Flotsam and Jetsam: Part Ii


JOEY stood silent, with down-clasped hands, full in the light, while Geordie was just behind her. Group by group the fire attracted others. All paid their tribute to it as they came; and, so supplied, it roared higher, and sent great clouds of sparks flickering away upon the blackness ; and scattering its radiance on the surge that seemed to break in a dust of fire, and far off to soar in shooting spires of spume; the wind-swept flashes cut sharply into tremendous shadows, and with all the faces and figures assembled there made as wild a sea-shore scene as foam ever fell on. While they clustered there, a crazy woman from the town, long since bereft on such a night as this, came down among them, separating each knot, and stood close upon the brink, her hair flying over her face, and her lifted hand sheltering her eyes that peered deep into the shadow of theelemental tumult. All at once she turned and laughed, and began hurriedly to smooth her hair. “Lord! here comes my husband!” cried she. “Wing and wing! Both mainsels on one side ! Gunnel under water! I must go home.” Which — not finding it convenient to crowd more impossibilities into one sentence — she accordingly did. Suddenly, while Joey sent a terrified glance after her, as if she saw her own fate in hers, and while the woman spoke, all eyes but Joey’s seemed simultaneously to light on one object, a bright thing glittering out upon the margin of the stormy dark. Was it a sail, or was it only a towering wave ? It came nearer, reddening in the light, gathered shape, took outline, rose and fell, slid up the slope of a mounting wave, plunged down its hollow, lost in the gulfs and flashing out again, cut the water to right and left, and came ploughing up the sand with a shock that started all its seams.

A shout of welcome rose. " Did that handsomely ! ” cried Geordie.

“ O, there are two of them, — they ’re bringing him home!” cried Joey, turning and hiding her face on Geordie’s arm. He put the arm round her a moment, holding her from sinking upon the sand. Nobody heard the words, but every one saw the movement. In a moment Lucian’s voice was ringing cheerily in her ears, though he was speaking not to her but to others ; and the good Doctor was patting Joey’s shoulder, as his profession’s prerogative allowed, lifting her bewildered lace, and laughing in it.

“ Well, Miss Joey, am I a bad penny ? ” said he. “ Come now, take my arm ; we ’re all right.”

Joey looked round, startled and blushing, and gathering her cloak about her. “ Are you sure, Doctor?” whispered she. But the Doctor heard no whisper, and went on. “To tell you the truth, your young friend here rather frightened me before we set out. I never had any sea-legs to find. And when it seemed fairly impossible to get across, I made Mr. Lucian 'bout ship and back again ! ”

“ I think we could have made in, Doctor,” said Lucian, joining them.

“Into the other world, without doubt,” replied the Doctor.

“ I declare, it’s beginning to rain ! ” said Joey, as if nothing at all had happened. “ Doctor, can you run ? I shall be wet through ! ”

“ O you selfish atom ! ” cried the Doctor, “ when neither Lucian nor I have a dry thread about us. There ! that will do ; you must remember I’m not Ulysses, to carry the winds in a bag.”

“ Ah ! here’s Mr. Thurlow come down in his wagon,” said Joey ; “ now you and Lucian get in, and Geordie and I will follow on foot” ; and as she was a little despot in her own way, things were done as she chose, and Joey followed, with Geordie, trolling in strange levity, as it seemed to the townspeople, considering how near they had been to danger and death, the refrain of a rollicking boat-song, snatches of which came down on the rain and wind as the pair left the main street, and wound their way up a back path to the Widow Hazard’s cottage.

Lucian had laid a fire on the great hearth that extended half across the room, and the flames were wallowing up the flue, while the Doctor, having indued such garments of Lucian’s as he would not be completely lost in,— for it would have taken logarithms to calculate the difference between Lucian’s longitude and the Doctor’s latitude,— was now turning round and round, like a jack, before the fire, endeavoring to dry the rest of him, the steam rising on every side, till he must have looked like an ancient god in his cloud, when Joey and Geordie, with their uproarious chorus, came in.

Joey stood a moment, dripping. “So Lucian,” said she, carelessly, “ I thought we had seen the last of you.”

“ I told you I would come back, Joey,” said Lucian.

“ Lucian always keeps his promises,” said Geordie.

“ Those that are made to be kept,” said Lucian, looking at Joey peculiarly.

Joey turned carnation. “ I never keep any promises, for I never make any! ” said she, and flirted out of the room.

“Now, Geordie,” said Lucian, “I "11 see if there’s such a thing as a dry jacket up stairs, while you go out and shed those seven-leaguers.”

“ Yes,” said Geordie, looking down at the great boots in which he was encased almost to the waist, “ I ’d about forgotten there was a joint in my knee ;

I feel like a whole troop of Hessians. Well, Mother Hazard,” opening the door into the kitchen, “you 've more than you bargained for in the house tonight.”

If anything could have increased Mrs. Hazard’s hostility, this address was calculated to do so ; but after a moment’s struggle, as nothing perhaps occurred to her sufficiently tart to annihilate him, she only retorted, “ The more the merrier.”

“ Come now,” said Geordie, “ I like that.” And he removed the boots outside, and washed his hands at the sink. “ D’ you suppose there are enough peeps to go round?” said he then, lifting the cover of the pot, and looking in.

