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THE TRENCHARD PROPERTY.
as sentimental as this last one, you would
have, I think, an unique collection.” A Few days after, Stephen Randolph
“Poor Frank deserves sympathy and ensauntered to the mansion house, and find couragement,” she gently answered. “He ing the Colonel standing on the back piazza, has many admirable qualities, and if they giving directions to a servant, turned away were only supported by self-reliance and to the cheerful little sitting-room in which vigor of purpose, he could not fail to have he was most likely to find Lucy Mont- noble career.” gomery. She was not there at the instant,
Randolph's lip curled with a slight sneer and to while away the time, he picked up a as he said : “ 'Tis a pity, as you say, that not book that lay upon the table. It was an being a man, he wants sufficient sense even album, and he opened instinctively at the to pretend to be one. But don't let us talk page which contained the vigorous lines about him any more; for if he were to written by himself, at the request of the fair know it, he would die of his blushes before
These having been read over with he could again gasp out the How do you great satisfaction, he turned to the succeed- do?' which already nearly suffocates him in ing effusion—a doleful ditty, whose chi- the utterance." rography exhibited the professional skill of She laid the volume away without reply, its author, the master of the village school. and taking her sewing, assumed her wonted It began :
seat by the fire. Stephen drew his chair “One sin, alas! I'm fain to confess
close to hers, and after some indifferent reBitter envy, I mean, of this Book,
marks had been interchanged, started a new Which lovely Lucy deigns to possess, Greeting it with so kindly a look.”
“ Cousin Lucy"-for, since the Colonel Randolph smiled complacently, as he insisted upon his claim to receive the title compared this poetry with his own. On the of uncle from her, the nephew argued that next leaf came some really fine and expres- the relationship must be shared by himselfsive, as well as appropriate verses. He rec- " Cousin Lucy, the old gentleman has been ognized the handwriting of his hated rival, scolding sharply, and tells me to reform. and was chagrined at the excellence of the What must I do?" contribution. At the bottom he read : “Obey him dutifully, to be sure." “Selected by Charles Middleton.”
“But he finds most fault with me for a “Oh! selected. Pshaw !"
matter of necessity; that is, mingling in the Some stanzas followed, which were origi. society of Delviton.
Now there is but one nal, with the signature "F. H.," unques- way of escape from this calamity, and my tionably standing for Francis Herbert. They uncle's consequent displeasure. Have you flowed off smoothly, and were by no means any further advice ?" destitute of poetic merit; yet they were per- “Since
know the proper course, all I vaded by a sadly plaintive tone, and testified can say is, adopt it." but too clearly to the morbid sensitiveness " But, Cousin Lucy, though this is a of the writer.
matter in which it is very easy and pleasant Lucy entered unobserved, and glanced for me to resolve, it unfortunately happens over his arm as he read them.
that the coöperation of another person is " You see my album is filling up rapidly, necessary.” Mr. Randolph.
Well, sir, I trust your proposed colleague “ It is, indeed; and if the pieces were all is not unreasonable.”
“Far from this being the case, I refer to tavern, was quite a throng, composed of inthe most kind and amiable person in the habitants of the village and others. They world—the most considerate and self-sacri- had been discussing the late remarkable ficing that you can imagine; yet I have night occurrences at Colonel Trenchard's. cause for doubt and fear."
One of them observed : Lucy made no observation, and he con- “I don't somehow believe that Jim can tinued : “ Were my now cheerless dwelling have done it. What's your mind, Jack ?" but enlivened by the presence of another, Our old acquaintance, Chapman, the inwhose home it might be for the reason that dividual addressed, merely answered : “I it was my home; one who would guide my don't know what to say about it." wayward fancy by gentle counsel; who, by “For my part,” remarked Skinner, the the daily exhibition of true loveliness of overseer, “I'm inclined to think that old character, would teach me gradually in some Ichabod was nearer right than wiser folks, degree to imitate what I could not but ad- after all, and that the Colonel hung himself, mire; who would be to me a friend closer when out of his head. Indeed, he talks than a brother, my companion never to be wild about the business even yet. What do parted from; one to be loved, cherished, you think, Mr. Leach? He sa;s you had a adored! Can you, dear Lucy, be such a hand in it; that he heard your voice through
the window.” "Mr. Randolph, I cannot."
