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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 6, 1861

This Harper's Weekly newspaper from the Civil War shows pictures of Winchester Virginia, and Harper's Ferry. The paper has stories on several skirmishes, and news of the day.

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Virginia Wheeling Convention

Virginia Convention

Wheeling Convention

The Wheeling Convention

The Battle of Boonville

The Battle of Boonville

Map of the Mississippi River

Map of the Mississippi River

Romney

The Battle of Romney

Battle of Philippi

Battle of Philippi

Jefferson City

Jefferson City

Army Life

Civil War Army Life

Winchester, Virginia in the Civil War

Winchester, Virginia

Harpers Ferry

Harper's Ferry

Williamsport

Williamsport, Maryland

Texas Ranger

Texas Rangers

Missouri Civil War

The Civil War in Missouri

John Bull

John Bull Cartoons

McDowell's Corps

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[JULY 6, 1861.

430

A TEXAN RANGER.

WE publish above a sketch, by one of our most reliable artists, of a TEXAN RANGER. A gentleman, just from Richmond, gave the following account of these redoubtable warriors :

Ben McCullogh's Texan Rangers are described as a desperate set of fellows. They number one thousand half savages, each of whom is mounted upon a mustang horse. Each is armed with a pair of Colt's navy revolvers, a rifle, a tomahawk, a Texan bowie-knife, and a lasso. They are described as being very dexterous in the use of the latter. These men are to be pitted against Wilson's Zouaves and McMullin's Rangers.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

A NOVEL.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.
Splendidly Illustrated by John McLenan.
CHAPTER LII.

IT was a dark night, though the full moon rose as I left the inclosed lands, and passed out upon the marshes. Beyond their dark line there was a ribbon of clear sky, hardly broad enough to hold the red large moon. In a few minutes she had ascended out of that clear field, in among the piled mountains of cloud.

There was a melancholy wind, and the marshes were very dismal. A stranger would have found them insupportable, and even to me they were so oppressive that I hesitated, half inclined to go back. But I knew them well, and could have found my way on a far darker night, and had no excuse for returning, being there. So, having come there against inclination, I went on against it.

The direction that I took was not that in which my old home lay, nor that in which we had pursued the convicts. My back was turned toward the distant Hulks as I walked on, and though I could see the old lights away on the spits of sand, I saw them over my shoulder. I knew the lime-kiln as well as I knew the old Battery, but they were miles apart; so that if a light had been burning at each point that night there would have been a long strip of the blank horizon between the two bright specks.

At first I had to shut some gates after me, and now and then to stand still while the cattle that were lying in the banked-up pathway arose and blundered down among the grass and reeds. But after a little while I seemed to have the whole flats to myself.

It was another half hour before I drew near to the kiln. The lime was burning with a sluggish, stifling smell, but the fires were made up and left, and no workmen were visible. Hard by was a small stone quarry. It lay directly in my way, and had been worked that day, as I saw by the tools and barrows that were lying about.

Coming up again to the marsh level out of this excavation—for the rude path lay through it—I saw a light in the old sluice-house. I quickened my pace, and knocked at the door with my hand. Waiting for some reply, I looked about me, noticing how the sluice was abandoned and broken, and how the house—of wood with a tiled roof—would not be proof against the weather much longer, if it were so even now, and how the mud and ooze were coated with lime, and how the choking vapor of the kiln crept in a ghostly way toward me. Still there was no answer, and I knocked again. No answer still, And I tried the latch.

It rose under my hand, and the door yielded. Looking in, I saw a lighted candle on a table, a bench, and a mattress on a truckle bedstead. As there was a loft above, I called, "Is there any one here?" but no voice answered. Then I looked at my watch, and finding that it was past nine, called again, " Is there any one here ?"

There being still no answer, I went out at the door, irresolute what to do.

It was beginning to rain fast. Seeing nothing save what I had seen already, I turned back into the house and stood just within the shelter of the door, looking out into the night. While I was considering that some one must have been there lately and must soon be coming back, or the candle would not be burning, it came into my head to look if the wick were long. I turned round to do so, and had taken up the candle in my hand, when it was extinguished by some violent shock, and the next thing I comprehended was, that I had been caught in a strong running noose, thrown over my head from behind.