“Go along with you for a cotquean !” exclaimed she. “Had n’t you better be tasting it ? ”

“Jove! I should like to!” he replied.

“ There ’s the spoon,” said she, grimly anticipating her revenge.

“With the fate of the man in the south before my mouth ? Not I, Mrs. Hazard,” returned he, and beat a laughing retreat.

Joey had come down in a white woollen wrapper that was perhaps her morning-gown for best occasions, of which her mother would probably consider the Doctor’s visit one, and, with her pale face and glittering eyes that night, as she took her seat by the fire, looked like nothing but a little white wraith of herself. Geordie went and sat beside her.

“ I never saw one walk over the water in better style than Lucian tonight. Did that neatly, —didn't he?” said he.

“ O, I was n’t looking,” answered Joey.

“ Well, this is the way it was,” said Geordie; and he bent forward with animation, drawing, with the tongs, a map of the situation, in the ashes, and explaining to her how anybody but Lucian would have been in the deep seacaves before then, while Joey, with her face turned towards him, seemed to hang upon his words, and they were still so when Lucian entered. “That’s how it was,” said Geordie, putting a period to his sentence, as with the tongs he returned the last coal that had snapped out to its place beneath the log.

“Roasting your feet, Joey?” said Lucian.

“Yes,” answered Joey.

And seeing her so short, the Doctor wondered how Lucian had offended her now,—it must have been something serious, since he fancied that if she had spoken two words instead of one the stone would have been rolled away from a perfect Undine’s spring of tears. Men are so stupid ! now a doctor ought to have known better. Geordie might have been excused for supposing a misunderstanding ; it would have been the fault of his sex, which can never comprehend the source of a nervous woman’s crying. Lucian, however, was as wise as the Doctor. He left Joey to entertain Geordie, and got down a case of shells and specimens that he had brought from the South Seas, and exhibited them to his visitor, and was to all appearance as deeply lost in his explanations as the Doctor himself, — who had to travel all the way from Otaheite, he says, — when called, to supper, though Joey and Geordie had been setting the table between them with enough clatter of tongues and dishes, Mrs. Hazard declared, for a swarming, all the time the others had been studying the corals.

“Well, Doctor,” said Mrs. Hazard, “ I have n't had time to ask you about your sail.”

“ It ’s a sore storm that blows both ways,” said Geordie; “on the other side, I suppose there ’s somebody walking the floor and looking out every two minutes ; on our side we’ve an evening with the Doctor.”

“My wife’s not a nervous woman,” replied the Doctor. “ And, so far as the sail goes, it ’s well enough to remember, but I think it will do my nerves good to ride round the bay tomorrow.”

“ I ’m never afraid when Lucian’s at the helm,” said Mrs. Hazard.

“ Yes,” said the Doctor, “ I must say that every time I saw his head relieved against the belt of fire that the breakers made, I felt as if a young sea-god had come up to take me safe to shore.

“ Are you listening, Jouvency ? ” asked Geordie.

“Go on,” answered Lucian. “You can’t be so famished as I am, though. For if you continue your subject, there will be no peeps left.”

“ Fair play now, Jouvency.”

“ That is rather late for you, Geordie,” said Lucian with a sudden flash and a strange accent. Geordie stared an instant, and the Doctor remarked to himself that, if Lucian were famished, a verylittle satisfied him.

“ O, we ’re not all of us praising you, Lucian,” said Mrs. Hazard. “ Here’s Joey don’t think it’s anything remarkable.”

“ I don’t really suppose, though,” added Mrs. Hazard, “you’d have made in so well if it had n’t been for Geordie’s fire — ”

“ Nothing for Lucian,” said Joey.

“To give the Devil his due,” laughed Geordie, who knew very well that Mrs. Hazard hated him, and why she did it.

“ That saved us,” said Lucian.

“ Geordie brought the spars as if they had been splinters,” said Joey. “He burned the whole of a wreck.”

“We always see our way, I have heard,” said the Doctor, “ by the light of other people’s misfortunes.”

“And he comforted Mr. Thurlow, and saw his boat for him, and quieted the women, and kept them out of the blaze.”

“And was, in short,” said Geordie, “the hero of the occasion. If I had only known that when your keel scattered the sand! ”

“Any one that had caught sight of him, mother, standing in the glow, would have said it was a giant. Did n’t you see him, Lucian?”

“ I saw you,” said Lucian.

“ What did I look like ? ” asked Joey, suddenly.

“ Like Hop o’ my Thumb,” said Lucian, with his smile. And afterwards, when I knew him, Lucian’s smile always put me in mind of golden autumn sunlight.

“ I’m not so very small,” was the pouting reply.

“just large enough to fill a man’s heart,” interpolated Geordie.

“ Nonsense ! ” said Mrs. Hazard. “Lucian, have some more tea? Joey, pass the Doctor’s cup. Do let me give you another. No ? I don’t know what makes it so weak to-night, of all nights in the year ” ; lifting the lid and pensively gazing in, while stirring the contents with a spoon. “ And the bread’s slack-baked,” continued Mrs. Hazard, with proper housekeeping depreciation. “ ’Most finished your Fate-lady, Joey ? ”

“ It has almost finished me,” said Joey.

“ She does look good enough to eat,” said Geordie.

“ Come, come, Mr. Romilly. I don’t allow Joey to hear that kind of talk.”

