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OT more than a day or two after the expedition recorded in my last letter, I made one of a totally different character, in company with Ruth,-Alice being away on a visit. The day's programme comprehended: first, a diligent gathering and pressing of ferns, in the dense, dim wood at the foot of the glen, for use in winter decorations; next, the ascent of a neighboring hill, for the sake of the view from its summit; and, finally, a return up the glen to the shady, rock-barricaded nook long ago described to you, to which last point Mrs. Divine promised to send Leo, at noon, with a lunch-basket; and where, moreover, we purposed to spend as much of the afternoon as should seem good to us, resting, dreaming, chatting, or reading aloud, according to mood. Days thus spent out-of-doors, are especially good for Ruth; they are an important part of my crusade against her home-keeping, sedentary habits. Under their genial influences, the rose in her cheeks is deepening fast, the light brightening in her eyes. Needless to add that she grows more beautiful, day by day!

The first part of our programme had been faithfully car. ried out, our books filled with ferns, the hill climbed and the view enjoyed. We were now in the hollow, resting on the basin's bank of luxuriant moss; sometimes talking, but oftener listening in dreamy silence to the fresh, clear voices

of the foliage above and the water below. The hollow had the essential charm of such a spot-perfect solitude. We might linger there for hours, unseen and undisturbed, shut in by the interlacing boughs, the hoary rocks, the clear basin on which their heavy shadow ever fell, and wherein their forms were distinctly mirrored. In truth, so perfect was the reflection, so faithful the reproduction of every line, tint, and motion, that the basin seemed to hang between two forest solitudes, either of which might be taken. for the reflected image of the other. Stooping over the water, we saw faces, too, bending forth from the green foliage of that under world to meet our gaze,-answering to our smiles, our gravity, our gestures,-moving their lips to the sound of our words,-and making us feel vague and visionary by their very distinctness; as if the truth and vividness of their representation were so much abstracted from our actuality. The notion made us gay, as became shadows and unrealities,-mirth being of so airy and evanescent a quality as to associate readily with whatever is illusive and unsubstantial; while grief is heavy and opaque, and must needs give an account of itself and justify its existence, before we give it leave to pass into our sympathies.

Ruth's eyes and cheeks were alight and aglow with gayety and color, yet she was weary, too; the long walk had been somewhat trying to her poor, little, crooked feet. Seeing this, I drew her head down on my lap, that she might rest the easier, and began reading aloud Tennyson's "Daydream"; whose fanciful theme and easy-flowing meas ure were well suited to the time, place and circumstance. For, as the fairy-prince entered the spell-bound chamber, I saw Ruth's eyelids droop slowly, and the long lashes rest upon the fair cheek: the rippling water, the musical rhyme, had lulled her to sleep. Nor could any "Sleeping Beauty" of fairy-tale or poet's dream have been lovelier than she!

For some moments, I read on softly; then, my thoughts wandered, my voice died away, the book fell by my side,

with one finger between its leaves, external objects faded from my sight, I had strayed as far into the Land of Reverie, as Ruth into that of Dream.

Thus, a half-hour, or more, stole by. I was roused by a rustling tread in the open meadow, on the other side of the stone fence; in a moment Leo came over, basket in mouth, and dropped, lightly enough, upon the soft moss. I raised my hand with a warning gesture; Ruth's slumber was still so deep that I did not care to break it. The dog understood and obeyed. He came noiselessly to my side, set down his basket, and rubbed his head lightly against my shoulder, by way of mute, yet cordial, greeting. He then surveyed Ruth, for some moments, with a curious, grave intentness; as if he were wondering what sort of thing was this sleep of mortals, which held them in such deathlike embrace. Possibly, he contrasted it with the lighter slumbers of his own race,—broken by the softest tread, the faintest sound, -and, doubtless, greatly to the advantage of the latter. Suddenly, he raised his head, dilated his nostrils, and glanced suspiciously around. Then he ran quickly down the brook's bank, alternately putting his nose to the ground and lifting it in the air. I watched him idly, through the intervening boughs. At a point a little below, where the widening stream is crossed by stepping-stones, he seemed to strike a trail: his manner became more assured; he crossed the brook swiftly, smelling at the stones as he went; and I soon saw, by the waving of the ferns and bushes, that he was coming up on the other side. Some moments elapsed, and I was fast sinking into reverie again, when, suddenly, there was a strange commotion behind the screen of foliage which topped the steep bank opposite me. Partly by dint of straining my sight through the clustering leaves, partly by means of suggestive sounds from behind them, I made out that Leo had surprised some intruder upon the scene:-an acquaintance, however, it appeared, for the dog was leaping and fawning upon him, with short, quick

