Mr. Camp looked at him for a moment reflectively, and then said:
"That has the right ring in it, my boy," and after thinking a little longer added: "I'll tell you what I'll do. Charles, if you can get Liddy to set the day I will give her a deed of the house and you a deed of the farm, provided you two will take care of me. That's fair, isn't it?" Then he added, with a smile, "I guess you can coax her consent if you try hard."
The proposition was so unexpected and surprising that for a moment Manson could not speak, and then, when it all came to him, and he saw the door of his dream of happiness opened wide by such an offer, the tears almost started. For one instant he was in danger of yielding, but he recovered himself.
"No mere words can possibly express my gratitude, sir," he replied, "but I could not accept so much. All I ask for, and all I will accept is Liddy, and that is enough. To let you give me your farm would make me feel that I was robbing you. I could not do it, sir."
And then, as he saw a look of pain come into his would-be benefactor's face, he continued: "Now, I will tell you what I am willing, and should be more than glad to do. Let Liddy and me keep house for you, and I will manage the farm, under your direction. That is enough, and all I can accept."
"I respect your feeling of independence," replied Mr. Camp, a little sadly, "but it won't work. A young man, to be content, must feel that he has a home that is, or soon will be, all his own. I do not want to put a burden on your feelings, but I want to make both you and my child happy, and"—with a little tremor in his voice—"I've only got Liddy to care for me in my old age, and it's hard to give her up. Can't you believe what I offer is wisest and best? Would it make you feel any better to give me a note and pay it when you chose? I would never ask you for it."
That evening when the lovers sat under the freshly leaved maples, he told her what her father had offered.
"I've known it for some time," she said, "and I feared you would feel hurt and refuse it, and hurt father, and I hope you did not. Put yourself in father's place," she continued seriously, "and tell me how you would feel. Remember that I am all he has to love and care for him, and he is very dear to me. He would not hurt you for the world, and what he thinks is the best way I believe is the best."
"I will think it over," was Manson's comment. "It's so sudden and overwhelming I do not know what to say or do. I can't see a way out of it, either," he went on reflectively. "I want you and I want a home to keep you in, all our own, but how, or where it's coming from, I can't see. Then it's too much to ask him to give you up."
He paused, and leaning over and resting his face on his hands, continued rather sadly:
"I guess it would have been just as well if you had left me to die in the hospital."
It was a cruel remark and he saw it in an instant, for he said quickly: "Forgive me, I didn't mean that. I've got you and two hands to work with, and that's hope enough. Give me time and I'll solve the problem, never fear!"
When they parted she put one arm around his neck and whispered:
"It's the old vocation enigma over again, Charlie, isn't it? But don't let it make you miserable, and don't ever say such a thing as that you just said again. Do you know, when I came to you in the hospital that morning, I had not slept one moment for two long days and nights! Now try and be happy to pay me for it, and remember:
"'The happiest life that ever was led Is always to court and never to wed.'"
Then she kissed him, in her tender way, and if he did not think she was right, it was because he was like most young men who don't know when they are well off and happy.
Three years from the day Manson led Liddy to the carriage, blinded by tears and heart broken at the separation in store, they once more visited that dearly loved spot. It was a place more sacred to them than a church, for it had been hallowed by the tears of love and sanctified by the noblest impulses of two honest and true hearts. It was far removed from all the vain pomp and display of humanity and the sordid and selfish influences of life. To Liddy and her lover it was a spot that appealed to all that was holiest and best in their natures, and lifted them above selfish thought.
"Can you realize how I felt," Manson said on the way, "the day I rode in silence up here and then told you I had enlisted?"
"No," she answered; "no more than you can imagine how I felt. I think I suffered the more, for I was in suspense and you were not. That makes me think of a question I have long wanted to ask you. You won't mind now, will you?" she continued with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes. "Why did you tell the bad news first and propose afterward? Why didn't you pop the question first?"
"I thought you would be more apt to say 'yes' if I put it the way I did."
"I think you knew it wouldn't be 'no,'" she said. "I knew that was coming weeks before."
"You did," he replied, a little surprised. "How did you know?"
"Do you think I was blind?" she answered archly. "A girl usually knows when that question is liable to come for months beforehand, and if it is to be 'no' the man in the case will have hard work to obtain a good opportunity."
When they were seated beside the rock once more she said: "Now, sir, three years ago I told you we must feel and act like children one day up here, and you minded me very well; but it was hard work, I think. It was for me, I am sure."
"It will be easier to-day," he responded, "for I've only one thing to worry about, and that is the proposition your father made."
She looked at him a moment, and in her eyes he saw a little of the same humorous twinkle he had at one time noticed in her father's eyes, and then she said:
"Suppose I should say I would not marry you until you had a home of your own to take me to; how would that seem?"
"I would not blame you," he answered soberly; "only you would have to see clouds on my face a long time, I fear."
"Oh, I haven't said so yet," she continued as she saw one gathering there then, "only I thought it might make you see father's proposition in a new light. Poor father," she went on musingly, "he wants to make us both happy, and he doesn't know how to bring it about."
"Why can't he accept my plan, then?" said Manson. "I am ready and willing."
"But I haven't said I was," responded Liddy. "I am not sure that I want people to think my husband is working for my father on the farm. Oh, I didn't mean it that way," as she saw a frown coming, "only I have some pride as well as you; that is all. Now, Charlie, please don't say another word about it to-day. Remember, we are children!"
Then she told him about her lone visit to this spot a year before, and how it affected her.
"Do you know," she explained, "I was terribly scared, and I imagined I heard ghostly footsteps all around here, and when I reached home I was as pale as a ghost myself."
"It was a foolish thing to do," he said, "and a silly promise for me to exact."
"I should have kept it just the same," was her answer, "as long as I lived."
At noon he rebuilt the little lattice table, and after the dainty dinner was disposed of, they gathered flowers, picked wintergreen, wove wreaths for each other's hats and talked silly nothings for hours, and enjoyed it, too, as lovers will. Late in the afternoon, when tired of this, he arranged the carriage robe and cushions beside the rock and asked her to sit beside him. It was a preliminary to some serious utterance, she felt, for he at once remarked:
"Liddy, I've something to tell you."
She looked at him for a moment, while a smile crept into her face, and then said:
"Now, Charlie, if you have any more startling or painful things to tell me, don't bring me up here first, or I shall always dread to come."
"Was my confession of love, made here, painful?" he remarked.
"Of course not," she answered, "nor startling, either, for, as I told you, I knew that was coming. But the other part of it nearly broke my heart. You must have thought me silly!"
How earnestly, and in what manner he assured her she did not act silly on that occasion, but was the sweetest and dearest girl that ever lived, need not be specified. When that little episode was over and she had adjusted her hat, she said:
"Now tell me your story, Charlie."
