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The Bloomfield times. [volume] (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1867-187?, June 20, 1871, Image 1

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F"ZZZ"lrR' AN INDEPENDENT FAMILY NEAVSPAPER. j'iSi
"Vol. "V. Now 15 loom Hold, ITueHcliiy, Time 121). IS'71. IVo. 35.
J I'tibllshed Weekly,
At New Uloonifleld, reim'a.
BY
FRANK MORTIMER.
SDDSCKirTION TERMS.
ONE DOLLAR FEU YEAltt
00 Cents for 6 Month; 40 Cents
for 3 Months,
I IV ADVATNCi:.
THE GOVERNESS' SECRET.
I AM QUITE sure," said my wile, "that
tho'.best plan will be to advertise."
" I have no objection," I replied, "if
you tbiuk answering advertisements is of
no use."
" If we advertise we can make our own
terms, and shall liavo a variety to choose
from. See," said she, "this is the kind of
thing I should like :
" ' Wanted, in a quiet and highly re
spectable family, residing in the country,
a young lady competent to undcrtako the
entire education of threo little girls. Salary
liberal. Comfortable home. Address A.
B., New Rochello."
" Now," resumed my wifo, in a compla
cent tone of voice, after reading this para
graph nloud, "I think that is the very
thing ; only those who like quiet and the
country will answer."
Will the reader believe that within two
days after the insertion of our advertise
ment in the Timet wo had no less than one
hundred and seventy replies ! How to wade
through them was a complete puzzlo to us.
Tho " reduced ladies" we destroyed at once,
resolved to have a well-trained governess,
or nono at all. I low wore we to choose, be
tween tho orphan daughters of clergymen,
the children of once opulent bankers, of
barristers long sinco deceased, or of doc
tors who had never been successful .'
"Qli Harry," sighed my wife, " I am al
most sorry we advertised at all. There
must be one hundrod and sixty-nine- people
disappointed ; it makes me quite sad to
think of thorn. Only fancy what hopes
havo followed each one of these letters !"
I shared my wife's feelings, and felt re
gret something like remorse as I rang tho
bell, and ordered John to remove tho torn
fragments of one hundred and sixty of these
hoio-ladcn epistles.
"Governesses must bo mora plentiful
than footmen," I heard him remark to tho
butler, who passed him in tho hall.
I reserved ten of tho letters, attracted by
tho writing and general style. Ono
amongst these particularly pleased me ; it
was written in a clear, ladylike hand, iinn
and legible, the letters well-rounded, noth
ing angular or affected, neither flourishes
nor out-of-the-way curves. I liked the
clear good sense shown in every lino. Thoro
was no long dissertation on family matters,
no pathos of having to earn her bread as
sho best could. The letter contained noth
ing but a simple statement of her capabili
ties, her terms, and references. I liked tho
sensible, business-like soutencos. ' Wo
therefore decided ivjxm answering this let
ter ; and, on receiving satisfactory roplies
from tho referees, wo finally engaged Miss
Porson.
My family had lived at New Rochello for
many years. The projierty had descended
from father to son ; and few hold a more
honorable position in the county than we
Femes. Wa were not famous for great
riches or great deeds j but, heaven be thank
ed, dishonor bad never come hear us. .
I was tho only child of my parents,' and
they both died before I attained my majori
ty. 1 1 married when I was twenty-one, and
I believe it would havo been Impossible to
have found two people in this world hap
pier than my wife and myself.
We had three children, aged respectively
six, eight, and ton. We bad not cared to
troublo them much about lessons and
books i but they were growing older now :
and as my wife determined they should
never go to school, but should have a gov
ertess at home, I, like a well-trained hus
band, submitted with resignation.
I never knew a kinder-hearted woman
than toy wife ; it was her distinguishing
characteristic. It amused me to see the
preparations made for our governess, and
the pretty rooms that were arranged for her
use. '
The nearest railway station was mare
than five miles distant from our boose ; so
at tho appointed time tb carriage wm Nut
to meet Miss Porson. I was from homo
on tlio day she nrrivod, but my ploasing
impression of her, taken from her letter,
was more than realized, when I saw her.