barks of unmistakable delight; while the new-comer sought to repulse him quietly, but in vain. At length a voice exclaimed, in distinct, impatient, and not altogether unfamiliar tones:

"Down, Leo! down, sir! down!"

Ruth opened her eyes dreamily; Leo's bark subsided into a low whine.

The next moment the screening boughs opposite parted; in the opening appeared a young man's head and shoulders; on his face was an expression of mingled chagrin, amusement, and deprecation.

"Fairly caught in the act you see!" said he, lifting his hat and bowing with a somewhat exaggerated humility. "Trespassing and-(ugly word!)-stealing. The culprit surrenders at discretion. He throws himself upon your mercy, Miss Frost."

Ruth started up into a sitting posture, and gazed at him with wide open eyes of amazement, still soft with the haze of slumber. I saw him glance at her admiringly.

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'Mercy?" I repeated, dryly,—“I doubt if my stock on hand is equal to the demand. Take justice, instead; it is the rarer article, Mr. Cambur.”

"True," he rejoined, gravely. "If we could always get perfect justice at the hands of our fellow-men, we should not so often be obliged to ask for mercy. Well, I will try the quality of yours! I suppose I may come into court. Criminals on trial do not usually stand outside, looking in at the window;-though some of them, doubtless, would not object to such a position! You will take it as an evidence of my guiltlessness of evil intent, I hope, that I voluntarily place myself completely in your power."

So saying the artist swung himself down the rock, by the aid of a pendent bough, and sat down upon a huge, outcropping tree-root at its base. The brook flowed and rippled between us.

"There!" said he, putting his hat on the ground be

sile him, that is the proper arrangement. This bank serves for the criminal's box, that for the judge's bench. I await your sentence, Miss Frost. I am curious to taste the flavor of your justice."

I did not answer: my attention was fastened upon Leo. He had followed the artist down the bank; and, being forbidden by a second energetic "Down, Leo!" to spring upon him, he had cast himself at his feet, looking up at him with great, piteous, imploring eyes, and giving vent to his emotions by low, irrepressible sounds, mingled of bark, whine, and howl, yet full of ecstatic joy. In short, he seemed to have unexpectedly encountered the friend of his heart, after a separation of months or years.

"I was not aware that Leo had the honor of your acquaintance,” I remarked, glancing significantly at the dog.

"I-I,-" the artist stammered and hesitated, drawing his hand across his brow, "That is to say, dogs always take to me, instinctively," he concluded, somewhat incoherently.

"I should think so," responded I, dryly, "if Leo's present performance is the usual measure of their taking to!' Do you always 'take to' their names instinctively, too?"

He reddened and bit his lip. "Leo?-ah, yes, to be sure!" said he. "Well, you see, I once had a dog of that name myself; and it seems to come to my lips spontane ously, whenever I speak to one of his kind. Odd that it happens to be your dog's name, too!"


Very," returned I, with quiet irony. The explanation was plausible enough; but I was too well acquainted with Leo's habitually reserved and dignified deportment toward strangers, to believe, for one moment, that this was his first meeting with Mr. Cambur. Still, if there were a mystery, it was not my business to pry into it. The artist had a right to the possession of. his own affairs ;-the more indis putably, because there was something in his face and bear ing strongly indicative of inward integrity, and seeming to

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