The Project Gutenberg eBook, Ralph Raymond's Heir, by Horatio Alger

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Title: Ralph Raymond's Heir

Author: Horatio Alger

Release Date: April 26, 2017 [eBook #54608]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by David Edwards, Martin Pettit,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
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Who are you? asked Cromwell

"Who are you?" asked Cromwell. "I am the spirit of the
boy you murdered," answered Robert. Page 176.



Author of "Mark Manning's Mission," "A Debt of Honor,"
"Bernard Brook's Adventures," "Ben Bruce," "Mark
Mason's Victory," etc., etc.



XIX.   CATO. 147
XXII.   THE GHOST IN NO. 41. 171
  A. L. Burt's Catalogue of Books for Young People by Popular Writers 1

[Pg 1]



A man of middle age, muffled up in an overcoat, got out of a Third Avenue car, just opposite a small drug shop. Quickly glancing up and down the street with a furtive look, as if he wished to avoid recognition from any passerby who might know him, he entered the shop.

It was a small shop, not more than twelve feet wide by eighteen deep. The only person in attendance was a young man approaching thirty years of age, his eyes and hair very light, and his features small and insignificant. He was the druggist's clerk, working on a small salary of ten dollars a week, and his name was James Cromwell.

[Pg 2]

He came forward as the person first named entered the shop.

"How can I serve you, sir?" he inquired in a respectful voice.

The person addressed drew from his pocket a piece of paper on which a name was inscribed.

"I want that," he said; "do you happen to have it?"

The shopman's face was tinged with a slight color as he read the name inscribed on the paper.

"You are aware, I suppose, that this is a subtle poison?" he said, interrogatively.

"Yes," said the other, in a tone of outward composure, "so I understand from the friend who desired me to procure it for him. Have you it, or shall I have to go elsewhere?"

"Yes; we happen to have it by the merest chance, although it is rather a rare drug in the materia medica. I will get it for you at once."

The customer's face assumed an air of satisfaction as the clerk spoke, and he sat down on a stool in front of the counter.

James Cromwell quickly placed a small parcel in his hands, and the customer, drawing out a pocketbook, which appeared to be well-filled, paid for his purchase.

[Pg 3]

He then walked out of the shop, and to the corner of the street, where he waited for an uptown car. As he left the shop, a ragged boy of ten, with a sharp, weazened face entered.

"I want an ounce of carmels," he said.

"Wait a minute; do you want to earn a quarter?" demanded the shopman, abruptly.

"I reckon I do," answered the urchin.

"Then you must follow the gentleman who just went out of the shop: find out where he lives, and what his name is. Come out, and I will point him out to you."

Just outside of the door, James Cromwell cast his eyes up the street and saw his late customer in the act of jumping on board a Fourth Avenue car.

"There he is," he said, hastily pointing him out to the boy. "You will have to ride, too. Can you catch that car?"

"I've got no money," said the boy.

"Here's a quarter. Now run."

"But I'm to have a quarter besides?"

"Yes, yes. Make haste."

The boy ran forward, and succeeded in overtaking the car and clambering on board.

"Look here, young chap," said the conductor,[Pg 4] suspiciously, "have you got any money to pay your fare?"

"Yes, I have," said the boy. "Don't you be afraid, old hoss."

"Show your money, then."

The boy produced the quarter which had just been given him.

"You're richer than I supposed," said the conductor. "Here's your change."

The boy put back the twenty-two cents remaining in the pocket of his ragged pants, and began to look about him for the passenger whom he was required to track. The latter was seated on the left hand side, four seats from the door.

"I wonder why I'm to foller him about," said the boy to himself. "Maybe he's run off without paying his bill. Anyway, it's nothing to me as long as I earn a quarter. It'll pay me into the Old Bowery to-night."

And the boy began to indulge in pleasing anticipations of the enjoyment he would receive from witnessing the great spectacle of the "Avenger of Blood," which was having a successful run at the favorite theatre with boys of his class.

Before proceeding, I may mention that the boy referred to was known as Hake, a name whose[Pg 5] derivation I have been unable to learn. He had been a street vagrant for half his life, and was precocious in his knowledge of metropolitan life in its lowest phases.

If the gentleman whom he was employed to watch noticed the ragged boy, he hadn't the remotest suspicion that there was the least connection between them, or that his being there had anything to do with his own presence in the car. He took out a paper from his pocket and began to read.

"I wonder how far I've got to go," thought Hake. "If it's far I'll have to ride back, and that'll take three cents more."

He reflected, however, that nineteen cents would remain, and he would besides have the quarter which had been promised him.

"I can go to the theatre, and get a bully dinner, besides," he reflected, complacently.

The car rapidly proceeded uptown, passing Union Square and the Everett House at the corner of Seventeenth Street. Two blocks farther, and the passenger first introduced rose from his seat.

"Next corner," he said to the conductor.

The latter pulled the strap and the car stopped.

[Pg 6]

The gentleman got out, and turned westward up Twenty-ninth Street.

Hake scrambled out also, and followed him up the street. He crossed Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and did not pause till he had reached a handsome house between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Before this time he had thrown open the coat in which he had been muffled, for the weather was not inclement, appearing to feel that there was now no further need of concealment.

He ascended the steps of the house, and rang the bell.

The door was opened directly by a servant, and he entered.

Scarcely had the door closed when Hake also ascended the steps and looked at the door-plate. The name was there, but unfortunately for Hake, he had not received even an elementary education, and could not read. This was rather inconvenient, as it stood in the way of his obtaining the information he desired.

Looking about him, he saw a schoolboy of his own age passing.

"Look here," he said, "what's that name up there on that door?"

"Can't you read?"

[Pg 7]

"I left my spectacles at home," said Hake, "and I can't read without 'em."

"It's Paul Morton, then, if you want to know," said the boy, curtly.

"Paul Morton," repeated Hake to himself. "All right!"

But he was not quite sure whether he had not been deceived. So he went to the basement door, and rang.

"What's wanted?" said the servant, curtly.

"Does Paul Morton live here?" asked Hake.

"You might say Mr. Paul Morton while you're about it," said the servant. "Yes, he lives here, and what do you want with him?"

"I was sent here," said Hake with no particular regard for truth, "by a man as said Mr. Morton was a good man, and would give me some clothes."

"Then you won't get them here," said the girl, and the door was slammed in the boy's face.

"I've found out his name now," said Hake, "sure," and he repeated it over to himself until he was certain he could remember it. He retraced his steps to Fourth Avenue, and jumped on board a returning car, and was ere long landed at the druggist's shop.

[Pg 8]

"Well," said James Cromwell, looking up, "did you do as I told you?"

"Yes," said Hake.

"What did you find out?"

"His name is Paul Morton."

"Where does he live?"

"At No. —— West Twenty-ninth Street."

"What sort of house is it?"

"A nice one."

"Are you sure you made no mistake?"

"Yes, it's all right. I want my quarter."

"Here it is."

The boy took the money and scrambled off, well content with the results of his expedition; his mind intent upon the play he was to see in the evening.

"Paul Morton!" mused the clerk, thoughtfully. "I must put that name down. The knowledge may come in use some day. I hope some time or other I shall not be starving on ten dollars a week. It may be that my rise in the world will come through this same Paul Morton. Who can tell?"

[Pg 9]


The house in Twenty-ninth Street was a solid and substantial one which could only be occupied by a man of wealth. It was handsomely furnished, and all the appointments were such as to confirm the impression that its occupant was, to say the least, in easy circumstances financially. But it happens oftentimes that outward impressions are very far from correct. It was a fact that Paul Morton, who had lived here for ten years, was on the verge of ruin, and knew very well that unless some help should come he would be compelled to leave his fine residence and sink into poverty and obscurity.

He was a downtown merchant, but lured by the hope of large gains, had indulged in outside speculations which had sapped the springs of his prosperity and brought him face to face with ruin.

Just at this juncture, on reaching home one day, jaded and anxious, he found that a guest had arrived whom they had not seen for years. Ralph[Pg 10] Raymond was his cousin, and of about the same age as himself. As boys they had been sworn friends and comrades, and each had promised the other that if he died first without family ties, he would leave to the survivor his entire property, whatever it might amount to.

When they became young men, Paul Morton remained in New York, but Ralph went, after a few years, to China, where he had spent his subsequent life with brief intervals, as a successful merchant. Paul Morton heard from time to time of his success, and that he had accumulated a fortune, and the thought occurred to him, for earlier generous feelings had been swallowed up in the greed of gain, "If he only dies first, I shall be greatly the gainer."

When he met his friend, he found him greatly changed. He was thin, sallow, and to outward appearance hadn't long to live.

"You find me greatly changed, Paul, do you not?" said Ralph Raymond.

"Yes, you are changed, of course, for I have not seen you for twenty years," was the reply.

"But I am looking very ill, am I not?"

"You are not looking well; but perhaps it is the change of climate."

[Pg 11]

"It is something more than that," said Ralph, shaking his head. "Old friend, I feel that I have not many months to live. I have within my frame the seeds of a fatal disease, which I cannot much longer stave off. I feel its insidious approaches, and I know that my weakened vital powers cannot much longer resist them. I have one favor to ask."

"What is it?"

"May I spend the short remainder of my life in your house? I shrink from going among strangers. It will be a great relief to me if I can feel that I am in the house of my old friend when the solemn messenger arrives."

"Surely," said Paul Morton, "I hope you are mistaken in your gloomy prognostications; but, however that may be, you shall be welcome here so long as it pleases you to stay."

"Thank you; I was sure you would consent. As to my being mistaken, that is hardly possible. This time next year I shall not be numbered among the living."

Looking at his thin face and attenuated frame, Paul Morton felt that his words were probably correct, and his heart glowed with exultation as he felt that Ralph Raymond was without family ties,[Pg 12] and that at his death, which would soon happen, in all probability his large fortune, one hundred thousand dollars at least, would become his. This would relieve him of all his embarrassments, give him a firm financial standing.

Shortly after Ralph Raymond was confined to his bed by sickness. The physician who was called spoke ambiguously. He might die suddenly, or he might linger for a year. Days and weeks passed, and still he remained in about the same condition, so that the last seemed likely to be the correct prediction.

In the meanwhile, Paul Morton's affairs had become more and more embarrassed. He had plunged into speculations from which he did not see the way out. He perceived his mistake, but too late. Nothing was left but for him to float with the tide, and be borne where it might carry him.

He did not doubt that at the death of his guest, his large property would be his. Indeed, a casual remark of Ralph Raymond's had confirmed him in the impression. As time wore on, and his pecuniary difficulties increased, he began to long for his friend's death.

"A few months more or less of life would be[Pg 13] of little importance to him," he thought, "while to me it is of incalculable importance to come into his estate as soon as possible."

The more he thought of it the more frequently the suggestion was forced upon him that his friend's early death was most desirable. At length, as he was in a book store on Nassau Street one day, he picked up an old medical work, in which there was one division which treated of poisons. One was mentioned, of a subtle character, whose agency was difficult of detection. It did not accomplish its purpose at once, but required some days.

Paul Morton bought this book, and when he reached home he locked it up securely in a drawer accessible only to himself.

We have now brought up the story to the point where the first chapter commences.

The poison which he sought in the small shop on the Bowery was the same whose effects he had seen described in the volume he had purchased in Nassau Street. He had an object in going to an obscure shop, as he would be less likely to be known, and such a purchase would be very apt to attract notice. But it was only by chance that he succeeded. In most shops of such humble [Pg 14]pretensions such an article would not be found, but it so happened that some had been ordered by a chemist a year before, and the druggist, thinking it possible he might have a call for it, had ordered some to keep in his stock.

When Paul Morton reached home, he went up to his friend's chamber.

Ralph Raymond was lying stretched out upon the bed, looking quite sick; but not so sick as at times during his illness.

"How do you feel, Ralph?" said his false friend, bending over him.

"I am feeling more comfortable to-day, Paul," he said.

"Perhaps you will recover yet."

"No, I have no expectation of that; but I may be spared longer than I supposed possible."

"I certainly hope so," said Paul Morton; but there was a false ring in his voice, though the sick man, who had no doubt of his sincere friendship, was far enough from detecting this.

"I know you do," said Ralph.

"What medicines are you taking now?" inquired Paul Morton.

"There is a bottle of cordial; I take a wineglass of it once an hour."

[Pg 15]

Paul Morton took up the bottle and gazed at it thoughtfully.

"Is your nurse attentive?" he asked.

"Yes, I have no fault to find with her."

"Where is she now?"

"She just went down to prepare my dinner."

"When did you take your cordial last?"

"About an hour since."

"Then it is time to take it again."

"Yes, I suppose so; but I presume a few minutes later will make no difference."

"It is better to be regular about it. As the nurse is away I will give it to you."

"Thank you."

"I must go to the window, to see how much to pour out. How much do you usually take?"

"A wine-glass two-thirds full."

Paul Morton took the bottle and the glass to the window. As he stood there he was out of the observation of the patient. He poured out the required quantity of the cordial into the glass; but after doing so, he slyly added a small quantity of powder from a paper which he drew from his vest pocket. He put the paper back, and reappeared at the bedside holding the glass in his hand.

[Pg 16]

"I think I have poured out the right quantity," he said; but his voice was constrained, and there was a pallor about his face.

The sick man noticed nothing of this. He took the cup and drained it of its contents, as a matter of course.

"Thank you, Paul," he said.

Paul Morton could not find anything to say in reply to the thanks which fell upon his soul like a mockery.

He took the glass from the trembling hand of the sick man, and looked into it to see if in the depths there might be any tell-tale trace of the powder which he had dropped into it; but he could see nothing.

"Well, I must leave you for a time. Perhaps you can sleep," he said.

"Perhaps so; I will try," was the answer.

Paul Morton left the sick chamber, and shut himself up in his own room. He wanted to screen himself from the sight of all, for he knew that he had taken the fatal step, and that already, in deed, as well as in heart, he was a murderer!

[Pg 17]


The next day Ralph Raymond's unfavorable symptoms had returned, and he was pronounced worse by the physician. Yet the change was not sufficiently marked to excite suspicion. It was supposed that his constitution had not vitality enough to rally against the steady approaches of the disease under which he was laboring.

Paul Morton read from the old medical book which he had picked up in Nassau Street, and which, as we know, had given him the first suggestion of the horrible crime which he had determined upon, the following words:

"The patient has been known to recover where but one dose of this poison has been administered, but should it have been given on two successive days, there is little or no chance that he will survive. Yet, so slow is its operation, that after the second time of administering, it is not impossible[Pg 18] that he may survive several days. Cases have been known where the period has extended to a week, but of the final fatal result there can be no question."

"I must go through it again," muttered Paul Morton to himself. "It will not do to fail. While I am about it, I must make a sure thing of it."

He accordingly sought the bedside of the sick man on the next day, about the same time as before. He had watched till he saw the nurse go down to prepare the patient's dinner.

"How are you feeling, to-day?" he inquired, in apparent anxiety.

"Worse, my friend," said the sick man, feebly.

"But yesterday you said you were better, did you not?"

"Yes, I felt better then, but to-day I have a dull throbbing pain here," and he pointed to his breast.

"Did you not sleep well?"

"Yes, better than usual."

Paul Morton knew that this was the effect of the poison, for it had been referred to in the book.

"I wonder, then, you do not feel better," he said. "I supposed sleep always had a salutary effect."

[Pg 19]

"It has not had in my case. No, my friend, I feel convinced that I have not many days to live."

"I hope you are wrong. What can I do for you? Shall I not give you your cordial as I did yesterday?"

"Yes, if you like."

Again Paul Morton poured out the cordial, and again, as on the day previous, he filliped into the glass a minute portion of the powder.

The sick man drank it.

"I don't know what it is," he said, "but it does not taste as it used to."

Paul Morton turned pale, but he rallied at once.

"Your sickness, doubtless, affects your sense of taste," he said. "It is very often the case in sickness, even of a lighter character than yours."

"Very likely you are right."

"Can I do anything more for you?" asked Paul Morton, who was now anxious to get away from the presence of his victim. Strange thoughts came over him when he felt that he had taken a decisive step, which now could not be recalled. He had administered the poisonous powder for the second time, and, according to the medical authority which we have already quoted, there was[Pg 20] no longer any help for the sick man, his victim. He might live two, three or four days, possibly a week, though this was not probable in the case of one whose constitution was enfeebled by a lingering malady, but his doom was sure.

But he was as truly a murderer as if he had approached him with a loaded pistol, and discharged it full at his temple. Twenty-four hours had made him such. But he did not realize this. He said to himself, "He was sure to die; this act of mine has only hastened the event a little. After all, it may be merciful, for it can hardly be desirable for him to linger in his present condition."

With this miserable casuistry he strove to palliate the treachery and crime which he had just committed, not against a foe who had done him harm, but against his early friend, for whom he had always professed the strongest affection. And all this for the sake of a little dross!

"There is something I want to tell you, Paul," said the sick man, turning his head on the pillow by an effort, "something which will, perhaps, surprise you, and after that I shall have a favor to ask of you. Will you grant it?"

"Yes," said Paul Morton, "I will grant it. Speak on."

[Pg 21]

His curiosity was not a little excited by what he had heard. He drew a chair to the bedside, and sat down.

"I am ready to hear what you have to say, Ralph," he said.

"You suppose, and the world supposes that I have never married," the sick man commenced.

Paul Morton started, and he awaited nervously what was to follow.

"The world is right, is it not?" he said hastily.

"No, the world is wrong. Sixteen years ago I married a portionless girl. For reasons which it is unnecessary now to mention, my marriage was not made public, but it was strictly legal. My young wife lived less than two years, but ere she died she gave me a son."

"Is he still living?" asked Paul Morton, in a hoarse voice.

"Yes, he still lives."

"Then," thought Paul, with a sense of bitter disappointment, "all my labor has been for naught. This boy will inherit Raymond's fortune, and his death will be of no benefit to me."

"Where is the boy now?" he asked.

"He is at a boarding-school on the Hudson. He was early educated abroad, but for two years he[Pg 22] has been at Dr Tower's boarding-school, about forty miles from New York."

"Does he know anything of his parentage?"

"Yes, I went to see him before I came last to your house. Besides, I have thought it well to communicate all the facts in the case to Dr. Tower as it was possible, that I might die suddenly, and his testimony might be required to substantiate my son's claims to my estates."

"What is your son's name?" asked Paul Morton, rousing a little from the stupor into which the information had thrown him.

"Robert Raymond. It was the name of my wife's only brother, who had died young, and as I had no particular preference, I allowed her to name him."

"Is he in good health?"

"Yes; happily he has not inherited my constitution. He seems healthy and likely to live long. But I am sorry that he will be left so alone in the world, as he must be by my death. This brings me to the favor I was about to ask of you. In my will I have appointed you the guardian of my boy, who is now between fourteen and fifteen. I think it will not occasion you much trouble. My property, which I have put into solid securities,[Pg 23] will amount to one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Of course, therefore, there will be no occasion for stinting him. I desire him to have the best advantages. As for you, my old friend, as a slight compensation for the trouble you will take, and as a proof of my affection, I authorize you to appropriate to your own use, during my son's minority, one-half of the income of the property and pay his expenses out of the other half. What there may be over can be added to the principal."

"But suppose—though, if the boy is as healthy as you say, there is little fear of that—suppose Robert should die before attaining his majority."

"Should that event happen, and, as you say, it is possible, I desire that the property should go without reserve to you. I have so provided in my will."

A flush of gratification mantled the cheek of Paul Morton, as he heard this statement. "All is not lost," he thought. "The boy may die and then——"

This is what he thought, but he said:

"Ralph, you are too kind and generous. It is my earnest hope that such a contingency may never occur."

[Pg 24]

"I am sure of that. I have perfect confidence in you, and I know you will be kind to my boy. He may be here to-morrow morning."

"Here to-morrow morning!" ejaculated Paul Morton, in surprise.

"Yes. I requested the nurse to write to him yesterday afternoon, in my name, to come at once. As I have but a short time to live, I wish to have him with me during the short remainder of my life—that is, if it will not be inconvenient to you to have him in the house."

"Certainly not, I shall be glad to have him come," said Paul Morton, absently.

"I begin to feel drowsy. I will try to sleep," said the sick man.

"Then I will leave you. I hope you may awake refreshed."

Paul Morton walked out of the sick-room with his eyes bent upon the floor. He wanted to think over this new and unexpected turn of affairs.

[Pg 25]


In the revelation which had been made him by Ralph Raymond, Paul Morton found fruitful subject of meditation. To begin with, he had been disappointed to find a young life between himself and the estate which he coveted. But, on the other hand, that estate was twenty thousand dollars larger than he supposed; and, moreover, as the boy's guardian, he would have in his own hands the control of the whole for nearly seven years, and be paid in the meantime a handsome sum for his trouble. Besides, many things might happen in seven years. The boy was young and healthy, so his father said, but life is uncertain in all cases. He might die, and in that event, the entire property without reserve, would fall to him—Paul Morton. The situation, therefore, was far from being as discouraging as it might have been.

The next morning Paul Morton was sitting at[Pg 26] the breakfast table with his wife opposite him. As nothing has yet been said of Mrs. Morton, a few words of description may not be inappropriate.

Mrs. Morton, then, was ten years younger than her husband. She had belonged to a proud but poor family, and had married from no impulse of affection, but because she considered Mr. Morton a rich man who could give her a luxurious home. No sympathy need be wasted upon her, for she had very little heart, and lived only for ostentation. There had been very little domestic harmony between the two. She had shown herself lavishly extravagant, even beyond her husband's means, and any tendency on his part to curb her extravagance was met by biting sarcasm, and an exhibition of ill temper which soon compelled him to surrender at discretion.

Such was the ill-assorted couple who sat at the breakfast table on the morning of which I am speaking.

Mr. Morton, of whose personal appearance I have not yet spoken, was in appearance fifty-four years of age, though he was really several years younger. He had lost nearly all his hair, retaining only a few locks on either side of his[Pg 27] head. There was a furtive look about his eyes calculated to inspire distrust. He seemed reluctant to look one full in the face. On the whole the impression given by his features was unfavorable. They seemed to indicate a mean, ignoble disposition, so truly do the inner qualities mark their impress on the face.

"Well, Mr. Morton," said his wife, leaning back in her chair, "have you brought me the money I asked for yesterday?"

"No," said Mr. Morton uneasily, for he knew that this reply would elicit a storm.

"And why not, I should like to know?" she exclaimed, with flashing eyes. "Don't pretend to say you forgot it, for I won't believe any such nonsense."

"No, I didn't forget it, Mrs. Morton," said her husband, "but the fact is, it was not convenient for me to bring it."

"Not convenient! What do you mean by that, Mr. Morton?" exclaimed the lady in an angry voice.

"It is just as I say. Business is very dull and money is tight."

"That is what you always say," said Mrs. Morton, curling her lip.

[Pg 28]

"Whether I do or not, it is true enough now. I wish it wasn't."

"I only asked for a hundred dollars. Surely that would make no difference in your business."

"That is where you are mistaken. If you will be kind enough to remember how often you call upon me for such trifles, and have a head for arithmetic, you can estimate what they will amount to in the course of a year."

"But I haven't a head for arithmetic, and don't want to have. I always despised it. All I know is, that I have picked out a lovely silk dress pattern at Stewart's, and I want to go round and secure it this morning, or I may lose it altogether."

"If you do, I think you will manage to survive it."

"You'd better not try to be sarcastic, Mr. Morton. You haven't the brains for it, and it isn't in your line."

"You are complimentary."

"No, I only show a proper discrimination. Heaven knows I have lived with you years enough, and weary ones at that, to understand you thoroughly. Can't you send me up a check from your store? It will be in time if I receive it by eleven o'clock."

[Pg 29]

"No, I cannot," said Paul Morton, with unusual firmness.

"So you refuse, do you?" exclaimed Mrs. Morton, in deep anger.

"I do; and for a good reason."

"Give me your reason, then. I should like to judge of it myself."

"Then I will tell you without reserve, what I had not intended to mention. In all my mercantile career I was never in such danger of ruin as at the present. The dull times at which you sneer have proved very disastrous to me. It is all I can do to keep my head above water. Every day I fear that the crash will come, and that instead of being able to afford you this establishment, I shall be obliged to remove into some humble dwelling in Brooklyn, and seek for a position as clerk or bookkeeper. How would you fancy this change, madam? Yet it is at such a time you harass me with your unreasonable demands for money. If I am ruined, it will be some satisfaction that you, who have had so much to do with bringing it on, are compelled to suffer its inconveniences with me."

Mrs. Morton turned pale while he was speaking, for she had never known anything of her[Pg 30] husband's business affairs, and supposed that such a thing as his failure was impossible. To be reduced to poverty, where a wife loves her husband and is beloved in return, is not so hard; but where there is no pretence of love, and the wife lives only for show, it is felt as a terrible misfortune.

"You are only saying this to frighten me," she said after a pause, with an attempt to rally.

"If you think that, you are utterly mistaken," said her husband. "I wish, indeed, that it were true, but unfortunately it is not. My position is to the full, as hazardous, and my ruin as imminent as I have told you. You can imagine whether I have a hundred dollars to spare for you to spend at Stewart's."

Mrs. Morton was for a brief time silent. She hardly knew how to answer; at last she said, "There's your sick friend upstairs. Isn't he a rich man?"


"He won't live very long, probably. Won't he leave you anything?"

"I expected that he would leave me his entire fortune, according to an old promise between us; but only yesterday I learned that he has a son living."

[Pg 31]

"And you will receive nothing, then?" said his wife, disappointed.

"Not so. I shall be left guardian of the boy, and for seven years I shall receive half the income of the property in return for my services."

"And how much is the property?"

"A hundred thousand dollars or more."

"What will be your share of the income?"

"Probably not less than four thousand dollars."

"Four thousand dollars!" said the lady with satisfaction. "Then you won't have to get a situation as clerk, even if you do fail. We can go to a stylish boarding-house. It won't be so bad as I thought."

"But I shan't be able to give you two thousand dollars a year for dress, as I have been accustomed to do."

"Perhaps you won't fail."

"Perhaps not. I hope not."

"Where is this boy?"

"He is at a boarding-school on the Hudson. I expect him here this morning."

Scarcely had he said this when a servant opened the door and said, "Mr. Morton, there is a boy just come who says he is Mr. Raymond's son."

"Bring him in," said Paul Morton.

[Pg 32]

A moment later, and a boy of fourteen entered the room, and looked inquiringly at the two who were sitting at the table.

"Are you Robert Raymond?" inquired Mr. Morton.

"Yes, sir," said the boy, in manly tones. "How is my father?"

"Your father, my poor boy," said Paul Morton, in pretended sadness, "is, I regret to say, in a very precarious condition."

"Don't you think he will live?" asked Robert, anxiously.

"I fear not long. I am glad you have come. I will go up with you at once to your father's chamber. I hope you will look upon me as your sincere friend, for your father's sake. Maria, my dear, this is young Robert Raymond. Robert, this is Mrs. Morton."

Mrs. Morton gave her hand graciously to the boy. Looking upon him as her probable savior from utter ruin, she was disposed to regard him with favor.

Mr. Morton rose from the table, and motioning Robert to follow him, led the way to the sick man's chamber.

[Pg 33]


On the east side of the Bowery is a shabby street, which clearly enough indicates, by its general appearance, that it is never likely to be the resort of fashionable people. But in a large city there are a great many people who are not fashionable, and cannot aspire to fashionable quarters, and these must be housed as well as they may.

There stands in this street a shabby brick house of three stories. In the rear room of the upper story lived James Cromwell, the clerk in the druggist's store already referred to in our first chapter. The room was small and scantily furnished, being merely provided with a pine bedstead, painted yellow, and a consumptive-looking bed, a wooden chair, washstand, and a seven-by-nine mirror. There was no bureau, and, in fact, it would have been difficult to introduce one into a room of the dimensions.

The occupant of the room stood before the [Pg 34]mirror, arranging his rather intractable hair, which he had besmeared with bear's grease. He surveyed the effect with some complacency, for it is a little remarkable that those who are least gifted with beauty, are very apt to be best satisfied with their personal appearance.

He had arrayed himself in a rusty black suit which showed his lank figure in all its natural ungracefulness and was evidently on the point of going out.

"Now for Twenty-ninth Street," he said, as he descended to the street. "I hope Hake has not deceived me. If he has, I will twist the little rascal's neck."

He got on board a Fourth Avenue car, and rode uptown. Nothing occurred to interrupt his progress, and in the course of half an hour he stood before the house which, as we already know, was occupied by Paul Morton.

He stood and surveyed it from the opposite side of the street.

"That's the house that Hake described," he said, "but whether my customer of the other day lives there or not, I cannot tell. And what is worse, I don't know how to find out."

While he was devising some method of [Pg 35]ascertaining this, to him, important point, fortune favored him. Mr. Paul Morton himself appeared at the door, accompanied by the physician. As the distance was only across the street, James Cromwell had no difficulty in hearing the conversation that passed between them.

"What do you think of him, doctor?" asked Paul Morton, in accents of pretended anxiety. "Don't you think there is any help for him?"

"No; I regret to say that I think there is none whatever. From the first I considered it a critical case, but within two or three days the symptoms have become more unfavorable, and his bodily strength, of which, at least, he had but little, has so sensibly declined, that I fear there is no help whatever for him."

"How long do you think he will last, doctor?" was the next inquiry.

"He cannot last a week, in my judgment. If he does it will surprise me very much. He is wealthy, is he not?"

"Yes; he has been a successful man of business."

"Where has he passed his life?"

"In China. That is, he has lived there for a considerable time."

[Pg 36]

"Probably the climate may have had a deleterious effect upon his constitution. I will call round upon him to-morrow."

"Very well, doctor. I will rely upon you to do whatever human skill can accomplish for my sick friend."

"I am afraid human skill, even the greatest, can do little now. There are some recent symptoms which I confess, puzzle me somewhat, as they are not usual in a disease of the character of that which affects our patient."

"Indeed!" said Paul Morton, briefly, but in a tone which did not indicate any desire to continue the discussion of this branch of the subject. "Well, doctor, I will not further trespass upon your time, which I know very well is valuable. Good-night."

"Good-night!" said the physician, and drawing on his gloves, he descended the steps, and jumped into the carriage which was waiting for him.

Paul Morton closed the door, unaware that there had been a listener who had gleaned valuable information from the conversation he had just had with the doctor.

