תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

ness.

Own.

[ocr errors]

Sybil Blandford knew the world she lived while looking at Bernotti, whom he several Just then a cry of distress, seemingly from in. “ This man must put me on my guard,” | times addressed, Philip thought he saw on a very slight distance off, struck bis ear. Alshe told herself. “ He has gained nothing in the Italian's delicate face a pallor that much most immediately afterward Berpotti came self-control since we met, and ”(while a great surpassed its usual suggestion of colorless. hurrying from a little tract of wood, which pang shot through her heart)“ I can see well Was it possible that Bernotti, too, had been close behind the spot whence the enough by his face how he has suffered.” felt for his friend in the wretched mock- missed woodcock had risen.

Dinner was soon served after the gentle- ery of her position ? Possible? Ah, why Bernotti was lividly pale. He caught Phil. men's arrival, and its first courses passed off not more than probable ? Philip would bave ip's arm with a hand whose clutch was like with all desirable harmony. But at lengih liked, just then, to rise from the table and iron. the old atrocious taste began to show itself cordially grasp the Italian's hand within his “ You fired a minute ago, did you not ?" in Blandford's manner toward his wife. Sev.

he questioned, gaspingly. eral slurring impertinences, just jocose enough The next day was full of mellowest golden “ Yes." to be less easily borne on that account, left | haziness, and every gaudy-tinted sweep of “You have shot Mr. Blandford. We were his lips. Philip discovered himself taking woodland showed with splendor of contrast coming to look for you. I suppose you did two or three large swallows of sherry in quick against the blandly - blue autumn heaven. not hear us because of the wind. It is very guccession. Somehow he found this sort of There was no legitimate excuse for woodcock- terrible!” thing much harder to endure after his weeks shooting, though Philip would fain have made Philip lifted a hand bewilderingly to his of suffering—of regret for the irremediable. one, for the reason that he loatbed the forehead. While he stared with blank looks Once he let his eyes wander toward Bernotti, thought of Blandford's unshared society, if at Bernotti, the Italian pulled him slightly by willing enough to exchange with the Italian a because of no other. But to his great relief the sleeve and pointed toward the wood. glance that might express their common dis- he discovered that Bernotti would accompany Then they both went together (Philip a gust. But Bernotti had raised a glass of wa- them, and that he was a well-practised and little unsteadily), and looked upon what had ter to his lips, and so partly concealed bis even enthusiastio sportsman.

been done. Blandford lay very near the edge face, while his eyes wore their rather babitual Blandford possessed an excellent dog, but of the wood 80 near, in trutb, that the drooped expression, failing to meet Philip's. he failed to discover any birds during nearly impossibility of not baving seen his form

The dowager Mrs. Blandford repeatedly, an hour after the little party of three arrived through the branches flashed across Philip on these occasions, came to the rescue of her at the proper swampy locality. At last Bland- with the momentary force of strongest condaughter-in-law, and the redemption, as re- ford (really an excellent shot) was fortunate viction, as he now knelt down beside the gards some lingering residual courtesy, of enough to secure a bird, and filled with con- fallen man. her offensive son. But her powers were to- sequent immense good - humor. Another His head was bleeding profusely, as though night of little avail.

shortly afterward fell to bis pouch, and he from some wound in the temple; his eyes “And so you have remained here all | immediately began to narrate a sporting were closed ; his face ghastly. Pbilip laid a through the summer ? " Philip made words anecdote in which he himself cut the noblest hand upon his heart; there was scarcely a during a pause, addressing Mrs. Blandford. of figures as its bero.

perceptible flutter here. He sprang to his Mr. Blandford tossed off his third or They were at this time on the outskirts feet. fourth glass of claret. “Yes, all summer," of a small, half-marshy wood. Philip strolled “One of us must get help,” he exclaimed. he took upon himself to blurt forth boorish- away in disgust, so ill-concealed that he had Shall I go ? " Jy in answer. " She wouldn't even go to the prudence at least to invest it with dis- “ No," answered Bernotti, with speed. Newport in August. There's some concealed tance. Something had been said about eat- “I am a very fast runner. Let me go.” And attraction round here. I don't know what it ing, presently, the luncheon which they bad a moment later he had dashed away through can be except a flirtation with one of my brought with them. He presumed they would the trees. farm-bands."

eat it somewhere in this neighborhood. Al- Pbilip again knelt down at the side of The vulgarity of this speech was nothing together, he concluded, while seating himself Blandford. He suddenly remembered that to the leer of somewhat vinous semi-jollity on a fallen tree-trunk, it would perhaps be a he carried a flask of brandy, and at once that accompanied it. Mrs. Blandford fixed benefit to his nervous state if he ate it not at produced it. To pour it through those blue. both eyes on her plate and shuddered in a all, but quietly allowed his companions to tinged lips was, however, a work of much slightly visible manner. And then it seemed lose him. Already they were out of sight-he difficulty ; but he succeeded in making the to her that something forced them toward the dejectedly told himself that he neither knew wounded man swallow nearly a mouthful of face of Philip Amyott.

