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31 r, 3larshnr.s Housekeeper.
)' f ""VTIPDLE - AO ED and respecta J3X We," eulogized Anne Bronson, lotting' tlie paper fall listlessly on her lap, as she finished reading the following ad crtisoiricnt in the morning paper : Wantkd. A middle-aged, respectable woman, to go into the country, as u house keeper. Apply from 1'2 to 1 at No. Astor House." Always those two indispensable middle aged '-and she went into a tit of niu- sing. ' Here I have been for six months," she ; went on sadly ' looking for some honest ' employment, to keep body und soul to : ether. My money is nearly gone, .nd 1 never will return to my relatives if 1 starve!" Her eyes flashed, and she rose hastily and walked the room. 1 shall never forgive their conduct to ' poor Harry," she Went on musingly, "and now he's been deiid six months, and I am .nearly destitute." She sat downagain. ''Now, if I could only take this house keeper's place, I'm sure I could fill it, maiiKs to Aunt .jane s training 'lumitie-aged'-" "I wonder," she began, after a long si- 'lenee, "If a widow's cap and a. pair of spectacles wouldn't make ii'ie look old; I'm sure I feel old enough. Another fit vf nifising. ' " I nieaii to try it. If I can make my self look old enough without any positive disguise. I really believe I'll try for that place." Her busy fingers were soon 'at vork on some muslin and laee, and when the arti cle was finished she took her luxuriant hair down, twisted it up in as unobstru sive a knot as possible for such a quanti ty, and donned the cap, before the glass. A burst of merry laughter followed. '' Well, it does add ten years to my face, and apair of glasses will finish the mat ter. I'll try."' She then went to work to review her wardrobe, and soon selected a sober gray dress, carefully removing all ornarliouts from it. Long before twelve she was fully arrayed, and demure enough she looked, iu her gray dress and white col lar, with not so much as a ruffle or a bit of lace visible; and her widow's cap, green spectacles, and black inits to hide the delicacy and youth of her hands, completed the transformation, and wheu she presented herself bel'oro the eyes of the advertiser, no one would have thought her other than she seemed a matronly maiden of about forty. Mr. Marshall, after dismissing several disagreeable aspirants for the office of housekeeper, was delighted to see ouewho lid not threaten to give :biiu the night ;nare, so he engaged her ut once. She rushed home wilh only his last words iu her mind, ' I shall leave at six; be sure to be at the cars.' Annie dared not to allow herself time for reflection on the step she had taken. She felt glad to be at rest, and the pros pect of a home was too tempting to the homeless, for her to inquire - too1 closely bow it was obtained. She hastily packed her trti'hk, and at six met Mr. Marshal at the cars. " When I get where his wife is," was her thought, chafing under her deceit, " I rill confess aud throw myself on her mer cy. ' lie lieeniH so gentleiinnily, I know that his wife must be a lady." When 'they reached Mr. -'Marshal's house, a fine old mansion, a few miles from New York, lie delivered1 his house keeper into the hands of the old one, who ouly awaited her arrival to resign her keys and set up housekeeping for herself. She introduced Annio to her rooms two pleasant and sunny otv?s. overlooking the flower garden ; and remained ! chat with' Ler as she took her tea. " Is Mrs. Marshal air invalid T' Annie arfked, by way of conversation. "Mrs. Marshal! Why Mr. Marshal is a bachelor !" The tea ctip dropped front her hand. "A bachelor?" ." Didn't you know that?" said the housekeeper, eyeing her sharply, " well, you aro a green oue." "Yes, this is my first ""place," ' Anuie said, meekly,' regaining her ticlf-coinmand " I forgot to ask about the family." " Well, I can tell you, Mrs. Bronson, you have got into a good place,by accident, it seems. Mr. Marshal is a goutlouinn, but but one of those called a woman ha ter. I think he had some trouble In his early life, and at any rate he 'never speaks to one if he can help it; but in his household he is a perfect gentleman." Much to the folicf of her listener, tlie housekeeper wa" here called away. Annie win aghast! an old bachelor! not so old either; not more than forty. and she a young widow what would bo thought if she should be discovered I1-: But the comforts of, the hospitable old mansion, and of being under the protec tion of some one, even as his housekeeper, had began to creep into her lonely heart, aud even if she could have found any ex cuse for leaving, she c uld not bear to think of it. So she firmly resolved that nothing should cau.