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with great solemnity and tenderness telling every comfortable leather helmets with horse-tail pendbody farewell.

ants, and glittering swords, dashed through But the stirring times for our village were scampering crowds on sleek, fat, prancing certain public days of annual occurrence when steeds. Drums rattled, fifes shrieked, captains the country people flocked in, filling the tavern and subordinates roared “Fall into ranks!" and crowding the street. “Court days” were “Dress by the right !” “Mark time!” with a seasons of general convocation. With few oc- dignity and fervor reflecting upon them and casions for personal intercourse, the people from their county the highest credit. Then appeared different sections availed themselves of these op- in all his majesty the Colonel, with plumed portunities for settling up business matters. chapeau, the observed of all observers, a noble Then customers were dunned, bills paid, the pub- looking man, said to resemble the great Washlic crier sold worthless horses with high eulogi- ington; there, too, was the stirring, lively, arums on their matchless qualities, and the sheriff dent adjutant; and the spruce young surgeon, brought down his ruthless hainmer on the house casting furtive glances at the pretty faces and hold effects of some poor unfortunate who had bright eyes in those upper windows. failed to make both ends meet, while his busy “Forward, march !” at last echoes along the deputy called the names of tardy jurors or wit-line, and our warriors defile through the village nesses three times over from the court-house and move off to the parade-ground on a neighsteps; farmers poured doleful plaints into each boring hill. Let us review them. John Falother's ears over backward seasons, droughts, staff, what a regiment! Sixteen of the sixty short crops, and low prices, while family affairs troopers in the full panoply of horse-tail helmets and gossip in general were not neglected. Rich and bullet buttons, the remainder arrayed each were the stores of news carried at the close of as seemed best in his own eyes. Horses jogging such days to country homes. Oft were the ref- along as if going to church, horses standing on erences for weeks afterward to what the good their hind legs, horses trotting sidewise, horses man had “heard at court.”

with their heads where their tails should have “Election-day,” however, was one of our high been, horses incontinently charging on appledays. All the voters of the county then assem- women and cake tables. The infantry perform bled, and great was the bustle and the throng. fewer evolutions, but they are fit match for the Candidates for Congress and the Legislature, troopers. Here is a uniform (sic!) coat with in their best Sunday clothes, were conspicuous— short waist and long, narrow skirts that may be shaking hands with young and old, inquiring a relic of historic Yorktown; here is another of about the good-wife and children, hoping all scarlet, probably captured from some unlucky were well. On the hustings, too, they stood in Britisher at the same eventful locality; and imposing array, pouring out their well-conned there is a jaunty one fresh from a Northern city speeches—some with stammering tongue, oth- tailor. Here are all varieties of "citizens" ers facetious and humorous, making the sober costume; black coats, blue coats, green coats, farmers shake their sides over happy hits and linsey-woolsey coats, gingham coats, no coats, oft-told jokes, others polished, classical, elo- round jackets, and hunting shorts. Here are shot quent; for some of our orators were men whose guns, rifles, old muskets, rusty swords, bludsplendid declamation thrilled the councils of the geons, pea-sticks, and no sticks. Some are keepnation. Eager were the eyes turned upon each ing step, some running to catch up; talking, voter, as, according to the custom there, the laughing, playing tricks, and eating gingersheriff grasped his hand, called aloud his name, cakes. and demanded, “Whom do you vote for ?" Once on the neighboring hill-our Champs de And when at last the setting sun gave the signal Mars—our regiment “ spreads itself.” Its mafor closing the polls, and the result was an- neuvres are miscellaneous and original, not to nounced, great was the joy, and great the dis- say impromptu. For a while it stands at rest, appointment too. Long and deep were the po- "grand, gloomy, and peculiar.” Some tired of tations of the victors ; long and deep, were the standing lie down on the grass; some achieve potations of the vanquished.

