can tell you," said Preston. "Nobody
knows what that man can do. That is Davis of Mississippi."

The name meant nothing to me then. I looked at him as I would
have looked at another man. And I did not like what I saw.
Something of sinister, nothing noble, about the countenance;
power there might be — Preston said there was — but the power
of the fox and the vulture it seemed to me; sly, crafty,
false, selfish, cruel.

"If nobody knows what he can do, how is it so certain that he
is a great man?" I asked. Preston did not answer. "I hope
there are not many great men that look like him," I went on.

"Nonsense, Daisy!" said Preston, in an energetic whisper.
"That is Davis of Mississippi."

"Well?" said I. "That is no more to me than if he were Jones
of New York."

"Daisy!" said Preston. "If you are not a true Southerner, I
will never love you any more."

"What do you mean by a true Southerner? I do not understand."

"Yes, you do. A true Southerner is always a Southerner, and
takes the part of a Southerner in every dispute, — right or
wrong."

"What makes you dislike Northerners so much?"

"Cowardly Yankees!" was Preston's reply.

"You must have an uncomfortable time among them, if you feel
so," I said.

"There are plenty of the true sort here. I wish you were in
Paris, Daisy; or somewhere else."

"Why?" I said, laughing.

"Safe with my mother, or your mother. Yon want teaching. You
are too latitudinarian. And you are too thick with the
Yankees, by half."

I let this opinion alone, as I could do nothing with it; and
our conversation broke off with Preston in a very bad humour.

The next day, when we were deep in the woods, I asked Dr.
Sandford if he knew Mr. Davis of Mississippi. He answered yes,
rather drily. I knew the doctor knew everybody.

I asked, why Preston called him a great man.

"Does he call him a great man?" Dr. Sandford asked.

"Do you?"

"No, not I, Daisy. But that may not hinder the fact. And I may
not have Mr. Gary's means of judging."

"What means can he have?" I said.

"Daisy," said Dr. Sandford suddenly, when I had forgotten the
question in plunging through a thicket of brushwood, — "if the
North and the South should split on the subject of slavery,
what side would you take?"

"What do you mean by a 'split'?" I asked slowly, in my
wonderment.

"The States are not precisely like a perfect crystal, Daisy;
and there is an incipient cleavage somewhere about Mason and
Dixon's line."

"I do not know what line that is."

"No. Well, for practical purposes, you may take it as the line
between the slave States and the free."

"But how could there be a split?" I asked.

"There is a wedge applied even now, Daisy — the question
whether the new States forming out of our Western territories,
shall have slavery in them or shall be free States."

I was silent upon this; and we walked and climbed for a little
distance, without my remembering our geological or
mineralogical, or any other objects in view.

"The North say," Dr. Sandford then went on, "that these States
shall be free. The South — or some men at the South — threaten
that if they be, the South will split from the North, have
nothing to do with us, and set up for themselves."

"Who is to decide it?" I asked.

"The people. This fall the election will be held for the next
President; and that will show. If a slavery man is chosen, we
shall know that a majority of the nation go with the Southern
view."

"If not?" —

"Then there may be trouble, Daisy."

"What sort of trouble?" I asked hastily.

Dr. Sandford hesitated, and then said, "I do not know how far
people will go."

I mused, and forgot the sweet flutter of green leaves, and
smell of moss and of hemlock, and golden bursts of sunshine,
amongst which we were pursuing our way. Preston's strange heat
and sudden Southernism, Mr. Davis's wile and greatness, a
coming disputed election, quarrels between the people where I
was born and the people where I was brought up, divisions and
jealousies, floated before my mind in unlovely and confused
visions. Then, remembering my father and my mother and Gary Mc
Farlane, and others whom I had known, I spoke again.

"Whatever the Southern people say, they will do, Dr.
Sandford."

"_Provided_ —" said the doctor.

"What, if you please?"

"Provided the North will let them, Daisy."

I thought privately they could not hinder. I thought they
could not. Would there be a trial? Could it be possible there
would be a trial?

"But you have not answered my question," said the doctor.
"Aren't you going to answer it?"

"What question?"

"As to the side you would take."

"I do not want any more slave States, Dr. Sandford."

"I thought so. Then you would be with the North."

"But people will never be so foolish as to come to what you
call a 'split,' Dr. Sandford."

"Upon my word, Daisy, as the world is at present, the folly of
a thing is no presumptive argument against its coming into
existence. Look — here we shall get a nice piece of quartz for
your collection."

I came back to the primary rocks, and for the present
dismissed the subject of the confusions existing on the
surface of the earth; hoping sincerely that there would be no
occasion for calling it up again.

For some time I saw very little of Preston. He was busy, he
said. My days flowed on like the summer sunshine, and were as
beneficent. I was gaining strength every day. Dr. Sandford
decreed that I must stay as long as possible. Then Mr.
Sandford came, the doctor's brother, and added his social
weight to ours party. Hardly needed, for I perceived that we
were very much sought after; at least my companions. The
doctor in especial was a very great favourite, both with men
and women; who I notice are most ready to bestow their favour
where it is least cared for. I don't know but Dr. Sandford
cared for it; only he did not show that he did. The claims of
society however began to interfere with my geological and
other lessons.

A few days after his brother's arrival, the doctor had been
carried off by a party of gentlemen who were going back in the
mountains to fish in the White Lakes. I was left to the usual
summer delights of the place; which indeed to me were
numberless; began with the echo of the morning gun, (or
before) and ended not till the three taps of the drum at
night. The cadets had gone into camp by this time; and the
taps of the drum were quite near, as well as the shrill sweet
notes of the fife at reveille and tattoo. The camp itself was
a great pleasure to me; and at guard-mounting or parade I
never failed to be in my place. Only to sit in the rear of the
guard tents and watch the morning sunlight on the turf, and on
the hills over the river, and shining down the camp alleys,
was a rich satisfaction. Mrs. Sandford laughed at me; her
husband said it was "natural," though I am sure he did not
understand it a bit; but the end of all was, that I was left
very often to go alone down the little path to the guard-tents
among the crowd that twice a day poured out there from our
hotel and met the crowd that came up from Cozzens's hotel
below.

So it was, one morning that I remember. Guard-mounting was
always late enough to let one feel the sun's power; and it was
a sultry morning, this. We were in July now, and misty,
vapourous clouds moved slowly over the blue sky, seeming to
intensify the heat of the unclouded intervals. But wonderful
sweet it was; and I under the shade of my flat hat, with a
little help from the foliage of a young tree, did not mind it
at all. Every bit of the scene was a pleasure to me; I missed
none of the details. The files of cadets in the camp alleys
getting their arms inspected; the white tents themselves,
with curtains tightly done up; here and there an officer
crossing the camp ground and stopping to speak to an orderly;
then the coming up of the band, the music, the marching out of
the companies; the leisurely walk from the camp of the officer
in charge, drawing on his white gloves; his stand and his
attitude; and then the pretty business of the parade. All
under that July sky; all under that flicker of cloud and sun,
and the soft, sweet breath of air that sometimes stole to us
to relieve the hot stillness; and all with that setting and
background of cedars and young foliage and bordering hills
over which the cloud shadows swept. Then came the mounting
guard business. By and by Preston came to me.

"Awfully hot, Daisy!" he said.

"Yes, you are out in it," I said, compassionately.

"What are _you_ out in it for?"

"Why, I like it," I said. "How come you to be one of the red
sashes this morning?"

"I have been an officer of the guard this last twenty-four
hours."

"Since yesterday morning?"

"Yes."

"Do you like it, Preston?"

"_Like_ it!" he said. "Like guard duty! Why, Daisy, when a
fellow has left his shoe-string untied, or something or other
like that, they put him on extra guard duty to punish him."

"Did you ever do so, Preston?"

"Did I ever do so?" he repeated savagely. "Do you think I have
been raised like a Yankee, to take care of my shoes? That
Blunt is just fit to stand behind a counter and measure
inches!"

I was very near laughing, but Preston's mood would not bear
that.

"I don't think it is beneath a gentleman to keep his shoe-
strings tied," I said.

"A gentleman can't always think of everything!" was Preston's
answer.

"Then you are glad you have only one year more at the
Academy?"

"Of course I am glad! I'll never be under Yankee rule again;
not if I know it."

"Suppose they elect a Yankee President?" I said; but Preston's
look was so eager and so sharp at me that I was glad to cover
my rash suggestion under another subject as soon as possible.

"Are you going to be busy this afternoon?" I asked him.

"No, I reckon not."

"Suppose you come and go up to the Fort with me?"

"What fort?"

"Fort Putnam. I have never been there yet."

"There is nothing on earth to go there for," said Preston
shrugging his shoulders. "Just broil yourself in the sun, and
get nothing for it. It's an awful pull up hill; rough, and all
that; and nothing at the top but an old stone wall."

"But there is the view!" I said.

"You have got it down here — just as good. Just climb up the
hotel stairs fifty times without stopping, and then look out
of the thing at top — and you have been to Fort Putnam."

"Why, I want to go to the top of Crow's Nest," I said.

"Yes! I was ass enough to try that once," said Preston, "when
I was just come, and thought I must do everything; but if
anybody wants to insult me, let him just ask me to do it
again!"

Preston's mood was unmanageable. I had never seen him so in
old times. I thought West Point did not agree with him. I
listened to the bland, just then playing a fine air, and
lamented privately to myself that brass instruments should be
so much more harmonious than human tempers. Then the music
ceased and the military movements drew my attention again.

"They all walk like you," I observed carelessly, as I noticed
a measured step crossing the camp ground.

"Do they?" said Preston sneeringly. "I flatter myself I do not
walk like all of them. If you notice more closely, Daisy, you
will see a difference. You can tell a Southerner, on foot or
on horseback, from the sons of tailors and farmers — strange
if you couldn't!"

"I think you are unjust, Preston," I said. "You should not
talk so. Major Blunt walks as well and stands much better than
any officer I have seen; and he is from Vermont; and Captain
Percival is from South Carolina, and Mr. Hunter is from
Virginia, and Colonel Forsyth is from Georgia. They are all of
them less graceful than Major Blunt."

"What do you think of Dr. Sandford?" said Preston in the same
tone; but before I could answer I heard a call of "Gary! —
Gary!" I looked round. In the midst of the ranks of spectators
to our left stood a cadet, my friend of the omnibus. He was
looking impatiently our way, and again exclaimed in a sort of
suppressed shout — "Gary!" Preston heard him that time;
started from my side, and placed himself immediately beside
his summoner, in front of the guard tents and spectators. The
two were in line, two or three yards separating them, and both
facing towards a party drawn up at some little distance on the
camp ground, which I believe were the relieving guard. I moved
my own position to a place immediately behind them, where I
spied an empty camp stool, and watched the two with curious
eyes. Uniforms, and military conformities generally, are queer
things, if you take the right point of view. Here were these
two, a pair, and not a pair. The grey coat, and the white
pantaloons, (they had all gone into white now) the little
soldier's cap, were a counterpart in each of the other; the
two even stood on the ground as if they were bound to be
patterns each of the other; and when my acquaintance raised
his arms and folded them after the approved fashion, to my
great amusement Preston's arms copied the movement; and they
stood like two brother statues, still from their heels to
their cap rims. Except when once the right arm of my unknown
friend was unbent to give a military sign, in answer to some
demand or address from somebody, in front of him, which I did
not hear. Yet as I watched, I began to discern how individual
my two statues really were. I could not see faces, of course.
But the grey coat on the one looked as if its shoulders had
been more carefully brushed than had been the case with the
other; the spotless pantaloons, which seemed to be just out of
the laundress's basket, as I suppose they were, sat with a
trimmer perfection in one case than in the other. Preston's
pocket gaped, and was, I noticed, a little bit ripped; and
when my eye got down to the shoes, his had not the black gloss
of his companion's. With that one there was not, I think, a
thread awry. And then, there was a certain relaxation in the
lines of Preston's figure impossible to describe, stiff and
motionless though he was; something which prepared one for a
lax and careless movement when he moved. Perhaps this was
fancy and only arose from my knowledge of the fact; but with
the other no such fancy was possible. Still, but alert;
motionless, but full of vigour; I expected what came; firm,
quick, and easy action, as soon as he should cease to be a
statue.

So much for a back view of character; which engrossed me till
my two statues went away.

A little while after Preston came to me. "Are you here yet?"
he said.

"Don't you like to have me here?"

"It's hot. And it is very stupid for you, I should think.
Where is Mrs. Sandford?"

"She thinks as you do, that it is stupid."

"You ought not to be here without some one."

"Why not? What cadet was that who called you, Preston?"

"Called me? Nobody called me."

"Yes he did. When you were sitting with me. Who was it?"

"I don't know!" said Preston. "Goodbye. I shall be busy for a
day or two."

"Then you cannot go to Fort Putnam this afternoon?"

"Fort Putnam! I should think not. It is going to be broiling
to-day."

And he left me. Things had gone wrong with Preston lately, I
thought. But before I had made up my mind to move, two other
cadets came before me. One of them Mrs. Sandford knew, and I
slightly.

"Miss Randolph, my friend Mr. Thorold has begged me to
introduce him to you."

It was _my_ friend of the omnibus. I think we liked each other
at this very first moment. I looked up at a manly, well-
featured face, just then lighted with a little smile of
deference and recognition; but permanently lighted with the
brightest and quickest hazel eyes that I ever saw. Something
about the face pleased me on the instant. I believe it was the
frankness.

"I have to apologise for my rudeness, in calling a gentleman
away from you, Miss Randolph, in a very unceremonious manner,
a little while ago."

"Oh, I know," I said. "I saw what you did with him."

"Did I do anything with him?"

"Only called him to his duty, I suppose."

"Precisely. He was very excusable for forgetting it; but it
might have been inconvenient."

"Do you think it is ever excusable to forget duty?" I asked;
and I was rewarded with a swift flash of fun in the hazel
eyes, that came and went like forked lightning.

"It is not easily pardoned here," he answered.

"People don't make allowances?"

"Not officers," he said, with a smile. "Soldiers lose the
character of men, when they are on duty; they are only
reckoned machines."

"You do not mean that exactly, I suppose."

"Indeed I do!" he said, with another slighter corruscation.
"Intelligent machines, of course, but with no more latitude of
action. — You would not like that life?"

"I should think you would not."

"Ah, but we hope to rise to the management of the machines,
some day."

I thought I saw in his face that he did. I remarked that I
should not think the management of mere machines could be very
pleasant.

"Why not?"

"It is degrading to the machines, — and so, I should think, it
would not be very elevating to those who make them machines."

"That is exactly the use they propose them to serve, though,"
he said, looking amused; "the elevation of themselves."

"I know" — I said, thinking that the end was ignoble too.

"You do not approve it?" he said.

I felt those brilliant eyes dancing all over me, and, I
fancied, over my thoughts too. I felt a little shy of going on
to explain myself to one whom I knew so little. He turned the
conversation, by asking me if I had seen all the lions yet?

I said, I supposed not.

"Have you been up to the old fort?"

"I want to go there," I said; "but somebody told me to-day,
there was nothing worth going for."

"Has his report taken away your desire to make the trial?"

"No, for I do not believe he is right."

"Might I offer myself as a guide? I can be disengaged this
afternoon; and I know all the ways to the fort. It would give
me great pleasure."

I felt it would give me great pleasure too, and so I told him.
We arranged for the hour, and Mr. Thorold hastened away.

CHAPTER XV.

FORT PUTNAM.


"I am going to Fort Putnam this afternoon, with Mr. Thorold,"
— I announced to Mrs. Sandford, after dinner.

"Who is Mr. Thorold?"

"One of the cadets."

"One of the cadets! So it has got hold of you at last, Daisy!"

"What, Mrs. Sandford?"

"But Fort Putnam? My dearest child, it is very hot!"

"Oh, yes, ma'am — I don't mind it."

"Well, I am very glad, if you don't," said Mrs. Sandford. "And
I am very glad Grant has taken himself off to the White Lakes.
He gave nobody else any chance. It will do you a world of
good."

"What will?" I asked, wondering.

"Amusement, dear, — amusement. Something a great deal better
than Grant's 'elegies and 'ologies. Now this would never have
happened if he had been at home."

I did not understand her, but then I knew she did not
understand the pursuits she so slighted; and it was beyond my
powers to enlighten her. So I did not try.

Mr. Thorold was punctual, and so was I; and we set forth at
five o'clock, I at least as happy as it was possible to be.
Warm — it was, yet; we went slowly down the road, in shadow
and sunshine; tasting the pleasantness, it seems to me, of
every tree, and feeling the sweetness of each breath; in that
slight exhilaration of spirits which loses nothing and forgets
nothing. At least I have a good memory for such times. There
was a little excitement, no doubt, about going this walk with
a cadet and a stranger, which helped the whole effect.

I made use of my opportunity to gain a great deal of
information which Dr. Sandford could not give. I wanted to
understand the meaning and the use of many things I saw about
the Point. Batteries and fortifications were a mysterious
jumble to me; shells were a horrible novelty; the whole art
and trade of a soldier, something well worth studying, but
difficult to see as a reasonable whole. The adaptation of
parts to an end, I could perceive; the end itself puzzled me.

"Yet there has always been fighting," — said my companion.

"Yes," — I assented.

"Then we must be ready for it."

But I was not prepared in this case with my answer.

"Suppose we were unjustly attacked?" — said Mr. Thorold; and I
thought every one of the gilt buttons on his grey jacket
repelled the idea of a peaceable composition.

"I don't know," — said I, pondering. "Why should the rule be
different for nations and for individual people?"

"What is your rule for individual people?" he asked, laughing,
and looking down at me, as he held the gate open. I can see
the look and the attitude now.

"It is not my rule," I said.

"_The_ rule, then. What should a man do, Miss Randolph, when he
is unjustly attacked?"

I felt I was on very untenable ground, talking to a soldier.
If I was right, what was the use of his grey coat, or of West
Point itself. We were mounting the little steep pitch beyond
the gate, where the road turns; and I waited till I got upon
level footing. Then catching a bright inquisitive glance of
the hazel eyes, I summoned up my courage and spoke.

