The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on April 14, 1897 · Page 3
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 3

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 14, 1897
Page 3
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AL8ONA IOWA GREtTING EASTER ROMANCE. (By Alice Chasemore.) UNT HETTY was only twenty - six when I came to live with her. , There was only a difference of two years between us, but somehow she always seemed middle-aged, to me, she was so quiet and serious and so different from my restless, excited self. She was so sad at times that I cou d not help wondering if some time in her life she had not experienced some serious sorrow, for she had means and friends enough to make.her life worth living, and should have been happy. One day I found her weeping quietly with a 'little red book in her hand. I endeavored to calm her, to find out the reason for her sorrow, and then she told me this story: "It happened when I was only eighteen. I was engaged to be married. My" lover was four years older than inyeelf; he was a mate of a ship, and a fine, dashing young fellow named Edward Blake. We had been engaged six months and were to be married a month later. The day was fixed, and Edward had arranged to give up the sea and. take a situation on. land. We were as happy as two young people could had been tearing to pieces, in my passion, a little spray of hawthorne he had given mo earlier in the day. 1 had pulled off the leaves one by one, and when he left me the bare stem Was left in my hand, with one leaf only remaining. See, here It is, the last relic of my first and last love. God grant that in your whole life, my Huth, you may never weep such tears or, I have wept over that one faded leaf." She opened the little red prayer book in her lap and showed me, hidden in a tifisiie paper pfsket, the yellow hawthorne leaf. "•This little book," she said, "was Edward's gift to me, and this old 'dry- leaf is rny only relic of the day when H to Aunt ttetty, — y himself ofl sotoe point-. The sermon came to an end, and tb.6 benediction followed, trot f fear t«6 major had fao part in it. Me took advantage of the moment when all heads were bowed to do a very unmannerly thifas- ™ slyly put up his eyeglasses a&d read the name inside auntie's book. It was quickly done, find might have escaped notice, but 1 watched 'him closely. 1 could even read the name myself. It was In a bold, manly hand: "To Hester; June 28, 18—." I was aghast at such an act of impertinence, and glanced at auntie to see if she would resent it; but she had probably tiot noticed it, for she made no sign. The congregation began to disperse, and we went out, but we w«re scarcely in the street' when the major Spoke to auntie. "Madam, t am going to aek you n very singular question, but let me assure you that I have a deep personal interest in asking it. Will you tell me how you catne by that red prayer- book you Use?" I shall never forget auntie's quick* ly-given answer, but I could tell by the faint flush on her usually pale face how deeply she was moved. "You gave it to me, yourself, Major Blake, years ago." Surprise, delight and incredulity struggled for the mastery in the major's face. He took off his hat and stood bare-headed, and that one little gesture told more plainly than the m,oet passionate protestations could have done, that tho old 'love hod been kept a treasured and sacred thing. I think, from the smile on her mouth, as PART II. Ctt-APTKti possibly be; but, unluckily, just a month before tho time fixed for our wedding day, a picnic was gotten up by some of our friends, and Edward and I were of the party. There was a handsome young iellow there named Percy Sandys, the son of a neighboring clergyman. He was fresh from college, and full of fun and frolic. I chanced to be placed next to him at luncheon, and not knowing, as I afterward discovered, that I was * engaged, he was specially attentive to me. I did not care for his attentions in the least, but I was in high spirits and only bent on the enjoyment of the moment, and I did not check him as, perhaps, I ought to have done. Presently, I caught sight of Edward's face, and saw that he was looking terribly cross and angry. Foolishly I thought it rather good fun to make him jealous, and, on purpose to tease him, I pretended to take all the more notice of Mr, Sandys. When we finished.lunch-- con