SUMMER DAYS AND WINTER NIGHTS.
F. M. WILBRAHAM
MRS. S. C. HALL
W. H. G. KINGSTON
LADY CHARLES THYNNE
E M. PIPER
GROOMBRIDGE AND SONS,
5, PATERNOSTER ROW.
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES. BY F. M. WILBRAIAM.
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK. BY MRS. S. C. HALL.
THE BURGOMASTER'S DAUGHTER. BY W. H. G. KINGaTON.
THE STORY OF HERBERT ARCHER. By LADY CABLES
THE MATADOR'S REVENGE. BY E. M. PIPER.
BRAMPTON-AMONG-THE-ROSES. BY TOMas MIILLER.
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
"A grandame's name is little less in love
Than is the doting title of a mother."-SHA]AESPEARE.
a- HIL THORNDYKE was devotedly attached
to his grandmother. That she returned
the attachment with interest need scarcely
be told, for where is the grandmother who
does not ? But there were more than usually strong
reasons why these two should cling closely to one
another. He had been her sole charge ever since the
early death of his mother, her younger son's widow,
whose last conscious act had been to fold her baby
Phil to her breast, and then lay him in the strong
tender arms of his grandmother. No word was spoken
on either side, and no word was needed.
Phil received an excellent training, both at Lady
Hayes' Farm, Mrs. Thorndyke's home in Staffordshire,
and at Styling Grammar School, under the best of
masters, Mr. Faulkner. There he formed several de-
sirable friendships-one of which, as you shall hear,
moulded his whole future life.
Young Cottrell was a boarder, and his home being
distant, he often spent the Sunday at Lady Hayes.
His father was a scientific botanist in the employ of a
nobleman, and often went abroad for months, collecting
PHIL THORmDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
plants, etc., for him. One Christmas that he was at
home, Phil was allowed to spend the holiday at his
abode in Lord Dalton's Park, and during that month
developed a wonderful taste for botany.
The visit was repeated a year or two later, when
Phil had been plodding hard over the rudiments of land-
surveying, and was really in need of rest. A still greater
treat was in store for the lad, for Mr. Cottrell chose
him, when in his nineteenth year, to be his companion
on a scientific visit to the Spanish Pyrenees, where
they spent six weeks. Phil brought home some useful
experience of the world, a smattering of Spanish, a
satisfactory amount of cash, and a woollen quilt of all
glorious dyes for his grandmother.
Two years later my narrative begins. The family
at Lady Hayes were seated round a Christmas fire
when a knock at the outer door was heard. Phil ran
to open it, and received a letter addressed to himself.
It was from Mr. Cottrell, and as Phil, sitting on a
settle by his granny, read it, she saw his colour go and
come. When he had got to the end of the letter, he
sat gazing into the bars a good while. His grand-
mother's hand laid on his shoulder aroused him, and
he silently put the epistle into her hands. She read the
first page slowly, then a trembling came into her
wrinkled hands, and a mist gathered over her spec-
tacles, and she said, with a quaver in her voice, Read
it up to us, my dear; I can't make out these hard
names; there was no such thing as i-.. 1, I,1, taught
when I was a girl; read it up, my child." It ran thus :-
DALToNr FOREST HousE, Dec. 28, 1862.
DEAR THOrNDYKE,-I write in haste to catch this
day's post, as I have a proposal of considerable import-
ance to make to you, and can only allow you a few
PHIL THOIRNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
days for deliberation upon it. It is the desire of Earl
Dalton that I should proceed next month by mail-
steamer to South America, landing at Buenos Ayres,
and making my way across the pampas, or vast plains
of that country, to the westerly side of the Argentine
Republic. I am instructed to explore that spur of the
mighty chain of the Cordilleras, called the Sierra di
Cordova, and there and on the adjoining pampas to
collect as many botanical treasures as possible. It is
the Earls desire that I should devote the spring and
early summer to these investigations, ) : i .i, -' home
(D.v.) in August at the latest. It is indispensable that
I should be accompanied by an able, active, and willing
assistant; my own dear son, as you know, is launched
in another career. A young man of talent, who at
first caught eagerly at my proposal of taking him with
me, has, from family reasons, failed me at the last
moment. I own, however, I should nolonger regret
this disappointment could I persuade you, my dear
young friend, to accompany me in this tour. I must
not conceal from you that it has its risks; our tra-
velling accommodations may be rough in the extreme;
fatigues and privations must be expected; the Argen-
tine Republic is liable to insurrections, though at this
moment, if the papers may be trusted, things are fairly
quiet under a new and vigorous President. On the
other hand, the climate is healthy; the air delightful,
and to an athletic young man and a fearless rider like
yourself, the journey would present considerable at-
tractions. My lord empowers me to offer you very
liberal remuneration (here follow the terms, which
certainly were princely), and bids me add that the little
he saw of you when last with me, has given him a
favourable impression of your steadiness and intel-
ligence. [More details followed as to outfit, etc., then
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
he wound up thus:] I must conclude, where indeed I
should have begun, by offering my sincere respects to.
your worthygrandmother, and requesting her favourable
consideration of this scheme. Should she consent to
it, I will endeavour, God helping me, so to conduct
myself towards you, that she may never repent the
confidence she has placed in me. Write on the third day
at latest to your faithful servant,-ROBERT COTTRELL.
We have not space to dwell on the discussion that
followed. Mrs. Thorndyke read her darling's longing
in his eyes, and resolved not to thwart it unless coun-
selled to do so by Mr. Faulkner. To him the matter
was referred next day, when Phil drove his grandmother
over to Styling.
It was a Saturday, Mr. Faulkner's day of rest from
teaching. Imagine the three in his class-room, where
great varnished maps on rollers covered the walls;
Mrs. Thorndyke seated in the master's chair; Phil
eagerly looking out the Argentine country in the map;
Mr. Faulkner with his pointing switch in his hand,
following the direction of Phil's eye. When he saw
the youth's finger rest on Buenos Ayres a strange
distressed look came over the old gentleman's face.
"Is it Buenos Ayres you are bound for, Thorndyke ?"
he asked, in a husky but excited voice. "Yes, sir, in
the first instance; then if I understand right, we are
to travel seven or eight hundred miles inland."
Mr. Faulkner turned away, and appeared to be
studying the map closely. "You do not include
Paraguay in your tour," he said, hoarsely.
"I imagine not, sir; our time is limited to four
months, exclusive of the voyages; besides I have heard
Mr. Cottrell lament that Paraguay is shut off from
scientific inquiry by a tyrant named Lopez, who per-
mits no traveller to enter, and no subject to leave it."
PHIL THORNDYRE'S ADVENTURES.
True, true," said Mr. Faulkner, sighing heavily;
then with an effort, he added, "now to the matter in
hand, Thorndyke; and they plunged into a discussion
of the scheme. Mr. Faulkner seemed to have read
every publication respecting South America that he
could lay his hands upon, and he ended by taking
down two or three of these volumes from his well-filled
shelves, putting marks in many passages, and lending
them to Phil for home perusal.
"Then, Mr. Faulkner, you are of opinion that my
boy ought to go ? asked granny, wistfully.
I believe, my dear madam, with such a companion,
and such objects in view, it might be the making of
my young friend," replied the schoolmaster warmly;
then more soberly, he added, but we will not be pre-
cipitate. By your permission I will see you after church
to-morrow afternoon and resume the subject, commend-
ing it meanwhile to Him from whom all good counsels
The matter was practically decided then, nominally
in the family conclave on Sunday afternoon. Phil was
to go. In the fading light of the wintry day, he
escorted Mr. Faulkner for a mile or two towards
Styling. They stopped at last, shook hands long and
warmly, thentalked, then shookhands again. Philhad
finally torn himself away from his dearly-loved master,
when he heard a hoarse call from Mr. Faulkner. The
good man looked him full in the face, and said,
"Thorndyke, if you should meet with an unfortunate
brother of mine in that part of the world, don't turn
your back upon him, for the love of me; tell him, for
Heaven's sake, to write to me at once." Phil was
thunderstruck at this unexpected injunction, which
furnished the key to much that was peculiar in Mr.
Faulkner's manner the day before. "Dear sir, where
PHIL THORNDYKB'S ADVENTURES.
can I find him ? he asked, eagerly; oh, how glad I
should be if I could serve him-serve you through him
in any way. Only tell me whereabouts he might be ?"
"That is more than I can tell," answered the
schoolmaster; "he was an army surgeon, a young man
once of wonderful talent, but bad company and gamb-
ling brought him to ruin and disgrace. I blush to say
it, Phil; he was '.:. 1..1, cashiered, what do you call it?
driven out of his regiment for something very like
embezzling. At that time Lopez was advertising
for English medical men to join the Paraguayan
service; he did so, and prospered for a while; his wife
-for he has a devoted admirable wife, Phil,. and that
makes his guilt more inexcusable -his wife and
child joined him out there some years ago. I gave her,
poor woman, the means of doing so, for I saw her
heart would break if forcibly separated from him any
longer; besides, there was one soft place in his heart
left; he loved his little girl; I thought the child's influ-
ence might tell for good. For some time he wrote
often, mostly begging letters. I sent many remittances,
for the sake of his family, but at last, this shameless
begging tired me out. I plainly saw that my supplies
went to the gaming-table, not to his wife and child,
and I refused to send more. Since that time not a
line has reached me from any of them. I saw in the
papers some months ago the death of Lopez I. and the
accession of his son, a great rascal, if report speaks
true. I-ow this event has affected my brother, I can-
not guess, nor could our consul at Buenos Ayres, to
whom I applied for information, tell me. So the matter
rests, and so perhaps it might rest, if he alone were
concerned; but the wife and the child, my little god-
daughter-Phil, when I think of them, my heart be-
comes as wax within me !"
PHIL THORIDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
He broke off abruptly, only adding: Your excel-
lent grandmother, Phil, has long known of this, but
under seal of secrecy. Now farewell, my boy, and may
God have you in his keeping !"
Phil walked home much pre-occupied, and as he
thought over this communication, old memories woke
up within him. He recalled to mind one pleasant
summer's day when Mr. Faulkner had come to Lady
Hayes, bringing with him a fair, gentle lady, and a
little maiden of perhaps nine years old, by name Janet.
He remembered how the sunny hours had flown in
play, how Janet had baffled him at hide-and-seek
among the bushes, how in playful defiance she had
climbed on Blackthorn, the cart-horse's back, and
i'.-,... round the paddock without saddle or bridle!
and all the while the little Amazon looked so fair and
dove-like; and when, tired with play, she had returned
to the elders, how had she won Mrs. Thorndyke by her
sweet sedateness and love of all the dumb creatures.
Poor Janet, worse than unprotected, with such a father,
how fared it with her? how fared it with the broken-
spirited mother? Phil would have given up half his
prospects of enjoyment and profit in this tour, to find
them out and gladden his old master's heart with
tidings of them. But the hope seemed a wild one even
to his sanguine imagination.
In due time the outfit, as much of it as could be
provided on this side the Atlantic, was complete;
the adieux were said, and Phil, with Mr. Cottrell and
some railway engineers also bound for Buenos Ayres,
sailed from Southampton one stormy day early in
PHIL THOEINDY1E'S ADVENTURES.
"I have a horse,
Will run like swallows o'er the plain."
EARLY in the month of March, Phil landed on a new
continent. No more welcome sight ever greeted his eyes
than that of the river La Plata, with its breadth of
muddy waters rolling forward to meet and pollute the
green, leaping waves of the Atlantic.
Phil had really made good use of his time on ship-
board. With Mr. Cottrell he had studied the natural
history of South America, so as to have a fair idea what
plants to look out for. The railway engineers bound for
the province of Cordova gave him much information in
their line; and he also made friends with a silent,
solemn Spanish proprietor, Don Jos6, who had hitherto
kept aloof from the English passengers; from this
worthy he learnt many useful Spanish words and
phrases. Don Jose even unbent so completely as to
invite Phil and Mr. Cottrell to stay with him at his
" estancia," or farm, on the pampas of Cordova.
Mr. Cottrell and Phil put up at a dirty inn in the
great and somewhat cheerless city of Buenos Ayres.
After a short stay there, they set out on their inland
journey. Their first halting-place for any length of
time was the town of Rosario, 250 miles north of Buenos
Ayres. Their adventures so far were related by Phil in
a letter, or more properly a diary, addressed to his
grandmother, from which we give extracts:-
Begun at Buenos Ayres, March 4.
Don Jose has been very helpful to us in pro-
PHIL. THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
paring for our journey. One day he took me to the
hut of a gaucho, that is, an inhabitant of the plains,
from whom we were to hire a "tropilla," or troop of
horses. His hut was built of reeds and mud, and
thatched with bulrushes. The gaucho was a splendid-
looking old fellow, wearing a scarlet poncho, or round
cloak with a hole just to put your head through. He
greeted us with such a grand air. Don Jose says
that for aught he knows, the old man may be come
down from some of the highest families in Spain;
many of these gauchos are. However, all is not gold
that glitters, for Don Jose whispered in my ear: "Let
me deal with him, amigo, for I understand him well,
and a precious rascal he is."
Well, we sat down, luckily outside the hut, for the
dirt within was beyond what you could imagine, and the
gaucho's daughters kindly brought us cups of mate.
The cups were gourds, about the size of a goose-egg,
silver-mounted; the mate is a hot, rather bitter
drink, made like tea, from the leaves of a little holly-
bush. It was capital fun to see the gancho's son go out
with his lasso, a long leather thong, with a running
noose, to catch the horses. This was easily done; for
no sooner had he noosed a beautiful black mare that
seemed the queen of the tropilla, and wore a bell
round her neck, than the seven other animals quietly
followed. I must tell you that only myself and Alick
Keith, son of the senior engineer, accompanied Don
Jose on horseback to Rosario. Messrs. Cottrell and
Keith, and the other engineers, travel in vehicles
drawn by bullocks, taking the baggage and imple-
ments with them.
March 10.-We are resting for a few hours, seated
each of us on the skull of an ox, with another for a
table, under a thorny sort of acacia. This galloping
PHIL THORNhDYRE'S ADVENTURES.
across the pampas is delightful. Alick rides a brown
horse, I a grey colt with a wicked eye, but no vice in
him. At first it made our heads giddy keeping up
with the gauchos, but now we don't mind it. The
gaucho children, chubby-faced urchins of seven or eight,
put us to shame, climbing up by the horse's tail to their
seat, and sticking on beautifully. We have dyed purple
sheepskins for sleeping upon, and each of us carries a
revolver and a short double-barrelled gun, and a canvas
knapsack, and a poncho (mine is *red), so we are no
Alick is a good fellow, and possesses the grey
head on green shoulders you 1:i,-- coveted for me,
i.....: 12.-We have had a curious sample of the
wild folk that inhabit the inland provinces since I last
wrote. We halted at a native hut in the heat of noon,
tired, and glad to lay our heads on our saddles and get
an after-dinner nap. Our dinner, by the by, con-
sisted of an armadillo, very tender and like sucking-
pig. Our gauchos lay down with their horses' bridles
round their necks, and were soon snoring loud. So,
I suppose, were we, when a great noise roused us, and
we perceived that a large party of travellers from the
south had arrived, and were making themselves com-
fortable. A queer lot they seemed; men of all com-
plexions, dressed in all kinds of strange disguises,
and talking a strange jargon. They threw a quan-
tity of ox-bones on the fire, then brought out of
the hut two long iron spits, and ran them through two
large pieces of beef. These spits they stuck into the
ground at such an angle as to make the meat lean
over the blaze. One of them turned it and sprinkled
it with salt and pepper from time to time. When it
was done they stuck up the spits in the midst of the
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
party, and each man cut it with his knife and ate as
much as he wanted. The chiefs brought out wine
and spirits, and drank freely the others drank a kind
of rum called caria. Then cards and dice appeared, and
soon an uproar commenced. The gamesters most in
earnest were two: a tall, soldier-like man, in a brown
poncho, his face buried in grizzly hair, and a little man,
of dwarfish stature, with a villanous face. He seemed
to be losing to the tall man, and in his excitement
poured forth such language that Keith and I couldn't
stand it. We determined to set out at once, and
Don Jose seemed glad to get away from them too.
So we saddled our beasts for a start. A man of colour
was twanging his guitar and singing a love song
outside the hut, and many of his comrades were
listening to him with delight. Their animals were
hobbled close by, with their saddles on. I was
surprised to notice a kind of side-saddle on one
of their horses, and pitied the poor lady, whoever
she might be, that was travelling in such company.
