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"If I love you, Jane? better than
all the world twice told."
"Then don't refuse me this one
favor: the last, perhaps, I shall ever ask you. I want my brother here before it
is too late. Tell him he must come to his little sister, who loves him dearly,
"Oh no! no! no!" cried the
agonized father, casting every thing to the winds. "I will. He shall be here in
twelve hours. Only promise me to bear up. Have a strong will; have courage. You
shall have Alfred, you shall have any thing you like on earth, any thing that
money can get you? What am I saying? I have no money; it is all gone. But I have
a father's heart. Madam, Mrs. Dodd!" She came directly.
"Can you give me paper? No, I
won't trust to a letter. I'll send off a special messenger this moment. It is
for my son, madam. He will be here to-morrow morning. God knows how it will all
end. But how can I refuse my dying child? Oh, madam, you are good, kind,
forgiving; keep my poor girl alive for me: keep telling her Alfred is coming;
she cares more for him than for her poor heart-broken father."
And the miserable man rushed out,
leaving Mrs. Dodd in tears for him.
He was no sooner gone than Julia
came in; and clasped her mother, and trembled on her bosom. Then Mrs. Dodd knew
she had over-heard Mr. Hardie's last words.
Jane Hardie, too, though much
exhausted by the scene with her father, put out her hand to Julia, and took
hers, and said feebly, but with a sweet smile, "He is coming, love; all shall be
well." Then to herself as it were, and looking up with a gentle rapture in her
"Blessed are the peace-makers;
for they shall be called the children of God."
On this thought she seemed to
feed with innocent joy; but for a long time was too weak to speak again.
Mr. Hardie, rushing from the
house, found Edward at work outside; he was crying undisguisedly, and with his
coat off working harder at spreading the straw than both the two men together he
had got to help him. Mr, Hardie took his hand and wrung it, but could not speak.
In half an hour a trusty agent he
had often employed was at the station waiting for the up-train, nearly due.
He came back to Albion Villa.
Julia met him on the stairs with her finger to her lips: "She is sleeping; the
doctor has hopes. Oh, Sir, let us all pray for her day and night."
Mr. Hardie blessed her; it seemed
the face of an angel, so earnest, so lovely, so pious. He went home: and at the
door of his own house Peggy met him with anxious looks. He told her what he had
"Good Heavens!" said she: "have
you forgotten? He say; he will kill you the first day he gets out. You told me
"Yes, Baker said so. I can't help
it. I don't care what becomes of me; I care only for my child. Leave me, Peggy;
there, go; go."
He was no sooner alone than he
fell upon his knees, and offered the Great Author of life and death—a bargain,
"O God," he cried, "I own my sins, and I repent them. Spare but my child, who
never sinned against Thee, and I will undo all I have done amiss in Thy sight. I
will refund that money on which Thy curse lies. I will throw myself on their
mercy. I will set my son free. I will live on a pittance. I will part with
Peggy. I will serve Mammon no more. I will attend Thine ordinances. I will live
soberly, honestly, and godly all the remainder of my days; only do Thou spare my
child. She is Thy servant, and does Thy work on earth, and there is nothing on
earth I love but her."
And now the whistle sounded, the
train moved, and his messenger was flying fast to London, with a note to Dr.
"Dear Sir,—My poor daughter lies
dangerously wounded, and perhaps at the point of death. She cries for her
brother. He must come down to us instantly, with the hearer of this. Send one of
your people with him if you like. But it is not necessary. I inclose a blank
check, signed, which please fill at your discretion.
"I am, with thanks,
"Yours in deep distress,
RUNNING THE BLOCKADE.
"Is Miss Bessie in?"
Without further question the
speaker entered the house with the air of an accustomed visitor. The room into
which he was ushered was furnished with a degree of elegance which betokened
alike wealth and good taste. The young man threw himself upon a sofa, and taking
from his pocket a telegram just received, read it with sparkling eyes. Certainly
it must have contained good news, to judge by the expression of his face. He was
interrupted in his occupation by a soft hand upon his shoulder.
