The McCook tribune. (McCook, Neb.) 1886-1936, December 29, 1899, Image 6
HIS WOW OF HONOR , f A Talc of the Blue and the Gray. BYE WERNER. ( | Copyright. 18 ! , by Ilobcrt Kcnncr's Sons. CHAPTER III. ( Continued. ) "I believe you , Edward , " Bho said , In a low tone. "I will be ready this evening. " Edward raised her hands to his lips find rose. "Thanks ! And now one favor more ! Captain Wilson asks permission to pay his respects to you. Will you receive him ? " ' "Not now. I must go t.o my father. The captain will excuse me if I receive him later. " "As you please. And when may I see my uncle ? " "As soon as he wakes. I am ex pecting the doctor. He promised to come toward evening and bring Doctor Blackwood , who Is to reach the city this morning. Perhaps he can give me hope. " "Hope ? You know as well as I that It Is.only a question of time , a short addition to the days of life. The phy sicians have left us no doubt on that score. But I won't detain you from the sick-room now. Farewell ! I shall hope to see my uncle in half an hour. " He kissed her hand again , and left the room. Florence remained alone. She. too , had risen , and now. slowly approachIng - Ing the fountain , bent over Its basin. The sultry air oppressed her till her breathing almost failed. Perhaps it was also the burden of dread of the coming hours and the torturing de cision which they must bring. The water leaped and plashed. The fragrance of the flowers stole softly and sweetly to her. While her eyes mechanically followed the falling drops , their pattering and the fra grance wove n dreamy haze of remem brance about her and led her back into the past this last year , which at first had promised her so much happi ness , only to bring such bitter suffer ing. Even this brief period of bliss had at first cost a struggle. She was obliged to conquer a prejudice of her followed the former's oerlous illness den , instead of using the main en trance , and now , unannounced , hur riedly entered the drawing-room. The young lady involuntarily took a step tofrard the table , on which stood a bell. "Florence ! " She started , for she recognized the voice , then the features , and with a cry of mingled fear and joy she held out both arms to him. "William ! " He was already at her side and clasped her passionately In his arms , exclaiming with a deep sigh : "Thank heaven ! At least I have not lost you ! " Florence clung closely to him , as if seeking protection. Everything that had tortured her vanished In her lover's presence , In the delight of seeIng - Ing him , and she eagerly exclaimed : "Have you come at last ? Why have you left me alone so long so endlessly long ? I despaired of your return. " "I could not hasten to you , " replied William. "My regiment was one of the first to receive marching orders. Not a day , not an hour was granted me , and every march increased the dis tance between us. You know what it cost me to submit to this iron neces sity ; my letters told you. " "Your letters ? You wrote to me ? " "Then you did not receive them ? I suspected it when no answer came , yet I still tried every means of communi cating with you. Florence , we have been shamefully treated. I have never had one line from your hand. " "From me ? I did not write , " said Florence , in a low , hesitating tone. William , who was still holding her in close embrace , suddenly released her and stepped back. "You did not ? You have not sent me'a single line during the long months of our separation ? You have not once attempted to elude the watch set on your movements ? Yet you must have known that I would make every effort to send you tidings of me. " The reproach was felt , but at the SHE STARTED FOR SHE RECOGNIZED THE VOICE. father , who had long intended to wed her to his nephew and would hear of no other marriage. Ho considered the young officer who had won his daugh ter's love as an insolent intruder , who was destroying the peace of his house hold ; and the political opinions of the two men , which were strongly opposed to each other , also threatened danger. Nevertheless , for .the time , Mr. Harrison risen , conquered by the tears and en treaties of his only child , yielded , though with reluctance ; Edward , who had just returned from a long jour ney , found himself confronted with a fact against which his fierce jealousy was powerless. But he knew how to maintain his influence over his uncle , and never ceased to stimulate his aver sion to the son-in-law who had been forced upon him. CHAPTER IV. At last , the outbreak of the war fur nished the long-desired opportunity for an open breach. Harrison imposed conditions which he knew the young officer would never accept and , on his refusal , withdrew his promise. In this way he bad a semblance of justice on his side , and Roland's refusal was de scribed under the most hateful colors. Florence was neither energetic nor in dependent. She had been brave so long as William stood at her side and she was sure of his love and protec tion. Alone she was unable to contend with her father and Edward , and now and Edward's passionate