-'e her to reveal herself. She would keep constant watch over her self, and he should never know that his housekeeper was under thirty-five. Well she was introduced into her du ties one of which she f mnd was to. pre side at the tea board. This was pleasant, particularly as, under her ancient guise, aud as a dependent, Mr. Marshal cm descended to be very sociable, and find ing her companionable he prolonged his meal and conversation, till soon this hour became the most interesting of the day to him as well as to her. Every body likes to talk to a good list ener, and Mr. Marshal had travelled and real much, (leHcriptioiisofn.cn and thing, lie was not slow to discover that he had an etraordinary housekeeper; s the tea hour gradually lengthened into the whole craving, and it was not long bvforc it was her constant habit' t, spend the evening in the library, with her sewing, while he talked or read to her. She was not suffi ciently well informed about a housekeeper ' position, to seethe absurdity of a gentle man's devoting his evenings to her enter tainment, and being accustomed to be treated like a lady, it never occurred to her th ,t i was anything unusual. Meantime, he was engaged iu a new to him study. - Now, I know that the orthodox way of bringing about the catastrophe of the sto ry would be to briug down my hero with some malignant disease, have all the ser vant fly, and his housekeeper al ine nurse him through a dangerous illness, to be rewarded of course, with his hand what was left of it when he was able to sit up. Hut I'm not cruel ami I havn't the heart' to do it. and, besides, the facts to which I confine myself iu a measure will not bear me out in any such poetical fiction. The facts then (a la Giadgrind) are these : Annie's love of truth and honor had beet waging continual warfare all this lime with her dread of 'The World' and ' Pov erty two 'grim and horrible monsters' to unprotected woman hood, anil it was not until a year had relied around, that pow er and truth gained the victory. Annie ill' her serious meditations in her room fin ally resolved that she must neck a cause for leaving this home, which she sorrow fully admitted to herself, was becoming too pleasant for one who nutst fight with ' The World' for her bread. , ' The catastrophe which my readers have of" course guessed before tow, else why indeed, should I tell the story ?--finally happened iu this wise: 'One evening Annie went into the libra ry, where he sat reading the papers, with heart and mind and was fully nerved up to her duty. He looked smilingly at her, as she appeared;' and as she sank into a chair, quite unnerved' by that look, he began himself : " Mrs. Bronson," he said laying down the paper, and sitting himself iu his ' easy chair, "Vould you mind leaving -off' that horrid widow's cap ? I'm sure you have plenty of hair, and it is so suggestive of dead and buried perfect;ons.t hat it is pain ful to me." The color came and went in Annie's face- She tried to speak, but somehow she felt choked. It was hard, 'when he sat there so pleasant and genial "when the the 'wovld was so cold and hard, and his protection so dear, yes, that was the word that was tho frightful thought, that brought back strength to her voice, aud she said hastily : " Mr. Marshal, I must leave you." " I tell you I won't have it. Did you not promiso to stay two 'years, aud hac I not performed my part rf the contract?" She came now and stood before him. "Mr. Marshal, I have deceived you." "Havo you?": he said, shilling : ' what about? the price of tea, -or some pecca dillo of the servants ?" " About myself," she went on hurried ly. "I'm not m'iddle-agod, for I am but twenty-two, and I am not 'rospeetub le' because I have descended to deceit. I'm not ' weak-eyed' and she dashed the spectacles to the floor " nor do 1 admire this cap." which she toreoff, aud with it her comb, letting down her abundant hair around her' white aud quivering face. There,' she went on, the crimson com ing into her cheeks, and the tears into her eyes, " thus I strip of all disguise, then I can walk out of this house in honesty," and she turned to go, , . " Stay," he'eried, " tell me who you arc, you witch." " I am Annie Bronson," the widow of Henry Bronson." " Henry Bronson ! the notorious ?" "Gambler," she said firmly. "He made my life- a torture for six months, and then killed himself" she hesita ted. " I married against the "wishes of my friends, of course," she went on in a low tonc, " and I was too proud to return ; I had a little money; I sought emplynicnt a bitter six months before I saw your ad vertisement, and " "And then," he interrupted, "you thought of a harmless little deception by winch you could procure a home." " Mr." Marshal," she broke iu, " I thought you had a family. 1 should nev er have ventured to come here, but I ex pected to find a Mrs. Marshal to whom I could confess myself, believe tnc." " I do," he said, earnestly. " But when you got here, and found I was not so happy a:.i to have a family, you could not bear to go out iu the cold again. Was that it, Annie ?" he asked tenderly. " 0, I was weak 'as I am now," she said, sobbing, sinking back in her chair. Annie," he' said softly, " if I place a Mrs. Marshal here, will that obviate the difficulty? Will you stay then, if you are young and lovely ?" " Oh, no, no, no, she cried, " I must go." " But I think you will like the lady 1 propose 'to place in that position." Airnic covered her face in agitation, for she beuan to see why she hated to leave, and "why she could never live with Mr. Marshal's wife, and the discovery filled her with dismay. But lie went on Miuietly : " I've been thinking for some time." in a few moments he added mentally that I ought to have a wife, but am so ac customed to you as a housekeeper, that I ca'nt spare you. I can't indeed, Annie," "he added alter a pause. His tone was so' di flu rent that shchust- 'ily looked up. Something in his eyes brought a flush to tier face, and she hur riedly rose to leave the room, but he caught her dress as she passed, aud drew her gently and firmly to his side. " Annie, can't I