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ted the house. “This is a pretty business, | kind of action to that you hint at, to bear truly. Don't you feel ashamed of yourself, upon the colonel, uncle,” I retorted, bitterly. oir?"
“ I pass over the personal insult, however; I “Not a bit," I answered, stoutly. “There's can trcat that with disdain ; but the cruel no shame in liking a charming girl like Let- annoyance to which he has subjected Letty is ty, I should hope, uncle. The only shame quite another matter, and for that I shall cerin the matter belongs to her brute of a fa- tainly call him to account." ther, wbo called me a pettifogger coo-con And I paced up and down the drawing found him! If you hadn't stopped me, un- room in great exasperation. cle, 1'd have had an apology out of the old My uncle was a bit of a philosopher in his tyrant, or I'd have known the reason why!” way. He leaned back in his chair, and
“Pislı!” replied Uncle Ferril, leisurely watched me for a minute or two with some taking snuff. You speak like a very young amusement. man, nephew. If you really felt offended at " It's curious," he said presently, “ to oba hasty espression, the law affords the rem- serve how completely passion blinds even edy. Colonel Stark is a man of substance, tolerably sensible persons to positive fact. and the epithet is no doubt actionable. See Here have you, hy an ill-timed display Skinnum v. Jagg, Q. B. Rep. 44, where, de- of attachment to Letty Stark, provoked her fendant telling plaintiff he was no gentleman, father to exercise his legal authority as a plaintiff obtained a verdict upon the ground parent over that infant, and you now feel inof being entitled by act of parliament to mensely indignant at the consequences of write himself Esquire. Again, Diachylon your own act,-have the goodness to pick up v. The O'Blatherum, M. P., C. Pl. xvi. 96, the chair you have just kicked over, if you is even more in point. In this case, an Irish please. The set is valuable. Thank you. defendant refused to defray plaintiff's charges You feel indignant, I repeat and threaten for plastering a broken head. Defendant, Colonel Stark with personal violence---most who had been bred to the bar, conducted his reprehensible and unprofessional, I must say defence in person, and becoming excited, -because he rightfully rebukes his daughter pleaded that plaintiff was only • a low thief for impropriety of conduct. Love, Caleb, of an apothecary,' not a duly qualified prac- appears strangely at variance with logic in titioner; bat Bluck, C.B., quoted high au- your mind. May I trouble you to replace the thority to show that the objection was shabby, coal-scuttle?” and could not stand. Same plaintiff then " Then you actually mean to defend the brought a second action, arising out of the man's brutality, uncle?” I demanded in former, against same defendant, for the libel greater anger than ever. My uncle had a uttered in open court. Defendant pleaded most annoying way of putting things, which license of council as a justification ; but a made him seem generally in the right. serdict was recorded against him. He ap “No, Caleb; there you mistake. Your pealed, and carried the case before all the tri- usually clear mind is not apparently at this bunals, until it reached the House of Lords, moment able to perceive the true gist of where judgment was finally delivered in my argument. I do not excuse the manner original plaintiff's favor-Bruffum, at that in which Colonel Stark thougiit proper to time chancellor, opining defendant would exert bis authority ; I only asert his unhave had a better plea if he had alleged irre- doubted right, and your consequent unreasonsponsibility from imperfect care; as it was ableness ; that is all. And now we will proevident upon the merits, that all (if any of) ceed to discuss what had better le dune." the brains originally knocked out could not So my uncle, having satisfied l.is forensic have been replaced. A full report of these mind by placing the question in its correct interesting and impo tant proceedings will be legal bearing, yielded to his natural kindly found in Patter ana Clatter's Remarkable heart, and sympathized with my unfortunate Cases, t. 87. But with respect to Colonel love-trouble as fully is an unprofessional Stark, I leave you to judge how far an action uncle might have done. against the father would advance your suit The position was certainly awkward. But with the daughter."
