The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Funny Philosophers, or Wags and Sweethearts. A Novel

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Title: The Funny Philosophers, or Wags and Sweethearts. A Novel

Author: George Yellott

Release date: March 17, 2011 [eBook #35599]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Charlene Taylor, Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe,
Martin Pettit and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
at (This file was produced from images
produced by the Wright American Fiction Project.)


Transcriber's Note:

A Table of Contents has been added.

[Pg 3]





[Pg 4]

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.



[Pg 5]



"My great-grandfather was a philosopher, and why should not his descendants be allowed the privilege of cogitating for themselves? I tell you that Sir Isaac Newton was mistaken. There is no such thing as the attraction of gravitation."

This was said by Toney Belton, a young lawyer, in reply to his friend Tom Seddon, a junior member of the same profession.

They were seated on the veranda of a hotel in the town of Bella Vista, gazing at the starry heavens; and Tom had made some remark about the wonderful revelations of science.

"What a pity it is, Toney Belton, that you are not a subject of her Majesty of England. Your extraordinary discovery would entitle you to the honors of knighthood, and we might read of a Sir Anthony Belton as well as of a Sir Isaac Newton. But how will you demonstrate to the world that there is no such thing as the attraction of gravitation?"

"Demonstrate it, Tom Seddon! Why, I can make it as plain as the proboscis on the countenance of an elephant."

"Do you mean to say that bodies do not fall to the earth by the power of attraction?"

"That is precisely what I mean. I assert that a heavy body may fall upward as well as downward."

"Ha, ha, ha!"

"As the old Greek said, Strike, but hear, so I say, Laugh, but listen. Will you allow me to suppose a case?"

[Pg 6]

"That is the privilege of all philosophers. The cosmology of the Oriental sage would have fallen into the vast vacuity of space had he not brought to its support a hypothetical foundation. Proceed with your demonstration."

"Suppose, then, that an immense well should be dug from the surface of the American continent entirely through the earth. We will not stop to inquire into the possibility of such an excavation, but will suppose that the work has been accomplished."

"Be it so. Your well has been dug, and extends entirely through the earth, from the United States of America to the Celestial Empire. What then?"

"Suppose that Clarence Hastings should be walking home about twelve o'clock at night. It would then be broad daylight in the dominions of his Majesty the Brother of the Sun and the Cousin of the Moon, and the Celestials would be picking tea-leaves or parboiling puppies. Suppose, I say, that Clarence should be walking home after having spent the last four or five hours in the delightful society of the lovely Claribel. Now, it is highly probable that Clarence would be gazing upward at the lunar orb and meditating a sonnet."

"Nay; Harry Vincent is the sonneteer. I verily believe that he has dedicated a little poem of fourteen lines to nearly every visible star in the heavens, and solemnly swears in the most mellifluous verses that none of them are half so bright as the eyes of the bewitching Imogen."

"Let it be Harry Vincent, then, who is walking home and making his astronomical observations with a view to the disparagement of the stars, when brought in comparison with the optical orbs of his lady-love. We will suppose that he is gazing at yonder star which is now winking at us, as if it heard every word of our conversation. He would take but little heed to his footsteps while his gaze was fixed upon the star and his thoughts were wandering away to Imogen. As he exclaimed, 'Oh, Imogen! thine eyes exceed in brightness all the glittering gems that bespangle the garments of the glorious night,' he would tumble into the well."

[Pg 7]

"Ha, ha, ha! Good-by, Harry."

"Would he not rapidly descend?"

"I should think that he would."

"Would he stop falling when there was no bottom to the well?"

"It is impossible to suppose that he would."

"Then he would fall entirely through the well and would be falling upward when he issued from the other end, and our worthy antipodes, the tea-pickers, would open their eyes in amazement, and their pig-tails would stand erect when they beheld the handsome Harry Vincent falling upward, and heard him loudly exclaiming, 'Oh, Imogen!' and he would continue to fall upward until he was intercepted by the earth's satellite and became the guest of the man in the moon."

"A most delightful abode for a romantic lover. But, as you do not believe in the attraction of gravitation, what have you to say about the attraction of love?"

"The attraction of love? Another of your delusions, Thomas. Now, if you had ever seen my definition of love, in the dictionary which I have in manuscript, and intend to publish some day when Noah Webster shall have become obsolete, you would not talk of attraction in that connection."

"What is your definition of love?"

"Love is a state of hostility between two persons of opposite sexes."

"Of hostility?"

"Yes; in which each belligerent endeavors to subjugate the other, regardless of the sufferings inflicted."

"This is as queer a paradox as that in relation to the possibility of a man falling upward."

"No paradox at all, but a most obvious truth. There is Claribel Carrington, who looks like an innocent and enchanting little fairy."

"She is superbly beautiful, and Clarence Hastings would barter his existence for a soft, kindly glance from her deep blue eye. They are in love with one another, that is evident."

"And being in love, hostilities have commenced; and, if I mistake not, the war will be conducted by the lady[Pg 8] with unexampled barbarity. When we enter the ball-room to-night, you will perceive this angelic creature inflicting more torture on poor Clarence than a pitiless savage inflicts with his scalping-knife on his victim; and all because she is dead in love with him, and he with her."

"Toney Belton, you deserve to have your eyes scratched out by a bevy of beautiful damsels for your disparaging opinion of the last best gift."

"Let them scratch; for women are like cats."

"Like cats?"

"There is a striking similitude between them; and when a man with a pulpy brain and a penetrable bosom falls into the hands of a beautiful and fascinating woman, he is much in the condition of an unfortunate mouse in the paws of a remorseless pussy. Indeed, nearly all truly faithful and devoted lovers have to undergo an ordeal like that of the helpless captive in feline clutches. The cruel cat will at one moment pat her victim softly on the head, and fondle it with the utmost affection, as if it were the most precious treasure she had in the world; she will apparently repent of her intention to hold it in captivity, and will permit it to escape and run half-way over the floor, when, with a sudden spring, she will pounce upon it again and hold it fast, regardless of its squeals for mercy. Just so with a pretty woman and her lover. Next to a tabby cat, the most remorseless and cruel creature in the world is a woman who has a man completely in her power. Indeed, there is so great a congeniality of disposition between the female sex and the feline species that maidens, when they become elderly and are not otherwise occupied, almost invariably take to nursing cats,—there being a mysterious affinity which draws them together."

"Do you want me to believe that a woman will not marry a man until she has first tortured the soul out of him, and made him utterly miserable? Why, they say that marriages are made in heaven."

"In heaven they may be made, Thomas; but, if so, they are caught on the horns of the moon as they are coming down; for I tell you that hardly any woman ever marries the right man, and hardly any man ever marries[Pg 9] the right woman. You have only to open your eyes and you will perceive this without the aid of an opera-glass."

"My observations have led me to no such conclusions."

"Have you never observed, oh, most sagacious Thomas, that no pretty woman ever had an adorer without wishing to torment him with a rival? And is it not a singular fact that she usually selects some male animal to occupy that position who is in every respect the inferior of the worthy man whom she is endeavoring to drive to distraction? Does she not take every occasion to inflate the vanity of him whom she cares nothing about, and to humiliate the man whom she really loves? Now, there are Claribel Carrington and Imogen Hazlewood,—they are both pretty women."

"Pretty! They are both surpassingly beautiful, though not at all alike!—the former a blonde, with deep blue eyes and golden tresses; the latter a brunette, with locks as dark as a feather fallen from the wings of night, and black eyes, from which Cupid, who continually lurks under the long lashes, borrows the barbs for the arrows with which he mortally wounds multitudes of unlucky swains."

"Do not be poetical, Thomas. Pray take your foot from the stirrup and dismount before Pegasus carries you to the clouds, and you lose an opportunity of listening to plain, sensible prose. Each one of these young ladies has a devoted lover."

"You may well say devoted; for if Claribel or Imogen were to wish for an icicle from the end of the North Pole with which to cool a lemonade, either Harry Vincent or Clarence Hastings would hurry thither and slip off into the unfathomable abyss of space in a desperate attempt to obtain it."

"Your imagination is both hyperborean and hyperbolical. But let us return from the North Pole to the ladies. Claribel loves Clarence, and Imogen Harry, and yet neither will marry the man she loves."

"And why not, oh, prophet?"

"Because no pretty woman ever does. Each lady will select some nonentity of the masculine gender, and [Pg 10]expect her lover to enter into a contest of rivalry. Each gentleman will decline the contest."

"Why so?"

"I know them both. Each is a proud man, and has an abundance of self-respect. No daughter of Eve can comprehend a proud man, though every woman knows how to manage a vain one to perfection. Although either Harry or Clarence would, as you say, go to the North Pole in obedience to the wishes of the woman he adores, neither of them will consent to humiliation for her sake. She will persist in her course, and will ultimately find herself abandoned by her lover. Then, after a few years——"

"Well, what after a few years?"

"You will behold the once fairy-like Claribel a matron of robust proportions, married to a plain man, who made her an offer in a business-like manner."

"And Clarence?"

"A bald-headed man, who, having worked like a beaver and made a large fortune, is enjoying it with a wife who is as ugly as sin, but is a most excellent manager of his domestic affairs."

"Toney, when do you intend to publish your book of prophecies?"

"A prophet has no honor in his own country. But, do you not hear the sound of music in the ball-room? Let us go in,—

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined,
No sleep till morn when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet."

[Pg 11]


In one of the border States of the South, in the midst of a romantic scenery, is situated the village of Bella Vista. Being connected by railway with a number of populous towns, it had become a place of resort during the season of summer for persons who desired to exchange the sultry atmosphere of cities for the cool breezes, shady groves, and pure fountains of this delightful retreat.

In the village had been erected a commodious hotel, which, during the months of summer, was filled with guests. The proprietor, desirous of contributing to the enjoyment of his patrons, had arranged for semi-weekly hops, which were attended not only by the inmates of the hotel, but by families from the village and from the surrounding country.

The two young lawyers, Toney Belton and Tom Seddon, the former a resident of the town of Mapleton, in an adjoining county of the State, and the latter a citizen of Bella Vista, entered the ball-room soon after the musicians had sounded a prelude to the poetry of motion. As they moved through the crowd they were met by a handsome young man who extended his hand to each.

"Why, Clarence, my dear fellow," said Toney, "I am glad to see you. What! are you not dancing? Where is the lovely Miss Carrington? You will be accused of——"

The young man turned hastily away before Toney could complete his sentence; and the next moment he was seen standing in a corner of the room gazing at a beautiful girl with an indescribable look of indignation. The young lady was apparently listening to an ill-favored man who was talking to her with immense volubility. She smiled very pleasantly on her uncomely admirer and never once looked at Clarence Hastings.

"Just as I told you," said Toney. "Hostilities have already commenced. Look at Clarence Hastings yonder![Pg 12] He has a small thunder-cloud on his brow, and is directing the lightning from his eyes in incessant flashes at the cruel Claribel."

"I was observing him," said Seddon. "What is the matter with the man? He looks as if he were meditating homicide, or suicide, or something of the sort. What has Claribel done to him?"

"Declined to dance with him, I suppose. See! she has selected one of the most fascinating men in the room to be his rival."

"The man she was just talking to, and with whom she is now dancing? He a rival of the handsome Clarence Hastings? Why, he is as ugly as a Hindoo idol! Who is he? What is his name?"

"Botts—Ned Botts. He lives in my town, whence he has just arrived in company with Sam Perch, William Wiggins, and M. T. Pate, Esq., the latter a distinguished lawyer of Mapleton. These four gentlemen are here on a lady-killing expedition. General Taylor has recently disposed of a multitude of Mexicans at Buena Vista, and my fellow-townsmen expect to make great havoc at Bella Vista."

"That ungainly creature a lady-killer? And yet, by Jove! Claribel smiles on him as if she really admired him. Who is this man Botts?

"He is the ugly man who once tried to run away from his own shadow. Did you never hear the story?"

"No. How was it?"

"Botts had been with a number of boon-companions at a tavern in Mapleton, and had put himself in an abnormal condition by the consumption of a considerable quantity of fluids. As you see, he is no Adonis when sober; but when inebriated, his ugly visage would endanger the safety of a mirror at the distance of twelve paces. In the afternoon he was standing in the street alone when he happened to see his own shadow, and was so startled by its unexampled ugliness that he made a tremendous leap to the right. The hideous apparition made a dart after him. Botts jumped to the left; but the frightful spectre sprang at him again."

"Ha, ha, ha! Toney, you will murder me!"

[Pg 13]

"Botts had often heard that drunken men would sometimes have delirium tremens, and see devils. He thought delirium was coming on him, and that his ugly shadow was a fiend."

"No wonder! no wonder! What did he do?"

"He uttered a yell that set all the dogs in the town to barking, and took to his heels up the street. Each time he looked around he beheld a horrible devil following him, and at the sight he would give another yell, and redouble his efforts to escape. Soon half the men and boys in the town were after him. Away went Botts, and brought up at a doctor's shop. He fell on the floor in a fit, and it was a long time before he could be restored to consciousness. His ugly shadow had nearly been the death of him."