"I have no rule but the Bible, Mr. Thorold."

"The Bible! What does the Bible say? It tells of a great deal
of fighting."

"Of bad men."

"Yes, but the Jews were commanded to fight, were they not?"

"To punish bad men. But we have got another rule since that."

"What is it?"

" 'If any man smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the
other also.' "

"Is it possible you think the Bible means that literally?" he
said.

"Do you think it would say what it did not mean?"

"But try it by the moral effect; what sort of a fellow would a
man be who did so, Miss Randolph?"

"I think he would be fine!" — I said; for I was thinking of
One who, "when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He
suffered, He threatened not." But I could not tell all my
thought to Mr. Thorold; no more than I could to Dr. Sandford.

"And would you have him stand by and see another injured?" my
companion asked. "Wouldn't you have him fight in such a case?"

I had not considered that question. I was silent.

"Suppose he sees wrong done; wrong that a few well planted
blows — or shots, if you like; shots are but well directed
blows," he said, smiling; — "wrong that a few well planted
blows would prevent. — Suppose somebody were to attack you
now, for instance; ought I not to fight for it?"

"I should like to have you," I said.

"Come!" he said, laughing, and stretching out his hand to
shake mine, — "I see you will let me keep my profession, after
all. And why should not a nation do, on a larger scale, what a
man may do?"

"Why it may," I said.

"Then — West Point is justified."

"But very few wars in the world are conducted on that
principle," I said.

"Very few. In fact I do not at this moment recollect the
instances. But you would allow a man, or a nation to fight in
self-defence, — would not you?"

I pondered the matter. "I suppose — he has a right to protect
his life," I said. "But 'if a man smite thee on the cheek,' —
_that_ does not touch life."

"What would you think of a man," said my companion gravely, —
"who should suffer some one to give him such a blow, without
taking any notice of it?"

"If he did it because he was _afraid_," I said, "of course I
shouldn't like that. But if he did it to obey the Bible — I
should think it was noble. The Bible says 'it is glory, to
pass by a transgression.' "

"But suppose he was afraid of being thought afraid?"

I looked at my companion, and felt instinctively sure that
neither this nor my first supposed case would ever be true of
him. Further, I felt sure that no one would ever be hardy
enough to give the supposed occasion. I can hardly tell how I
knew; it was by some of those indescribable natural signs. We
were slowly mounting the hill; and in every powerful, lithe
movement, in the very set of his shoulders and head, and as
well in the sparkle of the bright eye which looked round at
me, I read the tokens of a spirit which I thought neither had
known nor ever would know the sort of indignity he had
described. He was talking for talk's sake. But while I looked,
the sparkle of the eye grew very merry.

"You are judging me, Miss Randolph," he said. "Judge me
gently."

"No indeed," I said. "I was thinking that you are not speaking
from experience."

"I am not better than you think me," he said, laughing and
shaking his head. And the laugh was so full of merriment that
it infected me. I saw he was very much amused; I thought he
was a little interested too. "You know," he went on, "my
education has been unfavourable. I have fought for a smaller
matter than that you judge insufficient."

"Did it do any good?" I asked.

He laughed again; picked up a stone and threw it into the
midst of a thick tree to dislodge something — I did not see
what; and finally looked round at me with the most genial
amusement and good nature mixed. I knew he was interested now.

"I don't know how much good it did to anybody but myself," he
said. "It comforted me — at the time. Afterwards, I remember
thinking it was hardly worth while. But if a fellow should
suffer an insult, as you say, and not take any notice of it,
what do you suppose would become of him in the corps — or in
the world either?"

"He would be a noble man, all the same," I said.

"But people like to be well thought of by their friends and
society."

"I know that."

"He would be sent to Coventry unmitigatedly."

"I cannot help it, Mr. Thorold," I said. "If anybody does
wrong because he is afraid of the consequences of doing right,
he is another sort of a coward — that is all!"

Mr. Thorold laughed, and catching my hand as we came to a turn
in the road where the woods fell away right and left, brought
me quick round the angle, without letting me go to the edge of
the bank to get the view.

"You must not look till you get to the top," he said.

"What an odd road!" I remarked. "It just goes by zigzags."

"The only way to get up at all, without travelling round the
hill. That is, for horses."

It was steep enough for foot wayfarers, but the road was
exceeding comfortable that day. We were under the shade of
trees all the way; and talk never lagged. Mr. Thorold was
infinitely pleasant to me; as well as unlike any one of all my
former acquaintances. There was a wealth of life in him, that
delighted my quieter nature; an amount of animal spirits that
were just a constant little impetus to me; and from the first
I got an impression of strength, such as weakness loves to
have near. Bodily strength he had also, in perfection; but I
mean now the firm self-reliant nature, quick at resources,
ready to act as to decide, and full of the power that has its
spring and magazine in character alone. So, enjoying each
other, we went slowly up the zigzags of the hill, very steep
in places, and very rough to the foot; but the last pitch was
smoother, and there the grey old bulwarks of the ruined
fortification faced down upon us, just above.

"Now," said Mr. Thorold, coming on the outside of me to
prevent it, — "don't look!" — and we turned into the entrance
of the fort, between two outstanding walls. Going through, we
hurried up a little steep rise, till we got to a smooth spread
of grass, sloping gently to a level with the top of the wall.
Where this slope reached its highest, where the parapet (as Mr
Thorold called it) commanded a clear view from the eastern
side, there he brought me, and then permitted me to stand
still. I do not know how long I stood quite still without
speaking.

"Will you sit down?" said my companion; and I found he had
spread a pocket-handkerchief on the bank for me. The turf in
that place was about eighteen inches higher than the top of
the wall, making a very convenient seat. I thought of Queen
Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh; but I also thought the most
queenly thing I could do was to take the offered civility, and
I sat down. My eyes were bewildered with the beauty; they
turned from one point to another with a sort of wondering,
insatiable enjoyment. There, beneath our feet, lay the little
level green- plain; its roads and trees all before us as in a
map, with the lines of building enclosing it on the south and
west. A cart and oxen were slowly travelling across the road
between the library and the hotel, looking like minute ants
dragging a crumb along. Beyond them was the stretch of brown
earth, where the cavalry exercises forbade a blade of grass to
show itself. And beyond that, at the further edge of the
plain, the little white camp; its straight rows of tents and
the alleys between all clearly marked out. Round all this the
river curved, making a promontory of it; a promontory with
fringed banks, and levelled at top, as it seemed, just to
receive the Military Academy. On the other side the river, a
long sweep of gentle hills, coloured in the fair colours of
the evening; curving towards the north-east into a beautiful
circle of soft outlines back of the mountain which rose steep
and bold at the water's edge. This mountain was the first of
the group I had seen from my hotel window. Houses and churches
nestled in the curve of tableland, under the mountain. Due
north, the parapet of the fort rising sharply at its northern
angle a few feet from where I sat, hindered my full view.
Southerly, the hills swept down, marking the course of the
river for many a mile; but again from where I sat I could not
see how far. With a sigh of pleasure my eye came back to the
plain and the white tents.

"Is guard duty very disagreeable?" I asked, thinking of
Preston's talk in the morning.

"Why, at mid-day, with the thermometer at 90, it is not
exactly the amusement one would choose," said Mr. Thorold. "I
like it at night well enough."

"What do you do?"

"Nothing, but walk up and down, two hours at a time."

"What is the use of it?"

"To keep order, and make sure that nothing goes in or out that
has no business to do it."

"And they have to carry their guns," I said.

"Their muskets — yes."

"Are they very heavy?"

"No. Pretty heavy for an arm that is new to it. I never
remember I have mine."

"Mr. Caxton said," (Mr. Caxton was the cadet who had
introduced Mr. Thorold to me) — "Mr. Caxton told Mrs. Sandford
that the new cadets are sometimes so exhausted with their tour
of duty that they have to be carried off the ground."

Mr. Thorold looked at me, a very keen bright look of his hazel
eyes; but he said nothing.

"And he said, that the little white boxes at the corners of
the camp, were monuments to those who had fallen on duty."

"Just four of them!" — said Mr. Thorold, settling his cap down
over his brows; but then he laughed, and I laughed; how we
laughed!

"Don't you want to see the rest of it?" he said, jumping up. I
did not know there was anything more to see. Now, however, he
brought me up to the high angle of the parapet that had
intercepted my view to the north. I could hardly get away from
there. The full magnificence of the mountains in that quarter;
the river's course between them, the blue hills of the distant
Shawangunk range, and the woody chasm immediately at my feet,
stretching from the height where I stood over to the crest of
the Crow's nest; it took away my breath. I sat down again,
while Mr. Thorold pointed out localities; and did not move,
till I had to make way for another party of visitors who were
coming. Then Mr. Thorold took me all round the edge of the
fort. At the south, we looked down into the woody gorge where
Dr. Sandford and I had hunted for fossil infusoria. From here
the long channel of the river running southerly, with its
bordering ridge of hills, and above all, the wealth and glory
of the woodland and the upheaved rocks before me, were almost
as good as the eastern view. The path along the parapet in
places was narrow and dizzy; but I did not care for it, and my
companion went like a chamois. He helped me over the hard
places; hand in hand we ran down the steep slopes; and as we
went we got very well acquainted. At last we climbed up the
crumbling masonry to a small platform which commanded the view
both east and south.

"What is this place for?" I asked.

"To plant guns on."

"They could not reach to the river, could they?"

"Much further — the guns of now-a-days."

"And the old vaults under here — I saw them as we passed by, —
were they prisons, places for prisoners?"

"A sort of involuntary prisoners," said Mr. Thorold. "They are
only casemates; prisons for our own men occasionally, when
shot and shell might be flying too thick; hiding places, in
short. Would you like to go to the laboratory some day, where
we learn to make different kinds of shot, and fire-works and
such things?"

"Oh, very much! But, Mr. Thorold, Mr. Caxton told me that
Andrι was confined in one of these places under here; he said
his name was written upon the stones in a dark corner, and
that I would find it."

Mr. Thorold looked at me, with an expression of such contained
fun that I understood it at once; and we bad another laugh
together. I began to wonder whether every one that wore a
uniform of grey and white with gilt buttons made it his
amusement to play upon the ignorance of uninitiated people;
but on reflection I could not think Mr. Thorold had done so. I
resolved to be careful how I trusted the rest of the cadets,
even Preston; and indeed, my companion remarked that I had
better not believe anything I heard without asking him. We ran
down and inspected the casemates; and then took our seats
again for one last look on the eastern parapet. The river and
hills were growing lovely in cooler lights; shadow was
stealing over the plain.

"Shall I see you to-morrow evening?" my companion asked
suddenly.

"To-morrow evening?" I said. "I don't know. I suppose we shall
be at home."

"Then I shall _not_ see you. I meant, at the hop."

"The hop?" I repeated. "What is that?"

"The cadets' hop. During the encampment we have a hop three
times a week — a cotillion party. I hope you will be there.
Haven't you received an invitation?"

"I think not," I said. "I have heard nothing about it."

"I will see that that is set right," Mr. Thorold remarked.
"And now, do you know we must go down? — that is, _I_ must; and
I do not think I can leave you here."

"Oh, you have to be on parade!" I exclaimed, starting up; "and
it is almost time! —"

It was indeed, and though my companion put his own concerns in
the background very politely, I would be hurried. We ran down
the hill, Mr. Thorold's hand helping me over the rough way and
securing me from stumbling. In very few minutes we were again
at the gate and entered upon the post limits. And there were
the band, in dark column, just coming up from below the hill.

We walked the rest of the way in orderly fashion enough, till
we got to the hotel gate; there Mr. Thorold touched his cap
and left me, on a run, for the camp. I watched till I saw he
got there in time; and then went slowly in; feeling that a
great piece of pleasure was over.

I had had a great many pieces of pleasure in my life, but
rarely a _companion_. Dr. Sandford, Miss Cardigan, my dear
Captain Drummond, were all much in advance of my own age; my
servants were my servants, at Magnolia; and Preston had never
associated with me on just the footing of equality. I went up
stairs thinking that I should like to see a great deal more of
Mr. Thorold.

Mrs. Sandford was on the piazza when I came down, and alone;
everybody was gone to parade. She gave me a little billet.

"Well, Daisy! — are you walked to death, my dear? Certainly,
West Point agrees with you! What a colour! And what a change!
You are not the same creature that we brought away from New
York. Well, was it worth going for, all the way to see that
old ruin? My dear! I wish your father and mother could see
you."

I stood still, wishing they could.

"There is more pleasure for you," — Mrs. Sandford went on.

"What is this, ma'am?"

"An invitation. The cadets have little parties for dancing, it
seems, three times a week, in summer; poor fellows! it is all
the recreation they get, I suspect; and, of course, they want
all the ladies that can be drummed up, to help them dance.
It's quite a charity, they tell me. I expect I shall have to
dance myself."

I looked at the note, and stood mute, thinking what I should
do. Ever since Mr. Thorold had mentioned it, up on the hill,
the question had been recurring to me. I had never been to a
party in my life, since my childish days at Melbourne. Aunt
Gary's parties at Magnolia had been of a different kind from
this; not assemblies of young people. At Mme. Ricard's I had
taken dancing lessons, at my mother's order; and in her
drawing room I had danced quadrilles and waltzes with my
schoolfellows; but Mme. Ricard was very particular, and nobody
else was ever admitted. I hardly knew what it was to which I
was now invited. To dance with the cadets! I knew only three
of them; however, I supposed that I might dance with those
three. I had an impression that amusements of this kind were
rather found in the houses of the gay than the sober-minded;
but this was peculiar, to help the cadets dance, Mrs. Sandford
said. I thought Mr. Thorold wished I would come. I wondered
Preston had not mentioned it. He, I knew, was very fond of
dancing. I mused till the people came back from parade and we
were called to tea; but all my musings went no further. I did
not decide not to go.

"Now, Daisy," said Mrs. Sandford the next morning, "if you are
going to the hop to-night, I don't intend to have you out in
the sun burning yourself up. It will be terribly hot; and you
must keep quiet. I am so thankful Grant is away! he would have
you all through the woods, hunting for nobody knows what, and
bring you home scorched."

"Dear Mrs. Sandford," I said, "I can dance just as well, if I
_am_ burnt."

"That's a delusion, Daisy. You are a woman, after all, my
dear, — or you will be; and you may as well submit to the
responsibility. And you may not know it, but you have a
wonderfully fine skin, my dear; it always puts me in mind of
fresh cream."

"Cream is yellow," I said.

"Not all the cream that ever _I_ saw," said Mrs. Sandford.
"Daisy, you need not laugh. You will be a queen, my dear, when
you cease to be a child. What are you going to wear to-night?"

"I don't know, ma'am; anything cool, I suppose."

"It won't matter much," Mrs. Sandford repeated.

But yet I found she cared and it did matter, when it came to
the dressing time. However she was satisfied with one of the
embroidered muslins my mother had sent me from Paris.

I think I see myself now, seated in the omnibus and trundling
over the plain to the cadets' dancing rooms. The very hot,
still July night seems round me again. Lights were twinkling
in the camp, and across the plain in the houses of the
professors and officers; lights above in the sky too, myriads
of them, mocking the tapers that go out so soon. I was happy
with a little flutter of expectation; quietly enjoying
meanwhile the novel loveliness of all about me, along with the
old familiar beauty of the abiding stars and dark blue sky. It
was a five minutes of great enjoyment. But all natural beauty
vanished from my thoughts when the omnibus drew up at the door
of the Academic Building. I was entering on something untried.

At first sight, when we went into the room, it burst upon me
that it was very pretty. The room was dressed with flags, —
and evergreens, — and with uniforms; and undoubtedly there is
charm in colour, and a gilt button and a gold strap do light
up the otherwise sombre and heavy figures of our Western
masculine costume. The white and rosy and blue draperies and
scarfs that were floating around the forms of the ladies, were
met and set off by the grey and white of the cadets and the
heavier dark blue of the officers. I never anywhere else saw
so pretty gatherings. I stood quite enchanted with the
pleasure of the eye; till to my startled astonishment, Captain
Pcrcival came up and asked me to dance the first dance with
him. I had not expected to dance with anybody except Preston
and Mr. Thorold, and perhaps Mr. Caxton. Mr. Thorold came up
before the dance began, and I presented him to Mrs. Sandford.
He asked me for the first dance, then for the second. And
there was no more time for anything, for the dancing began.

I had always liked dancing at school. Here the music was far
better and the scene infinitely prettier; it was very
pleasant, I thought. That is, when Captain Percival did not
talk; for he talked nothings. I did not know how to answer
him. Of course it had been very hot to-day; and the rooms were
very full; and there were a good many people at the hotel. I
had nothing but an insipid affirmative to give to these
propositions. Then said Captain Percival insinuatingly —

"You are from the South?"

I had nothing but an insipid assent again.

"I was sure of it," he said. "I could not be mistaken."

I wondered how he knew, but it did not suit me to ask him; and
we danced on again till the dance came to an end. I was glad
when it did. In a minute more I was standing by Mrs. Sandford
and introduced to Captain Boulanger, who also asked me to
dance, and engaged me for the next but one; and then Mr.
Caxton brought up one of his brother cadets and presented him,
and he asked me, and looked disappointed when for both the
next dances I was obliged to refuse him. I was quite glad when
Mr. Thorold came and carried me off. The second quadrille went
better than the first; and I was enjoying myself unfeignedly,
when in a pause of the dance I remarked to my partner that
there seemed to be plenty of ladies here to-night.

"Plenty," he said. "It is very kind of them. What then?"

"Only —" I said — "so many people came and asked me to dance
in the few minutes I stood by Mrs. Sandford, and one of them
looked quite disappointed that he could not have me."

I was met by a look of the keenest inquiry, followed instantly
and superseded by another flash of expression. I could not
comprehend it at the time. The eyes, which had startled me by
their steely gleam, softened wonderfully with what looked like
nothing so much as reverence, along with some other expression
which I could neither read at the moment nor fathom
afterwards.

Both looks were gone before I could ask him what they meant,
or perhaps I should have asked; for I was beginning to feel
very much at my ease with Mr. Thorold. I trusted him.