nor cared how far. A brisk south wind, so the liquor, after a little persistent effort. He was gazing at her with a kind of reck. common to these hazy days of our autumn, The effect was very rapid. A slight color lessly - abandoned fixity. His look said- had recently arisen, and was making a wide, touched Blandford's cheeks, though he did “Shall I leave your table? Shall I knock murmurous sound among the innumerable not, for some little space, open his eyes. this man down? Shall I make by words brittle leaves that it rustled.

Presently, however, his eyes were unclosed, your cause my cause ? For Heaven's sake, Philip's eyes were fixed on some point and fixed steadfastly on Philip's face. They tell me, what shall I do to prove my intense i directly in front of him, though from their had, as their observer noticed, a glassy and sympathy and pity ?”

meditative look, while he leaned on his gun, blinded look. She looked back-"Do nothing." It was you would have said that they observed but “Murderer!” the unfortunate man groaned not hard thus mutely to speak these words, little. Suddenly the sharp, whirring noise of at this point, in a voice husky beyond recog. for it only needed a little imperious raising a woodcock, when it rises, sounded behind nition, while the word was evidently a result of the brows on Mrs. Blandford's part, and a bim. He quickly turned, perceived the risen of severe physical labor. And immediately little curve of the lip, half astonished, half bird, raised his gun to his shoulder, and fired afterward his eyelids drooped themselves, scornful. Pbilip dropped his eyes. He un- before it had cleared a distance of more than and there came across his face the swift yet derstood her perfectly, and admired from his four feet from the ground. Easy as was the certain signs of death. soul what seemed to him the noble, self-reli- shot, he missed the bird. Hethen fired again, Philip shuddered from head to foot. The ant pride of her resentment. The dinner and again missed.

certitude of his own innocence seemed, natdragged itself through, after this, with no An expression of annoyance left his lips. urally enough, to thrill through all his being, further pleasant manifestations from its pre- In his then dejected and irritated state this but a sensation of utter horror thrilled with siding Chesterfield. The gentlemen were left trifle assumed far greater importance than it it. Had Blandford seen him raise his gun alone after dessert. Blandford brought out would otherwise have done. It gave him, and fire, and had Blandford believed—? oh, some really superb madeira, but Philip felt bowever, a certain relish for the sport of no! the thought was too horrible! And yet that he was incapable of uttering a word in which he had come in pursuit. “I wonder why should that awfully-accusing word havé its praise. Indeed, it was with difficulty that where those men are ?” he muttered, ill-hu- left the dying man's lips ? he could address Blandford, or even pay de- moredly enough to have suggested that the A good half-bour elapsed before Bernotti's cent heed to that person's remarks. But, ! separation had been wholly their fault. return. He brought several men and a sort

.

of litter as well. When he arrived there was had entered under auspices so widely oppo- | hate to write such a sentence, and yet I must no longer the slightest doubt of Blandford's site, had in it a kind of woful commonplace. tell you that I think it best you should pay death. The body was placed upon the litter, His partings with Mrs. Blandford and her me no visit just now. By-and-by, when more amid the men's ejaculations of astonishment mother-in-law were made at the same period. time has passed, I may perhaps send you a and sympathy, not unmixed with occasional He addressed himself, half unconsciously, to request to come.” side-glances in Philip's direction. He and the latter lady in especial. “It seems like Another month lapsed along, and yet anBernotti made the last two of the sad home audacity,” he said, "for me to speak of my other, and Philip's state was but slightly im. ward procession that now followed.

self just now. Yet I must put forward my proved. Indeed, his health began to give The next few days were to Philip inex- utterly bewildered feelings of gloom and way, and the plıysician whom he consulted pressibly wretched. There was, of course, wretchedness as an excuse for finding no strongly advised travel. an inquest, at which the gloomy simplicity words that can at all match the subject with In December he resolved to go abroad. of his testimony, and the overwhelming di- which I am called upon to deal.” And now Before going, he hunted up Bernotti's resirectness of Bernotti's, made slight difficulty his voice faltered, while his eyes covertly dence, and called upon him. It was a board. about a verdict. The Italian had seen Philip, wandered toward where the younger Mrs. ing-house; and, instead of seeing Bernotti, between the branches of the near trees, raise Blandford stood, silent, pale, clad in her he learned from the presiding landlady that bis gun and fire, while he advanced in that deep-black widow's dress. “If it is ever in this gentleman was lying dangerously ill. direction with Mr. Blandford, The action

