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The Bloomfield times. [volume] (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1867-187?, May 03, 1870, Image 1

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Vol. XV. Nov XSloom field, !,., TVIsiy 1870. IVo. 18.
Js Published Weekly,
At New l.loomfield, renn'si.
Transient 8 Cents per lino for one insertion.
13 " " " two insertions.
15 " " " three insertions.
Business Notices in Local Column 10 Cents
per line.
Notices of Marriages or Deaths inserted free.
Tributes of Kespcct, Ac., Ten cents per line.
One Square per year, including paper, $ 8 00
Two Squares per year, including paper, 13 00
Three 8quares " " " 16 00
Four Squares " " " 20 00
Ten Lines Nonpareil or one Inch, is one square.
Tlio Missing Letter.
BY F. D.
THE sun was shining coyly down upon
a littlo brown house, situated on tlio
outskirts of a New England village, that ap
peared to be battling for a place among the
grand old mountains by which it was sur
rounded. In this littlo brown house, almost hidden
by tall lilacs and sweet briar, a mother and
her daughter were conversing sadly of the
present and future.
" It's no use, mother. This is the third
time I have been repulsed, I was so sure of
this situation, and now the principal sends
iuo word that Judge Whitcomb has recom
mended an old and experienced teacher, and
the place is secured for her. He seems to
have had something to do with every fail ure
I have had as yet. I cannot understand
" I am afraid I do, Lucy. Judge Whit
comb is wealthy and purse-proud, and
knowing the attachment between you and
Morton, ho wishes to keep you from a
place as teacher in the village, thinking,
perhaps, it will force you to find employment
farther away."
The rich color (lushed into the beautiful
girl's checks, aud a bright lustre to her dark
" And you think that, too, is the reason he
sent Morton away to pursue studies that
are taught in our schools?"
"I do; and furthermore, that he will
continue to place every obstaclo in your
patli that he possibly can. It is his boast
that ho never undertakes a thing in earnest,
ami is foiled; and it is true, or nearly so,
I Tjclieve, for I have known him for over
twenty years."
Lucy's father had been dead several
years, and she had always resided in the
village where sho was born, and was an on
ly child. "When the father died, he left
thcin the little dwelling with its five
acres of ground, and a few thousands in tho
-bank(though this was not generally known).
Mrs. Merryman wisely thought that
a part of this surplus could not be better
invested than in giving her daughter a su
perior education, so that if left alone she
might be able to support herself. The vil
lage boasted an excellent school as what
New England village does not? and at
this she was kept until sho had acquired
all that is usually taught to young ladies in
tho institution. She had been educated to
teach, and her sort of regal carriage and
easy manners well fitted her for tho ofllco,
Among the boys at school was the son of
Judge Whitcomb, a fine, noble fellow, of
about her own ago, or a year oldor.perhaps.
"When they wore fourteen, they were point
ed out by the older scholars as the' "young
lovers." It was amusing toohserve the at
tention he paid her. Ho gathered the first
spring flowers for her carried her books
and parcels pulled oft" her muddy over
shoes to spare her dainty fingers produced
an umbrella if it rained ; and seemed by
his actions generally to consider her as his
peculiar charge. When teased by the old
er boys, as ho often was, ho would reply :
"She has no father or brother, and I am
sure somebody ought to care for and be
kind to her."
And as they grew older they were assign
ed to each other, by a sort of tacit consent,
in all the little merry-makings incident to a
New England village.
Judge Whitcomb, tho father of Morton,
was a grave taciturn man, loving his chil
dren dearly, (they were all girls but Morton,)
but m his own peculiar manner.
One day, as ho sat reading, his attention
was arrested by a conversation between
Morton and one of his sisters, and in which
the latter was teasing him about his fond
ness for Lucy Merryman. Some words giv
en back by the brother startled him, and he
raised his eyes, and through the open door,
(for ho was in an adjoining room,) looked
upon his son, a boy no longeiv
"Ho is a fine, man!y-looking youth, cer
tainly, ho thought, as he gazed more ear
nestly. " What if that poor widow's inter
esting daughter should try to captivate him?