while it was simply unpleasant to me, for Let“I should have brought a very different ty it was really serious. To be the subject
of comment for the sneers and innuendoes of posit his cane in its accustomed corner, hang the malicious and the spiteful, is bad enough up his hat on its usual peg, slowly draw off in an extensive sphere; in the little circle his gloves, and folding one within the other, that constituted the Bayfield world, it was place them in his pocket, and sink into the social death. Letty must be rescued from comfort of his leather-backed chair, before this situation without delay. My uncle there- he prepared to deliver his report. As for fore undertook to proceed next morning to expecting to gain a clue to what had passed the Ferns, and propose in due form for the from the expression of his countenance, was immediate recognition of our engagement. he not a solicitor of many years’ standing?
This decided, I felt comparatively at ease. But I was too eager now to give these cirSanguine and tolerably self-assured, I had cumstances due weight. little fear that the colonel would not consider - Well, uncle?" I repeated, hastily, me a fit match for his daughter. My uncle “ what did old Stark say? What will be was wealthy, and I was his heir ; I had prop-do? When can I see Letty ?” erty of my own even then ; and when my ar “Unfavorable. Very little-nothing. Not ticles espired, I was to enter the firm. Some at all," returned my uncle, laconically antrifling difficulty might perhaps be raised swering my questions seriatim. upon the score of unequal rank, but the col “ Good heavens, uncle! Why, what can onel had no ancestry whose names might be you mean?" offended by a mésalliance, while I was the de “ Just this--it is not Colonel Stark's inscendant of an ancient family. Even my un- tention to permit Miss Letty to marry.” cle admitted that he did not believe this ob “Not at present, I suppose. Well, no stacle would be insuperable.
matter. We are young, and we can wait. Alas! short-sighted lawyers that we were! What time did he fix for probation, uncle?” Neither of us conceived in what direction the “ The colonel mentioned no particular peactual hindrance would be found.
riod, Caleb,” pursued Uncle Ferril. “ The impression he conveyed to me, in fact, was
that he did not intend Miss Letty to marry at WERE I to live to the age of Methuselah, all.” which Heaven forbid, I should never forget “What! never?” I roared. “Why, the the tremor of nervous anxiety in which I unconscionable old barbarian! Does he expassed the time of my uncle's absence upon pect to keep the poor girl in single wretchedhis mission to the Ferns.
ness all her days ?” Very sagacious people aver that whenever “Such, I was given to understand from bis you have to wait for anything, time passes own lips, is his anticipation,” returned my quickest in occupation. I am not prepared uncle, gravely. to deny the fact, but I do maintain that in “Oh, preposterous, ridiculous, absurd,” I this particular men are at a disadvantage. shouted.The thing's impossible, upon the Ladies are more favorably placed. Many face of it. Why, uncle, he can't! He surely ways of employing time are open to them never intends to seclude her from society alwhich are closed to the sterner sex. The ex- together, to make her a female hermit, to citement of recovering a dropped stitch, the shut her out from the world in the bloom of absorption of rectifying a mistaken pattern, youth! He doesn't entertain such inediæval are exhaustless sources of feminine delight. notions of parental authority as that would
It will not seem singular, then, that I con- argue, uncle?” sidered the two hours and twenty-five min “Something very nearly approaching thereutes of Uncle Ferril's absence at least thrice to, I am afraid, Caleb,” replied Unele Ferril, that period. When he finally returned, I with a sigh. “ The colonel's line of argusprang to meet him.