"Well," he replied, "one night nearly two years ago I was on picket duty, and I made the acquaintance of a young fellow by the name of Frank Pullen, who belonged to a Maine regiment. We kept up an acquaintance for two months and in that time became very good friends. We were in much the same state of mind, for he, too, had a waiting sweetheart at home, and when we separated we each promised to write to the other, if we lived to do so. His father is a retired sea captain, and well-to-do, and lives in a little out-of-the-way place in Maine. A month ago I received a letter from Frank and an urgent invitation to visit him, and I've promised to do so."
"That's nice," said Liddy regretfully, "to be told I am to be left alone all summer! The next time you ask me up here I shall say: 'Tell me the bad news first!'"
"Liddy," he replied seriously, "it's not for a pleasure trip that I am going. He knows how I am situated and a good deal about my hopes and plans, and he has promised to help me."
She was silent, for this opened a new field of conjecture and for a long time she mused upon it, and at last said:
"I do not see how his assistance will help matters much, do you?"
"No, to be candid," he replied, "I do not yet; still it may. I am almost sorry I promised to go, but my friend will feel hurt now if I don't. I may obtain a few suggestions that will help me to solve this problem."
She made no reply, for the situation seemed as complex to her as to her suitor. She respected the pride that had made him refuse her father's generous offer, and at the same time she felt herself tortured by conflicting emotions. To desert her father she could not, and to deny her lover his right to herself as a wife was almost as impossible. A long wait seemed the only solution, unless he would accept her father's offer.
Perhaps the same conclusions were reached by Manson, for he said at last: "Do not blame me for going away or looking about to find some way out of this dilemma. I shall never find one here in Southton. The world is wide, and I do not feel it half so hard to face as rebel bullets. There is room for me in it, and a chance to win a home for you and me, and I am going to fight for that chance. I am too proud to accept your father's farm as a gift, and you are too proud to have me work for him, even if he gave me all the farm produced. Then you can't leave him, and I won't ask you to do so. The only way is to wait and work, and work hard for the girl I love, and her father will be as welcome in that home as she."
He paused, and a look of admiration for his spirited words came into her face.
"Charlie," she said in a low voice, "please don't think I am proud or stubborn. I can't leave father, but I will wait for you as long as you wish or I will marry you when you wish, provided, of course, you give me time to get ready. Only do not feel that I will let pride separate us for long. Whatever you are satisfied to do shall be my law."
Her loving assurance cheered him greatly, for he answered in a hopeful voice:
"Wait patiently until I return, and then we will decide what is best to do."
When it came time to leave their trysting-place he drew from an inside pocket a small pocketbook, worn and stained, and handed it to Liddy. She opened it and found a bunch of faded violets and a lock of golden hair.
THE MAINE COAST.
There is no part of the New England shores so charming as the coast of Maine. From Cape Elizabeth on the west to Quoddy Head on the east, there are over a thousand large and small islands, nearly all of which are of bold formation and most of them wholly or in part covered with a growth of spruce and fir. The shores of these islands, as well as the mainland, are mainly rock-ribbed, with many high cliffs, at the foot of which the ocean surges beat unceasingly. Deep fissures and sea caverns into which the green water, changed to yeasty foam, ever churns and rushes by day and night, are common; and when storms arise it bellows and roars like an angry bull. Here the clinging rock-weeds and broad kelpie float and wave idly or are lashed in anger by the waves that seem always trying to tear them loose from the rocks.
Locked in the embrace of these bold shores are countless coves, inlets and harbors, many so land-locked that never a ripple disturbs their surface, and here the fishhawk and seagull seek their food and build their nests undisturbed by man. No sound except the unceasing murmur of the winds in the fir trees, or the low-voiced neighboring ocean, breaks the stillness. Along the rocky shore and over these green-clad cliffs one may wander for days in absolute solitude, seeing or hearing naught of humanity or the handiwork of man. Here may be found the wondrous magic and mystery of the sea in all its moods—pathetic, peaceful or grand, and its society, where none intrude. Here, too, wedged among the wave-washed rocks, can be found many a tale of shipwreck, despair and death, or whispers of luxuriant life in tropical lands, and all the flotsam and jetsam of the ocean, cast ashore to bleach like bones in a desert, year in and year out.
Safe harbors are numerous, though not easy of access, for sunken ledges or merciless reefs guard them from approach. In places are deep bays, notably Somes Sound, connected with the ocean by an inlet a few rods wide. Only the accessible harbors have been utilized by man, and but few of these are, even to-day. At the head of one of these, and forming the only safe harbor of the Isle au Haut, there clustered a little fishing hamlet forty years ago, the largest house of which was one occupied by Captain Obed Pullen, a retired sea captain, his wife, two sons—Frank and Obed, Jr., and one daughter.
The house was a white, square, two-story one with a flat roof built with bulwarks around it, having portholes like those of a man-of-war. There was a small yard in front surrounded by a board fence, and on a knoll just back of the house was a small enclosure containing a few white headstones. Captain Pullen, having amassed sufficient of this world's goods, lived in peaceful seclusion, far removed from the worldly strife he wished to avoid. With his two sons, he tilled a few acres of land. He fished a little as a pastime, and visited the mainland but seldom. He was a blunt-spoken, but warm-hearted man, with shaggy white beard and hair, and a voice and handshake as hearty as a gale of wind.
To this abode of simple cordiality and good will, one summer day, and by invitation of the old captain's son Frank, came our battle-scarred and love-lorn friend Manson. He and young Pullen had much in common, for both loved the sea, and their friendship, formed when both were environed by the dangers of war, made them now the most affectionate of friends. Manson found himself at once welcomed by the entire family as a valued friend and one whom they all seemed proud to entertain.
"We don't put on style down here," said the old captain to him at the first meal, and in a voice that made the dishes rattle, "but we're right glad to see ye, and we'll give ye some fun if the wind holds out. Be ye fond o' fishin'?"
As fishing was a mania with Manson, and as his opportunities had been limited to the peaceful seclusion of brooks, or the calm waters of mill ponds, it is needless to say that he admitted he was fond of that sport.
"Frank tells me," continued the captain with blunt directness, "that ye have got a sweetheart ye left to come here visitin', but ye best quit thinkin' 'bout her if ye go fishin'."
Whether our young friend did or not does not matter; but it is certain that the days which followed, passed amid such surroundings, were red letter ones in his history. With two young men of about his own age for companions, a trim and staunch fishing sloop with cabin and cooking conveniences ready at hand, and nothing to do but sail and fish, or explore the wild shores and fir-clad islands all about, was like a new world to him. One day it was a fishing trip and a chowder party composed of the entire family; and the next a frolic in an island grove where the young men dug clams on a bit of sandy shore and afterward steamed them among the rocks. Such opportunities were new to him, and with kind friends near, and a feeling that he was thoroughly welcome in their home added to the marvel of enchantment; while all about, the ever-present sea made him almost forget the vexing problem of his future.