I have heard yes, known of such things !
I must watch 1 Why, it would ruin him !"
And he did watch, and became convinced
there was danger.
"My son," said he, a few days after
wards, "when docs this term of school
close ?"
" In three weeks, sir."
" How far havo you progressed in your
Latin ?"
"I shall commence my second book in
Virgil, next term."
" Very well, I pioposo sending you from
home to school, a term or two, before you
enter college."
The son looked up in surprise ; " May I
ask why, sir ?"
" Certainly. I think it will be an advan
tage to you. Your studies will proceed the
panic, and contact with strangers will give
you more confidence in your own powers,
and better fit you for the collegiate course.
I will speak to your mother to have all your
clothing prepared, and will go with you at
the proper time, to tho principal in Boston,
who is a personal friend, and in whom I
have much confidence."
The son had nothing to offer against this
reasonable proposition, and at the time
named by his father, said "good-bye" to
his villago class-mates, lingered very long
at parting with Lucy Merryman, and then
left his father's house for his first sojourn
from it."
Judge Whitcomb was tho nominal post
master for the villago, but the business was
attended to by an efficient deputy.
Morton and Lucy had promised, in that
last parting, to correspond, and every week
pretty littlo missives passed back and forth
between them. The father had made no
provision for this, and in fact, know nothing
of it. Ho had sent his son away as he oneo
would have shut him in a closet to keep him
out of mischief: and he had no nioro thought
of his writing to a young lady, without his
leave, than ho would havo had of his climb
ing from a window to escape the confine
ment. But one day being in tho office, in the ab.
senco of his clerk, Lucy Merryman came
and dropped a letter in the box. When sho
was gone he took it up to prepare it for its
destination, and saw, to his surprise, tho
name and address of his son. He turned it
over and over,and read again and again the
address. Yes, it was to his son. And ho
would givo much to know what it contained.
Morton was a minor and should 'bo under
his control in everything. Perhaps this
thing had gone farther than ho had feared.
Tho letter looked like it certainly. And
ho must never bo allowed to entangle him
self with this girl, to blight all his future
prospects. He examined the wafer, it was
mrdly dry yet, and tho self-willed man, who
vould as soon havo thought of committing
muder as opening any other letter, renson
d himself into tho belief that he had a per
fect right to read his son's letters., and his
mfe slid under the wafer and the own let
ter was before him.
It contained nothing to alarm, but some
thing to gratify hiin. For in it Lucv told
her friend of their proposed removal to Illi
nois, and gave him her future address, care
f James Leonard.
When Judge Whitcomb opened the let
ter he intended to re-closo it, and send it to
its address. But now, if he could suppress
it, as ho told himself he had a right to do
a point would be gained; yes, two, forhe
would blame her for not writing to him be
fore she went away, and would lose all clue
o her address, for tho present, at least-
Judge Whitcomb was not a bad man, and
lidden in his heart under a strong crust of
pride and self-esteem, was a warm lovo for
his children. Morton was his darling, and
around him gathered tho choicest emotions
of his nature, and had ho suspected of the
sorrow he would subject him to by the act
he contemplated, it would never havo been
committed. That the girl would fret son
lie did not doubt. But what right had sho
to think of him, tho only son of Judgo Whit
comb ? Her presumption ought to be pun
ished. This last thought decided him; and
with a steady hand ho consigned it to tho
flames on that bright spring morning ; and
Morton Whitcomb recited poor lessons
from wondering why no letters came, and
Lucy Merryman wept bitter tears in her far
Western homo for the answer that could not
As soon as Mrs. Merryman was gone.
