Newspaper Page Text
lewis m. grist, proprietor, j Jnbepenbent Jjamilg JtctDspapor: Jfflr % promotion of tjje political, Social, ^gricnltnral anb Commercial Interests of tjje Sontji. |terms--$3.00 a year, in advance.
YOL. 25. YOEKVILLE, S. O., THURSDAY, FEBRTJABY 27, 1879. NO. 9.. jto Original Jtotg. Written for the Yorkville Enquirer. THE BARSTOWS. BY VICTOR VERNON. CHAPTER I. DR. FRANKLIN^ NARRATIVE.?A WEDDING. A wedding is usually supposed to be a merry affair. But the wedding that I am about to write of was an exception to the gen* * 1- ? mAof Afkoi* eral rule?wnicn, uy t?e v*oj I HAC mvov wuvi rules, has so many exceptions, that it is rather puzzling to know how it ever came to be accepted as a rule. Facts to the contrary, however, we And that in all countries, and among diverse nations, from the foundation of the earth up to the present time, and in the estimation alike of wise and simple, learned and untaught, old and young, rich and poor, this idea of mirth and jollity, in connection with the solemnization of matrimony, is solidly established. A bridegroom is supposed to be the most fortunate and enviable, a bride the most favored and happy, of human beings. They are invariably alluded to as "the happy pair," and we constantly read of such jargon as "golden wedding bells," "Nature smiling on the festive occasion," "hearts overflowing with tender joy," and so forth, when Mr. So and-So leads Miss So and-So to the altar of Hymen, as if two people committing the very rashest act that can be conceived in the mortal mind?leaping blindfold, as it were, over a precipice, or into the bed of a foaming cataract?were to be envied, admired, poetized and apostrophized, and their example followed with all possible speed by? | But hold! All this, you will say, is mere ! envy. I know that the people in general think that I am an old bachelor because Miss?well, I may be excused for not mentioning names; at any rate, they think I have been refused?some maliciously assert, more than once. I positively deny this to be the case. I have lived?and mean to die?a bachelor, simply of my own free will and choice; for I have never met a woman yet, who I have reason to think could, in auy way, -add to the happiness of my existence. Not that I wish to detract from the merits of the weaker sex. On the contrary, I admit that I have known many excelleut females; excellent, I I will go far as to add, in all the relations of life?whose husbands, in having made the leap over the precipice aforesaid, happened to alight on a smooth, pleasant meadow, instead of in a patch of nettles or a rocky abyss But alas! such cases seem to me to be rare ; and I would sooner die peaceably in my bed, than run the risk of sharing the fate of the unlucky majority. I never invested in a lottery-ticket but I drew a blank ; I never was beguiled into a speculation but I was sure to be a loser, if not a dupe ; and I imagine that the same fate would pursue me in the case of my ever being persuaded to take a chance in J that most hazardous of all lotteries, matri-' IIIKJUJ. But to return to ray wedding?or, rather, Heaven be praised! not mine, but the wedding of Ralph Barstow and Fanny Tracy, which I have introduced as the subject of this chapter. Fanny, poor girl, was my niece, or I should say my half-niece, being the only daughter of my dissipated step brother Philip Tracy, by his marriage with the widow Barstow. Widow Barstow's first husband had bequeathed to her, as his sole legacy, his son Ralph, by his first marriage. Thus, you see, Ralph and Fanny had, in a measure, stood in the relation of brother and sister to each other, though, of course, there was really no relationship in the case, at all. Ralph had a better disposition than his step-mother, and that is not saying much in his favor, for if ever there was an unpleasant woman it was Mrs. Tracy, formerly Mrs. Barstow. It seems a confusing mixture of names; but if you will think it over for a minute or two you can easily get it clear. In personal appearance, Ralph was rather attractive than otherwise, being tall and well formed, with a sunburnt skin and regular features, and short, curling dark hair. Fanny was lame, from an accident she had met with in her infancy ; and the misfortune had communicated itself, in a manner, to her whole aspect. Her growth was stunted, her countenance pale and sickly, and her demeanor shy, shrinking and unformed. From her heart she loved, nay, worshipped Ralph; but he?well, he would Koiro marripH Vipr hut. fnr thft maehina tions of her mother. Of that I feel quite sure. I remember so well the picture presented by the pair, as they stood side by side in the old parlor at Holly well, while the minister read the words which made them man and wife. Ralph, with his brown face stern and a far-off look in his eyes, though his voice was steady and resolute enough, as he followed the prescribed form it was his duty to repeat; Fanny, with a tremulous color in her face, like a ray of sunrise on a clear, cold lake, her drooping lids veiling her gaze, and her figure losing its uugraceful proportions beneath the cloudy folds of white drapery which had been arranged in the most judicious and becoming style, on that occasion, if no other, looked almost beautiful; but it was happiness, that created the light of beauty on her features, and I knew it would be but fleeting. At her left hand stood her father, v Handsome, careless, bold-looking as was his wont, he was a singularly attractive man, as far as outward aspect went, notwithstanding his bad habits and reckless life. Next to him, the mother, with her hawk-nose and crafty eyes. It was always a matter of surprise to me