I suppose she was taking her siesta within the
We asked Don Jose about these people. He
knows most of their faces well, having met them in
his own province, Cordova. The little man is sup-
posed to be a dangerous schemer against the present
government, one of the rebels-" Federals" they call
themselves, who want to upset General Mitre, and all
law and order. He is called El Nifio," or the
dwarf; the tall man is a new arrival in the Argentine
country, and goes by the name of El Griso," the
grizzled. Don Jose says he came with great wealth,
nobody knows where from, but has gambled it away
already, and is most likely a paid agent of the
PHIL THORNDYEE'S AIVENTUmES.
RosAIo, Mar1c 16.
Here we are, waiting for our masters and the
bullock-waggons, in this pleasant town on the river
Now for an adventure. You made me promise to
tell you rough as well as smooth, dear granny, so you
shall hear the whole story. There is a little animal
called the biscacho, which burrows by thousands all
over these plains. They are grey, with bushy squirrel-
like tails. It is a curious thing that wherever they
make their holes a small pretty kind of owl takes up
its abode. We see the owls perched on the ground
near the burrows, and they stare at us fearlessly,
turning their heads so completely round that when
they look back their bills seem on a line with their tails.
Well these burrows so honeycomb the pampas that even
Don Jose, used as he is to them, came to grief more
than once. So did Alick; and as I had not had one
fall yet, you may think that I was rather proud of
my superior horsemanship; but pride must have a
fall. My pretty grey caught his foot in a biscacho-
hole, as we were galloping to keep in advance of that
Federal party; down he came, and I with him, and by
ill luck was flung against the stump of a tree. The
sudden violent pain made sparks of fire dance before
my eyes, and then I turned sick, and remember
nothing more till I heard a voice, which was Keith's,
crying out, He's coming to Why, old boy, what a
fright you gave me !" He poured some cafia into my
mouth, then tried to get me on my feet, but I
soon found my left shoulder could not bear to be
touched. The arm was broken, I felt sure, in one
place, at least, above the elbow, and there was
nobody to splice it within eighty miles; and how was
I to get over the ground and reach Rosario in my
PHIL THORNDYKE' S ADVENTURES.
present plight, without grievously inconveniencing my
friends ? I begged Keith to try his hand upon it, but
his talents, dear fellow, don't lie in that direction,
and his attempt to bandage it up only made the pain
unbearable. It was a serious difficulty; however, I
tried to put a bold face on the matter, and got into
my saddle with some ado. It was all very well as
long as I went a foot's pace, but the moment I spurred
my horse the shoots of pain quite dazed me, and I
thought I must have dropped off.
This will never do," I said to Keith; "lose no
more time, my dear fellow, but catch up Don Jose and
the tropilla. See, they are looking round impatiently
for you. You will serve me best by getting to Rosario,
and sending me help; there was a hut scarcely a
hundred yards back. I will crawl so far, and perhaps
the gaucho there may be able to doctor me, in which
case I will soon make my way after you."
After getting me out lucifers, brandy, and other
needful things, and making a sort of sling to ease my
arm a little, Keith mounted his horse, promising
speedy help. I cheered him by pointing out that we
were within ten miles of settlements, and the track
scarcely to be mistaken with the aid of a pocket
compass; and so I got him off at last.
I turned towards the hut, footing it bravely as long
as Keith was in sight, turning his head continually like
a prairie owl to look after me; but when he was fairly
off I l-..-.l and was glad to sit down under a clump
of stunted acacias. Under my feet, and far around,
spread a carpet of those bright yellow blossoms called
the mayflower, which cover the pampas in many parts
like a cloth of gold. The sky was perfectly blue; the
sun was getting low in the heavens. It was a strange
solitary scene, nothing that I knew within sight except
PulL THORNDYKE' S ADVENTURES.
my horse, which Keith had tied to a tree, and which,
after making frantic efforts to get loose and follow the
tropilla, had sullenly resigned itself to its fate. The
two gauchos, I must tell you, had proved less tract-
able, and positively refused to stay by me; nor should
I have minded their desertion in the least, had not
the pain in my broken limb begun to get the mastery
over me. I felt ill and shivering all over.
Suddenly I heard a prancing of horse-hoofs, and felt
sure that it was the rollicking party we had seen that
forenoon. There was not much help to be looked for
from such as they. However, I could but try; so I
came forward, took off my broad straw hat, and made
them a low bow. The grizzly man and the dwarf rode
at the head of the troop, and between them a young girl
on a bay horse, which she seemed to manage with
ease. She wore a thick veil over her hat; of course
I bowed to her separately, and she inclined her head
in return. Then I said in my best Spanish, Gentle-
men, is there any 'medico' among you who would do
me the -service of setting my arm? I believe it is
Such a pack of ruffians as they were. My accident
seemed to them a capital joke, and the dwarf answered
with a sneer, Young Senhor, you must pay the
penalty of your clumsiness; we have neither time nor
will to help an Englishman, and such I perceive you
are." His followers laughed loud, and moved for-
ward. The grizzly man did not speak or smile, but
looked hard at me under his :1, .._ brows. He, too,
was moving on when the little girl at his side turned
her face towards him, and spoke very eagerly in a low
voice. I could not make out a word she said, but felt
certain she was pleading my cause, bless her kind
heart! At first he answered gruffly, pointing to the
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
sun, which was getting low, and touching her animal
sharply with his whip to quicken its pace; but it
seemed as though she would not be said nay to, and
with a caressing gesture and a decided little toss of
her head, she gained her point, and prevailed on him
to stop and beckon to me.
El Nifio" now 11; into a rage, and railed at
father and daughter loudly; but she turned away from
him with seeming disgust, and rode up to me, followed
by El Griso." I saw her father give her a warning
frown as she accosted me, and I suppose it frightened
her, for her voice shook as she said, "Is the Senhor's
arm very painful?" I thanked her, and said I should
not mind the pain if only I could rejoin my friends
Oh, my father can remedy that," she said, very
sweetly. Papa, will you not help the Senhor ?" To
my great joy and astonishment, El Griso dismounted at
once, and helped me to lay my arm bare, though it
must be owned with no gentle touch. MVeanwhile, he
sent a gaucho to strip some bark off the nearest tree.
In a few minutes the arm was set, the smooth yellow
bark of the kind of acacia that grew there answering
the purpose of a splint fairly well, and a scarf torn or
cut into strips by the Senhorita supplying bandages.
I could not find words to express my thankful-
ness for this unexpected aid. The medico," for such
he must be, looked at me with a gleam of friendship
in his wild bloodshot eye, and offered me a draught of
"burning water from his flask. "Drink, my young
Spartan," he said, "then to horse tempus fugit." I
felt in my pouch, and pulled out a roll of paper money,
which I thrust into the stranger's hand by way of fee.
He pocketed them, as indeed he had a perfect right to
do; but I think he would have been glad if the little
PHIL THOiNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
transaction had escaped his child's notice. She looked
wistfully at him, then drooped her head, and rode on.
My spirits rose so high at this unlooked-for rescue
that I at once mounted my horse, and followed in the
wake of the party without feeling any very serious dis-
comfort. When the rest halted for a few of the
darkest hours of the night, I lay down at some dis-
tance, and got some snatches of sleep. I was wakened
at dawn by a call, and saw a fine-looking elderly
gaucho standing by me, with a cup of cocoa, a white
roll, and some cold chicken. "My mistress, Donna
Santos, sends your Senhoria some breakfast," said the
man; she craves to know how your arm fares this
morning, and bids me advertise you that your path
henceforward lies not with ours, but eastward, towards
the haunts of men. Adios, Senhor."
It was pain and grief to me to part from my gentle
Donna Santos thus, without one word of gratitude for
her goodness to me-to leave her thus like a lily
among thorns. However, there was no help for it.
Cruz-that was the name of her messenger-was in
haste to return to her, and most of their party were
already in the stirrup. I could only send a respect-
ful message of thanks to his lady, adding, through
some impulse I could not control, "Take care of her,
Senhor Cruz, for it seems to me her path is full of
I had every right to expect a saucy answer; but
this faithful fellow said: "The Senhor is right; my
Senhorita walks as in a furnace of fire; but the God
whom she serves can deliver her, and no one shall
touch a hair of her head while Cruz lives."
He laid his hand on his heart as he spoke, then
bowed in the stately fashion of the gauchos, and de-
parted. A moment after, they were flying like a whirl-
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
wind across the plain westward. In that direction they
might re-enter the Argentine Republic without at-
tracting the notice of police or soldiery.
As for me, I jogged on alone till about noon, then I
spied some habitations with melon grounds and fields of
flax. I stopped at the first of these, and was so happy
as to find a very nice venerable old lady sitting out-
side her door working. She pitied my rather help-
less plight, and proffered entertainment for man and
We became great friends, and I showed her
your photograph, dear granny, and gave her some
needles out of the case you made for me. I took my
mid-day nap under a tree, much disturbed, however,
by the loud notes of parrots in the adjoining wood.
On waking, I was rather startled by the sight of a
spider,'quite as big as a walnut, spinning its web in
the branches overhead, and every now and then swing-
ing by its thread almost on a level with my face
These unsightly creatures weave such a strong silky
web that the women here plait it for hair-nets.
From this point I found a conveyance to Rosario.
I reached the fonda, or inn, at Rosario, after midnight,
and at once ran up to the chamber where Keith was
snatching a few hours' rest before turning back to
look for me. He was overjoyed to see me, and very
thankful we both were to the kind Providence that had
brought us so quickly out of our troubles. .
March 17.-Messrs. Cottrell and Keith have arrived.
The Keiths are off to-morrow to Cordova, and with
them Don Jose. My arm is going on well, and my
health was never better.
We hasten over the next fortnight, spent on the
tiger-haunted banks of the Parana. Mr. Cottrell and
Phil returned to Rosario, whence they despatched a
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
box of specimens to Buenos Ayres; then setting their
faces westward, they reached Cordova safely on Satur-
day, April 4.
The word safely" was in this case no unmeaning
term. A bloody war having broken out with Paraguay,
President Mitre had been obliged to send a large army
there, thus leaving the Argentines at the mercy both
of the Federals and of the Indians of the pampas.
These last inhabit the vast plains at the foot of the
Andes, and hand down from father to son their im-
placable enmity against the white man.
The streets of Cordova, which are all at right an-
gles with each other, were beautifully clean, the shops
shut, the Exchange and other public buildings closed,
all was silent as the grave, not even a bell tolling.
At the fonda they dismounted, paid off the carabineers
who had been their escort, and went in to ask for re-
freshments. To Phil's great joy, the first person they
encountered was young Keith.
Presently the three strolled together to the
Alameda, a large space of ground, containing a
square sheet of water, fed by a clear, running stream.
Around this were pleasant walks, with seats shaded
by willows and poplars, converging towards a lantern-
shaped temple, with a cupola.
The trio sat down by the silver pool, fringed
with the flowers of the pale yellow Limnocharis.
How still everything is," said Phil, almost under
his breath; "you scarcely catch a sound, except
the chirping of insects, and the click of the fire-flies'
"And yet," said Keith, "from what I hear, I
don't believe anybody's life-any Cordovan's, I mean
-is worth a pin's purchase just now. A rising of the
Federal may take place any day, and in the absence of
PHIL THORNDYIE'S ADvENTURES.
regular troops, one doesn't see how they are to be put
What says your father to this .state of things ?"
asked Mr. Cottrell, a little anxiously.
"He takes it very quietly, sir. He thinks, if we
stick to our own business, and take proper precautions,
nobody will molest us."
"There's a great deal of wisdom in that," said Mr.
Cottrell. "Have you heard anything of your friend
Don Jose, since your arrival here ?"
"Often, sir; and a very straightforward, helpful
ally we have found him," said Alick. "Now, Phil," he
added, laughing, "don't bear malice because he left you
in the lurch that luckless day. I have since learnt that
he had strong reasons for wishing to keep clear of your
respectable friends, the Spanish surgeon and the
dwarf. He is one of the magistrates of this province,
and in that c '':". -- has come into collision with these
people. El Nifo, in particular, makes no secret of
his intention of revenging himself, the first convenient
While yet the dew's on ground, gather those flowers."
ON Easter Monday our botanists set out to spend
some time on the :i -. Cordovan sierras, or ranges
of hills, and amid the lagunes at their feet, rich in
Several weeks passed and the large flat tin case
which Phil carried, satchel wise, on his back was filled
with botanical treasures.
Phil had but one wish ungratified. There is a
PHIL THORNDYKE'S -ADVENTURES.
beautiful plant of the amaryllis tribe, peculiar to
those mountain slopes of South America. Even
now little is known about it; but in 1863 only one
variety had been heard of in England-an orange-
flowered one. A plant of the same family, but affect-
ing rivers instead of mountains, Phil had seen as he
steamed up the La Plata; that river is said to derive
its name of Plata, or "silver," from the countless
white flowers of this amaryllis that silver its banks.
Lord Dalton particularly admired the amaryllis family,
and had charged Mr. Cottrell to search for fresh
varieties of it.
One evening they had been talking about it before
going to rest. They were about forty miles from
Cordova, high on a sierra, with a perfect sea of wave-
like hill tops on every side of them but one. West-
ward, a rocky steep clothed with dwarf bushes, went
down in a tier of natural terraces to the dusty plain.
This stretched without a break far away to the faint
snowy line of the nearest Andes.
Mr. Cottrell and Phil had been hard at work all
day, and the oppressive heat had been quite too much
for Mr. Cottrell, and at Phil's request he lay down
to rest. Phil determined before the sun set to have
another search on his own account, so he explained
to the chief of their escort the direction he meant
to take, took his firearms, and hung round his
neck the whistle by which he could always let Mr.
Cottrell know his "whereabouts." Thus equipped he
scrambled half-way down the bank that overlooked
the vast pampas. Suddenly he heard the tinkle of a
sheep-bell not far off, and saw at his feet a pleasant
little nook, enclosed round with a wooden paling, so as
to form a safe corral," or enclosure for cattle. There
was a rude little shed, and a clear spring, and a drinking
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
trough; and the herbage just there was thick and soft
as cut velvet, and seemed to have been little trodden.
Advancing towards it was a little flock of about
twenty sheep; a shepherdess mounted on a pony (no
uncommon sight on the pampas), was gently driving
them forward. She now and then made a little circuit
to fetch in stragglers, and before her lay a stray lamb,
which she had just caught with a short lasso made for
the purpose, and, without dismounting, had drawn up
to her knee. To add to the interest of this rural pic-
ture, birds of prey were hovering round her head, and a
king-vulture, with bright red and blue feathers on his
head and neck, seemed ready to swoop.
It was not in Phil's nature to look unmoved on
this pretty scene. I daresay/' thought he, "I shall
dispel the charm by drawing nearer; but really the
young lady-for young she certainly is-must not be
left to cope with that vulture alone See, his wing
almost touches her hat when he stoops ; I'll drive the
brute off! So reasoning, he was by the girl's side
in a minute or two, scaring away the foul birds, and
offering, in his best Spanish, to relieve her of the lamb.
Great was her surprise at the sudden appearance of
such a champion; nor was his astonishment less than
hers, when, after thanking him for his offer of help in
a clear, pleasant voice, she added, But the Senhor's
arm can hardly be strong enough yet to bear such a
So it was El Griso's daughter he saw before him,
the gentle creature who had pleaded for him in his
hour of need! His heart throbbed with pleasure
while he expressed his gratitude to her for that great
service; she, in reply, smilingly disclaiming any merit
in the transaction. He now saw her face for the first
time. It was by no means of the usual Spanish type,
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
but fair, and rather round, with soft grey eyes, and a
dimpled mouth that looked as though formed for
innocent mirth, but subdued by the habit of grief and
care. Phil would have liked to linger and draw
Donna Santos into conversation, but the natural refine-
ment which flows from a manly heart forbade his
intruding upon her. He saw that she was anxious to
regain her home, wherever that might be, so he
helped her to settle her fleecy charges for the night,
fastened the door of the corral safely after her, and
caught her pony, which had strayed some little dis-
Good night, Senhor," she said, taking the pony's
reins, without mounting him, in one hand, and placing
the other within PhilFs; I am sorry, very sorry, that
I may not ask you to go further with me, but my
father would not like it; he is from home, but that
makes no difference, you know. I am afraid he would
be displeased at my imprudence in reminding you of
our former meeting. Adios, Senhor." She slowly
turned from him, and her pony walked after her like
Phil watched her till she reached a "rancho," or
native hut, which stood not fifty yards off, under the
cliff. Here a gaucho came out to meet her, probably
the faithful Cruz. He took the pony from her, and
she disappeared within the rancho.
"What a wretched abode for such a nice girl '" said
Phil to himself; and what a scamp her father must
be, to expose her to such hardships and risks. Depend
upon it, they are in hiding there. I wonder whether
she has a mother, poor young thing !"
