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Page) three formidable horns, designed
to tickle the ribs of our wooden vessels so very unpleasantly. If they should
undertake another such rampage the fleet is determined to capture or destroy
them. They have three rams in all, but we have a heavy force to oppose them.
Probably a few doses of 9-inch Union pills dropped down the smoke stack may
operate rather disastrously, and afford a few months' employment to the
mechanics of Wilmington—if they should ever get back there.
"We have at present on board this
vessel(Badger) the officers, crew, and some passengers of the blockade-runner
Tristram Shandy, captured by the U. S. steamer Kansas on Sunday, the 15th May,
with a cargo of cotton from Wilmington. They say the ram is fast aground in the
harbor, and efforts to pull her off have been unsuccessful."
JOSEPH HOWARD, JUN.
WE give on
page 365 a portrait,
from a photograph by Mr. CHARLES H. WILLIAMSON, Brooklyn, of JOSEPH HOWARD,
Jun., whose name has been brought prominently before the country in connection
with the forged Proclamation which was last week palmed upon the public through
the columns of two New York daily papers. The history of the case is already
known, and it is only necessary to say here that Mr. HOWARD'S action was in the
last degree infamous and dishonorable. Mr. HOWARD is yet a young man, and has
been connected for some years with the press, holding at the time he committed
the forgery which sent him to Fort Lafayette the position of city editor on a
WIDOWED IN THE WILDS.
IT is now many years since I
accompanied my husband, a missionary, into the interior of Southern Africa. At
length we reached our station in Namaqua Land. When I saw the wild savages among
whom our lot was cast my heart was ready to sink ; but the goodness of our
purpose upheld me ; moreover, there was little time for fears, for a house must
be built ere we could live in one, and a chapel be erected before we could
commence our duties ; and toiling with our own hands, aided by our guide and
driver, who remained for a while to help us, we at length completed both.
It was a joyful day when we first
heard the little bell ring out over the kraals, summoning their inmates to the
chapel, at one end of which my husband was to instruct the men; while at the
other I should try to instill into these rude wild women the womanly and wifely
virtues ; and though for a time these efforts were met by peals of laughter, and
my husband's services were more frequently sought as a rain-maker or
witch-finder than in any other capacity, yet ultimately our endeavors prevailed,
and we won their respect and confidence, and, as we hoped, in one or two cases,
Thus passed nearly three years ;
and though to the world our life at that remote mission-station might seem
desolate and dreary, it was in reality full of interest, and cheered by the
daily increasing hope that we had planted the germs both of a religion and
civilization which would spread and bear much fruit.
Such were our prospects, when one
day we learned that the great chief Luto, beneath whose protection we lived, was
taken ill, and we resolved to visit him ; more especially as, like most
missionaries, my husband possessed some medical skill. The chief's kraal was
scarcely five miles from the station, and we started early, to avoid the heat of
the tropical sun ; but we had hardly traversed half the distance when a faint
sound, as of rushing water, broke the intense stillness of the wilderness,
increasing as we advanced, until it swelled into a succession of wild cries and
fearful shrieks. Ignorant whether this might not be the form of mourning for one
so exalted as Luto, we hastened on, though, when we reached the spot; it was
with difficulty we could force our way through the thick belt of terrified
looking Caffres who were eagerly pressing forward to witness the scene within.
At length we reached the front ;
but very different was the sight we looked on to what we had anticipated. On one
side, stretched on a dingy mat, lay the mighty chief whose will was law over
hundreds of miles and thousands of lives, his huge form writhing with neuralgic
pains, and his stern countenance discolored by suffering. But his eyes glowed
with rage as he exclaimed to us, with a doubly guttural intonation : "I am
bewitched—an evil-eye has been cast upon me. However," he added, with set teeth,
" I am punishing him."
Following the direction of the
chief's outstretched finger, our horrified and astonished eyes fell on the form,
of a Caffre bound hand and foot with withes, and pinioned to the ground ; while
two others, wearing the dirty feather-decorations of magicians, were busily
engaged in breaking and spreading over the uncovered chest of the wretched man
nests of the fierce red ant—those favorite instruments of Caffre torture—each
fresh application of which drew forth a new burst of agony from the sufferer,
and elicited another flash of triumph from the sick chief's eyes.