ment, so far as I was able to follow it, ap“WeH, uncle,” I exclaimed, “ what peared to be this. He has no especial objec
tion to you personally, further than that you Now, my Uncle Ferril was a very method- desire to take away his child—to rob him of ical man. Nothing less than an earthquake, her, was his expression. You seem a deI think, could have moved him to omit a cent young fellow enough, he obligingly obhabit; so I was not surprised to see him de- served, and would probably make as good a
husband as another. But he objects to any | angle of the road, I had not encoantered and husband for his daughter, as I gather; at almost trodden under foot the colonel's Hindu least, during his lifetime. Her first duty, he servant, Johtee Lall. Ordinarily, I shunned remarked, is to her father. He has had her this man. There was a writhing servility in educated and brought up at considerable ex- his manner, so different to anything I bad pense; he has never yet reaped any benefit heretofore encountered in persons of a similar from the capital thus laid out, and he intends, class in my own country, that I could hardly again to use his own expression, to make his bear to speak to the fellow civilly. Even bis money of her now. He has no notion, he color was a fault in my prejudiced eyes. But says, of some good-looking gawk-don't be there were other circumstances which swelled angry-stepping in and carrying off his child, the dislike I entertained. The Hindu was a just when she is beginning to afford some coward and a bully: I had seen him frighten return for what she has cost. In short, he children, when he thought himself unnoticed, considers that, as her father, he has the best with hideous faces and uncouth gestures, unright to her services. And really, Caleb,'
,”til the little things ran shrieking for refuge concluded Uncle Ferril, offering me his snuff- behind their mothers' gowns. Let but a box, “the colonel's position is, legally, so sturdy laborer approach, whose Saxon heart entirely unassailable, that I do not see what and strong right arm were ready to protect can be done. Try the mixture ; it's genuine the helpless, and Johtee, fawning with obseblackguard, I assure you."
quious grin, would try to attract the tiny “ Done, unele ? " I repeated, aghast at this creatures he had just repelled. The spiteful unexpected turn of affairs. “I'll tell you mischief of the ape, the sinuous, gliding mowhat’s to be done! If I can't get Letty with tion of the snake, and the ferocious appetites her father's consent, I'll have her without it. of the tiger, where their indulgence appeared I'll carry her off to Scotland, and marry her secure, seemed mingled in the follow's nature. at Gretna. That's what’s to be done, if we Thinking of Johtee, I have wondered somecan't bring Colonel Stark to reason.
times at the siege of Delhi, but could thor“ There's only one trifling obstacle to that oughly understand the horrors of the Indian course, Caleb,” returned my uncle, " and it mutiny. happens to be precisely the one the colonel In my present frame of mind, however, the expects you will adopt. His last words to sight of the Hindu was welcome. Two bribes me, in fact, were: Tell your youngster, Fer- he found it impossible to resist-his fingers ril, I wouldn't advise him to beat up my gar- always closed with an instinctive clutch on rison in search of the prize ; I'm too old a gold, and he could never withstand the tempsoldier to be taken unawares. A lawyer's 'tation of a glass of brandy-pawnce, or grog. skin may be of parchment, but it wont keep From him, therefore, I knew I could obtain out a brace of bullets.'
valuable information as to the colonel's pro“ The brute !” I ejaculated in dismay. ceedings at the Ferns ; perhaps I might even . Then, uncle, what on earth is to be done?” persuade him to convey a note to Letty.
“ For the present, I should recommend Telling the Hindu to follow, I went straight nothing. Perfect quiet and apparent resig- to the bar of a country inn upon the Bayfield nation. For a time, of course, the colonel road, and administered a strong dose of the will be upon his guard, but his vigilance will liquid bribe. It proved only too effectual. soon wear off. Time and a little patience His weak head was unable to bear the liquor ; will solve the difficulty, I make no doubt. and although I gained the intelligence I deI'll trouble you for Mr. Verney's deed-box, sired, I saw it would be too hazardous to inif you please."
trust him with anything which, in his intoxTherewith the subject dropped.
