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sea-weed, and saw the stormy petrels going to and fro, and listened to the ocean's roar. She was sounding deeper depths than those awful caverns which were hidden by the green and shining water from her eyes.

If Janet Saunders, child of Nancy Elkins, at that moment felt a thrill of joy, and broke forth into singing, would you deem the fact inconsequent, not to be classed among the wonders of telegraphic achievement?

I think her little cold, pinched, meagre life-nay, lot-was brightened consciously on that great day of being,

that the sun felt warmer, and the skies looked fairer than they ever had before. The destiny which had seemed to be in the hands or charge of no one on earth was in the hands of two as capable as any in this world for services of love.

But now what was to be done by Dr. Saunders? Every man and woman sees the "situation." For the present, of course, he was sufficiently occupied; he was in the service of his country. But when these urgent demands on his time, patience, and humanity, which were now incessant, should no longer be made, because the country had need what then? Men of him no longer, mustered out of service generally went home; family and neighborhood claimed them. What family, what neighborhood, claimed him? His very soul abhorred the thought of Dalton, where he had died to life; where he had buried his manhood. The very thought that the neighbors would not be able to recognize him was a thought which made him say to himself they never should recognize him. He would not be identified as the poor creature who went out of Dalton with one hope, and only one, that the first day's engagement might see him lying among the unnamed and unknown dead. But if the neighbors and his wife exposed to him relations which he swore he would not degrade himself so far as to resume, what was to become of his daughter? That was more easily managed. He could send


her away from home to school, if he
could find a lady in the land who would
compassionate that neglected little girl,
and teach her, and train her, and be a
mother to her.


Miss Ames knew such a one. the little girl be sent to Charlestown to Miss Hall, Miss Ames's dear friend, and no better training than she would have in her school could be found for her throughout the land. Miss Ames gave this advice the day she went away from Frere's, for she had decided, for her brother, that he never would recover his strength until he was removed to a cooler climate. So they were going on a government transport, which would sail for Charlestown direct. This little business in regard to Janet Saunders could be managed by her immeAnd so the diately on arrival home. surgeon wrote a letter, which he sent by his assistant, to Miss Hall, and another to the minister of Dalton, and another still to Janet and her mother. And all these concerned little Jenny; and all this grew out of the letter written in the blacksmith's shop, and the doctor's recovered integrity.

But the question yet remained, What could be done for Nancy? If education in that direction were possible, — to what purpose? That she might become his equal when the strength of his hope that he had done with her was lying merely in this, that they were un- what had he to equal? But hope, do with hope, especially with such a What had he to do with hope as this? hope, who had come forth from Dalton as from a pit of despair? There were no foes like those of his own household; he was hoping that for all time he had rid himself of them. That would have been desertion, in point of fact. Well; but all that a man hath will he give for his life. He was safely distant from that place of disaster and death; but he must recognize his home duties, at least by the maintenance of his family. Yes, that he would do. He began to consider how much was due to him for services rendered to the governfor the first time to consider. ment,

So, long before winter came, Nancy Saunders found herself on intimate terms with the minister and his wife,for the minister had received his letters from the surgeon, and promptly accepted his commission, securing comfortable winter quarters for Nancy, and escorting Janet to Charlestown, after his wife had aided the doctor's wife in preparing the child for boarding-school. All these changes and transactions excited talk in Dalton. Every kind of rumor went abroad that you can imagine; and it was currently believed at last that the doctor had made a fortune by some army contract. So well persuaded of this fact was his wife, that, as time wore on, she began to think, and to say, that, if such was the case, she did n't know why she should be kept on short allowance, and to inquire among the neighbors the easiest and the shortest route from Dalton to Frere's Landing. Nobody seemed able to answer the question so well as Ezra Cramer; and he assured her that she would lose her head before she got half through the army lines which stretched between her and the hospital. But then Ezra was a born knownothing, said Nancy, that everybody knew.

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Walking up and down the sea-wall, night after night, during the hour of rest he appropriated to himself, knowing that these things were accomplished, for in due time letters came informing him of the fulfilment of his wishes, the surgeon had ample leisure for considering and reconsidering this case. It was one that would not stay disposed of. What adjournments were made! what exceptions were taken! and what appeals to higher courts were constantly being made!

As often as a scrawl came from Colonel Ames reporting progress, and the plans he and his sister were making, the deeds they were doing, the grandjury was sworn and the surgeon arraigned before it; the chief justice came into court, and all the witnesses, and the accusation was read. Then the counsel for the defendant and the counsel for

the plaintiff appeared. But, with every new trial of the case, new charges and new specifications were brought forward and made, and it was equal to being in chancery. If the war lasted through a generation, it was likely that the surgeon's suit would last as long.

This was as notable a divorce case as ever was made public.

On the plaintiff's behalf the argument ran thus: Here was a man, a gentleman by birth, education, and profession, legally united to a woman lowborn, low-bred, and so ignorant that she could neither read nor write. He had come to the neighborhood where she lived, to the door of the very house she occupied, sick in body and in mind. Disappointments and ill-health had reduced him to the shadow of himself in person, and his mind, of course, shared his body's disaffection.

A sick person, as all experience in practice has proved over and over again, is hardly to be called a responsible being. Invalids love and hate without reason, which is contrary, he said, as he stood in the presence of the court, -contrary to what is done among persons in sound health.

Under the shelter of her uncle's roof he had lain for weeks, sick of a fever. He was saved alive, but so as by fire. This girl waited on him through that time as a servant. He was thrown chiefly on her hands, no other person could be spared to wait on the poor stranger. She comforted him. Her ways were not refined and gentle as if she had been taught refinement and tenderness by precept or example. She had strong good-sense. So far as she understood his orders, she obeyed them. When he could not give any, she made use of her own judgment, and sought first of all his comfort. She was kind. In her rough honesty and unwearied attention he found cause for gratitude.

Rising for the first time from his bed of sickness, he would have fallen if she had not lifted him and laid him back upon his bed. When he became strong enough to stand, but not without support, she gave him that support.


assisted him from the little room, and the little house when the walls became intolerable to him, and it happened to be in the early morning of a day so magnificent that it seemed another could never be made like it. He could not forget how the world looked that morning; how the waters shone; how the islands stood about; how the surrounding hills were arrayed in purple glory; how the birds sang. This land to which he was a stranger, which he had seen before only on that night when he came in the dark to her uncle's door, looked like Paradise to him; he gazed and gazed, and silent tears ran down his pale face through the furrows of his wasted cheeks.


saw them shining in his beard, and said something to soothe him in a comforting way, as any woman would have spoken who saw any creature in weakness and pain. The manner or the word, whatever it was, expressed a superiority of health, if of no other kind, and he was in no condition to investigate either its quality or its degree.

When, with voice feeble and broken as a sick child's, he thanked her for all she had done, and she answered that it was nothing but a pleasure, and he need not thank her, he did not forthwith forget that she had watched day and night over him for nearly two months; that many a time weariness so overpowered her that she sat and slept in the broad daylight, and looked paler than when he lay like a dead weight on her hands.

He remembered in court, and could not deny it, that when, believing that this was destiny as it was also pleasure, he asked the girl to marry him, she answered, “No,” -as if she did not trust what he said, that she was necessary to his happiness. She told him that he did not belong in Dalton, and that he would not be happy there with her and her people. He answered that all he desired to know was whether she loved him. By and by he was able to gather from the answers she gave, as well as failed to

give, all he desired to know, and they were married.

And, since he was beginning life anew, it was shown in court, nothing of the old life should enter into this of Dalton. He buried his profession in the past, and undertook other labors, — labors like those of Uncle Elkins; he would abide on that level where he found himself on his recovery, and make no effort to lift his wife to that he had renounced. She was a child of Nature. He would learn life anew of her; but he failed of success in all his undertakings. Shall a man attempt to extenuate his failures? It seemed new to him; he acknowledged it in open court, that from the day of his entrance into Dalton to the day he left it, he was under some enchantment there. And if an insane man is not to be held responsible in law for his offences, he had the amplest title to a quitclaim deed from that which had grown out of the Dalton experience.

So the lower courts disposed of the case. He was free. But after a time the suit was carried up before superior powers, and thus the advocate for the defendant showed cause on the new trial.

She was living among the people of whom she had been born. In person she was attractive as any girl to be found on all the lake or hillside; a rosycheeked, fair-faced, fair-haired blueeyed girl, with a frank voice and easy address. She had a "Hail fellow! well met!" for every man, woman, and child of the vicinity. She had lovers, all the way up from her childhood, rustic admirers, and one who looked at her from a not far distance, who dressed himself in his best and went to her uncle's house on Sundays and other holidays, and who was courting Nancy after his fashion, with all plans for their future marked out fully in his mind, — and these would have fulfilment if his suit were only successful; and in regard to that he had no fears or doubts.

Until this stranger came to Uncle Elkins's house! During his long sickness the young lover was helpful in

many ways to Nancy. But he began to be suspicious by and by of the results of this much waiting. At last, before he was himself ready to do it, he asked Nancy to be his wife; but he was too late. She had "given her word" to the poor fellow whom she had lured back from Death's door.

The court was admonished to take cognizance of this fact, that, if Nancy had married the man in whom her heart had been interested up to the time when the stranger came, she would have married in her own sphere, a man of her own rank, and would have loved him as he did her, with an equal love; they would have lived out their lives, animating them with skirmishes and small warfare, and winning victories over each other, which would have proved disastrous as defeats to neither.

It would have been no high crime to such a man that Nancy was ignorant up and down through the range of knowledge; he would not have turned away in disgust from his endeavors to teach her, if she took it into her head to learn, though she dropped and regained the ambition through every winter of her life. He would have plodded on in his accustomed ways, would have protected his wife and child from starvation and cold, without imagining that a husband and father could retire from his position as such, or abrogate his duties. No vague expectations in regard to herself, no bitter disappointment in regard to him, would have attended her. The very changes in her character, which had made her not to be endured, —how far was he whose name she bore responsible for them? She had been accustomed to thrift and labor, she saw in him idleness and waste of power and life.