my power to do either of you the least or the His illness had been of about two weeks' du. was so rapid that he had not even time to greatest service—” be recommenced ; and ration; the doctors feared no immediate warn Mr. Amyott, and the next instant Mr. then, while he paused for a second, holding peril, but the results were uncertain, a reguBlandford fell at his feet. “But Mr. Amyott," out his hand toward John Blandford's moth- lar nurse had been engaged, and the invalid Bernotti went on to say,

now fired a second er, that lady spoke a few brief sentences, so had been forbidden all society. The lady time, and in a wholly different direction. My full of sweet, compassionate, and appreci. could not be at all positive regarding the nafirst thought was of the wounded man, I ative heartiness that they dwelt with him ture of the illness; it was a sort of general stooped down beside him for a moment, as- assuagingly for hours afterward. "Believe decline, she imagined, with some obstinate certained that he was even then senseless, that I echo what my mother-in-law has just complication in the way of brain - trouble. and at once hurried out to inform Mr. Am. said,” the younger lady murmured, when it | Philip's passage was engaged for the next yott of this terrible accident.”

came her turn to accept Philip's offered hand. | day, and on the next day he sailed. Nothing that might be called a private A little later he left the house.

He remained in Europe nearly two years. interview took place between Philip and Mrs. Bernotti accompanied him. Toward the The change at first promised him no benefit, Blandford. When they met, either Bernotti Italian Philip felt a sense of strong gratitude. but at length a slow yet steady return to foror her mother-in-law was present. Her man- The part which he had played all through mer wholesome conditions manifested itself Der was full of a sort of stunned, decorous this miserable affair had been marked by the not less morally than physically. His excomposure. She seemed to recognize Phil. most delicately administrative tact, materi- hausting wound began to heal. He was in ip's.miserable situation, and to pity it keen- ally lessening the poignant discomfort of his many respects any thing but the old Philip, ly, but she seemed to recognize, as well, how position. Even now, as he could not but | although grown so closely to resemble him ill-advised would be any excess of sympathy | recollect, it was through Bernotti's kind that ordinary eyes might ill bave perceived on her own part. The dowager Mrs. Bland. | agency alone that he had been enabled to any difference. Perhaps, indeed, his society ford was almost prostrated by grief; she see these two ladies thus privately ; for the possessed added attractions. He bad travbad, doubtless, tenderly loved her son. house was populous, just then, with relatives eled a great deal during these two years, and words of useless reproach passed her lips, on either side of the family, who, in their was just the man to reap thereby much prohowever, while she was in Philip's presence ; consolotary capacity, had remained over from nounced beneficial result. At the end of and very probably, if such had been the case, the funeral. Bernotti went with bim to New the two years he returned to America. these words would have added nothing to the York. After reaching the city, they sepa. It was a matter of noblesse oblige (or so he utter mental desolation and protracted suffer- rated. Philip had been so morbidly self-ab- assured himself) promptly to call upon Mrs. ing of the poor fellow's condition.

sorbed as not to notice how haggard, worn, Blandford after arriving in New York. He The funeral took place at the late Mr. and ill, his companion looked, until just as

selected a certain clear afternoon when her Blandford's country-residence, and was, con- their parting occurred.

being out was among the strongest probasequently, in a comparative degree, small; “ These few days have told upon you, bilities, ascertained that she was out from but many acquaintances came up from town, Bernotti,” he declared, while holding the the servant at the door, and left his card. It and Bernotti, the one visible witness of the Italian's hand, and scanning, with attention, was now for her, he reflected, to take the sad accident, was assailed with numberless bis changed face. "Accept my thanks for next step. If she cared to see him, she would inevitable questions, Philip remaining (at the all that you have done in my behalf—and I send for him. Italian's earnest advice) concealed from all feel that it is much. I have already given She did send on the following day. Her curious eyes during the mournful ceremony. you my address. Don't fail to come and see note was briefly satisfactory, expressing a “I confess that I can scarcely make up my I shall, doubtless, be permanently at desire to meet him that hovered midway bemind how to act,” Philip bad dejectedly said, home for a long time. I shall go nowhere, tween courtesy and cordiality. The same on the previous day, and Bernotti, a most you know, and be visible to very few except evening Philip called again. ready and valuable counselor, had at once yourself."

