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they entered together. The room was lighted, for the to undertake. My womanly modesty I was forced to outguests had freely been passing in and out. The major rage. You compelled me to stoop to things which I abrather roughly shook himself from his companion, and horred. But I have a brother who is an English officer; turned to leave the room. Rose glided before him, a husband who is an American one. Be careful, sir, in closing the door as she did so, and stood facing him what way you use my name in connection with this with her back to the door.
night's work, for, be assured, they will not fail to punish “ What do you mean?” exclaimed he, impatiently. I a ribald, a slanderous, or a libertine tongue. Release mustn't be seen here with you. What do you mean, I Captain Armstrong, and your discomfiture remains a
secret. None need know it, for the marriage I shall Rose threw off her veil.
require to be publicly solemnized before consenting to “It means, Major Cleveland,” exclaimed she, " that bear his name. But refuse, and with one word I'll I had the trump card, and have taken the trick !" have all our guests on this spot, and a public confes
The major started back with the most bewildering sion." and unconcealed amazement, as the clear ringing laugh Major Cleveland walked the floor during these of Rose Elsworth burst upon his astounded senses. remarks, gnawing his lips, and muttering fierce impreRose, with her lightning eye, her cheek glowing with a cations, splendid carnation, stood looking at him, the imperson- “Madam, I'll not abandon the field so easily." ation of exultant triumph.
“You are conquered, sir, and must do so or yield." The major could not speak. He was a picture of “It's absurd to suppose that I'm to be bound by such rage, mortification, and foaming fury.
figments as you have woven. The thing is too ridicu“I'll thank you, sir," said she, pointing to the wed- lous." ding-ring upon her finger, “for an order for Captain "You acknowledged the binding nature of your proArmstrong's release."
mise, when you attempted, with such heartless cruelty, “ Miss Elsworth!” at last exclaimed he, between his to entrap the captain into a marriage with an Irish teeth.
servant. How would that story sound, think you? “Your pardon, sir. Mrs. Armstrong—by your kind And what would be said of the sagacity and discernassistance.”
ment of an officer who could allow such a deceit to be “By -L” The major choked down the oath, but practised upon him as I practised upon you? Dear me, he shook his fist in the air. “Caught! tricked ! Fool, Major Cleveland, I think that you are in a quandarymiserable fool !" He beat his brow and foamed like a a very awkward one. There is only one retreat-let maniac.
the captain go.” “It was too bad, I know, Major Cleveland, to make Rose took a seat with smiling unconcern. you pay so dearly for your own discomfiture, but really, I shall wait for your decision, my dear major. But the trouble you gave me entitles me to the hundred pray recollect, the guests are wondering where we are pounds. I'll keep them, sit, as a memento of the occa- all this time.' sion."
The major ground his teeth together. To give up “The wench betrayed me, then. I'll —"
the captain was a sacrifice he could not bring himself “Not at all, sir. You never spoke a word to Bridget to think of—to refuse was to entail consequences disI was the only person you saw.”
agreeable and vexatious beyond endurance. He tried “Ha! Then Arbald is a traitor _"
to think of a loop-hole through which he might escape. “He is innocent as a lamb. The guilt, sir, lies wholly Nothing suggested itself. He was hemmed in on all on me. Shall I send for Arbald that you may commis- sides. He walked the floor with ill-concealed rage, sion him to release Captain Armstrong ?”
while Rose, with a provoking good-humor, toyed with Madam, this is a farce!"
her fan, and shot glances of triumphant mischief at “Sir, I know it. But it has been played out, and him. At last he stopped before her. you, unwittingly, have acted the clown.”
