Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Auburn without expending our strength, after all,” said Mrs. Tryon, looking out of the car window, at a huge pile of wood, which constituted height, length, breadth, and depth of the picture before her. “The monarchs of the forests, James, which once so magnificently adorned the view, now meanly obstruct it. The proud must have a fall.'”

It would have been well for this lady had she, at that instant, listened to the “ still small voice” which caused her for a moment to wander over the past; but, repressing a rising sigh, she threw off the Heaven-sent monitor, and once more an evil spirit wreathed her face with smiles.

“The Junction !" shouted the brakeman. “ The name of this place is a word of good omen, James.”

“Yes, dearest aunt, I accept it such, but shall, nevertheless, put my shoulder to the wheel before framing a prayer for Jupiter.

“Right,” said his aunt, with a complacent smile. « Auburn!” shouted the brakeman.

“Good !” responded Mrs. Tryon. "Give the brakeman my thanks;" and she rose from her seat, as the motion of the car ceased.

“Now, dear aunt, for some comfort.”

In a short time Mrs. Tryon was reclining upon a sofa in her room at the hotel.

“Send up a little sherry wine, James; this tiresomeness is not natural with me.'

“With pleasure, dearest aunt,” said Mordaunt, glad at something to do to bring back his aunt's spirits; and he left the room.

“Here, mother mine, is a cup which will rival the Lachrymce Christi that Byron gavę to the great O'Doherty, at their chance meeting in Italy. It is not sherry, but it is excellent madeira, or I am no judge. I see Mr. Mortimer's name is on the register."

“ What! is he in Auburn ?” said Mrs. Tryon. “I must arouse from this lethargy. Give me another glass of madeira. There," said she, setting the wineglass upon the table, “now unlock my trunks, and evacuate the premises, sir.”

Mordaunt left his aunt to her toilet, and, retiring to his room, wrote several letters of a business character. He was thus engaged, when a servant brought word from his aunt that Mr. Mortimer was with her.

The greeting between Mordaunt and Mr. Mortimer was cordial. Mr. Mortimer was already under many obligations to Mordaunt, in matters pertaining to both his private and public business. Mordaunt had improved every opportunity to “act well his part,” in all things relevant to the game he had started from cover. In a few days the axe would be laid at the root of the tree. One family would be ruined.

“ Cupid's dart will have sunk deep, if loss of property does not tear it from Bell Mortimer's heart,". thought Mordaunt.

Coexistent with this thought, Mordaunt smiled his friendly recognition of Mr. Mortimer's polite attention to Mrs. Tryon.

“You cannot visit the prison to-morrow, sir.” “Why not, Mr. Mortimer?” said Mordaunt.

Because, as judge at chambers, I shall sign an order of injunction, pending the decision of which there must necessarily be a stay of proceedings."

“Very well, sir. I assure you, frankly, I shall not advise my fair client to risk a process for contempt of court,”” replied Mordaunt.

“Then I say, very well, sir. We all start for Aurora at nine o'clock and forty-five minutes tomorrow. When Mrs. Tryon is duly recruited, we will make a day of it, and visit the prison.”

“Excellent!” said Mrs. Tryon.

“And what say you, Mr. Mordaunt?” said Mr. Mortimer.

“That there will be no necessity for the order of injunction to issue,” replied Mordaunt.

Early the following day, while Mordaunt was dressing for his breakfast, a servant brought him word that a man desired to see him.

“Show him up, sir," said Mordaunt.

The door of his room soon received a second knack.

“Come in, sir," said Mordaunt, not going to the door.

“Good mornin' to ye! I'se early some, but the clerk said you was goin' in the nine forty-five train.

“It is true, sir; but your call is no interruption. Take a seat, and, if you please, let me know your object in calling."

“My name, sir, is John Halter. I've a leetle lawin' to do in York, and I didn't know but you'd do the business up for me. To do it, though, you'll hev to let the company go to-day, and stay here till to-morrow.”

“I am afraid, in that case, I would not suit yrirst sir,” replied Mordaunt. “I cannot very well pone going to-day.”

At this moment, Halter passed his rig?

I'll go

across his forehead twice, having the thumb thrust between the second and third fingers. Mordaunt started for an instant, but immediately laid his right hand, with open palm, upon his left breast. Halter now, with a smile upon his countenance, pronounced the Latin word, Experimentum.

Mordaunt, assuming a friendly smile, answered to this, “Crucis.Together they mean “a double test."

He then took Halter by the right hand, grasping with his own third and fourth fingers the third and fourth fingers of Halter's hand. Halter responded by grasping Mordaunt's left hand in a similar way, and pointing, with the index finger of his right hand, towards heaven.

“We may converse freely, Mr. Halter,” said Mordaunt.

“P’raps you'd be kurus to know as how I know'd you fur one ov the 'Ever Faithful,” said Halter, dropping his voice to a whisper scarcely audible, and gazing cautiously around the room.

“No, sir, not at all. The “Ever Faithful' have ears and hands, but they ask no useless questions. How can an Ever Faithful help his brother? You know probably my only connection with the Society is as its counsellor and legal adviser in the city of New York.”

“Yes. Well, my business is about two young men in New York. They shot two ov our best men about two years ago, and druv me out o' house and home. Bob Shank is one on 'em. He wants to find the

yps. As they's big-bugs, he thought you'd know

order hat are their names ?” said Mordaunt. there mmas Griswold and George Melville.”

Mordaunt was startled at this unexpected answer. He instantly determined to hear more, before revealing his acquaintance with them. Halter detailed all the facts, which the reader already knows. In conclusion, he said

“Bob Shank swears them fellers shall pay for the cold comfort they give him and Stringham.”

“And he is right,” said Mordaunt. “Such unnecessary shooting ought to be avenged.”

Mordaunt saw here a scheme of revenge which he thought he could foster and guide, without making himself liable in any way, or his hand being seen in it.

The gong sounded for breakfast.

“I can help your friend in this matter, and will do so. He is in no hurry. Give me a little time, say a month or two, and I will give him a scheme worth his steel."

“That's 'nuff sed."

“Request Bob Shank to call upon me at New York. Give him this card, and tell him to show it to me when he calls. My address is upon it. I see no necessity for remaining over to-day.”

“Oh, that's jest a quarter ov my business. Iv'e got a case for you to defend in New York. There's a feller as has been nabbed. He's in the Tombs. He isn't a member ov the order. I've had him in trainin' now three years, and whin he was twentyone I was goin' to hev him ’nitiated. Ef I don't see to him, he's got no friends."

“He must be attended to, Mr. Halter. I shall remain in Auburn. Such business is always first with me."

“Good! your a trump, and no mistake. I'll go now.”

« AnteriorContinuar »