"And you will be the death of me, if you tell any more such stories. But who is that large man, with the bald head, who is jumping about among the dancers with a bunch of flowers in his hand? He has no partner but seems to be exercising his legs in sympathy with those who are really dancing. No! I was mistaken,—he has a partner, but the lady's pretty figure is so small that I could only see the top of her head, which is covered with scarlet verbenas and a profusion of roses; and I was under the illusion that the big man was going it alone with a magnificent bouquet in his grasp. Toney, do tell me, who is that man? He seems to be a great admirer of beauty, and has been flitting about among the ladies like a large bumble-bee in search of the sweetest and most delicious flowers."

"That is M. T. Pate, a distinguished lawyer, an eloquent orator, an able writer, a profound thinker, and the prince of lady-killers. He is possessed of a very original genius, and has recently written a remarkable pamphlet, in which is demonstrated the possibility as well as the immense importance of draining the Atlantic Ocean, and converting its rich alluvial bottoms into cultivated corn-fields."

"How does he propose to accomplish this stupendous undertaking?"

"By constructing a number of enormous steam-pumps[Pg 14] at the Isthmus of Panama, and forcing the water into the Pacific. He says that when this great work is once accomplished, the inexhaustible soil now lying entirely useless under the water will afford a comfortable support for countless millions of men; and that the incalculable amount of gold, silver, and precious jewels which have gone down in the vast number of vessels that have foundered at sea will more than defray the cost of this magnificent enterprise. Pate has sent a copy of his pamphlet to the learned professors of one of our universities, who now have it under consideration. In the mean while he has abundant leisure to devote himself to the ladies, by whom he is much admired. But, Tom, has not Wiggins caused you to become acquainted with the green-eyed monster?"

"Who is Wiggins?"

"The man who is dancing with pretty Ida Somers. He has devoted himself to her during the entire evening. Beware of jealousy, Tom! Let there not be a demand for coffee and pistols in the morning."

"Pshaw! Nonsense, Toney! Ida and I are good friends—nothing more—when old Crabstick, her uncle, will allow us to talk to one another—which is but seldom. But is Wiggins the individual with the enormous red nose?"

"The same. You have a formidable rival, Tom. In my town he is admired for his comeliness, and is known by the name of Rosebud."

"A curious name for one of the masculine gender! How did he acquire it?"

"Why, it seems that on a sultry day in June, this worthy citizen having done ample honors to the god of the grape, was reposing under a tree on a fragrant bed of clover, when an industrious bee, foraging among the flowers, espied his crimson proboscis, and supposing it to be a Bourbon rose, alighted upon it, in the vain expectation of extracting honey for the hive. While the busy insect was endeavoring to distill sweets from this extraordinary nose, the sleeper became conscious of a tickling sensation, and shook his head in disapproval of the futile attempt; whereat the irritable little creature darted out[Pg 15] its sting, and Wiggins leaped up with an outcry and vigorously rubbed his nasal protuberance. This scene was witnessed by some wags, who were convulsed with laughter. The nose soon began to swell, and, becoming more deeply crimson, it looked like a rose about to burst into full bloom. Since his nap among the clover, Wiggins has been called Rosebud by his boon-companions."

"By Jove! what a magnificent woman!"

This exclamation was uttered in a half whisper by Seddon as a tall, dark-eyed woman, with a beauty that baffled description, moved across the room, with fifty pair of eyes following her in admiration.

"Imogen Hazlewood?" said Belton.

"Poor Harry!" said Seddon.

"He is deserving of your sympathy," said Toney. "Look! he is now approaching her with the awe and timidity of a man about to converse with a goddess, such as we used to read of in the classic hexameters of Ovid or Virgil. Oh, dea certa! It won't do, Tom! it won't do!"

"What won't do?"

"For a man to let a woman see that he is dead in love with her. 'What careth she for hearts when once possessed?' Not a fig, Tom! not a fig. Carry your love about you like a concealed weapon. Don't let her know anything about it until you pop the question. Pop it at her when she don't expect it, and she will fall into your arms as if she had received a pistol-shot,—

Do proper homage to thine idol's eyes,
But not too humbly, or she will despise
Thee and thy suit, though told in moving tropes,

and, turning her back on you, as Imogen has done now on Harry Vincent, will walk off on the arm of some fellow like Sam Perch."

"Sam Perch? Do you mean the tall youth with a freckled face and a head of hair so fiery red that it looks like a small edition of a burning bush? What a remarkable head!"

"It is a celebrated head. There was once a lawsuit about that head, and I was counsel for the defendant."

[Pg 16]

"A lawsuit about the young man's head?"

"Yes, a very extraordinary forensic controversy, which attracted much attention, and in which I established my professional reputation by defeating my distinguished friend M. T. Pate, who appeared as the plaintiff's counsel."

"Toney, do you pretend to tell me that anybody ever went to law about that fellow's head? How did such a suit originate?"

"Why, you must know, Tom, that there is a curious tale attached to that young man's head."

"So there is to the head of a Chinaman."

"No punning on people's cocoanuts, Mr. Seddon! But hear the history of this very remarkable lawsuit. On a cold evening in December, Perch was in a certain house in Mapleton, making himself agreeable to some young ladies, when they commenced tittering to such a degree that he was at first highly flattered, supposing that their merriment was produced by his numerous attempts at witticisms. At length these demonstrations of mirth became uncontrollable, and Perch, glancing at a large mirror opposite, was suddenly struck dumb with confusion."

"At the image of his handsome self?"

"A mischief-loving young girl had taken her station behind him and was holding her hands over his red head, and rubbing them, as if she were enjoying the warmth of a blazing fire."

"It would hardly be necessary to invoke the aid of imagination for that purpose. This room begins to feel hotter with that fellow's red head carried about in it like a brasier of live coals. But go on."

"Perch was horrified at the revelations of the mirror. He rushed from the house in a fit of desperation."

"To put his burning bush under a pump?"

"Thoroughly disgusted with his red hair, he consulted a barber, who undertook, for an adequate pecuniary consideration, to impart to it a sable hue, by the application of certain dyes. Perch left the shop with a fine suit of black hair, as glossy as the plumage on the bosom of a raven; but in the afternoon of the following day the color[Pg 17] was suddenly and mysteriously changed to a pea-green. He was on a promenade at the time, and, not being aware of this sudden and remarkable metamorphosis, he encountered the same young ladies and escorted them home. But when he entered the house and laid aside his hat, his head looked very much like an early York cabbage. Self-control was out of the question. The mirth of the young maidens was so immoderate that they almost went into convulsions, and the graceful and accomplished youth hurried away, boiling with indignation. Upon consulting his mirror, he perceived his dreadful condition. He passed a sleepless night in intense agony. Next day he barricaded his door and was not to be seen. He remained for a whole week in solitary confinement, brooding over his misfortune. The unhappy youth finally became hypochondriacal, and you know that while in this condition the mind is often under the dominion of sad and unaccountable illusions."

"I am aware of that. Our housekeeper once imagined she was a teapot, and sat for a whole day with one arm akimbo, as the handle, and the other projected from her person to represent the spout. She gave a vast deal of trouble, and was continually admonishing the servants not to come near her lest they might upset her and break her to pieces. And only last winter old Crabstick got a strange notion in his head that he was a dog. One day, when I called to see Ida, he got down on all fours and barked obstreperously, and bit Scipio, his negro man, on the calf of his leg. I had to leave the house in a hurry to escape from his canine ferocity."

"The illusion of Perch was equally as extraordinary. After brooding over his misfortune for a whole week, he imagined he was a donkey."

"Imagined he was a donkey?"

"Yes; a monstrous donkey."

"Was it all imagination, Toney?"

"Be that as it may; I know that he created much annoyance among the neighbors; for he commenced braying in a most extraordinary manner. His friends gathered around him and endeavored to reason him out of his unhappy delusion, but all to no purpose, for he had got the[Pg 18] idea in his head that he was a prodigious jackass, and the more they talked to him the more loudly he would bray. He refused his natural food, and demanded to be led to the stable, that he might have a manger, and be fed on provender suitable for animals of the asinine species. The doctors had much trouble with him, and tried various remedies without any apparent good result. They finally determined to drench him with strong brandy, and the potency of this fluid soon restored him to a more happy condition of body and mind. He recovered, and sent for the distinguished lawyer, M. T. Pate, and by his advice brought suit against the barber, laying the damages at one thousand dollars."

"For what?"

"For injury done to the young man's head. The barber was dreadfully frightened at the prospect of a ruinous litigation, and solicited my professional services. M. T. Pate exerted himself to the utmost, and, in a carefully prepared and eloquent speech, endeavored to demonstrate to the jury how great an injury had been done to his client's head; at the same time denouncing the author of the outrage in terms of unmeasured vituperation. But his efforts were of no avail, for I was prepared with the proof, and had put more than a dozen witnesses on the stand, all of whom swore that the young man looked much better with his head of a pea-green color than he did when it was of a fiery red. In consequence of this testimony the jury came to the conclusion that the plaintiff had sustained no injury and was entitled to no damages. They rendered a verdict in favor of the defendant, and M. T. Pate's client not only had to pay the costs of the suit, but went by the name of the 'Long Green Boy' ever afterwards."

"Mr. Belton, I am exceedingly glad to see you," said a tall, raw-boned man, with a keen, dark eye, a Roman nose, and a swarthy visage.

"Mr. Seddon," said Toney, "let me introduce you to Captain Bragg, a famous traveler, who has seen more of this terrestrial globe than we have ever read of."

Seddon shook hands with the distinguished cosmopolite, and remarked that the weather was extremely hot.

[Pg 19]

"Hot!" said Bragg. "My dear sir, do you call it hot? You should have been with me when I was once invited by her Majesty the Queen of Madagascar to a royal feast. As we sat at table under an awning, huge pieces of the most delicious beef were served up, which had been roasted by being exposed to the vertical rays of a tropical sun. That was what I would call hot weather, Mr. Seddon. But, by the powers of mud! what is that?"

A loud noise and trampling of feet were heard in the hall. The door flew open, and women shrieked and men stood aghast, as a horrible apparition entered the ball-room. It seemed like an ugly demon with two heads. The monster rushed among the dancers, howling and screeching, and creating the most extraordinary confusion. Ladies, with loud cries, clung to their partners for protection, as with unearthly yells the two-headed monster rushed around. All seemed to lose presence of mind except Toney Belton, who tripped up the heels of the hideous intruder, and it fell on the floor. Then was witnessed a fearful conflict. While the women scampered away, and ran screaming through the hall, the men gathered around, and soon recognized the belligerents. It was Ned Botts, engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter with a gigantic and ferocious monkey belonging to Captain Bragg. The creature had escaped from confinement and had perched itself on the stairway in the hall. As Botts, after having enjoyed a mint-julep, was returning from the refreshment-room, it sprang upon his shoulders and seized him by the hair. Terrible was the combat between Botts and the monkey. Each made the most ugly grimaces and exhibited the most deadly ferocity. Botts grappled his antagonist by the throat, and the fight would have ended in a tragedy had not Bragg interfered.

Maddened with passion, Botts sprang to his feet and put himself in a boxing attitude, whereupon Bragg knocked him down. The gentlemen present now interposed, and Botts was carried off, loudly vociferating, and swearing vengeance against Bragg and his monkey.

[Pg 20]


The excitement occasioned by the terrific combat in the ball-room was intense. On the following morning groups of anxious persons were discussing the probability of a duel between Bragg and Botts. There had been an interchange not only of harsh language but of blows between these gentlemen, and it was the general opinion that a hostile meeting was inevitable. Toney and Tom were sitting in the room of the former, puffing their cigars, and conversing about the events of the preceding evening, when there was a knock at the door, followed by the entry of a gentleman whose countenance indicated that he was troubled by very great mental anxiety.

"Good-morning, Mr. Pate. Let me introduce you to my friend Mr. Seddon."

The two gentlemen shook hands, and Seddon made some meteorological observation, which was unheeded by Pate, who nervously turned to Toney, and said,—

"Mr. Belton, I have called to see you about a matter of great importance,—I might say an affair of life or death."

"Indeed, Mr. Pate! To what have you reference?"

"I refer, sir, to the unfortunate affair between our friend Mr. Botts and—and——"

"The monkey?"

"Just so, sir. I am afraid that the—the—the difficulty will end in—in bloodshed, sir. I apprehend that Mr. Botts is about to send a challenge to—to—to——"

"The monkey? Why, Mr. Pate, the animal will not accept it if he does."

"I don't mean to the monkey, sir; I mean to Captain Bragg."

"Oh, that alters the case. The captain is a fighting man."

"Yes, sir; and Mr. Botts is determined on a bloody issue. He has been with Wiggins the whole morning, and I know that he has penned a challenge."

[Pg 21]

"Well, my dear sir, what can I do to prevent the issue which you apprehend?"

"Bragg will apply to you to act as his second. Could you not persuade him to apologize?"

"Apologize! Apologize for knocking Botts down? Impossible, sir!"

"How impossible? Cannot a man apologize for what he has done?"

"Mr. Pate, you are well versed in legal lore, but you seem to be profoundly ignorant of a very stringent article in the code of honor."