"Well," thought James Cromwell, emerging[Pg 37] from the shaded doorway in which he had silently concealed himself—for he did not wish to run the risk of detection and possible recognition by his old customer, whom he, on his part, had recognized without difficulty,—"well, I'm in luck. I happened here just at the right time. I know pretty well what's going on now, and I can give a guess as to the rest. It seems there's a sick man inside, and that within two or three days he has been growing sicker. Maybe I could give a guess as to what has made him grow sicker. So the doctor don't understand some of his recent symptoms. Perhaps I could throw a little light upon the matter, if it were worth my while. Then, again, the sick man happens to be wealthy. Perhaps, there is nothing in that, and then, perhaps, again, there is. Well, there are strange things that happen in this world, and, if I'm not mistaken, I'm on the track of one of them, I rather think I shall find my advantage in it before I get through. I've got that man in my power, if things are as I suspect, and it won't be long before I shall let him know it. I might as well be going home now."

James Cromwell walked to Broadway, then walked a few squares down, until he reached the[Pg 38] Fifth Avenue Hotel, bright with lights, and thronged as usual in the evening.

"I think I will go in and have a smoke," said James Cromwell.

He entered, and making his way to the cigar stand, purchased an expensive cigar, and sat down for a smoke. It was not often that he was so lavish, but he felt that the discovery he had made would eventually prove to him a source of income, and this made him less careful of his present means.

"This is the way I like to live," he thought, as he looked around him. "Instead of the miserable lodging, where I am cooped up, I would like to live in a hotel like this, or at least, in a handsome boarding-house, and fare like a gentleman."

While he was thinking thus, his attention was drawn to a conversation which he heard beside him. The speakers were apparently two business men.

"What do you think of Morton's business position?"

"What Morton do you mean?"

"Paul Morton."

"If you want my real opinion, I think he is in a critical condition."

[Pg 39]

"Is it as bad as that?"

"Yes, I have reason to think so. I don't believe he will keep his head above water long unless he receives some outside assistance."

"I have heard that whispered by others."

"It is more than whispered. People are getting shy of extending credit to him. I shouldn't be surprised myself to hear of his failure any day."

James Cromwell listened eagerly to this conversation. He was sharp of comprehension, and he easily discerned the motive arising in Paul Morton's embarrassed affairs, which should have led him to such a desperate resolution as to hasten the death of a guest. There was one thing he did not yet understand. Paul Morton must be sure that the death of the sick man would rebound to his own advantage, or he would not incur such a risk.

"Probably, it is his brother or uncle, or, perhaps, father," concluded the clerk. "Whoever it is, it makes little difference to me. Let him play out his little game to the end, and enter into possession of his money, which, by the way, I hope will be a pretty good pile. Then I will step quietly in, and with what I know of a certain [Pg 40]purchase, it will be very strange if I cannot help myself to a generous slice."

After finishing his cigar, the druggist's clerk went out of the hotel, and it being a fine, moonlight evening, he concluded to walk home. As he walked, his mind was full of pleasing reflections. He looked about him with disgust, as he entered his humble and not very attractive home, and he soliloquized:

"If things go right, I won't live here much longer, nor will I stand behind the counter of a two-penny druggist's shop, at ten dollars a week."

[Pg 41]


"Ralph, here is your son," said Paul Morton, ushering the boy into the sick chamber of his father.

The sick man turned his face toward those who had just entered, and his face lighted up as his glance rested on his son.

"I am glad you have come, Robert," he said.

"Dear father," said Robert, bursting into tears, "how sick you are looking!"

"Yes, Robert," said Ralph Raymond feebly, "I am not long for this world. I have become very feeble, and I know that I shall never leave this chamber till I am carried out in my coffin."

"Don't say that, father," said Robert in tones of grief.

"It is best that you should know the truth, my son, especially, as my death cannot be long delayed."

"You will live some months, father, will you not?"

[Pg 42]

"I do not think I shall live a week, Robert," said his father. "The sands of my life are nearly run out; but I am not sorry. Life has lost its attractions for me, and my only desire to live would proceed from the reluctance I feel at leaving you."

"What shall I do without you, father?" asked the boy, his breast heaving with the painful sobs which he was trying in vain to repress.

"I shall not leave you wholly alone, my dear boy. I have arranged that you may be in charge of my old friend, Mr. Morton, who, I am sure will take the tenderest care of you, and try to be a father to you."

"Yes," said Paul, coming forward, "as your father says, I have promised to do for you what I can when he has left us. I would that he might be with us for many years, but since Providence in its inscrutable wisdom has ordained otherwise, we must bow to the stroke and do the best we can."

He put his fine cambric handkerchief to his eyes to wipe away the tears which were not there, and seemed affected by deep grief.

Robert cast a glance at the friend to whom he was to be consigned, but saw nothing to inspire[Pg 43] confidence. There are some who almost unconsciously attract children, and draw young hearts to them in love and confidence. But Paul Morton was far from being one of the class. There was much in his crafty, insincere face to repel, little to attract, and so Robert judged, though he did not think of it at that time. He rather wondered why he felt so little drawn toward the man whom his father praised so highly; but the instincts of childhood were right; and the boy found no subsequent reason to correct his first impressions.

The interview did not last long, for it was apparent that the excitement was acting unfavorably upon the sick man, whose strength was now very slight. So Paul Morton left the room, but by Ralph's request Robert was left behind, on condition that he would not speak. The boy buried his head in the bed clothes and sobbed gently. In losing his father he lost his only relative, and though he had not seen very much of him in his lifetime, that little intercourse had been marked by so much kindness on the part of his father, that apart from the claims of duty arising from relationship, he felt a warm and grateful love for his parent. The bitterness of being alone in the[Pg 44] world already swept over him in anticipation, and he remained for hours silent and motionless in the sick chamber of his father.

Matters continued thus for two days. During that time Paul Morton came little into the sick chamber. Even his audacious and shameless spirit shrank from witnessing the gradual approaches of that death which had been hastened by his diabolical machinations.

Besides, there was no object to be gained, he thought. Death was now certain. There was no need of his doing anything more to hasten it. Then, as to the disposition of the property, there was no chance now of any change being made in the arrangement. He knew precisely what advantage he was himself to reap from his friend's death, and though it was not so great as he at first anticipated, it would be enough to put a new face upon his affairs.

Besides, he would have the entire control of his ward's property, and he did not doubt that he could so use it as to stave off ruin, and establish himself on a new footing. Then again, there was the contingency of the boy's death; and upon this, improbable as it was, he was continually dwelling.

[Pg 45]

After two days the end came.

The nurse came hurrying into the room of her master, and said, "Come quick, Mr. Morton. I think the poor gentleman is going."

"Not dying?" asked Paul Morton, with a pale face, for though expected, the intelligence startled him.

"Yes; you must come quick, or you will not see him alive."

Paul Morton rose mechanically from his chair, and hastily thrust into his pocket a sheet of paper on which he had been making some arithmetical calculations as to the fortune of his dying guest, and following the nurse entered the sick chamber.

It was indeed as she had said. Ralph Raymond was breathing slowly and with difficulty, and it was evident from the look upon his face, that the time of the great change had come.

Robert stood by the bedside holding his father's hand, and sobbing bitterly.

As Paul Morton entered, the dying man turned his glazing eyes toward him, and then toward the boy at his side, as if again to commend him to his care.

Paul understood, and with pale face he nodded[Pg 46] as if to assure the dying man that he undertook the trust.

Then a more cheerful look came over the face of Ralph. He looked with a glance of tender love at his son, then his head sank back, his eyes closed, and the breath left his body.

The deed was consummated! Ralph Raymond was dead!

"Poor gentleman! So he's dead!" said the nurse with a professional sigh, "and no doubt he's better off."

No answer was made to this remark. Neither Paul Morton nor Robert seemed inclined to speak. The former was brought face to face with the consequence of his crime. The latter was filled with the first desolation of grief.

Three days later the funeral took place. Paul Morton took care that everything should be in strict accordance with the wealth and position of the deceased. He strove to satisfy his troublesome conscience by paying the utmost respect to the man for whose death he had conspired.

Owing to the long absence of Ralph Raymond from the country, there were not very many who remembered him, but Paul Morton invited his own friends and acquaintances liberally, and the[Pg 47] invitation was accepted by a large number, as there are always those who have some morbid feelings and appear to enjoy appearing at a funeral.

The rooms were draped in black. The doorbell was muffled in crape, and the presence of death in the house was ostentatiously made known to all who passed.

Among these there was James Cromwell, who for some reason, nearly every evening, after his hours of labor were over, came up to take a look at the house in Twenty-ninth Street, which appeared to have a great attraction for him. When he saw the crape he managed to learn through a servant the precise hour of the funeral, and applied to his employer for leave of absence on that day.

"It will be inconvenient," said his employer.

"I must go," said the clerk, "I wish to attend a funeral."

Supposing that it must be the funeral of a relation, or at least, a friend, the employer made no further objection.

As the time of the service approached, James Cromwell attired himself in his best, and made his way to the house. His entrance was [Pg 48]unnoticed amongst the rest, for there was a large number present. He got into an out-of-the-way corner, and listened attentively to the solemn service for the dead, as performed by one of the most eminent clergyman in the city. Among the rest his eye rested on Paul Morton, who sat with his face buried in his handkerchief.

At length Paul looked from behind the handkerchief, and his eye roved over the company. Suddenly he turned livid. His eye met that of a thin young man, with light hair, in an out-of-the-way corner, and he remembered at once under what circumstances they had met before.

[Pg 49]


Paul Morton's consternation can hardly be described, when, in the number who had come to witness the funeral ceremonies of Ralph Raymond, he recognized the shopman in the obscure druggist's shop where he had purchased the poison. The sweat stood out upon his brow, and he eagerly questioned himself—how much did this man know, or what did he suspect, or was his presence purely accidental?

But he could hardly believe that a man in such a position would attend the funeral, unless he had some object in view. How had he found out his name and residence? Was it possible that he had been tracked?

He looked furtively at the young man, now grown an object of strange and dread interest to him. He noted his insignificant features, and the general meanness of his appearance, and he began to pluck up courage.

"Suppose he does suspect anything," he[Pg 50] thought; "will his testimony be believed against mine? A miserable druggist's clerk, probably on a starvation salary. At the worst I can buy him off for a small sum."

Reassured by these thoughts, he recovered his boldness, and in looking about him, did not hesitate to meet the gaze of James Cromwell, without suffering a trace of the first agitation to be seen.

But that first agitation had been observed at the time by the druggist's clerk, and he had drawn his own conclusions from it.

"He has used the poison," he said to himself, "and it is for that reason that my presence alarms him," he said.

At length the funeral ceremonies were over.

The company who were assembled left the house, and with them James Cromwell. He went back to his room, not feeling that it was of importance to remain longer. He had shown himself at the funeral, he had been recognized, and thus he had paved the way for the interview which he meant to have, and that very shortly.

Two evenings later, he approached the house in Twenty-ninth Street, and ascending the steps, boldly rang the bell.

[Pg 51]

The servant who answered the summons, looked at him inquiringly, supposing from his appearance that he had merely come to bring some message.

"Is Mr. Morton at home?"

"Yes, he is at home."

"I would like to see him."

"He doesn't see visitors, on account of a death in the family. I will carry your message."

"I must see him," insisted the clerk, boldly.

"I don't think he will see you."

"I do. So go and tell him I am here."

"What name shall I carry to him?"

"The name is of no consequence. You can tell him that the young man whom he noticed at the funeral is here, and wishes to see him on very important business."

"That's a queer message," thought the servant, but concluded that it was some one who had something to do with furnishing something for the funeral, and was anxious to get his pay.

Mr. Morton was sitting in his library, or a room furnished with books, which went by that name, when the servant entered.

"There is somebody to see you, sir," she said.

"Who is it?"

[Pg 52]

"I don't know his name."

"Is it a gentleman?"

"No, sir."

"Did you tell him I was not receiving visitors now?"

"Yes, sir."


"He said he wanted to see you on very important business."

"Why didn't he give his name?"

"He said that I was to tell you it was the young man you noticed at the funeral," said the servant.

Mr. Morton turned pale, but at once recovered himself.

"I am not sure that I know who it is," he said, "but I can easily ascertain. You may bring him up."

"You are to come up," said the girl reappearing.

James Cromwell smiled in conscious triumph.

"I thought so," he said to himself. "Well, now for my game. It will be a difficult one, but I will do my best."

Left alone, Paul Morton began to consider how he should treat the new-comer. He resolved to[Pg 53] affect no recognition at first, and afterward indifference. He thought he might be able to overawe the young man, from his own superiority in social position, and so prevent his carrying out the purpose he proposed.

Accordingly, when James Cromwell entered the room, he arched his brows a little, and looked inquiringly at him.

"Have you business with me?" he said, abruptly. "Did not my servant inform you that, on account of a recent death, I am not receiving callers at present?"

"I thought you would see me," said the young man, with a mixture of familiarity and boldness.

"Really, I don't know what claims you have to be excepted to my rule," said Paul Morton, haughtily. "If you are a tradesman, and have a claim against me, you might have sent it in the regular way."

"I am not a tradesman, and I have no claim against you, Mr. Morton," said the young man—"that is, no regular claim."

"You speak in riddles, sir," said Mr. Morton, in the same haughty tone. "If you have no business with me, I am at a loss to know why you have[Pg 54] intruded yourself upon me at such a time. Perhaps, however, you were unaware of my recent affliction."

"I am quite aware of it, Mr. Morton. In fact, I was present at the funeral, if you refer to the death of Mr. Raymond, and unless I am greatly mistaken, you yourself observed me there."

"You were present at the funeral! What brought you here?"

"That seems rather an inhospitable question. For some reasons of my own, I felt an interest in what was going on in this house, and made it my business to become acquainted with all that passed. When I heard of Mr. Raymond's death, I resolved at once to attend the funeral."

"I suppose you must have known Mr. Raymond, then," said Paul Morton, with something of a sneer.

"No, I had not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with the gentleman," said James Cromwell, who, far from being overawed by the evident haughty tone of the other, preserved his composure with admirable success.

"Then let me repeat, I do not understand why you should have taken the trouble to be present at his funeral. Persons, in general, wait for an[Pg 55] invitation before intruding on such occasions," he added, with a palpable sneer.

"He wouldn't parley so long if he did not know me and fear me," thought James Cromwell, and this conclusion showed that he was not without a certain natural shrewdness.

"Was Mr. Raymond rich?" he asked, nonchalantly.

This was more than Paul Morton could bear. He was naturally an irritable man, and he had been obliged to exercise considerable self-control thus far in the interview. It angered him that this insignificant druggist's clerk—this miserable specimen of a man—should have ventured to intrude himself in this manner on his privacy, but the terror of his crime and the consciousness that this man suspected it, had hitherto restrained him.

But when James Cromwell asked this question, sitting coolly, with one leg crossed over the other, and staring impudently in his face, he could not restrain himself any longer. He rose to his feet with angry vehemence, and pointing to the door with a finger literally quivering with rage, he said, hoarsely:

"You impertinent scoundrel! begone instantly,[Pg 56] or I will summon my servants and have you kicked down my front steps!"

"That might not be altogether prudent, Mr. Morton," said James Cromwell.

"Might not be prudent! What do you mean by your cursed impudence?" demanded the merchant, glaring furiously at the druggist's clerk.

"What do I mean?" repeated James Cromwell. "Do you wish me to answer your question?"

"I demand that you answer my question, and that immediately," said the merchant, hardly knowing what he did, so carried away was he by his unreasonable anger.

"Very well, I will do so," said the clerk, quietly, "but, as it may take a brief time, will you not be kind enough to resume your seat?"

[Pg 57]


The coolness displayed by James Cromwell had its effect upon the merchant. Mechanically he obeyed, and resumed his seat.

"Say what have you to say, and be done with it," he muttered.

"In the first place, then, I beg leave to ask you a question. Do you not remember me?" and the clerk looked searchingly with his cold gray eyes in the face of Paul Morton.

"I may possibly have met you before," he replied with an effort, "but I meet a great many people, and there is no particular reason, that I am aware of, why I should remember you in particular."

"I also meet a considerable number of persons," said James Cromwell, "but circumstances have led me to remember you very well."

"Well, grant that you remember me," said the merchant, with nervous impatience, "what then?"

"It may be necessary for me to remind you[Pg 58] that I am employed in a druggist's shop on the Bowery."

"I hope you like your situation," said Paul Morton, with a sneer.

"No, I don't like it, and that is the reason why I have come to you, hoping that you will help me to something better."

This was said with quiet self-possession, and Paul Morton began to realize with uneasiness that this young man, whom he had looked upon with contempt, was not so easily to be overawed or managed as he had expected.

"This is a cool request, considering that you are a comparative stranger to me."

"But consider the peculiar circumstances," said James Cromwell, significantly.

"What peculiar circumstances?" demanded the merchant, desperately.

"Shall I mention them?" asked Cromwell, pointedly.

"If you want me to understand, yes. You are talking in enigmas, and I never was good at understanding enigmas."

"Then," said James Cromwell, leaning slightly forward, and looking intently at Mr. Morton, "may I ask to what use you have put the subtle[Pg 59] poison which you purchased of me ten days since?"

The color rushed to Paul Morton's face at this direct interrogation.

"The poison?" he repeated.

"Yes, you certainly have not forgotten the purchase."

"I think you must be mistaken in the person."

"Pardon me, I am not."

"Suppose that I did buy poison, how should you identify me with the purchaser, and how came you to know where I lived?"

"I sent a boy to follow you home," said Cromwell.

"You dared to do that?"

"Why not? We have no curiosity about our ordinary customers, but when a person makes such a purchase as you did, we feel inclined to learn all we can about him."

"A praiseworthy precaution! Well, I admit that I did buy the poison. What then?"

"I asked to what purpose you had put it?"

"Very well, I have no objection to tell you, although I deny your right to intrude in my private affairs, which I regard as a piece of gross impertinence. I bought it, as I think I stated to[Pg 60] you at the time, at the request and for the use of a friend."

"Would you tell me the friend's name?" asked the clerk, imperturbably.

"He lives in Thirty-seventh Street."

"What is his name?"

"None of your business," exclaimed the merchant, passionately.

"I beg your pardon, but I was blamed by my employer for not taking down the name of the purchaser, and I told him in return that I would gather full particulars."

"You may tell him it is all right. He must have heard of me and of my firm, and that will satisfy him."

"But the name of this gentleman in Thirty-seventh Street——"

"It is not necessary to the purpose."

"Has there been a death in his family within ten days?" asked the clerk in quiet tones, but there was a significance in them which sent a thrill through the frame of his listener.

"What makes you ask that?" he stammered.

"I will tell you," said James Cromwell, boldly throwing off his reserve. "It is as well to be frank, and there is no use in mincing matters. I[Pg 61] do not believe this story of the man in Thirty-seventh Street. I think you bought the article for your own use. Since the purchase there has been a death in your house."

"Your inference is ridiculous," said the merchant, nervously. "My intimate and dear friend, Mr. Raymond, was sick of an incurable disease, as the physician will testify, and it could have terminated in no other way."

"I am quite willing to believe you are right," said the clerk. "Still, under the circumstances, you will not object to an investigation. I feel it my duty to inform a coroner of the facts in the case, and if on examination no traces of the action of poison can be found in the deceased, of course you are entirely exonerated from suspicion!"

"What!" exclaimed Paul Morton. "Do you think I will suffer myself to be subjected to such a degrading suspicion—a man of my position in society—what advantage could I possibly reap from my friend's death?"

"He was a rich man," suggested James Cromwell, significantly.

"That is true," said the merchant, with self-possession. "He was a rich man."

[Pg 62]

"And he may have left his property to you."

"You happen to be mistaken there. He had left his property to his son, a boy of fourteen."

"Where is this son?" asked the clerk, a little taken aback by this discovery, which was new to him.

"He is now in my house."

"And suppose the boy dies?"

It was now Paul Morton's turn to hesitate.

"That is not very probable," he said. "He is a strong, vigorous boy."

"Who is to be his guardian?"

"I am."

"Indeed! And if he dies, is there no provision made as to the property?"

"It will go to me, if he dies before attaining his majority."

The clerk coughed—a little significant cough—which annoyed Mr. Morton not a little. It conveyed an imputation which he couldn't resent, because it was indirect.

"I hope you are satisfied," he said at length.

"Oh, certainly; that is, nearly so," said James Cromwell: "but then it is not enough that I should be satisfied."

"Why not?"

[Pg 63]

"My employer may not be."

"Does your employer know who made the purchase?"

"No, I have not as yet communicated the name to him."

"Don't tell him, then. It is none of his business."

"He will not agree with you there."

"What matter if he does not?"

"You must remember that I am a poor clerk, dependent on my salary, and that in my position, it is not safe to risk offending my employer. Suppose I am discharged from my position, how am I to live?"

"Can you not procure another situation?"

"Not if he refuses his recommendation, which would probably be the case. Besides, our business is crowded, and under the most favorable circumstances I might be weeks, and possibly months, without employment."

Paul Morton leaned his head on his hand, and considered what was to be done with this difficult visitor. It was evident that he expected to be bought off and that he must be.

"What wages do you get?" he asked, looking up.

[Pg 64]

"Twenty dollars a week, sir," said Cromwell.

As the reader knows, this was just double what he did receive, and as Mr. Morton was not likely to inquire of his employer, he felt that the lie was a safe one, and likely to conduce to his advantage.

"Twenty dollars a week! Very well, I will tell you what you must do. In the first place, you must refuse to make your employer any communications respecting this affair."

"Very well, sir."

"And if he discharges you, I will pay you twenty dollars a week until you can get another situation. Perhaps I may find you some other employment, unless you prefer your present business."

"No, sir, I don't like it."

"Do, then, as I tell you, and I will see that you suffer no loss."

"Thank you, sir," said James Cromwell, rising. "I will follow your directions, and let you know the result to-morrow evening."

The clerk left the house in a very contented frame of mind. He determined to resign his situation the next morning, and claim the stipulated weekly allowance.

[Pg 65]


After the clerk had left him, Paul Morton began to consider what was best to be done. He had at first been inclined to despise this man as insignificant and incapable of mischief, but the interview which he had just had convinced him that on this point he was mistaken. It was evident that he was in the clerk's power, and just as evident that the latter wanted to be bought off.

"After all, it is not so bad," he said to himself, "he has his price; the only question is, whether that price is an exorbitant one or not. I must make the best possible terms with him."

There was another question to be decided, and that related to his ward—young Robert Raymond.

Should he send him back to school or not?

While he was pondering as to this question, an idea occurred to him.

Why should he not kill two birds with one stone, by placing his ward in the charge of James[Pg 66] Cromwell, with a liberal allowance, to be deducted from his ward's income for his trouble? Not that he considered the clerk, of whom he knew next to nothing, and that little not to his credit, a suitable person to have the charge of a boy. But then, he was not a conscientious guardian, and his only desire was, so to arrange matters as best to subserve his own interests. Besides, there were certain plans and hopes which he cherished that could best be subserved by a man not over scrupulous, and he judged rightly that James Cromwell would become a pliant tool in his hands if he were paid well enough for it.

He was not surprised to receive another visit from the clerk on the evening succeeding the interview which was chronicled in the last chapter.

"Well," he said, when the latter was ushered into his presence, and they were left alone, "what have you to tell me?"

"I have lost my situation," said Cromwell, briefly.

"Then your employer was offended at your silence?"

"Yes; he said he must know who bought the article."

"And you refused to tell him?"

[Pg 67]

"I did. Upon this he said that he had no further occasion for my services, and that under the circumstances he must refuse me a recommendation. So you see I have got into serious trouble on account of keeping your secret."

Paul Morton winced at the last two words, but he didn't comment upon them.

Could the late employer of James Cromwell have heard the assertions just made by his clerk, he would have opened wide his eyes in astonishment. The fact was that the clerk had alleged failing health as a reason for giving up his situation, and had at that very moment an excellent recommendation from his employer in his pocket. It must be said that he deserved it, for he had been a faithful and competent assistant in the shop, however destitute he might be of moral qualities. But James Cromwell had no idea of entering the shop of another druggist. His ideas had been enlarged, and he aspired to something less laborious, and more remunerative.

"I must see what I can do for you," said Paul Morton, who was quite prepared for the communication which had been made him. "Last evening I did not see any way clear, but a plan has since then occurred to me. But it is necessary[Pg 68] that I should first know a little more about you. Have you ever been in the West?"

"Yes, sir, I was born in Indiana."

"Then you have some acquaintance about there?"

"Yes, sir," said the clerk, wondering what was coming.

"How would you like to buy out a drug-shop in some prosperous Western town? As a proprietor the business might be more agreeable to you than as a clerk."

"Yes, sir, it would," said the clerk, brightening up. The prospect of a business of his own struck him favorably.

"But I have no money," he added.

"That matter could be arranged," said the merchant. "Of course I cannot pay except for services rendered, but I have a charge to intrust you with."

James Cromwell awaited with interest and curiosity what should be said next.

Paul Morton continued:

"I have been thinking," he said, "that it will be better for my ward's health that he should reside in the West. My opinion is that the rough winds of the Atlantic coast may be injurious for[Pg 69] him, but I have been puzzled to decide upon a competent man to take charge of him. I am inclined to think that as you have nothing to prevent your going out West, and moreover, are acquainted with the country, it will suit my views to give you the general oversight of Robert. He can board at the same place with you, and go to school."

"What shall I receive for my services?" asked James Cromwell, coming at once to that part of the business which was to him of the greatest importance.

"I have been thinking of that," said the merchant. "How much will it cost to buy out a fair druggist's shop?"

"It might be managed for two or three thousand dollars."

"Two thousand dollars will be quite enough, I am sure. Very well, I am willing to buy you such a business, and allow you besides, a thousand dollars a year for the charge of the boy. Out of this you will pay for his board and clothes, and the balance you can keep for your trouble."

"There won't be much left," grumbled the clerk, though the offer exceeded what he [Pg 70]anticipated. Still he wished to make the best bargain he could.

"Half of it will be left," said the merchant; "his board in a Western town won't cost more than two hundred and fifty dollars a year, leaving the same sum for his clothing and miscellaneous expenses. That will consume only one-half of the money, leaving you five hundred, besides what you can make from your business."

"How old is the boy?"

"Fourteen years old."

"Do you think he will be willing to come with me?"

"It doesn't make much difference whether he is willing or not. As his guardian, it is my right to make such arrangements for him as I choose."

"How soon do you wish me to undertake the charge?"

"As soon as you can. Do you think of any town or village where you think it would suit you to settle down?"

"Yes," said James Cromwell, after a pause, "I think of one town where I heard that the druggist wished to sell out."

"What is the name of the town?"


[Pg 71]

"And where is it located?"

"In the southern part of Indiana."

"Yes, that will do."

There was a pause at this point. James Cromwell was waiting to learn what farther communication the merchant might have to make. The latter hesitated because he wished to come to an understanding on a certain point which it required some delicacy to introduce.

"I suppose," he commenced, "when you inquired the boy's age, you wished to understand how long this arrangement was likely to last?"

"Yes, sir. That is an important consideration."

"Then again," said Paul Morton, trying to speak indifferently, "of course there is the contingency of his early death, which would cut off your income arising from the allowance I make for him."

"Yes," said the clerk, "but if I remember rightly, it would be a benefit to you, for you would inherit the property in his place."

"Yes; that was the arrangement his father made without my knowledge. But that has nothing to do with you. I will tell you what I have decided to do in the contingency which I have just named. If the boy dies, you will be an annual loser; I will[Pg 72] agree to give you outright such a sum as will produce an equal annual income, say ten thousand dollars."

"You will give me ten thousand dollars if the boy dies?"

"Yes; should he be removed by an early death, though, of course, that is not probable, I will make over to you the sum I have named."

"Ten thousand dollars?"

"Yes; ten thousand dollars, as a testimonial of my appreciation of your services in taking charge of him. That certainly is a liberal arrangement."

"Yes," said James Cromwell, in a low voice, his pale face a little paler than its wont, for he knew as well as his employer, that the sum mentioned was indirectly offered him as an inducement to make way with the boy. He could not prove it, of course, but it was clear to his own mind, and Paul Morton meant that it should be.

"Come here to-morrow," he said, rising, as a signal of dismissal, "and meanwhile I will prepare my ward for the new plans which we have been discussing."

James Cromwell rose, and his mind in a tumult of various emotions, left the house in Twenty-ninth Street.

[Pg 73]


"Tell Robert Raymond that I wish to speak to him," said Paul Morton, to a servant who answered his bell.

"Yes, sir."

In five minutes Robert entered his presence. The boy was clad in a suit of black, and his face was grave and sad. The death of his father, his only relation of whom he had any knowledge, had weighed heavily upon his feelings, and he moved about the house in a listless way, with little appetite or spirit.

"You sent for me, sir?" he said interrogatively, as he entered.

"Yes, Robert, take a seat. I wish to speak to you," said his guardian.

The boy obeyed, and looked inquiringly in the face of Paul Morton to see what he had to communicate.

"It is desirable," he said, "that we should speak together of your future arrangements. It is for that purpose I have sent for you this morning."

[Pg 74]

"I suppose I shall go back to the school where my father placed me," said Robert.

"Ahem!" said his guardian, "that we can settle presently. I have not yet decided upon that point."

"It is a very good school, sir. I think it was my father's intention that I should remain there for at least two years longer."

"He never spoke to me on that subject. He thought it would be safe to trust to my judgment in the matter."

"Then I am not to go back?" said Robert, in some disappointment.

"I do not say that. I only say that I have not yet decided upon that point. Even if you go back you need not go at once."

"I shall fall behind my class," said Robert.

"You are young yet, and there is no hurry. For the present I have another plan in view for you."

"What is it, Mr. Morton?"

"Come here a minute. I want you to look at some views I have here."

In some surprise the boy came to his side; for the remark seemed to have no connection with the plan his guardian had referred to just now.

Mr. Morton drew from a drawer in his desk[Pg 75] a collection of views of Niagara Falls, and spread them before his ward.

"Have you ever visited Niagara, Robert?" he asked.

"No, sir."

"Here are some views of the cataract. It is a beautiful sight."

"Oh, yes, sir," said Robert; "I have heard a great deal of it, and I have often thought I should like to see it."

"Well, your wish is likely to be gratified," said his guardian.

"Do you mean to let me visit it, then?" asked the boy, looking up with eager and animated inquiry.

"Yes; I have observed that your father's death has naturally weighed upon your mind, and depressed your spirits. If you should go back to school now, you would not be in a fitting frame to resume your studies. I think a little change and variety would do you good. For this reason I intend to let you go on a journey, not only to Niagara, but still farther West."

