Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

Sinclair has indeed come back. He has come also his cousin Matilda Sabiston, that wicked for Vala.»

old woman who had outlived all family pas« Then the devil has led him here,» an- sions but hatred. Against this man, and the swered Barbara, flashing into anger. «As for money and ill will that would back him, she Vala, let her stay with me. She has a good could do nothing; but she « trusted in God guard at my house. There is Groat and his that he would deliver her.» four sons on one side, and Jeppe Madson and So she said to herself, « Patience, and she his big brother Har on the other side; and sat down to wait, shutting her eyes to the there is David Borson, who is worth a whole outside world, and drawing to a focus all the ship’s crew, to back them in anything for strength that was in her. The closed Bible Vala's safety. Stay with me to-day, Nanna, lay upon a table at her side, and occasionally and we will talk this thing out.»

she touched it with her hand. She had not But Nanna shook her head in reply. As she been able to read its promises, but there was understood it, duty was no peradventure; it comfort in putting herself in contact with was an absolute thing from which there was them. They seemed more real. And as she no turning away. She put Vala's hand into sat hour after hour, psalms learned years beDavid's hand, and looked at the young man fore, and read many and many a time withwith eyes full of anxiety. He answered the out apprehension of their meaning, began to look with one strong word, « Yes,» and she speak to her. She saw the words with her knew he would redeem it with his life if spiritual sight, and they shone with their own necessary.

glory. When midnight struck she looked at Then she turned away, and walked to her the clock and thanked God. Surely she was home with a direct and rapid energy. She safe for that night, and she turned the key put away thought; she formed no plan; she in her door and went to sleep. And her sleep said no prayer. Her petition had been made in was that which God giveth to his beloved when the kirk; she thought there would be a want of they are to be strengthened for many daysfaith in repeating a request already promised. a deep, dreamless suspense of all thought and She felt even the modesty of a suppliant, and feeling. would not continually press into the presence Yet, heavenly as the sleep had been, the of the Highest, for to the reverent there is awakening was a shock. And as the day grew ever the veil before the Shechinah.

toward noon she was as much troubled by the And this conscious putting aside of all silence of events as her husband had been by emotion strengthened her. When she saw the silence of her lips. She felt the suspense her home she had no need to slacken her to be unendurable, and she resolved to go to speed or to encourage herself; she walked Barbara's and see Vala, and hear whatever directly to the door and opened it. There was there was to hear. But as she was putting no one there. The place was empty. The food on her cloak she saw David coming across the on the table was untouched. Nothing but a moor, and he was carrying Vala in his arms. soiled and crumpled kerchief remained of the « Now,” she said, “I see that I will not need dreadful visitor. She lifted it with the tongs to run after my fate. It will come to me, and and cast it into the fire, and then she cleared there will be no use striving against it. For away every trace of the rejected meal. what must be is sure to happen.»

Afterward she made some inquiries in the Then she turned back into the house, and adjoining huts. One woman only had seen his David followed with unusual solemnity, and departure. «I could not go to kirk this morn- laid Vala down on the bed. «She is sleeping,» ing,” she said with an air of apology, « for my he said, « and there is something to tell you, bairn is very sick, and I saw Nicol Sinclair go Nanna.) away near the noon hour. Drunk he was, and « About my husband?» worse drunk than most men can be. His face « Yes. He was carried to his own ship last was red as a hot peat, and he swayed to and night,) and David's face was grave almost to fro like a boat on the Gruting Voe. There sternness. was something no' just right about the man. «Carried! Have you then, hurt him, David ?»

That was all she could learn, and she was «No. He is a self-hurter. But this is what very unhappy, for she could imagine no good I know. He went from here to Matilda Sabisreason for his departure. In some way or ton's house. She had gone to kirk with two other he was preparing the blow he meant to of her servants, and when she came back she deal her, and, though it was the Sabbath, found him delirious on her sofa. The doctor there would be no difficulty in finding men was sent for, and when he said the word whom he could influence. Besides, there was "typhus) Matilda screamed with passion, and

VOL. LII.-87.

demanded that he should instantly be taken Sinclair. Three of them are yet well men, away.)

and three can care for the sick and the ship. « But no! Surely not!»

