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the paroxysm had passed off now; the sufferer was lying quiet in her sister's arm, and the good woman sat down to wait with her the coming of advice and help.
A half hour passed by drearily enough; the dim silence of the sick chamber, broken only by the convulsive breathing of the patient, and now and then a stifled sob from her on whose breast she leaned. At length, just as the gathering constriction of the features and rigid stiffening of the limbs showed that another attack was coming on, the weleome sound of hurrying manly feet was heard upon the stairs, and Mrs. Bonner sprung to open the door.
"You are in great need, doctor," said she; "and you too, come in, please, Mr. Warner. It's more than we women can do to hold her, and the babe is waking, poor little thing!"
So Philip went in, all reserve or thought of intrusion prevented by the urgency of the case. The room lay half in shadow, for the gas was turned low that its glare might not annoy the sick lady; and the night-air was heavy with the odor of violets. She whose gentle hands had gathered and brought them hither was bending over the couch of her suffering sister, stroking with soothing touch the poor throbbing temples, and looking down into the wild, unconscious eyes with her own all thickly sown with tears, like her sweet flowers with drops of dew. She glanced up an instant as Philip approached, but shook her head when he offered to relieve her of the convulsive weight that strained and shook her strength to the utmost; and only yielded when, as the physician strove to force a sedative through the tight-shut teeth, the paroxysm grew so violent that her slight power availed as nothing to resist it.
She stood aside then and watched him as he drew down the wildly-flinging arms with his strong gentle hand, and held with tender foree the poor throbbing head upon his firm breast; her face so white and fixed in its mute horror and despair, that it almost broke his heart to meet that piteous appealing glance. Standing thus, gazing on her sister's convulsed and quivering countenance, she saw, first of them all, the ominous death-change slowly stealing over the quieting features.
A wild cry burst from the lips before so pale and dumb.
"She is dying! Let me come to her; let me come!" and Philip let the strengthless head droop into her clasping arms.
"Oh, sister, sister darling!" went on the piteous pleading voice. "Don't you know me, your little sister that you love; Baby's Auntie Helen! Won't you speak to me only once more, sister!"
A sudden gleam of consciousness dawned in the eyes of the dying; the strong mother-love kept back for a moment the closing clasp of the icy fingers; she raised her head, and her glance searched eagerly around the room, and rested on the spot where sat the good landlady with the baby sleeping on her knee. The tremulous lips strove feebly to find utterance, but in vain; there
was no need, for Helen, whose anguished eyes had followed her sister's glance, read its meaning well.
"She shall be mine, and dear to me as my own soul! Nothing shall part us save death itself! I will make her happy, and bring her to you in heaven, if you must leave us, sister darling! But oh, stay, stay with us—spare her, dear Lord—we shall be all alone when she is gone!"
The wild cry went up in fruitless anguish; the rigid limbs were already relaxed; the quivering features still, with a faint smile of content shedding a soft light on them; the mother was dead, and the little baby slept sweetly as only a baby may.
It was Philip's strong arms that raised the unconscious form of the stricken girl from beside the lifeless body.
"Take her into your sitting-room, please," said the landlady, wiping her eyes; "she'll come to presently. It's no place for her here now. And, if you've no objections, I'll lay the baby on your bed a while; my room's away down stairs, you know, and we shouldn't hear it if it cried its heart out. It's lucky there's nobody but you on this floor, Mr. Warner; I don't seem to mind disturbing you, because you're a single man, I suppose. The doctor's going to send a woman here right away, and I shall stay and see that all is done as it ought to be for the poor dear lady."
So she bustled away, and brought the sleeping little one, and laid it carefully down on the narrow white bed in the little bachelor sleeping apartment off the hall, closing the doors softly, that no unwonted noise might break its happy slumber. Then she brought a pillow to place under the head of the still unconscious girl, whom Philip had laid reverently on his own sofa, and took from his hand the water which he was trying to pass between her lips.