entreaties , for the latter was determined to secure her hand at any cost At last , sup posing herself deserted by the man she loved , she yielded to these creatures and gave up her resistance. The young girl was suddenly startled from her reverie by a broad , bright bar of sunshine. The blinds of the glass doors leading out upon the terrace had been opened , and a man appeared , in a light summer suit , with a broad- brimmed straw hat pulled so low over his brow that his features could scarcely be distinguished. The visitor , strange to say , came through the gar- cr same lime the old sting also pierced her heart , and , with a touch of delii fiance , the young girl answered : "Tidings of you did come , but they were not addressed to me the letter in which you renounced me and all of us. " 'Your ' father not you. What other T answer could I make to his shameful demand ? Either he never knew me , 2c or he could not have set such a choice before me or he knew my decision in , advance , and my refusal was to seal a separation on which he had long re determined. " "Well , at least you made 3'our choice \v . promptly enough ! You uttered the re- in fusal , and gave me up. " se 'No , Florence , no ! " William im- te petuously answered. "I did not give you up , and never will , as long as breath remains in my body. I know that we are parted for the time , that is there can be no thought of marriage while I am serving in the Union army. It would be expecting the impossible a from your father if I were to ask his consent before the war is over. But my fear was not vain that the effort would be made to wrest you from me , that estrangement and distrust would come between us while I was absent. You have doubted me , I see , and it waste to destroy this doubt that I took the dangerous ride here. But you will 000 now believe in me and my love , my Florence , as firmly as I trust you. en Will you not ? " The last words expressed the utmost tenderness. He believed so implicitly in the loyalty of his fiancee ; and she A sudden fear awoke in her with the memory of what had happened and was yet to come. William must know it , yet she , could not force her lips to utter the confession. She was to 1 > e spared the necessity. While still struggling to find the words with which to begin her story , Edward returned and paused on the threshold in astonishment , as he saw the stranger clasping the young girl's hand so familiarly in his own. At the first glance the civilian's dress and the dim light deceived him ; but as the young officer , with a sudden movement , turned toward him , Harrison started back , exclalmlngly furiously : "Mr. Roland Is It you ? " "Certainly , " replied the other , coldly , with a gloomy glance at the man whom he had long recognized as his foe. "You probabjy did not expect to find me here ? " Edward had already regained his self-control. He instantly perceived what threatened him and the peril In volved by his rival's unexpected apa pearance. A few hours later , the latter would have had no power to cross his path ; but now he must face the danger , and Harrison was not the man to shrink and give up the game as lost. "No , Indeed , " he said , answering the last question. "So far as I am aware , the Union forces have not reached Springfield. " 'Yet I am here , as you see. " "On hostile soil. And for what purc pose ? " "Do I owe an account to you ? You seem to be usurping the place of the master of the house , Mr. Harrison. I regret that I cannot acknowledge it ; for I , too , have a son's privilege here , and will speak only to the father of my betrothed bride. " "My uncle will hardly be disposed to recognize your claim. At any rate , you must forego an interview with him. " "Will you prevent it ? " demanded Roland , threateningly. But Florence , who had anxiously noticed the rising wrath of the two men , now interposed. "My father is ill , William , " she said gently ; "has been very ill for months. During the last few weeks his disease has assumed a dangerous phase , and yesterday the doctor prepared me for the worst. " Her voice was choked with tears. William listened in perplexity ; what ever wrath he had cherished against his future father-in-law , this news disarmed him. "I had no thought of this , " he said , deeply moved. "My poor Florence ! " He put his arm around the weeping girl. But this movement , the quiet confidence with which he asserted the rights of a betrothed lover , enraged Harrison to the utmost ; his hands clenched as if he longed to tear the couple apart , and his voice sounded hoarse , almost stifled. "You don't seem to be aware of what has happened recently , Mr. Ro land. I am compelled to inform you of it ; I " "I know and suspect more than might be agreeable to you , " inter rupted the young officer , releasing Florence and appi caching him. "I just heard from Miss Harrison that not one of my letters has reached her hands , though I used every precaution. Her father cannot have interfered , since for months he has been on a sick bed ; yet an intrigue has been carried on which I see with tolerable distinct