Judgo Whitcomb wrote a long letter to his
son; and in a postscript conveyed tho intel
ligence that the widow Merryman had sold
her littlo place, and had gone West, for
some advantage to her daughtcr,he had been
And thus the thread that had connected
their lives so long and so closely was sever
ed, and they went their several ways with
their first bitter lesson in distrust and sus
The father had never been ouito satisfied
wit h Morton. Ho had not made tho man
his boyhood promised. Tho gay, light-
hearted youth had become sarcastic and
cynical. Ho was not fond of female societv
and sometimes spoke snecringly of affection
between the sexes. Coldly polite to all. tho
inner temple of his heart seemed closcd.and
distiust guarded tho portal.
"Morton, why do you say that? Did you
ever care for her?"
It was so unlike his father to ask such a
question that ho started an instant before
replying :
" Yes, as I shall never care for another.
But she threw mo away as an impediment
in her path, in her mad career to position
and wealth. If sho has gained tho first, tho
latter will surely come; and if sho Is grati
fied, her friends ought not to complain, and
I will not."
" You were so young when sho went awav
Morton, that you ought to havo forgotten
that boyish fancy, and long ero this, have
found one on whom to bestow your heart
and name."
" Perhaps 1 But you seo I have not, and
with my present estimate of female constan
cy, you will not bo troubled to set up a sep
arate establishment very soon."
That proud man looked upon his son for
a moment, irresolute: but his lovo w
stronger than his pride. The destroying of
that letter he had over regarded as but tho
removal of a dangerous plaything from his
child : but this outraging the feelings of
man was a crimo : and at last ho had come
to seo it as such, and bowed his head for an
instant on his hands. The son roso to go,
" Como back, Morton," ho said. "Did
over wrong you as a child ?"
"Never," he answered, in tones of sur
" Then I will not longer as a man, I
thought I was doing right ! .thought I was
taking a step to eventually embrace your
happiness ; and if I erred, as I now fear I
did, it was from my jealous care of you. I
did not think you would suffer much, or for
long. But I find I was mistaken and regret
the act. I broke up your correspondence
with Lucy Merryman."
"You, father."
"Yes, I kept back tho letter in which
sho would have informed you of their con
templated removal, and gave her future ad
dress." " And then she has been left, through all
these years to suppose that the neglect was
"Yes, but I did not think"
" Enough 1 She shall know now. I will
write no I will go."
And the next train that went whirling
through among the mountains westward,
numbered Morton Whitcomb among its
passengers. "
Before leaving, the father had placed a
sealed note in his hands, addressed to Miss
Lucy Merryman ; and with the words :
" You will not havo to humblo yourself
and accuse your father. The note explains
Miss Merryman had not taken her place
in the school since the death of her mother,
and was that day wandering listless and sad
about tho beautiful grounds surrounding
her uncle's residence.
She had succeeded in all things beyond
her most sanguine expectations. As a teach
er sho was unrivalled ; and she had a host
of warm friends, and was treated as a be
loved daughter in her uncle's house, that
now boasted a second mistress. Infact,sho
had become all she had said so firmly, " I
will rise I will succeed, and tho future
must take care of itself !" in that littlo old
house, on that long ago spring morning.
But was she happy ? Herdear mother was
asleep under sods yet green ; and hid away
in tho secret chandler of Memory was that
early lovo that had promised so much and
given so little.
Sho stoop ed to gather a flower,and as sho
turned on rising, Morton Whitcomb stood
before her.
" Why had ho come if he could not ex
plain his unaccountable silence?" thought
she, asking that which sho most wished to
" Will you como in," sho said, her eyes
dropping before his earnest gaze.
" Not now, Lucy; sit with nicin this gar-
don chair, for a littlo while, please. I
havo much to say to you and would say it
Ho spoke in his old loving tones, and sho
suffered him to retain her hand and lead her
to tho scat.
" I havo a letter for you, Luoy," and ho
handed her tho noto.
"At last," sho said, raising her eyes to
"Sparc me," ho replied, "until you read
She did read all tho humiliating confes
sion of the proud man, who had humbled
himself from lovo for his son.
"How dared ho tamper with my letter?"
sho said, her eyes flashing with indigna
tion. "Ho is my fathor, Lucy."
