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• Est ce que celui-ci est le votre ? demanded Camié, showing him Louis Philippe in the crown of the one he held in his hand.
• Sans doute, Monsieur; il m'appartient.'
*Eh bien !' said Camié,'ayez-la bouté de reprendre votre chapeau, et à même temps de recevoir cette insulte ;' flinging, as he finished, his glove in the Frenchman's face.
The countenance of the latter reddened at this unexpected turn of the affair, and then, with the exception of a small red spot in either cheek, became excessively pale. He said nothing, however; and for once a Frenchman controlled his temper. The crowd soon dispersed, each of the actors in the late scene having his partisans. Camié received a cartel in an hour afterward, and named the Bayou Road, with pistols, at eight paces, at seven o'clock next morning, as the place and time where Monsieur could amuse himself for a few minutes.
It was a chilly morning. Heavy clouds lingered in the sluggish air, and a drizzling rain, which had been falling all night, rendered that Hoboken of New Orleans, the Bayou Road, not the most interesting spot in the world. Fogs also hung low over the neighboring marshes, and with the rain-drops which still trembled upon the treeboughs, in morning's uncertain light, seemed ready to furnish both tears and a mantle for him who might fall at that lonely hour.
At twenty minutes to seven o'clock, Mr. Camié arrived, in his plain carriage. Mr. James Augustus, and an eagle-eyed surgeon, were with him. Le Motrienne, with his friends, were already on the ground, the former looking rather blue; but the lead-colored weather had caused that, since Le Motrienne was a brave man on the truc • field of honor;' having fought under Napoleon, and worn the Cross of the Legion. The usual arrangements were made quietly, and the parties took their places just as the repeaters of the surgeons struck
The privilege of word had been won by the second of Le Motrienne, who in a distinct tone pronounced the eventful
'Etes vous prêts : Feu! Un - deux — trois !'
At the word deux,' Camié fired. When the smoke from his pistol cleared away, he saw Le Motrienne, in a leaning position, in the arms of his friend; while the surgeon was busy cutting away the ragged portions of his coat-sleeve. It turned out, that his ball had shattered the right elbow of his opponent, passing up the arm, and lodging in the after part of the shoulder. He immediately approached Le Motrienne, who had fainted, and directed his own surgeon to assist, if required. This politeness was graciously accepted, and a few minutes only elapsed, before a circulation of blood was effected, and the arm of the wounded man sufficiently bandaged to allow his return to the city.
The seconds, after consultation, pronounced the affair honorably closed; pistols and practitioners were snugly packed in their respective carriages; and the whole party returned about nine o'clock. It may be well to mention, in passing, that Le Motrienne's pistol was found discharged, about seven paces to the rear of his position. Whether
fired by the impulse given his arm when the ball struck it, or at what stage
of the proceedings, cannot of course be known. Le Motrienne does not remember pulling trigger, but asserts that when he was hit, his aim upon Mr. Camié was 'certain, et parfaitement délicieux.'
The day following, Camié called to inquire after Le Motrienne's health. He was not admitted, though the servant compromised his master, by carrying him Camié's card before he made answer. The message finally returned, was, that as the “patient was in much pain, the physician's orders were positive against the reception of visitors. Stepton did not feel sure that this refusal to see him was thus rationally founded, though probability was in its favor ; for Le Motrienne enjoyed the reputation of being very rich, very baughty, and sufficiently aristocratic. Compromising with his own pride, which forbade his second visit, Camié sent Gorom each morning, with his card and inquiries.' Whether Le Motrienne was touched by this generous conduct in a foe, or the surgeon had given him an inkling of Stepton's family and character, certain it is, that on the seventh morning after the duel, Stepton Camié received a note. At first he flung it aside carelessly upon his dressing-table; for to him a billet-doux was a frequent matter, and he cared therefore little for poulets, so long as the divine object of his search was unfound. A second thought, however, induced him to take it up, when he saw that the seal, the superscription, and even the odour of the note, were unfamiliar. He opened it. It was in French, and delicately penned, as well as prettily conceived. It contained an invitation from Le Motrienne to call at his earliest leisure.
Camié jumped into his carriage, and was soon at the door. The house was one of those old Spanish edifices, once so common in NewOrleans, but few of which have resisted modern innovation. Stepton's ring at the door was immediately responded to by a pretty quatroon servant, and he was ushered up a broad flight of low inahogany stairs into a spacious salon. A heavy but antique chandelier hung from the fretted ceiling; the walls were lined with paintings from the old masters, with the exception of either end of the hall, which was mirrored, richly. Through four high, wide windows in front, the light came in, in a flood; tempered judiciously, however, with heavy curtains of fawn and crimson damask. The massive chairs and luxurious ottomans were in fine keeping, while statues in classic groups, and mantel-ornaments of ormolu, discovered that infinite taste which an ample fortune can alone display. A Baden piano was standing open, with a sheet of the last music upon the supporter; and in a rose-wood rack at the end, were operas, sonatas, and other difficult compositions.
