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and no sooner had the clergyman handed her the line, than, with five or six strong and steady pulls, she landed a splendid bluefish, weighing some six or seven pounds. Brooks, who could not get his eyes off her, was enchanted at the swift security and skill with which she handled the big fish, keeping at the same time a vigilant watch on the parson, whose manipulation of the tiller she evidently distrusted. Hers was no crude peasant face in which the primitive bovine virtues were legibly written. In her eye the fire of thought had been kindled, generations ago, and in the chiseling of her face nature had traced many a delicate intention. And yet, coupled with this, there were an admirable alertness of sense and practical skill which, to the young man who had spent his life among books and in the over-refinement of a foreign civilization, seemed wholly adorable. He had all his life seen helpless women who took a pride in their uselessness and ignorance of practical concerns; and by contrast, an efficient woman who, without the sacrifice of her womanly character and charm, could sail a boat, braid a basket, and cook a beefsteak, struck him as a fascinating novelty. He contrasted her deep and wholesome content with the intellectual contortions of Miss Herkomer, who skimmed with feverish restlessness over all the sciences, and was always uneasy lest she should not secure proper recognition for her attainments.
It is not improbable that Anastasia had a suspicion of what was going on in Brooks's mind; at all events, she was aware that she had displeased him by her question about "Theophrastus Such." She always felt an irrepressible irritation in the presence of men who undervalued the intellect of women; and neglected no opportunity to champion the cause of her oppressed sex. And yet, in the case of Brooks, it somehow heightened her respect for him, to know that he did not take her intellectual
claims seriously. It did not occur to her "to give in," of course; but in her heart of hearts she rather liked his contemptuous tone, provoking though it
Nothing of any consequence occurred
during the afternoon, except that several dozen scups were caught and a few sea-bass. At about seven o'clock they anchored near the island of Puckertuck, a mere reef or sand-dune, which is cut up into several islets at high tide, one of them supporting a light-house with a revolving light of three colors, and the summer cottage of a Bostonian, who thus advertises his love of solitude. The wind had stiffened somewhat, after sunset, and the tide was coming in, flowing with considerable violence over the shallow sand-flats. On the outer side of the reef they could hear the surf booming, and the wind flung, every now and then, a shower of spray toward them. The wicks were trimmed in the kerosene stove, and in an amazingly short time the big bluefish found himself split down the back and flung into the frying-pan.
"Hand me a match, please," said Charity, who was stooping over the stove, attending to the preliminaries of the banquet.
"A match? Why, certainly," answered Brooks and Nichols in chorus, and fumbled in their pockets.
"I confess I am almost hungry," said Anastasia, a little anxiously.
"I confess I am ravenous," remarked Nichols; "this sea-air has aroused in me a very unclerical appetite."
"Or say, rather, a very clerical appetite," suggested Brooks. "I do hope you have brought matches, for I have none.'
"Nor have I," the clergyman rejoined, with a dismayed look; "I could have sworn I had some, but I must have left the box in my room."
An excited consultation ensued, during which Nichols suffered all the horrors of slow starvation, while Anastasia drew lots in fancy as to who was to be eaten, and found that her rival was designated for the sacrifice.
"We shall have to land at Pucker
tuck," said Charity. "I'll go up to Mr. Bateman's cottage and get some matches."
"But it is getting dark and foggy," Brooks objected. You might be blown off to sea, and nobody know what had become of you."
"The moon is just rising; and anyway I am not afraid."
She sprang forward and pulled up the anchor, while Brooks hoisted the sail and Nichols got his feet entangled in the rope and came near falling overboard. In another instant she was at the tiller, ran the boat neatly up along the sandy shore, let the sail "lay to,' flung the anchor up on the beach, and herself jumped after it.
"Hold on a minute," cried Brooks; "I am going with you."
He saw her form vanishing in the fog, but managed to catch up with her.
"Why do you want to run away from me?" he asked; but the thunder of the surf on the outer reef nearly drowned his voice and made it impossible to hear what she answered.
"Take my arm," he went on, “or I shall lose you altogether."
But she only hastened tremblingly on, and almost ran, as if to escape him. There was to him something sweet and primitive in this mute flight, which was no sham manœuvre, but prompted by a real fear. He fancied he could almost hear her heart beat in the twilight. All the great emotions lie close to each other in an unspoiled nature. It was not in ancient times only that women stood with fear and trembling in the presence of nature's great mysteries. To this shy and virginal soul the repellant quality of manhood was yet stronger than the attractive.
"It is no good trying to run away from me," said the young man, laughing; "I can beat you racing any day."
The fog was closing about them, and they seemed alone in an empty world. The moon looked like a dimly luminous spot in the mist, but emerged now and then with a pallid, frightened face, as the wind tore rifts in the vapors. The world seemed more than ever a world of shadows, unsubstantial, like the phantasms of a dream. He and she-the man and the woman, who loved each other-seemed to loom out of the fog as the only realities.