She was not beautiful in tho strict meaning
of the word : but her fair, calm faco was
full of truth and intelligence : her graceful
movements and gentle manner completed
her charm. There was something, too, in
her faco which I cannot well express. It
was as though a cloud of suffering had
passed over her, and shadowed tho radiance
of her youth. Sho had a sweet, patient
smilo, but I never heard her laugh as tho
really happy do.
Wo found her not only highly accom
plished, but also thoroughly well educated.
Sho was well versed in literature, and her
judgment was as sound ns her thoughts
were clear. Miss Porson proved a valua
ble acquisition to our small circle.
Mino was by no means ono of those fami
lies where tho governess is treated as a de
pendent and inferior. On the contrary,
she was looked upon by every member of
the household with tho greatest respect and
attention. Tho children soon becamo de
votedly attached to her ; my wifo looked
upon her as a most valued friend ; and
amongst all our acquaintance, she was most
deservedly popular. I also saw good quali
ties in her that are somewhat rare. I nev
er heard tho faintest approach to a falso or
an equivocating word from her lips ; and,
no matter how severely sho was tried, I
never know her patient sweetness of temper
to fail.
Ono thing sccmod to mo strange: Miss
Porson never spoko'of her past life or of
her friends. There were no reminiscences
of parents or sisters ; all her thoughts seem
ed centred in tho present.
Ono evening 1 havo remembered it
since after a very cheerful dinner party,
a young lady, one of our guosts, was kind
enough to sing somo of her best songs for
our amusoment. It was a beautiful summer
night, and tho drawing-room windows wero
thrown open, that wo might enjoy tho de
licious fragrance of tho ilowcrs.
Miss Maitland had a magnificent voice,
soft, and full of a most indescribable pa
thos. Sho sang that most beautiful of
mcloditts, I3octliovon's "Adelaida;" tho
wild, mournful, but most lovely music,
moved mo strangely. Miss Porson was sit
ting near an open window, and as tho mu
sic filled tho room, I caught ono glimpse of
her faco, that I havo never forgotten. I
never saw such intensity of misery in any
humau couutonanco before. That calm, fair
faco was quivering with inexpressible an
guish ; her hands wero clasped convulsively ;
thore was a far-off yearning look in her eyes
I could not bear to boo. I went to her Im
mediately, and asked if sho wero ill. Sho
did not hear mo at first ; but when she did
so, a crimson flush covered her face. "
"I beg your pardon, Mr. Feme," sho
said, " no, I am not ill. I used to sing
that song long ago ; and I suppose I was
thinking of that time. Pray excuse me ; I
do not often forgot myself."
Indeed sho did not.
Three years after this my happiness was
made complete by tho birth of a sou and
heir. Ho grew fast, and was a fine sturdy
littlo fellow. The incident I am about to
relate took place when ho was two years
old.
Miss Porson and my wifo wore out ono
morning walking in tho shrubbery. They
returned through a small iron gate, which
brought them to the side of the house.
Happening quite accidentally to look up
ward, Miss Porson was horror-struck to see
littlo Harry standing outside one of the
windows, on a narrow stone balcony, not
two feet In width. He was standing quite
still, gazing intently into the room he had
loft, apparently quite overcome by the
grandeur of his performance. Miss Porson
touched my wife's arm. A shriek, a sound
from within, and my darling boy would, in
turning to look at them, have deen dashed
to the ground.
My wife, who was just recovering from a
severe illness, and was still weak and deli
cate, sank on the grass. She did not faint
or swoon, but her strength left her. She
could not even turn her head, but lay there,
her eyes fixed with a terrible faosinatlon
upon the little white speck on the stone
lodge. I was in the ball, preparing to go
out, when, to my great surprise, I saw Miss
Porson enter rapidly, though silently, with
quivering lips, and a pale face. I aaw her
hastily remove her shoes, and almost fly
up-stalrs. ' I did not follow, for she waved
me back. In three mora minutes she re
turned with my little boy In her arms ; and
then I learnt his danger, and her presence
of miiid, She bad hurried to the room.
and, opening the door quietly, had gono so
silently to tho window, that tho child had
neither seen nor heard her. Sho did not
speak until sho had, unseen by him, grasped
him tightly. Ono expression of fear, ono
heedless sound, and my boy would inevita
bly havo been killed. Wo immediately
took him to his mother, who was speech
less with terror. It grieves mo even now
to think how sho suffered.