that she should be considered handsome, but she was. Poor little Fanny did not resemble either parent in the least. One or two friends, besides the minister and myself, were the only other persons present. The ceremony was over, and the blessing pronounced on the newly-wedded pair. OkI Dr. Shain then shook hands with each, offer ing his good wishes, and adding some feeble attempt at an ill-timed joke. He had known them both from childhood, and considered himself a privileged individual in such cases. "You have not kissed your bride, Ralph," said Mrs. Tracy, in her hard, raetalic tones. A sudden dark flush swept over Ralph's face. He hesitated, but for one instant; then bending over Fanny, just touched his lips to her brow, from which her mother had put back the veil. The eyes of the bride were raised in one brief, timid glance to his. He turned abruptly away, and did not once again approach her during my stay. I took leave immediately after lunch, and felt relieved when I had got out of the house. The whole affair had seemed a painful one. But I feared ! that the worst of it was yet to come. As I rode along on my gray mare, meditating, there was a clatter of hoofs behind me, and I was presently joined by Charles Euston, a friend of Ralph's, who had been present at the wedding, and must have left shortly after j I did. "Are you going home, Doctor?" he asked. "I am," I rejoined. "Won't you keep me company ?" "Part of the way I will, with pleasure. In fact, I should like to have a little chat with you. Isn't there a sort of mystery about this matter that we have just been participating in ? Excuse the question. I don't want to pry into family matters; but you know Ralph and I have always been intimate, and it strikes me that he has been curiously reticent of late." "I don't know that there is any mystery," was my reply. "The match has been made ' up, as every body knows. I only hope it won't turn out badly, that's all." "The reason that I am surprised," continued Euston, "is that I have been, for some time past, under the impression that Ralph was madly in love in another quarter; but I suppose it was only a fancy on his part, or, perhaps, a delusion on mine." "I know nothing of any such love-affair," said I. "At any rate, it is to be supposed that he had put it aside before making my niece his wife." "Your niece!" echoed Euston, looking confused. "I had forgotten?" "Forgotten the relationship, eh? Well, it's of no consequence," said I. "You said nothing wrong. Fanny's father is, you know, ray half-brother; but we have never been intimate, and the difference of name misleads persons very often." "I beg your pardon for alluding to the subject," said Euston. "The fact is, my interest in Ralph's welfare is so great, that I have been thinking of him alone, and it never occurred to me that you were so near " * - ? r xl a relative of his wile s, tnougn i anew mere was some sort of connection between you." "No harm done," said I. "I am one outside the family, as it were ; have lived abroad almost ever since my step-brother's marriage, and before that had seen comparatively little I of him. Even if we had been on the best of | terms, however, his marriage would necessarily have created a barrier between us. Mrs. Tracy and I are not fond of one another." "She is not an attractive person," said Euston. "Not at all attractive," said I. "Miss Fanny?or rather, I should say, Mrs. Barstow?seems, however, to be very amiable," said my companion, who was evidently anxious-to atone for the blunder he had made. "She is, I believe, a thoroughly good amiable girl," I assented. "I have no doubt she will make Barstow a good wife. I trust he appreciates her merits." "He certainly must," said Euston, "for they have known each other from childhood. That was one cause, too, of my surprise on learning their engagement. I mean, I had always regarded them in the light of brother and sister." "There was, however, no relationship between them," I rejoined. "Oh ! certainly not. I am aware of that." We pursued our way for a little while in silence, and then ray companion began to talk T qaa ko tit q a 01 SOlUeUllLlg CISC. X CUUIU occ tuai uv nuo full of the subject which he had broached on first joining rae, but the discovery of my relationship to Fanny had acted as a check upon his communicative mood. My own curiosity, however, bad been awakened by what he had said of Ralph's predilection in another quarter, and I felt desirous of learning more of the matter. I knew that I could easily get what I pleased out of Euston, who was a good-natured, simple sort of fellow, and had already, since my return to the neighborhood, made sundry advances towards me, such as are always flattering from the young to those in the decline of life. "You said," I presently remarked, when some unimportant conversation concerning the weather and the crops had taken place between us, "you said awhile ago that Ralph Barstow had been in love. Who was the lady, may I ask ?" "Oh! I may have been mistaken, you know," replied Euston, hastily. "I dare say it was only?a?" "Very likely," said I, "but there can be no harm in my knowing the facts of the case, even if it was only a passing fancy on his part." "Well, the young lady was a Miss McGregor," said Euston, with evident reluctance. "She was a clergyman's daughter, and very pretty. We knew her when we were at College. All of us fellows were half in love with her; so Barstow's, you see, was no exceptional case." "Oh! a college belle," said I. "Pretty and lively, eh ? I can imagine the sort of girl you mean?the sort that a lot of young fellows would go wild over." "She was the sort any one, young or old, would