Bulls and Bears



A SLOW and weary walk had Mr. Lindsay from the station to his house. It was after sunset, dark and cold, as he turned in at the gate. The house was dimly lighted, and no one save the Newfoundland dog came to greet him at the door. He did not hear his daughter singing as she was accustomed at evening. There were no pleasant voices, no light and cheerful steps in the rooms. All was silence. The ill news had preceded him. His wife without a word fell on his bosom and wept. Clara kept her seat, trying in vain, while her lip quivered and her eyes dimmed, to fix her attention upon the magazine she had held rather than read. At length Mr. Lindsay led his wife to the sofa and sat beside her, holding her hand with a tenderness that was as soothing as it was uncommon. Prosperity had not hardened his heart, but business had preoccupied it; though his manner had been kind, his family had rarely seen in him any evidence ot feeling. Misfortune had now brought back the rule of his better nature, and the routine life he had led was at an end.

“My dear wife, what I have most dreaded in this crash is the pain, the anxiety, and the possible discomfort it would bring to you and to Clara. For myself I care nothing. It is a hard trial, but I shall conform to our altered circumstances cheerfully.”

“And so shall we, father,” said Clara. “We shall be happy with you anywhere.”

“One thing, I am sure, you can never lose,” said Mrs. Lindsay,—"and that is an honorable name.”

“I have tried to do my duty. I gave up only when I found I must. But my duty is not yet done.”

“Why, father?”

“My creditors have claims which I regard as sacred, and which must be paid, ultimately, at whatever sacrifice.”

“Won’t the property at the store be enough when you can sell it?” asked Mrs. Lindsay. “You have spoken of the quantity of goods you had on hand.”

“I can't say, my dear. It depends upon how much time I have. If I could have effected sales, I should have been safe.”

"If they have the goods, won’t they be satisfied?” asked Clara.

“You don't understand, my daughter, that all I have is at their command. If the property does not liquidate the debts, then the house, the carriage and horses, the furniture, the”——

The possible surrender of all that had made life pleasant to his family was not to be considered without emotion, and Mr. Lindsay found himself unable to finish the sentence.

“Dear father!" exclaimed Clara, seizing and kissing his hand, as she sat down at his feet,—“you are just and noble. We could not be selfish or complaining when we think of you. Let everything go. I love the dear old house, the garden that has been your pride, the books and pictures; but we shall be nearer together—shan’t we, papa?—in a cottage.

It they do sell my piano, I can still sing to you; nobody can take that pleasure from us.”

“Bless you, my daughter! I feel relieved,—almost happy. Your cheerful heart has given me new courage. Perhaps we shall not have to make the sacrifices I dread. Whatever happens, my darling, your piano shall be kept. I will sell my watch first. Your music will be twice as dear in our days of adversity.”

“Yes, papa,—if we keep the piano, I can give lessons.”

“You give lessons? Nonsense! But get up, pussy; here, sit on my knee.”

He fondled her like a child, and they all smiled through their tears,—heavenly smiles! blissful tears! full of a feeling of which the heart in prosperous days has no conception!

“One thing has happened to-day,” said Mr. Lindsay, “that I shall never forget, —an action so generous and self-forgetful that it makes one think better of mankind. I remember hearing a preacher say that no family knew all their capabilities of love until death had taken one of their number,—not their love for the dead, but their deeper affection for each other after the loss. I suppose every calamity brings its compensations in developing noble traits of character; and it is almost an offset to failure itself to have such an overflowing feeling as this,

—know that there are so many sympathizing hearts. But what I was going to speak of was the conduct of my clerk, Monroe. He is a fine fellow,—rather more given to pictures and books and music than is good for a business man; but with a clear head, a man’s energy, and a woman’s heart. He has a widowed mother, whom he supports. I never knew he had any property till to-day. It seems his father left ten thousand dollars. He knew that my situation was desperate, and yet he offered me his all. It would only have put off the day of failure; but I was selfish enough to be willing to take it. He had deposited the securities for the amount with Sandford, who first borrowed money in the street by pledging them, and then failed to-day. Monroe has lost his all; but his intention was as noble as if he had saved me. I shall never forget it; and as long as I have a dollar he shall share it.”

“What a noble fellow!” said Mrs. Lindsay. "How pleasant to think that in this terrible scramble for life there are some who have not lost their humanity, nor trampled down their finer feelings!"

“I couldn’t but contrast this kindness on the part of a clerk, for whom I have never done anything beyond paying him his well-earned salary, with the conduct of Mr. Bullion. I gave him my indorsement repeatedly, and assisted him in procuring loans, when he was not so rich as he is now. I know he has resources, ready money,—money that he does not need for any outstanding debts, but which he must keep for speculation. But he refused to do anything. 'Couldn’t,’ he said, 'really; times were hard; everybody wanted to borrow; couldn’t lend to everybody: hadn’t the funds; much as he could do to stand up himself.’ There was no sincerity in his look. I saw his soul skulking away behind his subterfuges like a spider in the depths of his flimsy web. He seems to thrive, however, in the midst of general ruin. I’ve no doubt he lives like a vulture, on the dead and dying.”

"Is Mr. Bullion that short man, father, with the cold eyes and gruff voice, and the queer eyebrow which he seems to poke at people?”

“Yes, my daughter, that is the man.”

“Well, I’m sure, he is coarse, disagreeable, hard-hearted. I’m glad you are not under obligations to him.”

My only regret is that I had the mortification of being refused. I wish I had never asked him. I can’t think of his look and tone without a pang of shame, or wounded pride, if you choose to call it so, harder to bear than a blow in the face. I had a claim upon his gratitude, but he remembers a favor no more than a wolf does the mutton he ate a year ago.—But enough of business. The bitterness has passed since we have talked together. Let us be cheerful. Come, Clara, sing some of those sweet old ballads!”

From her infancy until now in her twentieth year, Clara had been constantly with her father,—but she had never known him before.