"It's like a visit to a fairy land," he said one day to his friend Frank, as they were slowly drifting past a low green island. It was nearly sundown, and the breeze had almost died away, so that the sloop barely moved through the unruffled waters and every tree and rock on the near-by shore was reflected clear and distinct. "To me," he continued, "it is an entrance into an old-time wonder world, and to sail for hours among these islands or in sight of shores where not a house or even a fish hut is visible, makes it seem as if we were explorers first visiting a new land. When we pass the entrance to some deep cove I half expect to see an Indian paddling a canoe up into it, or spy a deer watching us out of a thicket. My ideas of the ocean have been obtained where islands are few, and passing ships or houses along shore are always visible. Here it is so solitary. We seldom see a vessel and not more than two or three small craft in an all day's cruise."
"That's the best of it," explained Frank, "you have it all to yourself. But it's different in winter. You have too much of it to yourself then. Altogether too much, for we are prisoners on the island for weeks at a time, and that graveyard up back of the house makes it seem worse. I wish you could come down here next fall and stay all winter. We don't do a thing but eat and sleep or go ashore once a month for papers, and"—laughing—"just think of what a good chance you would have to get acquainted with your wife!"
Manson was silent. The suggestion opened a vein of vexatious thought in connection with his dilemma that was not pleasant.
"Just think it over," continued Frank, not noticing his silence; "dad and mother would be ever so glad to have you, and so would sis, if your sweetheart ain't stuck up; is she?"
"No," replied Manson, "she's just a sensible, everyday sort of a girl, and as sweet and loving as you can imagine. Your folks would like her, I think, and I am sure she would like them."
"Why didn't you splice and bring her along in the first place?" said Frank, laughing. "I wish you had, and then you wouldn't be looking for Injuns in every cove. Do you remember the night we saw a man walking on fog and thought it was a ghost, and how ten minutes after that same ghost took a shot at us?"
"I do," answered Manson, looking serious as the memory of that experience came back, "and I recall the next night, too, when we sat by the camp fire and swapped ghost stories, and you told me about a haunted island down here. Where is it?"
"Do you see that little patch of green away out beyond Spoon Island?" answered Frank, pointing seaward. "Well, that's the famous Pocket Island that I told you about, and the abiding-place of not only a bellowing bull's ghost, but lots of others as well. When we are likely to have a good spell of weather I am going to take you out there and" (with a laugh) "give you a chance to satisfy your mania for ghost hunting, for I believe that is one of your hobbies."
"Well, not so much as it was when we carried a musket," said Manson, "for I am not as superstitious as I was then. Still, I want to see your haunted island just the same and hear that strange noise. Is there a harbor there where we can run in?"
"Yes, and a queer freak of nature it is, too," answered Frank, "but I do not know the channel in, and would not dare to try to enter. All I can do is to wait for a fair day and lay outside while Obed takes you ashore."
That night when Manson had retired he lay awake a long time thinking over the interesting impressions made upon him by his visit, and especially the suggestion that he at some time should bring Liddy down here as his wife! That alone was such an entrancing thought that he could not go to sleep when he tried to. What a new world it would be to take her into, and what supreme delight to show her these beautiful islands and placid coves, and the bold cliffs at the foot of which the white-crested billows were beating! How he would enjoy seeing her open her big, blue eyes with wonder and sweet surprise at all the grand and beautiful bits of scenery and all the magic and mystery of the ocean, far removed from man!
"Some day I will bring her here," he thought, and then he fell asleep and dreamed he heard the ominous sound of some monster bellowing in anger.
BIG SPOON ISLAND.
The next morning our young friends prepared for a three days' trip on their little sloop. For a week they had discussed it and had carefully considered when it was best to go.
"I want to wait till the moon fulls," Frank had said, "for then the weather will be better, and as our friend Manson is in a romantic frame of mind, he will enjoy it all the more."
Everything likely to be needed was put on board their boat; provisions, water, extra clothing, guns, fishing gear, and also, it must be said, a bottle of good old whiskey, for on such a trip it might be even more needful than food.
"We will take along the banjo," Obed said, for he was quite an expert with that cheerful instrument, "and evenings we can have some darkey songs."
"What is the program?" asked Manson, when everything was stowed, the sails set, and with Frank at the helm they were gliding out of the little island harbor. "Where are we going?"
"Well," replied Frank, "I think we will run to Big Spoon Island first and try for mackerel. There is a nice little harbor there if it comes on to blow, and two miles out are some good cod grounds. I suppose you would like to visit Pocket Island?"
"I would like to just call there," said Manson, "for you have excited my curiosity. I have a weakness for ghost hunting, you told me once, and now you must gratify it, you see."
There is, perhaps, no pleasanter way for three or four young men to spend a day or two than to have a tidy little yacht all to themselves, and sail her away off among the Maine coast islands, with a summer day breeze and clear skies to cheer them.
To feel themselves just lifted over the broad ground swells, ruffled by a light wind that smells sweet and crisp; to watch some distant green island gradually coming nearer, or the seagulls lighting on the water just ahead, or the white clouds in the blue sky, and with no sense of danger, but only the care-free buoyancy of youth and good spirits, is to many the very acme of enjoyment. At least, it was to Manson, to whom such an experience was entirely new. When they reached Spoon Island he went into raptures over it, for it was a rarity, even among the many beautiful ones he had visited. As its name implied, it was shaped like a spoon, about five hundreds rods long and formed of white sand, with a growth of green sedge grass all over it. On the broadest part was a cluster of spruce forming a little thicket and beside this, and entered by a narrow inlet the tiniest bit of a harbor, just large enough to shelter a small sloop. The seagulls had also discovered its beauty, for thousands hovered about it, and the small harbor was alive with them. The island was a favorite nesting-place for them as well, and their shrill cries at being disturbed almost obliterated the voice of the ocean.
"We will anchor under the lee," said Frank, as they drew near, "and try for mackerel, and then run into the harbor, make everything snug, and stay here to-night, or"—with a droll look at Manson—"perhaps you would prefer to go to Pocket Island and have ghosts for company!"
"This is good enough for me," replied Manson, "and I guess the gulls will be the more cheerful companions!"
When the sloop was at anchor, sails furled, and they were all waiting for mackerel bites, he said: "What is there so mysterious about this Pocket Island, and why are people afraid to go there? Tell me all about it! You have got me so worked up over it, I dreamed I heard a bull bellowing last night."