The moment that he looked upon ber a answered : “Remain away from everybody; But Bernotti did not visit him. A month surge as of revived passion made headlong it will be in far better taste. You must not of the most dismal depression followed for tumult within him. But he knew well enough even go to the grave. People cannot doubt poor Philip. He had scarcely a near rela- while he took her hand that it was not rethe intensity of your feelings in this matter, tion living; the society of his few more inti. vived passion. He knew well enough that it and everybody will, of course, understand mate friends had grown an inexpressible was the half-intoxicating delight of again your horror of being stared at, and of having pain to him. There were some nights dur- meeting one for whom his love, through your demeanor, under such peculiar and dis-ing which he wholly failed to sleep-others months of absence, illness, and suffering, had tressing circumstances, publicly discussed.” when hideous dreams made wakefulness far remained unalterably persistent. And Philip, yielding to the feverish, insist- preferable to slumber. Now and then the The conversation began by her quietly ent pertinacity with which Bernotti enforced thought of suicide temptingly haunted him. asking him about his travels. Philip talked his views, accepted them. He grasped, in- | Hearing that the two Mrs. Blandfords had on and on for perhaps a half-hour, with ocdeed, with a kind of doleful gladness, at the both come back to town, he wrote the young. casional answers from his companion, though more comfortable course which they pre- er lady a note, stating that if it was her close attentiveness. He suddenly broke off sented to his shocked, weakened, and almost pleasure to him he would be most will- with a laugh, exclaiming: perveless energies.

ing to call. The answer was courteous and “But you are making me behave like a His departure from the house which he friendly, but it contained these words: “Il guide-book. Had we not better leave Eu.

No

me.

" And

rope, cross the ocean, and say something of But she did not draw her hand away from or two, Philip remarked to his wife on enyour own affairs?"

bis. Through her tears she saw his bright | tering the room where she sat: Mrs. Blandford dropped the hazel eyes, smile, self-confident and blissful.

“Sybil, whom do you think I saw tothen lifted them with suddenness.

Two days later society was scandalized day?" “I am very well,” she murmured, rather by the news of their formal engagement. The Mrs. Amyott smilingly admitted herself musingly, “and very humdrum, as you may dowager Mrs. Blandford was in Philadelphia, incapable of guessing. “Bernotti,” Philip suppose, in my mode of living."

living with a married daughter in that city ; then informed her. " He was in the “Your gay times are coming in a little yet her son's widow had to pass through a Café for some time while I was there, I supwhile longer,". Philip responded, with his staring ordeal enough, not alone because of pose, but I did not see him until just as I gaze fixed on the floor. His tone, though he certain relatives on her own and her hus. was passing out. It was then that I caught may not have known it, was supremely sad. band's side, but because also of Philip's a brief glimpse of his face. I never saw Mrs. Blandford started.

grand-cousin, that efficient social pillar, Mrs. any thing more horribly worn and haggard. " And yours ?” she questioned, almost Churcbill Abernethey.

The horror mani. It now seems strange to me that I should with sharpness. “Do you mean that they fested by this estimable leader of fashion even have recognized him at all." are forever gone? I-I had hoped," she was something well fitted to appall. Clad in At this point Philip perceived an odd went hesitatingly on—“I had hoped, Mr. heavy-corded black silk, she called on Sybil change in his wife's look. Her eyes had Amyott—"

Blandford, and poured forth indignation upon grown troubled, and she wore a sudden and “Well ?" questioned Philip.

her and upon the absent Philip with truly su- undoubted paleness. The next moment she “ That time would bring you ample con

perb effect. She said some foolish things, abruptly rose from her chair and walked solation for whatever intensity of regret you

and not a few sensible ones. She appealed toward a window. bad suffered because of that wretched epi- to Sybil's knowledge of the world, her natu- “You don't appear greatly interested in sode. It is sad to think otherwise."

ral modesty, her regard for decent conven- this subject of Berootti," he at length rePhilip rose to his feet. He was trembling tional laws, and Heaven knows to what else, sumed. “Poor fellow, he was very sick the in every limb, and noticeably pale.

using every arrow which outraged propriety last time I heard from him. That was nearly " It is not that,” he stammered. possesses within its ably-stocked quiver.

six years ago, and—" yet the past, succeed as I may in forgetting But the object of this fine outburst stood His wife turned from the window with it, will not be wholly forgotten." His voice her ground, even against Mrs. Churchill quite a bright smile. “ Philip,” she exgrew hollow and hoarse through great feel. Abernethey. Two weeks later her marriage claimed, “here come the children with Peing as he drew several steps nearer the wom- to Pbilip was privately performed. A day or pita. Little Clarence looks so rosy from his an he loved. “It is almost as if I had wan- so after the ceremony they sailed for Eu-walk ! Go down and meet them. You know tonly murdered your husband, and his blood rope.

.

how it pleases them both to have you do now cried out for vengeance upon me."