"And what is that, sir?"

"One of the thirty-nine articles of the code of dueling, compiled by 'A Southron,' prohibits a gentleman, who has received a blow, from accepting an apology until the party who has dealt the blow first allows himself to be slapped on the face in the most public place in the town. Now, do you suppose that Captain Bragg will consent to stand in the street, in front of the hotel, before a crowd of spectators, male and female, and allow Botts to knock him down, and then get up and apologize for having knocked Botts down? Impossible, sir! impossible! There can be no apology."

"No apology? If a man is sorry for what he has done, is he prohibited from saying so? Monstrous, sir! monstrous! Is this a Christian country?"

"I believe it is; and dueling is a Christian practice."

"I deny it most emphatically, sir. It is a barbarous, a heathenish practice!"

"Why, Mr. Pate, who ever heard of the code of honor among the heathen Greeks or Romans, or among any other heathens, ancient or modern? Christians are the only duelists. The custom originated with the knights who fought for the Cross and against the Crescent. It has been the favorite mode of settling difficulties, among gentlemen in Christian countries, ever since. Yes, sir; and even churchmen have fought duels. A parson, in one of our Southern States, once challenged a layman, and shot him through the heart in accordance with the code of honor."[1]

[Pg 22]

"Horrible! Mr. Belton, what—what is to be done?"

"Why, I suppose, we must let the men fight, if they are determined to do so."

"Can we not apply to a justice of the peace? Can we not have them arrested?"

"Mr. Pate, if you were to do so, public opinion is such that you would be mobbed, ridden on a rail, pelted with rotten eggs, and your life might be in danger."

"My dear, dear sir, what—what is to be done? I cannot see poor Botts shot down,—cut off in the flower of his days!"

Here Mr. Pate was so overcome by his feelings that the big tears began to roll down his cheeks, and Tom Seddon's heart was softened.

"Why, Mr. Pate," said he, "there will be no duel if Botts does not send the challenge. Could you not use your influence with him, and induce him to heap coals of fire on Bragg's head by forgiving the injury?"

"And I promise you," said Belton, "that if the duel does come off, it shall not have a tragical termination. I will not advise Bragg to fire in the air; for a friend of mine once did so and shot a boy, who was perched among the boughs of a cherry-tree, through the calf of the leg. Since then I have always been opposed to the absurd and dangerous practice of firing in the air. Seconds, however, can usually prevent bloodshed, unless their principals are exceedingly savage and sanguinary. But I think that the suggestion of my friend Seddon is a good one. You should hurry back, and endeavor to prevent Botts from sending the challenge."

"I will do so! I will do so! God bless you both!" And with this benediction Pate hurried away in extreme agitation.


[1] This happened in Maryland many years ago.

[Pg 23]


"Your friend Mr. Pate seems to be a very humane and benevolent man," said Seddon, when the peacemaker had taken his departure.

"None more so," said Belton. "Pate is not more remarkable for his extraordinary genius than for the vast quantity of the milk of human kindness which he has in his composition. It was the activity and originality of his mind, controlled by the benevolence of his disposition, which caused him to become the founder of a secret order, which will some day make his name illustrious in the annals of the benefactors of the human race."

"To what order do you allude?"

"To the M. O. O. S. S."

"What do those letters signify?"

"The Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts."

"The Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts! Why, Toney, you are joking! Who ever heard of such an organization?"

"No joke at all. You have heard of the Order of Seven Wise Men, have you not?"

"Why, yes; but that is an organization founded on principles of benevolence,—somewhat like the Masons, or Odd-Fellows, I suppose."

"And so is the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts. It is founded on principles of benevolence. Its object is the welfare of woman."

"In what way do they propose to promote so desirable an object?"

"Pate is a keen observer and a profound and original thinker; and after much meditation he arrived at the conclusion that single women are much happier than those who are married, as is evident from the gayety of young girls, and the sedate, subdued, and careworn appearance of the majority of their wedded sisters. Could girls be persuaded that a state of single blessedness is preferable,[Pg 24] all would be well; but the giddy things have their heads full of love and romance, and are but too eager to run into the meshes of matrimony. In all ages, and in all countries, this proclivity of the female sex has been apparent. Even in Crim Tartary, where marriages are solemnized by the singular ceremony of a horse-race, and where the maiden is mounted on a fleet courser, and has the advantage of half a mile start of the man, who must catch her before she reaches a certain designated point in the road, or there is no marriage, what is usually the result? Why, as soon as the word 'Go!' is given, the man makes a vigorous application of whip and spur, while the silly jade, though admirably mounted, holds in her horse and allows herself to be caught before she gets to the end of the course. From extensive observation, Pate was convinced that women are the same all over the world, and will either rush into matrimony, or, like the Tartar maiden, let matrimony overtake them on the road. He plainly perceived that no argument, admonition, or persuasion could prevent them from so doing, and therefore determined on the adoption of a plan which, when thoroughly perfected, will render it almost impossible for young maidens to get married."

"How is that to be accomplished?"

"The Order of Seven Sweethearts is composed of men who cannot marry. They are as strictly a brotherhood of bachelors as were the Fratres Ignorantiæ, or any other monkish order of the olden times. Their duties are important and onerous. They are under an obligation to court all young women, but must never propose marriage. They are especially instructed to be vigilant and prevent gentlemen, who are evidently premeditating matrimony, from paying any of those little delicate attentions which are preliminary to such an event. In order that they may do this, they are required to be in all houses inhabited by young ladies at an early hour in the evening, and are forbidden to leave until every hat and cane have disappeared from the hall. It was thus that Simon Dobbs was prevented from enjoying the society of Susan."

"Pray who is Simon Dobbs?"

[Pg 25]

"A very worthy citizen of my town. Dobbs had a snug home, and knew a sweet little angel who hadn't a pair of wings behind her shoulders and couldn't fly away, and he longed for an opportunity to invite her to take possession of his domicile. On a certain evening Dobbs was sitting alone on his porch in the moonlight, and was indulging in a delicious reverie, in which visions of future felicity became beautifully apparent. In ten years after this angelic being had taken charge of his domestic affairs he would have—here Dobbs began to count on his fingers—one—two—three—four—five—six—yes, seven sweet little cherubs fluttering around him,—three girls and four boys,—two of them twins, and the finest fellows you ever saw in your life. Here Dobbs snatched up his hat and hurried off to see Susan, fully determined on a matrimonial proposal. But when the unlucky Dobbs entered the parlor he found one of the mystic brotherhood seated by her side. Dobbs waited until a late hour, and was compelled to go home without an opportunity of saying a word on the important subject which occupied all his thoughts. Dobbs dreamed of Susan and the seven sweet little cherubs every night, and every evening, when he called to see her, he found one of the order on duty in the parlor. Poor Dobbs wanted to ask Susan a simple question, but doubted the propriety of doing so in the presence of witnesses. On one occasion Dobbs lingered to a late hour, in the hope that Perch, who was seated by the side of Susan, would leave. The clock struck twelve and Perch still remained on duty. It was then that Dobbs began to seriously apprehend his fate. Unless Azrael should interpose and remove Perch and his brethren to another sphere of existence, his house would never become the habitation of an angel and seven sweet little cherubs. That night Dobbs went home in despair and wished he was a ghost."

"A what?"

"A ghost. Now, Mr. Seddon, you need not open your eyes in wonder at such a wish, for I tell you that those invisible gentlemen who perambulate the air have a great advantage over us poor mortals, who have to waddle about on two legs and carry a burden of one hundred[Pg 26] and fifty or two hundred pounds of flesh on our bones, which is a manifest inconvenience to freedom of locomotion. A ghost can do pretty much as he sees fit. He can get on a car and travel as long as he pleases, and the conductor will not nudge him and ask him for his ticket. He can seat himself every Sunday in the best pew of the most fashionable church, and nobody will ever call upon him for pew rent; and he can go to theaters and all places of amusement without apprehension of having his pockets picked or his watch stolen. A ghost never hits his shins against anything in the dark which will make a saint in the flesh swear, but can pass through a stone wall like a current of electricity; and when he wants to be in any distant place, all he has to do is to ride on his own wish and be instantly conveyed to the spot. He can stand with his bare feet on the tip of the North Pole without danger to his ten toes from the frost, and he can then by mere volition instantaneously transfer himself to the tropics, where, as Captain Bragg has informed me, the milk of the cocoanut almost scalds a monkey's mouth at mid-day, and at either place the temperature is just as agreeable to a ghost. A ghost can slip down his neighbor's chimney and peep into his pot and see what he is going to have for his dinner."

"That," said Seddon, "must be a great satisfaction to the ghosts of those enterprising individuals who are given to minding other people's business instead of attending to their own."

"Very true. But don't interrupt me, Tom, now I am on the subject of ghosts. Among the manifest advantages of being a ghost is one which above all others is deserving of especial consideration. A ghost can see a person's thoughts. Being fond of sweet things, ghosts experience great pleasure in watching the thoughts of ladies who are meditating upon their absent lovers. When a young maiden is thinking about her lover who is far away, her thoughts wander off to him and return, looking as sweet as little bees with their legs laden with honey leaving a field of fragrant clover and coming home to the hive. And if any poor fellow has a sweetheart,[Pg 27] and is not certain whether she cares a fig for him or not, he should not be sitting all day in the dumps and looking as sulky as a bear with a sore head. Just let him make a ghost of himself, and he will be able to see down to the very bottom of her gizzard; and if she cares anything about him, her thoughts will look like lumps of candy-kisses, labeled with poetry and wrapped up in blue paper."

"I wouldn't mind being a ghost myself," said Seddon.

"In order that you might have a peep at the musings and meditations of pretty Ida? But you blush, Tom."

"Nonsense, Toney. Go on with your story about Dobbs. I am much interested in the poor fellow's fate."

"Well, Dobbs had an intuitive perception of the advantages which I have mentioned; and so he ardently desired to be a ghost. But seeing no chance of soon being promoted to a ghostship, and not being able to ascertain the sentiments of Susan while he remained in the flesh, he was finally compelled to leave her in the hands of the mystic brotherhood. In his solitary home be now began to brood over his misfortune. He came to the conclusion that a bachelor is much in the condition of an ownerless dog,—nobody caring whether he is brought home dead or alive; while if a Benedict even barks his shins, he has some one to sympathize with him and soothe him with caresses, which check his inclination to utter profane exclamations and enable him to endure the severe trial with manly fortitude. So, after much meditation, Dobbs determined that as he was not permitted to obtain an angel for love, he would see if he could not get a woman for money. Immediately subsequent to the adoption of this wise resolution he was on a visit to one of our metropolitan towns, and while walking the street observed in large letters over a door the words Families Supplied Here. Dobbs came to the conclusion that it was the very place he was looking for. So he walked in and asked a surly giant who seemed to have charge of the establishment, if he could furnish him with——"

"An angel and seven sweet little cherubs?"

"Not so. Perhaps the state of his finances did not admit of so extravagant a purchase. He simply asked if[Pg 28] he could furnish him with a wife and a couple of children, either girls or boys,—he was not particular which they were."

"I suppose that his moderate demand was complied with?"

"I am sorry to say that it was not. Persons are liable to be misunderstood. The big fellow was in an ill humor, and supposed that Dobbs wanted to make game of him. He replied in rude and insulting language, and aimed several imprecations at his customer's organs of vision. Dobbs's blood began to boil, and he reciprocated the shopkeeper's compliments in synonymous terms. Then he suddenly saw a multitude of stars before his eyes and found himself in a recumbent position on the floor. Dobbs went home looking very much like a man who had inadvertently overturned a bee-hive and seriously irritated its inhabitants. His sad experience caused him to abandon all hope of obtaining a wife either for love or for money."

"And so the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts baffled poor Dobbs in his efforts to adorn his domicile with an angel and seven sweet little cherubs! But what became of Susan?"

"She is still in a state of single blessedness. Every evening some one of the Order of Seven Sweethearts may be seen seated by her side. They ride with her, and walk with her, and talk love to her, but never propose matrimony. Of course, the rules of the order forbid them to do that; and never but once was a brother known to be unfaithful to his vows. William Wiggins was the recreant member, and he was severely punished for his want of fidelity."

"In what way?"

"He was tried and convicted of the grave offense of falling in love with the land and negroes of a certain widow and proposing marriage. M. T. Pate delivered the sentence of expulsion in a very feeling speech, which drew tears from the eyes of every member of the brotherhood."

"What did Wiggins do?"

"Ostracized by his brethren, he proceeded to lay siege[Pg 29] to the widow with great activity, and with such success that she soon capitulated."