“ Miss Elsworth !” “The end is not yet. I refuse to release Captain “Excuse me, sir, if I assist your memory. Mrs. ArmArmstrong. I refuse to be governed by a forced con- strong!" struction to a promise which I meant to apply differently. “Mrs. Armstrong, then —" He is still my prisoner, madam, and your proceeding He was interrupted by the quick, clear crack of a shall only hasten his condemnation and punishment. rifle. The major started, and turned his head to listen. By heavens, I have a mind to go at once, and shoot him It was followed immediately by a dozen rapid discharges like a dog!"
and a faint, distant shout. He drew his sword, and “If your promise,” said Rose, calmly, “is not ob- throwing open the door, hurried into the hall. Rose served to the letter, I'll proclaim you through the army. darted from the room by another way, which ushered I'll degrade you in the eyes of every English officer her into the drawing-room. Here all was terror and and gentleman in the land. You disgrace your sword, confusion. The officers, at the first alarm, had left their sir, by this very hesitation. Your bitter, unsoldierly partners, and haštened without to learn the danger. and dishonorable hatred and persecution of an honor- Some of the ladies were screaming, all were pale, but able prisoner, drove me to an extremity which nothing the largest number remained calm and collected. They but a question of life or death could have permitted me were used to such scenes.
Meanwhile, confusion and uncertainty prevailed with safe then. A thanksgiving went up to Heaven from out. The discharges still continued. Major Cleveland the depths of Rose's heart. took his stand upon the piazza, and rapidly gave his The firing was becoming distant, scattered, and faint. arders: Officers rushed hither and thither, and the It soon ceased altogether. In a few moments, Major troops, many of them aroused from slumber, began Cleveland and his troop came galloping up. The major rapidly to assemble, and form upon the lawn. A sen- leaped from his borse, and entered the drawing-room. tinel was brought up, badly wounded, who explained “The danger is over, ladies. The enemy is put to that he had been fired on from an ambuscade. Aflight. I hope you will resume your dancing without young officer, a moment afterwards, came up, and hur- fear. I shall guard more carefully against a repetition riedly informed the commandant that they were beset of such an alarm.” on all sides by a party whose number it was impossible Captain Arbald burst into the room, and whispered to ascertain. The moon by this time was near its set- a word to his commander. ting, and for the moment, obscured by a cloud. This “Escaped! We've been tricked." of course confused and embarrassed the movements of “It was all a ruse, sir, to effect a rescue of the the loyalists, but they were soon mounted, and, headed prisoner.” by Major Cleveland, dashed towards the scene of “Are you the victors, gentlemen ?” said Rose, rising, attack.
and smiling with a quiet sarcasm that stirred up all the The ladies, huddled together, listened to the clamor major's rage. with the courage which so distinguished the women of “Your precious lover-" that period, but with anxious and painful suspense. A look of concentrated indignation from Rose checked Several of the troop had been detailed and left to pro- his impertinence; and, turning to the company, the tect them—for Major Cleveland would rather lose a major bowed, hoped that they would resume their pleabattle than his reputation for gallantry.
sures, and walked from the room. Rose was pale and calm. If she secretly experienced " Where are the guard ?” said he to Arbald, as soon more fear and anxiety than the rest, it was because she as they had withdrawn from the presence of the ladies. had so much more at stake. She could not conceal “Both badly wounded.” from her fears the likelihood that Major Cleveland “A curse upon them." might attempt to sever the gordian knot of his per- “It was adroitly planned, sir. We followed a will-o'plexity by the death of Walter—so easily accomplished the-wisp, while the real enemy was near at home. The in the midst of a melee like this, without a chance of whole party probably did not number twenty men. A the deed being traced home to its actor.
half a dozen lured us from the spot, the rest made a As Rose listened, she thought the firing became nar- rush for the prisoner. Both of the guard were struck rowed and more concentrated to one point. This point down, but, though wounded, they recount with clearappeared to shift, and to grow more remote. Sud-ness the whole affair." denly, even while this continued, her quick ear detected Captain Arbald's surmises were mainly true. Wala struggle, an occasional shot, and the bustle of some ter's companions, whom he had left in the forest, findmovement nearer the house. Was an attack pending ing that he had fallen into the enemy's hands, roused up against them? She walked to the window with the the neighbors and effected his rescue in the manner we intention, if possible, of learning the cause of this sin- bave seen. gular movement. Kate rushed before her, and threw Major Cleveland took a turn up and down the piazza, her arms around her neck.
after listening to the account of the affair from Arbald. "Don't, sister, don't expose yourself.”
