• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 A brave little quakeress
 Queen of spades
 Caught on the ebb-tide
 Susie Rolliffe's Christmas
 Jeff's treasure
 Back Cover
 Spine














Group Title: A brave little Quakeress : and other stories
Title: A brave little Quakeress
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081243/00001
 Material Information
Title: A brave little Quakeress and other stories
Physical Description: 3, 214 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Roe, Edward Payson, 1838-1888
Dodd, Mead & Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: Dodd, Mead and Company
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1892
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1892   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1892
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by E.P. Roe.
General Note: Title page and frontispiece printed in red and black.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081243
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236729
notis - ALH7207
oclc - 03530460

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    A brave little quakeress
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
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        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Queen of spades
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
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    Caught on the ebb-tide
        Page 83
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        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Susie Rolliffe's Christmas
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
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    Jeff's treasure
        Page 176
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text












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A Brave

Little Quakeress

and Other Stories
By
E. P. ROE
Author of
BARRIERS ]PIRNRI) AWAV," etc., etc.










New York
Dodd, Mead and Company



























Copfyrighi, 1883, 1889, 139',

[BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY









A BRAVE LITTLE QUAKERESS.
A TRADITION OF THE REVOLUTION.
NOT very far from the Highlands of
the Hudson, but at a considerable
distance from the river, there stood,
one hundred years ago, a farm house
that evidently had been built as much
for strength and defence as for com-
fort. The dwelling was one story and
a half in height, and was constructed
of hewn logs, fitted closely together,
and made impervious to the weather
by old fashioned, mortar, which seems
to defy the action of time. Two en-
trances, facing each other, led to the
main or living room, and they were
so large that a horse could pass through
them, dragging in immense back logs.
These, having been detached from a
chain when in the proper position,
were rolled into the huge fire-place
that yawned like a sooty cavern at the





2 A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.

farther end of the apartment. A mod-
ern housekeeper, who finds wood too
dear an article for even the air-tight
stove, would be appalled by this fire-
place. Stalwart Mr. Reynolds, the
master of the house, could easily walk
under its stony arch without removing
his broad-brimmed Quaker hat. From
the left side, and at a convenient
height from the hearth, a massive
crane swung in and out; while high
above the centre of the fire was an
iron hook, or trammel, from which
by chains were suspended the capaci-
ous iron pots used in those days for
culinary or for stock-feeding purposes.
This trammel, which hitherto had
suggested only good cheer, was des-
tined to have in coming years a terri-
ble significance to the household.
When the blaze was moderate, or
the bed of live coals not too ample,
the children could sit on either side
of the fireplace and watch the stars
through its wide flue; and this was a





A BRA VE LITTLE QUAKERESS.


favorite amusement of Phebe Rey-
nolds, the eldest daughter of the
house.
A door opened from the living-room
into the other apartments, furnished
in the old massive style that outlasts
many generations. All the windows
were protected by stout oaken shutters
which, when closed, almost trans-
formed the dwelling into a fortress,
giving security against any ordinary
attack. There were no loopholes in
the walls through which the muzzle
of the deadly rifle could be thrust
and fired from within. This feature,
so common in the primitive abodes of
the country, was not in accordance
with John Reynolds's Quaker princi-
ples. While indisposed to fight, it
was evident that the good man in-
tended to interpose between himself
and his enemies all the passive resist-
ance that his stout little domicile
could offer.
And he knew that he had enemies





4 A BRA VE 1. TTTLE Q UAKERESS.
of the bitterest and most unscrupulous
character. He was a stanch Whig,
loyal to the American cause, and,
above all, resolute and active in the
maintenance of law and order in
those lawless times. He thus had
made himself obnoxious to his Tory
neighbors, and an object of hate and
fear to a gang of maurauders, who,
under the pretence of acting with the
British forces, plundered the country
far and near. Claudius Smith, the
Robin Hood of the Highlands and
the terror of the pastoral low coun-
try, had formerly been their leader;
and the sympathy shown by Mr. Rey-
nolds with all the efforts to bring him
to justice, which finally resulted in
his capture and execution, had awak-
ened among his former associates an
intense desire for revenge. This fact,
well known to the farmer, kept him
constantly on his guard, and filled his
wife and daughter Phebe with deep
apprehension.





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.


At the time of our story, Phebe was
only twelve years of age, but was ma-
ture beyond her years. There were
several younger children, and she had
become almost womanly in aiding
her mother in their care. Her stout,
plump little body had been developed
rather than enfeebled by early toil,
and a pair of resolute and often mirth-
ful blue eyes bespoke a spirit not easi-
ly daunted. She was a native growth
of the period, vitalized by pure air
and out-of-door pursuits, and she
abounded in the shrewd intelligence
and demure refinement of her sect to
a degree that led some of their neigh-
bors to speak of her as "a little old
woman." When alone with the chil-
dren, however, or in the woods and
fields, she would doff her Quaker
primness, and romp, climb trees, and
frolic with the wildest.
But of late, the troublous times and
her father's peril had brought un-
wonted thoughtfulness into her blue





6 A BRA VE LITTLE QUAKERESS.

eyes, and more than Quaker gravity
to the fresh young face, which, in
spite of exposure to sun and wind,
maintained much of its inherited fair-
ness of complexion. Of her own ac-
cord she was becoming a vigilant sen-
tinel, for a rumor had reached Mr.
Reynolds that sooner or later he
would have a visit from the dreaded
mountain gang of hard riders. Two
roads leading to the hills converged
on the main highway not far from
his dwelling; and from an adjacent
knoll Phebe often watched this place,
while her father, with a lad in his
employ, completed their work about
the barn. When the shadows deep-
ened, all was made as secure as possi-
ble without and within, and the sturdy
farmer, after committing himself and
his household to the Divine protec-
tion, slept as only brave men sleep
who are clear in conscience and ac-
customed to danger.
His faith was undoubtedly re-





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.


warded; but Providence in the exe-
cution of its will loves to use vigilant
human eyes and ready, loving hands.
The guardian angel destined to pro-
tect the good man was his bloom-
ing daughter Phebe, who had never
thought of herself as an angel, and
indeed rarely thought of herself at all,
as is usually the case with those who
do most to sweeten and brighten the
world. She was a natural, whole-
some, human child, with all a child's
unconsciousness of self. She knew
she could not protect her father like
a great stalwart son, but she could
watch and warn him of danger, and
as the sequel proved, she could do far
more.
The farmer's habits were well
known, and the ruffians of the
mountains were aware that after he
had shut himself in he was much like
Noah in his ark. If they attempted
to burn him out, the flames would
bring down upon them a score of





8 A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.

neighbors not hampered by Quaker
principles. Therefore they resolved
upon a sudden onslaught before he
had finished the evening labors of the
farm. This was what the farmer
feared; and Phebe, like a vigilant
outpost, was now never absent from
her place of observation until called in.
One spring evening she saw two
mounted men descending one of the
roads which led from the mountains.
Instead of jogging quietly out on the
highway, as ordinary travellers would
have done, they disappeared among
the trees. Soon afterward she caught
a glimpse of two other horsemen on
the second mountain road. One of
these soon came into full view, and
looked up and down as if to see that
all was clear. Apparently satisfied,
he gave a low whistle, when three
men joined him. Phebe waited to
see no more, but sped toward the
house, her flaxen curls flying from
her flushed and excited face.





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.


"They are coming, father! Thee
must be quick !" she cried.
But a moment or two elapsed before
all were within the dwelling, the
doors banged and barred, the heavy
shutters closed, and the home-fortress
made secure. Phebe's warning had
come none too soon, for they had
scarcely time to take breath before
the tramp of galloping horses and the
oaths of their baffled foes were heard
without. The marauders did not
dare make much noise, for fear that
some passing neighbor might give
the alarm. Tying their horses be-
hind the house, where they would be
hidden from the road, they tried vari-
ous expedients to gain an entrance,
but the logs and heavy planks baffled
them. At last one of the number
suggested that they should ascend
the roof and climb down the wide
flue of the chimney. This plan was
easy of execution, and for a few mo-
ments the stout farmer thought that





io A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.

his hour had come. With a heroism
far beyond that of the man who strikes
down his assailant, he prepared to
suffer all things rather than take life
with his own hands.
But his wife proved equal to this
emergency. She had been making
over a bed, and a large basket of
feathers was within reach. There
were live coals on the hearth, but
they did not give out enough heat to
prevent the ruffians from descending.
Two of them were already in the
chimney, and were threatening horri-
ble vengeance if the least resistance
was offered. Upon the coals on the
hearth the housewife instantly emp-
tied her basket of feathers; and a
great volume of pungent, stifling
smoke poured up the chimney. The
threats of the men, who by means
of ropes were cautiously descending,
were transformed into choking, half-
suffocated sounds, and it was soon
evident that the intruders were scram-





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.


bling out as fast as possible. A hur-
ried consultation on the roof ensued,
and then, as if something had alarmed
them, they galloped off. With the
exception of the cries of the peepers,
or hylas, in an adjacent swamp, the
night soon grew quiet around the
closed and darkened dwelling. Farm-
er Reynolds bowed in thanksgiving
over their escape, and then after
watching a few hours, slept as did
thousands of others in those times of
anxiety.
But Phebe did not sleep. She grew
old by moments that night as do other
girls by months and years; as never
before she understood that her father's
life was in peril. How much that life
meant to her and the little brood of
which she was the eldest! How much
it meant to her dear mother, who was
soon again to give birth to a little one
that would need a father's protection
and support! As the young girl lay
in her little attic room, with dilated