"Did he want you for this dance?" was all he said.

"For this, and for the next," I answered.

"Both gone! Well, may I have the third, and so disappoint
somebody else?" he said laughing.

If I did not talk much with Mr. Thorold in intervals of
dancing, at least we did not talk nonsense. In the next pause
he remarked that he saw I was fond of this amusement.

"I think I like everything," I told him.

"Are the hills better than this?" he whispered.

"Oh, yes!" I said. "Don't you think so?"

He smiled, and said "truly he did." "You have been over the
Flirtation walk, of course?" he added.

"I do not know which it is."

He smiled again, that quick illuminating smile which seemed to
sparkle in his hazel eyes; and nodded his head a little.

"I had the pleasure to see you there, very early one morning."

"Oh, is that it?" I said. "I have been down that way from the
hotel very often."

"That way leads to it. You were upon it, where you were
sitting. You have not been through it yet? May I show it to
you some day? To-morrow?"

I agreed joyfully; and then asked who were certain of the
cadets whom I saw about the room, with rosettes of ribbon and
long streamers on the breast of their grey coats?

"Those are the Managers," said my companion. "You will see
enough of them. It is their duty to introduce poor fellows who
want partners."

I did not see much of them, however, that evening. As soon as
I was released from that dance, Captain Percival brought up
Captain Lascelles; and somebody else, Mr. Sandford, I believe,
introduced Lt. Vaux, and Major Fairbairn; and Major Pitt was
another, I believe. And Colonel Walruss brought up his son,
who was in the corps of cadets. They all wanted to dance with
me; so it was lucky Mr. Thorold had secured his second dance,
or I could not have given it to him. I went over and over
again the same succession of topics, in the intervals of
standing still. How the day had been warm, and the evening
kept up its character; the hotels were full now; the cadets
well off to have so many ladies; dancing a pleasant pastime,
and West Point a nice place. I got so accustomed to the
remarks I might expect, that my mouth was ready with an
assenting "yes" before the speaker began. But the talking was
a small part of the business after all; and the evening went
merrily for me, till on a sudden a shrill piercing summons of
drum and fife, rolling as it were into our very ears, put a
stop to proceedings. Midway in the movement the dancers
stopped; there was a hurried bow and curtsey, and an instant
scattering of all the grey-coated part of the assembly. The
"hop" was over. We went home in the warm moonlight, I thinking
that I had had a very nice time, and glad that Mr. Thorold was
coming to take me to walk to-morrow.

CHAPTER XVI.

HOPS.


The afternoon was very sultry; however Mr. Thorold came, and
we went for our walk. It was so sultry we went very leisurely,
and also met few people; and instead of looking very carefully
at the beauties of nature and art we had come to see, we got
into a great talk as we strolled along; indeed, sometimes we
stopped and sat down to talk. Mr. Thorold told me about
himself, or rather, about his home in Vermont and his old life
there. He had no mother, and no brothers nor sisters; only his
father. And he described to me the hills of his native
country, and the farm his father cultivated, and the people,
and the life on the mountains. Strong and free and fresh and
independent and intelligent — that was the impression his talk
made upon me, of the country and people and life alike.
Sometimes my thoughts took a private turn of their own,
branching off.

"Mr. Thorold," said I, "do you know Mr. Davis, of
Mississippi?"

"Davis? No, I don't know him," he said shortly.

"You have seen him?"

"Yes, I have seen him often enough; and his wife, too."

"Do you like his looks?"

"I do not."

"He looks to me like a bad man —" I said slowly. I said it to
Mr. Thorold; I would hardly have made the remark to another at
West Point.

"He is about bad business —" was my companion's answer. "And
yet — I do not know what he is about; but I distrust the man."

"Mr. Thorold," said I, beginning cautiously, "do you want to
have slavery go into the territories?"

"No," said he. "Do you?"

"No. What do you think would happen if a Northern President
should be elected in the fall?"

"Then slavery would _not_ go into the territories," he said,
looking a little surprised at me. "The question would be
settled."

"But do you know some people say — some people at the South
say — that if a Northern President is elected, the Southern
States will not submit to him?"

"Some people talk a great deal of nonsense," said Mr. Thorold.
"How could they help submitting?"

"They say — it is said — that they would break off from the
North and set up for themselves. It is not foolish people that
say it, Mr. Thorold."

"Will you pardon me, Miss Randolph, but I think they would be
very foolish people that would do it."

"Oh, I think so too," I said. "I mean, that some people who
are not foolish, believe that it might happen."

"Perhaps," said Mr. Thorold. "I never heard anything of it
before. You are from the South yourself, Miss Randolph?" he
added, looking at me.

"I was born there," I said. And a little silence fell between
us. I was thinking. Some impression, got I suppose from my
remembrance of father and mother, Preston, and others whom I
had known, forbade me to dismiss quite so lightly, as too
absurd to be true, the rumour I had heard. Moreover, I trusted
Dr. Sandford's sources of information, living as he did in
habits of close social intercourse with men of influence and
position at Washington, both Southern and Northern.

"Mr. Thorold" — I broke the silence, — "if the South should do
such a thing, what would happen?"

"There would be trouble," he said.

"What sort of trouble?"

"Might be all sorts," said Mr. Thorold, laughing; "it would
depend on how far people's folly would carry them."

"But suppose the Southern States should just do that; — say
they would break off and govern themselves?"

"They would be like a bad boy that has to be made to take
medicine."

"How could you _make_ them?" I asked, feeling unreasonably grave
about the question.

"You can see, Miss Randolph, that such a thing could not be
permitted. A Government that would let any part of its
subjects break away at their pleasure from its rule, would
deserve to go to pieces. If one part might go, another part
might go. There would be no nation left."

"But how could you _help_ it?" I asked.

"I don't know whether we could help it," he said; "but we
would try."

"You do not mean, that it would come to _fighting?_"

"I do not think they would be such fools. I hope we are
supposing a very unlikely thing, Miss Randolph."

I hoped so. But that impression of Southern character troubled
me yet. Fighting! I looked at the peaceful hills, feeling as
if indeed "all the foundations of the earth" would be "out of
course."

"What would _you_ do in case it came to fighting?" said my
neighbour. The words startled me out of my meditations.

"I could not do anything."

"I beg your pardon. Your favour — your countenance, would do
much; on one side or the other. You would fight — in effect —
as surely as I should."

I looked up. "Not against you," I said; for I could not bear
to be misunderstood.

There was a strange sparkle in Mr. Thorold's eye; but those
flashes of light came and went so like flashes, that I could
not always tell what they meant. The tone of his voice however
I knew expressed pleasure.

"How comes that?" he said. "You _are_ Southern?"

"Do I look it?" I asked.

"Pardon me — yes."

"How, Mr. Thorold?"

"You must excuse me. I cannot tell you. But you _are_ South?"

"Yes," I said. "At least all my friends are Southern. I was
born there."

"You have one Northern friend," said Mr. Thorold, as we rose
up to go on. He said it with meaning. I looked up and smiled.
There was a smile in his eyes, mixed with something more. I
think our compact of friendship was made and settled then and
at once.


He stretched out his hand as if for a further ratification. I
put mine in it, while he went on, "How comes it then that you
take such a view of such a question?"

There had sprung up a new tone in our intercourse, of more
familiarity, and more intimate trust. It gave infinite content
to me; and I went on to answer, telling him about my Northern
life. Drawn on, from question to question, I detailed at
length my Southern experience also, and put my new friend in
possession not only of my opinions, but of the training under
which they had been formed. My hand, I remember, remained in
his while I talked, as if he had been my brother; till he
suddenly put it down and plunged into the bushes for a bunch
of wild roses. A party of walkers came round an angle a moment
after; and, waking up to a consciousness of our surroundings,
we found, or _I_ did, that we were just at the end of the rocky
walk, where we must mount up and take to the plain.

The evening was falling very fair over plain and hill when we
got to the upper level. Mr. Thorold proposed that I should go
and see the camp, which I liked very much to do. So he took me
all through it, and showed and explained all sorts of things
about the tents and the way of life they lived in them. He
said he should like it very much, if he only had more room;
but three or four in one little tent nine feet by nine, gave
hardly, as he said, "a chance to a fellow." The tents and the
camp alleys were full of cadets, loitering about, or talking,
or busy with their accoutrements; here and there I saw an
officer. Captain Percival bowed, Captain Lascelles spoke. I
looked for Preston, but I could see him nowhere. Then Mr.
Thorold brought me into his own tent, introduced one or two
cadets who were loitering there and who immediately took
themselves away; and made me sit down on what he called a
"locker." The tent curtains were rolled tight up, as far as
they would go, and so were the curtains of every other tent;
most beautiful order prevailed everywhere and over every
trifling detail.

"Well," said Mr. Thorold, sitting down opposite me on a
candle-box — "how do you think you would like camp life?"

"The tents are too close together," I said.

He laughed, with a good deal of amusement.

"That will do!" he said. "You begin by knocking the camp to
pieces."

"But it is beautiful," I went on.

"And not comfortable. Well, it is pretty comfortable," he
said.

"How do you do when it storms very hard — at night?"

"Sleep."

"Don't you ever get wet?"

"_That_ makes no difference."

"Sleep in the wet!" said I. And he laughed again at me. It was
not banter. The whole look and air of the man testified to a
thorough soldierly, manly contempt of little things — of all
things that might come in the way of order and his duty. An
intrinsic independence and withal control of circumstances, in
so far as the mind can control them. I read the power to do
it. But I wondered to myself if he never got homesick in that
little tent and full camp. It would not do to touch the
question.

"Do you know Preston Gary?" I asked. "He is a cadet."

"I know him."

I thought the tone of the words, careless as they were,
signified little value for the knowledge.

"I have not seen him anywhere," I remarked.

"Do you want to see him? He has seen you."

"No, he cannot," I said, "or he would have come to speak to
me."

"He would if he could," replied Mr. Thorold, — "no doubt; but
the liberty is wanting. He is on guard. We crossed his path as
we came into the camp."

"On guard!" I said. "Is he? Why, he was on guard only a day or
two ago. Does it come so often?"

"It comes pretty often in Gary's case," said my companion.

"Does it?" I said. "He does not like it."

"No," said Mr. Thorold merrily. "It is not a favourite
amusement in most cases."

"Then why does he have so much of it?"

"Gary is not fond of discipline."

I guessed this might be true. I knew enough of Preston for
that. But it startled me.

"Does he not obey the regulations?" I asked presently, in a
lowered tone.

Mr. Thorold smiled. "He is a friend of yours, Miss Randolph?"

"Yes," I said. "He is my mother's nephew."

"Then he is your cousin?" said my companion. Another of those
penetrative glances fell on me. They were peculiar; they
flashed upon me, or through me, as keen and clear as the flash
of a sabre in the sun; and out of eyes in which a sunlight of
merriment or benignity was even then glowing. Both glowed upon
me just at this moment, so I did not mind the keen
investigation. Indeed I never minded it. I learned to know it
as one of Mr. Thorold's peculiarities. Now, Dr. Sandford had a
good eye for reading people, but it never flashed, unless
under strong excitement. Mr. Thorold's were dancing and
flashing and sparkling with fifty things by turns; their fund
of amusement and power of observation were the first things
that struck me, and they attracted me too.

"Then he is your cousin?"

"Of course, he is my cousin."

I thought Mr. Thorold seemed a little bit grave and silent for
a moment; then he rose up, with that benign look of his eyes
glowing all over me, and told me there was the drum for
parade. "Only the first drum," he added; so I need not be in a
hurry. Would I go home before parade?

I thought I would. If Preston was pacing up and down the side
of the camp ground, I thought I did not want to see him nor to
have him see me; as he was there for what I called disgrace.
Moreover I had a secret presentiment of a breezy discussion
with him the next time there was a chance.

And I was not disappointed. The next day, in the afternoon he
came to see us. Mrs. Sandford and I were sitting on the
piazza, where the heat of an excessively sultry day was now
relieved a little by a slender breeze coming out of the north-
west. It was very hot still. Preston sat down and made
conversation in an abstracted way for a little while.

"We did not see you at the hop the other night, Mr. Gary,"
Mrs. Sandford remarked.

"No. Were you there?" said Preston.

"Everybody was there — except you."

"And Daisy? Were _you_ there, Daisy?"

"Certainly," Mrs. Sandford responded. "Everybody else could
have been better missed."

"I did not know you went there," said Preston, in something so
like a growl that Mrs. Sandford lifted her eyes to look at
him.

"I do not wonder you are jealous," she said composedly.

"Jealous!" said Preston, with growl the second.

"You had more reason than you knew."

Preston grumbled something about the hops being "stupid
places." I kept carefully still.

"Daisy, did _you_ go?"

I looked up, and said yes.

"Whom did you dance with?"

"With everybody," said Mrs. Sandford. "That is, so far as the
length of the evening made it possible. Blue and grey, and all
colours."

"I don't want you to dance with everybody," said Preston, in a
more undertone growl.

"There is no way to prevent it," said Mrs. Sandford, "but to
be there and ask her yourself."

I did not thank Mrs. Sandford, privately for this suggestion;
which Preston immediately followed up by enquiring "if we were
going to the hop to-night?"

"Certainly," Mrs. Sandford said.

"It's too confounded hot!"

"Not for us who are accustomed to the climate," Mrs. Sandford
said, with spirit.

"It's a bore altogether," muttered Preston. "Daisy, are you
going to-night?"

"I suppose so."

"Well, if you must go, you may as well dance with me as with
anybody. So tell anybody else that you are engaged. I will
take care of you."

"Don't you wish to dance with anybody except me?"

"I do not," said Preston slowly. "As I said, it is too hot. I
consider the whole thing a bore."

"You shall not be bored for me," I said. "I refuse to dance
with you. I hope I shall not see you there at all."

"Daisy!"

"Well?"

"Come down and take a little walk with me."

"You said, it is too hot."

"But you will dance?"

"You will not dance."

"I want to speak to you, Daisy."

"You may speak," I said. I did not want to hear him, for there
were no indications of anything agreeable in Preston's manner.

"Daisy!" he said, — "I do not know you."

"You used to know her," said Mrs. Sandford; "that is all."

"Will you come and walk with me?" said Preston, almost
angrily.

"I do not think it would be pleasant," I said.

"You were walking yesterday afternoon."

"Yes!"

"Come and walk up and down the piazza, anyhow. You can do
that."

I could, and did not refuse. He chose the sunny western side,
because no one was there. However, the sun's rays were
obscured under a thick haze and had been all day.

"Whom were you with?" Preston enquired, as soon as we were out
of earshot.

"Do you mean yesterday?"

"Of course I mean yesterday! I saw you cross in to the camp.
With whom were you going there?"

"Why did you not come to speak to me?" I said.

"I was on duty. I could not."

"I did not see you anywhere."

"I was on guard. You crossed my path not ten feet off."

"Then you must know whom I was with, Preston," I said, looking
at him.

"_You_ don't know — that is the thing. It was that fellow
Thorold."

"How came you to be on guard again so soon? You were on guard
just a day or two before."

"That is all right enough. It is about military things, that
you do not understand. It is all right enough, except these
confounded Yankees. And Thorold is another."

"Who is _one?_" I said, laughing. "You say he is _another_."

"Blunt is one."

"I like Major Blunt."

"Daisy," said Preston, stopping short, "you ought to be with
your mother. There is nobody to take care of you here. How
came you to know that Thorold?"

"He was introduced to me. What is the matter with him?"

"You ought not to be going about with him. He is a regular
Yankee, I tell you."

"What does that mean?" I said. "You speak it as if you meant
something very objectionable.

"I do. They are a cowardly set of tailors. They have no idea
what a gentleman means, not one of them, unless they have
caught the idea from a Southerner. I don't want you to have
anything to do with them, Daisy. You must not dance with them,
and you must not be seen with this Thorold. Promise me you
will not."

"Dr. Sandford is another," I said.

"I can't help Dr. Sandford. He is your guardian. You must not
go again with Thorold!"

"Did you ever know _him_ cowardly?" I asked.

I was sure that Preston coloured; whether with any feeling
beside anger I could not make out; but the anger was certain.

"What do you know about it?" he asked.

"What do you?" I rejoined. But Preston changed more and more.

"Daisy, promise me you will not have anything to do with these
fellows. You are too good to dance with them. There are plenty
of Southern people here now, and lots of Southern cadets."

"Mr. Caxton is one," I said. "I don't like him."

"He is of an excellent Georgia family," said Preston.

"I cannot help that. He is neither gentlemanly in his habits,
nor true in his speech."

Preston hereupon broke out into an untempered abuse of
Northern things in general and Northern cadets in particular,
mingled with a repetition of his demands upon me. At length I
turned from him.

"This is very tiresome, Preston," I said; "and this side of
the house is very warm. Of course I must dance with whoever
asks me."

"Well, I have asked you for this evening," he said, following
me.

"You are not to go," I said. "I shall not dance with you
once," and I took my former place by Mrs. Sandford. Preston
fumed; declared I was just like a piece of marble; and went
away. I did not feel quite so impassive as he said I looked.

"What are you going to wear to-night, Daisy?" Mrs. Sandford
asked presently.

"I don't know, ma'am."

"But you must know soon, my dear. Have you agreed to give your
cousin half the evening?"

"No, ma'am — I could not — I am engaged for every dance, and
more."

"More!" said Mrs. Sandford.

"Yes ma'am — for the next time."

"Preston has reason!" she said, laughing. "But I think, Daisy,
Grant will be the most jealous of all. Do him good. What will
become of his sciences and his microscope now?"

"Why, I shall be just as ready for them," I said.

Mrs. Sandford shook her head. "You will find the hops will
take more than that," she said. "But now, Daisy, think what
you will wear; for we must go soon and get ready."

I did not want to think about it. I expected, of course, to
put on the same dress I had worn the last time. But Mrs.
Sandford objected very strongly.

"You must not wear the same thing twice running," she said;
"not if you can help it."

I could not imagine why not.

"It is quite nice enough," I urged. "It is scarcely the least
mussed in the world."