"And I suppose that they were married and——"

"You are too fast, Tom. They encountered a stumbling-block on their road to the altar. Through the culpable negligence of his parents, Wiggins had never been baptized, and the widow, being a strict member of the church, would not consent to marry a man whose spiritual condition approximated to that of a poor benighted heathen. She insisted that he should either be sprinkled or immersed before the solemnization of the nuptial ceremony. Wiggins, who was willing to undergo any ordeal for the sake of the real and personal property of the bewitching widow, agreed to be sprinkled; and it was arranged that the consecrated fluid should be applied on the morning of an appointed day, and that they should be married in the afternoon and immediately proceed on their wedding tour. In the mean while Wiggins, in order to be fully prepared, procured a book containing the usual questions and answers, and labored hard in committing to memory the responses which would be required of him in each ceremony. When the eventful day arrived, he flattered himself that his preparation had been thorough; and in the first ceremony be acquitted himself admirably. But when he stood before the altar with the blushing widow be got strangely confused, and upon being asked, 'Wilt thou have this woman for thy wedded wife?' to the utter astonishment of the worthy clergyman he replied, in a decided tone, 'I renounce them all, and pray God that I may not be led nor governed by them.' The widow screamed as if a mouse had run over the tips of her toes, and was carried out of the church in a fainting fit. Wiggins followed, and when she was restored to consciousness wanted to explain; but she vehemently denounced him as a villain who had decoyed her to the church by false pretenses in order that he might insult her before the very altar and in the presence of her venerable pastor. From that day she would have nothing more to say to him, and he was compelled to abandon all hope of ever obtaining possession of her real and personal estate. The reply which Wiggins made to the[Pg 30] minister who wanted to marry him to the widow having been reported to M. T. Pate, he immediately expressed an opinion that it afforded satisfactory proof of the sincere repentance of their unfortunate and erring brother. By Pate's advice, Wiggins was again received into the order, and is now here in Bella Vista for the purpose of performing his duty as a faithful and efficient member of the mystic brotherhood."

"I would really like to hear more of this man M. T. Pate," said Seddon. "My curiosity has been aroused, and I desire to know something of his previous history."

"Your desire can be easily gratified. I have already commenced writing his biography."

"Writing his biography?"

"Yes. It is perfectly apparent to me that M. T. Pate is destined to become a very distinguished personage. Somebody will write his biography, and why not I? One chapter has been completed, which, with your permission, I will read."

At that moment there was a knock at the door, and Captain Bragg entered the room.


"It has been said that the worst use you can make of a man is to hang him. I think, Captain Bragg, that the next worst is to shoot him."

This remark was made by Toney after Bragg, having first shown him the challenge which he had received from Botts and requested him to act as his second, had emphatically expressed a truculent determination to put the challenger to death with powder and ball.

"And," said Seddon, "some men are not worth the ammunition expended on them."

"By the powers of mud! what do you mean, Mr. Seddon?" exclaimed Bragg. "Is not Mr. Botts a gentleman? Do I not find him in the very best society?"

[Pg 31]

"Not certainly in the very best society when he is found quarreling with a monkey," said Seddon.

"With a monkey! Mr. Seddon? Gentlemen, I would have you know that it was no ordinary monkey that Botts so brutally assaulted in the ball-room. He was a royal present from her Majesty the Queen of Madagascar. I would defend that monkey with my blood; and had not Botts challenged me, I would have challenged him for the insult offered to my monkey. Monkeys have emotions and sensibilities in their bosoms as well as we have, Mr. Seddon."

"Then, they have souls as well as tails?" said Seddon.

"I have no doubt," said Bragg, "that a high-bred monkey, like mine, brought up in a royal palace and tenderly cared for, can feel an insult as keenly as a man."

"Then, Captain Bragg," said Seddon, "why not refer Botts for satisfaction to the monkey?"

"Because, sir, monkeys are not yet sufficiently advanced in civilization to understand the code of honor. But the time may come when they will."

"What!" exclaimed Seddon, "do you mean to say that the time may come when monkeys will challenge one another to single combat, and fight with hair-trigger pistols like civilized men?"

"Yes, sir," said Bragg.

"I suppose that will be after they have dropped their tails," said Seddon.

"Of course," said Bragg. "Man is but an improved species of monkey. Our ancestors were once monkeys, and carried long tails behind them."[2]

Here Tom Seddon fell back on a sofa and roared with laughter. Toney Belton reproved his friend for this unbecoming levity, and gravely remarked that learned men coincided with Captain Bragg in opinion, and that Lord Monboddo confidently asserted there was a race of men in Africa who still had tails.

"That is true, sir," said Bragg. "I have seen them myself;—have eaten and drank with them, and——"[Pg 32] Here Tom Seddon exploded with laughter; while Toney remarked that Monboddo said that these long-tailed individuals were horrible cannibals, and were particularly fond of Dutchmen.

"I don't know about their fondness for Dutchmen," said Bragg. "I am an Anglo-Saxon, and I know that they treated me with great kindness; I remained with them for months; and many of them shed tears when I took my departure."

"Your discovery of this race of men in Africa seems to confirm the rabbinical theory," said Toney.

"What is that?" inquired Bragg.

"The learned rabbinical doctors, in whose wisdom we should have great confidence, assert that man was originally created with a long tail."

"Just as I said!" exclaimed Bragg. "Did I not tell you so?"

"If such was his original conformation," said Toney, "we must suppose that it was afterwards observed that this appendage was of no use to him at all, and, indeed, would often be a serious incumbrance; for when in battle a hero was hard pressed and compelled to retreat, his enemy might seize him by the tail, and hold him fast until he had cut off his head."

"That is a fact," said Bragg. "So he might."

"And when in the progress of civilization the toilet became of importance in the estimation of mankind, the decoration of the tail would be exceedingly troublesome and expensive."

"I should think so," said Seddon. "I should think that it could hardly be managed even by the most experienced and scientific tailors."

"Tom Seddon," said Toney, "Dr. Johnson was of opinion that when a man attempted a pun in company he ought to be knocked down. But let me proceed in pointing out the obvious disadvantages of wearing tails. For instance, fashionable gentlemen, after having spent large sums of money in the elaborate adornment of their tails, might have them trodden upon as they walked the streets, and numerous assaults and batteries might thus be occasioned."

[Pg 33]

"No doubt of it! no doubt of it!" said Bragg. "I witnessed many fierce encounters among my friends in Africa, caused by men inadvertently treading on their neighbors' tails."

"Yes," said Toney, "some irascible editor or orator might have his tail crushed by the foot of his adversary on the hard pavement, and a mortal combat would be the lamentable consequence. Indeed, I would not answer for the patience and fortitude of a pious parson if, as he walked along the aisle of his church, one of the congregation should carelessly tread on his caudal extremity. I seriously apprehend that the reverend man would exhibit the irritability of a ferocious animal of the feline species under similar circumstances. Therefore, such being the great and manifest disadvantages of wearing tails, we must suppose that this useless appendage was severed from the body of the man."

"What was done with it?" inquired Seddon.

"It was fashioned into a woman," said Bragg.

"A what?" exclaimed Seddon, too astounded to laugh.

"Into a woman," reiterated Bragg.

"Why, I thought that woman was formed from a rib."

"That is an error of the translators," said Bragg. "I was so informed by a learned Hebrew whom I found living on the top of Mount Ararat, in a comfortable house constructed from the imperishable materials of Noah's Ark. He told me that the word should have been translated tail instead of rib."

"This important fact in anthropology," said Toney, "would seem to militate against the claims of those learned, eloquent, and distinguished ladies who are the leaders of the movement for women's rights."

"Do you mean," said Bragg, "those babbling females who leave their hen-pecked husbands at home to nurse their unclean babies, and go gadding about holding their conventions? Well, sir, give them every right which they claim. Give them every right which we have——"

"Except," said Seddon, "the privilege of shaving their chins. I hardly suppose that they will ever get that."

"No," exclaimed Bragg, "that inestimable privilege[Pg 34] they never can obtain, let them clamor for it as much as they please! I reiterate, give them all they demand, let them vote, elect them to office, put a bale of dry-goods and crinoline in the Presidential chair, and what would be the result? Would the head govern?"

"I should think not," said Seddon, "If there is such an error in the translation as you have pointed out. Captain Bragg, I am afraid that you are a misogynist. But what becomes of your royal friend the Queen of Madagascar? She is a woman, and she governs a great nation."

"Mr. Seddon, the Queen of Madagascar is no ordinary woman. The poets of that great country say that the royal line is descended from their gods."

"That opinion may be orthodox in the island of Madagascar," said Seddon. "In the United States of America her Majesty's poets-laureate would find a multitude of skeptics. But were those long-tailed African gentlemen, with whom you once resided, a race of negroes?"

"Their faces were black but comely," said Bragg.

"Then," said Seddon, "It is easy to foresee what will be the ultimate consequences of emancipation in this country."

"In what respect?" asked Bragg.

"Why, it is well known that the negro race, when emancipated, goes back, by degrees, to its original barbarism. Emancipate the negroes, and, at same future day, we will have a horrible race of savages and cannibals among us. They will run wild in our forests, and, after a time, tails will grow out from their persons. They will jump into our windows at night and carry off our babies and devour them; and no Dutchman will be safe from their cannibal ferocity. People will have to hunt them with dogs, and catch them, and cut off their tails, and civilize them again."

"Never!" exclaimed Bragg, "never! Man once civilized never goes back to his original condition. Emancipate the negroes and you need not apprehend that they will return to their tails."

"Are you in favor of emancipation, Captain Bragg?" inquired Seddon.

[Pg 35]

"My dear sir, we will not discuss that question at present. By the powers of mud! Mr. Belton," exclaimed Bragg, looking at his watch, "we have forgotten all about Botts and the challenge."

"I was about to remind you, captain," said Toney, "that as you have the choice of weapons, as well as of time and place, it is necessary that I should receive your instructions in relation to these preliminary arrangements."

"I leave time and place to you, Mr. Belton; and as to weapons, I am equally familiar with all the weapons employed in private or public warfare. I once fought a native of New Zealand with a boomerang, Mr. Seddon."

"What sort of a weapon is that, Captain Bragg?"

"It is a missile which if it fails to hit the object at which it is aimed comes bounding back to the hand that hurls it. But, by the powers of mud! at the first throw my boomerang came bounding back with the New Zealander impaled on its point and howling for mercy."

"Then," said Toney, "I am to understand that you leave the selection to me, and will not refuse to fight with any weapon I may designate?"

"Refuse! certainly not. I will fight with a harpoon if you so choose, or a gun loaded with Greek fire."

"Or hot water," suggested Seddon.

"To be sure," said Bragg.

"Captain Bragg, would you really fight with a gun loaded with hot water?" inquired Toney.

"Mr. Belton," said Bragg, "he is a poor workman who finds fault with his tools. I will face my antagonist with any weapon which he is not afraid to hold in his own hand."

"Very good," said Belton. "And now I must leave you with Mr. Seddon, while I have an interview with Wiggins, who, it seems, is Botts's second."

Toney took up his hat and left the room, as Bragg was in the act of poising a cane for the purpose of showing Seddon how to hurl a boomerang.


[2] The theory of an eloquent lecturer in a discourse recently delivered in Boston.

[Pg 36]


Toney found Wiggins in his apartment in the hotel. The latter received the representative of Captain Bragg with the formal politeness befitting the occasion. After some conversation in relation to the business which had brought them together, Toney proceeded to say,—

"Mr. Wiggins, my principal has, as you know, the selection of time and place, as well as of weapons."

"Undoubtedly, Mr. Belton. You will be so good as to name the time."

"To-morrow, between daybreak and sunrise," said Belton.

"Very good," said Wiggins. "And the place?"

"The cluster of trees which stand on the east side of the town."

"An excellent selection," said Wiggins.

"And the weapons, Mr. Belton?"

"Broad-axes," said Toney.

"What?" exclaimed Wiggins.

"Broad-axes," reiterated Toney.

"What?" said Wiggins, in a tremulous tone.

"Broad-axes!" shouted Toney, with the lungs of a Stentor.

"Broad-axes!" repeated Wiggins, with a pallid cheek. "Mr. Belton, you do not mean to say that Captain Bragg expects Mr. Botts to fight him with a broad-axe!"

"Why not, sir? Why not? When a man fights a duel is it not his object to kill his antagonist? And are not broad-axes as efficient as any weapon for the purpose?"

"But, Mr. Belton, a broad-axe is an unusual, a barbarous weapon."

"Sir, it is neither an unusual nor a barbarous weapon. It is a military weapon. Examine Webster's Dictionary and you will find that such is the definition of broad-axe. It has been often used by gentlemen in affairs of honor."

[Pg 37]

"I never heard of its use among men of honor," said Wiggins.

"Why, Sir, who originated the practice of dueling? Were not the chivalrous knights of the Middle Ages the first to adopt this mode of settling disputes?"

"Certainly," said the representative of Botts.

"And were not those knights gentlemen and men of honor?"

"Of course they were," said Wiggins. "Who can doubt that?"

"And did they not fight with battle-axes?"

"Oh, certainly," said Wiggins. "We read of that in Froissart and the other chroniclers of those days."

"Well, sir, will you be so good as to show me the difference between a battle-axe and a broad-axe? Can you point it out?"

"I confess that I cannot," said Wiggins.

"There is no difference; except that our carpenters, in the peaceful occupation of hewing timber, have found a short handle more convenient than the long ones used in the days of chivalry by honorable knights and gentlemen. I propose to lengthen the handles and let our men fight like gallant paladins with the legitimate weapons of the duello."