"Never mind worrying her with that now," she said; "it's different from a fainting-fit; she's not sick, only stunned like. Let her stay so a while; it won't hurt her, and she'll wake up to her misery soon enough, poor thing! ni be back as soon as I can to see to her. I am going to wake up some of the servants."
So Philip left her lying there in her white, motionless silence, her long brown tresses escaped from the net that confined them, making her face even paler by contrast, and her little hands locked tight together over her eyes, as though to shut out a sight too agonizing for them to bear. Opening the long French window he stepped out upon the baleony, and stood there watching now the sky, violet-blue and sparkling with a thousand stars, and now the pale mute face within, whose veiled eyes were blue and bright as they. There was no falsehood in the glance of pity and sympathy they had cast on the little stranger child; no artifice in their dumb, anguished gaze ul>on the face of the dead. There was a strange pain at his heart as he thought what a heavy cloud of grief had darkened suddenly over their childlike clearness. He wished that somehow it might be in his power to bring the sunshine back to them again.
A long shuddering sigh from within made him aware that the spell was broken at length, and the bereaved one was awaking to a consciousness of her sorrow. He re-entered the room quietly, so as not to startle her, and approached her with a grave, gentle look, that repressed the exclamation which had sprung to her lips, and made her sit up quietly and listen to what he had to say, though still with a wild, only half-comprehending look on her face.
"I am glad you are better," he said, in a voice full of sympathy. "Mrs. Bonner thought it best you should stay here a while, and I shall esteem it a great honor if you wrn cousent to use my apartments freely. She will return soon. I will leave you now, but if it be at all in my power to serve you in any way, I beg you will trust me sufficiently to nllow ma to know."
He lingered a moment, but there was no answer—only a burst of passionate grief, which he felt he had no right to attempt to soothe—and he turned sorrowfully away, and went down the dark halls and staircases into the great empty drawing-room, where he threw himself on a sofa and tried to think over calmly the strange scenes of this eventful night.
His rooms were deserted when he resonght them next morning, and Mrs. Bonner detained him after his late breakfast to apologize for having so unceremoniously appropriated them. Philip stopped her to ask eagerly after the young lady, and the good landlady poured out a stream of information and sympathy and comment into his willing car.
"Poor thing! she is asleep now, and I'm going to have a cup of hot tea ready for her the moment she wakes up. I never should have got her to go to bed, only the baby seemed fretful, as if it knew something was the matter, poor little orphan! and would have her lie down beside it when it was going to take its nap. So she dropped off herself, and I was glad of it— she'll need all the strength she can get. She's determined to sit up alone with the body tonight—the funeral won't be till to-morrow, you know. She wouldn't hear to it when I talked ofsending for watchers, or offered to sit with her myself. She'd rather be all alone with her sister the last night, she said. They thought the world of each other."
"Have they no other relatives?" asked Philip, more touched than he cared to show.
"I guess not, in these parts, any how. The Chestcrs have boarded with me ever since they were married, you know—poor things! I little thought they'd both be buried from my house— and I've never seen any relations except Miss Helen; she'd often come in to spend Saturday with her sister. She was a governess somewhere in the country. She'll have to give up her situation now though, for she'll never part with that child. She'll just stay on here in Mrs. Chester's room. Her board was paid some way
ahead, and I guess the captain left some money. So they'll be comfortable enough; but it's a kind of a hard life for a young thing, isn't it? I wish some nice body would take a fancy to her for a wife. No young man, of course, would be burdened with a baby; but some one like Mr. Wiglow, for instance, the gentleman that sits at the foot of your table, you know. He's a steady, pious man, and I don't doubt he's looking out for some one to take care of that little boy of his."
Good Mrs. Bonner had rambled on, full of homely sympathy, and reading Mr. Warner's interest in his face; and she was amazed now to see the sudden gathering of his brows, and the flash of his eyes beneath them. Perhaps she had intruded too far in supposing he could care about a strange young woman's marrying.