“That's queer enough," replied Sandy. His iinpassioned glance was turned full “I know that I have a rough voice, but I upon hers, which timidly sank beneath it. should hardly think it would reach 'way
Lucy! think that this is to me a sub- from Davy Chapman's parlor to the house ject vitally real and earnest. The time has on the hill. If the old man's mind wanders passed when I could treat it with gayety or in this way, I really must agree with you, trifling; now I leave jesting to others. I Skinner, that he did the deed himself in a throw my whole soul at your feet. You temporary fit of insanity. They say, too, will not, you cannot cast it back to bitter- that he was greatly vexed about the injury ness and despair. You will not withdraw of his big tobacco crop." the hand which I seize as my hope of sal- “But did the footprints on the roof and vation!"
through the corn-field only exist in imagiHe clasped her fair palm in his, so as to nation ?" This question was addressed to require some degree of force to extricate it. Skinner by a young man in a green frockThat force was exerted, however, and the coat, whose fowling piece and brace of hand withdrawn.
pheasants showed that he had just reInstantly he stood upon his feet; his turned from a hunting excursion. His frame shook with ungovernable passion; chestnut hair curled about a face of almost every vein of his countenance was swollen, feminine beauty, and his form, though exand his flashing eye added intensity to the ceedingly graceful, was slight, and had cruelty of the words which burst from his hardly attained the ordinary stature. lips :
"I saw them with my own eyes,” said Stay then as you are, a sneaking, pen- Skinner; " but then it must be considered niless dependent; yes! a sneaking, merce- that Mercer and I thought that they led nary, hypocritical, fortune-hunting depend- from the piazza around to the front of the ent! Stay where you are: rob me of my house, and the doctor struck upon the trai) inheritance, and share it with your base that led to Steve Randolph's sort of by confederate!"
guess or haphazard, without tracking them He rushed from the room and from the plainly along the grass to where we started house, strode down the lawn, and then along from.” the road to the village, at a rate which few “ And what reason could anybody have could have equalled without absolutely run- had for doing such a thing ?" asked Sandy ning. It was not till he had reached the Leach. side of the tavern that he became sensible of " Truly,” said the youth in green, Francis the singularity of his motion, and to recover Herbert, “I do not see what motive Jim composure, relaxed into a very slow walk. could have had; but as to others, there is Around the corner, and in front of the more ground for doubt.”
“Mr. Herbert, I don't see but he had as Herbert's agony cannot be described, and much reason as any nigger, and Colonel few indeed can imagine it in its whole exTrenchard says the man was certainly black.” | tent; yet he must be less than human who
“But how easy and common it is for is unable, in some degree, to understand ruffians to make white black with candle how hard it is to bear a "wounded spirit.” smut, or a coal from the chimney corner !”
“Do you then suspect Ran lolph ?” exclaimed Leach.
CHAPTER V. “I have not said so; but if I were in his place, and innocent, I should be very rest- STEPHEN RANDOLPH's footsteps were yet less till the mystery were cleared 1.p." audible along the hall, when Lucy burst into
Stephen Randolph had overheard the tears and went to throw herself into the latter part of this conversation ere he turned arms of her mother. Mrs. Montgomery, surthe corner, and stepping up quickly to Herprised and grieved, clasped her head to bert, said in a harsh tone:
her own sympathizing bosom and tenderly “ I did not understand your remark ex- sought to know the cause of her agitation, actly : repeat it, sir."
As soon as her sobs allowed her utterance, TIerbert drew back slightly, but answered she briefly related the conversation that had with firmness, and in a tone which showed just taken place, and the harsh taunts which a natural resentment at the dictatorial man- had been heaped upon her at its close; and ner of the interrogator:
then added, with her tears flowing afresh: “ I do not remember the words I used ; “Mother! mother! let us leave this place but since you desire it, I will tell you my instantly; not another hour let us stay." thought: Í fervently trust that you are in- “But alas ! my child, what home have nocent, but cannot help regretting that you we beside ?" do not show more zeal in searching out the “Never mind, mother; let us trust to God culprit.”
to provide us a resting-place. Better, far * Lend me this a moment." This was better let us be tenants of the poor-honse spoken by Randolph to a bystander, from than remain here exposed to such horrible whose hand he snatched a horsewhip, with reproaches." which he made several smart blows upon " Dear Lucy, you know not what you say: Herbert's shoulder, saying as he did so, here we must stay or starve." " You are a meddling puppy! Take that, " Then if that is the alternative, oh! let and learn to behave yourself."