"Well," replied Frank, "it's like all ghost stories and spook spots in the world; all imagination, I guess. I do not take any stock in them, and dad laughs at the entire batch. The only reality about it is that the island itself is the most forbidding pile of rock, covered with the worst tangle of scrub spruce you ever saw, and the shore is full of deep fissures and cracks. The one mysterious fact is, that strange bellowing noise that you can't locate anywhere. You may clamber all over the island and all around the shores and it seems to be just ahead of you, or just behind; so far as the stories go, well; the queer harbor inside is said to have been a smuggler's hiding-place years ago, and there are all kinds of yarns connected with the island, from bloody murders down to strange sea monsters seen crawling over the rocks. It has a bad name and is seldom visited; for one reason, I think, because it's impossible to land there except in a small boat, and then only when the sea is smooth. The bellowing noise, I believe, is made by the waves entering some cavern below high-water mark. There is also an odd sort of a story linked with it about a little Jew who was known to be a smuggler and who played a sharp trick on a few people ten or twelve years ago. I do not think he had any connection with the island, however, although some say he had. I fancy it's because any ghost-haunted spot always attracts all the mysterious stories told in its neighborhood."
All this was interesting to Manson, and not only added a charm to all the islands he had visited, but made him especially anxious to explore this one.
"Do not laugh at me," he said when Frank had finished his recital, "for expecting to see Indians paddling canoes among your islands when your people down here believe all the ghost stories they do. My fancy is only the shadow of what was certainly a reality not so very long ago; while your stories are spook yarns of the most hobgoblin shape. I want to go to Pocket Island, however," he added a little later, reflectively, "and hear that mysterious bellowing anyhow."
That evening when the sloop was riding quietly at anchor in the little Spoon Island harbor and the full moon just rising, round and red, out of the sea, Obed brought his banjo on deck and away out there, miles from any other island, and mingling with the murmur of the ocean's voice about this one, there came the strains of old, familiar plantation songs sung by those three young friends, at peace with all the world and happy in their seclusion. The gulls had gone to rest, the sea almost so, for the ground swell only washed the island's sandy shore and idly rocked the sloop as she rode secure at anchor. The moon and the man in it both smiled, and when Manson and Frank, wearied of singing, lived over once more the battle scenes they had passed through, feeling that never again could they or would they be called upon to face such danger, it may be said that they were as near contentment as often comes in life. And if the droll look of the man in the moon brought back to one a certain night years before, when, as a bashful boy, he could hardly find courage to kiss a blue-eyed girl whom he had walked home with, and who had since become very dear to him, it is not surprising. Neither was it at all strange, if, when looking seaward, that night, he could see far away in the broadening path of silvery sheen, a small, dark island; that he should feel it held a mystery; and that some occult influence had linked that uncanny place, in some way not as yet understood, with his own past and future; that it was some link, some tangible spot, some queer connection between dreams and hopes that might develop into real facts.
While not what is usually called superstitious, Manson could not understand why he had from the very first mention of this island, felt an unaccountable influence attracting him toward it. What it was he could not tell, and yet every hour seemed to bind this influence all the closer, and as it were, cast its spell over him. When they all turned in for the night, he could not go to sleep. His thoughts would go back to that horrible night on the battlefield when he, in his agonies, fancied himself wading down a cool, clear brook; then to the strange influence Liddy had said she felt when, in keeping a foolish promise, she had all alone paid a visit to Blue Hill, and now this weird spell of enchantment that was growing upon him. Was there some mysterious plot in his life that was being unfolded step by step, and one that was far beyond his comprehension? Was his chance meeting with this friend, Frank, on the picket line, a part of it? Was the imperative inclination to always take Liddy away to the top of Blue Hill when he wished to speak to her very soul, also due to some incomprehensible power that was shaping and bending their lives together? That they were, and must be as one in the future—as long as life lasted, he believed as firmly as he believed he lived, and yet beyond that belief there was—and here he met an impassable barrier and could go no further, only realizing that he was being led by an unseen force. Was it a power that was pushing him toward Pocket Island? He could not tell.
When the sun rose red and sullen the next morning, and our three friends had breakfasted and were hoisting sail on the sloop, Frank said:
"If the wind holds up as it did yesterday, we can run to Pocket Island and back easily. There is no chance to land"—addressing Manson—"or even to go within half a mile of it in the sloop; but I can lay her to while Obed rows ashore in the dory. One hour there will give you all the ghost hunting you want, I guess. The only thing I don't like is the way the sun looked this morning. Old Sol appeared mad!"
When they were under way and the sloop was heeling over before the fresh morning breeze, Manson said: "I do not want you to take any chances on my account, Frank. We can go there some other day."
"Oh, I'll take no risks," replied his friend. "It's not the wind that worries me, for we can reef close, and the sloop takes big seas like a duck. It's these beastly coast fogs that come in without warning and absolutely bury you. If the wind shifts, then your compass is the only salvation."
Manson was silent, for he was only a passenger, and as his friend's guest, he felt it unwise to offer any suggestion.
"We are all right," continued Frank, scanning the horizon, "so long as the wind holds this way, for we can beat up to the island by noon, and have a fair run back."
Manson was in no mood for talking, for the strange strain of reflections that had come to him the night before still oppressed him and he silently watched the little island ahead growing nearer. When they were within a mile of it, the wind began to drop away and by the time they could see the many rocks that surrounded it, rising like black fangs out of the white froth of the wave wash, it died out entirely.
Frank looked anxious. "You had better," he said, addressing Manson, "eat a bite while Obed and I furl the jib and lower the tops'l. He can then row you ashore in the dory. I do not like the way the wind acts."
When Manson started for the island in the small boat he was almost ready to give his visit up, for the little look of anxiety on his friend's face, coupled with the ugly-looking reefs between which Obed was rowing him, and the forbidding shores of the island itself, made a strange feeling of fear creep over him. Beneath it, however, was that queer influence that, like a beckoning spirit, seemed to lure him forward in spite of himself.
"I'll land you on the lee side," said Obed, as he pulled into a narrow opening between two cliffs, "and wait here for you while you go across to the harbor on the other side. It will save time, and I can keep an eye on the sloop."
That Obed felt it necessary to watch the sloop was not reassuring to Manson, but, bidding him good-bye cheerfully, he leaped ashore. When he had made his way up over the confusion of rocks that confronted him, and out of sight of the dory, he stopped and listened. It was a silent and desolate spot, but, true to his expectations, as he passed there he caught the sound of a low, moaning bellow that rose and fell, almost dying away, and seemed to come from the farther side of the island. He looked and listened, and then, with a parting glance at the sloop half a mile away, started over the island. He soon found he had been rightly informed, for its surface was the worst tangle of rocks and scrub spruce thick between them he ever saw or heard of. He crawled in a little way and then retraced his steps and followed the shore, but even that was almost impassable. He worked his way slowly along, until all at once, when he had climbed a ledge, he found himself looking down into what seemed like a sunken lake surrounded by a wall, with a narrow opening on the seaward side, and so still that not a ripple disturbed its surface. Cautiously he crawled down to the edge and glanced about! The spot seemed to fascinate him, and as he gazed at the irregular cliff wall shutting him in, he felt he had descended into a den infested by evil spirits!
Then he started around the shore of this harbor, avoiding the weed-covered rocks, for the tide was low, and as he was slowly moving along, he came suddenly upon a keg caught between two rocks, and just above high-water mark. Its staves were warped and gaping, and when he stooped to lift it they fell apart and disclosed another keg inside. This he found was heavy, and as he stood it on end he discovered it was filled with some liquid. For a moment he was dazed by the discovery, and then he turned it around till he came to a piece of metal midway between the rusted hoops, and this he pried off with his knife and found it covered a small bung. Trembling with excitement at this mysterious find, he hunted for a pointed stone, and with it drove the bung in, when to his intense surprise he was saluted by the well-known odor of rum!
For an instant his heart almost stopped beating, as there flashed through his mind all the vague tales of this island having been a smuggler's hiding-place long before, and then he looked quickly about him. Naught was visible save the frowning rock walls and the still cove. Then he stooped again and inserted a finger in the keg and smelled and then tasted! Rum it was, and no mistake, and the best he had ever sipped! But what a find! And what a place to find it in! He looked about him again. Crusoe, when he came upon the footprints in the sand, was not more surprised than Manson at this moment.
Unconscious of the lapse of time, or where he was, or how he came there, he gazed upon that harmless keg as if it held some ghastly secret instead of rum! Where did it come from? Who brought it there? Why had it been concealed in an outer shell? What did it all mean, and was he about to make some horrible discovery? Once more he looked about, and then in an instant, he found himself staring at a dark opening beneath an overhanging shelf of rock not two rods away! Breathless with excitement now, and feeling himself yielding to some dread spell, he almost sprang to the spot, and oblivious of weed-covered rocks and mud, he went down on his hands and knees and peered in. It was a cave opening, sure enough! Trembling still, and yet lured by a weird fascination, he crawled in a short distance and then paused. The hole looked larger inside, and as his eyes grew accustomed to the gloom he could see it sloped upward. He felt for a match, and lighting it tried to peer further in. The match burned out and left him unable to see as far as before. Then reason began to assert itself, and he turned and crawled out, realizing the folly of trying to explore a cave with lighted matches as an aid.
When once more he stood upright outside a strange thing had happened. Not only had the tide crept up almost to the cave entrance, but the sun was no longer visible, and as he looked up to the top of the rock wall that environed him, a white pall of fog was slowly settling down and hiding all things. He looked at his watch. He had been on the island over four hours! With sudden fear he started around the way he had come, and when he reached the keg of rum an inspiration almost, made him lift and carry it to a place of safety, well above high-tide mark. Then he retraced his steps to where he had left Obed, but the dory had gone and no one was there, and to add to the situation, the fog had so shut the island in that he could not see two rods over the water. He hallooed again and again, but received no answer.
He was alone on Pocket Island with not a morsel to eat, not a blanket to cover him, night coming on, and a fog so thick that he could not see a rod ahead! Even all this did not for one moment obliterate that mysterious keg or cave discovery from his mind, but he felt that he must take steps at once to protect himself from coming night, and darkness, and possible rain, for he knew that when the fog lifted, his friends would return. The first thing was to build himself a shelter, and then a fire. Here his army experience came in well, and he searched until he found two rocks with a level space between, and laying sticks across and cutting spruce boughs to pile over them and others to serve as a bed, he soon made ready a place to at least crawl into when night came.
Hunger began to assert itself, but food was out of the question. That keg of rum came to his mind as he worked, however, and when the rude shelter was complete he searched the rocky shores for some large shell, or anything that would hold a small portion of the liquor. He found a cocoanut that the sea had kindly cast up among the rocks, and cutting one end off with his pocket-knife, and digging out the interior, he once more returned where he had left the mysterious keg.
Twilight was near and the dark cave entrance and frowning walls about the little harbor seemed more ominous than ever. He made haste to fill his rude cup with rum and return to his shelter. Then he gathered fuel, for fire at least would be a little company, and a strange dread of spending the coming night alone there on that haunted island was creeping over him. He did not believe in ghosts, but when he thought of the peculiar sequence of events, mingled with a slowly growing belief that some mysterious power was leading him—he knew not whither—a feeling that he was soon to face some ghastly experience, came like an icy hand grasping his in the dark. He could not shake that feeling off, and as he gathered driftwood, bits of dead spruce—anything that would burn, and piled the fuel near his shelter—his dread increased. What strange spell was it that had kept him four hours beside that wall-enclosed harbor unconscious of the lapse of time? Why had he not seen the fog coming until too late? And that keg and cave!—what did all these mysteries mean? Then, searching further along the shore for driftwood, he came suddenly upon a tangle of wreckage piled high among the rocks. It would serve as fuel, and he began to drag large pieces to his shelter. Three trips he made, and was just lifting the end of a broken spar, when right at his feet, and half-buried in the sand, he saw a white object. The night was fast approaching and he was in a hurry, but some impulse made him stoop, and there in the gathering gloom he saw—a grinning human skull!
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
Manson had faced death on the battlefield when comrades were falling beside him; he had paced for hours on the picket-line in the darkness of night, feeling that at any moment an enemy might fire at him from some thicket or from behind some tree or rock; but amid all these dangers he had not felt the nameless horror that came to him as he saw that hideous skull grinning at him there in the tangle of wreckage just at dusk on Pocket Island. It was like a hand reaching out from a grave, or a voice calling to him from a tomb. Alone on that little, sea-grit isle, trembling beneath the waves that beat upon it, and in the fast-gathering darkness he stood for a moment spellbound. All the ghostly tales he had been told of this spot came to him in an instant and with the force of truth, and had he at that moment beheld some spectral figure rise from among the black rocks he would not have been surprised. Then feeling his strength leaving him, he turned and ran as fast as he could back to where he had built the shelter. With trembling hands he managed to start a fire and sat down beside it. It was a little comfort, but not enough to drive away the dread that seemed to increase as the night grew blacker. He dared not use his small stock of fuel except sparingly, fearing it would not last till morning, and he should be left in total darkness. Back of him was the impassable thicket, and in front the rock-bound shore, and as he listened to the booming of the surges he could see, just in the edge of the zone of light, those eyeless sockets and that mocking grin ever hovering near. Then as the night wore on and the wind increased, slowly rising and falling and rising again, each time a little louder, came that ominous, bellowing sound. It was not like that of any creature he had ever heard or dreamed of, but rather the menace of some horrible monster unknown to earth or air. All the stories of hideous shapes that dwelt beneath the ocean waves, and all the old legends of the sea and its unknown denizens, came to him, and ever mingling with these phantasms that seemed to be crawling all about was that grinning skull.
Solitude and night on a lonely shore, far removed from human kind, inevitably produces in the mind strange effects. All ordinary reasoning is set at naught and common sense goes astray. The nearness of the unknown and unapproachable ocean; the ever varying and menacing sounds that issue from it; the leaping and curling billows that, like white and black demons, seem trying to engulf the earth and make even the rocks tremble—all have a weird and uncanny influence. In their presence the imagination runs riot and the ghostly and supernatural usurp reason. Spectral shapes crawl out of dark fissures and leap from rock to rock and hideous sea monsters creep in the verge of shadows. To be alone on a small island of evil repute and many miles out in the ocean, as Manson was, was to have this weird influence more than doubled. At times, when reason seemed trembling in the balance, he fancied himself hovering over the battlefield where he had lain for hours suffering indescribable agony; and looking at the ghastly faces of dead men in the moonlight! He could see their white teeth showing in mocking grin and their glazed eyes staring at him! Here and there were parts of bodies: a head in one place, an arm and hand in another! Then he could see himself sitting upon the ground amid thick bushes, and resting in his lap was a boy's face, the eyes looking up into his in piteous appeal! How well he could recall every moment of that half-hour of dumb anguish and the last fight for life that dying boy had made! He could see the blood gush from his lips at every breath drawn in desperate effort, and feel the tight clasp of his hands and oh! the awful dread of coming death in his eyes! Then the last earthly effort when the poor boy had, in gratitude at sight of a pitying face, kissed the hand that killed him!
To Manson's keen imagination it seemed as if Fate had led him to this horrible spot to go mad and die alone, tortured by remorse and despair.
As he sat by his one companion, the little fire, all that long night, trying to fight back the imaginary horrors that menaced him, one constant thought weighed heaviest upon his feelings, and that was that some uncomprehended motive force was shaping his every action and asserting itself more and more. What evil was in store for him, or what fate was to come, was a greater burden than all the rest. How long that night was no pen can describe, and when the first faint tinge of morning light came, he felt that nothing in life was quite so blessed as daylight. The fog was still thick, but the hideous darkness, with all its terrors, was passed, and with the light came a bit of returning courage. He had sipped from the cup of rum at times through the night, but had felt no effect, and now he was faint from need of food. He hunted the shore, where clams could be found, and securing a few roasted and ate them. Then once more came the uncanny fascination of that cave! He dreaded to go near it, and yet could not keep away. It was like a voice calling to him that must be answered. But how to enter without a light! Once more he thought of that keg, and going to the pile of wreckage, found pieces of rope, and moistening one end of a bit in the rum that was left in his cup, set it on fire. It burned slowly but steadily, and now he felt he had means to enter the cave. With a few pieces of this rope he made his way down to where the keg was, and soaked them well in the rum. Then he paused and looked around. The frowning walls seemed more menacing than ever, and that black hole just beyond, which he had tried to enter the day before, glared at his like a huge eye of sinister import. He thought of the ghastly skull he had found the night before, and wondered if it had any connection with this cave. Cautiously, step by step, he crept toward it. Was it the hiding-place of some sea monster, and was death there in that dark cavern awaiting him? Once again he felt his courage leaving and a strange weakness stealing his strength. He turned back and sat down by the keg.
Given the right conditions, and our imaginations will surround us with hobgoblins and spectres by day as well as night, and almost upset the reasoning power of strong men. To Manson, who had passed one long, sleepless night full of imaginary terrors, and believing himself governed and controlled by some supernatural power, the experience he had passed through, and the impulses that were now alternately pulling him back and pushing him toward that dark cave in front of him, he felt must be ill-omened and uncanny. For an hour he sat and looked at his surroundings, trying to reason away his fears and convince himself they were groundless, and that all the stories he had heard about this island being haunted were purely imaginary. Only partially did he succeed, however, and then, at last yielding to the fascination that constantly drew him toward the cave, arose and once more cautiously crept toward it.
At the entrance he paused and listened. Not a sound could be heard except the faint voice of the ocean outside. He stooped and took one step inward, and listened again. All he could hear now was the beating of his own heart. He lit one of his torches and then another. Then he took two steps more and paused again. The faint light showed the cavern sloped sharply upward. Carefully, on his knees, supporting himself by one hand, he crawled up the incline until the floor became level and then he stood upright. For a moment he halted there, trying to peer into the inky darkness. He seemed to be looking into a wide, open space; a peculiar odor tainted the air. He took a few steps and paused again. Then he turned one of his torches down inward to increase the flame, and as it burned brighter he held it above his head. Now he could see the wall of rock all about, and on the further side and close to the wall, a large boulder. Then, as his eyes grew accustomed to the semi-darkness, he could see the floor formation, and as its outlines grew more distinct, he caught the gleam of white teeth grinning at him from some creature almost at his feet! Breathless now, and trembling, he lowered his torch, and beheld prostrate there in front of him two shriveled and blackened corpses!
THE FATE OF A MISER.
As Manson gazed in horror at those two charred bodies reduced to skeletons in that dark cave, he felt more than ever that his every step for many days had been in obedience to some mysterious power that had at last brought him face to face with danger and death.
For one instant the impulse to turn from that ghastly sight and leave the cave came to him, but the baleful fascination of those hideous objects held him prisoner. He could not if he would turn away. One of the skeletons, for such they almost were, was that of a tall man, face up, the grinning teeth fully exposed; the other of smaller size, with legs and arms drawn together. No signs of clothing were visible on either, and the flesh appeared to have shrunk away, showing the shape of every bone. Midway between them lay a rusted pistol and just beyond, glistening in the faint light, were bits of glass. When his eyes grew accustomed to the sickening sight he raised them, looked around, and for the first time saw, a few feet away, a raised, table-like rock, and on it piles of round dark bits of metal. Taking two steps he stooped, and picking up one of these pieces held it close to the light. It was a twenty-dollar gold piece!
Wonder succeeded horror! What mystery was this? Two charred skeletons beside a pile of gold in this dark and silent cavern! Was it some infernal dream or a reality? He stooped and picked up more of the coins. Gold, every one! Then he examined others and found silver dollars and halves. He turned and looked about, holding one torch above his head, and almost expecting to see some spectral form half-hid in the shadows. Only the faintly outlined walls of rock could be seen. Then, feeling faint and weak from the intense strain, he hastily retraced his steps down and out of the cave. He was just in time, for the rising tide had almost cut off his exit. So weak now that he could hardly walk, he crept around to the keg and sat down to think. Then for the first time he looked at the sky and saw the sun faintly visible through the fog. What a blessed sight it was! He had never known before how good the sun could look to a poor, hungry, horror-struck mortal! Then he picked up a shell, and pouring a little of the rum out of the keg, drank it. It had a magic effect, for it brought back his strength and courage and a realization of what he had discovered. In the dread experiences he had just passed through, he had not comprehended what it meant to him. Now he did.
He, alone on that haunted island, abhorred and shunned by all, had found a fortune!
He drank a little more of the rum. Then he thought of his friends. Maybe at that very moment they were nearing the island!
He quickly clambered out of the walled-in pocket, and looked over the ocean. The fog was lifting, the wind rising, but no sail was visible. He was still a prisoner. Once more he heard that strange bellowing coming from somewhere beneath the island, but it had lost its terrors. He thought of those skeletons in the dark cavern, and only felt curious to know how those two human beings met their death. A thousand bulls, for aught he cared now, might bellow all they chose, so long as they did not show their horns above the rocks, and two or two dozen skeletons more or less in the cave made no difference. He had met and conquered the ghost of Pocket Island, and was himself once more.
He took one long look all around, where the white, crested waves were rolling as far as the eye could reach; then at the sun now shining bright and warm, and then returned to the cave. The entrance was half under water, but the tide was falling, and he boldly waded in. He was so eager now he could hardly wait to light a torch, and when once more inside, he did not even stop to look at the hideous skeletons, but went directly to the flat rock where the stacks of coin were; removed his coat, heaped all he could carry upon it, and returned to the sunlight. Wildly excited now, he carried his bundle to a flat shelf of rock near where he had first descended into "The Pocket," emptied it and returned for more. Three trips he made to secure his wondrous find, and when the last mildewed and tarnished bit of money was secured, he took the pistol and left the cave for good. Then, feeling a little faint and weak, he sat down on the shelf beside his pile of gold and silver, and examined the rusty weapon.
On the stock was engraved the name of "Wolf."
Then, as that miser had many years before stacked and counted those same pieces of money, so did Manson now stack and count them.
But what a contrast!
Wolf had counted with murder in his heart, and feeling only the miser's lust of possession as he hid himself in that dark cavern. Manson counted, thinking only of one good and true girl waiting for him, and feeling that every one of those bits of money were but so many keys to open the door of his dream of wife and home and all the blessings he longed to surround that one loved woman with. And as he counted where God's sunlight fell upon him, and not in darkness, fearing enemies, so was that money destined to be a blessing and not a curse. When the count was made, and that poor, hungry fellow, with naught to aid him in the battle of life except two hands and a brave heart, found himself the possessor of sixteen thousand dollars, he felt like offering a prayer of thankfulness.
He no longer cared that he was faint with hunger, or that he was still a prisoner on that lone island. All he thought of was to await the coming of his friends with patience; end his visit as soon as possible; return to Liddy, and tell her of his wondrous find, and the fortune that was theirs to enjoy. But he was not to escape that day, for the wind still blew almost a gale, and the waves still cut him off from rescue. When the tide fell he dug clams, and when night came he sat by his little fire, roasted and ate them, and was happy. That night he saw no spectral shapes or grinning skulls, and when his fire burned low he crept into his shelter and slept in peace and content. When the morning came only a summer-day breeze ruffled the ocean, and, most gladsome sight of all, only a few miles away was the sloop, with all sails set, and heading directly for the island! When Frank came ashore in the dory there was a joyful meeting.
"We had to put up sail and run for a harbor to save the sloop when we saw the fog coming," said Frank, "and leave you behind. It was that or desert her and come ashore. I am awfully glad to find you safe, though. Obed waited as long as he dared. Where were you, and what were you doing so long?"
"Trying to find a ghost," replied Manson, who felt like joking now, "and I succeeded. I not only found ghosts by the dozen, but two skeletons, and one or two skulls scattered around to make things more cheerful. Oh, I've had a real sociable time, I assure you! One of those kind of times when every way you turn a still more hideous object confronts you; a fit of the jims minus the fun that goes before it. The first night I was so scared I didn't sleep a wink, and the spooks were so thick I dared not turn around for fear of seeing a new one. Your island deserves all that has been said of it, and a good deal more. I've found what's better than ghosts, however!"
When Frank had followed his friend over into "The Pocket," and saw what he had found and heard the marvelous story, he gasped for breath.
"So that is what became of the little Jew smuggler, is it?" he said when he saw the pistol; "and the story was true after all! My stars! but you are in luck," he continued, as he looked at the stacks of coin; and then, slapping Manson on the back, hilariously exclaimed: "Ghost hunting pays once in a while, old fellow, don't it? Now you can get married and come down here and stay all next summer, can't you?"
Then the two friends, happy as children escaped from school, returned to the sloop, and after half-starved Manson had eaten as he never did before, they all three went ashore and visited the cave.
"As near as I can recall the story," said Frank, when they stood looking at the skeletons, "there was an Indian who acted as helper for the Jew, and this tall fellow with the horrible grin may have been that poor fellow. Most likely they got into a quarrel over the money, and fought it out to the death. Great Scott! but what a grim duel that must have been here in this dark cavern!"
When they had looked the cave all over, they carried Manson's strangely found fortune aboard the sloop, and sailed for home. Two days later he bade adieu to his friend and departed two weeks sooner than he had planned, but not until he had made a solemn promise to return the next summer and bring a companion.
The maples in front of Liddy's home were just showing the first tints of autumn color when Manson returned. It had been a long three weeks of separation to her, and her first words contained a note of reproach.
"You might have written me once or twice, Charlie," she said; "the days have seemed so long!"
"I could not," he replied; "I was lost to the world on an island twenty miles from a post office, and letters were not in style there. The people are so far removed from the world they do not seem to think communication of any value. It is a wild and romantic spot, and the only thing I do not like about it is every house has two or three tombstones close by."
He seemed in a surprisingly cheerful mood, and described his visit and the friends he had met in glowing words. One incident of his visit, however, he withheld, and for a purpose. The little, half-jesting remark Liddy had made a month previous on Blue Hill—a remark merely expressive of her pride—still lingered in his mind, and he was resolved to test that pride in his own peculiar way.
A short distance from her house and near the brook was a rustic seat beneath the maple. Many hours she had passed there with him, and many more alone with only sad thoughts for company, when the brook's music seemed a voice of sympathy. Even when a child she had learned to love this spot, and the low, sweet murmur of the stream. Early that evening, when the full moon had just appeared over Blue Hill, they intuitively sought this familiar place. Perhaps the joy in their hearts added a new charm, for the ripples in the brook appeared like so many laughing water sprites dancing there in the silvery light. For a few moments they silently yielded to the magic witchery of the time and place, and then she could contain herself no longer. She had noticed his unusual elation—even more than could be ascribed to his gladness at being once more beside her, and, grown accustomed to his ways, knew there was a surprise in store.
"Well, Charlie," she said at last, with a bright smile, "you need not wait to take me up to Blue Hill this time to tell your story. Tell it now. You have some good news, for I can see it in your face. What is it?"
