HotFreeBooks.com
Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XXVI., December, 1880.
Author: Various
1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

OF

POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.

DECEMBER, 1880.



AN HISTORICAL ROCKY-MOUNTAIN OUTPOST.



The day might have graced the month of June, so balmy was the air, so warmly shone the sun from a cloudless sky. But the snow-covered mountain-range whose base we were skirting, the leafless cottonwoods fringing the Fontaine qui Bouille and the sombre plains that stretched away to the eastern horizon told a different story. It was on one of those days elsewhere so rare, but so common in Colorado, when a summer sky smiles upon a wintry landscape, that we entered a town in whose history are to be found greater contrasts than even those afforded by earth and sky. Today Pueblo is a thriving and aggressive city, peopled with its quota of that great pioneer army which is carrying civilization over the length and breadth of our land. Three hundred and forty years ago, as legend hath it, Coronado here stopped his northward march, and on the spot where Pueblo now stands established the farthermost outpost of New Spain.

The average traveller who journeys westward from the Missouri River imagines that he is coming to a new country. "The New West" is a favorite term with the agents of land—companies and the writers of alluring railway-guides. These enterprising advocates sometimes indulge in flights of rhetoric that scorn the trammels of grammar and dictionary. Witness the following impassioned utterances concerning the lands of a certain Western railroad: "They comprise a section of country whose possibilities are simply infinitesimal, and whose developments will be revealed in glorious realization through the horoscope of the near future." This verbal architect builded wiser than he knew, for what more fitting word could the imagination suggest wherewith to crown the possibilities of alkali wastes and barren, sun-scorched plains?

A considerable part of the New West of to-day was explored by the Spaniards more than three centuries ago. Before the English had landed at Plymouth Rock or made a settlement at Jamestown they had penetrated to the Rocky Mountains and given to peak and river their characteristic names. Southern Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona have been the theatres wherein were enacted deeds of daring and bravery perhaps unsurpassed by any people and any age; and that, too, centuries before they became a part of our American Union. The whole country is strewn over with the ruins of a civilization in comparison with which our own of to-day seems feeble. And he who journeys across the Plains till he reaches the Sangre del Cristo Mountains or the blue Sierra Mojadas enters a land made famous by the exploits of Coronado, De Vaca and perhaps of the great Montezuma himself.

In the year 1540, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was sent by the Spanish viceroy of Mexico to explore the regions to the north. Those mountain-peaks, dim and shadowy in the distance and seeming to recede as they were approached, had ever been an alluring sight to the gold-seeking Spaniards. But the coveted treasure did not reveal itself to their cursory search; and though they doubtless pushed as far north as the Arkansas River, they returned to the capital from what they considered an unsuccessful expedition. The way was opened, however, and in 1595 the Spaniards came to what is now the Territory of New Mexico and founded the city of Santa Fe. They had found, for the most part, a settled country, the inhabitants living in densely-populated villages, or pueblos, and evincing a rather high degree of civilization. Their dwellings of mud bricks, or adobes, were all built upon a single plan, and consisted of a square or rectangular fort-like structure enclosing an open space. Herds of sheep and goats grazed upon the hillsides, while the bottom-lands were planted with corn and barley. Thus lived and flourished the Pueblo Indians, a race the origin of which lies in obscurity, but connected with which are many legends of absorbing interest. All their traditions point to Montezuma as the founder and leader of their race, and likewise to their descent from the Aztecs. But their glory departed with the coming of Cortez, and their Spanish conquerors treated them as an inferior race. Revolting against their oppressors in 1680, they were reconquered thirteen years later, though subsequently allowed greater liberty. By the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848 they became citizens of the United States. From one extreme of government to another has drifted this remnant of a stately race, till now at last it finds itself safely sheltered in the arms of our great republic.

Such is the romantic history of a portion of our so-called "New West;" but it was with a view of ascertaining some facts concerning occurrences of more recent date, as well as of seeing some of the actors therein, that we paid a visit to Pueblo. We found it a rather odd mixture of the old and the new, the adobe and the "dug-out" looking across the street upon the imposing structure of brick or the often gaudily-painted frame cottage. It looked as though it might have been indulging in a Rip Van Winkle sleep, except that the duration might have been a century or two. High mesas with gracefully rounded and convoluted sides almost entirely surround it, and rising above their floor-like tops, and in fine contrast with their sombre brown tints, appear the blue outlines of the distant mountains. Pike's Peak, fifty miles to the north, and the Spanish Peaks, the Wawatoyas, ninety to the south, are sublime objects of which the eye never grows weary; while the Sierra Mojadas bank up the western horizon with a frowning mountain-wall. A notch in the distant range, forty miles to the north-west, indicates the place where the Arkansas River breaks through the barriers that would impede its seaward course, forming perhaps the grandest canon to be found in all this mighty mountain-wilderness. Truly a striking picture was that on which Coronado and his mail-clad warriors gazed.



A motley throng compose the inhabitants of Pueblo. The dark-hued Mexican, his round face shaded by the inevitable sombrero, figures conspicuously. But if you value his favor and your future peace of mind have a care how you allude to his nationality. He is a Spaniard, you should know—a pure Castilian whose ancestor was some old hidalgo with as long an array of names and titles as has the Czar of All the Russias himself. Though he now lives in a forsaken-looking adobe hut with dirt floor and roof of sticks and turf that serves only to defile the raindrops that trickle through its many gaps—though his sallow wife and ill-favored children huddle round him or cook the scanty meal upon the mud oven in a corner of the room—he is yet a Spaniard, and glories in it. The tall, raw-boned man, straight as a young cottonwood, whose long black hair floats out from beneath his hat as he rides into town from his ranch down the river, may be a half-breed who has figured in a score of Indian fights, and enjoys the proud distinction of having killed his man. There is the hungry-looking prospector, waiting with ill-disguised impatience till he can "cross the Range" and follow again, as he has done year after year, the exciting chase after the ever-receding mirage—the visions of fabulous wealth always going to be, but never quite, attained. The time-honored symbol of Hope must, we think, give place to a more forcible representation furnished by the peculiar genius of our times; for is not our modern Rocky-Mountain prospector the complete embodiment of that sublime grace? His is a hope that even reverses the proverb, for no amount of deferring is able to make him heartsick, but rather seems to spur him on to more earnest endeavor. Has he toiled the summer long, endured every privation, encountered inconceivable perils, only to find himself at its close poorer than when he began? Reluctantly he leaves the mountain-side where the drifting snows have begun to gather, but seemingly as light-hearted as when he came, for his unshaken hope bridges the winter and feeds upon the limitless possibilities of the future. Full of wonderful stories are these same hope-sustained prospectors—tales that are bright with the glitter of silver and gold. Not a single one of them who has not discovered "leads" of wonderful richness or "placers" where the sands were yellow with gold; but by some mischance the prize always slipped out of his grasp, and left him poor in all but hope. And in truth so fascinating becomes the occupation that men who in other respects seem cool and phlegmatic will desert an almost assured success to join the horde rushing toward some unexplored district, impelled by the ever-flying rumors of untold wealth just brought to light. The golden goal this season is the great Gunnison Country; and soon trains of burros, packed with pick and shovel, tent and provisions, will be climbing the Range.

Pueblo has likewise its business-men, its men of to-day, who manage its banks, who buy and sell and get gain as they might do in any well-ordered city, though, truth to tell, there are very few of them who do not sooner or later catch the prevailing infection—a part of whose assets is not represented by some "prospect" away up in the mountains or frisking about the Plains in herds of cattle and sheep. But perhaps the most curiously-original character in all the town is Judge Allen A. Bradford, of whose wonderful memory the following good story is told: Years ago he, with a party of officers, was at the house of Colonel Boone, down the river. While engaged in playing "pitch-trump," of which the judge was very fond—and in fact the only game of cards with which he was acquainted—a messenger rushed in announcing that a lady had fallen from her horse and was doubtless much injured. The players left their cards and ran to render assistance, and the game thus broken up was not resumed. Some two years later the same parties found themselves together again, and "pitch-trump" was proposed. To the astonishment of all, the judge informed them how the score stood when they had so hurriedly left the game, and with the utmost gravity insisted that it be continued from that point!

On a bright sunny morning we sought out the judge's office, only to learn that he had not yet for the day exchanged the pleasures of rural life across the Fontaine for less romantic devotions at the shrine of the stern goddess. Later we were informed, upon what seemed credible authority, that upon the morning in question he was intending to sow oats. Though cold March still claimed the calendar, and hence such action on the part of the judge might seem like forcing the season, yet reflections upon his advanced years caused us to suppress the rising thought that perhaps some allusions to wild oats might have been intended. Hence we looked forward to a rare treat—judicial dignity unbending itself in pastoral pursuits, as in the case of some Roman magistrate. "A little better'n a mile" was the answer to our interrogatory as to how far the judge's ranch might be from town; but having upon many former occasions taken the dimensions of a Colorado mile, we declined the suggestion to walk and sought some mode of conveyance. There chanced to be one right at hand, standing patiently by the wayside and presided over by an ancient colored gentleman. The coach had been a fine one in its day, but that was long since past, and now its dashboard, bent out at an angle of forty-five degrees, the faded trimmings and the rusty, stately occupant of the box formed a complete and harmonious picture of past grandeur seldom seen in the Far West. Two dubious-looking bronchos, a bay and a white, completed this unique equipage, in which we climbed the mesa and then descended into the valley of the Fontaine. The sable driver was disposed to be communicative, and ventured various opinions upon current topics. He had been through the war, and came West fourteen years ago.

"You have had quite an adventurous life," we remarked.

"Why, sah," he returned, "if the history ob my life was wrote up it would be wuth ten thousand dollars."

