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It had not occurred to Dolly that Margaret tion, business and social, with the sinister house could have anything to complain of. She had of Norrisson. She would stand her ground, was never asked, but she supposed that her father her determination, though all should feel her must have paid his debt; what could he be do- in the way. Both Dunsmuir and Dolly were ing else with his salary, which seemed wealth as children, misled and bedazed, in Margaret's to Dolly? She knew nothing of the cost of eyes. Western living, nor of the debts in town to people who were not so patient as Job and Margaret, or not so helpless. The wash was supposed, now, to go below to a Chinaman at the camp; but Margaret had heard of the heathen custom of mouth-sprinkling, and, week by week, she snatched from pollution what she called the pick of the wash, and did it herself, and got little credit for doing it. She saw with dismay that the bed- and table-linen was going fast, nor could Dunsmuir be induced to replace it, according to her ideas of economy, with cheaper stuff, fit to be tossed about in the common wash and whipped to rags on the line by winds that came laden with dust.

"Have we no more linen in the house?" Dunsmuir would demand, when Margaret mentioned buying. There was linen, to be sure, a sacred store laid by in trust for Dolly-Margaret would have been ashamed, indeed, of her stewardship had there not been fine old glossy Scotch damask, and sheeting wide and heavy, with beautiful embroidered markings, tied with ribbons, in piles of dozens and half-dozens, and fragrant with dried rose-leaves and with lavender. But long before she had got through this explanation, Dunsmuir would cut her short.

"Use what we have. What are you saving it for, woman? Do ye think I cannot buy my daughter her marriage linen, if ever she come to want it?"

"Maybe, then, ye 'll ken how many pund sterling went t' the fillin' of thae kists ye 're sae blythe of emp'ying."

But though Margaret had in a measure her say, she had not her will. No more linen was bought, and she was forced to visit the "kists" more than once, reducing the sacred hoard, at what cost to her pride and her feelings no one in the house took the trouble to understand. Dolly had taken an irritating way of rousing herself, periodically, to an unwonted critical interest in the house, when she would do over portions of Margaret's work without advising her or stating her objections. This was as much as the older woman could bear; and at times she saw no good reason why she should stay where even her work failed to satisfy. Yet she felt that never had Dolly needed her as now, though the child knew it not. Margaret watched her, in her light but perilous intercourse with the first young stranger she had known, distrusting Philip, distrusting the powers of nature to protect Dolly from piteous delusions, distrusting the whole connec

Meanwhile a trouble of her own was creeping upon her, and she failed to read the warnings. Job had come, one Sunday, in a sad condition of bruises; she was ashamed to have him seen of the family. He had had a fall, he told her; but it seemed a simple thing, for a man of his age, to tumble off his own cabin steps in broad day. She upbraided him for clumsiness; she even suspected a more discreditable cause, and repented the suspicion afterward with tears. On another Sunday he complained of his head, and spoke heavily of the work as though it were too much for him. Margaret thought her man was getting babyish; it ill consorted with their circumstances that he should be discouraged with work at fifty-five. It fretted her that he seemed to grow forgetful of things she told him, of messages and errands; his slowness of speech seemed to have affected his comprehension. She was often impatient with him, often irritable, while he grew more stolid, it seemed, and often slept away the greater part of the one day they had together. More than once he spoke as if he expected her to keep house for him in the autumn at their homestead, quite as if she were a young, untrammeled girl. It irritated her, after all that had come and gone, to have to explain that she could not leave her child alone in a family of men-folk, with a Chinaman in the kitchen who would take advantage, and waste the food and fuel, and break the dishes and hide the pieces, and warp the brooms, and use the best towels to clean the paint. Job should know these things without words; and the words were forgotten by the next Sunday, and the delusion abided that she belonged to none but him, and was free to go when he asked her. She was the more round with him that she was conscious herself of a secret leaning toward the same folly. Both she and Job were too old to work at the pleasure of others. They needed their own times, and to work in their own way. This Margaret felt, but saw no way to indulge the weakness; and she had no more hesitation sacrificing Job to the family than herself, for was he not her "man"?