On the deck of the Sea Rover a woman should « Yes, it was so; both the minister and the not put her foot.) doctor thought it best he should go to his « But a ship with typhus on board!» own ship. The town-yes, indeed, and the « Is a hell indeed, Nanna. In this case it whole island-was in danger. And when they is a hell of their own making. They got the took him on board the Sea Rover they found fever in a dance-house on the quay at Rotthat two of the sailors were also very ill with terdam. Sinclair knew of its presence, and the fever. They had been ill for a week, and laughed it to scorn. It was his mate who told Sinclair knew it; yet he came among the the doctor so. Also, Nanna, there is Vala. boats and went through the town, speaking She went swiftly to the side of the sleepto many people. It was a wicked thing ing child, and she was sure there was a to do.»

change in her. David would not see it, but « And where is the Sea Rover lying ? » in forty-eight hours the fatal signs were un

«She has been taken to the South Voe. The mistakable. Then Nanna's house was marked fishing-boats will watch lest the men are and isolated, and she sat down alone with her landed, and the doctor will go to the ship dying child. For there was no hope at all; every day if the sea will let him go.» from the very first the symptoms were malig« David, is it my duty — »

nant, and the speechless little patient moaned « No, it is not. There are five men with away her life in a delirious agony. (To be concluded in the next number.)

Amelia E. Barr.

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

"OF F course not. I understand why you do son said that biography was the best guide

not want it. Times are hard. No doubt for youth, and you remember that Carlyle about it. It has been a bad year on the crops, declared that biography was the only true and you don't feel that you can afford to history. Why, sir, our biggest millionaires spend money on books; but »—and here the owed their rise to fortune to what they read, agent bent confidentially forward-«this is and what would have become of our Presia work that you must have. I took special dents if they had missed the books that pains to come to see you about it. I came be- launched them on the tide which, taken at cause I had read your letters in the county its flood, leads on to fortune ?» This came paper-letters that are attracting attention forth with all the happy eloquence of a man outside of this county. I knew from them unfettered by fact or the ethics of quotation. that you were a man of intelligence who « You want this book. You must have it. could appreciate a great work, and so I came, It's the last copy, and as I feel an interest and I am glad I came. As I walked up the lane in the success of your son, I 'm going to let I saw a handsome young man for whom I pre- you have it for only three dollars, although dict a great future-your son, if I am not every other copy of the edition sold for four. much mistaken.

Take it, sir, and you will see the day when you «My boy Abner,» said Daniel Green. will thank me for having brought it to you.)

«I knew it,» asserted the agent, with vic- Poor Daniel Green! Fortune had cut out torious emphasis. «I knew it-the son of his great things for him, but he had not measured father, a regular chip off the old block. That up to his destiny. It might have been differboy is going to be a great man. Mark you! ent if circumstances had been less hostile; I say he will be a great man. It is stamped but monopolies were so insolent, taxation was on his face.»

so unequal, politics were so corrupt, and the « Abner is a good boy,» said the old gentle- world was so utterly out of joint, that he grew man, « and a good son. He has not had the tired of striving, and let the farm run down, advantages that I had hoped to give him. He and his debts run up, while he railed at fate was at school less than a year; he ought to and wasted his time and substance in letters have been there several years, but the farm to the county paper. He dreamed of what he had to be attended to, and I could n't spare could do if he had the power; but while govhim. But he has studied some, and when he ernment and national development and iridesgets his chance he will make his mark.)) cent possibilities of high offices seeking good

« Then I'm doubly glad I came,» the agent men claimed his thoughts and his speculasaid, with a tone of real interest. «I 'm in tions, the whitewash faded from his house, time to do you a very great service. You the gates dropped from their hinges, and the want that boy of yours to succeed in life; you fences began to fall away, as if in sympathy want to help him. That 's natural. You can with his own discouragement. do it. This great work is your chance. It 's The trouble, too, was that his apathy in the practical education of the century con- material things had affected his son Abner. densed in one volume. Nothing succeeds like Mrs. Green had died when the boy was ten success, and this book tells all about success. years old. This good woman, when in health, Put it in the hands of your son, and he will kept order on the farm by the force of her catch the spirit of success just as quick as practical common sense. But when she was he would catch the smallpox or the measles. gone Mr. Green's few energies drooped into Allow me to show you,) and he moved still those fine intentions which see much and accloser. «Right here in these pages are the complish nothing. Abner was now twentylives of the successful men of America. Not two, a man in age without a man's education a few, mind you, but all, -every one, -- with and experience. He had been to school only portraits from photographs taken specially ten months. There his ambition began to take for this great work. Did you know, sir,) --and wings, and he wished to do something; but he he drew himself up as if for the communica- could not leave his father, and that was the tion of some all-important message, — «that of end of it. Even John, who as a waif had come all these men more than two thirds had the to the farm, and had grown to the dignity course of their lives changed by the influence of the only hired man on the place, shared of books— books, sir, of people and about the common restraint; but it must be said, in · people who had succeeded? Our great Emer- justice to him, that he was the most useful