"People will think you have not another, my dear."

"What matter would that be?" I said, wholly puzzled.

"Now, my dear Daisy!" said Mrs. Sandford, half laughing, —
"you are the veriest Daisy in the world, and do not understand
the world that you grow in. No matter; just oblige me, and put
on something else to-night. What have you got?"

I had other dresses like the rejected one. I had another
still, white like them, but of different make and quality. I
hardly knew what it was, for I had never worn it; to please
Mrs. Sandford I took it out now. She was pleased. It was, like
the rest, out of the store my mother had sent me; a soft India
muslin, of beautiful texture, made and trimmed as my mother
and a Parisian artist could manage between them. But no
Parisian artist could know better than my mother how a thing
should be.

"That will do!" said Mrs. Sandford approvingly. "Dear me, what
lace! What lace you Southern ladies do wear, to be sure! A
blue sash, now, Daisy?"

"No ma'am, I think not."

"Rose? It must be blue or rose."

But I thought differently, and kept it white.

"_No_ colour?" said Mrs. Sandford. "None at all? Then just let
me put this little bit of green in your hair."

As I stood before the glass and she tried various positions
for some geranium leaves, I felt that would not do either. Any
dressing of my head would commonise the whole thing. I watched
her fingers and the geranium leaves going from one side of my
head to the other, watched how every touch changed the tone of
my costume, and felt that I could not suffer it; and then it
suddenly occurred to me that I, who a little while before had
not cared about my dress for the evening, now did care, and
that determinedly. I knew I would wear no geranium leaves, not
even to please Mrs. Sandford. And for the first time a
question stole into my mind, what was I, Daisy, doing? But
then I said to myself, that the dress without this head
adorning was perfect in its elegance; it suited me; and it was
not wrong to like beauty nor to dislike things in bad taste.
Perhaps I was too handsomely dressed, but I could not change
that now. Another time I would go back to my embroidered
muslins, and stay there.

"I like it better without anything, Mrs. Sandford," I said,
removing her green decorations and turning away from the
glass. Mrs. Sandford sighed, but said "it would do without
them," and away we went.

I can see it all again; I can almost feel the omnibus roll
with me over the plain, that still sultry night. All those
nights were sultry. Then as we came near the Academic
Building, I could see the lights in the upper windows; here
and there an officer sitting in a window-sill, and the figures
of cadets passing back and forth. Then we mounted to the hall
above, filled with cadets in a little crowd, and words of
recognition came, and Preston, meeting us almost before we got
out of the dressing room.

"Daisy, you dance with me?"

"I am engaged, Preston, for the first dance."

"Already! The second, then, and all the others?"

"I am engaged," — I repeated, and left him, for Mr. Thorold
was at my side.

I forgot Preston the next minute. It was easy to forget him,
for all the first half of the evening I was honestly happy in
dancing. In talking too, whenever Thorold was my partner;
other people's talk was very tiresome. They went over the
platitudes of the day; or they started subjects of interest
that were not interesting to me. Bits of gossip — discussions
of fashionable amusements with which I could have nothing to
do; frivolous badinage, which was of all things most
distasteful to me. Yet, amid it all, I believe, there was a
subtle incense of admiration which by degrees and insensibly
found its way to my senses. But I had two dances with Thorold,
and at those times I was myself and enjoyed unalloyed
pleasure. And so I thought did he.

I saw Preston, when now and then I caught a glimpse of him,
looking excessively glum. Midway in the evening it happened
that I was standing beside him for a few moments, waiting for
my next partner.

"You are dancing with nobody but that man whom I hate!" he
grumbled. "Who is it now?"

"Captain Vaux."

"Will you dance with me after that?"

"I cannot, Preston. I must dance with Major Banks."

"You seem to like it pretty well," he growled.

"No wonder," said Mrs. Sandford. "You were quite right about
the geranium leaves, Daisy; you do not want them. You do not
want anything, my dear," she whispered.

At this instant a fresh party entered the room, just as my
partner came up to claim me.

"There are some handsome girls," said the captain. "Two of
them, really!"

"People from Cozzens's," said Mrs. Sandford, "who think the
cadets keep New York hours."

It was Faustina St. Clair and Mary Lansing, with their friends
and guardians, I don't know whom. And as I moved to take my
place in the dance, I was presently confronted by my school
adversary and the partner she had immediately found. The
greeting was very slight and cool on her side.

"Excessively handsome," whispered the captain. "A friend of
yours?"

"A schoolfellow," I said.

"Must be a pleasant thing, I declare, to have such handsome
schoolfellows," said the captain. "Beauty is a great thing,
isn't it? I wonder sometimes how the ladies can make up their
minds to take up with such great rough ugly fellows as we are,
for a set. How do you think it is?"

I thought it was wonderful too, when they were like him. But I
said nothing.

"Dress too," said the captain. "Now look at our dress!
Straight and square and stiff; and no variety in it. While our
eyes are delighted, on the other side, with soft draperies and
fine colours, and combinations of grace and elegance, that are
fit to put a man in Elysium!"

"Did you notice the colour of the haze in the west, this
evening at sunset?" I asked.

"Haze? No, really. I didn't know there was any haze, really,
except in my head. I get hazy amidst these combinations.
Seriously, Miss Randolph, what do you think of a soldier's
life?"

"It depends on who the soldier is," I said.

"Cool, really!" said the captain. "Cool! Ha! ha! —"

And he laughed, till I wondered what I could have said to
amuse him so much.

"Then you have learned to individualise soldiers already?" was
his next question, put with a look which seemed to me
inquisitive and impertinent. I did not know how to answer it,
and left it unanswered; — and the captain and I had the rest
of our dance out in silence. Meanwhile, I could not help
watching Faustina. — She was so very handsome, with a marked,
dashing sort of beauty that I saw was prodigiously admired.
She took no notice of me, and barely touched the tips of my
fingers with her glove as we passed in the dance.

As he was leading me back to Mrs. Sandford, the captain
stooped his head to mine. "Forgive me?" — he whispered. "So
much gentleness cannot bear revenge. I am only a soldier."

"Forgive you what, sir?" I asked. And he drew up his head
again, half laughed, muttered that I was worse than grape or
round shot, and handed me over to my guardian.

"My dear Daisy," said Mrs. Sandford, "if you were not so sweet
as you are, you would be a queen. There, now! do not lift up
your grey eyes at me like that, or I shall make you a
reverence the first thing I do, and fancy that I am one of
your _dames d'honneur_. Who is next? Major Banks? Take care,
Daisy, or you'll do some mischief."

I had not time to think about her words; the dances went
forward, and I took my part in them with great pleasure until
the tattoo summons broke us up. Indeed my pleasure lasted
until we got home to the hotel, and I heard Mrs. Sandford
saying, in an aside to her husband, amid some rejoicing over
me, — "I was dreadfully afraid she wouldn't go." The words, or
something in them, gave me a check. However, I had too many
exciting things to think of to take it up just then; and my
brain was in a whirl of pleasure till I went to sleep.

CHAPTER XVII.

OBEYING ORDERS.


As I roomed with Mrs. Sandford, of course I had very scant
opportunities of being by myself. In the delightful early
mornings I was accustomed to take my book, therefore, and go
down where I had gone the first morning, to the rocks by the
river's side. Nobody came by that way at so early an hour; I
had been seen by nobody except that one time, when Thorold and
his companion passed me; and I felt quite safe. It was
pleasanter down there than can be told. However sultry the air
on the heights above, so near the water there was always a
savour of freshness; or else I fancied it, in the hearing of
the soft liquid murmur of the little wavelets against the
shore. But sometimes it was so still I could hear nothing of
that; then birds and insects, or the faint notes of a bugle
call, were the only things to break the absolute hush; and the
light was my refreshment, on river and tree and rock and hill;
one day sharp and clear, another day fairyland- like and
dreamy through golden mist.

It was a good retiring place in any case, so early in the day.
I could read and pray there better than in a room, I thought.
The next morning after my second dancing party, I was there as
usual. It was a sultry July morning, the yellow light in the
haze on the hills threatening a very hot day. I was very
happy, as usual; but somehow my thoughts went roaming off into
the yellow haze as if the landscape had been my life, and I
were trying to pick out points of light here and there, and
sporting on the gay surface. I danced my dances over again in
the flow of the river; heard soft words of kindness or
admiration in the song of the birds; wandered away in mazes of
speculative fancy among the thickets of tree stems and under-
brush. The sweet wonderful note of a wood thrush, somewhere
far out of sight, assured me, what everything conspired to
assure me, that I was certainly in fairyland, not on the
common earth. But I could not somehow get on with my Bible.
Again and again I began to read; then a bird or a bough or a
ripple would catch my attention, and straightway I was off on
a flight of fancy or memory, dancing over again my dances with
Mr. Thorold, dwelling upon the impression of his figure and
dress, and the fascination of his brilliant, changing hazel
eyes; or recalling Captain Vaux's or somebody else's insipid
words and looks, or Faustina St. Clair's manner of ill will;
or on the other hand giving a passing thought to the question,
how I should dress the next hop night. After a long wandering
I would come back and begin at my Bible again, but only for a
little; my fancy could not be held to it; and a few scarcely
read verses and a few half-uttered petitions were all I had
accomplished before the clangour of the hotel gong sounding
down even to me, warned me that my time was gone. And the note
of the wood-thrush as I slowly mounted the path, struck
reproachfully and rebukingly upon the ear of my conscience.

How had this come about? I mused as I went up the hill. What
was the matter? What had bewitched me? No pleasure in my
Bible; no time for prayer; and only the motion of feet moving
to music, only the flutter of lace and muslin, and the
flashing of hazel eyes, filling my brain? What was wrong? Nay,
something! And why had Mrs. Sandford "feared" I would not go
to the hops? Were they not places for Christians to go to?
What earthly harm? Only pleasure. But what if pleasure that
marred better pleasure — that interrupted duty? And why was I
ruminating on styles and colours, and proposing to put on
another dress that should be more becoming the next time? and
thinking that it would be well it should be a contrast to
Faustina St. Clair? What! entering the lists with her, on her
own field? No, no; I could not think it. But what then? And
what was this little flutter at my heart about gentlemen's
words and looks of homage and liking? What could it be to me,
that such people as Captain Vaux or Captain Lascelles liked
me? Captain Lascelles, who when he was not dancing or flirting
was pleased to curl himself up on one of the window seats like
a monkey, and take a grinning survey of what went on. Was I
flattered by such admiration as his? — or _any_ admiration? I
liked to have Mr. Thorold like me; yes, I was not wrong to be
pleased with that; besides, that was _liking;_ not empty
compliments. But for my lace and my India muslin and my
"Southern elegance" — I knew Colonel Walrus meant me when he
talked about that, — was I thinking of admiration for such
things as these, and thinking so much, that my Bible reading
had lost its charm? What was in fault? Not the hops? They were
too pleasant. It could not be the hops.

I mounted the hill slowly and in a great maze, getting more
and more troubled. I entering the lists with Faustina St.
Clair, going in her ways? I knew these were her ways. I had
heard scraps enough of conversation among the girls about
these things, which I then did not understand. And another
word came therewith into my mind, powerful once before and
powerful now to disentangle the false from the true. "The
world knoweth us not." Did it not know me, last night? Would
it not, if I went there again? But the hops were so pleasant!

It almost excites a smile in me now to think how pleasant they
were. I was only sixteen. I had seen no dancing parties other
than the little school assemblages at Mme. Ricard's; and I was
fond of the amusement even there. Here, it seemed to me then
as if all prettiness and pleasantness that could come together
in such a gathering, met, in the dancing room of the cadets. I
think not very differently now, as to that point. The pretty
accompaniments of uniform; the simple style and hours; the
hearty enjoyment of the occasion; were all a little unlike
what is found at other places. And to me, and to increase my
difficulty, came a crowning pleasure; I met Thorold there. To
have a good dance and talk with him was worth certainly all
the rest. Must I give it up?

I could not bear to think so, but the difficulty helped to
prick my conscience. There had been only two fops, and I was
so enthralled already. How would it be if I had been to a
dozen? and where might it end? And the word stands, — "the
world knoweth us _not_."

It must not know me, Daisy Randolph, as in any sort belonging
to it or mixed up with it; and therefore — Daisy Randolph must
go to the hop no more. I felt the certainty of the decision
growing over me, even while I was appalled by it. I staved off
consideration all that day.

In the afternoon Mr. Thorold came and took me to see the
laboratory, and explained for me a number of curious things. I
should have had great enjoyment, if Preston had not taken it
into his head, unasked, to go along; being unluckily with me
when Thorold came. He was a thorough marplot; saying nothing
of consequence himself, and only keeping a grim watch — I
could take it as nothing else — of everything we said and did.
Consequently, Mr. Thorold's lecture was very proper and grave,
instead of being full of fun and amusement as well as
instruction. I took Preston to task about it when we got home.

"You hinder pleasure when you go in that mood," I told him.

"What mood?"

"You know. You never are pleasant when Mr. Thorold is present
or when he is mentioned."

"He is a cowardly Yankee!" was Preston's rejoinder.

"_Cowardly_, Gary?" — said somebody near; and I saw a cadet whom
I did not know, who came from behind us and passed by on the
piazza. He did not look at us, and stayed not for any more
words; but turning to Preston, I was surprised to see his face
violently flushed.

"Who was that?"

"No matter — impertinence!" he muttered.

"But what _is_ the matter? and what did he mean?"

"He is one of Thorold's set," said Preston; "and I tell you,
Daisy, you shall not have anything to do with them. Aunt
Felicia would never allow it. She would not look at them
herself. You shall not have anything more to do with them."

How could I, if I was going no more to the hops? How could I
see Thorold, or anybody? The thought struck to my heart, and I
made no answer. Company, however, kept me from considering the
matter all the evening.

But the next day, early, I was in my usual place; near the
river side, among the rocks, with my Bible; and I resolved to
settle the question there as it ought to be settled. I was
resolved; but to do what I had resolved, was difficult. For I
wanted to go to the hop that evening very much. Visions of it
floated before me; snatches of music and gleams of light;
figures moving in harmony; words, and looks; and — my own
white little person. All these made a kind of quaint mosaic
with flashes of light on the river, and broad warm bands of
sunshine on the hills, and the foliage of trees and bushes,
and the grey lichened rocks at my foot. It was confusing; but
I turned over the leaves of my Bible to see if I could find
some undoubted direction as to what I ought to do, or perhaps
rather some clear permission for what I wished to do. I could
not remember that the Bible said anything about dancing, _pro_
or _con_; dancing, I thought, could not be wrong; but this
confusion in my mind was not right. I fluttered over my leaves
a good while with no help; than I thought I might as well take
a chapter somewhere and study it through. The whole chapter,
it was the third of Colossians, did not seem to me to go
favourably for my pleasure; but the seventeenth verse brought
me to a point, — "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in
the name of the Lord Jesus."

There was no loophole here for excuses or getting off,
"_Whatsoever ye do_." Did I wish it otherwise? No, I did not. I
was content with the terms of service; but now about dancing,
or rather the dancing party? "In the name of the Lord Jesus."
Could I go there in that name? as the servant of my Master,
busy about His work, or taking pleasure that He had given me
to take? That was the question. And all my visions of gay
words and gay scenes, all the flutter of pleased vanity and
the hope of it, rose up and answered me. By that thought of
the pretty dress I would wear, I knew I should not wear it "in
the name of the Lord Jesus;" for my thought was of honour to
myself, not to Him. By the fear which darted into my head,
that Mr. Thorold might dance with Faustina if I were not
there, I knew I should not go "in the name of the Lord," if I
went; but to gratify my own selfish pride and emulation. By
the confusion which had reigned in my brain these two days, by
the tastelessness of my Bible, by the unaptness for prayer, I
knew, I knew, I could not go in the name of my Lord, for it
would be to unfit myself for his work.

The matter was settled in one way; but the pain of it took
longer to come to an end. It is sorrowful to me to remember
now how hard it was to get over. My vanity I was heartily
ashamed of, and bade that show its head no more; my emulation
of Faustina St. Clair gave me some horror; but the pleasure, —
the real honest pleasure, of the scene and the music and the
excitement and the dancing and the seeing people, — all that,
I did not let go forever without a hard time of sorrow and
some tears. It was not a _struggle_, for I gave that up at once;
only I had to fight pain. — It was one of the hardest things I
ever did in my life. And the worst of all and the, most
incurable was, I should miss seeing Mr. Thorold. One or two
more walks, possibly, I might have with him; but those long,
short, evenings of seeing and talking and dancing!

Mrs. Sandford argued, coaxed, and rallied me; and then said,
if I would not go, she should not; and she did not. That
evening we spent at home together, and alone; for everybody
else had drifted over to the hop. I suppose Mrs. Sandford
found it dull; for the next hop night she changed her mind and
left me. I had rather a sorrowful evening. Dr. Sandford had
not come back from the mountains; indeed I did not wish for
him; and Thorold had not been near us for several days. My
fairyland was getting disenchanted a little bit. But I was
quite sure I had done right.

The next morning I had hardly been three minutes on my rock by
the river, when Mr. Thorold came round the turn of the walk
and took a seat beside me.

"How do you do?" said he, stretching out his hand. I put mine
in it.

"What has become of my friend, this seven years?"

"I am here —" I said.

"I see you. But why have I not _seen_ you, all this while?"

"I supposed you had been busy," I answered.

"Busy! Of course I have, or I should have been here asking
questions. I was not too busy to dance with you; and I was
promised — how many dances? Where have you been?"

"I have been at home."

"Why?"

Would Mr. Thorold understand me? Mrs. Sandford did not. My own
mother never did. I hesitated, and he repeated his question,
and those hazel eyes were sparkling all sorts of queries
around me.

"I have given up going to the hops," I said.

"Given up? Do you mean, you _don't_ mean, that you are never
coming any more?"

"I am not coming any more."

"Don't you sometimes change your decisions?"

"I suppose I do," I answered; "but not this one."

"I am in a great puzzle," he said. "And very sorry. Aren't you
going to be so good as to give me some clue to this mystery?
Did you find the hops so dull?"

