Newspaper Page Text
At this point it was found necessary (i> resort
to moral suasion, and finally something!farther.
In short, to the mortal offending of he-» (dignify, ■■
Miss Dilver had to be returned to the hoTSse by
force of arms.
Sho Avas too proud to cry, though she struggled
some, and finally submitted, or seemed to sub
mit, to her fate in silent state.
She was a quiet child always, and nobody
missed her therefore for some time, nor suspect
• ed, when they did not see her about, that she
had crept out, and was traveling through the
tall prairie grass as rapidly as her small feet
When it really appeared that she was nowhere
to be found about the house or grove, and when
furthermore the absence of her little sViaWer and
the packed cabas seemed to indicate that sho had
persisted in her childish resolve, two of her un
cles—mere boys in their teens—went out, half
laughing, half-scared, to scour the prairie for
In half an hour or thereabout each returned to
the house expecting that, without doubt, the
other had found her. The search was renewed,
Mrs. Loring frantically joining in it.
They had first discovered her absence at five
o'clock. How long she had been gone then it
was impossible to know with any certainty—
possibly a full hour. At sundown they had not
found her; and the boys rode hither and thither,
rousing the neighbors for miles to assist in the
At noon the next day nothing had been heard
of the child.
It seemed incredible that those little feet could
have wandered so entirely beyond trace; that
with so many scouring the prairie, and so soon,
no sign of her should havo been found. Yet so
it Avas. Not so much as a little shoe rewarded
the seekers; not so much as a tag torn from the
little dress, or a crumpled place in the long grass
where she might have lain.
The excitement was intense. The county—a
large one, and sparsely settled—was alive with
inquiry for the lost child. But the mystery only
Meanwhile little Dilver, watching her oppor
tunity, had slipped out when " dranma " was not
looking, and keeping close to tho fence till she
came to the tall grass, had trudged briskly away
without looking behind her.
The prairie grass Avas in its rankest luxuri
ance, and amply high enough to shroud her
small dignity amidst its greenness. The prairie
was forbidden ground to her, and she had hith
orto never attempted it, for in a general way the
child was remarkably obedient. It was late in
the afternoon, arid not a very warm day ; and as
she trudged along picking all the flowers she
liked—she couldn't do that at home—and feast
ing till mouth and hands were scarlet on the
sweet wild strawberries, she felt as though she
were in fairy-land, or would if she had known
of such a place. She had her arms full of flow
ers, and she had taken off her shaker to put ber
ries in for Warren. By-and-by it began to get
dark, and the woe feet were tired, and sho
couldn't see any thing that looked like " Itash
It was not singular that tho boys did not dis
cover her at this time ; for the prairie was wide
and the vast space swallowed their calls like
pebbles cast into the ocean.
It is impossible to know how far she was from
home at nightfall, probably not more than half
a mile at most; but it might as well have been
miles for any chance of seeing her in the deep
S. ras |-J SitrUng do v wn presently to rest, the pretty
__^*V J f M*yy> the pretty head drooped to a
"grassy pillow*, ami Dilver Avas asleep.
In a little while an emigrant train came along
and stopped Avith the intention of spending the
night there. But some one—probably one of
those very men who were searching for the lost
child—told them of a better camping ground a
mile and a half or two miles on. So they push
ed ahead, and Dilver went with them.
Sho must have been wakened by the noise
about her, and bewildered, as children are apt
to bo when waked out of the first sleep, perhaps
fancied that she Avas at home, and had fallen out
of bed; and so clambered back again, not into
bed, as it happened, but into an emigrant's wa
gon, loaded miscellaneously with baskets and
boxes, bags and bundles. At any rate that was
where they found her the next morning, curled
away like a kitten between a bag of flour and a
box of corn. Ascertaining by questioning that
this was probably the child that they were look
ing for the night before, the emigrants sent one
of their number back with her.
Tho man had not gone far before Dilver an
nounced a house that appeared in the distance as
the one she lived in; and the man being in haste
to return to his train, which had started on al
ready, put her down at a little distance from the
house and rode away.
It was still very early ; and as the child, glad
enough to get away from strangers and go home,
but someAvhat abashed and afraid of the recep
tion she might get, timidly approached the house,
she saw that there was no flowers in the yard,
and no trees either ; and besides that there was
a great dog before the gate, and he growled and
showedsuch sharp teeth that Dilver, very much
frightened, turned and ran aAvay again.