have my wife, aud yet not lose my housekeeper ?" Of course he could, and he did, too. And so Annie had a pleasaut home for her whole life. Becominj; A Medium. TBMIE fascinating spiritual rapping is i withoiit a doubt gaining strength among us, and some very ludicrous incidents often grow out of it at times as well as more serious and deplorable ones. A few nights since, within this week, a young male friend of ours, who from a sneering skeptic had become a devout believer, retired to rest, after having his nervous system partially destroyed by tho information, that he would very soon become a very powerful medium. He wa"s iu his first comfortable snooze when a clicking noise in the direction '' the door awoke htm. He listened intently ; the noiso was still going ou very like the" raps of the spirits ou the table, indeed! " Who is there ?" There was no answer, and the queer nofse stopped. "Anybody there?" No answer. ' " It must have been a spirit," he said to himself. " I must bei a medium. I'll try. (A loud.) If there is a spirit in the room, will it signify the same by saying 'aye' uo, that's not what I mean. If If there is a spirit in ' the roour will it please rap three times ?" Three very distinct raps were given in the directiou'of the bureau. "Is it the' spirit of my sister?" No answer. " " Is it the spirit of my mother?" Three tips. " Are you happy ?" Nine taps. " Shall I hear front you to morrow?" Raps very loud ugain ; this time iu the direction of the door. " Shall 1 ever see you ?" The taps then came from the outside of tho door. He waited long for an answer to his last question, but none came. Tho spirit had gone; and after thinking on the extraordinary visit, he turned over and fell asleep. Ou getting up iu the morning, he found that the spirit of his mother ' had carried off his watch and purse, his pants dowu stairs into the hall, aud his -great coat altogether. BvMou I'upcr. THE KUllGLAIVS ESCAPE. A SHOUT TIME SINCE there died in a disreputable section of Boston, a tnan'fully as notorious as the ward iu which he had lived and 'where ho died. He was a bad man; yet even in those who aro criminal and apparently lost to all moral iufluence, there often 'remains some good traits of character. So it was iu his case. He was grateful for, and not unmindful of any favor done him. My business frequently brought me in contact with his person, and upon a certain occa sion, having done him a slight act of kind ness, lie desires to express his appreciation of my consideration, and I accepted from him a rifle and a knife that had been car ried and used during the recent Rebellion by a Union soldier, who had afterward boarded at his house, and who had -given them to him. 1 have been from boyhood 'a ' collector of curiosities, and having a large number of seafaring friend-:, 1 have been enabled to get together quite a cabinet, and to which J added the rifle and knife. The recent death of him who presented them to me recalls to my mind an adventure in which the rifle played a conspicuous part. I had been living duriug the summer at our cottage house a short distance from the city, and had just moved to new ,iUarters in one of our lower wards -for tlie wiuterof 18 . We were beginning to feel quite comfortable in our new home; and as the little ones - were much improved in health, as was also my wife, all of whom had. just recovered from a lever, I congratulated myself, when seated before -a bright grate fire, that we were so well situated for the coming cold season, it then being early iu December, aud we had experienced sufficient cold to make it safe to. predict a severe winter. One night during that month, the wind blew fiercely, and ou looking out of the window I saw that a storm was brew ing. 1 became anxious for the return of my wife, who had been summoned to the sick bed of her sister, sonic distance away, The children "were sleeping snugly iu their own little bed-room, aud licit quite lonesome. The house in which we had taken our rooms for the winter was a new one, and the only apartments occupied in it were those iu which we lived, consisting of the first floor. It struck eleven, and my wife had not yet returned. I thought 1 heard footsteps ill thu hall, as if some one was passing as noiselessly as possible up the stairs. 1 listened attentively, aud thought I 'detected the same noise overhead. I opened the door, but all was still. Had I not bolted the front door?-I believed I I had. I took the lamp, went to the front door, and found that it was not bolted, as I had supposed. It was shut, but upon a closer examination I saw footprints upon the stairs, the wet snow storm without h-bavin": left visible marks. These I fol lowed to the head of the stairway, where they ceased, the feet occasioning them having th'ero been relieved of their cov erings no doubt. Was I not foolish ? Perhaps some person had taken the empty apartments, and was only availing him or herself of a shelter from the storm which they unluckily had beeu caught iu. Yet 1 thought they need not be so fearful of of disturbing-their neighbors as to take off their shoes or boots. . I took the light again, aud went up stairs to find the rooms locked, no one tliere,' came dowu again, aud thought the affair at least a mystery. I lit a fresh cigar, placed myself before the fire, aud took it easy, half dozingfiuitil my wife's return, which was shortly after. But I could not get the thing off my mind. Some oue' went up stairs where, I did not know, aud for no good purpose I wan satisfied. My wife-hud left her sister quite ill, but somewhat easier. Her brother Billy had left her at the door, it being quite late and hurried toward home. 1 did not mention my suspicions, aud was too much ashamed of hiy fears to call an officer aud make further search, for the whole matter might prove nervousness, and create suspicions of too strong a cigar, and 1 be laughed at for my trouble. Wo - retired. My wife soon slept soundly. I did not. Perchance the foot steps on the stairs were the commence ment of a night mare." 