Tho nurse, through whoso negligence
tho child was so nearly lost, was sent away ;
but many months passed cro wo forgot the
peril our littlo Harry had boon in.
That incident endeared Miss Porson more
than over to us. We admired her disinter
estedness so much, for sho positively re
fused to accept a valuablo ring which my
wifo wished to present to her.
We wero at breakfast ono morning, when,
amongst tho letters in tho post-bag, wo
found a pretty perfumed cnvclopo with n
crest upon it. I gavo it to my wifo with a
smilo ; it was from her favorite friend,
Mrs. Emily Tonrhyn ; a fashionable and
certainly beautiful littlo widow, young and
wealthy, full of whim and caprice ; not tho
least strango of which was her sudden re
solve to pass it mouth with us in our seclu
sion. The chambers wero prepared, for tho
lady brought with her a maid of littlo less
importance than herself.
Emily wag an old schoolfellow of my
wife's, and notwithstanding a differenco of
some years in thoir respective ages, there
existed between them a warm and devoted
attachment. Whenever my wife could tear
herself from tho fascinations of Now
Rochello, it was to visit her friend,; and
whenever the lady grow tired of variety
and flattery, and the weary ways of the
world, sho would seek refuge at our home.
Wo had not seen Emily for fivo years.
She had made a long stay on tho Conti
nent ; so long, that we began to think she
would pass the rest of her lifo theie. But
tho pietty pink envelope contained a pink
note, stating that she was quite worn out
with fatiguo, and was longing for a fow
quiet weeks with her ever dearest Laura.
My wifo was delighted, and dwelt long
upon the many and endearing charms of
her friend. I liked Emily very much, but
I never shared my wife's raptures. I knew
and admitted all tho good qualities of her
ladyship; but I could not forget that she,
a young and lovely girl of eighteen, had
married an old man of seventy, who . had
nothing to recommend him but position and
wealth.
At his death which happened four years
after their marriage, she had the whole of
his property. I could not call her mercen
ary, for sho had a kind, generous heart ;
still I know no ono better ablo to tako care
of herself than Mrs. Tonryhn.
"Coining on Tuesday," said my wife;
" it is short notice ; but as sho wants quiet,
sho will not care about having any ono in
vited to meet her tho first week."
" No," I replied laughing. " You will
require a week for the Continental adven
tures ; slain knights, extinguished barons,
and despairing counts, are not so easily dis
posed of."
" Now, Charles," said my wifo, " that Is
not fair, you know. Emily is not a co
quette. She cannot help being admired
and sought after. Sho likes telling me
about her lovers, because sho knows it
amuses mo."
To please Laura I declared my convic
tion of her friend's amiability, and she
went on rejoicing in hor preparations.
Tho important Tuesday came, and
brought with it our fair and fascinating
guest, gay and animated as ever, and not
one whit less lovely. Well, it was pleasant
after all to see Emily again. Her traveling
carriage was fairly stocked with presonts :
the children revelled In Parisian dolls with
toilets rtcherch enough for the Imperial
Court of France. My little son staggered
beneath the weight of a Noah's ark of sur
passing beauty. Emily well knew how to
gain the hearts of children.
The first week of her visit passed quiet
ly enough ; it was, in fact, one long conver
sation. During the second we became
more animated ; drives and picnics broke
the usual routine, then we went to a
few solemn dinner-parties ; after which
Emily declared we must have a merry
evening and get up a charade.
The day before our entertainment we
were all together in the library. Emily was
arranging some charade dresses, the chil
dren helping hor in a state of bewlldored
delight, quiet Miss Porson doing all the
practical part of the business.