admire," said Euston, warmly. "Not a bit of fastness about her, I assure you, but simple and modest, the very picture of refinement, gentleness and good taste. Lively enough, in a girlish, unaffected way, but nothing more, l ne oia gentleman worsnippea her." "Her father, you mean ?" "Yes, sir ; she was his only child. The mother was dead, and this girl kept the house, i looked after his parishioners, entertained his j guests, in fact; was his right hand in every i respect. And she was only sixteen." I "Only sixteen, eh ? How long ago was that?" "It was?let me see?four?no, three years ago. It was during Ralph's last term at college that I was there with him. I gradj uated eighteen months later." "And is she still unmarried ?" I asked. "Oh ! yes. Why, it was only as far back ! as August that Ralph?I mean?that I?" "Go on," said I, as he blundered and turned scarlet in the face. I was determined to hear the whole of the matter, whether there was really anything in it or not. "Well, really, Doctor, it must seem imper! tinent in me to be talking over such a foolish | affair, after what has just occurred. I might give you a wrong impression, you know. I ; would not for the world say a word to com! promise Ralph, or make mischief, or?or? anything of that sort," stammered Euston, j getting more and more confused. If he had I not been the most unsophisticated and easily embarrassed person in the world, he could without difficulty have smoothed over the matter and banished it from my consideration; but his very anxiety to dispel the impression he had made, convinced me that this bad been no idle fancy of Ralph's, and for Fanny's sake, I felt that I ought to know all. Parhaps I shouldn't have encouraged him to talk about it. Perhaps it was unfair in me altogether to pry into a secret in which I had no concern ; and yet, urged as I was, by an \ indefinable, yet pressing conviction that this iparriage, which I had just witnessed, was bound to be fatally unhappy in its results, and by the thought that perchance I might an l lor) nnnn in anmfi wftv to defend mv UO UtilVU u^vu <u wv?w ^ ^ niece and take her part, I felt an overpowering anxiety to become master of a clue which could reveal to me the inner life and innner purposes of the one to whose fate she had linked hers. There had been a sort of mystery about the marriage. Mrs. Tracy's persistent management to effect its consummation ; Ralph's moody looks; the suddenness with which the engagement had been announced, and the rapidity with which it had been brought to a close; all seemed to point to the existence of some facts or circumstances in connection with it, above and beyond the ordinary course of events. At least, such was the idea I had conceived; and now one cause of Ralph's reluctance?the chief cause, probably, although I must admit that Fanny, poor girl, was not especially attractive in herself?was being brought to my knowledge. Did it exist in the knowledge of others, also, besides his intimate friends? Euston, easily drawn on, informed me, before long, of all I wanted to know. Ralph had confided to him, on more than one occasion, his intention of marrying Miss McGregor ; and during the previous summer he had paid a visit to New Haven, for the express purpose, as Euston believed, of paying his _JJ nminn in nnogtinn uuurtrsscs tu tnc j\;uug j?uj though what the result of this visit had been, he could not tell me. Up to the time of his learning of Ralph's engagement to Fanny, he had supposed that a satisfactory understanding existed between Miss McGregor and the former, though he had not been positively assured of this as a fact. Altogether I learned enough to confirm me in my previous suspicion (which had in fact amounted to a conviction) that this unfortunate marriage had been purely the result of interested motives and cunning scheming on the part of Fanny's mother, and that Ralph's heart had nothing whatever to do with the affair. I said as much to Euston, for I felt too heart-sick and indignant to refrain from expressing my feelings. "It's that witch of a woman," said I, "who has brought this about. But her own child will suffer for it, or I am much mistaken." "But what motive," hesitatingly asked Euston, "do you suppose Mrs. Tracy could have in making the match?" "Motive! why, motive enough," said I. "The case is as clear as daylight Fanny, 1?~Untta o rvonnir WaIIvwoII yUU &11UW} WUU l> lit* V ^ a 4AVIIJ tlVAi reverts to her uncle on her father's death, and I suppose her mother doesn't want the poor girl on her hands. Barstow has some property from his grand father on the maternal side; and Madam Tracy thinks it would be nice to get it into the family, particularly as from my half-brother's dissipated habits, it is not probable that his life will extend through many more years." My companion ventured to suggest that Ralph's feelings might have undergone a change; that he had overcome his passion for Miss McGregor, before seeking and obtaining j in marriage, the hand of his step-mother's daughter. I replied that I sincerely hoped such might be the case?but, I meutally added, I was far, very far, from thinking it likely. We soon after parted company, Euston declining ray invitation to come home with me and take dinner. He seemed troubled by what I had told him, and I was inclined to regret having spoken so freely. But after all, I reflected, it was not probable that he would abuse my confidence. I knew him to ha.ve an excellent disposition, which was a safeguard against his attempting to make mischief. I went home and sat down to a comfortable dinner; but somehow I could not enjoy it. Poor little Fanny's pale, wistful face seemed to rise up