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tree, and his mild blue eyes glaring from behind his spectacles like the lamps on a doctor's gig; John's head, hatless and disheveled, his face and hair plastered with mud, popping up and down from behind the bank of the stream like an animated “Jack-in-the-box;" myself peering through the poles of the corral-fence, like a trapped wood-chuck through the bars of his cage; while in the centre of the triangle, of which we were the apices, with eyes of fire, distended nostrils, and burnished horns raking the ground, lunged and darted the vindictive beast who held us in limbo.
The lariats which were still attached to her flew out, like Berenice's hair, as she flashed hither and thither, and her angry snorts of rage gave full token that her bovine gorge was up. She was bent on doing mischief, and she attended to it strictly, without allowing her attention to be distracted by trivial matters. She had “treed,” “ corraled” and “holed” her tormentors, and she seemed resolved fully to satisfy her debt of vengeance. The slightest move on the part of any one of us brought her in that direction with the velocity of a hungry hawk.
Repeated failures, however, at last made her sullen, and she stopped for a moment so close to the corral that the end of the rope around her foot lay temptingly near to the fence. Dropping on my knees, I reached an arm through to secure it. Up to this time, the calves had been huddling together in a corner of the corral, but now—whether my position was taken as a challenge, or whether courage had suddenly returned to them, I know not—there was a patter of feet in my rear, a brave little bleat like the crow of a bantam rooster, and—"spang!" --something struck me behind, as I groveled on all fours, and my head was driven against the fence with a smart thud.
Jumping to my feet, I faced this new antagonist. There he stood, as game as a tom-tit, his ridiculously thin legs stiffly outspread, his thread-paper tail perked up with a comical twist at the tip, his little bullet-head defiantly cocked to one side, and his twinkling eyes fixed upon me with a look compounded of wonder at his own audacity, fear of the possible consequence, and a funny determination to “ do or die,” in the defense of his persecuted mother. Compared to her, he might have been aptly termed a duodecimo edition bound in full calf.
I had but time fully to take in the grotesqueness of his appearance when, with another bleat of defiance, the doughty little hop-o'-my-thumb charged me. Catching him by the ear and tail, I ran him ingloriously back to his corner, bumped his head against the fence just hard enough to give him a hint not to interfere in the sports of his betters, and turned again to watch the movements, of our besieger.
It had finally dawned upon the brain of our cockney cook, Batters, that something was wrong; and he had come around in front of the tent, about forty yards away, to see what was the matter. Our wild-eyed foe caught sight of him and incontinently charged.
Appalled at the sight of the infuriated animal, Batters tumbled backward into the tent, trusting thus to elude the assault. It was a vain hope. The flap was up, and the cow dashed straight at the opening, struck the supporting pole, and down in one billowy heap came the white canvas, covering pursuer and pursued.
We ran to the rescue. From under the wildly heaving envelope came a dire discord of mingled sounds
Batters' voice calling lustily for “'Elp! 'elp!" the bellow of the frightened cow, the breaking of things breakable, and the "r-r-r-ip" of tearing cloth!
At last the exhausted animal became quiet; and Batters crawled from the fallen tent, pale and scared, but unhurt, save a few slight scratches.
It took us fully an hour to free our late antagonist, and when this was done, she limped off down the valley, her spirit cowed, for the time being at least, and her calf apparently wholly forgotten.
N. P. UFFORD.
A ROMANCE OF THE ROOD-LOFT.
SI sit within the rood-loft, and the thunder-tones
From the great voice of the organ, as I touch it once
again; And around the carven angels soft the sunset shades are
stealing, I can supplicate my music for some solace for my pain. If the triple key-board answers to my well-accustomed
fingers, If I hold the diapason just as ever at command, And the old familiar magic in the melody still lingers,
I shall fancy that the music has a heart to understand. I shall hear the grand fugue broaden that grave Bach
wrote for all ages, With the prelude in E minor, like a weary heart in As I bitterly look back upon the last of memory's
pages, For the saddest of the leaflets that my life can ever
As I sit here at the organ, I can think upon my sorrow, With the eastern oriel changing from its purple into
gray, And the hopelessness of living for the wearisome to
morrow, Gives a sadder, deeper meaning to the doom of yester
For but yestermorn I boasted of a passion in quiescence, Though my heart was yearning toward her, I could
leave my love untold; Till she won me into speaking by the glory of her
presence, Like a dream of Mary Mother by some master-hand
She had summoned me to teach her, and I felt the
fascination Of her gracious bearing thrill me with a spell un
known before ; And my music sounded harshly to the perfect modu
lation Of the low voice that will haunt me in my dreaming
And through all the realms of music we went day by
day, now speeding From the mighty strains of Handel to the passion of
And I told my love in music, and she heard it, all
unheeding That the lowly organ-master could possess a human
heart. She stood
and her white throat in her singing Took a fuller curve, and brighter shone the nimbus
of her hair ; And so sang she to my playing, till the bell above us
swinging Brought my dear task to an ending with the eventime
of prayer. She was cruel in her beauty, as she bent her down
And a bright tear born of music fell and glistened on
the keys, And I wove a dream Elysian of her learning so to love me, That no thought of shame could touch her 'neath her
old ancestral trees. Did she scorn me for my meanness, when I set my heart upon
her ? There are ancient tombs engraven with the legends of
her race : Love is old, and love is noble, and can never bring
dishonor, Though the blood of knightly fathers runs to flush a
And yestreen I dared to tell her of my love, and she
departed, With her small hand's queenly gesture, as she smiled
away my speech ;