"I want a small piece of white elastlo to
finish this," cried Emily ; and there was
an immediate rush of children to the work
basket. None could be found.
"I think I havo some in my writing
desk," said Miss Porson. " I was using it
this morning, and saved all there was
left."
"Shall I fetch your box Miss Porson?"
said my eldest girl ; " that will save both
time and trouble-"
Tho child was soon back, and Miss Por
son found what she wanted ; but as sho
stretched out her hand to give tho elastic
to Emily, by some accident tho box was
upset nnd all its contents strewed upon
the ground.
Tho children ran to assist ; a littlo parcel
rolled to my feot ; it was a small pair of
baby shoes and a tiny golden curl. I pick
ed them up, and should perhaps novor havo
thought about thorn but for the deadly pal
lor of Miss Porson's face.
"Oh Miss Poison," cried my little Clara,
" what pretty shoes ! Were those Harry's
once ?"
" No my dear," said the governess, in a
strange low voice ; " they belonged to a
littlo girl I used to know years ago, who is
dead now."
There was a general silence, during
which Miss Porson wrapped up tho littlo
bluo shoes and tho golden curl, and then
loft tho room. I saw Emily give a curi
ous look at my wifo ; but Laura who had
not seen the littlo treasures, only said,
" Some former pupil of Miss Porson's, I
suppose. She is very affectionate."
There tho mutter dropped.
Tho charades wero a great success ; and
during tho excitement and gayety which
followed, this littlo incident was quite for
gotten. It was very seldom that Miss Porson re
ceived a letter, but one particular morning
I handed hor a largo envelope, directed iu
a bold, masculine hand. I thought she
trembled as sho received it ; and I felt sure,
when wo all met at dinner, that her calm
faco boro tho trnco of recent tears.
After dinnor Emily showed my wife a
largo and handsome portmonnaio which
she had purchased in Paris. It had a pe
culiar and very ingenious fastening, which
puzzled us all. I succeeded in opening it,
and casually noticed that it was full of
bank-notes.
" Do you not think that it is a very un
safe way in which to keep so much money,
Emily ?" I asked, perhaps rather rudely.
" Yes," sho replied, carelessly. "I do
not gouerally do so ; but thero are somo
notes of a largo amount thero, and I want
them changed. There is a twenty dollar
note I shall keop for a curiosity ; I had
such a queer littlo adventure with it. I
will tell you, Laura, it will amuso you."
I laid tho portmonnalo down on tho tablo
by Emily, and thought no moro of It.
Tho next morning whilo I was dressing,
a message came from Emily to nsk If sho
could speak to me for a few minutes before
breakfast in tho library. Amused and yet
astonished, I complied with her request.
To my surprise Emily looked very pale and
gravo.
"Mr. Feme," sho began, "I have some
thing very unpleasant to say to you. Do
you remember the portmoimaie I showed
Laura last evening?"
"Yes," I replied, molancholily.
"Well," she continued ; "I am sorry to
say It Is gone. I was careless enough to
leave It in the drawing-room last evening,
together with a bracelet. I was talking to
Laura, and the bracelet, which is a very
valuablo diamond one, hurt mo. It Is rath
er too tight. I took It off and laid it by
the portmonnalo, intending to take them
both up into my room with mo. I suppose
I must have been very much engrossed by
what Laura was saying, for I quite forgot
all about them until my maid askod me
this morning where the bracelet was."
" They must both be in the drawing
room," I replied ; " It is impossible that
they cau be lost. Have you boen thore ?"
"Yes, I went at once," she replied;
"apparently it has never been entered
since we loft It last evening ; it Is not ar
ranged or dusted yet. Will you come
with me?"
I went, feeling quite sure that I should
find both purse and bracelet ; but, after
long and careful searcli, I could discover no
trace of either.
" Have you made auy inquiries ?" I ask
ed of Emlly.
" No, I came to you at once," , she re
plied. " I asked Mary, the upper house,
maid, whose duty it is to see to the room, if
she had been there, and she said she had
been too busy." ' 1
" Did Laura carry them up-stalrs and
take them into her room for you?" I suggested.