continually before my mental vision, and all sorts of unpleasant possibilities, in connection with her future life, floated through ray mind. Would Barstow ill-treat her? I thought not. He was too much of a gentleman for that. But if it was true that he had no love to bestow upon her, would not this knowledge swiftly dawn upon her, and would not the discovery work like a fatal blight upon her hopes, her happiness, her life itself? Many a heart, I am sentimental enough to believe, has been withered and broken by sheer indifference and neglect. And this fact goes far to support me in my conviction of the utter futility and folly of that thing called love-making, and its ordinary consequence, matrimony. That true love can and does occasionally exist, I will not pretend to deny. But it is so rare, the genuine article is so often counterfeited, that it is best to steer clear of its shoals and quicksands, and avoid tampering with what is so prone to bring confusion and destruction in its wake. CHAPTER II. 1>K. Jb'KAISKJLiliN 3 flAKtlAHVL lAjn 11X> U H.V. MY FIRST VISIT TO HOLLYWELL. Several days passed without anything taking place that was worthy of note. At last, one morning, the idea occurred to me to ride over to Hollywell, to see how matters were progressing there. I did not often visit my half-brother's ; but of course I was bound to make a wedding call, and this, above and beyond the interest I felt in Fanny's welfare, impelled me to put my idea into execution at once. I, therefore, mounted my gray mare and set off. It was an easy ride of three miles, and in half an hour I was at my destination. Philip Tracy was coming through the gate with his gun and game-pouch, and stopped to greet me as I alighted. "Good-day to you, brother," he said, in his offhand way, (he was always very civil to me.) "I suppose your visit is intended for our bride?" "Yes," I rejoined; "will I find her indoors ?" "She and my wife are in the parlor; walk in and make yourself at home. I'll be back to luncheon." "Thank you, I'll :aot stay so long," was ray reply. "I've merely stopped in for a little while, to pay ray respects." "Well, good-bye tl. en?sorry I can't stay, for I promised to meet Dutton in the fields at eleven." And with a careless nod, he sauntered off. I entered the house and found Mrs. Tracy, as I had beer forewarned, in the parlor with her daughter. Both ladies were sewing, and both wore their usual aspect They rose at my entrance, and Fanny, good little soul, hastened to wheel forward an easy-chair. "Sit there, Uncle Perry, and have a good rest after your ride," she said. "Isn't it cold and raw out?" "A little windy, my dear; nothing more. I find you both quite well, ladies, I hope?" The usual civilities passed between us, and ? ? - a r*> _ 1 then inquired aner rvaipn. "Ralph," said Mrs. Tracy, taking the reply upon herself, "has chosen to leave home; or, perhaps, I should rather say, has been called from home, by a business engagement, which could not very well be postponed. It is rather an inopportune call, at such a time. I told him, for appearance sake, he ought not to go off just after his wedding. Our acquaintance might think it odd." "It can be easily explained to them, mamma," said Fanny, in a low voice. "Oh ! yes, easily enough ; but such explanations are fatiguing, when one has to repeat them to every fresh visitor who comes in. You have no idea," she continued, addressing herself to me, "how many visitors we have had. They have come by scores. You are one of the latest." | "Indeed!" said I. "It seems, then, that I must apologize for my tardiness; but really, time passes 30 quickly that I did not realize how many days had elapsed since the wedding. How long will your husband be absent, Fanny?" A flush rose to her pale cheek at the question. "I am not quite sure, sir," she replied. "He thought he would return, probably, in a week." "I hope he will," said Mrs. Tracy, "for Mr. Tracy and I expect to leave here Tuesday or Wednesday, on a visit to town, and I wish nothing to occur to delay the journey." "If Ralph is not back in time," said I, "Fanny can come over and stay with me until his return. Then there will be no obstiicle iu the way of your leaving." "You are very good," said Mrs. Tracy, stiffly, "but I should not dream of leaving the house shut up. No, I shall, of course, postpone my departure until he comes. I am too well accustomed to laying aside my own inclinations to suit others, to find it not an especial sacrifice in this case." I could not help wondering, mentally, how long it was since it had been her habit to make her wishes yield, in this complaisant manner, to those of her friends, for I had always been of the opinion that she generally carried things her own way. At this juncture Mrs. Tracy was summoned from the room by the house-keeper, who probably wished to consult her in regard to some domestic arrangement. To my surprise, she was no sooner out of hearing than Fanny, throwing down her work and rising from her seat, came to my side with a look of agitation and entreaty upon her face, impossible to describe. "Uncle Perry," she whispered, laying her hand on my arm, "do you know where Ralph 1 9" I lias guiic; i "I know, my dear ! How should I ?" I wonderingly replied. "Where has he gone ?" "I cannot tell! I, of all people, am ignorant of his destination !" she bitterly answered. "Think of my being kept in the dark on the subject! Why should he have left in this mysterious way ?" "Explain, my dear Fanny," said I. "You forget that I have heard nothing whatever of the circumstances; that I was not even aware, until a few minutes ago, of his absence from home." "He went off last