“ Going to make a nun of her ? ”

“ I ’ll see to that,” answered Mrs. Hazard. “ Doctor, I’m afraid your trip has tired you out.”

“ Not at all,” said the Doctor. “ One is always quiet when reading a romance,” he added in undertone for Miss Joey’s ears.

Joey turned upon him for an instant a roguish look like a battle-gage, then she grew as white as she had been all the evening, and her starry eyes shone over her face as large and serious as before. The Doctor could not make up his mind whether she were the more lovely in this pale phase, or in that of the morning when she had varied every shade between white and red, and rung every change between laughter and tears.

“ You don’t like that our little Miss Joey here should receive compliments then ?” said the Doctor.

“ No,” answered Mrs. Hazard. “ I never had them myself when I was a girl. And unless she’s going to be married for her beauty — ”

“Which isn’t at all likely,” was Geordie’s gay aside.

“ No,” said Lucian, quietly.

Meanwhile the color came and went again in Joey’s face.

“ It would be a case out of my experience, if it were,” said the Doctor.

“ Few people are so sensitive to beauty as that, though it undoubtedly fires the spark.”

“ 'T would n't be safe for me,” said Geordie. “ I should never cleave to one woman if nothing else bound me. I should fall away when her beauty did.”

“ How is that, Mr. Lucian ? ” said the Doctor.

“ I should love her still,” replied Lucian, gravely, “because it was she who once had the beauty that I loved.”

“ That rings true,” said the Doctor.

Suddenly, as Joey gave her head its little shake, all the bright hair, that with the rain had insisted on its rights and its ringlets, shook from the comb and fell about her face, —and suddenly Joey was surprised with sobs.

“ There, there ! ” cried Mrs. Hazard, catching her gown before she could rush from the room. “It’s nothing but excitement, — let her alone. There, Joey, have a hysteric, if you want this water in your face! Now, — it’s all right. Don’t make me so much trouble, child ! ”

“ I don’t know what you ’ll all think,” said the quivering voice of the little wretch.

“ Only that your walk on the beach, and up the hill in the storm, was too much for you,” responded the Doctor.

“And singing too, Joey,” said Lucian, coming behind her chair from the closet where he had gone. “ Sip this wine. They said that Crazy Jane was down there on the beach, and she’s enough to upset stronger people than you are.”

“’T wasn’t that,” said Joey. “ O, I 'm a little hypocrite ! I don’t want your wine, it strangles me”; and she threw it on the coals. Lucian walked back to the table.

“ Well,” said Geordie, “ I’ve made way with everything in reach. It’s a desert round my place, with nothing but damson-stones for the ostriches. Did you ever see an ostrich’s eye, Joey ? It’s a — a — what do you call it, Doctor, in spy-glasses ? ”


“A lens of lustre. As if the rays had entered but never escaped. Are you going to let two jolly tars have a smoke, Mrs. Hazard ? ”

“ Not a whiff of one. If you want to smoke, Geordie Romilly, you can go out in the shed.”

“Just as you please, ma’am,” said Geordie, lighting his pipe with a coal. “ Only if your house and shed go to blazes before morning, don’t you blame us. Come along, mate.”

“ Geordie does n’t seem a favorite of yours, Mrs. Hazard,” said the Doctor, when the two young men had withdrawn, and joey was bustling about again in the fire-light.

“ No, that he is n’t, to be plain ! ” exclaimed the worthy woman. “ A vagrant fellow that my boy picks up in the foretop and fetches home here, brought up above his place as any one can see with his words and ways, what business has he to play the common sailor ? nobody knowing his beginnings nor able to guess his endings, —-no reverence in him, — never quiet two minutes together, — as great a gypsy as ever boiled his pot across two stolen sticks, to my mind,” said Mrs. Hazard. “ And that’s what he is ! ”

The Doctor laughed. “I suppose you ’ll forgive me, though, if I go and join the scamp with my cigar ? ” said he.

“Never in the world,” said Joey. “Mother’d just as lief you smoked here. Lucian always does. It was only a whim. I ’ll call the boys back, sir.” And in a moment Geordie’s hand and face came round the side of the door, as he tipped back in his chair beside the kitchen hearth.

“ Not beyond earshot,” said he. “You’re a venturesome man, Doctor. Mrs. Hazard is disturbed enough with our hanging round the kitchen. But pipes in the parlor ? ”

“It’s what we doctors call a counter-irritant,” was the sly answer.

Pretty soon, however, Geordie knocked the ashes out of his pipe, and came in and sat by Joey again at the lamp, while she dressed her Fate-lady; and there he fell to swallowing scissors, penknives, and thimbles, and producing them all again out of Lucian’s pockets.

“ Mrs. Hazard,” said he, at last wearying of his accomplishments. “ I am going to bring my mother to Netherby next week. She ’s been in this country some time. Will you see to her now and then?”

“ Your mother ?” she replied, with a little start. “ Bless me ! I did n’t know you had one ! ”

“ Yes,” said Geordie, briefly, snipping then with the scissors. “ I was born of woman. Perhaps you will think me less of a reptile now?” be added, with his quick look.

“ Lord, Geordie Romilly, you ’re as sharp as a needle ! ”

“A thorn in the flesh,” said Geordie.

“Then you are going to make Netherby your home !” exclaimed Joey.

