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slender acquaintance with the operation, slowly registered his name and address.

He did it with such painstaking, that, upside down as the writing was, she read it as he wrote. As the Christian name appeared, her perfunctory glance became attention. As the surname followed, the attention became interest and recognition. And as the address was added, Mr. Tarbox detected pleasure dancing behind the long fringe of her discreet eyes, and marked their stolen glance of quick inspection upon the short, dark locks and strong young form still bent over the last strokes of the writing. But when he straightened up, carefully shut the book, and fixed his brown eyes upon hers in guileless expectation of instructions, he saw nothing to indicate that he was not the entire stranger that she was to him.

"You done had sopper ?" she asked. The uncommon kindness of such a question at such an hour of a tavern's evening was lost on the young man's obvious inexperience, and as one schooled to the haphazard of forest and field he merely replied:

"Naw, I didn' had any."

The girl turned - what a wealth of black hair she had! and disappeared as she moved away along the hall. Her voice was heard: "Mamma?" Then there was a silence of an unheard consultation. The young man moved a step or two into the parlor and returned toward the door as a light double foot-fall approached again down the hall and the girl appeared once more, somewhat preceded by a small, tired-looking, pretty woman some thirty-five years of age, of slow, self-contained movement and clear, meditative eyes.

But the guest, too, had been reënforced. A man had come silently from the fireside, taken his hand, and now, near the doorway, was softly shaking it and smiling. Surprise, pleasure, and reverential regard were mingled in the young man's face, and his open mouth was gasping

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"Mister Tarbox! "Claude St. Pierre, after six years, I'm glad to see you. Madame, take good care of Claude. No fear but she will, my boy; if anybody in Louisiana knows how to take care of a traveler, it's Madame Beausoleil." He smiled for all. The daughter's large black eyes danced, but the mother asked Claude, with unmoved countenance and soft tone:

"You are Claude St. Pierre ? Point'?"


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not dare to venture upon. Madame Beausoleil read it, and she said:

"We was raise' together, Bonaventure and me." She waved her hand toward her daughter. "He teach her to read. Seet down to the fire; we make you some supper."


OUT in the kitchen, while the coffee was dripping and the ham and eggs frying, the mother was very silent, and the daughter said little, but followed her now and then with furtive liftings of her young black eyes. Marguerite remembered Bonaventure Deschamps well and lovingly. For years she had seen the letters that at long intervals came from him at Grande Pointe to her mother here. In almost every one of them she had read high praises of Claude. He had grown, thus, to be the hero of her imagination. She had wondered if it could ever happen that he would come within her sight, and if so, when, where, how. And now, here at a time of all times when it would have seemed least possible, he had, as it were, rained down.

She wondered to-night, with more definiteness of thought than ever before, what were the deep feelings which her reticent little mother Marguerite was an inch the tallerkept hid in that dear breast. Rarely had emotion moved it. She remembered its terrible heavings at the time of her father's death, and the later silent downpour of tears when her only sister and brother were taken in one day. Since then, those eyes had rarely been wet; yet more than once or twice she had seen tears in them when they were reading a letter from Grande Pointe. Had her mother ever had something more than a sister's love for Bonaventure? Had Bonaventure loved her? And when? Before her marriage, or after her widowhood?

The only answer that came to her as she now stood, knife in hand, by the griddle was a roar of laughter that found its way through the hall, the dining-room, and two closed doors from the men about the waiting-room fireside. That was the third time she had heard it. What could have put them so soon into such gay mood? Could it be Claude? Somehow she hoped it was not. Her mother reminded her that the batter-cakes would burn. She from Gran' quickly turned them. The laugh came again. When by and by she went to bid Claude to his repast, the laughter, as she reached the door of the waiting-room, burst upon her as the storm would have done had she opened the front door. It came from all but Claude and Mr. Tarbox. Claude sat with a knee in his hands, smiling. The semicircle had widened

"Dass lately since you left yondah?" "About two month'."