12 A BRA VE LITTLE QUAKERESS.

eyes and ears intent on the slightest
sound, she was ready for any heroic
self-sacrifice, without once dreaming
that she was heroic.
The news of the night-attack spread
fast, and there was a period of in-
creased vigilance which compelled the
outlaws to lie close in their mountain
fastnesses. But Phebe knew that her
father's enemies were still at large
with their hate only stimulated be-
cause baffled for a time. Therefore
she did not in the least relax her
watchfulness; and she besought their
nearest neighbors to come to their as-
sistance should any alarm be given.
When the spring and early summer
passed without further trouble, they
all began to breathe more freely; but
one July night John Reynolds was be-
trayed by his patriotic impulses. He
was awakened by a loud knocking at
his door. Full of misgiving, he rose
and hastily dressed himself; Phebe,
who had slipped on her clothes at the





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.


first alarm, joined him and said ear-
nestly,-
Don't thee open the door, father,
to anybody, at this time of night;"
and his wife, now lying ill and help-
less on a bed in the adjoining room,
added her entreaty to that of her
daughter. In answer, however, to
Mr. Reynolds's inquiries a voice from
without, speaking quietly and seem-
ingly with authority, asserted that
they were a squad from Washington's
forces in search of deserters, and that
no harm would ensue unless he denied
their lawful request. Conscious of in-
nocence, and aware that detachments
were often abroad on such authorized
quests, Mr. Reynolds unbarred his
door. The moment he opened it he
saw his terrible error; not soldiers, but
the members of the mountain gang,
were crouched like wild beasts ready
to spring upon him.
"Fly, father!" cried Phebe. "They
won't hurt us;" but before the bewil-





14 A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.
dered man could think what to do, the
door flew open from the pressure of
half a dozen wild-looking despera-
does, and he was powerless in their
grasp. They evidently designed mur-
der, but not a quick and merciful
"taking off;" they first heaped upon
their victim the vilest epithets, seek-
ing in their thirst for revenge to in-
flict all the terrors of death in antici-
pation. The good man, however, now
face to face with his fate, grew calm
and resigned. Exasperated by his
courage, they began to cut and tor-
ture him with their swords and knives.
Phebe rushed forward to interpose her
little .form between her father and the
ruffians, and was dashed, half stunned,
into a corner of the room. Even for
the sake of his sick wife, the brave
farmer could not refrain from utter-
ing groans of anguish which brought
the poor woman with faltering steps
into his presence. After one glance
at the awful scene she sank, half
fainting, on a settee near the door.





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.


When the desire for plunder got the
better of their fiendish cruelty, one of
the gang threw a noosed rope over Mr.
Reynolds's head, and then they hung
him to the trammel or iron hook in
the great chimney.
You can't smoke us out this time,"
they shouted. "You've now got to
settle with the avengers of Claudius
Smith; and you and some others will
find us ugly customers to settle with."
They then rushed off to rob the
house, for the farmer was reputed to
have not a little money in his strong
box. The moment they were gone
Phebe seized a knife and cut her
father down. Terror and excitement
gave her almost supernatural strength,
and with the aid of the boy in her
father's service she got the poor man
on a bed which he had occupied dur-
ing his wife's illness. Her reviving
mother was beginning to direct her
movements when the ruffians again
entered; and furious with rage, they





16 A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.

again seized and hung her father,
while one, more brutal than the oth-
ers, whipped the poor child with a
heavy rope until he thought she was
disabled. The girl at first cowered
and shivered under the blows, and
then sank as if lifeless on the floor.
But the moment she was left to her-
self she darted forward and once
more cut her father down. The rob-
bers then flew upon the prostrate man
and cut and stabbed him until they
supposed he was dead. Toward his
family they meditated a more terrible
and devilish cruelty. After sacking
the house and taking all the plunder
they could carry, they relieved the
horror-stricken wife and crying,
shrieking children of their presence.
Their further action, however, soon
inspired Phebe with a new and more
awful fear, for she found that they
had fastened the doors on the outside
and were building a fire against one
of them.





A BRA VE LITTLE QUAKERESS.


For a moment an overpowering
despair at the prospect of their fate
almost paralyzed her. She believed
her father was dead. The boy who
had aided her at first was now dazed
and helpless from terror. If aught
could be done in this supreme mo-
ment of peril she saw that it must be
done by her hands. The smoke from
the kindling fire without was already
curling in through the crevices around
the door. There was not a moment,
not a second to be lost. The ruffians'
voices were growing fainter, and she
heard the sounds of their horses' feet.
Would they go away in time for her
to extinguish the fire ? She ran to her
attic room and cautiously opened the
shutter. Yes, they were mounting;
and in the faint light of the late-rising
moon she saw that they were taking
her father's horses. A moment later,
as if fearing that the blaze might
cause immediate pursuit, they dashed
off toward the mountains.





18 .4 BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.

The clatter of their horses' hoofs
had not died away before the intrepid
girl had opened the shutter of a win-
dow nearest the ground, and spring-
ing lightly out with a pail in her hand
she rushed to the trough near the
barn, which she knew was full of wa-
ter. Back and forth she flew between
the fire and the convenient reservoir
with all the water that her bruised
arms and back permitted her to carry.
Fortunately the night was a little
damp, and the stout thick door had
kindled slowly. To her intense joy
she soon gained the mastery of the
flames, and at last extinguished them.
She did not dare to open the door
for fear that the robbers might return,
but clambering in at the window,
made all secure as had been custom-
ary, for now it was her impulse to do
just as her father would have done.
She found her mother on her knees
beside her father, who would indeed
have been a ghastly and awful object
to all but the eyes of love.





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UA KERESS.


"Oh, Phebe, I hope-I almost be-
lieve thy father lives!" cried the
woman. "Is it my throbbing palm,
or does his heart still beat?"
I'm sure it beats, mother cried
the girl, putting her little hand on the
gashed and mangled body.
"Oh, then there's hope! Here,
Abner," to the boy, "isn't there any
man in thee? Help Phebe get him
on the bed, and then we must stop
this awful bleeding. 0 that I were
well and strong Phebe, thee must
now take my place. Thee may save
thy father's life. I can tell thee what
to do if thee has the courage."
Phebe had the courage, and with
deft hands did her mother's bid-
ding. She stanched the many gaping
wounds ; she gave spirits, at first drop
by drop, until at last the man breathed
and was conscious. Even before the
dawn began to brighten over the
dreaded Highlands which their ruth-
less enemies were already climbing,





20 A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.

Phebe was flying, bareheaded, across
the fields to their nearest neighbor.
The good people heard of the outrage
with horror and indignation. A half-
grown lad sprang on the bare back of
a young horse and galloped across the
country for a surgeon. A few mo-
ments later the farmer, equipped for
chase and battle, dashed away at
headlong pace to alarm the neighbor-
hood. The news sped from house to
house and hamlet to hamlet like fire
in prairie grass. The sun had scarce-
ly risen before a dozen bronzed and
stern-browed men were riding into
John Reynolds's farm-yard under the
lead of young Hal June,-the best
shot that the wars had left in the re-
gion. The surgeon had already ar-
rived, and before he ceased from his
labors he had dressed thirty wounds.
The story told by Phebe had been
as brief as it was terrible,-for she
was eager to return to her father and
sick mother. She had not dreamed





A BRA VE LITTLE QUAKERESS


of herself as the heroine of the affair,
and had not given any such impres-
sion, although more than one had re-
marked that she was "a plucky little
chick to give the alarm before it was
light." But when the proud mother
faintly and tearfully related the par-
ticulars of the tragedy, and told how
Phebe had saved her father's life and
probably her mother's,-for, "I was
too sick to climb out of a window,"
she said; when she told how the child
after a merciless whipping had again
cut her father down from the tram-
mel-hook, had extinguished the fire,
and had been nursing her father back
to life, while all the time in almost
agony herself from the cruel blows
that had been rained upon her,-
Phebe was dazed and bewildered at
the storm of applause that greeted
her. And when the surgeon, in order
to intensify the general desire for ven-
geance, showed the great welts and
scars on her arms and neck, gray-





22 A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.

bearded fathers who had known her
from infancy took her into their arms
and blessed and kissed her. For once
in his life young Hal June wished he
was a gray-beard, but his course was
much more to the mind of Phebe than
any number of caresses would have
been. Springing on his great black
horse, and with his dark eyes burn-
ing with a fire that only blood could
quench, he shouted,-
''Come, neighbors, it's time for
deeds. That brave little woman ought
to make a man of every mother's son
of us;" and he dashed away so furi-
ously that Phebe thought with a
strange little tremor at her heart that
he might in his speed face the rob-
bers all alone. The stout yeomen
clattered after him; the sound of
their pursuit soon died away; and
Phebe returned to woman's work of
nursing, watching, and praying.
The bandits of the hills, not ex-
pecting such prompt retaliation, were





A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.


