Imatges de pàgina

should let her mind be occupied with such pravity. As he reached his arm in the cage trivial matters."

Varcon seized his finger, and held on till it “Papa, I suppose it is because I am a was withdrawn. woman,” laughed Elsie.

Mr. Bruce danced around the room snapVarcor ruffled his feathers, smoothed ping his fingers together. His spectacles them again, and then hopped up pertly. were dashed to the floor and broken. He

“Elsie," said Mr. Bruce, gravely, “I ran against a table covered with books and should suppose that you would realize" vases, and it overturned with a crash.

“The devil!” interrupted an irreverent Meantime Varcor released his hold, and voice.

flew out at the hall door. He fired a part“Whence came that note of sin ?" ex- ing shot as he went. claimed Mr. Bruce, looking around in be

" T-h-e d-e-v-i-l!" wilde rment.

Mr. Bruce sprang after him, but he fitted “Hellflugins," repeated the voice. along the hall and into the parlor. A winMr. Bruce leaped to his feet.

dow was open there, and he made his escape “Am I bewitched ?” he questioned. forever. Elsie was there. The answer was:

“ Where has that bird been ?"' foained “I'm Captain Jinks of the hoss marines; Mr. Bruce. I'm a captain in the army."

Mr. Weldon has had him for a few days," Then it all became apparent. The voice Elsie faltered. was from Varcor's cage. His long period

" Who?! of silence was over. The talented bird had “ Mr. Weldon." changed tutors, to sone purpose, you see.

“ Mr. Weldon! Ha! and he wants to “I'm a daring young man with a flying marry yon. Evidently he is a very bad trapeze; I can fly throngh the air with the man himself and must keep very bad comgreatest of ease," proceeding with his pany. He shall never have you. You shall choice extracts.

marry Mr. Montague to-morrow, if you Mr. Bruce walked around the cage. He want to. Weldon's a scoundrel." And Mr. eyed it in sheer dismay. Varcor hopped Bruce rushed away to cool his wrath. towards him.

Well, Elsie did not marry Mr. Montague “Old skinfint, old skinfint, old skin- so soon as Mr. Bruce had indicated. But Aint," he snapped out.

she did finally become his wife. “ That bird must die," roared Mr. Bruce. Varcor was never seen in that vicinity

He seized the cage, and opened it, while afterwards. If he has received the reward Elsie fled from the apartment in tears.

he should have for his aptness in taking But Mr. Bruce had reckoned without his lessons from Mr. Weldon, he is travelling host. Varcor had relapsed into total de- with a circus and acquiring fame.


BY MRS. HELEN A. MANVILLB. But one boon my heart desires,

Leave earth's turmoil and its riot, I have walked among the briers

For the still and endless quiet, O, so long, my feet have failed me.

Where, within the human breast, Sorrow has so long assailed me,

Comes no wailing plea for restHaving naught of love to bind me,

Sweet rest! I would leave it all behind me.

Earth, O mother, in compassion
Tired, and O, so sore distrest,

Flowery pillows for me fashion,
This my plea-Lord, give me rest-
Sweet rest!

Broider it with fern and daisies,

That I, sleeping in their mazes, Tired I am of care and sorrow,

Neath the roses and the clover, Tired of waiting for the morrow

Ne'er a sad dream shall dream over. That shall come to me ah never!

Pain so long has me opprest, I would leave it all forever

Grant my simple prayer for restLa Crosse, Wis., 1874.

Sweet rest!



BEFORE I begin my tale, let me inform white. The crown was large, and stood iny good readers that the ghost in question out boldly from her head, displaying beis not the visible spiritual part of the re- neath it a little knot of carrot-colored hair spected and respectable relative whose about the size of a walnut, which was name forms the larger part of the title of firmly skewered to the back of her head. this article. It was hers only by right of The cap had a cape, which went around it, discovery, not by unity of essence.