"Bonaventure Deschamps- he was well?" "Yass." Claude's eyes were full of a glad surprise and asked a question that his lips did

out from the fire, and in the midst Mr. Tarbox stood telling a story, of which Grande Pointe was the scene, Bonaventure Deschamps the hero, a school examination the circumstance, and he, G. W., the accidental arbiter of destinies that hung upon its results. The big-waisted man had retired for the night, and half an eye could see that the story-teller had captivated the whole remaining audience. He was just at the end as Marguerite reappeared at the door. The laugh suddenly ceased, and then all rose: it was high bed-time.

"And did they get married?" asked one. Three or four gathered close to hear the


"Who; Sidonie and Bonaventure? Yes. I did n't stay to see. I went away into Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, and just only a few weeks ago took a notion to try this Attakapas and Opelousas region. But that's what Claude tells me to-night- married more than five years ago. Claude, your supper wants you. Want me to go out and sit with you? Oh, no trouble! not the slightest! It will make me feel as if I was nearer to Bonaventure."

And so the group about Claude's late supper numbered four. And because each had known Bonaventure, though each in a very different way from any other, they were four friends when Claude had demolished the ham and eggs, the strong black coffee, and the griddle-cakes and sirop-de-battarie.

At the top of the hall stairway, as Mr. Tarbox was on his way to bed, one of the dispersed fireside circle stopped him, saying: "That's an awful good story!" "I would n't try a poor one on you." "Oh! - but really, now, in good earnest, it is good. It's good in more ways than one. Now, you know, that man, hid away there in the swamp at Grande Pointe, he little thinks that six or eight men away off here in Vermillionville are going to bed to-night better men. that's it, sir yes, sir, that 's it - yes, sir! better men just for having heard of him! Mr. Tarbox smiled with affectionate approval and began to move away; but the other put out a hand

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"Say, look here; I'm going away on that two o'clock train to-night. I want that book of yours. And I don't want to subscribe and wait. I want the book now. That 's my way. I'm just that kind of a man; I'm the nowest man you ever met up with. That book's just the kind of thing for a man like me who ain't got no time to go exhaustively delving and investigating and researching into things, and yet has got to keep as sharp as a brier."

Mr. Tarbox, on looking into his baggage, found he could oblige this person. Before night fell again he had done virtually the same thing,

one by one, for all the rest. By that time they were all gone; but Mr. Tarbox made Vermillionville his base of operations for several days.

Claude also tarried. For reasons presently to appear, the "ladies' parlor," a small room behind the waiting-room, with just one door, which let into the hall at its inner end, was given up to his use; and of evenings not only Mr. Tarbox, but Marguerite and her mother as well, met with him, gathering familiarly about a lamp that other male lodgers were not invited to hover around.

The group was not idle. Mr. Tarbox held big hanks of blue and yellow yarn, which Zoséphine wound off into balls. A square table quite filled the center of the room. There was a confusion of objects on it, and now on one side and now on another Claude leaned over it and slowly toiled, from morning until evening alone, and in the evening with these three about him; Marguerite, with her sewing dropped upon the floor, watching his work with an interest almost wholly silent, only making now and then a murmured comment, her eyes passing at intervals from his preoccupied eyes to his hands, and her hand now and then guessing and supplying his want as he looked for one thing or another that had got out of sight. What was he doing?

As to Marguerite, more than he was aware of. Zoséphine Beausoleil saw, and was already casting about somewhat anxiously in her mind to think what, if anything, ought to be done about it. She saw her child's sewing lie forgotten on the floor, and the eyes that should have been following the needle, fixed often on the absorbed, unconscious, boyish-manly face so near by. She saw them scanning the bent brows, the smooth, bronzed cheek, the purposeful mouth, and the unusual length of dark eyelashes that gave its charm to the whole face; and she saw them quickly withdrawn whenever the face with those lashes was lifted and an unsuspecting smile of young companionship broke slowly about the relaxing lips and the soft, deep-curtained eyes. No; Claude little knew what he was doing. Neither did Marguerite. But, aside from her, what was his occupation? I will explain.