us starve." Herbert's face flushed to a deep crimson “My child, be calm. What, after all, do at the insult, and then sank to an almost the wild words of young Randolph concern deadly paleness. He raised his fowling- us? It is not upon him we are living; no piece, and, with an arm as rigid as if cast right of his is touched ; our own consciences, of bronze, held it pointed at the breast of as well as the candor of Mr. Trenchard, jusRandolph; the hammer was thrown back, tify us against his passionate charge. Why and his finger touched the trigger.
then should it leave a sting ?” Thus both parties stood without motion “But, mother, it is dreadful to be subfor a space of time that seemed an age to jected to the suspicion of such a thing. If those around. Then Herbert lowered his we were away from here, the uncharitablegun undischarged. Randolph smiled con- ness of Mr. Randolph himself could not soil temptuously and turned upon his heel. The our name with so much as a whisper. Let youth, maddened at the sight, clenched the us pack up and go this very evening." weapon and again had it half raised; but “ Pack and go? Who talks about going? again he let it sink, and withdrawing his Why, what's all this—crying? Luey, what's right hand, smote his forehead in bitterness the matter ?" and walked away fronı the group.
" Mr. Trenchard ! Colonel! is this you ?" As he left, some of the coarser of the “ Mister ? Colonel ? Why in the name party gave utterance to a brutal laugh. In of the old Harry can't you learn to call me that discordant sound the loud cachinnation uncle? Surely your mother's niy sister-inof the worthy Sandy Leach was most dis- law—and in reality too, I shall ever regard tinguishable.
her. But what did you say about going ?"
about it. Stephen has been here the left in hul , sir, I have received some blows of
hair of your
“Why, sir, mother and I have come to “Frank, is it true, as I hear, that you the conclusion that it is best we should leave have taken a horsewhipping in the village the mansion, bidding you good-bye with this morning ?" more gratitude in our hearts for your kind- The two ladies started and bent their ness than our lips can express. Her health, eyes instantly upon the youth. He too you know, sir, is not very good."
was startled by the sudden interrogatory; “Well," said Trenchard, with a frown, the crimson current rushed at once to his “is this place sickly! just tell me that!" cheeks, which just before seemed bloodless,
“In truth, sir, there are other circum- and he felt his heart throbbing in his throat. stances which forbid us to trespass longer It was some moments before he answered ; upon your liberality."
when he did speak, it was in a tone wondercome, I I fully calm :
; a towering passion, I'm sure, by his savage a whip from Mr. Randolph.” walk; he's been saying something to you Trenchard replied: that he ought not. Confound the rascal! “ Well, the Herberts used to be a spunky I wouldn't gi a dozen like him for one breed; they must be changed a great sight
head. So now be cheerful and since. I suppose, however, you are going like yourself, and I'll cane him if he so to challenge him; but that's a poor business. much as speaks to you again."
Have no duels, but settle your quarrels, you “But really, uncle, I think it is best that youngsters, when your blood's warm and we should leave."
there's no sin in it. It is a pity indeed that “ Hush, Lucy! you
you let the minute slip. I don't see what talk about it; you shan't so much as think other course you have left open for yourself. about it: so be quiet. But whose step was It's wrong, though, very wrong; but Stethat? Here, Ichabod! Ichabod !"
phen's not a fellow to back out and ask “ Well, Marser."
pardon: it's a pity-pity-pity.” .“ Who was it, Ichabod, that came in at “I agree with you, sir, that duels are sin. the front door just now?"
ful, and have no thought of challenging “ Marser Frank. He went right up to Randolph to one.” his room."
“The mischief you haven't! And what “Not Skinner, then? Ah, well! when then will
do?" Mr. Skinner comes back from Delviton watch “ What can I do?" out for him and tell him I want to see him “Yes, sure enough, what can you do about the wheat to be sown in the new field. now ?" Do you understand ?"