various practical jokes. They march, they counBut “General Muster" was the day of days. ter-march ; they form hollow squares that are For us young folk, at least, it was first in the not at all square; the lively adjutant gallops calendar. Then from early dawn the crowds and vociferates in intense excitement; the troopbegan to gather-pouring in from every road ers scour the hill-side and parts adjacent with a and by-way, from farm-house and secluded desperation and expenditure of horse-flesh and mountain valley. The court-house sidewalk and horse-perspiration worthy of the highest admirathe public corners were the property for the time tion. What prodigies of valor would sach solbeing of thrifty country dames, whose tables diers not perform had they only the chance ! were laden with small-beer, apples, chestnuts, Our regiment having displayed its powers and and piles of ginger-cakes—particularly aggrava- prowess to the satisfaction of the admiring public ting to penniless urchins-round ones a cent and its own, wound up the eventful day by an apiece, square ones, artistically embossed, four extemporaneous charge on the cake-stands and

Horse cakes were not yet introduced. on the taverns too. Some of the heroes not But the sol rs. What an array! Troopers having exhausted their valor, undertook indiwith stub-tailed coats profusely buttoned, un-vidual adventures, or what is popularly known as “on their own hook," the consequence of glories. Our village at this time, so far as my which were many black eyes and bloody noses. memory serves me, could boast but one fourFrom the effects of the various “charges" not a wheeled carriage; and this was brought into few found it difficult to mount their horses when requisition to transport the young ladies from the time came for turning their faces homeward, their homes to the ball. One or more of the or to siterect in their saddles. Wild whoops and managers” took the houses seriatim, bringing hurrahs disturbed our usually quiet village long from each its precious contribution to the aggreafter nightfall. Not a few of the sturdy coun- gate female loveliness of the occasion. As we trymen reached their mountain homes through boys stood at the village tavern-door, and saw no small perils, and not a little the worse for one after another of these carriage-loads drive “General Muster Day.”

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up, and youth and beauty in all its charms Another of our village high days was the 22d gracefully and gallantly handed from the steps of February, the birth-day of Washington, for and tripping merrily into the scene of festivity, we were a patriotic people. How it was that it seemed almost too much bliss for mortals. the Fourth of July was not equally esteemed I The reader must bear in mind that in those can not explain, but such was the fact. On one primitive times ladies did not postpone their apof the beautiful hills overlooking the village was pearance in the ball-room till from ten o'clock an institution of learning which had done much P.M. to midnight; they went before dark, and toward diffusing the intelligence of which we could, of course, be seen and admired by all were no little proud, and which had enabled us curious spectators. When the famous black fidto furnish men of renown for both Church and dler at length struck up an old“ Virginia Reel,” Statc. Washington's birthday was always the the gayety set in in good carnest, and many a occasion of a grand celebration. Orations were blooming belle and manly beau, as they tripped delivered, our cannon was fired—especially the together "the light fantastic toc,” wished in “butt," the remains of an exploded iron cannon their hearts that the 22d of February would -the best music we could command discoursed come every month in the year. its enlivening strains, country people came in to But it must not be supposed that our village gaze and admire, and the young maidens mus- was given up to “the pomps and vanities of the tered in strength, their rich mountain complex- world.” On the contrary, we were rather unions set off to the best advantage by the latest commonly religious. Hence I must not fail to city fashid

The village belles were accus- mention among our high days the meetings of tomed to befriend their respective college favor- Presbytery and Synod-for our population was ites by making for them ribbon rosettes, with chiefly of Scotch-Irish descent, and consequentlong streamers, the society badges, blue for the ly Presbyterian--Synod did not come except after one, white for the other. Fastened to the la- intervals of some years; but when it did, it was pel they decidedly added to the effectiveness of worth while to be there. The writer of this was a young gentleman's presence.

not much of a judge of the preaching in those With these preliminaries, if the 22d happened days; but of the eating he felt himself authorto be a fair, bright day, not always to be reck-ized to speak in terms of the most unqualified oned upon in February, we were sure of a good approbation. “The big pot was put in the littime. At the appointed hour the societies tle one.” Every house was filled with guests, formed in column, two abreast, and marched on the principle of the largest hospitality. Minfrom the classic halls on College Hill to the isters, laymen, and ladies were alike welcome; court-house in the midst of the town. The and they came from every part of the Stateband by which they were preceded usually com- from hundreds of miles away. Great were the prised the very modest allowance of two flutes, crowds. The old church was too small to conand nothing else, played by amateurs. But tain them; and when Sunday came, “the great that procession, that music, those blue-and-white day of the feast," the throng surpassed all destreamers flying in the mountain breezes, the scription. And very good times these were ; patriotic orations, the throng of bright faces, many the pleasant acquaintances formed, many and the rounds of rapturous applausc, if ever the genial hours passed, many the fine serhuman glory had reached its culminating point, mons, many the pious impressions—to last, it it seemed to us youngsters that this must be it. was to be hoped, forever. It was worth going It has fallen to my lot since to see Kossuth's re- a very long way to participate in these goc ception into New York, and Queen Victoria's things. reception into Edinburgh, with the review of But the times of which I write are long since 80,000 troops by the Emperor and Empress of passed. Our mountain village has so changed France, with numerous other pageants; but these that we of the by-gone days returning there were tame and small affairs compared with that would hardly know it. Modern fashions and 22d of February turn-out, as I used to see it in modern airs have usurped the place of the forour mountain village. This grand gala occa- mer simplicity. But it is questionable whether sion usually wound up with a ball, which was, any advance has been made on the real enjoyof course, in harmony with the splendors of the ment of life which attended those unsophisticated day-in fact, the very blossom and flower of its | “high days” of “auld lang syne.”

VOL. XXXIII.-No. 194.-N

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IN THE HOUSE.

NOI

A R M A D A L E.
BY WILKIE COLLINS, AUTHOR OF "NO NAME," " THE WOMAN IN WHITE," ETC.
BOOK THE LAST.

“A lady, Sir?” he inquired. “Are you

looking for a lady?" CHAPTER II.

“I am looking," said Midwinter simply, "for my wife.”

“Married, Sir!" exclaimed Mr. Bashwood. TOTICING Mr. Bashwood's confusion (after “Married since I last had the pleasure of seeing

a moment's glance at the change in his you! Might I take the liberty of asking—?" personal appearance), Midwinter spoke first. Midwinter's eyes dropped uneasily to the

“I see I have surprised you," he said. “You ground. were looking, I suppose, for somebody else ? “You knew the lady in former times,” he Have you heard from Allan ? Is he on his way said. “I have married Miss Gwilt.” home again already ?”

The steward started back as he might have The inquiry about Allan, though it would nat started back from a loaded pistol leveled at his urally have suggested itself to any one in Mid- head. His eyes glared as if he had suddenly winter's position at that moment, added to Mr. lost his senses, and the nervous trembling to Bashwood's confusion. Not knowing how else which he was subject shook him from head to to extricate himself from the critical position in foot. which he was placed he took refuge in simple "What's the matter ?” asked Midwinter. denial.

There was no answer. " What is there so very “I know nothing about Mr. Armadale-oh startling," he went on, a little impatiently, “in dear, no, Sir, I know nothing about Mr. Arma- Miss Gwilt's being my wife ?” dale," he answered, with needless eagerness and “Your wife ?" repeated Mr. Bashwood, helphurry. “Welcome back to England, Sir," he lessly. “Mrs. Armadale-!" He checked himwent on, changing the subject in his nervously self by a desperate effort, and said no more. talkative manner. “I didn't know you had The stupor of astonishment which possessed been abroad. It's so long since we have had the steward was instantly reflected in Midwinthe pleasure--since I have had the pleasure-ter's face. The name in which he had secretly Have you enjoyed yourself, Sir, in foreign married his wife had passed the lips of the last parts? Such different manners from ours-man in the world whom he would have dreamed yes, yes, yes-such different manners from ours! of admitting into his confidence! He took Mr. Do you make a long stay in England, now you Bashwood by the arm, and led him away to a have come back?"

quieter part of the terminus than the part of “I hardly know,” said Midwinter. "I have it in which they had hitherto spoken to each been obliged to alter my plans, and to come to other. England unexpectedly.” He hesitated a little ; “You referred to my wife just now," he said; his manner changed, and he added in lower and you spoke of Mirs. Arnadale in the same tones, “ A serious anxiety has brought me back. breath. What do you mean by that?" I can't say what my plans will be until that Again there was no answer. Utterly incapaanxiety is set at rest.

ble of understanding more than that he had The light of a lamp fell on his face while he involved himself in some serious complication spoke, and Mr. Bashwood observed, for the first which was a complete mystery to him, Mr. Bashtime, that he looked sadly worn and changed. wood struggled to extricate himself from the

“ I'm sorry, Sir-I'm sure I'm very sorry. If grasp that was laid on him, and struggled in I could be of any use?” suggested Mr. Bash- vain. wood, speaking under the influence in some de- Midwinter sternly repeated the question. "I gree of his nervous politeness, and in some degree ask you again,” he said, “what do you mean of his remembrance of what Midwinter had done by it?" for him at Thorpe-Ambrose in the by-gone time. Nothing, Sir! I give you my word of

Midwinter thanked him, and turned away sad- honor I meant nothing!” He felt the hand on ly. “I am afraid you can be of no use, Mr. his arm tightening its grasp; he saw, even in Bashwood; but I am obliged to you for your the obscurity of the remote corner in which they offer, all the same.” He stopped, and consid- stood, that Midwinter's fiery temper was rising ered a little: “Suppose she should not be ill? and was not to be trifled with. The extremity Suppose some misfortune should have hap- of his danger inspired him with the one ready pened ?” he resumed, speaking to himself, and capacity that a timid man possesses when he is turning again toward the steward. “If she compelled by main force to face an emergency has left her mother, some trace of her might be the capacity to lie. “I only meant to say, found by inquiring at Thorpe-Ambrose." Sir,” he burst out, with a desperate effort to

Mr. Bashwood's curiosity wasinstantly aroused. look and speak confidently, “ that Mr. Arma-
The whole sex was interesting to him now for dale would be surprised—"
the sake of Miss Gwilt.

6. You said [rs. Armadale!"

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“No, Sir-on my word of honor, on my sa- of the platform. In an instant Midwinter had cred word of honor, you are mistaken—you are crossed, and had passed through the long row indeed! I said Mr. Armadale—how could I of vehicles, so as to skirt it on the side farthest say any thing else? Please to let me go, Sir- from the platform. He entered the second cab I'm pressed for time. I do assure you I'm dread by the left-hand door the moment after Mr. fully pressed for time !"

Bashwood had entered the first cab by the rightFor a moment longer Midwinter maintained hand door. “Double your fare, whatever it is," his hold, and in that moment he decided what he said to the driver, “if you keep the cab beto do.

fore you in view, and follow it wherever it goes." He had accurately stated his motive for re- In a minute more both vehicles were on their turning to England as proceeding from anxiety way out of the station. about his wife-anxiety naturally caused (after The clerk sat in his sentry-box at the gate, the regular receipt of a letter from her every taking down the destinations of the cabs as they other, or every third day) by the sudden cessa- passed. Midwinter heard the man who was tion of the correspondence between them on her driving him call out “Hampstead !" as he went side for a whole week. The first vaguely-terri- by the clerk's window. ble suspicion of some other reason for her si. “Why did you say "Hampstead ?!” he asklence than the reason of accident or of illness, ed, when they had left the station. to which he had hitherto attributed it, had struck " Because the man before me said “Hampthrough him like a sudden chill the instant he stead,' Sir," answered the driver. heard the steward associate the name of “Mrs. Over and over again, on the wearisome jourArmadale” with the idea of his wife. Little ney to the northwestern suburb, Midwinter askirregularities in her correspondence with him, ed if the cab was still in sight. Over and over which he had thus far only thought strange, again the man answered, “Right in front of now came back on his mind and proclaimed us.” themselves to be suspicious as well. He had It was between nine and ten o'clock when the hitherto believed the reasons she had given for driver pulled up his horses at last. Midwinter referring him, when he answered her letters, to got out and saw the cab before them waiting at no more definite address than an address at a a house-door. As soon as he had satisfied him. post-office. Now he suspected her reasons of self that the driver was the man whom Mr. being excuses for the first time. He had hith-Bashwood had hired he paid the promised reerto resolved, on reaching London, to inquire ward and dismissed his own cab. at the only place he knew of at which a clew to He took a turn backward and forward before her could be found—the address she had given the door. The vaguely terrible suspicion which him as the address at which “her mother" lived. had risen in his mind at the terminus had forced Now (with a motive which he was afraid to de- itself by this time into a definite form which was fine even to himself, but which was strong abhorrent to him. Without the shadow of an enough to overbear every other consideration in assignable reason for it he found himself blindly his mind), he determined, before all things, to distrusting his wife's fidelity, and blindly sussolve the mystery of Mr. Bashwood's familiarity pecting Mr. Bashwood of serving her in the cawith a secret, which was a marriage-secret be- pacity of gobetween. In sheer horror of his tween himself and his wife. Any direct appeal own morbid fancy he determined to take down to a man of the steward's disposition, in the the number of the house and the name of the steward's present state of mind, would be evi- street in which it stood; and then, in justice to dently useless. The weapon of deception was, his wife, to return at once to the address which in this case, a weapon literally forced into Mid- she had given him as the address at which her winter's hands. He let go of Mr. Bashwood's mother lived. He had taken out his pocketarm and accepted Mr. Bashwood's explanation. book, and was on his way to the corner of the

“I beg your pardon,” he said, “I have no street, when he observed the man who had drivdoubt you are right. Pray attribute my rude- en Mr. Bashwood looking at him with an exness to over-anxiety and over-fatigue. I wish pression of inquisitive surprise. The idea of you good-evening."

questioning the cab-driver while he had the opThe station was by this time almost a soli- portunity instantly occurred to him. He took tude; the passengers by the train being assem- a half-crown from his pocket and put it into the bled at the examination of their luggage in the man's ready hand. custom-house waiting-room. It was no casy “Has the gentleman whom you drove from matter ostensibly to take leave of Mr. Bash- the station gone into that house ?” he asked. wood and really to keep him in view. But “Yes, Sir.” Midwinter's early life with his gipsy master had “Did you hear him inquire for any body when been of a nature to practice him in such strata- the door was opened ?" gems as he was now compelled to adopt. He “He asked for a lady, Sir-Mrs." The walked away toward the waiting-room by the man hesitated. “ It wasn't a common name, line of empty carriages, opened the door of one Sir; I should know it again if I heard it." of them as if to look after something that he “ Was it · Midwinter?'" had left behind, and detected Mr. Bashwood “No, Sir.” making for the cab-rank on the opposite side 16. Armadale ?'”

man.

*. That's it, Sir. Mrs. Armadale." question had struck her dead and his pointing ** Are you sure it was · Mrs.' and not · Mr.?!” hand had petrified her.

• I'm as sure as a man can be who hasn't He advanced one step nearer and reiterated taken any particular notice, Sir.”

his words, in a voice even lower and quieter The doubt implied in that last answer decided than the voice in which he had spoken first. Midwinter to investigate the matter on the spot. One moment more of silence, one moment He ascended the house-steps. As he raised his more of inaction might have been the salvation hand to the bell at the side of the door the vio- of her. But the fatal force of her character lence of his agitation mastered him physically triumphed at the crisis of her destiny and his. for the moment. A strange sensation as of White and still, and haggard and old, she met something leaping up from his heart to his the dreadful emergency with a dreadful courbrain, turned his head wildly giddy. He held age, and spoke the irrevocable words which reby the house-railings and kept his face to the nounced him to his face. air, and resolutely waited till he was steady “Mr. Midwinter,” she said, in tones unnatagain. Then he rang the bell.

urally hard and unnaturally clear, “our ac“Is—?” he tried to ask for “Mrs. Armadale” quaintance hardly entitles you to speak to me when the maid-servant had opened the door, in that manner." Those were her words. She but not even his resolution could force the name never lifted her eyes from the ground while she to pass his lips—" Is your mistress at home?" spoke them. When she had done, the last faint he asked.

vestige of color in her cheeks faded out. “Yes, Sir."

There was a pause. Still steadily looking at The girl showed him into a back-parlor, and her he set himself to fix the language she had presented him to a little old lady with an oblig- used to him in his mind. “She calls me. Mr. ing manner and a bright pair of eyes.

Midwinter,'” he said, slowly, in a whisper. “There is some mistake,” said Midwinter. “She speaks of our acquaintance.'” He wait“I wished to see-" Once more he tried to ed a little and looked round the room. His utter the name, and once more he failed to force wandering eyes encountered Mr. Bashwood for it to his lips.

the first time. He saw the steward standing “Mrs. Armadale ?" suggested the little old near the fire-place, trembling and watching him. lady, with a smile.

“I once did you a service,” he said ; "and “Yes."

you once told me you were not an ungrateful “Show the gentleman up stairs, Jenny."

Are you grateful enough to answer me The girl led the way to the drawing-room if I ask you something?” floor.

He waited a little again. Mr. Bashwood still Any name, Sir ?"

stood trembling at the fire-place, silently watch“No name.'

ing him.

“I see you looking at me," he went on. “Is Mr. Bashwood had barely completed his re- there some change in me that I am not conscious port of what had happened at the terminus; of myself? Am I seeing things that you don't Mr. Bashwood's imperious mistress was still sit- sce? Am I hearing words that you don't hear? ting speechless under the shock of the discovery Am I looking or speaking like a man out of his that had burst on her-when the door of the senses?" room opened, and, without a word of warning Again he waited, and again the silence was to precede him, Midwinter appeared on the unbroken. His eyes began to glitter, and the threshold. He took one step into the room, savage blood that he had inherited from his moand mechanically pushed the door to behind ther rose dark and slow in his ashy cheeks. him. He stood in dead silence, and confronted “Is that woman,” he asked, “the woman his wife with a scrutiny that was terrible in its whom you once knew, whose name was Miss unnatural self-possession, and that enveloped Gwilt ?” her steadily in one comprehensive look from Once more his wife collected her fatal courhead to foot.

age. Once more his wife spoke her fatal words. In dead silence on her side she rose from her "You compel me to repeat," she said, " that chair. In dead silence she stood erect on the you are presuming on our acquaintance, and hearth-rug and faced her husband in widow's that you are forgetting what is due to me. weeds.

He turned upon her with a savage suddenHe took one step nearer to her and stopped ness which forced a cry of alarm from Mr. Bashagain. He lifted his hand and pointed with wood's lips. his lean brown finger at her dress.

“Are you or are you not My Wife ?” he asked “What does that mean?” he asked, without through his set teeth. losing his terrible self-possession, and without She raised her eyes to his for the first time. moving his outstretched hand.

Her lost spirit looked at him, steadily defiant, At the sound of his voice the quick rise and out of the hell of its own despair. fall of her bosom-which had been the one out- “I am not your wife," she said. ward betrayal thus far of the inner agony that He staggered back, with his hand groping for tortured her -- suddenly stopped. She stood something to hold by, like the hands of a man impenetrably silent, breathlessly still, as if his in the dark. He leaned heavily against the

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