of the three, because he was not bothered by first it looked so big that his courage faltered, either imagination or ambition. Content with but when he read how boys as poor as himself wages that were never paid, he existed in the had started on nothing, and moved up the full satisfaction of all he wanted to eat and a plane of life to the elevations of fame and comfortable place to sleep.

fortune, his heart grew stronger. Mr. Green was nursing the book on his lap After the funeral came the public sale. when Abner and John came from the field: There were more debts than assets, and the Abner a fine, sturdy fellow, nearly six feet creditors pounced upon the little property as tall, manly in bearing and bright in counte- soon as the law permitted. The people crowded nance; John more round than erect, older in the house and filled the yard, for November years, yet a child in comparison with Abner. was a dull month, and they had nothing better

«Abner,” said Mr. Green, after John had to do. Abner and John had wandered about passed on to the house, « one of the sorrows bidding good-by to everything. Then came of my life has been my inability to give you the auctioneer with his blatant voice and a good education.

coarse wit, turning the long silence of the old « That 's all right, father, Abner replied place into a bedlam of noise and laughter. cheerfully.

After the farm had been bought in by Mr. « My son, it is n't all right. I see now that Anthony Cobb, who held a mortgage on it, I have been selfish. I might have allowed you Abner's emotions began to get the better of to go to school. I can never forgive myself him, and he walked around the corner and for not allowing you to go; but what 's past turned toward the big poplar-tree, where he is past-we cannot recall it. And then, hoped to find a bit of solitude. changing his voice, he added in a more prac- As he did so a young woman approached tical way: «I have bought this book for you. from the opposite direction. She was tall, but It is a book on the success of successful men. not so tall as he; she was dressed plainly, but It tells how they rose from even humbler cir- very attractively. She had the clear, clean, cumstances than those that surround you. My kindly comeliness that belongs to sound son, I want you to read it. Studyit. You will find health and a good home. She was not beaupractical examples of what I have often told tiful, but she had a gentle, graceful, amiable you—that success is the grasping of oppor- appearance that invited confidence and retunity, the reaching out. When I am gone - » warded admiration. Her face in repose looked

« Now, father, you must not say that.» practical, but there was in it an indefinable

«Yes, I must, my son. It will soon be time sweetness, and her large eyes were as serene for me to go. I feel it more and more every as the quiet blue of the autumn sky. day.

Jane Cobb! Many a time had she disturbed He had been saying this for ten years, but Abner's thoughts, and many a struggle had he Abner listened as if he had never heard it had with himself to forget her. He had been before. He always humored his father in that with her at school, he had watched her at way.

church, he had composed unwritten messages «When I am gone,» repeated the old gen- of which she never knew; and now of all pertleman, « I want you to strike out in the world. sons she was standing face to face with him, It's the only way you can conquer. The sol- and a big lump was in his throat. dier who never fights never wins battles, and «How are you, Abner? I did not think I'd the mightiest battle that ever was fought is come; but as everybody else was here, and the the battle of life. Take the book, Abner, and day was so fine, I changed my mind. I want to read it, and remember that no circumstance is tell you that I am very sorry.” too small for your attention. Look to the little « Thank you.) And then, with a forced smile things, and you will be great in big things. that partly dislodged the choking sensation,

For once Mr. Green was right. Two weeks he added, “I hope you will enjoy it.» afterward he died. In those two weeks the « No, Abner,» she replied seriously; «I do book had been read and re-read by the son, not enjoy it. It is the saddest thing in life, who found in it a hope he had never felt be- this breaking up of a home; and when I said fore, an inspiration that had never moved him. I was sorry I meant that you have my deepest Away down in his soul were longings for some- sympathy. Are you going to move away from thing broader and better than the sunrise-to- the neighborhood ? » sunset toil on the farm, but they had not « I don't know,» he answered; «I have not dared to find expression until the words that any plans— have n't had time to think of he had read gave them voice and opened his plans.» eyes to the possibilities of achievement. At She extended her hand to him, and said,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »