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as Lieutenant Tomkins remarked when he saw the letter, without being reproved by M'Candle for his improper language.
Of course M'Candle showed the letter, which had been despatched in the most barefaced way to the manse by a boy on horseback, immediately to the lieutenant, and that officer was in a towering rage, and lost no time in speaking to his daughter on the subject. The result was just what it usually is on similar occasions. Lieutenant Tomkins wouldn't give in, and Miss Julia wouldn't give in; she "would never marry Mr. M'Candle," and he "was sure she should never marry any one else. She should never, with his consent, marry any of your beggarly dragoon officers," &c. &c. Now the lieutenant rather lost himself here, for Miss Julia had never alluded to Captain Mortimer at all, and she determined not to do so until she had had an opportunity of consulting with her lover, so of course she expressed surprise and much indignation at having such things said to her, especially by a parent, and blubbered a little; all of which little artful ebullitions of feeling had a strong effect, if not exactly the desired one, upon the lieutenant, who felt he could not well be rude to the captain until some further move was played on that side of the board. So Miss Julia dried her eyes and went off, and as soon as she could manage she laid the whole matter before Captain Mortimer, who had, we need scarcely say, long ago placed his hand and heart at her feet after his own graceful and irresistible fashion. Now the reason Captain Mortimer had never asked from Lieutenant Tomkins his daughter's hand in a bold manner was that, in vulgar parlance, he had "smelt a rat." He had perceived that Lieutenant Tomkins did not like his large way of talking on money matters at a time when it was evident he had very little money to spend, and he suspected that when it came to proposing the lieutenant would be very particular about settlements, &c. Moreover, he had seen one day a letter going by the post directed to Lieutenant Tomkins's friend, who lived near his father, and he suspected the lieutenant was making inquiries about his family, and in due course he was certain, from a little involuntary change in his host's manner, that the reply to these inquiries had come, and was not of a highly favourable nature. So he had resolved just to let matters take their course for the present, meanwhile writing his father constantly, telling him of the highly eligible match he wished to make, and dwelling very strongly on the lieutenant's great wealth, and determination not to let his daughter marry any one but a man of means; in the hope that his father, to bring about such a very desirable alliance, would make some further settlement on him. However, just about the time of Julia's scene with her father, he had found out that his four elder brothers having likewise a taste for style and dash, his father had not the power, if he had the will, to help him, and he was deliberating what was to be done next when Julia came to him for advice. After hearing her narrative, and questioning her a little so as to ascertain whether her mother's money was not entirely her own, and finding that it was, Captain Mortimer informed her that in his opinion there was no alternative but elopement. Elopement! How delightful! But how was it to be managed? Miss Tomkins had read in novels of gloriously romantic elopements, of carriages drawn by smoking horses, urged on by courageous,
young post-boys, tearing along the northern road to that modern temple of Hymen, Gretna Green, pursued by wicked, implacable old fathers and young brothers, who fired off loaded pistols into the dark all the way along and hit nobody, and, as we all know, always arrived at the goal just three minutes too late to prevent the marriage, but in nice time to grant a full forgiveness, and shake hands all round.
But in none of these cases had the parties been obliged to journey over several miles of rough ground, where there was little or no road, and no carriage to be got had there been a proper path to drag one along, and then to cross some hundred miles of sea before even reaching terra firma, whereon that famed blacksmith's altar was situated. This was no ordinary description of elopement, However, the captain's brain was a perpetually working mint of invention, and after much consideration, and certain inquiries put carefully right and left, he thought he had at length hit upon a reasonable plan. Meantime he wrote to his father, telling him that he had resolved on returning at once to his regiment, and requesting him to furnish him with means to enable him to do so; and by very much exaggerating the expense of travelling from Zetland to England, he managed to draw enough out of him to cover the expenses of the proposed trip. This money arrived at a very seasonable time, and just when the captain deemed the proper moment had arrived for putting his
schemes into execution.
THE ABBÉ GALANT.
BY FREDERICK ENOCH.
WHERE was the face like the Abbé Beaupère's,
With a creed nicely tempered for velvet and lace?
Worthier ring of pontifical gold?
Whether gaily in face, or half-slyly askant,
Who had a laugh like the abbé galant?
And the countess she smiled on the Abbé Beaupère
Sipping his coffee and holding her fan;
And the fence and the foil of his wit but the more
The gay baron chafed with his vanity stung,
And the rage of the marquis gave spleen to his tongue :
While the lady's smile swept o'er each would-be amant
The time it is night, just when morning is nigh,
Why do you smile, through the half twilight air,
On the shadow that closed the house-door with such care?
Scarce had she back from the balcony sprang
It woke e'en the count, though his slumber was strong,
O'er the grey château the ay stole about,
And the peasants at work in the vineyard were out;
A CARAVAN OF PARISIANS IN THE DESERT.
WOUNDED in an engagement with the unsubjected Kabyles, Captain Breton, corresponding member of a scientific society, wished to utilise the leisure afforded by his convalescence, by an excursion to the oasis of the Golden River, where, according to report, were thermal springs, and a curious species of antelope, hitherto undescribed. He associated with him to this effect a party of eight, including Amédée Gouët, the historiographer, Gilbrac, Fabre, and Evelin, friends, and he had even yielded to the earnest solicitations of his niece Jenny, a charming young person of eighteen, and consented that she also should be one of the party. The caravan was to leave Saida in the morning, to cross the desert to the wadi of the Golden River, dip a thermometer in the springs, run down a specimen of the nondescript antelope, and be back the same evening. This was, as proposed, an easy and a pleasant excursion. Akbar ben Mussud, an Abyssinian, acted as guide, and a Berber attendant, called Yussuf ben Jinn, or Joseph, son of the demon, also accompanied the party.
Arrived at Saida, Akbar sententiously declared that "night belonged to the poor, if they have courage to avail themselves of it;" and he added, "Remember that the traveller has no better friend than his gun." 'Begasse!" exclaimed Gilbrac, who was Gascon to the back-bone, แ we are up to the tricks of Arabs. Haven't I read Ali Baba over and over again?"
"My dear Gilbrac," observed Evelin, who was an employé in a "bureau Arabe," "there are some among the descendants of the Forty Thieves who are perfect artists. Did not they strip our friend Fabre, when taking a siesta, without even waking him up? It is even said of the same man, Shafar, that he can abstract a horse from beneath the rider without his being aware of the occurrence."
The party were well received by the Beni-Raten, at Saida, and they took the opportunity of explaining what tribe they also belonged to, by declaring that they were Beni-Parisians. The party, however had to divide, Gilbrac accepting the hospitality of a certain Ben Sabat, who had professed great admiration for the horse he rode, and which he declared to descend in a direct line from Al Burak, the Prophet's own steed. Ben Sabat's house was at the extremity of the Ksur, or marketplace, uninhabited, and falling into ruin.
Begasse!" said Gilbrac, "where are your slaves? Well, a night is But what primitive simplicity! It really makes one feel five thousand years younger."
There were two rooms, whose only furniture were two reed mats. Gilbrac selected the outer one, and after fastening his steed by a halter to his foot, he laid down in his burnuse, and was soon dreaming of cavalcades and caravans. But he was almost as soon awakened by swarms of fleas: "Caramba!" he exclaimed ; "I thought that this house was un
* Les Aventures d'une Caravane Parisienne Egarée dans le Désert. Par Amédée Gouet. Paris: E. Dentu.
inhabited!" Rising up and lighting a cigar, he sat at the threshold. It was a fine clear night, and he thought he saw a bush where the previous evening there was not a blade of grass. "How could a bush grow in a night?" thought he; and then, as he looked more fixedly, he saw that the bush began to move, and what was more singular, was, that his horse seemed to follow it, browsing on the way. He at once seized the rope that was made fast to his foot, to pull the horse back, and the halter came with a jerk, bringing the bridle with it, but no horse! At the same moment the bush stopped, the virtuous Ben Sabat issued forth from it, and springing on the horse's back, was lost in the darkness before Gilbrac could get hold of his gun.
"I am robbed!" sighed the unfortunate Gascon.
Early next morning Akbar took his station under a magnificent palm, there to await the assembling of the caravan. Gilbrac had presented himself to the sheikh, to lay his complaint before him. The wily old patriarch disclaimed all acquaintanceship with Ben Sabat. He did not, he said, belong to their tribe; the house that he had received the Gascon in was untenanted-a ruin, in fact. Gilbrac was, accordingly, accommodated with Jenny's donkey, while the young lady herself was exalted on a dromedary. The departure was not, however, effected without an incident. Akbar kicked Yussuf, and Yussuf drew his yataghan. A monkey that sat on Gilbraille's head-for the Gascon had given this appellation to his asinine steed-grinned with delight. An old Arab woman had given him this red-eyed little creature, and had accompanied the gift with a strange intimation: This little monkey," she said, "would save the life and honour of a beloved one. One of the guides would make them shed tears of blood, and the winds of the desert would whiten the bones of some of the party."
The first steps taken in the desert were taken in silence. Gilbrac led the way, singing and playing with his little monkey. Akbar and Yussuf followed, interchanging glances of hatred. Jenny was attended upon by Fabre and Evelin, both young men, and both courting her favour. Gouet and Breton brought up the rear. The two latter conversed about the old woman's prophecy. One argued that if evil came from one of the guides, it would be from the fierce and haughty Akbar; the other, that it would be from Yussuf, "son of the demon," and whom he declared to be as much under the influence of Jenny as were the cold and calculating Fabre and the more ardent Evelin.
At length the caravan came to a bifurcation of the road. Akbar insisted upon going one way, Yussuf another. Both knew the road; one, therefore, must be deceiving. Was it Yussuf or Akbar? The position of things was embarrassing; there were two roads and two opinions. It was necessary to decide. The captain supported Yussuf, Gouët believed in Akbar. Once more the Berber and the Abyssinian nearly came to blows. The Berber accused the Abyssinian with having betrayed them to the "jackal" Shafar, who was to waylay them; the lion-hearted Abyssinian declared that the Berber "serpent" wished to isolate the fair "gazelle" in order that he might destroy her. "God is just!" he averred; "the serpent loves the gazelle." The allusion to Jenny was too palpable to be mistaken. The discussion was interrupted by Gilbrac, who proposed as an alternative that they should breakfast before deciding