While regarding the valuation as somewhat high, we yet regretted our inability to profit by this unexpected though promising business-opportunity, and soon our attention was diverted by a glimpse of the judge's adobe, and that person himself standing by his carriage and awaiting our by no means rapid approach. He was about to go to town, and the oats were being sown by an individual of the same nationality as our driver, to whom the latter addressed such encouraging remarks as "Git right 'long dere now and sow dat oats. Don't stand roostin' on de fence all day, like as you had the consumshing. You look powerful weak. Guess mebbe I'd better come over dere and show you how."



Judge Bradford's career has been a chequered one, and it has fallen to his lot to dispense justice in places and under circumstances as various as could well be imagined. Born in Maine in 1815, he has lived successively in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, and held almost every position open to the profession of the law. From the supreme bench of Colorado he was twice called to represent the Territory as delegate to Congress. In 1852, when he was judge of the Sixth Judicial District of Iowa, his eccentricities of character seem to have reached their full development. He exhibited that supreme disregard for dress and the various social amenities which not infrequently betray the superior mind. Never were his clothes known to fit, being invariably too large or too small, too short or too long. As to his hair, the external evidences were of a character to disprove the rumor that he had a brush and comb, while the stubby beard frequently remained undisturbed upon the judicial chin for several weeks at a time. The atrocious story is even told that once upon a time, when half shaven, he chanced to pick up a newspaper, became absorbed in its contents, forgot to complete his task, and went to court in this most absurdly unsymmetrical condition. But, despite these personal eccentricities, a more honest or capable judge has rarely been called upon to vindicate the majesty of the law. Upon the bench none could detect a flaw in his assumption of that dignity so intimately associated in all minds with the judiciary, but, the ermine once laid aside for the day, he was as jolly and mirthful as any of his frontier companions. Judge Bradford was no advocate, but by the action of a phenomenal memory his large head was stored so full of law as to emphasize, to those who knew him, the curious disproportion between its size and that of his legs and feet. These latter were of such peculiarly modest dimensions as to call to mind Goldsmith's well-known lines, though in this case we must, of necessity, picture admiring frontiersmen standing round while

Still the wonder grew That two small feet could carry all he knew.

The judge's mind is of the encyclopaedical type, and facts and dates are his especial "strong holt." But his countenance fails to ratify the inward structure when, pausing from a recital, he gazes upon your reception of the knowledge conveyed with a kindly smile—a most innocent smile that acts as a strong disposer to belief. Whether it has been a simple tale of the early days enlivened with recollections of pitch-trump and other social joys, or whether the performances of savage Indians and treacherous half-breeds send a chill through the listener, it is all the same: at its close the judge's amiable features wear the same belief-compelling smile. Under its influence we sit for hours while our entertainer ranges through the stores of his memory, pulling out much that is dust-covered and ancient, but quickly renovated for our use by his ready imagination and occasional wit. With a feeling akin to reverence we listen—a reverence due to one who had turned his face toward the Rocky Mountains before Colorado had a name, who had made the perilous journey across the great Plains behind a bull-team, and who has since been associated with everything concerned in the welfare and progress of what has now become this great Centennial State, toward which all eyes are turning. Not without its dark days to him has passed this pioneer life, and none were more filled with discouragement than those during which he represented the Territory in Congress. He describes the position as one of peculiar difficulty—on one hand the clamors of a people for aid and recognition in their rapid development of the country, while on the other, to meet them, he found himself a mere beggar at the doors of Congressional mercy and grace, voteless and hence powerless. Truly, in the light of his experience, the office of Territorial delegate is no sinecure.

No one has more closely observed the course of events in the Far West than Judge Bradford, and his opinions on some disputed points are very decided and equally clear. Many have wondered that Pueblo, which had the advantage of first settlement, had long been a rendezvous of trappers and frontier traders, and lay upon the only road to the then so-called Pike's Peak mines, that via the Arkansas Canon—that this outpost, situated thus at the very gateway of the Far West, should have remained comparatively unimportant, while Denver grew with such astonishing rapidity. But, in the judge's opinion, it was the war of the rebellion that turned the scale in favor of the Queen City. The first emigrants had come through Missouri and up the Arkansas, their natural route, and as naturally conducting to Pueblo. But when Missouri and South-eastern Kansas became the scenes of guerrilla warfare the emigrant who would safely convey himself and family across the prairies must seek a more northern parallel. Hence, Pueblo received a check from which it is only now recovering, and Denver an impetus whose ultimate limits no man can foresee.

Many strange things were done in the olden time. When the Plains Indians had gathered together their forces for the purpose of persistently harassing the settlement, the Mountain Utes, then the allies of the whites, offered their services to help repel the common enemy. Petitions went up to the governor and Legislature to accept the proffered services, but they were steadily refused. Our long-headed judge gives the reason: The administration was under the control of men who were feeding Uncle Sam's troops with corn at thirteen cents per pound, and other staples in proportion, and the Indian volunteers promised a too speedy ending of such a profitable warfare.

Thus eventfully has passed the life of Judge Bradford. During his threescore-and-five years he has moved almost across a continent, never content unless he was on the frontier. Long may he live to ride in his light coverless wagon in the smile of bright Colorado sunshine, honored by all who know him, and affording his friends the enjoyment of his rare good presence!



Thirty years ago this whole Rocky-Mountain region, now appropriated by an enterprising and progressive people, contained, besides the native Indians and the Mexicans in the south, only a few trappers and frontier traders, most of them in the employ of the American Fur Company. These were the fearless and intrepid pioneers who so far from fleeing danger seemed rather to court it. Accounts of their adventures—now a struggle with a wounded bear, again the threatened perils of starvation when lost in some mountain-fastness—have long simultaneously terrified and fascinated both young and old. We all have pictured their dress—the coat or cloak, often an odd combination of several varieties of skins pieced together, with fur side in; breeches sometimes of the same material, but oftener of coarse duck or corduroy; and the slouched hat, under whose broad brim whatever of the face that was not concealed by a shaggy, unkempt beard shone out red from exposure to sun and weather. The American Fur Company had dotted the country with forts, which served the double purpose of storehouses for the valuables collected and of places where the employes could barricade themselves against the too-often troublesome savages. For such a purpose, though not actually by the Fur Company, was built the old adobe fort the ruins of which are still to be seen on the banks of the Arkansas at Pueblo. How old it may have been no one seems to know, but certain it is that for long years, and in the earliest times, it was a favorite rendezvous. Here was always to be found a jolly good party to pass away the long winter evenings with song and story. Here Kit Carson often stopped to rest from his many perilous expeditions, enjoying, together with Fremont and other noted Rocky-Mountain explorers, the hospitalities of the old fort. Many times were its soft walls indented by the arrows of besieging Indians, but its bloodiest tragedy was enacted in 1854, when the Utes surprised the sleeping company and savagely massacred all.

While these events were transpiring at the old fort a party of Mexicans had journeyed from the south, crossed the Arkansas River and formed a settlement on the east side of the Fontaine. A characteristically squalid and miserable place it was, with the dwellings—they scarce deserved the name of houses—built in the side of the bluffs very much as animals might burrow in the ground. Part dug-out and part adobe were those wretched habitations, and the shed-like parts which projected from the hill were composed of all conceivable and inconceivable kinds of rubbish. Sticks, stones, bits of old iron, worn-out mattings and gunny-sacks entered more or less into the construction of these dens, all stuck together with the inevitable adobe mud. The settlement extended some distance along the side of the bluff, and the sloping plain in front was dignified as the plaza. Perhaps the dark-hued immigrants expected a large town to spring from these unpromising beginnings, and their plaza to take on eventually all the importance which a place so named ever deserves in the Spanish and Mexican mind. But the Pike's Peak excitement, originating in 1852 with the finding of gold by a party of Cherokee Indians, and reaching its culmination in 1859, brought a far different class of people to our Rocky-Mountain outpost, and a civilization was inaugurated which speedily compelled the ancient Mexican methods to go by the board. Thus, Fontaine was soon absorbed by the rising town of Pueblo, though the ancient dug-outs still picturesquely dot the hillside, inhabited by much the same idle and vagabond class from which the prosperous ranchman soon learns to guard his hen-roost.

The growth of any of our Far Western towns presents a curious study. In these latter days it frequently requires but a few months, or even weeks, to give some new one a fair start upon its prosperous way. Sometimes a mineral vein, sometimes the temporary "end of the track" of a lengthening railway, forms the nucleus, and around it are first seen the tents of the advance-guard. Before many weeks have elapsed some enterprising individual has succeeded, in the face of infinite toil and expense, in bringing a sawmill into camp. Soon it is buzzing away on the neighboring hillside, and the rough pine boards and slabs are growing into houses of all curious sizes and shapes, irregularly lining the main street. Delightfully free from conventionality are matters in these new towns. Former notions of things go for naught. Values are in a highly-disturbed state, and you will probably be charged more for the privilege of sleeping somewhere on the floor than for all the refined elegancies of the Fifth Avenue. The board-walks along the street, where they exist at all, plainly typify this absence of a well-defined dead level or zero-point in the popular sentiment; for the various sections are built each upon the same eccentric plan that obtains in the corresponding house. The result is an irregular succession of steps equally irregular, with enough literal jumping-off places to relieve any possible monotony attending the promenade. If the growth of the town seems to continue satisfactory, its houses—at least those in or near its central portions—begin gradually to pass through the next stage in their development. During this interesting period, which might be called their chrysalid state, they are twisted and turned, sometimes sawn asunder, parts lopped off here and applied elsewhere, and all those radical changes made which would utterly destroy anything possessed of protean possibilities inferior to those of the common Western frame house. But, as a final result of this treatment and some small additions of new material, at last emerges the shapely and often artistic cottage, resplendent in paint, and bearing small resemblance to the slab-built barn which forms its framework. If the sometime camp becomes a city—if Auraria grows into a Denver and Fontaine develops into Pueblo—the frame houses will sooner or later share a common fate, that of being mounted on wheels or rollers for a journey suburbward, to make room for the substantial blocks of brick or stone. By this curious process of evolution do most of our Western towns rapidly acquire more or less of a metropolitan appearance.