Monday, just four days after our wedding. We did not know anything of his intention, and it was not until I found a note on my dressing-table, saying that business had unexpectedly called him away, and that he would probably be gone about a week, that we learned why he had not returned to dinner. At least, I don't think he had spoken of it to any one else. Though mamma is so strange, I can't get much out of her. But why did he not tell me?" "You say he speaks of this summons as unexpected. Does not that account for his previous silence ?" I rejoined. She shook her head. "It is all very strange and mysterious," she said. "I hope nothing ie wrong. Besides, I think he must have been at home when he wrote that note and left it in my room, for none of the servants will own to having brought it there. And if he was, why could he not see me and exDlain in Derson." I L "Perhaps you had gone out," I suggested. "No, for that day I did not leave the house at all. I was in this room most of the time, for we had a good many visitors, and he might easily have come in by the back entrance and gone up stairs without my seeing him." "Then, I suppose, as you were engaged with company, he preferred not to disturb you," said T. "But mamma wa.s here. It would have been very natural for him to send for me, if he was going off, and no one could have considered it rude. To think of his not even bidding me good-bye !" I agreed with her in thinking it unaccountably strange, but I did not choose to say so. "Have you his note with you ?" I presently asked. "Yes, I have kept it by me ever since. Here it is," and she drew it from her pocket as she spoke. "Read it quickly," she hurriedly added, "or mamma may come back." I glanced through the brief communication. It contained nothing but a bare statement of ho foot r?f whi^h T had been informed.; noth ing explanatory in the slightest degree. Not a word, either, of affectionate leave-taking, such as one might reasonably expect from a husband of four days, on leaving his bride for an absence of a week. It commenced "Dear F.," and was signed simply, "In haste, R. B." In great haste (judging from its appearance) it had certainly been scrawled. "This gives no explanation," said I, as I returned it to her. "None at all. That is what I told you. Isn't it remarkable that he should have been sent for so suddenly and unexpectedly, and yet not think it worth while to leave a single word to keep me from feeling so dreadfully anxious and worried as I do?as he must have known that I would feel ?" "Perhaps?I thought?poor child, it was of little consequence to him how she felt But I only said? "Oh! well, my dear, I wouldn't worry about it too much if I were you. Your husband will be back in a few days, safe and sound, and give you all the explanations he I had not time to put on paper. Take my ad[ vice and dismiss all anxiety from your mind." j "I cannot," she sadly replied. "I may be foolishly nervous, but I can't help fancying all sorts of terrible things. It is not only?" she hesitated. "Not only what, my dear?" "Not only his sudden, mysterious departure which weighs on my mind?I have thought?have felt?" Again she stopped, while a painful blush overspread her face, her features working ?~A??? ?? T ?Af txjViof roun. Willi BlPULIg C1UULIUU. X auun uwu nuxv iv.v Iation it was on her lips to make, for at that iDStant an approaching footfall startled her, and she returned hastily to her seat. The door opened, and directly afterward Mrs. Tracy entered. She looked, I thought, bus piciously at us both ; but Fanny, with a degree of self-posBcssion which surprised me, had resumed her work and her former tranquil expression. I confess I am not accustomed to concealment of any sort, and I dare say my countenance betrayed the uneasiness which had been awakened by the brief conversation between my niece and myself. "Luncheon is ready," said Mrs. Tracy, "and if Dr. Franklin will join ua?" "So early J" I exclaimed. "I had no idea? really, I must beg you to excuse me. It was not my intention to remain so long." "We lunch early on account of an engagement in the afternoon," explained the hostess. "We shall be happy to have you stay." Her civility did not count for much?she could not well avoid giving the invitation? and I was not greatly disposed to accept it. But Fanny, I thought, gave me a beseeching glance, and for this reason, and this alone, i agreed to remain. It was barely twelve o'clock, and as they usually lunched at one, I had expected to get away easily beforehand. But I thought it probable that Fanny was anxious to have some farther communication with me in private, and did not wish to frustrate her, if such was her plan. No opportunity, however, was allowed us for a second interview, for immediately after luncheon, Mrs. Tracy remarked to her daughter that it was time for them to get ready to go out; and on this hint I arose to take my leave. I had made my adieux, and was advancing toward the door, when a servant entered in great haste. "Master ! master!" was all he could manage to utter, and I saw immediately, by his face, that something alarming had occurred. Before I could question him, his mistress imperiously demanded an explanation. With many ejaculations, such as the African race are fond of indulging in, the boy went on to relate that his master (my halfbrother) had been accidentally shot by a discharge from his own gun, and was, as he expressed it, "done killed all to pieces." This statement seemed too horrible a one to credit ; but I rushed out to investigate the case, ? ? 