EARLY next morning the officer in charge of Mr. Sandford’s house was relieved by a brother constable. Number Two was a much more civil person in speech and manner than Number One; in fact, he speedily made himself so agreeable to the housemaid that she brought him a cup of coffee, and looked admiringly while he swallowed it. By the time Mrs. Sandford and Marcia came down to breakfast, he had established an intimacy with Biddy that was quite charming to look upon. One would have thought he was an old friend of the household,—a favored crony; such an easy, familiar air he assumed. He accosted the ladies with great gallantry,—assured them that they were looking finely,—hoped they had passed a pleasant night, and that Number One had given them no unnecessary inconvenience. Marcia met him with a haughty stare which nobody but a woman of fashion can assume. Turning to Mrs. Sandford, she exclaimed,—

“Who is this fellow?”

Number Two hastened to answer for himself:—

“My name, Ma’am, is Scarum,—Harum Scarum some of the young lawyers call me. Ha!” (A single laugh, staccato.)

“Well, Mr. Scarum, you can keep your compliments for those who appreciate them. Come, Lydia, let us go down to breakfast. The presuming fool!” she exclaimed, as she passed through the hall, —“he’s worse than the other. One can put up with a coarse man, it he minds his own business; but an impudent, selfsatisfied fellow must be made to know his place.”

“High-strung filly! ha!” (Sforzan-do.) “May have to speak to common folks, yet,—eh, Miss Bridget?”

But further conversation was interrupted for the time. Bridget was summoned by the bell to the dining-room, and gallant Number Two was left alone in the parlor. Meanwhile he surveyed the room as minutely as if it had been a museum,—trying the rocking-chair, examining pictures, snapping vases with his unpared nails, opening costly books, smelling of scent-bottles, scanning the antiMacassars and the Berlin-wool mats. At last he opened the piano, and, in a lamentably halting style, played, “Then you’ll remember me,” using only a forefinger in the performance. He sang at the same time in a suppressed tone, while he cast agonizing looks at an imaginary obdurate female, supposed to be on the sofa, occasionally glancing with admiration in the mirror at the intensely pathetic look his features wore.

Marcia, meanwhile, had borne the noise as long as she could; so Biddy was dispatched to ask the singer if he would not please to do his practising at some other time.

“Practising, indeed!” exclaimed Number Two, indignantly, upon receiving the message. “There are people who think I can sing. These women, likely, a’n’t cultivated enough to appreciate the ’wayup music. They’re about up to that handorgan stuff of Sig-ner Róssyni, likely. They can’t understand Balfy; they a’n’t up to it. What do you think, Miss Bridget? Nice figger, that of yours.” (Sotto voce.) “None of the tall, spindlin’, waspwaisted, race-horse style about you, like that” (pointing down-stairs). “A good plump woman for me! and a woman with an ear, too! Now you know what good singin’ is. I led the choir down to Jorumville ’bove six months b’fore I come down here and went into the law. But she thinks I was practising! Ha!” (Sempre staccato.)

“La! did ye?” said the admiring Biddy.

Tinkle, tinkle, again. Biddy was now summoned to call Charles, and see if he would breakfast. Number Two made another tour of the room, with new discoveries. While absorbed in this pleasing employment, the two women passed upstairs. Marcia could not restrain herself, as she saw him with her favorite bird-of-paradise fan.

“Don’t spoil those feathers, you meddlesome creature!”

“Beg your pardon, Ma’am” (with an elaborate bow). “Merely admirin’ the colors. Pretty sort of a thing, this ’ere! ’Most too light and fuzzy for a duster, a’n’t it? Feathers ben dyed, most likely? Willin’ to ’bleege the fair, however, especially one so handsome.” (Rubbing it on his coat-sleeve.) “Guess ’t a'n't got dirty any.”

Charles, meanwhile, had risen and dressed, and came out when Bridget knocked; a spectacle, indeed,—a walking sermon on the perils that may follow what are termed “good times.” His face would have been pale, except that his nose, which was as puffy as an omelette soufflée, and his left eye with a drooping lid sustained by a livid crescent, gave it a rubicund expression. His knees were shaky, his pulse feeble, his head top-heavy. He declined assistance rather sulkily, and descended holding by the stair-rail and stepping gingerly. Number Two, in spite of his genial, unruffled temper, could not repress his surprise, as the apparition passed the parlor-door.

“A rum customer! Ha!” (Con anima.)

Before the repentant owner of the puffy nose and purple eyelid had finished his solitary breakfast, Mr. Sandford came home. He had obtained bail and was at large. Looking hastily into the parlor, he saw a stranger, with his hat jauntily on one side, seated in the damask-covered chair, with his feet on an embroidered ottoman, turning over a bound collection of sea-mosses, and Marcia’s guitar lying across his lap. He was dumb with astonishment Polite Number Two did not leave him to burst in ignorance.

“All right. Mr. Sandford, I suppose. An ’tachment put on, and I’m keeper. Sorry to disturb a family. But somebody has to. Can I do anything to obleege you?”

“Yes, by laying down that book which you are spoiling. And you may take your greasy boots off that worsted-work, and put the stopper into that Bohemianglass bottle.”

“Beg your pardon, Sir. Didn’t intend to make trouble. Boots has to be greased, you know, else they crack all out, an’ don’t last no time; mine do. This ’ere Cologne is nice, to be sure.

I jest poured out a bit on my pockethandkercher.”

“Cologne! It’s attar of roses; and you’ve spilled more than your neck is worth,—taking yourself at your own valuation.”

“Why, you don’t say this is high-cost? It does smell good, though, ha!”

As he started to go up-stairs, Mr. Sandford saw the linen carpet-cover spattered with frequent drops of blood. He called aloud to his sister,—

“Marcia! are you there? alive? What’s the meaning of this blood? Who has been murdered? Or is this turned into a butcher’s shop?”

Marcia and her sister-in-law descended, and hurriedly explained the mystery. While they were standing at the head of the stairs, Charles made his appearance, and received such congratulations from his brother as might be expected. He vouchsafed no word of reply, but went into the room where he had slept to get some article he had left. A sudden thought struck Mr. Sandford. He followed Charles into the room, and in a moment after returned,—but so changed! Imagine Captain Absolute at the duelling-ground turned in a twinkling into Bob Acres, Lucy Bertram putting on the frenzied look of Meg Merrilies, or the even-tempered Gratiano metamorphosed into the horror-stricken, despairing Shylock at the moment he hears his sentence, and you have some notion of the expression which Sandford's face wore. His eyes were fixed like baleful lights in a haggard, corpse-like countenance. His hair was disordered. He clutched his cravat as though suffocating. His voice was gone; he whispered feebly, like one of Ossian’s ghosts,—

“Gone! gone! Who has it? Marcia! Lydia! Charles! Who’s got it? Quick! The money! Gone?”