About five weeks earlier than this a passenger on an eastward bound train of Morgan's Louisiana and Texas railway stood at the rear door of the last coach, eying critically the track as it glided swiftly from under the train and shrank perpetually into the west. The coach was nearly empty. No one was near him save the brakeman, and by and by he took his attention from the track and let it rest on this person. There he found a singular attraction. Had he seen that face before,

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"Was n't it your father," he said, "who was my guide up Bayou des Acadiens and Blind River the time I made the survey in that big swamp north of Grande Pointe? Is n't your name Claude St. Pierre?" And presently they were acquainted.

"You know I took a great fancy to your father. And you 've been clear through the arithmetic twice? Why, see here; you're just the sort of man I Look here; don't you want to learn to be a surveyor?" The questioner saw that same ambition that had pleased him so in the father leap for joy in the son's eyes.

An agreement was quickly reached. The surveyor wandered into another coach, and nothing more passed between them that day save one matter, which, though trivial, has its place. When the surveyor returned to the rear train Claude was in a corner seat gazing pensively through the window and out across the wide, backward-flying, purpling green canefields of St. Mary to where on the far left the live-oaks of Bayou Teche seemed hoveringly to follow on the flank of their whooping and swaggering railway train. Claude turned and met the stranger's regard with a faint smile. His new friend spoke first.

"Matters may turn out so that we can have your father "``

Claude's eyes answered with a glad flash. "Dass what I was t'inkin'!" he said, with a soft glow that staid even when he fell again into reverie.

But when the engineer. for it seems that he was an engineer, chief of a party engaged in redeeming some extensive waste swamp and marsh lands when the chief engineer, on the third day afterward, drew near the place where he suddenly recollected Claude would be waiting to enter his service, and recalled this part of their previous interview, he said to himself, "No, it would be good for the father, but not best for the son," and fell to thinking how of ten parents are called upon to wrench their affections down into cruel bounds to make the foundations of their children's prosperity.

Claude widened to his new experience with the rapidity of something hatched out of a shell. Moreover, accident was in his favor; the party was short-handed in its upper ranks, and Claude found himself by this stress taken into larger and larger tasks as fast as he could, though ever so crudely, qualify for them.

"'T is n't at all the best thing for you," said one of the surveyors, "but I'll lend you some books that will teach you the why as well as the how."

In the use of these books by lantern-light certain skill with the pen showed itself; and when at length one day a dispatch reached camp from the absent "chief" stating that in two or three days certain matters would take him to Vermillionville, and ordering that some one be sent at once with all necessary field notes and appliances and give his undivided time to the making of certain urgently needed maps, and the only real draughtsman of the party was ill with swamp-fever, Claude was sent.

On his last half-day's journey toward the place, he had fallen in with an old gentleman whom others called "Governor," a tall, trim figure, bent but little under fourscore years, with cheerful voice and ready speech, and eyes hidden behind dark glasses and flickering in their deep sockets.

"Go to Madame Beausoleil's," he advised Claude. "That is the place for you. Excellent person; I 've known her from childhood; a woman worthy a higher station." And so, all by accident, chance upon chance, here was Claude making maps, and this delightful work, he thought, was really all he was doing, in Zoséphine's little inner parlor.

By and by it was done. The engineer had not yet arrived. The storm had delayed work in one place and undone work in another, and he was detained beyond expectation. But a letter said he would come in a day or two more, and some maps of earlier surveys, drawn by skilled workmen in great New Orleans, arrived; seeing which, Claude blushed for his own and fell to work to make them over.

"If at first you not succeed," said Claude, "Try—try aga-a-ain," responded Marguerite; "Bonaventure learn me that poetry; and you?"

"Yass," said Claude. He stood looking down at his work and not seeing it. What he saw was Grande Pointe in the sunset hour of a spring day six years gone, the wet, spongy margin of a tiny bayou under his feet, the great swamp at his back, the leafy undergrowth all around; his canoe and paddle waiting for him, and Bonaventure repeating to him- swamp urchin of fourteen—the costliest words of kindness to both of them the costliest — that he had ever heard, ending with these two that Marguerite had spoken. As he resumed his work, he said, without lifting his eyes:

"Seem' to me 'f I could make myself like any man in dat whole worl', I radder make myself like Bonaventure. And you?"

She was so slow to answer that he looked at her. Even then she merely kept on sweeping her fingers slowly and idly back and forth on the table, and, glancing down upon them, said without enthusiasm: "Yass."

Yet they both loved Bonaventure, each according to knowledge of him. Nor did their common likings stop with him. The things he had taught Claude to love and seek suddenly became the admiration of Marguerite. Aspirations-aspirations! — began to stir and hum in her young heart, and to pour forth like waking bees in the warm presence of spring. Claude was a new interpretation of life to her; as one caught abed by the first sunrise at sea, her whole spirit leaped, with unmeasured selfreproach into fresh garments and to a new and beautiful stature, and looked out upon a wider heaven and earth than ever it had seen or desired to see before. All at once the life was more than meat and the body than raiment. Presently she sprang to action. In the convent school, whose white belfry you could see from the end of Madame Beausoleil's balcony, whither Zoséphine had sent her after teaching her all she herself knew, it had been "the mind for knowledge"; now it was "knowledge for the mind." Mental training and enrichment had a value, now, never before dreamed of. The old school-books were got down, recalled from banishment. Nothing ever had been hard to learn, and now she found that all she seemed to have forgotten merely required, like the books, a little beating clear of dust.

And Claude was there to help. "IfC”. C!" having a start of one hundred miles, travels" so and so, and so and so,-"how fast must I travel in order to "- etc. She cannot work the problem for thinking of what it symbolizes. As C himself takes the slate, her dark eyes, lifted an instant to his, are large with painful meaning, for she sees at a glance she must travel-if the arithmetical is the true answer more than the whole distance now between them. But Claude says there is an easy way. She draws her chair closer and closer to his; he bows over the problem, and she cannot follow his pencil without bending her head very close to his- closer - closer until fluffy bits of her black hair touch the thick locks on his temples. Look to your child, Zoséphine Beausoleil, look to her! Ah! she can look; but what can she do?

She saw the whole matter; saw more than merely an unripe girl smitten with the bright smile, goodly frame, and bewitching eyes of a promising young rustic; saw her heart ennobled, her nature enlarged, and all the best motives of life suddenly illuminated by the presence of one to be mated with whom prom

ised the key-note of all harmonies; promised heart-fellowship in the ever-hoping effort to lift poor daily existence higher and higher out of the dust and into the light. What could she say? If great spirits in men or maidens went always or only with high fortune, a mere Acadian lass, a tavern maiden, were safe enough, come one fate or another. If Marguerite were like many a girl in high ranks and low, to whom any husband were a husband, any snug roof a home, and any living life- But what may a maiden do, or a mother bid her do, when she looks upon the youth so shaped without and within to her young soul's belief in its wants that all other men are but beasts of the field and creeping things, and he alone Adam? To whom could the widow turn? Father, mother?— Gone to their rest. The curé who had stood over her in baptism, marriage, and bereavement?- Called long ago to higher dignities and wider usefulness in distant fields. O for the presence and counsel of Bonaventure! It is true, here was Mr. Tarbox, so kind and so replete with information; so shrewd and so ready to advise. She spurned the thought of leaning on him; and yet the oft-spurned thought as often returned. Already his generous interest had explored her pecuniary affairs, and his suggestions, too good to be ignored, had molded them into better shape, and enlarged their net results. And he could tell how many 8-oz. tacks make a pound, and what electricity is, and could cure a wart in ten minutes, and recite "Oh! why should the spirit of mortal be proud?" And this evening, the seventh since the storm, when for one weak moment she had allowed the conversation to drift toward wedlock, he had stated a woman's chances of marrying between the ages of fifteen and twenty; to wit: 14% per cent.; and between thirty and thirty-five, 15%.

"Hah!" exclaimed Zoséphine, her eyes flashing as they had not done in many a day, "'t is not dat way! — not in Opelousas!"

"Arithmetically speaking!" the statistician quickly explained. He ventured to lay a forefinger on the back of her hand, but one glance of her eye removed it. "You see, that 's merely arithmetically considered. Now, of course, look at it geographically - why, of course! And—why, as to that, there are ladies—"

Madame Beausoleil rose, left Mr. Tarbox holding the yarn, and went down the hall, whose outer door had opened and shut. A moment later she entered the room again. "Claude!"

Marguerite's heart sank. Her guess was right: the chief engineer had come. And early in the morning Claude was gone.

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HE beginnings of the sugar industry in Louisiana are somewhat obscure. Even Gayarré fails to trace them definitely in his faithful and picturesque history of the State. There is a tradition that the Jesuit Fathers introduced the cane from San Domingo in 1751 and planted it on ground now occupied by the banks and chief commercial houses of New Orleans, just north of Canal street. The juicy plant was afterwards cultivated in a small way for syrup, but attempts to make sugar were not successful down to 1795. No dependence could be placed on the juice to granulate, and after numerous experiments had failed, the planters came to the discouraging conclusion that the climate of the Mississippi delta had an unfavorable influence on the cane. The man who finally dispelled this delusion and showed the way to the development of sugar-making into a great industry on the rich lowlands of Louisiana was Etienne de Boré. A striking character was this De Boré. He was born in what was known in the last century as the Illinous district of Louisiana, a region with vague boundaries which embraced the whole valley of the upper Mississippi. When he was four years old his parents took him back to France, and growing there to manhood, he became a member of King Louis' mousquetaire guard, a royal household troop to which only nobles could belong, and in which every private soldier had the rank and pay of captain, while the commander was a lieutenant-general. Etienne de Boré might have continued to parade at Versailles until death or the revolution had cut him off, had he not fallen in love with a daughter of Destréhan, ex-treasurer of Louisiana. His wooing prospered, and he married the girl in 1771. She received as part of her dowry an estate described as lying on the left bank of the Mississippi six miles above New Orleans. The ground is now covered by the suburb of Carrollton and by the park in which were held the exhibitions of 1884-85 and 1885-86. Soon after his marriage the gallant mousquetaire put off his uniform, and leaving the gayeties of the court forever, took ship for America with his wife, and converted himself into a plain colonial planter struggling with the problem, then a life-and-death one for Louisiana,

of finding some crop that could profitably be raised on the fat, reeking soil redeemed by embankments from the overflow of the great river. He tried indigo, like many others, and failed. Cotton did not thrive save on the then scarcely known uplands north of Red River; Indian corn furnished a bread-stuff for house use, but had no export value. De Boré saw his hopes blasted and his family threatened with poverty. In his extremity he determined to renew the abandoned effort to manufacture sugar. His wife warned him that her father had in former years experimented with the cane and failed; she begged him not to hazard the little they had left in a hopeless undertaking. His friends, too, croaked disaster. Fortunately, De Boré was no irresolute dreamer. Nothing could shake his determination. In 1794 he planted a small crop, and using all the canes for a second planting, in 1795 he actually made a quantity of sugar so large that he sold it for twelve thousand dollars.

His grandson Charles Gayarré relates in his history of Louisiana that on the day when the grinding of the cane was to begin, large numbers of the most respectable inhabitants gathered at the sugar-house to witness the success or failure of the experiment. Would the syrup granulate? Would it be converted into sugar? "When the critical moment came," says Gayarré, "the stillness of death came among them, each one holding his breath and feeling that it was a matter of ruin or prosperity for them all. Suddenly the sugarmaker cried out with exultation, 'It granulates!' and the crowd repeated, It granulates!' Inside and outside of the building one could have heard the wonderful tidings flying from mouth to mouth, and dying in the distance, as if a hundred glad echoes were telling it to one another." A notable man indeed was this De Boré, the reader must agree, and well deserving of a place in history. When Governor Claiborne took possession of ceded Louisiana for the American Government, he appointed Captain De Boré mayor of New Orleans, as the best man to reconcile the Creole population with the new state of affairs.

Probably no important industry in this country - certainly none based directly upon the tillage of the soil - has suffered such vicissitudes as that of making sugar from the cane. The causes of these vicissitudes are two,

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