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Civil War Harper's Weekly, August 2, 1862

This site contains online editions of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers contain rich content related to the war, and the people who fought it. We are hopeful you find this archive beneficial to your study and research.

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Vicksburg

Vicksburg

Vicksburg Description

Description of Vicksburg

Morgan's Kentucky Raids

General Couch

Fort Powhatan

Fort Powhatan

New Orleans

New Orleans Flag Presentation

General Dix

General Dix

California Joe

California Joe

Vicksburg

City of Vicksburg

Harrison's Landing

Harrison's Landing

Ladies of New Orleans

Ladies of New Orleans

Army Cartoon

Army Cartoon

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 2, 1862.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

493

PRESENTATION OF A FLAG TO THE THIRTEENTH CONNECTICUT REGIMENT BY LOYAL LADIES OF NEW ORLEANS.—SKETCHED BY AN OFFICER OF THE 13TH.—[SEE PAGE 487.]

(Previous Page) "I think so," replied Joe; and he brought his telescopic rifle to a horizontal position.

"Do you see him?" inquired the General.

"I do."

"How far is he away?"

"Fifteen hundred yards."

"Can you fetch him?"

"I'll try."

And Joe did try. He brought his piece to a steady aim, pulled the trigger, and sent the bullet whizzing on its experimental tour, the officers meantime looking through their field glasses. Joe hit the fellow in the leg or foot. He went hobbling up the hill on one leg and two hands, in a style of locomotion that was amusing. Our General was so tickled—there is no better word—at the style and celerity of the fellow's retreat that it was some time before he could get command of his risibles sufficiently to thank Joe for what he had done.

NO NAME.

BY WILKIE COLLINS,

AUTHOR OF "THE WOMAN IN WHITE," "DEAD SECRET,"
ETC., ETC.

THE FOURTH SCENE.

ALDBOROUGH, SUFFOLK,

CHAPTER I.

THE most striking spectacle presented to a stranger by the shores of Suffolk is the extraordinary defenselessness of the land against the encroachments of the sea.

At Aldborough, as elsewhere on this coast, local traditions are, for the most part, traditions which have been literally drowned. The site of the old town, once a populous and thriving port, has almost entirely disappeared in the sea. The

German Ocean has swallowed up streets, market-places, jetties, and public walks; and the merciless waters, consummating their work of devastation, closed, no longer than eighty years since, over the salt-master's cottage at Aldborough, now famous in memory only as the birth-place of the poet CRABBE.

Thrust back year after year by the advancing waves, the inhabitants have receded, in the present century, to the last morsel of hand which is firm enough to be built on—a strip of ground hemmed in between a marsh on one side and the sea on the other. Here, trusting for their future security to certain sandhills which the capricious waves have thrown up to encourage them, the people of Aldborough have boldly established their quaint little watering-place. The first fragment of their earthly possessions is a low, natural dyke of shingle, surmounted by a public path which runs parallel with the sea. Bordering this path in a broken, uneven line are the villa residences of modern Aldborough—fanciful little houses, standing mostly in their own gardens, and possessing here and there, as horticultural ornaments, staring figure-heads of ships, doing duty for statues among the flowers. Viewed from the low level on which these villas stand, the sea, in certain conditions of the atmosphere, appears to be higher than the land; coasting-vessels gliding by assume gigantic proportions and look alarmingly near the windows. Intermixed with the houses of the better sort are buildings of other forms and periods. In one direction the tiny Gothic town-hall of old Aldborough—once the centre of the vanished port and borough—now stands fronting the modern villas close on the margin of the sea. At another point a wooden tower of observation, crowned by the figure-head of a wrecked Russian vessel, rises high above the neighboring houses, and discloses through its scuttle-window grave men in dark clothing seated on the topmost story perpetually on the watch—the pilots of Aldborough looking out from their tower for ships in want of help. Behind the row of buildings thus curiously intermingled runs the one straggling street of the town, with its sturdy pilots' cottages, its mouldering marine store-louses, and its composite shops. Toward the northern end this street is bounded by the one eminence visible over all the marshy flat—a low, wooded hill on which the church is built. At its opposite extremity the street leads to a deserted martello tower, and to the forlorn outlying suburb of Slaughden, between the river Aldo and the sea. Such are the main characteristics of this curious little outpost on the shores of England as it appears at the present time.

On a hot and cloudy July afternoon, and on the second day which had elapsed since he had written to Magdalen, Captain Wragge sauntered though the gate of North Shingles Villa, to meet the arrival of the coach, which then connected Aldborough with the Eastern Counties Railway. He reached the principal inn as the coach drove up, and was ready at the door to receive Magdalen and Mrs. Wragge on their leaving the vehicle.

The captain's reception of his wife was not characterized by an instant's unnecessary waste of time. He looked distrustfully at her shoes— raised himself on tip-toe—set her bonnet straight

for her with a sharp tug—said, in a loud whisper, "hold your tongue"—and left her, for the time being, without further notice. His welcome to Magdalen, beginning with the usual flow of words, stopped suddenly in the middle of the first sentence. Captain Wragge's eye was a sharp one, and it instantly showed him something in the look and manner of his old pupil which denoted a serious change.

There was a settled composure on her face, which, except when she spore, made it look as still and cold as marble. Her voice was softer and more equable, her eyes were steadier, her step was slower than of old. When she smiled the smile came and went suddenly, and showed a little nervous contraction on one side of her mouth never visible there before. She was perfectly patient with Mrs. Wragge; she treated the captain with a courtesy and consideration entirely new in his experience of her—but she was interested in nothing. The curious little shops in the back streets; the high impending sea; the old town-hall on the beach; the pilots, the fishermen, the passing ships—she noticed all these objects as indifferently as if Aldborough had been familiar to her from her infancy. Even when the captain drew up at the garden-gate of North Shingles, and introduced her triumphantly

to the new house, she hardly looked at it. The first question she asked related, not to her own residence, but to Noel Vanstone's.

"How near to us does he live?" she inquired, with the only betrayal of emotion which had escaped her yet.

Captain Wragge answered by pointing to the fifth villa from North Shingles, on the Slaughden side of Aldborough. Magdalen suddenly drew back from the garden-gate as he indicated the situation, and walked away by herself to obtain a nearer view of the house.

Captain Wragge looked after her, and shook his head discontentedly. "The devil take that gentleman in the back-ground," he thought. "She has not got over the loss of him yet."

"May I speak now?" inquired a meek voice behind him, articulating respectfully ten inches above the top of his straw-hat.

The captain turned round and confronted his wife. The more than ordinary bewilderment visible in her face at once suggested to him that Magdalen had failed to carry out the directions in his letter, and that Mrs. Wragge had arrived at Aldborough without being properly aware of the total transformation to be accomplished in her identify and her name. The necessity of setting this doubt at rest was too serious to be

"CAPTAIN WRAGGE STARTED UP ON HIS KNEES, AND STOPPED ON THEM, PETRIFIED BY ASTONISHMENT."

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