She had exhausted the resources readiest to her hand in vain, and had only then given up her expectation.

It was not be denied that it was humiliation and wrath to live with her; but her husband had sought her, she had not sought him! If he could plead for himself the force and constraint of circumstances, should not the same defence

be set up for her? And what might not patience, and better management, and gentler and more noble demeanor towards her, have done for her? Was he the same man he was when he went away from Dalton? Was he the same man in Dalton that he had been in his youth? Was it not out of the pit that he himself had been digged? It became evident that the arguments for the defendant were producing a result in court. The judge on his throne, as well as the grand-jury, listened to the argument in favor of the woman. And at last the case was decided; for the judge charged the jury, that, if it could be shown that there was mere incompatibility, it was the business of the superior mind to make straight a highway for the Lord across those lives. Let every valley be exalted, every hill be brought low.

Dr. Saunders acquiesced in this verdict, and wrote a letter to his wife. He knew she could not read it, but he knew also that she could procure it to be read to her. He filled it with accounts of his situation, occupation, expectation; and he sent her money. He said that, if he could get a furlough, he might run up North for a few days, as other men went home who could get leave of absence, to see that those whom he had left behind him were doing well; and they would both perhaps be able to go and see their daughter Jenny, or else they might have her home for a holiday. He wrote a letter saying these things and others, and any wife might have been proud to receive such from her husband, “in the war."

And when he had sent it, he looked for no answer. This was a kind of giving which must look for no return. And yet an answer was sent him. He did not receive it, however, it was sent at so late a date; he was then on his way to Dalton.

When the whistle of the miniature boat which plied the lake sent a warning along the hillside that a passenger was on board who wished to land, or that mail was to be sent ashore, a small boat was rowed from the Point by a

lad who was lingering about, waiting to know if any such signal were to come, and one passenger stood at the head of the ladder, waiting for him to come alongside. This was Dr. Saunders, who, having been rowed ashore, walked three miles down the road, and up along the mountain, to the Dalton neighborhood.

The first man whom he met as he walked on was the blacksmith, who had been instrumental in getting Jenny's let ter written. He was sitting in front of his shop, alone. There was nothing about this man who was walking into Dalton to excite a suspicion in the mind of the shrewdest old inhabitant who should meet him that his personality was familiar to Dalton eyes. He might safely ask what questions he would, and pursue his way if he chose to do it. Nobody would recognize him.

The doctor lingered as he went past the shop; but the blacksmith did not speak, and he walked on; and he passed others, his old neighbors, as he went. This was hardly pleasant, though it might be the thing he desired.

He walked on until he came to the red farm-gate of Farmer Elkins, Nancy's uncle. There he stopped. Under the chestnut-trees, before the door, the farmer sat. The doctor walked in, and towards him like a man at home, and said, "Good evening, Uncle."

The wrinkled old farmer looked up from his drowse. He had hardly heard the words spoken; but the voice that spoke had in it a tone that was familiar, were it not for the cheeriness of it; and but no one glance at the figure before him assured him of anything rather than Saunders! Yet the old man, either because of his vague expectation or because of the confusion of his half-awake condition, said something audibly, of which the name of Nancy, and her name alone, was intelligible.

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The old man looked at the doctor with serious, suspicious eyes, scanned him from head to foot, and there was a dash of anger, of unbelief, of awe, and of deference in the spirit with which he said, "If you're Saunders, I'm glad you've come, but you might 'a' come sooner."

"You 're right, and you 're wrong, Uncle. I'm Saunders, true enough. But I could n't come before, this is my first furlough."

"Did you get the letter?"

"No, what letter? Who wrote to me?"

The judge and the jury looked down from the awful circle, in the midst of which stood Saunders, and surveyed the little hard-faced, yellow-haired farmer, with eyes which seemed intent on searching him through all his shadowy ambiguity. If only he would make such answer as any other man in all the land might expect, thought the prisoner, "Why, your wife, of course." The doctor was prepared to believe in a miracle. Since he went away his wife might have been spurred on by the ambition to rival her daughter, who was being educated. She perhaps had learned to write, and in her pride had written to her husband!

The answer Elkins gave was the only one of which the doctor's mind had taken no thought.

"Nancy died a month ago." There the old man paused. But as the doctor made no answer, merely stood looking at him, he went on. “She got your letter first, though, Nancy did. I think, if anything could a-hindered her dying, that would. She came out here to read your letter," (he did not say to hear it read, and Saunders noticed that.) "and my folks, she found, was busy, and nobody was round to talk it over with her, so nothing could stop her, but she put right in and worked till night, and on top o' that she would go back to the village, and it was raining, and so dark you could scurce see the road; but she 'd made up her mind to go South and find you, and so we could n't persuade her to stop over

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