« AnkstesnisTęsti »
BY EDITH C. BANFIELD
WHERE shall I wander, where upon the plain,
Nor any woodland bordering a lake?
Where shall I search upon the mountain-side,
The first arbutus hid beneath the snow,
The star-sown wind-flowers that I used to know,
The hills of summer and the hills of snow
To find their comfort here. Here sorrow dwells,
But there forever lie the olden spells,
The balm of childhood and my treasured past!
HAT 'S all," said Mr. Parsons Scott. He waved his hand at the groom, directing him to take the horse which was loose in the paddock back to the stable.
"They are a good lot," observed Mr. Carteret. He had been putting in the morning inspecting Mr. Scott's hunters.
Parsons Scott had an office in town, at which an office-boy might sometimes be found. Scott's personal attention was devoted to the purchase, education, and sale of hunters. As a prudent grandparent had provided him with an income, he was able to live in the country with comfort and to maintain the town office and his horse business as well.
"I'm glad you like them," replied Scott, referring to Mr. Carteret's commendation of his horses. Carteret's opinion was able in this field.
"Yes," repeated Carteret; "they are a good lot. They are better than Harrington's and better than Brown's. But I really don't think there is anything that will do for me. As I told you, I want something like old Elevator-something that jumps exceptionally big and sure."
"The only other thing which I have is a mare that came yesterday from Canada," observed Scott. "I have n't had her out yet. I got her in a trade, and probably something is the matter with her; but they say she can jump. Bring out Isabella!" he called to the groom-" the new chestnut mare." "Did you give her that name?" inquired Mr. Carteret.
"No," said Scott; "I should n't name a horse Isabella."
"I did n't know," observed Mr. Carteret. "I thought you might be growing sentimental. It's a pretty name for a gentle mare." "Stuff!" said Scott.
"Quite an animal," observed Mr. Carteret, as the mare trotted into the paddock. "Sporty-looking, is n't she? White blaze and stockings, and a piece out of her ear. She is uncommonly well made," he went on; "but her head is coarse, and she carries it too knowingly for a picture horse."
"Yes," said Scott. "I am sorry about the nick in her ear. It takes a hundred off her value. But she is a mare with a lot of character-the kind that can look out for herself and you, too."
Carteret nodded. "Turn her at the jump," he said to the groom. In the paddock there was a made jump, with wings, over which horses could be chased without a rider on their backs. The bars were about five feet high when Carteret spoke.
"That 's too high to start with," said Scott. She is just off the car."
The groom, who had started to drive the horse, stopped.
"Let it down to four feet," Scott continued.
"Yes, sir," he said.
Before he reached the jump Scott called him back. Isabella was trotting leisurely into the wings of her own accord.
"Look!" said Scott.
The mare reached the jump, popped over it, gave a whisk of her closely docked tail, and began placidly to graze.
"That's a very remarkable horse," observed Carteret.
"She likes it," said Scott. "Put the bars up to six feet," he called.
The groom adjusted the bars and herded Isabella around in front of the wings again. She looked languidly at the jump, and started for it at a slow canter. She cleared it as easily as before, and went to cropping tufts of grass again.
Parsons Scott swelled visibly with pride.
"She just plays over six feet," he said. "It's chocolate-drops for her, Carty," he continued. "This is a horse."
"I think it is," said Mr. Carteret, rather humbly for him. "Let's try seven feet."
"Please, sir," said the groom, put the bars up no higher."
"Well, never mind," said Carteret. "Scotty," he continued, "I think this one will do. I might as well tell you the truth.
I 'm looking for something for a—" He Mr. Carteret, “there might be a spring
, hesitated. “I 'm looking for a lady's board, or almost anything of that kind." hunter, and I want a natural big jumper, Scott paid no attention to the joke. He something that can't make a mistake. If went over to Isabella, who fed on, undisthis mare is only sound—”
turbed at his approach. Taking the saddle “She is sound,” Scott broke in. “I off, he looked for nail-points and objects might as well tell you the truth, too. She of a sharp or lumpy nature. There was is a perfect lady's hunter. I got her some- nothing there. Saddle and leather pad what reasonably because she kicked a were in perfect repair. man's buggy to pieces. He was an idiot "You must have done something to who left her tied in a village street in fly- her,” said Scott. "I'll ride her myself.” time. A traction-engine came past, and the The groom acquiesced obediently. Scott buggy melted away. I should n't exactly mounted, and Isabella stood meekly till he guarantee her to drive, but you can see was on and had both his feet home in the yourself she 's gentle as a kitten. She 's a stirrups. “Now,” he said, “I shall move perfect pet for a girl."
her around the paddock, slowly at first." "I did n't say it was for a girl,” observed He spoke to Isabella, telling her to “Get Mr. Carteret.
up”; and then, placidly and more in sorrow Scott looked at him, but made no reply. than in anger, the mare gave three bucks. He picked up a green apple that lay by the The first was a large one, but Scott hung paddock fence and held it out to the mare. on. With the second, which was larger, he Isabella came forward promptly and took was on her withers. On the third buck she it. - “Look!” he said. “She 'll eat out of shook out all reefs and sent him crashing
through the top board of the paddock “ That is very affecting,” said Mr. Car- fence. He landed outside, surprised but teret.
uninjured. “She will probably come around to driv- "I have been to all the Wild West ing in time," observed Scott. Suppose Shows,” observed Mr. Carteret from the we see her under saddle."
fence; “I think you have the best bucker I “I should like to see her under saddle," ever saw. Are
hurt?" said Mr. Carteret.
"I shall fix that mare,” said Scott, Scott spoke to the groom, and he led Isa- gloomy with rage. He called to the man: bella into the stable. While they waited, the Bring out a harness-bridle with a checktwo sat on the top board of the paddock rein, and some strong cord.” He climbed fence and discussed the question of price. back over the fence. Look at her!” he
"I think that mare,” observed Scott, “is said. The mare had gone back to the plot easily worth a thousand dollars. She'd of tender grass. The episode seemed to bring that on her jumping alone, and—”. have stirred no evil passions in her.
“But I tell you that 's too much," said “She certainly is a mare of character," Mr. Carteret; “my commission does n't observed Mr. Carteret, thoughtfully. authorize me to spend so much: and yet, I Scott watched her in silence until the want the horse."
groom came out with the bearing-rein and "I was about to say," continued Scott, string; then he approached Isabella and “when you interrupted me, that on account proceeded to arrange the apparatus, and of the buggy affair I would sell her for ex- Isabella made no remonstrance. “Do you actly —” He stopped. There was a clatter see,” said Scott, “how she can get her in the stable, and somersaulting through head down now? ” the air out of the doorway shot Scott's "No," said Mr. Carteret, doubtfully. groom, followed by Isabella, who trotted There was something in Isabella's resourceto a spot where the grass was tender and ful calm which impressed him and made began to graze.
him uncertain of everything. Scott jumped down from the fence. Scott mounted, and clucked to Isabella “What have you got under that mare's sad- to start. Then a curious thing happened. dle? ” he bawled at the groom.
She made no attempt to fight the bearing“Nothing, sir," said the man, who was rein and buck. She lifted her fore legs and picking himself up.
reared rather slowly until she was perpen“ From the way he came off," observed dicular.
"Look out! She's going over!" said Mr. Carteret.
As he spoke she dropped over on her back.
Scott had anticipated her action. He slid off before she came down, and rolled himself out of her way. He arose hastily, and, with such dignity as a man can command who has been rolling in the soil of his paddock, said to the groom, “You may take the mare to the stable." Then he climbed to the top of the paddock fence and sat down beside Carteret. " Carty," he said after a long silence, "I had always believed that a horse that was well checked up could n't rear.”
Carteret tapped the fence boards thoughtfully with his ratan stick. "Old man," he said, "as we go on in life we lose many of our young beliefs."
There was a long silence. Scott made no answer. "I think," he observed presently, "that a trap just now turned into the driveway."
They could see the house from where they sat, and they watched and waited. In a few moments they saw Williams, the indoor man, come out and hurry down the walk toward the stables.
"You might brush yourself," suggested Mr. Carteret. "A man who sells horses ought not to be found at his own stables with so much mud on the back of his coat." "Brush me," said Scott. "Who is it?" he called to the man as he approached. "Mr. Henderson Lamppie, sir," said the
Scott jumped down from the fence and twisted his mustache for a moment. "I don't think I can stand him to-day," he said, as if speaking to himself.
Mr. Carteret also came down from the fence. "Old man," he said, "I ought to be going."
Scott looked at him in surprise. you said you'd stop for lunch," he said plaintively, "and it is almost ready."
"I know," said Mr. Carteret; "but I forgot about an appointment. I must hurry."
Carty," said Scott, "if you leave me alone with Henderson Lamppie, it never can be the same between us."
Well," said Carteret, "if you put it that way, I shall have to stay; but I may not be very civil."
You can be what you please," said Scott. "Tell Mr. Lamppie," he said to the
Carty," said Scott, "I feel that we ought to do something to save Elizabeth. Heminway. One of us ought to marry her."
Carteret laughed softly. "That thought, too, has occurred to me," he said; "but not the part of it which introduces you."
'Well, ride up, then," said Scott. Go out in front. I'll give you the panel first." "It is foolish," said Carteret, slowly, "to ride for a fall when you know the landing is hard."
'Falls be hanged!" said Scott. "If white men like you are going to funk, probably some Dago or Chinee will marry her, or Lamppie."
"Very probably," said Mr. Carteret. "It is apt to be that way."
"Well, something ought to be done," said Scott.
"That's true," said Carteret.
"We might begin by murdering Lamppie," suggested Scott.
"Why not put him on Isabella?" said Mr. Carteret. "It's more lawful."
"That might be better," said Scott. "He's coming."
Carteret glanced at the approaching figure, and then looked gravely at a mud-puddle about fifty feet beyond the paddock fence. "Do you think," he said, "that she could buck him over the fence into that?"
"I think she could," said Scott; "but probably she would n't: she 's too contrary."
"Probably not," said Mr. Carteret, with a sigh.
'Hallo, you chaps!" called out Mr. Lamppie, when he came within hearing distance. "I say, Scotty, have you got a good one for me? I'm in a hurry, and can't look the string over, but I want the best you've got-something that can take care of himself."