Newspaper Page Text
NEW BLOOMFI35L33, PA., TUESDAY, J -A-lSTTJA.il Y 2, 1877. NO. 1. VOL. XI. THE TIMES. An Independent Family Sewspapcr, IS FUM.lBITBn KVBUT TUR8DAY BT V. MORTIMER & CO. Subscription Prloe. 'Within the County II 2.1 " " . Hlx month, 7ft Out of the County, Including pwtUtca, ISO " " ' six months " . , 85 Invariably In Advance I A WOMAN'S SECRET. A Slory of the Revolution. CONTINUED. : rpiIE orderly-book was gone ! Death JL and furies! What was to be done now ? The prank of the night before, though, like most practical jokes, more . amusing to their perpetrators than to their victims, seemed to have been but the prologue to a more serious-jest oneof those jests which are paradoxically, but truly, called " no joke." As long ns the ghost was content to confine the over flowings of his animal spirits to new combinations of the tables and chalrs,to . a novel arrangement of the bed-clothes, or to a summary divorce of the shovel and tongs, his effervescences, if not ab solutely agreeable, were at least not pos itively mischievous. But to meddle with what was none of his business,but, on the contrary, with what was emphat ically the business of his majesty's th regiment, was an entirely different affair. The ghost could not be a loyal ghost, that was plainly to be seen. Old Wood, ' to be sure, had no particular reason to love a government that intended pro moting him to the yard-arm, if it could have laid hold of him ; but it was not handsome in him to resort to such, a plt- Iful revenge as this ; particularly in his - own house. It was hardly fair to visit i the sins of Queen Anne's Lords of the ' Admiralty upon an unoffending captain and adjutant in the army of King George. It is plain that he was a rebel at heart, and, had he been in the flesh, would have waged war In the name of the colonies against his liege sovereign, with as much gusto as he did against mankind in general on his own account; especially if there happened to be any rich London or Bristol ships within range of his guns. He had a natural taBte for such pursuits ; his only mistake ; lay lu interfering as an amateur in whul was strictly a professional monopol There is great virtue in a commission . Jetter-of-marque. A piece of sheen-skin .and a pair of epaulettes make all tie difference in the world in the moral -qualities of actions. In many easel It makes all the difference between a hefip- ' en cord and a red ribbon round a n , neck. Many a hero has gone out o world in the embrace of a hajte: achievements only recorded in the . gate Calendar, who, had bin nou . i-tantive been only qualified by anJhdjec tive or two, would have received " the senate's thanks," have glitterel with medals and orders, and been commemo rated by word-famous histories and poets. Such is luck I but it is none of my business to moralize In thistay. All I have to do is to relate this trie passage 01 mstory witn me most ausolue aocu. racy of detail. While we have been indulgjng in these - profitable reflections our hew has been through a variety of evolutions. First, he stood aghact, as if, instead of gazing upon nothing at all, his sigljt had been blasted by some particularly ill-favored apparition. This was the nly Idea that his look and gesture communicated to his trusty 'squire, who turned his eyes with difficulty in the direction of his master's, in the confident expectation of being rewarded by the vision of a raw head and bloody-bones at the very least. Disappointed, however, , of any suoh pleasing spectacle, he was by no means so ill-iuformed in the very rudiments of demonology, as not to know that it did not necessarily follow, because! he could discern nothing beyond the common, that his master was equally unfortunate. What Is it, sir ? Where is It, sir?" inquired John, in a voice of hollow emotion. ' , "The orderly-book, you scoundrel! tne orderly-book I" responded the cap tain, in a low, concentrated tone. The orderly-book, your honor !" re turned John. "Well, sir, I never heard of the ghost of a book walking before ! Wtat does it look like, sir J" ' It is evident that John wbb not a read ing man (the march of mind had not then been taken up, nor had the school master gone abroad) or he would have known that nothing Is more common than for the ghost of a book to walk. Indeed, what Is a book but the ghost of the man who writes it V O blessed nec romancy of reading, mightier than that of the Governor of Glubdubbdrib, or the Island of Enchanters, once visited by that only truthful traveler, Lemuel Gul liver. For whereas, his could ouly com mand the departed for the space of twenty-four hours, thine can Bummon them to the presence at all seasons, and for any time ! But John did not know this; so he aBkcd what the ghost of the orderly-book looked like. " Look like, you villain!" somewhat testily answered Ingram. " It looks like nothing at all ! It's gone, you dog I" " Gone already, sir 1" exclaimed the astonished John. " And where was It, slrV" " Exactly in the middle of the table, therewith Its right cover leaning against the candlestick, its hinder end cocked up upon the Inkstand." " Bless my soul I" shuddered John, at this picturesque description, " and how long ago is it since your honor Baw It last?" " Just as I was going to the assembly