the party scattered-'and strolled, about'the woods'in various directions, I naturally expected' Edward to accompany me, but he rather rudely/ ae I thought, held aloof, and, to punish him,-I paired off with Mr. Sandys. When the party got together again Edward looked so savage that I thought it better not to provoke him any further, "I shook off Mr, Sandys, and, walking away with Edward, began to scold him for his unreasonable jealousy. Of course, I did not think I myeelf was in fault; nobody ever does. A loving word would-have-made me penitent directly. Unfortunately, he was white with anger, and began,to reproaph mo in a way that rpused my temper, tpo, for I was quick enough to take offence in those days, Ruth, though have learned better since. 1 can remember, as if it wero yesterday, the nook in the woods whero^we stopd, the sunshine glinting through the trees and lighting up Edward's flushed face and angry eyes. lie reproached me bitterly—more bitterly, I think, than I deserved. He called me a heartless coquette, and I called him little-minded and told him he had made himself ridiculous by his unreasonable jeal ousy, We gpt hotter and hotter, an<l finally he declared that if J did not adroit that I had been wrong, and promise tp behave differently fer the future, all must be pyer between us. I did not care a straw fpr Mr, Sandys, and wpuld fifty times sooner have had Edward with we, but I would have «iea eooner than have told Win so . tftea, gp I gaye Win a bitter answer, a»4 we bQtfc grew angrier still last words, uttered w}tfc all tUe 6ity of pajujpn, rjng still in jny you tfeepi \vpr4 £°v stand, pearly yw^Ut uwy'j we parted in the wood, never to meet again in this world. Stay, I have one more treasure, see!" She drew from her bosom a quaint old locket and put it in my hand. It was a miniature painting representing a young man in an om-fashioned naval costume. It was a handsome face, but stern and proud-looking, and I could very well believe that the original would have behaved as Aunt Hetty had described. "But did you really part like that, auntie?" I said. "Did you never see him again?" "Never. He did not go back to the picnic party, but joined an outward- bound ship the next day,' leaving a brief note for my mother, stating that we had fortunately found out In time that we wero unsuited to each other, and had, therefore, by mutual consent, put an end to our engagement." "But that was very cruel, auntie." "I thought so then. Perhaps It was a little; but afterward I blamed myself far more .than him. I had given the provocation; and I knew in my heart of hearts that one word of regret on my part would have made all right between us. But I was too proud to say it. I let him go with my eyes opened, and I have been justly punished." "But have you never heard from him since, dear auntie?" "Once or twice, but only indirectly He had no relatives in our part of tfce she looked at him, that tho same thought cam* to auntie. "And you are Hetty! Yes, I know, you now," ho said. "You had forgotten the eight years, Major Blake. I knew you from tho first." Arf a rule, the more churlish the nature, the more avaricious It is found to be. My promise of liberal remuneration was, after all, not without its effect upon the strange couple whose refusal to afford mo refuge had so nearly endangered my life. They condescended to get me some tea and idUgh food. After I had disposed of all that, the man produced a bottle of gill. We filled our glasses, and then, with the aid of my pipe, 1 settled down to make the best of a night spent In a hard wooden chair. I had come across strange people in my travels, but 1 have no hesitation in saying that my host was the sullenest. sulkiest, most boorish specimen of human nature I had as yet met with. Iti spite of his recent, ill-treatment of me I was quite ready to establish matters on ,1 friendly footing, and made several attempts to draw him into conversation. The brute would only answer in monosyllables, or often not answer at all. So I gave up talking as a bad job, and eat in silence, smoking, and looking Into the fire, thinking a good deal, it may be, of some one 1 should have met that morning at Lilymerc, had that wretched snow but kept off. The long clock—that, cumbrous eight-day machine which' inevitably occupies one corner of every cottager's klte.heu—struck nine. The woman rose and left us. 1 concluded she was