ness. Perhaps I shall apply to the right person if I ask you for informa tion. You will , of course , deny " "Who tells you so ? " asked Edward , coldly. "The letters are in my hands. " William started back. This cold- blooded acknowledgment completely destroyed his self-command for a mo ment ; but Florence exclaimed in con sternation : 'Edward ! You did that ? " He turned to her with a perfectly unmoved manner. "I think I can explain it. At first I acted only at your father's request , afterward on my own authority ; but then I was simply exercising my rights , for you will remember that three weeks ago you consented to become my wife. " " lie ! A shameful " "That is a slander ! cried William. "S'peak , Florence ! De fend yourself ! You see I don't be lieve one word of the calumny. " ( To be continued. ) Great Bells. In the manufacture of great bells Russia has always taken the lead. The ] "Giant , " which was cast in Mos cow in the sixteenth century , weighed 288,000 pounds , and it required twen ty-four men to ring it. It was broken by falling from its support , but was recast in 1654. On June 10 , 170G , It again fell , and in 1732 the fragments were < used , with new materials , in cast ing the "King of Bells , " still to be seen in Moscow. This bell is nine teen feet three inches high , measures around the margin sixty feet nine inches , weighs about 443,732 pounds , and its estimated value in metal alone , at least ? 300,000. St. Ivan's bell , also in Moscow , is forty feet nine inches in circumference , sixteen and half inches thick , and weighs 127- 830 pounds. The bells of China rank next to those of Russia in size. In . Pekin ' there are seven bells , each is : said to weigh 320,000 pounds. The , weight of the leading great bells of the world are as follows : "Great Bell of ti Moscow , " 443,732 pounds ; St. Ivan's , Moscow , 127,830 pounds ; Pekin , 120- pounds ; Vienna , 40,200 pounds ; Olmutz , Bohemia , 40,000 pounds ; Rou , , France , 40,000 pounds ; St. Paul's , London , 38,470 pounds ; "Big Ben , " Westminster , 30,350 pounds ; Montreal , 28,560 pounds ; St. Peter's Rome , ) 18,600 pounds. Juvenile Logic. Boy You are going to fight against the English , aren't you , Capt. Brown ? Capt Brown ( indignantly ) Fight the English ! What on earth put that into your head ? Boy Why , daddy said you were a it itai horrid Boer ! Punch. ai Irm Even when man makes his own op m portunities they are not made to suit him. hi is By M. S. Jameson. "Well , if those fellows are coming around to see the old year out they bad better show up pretty soon , " yawned H. Parker Baxter as he slam med down the cover of a ponderous and gruesome medical book and turned a pair of sleepy eyes to the clock.which was complacently ticking away the last fifteen minutes of ' 98. No other sounds were to be heard , save the oc casional settling of the fire in the grate , for the snow lay deep and soft over the cobble and flagstone outside. The old year , after a stormy life , was dying calmly and beautifully. To our friend Baxter , one of these unimpassloned , dusty men who never "join In , " this ancient ceremony of seeing the old year out appealed but feebly. He used to say of New Years , "an arbitrarily fixed point in time which . has become the inaugural date for good resolutions , to the necessary neglect of all other dates for their , formation , " but most of his friends thought this simply a speech that he was gratified to make. He was trying hard to pose as a "rising young phys ician , " and was really acting the part to himself , as many an ambitious man will do. But however this may be , as the seconds ticked along , H. Parker grew more and more drowsy. He" settled himself back in the chair , stared at the fire , and blinked. Then his eyelids dropped. "This will never do , " says he , straightening up with a jerk and reaching out to the table for something to read or look at , "I must keep awake a few minutes longer. " Chance put a stack of photographs under his hand , and though they were stale enough he began to look them over again inci dentally yielding to the comfort of ly ing back in the big chair. Some were portraits of his friends at school and college , some were old faded prints that ought to have had romances at tached , but which were really very prosaic , even to him. Others bore the brand of the amateur's first attempt these to be passed by quickly ; a few were the products of his own photo graphic skill at Granite Head last sum mer bathers in the surf , the hotel , a clam bake , etc. all very fair photo graphs in their way but hold ! here is one that might be studied critically. There is no hurry. It is too late now for the revellers to come. H. Parker shifts to a still more comfortable posi tion and the soft lamp light shines over his shoulder upon as pretty a lit tle picture as you would ask to see. It is the picture of a dark-haired girl , dressed in a suit of duck. She is stand ing i on a log of driftwood with her hands behind her and her handsome , happy face turned squarely to the cam era. In the developing of this pic