He rushed into the room again, deaf to any reply. He got upon his hands and knees, looked under the bed, the wardrobe, the dressing-table, the chairs, muttering all the while with a voice like a dying man’s. He rose up, staggering, and seized Marcia by the arm, who trembled with terror at his ferocity.

“The money! Give me the money! You’ve got it! You know you have! Give it to me! Give”—

“Pray, be calm,” said Mrs. Sandford; “you shall know all about it."

“I don’t want to know,” he almost screamed; “I want the money, the money!”

Then dropping his voice to a lower key, and with a tone which was meant to be wheedling, he turned to his sisterin-law:—

“You’ve got it, then? How you frightened me! Come, dear sister! don't trifle with me. I’m poor, very poor, and the little sum seems large. Give it to me. Let me see that it is safe. Dear sister!”

“I haven’t it,” said Mrs. Sandford. “But compose yourself. You shall know about it.”

He cried audibly, like a sickly child.

"It isn’t gone? No, you play upon my fears. Where is the pocket-book?”

“How are you ever going to know, if you won’t hear?” asked Marcia. “I wouldn’t be so unmanly as to whine so even about a million.”

“No, you think money is as plenty as buttons. Wait till you starve,—starve,— till you beg on a street-crossing."

“Listen,” said Mrs. Sandford.

“Do, and stop your groaning like a madman,” said Marcia, consolingly. “When Charles met with his mishap and fell senseless, we asked the officer to carry him up-stairs. Rather than go up another flight, we had him taken into your chamber. Your dressing-case lay on the table, in the middle of the room, away from its usual place by the mirror. The officer at once seized and opened it. You had carelessly left your money in it. He was evidently informed of the fact that you had money, and was directed to attach it. He counted the package before me, and then put it into his pocket.”

During this recital, Mr. Sandford's breath came quick and his eyes opened wider. His muscles all at once seemed charged with electricity. He dashed down-stairs, half-a-dozen steps at a time, and pounced upon unlucky Number Two, who, with the captivated Biddy, was leaning at the parlor-door, listening to the conversation above. Seizing the officer by the throat, Sandford shouted huskily,—

“Robber! thief! Give up that money! How dare you? Give it up, I say!”

Number Two could not answer, for his windpipe was mortally squeezed under the iron grip of his adversary; therefore, as the only reply he could make, he commenced the manual exercise right and left, and with such effect, that Sandford loosened his hold and staggered back.

“There! I guess you've got enough on’t. What ye talkin’ about money? I a’n’t got any of your money.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Sandford, who had followed the infuriated man, though necessarily at some distance, came and grasped his arm.

“The man who seized the money is gone,” she said. “This is the one who takes his place.”

Sandford was speechless,—but not long. While hope remained, he had whined, begged, cried, implored. Now that he was baffled, discomfited, ruined, his rage broke out. The placid gentleman, whose glossy garb and quiet air a day before made such a picture of content, would hardly be recognized in this furious, gesticulating lunatic, whose oaths and objurgations came belching forth like sulphurous flames. It was on his gentle sister-in-law that the weight of his wrath fell. She tried to pacify him, until she became actually alarmed for her safety, and turned to fly.

“Go!” he exclaimed. “You’ve done enough. You’ve ruined me. Pack off! You’ve beggared me. Now look out for yourself! Don’t let me see your lace again!”

Trembling and tearful, Mrs. Sandford went to her room to gather her wardrobe. She had not intended to remain a burden upon her brother-in-law. Now she must go at once. Even if he were to repent of his blind rage and ask her forgiveness, she felt that there was an impassable gulf between them.

During the confusion that followed, Number Two, feeling hungry, went down with Biddy to lunch.

“It’s about the last ov it here, Sirr,” said the girl, “an’ we may as well ate what is good and dhrink something betther than cold wather.”

So saying, the best the house afforded was set out; wines of rare vintages were uncorked, and glasses hob-a-nobbed.

Mr. Sandford, exhausted with his delirium, went to his room, and there languidly paced the floor back and forth, without cessation, like a caged white bear in midsummer. Charles crawled up to his own bed. Marcia remained in the parlor, her busy brain turning over the unusual events of the day, and wondering what loop-hole of escape from their present difficulties could be found.


THE door-bell rang. Biddy, occupied with her pleasing duties as hostess, and flushed with drinking crusty old Port and “Lafitte 1844,” did not hear. Some sudden impulse or vague prescience moved Marcia to open the door herself. It was Greenleaf. Notwithstanding the untoward state of affairs, she could not deny herself the pleasure of meeting him, and ushered him into the parlor, then fortunately vacant.

A cooler observer would have noticed something peculiar in his carriage as he crossed the hall,—an unnatural pallor, a sharpness in the angles of his mouth, a quicker respiration, and a look of mingled firmness and sorrow in his eyes. A stranger might have thought him in a state of chronic nervous irritability or mild insanity. And truly, a sensitive man, perplexed between conflicting duties, spurred by conscience, yet wanting in courage to do its bidding, presents a pitiable spectacle; it is a position of sharp suspense which no mind can hold long; —relief must come, in heart-break or darkness, if in no other way.

When Greenleaf parted from Marcia, the morning before, he intended to wait a week at least before telling her of his changed feelings. He did not know what a burden he had undertaken to carry; he staggered under it, like the pilgrim in Bunyan’s immortal story. Besides, after he had once come to a determination, he was impatient to see Alice and implore her forgiveness. Minutes were days while he waited. To pass a week in this way was not to be thought of, unless by means of ether or mesmerism he could fly from himself and find peace in oblivion.

“My dear George,” Marcia began, “it is so kind of you to come with your sympathy! We are dreadfully cast down. What is to be done I don’t know.”