"Mr. Belton, I cannot consent that my principal shall fight with such a weapon. Mr. Botts is not accustomed to the use of a broad-axe."

"Nor is Captain Bragg, sir. So neither party will have an advantage from skill or practice."

"Did Captain Bragg select broad-axes?"

"The captain has expressed no preference; he has left the choice of weapons to his second."

"Then, Mr. Belton, can we not, as the friends of the parties, make arrangements for a meeting in which each gentleman may vindicate his honor without the tragical results which must ensue from the use of such barbarous weapons as broad-axes?"

"As I have said, and now repeat, a broad-axe is not a barbarous weapon. Its use is legitimate in the duello. Unless you agree to the terms which I am now about to propose, I shall adhere to my original selection."

[Pg 38]

"What are your terms, Mr. Belton?" eagerly inquired Wiggins.

"That I select the weapons, and that neither yourself nor our principals shall know what they are until I produce them on the field."

"I agree to your terms, Mr. Belton; anything but broad-axes."

"The weapons which I shall select will test the coolness and courage of both gentlemen. They will not be broad-axes. Are you satisfied?"


"Then, sir, as we have agreed upon the preliminary arrangement, I must bid you good-morning."

In the corridor of the hotel Toney encountered M. T. Pate.

"Mr. Belton—Mr. Belton," said Pate, "I—I could not prevail on Mr. Botts. He has sent a—a—a challenge, and there will be bloodshed, sir, and—and all about a—a—a monkey, sir."

"Mr. Pate, I have the matter in hand, and I assure you, on the honor of a gentleman, that not a drop of blood will be spilt."

"God bless you, Mr. Belton!"

"Good-morning, Mr. Pate." And Toney hurried away, leaving Pate repeating his benediction with great fervor.


Hardly had Toney Belton's footsteps ceased to sound in the corridor before Wiggins snatched up his hat and hurried into the presence of his principal in extreme agitation.

"Mr. Botts," he exclaimed, "I have just had an interview with Mr. Belton, the friend of Captain Bragg."

"Captain Bragg then accepts the challenge?" said Botts.

[Pg 39]

"Of course he does," said Wiggins, "and we have agreed upon the terms."

"What time does Bragg propose for the meeting?"

"Between daybreak and sunrise to-morrow."

"A very excellent arrangement," said Botts. "The early hour will insure us against the chance of interruption. And the place?"

Wiggins named the place designated by Belton, and the selection met with the approval of his principal, who inquired,—

"Did the captain choose fire-arms, or small swords? I am equally expert in the use of either."

"Fire-arms or small swords!" exclaimed Wiggins,—"no, sir, he did not."

"What weapon did he then select? I am at a loss to imagine."

Wiggins hesitated and was silent. His features became strangely and alarmingly distorted.

"Did you not agree upon the weapons? What did Mr. Belton propose?"

"Broad-axes!" said Wiggins.

"What did you say, Mr. Wiggins? I did not distinctly hear you."

"Broad-axes! Mr. Botts, I say broad-axes!"

"What?" exclaimed Mr. Botts, rising from his seat.

"Broad-axes!" said Wiggins, also rising and moving nearer to Botts. "Broad-axes, I say broad-axes!"

Botts's ugly countenance now assumed a very peculiar expression. One of those ideas which suddenly rush into a man's mind and master it in a moment presented itself, and immediately became dominant. He supposed that Wiggins had become demented, and that he was in the presence of a maniac. Botts had as much of the common quality of physical courage as most of the male gender, but, like many a brave man, he had an intense horror of crazy people. He retreated. Wiggins advanced towards him, anxious to explain, and lifting his hand in the act of gesticulation.

"Stand back!" shouted Botts, grasping a chair, and elevating it over his head,—"stand back, or I will knock you down!"

[Pg 40]

"Botts! Botts!" exclaimed Wiggins, lifting up both hands in violent agitation, being utterly astounded at this hostile demonstration on the part of his principal,—"Botts! Botts! I—I—said—broad-axes!"

"Help! help! murder! murder!" shouted Botts; and he aimed a blow at Wiggins, who dodged it, and, tumbling over a table, fell sprawling on the carpet, while the chair flew from Botts's hands and went with a crash against the door. In an instant there was a rush of people from the adjoining apartments and the room was filled with spectators.

"Good heavens!" exclaimed M. T. Pate, addressing himself to Botts, who had armed himself with another chair, and stood brandishing it in a corner of the room with an air of desperate determination,—"good heavens! Mr. Botts, what does this mean?"

"Gentlemen, such scenes cannot be allowed in my house," said the landlord. "Mr. Botts, this is the second time you have raised an uproar in this establishment."

"Botts, you shall answer for this outrage!" exclaimed Wiggins, rising on his feet and looking Botts in the face with a most truculent aspect.

"Are you not crazy?" said Botts.

"Crazy!" vociferated Wiggins, advancing towards Botts, who dodged behind Pate. "You are crazy, sir! You are as mad as a March hare, sir! You are a dangerous man! I will have you in a lunatic asylum before you are a day older, sir! Gentlemen, I call upon you to assist me in securing this madman."

"By Jupiter! I think you are both lunatics," said the landlord.

"Mr. Wiggins, there most he some mistake," said Pate. "Botts is not crazy."

"No madder man ever broke out of bedlam!" said Wiggins. "He will kill somebody if he is not put in a strait-jacket."

"What was all this about?" asked Pate.

"About?" said Wiggins. "Why, sir, I was merely repeating something which Mr. Belton had said to me, when up jumped Botts and aimed a blow at my head with chair; and had I out dodged as quickly as I did,[Pg 41] he would have knocked my brains out. Is such a man fit to run at large through this house? Do you call him sane, Mr. Pate? Sane!—if he's sane, you might as well pull down all the lunatic asylums in the land and let their inmates out to——"

"Stop! Wiggins, stop! I begin to see," said Botts. "You are not crazy, after all! Did you say you were merely repeating what Belton had said to you?"

"Nothing more," said Wiggins. "And was that any reason why I should be——"

"My dear, dear fellow!" said Botts. "It was a mistake! I see! Give me your hand. I ask ten thousand pardons!"

Botts advanced towards Wiggins, who retreated a step, and then stood his ground and took the proffered hand.

"Thank God," said Pate, "there will be no duel!"

"Crazy men are not allowed to fight duels," said the landlord.

"Gentlemen," said Botts, "I call you to witness that it was all my fault. I beg Mr. Wiggins's pardon."

"It is granted," said Wiggins.

"And now, gentlemen," said Botts, "be so good as to leave us to ourselves. You see it is all made up, and we are the best friends in the world."

At this request all left the room. M. T. Pate, however, lingered at the door for a moment, and said, in an admonitory tone,—

"For Heaven's sake, Botts, do not quarrel with Wiggins again!"

"No fear of that, Mr. Pate." And with this assurance Pate closed the door.

Botts being alone with his second, there was a repetition of apologies and mutual explanations; after which each became assured of the sanity of the other, and was more at his ease.

"But," asked Botts, "did Belton really say anything about broad-axes?"

Wiggins hesitated. He seemed to be afraid to again give utterance to a word which had just put him in such imminent peril. At length he said, in a low tone,—

"He did, indeed."

[Pg 42]

"What connection had this with the duel?"

"As the representative of Captain Bragg, he proposed that you should fight with broad-axes."

Botts sprang from the chair and overturned the table; and Wiggins, apprehensive of another assault, jumped up and put himself in an attitude of defense.

M. T. Pate, who was lingering in the corridor in trembling expectation of another quarrel, rushed to the door, but it was bolted.

"Mr. Botts! Mr. Botts!" cried Pate.

"Go to the devil!" shouted Botts.

"Good heavens! what is to be done?" said Pate. "He has Wiggins locked in the room, and will beat out his brains with a chair!"

"I'll break down the door and put strait-jackets on both of them!" said the landlord, who had hurried back at the alarm given by Pate.

Botts now opened the door and assured the people in the corridor that they were not fighting, but were as amicable as men could be. Having received a similar assurance from Wiggins, Pate and the landlord had no excuse for further interruption, and reluctantly retired; the landlord shaking his head rather dubiously as he did so, and muttering something about strait-jackets and lunatic asylums.

Botts closed and bolted the door, and then earnestly asked,—

"You certainly did not agree that I should fight Captain Bragg with a broad-axe?"

"No, indeed!" said Wiggins. "With much difficulty I obtained from Mr. Belton a compromise."

"What sort of a compromise?" asked Botts.

"You are to fight with just such weapons as Belton produces on the ground."

"And not to know what they are to be until I get on the field?"

"Such is the agreement," said the second.

"Wiggins, what sort of terms are these?" exclaimed Botts.

"They were the best I could obtain. My opinion is, that this Captain Bragg, although he associates with[Pg 43] gentlemen, is little better than a desperado. He has lived among savages the greater part of his life, and, as I am told, has been boasting of having fought a duel with a boomerang, or a harpoon, or something of the sort. He is a reckless and desperate man, and cares not for consequences. Had I not agreed to the compromise proposed by his second, I am confident that he would have posted you as a coward."

"These are hard terms," said Botts; "but I suppose they must be accepted."

"They have been accepted," said Wiggins. "And now I must leave you, Mr. Botts, for I have an engagement with a fair lady. At an hour before daybreak I will be at your room; and we will, of course, proceed in company to the ground."

In the solitude of his chamber, Botts began to give way to gloomy reflections. It was evident that his antagonist was a most desperate and determined man. He had lived among savages and cannibals, and the proposal to fight with broad-axes was ample proof of the barbarity of his disposition. And Wiggins had consented that Botts should come on the ground in entire ignorance of the weapons to be used. Could it be doubted that his adversary would select some barbarous implement of butchery, familiar to himself but unknown to civilized duelists? When the challenger took his position, a harpoon or a boomerang might be thrust into his hand; or Bragg might enter the field armed with a tomahawk and scalping-knife, and raising the war-whoop. Botts was a brave man, but he shuddered and shivered as if an icicle had been thrust down his back. He saw that death was inevitable, and he resolved to die with decency. Having procured writing materials, he carefully prepared his last will and testament, and proceeded to execute it with the proper formalities. He then wrote a number of letters to absent friends, bidding them a final and affectionate farewell. Those documents he carefully sealed with black wax, and left lying on his table.

Much time was consumed in these preparations, and before the business was concluded the sun had sunk behind the horizon and the stars had appeared in the[Pg 44] heavens. Botts took his seat at a window; but he could not remain quiescent. The agitation of his mind impelled him to physical locomotion. He seized his hat and rushed into the street. He hurried along until he had reached the outskirts of the town, where he would not be molested by crowds of gay and happy mortals, talking and laughing in the full enjoyment of an existence of which he was so soon to be deprived. The doomed man now stood alone in a deserted common. He gazed upward at the heavens. From the innumerable multitude of shining orbs over his head, he selected a star in which his spirit was to dwell after its departure from these sublunary scenes. Botts did not return to his room. He thought not of his comfortable bed at the hotel. During the long hours of the silent night he continued to walk to and fro on the outskirts of the town, a melancholy man, meditating on his latter end and gazing upward at the celestial dwelling-place which he had selected for his residence after his immolation on the field of honor.


Just before the peep of day Captain Bragg, accompanied by his second, repaired to the spot selected for the duel. Toney had informed his principal of the terms agreed upon by Wiggins and himself, and the old warrior forbore to make any inquiry in relation to the weapons to be used on the occasion; Tom Seddon having kindly undertaken to convey them to the ground during the night, so as to avoid observation. Bragg expressed his satisfaction with the arrangement, and reiterated his readiness to fight with any weapon, even with a gun loaded with Greek fire, or with hot water, as Seddon again suggested.

As they came in sight of the dueling-ground, Bragg suddenly halted and said, in a tone of vexation,—

"Mr. Belton, we will be interrupted."

[Pg 45]

"Why so?" inquired Toney.

"There is a gypsy camp in the grove. I perceive their fires among the trees."

"You are mistaken, Captain Bragg. There are no gypsies within a hundred miles of us. No doubt Seddon has kindled a fire with dry sticks. Let us go on."

They now entered the grove, and Bragg stood still with a look of amazement. At twelve paces apart were two fires, each kept alive by a negro, who was busily employed in piling on fuel. Over each fire was an iron pot filled with water, in a state of active ebullition. In the space between the two fires was Tom Seddon, walking to and fro with his hands behind his back, giving directions to his sable assistants who had charge of the pots.

"By the powers of mud!" exclaimed Bragg, "what does this mean?"

"It means," said Toney, "that everything is prepared, and that we are only waiting for the arrival of Botts. Tom, have you got the guns ready?"

"Here they are," said Tom, producing two tin tubes painted black and about the size of a musket-barrel. Each had a rod projecting from one end and a nozzle on the other. Seddon handed one of them to Bragg, saying, "Here is your weapon, captain."

"What is this?" inquired Bragg.

"It is your gun," said Seddon.

"Gun—gun! Do you call this a gun?" said Bragg.

"I most certainly do," said Seddon.

"You had better load the gun, Tom," said Belton, "and show the captain how it is to be used."