They made Paris their residence for six this." He suddenly sank on the little sofa at her months, living in retired quarters of the city, Five days later, as Philip was leaving his side, and fixed his burning look upou her and rarely seeing many of their own country- house one afternoon, a man of somewhat startled face.

people whom they knew-rarely seeing, for shabby appearance touched his hat and hand“Do you understand me?” he whispered, that matter, any people in whom they took ed him a note, at once moving away. Philip in a voice where she heard a man fight, and interest, excepting each other. It is only broke the seal and read these words, written only half controllingly, with a man's anguish. the truth to say that they were both serenely in Italian : “If not, I mean this: I have loved you all and exquisitely bappy. But after the six along-almost from the first hour we talked months they went to Venice, and the follow

“My doctors tell me that there remain together. What might have been a blessed ing winter began for them a residence in

only a few hours for me to live. I bave freedom for both of us (I know very well Florence, which lasted four years. During something to tell you—and to give you as that you could not endure your dead hus- this time a boy and a girl were born to them.

well. Will you not come at once to my bed

side ? band) has become, to me at least, a worse Philip made as devoted a father as husband.

It is a matter of supreme import. captivity. You are to be won, but I can His wife, never pretty in the accepted mean

Have you forgotten

“Luigi BERNOTTI ?" never win you — the world would cry out ing of the word, had acquired a touch of against it as a sacrilege, an infamy! It is stoutness that her Italian friends (and these The address followed these few lines. this thought that has kept me ill so long. were not a few) pronounced infinitely becom. Philip lost no time in starting for the place God knows how I ever got well again !-yes, it | ing. But it was perhaps another cause that indicated. It was not a great distance off, was this maddening thought, far more than—” combined with this to make her more physi- and he found, on reaching the desired resi

His voice died into a sort of amazed mur- cally attractive. A sweet, spiritual peace dence, that Bernotti occupied a modest suite mur.

He had seen that her eyes were swim- was in her soul, and doubtless left its im- of rooms on the second floor of very prosming in tears, and that her whitened lips press, ethereal yet positive, upon every feat. perous-looking lodgings. were quivering, while both hands had knotted ure.

A grave, lean-faced Italian ushered him themselves convulsively in ber lap.

If Philip Amyott's life had any trouble it into Bernotti's room. The man was evident. “Sybil!” he burst forth.

was the cloud overshadowing his good name ly a hired nurse, for, as he passed with Philip She uttered a short, sobbing cry. A mo- after this marriage with the widow of John toward the invalid's quarters, he murmured, ment afterward they were looked in each Blandford. Especially since the birth of his in solemn tones : other's arms.

children had he grown to feel the weight of “The signor is very bad to-day, very bad. But a very little later she had broken what he well knew to be his social stigma. I've nursed a great many in my time; still, I away from him.

Now and then he met those of his own coun- never saw one who was so sick and yet not “I love you," she faltered, a strange try-people in Florence who made it evident only lived but kept his wits about him as firmness amid the tremor of her tones—"I in their manner that they had formed marked well." love you well enough not to care for the views and drawn certain pointed conclusions. Philip presently stood at Bernotti's bed. world, in so far as its sneers and scandals He was naturally a man very sensitive to any side. The sufferer's face was ghastly, and assail myself; but-no, no! I will not have thing resembling cool treatment. Never go. emaciated in a fearful way. His coal-black people say of you the terrible things that Iing often into any sort of Florentine society, eyes looked enormous as he rolled them tow. am sure they would say."

he finally gave it up altogether. He read ard Philip, but he offered his visitor no Philip laughed aloud as he seized one of considerably, spent much time with his wife greeting. One of his bony hands clutched her hands and rapturously kissed it.

and children, and now and then lounged tightly a sealed envelope, on which Philip “That is quite enough, Sybil Blandford. about the cafés. Mrs. Amyott sustained the could trace some sort of superscription. The What do I care for the world when you are burden of both visiting and entertaining, and other held an ivory crucifix, now and then my wife? Let them say that I killed your" very gracefully she did it.

raised to his lips. Oh, hush !” she cried.

One day, after baving been out an hour “I am so sorry to find you in this ill

sort?"

66

state," Bernotti's guest began. “I only knew own, or I would have heard it. Consequent- Philip may be said not fully to have realof your being in Florence the other day, ły, mine had been equally unheard by you. ized the awful significance of that day's and that knowledge came from seeing you What if I took advantage of this wonder- events until he had been home about an leave the Café, though I had not seen ful chance for not alone clearing my own | hour, and had told Sybil every thing. And you previously.”

name of suspicion, but of placing a barrier then, when he sat with one arm about her “I have been in Florence for six months," between yourself and Sybil Blandford through neck, and with her hand pressed firmly in his the sick man now murmured, and his voice all time to come ?—Well, you know what fol. own, he spoke these words, in very slow and was so huskily altered that Philip had a lowed. When you saw John Blandford's deliberative tones : new shock. “I ought to bave seen you six prostrate figure I had dragged it several feet “ After all, why should we act upon this months sooner—when I first came. It was nearer the edge of the wood.”