“ That’s as it may be,” said Geordie, looking at her, his boldness half changing to bashfulncss. “ Would you ? ”

“ O, how pl— ”

“Joey ! ” was the cry from Mrs. Hazard.

“It will be Lucian’s home, you know,” said Geordie ; “ he ’ll be tired of sea-faring, and settle here when he’s been captain a couple of voyages. Then I ’ll step into his shoes — ” Geordie stopped, and flung his hair back here impatiently. “ I’d like to see the old fellow once a year, at all odds,” added he. “ I sha’n’t say but what it would be pleasant to have you to come home to, too, Joey.”

“ Yes,” said Joey, innocently. “ I never should be happy out of Netherby. There, that’s done ! ”

“ Done, is it ? Then I ’ll try my luck first, or shall Jouvency ? ”

“ O, Lucian’s too busy for such play,” said Joey.

Lucian, who was carving jackstraws for Joey’s fair, across the table, only kept his teeth shut tight over his lower lip, and allowed himself neither look nor answer.

Joey gave the Fate-lady a twirl, and both she and Geordie bent their heads together over the iittle couplet on which the wand rested : —

“ In hazel eyes
Your picture lies,”

“ I wonder if it does,” said Geordie, looking up at her. But joey was adjusting this pivot on which fortune turned, and did not mind him.

“ Let ’s see how that may be,” continued Geordie, and he set the poor Fate-lady spinning again till she might have been giddy.

“ How can you expect an oracle from such a teetotum?” asked Joey, fearing damage.

“ The poor thing’s head must be turned, you think?” replied Geordie. “ Now what is it ? ”

“ Fear not, but put your fate to the touch ;
That man wins little who never dares much.”

“ A knowing young lady. How can she tell that I have a fate to put to the touch ? What would you do about it, Joey ? ”

“ ‘ That man wins little who never dares much,’” replied Joey, concisely.

“ Cross your palm with silver, my pretty lady,” said Geordie, “ and I can tell your fortune as well as another.”

“ My fortune’s told ! ” answered Joey, shortly.

“ Third time lucky,” said Geordie, with a final twirl of the cardboard. “We shall get quite a code of signals for our instruction.”

“ If she blushes when she sees you,
Be assured she’d like to please you."’

“ Look up here, Joey,” whispered he. “Is it the fire or the Fate-lady on your cheeks? ”

Joey’s face did redden, but only at his whisper; she was as white as before in a minute, and laughing her little laugh, that was hard to interpret, turned it full upon him.

“ A lover and your blushes,” then said Geordie, “is like the centurion and his servants ; he says to them, Come, and they come. He has his very slaves in the blood in your veins. If I were the lord to command that color ! ”

“ You bold boy ! ” whispered she in return. “ If mother heard you ! ”

But there was no danger from Mrs. Hazard just then ; for, having secured the Doctor for the night in a concentration of many calls in one, she was making the most of her opportunities, dilating upon her present diseases, and amassing a pathological fund for the future ones. Meanwhile the Doctor was answering at stated intervals, keeping the thread of her discourse, which a long similar passage made familiar, and with an ear and an eye to spare for the little farce of Joey’s lovers.

So Joey put away the doll of destiny, and began to lay the jackstraws nicely together in a box, and Geordie, murmuring impertinent things in his subdued tone to her, amused himself by snuffing the candles the while, and all at once snuffed them out. In the instant of darkness that ensued before the glow of the fire filled it, the Doctor thought he saw a powerful hand reach suddenly across the table, seize Geordie’s fingers in a grasp that shook the snuffers from them, and a click resounded from the chimney as they dashed upon it in two fragments and fell among the logs. Directly afterward Joey flourished a little torch about, lighted the candles ; but all her efforts failed to find the snuffers, and only showed her Geordie standing and leaning one hand upon the table, and flashing his eyes across it. For a moment he seemed undecided, he glanced toward the door, then took his resolution.

“ I owe you a reminder, Mr. Jouvency,” said he, and pushed his seat nearer to Joey’s, and, laying his arm unreproved on the back of her chair, fell into the old tone, laughing or earnest as it might be, but inaudible to the others.

And Joey, apparently witli a vague impression that Lucian had done some savage act, smiled upon Geordie with her white face, replied in the same key, allowed him the satisfaction of tearing her handkerchief to ribbons and making it whole again, and printing a deuce of hearts upon it, tried on a ring that he slipped from his finger, did twenty atrocious things in as many minutes, and all as if there were not another soul in the room than themselves. Towards the close of those twenty minutes the Doctor looked at Lucian ; he still sat there carving at the tiny splinters, dark, silent, but with all his strength unable now and then to keep from quivering with his self-contained wrath ; and at last, as if positive personal pain were easier borne than this, he lifted the thin sharp blade, and gashed across the back of his hand from end to end.

With a step the Doctor arrested the knife. Joey gave one shuddering look, — she was of the kind constitutionally faint at sight of blood, — leaned back in her seat and shut her eyes. Mrs. Hazard flew to the rescue with her handkerchief, which had not been made subject to the deuce of hearts. As for Geordie, “ It is only a scratch,” said he lightly. “ But you teach one, Jouvency, that it’s dangerous playing with edge tools. Miss joey, you should be binding up your brother’s hand.”