Tom took the tube, and, putting the nozzle in the pot of boiling water nearest to him, drew back the rod. He then brought the tube up horizontally, and called out to the negro having charge of the other pot, "Stand out of the way there, Hannibal!" Hannibal dodged to one side, and Seddon, with a vigorous thrust of the rod, threw a stream of scalding water from the nozzle to a distance of more than forty feet. "There, captain," said Tom, "if Botts stands before such a discharge as that, he is as brave a man as ever wore breeches."

[Pg 46]

"What devil's work is this?" said Bragg. "Do you suppose that I am going to stand over a witch's caldron and have a man squirt hot water at me until he has put out my eyes and scalded all the hair off my head?"

"You will have an opportunity to show your coolness in the midst of danger," said Seddon; "you will, undoubtedly, put your adversary to flight. I'll bet that Botts don't stand before a single discharge. If he does, he should have license to beat any man's monkey when he is in a belligerent humor. And, captain, did you not express your willingness to fight with a gun loaded with hot water? Now, here are the guns, and there are Cæsar and Hannibal with an abundant supply of ammunition."

"And it is too late to make other arrangements," said Belton. "It is broad daylight, and Botts will be on the ground in a moment. I hope you are not going to back down, Captain Bragg."

"Back down!" exclaimed Bragg. "I would have you know that I never back down. I would have fought with a harpoon, or a boomerang, or anything of the sort; but who ever heard of hot water employed in combats between man and man? It is devil's work!"

"Captain Bragg, you are mistaken," said Seddon. "Hot water has often been used in wars between civilized nations. Did you never hear of the fighting æolipile?"

"What is that?" inquired Bragg.

"A tube filled with scalding fluid, which was projected in the face of the enemy. The Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Greeks were accustomed to use these weapons, and to put their enemies to flight with them, as I am certain that you will put Botts to flight."

"Hot water was used on one occasion in modern warfare with great efficiency," said Belton. "The bravest troops in the army of Napoleon the Great were baffled and held at bay by it."

"Where was that?" asked Bragg.

"In Spain,"[3] said Toney. "The Spanish troops were routed. They dropped their arms on the field and fled[Pg 47] into a nunnery. The French had no artillery, and attempted to take the place by a coup de main. But the petticoats were prepared for them. From every window pails of hot water were poured down upon them. The French troops could stand anything but that. They fell back. They gave way; whole platoons cutting the most prodigious capers; patting the posterior parts of their persons with their open palms and performing sundry difficult and extraordinary evolutions."

"Beaten by hot water!" said Seddon.

"Yes," said Toney. "Their brave general, who bore on his person the scars of scores of battles, attempted to rally them; but they refused to advance. Maddened by the apparent poltroonery of his troops, he seized a musket, and, rushing forward, commenced battering at the door with its butt. The door gave way, and the brave general was suddenly precipitated forward. Before he could recover himself the petticoats were upon him. With loud cries they seized him by the locks, while their nails made frightful ravages in his face. Blinded, and baffled, and breathless, and faint, he retreated without the door. A shower of hot water descended from above, and, with a loud outcry, the old hero advanced backward with amazing celerity, until, striking his foot against a stone, he fell, 'with his back to the field and his feet to the foe.' The door was closed, the petticoats stood ready at the windows with their pails full of hot water, and the besiegers were utterly disheartened."

"Did the French retreat? Did they abandon the contest?" asked Seddon.

"No," said Toney. "Napoleon rode on the field. He was enraged at the timidity of his troops. He ordered up a battalion of the Old Guard. It was all over with the garrison then. Their fires had gone out, and their water was cold. They prayed to every saint in the calendar, and made an especial appeal to Joshua, the son of Nun, to save them. It was of no avail. The door was battered down, the Imperial Guard marched in, and the captured petticoats were led away as the musicians struck up the tone, 'I won't be a Nun.'"

"So you see, Captain Bragg, that hot water has been[Pg 48] employed in both ancient and modern warfare," said Seddon. "And brave men have fled before it. If you stand firmly before the shower discharged by Botts from yonder tube, nobody will ever dare to dispute your courage."

"If Botts can stand it, I can," said Bragg, doggedly. "But," said he,—and his face brightened up as he looked at his watch,—"I will remain here no longer. The sun is up, Mr. Belton, and where is the challenger?"

"Yonder comes his second," said Seddon.

Bragg's countenance was instantly beclouded.

"Good-morning, Mr. Wiggins," said Belton. "I do not see your principal. Where is Mr. Botts?"

"He has fled," said Wiggins.

"Fled?" said Belton.

"Fled!" exclaimed Bragg; and his face became as radiant as the morning just then illuminated by the sun which had appeared above the eastern horizon.

"Yes," said Wiggins, "Botts has run off like an arrant poltroon."

"I will post him for cowardice!" exclaimed Bragg.

"As you please," said Wiggins. "I want nothing more to do with Mr. Botts. He attempted to assassinate me."

"Assassinate you!" exclaimed Toney.

"Yes, sir; when I informed him of the terms proposed by you, he attempted to take my life."

"Attempted to kill his second!" said Seddon.

"The assassin! the ruffian! the poltroon! I'll post him!" said Bragg.

"He jumped up and aimed a blow at my head with a chair," said Wiggins.

"An assault and battery," said Tom. "Liable in a suit for damages."

"He afterwards became calm, apologized for the outrage, and agreed to meet Captain Bragg at the hour named. But when I called for him this morning he had disappeared."

"Disappeared!" said Toney.

"Yes, sir,—absconded,—fled to parts unknown."

"I will publish him," said Bragg. "I will prepare[Pg 49] placards with the words BOTTS and COWARD in letters as big as my hand! Come, Mr. Belton; come, gentlemen."

"Put out the fires, Cæsar. Take care of the pots, Hannibal," said Seddon. And with these instructions to those two distinguished personages, Tom shouldered the tin tubes and followed after Bragg, who, with Belton and Wiggins, was proceeding with rapid strides towards the town.


[3] We have not been to find any account of this combat in Napier's History of the Peninsular War. The historian overlooked it.


Captain Bragg, with an appetite rendered voracious by his exercise in the open air at so early an hour, made a hearty breakfast on an abundant supply of ham and eggs, which Lord Byron has said is a dish good enough for an emperor. Having finished his repast, he arose from the table, and going to his apartment, proceeded to prepare the placard in which he intended to make known the poltroonery of Botts to the public. When a man's mind is full of his subject, composition is performed with ease and rapidity. The words roll off from the end of the pen as naturally as water flows from a perennial fountain. Bragg's writing instrument galloped across the paper and soon covered the foolscap with a terrible denunciation of the unfortunate Botts.

The indignant duelist hurried off to a printing-office, and said to the proprietor, "I want you to print this immediately."

"Will you be so good as to furnish me with your name?" said the proprietor.

"Of what consequence is my name to you?" said Bragg. "I want you to print the advertisement, and here is the money."

"Can't do it," said the proprietor. "Can't put anything in my paper without the name of the party who furnishes it; advertisement or no advertisement,—paid for or not,—I can't print it."

[Pg 50]

"Why not?" said Bragg.

"Because we can't afford to keep a fighting editor in this office; and I don't want to get into difficulties."

"What difficulties will you get into?" said Bragg.

"Plenty of them. I don't want my head broken with a cudgel, sir."

"Who is going to break your head?" said Bragg.

"There are plenty of people in these parts to do it, sir, and on slight provocation. Last winter a fellow came into this office just before we went to press, and left an advertisement which he paid for, saying that he wanted it to appear in our issue of that day. It was a certificate that Samuel Crabstick, who is a bald-headed man, had bought a bottle of Dr. Bamboozle's celebrated hair ointment, and applied it to his bare scalp, and that in forty-eight hours after the first application a fine suit of hair had grown all over his head, seven inches in length. Well, what were the consequences, sir? Why, the whole town was talking and laughing about this wonderful growth of hair. And next morning old Crabstick walked into the office, and, after much profanity, assaulted me with a heavy bludgeon. Had it not been for my devil, who come behind him and put him hors de combat with the hot poker, he would have broken my bones, sir. So your advertisement cannot go in my paper unless you leave your name for reference."

"I don't want it in your paper," said Bragg. "I want it printed like a hand-bill."

"Oh, that alters the case. You take the responsibility."

"Here! I want these three words,—look, will you?—BottsPoltroonCoward,—printed in your largest letters."

"We have type big enough," said the printer, producing some wooden blocks about three inches long.

"Those will do," said Bragg. "Now, go to work—quick—hurry!"

In a very brief space of time Bragg had a dozen documents in his possession, for which he paid the printer and hastened away.

In a few moments after he had left the printing-office,[Pg 51] Bragg's tall form was seen elevated on a stool; and he was in the act of pasting a hand-bill against the side of the hotel when he was interrupted by the landlord, who said,—

"Captain Bragg, I do not allow any bills for monkey shows to be pasted against my house."

"This is no bill for a monkey show," said Bragg.

"Nor advertisements for quack medicines, neither," said the landlord.

"This is no advertisement for quack medicines," said Bragg, with a look of indignation.

"Well, whatever it be, you can't paste it there. I will not have my walls plastered over with advertisements."

Bragg scowled at the landlord, and, getting down from the stool with a profane expression, he went across the street to an apothecary's shop. Here he was about to put up a placard when he perceived in large letters on the corner, Paste No Pills Here; some ingenious urchins having altered the original B to a P. Bragg was puzzled, and scratched his head; and, as he did so, an idea entered his cranium, and he understood that this inscription was a prohibition as imperative as that which he had just received from the landlord.

Bragg was in a dilemma. He did not know what to do with his documents. He had made two or three attempts on other houses, and had been warned off by the proprietors. A chambermaid had discharged a quantity of foul water at him from an upper window as he was in the act of defacing the dwelling with a hand-bill; and a burly Hibernian, in his emphatic brogue, had cursed him for an itinerant vender of nostrums; for there was a violent prejudice in the town of Bella Vista against all venders of quack medicines ever since a wandering empiric, having promised to cure an old gentleman of some hepatic disorder, had given him an emetic, and afterwards told him that he had puked up a piece of his liver and would soon get well; when, in fact, the patient was soon in the hands of the undertaker.

Toney and Tom now came to the assistance of Bragg; and Seddon, being a citizen of the town, and acquainted[Pg 52] with its localities, conducted the captain to a small tenement which was used by a Dutchman as a stable for his donkey. Bragg produced his documents, and was about to apply the paste when the Dutchman came forth leading his donkey, and exclaimed, "Donner und blitzen! what for you do dat?" Tom whispered to Bragg to offer the Dutchman a dollar. This suggestion had its effect, and the silver coin obtained from the proprietor of the stable a place for the duelist's placard.

Having made his donation to the Dutchman, Bragg was spreading his paste on the side of the donkey's dwelling when a loud shout was heard in the street. A crowd of men and boys were seen advancing, and in their midst, covered with mud and filth from head to foot, and led along by two sturdy Irishmen, was a most pitiable and disgusting object. His face had received a coating of wet clay, which was gradually getting dry, and made his visage as ugly as an idol in a Hindoo temple. His clothing was befouled with slime; and the two men held him at arm's length, so as to avoid the defilement of actual contact.

"By the powers of mud! what is that?" exclaimed Bragg.

"One of the powers aforesaid coming in answer to your invocation, I suppose," said Seddon.

"It is mud, sure enough," said Toney.

"Walking abroad and endeavoring to dry itself in the sun," said Seddon.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" shouted the boys.

"Here he is—by jabers! we found him!" said an Irishman.

"Who is he?" said Toney.

"Do you not know me?" said a dolorous voice issuing from the mass of mud.

"No, I do not. Who are you?"

"I am Botts."

"Botts!" said Toney.

"Botts!" exclaimed Seddon.

"Botts!" shouted Bragg.

"Yes, gentlemen, I am Botts."

[Pg 53]


It would require the perfection of language to describe the amazement of Captain Bragg when he beheld a slimy figure, looking like one of the powers by whom he continually swore, and heard a voice issuing from its ugly lips, and saying "I am Botts." The placards, in which he was about to doom his absconding adversary to eternal infamy, dropped from his hand, and were picked up by a boy, and converted into the tail for a kite. Toney and Tom were also astonished at the sudden and strange appearance of the missing man. After a moment of silence, Belton said,—

"Where did you come from?"

"From the bottom of a well," said an Irishman.

"Good heavens!" said Pate, who had just arrived in company with Wiggins and Perch,—"good heavens! did Botts fall into a well?"

"And shure it's not for me to say how he got there. We found him in the well on his knees in the wather, and praying to the blessed Vargin and all the saints."

"I'm almost dead! I'll never get over it!" said Botts.

"Run for a doctor! run, Perch! run!" said Pate.

Perch went off at the double-quick in search of medical aid, while Pate and Wiggins conducted their friend to the hotel.

"Don't bring that man in here. I can't have my house covered with mud and filth. Take him to the bath-house and wash him," said the landlord.

