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“Well, give me the trinkets, and I will take the letter."
Nydia carefully prepared the epistle, but ere she placed it in the hands of Sosia she thus addressed him:
“Sosia, I am blind and in prison. Thou mayst think to deceive me
- thou mayst pretend only to take the letter to Sallust — thou mayst not fulfill thy charge; but here I solemnly dedicate thy head to vengeance, thy soul to the infernal powers, if thou wrongest thy trust; and I call upon thee to place thy right hand of faith in mine, and repeat after me these words; * By the ground on which we stand — by the elements which contain life and which can curse life — by Orcus, the all-avenging — by the Olympian Jupiter, the all-seeing - I swear that I will honestly discharge my trust, and faithfully deliver this letter into the hands of Sallust. Enough! I trust thee — take thy
reward. It is already dark depart at once.”
Sosia was true to his trust Sallust read the letter, she wrote, — “I am a prisoner in the house of Arbaces. Hasten to the Prætor. procure my release, and we yet shall save Glaucus from the lion. There is another prisoner within these walls, whose witness can exonerate the Athenian from the charge against him; one who saw the crime who can prove the criminal to be a villain hitherto unsuspected. Fly! hasten! quick! quick! Bring with you armed men, lest resistance be made, and a cunning and dexterous smith; for the dungeon of my fellow-prisoner is thick and strong. Oh! by thy right hand, and thy father's ashes, lose not a moment!”
The day for the sports in the amphitheater had come and all the seats were filled with eager and expectant people. The gladiatorial fights and other games of the arena were completed.
“Bring forth the lion and Glaucus the Athenian,” said the editor.
Just then a loud cry was heard at one of the entrances of the arena; the crowd gave way and suddenly Sallust appeared on the senatorial benches, his hair disheveled; breathless; half exhausted — he cast his eyes hastily around the ring. “Remove the Athenian," he cried, "haste, - he is innocent.
” Arrest Arbaces the Egyptian. He is the murderer of Apæcides.”
“Art thou mad, O Sallust?” said the prætor, “what means this raving?"
“Remove the Athenian-quick, or his blood be on your head. I bring with me the eye-witness to the death of Apæcides. Room there — stand back give way. People of Pompeii, fix every eye on Arbaces there he sits — room there for the priest Calenus.”
"Enough at present," said the prætor. "The details must
“ be reserved for a more suiting time and place. Ho! guards! remove the accused Glaucus, arrest Arbaces, guard Calenus ! Sallust, we hold you responsible for your accusation. Let the sports be resumed."
As the prætor gave the word of release, there was a cry of joy — a female voice a child voice - and it was of joy! It rang through the heart of the assembly with electric force it was touching, it was holy, that child's voice !
“Silence !” said the grave prætor — “who is there?”
“The blind girl — Nydia,” answered Sallust; “it is her hand that raised Calenus from the grave and delivered Glaucus from the lion."
Stunned by his reprieve, doubting that he was awake, Glaucus had been led by the officers of the arena into a small cell within the walls of the theater. They threw a loose robe over his form and crowded around in congratulation and wonder. There was an impatient and fretful cry without the cell; the throng gave way, and the blind girl flung herself at the feet of Glaucus.
“It is I who saved thee,” she sobbed, “now let me die!” "Nydia, my child ! - my preserver!”
“Oh, let me feel thy touch -- thy breath! yes, yes, thou livest! We are not too late! That dread door methought would never yield! But thou livest! Thou livest yet! — and I-I have saved thee!”
O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN !1
ON THE DEATH OF LINCOLN
O Captain, my Captain ! our fearful trip is done;
O Captain, my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
trills, For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths — for you the shores
a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here, Captain, dear father! this arm beneath your head ! It is some dream that on the deck, you've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
1 By permission of David McKay, publisher.
ON THE OTHER TRAIN
A CLOCK'S STORY
“There, Simmons, you blockhead! Why didn't you trot that old woman aboard her train? She'll have to wait here now until the 1.05 A.M.”
“You didn't tell me." “Yes, I did tell you. 'Twas only your confounded stupid
“She! You blockhead! What else could you expect of her! Probably she hasn't any wit; besides, she isn't bound on a very jolly journey — got a pass up the road to the poorhouse. I'll go and tell her, and if you forget her to-night, see if I don't make mince-meat of you!" and our worthy ticket agent shook his fist menacingly at his subordinate.
“You've missed your train, marm,” he remarked, coming forward to a queer-looking bundle in the corner.
A trembling hand raised the faded black veil, and revealed the sweetest old face I ever saw.
“Never mind,” said a quivering voice.
“'Tis only three o'clock now; you'll have to wait until the night train, which doesn't go up until 1.05."
“Very well, sir; I can wait."
“Wouldn't you like to go to some hotel? Simmons will show you the way.”
“No, thank you, sir. One place is as good as another to me. Besides, I haven't any money."
“Very well,” said the agent, turning away indifferently. “Simmons will tell you when it's time.”
All the afternoon she sat there so quiet that I thought sometimes she must be asleep, but when I looked more closely I could see every once in a while a great tear rolling down her cheek, which she would wipe away hastily with her cotton handkerchief.
The depot was crowded, and all was bustle and hurry until the 9.50 train going east came due; then every passenger left except the old lady. It is very rare, indeed, that any one takes the night express, and almost always after ten o'clock the depot becomes silent and empty.
The ticket agent put on his greatcoat, and, bidding Simmons keep his wits about him for once in his life, departed for home.
But he had no sooner gone than that functionary stretched himself out upon the table, as usual, and began to snore vociferously.
Then it was I witnessed such a sight as I never had before and never expect to again.
The fire had gone down - it was a cold night, and the wind howled dismally outside. The lamps grew dim and flared, casting weird shadows upon the wall. By and by I heard a smothered sob from the corner, then another. I looked in that direction. She had risen from her seat, and oh! the look of agony on the poor pinched face.
“I can't believe it,” she sobbed, wringing her thin, white hands. “Oh! I can't believe it! My babies ! my babies ! how often have I held them in my arms and kissed them; and how often they used to say back to me, ‘Ise love you, mamma,' and now, O God! they've turned against me. Where am I going? To the poorhouse! No! no! no! I cannot ! I will not! Oh, the disgrace!"
And sinking upon her knees, she sobbed out in prayer:
"O God! spare me this and take me home! O God, spare me this disgrace; spare me!”
The wind rose higher and swept through the crevices, icy cold. How it moaned and seemed to sob like something human that is hurt. I began to shake, but the kneeling figure never