Camié had hardly glanced at all this, much less had time to study an old Murillo, which hung near him, when the door of a semi-circular boudoir was thrown open, and a lady, attended by a female slave, entered the room. Since her birth, the autumn tints could hardly have succeeded summer's lustre more than eighteen times. She was tall and princess-like, with a brow whereon nobility sat enthroned, and a face that would have crazed Apelles. She was beauty's beau ideal. The warm lustre of the south was on her cheek, and the roseleaf lived upon her lips. Add to this, that her eyes were dark and dreamy; with long lashes upon the lily lids, which rose and fell like
willows lifting to the wind, and you have a slight idea of Mélonie Malorie. Stepton started : it was his goddess of the Cathedral !
“I am glad you are come so soon,' said she, in a voice whose tone was like the sunrise melody of Memnon: my uncle has been anxious to see you.'
Camié bowed, but said nothing articulate. He could as soon have lifted the world, without a fulcrum for his lever.
• Amina will show you to my uncle's room, said the same delicious voice. Camié followed the servant mechanically, like a man walking in sleep.
• How I like his sensitiveness,' said Mélonie to herself, after Stepton left the saloon: ‘be evidently feels chagrined at the unhappy result of that foolish duel: poor fellow ! when he saw me, doubtless he thought how near he was depriving me of my sole, dear protector. Ah, no wonder he knew not what to say.'
It is often said that women are coquettish, and vain. I was told so yesterday, by Bob Trifle, who had just been refused by a girl whom he addressed for her money: yet my impression is totally different. Women are not, in truth, conscious of half the conquests they make; conquests attended by impressions that last through life. Many a female goes through the world laughing, and sans souci, nor knows of the captives who daily prostrate themselves before the juggernaut of her charms.
The idea that she had aught to do with Camié's abstraction, never entered Mélonie's miud. Educated at the convent in Paroisse St. Jacques, about ninety miles above the city, she had seen little of the world, and knew by books only some of the prominences of human character. Sbe loved Le Motrienne, who was her uncle on the mother's side, and was fond of her gray-bound Pétrie. She was happy when reading to the one, or playing tenderly with the other. This was all she had felt of love, 'la grande passion de la vie.' Her days had thus far flowed onward like a stream through the trailing grass ; silently, and without a ripple.
After passing through a shaded corridor, into which many doors opened on either hand, Amina showed him the entrance to a library. Le Motrienne was the first object discovered. He was seated in a • falling-chair,' luxuriously stuffed, and richly covered with green velvet. His arm was in a sling, and he was recliving on his left side, owing to the wound, still painful, in his right shoulder. His fairly chiselled features were pale, though a slight glow overspread them in a moment after Camié entered.
• You will excuse my rising,' said Le Motrienne, with that “politesse' which a Frenchman never forgets. The physician, who has just gone, tells me I am well seated on my throne, and need not abdicate just now. Pray you take the purple ottoman. I am happy to see you.'
Stepton inclined, at these pleasant words; pressed the invalid's thin and wasted hand; hoped he was out of danger, and had confidence in his surgeon; told him the cancan and on dits of the day; and talked of Louis Philippe and the politics of Europe.
• As to Louis Philippe,' said Le Motrienne, 'I have done with VOL. XVI.
him ; but he ought to stand high in your estimation, since you gave a ball on his account.'
Stepton smiled not at this remark: since seeing the niece, he regretted having shot the uncle.
• Nothing, much,' as the saying is, passed at the interview. No important designs were unfolded; no thrilling propositions evolved. Le Motrienne had sent for Camié, solely to assure him he had acted as an insulted man should, and that he himself had suffered as bis brusquerie deserved. He begged Stepton to number him on his • list of friends, and pressed him to visit his house on an intimate footing, whenever leisure permitted.
Camié saw vo person save the female slave, as he went out of this temple of hope. His brain was in a whirl of joy, and his beart in a whirl of passion. He was driven to his lodgings, and came out of the carriage a changed man. No longer the fopling, and the parasite of fashion, his spirit was sterner, and his thoughts more manly. He had now a destiny to work out; an object to accomplish; an air to reach. He buckled on his sandal shoon, and took the pilgrim-staff of high enterprise, determined to win the maiden who stood in his eyes like an illuminated figure of Hope, beckoning him from the gloom with which he was surrounded. Yet with all his sternness, he was sometimes a dreamer in utmost wildness, seeing naught amid his golden phantasies but Mélonie's form, bright and radiant as a magician's star.
Ir were perhaps needless to note that loom of Time, wberein two young and trusting spirits wove in one brigit web their coming fates. • The South,' fair land ! is as rapid in harvest, as luxuriant in verdure; and it was scarcely two months, ere one might see, on the Me. tairie Road, an open chocolate-stained landau, drawn by 'deep blacks,' and containing none other than Le Motrienne, Mélonie, and Mr. Stepton Camié. I do not imagine that Mr. James Augustus ever was of the party. At least, I never saw him: he was not of the clique.
When the orange trees of Louisiana presented their blossoms, the first bloom of the season was placed by Camié amid Mélonie's clouding hair. He was her betrothed.
Two weeks ago, I dined with Stepton Camié, en famille. A bride was opposite to him at table, beautiful and blushing. I knew not her thoughts; but it was with an admissible pride, when the cloth was removed, that Camié pointed to her, in solution of the problem • How MUCH MAY HANG UPON A Hat!'