Pate pleaded and implored, but the landlord was inexorable; and they were compelled to conduct the miserable man to the bath-house. With some difficulty he was divested of his clothing; and, while Wiggins assisted him in performing his ablutions, Pate proceeded to his apartment and procured a change of raiment. His two friends then led him to his room, where they found Perch with the doctor. The physician examined his patient, and discovered that no bones were broken, and that there was[Pg 54] no internal injury of any sort. He ordered Botts a strong tonic, and, telling him to keep quiet in bed and he would be well in the morning, took his departure. Perch soon after left the room, saying that he had an engagement to walk with Miss Imogen Hazlewood. Pate and Wiggins sat by the bedside of their afflicted friend, who, with many a moan and dolorous ejaculation, told the story of his misfortune, which we will endeavor to abbreviate and relate in more intelligible language.

It will be recollected that after Botts had executed his last will and testament, and addressed letters of farewell to his friends, he had proceeded to the outskirts of the town, and walked to and fro over the common, meditating on his approaching end. About the middle of the night, as he continued to walk with his gaze fixed on the star which he had selected for his future abode, he tumbled into an unfinished well, about twelve feet deep, with six inches of water at the bottom. It being night, and he being under the earth, his loud cries for assistance were unheard, and he remained in the well until a late hour in the morning, when the Irish laborers discovered him on his knees in the water praying fervently; he having experienced a change of heart, and repented of the great crime he had intended to commit.

While Pate and Wiggins were consoling their friend, they were startled by loud shrieks from a female voice in an adjacent apartment.

"Good heavens!" said Pate.

"What's that?" exclaimed Wiggins.

"There's murder in the house!" bawled out Botts; and he jumped from his bed and ran to the door.

"Come back, Botts! you haven't got your breeches on," said Wiggins; and he seized Botts by the caudal extremity of his under-garment and held him with a firm grasp.

Shrieks after shrieks were heard, and then the heavy tread of feet hurrying along the corridor. Pate and Wiggins rushed to the scene of action, and beheld the landlord, with loud and violent imprecations, kicking Captain Bragg's monkey out of a room. The creature had got loose, and climbing over the transom of a door, had leaped[Pg 55] down on a bed where a lady was taking her siesta. The hideous apparition had nearly thrown the fair inmate of the room into convulsions.

"Get out of here, you infernal imp!" said the landlord, giving the monkey a kick which sent it rolling over and over along the corridor. The agile creature gathered itself up, and with an active bound sprang on the railing of the stairway, where it sat making ugly grimaces, and shaking both fists at Boniface in intense indignation.

"Get me a gun!" shouted the landlord, in a towering passion.

"Don't shoot!" exclaimed Pate; and a dozen female voices shrieked in apprehension of the report of fire-arms.

"What are you doing to my monkey?" said Bragg, hurrying to the spot.

"Get out of my house with that incarnate devil of yours!" said the landlord. The monkey grinned and shook its fists, and the landlord stamped his foot and swore with vim and vehemence.

"I'll have satisfaction for this outrage offered to my monkey," said Bragg.

"I'll give you satisfaction, sir! I'm no Botts, to be bullied by you, sir! If you don't get out of this house, I'll take you by the neck and heels and throw you out, and your monkey after you!"

The landlord was a powerful and determined man. He had fought under Old Hickory at New Orleans. He stood six feet three in his stockings, and could easily have executed his threat.

"Do you not keep a house for the accommodation of travelers?" said Bragg. "For the entertainment of man and beast?"

"But not for the entertainment of man and devil! That monkey is a born devil, sir!"

"He was a royal present from her Majesty the Queen of Madagascar," said Bragg.

"A royal present from his Majesty the Old Boy!" said Boniface. "He gets loose just when he pleases. He chased the cooks out of the kitchen, and ate up the eggs they had got for breakfast. He stole a negro baby out of its cradle and hid it in the wood-house."

[Pg 56]

"He is a cannibal!" said Seddon.

"One of the captain's long-tailed African friends," said Toney.

"Dines on babies," said Tom. "He'll be after a Dutchman next."

"Out of this house he goes, and you, too!" said the landlord. "Here, Cæsar, Scipio! carry Captain Bragg's baggage down and set it on the pavement." The negroes proceeded to obey orders. "And now be off!" said Boniface. "I don't ask you to settle your bill; I want no money from you. I want you to leave, and take that monkey with you!"

"You had better go," said Seddon to Bragg, "or he will call on the sheriff to summon a posse comitatus and put you out."

"I want no comitatus, Mr. Seddon," said the landlord, overhearing the remark; "I can manage him and his monkey both."

The sagacity of Bragg enabled him to comprehend the situation. He perceived that the indignant Boniface was not to be intimidated even by a harpoon or a boomerang. Toney Belton had whispered to the cosmopolite that the landlord was the very man who had shot General Packenham from his horse, and thereby gained for Old Hickory his glorious victory on the banks of the Mississippi; and Tom Seddon asseverated that he had decapitated three Indians with a bowie-knife, in a hand-to-hand encounter, in the Everglades of Florida. Upon calm consideration Bragg determined to leave the hotel. His baggage was conveyed to a boarding-house which Seddon had found for him in the suburbs of the town. Here he secured comfortable quarters for himself and an asylum for his monkey.

At night, after smoking their cigars, Belton proposed to his friend that they should call on Botts. They were sitting in his room, with Wiggins, talking to the unfortunate man, and getting him in a cheerful mood by pleasant conversation, when Pate rushed in with horror depicted in his countenance.

"What's the matter, Mr. Pate?" said Belton.


[Pg 57]

"What's the matter?" said Wiggins.


"What's the matter? What's the matter?" exclaimed everybody at once.


"What has he done?" said Wiggins.

"Has committed suicide!"

And Pate rushed from the room like one bereft of his reason. Toney, Tom, and Wiggins ran after him, while Botts jumped from his bed and hurried through the door; and several affrighted females loudly screamed as they beheld him swiftly gliding along the corridor, in his white garments, and looking like a ghost.


Claribel Carrington and Imogen Hazlewood were cousins. The former was an orphan whose father had died in affluence, leaving his only child a large estate. Her home was the magnificent mansion of her uncle, Colonel Hazlewood, a wealthy citizen of Bella Vista, and her constant companion was the beautiful Imogen. Each of these young ladies had a devoted lover, who, as Tom Seddon had remarked, would have gone on a pilgrimage to the North Pole in search of an icicle in obedience to her wishes. Clarence Hastings adored the lovely Claribel, and Imogen was worshiped by the handsome Harry Vincent. The young men were only sons of two wealthy gentlemen, and consequently each would inherit an ample fortune. They were highly educated and accomplished. Clarence had devoted himself to the study of medicine; while Harry was a man of leisure and had become a votary of the Muses, having already published a small volume of poems, which were admired by the general reader, and had even been commended by critics. But Clarence, although he had made great progress in[Pg 58] anatomy and was satisfied that a man could not exist without a heart, was inclined to believe that a woman sometimes managed to get along without that important organ. He arrived at this conclusion from pursuing his studies in the society of the lovely Claribel. Harry Vincent had discovered that the poets in all ages had used the word in their verses, and supposed that most women had a heart, but was afraid that Imogen had grown up in magnificent beauty without ever having had one deposited by nature in her bosom. After much meditation, he determined to ascertain if he was not mistaken, and in the afternoon of the very day on which the valiant Captain Bragg had been expelled from the hotel by the indignant landlord, he proceeded to the mansion of Colonel Hazlewood and inquired for Imogen. He was told that she was walking in the garden. Thither he went, and in an arbor beheld a sight which convinced him that the beautiful Imogen had a heart. He hastily retired, and determined to go to the Mexican war, and march for the Halls of the Montezumas.

What spectacle was it that caused such warlike emotions in the bosom of Harry Vincent? Why was he so suddenly impelled to march under the star-spangled banner against Santa Anna and his legions, in the valley of Mexico?

Oh, women! women! pretty doves or pigeons!
How many men for you their weapons clutch!
For you the Grecians murdered all the Phrygians.

And it was on account of one of the most beautiful of womankind that poor Harry Vincent determined to shoulder his musket and shed his blood on the field of battle.

He rushed frantically from the garden, looking as pale as a ghost. But what had he seen? On his knees in the arbor he beheld Sam Perch, whom Toney Belton called the Long Green Boy, with his head resting on the lap of the beautiful Imogen. The young lady was dipping her handkerchief in a vase of water and tenderly bathing his brow. Now, what had brought the poor Long Green Boy down on his knees before Imogen? What had he said[Pg 59] to Imogen, and what had she said to him, that had caused him to faint? Oh, ladies, how do you manage to get a stout young fellow down on his knees before you, when a strong man could not bring him to that position except by a powerful blow from a ponderous fist? The whole thing was a mystery, but the fact was apparent. Perch had gone down on his knees before the lovely Imogen, and she had spoken words which had caused such strong emotions that he had fainted. The Long Green Boy revived, after the young lady, with womanly tenderness, had bathed his brow with water from a fountain. He told her that his heart was broken. She murmured something in reply and glided from the garden, while the poor youth arose from his knees and with his fractured heart proceeded to his room at the hotel.

When the unfortunate Long Green Boy entered his room at the hotel, he seated himself on a trunk in a corner, with a multitude of darts, which had emanated from the eyes of the beautiful Imogen, sticking in his heart and causing him intense agony. The poor youth had been carried away into the regions of rapture, and then suddenly and unexpectedly plunged into the pit of despair. He was convinced that his misery was more than he could bear, and after meditating profoundly upon the most eligible methods of escaping from the troubles of this sublunary state of existence, he arose, and going to an apothecary's shop, asked for a pint of laudanum.

"How much?" inquired the apothecary.

"A pint," said Perch.

"Do you want a whole pint?"

"Yes," said Perch, with a look of despair in his face,—"it will take a whole pint to cure me."

"What is the matter with you?" asked the apothecary.

"I have got the—the toothache," said Perch.

"Humph!" said the apothecary. And he went into a back room to get a bottle.

"Father," said a blue-eyed young lady in the back room, "do not give that young man any laudanum."

"Why not?"

"Because I have been watching him through the door,[Pg 60] and I am certain he is crossed in love. He will kill himself."

"Pooh! pooh! the young man has got the toothache. That's worse than being crossed in love a hundred times."

"Oh, father!" said the young lady, and she resumed her reading of "The Sorrows of Werther."

The apothecary filled the bottle and handed it to his customer. Perch returned to his room and proceeded to make preparations for his departure from earth. He sat down and wrote a letter to the cruel Imogen, in which he accused her of being the sole cause of his untimely end. He directed another letter to his distinguished friend, M. T. Pate, telling him that his sufferings were unendurable, and that he had been driven by despair to the commission of the deed.

With a trembling hand the Long Green Boy then poured about half the contents of the bottle into a goblet and hastily drank it off. He then laid himself down on the bed, crossed his legs and folded his arms, and prepared to die with decency. Instead of the lethal effects of the laudanum which he had expected, he soon experienced a wonderful exhilaration. The washstand in the corner of the room seemed to be dancing a jig; there were now two lamps on the table instead of one; and at last the room itself was in motion, and the Long Green Boy supposed that the house was being moved about by an earthquake. In great excitement he arose from the bed, and with the floor rocking and rolling so that he could hardly stand on his feet, he staggered to the table, and, seizing the bottle, swallowed its contents. With a revolving motion he then reached the bed, sank down, and was soon in a state of profound insensibility.

While the Long Green Boy thus lay in a stupor, M. T. Pate entered the apartment. He endeavored to awaken the sleeper, but found it impossible to do so, and seeing a letter on the table addressed to himself, he opened it, and then, with a loud exclamation of horror, rushed from the room.

[Pg 61]


The unhappy victim of unrequited love lay on his back, with his face turned to the ceiling, and his arms folded over his bosom, as if waiting for the undertaker to come and ascertain his measurement, when M. T. Pate again entered the room, and, rushing to the side of the bed, exclaimed, "Oh! oh! oh!"

Wiggins now burst into the room, and, looking at the recumbent and motionless form on the bed, also exclaimed, "Oh! oh! oh!"

"What's the matter?" said Toney.

"He has killed himself!" said Wiggins.

"Great thunder!" said Tom.

"Has taken poison!" said Pate.

"Poison!" exclaimed Toney. "Run for a doctor, Tom! Tell him to bring a stomach-pump! Run!"

Tom Seddon rushed from the room in headlong haste, and running against Botts in the corridor, hurled him down a stairway. The unlucky Botts, in his night-garments, rolled over and over until he reached the bottom, when he found himself among a number of females, who loudly shrieked and fled in terror from the hideous apparition. Tom stopped not to inquire if any bones were broken, but went off as fast as his legs could carry him after a doctor to pump out the poison, while Botts rushed up the stairway in his night-clothes, and put another party of females to flight on the upper landing. He was followed into the apartment, where poor Perch lay on the bed, by the landlord, who was in a towering rage.

"Mr. Botts!" shouted the landlord, shaking his ponderous fist at Botts, who was leaning over the unfortunate Perch,—"Mr. Botts! what do you mean by running about my house with no clothes on your——"

"Hush!" said Botts.

"Hush!" said Wiggins.

"For Heaven's sake, hush!" exclaimed Pate.