One Sunday he told her that she must make up her mind, for he had given notice of his intention to "quit" work for the company. Word had gone forth that the water would be down as far as his land by the following spring, and if they were to benefit by it, it was none too soon to get their land in shape. He had waited too many years now, he said, to lose the first season.

Margaret was astonished at Job's forthputtingness, venturing to make such a decision without consulting her. However, the thing was done; he could not be off and on with a job like that. It gave some shadow of excuse, she was weak enough to own, to her own desertion. The bitterest part of that business was the evidence of her senses, sharpened by feeling that no one felt it as she did. Dolly did not realize how should she, who had always had a Margaret? — what it would be not to have one. And she was as happy as a child in the prospect of visiting Margaret in her own house; she had never had a place to visit. She was busy, too, sorting over her closets and bureaus for little additions to Margaret's humble outfit; jellies and canned fruits and dishes that could be spared, and towels and napkins and pillows, from the hoard Margaret had

guarded. These things Margaret flatly refused with a flushed and tearful face,― would she rob the house, indeed?- but they were packed and smuggled into the wagon without her knowledge.

Nothing, since Alan's frank desertion to the commercial side of the scheme, had hurt Dunsmuir like the sight of that honest pair, with their boxes and humble effects piled around them, jolting out of sight down the cañon road with the knowledge they would never come back as they went. It would so have comforted Job and Margaret had they known; but Dunsmuir was too proud to dwell upon his sentiments to these people to whom he owed hard money. In a month or two he hoped to make all square; he would take that opportunity to speak of the greater debt- the one beyond return. Mary Hallock Foote.

(To be continued.)

A

SONNET.

[W. J. WINCH.]

CARRY th,

ARRY us captive, thou with the strong heart,
And the clear head, and nature sweet and sound!

Most willing captives we to thy great art

And thee together, held in chains and bound.

Never the angels sang at heaven's gate

In more divine, pure, noble, perfect tones.

Beside thy gift what then is royal state,

And what are pomps and powers, and kings and thrones? Sing, and we ask no greater joy than this,

Only to listen, thrilling to the song,
Breathing a finer air, a loftier bliss,

Than to the dim and cloudy earth belong;

Borne skyward, where the wingéd hosts rejoice,
On the great tide of thy melodious voice!

MY SHELL.

SHELL upon the sounding sands Flashed in the sunshine, where it lay: Its green disguise I tore; my hands Bore the rich treasure-trove away.

Within, the chamber of the pearl
Blushed like the rose, like opal glowed;
And o'er its domes a cloudy swirl

Of mimic waves and rainbows flowed.

66

Celia Thaxter.

Strangely," I said, "the artist-worm Has made his palace-lair so bright! This jeweler, this draftsman firm, Was born and died in eyeless night.

"Deep down in many-monstered caves
His miracle of beauty throve;
Far from all light, against strong waves,
A Castle Beautiful he wove.

"Take courage, Soul! Thy labor blind
The lifting tides may onward bear
To some glad shore, where thou shalt find
Light, and a Friend to say, 'How fair!'"

Theodore C. Williams.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELATIVE EXISTENCES.

BY FRANK R. STOCKTON.

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Na certain summer, not long gone, my friend Bentley and I found ourselves in a little hamlet which overlooked a placid valley, through which a river gently moved, winding its way through green stretches until it turned the end of a line of low hills and was lost to view. Beyond this river, far away, but visible from the door of the cottage where we dwelt, there lay a city. Through the mists which floated over the valley we could see the outlines of steeples and tall roofs; and buildings of a character which indicated thrift and business stretched themselves down to the opposite edge of the river. The more distant parts of the city, evidently a small one, lost themselves in the hazy summer atmosphere.