Pueblo, while not a representative Western town in these respects, yet in its early days presented some curious combinations, most of them growing out of the heterogeneous human mixture that attempted to form a settlement. The famous Green-Russell party, on its way from Georgia to the Pike's Peak country, had passed through Missouri and Kansas in 1858, and there found an element ripe for any daring and adventurous deeds in unknown lands. Many of the border desperadoes, then engaged in that hard-fought prelude to the civil war, found it desirable and expedient to leave a place where their violent deeds became too well known; and these, together with others who hoped to find in a new country relief from the anarchy which reigned at home, fell into the wake of the pioneers. Pueblo received its full share of Kansas outlaws about this time, and, what with those it already contained, even a modicum of peace seemed out of the question. Here, for instance, was found living with the Mexicans by the plaza a quarrelsome fellow named Juan Trujillo, better known by the sobriquet of Juan Chiquito or "Little John," which his diminutive stature had earned for him. This worthy is represented as a constant disturber of the peace, and he met the tragic fate which his reckless life had invited. From being a trusted friend he had incurred the enmitv of a noted character named Charley Antobees, than whom, perhaps, no one has had a more varied frontier experience. Coming to the Rocky Mountains in 1836 in the employ of the American Fur Company, he has since served as hunter, trapper, Indian-fighter, guide to several United States exploring expeditions, and spy in the Mexican war as well as in the war of the rebellion. Antobees still lives on the outskirts of Pueblo, and his scarred and bronzed face, framed by flowing locks of jet-black hair, is familiar to all. The frame that has endured so much is now bent, and health is at last broken, and about a year since an effort was made by Judge Bradford and others to secure him a pension. But twenty years back he was in his full vigor and able to maintain his own against all odds. Whether or not it is true we cannot say, but certain it is that he is credited with causing the death of Juan Chiquito. An Indian called "Chickey" actually did the deed, lying in ambush for his victim. Perhaps few were sorry at the Mexican's sudden taking off, and in a country where Judge Lynch alone executes the laws the whole transaction was no doubt regarded as eminently proper.

Among those who came to Pueblo with the influx of 1858 were two brothers from Ohio, Josiah and Stephen Smith. Stalwart young men were these, of a different type from the Kansans and Missourians, yet not of the sort to be imposed upon. They were crack rifle-shots, and even then held decided opinions on the Indian question—opinions which subsequent experiences have served to emphasize, but not change. And what with constant troubles with the savages, as well as with the scarcely less intractable Kansans, their first years in the Far West could not be called altogether pleasant. Many a time have their lives been in danger from bands of outlaw immigrants, who, dissatisfied with not finding gold lying about as they had expected, sought to revenge themselves upon the settlers, whom they considered in fault for having led the way. Their personal bravery went far toward bringing to a close this reign of terror and transforming the lawless settlement into a permanent and prosperous town. Still in the prime of life, they look back with pleasure over their most hazardous experiences, for time has softened the dangers and cast over them the glow of romance. And while none are more familiar with everything concerning the early history of Pueblo, it is equally true that none are more ready to gratify an appreciative listener, and the writer is indebted for much that follows to their inimitable recitals.

About the first work of any note undertaken in connection with the new town was the building of a bridge across the Arkansas. This was accomplished in 1860, when a charter was obtained from Kansas and a structure of six spans thrown across the river. It was a toll-bridge, and every crossing team put at least one dollar into the pockets of its owners. But trouble soon overtook the management. While one of the proprietors was in New Mexico, building a mill for Maxwell upon his famous estate, the other was so unfortunate as to kill three men, and was obliged, as Steph Smith felicitously expressed it, to "skip out." Thus the bridge passed into other hands, where it remained till it was partly washed away in 1863. The following little matter of history connected with its palmy days will be best given in the narrator's own words: "We had a blacksmith who misused his wife. The citizens took him down to the bridge, tied a rope around his body and threw him into the river. They kept up their lick until they nearly drowned the poor cuss, then whispered to him to be good to his wife or his time would be short. He took the hint, used his wife well, and everything was lovely. That was the first cold-water cure in Pueblo, and I ain't sure but the last." This incident serves to illustrate the inherent character of American gallantry, for, however wild or in most respects uncivilized men may appear to become under the influence of frontier life, instances are rare in which women are not treated with all the honor and respect due them. Indeed, I have sometimes thought that the general sentiment concerning woman is more refined and reverential among the bronzed pioneers at the outposts than under the influence of a higher civilization.

The Arkansas, ever changing its winding course after the manner of prairie-rivers, has long since shifted its bed some distance to the south, leaving only a portion of the old bridge to span what in high water becomes an arm of the river, but which ordinarily serves to convey the water from a neighboring mill. We lean upon its guard-rail while fancy is busy with the past. We picture the prairie-schooners winding around the mesas and through the gap: soon they have come to the grove by the river-bank; the horses are picketed and the camp-fire is blazing; brown children play in the sand while their parents lie stretched out in the shadow of the wagons. They left civilization on the banks of the Missouri more than a month ago, and their eyes are still turned toward those grand old mountain-ranges in the west over which the declining sun is now pouring its transfiguring sheen. The brightness dazzles the eyes, and the Mexican who rides by on a scarce manageable broncho with nose high in air might be old Juan Chiquito bent upon some murderous errand. But no: the rider has stopped the animal, and is soliciting the peaceful offices of a blacksmith, whose curious little shop, bearing the suggestive name of "Ute," is seen near the bridge. Here bronchos, mules and burros are fitted with massive shoes by this frontier Vulcan and sent rejoicing upon their winding and rocky ways. Our sleepy gaze follows along Santa Fe Avenue, and the eye sees little that is suggestive of a modern Western town. But soon comes noisily along a one-horse street-car, which asserts its just claims to popular notice in consequence of its composing a full half of a system scarce a fortnight old by filling the air with direful screeches as each curve is laboriously described. And later, when the magnificent overland train, twenty-six hours from Kansas City, steams proudly up to the station, fancy can no longer be indulged. The old has become new. The great Plains have been bridged, and the outposts of but a decade ago become the suburbs of to-day.



Doubtless Old Si Smith now and then indulges in reveries somewhat similar, but his retrospections would be of a minute and personal character. To warm up the average frontiersman, however—and Old Si is no exception—into a style at once luminous and emphatic and embellished with all the richness of the border dialect, it is only necessary to suggest the Indian topic. However phlegmatically he may reel off his yarns, glowing though they be with exciting adventure, it is the red-skins that cause his eyes to flash and his rhetoric to become fervid and impressive. To him the Indian is the embodiment of all that is supremely vile, and hence merits his unmitigated hatred. Killing Indians is his most delightful occupation, and the next in order is talking about it. His contempt for government methods is unbounded, and the popular Eastern sentiment he holds in almost equal esteem. The Smith brothers have had a varied experience in frontier affairs, in which the Indian has played a prominent part. They hold the Western views, but with less prejudice than is generally found. They argue the case with a degree of fairness, and many of their opinions and deductions are novel and equally just. Said Stephen Smith to the writer: "We've got this thing reduced right down to vulgar fractions, and the Utes have got to go. The mineral lands are worth more to us than the Indians are"—this with a suggestive shrug—"and if the government don't remove them from the reserves, why, we'll have to do it ourselves. There's a great fuss been made about the whites going on the Indian reserves; and what did it all amount to? Maybe fifty or sixty prospectors, all told, have got over the lines, dug a few holes and hurt nobody. But I suppose the Indians always stay where they ought to! I guess not. Some of them are off their reserves half the time, and they go off to murder and kill. Do they ever get punished for that? Not much, except when folks do it on their own account. But let a white man get found on the Indian reserves and there's a great howl. I want a rule that will work both ways, and I don't give much for a government that isn't able to protect me on the Indian reserves the same as anywhere else. Some years ago Indian troubles were reported at Washington, and Sherman was sent out to investigate. Of course they heard he was coming, and all were on their good behavior. They knew where their blankets and ponies and provisions came from. Consequently, Sherman reported everything peaceful: he hadn't seen anybody killed. That's about the kind of information they get in the East on the Indian question.

"Misused? Yes, the Indians have been misused, badly misused. I know that. But who have they misused? This whole country is covered with ruins, and they all go to show that it has been inhabited by a highly-civilized race of people. And what has become of them? I believe the Indians cleaned them out long years ago; and now their turn has come. I find it's a law of Nature"—and here the narrator's tone grew more reverent as if touching upon a higher theme—"that the weak go to the wall. It's a hard law, but I don't see any way out of it. The old Aztecs had to go under, and the Indians will have to follow suit."

Whatever humanitarians and archaeologists may conclude concerning these opinions, they are nevertheless extensively held in the Far West. The frontiersman, who sees the Indian only in his native savagery, who has found it necessary to employ a considerable part of his time in keeping out of range of poisoned arrows, and who must needs be always upon the alert lest his family fall a prey to Indian treachery, cannot be expected to hold any ultra-humanitarian views upon the subject. He has not been brought in contact with the several partially-civilized tribes, in whose advancement many see possibilities for the whole race. He cannot understand why the government allows the Indians to roam over enormous tracts of land, rich in minerals they will never extract and containing agricultural possibilities they will never seek to realize. His plan would be to have only the same governmental care exercised over the red man as is now enjoyed by the white, and then look to the law of the survival of the fittest to furnish a solution of the problem. The case seems so clear and the arguments so potent that he looks for some outside reasons for their failure, and very naturally thinks he discovers them in governmental quarters. "There's too many people living off this Indian business for it to be wound up yet a while." Thus does a representative man at the outposts express the sentiment of no inconsiderable class.