They groped about in the twilight for a quarter of an hour, he keeping close in her track. The tide rose higher and higher, making the strip of sand upon which they walked narrower and nar rower, and the surf roared along the outer reef with a deep and mighty voice. When they reached the point of land where they had put up the catboat, they began to halloo, but received no answer. Presently, they found the anchor and the rope attached to it. They stood long staring at it in speechless amazement.
lay at her feet, and saw his features softened, as it were, through the fog. Her thoughts, her feelings, her very senses, were in a strange whirl, and all sorts of dim yearnings peeped forth, only to be hustled out of sight and bashfully hidden. She felt his eyes resting upon her tenderly, and with a sweet seriousness which made her glow and shiver in the same moment.
if she felt its mighty breast heaving. In the presence of this gigantic monster, which spoke with the voice of eternity in her ear, whose very gentlest whisper shook her innermost being, she felt herself so infinitely small. She looked half anxiously at the face of the youth who
There must have been something sympathetic in the shiver, for he presently got up, and shivered too.
"It is getting dark," he said; "the moon will soon drop out of sight."
She made no answer, and he sauntered uneasily about her for a few minutes, gazing intently at her, as if he were battling with some great resolution. She looked lovely, as she sat there in the moon-lit fog, her eyes kindled with emotion, and her pensive, demure little face animated by a vague expectancy.
"Miss Charity," he began, his voice starting out of the dusk with sudden vehemence; "I have a world of things to say to you. I have
Before he had time to finish, a tremendous wave broke over the reef, spreading with scores of shallow arms over the sand. In an instant she was on her feet and rushed up the beach. But he caught her in his arms, and held her in a tight embrace, while the water gurgled about her ankles.
"You wished to say something to me," she whispered after a long silence. He was about to answer, but found himself suddenly enveloped in an intense crimson illumination. He looked at Charity, and she too shone as if lighted up by Bengal fire. It took him fully a minute to recover from his consternation, and to trace the singular phenomenon. to its origin. It was the revolving light of the government light-house, which had accidentally flashed its blood-red
sheen upon them. And it was owing to this circumstance that a belated fisherman who was tacking close to shore caught sight of them in the midst of the fleecy sea of indistinguishable fog.
"Man ahoy!" he called; and was not a little surprised when the answer came in a woman's voice.
He made out the mystery, however, by recollecting the passage in the mar riage service which bids the two to be one.
TWO GRECIAN MYTHS.
By C. P. Cranch.
He sold his poems and was free from care.
But ah, the test of worth he could not shun.
Doubtless they missed him at the rustic board
In the rude herdsmen's feast of home-brewed ale.
Into his larger sky's ethereal zone
Jove's eagle snatched him from the common throng,
In the new opening heaven of sounds and sights-
By Robert Louis Stevenson.
ANY writers have vigorously described the pains of the first day or the first night at school; to a boy of any enterprise, I believe, they are more often agreeably exciting. Misery-or at least misery unrelieved is confined to another period, to the days of suspense and the "dreadful lookingfor" of departure; when the old life is running to an end, and the new life, with its new interests, not yet begun; and to the pain of an imminent parting, there is added the unrest of a state of conscious preexistence. The area railings, the beloved shop-window, the smell of semisuburban tanpits, the song of the church bells upon a Sunday, the thin, high voices of compatriot children in a playing field-what a sudden, what an overpowering pathos breathes to him from each familiar circumstance! The assaults of sorrow come not from within, as it seems to him, but from without. I was proud and glad to go to school; had I been let alone, I could have borne up like any hero; but there was around me, in all my native town, a conspiracy of lamentation: "Poor little boy, he is going away-unkind little boy, he is going to leave us;" so the unspoken burthen followed me as I went, with yearning and reproach. And at length, one melancholy afternoon in the early autumn, and at a place where it seems
to me, looking back, it must be always autumn and generally Sunday, there came suddenly upon the face of all I saw-the long empty road, the lines of the tall houses, the church upon the hill, the woody hill-side garden-a look of such a piercing sadness that my heart died; and seating myself on a door-step, I shed tears of miserable sympathy. A benevolent cat cumbered me the while with consolations-we two were alone in all that was visible of the London Road: two poor waifs who had each tasted sorrow-and she fawned upon the weeper, and gambolled for his entertainment, watching the effect, it seemed, with motherly eyes. Long ago has that small heart been quieted, that small body (then rigid and cold) buried in the end of a town garden, perhaps with some attendant children. She will never console another trembler on the brink of life: poor little mouse, bringing strength to the young elephant: poor little thing of a year or two ministering to the creature of near upon a century.
For the sake of the cat, God bless her! I confessed at home the story of my own weakness; and so it comes about that I owed a certain journey, and the reader owes the present paper, to a cat in the London Road. It was judged, if I had thus brimmed over on the public highway, some change of scene was (in the medical sense) indicated; my father at the time was visiting the harbor lights of Scotland; and it was decided he should take me along with him around