ication, he might casily betray. But it was impossible for me, however That same evening, shortly after dusk, I easy for my uncle, to bury my sorrows in set out to reconnoitre the enemy's position, Mr. Verney's deed-box; and, catching up my for you may easily suppose I was not to be hat, I rushed away-out of the office, out of deterred by Colonel Stark's threats from atBayfield, out of the world I half intended, in tempting to gain an interview with Letty. I the madness of my rage. What might have walked slowly down the road, and it was occurred, I hardly know, if, turning a sharp dark when I passed the swing-gate on the
path leading to the Ferns. Treading very servants' offices, and looked in at the kitchen gingerly-partly from professional caution, windows. The prospect here was not more partly from dread of man-traps--I approached promising than in the dining-room. The the house. Lights shone from the dining- evening being cold, the servants were gathroom windows, lights streamed from the case-ered about the fire in a group. How was I ments of the servants' offices. Cautiously I to gain speech of one of them alone? Forstepped up to the dining-room, and breathing tune here stood my friend. The man I deupon the rime-clothed panes, peeped in. sired to speak with was the gardener. Letty
The enemy was seated at the table, alone, was fond of flowers; she must be often in the over his wine, big and burly. Behind bis greenhouses and garden; this man would have master's chair stood the Hindu with folded frequent opportunities of conveying a note. arms, his dark features glistening over his As I was thinking how to get hold of him, white robes and beneath his gaudy turban, the man rose, grumbling that he must go out the light falling upon the yellows of his gleam- in the cold to look after his fires. He lighted ing eyes. Something had evidently put the a lantern, opened the door, and stepped into colonel in loigh good-humor; perhaps he felt the garden-I followed. When he was a pleasantly replete with dinner ; perhaps he little distance from the house, I called him was meditating upon the success with which in a low voice. The man turned, held up his he bad that morning repelled my uncle. lantern, saw my figure, looming large through Whatever the cause, he laughed aloud, and the darkness, advancing towards him, was called to Johtee to bring him the big bamboo. seized with sudden panic, and fled with a
The Hindu glided to the corner where this shout back to the house. instrument was usually kept, raised it rever Thieves-thieves ! murder ! robbery !” entially between his palms, and laid it, with yelled the gardener, as he burst into the a low salam, before his master. The colonel kitchen, arousing a chorus of shrill screams took the bamboo, poised it like a sceptre in from the terrified women. Anathematizing one hand, and ordered his slave before him. his cowardice, I beat a hasty retreat, and re
“Now, Johtee, you see this ? " said the tiring behind the shelter of a friendly bush, colonel.
awaited what should follow. To the voices “ Iss, sahib."
of the frightened women were speedily added “You know what I keep it for, eh, boy!” the gruff tones of Colonel Stark, calling to “ Iss, saizib.”
Johtee to bring his pistols, and inquiring “Well, then, now listen to me. If ever why they were making all this hubbub. Gazyou come home drunk again, Johtee, as you ing from my concealment, I saw the enemy's did this morning, or carry any messages, portly frame blocking up the doorway, wbile Johtee, or letters, Johtee, except for me, or the women peeped timidly from under the break any of the rules and regulations of this shadow of his wing. Next moment he rapgarrison, Jobtee, do you know what'll happen idly fired a couple of barrels right and left, to you, you scoundrel, eh?”
one ball singing closely enough over my head “N-n-n-no, sahib,” stuttered the trem- to enable me to realize being under fire. bling wretch.
" What savages these old soldiers are!" “Why, I'll flog you within half an inch of was my involuntary exclamation, as Icrouched your life first, then clap you in jail for five closer than ever to the ground, and wished years, and have you blown from a gun after- my protecting bush of twice its size. The wards. D'ye hear, ye rascal ?” roared the house was now thoroughly alarmed, and furcolonel, as he brought down the big bamboo ther attempts at exploration useless. As upon the table with a rap that made the de- noiselessly as possible, I regained the highcanters reel.
road, and made the best of my way back to “ Iss, sabib," stammered affrighted Johtee, Bayfield. with a lower salam than ever, as he received Next morning, I received the following back the instrument of torture and reconveyed characteristic note from Colonel Stark :it humbly to its app.inted place.