Next to the Indian himself, the frontiersman holds in slight esteem the soldiers who are sent for the protection of the border. The objects of his supreme hatred still often merit his good opinion for their bravery and fighting qualities, but upon raw Eastern recruits and West-Point fledglings he looks with mild disdain. Having learned the Indian methods by many hard knocks, he doubtless fails to exercise proper charity toward those whose experiences have been less extended; and added to this may be a lurking jealousy—which, however, would be stoutly disclaimed—because the blue uniform is gaining honors and experience more easily and under conditions more favorable than were possible with him in the early days. "They be about the greenest set!" said an old Indian-fighter to whom this subject was broached, "and the sight of an Injun jest about scares 'em to death at first. I never saw any of 'em I was afraid of if I only had any sort of a show. Why, back in '59 I undertook to take a young man back to the States, and we started off in a buggy—a buggy, do you mind. When we got down the Arkansas a piece we heard the red-skins was pretty thick, but we went right on, except keeping more of a lookout, you know. But along in the afternoon we saw fifteen or twenty coming for us, and we got ready to give 'em a reception. We had a hard chase, but at last they got pretty sick of the way I handled my rifle, and concluded to let us alone for a while. They kept watch of us, though, and meant to get square with us that night. Well, we travelled till dark, stopped just long enough to build a big fire, and then lit out. When those Injuns came for us that night we were some other place, and they lost their grip on that little scalping-bee. They didn't trouble us any more, that's sure. And when we got to the next post there were nigh a hundred teams, six stages and two companies of soldiers, all shivering for fear of the Injuns. It rather took the wind out of 'em to see us come in with that buggy, and they didn't want to believe we had come through. But, like the man's mother-in-law, we were there, and they couldn't get out of it. And, sir, maybe you won't believe me, but those soldiers offered me seventy-five dollars to go back with them! That's the sort of an outfit the government sends to protect us!"



We have had frequent occasion since our frontier experiences began to ponder the untrammelled opulence of this Western word, outfit. From the Mississippi to the Pacific its expansive possibilities are momentarily being tested. There is nothing that lives, breathes or grows, nothing known to the arts or investigated by the sciences—nothing, in short, coming within the range of the Western perception—that cannot with more or less appropriateness be termed an "outfit." A dismal broncho turned adrift in mid-winter to browse on the short stubble of the Plains is an "outfit," and so likewise is the dashing equipage that includes a shining phaeton and richly-caparisoned span. Perhaps by no single method can so comprehensive an idea of the term in question be obtained in a short time, and the proper qualifying adjectives correctly determined, as by simply preparing for a camping-expedition. The horse-trader with whom you have negotiated for a pair of horses or mules congratulates you upon the acquisition of a "boss outfit." When your wagon has been purchased and the mules are duly harnessed in place, you are further induced to believe that you have a "way-up outfit," though, obviously, this should now be understood to possess a dual significance which did not before obtain, since the wagon represents a component part. The hardware clerk displays a tent and recommends a fly as forming a desirable addition to an even otherwise "swell outfit." The grocer provides you with what he modestly terms a "first-class outfit," albeit his cans of fruits, vegetables and meats are for the delectation of the inner man. Frying-pans and dutch-ovens, camp-stools and trout-scales, receive the same designation. And now comes the crowning triumph of this versatile term, as well as a happy illustration of what might be called its agglutinative and assimilating powers; for when horses and wagon have received their load of tent and equipments, and father, mother and the babies have filled up every available space, this whole establishment, this omnium gatherum of outfits, becomes neither more nor less than an "outfit."

The last five years have witnessed a wonderful material progress in the Far West. The mineral wealth discovered in Colorado and New Mexico has caused a great westward-flowing tide to set in. The nation seems to be possessed of a desire to reclaim the waste places and to explore the unknown. Cities that were founded by "fifty-niners," and after a decade seemed to reach the limits of their growth, have started on a new career. And for none of these does the outlook seem brighter than in the case of the city of Pueblo, the old outpost whose early history we have attempted to sketch. Its growth has all along been a gradual one, and its improvements have kept pace with this healthy advance. Its public schools, like those of all Far Western towns which the writer has visited are model institutions and an honor to the commonwealth. A handsome brick court-house, situated on high ground, is an ornament to the city, and differs widely from that in which Judge Bradford held court eighteen years ago—the first held in the Territory, and that, too, under military protection. Pueblo's wealth is largely derived from the stock-raising business, the surrounding country being well adapted to cattle and sheep. The rancheros ride the Plains the year round, and the cattle flourish upon the food which Nature provides—in the summer the fresh grass, and in the winter the same converted into hay which has been cured upon the ground. An important railway-centre is Pueblo, and iron highways radiate from it to the four cardinal points. These advantages of location should procure it a large share of the flood of prosperity that is sweeping over the State. But enterprises are now in progress which cannot fail to add materially to its importance as a factor in the development of the country. On the highest lift of the mesa south of the town, and in a most commanding position, it has been decided to locate a blast-furnace which shall have no neighbor within a radius of five hundred miles. With iron ore of finest quality easily accessible in the neighboring mountains, and coal-fields of unlimited extent likewise within easy reach, the production of iron in the Rocky Mountains has only waited for the growth of a demand. This the advancement and prosperity of the State have now well assured. Many kindred industries will spring up around the furnace, the Bessemer steel-works and the rail-mills that are now projected; and a few years will suffice to transform the level mesa, upon which for untold centuries the cactus and the yucca-lily have bloomed undisturbed, into a thriving manufacturing city whose pulse shall be the throb of steam through iron arms. The onlooking mountains, that have seen strange sights about this old outpost, are to see a still stranger—the ushering-in of a new civilization which now begins its march into the land of the Aztecs.

Perhaps these thoughts were occupying our minds as we climbed the bluffs for a visit to this incipient Pittsburg. The equipage did no credit to the financial status of the iron company, as it consisted of a superannuated express-wagon drawn by a dyspeptic white horse which the boy who officiated as driver found no difficulty in restraining. Two gentlemen in charge of the constructions, their visitor and two kegs of nails comprised this precious load. The day was cloudless and fine, albeit a Colorado "zephyr" was blowing, and the party, with perhaps the single exception of the horse, felt in fine spirits. The jolly superintendent, who both in face and mien reminded one of the typical German nobleman, was overflowing with story, joke and witty repartee. The site of the works was reached in the course of time. Excavations were in progress for the blast-furnace and accessory buildings, and developed a strange formation. The entire mesa seems built up of boulders packed together with a sort of alkali clay, dry and hard as stone, and looking, as our distingue guide remarked, as though not a drop of water had penetrated five feet from the surface since the time of the Flood. Two blast-furnaces, each with a capacity of five hundred tons, will be speedily built, to be followed by rail-mills, a Bessemer steel-plant and all the accessories of vast iron-and steel-works. With the patronage of several thousand miles of railway already assured, and its duplication in the near future apparently beyond doubt, the success of this daring frontier enterprise seems far removed from the domain of conjecture.



All this was glowingly set forth by the courtly superintendent, who, though but three months in the country, is already at heart a Coloradan. That there are some things about frontier life which he likes better than others he is free to admit. Among the few matters he would have otherwise he gives the first place to the tough "range" or "snow-fed" beef upon which the dwellers in this favored land must needs subsist. "I heard a story once," said he, "about a young man, a tenderfoot, who, after long wondering what made the beef so fearfully tough, at length arrived at the solution, as he thought, and that quite by accident. He was riding out with a friend, an old resident, when they chanced to come upon a bunch of cattle. The young man's attention seemed to be attracted, and as the idea began to dawn upon him he faced his companion, and, pointing to an animal which bore the brand "B.C. 45," savagely exclaimed, 'Look there! How can you expect those antediluvians to be anything but tough? Why don't you kill your cattle before they get two or three times as old as Methuselah?'"

We took a long ride that afternoon under a peerless sky, with blue mountain-ranges on one hand, whose ridges, covered with snow, seemed like folds of satin, and on the other the great billowy Plains, bare and brown and smooth as a carpet. The white horse, relieved of the kegs of nails, really performed prodigies of travel, all the more appreciated because unexpected. A stone-quarry for which we were searching was not found, but a teamster was, who, while everything solemnly stood still and waited, and amid the agonies of an indescribable stutter, finally managed to enlighten us somewhat as to its whereabouts. These adventures served to put us in excellent humor, so that when the road was found barricaded by a barbed wire fence, it only served to give one of the party an opportunity to air his views upon the subject—to argue, in fact, that the barbed wire fence had been an important factor in building up the agricultural greatness of the West. "For what inducements," he exclaims, "does the top rail of such a fence offer to the contemplative farmer? None, sir! His traditional laziness has been broken up, and great material prosperity is the result."