1 /* iL. j. and discover dow mucn 01 me aoeuuui wua true. On arriving at the scene of the accident, I found that it was, indeed, a most serious one, though not yet absolutely fatal in its results. In carelessly handling his fowlingpiece, Philip had received the entire load in his left side, and was bleeding profusely. A number of excited negroes were grouped about him, talking and gesticulating, but doing nothing for his relief. "Good God! are you all such fools as to let him lie here in this condition?" I exclaimed. "Couldn't you stop the blood with his handkerchief, or something? Where's Mr. Dutton ?" "Don' know, Doctor; spec' he done gone home. I nebber seen nobody but Massa hisself. "Get me home," groaned the injured man, in a suffocate voice; "don't let me die here in the field. Don't you see I'm dying?" I feared,indeed, that such was the case; and I lost no time in using such means as I could most quickly avail myself of, to effect his removal. A. shutter, hastily torn down from the overseer's house, was brought, and the overseer himself, who now came running from a distant part of the plantation, assisted me in lifting him upon it. Four of the strongest negroes were instructed to carry him on the extemporized litter, in such a manner as not to iar him more than could possibly be helped; and leaving the overseer to walk beside him, I hurried back to the house, as I thought it my duty to prepare his family and have proper arrangements made to receive him. I found Mrs. Tracy, though somewhat paler than usual, with her wits all about her. She had already got a couch ready in one of the lower rooms, and was now sorting linen rags. Fanny was crying and wringing her hands, apparently too agitated to be capable of rendering any assistance, though her mother was ordering her about and scolding her for her inefficiency. "Oh ! uncle Perry, is he really killed ?" she exclaimed, running to meet me, as I entered. "No, my dear, no; not killed," I replied. "But dangerously wounded? Please, do j please, tell me !" I nVonrn" ?aift tior mnt.hpr. severely, "do i- auu;, , j , ? not ask any questions. Your father will be brought in, and everything done for his relief, at least. I presume he is being brought home ?" she continued, addressing me. "He will be here in a few moments." I drew her aside and cautiously informed her of the state of the case. She listened with immovable features. She had a heart of steel, that woman, or perhaps no heart at all. "Astonishing, incomprehensible imprudence 1" she remarked, and then went on sorting rags. My unfortunate brother ere long arrived. He had fainted during the removal, and lay like one dead. I felt his pulse, his heart, and perceived that he had not much longer to live. The sands of life were ebbing fast. "Has Dr. Mortimer been sent for?" asked Mrs. Tracy. "Madam," I replied, "it would be of no use. It would take four hours to fetch him, admitting that a messenger would be sure to find him at home?which, as you know, is not likely?and I am, unhappily, forced to tell you that it is impossible for your husband to live that long." Mrs. Tracy turned to a servant. "Take the fastest horse in the stable and go for the doctor at once," she commanded. Her manner was insulting to me in the extreme ; but I felt that any display of resentment, at such a moment, would be worse than unbecoming, and without noticing her farther, I continued to do what I could to restore Philip to consciousness, and prolong his existence as far as might be, by careful and judicious ministrations. Fanny, who had now subdued her agitation, hung over her' father's prostrate form, and availed herself of every opportunity of assisting me. She had | always been most tenderly attached to him, and he. though unDardonablv careless, as a rule, in his domestic relations, had returned her affection, I believe, with all the warmth of which his nature was capable. Poor Philip, as I had foreseen, did not live to witness the return of the messenger who had been dispatched in search of the physician. In about an hour and a half after he had been brought into the house, he expired, without having recognized his wife or daughter, or given any sign of consciousness but a few faint moans and inarticulate words. I now conceived my responsibility, and the necessity for any farther stay, to be over, and with some parting words to the attendants, and a formal adieu to poor Philip's widow (I could not be so hypocritical as to pretend to offer her any condolence) I left the room. Fanny, sobbing bitterly and clinging to my arm, accompanied me to the door. "Must you go, Uncle Perry?" she asked. I looked pityingly at the poor, frail little thing, and my heart yearned to comfort her. "My dear," I replied, "if I could be of any farther use, I would certainly remain. But your poor father no longer needs my care, and I am quite aware that your mamma considers ray presence superfluous." "Mamma doesn't mean?" she began, then stopped ; feeling, I suppose, that she could not offer any excuse for Madam Tracy's impoliteness. "Well, never mind about her now; but I think, really, it will be the best plan for me to go back home, and return again to morrow morning. The only thing that troubles me is the idea of your being in the house without any protector. If Ralph were only here!" "Yes, if he were here!" sighed Fanny. "But Uncle Perry, it does seem dreadful for us to be left alone. If you could stay, I would be so thankful!" I hesitated. Natural pride, self-respect rather, whispered to me to follow my first impulse. On the other hand, here was this poor forlorn girl, forsaken by her husband, desolated by her recent sudden affliction, appealing to me for protection, for support. Well, I would put all selfish considerations aside; I would