met under the chin and hung down almost The prologue over, now to the story. It to her shoulders. It was also of lace, very was Christmas eve, and eve were all gath- thin in the main, and letting her neck ered around the blazing fire in the sitting- shine through; but the bottom was trimroom. By all, I mean my father and moth- ined with a broad ruche of scarlet ribbon, er, big sister, and brother Harry, who had which gave her the appearance of a turkey just come home for his Christmas holidays, gobbler with his gills flapping. The front and Aunt Sarepta. As Aunt Sarepta is to was the master-piece, being surrounded by be the centre figure of this picture, I think a ruche like the cape, the part at the cheek she is entitled to a more particular intro- increasing in size till it looked like two duction than the rest, and I will endeavor cabbage roses. This was her cap, and next to place her before you as faithfully as I comes her face. Her hair, I have said, was can. She was a spinster, of such uncer- carroty and not very plentiful. Her skin, tain, or rather impossible age, that no one, possibly from a love of harmony, had tried not even my father, who was her own to assume the same bue, and with fair sucbrother, could give an opinion on it. My cess. Her eyes were gray, neither large nor curiosity had prompted me more than once lustrous, rather sharp, than otherwise. to question him on the subject, and his Her nose was remarkable for its faithful reply invariably was:

adherence to the old Roman type; and her Sarepta's age! really, my child, I can't chin was sharp enough to split rocks, as say. She was grown up long before months effectually as the beak of that wonderful and years had any meaning for me, and bird of old was said to do. Her mouth was let me see—I don't think I ever heard of large, lips thin, and when they opened disher having a birthday. Bless me, child! I played a row of teeth whose ghastly whitedon't know how old she is.”

ness reminded one of the tusks of the dragSo I would leave him, and try to satisfy This was my aunt's face; and now to the keen appetite of my curiosity by the her figure. It wont take long, for there help of inathematics, making my statement was not much of it to speak of, for though thus: Let X = papa's age, and X ta it was exceedingly tall and scraggy, it was grown girl Aunt Sarepta's. I have so lean that the joints of her spine showed racked my poor brain over this problem re- painfully through her dress in the summer inorselessly, but in vain; I never could time, for which reason she always sat upbring those inystic characters from the vale right in her chair, saving thereby bones, of the unknown to the clear not-to-be-dis- dry goods and the upholstery. puted fact of 1, 2, 3, 4. Her age was as This was our aunt as she sat that night, hopelessly lost as the record of dark ares; grim as the figure of Fate, a little outside but her face and form were patent to all; our circle. I said that Harry had just reand let me try to do justice to them.

turned from school. Of course he was the First, we'll take her face-10, we wont, lion of the group, which dignity he bore we'll take her cap. That cap of caps which bravely, entertaining us with accounts of towered as scornfully above all modern school pranks and frolics, of which he was millinery as the eagle does above the--the always the hero. We young ones listened -duck. It was made of lace; for home with open-mouthed devotion, applauding wear, black, for company and Sunday, with such exclamations as Good, Harry!



That was right! That was splendid !" count for your shortcomings, to separate
whenever an instance of his particular your tares from the wheat, eh ?-What do
cleverness or bravery was delicately men- you think of that?”
tioned. The evening passed rapidly away, Papa gave Harry a warning look, but the
and at last the clock struck eleven, when spirit of mischief and opposition was up in
Harry, who had been silent a short time, him, and he replied:
said, suddenly:

“I'd stand it as well, aunty, as you “() girls, I did not tell you about the would, if you should meet the ghost. ghost, did I?"

Come, tell us what you think you would “No!" we both cried in a breath. "A do.” ghost! do tell of it. What is it?”

“I never think on impossibilities. A “That is just what they all ask," said ghost is one." he, “and no one yet has been able to solve “But the witch of Endor?”. the problem. It is a little short stunipy “She called up the dead by the help of fellow, all white. He goes prowling the Evil One; and should he, by the blackthrough the hall as the clock strikes twelve. ness and depravity of my poor sinful naNo one knows where he comes from or ture, ever gain such dominion over me as where he goes to. They have spoken to it, to send one of his emissaries into my presbut it wont answer. One inan tried to ence, I would advance boldly to it, seize it catch it, but it slipped through his fingers, with one hand, and, while I held my Bible leaving a blue sulphurous smoke curling in the other, bid it, by the Power that cast around them."

its master from paradise, to quit my “My good gracious!" we exclaimed, and sight.” drew closer together.

During this discourse my aunt had gesAunt Sarepta looked at Harry severely, ticulated freely, going through the acting and then opening ber mouth, so that her part of her imaginary triumph with a zest white teeth glittered with a ghastliness that would have done credit to a Ristori. that made me shiver still more, she said At the close her arm remained outstretcbed, sternly:

and her skinny forefinger pointed at Harry, “Harry, are you not ashamed to terrify as though he were, not the presumptuous your sisters with such sinful levity?" spirit, but the prince of darkness himself.