Whatever causes have operated to produce the effect, certain it is that the West is eminently prosperous to-day. Everywhere are seen growth, enterprise and an aggressiveness that stops at no obstacles. Immigration is pouring into Colorado alone at the rate of several thousands per week. The government lands are being rapidly taken up, and the stable industries of stock-raising and farming correspondingly extended. Manufacturing, too, is acquiring a foothold, and many of the necessaries of life, which now must be obtained in the East, will soon be produced at home. The mountains are revealing untold treasures of silver and gold, and the possibilities which may lie hid in the yet unexplored regions act as a stimulus to crowds of hopeful prospectors. But while Colorado is receiving her full share of the influx, a tide seems to be setting in toward the old empire of the Aztecs, and flowing through the natural gateway, our old Rocky-Mountain outpost. It is beginning to be found out that the legends of fabulous wealth which have come down to us from the olden time have much of truth in them, and mines that were worked successively by Franciscan monks, Pueblo Indians, Jesuit priests and Mexicans, and had suffered filling up and obliteration with every change of proprietorship, are now being reopened; and that, too, under a new dispensation which will ensure prosperity to the enterprise. Spaniard and priest have long since abandoned their claim to the rich possessions, and their doubtful sway, ever upon the verge of revolution and offering no incentive to enterprise, has given place to one of a different character. Under the protection of beneficent and fostering laws this oldest portion of our Union may now be expected to reveal its wealth of resources to energy and intelligent labor. And it may confidently be predicted that American enterprise will not halt till it has built up the waste places of our land, and in this case literally made the desert to blossom as the rose. Thus gloriously does our new civilization reclaim the errors of the past, building upon ancient ruins the enlightened institutions of to-day, and grafting fresh vigor upon effete races and nationalities. And now, at last, the Spanish Peaks, those mighty ancient sentinels whose twin spires, like eyes, have watched the slow rise and fall of stately but tottering dynasties in the long ago, are to look out upon a different scene—a new race come in the might of its freedom and with almost the glory of a conquering host to redeem a waiting land from the outcome of centuries of avaricious and bigoted misrule, and even from the thraldom of decay.

GEORGE REX BUCKMAN.



LOST.

I.

I lost my treasures one by one, Those joys the world holds dear; Smiling I said, "To-morrow's sun Will bring us better cheer." For faith and love were one. Glad faith! All loss is naught save loss of faith.

II.

My truant joys come trooping back, And trooping friends no less; But tears fall fast to meet the lack Of dearer happiness. For faith and love are two. Sad faith! 'Tis loss indeed, the loss of faith.

MARY B. DODGE.



ADAM AND EVE.



CHAPTER XXXVI.

From the day on which Adam knew that the date of Jerrem's trial was fixed all the hope which the sight of Eve had rekindled was again completely extinguished, and, refusing every attempt at consolation, he threw himself into an abyss of despair a hundred-fold more dark and bitter than before. The thought that he, captain and leader as he had been, should stand in court confronted by his comrades and neighbors (for Adam, ignorant of the disasters which had overtaken them, believed half Polperro to be on their way to London), and there swear away Jerrem's life and turn informer, was something too terrible to be dwelt on with even outward tranquillity, and, abandoning everything which had hitherto sustained him, he gave himself up to all the terrors of remorse and despair. It was in vain for Reuben to reason or for Eve to plead: so long as they could suggest no means by which this dreaded ordeal could be averted Adam was deaf to all hope of consolation. There was but one subject which interested him, and only on one subject could he be got to speak, and that was the chances there still remained of Jerrem's life being spared; and to furnish him with some food for this hope, Eve began to loiter at the gates, talk to the warders and the turnkeys, and mingle with the many groups who on some business or pretext were always assembled about the yard or stood idling in the various passages with which the prison was intersected.

One morning it came to her mind, How would it be for Adam to escape, and so not be there to prove the accusation he had made of Jerrem having shot the man? With scarce more thought than she had bestowed on many another passing suggestion which seemed for the moment practical and solid, but as she turned it round lost shape and floated into air, Eve made the suggestion, and to her surprise found it seized on by Adam as an inspiration. Why, he'd risk all so that he escaped being set face to face with Jerrem and his former mates. Adam had but to be assured the strain would not be more than Eve's strength could bear before he had adopted with joy her bare suggestion, clothed it with possibility, and by it seemed to regain all his past energy. Could he but get away and Jerrem's life be spared, all hope of happiness would not be over. In some of those distant lands to which people were then beginning to go life might begin afresh. And as his thoughts found utterance in speech he held out his hand to Eve, and in it she laid her own; and Adam needed nothing more to tell him that whither he went there Eve too would go. There was no need for vows and protestations now between these two, for, though to each the other's heart lay bare, a word of love scarce ever crossed their lips. Life seemed too sad and time too precious to be whiled away in pleasant speeches, and often when together, burdened by the weight of all they had to say, yet could not talk about, the two would sit for hours and neither speak a word. But with this proposition of escape a new channel was given to them, and as they discussed their different plans the dreadful shadow which at times had hung between them was rolled away and lifted out of sight.

Inspired by the prospect of action, of doing something, Adam roused himself to master all the difficulties: his old foresight and caution began to revive, and the project, which had on one day looked like a desperate extremity, grew by the end of a week into a well-arranged plan whose success seemed more than possible. Filled with anxiety for Eve, Reuben gave no hearty sanction to the experiment: besides which, he felt certain that now neither Adam's absence nor presence would in any way affect Jerrem's fate; added to which, if the matter was detected it might go hard with Adam himself. But his arguments proved nothing to Eve, who, confident of success, only demanded from him the promise of secrecy; after which, she thought, as some questions might be put to him, the less he knew the less he would have to conceal.

Although a prisoner, inasmuch as liberty was denied to him, Adam was in no way subjected to that strict surveillance to which those who had broken the law were supposed to be submitted. It was of his own free will that he disregarded the various privileges which lay open to him: others in his place would have frequented the passages, hung about the yards and grown familiar with the tap, where spirits were openly bought and sold. Money could do much in those days of lax discipline, and the man who could pay and could give need have very few wants unsatisfied. But Adam's only desire was to be left undisturbed and alone; and as this entailed no undue amount of trouble after their first curiosity had been satisfied, it was not thought necessary to deny him this privilege. From constantly going in and out, most of the officials inside the prison knew Eve, while to but very few was Adam's face familiar; and it was on this fact, aided by the knowledge that through favor of a gratuity friends were frequently permitted to outstay their usual hour, that most of their hopes rested. Each day she came Eve brought some portion of the disguise which was to be adopted; and then, having learnt from Reuben that the Mary Jane had arrived and was lying at the wharf unloading, not knowing what better to do, they decided that she should go to Captain Triggs and ask him, in case Adam could get away, whether he would let him come on board his vessel and give him shelter there below.

"Wa-al, no," said Triggs, "I woan't do that, 'cos they as I'se got here might smell un out; but I'll tell 'ee what: I knaws a chap as has in many ways bin beholden to me 'fore now, and I reckon if I gives un the cue he'll do the job for 'ee."

"But do you think he's to be trusted?" Eve asked.

"Wa-al, that rests on how small a part you'm foaced to tell un of," said Triggs, "and how much you makes it warth his while. I'm blamed if I'd go bail for un myself, but that won't be no odds agen' Adam's goin': 'tis just the place for he. 'T 'ud niver do to car'y a pitch-pot down and set un in the midst o' they who couldn't bide his stink."

"And the crew?" said Eve, wincing under Captain Triggs's figurative language.

"Awh, the crew's right enuf—a set o' gashly, smudge-faced raskils that's near half Maltee and t' other Lascar Injuns. Any jail-bird that flies their way 'ull find they's all of a feather. But here," he added, puzzled by the event: "how's this that you'm still mixed up with Adam so? I thought 'twas all 'long o' you and Reuben May that the Lottery's landin' got blowed about?"

Eve shook her head. "Be sure," she said, "'twas never in me to do Adam any harm."

"And you'm goin' to stick to un now through thick and thin? 'Twill niver do for un, ye knaw, to set his foot on Cornish ground agen."

"He knows that," said Eve; "and if he gets away we shall be married and go across the seas to some new part, where no one can tell what brought us from our home."

Triggs gave a significant nod. "Lord!" he exclaimed, "but that's a poor lookout for such a bowerly maid as you be! Wouldn't it be better for 'ee to stick by yer friends 'bout here than—"

"I haven't got any friends," interrupted Eve promptly, "excepting it's Adam and Joan and Uncle Zebedee."

"Ah, poor old Zebedee!" sighed Triggs: "'tis all dickey with he. The day I started I see Sammy Tucker to Fowey, and he was tellin' that th' ole chap was gone reg'lar tottlin'-like, and can't tell thickee fra that; and as for Joan Hocken, he says you wouldn't knaw her for the same. And they's tooked poor foolish Jonathan, as is more mazed than iver, to live with 'em; and Mrs. Tucker, as used to haggle with everybody so, tends on 'em all hand and foot, and her's given up praichin' 'bout religion and that, and 's turned quite neighborly, and, so long as her can save her daughter, thinks nothin's too hot nor too heavy."

"Dear Joan!" sighed Eve: "she's started by the coach on her way up here now."

"Whether she hath or no!" exclaimed Triggs in surprise. "Then take my word they's heerd that Jerrem's to be hanged, and Joan's comin' up to be all ready to hand for 't."

"No, not that," groaned Eve, for at the mere mention of the word the vague dread seemed to shape itself into a certainty. "Oh, Captain Triggs, don't say that if Adam gets off you don't think Jerrem's life will be spared."

"Wa-al, my poor maid, us must hope so," said the compassionate captain; "but 'tis the warst o' they doin's that sooner or later th' endin, of 'em must come. 'Twould never do to let 'em prosper allays," he added with impressive certainty, "or where 'ud be the use o' parsons praichin' up 'bout heaven and hell? Why, now, us likes good liquor cheap to Fowey; and wance 'pon a time us had it too, but that ha'n't bin for twenty year. Our day's gone by, and so 'ull theirs be now; and th' excise 'ull come, and revenoos 'ull settle down, and folks be foaced to take to lousterin' for the bit o' bread they ates, and live quiet and paceable, as good neighbors should. So try and take heart; and if so be that Adam can give they Bailey chaps the go-by, tell un to come 'longs here, and us 'ull be odds with any o' they that happens to be follerin' to his heels."