Perhaps Joey would have touched a scorpion sooner after that,— Lucian was no brother of hers.

“ How could you be so careless ? ” said she in a trembling voice. “ You shall make no more jackstraws for me.” And she swept them all away. “ It is lucky that the Doctor happened to be here,” then said she. “ Now, as soon as that is dressed, I am going to play Christmas eve and make eggnog ; sha’n’t I, mother ? You won’t be a stern prophet, Doctor, and threaten us with bilious horrors and dyspepsias, — will you ? ”

The Doctor confessed that he was in the habit of purchasing an eggnog with a nightmare once a year.

“ You can’t beat it now, Lucian,” said she, coming and standing beside him a minute, and puckering her little mouth as the Doctor bound the bandage, and made enough stir about it for Lucian to regret his ill-advised measure. “ So Geordie ’ll have to,” concluded she. And having at last set every one at work, she fluttered about among them all like a little white butterfly, and did nothing.

So a lively time they had of it, and, out of all patience at length, Mrs. Hazard plainly signified what it was no use at all to hint, and Geordie began to institute a search for his hat, while Joey went and raised a sash to let a cool current of air through the room that was at a red-heat.

“ Ah, what a night! ” said she. “ Too dark to see one’s hand. A howling wilderness and raining brooks ! And there ’s a wind to take you off your feet. You can never reach home in it all, Geordie ! ”

“ We ’ll see,” said Geordie.

“ I don’t know,” said Mrs. Hazard, going to the window where Joey was, and putting out her hand, and drawing it in as if she had burned it. I should n’t like to turn a dog out-doors on such a night -”

“ Thank you, Mrs. Hazard,” laughed Geordie.

“ Don’t you be so quick, sir,” said she. “ I was going to say, there are two beds in Lucian’s room up stairs ; and he ’d be glad of your company.”

“ Not he ! ” was the reply.

“You are mistaken, Geordie,” said Lucian, slowly, as if he exercised some command over himself, yet growing cordial as he spoke. “ I can’t set you adrift in such a gale. Share my room, old boy, and you ’ll have the rain on the roof, — it’s a long time since you heard the sound.”

And will be longer before I do! I hate a roof; it stifles me. I must have my walk to the inn, if only to drown out my devils. It ’s nothing but turning out of a warm bunk to stand my watch. Thank you all, and good night” ; and he plunged out into the darkness and down the hill.

“ Contrary fellow,” said Mrs. Hazard. “One never knows where to find him. There ’s the gypsy again. I ’ll be bound he’d rather sleep under a fence in a pelt of rain than in the best down that ever was plucked. If his mother was n’t a high-born dame that ran off with one of the tribe, I never ’ll guess again ! Now, Joey, take your light.

The Doctor ’ll think it no wonder we ’re all sick here. It ’s hard on eleven. Lucian, show the Doctor his room. I hope you ’ll sleep well, sir; there ’s not such another bed this side the bay, though I say it; as fluffy eider as ever feathered a nest.” And with this cheerful promise to one who had as lief be raked up in coals as in feathers, she bade him good night.

The Doctor’s room was on the groundfloor, in an ell of the long rambling cottage, and opposite one of the windows was the shed, all one side of which was open to the weather; and soon hearing a quick, sharp sound there, it occurred to the Doctor to look out, and, distinct against a lantern’s light, his glance rested on Lucian splitting kindlings, although there was a stack of them beside him. “ Working off his vim,” thought the Doctor, — “do him good,” and went on with his preparations. But in a few minutes, having extinguished his own light, just as the good man was about to lay his head on the pillow, his eye was again caught, and he saw the young athlete standing erect, his head thrown back, his arm uplifted, and the hatchet whirled and glanced through the air like a meteor, and was buried to the helve in one of the side-posts of the shed. Then Lucian came out into the unroofed space, and stood in the black rain that poured upon him from open heavens, fiery and fierce ; and the Doctor fancied that he could no less than see the hot breath shoot in its swift jet from the disdainful and angry nostril. There was something about the struggling fellow that the Doctor felt he had perhaps no right to see, and he silently dropped his curtain, “Alas, my man,” thought he, “ the temper that, being restrained, requires such vent as this, will one day betray you to a desperate deed ! ” But Lucian stood there till the storm must have cooled and soothed the fever of his passion ; for it was several minutes before the Doctor heard his retreating step, slow and heavy, as if virtue had gone out from him, while the gleam of the lantern slid across the cornice and vanished, and left the place dark and still save for the rush and rustle of the storm.

The next morning it was clear and fine, the great clouds were drifted over by the west-winds, and piled in pearly battlements along the east; one could still hear the sea lashing the crags of the Tusks, but everything on shore was sparkling, fresh, and fair. In good season, Geordie came up, leading the horses for Joey and himself to accompany the Doctor round the head of the bay.

“ I thought you were going, Lucian,” said his mother.

“ No,” answered Lucian, mounting Joey, “ I ’ve other work to-day.”

Joey looked at him a moment, half hanging back, then sprang into the saddle, tucked her short skirt about her, and set her horse to dancing.

“ Well, I don’t blame you,” said Mrs. Hazard in reply. “ If there ;s anything ridiculous, it’s a sailor with both feet plaited together under the girth ! Look at him now, as if the nag meant to throw him ! ”

“ Geordie has ridden the bowsprit in too many a black squall, mother, to be thrown by a hack to-day,” said Lucian ; and as he spoke the three waved their hands and rode off together.