But mingled with our horror at
the scene was the feeling that the victim of this fearful superstition must at
once be rescued. It was obviously a difficult task, for the prosecutor was
likewise the judge, but it must nevertheless be achieved ; and with all respect,
in consideration of his sovereignty, but eagerly, earnestly, entreatingly, as if
we had been petitioning for our own lives, we besought the chief to release his
tribesman. The answer was an abrupt negative. But in such a case, and with those
frightful cries ringing in our ears, we were not to be deterred; and more
zealously, more anxiously than ever, and with many assurances that health and
sickness were in a Higher Hand, we preferred our suit.
At length, wearied of our
importunity, the chief uttered the emphatic denial no Caffre ever rescinds. That
door of hope was closed. But it was impossible for us, the servants of religion,
civilization, and hu-
manity, to stand idly by and
witness such a sacrifice; and though well knowing he incurred much peril by
braving the despot's will, my husband sprang to his feet, and snatching an
ostrich-feather fan from one of the chief's attendants, bounded with it across
the area, and pushing aside the conjurors, swept with a rapid hand the ants from
the tortured man ; then cutting the detaining withes, he assisted him to rise.
So sudden and unexpected was this
act that Luto and his great men seemed almost paralyzed by its temerity, while
my heart trembled with fear as to its consequences. Another moment, and the
chief recovered himself, and catching up an assagai, which lay beside him, ere I
could interpose, hurled it, with a fierce Caffre denunciation, full at the
To this hour I seem to hear the
whir of the swift weapon, as its long slender shaft quivered through the air ;
to see the gleaming steel of the barbed head, as it entered the side of my
beloved husband, and struck him down on the very spot from which he had just
rescued an innocent victim.
With a cry of anguish I rushed to
his side, while the entire Wire concourse was stirred by howls and deafening
yells, whose meaning I did not seek to learn. My whole thoughts were with the
husband moaning in, it might be, his death-agony, as I knelt beside him, and
tore my dress in shreds to stanch the wounds through which his life seemed
ebbing. Meanwhile, louder and higher swelled the tumult around me, until it
broke on my sorrow with a terrible fear lest they were discussing the completion
of their unfinished deed, which alone and friendless among that savage assembly
I was impotent to resist. At length a step approached me, and involuntarily I
clasped my beloved one closer, as if that could avert his fate.
But the voice which addressed me
was a friendly one—that of Keemer, the most promising of our little flock ; and
he came with a hard-wrung permission from the chief to beer my wounded husband
back to the station, to which was added an imperative command to return without
delay to our own country, and no longer trouble his. A few other friendly
Caffres followed, and between them the missionary was borne carefully home. That
night, how-ever, he died.
.. The Caffres raised a lofty
cairn of stones, which formed at once my husband's tomb and his security from
the wandering beasts of prey ; but ere it was finished a message reached me from
the chief. "By the Caffre law," he sent word, " the widow and children of a
slain man become the property of his conqueror, therefore my child and I were
his. But he would be merciful to me ; and if I and mine left his territory at
once we might go free."
I had neither wagon nor oxen for
our transport, and at first it seemed that I must take my little one in my arms,
and go forth alone to encounter the chances of the wilderness. But my faithful
Keemer did not desert me in this strait. The only pack-ox he possessed was
devoted to my service, and he him-self undertook to be my protector and guide,
though, as he had never before traveled that way, he must shape his course by
the passage of the sun across the heavens, and the flow of the rivers toward the
sea. At early dawn we mounted our pack-ox, and hastened on our unknown way, over
wild hills and down precipitous passes, where a single false step would have
been destruction; through thick, thorny jungles, which tore us as we passed; and
across vast plains of burning sand, where there was neither tree to shelter us
from the fiery sun-rays, nor water to relieve our consuming thirst ; hurrying
on, regard-less of hunger, and heat, and weariness, until darkness brought our
arduous day's journey to a close.
We had crossed about half of
Caffreland when, one night, the ox on which my child and I had hitherto ridden
broke his halter, and wandering over the flat was killed by a hyena. This was a
serious disaster, and Keemer was greatly troubled at the thought that, having no
means of purchasing an-other, I must henceforth travel on foot. But I had
suffered too many great afflictions to have much care for small ones ; and
taking up the sheep-skin and blanket, which had formed alike our saddle and bed,
I trod diligently on beside the faithful Caffre, who, in addition to his wallet
and arms, bore my little son upon his shoulder.