this evening," replied his master. " O Lord ! is that all ?" exclaimed the man, much relieved, " I thought your honor had just seen it, when I could see nothing at all." " Confound your nonsense !" returned the captain, sharply. " I only wish that I bad seen it I What under Heaven I am to say about it to Lord Percy to morrow, God knows ! But light all the candles in the room, and let us have a thorough search for it ; though it is not likely that it is here." This foreboding was but too true. His prophetic heart had told him an ower true tale. They looked above, around and underneath. They crawled over the floor on their hands and knees, and, like the serpent of old, " upon their bellydld they go" under the bed. They looked into every drawer, and inspected the most Impossible places. But it was all ' in vain. The mystic volume was not to be found in the wood-box, nor did it drop from the inverted Jack-boots. The window seats were Ignorant of its where. about, and the window-curtains wotted not of its presence. The cooking uten sils knew not of it, and their basket and tneir store was not blessed witn its pos session. Where the plague could it be ? It seemed ns if the ghost only could tell. There was no sign of any other disturb ance in their premises. This made the matter look the more mysterious. It was a much more awful affair than If the disappearance of the book bad been ac companied by any of the gambols and funniments of the night before. That looked like fun ; this looked more like earnest. The orderly-book contained in formation relating to the strength and state of the royal forces, which it was of the last importance should not full into the hands of the rebels. And besldo this there were loose papers, given to our hero by Lord Percy to be copied, as he acted in some sort as his private secreta ry as well as adjutant, which were of a sua more secret nature. Bucn, for ex ample, as his lordship's reply to the requisition of the commander-in-chief for the opinions of his principal officers as to the state of affairs in the town, and the best course to be pursued. This, and other documents, involved an amountof intelligence, as to foots and opinions which might be of infinite inisehlef if they fell into the enemy's hands. In gram knew too well what a moss of dis affection existed in the town, not to feel that the worst was but too probable, After every place, probable and - Im probable, had been ransacked, and to no purpose, the search was abandoned for the night. The room was secured as far as locks and bolts were concerned, though they seemed to be of but little moment in this chamber of bedevilment; and Captain Ingram retired moodily to bed to seek for such rest as he could And, It was an uncomfortable iight, to be sure not from any renewal of the disturb ances of the night before, for all was quiet ; but from his harassing thoughts and internal vexation. Ilia sleep was broken by visions of his interview with his commander, in which he should communicate this provoking occurrence. Words of censure and reprimand rung in his ears. He even saw hlmself,in the phantasmagoria of his waking dreams, standing without his sword, before a court-martial detailed to try him for neglect of duty. In the confusion of his thoughts ho cuuld not very accurate ly dotermlne what would be considered the exact menBuro of his military of fence. But he could not help feeling that it would be no advantage to him in his professional career, even in the most favorable event. Ho cursed the evil hour In which he Bought these unlucky quarters, and heartily wished them, and everything connected with them, at the devil. He perplexed his thoughts In vain with conjectures as to the motives and the method of the trick that had been played him ; and though he resolv ed not to rest until he had plucked out the heart of the mystery, still lie feared that the Injury to the service and to his own prospects would be completed before he could accomplish his purpose. It was a miserable business, altogether. If he escaped with a reprimand from head quarters, and with a dread laugh of the mess-table, he would be a lucky fellow. I have often wondered how much the beaming eyes and laughing mouth of Helen Clairmont mingled in these vis ions of the night. I am afraid that all the little loves, by whom he had been escorted down Hanover street, after he had put Miss Clairmont Into the car rlage, were sent to the right about by the first tempest of Ills astonishment and vexation. But they are volatile creatures, and though easily brushed aside for a moment, soon return again to the charge. .Liike tiles, it is easy enough to drive them away, but before you can congratulate yourself on being rid of them, back they are again Be this as it may, I have the best rea sons for believing that they returned be fore day-break, and buzzed merrily about the pillow of Ingram. The mosquito- net is not yet invented that can keep them out. I cannot depone positively to the exact proportion of his waking or of his sleeping dreams that was of their weaving. For I am scrupulous never to state any fact, or historical docu ment like the present, which I am not prepared at any moment to authenticate by affidavit before any magistrate or jus tice of the peace. But