“You surprise me! What has happened? I have scarcely been out of my studio since I last saw you.”

“But it’s in all the papers!”

“I haven’t seen a paper.”

“What I told you yesterday has come to pass. Henry has failed; so has the Vortex,—and Mr. Fayerweather, the President,—and Mr. Stearine,—and everybody else, I believe. We shall probably leave the house and take lodgings.”

Every word was a pang to Greenleaf. Again his heart, full of sympathy for the woman’s distress, whispered, “Wait! don’t wound the stricken deer!” But he hugged his resolve and steeled himself against pity.

“I am truly sorry to hear of your brother’s misfortunes. But with his talents and reputation, and with his troops of friends in business circles as well as in the various charitable societies it cannot be that he will long be depressed. He will work his way back to his old position, or even a higher one.”

Marcia shook her head doubtfully. She had not heard the rumors affecting her brother’s integrity, but she saw that his manly resolution was gone, that he was vacillating, broken-spirited, and needed but little more trouble to make him imbecile.

“I was thinking of a case of conscience, as I came here,” said Greenleaf. “It was, How far a promise, is binding, when it involves a lasting and irretrievable wrong in its fulfilment.”

Marcia looked at him in dumb astonishment. He continued:—

“Suppose that you were to find, byand-by, that your affections had cooled towards me,—that you discovered incompatibilities of taste and temper,—that you felt sure a true union of souls was impossible,—that marriage would be only a mockery?”

“Dear George, how you frighten me! Why do you ask such dreadful questions in such a solemn way? You know I love you, heart and soul.”

“But consider the question as an abstract one. I ask you only to suppose the case. Should you thrust conscience into the cellar, stifle its outcries, and give your consent to a profanation of holy wedlock?”

“I can’t suppose the case. And I don’t see the use of torturing one’s self with imaginary evils. The real troubles of life are quite enough to bear.”

“I know such a case. I know a man who has to decide it. It is not a light matter for any man, and his is a soul as sensitive as God ever made. He was betrothed to a woman every way worthy; he loved her sincerely. His chief fault, and a serious one it is, came from his susceptibility to fresh impressions. The pleasure of the present had more power over him than any recollections of the past. The influence of the living woman at his side was greater, for the moment, than that of any absent love. In an evil hour, he committed himself to another. She was, doubtless, formed to inspire his passion and to return it. But he was not free, and had no right to linger on forbidden ground. For weeks, nay, months, he lived this false and wicked life, of a different mind every day, and lacking the courage to meet the difficulty. At last he became sure that his love belonged where his faith was due,—that, if he would not live a wretched hypocrite, he must humble himself to confess his criminal weakness, and return to his first engagement.”

He paused; he might well do so. Marcia, with some difficulty, was able to say, through her chattering teeth,—

“You seem to take a deep interest in this weak-minded person.”

“I do,—the deepest. I am the man.”

She rose to her feet, and, looking scornfully down upon him, exclaimed,—

“Then you acknowledge yourself a villain!—not from premeditation, which would give your baseness some dignity, but a weakly fool, so tossed about by Fate that he is made a villain without either desire or resistance!”

“You may overwhelm me with reproaches; I am prepared for them; I deserve them. But God only knows through what a season of torture I have passed to come to this determination.”

"A very ingenious story, Mr. Greenleaf! Do you suppose that the world will believe it, the day after our losses? Do you expect me to believe it, even?”

“I told you that I had not heard of the failure. I am in the habit of being believed.”

“For instance, when you vowed that you loved me, and me only!”

“You may spare your taunts. But, to show you how mercenary I am, let me assure you that the woman to whom my word is pledged, and to whom I must return, is without any property or expectations.”

"Very well, Sir,” said Marcia, rubbing her hands, in the endeavor to conceal her agitation; “we need not waste words. After what you have told me, I could only despise such a whiffler,—a scrap of refuse iron at the mercy of any magnet, —a miller dashing into every light. A lover so helpless must needs have some new passional attraction—that is the phrase, I believe—with every changing moon. The man I love should be made of different stuff.” She drew her figure up proudly, and her lips curled like a beautiful fiend’s. "He should bury the disgraceful secret, if he had it, in his heart, and carry it to his grave. He would not cry out like a boy with a cut finger.”

“Precisely, Miss Sandford. And for that reason you would be no mate for me. My wife must have no skeletons in her closet.”

“Men generally claim the monopoly of those agreeable toys, I believe.”

“Love is impossible where there are concealments. A secret is like a worm in the heart of an apple, and nothing but rottenness and corruption follow.”

“Fortunately, you harbor none. You have turned your heart inside out, like a peddler's pack,—and a gratifying display it made! I am more than satisfied.”

“The tone you have adopted is a warning to me to stop. I wish to bandy no epithets, or reproaches. I came sorrowfully to tell you what I have told. I had no fault to impute to you. But I must confess that this morning you have shown yourself capable of thoughts and feelings I never suspected, and I shall leave you with a far lighter heart than I came.”

“You expected to see me at your feet, imploring your love and striving to melt you by tears,—did you? It would have been a pleasing triumph,—one that your sex prizes, I believe; but you have not been gratified. I know what is due to myself, and I do not stoop. But there may be ways to punish the betrayer of confidence,” she said, with a heaving bosom and distended nostrils. “I have a brother; and even if he is forgetful, I shall not forget.”

“I am obliged to you for putting me on my guard. I wished to part otherwise. Be it so, since you will.”

He turned to leave the room. Swift as lightning, she ran to the front door and braced herself against it, at the same time calling loudly to her brother. Mr. Sandford came to the top of the stairs and listened with apparent apathy, while the maddened woman poured out her rage. He stood a moment like one in a dream, and then slowly came down.

“There is your cane,” said Marcia, fiercely, pointing to the umbrella-stand.

“I give you fair warning,” said Greenleaf, calmly, “that you will never strike more than one blow. No man shall assault me but at the risk of his life.”

“What is the need of this fury?” asked Mr. Sandford. “I don’t want to quarrel with a pauper. You are well rid of him. If you were to be married, you’d only have the pleasure of going to Deer Island for your bridal trip.”