“ Young PARCHMENT,--My house was disLeaving the colonel to the magnanimous' turbed last night. The ass of a gardener, amusement of practising upon this wretched whom I've just sent about his business, says creature's fears, I slid on tiptoe round to the, by thieves ; but it's my belief that you were
the culprit. Now, mark this ! I've just sent this forever ; either you must give in, yield up to town for a couple of the fiercest bull- all claim, and shake hands amicably, or I dogs that can be bought for money. They must carry Letty away somewhere-to town, will be here to-morrow. Look out, therefore, for the safety of the professional hide.
or abroad, or even back to India—where
you " Letty knows I'm writing, and sends word can't follow. Hey, what do you say to that, she has nothing to say to you. Truly yours,
Josial STARK." I could only reply that, much as I should This was atrocious. I ground my teeth as regret to be the cause of Colonel Stark and I handed the epistle to my uncle, who pe
liis daughter, even temporarily, leaving the rused it with a smile.
Ferns, I could not consent, in fairness to the "Upon the whole, Caleb, not unpromising, lady, to give up the hold she had assured me I think,” he said, as he returned the billet. I possessed upon her heart, save at her own “It is something to have made the enemy
desire. speak. Now, keep quiet for a little, and let • Very good. That's as much as to say us watch the effect."
you wont give her up. Now look here. I've Well, I took my uncle's advice, and re come to propose an arrangement. You have strained my ardor, though Heaven knows it plenty of assurance, I know, and no doubt was a difficult task. I went about my ordi- fancy you will ultimately win the day. I Dary duties, made no attempt to communicate have a fair share of experience in strategy, with Letty, behaved as if there were no such and I don't think you can. Let us put the tormenting little person in the world, for full matter to the test. Try you for the space of a month ; then, also hy my uncle's advice, I six months, to take me in, deceive me, clearly, recommenced bostilities—in a clumsy way, plainly, in my own house, under my own however, and by channels sure to be detected, nose, if you like, so palpably that there shall if the colonel exercised ordinary sharpness. be no mistake about the matter. If you sucI bribed the laundress to smuggle in a note ceed, I'll surrender Letty. If, on the conwith the house-linen, taking care to be pre. trary, you fail to hoodwink me within those viously seen talking to the woman by one of six months, you shall give me your word and the servants at the Ferns. Next day, the honor—even a lawyer's got some, I
suppose colonel came down to the office in hig! glee, —to draw off your forces and raise the siege. and with quite a polite air handed me my You shall relinquish all right, claim, tiile, note, remarking he should be sorry to detain and all the rest of your jargon, to take adany property upon which I possibly set a vantage of any promise my girl may have value. Similar measures were met in the given you, and leave her free and unmolested like manner, until at last sagacious Colonel to marry or not to marry as she and I may Stark, convinced of the utter futility of any settle. Now, there's a fair, straiglatforward efforts of mine to break his blockade, and proposal, and l'll give you ten minutes to strong in the conviction of his excessive clev- think about it." erness, came forward with a proposal which, The colonel placed his watch before him at a given period, should terminate the strife. upon the tablo, took up the Times, and
“ Uncle not in, young Pounce ? ” said the plunged into a leader. colonel, swinging one morning into our office My uncle luckily coming in at this moment, with an easy air. “ No matter. It's you II laid Colonel Stark's proposition before him, want to speak to principally. Now, just and requested his advice. When the aplisten to me. For the last six weeks you've pointed time had espired, the colonel emerged been trying your utmost, in one way or an- from the newspaper. other, to communicate with my daughter "Well, youngster, what's the decision ?” Letty behind my back. Letty's a good girl, he inquired. and I don't believe she would have anything
“ Colonel, I accept." to say to you against my wish. However, The conditions of this curious compact were that's not the question. The plain state of speedily reduced to writing. The document the case is this ; you say you love Letty, and was signed, sealed, and delivered. A dupliwant to get her. I say I've got her, and I cate was prepared for me; the original was mean to keep her. Now, it's quite evident handed to the colonel, who buttoned it with we can't go on playing hide-and-seek like a chuckle securely inside his breast-pocket,