But though I did my best, it soon
appeared our progress was reduced one half; and so weary did I grow with this
unusual exertion, that more than once we were compelled to halt for a half-day's
rest. On one of these occasions we had camped beside a large vly, or pond. The
day was intensely hot and breezeless, and we had retreated to the deepest shade
,of an aged mimosa, when suddenly we perceived an extended cloud-bank showing
darkly against the bright-blue horizon. Something in the cloud's aspect made us
watch its coming, as, advancing rapidly, as if borne on a strong wind, it swept
along the brilliant sky, spreading and lowering as it proceeded, until it
covered half the heavens with inky blackness, and seemed ready to burst upon the
land in a furious tempest. When it reached the zenith it began rapidly to
descend, emitting a strange crack-ling sound; and in another minute, to our
infinite astonishment and consternation, like a great hail-storm, a vast swarm
of locusts came rushing down —whirling, whizzing, and tumbling around us, in a
blinding and bewildering mass, until they lay three or four thick upon the
Not a spot remained uncovered by
them. Far as the eye could reach across the level prairie no-thing was visible
but the shimmering gleam of the russet brown and green armor of the aerial
legions, as they battled fiercely, and ate voraciously every bud, and leaf, and
blade of grass. Nothing escaped them. Even the arums on the borders of the pond,
and the blue and white lotus flowers floating on its surface, were hidden
beneath their struggling clisters, while the feathery foliage above our heads
drooped and trembled under the universal foe.
Small as were the ravagers, it
was a fearful sight; and yet more appalling was that which met our eyes scarcely
an hour after, when the living cloud rose to seek fresh pastures, and we looked
on the desolation it had left behind—the denuded shrubs, the
skeleton-like trees, and the long
stretches of bare brown earth, which that morning had been green and glowing
With verdure and flowers.
If any thing could have increased
our horror at the scene it was the knowledge that our path lay through this
new-made desert, and that, however far it might extend, we could in no way
escape it, since the same dire destroyer had passed both east and west ; while
at the same time we knew that its kraals would immediately be forsaken, and its
game would flee where pasture could be found, and that consequently no food
would be obtainable. The only course open to us was to press on indefatigably,
and trust to Providence to bring us to the fertile country ere it should be too
Could we escape the desert there
might be hope ; and making an almost superhuman effort, for my child's sake, I
again struggled on, urged to the uttermost by the low wailing cries which now
and then broke from my suffering treasure. At length even maternal love could
strive no longer, and in utter exhaustion, and, as it seemed, sick unto death, I
sank upon the ground, with scarcely strength left to entreat my sorrowful
companion to leave me to my inevitable fate, and endeavor to save my child.
It seemed as if the little
creature understood me, for he stretched out his wasted arms, and a few tears
rolled down the infant cheeks, withered and aged by suffering ; and as Keemer
laid him by my side I felt with a pang that his short race was run, and that he
too was about to tread the dark journey. By an effort I gathered him in my
feeble arms. My last tie to earth seemed broken ; and trying to forget the
fierce pains of that miserable desert death, I prayerfully awaited its coming.
At length my little one's moans and my own intolerable agony announced his hour
and mine alike had come, and with, as I believed, my expiring breath, I murmured
for him and me the same words of faith and hope I had so lately repeated beside
the grave of the beloved husband we were now about to join.
For the hundred thousandth time
was the axiom verified that man's extremity is God's opportunity; for when hope
was past and life was almost gone help came. A trader northward bound into
Caffreland, coming to the devastated district, had left his wagon on its edge
some twenty miles distant, and traveling on with a Hottentot attendant to
discover its extent, had providentially encountered us just in time to save our
lives by the provisions he carried with him. Every kindness was lavished on us
by this good Samaritan ; and as soon as we were equal to the journey his wagon
returned with us to the colony, where Keemer accompanied us, and where he has
ever since remained, valued by me as the friend of my greatest need, and
generally respected as a most efficient teacher of the Caffres within the
colony. But neither time nor resignation can soften the harrowing remembrance of
the sorrows and sufferings attending my widowhood in the wilds.
"LOVE him ? Of course not. Marry
him ? I should as soon think of marrying the King of the Cannibal Islands or any
other grand seignior. No, my dear Dora Deane, your friend St. George End-low (I
wonder where he got his name) hasn't any designs on me, nor I on him."
" Fie, Constance, to call St.
George Endlow King of the Cannibal Islands ! He's the very handsomest man of my
"Precisely, and of mine—an
exquisite of the first water—the prince of dandies."
" He's not a dandy, Constance. I
don't believe you think so either. St. George a dandy ! He can't help being
handsome any more than Con-stance Sutherland can. But dandy ! You'll find he is
not that, Miss Constance."
" Shall I? I doubt it. I've no
interest in the matter, I'm sure ; but I never saw a handsome man yet that
wasn't a dandy to his very heart's core."