“Then you will see me insulted without lifting a finger? Coward! Broken down like a weed for the loss of a little money! I should be ashamed to have a beard, if I had such a timid soul!"

“I trust, Miss Sandford,” said Greenleaf, “you do not wish to prolong this scene. Let me pass.”

"Oh, yes,—you can go; can’t he, brother?”

She opened the door, looking scornfully from the one to the other.

At that moment Mrs. Sandford came down, bringing a satchel, and asked Greenleaf to walk with her until she could get a carriage. He cheerfully promised his aid, and took the satchel. Her eyes were sadly beautiful, and still humid from recent tears; and her face wore a touching look of resignation. She did not speak to Mr. Sandford, who stood scowling at her; but, taking Marcia's hand, she said,—

“Good bye, sister! I never thought to leave you in this way. I hope we shall never see a darker hour. I shall send for my trunks presently. Good bye!”

“Good bye!” replied Marcia, mechanically. “You have a brave gallant! See to it that he is not compelled by Destiny to make love to you on the way!”

Greenleaf, with his companion, descended the steps to the street, making no reply to this amiable God-speed.

Marcia shut the door, and with her brother returned to the parlor. At the head of the stairs that led to the diningroom stood Number Two and Biddy, who in stupid wonder had witnessed the scenes just described.

“Bridget,” exclaimed the enraged mistress, “what are you staring at? Come here! Pah! you have been drinking! You, too, you creature!”

Number Two bowed with maudlin politeness.

“You-do-m'injustice, Ma’am. On’y a smallsup, a littlesup, ponmyhonorasgen'l'man.”

“Bridget, do you pack up your baggage and be off! Rioting and feasting in the time of our trouble! Ungrateful hussy!”

“I’ll do that same, Miss Marshy; but me waages, if ye plaze, Miss.”

“Get your wages, if you can. You’ve broken more crockery and glass, and wasted more wines and preserves, than you ever earned.”

“That’s always the way, Miss, I’ve noticed, when missuses was o’ mind to get claar of payin’ the honest dues. But me brother”—

“Be off to your brother! But first go and cool your head under the waterfaucet.”

Muttering and whining, the disconsolate Biddy crept up to the attic for her scanty wardrobe.

“Here, fellow!” said Marcia to Number Two, whose foolish smiles at any other time would have been ludicrous,—“go into the kitchen and get sober.”

He obeyed like a spaniel.

“Now, Henry,” said Marcia, rather more composed, “let us do something at once. It's plain that we can’t live here for the house will be stripped; and in our circumstances we would not stay, if we could. That fellow is so far stupefied that we can save what we can carry away. If you have any spirit left, help me pack our clothes and such things as can be put into our trunks. Come! are you dreaming?”

He started up and followed her like a child. With superhuman energy, she ransacked the house and gathered the most valuable articles. Plate, linen, dresses, Parian ware, books, furs, and jewelry were packed, as securely as the time allowed. A carriage and a baggagewagon were ordered, and in an incredibly short period they were ready to start.

“We have forgotten Charles,” said Mr. Sandford.

“True enough,” said Marcia. “Go and call him; he is too handsome to be spared from our party just now. Tell him to bring his clothes.”

The penitent came down, reluctantly; his nose was still puffy, and the crescent under his eye rather more livid; muffled and cloaked, he was led to the carriage. Mr. Sandford then remembered the cherished parchment certificates and votes of thanks,—his title-deeds to distinction.

“Leave them,” said his sister, contemptuously. “What are they good for? A few commonplace autographs in tarnished gilt frames.”

Bridget, meanwhile, went off, threatening all sorts of reprisals on the part of her brother, who “wouldn’t see her imposed upon by the likes of thim, not he!” From the kitchen, at intervals, came up doleful snatches of “Then you’ll remember me,” interrupted by hiccoughs, and with involuntary variations and cadenzas that would have driven “Balfy” mad.

All was ready and they drove off. The house wherein had lived a Benefactor of Mankind was deserted.


GREENLEAF found a carriage for Mrs. Sandford, and accompanied her to a private boarding-house, where she took lodgings; he then sent the driver back for her trunks, and, having seen her comfortably provided for, returned to his own rooms,—but not to remain there. He desired only to leave a message on his door, explaining his absence. In less than an hour he was in the railway-train, on his way to Innisfield.

To the musing or drowsy traveller by rail how space and time are annihilated! He is barely conscious of progress, only when the brakeman with measured tone shouts the name of the station; he looks up from his paper or rouses from his doze, looks out at the cheerless prospect, and then settles himself for another thirty miles. Time passes as unobserved as the meadows or bushy pastures that flit by the jarring window at his ear. But with Greenleaf, the reader will believe, the case was far different. He had never noticed before how slowly the locomotives really moved. At each station where wood and water were to be taken, it seemed to him the delay was interminable. His eager desire shot along the track like electricity; and when at last he reached the place where he was to leave the train, he had gone through a year of ordinary hopes and fears. He mounted the stage-box and took his seat beside the buffalo-clad, coarsebearded, and grim driver. The road lay through a hilly country, with many romantic views on either hand. It was late in the season to see the full glories of autumn; but the trees were not yet bare, and in many places the contrasts of color were exquisite. For once the driver found his match; he had a passenger as taciturn as himself. For the first few miles not a word was spoken, saving a few brief threats to the horses; but at last Jehu could hold out no longer; his reputation was in danger, if he allowed any one to be more silent than himself, and he cautiously commenced a skirmish.

“From Boston?”

A nod was the only reply.

“Belong about here?”

“No,” with a shake of the head.

“Ben up here afore, though, I guess?”


“Thought I remembered. Year or so ago?”


“Had a great white cotton umbrill, a box like a shoe-kit, and suthin’ like a pair o' clo’es-frames?”

Greenleaf could but smile at the description of his easel and artist’s outfit; still he contented himself with a brief assent.

“Keeps tight as the bark to a whiteoak,” muttered Jehu to himself “Guess I’ll try him on t’other side, seein’ he’s so offish.”

Then aloud,—

“Knowed Square Lee, I b’lieve?”