going to bed. If so I envied her. Her husband showed no signs of retiring, tils features, as 1 lobked at them with keener interest, seemed to grow more and more familiar to me. Where could I have met him? Somewhere or other, but 'where? I racked my brain to ns- sociato him with some scene, some event. Although ho was but an ordinary countryman, such as one sees scores of in a day's ride, only differing frdrti his kind on account of his uh- pleaaant face, I felt sure wo were old acquaintances. When he awoke for u. moment and changed his strained attitude my feeling grew stronger and stronger. Yet puzalo and puzzle as I would I could not call to mind a for mer encounter; so at last I began to think the supposed recognition was pure fancy on my part, Having smoked out several pipes, thought that a cigar would be a slight break to the monotony of the night's proceedings. So 1 drew out my case and looked at its contents. Among tin weeds was one of a lighter color 1 thai the others. As I took it out I said t myself, "Why. Old Brand gave me tha one when I was last at his house." Curiotialy enough, that cigar was tho eouta, <$ftCn& _„ steM fef MidcMtt*' f»lace. afte'f ffiy flight^ seemed gifted with merits Hot t was surprised upeh leaving to flhd that it was ot I«t8 mensiofte thaft f from" the little I la... _. A , t during the night, t had !«*»«*»" \1 t was altogether a better class of fW*T ?\ lehce than I had supposed. My «W%, ;"V^ riend accompanied me flhtll h'e'Baa ? ^^| placed me on the inaiii iWad, ttfleflfcrA; otiid make no possible mistaKe- • He^ was kind enough to promise ttt aSSlSt ihy one I might send out itt getting the , log-cart once more under way. Theft with a hearty wish on ffiy {rart tHal I / night, never again meet -With his llK% • we parted. fa I found my way to Mldcoffioe wltli* nut much trouble. 1 took off ttiy things, had a wash, and, like a 6ea8 ^^ man for once, wont to bed. BUI,I «m ? not forget to send a boy straight off to the nearest telegraph station. , My, message to Brand was n 'brief ohe. It simply said: "Tell your friend I have found his man." this duty done, I dismissed all speculation as to the re* milt from my mind, and settled doWit to make up arrears of sleep. I was surprised *U the reply received that same evening from Brand, "Wo phall be with yon as soon as we can get down to-morrow. Meet us at station." From this It was clear that my friend was wanted particularly— II the better! I turned to the time "And would you really have let me go without a word?" "Why not? How could I know you Ho still sat over the fire, opposite me. By this time I was dreadfully tired; every bone In my body ached. The ham would wish to be reminded times?" "Reminded! I have never forgotten. I tried ray hardest to forget and couldn't. Although you preferred another" "Another! What other?" "Didn't you marry young Sandys?" "I have never seen him since." At this stage of tho conversation it struck me that I was do trop. Major of old I chair which, an hour or two ago, seemed all I could desire, now scarcely country. I know that he gave up the sea and obtained a commission in some Indiana regiment. When last I heard of him ho was a captain; but that is many years ago, and I do not know whether he is alive or dead. So ends my poor little romance. There is one thing I should like to ask, Ruth, and that is partly why I have told you my story. You have seen my relics. They have been my greatest treasure in life and I should like them put in my coffin when I die. Will you remember this, dear?" I could not answer for tears, bm i kissed her hand and she was content, Two months ago, tired of our humdrum country life, auntie and I re- came up to my ideas of the comfort 1 was justly entitled to claim. My sulky companion had been drinking silently but steadily. Perhaps the liquor ha hiul poured Into himself might have rendered his frame of mind more pleasant and amenable to reason. "My good follow," I said, "your chairs are excellent ones of tho kind, but deucedly uncomfortable. I am horribly tired. .If the resources of your establishment can't furnish a bed fov me to sleep In, couldn't you find a mattress or something'to lay down befoi- the fire?'" You've got all you'll got to-nigh I. missing link in the chain of my mom- «ry. As I held It in my hand I know at onco why my hoot's ugly face seemed 1'amillar to me. About a fortnight before, being in