overtaken, and then followed a head-
long race over the rough mountain
roads,-guilty wretches flying for life,
and stern men almost reckless in the
burning desire to avenge a terrible
wrong. Although the horses of the
marauders were tired, their riders
were so well acquainted with the
fastnesses of the wilderness that
they led the pursuers through ex-
ceedingly difficult and dangerous
paths. At last, June, ever in the
van, caught sight of a man's form,
and almost instantly his rifle awoke
a hundred echoes among the hills.
When they reached the place, stains
of blood marked the ground, proving
that at least a wound had been given.
Just beyond, the gang evidently had
dispersed, each one for himself, leav-
ing behind everything that impeded
their progress. The region was al-
most impenetrable in its wildness ex-
cept by those who knew all its rugged
paths. The body of the man whom





24 A BRA VE LITTLE Q UAKERESS.
June had wounded, however, was
found, clothed in a suit of Quaker
drab stolen from Mr. Reynolds. The
rest of the band with few exceptions
met with fates that accorded with
their deeds.
Phebe had the happiness of nursing
her father back to health, and al-
though maimed and disfigured, he
lived to a ripe old age. If the bud is
the promise of the flower, Phebe must
have developed a womanhood that
was regal in its worth; at the same
time I believe that she always re-
mained a modest, demure little Qua-
keress, and never thought of her vir-
tues except when reminded of them
in plain English.
NOTE.-In the preceding narrative I have followed
almost literally a family tradition of events which actu-
ally occurred.








QUEEN OF SPADES.


" MOTHER," remarked Farmer
Banning, discontentedly, "Su-
sie is making a long visit."
"She is coming home next week,"
said his cheery wife. She had drawn
her low chair close to the air-tight
stove, for a late March snow-storm
was raging without.
"It seems to me that I miss her
more and more."
"Well, I'm not jealous."
"Oh, come, wife, you needn't be.
The idea! But I'd be jealous if our
little girl was sorter weaned away
from us by this visit in town."
"Now, see here, father, you beat
all the men I ever heard of in scold-
ing about farmers borrowing, and
here you are borrowing trouble."
''Well, I hope I won't have to pay
soon. But I've been thinking the old





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


farm-house may look small and ap-
pear lonely after her gay winter.
When she is away, it's too big for
me, and a suspicion lonely for us
both. I've seen that you've missed
her more than I have."
I guess you're right. Well, she's
coming home, as I said, and we must
make home seem home to her. The
child's growing up. Why, she'll be
eighteen week after next. You must
give her something nice on her birth-
day."
"I will," said the farmer, his
rugged, weather-beaten face soften-
ing with memories. "Is our little
girl as old as that? Why, only the
other day I was carrying her on my
shoulder to the barn and tossing her
into the haymow. Sure enough, the
ioth of April will be her birthday.
Well, she shall choose her own pres-
ent."
On the afternoon of the 5th of April
he went down the long hill to the sta-





QUEEN OF SPADES.


tion, and was almost like a lover in
his eagerness to see his child. He
had come long before the train's
schedule time, but was rewarded at
last. When Susie appeared, she gave
him a kiss before every one, and a
glad greeting which might have satis-
fied the most exacting of lovers. He
watched her furtively as they rode at
a smart trot up the hill. Farmer Ban-
ning kept no old nags for his driving,
but strong, well-fed, spirited horses
that sometimes drew a light vehicle
almost by the reins. "Yes," he
thought, "she has grown a little citi-
fied. She's paler, and has a certain
air or style that don't seem just natu-
ral to the hill. Well, thank the Lord!
she doesn't seem sorry to go up the
hill once more."
"There's the old place, Susie, wait-
ing for you," he said. "It doesn't
look so very bleak, does it, after all
the fine city houses you've seen?"
Yes, father, it does. It never ap-
peared so bleak before."





Q UEEN OF SPA DES.


He looked at his home, and in the
late gray afternoon, saw it in a meas-
ure with her eyes,-the long brown,
bare slopes, a few gaunt old trees
about .the house, and the top-boughs
of the apple-orchard behind a shelter-
ing hill in the rear of the dwelling.
"Father," resumed the girl, "we
ought to call our place the Bleak
House. I never so realized before
how bare and desolate it looks, stand-
ing there right in the teeth of the
north wind."
His countenance fell, but he had
no time for comment. A moment
later Susie was in her mother's arms.
The farmer lifted the trunk to the
horse-block and drove to the barn.
"I guess it will be the old story," he
muttered. "Home has become Bleak
House.' I suppose it did look bleak
to her eyes, especially at this season.
Well, well, some day Susie will go to
the city to stay, and then it will be
Bleak House, sure enough."





QUEEN OF SPADES.


"Oh, father," cried his daughter,
when after doing his evening work,
he entered with the shadow of his
thoughts still upon his face,-" oh,
father, mother says I can choose my
birthday present!"
"Yes, Sue; I've passed my word."
"And so I have your bond. My
present will make you open your
eyes."
"And pocket-book too, I suppose.
I'll trust you, however, not to break
me. What is it to be?"
"I'll tell you the day before, and
not till then."
After supper they drew around the
stove. Mrs. Banning got out her knit-
ting, as usual, and prepared for city
gossip. The farmer rubbed his hands
over the general aspect of comfort,
and especially over the regained pres-
ence of his child's bright face. "Well,
Sue," he remarked, "you'll own that
this room in the house doesn't look
very bleak?"





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


No, father, I'll own nothing of the
kind. Your face and mother's are not
bleak, but the room is."
Well," said the farmer, rather dis-
consolately, "I fear the old place has
been spoiled for you. I was saying
to mother before you came home-"
"There, now, father, no matter
about what you were saying. Let
Susie tell us why the room is bleak."
The girl laughed softly, got up, and
taking a billet of wood from the box,
put it into the air-tight. ''The stove
has swallowed it just as old Trip did
his supper. Shame! you greedy dog,"
she added, caressing a great New-
foundland that would not leave her a
moment. "Why can't you learn to
eat your meals like a gentleman?"
Then to her father, "Suppose we
could sit here and see the flames curl-
ing all over and around that stick.
Even a camp in the woods is jolly
when lighted up by a flickering blaze."
"Oh-h! said the farmer; "you





QUEEN OF SPADES.


think an open fire would take away
the bleakness?"
"Certainly. The room would be
changed instantly, and mother's face
would look young and rosy again.
The blue-black of this sheet-iron stove
makes the room look blue-black."
Open fires don't give near as much
heat," said her father, meditatively.
"They take an awful lot of wood;
and wood is getting scarce in these
parts."
"I should say so Why don't you
farmers get together, appoint a com-
mittee to cut down every tree remain-
ing, then make it a states-prison of-
fence ever to set out another? Why,
father, you cut nearly all the trees
from your lot a few years ago and
sold the wood. Now that the trees
are growing again, you are talking of
clearing up the land for pasture. Just
think of the comfort we could get out
of that wood-lot! What crop would
pay better? All the upholsterers in





QUEEN OF SPADES.


the world cannot furnish a room as
an open hard-wood fire does; and all
the produce of the farm could not buy
anything else half so nice."
"Say, mother," said her father, af-
ter a moment, "I guess I'll get down
that old Franklin from the garret to-
morrow and see if it can't furnish this
room."
The next morning he called rather
testily to the hired man, who was
starting up the lane with an axe,
"Hiram, I've got other work for you.
Don't cut a stick in that wood-lot un-
less I tell you."
The evening of the 9th of April was
cool but clear, and the farmer said
genially, "Well, Sue, prospects good
for fine weather on your birthday.
Glad of it; for I suppose you will
want me to go to town with you for
your present, whatever it is to be."
"You'll own up a girl can keep a
secret now, won't you?"
"He'll have to own more'n that,"





QUEEN OF SPADES.


added his wife; "he must own that
an old woman hasn't lost any sleep
from curiosity."
"How much will be left me to own
to-morrow night?" said the farmer,
dubiously. "I suppose Sue wants a
watch studded with diamonds, or a
new house, or something else that she
darsn't speak of till the last minute,
even to her mother."
Nothing of the kind. I want only
all your time to-morrow, and all Hi-
ram's time, after you have fed the
stock."
"All our time!"
"Yes, the entire day, in which you
both are to do just what I wish. You
are not going gallivanting to the city,
but will have to work hard."
"Well, I'm beat! I don't know what
you want any more than I did at first."
"Yes, you do,-your time and Hi-
ram's.
"'Give it up. It's hardly the season
for a picnic. We might go fishing-"





QUEEN OF SPADES.