Charmed with this friendly promise, Eve said "Good-bye," leaving the captain puzzled with speculations on women and the many curious contradictions which seem to influence their actions; while, the hour being now too late to return to the prison, she took her way to her own room, thinking it best to begin the preparations which in case of Adam's escape and any sudden departure it would be necessary to have completed.

Perhaps it was her interview with Captain Triggs, the sight of the wharf and the ships, which took her thoughts back and made them bridge the gulf which divided her past life from her present self. Could the girl she saw in that shadowy past—headstrong, confident, impatient of suffering and unsympathetic with sorrow—be this same Eve who walked along with all hope and thought of self merged in another's happiness and welfare? Where was the vanity, where were the tricks and coquetries, passports to that ideal existence after which in the old days she had so thirsted? Trampled out of sight and choked beneath the fair blossoms of a higher life, which, as in many a human nature, had needed sorrow, humiliation and a great watering of tears before there could spring forth the flowers for a fruit which should one day ripen into great perfection.

No wonder, then, that she should be shaken by a doubt of her own identity; and having reached her room she paused upon the threshold and looked around as if to satisfy herself by all those silent witnesses which made it truth. There was the chair in which she had so often sat plying her needle with such tardy grace while her impatient thoughts did battle with the humdrum, narrow life she led. How she had beat against the fate which seemed to promise naught but that dull round of commonplace events in which her early years had passed away! How as a gall and fret had come the thought of Reuben's proffered love, because it shadowed forth the level of respectable routine, the life she then most dreaded! To be courted and sought after, to call forth love, jealousy and despair, to be looked up to, thought well of, praised, admired,—these were the delights she had craved and these the longings she had had granted. And a sigh from the depths of that chastened heart rendered the bitter tribute paid by all to satiated vanity and outlived desire. The dingy walls, the ill-assorted furniture (her mother's pride in which had sometimes vexed her, sometimes made her laugh) now looked like childhood's friends, whose faces stamp themselves upon our inmost hearts. The light no longer seemed obscure, the room no longer gloomy, for each thing in it now was flooded by the tender light of memory—that wondrous gift to man which those who only sail along life's summer sea can never know in all the heights and depths revealed to storm-tossed hearts.

"What! you've come back?" a voice said in her ear; and looking round Eve saw it was Reuben, who had entered unperceived. "There's nothing fresh gone wrong?" he asked.

"No, nothing;" but the sad smile she tried to give him welcome with was so akin to tears that Reuben's face assumed a look of doubt. "'Tis only that I'm thinking how I'm changed from what I was," said Eve. "Why, once I couldn't bear this room and all the things about it; but now—Oh, Reuben, my heart seems like to break because perhaps 'twill soon now come to saying good-bye to all of it for ever."

Reuben winced: "You're fixed to go, then?"

"Yes, where Adam goes I shall go too: don't you think I should? What else is left for me to do?"

"You feel, then, you'd be happy—off with him—away from all and—everybody else?"

"Happy! Should I be happy to know he'd gone alone—happy to know I'd driven him away to some place where I wouldn't go myself?" and Eve paused, shaking her head before she added, "If he can make another start in life—try and begin again—"

"You ought to help him to it," said Reuben promptly: "that's very plain to see. Oh, Eve, do you mind the times when you and me have talked of what we'd like to do—how, never satisfied with what went on around, we wanted to be altogether such as some of those we'd heard and read about? The way seems almost opened up to you, but what shall I do when all this is over and you are gone away? I can't go back and stick to trade again, working for nothing more but putting victuals in myself."

For a moment Eve did not speak: then, with a sudden movement, she turned, saying to Reuben, "There's something that before our lives are at any moment parted I've wanted to say to you, Reuben. 'Tis that until now, this time while we've been all together here, I've never known what your worth is—what you would be to any one who'd got the heart to value what you'd give. Of late it has often seemed that I should think but very small of one who'd had the chance of your liking and yet didn't know the proper value of such goodness."

Reuben gave a look of disavowal, and Eve continued, adding with a little hesitation, "You mustn't think it strange in me for saying this. I couldn't tell you if you didn't know how everything lies between Adam and myself; but ever since this trouble's come about all my thoughts seem changed, and people look quite different now to what they did before; and, most of all, I've learnt to know the friend I've got, and always had, in you, Reuben."

Reuben did not answer for a moment. He seemed struggling to keep back something he was yet prompted to speak of. "Eve," he said at length, "don't think that I've not made mistakes, and great ones too. When first I fought to battle down my leaning toward you, why was it? Not because of doubting that 'twould ever be returned, but 'cos I held myself too good a chap in all my thoughts and ways to be taken up with such a butterfly concern as I took you to be. I'd never have believed then that you'd have acted as I've seen you act. I thought that love with you meant who could give you the finest clothes to wear and let you rule the roast the easiest; but you have shown me that you are made of better woman's stuff than that. And, after all, a man thinks better of himself for mounting high than stooping to pick up what can be had for asking any day."

"No, no, Reuben: your good opinion is more than I deserve," said Eve, her memory stinging her with past recollections. "If you want to see a dear, kind-hearted, unselfish girl, wait until Joan comes. I do so hope that you will take to her! I think you will, after what you've been to Jerrem and to Adam. I want you and Joan to like each other."

"I don't think there's much fear of that," said Reuben. "Jerrem's spoke so freely about Joan that I seem to know her before ever having seen her. Let me see: her mind was at one time set on Adam, wasn't it?"

"I think that she was very fond of Adam," said Eve, coloring: "and, so far as that goes, I don't know that there is any difference now. I'm sure she'd lay her life down if it would do him good."

"Poor soul!" sighed Reuben, drawn by a friendly feeling to sympathize with Joan's unlucky love. "Her cup's been full, and no mistake, of late."

"Did Jerrem seem to feel it much that Uncle Zebedee 'd been took so strange?" asked Eve.

"I didn't tell him more than I could help," said Reuben. "As much as possible I made it out to him that for the old man to come to London wouldn't be safe, and the fear of that seemed to pacify him at once."

"I haven't spoken of it to Adam yet," said Eve. "He hasn't asked about his coming, so I thought I'd leave the telling till another time. His mind seems set on nothing but getting off, and by it setting Jerrem free."

But Reuben made no rejoinder to the questioning tone of Eve's words, and after a few minutes' pause he waived the subject by reverting to the description which Eve had given of Joan, so that, in case he had to meet her alone, he might recognize her without difficulty. Eve repeated the description, dwelling with loving preciseness on the various features and points by which Joan might be known; and then Reuben, having some work to do, got up to say good-bye.

"Good-bye," said Eve, holding out her hand—"good-bye. Every time I say it now I seem to wonder if 'tis to be good-bye indeed."

"Why, no: in any way, you'd wait until the trial was over?"

"Yes, I forgot: of course we should."

"Well, then, do you think I'd let you go without a word? Ah, Eve, no! Whatever others are, nobody's yet pushed you from your place, nor ever will so long as my life lasts."



CHAPTER XXXVII

At length the dreaded day was over, the trial was at an end, and, in spite of every effort made, Jerrem condemned to die. The hopes raised by the knowledge of Adam's escape seemed crowned with success when, to the court's dismay, it was announced that the prisoner's accuser could not be produced: he had mysteriously disappeared the evening before, and in spite of a most vigorous search was nowhere to be found. But, with minds already resolved to make this hardened smuggler's fate a warning and example to all such as should henceforth dare the law, one of the cutter's crew, wrought upon by the fear lest Jerrem should escape and baffle the vengeance they had vowed to take, was got to swear that Jerrem was the man who fired the fatal shot; and though it was shown that the night was dark and recognition next to impossible, this evidence was held conclusive to prove the crime, and nothing now remained but to condemn the culprit. The judge's words came slowly forth, making the stoutest there shrink back and let that arrow from the bow of death glance by and set its mark on him upon whose face the crowd now turned to gaze.

"Can it be that he is stunned? or is he hardened?"

For Jerrem stands all unmoved and calm while, dulled by the sound of rushing waters, the words the judge has said come booming back and back again. A sickly tremor creeps through every limb and makes it nerveless; a sense of growing weight presses the flesh down as a burden on the fainting spirit; one instant a thousand faces, crowding close, keep out the air; the next, they have all receded out of sight back into misty space, and he is left alone, with all around faded and grown confused and all beneath him slipping and giving way. Suddenly a sound rouses him back to life: a voice has smote his ear and cleaved his inmost soul; and lifting his head his eyes are met by sight of Joan, who with a piercing shriek has fallen back, deathlike and pale, in Reuben's outstretched arms.

Then Jerrem knows that hope is past and he must die, and in one flash his fate, in all its misery and shame, stands out before him, and reeling he totters, to sink down senseless and be carried off to that dismal cell allotted to those condemned to death; while Reuben, as best he can, manages to get Joan out of court and into the open air, where she gradually comes back to life again and is able to listen to such poor comfort as Reuben's sad heart can find to give her. For by reason of those eventful circumstances which serve to cement friendships by suddenly overthrowing the barriers time must otherwise gradually wear away, Reuben May and Joan Hocken have (in the week which has intervened between her arrival and this day of trial) become more intimate and thoroughly acquainted than if in an ordinary way they had known each other for years. A stranger in a large city, with not one familiar face to greet her, who does not know the terrible feeling of desolation which made poor Joan hurry through the crowded streets, shrinking away from their bustle and throng toward Reuben, the one person she had to turn to for sympathy, advice, assistance and consolation? With that spirit of perfect trust which her own large heart gave her the certain assurance of receiving, Joan placed implicit reliance in all Reuben said and did; and seeing this, and receiving an inward satisfaction from the sight, Reuben involuntarily slipped into a familiarity of speech and manner very opposed to the stiff reserve he usually maintained toward strangers.