“Yes,” thundered Greenleaf, looking furiously at the questioner.

The glance frightened Jehu’s soul from the red-curtained windows, where it had been peeping out, back to its hiding-place, wherever that might be.

“Well, yer needn’t bite a feller’s head off,” muttered he, in the same undertone as before. “And if ye want to keep to yerself, shet up yer darned oyster-shell, and see how much you make by it. Not more’n four and sixpence, I guess. Maybe you’ll come back ’bout’s wise as ye come.”

Thenceforward, Buffalo-coat was grim; his admonitions to the horses were a trifle more emphatic; once he whistled a fragment of a minor stave, but spoke not a word till the coach reached the taverndoor.

“You can drive to Mr. Lee’s house,” said Greenleaf.

“Want to go where he is?” replied Jehu, with a sardonic grin. “Wal, I’m goin’ past the meetin’us, and I’ll set ye down at the graveyard.”

“What do you mean?” asked Greenleaf, between anger and terror, at this brutal jest.

“Why, he’s dead, you know, and ben layin’ up there on the side-hill a fortnight.”

“Take me to the house, nevertheless.” “Lee’s house? ’Siah Stebbins, the lame shoemaker, he’s jest moved into’t. Miss Stebbins, she can’t ’commodate ye, most likely; got too many children; a’n’t over an’ above neat, nuther.”

“Where is Miss Lee,—Alice,—his daughter?”

“Wal, can’t say;—gone off, I b’lieve.”

“She has relatives here, has she not?”

“Guess not; never heerd of any.”

With a heavy heart, Greenleaf alighted at the tavern. Mr. Lee dead! Alice left alone without friends, and now gone! The thought stunned, overpowered him. While he had been treading the paths of dalliance, forgetful of his obligations, the poor girl had passed through the great trial of her life, the loss of her only parent and protector,—had met the awful hour alone. Hardly conscious of what he did, he went to the churchyard and sought for a new-made grave. The whole scene was pictured to his imagination with startling vividness. He saw the fond father on his death-bed, leaving the orphan to the kindness of strangers to his blood,—the daughter weeping, disconsolate, the solitary mourner at the funeral,—the desolate house,—the well-meant, but painful sympathy of the villagers. He, meanwhile, who should have cheered and sustained her, was afar off, neglectful, recreant to his vows. Could he ever forgive himself? What would he not give for one word from the dumb lips, for one look from the eyes now closed forever?

But regrets were useless; his first duty was to the living; he must hasten to find Alice. But how, where? It occurred to him that the village lawyer was probably administrator of the estate, and could tell him where Alice was. He went, therefore, to the lawyer’s office. It was shut, and a placard informed him that Mr. Blank was attending court at the county-seat. The lawyer’s housekeeper said that “Alice was to Boston, with some relation or other,—a Mr. Monroe, she believed his name was, but couldn’t say for sartin. The Square could tell; but he wouldn’t be back for three or four days.”

Leaving his card, with a request that Mr. Blank would communicate to him Alice’s address, Greenleaf hired a conveyance to the railway. He could not remain in Innisfield an hour; it was a tomb, and the air stifled him. On his way, he had ample opportunity to consider what a slender clue he had to find the girl; for he thought of the long column of Monroes in the "Directory"; and, besides, he did not feel sure that the housekeeper had correctly remembered the name, even.

We leave the repentant lover to follow on the track of Alice, assured that he will receive sufficient punishment for his folly in the remorse and anxiety he must feel.

It is quite time that our neglected heroine should appear upon the stage. Gentle Alice, orphaned, deserted, lonely; it is not from any distrust as to her talents, her manners, or her figure, that she has been made to wait so long for the callboy. The curtain rises. A fair-haired girl of medium height, light of frame, with a face in whose sad beauty is blended the least perceptible trace of womanly resolution. She has borne the heaviest sorrow; for when she followed her father to the grave she buried the last object of her love. The long, inexcusable silence of Greenleaf had been explained to her; she now believed him faithless, and had (not without a pang) striven to uproot his memory from her heart. Courageous, but with more than the delicacy of her sex, strong only in innocence and greatheartedness, mature in character and feeling, but with fresh and tender sensibility, she appeals to all manly and womanly sympathy.

When the last ties that bound her to her native village were broken, she accepted the hearty invitation of her cousin, Walter Monroe, and went with him to Boston. The house at once became a home to her. Mrs. Monroe received her us though she had been a daughter. Such a pretty, motherless child,—so loving, so sincere! How could the kind woman repress the impulse to fold her to her bosom? Not even her anxiety to retain undivided possession of her son's heart restrained her. So Alice lived, quiet, affectionate, but undemonstrative, as was natural after the trials she had passed. Insensibly she became “the angel in the house”; mother and son felt drawn to her by an irresistible attraction. By every delicate kindness, by attention to even wish and whim, by glances full of admiration and tenderness, both showed the power which her beauty and goodness exerted. And, truly, she was worthy of the homage. The younger men who saw her were set aflame at once, or sighed afar in despair; while the elderly felt an unaccountable desire to pat her golden head, pinch her softly-rounded cheek, and call her such pet-names as their fatherly character and gray hair allowed.

Fate had not yet done its worst; there were other troubles in store for the orphan. She knew little of her kinsman’s circumstances, but supposed him to be at least beyond the reach of want. But not many days passed before the failure of Sandford deprived him of his little patrimony, and the suspension of Mr. Lindsay left him without employment. That evening, when Walter came home, she unwillingly heard the conversation between him and his mother in an adjoining room; and then she knew that her kind friends were destitute. Her resolution was at once formed. With as cheerful an air as she could assume, she took her place at the tea-table, and in the conversation afterwards strove to hide her desolate heart-sickness. On going to her room, she packed her simple wardrobe, not without many tears, and then, with only indifferent success, tried to compose her scattered senses in sleep.

