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mother asked: “Have you heard that Adelpha Leisler from New York is coming ?”
“Adelpha Leisler! No-" He started, half in joy and half in regret.
“She is. Surely, you have not forgotten her.”
“No, mother. I will never forget the pretty maid."
“Who, you said in your boyhood, was one day to be your wife."
“Truly, I did. I have heard that Adelpha hath kept the promise of early childhood to make a beautiful woman. When will she come?"
" It is said she will be here before next Lord's Day.”
The expression of joy uttered in words, as well as the glow which lighted up his countenance, was seen by the white-faced young woman in the next apartment. Cora was not an intentional eavesdropper. Her door had been left accidentally ajar, and when she heard the name Adelpha Leisler spoken, she started to her feet, moved by a strange impulse quite inexplicable to her.
She had never heard the name Adelpha Leisler before, and yet she intuitively felt that the name had some terrible bearing on her destiny. With loud beating heart, lips parted and her whole being expressing pain, she crouched close to the door and listened.
CHARLES AND MR. PARRIS.
Night is the time for rest,
How sweet when labors close,
The curtain of repose,
JEALOUSY, for the first time, entered the heart of Cora Waters. Blessed is the being free from this curse.
The green-eyed monster, unbidden, enters the heart and enthrones himself as ruler of the happiness of the individual over whom it assumes sway.
She heard all that mother and son said, and then watched him as he went out. Then she closed the door of her apartment and retired to her bedroom.
It was almost evening, and when Mrs. Stevens informed her that tea was ready, she feigned headache and asked to be excused. It was the heart rather than the head that ached. Charles Stevens was gathering in the herds as
was the custom for the night, when he came rather suddenly upon John Louder, returning from the forest.
“Ho, Charles Stevens, where were you last Lord's Day?" asked Louder.
“Was I missed?" “You were, and I trow the patrol could not find
“I was in Boston."
“Do you know that Mr. Parris hath begun to cry out against some of the people?”
“I have heard as much, and I think the pastor should be more careful, lest he will do an in
Louder shook his head and, seating himself on the green bank of a brooklet, answered:
“Goody Nurse is a witch. She hath grievously tormented me on divers occasions and in divers ways.
Fain would I believe her other but I can
“John Louder, you are a deceived and deluded man.
“Nay, nay, Charles, you mock me. I have had her come and sit upon my chest and oppress me greatly with her torments. Have I not been turned into a beast and ridden through thorns and briars at night and awoke to find myself in bed ?”
Charles, laughing, answered:
“It was the troubled dream from which
“Nay; I found the thorns and briars pricking my hands and legs." “Perchance you walked in your sleep.”
“Charles, why seek to deceive me in that way, when I know full well that what I tell you is surely truth? I see with my eyes, I hear with my ears, and I feel with my senses. Only night before last, I was ridden into a field where they partook of a witches' sacrament."
“And what was it, pray?" asked Charles with a smile of incredulity.
“ The flesh and blood of a murdered victim." Charles laughed outright.
“Nay, nay, Charles, you need not laugh,” cried Louder, angrily. “She was there, too."
“The maid who hath lived at your house. The offspring of a vile player. Behold, I saw her partake of the sacrament.'
Charles Stevens' face alternately paled and flushed as he answered:
“John Louder, you are the prince of liars, and beware how you repeat your falsehoods, or I shall crack your skull.”
Louder, who was a coward, as well as superstitious, had a wholesome dread of the stout youth.
He sprung back a few paces and stammered:
“No, no, I don't mean any harm. I—I am not saying anything against you.'
“John Louder, you are a notorious liar, and I warn you to be careful in the future how your vile tongue breathes calumny against innocent people. Begone!”
Louder slowly rose and slunk away, and Charles Stevens returned home. The evening air fanned his heated brow, and he sought to cool his angry temper before he reached home. The silent stars watched the sullen youth who, pausing at the gate, gazed in his helpless misery on the broad-faced moon and murmured:
"How will all this end?"
It was his usual bedtime when Charles Stevens entered the house, and his face was calm as a summer sky over which a storm had ne er swept. His mother was still plying her wheel, and the heap of wool rolls had grown less and continued to diminish. She asked her son no questions. He sat down near the table, took up a book of psalms and proceeded to read.
There was one in the next apartment who heard him enter. It was Cora, and, rising, she crouched near the door to listen. Perhaps they would say something more of Adelpha Leisler; but he did not mention her name again, and she almost hoped he