Fortunately the emigrants had given her her
breakfast, and one of the children had put some
crackers in her pocket; so she wasn't hungry,
but she was cold and wet from running through
the deAV-drenched grass, and she began to feel
very miserable and home-sick, and she was so
little she could'nt see over the top of the tall
verdure about her, and she got wetter at every
step, and she didn't believe "Rashin'ton" was
any where, and she " wanted dranma;" and then
she began to cry, but not loudly, for the sound
of her own voice frightened her out there all
alone, and she was afraid the big dog would hear
It was a terribly long time to her since
she had seen dranma and uncles Phil and Wat.
But by-and-by, as the sun came high in the
heavens and dried the grass, and dried her wet
clothes, and warmed her, sho stopped crying and
trudged on again, farther and farther aAvay from
home ; but she didn't know that.
Warren Hastings, instead of being wounded,
was on his way home on a recruiting expedition.
From the nearest station, some twenty miles
away, he was coming on horseback across the
prairie, when his horse suddenly shied so
violently at something in the grass as to almost
throw him from the saddle.
Curious to see what could have so startled the
animal, Warren urged him again toward tho
same spot. The next instant, with an exclama
tion of alarm, he was off his horse and kneeling
in the grass beside little Dilver Loring.
She was not dead as he had thought at first,
but was sleeping with the tears yet glittering on
her long eyelashes, and a grieved expression
about the little mouth.
"The small sprite! How could she have got ]
here ?" muttered the young man, looking about
him with a bewildered air ; and then lifting her
in his arms, he spoke gently, "Dilver, child,
what are you doing away off here?"
The curling lashes flashed upward, and the
child's large, serious eyes looked at him
" Has I dot to Rashin'ton?" she asked, simply,
and then too weary and worn for talk, she
nestled down in his arms and shut her eyes
Sorely puzzled, the young man remounted his
horse, and rode on with the little creature asleep
on his shoulder. Mrs. Loring saAV him long be
fore he reached the house, and seeming to know,
though she could not see, Avhat he carried in his
arms, she rose from the couch upon which grief
and the shock had prostrated her, and ran out
and met him some distance away.
"God bless you, young man !" she cried, "I
thought I should never see my darling again!"
and she sank down sobbing in the grass.
His first leisure Warren Hastings devoted to
elaborately explaining to that small Dilver that
" Rashin'ton" was not to be reached on foot, and
that, moreover, such little four-year-oldism as
she was could not go there alone.
He furthermore informed her that that little
talk about being his Avife was only a nice joke
between themselves; but that if they both lived,
and she liked him enough when she got older,
she sould be in very truth his little wife.
Frank Forsyth did not die : he came home in
time with Fanny, but it Avas to stay; for he had
lost an arm, and all Fanny's loving care, he
gravely told pitiful little Dilver, could never
"make it droAV adin."
i » m
Paying Soldiers' Families.
The following plan for paying to tho families
of officers and soldiers in the service of the Uni
ted States, who are or may become prisoners of
war, sums due them by the Government, having
been approved by the President, is published
for the information of all concerned:
Payment will be made to persons presenting a
written authority from a prisoner to draw his
pay ; or, without such authority, to his wife, the
guardian of his minor children, or his widowed
mother, in the order named.
Application for such pay must be made to the
senior paymaster of the district in Avhieh the
prisoner is serving, and must be accompanied
by a certifioate of a Judge of a Court of the Uni
ted States, of a District Attorney of tho United
States, or of somo other party under the seal of a
Court of Record of the State in which the appll- ,
cant is a resident, setting forth that the said ap
plicant is the wife of the prisoner, the guardian
of his children, or his widowed mother, and if
occupying either of the last two relationships to
ward him,-that there is no one in existence who
is more nearly related, according to the abov*
Payments Avill be made to parties thus author
ized arid identified, on their receipts made out iv
tho manner that would be required of the pris
oner himself, at least one month's pay being in
all cases retained by the United States. The of
ficer making the payment will see that it is en
tered on the last previous muster roll for th*
payment of tho prisoner's company, or will re
port it, if these rolls are not in his possession, to
the senior paymaster of the district, who will
either attend to the entry or give notice of th*
payment to the Paymaster General, if the roll«
have been forAvarded to his office.