It was time for Phil to return to his encampment
on the hill, so he addressed himself, to the climb,
walking warily in the fading twilight. Suddenly he
PHIL TBHOENDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
became aware of a faint but fragrant smell amid the
herbage. Stooping, and passing his fingers through
it, he perceived that they were caressing a flower of
lily shape, on an erect and rather tall stem. He next
ascertained that its leaves were longish and narrow,
and he felt convinced that it was the much-coveted
amaryllis he had thus stumbled upon-very likely a
new and fragrant variety of it.
What a glorious discovery It positively put the
fair Spaniard out of his head for a moment. His
resolution was taken at once. If he left the place, he
perhaps might not be able to find his way back in the
morning. He was well armed, and could do without
his poncho in that sheltered nook. He had some
bread in his pocket, and some brandy-and-water in his
flask ; what should hinder him from lying down there,
close to his treasure, and, as soon as daylight returned,
taking measures to secure it ? He hoped Mr. Cottrell
might sleep sound and never miss him. If by ill-luck
he should perceive his absence, would not the delight
of possessing the amaryllis more than make up for
any momentary alarm ?
So Phil commended himself and all he loved, in
one short strong prayer to his heavenly Father, and
then lay down to rest, lulled by the bell-like voices of
the great sierra-frogs.
He was dreaming of home, when a shrill cry
from the plain below roused him. It was repeated,
louder and nearer-" Los Indios! los Indios !" (the
Indians), shouted by many gaucho voices, in accents
of terror; he could hear the footfall of their horses
galloping madly in this direction across the pampa.
Phil was on his feet directly, and groped his way to an
open space whence the expanse of plain could by day-
light be seen. The night was very dark, for a great
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
mass of clouds lay on the western horizon, and seemed
spreading up into the middle sky, but looking south-
ward, along the edge of the sierra, Phil described
flames rising at more than one point. Doubtless these
were estancias set on fire by the ruthless Indians,
and their fugitive owners were scouring the plain,
followed closely, perhaps, by the enemy.
An Indian raid is, alas a thing of such frequent
occurrence in the Argentine country, that it did not
altogether take Phil by surprise; nior, selfishly speak-
ing, was it likely to affect his safety, nor that of his
well-armed party. But the helpless settlers, whose
abodes were dotted here and there, at long distances
from one another, and whose cattle and horses were a
tempting prey for the spoilers, what was their fate ?
or, still more terrible thought, was Donna Santos safe
from them ? Phil had read in one of Mr. Faulkner's
books of Christian women carried off by Indians to
their distant settlements, never to return. He shud-
dered at the bare possibility of such a thing; he
remembered that the girl's father was absent at that
time, and that she had probably no one to turn to ex-
cept Cruz. Could he rest without making an effort to
help her ? No; he must hasten to her rescue before
the Indians could come down. He would try and per-
suade her and her family to. take refuge under his
escort in Mr. Cottrell's encampment.
Lighted by hundreds of fre-flies, Phil scrambled
from ledge to ledge, till his hand rested on the paling
of the corral." Another minute brought him close
to the hut, where already all was anguish and perplexity.
As far as Phil could understand from a glance, two
gauchos were making their escape, carrying with them
some pistols, which apparently they had no right to.
Cruz was remonstrating vehemently, and trying to
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
wrench the pistol from one of them. The girl whom
Phil had seen so peacefully tending her lambs, was
now with clasped hands imploring the fugitive gauchos
not to forsake her.
My mother my mother !" Phil heard her cry;
"if you leave us, what will become of her ? oh, stay,
and my father, El Griso, will bestow upon you herds and
Phil saw by the light of a lantern, which one of the
men held, that they heeded not the girl's piteous en-
treaty; he observed too, that the rancho was not wholly
undefended. A deep ditch had quite recently been cut
round three sides of it, the fourth being protected by
the steep broken ground of the sierra. This ditch
might keep the savages in check for a while, as Indian
horses are not trained to leap, and their riders are so
entirely out of the habit of using their feet as to be
equally helpless. They would have to fill up the ditch
before they could cross it, its rude drawbridge having
been hastily removed by Cruz. Great was the surprise
of the group when Phil, clearing the ditch at a bound,
stood amongst them. One gaucho fled at his approach,
but the other seemed to take heart and to be willing
to abide by his young mistress. She, poor girl, uttered
a sob of thankfulness at sight of the stalwart English-
man, then gasping out the words, Oh, Senhor, save
my mother !" led the way into the hut. There, a
worn-out woman, ghastly pale," lay with closed eyes,
and her head pillowed on soft shawls. She seemed to
Phil's unpractised eye, either unconscious or dying,
but her child's gentle tones were still able to reach
Mother, dear," said the girl bending over her
tenderly, here is help. Heaven be praised Cruz
shall carry you to the sierra, I will follow close, and
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
the Senhor will protect our flight." The sick woman's
lips moved, and she breathed a word or two. into her
daughter's ear. Leave you," cried the girl, clasping
her hands, "never, my own mother! N. Cruz;
now, dear Senhor, let us go !"
Bat it was not to be; the voices of Los Indios "
were now heard, like a rushing tide running up a
shingly beach. They knew the rancho, and rode
straight for it, impelled not by the love of plunder, for
Santos's few poor sheep would only have impeded their
progress, but by their spirit of deadly hatred against
Cruz silently laid down his burden on the couch,
and signed to Phil to follow him to the little window at
the back of the hut; here he pointed out that the
savages had already lined the ditch all round. Some
of them had blazing bundles of brushwood tied to
their lances, which cast a ,wild glare over the scene ;
and what a scene it was! the savages, perhaps a
hundred in number, were mounted on horses, active
and wiry like themselves ; they carried lances eighteen
feet long in their hands, mostly adorned with bunches
of ostrich feathers. Their faces were all of the same
type-flat nosed, with small black eyes, cunning and
fierce in expression, wide months, gleaming white teeth,
long black hair floating over their backs. Most of
them had red-brown complexions, but a few wore broad
streaks of blue or red paint extending across their
noses to both ears. They kept on hooting and scream-
ing, incessantly throwing themselves and their animals
into most extraordinary attitudes.
We are in for it, and no mistake," said Phil to
himself. Heaven help the poor women and us !
Now, Cruz, you know these Indios best; what line
must we take with them ?"
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
"Wait, Senhor, wait till they send a messenger;
the cacique is sure to demand a parley-then, by your
leave, we will go out, armed. The sight of that
revolver of yours will make the c barbaros' quail, for
they think there is devilry in a gun! The cacique's
words will be smoother than butter, but don't believe
him. Tell him you expect fi;n-,.:, at daybreak, and
that if he will disperse his band quietly, El Griso will
send him a king's ransom in horses and oxen within
three days. El Griso will make it good, for he loves
his little angel there," pointing back towards Santos.
" Hark, Senhor they call."
The expected summons from the cacique now came,
through his interpreter, an outlawed gaucho. Phil
went out to the edge of the ditch; Cruz, and the
other gaucho, accompanied him, Cruz ( ii;i._, by
way of olive branch, a box of cigarettes. Phil made
the proposal which Cruz had suggested to him; the
cacique returned fair words, false as fair. He re-
quested admittance into the hut; would his Excellency
graciously give orders that the drawbridge should be
put down for him ?
Phil replied, handling his revolver as he spoke,
that he was sorry to be unable to gratify the cacique;
there was a sick person within, who could not be dis-
turbed. As he spoke, a spear from one of the party
whizzed by and stuck in the roof of the hut. "Fire!"
said Cruz. All three men fired, with what result the
fitful light would not let them see; there was a great
panic and flight, evidently, but only for a minute.
They tried to employ that minute in rushing forth to
the sierra; but a shower of missiles and two or three
lassos sweeping the air rendered escape impossible.
All that Phil had time to do was to seize his whistle,
and whistle three times loud and clear, the concerted
PnIL THORNDYKE' S ADVENTURES.
signal between Mr. Cottrell and himself in case of
imminent danger. That shrill sound rose distinctly
above the din and strife.
There was nothing left now but to shut themselves
in, re-load, and keep watch at each of the little win-
dows, ready to fire again if any savage crossed the
ditch. Cruz saw them rolling a dead horse into it,
then another, by way of bridging it over, and he dis-
charged his pistol to hinder the work; but it soon
recommended. He had no doubt they meant to set
the rancho on fire, and smoke their victims out, and
he told Phil so, exhorting him to sell his life dear.
Phil scarcely dared look towards the women,
so hopeless seemed their plight. At last he did so,
making over his revolver and his post to Cruz for a
moment. He found Santos kneeling behind her
mother, supporting her head on her breast, sprinkling
*her brow with drops of water, lukewarm, alas, and
unrefreshing, but better than nothing. The girl's
eyes were dilated, and her lips ashy pale; but she
was calm-nay, more than calm.
Phil stood transfixed. She, not perceiving him,
went on repeating in her mother's ear holy words.
Those words were English, "What time I am afraid,
I will trust in Thee Oh, deliver not the soul of thy
turtle dove to the multitude of the enemy." She
paused, saw Phil, and coloured deeply: he came for-
ward and knelt by her side for a moment. "Those
blessed English words; say them again," he mur-
mured; and she did so, adding others full of consola-
tion. But he had to return to his post, and rose to do
so, first kissing her hand with a feeling of reverence,
pity, and anguish indescribable. Senhor," said she,
in a trembling voice, in Spanish, "had time permitted,
I should have been glad to say a few things to you; as
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
it is, I can but bless you for your goodness, and pray,
oh, how fervently, that your life may not be sacrificed
for us." She burst into tears, and Phil, feeling almost
unmanned for the moment, answered bluffly, "Don't
cry; I wouldn't, if I could, leave you in this fix for
the whole world-and you an English girl, too "
Donna Santos looked startled. Forget that,"
she said, and should you outlive this night, and meet
with El Griso, my father, tell him that my mother and
I prayed for him to the last."
A dull thud" overhead broke through their part-
ing words. A spear had lodged in the roof, and that
spear had a lighted faggot attached to it. At the same
time the Indians began to pour in over the filled-up
ditch. Nothing seemed before our beleaguered ones
but a choice of terrible deaths or more terrible life.
Mr. Cottrell had slept quietly, but when, one after
another, his escort rushed to him, crying out that "los
barbaros" were abroad, and "estancias" burning
near and far, he missed Phil, and grew uneasy. His
anxiety became intense when he heard Phil's whistle
rise clear out of the heart of the tumult. He dressed
and armed in a trice, and called on his men to do the
like; but, to his dismay, they flatly refused even to
escort him to the edge of the sierra. They had not
been hired for that work! Indian spears were long,
and their points sharp. If the young Senhor had got
among the Indians, the saints might help him, they
Seeing that threats and bribes were alike useless,
Mr. Cottrell set forth alone, in the forlorn hope that a
few random shots from above might make a diversion
in Phil's favour. The sky had become a mass of cloud,
and lightning were playing in the far west; little
puffs of hot wind made the bushes shiver. It was the
PHIL TIf01NDYHE'S ADVENTURES.
first indication of a storm he had seen since his landing,
and it scarcely arrested his attention, so great was the
storm within his own breast. Phil, the dear, bright,
tractable companion and pupil, whom he loved as his
own son, what had become of him ? How was he to
find him or to help him ? He saw no clue whatever,
and every moment increased his alarm. At last he
reached a jutting point of rock, just in time to see the
Indians rush on the hat and the burning lance quiver-
ing in its thatched roof. A bright flame shot up
but died down instantly. A second lance followed,
and did its work better, now the roof was fairly
blazing. Two successive shots were fired from within
the rancho, and after that its inmates gave no further
sign. Their ammunition was all spent.
Mr. Cottrell gazed in helpless agony on the work
of ruin, till a rustling in the thicket overhead drew his
attention. He looked up, hoping for help in some
shape, and saw against the lurid sky a tall figure
striding with reckless pace towards the plain. The
man actually brushed past him, loaded rifle in hand,
and leaped from point to point till lost to view. It was
El Griso, madly hastening to the rescue of wife and child.
But it was not from the hand of man that rescue
was to come. In a moment, as though by the grasp
of some giant, every bush and tree seemed to be
twisted round. A dull moaning filled the air, and one
of the wild sand storms of the tropics burst over
pampa and sierra.
It came from the south, and with it such a
whirlwind of dust as blinded all eyes, and created
a darkness that might be felt. Trees snapped, horses
and Indians were swept off their feet, and borne on
the blast far northward. The blazing thatch of the
rancho was carried off far and wide, its low thick mud
PHIL THORNDYYE'S ADVENTURES.
walls happily stood their ground, and gave partial
shelter to the bewildered group within.
They sat or kneeled, all huddled together in the
dense darkness, unable to realize that their foes had
vanished, unable to think, almost unable to breathe
for the choking dust. Phil now supported the sick
woman in his arms, for each gust of wind rocked them
so violently to and fro, that it required a man's
strength to keep her from injury. As it was, the
stifling air made her breathing come slow and laboured,
and her child felt with bitter grief that the struggle
could not be prolonged many minutes.
No word. was spoken amongst them; only Cruz
now and then raised himself to cast a glance towards
the horizon, then sank back into his corner blinded by
the sand storm. At last he broke silence. Cou-
rage, Senhorita, the pampero is coming; all will be
well yet." While the words were on his lips, a sheet
of lightning flashed over the whole heaven, turning
night into noon. Another and another followed, the
thunder crackled and roared, and then, oh joy, a deluge
of rain came down, mixed however with such great hail-
stones as Phil had never seen or heard of before. The
dust seemed to vanish as rapidly as the Indians had
done; pure cool air streamed round them on every
side, the sick woman's breathing became by degrees
easy and natural as she lay wrapped in shawls and
ponchos, and tenderly shielded by Phil and Santos
from the brunt of the storm. In an hour or two, for
they took no note of time that eventful night, the
clouds had rolled away, and a sweet pure dawn had
succeeded and clothed the sky with saffron light.
The hurricane had spent itself, and all were eager to
leave that spot before there was a chance of the
scattered Indians returning. Cruz now took the
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
command of the expedition, he and the other gaucho
bore their helpless Senhora up the hill, straight to a
deserted Jesuit dwelling, Phil helping Santos, whose
cramped and stiffened limbs could scarcely bear her
on. To his delight, on the threshold of the old house
he encountered Mr. Cottrell, and was welcomed by
him with tears of joy. Their courageous escort, whom
the storm had dispersed, soon gathered round them
again, quite unabashed; a brilliant fire was lit on the
long forsaken hearth, mate, bread, and eggs in plenty
were forthcoming, a couch was arranged for the sick
woman, on which, for the first time since her fever,
she was visited by quiet sleep. All, for the moment,
was tranquillity and rest, and Santos, poor child, long
i1. uf.:-.1 by waves of trouble,
"To the great Father raised her pale glad eye
Like a reviving flower, when storms are hushed on high."
The party decided on remaining in their present
quarters that day. All were refreshed, and the girl's
face beamed with happiness as she said, in reply to
Mr. Cottrell's inquiries, that her mother was peace-
fully asleep. The fever, she added, which had attacked
her on their journey, and detained them ten days in
that lonely rancho, was now passing away, and the
fresh air produced by the pampero would doubtless
help to her cure. She would try and procure some
vehicle in which to remove her invalid to Cordova as
soon as possible. Cruz would manage this for her; he
was so faithful and so full of resource Mr. Cottrell
ventured on inquiring as to where her father was; but
her ingenuous countenance clouded over instantly, and
she replied, with hesitation, that he was not his own
master; urgent business kept him on the move. She
had expected him at the rancho yesterday, but had
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
been disappointed; lie had felt rather nervous at
their c.I q-l1.i -..l stay in that unsafe place, so had
left three gauchos to guard them, and had had the
ditch dug out. "And we Argentines," she said,
smiling, are so used to live in the midst of risks that
we scarcely give them a thought, you know."
While the other slept Phil had taken two men with
him, and searched successfully for the spot where the
amaryllis grew. He had found a bed of the beautiful
flowers, mostly prone and broken by the hailstones,
many of which had been the size of a thrush's egg, but
some few standing in their beauty, gemmed with rain-
drops. He secured the plants for Mr. Cottrell, and
having done so, felt free to follow his own train of
thought. That the sick woman was no other than
Mr. Faulkner's sister-in-law, and that her child was the
Janet who had been his playmate that summer's day
at Lady Hayes; this impression amounted to a certainty
in his mind. The father an adventurer, yet a skilful
surgeon; the mother evidently English, the wealth
doubtless amassed in Paraguay all squandered at the
gaming-table: yes, it all dovetailed in completely.
He had had a glimmering of the truth last night, even
at their sorest pinch; now that he had leisure of mind
to put two and two together, not a doubt remained.
