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people no longer go in couples; there are six and even ten in a group. And how well they sit their saddles! There is no "rising to the trot," in the ungraceful fashion of New York and Boston gentlemen and ladies who have put away the tradition of ancestors of unrivaled horsemanship, to adopt from England an ugly custom excusable only in a land of foxhunting. You might find girls in their teens in this company who ride with grace and dash over difficult roads, and who could learn nothing worth their while from a riding-master,- for to ride perfectly consists chiefly in riding as naturally and unconsciously as one walks, and that is rarely given to any but those that are to the saddle born. But besides saddle-horses there are wagons, for wherever there is a prairie, wheels come early. One or two families not yet out of a pioneer state of existence go creaking painfully along in oxcarts; and there are barefoot boys skurrying afoot across fields to save distance. Everybody feels bound to go. The attraction of a crowd is proportioned to its greatness, like all other gravitation, and this one will drain the country dry of people. Scarcely any one stays at home, as you see. There are little children in the wagons and on the croups of the saddle-horses, while some superfluous ones are stowed away in front: it is in this way that the babies get their first lessons in horsemanship. At half-past 10 o'clock the roads are beclouded with dust that drifts to leeward, turning the green blades of the corn-field to gray and grizzling the foliage of the trees. All along the road there is the sound of voices in many keys, all of them with a touch of holiday buoyancy in them. There is that universal interchange of good feeling which is only found in communities that have no lines of social cleavage. Everybody is talking to everybody, about the weather, the crops, the latest weddings, the most recent deaths, and, above all, the murder at the camp-meeting. To this topic every party drifts when the Grayson farm-house comes in sight, if not before. Wild stories are repeated of Tom's profligacy, and of the causes that led to the feud between him and Lockwood. As the people come nearer to the house their voices fall into a lower tone, and they ride by the front gate in almost entire silence, scanning the house with eager curiosity, as though trying to penetrate the chagrin of those within. They all nod to Bob; it is the common and indispensable civility of the country. Bob nods to all in turn and grunts in a friendly way at those with whom he is acquainted; but to his best friends he gives a cheerful "Howdy!"

At length the deputy sheriff, Markham, appears, riding alongside of his wife. She is

also escorted on the other side by Magill, the county clerk, who is saying the pleasantest things he can think of to her. When Markham arrives at a point nearly opposite the gate Bob does not nod, but gives his head a significant jerk backward and to the left,— a laconic invitation to stop a moment, rendered the more explicit by the utterance in a low tone of a single word, "Pete!" Markham draws rein and stops to hear what Bob has to say; and Mason, who has come out on the porch at that moment, descends to the gate to talk with Magill and Mrs. Markham, who have also pulled up. The whole five are presently engaged in conversation in one group, while the horses amuse themselves by thrusting their dusty noses through the cracks of the fence to nibble at such blades of grass as are within their reach. The sight of the deputy sheriff and the county clerk in front of the Grayson house piques yet more the curiosity of the passers-by, who wonder what those privileged folks can be talking about.

"You cannot do that," Markham said presently, in reply to a suggestion that came from Mason. "It's no use talking to the sheriff about moving Tom to Perrysburg. He's made up his mind not to move him; and if he did move him, Perrysburg would n't be a safe place."

"The shairiff seems to have one eye on Broad Run, ainh Pate?" said Magill chaffingly.

But Pete Markham neither smiled nor said anything in reply.

"It's a shame something can't be done for Tom," said Mason. "He's got a right to a fair trial; and we think he's innocent."

"I'll do anything I can," said Markham, whose memory had been haunted by the appealing face of Mrs. Grayson ever since his domiciliary visit in search of Tom's pistol.

"I'm not caring much whether he 's innocent or not, meself," said Magill. "May be Lockwood aggravated 'im an' naded puttin' out of the way. All I say is, Tom faced that crowd the other day like a man, an' he 's a gintleman in me own istimation; an' I'd niver let a gintleman be hung by a gang of blackguards, if I could help it."

"Broad Run don't vote for you, Magill," said Markham.

"You would n't ixpict it to vote for a man with a clane shirt on, now would ye?"

"Well," said Bob," I 've been thinkin' that ef Pete could make people b'lieve that they wuz another man wanted fer the shootin', it would sort uh muddle Jake's plans fer awhile, un by that time liker 'n not Abe Lincoln 'll find out who the rale murderer is."

"Tell me what 's the color of his hair,

Pate?" said Magill. "Then I'll help you foind him."

"Well," drawled Markham, turning a little sidewise in the saddle to rest himself, and looking perfectly serious and secretive, "I have n't found out about his hair,- he wore a straw hat, you know. But he was a youngish fellow, with foxy whiskers under his chin."

"Middlin' small?" suggested Magill, with a faint pucker of drollery about the corner of his mouth.

"Yes," said Markham, biting the butt of his beech switch meditatively. "Ruther under the average, I should say, without being small." "One eye a leetle crossed?" Bob McCord inquired, laughing.

"Right eye a little out," said Markham, waving his hand outwardly. "He had quarreled with Lockwood a good while ago and owed him a grudge. That's the man."

"Know his name?" put in Magill. "N-o. That 's one thing we 're trying to find out. He come from off East where Lockwood used to live. We 've got to try to find if anybody knows which way he went when he left the camp-meetin' that night, and if anybody can tell just where he come from."

"Oh! I understand now what you 're after," said Magill. "There 'll be a plinty will remimber the man when you come to spake about him. Don't you say what you want him fer. Lave all explinations to me. I'm not responsible, an' I'll let out the saycrits of the shairiff's office."

The passers-by had grown visibly fewer in the last few minutes, and now the belated ones rode for the most part in a rapid trot or a gallop. Mrs. Markham began to warn her husband that there would not be a seat left; so the horses' heads were drawn up, and the trio set forward with a nod of good-bye to Bob and the schoolmaster.

Markham went to work in all seriousness to get information about the imaginary young man with red whiskers under his chin and an outward cast in one eye who had been seen on the ground the night of the murder. Magill took occasion to remark that if the praycher 'd only 'a' known what Markham was lookin' for, and all about the rale facts of the murder, he might n't have held Tom up for an awful warnin' to the young that mornin'. But he supposed it did not matter whether you had the roight fellow or the wrong one, if you were only praychin'. Some of those who heard the clerk describe the smallish man with the red goatee and one eye out a little, thought they could remember having seen a man answering to this description; but as they could not give any information tending to secure his arrest,

Magill did not think it worth while communicating their knowledge to Markham. But he quoted their sayings and surmises to the next persons he spoke to; so that without ever straining his conscience to the point of positively asserting the substantive existence of such a red-whiskered young man with a squint, he had almost come to believe in him by the time the day was over.

The story reached Broad Run in two or three forms before night, and served to throw Jake's forlorn hope into confusion. But Magill did not think best to leave the Broad Run people to the mercy of rumor in so important a matter. He rode up to the grocery about half-past 5 in the afternoon, and having hitched his horse to a neighboring dogwood, he walked in with a good-evening to the group at the door. Going up to the counter he called up the whole party to drink with him, as became an Irish gentleman of generous spirit, who was, moreover, a prudent politician. But Broad Run had never taken a fancy to Magill; there was a ceremoniousness about his attempts to flatter them that did not harmonize with their rough-and-ready ways. If he had said, "Come, boys, liquor up!" they would have thought his manner perfect; but he bowed blandly to Jake Hogan, and said, “Have something to drink, won't you?" and so to the rest. They mentally condemned him as "too all-fired fine in his ways and too much dressed up for a free country." But they did not neglect the opportunity to drink at somebody else's expense. Jake Hogan was the more ready to accept such hospitality because he had been feeling a little depressed since his unlucky trip to Perrysburg. And now this story which he had heard of another man who might be the murderer had destroyed what chance he had of mustering a party for Moscow; for Jake's most devoted partisans did not like to run any risk of hanging the wrong man.

"Mr. Magill," said Jake, after he had turned his whisky-glass nearly to the perpendicular in the endeavor to extract the last drop. "what 's this yer story about Tom's not being the ginooine murderer? I don't take no stock in the yarn, fer my part.”

"Well, it ain't best to say anything about it till they get the other man," said Magill, assuming a close look. "I hear they 're purty hot on his track."

"What kind of a lookin' creetur wuzzy?" asked Bijy Grimes, an oldish man with an effeminate chin and soft, fair cheeks which contrasted strangely with his slovenly and unkempt appearance. Bijy had drunk his liquor, and now sat resting on a keg with his mouth dropped wide open: it was a way he had of listening.

"Well, I don't know anything only what I hear," said Magill. "I'm not the shairiff, you know. The story goes that he was a man with a red goatee —

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"Un what fer sized man ?" asked Bijy. "Rather under-sized, and with one eye a little walled," said Magill.

"I'm derned ef 't ain't the wery man I seed," said Bijy, who never failed to know something about everything. "He wuz comin' towards the camp-meetin' that wery arternoon. Dern!" and he shut his mouth, and got to his feet in excitement. "I kind-uh suspicioned 'im too," he added.

"Well, I don't know anything," said the

clerk; "but if they catch that stranger and prove it on him,-mind, I say, if they prove it,-count me for one that will help git the world rid of him by Broad Run law, as they call it. But I've got to get on home, gintlemen. Good-bye, gintlemen, and good luck to you all!"

The rest nodded their heads and said good


"He's too orful slick," said Jake, when Magill had gone. "Makes me kind uv sick. Now I like a man ut talks out like a man, you know; without so much dodrotted saf-sawder, un so on. He ain't none uh my kind, Magill hain't." Edward Eggleston.

(To be continued.)

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HE writer of this paper has read with great interest the books of many able ornithologists of to-day, and, in his humble way as a musician and a farmer, has for years been an admiring observer of birds. His excuse for abruptly presenting himself among his betters is the fact that, by their inadequate treatment of the chief charm of the singing birds,their songs,- they have left a space for some one to fill. To express admiration for the music of the birds is not enough: every season the airy songsters of wood and field urge us to a more careful and fitting report. This effort is a step towards so doing. The observations here recorded were made in and about a grove of maples in a valley of south-eastern Vermont.

Our first two spring visitors are the bluebird and the robin, the bluebird invariably coming first. The following are the principal features of the bluebird's songs as I took them, from time to time, last season.

Early on the morning of the 17th of March my ear caught his first, far, faint, but sweet


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The weather was cold, and I heard no more for several days; but on the morning of the 25th one made bold to come into the orchard, where he appeared to feel quite at home. Though it was still cold, his pure, soft notes held me within hearing for half an hour, during which time some of his morning talk (the music of a bluebird is often quite as much like talking as like singing) was secured.



The next morning I heard him sing simply,


Che-way che-chute.

The morning of the 28th being rainy, I feared I should see no birds, but by 9 o'clock the clouds began to vanish, and suddenly there were three species within four rods of my window-a flock of snow-birds, a white-breasted nut-hatch, and the bluebird. The latter lit upon the stump of a small plum-tree, when white-breast lit upon the side of the stump and began to dart up and down and around, below him. The bluebird was evidently puzzled

at his friend's eccentric movements. Shifting martial ardor and precision; then with his quickly from point to point, he would peer parting: over in a very quizzical and comical manner, as much as to say, "How do you do that?" It was a pretty pantomime; only two actors, but they acted well. Though no music was added to my notes, I was grateful for the call; and when the silent birds took to the air and left me alone again, I could not but exclaim, "How beautiful are birds, and what is so blue as a bluebird!”

Thus far the bluebird sang in the key of D minor. I afterward heard him in several keys, as here represented:


Lit lit, lit lit lit.

and with a flirt of his tail at each note, he left the grove. He flew high, scorning the earth, and did not return till evening. Then he did not sing it was only

Lit lit lit, leu leu.


The effect was that of a call, but there was no answer. Soon he called again louder, with more rapid notes, giving another interval:

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In these examples, the bluebird uses the minor key altogether: we have him in four positions of it. The fact that he sings in the minor key may partly explain the tenderness. characterizing his song; but undoubtedly. the plaintive quality of his tone is the more important factor. The written songs of the bluebird and the robin might lead one to conclude that their performance would produce much the same effect, but on hearing them the contrast is striking.

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Some two weeks passed before the morning songs proper began, my first record being made May 5. On that morning, before light, I was out, and within a few feet of a robin that struck up his song in a small pear-tree, not more than ten feet from the ground. On this occasion I settled one point; namely, that the robin frequently sings other notes than those heard. He has a habit of, as it were, closing his mouth between strains, and making muffled, indistinct tones - an imperfect echo or, better, a burlesque repetition. The effect is humorous; for he seems to be shyly ridiculing his performance as he goes along, for his own private enjoyment. This after effort, not intended for the public, is usually pitched at the top of his voice-so high that his voice often breaks, when the result is truly ludicrous. I am convinced that many times when we This he repeated two or three times with think the robin is resting between strains, he

Last season the robin was five days behind the bluebird. The first note I heard from him proved him a magician; the sound of his voice, filling the air with joy, spread a glow of instantaneous happiness over the morning landscape. Perched on the topmost twig of a tall maple, I had only time to lift my hat when he saluted me with,



is busying himself in the manner described. His song on this occasion ran,

Another Song at Daybreak.

May 6, at 4 P. M., there were signs of rain, and redbreast seemed to be unusually inspired. He sang with great spirit,

While at my work, May 8, I heard him introducing new "kinks" in his vocal twistings. He repeated them many times, almost to tiresomeness. They were:

There is no mistake about this being in the major key, and a bit of choice melody. Delivered, as it was, with a delightful animation, the effect was cheering to the last degree. Other voices joined, and immediately a grand chorus resulted, in which, much to my amusement, the frogs and toads, silent up to this time, took a lively part, not to be outdone by the whole choiring hosts of orioles, catbirds, pewees, sparrows, and other feathered rivals. The only fault with the performance was its brevity; in a few minutes all was silent as before. The robin sings more hours than almost any other bird. His songs are short and he repeats them many times, but he is by no means stereotyped in his forms; indeed, he is fair at extemporizing when the mood takes him. A commendable variety will be discovered in the annexed melodies.

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Whether he meant to sing in E major or minor, I did not decide.

May 23 I was awake before 2 o'clock A. M. and all was still; not even a frog peeped. At the first faint coming of light the rooster crowed; and in about half an hour I heard the first bird notes — the robin's. At this hour the robin does not burst into full song, but begins with a subdued twitter, which rapidly opens and attunes his throat for the splendid moment when, yielding himself to the fresh gladness, he does his best. The present performance was in a little maple close by my window, where, undoubtedly, he had spent the night. His song



19. 4 P. M. After Rain.

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