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The Spy of the Mississippi, 27, 71, 95, 139, 185 The Gifted Dead of the Last Year,.
We Shall Meet in Heaven,
Τ Η Ε
GAINS AND LOSSES.
tion, the halo of generations of wealth By Mrs. Ada H. Thomas Nickles.
and culture surrounding her, could look
beyond her atmosphere of ease and reCHAPTER I.
finement, upon the people battling with YALENA REDWAY leaned against the realities of life for bread to hold soul dull November day was deadening down carious comfort, - weary, heart-aching, into a dun twilight. Sullen clouds lay low dead, perhaps, as this moor, but like it in the west, beneath which no gilding of neither intrusive nor vulgar, and recog. sunset showed. A wide, far-stretching nize the kinship with no abasement of reach of moorland, wet and desolate, a soul; but such as those yonder, squalid, dead river, a gray horizon, which on sun- peevish, fretful, filthy, or horribly mirthful, bright days showed misty lakes of oak- destitute of common pride or affection, lands, an air heavy and dank, and black only yesterday, as she passed, she beheld with the smoke from the furnace-mouths a loose, blear-eyed female beating her of the city, whose Briareus' arms stretch- child in a manner that chilled her blood, el out nearly here in straggling, illy-built these wretches, hardly above the beasts houses, — Fulgar and worthless were they that perish, — ugh, she hated them. as their occupants, — pushed out into the She liked a dog. There was Vinton, street, unfenced, intruded upon by wan- old fellow, shaking his shaggy sides, his dering hordes of cattle and swine driven wistful eyes full of a brute-pleading for in from the grazing country beyond, spat- admittance. She shrugged her shoulders, tered with the filth of the road, and in- shaking off the troublesome thoughts, frated with rude, boisterous children, and ran to the door, calling “ Vinton.” this was the scene on which she looked. He came in slowly, wagging his tail in
It hurt her eyes now as she gazed. token of gratitude, rubbing his head There was no beauty in the country, - no against her. broken bluffs nor rich coloring of forest She always was a child with her old foliage, - only a desolate plain and slug- playmate. T'he three years of her societygib river. Here was the poverty of life, the artificial restraints and knottings Nature, but a poverty not of pride nor of of her outside existence, she threw enderedet, - a reposeful consciousness of tirely away from her here at home. Old suffering need.
Vin was her old pet, her good old rogue, She, standing in the circle of her posi- her fine fellow, as she kneeled down on
YOL. XXXIII. · NO. I. — JULY, 1864.
the rug patting his head, stroking his to understand the passionate meaning and sides, shaking his paws. The face now intensity of the kisses she childishly rewas one of happy joyfulness, the play of ceived and returned. expression free and perfect, which would There was a deep, in-looking expreshave rendered the plainest features pleas- sion to Galena's eyes at times, fearless ing. But Galena hardly needed that to and bright as they were, that looked as make her beautiful.
her mother's had; but otherwise there was Her head was finely formed, firmly set, little in face or feature that resembled the forehead broad and full, eyebrows her. There was less striking beauty, less straight and strong, eyes gray-blue, with expression, but more strength in outward lids opening widely for a straightforward expression, I mean. Looking at the picoutlook, a mouth well fashioned, not small turod face with the full, passionate lips nor full, but with lips that might roll out and introverted eyes, I should say the sentences well clipped and curt you could only weakness there was outward and aptell. The face spoke well. There was parent. I know she could have taken truth, will, reticence, honesty, - a poise hold of God's most terrible providences, seldom seen in a girl of twenty, — giving and held them with never a word of compromise of a self-reliant spirit, a little plaint, if thereby another were saved a too confident and hard, perhaps, as cir- pang. cumstances might mould it. For the I have seen women whose wills never rest, her hair was dark brown, sombre, came in contact with one opposing but gathering no outward light in ripples of they faltered, yet I have known them curls, but straight, though fine and soft, walk uncomplainingly and cheerfully a combed off from the low forehead, and life-path beside which physical suffering knotted with a sprig of scarlet geranium by wild horses or Indians were happiness. in a profuse coil low on the neck behind. But the sweet face above the mantle was
Her dress was a scarlet brocaded silk, pictured only; the real had hidden its posgleaming into swift glancings of light sible suffering in a surer grave than the and shade at every movement. She liked calmness of a reticent life. bright coloring in dress and hues; dead A whirl of carriage wheels came up tints hurt her always. The flowers of from the street, and Vin responded with summer and autumn pleased her best. erect ears and swinging tail, snuffing the The violets and anemones of spring, the air as though scenting the coming of pale tints of crocus, wax flowers, and friends. Galena raised herself from her hyacinths, looked to her as though the kneeling posture, and hurried to the winfrequent rains and snow-meltings had dow to catch a glance of a remarkably washed out their beauty, leaving in them handsome, distinguished-looking man. only a faint, fady representation of their You should have seen the girl's face natural brightness.
then. Except the lilies and gold of hair, Just above the mantle, in a frame of the fascinating beauty of the mother's oak and ivy leaves entwined, hung the face glowed into wonderful life. This picture of a magnificently beautiful wo- was her betrothed, her love, her most perDreamy-eyed, with that latent fect
How he towered above brightness that, not glowing in tinted others, a very giant in beauty, in intellect, cheeks, burns out under drooping lids, in grace! And he had chosen her. She and swells forth floods of sweetness in felt so proud for him, so humble for her. smiles that drown one in an intoxicating self. How beautiful the world seemed ! burst of beauty. The hair was bronze, how gracious and good God was to her ! clinging in curls about a forehead and Even as she thought the dun gray of the cheeks of marble whiteness. This was marshland grew warmed and vivified with the shadow of the woman who had been the one great principle of love eternal, the one poem of Charles Redway's life, perfect, embracing, in which and through whose glorious beauty he had hidden un- which all was perfection and order. der the
grass before Galena had learned The brown, filthy houses yonder, with
their miserable occupants, the squalid, “ All trumpery, little girl. If a man vicious children, screaming and rolling in will hold his own, the world wont take the mud of the marsh, swearing, cursing, it away from him.” beating and being beaten,-she shuddered. “You are confident of your place, It was cold out there, and beside, a then,” she said, smiling up at him. draft from the door had chilled her fire- “Yes," he said, positively. He was warmed arms; but here was warmth, love, cool in his judgments, this man. He peace, - Edward.