And he looked very serious indeed.

"O no! —" I said. "I liked them very much — I enjoyed them
very much. I am sorry to stay away."

"Then you will not stay away very long."

"Yes — I shall."

"Why?" — he asked again, with a little sort of imperative
curiosity which was somehow very pleasant to me.

"I do not think it is right for me to go," I said. Then,
seeing grave astonishment and great mystification in his face,
I added, "I am a Christian, Mr. Thorold."

"A Christian!" he cried, with flashes of light and shadow
crossing his brow. "Is _that_ it?"

"That is it," I assented.

"But, my dear Miss Randolph — you know we are friends?"

"Yes," I said, smiling, and glad that he had not forgotten it.

"Then we may talk about what we like. Christians go to hops."

I looked at him without answering.

"Don't you know they do?"

"I suppose they may," — I answered slowly.

"But they _do_. There was our former colonel's wife — Mrs. Holt;
she was a regular church-goer, and a member of the church; she
was always at the hop, and her sister; they are both church
members. Mrs. Lambkin, General Lambkin's wife, she is another.
Major Banks's sisters — those pretty girls, — they are always
there; and it is the same with visitors. Everybody comes;
their being Christians does not make any difference."

"Captain Thorold," said I, — "I mean Mr. Thorold, don't you
obey your orders?"

"Yes — generally," he said. And he laughed.

"So must I."

"You are not a soldier."

"Yes — I am."

"Have you got orders not to come to our hop?"

"I think I have. You will not understand me, but this is what
I mean, Mr. Thorold. I _am_ a soldier, of another sort from you;
and I have orders not to go anywhere that my Captain does not
send me or where I cannot be serving Him."

"I wish you would show those orders to me."

I gave him the open page which I had been studying, that same
chapter of Colossians, and pointed out the words. He looked at
them, and turned over the page, and turned it back.

"I don't see the orders," he said.

I was silent. I had not expected he would.

"And I was going to say, I never saw any Christians that were
soldiers; but I have, one. And so you are another?" And he
bent upon me a look so curiously considering, tender, and
wondering, at once, that I could not help smiling.

"A soldier!" said he, again, — "You? Have you ever been under
fire?"

I smiled again, and then, I don't know what it was. I cannot
tell what, in the question and in the look, touched some weak
spot. The question called up such sharp answers; the look
spoke so much sympathy. It was very odd for me to do; but I
was taken unawares; my eyes fell and filled, and before I
could help it were more than full. I do not know, to this day,
how — I came to cry before Thorold. It was very soon over, my
weakness, whatever it was. It seemed to touch him amazingly.
He got hold of my hand, put it to his lips, and kissed it over
and over, outside and inside.

"I can see it all in your face!" he said, tenderly; "the
strength and the truth to do anything, and bear — whatever is
necessary. But I am not so good as you. I cannot bear anything
unless it _is_ necessary; and this isn't."

"Oh, no, nor I!" I said; "but this is necessary, Mr. Thorold."

"Prove it — come."

"You do not see the orders," I said; "but there they are. 'Do
all in the name of the Lord Jesus.' I cannot go to that place
'in His name.' "

"I do not think I understand what you mean," he said, gently.
"A soldier, the best that ever lived, is his own man when he
is off duty. We go to the hop to play — not to work."

"Ah, but a soldier of Christ is never 'off duty,' " I said.
"See, Mr. Thorold — '_whatsoever_ ye do' — 'whether ye eat or
drink or whatsoever ye do' — That covers all; don't you see?"

"That would make it a very heavy thing to be a Christian," he
said; "there would be no liberty at all."

"Oh, but it is all liberty!" I said. — "When you love Jesus."

He looked at me so enquiringly, so inquisitively, that I went
on.

"You do not think it hard to do things for anybody you love?"

"No," said he. "I would like to do things for you."

I remember I smiled at that, for it seemed to me very pleasant
to hear him say it; but I went on.

"Then you understand it, Mr. Thorold."

"No," said he, "I do not understand it; for there is this
difficulty. I do not see what in the world such an innocent
amusement as that we are talking of, can have to do with
Christian duty, one way or another. Every Christian woman that
I know comes to it, — that is young enough; and some that
aren't."

It was very hard to explain.

"Suppose they disobey orders," I said slowly; — "that would be
another reason why I should obey them."

"Of course. But do they?"

"I should," I said. "I am not serving Christ when I am there.
I am not doing the work He has given me to do. I cannot go."

"I came down here on purpose to persuade you," he said.

It was not necessary to answer that, otherwise than by a look.

"And you are unpersuadable," he said; "unmanageable, of
course, by me; strong as a giant, and gentle as a snowflake.
But the snowflake melts; and you — you will go up to the hotel
as good a crystal as when you came down."

This made me laugh, and we had a good laugh together, holding
each other's hand.

"Do you know," said he, "I must go? There is a roll of a
summons that reaches my ear, and I must be at the top of the
bank in one minute and a quarter. I had no leave to be here."

"Hadn't you?" I said. "Oh, then, go, go directly, Mr.
Thorold!"

But I could not immediately release, my hand, and holding it
and looking at me Thorold laughed again; his hazel eyes
sparkling and dancing and varying with what feelings I could
not tell. They looked very steadily, too, till I remember mine
went down, and then, lifting his cap, he turned suddenly and
sprang away. I sat down to get breath and think.

I had come to my place rather sober and sorrowful; and what a
pleasant morning I had had! I did not mind at all, now, my not
going to the dances. I had explained myself to Mr. Thorold,
and we were not any further apart for it, and I had had a
chance to speak to him about other things too. And though he
did not understand me, perhaps he would some day. The warning
gong sounded before I had well got to my Bible reading. My
Bible reading was very pleasant this morning, and I could not
be balked of it; so I spent over it near the whole half hour
that remained, and rushed up to the hotel in the last five
minutes. Of course I was rather late and quite out of breath;
and having no voice and being a little excited, I suppose was
the reason that I curtseyed to Dr. Sandford, whom I met at the
head of the piazza steps. He looked at me like a man taken
aback.

"Daisy!" he exclaimed.

"Yes, sir," I answered.

"Where have you come from?"

"From my study," I said. "I have a nice place down by the
river which is my study."

"Rather a public situation for a private withdrawing place,"
said the doctor.

"Oh, no!" said I. "At this hour —" But there I stopped and
began again. "It is really very private. And it is the
pleasantest study place I think I ever had."

"To study what?"

I held up my book.

"It agrees with you," said the doctor.

"What?" said I, laughing.

"Daisy!" said Dr. Sandford — "I left a quiet bud of a flower a
few days ago — a little demure bit of a schoolgirl, learning
geology; and I have got a young princess here, a full rose,
prickles and all, I don't doubt. What has Mrs. Sandford done
with you?"

"I do not know," said I, thinking I had better be demure
again. "She took me to the hop."

"The hop? — How did you like that?"

"I liked it very much."

"You did? You liked it? I did not know that you would go, with
your peculiar notions."

"I went," I said; "I did not know what it was. How could I
help liking it? But I am not going again."

"Why not, if you liked it?"

"I am not going again," I repeated. "Shall we have a walk to
the hills to-day, Dr. Sandford?"

"Grant!" said his sister-in-law's voice, "don't you mean the
child shall have any breakfast? What made you so late, Daisy?
Come in, and talk afterwards. Grant is uneasy if he can't see
at least your shadow all the while."

We went in to breakfast, and I took a delightful walk with Dr.
Sandford afterward, back in the ravines of the hills; but I
had got an odd little impression of two things. First, that
he, like Preston, was glad to have me give up going to the
hops. I was sure of it from his air and tone of voice, and it
puzzled me; for he could not possibly have Preston's dislike
of Northerners, nor be unwilling that I should know them. The
other thing was, that he would not like my seeing Mr. Thorold.
I don't know how I knew it, but I knew it. I thought — it was
very odd — but I thought he was _jealous;_ or rather, I felt he
would be if he had any knowledge of our friendship for each
other. So I resolved he should have no such knowledge.

Our life went on now as it had done at our first coming. Every
day Dr. Sandford and I went to the woods and hills, on a
regular naturalist's expedition; and nothing is so pleasant as
such expeditions. At home, we were busy with microscopic
examinations, preparations, and studies; delightful studies,
and beautiful lessons, in which the doctor was the finest of
instructors, as I have said, and I was at least the happiest
of scholars. Mrs. Sandford fumed a little, and Mr. Sandford
laughed; but that did no harm. Everybody went to the hops,
except the doctor and me; and every morning and evening, at
guard-mounting and at parade, I was on the ground behind the
guard tents to watch the things done and listen to the music
and enjoy all the various beauty. Sometimes I had a glimpse of
Thorold; for many both of cadets and officers used to come and
speak to me and rally me on my seclusion, and endeavour to
tempt me out of it. Thorold did not that; he only looked at
me, as if I were something to be a little wondered at but
wholly approved of. It was not a disagreeable look to meet.

"I must have it out with you," he said one evening, when he
had just a minute to speak to me. "There is a whole world, of
things I don't understand, and want to talk about. Let us go
Saturday afternoon and take a good, long walk up to 'Number
Four' — do you like hills?"

"Yes."

"Then let us go up there Saturday — will you?"

And when Saturday came, we went. Preston luckily was not on
hand; and Dr. Sandford, also luckily, was gone to dine at the
General's with his brother. There were no more shadows on
earth than there were clouds in the sky, as we took our way
across the plain and along the bank in front of the officers'
quarters looking north, and went out at the gate. Then we left
civilisation and the world behind us, and plunged into a wild
mountain region; going up by a track which few feet ever used,
the rough slope to "Number Four." Yet that a few feet used it
was plain.

"Do people come here to walk, much?" I asked, as we slowly
made our way up.

"Nobody comes here — for anything."

"Somebody _goes_ here," I said. "This is a beaten path."

"Oh, there is a poor woodcutter's family at the top; they do
travel up and down occasionally."

"It is pretty," I said.

"It is pretty at the top; but we are a long way from that. Is
it too rough for you?"

"Not at all," I said. "I like it."

"You are a good walker, for a Southern girl."

"Oh, but I have lived at the North," I said; "I am only
Southern born."

Soon, however, he made me stop to rest. There was a good grey
rock under the shadow of the trees; Thorold placed me on that
and threw himself on the moss at my feet. We were up so high
in the world that the hills on the other side of the river
rose beautifully before us through the trees, and a sunny bit
of the lower ground of the plain looked like a bit of another
world that we were leaving. It was a sunny afternoon and a
little hazy; every line softened, every colour made richer
under the mellowing atmosphere.

"Now you can explain it all to me," said Thorold, as he threw
himself down. "You have walked too fast. You are warm."

"And you do not look as if it was warm at all."

"I! This is nothing to me," he said. "But perhaps it will
warm me and cool you, if we get into a talk. I want
explanations."

"About what, Mr. Thorold?"

"Well — if you will excuse me — about you," he said, with a
very pleasant look, frank and soft at once.

"I am quite ready to explain myself," I said. "But I am
afraid, when I have done it, that you will not understand me,
Mr. Thorold."

"Think I cannot?" said he.

"I am afraid not, — without knowing what I know."

"Let us see," said Thorold. "I want to know why you judge so
differently from other people about the right and the wrong of
hops and such things. Somebody is mistaken — that is clear."

"But the difficulty is, I cannot give you my point of view."

"Please try —" said Thorold contentedly, resting his elbow in
a soft cushion of moss.

"Mr. Thorold, I told you, I am a soldier."

"Yes," he said, looking up at me, and little sparkles of light
seeming to come out of his hazel eyes.

"I showed you my orders."

"But I did not understand them to be what you said."

"Suppose you were in an enemy's country," I said; — "a rebel
country; and your orders were, to do nothing which could be
construed into encouraging the rebels, or which could help
them to think that your king would hold friendship with them,
or that there was not a perfect gulf of division between you
and them."

"But this is not such a case?" said Thorold.

"That is only part," I said. "Suppose your orders were, to
keep constant watch and hold yourself at every minute ready
for duty, and to go nowhere and do nothing that would unfit
you for instant service, or put you off your watch."

"But, Miss Randolph!" said Thorold, a little impatiently — "do
these little dances unfit you for duty?"

"Yes," I said. "And put me off my watch."

"Your watch against what? Oh, pardon me! and _please_ enlighten
me. I do not mean to be impertinent."

"I mean my watch for orders — my watch against evil."

"Won't you explain?" said Thorold, gently and impatiently at
once. "What sort of evil can _you_ possibly fear, in connection
with such an innocent little recreation? What sort of 'orders'
are you expecting?"

I hesitated. Should I tell him? would he believe? was it best
to unveil the working of my own heart to that degree? And how
could I evade or shirk the question?

"I should not like to tell you," I said at length, "the
thoughts and feelings I found stirring in myself, after the
last time I went to the hop. I dare say they are something
that belongs especially to a woman, and that a man would not
know them."

Thorold turned on me again a wonderfully gentle look, for a
gay fiery young Vermonter, as I knew him to be.

"It wanted only that!" he said. — "And the orders, Miss
Randolph — what 'orders' are you expecting? You said, orders."

"Orders may be given by a sign," I said. "They need not be in
words."

He smiled. "I see, you have studied the subject."

"I mean, only, that whenever a duty is plainly put before me —
something given me to do — I know I have 'orders' to do it.
And then, Mr. Thorold, as the orders are not spoken, nor
brought to me by a messenger, only made known to me by a sign
of some sort, — if I did not keep a good watch, I should be
sure to miss the sign sometimes, don't you see?"

"This is soldiership!" said Thorold. And getting up, he stood
before me in attitude like a soldier as he was, erect, still,
with arms folded, only not up to his chin like Captain
Percival, but folded manfully. He had been watching me very
intently; now he stood as intently looking off over the
further landscape. Methought I had a sort of pride in his fine
appearance; and yet he did in no wise belong to me.
Nevertheless it was pleasant to see, the firm, still attitude,
the fine proportions, the military nicety of all his dress,
which I had before noticed on the parade ground. For as there
is a difference between one walk and another, though all
trained; so there is a difference between one neatness and
another, though all according to regulation; and Preston never
looked like this.

He turned round at last, and smiled down at me.

"Are you rested?"

"Oh, yes!" I said, rising. "I was not fatigued."

"Are you tired talking?"

"No, not at all. Have I talked so very much?"

He laughed at that, but went on.

"Will you be out of patience with my stupidity?"

I said no.

"Because I am not fully enlightened yet. I want to ask further
questions; and asking questions is very impertinent."

"Not if you have leave," I said. "Ask what you like."

"I am afraid, nevertheless. But I can never know, if I do not
ask. How is it — this is what puzzles me, — that other people
who call themselves Christians do not think as you think about
all this matter?"

"Soldiership?" I asked.

"Well, yes. It comes to that, I suppose."

"You know what soldiership ought to be," I said.

"But one little soldier cannot be all the rank and file of
this army?" he said, looking down at me.

"Oh, no!" I said, laughing, — "there are a great many more, —
there are a great many more, — only you do not happen to see
them."

"And these others, that I do see, are not soldiers then?"

"I do not know," I said, feeling sadly what a stumbling block
it was. "Perhaps. they are. But you know yourself, Mr.
Thorold, there is a difference between soldiers and soldiers."

He was silent a while, as we mounted the hill, and then
suddenly broke out again.

"But it makes religion a slavery — a bondage — to be _all_ the
while under arms, on guard, watching orders. _Always_ on the
watch and expecting to be under fire — it is too much; it
would make a gloomy, ugly life of it."

"But suppose you _are_ under fire?" I said.

"What?" said he, looking and laughing again.

"If you are a good soldier in an enemy's country, always with
work to do; will you wish to be off your guard, or off duty?"

"But what a life!" said Thorold.

"If you love your Captain?" said I.

He stopped and looked at me with one of the keenest looks of
scrutiny I ever met. It seemed to scrutinise not me only, but
the truth. I thought he was satisfied; for he turned away
without adding anything more at that time. His mind was at
work, however; for he broke down a small branch in his way and
busied himself with it in sweeping the trunks of the trees as
we went by; varying the occupation with a careful clearing
away of all stones and sticks that would make my path rougher
than it need be. Finally, giving me his hand to help me spring
over a little rivulet that crossed our way.

"Here is an incongruity, now I think of it," said he, smiling.
"How is it that you can be on such good terms with a rebel?
Ought you to have anything to do with me?"

"I may be friends with anybody in his private capacity," I
answered in the same tone. "That does not compromise anything.
It is only when — You know what I mean."

"When they are assembled for doubtful purposes."

"Or gathered in a place where the wrong colours are
displayed," I added. "I must not go there."

"There was no false banner hung out on the Academic Building
the other night," he said humorously.

But I knew my King's banner was not either. I knew, people did
not think of Him there, nor work for Him, and would have been
very much surprised to hear any one speak of Him. Say it was
innocent amusement; people did not want Him with them there;
and where He was not, I did not wish to be. But I could not
tell all this to Mr. Thorold. He was not contented, however,
without an answer.

"How was it?" he asked.

"You cannot understand me," I said, "and you may laugh at me."

"Why may I not understand you?" he said gently, with the
utmost deference of manner.

"I suppose, because you do not understand something else," I
said; "and you cannot, Mr. Thorold, until you know what the
love of Jesus is, and what it is to care for His honour and
His service more than for anything else in the world."

"But are they compromised?" he asked. "That is the thing. You
see, I want you back at the hop."

"I would like to come," said I; "but I must not."

"On the ground —?"

"I told you, Mr. Thorold. I do not find that my orders allow
me to go there. I must do nothing that I cannot do in my
King's name."

"That is —"

"As His servant — on His errands — following where He leads
me."

"I never heard it put so before," said Thorold. "It bears the
stamp of perfection — only an impossible perfection."

"No —" said I.

"To ordinary mortals," he rejoined, with one of his quick
brilliant flashes of the eye. Then as it softened and changed
again, —

"Miss Randolph, permit me to ask a not irrelevant question —
Are you happy?"