"You are very kind, Mr. Morton," said Robert; "but," he added, with momentary hesitation, "would it be quite right for me to go on a [Pg 76]pleasure excursion so soon after the death of my poor father?"

"Your father would, I am sure, approve it," said his guardian. "Because your mind is diverted by pleasant scenery, it will not follow that you have forgotten your father."

"No, I shall never forget him as long as I live."

"So you see there is no objection on that score."

"Are you going with me, Mr. Morton?" asked Robert, suddenly.

"No, I am unable to leave my business for so long."

"Am I going alone?"

"No, you are too young for that. I have a friend," Mr. Morton was about to say; but after a pause he said, "acquaintance, who is to start at once on a trip to the West, and I shall place you under his charge."

"Who is it, sir?"

"A young man named Cromwell."

"How soon are we to start?"

"Probably in a day or two. You can look over your wardrobe, and see if you need any new clothes, and can get them before you leave New York."

"Yes, sir."

[Pg 77]

Robert left his guardian's presence in better spirits than he had entered. The prospect of a journey was very agreeable, for he had all a boy's love of new scenes, and it added to his pleasure, though he hardly admitted it to himself, that his guardian was not able to accompany him. He hardly knew why it was, but, although he had been told that Mr. Morton was his father's intimate friend, and had no reason to doubt the truth of this statement, he found it impossible to like him. Indeed, there was a half feeling of repugnance which he was dimly conscious of, and had tried to overcome, but without success. This feeling was not so strange as it appeared to him. It was the natural repugnance of a frank and innocent boy to the double dealing and false nature of a selfish man of the world.

Shortly after Robert left the presence of his guardian, James Cromwell was once more ushered into it.

He was no longer the threadbare clerk, but had provided himself with a new suit of clothes, which looked, indeed, better than his former array; but no clothing, however costly, could change the appearance of his mean and insignificant features, and give him the air of a gentleman.

[Pg 78]

"I have waited upon you early, Mr. Morton," he said.

"Not too early," answered the merchant. "Indeed, I may say that I am anxious to complete our arrangements, and put the boy under your care as soon as possible. The fact is, that with my business cares the additional burden of a ward is not very welcome. If it had not been the son of my intimate friend, I might have declined the trust; but under the circumstances I did not think I ought to do so."

James Cromwell listened to this statement from the lips of his employer in silence. It is needless to say that he did not believe one word of it; but it was for his interest now to appear to credit whatever Mr. Morton chose to say, and he accordingly did not think it politic to indicate in any way his real feelings.

"Yes, it is a great care in addition to by business responsibilities," proceeded the merchant; "but I shall feel in a great measure relieved when Robert is once placed under your charge."

"Does he know that he is going with me?" inquired Cromwell.

"I have just had an interview with him. He has been at a boarding-school on the Hudson[Pg 79] River, and he supposed he was going back. When I told him that I had another plan for him, he was at first disappointed."

"Did you tell him what the plan was?"

"Not precisely. I showed him some views of Niagara Falls, and asked him if he would like to visit the cataract. He said that he would. I then told him that previous to his going back to school I intended to let him have a little journey,—visiting the Falls, and going as far as Indiana. He was pleased with this prospect."

"Does he know he is going with me?"

"I mentioned that I had asked an acquaintance of mine to take charge of him. I shall introduce you as that acquaintance."

"You intend then, Mr. Morton, that we shall take Niagara Falls on the way?" said James Cromwell.

"Yes; I think it will be a pleasant arrangement for you, no doubt, if you have never seen the Falls."

"No, I have never seen them."

"And besides, it will make the journey seem more plausible to Robert. He need not know until you get to your journey's end that he is not coming back."

[Pg 80]

"How shall it be communicated to him?"

"I think I will give you a letter to him which you can let him read when the proper time comes."

"When do you wish me to start?"

"As soon as possible—day after to-morrow. You can be ready, can you not?"

"I can be ready at any time. I have very few arrangements to make."

"I should like to show you some views of Niagara, which I have here, Mr. Cromwell," said Paul Morton. "Will you step to the table?"

The clerk left his seat, and advanced to the side of the merchant's chair.

"There," said Paul Morton, looking over the views, and selecting one, "is a view of Goat Island. You will no doubt visit that?"

"Yes, sir; we will try to see all that is worth seeing."

"I think," said Paul Morton, slowly, "I have heard of a man—or a boy—who was standing here one day, and chanced to lose his footing, and fell over the cataract. Horrible, was it not?"

He looked significantly in the face of his companion. James Cromwell's face grew pale, as he comprehended the infernal meaning of this speech, and he echoed the word "Horrible."

[Pg 81]

"I just mentioned it," said the merchant, "for boys are apt to be careless, and it occurred to me that perhaps Robert might be in danger of a similar accident."

[Pg 82]


James Cromwell did not reply to the merchant's speech. Not that he was so much appalled at the wickedness suggested, as that his nature, which was a timid one, shrank with timidity from undertaking so hazardous a crime. He hardly knew what to think or what to say. In fact, it was most politic for him to be silent, for, with such artfulness had Paul Morton conveyed the suggestion to the mind of his confederate, that he appeared only to be counselling prudence, and to be actuated by a kind desire to protect his boy-ward from possible danger. He had so guarded himself that he could at any time boldly deny having counselled violence, and turn upon his instrument with the unblushing assertion—"Thou canst not say I did it."

Paul Morton, seeing the sudden pallor of his companion, knew that his purpose had been accomplished, and went on to other matters.

"I think," he said, "that you will be able to start on the day after to-morrow. I will see that [Pg 83]Robert is ready, and if you will come around by nine o'clock, there will be ample time to take the middle train."

"Very well," said Cromwell. "I will bear in mind what you say, Mr. Morton."

"And now, I think, Mr. Cromwell, I shall be obliged to leave you, as my business, which I have neglected of late, requires my attention."

James Cromwell took the hint, and left the house. He fell into a fit of musing, as he rode downtown on a street-car.

"Shall I do this thing which he wants of me?" he said to himself. "There would be danger in it, and there is something ugly in the thought of murder. Still, ten thousand dollars would set me up in life. Besides, I should still have a hold on Mr. Morton. Ah, it would be pleasant to be rich! No more miserable drudgery, no more cringing to an employer who cares no more for you than for a dog, and perhaps treats you no better! Money, money is a blessed thing. It brings independence; with it you can lift your head erect, and walk proudly among men, who are always ready to doff their hats to a man who is backed up by wealth. Yes, it is worth something to gain it, but then—murder!"

[Pg 84]

Here James Cromwell shuddered, and imprisonment, trial, conviction and the gallows, loomed up, an ugly and forbidding picture, before him. So weighed was his imagination with the terrors of the scene which he had conjured up before him, that when he was aroused from his musings by a slap on the shoulder, he started, and turned a terror-stricken countenance to the face that bent over him. He fancied for a moment that the terrible tragedy had been accomplished, and that the touch was that of a policeman who had been sent to arrest him.

"Why, Cromwell, what's the matter?" asked the other, in wonder. "You look as pale and scared as a ghost."

"Is it you, Hodgson?" said Cromwell, with an air of relief.

"Who did you think it was? You didn't think a policeman was after you, did you?" said Hodgson, jocosely.

"Oh, dear, no!" said Cromwell, laughing faintly. "I am not afraid of anything from that quarter. But the fact is, I have been getting nervous lately, and I think my health is affected."

"Why are you not in the shop? Got a furlough?"

[Pg 85]

"Yes, a permanent one. I resigned my situation on account of my health."

"Indeed! I don't see but you look about as usual—that is, now, though a minute ago, you looked pale enough."

"You can't always judge by appearances," said James Cromwell, shaking his head.

"Well, what are your plans? You haven't retired on a fortune, have you?"

"Not exactly. Still I am not wholly without resources. I think of going out West."

"Do you?"

"Yes, I think the change may benefit my health."

"Well, I hope it will. I don't know but I shall go myself, if I can find an opening. If you find anything you think will suit me, I wish you would let me know."

"All right. I will bear you in mind."

"Good-bye. I get out here. Good luck to you!"

The young man, who was salesman in a shoe-store, got out of the car, and James Cromwell rode on to his destination.

When he reached the small room which he had been compelled to call home, because he could [Pg 86]afford nothing better, he looked with disdain on its scanty and shabby furniture, and said to himself:

"Thank Heaven, I shall not long be compelled to live in such a hole! That reminds me that I must give warning to my landlady."

He went down, encountering a careworn and shabbily-attired woman on the stairs.

"I was just looking for you, Mrs. Warren," he said. "I am intending to leave you this week."

"Indeed!" said the landlady. "I hope you are not dissatisfied, Mr. Cromwell?"

"No; that is not my reason for going. I am going to leave the city."

"Indeed, sir! have you left your place?" asked the woman, in surprise.

"Yes, I have been obliged to on account of my health."

"I am sorry to hear it, sir. What is the matter with you?"

"I expect it is the confinement."

"I am sorry to lose you, sir. I find it hard to keep my rooms full. If you know of any of your friends who would like a room, I hope you will send them to me."

"I will, certainly."

[Pg 87]

"When were you expecting to leave, Mr. Cromwell?"

"Day after to-morrow, but I will pay you up to the end of the week."

"Thank you, sir."

The landlady went away sighing at the loss of one who represented to her so many dollars a month, and James Cromwell went up again to his little room. He sat down on the bed, and indulged himself in pleasant thoughts.

"What a change has come over my prospects!" he said, complacently. "Three weeks ago I was a poor clerk on a miserable salary of ten dollars a week. Now, fortune has opened her doors, and there is a prospect of my acquiring an independence, and that without much trouble. It was a lucky day when Paul Morton came into our shop. It is well that my employer was not there, or I should have been unable to act with the promptness which has bettered my fortunes so materially. It isn't every one who would have improved so shrewdly such a chance. I must say that, at least, to the credit of my shrewdness. Would Paul Morton even have thought of intrusting his ward to me, if I had not let him know that I had a hold upon him, and meant to make use of it? In that[Pg 88] hold lies a pile of money, and I mean to squeeze it out of him. I don't think he will deal unfairly by me. He must know that it would not be safe."

Money was the god of James Cromwell's idolatry. He had been in early life a poor orphan, reared in a poorhouse, kicked and cuffed by older boys, who sneered at him on account of his poverty. Later, he was apprenticed to a druggist, and served a hard apprenticeship, poorly fed and clothed. When he reached manhood, he came to New York to try his fortune, but his unpromising personal appearance stood in the way of his obtaining a desirable situation. At last, when he was reduced to his last dollar, he obtained a situation as assistant in the small store on the Bowery, where we found him at the commencement of the story, on a salary of six dollars a week. He had remained there for several years, and still his compensation had only reached the low figure of ten dollars a week.

He had pined for riches, and dreamed what he should do if he ever could amass a moderate sum of money, but three weeks since, it seemed very improbable whether he would ever be able to compass what he so feverishly longed for.

Thus all the circumstances of his past life had[Pg 89] prepared him to become the pliant tool of Paul Morton's schemes. In his case, as in so many others, the love of money was likely to become the root of all evil.

So, with weak and vacillating timidity, drawn on by the lust for gold, James Cromwell thought over the proposal which had been made to him, weighing the risk against the gain proffered, and the more he thought, the stronger grew the power of the temptation, and the greater became the peril which menaced the life of Robert Raymond.

[Pg 90]


"Robert," said his guardian, "this is Mr. Cromwell, who is to take charge of you on the journey. Mr. Cromwell, this is my ward, whom I hope you will find a pleasant traveling companion."

"How do you do?" said James Cromwell, holding out his hand rather stiffly to the boy.

"I am well, thank you," said Robert, looking with curiosity, and it must be confessed, disappointment, at the young man who was to be his companion.

He had hoped that he would be a congenial person, with whom he might be on terms of pleasant familiarity; but when he looked at the small, ferreting eyes and mean features of James Cromwell, his first impressions were unfavorable. Every man's face is to a certain extent indicative of his disposition and prevailing traits; and Robert, who was quicker than most boys in reading character, concluded without delay, that the companion with[Pg 91] which his guardian had provided him would not be to his taste. Still, he possessed a great deal of natural courtesy and politeness, and he determined to conceal this feeling as well as he might, and treat Mr. Cromwell with as much respect and politeness as if he had liked him better. Though he would have liked to travel with a different person, still, the natural scenery which he would behold would be none the less attractive, and would afford him some compensation for the absence of a congenial companion.

James Cromwell was on his side not without sharpness of insight. As he met the boy's gaze with the glance of his small ferret-like eyes, he perceived the look of disappointment, however carefully it was veiled, and with the spite of a small, mean mind, it inspired him with instant dislike for Robert. Instead of determining to win his confidence and regard by kindness, he resolved as soon as he fairly had him in his power, to annoy him by petty tyranny, and so wreak vengeance upon him for the feelings which he could not help. But the time for this had not yet come. He knew that policy dictated a courteous and polite treatment for the present. Accordingly he said in a soft voice:

[Pg 92]

"I hope I shall be able to make Mr. Raymond's time pass pleasantly."

"Thank you," said Robert, politely.

"Oh, I have no doubt you will get on well together," said Mr. Morton. "Robert, I shall expect you to follow the directions of Mr. Cromwell, as I have confidence that he will act with good judgment."

Robert bowed.

"I have obtained tickets for you by the middle train," proceeded the merchant. "Here they are, Mr. Cromwell."

"Thank you, sir," said Cromwell, taking them and putting them in his pocket.

"You will remain at Niagara two or three days if you like," continued Paul Morton. "I have no doubt you will enjoy yourself. What do you say, Robert?"

"I shall be sure to enjoy it," said Robert, with animation.

"So shall I," said Cromwell. "I have never visited the Falls."

"Well," said the merchant, drawing on his gloves, "I am sorry, but I shall be obliged to leave you. I have considerable business awaiting me at my counting-room. I have ordered a carriage at[Pg 93] eleven to convey you with your trunks to the railroad depot. Good-bye, Robert, good-bye, Mr. Cromwell. A pleasant journey to you."

"Good-bye, sir," said both.

"Oh, by the way, Mr. Cromwell," said the merchant, turning as he reached the door, and looking significantly at Cromwell, "if you meet with any mishap, telegraph me at once."

Again a greenish pallor overspread the face of James Cromwell, for he understood the allusion, and his cowardly nature recoiled with fear, not with abhorrence.

"Yes, sir," he said, "I will remember."

"Once more, good-bye, then," and Paul Morton closed the door behind him.

"I hope I shall never see that boy alive again," he said to himself. "Once get him out of the way and the money is mine. A hundred and twenty thousand dollars will be a great windfall to me. To be sure, there will be ten thousand to pay to Cromwell, but it will leave over a hundred thousand. Egad! it would be a capital arrangement if they both would tumble over the Falls together. It would be the best joke of the season."

And Paul Morton laughed to himself, a low,[Pg 94] wicked laugh, at the prospect of the two from whom he had just parted being hurled together into a death so frightful, and all that he might gain money. As if human life were to be weighed against perishing dross! Yet every day life is bartered for it; not always criminally, but sacrificed by overwork, or undue risk, so insatiable is the hunger for gold, and so desperate are the efforts by which men seek to obtain it.

In due time they reached the station, and entering one of the long cars, selected their seats. They did not sit down together, but took seats directly in front of each other, giving a window to each.

"I suppose I ought to say something to him," thought Robert, "but I don't know what to say."

Indeed, there seemed to be no common ground on which they could meet. With some persons the boy would have been engaged in animated conversation long before this, but he seemed to have nothing to say to James Cromwell.

"Do you like traveling, Mr. Cromwell?" he asked, at length.

"Pretty well," said Cromwell.

"I think we shall have a pleasant journey."

"Yes; I expect so."

[Pg 95]

"Do you know when we shall reach Niagara, Mr. Cromwell?"

"I think Mr. Morton said it would take us about twenty-four hours."

"Then we shall get there about this time to-morrow."

"Yes; we shall be all night on the cars."

"I am sorry for that, for we shall lose the scenery on the way—I mean, that we pass through during the night."

Here the conversation dropped. James Cromwell bought a paper from a boy who came through the cars, and began to read. Robert, with all the eager interest of his age, employed himself in looking out of the window, watching the fields and houses among which they were wending their rapid way.

It will be unnecessary to chronicle the incidents of the journey, for there were none worth mentioning. In due time they reached Niagara, and secured rooms at the principal hotel on the American side.

It was afternoon, and they only went round a little before supper. They decided to defer the principal part of their sightseeing until the next day.

[Pg 96]

The next day was pleasant. Together the two walked about, enjoying views of the cataract from various points.

At length Cromwell said, "How would you like to go to Goat Island? I am told the view is fine from there."

"I should like it very much. Suppose we go," said Robert, promptly.

Had he known the sinister purpose with which this proposition was made, he would have recoiled from it as from a deadly serpent, but the boy was wholly unconscious of the peril that menaced him, nor did he observe the nervous agitation that affected James Cromwell, whose timidity made him shrink with fear at the risk he was about to incur.

"Then we will go," said the young man.

They soon found themselves on the island, and advancing, reached an exposed point from which they could look down upon the foaming waters beneath. Cromwell manœuvered so as to have the boy on the side toward the water.

"What a grand sight!" exclaimed Robert, surveying the great fall with boyish enthusiasm.

He had scarcely uttered these words when he felt a violent push at the side, and felt himself[Pg 97] impelled toward the brink of the precipice. He would infallibly have fallen if he had not seized with the desperate clutch of self-preservation the arm of James Cromwell. As it was, he hung balancing over the brink, and nearly carried the clerk with him. Cromwell saw that it must be either both or neither, and he drew Robert back to a place of safety.

"Good Heavens! Mr. Cromwell," exclaimed the boy, his face pale with horror, "what does this mean? Did you mean to push me over?"

"What a question!" returned Cromwell, himself pale. "Thank Heaven! I have saved you!"

"But you pushed me!" said the boy, suspiciously. "If I hadn't clung to you, I should have fallen!" and he shuddered at the thought.

"Yes; it is true. I will explain. I am troubled with fits occasionally which make me rigid and convulsed. Whenever I feel one coming on I grasp convulsively at whatever is nearest me. I felt one coming on a moment ago, and that led me to seize you. But I believe my terror, for I came near going over the precipice with you, has saved me from the threatened attack."

"Do you often have these fits?" asked Robert.

"I have not had one for three months, but[Pg 98] lately I have been apprehending one, for I have not felt as well as usual. Indeed, I have a violent headache now. I think I will go to the hotel and lie down, if you can amuse yourself for awhile."

"Yes, you had better do so. I can get along quite well."

Robert easily credited the plausible explanation which had been given, for he could not believe that Cromwell would deliberately seek his life. He did not know the powerful motive which prompted him.

[Pg 99]


About a fortnight from the time of their departure the two travelers reached a town in Southern Indiana, which we will call Madison. They had traveled leisurely, stopping at several places on the way. Cromwell had not ventured upon a second attempt upon the life of Robert Raymond. The first failure had left on his mind an impression of fear, and he resolved that he would not again attempt open violence. If anything was to be done, it should be by more subtle and hidden ways.

As for Robert, his first feeling of suspicion was entirely dissipated. He accepted Cromwell's explanation in good faith, and thought little more about the matter, but gave up his time and thoughts to the new scenes into which each successive day brought him. He had not got to like Cromwell, nor was there any chance that he would, but the two did not interfere much with[Pg 100] each other, but kept by themselves, so far as it could be done under the circumstances.

On arriving in Madison, a town of which Cromwell had formerly known something, they went to the Madison House, as the hotel was called, and entered their names.

The next morning Cromwell went round to the village drug store, kept by an old acquaintance, formerly a fellow clerk, named Leonard Grover.

"How do you do. Grover?" he said, as he entered the shop.

Grover surveyed him scrutinizingly.

"Don't you know me?" asked Cromwell.

"What! James Cromwell? How came you out here? And where have you been for some time? Sit down and tell me all about it."

The two took chairs, and Cromwell said as much as he chose to say.

"I have been employed in New York," he said, "but I got tired of that city, and came out here to see if I couldn't find an opening somewhere."

"You don't like New York, then?"

"Not particularly. At any rate, I have determined to make a change."

"Well, that is curious."

"Why curious?"

[Pg 101]

"I mean that while you are tired of New York, I am anxious to go there."

"You are? Why don't you then?"

"Because I am tied down to this store. If I could sell out to anybody for any decent price, I would start for New York, mighty quick."

"Then I suppose you are not doing well here?"

"Yes, I am doing well, but I don't think my health is as good here as at the East. Besides, I have some relations in New York, and that would make it pleasant for me to be there."

"What would you sell out for?" asked Cromwell.

"Do you mean business?"

"Yes, I have been thinking that if I could get a shop on favorable terms, I would buy one. Tell me what is the best you can do."

"If you will come in to-morrow, I will do so. I must take a little inventory of my stock, so as to see how I stand."

"Very well, I will do so."

The next day James Cromwell arranged to purchase the shop, with its present stock, at fifteen hundred dollars, cash.

"It's worth two thousand," said the proprietor, "but I am willing to sacrifice twenty-five per cent.[Pg 102] for the sake of freeing myself. You get it dirt cheap."

"If I did not, I could not buy it at all," said Cromwell.

James Cromwell was authorized to draw upon Paul Morton for a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars, whenever he could make an arrangement to purchase a drug shop. Although he had agreed to pay fifteen hundred, he drew for the entire sum, and this draft was honored. In the course of a week all the arrangements were completed. The old sign was removed, and another put in its place bearing in large letters the name:



While these arrangements were in progress, Robert Raymond was left in complete ignorance of them. He spent the day in roaming over the neighborhood, with which he had by this time become quite familiar. It had occurred to him several times, to wonder why Mr. Cromwell saw fit to remain so long in a town which seemed to possess no especial attractions. He once or twice put the question, but was put off with an evasive answer, and did not repeat it.

[Pg 103]

But one morning as he walked through the principal street, he saw the new sign referred to above, going up, and he was struck with surprise.

"What does that mean, I wonder?" he asked himself.

Just at this moment James Cromwell himself appeared at the door of the shop. His hat was off, and it was evident that he was at home here.

"What does that mean, Mr. Cromwell?" asked Robert, pointing to the sign.

"It means that this shop is mine; I have bought it."

"But I thought you were only going to stay in Madison a few days? I did not know you intended to go into business here."

"No, I suppose not," said Cromwell, coolly. "I did not know that there was any necessity of telling you all my plans."

"Of course not," said Robert. "I do not wish you to tell me any more than you think proper of your affairs. But I was thinking how I should go back to New York, as now you will probably be unable to accompany me."

"Yes, I shall be unable to accompany you," said Cromwell, "but I don't think there will be any trouble about that."

[Pg 104]

"I am old enough to travel alone, I think," said Robert. "I have been over the route once with you, and I think I can get along well enough."

"You seem to have made up your mind that you are going back to New York?" said Cromwell, with a slight sneer.

"Of course. My guardian told me that I was to go on a short journey, and would return to my old school again."

"He did not tell me that," said his companion, significantly.

"What did he tell you, Mr. Cromwell?" asked Robert, beginning to feel nervous and anxious, for he was very anxious of returning to his old school, where he had many valued friends.

"He can explain that best himself," said Cromwell, in reply. "Here is a letter which he told me to hand you when the time came that rendered it necessary."

He drew forth, as he spoke, a letter from the inner pocket of his coat, addressed to

Master Robert Raymond.

Robert opened it hastily, and read in the merchant's handwriting, the following:

[Pg 105]

"Robert:—Circumstances have led me to decide that it would be best for you to remain at the West for a time, instead of returning to your former school, as you doubtless desire. It is not necessary for me to detail the reasons which have led me to this resolution. As your guardian, I must use my best discretion and judgment, and it is not for you to question either. Mr. Cromwell will look after your welfare, and make all necessary arrangements for you, such as finding a school for you to attend in the town where he decides to establish himself. Of course, you will board at the same place with him, and be under his charge. I expect you to be obedient to him in all things. Your guardian,

"Paul Morton."

Robert Raymond read this letter with mingled disappointment and indignation. He felt that he had been treated very unfairly and that he had been entrapped into this Western journey under false pretences.

He looked up after he had finished reading the letter, saying:

"Mr. Morton has not treated me right."

"Why hasn't he?"

"He ought to have told me all this before we started."

[Pg 106]

"If he had, you would have made a fuss, and he wished to avoid this."

"I think it was mean and unfair," said Robert, hotly.

"Perhaps you had better write and tell him so," said James Cromwell, sneering.

"I shall write to him," said Robert, very firmly. "My father never would have sanctioned such an arrangement as this. Besides, I don't believe there is any good school out here."

"It is just possible that there may be somebody in Madison who may know enough to teach you," said Cromwell, with an unpleasant sneer.

Robert Raymond looked at him intently. He felt instinctively that he should obtain no sympathy in his complaints, and he became silent. He went back to the hotel and wrote a letter to Mr. Morton, in which he set forth respectfully his objections to remaining at the West. The letter reached its destination, but his guardian did not see fit to answer it.

[Pg 107]


James Cromwell did not remain at the Madison Hotel, but secured board for himself and Robert at a private house in the village, where the only other boarders were a gentleman and his daughter. The latter was about nineteen, passably pretty, and very fond of attention. Her name was Clara Manton. Her father was in ill-health, and for a year or two had been out of business. He was possessed of about fifteen thousand dollars, well invested, and the income of this sum in a place like Madison, yielded him and his daughter a very comfortable support.

When Clara Manton heard that they were to have two fellow-boarders, and that one of them was a young man, she determined, as she expressed it to her friend, Louisa Bates, "to set her cap for him."

"Would you marry him?" inquired Louisa, of her friend.

[Pg 108]

"As to that, I can't tell. I haven't seen him yet. He may be very disagreeable for all I know. But even if he is, I am going to flatter him up, and make him fall in love with me. Then, when he offers himself, I can take his case into consideration."

"Perhaps you'll fall in love yourself, Clara," suggested her friend.

"I am not very susceptible. I wouldn't marry a masculine angel, unless he had some money. I must find out how Mr. Cromwell stands in that way, first."

When James Cromwell first made his appearance at Mrs. Shelby's table, Clara Manton, who sat opposite, fixed her black eyes upon his face, and examined him attentively.

As James Cromwell's personal appearance has previously been described, it will readily be believed that Clara was not fascinated with the retreating forehead, ferret-like eyes, mottled complexion and insignificant features.

"He's horrid ugly!" she said to herself. "I don't think I ever saw a homelier man. The boy is much better looking. I wish he were the young man. There'd be some satisfaction in exercising my fascinations upon him. However, beauty is[Pg 109] only skin deep, and if Mr. Cromwell has got money, I don't know that I would object to marrying him. What I want is a nice house and an easy life."

It will be seen that Clara Manton was not one of the romantic girls of which heroines are usually made. In truth, she was incapable of any love, except self-love, and though she could counterfeit sentiment, she had none of the quality. She was very practical and calculating, and did not mean to surrender her freedom, unless she could obtain the substantial advantages which she desired.

In spite, therefore, of James Cromwell's personal deficiencies, she determined to exercise her arts upon him.

On sitting down to the table she was introduced by Mrs. Shelby.

"How do you like Madison, Mr. Cromwell?" she said, with great suavity.

"Pretty well, thank you," said Cromwell, rather awkwardly, for he always felt uncomfortable in the society of ladies, particularly if they were young, or in any way pretty or attractive. It might have been a vague idea of his own personal disadvantages that produced this feeling, but it was partly because he had had very limited [Pg 110]opportunities of becoming acquainted or associating with the opposite sex.

"I am glad you like us well enough to establish yourself here," said the young lady, graciously. "I hear you have gone into business in the village, so that we may hope to have you as a permanent accession to our village society."

"Thank you, Miss Manton," said James Cromwell, trying to think of something more to say, but not succeeding.

"Do you go back to the store in the evening?" asked the young lady, as he rose from the table.

"Yes, I think so. I am expected to keep open in the evening."

"But you have an assistant?"


"Then I advise you not to make yourself a slave to business. We shall hope for the pleasure of your company occasionally in the evening."

James Cromwell felt flattered, and looking full in the young lady's face, he thought to himself, "She is very pretty, and she seems to show me a great deal of politeness."

"Thank you, Miss Manton, for your kind invitation. I will accept it very soon—as soon as I think I can be spared from my business."

[Pg 111]

"You will be quite welcome," said Clara, graciously.

The young man might not have felt quite so well pleased, if he could have read what was passing in Clara's mind.

"He is not only ugly," she said to herself, "but an awkward boor. I don't believe he ever spoke to a lady before. However, he may be worth catching. At any rate, it will give me a little amusement to angle for him, and I will see if I can't make an impression."

"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." So runs an old proverb. This was illustrated in the case of James Cromwell, who, ignorant of the real opinion entertained of him by Miss Manton, began, after a while, to conceive the delusive thought that she had taken a fancy to him. But we are anticipating.

Three evenings later, when supper was concluded, James Cromwell made no movement to go back to the store. This was quickly observed by Clara, who said, with a smile:

"You are going to remain with us, this evening, are you not, Mr. Cromwell?"

"If it will be agreeable," he said.

"Can you doubt it?" she said, with a look which[Pg 112] quickened the pulsations of Cromwell's heart. "I get so tired passing the evening alone. Papa gets hold of a paper or magazine, and I am left to my own devices for amusement."

She invited Cromwell to their private parlor, which was furnished with a piano.

"Do you like music, Mr. Cromwell?" she inquired.

"Very much, indeed," he answered, though the truth was he scarcely knew one tune from another.

"Perhaps you are a musician?"

"Not at all," he said, hastily, and in this statement, at least, he was correct. "Won't you play something, Miss Manton?"

"I haven't anything new, but if you don't mind old pieces, I will play for you."

She played a noisy instrumental piece, to which James Cromwell listened in silence, with very little idea of what was being played. His eyes were fixed rather on the young lady herself.

"How do you like it, Mr. Cromwell?"

"Very much, indeed," said Cromwell, hitching his chair a little nearer the instrument, and then coloring, lest the movement should have been observed.

"I think I will sing you something," said Clara.[Pg 113] "I don't sing in public, but before an intimate friend I do not feel so bashful."

The words "intimate friend," slipped out so easily and naturally that she seemed unconscious of them, but they were intentional, and she glanced out of the corners of her eyes to watch their effect. She saw that Cromwell's eyes brightened, and the color came to his pale cheeks, and then she knew that they had produced the effect which she intended.

"She is certainly very charming," thought Cromwell, "and she is very friendly. I don't think I ever met a young lady so attractive."