"Poor Endlow ! I see it is all
over with him so far as you are concerned. You're a very prejudiced personage,
Dora Deane whirled away in a
waltz on some-body's arm, and Constance Sutherland remained, half hidden by the
drooped curtains of the window at which she sat.
" Proud, unapproachable, and
peerless!" was what the world said of Constance, queen in right of her beauty of
all the gay circles which she frequented; but a somewhat scornful queen, since
she seemed utterly careless of the homage she received, and rarely melted enough
from her hauteur to be conversational, except with a select few. A beautiful
proud girl, more prejudiced and vain than she suspected herself, a great deal ;
but a woman with a heart and an intellect, a woman worth winning, a woman who
only needed melting to make her half divine, if human creatures can be so, and
in Love's vocabulary the possibility is certainly much talked of.
Just outside the window at which
Constance sat, and hidden from her view by an immense flowering shrub that stood
there, sat during the whole of the preceding conversation St. George Endlow.
Accident had placed him there at first, and a very natural feeling had made him
shrink from changing his position afterward, lest Constance should see him and
know that he bad heard her ungracious comments upon himself. Besides, he said to
him-self bitterly, being a dandy he had a right to know it, even under such
questionable circumstances as these. He was sitting there still, unable to quit
his post for fear of Constance seeing him, when a gentleman, Constance's
brother, joined her, and he had the pleasure of hearing himself under discussion
again, somewhat to this effect:
" Mr. Endlow turned soldier—it
must be a mistake !"exclaimed Constance ; "depend upon it, you are misinformed,
such pretty men as he is are not likely to risk spoiling their beauty by
exposing it to bayonet or cannon-ball."
Constance's brother rose very
soon and left her, half angry, half laughing at her prejudice against "Endlow."
St. George sat a moment, the hot
blood rising to his very temples.
If it had been a man who had spoken thus of him he would have known how to
answer him in a manner to seal his lips forever after on that subject. Being a
woman, and that woman Constance Sutherland, he rose presently, and passing from
the shadow of the shrub, stood before her, his splendid eyes making vain
endeavors to subdue their flash as he said,
"If Miss Constance will permit me
I should like to thank her for her magnanimous expression of herself concerning
one whom she supposed not present, and therefore unable to defend himself."
Constance rose—vivid color
flooding her usually tranquil face. She blushed with shame to the very tips of
her delicate fingers, and stood too confused to retort even a reproach for the
part he had played of listener. Never had she looked so beautiful in the eyes of
St. George ; but he only compressed his lips, and was turning on his heel when
she lifted her hand with a gesture half haughty, half appealing, saying, in a
" I beg your pardon, Sir. Nothing
could justify the language I have used concerning you." He did not speak at once
or touch the hand she extended to him. But presently he took it in his and held
it with a vicelike pressure, saying, in a rapid undertone,
"Give me a chance to possess this
hand, to de-serve it as much as man can, and I—"
"That were impossible," retorted
Constance, instantly growing white and standing haughtily erect.
" Which—to possess or deserve?"
questioned St. George, calm again.
" Either." And she vanished from
"Pity about St. George Endlow,
isn't it, Con ?'' said young Sutherland, lounging in his sister's sitting-room
one morning some months after. Oh, I forgot; you never liked him. Splendid
fellow, though. Enlisted as private, fought his way up, and died at the head of
the brave boys he was leading."
" Died !"
It was all Constance Sutherland's
lips could utter ; and then, with her hand upon her side, she went slowly out of
the room up to her chamber, and shut herself in. Later in the day Dora Deane
came. She could not get admittance to Constance, but she called to her from the
outside. She meant it a jest ; she was a thoughtless girl.
" They say St. George Endlow is
badly wound-ed. Hadn't you better go down and nurse him, Constance?"
The door swung open, and
Constance stood upon the threshold saying, " Wounded ? Fred said dead." "Oh! I
believe that was the first report ; but it's contradicted," Dora, said, lightly.
The next train took Constance
Sutherland toward the battle-field. I doubt if she knew herself, till that rumor
of his death came, that she loved St. George Endlow.
She found him. It was long enough
first—an agony of suspense—and there was a frightful gash across the broad white
forehead that had been "too handsome."
He needed her long before she
reached him, and did not know her when she came. But he lived to owe his life to
her care ; to love her with a fond tenderness that in the old distance he had
never dreamed of; and to receive at last from her trembling lips the
acknowledgment that he was more to her than all the world besides.
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Mightier than the
Sword," on next page.
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