And with the inquiry came the investigating look, keen as a
razor or a rifle ball. I could meet it though; and I told him,
it was _this_ made me happy. For the first time his face was
troubled. He turned it from me and dropped the conversation. I
let it drop too; and we walked side by side and silently the
remainder of the steep way; neither of us, I believe, paying
much attention to what there was to be seen below or around
us. At the top however this changed. We found a good place to
rest, and sat there a long time looking at the view; Thorold
pointing out its different features, and telling me about them
in detail; his visits to them, and exploration of the region
generally. And we planned imaginary excursions together; one
especially to the top of the Crow's Nest, with an imaginary
party, to see the sun rise. We would have to go up of course
over night; we must carry a tent along for shelter, and camp
beds, and cooking utensils, at least a pot to boil coffee; and
plenty of warm wraps and plenty of provisions, for people
always eat terribly in cold regions, Thorold said. And
although the top of the Crow's Nest is not Arctic by any
means, still it is cool enough even in a warm day, and would
be certainly cool at night. Also the members of our party we
debated; they must be people of good tempers and travelling
habits, not to be put out for a little; people with large
tastes for enjoyment, to whom the glory of the morning would
make amends for all the toil of the night; and good talkers,
to keep up the tone of the whole thing. Meanwhile, Thorold and
I heartily enjoyed Number Four; as also I did his explanations
of fortifications, which I drew from him and made him apply to
all the fortifications in sight or which I knew. And when the
sun's westing told us it was time to go home, we went down all
the way talking. I have but little remembrance of the path.
The cool bright freshness of the light in the trees, and its
brilliant gleams in the distance after it had left our
hillside, — I remember that. I have an impression of the calm
clear beauty that was under foot and overhead, that afternoon;
but I saw it only as I could see it while giving my thought to
something else. Sometimes, holding hands, we took runs down
the mountain side; then walked demurely again when we got to
easier going. We had come to the lower region at last and were
not far from the gate, talking earnestly and walking close
together, when I saw Thorold touch his cap. I do not know what
made me ask, "Was that anybody I knew?".

"I believe it was your friend Dr. Sandford," he said, smiling
into my face with a smile of peculiar expression and peculiar
beauty. I saw something had pleased him, pleased him very
much. It could not have been Dr. Sandford. I cannot say I was
pleased, as I had an intuitive assurance the doctor was not.
But Thorold's smile almost made amends.

That evening the doctor informed us he had got intelligence
which obliged him to leave the Point immediately; and as he
could go with us part of the way to Niagara, we had better all
set off together. I had lost all my wish to go to Niagara; but
I said nothing. Mrs. Sandford said there was nothing to be
gained by staying at the Point any longer, as I would not go
to the hops. So Monday morning we went away.

CHAPTER XVIII.

SOUTH AND NORTH.


We made a round of pleasure after leaving West Point. That is,
it was a round of pleasure to the rest of the party. I had
left my best pleasure behind me. Certainly I enjoyed Catskill,
and Trenton Falls, and Niagara, after some sort; but there was
nothing in them all like my walk to Number Four. West Point
had enough natural beauty to satisfy; any one, I thought, even
for all summer; and there I had besides what I had not
elsewhere and never had before, a companion. All my earlier
friends were far older than I, or beneath me in station.
Preston was the single exception; and Preston and I were now
widely apart in our sympathies; indeed always had been. Mr.
Thorold and I talked to each other on a level; we understood
each other and suited each other. I could let out my thoughts
to him with a freedom I never could use with anybody else.

It grieved me a little that I had been forced to come away so
abruptly that I had no chance of letting him know. Courtesy, I
thought, demanded of me that I should have done this; and I
could not do it; and this was a constant subject of regret to
me.

At the end of our journey I came back to school. Letters from
my father and mother desired that I would do so, and appointed
that I was to join them abroad next year. My mother had
decided that it was best not to interfere with the regular
course of my education; and my father renewed his promise that
I should have any reward I chose to claim, to comfort me for
the delay. So I bent myself to study with new energies and new
hope.

I studied more things than school books that winter. The bits
of political matter I had heard talked over at West Point were
by no means forgotten; and once in a while, when I had time
and a chance, I seized one of the papers from Mme. Ricard's
library table and examined it. And every time I did so,
something urged me to do it again. I was very ignorant. I had
no clue to a great deal that was talked of in these prints;
but I could perceive the low threatening growl of coming ill
weather, which seemed to rise on the ear every time I
listened. And a little anxiety began to grow up in my mind.
Mme. Ricard, of course, never spoke on these subjects and
probably did not care about them. Dr. Sandford was safe in
Washington. I once asked Miss Cardigan what she thought.
"There are evil men abroad, dear," she said. "I don't know
what they will be permitted to do."

"Who do you hope will be elected?" I asked.

"I don't vote myself," said Miss Cardigan; "so I do not fash
myself much with what I can't help; but I hope the man will be
elected that will do the right thing."

"And who is that?" I asked. "You do not want slavery to be
allowed in the territories?"

"I? Not I!" said Miss Cardigan. "And if the people want to
keep it out of them, I suppose they will elect Abraham
Lincoln. I don't know if he is the right man or no; but he is
on the right side. 'Break every yoke, and let the oppressed go
free.' That is my maxim, Daisy."

I pondered this matter by turns more and more. By and by there
began to be audible mutterings of a storm in the air around
me. The first I heard was when we were all together in the
evening with our work, the half hour before tea.

"Lincoln is elected" — whispered one of the girls to another.

"Who cares?" the other said aloud.

"What if he is?" asked a third.

"Then," said a gentle, graceful looking girl, spreading her
embroidery out on her lap with her slim white fingers, — "_then_
there'll be fighting."

It was given, this announcement, with the coolest matter-of-
fact assurance.

"Who is going to fight?" was the next question.

The former speaker gave a glance up to see if her audience was
safe, and then replied as coolly as before.

"My brother, for one."

"What for, Sally?"

"Do you think we are going to have these vulgar Northerners
rule over us? My cousin Marshall is coming back from Europe on
purpose that he may be here and be ready. I know my aunt wrote
him word that she would disinherit him if he did not."

"Daisy Randolph — you are a Southerner," said one of the
girls.

"Of course, she is a Southerner," said Sally, going on with
her embroidery. "She is safe."

But if I was safe, I was very uncomfortable. I hardly knew why
I was so uncomfortable. Only, I wished ardently that troubles
might not break out between the two quarters of the country. I
had a sense that the storm would come near home. I could not
recollect my mother and my father, without a dread that there
would be opposing electricities between them and me.

I began to study the daily news more constantly and carefully.
I had still the liberty of Mme.'s library, and the papers were
always there. I could give to them only a few minutes now and
then; but I felt that the growl of the storm was coming nearer
and growing more threatening. Extracts from Southern papers
seemed to me very violent and very wrong-headed; at the same
time I knew that my mother would endorse them and Preston
would echo them. Then South Carolina passed the ordinance of
secession. Six days after, Major Anderson took possession of
Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour, and immediately the fort he
had left and Castle Pinckney were garrisoned by the South
Carolinians in opposition. I could not tell how much all this
signified; but my heart began to give a premonitory beat
sometimes. Mississippi followed South Carolina; then United
States' forts and Arsenals were seized in North Carolina and
Georgia, and Alabama, one after the other. The tone of the
press was very threatening, at least of the Southern press.
And not less significant, to my ear, was the whisper I
occasionally heard among a portion of our own little
community. A secret whisper, intense in its sympathy with the
seceding half of the nation, contemptuously hostile to the
other part, among whom they were at that very moment receiving
Northern education and Northern kindness. The girls even
listened and gathered scraps of conversation that passed in
their hearing, to retail them in letters sent home; "they did
not know," they said, "what might be of use." Later, some of
these letters were intercepted by the General Government and
sent back from Washington to Mme. Ricard. All this told me
much of the depth and breadth of feeling among the community
of which these girls formed a part; and my knowledge of my own
father and mother, aunt Gary and Preston, and others, told me
more. I began to pray that God would not let war come in the
land.

Then there was a day, in January I think, when a bit of public
news was read out in presence of the whole family; a thing
that rarely happened. It was evening, and we were all in the
parlour with our work. I forget who was the reader, but I
remember the words. " 'The steamer, "Star of the West," with
two hundred and fifty United States troops on board for Fort
Sumter, was fired into' (I forget the day) 'by the batteries
near Charleston.' Young ladies, do you hear that? The steamer
was fired into. That is the beginning."

We looked at each other, we girls; startled, sorry, awed, with
a strange glance of defiance from some eyes, while some flowed
over with tears, and some were eager with a feeling that was
not displeasure. All were silent at first. Then whispers
began.

"I told you so," said Sally.

"Well, _they_ have begun it," said Macy, who was a new York
girl.

"Of course. What business had the 'Star of the West' to be
carrying those troops there? South Carolina can take care of
her own forts."

"Daisy Randolph, you look as solemn as a preacher," said
another. "Which side are you on?"

"She is on the right side," said another.

"Of course," said Sally. "She is the daughter of a Southern
gentleman!"

"I am not on the side of those who fire the first shot," I
said.

"There is no other way," said Sally, coolly. "If a rat comes
in your way, you must shoot him. I knew it had got to come. I
have heard my uncle talk enough about that."

"But what will be the end of it?" said another.

"Pooh! it will end like smoke. The Yankees do not like
fighting — they would rather be excused if you please. Their
_forte_ is quite in another line — out of the way of powder."

I wondered if that was true. I thought of Thorold, and of
Major Blunt. I was troubled; and when I went to see Miss
Cardigan, next day, I found she could give me little comfort.

"I don't know, my dear," she said, "what they may be left to
do. They're just daft down there; clean daft."

"If they fight, we shall be obliged to fight," I said, not
liking to ask her about Northern courage; and, indeed, she was
a Scotswoman, and what should she know?

"Ay, just that," she replied; "and fighting between the two
parts of one land is even the worst fighting there can be.
Pray it may not come, Daisy; but those people are just daft."

The next letters from my mother spoke of my coming out to them
as soon as the school year should be over. The country was
likely to be disturbed, she said; and it would not suit with
my father's health to come home just now. As soon as the
school year should be over, and Dr. Sandford could find a
proper opportunity for me to make the journey, I should come.

I was very glad; yet I was not all glad. I wished they could
have come to me rather. I was not, I hardly knew why I was
not, quite ready to quit America while these troubles
threatened. And as days went on, and the cloud grew blacker,
my feeling of unwillingness increased. The daily prints were
full of fresh instances of the seizure of United States
property, of the secession of new States; then the Secession
Congress met, and elected Jefferson Davis and Alexander
Stephens their President and Vice President; and rebellion was
duly organised.

Jefferson Davis! How the name took me back to the summer
parade on the West Point plain, and my first view of that
smooth, sinister, ill-conditioned face. Now he was heading
rebellion. Where would Dr. Sandford, and Mr. Thorold, and
Preston be? How far would the rebels carry their work? and
what opposition would be made to it? Again I asked Miss
Cardigan.

"It's beyond _me_, Daisy," she said. "I suppose it will depend
very much on whether we've got the right man to head us or no;
and that nobody can tell till we try. This man Buchanan, that
is over us at present, he is no better than a bit of cotton
wool. I am going to take a look at Mr. Lincoln as he comes
through, and see what I think of him.

"When is he coming?"

"They say, to-day," said Miss Cardigan. "There'll be an
uncommon crowd; but I'll risk it."

A great desire seized me, that I might see him too. I
consulted with Miss Cardigan. School hours were over at three;
I could get away then, I thought; and by studying the
programme of the day we found it possible that it would not be
too late then for our object. So it proved; and I have always
been glad of it ever since.

Miss Cardigan and I went forth and packed ourselves in the
dense crowd which had gathered and filled all the way by which
the President elect was expected to pass. A quiet and orderly
and most respectable crowd it was. Few Irish, few of the
miserable of society, who come out only for a spectacle; these
were the yeomanry and the middle classes, men of business, men
of character and some substance, who were waiting like us, to
see what promise for the future there might be in the aspect
of our new Chief. Waiting patiently; and we could only wait
patiently like them. I thought of Preston's indignation if he
could have seen me, and Dr. Sandford's ready negative on my
being there, but well were these thoughts put to flight when
the little cavalcade for which we were looking hove in sight
and drew near. Intense curiosity and then profound
satisfaction seized me. The strong, grave, kindly lineaments
of the future Head of the Country, gave me instantly a feeling
of confidence, which I never lost in all the time that
followed. That was confidence in his honesty and goodness; but
another sort of trust was awakened by the keen, searching.
shrewd glances of those dark eyes, which seemed to penetrate
the masses of human intelligences surrounding him, and seek to
know what manner of _material_ he might find them at need. He
was not thinking of himself, that was plain; and the homely,
expressive features got a place in my heart from that time.
The little cavalcade passed on from us; the crowd melted away,
and Miss Cardigan and I came slowly again up Fifth Avenue.

"Yon's a mon!" quoth Miss Cardigan, speaking as she did in
moments of strong feeling, with a little reminder of her
Scottish origin.

"Didn't you like him?" I rejoined.

"I always like a man when I see him," said my friend. "He had
need be that too, for, he has got a man's work to do."

And it soon appeared that she spoke true. I watched every
action, and weighed every word of Mr. Lincoln now, with a
strange interest. I thought great things depended on him. I
was glad when he determined to send supplies into Fort Sumter.
I was sure that he was right; but I held my breath as it were
to see what South Carolina would do. The twelfth of April told
us.

"So they have done it, Daisy!" said Miss Cardigan, that
evening. "They are doing it, rather. They have been firing at
each other all day."

"Well, Major Anderson must defend his fort," I said. "That is
his duty."

"No doubt," said Miss Cardigan; "but you look pale, Daisy, my
bairn. You are from those quarters yourself. Is there anybody
in that neighbourhood that is dear to you?"

I had the greatest difficulty not to burst into tears, by way
of answer, and Miss Cardigan looked concerned at me. I told
her there was nobody there I cared for, except some poor
coloured people who were in no danger.

"There'll be many a sore heart in the country if this goes
on," she said, with a sigh.

"But it will not go on, will it?" I asked. "They cannot take
Fort Sumter, do you think so?"

"I know little about it," said my friend, soberly. "I am no
soldier. And we never know what is best, Daisy. We must trust
the Lord, my dear, to unravel these confusions."

And the next night the little news-boys in the streets were
crying out the "Fall of Fort Sum — ter!" It rang ominously in
my heart. The rebels had succeeded so far; and they would go
on. Yes, they would go on now, I felt assured; unless some
very serious check should be given them. Could the Yankees
give that? I doubted it. Yet _their_ cause was the cause of
right, and justice, and humanity; but the right does _not_
always at first triumph, whatever it may do in the end; and
good swords, and good shots, and the spirit of a soldier, are
things that are allowed to carry their force with them. I knew
the South had these. What had the North?

Even in our school seclusion, we felt the breath of the
tremendous excitement which swayed the public mind next day.
Not bluster, nor even passion, but the stir of the people's
heart. As we walked to church, we could hear it in half-caught
words of those we passed by, see it in the grave, intense air
which characterised groups and faces; feel it in the
atmosphere, which was heavy with indignation and gathering
purpose. It was said, no Sunday like that had been known in
the city. Within our own little community, if parties ran
high, they were like those outside, quiet; but when alone, the
Southern girls testified an exultation that jarred painfully
upon my ears.

"Daisy don't care."

"Yes, I care," I said.

"For shame not to be glad! You see, it is glorious. We have it
all our own way. The impertinence of trying to hold our forts
for us!"

"I don't see anything glorious in fighting," I said.

"Not when you are attacked?"

"We were not attacked," I said. "South Carolina fired the
first guns."

"Good for her!" said Sally. "Brave little South Carolina!
Nobody will meddle with her and come off without cutting his
fingers."

"Nobody did meddle with her," I asserted. "It was _she_ who
meddled, to break the laws and fight against the government."

"What government?" said Sally. "Are we slaves, that we should
be ruled by a government we don't choose? We will have our
own. Do you think South Carolina and Virginia _gentlemen_ are
going to live under a rail-splitter for a President? and take
orders from him?"

"What do you mean by a 'rail-splitter'?"

"I mean this Abe Lincoln the Northern mudsills have picked up
to make a President of. He used to get his living by splitting
rails for a Western fence, Daisy Randolph."

"But if he is President, he is President," I said.

"For those that like him. We won't have him. Jefferson Davis
is my President. And all I can do to help him, I will. I can't
fight; I wish I could. My brother and my cousins and my uncle
will, though, that's one comfort; and what I can do I will."

"Then I think you are a traitor," I said.

I was hated among the Southern girls from that day. Hated with
a bitter violent hatred, which had indeed little chance to
show itself, but was manifested in a scornful, intense
avoidance of me. The bitterness of it is surprising to me even
now. I cared not very much for it. I was too much engrossed
with deeper interests of the time, both public and private.
The very next day came the President's call for seventy-five
thousand men; and the next the answer of the governor of
Kentucky, that "Kentucky would furnish no troops for the
wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States." I saw
this in the paper in the library; the other girls had no
access to the general daily news, or I knew there would have
been shoutings of triumph over Governor Magoffin. Other
governors of other States followed his example. Jefferson
Davis declared in a proclamation that letters of marque and
reprisal would be issued. Everything wore the aspect of
thickening strife.

My heart grew very heavy over these signs of evil, fearing I
knew not what for those whom I cared about. Indeed, I would
not stop to think what I feared. I tried to bury my fears in
my work. Letters from my mother became very explicit now; she
said that troublesome times were coming in the country, and
she would like me to be out of it. After a little while, when
the independence of the South should be assured, we would all
come home — and be happy together. Meantime, as soon after the
close of the school year as Dr. Sandford could find a good
chance for me, I was to come out to them at Lausanne, where my
mother thought they would be by that time.