“Sinful levity, aunty! I assure you, it But, all undaunted, he replied : is true.”

Good, good, aunt! that's the way to Aunt Sarepta's teeth retreated behind fetch them. What do you say to going the barrier of her thin pale lips, which back with me, and having a tussle with arranged themselves in a smile of contempt- this old codger?-provide yourself with a uous incredulity; and Harry answered pair of fire-proof gloves, you know, before with spirit:

you begin. Are you sure, now, that when “You may laugh as much as you please, you canie to the scratch, you wouldn't aunt, now; but if the ghost should once flunk just a little ?” favor you with a call, r'm afraid you would But aunt deigned this irreverent remark not think it quite so amusing. Your cry no reply; she dropped her arm, and turnwould be, 'O give me the legs of my ing to my father, said: youth!

“James, pray, pray in bitterness of I am sorry to say that neither Harry's spirit for that boy. I see perdition written tone nor words were as respectful as the on his brow. I shall wrestle in spirit for age and dignity of his relative demanded; him in my devotions to-night.” And with but the glow and dazzle of “just come these words, she arose, lighted her candle, home" hung fresh upon him, and besides, and left the room. the fact of any one having the hardihood Aunt Sarepta's room was a large chamto speak in such terms to Aunt Sarepta, so ber at the opposite end of the house from stunned all of us, that, had we felt the in- that occupied by the other members of the clination, we had not the power to reprove family. It was furnished in a style pecuhim. But Aunt Sarepta came bravely to liar to, and very much like herself; one of her own defence.

its features being a heavily curtained bed, "And what do you suppose will be your to which, in a measure, she was indebted cry, sir, when you are called to give ac- for the match between her hair and skin,

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and to which she clung like a knight to his next took a patchwork quilt, in which a spurs, in spite of the suggestions of her green eagle was represented surrounded friends, and the orders of her physiciau. by huge red hearts and livers, in tantalizing She also had a stove in it, which in winter proximity to his beak, from the press. She she kept at a red heat. In my days of put this over the chair, and then drew it wickedne I used to say it was to keep close to the fire, seated berself, rolled the constantly before her a comforting picture quitt tightly around her, plunged her feet of the state of the lost; and also to have into the water, and began to steam. herself a little bit in training, if in the end O that some poor but talented artist, unshe should discover that she was elected seen, could bave sketched my aunt as she ou the wrong side.

sat there! The flannel bound tightly around I said the room was large. The bed her brow, her nose standing out grandly, stood at one end, and the stove at the and the sharp angles of her knees threatother. Aunt Sarepta went to the stove ening to come through the quilt and sepaend, put her candle on a little stand which rate the eagle's head from his body. She held her Bible and hymn book, and began sat a few minutes gazing into the fire, ever to disrobe. First, she took off her cap, and anon nodding her head as if in approvand produced a remarkable result of starch al of ber thoughts, till at length she put out and ruffles, called her nightcap. How she her hand, and, taking her bymn book from ever managed to sleep in that cap is a prob- the stand, she began to read. lem sealed up with her age; the crown

Now when Aunt Sarepta read her hymn must have extended fully six inches book, she was always powerfully exercised; beyond her head, and the washerwoman and wben powerfully exercised, she always declares she has never once found the gave audible vent to her feelings. Consestarch in it broken. Perhaps she lay on quently, she read her hymns in a monotoher side, some one will say. No, she could nous half-crying voice, dwelling louder-or not have done that, for the fluted ruffle set longer on those words that particularly around her face like a row of spikes, that comforted or distressed her. This night, would have worn her meagre cheeks bare “When I can read my title clear” seemed in one night's rest, or rather unrest. No, the balm most blessed to her need. She it is useless to investigate. The thing is a read it over several times, and was dwelling mystery, a hopeless, helpless mystery, and with unusual energy on the line “ Then I I give it up. Aunt Sarepta proceeded to can smile at Satan's rage," when a sound put on this cap; but just as she held the behind her caused her to look around, and string beneath her chin, she sneezed. by the faint light of the flickering dip ske Now a sneeze to Aunt Sarepta was a seri- beheld a sight that froze the blood in her ous thing, for in its “hollow sound” she veips and the words on her lips. The curheard “cold, influenza, rheumatic pains, tains of her bed were parteil, and in the mustard drafts and cold weak tea,” brought opening stood a frightful thing, all snowup by a frowsy servant. “An ounce of white except the eyes, which, like two prevention is worth a pound of cure." So glowing coals, were tixed upon her. Aunt thought Aunt Sarepta. She laid the cap Sarepta stiffened and grew cold, froze fast aside with a sigh, and took from a bureau to her chair; she could not move, speak, or drawer a large square piece of red flannel, even turn her head away from that frightwbich she wrapped and rolled around her ful gaze, which seemed piercing her through head several times, and finally tied under and through. her chin. This done to her satisfaction, " Where! where was Roderick," she said to herself:

rather Roderick's courage, then ? Her “I guess I'll steam my feet; that gener- Bible lay close beside her on the stand, but ally takes out influensy."