He looked at her a moment in silence, and then answered:
"Yes, I have a story to tell you, and one that will more than surprise you, but first I have a question to ask. Do you remember the promise you made me a month ago?"
The thought of that tender pledge and his now evident intention to ask its fulfillment brought the color to her face, but she bravely answered: "I have never made a promise and failed to keep it. I shall not begin now."
Then, as the question he asked and the answer he received were heard only by the elfin sprites dancing in the brook beside them, so we will leave it to those fairies to tell if they choose. Suffice it to say it was such as filled his heart so full of happiness it could no longer hold a secret, and there, where the moonlight fell in little rifts upon them, and the music of running water echoed their feelings, he told her the strange story of Pocket Island, and what he had found in the cave.
When late that evening they returned to the house, never again in their lives did the man in the moon seem to smile so graciously or the brook sound so sweet.
Then one day—a day bright above all others to them, when nature seemed aglow with joyous color—all those who were near and dear gathered to listen to their vows, and wish them well in life. Whether those kind wishes were deserved or not, and whether the Fates that direct the steps of all human kind led theirs along the pleasant walks of prosperity and happiness, or among the rocks and thorns of adversity, we will leave to the imagination of those who have read this story, for here their history ends.
It is told that when Jove, the mythological ruler of the universe, conceived the creation of the human race, he sent Pandora to the realms of Pluto to bring him the box containing all the good and evil impulses he intended to select from in his creative work. He gave her strict orders not to open the box, lest its contents escape and work woe to the coming mortals. But as woman's curiosity never was restrained by any power, human or divine, since Mother Eve ate apples, and most likely never will be, no sooner had Pandora set out upon her return than she lifted the lid of that fatal box, and the result to the human race need not be enlarged upon. One good result came from her disobedience, however, for, seeing her error in time, she closed the cover before Hope escaped, and so that blessed impulse came to be shared alike by mortals.
Life at best is but an enigma, and like children pursuing an Ignis Fatuus, so do we all pursue the illusive beacon light of a brighter and happier to-morrow—always hoping, never attaining, though striving ever until, wearied of the vain pursuit, at last we fall by the wayside and are forgotten.
Now Read The Great New England Novel UNCLE TERRY By CHARLES CLARK MUNN
"I wa'n't consulted 'bout comin' into this world, an' I don't expect ter be 'bout goin' out." —UNCLE TERRY.
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Richly Bound Gilt Top Fully Illustrated 370 Pages Price $1.50
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UNCLE TERRY The Great New England Novel
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LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS BOSTON
UNCLE TERRY The Great New England Novel
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UNCLE TERRY The Great New England Novel
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The development of the financial "scheme" which forms the basis of the story, and its stupendous success and corresponding crash, are handled with intense dramatic force, and many salient points of modern life are forcefully but sensibly discussed. The stress of the "street," the poetic restfulness of the sea and shore, the charm of the country, and the saving grace of true love, all these in the hand of a master form a book to be eagerly awaited.
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BETTY SELDON, PATRIOT A Revolutionary Tale for Girls
By ADELE E. THOMPSON, Author of "Beck's Fortune." Illustrated by Lilian Crawford True. 12mo. Cloth. 300 pages. $1.25
It is a great deal to say of a book that it is at the same time fascinating and noble. This is what "Betty Seldon, Patriot" is, and in fact no one of the many who read and admired "Beck's Fortune" would expect a book by Miss Thompson to be otherwise. Betty is a bright Connecticut girl, happily as industrious and filial as she is attractive. Her devotion to her father, a captain in the Continental army, and her experience with a Tory uncle, who appears upon the supposed death of her father and takes her to his home in Pennsylvania, pretending to be her guardian, form the basis of the book. Historical events are accurately traced leading up to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, with reunion and happiness for all who deserve it. Betty is worth a thousand of the fickle coquette heroines of some latter-day popular novels, and the historical setting of the story is strong and effective.
LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS BOSTON
WAR AND ADVENTURE STORIES. By EDWARD STRATEMEYER.
Author of the Famous "Old Glory Series," "Bound to Succeed Series," "Ship and Shore Series," etc.
FIRST VOLUME. BETWEEN BOER AND BRITON Or Two Boys' Adventures in South Africa. Illustrated by A. B. SHUTE. Cloth. 354 pages. Price, $1.25.
"The story bristles with action."—The Outlook.
"A stirring story of the South African war."—The Journal, Indianapolis, Ind.
"The kind of story to please boys and give them a fair idea of a great historical event."—St. Louis Post-Despatch.
"Throughout the book there is evidence of that sympathy for the Boer which prevails on this side of the Atlantic."—Chronicle, Chicago.
SECOND VOLUME. ON TO PEKIN Or Old Glory in China. Illustrated by A. B. SHUTE. Cloth. 330 pages. Price, $1.25.
"Parents can feel, in putting this book into the hands of boys and girls, that they are going to get and hold the interest by the strenuous adventure, and at the same time enforce those splendid old-fashioned traits of honesty, courage, and true all-round manliness."—Universalist Leader.
"A thoroughly up-to-date book, full of incidents familiar to us, which will suit the boys as well as be of interest to their parents."—San Francisco Call.
For sale by all booksellers, or will be sent, prepaid, on receipt of price by LEE & SHEPARD, Publishers, BOSTON.
THE FAMOUS "OLD GLORY SERIES." By EDWARD STRATEMEYER,
Author of "The Bound to Succeed Series," "The Ship and Shore Series," etc.
Six volumes. Cloth. Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25.
UNDER DEWEY AT MANILA Or the War Fortunes of a Castaway. A YOUNG VOLUNTEER IN CUBA Or Fighting for the Single Star. FIGHTING IN CUBAN WATERS Or Under Schley on the Brooklyn. UNDER OTIS IN THE PHILIPPINES Or a Young Officer in the Tropics. THE CAMPAIGN OF THE JUNGLE Or Under Lawton through Luzon. UNDER MacARTHUR IN LUZON Or the Last Battle in the Philippines.
"A boy once addicted to Stratemeyer stays by him."—The Living Church.
"The boys' delight—the 'Old Glory Series.'"—The Christian Advocate, New York.
"Stratemeyer's style suits the boys."—John Terhune, Supt. of Public Instruction, Bergen Co., New Jersey.
"Mr. Stratemeyer is in a class by himself when it comes to writing about American heroes, their brilliant doings on land and sea."—Times, Boston.
"Mr. Stratemeyer has written a series of books which, while historically correct and embodying the most important features of the Spanish-American War and the rebellion of the Filipinos, are sufficiently interwoven with fiction to render them most entertaining to young readers."—The Call, San Francisco.
For sale by all booksellers, or will be sent, prepaid, on receipt of price by LEE & SHEPARD, Publishers, BOSTON.