And the Doctor’s private opinion of Geordie that morning was, that, if today he was sailor, yesterday he had been first rider in the ring, and had now got the whip-hand of Joey.

Except the single time that he was called over to visit Mrs. Romilly, — one of those little pale women that appear fragile as a flower, while they cling to life with a thready vitality of stem that neither suns nor snows impair, and who perfectly justified the theory of Mrs. Hazard concerning her, being quite that shadowy nonentity which vanishes entirely before a stronger will,—except for this occasion, when he found Miss Joey wearing the willow and taking care of her, that was the last the Doctor heard of the Netherby people, till one day he dropped the paper as he would have done a live coal, crying out, “ Great Heavens, wife ! here is Lucian Jouvency up for the murder on shipboard of Geordie Romilly ! ”

And the next day the Doctor received a polite summons himself to attend the trial, and tell the world what he knew of Lucian Jouvency, his hate of Geordie, and his love of Joey. And the Doctor required no one but himself to “ curse him the blabbing tongue ” that had once laughingly mentioned to his old friend, the prosecuting attorney of the case, the trouble that pretty Joey Hazard was brewing for him.

After the Doctor had anathematized Elizabeth for receiving and introducing the summons, he hastened to ascertain on what point he was expected to testify, and in his vexation he was ready either to expatriate himself or to feign a brain-fever, since in everything but delirium he could be waited upon at his home for testimony ; but to say nothing of the critical condition of one or two of his patients, the prosecution had seriously threatened to shut him up that moment, unless he promised to be in attendance as required. “ For,” said the lawyer, “ if the man is innocent, it must be proved. If he is guilty, you have no business to shelter such a villain from justice, and put fresh lives in danger.”

“ No.” said the Doctor, glumly. “ It is my business to put them out of danger.”

“As it stands,” continued the other, “ it is a case I don’t care to handle.”

Then the Doctor proceeded on a reconnoissance to Netherby. He found Mrs. Hazard in a fine condition of bodily health, real troubles having choked out her fanciful ones ; but she was walking the floor from night till morning, or sitting fixedly staring at the green boughs in the chimney-place, in a state of excitement that was scarcely less than insanity.

“ He was the light of my eye,” was what she kept saying. “‘If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. But when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.’ But Lucian, my boy Lucian !”

It seemed that nearly every one in Netherby, from his mother down, found some reason to believe in Lucian’s guilt. He had never been a favorite of the village, — a moody fellow, rocking all day out alone in his boat, or clambering over the hills with his gun. — they were ready to impute much to this unsocial disposition. Every one but Joey; she went about her work more quietly, indeed, than ever before, doing all that there was to do, and a great deal that there was n’t. “ Yes ! ” thought the Doctor, “ it is absolutely necessary that she should keep busy ; let her sit down to think and there is this boy, like a brother, with his life and his innocence hanging on a thread, and all for her and her naughty capers. She could never be so calm as this if she cared about him. Yet the other one is gone, and where are her tears ? Be hanged myself if I can understand a woman ! ” But if the Doctor’s expression bordered on levity, it was because his heart was so full of trouble.

Before the Doctor went, Joey told him how they had first heard of the terrible affair. They were sitting without candles, she and her mother together, expecting Lucian, and watching each leaf shake white and cold in the moonlight, when a step sounded on the doorstone.

“That’s he!” cried Mrs. Hazard, springing up. And before Joey could contradict her, the outer door was opened, and then the inner one, and a little woman stood before them with only a shawl thrown over her head, and it was Mrs. Romilly, but white and weird in the moonlight as some angry ghost.

“ Where’s my boy?” cried she.

“Who?” said Mrs. Hazard. “ O, they ’re coming in a minute. I ’m expecting Lucian with every breath I draw.”

“Expecting him! expecting him!” repeated she, shrilly. “But where’s my boy ? Where is Geordie ? ”

“Where is Geordie?” echoed Joey, wonderingly, for there was something in the woman’s voice that frightened her.

“ Yes, Joey Hazard ! And who should know better than you, — you who are the wicked cause of it all! ”

“ I ?” stammered Joey.

“ O, God punish you ! God requite you ! You have killed him, girl, — you and he between you! Ah, I pray Heaven — ”

“O, hush! hush!” cried Joey. “What do you mean?”

“ I mean that my boy ’s dead, drowned, murdered at sea! And that her boy is safe — ”

“ Thank Heaven for that! ” cried Mrs. Hazard before she thought, and beginning to rock to and fro again.

“For that? Ah, if you can! It’s less, less, less than I have to be thankful for. Ah then, I came for my revenge, woman, — your boy killed him! ”

“Never in this world!” said Joey, clutching at a seat, but feeling as though for that one moment she were called upon to asseverate the truth to God.

Mrs. Hazard sat upright and icy. The little slender creature was towering in the middle of the room, like a flame, in her wild white Wrath. When at last Lucian’s mother spoke, it was with no assertion of his innocence, her mind had coursed over all the possibilities, and measured them ; she knew his moods and methods of old. But in a dull, dead, rough voice, as if she were speaking into some hollow thing: “How do you know that?” said she, sharply.