stay, let Madam Tracy like it or not. "Since you really desire it?" I began. But my sentence was cut short before its conclusion, by the sudden entrance of a person just arrived. It was Ralph himself Heaven be praised! I thought. Now this is somewhat as it should be. With a cry, joyful in the midst of her sorrow, Fanny ran towards bim, almost throwing herself into his arras. "Ralph, Ralph!" she ejaculated, "Oh ! have you heard?has any one told you?" "Yps T have heard. Hnw verv sudden." be added, turning to me, after touching his lips to her cheek, and quietly disengaging himself from her clasp; and without waiting for an answer, in a queer, hurried manner, he left the room. [to be continued.] flatting. GEN. M. C. BUTLER. The Washington correspondent of the Chicago Timet furnishes that paper with the following pen and ink sketch of Senator M. C. Butler, of South Carolina: If any one in the North were to be asked who is the most fierce and barbarous man among the unreconstructed people in the South, the prompt reply, in the majority of cases, would be Gen. M. C. Butler, of South Carolina. But what astonishes the people who make his acquaintance is to learn how he could have acquired any such bad reputation through the North. Possibly, Gen. Butler shares this astonishment, for a milder mannered gentleman and one more agreeable in social converse it would be hard to find among the public men in Washington. In the first place there is nothing about the personal appearance of Butler to indicate the typical idea of the Southern man as is entertained by the people of the North. He does not wear his hair long. It is an irongray, cropped close after the style of the French officer. He has no blowing mustache or bushy whiskers. His face is smooth-shaven, except a medium gray mustache that slightly shades his upper lip. Instead of the onnmlor Knnu faoo nf thp. Southern tvne. his ""6"'"' """J face is round and full. His eyes, instead of flashing with cold emotion, are a dead cold gray, whose expression rarely changes in intense excitement. Senator Butler does not wear shiny broadcloth clothes made into baggy shapelessness; neither does he wear the traditional huge soft black hat. He dresses in the English style; generally wearing close fitting black coats made by the best of tailors. A stiff felt hat or silk hat covers his head. His boots also fit him, which fact also distinguishes him from the typical Southern statesman. If yon were to see M. C. Butler in New York, London or Paris, you would say, in all probability, that he was a citizen of the place where you saw him, so thoroughly at home does he appear wherever he may happen to be. Indeed, he is the reverse of almost* every idea that the Northern mind would naturally conceive concerning a Southern statesman. Ttiom ia nnthinor of the emotional in M. C. *" w B -- ? _ ? Butler. He is not a man to act on impulse, but always upon cool judgment. He is one of the best men in the South, so far as keen political judgment is concerned. A large percentage of the success of Hampton, of South Carolina, has been through the counsels of his friend Butler, and yet one unfortunate circumstance?the fact of his being in the neighborhood of the Hamburg massacre?has been sufficient to create for him an evil reputation that has existed for so long a time in the North, but which is now beginning to be slowly corrected. He has been thoroughly vindicated by both parties. After thorough investigation, it has been shown that he acted the part of a peacemaker, rather than as a disturber of the peace, and had his counsels been followed, there would have been no trouble whatever. It is an old proverb that a lie can never be overtaken by the truth, and it is for that reason that Gen. Butler never expects that the people of the North will ever know him as he really is: a quiet, gentlemanly student, who has studied both the old world and the new, and represents in Congress to-day the very best type of Southern culture. Senator Butler doubtless thinks about all the slanders that have been published concerning him, as does a certain noted senator, who, in discussing a statement made against his character in the newspapers, said: "I never pay any attention to any lie that is published concerning me. It is when the papers get to telling the truth about me that 1 shall nave anything to say. The moment the truth is published concerning me, you will see me rising to a personal explanation at once." I was talking with Senator Butler the other day about the popular impression concerning him in the North, when he said that he did not think that the people of the North had ever read his real record, and that it was to be ,'n tlifl n*n/>iuulin?o ftf itlO S/Mlttl Pftrnli. 1UUUVI 1U IUU plUV/VbUlUgO VI VUV I^rvuvu na Legislature since the war. As long ago as 1866, he saw the folly of contesting any of the reconstruction acts of legislation proposed by Congress. He proposed, in 1866, that South Carolina should herself pass laws securing to the negroes political rights equal to those of the whites. He thought then, that such policy upon the part of the South, honestly carried out, would have had the effect to have softened the hostile feelings in the North and made it absolutely impossible for the corrupt gangs who so long plundered the South after the war to have secured control of the state governments that they did. By a blind strange fatality that showed that the South was not vet to be released from punish raent, a counter policy was pursued. The black code that was passed by the State of South Carolina, was one of the first fatal blunders of policy. Senator Butler was one of the fifteen wiser