“ What other course, sir, would you
have “Yes, sir ; an' I reckon that's him now: had me pursue then? I was fearfully tempted : I heard the little gate slam what leads to may I never again have such a struggle to his house."
endure. Thank God, I conquered." " Run then and head him; I'll go to the “ Conquered !" echoed Trenchard. "I back piazza."
don't understand your story: whom did Thus speaking, the old man trudged away, you conquer ?" and was not seen again by Mrs. Montgomery "Myself." and her daughter till an hour afterwards, “Oli
, is that it? So you take pleasure in when they met him at the dinner-table the recollection of your cowhiding?" along with the other member of that family All the youth's former agitation, so hardly of four, Francis Herbert. The latter was repressed, returned. His evident suffering very pale, and spoke less than usual during excited some compassion even in the stern the meal.
breast of Trenchard. The ladies showed After the garniture of the table was re- their deep sympathy without disguise upon moved, and the servant had left, they re- their countenances, and Herbert, wretched mained in their seats some moments accord- as he was, drew comfort from the sight. ing to custom, Colonel Trenchard glancing Hastily dashing away a struggling tear, h over the newspaper, and the others convers- said: ing. Presently he lifted up his eyes from “What, sir, would you have had me do the journal, and said in his blunt way:
you do when a man struck yo.
Why, strike him back, to be sure. In such “ But, Mr. Trenchard, could you a case, don't stop to think on which side justified such an act upon the pred the odds are, but jump right into the fellow. the New Testament ?" I have known many a little man stump “Frank, God has inade man to feel to a big one. When I was down in New- ment, and feel it most keenly at ass Orleans, ten years ago, I happened to meet that wounds our honor; and therette a man who had been long before, and who accordingly" always will be, more hateful to me than "Pardon me, sir, for interrupting the old boy himself. He was much stouter but Christ tells us to subdue such than I, as well as a great deal heavier, ment—to hold it in check." but when I shook my fist in his face on “Well, if it is so, we are not perfect; the public street he dared not toe the surely to kill a man in a sudden pass mark. Well, shortly after I was taken not like killing him in cold blood. I down with the fever, which kept me two exactly the reason, as I said just now, weeks; and the first day I tottered out, duels are so wicked: they are not as thin as a ghost and hardly able to hold rank murders.” my own weight, this cowardly scoundrel “But, Colonel, if you had ever kild: took the chance to give me a cut with his man in a quarrel, do you not think whip, as Steve did you; but you may swear wauld feel sorry about it afterwards ?" he didn't bestow me a second. I hadn't “I have known others, of whom I w my knife, unfortunately, or I would have not have thought it, to become sorry, ani given it to him in the midriff; but I clapped is possible I might too." my fingers around his throat and clinched "Well, sir, have you not also knt them tighter than ever cooper hooped a flour such persons to wish that any thing had ex barrel. The villain tripped me up in a pened rather than that they should be hurry, for my legs were not as stiff as a pea- another's blood upon them vine, but I held my grip; down we came Yes ; Hiram Messenger was just so." together; he battered my face till the “ Then, sir, if it is certain that if I ba? mother that bore me would not have known killed Randolph I should have bitterly to it. Still I held on, and he grew blue and gretted it, did I not right to refrain ?" gasped for breath; then he got his thumb No, Frank; you were placed in a nerima under my right eye and gave one twitch; I sity: a man with a gun in his hand wbos winced my head, and the eye-ball slipped horsewhipped is under a necessity to shei from his clutch; the next instant his fingers blood.” stretched out with a jerk, his fat carcass " But I was not in a necessity, for I did rolled upon its back, and I had no call to not shed blood.” hang on longer. He was not dead, how- “ How did you escape from it, though! ever, and afterwards revived to do more What! to stand still under a cowhiding like villainy. I believe in my heart he is anx- a slave! It could not be endured." ious to kill me in the same way I made him “ Yet, Colonel, as Christians we are bound suffer. It is Alexander Leach I mean, that not to slay except when our own life is in hypocritical buffoon. But to return to the peril.” present business. I must allow that you “ Frank! Frank! I am not a member of would have had no chance whatever in a the Church-you are. I could not act so: regular set-to with Steve Randolph, nor if you must, you should turn preacher, and would anybody else have had, for he is as then you would be safe.” strong as Samson and has the spunk of “I cannot perceive in myself,” answered Lucifer; but then you had a loaded gun.” Herbert, “any special qualification for the
“And would you really prefer, sir, that sacred ministry, and I should scorn to fly to I had now your nephew's blood upon my its protection out of cowardice." hands ?"
“Be Quaker, then." “I tell you, Francis Herbert, if I had been “My last reason holds as to this, too, sir; in such a situation, I would have shot the and further, I do not think it right that that man, whoever he might be! If he were principle should be made the distinction of my father's brother, I would have shot him a sect, which the Saviour has enjoined as a as he stood-shot him with deadly aim." characteristic mark upon every disciple.”