“How do I know it?” responded the other. “ Why the winds know it, and the waves. And men and women know it, and are babbling at the corners of it. And four stone walls of a prison know it ! ”

This was too much. Mrs. Hazard sprung to her feet, and begun to walk up and down. As she walked, there stood the woman in her way. She stopped before her, glaring at her.

“ What have I ever done to you,” exclaimed Mrs. Hazard, “ that you come to me now like a devil in your glee ? ”

“In my glee ? ” cried she, throwing up her arms. “ In my glee ? O my boy, my boy ! ” And she sunk down on the floor by a chair, covering her face with her shawl, and drenching it in gusty tears. “ O, we knew trouble together ! ” cried she. “ He was all I had. When he was a baby he had such blue eyes ! And his little hair crept round my finger of itself, in its pretty yellow curl. Geordie, Geordie, will I never lean on your strong arm again ? will I never hear your step ? What a laugh you had! ah, what comfort it could send through me now ! And you suffered so ! —and I never shall know ! — ah, that staggering moment, that one breath, that horror, — no help. O my darling, my boy, my boy ! ” And with her head upon her knees, and her hands along the floor, she went on wailing aloud.

Mrs. Hazard looked down at her a moment, and made as if she would stir her with her foot, gave a glance at the panic-stricken Joey, and then suddenly stooped to Mrs. Romilly’s side, lifted her head and laid it on her own shoulder, stroking it with her hard hand. “We’re mothers together, dear,” said she; “let us help one another. If you’ve lost your child, I ’m likely to lose mine. I never had one of my own. I wanted one ; I ’d have liked a tender little thing that had been a part of my own self and of him, -—* to have held my love and my life in my arms. But there was Lucian, and I just filled my hungry heart with him. And now — and now —” And Mrs. Hazard herself broke down, and the little woman in her arms put up a hand to still her sorrow in turn, and the two mingled their tears together.

After that they kept Mrs. Romilly among them, and her fire having fallen to ashes, she was as eager as they for Lucian’s acquittal, and the defence intended to make the fact a strong point of the argument.

“Joey,” said the Doctor, when she had told him all this, “ I am glad to see you quiet yourself. But you must n’t use so much control as to occasion a reaction by and by. Tears are securty, just as fever is remedy. Still, I confess, I don’t— ”

“O,” said Joey, turning all colors at once, “ I have seen Lucian.”

“ Seen Lucian ? ”

“Yes. I went — to the place — one day. And they let me—I obtained permission to go in. And when he saw me, he cried out, and checked himself, and held his arms to me, — he always kissed me when he came home, you know,” said Joey, simply. “ But Mrs. Romilly was with me, and she held me back. It was of no use for mother to go, of course ; she thinks he — did it. She won't see him till—till afterward. And there were men with him, — two lawyers. And I looked at him where I stood, and I said in a whisper, — I could n’t speak any louder,— ‘Lucian, did you kill Geordie?’ And he raised his — his eyes, and rested them full on mine, and his voice was clear and steady. ' No, Joey,’ said he. And he never told a lie. Never, you know. And he and Mrs. Romilly spoke together ; and he was so tender and compassionate to her; and she believed him. And he made me sit down in the only chair ; and though he was thin and white, he was as smiling and calm as here at home, — and O, shall I ever see him here again?” and Joey threw her apron over her head, and ran from the room.

As for the rest of that scene in the cell, as it really occurred, it was not from Miss Joey, with her ruling passion actually strong in death, that the Doctor learned it.

Lucian Jouvency was brought to trial in the maritime court.

The evidence against him was opened with testimony that, ever since the marriage of Lucian’s stepmother and joey’s stepfather the two children had been constantly together; that Lucian had always called Joey his little wife, and that Joey had appeared well content with the arrangement till Geordie Romilly appeared upon the scene ; and the small servant —after much hesitation and frequent avowals that she was sure Mrs. Hazard wouldn’t like it — deposed that her mistress had often spoken confidently to her of the time when the two should be one, up to the hour of Mr. Romilly’s arrival, when the said mistress had been heard to say she wished him drowned in the Red Sea before he ever set foot in Netherby. Mr. Thurlow and others were then introduced in witness of Joey’s volatile behavior on the night when Lucian was in such danger from having attempted to set the Doctor across the bay ; and how she threw herself into Geordie’s arms, walked, singing, up the hill with him, went to ride with him next morning, and other similar items, were all rehearsed, although not without much sarcasm and objection on the part of the defence, and ruling on the part of the court. The Doctor was then called, as an expert, and a person whose words were of weight, to detail something of the incidents that had passed under his eyes, and to give his opinion with reference to the passions evinced by the prisoner. You maybe sure the Doctor shortened matters, and was as close-mouthed and crusty as he dared to be, and would have said nothing at all of Lucian’s disposition but for examination ; but on being asked if he did not consider the circumstances narrated to evince a violent temper, subject to uncontrollable paroxysms, he was obliged to admit that such certainly appeared to be the fact, and to declare, moreover, in reply to the narrow questioning to which he was subjected, that he believed Geordie to be the possessor of Joey’s favor, and that intense jealousy existed on the part of the prisoner. And although not an iota had been gained from him without questions from the prosecuting attorney himself, the Doctor retired with a crestfallen conviction that he was no better than a street-corner gossip. The next witnesses were called to prove that Lucian and Geordie had shipped together on the bark Josephine, Lucian as mate and Geordie as captain of the foretop ; that during all the voyage out the former’s conduct had been variable, — now cheerful, and now sullen ; that once, being becalmed and discipline lax, there had been a wrestling-match between the two, begun perhaps in sport, but ending in such serious earnest that each had borne the marks for a week ; that the voyage having been accomplished in less time than usual, the first mail from home had been given them by an outward-bound ship ; that Lucian had received no letter, but Geordie had one that seemed to contain a daguerreotype, which he made off with, going forward, and then catching Lucian’s eye as he looked back he raised his hand in his prankish way, and shook it in the air, and immediately Lucian, growing black as a thunderbolt, had seized a marline-spike in his paroxysm of rage and flung after him, and the spike had missed him, but struck the letter in his hand, and had gone with it into the sea. And Geordie, with an oath, had sprung back at him, but Lucian had cried out between his set teeth, “ Don’t tackle me now, or I shall kill you ! ” and Geordie had returned, “ Kill and be damned ! The letter was from her ! ” And then, “ Who, Geordie ? ” called a half-dozen.