"I must give her Mr. Faulkner's message," thought
he; "I wish I knew how. I wish I had somebody to
break the ice for me; but I don't think Mr. Faulkner
would like even Mr. Cottrell to learn his family secrets.
No, I must bring it round somehow."
Now, honest Phil was no diplomat; his way of
"bringing things round" was, usually, blurting them
straight out, and so it came to pass on this occasion.
After dinner Cruz called his young mistress out to
inspect a vehicle he had hired to convey her mother to
PHIL TRORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
Cordova; it would only hold the patient lying at full
length, and her driver. He also brought a small
tropilla of five animals to carry the rest of their party.
The question now was, which of the horses Donna
Santos was to ride. She turned to Mr. Cottrell for
advice. To say the truth," he replied, I am no
great judge of horses, but my friend Thorndyke is, and
shall take the responsibility."
Phil could not be mistaken. He saw her start at
the name of Thorndyke, and turn towards him for a
moment with a wondering look. Yes, she remembered
Lady Hayes, and doubtless Styling and her uncle
Faulkner were still dear to her. Poor girl, was there a
hope of her ever revisiting that uncle's peaceful abode ?
Perhaps the same sad thought crossed her mind.
She sighed; but, recovering herself, she said, lightly,
' The responsibility need not alarm you, Senhor. From
a child my father trained me to mount the wildest
ponies, and not be afraid."
And to gallop round paddocks without saddle or
bridle ? asked Phil in a low voice, with that pleasant
arch smile of his. "Six years ago I knew a little
girl who did that; but her name was Janet."
She made no answer, but covered her face with her
hands and fled to her mother's chamber. Sitting down
there, she wept as she had not wept for years. It
seemed as if the full wretchedness and sadness of her
life, endured without complaint till the sense of ih i !1
was half deadened by habit, stood out before her now.
Those few playful words bringing her as it were into
contrast with past happiness, had produced the most
acute grief, and a yearning no words can paint, after her
native land, and all the charities of asweetEnglishhome.
The rush of tears, long kept back, did her good;
and then, like balm, came a few tender, trustful words
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
from her mother, whose eye had marked that unwonted
paroxysm of sorrow. Oh, thankless that I am,"
thought she, to grieve while such a mother is mine,
restored to me too from the edge of the grave." Then
the thought of Phil returned to her. How kind he had
been, how but for him her mother could scarcely have
survived the night, and yet how abrupt and thankless
she had shown herself towards him just now; she must
make him amends at once.
She found him in" doleful dumps," pacing the
deserted chapel, and bitterly upbraiding himself (not
her) for abruptness and want of feeling. One look set
all to rights, and she took him to her mother's bedside,
where they had a long and confidential talk over family
matters. Phil had much to tell respecting his dear old
tutor. Then Santos related her mother's and her own
experiences in the New World. With touching in-
genuity, she drew a veil over her father's guilt and
shame; but no veil could hide the fact that he had
amassed gold by no righteous means in Paraguay, and
let his wife and child work their fingers to the bone for
daily bread while he ventured all on the gaming-table
in Cordova. Furious at the cutting off of supplies from
his brother, he had laid his commands on them to cease
all communication with Mr. Faulkner, and they had
thought it right to obey. When her husband had put
himself out of the pale of English society, Mrs. Faulkner
had adopted a Spanish name and dress.
The end crowns all."
A peaceful night ushered in a clear, calm day,
favourable for the journey. Near Cordova they met
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
Don Jose, who informed them that since the last detach-
ment of regular troops had been drafted off to Para-
guay, the city and province had been in a state of
anarchy, and the rebel chief, Chaco, had made himself
infamous by his excesses. Your acquaintance, El
Nifio," added Don Jose, has proved himself as great
in mischief as he is small in stature. I believe he is
plotting to get this town into his own hands, but we
will circumvent him yet. We have sent an urgent
request for succour to the seat of government, and I
doubt not troops are already far on their way, pos-
sibly at our doors. Ah, gentlemen, were the Senhor
Keith's railway but completed !"
One more fact Don Jose recounted. The foreigner,
El Griso" (here Mr. Cottrell and Phil looked at one
another happily, Janet was in the rear with her
mother, now spent with the day's fatigue), "strangely
enough gave himself up yesterday in a state bor-
dering on insanity. He is in prison here, and will
neither speak nor eat."
They had now entered the town, and the English-
men fell back to where the bullock-cart was slowly
advancing. The sweet serenity of Janet's face showed
that the terrible news had not transpired. "Do not
take any further trouble for us," she said to Phil, we
are going to our usual lodging near the Church of
the Martyrs, with an old friend, Donna Benita. Her
brother-Father Benito-is a venerable old priest
(would that there were more like him here), and very
kind to us heretics," she added, with a smile; here,
too, we shall get the earliest tidings of my father,
whose prolonged absence troubles me."
Mr. Cottrell and Phil saw the ladies to Donna
Benita's door; they then begged for a few moments'
conversation with her brother, and found that he
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
already knew of El Griso's imprisonment, and was
prepared to break the tidings to Donna Santos, and to
advise with her in this extremity. Phil felt satisfied to
leave the Faulkners in his hands. The priest dis-
missed him with a caution to show himself in the streets
the least possible, as the townspeople were ripe for
mischief. "My business," he said, is with men's souls,
not with their politics: nevertheless, in visiting the
sick and dying, I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that
our Cordova is a volcano ready to blaze forth."
At the door, an official, sent by Don Jose, greeted
our Englishmen with a message, that the fonda was in too
uproarious a state to receive travellers, El Niflo having
taken possession of it. Don Jose being in charge of
the public buildings of the town, put at their dis-
posal the empty Jesuit college. He was sending up
bedding and provisions for them, and apologised for
not asking them to dinner, being overwhelmed with
They gratefully accepted this kindness, and took
possession of their quarters. They consisted of two
small dormitories, looking on a courtyard, and a larger
room-the principal's private study. This opened to
a large hall, used as the college dining-room, and in the
door Phil espied a small sliding panel, which, when
pushed back, enabled the principal to watch the pro-
ceedings of his pupils, while himself unseen. The
hall was a lofty room, with open roof, and beams and
rafters of chenar," the hard wood of the country.
Its sole furniture now was a bench or two, and a
raised seat or dais, at the inner end, close to the library
"Phil, my boy," said Mr. Cottrell, "it is quite
clear that Cordova is no place for us now. It's a
tempting of Providence to remain longer in this nest
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
of sedition. I had intended to complete my flower
paintings here, but have now decided to do so at
Rosario, starting for that place to-morrow morning.
It occurs to me that that good fellow, Cruz, may be
glad to be our capataz,' now that his present em-
ployers no longer need him."
Phil acquiesced, but his heart grew heavy at the
thought of so immediately leaving his newly-found
friends in their distress. He ingenuously owned this
feeling to Mr. Cottrell, who understood and shared it.
" When you have helped me to pack," he said, and
managed our negotiation with Cruz, you cannot do
better than call upon Miss Faulkner. She may have
messages for her uncle in England, or she may need
help and advice."
The packing was finished, and Cruz engaged; and
now darkness began to fall over the city. That June
night in 1863 is still remembered at Cordova as one of
unexampled lawlessness and alarm; by nine o'clock
the tumultuous hum of voices, the clang of alarm-
bells, and the rub-a-dub of drums, showed that insur-
rection had begun.
Phil, disguised in poncho and broad hat, made his
way to the lowly door of Donna Benita; he found her
alone; her brother, she said, had broken the sad news
to Donna Santos, and she, poor Senhorita, had im-
plored him to take her to the prison at once, and the
father and daughter had spent a muy triste (very
sad) hour together. Ay di me how the Senhorita
wept when she returned from the interview Her
brother said that El Griso quite broke down at the
sight of his child; he had deemed her and her mother
dead, having seen the rancho surrounded by Indians,
and its roof blazing. In a fit of remorse he had given
Liu,.iif up to justice, and now the sudden revulsion
PHIL THORNDYKF'S ADVEINTURES.
had quite overcome him; in a voice of agony he had
besought her pardon of his neglect and cruelty, and
sent remorseful messages to her injured mother ; and
then how tenderly Donna Santos had soothed him, and
tried to lead his distracted mind up to God !
The door of the inner room opened, and the poor
girl came forth, candle in hand, to ask Donna Benita's
help. Her mother had partly guessed the truth, and
insisted on being told all, and the shock had been too
great for her weak frame: she had fainted. Benita
hastened to her, and Janet was following, when she
recognized Phil. She paused a moment to shake
hands with him, and asked, in a trembling voice, how
soon he was likely to return to England ?
We leave Cordova to-morrow, and expect to sail
for England in about three weeks," said Phil. Oh
that you were coming too This is no place for you,
dear Janet, nor for your poor mother ;" and tears welled
up into his honest blue eyes at the thought.
She was much moved, but replied firmly, My
father is in prison here, and, I fear, for life : where he
is, there it is our duty, our choice, to remain. No one
will molest us, living quietly with Donna Benita, and
I can support my dearest mother by my needlework.
Tell my uncle not to grieve about us; we shall do
well, and as soon as I can get my father's leave (he
will not withhold it now), I will write to him."
She returned to her mother, not trusting herself to
say more, and Phil rejoined Mr. Cottrell.
They soon gave up all idea of sleep, the uproar
became so tremendous. The Federals and "Unitaires"
(as the President's adherents called themselves), were
fighting hand-to-hand in every street. Many lives were
lost. A bright glare from several quarters showed
that the rebels had set fire to their opponents' houses
PHIL THORNDYKL'S ADVENTURES.
Cruz kept Mr. Cottrell and Phil informed as to the
aspect of things. About midnight, a sudden roar, as
of a raging mob, rent the air, then shouts of glee and
triumph. Cruz rushed in in a state of wild excitement.
Caramba," cried he, they have broken open
the prison! and El Nifio has put arms in all the
prisoners' hands! Shame on the rascally dwarf, to
let loose the scum of the earth upon us; they say he
wants to be proclaimed Dictator by them, and such as
"And your ladies ?" inquired Phil, whose spirit
chafed at his enforced inactivity.
Their door is bolted, and their lights are put
out," said the faithful fellow; "and the tide does not
set their way I saw Don Jose, with a handful of men,
showing a bold front to those jail-birds; but my mind
misgives me things are going badly, badly, badly "
"What of El Griso ?" asked Phil, again. Have
you seen him, Cruz ? I quake to think what part he
may be taking;" and Phil paced the narrow room,
"El Griso will take no part with the mob," re-
plied Cruz, decidedly; "he is no Argentine, but come
of a stock that loves law and order. He might have
been a leading man here, but for the dice."
After that great crash, the rioting seemed to be
carried on at a greater distance. Craz went forth
again; Mr. Cottrell laid his head on his arms, and
actually went to sleep; Phil's thoughts gradually took
the semblance of light dreams about his Staffordshire
home, the hum of turbulent crowds transforming itself,
as he slumbered, into the familiar sound of the thresh-
ing machine, threshing out the golden grain. But
so peaceful an illusion could not last, for the tragedy
outside was at its height. Cruz reappeared, with scared
PHIL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
looks. "The felons have captured Don Jose," he
said, "and are bringing him this way, El Nifio at their
head; oh, they will never let him go alive, never."
"Mr. Cottrell," said Phil, this is terrible; must
we sit still here in hiding, while the kind old man is
perhaps made an end of by ruffians ?"
His friend paused awhile before he replied: It is
with the utmost reluctance I say it, dear boy; we
cannot move in the matter. We are mere travellers,
with no consul to back us. Were Don Jose here, we
would stick to him to the utmost, but for you and me
unsupported to rush to the rescue, would be madness.
Do you see the thing in this light, Phil?"
"I do, sir; I wish I didn't : but you are right as
you always are; but it is hard to sit here twirling our
thumbs while our friends are being murdered."
"Most hard," said Mr. Cottrell, as fervently as
even Phil could desire; "but what is that I hear?"
It was the tramp of armed men, the cry of Death to
the Unitaires," and then a battering at the College
front door, which was locked, until it was torn down.
The sliding panel was sufficiently pushed back to
allow of our Englishmen seeing all that passed. An
armed rabble pressed in first, white men, swarthy men
in bright gaucho costumes, "mestisos," or the off-
spring of Indians and whites, begrimed and blood-
stained after these came a band of more regularly
drilled and armed Federals, led by El Nifo, who, in a
scarlet European uniform and sash, and with sword
and cutlass at his side, looked a strange mixture of the
villanous and the grotesque. He advanced with mock
solemnity through the length of the hall, mounted the
dais and seated himself. The hall was now full; the
crowd wavered and broke, and with distress and
horror indescribable, Phil saw Don Jose dragged and
PHIL THOiNIDY]KE'S ADVENTURES.
hustled by a band of felons to the foot of the dais.
The intrepid old man stood there, upright as a dart,
stripped of his official dress, and with his hands tied
behind him. More prisoners of less consequence stood
guarded, and waiting their turn. Time pressed, so
the mock trial began at once by El Nifio ordering
Don Jose's accusers to stand forward. A number of
voices were uplifted together, charging him with trea-
son against the liberties of the people. It was evident
that he had been an upright bat stern magistrate
among this lawless community, and now had no mercy
to expect at their hands. When, however, he replied
in few words, challenging any man present to convict
him of fraud, cruelty, or violence, his firmness, and
perhaps those silver-grey locks that floated over his
shoulders, seemed to soften some hearts. His ma-
lignant judge, the dwarf, saw this, and in a furious
harangue, wound up the passions of the mob against
him, appealing by name to each of the many present
whom he had fined or imprisoned; the appeal was not
in vain, and "Death to the Unitaire" resounded on
"Then death let it be," cried El Nifio, in his
discordant voice. Provost-marshal, hang him up to
yonder beam." The mob gave a shout, and the so-
called provost-marshal laid his hands on Don Jose.
Never, never," cried a deep voice from the further
end of the hall; "brothers, I beseech you, do not so
wickedly; if you harm him, know that his blood shall
be required of you by Him that made him."
It was Father Benito who had worked his way into
the hall, and now spoke with outstretched arms and
voice of alternate rebuke and entreaty. Even that
wild crew, the offscouring of the Argentine provinces,
knew and respected him. So there was a pause, and
PHIL THOlNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
the shouts died down. But the power of evil was
stronger than the power of good in that place, and at
that dark hour. El E1Nifio's hatred of the upright magis-
trate was not thus to be baulked. He poured forth at
the highest pitch of his voice a torrent of abuse on the
head of Benito, and he sneered at the idea of any
future reckoning being taken of our deeds on earth.
His words were exactly calculated to carry away such
hearers as the men now surrounding him. So, though
each one individually despised El Nifio, as a body they
were now ready to do his bidding. The terrible pre-
parations for Don Jos6's judicial murder were com-
pleted, and Benito's repeated cry of expostulation was
met by an order to the felons to thrust him out of the
But our Englishmen could stand apart no longer;
it was Mr. Cottrell who took the lead this time.
"Phil, my boy, whatever comes of it, we must
make an attempt to help that fine old fellow. You and
I are well armed; Cruz has pistols; let us show our-
selves and remonstrate at least; my blood is up at the
sight of such brutality."
C" By your leave, sir," answered Phil; I have hit
upon a plan which might perhaps, save the old man;
let me try it, and if it gets me into hot-water, you and
Crazy shall pull me out." So saying, he wrapped a
dark poncho round him, slouched his hat over his brow,
and slipped quietly into the hall. Father Benito had
meanwhile been roughly expelled, but not till his
parting warning had rung through the hall, "Be sure
your sin will find you out."
A good many of the less depraved sort quailed at
these words, and at the sight of Don Jose, with the
halter, or rather the strong lasso of hide round his neck,
the dwarf seeing their hesitation, turned on them a
PHIL THOlINDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
look of withering contempt, and pointed them out as
cowards, idiots, slaves of superstition !
Camarados," thus he concluded his harangue,
" leave to babes and women the exploded notion that
man is accountable for his actions "
My friends," said a clear powerful young voice,
with a foreign accent, you hear what this gentle-
man says, 'we are not accountable for our actions.'
