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Chip’s rage and rancor abated after he this house twice over. I want you to entered that door. Not that he relaxed reconcile us. Will you offer my apology his purpose at all, or felt any essential and prevail on him to take this and be change of his nature, but his temper was my coachman for an hour ? ” asked Chip, instantly turned the right side up for suc- - slipping a gold eagle into her hand
He was, of course, unce ious of with the most winning expression at his the cause, - for it is certainly nothing command. wonderful, even in the neighborhood of " Oh, yes, Sir,—I'm sure I'll try withBoston, to see a neat Yankee lass, in her out that, Sir. He will be glad to oblige second or third best dress, putting things you, when he knows how you need it,” to rights of a morning, with a snowy she said, offering to return the coin. handkerchief over her head, its corners “ No, no, Miss Laura, I want to pay drawn into a half-knot under her sweet him well; and if you succeed,— why, no chin, and some little ruddy outposts on money can pay you, Miss Laura ; I don't her cheeks, ready, on the slightest occa- profess to be rich enough to do it.” sion, to arouse a whole army of blushes. Here the outposts gave another alarm, Laura had just given the finishing touch and again the hosts of the ruby uniform to her flower-culture, changed the water were gathering hurriedly in their two of her fishes, replenished the seed-bucket muster-fields. of the canary, and was about leaving the “ Why, I will go and try, Sir,” said room. Almost any man would have been Laura, so much confused by the novelty glad of an excuse to speak to her. Chip and magnitude of the circumstances that could have made an excuse, if one had she opened the closet-door before opennot been ready-made, that was to him ing the only one that led out of the room. very important, as well as satisfactory. Fairly out of Chip’s presence, she saw “Miss Birch, I presume ?”
instantly and instinctively the worthless“ Yes, Sir,” said Laura, with a curtsy, ness of that gold eagle, however genuine, not quite so large as those that grow in compared with her sisterly love, in her dancing-schools, but, nevertheless, very mission to Frank. So she ran directly pretty.
to her mother in the long kitchen, and, “ Well, Miss Birch,” said Chip, bland- planking the American cagle upon the ly advancing and taking her nice little sloppy little table where the eels were hand, half covered with her working- rapidly getting dressed, said, mitts, — whereat the aforesaid outposts “Why, mother, that gentleman wants promptly did their duty, --" or shall I to hire Frank to carry him to Captain call you Miss Susan Birch ?”
Grant's, and I'm sure he ought to go “ No, Sir, my name is Laura,” said the without hiring. I'll go right out and see girl, shrinking a little from a contact him." which rather took her by surprise. “ That's right, Lauly ; tell him he
“Oh, Laura !—that is better yet," pro- ought to be ashamed of himself !” ceeded Chip. “ Now, Miss Laura, I have “Oh, no, mother, I won't tell him any got myself into a terrible scrape; can you such thing," said Laura, laughingly, as help me out of it?"
she hopped and skipped towards the barn. “I can't tell, indeed, Sir, till I know “ Well, Frank, how's Nell Gwyn, this what it is,” said Laura, with a bright morning ?” cheerily cried Laura to twinkle of reassurance.
Frank, who seemed to be getting his har“ Well, it is this :-I have mortally of- ness into a worse snarl, in his grouty atfended your brother,—for so I take him tempts to get it out of one. to be by his looks,-and I most sincerely “ The mare's well enough, if she hadn't repent it, for he owns the only team left been insulted." in Waltham. If I cannot hire that team “Why, that's abominable, Frank! But for an hour, I lose money enough to buy let me get that snarl out.”