ture H. Parker had conceded that more care was required than in ordinary work ; he had watched its delicate lines appear with the enthusiasm of a true J lover of the chemist's art. With any other passion ? Possibly , but that was past and gone four months ago. The young doctor liked that photo graph , somehow. He had examined it | time and again until he knew its every , detail. It did not grow stale like the others. But tonight there seemed to be a new light upon it , a new tone in the unfocused background of sand and STANDING ON A LOG OF DRIFT WOOD. ; ea , an undefinable change of expres sion in those brown eyes looking out > f the albumen paper. Our imagina- .ion is subject to suoh unhealthy flut- ers as this , yet most interesting grew hat picture , and H. Parker's eyes and leart were won , if his reason sanc- .ioned not. Preposterous and incredible ! The luck skirt began to move slightly , as f stirred by a breeze from the sea , and he margins of the picture drew far- her and farther apart , until on one iide a row of bath houses came into riew , while on the other the broad , lue ocean sparkling in the summer mnlight ! More than this , H. Parker vas conscious of a slight odor of salt n the air , as of seaweed and wet rocks eft by the tide. The distant boom of ireakers , soft at first , grew louder and tearer. When the girl stepped down rom the drift log to the sand before lis eyes , the doctor's smile of incredul- ty suddenly expired. When she looked of it him and spoke he felt a tremor n the very marrow of his bones , and of lot a tremor wholly of surprise either. There he was on the beach with er again ; not Baxter of surgical treat- ses and test-tubes , tut the summeris clad , sun-tanned devotee of Granite Head , and the very ardent , though un assuming , admirer of Grace Marston. Her first words confused his thoughts , he felt a ghostlike atmosphere a'bout him , but after that the glaring August sun warmed him through , the sea breeze exhllerated him , he was filled with energy and real live happiness. "Dear me , " she was saying , "to think that there is nothing better for you to photograph than a summer girl mak ing a guy of herself on an old log ! There go those Sewall girls from the 'Pines ; ' If you hurry you can catch them to pose in a group for you. I've heard they are great at it. " "At posing , I suppose , " he answered. "No , Miss Marstou , I have graduated from the snap-'em-whenever-you-can class and have entered the art school hence I have chosen you for the pic ture. " "Ha-ha-ha ! I appreciate that , " laughed the girl as they began to saun ter down toward the cliffs , "but have you considered , Mr. Baxter , the proba bility of my breaking the plate ? " "What ! An angler , too ? I shall not humor the weakness in you , still , if you are a summer girl , as your own confession would indicate " "Pardon me , Mr. Baxter , "you know I like the assertion better when you let me make it. " "Of course. Observe that I advance no statements on the subject myself. I THE DOCTOR LIKED THAT PHO TOGRAPH. was merely going to say that if you are a summer girl of the approved , news paper-joke sort , your likeness upon the plate could not fail to produce the effect that it has upon er men's hearts , to wit complete fracture. " "Why , I am surprised at you , " said Grace , a faint hlush hardly perceptible under the healthy tan which she had found no difficulty in acquiring at Granite Head. H. Parker studied her face in its mock severity and watched the dainty little hand go up to push back some annoying hair that blew across her eyes. A great wave of admiration for that noble girl rose up in his breast admiration very unlike that with which he had heard his brilliant class mates proclaim their knowledge. His hearl told him , "I love her. " Why not let his heart be heard ? They strolled along together to the music of the sea. H. Parker felt that there was melody even in the scream ing of the gulls overhead. He won dered why it had never seemed so be fore. "Let us sit up there under the big rock , " suggested Grace , pointing to the nearest of the cliffs which leaned for ward over the sand and made a cosy shelter from the sun. Here the sand was cool , the glare softened and the view of cheap cottages and decrepit bath houses cut off , while the whole stretch of beach on the right lay be fore them like a broad white highway. Grace sat with her back against the rock , and at her side reclined the doc tor , full length upon the sand. "Are you ever serious , Miss Mars- ton ? " quoth he with but a trace of that quality in his own tone. "Sometimes. " "On what rare occasions would it be possible for one to find you in that mood ? " "Oh , well , I'm not naturally so , you know , but once in a while when some thing goes wrong to induce it I get very serious even blue and as I al ways end by finding out what a silly , useless creature I am , there is very lit tle enjoyment in being serious. Please let's not be serious , Mr. Baxter. " "Never mor * light-minded in my life. Miss Marston never. But tell me how you deduct your conclusion which proves you a silly , useless creature. I am very clever at showing fallacies In reasoning. " "Well , unless because I live a use less life. Just look at my diary for a h winter. Just look it through and see if you find anything accomplished , Pi anything improving or worthy. Dances calls teas , over and over again. Do you call that sort of thing living ? The people I meet day by day there ; do I know them friends do y , are they , they fii know me ? No , it's all vanity artifi cial a waste of time. " hi Grace was serious enough now and stared out to sea with a frown upon fr her brows as dark as any that ever hovered there. w A pause and her companion spoke. . 