good fortune? Why should we go back to because of your being here that I did come. White as Bernotti himself, Philip stood America and face all the publicity of that fine - Paolo” (suddenly addressing the nurse), gazing into the Italian's cadaverous face. social recantation which Bernotti has pre"you are listening attentively ? "

“You speak of making reparation for all pared for us? We have been happy enough “Yes, signor."

this,” he at length murmured, with some- already to believe greater happiness impos“ That is right—as I told you to do, you thing that deserves to be called a tour de sible. Perhaps the change may only bring know." He leveled the intense blackness force of calmness. “I do not see how it is with it unpleasant experience, and be the of his eyes once more upon Philip. “I wish possible. I am now the husband of that date of our first real troubles. Why not let him to hear every thing. I have deposited murdered man's widow.”

well enough alone? Why go home, Sybil, three separate statements with three of your “You forget those three confessional let- just make our peace with her majesty, former friends, to be opened after my death. ters of which I told you. And here is one Mrs. Churchill Abernethey, and people of that And here, in my hands, I hold the written more-take it. Your wife has doubtless confession which you are to read, and show made known to you how I persecuted her As he finished speaking, a shrill yet all the world, if you please. It is the best I with my passionate addresses scarcely three sweetly musical peal of childish laughter can do in the way of rep:ration—God help months after Blandford's death. No? She sounded from the adjoining room. His wife's me!”

has said nothing? Well, such is the fact. hazel eyes dwelt fixedly, for a moment, on Philip's face looked the widest:eyed as. I could not keep silent, though it would have Philip's. Were they both visited by the tonishment.

made no difference had I waited two years, same thoughts, just tben? Was that ripple “Reparation?” he iterated, questioningly. like yourself. She was utterly indifferent to of childish laughter echoing itself through

Bernotti raised the crucifix to bis color. me, apart from the disgust which my early | their innermost souls ? less lips. Then he smiled with a sardonic avowal roused. Our last interview showed “I tbink it would be well for us to go sort of dreariness. It was like the smile of me how more than hopeless were my chances. home, Philip,” his wife murmured, a faint a lost soul. Philip never forgot that smile. I was fearfully ill afterward; I have been smile on her lips, "and make our peace with

“You think you shot John Blandford. slowly dying ever since. Her marriage with Mrs. Churchill Abernethey." You did nothing of the sort I shot him. you dealt me my final blow, I think, though Perhaps you are right, Sybil.” When he said 'Murderer,'as you told me that this cursed trouble (which the doctors call a

EDGAR FAWCETT. he did say after I had started off for help, he consumption) has been lingering enough. meant me. I loathed him. I had loathed him Ah! what a superb creature she is! Think ever since_ever since I began to adore his of her marrying you, after all! What other

FISH-CULTURE. wife. No one knows what I suffered on see- woman would have been so gloriously selfing him treat her so churlisbly. At meals I abnegating, so beautifully true to the instincts used sometimes to clinch my hands under of her heart?” A quick convulsive twitch

CONCLUSION. the table till I buried the nails into my | ing now seized Bernotti's features. Present- ARTICULAR attention has been called flesh. She was the soul of purity, sweet- ly his face grew placid again, and he smiled to the opportunities afforded by the ness, and nobility, and it maddened me to see his former ghost-like smile. “The tension is discovery of the blue-backed trout for the her maltreated by that brute. I don't think snapped, now," he muttered. “Death gave cultivation and improvement of our brookthe idea of killing him ever definitely formed me a reprieve until I had told you every trout; for there is no doubt that, wit, an itself in my mind until that morning. I was thing; now he takes it away.”

abundant supply of this species of the Salmo standing two or three yards from him, there Philip turned aside, shuddering. The lean- in the same waters with our speckled beauin the wood, and the thought suddenly faced nurse went forward, and, taking the cru. ties, or at least in such waters or under such flashed upon me— Shoot, now, and swear af- cifix from Bernotti's incapable hand, pressed | conditions as would be favorable to the terward that it was an accident.' I turned it against his lips.

abundant production of the oquassa, we would cold, and a sweat broke out over my body. Philip suddenly turned again toward the have the same results as are presented at It seemed horrible at first, but a few seconds bed, and drew quite near the pillow from Rangely Lake. We are informed by Mr. later I was resolved. She was doomed to a which that spectral face was gleaming. If Green, in his last report, which gives a most lifetime of slow torment with this man, whom he had never before, in all his life, shown encouraging résumé of the operations of the she justly despised and hated, yet who pos- bow large his soul was, he showed it then. New York Fisheries Commission, that he had sessed over her the most sacred authorita. Bernotti's eyelid's bad fallen over his fev. procured last January a few thousand, which tive rights. He was standing so that I had erish-lit eyes, but Philip gently touched the were then in process of incubation, and that only to lift my gun, aim cleverly, and she dying man's hand, and they at once uplifted it was probable a sufficient number of mature was free. I did lift my gun-and fired! He themselves.

fish would be secured, to allow of their infell, and I thought at first that I had killed “You have not asked me for my forgive. troduction into one or more of our New York him instantly. At the same moment I caught ness," Philip said, in a strange voice.