Very good! since the gentleman says so, it must be true;
therefore, mark me, I am not accountable for what I am
doing now;" and springing on the platform, Phil
Thorndyke snatched up the dwarf in his strong grasp,
held him aloft for a moment, then shook him, regard-
less of his screams and struggles, till they sank into
stifled calls for mercy. There was an astounded silence
through the hall; even the convict-guards and provost-
marshal seemed paralyzed; then some one with a keener
sense of the ludicrous than the rest, burst into a loud
laugh; many more joined in it, and the prestige which
had kept them in awe of the hapless dwarf, vanished
never to return. Once and again, Phil, perceiving his
advantage, repeated this discipline, each time saying,
in a tone of calm contempt, Now, mark me, friends,
I am not accountable for this act; the gentleman says
so !" For the moment the revulsion of feeling was
complete. A Federal of advanced opinions, but not
devoid of honour and humanity, came forward, and
was listened to; many who had been disgusted by
El Nifio's liberation of the felons, eagerly embraced
the '-.1'! i,;l -.- of choosing a less disreputable leader;
a reprieve was granted to Don Jose and his fellow-
captives, and their arms were unbound, though a strict
guard was still placed over them. The dwarf, wild
with impotent rage and terror, still cowered under
Phil's grasp; but it must be confessed that Phil was
PHrL THORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
beginning to be seriously embarrassed how to dispose of
him; he felt that his own position was a most danger-
ous one, that it was hardly possible to retire from it
with dignity, or to keep it with safety, and that the
tide might, or rather must, turn against him very
But "the various turns of fate" that eventful
night were not yet exhausted. Hurrying feet were
heard rushing, as in flight, through the great square;
then the measured roll of drums, and the tread of sol-
diers marching rapidly, became audible. Phil saw, to
his comfort, the rabble rout begin to waver. Many
made their escape at once; others conferred together
in doubt and dismay. All seemed engrossed with the
care of their own safety-the most ferocious proving,
as ever, the most ..-.-- .1-. In this new phase of
affairs, Phil and his exploit seemed forgotten.
Senhor," Cruz whispered in his ear, "I believe
the danger is over. The Colonello Sandes is here with
his regiment from Rosario. The very name of Sandes
carries terror with it. We are saved, gracios a Dios."
"Gracios a Dies, indeed !" murmured Phil, with a
sigh of untold relief. "Now, Cruz, what shall we do
with this reptile ? He must not be left at large."
"Leave him to me, Senhor I will serve him as he.
served Don Jose."
And with great expedition Cruz gagged and bound
-El Nifio, and rolled him over into a dark recess
behind the platform. Phil then rejoined Mr. Cottrell,
whose silent pressure of his hand spoke volumes of
iti I. .... and joy. They agreed that it would be
madness to leave their present quarters while the town
continued to be in such a ferment so they sat down,
hungry and spent, yet comparatively light-hearted, and
awaited the dawn.
PHIL THOnNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
When the first rays of the sun peeped from behind
the shoulder of a wooded hill, they shone on many a sad
and shocking spectacle: houses and barracks burnt down,
streets strewn with fallen combatants, Federals and
Unitaires lying side by side; hearts that had throbbed
and hands that had wrestled fiercely, now cold and still.
" Brothers of Mercy," chanting mournfully, were carry-
ing the dead to hastily-dug graves, and the living to the
hospital. Many of the felons had fled to the woods, and
many more had been taken. The streets were almost
deserted, for the rebels by one consent had disappeared,
like biscachos, into their holes, and honest people dared
not yet come forth. Colonel Sandes, however, was
inspiring great confidence by the vigour of his pro-
ceedings, and people might be seen timidly "undoing
shutter, bolt, and bar," and even opening their shops.
After riding through every quarter of the city, giving
orders and seeing them carried out, he returned to the
fonda, and sat down with his officers to breakfast.
Our friend Don Jos6 and other leading loyalists were
with him, and after a short conference an officer was
despatched to invite Mr. Cottrell and Phil to join them.
He found them at Donna Benita's house, and
they at once went back with him, Phil promising Janet
to return speedily. At the door Don Jos6 met and
folded them in his stately embrace. He introduced
them to the Colonello," who received them with the
utmost kindness. In the presence of his ,.h.,...! he
complimented Phil on his quick wit and cool intre-
pidity. But for the young Senhor's promptitude and
daring," he added, "Don Jose's valuable life must have
been sacrificed. 'The road of by and by leads to the
house of Never,' says our Spanish proverb; Don Felipe
is in no danger of finding Li i ..,._ on that road." A
very exciting breakfast that was, continually inter-
PHIL THOlINDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
erupted by messengers from various parts of the town.
The news of El Niflo's discovery and capture was
brought and hailed with universal satisfaction.
Gentlemen," said the Colonel, "here are singular
tidings brought by the sergeant whom I sent with a
party of men to examine the prison. He tells me he
found every cell empty but one-the cell to which the
Federal agent, El Griso, had been consigned yesterday
morning. The prisoner was found there in a kneeling
attitude, with this little book, apparently an English
devotional one, on the table before him, open. His head
was resting upon it. Life had been extinct for several
hours. It appears probable that his death was caused
by some strong agitation of mind. It is a singular end
for a character so reckless. I learn that El Griso has a
wife and daughter, country people of yours, gentlemen,
for whom, if report speak true, you have no need to
blush. If I knew where to find them, I would make
over to them this book, and it' .:i, i:-. every facility for
burying their dead in peace."
Mr. Cottrell and Phil, a good deal shocked, accepted
the commission, and immediately took leave, repairing
in the first instance to the prison. It was no surprise
to them to find Father Benito there, and to learn that
his sister and Janet were within the cell. "We will
not hurry them," said the old man, compassionately;
" we will let her weep; truly she has much cause
Id Ih many tears those young eyes have shed prove,
like the heavy dews of morning on our sierras, the pre-
lude to a bright summer's day "
Three weeks later, the invalid mother and her child
met Mr. Cottrell and Phil, by appointment, at Buenos
Ayres. Cruz had escorted them thither, having been
considerately released by Mr. Cottrell from his en-
gagement to i,; i.-1, in order that he might serve his
IHIL T1ORNDYKE'S ADVENTURES.
beloved Donna Santos and her mother to the last
moment. The faithful gaucho keenly felt the parting
with them; he has, however, been well rewarded for
his kindness by obtaining, through Phil's mediation,
an excellent situation under the Keiths.
Janet and her mother sailed for England, under
Mr. Cottrell's escort, and within ten weeks of El
Griso's death, were i ...iI settled under his
brother's roof, to be the solace and delight of his life's
otherwise lonely autumn.
Lord Dalton expressed himself entirely satisfied
with the result of Mr. Cottrell's and his assistant's
botanical labours, and the new and sweet-scented
variety of amaryllis is a prime favourite with him.
Phil is now launched in life as a land-surveyor, and
is doing as well as heart could wish, both in point of
conduct and of success. He lives within thirty miles
of Lady Hayes, and is the light of his grandmother's
eyes as much as ever. Many happy days do the
Faulkners and he spend together under Mrs. Thorn-
dyke's roof, and though Janet's sweet face sometimes
grows pale at the recollections of anguish and fear
connected with the New World, yet oftener it gives
her deep delight to look back with Phil on the perils
and adventures they encountered together in the
~^ -1 -1 l" -
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
g- aalen th 9x VparUs.
BY MRS. S. C. HALL.
OR shame, James you ought to have been
away to the Pantiles half-an-hour ago,"
exclaimed Mrs. Leeson to her husband, as
she threw open the window of her dressing-
room, to inhale the rash of fresh sweet air that swept
from Mount Ephraim over the beautiful and varied
Common of Tunbridge Wells.
"You naughty Jim!" she continued. You
came here to drink the old-fashioned waters, and
imbibe the sweetest, freshest air in all-beautiful
England; you were commanded to go to bed early,
and to rise early, and it is now past seven."
Mrs. Leeson had left her room at six, bathed,
dressed, written a letter to her mother, and thought
it time to awaken Mr. Leeson, who, truth to. tell,
had no passion for early rising. He was either
ill, or imagined he was ill; and the one feeling is
almost as depressing as the other. He was fond
of children, but his had been a childless marriage,
which he considered particularly unfortunate, as he had
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
written a good deal on infant education, and very
nearly quarrelled with a cousin, who was rector of a
parish in Essex, because he would not adopt his
theories, and put them into practice in his admirably-
managed church school.
Mrs. Leeson had paused, and then half whispered to
herself, "Now, I will say something that I know will
stir him up, for he will not be able to avoid con-
tradicting it:-There is nothing so out of harmony
with the sight of a beautiful landscape as the laughter
and shouts of children."
There was a decided smile on her lips as she
turned her head towards the bedroom door, waiting
for the contradiction that did not come; but it faded
quickly away at the prolonged silence, and she walked
rapidly into the room.
Absolutely stolen a march on me!" she exclaimed.
" Up : and out, without my knowledge." And so, to
her astonishment, it actually was.
She put on her bonnet and shawl; but instead of
taking the road leading to the Town and the Wells, she
followed a little winding path-such a pretty path
-now half hidden by a thicket of golden furze, then
creeping in and out among those wonderful rocks
that give so much interest and beauty to the delightful
locality. The path then struck for a little way boldly
across the common, looking in the sunshine like a
band of silver set in emeralds, so deeply green was the
grass. Then it stole round a magnificent lime, the
parent of many spriggish little limes, which the young
cricketers sometimes attempted to appropriate. There
are two habits inseparable from boys of all ages-
cutting sticks and throwing stones. I say nothing of
their propensity for stuffing their pockets with twine,
and marbles, and every clean or unclean thing they
THlE RIFT IN THE 0OCK.
can force into those receptacles. But at that early
hour the common was free from boys. The birds
.and a few sheep had it to themselves. A little
further on was a single rock, split, as it were, by some
violent freak of nature, from the top to within about
three feet of the bottom. Before Mrs. Leeson reached
it, she perceived that a gentleman was examining the
fissure very intently, for he was stooping into it, so
that only his legs and waist, were visible. As she drew
nearer, she thought, Surely those are my husband's
legs. But what can he find to examine there ?"
Mrs. Leeson was right. The legs belonged to the
Rev. James Leeson, and he was stooping over some-
thing within the rift in the rock.
Although Mrs. Leeson was certain it was no other
than Mr. Leeson who was investigating the rift,
she stole almost on tip-toe close to him before
she spoke. She would have spoken sooner, but she
certainly heard a kitten mew. Some unfortunate
cat," quoth the little lady, "who has her kittens in the
bottom of the rift. I am sure of it. Well! let James
alone for finding out young animals. But positively I
will not have another cat in the house, and I will tell
him so at once. James," she exclaimed, "I have
found you out. Let the cat and her kittens alone. I
will not have another kitten in the house," she re-
peated, again and again. I told you so the last time
you brought home one in your fishing-basket, and cer-
tainly that kitten is growing the greatest torment that
ever entered the Vicarage." After a little pause, she
added, in a lower tone, I wonder he has not told me
it was not properly educated." She then advanced,
and with the handle of her parasol gave a little gentle
tap to Mr. Leeson's leg.
"You, Lucy !" he exclaimed, looking round, I
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
am so glad you are here. Give me your shawl, dear.
This is indeed fortunate."
"Give you my shawl!" she exclaimed; my
charming shawl to envelop a parcel of squalling
Kittens !" repeated the gentleman; who talked
of kittens but you ?"
Talk of kittens," repeated in her turn the lady.
" Why, not only have I heard the mew, but at this
moment there is a kitten's head cropping up close to
your elbow-such a fussy furry-headed kitten."
Mr. Leeson did not seem to heed his wife's words,
but dived deeper into the rift, and produced a bundle,
to which she now saw the kitten cling. Hold your
shawl, Lucy," said Mr. Leeson; and Mrs. Leeson, with-
out another word, unclasped her shawl. The next
moment she exclaimed, Why, dearest, there is a
baby, as well as a kitten! Oh, James, where did it
come from? Who does it belong to? What shall we
do with it? Let me look at its eyes; but it is too
stupid or sleepy to open them. What long, dark eye-
lashes it has. Oh, what a pretty little rosebud of a
All this time Mr. Leeson kept diligently enfolding
both kitten and baby in his wife's shawl; he seemed to
have a positive instinct as to how the baby should be
done up, and rolled it so carefully. The kitten's little
soft head, that looked like a ball of grey wool, poked
itself out, and nestled close to the baby's cheek--a
baby child and a baby kitten in a soft cashmere shawl
of many colours!
"And what are you going to do with them??"
questioned Mrs. Leeson, as her husband turned home-
"Do with them, my dear!" repeated Mr. Leeson.
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
Keep them-cherish the infant and not separate it
from its kitten. I consider it a providential gift. How
fortunate I got up early this morning, and stole out,
only thinking how I should surprise you. Suppose,
my dearest love-only suppose anyone else had dis-
covered it !-just imagine -only fancy this little angel
in the arms of a policeman, who would have taken it
"The station-house," added Mrs. Leeson. Sup-
pose we go there now, and set inquiries on foot to
discover its unnatural parents ?"
"To what purpose? they have been so heartless
as to abandon it, and are therefore unworthy of the
gift they received. But, on second thoughts, it is a
duty both to ourselves and this poor infant to set
inquiries on foot to discover, if possible, why it was
left here, it might be, to perish. Suppose, my dear, it
had rained last night?"
Now you must be told that though Mrs. Leeson
was really a kind amiable woman, and would give the
children her husband was very fond of inviting to
spend the day, or to take tea, any quantity of the best
preserves, and tarts, and "fingers," or "sweeties," yet
it was generally a relief to her when they went home.
She did not quite understand them, and she often
wondered how Mr. Leeson could keep up games with
them, hour after hour, and really long for a next
meeting. Moreover, she was very neat and exact in
her domestic arrangements, and had all things kept
in good order. She did not like her sofa cushions
tossed about, or her books and table-ornaments dis-
placed but after the retreat of what she playfully
called one of her husband's juvenile brigades," she
soon restored things to their proper places. As she
walked over the common, it must be confessed, she was
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
not well pleased at what certainly would be the result
if the parents of the poor infant were not discovered:
Mr. Leeson decidedly would adopt it. For some months
it would not be able to do any mischief; and once
when it opened its large soft eyes, instead of crying,
began to coo and laugh, and play in its fubsy aimless
way with the kitten's ears, Mrs. Leeson felt assured it
would not be a crying baby. A child in their house-
hold had so long been Mr. Leeson's desire, that
despite her dread at having such a new element
introduced into her home, the desire to please her
husband, aided by her own womanly instinct, overcame
her objections; and before they had arrived at the
garden gate, she had kissed the object of his solicitude,
said it was a dear little pet," and offered to carry it
into the house. But to this Mr. Leeson would not con-
,sent. His wife laughed, and told him he was like a
child with a new toy.
Mrs. Wilks, the landlady of the pretty house where
the Leesons lodged, was a fat, short, roley-poley of
a woman, blessed with such a sweet sympathetic face,
that every child who came near her wanted to kiss her
immediately. The dogs in Tunbridge Wells wagged
their tails when they caught sight of Mrs. Wilks, and
every cat set up its tail, purred, and sidled against her
dress, as she "waddled" along from shop to shop.
She used to say that when her first baby came, she was
afraid to handle it for fear of its head dropping off;
but before the number amounted to nine, all fear had
vanished, and she tumbled and tossed them about in a
way that was fearful to witness. She was never like
the little woman who lived in a shoe, and had so
many children, she did not know what to do." She
always knew what to do with them while they were
children, and the greater portion being boys, they had
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
been earlysent out into the world, and the girls (only two
out of nine were girls) had married; and poor .'... .Wilks
complained 1.ir-, 1 .-, that the eldest who had gone to
Australia had plenty of babies-" they were no comfort
to her; she could not get at them;" but 1'.'.1'.-, who
lived near her, was childless-that was her great
grief-she was so fond of babies, that had she been
consoled by i..:. ;....l,- nursing a grandchild, she
would have been the happiest little dumpling of a
woman" in Tunbridge Wells! The "coo," or the
"cry" of a baby alike arrested her attention, and
claimed her sympathy. She had a fair share of prac-
tice among her neighbours; for whenever an infant
was ill, or wanted to be taken care of for an hour or
two, Mrs. Wilks would be sure to be sent for, or it was
transmitted to her door, with the certainty of an affec-
tionate reception. But as she often explained, while
round tears coursed each other down her cheeks, it
was very nice, in a way, to have other people's darlings
to look after, and far better anybody's baby than no
baby; but still nothing was like one's own baby-it
was such a pity that babies could not be kept babies
for ever !"
The saucy lads and lasses of Tunbridge Wells
called her Mrs. Lovebaby," instead of Mrs.
Wilks," at which she pretended to be very angry;
but I believe she enjoyed the name, and she had cer-
tainly earned it. You must understand that it was
to babies Mrs. T7 ii' was so especially devoted;
when the nurslings were Ii'i-;,- on their feet, able to
run alone, and get into all sorts of mischief, Mrs.
