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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (July 15, 1899)
Upon the breast of some
vile scum-clothed pool,
.Pure lilies lift
their cups of lustrous while,
They struggle through
the death-engendering slime
To bathe their stainless
petals in the light.
-William Reed Dunroy.
ON THE PASSENGER LIST.
Hy iTufbig Van Zilo Huldon.
Mrs. Rutgor Do Peyster Bat in hor
steamer chair idly watching tho pooplo
marching back and forth on tho deck,
but a gleam of inton-st flickered an in
Htant in hor oyes tin young Oswald gavo
hur it ploiisant "Good morning,'' and
aHkod if ho might take advanttigo of
Colonel Do PoyHter'B nbBonco to Hit in
hie chair for a littln whilo. Ah tho col'
onol raroly Bat Btill for jlvo conBocutivo
minutos, ho was unlikely to bo dis
turbod. Tho youth had been in ado to under
stand by certain onvinus onlookers tliut
ho 'Wiib decidedly honored when, a fow
days before, Mrs. Do Poyator had .ligni
11ml hor dcBiro to tako a fow turns on
deck in his company. Sho really had
taken more than a passing interest in
him; ho wasjto ingenuous and unspoiled;
and it pleased her to know that sho
might bo of servico to him in Now
It wnB a peculiarity of Mrs. Do Poin
ter 'that whilo no ono touched oven tho
outor edgo of her personal self, yet all
hor lifo somo eubtio personality had in
vited tho most sacred confidences of
others. A woman said oncoof hur, to
ono of hor friends, "Mrs. Do PoyBter b
in possesion of my inormost bouI, but,
us I think of it, I know absolutely no
innro of hor than tho wholo world can
"That id no doubt true,"' replied tho
friend; "but you may rest content in the
knowiedgo that your story is us safe
with Mre. De PoyBter as if you had novor
After a whilo Oswald said: "Mrs. Do
PoyBter, all yesterday I was tilled with
iho consciouBneBB that 1 tnuBt toll you
Eomolhing; and last night at dinner
when I saw that band of uncut sap
phires on your fingor I folt sure it waB an
omon, und that I could unpack my hecrt.
Am 1 too presuming? Ploaso lot mo tell
you a littlo etory which I ought to keep
"Itn't that ruther a dangerous begin
ning?'' aho Baid. "Th'ink ofmy curiosity
struggling with my idea of honor, and of
how hopelessly confused I muBt becomo
in trying to convinco you tbutyou must
not toll mo, and convincing myself that
'I must hoar."
' Oh,"' he hastened to say, "doii't mis
und( rstand me! I will bo doing no ono
any harm; but it iB not my story. Pleaeo
let mo tell it to you."
"Is it, long?'' she UBked, dreading for
some unHi'countublo rqason, tho rolo of
confidante to this man, who soomed so
recently to hnv-j boon a careless boy.
'Oh no,'' ho answered, "it will bo lin
ished boforo dinner."
"I'll havo to begin nt tho beginning,"
ho Eaid, apo'.ogotically. Sho smiled ac
(inieBonce; and after a slight hesitation,
as if marshalling his thoughts, ho bogan:
"Vou havo boon awfully good to mo,
Mra. Do Pejstor, and will perhaps bo in
terested in knowing a littlo moro about
mo. My mother married twice, and I
am tho son of tho second marriago. My
step-brother Jack was ninoteon years
older than I, and us ho left homo when
ho was tWv nty-ono, as soon aB hie father's
estato -jus Bottled, wo did not soe very
much of ouch other; but, he always
came to uft twico a year, and I looked
forward to thoBo visits as a child waits
A Bcrrcely prruoptihlo change had
comoovor Mn. Do PoystorB face, prob
ably causod by tho light on tho wator, as
hIio aBked, rather abruptly, 'Is your
"Why, jcb!" hocrird. "How did you
"I didn't." flho said, quiotly, "but tho
namo Boomed to suit you."
IIo wont on: "Jack was fine; you
would havolikod him, Mrs. Do PoyBter.
I don't know whethor you would havo
colled him hnndsomo, but you folt his
Btrongth whon you wcro with him and
you woro always conficiouB of being
en rod for whon Jack wub about. His
mind wna bo brilliant, too, and ho hud
sc many mon friends. That Bpcuks well
for a man, Mrs. Do Peyster.'
"I tried to tell u Ho onco to Jack, but
ho looked mo right in tho oyeB, and I
toll you I wilted. When my mother
diod in Paris, ton yen I'd ago, I was put
in school at Vovoy. Jack UBed to como
over twico a year, and when I thought
I could dnbblo u bit with a brush, wo
decided thut 1 should stuy in Paris and
"Last Mnrch Jack cabled mo to meet
him at Cherbourg. It wan not tho sea
Bon of tho year for him to croES, und 1
know Bomothing unuBunl had happened.