measured men and things with a calcuShe turned to him her face full of lative skill that gave him an astonishing greeting, holding out her hands. “I am power over circumstances. This girl he glad you have come. I've been growing read as fully as though her heart lay terribly blue this afternoon."
opened to his gaze. A fresh, intense life A balt-smile just bent his lip, - an she had, he knew, whose every possibility outside smile, having nothing to do with was ready for his mould to fashion. dinples or eyes. He held her back at felt no misgivings as to his capability of arm's length, taking in the whole bright forming this rich life; no questionings picture, — glowing eyes and cheeks, scar- of the right he had to surround this imlet and jewels, — surveying it proudly as pressionable nature he had chanced upon one would a picture belonging to one. with the fascinations of his strong will He nodded his head in approval.
and powerful intellect troubled the seren" It's been so long since I've seen you,” ity of his conscience. she said.
This existence belonged to him. He Has it? I thought it was only a was born to sway souls, to bend wills, to week."
rule minds. The world with its people Yes, to be sure, a week; it had seem- was spread out before him to take and ed ages to her, and a sudden sharp pang use for his profit or pleasure. Besides, shot through her heart that it had been he loved this girl, here, in his fashion. "only a week” to him; but it passed again She was new, and full of a crude strength in the generous, womanly thought of his of which she was wholly unaware. She outside interests.
loved him passionately; she never did "I must congratulate you on your anything weakly, or by halves. It gave election.”
him pleasure, this deep, unquestioning " Thank you! I was confident of it love, - a pleasure that he felt certain for weeks."
would have been pain had she been placed You can't tell how anxious I was for in a position where to have accepted it days beforehand. I could take no work would have called for a sacrifice from his por book. I could hardly receive callers, ambition. It was in his favor that it was I was so possessed with the fear of your not so, that through the fulfilment of his defeat."
love there opened a wider scope for his " You should have had more confidence ambitious desires. in my star, Galena. I felt as cool and He looked at her still with that halfsecure as an expert oarsman on a trial smile.
I knew the shape of the boat, the “What made you blue to-day?" strength of the current, and the nerve « The reaction after the news of last that dealt the strokes. It was out of night, perhaps, or the dulness of the reason that I should fail.''
day, or a desire for your presence.” “ So confidence wins the race al- “ If the last, the clouds should be dis
She looked at him in an honest, ques- to nature, mystify my brain with a cease.. tioning way.
less cloud of tobacco smoke, and go to “ These woman-fancies are beyond my overturning the whole state and social power of solution,” he answered, smiling. distinctions as the spirits tip tables ?” “I love you, as men love, strongly, and “ With the like results of general conam always very happy when I'm with fusion? No, not by any means; but as you; but when we men are out in the leader in a measure, to carry the people air, there is the lawsuit of to-day, the up into a better knowledge of the power political speech of to-morrow, to intrude in them.” their
presence, and drive away all fancies “ In short, to invite each man to reign or thoughts of pleasure."
along with me. A pretty muss I'd be She hummed, in a clear, rich voice, – getting into. It is all well enough, this
talk of universal rights,' • the sovereign “ Thus, if thou wilt prove me, dear, Woman's love no table;
people, and the one-in-many' before I will love thee - half a yer —
election. You must not hurl my political As a man is able.”
speeches at my head after I've taken my She shook her head half sadly as she seat in the senate chamber, nor expect finished it. “And now that you take that the campaign I've been through in your place among men, crowned and ac- promises is to be redeemed in fact. We knowledged king, I'm afraid my half politicians are great exaggerators. The year' even will be sadly intruded upon.” | truth is, little girl, women don't under
“ You must find your happiness where stand the necessary falsities of our posiother women find it, in following the foot- tion. We have to measure our phrases steps of your king. You mustn't be get- and ideas, and make them fit the inevitating blue, mind, because he can't get out ble circumstances that are around us. It of his war-chariot to look after your em- don't do for me to say to the world, 'I broideries."
will have this, or that, or the other !' It “No, but I should want my tapestries presents arms immediately, and ten chances to appear of value to him, just as his to one that I'm not finished on the spot; jousts and battles and victories would but, instead, I rub down the prejudices, be to me.
I should want him to look up fatter the self-love, and the result is, I'm from his war-chariot occasionally, and pushed right along into the position I dewave his scarf at me, and think how sire.” much he owed to my stimulating smile “ It seems to me very like deception," that his conquests were so many, his arm she said, honestly. so invincible.”
“That's it, exactly. I knew you'd ex“ Yes, he'll look in fancy, from the claim at it. You see you women have capitol - upon your little bower here; morbid ideas of truth and morality and he'll send you greetings in the shape of religion, which is very well in every-day delicate, scented letters, such as ladies life; but when you carry these into the fancy; he will lighten his state duties making of laws, you lose sight of land with thoughts of the lady of his love; - cntirely. You'd run the ship of state will that answer ?” he said, passing his into a sand-bar of conscience as sure as arm around her.
you had hold of the rudder, little girl ; so