“ From pretty Joey Hazard! ” laughed he. And at that, as if her name were too good to be bandied, Lucian had flamed up again ; he was just going below, but he came back and shook his fist at Geordie, crying, “ Say your prayers to-night, my man ! For, byGod, we ’ll have a settlement before morning! ” Several witnesses substantiated this. John Tarbox, having then been called, testified that, being very short of hands through sickness, on the night following this day, he having the helm, Geordie Romilly and one other were called for the last watch before sunrise ; that the mate, Jouvency, had excused the other, saying he would take his place himself; that then, it being a clear starlight night, and the ship sailing on a straight course, the first he knew was a bucket of salt water dashed upon him, and he saw the sun coming up the horizon, and the mate standing over him, grim as death,—for he always kept the men up to the mark when on duty, — but above or below they two were all there was between the deck. and the sky, and Geordie Romilly never trod those planks again, unless it was his ghost that played in the foretop all the rest of the voyage ; and that while he was asleep Lucian had mastered and made away with Geordie, he was as ready to swear as that his own name was Jacky Tar. Since he could not swear it, it was of no consequence how ready he was to swear it, the defence remarked, and, inquiring as to how he remembered he was asleep on that night, the witness replied that the cat-o-nine-tails printed it on his back next morning ; and being asked if the prisoner had been in the habit of carrying weapons, he replied that the mate always wore his knife in his belt, and being without it that morning, it had been found for him behind a pile of cordage, where he said he had thrown it lest he should use it. Being further questioned as to why the captain had not taken cognizance of these affairs, he gave answer that the captain thought the mate too good an officer to lose, and he was not capable of noticing the occurrence, moreover, having that night and the day before been rather set up.

“ Set up ?” asked the counsel for the defence, willing to badger the man a bit.

“ Too near the wind, maybe,” said the witness, unsuspiciously. “ He was very happy all the time ; but for a day or two had been half-snapt, — what we call rather over the bay.”

“ Explain yourself, sir !

“Well, pretty tight, I should say.”

“ That would be — ? ”

A little sprung, sir,” was the puzzled reply,

“ How could one be pretty tight if he were a little sprung ? ”

“ By seeing double ! ”

“ How am I to understand your meaning ? ”

“You must be a green-hand if you don’t know what it is to be half-seasover ! ” cried jacky Tar. “ I mean the captain had been drinking ! ”

And having thus begun, the defence proceeded with a critical cross-examination of the witness as to his narration ; and the testimony against the prisoner, damnatory in its character although circumstantial, was concluded.

The evidence for the defence was brief, a few persons being summoned to swear to the prisoner’s unblemished reputation hitherto, and especially as to his temper and humanity. The captain of the bark Josephine bore witness that he was an invaluable officer ; but the effect of what testimony he had to offer was sensibly diminished by his forced admission of the fact that he had been, as John Tarbox had testified, unable to attend to his business of sailing the ship upon the night in question. Testimony was then entered that no noise of scuffling or contention had been heard by any on board during that time, and there rested. And with all the current of opinion setting with him, the prosecutor rose for his argument.

After giving the reasons for the dark deed, he summed up conclusively such evidence as he had, and then made an argument that nothing less than an elaborate special plea could overcome, while singling out each member of the jury, haranguing and convincing him as he was himself convinced, bringing the responsibility home to each personally, presenting the enormity of the crime in all its force, and the fatal consequences of such flagitiousness once left unpunished. That done, he took his seat contentedly, borrowed a leaf from the grave-diggers in Hamlet, and enlivened the gloom with a jest; he had wrought out his points to his own satisfaction, all his solicitude ceased at once, and he was as ready to compassionate Mrs. Hazard as Mrs. Romilly. The jury looked as solemn as if they already saw the scaffold, and the senior counsel for the defence whispered to his junior that the case looked black as murder. Everything now depended on his own eloquence merely, and even his well-known power of making black appear white must tell against the prisoner. If Lucian understood his situation, he had manifested it by no dead torpor, nor by any angry impatience to interrupt the speaker; and the lofty assurance of bis quiet manner remained the same, as unruffled, stately, and serene he walked from the court-room. And there the statements and inferences of the evening paper ceased.