town, I had spent the evening with tho doctor. He was not alone, and I was Introduced to « tall pale young man named Carrlston. Ho was a pleasant, polite young fellow, although not much lu ray line. At flrst'I judged him to bo a would-be poet of the fashionable miserable school; but finding that he and Brand talked so much about art .t eventually decided that he was one of the doctor's many artist friends. Art Is a hobby he hacks about on grandly. (Mem., Brand'.') own attempts at pic- 'turos arc simply atrocious!) Just before I left, Carriston, the doctor's back 'being turned, naked me to step into another room. There, he showed mo the portrait of a man. 1 Ecemt'd very cleverly drawn, and I pro sunie he wanted'me to criticise it. "1 am a precious bad jiulge," I sail "1 "nm not asking you to pn»8 it opinion," snid Carrlston. "I wanted t beg a favor of you. I am alnioi-. ashamed to beg it. on HO abort a acquaintance." He seemed modest, and not in want solved to visit foreign parts. Accordingly, we went to Boulogne and took up our abode in a quiet boarding bouse in the Rue dee Vieillards. There were a good many visitors staying in the house, but they -woro-mpetly ip families "or parties, and wo did not minsje with them. Our vis-a-vis at table was a I all gentleman of soldierly appearance, who was always spoken of as the major. When he ventured to address an order to the waiting maids in French, the difficulties he got into were dreadful, and he always ended by gettnig angry with himself and them, I ventured to help him out of a difficulty once or twice, and. in this manner a slight acquaintance sprung up between us. It had, however, gone no farther than a friendly nod or a re- "Will You Tell Me How You Came by the Red Prayer-book You Use?" Blake, side by side with auntie, was walking slowly homeward, and on reaching a convenient street corner, I went off for a stroll in an opposite direction. When I reached homo I found auntie and tho Major sitting in the courtyard under the trees. The Major lifted his hat at my approach and said: "Miss Dauvers, your aunt and I are very old friends; indeed, many years ago we were engaged to be married, but an unfortunate misunderstanding separated us. We have lost many happy years, but I hope somo still remain to us. I trust we shall have your good wishes." I looked from one to the other. "You dear, darling auntie, then you really are going to be married after all? Of course I wish you joy, and Major Blake too, from' the very bottom of my he ( art!" I don't knpw how the secret pqzed out, but before another day had passed every one in the bouse knew that the handsome English, major tyid met an old love in the person of the gentle Jlttle lady with the sweet smile and the soft gray hair, and that after a separation of eight years they were engaged to be married, and they wero ac- ho answered, knocking tho ushes out of j 0 [ money, so I encouraged him to pro- his pipe." "Oh, but 1 say!" "So do I say. f say tills: If >' 011 clou't like it you can leave it. Wo didn't ask you to come." "You infernal beast," T muttercd- and meant it too. 1 declare, had I not been so utterly worn out, I would have had that bullet-headed ruffian up 1'or a few rounds ou hia own kitchen floor, and tried to knock him into a move amiable frame of mind. Never mind," I said, "but rernom- t:ced. "I heard you say you wore going into the country," be resumed. "I want to ask you if. by any chance you should meet the original oi! that drawing, to telegraph at once to Dr. Brand." •• Whereabouts does he live?" "I have no idea. If chance throws him in your way, please do as I ask." ••Certainly 1 will," 1 said, seeing tho j young man inndo the request in solemn I earnest. lip thanked me, and then gave me a her civility coste nothing,'and often j small photograph of tho picture. Thu rewarded. However, ii: you wish I photograph he begged me to keep, in to retire to your own couch, don't let your native politeness stand in your way. Pray don't hesitate on my account. Leave plenty of fuel,, and I shall manage until tho morning." "Where you stay, I stay," he answered. Then ho filled his pipe, and onco more relapsed Into stony silence. I bothered about him no more, I dozed off for a few minutes—woke— dozed oil again for some hours. I was in an.uncomfortable sort of 1 sleep, crammed full of curious dreamn— dreams from which I started, wondering where I was and how I got there. 