“ You get it out! You get out your
business in Waltham that morning, and self, Laule.”
thinking he might perhaps save him a “ Why, that's all I'm good for, Frank; journey to town. The ship-owner had I always pick out the snarls in the house, just finished the news of the morning you know, and I should like to try it papers, for which he had sent a messenonce in the barn.”
ger express to the post-office, and said, “ The tarnal old thing's bewitched, I after the cordial salutation which a rough believe,” said Frank, allowing his sister sort of man always gives in his own to interfere and quietly untwist and turn house, right side out the various parts which he “ Well, Mr. Dartmouth, I see the mar had put wrong by all sorts of torsion. ket is as close-reefed as ever. May-be “ I'll teach Boston chaps to know that you think I will sell at five and threethere are some things they can't have for fourths to-day, but I've concluded to make money! When Nell and I have agreed a floating warehouse of the Orion' for to have a good time, we a’n’t goin' to be the winter, rather than do that.” ordered off nor bought off ;-we'll have it." “I don't blame you for that, my friend;
“ So I say, Frank. But suppose I but in the present state of advices, six at wanted you to give me a ride, Frank ?” two months is the highest mill that will
“Why, Laule, you know I would go to do. If you will close the • Orion's 'cargo the North Pole with you. If Mam would at that, I am your man.” only let you go to Concord with me, I'd “ What I've said, I'll do, Sir, of course,” wait till noon for you.”.
said the tough old salt; "and since you've “ Well, may-be she will, Frank. She taken the trouble to come out here and wants you to carry that man to Captain save my lame toes, let's nail the bargain Grant's bad enough to let me go in the with a bottle of my old Madeira,—some afternoon."
of the ripest this side of the herring-pond, “But I told him I wouldn't carry him, I'll be bound.” -and, gol darn it, I won't!”
“ Not a drop, I thank you ; for, besides “Of course you won't carry him on being a teetotaller, Captain, I'm behind his own account, or for the sake of his time to-day, and must bid you good-mornmoney, — but for my sake perhaps you ing." will."
Well, Sir, I'm much obliged to you; "Well, Sis, perhaps I will. But, mind, the bill of sale shall be at your countingbefore I do, Mam shall promise, sartin room directly; the clerk will receive the sure, to let you go by half-past twelve notes and deliver the cotton. Good-morno'clock, and not a minit later."
ing, Sir,-good-morning !” “ Well, I'll see she does; you harness In truth, Chip had not the slightest obNell, and get the buggy. The man says jection to wine, as wine, even had it not he's sorry he spoke to you so. If he's car- been the ripest on this continent; but, ried to Captain Grant's and back, I'll an- like
any other mitigated villain, he did not swer for it's being the best for all of us.” quite relish taking wine with the man he
She was off to the house like a bird, was basely cheating. He would much and the rest of her diplomacy was too rather partake of Ma'am Birch's fried simple and straightforward to need spe- eels and coffee, especially if Laura Birch cial record.
should, peradventure, be the Hebe of As the buggy was at the door before such an ambrosial entertainment. She the table presented the savory tempta- was not, however,-and the disappointtion of fried eels, Chip declined break- ment considerably overclouded the comfast at present, but decidedly promised mercial victory of the morning. Madam to take it on his return. He dropped Birch herself did the honors of whatever in on Captain Grant, as he was care- sort, while Chip played a fantasia solo at ful to tell that gentleman, having had the table d'hôle. The good lady enlarged
volubly on her destitution of help, and was, used to say some of the Bible an-
“Such a son as you have is a fortune, be taken to select the society in which Madam; and as for the daughter, she is young people are to move. In the right a gem, a genuine diamond, Madam.” society, such a girl as Laura would win
“ Ha! ha! do you really think so, homage on every side, and make herself Sir?” said the mother, evidently grati- happy by making everybody else so." fied with the superlativeness of the com- " I believe you are right there, Sir," pliment. “Well, they do say children said Mrs. Birch, quite charmed with such are jewels,—but I've found, Sir, they are beautiful appreciation of what she felt to pretty troublesome and pretty costly jew- be Laura's excellence; " and I don't els. Mine, as you say, are very good wonder sometimes that she should be dischildren,-though Frank is pretty wilful, contented with the society she has here, and Laury is always gettin' her head poor girl !” above the clouds. Oh, dear! they want “ When you see the sun begin to shine a great deal done for 'em,--and the more in the morning, you may be sure enough you do, the more you may do. Frank is it will keep rising all the forenoon,” said bewitched to sell out and go to Kansas Chip, with the air of a great moral phior Californy, or, if he stays here, he must losopher, conscious of having made a dego to college or be a merchant. And Lau- cided impression. And suddenly recolry, even she isn't contented; she wants lecting how valuable was his time in to be some sort of artist, make statters or town, and that the train would be due in picters,- or be a milliner, at least. So five minutes, he swallowed the last of his you see I haven't a minute's peace of my coffee, paid his bill, told the landlady how life with 'em.”