We must go to bed, so as to be up
early, all hands."
Oh, hold on, Sue; I do like this
wood-fire. If it wouldn't make you
vain, I'd tell you how-"
Pretty, father. Say it out."
"Oh, you know it, do you? Well,
how pretty you look in the firelight.
Even mother, there, looks ten years
younger. Keep your low seat, child,
and let me look at you. So you're
eighteen? My! my! how the years
roll around! It will be Bleak House
for mother and me, in spite of the
wood-fire, when you leave us."
"It won't be Bleak House much
longer," she replied with a significant
little nod.
The next morning at an early hour
the farmer said, "All ready, Sue. Our
time is yours till night; so queen it
over us." And black Hiram grinned
acquiescence, thinking he was to have
an easy time.
Queen it, did you say ? cried Sue,





QUEEN OF SPADES.


in great spirits. Well, then, I shall
be queen of spades. Get'em, and come
with me. Bring a pickaxe, too." She
led the way to a point not far from the
dwelling, and resumed : "A hole here,
father, a hole there, Hiram, big enough
for a small hemlock, and holes all along
the northeast side of the house. Then
lots more holes, all over the lawn, for
oaks, maples, dogwood, and all sorts
of pretty trees, especially evergreens."
"Oh, ho !" cried the farmer; "now
I see the hole where the woodchuck
went in."
But you don't see the hole where
he's coming out. When that is dug,
even the road will be lined with trees.
Foolish old father! you thought I'd
be carried away with city gewgaws,
fine furniture, dresses, and all that
sort of thing. You thought I'd be
pining for what you couldn't afford,
what wouldn't do you a particle of
good, nor me either, in the long run.
I'm going to make you set out trees





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


enough to double the value of your
place and take all the bleakness and
bareness from this hillside. To-day
is only the beginning. I did get some
new notions in the city which made
me discontented with my home, but
they were not the notions you were
worrying about. In the suburbs I
saw that the most costly houses were
made doubly attractive by trees and
shrubbery, and I knew that trees
would grow for us as well as for
millionnaires- My conscience! if
there isn't-" and the girl frowned
and bit her lips.
Is that one of the city beaux you
were telling us about?" asked her
father, sotto voce.
"Yes; but I don't want any beaux
around to-day. I didn't think ke'd
be so persistent." Then, conscious
that she was not dressed for company,
but for work upon which she had set
her heart, she advanced and gave Mr
Minturn a rather cool greeting.





QUEEN OF SPADES.


But the persistent beau was equal
to the occasion. He had endured
Sue's absence as long as he could,
then had resolved on a long day's
siege, with a grand storming-onset
late in the afternoon.
"Please, Miss Banning," he began,
"don't look askance at me for com-
ing at this unearthly hour. I claim
the sacred rites of hospitality. I'm
an invalid. The doctor said I needed
country air, or would have prescribed
it if given a chance. You said I
might come to see you some day, and
by playing Paul Pry I found out, you
remember, that this was your birth-
day, and-"
"And this is my father, Mr. Min-
turn."
Mr. Minturn shook the farmer's
hand with a cordiality calculated to
awaken suspicions of his designs in
a pump, had its handle been thus
grasped. Mr. Banning will forgive
me for appearing with the lark," he





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


continued volubly, determining to
break the ice. One can't get the
full benefit of a day in the country if
he starts in the afternoon."
The farmer was polite, but nothing
more. If there was one thing beyond
all others with which he could dis-
pense, it was a beau for Sue.
Sue gave her father a significant,
disappointed glance, which meant, I
won't get my present to-day ;" but he
turned and said to Hiram, "Dig the
hole right there, two feet across, eigh-
teen inches deep." Then he started
for the house. While not ready for
suitors, his impulse to bestow hospi-
tality was prompt.
The alert Mr. Minturn had observed
the girl's glance, and knew that the
farmer had gone to prepare his wife
for a guest. He determined not to
remain unless assured of a welcome.
"Come, Miss Banning," he said, "we
are at least friends, and should be
frank. How much misunderstanding





QUEEN OF SPADES.


and trouble would often be saved if
people would just speak their thought!
This is your birthday,-your day. It
should not be marred by any one. It
would distress me keenly if I were the
one to spoil it. Why not believe me
literally and have your way absolutely
about this day ? I could come another
time. Now show that a country girl,
at least, can speak her mind."
With an embarrassed little laugh
she answered, I'm half inclined to
take you at your word; but it would
look so inhospitable."
Bah for looks The truth, please.
By the way, though, you never looked
better than in that trim blue walking-
suit."
"Old outgrown working-suit, you
mean. How sincere you are "
"Indeed I am. Well, I'm de trop;
that much is plain. You will let me
come another day, won't you?"
"Yes, and I'll be frank too and tell
you about this day. Father's a busy





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


man, and his spring work is begin-
ning, but as my birthday-present he
has given me all his time and all Hi-
ram's yonder. Well, I learned in the
city how trees improved a home; and
I had planned to spend this long day
in setting out trees,-planned it ever
since my return. So you see-"
"'Of course I see and approve," cried
Minturn. "I know now why I had
such a wild impulse to come out here
to-day. Why, certainly. Just fancy
me a city tramp looking for work, and
not praying I won't find it, either. I'll
work for my board. I know how to
set out trees. I can prove -it, for I
planted those thrifty fellows growing
about our house in town. Think how
much more you'll accomplish with
another man to help,-one that you
can order around to your heart's con-
tent."
"The idea of my putting you to
work!"
"A capital idea! and if a man





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


doesn't work when a woman puts him
at it he isn't worth the powder-I
won't waste time even in original re-
marks. I'll promise you there will be
double the number of trees out by
night. Let me take your father's
spade and show you how I can dig.
Is this the place? If I don't catch up
with Hiram, you may send the tramp
back to the city." And before she
could remonstrate, his coat was off
and he at work.
Laughing, yet half in doubt, she
watched him. The way he made the
earth fly was surprising. "Oh, come,"
she said after a few moments, "you
have shown your good will. A steam-
engine could not keep it up at that
rate."
"Perhaps not; but I can. Before
you engage me, I wish you to know
that I am equal to old Adam, and can
dig."
"Engage you!" she thought with
a little flutter of dismay. "I could






Q UEEN OF SPA DES.


manage him with the help of town
conventionalities; but how will it be
here? I suppose I can keep father
and Hiram within earshot, and if he
is so bent on--well, call it a lark, since
he has referred to that previous bird,
perhaps I might as well have a lark
too, seeing it's my birthday." Then
she spoke. Mr. Minturn !"
"I'm busy."
"But really-"
"And truly tell me, am I catching
up with Hiram?"
You'll get down so deep that you'll
drop through if you're not careful."
There's nothing like having a man
who is steady working for you. Now,
most fellows would stop and giggle at
such little amusing remarks."
"You are soiling you trousers."
''Yes, you're right. They are mine.
There; isn't that a regulation hole?
'Two feet across and eighteen deep.'"
"Yah? yah ?" cackled Hiram;
"eighteen foot deep! Dat ud be a
well."





QUEEN OF SPADES.


"Of course it would, and truth
would lie at its bottom. Can I stay,
Miss Banning?"
"Did you ever see the like?" cried
the farmer, who had appeared, unno-
ticed.
"Look here, father," said the now
merry girl, ''perhaps I was mistaken.
This-"
"Tramp-" interjected Minturn.
"Says he's looking for work and
knows how to set out trees."
"And will work all day for a din-
ner," the tramp promptly added.
If he can dig holes at that rate,
Sue," said her father, catching their
spirit, "he's worth a dinner. But
you're boss to-day; I'm only one of
the hands."
"I'm only another," said Minturn,
touching his hat.
"Boss, am I? I'll soon find out.
Mr. Minturn, come with me and don
a pair of overalls. You sha'n't put me
to shame, wearing that spick-and-span





QUEEN OF SPADES.


suit, neither shall you spoil it. Oh,
you're in for it now You might have
escaped, and come another day, when
I could have received you in state and
driven you out behind father's frisky
bays. When you return to town with
blistered hands and aching bones, you
will at least know better another
time."
"I don't know any better this time,
and just yearn for those overalls."
"'To the house, then, and see mother
before you become a wreck."
Farmer Banning looked after him
and shook his head. Hiram spoke his
employer's thought, "Dat ar gem'lin
act like he gwine ter set hisself out on
dis farm."
Sue had often said, "I can never be
remarkable for anything; but I won't
be commonplace." So she did not
leave her guest in the parlor while she
rushed off for a whispered conference
with her mother. The well-bred sim-
plicity of her manner, which often





QUEEN OF SPADES.


stopped just short of brusqueness,
was never more apparent than now.
"Mother!" she called from the par-
lor door.
The old lady gave a few final direc-
tions to hermaid-of-all work, and then
appeared.
"Mother, this is Mr. Minturn, one
of my city friends, of whom I have
spoken to you. He is bent on help-
ing me set out trees."
"Yes, Mrs. Banning, so bent that
your daughter found that she would
have to employ her dog to get me off
the place."
Now, it had so happened that in
discussing with her mother the young
men whom she had met, Sue had said
little about Mr. Minturn; but that lit-
tle was significant to the experienced
matron. Words had slipped out now
and then which suggested that the
girl did more thinking than talking
concerning him; and she always re-
ferred to him in some light which she






QUEEN OF SPADES.


chose to regard as ridiculous, but
which had not seemed in the least ab-
surd to the attentive listener. When
her husband, therefore, said that Mr.
Minturn had appeared on the scene,
she felt .that an* era of portentous
events had begun. The trees to be
set out would change the old place
greatly, but a primeval forest shading
the door would be as nothing com-
pared with the vicissitude which a
favored "beau" might produce. But
mothers are more unselfish than fa-
thers, and are their daughters' natural
allies unless the suitor is objection-
able. Mrs. Banning was inclined to
be hospitable on general principles,
meantime eager on her own account
to see something of this man, about
whom she had presentiments. So she
said affably, "My daughter can keep
her eye on the work which she is so
interested in, and yet give you most
of her time.-Susan, I will entertain
Mr. Minturn while you change your
dress."