"He's getting in love," said Clara to herself. "It'll be fun to see him when he gets quite carried away by the tender passion. I've heard of eloquent eyes, but I don't think his are capable of looking like anything except those of a ferret. Well, I'll see the play through."

She accordingly sang the well-known song, "Then I'll Remember Thee," putting into it as much meaning as possible, and occasionally glancing in a languishing manner at the young man, who sat uneasily in his chair, and began to feel all the symptoms of love. He sat as if spell-bound when she had finished.

[Pg 114]

"Why don't you compliment me, Mr. Cromwell?" she said, turning round, with a smile. "Do you know you are wanting in your duty, sir? Every young lady expects to be complimented, when she has done a young gentleman the favor to sing to him."

"It was because I was so charmed," said James Cromwell, with more readiness than might have been expected. "I was so charmed that I was incapable of saying a word."

"I am afraid you are like the rest of your sex, a sad flatterer, Mr. Cromwell," said the young lady, shaking her head, with a smile. "You don't expect me to believe that, now, do you?"

"Yes, I do, Miss Manton, for it is perfectly true," said James Cromwell, plucking up courage; "you sing like a nightingale."

"Do I? I was so afraid you'd say like an owl, or something else uncomplimentary. As you have behaved so well, I must sing you something more."

So the evening passed. The young lady paid assiduous attention to her visitor, and when they parted her task was accomplished. James Cromwell was in love.

[Pg 115]


Robert Raymond did not propose to rebel against his guardian's arrangements, however disagreeable they were to himself. He had written a letter to Paul Morton, and he hoped that his remonstrance would have some effect. But meanwhile he determined to accept his fate, and act in accordance with the instructions which had been given him.

There was a private school in Madison, kept by a college graduate, and to this school Robert was sent by James Cromwell. He found himself the most advanced pupil in the classics, and he soon found that his teacher's acquirements were far from extensive or thorough. Still he could learn by his own efforts, though not of course, as well as at his former school, and he resolved to make the best of it. Of his connection with the school nothing in particular need be said. He was regular in attendance, and was treated with a degree of deference by the teacher, who perceived that[Pg 116] his scholarship was sufficient to enable him to detect his own slender acquirements.

Meanwhile the flirtation between James Cromwell and Clara Manton continued. The young lady was always gracious, and so far as her manner went, might readily be supposed to have formed a decided inclination for her admirer, for such the druggist had now become. She had a certain dash and liveliness of manner which fascinated him, and he felt flattered in no slight degree that such a young lady should have singled him out as her favorite.

Desirous of appearing to the best advantage, he ordered a new suit from the village tailor without regard to expense, but it was beyond the power of any garments, however costly or showy, to set off the peculiar appearance of Cromwell, or make him look well. But Miss Manton smiled sweetly upon him, and he felt himself to be in paradise.

Occasionally the young lady went into his shop on some ostensible errand, and tarried to have a chat. James Cromwell's heart fluttered with delight whenever he saw her face at the door, and during her stay he could attend to nothing else.

One evening there was to be a concert in the village.

[Pg 117]

James Cromwell brought home tickets, and said diffidently, "Miss Manton, will you do me the favor to accompany me to the concert this evening?"

"Thank you, Mr. Cromwell," she answered, smiling graciously, "I will accept with pleasure. I was wishing to go, but papa does not feel very well to-day, so I had made up my mind that I must pass my time at home. At what hour does the concert commence?"

"At half-past seven."

"Will it be time if I am ready at quarter past?"

"Quite so."

"Then you may depend on me."

Strange as it may appear, it was the first time in his life that James Cromwell ever acted as escort to a lady in visiting a place of public entertainment, and he felt a degree of awkwardness because of that. But when Clara Manton appeared, she was so gracious and sociable, that all his mauvaise haute disappeared, and he walked arm in arm with her, feeling easier and more unembarrassed than he had supposed to be possible. When they entered the hall he glanced around him with pride at the thought it would be perceived that[Pg 118] he was the chosen cavalier of such an attractive young lady.

Of the concert it is unnecessary to speak. It closed at a comparatively early hour, and the two wended their way homeward.

"Shall we prolong our walk a little?" he said. "It is still early, and it is very pleasant."

"Yes; that will be pleasant," she returned. "Papa is probably asleep by this time, and won't miss me. What a charming concert we had."

"None of them sang as well as you, Miss Manton," said Cromwell.

"Oh, now you are flattering me, Mr. Cromwell. I cannot permit that, you know," she said, playfully.

"No," he said earnestly, "I am not flattering you, Miss Clara. You are so—so—I hope you'll excuse me, but you are so beautiful and attractive that——"

"Oh, Mr. Cromwell!" uttered Clara; adding to herself, "I dare say he is going to propose. Well, it's just as well now as at any other time. How ridiculous it makes him look, being in love!"

Luckily unconscious of the thoughts that were passing through the mind of his companion, [Pg 119]Cromwell burst out, "But it's true, Miss Clara. I love you; and I don't think I can live without you. Will you marry me?"

"I am afraid you have said such things to a great many other young ladies before. How can I believe you are in earnest?"

"No; on my honor," he said earnestly, "I never loved before. Do you doubt the sincerity of my attachment? Don't you think you could look favorably upon my suit?"

"Perhaps I might," she answered, coyly. "That is, in time. It is so sudden, you know. It is not more than a month since I first met you."

"But in that month I have learned to love you better than anyone I ever knew, Miss Clara. Can't you give me some encouragement? Tell me that I am not wholly disagreeable to you?"

"If you had been, would I have accepted your invitation this evening, Mr. Cromwell?"

"Then you do like me a little?" he said, overjoyed.

"Perhaps, a little," she said, coquettishly.

After some time, Clara thought it polite to confess that she had herself no particular objections to him as a husband,—a confession which filled the enamored druggist with delight—"but," she[Pg 120] proceeded, "I cannot marry without my father's approval."

"But do you think he will object to me?" asked Cromwell, in dismay.

"Papa is a very peculiar man," answered Clara. "I never can undertake to say beforehand how he will look upon any proposition. Perhaps he may give his consent at once, or perhaps it may take considerable time to persuade him. I cannot tell. But whatever he decides, I cannot disobey him."

"Not if your own happiness depended upon it?"

"No," said Clara, who played the rôle of a dutiful daughter for this occasion; "I can't go against papa's wishes."

"May I call upon him, and ask his consent?"

"Perhaps that will be the best way."

"I will ask to-morrow."

"Is it necessary to be in such haste, Mr. Cromwell?"

"I cannot rest until I know. I cannot remain in suspense. Will you allow me to call to-morrow?"

"Yes, I think so," said Clara, coquettishly, "that is, if I do not change my mind during the night."

By such speeches as these she added fuel to[Pg 121] the flame of her lover's adoration, and increased his impatience to obtain a favorable decision.

When Clara returned home her father happened to be still up. He had become interested in something that he was reading, and this caused him to defer his hour of retiring.

"Well, papa," said Clara, taking off her bonnet, "I've got some news for you."

"What is it?"

"I've had an offer."

"An offer? Who from?"

"Oh, from that ridiculous druggist, Cromwell."

"Well, what did you say?"

"I referred him to you. He's going to call to-morrow."

"Well, what shall I say? Just give me instructions. Do you love him?"

"Stuff and nonsense, papa! As if anybody could! Such a ridiculous creature as he is!"

"Then I am to decline the honor of his relationship?"

"Not exactly."

"But you don't love him?"

"That is not necessary in marriage. Thank Providence, I am not sentimental, and never shall break my heart for love. When I marry I want[Pg 122] to marry a man who has got some money. Just find out if he's worth ten thousand dollars. If he is and will agree to settle half of it on me, I will become Mrs. Cromwell whenever he says the word. Otherwise, I won't. But of course, this must be your condition, not mine. I am supposed to be perfectly indifferent to money matters. I dare say I shall rail against you on account of your mercenary spirit, if he can't meet the condition, and comes to complain to me. You won't mind that, will you?"

"Not a particle. Rail away, if you think best. It won't break any bones."

"Well, I am rather tired, and will go to bed. Good-night, papa! Just let my suitor understand that you are inexorable, will you?"

"Very good. I understand you."

Clara Manton retired, and slept considerably better than her lover, whose suspense kept him awake half the night.

[Pg 123]


James Cromwell lost no time next morning in waiting upon Mr. Manton. He was in that state when suspense is intolerable, and he wanted to have his fate decided at once. Accordingly, soon after breakfast, he was introduced into the presence of Clara's father, whom he found alone. The young lady, considerately foreseeing the visit, had gone out for a walk.

Mr. Manton was sitting indolently in a rocking-chair, reading.

"Good-morning, Mr. Cromwell," he said. "Take a chair, if you please, and excuse my not rising. I am not young and strong like you, but an invalid."

It may be remarked that Mr. Manton's invalidism proceeded as much from constitutional indolence as from confirmed ill-health, and furnished him an excuse of which he was always ready to avail himself.

"Oh, certainly," said Cromwell, doing as [Pg 124]directed. "I have come to see you, Mr. Manton," he proceeded, "on important business."

"Indeed!" said his companion, whose cue was to assume entire ignorance until informed of the nature of his errand.

"You have a daughter," proceeded the young man, nervously.

"Yes, and an excellent girl she is," said Mr. Manton, warmly.

I am sorry to say that this was not Mr. Manton's real opinion. He and Clara, in fact, used to quarrel pretty often in private, and he had more than once styled her a cross-grained vixen and termagant, and used other terms equally endearing. He felt rather rejoiced at the prospect of having her taken off his hands, though, like Clara, he thought it prudent that his prospective son-in-law should be well supplied with the gifts of fortune, that there might be no necessity of contributing to their support from his own income. Of course, it was his policy to speak well of Clara to her lover, and not allude to the little defects of temper of which he knew rather more than he desired.

"Yes," said James Cromwell, fervently, "your daughter is charming, Mr. Manton."

[Pg 125]

"She is a good girl. It would break my heart to part with her!" said the father.

"You wouldn't object to her being married, would you?" said Cromwell, alarmed at this last statement.

"I suppose she will marry some time," said Mr. Manton. "No, I should not feel it right to interfere with her marrying, if she desired it. Far be it from me to blight her young affections."

"I love her, Mr. Manton. Let her marry me," exploded Cromwell, nervously.

"Really, you surprise me," said Mr. Manton. "You wish to marry Clara?"

"I should consider myself the most fortunate of men if I could win her as my wife," said Cromwell, who talked more freely than usual under the influence of the tender passion.

"You think so; but marriage will cure you of all that," so thought Mr. Manton; but he said:

"Have you spoken with Clara on this subject?"


"And does she return your love?"

"She authorized me to speak to you. If you have no objection, she will give her consent."

"It is an important matter," said Mr. Manton,[Pg 126] slowly; "giving away the hand of an only daughter in marriage."

"I will do my utmost to make her happy," said the enamored lover.

"I have no doubt of it. To be sure I have not known you long; but I have formed quite a favorable opinion of you from our brief acquaintance."

This was hardly true; for Mr. Manton had designated James Cromwell as an awkward booby in familiar conversation with his daughter, and she had assented to the justice of the epithet.

"Thank you, sir," said Cromwell; "may I then hope for your consent?"

"Why, you see, Mr. Cromwell," said Mr. Manton, throwing one leg over the other, "there are several things to be taken into consideration besides the personal character of the husband. For instance—I hope you won't think me mercenary—but I want to make sure that you are able to support her in comfort, so that she need not be compelled to endure any of the privations of poverty."

"I have a good business," said Cromwell, "which is sure to bring me in a good income."

"Do you own your shop and stock up clear of incumbrance? Is it all paid for?"

[Pg 127]

"Yes, sir."

"That is well—for a beginning. Now what property have you besides?"

"Why," said Cromwell, "I make about five hundred dollars clear from my ward, Robert Raymond."

"Indeed! that is handsome. Still, he is likely to be taken from you."

"I don't think he will."

"Still, it is not a certainty. It is not equal to property producing this amount of annual income."

"No; sir; but——"

"Hear me out. There is nothing so substantial as property invested well. A good income is a good thing, but if it comes from anything else it is not sure. Now I will tell you what my intentions have been when anyone applied to me for my daughter's hand, though I did not expect the occasion would come too soon. I meant to say, that is, provided the party was otherwise suitable, 'Are you ready to settle five thousand dollars on my daughter on her wedding day, and will you still have an equal sum left?' That is the question I meant to ask, and I will ask it now of you."

[Pg 128]

He leaned back in his rocking-chair as he spoke, and fixed a glance of inquiry on James Cromwell. He hoped that the young man would be able to answer in the affirmative, for if Clara could be well married, he would have his income entirely to himself, and he had about made up his mind in that case to go to Europe on a pleasure trip. This he could do without breaking in upon his principal if he went alone; but as long as Clara remained unmarried, he knew that he should be expected to take her with him, and this would involve more expense than he was willing to incur.

James Cromwell was taken aback by this unexpected difficulty.

"I am afraid my means are not sufficient to admit of my doing this, just yet," said Cromwell, reluctantly; "but just as soon as I am able I will agree to make the settlement you propose."

Mr. Manton shook his head.

"I am sorry," he said, and here he only told the truth, "that you are not in a position to comply with my conditions, for they are indispensable. You must not think me mercenary, but I don't believe in love in a cottage! As for Clara, she is a dear, unselfish girl, and she would think me mercenary. She never thinks of money, (I wish[Pg 129] she didn't, he mentally added,) and would as soon marry a poor man as a rich man. But I want to guard her against the chances of fortune. So I desire that five thousand dollars should be settled upon herself, so that if her husband should fail in business, and you know such things happen very often, she will have a fund to fall back upon. I am sure you will think I am reasonable in this."

"My business is a very safe one, and the percentage of profit is large," pleaded Cromwell, rather downcast; "and I think there would be no danger of that."

"Yes, of course, you think so. Nobody believes he is going to fail. But disasters come to the best business men."

"Then you insist upon your condition, Mr. Manton," said James Cromwell, in a tone of disappointment.

"I must," said Mr. Manton, with suavity. "Of course, I am sorry to disappoint you, but then the happiness of my daughter is the first consideration with me."

"Perhaps her happiness would best be promoted by marriage."

"She may think so now! but you may depend[Pg 130] upon it that the happiest marriages are founded on a solid money basis."

"You haven't any objection to me personally, as a son-in-law?"

"Not the least in the world. My only objection arises from the fact that you are unable to comply with my conditions."

"Supposing, then, I should be able to do so in six months or a year, what would be your answer?"

"I should say, take her, and may you be happy."

"Then," said Cromwell, "I may tell you that, though I am not worth the sum necessary to secure your consent, I have a relative who has me down in his will for a legacy of ten thousand dollars. I don't think he will live long. Within a few months I may be worth the required sum."

"I hope you will, Mr. Cromwell," said Mr. Manton; "when that time comes, come to me again with your suit, and I will grant it, that is, unless Clara has formed another attachment during that time."

Cromwell winced at this suggestion, but he saw that he could accomplish nothing more with the father, and in rather an unsettled frame of mind he took his leave.

[Pg 131]


When James Cromwell alluded to the possibility of his receiving a legacy of ten thousand dollars at no distant date, it will be understood at once that he alluded to the sum promised him by Paul Morton in the event of the death of his ward. He had endeavored to compass Robert's death at Niagara Falls, but since his failure there, he had let the matter drop, partly from a timid fear of consequences, partly from the thought that even without this sum he was sure of a good income. But the unexpected condition imposed by Mr. Manton, again turned his thoughts to the question of Robert's death, and its pecuniary advantage to himself; and again our young hero was menaced by a peril by no means insignificant. James Cromwell was neither strong nor brave; but there is no one so powerless that his enmity may be disregarded, especially when it is unsuspected.

[Pg 132]

But Cromwell's timid nature shrank from the audacity of the crime which suggested itself to his mind. Besides, though he was fascinated by Clara Manton, he was not clear about settling so large a sum as five thousand dollars upon her. He would have done it if in his power, rather than lose her, but if he could obtain her on any easier terms he thought that it would be better. He decided, therefore, to see Clara herself, to communicate to her her father's answer, and prevail upon her, if possible, to marry him without her father's sanction.

Had he known Clara better, he would not have ventured to hope for success, but he was wholly unaware that the mercenary condition had been affixed by Clara herself. He fancied that she loved him for himself, and believed her incapable of being swayed by self-interest.

Chance, as he thought, favored him, for only a short distance from the house he met Clara, herself. She had left the house considerately, in order to allow him an opportunity to call upon her father, and was now returning.

"Mr. Cromwell?" she said, with affected surprise. "I supposed you were in your shop. I fear you are becoming inattentive to business."

[Pg 133]

"I cannot attend to my business until one matter is decided," said Cromwell.

"What is that?"

"How can you ask? Clara, I have just called upon your father. I asked his permission to marry you."

"What did he say?" inquired the young lady.

"He told me he would consent on certain conditions."

"Certain conditions!" repeated Clara, innocently. "What could they be?"

"He said that I must prove to him that I was worth ten thousand dollars, and must consent to settle half that amount upon you."

"I hope," said Clara, quickly, "that you don't think I had anything to do with such conditions?"

"No; I am sure you had not," said Cromwell; and he believed what he said, for no one, to look in the face of the young lady, would have supposed her mercenary.

"I hope you don't blame papa. He carries prudence to excess."

"No, I don't blame him. It is natural that he should wish to make sure of his daughter's comfort."

[Pg 134]

"And what did you say in reply?" asked Clara, considerably interested.

"I told him that at present my circumstances would not permit me to comply with his conditions."

"That's a pity."

"But that I was expecting a legacy from a near relative that may possibly fall to me very soon, which would remove every difficulty."

"What did he say then?"

"That when I received the legacy he would give me your hand, provided you were still willing."

The young lady cast her eyes upon the ground. She did not think much of waiting for dead men's shoes, and doubted whether her lover had any such relative as he referred to. In her own mind she looked upon the matter as at an end; and began to consider for whom she had better angle next. She did not, however, mean to say this to Cromwell, for she had no objection to keeping him dancing attendance upon her. It would gratify her vanity, and perhaps he might serve, unconsciously, to help her in snaring some other fish. She thought her best policy in the present case, was to remain silent, unless she was called upon to say something.

[Pg 135]

"What do you say to that, Clara?" asked Cromwell.

"I suppose it is fair," she said.

"No; it is not fair," he said, "to make me wait so long. I have a good income; I am careful, and not extravagant, and I know I can support you comfortably. Do not make me wait. Tell me will you marry me at once?"

"I cannot disobey my father," said the young lady, who had all at once become very dutiful.

"But do you think he has a right to interfere with your happiness?"

"He does it for my good."

"He thinks so; but do you agree with him?"

"Perhaps not; but I have always been taught to obey my father. I suppose he knows better than I what I ought to do."

"Surely, you are not afraid that I should be unable to support you comfortably?" said Cromwell, reproachfully.

"Oh, no," answered Clara. "I never think of money. My father often tells me that I ought to think more of it. As far as I am concerned, I should never think of asking whether you were worth one thousand dollars or ten."

James Cromwell listened to Clara as she spoke[Pg 136] with assumed simplicity, her eyes downcast, and he was so infatuated by his love for her that he never thought of doubting her. In his inexperience of female wiles he was by no means a match for Clara, who was already, though yet under twenty, a finished female coquette. So he accepted her for what she chose to appear and the flame of his passion was increased.

"I am sure," he pleaded, "that if we were once married your father would not object. The legacy I spoke of is sure to come to me in a year or two, for my relative is very old and in very poor health, and there is no fear of his changing his will."

"I have no doubt what you say is all true," said Clara, though in her own heart she had very serious doubts; "but then it will not be very long to wait a year or two, as the money will come to you then."

"A year or two!" repeated Cromwell. "It seems to me like waiting forever."

"I am afraid you have not the gift of patience, Mr. Cromwell," said Clara, smiling archly.

"No; I have not in this case, for I do not think there is any occasion for waiting."

"But my father thinks so, unfortunately. If[Pg 137] you can succeed in persuading him to the contrary, you will find me ready to do as you desire."

"Then you are determined to abide by your father's decision," said Cromwell, in accents of disappointment.

"I must," said Clara, mildly, "however much my own heart suffers in consequence," and she put on the air of a victim of parental tyranny; "unless," she added, "I am able to make my father regard it in a different light."

"Promise me that you will try," said her lover, grasping her hand.

"I will do what I can," she said. "But, really, I must go now. My father will not know what has become of me."

With a sweet smile, she left him, and returned to the house. He turned, and went back slowly to his shop.

"Well, that's all over," said Clara, to herself. "I should be a fool to marry such a stupid gawky, unless he could settle money upon me. I don't mean to throw myself away just at present."

"Well, Clara, I have had an offer for your hand," said her father, as she entered his presence.


[Pg 138]

"I said what you told me, and found he could not comply with the conditions."

"So you refused the honor of a son-in-law?"


"That was right."

"He said he was expecting a legacy of ten thousand dollars in a year or two."

"All humbug, papa. I don't believe a word of it."

"You don't seem inclined to break your heart about the disappointment," said Mr. Manton, with a smile.

"No; he is the last man I would break my heart about, if I were fool enough to break my heart about anybody. I must look out for somebody else."

"And meanwhile?"

"I'll keep a hold on him. There might be something in the story of the legacy, you know."

"I see you are well able to look out for your own interests, Clara."

"So I ought to be."

Thus spoke the unselfish Clara Manton, who was above all mercenary considerations.

[Pg 139]


"There is no other way!" thought James Cromwell, as fresh from his interview with Clara, he returned to his shop. "The boy stands in my way. His death will bring me money, and then that man will give me the hand of the woman I love. There is no other way, unless Clara prevails upon her father to recall his condition."

But another interview with the young lady in the evening, dissipated any hope of this nature which he may have entertained. She reported that her father was immovable on this point, and that persuasion and entreaty had alike been in vain.

"I may soon be able to comply with your father's conditions," said Cromwell. "I have received a letter to-day, which informs me that the party from whom I expect a legacy, is in very feeble health."

"Perhaps there may be something in his story," thought Clara, and influenced by the doubt, she[Pg 140] smiled graciously, and said, "Let us wait and hope that fortune may favor us."

"Promise me one thing," asked Cromwell, "that you will wait for me, and will not admit the attention of any one else?"

But this did not suit the plans of the astute Clara. She by no means wished to compromise her matrimonial chances by binding herself to an uncertainty, and accordingly answered:

"I would willingly do as you ask, Mr. Cromwell, if papa were willing, but he has expressly forbidden me to bind myself by an engagement, or make any promise."

James Cromwell's countenance fell.

"After all," she added, with a smile, "is any promise necessary in our case? Do we not understand one another?"

These words and the smile that accompanied them, restored the cheerfulness to her lover. He thought he did understand Clara Manton, but in this, as we know, he was egregiously mistaken.

The next morning he received the following letter from Paul Morton. It was the first he had received from the merchant, and was in reply to one of his own written from Madison.

It was as follows:

[Pg 141]

"James Cromwell:

"Dear Sir:—Yours of the 15th inst., informing me of your safe arrival at Madison and your determination to make that place your home, was duly received. The accident which you speak of as near befalling my ward at Niagara Falls did not surprise me. He is a careless boy, and I should not be surprised at any time to hear of his coming to harm from this cause. Of course, you will exercise proper care in cautioning him, etc., and then, should he meet with any accident, I shall exonerate you from blame in the matter. How is his health? I have at times thought he inherited the feeble constitution of his father. I understand also from the late Mr. Raymond, that his mother was an invalid, and it is hardly to be expected that he would have a very strong or vigorous constitution. However, I do not feel anxious on this point, as I am aware that you have a knowledge of medicine, and I have full confidence in your ability to take all proper care of my young ward. I suppose you have found a suitable school for him. I shall be glad to hear that he is doing well in his studies, though on account of his not very strong constitution, previously referred to, it may be well not to press him too hard in the way of study.

"Let me hear from you respecting Robert's welfare, from time to time. Yours, etc.,

"Paul Morton."

[Pg 142]

James Cromwell read this letter twice over.

"He's a crafty old spider," he said to himself. "Any one to read it would think that he was very solicitous for the welfare of this boy. It would be considered an excellent letter by those who did not understand it. I am behind the scenes, and I know just what it means. He means to blame me, because I didn't make a sure thing of it at Niagara Falls, and hints pretty plainly about some accident happening to him in future. He is impatient to hear of his death, that is plain, and no doubt he will gladly pay the amount he promised, as soon as he receives intelligence of it."

This reflection plunged James Cromwell into serious thought. Already predisposed to the foul deed, the artful suggestions of this letter tended to fan the flame, and incite him still more to it. Danger indeed, and that most serious, was menacing our young hero.

So James Cromwell, spurred by a double motive, veered more and more toward the accomplishment of the dark deed which would stain his soul with bloodshed, and in return give him the fleeting possession of money and the girl whom he loved.

[Pg 143]

Once resolved upon the deed, the next consideration was the ways and means of accomplishing it.

Should he use poison?

That seemed most in his line, and he regretted that he had not secured a supply of the same subtle poison which Paul Morton had purchased of him in the small shop on the Bowery. There was likely to be no one in that neighborhood who possessed a sufficient medical knowledge to detect its presence or trace its effects. But it was rare, and there was little chance of his obtaining it unless by sending to New York, and this would, of itself, afford strong ground for suspicion against him.

Then, as to the ordinary poisons, their effects upon the human system were too well understood, even by ordinary physicians, for him to employ them without great peril. He decided, therefore, to adjure poisons altogether. The fact that he was a druggist would render their use even more readily suspected than in the case of an ordinary person.

How then should he proceed?

This question was still undetermined in his own mind, when chance decided the matter for him.

[Pg 144]

One evening, while he was still pondering this question, and much embarrassed about the decision of it, he chanced to be returning home from a desultory walk which he had taken. Now, in the town of Madison, somewhat centrally situated, or at least one side of it was near the center of the town, there was a pond of about two miles in circuit. By the edge of this pond James Cromwell met Robert Raymond.

Instantly an idea came into his mind, as casting his eyes toward the pond, he saw a small boat tied by a rope round the trunk of a tree.

"Good evening, Mr. Cromwell," said Robert. "Have you been taking a walk?"

"Yes, but I have not been far. When did you come out?"

"About half an hour ago."

"By the way, do you know how to row?"

"A little."

"I was thinking that we might borrow this boat, and have a little row on the pond. What do you say?"

"I should like it," said Robert, promptly, for he had a boy's love of the water. "Shall I unfasten the rope?"

"Yes, I wish you would."

[Pg 145]

Robert at once sprang to the tree, and quickly untied the rope and set the boat free.

"All ready, Mr. Cromwell!" he cried. "Jump aboard, and I will get in afterward."

James Cromwell stepped into the boat, his heart beating quick with the thought of the deed which he meditated. His courage almost failed him, for he was of a timid nature, but the thought of the stake for which he was playing, renewed his courage, and he resolved that, come what might, that night should be Robert Raymond's last.

"Which of us shall row, Mr. Cromwell?" asked Robert.

"I will row first, and you may do so afterward."

"All right."

Cromwell took his place, and rowed rather awkwardly until the boat reached the middle of the pond.

"Shan't I take the oars now, Mr. Cromwell?"

"Not quite yet. I am going to row into that little recess over yonder. You can row back."

The outline of the pond was irregular. In one place there was a recess, surrounded by woods, within which they would be shielded from view. It seemed a fitting place for a tragedy.

[Pg 146]

When they were fairly within it, Cromwell said:

"Now you may take the oars."

Robert rose from his seat, and stepped toward the center of the boat. His movements were naturally rather unsteady. James Cromwell turned pale, and he braced his shrinking nerve. He felt that now was his time. Unless he acted now, his opportunity would be gone.

As Robert approached, he suddenly seized the unsuspecting boy around the middle, and threw him into the water. So suddenly was it done, that before the boy understood what had happened to him, he found himself engulfed.

Never once looking back, James Cromwell seized the oars, and rowed himself swiftly back. When he got on shore, he looked nervously out over the surface of the pond. All was still. Nothing was visible of Robert.

"He is drowned!" said Cromwell to himself, wiping away the large drops of perspiration from his forehead.

[Pg 147]


Such was the suddenness with which Robert had been hurled into the water that he had no chance to defend himself. He was scarcely conscious of having been attacked until he found himself in the water struggling for life. He knew nothing of swimming from actual experience, yet under the stress of necessity, and with death staring him in the face, he instinctively struck out, and managed temporarily to keep his head above water. But the shore was a hundred yards distant, and to reach it would have been beyond his unskilled strength to accomplish, if he had not luckily happened to receive assistance.

Unknown to James Cromwell, there had been a spectator of his dastardly attempt to drown the boy who had been placed in his charge.

The spectator was an odd character; an old negro, who years ago had built for himself a rude cabin in the shadow of the woods. He had[Pg 148] formerly been a slave in Kentucky, but had managed to escape from servitude, and built himself this cabin, where he lived by himself. He supported himself by working for any one who needed help on the farm or in the garden, and cooked his own food in his simple dwelling.

When he saw the boy flung into the water he was standing on the bank, unobserved on account of his color. He recognized Cromwell, for he had been to the drug store only a day or two previous to buy some medicament for the rheumatism which he occasionally suffered from. He knew Robert also.

"What debble's work is dis?" he said to himself. "What's he goin' to kill de boy for? Can't let de poor boy drown, no way."

As he spoke, he flung himself into the water and swam with vigorous strokes toward the place where Robert was struggling.

"Hold up a minute, young massa," he cried, for in his freedom he preserved the language of former days, "hold up a minute, and I'll save yer."

Robert heard this, and it gave him courage to struggle longer. In a short time the negro was at his side and seizing him by the arm, turned[Pg 149] and headed for the shore. It was soon reached, and the two stood side by side, both dripping with moisture. Had James Cromwell turned back he might have discovered the rescue, but he did not dare to do so until he reached the opposite side, and then there was nothing to be seen.

"What's all this mean, young massa?" asked Cato, for this was the name of the negro. He had brought no other with him, but one was quite sufficient for his modest requirements.

"I don't know," said Robert. "The man that was with me suddenly seized me round the waist, and flung me into the pond."

"I saw him do it," said Cato. "What made him?"

"That's more than I can tell, unless he is crazy," said Robert.

"Is dis de fust time he try to drown you?" asked Cato.

Robert started as the force of this question dawned upon him. He recalled the scene at Niagara Falls, and the narrow escape he had from a horrible death at that time. He remembered that he had been forcibly pushed by James Cromwell on that occasion, and only saved himself by clutching hold of him, while the latter did not[Pg 150] pull him back till his own danger seemed imminent. At the time he accepted Cromwell's explanation, but now, since this second attempt had been made, he could not shut his eyes from the fact that Cromwell had sought his destruction. What could have been his motive was to him a profound mystery.

