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her to his own quarters and laid
her down. He did not know what to do for her, so he waited for her to recover.
He had two or three questions to ask then. He was so earnest that his voice
"Why are you here, Ada?"
For answer she drew from her
bosom the list of the wounded, and showed him his name. His voice trembled a
little as he asked his next question.
"It was a mistake in the returns.
Did you come because of that?"
She bowed her head mutely,
holding her hand tight over her breast.
"Did you think I would want you
to take care of me, Ada—you whom I had not seen for so long?"
"Oh, I did not know! I did not
know!" she cried, wildly. "Do not blame me! I came because I could not stay
away. I thought you might die, and I wanted to hear you say first that you could
"Had you forgiven me, Ada?" He
was looking at her with a gaze which would have eased her heartache had she
dared to meet it.
"I do not know, Luther, that I
had any thing to forgive. I wonder only that you had patience with me so long. I
was such a weak, foolish child. I must have tried you sorely, and that last
accusation was so unjust. I knew you better all the time than to think you
married me for any thing but love. I am a woman now, and if it were not too late
I think I should do better."
"Is it too late, Ada? The chief
fault was mine. I was too old and too hard to wear such a delicate flower in my
bosom. I was stern with you, and expected you to give up more than any woman
could. And yet, child, I loved you to madness all the time. I have never ceased
to love you just as well. I have been too proud to go back to you—that was where
you have shown yourself nobler—but I have cherished your memory as a lost angel
thinks of heaven. See this knot. You had dropped it from your collar the morning
we parted. It has never left my heart. I have worn it into battle as other men
wear breast-plates. See, as yet no blood has stained it. It has been my
talisman. Ada, I was not worth your seeking for me thus and here."
"I thought you were," and that
blush and smile made Ada young again.
Their joy, but why dwell on it?
Who has ever rendered into mortal language the song of the spheres? They had
been happy when they were bride and groom, in the old honey-moon time. They were
something more, now that long pain had chastened and purified their hearts, and
they had learned what love and union were worth by the agony of separation and
After a few days he sent her
home. She was to wait there for him. He is a brave man, and he has no fear of
death. He dreams fond dreams of a life beside which the brightest clays of the
old time were dull and colorless; of happy years with her, and an old age when
they will look together toward the sunlight on the distant hills, and the land
where the dawning is eternal.
But if they never come, those
years, if some bold charge is his last, and the dear eyes waiting at home never
see him more, he will not murmur. Her love is mighty to give him peace. He knows
that there is a life above and beyond this world, and in the country of souls
they who were one here will be one hereafter. So she waits and he fights, and
neither will repine whether God's will brings
them the fruition of their hopes
on earth, or ordains that they shall wait for it till love and faith are
glorified with immortality. Sure, let fate do what fate will, that they can not
be long apart, they have courage for their work.
"I DON'T approve of it at all—in
fact, Miss Mabel, I feel it my duty to say that I most highly disapprove of it!"
Mr. Jonas Brown cleared his
throat, and tapped his gold snuff-box solemnly as he spoke. For, if a bald head
and forty years couldn't give weight to a man's opinions, what could?
Mabel Crofton sat opposite to
him, a perfect little sweet-pea blossom, with cheeks like damask roses and large
wistful hazel eyes. One felt almost inclined to envy the chestnut brown curls
that touched her round white shoulders, and the blue belt that circled her trim
waist. Only seventeen, and pretty enough to drive a man wild!
She did not reply to Mr.
Brown—only put out her scarlet lip with the least bit in the world of a pout.
"I should deeply regret, Miss
Mabel, to see any young lady in whom I felt—ahem!—an interest dressed up as
'Columbia,' or 'Britannia,' or any other country on the face of the globe. I
must repeat that I consider it improper!"
"It's only tableaux, Mr. Brown!"
said Mabel, demurely, laying a fold in her work, and eying it with her head
coquettishly on one side. "And besides, it is for the benefit of the wounded
soldiers. What's more, I've promised the girls to be 'Columbia,' and I couldn't
possibly disappoint 'em!"
"I am much grieved, Miss Mabel,
Mr. Jonas Brown's sentence was
never finished, for just then Mabel sprang up with a little exclamation of
"Oh, Charley, I'm so glad to see
How Mr. Jonas hated the tall
young volunteer whose hand had closed on Mabel's warm, white fingers, gold
thimble and all!
"I'm afraid I interfere, Mr.
Arkell!" said he, rising and bowing with what he intended for an air of intense
"Oh, not at all, Sir, I assure
you!" said Charley Arkell, in the extremest good faith, "Pray keep your seat!"
"No, I thank you, Sir," said Mr.
Jonas, walking off in high dudgeon."
He proceeded straight to the
library, where Dr. Crofton sat snugly smoking his after-dinner cigar, and
entered with pursed-up mouth and spectacles that quivered with inward wrath.
"Sit down, Mr. Brown, sit down,"
said the Doctor. "Have a cigar, eh? Oh, I forgot that you don't smoke."
"Thank you, Sir," said Mr. Brown,
solemnly. "I do not appreciate the narcotic qualities of the weed."
"Well, how do you get along with
Mabel?" said the good-humored Doctor, putting his slippered feet on the fender.
"Not as rapidly as I could wish,
Sir. The fact is—"
"The fact is," interrupted Dr.
Crofton, "you're not go-a-head enough in the style of your courtship, Mr.
"How do you mean, Sir?"
"Girls like a dashing, ardent
sort of fellow! Now, if I were you, I should even go with her to this tableau
"But, Dr. Crofton, I have before
mentioned that I disapprove—"
"Oh, hang that sort of thing! No
offense, Mr. Jonas; but it is your business to approve whatever she likes just
now. When she's Mrs. Brown it is time to remodel her tastes and fancies."
Mr. Jonas's solemn facial muscles
slightly relaxed at the idea of ripe, rosy little Mabel's being "Mrs. Brown."
"Then it is advisable that I
should conform to the popular prejudices, and confer my presence upon—"
"By all means, Mr. Jonas. And
whatever you do, don't allow Charley Arkell to get the start of you. I sha'n't
interfere with the girl, but I should prefer you for a son-in-law."
Didn't our Mabel look more
bewitching than ever as "Columbia" in the coronet of stars, and the silken
draperies of "red, white, and blue?" Mr. Jonas thought so—and so did somebody
else; for Charley Arkell was there, the busiest and merriest of all the
The audience-hall was densely
packed, and the curtain just ready to rise, when, lo and behold! the nice young
man who was to personate "Our Loyal Prisoners" was discovered to be missing.
Gone home, at the eleventh hour, with a jumping toothache.
"What shall we do !" cried Minnie
Bell. "Charley, you take the part!"
"Well, I like that," said Arkell.
" How can I be a captive in chains and climb up the walls at Donelson, waving
the Union flag, at one and the same time?"
"But there's no one else to take
Yes there is here's Mr. Jonas
"No. no!" gasped Mr. Jonas, "I
disapprove on principle—"
"If Miss Crofton imposes the
chains you surely will not be so ungallant as to refuse to wear them," said
Charley, alertly advancing with an armful of rusty fetters, and before Mr. Jonas
could remonstrate, he was wrapped in black serge vestments, his hands and feet
manacled, his shoulders draped with chains, and his respectable bald head topped
off with a disheveled wig. The very life-currents in his veins stood still with
dismay—he opened his dry lips to dissent vehemently, but it was useless. The
tiny bell had sounded—the green curtain was slowly ascending, and there he sat,
he, Mr. Jonas Brown, President of the Bank, and Director of the Insurance
Company, paraded before the eyes of the whole town under about forty pounds of
While Charley Arkell and Miss
Croften were indulging in irrepressible giggles that nearly ruined the prestige
of their parts—it couldn't—no, it couldn't be possible that they were laughing
It seemed an age before the
curtain fell, and then Arkell came forward to lead the manacled hero from the
"Upon my word, Mr. Brown, you act
splendidly—sat like a statue! Depend on it your forte is the footlights."
If a look of deeply-lowering
indignation could annihilate a man, Charley Arkell would have been knocked flat.
Just sit in this ante-room a few
seconds. I'll come and unlock the manacles the minute I've arranged the next
group. There's the bell now!"
And away sprang Charley to his
Five minutes passed
away—ten—twenty—an hour—and no one arrived to free Mr. Jonas from his shackles.
He grew impatient and shouted aloud—still no one came! Ten o'clock struck—be
heard the departing rush of many footsteps. The audience were dispersing
then—and no Arkell. He rose to his feet with difficulty, under that
superincumbent mass of iron, and staggered to the door. Ye fates! it was bolted
on the other side. He redoubled his shouting, but in vain, and then—what else
could he have done?—sat down and used one or two strong adjectives relative to
tableaux in general, and Mr. Arkell in particular.
"Here's a pretty situation for
Jonas Brown Esquire to be in!" he groaned. "I shall catch my death of cold. I
shall have the rheumatic fever. Thermometer at zero, and no fire!"
And, as he involuntarily
shivered, the fetters clanked with dismal distinctness.
Poor Mr. Jonas Brown!
"Dear me, Mr. Brown, who'd ha'
thought o' seein' you here?" ejaculated the astounded janitor of the hall next
morning as he unbolted the door and bounced into the presence of "Captivity."
"Bless my stars! how on earth—"
"Confound your questions!" roared
Mr. Jonas. "Take off these things, or I'll—"
Mr. Hodgson did not stop to hear
the alternative, but flew to summon aid. "For he do look awful," said Mr.
Jonas Brown did not wait even for
his matutinal coffee, but went straight to Dr. Crofton's, resolved to reveal the
full extent of Charley Arkell's villainy, or perish in the attempt.
The sitting-room door was open as
he entered, and Mabel stood there, her bright eyes drenched with tears, and her
cheek against Arkell's mustache—a sort of tableau not at all to Mr. Brown's
"Hallo! what does this mean?" he
"Ah, Mr. Brown, is it?" said
Charley, courteously, but without taking his arm from Mabel's waist. "Glad to
see you, Sir. I'm just off with the regiment. We march in less than an hour.
Hope you'll all take good care of my wife while I'm gone."
"Yes. Oh, I forgot that you were
unacquainted with the circumstances. The sleighing was so capital last night
when we left the Hall that we thought we'd just go on to C— and get married. One
more kiss, love, and good-by."
And so Charley Arkell went
merrily off to the wars, and "Love was still the lord of all." As for Mr. Jonas
Brown, he is "wearing the willow" and groaning under the rheumatism at the same
PASSING through Nashville,
casting your eyes above the houses, the first thing that strikes your eye is the
State-house; the second, Fort Negley. The latter, situated upon Nashville
Heights, commands a view of the whole country for miles around, while its cannon
point in every and any direction. Our artist was not allowed to give any thing
but a view of the fort, and we fear it will be contraband to write a description
of it; as for the view, it can do no harm.