"Now," said a suppressed voice with an oath, " I've got you!"

"What is this ?" I cried, struggling. "Who is it? Help, help, help!"

 

Not only were my arms pulled close to my sides, but the pressure on my bad arm caused me exquisite pain. Sometimes a strong man's hand, sometimes a strong man's breast was set against my mouth to deaden my cries, and with a hot breath always close to me, I struggled ineffectually in the dark, while I was fastened tight to the wall. "And now," said the suppressed voice, with another oath, " call out again, and I'll make short work of finishing you!"

Faint and sick with the pain of my injured arm, bewildered by the surprise, and yet conscious how easily this threat could be put in execution, I desisted, and tried to ease my arm were it ever so little. But it was bound too tight for that. I felt as if, having been burned before, it were now being boiled.

The sudden exclusion of the night and the substitution of black darkness in its place, warned me that the man had closed a shutter. After groping about for a little, he found the flint and steel he wanted, and began to strike a light. I strained my sight upon the sparks that fell among the tinder, and upon which he breathed and breathed, match in hand, but I could only see his lips, and the blue point of the match ; even those but fitfully. The tinder was damp—no wonder there—and one after another the sparks died out.

The man was in no hurry, and struck again with the flint and steel. As the sparks fell thick and bright about him I could see his hands, and touches of his face, and could make out that he was seated and bending over the table; but nothing more. Presently I saw his blue lips again breathing on the tinder, and then a flare of light flashed up, and showed me Orlick.

Whom I had looked for I don't know. I had not looked for him. Seeing him, I felt that I was in a dangerous strait indeed, and I kept my eyes upon him.

He lighted the candle from the flaring match with great deliberation, and dropped the match and trod it out. Then he put the candle away from him on the table, so that he could see me, and sat with his arms folded on the table and looked at me. I made out that I was fastened to a stout perpendicular ladder a few inches from the wall—a fixture there—the means of ascent to the loft above.

" Now," said he, when we had surveyed one another for some time, " I've got you."

" Unbind me. Let me go !"

"Ah!" he returned, "I'll let you go. I'll let you go to the moon, I'll let you go to the stars. All in good time."

" Why have you lured me here ?"

"Don't you know?" said he, with a deadly look.

"Why have you set upon me in the dark ?"

"Because I mean to do it all myself. One keeps a secret better than two. Oh you enemy, you enemy !"

His enjoyment of the spectacle I furnished, as he sat with his arms folded on the table, shaking his head at me and hugging himself, had a malignity in it that made me tremble. As I watched him in silence he put his hand into the corner at his side and took up a gun with a brass-bound stock.

" Do you know this ?" said he, making as if he would take aim at me. "Do you know where you saw it afore ? Speak, wolf !"

" Yes," I answered.

" You cost me that place. You did. Speak !" "What else could I do ?"

" You did that, and that would be enough, without more. How dared you to come betwixt me and a young woman I liked ?"

"When did I ?"

"When didn't you? It was you as always gave Old Orlick a bad name to her."

"You gave it to yourself: you gained it for yourself. I could have done you no harm if you had done yourself none."

" You're a liar. And you'll take any pains,

and spend any money, to drive me out of this country, will you ?" said he, repeating my words to Biddy in the last interview I had with her. "Now, I'll tell you a piece of information. It was never so well worth your while to get me out of this country as it is to-night. Ah ! If it was all your money twenty times told, to the last brass f'arden !" As he shook his heavy hand at me, with his mouth snarling like a tiger's, I felt that it was true.

"What are you going to do to me?"

" I'm a going," said he, bringing his fist down upon the table with a heavy blow, and rising as the blow fell, to give it greater force, "I'm a going to have your life!" He leaned forward staring at me, slowly unclenched his hand and drew it across his mouth as if his mouth watered for me, and sat down again.

" You was always in Old Orlick's way since ever you was a child. You goes out of his way this present night. He'll have no more on you. You're as good as dead."

I felt that I had come to the brink of my grave. For a moment I looked wildly round my trap for any chance of escape ; but there was none.

