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> make bargains, and was held to be
ther economical in his dealings. He, by
little of what country people call
sarching the registry," easily ascertained
le extent of the incumbrances on the
rTesthill place; and then set to work upon
ie mortgagees, many of whom were city
en, and by judiciously depreciating the
llue of the land, induced most of them to
sign their deeds to him at a discount.
e knew the Colonel's property well, and
as confident the interest would be paid,
■ at any rate, that the lands were amply
fficient. In this way, by fair means, he
:came the Colonel's principal creditor,
uch to that gentleman's liking, for he
id known Jones many years, and was
ore. willing an old neighbor should
ild his securities than that they should
ss into the hands of strangers.
Mr. Jones and the Colonel having now
a manner identified their interests, were
ought more together than they had
en before. They frequently rode over to
ch other's houses, and talked over the
lue of lots, the prices of neat stock, wood,
y, and grain. In* his visits to the
>lonel, the old farmer could not but be
uck by the beauty and elegant manners
the two young ladies—especially Miss
ly's, as he was wont to call her.
lie was a pretty selfish old man, and
ct to himself he had an only son, Oliver
Ics, Junior, whom he loved as the apple
his eye. This young Oliver, his father
?nded should be the pride of mankind;
that money could buy should in time
his; all that plotting and toiling could
to place him in an honorable station,
uld be done. Accordingly it began
T to dawn upon the old man that Julia
nding would make him a capital wife.
i was, he considered, the prettiest and
t. behaved young miss he had ever
l; while Oliver, in his eyes, was the
igon of youths. The property lay
rther; the Colonel was a man above
in station; in short, the more he
ied the matter over in his mind, the
e desirable did it appear—and that
icially, as he had a kind of suspicion
jh he would not confess to himself,
Oliver was a little wild, and spent
ey raflier too fast, and it would
irise to marry him and settle him
tBut the old man's estimate of . rr. NO. VI. New Series. 42
his son's perfections was far from being a correct one.
Of all creatures in this world there is none I hate worse than your Country dandy —one who wears great plaid pants, and chews tobacco—whose clothes are cut in the extreme tailor fashion, and whose brains have nothing in them but conceit and mean ideas—who drives a buggy, and lounges and talks loud at grocery corners, or sits tilted back with a cigar in his mouth and his boots against the tavern balusters.
Such an one was Oliver, Junior. It may appear strange that when at length by distant approaches, the old man broached the project to the Colonel, it was not at once rejected. But consider the circumstances: here was a scheme which, would make ample provision for his beloved daughter, and wipe away all his own losses. True, Oliver, Junior, could not have been educated like his own son, Stephen; but neither had Julia. As for the difference in rank, he flattered himself his daughter could gather around her what society she chose. The young man did not dress in the best taste ; but what is there in dress'? There was also much in his air and manner which, had he appeared to him under any other relations, would have been very disagreeable—but then the whole arrangement seemed so nice that all minor particulars would surely come out right. Thus the Colonel's ardent imagination so occupied him with the view of what after all could only be the means of happiness for his child, that he altogether neglected the end.
The old men came to an understanding. They talked it over and hob-a-nobbed success to the young couple one cold November day, with hot slings of Julia's preparation, while she was hinted out of the parlor by pretence of private business. The thing was fixed upon—decided; nothing remained but to put it into execution.
Accordingly, old Mr. Jones, the next time he came, brought over the Junior in his old fat chaise, and the two old fellows manoeuvred to bring the young people into immediate intimacy. But they (like most old folks who attempt such games) opened too roughly, and showed their hands too soon; they forgot that Henrietta was by, with perceptions as dejia
>mpared with theirs, as a fairy's; and •hey were incapable of suspecting that such a quiet creature as she had any resolution or any power. Herein they could not possibly have made a greater mistake. For of the two, Henrietta was a far more dangerous witch than Julia; the latter might call up very potent spirits, but the first could waken the Love which dwells with Life and Death. She knew how Ide and Julia stood affected toward each other; and also how she esteemed them bolh, and more than all, how dear to her was Stephen. She saw, with the quickness of instinct, what were the Colonel's designs, and she had experienced enough from his growing infirmities to catch alarm. What she could never have done for herself she could not help doing for another. In her own nature yielding and reserved to the last degree, she could encourage her friend in resolution, which, had it not been for her, might have broken and melted away in tears.