happy he was to have made her acquainOf course Chip saw it, and the more's tance and that of her interesting family,
promised he would never stop in Wal“ All the better, Madam,” said he. tham without calling, and strode away. “Young America must go ahead. There's nothing to be had without venturing. If The lightning flashed from a good I can ever be of service to either of your many eyes in the telegraph-office when children in forwarding their laudable am- the morning members of the associated bition, I am sure it will give me the great- press inquired why they had not been est pleasure."
served with the latest news, - why, in “You are very kind, Sir, but I only fact, the only item of any significance wish you could persuade 'em to let well was reserved for the evening papers of alone, and at least not try the world till the day. Not a press of all the indignant they know more of it.”
complainants was ready to admit that it “ Not touch the water till they have had locked up its forms and gone to bed learned to swim, eh ? That's not quite before the wires had completed their task. so easy, Madam. Never fear; I'll be very bitter paragraphs testified, the next bound, a boy that can say No like yours day, that, in the opinion of many sage is perfectly safe anywhere; and as to and respectable editors, the wires had Laura, why, Madam, I never heard of an been tampered with by speculators. The angel getting into difficulty in the wick- poor little half-frozen telegraph-boy was edest of worlds."
closely catechized, first by the officers of “ Our old minister, Parson Usher that the telegraph-company, and afterwards VOL. IV.
by certain shrewd detectives, but no clue a pretty hazardous game in the cottoncould be got to the fine gentleman who market, chiefly at the risk of other parso generously relieved him of his respon- ties; and the slice he had so feloniously sibility, and no result followed, except his carved out of poor Captain Grant was dismissal and the employment of another quite small compared with the gains he lad of more ability and probably less in- had managed to secure by thus venturing nocence. Captain Grant was the man a little of his own and a great deal of most likely to have come to a discovery other people's money. The shrewd minds in the matter, and most heartily did he in the secrets of the business world were curse his luck — his " usual luck” - of not slow to see that he must have realgiving away a fortune by selling a cargo ized at least a hundred thousand units of a day too soon. But being kept at home commercial omnipotence by the operaby uncomfortable toes, no suspicious mor- tions of the first week after the rise. Evtal, such as abound in the lounging-rooms erybody was glad of an opportunity to of insurance-offices and other resorts of speak to such a man.
Even Mr. Hopbusiness-men in town, happened ingen- kins, immensely retired as he was, driviously to put his suspicions on a scent, ing into State Street about noon one and he did not come within a league of genial day to receive a bank dividend or the thought that Chip Dartmouth could two, stepped considerably out of his way, have had anything to do with the strange in walking from his low-hung turnout to and blamable conduct of the wires. As the door of one of the banks, in order to he made no proclamation of his loss, and catch Mr. Dartmouth's notice, and say to no other case of sale during the abeyance him, “ Good-morning, Mr. Dartmouth! I of the news came to the knowledge of hope you are very well, Sir!” Chip recthe parties interested, the matter, greatly ognized the salutation with a superb nod, to Chip’s comfort, fell into entire oblivion but without the accompaniment of any before a fortnight had passed. The un- verbal rhetoric which was audible above derstanding was, that, though great mis- the buzz of the pavement; and the rechief might have been done, none had tired millionnaire passed on about his been, - and that somebody had simply business. made waste-paper of the little yellow “ Ah!” thought Chip, “I am getting to thunderbolt-scrawls.
be a merchant of the right sort, I see, For the first fortnight, Chip’s nervous- and by the time he is ready to change that ness, not to say conscience, very much low-hung little chariot for the hard, anguabated the pleasure of the many congrat- lar ebony with raven plumes, I shall be ulations he received from his friends, and ready to step into the other plump little from hundreds of people whom he had vehicle, which is really so nice and cozy." never before known as his friends. He But we must leave Chip to the easy couldn't get through the streets any day task of ballooning upward in public estiwithout meeting the solidest sort of men, mation, with his well-inflated bank-acwith whom he had never exchanged a count. He was, in fact, reformed by his word in his life, but whose faces were as great commercial success to this extent, familiar as that of the Old-South clock, that his vices had become of the most who took him by the hand quite warmly, distinguished and unvulgar grade. He and said,
was now courted by the highest artists “Ah, Mr. Dartmouth, permit me to in iniquity, and had the means of accomcongratulate you on your good-fortune. plishing results that none but men who You have well deserved it. I like to see are known to be really rich can coma young man like you make such a ten- mand. He, therefore, now quitted all vulstrike, especially when it comes in conse- gar associations, and determined not to quence of careful study of the market.” outrage any of the virtues, except under
The truth was, Chip had been playing varnish, gilding, and polish that would
keep everything perfectly respectable. and an altogether preternatural resoluLet him trust to that as long as he can. tion. A gazelle, started by the hunts
man's pack, could not have thrown more Don't talk of the solitude of a night in piercing glances at every avenue of esthe primeval forests, however far from cape than this excited girl did at every the abodes of man ;-—the squirrels and cross street, and indeed at everything but the partridges may be asleep then and the human faces that passed her. All of there, but the katydids are awake, and, them she shunned, with a look that seemwith the support of contralto and bary- ed equally anxious to avoid the known and tone tree-toads, manage to keep up a the unknown. She should seem to have concert which cannot fail to impress on narrowly escaped some peril, and was you a sense of familiar and friendly com- carrying with her a secret not to be conpany. Don't talk of the loneliness of a de- fided to friend or stranger, certainly not serted and ruinous castle ;- the crickets to either without due consideration. Had have not left it, and, if you don't have a you watched her, as the crowds of peomerry time with their shrill jokes, it will ple, returning from the various evening be your own fault. But if you would amusements died away in the streets, you have a sense of being terribly alone, come would have seen the deep color of her from long residence in some quiet country- cheeks die away also to deadly paleness; home on the border of a quiet country- had you been sufficiently clairvoyant, you village, into the hurry-skurry of a strange might have seen how two charming rows city, just after nightfall. Here is an in- of pearls bit the blanched lips till the runfinite brick-and-stone forest, stern, angu- away blood came back into the sad gashlar, almost leafless. Here is a vast, indis- es, how the tears welled up again, and tinguishable wilderness of flitting human with them came relief and fresh strength shapes, not one of which takes half so just as she was about to faint and drop in much notice of you as a wild bush would. the street. Then returned again the throb Speak to one; it answers without the of indignant resolution, as her mind reslightest emotion, and passes on. Your curred to the attempted ruin of her parapresence is absolutely no more to any dise by a disguised foe; then succeeded soul of them, provided they have souls, shame and dread lest the friends she had than if you were so much perfectly fa- left in her childhood's rural home should miliar granite. You feel, that, with such know how differently from her fond anattention as you receive, such curiosity as ticipations had turned out the first week you excite, you must be there hundreds of of her sojourn in the great city. She was years to be either recognized or missed. most thoroughly resolved, that, if possi
Had you been a stranger in Bos- ble, they should not know anything of ton, one moist and rather showery sum- the wreck of her long-cherished hopes mer-evening, not a year after the events till she had found some foothold for new we have narrated, you might have been ones. She felt that she was a Yankee recovered from the sense of loneliness girl in the metropolis of New England, we have described by observing one with wit, skill, and endurance equal to pretty female figure hurrying along the any employment that ever falls to the lot crowded sidewalk with a very large and of Yankee women ; but having given up replete satchel, and without any of the the only chance which had ever opened sang-froid which characterizes city 'pe- to her, how could she find another ? destrianism. You might have noticed Were she of the other sex, or only disthat this one human being, like yourself, guised in the outer integuments of it, with was evidently not at home. Every glare the trifling sum in her purse, she would of gas-light revealed a deeply-flushed face, get lodgings at the next hotel, and seek eyes that had been weeping and which suitable employment without suspicion. were now flashing with a wild earnestness In the wide wilderness of a city there