"No," sho replied, "wq went together,
and Laura came with me into my dressing
room. Sho had nothing in her hands but a
letter of mino that I had given her to
read."
"It seems strange," said I ; "but,, de
pend upon It, wo shall find them. It is ut
terly impossible that they can be lost. I
will go and ask Laura if sho can throw any
light upon tho mystery."
My wifo was as much surprised and puz
zled as wo wore. She remembered Emily
taking off the bracelet, but had not noticed
what sho did with it. I summoned Emily's
maid, the housekeeper, and the housemaid,
but I could not find any clue to them. Ouo
thing only was quite clear money and
bracelet had both disappeared.
I felt as convinced of tho honesty of my
servants as I did of my own. Most of
them had been with mo for many years ;
tho butler had been with my father before
me ; tho footman camo ns pago when he
was twelve years old ; tho housckcoper had
been my father's favorite maid. For each
one of them I could answer as for mysolf.
No one could havo entered the house.
The drawing-room windows opened on to
the lawn, but the shutters that secured
them wero well fastened, and those shutters
wero properly closed when wo went into
the room. Besides, if thieves had broken
in, they must have left somo trace ; but not
a tiling was out of order, and not so much
as a silver spoon was missing.
I gavo strict orders that no ouo should
cither leave or enter tho house, and then,
after hastily swallowing somo hot coffee, I
galloped dowu to tho railway station, and
telegraphed to New York for a detective.
It happened most fortunately that the
celebrated Mr. Rivers camo Immediately
with an assistant.
Nothing could clear up tho mystery. The
servants, ono and all, rcquostcd that search
should bo made in their rooms. I do not
belicvo there was a box or drawer, or hardly
ono inch of tho old house, that escaped a
thorough scrutiny by tho keen-eyed detec
tive. " I can make nothing of it yet, sir," said
ho. "Tho servants seem u thoroughly
honest set. Have I seen every ouo in the
house?"
" With the exception of Mrs. Feme, Mrs.
Tenryhn, and Miss Porson," I replied.
"Don't think it a liberty, sir," said he,
"but I should bo glad if you could manage
for mo to sco tho lady and Miss Porson. It
is all in tho way of business. Many queer
things come to light that no ouo would
dream of."
Mrs. Tcnrhyn and Miss Porson are iu tho
library now," I said. " Como with jno,
and we will try if wo can ascertain the
numbers of the notes."
Those keen dark eyes Mushed over tho
beautiful, agitated faco of Emily, and over
tho. calm,Jfair features of Miss Porson, and
thon tho detoctlve looked; moro hopelessly
puzzled than ever. '
"Can you tell me," ho asked of Emily,
"the exact sum in the purse, and the. num
bers of tho notes ?" . .
"Thore wero eight mites for one hundred
dollars, and threo for twenty dollars," she
replied. " I do not know the number ; but
my agent in New York, who sent 1 them to
me, does, no doubt. There was a twenty
dollar note of which I remember the num
ber, from a particular circumstance ; it was
333, and dated June 4th, 185." ' "
"It would be better to telegraph at once
to tho New York agent," said tho detective
to mo, " in order to know the numbers,
and stop payment of the notes.".
We did so, and the search continued with
unabated vigor. Handbills were printed
describing the lost valuables, and offering
a large reward for their discovery.
Mr. Rivers-was In despair when, on the
third day, there came a long letter from
Emily's agent, containing a full list and
description of the bank-notes, with tlie
fatal news that thoy had been changed at a
certain bank the morning after the rob
bery., That was a clue, and Mr. Rivers wont to.
New York to follow It .
We ascertained first if any one had gone
on that morning from our station by the
mail-train to New York. Thero ka4 not
been a singla passenger.., . ,
" It has been magic," sold tb detective
to me, as he bade me good-by ; " no one In
the house has done it ; every i face there is
honest not the look of a thief amongst
them. No one out of the place cau have
done it, for they could ' ot get in. Good
by, sir. If it takes twenty years, T will
find it out yet." Concluded next week. '

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