Bentley was young, fair-haired, and a poet; I was a philosopher, or trying to be one. We were good friends, and had come down into this peaceful region to work together. Although we had fled from the bustle and distractions of the town, the appearance in this rural region of a city, which, so far as we could observe, exerted no influence on the quiet character of the valley in which it lay, aroused our interest. No craft plied up and down the river; there were no bridges from shore to shore; there were none of those scattered and half-squalid habitations which generally are found on the outskirts of a city; there came to us no distant sound of bells; and not the smallest wreath of smoke rose from any of the buildings.

In answer to our inquiries our landlord told us that the city over the river had been built by one man, who was a visionary, and who had a great deal more money than common sense. "It is not as big a town as you would think, sirs," he said, "because the general mistiness of things in this valley makes them look larger than they are. Those hills, for instance, when you get to them are not as high as they look to be from here. But the town is big enough, and a good deal too big; for it ruined its builder and owner, who when he came to die had not money enough left to put up a decent tombstone at the head of his grave. He had a queer idea that he would like to have his town all finished before anybody lived in it, and so he kept on working and spending money year after year and year after year until the city was done

and he had not a cent left. During all the time that the place was building hundreds of people came to him to buy houses or to hire them, but he would not listen to anything of the kind. No one must live in his town until it was all done. Even his workmen were obliged to go away at night to lodge. It is a town, sirs, I am told, in which nobody has slept for even a night. There are streets there, and places of business, and churches, and public halls, and everything that a town full of inhabitants could need; but it is all empty and deserted, and has been so as far back as I can remember, and I came to this region when I was a little boy."

"And is there no one to guard the place?" we asked; "no one to protect it from wandering vagrants who might choose to take possession of the buildings?"

"There are not many vagrants in this part of the country," he said; "and if there were, they would not go over to that city. It is haunted."

"By what?" we asked.

"Well, sirs, I scarcely can tell you; queer beings that are not flesh and blood, and that is all I know about it. A good many people living hereabouts have visited that place once in their lives, but I know of no one who has gone there a second time."

"And travelers," I said; " are they not excited by curiosity to explore that strange uninhabited city?"

"Oh, yes," our host replied; "almost all visitors to the valley go over to that queer citygenerally in small parties, for it is not a place in which one wishes to walk about alone. Sometimes they see things, and sometimes they don't. But I never knew any man or woman to show a fancy for living there, although it is a very good town."

This was said at supper-time, and, as it was the period of full moon, Bentley and I decided that we would visit the haunted city that evening. Our host endeavored to dissuade us, saying that no one ever went over there at night; but as we were not to be deterred, he told us where we would find his small boat tied to a stake on the river-bank. We soon crossed the river, and landed at a broad, but low, stone pier, at the land end of which a line of tall grasses waved in the gentle night wind as if they were sentinels warning us from entering the silent city. We pushed through these, and

walked up a street fairly wide, and so well paved that we noticed none of the weeds and other growths which generally denote desertion or little use. By the bright light of the moon we could see that the architecture was simple, and of a character highly gratifying to the eye. All the buildings were of stone and of good size. We were greatly excited and interested, and proposed to continue our walks until the moon should set, and to return on the following morning" to live here, perhaps," said Bentley. "What could be so romantic and yet so real? What could conduce better to the marriage of verse and philosophy?" But as he said this we saw around the corner of a cross-street some forms as of people hurrying

away.

"The specters," said my companion, laying his hand on my arm.

Vagrants, more likely," I answered, "who have taken advantage of the superstition of the region to appropriate this comfort and beauty to themselves."

"If that be so," said Bentley, "we must have a care for our lives.”

We proceeded cautiously, and soon saw other forms fleeing before us and disappearing, as we supposed, around corners and into houses. And now suddenly finding ourselves upon the edge of a wide, open public square, we saw in the dim light- for a tall steeple obscured the moon-the forms of vehicles, horses, and men moving here and there. But before, in our astonishment, we could say a word one to the other, the moon moved past the steeple, and in its bright light we could see none of the signs of life and traffic which had just astonished us.

