The McCook tribune. (McCook, Neb.) 1886-1936, December 29, 1899, Image 6

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A Talc of the Blue and the Gray.
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
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
"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
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.
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-
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
answer could I make to his shameful
demand ? Either he never knew me ,
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
horrid Boer ! Punch. ai
Even when man makes his own op m
portunities they are not made to suit
him. hi
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
"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
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
; 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
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
"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
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
know me ? No , it's all vanity artifi
cial a waste of time. "
Grace was serious enough now and
stared out to sea with a frown upon
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
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
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
"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-
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
"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-
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.