As for Philip, he could almost have struck the worthy landlady for her stupidity! To mention that soul-full creature in the same breath with that odious Wiglow, with his yellow sanctimonious face, and white choker, and plastered locks! Step-mother to that little precocious prig of a boy of his, too—bah! But he restrained himself, and only said as he walked away,
"If there is any thing in the world I can do, pray let me be of use."
And Mrs. Bonner thought good-naturedly, as she went about her household tasks,
"He was always odd, but he's got a generous heart for all that."
The vision of a pale young face, all wet with tears and quivering with repressed grief, made its way, an unwonted visitor, more than once that day within the dusty precincts of a downtown lawyer's office. Do what he might Philip could not put out of his thoughts the last night's tragedy, and it irked him to think he had no right, even if ho had the power, to do aught for the solace of the lonely survivor. If his sister were only in town, he would take her to her at once! Lou's tender womanly sympathy would be every thing to the solitary girl. But she had left this very morning in an early train for a hasty trip to Niagara, and would not return for a week; and he did not know another woman in all New York whom he would be willing to bring to a stranger in affliction I
So he was obliged to content himself with reiterating offers of service upon Mrs. Bonner, and with remaining persistently in his room, so as to be at hand if needed.
Sitting there in the April twilight with a cigar between his lips, and an unread book lying idly on his knee, he listened to the sounds that now and then reached him from the adjoining room. An infant's sleepy wail, and then those low, lulling notes of the night before, only now with such an unutterable sorrow in their plaintive minor tones I Then after a while a silence, broken only by the coming and going again of good Mrs. Bonner; and long hours after, sounding pitifully sad in the dead hush of the night, a burst of low, stifled sobs, and the heart-broken moan, "My sister! my sister!"
Philip started to his feet at the sound. "He could not stand it; it was horrible to think of, that young thing weeping her very heart away, all alone in the chamber of the dead! He would go to her," and he had actually placed his hand upon the handle of his door, when the thought "what would she think? what would people say?" came in time to stop him, and, venting an anathema upon that crooked idol, Public Opinion, he sought his bedroom and his bed instead.
It was the same thing the next day; he must go away in the morning without being able to do any thing for her, and return at night with'no probability of having it in his power to offer to her the sympathy that fairly made his heart ache with its repressed intensity. But it was a comfort at least to think that she shared her chamber now with no more awful companion than the little child of her adoption, and that her tears were not shed upon the cold, unanswering face of the dead.
His patience was not to be put much longer to the test. The very next morning, as he was going down to breakfast, he encountered his fair neighbor in the hall near the door of her own room. She had a bowl of bread and milk, which she had just brought up for her little charge, in one hand, and a glass of water in the other, and was preparing to set one burden down that she might open the door.
Philip's eager attention spared her the trouble, and a faint light broke over her pale, heavy countenance as she recognized the stranger who had ministered to her sister in the hour of death, and to herself afterward.
"I have to thank you for many more kindnesses than this, Sir," she said, in a faltering voice, the quick tears springing afresh in the childlike blue eyes. "I remember—that night —and Mrs. Bonner has told me since—" But here Philip broke in, impetuously,
"If you would only permit me to be really of some service, however slight, I should be so grateful! If I might be used as a friend I would prove worthy of the trust, though an utter stranger. Let us see you sometimes below. You will make yourself ill if you remain confined so closely in one room."
She colored a little at his warmth, but shook her head sadly.
"No; I am not easily made ill, and I can not stay away from baby. But I thank you for your great kindness. I shall not mind calling upon you for service, if I should need it"—and she was gone, leaving Philip obliged to be content with this.
But now that the ice was broken, he found many ways of serving her of which she knew nothing. Why should she connect Mr. Warner with the excessive civility and attention she received from the servants, or associate his idea with the delicious oranges, and pines, and bananas which formed such unwonted addition to the meagre attractions of a boarding-house lunch? How imagine that he was the " one of the boarders" who presented to Mrs. Bonner the huge bunch of "real out-of-door" spring city flowers,
lilaes, and westcrias, and snow-balls, which that good lady insisted upon placing on her hearth?
