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slender acquaintance with the operation, slowly not dare to venture upon. Madame Beausoleil registered his name and address.
read it, and she said: He did it with such painstaking, that, up- “We was raise' together, Bonaventure and side down as the writing was, she read it as he me.” She waved her hand toward her daughwrote. As the Christian name appeared, her ter. “ He teach her to read. Seet down to perfunctory glance became attention. As the the fire; we make you some supper.” surname followed, the attention became interest and recognition. And as the address was
IV. MARGUERITE. added, Mr. Tarbox detected pleasure dancing behind the long fringe of her discreet eyes, and Out in the kitchen, while the coffee was marked their stolen glance of quick inspection dripping and the ham and eggs frying, the upon the short, dark locks and strong young mother was very silent, and the daughter said form still bent over the last strokes of the writ- little, but followed her now and then with furing. But when he straightened up, carefully tive liftings of her young black eyes. Marshut the book, and fixed his brown eyes upon guerite remembered Bonaventure Deschamps hers in guileless expectation of instructions, he well and lovingly. For years she had seen the saw nothing to indicate that he was not the letters that at long intervals came from him at entire stranger that she was to him.
Grande Pointe to her mother here. In almost “ You done had sopper?" she asked. The every one of them she had read high praises uncommon kindness of such a question at such of Claude. He had grown, thus, to be the an hour of a tavern's evening was lost on the hero of her imagination. She had wondered young man's obvious inexperience, and as one if it could ever happen that he would come schooled to the haphazard of forest and field within her sight, and if so, when, where, how. he merely replied :
And now, here at a time of all times when it “Naw, I didn' had any."
would have seemed least possible, he had, as The girl turned — what a wealth of black it were, rained down. hair she had!- and disappeared as she moved She wondered to-night, with more definiteaway along the hall. Her voice was heard: ness of thought than ever before, what were “Mamma?” Then there was a silence of an the deep feelings which her reticent little unheard consultation. The young man moved mother — Marguerite was an inch the tallera step or two into the parlor and returned kept hid in that dear breast. Rarely had emotoward the door as a light double foot-fall ap- tion moved it. She remembered its terrible proached again down the hall and the girl heavings at the time of her father's death, and appeared once more, somewhat preceded by the later silent downpour of tears when her a small, tired-looking, pretty woman some only sister and brother were taken in one day. thirty-five years of age, of slow, self-contained Since then, those eyes had rarely been wet; yet movement and clear, meditative eyes. more than once or twice she had seen tears in
But the guest, too, had been reënforced. A them when they were reading a letter from man had come silently from the fireside, taken Grande Pointe. Had her mother ever had his hand, and now, near the doorway, was something more than a sister's love for Bonasoftly shaking it and smiling. Surprise, pleas- venture ? Had Bonaventure loved her? And ure, and reverential regard were mingled in when ? Before her marriage, or after her widthe young man's face, and his open mouth owhood ? was gasping
The only answer that came to her as she " Mister Tarbox !”
now stood, knise in hand, by the griddle was a “ Claude St. Pierre, after six years, I 'm glad roar of laughter that found its way through to see you. Madame, take good care of Claude. the hall, the dining-room, and two closed doors No fear but she will, my boy; if anybody in from the men about the waiting-room fireside. Louisiana knows how to take care of a travel- That was the third time she had heard it. er, it's Madame Beausoleil.” He smiled for all. What could have put them so soon into such The daughter's large black eyes danced, but gay mood? Could it be Claude? Somehow the mother asked Claude, with unmoved coun- she hoped it was not. Her mother reminded tenance and soft tone:
her that the batter-cakes would burn. She “You are Claude St. Pierre ? — from Gran quickly turned them. The laugh came again. Point'?"