'for my. especial benefit. Bo that as it may, I distinctly hoard a noise at the window in the chil dren's room, and no mistake about it a palpable shake of tho sash some one was trying to opou it. !Our front room, over looking tho street, we used as a parlor; then came a sleeping apartment, in which reposed tho children my two little boys aim infant daughter. Tho next room was occupied by myself and wife, a door from which led into tho children's. The back room waft the kitch en. Out of each of the bed chambers was a window opening into the hall. Yes, I distinctly heard a . second at tempt made to open the window of the children's room. I hoard a pry at work, trying to force it Open, that it might break off the- button which held it and swing back on its hinges; fin- the window was a swinging sash, moving into the room when open, like a dour, about four feet from the floor. Under this window was my little ones' bed. It was time to act. I arose quietly, closed the door leading from my room to the children's quickly und noiselessly, lit tho lamp, got the rifle 1 have mentioned from its place by the side of the cabinet, ami examined the cap in as short a time almost as I have written it. Taking a position behind the door, I listened anxiously. I would wait, I thought, until I heard the window swing back, then suddenly throw open door and tire as the burglar entered, for by so doing, the light now ' hid from his view by a thick curtain in -my own room and tho closet door leading to tho children's would be bright euough to ainreorrectly when the door opened. I heard the window crack and. fly open, I pushed back my own door, and brought up the -rifle "-handsomely." I handled ' uiy stick," as tho soldier boys say, bo fore, and aimed for his head, as I saw my man, one of his legs dangling over' the window sill, and iu one hand a small - bit of candle. He was evidently just about to slide down on the children ! If should ever see this sketch, which I hope he may, I 'would ask if my tcnte mn.it was not" taken somewhat aback, when he opened that window? He look ed so all events; with a light shining di rectly upon him, and a dead aim from the muzzle of a rifle four or five feet from the tip of his nose, was, I am confident, far from his expectations. I could not I see his features plain enough to indenti- ij-i'ioi iiaiu, uuu i Hiiagiueu no jookou bewildered for a second or two at least. . I was about to fire when I saw him at tempt to draw a pistol from his breast, as tho villian sat perched up there like a ' bird of prey" in the middle of the night, when a light touch ou the shoul der caused mc to turn suddenly, and re serve my fire, when, bang ! went tho ras cal'3 pistol and thou a drop to tho hall way. My wife had arisen half uncon cious of the situation and leaned her hand upon me ; that touch saved the bur glar's life, and nearly cost mo my own, the buile, from his weapon having buried itself in the casing of the door danger ously near my head. Being all this time in undress, pursuit was impossible. I had already heard the slam of the front door a tho desperado made his escape. He bad-concealed himself during my search, in a closet ou the upper hallway, tho existence of which I was unaware of, until the next day. The other part of the house was occupied in a few days af ter, and we were not troubled by such customers since. I think a great deal of that rifle, and 'will never part with it. nor do I think I shall ever forget the part it played iu " tho burglars escape.',' Pop (iocs tlie Weasel. " Pop goes the Weasel," has become the chorus of a thousand snatches of song, but not one of a thousand who sing it ever heard its origin. But its parentage is as easily traced as that of nn English baro net. A famous Methodist preacher, by the name of Craven, was once .preaching in the heart of Virginia, aud spoke as follows ; " Here arc a great many professors of religion here to-day. You aro sleek, fat good-looking, yet something is the matter with you. -Now, you have seen wheat which was-plump, round and good-looking to the eye, but when you weighed it you found that it only came to forty-five or perhaps forty-eight pounds to tho bushel, when it should have been sixty or sixty three pounds. Take a kernel of that wheat between your thumb and finger, hold it up, squeeze it, and-" pop goes die weevil. Now, you good-looking professors of religion, you are plump and round, but you only weigh some 45 or 4G pounds to the man. What is the matter? .Ah ! when you are taken between the thumb id' the law and finger of tho gospel, held 'to tho light, and squeezed, out pops the whiskey- bottle." Prom "pop goes' the weevil" to "pop -goes the weasel,", the transition is easy. frj Sunday is the strongest day in the week. Tho rest are all week days.