I am quite cer tain that those soft eyes and that be witching smile floated before his mind's eye, mixed up even with his least pleas ant anticipations. In case of the worst, youth and nature would suggest that there might be some comfort yet left him. Though his cup might bo a bitter one, still there was at least one . cordial drop at tne bottom or it. Tnougu cen sure or derision might visit his misfor tune, still there was one whose soft bosom would feel with him, and who would view it with the eyes of love, and not of discipline. Perhaps the events of the day and evening had encouraged this' state of feeling. For, to be candid she had been tolerably encouraging. He felt more sure that she loved him than he had ever done before; and al though he could not exactly define Ills' own views and intentions in the prem ises, still he yielded (and who can blame him ?) to the delicious dream of love. If any of my readers can recall to recollec tion the time when he first truly bellev ed that he was beloved by a beautiful young woman, and yet can find it in his heart to wonder that Ingram should have gilded the gloomy hours of that unlucky night with dreams of Helen uiairmont, l wisn no would just do me the favor to lay this true history aside, He is not worthy to be my reader. But then It is impossible that there should be such a man. The hours of the niJht wore on, and at last the morning f ame, It was black morning to pout' Ingram , but he resolved to meet the unpleasant conse quences of his minfiap with the best face he could. As Wis candle-light toilet was proceedlng,thorderly-Bergeaut call ed for his book " I shall call myself upon Lord Percy, Williams, immediately after parade ; so you need not wait. " The veteran stared a little at this deviation from routine, but it was his business to obey ; so he bowed and re tired. , , ' It was a bitter cold morning, and the keen wind was improved in sharpness by the broad expanse of frozen water which then separated the Common from the country beyond. But Ingrain felt warm enough in the prospect of what was before him. There is no external or internal application of a more calor ific tendency than the inevitable neces sity of doing a particular disagreeable piece of work at a certain specified hour near at hand. It makes the heart seethe like a cauldron, and the boiling blood is sent bubbling through the veins. The parado was over. The troops were dismissed. Ingrain was moving slowly towards the mess breakfast, thinking of the duty that must follow It, when he was aroused from his rev erie by hearing a horse reined up sud denly by his side. It was Lord Percy himself. So Williams tells me, Ingram, tbat you have something to say to me. Come and breakfast with me, my boy, and you will have the best of opportunities to say It. I shall be quite alone." " It will give me infinite pleasure, my lord," replied Ingram, "and I will be with you immediately." " ltight, right," sold his lordship, punctuality at drills and at mess is a great military virtue. I shall expect you in a(quarter of an hour." With these words he cantered along the frozen road (for it could hardly be called a street then) that led to his ex cellent quarters. I am afraid my hero lied, the least in the world, when he said that it would give him infinite pleasure to breakfast with his noble friend and commander. Not that he hud any fears as to tne qual ity of his breakfast or of his society ; but the thoughts, of the sauce which be brought to both, plagued him in ad vance, and he wished that a longer time and a wider space could have elapsed be fore it was necessary to administer it. But delay was useless and impossible, so he strode toward the quarters of his host with a firm tread, and ascended the long flight of steps that led to the house, and gazed upon the trees and shrubs in the court-yard, all glittering with ice, with as easy and careless an air as he could assume. The breakfast room,into which he was shown, was a spacious walnscotted apartment, with a low ceil ing, but an air of great comfort. A blaz ing fire of logs roared up the chimney, and the breakfast-table, with all Its ap pliances of luxury, was drawn into a comfortable proximity to It. The winter's sun looked brilliantly through two windows of the room. Fresh plants stood iu the windows, and old pictures looked down from the walls. It was not Alnwick Castle, nor Lion House, to be sure, but it was a very inhabitable place for all that. An older campaigner than his lordship might have thought himself well off in worse quarters. In a few minutes Lord Percy appear ed, having exchanged his uniform coat for a brocaded dressing-gown, and his military boots for Turkish slippers, and, after a cordial welcome to his young friend, rang the bell for breakfast. The tray was brought ; the coffee was pour ed ; the eggs were cracked ; the toast was crunched. The'breakfast was dis patched with the appetites of young men ; sharpened by a daybreak parade, with the thermometer at zero. Their discussions were confined to the good things before them, and the things to which they were naturally allied, until the table was cleared 'and the servants withdrawn. Then Lord Percy, draw, ing his chair up to the fire, and, com. fortably nursing his left leg