Wilks withdrew her more particular attentions. She
had a pet phrase: "Excuse me-excuse me," she
would say; "but I am devoted to helpless innocents
only. As to the renegades that have the use of their
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
legs, and fists, and tongues, beyond giving them a
finger, or a biscuit, or some sweeties, excuse me,
but they are out of my care." She said this; but
every doctor in the neighbourhood threatened her
with punishment if she persisted in stuffing" her
neighbours' children, otherwise they admitted she
never treated them improperly.
Her house was the cleanest, her cook the best,
her attentions the most judicious of all who "let
apartments" in Tunbridge Wells; so you may judge
how more than pleased Mr. Leeson was at Mrs. Wilks'
delight when he showed her the treasure he had dis-
covered in the rift in the rock.
It really was a most fortunate circumstance for the
infant, that the landlady of their present residence
was not only fond of babies, but so well understood
how a baby ought to be managed.
Mrs. Leeson had great skill in birds, squirrels,
dormice, puppies and kittens; but she, as Mrs. Wilks
said, with a shrug approaching contempt, and a very
heavy sigh, was quite ignorant concerning babies. A
nice lady, too," as she observed-" mighty pretty to
look at, but no knowledge-no knowledge at all-quite
The introduction of this poor, deserted infant into
the house, gave Mrs. Wilks new life. Mr. Leeson-
whom she had described as a freaky sort of a gen-
tleman; who fancied he was sick-a sick man, indeed !
standing six foot one, weighing fourteen stone; eating
and drinking well, and saying he had a bad night's
rest unless he slept eight hours without a turn "-was
now elevated in his landlady's estimation, into a noble
gentleman, with more brains in his head than she ever
thought a gentleman's head could carry; it was beau-
tiful to see how he loved that sweet, deserted angel.
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
She only prayed that no one would ever find anything
out about it. What consequence was it to whom it be-
longed ? They did not care for it, the wicked, unnatural
brutes Police find out ? Not they; or if they did,
they were all fathers of families, and could tell when
a blessed baby had got a golden spoon in its precious
little mouth! They would not tell; they had human feel-
ings, and would not spoil the sweet innocent's fortune,
bless its little heart !" And then, after a moment's
pause, she would add, "Excuse me, but observe how
pretty it twiddles its dear fingers and toes, the
precious it wants to put its foot into its rosy posy cozy
of a mouth What a clever diamond it is, I never
saw so young a baby try to do that before !"
"Then, Mrs. Wilks," inquired Mrs. Leeson,
meekly, for she was conscious of her own ignorance;
"at what age should a baby put its foot in its
Oh, deary me !" replied the baby-lover. "Excuse
me, but it's wonderful to see how a lady like you knows
so little about humankind. You know how old pup-
pies and kittens ought to be when their eyes open, and
when young birds should take the wing, and yet you
don't know-bless its little heart, how it sucks its
little fist! and there's a kick it will find its feet in
Find its feet !" repeated Mrs. Leeson; "why, it
has not lost them."
Mrs. Wilks cast another contemptuous glance at
poor Mrs. Leeson, who at the moment was longing
to open the baby's eyes to ascertain their colour.
" Dear madam, excuse me, but do let its eyes alone;
the lashes are black, but the bit of hair on its head
is brown. It has lovely large hazel eyes-exactly
like your own, madam !-a sweet baby; and, I must
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
say, has been well washed and tended, though deserted
at the last."
Its age for some time was a matter of serious
dispute; but as one tiny tooth was making its way
through its gum, Mrs. Wilks' opinion as to its being
about five months, settled the question.
Whether asleep or awake the baby would not
relinquish the kitten's companionship. Sometimes
pussy wanted a frolic on its own account; but though
the infant's eyes would follow its movements, and it
would even laugh at its gambols, yet soon the lip
drooped, and her little arms were held out to receive
the truant. The kitten also was in good condition, and
had been well cared for; it really was a bonny little
cat, with those peculiar blue eyes, that often indicate
deafness; but this pussy was not deaf-not it, indeed;
it had even more than cat-quickness in everything.
Of course the finding of this child created a sen-
sation in the neighbourhood. Before mid-day, Mr.
and Mrs. Leeson, particularly Mr. Leeson, had selected
for it a greater store of garments than it could require
for the next twelve months, and the proprietor of the
baby-linen warehouse wished that babies could be lost
and found on their beautiful common every morning of
the month. Romantic young ladies wandered over
Tunbridge common, and even invaded the more sacred
precincts of the "high rocks," poking their parasols
into every rift that could hardly conceal a swallow,
in the hope that they, too, might discover a baby The
police were more than usually energetic, the inspector
himself inspecting the baby and the kitten with great
gravity, and such numbers calling to make inquiries
about the little stray, who had found such friends, that
at last Mrs. Wilks locked the gate, and refused ad-
mittance to any one she did not know. Excuse me,"
THE RIF'T IN THE BOOK.
was her reply, but babies must sleep, and if the pre-
cious creature was shown to everyone who is so good
as to be curious about it, which is only natural, I
might as well bring the dog-kennel round to this front
gate, and seat myself and the baby in it, from sunrise
to sunset, and something I [...ie and after--. Have
we heard who it belongs to, did you ask, madam ? No,
madam, we have not; and you'll excuse me, but I hope
we never shall. I consider it like a female Moses in
the bulrushes, discovered by one far better than any
princess of Egypt. Not a bit of a black-a-moor, but a
fair-faced E l.,1;1- gentleman, a Christian cl.. i.:IL,.
with a heart as tender as a chicken's, and a banker's
book as thick as Johnson's Dictionary, -._ ...i. those
mean abridgments came into fashion to please the
spectacle-makers and eye-doctors. Yes, he is every
inch a gentleman, and his wife's another-- You'll
excuse me, ladies, but I'm wanted," added the good
woman, half closing the door; "I said to Mrs. Leeson
to-day, I said baby must have an 'at home day' like
the rest of the gentry. That will be the only plan to
satisfy the visitors. She cannot receive at all times,
for babies are only babies after all, either .. .. ., or
after teething," and Mrs. Wilks made her dip curtsey,
and shut-to the hall door with more than her usual
determination that it should keep shut.
"A pack of aid- ,if, madam," she said to Mrs.
Leeson. You'll excuse me, but there wasn't one of
them fit to wipe our baby's shoes-when she gets
them! Vulgar curiosity, which I hate. I'll lose the
key of the. front gate, and you won't mind, madam,
going through the garden to the back gate, until the
excitement dies out. Wombwell's 1.1.:,,.-,. comes
to-morrow, madam, and they were talking this morning
at the butcher's about a donkey with two heads; that
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
will draw off the attention of the people from our baby
-indeed, one lady in the shop said she would not be
surprised if it was discovered that some of the Womb-
wells had left the precious creature in the rift! There's
nothing," she added, "some people won't say, particu-
larly when they have nothing to tell."
Still, even after the excitement had died out,"
the event was talked of, and Mrs. Wilks, when par-
ading up and down, "baby's" embroidered cloak
floating gracefully over her arm (it was short-coated
immediately), and its mite of a face and pretty bonnet
covered with a white gauze handkerchief, that also
overshadowed by a pale green parasol, the best for
its sweet eyes, the precious "-Mrs. Wilks was fre-
quently stopped by her neighbours, anxious to know
how "baby" got on; and Mrs. Wilks' invariable reply,
with its preface of Excuse me, madam," was, "I may
say she is flourishing. The sweetest tempered babe I
ever had on my arm. No, madam, not yet christened;
its friends are still waiting, and as I say may wait.
Yes; she is never happy without her kitten. Excuse
me, ladies, but you must not uncover her face, it
might wake her; some other time, when she is taking
her morning walk; happy to show it then."
Mr. Leeson felt it rather hard that his systems and
plans for nursing should be so completely set aside,
and even snubbed by Mrs. Wilks. She only let him
have 'the baby at stated times; he really was enthusi-
astic in his love for babies. Men, in general, like
babies when they are sufficiently old to enter into
bo-peep, or, better still, a game of romps; but he took
to them from the very first squall," and was never
afraid of their heads dropping off, or any accident
occurring, and such of his lady friends as were
blessed with babies, always trusted them to Mr. Lee-
son without a cautious, Don't let it fall."
THE RTFT IN THE ROCK.
Time passed, as it always does, whatever we may
think-swiftly; but, despite all exertions and inquiries,
no light was thrown on the mystery of the rift in
the rock. Once, indeed, Mr. Leeson and Mrs. Wilks
feared that one of its parents might be discovered.
A respectable-looking woman, who said she resided
near Canterbury, called at Mrs. Wilks, and asked,
not to see the baby, but the kitten. She had heard
of a baby and a kitten being found in a rift of the
rock on the Tunbridge Wells common, and was
curious to see the kitten. At first, when the animal
was brought f... !. she shook her head, but after a
moment, she explained that she had forgotten kittens
would grow. Yes; she believed the kitten had been
hers, but she had sold it. This was her story:-
Her Angora cat had kittens-one' black and
white, and this one grey-like Chinchilla: its mother
was grey. The cat and her kittens lay in a basket in
the window of her little parlour. She was very fond
of, as well as proud of, her cat. She did not attempt
to deny it. She was not a rich woman; and though
no sum would tempt her to part with her cat, she had
no objection to sell her kittens, and there was a pretty
little flag-a pink silk flag-waving over the basket,
with these words-" To be sold "-embroidered on it.
"She did not," she said, like doing things in a
common manner." She had observed a tall, thin
foreign-looking gentleman looking in at the window,
and once he stopped, and, as it were, flirted his fingers
at the kittens. He passed away, but the next day he
came again; and this time he knocked at the door
and inquired the price of the grey kitten. He told me
that his baby was very fond of a kitten that had come
with it from abroad, but it had died, and nothing
could pacify her. She was restless all day and all
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
night for want of her kitten. So he thought, as my
kitten was like that which had died, it was possible
his little Milly might take to it."
Mr. and Mrs. Leeson and Mrs. Wilks at once
caught at the name.
Milly Was she certain he had said Milly ? "
Yes," she was certain. She remembered the
name because she loved it. A dear child of her own
had been called Milly."
He haggled," continued the stranger, a good
deal about the price, and at last I said, 'I am sure
if your baby's mamma was here, seeing that it is to
pacify the darling, she would not grudge what I ask
for the kitten.' And then ho answered her mother
died the day after she was born.
"'Poor little dear,' I said; 'then I am sure its
father would not grudge anything to give it plea-
Its father,' he replied, died three months
before its birth! '
Oh dear, dear !' I exclaimed, 'then you are
not its father ?': And ho answered, 'No; it is in my
care. I am its nearest relative.'
"Well, at last we agreed about the price, and
he took the kitten away with him; and I was well
pleased, for he stroked it gently. He had a gentle
way with him, though a sly look, and I ventured to
say, 'I should like to see if the poor parentless baby
would take to the new kitten.' But he took no notice
of that, but continued stroking it, and walked away."
The woman remembered the date of the day
she sold the kitten, and it was ten days previous to
that on which the child had been i.I Lu.,l with her little
puss-friend in the rift in the rock.
Here was a clue, at all events. Mrs. Leeson re-
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
other child; though she would generously give up
her playthings, or indeed anything she had, to amuse
her juvenile visitors, yet a very unpleasing expression
would disfigure her pretty face if Mr. or Mrs. Leeson
bestowed caresses or smiles upon them. She did not
object to their giving presents to other children, but
she was made unhappy if they were petted or praised
by "papa, mamma, or Uncle George." As she grew
older, this jealousy painfully increased. One morning
Lucy Crail came bounding into the room, full of glee
and mirth, and after bestowing sundry kisses on her
friend Milly, invited her to spend her birthday with her.
You must come, Ii' '," said her energetic friend.
"We shall have lots of pleasure, and you must come
early. You and Lady Kate Bufoy, and Carry Langdale,
mamma says, are to spend the whole day, and they
are to bring their ponies, and my birthday present is
to be a lovely cream-coloured pony, with black mane
and tail, side-saddle, bridle and all. We begin our
sports by riding round the lawn for an hour. Baye
you a pony ?"
"No," answered Milly. "I have only Jenny, and,
as you know, she is the sweetest donkey that ever was
"Born i" interrupted Lucy, laughing. "Now, if
my brother Ned was here, he would call you 'very
green to talk about a donkey being born You should
'It is much the same thing," said Milly, in a
rather offended tone.
"What a funny thing you are, Milly But one of
us will lend you a pony for a canter; you will not be
able to endure the little short pit-a-pat of a donkey,
when once you have had a good canter on a pony.
But perhaps you would be afraid ?"
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
Afraid !" repeated Milly (it is not polite to repeat
a last word), "afraid! Why, I rode Uncle George's
Brown Bess three miles "
"Oh, yes," retorted Lucy, "but Brown Bess is a
pokey old thing; only she does very well for Mr.
George, who is so blind."
Now, any allusion to her dear, kind, uncle's infirmity
distressed '.l1i She knew he was nearly blind, but
she could not bear to think it, or say it, or hear it said.
She felt herself colour up to the roots of her hair,
neck, face, and brow, and tears filled her great grey
eyes. "Something," fortunately, "hurt her throat,"
or she might have said what would have been rude,
particularly in her own home, and at the moment Mrs.
Leeson entered. She kissed Lucy, thanked her for
her kind invitation to Milly (which Lucy had re-
peated), and said she should certainly accept it. She
asked Lucy to play something on the piano, and she
complied at once, picking out the notes of her tune in
the stiff way children do at the beginning. After she
had finished, Mrs. Leeson said to Milly-
Ever since your fingers were strong enough to
press the keys you have learned music, Milly, yet we
are obliged to ask you again and again to play when
any stranger is present. Lucy's readiness in .:.-]i.-p-,
ing at once with my request made the little air she
played doubly charming."
My mamma always says," quoth Lucy, that no
little girl's music is worth asking for twice."
There, Milly, you hear that ?" said Mrs. Leeson.
And she kissed Lucy again.
Poor Milly Her jealousy mounted higher and
higher. She turned, and looked out of the window
until she felt she could speak, and then she said,
" She was very much obliged to Lucy, but she would
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
rather not go. She wished her many happy returns
of her birthday all the same."
That was said in a tremulous voice.
Oh, but, Milly, you must come," exclaimed Lucy;
" and then I will come to you on your birthday, and
we shall all be so jolly."
Poor Milly, this was unfortunate. She became
quite pale, and hung her head.
Milly," repeated Lucy, "you must come. Mrs.
Leeson, please tell her she must come," repeated Lucy
again and again.
Mrs. Leeson, with her usual tenderness, stooped to
kiss Milly, but the child jerked herself angrily away,
and rushed out of the room.
"I did not mean to say anything to vex her," said
Lucy, whose bright black eyes were suddenly suffused
with tears. "We heard that you had not been well,
and were going abroad to some foreign baths. And
mamma said she hoped Milly would come and stay
"Thank your mamma very much," replied Mrs.
Leeson, but Mr. Leeson's brother will be here. He
never could bear children until Milly came, and now
he is never happy without her. She must stay with
him, and be his little housekeeper."
"But will that not be very dull for Milly-all day
long attending to an almost blind gentleman."
Where there is love there can be no dullness,"
answered Mrs. Leeson.
Very soon Lucy went home, and Mrs. Leeson
found Milly in her own room, weeping as if her heart
would break. In reply to Mrs. Leeson's questions, she
sobbed out, "I am happier at home. I don't want
to go anywhere-and-and-you kissed Lucy sweeter
than you kiss me-now! And why did she talk about
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
my birthday ?-every little girl in the world but I has
a birthday. She must know I have no birthday. All
the people know it-and some pity me-others-"
and unable to find words for her thoughts, with a
violent burst of grief, Milly flung il.:1: I'-I into Mrs.
Leeson's arms, sobbing again and again. You don't
kiss me sweet, and love me dearly, as you used to do!"
This was the most convincing proof of the poor
girl's jealous nature Mrs. Leeson had received; and it
gave her great pain. She showed her she had no
proof whatever that her affection had diminished; on
the contrary, it had increased, and would increase still
more, if she combated this feeling-a feeling that, if
encouraged, would embitter her life.
"I do not see why any one should pity you, dear
Milly; your birthday to us, my dearest child, has been
the day dear papa found you in the rift in the rock-
you and poor Pedro, who is now a sober old gentle-
man, while you, when you are good, are still a fiolick-
some, happy child. I could not date that, however,
as the day of your birth, which I do not know-because
it would not be true. Mrs. Wilks told you the story
of your discovery long before we intended you should
know it; and certainly it ought to make you love us
more than if we had been really your parents."