QUEEN OF SPADES.


Sue glanced at her guest dubiously,
receiving for the moment the impres-
sion that the course indicated by her
mother was the correct one. The
resolute admirer knew well what a
fiasco the day would be should the
conventionalities prevail, and so said
promptly, "Mrs. Banning, I appre-
ciate your kind intentions, and I hope
some day you may have the chance
to carry them out. To-day, as your
husband understands, I am a tramp
from the city looking for work. I
have found it, and have been en-
gaged.-Miss Banning, I shall hold
you inflexibly to our agreement,-a
pair of overalls and dinner."
Sue said a few words of explana-
tion. Her mother laughed, but urged,
"Do go and change your dress."
"I protest!" cried Mr. Minturn.
"The walking-suit and overalls go
together."
"Walking-suit, indeed!" repeated
Sue, disdainfully. "But I shall not





QUEEN OF SPADES.


change it. I will not soften one fea-
ture of the scrape you have persisted
in getting yourself into."
"Please don't."
"Mr. Minturn," said the matron,
with smiling positiveness, "Susie is
boss only out of doors; I am, in the
house. There is a fresh-made cup of
coffee and some eggs on toast in the
dining-room. Having taken such an
early start, you ought to have a lunch
before being put to work."
"Yes," added Sue, "and the out-
door boss says you can't go to work
until at least the coffee is sipped."
"She's shrewd, isn't she, Mrs. Ban-
ning? She knows she will get twice
as much work out of me on the
strength of that coffee. Please get
the overalls. I will not sip, but swal-
low the coffee, unless it's scalding, so
that no time may be lost. Miss Ban-
ning must see all she had set her
heart upon accomplished to-day, and
a great deal more "





QUEEN OF SPADES.


The matron departed on her quest,
and as she pulled out the over-
alls, nodded her head significantly.
"Things will be serious sure enough
if he accomplishes all he has set his
heart on," she muttered. "Well, he
doesn't seem afraid to give us a
chance to see him. He certainly will
look ridiculous in these overalls, but
not much more so than Sue in that
old dress. I do wish she would
change it."
The girl had considered this point,
but with characteristic decision had
thought, "No; he shall see us all on
the plainest side of our life. He al-
ways seemed a good deal of an ex-
quisite in town, and he lives in a
handsome house. If to-day's experi-
ence at the old farm disgusts him, so
be it. My dress is clean and tidy,
if it is outgrown and darned; and
mother is always neat, no matter
what she wears. I'm going through
the day just as I planned; and if he's





QUEEN OF SPADES.


too fine for us, now is the time to find
it out. He may have come just for a
lark, and will laugh with his folks to-
night over the guy of a girl I appear;
but I won't yield even to the putting
of a ribbon in my hair."
Mrs. Banning never permitted the
serving of cold slops for coffee, and
Mr. Minturn had to sip the generous
and fragrant beverage slowly. Mean-
while, his thoughts were busy. "Bah !
for the old saying, 'Take the goods
the gods send,'" he mused. "Go af-
ter your goods and take your pick. I
knew my head was level in coming
out. All is just as genuine as I sup-
posed it would be,-simple, honest,
homely. The girl isn't homely,
though, but she's just as genuine as
all the rest, in that old dress which
fits her like a glove. No shams and
disguises on this field-day of my life.
And her mother! A glance at her
comfortable amplitude banished my
one fear. There's not a sharp angle





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


about her. I was satisfied about Miss
Sue, but the term 'mother-in-law'
suggests vague terrors to any man
until reassured.-Ah, Miss Banning,"
he said, "this coffee would warin the
heart of an anchorite. No wonder
you are inspired to fine things after
drinking such nectar."
''Yes, mother is famous for her cof-
fee. I know that's fine, and you can
praise it; but I'll not permit any iron-
ical remarks concerning myself."
I wouldn't, if I were you, especial-
ly when you are mistress of the situa-
tion. Still, I can't help having my
opinion of you. Why in the world
didn't you choose as your present
something stylish from the city?"
"Something, I suppose you mean,
in harmony with my very stylish sur-
roundings and present appearance."
"I didn't mean anything of the
kind, and fancy you know it. Ah!
here are the overalls. Now deeds,
not words. I'll leave my coat, watch,





QUEEN OF SPADES.


cuffs, and all impedimenta with you,
Mrs. Banning. Am I not a spectacle
to men and gods?" he added, draw-
ing up the garment, which ceased to
be nether in that it reached almost to
his shoulders.
"Indeed you are," cried Sue, hold-
ing her side from laughing. Mrs.
Banning also vainly tried to repress
her hilarity over the absurd guy into
which the nattily-dressed city man
had transformed himself.
"Come," he cried, "no frivolity!
You shall at least say I kept my word
about the trees to day." And they
started at once for the scene of action,
Minturn obtaining on the way a shovel
from the tool-room.
"'To think she's eighteen years old
and got a beau! muttered the farm-
er, as he and Hiram started two new
holes. They were dug and others be-
gun, yet the young people had not
returned. "That s the way with
young men nowadays,-'big cry, lit-





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


tie wool.' I thought I was going to
have Sue around with me all day.
Might as well get used to it, I sup-
pose. Eighteen Her mother wasn't
much older when-yes, hang it, there's
always a when with these likely girls.
I'd just like to start in again on that
day when I tossed her into the hay-
mow."
"What are you talking to yourself
about, father?"
Oh! I thought I had seen the last
of you to-day."
"Perhaps you will wish you had
before night."
"Well, now, Sue! the idea of let-
ting Mr. Minturn rig himself out like
that! There's no use of scaring the
crows so long before corn-planting."
And the farmer's guffaw was quickly
joined by Hiram's broad "Yah! yah!"
Sue frowned a little as she said, "'He
doesn't look any worse than I do."
"Come, Mr. Banning, Solomon in
all his glory could not so take your





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


daughter's eye to-day as a goodly
number of trees standing where she
wants them. I suggest that you loosen
the soil with the pickaxe, then I
can throw it out rapidly. Try it."
The farmer did so, not only for
Minturn, but for Hiram also. The
lightest part of the work thus fell to
him. "We'll change about," he said,
"when you get tired."
But Minturn did not get weary ap-
parently, and under this new division
of the toil the number of holes grew
apace.
Sakes alive, Mr. Minturn!" ejac-
ulated Mr. Banning, "one would think
you had been brought up on a farm."
"Or at ditch digging," added the
young man. "No; my profession is
to get people into hot water and then
make them pay roundly to get out.
I'm a lawyer. Times have changed
in cities. It's there you'll find young
men with muscle, if anywhere. Put
your hand here, sir, and you'll know





QUEEN OF SPADES.


whether Miss Banning made a bad
bargain in hiring me for the day."
"Why !" exclaimed the astonished
farmer, "you have the muscle of a
blacksmith."
"Yes, sir; I could learn that trade
in about a month."
"You don't grow muscle like that
in a law-office?"
"No, indeed; nothing but bills grow
there. A good fashion, if not abused,
has come in vogue, and young men
develop their bodies as well as brains.
I belong to an athletic club in town,
and could take to pugilism should
everything else fail."
"Is there any prospect of your com-
ing to that?" Sue asked mischiev-
ously.
"If we were out walking, and two
or three rough fellows gave you
impudence-" He nodded signifi-
cantly.
"What could you do against two or
three? They'd close on you."





QUEEN OF SPADES.


"A fellow taught to use his hands
doesn't let men close on him."
"Yah, yah! reckon not," chuckled
Hiram. One of the farm household
had evidently been won.
"It seems to me," remarked smil-
ing Sue, that I saw several young
men in town who appeared scarcely
equal to carrying their canes."
"Dudes?"
"That's what they are called, I be-
lieve."
"They are not men. They are
neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, but the
beginning of the great downward
curve of evolution. Men came up
from monkeys, it's said, you know,
but science is in despair over the final
down-comes of dudes. They may
evolute into grasshoppers."
The farmer was shaken with mirth,
and Sue could not help seeing that he
was having a good time. She, how-
ever, felt that no tranquilly-exciting
day was before her, as she had antici-





QUEEN OF SPADES.


pated. What wouldn't that muscular
fellow attempt before night? He pos-
sessed a sort of vim and cheerful au-
dacity which made her tremble. He
is too confident," she thought, "and
needs a lesson. All this digging is
like that of soldiers who soon mean
to drop their shovels. I don't propose
to be carried by storm just when he
gets ready. He can have his lark,
and that's all to-day. I want a good
deal of time to think before I surren-
der to him or any one else."
During the remainder of the fore-
noon these musings prevented the
slightest trace of sentimentality from
appearing in her face or words. She
had to admit mentally that Minturn
gave her no occasion for defensive
tactics. He attended as strictly to
business as did Hiram, and she was
allowed to come and go at will. At
first she merely ventured to the house,
to "help mother," as she said. Then,
with growing confidence, she went





QUEEN OF SPADES.