placed over hlg right knee, turned to Ingram, with an air of comic gravity. "Well, my lad," thus his lordship opened the palaver, " so you have some what to say to me t Faith, I thought as much last night I" "Last night, my lord!" exclaimed the adjutant, "I don't know that I rightly apprehend your meaning." "O, of course not," replied the earl, " hut you can hardly suppose that I failed to observe how carefully you fol lowed my advice last evening. You must not suppose that Cupid has ban daged all bur eyes as effectually as he seems to have doniours." " Ah, yes I" replied our hero, " your lordship alludes to my little flirtation with Miss Clairmont. I was only fol lowing your own advice to fall in love with two or three at the same time. But you know, my lord, that it Is neces sary to begin with one. Now I begin with this one." "Bravo! bravo! Ingram," said Lord Percy, laughing, "a ready answer is a good thing, In love or in war ! Well, well ! you understand your own affairs best, and you are old enough to manage them for yourself. Upon my honor, I can hardly blame you, young man. I was half Inclined to fall in love with her myself last night. Shefsa llnecreature! " One docs not often see a liner, in deed, my lord," answered the lover, " but you are quite at liberty to enter the lists with me, if you choose," he doughtily continued; "I have no pre tensions to any monopoly in that quarter." I believe the fellow knew be lied when he said that ; but these, I believe, are the sort of lover's perjuries at which Jove laughs. Whether Jove laughed at this or not, Jjord Fcrcy did, as ho re plied "Very likely, very likely. Thank you, thank you. . I do not know that I should like to run the risk, were I not armed In proof on that side. Then I suppose your business of this morning does not relate to this matter, as I thougbtat first It might?" " No, my lord," answered Ingram, plucking up his courage, and determin ed to have it over at once, " no my lord, I am sorry to say that my errand is of a much less pleasant character; and it relates rather to war than to love, and to me than to Miss Clairmont. It is not the loss of my heart, but of your orderly-hook that is in question." " The orderly-book lost, Ingram I" ex claimed Lord Percy, " what the devil do you mean ?" In a tone of the utmost surprise, a little mixed with incredulity. Exactly what I say, my lord," re plied the adjutant, waxing cooler as he went on, " the orderly-book, and all its contents, Is gone; and, what is worse, I see no sort of prospect of ever recover ing it again." "What do you mean, what do you mean ?" repeated the earl in great as tonishment; "you know very well that this is a serious matter, and can hardly be Jesting." " I was never more serious in my life. I assure you, my lordV' asseverated the young officer. " I wish it may turn out to be a jest, in the end. Horry as I should be to be guilty of any disrespect to your lordship, I would willingly en counter your displeasure for an untime ly jest, so that the service were in no danger of mischief from this unlucky business." "But how could it be lost, Captain Ingram," bis lordship replied, a little, sternly, " how could it be lost, when It was in your custody ; and you could not but know the vital importance of keep ing it safe. How came it lost, sir ?" "I am well aware, my lord," replied poor Ingram, "of the importance of this matter to his majesty's service, as well as to my own honor and prospects ; if I may mention them in the same breath. I beg your lordship to listen patiently to the story I have to tell you ; and I beg that you will pardon the ap parent nonsense of the first part of my narration, as you will see that it leads to a serious termination. I presume I need bring no other evidence of the truth of my statements before your lordship's tribunal, than my own assertion. The evidenco of my servant will be ready to corroborate them before less friendly judges, should the matter end as se.lous ly as I fear it may." He then proceeded to relate to his com mander the whole history of his last two nights, from the mysterious foot steps to the vanishing of the orderly book. His lordship looked grave as the story proceeded, and, rising, walked thoughtfully about the room, after it was finished. At length he thus ad dressed his young friend, who sat in anxious expectation. " This is a strange buNluess, Ingrain, a very strange business ! I am afraid there is mischief In it. At first I thought it might be a mystification of some of your messmates ; but I hey would hardly have ventured upon such an ending." " That is my own opinion, my lord. The pranks of the night before wi re all fair, though a little rough, play ; but 1 do not think that the ennui of a garrison life, however much it may sharpen the wits of its victims, would hardly lead them to commit an action which might injure the service, to say nothing of the character of a brother officer." " That Is true enough, Ingram," re sumed his lordship. " I think it must be a contrivance of some of the dis guised rebels In this cursed town, to as sist their rascally friends on the other side of the river. My God! I would have sooner lost the bent hore in my stables than have had those papers fall into the rebels' hands!" To be con- ued.