"Do

lakes. He says: “ Selection will be made of sight of you between the screening branches. you wish it?"

an appropriate locality, as these may become Your gun was smoking; you too bad evi. The Italian's eyes flashed; a shiver passed a valuable addition to the food resources dently just fired; and as the gun was still through his frame. It was almost as if those both directly, for they are excellent on the on your shoulder, I at once perceived what words called his fading consciousness from tables, and indirectly, as food for larger fish. general direction your shot must have taken. the brink of annihilation.

If," he adds, “their presence causes the A moment later you fired again.

By this

“Do I want it ! ” he gasped. “Oh, my ordinary brook-trout to grow to the size of time I had made another resolve--devilish, if God! Will you give it ? ”

the famous fish of the Umbagog, the Rangely, you will; but it seemed to me as if my “Yes," answered Philip.“ I pardon you." and Richardson Lakes, they will be exceed. mind leaped forward into the future and saw Excellenza,” murmured the lean - faced ingly valuable in some of the larger waters there (since I guessed your love for Sybil

nurse, in

ent tones, “you have a noble of New York. Their fecundity is remarkBlandford) a most aggravating possibility. heart!"

able, and much benefit may be expected from Your shot had been simultaneous with my

their introduction as human food if they

PART

[ocr errors]

increase with us as rapidly as they do in ! four years have elapsed since some twenty tions to intimidate Mr. Stone, but he was not Maine." It is to be hoped that the experi. thousand of the fry were sent to California, to be intimidated; and, finding that they had ment will realize the expectations formed of full-grown specimens have been taken in the more to gain in various ways than they had to it, as there is no doubt it will, wherever the waters of that State. Not only a new habi. lose by his presence among them, they at last conditions under which it is tried are faror- tat has thus been found for shad, but a new permitted him to prosecute his efforts withable.

ocean; for, before their introduction to the out interference. Here he erected his hatch. According to the last or seventh annual Pacific, the fish was a total stranger among ing-apparatus-here on the banks of one of report, covering the operations of the Com- its finny tribes. In the same year two hun. the most picturesque rivers in California, the missioners of Fisheries of the State of New dred shad-fry were put in Lake Erie, two waters of which so swarmed with salmon that York for the year 1874, the number of shad- hundred in Lake Michigan, two hundred in from his tent-door he could see them jumping eggs artificially impregnated, hatched, and Laramie River, and a like number in a few “at the rate of a thousand an hour.” In his turned loose in the Hudson River, was five other rivers on the route to California. A enthusiasm over the success of his labors he million and twenty thousand. This was in mere record or diary of the operations of the signalized the turning on of the water into the proportion of one to every fifty taken principal shad-hatching establishment on the his hatching-house by “collecting," as he during the fishing-season, so that at this rate Hudson, ten miles below Albany, speaks vol- tells us, his "whole force of whites and Inof production we may reasonably look for. umes on behalf of this great work, and spe. dians at sunset, and, raising a large Ameriward to an abundant supply. Indeed, we al. cially commends it to the approval and en- can flag over the camp." On the 26th of ready begin to enjoy the fruits of the efforts couragement of the public. A strict account, August, 1873, he took, from fish captured at being made to increase our fish-supply, in the so to speak, is opened with the Hudson River, his encampment, twenty-three thousand ripe great number and low price of the shad in and the number of eggs yielded by each fish salmon-eggs; and by the 22d of September the markets of the metropolis. We are not captured is kept from day to day. Thus, on he had secured more than two million. Of surprised, therefore, when it is stated that May 23, 1872, we find the following entry: this number over a million and a quarter there was a marked reduction in the price, “Caught 80 shad, 8 ripe; 160,000 eggs. Wa- reached New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvaand that “shad were sold at wholesale on ter 68° and 71°." On June 3d a large amount nia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, Conthe bank of the stream for as low as one. of work was done: “Caught 180 shad, 21 ripe; ! necticut, and Utah, alive, and consigned to third of the rates which had ruled previ. 400,000 eggs. Turned loose 360,000 young the commissioners of those States, to the ously.” The commissioners complain, and shad. Water 80° and 82°. Took 60,000 young waters of which they were in due time transjustly, we believe, that in their efforts to shad to Troy Dam, and turned them loose in ferred. Packed in moss, and placed in boxes furnish a more abundant supply of this fa- the river there." The greatest number pro- two feet square by a foot in depth, the covers vorite fish to our markets they are seriously cured in one day was on June 24th, when of whicb were closely screwed down, they interfered with by the thousands of nets 700,000 were obtained from 33 ripe fish, while were sent off on their perilous journey of which beset the fish on their ascent to the the total number taken during the season, three thousand miles. spawning-beds, and from which hardly suffi. which extended from May 18th to July 6th, The progress which has been made in cient escape to enable the commissioners to

was 8,915,000. Of these, 8,295,000 were suc- aquaculture within the last ten years in the procure the necessary quantity of spawn to cessfully hatched.