Within an hour after the departure of old Mr. Jones and his young Hopeful from their first visit, the cousins had conferred together, and Julia had written a letter to Harry Ide in Boston, which Henrietta was to give Wilber Wells in the evening, for the post-office; that gentleman, by the way, having long entertained the profoundest respect for Ide, and hardly less for " the tall one."
I should have mentioned that Harry and Stephen were now both settled in the city, the former just working his way into a fair practice as a physician, the latter a head clerk and junior partner in a large manufacturing firm. Both visited Westhill every week or two, and they generally came together; their ancient friendship had remained unbroken, save by some little miffs, which, in bantering each other, occasionally served to turn a jest.
When Ide received Julia's letter, informing him what they had to fear, he went to a famous restaurant, and ordered a good dinner, as the first step in the business, and considered what was to be done. He loved Julia Blanding with all his heart and soul; but in order to do anything it was necessary to preserve his nerve. He thought her father a fine old gentleman, and had no desire to thwart or cheat him. But he held to that natural
and inalienable right of a freeman, to marry any lady who loves him, and the equal right of any free woman to choose ber own husband. He regretted that necessitr should force him into proceeding out of the common way, but he was willing to go far to sustain a principle; and, in short he was no less fixed in the opinion that Julia Blanding should not be the wife of any but him, than were the old men to the contrary. To use a legal phrase, the pleadings had now reached a direct issue. Harry was not a man to do things underhandedly. He was no intriguer, bat one who wrought in the daylight. 11.first step, therefore, was, to go to Stephen and open his whole heart to him. in a friendly and brotherly spirit. They had never touched the subject before, though each had a suspicion that his secret could not but be known to the other.
Stephen met his confidence by a fraakness equal to his own; he had seen the Junior Oliver, and he now turned pale *> he declared, that he would, rather than see his sister married to such a low-bred scoundrel, behold Ker pretty face beneath the coffin-lid. He saw the letter Julia had written his friend, merely a plain, brief one, informing him of the treatment «hr had reason to expect from her father, and urging him to come soon and pav them a visit. The truth was, the old ones had opened the campaign so vigorously, ■■d young Oliver had been made a coandaat by his father so soon, and was so sure <4 success, that the garrison were a little daposed to overrate the hostile force. TV letter was superscribed in the hand-wrims; of Henrietta, and the slight flush whice went across the face of Stephen when fc* saw it, was remarked by Ide: a little circumstance, but it made the hitter sandr. In conclusion, they agreed to go oat together and spend thanksgiving at We*liill, which would be in about a fa Wilber Wells was accordingly info that effect by the stage-coachman. passed next afternoon.
The two weeks tardily wore a and found our two friends, afternoon, seated on the box of the same daily messenger, did not anticipate precisely tion as was in store for thom.
For in the meanwhile, the Coloaai
d a conversation with Julia, in which disclosed to her his plans and wishes. e, in her guilelessness and confidence in
• affections, had thought to overcome
• father by frankly avowing the truth aim, and appealing to his tenderness for ■; she thought when she told him how </, how dearly she had loved Harry Ide, •v constant had been his regard for her, 1 all the bright hopes awakened in them the strength of their attachment, that n her father would forbear and relent, I change his mind. In this she was oily in error.
The old man, to do him justice, really lied and felt that he ought to yield, but could not. For what, if he did yield, uld become of his parental authority? 3 moment this notion took possession him, all he underwent in going against natural kind feeling for his daughter : set down by him as so much sacrificed duty. Thus the more he felt he was ng against her wishes, the more detered was he to continue to do so. He ordingly put on a Roman firmness. His y as a parent required him to overcome feelings as a man. He regretted he ; not more hard-hearted, and that it uld cost him so much trouble to do it many men would go through with :e easily.
io have I seen a mother hector her d into disobedience, flog it therefor, weep that she should be obliged to do and all really on account of there being Id morning. So have I known a man
took credit to himself for spoiling his jtite, under a notion that the Christian ;ion required him to eat his dinner i a sense of duty. The disease of ying in self-denial for its own sake, is lably older than the Puritan rigor, or
monkish penances. tie Colonel grew stern and awful. Un,he impression that he was playing the ,yr, he, in reality, was acting like a
foolish old man. He put on the nificent, and wished to know if his
daughter was going to disobey her ir, and marry a poor doctor, when an )le match had been contrived for her ntage; things were come to a pretty if daughters were to undertake in th^
to provide for themselves, against th
3S of their natural guardians. He d
sired to hear no more of it. He though he knew what was best, and intended to be master in his own house.
He intended to be, but he was not, for there was a pair of dark flashing eyei worn by Miss Henrietta about this time, which he dared not look at. There was also in Miss Julia's manner anything but humility manifested. In fine, the selfsacrificing father only made himself and the house thoroughly miserable.
The two friends arrived just as the, family were sitting down to dinner; thev were received, Stephen cordially, and Ide grimly, by the Colonel, and we can imagine how by the young ladies. A few guests had been invited for the holiday, otherwise it is probable the Colonel would have proceeded to extremity, and forbidden Ide the house at once. Among others was Fogger, who had been engaged with the old gentleman all the morning in drawing papers, for he being the only man of law in the vicinity, political and personal considerations yielded to those of business. Oliver Jones, Junior, was also present, as a matter of course, seated next to Julia, on the Colonel's left flank.
That promising youth wore, on this occasion, a pair of De Meyer check pantaloons, and a beautiful gold breast-pin, with a short chain hanging to it. His hair had been frizzed that morning by the village barber, and altogether he was very fine, except his hands.
He did his utmost during dinner, seconded by the Colonel, to make himself easy and agreeable, but it was, as he himself afterwards remarked, " no go." He did not know exactly what to say, his range of conversation being chiefly confined to bar-room jests; he would have been much more at home, notwithstanding his pantaloons and chain breast-pin, seated on a beer barrel in a grocery, cutting a chip and flooding the floor, while the talk was of dogs and horses, and the same stale was ten times iterated. He bedoubt whether he would marry ia after all; she was a kind of inicnsible creature, whom he did not get on with at all. jen, on sitting down, put the old per into a side seat and took the 'Jic table, but instantly remarking should be more familiar with carving, made liim take that seat and do execution upon a thanksgiving turkey. Ide, nothing loth, took the chair, and vis-a-vised the Colonel with such determined hilarity, that the old gentleman <:ould have found in his heart to have kicked him out doors. With him and Stephen, and the young ladies, and guests, conversation went on smoothly, and all was hijrh and bright; but whenever Oliver, Junior, would fain have joined in it, the chariot wheels of the younjj ladies' tonjnies were off, so that they drave them heavily. But a stranger at the dinner would only have thought it a merry occasion, where all was unmixed enjoyment. For when the wine came in, even the Colonel forgot, for the time, his duty as a parent, and yielded to the animation of the company.
But he bethought himself before the conclusion of the repast, and when they rose from the table after dark, he requested Stephen with an air of solemn authority to join him presently in the back apartment or sitting room, to which he usually retired for business. The rest of the company adjoined to the parlor, where by and by lea and coffee were handed round, and soon after they began dancing and other evening amusements. But before the tea, and after Stephen had only found time to stand for a few moments by the side of Henrietta, and mention with a meaning look that his father was expecting him, he left the parlor and joined the Colonel.
What passed in that conversation between the wrong-headed old man and his hitherto in all respects quiet and obedient son, was never accurately reported, and I believe is not now remembered even by the parties themselves. As far as Ide could judge when Stephen returned to the parlor, it had been of a very grave and important character, for he never saw on his friend's countenance so little expression in his life: the muscles of his face were like marble, only his eyes appeared actually burning. He observed him after a while in the corner of the room speaking in a low tone of voice with Henrietta, but of the purport of what they said he could tell nothing, except that in a few moments her face reflected the fixed expression of lu's and her eyes gleamed with a lustre almost supernatural. Harry paid little at
tention to this, for he was dancing Julia, and this, with what they were ing opportunities to say to each oth* him no time for observation. He erp a quarrel with the Colonel, but fc* secure in his love and had no doubt timately winning the old man over, r he did not suffer himself to be ver happy.
Thus the evening wore on. Frwrnr young Oliver struck up a great friecd the former being anxious to do bxn for so promising an heir, and the 1 glad to talk with any one, since be: so little progress with Miss Julia. Stand Henrietta sang an old duet, r tremulously but with great feeling; l) and Julia said and did more tbmjs there is here space to tell of; they di till Anne Smith said she could ph; more without resting her fingers. old lady went about declaring they the best looking and best appearing o she had ever seen in her life, \i'l Colonel wished her where all sir.-> to. At the same time he could nc: secretly admit that she said nothing the truth.
Late in the evening, just as happ three years before, it was all at or.« covered that the weather had cfca and blown up a storm—a violent il rain, pitch dark, and the wind a tempe an unfit night to be out in. The sait« position was made of the companv il been on the former occasion: but n. suasion could induce Fogger t< main. Ide and Stephen both r_a him warmly, but much to the f.ri diversion, he was immovable. erAi determined not to tempt Provident* :| But as fate would have it, the crfi nate Oliver Jones became the occupy the chamber where the lawyer h%i ceived that solemn admonition from: other world which time could rot 4 him forget—and the heir of so mwif pectance was destined to a no !e«s wH fortable lodging than his predecessc.' Harry Ide, partly to relieve tbt || fellow's superstitious appreheasi>T. j because he was growing too old :■ H delight in such bovish jests, had kx: i confided to Wilber Wells the «o»":i the talking tube, and showed him k>* might use it if he pleased to plsr i)
ie fears of Sallj* the housemaid. But icre was a tender passion in that quarter hich prevented our coachman from using is knowledge that way, and as the room as never occupied except on some acci:n(al occasion like the present, he had no lance to play off the trick. But he icught he might as well keep his knowlIge to himself, and accordingly threw e key of the stable room into the bottom his chest, where it had remained along th his Bible, pack of cards and razor :op ever since.
But Wilber was not so simple in many >pects as he was thought to be; he saw mt was passing in the family, and knew ry well "what he was about." Sally uembers how slily he operated that Miing to find who slept in that particuehamber.
A long while after midnight, and when within the house was still, the doomed ver was torn from his balmy slumbers the most horrible imitation of an Indian 1 that ever saluted mortal ears! What was that? What could it have n? He listened—broad awake. Nothcould he hear but the pelting of the rm. He lay down his head again and athed more easily. Suddenly there ae an appalling cry :— 'Oliver Jones! Oli—ver Jo—nes .'" had no power of motion.
'You've no business here! marry
!—hj Car—ter! Cut them checker
rds! go home! Be off! out—
'ho poor Junior screamed with terror.
found the door and rushed into the
roaring in extremity of agony. The
ile house was roused. Lights were
ight; but by that time the sufferer
recovered his senses enough not to
what he had heard. He only desired
o home—he could not speak—it seem
le could not get his trembling limbs
"them checkerboards" fast enough.
ry one wondered, and thought the
• fellow subject to fits. Finally, see
DOthiny could be done with him, the
Colonel sent for Wilber Wells and told him to go home with him.
When they were gone, and the house u little quieted, it suddenly occurred to Idc, who had retired first, that Stephen must have slept very sound, and on going back to the room he found that he had not been in bed at all! Hardly had he discovered this when there were loud inquiries from up stairs for Miss Henrietta.
We shall not fatigue the reader's imagination by attempting to describe what followed when it was clearly ascertained that these two birds had flown. How the Colonel stormed, worse than the storm outside ; how his horse and chaise were gone: how Miss Julia was not afraid of him; the wonder of the guests; the general commixtion of the elements—all these are beyond mortal pen.
Suffice it that the next that was heard of the lovers was through a respectful letter from Stephen to his father, inclosing their card, and dated at the Astor House.
Poor Oliver Jones came near going off in a fever, and when he recovered, his aversion to the proposed match was so strong his father ceased to press it.
The two fathers again laid their head? together, and formed a new resolution, to let the young people have it all their own way, since it was out of their power to prevent them.
Accordingly Stephen and his bride came home and were forgiven in time to dance at Julia's wedding; and about the same time poor Polly Carter, who, as Wilber suspected, had an indefeasible title to the hand of Oliver, had her claim duly honored.
The stock in which the Colonel invested so largely has since risen in value, and the land has more than redeemed itself by the passage of the railroad through the estate.
The old j^mUijman suns himself up and down StateH It, and spoils his grandchildren, »'■ H' thinks his sons disposed to bring upfl Hrictly.
"Parent^ Hority must be preserved,-' he says, " ■ H'C is reason in all things."
G. W. P.