Her heart was too full of its sorrow and its anxious cares for her little charge to spare much thought even for the kind, strange gentleman; yet she could not but feel, in the few chance interviews which they had in the dining-room, or on the staircase, or at the door as before, how different he was from the rest of the people in the house, kind as they all were; of how much higher type he was, indeed, than any of the few men she knew; and sometimes she almost wished that there were some tie of relationship or of old acquaintance which would permit him to offer, and her to receive, the sympathy and friendIship which looked out so earnestly to her from his grave dark eyes, and of which her lonely heart stood in such sore need.
One evening—it was the last before Mrs. Ellis was to return—Philip sat in his accustomed place by the open window, smoking, looking out, and listening to the low murmured lullaby from the next room. It ceased at length, and then there was a soft rustling as of feminine garments; and presently the door opened gently, and a light step descended the stairs. A moment after the street door opened, and Philip saw the little figure of his neighbor pass beneath his window.
"Good! she is actually going to spend one of these lovely twilights elsewhere than cooped up in that close room by a baby's cradle!"
The grave, saturnine, lawyer-like man was a child in his delight. "I only wish I had the right to join her—I really believe I could make the walk pleasanter!" and then he checked himself with a smile, and almost a blush, at his own folly, and puffed away for a while in grim silence, as befitted a woman-hater.
But hark! what was that? A baby crying! and her baby, positively! the little ungrateful thing, when she had sung it to sleep! He wouldn't be guilty of such atrocity for the world if she would perform the like kind office for him! Heavens! what a scream! Nay, what a succession of infantine yells! Frightened out of its wits, poor little thing, at waking up and finding itself alone in the dark; be would go straight and bring Mrs. Bonner.
Philip jumped up and marched down stairs to the landlady's apartment. No answer to his repeated knocks upon the door; nobody in the hall, nobody in the dining-room; cook steaming wrathily over the range, warming dinuer for a party who had arrived late; pronounced the mistress out—every body out but herself, and faith she never got the chance to go! What should he do? He had never cultivated any of the last set of boarders at the old place, and didn't care to set the rather snobbish circle speculating as to the unaccountable interest of a handsome young man in a poor governess's adopted baby. Ho reascended the stairs, baffled, and only hoping that the newly-made mamma might speedily return, or that the infant might have ceased its cries. The piereing screams that issued from the door as he passed painfully dissipated the latter delusion, and he saw no sign of the former coming to pass immediately as he leaned out of the window and looked despairingly up and down the street.
A volley of screams more violent than before made him rush from his room again. "I can never stand that," he said; "the child will kill itself, and then she will go crazy indeed. I shall go and take care of it myself. Surely she hasn't fastened the door!"
No, she had not; she had been thoughtful enough to reflect that there might be a possibility of the baby's waking, and Mrs. Bonner's coming up to attend to it; so he entered without any difficulty. The room lay dusk in the coming darkness, and the poor little creature had cried itself almost into convulsions. It held out its little hands piteously as the kind, manly face bent over it, and nestled up in his arms, sobbing and trembling, and clinging so close that Philip's heart yearned over it with a strange protective tenderness.
He paced the floor with the little trembling burden pressed to his breast, soothing its fears with gentle tones and caresses, until its cries ceased, and a little bit of a smile came to the pretty rose-bud lips in answer to some coaxing word. This greatly encouraged the amateur nurse, and now his excited nerves growing calm with the infant's returning serenity, the thought occurred to him that it might be best to take the little one to his own room; on the whole, it was not exactly the thing to be seen promenading up and down in hers, and he would listen for her return, and restore her charge without her knowing any thing about it.
So he immediately acted upon this suggestion, and little Miss Baby, pleased with her new quarters and her new attendant, vouchsafed to be extremely gracious, and laughed, and pat-a-caked, and pa-pa'd in a style that so completely fascinated Philip that he placed himself and all his possessions entirely at her disposal, and allowed the little dimpled fingers to pull his beard, and upset his writing-case and cigar-stand just as they chose.
"A pretty tell this would be for the fellows down town," he thought; and then aloud, "You little witch, do you design emptying that sandbox all over yourself?" But just then a quick, frightened rapping at the door diverted his attention, and the spilling of the sand and the tumultuous entrance of '' baby's Auntie Helen" took place at one and the same instant.
"Oh, you are really here!" exclaimed tho yonng lady, rushing up to the disconcerted Philip and seizing the baby from his arms, while the pale wild look on her face gave way to a burning blush.
"Oh, Mr. Warner, I beg a thousand pardons! I was so frightened I couldn't find the baby, and I thought I heard her crowing and laughing in here. I ought not to have left her, but I was almost obliged to go, and she woke so early this morning I was sure she would sleep till I got
back. Did she cry, and you went to her? My poor little darling!"
She almost smothered the child with kisses, and then broke out again,
"Oh, how shall I ever be able to thank you, Mr. Warner?"
She looked so artless and lovely, standing there with the pretty little baby leaping in her arms, her bright, innocent face glowing with feeling, and the quick sensitive tears coming in those blue, blue eyes, that Philip "could not stand it," to use his own phrase. He came up close to her, and said, impetuously,
"Only by giving me the right to do it again whenever I please, Helen, my Helen. Let me call you so; be my little wife; let your baby be my baby, too! See, she loves me; she holds out her hands to me; will you turn awav, Helen?"
It was well Philip had taken hold of the little outstretched hands, or its auntie would certainly have let the baby fall in the tumultuous trembling that seized her at these strange, sudden words.
As it was, she shook so that it seemed as if she must fall herself, but Philip's hand had closed tightly over hers too, and his eager words were in her ear.
'' You know you promised not to leave her— and see, she clings to me! Speak, will you come too, Helen?"
But she could not speak; the words trembled and died on her lips, and when at last they came it was only—
"It is because you pity me—you can not have learned to love me in this little while. Let me go, let us both go—we will keep each other from being alone in the world."
"And you do not care for my being alone, meanwhile 1 Helen, look at me. Do not I love you?"
She could not but look up, and looking, she saw bending toward her a face so deeply in earnest, a gaze so tender and soul-full that even her modesty could doubt no longer. Her head drooped down upon the shoulder where the baby's already nestled so confidingly.
"I promised never to leave her," she said, in a low, happy voice; and the first lover's kiss which either one had ever shared sealed the double vow.
"Tell me if you think it is pretty, Lou," said Philip Warner, as he sat at his sister's side the next evening. He placed in her hand a ring of heavy gold, with a single pearl, large and pure and lustrous, gleaming softly from a circlet of jet.
"Exquisite; but what are you going to do with it? It would suit some one in mourning. Tell me, Phil, at once!" pursued the impulsive little lady, reading some mystery in her brother's conscious face.
"Ah, Lou, I haec found my pearl! Two of them, I may say," he went on, with mock gravity, seeing her look of incredulous astonishment.
"In fact, it was the baby who brought her to me, otherwise—"
"The baby!" gasped Mrs. Ellis, in unspeakable amazement. "Are you going to marry a baby too? Then she is a widow, and you always said you detested widows—oh, Phil!"
''Yes, I am going to 'marry a baby' too. It was the baby that managed the whole matter, I tell you. But she isn't a widow for all that."
The expression of utter stultification on his sister's usually bright face made the provoking Philip hasten to explain for fear of a sad accident to her intellects; but the reader need not stop to listen—he is already in the secret.
HOW I MADE A FORTUNE.
IAM not quite as badly off as the needy knifegrinder who had no story to tell; but my story is not very extraordinary. If the reader expects any thing sensational, he had better look elsewhere.
heart certain passages in Blackstone and Starkic and Cbitty, so as to be able to auswer probable questious, and in due time I was called to the bar. I forthwith hired me a handsome office, put out a tin sign with the words—" Pepperidge Lovatt, Counselor at Law, "and diligently smoked a cigar in my nicely furnished rooms for one hour a day. Having thus attended to business, I put up a little notice on the door—"atcoukt. Call To-morkow At Ten O'clock," and sauntered up Broadway. At night I went to the opera, or lounged at the club, or led the German at parties, and led it well. I despise boasting of my own talents; but I may properly say that I was the best dancer in our set. There was not a member of the bar that could equal me. Even Grind, of the firm of Grind and Cheathamwell, they said he was at the head of the profession, but I saw him try to polk once at Saratoga, and I was quite sure that Grind's abilities had been overrated by his friends.
I had practiced law vigorously, after the fashion I have described, for about two years and a
My name is Pepperidge Lovatt. I was called Pepperidge after my mother's I half, when three very important things occurred,father, a wealthy pork-packer, from whom the I was sauntering along Broadway one day, andfamily had great expectations, my mother being . amidst the press of passers, my coat button gothis only daughter and I her only son. The expectations were doomed to disappointment, for
entangled in the fringe of a lady's mantle, was a very awkward situation for both of us. grandfather Pepperidge invested his fortune in a I tugged at the fringe, my face burning all thecopper mine, somewhere in Pennsylvania, and | while, and the lady seeming to be vexed. Itin sinking a shaft sunk his money. My father, Roger Lovatt, was a bill-broker, irreverently termed by the vulgar a note-shaver. Personally he was known as Centpercent and Allforeoll
came loose at length, and the owner of the mantle turned away with a swing of her body indicating annoyance, when, swish! the fringe caught another button. This time I laughed, and the
at—names that had reference to the liberal and ! lady tittered. The fringe was disengaged andgenerous manner in which he transacted his business. I never inquired into their origin. It was no matter to me. I always called him "the old man."
I never went to school with the common herd. Being born to a fortune it would not do. It was not the thing, you know. A private tutor
I raised my hat to bow my regret, thus getting a full view of the fair stranger's face. It was certainly pretty, but I had seen pretty faces before, without feeling any thumping beneath my waistcoat. With this, however, I was fascinated. There are some figures and faces that attract you by their home look. They seem to
prepared me for college, and to college I went f tell of domestic enjoyment; they suggest a quietin due time. I forget now nearly all I was cup of tea, hot toast, and your slippered feettaught there. I was put through Latin, philosophy, and things—yes! and Greek, with all kinds of crabbed-looking letters, aud mathematics. I went through the last, after a fashion. Arithmetic and Algebra were my specialties, but in Geometry I was brought up by the Pous Asinorum. However, I graduated with great honor. The valedictory, which it fell to my lot to deliver, was very much applauded, though my father did think that fifty dollars was too much to pay the half-starved fellow who wrote it. That was a little trick of mine though, for I hived forty out of the money, I am now sorry to say.
After I graduated I had no difficulty about choosing a profession. My friends, taking the beautiful language of my valedictory into consideration, suggested the law as the sphere in which my talents would have the best chance of development. As it was a matter of indiftcr
buried in the hearth-rug. But it came and went. The lady went one way and I the other. I saw her no more, but I thought of her frequently.
The other incidents were serious. One was the death of my father, who had been a widower for twelve years; the other was the failure of Bullwinkle, Badger, and Bullwinkle. The events were disastrous, especially the Bullwinkle business. For my respected parent had not only embarked a hundred thousand in the same speculation which floored the three B.'s, but his name was on the paper of the firm for nearly as much more; and the assets of the bankrupts, after the legal expenses were paid, amounted to just no cents on the dollar.
Thus I was left, without a father to support me, no rich uncle to apply to, altogether a penniless fellow, knowing little of my profession, and no chance for clients had I even been a
ence to me, I accepted the choice. I read law profound lawyer. What to do I could not tell, after the usual fashion; that is to say, I got by . though I smoked over the matter diligently for