'It may be vanity for some , but not P for you. Miss Marston. Society furnishes - nishes a field for superficial character to breed and thrive in , but yours is good and strong and sincere. " a "I have begun to forget and disre qi gard what it naturally is. I am tired that life. I love the woods and ex the sea the open air and the sense su freedom ; freedom to go where I : please , be as I want to be , choose com us panions that I like. " ho "Then the view of cliffs and breakers th thY pleasanter than the brilliant ball- Y ( room with Ita music and flowers ? That cottage half burled In the pines seems a truer homo than many a brown stone front on the avenue ? " "Ah , a thousand times , " answered Grace with the frown dying out of her face. His words were slow and earn est , but she seemed not to connect them with the speaker. They put her into a brown study and she fell to ex amining a handful of sand for garnets. Watching the search , he continued even more quietly than before. "Would there bo happiness for you in a little homo such as that cottage , far from town , with all Its parties and things , where you would be with real people , where you would bo loved and served by real friends ? " Closer scrutiny of the sand. "Would you give up that luxurious life that you -have followed for this , and for a fellow whose every energy would 'be turned to your happiness such a fellow , In fact , as I ? " The sand slipped away , and the gar nets were lost. "Oh , Grace , Grace , would you could you ? " Ding , dong ding , dong ding , dong ; twelve o'clock. H. Parker Baxter awoke with a great start and looked around astonished. Ho had seen the New Year come In Au gust. NEW YEAR'S DAY IN KITCHEN. Cook will probably have her New Year's callers , and if you are wise you will close eyes and ears for the ivonco , nor investigate too closely the contents of dish or demijohn. For her frienda are hale and hearty , with old fashioned ideas on the subject of hospitality and an aversion to such foolish fripperies as tea or coffee ! If you have a few flowers or ribbons that you do not need , they will be well bestowed upon her , and will add to her attractiveness as she sits in state be hind a well filled table in her kitchen presiding over some such scene as this : Ting-a-ling-ling ! "Mary , there's the basement bell. G'wan now an' open the dure. " The kitchenmaid does so , and re ports : "It's Mr. Duffy. " "Arrah ! come right in , Mr. Duffy. It's th' first ye are , an' good luck to you. " "Good luck to you. Miss Kelly. Shure it's a fine night. God bo praised ! " "Awin ! Sit down. " Duffy does so , and stares around in awkward fashion. "An * are ye makin * many calls , Mr. Duffy ? " "This is the first. Shure I didn't lave the dumps till sivin. " "True for you. An'pwhat will you have to drink ? There's sherry wine an * port wine , an' claret wine an' some whisky. " Mr. Duffy's dull eye brightens. "I'll take a little of th' ould stuff. " he says with a grin. He takes it , but not a little. "Will yez have some cake or a sand wich ? " "Have yez arrah a corn bafe san'- wieh in th' house ? " "Shure I have ! Take two of thlm. " He does so , and munches till the bell rings again. The maid announces "Mr. Geo- hogan. " Duffy rises with some show of per turbation. "I think I'll be goin' . " "Arrah don't hurry. Ye know Mr. Geohogan ? " "I know no good av him. " "Arrah , phat talk have you more ? " Duffy moves to the door as the new- QINE NIGHT , GOD BE PRAISED , omer enters , and the two men nod teach ach other in a surly fashion.- "Good night , " says Duffy. Cook follows him to the doer , and er ( sibilant whisper can be heard lainly. "Why don't you like him , Mr. > uffy ? " "Shure he's a scab ! An' , besides , e's * from Tyrone. I niver give a coun- y Tyrone man more than th * tip av me nger. " And the basement door clangs be- ind him. Mr. Geohogan partakes freely of re- reshment , and is proposing marriage hen a new batch of callers arrive. "Givan wid you now , " says Cook , leased and flustered , "an' come back bin your sober tomorrow. Here comes ie Donnelly's. " From this time on the room becomes rendezvous for Cook's many ac- uaintances. The policeman looks in the door to schange his good wishes Tor "bite and ip , " the grocery clerk drops in , the e man calls , and as the new year is shored in with bells and songs and Drns and shouts , Cook's guests are lere , to aid in the "send off. " N ork Herald.