1 even begun 'to grow nervous. All sorts of horrible travelers' tales run through my head. It was in just such places as this, that unsuspecting voyagers were stated to have been murdered and robbed, by just such unmitigated ruffians as my host—-I can tell you that altogether I spent a most unpleasant night. To make matters worse and more dismal, the storm still raged outside, The wind moaned through tho trees my pocket-book, so that' I might to it in case I met the man he wanted cordingly promoted to all the privl- }mt u ]l£l(1 aga i n changed, and 1 know my leges of engaged lovers, I must pass over the homeward journey and the astonishment of our friends, at Fairfleld when auntie , re* turned engaged to be married. Some few of them had known Major Blake, but to .most of them he,w,as a stranger. Many were the questions and explanations before everything was accounted for to everybody's satisfaction; but it was done at last. And then came the preparation of the trousseau; and at last the happy pair have been wade one, and auntie is off to the Isle of Wight to spend her honeymoon. Before going she called roe to her room and 1 put it there, went my way, and am sorry to say, forgot all about it. Had i not 'been for tho strange cigar in my cane bringing 'back 'CinTiHton's unusua request to my mind, the probabilitl* are- that I should not have though again of tho matter. Now, by a. re markablo coincidence), f was spending tho night with tho very man who, so far as ray memory served me, must have sat for tho portrait shown me at Brand'n house. "I wonder what I did with the photo," I said. I turned out my letter- case. There it was, right enough! Shading it with ono hand, 1 carefully with tho sleeper. Not a doubt about it! So far as a photograph taken from a picture can go, it was the man himself. The samo ragged beard, the same'coarse features, the samo surly look. Young Cnrriston waa evidently a wonderful hand at knocking oil' a likenoss. Moreover, in ease I had felt any doubt on the matter, a printed note at the bottom of the photograph said that one joint wa<i missing from a right-hand finger. Sure enough, my friend lacked that small portion of his misbegotten frame. ible and found that, owing to changes nd delays, they could not get to C-*—, he nearest station to Midcombe, Until o'clock in thp afternoon. I inquired bout tho crippled dog-cart. It had icon brought In; so I left strict in- tructlons that a shaft of some sort waa 0 be rigged in time for me to drive ivor the next day and meet the doctor , and hia friend. They came as promised. It was a comfort to see friends of any description, so I gave them a hearty welcome. Carriston took hold of both my, hands, , and shook them so warmly that I be- ' gan to fear that I had discovered u ' long-lost father of his in my friend. , v 1 had almost forgotten the young fellow's appearance, or he looked a Very different man to-day from the ono I had seen when last we met. Then ho was a wan, pensive, romantic, poetical- looking sort of ft fellow; now he. seemed full of energy, vitality, and grit. Poor old Brand looked as seri- oua'as an undertaker engaged in burying his own mother. Cftrrlston began to question me, but Brand stoppcil him. "You promised I should make inquiries first," ho said. Then ho turned to me. hook here, Kiehard"—when he calls ne Richard I know he Is fearfully in earnest—"I 'believe you have brought is down on a fool's errand; but let us- go to some place where we can talk together for a few minutes." I led them across the road to tho Railway Inn. We entered a room, and having for the sake of appearances ordered a little light refreshment, tol'd the waiter to shut tho door from the outside. Brand seltled down with the air of a cross-examining counsel. 'I expected to see him pull out a New Testament and put me on my oath. "Now, Richard,' ho said, "before we «o further I want to know your reasons for thinking this man, about whom you telegraphed, is Carriston's man, as you call him." "Reasons! Why of course he is tho man. Carriston gave me his photo^ graph. The likeness is undlsputable —leaving the linger joint out of the question." Here Carriston looked at my cross- examiner triumphantly. The meaning of that look 1 have never to this horn understood. But I laughed because I knew old Brand had for onco made a mistake, and was going to be called to account for it. Carriston wae about to Kieak, but the doctor waved him aside. » ' ' W> BB COST1SUBP.) from the sound on the window panes that heavy ruin .had succeeded snow. As the big drops of water found their way clown the ' largo okl-i'ashioncd . ohimnev tho fire hissed and sputtered This discovery threw me into an tj 111 »«!