Next morning she strove to appear calm and cheerful, but a close scrutiny might have detected the effort,–a deeper sorrow, perhaps, about the heavy eyelids, and certainly a firmer pressure of the sometimes tremulous lips. But Walter was too much occupied with the conflict of his own feelings to observe her closely. While his mother was engaged in her housewifely duties, he took Alice’s hand, and for the first time spoke of his losses, but expressed himself confident of obtaining a new situation, and begged her to dismiss any apprehensions from her mind. She turned her face that he might not see the springing tears. He went on:—

“The sharpest pang I feel, Alice, is in the thought, that, with the loss of my little fortune, and with my present gloomy prospects, I cannot say to you what I would,—I cannot tell you what is nearest my heart. Since you came here, our sombre house has grown bright. As I have looked at you, I have dared to promise myself a happiness which before I had never conceived possible.”

He hesitated.

“Don’t, dear Walter! I beg of you, don’t venture upon that subject!”

“Why? is it painful to you?”

“Inexpressibly! You are generous and good. I love and honor you as my cousin, my friend, my protector. Do not think of a nearer relationship.”

Walter stood irresolute.

“Some other time, dear Alice,” he faltered out. “I don’t wish to pain you, and I have no courage to-day.”

“Let me be frank, Cousin Walter. Under other circumstances, I would not anticipate the words I saw trembling on your lips. But even if the memory of my poor father were not so fresh, I could not hear you.” She hid her face as she went on. “I have received a wound from the faithlessness of one lover which never will heal. I could not repay your love. I have no heart to give you.”

Thus far she had controlled her feelings, when, kissing his hand with sudden fervor, she burst into tears, and hastily left the room.

She waited till Walter went out; then she wrote a brief note and placed it on the library-table at his favorite corner, and, after bidding Mrs. Monroe good morning, went out as though for a walk. Frequently she looked back with tearful eyes at the home she felt constrained to leave; but gathering her strength, she turned away and plunged into the current that set down Washington Street.

Brave heart! alone in a great city, whose people were too much engrossed with their own distresses and apprehensions to give heed to the sufferings of others! Alone among strangers, she must seek a home and the means of support. Who would receive an unknown, friendless girl? Who, in the terrible palsy of trade, would furnish her employment?


THERE was naturally great surprise when Walter Monroe returned home to dinner and Alice was found to be missing. It was evident that it was not an accidental detention, for her trunk had been sent for an hour previous, and the messenger either could not or would not give any information as to her whereabouts. Mrs. Monroe was excessively agitated,—her faculties lost in a maze, like one beholding an accident without power of thought or motion. To Walter it was a heavy blow; he feared that his own advances had been the occasion of her leaving the house, and he reproached himself bitterly for his headlong folly. Their dinner was a sad and cheerless meal; the mother feeling all a woman’s solicitude for a friendless girl; the son filled with a tumult of sorrow, remorse, love, and pity.

“Poor Alice!” said Mrs. Monroe; “perhaps she has found no home.”

“Don’t, mother! The thought of her in the streets, or among suspicions strangers, or vulgar people, is dreadful. We must leave no means untried to find her. Did she leave no word, no note?” "No,—none that I know of.”

“Have you looked?”

She shook her head. Walter left his untasted food, and hastily looked in the hall, then in the parlor, and at last in the library. There was the note in her own delicate hand.


“Don’t be offended. I cannot eat the bread of idleness now that your fortune is gone and your salary stopped. If I need your assistance, you will hear from me. Comfort your mother, and believe that I shall be happier earning my own living. We shall meet in better times. God bless you both for your kindness to one who had no claim upon you! “ALICE.”

“The dear creature!” said Mrs. Monroe, taking the note and kissing it.

“Why did you let her trunk go, mother? You might have detained the man who came for it, and sent for me. I would have followed him to the ends of the earth.”

“I don’t know, my son. I was confused. I hardly knew what happened. I shook so that I sat down, and Bridget must have got it.”

Tears ran down her cheeks, and her hands trembled so that her fork dropped.

“Never mind, dear mother. Pray, be calm. I did not wish to disturb you.”

There was a ring at the door. A gentleman wished to see Mr. Monroe. Rising from the table, he went into the parlor.

“Mr. Monroe,” began the stranger, in an agitated manner, “do you know anything of a young lady named Lee,— Alice Lee?”

“Yes,” replied Monroe, with equal excitement, “I know her well. What of her? Where is she? Have you found her?”

“Found her?” said the other, with surprise. “Is she not here?”

“No,—she left this morning.”

“And left no word where she was going?”


“Let me beg of you not to trifle with me. Did she not hear my voice, my step, and attempt to excuse herself through you?”

“Sir!” exclaimed Walter.

“I beg pardon. I have been in search of her for two days. I could not believe she had eluded me just at the last. I do not wish to doubt your word.”

“And who may you be, Sir, to take such an interest in the lady?”

“I can satisfy you fully. My name is Greenleaf.”

“The painter?

“Yes. You must have heard her speak of me.”

“Never, to my recollection.”

“Have you known her long?”

“She is my cousin. It is only recently that she came here, and her acquaintances of a year ago might naturally have been passed over.”

“You seem surprised at her leaving you so abruptly. You will join me in making search for her?”

“I shall search for her, myself, as long as there is hope.”

“Let me confess,” said Greenleaf, “that I have the strongest reasons for my haste. She is betrothed to me.”

“Since you have honored me with your confidence, I will return it, so far as to tell you what I heard from her this morning. I think I can remember the precise words:—'I have received a wound from the faithlessness of one lover, which never will heal.’ If you are the person, I hope the information will be as agreeable to you as her absence and ill-judging independence are to me. I wish you good morning.”

“Then she has heard!” said Greenleaf, soliloquizing. “I am justly punished.” Then aloud. “I shall not take offence at your severity of tone. I have but one thought now. Good morning!”

He left the house, like one in a dream. Alice, homeless in the streets this bitter day,—seeking for a home in povertystricken boarding-houses,—asking for work from tailors or milliners,—exposed to jeers, coarse compliments, and even to utter want!—the thought was agony. The sorrows of a whole life were concentrated in this one hour. He walked on, frantically, peering under every bonnet as he passed, looking wistfully in at the shop-windows, expecting every moment to encounter her sad, reproachful face.