" More than that," said he, folding his arms on the table again, "I won't have a rag of you, I won't have a bone of you, left on earth. I'll put your body in the kiln—I'd carry two such to it, on my shoulders—and, let people suppose what they may of you, they shall never know nothing."

My mind, with inconceivable rapidity, followed out all the consequences of such a death. Estella's father would believe I had deserted him, would be taken, would die accusing me ; even Herbert would doubt me, when he compared the letter I had left for him, with the fact that I had called at Miss Havisham's gate for only a moment ; Joe and Biddy would never know how sorry I had been that night; none would ever know what I had suffered, how true I had meant to be, what an agony I had passed through. The death close before me was terrible, but far more terrible than death was the dread of being misremembered after death. And so quick were my thoughts, that I saw myself despised by unborn generations—Estella's children, and their children—while the wretch's words were yet on his lips.

"Now, wolf," said he, " afore I kill you like any other beast—which is wot I mean to do and wot I have tied you up for—I'll have a good look at you and a good goad at you. Oh, you enemy !"

It had passed through my thoughts to cry out for help again ; though few could know better than I the solitary nature of the spot and the hopelessness of aid. But as he sat gloating over me, I was supported by a scornful detestation of him that sealed my lips. Above all things, I resolved that I would not entreat him, and that I would die making some last poor resistance to him. Softened as my thoughts of all the rest of men were in that dire extremity; humbly beseeching pardon, as I did, of Heaven ; melted at heart, as I was, by the thought that I had taken no farewell, and never never now could take farewell of those who were dear to me, or could explain myself to them, or ask for their compassion on my miserable errors; still, if I could have killed him, even in dying, I would have done it.

He had been drinking, and his eyes were red and bloodshot. Around his neck was slung a tin bottle, as I had often seen his meat and drink slung about him in other days. He brought the bottle to his lips, and took a fiery drink from it; and I smelled the strong spirits that I saw flare into his face.

" Wolf!" said he, folding his arms again, " Old Orlick's a-going to tell you somethink. It was you as did for your shrew sister."

Again my mind, with its former inconceivable rapidity, had exhausted the whole subject of the attack upon my sister, her illness, and her death, before his slow and hesitating speech had formed these words.

"It was you, villain !" said I.

"I tell you it was your doing—I tell you it was done through you," he retorted, catching up the gun, and making a blow with the stock at the vacant air between us. "I come upon her from behind, as I conic upon you to-night. I giv' it her ! I left her for dead, and if there had been a lime-kiln as nigh her as there is now nigh you, she shouldn't have come to life again. But it wasn't Old Orlick as did it ; it was you. You was favored, and he was bullied and beat. Old Orlick bullied and beat, eh ? Now you pays for it. You done it ; now you pays for it."

He drank again, and became more ferocious. I saw by his tilting of the bottle that there was no great quantity left in it. I distinctly understood that he was working himself up with its contents to make an end of me. I knew that every drop it held was a drop of my life. I knew that when I was changed into a part of the vapor that had crept toward me but a little while before, like my own warning ghost, he would do as he had done in my sister's case—make all haste to the town, and be seen slouching about there, drinking at the ale-houses. My rapid mind pursued him to the town, made a picture of the street with him in it, and contrasted its lights and life with the lonely marsh and the white vapor creeping over it, into which I should have dissolved.

It was not only that I could have summed up years and years and years while he said a dozen words, but that what he did say presented pictures to me, and not mere words. In the excited and exalted state of my brain I could not think of a place without seeing it, or of persons without seeing them. It is impossible to overstate the vividness of these images, and yet I was so intent, all the time, upon him himself—who would not be intent on the tiger crouching

to spring !—that I knew of the slightest action of his fingers.

When he had drunk this second time he rose from the bench on which he sat and pushed the table aside. Then he took up the candle, and shading it with his murderous hand so as to throw its light on me, stood before me, looking at me and enjoying the sight.

"Wolf, I'll tell you something more. It was Old Orlick as you tumbled over on your stairs that night."

I saw the staircase with its extinguished lamps. I saw the shadows of the heavy stair-rails, thrown by the watchman's lantern on the wall. I saw the rooms that I was never to see again ; here, a door half open ; there, a door closed ; all the articles of furniture around.

" And why was Old Orlick there? I'll tell you something more, wolf. You and her have pretty well hunted me out of this country, so far as getting a easy living in it goes, and I've took up with new companions. Some of 'em writes my letters when I wants 'em wrote—do you mind ?—writes my letters, wolf ! They writes fifty hands ; they're not like sneaking you, as writes but one. I've had a firm mind and a firm will to have your life since you was down here at your sister's burying. I han't seen a way to get you safe, and I've looked arter you to know your ins and outs. For, says Old Orlick to himself, 'Somehow or another I'll have him !' What! When I looks for you, I finds your uncle Provis, eh ?"

Mill Pond Bank, and Chinks's Basin, and the Old Green Copper Rope-Walk, all so clear and plain ! Provis in his rooms, and the signal whose use was over, pretty Clara, the good motherly woman, old Bill Barley on his back, all drifting by, as on the swift stream of my life fast running out to sea!

" You with a uncle, too! Why, I know''d you at Gargery's when you was so small a wolf that I could have took your weazen betwixt this finger and thumb and chucked you away dead (as I'd thoughts o' doing, odd times, when I see you loitering among the pollards on a Sunday), and you hadn't found no uncles then. No, not you! But when Old Orlick come for to hear that your uncle Provis had most like wore the leg-iron wot Old Orlick had picked up, filed asunder oil these meshes ever so many year ago, and wet he kep by him till he dropped your sister with it like a bullock, as be means to drop you—hey?—when he come for to hear that—hey ?"

In his savage taunting he flared the candle so close at me that I turned my face aside to save it from the flame.

"Ah !" he cried, laughing, after doing it again, "the burnt child dreads the fire ! Old Orlick knowed you was burnt, Old Orlick knowed you wos smuggling your uncle Provis away, Old Orlick's a match for you, and knowed you'd come to-night! Now I'll tell you something more, wolf, and this ends it. There's them that's as good a match for your uncle Provis as Old Orlick has been for you. Let him 'ware them, when he's lost his nevvy! Let him 'ware them, when no man can't find a rag of his dear relation's clothes, nor yet a bone of his body ? There's then that can't and that won't have Magwitch—yes, 1 know the name !—alive in the same land with them, and that's had such sure information of him when he was alive in another land, as that he couldn't and shouldn't leave it unbeknown, and put them in danger. P'raps it's them that writes fifty hands, and that's not like sneaking you as writes but one. 'Ware Compeyson, Magwitch, and the gallows!"

He flared the candle at me again, smoking my face and hair, and for an instant blinding me, and turned his powerful back as he replaced the light on the table. I had thought a prayer, and had been with Joe and Biddy and Herbert, before he turned toward me again.

There was a clear space of a few feet between the table and the opposite wall. Within this space he now slouched backward and forward. His great strength seemed to sit stronger upon him than ever before, as he did this with hit hands hanging loose and heavy at his sides, and with his eyes scowling at me. I had no grain of hope left. Wild as my inward hurry was, and wonderful the force of the pictures that rushed by me instead of thoughts, I could yet clearly understand that unless he had resolved that I was within a few moments of surely perishing out of all human knowledge, he would never have told me what he had told.

Of a sudden he stopped, took the cork out of his bottle, and tossed it away. Light as it was, I heard it fall like a plummet. He swallowed slowly, tilting up the bottle by little and little, and now he looked at me no more. The last few drops of liquor he poured into the palm of his left hand, and licked up. Then with a sudden hurry of violence and swearing horribly, he threw the bottle from him, and stooped, and I saw in his hand a stone hammer with a long heavy handle.

The resolution I had made did not desert me, for, without uttering one vain word of appeal to him, I shouted out with all my might, and struggled with all my might. It was only my head and my legs that I could move, but to that extent I struggled with all the force, until then unknown, that was within me. In the same instant I heard responsive shouts, saw figures and a gleam of light dash in at the door, heard voices and tumult, and saw Orlick emerge from a struggle of men as if it were tumbling water, clear the table at a leap, and fly out into the night.

 

After a blank I found that I was lying unbound on the floor, in the same place, with my head on some one's knee. My eyes were fixed on the ladder against the wall when I came to myself—had opened on them long before my (Next Page)

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