no hand was outstretched to seize it. It She looked into the kettle that was boil- was powerless even to hold the hyrun book, ing on the stove, and saw it held water which dropped from her fingers into the enough for the operation; she brought out foottub with a loud splash. The noise her foottub and mustard, and prepared the seemed to arouse the horrid thing. It bath. She then finished disrobing herself, moved its head from side to side, and then, and put a short calico sack and yellow O horror of horrors! it slid to the floor, flannel petticoat over her nightdress; she and walked with slow and solemn step


straight to Sarepta. Nearer and nearer it peared. “What is the matter?'' all cried came, its eyes glowing, its mouth open, in one voice; but no answer came. My showing its ghastly teeth and fiery tongue. aunt had committed the only weakness A few steps from her he paused, looked at ever known of her; she had fainted. As her with a fiendish grin, and then slowly the door opened, the thing had left her and swung into view a long tail. O heaven stood in the shade; but the moment it saw above! it was the Evil One come to seize Harry it ran to him and sprang upon her for her sinful boasting. The fumes of him. brimstone already filled her nostrils. With “Why, balloo, Foxy!” he cried. “How one wild yell she sprang from her seat, up- did you come here?' And then he burst setting both the foottub and the kettle of out laughing. My mother, who had been boiling water which sat beside her, and leaning over my aunt, looked up severely. whose contents fell over her naked feet. "I can't help it, mother, indeed I can't; The pain brought forth another yell, but but Aunt Sarepta has seen a ghost. It is at that moment the thing again approached, too good! I brought that dog as a present uttering low growls, and she plunged for- to father. I did not want to show it until ward, to trip over the dragging quilt, and to-morrow, and it seems he has got in here, fall headlong on the floor, while the demon, and played ghost for Aunt Sarepta. 0, it with a cry of triumph, sprang on her pros- is too good! The Douglass vanquished in trate body, and lapped her face with his his hall! Up, Fox!” And Fox rose on his tongue. Shriek after shriek burst from hindlegs and walked gravely to the side of Sarepta as she struggled with her enemy,

his victim. The effect was irresistible, who now uttered sharp cries and lashed and, in spite of the senseless form on the her with his tail.

floor, the room rang with laughter. Aunt "O Lord, have mercy on me, lost sinner! Sarepta revived under the proper treatment, Help! help! Will no one save me from but her scalds were very severe, and kept the fiend? Save me! save me from the her a prisoner a long time. On her recovlake of fire!"

ery two changes were noticeable in her At this moment the door burst open, and tastes: the banishment of her bed-curtains, the household, headed by my father, ap- and a reticence on the subject of ghosts.

BACK NUMBERS OF BALLOU'S MAGAZINE. We are constantly receiving letters asking if back numbers of BALLOU'S MAGAZINE can be obtained at this office, as none are for sale at many of the periodical depots. We can supply, on application, all the back numbers of our Magazine from the first of January, '1873, and parties wishing them have only to write us, enclose the money aud receive, postpaid, what they ordered, by return of mail.

Address THOMES & TALBOT, 36 Bromfield St., Boston, Mass.

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC.-BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A SWINDLER.-One B. F. Turner, who is soliciting subscriptions for BALLOU'S MAGAZINE in Illinois, is a fraud, and we request the public whom he is cheating to arrest the scamp and punish him for his crimes. We have advertised the fellow for months past, but he is still at work at his infamous business. One of his victims recently sent us a receipt, printed in due form, with the exception that the publishers were represented as Thomas & Talbot, instead of Thomes & Talbot, the fellow falling into a mistake which many make who do not stop to take a second glance at a name. Will the people of Illinois please pass around the name of B. F. Turner, and kick him as he deserves, when he asks for subscriptions? We do not employ travelling agents, and we wish the public understood it a little better than they do.

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