"Mr. Mordaunt, I protest against
your converting my drawing-room into an office. Is your letter, then, of
"I beg your pardon, Bessie," said
the young man, coloring slightly; "you entered so softly that I did not hear
"Is that all you have to say to
me?" inquired the young lady, playfully. "I begin to think it was scarcely worth
while to come down."
"No Bessie," said the young man,
taking her hand, "it is not all I have to say to you. I have come to ask you to
reconsider your decision postponing our marriage for six months. What good
reason is there for it?"
"It is my guardian's wish,
Frederic," said Bessie, more gravely. "He thinks I am so young that we can well
afford to wait. After all it is but a short time. Six months will pass away very
"To you, perhaps," returned the
lover, half reproachfully.
"And why not?" she retorted,
playfully. "For think, Frederic, they are the last six months of my
independence. From that time I am to be subject to the whims and caprices of a
husband. I am afraid they are all sad tyrants. On second thoughts, it would
perhaps be better to name a year."
"Would you have me commit
"As if you were capable of it,"
she retorted, laughing merrily.
"You don't know what I am capable
of," said young Mordaunt, shaking his head.
"Perhaps if I did know I should
be unwilling to marry you at all," said Bessie, with a saucy smile.
Frederic Mordaunt's face flushed
slightly, as if a sudden thought had crossed his mind, but a moment afterward he
responded in the same vein.
Half an hour afterward the young
man rose to go. Bessie Graham followed him to the door, and then with slow and
meditative steps re-entered the drawing-room. As she passed the mirror a hasty
glance was perhaps natural. Rarely has mirror reflected back a more pleasing
face or more graceful figure. Neither perhaps was faultless, but the face had a
wonderful power of expression. A smile fairly lighted it up, leaving it
absolutely radiant. Yet there was something about the mouth that smiled so
sweetly which would have assured a careful observer that Miss Bessie had a will
of her own when she chose to exert it. The eyes were clear and truthful. Purity
and sincerity were reflected in these mirrors of the soul. Frederic Mordaunt was
not the only one who had been won by the charms of the young heiress. For Bessie
was an heiress, and a wealthy one. Not that she thought of it. The two hundred
thousand dollars which constituted her fortune were a poor substitute in her
eyes for the tender love of her father, who had been snatched from her three
years since by a sudden distemper.
Bessie was about to leave the
room when her attention was suddenly drawn to a loose sheet of paper which lay
on the carpet at the foot of the sofa on which her late visitor had been
sitting. Picking it up, a glance informed her that it was a telegram, and dated
at Halifax. Her eyes rested upon it a moment, and almost unconsciously she took
in its contents. The blood rushed to her cheeks, and she exclaimed, impetuously,
"Good Heavens! can Frederic have acted so base a part?"
The expression of her face was
completely changed. There was a deep earnestness in her eyes, but lately
sparkling with a merry light. "This must be inquired into without delay," she
resolved. "If it be as I suspect, all is over between us. Yes," she repeated, in
a slow and resolute tone, "henceforth and forever all is over between us."
She wrote two lines upon a sheet
of note-paper, and ringing the bell hastily, said to the servant who answered
her summons, "Do you know Mr. Mordaunt's office?"
"Yes, Miss Bessie."
"You will convey this note
thither immediately, and place it in his own hand. If he is absent wait for
"Yes, Miss Bessie."
Mr. Mordaunt had walked quickly
back to his office, having important business awaiting his attention. He was a
young merchant who had the reputation of great shrewdness in business matters.
Some said that he had never done a better stroke of business than in securing
the affections of the young heiress. Perhaps he thought so himself. He had not
been returned five minutes when Bessie's messenger arrived.
"A note from Miss Bessie."
"Indeed," said the young
merchant, graciously. "Give it to me."