"Yes; and as your father, I forgive
"Thank you," and drawing her closer to
him, he said, "one more boon ; may he be
yours in name ? Will you be my wife, Lucy,
and bo to mo as you ever have been, the
dearest object on earth?"
Tho angry spotfaded from herchooks,and
the lovo-light came softly to hor eyes as sho
answered gontly :
"I will bo your wifo.dearest Morton; and
Oh, love mo always, for there are but few
to do so now :" Six weeks later Lucy re
turned a bride to the home of her childhood.
No one but tho regret ful father knew of the
long estrangement.
The ten thousand dollars in her own right
was a nine day's wonder to the gossips, but
to no one was it more of a surprise than to
her husband and Judge Whitcomb.
"And so my consummate folly came near
cheating you out of a fortune, as well as a
wife !" he said to his son when informed of
tho fact. " Well, old heads are poor cater
ers for young hearts."
IN Holland there lived Myneer Van Flam,
who every morning said, "I am the
drunkenest fellow in Rotterdam," all to
tho horror of his old dame, who cursed tho
day which made her Van Flam. Whenev
er ho returned homo drunk, (which was ev
ery night),sho would scold him with the ut
most severity.and commonly ended her phil
ippic by menacing him with death. A few
days since she attempted to carry her threats
into execution. Their house consists of a
ground floor and a loft. Sho went into tho
loft, made a hole in the floor,dropped a rope
through it, fastened ono end of the ropo to
a beam in tho garret, and made a slip-knot
to the end which dangled in the room on
ground floor. All these preparations com
pleted, she waited patiently until her hus
band came home, lie readied it later and
more intoxicated than usual, butwas so sur
prised upon opening the door to face no tem
pest of words, that he became immediately
sobered. Yon have seen drunken men so
bered by danger? He said to himself "thcro
is something wrong; bo on your guard, old
boy!" The chamber was tireless, and as no
lamp was burning, complete obscurity
reigned. He fell upon a chair and pretended
to bo asleep, snoring sonorously as was his
wont. Presently ho felt a noose slipped'
over his head. He instantly saw the dusi
v -p
of his wife, but ho did not budge nntil ho
Heard lier steps on the stairs as sho went t.r
his loft. Ho instantly rid himself of tho
noose and slipped it around tho stove. In
a few seconds he saw tho stove rise to the
ceiling with an infernal clatter caused by
tho fall of the various tin vessols which
were upon it. The wife thought the noise
was made by tho fall of obiectsherh
had snatched at as ho folt himself drawn
up or had kicked over in convulsive strug
gles. She waited until the noiso ended, and
then, sure ho was dead, ran to the nearest
police station to say sho had on her return
home found her husband had committed su
icide. Tho police came around at once with
their lamps, What was their surprise to seo
tnostovo swinging in mid air. and the bin..
band seated on a chair quietly smoking his
pipe ! inquiry was instituted which result
ed in tho wife's arrest for attempting to com
mit homicide.
tW Professor Blackie says some pood
things, and it is curious to know what he
would say about women. Here is what ho
has recently told tho world at a lecture r
"A woman is naturally as different from
a man as a flower from a tree : she has mo
beauty and more fragrance, but less strength.
&110 wm ue mted lor tho rough and thorny
walk of the masculine professions when she
has got a rough beard, a brazen front, and
a hard skin, but no soonor."
W " Why does tho operation of hanging
kUl a man?" inquired Dr. Whately.
A physiologist replied :
"Bocauso inspiration is stopped, circula
tion checked, and blood diffuses and con
gests the brain."
" Bosh !" replied his grace. "It is bo
causo the rope is not long enough to let hu
feet touch the ground."
ISTA. Michigan man and his wife, hav
ing grown weary of each other, recently
signed an agreement to dissolve thecontract;
and the former sent it to the county clerk,
with this explanatory note : ".This agree
ment has been maid and draud up betwixt
my Self and Wifo and I doant know wether
it is a cordon to law or Knot and i want
you Shud roCord it if it is lawful and if it
is knot draw one that is.'

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