Timidly, with hearts beating fast, but with not one thought of turning back, nor any fear of vagrants,― for we were now sure that what we had seen was not flesh and blood, and therefore harmless,— we crossed the open space and entered a street down which the moon shone clearly. Here and there we saw dim figures, which quickly disappeared; but, approaching a low stone balcony in front of one of the houses, we were surprised to see, sitting thereon and leaning over a book which lay open upon the top of the carved parapet, the figure of a woman who did not appear to notice us. "That is a real person," whispered Bentley, "and it does not see us."

"No," I replied; "it is like the others. Let us go near it."

We drew near to the balcony and stood before it. At this the figure raised its head and looked at us. It was beautiful, it was young; but its substance seemed to be of an ethereal quality which we had never seen or known of. With its full, soft eyes fixed upon us, it spoke:

"Why are you here?" it asked. "I have said to myself that the next time I saw any of you I would ask you why you come to trouble us. Cannot you live content in your own realms and spheres, knowing, as you must know, how timid we are, and how you frighten us and make us unhappy? In all this city there is, I believe, not one of us except myself who does not flee and hide from you whenever you cruelly come here. Even I would do that, had not I declared to myself that I would see you and speak to you, and endeavor to prevail upon you to leave us in peace."

The clear, frank tones of the speaker gave me courage. "We are two men," I answered, "strangers in this region, and living for the time in the beautiful country on the other side of the river. Having heard of this quiet city, we have come to see it for ourselves. We had supposed it to be uninhabited, but now that we find that this is not the case, we would assure you from our hearts that we do not wish to disturb or annoy any one who lives here. We simply came as honest travelers to view the city."

The figure now seated herself again, and as her countenance was nearer to us, we could see that it was filled with pensive thought. For a moment she looked at us without speaking. "Men!" she said. "And so I have been right. For a long time I have believed that the beings who sometimes come here, filling us with dread and awe, are men."

"And you," I exclaimed "who are you, and who are these forms that we have seen, these strange inhabitants of this city?"

She gently smiled as she answered: "We are the ghosts of the future. We are the people who are to live in this city generations hence. But all of us do not know that, principally because we do not think about it and study about it enough to know it. And it is generally believed that the men and women who sometimes come here are ghosts who haunt the place."

"And that is why you are terrified and flee from us?" I exclaimed. "You think we are ghosts from another world?”

"Yes," she replied; "that is what is thought, and what I used to think."

"And you," I asked, "are spirits of human beings yet to be ?”

"Yes," she answered; "but not for a long time. Generations of men, I know not how many, must pass away before we are men and women."

"Heavens!" exclaimed Bentley, clasping his hands and raising his eyes to the sky, "I shall be a spirit before you are a woman."

"Perhaps," she said again, with a sweet smile upon her face, "you may live to be very, very old."

But Bentley shook his head. This did not

THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELATIVE EXISTENCES.

BY FRANK R. STOCKTON.

[graphic]

Na certain summer, not long gone, my friend Bentley and I found ourselves in a little hamlet which overlooked a placid valley, through which a river gently moved, winding its way through green stretches until it turned the end of a line of low hills and was lost to view. Beyond this river, far away, but visible from the door of the cottage where we dwelt, there lay a city. Through the mists which floated over the valley we could see the outlines of steeples and tall roofs; and buildings of a character which indicated thrift and business stretched themselves down to the opposite edge of the river. The more distant parts of the city, evidently a small one, lost themselves in the hazy summer atmosphere.

Bentley was young, fair-haired, and a poet; I was a philosopher, or trying to be one. We were good friends, and had come down into this peaceful region to work together. Although we had fled from the bustle and distractions of the town, the appearance in this rural region of a city, which, so far as we could observe, exerted no influence on the quiet character of the valley in which it lay, aroused our interest. No craft plied up and down the river; there were no bridges from shore to shore; there were none of those scattered and half-squalid habitations which generally are found on the outskirts of a city; there came to us no distant sound of bells; and not the smallest wreath of smoke rose from any of the buildings.

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