heads in the Legislature who voted against this black code. For a long time, on account of that vote and the stand he took with it, Butler was one of the most unpopular men in South Carolina ; but he was content to wait his time. He felt that to be the true policy, and when the more progressive men came to the front, he had his re- ward by a return to popularity. COMANCHE PECULIARITIES. An American who has been studying the life, habits and traits of the Comanches thinks there are at present from ten to twelve thousand, of whom about twenty-five hundred are warriors. Wholly nomadic, they have no villages or fixed habitations, but roam and plunder eight to nine hundred miles from north to south and seven hundred from east to west. They own large herds of horses and mules, obtaining horned cattle only for their immediate wants, because they cannot drive these as fast as they want to move. All their animals are procured by robbing the Mexicans and Americans, and all their wars are undertaken more for plunder of this sort than for any other purpose. They never take men prisoners, though they kill and scalp them; but they carry off women and children ; make wives of the former, and rear the latter as their own. 'They have never had any permanent places of abode, as the absence of all mounds or tumuli in the territory they range over clearly proves. They seem to have been born on horseback, where they do all their fighting, and in attacking trains they always endeavor to stampede the animals by cries and war-whoope?a stampede rendering destruction of a train almost certain. If they attack a village, they kill everybody they encounter, and then drive off the stock. The Chiefs of these Indians do not inherit their authority, but acquire it by superior knowledge, personal bravery, or success in war. Any social disagreement is adjusted by a council of Chiefs and Seniors of the lodges; but these disagreements are few, and family feuds are rare. Indeed, they live together more harmoniously than many civilized peoEle do. Of law they have no notion, nor ave they any conception of national policy. They never observe treaties any longer than self-interest prompts, in which they resemble most enlightened people. Their religious ideas are very crude and indefinite. In an evil spirit they do not believe, but ascribe both good and evil to the good spirit Their conception of a future life is indistinct; but they hold that men who have stolen the most horses and taken the most scalps, will have the best chance of happy hunting-grounds in another world. Fire is sacred with them, and used in all their religious observances. Ties of kindred are very strong, and extend not only to relatives by blood, but by marriage. Offences against any member of a family are avenged by all or any one connected with it. They are polygamists, some Chiefs having ten or twelve wives. Infidelity on the part of a wife is punished by cutting off the nose, and the seducer is obliged to give up his available property to the injured woman. The hushand exercises absolute dominion over the wife, who does all the work while he fights and steals. Going into a fight, they divest themselves of every thing except breechcloth and leggings. They call ^themselves Natini, meaning live, or first-alive people. The Sort of Girl to Get.?The true girl has to be sought for. She does not parade herself as show goods. She is not fashionable. Generally, she is not rich. But, oh! what a heart she has when you find her! so large and pure and womanly. When you see it you wonder if those showy things outside were women. If you gain her love your two thousand are millions. She'll not ask you for a carriage or a first-class house. She'll wear simple dresses, and turn them when necessary, with no vulgar magnificat to frown upon her economy. She'll keep everything neat and nice in your sky parlor, and give you such a welcome when you come home that you'll think your parlor higher than ever. She'll entertain true friends on a dollar, and astonish you with the new thought how little happiness depends on money. She'll make you love home (if you don't you're a brute,) and teach you how to pity, while you scorn a poor, fashionable society that thinks itself rich, and vainly tries to think itself happy. Now, do not, I pray you, say any more, "I can't afford to marry." Go, find the true woman, and you can. Throw away that cigar, burn up that switch cane, be sensible yourself, ana seek your wife in a sensible way.? Oliver Wendell Holmes. Two Years on Horseback.?Mr. Henry Tudor started from New York on Wednesday n wtotttA/1 in^An^lAtl A^ An Lllgilb W1 tli tuu avuncu luicunuu VI huuik vu horseback all the way from that city to Punta Arenas, the most southerly point of Patagonia, South America. He takes with him, as attendant, a young man who will, no doubt, help him to pass the time as pleasantly as possible, he being an accomplished song and dance genius. Mr Tudor is impressed with the idea that by going through the several republics of Central and South America, and ascertaining what articles of American manufacture can be introduced with profit, a large trade may be established. He is going to visit every town of importance along the route. Mr. Tudor will pass through Philadelphia, from that city to Washington via Baltimore, to Richmond, thence to Mobile, to Brownsville, San Luis Potosi, City of Mexico. Here they will deliberate as to the next move, and will be guided altogether by the state of the roads. Anyhow, an effort will be made to reach Guatemala by traveling along the Pacific coast as near as possible. It is expected the journey to Punta Arenas will occupy two years,