"Humph !" muttered he at last, “I believe it is fortuSuddenly a rapid discharge of pistols, musketry, &c., nate, after all. I was in a perplexity. Fate has took place apparently very near the house. Rose, alive decided for me.” to the situation of her lover, detected that it was in the He had spoken aloud. Rose was on the piazza unseen direction and certainly near the onthouse, in which by bion, and overheard him. Magnanimously said, Walter was confined. She shuddered, and covered her my dear major. The battle is over, and let us be face with her hands. The discharge was followed by friends. Will you dance ?" the tramp of horses' feet, the clash of steel, a shriek, “ Madam, I yield to a woman. You fight with then a loud cheer and a furious rush of horsemen gal- weapons I do not understand loping through the grounds. Rose darted to the win. “ With wit, eh ?" dow, and threw open the shutters. A party of horse- The major wiped his brow. men were crushing through the shrubbery, but making “Really, Miss Elsworth, you have me at every point. for the spur of the forest. Was she mistaken? Did I am a prisoner at your mercy. May not to-night's she not for a single instant catch a glimpse of one form work he forgotten ?” towering high and nobly, which could belong to no “Yes, if you seek no vengeance upon Armstrong." other than Walter Armstrong ? Had he escaped ?
“ You have my signet." A thrill of joy ran through her veins. Hope was " True. I will trust you." more than fear, and she staggered to a chair. As she The pleasures were resumed, but with some condid so, she saw the face of Mr. Metcalf looking at her straint. The ball continued, however, to early daythrough the doorway, beaming and delighted. He was light, when the guests dispersed, conducted to their respective homes by companies of the troops. A little much hemming and hawing, asked her consent to his after noon Major Cleveland resumed his march, and marriage with Bridget. the mansion resumed its old quiet and peace.
“Oho,” said she, “then you've been making love When all were gone, Rose went to her father's library, under the rose all this time !" seated herself at his feet, and confessed all. He was The consent was freely given. astounded. The perfidious scheme of Cleveland's aroused Six months after the events above related, the marhis indignation—for he was a man of the nicest honor--riage between Walter and Rose was re-solemnized, puband entirely justified, in his eyes, the extreme measures licly. Walter continued in the service during the war, of his daughter.
got to be a colonel, and lived for many years after “I designed it otherwise, Rose, but you have shown the war—the reader knows how—in peace and plenty me the extent of your devotion to Walter. I will hope of course. that time will open his senses to the wrong he is doing, Now that I am at the end of my story, I find its title and thus remove the only obstacle that ever existed to is a misnomer, for what difference after all is there your union.”
between love to-day (or any other period) and Love That very day Mr. Metcalf came to Rose, and after 976?
THE MIDNIGHT FRIGHT.
Ar twenty years of age I was in love. It does not ness. Some old trees shaded it thickly—so thickly, the matter to the reader how I came to be in love. It is sun rarely brightened up its dark, time-discolored walls. but of little importance to him, and none at all to this The gardens abont it were black and loamy, rank with story, when I first met my dear Amanda - or who, the growth of shrubbery and weeds. Now the earth indeed, my dear Amanda was. It is quite sufficient for carries it around on its bosom no more. First, one of me to say that my Amanda was the dearest creature; the avenues came, thrusting forward its huge body, that she had blue eyes ; great long golden locks, which crushing through the old trees, trampling under foot she would shake at me in the most bewitching manner; the garden growths, and even nipping off an intruding nice, pearly teeth; a dimple in her chin; blooming angle; then from another point came a younger, but no cheeks (alas ! I afterwards discovered that her bloom less insatiable and relentless highway, tearing through was imported) and as pretty a little hand as one would the parlors, the wainscot walls, the lordly old halls, wish to see. My youthful susceptibility was easily and setting itself down upon the very foundations of impressed with