Walter had been somewhat ill for several days, and the accumulation of misfortunes now pressed upon him heavily. He did not tell his mother of the strange interview, but sat down moodily by the grate, in the library. He was utterly perplexed where in the city to search for Alice; and with his mental depression came a bodily infirmity and nervousness that made him incapable of effort. An hour passed in gloomy reverie,—drifting without aim upon a shoreless ocean, under a sullen sky,—when he was roused by the entrance of Easelmann.

“In the dumps? I declare, Monroe, I shouldn’t have thought it of you.”

“I am really ill, my friend.”

“Pooh! Don’t let your troubles make you believe that. Cheer up. You'll find employment presently, and you’ll be surprised to find how well you are.”

“I hope I shall be able to make the experiment.”

“Well, suppose you walk out with me. There is a tailor I want you to see.”

“A tailor? I can’t sew or use shears, either.”

“No,—nor sit cross-legged; I know that. But this tailor is no common Snip. He is a man of ideas and character. He has something to propose to you.”

“Indeed! I am much obliged to you. To-morrow I will go with you; but, really, I feel too feeble to-day,” said Monroe, languidly.

“Well, as you please; to-morrow it shall be. How is your mother?”

“Quite well, I thank you.”

“And the pretty cousin, likewise, I hope?”

“She was quite well this morning.”

“Isn’t she at home?”

“No,—she has gone out.”

“Confound you, Monroe! you have never let me have a glimpse of her. Now I am not a dangerous person; quite harmless, in fact; received trustfully by matrons with grown-up daughters. You needn’t hide her.”

“I don’t know. Some young ladies are quite apt to be fascinated by elderly gentlemen who know the world and still take an interest in society.”

“Yes,—a filial sort of interest, a grand-daughterly reverence and respect. The sight of gray hair is a wonderful antidote to any tenderer feeling.”

“I am very sorry not to oblige you; but the truth is, that Cousin Alice, hearing of my losses, has left the house abruptly, to earn her own living, and we do not know where she has gone.”

“The independent little minx! Now I rather like that. There’s the proper spirit. She’ll take good care of herself, I haven’t a doubt.”

“But it is a most mortifying step to us. It is a reflection upon our hospitality. I would have worked my fingers off for her.”

“No doubt. But she will merely turn hers into nutmeg-graters, by pricking them with her needle, and save you from making stumps of your own. Oh, never fear,—we shall find her presently. I’ll make a description of her, and leave it with all the slop-shop fellows. ‘Strayed or stolen: A young lady answering to the name of Alice; five feet and no inches; dressed in black; pale, blue-eyed, smiles when properly spoken to; of no use to any person but the owner. One thousand dollars reward, and no questions asked.’ Isn’t that it? It won’t be necessary to add, that the disconsolate advertiser is breaking his heart on account of her absence."

“My dear Easelmann, I know your kindly heart; but I cannot be rallied out of this depression. I have only the interest of a cousin, a friend, a protector, in the girl; but her going away, after my other misfortunes, has plunged me into an abyss. I can’t be cheerful.”

“One word more, my dear fellow, and I go. You know I threatened to bore you every day; but I sha’n’t continue the terebrations long at a time. You told me about the way your notes were disposed of. Now they are yours, beyond question, and you can recover them from the holder; he has no lien upon them whatever, for Sandford was not authorized to pledge them. It’s only a spoiling of the Egyptians to fleece a broker.”

“Perhaps the notes themselves are worthless, or will be. Nearly everybody has failed; the rest will go shortly.”

“I see you are incurable; the melancholy fit must have its course, I suppose. But don’t hang yourself with your handkerchief, nor drown yourself in your wash-basin. Good bye!

On his way down Washington Street, Easelmann met his friend Greenleaf, whom he had not seen before for many days.

“Whither, ancient mariner? That haggard face and glittering eye of yours might hold the most resolute passer-by.”

“You, Easelmann! I am glad to see you. I am in trouble.”

“No doubt; enthusiastic people always are. You fretted your nurse and your mother, your schoolmaster, your mistress, and, most of all, yourself. A sharp sword cuts its own scabbard.”

“She is gone,—left me without a word.”

“Who, the Sandford woman? I always told you she would.”

“No,—I left her, though not so soon as I should.”

“A fine story! She jilted you.”

“No,—on my honor. I’ll tell you about it some other time. But Alice, my betrothed, I have lost her forever.”

“Melancholy Orpheus, how? Did you look over your shoulder, and did she vanish into smoke?”

“It is her father who has gone, over the Styx. She is in life; but she has heard of my flirtation”—

“And served you right by leaving you. Now you will quit capering in a lady’s chamber, and go to work, a sadder and a wiser mail.”

“Not till I have found her. You may think me a trifler, Easelmann; but every nerve I have is quivering with agony at the thought of the pain I have caused her.”

"Whew-w-w!” said Easelmann. “Found her? Then she’s eloped, too! I just left a disconsolate lover mourning over a runaway mistress. It seems to be epidemic. There is a stampede of unhappy females. We must compress the feet of the next generation, after the wise custom of China, so that they can’t get away.”

“Whom have you seen?”

“Mr. Monroe, an acquaintance of mine.”

“The same. The lady, it seems, is his cousin,—and is, or was, my betrothed.”

“And you two brave men give up, foiled by a country-girl of twenty, or thereabouts!”

“How is one to find her?”

“What is the advantage of brains to a man who doesn’t use them? Consider; she will look for employment. She won’t try to teach; it would be useless. She is not strong enough for hard labor. She is too modest and reserved to take a place in a shop behind a counter, where she would be sure to be discovered. She will, therefore, be found in the employ of some milliner, tailor, or bookbinder. How easy to go through those establishments!”

“You give me new courage. I will get a trades-directory and begin at once.”

“To-morrow, my friend. She hasn’t got a place yet, probably.”

“So much the better. I shall save her from the necessity.”

“Go, then,” said Easelmann. “You’ll be happier, I suppose, to be running your legs off, if it is to no purpose. A lover with a new impulse is like a rocket when the fuse is lighted: he must needs go off with a rush, or ignobly fizz out.”

“Farewell, for to-day. I’ll see you to-morrow,” said Greenleaf, already some paces off.

[To be continued.]