When by and by she went to bid Claude to “ Yass."
his repast, the laughter, as she reached the “ Dass lately since you left yondah ? ' door of the waiting-room, burst upon her as “ About two month'."
the storm would have done had she opened “ Bonaventure Deschamps — he was well ?” the front door. It came from all but Claude
“Yass." Claude's eyes were full of a glad and Mr. Tarbox. Claude sat with a knee in surprise and asked a question that his lips did his hands, smiling. The semicircle had widened out from the fire, and in the midst Mr. Tar- one by one, for all the rest. By that time they box stood telling a story, of which Grande were all gone; but Mr. Tarbox made VerPointe was the scene, Bonaventure Deschamps millionville his base of operations for several the hero, a school examination the circum- days. stance, and he, G. W., the accidental arbiter Claude also tarried. For reasons presently of destinies that hung upon its results. The to appear, the “ladies' parlor,” a small room big-waisted man had retired for the night, behind the waiting-room, with just one door, and half an eye could see that the story-telier which let into the hall at its inner end, was had captivated the whole remaining audience. given up to his use; and of evenings not only He was just at the end as Marguerite reap- Mr. Tarbox, but Marguerite and her mother peared at the door. The laugh suddenly ceased, as well, met with him, gathering familiarly and then all rose: it was high bed-time. about a lamp that other male lodgers were
“And did they get married ?” asked one. not invited to hover around. Three or four gathered close to hear the The group was not idle. Mr. Tarbox held answer.
big hanks of blue and yellow yarn, which “Who; Sidonie and Bonaventure ? Yes. Zoséphine wound off into balls. A square I did n't stay to see. I went away into Missis- table quite filled the center of the room. sippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, and just only a There was a confusion of objects on it, and few weeks ago took a notion to try this Atta- now on one side and now on another Claude kapas and Opelousas region. But that's what leaned over it and slowly toiled, from morning Claude tells me to-night — married more than until evening alone, and in the evening with five years ago. Claude, your supper wants you. these three about him; Marguerite, with her Want me to go out and sit with you? Oh, sewing dropped upon the floor, watching his no trouble! not the slightest! It will make work with an interest almost wholly silent, me feel as if I was nearer to Bonaventure." only making now and then a murmured com
And so the group about Claude's late sup- ment, her eyes passing at intervals from his per numbered four. And because each had preoccupied eyes to his hands, and her hand known Bonaventure, though each in a very now and then guessing and supplying his different way from any other, they were four want as he looked for one thing or another friends when Claude had demolished the ham that had got out of sight. What was he doing? and eggs, the strong black coffee, and the grid- As to Marguerite, more than he was aware dle-cakes and sirop-de-battarie.
of. Zoséphine Beausoleil saw, and was already At the top of the hall stairway, as Mr. casting about somewhat anxiously in her mind Tarbox was on his way to bed, one of the to think what, if anything, ought to be done dispersed fireside circle stopped him, saying: about it. She saw her child's sewing lie forThat 's an awful good story!”
gotten on the floor, and the eyes that should “I would n't try a poor one on you.” have been following the needle, fixed often on
“Oh! - but really, now, in good earnest, it the absorbed, unconscious, boyish-manly face is good. It 's good in more ways than one. so near by. She saw them scanning the bent Now, you know, that man, hid away there brows, the smooth, bronzed cheek, the purin the swamp at Grande Pointe, he little thinks poseful mouth, and the unusual length of dark that six or eight men away off here in Vermill- eyelashes that gave its charm to the whole ionville are going to bed to-night better men — face; and she saw them quickly withdrawn that 's it, sir — yes, sir, that 's it — yes, sir ! whenever the face with those lashes was lifted better men - just for having heard of him !” and an unsuspecting smile of young compan
Mr. Tarbox smiled with affectionate appro- ionship broke slowly about the relaxing lips val and began to move away; but the other and the soft, deep-curtained eyes. No; put out a hand
Claude little knew what he was doing. “Say, look here; I'm going away on that Neither did Marguerite. But, aside from her, two o'clock train to-night. I want that book of what was his occupation ? I will explain. yours. And I don't want to subscribe and About five weeks earlier than this a passenwait. I want the book now. That 's my way. ger on an eastward bound train of Morgan's I'm just that kind of a man; I'm the nowest Louisiana and Texas railway stood at the rear man you ever met up with. That book 's just door of the last coach, eying critically the the kind of thing for a man like me who ain't track as it glided swiftly from under the train got no time to go exhaustively delving and and shrank perpetually into the west. The investigating and researching into things, and coach was nearly empty. No one was near yet has got to keep as sharp
as a brier." him save the brakeman, and by and by he Mr. Tarbox, on looking into his baggage, took his attention from the track and let it found he could oblige this person. Before night rest on this person. There he found a singufell again he had done virtually the same thing, lar attraction. Had he seen that face before,
or why did it provoke vague reminiscences of " 'T is n't at all the best thing for you,” said great cypresses overhead, and deep-shaded one of the surveyors,“ but I 'll lend you some leafy distances with bayous winding out of books that will teach you the why as well as sight through them, and canebrakes impene- the how." trable to the eye, and axe-strokes — heard but In the use of these books by lantern-light
slashing through them only a few certain skill with the pen showed itself; and feet away ? Suddenly he knew.
when at length one day a dispatch reached “Was n't it your father,” he said, “who was camp from the absent “chief” stating that in my guide up Bayou des Acadiens and Blind two or three days certain matters would take River the time I made the survey in that big him to Vermillionville, and ordering that some swamp north of Grande Pointe? Is n't your one be sent at once with all necessary field name Claude St. Pierre ?" And presently they notes and appliances and give his undivided were acquainted.
time to the making of certain urgently needed “You know I took a great fancy to your maps, and the only real draughtsman of the father. And you 've been clear through the party was ill with swamp-fever, Claude was arithmetic twice? Why, see here; you 're just sent. the sort of man I — Look here; don't you On his last half-day's journey toward the want to learn to be a surveyor?” The ques- place, he had fallen in with an old gentleman tioner saw that same ambition that had pleased whom others called “ Governor,” a tall, trim him so in the father leap for joy in the son's figure, bent but little under fourscore years, eyes.
with cheerful voice and ready speech, and eyes An agreement was quickly reached. The hidden behind dark glasses and flickering in surveyor wandered into another coach, and their deep sockets. nothing more passed between them that day “Go to Madame Beausoleil's," he advised save one matter, which, though trivial, has its Claude. “ That is the place for you. Excelplace. When the surveyor returned to the rear lent person; I 've known her from childhood; train Claude was in a corner seat gazing pen- a woman worthy a higher station.” And so, sively through the window and out across the all by accident, chance upon chance, here wide, backward-flying, purpling green cane- was Claude making maps, and this delightful fields of St. Mary to where on the far left the work, he thought, was really all he was doing, live-oaks of Bayou Teche seemed hoveringly in Zoséphine's little inner parlor. to follow on the flank of their whooping and By and by it was done. The engineer had swaggering railway train. Claude turned and not yet arrived. The storm had delayed work met the stranger's regard with a faint smile. in one place and undone work in another, and His new friend spoke first.
he was detained beyond expectation. But a “Matters may turn out so that we can have letter said he would come in a day or two
more, and some maps of earlier surveys, drawn Claude's eyes answered with a glad flash. by skilled workmen in great New Orleans, “ Dass what I was t'inkin'!” he said, with a arrived; seeing which, Claude blushed for his soft glow that staid even when he fell again own and fell to work to make them over. into reverie.
“ If at first you not succeed,” said Claude, But when the engineer – for it seems that “ Try - try aga-a-ain," responded Marguehe was an engineer, chief of a party engaged rite; “Bonaventure learn me that poetry; and in redeeming some extensive waste swamp and you?" marsh lands --- when the chief engineer, on the “Yass," said Claude. He stood looking third day afterward, drew near the place where down at his work and not seeing it. What he he suddenly recollected Claude would be wait- saw was Grande Pointe in the sunset hour of ing to enter his service, and recalled this part a spring day six years gone, the wet, spongy of their previous interview, he said to himself, margin of a tiny bayou under his feet, the great “No, it would be good for the father, but not swamp at his back, the leafy undergrowth all best for the son," and fell to thinking how of- around; his canoe and paddle waiting for him, ten parents are called upon to wrench their and Bonaventure repeating to him — swamp affections down into cruel bounds to make the urchin of fourteen – the costliest words of foundations of their children's prosperity. kindness — to both of them the costliest
Claude widened to his new experience with that he had ever heard, ending with these the rapidity of something hatched out of a two that Marguerite had spoken. As he reshell. Moreover, accident was in his favor; sumed his work, he said, without lifting his the party was short-handed in its upper ranks, eyes: and Claude found himself by this stress taken “Seem' to me 'f I could make myself like into larger and larger tasks as fast as he could, any man in dat whole worl', I radder make though ever so crudely, qualify for them. myself like Bonaventure. And you ?"
She was so slow to answer that he looked ised the key-note of all harmonies; promised at her. Even then she merely kept on sweep-heart-fellowship in the ever-hoping effort to ing her fingers slowly and idly back and forth lift poor daily existence higher and higher on the table, and, glancing down upon them, out of the dust and into the light. What could said without enthusiasm : “ Yass."
she say? If great spirits in men or maidens Yet they both loved Bonaventure, each ac went always or only with high fortune, a mere cording to knowledge of him. Nor did their Acadian lass, a tavern maiden, were safe common likings stop with him. The things enough, come one fate or another. If Marhe had taught Claude to love and seek sud- guerite were like many a girl in high ranks denly became the admiration of Marguerite. and low, to whom any husband were a husAspirations — aspirations!— began to stir and band, any snug roof á home, and any living hum in her young heart, and to pour forth like life — But what may a maiden do, or a mother waking bees in the warm presence of spring. bid her do, when she looks upon the youth so Claude was a new interpretation of life to her; shaped without and within to her young soul's as one caught abed by the first sunrise at sea, belief in its wants that all other men are but her whole spirit leaped, with unmeasured self- beasts of the field and creeping things, and he reproach into fresh garments and to a new and alone Adam? To whom could the widow beautiful stature, and looked out upon a wider turn? Father, mother? — Gone to their rest. heaven and earth than ever it had seen or de- The curé who had stood over her in baptism, sired to see before. All at once the life was marriage, and bereavement?- Called long ago more than meat and the body than raiment. to higher dignities and wider usefulness in Presently she sprang to action. In the con- distant fields. O for the presence and counvent school, whose white belfry you could see sel of Bonaventure! It is true, here was Mr. from the end of Madame Beausoleil's balcony, Tarbox, so kind and so replete with informawhither Zoséphine had sent her after teaching tion; so shrewd and so ready to advise. She her all she herself knew, it had been “the spurned the thought of leaning on him; and mind for knowledge"; now it was “knowledge yet the oft-spurned thought as often returned. for the mind." Mental training and enrich- Already his generous interest had explored ment had a value, now, never before dreamed her pecuniary affairs, and his suggestions, too of. The old school-books were got down, re- good to be ignored, had molded them into called from banishment. Nothing ever had better shape, and enlarged their net results. been hard to learn, and now she found that all And he could tell how many 8.oz. tacks make she seemed to have forgotten merely required, a pound, and what electricity is, and could like the books, a little beating clear of dust. cure a wart in ten minutes, and recite “ Oh!
And Claude was there to help. “If C”. why should the spirit of mortal be proud ? " C!-“having a start of one hundred miles, And this evening, the seventh since the storm, travels "- so and so, and so and so,-“how when for one weak moment she had allowed fast must I travel in order to "- etc. She can- the conversation to drift toward wedlock, he not work the problem for thinking of what it had stated a woman's chances of marrying symbolizes. As C himself takes the slate, her between the ages of fifteen and twenty ; to dark eyes, lifted an instant to his, are large with wit: 1472 per cent.; and between thirty and painful meaning, for she sees at a glance she thirty-five, 1572. must travel — if the arithmetical is the true “ Hah!" exclaimed Zoséphine, her eyes answer — more than the whole distance now flashing as they had not done in many a day, between them. But Claude says there is an “'t is not dat way ! - not in Opelousas !" easy way. She draws her chair closer and “Arithmetically speaking!” the statistician closer to his; he bows over the problem, and quickly explained. He ventured to lay a foreshe cannot follow his pencil without bending finger on the back of her hand, but one glance her head very close to his — closer — closer — of her eye removed it. “You see, that's merely until fluffy bits of her black hair touch the thick arithmetically considered. Now, of course, locks on his temples. Look to your child, look at it geographically – why, of course! Zoséphine Beausoleil, look to her! Ah! she And — why, as to that, there are ladies —" can look; but what can she do?
Madame Beausoleil rose, left Mr. Tarbox She saw the whole matter; saw more than holding the yarn, and went down the hall, merely an unripe girl smitten with the bright whose outer door had opened and shut. A smile, goodly frame, and bewitching eyes of moment later she entered the room again. a promising young rustic; saw her heart en- “ Claude!” nobled, her nature enlarged, and all the best Marguerite's heart sank. Her guess was motives of life suddenly illuminated by the right: the chief engineer had come. And early presence of one to be mated with whom prom- in the morning Claude was gone.
SUGAR-MAKING IN LOUISIANA.
HE beginnings of the sugar of finding some crop that could profitably be industry in Louisiana are raised on the fat, reeking soil redeemed by somewhat obscure. Even embankments from the overflow of the great Gayarré fails to trace them river. He tried indigo, like many others, and definitely in his faithful and failed. Cotton did not thrive save on the picturesque history of the then scarcely known uplands north of Red State. There is a tradition River; Indian corn furnished a bread-stuff
that the Jesuit Fathers in- for house use, but had no export value. De troduced the cane from San Domingo in 1751 Boré saw his hopes blasted and his family and planted it on ground now occupied by threatened with poverty. In his extremity he the banks and chief commercial houses of determined to renew the abandoned effort to New Orleans, just north of Canal street. The manufacture sugar. His wife warned him that juicy plant was afterwards cultivated in a her father had in former years experimented small way for syrup, but attempts to make with the cane and failed; she begged him not sugar were not successful down to 1795: No to hazard the little they had left in a hopeless dependence could be placed on the juice to undertaking. His friends, too, croaked disasgranulate, and after numerous experiments had ter. Fortunately, De Boré was no irresolute failed, the planters came to the discouraging dreamer. Nothing could shake his determiconclusion that the climate of the Mississippi nation. In 1794 he planted a small crop, and delta had an unfavorable influence on the using all the canes for a second planting, in cane. The man who finally dispelled this de- 1795 he actually made a quantity of sugar so lusion and showed the way to the development large that he sold it for twelve thousand dolof sugar-making into a great industry on the lars. rich lowlands of Louisiana was Etienne de His grandson Charles Gayarré relates in his Boré. A striking character was this De Boré. history of Louisiana that on the day when He was born in what was known in the last the grinding of the cane was to begin, large century as the Illinous district of Louisiana, numbers of the most respectable inhabitants a region with vague boundaries which em- gathered at the sugar-house to witness the braced the whole valley of the upper Missis- success or failure of the experiment. Would sippi. When he was four years old his parents the syrup granulate ? Would it be converted took him back to France, and growing there into sugar ? “ When the critical moment to manhood, he became a member of King came," says Gayarré," the stillness of death Louis' mousquetaire guard, a royal household came among them, each one holding his troop to which only nobles could belong, and breath and feeling that it was a matter of ruin in which every private soldier had the rank or prosperity for them all
. Suddenly the sugarand pay of captain, while the commander was maker cried out with exultation, It granulates!' a lieutenant-general. Etienne de Boré might and the crowd repeated,' It granulates !' Inhave continued to parade at Versailles until side and outside of the building one could have death or the revolution had cut him off, had heard the wonderful tidings flying from mouth he not fallen in love with a daughter of Des- to mouth, and dying in the distance, as if a tréhan, ex-treasurer of Louisiana. His woo- hundred glad echoes were telling it to one ing prospered, and he married the girl in 1771. another.” A notable man indeed was this De She received as part of her dowry an estate Boré, the reader must agree, and well deservdescribed as lying on the left bank of the ing of a place in history. When Governor Mississippi six miles above New Orleans. Claiborne took possession of ceded Louisiana The ground is now covered by the suburb for the American Government, he appointed of Carrollton and by the park in which were Captain De Boré mayor of New Orleans, as the held the exhibitions of 1884-85 and 1885–86. best man to reconcile the Creole population Soon after his marriage the gallant mousque- with the new state of affairs. taire put off his uniform, and leaving the gay- Probably no important industry in this eties of the court forever, took ship for Amer- country — certainly none based directly upon ica with his wife, and converted himself into a the tillage of the soil — has suffered such vicisplain colonial planter struggling with the prob- situdes as that of making sugar from the cane. lem, then a life-and-death one for Louisiana, The causes of these vicissitudes are two,