charms like these. I had read a great the old structure. Thus was the mansion of my once many love tales, and was looking about for some one Amanda blotted from sight. A green-grocer now holds for whom I could experience that rapturous passion, forth upon the once treasured spot. I will pause somewhich they so warmly describe, when accident threw times upon the curb-stone at the intersecting highway, me in the way of Amanda. I went to work at once. and drop a tear to the memory of the old places tear I began to love with all the fervor, devotion, and inten- to see the old ground so desecrated. sity I could command. I will not stop to confess that a Regularly, as the clock struck seven, I was wont to suspicion continually preyed upon me, that my raptures present myself at the old mansion. The door always were in some degree manufactured ; nor will I pause to opened as I placed my foot upon the front door-step. cast back, with the disdain and contempt they so richly Amanda always came out of the shadows in the parlor deserve, the insinuations of mercenary motives, which (never lighted until my arrival), and put her two hands were uttered against me. Could I help the fact that in mine; then my arm would always wind around her my Amanda was the only daughter of a rich widow ? waist; then we would saunter in together, and if our or that she had a large expectancy from a wealthy lips met in the darkness, what was it to any one f-what maiden aunt? These things were accidents. Amanda was it even to the domestic, whom I would sometimes and I often confessed to each other how happy we hear smothering a laugh in the passage? When ten should be in a cottage, or in some lone isle, where only o'clock came—for Amanda and her mother were preour two hearts beat (and all that sort of thing), and I cise and methodical — I would invariably rise, and, assert with confidence, that Amanda at any moment after a tearful parting, depart on my way to my lodgwould have abandoned friends, rank, and fortune for ings, some two miles distant. my sake—had I permitted it. Are my detractors con- But upon one occasion—and now I am coming to my vinced? But this is all foreign to my purpose. It is a story—there was a terrible storm, which increased so ghost and not a love story that I am going to relate. much in violence, hour by hour, that when the inexor
My Amanda and her mother resided in the suburbs able mantel clock struck the bour of ten, both Amanda of the town. It was an old-fashioned, square brick and her mother insisted upon my acceptance of their mansion, built soon after the Revolution, ponderous, hospitality for the night. gloomy, and, at the time of my story, of a green damp- “Conduct Mr. Dove to the crimson chamber," said the senior lady to the elderly servant who presented shoulder, to see if I were following. When he reached himself, candle in hand. I followed my guide up a steep, the apartment, he fairly backed into it, placed the light narrow, and lengthened staircase, and through a series hastily on a table near the door, and giving a furtive of roomy, deserted apartments, where articles not in glance around, rushed hurriedly, and with andisguised frequent use were stowed away. The servant, I ob- terror from the room. I called him back. He came served, stamped heavily as he approached the chamber, unwillingly. hemmed londly, and looked freqnently back over his “ What's the matter, Joe ?” said I.
dow hangings; the huge bedstead, with its dark crim "I should think there was. What are you alarmed son curtains looining up grimly and awfully in the cen. at? Is the room baunted?”
tre of the apartment ; the dense shadows piled up " Ye-yes, that's it, sir. It be haunted.” The poor behind the bedstead, within the folds of the curtains, fellow fairly trembled. I laughed, but as I turned to and flickering strangely and grotesquely upon the walls look within the apartment, a sensation of awe invol- and ceiling; the dismal howl of the storm without, as untarily thrilled me. The walls, though of crimson, the old trees beat against the window shutters, and the were of so deep and sombre a hue, they might have rushing of the wind, with shrill, human-like cries passed for black. The dark wainscot; the heavy win-' through the halls and empty rooms—all these things combined, and no wonder, to produce sensations of leap towards the door. There was a howling and tearindescribable terror and awe.