Yes, I do love you dearly, dearly, you and papa
and Uncle George," still sobbed the girl, dearly I love
you. Only one of the children, at Mrs. Lane's, where
I spent last Monday, got jealous, because I kept up
the shuttlecock longer than she did, and called me a
foundling; and her mamma heard her, and was very
angry, and turned her out of the room; and no one
would tell me what a foundling was, and-and, I was
afraid to ask you, because I thought it was something
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
Mrs. Leeson kissed the child tenderly. No,
darling, it means nothing naughty; it only means a
child that, being lost or deserted, is found--"
"As I was in the rift in the rock," interrupted
Milly, brightening up. Surely that is nothing
naughty; I was too little to lose myself there; but
she looked so spiteful when she said it, all because I
kept up the shuttlecock seventy-two times; and she
could only do so twenty-four."
That was jealousy, darling. See how unjust and
hard it makes those who yield to it. She was jealous,
and found something to say which she thought would
give you pain; she had no right to do so-indeed
whether deservedly or not, we have no right to return
pain for pain. You know, I think, who it was that,
when He was reviled, reviled not again."
"Yes; Uncle George told me long ago," answered
I'ilI looking very serious.
"We are all subject, my darling, to many evil
tempers and passions. I believe that which works
the most evil to ourselves and others is jealousy. It
was j-. ,l..u-_ which caused that child to say to you
what she hoped would vex you, in revenge for such
a silly thing as keeping up a shuttlecock longer
than she could do. Jealousy is very insidious; it
creeps into the heart when not so big as a grain of
mustard seed, and grows and grows, and swells, until
it displaces and distorts everything, and is the cause
of evil to all within its sphere. Sometimes it causes
tears to ..*. i-.1 .. eyes that should beam with cheerful-
ness and happiness; at other times it flushes cheek and
Please, mamma dear," interrupted Milly, don't
say any more. That's me, I know."
"That is curious English, darling; but I under-
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
stand what you wish me to understand. You confess
that you are a jealous-pated little monkey, and do not
like to have your mamma, papa, or Uncle George, pet
or love, even in a small degree, any other child. I
saw you, last night, push down old Pedro from
papa's knee, and seat yourself in his place. Poor old
Mamma, I do not-indeed I do not-think I was
jealous of Pedro; but I do like to-to-"
"To what, dearest ?"
To be sure you love me best of all the world."
"Then, Milly, I do not."
"No; I love your papa better."
Milly changed colour. She even grew pale, and
"And papa loves you better than he does me?"
"I have never asked him, but I suppose he does."
"But, mamma, would this be so if I was your own,
own child ?"
"I believe it would. But we are capable of giving
very different degrees of love without one affection in
the least subtracting-that is, taking away-from the
other; and this is seen in the animal world. Kittens
and puppies each receive the same amount of atten-
tion and Itt...i..u from their parents, and I do not
think they quarrel with each other about which re-
ceives the greater number of licks-which, as you
know, is the animal kiss. At present, your jealousy
is simply silly; but take care. If it grows and in-
creases, it will be a source of continued pain, both
to you and to us. I think I have given proof to
my dear Milly that I love her dearly; and if she
looks back at the past, she may well trust us for the
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
Mrs. Leeson then told Milly she was going away
for health's sake, and when she returned, she hoped
to find that she had been loving and obedient to
Uncle George, and tried hard to conquer her jealous
Milly parted from Mr. and Mrs. Leeson with deep
sorrow. The invitation she had refused was not re-
peated then but after a lapse of some time, during
which Lucy frequently called on her, and they under-
stood each other better, she graciously accepted one
to another little fete, though she did not like to leave
Uncle George even for half a day. Her devotion to
him was admired by every one, more particularly as
his blindness was rapidly increasing-so much so, that
as his brother's and Mrs. Leeson's return was, he told
Milly, "unavoidably postponed," he engaged a clergy-
man to perform the service in Alderly Church.
Uncle George drove with Milly to her young
friends', and they agreed to walk home in the moon-
light, as the juvenile party was to separate at eight
o'clock. What would town-bred little girls say to such
early hours ?
One of Lucy's friends, Carry Langdale, was so ill-
bred and narrow-minded, that she ,!i,:.t. .. to sympa-
thize with Milly for having "no parents of her own,
own;" and asked her "if, when she went to Tun-
bridge Wells, did she ever look at the rift in the rock'
where she was found ?"
Milly had sufficient self-command to answer that
Papa and !I.-i11m1, Leeson were to her as own, own
parents; and that she always went to look at the 'rift'
when she went to Tunbridge Wells, and called it 'her
Carry Langdale, who certainly desired to torment
Milly, called out to her, when Lucy insisted that she
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
should have a canter with the other young ladies,
" That she could not be expected to manage a pony,
who never was accustomed to ride anything better than
a donkey !"
Milly sprang into the saddle without replying, and,
giving Creamy her head, soon distanced the other
The lawn was of considerable extent, surrounded
by a carriage-drive. On one side was a delicious
shrubbery, extending to a wood, which in the spring-
time was almost carpeted by lovely wild flowers;
while on the other side of the drive was a sloping
bank, terminated by a pond, so extensive that
in the winter it was the refuge of a variety of wild
fowl, while a pair of magnificent swans claimed it as
their home. Milly cantered on, and the exhilaration of
the exercise repressed the tears her susceptible feelings
had called forth. The memory of one of her mamma's
maxims refreshed her, Never be ashamed of the
"Why," she thought, should she be ashamed of
having been discovered in the rift in the rock, or of
riding a donkey ? She would show Carry she was not
ashamed of either," and at the moment she arrived
at this laudable determination, a piercing shriek struck
on her ear, rapidly followed by another. Looking
back, she saw that Lady Kate had reined up her pony
on the edge of the green bank, and heard her call as
loudly as her weak voice permitted, Help, help i" and
below in the water was the other pony, apparently
enjoying a :'.v-; i -1..I I-i towards the opposite shore,
while Carry Langdale was -.li '.i._ !1_ in the water,
and the swans, resenting the intrusion on their terri-
tory, were flapping their wings, and approaching Carry
as fast as they could. Swift as lightning Milly turned
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
Creamy and rode to the rescue. The canter sprang into
a gallop, back over the drive, and then down the bank,
and splash into the water. She managed to keep her
seat, though she bent from the saddle, and seizing
Carry's long floating hair, she lifted her head out of
the water. Lady Kate, a delicate fragile little thing,
did not attempt to enter the pond, but never ceased
screaming, and this attracted the attention of one of
the gardeners, who soon relieved Milly of her burden,
and laid the fainting form of Carry Langdale on the
grass. By this time Lucy, and her mamma and the
servants had arrived, and Carry quickly recovered.
Well," exclaimed the gardener, that young
lady owes her life to Miss Leeson. How she did hold
her head up to be sure If she had let go, the swans
would have been a-top of her; and if they did not
drown her all out, they'd have battered her sore. They
broke the leg of James Lowrey's setter, who only went
on t'other side for a bathe, poor brute, and is in splints
ever since. Them swans are warlike to man and beast,
when the laying season is on."
Neither of the young ladies could tell how the
accident occurred; it was the work of a moment. Of
course Milly was praised, alfd caressed, and thanked,
and exalted into a heroine, and modestly asserted that
Creamy deserved the greater praise.
"If," repeated Milly over and over again, "she
had been restive, or kicked, or turned, or had done any-
thing but what she did, I should not have been able to
hold Miss Langdale up."
Carry threw her arms round the neck of her pre-
server. There was great contrast in the size of the
two girls. Milly was slight and ui:.1-*l:-l -_i.. 17 and
gracefully formed. Her uncle George used to say she
was an Italian greyhound of a girl;" but Carry was
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
stout and strong, unrefined in looks and manner,
and so inclined to say and do what was rude and
painful, that she was no favourite with her play-
In the evening she came to where Milly had kept
up a game of cup and ball with Lucy for a long time,
each laughing and enjoying it. Carry stood quietly by,
looking from one to the other, as the balls flew up
and down. When it was decided in Lucy's favour,
Carry advanced and took hold of Milly's hand, and
laid it on her own.
Such a tiny hand," she said; not half as large
as mine; and yet I do not think mine could have held
on as yours did if it had been twined in your hair, and
you as heavy as I am. It's very queer, I never liked
you until now, for Nichols, my maid, you know, said
' you were not a born lady, and she wondered'--"
"For shame, Carry !" interrupted Lucy, "how can
you hurt Milly's feelings, and repeat the impertinent
words of a servant ? My mamma would not permit such
observations to be made on my friends. She would
discharge any maid who presumed to speak in such a
"It may be," said Milly-and she drew up her
slight form to its full height-" it may be that I am
not born a lady, and it may be that I am. Time may
tell, or may not. I do not wish to visit any one,
and my papa and mamma would not, I know, like
any one to come to see me, who would think meanly of
me, because I was found in a rift of a rock on the
common of Tunbridge Wells. I have been ashamed
of it because I have been whispered about and pointed
at, as if I had no right to be where I am. But Uncle
George told me, only last evening, he thought all
that has happened to me proves I am cared for
THE EIFT IN THE ROCK.
by God, and that HE led papa to find me, and put
it into all their hearts to love me. I do not care for
any other love."
"Oh, Milly !" was exclaimed by the young voices
of all around her. Oh, Milly do not say that."
We have all snubbed her a bit at times," ex-
claimed another little voice, "but we love her now."
"I shall never forget," said Lady Kate, "how
she dashed into the water, and hung from the saddle
and caught Carry's hair, for her head and face were
under the water-indeed they were-and held her.
Oh it was wonderful !"
If praise could have filled a young heart, Milly
had abundance of it during that half-hour, and she
certainly was gratified. But her young heart" beat
more quickly when Uncle George came for her, and
was surrounded by the children, all vying with each
other who should tell the first tale of Milly's bravery.
It was very charming to feel his hand on her head,
and to feel that he drew the head close, and more
closely to his heart, and kept it there; and then,
when hand in hand, they walked home in the moon-
light, she guiding his footsteps with so much tender-
ness and care, watching so that he avoided the large
stones, and holding back the entrance-gate-the
heavy entrance-gate-with such firm hands, though
Uncle George said he thought she could not do it.
All this was delightful, more than delightful-for he
made her tell all about Carry's rescue, and inquired
how it came into her head to do such a thing,
and was she sure she had not strained her back, or
sprained her wrists by such exertion. She could not
tell how it came into her head; and as to her wrists,
she was sure they would like to do it again.
The moon made it seem like a tranquil day, it was
THE RIPT IN THE ROCK.
so bright as they paused in the pretty porch of the
Vicarage. The noble oak, whose branches spread
over the lower part of the lawn, cast its shadows on
the grass; but despite the thickness of its foliage,
what looked like little silver arrows of moonlight shot
through them-now glistening, and the next moment
Good !" said Uncle George, as he sate down in his
favourite corner of the porch. Indeed, that porch might
have been called a "flower drawing-room." It faced
the south, and the sides and roof were glazed. Winter
and summer roses, and --rIi fl. ., and such beautiful jas-
mines put forth buds and blossoms there, regardless of
the season. Indeed, frequently when snow rested on
its roof, and cr-- t-1i .-., the trees, the roses within its
shelter laughed the winter to scorn, and blushed and
bloomed, looking more fresh and "rosy" than in sum-
mer, from the contrast that existed between the within
and the without.
Mr. George's corner" was chosen because in
the daytime there was abundant light, without the
glare of sunshine; there were also a table and a low
garden-seat that Milly claimed as her own, where Uncle
George sate down. l Iil -- I:. soon seated nearly at his
feet; her old cat had been watching for his mistress,
and was quickly purring on her knee. The group
would have made a pretty picture. Uncle George
had removed his hat, the air felt so soft and balmy,
and a direct line of light rested on his placid brow.
Milly saw it, and watched it with a feeling almost
approaching to reverence. The light seemed to her
young imagination to come direct from heaven; his
soft brown hair, silvered more by itilT.i than by
time, looked like a pale glory in the lovely light; and
she wished-as indeed she always wished when she
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
saw anything beautiful-that dear papa and mamma
had been there to see it also.
Uncle," she said, after a longer pause than usual
-for Milly's tongue was very active in general-
"uncle, shall you be able, do you think, to tell
them when they come home that I have not been a
naughty-that is, a very naughty-girl, during their
Uncle," she continued, do you think I am as
jealous as I used to be ? "
I cannot tell, Milly; you have had nothing to be
jealous of lately, unless you are jealous of my petting
Pedro; but you may have something to excite your
jealousy soon, and then you can come and ask me the
"What is it, Uncle George? inquired Miilly, in a
tone of anxiety.
Well, dear, I will not tell you just yet. You must
"Dear uncle exclaimed Milly, flinging her arms
round Uncle George's neck, do tell me what it is,
and I will not tell, indeed I won't.
"I shall not have any sleep to-night," she added,
plaintively, and I am so very, very tired. I shall be
thinking all night what the secret can be, and fret
myself to death guessing."
"Do not do that, Milly."
"Do what, uncle?"
"Fret yourself to death before morning. Who
would give us breakfast-old Pedro? "
"Now you are laughing at me, Uncle George."
Indeed I am not. I should never know the right
proportion of cream to put with Pedro's milk."
"I do not think you would," replied the girl,
laughing in earnest.. "But if I am not to know, I
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
think we had better have prayers and go to bed;
though I know I shall not sleep, thinking of this
Uncle George's memory was enriched by such a
number of beautiful prayers, that Milly said he could
repeat two or three new ones every day in the year,
and, as she grew older, she began to believe that he
made them, as she confided to Mrs. Wilks, every one
out of his own head." Milly always opened the Bible
with becoming reverence, morning and evening, and
read whatever chapter her uncle desired, and then he
All persons, rich and poor, who came to the Vicar-
age, were impressed by Milly's tender, watchful care
of her uncle; it was such a curious mixture of childish
playfulness and womanly wisdom. She anticipated
his every wish, and did everything possible to enliven
the loneliness of his blindness, as the clouds thickened
over his large, affectionate eyes.
She watched and caught at every opportunity to
cheer him by little playful details of what either had
taken place, or was about to take place. She was
grave or gay, as suited best his mood, yet always tried
by every means in her power to enliven him; and what
proved more than anything else how she endeavoured
to conquer the jealousy which, as she grew older, she
felt was the great fault of her nature, was, that she
invited constantly one or other of her little friends to
share her care and endeavours to amuse and interest
him. This, Milly, at times, felt to be a severe trial,-she
would rather have had him all to herself; yet she did
not shrink from it, though, when alone, she could not
restrain the tears she could hardly account for. It
was a hard trial to see any one do anything for her
uncle that she could do. In the absence of those
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
parents who had adopted her into their hearts and
home, he was dearer to her than ever.
Poor Milly! Often and often when those who
thought about her at all would have believed her to
be fast asleep, the child was seated at her bed-room
window gazing up at the stars, and wondering if they
were really worlds, and if they were peopled; and
could they be heaven ? and were her dear, as she called
them, "first parents" there? You see, she was what
would be called a romantic child, as only" children
But it is right to record what blessings came from
that long and close companionship of old and young.
As his infirmity increased, the more pleasure Uncle
George experienced from the society of the grate-
ful and affectionate child. Youth owes a wealth of
information and happiness to its elders and teachers,
but they also owe a great deal to their own children,
or the children of friends. There is a breezy freshness
about children-I mean children who are not spoiled
by early frivolity, affectation, or that blight of this
age, "fastness." I do not know anything more re-
freshing than the playfulness and up-springing intelli-
gence of a bright child. And Uncle George hardly
felt his blindness when Milly read or played to him,
or visited "his poor," as he lovingly called the cot-
tagers of his brother's parish. Then his mind was so,
stored with such a variety of beautiful knowledge-I
do not mean school-book knowledge, though that is
very valuable-but he knew such lovely poems, and
such pretty stories. And if he thought his little
favourite had been rather hard-worked over a long
sum, or had a rather long lesson from Miss Crossy at,
the piano or the globes, he would walk her off ath
another favourite seat, beneath the grand old oak, to
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
the end of the lawn, which I told you looked so beau-
tiful in the moonlight, and tell her charming fairy
But even then Milly had a serious trouble during
the first month or two of the absence of Mr. and Mrs.
Leeson. Whenever there was a word in their letters
to Uncle George which he could not decipher, even
with his strongest glasses, he gave the letter to her
to make it out; but since then, when poor Uncle
George's difficulty of sight increased so that he could
not read the letters at all, instead of asking Milly to
do so, or to answer them, he went to an old friend, a
Mr. Herbert, who resided in a lovely dell, near the
picturesque church of Gausworthy, called Herbertlea,
and employed his eyes to read, and his hand to reply
to those letters.
It was a great trial to Milly when Uncle George
would lay the foreign letters beside his plate at break-
fast, and tell I.Ill- to order the pony-chaise, as he
must drive over to Herbertlea.