Ten days were given before the day on which Jerrem was to die, and during this time, through the various interests raised in his behalf, no restriction was put upon the intercourse between him and his friends; so that, abandoning everything for the poor soul's welfare, Reuben, Joan and Jerrem spent hour after hour in the closest intercourse. Happily, in times of great extremity the power of realizing our exact situation is mostly denied to us; and in the case of Joan and Jerrem, although surrounded by the terrors and within the outposts of that dreaded end, it was nothing unfrequent to hear a sudden peal of laughter, which often would have as sudden an end in a great burst of tears.

To point to hopes and joys beyond the grave when every thought is centred and fixed on this life's interests and keen anxieties is but a fruitless, vain endeavor; and Reuben had to try and rest contented in the assurance of Jerrem's perfect forgiveness and good-will to all who had shown him any malice or ill-feeling—to draw some satisfaction from the unselfish love he showed to Joan and the deep gratitude he now expressed to Uncle Zebedee.

What would become of them? he often asked when some word of Joan's revealed the altered aspect of their affairs; and then, overcome by the helplessness of their forlorn condition, he would entreat Reuben to stand by them—not to forget Joan, not to forsake her. And Reuben, strangely moved by sight of this poor giddy nature's overwrought emotion, would try to calm him with the ready assurance that while he lived Joan should never want a friend, and, touched by his words, the two would clasp his hands together, telling each other of all the kindness he had showed them, praying God would pay him back in blessings for his goodness. Nor were theirs the only lips which spoke of gratitude to Reuben May: his name had now become familiar to many who through his means were kept from being ignorant of the sad fate which awaited their boon companion, their prime favorite, the once madcap, rollicking Jerrem—the last one, as Joan often told Reuben, whom any in Polperro would have fixed on for evil to pursue or misfortune to overtake, and about whom all declared there must have been "a hitch in the block somewheres, as Fate never intended that ill-luck should pitch upon Jerrem." The repetition of their astonishment, their indignation and their sympathy afforded the poor fellow the most visible satisfaction, harassed as he was becoming by one dread which entirely swallowed up the thought and fear of death. This ghastly terror was the then usual consignment of a body after death to the surgeons for dissection; and the uncontrollable trepidation which would take possession of him each time this hideous recollection forced itself upon him, although unaccountable to Reuben, was most painful for him to witness. What difference could it make what became of one's body after death? Reuben would ask himself, puzzled to fathom that wonderful tenderness which some natures feel for the flesh which embodies their attractions. But Jerrem had felt a passing love for his own dear body: vanity of it had been his ruling passion, its comeliness his great glory—so much so that even now a positive satisfaction would have been his could he have pictured himself outstretched and lifeless, with lookers-on moved to compassion by the dead grace of his winsome face and slender limbs. Joan, too, was caught by the same infection. Not to lie whole and decent in one's coffin! Oh, it was an indignity too terrible for contemplation; and every time they were away from Jerrem she would beset Reuben with entreaties and questions as to what could be done to avoid the catastrophe.

The one plan he knew of had been tried—and tried, too, with repeated success—and this was the engaging of a superior force to wrest the body from the surgeon's crew, a set of sturdy miscreants with whom to do battle a considerable mob was needed; but, with money grown very scarce and time so short, the thing could not be managed, and Reuben tried to tell Joan of its impossibility while they two were walking to a place in which it had been agreed they should find some one with a message from Eve, who, together with Adam, was in hiding on board the vessel Captain Triggs had spoken of. But instead of the messenger Eve herself arrived, having ventured this much with the hope of hearing something that would lessen Adam's despair and grief at learning the fate of Jerrem.

"Ah, poor sawl!" sighed Joan as Eve ended her dismal account of Adam's sad condition: "'tis only what I feared to hear of. But tell un, Eve, to lay it to his heart that Jerrem's forgived un every bit, and don't know what it is to hold a grudge to Adam; and if I speak of un, he says, 'Why, doan't I know it ain't through he, but 'cos o' my own headstrong ways and they sneaks o' revenoo-chaps?' who falsely swored away his blessed life."

"Does he seem to dread it much?" asked Eve, the sickly fears which filled her heart echoed in each whispered word.

"Not that he don't," said Joan, lifting her hand significantly to her throat: "'tis after. Oh, Eve," she gasped, "ain't it too awful to think of their cuttin' up his poor dead body into bits? Call theyselves doctors!" she burst out—"the gashly lot! I'll never let wan o' their name come nighst to me agen."

"Oh, Reuben," gasped Eve, "is it so? Can nothing be done?"

Reuben shook his head.

"Nothing now," said Joan—"for want o' money, too, mostly, Eve; and the guineas I've a-wasted! Oh, how the sight o' every one rises and chinks in judgment 'gainst my ears!"

"If we'd got the money," said Reuben soothingly, "there isn't time. All should be settled by to-morrow night; and if some one this minute brought the wherewithal I haven't one 'pon whom I dare to lay my hand to ask to undertake the job."

"Then 'tis no use harpin' 'pon it any more," said Joan; while Eve gave a sigh, concurring in what she said, both of them knowing well that if Reuben gave it up the thing must be hopeless indeed.

Here was another stab for Adam's wounded senses, and with a heavy heart and step Eve took her way back to him, while Reuben and Joan continued to thread the streets which took them by a circuitous road home to Knight's Passage.

But no sooner had Eve told Adam of this fresh burden laid on poor Jerrem than a new hope seemed to animate him. Something was still to be done: there yet remained an atonement which, though it cost him his life, he could strive to make to Jerrem. Throwing aside the fear of detection which had hitherto kept him skulking within the little vessel, he set off that night to find the Mary Jane, and, regardless of the terrible shame which had filled him at the bare thought of confronting Triggs or any of his crew, he cast himself upon their mercy, beseeching them as men, and Cornishmen, to do this much for their brother-sailor in his sad need and last extremity; and his appeal and the nature of it had so touched these quickly-stirred hearts that, forgetful of the contempt and scorn with which, in the light of an informer, they had hitherto viewed Adam, they had one and all sworn to aid him to their utmost strength, and to bring to the rescue certain others of whom they knew, by whose help and assistance success would be more probable. Therefore it was that, two days before the morning of his sentenced death, Eve was able to put into Reuben's hand a scrap of paper on which was written Adam's vow to Jerrem that, though his own life paid the forfeit for it, Jerrem's body should be rescued and saved.

Present as Jerrem's fears had been to Reuben's eyes and to his mind, until he saw the transport of agitated joy which this assurance gave to Jerrem he had never grasped a tithe of the terrible dread which during the last few days had taken such complete hold of the poor fellow's inmost thoughts. Now, as he read again and again the words which Adam had written, a torrent of tears burst forth from his eyes: in an ecstasy of relief he caught Joan to his heart, wrung Reuben's hand, and from that moment began to gradually compose himself into a state of greater ease and seeming tranquillity. Confident, through the unbroken trust of years, that Adam's promise, once given, might be implicitly relied on, Jerrem needed no further assurance than these few written words to satisfy him that every human effort would be made on his behalf; and the knowledge of this, and that old comrades would be near, waiting to unite their strength for his body's rescue, was in itself a balm and consolation. He grew quite loquacious about the crestfallen authorities, the surprise of the crowd and the disappointment of the ruffianly mob deprived of their certain prey; while the two who listened sat with a tightening grip upon their hearts, for when these things should come to be the life of him who spoke them would have passed away, and the immortal soul have flown from out that perishable husk on which his last vain thoughts were still being centred.

Poor Joan! The time had yet to come when she would spend herself with many a sad regret and sharp upbraiding that this and that had not been said and done; but now, her spirit swallowed up in desolation and sunk beneath the burden of despair, she sat all silent close by Jerrem's side, covering his hands with many a mute caress, yet never daring to lift up her eyes to look into his face without a burst of grief sweeping across to shake her like a reed. Jerrem could eat and drink, but Joan's lips never tasted food. A fever seemed to burn within and fill her with its restless torment: the beatings of her throbbing heart turned her first hot, then cold, as each pulse said the time to part was hurrying to its end.

By Jerrem's wish, Joan was not told that on the morning of his death to Reuben alone admittance to him had been granted: therefore when the eve of that morrow came, and the time to say farewell actually arrived, the girl was spared the knowledge that this parting was more than the shadow of that last good-bye which so soon would have to be said for ever. Still, the sudden change in Jerrem's face pierced her afresh and broke down that last barrier of control over a grief she could subdue no longer. In vain the turnkeys warned them that time was up and Joan must go. Reuben entreated too that they should say good-bye: the two but clung together in more desperate necessity, until Reuben, seeing that further force would be required, stepped forward, and stretching out his hand found it caught at by Jerrem and held at once with Joan's, while in words from which all strength of tone seemed to die away Jerrem whispered, "Reuben, if ever it could come to pass that when I'm gone you and she might find it some day in your minds to stand together—one—say 'twas the thing he wished for most before he went." Then, with a feeble effort to push her into Reuben's arms, he caught her back, and straining her close to his heart again cried out, "Oh, Joan, but death comes bitter when it means good-bye to such as you!" Another cry, a closer strain, then Jerrem's arms relax; his hold gives way, and Joan falls staggering back; the door is opened—shut; the struggle is past, and ere their sad voices can come echoing back Jerrem and Joan have looked their last in life.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.

When Reuben found that to be a witness of Jerrem's death Joan must take her stand among the lawless mob who made holiday of such sad scenes as this, his decision was that the idea was untenable. Jerrem too had a strong desire that Joan should not see him die; and although his avoidance of anything that directly touched upon that dreaded moment had kept him from openly naming his wishes, the hints dropped satisfied Reuben that the knowledge of her absence would be a matter of relief to him. But how get Joan to listen to his scruples when her whole mind was set on keeping by Jerrem's side until hope was past and life was over?