here and there to select sites for trees;
but Minturn dug on no longer like
a steam-engine," yet in an easy,
steady, effective way that was a con-
tinual surprise to the farmer.
"Well, Sue," said her father at last,
"you and mother ought to have an
extra dinner; for Mr. Minturn cer-
tainly has earned one."
"I promised him only a dinner,"
she replied; "nothing was said about
its being extra."
Quantity is all I'm thinking of,"
said Minturn. "I have the sauce
which will make it a feast."
'' Reckon it's gwine on twelve," said
Hiram, cocking his eye at the sun.
" Hadn't I better feed de critters?"
"Ah, oldman! own up, now ; you've
got a backache," said Minturn.
Dere is kin' ob a crik comin'-"
Drop work, all hands," cried Sue.
Mr. Minturn has a 'crik' also, but
he's too proud to own it. How you'll
groan for this to-morrow, sir! "





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


If you take that view of the case,
I may be under the necessity of giv-
ing proof positive to the contrary by
coming out to-morrow."
You're not half through yet. The
hardest part is to come."
Oh, I know that," he replied ; and
he gave her such a humorously-ap-
pealing glance that she turned quick-
ly toward the house to hide a conscious
flush.
The farmer showed him to the
spare-room, in which he found his
belongings. Left to make his toilet,
he muttered, "Ah, better and better !
This is not the regulation refrigerator
into which guests are put at farm-
houses. All needed for solid comfort
is here, even to a slight fire in the air-
tight. Now, isn't that rosy old lady
a jewel of a mother-in-law? She
knows that a warm man shouldn't
get chilled just as well as if she had
studied athletics. Miss Sue, however,
is a little chilly. She's on the fence





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


yet. Jupiter! I am tired. Oh, well,
I don't believe I'll have seven years
of this kind of thing. You were right,
though, old man, if your Rachel was
like mine. What's that rustle in the
other room? She's dressing for din-
ner. So must I; and I'm ready for
it. If she hai, romantic ideas about
love and lost appetites, I'm a goner."
When he descended to the parlor,
his old stylish self again, Sue was
there, robed in a gown which he had
admired before, revealing the fact to
her by approving glances. But now
he said, "'You don't look half so well
as you did before."
"I can't say that of you," she re-
plied.
"A man's looks are of no conse-
quence.
Few men think so."
Oh, they try to please such crit-
ical eyes as I now am meeting."
"'And throw dust in them too some-
times."





QUEEN OF SPADES.


"Yes; gold dust, often. I haven't
much of that."
"It would be a pity to throw it
away if you had."
No matter how much was thrown,
I don't think it would blind you, Miss
Banning."
The dining-room door across the
hall opened, and the host and hostess
appeared. Why, father and mother,
how fine you look!"
"It would be strange indeed if we
did not honor this day," said Mrs.
Banning. "I hope you have not so
tired yourself, sir, that you cannot
enjoy your dinner. I could scarcely
believe my eyes as I watched you
from the window."
"I am afraid I shall astonish you
still more at the table. I am simply
ravenous.
"This is your chance," cried Sue.
"You are now to be paid in the coin
you asked for."
Sue did remark to herself by the





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


time they reached dessert and coffee,
"I need have no scruples in refusing
a man with such an appetite; he
won't pine. He is a lawyer, sure
enough. He is just winning father
and mother hand over hand."
Indeed, the bosom of good Mrs.
Banning must have been environed
with steel not to have had throbs of
good-will toward one who showed
such hearty appreciation of her capi-
tal dinner. But Sue became only the
more resolved that she was not going
to yield so readily to this muscular
suitor who was digging and eating his
way straight into the hearts of her an-
cestors, and she proposed to be unusu-
ally elusive and alert during the after-
noon. She was a little surprised when
he resumed his old tactics.
After drinking a second cup of cof-
fee, he rose, and said, "As an honest
man, I have still a great deal to do
after such a dinner."
"Well, it has just done me good to





QUEEN OF SPADES.


see you," said Mrs. Banning, smiling
genially over her old-fashioned coffee-
pot. I feel highly complimented."
"I doubt whether I shall be equal
to another such compliment before
the next birthday. I hope, Miss Susie,
you have observed my efforts to do
honor to the occasion?"
Oh," cried the girl, I naturally
supposed you were trying to get even
in your bargain."
"I hope to be about sundown. I'll
get into those overalls at once, and I
trust you will put on your walking-
suit."
Yes, it will be a walking-suit for
a short time. We must walk to the
wood-lot for the trees, unless you pre-
fer to ride.--Father, please tell Hiram
to get the two-horse wagon ready."
When the old people were left alone,
the farmer said, "Well, mother, Sue
has got a suitor, and if he don't suit
her-" And then his wit gave out.
"There, father, I never thought





QUEEN OF SPADES.


you'd come to that. It's well she has,
for you will soon have to be taken
care of."
He's got the muscle to do it. He
shall have my law-business, anyway."
"Thank the Lord, it isn't much;
but that's not saying he shall have
Sue."
"'Why, what have you against
him?"
Nothing so far. I was only find-
ing out if you had anything against
him."
"Lawyers, indeed! What would
become of the men if women turned
lawyers. Do you think Sue-"
Hush!"
They all laughed till the tears came
when Minturn again appeared dressed
for work; but he nonchalantly lighted
a cigar and was entirely at his ease.
Sue was armed with thick gloves
and a pair of pruning-nippers. Min-
turn threw a spade and pickaxe on
his shoulder, and Mr. Banning, whom





QUEEN OF SPADES.


Sue had warned threateningly "never
to be far away," tramped at their side
as they went up the lane. Apparent-
ly there was no need of such precau-
tion, for the young man seemed whol-
ly bent on getting up the trees, most
of which she had selected and marked
during recent rambles. She helped
now vigorously, pulling on the young
saplings as they loosened the roots,
then trimming them into shape. More
than once, however, she detected
glances, and his thoughts were more
flattering than she imagined. What
vigor she has in that supple, rounded
form Her very touch ought to put
life into these trees; I know it would
into me. How young she looks in
that comical old dress which barely
reaches her ankles Yes, Hal Min-
turn; and remember, that trim little
ankle can put a firm foot down for or
against you,-so no blundering."
He began to be doubtful whether
he would make his grand attack that





QUEEN OF SPA DES.


day, and finally decided against it,
unless a very favorable opportunity
occurred, until her plan of birthday-
work had been carried out and he had
fulfilled the obligation into which he
had entered in the morning. He la-
bored on manfully, seconding all her
wishes, and taking much pains to get
the young trees up with an abundance
of fibrous roots. At last his assiduity
induced her to relent a little, and she
smiled sympathetically as she re-
marked, "I hope you are enjoying
yourself. Well, never mind; some
other day you will fare better."
"Why should I not enjoy myself ?"
he asked in well-feigned surprise.
"What condition of a good time is
absent? Even an April day has for-
gotten to be moody, and we are hav-
ing unclouded, genial sunshine. The
air is delicious with springtime frag-
rance. Were ever hemlocks so aro-
matic as these young fellows? They
come out of the ground so readily





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


that one would think them aware of
their proud destiny. Of course I'm
enjoying myself. Even the robins
and sparrows know it, and are sing-
ing as if possessed."
"Hadn't you better give up your
law-office and turn farmer? "
"This isn't farming. This is em-
broidery-work."
Well, if all these trees grow they
will embroider the old place, won't
they?"
"They'll grow, every mother's son
of 'em."
"What makes you so confident?"
I'm not confident. That's where
you are mistaken." And he gave her
such a direct, keen look that she sud-
denly found something to do else-
where.
"I declare!" she exclaimed men-
tally, "he seems to read my very
thoughts."
At last the wagon was loaded with
trees enough to occupy the holes





Q UEEV OF SPA DES.


which had been dug, and they started
for the vicinity of the farm-house
again. Mr. Banning had no match-
making proclivities where Sue was
concerned, as may be well under-
stood, and had never been far off.
Minturn, however, had appeared so
single-minded in his work, so inno-
cent of all designs upon his daughter,
that the old man began to think that
this day's performance was only a
tentative and preliminary skirmish,
and that if there were danger it lurked
in the unknown future. He was there-
fore inclined to be less vigilant, rea-
soning philosophically, "I suppose
it's got to come some time or other.
It looks as if Sue might go a good
deal farther than this young man and
fare worse. But then she's only eigh-
teen, and he knows it. I guess he's
got sense enough not to plant his corn
till the sun's higher. He can see with
half an eye that my little girl isn't
ready to drop, like an over-ripe ap-





QUEEN OF SPA DES.


pie." Thus mixing metaphors and
many thoughts, he hurried ahead to
open the gate for Hiram.
"I'm in for it now," thought Sue,
and she instinctively assumed an in-
different expression and talked volu-
bly of trees.
"Yes, Miss Banning," he said
formally, "by the time your hair is
tinged with gray the results of this
day's labor will be seen far and wide.
No passenger in the cars, no traveller
in the valley, but will turn his eyes
admiringly in this direction."
"I wasn't thinking of travellers,"
she answered, "but of making an at-
tractive home in which I can grow
old contentedly. Some day when
you have become a gray-haired and
very dignified judge you may come
out and dine with us again. You can
then smoke your cigar under a tree
which you helped to plant."
Certainly, Miss Banning. With
such a prospect, how could you doubt





QUEEN OF SPADES.


that I was enjoying myself ? What
suggested the judge? My present
appearance?"
The incongruity of the idea with
his absurd aspect and a certain degree
of nervousness set her off again, and
she startled the robins by a laugh as
loud and clear as their wild notes.
"I don't care," she cried. I've
had a jolly birthday, and am accom-
plishing all on which I had set my
heart."
"'Yes, and a great deal more, Miss
Banning," he replied with a formal
bow. "In all your scheming you
hadn't set your heart on my coming
out and-does modesty permit me to
say it?-helping a little."
"Now, you have helped wonder-
fully, and you must not think I don'L
appreciate it."
"Ah, how richly I am rewarded! "
She looked at him with a laughing
and perplexed little frown, but only
said, No irony, sir."