So I studied with all my strength, with the double motive of
gaining all I could and of forgetting what was going on in the
political World. Music and French, my mother particularly
desired that I should excel in; and I gave many hours to my
piano, as many as possible, and talked with Mlle. Genevieve
whenever she would let me. And she was very fond of me and
fond of talking to me; it was she who kept for me my library
privilege. And my voice was good, as it had promised to be. I
had the pleasure of feeling that I was succeeding in what I
most wished to attain. It was succeeding over the heads of my
school-fellows; and that earned me wages that were not
pleasant among a portion of my companions. Faustina St. Clair
was back among us; she would perhaps have forgiven if she
could have forgotten me; but my headship had been declared
ever since the time of the bronze standish, and even rivalry
had been long out of the question. So the old feud was never
healed; and now, between the unfriendliness of her party and
the defection of all the Southern girls, I was left in a great
minority of popular favour. It could not be helped. I studied
the harder. I had unlimited favour with all my teachers, and
every indulgence I asked for.

The news of the attack in Baltimore upon the Massachusetts
troops passing through the city, and Governor Andrew's
beautiful telegram, shook me out of my preocupation. It shook
me out of all quiet for a day. Indignation, and fear, and
sorrow, rolled through my heart. The passions that were astir
among men, the mad results to which they were leading, the
possible involvement of several of those whom I loved, a
general trembling of evil in the air, made study difficult for
the moment. What signified the course and fate of nations
hundreds of years ago? Our own course and fate filled the
horizon. What signified the power or beauty of my voice, when
I had not the heart to send it up and down like a bird any
longer? Where was Preston, and Dr. Sandford, and Ransom, and
what would become of Magnolia? In truth I did not know what
had become of Ransom. I had not heard from him or of him in a
long time. But these thoughts would not do. I drove them away.
I resolved to mind my work and not read the papers, if I could
help it, and not think about politics or my friends' course in
them. I could do nothing. And in a few months I should be
away, out of the land.

I kept my resolve pretty well. Indeed, I think nothing very
particular happened to disturb it for the next two or three
weeks. I succeeded in filling my head with work and being very
happy in it. That is, whenever I could forget more important
things.

CHAPTER XIX.

ENTERED FOR THE WAR.


One evening, I think before the end of April, I asked
permission to spend the evening at Miss Cardigan's. I had on
hand a piece of study for which I wanted to consult certain
books which I knew were in her library. Mlle. Genevieve gave
me leave gladly.

"You do study too persevering, m'amie," she said. "Go, and
stop to study for a little while. You are pale. I am afraid
your doctor — _ce bon Monsieur le docteur_ — will scold us all
by and by. Go, and do not study."

But I determined to have my play and my study too.

As I passed through Miss Cardigan's hall, the parlour door
standing half open let me see that a gentleman was with her.
Not wishing to interrupt any business that might be going on,
and not caring also to be bored with it myself, I passed by
and went into the inner room where the books were. I would
study now, I thought, and take my pleasure with my dear old
friend by and by when she was at leisure. I found my books,
and had thrown myself down on the floor with one of them; when
a laugh that came from the front room laid a spell upon my
powers of study. The book fell from my hands; I sat bolt
upright, every sense resolved into that of hearing. What and
who had that been? I listened. Another sound of a word spoken,
another slight inarticulate suggestion of laughter; and I knew
with an assured knowledge that my friend Cadet Thorold, and no
other, was the gentleman in Miss Cardigan's parlour with whom
she had business. I sat up and forgot my books. The first
impulse was to go in immediately and show myself. I can hardly
tell what restrained me. I remembered that Miss Cardigan must
have business with him, and I had better not interrupt it. But
those sounds of laughter had not been very business-like,
either. Nor were they business words which came to me next
through the open door. I never thought or knew I was
listening. I only thought it was Thorold, and held my breath
to hear, or rather to feel. My ears seemed sharpened beyond
all their usual faculty.

"And you haven't gone and fallen in love, callant, meanwhile,
just to complicate affairs?" said the voice of Miss Cardigan.

"I shall never fall in love," said Thorold, with (I suppose)
mock gravity. His voice sounded so.

"Why not?"

"I require too much."

"It's like your conceit!" said Miss Cardigan. "Now, what is
it that you require? I would like to know; that is, if you
know yourself. It appears you have thought about it."

"I have thought, till I have got it all by heart," said
Thorold. "The worst is, I shall never find it in this world."

"That's likely. Come, lad, paint your picture, and I'll tell
you if _I_ know where to look," said Miss Cardigan.

"And then, you'll search for me?"

"I dinna ken if you deserve it," said Miss Cardigan.

"I don't deserve it, of course," said Thorold. "Well — I have
painted the likeness a good many times. The first thing is a
pair of eyes as deep and grey as our mountain lakes."

"I never heard that your Vermont lakes were _grey_," said Miss
Cardigan.

"Oh, but they are! when the shadow of the mountains closes
them in. It is not cold grey, but purple and brown, the shadow
of light as it were; the lake is in shadow. Only, if a bit of
blue _does_ show itself there, it is the very Heaven."

"I hope it is not going to be in poetry?" said Miss Cardigan's
voice, sounding dry and amused. "What is the next thing? It is
a very good picture of eyes."

"The next thing is a mouth that makes you think of nothing but
kissing it; the lines are so sweet, and so mobile, and at the
same time so curiously subdued. A mouth that has learned to
smile when things don't go right; and that has learned the
lesson so well, you cannot help thinking it must have often
known things go wrong; to get the habit so well, you know."

"Eh? — Why, boy!" — cried Miss Cardigan.

"Do you know anybody like it?" said Thorold, laughing. "If you
do, you are bound to let me know where, you understand."

"What lies between the eyes and mouth?" said Miss Cardigan.
"There goes more to a picture."

"Between the eyes and mouth," said Thorold, "there is sense,
and dignity, and delicacy, and refinement to a fastidious
point; and a world of strength of character in the little
delicate chin."

"Character — _that_ shows in the mouth," said Miss Cardigan
slowly.

"I told you so," said Thorold. "That is what I told you.
Truth, and love, and gentleness, all sit within those little
red lips; and a great strength of will, which you cannot help
thinking has borne something to try it. The brow is like one
of our snowy mountain tops with the sun shining on it."

"And the lady's figure is like a pine tree, isn't it? It
sounds gay as if you'd fallen in love with Nature, and so
personified and imaged her in human likeness. Is it real
humanity?"

Thorold laughed his gay laugh. "The pine-tree will do
excellently, aunt Catherine," he said. "No better embodiment
of stately grace could be found."

My ears tingled. "Aunt Catherine?" _Aunt!_ then Thorold must be
her relation, her nephew; then he was not come on business;
then he would stay to tea. I might as well show myself. But, I
thought, if Thorold had some other lady so much in his mind,
(for I was sure his picture must be a portrait) he would not
care so very much about seeing me, as I had at first fancied
he would. However, I could not go away; so I might as well go
in; it would not do to wait longer. The evening had quite
fallen now. It was April, as I said, but a cold raw spring
day, and had been like that for several days. Houses were
chill; and in Miss Cardigan's grate a fine fire of Kennal
coals was blazing, making its red illumination all over the
room and the two figures who sat in front of it. She had had a
grate put in this winter. There was no other light, only that
soft red glow and gloom, under favour of which I went in and
stood almost beside them before they perceived me. I did not
speak to Miss Cardigan. I remember my words were, "How do you
do, Mr. Thorold?" — in a very quiet kind of a voice; for I did
not now expect him to be very glad. But I was surprised at the
change my words made. He sprang up, his eyes flashing a sort
of shower of sparks over me, gladness in every line of his
face, and surprise, and a kind of inexpressible deference in
his manner.

"Daisy!" — he exclaimed — "Miss Randolph!"

"Daisy!" echoed Miss Cardigan. "My dear! — do you two know
each other? Where did you come from?"

I think I did not answer. I am sure Thorold did not. He was
caring for me, placing his chair nearer his aunt and putting
me into it, before he let go the hand he had taken. Then,
drawing up another chair on the other side of me, he sat down
and looked at me (I thought afterward, I only felt at the
moment) as if I had been some precious wonder; the Koh-i-noor
diamond, or anything of that sort.

"Where did you come from?" was his first question.

"I have been in the house a little while," I said. "I thought
at first Miss Cardigan had somebody with her on business, so I
would not come in."

"It is quite true, Daisy," said Miss Cardigan; "it is somebody
on business."

"Nothing private about it, though," said Thorold, smiling at
me. "But where in the world did you and aunt Catherine come
together?"

"And what call have ye to search into it?" said Miss
Cardigan's good-humoured voice. "I know a great many bodies,
callant, that you know not."

"I know this one though," said Thorold. "Miss Randolph — won't
you speak? for aunt Catherine is in no mood to let me. — Have
you two known each other long?"

"It seems long," I said. "It is not very long."

"Since before last summer?"

"Certainly!"

"If that's the date of _your_ acquaintanceship," said Miss
Cardigan, "we're auld friends to that. Is all well, Daisy?"

"All quite well, ma'am. I came to do a bit of study I wanted
in your books, and to have a nice time with you, besides."

"And here is this fellow in the way. But we cannot turn him
out, Daisy; he is going fast enough; on what errand, do you
think, is he bent?"

_I_ had not thought about it till that minute. Something, some
thread of the serious, in Miss Cardigan's voice made me look
suddenly at Thorold. He had turned his eyes away from me and
had bent them upon the fire, all merriment gone out of his
face too. It was thoroughly grave.

"What are you going to do, Mr. Thorold?" I asked.

"Do you remember a talk we had down on Flirtation walk one day
last summer, when you asked me about possible political
movements at the South, and I asked you what you would do?"

"Yes," I said, my heart sinking.

"The time has come," he said, facing round upon me.

"And you —"

"I shall be on my way to Washington in a few days. Men are
wanted now — all the men that have any knowledge to be useful.
I may not be very useful. But I am going to try."

"I thought," — it was not quite easy to speak, for I was
struggling with something which threatened to roughen my
voice, — "I thought, you did not graduate till June?"

"Not regularly; not usually; but things are extraordinary this
year. We graduate and go on to Washington at once."

I believe we were all silent a few minutes.

"Daisy," said Miss Cardigan, "you have nobody that is dear to
_you_, likely to be engaged in the fray — if there is one?"

"I don't know, —" I said, rather faintly. I remember I said
it; I cannot tell why, for I _did_ know. I knew that Preston and
Ransom were both likely to be in the struggle, even if Ransom
had been at the moment at the opposite side of the world. But
then Thorold roused up and began to talk. He talked to divert
us, I think. He told us of things that concerned himself and
his class personally, giving details to which we listened
eagerly; and he went on from them to things and people in the
public line, of which and of whom neither Miss Cardigan nor I
had known the thousandth part so much before. We sat and
listened, Miss Cardigan often putting in a question, while the
warm still glow of the firelight shed over us and all the room
its assurance of peace and quiet, woven and compounded of
life-long associations. Thorold sat before us and talked, and
we looked at him and listened in the fire-shine; and my
thoughts made swift sideway flights every now and then from
this peace and glow of comfort, and from Thorold's talk, to
the changes of the camp, and the possible coming strife;
spectres of war, guns and swords, exposure and wounds — and
sickness — and the battlefield — what could I tell? and Miss
Cardigan's servant put another lump of coal on the fire, and
Thorold presently broke it, and the jet of illumination sprang
forth, mocking and yet revealing in its sweet home glow my
visions of terror. They were but momentary visions; I could
not bear of course to look steadily at them; they were
spectres that came and went with a wave of a hand, in a jet of
flame, or the shadow of an opening door; but they went, and
came; and I saw many things in Thorold's face that night
beside the manly lines of determination and spirit, the look
of thought and power, and the hover of light in his eye when
it turned to me. I don't know what Miss Cardigan saw; but
several times in the evening I heard her sigh; a thing very
unusual and notable with her. Again and again I heard it, a
soft long breath.

I gave it no heed at the time. My eyes and thoughts were fixed
on the other member of the party; and I was like one in a
dream. I walked in a dream; till we went into the other room
to tea, and I heard Miss Cardigan say, addressing her nephew,
—

"Sit there, Christian."

I was like one in a dream, or I should have known what this
meant. I did know, two minutes afterwards. But at the moment,
falling in with some of my thoughts, the word made me start
and look at Thorold. I cannot tell what was in my look; I know
what was in my heart; the surprised inquiry and the yearning
wish. Thorold's face flushed. He met my eyes with an intense
recognition and inquiry in his own, and then, I am almost
sure, his were dim. He set my chair for me at the table, and
took hold of me and put me in it with a very gentle touch that
seemed to thank me.

"That is my name, Miss Randolph," he said, — "the name given
me by my parents."

"You'll earn it yet, boy," said Miss Cardigan. "But the sooner
the better."

There was after that a very deep gravity upon us all for the
first minutes at table. I wondered to myself, how people can
go on drinking tea and eating bread and butter through
everything; yet they must, and even I was doing it at the
moment, and not willing to forego the occupation. By degrees
the wonted course of things relieved our minds, which were
upon too high a strain. It appeared that Thorold was very
hungry, having, missed his dinner somehow; and his aunt
ordered up everything in the house for his comfort, in which I
suppose she found her own. And then Thorold made me eat with
him. I was sure I did not want it, but that made no
difference. Things were prepared for me and put upon my plate,
and a soft little command laid on me to do with them what I
was expected to do. It was not like the way Dr. Sandford used
to order me, nor in the least like Preston's imperiousness
which I could withstand well enough; there was something in it
which nullified all my power and even will to resist, and I
was as submissive as possible. Thorold grew very bright again
as the meal went on, and began to talk in a somewhat livelier
strain than he had been in before tea; and I believe he did
wile both his aunt and me out of the sad or grave thoughts we
had been indulging. I know that I was obliged to laugh, as I
was obliged to eat. Thorold had his own way, and seemed to
like it. Even his aunt was amused and interested, and grew
lively, like herself. With all that, through the whole supper-
time I had an odd feeling of her being on one side; it seemed
to be only Thorold and I really there; and in all Thorold was
doing and through all he was talking, I had a curious sense
that he was occupied only with me. It was not that he said so
much directly to me or looked so much at me; I do not know how
I got the feeling. There was Miss Cardigan at the head of the
table, busy and talking as usual, clever and kind; yet the air
seemed to be breathed only by Thorold and me.

"And how soon, lad," Miss Cardigan broke out suddenly, when a
moment's lull in the talk had given her a chance, "how soon
will ye be off to that region of disturbance whither ye are
going?"

"Washington?" said Thorold. "Just as soon as our examination
can be pushed through; — in a very few days now."

"You'll come to me by the way, for another look at you, in
your officer's uniform?"

"Uniform? nobody will have any uniform, I fancy," said
Thorold, "nobody has any time to think of that. No, aunt
Catherine, and I shall not see you, either. I expect we shall
rush through without the loss of a train. I can't stop. I
don't care what clothes I wear to get there."

"How came you to be here now, if you are in such a hurry?"

"Nothing on earth would have brought me, but the thing that
did bring me," said Thorold. "I was subpoenaed down, to give
my evidence in a trial. I must get back again without loss of
a minute; should have one to-night, if there had been a train
that stopped. I am very glad there was no train that stopped!"

We were all silent for a minute; till the door bell rang, and
the servant came announcing Mr. Bunsen, to see Miss Cardigan
about the tenant houses. Miss Cardigan went off through the
open doors that led to the front parlour; and standing by the
fire, I watched her figure diminishing in the long distance
till it passed into Mr. Bunsen's presence and disappeared. Mr.
Thorold and I stood silently on either side of the hearth,
looking into the fire, while the servant was clearing the
table. The cheerful, hospitable little table, round which we
had been so cheerful at least for the moment, was dismantled
already, and the wonted cold gleam of the mahogany seemed to
tell me that cheer was all over. The talk of the uniform had
overset me. All sorts of visions of what it signified, what it
portended, where it would go, what it would be doing, were
knocking at the door of my heart, and putting their heads in.
Before tea these visions had come and vanished; often enough,
to be sure; now they came and stayed. I was very quiet, I am
certain of that; I was as certainly very sober, with a great
and growing sadness at my heart. I think Thorold was grave,
too, though I hardly looked at him. We did not speak to each
other, all the time the servant was busy in the room. We stood
silent before the fire. The study I had come to do had all
passed away out of my mind, though the books were within three
feet of me. I was growing sadder and sadder every minute.

"Things have changed, since we talked so lightly last summer
of what might be," — Thorold said at last. — And he said it in
a meditative way, as if he were pondering something.

"Yes" — I assented.

"The North does not wish for war. The South have brought it
upon themselves."

"Yes" — I said again; wondering a little what was coming.

"However disagreeable my duty may be, it is my duty; and there
is no shirking it."

"No," I said. "Of course."

"And if your friends are on one side and I on the other, — it
is not my fault, Miss Randolph."

"No," I said; "not at all."

"Then you do not blame me for taking the part I _must_ take?"

"No," I said. "You must take it."

"Are you sorry I take it?" said Thorold with a change of tone,
and coming a step nearer.

"Sorry?" I said; and I looked up for an instant. "No; how
could I be sorry? It is your duty. It is right." But as I
looked down again I had the greatest difficulty not to burst
into tears. I felt as though my heart would break in two with
its burden of pain. It cost a great effort to stand still and
quiet, without showing anything.

"What is it then?" said Thorold; and with the next words I
knew he had come close to my side and was stooping his head
down to my face, while his voice dropped. "What is it, Daisy?
— Is it — Oh, Daisy, I love you better than anything else in
the world, except my duty; — Daisy, do you love me?"

Nothing could have been more impossible to me, I think, than
to answer a word; but, indeed, Thorold did not seem to want
it. As he questioned me, he had put his arm round me and drawn
me nearer and nearer, stooping his face to me, till his lips
took their own answer at mine; indeed took answer after
answer, and then, in a sort of passion of mute joy, kissed my
face all over. I could not forbid him; between excitement and
sorrow and happiness and shame, I could do nothing; the best I
could do was to hide my face, but the breast of that grey coat
was a strange hiding-place for it. With that inconsistent
mingling of small things with great in one's perceptions,
which everybody knows, I remember the soft feel of the fine
grey cloth along with the clasp of Thorold's arms and the
touch of his cheek resting upon my hair. And we stood so,
quite still, for what seemed both a long and a short time, in
which I think happiness got the upper hand with me, and pain
for the moment was bid into the background. At last Thorold
raised his head and bade me, lift up mine.