Well, I mot him, and wo went directly
to Mentono. That tells tho tnlo. Tho
lako winds of Chicngo had killed him.
Did I tell you that his homo was in
Chicago, although ho t pent much time
in New York? At first wo would go
driving, and lots of ojr friends came to
eoo us, but gradually wo found that tho
dajB woro plensnnter spout on the bal
cony with no ono but ourselves.
"Whon Jack found I would not leave
him to go out with tho young people, ho
evidently mado up his mind that J
should nut miss them. I see this now as
I look back. Ho simply dovoted him
eolf to my ontortainmont, as if I had
been' tho invalid. And, oh, what glori
ous stories ho used to tall! 1 wish you
could havo known him, Mrs. De Peys
ter. Ono morning Jack's man cumo to
mo and Baid, 'Mr. Manchester would
liko you to como to his roam, sir.' Until
that day it had been hiBhopoand be
lief that ho would go homo again, but
during tho eleepleES night ho had Bont
for tho doctor nnd demanded tho truth.
I think it was for my sakoho was so
cheerful, bocauEO eomotimcB at twilight
ho would wander a little, and onco I
heard him say, 'Fourteen years, fourteen
years, and Jacob served for Rachel only
seven. ' Then again, 'How sweet you
are! Wo will cross the ocean together,
dear, some day.' How I wish she knew,
Mra. De Peyster; but he left no trace; I
could not find hrr, it I should try my
"Ono afternoon in April, when the
scent of tho flowrrs was almost oppress
ive ho called mo to him and asked me
to sond his man out. After Crawford
had gono I gavo him a email tin box,
which I had noticed was alwayB near
him, and his keyii. Ho opened the box,
which seemed to bo full of papers or lot
tera;and thinking ho wisbod to boalono.I
turned to go, but ho called mo back, and
I saw him read ono letter, and heard
him murmur 'Dear' under bis breath as
ho turned a picture face dowuward on
the pilo. A tiro wus burning in tho fire
place, and with my help ho laid tho
package on the lop.
"As tho flames blazed up ho leaned
heavily on my shoulder and I heard him
say, 'God keep you everywhere.'
"Two days later, af tor tho doctor had
gono, Jack talked to mo about business
matters, and then said: 'Tom, tho doctor
gives mo a fow moro days, and ho has
promised mo morphine at tho last. I
can face tho future, but not tho passing.
Thoro is ono mpre thing for mo to do,
and then I am ready. Uring mo some
papor, an onvelopo, and a pon.
"I Btoadiod him whilo ho drew from
his finger a band of uncut sapphires Bot
liko vourH Ho folded tho papor,
droppod tho ring in, and put them both
in tho onvelopo. His hand wag quito
Btoady as ho directed, sealed, and stamp
ed it. I rang for Crawford and sent it
to tho mail.
"That soomed to bo tho liiBt tio to
broak. Ho suffered much.''
Tho boy's voico broke, and ho strug
gled a bit boforo ho wont on:
"That night tho doctor gavo him mor
phine. In tho morning of tho last day
I was dozing in tho outer room when I
heard him begin to sing. Did I toll you
ho had a glorious voico? At first tho
notoB woro huBky, but they gradually
grow clearer aB ho sang tho 'AbBcliieds
lied.' It waB hoart-broaking tc hear
the yearning nnd pathos in 'Uohut dich
Oott! ea war zu Ecbon gowesen,' and I
know it waB tho end whon hiB voico
broke on tho last noto 'es hat nicht
Bollon sein!' Forgivo mo for tiring you,
Mrs. Do Peyster. I folt that you would
"Thank you for your conlidenca." sho
sa'd as ho roso. "Where did you leave
"I did notleavohim," he roplied. I
am taking him homo with mo on tho
Mrs. Do Poystor closed hor eyes. Tbo
ship faded, and tho sound of tho waves
died away in the distance
Sho wag onco more in a largo low
room hung with Oriental tupestries und
lighted with ehaded lamps; u firo burned
in tho corner tiroplaco and shone on tho
great piece of Swiss carving which par
tially screenod tho farther room; tho
staircase was diaped with curiouj cur
tains brought from India; great bunches
of violets mado tho air sweet, und
palms nodded their graceful heads in
the corners. A tall fair man waB bend
iug over a woman, and the tense ox
presBion of his fuco belied the quiet of
his tone as bo said: (,Wo will cross the
ocean together Borne time, dear heart.
God keep you in His care alway!"
There was tho impact of tho front
door, tho bang of a carriage door, tho
Bound of wheels on a city street, and
"It's a floe day for a nap on dock, isn't
't, Mrs. Do Peyster?" slid a fellow-passenger,
stopping boforo hor.
"Yes, if ono can sleep without dream
ing, Goneral Benjamin."
- 4 00,
Round TAnLE, 1.00,
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