His face assumed a perplexed
expression after he had read this brief missive:
"Will Mr. Mordaunt favor me with
a call at his earliest convenience on a matter of great moment?
"What can this mean?" thought
Mordaunt. "I left her but a moment ago as cordial as usual. Yet nothing can be
colder than this strange note. Your mistress is well?" he inquired of the
servant. "Yes, Sir, quite well."
Not a little disturbed at this
summons, which thoroughly mystified him, Frederic Mordaunt, leaving business to
take care of itself, hastily returned to the house which he had just quitted. He
was shown without delay into the presence of Bessie.
"Why, Bessie," he commenced, "you
have fairly frightened me with the suddenness of your summons. What—"
A glance at the grave face of the
young lady arrested the words upon his lips. "I hope you are not ill," he said,
in a changed voice.
"You left something behind you,"
said Bessie, quietly, "which I thought might be of importance. I have therefore
judged it best to send for you that I might return it in person."
She extended the telegram.
Frederic Mordaunt turned suddenly
pale. He mechanically reached out his hand and took the paper.
"I have an apology to make,"
Bessie continued, in the same cold tone. "Not aware that it was of importance, I
accidentally let my eye rest upon it."
The young man's paleness was
succeeded by a crimson flush, but he still remained silent.
"Frederic!" Bessie burst forth,
in a changed tone, "is this dreadful thing true? Have you really been false to
your country, and deliberately engaged in furnishing aid and comfort to the
enemy? I gather from this telegram that, through an agent in Halifax, you have
fitted out cargoes to run the blockade. Is this so?"
The young man's eye quailed
before her searching glance. "Forgive me, Bessie," he entreated,
"and I will faithfully engage
never again so to forget myself."
"Forgive you! It is not me you
have offended, but your country."
"I will give half the proceeds to
the Sanitary Commission—nay, the whole," said Frederic, deprecatingly.
"That can not repair the evil."
"You are hard upon me, Bessie,"
said the young man, a little resentfully. "I am not the only one who has engaged
in this business. It is wrong, I admit, but it is not the worst thing a man can
"Very nearly," returned Bessie,
gravely. "Listen, Frederic Mordaunt," she continued, rising, and looking down
upon him like an accusing angel. "Three months ago word came to me that a
cousin, who was my early play-fellow and always dear to me, fell upon the
battle-field fighting bravely. Do you think, in my sorrow for him, that I have
not remembered with indignation those who caused and who perpetuate this unhappy
war? Yet I could almost envy him his fate. He never proved recreant to honor and
false to his country. His memory will ever be held sacred in my heart. Think,
Frederic Mordaunt, how many thousands have fallen like him—how many a heart has
been made desolate—how many a fireside is wrapped in sadness."
"That is true; but am I
responsible for all this?"
"Their blood is upon your hands,
Frederic Mordaunt," said Bessie, sternly. "You, and such as you, who betray your
country for a little paltry gain—who furnish the rebels with the means of
prolonging their unrighteous contest—are guilty of all the extra bloodshed and
suffering which must necessarily result. Shame on you, Frederic Mordaunt! And
you call yourself loyal! I have more respect for an open enemy than for a secret
"Bessie," said the young man,
thoroughly humiliated, "I will not seek to defend myself. I will make any
reparation that you may require. Only do not be too hard upon me."
"I hope you will make such
reparation as your conscience exacts. For me I will not venture to dictate. You
are not responsible to me any farther than you are to all who have the welfare
of their country at heart."
"Surely yes," said the young man,
his heart sinking with a new apprehension. "The relation between us will justify
you in any demand. You have only to express your wishes."
"The relation to which you refer
has ceased," said Bessie, coldly. "I give you back your promise."
"You can not mean it," said young
Mordaunt, in accents of earnest entreaty. "Say that you do not mean it."
"It is best so," said Bessie. "I
was mistaken in you. I thought you a man of the strictest honor. I did not
think— But what need to proceed? Providence has willed that my eyes should be
opened. Let the past be forgotten."
"Do not cast me off without a
moment's reflection," urged Frederic, more and more desperately. "Give me time,
and I will satisfy you of my sincere repentance."
"I heartily hope you will,
Frederic. The interest that I have felt in you will not permit me to say less.
But if you have a thought that any change which time will bring will shake my
resolution, put it away at once. Where I have once lost my respect I can no
longer love. Within the last hour the whole plan of my life seems to have
changed. My love for you has gone, never to return. It is best that you should
know it. I sincerely hope that you may awake to a full sense of the disgrace in
which you have involved yourself, and may seek as far as possible to repair it.
Should such be the case, my good opinion of you may in time be restored. Do not
seek for more."
Frederic Mordaunt took his hat
slowly, and left the room. He felt that it would be useless to urge his suit
further. There was that in the expression and tone of Bessie Graham which warned
him that it would be in vain. Even in that hour, perhaps, the loss of the
fortune which the heiress would have brought him was not the least bitter
ingredient in his cup of humiliation. Yes, even in a pecuniary view his
speculation had failed miserably. He had gained five thousand dollars and lost
two hundred thousand.
As for Bessie, she did not grieve
much for the lover she had dismissed. It was as she had said. All her love for
him had passed away when she awoke to a sense of his unworthiness. She has
firmly resolved that whenever her hand is given, it shall be to one who has
devoted himself heart and hand to the service of his country.
PRISONS AT RICHMOND.
WE reproduce on pages
several drawings by Captain Wrigley, of the Topographical Engineers,
illustrating the LIBEY PRISON AT RICHMOND, AND THE PLACE OF CONFINEMENT FOR
UNION TROOPS AT BELLE ISLE. Captain Wrigley was several months in the Libey
Prison, and had ample leisure to make drawings and observations. He also sends
us (and we publish on the same pages) portraits of Captains Sawyer and Flynn,
the two officers who were selected by Jeff Davis to be murdered in retaliation
for the execution by General Burnside of two rebel spies. The despot of the
Slave Confederacy has not yet carried his threat into execution; but the
sentence of death still hangs over the two officers, and must be hard to bear.
Captain Wrigley has written us the following account of his observations:
"The military prison at
Richmond, Virginia, is situated on the corner
of Twentieth and Cary streets, directly on the canal and
James River. A fine view of the river, its
beautiful islands, and the distant hills is obtained from the south and west
windows. The tents on
Belle Isle, where our soldiers are kept, just peer above
the long railroad bridge leading to
Petersburg. This bridge is nearly half a mile
in length, and built of timber on
stone piers. Two and four hundred
yards this side are two other bridges, one for the Danville Road, the other for
foot travel. Below them the river eddies furiously between huge rocks and
hundreds of beautiful little islands, covered in every available inch with
trees, bushes, small flowers, and verdure of all kinds. Just at the bend of the
river, about a mile below the prison, is that part of Richmond known as the 'Rocketts'—formerly
a village of that name, but now connected with the city by straggling tobacco
factories, warehouses of all kinds, and tenements usually found in the suburbs.
"Richmond lies, as it were, in an
amphitheatre of hills, facing the river, on whose bank is the prison, and from
which a fine view of the town is obtained from the north and west windows. Far
up on the hill stands the Confederate capitol—a plain, unpretending building,
very similar to the ordinary American church, as seen in its full glory in some
of our country villages. Comparatively few people are seen in the streets, an
able-bodied man without a uniform being a rara avis of the first class; and the
few ladies who walk out appear to be living, as it were, backwards on the finery
and fashion of other days.
"The name Libey, generally
spelled 'Libby,' which is applied to the military prison, is derived from the
proprietors, Messrs. Libey & Son, ship-chandlers and grocers, who formerly
carried on there an extensive business. It is really a row of three buildings,
three stories high, and having each one room on a floor, each room being 105
feet in length and 45 feet wide, making nine rooms in all —three in each story.