United States has been satisfactorily demonprosecute their labors successfully.

The great benefits which have been con. strated in the percentage of fish which have It is urged that a law should be passed ferred upon our fishing interests by the ar. been hatched by the artificial process from for the prevention of fishing from Saturday tificial propagation of shad, trout, salmon, | the impregnated egg. Early experiments renight till Monday morning, a period during bass, and other varieties, have led to the sulted in the incubation of about twenty-five which," it is rightly maintained, “even fish establishment of commissions in no fewer per cent., but experience and improvements should have rest.” Urging the great advan- than eighteen States, while in addition to in the apparatus employed, aided by a close tage which must result from this legislation, these commissions we have a very impor. ; study of, and an intimate acquaintance with, Mr. Green says:

“The percentage of loss in tant body entitled the American Fish-Cult- the habits of the fish, led to a great increase, the market-supply will hardly be apparent; urists' Association, which held its meeting until the art has now reached such a state of a better moral feeling will be encouraged last year in this city. The gentlemen com. perfection that not more than five, or at the ut. among the fishermen, and a sufficient num- posing this society are devoted to the work most ten, per cent of the ova are lost. In some ber of ripe shad will reach the head-waters in which they are engaged, and afford valu- instances even better results than this bave to enable the commissioners to restock the able coöperation to the various officials em. been obtained; for Mr. Green states, in his river thoroughly, effectually, and at once. ployed in the promotion of the same inter- “Experiences of a Practical Fish-Culturist," Until this is done no more can be expected ests throughout the different States. Indeed, that of ten thousand shad-eggs he hatched all than is being effected at present, that is to to the combined efforts of volunteer and offi- but ten. In fifteen days fully fifteen millions say, a gradual improvement of the fisheries." cial pisciculturists, and the improvements of the young fry had burst their imprisoning In Connecticut they have set us an example which they have made in the artificial propa. shells, and entered on their battle of life. which we would do well to follow. There gation of the different varieties of fish, we While such success has rewarded the efthey have probibited excessive fishing, and are indebted for the present advanced state forts of our Fish Commissioners in the propa“the consequence has been that thirty-five of the art. By ingenious contrivances for gation of shad and salmon, it must not be hundred and sixty fish bave been taken in the transportation of ova, hundreds of thou- supposed that other varieties of fish bave one haul at the fisheries at the mouth of the sands—yes, millions of eggs have been car- been neglected. On the contrary, none that Connecticut River, which is the largest haul ried thousands of miles, from the Pacific to were worthy of their attention have been igmade in the present century, while the entire the Atlantic, and from the Atlantic to the pored. The black bass, which holds a high yield was as high as any year since 1811." Pacific. Mr. Livingston Stone, one of the place in their estimation, has received, as it

Should the cessation of shad-fishing on Sun. most distinguished of our fish-culturists, has deserves, full consideration; but the nature days be enforced by efficient legislation, a de- taken an active part in the introduction of of the fish necessitates a different treatment cided improvement would soon be apparent in California salmon to the rivers of our North- in the process of cultivation. Every attempt the marked increase of the supply of shad in ern, Middle, and Western States, and has to procure spawn, as in the case of salmon, our markets, and a corresponding reduction in added largely to the practical knowledge of trout, whitefish, etc., having failed, another price. Standing at the head of the herring the science. In the summer of 1873 he es. plan was adopted, and this has so far been family, and constituting an important item in tablished his salmon-breeding camp on the found to work admirably. Bass, varying in the food account, this fish is deserving of all McCloud River, in California, in the midst of age from one to three years, are conveyed in the care and attention which have been be- the Indians, who had shown their dislike of vessels which are kept well supplied with the stowed upon it by our commissioners. It is intruders by summarily disposing of several necessary quantity of water, and placed in gratifying to learn that the attempt to intro- white men and Chinese who had ventured their new home, where the conditions being duce the shad in other waters has proved into their territory prospecting for gold. favorable to their growth and development, eminently successful, and that, although but | They tried by threats and hostile demonstra- | they increase very rapidly. The essential

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »