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“Why ? ” said Patsy.
but now he was looking away from them, and Now Christie was usually very prompt with might not lower it in time. The blood rushed an answer, but it was different to-night as he to Christie's head. He felt as if a furnace was talked with Patsy. He was very ill at ease, and raging within him. hesitated some time before he spoke.
“ Lower that hurdle, you d—!” The rest “Well,” he said, after a long pause, “there's of the sentence was lost in the yells of the men some boys out there in front, and I think I'd and the shrieks of the women. The audience like them to see me in my red tights and the was on its feet. The horse had hit the stick spangles, see?"
with one of its fore-feet. The man fell uninOh, all right,” said Patsy; “I don't care." jured, but the boy was picked up with a deep “Do you mean it?” he replied. “ Thank cut just over his temple. you ever so much.”
The ring-master called for any doctors that
might be in the audience, and a little group “ Your hand 's as cold as ice," said the ring- of men followed the two attendants that carmaster, as he led Christie out.
ried the boy into the big dressing-tent. They “ Think so ?” said Christie. “Great house, laid him on a wooden chest, and covered the is n't it?"
little body with the spangled clothes that hung In a minute he was on the horse's back, about the tent. When he opened his eyes he and a moment later Boynton was holding him saw the three Boyntons standing by his side. out at arm's-length. Christie saw that the rider “ So you came back, did you ?” said was doing the act unconscious of everything Christie. about him. The man seemed dazed, and moved “ Yes, Christie. I hope it 's not too late," mechanically. If the horse had not been so sobbed Mrs. Boynton. well trained the act must have ended at once “ It 's never too late," he said. “You 're in a failure. As it slowed down to a walk Chris- never goin' to leave Patsy again though, are tie gave vent to a long sigh of relief. “That you ? was easy enough,” he said to himself; “but I Never," she said. wish I was over those five sticks."
“ That 's good, that 's good," said Christie. The hurdles were brought out, and the horse “ But what 's the matter with the band? Why started on a slow gallop around the ring. Boyn- ain't it playin'? And the lights, they 're all ton, who was probably unconscious of what he goin' out. Say, please don't leave me alone was doing, or over-anxious to get through the here when I 'm hurt.” act and be alone away from the awful crowd, The proprietor stood in the background, bitsuddenly yelled to his horse. Christie, who was ing his nails. One of the attendants tiptoed standing on the man's shoulders, felt the ani- noiselessly across the floor of the tent to his mal make a sudden start, and just managed to side. steady himself for the first hurdle.
“The audience, Mr. Clyde?" he said. “One-two-three-four,” he counted, as The proprietor looked up sharply. “ The the horse jumped each hurdle. In another sec- audience be —” ond it would all be over. At the exit he saw He did not finish the sentence, for he saw Patsy standing. She was leaning against the the little group about Christie slowly turnband-stand with her hands stuck deep down in ing their backs on the little rider and moving the pockets of her ulster. Then he looked at away. the man holding the last hurdle. As the horse “I guess you 'd better tell 'em it's all over," jumped each stick, the man always lowered it; he said.
Charles Belmont Davis.
THE BIRD'S SONG, THE SUN, AND THE WIND.
The spring's coming, the buds, and the brooks —
The brooks that clamor, the buds in the rain,
Charles G. D. Roberts.
AT nine o'clock the slowly, and is economical with his words. He
full. It is a long, repartee; does not smile easily; and rarely Heel
low room, well tells a story, because all the stories are known Koffi Huch
smoked as to and worn threadbare by repe-
of the town, number feet instead of acres; where the burgomaster and the principal men in land brought from Amsterof the locality congregate, it can hold them dam at that, for Maarken is all all, and still give bench-room to the chance sand ? Then, again, when one stranger.
goes abroad in Maarken, one must either walk A high-backed, oaken bench, well polished over the water on bridges or sail upon it in a by use, follows the wall on three sides, leaving boat, and even the housetops are ornamented space for the high, white-tiled fireplace. The with bellying nets hung up to dry, and with fourth is occupied by a leaden-faced bar, or long masts from which Juvrowe flies a signal counter, well garnished with the tall delft jars of welcome to Hnedrik or Nikolaas on his way in blue and white with shining brass tops, home in his blunt bowed, lee-boarded tjalk. wherein is contained the material for the
It is in the coffee-house that goodly array of clay pipes in the racks over
your talker, your romancer, is head. Small, round tables are set before the
discouraged. He is quickly bench, leaving the center of the room free.
made to understand by means The bench itself is well occupied by a line of
well known to the phlegmatic stolid, substantial-looking, ruminating Hol
frequenters that they will have landers smoking furiously, the gray wreaths
none of him; that he must of pungent vapor slowly curling upward about
either observe the proprieties the hanging models of vessels, high as to poop
well established there, or go and rounded as to bow — models of the time
away at once. of Van der Decken.
In the coffee-house whist is Only occasionally does a mynheer remove
much in vogue — an excellent his pipe to let fall a sentence epigrammatic in method of disguising the poverty of conversaits terseness. Your North Hollander speaks tion, or of excusing the lack of it. So happily
VOL. XLIV.- 6.
constituted are the players, that with the ex- gings. Still stirring the coals, he seated himself ception of an occasional grunt of pleasure or beside the stranger, and looked him critically
dismay, as it so over from the corner of his eye. The inspec-
hours at a time. chorus the mynheers on the bench. There This evening the current was interrupted – was a long pause, during which heavy volexcitement reigned; that is to say, as much umes of smoke arose. excitement as could be permitted within the “ Nord Amerikaa ?” asked the burgomaster hallowed precincts of the coffee-house. A in a doubtful tone. stranger was present. Enough would it have “ Nord Amerikaa," responded the stranger. been had the stranger been a countryman “Nord Amerikaa," sounded the chorus of from Sneek, or even from Monnikendam; but mynheers, nodding to one another in great lo! this was no common, every-day stranger, enjoyment of the perspicacity of the burgoactually sitting in the corner by the tile- maşter. Another long interval followed, durgarnished fireplace, drinking his thin
ing which the mynheers allowed the beer and smoking a new clay pipe
fact to percolate through their gray as stolidly as if he had occupied
matter. the spot for a score of years. This
“New York?” suddenly called bearing of his conferred a dignity
out, in a burst of genius, a fat felupon him in the eyes of the mynheers
low, with an absurdly thin neck and that they could not conceal. Whist
an emaciated head, who sat at the languished, pipes went out and
farthest end of the bench. needed relighting, a necessity in
The stranger's answer to this brilitself marvelous and hitherto un
liant inquiry was breathlessly awaited. heard of. Whispers were heard from
Finally, when he had succeeded in the burgomaster's corner. The myn
lighting his pipe, he nodded. With a heers slid along the polished bench
sigh of relief the mynheers gravely until they were all in a knot, with
repeated the nod to one another, and their heads together about the burgomaster's. all settled back on the bench.
The whispers became louder; horny palms Here the burgomaster began to shuffle his smote one another; an unheeded pipe fell to feet and to blink his eyes. He was evidently the floor, and broke in pieces with a metallic formulating an interrogation, but before he click. The group parted, and it was evident that could get it in form, from the emaciated head a crisis had arrived. The burgomaster drew on the end of the bench came in jerks : “New apart in a dignified manner, and approached York has got a Brasident — Gleveland, heh? the stranger. The others also slid their persons Shoo-fly! I spik Engelsch!” Much to the along the polished settle in his direction. The disappointment of the mynheers, who eviburgomaster bowed, ejaculated, “ Dag, myn- dently regarded the speaker as a scholar of heer," seized the poker, and made shift to stir the first magnitude, the stranger did not vouchthe lumps of glowing charcoal in the brass box safe any reply to this piece of information, but on the hearth.
It was like a scene from a comic opera, with the line of fascinated mynheers in very small skull-caps perched upon their shock heads, bright neckerchiefs fastened with huge gold buttons, coats abbreviated as to tails and tight in the waist, and breeches of indescribable width. There was, however, a trifle more of dignity in the dress of the burgomaster. His was a long-tailed coat of clerical cut, a widebrimmed felt hat, knee-breeches, and leg.
drained his beer-mug to the last drop, and set teen stories high are seen, and stairs are seldom it upon the table with the lid up. There is an used. People are whisked up to their rooms in old and honored custom in Holland which cars run by steam. In New York cars are run provides that whenever one leaves his mug upon the streets not by horses or steam, but with the lid up in a public place it is in form by lightning, and all the lamps in the city are for all within reach to deposit their mugs upon lighted at once by one man, who uses no fire his table, and he is forced to pay for their re- or matches, but simply sits in his chair and filling. Such an occasion had not happened turns a screw. In New York there is a bridge in Maarken within the memory of the oldest so high that the masts of tall vessels may pass mynheer in the town, and almost before the under it without touching. It is hung upon American's mug had touched the table the wires, and railroad-trains pass over it all day
eager mynheers were upon and night. In New York"
and slowly set down his mug
good grace, and once more an ecstasy of astonishment, THE LANDLORD.
quietness reigned. With his indignation, and dismay, and mug in hand and his eyes fixed upon the glow- before the stranger's mug had ing charcoal in the brass box, the American be- been filled and replaced upon gan in tolerable Dutch, as if talking to himself: the table the coffee-house was "In New York one sees railroads built in empty, save for the presence the air, and cars crowded with people rush- of the American and the aweing over them. In New York buildings thir- struck landlord.
Ah, vain desire, our straitened years to mar!
Troubled we turn and listen, unreleased,
Graham R. Tomson.
RUDGIS AND GRIM.
WITH PICTURES BY E. W. KEMBLE.
“When Freedom from her mountain height,” etc.
road, as he drove an old creaking ox-cart to and from the village.
When the war broke out, master and slave had reached the beginning of the downward slope of life, and, having spent many years together in their lonely retreat at the Pocket, had grown to love each other after the surly, taciturn fashion of men who have few thoughts and a meager gift of expression.
Eli Rudgis was tall, slim, cadaverous, slow of movement, and sallow; but he had a will of his own, and plenty of muscle to enforce it withal.
“ Grim," said he one day, “them derned Northerners air a-goin' ter set ye free."
The negro looked up from the hickory-bark basket he was mending, and scowled savagely at his master.
“W'at yo' say, Mars Rudgis ?" he presently inquired.
“ Them Yankees air a-goin' ter gi' ye yer freedom poorty soon."
Grim's face took on an expression of dogged determination, his shoulders rose almost to the level of his protruding ears, and his small, wolf
ish eyes gleamed fiercely. 'HE Rudgis farm was the only one in “Who say dey gwine ter do dat?” he de
Lone Ridge Pocket, a secluded nook of manded with slow, emphatic enunciation. the north Georgia mountain-region, and its “I say hit, an’ w'en I says hit,” began the owner, Eli Rudgis, was, in the ante-bellum time, master ; but Grim broke in with: a man of note among the simple and honest peo- Dey cayn't do nuffin' wid me. I done ple who dwelt beside the little crooked highway made up my min'; dis chil cayn't be fo'ced. leading down the valley of the Pine-log Creek. Yo'yah dat, Mars Rudgis ? ” He owned only one negro, as was often the case Rudgis grinned dryly, and walked away with the better class of mountaineers, but, which smoking his cob-pipe with the air of a phiis not often the case with them, he had neither losopher who bides his time. wife nor children. His slave was his sole com- The Rudgis cabin was a low, nondescript panion of the human kind, sharing with certain log structure of three or four rooms and a dogs, pigs, horses, and oxen a rude, democratic wide entry, or hall, set in the midst of a thick, distribution of the domestic frowns and favors. luxuriant orchard of peach-, plum-, and appleAs a man this negro was an interesting speci- trees crowning a small conical foot-hill, which, men of the genuine African: short, strongly seen from a little distance, appeared to rest built, but ill-shapen, with a large head firmly against the rocky breast of a mountain that braced by a thick, muscular neck on broad, stood over against the mouth of the Pocket. stooping shoulders; a skin as black as night; From the rickety veranda where Rudgis now small, deep-set eyes; a protruding, resolute jaw; sought a seat there was a fine view of the litand a nose as flat as the head of an adder. tle farm, whose angular but rolling patches As a slave he was, perhaps, valuable enough in of tillable land straggled away to the foothis way; but both as man and thrall he did no hills on the other side of the Pocket, beyond discredit to his name, which was Grim. He, which the wall of cliffs rose, gray and brown, to too, was a familiar figure along the Pine-log a great height.