On the first floor, the west room contains the quarters of the Confederate
officers and the offices connected with the place. It is in this room that the
prisoner first enters; and from it he is ushered to his future dreary abode. The
east rooms of the first and second floors form the hospital of the building; the
three upper rooms, together with the west room of the second story, communicate
and form the officers' quarters; the two remaining ones are used to receive
temporarily, for the night, small squads of captured prisoners, previous to
sending them over to Bello Isle. All these apartments have bare, unplastered,
white-washed beams and walls.
"Two of the four rooms allotted
to them are partly used as kitchens—a portion of the room being partitioned off,
and large cooking stoves, of a huge, square pattern, set up in them. The cooking
is all done by the officers themselves; they form messes of whoever may be
agreeable to each other, and take their proper turns in preparing the meals. The
tin plates and cups taken from our captured soldiers are given to them in
sufficient quantity to allow two messes to eat at one time. Many, however,
purchase their own dishes, and are more independent. Two bath-tubs are placed in
these rooms, and five faucets supply all the water for bathing, cooking, and
washing. The ration allowed is eighteen ounces of bread and a quarter of a pound
of meat per day, together with a little rice; vinegar and salt at intervals.
"Although a hearty man would not
perish with this amount of food, it is not sufficient—in point of quantity,
quality, or variety—to prevent a gradual disorganization of the system, and
consequent total unfitness for duty.
"Most all of the officers have
money with them, and, if they desire, purchase in the markets, through the
Confederate steward, vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, and butter—all these
commodities, nevertheless, being enormously high: this is compensated for,
however, by the value of gold and United States notes, they being worth,
respectively, 14 and 11 to 1 in Confederate money.
"A few bunks in the upper west
room are occupied by the first-corners of the prison, the remainder of the
officers sleeping on the floor in their blankets, only two of which are allowed
to each man. There are 18,900 superficial feet of floor in all these rooms;
deduct 2900 for kitchens, sinks, mess-tables, etc., and it leaves but twenty-six
superficial feet per man. No outdoor exercise is allowed. The place is infested
with vermin of all kinds, beyond all power to drive them off.
"Our officers, even in the face
of these discouraging facts, keep up good heart; earnestly hoping, however, for
a speedy release. Classes in Spanish and French, the study the law, a
debating-club, and a weekly paper—The Libby Chronicle—take up all spare moments,
and the ability displayed by many in these matters is truly gratifying; and if
the officers there are a fair sample of our army generally, we may well be proud
of the effect of our republican institutions.
"The hospital is the best
conducted part of the prison. It contains 120 beds—each a straw, palliasse—and
pillow, sheets, and comfortable, on a wooden cot. The fare is a shade better.
The surgeons (three in number) are really skillful men, and do all in their
power to alleviate the condition of the sick in their charge. Stimulants of all
kinds are difficult to obtain, but are furnished by the Confederates to the
fullest extent of their capability. They will not, however, allow our
Sanitary Commission to send any thing of the
"Gold or Confederate money will
alone be received by the Commissioners and handed to the prisoners; all boxes of
clothing, or delicacies of any kind, will also reach them in safety.
"The writer had the pleasure of a
trip through the Confederacy, from Jackson, Mississippi—where he was captured
some five months since—to Richmond. If the people of the Northern States could
but know and appreciate the total exhaustion of the South in this struggle, they
could not fail to bend every effort at this time to trample out the few
remaining embers of the rebellion.
"Their railroads and
rolling-stock are in the most dilapidated condition, and they are without the
men to repair them. Eight miles an hour was the average of the mail-trains on
which we traveled. Locomotives of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad we saw near
Atlanta, Georgia; and a rolling-stock also of other roads. The stations,
however, were filled with engines, but slightly out of repair, (Next