"No," he answered, "he tried to push me over Niagara Falls once, but I thought it was an accident then. I don't think so now."

"You lib with him?"

"Yes; my guardian placed me with him."

"He's a wicked man. Don't you go nigh him again."

"I won't," said Robert. "I shouldn't feel safe with him. But I don't know where to go to-night."

"Come to my cabin!" said Cato. "It's a poor place for the likes of you, young massa, but it's better dan sleepin' out in de woods."

"Thanks, Cato," said Robert, for he knew who it was that had saved him. "I will accept your invitation, gladly. Lead the way, and I will follow."

The negro's hut was near by. It was small enough, being only about ten feet square. On[Pg 151] the floor was spread a blanket over some straw, and Cato signed to Robert to lie down. But first he advised him to take off his wet clothes. He gathered some sticks and made a fire for the purpose of drying these.

Robert lay down on the rude bed, and though excited by the peril through which he had passed, and by the thought that James Cromwell had been guilty of such an atrocious attempt, nature at last asserted her supremacy, and he sank to sleep. When he woke the sun had already risen. The first sight upon which his eyes rested was the black face of his companion bending over him. He did not immediately remember where he was, and cried, raising his head, "Where am I?"

"Here, young massa, in Cato's cabin," said the negro.

"Yes, I remember now," said Robert.

"Did you sleep well, young massa?"

"Yes, Cato. I slept soundly. Only don't call me young master, for I am not likely to be any body's master, except, perhaps, my own."

"Just as young massa says," said Cato, rather inconsistently. "Here's your clothes, just as dry as can be; only don't get up till you get rested. There's plenty of time."

[Pg 152]

"I'm rested now, Cato, thank you," said Robert.

He sprang from his couch and hastily put on his clothes. He found that through the kind services of the negro they were quite dry, though his shirt-bosom and cuffs presented rather a limp appearance, the starch having soaked out of them. This was, however, a minor calamity, to which he paid but little attention.

When he was dressed he turned to go away, though he hardly knew where to direct his course.

"Stop," said Cato. "Cato have breakfast ready in a minute."

"Do you mean that I am to take breakfast with you, Cato?"

"Yes; young massa will be so kind."

"I think the kindness is all on the other side," said Robert, laughing. "Yes, I will accept your invitation with much pleasure; particularly as I don't know where else to go for any."

Cato appeared to consider that a great favor had been granted to him in acceptance of the invitation, and he set to work zealously to prepare a meal of which his young guest might partake.

He had a small stove in his cabin in which he generally kept a fire, for being used to a warm[Pg 153] climate, it was easy for him to stand a degree of heat which would have baked a white man. Nor was he a mean cook. Indeed, while in Kentucky, he had officiated for a considerable time in his master's kitchen, and had not wholly forgotten his ancient skill.

In the course of an hour, Cato produced a breakfast consisting of hot hoe cakes and fried eggs, which not only had a very appetizing flavor, but stood the test of eating, remarkably well. Robert's peril of the previous night had by no means injured his appetite, and he did full justice to the breakfast provided. Cato gazed with much satisfaction at the evidences of his young guest's relishing the repast provided, and appeared to regard it as a personal compliment to himself.

While Robert was eating he was considering his future plans. As to going back to James Cromwell, he decided that this was out of the question. His life would not be safe. He determined that it would be his proper course to return to New York, and report to his guardian the character of the man in whose care he had placed him. He hoped then to be allowed to go back to school, and resume the studies which had recently been interrupted. Had he known that his guardian was at[Pg 154] the bottom of the plot which had so nearly culminated in his death, he would have decided differently; but of this he had no suspicion.

He had in his pocket the sum of ten dollars, which, though soaked in water, he was able to dry; and this, though insufficient to defray his expenses, would at least start him on his journey. As to what he might do, after this was exhausted, he did not know, but he was buoyant in hope, and he felt that it was no use to anticipate trouble. Enough to meet it when it came.

His course would be to reach the bank of the Ohio, and get conveyance on its waters as far East as he could. To this end he obtained directions from Cato, and shortly after breakfast, after shaking the kind negro by the hand and thanking him heartily for his kindness, which he meant some day to reward substantially, he set out on his way.

[Pg 155]


James Cromwell came down to breakfast on the morning succeeding his attempt to drown our young hero, with as composed a manner as his nervous agitation permitted him to assume.

"Where is your young friend?" inquired the landlady, for Cromwell and Robert usually came in together.

"I have not seen him since supper," said Cromwell. "I was about to ask you if you had seen anything of him."

"Was he not here last night?"

"No, I went into his room just now, and find that his bed is untouched."

"That is strange," said Mr. Manton.

"I have felt quite troubled about him," continued Cromwell, hypocritically.

"Do you think anything has befallen him?" asked the landlady.

"I think it more likely that he has run away," said Cromwell.

[Pg 156]

"He seemed to be very quiet and gentlemanly," said Mr. Manton.

"No doubt he seemed so," said Cromwell, "but his guardian when he confided him to my charge, informed me that he was a hard case, but exceedingly artful, so that no one would suspect it. He was opposed to coming west with me, and my impression is, that he has started for New York secretly. I shall put up a notice calling for information. If I receive none I shall be compelled to go on to New York myself and give information to his guardian of his sudden disappearance."

"You will be compelled to leave your business. I should think that would be inconvenient," said Mr. Manton.

"It will be inconvenient," said Cromwell, "and probably a pecuniary loss, but I feel it my duty, and money is a secondary consideration."

"Perhaps Mr. Raymond may appear in the course of the forenoon," suggested the landlady. "It may be only a boy's adventure."

"I hope you may be right," said Cromwell, "but I hardly think it will prove so."

He did not eat much breakfast. The thought of Robert Raymond lying at the bottom of the pond kept continually recurring to him. He [Pg 157]wondered whether he would be found and when. He would like to have set out for New York at once; but if immediately after his departure the body should be found, it would look bad, and possibly excite suspicion. He thought it would be better for him to wait two or three days, and then he would feel at liberty to start on his journey.

If during that time he attended to his business as usual, there would be no chance for suspecting him of having had anything to do with Robert's disappearance.

This course, then, he resolved to adopt, but in spite of all he could do, he was tormented by a constant, nervous anxiety. Every moment he thought of the liability that Robert's body might be discovered, and he braced himself to stand the shock.

He thought it best, however, to write a letter at once to Paul Morton, announcing the mysterious disappearance of Robert.

It ran thus:

"Paul Morton, Esq.:

"Dear Sir:—It is with great regret that I take my pen, having only bad news to communicate. Your ward, Robert Raymond, whom you placed in my charge, has mysteriously disappeared. I[Pg 158] have seen nothing of him since yesterday at supper. He went out after that, and did not return to pass the night at his boarding house. I do not know what to think, whether he has met with any accident, perhaps of a fatal nature, or has only run away. If the latter, I suppose he would make his way to New York and present himself before you. I shall take every means of ascertaining which of these is the true explanation of his mysterious disappearance. I think of starting for New York in a couple of days, in order to see you personally, and let you know all that I can learn about this unfortunate affair, as I know that you will be deeply interested in all that concerns your ward. Your obedient servant,

"James Cromwell."

"I think that will do," said Cromwell, after reading his letter over when finished. "It tells nothing to an ordinary reader, but Mr. Morton will understand it well enough, especially when he reads the words which I have underlined. On the whole, I don't know but it will be well that the body should be found before I go, as he may need absolute proof of the boy's death before he is willing to pay me the ten thousand dollars. I wish it were well over, and the boy was buried. I can't bear to look at him; I am afraid I should get [Pg 159]nervous, and so excite suspicion. Still it might be attributed to my sorrow for his loss."

With this idea he thought it best to look troubled, and express a considerable degree of anxiety about the lost boy, so that one who was not in the secret might have supposed that his emotion was real.

Leaving Cromwell, for a time, we will follow the course of Robert Raymond, who after receiving directions from Cato, had shaped his course for the Ohio river. Madison, as has already been stated, was situated in the southern part of Indiana. The distance between it and the Ohio river, which separates that State from Kentucky, was about fifty miles. It was Robert's intention to reach the river, and then get on board a boat, and proceed as far East as his limited funds would admit. The extent of these was but ten dollars, and ten dollars would not go a great way, unless extreme economy was practiced. Robert was willing to be economical, and when he learned that the river was but fifty miles distant, he determined to walk the whole way.

It was important that he should not be recognized. He wished James Cromwell to believe that he had succeeded in his design, and that he was[Pg 160] drowned. Then there would be some chance of ascertaining what had been his motive in perpetrating so dark a deed. Besides, it would save him from the risk of pursuit, and he wished to make his way unmolested to the presence of his guardian, where he intended to expose the unprincipled conduct of the man to whose care he had been confided.

On the first day Robert walked about twenty miles, resting in the middle of the day. He was unaccustomed to walking and it made him footsore and weary. At four o'clock in the afternoon, he desisted and went up to a farm-house, for he was at the time passing through a sparsely settled town; he asked for accommodations for the night.

Fortunately the occupant of the farm-house was a hospitable and kind-hearted farmer, who did not, as some might have done, view him with suspicion.

"So you want to be took care of for the night, youngster," he said.

"Yes, sir," said Robert.

"Well, I guess the old woman can accommodate you. Our house is big enough, and you won't take up much room. Are you a-travelin' far?"

"Yes, I am going to New York."

[Pg 161]

"To York. That's a pretty long journey for a lad like you. It's over a thousand miles."

"Yes, it's a good ways, but I guess I can get there."

"Where are you a travelin' from?" was the next question.

"I came from the North," said Robert, evading a direct answer.

"I understand," said the farmer, shrewdly, "you don't want to tell. Well, maybe you've a good reason, and maybe not. That's not my business, only if you're running away from your father or mother, I advise you to go back again. It isn't a good thing to run away from home."

"If I had a father or mother," said Robert, earnestly, "I should be the last one to run away from them. I have neither father nor mother living."

"Have you no sisters nor brothers?"


"And you've got to make your own way in the world?" said the sympathizing farmer. "Well, I'm sorry for you."

"If you mean that I am poor, that is not the case," Robert answered. "I have been unfortunate in other ways, but my father left me a [Pg 162]fortune, and I am going to my guardian who is in New York."

"Then how comes it that you are out here all alone?"

"I'd rather not tell now," said Robert, frankly. "The time may come when I shall return this way, and shall feel at liberty to tell you all."

"Well, well, my lad, I won't pry into your secrets. I shall be glad to have you stay with me to-night and to-morrow you can go on your way, and no questions asked."

"Thank you," said Robert.

"Now, we'll be goin' into the house, and see if supper isn't most ready. If you've been travelin' it's likely you're hungry, and I reckon the old woman will give us something we can relish."

Robert did not refuse the invitation, for in truth he was hungry. Indeed he had never felt hungrier in his life. He was soon seated at the farmer's plain board, on which was spread a homely but abundant repast, to which he did full justice.

In the morning, after a refreshing sleep, he started anew on his journey. He tried to make the farmer accept payment for his hospitality, but without success, and with his scanty funds still entire, he resumed his walk.

[Pg 163]


On the third day Robert reached the Ohio river, and was fortunate enough to intercept a steamer bound East. He went to the office, and found that his money would suffice to pay his fare to Wheeling, but would leave him nothing. This did not trouble him much. He had the sanguine and elastic temperament of youth, and he did not doubt that something would turn up.

"If I can't do any better," he resolved, "I will obtain work of some kind till I have laid by enough money to pay my passage for the remainder of the way. Or I can write to my guardian, and ask him to send me money enough to bring me to New York."

He had no idea how unwelcome this communication would be to his guardian, nor that by this time that guardian, having received James Cromwell's letter, supposed him dead.

On board the steamer he looked about him with a boy's curiosity, and as the boat proceeded he[Pg 164] surveyed with interest the towns on either shore, at most of which the boat stopped.

Among the passengers his attention was drawn to a tall gentleman of bronzed complexion who had as a companion a young girl of about thirteen, whom he addressed as Edith. The young lady had a very sweet face, and Robert caught himself more than once wishing he had such a sister. Had he been older that is perhaps the last thing he would have desired. But he was only a boy of fourteen, and was of course too young to experience the sensation of being in love.

The gentleman's name he learned was Major Woodley, and the young lady's, of course, Edith Woodley.

Robert wished that he might have an opportunity of making the acquaintance of Major Woodley and his daughter, but while on their trip up the river chance did not favor him. The opportunity, however, was only deferred. It came at the end of the voyage.

At length they reached Wheeling, and the passengers generally disembarked. Major Woodley and his daughter were among these.

Arrived on the pier, while Major Woodley was looking out for his baggage, a horse, maddened by[Pg 165] a blow from his brutal driver, started suddenly forward, and in an instant would have trampled Edith Woodley under his feet, had not Robert sprung forward, and clasping her round the waist, drawn her quickly out of danger.

Her father was at some distance. He happened to look up just in time to see his child's danger, but not in time to rescue her.

To his great relief he saw Robert's prompt action, and he realized that but for this, his daughter would probably have lost her life.

Filled with gratitude he hurriedly advanced, and seized Robert by the hand.

"Well done, my brave boy! You have probably saved my daughter's life. From my heart, I thank you."

"I am glad it was in my power to do her a service," said Robert, modestly.

"You exposed your own life to danger," said the Major.

"I did not think of that," said Robert, simply. "I only thought of the young lady's danger."

"That shows you are a brave boy. If you had not been so cool and prompt, it would have been too late. If you had hesitated a moment, I shudder to think what would have been the result."

[Pg 166]

"I am very glad, indeed, that I was standing by," said Robert, "but I think anyone would have done the same."

Major Woodley shook his head.

"I know men better than you, my lad," he said, "and I know that coolness and self-possession in the hour of danger are not so common as they might be. Let me know the name of my daughter's preserver."

"Robert Raymond."

"Are you going further East?"

"Yes, sir, as soon as I can. I am bound for New York."

"So am I. But I shall stop at the hotel till to-morrow. Why won't you stop over also and go on with us?"

This was an embarrassing question for Robert. The fact is, that his entire worldly wealth, so far as he carried it with him, consisted of twenty-five cents, and this, so far from enabling him from going on to New York, would not even pay for his breakfast, unless he confined himself to a very frugal one. He felt a little shame at confessing this to Major Woodley, who had the air of a man of large means, yet he could not help confessing to himself that it would be very agreeable for him[Pg 167] to pursue his journey in company with the Major and his daughter to New York. Of course he would become very well acquainted with the daughter, and this he thought he should like very much.

He had never had a sister, and he felt that she would be one to him.

So he hesitated, and did not immediately answer the question asked.

"If this would interfere with any of your arrangements, or if you have other friends to travel with," proceeded Major Woodley, observing his hesitation, "don't hesitate to say so."

"It is not that," said Robert, "I am traveling alone."

"So I supposed, as I saw no one with you on the boat. Why then will you not join us?"

"I will tell you," said Robert, making up his mind to tell the truth. "I find myself out of money, and I shall be obliged to wait here until I can receive money enough from my guardian to pay my fare to New York."

"Does your guardian, then, live in New York?" asked the major.

"Yes, sir."

"May I ask his name? I have some [Pg 168]considerable acquaintance in New York, and perhaps I may know him."

"His name is Paul Morton. He is a merchant, I believe."

"Paul Morton!" repeated Major Woodley, in surprise. "Is he your guardian?"

"Yes, sir."

"How long has he been?"

"Only a few weeks. My father was an early friend of his, and he died in his house. He left me to the charge of Mr. Morton."

"What was your father's name?" asked Major Woodley, quickly.

"Ralph Raymond."

"Was he an India merchant?"

"Yes, sir. Did you know him?" asked Robert, eagerly.

"Intimately. I passed some time in India, and there I made your father's acquaintance. I valued him for his high honor, and excellent qualities, and I am truly glad to have met his son. I did not know of his death. But of that and other things you must inform me at the hotel. You need not trouble yourself about want of money. Go with me, and I will see you safely in New York."

Major Woodley ordered a carriage, and the[Pg 169] party at once proceeded to the best hotel in the place. Breakfast was ordered, for the boat had arrived in the morning. After this meal was over, Major Woodley said: "Now, my young friend, tell me about your father's death."

Robert recounted the circumstances which are already familiar to the reader, except as to the wicked means by which his father's life was shortened. Of this he was himself ignorant, as we know.

"Now," said the Major, "how does it happen that you are traveling alone, and almost friendless in this region? I confess it surprises me. I cannot understand why your guardian should allow it."

"It is a strange story," said Robert. "I do not understand it myself."

Therefore he gave an account of the manner in which he had been consigned to the care of James Cromwell, and the events that followed, his auditor listening with strong interest.

"So he intrusted you to the charge of a druggist! That is certainly strange. He removed you from your school, and sent you to an inferior school in a Western village. There is something remarkable about this."

[Pg 170]

When Robert gave an account of James Cromwell's attempt to put him out of the way, Major Woodley's eyes flashed, and Edith, placing her hand on Robert's arm, said, "What a horrid, wicked man he must have been!"

"I sometimes think he is not in his right mind," said Robert. "What do you think, sir?" he continued, appealing to the Major.

"I am not so charitable," said the Major. "I think he was quite aware of what he was doing and that he had a motive in what he did."

"What motive could he have had, sir?"

"I will keep that to myself at present. I have my suspicions, but they may be groundless."

In fact Major Woodley suspected that Cromwell was acting under instructions from Paul Morton, of whom he had a bad opinion, and he determined to satisfy himself on this point when they reached New York. But he felt that it would not be of any service to impart this to Robert until he should have ascertained definitely.

[Pg 171]


After waiting two days, during which no tidings were received of Robert, James Cromwell determined to go to New York. He had hoped that the body might be found in order that he might carry with him the proof that would entitle him to the reward of ten thousand dollars. But he did not venture to suggest that the pond should be dragged, lest it might appear that he was too well informed about the matter.

He announced his determination to Mr. Manton and Clara the evening previous. He thought it politic to assign a double motive for his departure.

"You may remember," he said, "that I referred to a relative in delicate health from whom I expected a legacy."

"Yes," said Mr. Manton.

"I have received intelligence that he is very low and wishes to see me. So, although it will be [Pg 172]inconvenient for me to leave my business, I find it necessary to go."

"Perhaps you may be rewarded for going," suggested Mr. Manton.

"Yes, I have no reason to doubt that I shall be well remembered in my relative's will. I think that when I return there will be nothing to prevent my complying with the conditions you named, and that I may be able to claim your daughter's hand."

"Perhaps I may change my mind," said Clara, energetically; but she saw fit to devote herself to her suitor through the entire evening, displaying an affability and assumed interest which quite captivated him. The thoughts of her favor even drove away the memories of the dark deed which, as he fully believed, had consigned to a watery grave the boy who had been committed to his charge.

"There seems some chance of his story proving true," said Mr. Manton, when the two were alone.

"Yes, it may be. On that chance I've been trying to make myself agreeable to-night. He evidently thinks I'm dead in love with him. As if anybody could fancy such a stupid lout. I declare I wish it was somebody else who was going to get[Pg 173] the money. The exertions I've made have quite wearied me," and fair Clara yawned excessively.

"If you think you can't like him, it is not too late to withdraw," said the father, who had a little more heart than his daughter.

"Oh, as to that, it isn't of much consequence," said Clara. "I haven't got much sentiment, and if he can show the cash, I'll marry him."

"I presume you won't throw away your fascinations upon him after marriage," said her father.

"You may be sure of that. He'll soon have a realizing sense of my motives in marrying him."

"Suppose he resents it, and treats you badly?" suggested Mr. Manton, with a little paternal solicitude.

"I can protect myself," said Clara, with nonchalance. "He's a weak fool and I can twist him round my finger."

"He may not be as manageable as you think, Clara."

"Oh, I know him thoroughly. He hasn't much spirit. I should be ashamed if I could not manage him."

"You remember Catharine in 'Taming the Shrew'?"

"Very polite, upon my word, to compare me to[Pg 174] a shrew. Yes, I remember her; but I shall have a different man to deal with from Petruchio. You needn't trouble yourself about me. I know what I'm about."

"Well, it's your own affair," said Mr. Manton, philosophically. "We shall know in a short time whether I am to welcome a son-in-law."

"Or whether your daughter is to remain a while longer 'an impatient rose on the ancestral tree.'"

"And use her thorns on her father instead of a husband," supplemented Mr. Manton.

"But you are getting bright in your old age, papa. Be careful or the rose may show its thorns."

The conversation just recorded indicates the pleasant prospect which James Cromwell had of domestic happiness in case his wishes were gratified, and he gained the hand of the young lady. But he had no conception of her real disposition, or he might have hesitated to go farther. She had tact enough to veil her faults from the scrutiny of her lover, and present to him only an amiable and agreeable side.

In the morning, James Cromwell started for New York, going by Wheeling. It so chanced that he arrived in the evening at the same hotel[Pg 175] where Robert and Major Woodley had rooms. He was fatigued by his long journey, and retired at nine o'clock, or soon after his arrival. He did not think to look over the books of the hotel, or he might have made the discovery that Robert was still alive, and that his journey was likely to prove fruitless. Neither did he meet Major Woodley or Robert, for they were sitting together in the major's room until half-past ten, chatting cosily.

But James Cromwell was destined to meet with an adventure, which tormented his soul with guilty fear, and gave him a great shock.

It chanced that the room assigned to him was No. 41. The room occupied by Robert was No. 43, just beyond in the same corridor.

As has been said, Cromwell retired to bed at half-past nine; but, though fatigued, he was unable to go to sleep—he was haunted by the thoughts of the pond and the body that lay beneath, deprived of life through his most wicked agency, and as he lay he became nervous and restless, and not even his physical fatigue could induce the coveted slumber to visit him.

When Robert, coming from the room of Major Woodley, sought his own room, he could not at first remember whether it was No. 41 or 43. He[Pg 176] had the impression that it was No. 41 that had been assigned him. He accordingly opened the door of the room and stood just within the door.

At the sound of the opening door James Cromwell rose in bed, and gazed with horror at the face and figure of the boy whom he supposed that he had murdered. The moonlight entering through the windows fell upon Robert's face and gave it a ghastly look, or at least seemed to do so to the excited imagination of the guilty Cromwell. He gazed spell-bound, and cowering with fear at the apparition, with difficulty ejaculated:

"Who are you?"

Of course Robert recognized Cromwell and he at once guessed the truth, that he was going to New York to give his own version of his disappearance to his uncle. He saw at once that he was mistaken for a ghost, and the desire seized him to carry out this deception. Certainly, if one were justifiable in frightening another by exciting his superstitious fears Robert was justified in terrifying the man who had so basely sought his life.

When, therefore, with faltering lips, James Cromwell put the question, "Who are you?" Robert answered in a low, guttural voice:

"I am the spirit of the boy you murdered!" As[Pg 177] he uttered the words, he waved one hand aloft, and made a step forward toward the bed.

Excited to the wildest pitch, Cromwell trembled convulsively, then opened his lips to utter a piercing shriek, and flinging the bed-clothes over his head, cowered beneath them in craven terror.

Robert thought this a good chance to make his exit. He noiselessly retreated, closing the door behind him, and entered his own room before the servants, aroused by Cromwell's shriek, could reach the door of his apartment.

"What's the matter here?" demanded a waiter, opening the door of No. 41.

The only answer was a groan from beneath the bed-clothes.

"What's the matter, I say?" he repeated, rather sharply.

The voice was so decidedly earthly that James Cromwell, somewhat relieved of his fear, removed the clothes from his head, and looked up.

"I—I don't know," he said, "I think I had the night-mare."

"Well," uttered the servant, "I hope you won't have it again. You'll wake up all that are asleep, and make them think that somebody is being murdered."

[Pg 178]

James Cromwell recoiled at the last word, and he said, hastily, for he feared a return of the supposed spirit:

"My friend, if you'll come in here and stop till I've gone to sleep, I'll pay you for your trouble. I'm afraid of having the night-mare again."

"Can't do it; I haven't got the time. Besides, what's the use? You won't have the night-mare when you're awake."

He shut the door, and James Cromwell lay for a long time in a state of nervous terror, trying to go to sleep, but unable to do so. At last, from sheer fatigue, he fell into a troubled slumber, which was disturbed by terrifying dreams.

He woke, at an early hour unrefreshed, and going below ordered a breakfast which he did not relish.

Thence he went to the depot and took the early morning train bound eastward. He was already speeding on his way rapidly before Robert Raymond arose. The door of No. 41 was open, and he looked in. But the occupant had disappeared. Going to the office he saw the name of James Cromwell on the books of the hotel, and learned from the clerk that he had already gone.

"He's a queer chap," said the clerk; "he had[Pg 179] a terrible night-mare last night, and shrieked loud enough to take the roof off. You must have heard him, as your room adjoined his!"

"Yes, I heard him," said Robert, but he said no more.

[Pg 180]


Paul Morton was sitting in his library, carelessly scanning the daily paper. He no longer wore the troubled expression of a few weeks before. He had succeeded in weathering the storm that threatened his business prospects by the timely aid afforded by a portion of his ward's property, and now his affairs were proceeding prosperously.

It may be asked how with such a crime upon his soul he could experience any degree of comfort or satisfaction. But this is a problem we cannot explain. Probably his soul was so blunted to all the best feelings of our common nature that he was effected only by that which selfishly affected his own interest.

"At last I am in a secure position," he said to himself. "Then the opportune death of my ward, of which I am advised by Cromwell, gives me his large estate. With this to fall back upon, and my business righted, I do not see why I should not look forward in a few years to half-a-million."

[Pg 181]

He was indulging in these satisfactory reflections when the door opened, and a servant entered.

"A gentleman to see you," she said.

"Who is it?" asked Mr. Morton.

"I think it is the same one that called several times about the time of Mr. Raymond's funeral."

"Cromwell!" repeated Mr. Morton. "Show him up," he said.

A moment afterward James Cromwell entered the room.

The two looked at each other with a kind of guilty intelligence. Each saw in the other a murderer. One had put to death his intimate friend, for the sake of his money. The other had sent to death (so both supposed) an innocent boy, confided to his charge, and his crime, too, was instigated by the same sordid motive.

"Well," said Paul Morton, slowly.

"Did you receive a letter from me a day or two since?" asked James Cromwell.


"About the boy?"

"Yes, but I did not quite understand it. You wrote that he had disappeared. Has he returned to you?"

"No," said Cromwell.

[Pg 182]

"How do you account for his disappearance?" asked Paul Morton.

"I think he must have gone out in a boat on the pond and got drowned," said Cromwell.

"Has the body been found?" questioned the merchant.

"Not yet."

"Was not the pond searched, then?"


"Then how do you know that he was drowned there?"

James Cromwell moved uneasily in his chair. It was not a pleasant question for him to answer.

"I cannot, of course, say positively," he stammered, "but I have every reason to feel satisfied that the boy is dead."

"And yet, come away from Madison without ascertaining definitely."

"I thought there was no need," said Cromwell.

"No need! Do you think I am willing to remain in uncertainty as to whether or not my ward is dead? What faith am I to put in your statement since it appears that you have no satisfactory evidence to offer?"

James Cromwell began to perceive his mistake. He saw that he ought to have had the pond[Pg 183] dragged, and personally superintended the funeral ceremonies of his victim, in order that he might have brought to the merchant the most indubitable proof of the reality of his death.

"Why need he be so particular?" he thought. Then, with a suspicious feeling, he began to think that Mr. Morton was making all this unnecessary trouble in order to evade the payment of the sum which he had promised him. This thought irritated him, and to satisfy himself whether his suspicions were correct, he determined to broach the subject at once.

"I need not remind you," he said, "of the promise you made me in case the boy should not live."

"To what promise do you refer?" demanded Paul Morton.

"You promised me the sum of ten thousand dollars as a reward for my care of your ward."

"It would be a handsome reward for a few weeks' care," said the merchant, sneering.

"I can't help that," said Cromwell, angrily. "Handsome or not, it is what you promised me. Do you mean to say you did not?" he added, defiantly.

"Softly, my friend. I have said nothing of the sort. But you will do me the favor to remember[Pg 184] that it was only to be given in case the boy died."

"Well, he is dead."

"How am I to know that?"

"Because I say so."

"You only say you think he is dead. You bring me no proof. When I ask you how you can know it positively, you offer me no explanation."

"I saw his ghost Thursday night," said James Cromwell, shuddering.

"His ghost! What ridiculous nonsense is this?" demanded the merchant.

"I saw his ghost as plain as I see you," said Cromwell, in a subdued voice.

"And where was it that this precious apparition came to you?" asked Mr. Morton, with contempt.

"It was in a hotel at Wheeling," said James Cromwell. "I was lying awake when the door of my chamber suddenly opened, and his person entered."

"Did he speak?" asked Paul Morton, impressed in spite of himself, by the tone of conviction with which the other spoke.

"Yes," said Cromwell.

"What did he say?"

"I—cannot tell," he said, with a shudder.

"Pooh, man! you had a night-mare, nothing[Pg 185] more and nothing less," said the merchant. "You must be crazy if you expect me to believe that the boy is dead on any such absurd testimony as this. I dare say you had eaten a heavy dinner, or perhaps drank too much, and so the supposed ghost was only the offspring of your own distempered fancy, and that proceeded from a disordered stomach."

James Cromwell shook his head.

"You are wrong," he said. "I was as wide awake as I am now."

"Well, that is your affair—if you choose to believe in the reality of this visitation, well and good. That is nothing to me. But if you want me to credit the story of the boy's death, you must bring a certified statement from the coroner in your town—Madison is the name, I believe—then there will be no room for doubt."

"To do that, I shall be obliged to return to the West," said Cromwell, disconcerted.

"Then you have only yourself to blame for the extra trouble you are obliged to take. You ought not to have come away at all until you could bring with you satisfactory evidence of the boy's death."

James Cromwell looked down in dismay. This did not suit his views at all. Besides, he saw that[Pg 186] it would be awkward to go back, and institute such proceedings so late. But Paul Morton evidently meant to keep him to it.

"Perhaps it would have been better," he said, at last.

"Of course it would. You can see for yourself that until I have satisfactory proof of my ward's decease I cannot take possession of the property, nor of course can I give you any portion of it while I am not sure whether it is mine to give. I should think that was plain enough."

It was plain enough. James Cromwell saw that now, and he was provoked at his mistake.

"Then," he said, disappointed, "I suppose I must go back."

"No, that will not be necessary. You can telegraph to some person to institute a search of the pond, if you have reason to think the body will be found there, and request information to be sent at once of any discovery that may be made."

"I will do so," said Cromwell, relieved.

While they were speaking, the doorbell had rung, though neither had heard it, and Major Woodley, instructing the servant to usher him in without previous announcement, entered the presence of the guilty employer and his equally[Pg 187] guilty confederate; close behind him followed Robert Raymond.

At the sight of him Cromwell staggered to his feet, and gazed upon him with distended eyes, and Paul Morton sat as if rooted to the chair.

It was an effective tableau.

[Pg 188]


The merchant was the first to recover his self-possession.

"I have not the pleasure of knowing you, sir," he said to Major Woodley.

"My name is Woodley," said the latter. "I was a friend of this boy's father," and he laid his hand on the shoulder of Robert.

"May I ask how you fell in with him? I confess I am puzzled at his unexpected appearance, having just received intelligence from this person (indicating Cromwell) that he had disappeared."

"May I ask, as his father's friend, why you should have committed Robert to the care of a man, who is, to say the least, wholly unfitted by education or experience, to have the charge of him?"

"I do not choose to be called to account," said Mr. Morton, haughtily. "His father made me his guardian, and confided in my judgment."

[Pg 189]

"Then, sir, you should have shown yourself worthy of the confidence he reposed in you," said Major Woodley.

"Sir, you assume an extraordinary tone," said Paul Morton, angrily.

"Are you aware of the manner in which the boy has been treated by the person to whom you committed him?"

"Yes, I presume so. You perhaps have credited the boy's story, which probably is wholly unreliable. Of course, I don't know what he has told you."

"Then, sir, I have to inform you that it is only by a miracle that the boy stands here to-day in health. This wretch made two distinct attempts to murder him!" and he pointed his finger at James Cromwell.

"Impossible!" exclaimed Paul Morton, nervously.

"It is not only possible, but true. On the first occasion he attempted to hurl him over Niagara Falls, but the boy's quick grasp saved him from the fearful fate."

"I cannot believe this," muttered Mr. Morton.

"On the second occasion he seized him unawares while both were in a boat on a pond, and[Pg 190] threw him into the water to drown. Fortunately, he was rescued by one who witnessed the attempt."

"These are fables," said Paul Morton. "The boy has grossly deceived you."

"We can send for evidence, if necessary," said Major Woodley, coolly, "but that will hardly be necessary. If you look at that man's face, you will read upon it the proof that the story is no invention, and is the literal truth."

He pointed to Cromwell, who was livid with terror, and stricken with the confusion of conscious guilt. He staggered to his feet, and in his wild terror attempted to rush out of the apartment.

In this he was unsuccessful. Woodley coolly stepped in front of him, and said, "Not so fast, Mr. Cromwell. We cannot dispense with you yet."

Cromwell glanced at the stalwart figure of the Major, and saw that resistance would be useless. Hoping to make better terms for himself, he said, "Promise not to harm me, and I will tell you all."

"Are you mad?" said Paul Morton, sharply, filled with terror lest his confederate should betray him. "Do you never plead guilty to this atrocious charge!"

"Why should he not, if he is guilty?" demanded[Pg 191] Major Woodley. "It appears that you desire to shield him."

Paul Morton saw his imprudence, and determined to adopt a different course.

"If he is guilty, I do not wish to shield him. But I thought you meant to terrify him into confessing what was not true."

"There is no need of that. We can prove the charge on the testimony of the boy, and the man who witnessed the attempt to drown him. I will not engage to screen him from punishment, but if he confesses it, he will stand a better chance of mercy."

"Then," said Cromwell, clutching at this promise, "I will tell you all. I did try to drown the boy."

"And what could have been your motive for such a dastardly deed?"

"Mr. Morton promised me ten thousand dollars when the boy was dead."

"It's a lie!" ejaculated Paul Morton, hoarsely. "He has told an atrocious falsehood!"

But, though he spoke thus, his face became livid and the truth was patent in his look.

"Can this be true?" demanded Major Woodley, shocked and startled, "What motive could Mr.[Pg 192] Morton have for conniving at such a crime? How would the boy's death benefit him?"

"Read his father's will, and you will know," said Cromwell. "At the boy's death the whole property goes to Mr. Morton."

"Is this true, Mr. Morton?" said Major Woodley, sternly.

"So much is true, but the other is a base lie," said the merchant.

"I could wish it were so. What evidence can you give of the truth of your statement? Have you the offer in writing?"

"No, he was too careful to write it, but he hinted at it in terms which only I could understand."

"He is a miserable liar," said the merchant.

"I can hardly believe him capable of such atrocity."

"You cannot?" said Cromwell, glancing at Paul Morton, spitefully. "Then I will tell you what he is capable of. I accuse him of poisoning the boy's father."

"Good heavens! are you mad?" exclaimed Major Woodley, starting.

"I am perfectly aware of what I am saying, and I can prove it. He bought the poison of me, at[Pg 193] a time when I was employed in a drug store on the Bowery. It was a slow poison which accomplished its work without leaving any perceptible traces."

Robert listened to the revelations with pale face, horror-stricken, and for a moment no word was spoken.

"Mr. Morton," said Major Woodley, "this is an extraordinary charge, which, whether you are innocent or guilty, must be investigated. I brought a policeman here with the view of arresting this man Cromwell, but I feel it is my duty to direct your arrest also." As he spoke, he opened the door communicating with the hall, and a policeman entered.

"Arrest these two men," he said.

Paul Morton's face wore the look of one brought to bay, and he exclaimed, "Never will I submit to the indignity. Here is one means of escape."

He pulled a drawer beside him open, and drew forth a revolver.

"I must die," he said, "but I will not die alone."

As he spoke he pointed the revolver at Cromwell, and there was a sharp report.

The unhappy druggist bounded from his chair[Pg 194] with a shrill cry, then sank lifeless on the carpet, the life-blood welling from his heart.

There was a cry of horror from all who witnessed the tragic scene.

Major Woodley sprang forward to seize the revolver, but too late. Paul Morton turned it, and pressing it to his forehead, drew the trigger.

There was another report, and he fell forward, his brains being scattered over the floor.

"This is most terrible!" exclaimed Major Woodley, in a tone of horror. "May it never be my lot to be witness to such a scene again!"

Robert, over-excited by the revelation of his father's fate, and the horrible scene which had been enacted before him, fainted.

Major Woodley raised him gently, and carried him from the room.

"I leave you in charge, sir," he said to the policeman. "It is fortunate that you were a witness to what has occurred."

The tragical end of Paul Morton was a nine-days' wonder in the city, and then some other startling event surpassed it in the popular thought. It was found on examination of the late merchant's affairs that his ward's fortune was intact. This would not have been the case, but that his own[Pg 195] affairs had taken a fortunate turn, and he had redeemed his losses by a fortunate rise in some securities which had been for a while depressed, and had at last advanced rapidly in price.

Robert Raymond selected Major Woodley as his guardian, and was fortunate in doing so, for the Major was a man of the utmost probity, and of excellent judgment in business affairs. He was at once returned to his former school, where he continued his studies. In due time he entered college, where he acquitted himself with credit. On his graduation he went to Europe, where he traveled for two years. Returning last year, he found that he had wholly mistaken the feeling which he supposed he entertained toward the fair Edith. He was no longer willing to look upon her as a sister, but aspired to a nearer relation. Major Woodley was not slow in giving his sanction to a suit which received his entire approbation, and the wedding took place.

In a beautiful country seat on the Hudson, Robert Raymond lives with his fair young wife. They are happy in each other and in the gifts of fortune. Long may they remain so!

The reader may be interested to learn that Clara Manton has not yet found a husband, nor[Pg 196] does she desire it. Her father's death put her in possession of his property, and she prefers to maintain a selfish independence to risking her money in a husband's charge. Cato was handsomely rewarded for the signal service he had rendered our young hero, and was made comfortable for life.

[Pg 197]



How Pine-tree Gulch got its name no one knew, for in the early days every ravine and hillside was thickly covered with pines. It may be that a tree of exceptional size caught the eye of the first explorer, that he camped under it, and named the place in its honor; or, may be, some fallen giant lay in the bottom and hindered the work of the first prospectors. At any rate, Pine-tree Gulch it was, and the name was as good as any other. The pine-trees were gone now. Cut up for firing, or for the erection of huts, or the construction of sluices, but the hillside was ragged with their stumps.

The principal camp was at the mouth of the Gulch, where the little stream, which scarce [Pg 198]afforded water sufficient for the cradles in the dry season, but which was a rushing torrent in winter, joined the Yuba. The best ground was at the junction of the streams, and lay, indeed, in the Yuba valley rather than in the Gulch. At first most gold had been found higher up, but there was here comparatively little depth down to the bed-rock, and as the ground became exhausted the miners moved down towards the mouth of the Gulch. They were doing well as a whole, how well no one knew, for miners are chary of giving information as to what they are making; still, it was certain they were doing well, for the bars were doing a roaring trade, and the store-keepers never refused credit—a proof in itself that the prospects were good.

The flat at the mouth of the Gulch was a busy scene, every foot was good paying stuff, for in the eddy, where the torrents in winter rushed down into the Yuba, the gold had settled down and lay thick among the gravel. But most of the parties were sinking, and it was a long way down to the bed-rock; for the hills on both sides sloped steeply, and the Yuba must here at one time have rushed through a narrow gorge, until, in some wild freak, it brought down millions of tons of gravel, and[Pg 199] resumed its course seventy feet above its former level.

A quarter of a mile higher up a ledge of rock ran across the valley, and over it in the old time the Yuba had poured in a cascade seventy feet deep into the ravine. But the rock now was level with the gravel, only showing its jagged points here and there above it. This ledge had been invaluable to the diggers: without it they could only have sunk their shafts with the greatest difficulty, for the gravel would have been full of water, and even with the greatest pains in puddling and timber-work the pumps would scarcely have sufficed to keep it down as it rose in the bottom of the shafts. But the miners had made common cause together, and giving each so many ounces of gold or so many days' work had erected a dam thirty feet high along the ledge of rock, and had cut a channel for the Yuba along the lower slopes of the valley. Of course, when the rain set in, as everybody knew, the dam would go, and the river diggings must be abandoned till the water subsided and a fresh dam was made; but there were two months before them yet, and every one hoped to be down to the bed-rock before the water interrupted their work.

[Pg 200]

The hillside, both in the Yuba Valley and for some distance along Pine-tree Gulch, was dotted by shanties and tents; the former constructed for the most part of logs roughly squared, the walls being some three feet in height, on which the sharp sloping roof was placed, thatched in the first place with boughs, and made all snug, perhaps, with an old sail stretched over all. The camp was quiet enough during the day. The few women were away with their washing at the pools, a quarter of a mile up the Gulch, and the only persons to be seen about were the men told off for cooking for their respective parties.

But in the evening the camp was lively. Groups of men in red shirts and corded trousers tied at the knee, in high boots, sat round blazing fires, and talked of their prospects or discussed the news of the luck at other camps. The sound of music came from two or three plank erections which rose conspicuously above the huts of the diggers, and were bright externally with the glories of white and colored paints. To and from these men were always sauntering, and it needed not the clink of glasses and the sound of music to tell that they were the bars of the camp.

Here, standing at the counter, or seated at [Pg 201]numerous small tables, men were drinking villainous liquor, smoking and talking, and paying but scant attention to the strains of the fiddle or the accordion, save when some well-known air was played, when all would join in a boisterous chorus. Some were always passing in or out of a door which led into a room behind. Here there was comparative quiet, for men were gambling, and gambling high.

Going backwards and forwards with liquors into the gambling-room of the Imperial Saloon, which stood just where Pine-tree Gulch opened into Yuba valley, was a lad, whose appearance had earned for him the name of White-faced Dick.

White-faced Dick was not one of those who had done well at Pine-tree Gulch; he had come across the plains with his father, who had died when half-way over, and Dick had been thrown on the world to shift for himself. Nature had not intended him for the work, for he was a delicate, timid lad; what spirits he originally had having been years before beaten out of him by a brutal father. So far, indeed, Dick was the better rather than the worse for the event which had left him an orphan.

[Pg 202]

They had been traveling with a large party for mutual security against Indians and Mormons, and so long as the journey lasted Dick had got on fairly well. He was always ready to do odd jobs, and as the draught cattle were growing weaker and weaker, and every pound of weight was of importance, no one grudged him his rations in return for his services; but when the company began to descend the slopes of the Sierra Nevada they began to break up, going off by twos and threes to the diggings, of which they heard such glowing accounts. Some, however, kept straight on to Sacramento, determining there to obtain news as to the doings at all the different places, and then to choose that which seemed to offer the best prospects of success.

Dick proceeded with them to the town, and there found himself alone. His companions were absorbed in the busy rush of population, and each had so much to provide and arrange for, that none gave a thought to the solitary boy. However, at that time no one who had a pair of hands, however feeble, to work need starve in Sacramento; and for some weeks Dick hung around the town doing odd jobs, and then, having saved a few dollars, determined to try his luck at the diggings,[Pg 203] and started on foot with a shovel on his shoulder and a few days' provisions slung across it.

Arrived at his destination, the lad soon discovered that gold-digging was hard work for brawny and seasoned men, and after a few feeble attempts in spots abandoned as worthless he gave up the effort, and again began to drift; and even in Pine-tree Gulch it was not difficult to get a living. At first he tried rocking cradles, but the work was far harder than it appeared. He was standing ankle deep in water from morning till night, and his cheeks grew paler, and his strength, instead of increasing, seemed to fade away. Still, there were jobs within his strength. He could keep a fire alight and watch a cooking-pot, he could carry up buckets of water or wash a flannel shirt, and so he struggled on, until at last some kind-hearted man suggested to him that he should try to get a place at the new saloon which was about to be opened.

"You are not fit for this work, young 'un, and you ought to be at home with your mother; if you like I will go up with you this evening to Jeffries. I knew him down on the flats, and I dare say he will take you on. I don't say as a saloon is a good place for a boy, still you will always get[Pg 204] your bellyful of victuals and a dry place to sleep in, if it's only under a table. What do you say?"

Dick thankfully accepted the offer, and on Red George's recommendation was that evening engaged. His work was not hard now, for till the miners knocked off there was little doing in the saloon; a few men would come in for a drink at dinner-time, but it was not until the lamps were lit that business began in earnest, and then for four or five hours Dick was busy.

A rougher or healthier lad would not have minded the work, but to Dick it was torture; every nerve in his body thrilled whenever rough miners cursed him for not carrying out their orders more quickly, or for bringing them the wrong liquors, which, as his brain was in a whirl with the noise, the shouting, and the multiplicity of orders, happened frequently. He might have fared worse had not Red George always stood his friend, and Red George was an authority in Pine-tree Gulch—powerful in frame, reckless in bearing and temper, he had been in a score of fights and had come off them, if not unscathed, at least victorious. He was notoriously a lucky digger, but his earnings went as fast as they were made, and he was [Pg 205]always ready to open his belt and give a bountiful pinch of dust to any mate down on his luck.

One evening Dick was more helpless and confused than usual. The saloon was full, and he had been shouted at and badgered and cursed until he scarcely knew what he was doing. High play was going on in the saloon, and a good many men were clustered round the table. Red George was having a run of luck, and there was a big pile of gold dust on the table before him. One of the gamblers who was losing had ordered old rye, and instead of bringing it to him, Dick brought a tumbler of hot liquor which some one else had called for. With an oath the man took it up and threw it in his face.

"You cowardly hound!" Red George exclaimed. "Are you man enough to do that to a man?"

"You bet," the gambler, who was a new arrival at Pine-tree Gulch, replied; and picking up an empty glass, he hurled it at Red George. The by-standers sprang aside, and in a moment the two men were facing each other with outstretched pistols. The two reports rung out simultaneously: Red George sat down unconcernedly with a streak of blood flowing down his face, where the bullet had cut a furrow in his cheek; the stranger fell[Pg 206] back with a bullet hole in the centre of his forehead.

The body was carried outside, and the play continued as if no interruption had taken place. They were accustomed to such occurrences in Pine-tree Gulch, and the piece of ground at the top of the hill, that had been set aside as a burial place, was already dotted thickly with graves, filled in almost every instance by men who had died, in the local phraseology, "with their boots on."

Neither then nor afterwards did Red George allude to the subject to Dick, whose life after this signal instance of his championship was easier than it had hitherto been, for there were few in Pine-tree Gulch who cared to excite Red George's anger; and strangers going to the place were sure to receive a friendly warning that it was best for their health to keep their tempers over any shortcomings on the part of White-faced Dick.

Grateful as he was for Red George's interference on his behalf, Dick felt the circumstance which had ensued more than anyone else in the camp. With others it was the subject of five minutes' talk, but Dick could not get out of his head the thought of the dead man's face as he fell back. He had seen many such frays before, but he was too full[Pg 207] of his own troubles for them to make much impression upon him. But in the present case he felt as if he himself was responsible for the death of the gambler; if he had not blundered this would not have happened. He wondered whether the dead man had a wife and children, and, if so, were they expecting his return? Would they ever hear where he had died, and how?

But this feeling, which, tired out as he was when the time came for closing the bar, often prevented him from sleeping for hours, in no way lessened his gratitude and devotion towards Red George, and he felt that he could die willingly if his life would benefit his champion. Sometimes he thought, too, that his life would not be much to give, for in spite of shelter and food, the cough which he had caught while working in the water still clung to him, and, as his employer said to him angrily one day:

"Your victuals don't do you no good, Dick; you get thinner and thinner, and folks will think as I starve you. Darned if you ain't a disgrace to the establishment."

The wind was whistling down the gorges, and the clouds hung among the pine-woods which still clothed the upper slopes of the hills, and the [Pg 208]diggers, as they turned out one morning, looked up apprehensively.

"But it could not be," they assured each other. Every one knew that the rains were not due for another month yet; it could only be a passing shower if it rained at all.

But as the morning went on, men came in from camps higher up the river, and reports were current that it had been raining for the last two days among the upper hills; while those who took the trouble to walk across to the new channel could see for themselves at noon that it was filled very nigh to the brim, the water rushing along with thick and turbid current. But those who repeated the rumors, or who reported that the channel was full, were summarily put down. Men would not believe that such a calamity as a flood and the destruction of all their season's work could be impending. There had been some showers, no doubt, as there had often been before, but it was ridiculous to talk of anything like rain a month before its time. Still, in spite of these assertions, there was uneasiness at Pine-tree Gulch, and men looked at the driving clouds above and shook their heads before they went down to the shafts to work after dinner.

[Pg 209]

When the last customer had left and the bar was closed, Dick had nothing to do till evening, and he wandered outside and sat down on a stump, at first looking at the work going on in the valley, then so absorbed in his own thoughts that he noticed nothing, not even the driving mist which presently set in. He was calculating that he had, with his savings from his wages and what had been given him by the miners, laid by eighty dollars. When he got another hundred and twenty he would go; he would make his way down to San Francisco, and then by ship to Panama and up to New York, and then west again to the village where he was born. There would be people there who would know him, and who would give him work, for his mother's sake. He did not care what it was; anything would be better than this.

Then his thoughts came back to Pine-tree Gulch, and he started to his feet. Could he be mistaken? Were his eyes deceiving him? No; among the stones and boulders of the old bed of the Yuba there was the gleam of water, and even as he watched it he could see it widening out. He started to run down the hill to give the alarm, but before he was half-way he paused, for there were[Pg 210] loud shouts, and a scene of bustle and confusion instantly arose.

The cradles were deserted, and the men working on the surface loaded themselves with their tools and made for the high ground, while those at the windlasses worked their hardest to draw up their comrades below. A man coming down from above stopped close to Dick, with a low cry, and stood gazing with a white, scared face. Dick had worked with him; he was one of the company to which Red George belonged.

"What is it, Saunders?"

"My God! they are lost," the man replied. "I was at the windlass when they shouted up to me to go up and fetch them a bottle of rum. They had just struck it rich, and wanted a drink on the strength of it."

Dick understood at once. Red George and his mates were still in the bottom of the shaft, ignorant of the danger which was threatening them.

"Come on," he cried; "we shall be in time yet," and at the top of his speed dashed down the hill, followed by Saunders.

"What is it, what is it?" asked parties of men mounting the hill.

"Red George's gang are still below."

[Pg 211]

Dick's eyes were fixed on the water. There was a broad band now of yellow with a white edge down the centre of the stony flat, and it was widening with terrible rapidity. It was scarce ten yards from the windlass at the top of Red George's shaft when Dick, followed closely by Saunders, reached it.

"Come up, mates; quick, for your lives! The river is rising; you will be flooded out directly. Every one else has gone!"

As he spoke he pulled at the rope by which the bucket was hanging, and the handles of the windlass flew round rapidly as it descended. When it had run out, Dick and he grasped the handles.

"All right below?"

An answering call came up, and the two began their work, throwing their whole strength into it. Quickly as the windlass revolved, it seemed an endless time to Dick before the bucket came up, and the first man stepped out. It was not Red George. Dick had hardly expected it would be. Red George would be sure to see his two mates up before him, and the man uttered a cry of alarm as he saw the water, now within a few feet of the mouth of the shaft.

It was a torrent now, for not only was it [Pg 212]coming through the dam, but it was rushing down in cascades from the new channel. Without a word the miner placed himself facing Dick and the moment the bucket was again down, the three grasped the handles. But quickly as they worked, the edge of the water was within a few inches of the shaft when the next man reached the surface, but again the bucket descended before the rope tightened. However, the water had begun to run over the lip—at first in a mere trickle, and then, almost instantaneously, in a cascade, which grew larger and larger.

The bucket was half-way up when a sound like thunder was heard, the ground seemed to tremble under their feet, and then at the turn of the valley above, a great wave of yellow water, crested with foam, was seen tearing along at the speed of a race-horse.

"The dam has burst!" Saunders shouted. "Run for your lives, or we are all lost!"

The three men dropped the handles and ran at full speed towards the shore, while loud shouts to Dick to follow came from the crowd of men standing on the slope. But the boy still grasped the handles, and with lips tightly closed, still toiled on. Slowly the bucket ascended, for Red George[Pg 213] was a heavy man; then suddenly the weight slackened, and the handle went round faster. The shaft was filling, the water had reached the bucket, and had risen to Red George's neck, so that his weight was no longer on the rope. So fast did the water pour in, that it was not half a minute before the bucket reached the surface, and Red George sprang out. There was but time for one exclamation, and then the great wave struck them. Red George was whirled like a straw in the current; but he was a strong swimmer, and at a point where the valley widened out, half a mile lower, he struggled to shore.

Two days later the news reached Pine-tree Gulch that a boy's body had been washed ashore twenty miles down, and ten men, headed by Red George, went and brought it solemnly back to Pine-tree Gulch. There, among the stumps of pine-trees, a grave was dug, and there, in the presence of the whole camp, White-faced Dick was laid to rest.

Pine-tree Gulch is a solitude now, the trees are growing again, and none would dream that it was once a busy scene of industry; but if the traveler searches among the pine-trees, he will find a stone with the words:

[Pg 214]

"Here lies White-faced Dick, who died to save Red George. 'What can a man do more than give his life for a friend?'"

The text was the suggestion of an ex-clergyman working as a miner in Pine-tree Gulch.

Red George worked no more at the diggings, but after seeing the stone laid in its place, went east, and with what little money came to him when the common fund of the company was divided after the flood on the Yuba, bought a small farm, and settled down there; but to the end of his life he was never weary of telling those who would listen to it the story of Pine-tree Gulch.

[Pg 215]



It was early in December that H.M.S. Perseus was cruising off the mouth of the Canton River. War had been declared with China in consequence of her continued evasions of the treaty she had made with us, and it was expected that a strong naval force would soon gather to bring her to reason. In the meantime the ships on the station had a busy time of it, chasing the enemy's junks when they ventured to show themselves beyond the reach of the guns of their forts, and occasionally having a brush with the piratical boats which took advantage of the general confusion to plunder friend as well as foe.

The Perseus had that afternoon chased two Government junks up a creek. The sun had already set when they took refuge there, and the captain did not care to send his boats after them in the dark, as many of the creeks ran up for miles[Pg 216] into the flat country; and as they not unfrequently had many arms or branches, the boats might, in the dark, miss the junks altogether. Orders were issued that four boats should be ready for starting at daybreak the next morning. The Perseus anchored off the mouth of the creek, and two boats were ordered to row backwards and forwards off its mouth all night to insure that the enemy did not slip out in the darkness.

Jack Fothergill, the senior midshipman, was commanding the gig, and two of the other midshipmen were going in the pinnace and launch, commanded respectively by the first lieutenant and the master. The three other midshipmen of the Perseus were loud in their lamentations that they were not to share in the fun.

"You can't all go, you know," Fothergill said, "and it's no use making a row about it; the captain has been very good to let three of us go."

"It's all very well for you, Jack," Percy Adcock, the youngest of the lads, replied, "because you are one of those chosen; and it is not so hard for Simmons and Linthorpe, because they went the other day in the boat that chased those junks under shelter of the guns of their battery, but I haven't had a chance for ever so long."

[Pg 217]

"What fun was there in chasing the junks?" Simmons said. "We never got near the brutes till they were close to their battery, and then just as the first shot came singing from their guns, and we thought that we were going to have some excitement, the first lieutenant sung out 'Easy all,' and there was nothing for it but to turn round and to row for the ship, and a nice hot row it was—two hours and a half in a broiling sun. Of course I am not blaming Oliphant, for the captain's orders were strict that we were not to try to cut the junks out if they got under the guns of any of their batteries. Still it was horribly annoying, and I do think the captain might have remembered what beastly luck we had last time, and given us a chance to-morrow."

"It is clear we could not all go," Fothergill said, "and naturally enough the captain chose the three seniors. Besides, if you did have bad luck last time, you had your chance, and I don't suppose we shall have anything more exciting now; these fellows always set fire to their junks and row for the shore directly they see us, after firing a shot or two wildly in our direction."

"Well, Jack, if you don't expect any fun," Simmons replied, "perhaps you wouldn't mind [Pg 218]telling the first lieutenant you do not care for going, and that I am very anxious to take your place. Perhaps he will be good enough to allow me to relieve you."

"A likely thing that!" Fothergill laughed. "No, Tom, I am sorry you are not going, but you must make the best of it till another chance comes."

"Don't you think, Jack," Percy Adcock said to his senior in a coaxing tone later on, "you could manage to smuggle me into the boat with you?"

"Not I, Percy. Suppose you got hurt, what would the captain say then? And firing as wildly as the Chinese do, a shot is just as likely to hit your little carcass as to lodge in one of the sailors. No, you must just make the best of it, Percy, and I promise you that next time there is a boat expedition, if you are not put in, I will say a good word to the first luff for you."

"That promise is better than nothing," the boy said; "but I would a deal rather go this time and take my chance next."

"But you see you can't, Percy, and there's no use talking any more about it. I really do not expect there will be any fighting. Two junks would hardly make any opposition to the boats of the ship, and I expect we shall be back by nine[Pg 219] o'clock with the news that they were well on fire before we came up."

Percy Adcock, however, was determined, if possible, to go. He was a favorite among the men, and when he spoke to the bow oar of the gig, the latter promised to do anything he could to aid him to carry out his wishes.

"We are to start at daybreak, Tom, so that it will be quite dark when the boats are lowered. I will creep into the gig before that and hide myself as well as I can under your thwart, and all you have got to do is to take no notice of me. When the boat is lowered I think they will hardly make me out from the deck, especially as you will be standing up in the bow holding on with the boat-hook till the rest get on board."

"Well, sir, I will do my best; but if you are caught you must not let out that I knew anything about it."

"I won't do that," Percy said. "I don't think there is much chance of my being noticed until we get on board the junks, and then they won't know which boat I came off in, and the first lieutenant will be too busy to blow me up. Of course I shall get it when I am on board again, but I don't mind that so that I see the fun. Besides, I want to send[Pg 220] home some things to my sister, and she will like them all the better if I can tell her I captured them on board some junks we seized and burnt."

The next morning the crews mustered before daybreak. Percy had already taken his place under the bow thwart of the gig. The davits were swung overboard, and two men took their places in her as she was lowered down by the falls. As soon as she touched the water the rest of the crew clambered down by the ladder and took their places; then Fothergill took his seat in the stern, and the boat pushed off and lay a few lengths away from the ship until the heavier boats put off. As soon as they were under way Percy crawled out from his hiding-place and placed himself in the bow, where he was sheltered by the body of the oarsmen from Fothergill's sight.

Day was just breaking now, but it was still dark on the water, and the boat rowed very slowly until it became lighter. Percy could just make out the shores of the creek on both sides; they were but two or three feet above the level of the water, and were evidently submerged at high tide. The creek was about a hundred yards wide, and the lad could not see far ahead, for it was full of sharp windings and turnings. Here and there branches[Pg 221] joined it, but the boats were evidently following the main channel. After another half-hour's rowing the first lieutenant suddenly gave the order, "Easy all," and the men, looking over their shoulders, saw a village a quarter of a mile ahead, with the two junks they had chased the night before lying in front of it. Almost at the same moment a sudden uproar was heard—drums were beaten and gongs sounded.

"They are on the look-out for us," the first lieutenant said. "Mr. Mason, do you keep with me and attack the junk highest up the river; Mr. Bellew and Mr. Fothergill, do you take the one lower down. Row on, men."

The oars all touched the water together, and the four boats leapt forward. In a minute a scattering fire of gingals and matchlocks was opened from the junks, and the bullets pattered on the water round the boats. Percy was kneeling up in the bow now. As they passed a branch channel three or four hundred yards from the village, he started and leapt to his feet.

"There are four or five junks in that passage, Fothergill; they are poling out."

The first lieutenant heard the words.

"Row on, men; let us finish with these craft[Pg 222] ahead before the others get out. This must be that piratical village we have heard about, Mr. Mason, as lying up one of these creeks; that accounts for those two junks not going higher up. I was surprised at seeing them here, for they might guess that we should try to get them this morning. Evidently they calculated on catching us in a trap."

Percy was delighted at finding that, in the excitement caused by his news, the first lieutenant had forgotten to take any notice of his being there without orders, and he returned a defiant nod to the threat conveyed by Fothergill shaking his fist at him. As they neared the junks the fire of those on board redoubled, and was aided by that of many villagers gathered on the bank of the creek. Suddenly from a bank of rushes four cannons were fired. A ball struck the pinnace, smashing in her side. The other boats gathered hastily round and took her crew on board, and then dashed at the junks, which were but a hundred yards distant. The valor of the Chinese evaporated as they saw the boats approaching, and scores of them leapt overboard and swam for shore.

In another minute the boats were alongside and the crews scrambling up the sides of the junks.[Pg 223] A few Chinamen only attempted to oppose them. These were speedily overcome, and the British had now time to look round, and saw that six junks crowded with men had issued from the side creek and were making towards them.

"Let the boats tow astern," the lieutenant ordered. "We should have to run the gauntlet of that battery on shore if we were to attack them, and might lose another boat before we reached their side. We will fight them here."

The junks approached, those on board firing their guns, yelling and shouting, while the drums and gongs were furiously beaten.

"They will find themselves mistaken, Percy, if they think they are going to frighten us with all that row," Fothergill said. "You young rascal, how did you get on board the boat without being seen? The captain will be sure to suspect I had a hand in concealing you."

The tars were now at work firing the gingals attached to the bulwarks and the matchlocks, with which the deck was strewn, at the approaching junks. As they took steady aim, leaning their pieces on the bulwarks, they did considerable execution among the Chinamen crowded on board the junks, while the shot of the Chinese, for the most[Pg 224] part, whistled far overhead; but the guns of the shore battery, which had now been slewed round to bear upon them, opened with a better aim, and several shots came crashing into the sides of the two captured junks.

"Get ready to board, lads!" Lieutenant Oliphant shouted. "Don't wait for them to board you, but the moment they come alongside lash their rigging to ours and spring on board them."

The leading junk was now about twenty yards away, and presently grated alongside. Half-a-dozen sailors at once sprang into her rigging with ropes, and after lashing the junks together leapt down upon her deck, where Fothergill was leading the gig's crew and some of those rescued from the pinnace, while Mr. Bellew, with another party, had boarded her at the stern. Several of the Chinese fought stoutly, but the greater part lost heart at seeing themselves attacked by the "white devils," instead of, as they expected, overwhelming them by their superior numbers. Many began at once to jump overboard, and after two or three minutes' sharp fighting, the rest either followed their example or were beaten below.

Fothergill looked round. The other junk had been attacked by two of the enemy, one on each[Pg 225] side, and the little body of sailors were gathered in her waist, and were defending themselves against an overwhelming number of the enemy. The other three piratical junks had been carried somewhat up the creek by the tide that was sweeping inward, and could not for the moment take part in the fight.

"Mr. Oliphant is hard pressed, sir," Fothergill said to the master. "Shall we take to the boats?"

"That will be the best plan," Mr. Bellew replied. "Quick, lads, get the boats alongside and tumble in; there is not a moment to be lost."

The crew at once sprang to the boats and rowed to the other junk, which was but some thirty yards away.

The Chinese, absorbed in their contest with the crew of the pinnace, did not perceive the newcomers until they gained the deck, and with a shout fell furiously upon them. In their surprise and consternation the pirates did not pause to note that they were still five to one superior in number, but made a precipitate rush for their own vessels. The English at once took the offensive. The first lieutenant with his party boarded one, while the newcomers leapt on to the deck of the other. The panic which had seized the Chinese was so [Pg 226]complete that they attempted no resistance whatever, but sprang overboard in great numbers and swam to the shore, which was but twenty yards away, and in three minutes the English were in undisputed possession of both vessels.

"Back again, Mr. Fothergill, or you will lose the craft you captured," Lieutenant Oliphant said; "they have already cut her free."

The Chinese, indeed, who had been beaten below by the boarding party, had soon perceived the sudden departure of their captors, and gaining the deck again had cut the lashings which fastened them to the other junk, and were proceeding to hoist their sails. They were too late, however. Almost before the craft had way on her Fothergill and his crew were alongside. The Chinese did not wait for the attack, but at once sprang overboard and made for the shore. The other three junks, seeing the capture of their comrades, had already hoisted their sails and were making up the creek. Fothergill dropped an anchor, left four of his men in charge, and rowed back to Mr. Oliphant.

"What shall we do next, sir?"

"We will give those fellows on shore a lesson, and silence their battery. Two men have been[Pg 227] killed since you left. We must let the other junks go for the present. Four of my men were killed and eleven wounded before Mr. Bellew and you came to our assistance. The Chinese were fighting pluckily up to that time, and it would have gone very hard with us if you had not been at hand; the beggars will fight when they think they have got it all their own way. But before we land we will set fire to the five junks we have taken. Do you return and see that the two astern are well lighted, Mr. Fothergill; Mr. Mason will see to these three. When you have done your work take to your boat and lay off till I join you; keep the junks between you and the shore, to protect you from the fire of the rascals there."

"I cannot come with you, I suppose, Fothergill?" Percy Adcock said, as the midshipman was about to descend into his boat again.

"Yes, come along, Percy. It doesn't matter what you do now. The captain will be so pleased when he hears that we have captured and burnt five junks, that you will get off with a very light wigging, I imagine."

"That's just what I was thinking, Jack. Has it not been fun?"

"You wouldn't have thought it fun if you had[Pg 228] got one of those matchlock balls in your body. There are a good many of our poor fellows just at the present moment who do not see anything funny in the affair at all. Here we are; clamber up."

The crew soon set to work under Fothergill's orders. The sails were cut off the masts and thrown down into the hold; bamboos, of which there were an abundance down there, were heaped over them, a barrel of oil was poured over the mass, and the fire then applied.

"That will do, lads. Now take to your boats and let's make a bonfire of the other junk."

In ten minutes both vessels were a sheet of flame, and the boat was lying a short distance from them waiting for further operations. The inhabitants of the village, furious at the failure of the plan which had been laid for the destruction of the "white devils," kept up a constant fusillade, which, however, did no harm, for the gig was completely sheltered by the burning junks close to her from their missiles.

"There go the others!" Percy exclaimed after a minute or two, as three columns of smoke arose simultaneously from the other junks, and the sailors were seen dropping into their boats alongside.

[Pg 229]

The killed and wounded were placed in the other gig with four sailors in charge. They were directed to keep under shelter of the junks until re-joined by the pinnace and Fothergill's gig, after these had done their work on shore.

When all was ready the first lieutenant raised his hand as a signal, and the two boats dashed between the burning junks and rowed for the shore. Such of the natives as had their weapons charged fired a hasty volley, and then, as the sailors leapt from their boats, took to their heels.

"Mr. Fothergill, take your party into the village and set fire to the houses; shoot down every man you see. This place is a nest of pirates. I will capture that battery and then join you."

Fothergill and his sailors at once entered the village. The men had already fled; the women were turned out of the houses, and these were immediately set on fire. The tars regarded the whole affair as a glorious joke, and raced from house to house, making a hasty search in each for concealed valuables before setting it on fire. In a short time the whole village was in a blaze.

"There is a house there, standing in that little grove a hundred yards away," Percy said.

"It looks like a temple," Fothergill replied.[Pg 230] "However, we will have a look at it." And calling two sailors to accompany him, he started at a run towards it, Percy keeping by his side.

"It is a temple," Fothergill said when they approached it. "Still, we will have a look at it, but we won't burn it; it will be as well to respect the religion, even of a set of piratical scoundrels like these."

At the head of his men he rushed in at the entrance. There was a blaze of fire as half a dozen muskets were discharged in their faces. One of the sailors dropped dead, and before the others had time to realize what had happened they were beaten to the ground by a storm of blows from swords and other weapons.

A heavy blow crashed down on Percy's head, and he fell insensible even before he realized what had occurred.

When he recovered, his first sensation was that of a vague wonder as to what had happened to him. He seemed to be in darkness and unable to move hand or foot. He was compressed in some way that he could not at first understand, and was being bumped and jolted in an extraordinary manner. It was some little time before he could understand the situation. He first [Pg 231]remembered the fight with the junks, then he recalled the landing and burning the village; then, as his brain cleared, came the recollection of his start with Fothergill for the temple among the trees, his arrival there, and a loud report and flash of fire.

"I must have been knocked down and stunned," he said to himself, "and I suppose I am a prisoner now to these brutes, and one of them must be carrying me on his back."

Yes, he could understand it all now. His hands and his feet were tied, ropes were passed round his body in every direction, and he was fastened back to back upon the shoulders of a Chinaman. Percy remembered the tales he had heard of the imprisonment and torture of those who fell into the hands of the Chinese, and he bitterly regretted that he had not been killed instead of stunned in the surprise of the temple.

"It would have been just the same feeling," he said to himself, "and there would have been an end of it. Now, there is no saying what is going to happen. I wonder whether Jack was killed, and the sailors."

Presently there was a jabber of voices; the motion ceased. Percy could feel that the cords were[Pg 232] being unwound, and he was dropped on to his feet; then the cloth was removed from his head, and he could look around.

A dozen Chinese, armed with matchlocks and bristling with swords and daggers, stood around, and among them, bound like himself and gagged by a piece of bamboo forced lengthways across his mouth and kept there with a string going round the back of the head, stood Fothergill. He was bleeding from several cuts in the head. Percy's heart gave a bound of joy at finding that he was not alone; then he tried to feel sorry that Jack had not escaped, but failed to do so, although he told himself that his comrade's presence would not in any way alleviate the fate which was certain to befall him. Still the thought of companionship, even in wretchedness, and perhaps a vague hope that Jack, with his energy and spirit, might contrive some way for their escape, cheered him up.

As Percy, too, was gagged, no word could be exchanged by the midshipmen, but they nodded to each other. They were now put side by side and made to walk in the centre of their captors. On the way they passed through several villages, whose inhabitants poured out to gaze at the [Pg 233]captives, but the men in charge of them were evidently not disposed to delay, as they passed through without a stop. At last they halted before two cottages standing by themselves, thrust the prisoners into a small room, removed their gags, and left them to themselves.

"Well, Percy, my boy, so they caught you, too? I am awfully sorry. It was my fault for going with only two men into that temple, but as the village had been deserted and scarcely a man was found there, it never entered my mind that there might be a party in the temple."

"Of course not, Jack; it was a surprise altogether. I don't know anything about it, for I was knocked down, I suppose, just as we went in, and the first thing I knew about it was that I was being carried on the back of one of those fellows. I thought it was awful at first, but I don't seem to mind so much now you are with me."

"It is a comfort to have some one to speak to," Jack said, "yet I wish you were not here, Percy; I can't do you any good, and I shall never cease blaming myself for having brought you into this scrape. I don't know much more about the affair than you do. The guns were fired so close to us that my face was scorched with one of[Pg 234] them, and almost at the same instant I got a lick across my cheek with a sword. I had just time to hit at one of them, and then almost at the same moment I got two or three other blows, and down I went; they threw themselves on the top of me and tied and gagged me in no time. Then I was tied to a long bamboo, and two fellows put the ends on their shoulders and went off with me through the fields. Of course I was face downwards, and did not know you were with us till they stopped and loosed me from the bamboo and set me on my feet."

"But what are they going to do with us do you think, Jack?"

"I should say they are going to take us to Canton and claim a reward for our capture, and there I suppose they will cut off our heads or saw us in two, or put us to some other unpleasant kind of death. I expect they are discussing it now; do you hear what a jabber they are kicking up?"

Voices were indeed heard raised in angry altercation in the next room. After a time the din subsided and the conversation appeared to take a more amiable turn.

"I suppose they have settled it as far as they are concerned," Jack said; "anyhow, you may be[Pg 235] quite sure they mean to make something out of us. If they hadn't they would have finished us at once, for they must have been furious at the destruction of their junks and village. As to the idea that mercy has anything to do with it, we may as well put it out of our minds. The Chinaman, at the best of times, has no feeling of pity in his nature, and after their defeat it is certain they would have killed us at once had they not hoped to do better by us. If they had been Indians I should have said they had carried us off to enjoy the satisfaction of torturing us, but I don't suppose it is that with them."

"Do you think there is any chance of our getting away?" Percy asked, after a pause.

"I should say not the least in the world, Percy. My hands are fastened so tight now that the ropes seem cutting into my wrists, and after they had set me on my feet and cut the cords of my legs I could scarcely stand at first, my feet were so numbed by the pressure. However, we must keep up our pluck. Possibly they may keep us at Canton for a bit, and if they do the squadron may arrive and fight its way past the forts and take the city before they have quite made up their minds as to what kind of death will be most appropriate[Pg 236] to the occasion. I wonder what they are doing now? They seem to be chopping sticks."

"I wish they would give us some water," Percy said. "I am frightfully thirsty."

"And so am I, Percy; there is one comfort, they won't let us die of thirst, they could get no satisfaction out of our deaths now."

Two hours later some of the Chinese re-entered the room and led the captives outside, and the lads then saw what was the meaning of the noise they had heard. A cage had been manufactured of strong bamboos. It was about four and a half feet long, four feet wide, and less than three feet high; above it were fastened two long bamboos. Two or three of the bars of the cage had been left open.

"My goodness! they never intend to put us in there," Percy exclaimed.

"That they do," Jack said. "They are going to carry us the rest of the way."

The cords which bound the prisoners' hands were now cut, and they were motioned to crawl into the cage. This they did; the bars were then put in their places and securely lashed. Four men went to the ends of the poles and lifted the cage upon their shoulders; two others took their places[Pg 237] beside it, and one man, apparently the leader of the party, walked on ahead; the rest remained behind.

"I never quite realized what a fowl felt in a coop before," Jack said, "but if its sensations are at all like mine they must be decidedly unpleasant. It isn't high enough to sit upright in, it is nothing like long enough to lie down, and as to getting out one might as well think of flying. Do you know, Percy, I don't think they mean taking us to Canton at all. I did not think of it before, but from the direction of the sun I feel sure that we cannot have been going that way. What they are up to I can't imagine."

In an hour they came to a large village. Here the cage was set down and the villagers closed round. They were, however, kept a short distance from the cage by the men in charge of it. Then a wooden platter was placed on the ground, and persons throwing a few copper coins into this were allowed to come near the cage.

"They are making a show of us!" Fothergill exclaimed. "That's what they are up to, you see if it isn't; they are going to travel up country to show the 'white devils' whom their valor has captured."

[Pg 238]

This was, indeed, the purpose of the pirates. At that time Europeans seldom ventured beyond the limits assigned to them in the two or three towns where they were permitted to trade, and few, indeed, of the country people had ever obtained a sight of the white barbarians of whose doings they had so frequently heard. Consequently a small crowd soon gathered round the cage, eyeing the captives with the same interest they would have felt as to unknown and dangerous beasts; they laughed and joked, passed remarks upon them, and even poked them with sticks. Fothergill, furious at this treatment caught one of the sticks, and wrenching it from the hands of the Chinaman, tried to strike at him through the bars, a proceeding which excited shouts of laughter from the bystanders.

"I think, Jack," Percy said, "it will be best to try and keep our tempers and not to seem to mind what they do to us, then if they find they can't get any fun out of us they will soon leave us alone."

"Of course, that's the best plan," Fothergill agreed, "but it's not so easy to follow. That fellow very nearly poked out my eye with his stick, and no one's going to stand that if he can help it."

[Pg 239]

It was some hours before the curiosity of the village was satisfied. When all had paid who were likely to do so, the guards broke up their circle, and leaving two of their number at the cage to see that no actual harm was caused to their prisoners, the rest went off to a refreshment house. The place of the elders was now taken by the boys and children of the village, who crowded round the cage, prodded the prisoners with sticks, and, putting their hands through the bars, pulled their ears and hair. This amusement, however, was brought to an abrupt conclusion by Fothergill suddenly seizing the wrist of a big boy and pulling his arm through the cage until his face was against the bars; then he proceeded to punch him until the guard, coming to his rescue, poked Fothergill with his stick until he released his hold.

The punishment of their comrade excited neither anger nor resentment among the other boys, who yelled with delight at his discomfiture, but it made them more careful in approaching the cage, and though they continued to poke the prisoners with sticks they did not venture again to thrust a hand through the bars. At sunset the guards again came round, lifted the cage and carried it into a shed. A platter of dirty rice and a jug of water[Pg 240] were put into the cage; two of the men lighted their long pipes and sat down on guard beside it, and, the doors being closed, the captives were left in peace.

"If this sort of thing is to go on, as I suppose it is," Fothergill said, "the sooner they cut off our heads the better."

"It is very bad, Jack. I am sore all over with those probes from their sharp sticks."

"I don't care for the pain, Percy, so much as the humiliation of the thing. To be stared at and poked at as if we were wild beasts by these curs, when with half a dozen of our men we could send a hundred of them scampering, I feel as if I could choke with rage."

"You had better try and eat some of this rice, Jack. It is beastly, but I daresay we shall get no more until to-morrow night, and we must keep up our strength if we can. At any rate, the water is not bad, that's a comfort."

"No thanks to them," Jack growled. "If there had been any bad water in the neighborhood they would have given it to us."

For six weeks the sufferings of the prisoners continued. Their captors avoided towns where the authorities would probably at once have taken[Pg 241] the prisoners out of their hands. No one would have recognized the two captives as the midshipmen of the Perseus; their clothes were in rags—torn to pieces by the thrusts of the sharp-pointed bamboos, to which they had daily been subjected—the bad food, the cramped position, and the misery which they suffered had worn both lads to skeletons; their hair was matted with filth, their faces begrimed with dirt. Percy was so weak that he felt he could not stand. Fothergill, being three years older, was less exhausted, but he knew that he, too, could not support his sufferings for many days longer. Their bodies were covered with sores, and try as they would they were able to catch only a few minutes' sleep at a time, so much did the bamboo bars hurt their wasted limbs.

They seldom exchanged a word during the daytime, suffering in silence the persecutions to which they were exposed, but at night they talked over their homes and friends in England, and their comrades on board ship, seldom saying a word as to their present position. They were now in a hilly country, but had not the least idea of the direction in which it lay from Canton or its distance from the coast.

One evening Jack said to his companion, "I[Pg 242] think it's nearly all over now, Percy. The last two days we have made longer journeys, and have not stopped at any of the smaller villages we passed through. I fancy our guards must see that we can't last much longer, and are taking us down to some town to hand us over to the authorities and get their reward for us."

"I hope it is so, Jack; the sooner the better. Not that it makes much difference now to me, for I do not think I can stand many more days of it."

"I am afraid I am tougher than you, Percy, and shall take longer to kill, so I hope with all my heart that I may be right, and that they may be going to give us up to the authorities."

The next evening they stopped at a large place, and were subjected to the usual persecution; this, however, was now less prolonged than during the early days of their captivity, for they had now no longer strength or spirits to resent their treatment, and as no fun was to be obtained from passive victims, even the village boys soon ceased to find any amusement in tormenting them.

When most of their visitors had left them, an elderly Chinaman approached the side of the cage. He spoke to their guards and looked at them [Pg 243]attentively for some minutes, then he said in pigeon English, "You officer men?"

"Yes!" Jack exclaimed, starting at the sound of the English words, the first they had heard spoken since their captivity. "Yes, we are officers of the Perseus."

"Me speeke English velly well," the Chinaman said; "me pilot-man many years on Canton river. How you get here?"

"We were attacking some piratical junks, and landed to destroy the village where the people were firing on us. We entered a place full of pirates, and were knocked down and taken prisoners, and carried away up the country; that is six weeks ago, and you see what we are now."

"Pirate men velly bad," the Chinaman said; "plunder many junk on river and kill crew. Me muchee hate them."

"Can you do anything for us?" Jack asked. "You will be well rewarded if you could manage to get us free."

The man shook his head.

"Me no see what can do, me stranger here; come to stay with wifey; people no do what me ask them. English ships attack Canton, much fight and take town, people all hate English. Bad[Pg 244] country dis. People in one village fight against another. Velly bad men here."

"How far is Canton away?" Jack asked. "Could you not send down to tell the English we are here?"

"Fourteen days' journey off," the man said; "no see how can do anything."

"Well," Jack said, "when you get back again to Canton let our people know what has been the end of us; we shall not last much longer."

"All light," the man said, "will see what me can do. Muchee think to-night!" And after saying a few words to the guards, who had been regarding this conversation with an air of surprise, the Chinaman retired.

The guards had for some time abandoned the precaution of sitting up at night by the cage, convinced that their captives had no longer strength to attempt to break through its fastenings or to drag themselves many yards away if they could do so. They therefore left it standing in the open, and, wrapping themselves in their thickly-wadded coats, for the nights were cold, lay down by the side of the cage.

The coolness of the nights had, indeed, assisted to keep the two prisoners alive. During the day[Pg 245] the sun was excessively hot, and the crowd of visitors round the cage impeded the circulation of the air and added to their sufferings. It was true that the cold at night frequently prevented them from sleeping, but it acted as a tonic and braced them up.

"What did he mean about the villages attacking each other?" Percy asked.

"I have heard," Jack replied, "that in some parts of China things are very much the same as they used to be in the highlands of Scotland. There is no law or order. The different villages are like clans, and wage war on each other. Sometimes the Government sends a number of troops, who put the thing down for a time, chop off a good many heads, and then march away, and the whole work begins again as soon as their backs are turned."

That night the uneasy slumber of the lads was disturbed by a sudden firing; shouts and yells were heard, and the firing redoubled.

"The village is attacked," Jack said. "I noticed that, like some other places we have come into lately, there is a strong earthen wall round it, with gates. Well, there is one comfort—it does not make much difference to us which side wins."

[Pg 246]

The guards at the first alarm leapt to their feet, caught up their matchlocks, and ran to aid in the defence of the wall. Two minutes later a man ran up to the cage.

"All lightee," he said; "just what me hopee."

With his knife he cut the tough withes that held the bamboos in their places, and pulled out three of the bars.

"Come along," he said; "no time to lose."

Jack scrambled out, but in trying to stand upright gave a sharp exclamation of pain. Percy crawled out more slowly; he tried to stand up, but could not. The Chinaman caught him up and threw him on his shoulder.

"Come along quickee," he said to Jack; "if takee village, kill evely one." He set off at a run. Jack followed as fast as he could, groaning at every step from the pain the movement caused to his bruised body.

They went to the side of the village opposite to that at which the attack was going on. They met no one on the way, the inhabitants having all rushed to the other side to repel the attack. They stopped at a small gate in the wall, the Chinaman drew back the bolts and opened it, and they passed out into the country. For an hour they kept on.[Pg 247] By the end of that time Jack could scarcely drag his limbs along. The Chinaman halted at length in a clump of trees surrounded by a thick undergrowth.

"Allee safee here," he said, "no searchee so far; here food;" and he produced from a wallet a cold chicken and some boiled rice, and unslung from his shoulder a gourd filled with cold tea.

"Me go back now, see what happen. To-mollow nightee come again—bringee more food." And without another word went off at a rapid pace.

Jack moistened his lips with the tea, and then turned to his companion. Percy had not spoken a word since he had been released from the cage, and had been insensible during the greater part of his journey. Jack poured some cold tea between his lips.

"Cheer up, Percy, old boy, we are free now, and with luck and that good fellow's help we will work our way down to Canton yet."

"I shall never get down there; you may," Percy said feebly.

"Oh, nonsense, you will pick up strength like a steam-engine now. Here, let me prop you against this tree. That's better. Now drink a[Pg 248] drop of this tea; it's like nectar after that filthy water we have been drinking. Now you will feel better. Now you must try and eat a little of this chicken and rice. Oh, nonsense, you have got to do it. I am not going to let you give way when our trouble is just over. Think of your people at home, Percy, and make an effort, for their sakes. Good heavens! now I think of it, it must be Christmas morning. We were caught on the 2d and we have been just twenty-two days on show. I am sure that it must be past twelve o'clock, and it is Christmas-day. It is a good omen, Percy. This food isn't like roast beef and plum-pudding, but it's not to be despised, I can tell you. Come, fire away, that's a good fellow."

Percy made an effort and ate a few mouthfuls of rice and chicken, then he took another draught of tea, and lay down, and was almost immediately asleep.

Jack ate his food slowly and contentedly till he finished half the supply, then he, too, lay down, and, after a short but hearty thanksgiving for his escape from a slow and lingering death, he, too, fell off to sleep. The sun was rising when he woke, being aroused by a slight movement on the part of Percy; he opened his eyes and sat up.

[Pg 249]

"Well, Percy, how do you feel this morning?" he asked cheerily.

"I feel too weak to move," Percy replied languidly.

"Oh, you will be all right when you have sat up and eaten breakfast," Jack said. "Here you are; here is a wing for you, and this rice is as white as snow, and the tea is first-rate. I thought last night after I lay down that I heard a murmur of water, so after we have had breakfast I will look about and see if I can find it. We should feel like new men after a wash. You look awful, and I am sure I am just as bad."

The thought of a wash inspirited Percy far more than that of eating, and he sat up and made a great effort to do justice to the breakfast. He succeeded much better than he had done the night before, and Jack, although he pretended to grumble, was satisfied with his companion's progress, and finished off the rest of the food. Then he set out to search for water. He had not very far to go; a tiny stream, a few inches wide and two or three inches deep, ran through the wood from the higher ground. After throwing himself down and taking a drink, he hurried back to Percy.

"It is all right, Percy, I've found it. We can[Pg 250] wash to our hearts' content; think of that, lad."

Percy could hardly stand, but he made an effort, and Jack half carried him to the streamlet. There the lads spent hours. First they bathed their heads and hands, and then, stripping, lay down in the stream and allowed it to flow over them, then they rubbed themselves with handfuls of leaves dipped in the water, and when they at last put on their rags again felt like new men. Percy was able to walk back to the spot they had quitted with the assistance only of Jack's arm. The latter, feeling that his breakfast had by no means appeased his hunger, now started for a search through the wood, and presently returned to Percy laden with nuts and berries.

"The nuts are sure to be all right; I expect the berries are, too. I have certainly seen some like them in native markets, and I think it will be quite safe to risk it."

The rest of the day was spent in picking nuts and eating them. Then they sat down and waited for the arrival of their friend. He came two hours after nightfall with a wallet stored with provisions, and told them that he had regained the village unobserved. The attack had been repulsed, but with severe loss to the defenders as[Pg 251] well as to the assailants; two of their guards had been among the killed. The others had made a great clamor over the escape of the prisoners, and had made a close search throughout the village and immediately round it, for they were convinced that their captives had not the strength to go any distance. He thought, however, that although they had professed the greatest indignation, and had offered many threats as to the vengeance that Government would take upon the village, one of whose inhabitants, at least, must have aided in the evasion of the prisoners, they would not trouble themselves any further in the matter. They had already reaped a rich harvest from the exhibition, and would divide among themselves the share of their late comrades; nor was it at all improbable that if they were to report the matter to the authorities they would themselves get into serious trouble for not having handed over the prisoners immediately after their capture.

For a fortnight the pilot nursed and fed the two midshipmen. He had already provided them with native clothes, so that if by chance any villagers should catch sight of them they would not recognize them as the escaped white men. At the end of that time both the lads had almost [Pg 252]recovered from the effects of their sufferings. Jack, indeed, had picked up from the first, but Percy for some days continued so weak and ill that Jack had feared that he was going to have an attack of fever of some kind. His companion's cheery and hopeful chat did as much good for Percy as the nourishing food with which their friend supplied them, and at the end of the fortnight he declared that he felt sufficiently strong to attempt to make his way down to the coast.

The pilot acted as their guide. When they inquired about his wife, he told them carelessly that she would remain with her kinsfolk, and would travel on to Canton and join him there when she found an opportunity. The journey was accomplished at night, by very short stages at first, but by increasing distances as Percy gained strength. During the daytime the lads lay hid in woods or jungles, while their companion went into the village and purchased food. They struck the river many miles above Canton, and the pilot, going down first to a village on its banks, bargained for a boat to take him and two women down to the city.

The lads went on board at night and took their places in the little cabin formed of bamboos and covered with mats in the stern of the boat, and[Pg 253] remained thus sheltered not only from the view of people in boats passing up or down the stream, but from the eyes of their own boatmen.

After two days' journey down the river without incident, they arrived off Canton, where the British fleet was still lying while negotiations for peace were being carried on with the authorities at Pekin. Peeping out between the mats, the lads caught sight of the English warships, and, knowing that there was now no danger, they dashed out of the cabin, to the surprise of the native boatmen, and shouted and waved their arms to the distant ships.

In ten minutes they were alongside the Perseus, when they were hailed as if restored from the dead. The pilot was very handsomely rewarded by the English authorities for his kindness to the prisoners, and was highly satisfied with the result of his proceedings, which more than doubled the little capital with which he had retired from business. Jack Fothergill and Percy Adcock declare that they have never since eaten chicken without thinking of their Christmas fare on the morning of their escape from the hands of the Chinese pirates.


[Pg 1]

A. L. Burt's Catalogue of Books for Young People by Popular Writers,

52-58 Duane Street, New Yorkdecoration


Joe's Luck: A Boy's Adventures in California. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The story is chock fall of stirring incidents, while the amusing situations are furnished by Joshua Bickford, from Pumpkin Hollow, and the fellow who modestly styles himself the "Rip-tail Roarer, from Pike Co., Missouri." Mr. Alger never writes a poor book, and "Joe's Luck" is certainly one of his best.

Tom the Bootblack; or, The Road to Success. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

A bright, enterprising lad was Tom the Bootblack. He was not at all ashamed of his humble calling, though always on the lookout to better himself. The lad started for Cincinnati to look up his heritage. Mr. Grey, the uncle, did not hesitate to employ a ruffian to kill the lad. The plan failed, and Gilbert Grey, once Tom the bootblack, came into a comfortable fortune. This is one of Mr. Alger's best stories.

Dan the Newsboy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Dan Mordaunt and his mother live in a poor tenement, and the lad is pluckily trying to make ends meet by selling papers in the streets of New York. A little heiress of six years is confided to the care of the Mordaunts. The child is kidnapped and Dan tracks the child to the house where she is hidden, and rescues her. The wealthy aunt of the little heiress is so delighted with Dan's courage and many good qualities that she adopts him as her heir.

Tony the Hero: A Brave Boy's Adventure with a Tramp. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Tony, a sturdy bright-eyed boy of fourteen, is under the control of Rudolph Rugg, a thorough rascal. After much abuse Tony runs away and gets a job as stable boy in a country hotel. Tony is heir to a large estate. Rudolph for a consideration hunts up Tony and throws him down a deep well. Of course Tony escapes from the fate provided for him, and by a brave act, a rich friend secures his rights and Tony is prosperous. A very entertaining book.

The Errand Boy; or, How Phil Brent Won Success. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth,illustrated, price $1.00.

The career of "The Errand Boy" embraces the city adventures of a smart country lad. Philip was brought up by a kind-hearted innkeeper named Brent. The death of Mrs. Brent paved the way for the hero's subsequent troubles. A retired merchant in New York secures him the situation of errand boy, and thereafter stands as his friend.