**>•',> t ___ _ „•,•»»_.ij-l1~., ™1. ml f-n 11 \\tfl IV like a spiteful vixen. Everything combined to deprive me of what dog's sleep I could by sheer persistency snatch. I think J tried every po;ltion which an ordinary man, not an acrobat, h- capable oJ adopting with the assistance of u common wooden cluiir. i even lay "GO, IF YOU WISH IT." mark across the dinner table. With other visitors he fraternized even }ees, So Matters stood until the night of Easter Sunday came, when we went to the little English chwch in an adjpw- ins street, Wo were ushered Into'pne of the pews appropriated fpr strangers and * Stowte or tvo telw the ™«mr S S»5£ into the same pew * down beside u> JHU'teff MH S mlS, by V jottWRl WWM0 MMS& HKW " m " rn ftimtia ' 8 " ' stay** 1% "" 1r ' "Ruth, clear, I am going to give you tUis little red prayer bpok as a parting remembrance. You know bow I have treasured it, and you won't value it the less, I am sure, for having been so dear to me. Ajul il, wljen Mr. Bight comes, Ruth, you are tempted tP he willful or wayward, or to pain a heart that loves you truly, tUink of your >unt Hetty, and the farted leaf, for not every mistake in life ends as mine did faster Pay," down. the hard flags. 1 actuallj tried tlw table. I propped up tho upper half of ray body against the corner walls of the room; but found no rest. At last I gavo up all idea of sleeping and fully aroused myself. 1 comforted myself by saying Dmt my misery was only temporary— that tin- longest night must come to uu end. My companion had now succumbea to fatigue, or to tho combined effects of fatigue and gin and water. Hid head was hanging sideways und ho ecstasy of delight. I laughed so loudly that i almost awoke tho ruffian. \ guessed 1 was feoing to take a glorious revenge for all the discomforts I had buffered. No ono, I felt sure, could 1>» looking for such a fellow as this to do any good to him. I wa-a quite happy in the thought, ami for the remainder of the night gloated over Uio idea of putting u spoke in the wheel of ono who hud been within a» ace oi causing my death. 1 resolved, the moment I sot buck to civilization, to send the do- sin (I intelligence to Brand, and hope for the best. slept iu a most uncomfortable attitude*. i chuckled a? I looked at Win, feeling quite 8W Wat, l| BUOU ft clod TYW 0«1>- Qf dreeing at all, his ftrawfa ** IV. HK end of wretched n I g h I came at last. When the welcome morn- Ing 'broke, 1 found tiiut a great change Jliad taks» mlace put HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATE. I,uHt « KovtiilgJil Usually -- t'uvornWe Tim i) lor B|><mklng> A big debate often lasts a fprtnight , —that IB to .say, It is carried on during the Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays of two weeks, the Wodnos,' days being usually devoted to the consideration, of bills introduced by un,. official members, says Temple Bar, The order in which the leading menv bors of the government and of the opposition speak is previously arranged by the whips of the different partlety and the speaker, being informed pri< vately of the understanding, calls oil these members in the order appointed, * no matter ho'»v many small men ma> at the same time strive to _ catch hi* n eye. A member of tho opppsltlpu always follows in debate a member q!' the government. The opening of fl'sit- ting and toward its close, or vbefor* and after the "dinner houv"-^that la' t from 5 till 7 o'clock and from 10 till *! —are considered the best and jpos,! favorablo times for speaking, It U during these periods of the sitting ihat the "big guns" on each side aj< brought Into action. Under tl^e of the liouso all opposed business cease at 12 o'clock, and the jaembej who at that hour IMPVOB the adjp,uri^ ment of the debate Iws £he righ,t tc open it the next evening, U f\. J».ej»W ;j'| ber- of the government speak.8 njght, the adjournment of the dob^'^ is moved by u» opponent of tfoe' - J —"* memh'ei. . WS art <wt»TO.fe»^96ta» iwMl» ifJUtyW-iiW'fiT' , V/'gA '". :^; i 8,-."ig > "ifj^J — '- BWfWMH ?*a»_LL,' i; m

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