"Couldn't 'ee get her to take sommat that her wouldn't sleep off till 'twas late?" Jerrem had said after Reuben had told him that the next morning he must come alone; and the suggestion made was seized on at once by Reuben, who, under pretence of getting something to steady her shaken nerves, procured from the apothecary near a simple draught, which Joan in good faith swallowed. And then, Reuben having promised in case she fell asleep to awaken her at the appointed hour, the poor soul, worn out by sorrow and fatigue, threw herself down, dressed as she was, upon the bed, and soon was in a heavy sleep, from which she did not rouse until well into the following day, when some one moving in the room made her start up. For a moment she seemed dazed: then, rubbing her eyes as if to clear away those happy visions which had come to her in sleep, she gazed about until Reuben, who had at first drawn back, came forward to speak to her. "Why, Reuben," she cried, "how's this? Have I been dreamin', or what? The daylight's come, and, see, the sun!"

And here she stopped, her parched mouth half unclosed, as fears came crowding thick upon her mind, choking her further utterance. One look at Reuben's face had told the tale; and though she did not speak again, the ashen hue that overspread and drove all color from her cheeks proclaimed to him that she had guessed the truth.

"'Twas best, my dear," he said, "that you should sleep while he went to his rest."

But the unlooked-for shock had been too great a strain on body and mind, alike overtaxed and weak, and, falling back, Joan lay for hours as one unconscious and devoid of life. And Reuben sat silent by her side, paying no heed as hour by hour went by, till night had come and all around was dark: then some one came softly up the stairs and crept into the room, and Eve's whispered "Reuben!" broke the spell.

Yes, all had gone well. The body, rescued and safe, was now placed within a house near to the churchyard in which Eve's mother lay: there it was to be buried. And there, the next day, the commonplace event of one among many funerals being over, the four thus linked by fate were brought together, and Adam and Joan again stood face to face. Heightened by the disguise which in order to avoid detection he was obliged to adopt, the alteration in Adam was so complete that Joan stood aghast before this seeming stranger, while a fresh smart came into Adam's open wounds as he gazed upon the changed face of the once comely Joan.

A terrible barrier—such as, until felt, they had never dreaded—seemed to have sprung up to separate and divide these two. Involuntarily they shrank at each other's touch and quailed beneath each other's gaze, while each turned with a feeling of relief to him and to her who now constituted their individual refuge and support. Yes, strange as it seemed to Adam and unaccountable to Joan, she clung to Reuben, he to Eve, before whom each could be natural and unrestrained, while between their present selves a great gulf had opened out which naught but time or distance could bridge over.

So Adam went back to his hiding-place, Reuben to his shop, and Joan and Eve to the old home in Knight's Passage, as much lost amid the crowd of thronged London as if they had already taken refuge in that far-off land which had now become the goal of Adam's thoughts and keen desires. Eve, too, fearing some fresh disaster, was equally anxious for their departure, and most of Reuben's spare time was swallowed up in making the necessary arrangements. A passage in his name for himself and his wife was secured in a ship about to start. At the last moment this passage was to be transferred to Adam and Eve, whose marriage would take place a day or two before the vessel sailed. The transactions on which the successful fulfilment of these various events depended were mostly conducted by Reuben, aided by the counsels of Mr. Osborne and the assistance of Captain Triggs, whose good-fellowship, no longer withheld, made him a valuable coadjutor.

Fortunately, Triggs's vessel, through some detention of its cargo, had remained in London for an unusually long time, and now, when it did sail, Joan was to take passage in it back to Polperro.

"Awh, Reuben, my dear," sighed Joan one evening as, Eve having gone to see Adam, the two walked out toward the little spot where Jerrem lay, and as they went discussed Joan's near departure, "I wish to goodness you'd pack up yer alls and come 'longs to Polperro home with me: 't 'ud be ever so much better than stayin' to this gashly London, where there ain't a blow o' air that's fresh to draw your breath in."

"Why, nonsense!" said Reuben: "you wouldn't have me if I'd come."

"How not have 'ee?" exclaimed Joan. "Why, if so be I thought you'd come I'd never stir from where I be until I got the promise of it."

"But there wouldn't be nothin' for me to do," said Reuben.

"Why, iss there would—oceans," returned Joan. "Laws! I knaws clocks by scores as hasn't gone for twenty year and more. Us has got two ourselves, that wan won't strike and t' other you can't make tick."

Reuben smiled: then, growing more serious, he said, "But do you know, Joan, that yours isn't the first head it's entered into about going down home with you? I've had a mind toward it myself many times of late."

"Why, then, do come to wance," said Joan excitedly; "for so long as they leaves me the house there'll be a home with me and Uncle Zebedee, and I'll go bail for the welcome you'll get gived 'ee there."

Reuben was silent, and Joan, attributing this to some hesitation over the plan, threw further weight into her argument by saying, "There's the chapel too, Reuben. Only to think o' the sight o' good you could do praichin' to 'em and that! for, though it didn't seem to make no odds before, I reckons there's not a few that wants, like me, to be told o' some place where they treats folks better than they does down here below."

"Joan," said Reuben after a pause, speaking out of his own thoughts and paying no heed to the words she had been saying, "you know all about Eve and me, don't you?"

Joan nodded her head.

"How I've felt about her, so that I believe the hold she's got on me no one on earth will ever push her off from."

"Awh, poor sawl!" sighed Joan compassionately: "I've often had a feelin' for what you'd to bear, and for this reason too—that I knaws myself what 'tis to be ousted from the heart you'm cravin' to call yer own."

"Why, yes, of course," said Reuben briskly: "you were set down for Adam once, weren't you?"

"Awh, and there's they to Polperro—mother amongst 'em, too—who'll tell 'ee now that if Eve had never shawed her face inside the place Adam 'ud ha' had me, after all. But there! all that's past and gone long ago."

There was another pause, which Reuben broke by saying suddenly, "Joan, should you take it very out of place if I was to ask you whether after a bit you could marry me? I dare say now such a thought never entered your head before."

"Well, iss it has," said Joan; 'and o' late, ever since that blessed dear spoke they words he did, I've often fell to wonderin' if so be 't 'ud ever come to pass. Not, mind, that I should ha' bin put out if 't had so happened that you'd never axed me, like, but still I thought sometimes as how you might, and then agen I says, 'Why should he, though?'"

"There's many a reason why I should ask you, Joan," said Reuben, smiling at her unconscious frankness, "though very few why you should consent to take a man whose love another woman has flung away."

"Awh, so far as that goes, the both of us is takin' what's another's orts, you knaw," smiled Joan.

"Then is it agreed?" asked Reuben, stretching out his hand.

"Iss, so far as I goes 'tis, with all my heart." Then as she took his hand a change came to her April face, and looking at him through her swimming eyes she said, "And very grateful too I'm to 'ee, Reuben, for I don't knaw by neither another wan who'd take up with a poor heart-broke maid like me, and they she's looked to all her life disgraced by others and theyselves."

Reuben pressed the hand that Joan had given to him, and drawing it through his arm the two walked on in silence, pondering over the unlooked-for ending to the strange events they both had lately passed through. Joan's heart was full of a contentment which made her think, "How pleased Adam will be! and won't mother be glad! and Uncle Zebedee 'ull have somebody to look to now and keep poor Jonathan straight and put things a bit in order;" while Reuben, bewildered by the thoughts which crowded to his mind, semed unable to disentangle them. Could it be possible that he, Reuben May, was going down to live at Polperro, a place whose very name he had once taught himself to abominate?—that he could be willingly casting his lot amid a people whom he had but lately branded as thieves, outcasts, reprobates? Involuntarily his eyes turned toward Joan, and a nimbus in which perfect charity was intertwined with great love and singleness of heart seemed to float about her head and shed its radiance on her face; and its sight was to Reuben as the first touch of love, for he was smitten with a sense of his own unworthiness, and, though he did not speak, he asked that a like spirit to that which filled Joan might rest upon himself.

That evening Eve was told the news which Joan and Reuben had to tell, and as she listened the mixed emotions which swelled within her perplexed her not a little, for even while feeling that the two wishes she most desired—Joan cared for and Reuben made happy—were thus fulfilled, her heart seemed weighted with a fresh disaster: another wrench had come to part her from that life soon to be nothing but a lesson and a memory. And Adam, when he was told, although the words he said were honest words and true, and truly he did rejoice, there yet within him lay a sadness born of regret at rendering up that love so freely given to him, now to be garnered for another's use; and henceforth every word that Reuben spoke, each promise that he gave, though all drawn forth by Adam's own requests, stuck every one a separate thorn within his heart, sore with the thought of being an outcast from the birthplace that he loved and cut off from those whose faces now he yearned to look upon.

No vision opened up to Adam's view the prosperous life the future held in store—no still small voice then whispered in his ear that out of this sorrow was to come the grace which made success sit well on him and Eve; and though, as years went by and intercourse became more rare, their now keen interest in Polperro and its people was swallowed up amid the many claims a busy life laid on them both, each noble action done, each good deed wrought, by Adam, and by Eve too, bore on it the unseen impress of that sore chastening through which they now were passing.

Out of the savings which from time to time Adam had placed with Mr. Macey enough was found to pay the passage-money out and keep them from being pushed by any pressing want on landing.

Already, at the nearest church, Adam and Eve had been married, and nothing now remained but to get on board the vessel, which had already dropped down the river and was to sail the following morning, Triggs had volunteered to put them and their possessions safely on board, and Reuben and Joan, with Eve's small personal belongings, were to meet them at the steps, close by which the Mary Jane's boat would be found waiting. The time had come when Adam could lay aside his disguise and appear in much the same trim he usually did when at Polperro.

1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse