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them driving out together nearly
every day, and sometimes Halliday, poor wounded soldier, would come walking up
the avenue, leaning wearily on Althorpe's arm; and then Margy would notice that
the talking seemed earnest and grave, and Althorpe's face wore none of its cynic
sneers. Then Margy would relent, perhaps, to return again to her belligerent
position that same evening, very likely, at some irreverent satire of the
So she had gradually worked
herself up into quite a little prejudice for the gentleman, which wasn't
pleasant nor comfortable; for there was a curious charm about the man that held
people, spite of themselves, enchained with a sort of admiring respect for his
honest disbeliefs and courageous daring of speech: but Margy Gaines was not
going to be misled by those brilliant qualities, when such lack of Christian
charity and self-sacrifice were apparent; and it really seemed that she spared
no pains to let the gentleman know precisely in what regard she held him; and
actually—this was the most provoking part of it—the audacious fellow appeared to
mind it no more than the buzzing of a fly. But one night Margy felt strangely
sorry and rebuked.
They were sitting in a group of a
dozen or so, outside one of the deep windows, and a mixture of gaslight and
moon-rays lit them up, and showed faces and features distinctly to each other.
In view of their coming change of life, perhaps, Morris and Halliday were
unusually quiet though certainly not downcast; a little graver, that was all.
Althorpe, on the other hand, was full of sharp wit and odd satire, uncommonly
brilliant and gracious at the same time.
At the last of the evening the
two soldiers, Halliday especially, in speaking of the next few months that were
to come, dwelt with a certain yearning tenderness upon the peaceful scenes they
would leave behind them, Althorpe answered, gayly,
"Yes, think of the hops and
matinees, the parties and pleasurings of all descriptions. Think what entrancing
polkas you lose, what waltzes you forego, what walks and talks, what beatings
and bathings, all to be put against tent-life, and swamp marches, and the chance
of a broken leg, from which discomforts you extract that one little sweet
The "boys" laughed with seeming
good understanding of his speech. Indeed, so great was this man's charm for
some, that they never thought to question what he said or what he did; but Margy
was sorely irritated, and replied sharply,
"Mr. Althorpe cares so little for
that sweet kernel that he will do himself the pleasure and honor of dancing your
polkas and waltzes while you fight his battles."
Honest Jack Halliday, speaking of
it afterward, said that those who heard this were so amazed that they looked at
the speaker in wonderment and silence; and a few moments later, when the young
lady rose and bade them good-night, the little incident took place which brought
She had turned to go through the
low open window, but her foot caught, and her head, reared rather too loftily
for the occasion, struck the lower bar.
Althorpe was the first to spring
forward, and his arm saved her from falling. The next instant he flung up the
sash, and helping her over the sill, stood at the inner door waiting for her to
pass. Lifting her eyes to thank him, she met a look, kind but with a dignity of
reproach which touched her sorely. The color rose, her glance fell, and her
"Thank you" came somewhat faintly.
In vain, thinking it over, she
tried to justify herself, recalling his sneering satire. Remembering that look,
she felt humiliated and abashed, and asked herself, "What right have I to judge
Such a position isn't pleasant,
and in it we are rather inclined to be unjust and inconsistent. Thus Miss
Margaret Gaines found herself placed. It wasn't pleasant to feel humiliated, and
she did not like Mr. Althorpe's society any the better for it. But not a whit
did Mr. Althorpe change to her. Easy, brilliant, and good-humored, he went on as
before, with a sort of insouciant gayety which was specially trying to her now.
And in this way the week passed, and an eventful day came.
Looking out of the window in the
morning she had seen Althorpe welcoming a stranger, a newcomer, just alighting
from a carriage at the door. A few minutes later, in the room adjoining her own,
and connected by a barred door, she heard voices, Althorpe's and another's,
commonplaces about the apartment, etc. But by-and-by the little bustle of
arrival was over, and the desultory talk, light and indifferent, deepened. Margy
forgot herself as she involuntarily listened.
The state of the country being
mentioned by the stranger, Althorpe joined him in a grave earnestness of regret
and sorrow for the dark days that were upon them that Margaret had never heard
from his lips before. Evidently this stranger stood in some nearer, closer
relation of friendship to him than any other.
At last the new voice said,
" I shall throw up my official
position, Althorpe, and join the army. I have had a commission offered me by
General —. My human nature can stand it no longer. We need men, men to save the
"I wish to Heaven I could go with
you!" suddenly burst from Althorpe.
The other paused a moment; then
lower of tone, with infinite tenderness, as it were, he asked,
"And why don't you, Althorpe? I
have never asked you before; but I have wondered, knowing your feelings."
"You have wondered and never
doubted, Allen; knowing me to be an able-bodied fellow, rich and idle."
"Doubt? Doubt and you can't come
together in my mind, Althorpe. If others think you a cold-blooded cynic, I know
they are entirely mistaken. I know the big heart underneath, Larry. Doubt you? I
should think not."
"And because you have not,
because you do not; and have all this time left me unquestioned by look or word,
Allen, I will tell you why I do
not go; but it is under a bond of
solemn, sacred silence. You will keep my secret, Allen—a secret known only to
one other besides myself?"
"Of course, my boy—I keep your
secrets. Go on."
There was a brief pause; then, in
a quiet sort of way, Althorpe began:
"You know that I am counted
immensely wealthy, Allen—that my income is very large; but you do not know that
the property from which I derive my income is entailed."
Margaret wondered what this had
to do with the matter. Perhaps his other listener wondered as well, but it was
not for long.
"By the will of my great-uncle,
from whom this fortune came, the next heir is my cousin, Crawford More."
"Crawford More!" burst out his
companion; "that selfish libertine, Crawford More!"
"Yes; a selfish libertine, as you
say; a man careless of every thing but his own personal pleasure; unscrupulous
and unprincipled to the last degree. If I should die, you can judge what use he
would make of this princely fortune. You can judge if the country would gain by
it." A little pause again, which the other did not break; and then again, in a
hesitating voice of reluctant shyness, which no one would have suspected in
Lawrence Althorpe, "I have but one life, Allen; I might lay it down on the first
day I entered the field. Then my use would be all gone, and the property, over
which I have no control, would be worse than useless to my country, for you well
know the Southern sympathies of More. So I stay at home, take the best possible
care of my life, and put my money as fast as I get it to the national use. You
know what my income is; you know what my expenses were. I'll show you what they
are now." A sound of a pen scratching something on a piece of paper came to
Margaret's ears. Then the other's voice, exclaiming, as he read it, "Jove,
Althorpe! you don't mean to say—?" "Yes; I mean to say that I am serving my
country to the best of my ability. Under the circumstances I can't risk my life
for it, you see, for the country would lose by it."
The old jocular tone, deprecating
sentiment, was coming back again; but Allen stayed if a moment as he exclaimed,
"And here you go on—why it is
more than a year—the very soul of patriotism! A soldier, too, by natural
qualities, silently bearing speculation and suspicion of your inactive position,
while you are learning to live on a tenth part of your income that the rest may
be given to support the government! You, the proudest man alive, bear suspicion
and blame, and deprive yourself of the very life you long for—for I always knew
you were a born soldier, Althorpe—that you may serve your country to the best of
your ability! Althorpe, you are a hero! But, my dear boy, you will pardon me for
saying that you are morbidly modest. Why not give your motive?"
"No, no, Allen; it would sound
Quixotic, sentimental, and all that sort of thing. Besides, the world would get
it wrong some way. I should be no better for it. Then what does it matter? I
hate to be talked over in that way. You know what I have suffered from
ostentation and display. My poor father, you know—it was his one folly; and
perhaps that has made me morbid. But let us say no more about it. Remember you
are to keep my secret."
"Of course; but, Larry, I wish I
could be delirious, and let it out innocently."
A laugh followed this. But Margy
Gaines waited to hear no more. Impulsive little enthusiast! she looked upon
herself as an instrument of deliverance; and any one could have caught glimpses
of her meaning if they had heard her as she flew about softly from toilet to
table in her hurried dressing, saying lowly to herself, "The splendid fellow! To
think I have so misjudged him! I'll atone for it, though! Let it out innocently!
They little think who—oh dear!" jerk, and away went a shoe-lace. "If Justine
wouldn't chatter so I'd ring for her; but they'd—there goes another string! I
never shall get ready!"
But she did, and in a few minutes
was speeding away on her self-imposed mission.
By night of that day the reason
of Lawrence Althorpe's apparent inaction was no longer a secret among those who
had wondered and speculated there.
Lawrence himself, sauntering out
upon the piazza that night, was met with hearty hand-shakes and compliments; and
General Rose, gouty old veteran, almost embraced him in his fervor of apology
What did it mean? Embarrassed and
annoyed as he could not help being, even in the natural gladness of being
understood, he turned with a look of reproach to Allen. Could it be that that
old friend had betrayed him?
But just here a little hand goes
winding across his arm; a sweet voice pleads in its prettiest way, "I've got
something to tell you, Mr. Althorpe; will you come and listen?"
Do you think, Stoic as he tried
to be, that he could resist that? No; and, walking up and down there, Margy made
her confession. Told him how she had played eavesdropper, and then spread her
Would he forgive her? Stealing a
look at the grave, quiet face bent thoughtfully down. Would he forgive her? He
drew her off upon one of the side piazzas.
"Forgive you, dear child!" he
said, wistfully. "I have much to be forgiven; but now you know I am not quite so
bad as you thought, do you think you could take the rest on trust, Margy?"
She started, colored. What! did
she understand him? He gathered hope from her shy warmth, and went on:
"Margaret; Margy; don't you know
that I've been in love with you all the time? Do you think you could like me a
There was no sneering now, no
lightness, only deep, honest tenderness.
And Margy? If you have not
guessed that out of her unacknowledged interest in this "cold-blooded cynic" had
sprung her fierce resentment, you are not so wise as I thought. Perhaps Lawrence
Althorpe read something of this in her naive confession, and so took heart of
faith to proffer his suit.
He did not proffer it in vain.
And walking there, she suddenly asked,
"Mr. Althorpe, did you send me
"I did, Miss Gaines," he
answered, with mock gravity. "I dazed about from dark to dawn, and waded
knee-deep to please a small person, who immediately attributes my sentimentalism
to another man;" and once more he glowed with the old wit that Margy was never
more to misunderstand.
But a trial and test was coming
to Margaret Gaines which would prove her patriotic enthusiasm. That very week
came intelligence that changed the plans of Lawrence Althorpe.
Crawford More was dead.
The property in this event was,
according to this strange will, to remain without reservation in the possession
of Lawrence Althorpe and his heirs, or legatees, according to his own
disposition. When Margaret was apprised she well knew what to expect. Her heart
sickened as she contemplated probable consequences; but lifting her eyes to the
face of her lover, she had no words of discouragement or of discontent to offer.
That face with its shade of bondage forever lifted from it, free to wear no
masks, but follow out its destiny. He would fight for his country after all!
That was what she read there.
The vast property left to him now
without "reservation, according to his own disposition," was most generously
disposed. A portion set apart whose yearly income was to be applied to that
"sacred use" he had so faithfully kept in view, whether he lived to fight for
the cause or laid down his life on his first battle-field.
Going, he drew from his finger
that curious little ring that had often excited question in Margy's mind. The
ring he had avowed to be his ladye love's.
"It was my mother's betrothal
ring, Margy," he said, "and dearer to me than any token I could bestow: will you
wear it for yours, dear?"
And Margy's last misgiving was
removed. She would never more doubt or misunderstand this loyal, tender heart—no
matter under what masks it might hide itself, either in seeking her love or
serving his country.
LATE GENERAL ROBERT
page 556 we publish a portrait
of the late
GENERAL ROBERT L. McCOOK, who was
murdered on 6th inst. by a band of Southern banditti, near Salem,
Alabama. Our portrait is from a card-photograph, kindly furnished us by Messrs.
Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati.
Robert L. McCook was a native of
Jefferson County, Ohio, and thirty-five years of age at the time of his death.
As a boy he was very manly, and attracted considerable attention. He studied
law, and opened an office, when he came of age, at Columbus, but subsequently
removed to Cincinnati. Though a Buchanan Democrat, Robert L. McCook was one of
the first men at the West to denounce the imbecility and treason which marked
the close of Buchanan's administration; and as soon as the first call for troops
was issued he raised a regiment of Germans.
We take the following account of
his glorious career as a soldier from the Cincinnati Commercial:
His regiment was detained in Camp
Camp Dennison front April until the middle of
June (1861), during which period it was drilled into a state of extraordinary
perfection, and it was characterized by
General McClellan as the best regiment he had
ever seen, whether in Europe or America. This distinguished compliment was
iterated and reiterated after it entered the field. On the 18th of June, last
year, Colonel McCook landed at Parkersburg, and his regiment was immediately
attached by General M'Clellan as his vanguard; and it accompanied him to
Grafton, near which point it went into camp on the night of the 22d June. The
next day it marched to
Philippi, at which point an attack by the enemy
was expected. The troops which were then holding that position were encamped
upon the mountains. Colonel McCook conceiving that the valley was more
desirable, moved his men directly down, against the suggestions of the officers,
who regarded his movement dangerous. Said McCook, ''We came to fight, and if the
rebels think they can drive my Dutchmen out of the hollow, let 'em try it."
During a few days he was in command at Philippi, by virtue of seniority; but
General Rosecrans moved down toward Buckhannon,
McCook was ordered to advance; and he took the van, moving into Buckhannon at
the head of the column. He had now been in the field but three weeks, but he had
already established a reputation for daring, and was reported the most reliable
and valuable reconnoissance officer in the array. When General McClellan joined
the column at Buckhannon M'Cook was again placed in advance, and he led the van
thenceforth as long as General McClellan was in Western Virginia.
Rich Mountain his regiment was selected to make
the armed reconnoissance on the 10th of July, and it was so admirably managed
that it won the applause of the whole army. Five of his "Bully Dutchmen" fell in
the enterprise. But for green troops their steadiness and mobility was
considered astonishing. Veterans could not have behaved better. After the battle
of Rich Mountain (11th), General McClellan moved rapidly on beyond Cheat
Mountain, McCook being still in advance; but the campaign was soon closed.
General McClellan was then called to Washington, and General Rosecrans assumed
command of the Department. McCook was now sent up the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad to New Creek, where he saw much severe service; and before the middle
of August he had crossed and recrossed Rich Mountain with his regiment six
times. When General Rosecrans perfected the plan of his Gamey River campaign
McCook was again required, and at Sutton he was assigned to command the Second
On the 10th of September, at the
battle of Carnifex Ferry, his command was held in reserve several hours, but at
last an order to advance was received. A scene of enthusiasm, inspired by the
gallant McCook, ensued which beggared description. He inflamed the men with
fiery ardor by the most passionate appeals to their patriotism, and, under the
direction of the gallant Hartstuff (now Brigadier) they marched in splendid
order into the fight. Unhappily, the order of combat was such that they were not
hurled immediately upon the breast-works of the enemy, but by orders of the
superior officer they were held under a sharp fire without being able to return
it effectively—M'Cook begging for an opportunity to carry his "Bully Dutchmen"
over the "sticks and dirt" which protected the enemy. Here again the bold,
acter of our townsman was
displayed, and his heroes came out of the fight more devoted to him than before.
After the retreat of the enemy, McCook's brigade was dispatched in pursuit, and
he followed vigorously until halted by orders. At Sewall Mountain, and on New
River, he was engaged in severe skirmishing, losing men on each occasion. After
the escape of Floyd from Cotton Hill, he was finally, after six months of
extraordinary service, in which he exhibited courage, enterprise, and judgment
of a high order, ordered to Kentucky.
His subsequent career—so recent
that it must be familiar to all—need not be detailed. He was not long in
Kentucky before he gave the rebels a taste of the quality of his "Bully
Dutchmen." They will never forget
Mill Springs. The General commanding, and the
troops alike, award that victory to Colonel McCook. It was one of the most
glorious and most important of the war, because it broke the chain of defeats,
and inaugurated a series of brilliant triumphs. It was memorable, also, as the
first in the war in which bayonets were used effectively, and it was Colonel
McCook who ordered cold steel into requisition. It was here that he was wounded,
and although most men would have taken advantage of such a circumstance to enjoy
a long furlough, he remained away from his post only long enough to recover
sufficient strength to ride on horseback, and he returned to duty long before
the wound healed—setting an example of devotion to duty eminently characteristic
of himself, but of few other officers in service. After the evacuation of
Bowling Green he moved forward with General
Buell's command, but we believe was not in any engagement after Mill Springs.
For his conduct in the latter the President promptly promoted him to a
Brigadiership, and the Senate confirmed the appointment unanimously; but on
account of the mutual attachment existing between himself and his splendid
regiment, and on account of some dispute relative to his successor, which could
not be amicably arranged, he never accepted his new commission.
Colonel McCook was a hardy,
muscular man, of medium height. He so scorned display that he steadfastly
refused to wear the uniform of his rank. He was frank and rugged, with stern
decision of character, and was remarkable for his devotion to his regiment.
Indeed he carried his disposition to provide for it to such an extent that he
frequently had the field-officers of the whole army of Western Virginia
protesting against his determined and successful efforts in securing the comfort
of his command.
We gave an account of his murder
in last week's paper. The following, from the Commercial, is another version:
The General was not riding in
advance of his whole brigade, as the first accounts led us to suppose, but
between the several regiments composing it. The 18th Regulars and a part of the
1st Ohio Cavalry had passed over the road ahead of him. The rebel assassins lay
in waiting in brush adjoining the road all the morning, and managed to remain
undiscovered by the advance body of the brigade. It is supposed that they were
fully apprised by citizen spies of the General's helpless condition and mode of
traveling, and formed an ambush for the special purpose of his assassination.
They were about one hundred and fifty strong, and partly composed of Forrest's
Cavalry, and partly of residents of the vicinity. The individual who shot the
General is known to be one of the latter. The cowardly murderer goes by the name
of Charles Wood.
The General was accompanied by
his usual escort of twelve of the 1st Ohio Cavalry on the day of his death.
Unfortunately, just before the guerrillas commenced their work, he sent three of
these with orders to different portions of the brigade. At the time the attack
was made three others were off the road looking out for a camping-ground. The
escort was thus reduced to six. Of this corporal's guard five started to run
after the first shot from the rebels. In vain did the remaining one call upon
them not to act like cowards, but stand and defend their General. In vain did
the latter himself order them to rally in the road between the guerrillas and
his vehicle, so as to give him time to get a start. They followed their craven
instincts, and sacrificed their General. The brave sixth man stood alone, and
was wounded and captured. The General was riding in a spring-wagon and lying
Captain Hunter Brooke, formerly
of this city, was riding with the General, who, owing to his feeble condition,
was lying in the bottom of the box. When the guerrillas opened fire upon the
conveyance, General McCook at once exclaimed, "The bushwhackers are upon us!"
ordered the driver, his negro servant John, to turn quickly around, and rose to
his knees to assist him in holding the frightened horses. The team was just
fairly started when the murderer of the General came up and ordered it to halt.
It being impossible to check the spirited hoses at once, the team kept moving,
when the guerrilla again ordered it to halt, but almost instantaneously fired
the fatal shot from his carbine, although Captain Brooke begged him not to fire
upon a sick man. Another rebel rode up at the same time and aimed his gun, when
the General told him reproachfully, "You needn't shoot, I am already fatally
wounded." The bullet passed entirely through his body, fatally tearing the
The main body of the rebels
pursued the flying escort, and but three or four remained with their victim. The
General was driven to and taken into the home, at which he died, by Captain
Brooke and John. He stated afterward that when the party came up to the house
the occupants, men, women, and children, clapped their hands in approbation of
the rebel achievement. In a few minutes those that had gone in pursuit came
tearing back, and harried off with Captain Brooke. John, upon the advice of the
General, had previously managed to escape out of the horse and through a
corn-field. Shortly afterward Captain Burt and party arrived.
The General lived about
twenty-four hours after being wounded. He was conscious to the last, although
frequently unable to speak from the dreadful pain he was suffering. Whenever
able be uttered words of advice, gratitude, and consolation to those around him.
The last moments found him as firm and calm as ever he was in the face of death.
retribution—is being dealt by the 9th Ohio. The hands of the men that cheered
rebel murderers will clap no more. With fire, and sword, and bayonet the scene
of the foul assassination was reduced to a state of desolation from which it
will not recover until time will have swept away the remembrance of the death of
Robert L. McCook.
The McCook family, as we have
before intimated, appears to be pretty full of fighting qualities. The following
is a list of the members of this family, all near relatives of Dr. George
McCook, Sen., of Pittsburg, who have entered their country's service. They are
A. L. McCook, Surgeon.
Colonel George W. McCook, served
during the three months.
General Alexander McDowell McCook.
General Robert L. McCook, Colonel
Daniel McCook, Jun., Adjutant -
General in General McCook's staff.
Edward McCook, Captain in Colonel
Logan's Illinois regiment.
Charles McCook, killed at the
battle of Bull Run.
Judge McCook, his father, also
had a fight on his own hook at Bolivar Heights under Colonel Geary, and was
paymaster at Corinth.
Edward S. McCook, Lieutenant in
the Regular Army.
Major Anson McCook, Second Ohio.
Captain Henry McCook, in an
Illinois regiment—number not known.
Sheldon McCook, Lieutenant in the
Navy, on the flag-ship Minnesota.
John M'Cook, Quarter-master in a
Major Anson McCook was in the
battle of West Liberty, Kentucky.
Captain Edwin McCook, of Colonel
Logan's regiment, lost thirty men in the battle of Belmont, Missouri. Captain
Henry McCook was taken prisoner at the battle of Belmont, Missouri.
Lieutenant Sheldon McCook is on
board the flag-ship Minnesota, and consequently was at the capture of Port Royal
Members of the family were in the
following battles: Bull Run, Philippi, Rich Mountain, Carnifex Ferry, Hatteras,
Wilson's Creek, Belmont, Port Royal and Beaufort, West Liberty, and Bolivar