Tom Temple's Career. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Tom Temple is a bright, self-reliant lad. He leaves Plympton village to seek work in New York, whence he undertakes an important mission to California. Some of his adventures in the far west are so startling that the reader will scarcely close the book until the last page shall have been reached. The tale is written in Mr. Alger's most fascinating style.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

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Frank Fowler, the Cash Boy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Frank Fowler, a poor boy, bravely determines to make a living for himself and his foster-sister Grace. Going to New York he obtains a situation as cash boy in a dry goods store. He renders a service to a wealthy old gentleman who takes a fancy to the lad, and thereafter helps the lad to gain success and fortune.

Tom Thatcher's Fortune. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Tom Thatcher is a brave, ambitious, unselfish boy. He supports his mother and sister on meagre wages earned as a shoe-pegger in John Simpson's factory. Tom is discharged from the factory and starts overland for California. He meets with many adventures. The story is told in a way which has made Mr. Alger's name a household word in so many homes.

The Train Boy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Paul Palmer was a wide-awake boy of sixteen who supported his mother and sister by selling books and papers on the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad. He detects a young man in the act of picking the pocket of a young lady. In a railway accident many passengers are killed, but Paul is fortunate enough to assist a Chicago merchant, who out of gratitude takes him into his employ. Paul succeeds with tact and judgment and is well started on the road to business prominence.

Mark Mason's Victory. The Trials and Triumphs of a Telegraph Boy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Mark Mason, the telegraph boy, was a sturdy, honest lad, who pluckily won his way to success by his honest manly efforts under many difficulties. This story will please the very large class of boys who regard Mr. Alger as a favorite author.

A Debt of Honor. The Story of Gerald Lane's Success in the Far West. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The story of Gerald Lane and the account of the many trials and disappointments which he passed through before he attained success, will interest all boys who have read the previous stories of this delightful author.

Ben Bruce. Scenes in the Life of a Bowery Newsboy. By Horatio Alger, Jr. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Ben Bruce was a brave, manly, generous boy. The story of his efforts, and many seeming failures and disappointments, and his final success, are most interesting to all readers. The tale is written in Mr. Alger's most fascinating style.

The Castaways; or, On the Florida Reefs. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This tale smacks of the salt sea. From the moment that the Sea Queen leaves lower New York bay till the breeze leaves her becalmed off the coast of Florida, one can almost hear the whistle of the wind through her rigging, the creak of her straining cordage as she heels to the leeward. The adventures of Ben Clark, the hero of the story and Jake the cook, cannot fail to charm the reader. As a writer for young people Mr. Otis is a prime favorite.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

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Wrecked on Spider Island; or, How Ned Rogers Found the Treasure. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Ned Rogers, a "down-east" plucky lad ships as cabin boy to earn a livelihood. Ned is marooned on Spider Island, and while there discovers a wreck submerged in the sand, and finds a considerable amount of treasure. The capture of the treasure and the incidents of the Voyage serve to make as entertaining a story of sea-life as the most captious boy could desire.

The Search for the Silver City: A Tale of Adventure in Yucatan. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Two lads, Teddy Wright and Neal Emery, embark on the steam yacht Day Dream for a cruise to the tropics. The yacht is destroyed by fire, and then the boat is cast upon the coast of Yucatan. They hear of the wonderful Silver City, of the Chan Santa Cruz Indians, and with the help of a faithful Indian ally carry off a number of the golden images from the temples. Pursued with relentless vigor at last their escape is effected in an astonishing manner. The story is so full of exciting incidents that the reader is quite carried away with the novelty and realism of the narrative.

A Runaway Brig; or, An Accidental Cruise. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This is a sea tale, and the reader can look out upon the wide shimmering sea as it flashes back the sunlight, and imagine himself afloat with Harry Vandyne, Walter Morse, Jim Libby and that old shell-back, Bob Brace, on the brig Bonita. The boys discover a mysterious document which enables them to find a buried treasure. They are stranded on an island and at last are rescued with the treasure. The boys are sure to be fascinated with this entertaining story.

The Treasure Finders: A Boy's Adventures in Nicaragua. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Roy and Dean Coloney, with their guide Tongla, leave their father's indigo plantation to visit the wonderful ruins of an ancient city. The boys eagerly explore the temples of an extinct race and discover three golden images cunningly hidden away. They escape with the greatest difficulty. Eventually they reach safety with their golden prizes. We doubt if there ever was written a more entertaining story than "The Treasure Finders."

Jack, the Hunchback. A Story of the Coast of Maine. By James Otis. Price $1.00.

This is the story of a little hunchback who lived on Cape Elizabeth, on the coast of Maine. His trials and successes are most interesting. From first to last nothing stays the interest of the narrative. It bears us along as on a stream whose current varies in direction, but never loses its force.

With Washington at Monmouth: A Story of Three Philadelphia Boys. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

Three Philadelphia lads assist the American spies and make regular and frequent visits to Valley Forge in the Winter while the British occupied the city. The story abounds with pictures of Colonial life skillfully drawn, and the glimpses of Washington's soldiers which are given shown that the work has not been hastily done, or without considerable study. The story is wholesome and patriotic in tone, as are all of Mr. Otis' works.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

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With Lafayette at Yorktown: A Story of How Two Boys Joined the Continental Army. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

Two lads from Portsmouth, N. H., attempt to enlist in the Colonial Army, and are given employment as spies. There is no lack of exciting incidents which the youthful reader craves, but it is healthful excitement brimming with facts which every boy should be familiar with, and while the reader is following the adventures of Ben Jaffrays and Ned Allen he is acquiring a fund of historical lore which will remain in his memory long after that which he has memorized from textbooks has been forgotten.

At the Siege of Havana. Being the Experiences of Three Boys Serving under Israel Putnam in 1762. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

"At the Siege of Havana" deals with that portion of the island's history when the English king captured the capital, thanks to the assistance given by the troops from New England, led in part by Col. Israel Putnam.

The principal characters are Darius Lunt, the lad who, represented as telling the story, and his comrades, Robert Clement and Nicholas Vallet. Colonel Putnam also figures to considerable extent, necessarily, in the tale, and the whole forms one of the most readable stories founded on historical facts.

The Defense of Fort Henry. A Story of Wheeling Creek in 1777. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

Nowhere in the history of our country can be found more heroic or thrilling incidents than in the story of those brave men and women who founded the settlement of Wheeling in the Colony of Virginia. The recital of what Elizabeth Zane did is in itself as heroic a story as can be imagined. The wondrous bravery displayed by Major McCulloch and his gallant comrades, the sufferings of the colonists and their sacrifice of blood and life, stir the blood of old as well as young readers.

The Capture of the Laughing Mary. A Story of Three New York Boys in 1776. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, price $1.50.

"During the British occupancy of New York, at the outbreak of the Revolution, a Yankee lad hears of the plot to take General Washington's person, and calls in two companions to assist the patriot cause. They do some astonishing things, and, incidentally, lay the way for an American navy later, by the exploit which gives its name to the work. Mr. Otis' books are too well known to require any particular commendation to the young."—Evening Post.

With Warren at Bunker Hill. A Story of the Siege of Boston. By James Otis. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

"This is a tale of the siege of Boston, which opens on the day after the doings at Lexington and Concord, with a description of home life in Boston, introduces the reader to the British camp at Charlestown, shows Gen. Warren at home, describes what a boy thought of the battle of Bunker Hill, and closes with the raising of the siege. The three heroes, George Wentworth, Ben Scarlett and an old ropemaker, incur the enmity of a young Tory, who causes them many adventures the boys will like to read."—Detroit Free Press.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 5]


With the Swamp Fox. The Story of General Marion's Spies. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This story deals with General Francis Marion's heroic struggle in the Carolinas. General Marion's arrival to take command of these brave men and rough riders is pictured as a boy might have seen it, and although the story is devoted to what the lads did, the Swamp Fox is ever present in the mind of the reader.

On the Kentucky Frontier. A Story of the Fighting Pioneers of the West. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

In the history of our country there is no more thrilling story than that of the work done on the Mississippi river by a handful of frontiersmen. Mr. Otis takes the reader on that famous expedition from the arrival of Major Clarke's force at Corn Island, until Kaskaskia was captured. He relates that part of Simon Kenton's life history which is not usually touched upon either by the historian or the story teller. This is one of the most entertaining books for young people which has been published.

Sarah Dillard's Ride. A Story of South Carolina in 1780. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"This book deals with the Carolinas in 1780, giving a wealth of detail of the Mountain Men who struggled so valiantly against the king's troops. Major Ferguson is the prominent British officer of the story, which is told as though coming from a youth who experienced these adventures. In this way the famous ride of Sarah Dillard is brought out as an incident of the plot."—Boston Journal.

A Tory Plot. A Story of the Attempt to Kill General Washington. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"'A Tory Plot' is the story of two lads who overhear something of the plot originated during the Revolution by Gov. Tryon to capture or murder Washington. They communicate their knowledge to Gen. Putnam and are commissioned by him to play the role of detectives In the matter. They do so, and meet with many adventures and hairbreadth escapes. The boys are, of course, mythical, but they serve to enable the author to put into very attractive shape much valuable knowledge concerning one phase of the Revolution."—Pittsburgh Times.

A Traitor's Escape. A Story of the Attempt to Seize Benedict Arnold. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"This is a tale with stirring scenes depicted in each chapter, bringing clearly before the mind the glorious deeds of the early settlers in this country. In an historical work dealing with this country's past, no plot can hold the attention closer than this one, which describes the attempt and partial success of Benedict Arnold's escape to New York, where he remained as the guest of Sir Henry Clinton. All those who actually figured in the arrest of the traitor, as well as Gen. Washington, are included as characters."—Albany Union.

A Cruise with Paul Jones. A Story of Naval Warfare in 1776. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"This story takes up that portion of Paul Jones' adventurous life when he was hovering off the British coast, watching for an opportunity to strike the enemy a blow. It deals more particularly with his descent upon Whitehaven, the seizure of Lady Selkirk's plate, and the famous battle with the Drake. The boy who figures in the tale is one who was taken from a derelict by Paul Jones shortly after this particular cruise was begun."—Chicago Inter-Ocean.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 6]


Corporal Lige's Recruit. A Story of Crown Point and Ticonderoga. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"In 'Corporal Lige's Recruit,' Mr. Otis tells the amusing story of an old soldier, proud of his record, who had served the king in '58, and who takes the lad, Isaac Rice, as his 'personal recruit.' The lad acquits himself superbly. Col. Ethan Allen 'in the name of God and the continental congress,' infuses much martial spirit into the narrative, which will arouse the keenest interest as it proceeds. Crown Point, Ticonderoga, Benedict Arnold and numerous other famous historical names appear in this dramatic tale."—Boston Globe.

Morgan, the Jersey Spy. A Story of the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. By James Otis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"The two lads who are utilized by the author to emphasize the details of the work done during that memorable time were real boys who lived on the banks of the York river, and who aided the Jersey spy in his dangerous occupation. In the guise of fishermen the lads visit Yorktown, are suspected of being spies, and put under arrest. Morgan risks his life to save them. The final escape, the thrilling encounter with a squad of red coats, when they are exposed equally to the bullets of friends and foes, told in a masterly fashion, makes of this volume one of the most entertaining books of the year."—Inter-Ocean.

The Young Scout: The Story of a West Point Lieutenant. By Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The crafty Apache chief Geronimo but a few years ago was the most terrible scourge of the southwest border. The author has woven, in a tale of thrilling interest, all the incidents of Geronimo's last raid. The hero is Lieutenant James Decker, a recent graduate of West Point. Ambitious to distinguish himself the young man takes many a desperate chance against the enemy and on more than one occasion narrowly escapes with his life. In our opinion Mr. Ellis is the best writer of Indian stories now before the public.

Adrift in the Wilds: The Adventures of Two Shipwrecked Boys. By Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence are en route for San Francisco. Off the coast of California the steamer takes fire. The two boys reach the shore with several of the passengers. Young Brandon becomes separated from his party and is captured by hostile Indians, but is afterwards rescued. This is a very entertaining narrative of Southern California.

A Young Hero; or, Fighting to Win. By Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This story tells how a valuable solid silver service was stolen from the Misses Perkinpine, two very old and simple minded ladies. Fred Sheldon, the hero of this story, undertakes to discover the thieves and have them arrested. After much time spent in detective work, he succeeds in discovering the silver plate and winning the reward. The story is told in Mr. Ellis' most fascinating style. Every boy will be glad to read this delightful book.

Lost in the Rockies. A Story of Adventure in the Rocky Mountains. By Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

Incident succeeds incident, and adventure is piled upon adventure, and at the end the reader, be he boy or man, will have experienced breathless enjoyment in this romantic story describing many adventures in the Rockies and among the Indians.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 7]


A Jaunt Through Java: The Story of a Journey to the Sacred Mountain. By Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The interest of this story is found in the thrilling adventures of two cousins, Hermon and Eustace Hadley, on their trip across the island of Java, from Samarang to the Sacred Mountain. In a land where the Royal Bengal tiger, the rhinoceros, and other fierce beasts are to be met with, it is but natural that the heroes of this book should have a lively experience. There is not a dull page in the book.

The Boy Patriot. A Story of Jack, the Young Friend of Washington. By Edward S. Ellis. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

"There are adventures of all kinds for the hero and his friends, whose pluck and ingenuity in extricating themselves from awkward fixes are always equal to the occasion. It is an excellent story full of honest, manly, patriotic efforts on the part of the hero. A very vivid description of the battle of Trenton is also found in this story."—Journal of Education.

A Yankee Lad's Pluck. How Bert Larkin Saved his Father's Ranch in Porto Rico. By Wm. P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"Bert Larkin, the hero of the story, early excites our admiration, and is altogether a fine character such as boys will delight in, whilst the story of his numerous adventures is very graphically told. This will, we think, prove one of the most popular boys' books this season."—Gazette.

A Brave Defense. A Story of the Massacre at Fort Griswold in 1781. By William P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Perhaps no more gallant fight against fearful odds took place during the Revolutionary War than that at Fort Griswold, Groton Heights, Conn., in 1781. The boys are real boys who were actually on the muster rolls, either at Fort Trumbull on the New London side, or of Fort Griswold on the Groton side of the Thames. The youthful reader who follows Halsey Sanford and Levi Dart and Tom Malleson, and their equally brave comrades, through their thrilling adventures will be learning something more than historical facts; they will be imbibing lessons of fidelity, of bravery, of heroism, and of manliness, which must prove serviceable in the arena of life.

The Young Minuteman. A Story of the Capture of General Prescott in 1777. By William P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This story is based upon actual events which occurred during the British occupation of the waters of Narragansett Bay. Darius Wale and William Northrop belong to "the coast patrol." The story is a strong one, dealing only with actual events. There is, however, no lack of thrilling adventure, and every lad who is fortunate enough to obtain the book will find not only that his historical knowledge is increased, but that his own patriotism and love of country are deepened.

For the Temple: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by S. J. Solomon. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty's graphic prose picture of the hopeless Jewish resistance to Roman sway adds another leaf to his record of the famous wars of the world. The book is one of Mr. Henty's cleverest efforts."—Graphic.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 8]


Roy Gilbert's Search: A Tale of the Great Lakes. By Wm. P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

A deep mystery hangs over the parentage of Roy Gilbert. He arranges with two schoolmates to make a tour of the Great Lakes on a steam launch. The three boys visit many points of interest on the lakes. Afterwards the lads rescue an elderly gentleman and a lady from a sinking yacht. Later on the boys narrowly escape with their lives. The hero is a manly, self-reliant boy, whose adventures will be followed with interest.

The Slate Picker: The Story of a Boy's Life in the Coal Mines. By Harry Prentice. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This is a story of a boy's life in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Ben Burton, the hero, had a hard road to travel, but by grit and energy he advanced step by step until he found himself called upon to fill the position of chief engineer of the Kohinoor Coal Company. This is a book of extreme interest to every boy reader.

The Boy Cruisers; or, Paddling in Florida. By St. George Rathborne. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00

Andrew George and Rowland Carter start on a canoe trip along the Gulf coast, from Key West to Tampa, Florida. Their first adventure is with a pair of rascals who steal their boats. Next they run into a gale in the Gulf. After that they have a lively time with alligators and Andrew gets into trouble with a band of Seminole Indians. Mr. Rathborne knows just how to interest the boys, and lads who are in search of a rare treat will do well to read this entertaining story.

Captured by Zulus: A Story of Trapping in Africa. By Harry Prentice. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This story details the adventures of two lads, Dick Elsworth and Bob Harvey, in the wilds of South Africa. By stratagem the Zulus capture Dick and Bob and take them to their principal kraal or village. The lads escape death by digging their way out of the prison hut by night. They are pursued, but the Zulus finally give up pursuit. Mr. Prentice tells exactly how wild-beast collectors secure specimens on their native stamping grounds, and these descriptions make very entertaining reading.

Tom the Ready; or, Up from the Lowest. By Randolph Hill. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This is a dramatic narrative of the unaided rise of a fearless, ambitious boy from the lowest round of fortune's ladder to wealth and the governorship of his native State. Tom Seacomb begins life with a purpose, and eventually overcomes those who oppose him. How he manages to win the battle is told by Mr. Hill in a masterful way that thrills the reader and holds his attention and sympathy to the end.

Captain Kidd's Gold: The True Story of an Adventurous Sailor Boy. By James Franklin Fitts. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

There is something fascinating to the average youth in the very idea of buried treasure. A vision arises before his eyes of swarthy Portuguese and Spanish rascals, with black beards and gleaming eyes. There were many famous sea rovers, but none more celebrated than Capt. Kidd. Paul Jones Garry inherits a document which locates a considerable treasure buried by two of Kidd's crew. The hero of this book is an ambitious, persevering lad, of salt-water New England ancestry, and his efforts to reach the island and secure the money form one of the most absorbing tales for our youth that has come from the press.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

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The Boy Explorers: The Adventures of Two Boys in Alaska. By Harry Prentice. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Two boys, Raymond and Spencer Manning, travel to Alaska to join their father in search of their uncle. On their arrival at Sitka the boys with an Indian guide set off across the mountains. The trip is fraught with perils that test the lads' courage to the utmost. All through their exciting adventures the lads demonstrate what can be accomplished by pluck and resolution, and their experience makes one of the most interesting tales ever written.

The Island Treasure; or, Harry Darrel's Fortune. By Frank H. Converse. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Harry Darrel, having received a nautical training on a school-ship, is bent on going to sea. A runaway horse changes his prospects. Harry saves Dr. Gregg from drowning and afterward becomes sailing-master of a sloop yacht. Mr. Converse's stories possess a charm of their own which is appreciated by lads who delight in good healthy tales that smack of salt water.

Guy Harris: The Runaway. By Harry Castlemon. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Guy Harris lived in a small city on the shore of one of the Great Lakes. He is persuaded to go to sea, and gets a glimpse of the rough side of life in a sailor's boarding house. He ships on a vessel and for five months leads a hard life. The book will interest boys generally on account of its graphic style. This is one of Castlemon's most attractive stories.

Julian Mortimer: A Brave Boy's Struggle for Home and Fortune. By Harry Castlemon. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

The scene of the story lies west of the Mississippi River, in the days when emigrants made their perilous way across the great plains to the land of gold. There is an attack upon the wagon train by a large party of Indians. Our hero is lad of uncommon nerve and pluck. Befriended by a stalwart trapper, a real rough diamond, our hero achieves the most happy results.

By Pike and Dyke: A Tale of the Rise of the Dutch Republic. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Maynard Brown. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Boys with a turn for historical research will be enchanted with the book, while the rest who only care for adventure will be students in spite of themselves."—St. James's Gazette.

St. George for England: A Tale of Cressy and Poitiers. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"A story of very great interest for boys. In his own forcible style the author has endeavored to show that determination and enthusiasm can accomplish marvellous results; and that courage is generally accompanied by magnanimity and gentleness."—Pall Mall Gazette.

Captain Bayley's Heir: A Tale of the Gold Fields of California. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by H. M. Paget. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty is careful to mingle instruction with entertainment; and the humorous touches, especially in the sketch of John Holl, the Westminster dustman, Dickens himself could hardly have excelled."—Christian Leader.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 10]


Budd Boyd's Triumph; or, The Boy Firm of Fox Island. By William P. Chipman. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The scene of this story is laid on the upper part of Narragansett Bay, and the leading incidents have a strong salt-water flavor. The two boys, Budd Boyd and Judd Floyd, being ambitious and clear sighted, form a partnership to catch and sell fish. Budd's pluck and good sense carry him through many troubles. In following the career of the boy firm of Boyd & Floyd, the youthful reader will find a useful lesson—that industry and perseverance are bound to lead to ultimate success.

Lost in the Canyon: Sam Willett's Adventures on the Great Colorado. By Alfred R. Calhoun. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

This story hinges on a fortune left to Sam Willett, the hero, and the fact that it will pass to a disreputable relative if the lad dies before he shall have reached his majority. The story of his father's peril and of Sam's desperate trip down the great canyon on a raft, and how the party finally escape from their perils is described in a graphic Style that stamps Mr. Calhoun as a master of his art.

Captured by Apes: The Wonderful Adventures of a Young Animal Trainer. By Harry Prentice. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Philip Garland, a young animal collector and trainer, sets sail for Eastern seas in quest of a new stock of living curiosities. The vessel is wrecked off the coast of Borneo, and young Garland is cast ashore on a small island, and captured by the apes that overrun the place. Very novel indeed is the way by which the young man escapes death. Mr. Prentice is a writer of undoubted skill.

Under Drake's Flag: A Tale of the Spanish Main. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"There is not a dull chapter, nor, indeed, a dull page in the book; but the author has so carefully worked up his subject that the exciting deeds of his heroes are never incongruous nor absurd."—Observer.

By Sheer Pluck: A Tale of the Ashanti War. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

The author has woven, in a tale of thrilling interest, all the details of the Ashanti campaign, of which he was himself a witness.

"Mr. Henty keeps up his reputation as a writer of boys' stories. 'By Sheer Pluck' will be eagerly read."—Athenæum.

With Lee in Virginia: A Story of the American Civil War. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"One of the best stories for lads which Mr. Henty has yet written. The picture is full of life and color, and the stirring and romantic incidents are skillfully blended with the personal interest and charm of the story."—Standard.

By England's Aid; or, The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604). By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Alfred Pearse. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"It is an admirable book for youngsters. It overflows with stirring incident and exciting adventure, and the color of the era and of the scene are finely reproduced. The illustrations add to its attractiveness."—Boston Gazette.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 11]


By Right of Conquest; or, With Cortez in Mexico. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by W. S. Stacey. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.50.

"The conquest of Mexico by a small band of resolute men under the magnificent leadership of Cortez is always rightfully ranked among the most romantic and daring exploits in history. 'By Right of Conquest' is the nearest approach to a perfectly successful historical tale that Mr. Henty has yet published."—Academy.

For Name and Fame; or, Through Afghan Passes. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Not only a rousing story, replete with all the varied forms of excitement of a campaign, but, what is still more useful, an account of a territory and its inhabitants which must for a long time possess a supreme interest for Englishmen, as being the key to our Indian Empire."—Glasgow Herald.

The Bravest of the Brave; or, With Peterborough in Spain. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by H. M. Paget. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty never loses sight of the moral purpose of his work—to enforce the doctrine of courage and truth, mercy and loving kindness, as indispensable to the making of a gentleman. Boys will read. 'The Bravest of the Brave' with pleasure and profit; of that we are quite sure."—Daily Telegraph.

The Cat of Bubastes: A Story of Ancient Egypt. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The story, from the critical moment of the killing of the sacred cat to the perilous exodus into Asia with which it closes, is very skillfully constructed and full of exciting adventures. It is admirably illustrated."—Saturday Review.

Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Ronald, the hero, is very like the hero of 'Quentin Durward.' The lad's journey across France, and his hairbreadth escapes, makes up as good a narrative of the kind as we have ever read. For freshness of treatment and variety of incident Mr. Henty has surpassed himself."—Spectator.

With Clive in India; or, The Beginnings of an Empire. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"He has taken a period of Indian history of the most vital importance, and he has embroidered on the historical facts a story which of itself is deeply interesting. Young people assuredly will be delighted with the volume."—Scotsman.

In the Reign of Terror: The Adventures of a Westminster Boy. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by J. Schönberg. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Harry Sandwith, the Westminster boy, may fairly be said to beat Mr. Henty's record. His adventures will delight boys by the audacity and peril they depict. The story is one of Mr. Henty's best."—Saturday Review.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 12]


The Lion of the North: A Tale of Gustavus Adolphus and the Wars of Religion. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by John Schönberg. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"A praiseworthy attempt to interest British youth in the great deeds of the Scotch Brigade in the wars of Gustavus Adolphus. Mackey, Hepburn, and Munro live again in Mr. Henty's pages, as those deserve to live whose disciplined bands formed really the germ of the modern British army."—Athenæum.

The Dragon and the Raven; or, The Days of King Alfred. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by C. J. Staniland. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"In this story the author gives an account of the fierce struggle between Saxon and Dane for supremacy in England, and presents a vivid picture of the misery and ruin to which the country was reduced by the ravages of the sea-wolves. The story is treated in a manner most attractive to the boyish reader."—Athenæum.

The Young Carthaginian: A Story of the Times of Hannibal. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by C. J. Staniland. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Well constructed and vividly told. From first to last nothing stays the interest of the narrative. It bears us along as on a stream whose current varies in direction, but never loses its force."—Saturday Review.

In Freedom's Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"It is written in the author's best style. Full of the wildest and most remarkable achievements, it is a tale of great interest, which a boy, once he has begun it, will not willingly put one side."—The Schoolmaster.

With Wolfe in Canada; or, The Winning of a Continent. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"A model of what a boys' story-book should be. Mr. Henty has a great power of infusing into the dead facts of history new life, and as no pains are spared by him to ensure accuracy In historic details, his books supply useful aids to study as well as amusement."—School Guardian.

True to the Old Flag: A Tale of the American War of Independence. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Does justice to the pluck and determination of the British soldiers during the unfortunate struggle against American emancipation. The son of an American loyalist, who remains true to our flag, falls among the hostile red-skins in that very Huron country which has been endeared to us by the exploits of Hawkeye and Chingachgook."—The Times.

A Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by W. B. Wollen. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"All boys will read this story with eager and unflagging interest. The episodes are in Mr. Henty's very best vein—graphic, exciting, realistic; and, as in all Mr. Henty's books, the tendency is to the formation of an honorable, manly, and even heroic character."—Birmingham Post.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 13]


The Lion of St. Mark: A Tale of Venice in the Fourteenth Century. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Every boy should read 'The Lion of St. Mark.' Mr. Henty has never produced a story more delightful, more wholesome, or more vivacious."—Saturday Review.

Facing Death; or, The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of the Coal Mines. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The tale is well written and well illustrated, and there is much reality in the characters. If any father, clergyman, or schoolmaster is on the lookout for a good book to give as a present to a boy who is worth his salt, this is the book we would recommend."—Standard.

Maori and Settler: A Story of the New Zealand War. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Alfred Pearse. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"In the adventures among the Maoris, there are many breathless moments in which the odds seem hopelessly against the party, but they succeed in establishing themselves happily in one of the pleasant New Zealand valleys. It is brimful of adventure, of humorous and interesting conversation, and vivid pictures of colonial life."—Schoolmaster.

One of the 28th: A Tale of Waterloo. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by W. H. Overend. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Written with Homeric vigor and heroic inspiration. It is graphic, picturesque, and dramatically effective ... shows us Mr. Henty at his best and brightest. The adventures will hold a boy enthralled as he rushes through them with breathless interest 'from cover to cover.'"—Observer.

Orange and Green: A Tale of the Boyne and Limerick. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by Gordon Browne. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The narrative is free from the vice of prejudice, and ripples with life as if what is being described were really passing before the eye."—Belfast News-Letter.

Through the Fray: A Story of the Luddite Riots. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations by H. M. Paget. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty inspires a love and admiration for straightforwardness, truth and courage. This is one of the best of the many good books Mr. Henty has produced, and deserves to be classed with his 'Facing Death.'"—Standard.

The Young Midshipman: A Story of the Bombardment of Alexandria. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

A coast fishing lad, by an act of heroism, secures the interest of a shipowner, who places him as an apprentice on board one of his ships. In company with two of his fellow-apprentices he is left behind, at Alexandria, in the hands of the revolted Egyptian troops, and is present through the bombardment and the scenes of riot and bloodshed which accompanied it.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.

[Pg 14]


In Times of Peril. A Tale of India. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The hero of the story early excites our admiration, and is altogether a fine character such as boys will delight in, whilst the story of the campaign is very graphically told."—St. James's Gazette.

The Cornet of Horse: A Tale of Marlborough's Wars. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.

"Mr. Henty not only concocts a thrilling tale, he weaves fact and fiction together with so skillful a hand that the reader cannot help acquiring a just and clear view of that fierce and terrible struggle known as the Crimean War."—Athenæum.

The Young Franc-Tireurs: Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"A capital book for boys. It is bright and readable, and full of good sense and manliness. It teaches pluck and patience in adversity, and shows that right living leads to success."—Observer.

The Young Colonists: A Story of Life and War in South Africa. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"No boy needs to have any story of Henty's recommended to him, and parents who do not know and buy them for their boys should be ashamed of themselves. Those to whom he is yet unknown could not make a better beginning than with this book."

The Young Buglers. A Tale of the Peninsular War. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.

"Mr. Henty is a giant among boys' writers, and his books are sufficiently popular to be sure of a welcome anywhere. In stirring interest, this is quite up to the level of Mr. Henty's former historical tales."—Saturday Review.

Sturdy and Strong; or, How George Andrews Made his Way. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The history of a hero of everyday life, whose love of truth, clothing of modesty, and innate pluck, carry him, naturally, from poverty to affluence. George Andrews is an example of character with nothing to cavil at, and stands as a good instance of chivalry in domestic life."—The Empire.

Among Malay Pirates. A Story of Adventure and Peril. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Incident succeeds incident, and adventure is piled upon adventure, and at the end the reader, be he boy or man, will have experienced breathless enjoyment in a romantic story that must have taught him much at its close."—Army and Navy Gazette.

Jack Archer. A Tale of the Crimea. By G. A. Henty. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty not only concocts a thrilling tale, he weaves fact and fiction together with so skillful a hand that the reader cannot help acquiring a just and clear view of that fierce and terrible struggle."—Athenæum.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the publisher, A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York.





Transcriber's Note:

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