"Look up, darling," he said; "look up, Daisy! let me see your
face. Look up, Daisy — we have only a minute, and everything
in the world to say to each other. Daisy — I want to see you."

I think it was one of the most difficult little things I ever
had in my life to do, to raise my face and let him look at it;
but I knew it must be done, and I did it. One glance at his I
ventured. He was smiling at me; there was a flush upon his
cheek; his eye had a light in it, and with that a glow of
tenderness which was different from anything I had ever seen;
and it was glittering too, I think, with another sort of
suffusion. His hand came smoothing down my hair and then
touching my cheek while he looked at me.

"What are you going to do with yourself now?" he said softly.

"I am going on with my studies for another month or two."

"And you belong to me, Daisy?"

"Yes."

He bent his head and kissed my brow. There is an odd
difference of effect between a kiss on the lips and on the
forehead, or else it was a difference in the manner. This
seemed a sort of taking possession or setting a seal; and it
gave me a new feeling of something almost like awe, which I
had never associated with the grey coat or with its wearer
before. Along with that came another impression, that I
suppose most women know, and know how sweet it is; the sense
of an enveloping protection. Not that I had not been protected
all my life; but my mother's had been the protection of
authority; my father's also, in some measure; Dr. Sandford's
was emphatically that of a _guardian;_ he guarded me a little
too well. But this new thing that was stealing into my heart,
with its subtle delight, was the protection of a champion; of
one who set me and mine above all other interests or claims in
the world, and who would guard me as if he were a part of
myself, only stronger. Altogether Thorold seemed to me
different from what he had been the last summer; there was a
gravity now in his face and air at times that was new and even
stern; the gravity of a man taking stern life-work upon him. I
felt all this in a minute, while Thorold was smiling down into
my face.

"And you will write to me?" he said.

"Yes!"

"And I will write to you. And I belong to you, Daisy, and to
no other. All I have is yours, and all that I am is yours, —
after my duty; you may dispose of me, pretty one, just as you
like. _You_ would not have that put second, Daisy."

A great yearning came over me, so great and strong that it
almost took away my breath. I fancy it spoke in my eyes, for
Thorold's face grew very grave, I remember, as he looked at
me. But I must speak it more plainly than so, at any costs,
breath or no breath, and I must not wait.

"Christian," I whispered, — "won't you earn your right to your
name?"

He pressed his lips upon mine by way of answer first, and then
gave me a quick and firm "Yes." I certainly thought he had
found the mouth he was talking of a little while ago. But at
that instant the sound of the distant house door closing, and
then of steps coming out from the parlour, made me know that
Miss Cardigan's business was over, and that she was returning
to us. I wanted to free myself from Thorold's arm, but he
would not let me; on the contrary, held me closer, and half
turned to meet Miss Cardigan as she came in. Certainly men are
very different from women. There we stood awaiting her; and I
felt very much ashamed.

"Come on, aunt Catherine," Thorold said, as she paused at the
door, — "come in! Come in and kiss her; — this little darling
is mine."

Miss Cardigan came in slowly. I could not look up.

"Kiss her, aunt Catherine," he repeated; "she is mine."

And to my great dismay he set her the example; but I think it
was partly to reassure me, and cover my confusion, which he
saw.

"I have kissed Daisy very often before now," said Miss
Cardigan. I thought I discerned some concern in her voice.

"Then come, do it again," said Thorold, laughing. "You never
kissed her as anything belonging to me, aunt Catherine."

And he fairly laid me in Miss Cardigan's arms, till we kissed
each other as he desired. But Miss Cardigan's gravity roused
me out of my confusion. I was not ashamed before her; only
before him.

"Now, aunt Catherine," he said, pulling up a comfortable
armchair to the corner of the hearth, — "sit there. And Daisy,
— come here!"

He put me into the fellow chair; and then built up the wood in
the fireplace till we had a regular illumination. Then drew
himself up before the fire, and looked at his aunt.

"It's like you!" broke out Miss Cardigan. "Ever since you were
born, I think, you did what you liked, and had what you liked;
and threw over everything to get at the best."

"On the contrary," said Thorold, "I was always of a very
contented disposition."

"Contented with your own will, then," said his aunt. "And now,
do you mean to tell me that you have got this prize — this
prize — it's a first-class, Christian — for good and for
certain to yourself?"

I lifted my eyes one instant, to see the sparkles in Thorold's
eyes; they were worth seeing.

"You don't think you deserve it?" Miss Cardigan went on.

"I do not think I deserve it," said Thorold. "But I think I
will."

"I know what that means," said his aunt. "You will get worldly
glory — just a bit or two more of gold on your coat — to match
you with one of the Lord's jewels, that are to be 'all
glorious within;' and you think that will fit you to own her."

"Aunt Catherine," said Thorold, "I do not precisely think
that gold lace is glory. But I mean that I will do my duty. A
man can do no more."

"Some would have said, 'a man can do no less,' " said Miss
Cardigan, turning to me. "But you are right, lad; more than
our duty we can none of us do; where _all_ is owing, less will
not be overpay. But whatever do you think her father will say
to you?"

"I will ask him, when the time comes," said Thorold,
contentedly. His tone was perfect; both modest and manly.
Truth to say, I could not quite share his content, in looking
forward to the time he spoke of; but that was far ahead, and
it was impossible not to share his confidence. My father and
my mother had been practically not my guardians during six and
a half long years; I had got out of the habit of looking first
to them.

"And what are you going to do now in Washington?" said his
aunt. "You may as weel sit down and tell us."

"I don't know. Probably I shall be put to drill new recruits.
All these seventy-five thousand men that the President has
called for, won't know how to handle a gun or do anything
else."

"And what is he going to do with these seventy-fire thousand
men, Christian?"

"Put down treason, if he can. Don't you realise yet that we
have a civil war on our hands, aunt Catherine? The Southern
States are mustering and sending their forces; we must meet
them, or give up the whole question; that is, give up the
Country."

"And what is it that _they_ will try to do?" said Miss Cardigan.
"It is a mystery to me what they want; but I suppose I know;
only bad men are a mystery to me always."

"They will try to defy the laws," said Thorold. "We will try
to see them executed."

"They seem very fierce," said Miss Cardigan; "to judge by what
they say."

"And do," added Thorold. "I think there is a sort of madness
in Southern blood!"

He spoke with a manner of disgustful emphasis. I looked up at
him, to see an expression quite in keeping with his words.
Miss Cardigan cried out, —

"Hey, lad! Ye're confident, surely, to venture your opinions
so plainly and so soon!"

His face changed, as if sunlight had been suddenly poured over
it. He came kneeling on one knee before me, taking my hand and
kissing it, and laughing.

"And I see ye're not confident without reason!" added Miss
Cardigan. "Daisy'll just let ye say your mind, and no punish
you for it."

"But it is _true_, Miss Cardigan," — I said, turning to her. I
wished I had held my tongue the next minute, for the words
were taken off my lips, as it were. It is something quite
different from eating your own words, which I have heard of as
not pleasant; mine seemed to be devoured by somebody else.

"But is it true they are coming to attack Washington?" Miss
Cardigan went on, when we had all done laughing. "I read it in
the prints; and it seems to me I read every other thing
there."

"I am afraid you read too many prints," said Thorold. "You are
thinking of 'hear both sides,' aunt Catherine? — you must know
there is but one side to this matter. There never are two
sides to treason."

"That's true," said Miss Cardigan. "But about Washington, lad?
I saw an extract from a letter written from that city, by a
lady, and she said the place was in terror; she said the
President sleeps with a hundred men, armed, in the east room,
to protect him from the Southern army; and keeps a sentinel
before his bedroom door; and often goes clean out of the White
House and sleeps somewhere else, in his fear."

I had never seen Thorold laugh as he did then. And he asked
his aunt "where she had seen that extract?"

"It was in one of the papers — it was in an extract; itself,
I'm thinking."

"From a Southern paper," said Thorold.

"Well, I believe it was."

"I have seen extracts too," said Thorold. "They say, Alexander
H. Stephens is counselling the rebels to lay hold on
Washington."

"Well, sit down and tell us what you do know, and how to
understand things!" said Miss Cardigan. "I don't talk to
anybody, much, about politics."

So Thorold did as he was asked. He sat down on the other side
of me, and with my hand in his, talked to us both. We went
over the whole ground of the few months past, of the work then
doing and preparing, of what might reasonably be looked for in
both the South and the North. He said he was not very wise in
the matter; but he was infinitely more informed than we; and
we listened as to the most absorbing of all tales, till the
night was far worn. A sense of the gravity and importance of
the crisis; a consciousness that we were embarked in a contest
of the most stubborn character, the end of which no man might
foretell, pressed itself more and more on my mind as the night
and the talk grew deeper. If I may judge from the changes in
Miss Cardigan's face, it was the same with her. The conclusion
was, the North was gathering and concentrating all her forces
to meet the trial that was coming; and the young officers of
the graduating class at the Military Academy had been ordered
to the seat of war a little before their time of study was
out; their help being urgently needed.

"And where is Preston?" said I, speaking for the first time
in a long while.

"Preston?" — echoed Thorold.

"My cousin Preston, — Gary; your classmate Gary."

"Gary! — Oh, he is going to Washington, like the rest of us."

"Which side will he take?"

"You should know, perhaps, better than I," said Thorold. "He
always _has_ taken the Southern side, and very exclusively."

"_Has_ taken?" said I. "Do you mean that among the cadets, there
has been a South and a North — until now lately?"

"Ay, Daisy, always, since I have been in the Academy. The
Southern clique and the Northern clique have been well
defined; there is always an assumption of superiority on the
one side, and some resenting of it on the other side. It was
on that ground Gary and I split."

"Split!" I repeated.

But Thorold laughed and kissed me, and would give me no
satisfaction. I began to put things together though. I saw
from Christian's eyes that _he_ had nothing to be ashamed of, in
looking back; I remembered Preston's virulence, and his sudden
flush when somebody had repeated the word "coward," which he
had applied to Thorold. I felt certain that more had been
between them than mere words, and that Preston found the
recollection not flattering, whatever it was; and having come
to this settlement of the matter, I looked up at Thorold.

"My gentle little Daisy!" he said. "I will never quarrel with
him again — if I can help it."

"You _must_ quarrel with him, if he is on the wrong side," I
answered. "And so must I."

"You say, you must go immediately back to West Point," said
Miss Cardigan. "Leave thanking Daisy's hand, and tell me _when_
you are going; for the night is far past, children."

"I am gone when I bid you good-night," said Thorold. "I must
set out with the dawn — to catch the train I must take."

"With the dawn! — _this_ morning!" cried Miss Cardigan.

"Certainly. I should be there this minute, if the colonel had
not given me something to do here that kept me."

"And when will ye do it?"

"Do it! It is done," said Thorold; "before I came here. But I
must catch the first train in the morning."

"And you'll want some breakfast before that," she said rising.

"No, I shall not," said Thorold, catching hold of her. "I want
nothing. I did want my supper. Sit down, aunt Catherine, and
be quiet. I want nothing, I tell you, but more time."

"We may as well sit up the rest of the night," I said; "it is
so far gone now."

"Yes, and what will you be good for to-morrow?" said Miss
Cardigan. "You must lie down and take a bit of rest."

I felt no weariness; but I remember the grave, tender,
examination of Thorold's eyes, which seemed to touch me with
their love, to find out whether I — and himself — might be
indulged or not. It was a bit of the thoughtful, watchful
affection, which always surrounded me when he was near. I
never had it just so from anybody else.

"It won't do, Daisy," said he gaily. "You would not have me go
in company with self-reproaches all day to-morrow? You must
lie down here on the sofa; and sleep or not, we'll all be
still for two hours. Aunt Catherine will thank me to stop
talking for that length of time."

I was not sleepy, but Miss Cardigan and Thorold would not be
resisted. Thorold wheeled up the sofa, piled the cushions, and
made me lie down, with the understanding that nobody should
speak for the time he had specified. Miss Cardigan, on her
part, soon lost herself in her easy chair. Thorold walked
perseveringly up and down the room. I closed my eyes and
opened my eyes, and lay still and thought. It is all before me
now. The firelight fading and brightening; Thorold took care
of the fire; the gleam of the gaslight on the rows of books;
Miss Cardigan's comfortable figure gone to sleep in the corner
of her chair; and the figure which ever and anon came between
me and the fire, piling or arranging the logs of wood, and
then paced up and down just behind me. There was no sleep for
my eyes; of course. How should there be? I seemed to pass all
my life in review, and took the bearings of my present
position, and got calmed and quieted. I think they were silver
hours while I lay there, if time is ever made of such
material; not golden, for my happiness was not quite so
perfect. There were many things to temper it.

I rose up the minute the hours were over, for I could bear the
silence no longer, nor the losing any more time. Thorold
stopped his walk then, and we had a long talk over the fire by
ourselves, while Miss Cardigan slept on. Trust her, though,
for waking up when there was anything to be done. Long before
dawn she roused herself and went to call her servants and
order our early breakfast.

"What are you going to do now, Daisy?" said Thorold, turning
to me with a weight of earnestness in his eyes, and a flash of
that keen inspection which they sometimes gave me.

"You know —" I said, "I am going to study as hard as I can for
a month or two more, — till my school closes."

"Then?" —

I was silent.

"What then, Daisy? Perhaps you will find some way to come on
and see me at Washington — if the rebels don't take it first?"

It must be told.

"No — I cannot. — My father and mother wish me to come out to
them as soon as I get a chance."

"Where?"

"In Switzerland."

"Switzerland! To stay how long?"

"I don't know — till the war is over, I suppose. I do not
think they would come back before."

"I shall come and fetch you, then, Daisy."

But it seemed a long way off. And how much might be between.
We were both silent.

"That is heavy, for me," said Thorold at last. "Little Daisy,
you do not know how heavy!"

He was caressing my hair, smoothing and stroking it as he
spoke. I looked up, and his eyes flashed fire instantly.

"Say that in words!" he exclaimed, taking me in his arms. "Say
it, Daisy! say it. It will be worth so much to me."

But my lips had hardly a chance to speak.

"Say what?"

"Daisy, you _have_ said it. Put it in words, that is all."

But his eyes were so fill of flashing triumph that I thought
he had got enough for the time.

"Daisy, those eyes of yours are like mountain lakes, deep and
still. But when I look quite down to the bottom of them —
sometimes I see something — I thought I did then."

"What?" I asked, very much amused.

"I see it there now, Daisy!"

"I was afraid he did, for _his_ eyes were like sunbeams, and I
thought they went through everything at that minute. I don't
know what moved me, the consciousness of this inspection or
the consciousness of what it discovered; but I know that
floods of shyness seemed to flush my face and brow, and even
to the tips of my fingers. I would have escaped if I could,
but I could not; and I think Thorold rather liked what he saw.
There was no hiding it, unless I hid it on his shoulder; and I
was ashamed to have to do that, but he liked it. I felt that
his lips knew just as well as his eyes what state my cheeks
were in, and took their own advantage. Though presently their
tenderness soothed me too, and even nullified the soft little
laugh with which he whispered, "Are you ashamed to show it to
_me_, Daisy?"

"You know," said I, still keeping my eyes hid, "you have me at
advantage. If you were not going — away — so soon, I would not
do a great many things."

"Daisy!" said he, laughing, — "Daisy!" — And touching my cheek
as one who meant to keep his advantage. But then his voice
changed, and he repeated, with a deeper and deepening tone
with each word — "Daisy! — my Daisy!"

I had very nearly burst out into great sobs upon his breast,
with the meeting of opposite tides of feeling. Sweet and
bitter struggled for the upper hand; struggled, while I was
afraid he would feel the laboured breath which went and came,
straining me. And the sweetness, for the moment, got the
better. I knew he must go, in an hour or little more, away
from me. I knew it was for uncertain and maybe dangerous duty.
I knew it might at best be long before we could see each other
again; and, back of all, the thought of my father and mother
was not reassuring. But his arms were round me and my head was
on his shoulder; and that was but the outward symbol of the
inward love and confidence which filled all my heart with its
satisfying content. For the moment happiness was uppermost.
Not all the clouds on the horizon could dim the brightness of
that one sun-ray which reached me.

I do not know what Thorold thought, but he was as still as I
for a while.

"Daisy," he said at last, "my Daisy, you need not grudge any
of your goodness to me. Don't you know, you are to be my light
and my watchword in what lies before me?"

"Oh, no!" I said, lifting my head; "Oh, no, Christian!"

"Why no?" said he.

"I want you to have a better watchword and follow a better
light. Not me. Oh, Christian, won't you?"

"What shall my watchword be?" — said he, looking into my eyes.
But I was intent on something else then.

"Whatsoever ye do, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus," I
answered.

"A soldier, Daisy? —"

"A soldier more than anybody," I said; "for He calls us to be
soldiers, and you know what it means."

"But you forget," said he, not taking his eyes from my face, —
"in my service I must obey as well as command; I am not my own
master exactly."

"Let Christ be your Master," I said.

"How then with this other service?"

"Why, it is very plain," I said. "Command in the love of God,
and obey in the fear of God; that covers all."

I did not see the natural sequence of what followed; for it
was a succession of kisses that left no chance for a word to
get out of my mouth. Then Thorold rose up, straightened
himself, and I saw Miss Cardigan just entering.

"I will not forget, Daisy," he said, in a tone as if we had
been talking of business. I thought, neither should I. And
then came Miss Cardigan, and the servant behind her bringing
coffee and bread and eggs and marmalade — I don't know what
beside — and we sat down again to the table, knowing that the
next move would be a move apart. But the wave of happiness was
at the flood with me, and it bore me over all the underlying
roughnesses of the shore — for the time. I do not think
anybody wanted to eat much; we played with cups of coffee and
with each other, and dallied with the minutes till the last
one was spent.

And then came the parting. That was short.

THE END


Note by the transcriber :
DAISY is the continuation of MELBOURNE HOUSE. There is a further
continuation as DAISY IN THE FIELD.





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