Uncle-perhaps there is a little letter inside that
Well, dear, if there is I will give it you when I
return from Herbertlea."
"Well, darling ?"
Could you not look now ?"
"I used sometimes to read the letters, or bits of
them, for you."
Yes-but I do not wish you to read them now;
there is a reason for it. I will tell you all it is fitting
you should know of the contents when I return from
After such a little scene as this, Milly would go to
THTE RIFT IN TIHE ROCK.
her own room, and indulge in a flood of indignant
tears ; and often a painful idea would take hold of her
mind. Oh, if Uncle George was my own born uncle,
and Papa and Mamma Leeson my own born papa and
mamma, they would let me see all their letters. Oh,
they do not love me as if I was their own, own!
Why need Uncle George go to that Mr. Herbert! I
wish there was no such place in the world as Herbert-
lea! No, they are 'long away, and are t ..0!.-Zi.f',g to
love their little adopted child; and Uncle George trusts
that Mr. Herbert more than he does me "
You see, though dear Milly was not as jealous
as she used to be, still she was given to jealousy. It
was so very .- foolish. ('i;i:i.:, seldom read their
parents' correspondence; it is not withheld from them
from any lack of love or want of confidence, but be-
cause the letters they receive contain matters beyond
their comprehension, or the secrets of friends. There
are few things more sacred than a letter, and the
young seldom understand the silence and f1'. V1-.- with
which a letter should be received.
When Uncle George returned from Herbertlea he
gave Milly a little note-a cobweb note," she II. 1
it, the paper was so very thin. "There, d .;,''
he said, "I think, judging from my own letter, you
may find something new and interesting in that--"
Milly curled herself up on the window-seat-which
was always called hers, though indeed it was divided
between her and Pedro-Pedro occupying one corner
and Milly the other, while her work-basket and books
and sundry belongings filled up the centrc-prepared
to enjoy mamma's letter. As. she opened it her small
fingers trembled with joy-it was so long and so full;
but before she had read it half through she sprang
up, rushed across the room, and throwing her arms
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
round Uncle George, burst into loud sobs-sobs so
violent as to be almost convulsions. Uncle George
was alarmed. Those to whom the blessing of sight is
denied never feel their helplessness so painfully as
when the knowledge of how much they could do if
the heavy cloud of blindness had not rested on them,
comes to them suddenly.
Uncle George entreated Milly to be calm, inquired
again and again the cause of her agitation, soothing
her by every means in his power; but she did not
reply, though at last her sobs became less violent, and
at intervals she exclaimed, Oh, uncle! oh, dear uncle !
I shall never be happy again, never be happy again.
You will all forget to love me. I could not bear it,
indeed I could not. It's no use to try; of course-their
love-your love-must leave me." A long pause. "I
can go to Mrs. Wilks; I will go and be her little
maid. And I do love you all so dearly. I daresay
she is much better than I am." There were pauses,
some longer, some shorter, between these sentences;
pauses with sobs, which however died away, leaving the
poor child in a state of exhaustion, her eyes and lips
swollen, and her little frame trembling with emotion.
Then she reproached Uncle George, saying he must
have known it. Oh, yes, he was sure to know it. Yet
never to tell. Oh, it was so cruel, cruel! "
Now, Milly," said her kind uncle, taking both her
hands in his, what is cruel ? "
'"Why this is. You all of you bring me up, as if I
was your own child, and now they bring another home,
a foreigner, I daresay, that will speak French and eat
frogs, and think it will give me great pleasure. Give
me pleasure, indeed !-a strange child to come and
steal their hearts away. I shall hate it !"
"Milly exclaimed Uncle George, in a tone of
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
serious displeasure, "is it possible you can feel and
express anything so wicked? Hate it; hate v- il
they desire you should love ? But you will find it im-
possible to do so; nay, you will, I am sure, be inclined
to look upon it with too much affection, to make ex-
cuses for its faults, to expect it to be loved, and treat
it perhaps with more consideration than it deserves."
I am sorry to say that Milly repeated, "I shall
Oh, Milly, I am ashamed of you."
Poor Milly, she read and re-read the letter, and
not only herself passed a most unhappy day, but made
-all in the house unhappy.
After tea, when Milly had in a degree recovered
her self-control, Uncle George asked her to read him
one of his favourite chapters, and when that was
finished, she drew her little stool to his side, and
nestled her head on his knee.
"And now, Milly," said Uncle George, "if you
will be a good little girl and not cry, I will tell you a
story. You know that for some time before your papa
and mamma left the Vicarage, mamma had been very
unwell, and the physicians wished her to go to the south
of France and to the Eaux-Bonnes, in the hope that the
waters there would serve her. Of course, she could not
go alone, so dear papa went with her. You have
always heard us speak as if your papa and I had been
the only two sons of the family, but there was a third
-to look at, the flower of the flock-I am sorry to say,
so wild and so wayward that he caused his family a
great deal of anxiety. He was especially dear to
your papa; papa was the eldest and Alfred the
youngest son. Your papa devoted himself to this
weary boy-was like a father to him; for we lost
our parents just as your papa came of age. They died
THIE RIET IN THE ROCK.
of the same fever which I had very badly; indeed,
its violence injured my sight in a way it never re-
covered. Alfred also had it severely, and for more
than a year was deprived of the use of his limbs. This
drew your papa's affection still more closely round
him; but I grieve to say, that as soon as he got
better, he did net behave as he ought to have done,.
he quite cast off the authority of his good brother, and
loft us altogether. We never heard from him after
that desertion, until he came of age, and then it was
simply to state how he desired his property to be
sent to him: that was all."
He must have been very hard-hearted and un-
... 1..-1I," said Milly.
"It would seem so," replied Uncle George. "We
ought all to pray against evil influences, and avoid bad
company. He was drawn into that, I fear, for in his
youth he was a very sweet affectionate lad, only sadly
fond of having his own way; and I fear even more
easily led to do wrong, than right.
We both endeavoured to trace him, for his silence
made us very unhappy. Both my brother and I went
abroad in the hope of finding him; but all we dis-
covered was, that at Munich he had been married by
the English chaplain to some lady, with an unpro-
nounceable name. It would seem they left i',1i._i.-L,
after the ceremony for the Tyrolean Alps, and there
we lost all trace of our youngest brother. Some years
afterwards one of our friends-who being abroad, and
knowing our anxiety about him, always inquired if any
one of the name of Leeson was known at the various
places he visited-heard at Nice that an English gentle-
man of that name had buried his wife there. They
said she was a Bavarian lady; and it was talked
about a great deal-for in a short time afterwards he
THIE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
married a French lady, whose brother, a very wild
man, was a physician. Soon after the marriage the
three took their departure from Nice, the doctor
saying, that both his sister and brother-in-law were
in delicate health, and he could not leave them. Some
one, I cannot remember who, told our friend that
the French lady was sweet and amiable, and much
beloved by all who knew her; I believe they wan-
dered over the Continent, and at last our brother
died. They found a stone marked with his name
and age in the Protestant burying-ground at Rome.
His wife also is dead-died some years ago, leaving
And," exclaimed Milly, while tears sprang to
her eyes, "they have found that child !"
"They have," replied Uncle George.
Milly commanded herself as well as she could, but
inquired in a low broken voice, Is it a boy or a girl ?"
For a long time Milly made no observation; at last
she said, Uncle George, would you not rather it had
been a boy ?"
"No, my dear, I would not. I think, for elderly
people like ourselves, it is more desirable it should
be a girl. What boy would be so tender and so careful
of a blind uncle as you have been of me ?"
"Oh, dear uncle !" she exclaimed, "a boy-.....!.;
be more worthy of the care you have bestowed on
me-learn quicker, and retain better. I am but a
poor stupid little thing after all; though I am sure
no boy could love you better. Boys are thought more
of than girls."
They are thought differently of-they have dif-
ferent natures, different duties to ..I. i...ii ; their
natural qualities are 'different; but I do not think they
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
either learn quicker or retain better, though I doubt
if you could learn or retain many of the things that
belong almost exclusively to us. God fitted boy and
girl for the performance of different duties, and I hope
my dear Milly will remember the lesson, and do her
duty in that state of life to which it has pleased God
to call her.' I would not exchange my little Milly-
wayward and jealous as she is, or used to be-for the
brightest boy in England."
MIilly's sobs were the only reply. But-but,"
she said at last, "papa and mamma will not think so.
I daresay she is 'a bright, beautiful girl, speaking
French and Italian, not such a little dark thing as I
am, picked like a snail out of a rift in a rock.
Uncle, what is her name? Of course her name is
Leeson. They have not told you her Christian name ?"
"Uncle George, do you think they will want to
keep me when they have found a niece ?"
"Their house is big enough, their purse long
enough, their hearts large enough. Why should they
not want to keep you ?"
But, you, dear Uncle George, she is your own,
own," and then came a gust of weeping, and Milly,
throwing i, :- r- on her knees beside him clasped her
hands fervently together, and exclaimed, Oh, uncle,
you are so good, and God, I know, loves you, pray for
me, pray for me, dear Uncle George, pray that the
wickedness and jealousy maybe taken out of my heart,
for if it is not, oh, how I shall hate her 1"
Her uncle pressed his hands on her head, and
reasoned with her against such thoughts-soothing
and caressing her, and answering her numerous ques-
tions, until the arrival of prayer-time, followed by
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
"Bedtime," certainly, but for Milly there was no
sleep. She endeavoured, like the good girl she really
wished to be, to overcome the jealousy which, under
all the circumstances, was, at first, natural; but after a
time, her grateful heart suggested that what must be
a source of happiness to those dear kind parents who
had protected and loved her for so many years, ought
to be a source of thankfulness and joy to her-that
was a comforting reflection, and led to other thoughts.
" How old was this addition to their household ?" "Was
she pretty ?" Perhaps she hardly spoke English."
She would like that, for she could teach her English,
and they might exchange instruction. If she was
a kind young lady, she would be a companion to
her-that was another comforting reflection, but then
the sad spirit of evil that is so ready to enter into our
hearts, wickedly suggested that perhaps she would
look down upon her, because she was found in the
rift of a rock, and be as others had been, haughty
and insulting. If she was-well, if she was, she would
not complain of her. No, she was no "waif;" she
was the child of their wandering but much-loved
brother, and to find fault with her would but make
them unhappy. So she would bear it as long as she
could, and when she could bear it no longer, she would
go to Mrs. Wilks, who would find her something to do.
These thoughts brought on another fit of weeping.
How could she live without the lovingness of those
precious friends ? How learn to keep good without
the tender admonitions of dear Uncle George ? And
Uncle George, how could he do without her, she who
knew all his "ways." He used to call her his "little
bright eyes." Slowly and sadly she undressed herself,
and then she bent her knees and sobbed forth, first her
usual prayers, and then grace and power were given
THE RIFT IN THE ROOK.
to her to frame a petition in harmony with her distress.
No sound escaped her swollen lips, but her simple
prayer ascended to Him whose ears are never closed
to petitions that well up from the heart of old or young.
Poor little one She fell asleep on her knees, her
arms crossed on the bed, and her head resting on her
arms. She started from her slumbers just as a lark
was pouring forth its martin song, but the exceeding
beauty of the early morning astonished her, and the
twittering and rustling of the small birds who sheltered
in the climbers that rendered the Vicarage a bower of
beauty and fragrance, awoke the (tl.... Ii! sympathy
which youth feels with the freshness of nature.
She almost forgot how chilled she was, and ad-
vanced to the window ; and, as it commanded a view
of the garden and the paddock, she saw her favourite
Jenny standing at the door of her shed, doubtless
watching until the sun had wooed the dew from the
grass. Suddenly her troubles flooded back upon her.
Would mamma give Jenny to "that new girl." But
hardly was the question asked than she felt ashamed
of -i.. i r.. "Mamma was never guilty of injustice.
Jenny was hers." With a flushed cheek and a beating
heart she crept quietly to bed, and slept soundly until
eight o'clock-an hour past her usual time. At break-
fast Uncle George told her he thought papa and
mamma would be home in a week. A day or two ago
the news would have made her wild with joy, but now
her wildness was saddened by the knowledge of an
"Uncle," she inquired, did mamma say what
room was to be prepared for-for her ?"
"No, my dear. Will it not be time enough to
arrange that when they arrive ?"
"Oh, no, uncle; everything must be arranged
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
Fresh curtains and fresh flowers. I shall tie up the
curtains in mamma's room with pink ribbon, and I
thought we might make a pretty arch over the
entrance-gate, and cover it with evergreens and
flowers. I am sure the school children would like to
meet them, and strew fL..-:,. before them. Shall I
tell them about-about-what shall I call her, Uncle
Miss Leeson !"
"Miss Leeson!" repeated Milly. "Two Miss
Leesons. How strange that will sound !"
Well, then, say nothing about it. The surprise
will be the greater when the story is told."
But about her room, Uncle George. Will you
kindly give directions about that, please? I am deter-
mined to decorate her room, to make it as pretty as
ever I can. And, Uncle George, I am sure you have
prayed for me very much, for I think I shall like Miss
Leeson. I only hope she will like me; for, oh! I do
so like to be loved. Do you think she will love me?
But, uncle, you have not told me where they found
her. Is she tall or short of her age? I wonder if
she likes croquet ? I suppose she is too old for dolls ?
Uncle George, I hope you do not think I am too old
for dolls. Do tell me."
I do not think you too old for dolls."
"Oh! I am so glad. You remember my doll Mel-
pomene ? You gave her to me. She wheeled beau-
tifully. Well, now she can only go on one side. Do
you think Miss Leeson is too big to set her to-rights ?
Tell me, dear Uncle George."
Uncle George covered his ears with his hands.
"You have asked me a dozen questions at least.
which am I to answer first?"
"Oh, uncle, I do not know. I wonder if she will
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
give me a good kiss? Do you think she will?
Uncle George, do you really think she will give me a
good kiss ?"
"Which 'she,' Milly ?"
Oh, I know mamma will; I mean Miss Leeson."
Miss Leeson," repeated Uncle George; "no, I
do not think she will."
Then you think she is a cold, disagreeable thing?"
"I never said so, my dear. I hear, by poor
Pedro's moaning, that you have disturbed him."
"Well, I did disturb Pedro. You know, Uncle
George, I had one corner of the window sofa, and
Pedro the other. Now when Miss Leeson comes, if
she does not want the whole of the window sofa, she
will certainly require one corner, and I wanted poor
Pedro to give up his, so as to get accustomed to it;
but he objects."
"Let the cat alone, Milly, and sit down on your
stool. Or suppose we go and call on two or three of
the cottagers, and see if the new black-board has
arrived at the girls' school."
This was a happy idea; it was a fresh occupation.
In truth, Milly was enduring a very severe struggle,
and it was a singular proof of determination in so
young a child to do right and conquer a great fault,
that she arranged a better room than her own for the
stranger, and even despoiled her own chamber of
some of its choicest ornaments to decorate the chimney-
piece and little fantastic dressing-table.
"Oh, dear uncle," she said, the morning of the
expected arrival. How much I wish you could see
how pretty the room looks."
And then she flung herself on his neck, and
whispered, "Though she will be better than I am, you
will always love me, uncle."
THE RIFT IN THE ROCK.
What a restless fairy Milly was all that day; how
she tormented the gardener, by asking if he did not
hear carriage-wheels at eleven o'clock, though Mr. and
Mrs. Leeson could not arrive until four; how she added
branch to branch, and flower to flower on the arch over
the gateway, and how she worried servants and school-
mistress with questions, rushing up to her room at
intervals to have a "good cry" in the refuge of
" alone," fearful to believe she was not glad, though
her poor little heart and head were throbbing with un-
defined feelings, which she knew not how to overcome.
At last the hour arrived, the carriage drove up.
The school-children "hurraed," and the porch and the
avenue to the Vicarage was covered with flowers. The
people called to each other that Mrs. Leeson never
looked so well. Milly trembled to such a degree,
that had she not clung to Uncle George, she must
have fallen. In another moment she was folded in
the embraces of Mr. and Mrs. Leeson. Mr. Leeson
held her face steadily between his hands, and gazed at
it for almost a minute. AVI: I, they were fairly in the
hall, Milly said, But where is she ?"
Where is who ? inquired Mr. Leeson.
"Where-is-is Miss Leeson? All is ready; her
room is so pretty."
"It always was pretty," said Mr. Leeson; "at
least, we tried to make it so."
But where is she ?" repeated Milly.
HERE," was the reply, and Mr. Leeson clasped
her closely in his arms. You, darling, you are-my
BROTHER'S CHILD. We have discovered all, and have to
thank God for directing me to the RIFT IN THE ROCK
at Tunbridge Wells."
"It is too much for her," said Mrs. Leeson; see,
she has fainted."