ing behind me. I threw open the door, and very possiI dismissed the attendant, and closed the door. bly shrieked, as I rushed out into the wind-swept hall. The silence, broken only by the wailings of the storm, Some huge object was behind me. I bounded along the was fairly appalling, but I bustled around, took care paseage like a maniac. I felt the pursuer at my heels. not to look at the awful sbadows, and hurriedly throw. His breath was upon me. I had never known what ing off my clothes, leaped into bed. I laughed at my terror was before. I uttered a cry, and stumbling over superstitious awe, tried to shake it off, began to stare some object, fell prostrate, the vampire, ghost, or whatboldly about the room, and to express my contempt for ever it was, flinging itself upon me. The light was the weakness I had been guilty of. But I found it more extinguished in the fall. The creature's huge, bloodagreeable to turn my gaze inward, and to nestle down sucking chops were upon my face. His breath, hot and closely under warm coverlets, with the hope of wooing fiery, filled my nostrils. I threw out my hands instincoblivious slumber to my eyelids. But I could not sleep. tively toward the danger, when my arms enclosed & The storm was increasing. The trees around the house huge, shaggy form, a palpable substance. I grasped it groaned and sbrieked as if in dying agony. Billows of by the throat and struggled with it. Whatever it wind roared down the wide chimney, swept screaming might prove, I was desperate, and prepared to battle to through every cranny and crevice, till, hushed and the last. At this instant a light flashed from the farther soothed, the blast would appear to sob itself to rest, end of the hall. A face appeared behind it. Then dying plaintively away, until suddenly starting up with another light, backed by another face. I could see a fiercer power. I was getting nervous, tossing from side blunderbuss amid the folds of the first comer's dress. It to side, in vain attempting to keep pleasant subjects in was old Joe. The light flashed upon me and my antamind, almost smothering myself beneath the coverlets, gonist. I looked down, and saw myself rolling upon until profuse perspiration forced me to gain breath, and the floor in the embrace of a huge, shaggy Newfoundinvoluntarily gaze around.
land dog. In an instant the absurdity of my situation, Suddenly I sprang up in bed, my brow loaded with and the groundlessness of my fears flashed upon me. I drops of perspiration, while my breath was short and scrambled to my feet as quickly as possible. I wrapped thick. I assuredly heard a sigh—a long-drawn moaning the loose mantle around me, which I had thrown upon sigh, close to the very head of my bed. I listened with my shoulder when I rose to strike the light, and open mouth, and eyes striving to penetrate the dark- assumed all the importance of manner I could comness. It was repeated. It was not fancy, nor the wind, mand. but a deep, audible, continuous breathing, of a moaning “Joe,” said I, “take this beast away. He's a perfect sigh-like character. I held my breath and listened, savage." while I could feel my hair straighten up, and the blood Old Joe, trembling and white, and still confidently. curdle around my heart. Again I heard it, louder this believing that a ghost was in some way mixed up in the time, and, to my imagination in its excited state, it affair, approached, and led off the harmless creature, sounded like a fearful groan of one in agony. Terror who stood looking on the scene complacently, wondertook entire possession me. I sprang with a sudden ing, no doubt, what all the ado was about. bound into the middle of the floor, and, with all the It was with difficulty that I could maintain my haste I could, struck a light. Nothing was visible. The imposing air until the servants were gone, and then, dense shadows which my dim taper drove into the cor-crest-fallen, and heartily ashamed, I crept off to bed. ners, and behind the huge tabernacle of a bed, looked I did not dare present myself to my Amanda the next frightful, and assumed shapes gaunt, skeleton-like, and morning—nor even the next night. When I did at last terrible. The perspiration rolled from my forehead. venture into her presence, I thought she received me My knees smote together. My teeth chattered, and I coolly, but at the same time, with a disposition to laugh could only gasp for breath. Now, when I look back at at me. I felt exceedingly uncomfortable, and at halfit, I am as ready to laugh as the reader is, at the past nine pleaded an engagement. absurdity of my fears, but then it was all a terrible As I said before, this is a ghost story and not a love reality to me. At last I mustered sufficient courage to story, and I really think it does not concern the reader approach the bed, with a view of searching out the to know how my love suit flourished. I have inad. cause of the mysterious noise. I opened the closets at vertently used the wrong word. The suit did anything each side of the bed, where hung dust-covered, moth- but flourish. It rather lost ground after my misadveneaten, superannuated suits of clothes, which shook as the ture—in fact, I never married my Amanda after all. I wind rushed in and disturbed their long repose. Neither now believe that she was an unseen auditor of my comical sigh nor sound was there. I stooped to look under the situation with the dog, and being something of a herobed, when a shrill, loud whistle behind me (probably worshipper, she never could forgive the exhibition of the wind rushing through the key-hole), was answered pusillanimity and fear thus afforded her. All I can say close to me by an unearthly noise, a fierce howling, and about it is, wait until she gets caught in a similar a dashing, scrambling noise. I sprang back as if I had fix. been shot. Howl followed howl, groan succeeded groan. But the lesson was enough for me. I have had no I stood for a moment paralyzed, and then made one ghost frights since.