QUEEN OF SPADES. 71

By this time they had joined her
father and begun to set out the row
of hemlocks. To her surprise, Sue
had found herself a little disappointed
that he had not availed himself of his
one opportunity to be at least "a bit
friendly," as she phrased it. It was
mortifying to a girl to be expecting
"something awkward to meet" and
nothing of the kind take place. "Af-
ter all," she thought, "perhaps he
came out just for a lark, or worse
still, is amusing himself at my ex-
pense; or he may have come on an
exploring expedition and plain old
father and mother, and the plain little
farm-house, have satisfied him. Well,
the dinner wasn't very plain, but he
may have been laughing in his sleeve
at our lack of style in serving it.
Then this old dress I probably ap-
pear to him a perfect guy." And she
began to hate it, and devoted it to the
rag bag the moment she could get it
off.





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


This line of thought, once begun,
seemed so rational that she wondered
it had not occurred to her before.
"The idea of my being so ridiculous-
ly on the defensive!" she thought.
"No, it wasn't ridiculous either, as
far as my action went, for he can
never say I acted as if I wanted him
to speak. My conceit in expecting
him to speak the moment he got a
chance was absurd. He has begun
to be very polite and formal. That's
always the way with men when they
want to back out of anything. He
came out to look us over, and me in
particular; he made himself into a
scarecrow just because I looked like
one, and now will go home and laugh
it all over with his city friends. Oh,
why did he come and spoil my day?
Even he said it was my day, and he
has done a mean thing in spoiling it.
Well, he may not carry as much self-
complacency back to town as he
thinks he will. Such a cold-blooded





QUEEN OF SPADES.


spirit, too !-to come upon us un-
awares in order to spy out every-
thing, for fear he might get taken in!
You are very attentive and flattering
in the city, sir, but now you are dis-
enchanted. Well, so am I."
Under the influence of this train of
thought she grew more and more si-
lent. The sun was sinking westward
in undimmed splendor, but her face
was clouded. The air was sweet,
balmy, well adapted to sentiment
and the setting out of trees, but she
was growing frosty.
Hiram," she said shortly, "you've
got that oak crooked; let me hold it."
And thereafter she held the trees for
the old colored man as he filled in the
earth around them.
Minturn appeared as oblivious as
he was keenly observant. At first
the change in Sue puzzled and dis-
couraged him; then, as his acute
mind sought her motives, a rosy light
began to dawn upon him. "I may





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


be wrong," he thought, "but I'll take
my chances in acting as if I were
right before I go home."
At last Hiram said, "Reckon I'll
have to feed de critters again;" and
he slouched off.
Sue snipped at the young trees
farther and farther away from the
young man who must "play spy be-
fore being lover." The spy helped
Mr. Banning set out the last tree.
Meantime, the complacent farmer
had mused, ''The little girl's safe for
another while, anyhow. Never saw
her more offish; but things looked
squally about dinner-time. Then,
she's only eighteen; time enough
years hence." At last he said affably,
"I'll go in and hasten supper, for
you've earned it if ever a man did,
Mr. Minturn. Then I'll drive you
down to the evening train." And he
hurried away.
Sue's back was towards them, and
she did not hear Minturn's step until





QUEEN OF SPADES.


he was close beside her. "All
through," he said; "every tree out.
I congratulate you; for rarely in this
vale of tears are plans and hopes
crowned with better success."
"Oh, yes," she hastened to reply;
"I am more than satisfied. I hope
that you are, too."
"I have no reason to complain," he
said. "You have stood by your morn-
ing's bargain, as I have tried to."
"It was your own fault, Mr. Min-
turn, that it was so one-sided. But
I've no doubt you enjoy spicing your
city life with a little lark in the coun-
try."
"'It was a one-sided bargain, and I
have had the best of it."
"Perhaps you have," she admitted.
"I think supper will be ready by the
time we are ready for it." And she
turned toward the house. Then she
added, "You must be weary and
anxious to get away."
"You were right; my bones do





QUEEN OF SPADES.


ache. And look at my hands. I
know you'll say they need washing;
but count the blisters."
"I also said, Mr. Minturn, that you
would know better next time. So you
see I was right then and am right
now.
"Are you perfectly sure?"
"I see no reason to think other-
wise." In turning, she had faced a
young sugar maple which he had
aided her in planting early in the
afternoon. Now she snipped at it
nervously with her pruning -shears,
for he would not budge, and she felt
it scarcely polite to leave him.
"Well," he resumed, after an in-
stant, "it has a good look, hasn't it,
for a man to fulfil an obligation liter-
ally ?"
'' Certainly, Mr. Minturn," and there
was a tremor in her tone; "but you
have done a hundredfold more than
I expected, and never were under any
obligations."





QUEEN OF SPADES.


"Then I am free to begin again ?"
"You are as free now as you have
been all day to do what you please."
And her shears were closing on the
main stem of the maple. He caught
and stayed her hand. '' I don't care!"
she cried almost passionately. "'Come,
let us go in and end this foolish
talk."
"But I do care," he replied, taking
the shears from her, yet retaining her
hand in his strong grasp. "I helped
you plant this tree, and whenever
you see it, whenever you care for it,
when, in time, you sit under its shade
or wonder at its autumn hues, I wish
you to remember that I told you of
my love beside it. Dear little girl,
do you think I am such a blind fool
that I could spend this long day with
you at your home and not feel sorry
that I must ever go away? If I could,
my very touch should turn the sap of
this maple into vinegar. To-day I've
only tried to show how I can work





QUEEN OF SPADES.


for you. I am eager to begin again,
and for life."
At first Sue had tried to withdraw
her hand, but its tenseness relaxed.
As he spoke, she turned her averted
face slowly toward him, and the rays
of the setting sun flashed a deeper
crimson into her cheeks. Her honest
eyes looked into his and were satis-
fied. Then she suddenly gathered
the young tree against her heart and
kissed the stem she had so nearly
severed. "This maple is witness to
what you've said," she faltered.
"Ah! but it will be a sugar-maple in
truth; and if petting will make it live
-there, now! behave! The idea!
right out on this bare lawn! You
must wait till the screening ever-
greens grow before- Oh, you au-
dacious-I haven't promised any-
thing."
"I promise everything. I'm en-
gaged, and only taking my retaining
fees."





QUEEN OF SPADES.


"Mother," cried Farmer Banning
at the dining-room window, "just
look yonder !"
"And do you mean to say, John
Banning, that you didn't expect it ?"
"Why, Sue was growing more and
more offish."
"Of course! Don't you remem-
ber?"
Oh, this unlucky birthday! As
if trees could take Sue's place !"
"Yah!" chuckled Hiram from the
barn door, "I knowed dat ar gem'lin
was a-diggin' a hole fer hisself on dis
farm."
"Mr. Minturn--" Sue began as
they came toward the house arm in
arm.
"Hal-" he interrupted.
"Well, then, Mr. Hal, you must
promise me one thing in dead earn-
est. I'm the only chick father and
mother have. You must be very con-
siderate of them, and let me give
them as much of my time as I can.





Q UEEN OF SPADES.


This is all that I stipulate; but this
I do."
"Sue," he said in mock solemnity,
"the prospects are that you'll be a
widow."
"Why do you make such an absurd
remark?"
"Because you have struck amid-
ships the commandment with the
promise, and your days will be long
in the land. You'll outlive every-
body."
"This will be no joke for father and
mother."
So it would appear. They sat in
the parlor as if waiting for the world
to come to an end,-as indeed it had,
one phase of it, to them. Their little
girl, in a sense, was theirs no longer.
"Father, mother," said Sue, de-
murely, "I must break some news
to you."
"It's broken already," began Mrs.
Banning, putting her handkerchief
to her eyes.





QUEEN OF SPADES.


Sue's glance renewed her reproaches
for the scene on the lawn; but Min-
turn went promptly forward, and
throwing his arm around the ma-
tron's plump shoulders, gave his first
filial kiss.
"Come, mother," he said, Sue has
thought of you both; and I've given
her a big promise that I won't take
any more of her away than I can
help. And you, sir," wringing the
farmer's hand, "will often see a city
tramp here who will be glad to work
for his dinner. These overalls are
my witness."
Then they became conscious of his
absurd figure, and the scene ended in
laughter that was near akin to tears.
The maple lived, you-may rest as-
sured; and Sue's children said there
never was such sugar as the sap of
that tree yielded.
All the hemlocks, oaks, and dog-
wood thrived as if conscious that
theirs had been no ordinary trans-





82 QUEEN OF SPADES.

planting; while Minturn's half-jest-
ing prophecy concerning the trav-
ellers in the valley was amply ful
filled.









CAUGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.

T HE August morning was bright
and fair, but Herbert Scofield's
brow was clouded. He had wan-
dered off to a remote part of the
grounds of a summer hotel on the
Hudson, and seated in the shade of
a tree, had lapsed into such deep
thought that his cigar had gone out
and the birds were becoming bold in
the vicinity of his motionless figure.
It was his vacation-time and he
had come to the country ostensibly
for rest. As the result, he found him-
self in the worst state of unrest that
he had ever known. Minnie Madi-
son, a young lady he had long ad-
mired, was the magnet that had
drawn him hither. Her arrival had
preceded his by several weeks; and
she had smiled a little consciously
when in looking at the hotel register
8s





84 CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.

late one afternoon his bold chirogra-
phy met her eye.
"There are so many other places
to which he might have gone," she
murmured
Her smile, however, was a doubt-
ful one, not expressive of gladness
and entire satisfaction. In mirthful
saucy fashion her thoughts ran on,
"'The time has come when he might
have a respite from business. Does
he still mean business by coming
here? I'm not sure that I do, al-
though the popular idea seems to be
that a girl should have no vacation
in the daily effort to find a husband.
I continually disappoint the good
people by insisting that the husband
must find me. I have a presentiment
that Mr. Scofield is looking for me;
but there are some kinds of property
which cannot be picked up and car-
ried off, nolens volens, when found."
Scofield had been animated by no
such clearly-defined purpose as he





CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.


was credited with when he sought the
summer resort graced by Miss Madi-
son. His action seemed to him ten-
tative, his motive ill-defined even in
his own consciousness, yet it had
been strong enough to prevent any
hesitancy. He knew he was weary
from a long year's work. He pur-
posed to rest and take life very lei-
surely, and he had mentally congrat-
ulated himself that he was doing a
wise thing in securing proximity to
Miss Madison. She had evoked his
admiration in New York, excited
more than a passing interest, but he
felt that he did not know her very
well. In the unconventional life now
in prospect he could see her daily and
permit his interest to be dissipated or
deepened, as the case might be, while
he remained, in the strictest sense of
the word, uncommitted. It was a
very prudent scheme and not a bad
one. He reasoned justly, "This se-
lecting a wife is no bagatelle. A man





86 CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.

wishes to know something more about
a woman than he can learn in a draw-
ing-room or at a theatre party."
But now he was in trouble. He
had been unable to maintain this ju-
dicial aspect. He had been made to
understand at the outset that Miss
Madison did not regard herself as a
proper subject for deliberate investi-
gation, and that she was not inclined
to aid in his researches. So far from
meeting him with engaging frank-
ness and revealing her innermost soul
for his inspection, he found her as
elusive as only a woman of tact can
be when so minded, even at a place
where people meet daily. It was plain
to him from the first that he was not
the only man who favored her with
admiring glances; and he soon dis-
covered that young Merriweather and
his friend Hackley had passed beyond
the neutral ground of non-committal.
He set himself the task of learning
how far these suitors had progressed





CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.


in her good graces; he would not be
guilty of the folly of giving chase to
a prize already virtually captured.
This too had proved a failure. Clear-
ly, would he know what Mr. Merri-
weather and Mr. Hackley were to
Miss Madison he must acquire the
power of mind reading. Each cer-
tainly appeared to be a very good
friend of hers,-a much better friend
than he could claim to be, for in his
case she maintained a certain unap-
proachableness which perplexed and
nettled him.
After a week of rest, observation,
and rather futile effort to secure a
reasonable share of Miss Madison's
society and attention, he became as-
sured that he was making no progress
whatever so far as she was concerned,
but very decided progress in a condi-
tion of mind and heart anything but
agreeable should the affair continue
so one-sided. He had hoped to see
her daily, and was not disappointed.





88 CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.
He had intended to permit his mind
to receive such impressions as he
should choose; and now his mind
asked no permission whatever, but
without volition occupied itself with
her image perpetually. He was not
sure whether she satisfied his precon-
ceived ideals of what a wife should
be or not, for she maintained such a
firm reticence in regard to herself that
he could put his finger on no affini-
ties. She left no doubt as to her in-
telligence, but beyond that she would
not reveal herself to him. He was
almost satisfied that she discouraged
him utterly and that it would be
wiser to depart before his feelings be-
came more deeply involved. At any
rate he had better do this or else make
love in dead earnest. Which course
should he adopt?
There came a day which brought
him to a decision.
A party had been made up for an
excursion into the Highlands, Miss





CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.


Madison being one of the number.
She was a good pedestrian and rarely
missed a chance for a ramble among
the hills. Scofield's two rivals occa-
sionally got astray with her in the
perplexing wood-roads, but he never
succeeded in securing such good for-
tune. On this occasion, as they ap-
proached a woodchopper's cottage (or
rather, hovel), there were sounds of
acute distress within,-the piercing
cries of a child evidently in great
pain. There was a moment of hesi-
tancy in the party, and then Miss
Madison's graceful indifference van-
ished utterly. As she ran hastily to
the cabin, Scofield felt that now prob-
ably was a chance for more than mere
observation, and he kept beside her.
An ugly cur sought to bar entrance;
but his vigorous kick sent it howling
away. She gave him a quick pleased
look as they entered. A slatternly
woman was trying to soothe a little
boy, who at all her attempts only





CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.


writhed and shrieked the more. "I
dunno what ails the young one," she
said. "I found him a moment ago
yellin' at the foot of a tree. Suthin's
the matter with his leg."
"Yes," cried Miss Madison, deli-
cately feeling of the meiber,-an
operation which, even under her gen-
tle touch, caused increased outcry,
" it is evidently broken. Let me take
him on my lap;" and Scofield saw
that her face had softened into the
tenderest pity.
"'I will bring a surgeon at the ear-
liest possible moment," exclaimed
Scofield, turning to go.
Again she gave him an approving'
glance which warmed his heart. "The
ice is broken between us now," he
thought, as he broke through the
group gathering at the open door.
Never before had he made such
time down a mountain, for he had a
certain kind of consciousness that he
was not only going after the doctor,





CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.


but also after the girl. Securing a
stout horse and wagon at the hotel,
he drove furiously for the surgeon,
explained the urgency, and then, with
the rural healer at his side, almost
killed the horse in returning.
He found his two rivals at the cabin
door, the rest of the party having
gone on. Miss Madison came out
quickly. An evanescent smile flitted
across her face as she saw his kindled
eyes and the reeking horse, which
stood trembling and with bowed
head. His ardor was a little damp-
ened when she went directly to the
poor beast and said, "This horse is a
rather severe indictment against you,
Mr. Scofield. There was need of
haste, but-" and she paused signifi-
cantly.
"Yes," added the doctor, springing
out, "I never saw such driving? It's
lucky our necks are not broken."
"You are all right, Doctor, and
ready for your work," Scofield re-





92 CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.

marked brusquely. "As for the
horse, I'll soon bring him around;"
and he rapidly began to unhitch the
over-driven animal.
"What are you going to do?" Miss
Madison asked curiously.
"Rub him into as good shape as
when he started."
She turned away to hide a smile as
she thought, "He has waked up at
last."
The boy was rendered unconscious,
and his leg speedily put in the way of
restoration. ''He will do very well
now if my directions are carried out
strictly," the physician was saying
when Scofield entered.
Mr. Merriweather and Mr. Hackley
stood rather helplessly in the back-
ground and were evidently giving
more thought to the fair nurse than
to the patient. The mother was alter-
nating between lamentations and in-
vocations of good on the "young
leddy's" head. Finding that hewould





CA UGHT ON THE EBB- TIDE.


come in for a share of the latter, Sco-
field retreated again. Miss Madison
walked quietly out, and looking crit-
ically at the horse, remarked, "You
have kept your word very well, Mr.
Scofield. The poor creature does
look much improved." She evidently
intended to continue her walk with
the two men in waiting, for she
said demurely with an air of dis-
missal, "You will have the happy
consciousness of having done a good
deed this morning."
"Yes," replied Scofield, in signifi-
cant undertone; "you, of all others,
Miss Madison, know how inordinately
happy I shall be in riding back to the
village with the doctor."
She raised her eyebrows in a little
well-feigned surprise at his words,
then turned away.
During the remainder of the day
he was unable to see her alone for a
moment, or to obtain any further
reason to believe that the ice was in





CA UGHT ON THE EBB-TIDE.


reality broken between them. But
his course was no longer noncommit-
tal, even to the most careless observer.
The other guests of the house smiled;
and Mr. Merriweather and Mr. Hack-
ley looked askance at one who threw
their assiduous attentions quite into
the shade. Miss Madison maintained
her composure, was oblivious as far
as possible, and sometimes when she
could not appear blind, looked a little
surprised and even offended.
He had determined to cast pru-
dence and circumlocution to the
winds. On the morning following
the episode in the mountains he was
waiting to meet her when she came
down to breakfast. "I've seen that
boy, Miss Madison, and he's doing
well."
"What! so early? You are a very
kind-hearted man, Mr. Scofield."
"About as they average. That you
are not kind-hearted I know,-at least
to every one except me,-for I saw




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