The landlord glared like an enraged lion at each of the[Pg 62] speakers in succession, and then advancing on Botts, seized him by the collar and hurled him around until his fragile clothing was torn from his person, and Botts fell over a trunk and sat in a corner of the room almost in a state of complete nudity.

"You shameless, impudent, outrageous, ugly beast! do you think that I will allow you to be running and racing about among the ladies in my house like a naked savage?"

"Hold!" cried Wiggins.

"Respect the dead!" exclaimed Pate, pointing to poor Perch lying on the bed.

"Who's dead?" said the landlord, looking aghast.

"Look there!" said Pate.

The landlord stepped forward and leaned over Perch.

"Who says he is dead?" asked Boniface.

"He has taken poison?" said Pate.

"A whole pint—enough to kill fifty men!" said Wiggins.

"He is drunk!" said the landlord.

"Shame! shame!" cried Pate.

"Insult the dead!" exclaimed Wiggins.

"He is drunk! I'll bet my hat on it!" said the landlord.

Here Tom Seddon rushed into the room, followed by a doctor carrying a stomach-pump in his hand.

"Here, doctor! here!" exclaimed Pate. "Quick! quick!"

"Open his month," said the doctor.

Pate proceeded to obey instructions, and succeeded in opening the Long Green Boy's mouth, but he unfortunately got his fingers in the orifice, and the jaws closed firmly on them.

"Oh! oh! oh!" exclaimed Pate, with his forefinger between the teeth of the dying man.

"Force his jaws open," said the doctor, holding the tube ready for insertion.

"Oh! oh! oh! oh! gracious heavens!" exclaimed Pate.

Toney Belton, by an adroit use of his thumb, succeeded in opening the jaws and releasing Pate, who danced about[Pg 63] the room, exclaiming, "Oh! oh! oh!" while the doctor hastily thrust the tube down his patient's throat.

A quantity of fluid was pumped into a basin.

"What did you say he had taken?" inquired the doctor, examining the contents of the basin.

"Laudanum!" said Wiggins. "A whole pint of it."

"Enough to kill a team of horses!" said Tom Seddon.

"This is not laudanum," said the doctor, with a look of intense disgust at his patient.

"What is it?" asked Wiggins.

"Brandy," said the doctor.

"Just as I said," exclaimed the landlord. "I can tell a drunken man from a dead man any day."

The diagnosis of the landlord was correct. The wily apothecary had given the despairing swain a bottle of brandy, and instead of romantically dying for love, he had become stupidly drunk.


In the morning Botts, who had been so rudely accosted and so roughly handled by the landlord in the apartment of the unfortunate Long Green Boy, was in close and earnest consultation with Wiggins. The question for solution was whether the landlord was a gentleman, and as such amenable for the insult offered to Botts by his language and the assault on his person. The Thirty-nine Articles of the Code of Honor were carefully consulted, and the question was finally determined in the affirmative. The social status of the offender being settled, Wiggins undertook to carry a cartel from Botts to Boniface.

Wiggins found the landlord in his office making out bills and handed him Botts's invitation to the field of honor.

"What's this?" asked the landlord.

"It is a note from Mr. Botts," said Wiggins. "Be so good as to read it and then refer me to your friend, so[Pg 64] that there may be arrangements made for a speedy meeting."

The landlord looked over the paper and then picked up a big cudgel, which leaned against the wall, and advanced towards Wiggins, who began to retreat.

"Oh, you need not run," said Boniface,—"I am not going to thrash you. But where is Botts?"

"In his room," said Wiggins.

"I'll break every bone in his body!" said the landlord.

"What?" said Wiggins.

"I'll pound his worthless carcass to a jelly!" And he started toward the door.

"Hold!" cried Wiggins. "Are you not a gentleman? If not, in behalf of my principal I now withdraw the challenge."

"Who is your principal?" exclaimed the landlord. "A man who comes into my house to turn it upside down! Gets into a muss with a monkey as soon as he arrives! Pretends he wants to fight Captain Bragg and then hides himself like a white-livered poltroon in the bottom of a well! Amuses himself by running and racing among the ladies like a naked Caliban and frightening my female boarders out of their wits! I'll give him satisfaction,—the ugly brute!"

The landlord began to ascend the stairway, breathing vengeance against Botts. Wiggins caught him by the tail of his coat and called out, "Hold! hold! I command the peace!"

"Are you a magistrate?" said the landlord.

"No; but I am a good citizen, and in the name of the law I command the peace!"

"Let me go!" said the landlord, flourishing his cudgel. "Let me go! If you tear my coat-tail off, I will——"

Here a number of ladies appeared on the upper landing and opposed a barrier of beauty between the landlord and Botts, whose ugly visage was seen in their rear. Several gentlemen were in the corridor at the foot of the stairway, and among them a fat and funny little fellow, who stood gazing at the scene with a most comical expression of countenance. The landlord struggled to get[Pg 65] free, but Wiggins held on to the tail of his coat with the tenacity of a terrier.

"Let me go, I say!" shouted Boniface, shaking his cudgel at Botts.

The ladies screamed and Botts looked amazed. Suddenly a voice was heard issuing from the mouth of the challenger, exclaiming, "Save me, ladies! oh, save me! save me!"

"What! begging, you ugly beast!" exclaimed the landlord. "Yes, you had better beg!"

"Oh, ladies!" exclaimed Botts, in piteous tones. "Don't let him murder me! I put myself under your protection!"

"Who ever heard the like?" said a gentleman standing at the foot of the stairway. "The pitiful poltroon! Come away, landlord! You wouldn't beat a man who has put himself under the protection of the women!"

The ladies gathered round Botts, and vowed that they would protect him. Botts was amazed at their tender solicitude in his behalf. The landlord was puzzled. He dropped his cudgel and walked back to his office, followed by Wiggins, who was intensely disgusted at the poltroonery of his principal.

"Look here, Wiggins," said Boniface, "I can't thrash a man who begs for mercy and puts himself under the protection of petticoats, but tell him to get out of my house. There has been nothing but confusion in it since he came. Let him be off, and tell him to take that drunken fellow Perch with him."

Wiggins undertook to convey the message of the landlord to Botts and the Long Green Boy. Just then Toney and Tom entered, and the former espying the fat little fellow standing in the corridor, exclaimed, "Why, Charley! how are you? where did you come from?"

"Toney, my boy, glad to see you! I've just arrived."

"Let me introduce you to my friend Tom Seddon," said Toney. "Tom, this is Charley Tickle, an old college friend."

Seddon and Tickle shook hands, and looked as if they intended to be most excellent friends.

[Pg 66]

"Charley," said Toney, "we have not met since we parted at college. Where have you been?"

"All over the world, Toney. I have traveled extensively, I can tell you. I have been a lecturer, a biologist, an artist, and am now a professor. Mind that you always give me my title when we go into company together."

"Where is your local habitation at present?"

"I am studying phrenology under the learned Professor Boneskull."

"Who is he?"

"A celebrated phrenologist. A few days ago he arrived in your town of Mapleton, and has there rented a house. You will find him flourishing when you go back. The room in which he receives visitors will cause you to open your eyes with wonder and awe."

"Why so?" said Toney.

"When you enter, you will see opposite the door a bust of Socrates, and on its head is perched a prodigious owl. If I am with you, the owl will speak to us and say. 'How do you do, gentlemen?—I am glad to see you.'"

"It must be a parrot," said Seddon.

"No, Mr. Seddon, it is an owl. He never speaks except when I am present, and then he sometimes becomes quite eloquent. There is evidently something supernatural about the bird, and I have suggested to Boneskull that it may be a fairy. He has consulted it on several occasions, and has received most excellent advice."

"No doubt of it," said Toney. "The owl is the bird of wisdom."

"Boneskull has a number of animals, birds, and reptiles stuffed, and arranged around his room in glass cases. To show you how implicitly the learned man relies upon what is uttered by the bird of wisdom, I will relate one or two incidents. One morning I met a young fellow who had a rat which he had skinned and stuffed, and having ingeniously fastened bristles to its tail, was persuading people that it was a squirrel. I told him to take it to Boneskull. When I entered his study, the learned[Pg 67] man was examining this curious specimen, and shaking his head rather dubiously. But on my entrance, the owl spoke and assured him it was a genuine squirrel, and of a very rare species; whereupon he purchased it, and it now forms a part of his collection."

"But how happens it," said Seddon, "that the bird never speaks except when you are present?"

"Oh, that is easily accounted for," said Tickle. "The bird of wisdom has a vast deal of discretion. He will not commit himself by any utterance except in the presence of a reliable witness. In me he has confidence, and in no other living man. I one day told a man to take a skull, which he had found, to the phrenologist, and that he would get a good price for it. When I entered, Boneskull had it in his hand and was carefully examining it. The owl now spoke, and said that it was the skull of a distinguished negro lawyer of Timbuctoo, which a missionary had brought home with him on his return from Africa. Boneskull was delighted with this information. He purchased the skull, and always has it before him on his table. It affords him great pleasure to point out its intellectual developments as indicated by the bumps. He says that an intellect once resided in that cranium equal to that of Clay, Webster, or Calhoun, and that its bumps clearly demonstrate that the negro is the equal of the white man in mental capacity. The vender of this valuable specimen of craniology afterwards told me that it was the skull of an idiot who had died in the almshouse; but I did not believe him, for how could I doubt the veracity and intelligence of the bird of wisdom?"

Here the conversation was interrupted by the appearance of Botts and Perch, accompanied by Pate and Wiggins, and followed by Scipio, Hannibal, and Cæsar carrying the baggage of the two former gentlemen. Toney and his friends walked with them to the cars. On the way Wiggins and Botts got into a warm altercation, and the latter became much excited as Wiggins upbraided him with having shown the white feather when menaced by the landlord's cudgel.

"I tell you," exclaimed Botts, "I never uttered a word."

[Pg 68]

"You did," said Scipio, who was walking behind with a trunk on his shoulder.

"What's that you say?" shouted Botts, turning round and looking at Scipio with a most malignant aspect.

"Indeed, Massa Botts," exclaimed Scipio, "I didn't say nothing."

"Botts begged!" said Hannibal. "Yaw! haw! haw!"

"Asked the women to save him from a beating!" said Cæsar. "Yaw! haw! haw!"

Botts stood glaring at the negroes like a ferocious wild beast. His ugly visage became absolutely frightful. Lifting up his cane, he suddenly charged on Cæsar, who dropped the trunk he was carrying and fled with precipitation, followed by Scipio and Hannibal. Botts followed the fugitives, bellowing out oaths and brandishing his cane until they reached the hotel, when they darted into the basement-story, and hid themselves in some place of refuge.

The landlord was standing on the veranda of the hotel, and behold Scipio and his comrades flying before the infuriated Botts. He turned white with rage and roared out, in a tone of thunder, "Making another muss, are you? Can't you be off without raising a row with my negroes? I'll settle with you, now there are no petticoats to protect you." And the landlord rushed into the house for his cudgel. Botts, having put Scipio, Hannibal, and Cæsar to flight, had glory enough for one day, and without waiting to encounter another antagonist, hastily returned to his companions. Pate and Perch were in great agitation, while Toney and Tom were convulsed with laughter. The Professor stood quietly looking on with a grave and serious aspect. After relieving himself by the discharge of a quantity of profanity, Botts was somewhat pacified by Pate. The trunks were loaded on a wheelbarrow by a sturdy Hibernian, and conveyed to their place of destination; and Perch and his companion, bidding their friends an affectionate farewell, entered a car and were soon wafted away from the beautiful town of Bella Vista.

Pate and Wiggins returned to the hotel, while Toney, Tom, and the Professor sauntered around until a train of[Pg 69] cars stopped, and three daintily dressed young men got out. These gentlemen all recognized Toney Belton, and were introduced by him to his friends as Messrs. Love, Dove, and Bliss.


After an interchange of salutations, Dove, who was a little man, about five feet three inches in height, most elaborately dressed, tapped the toe of his highly polished French boot with an elegant cane, so fragile that it seemed to have been constructed for the purpose of beating off butterflies and other annoying insects, and then asked after M. T. Pate, and inquired the way to the hotel. Having received satisfactory information from Toney in response to his inquiries, he took Love by the arm, and, followed by Bliss, proceeded up the street.

"Those are pretty little men," said the Professor, looking after them with a peculiar expression of fun lurking around the corner of his mouth and twinkling in his eye. "What did you say their names were?"

"Love, Dove, and Bliss," said Toney.

"Love and Dove are the two who have their wings locked together?" asked the Professor.

"Yes," said Toney. "And Bliss is walking behind."

"That is a proper programme," said the Professor.

"When Love and Dove go together, Bliss should always accompany them."

"Now, Tom," said Toney, "you have seen the whole seven."

"The whole seven!" said the Professor. "Who are they?"

"The Seven Sweethearts," said Toney.

"The Seven Sweethearts!" exclaimed the Professor.

"An organization," said Toney, "which originated in Mapleton, and now has numerous ramifications all over the country."

[Pg 70]

"Indeed!" said the Professor. "I have traveled much but never heard of such an organization until now."

"Then you would like to know something about the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts?" said Seddon.

"Very much," said the Professor. "I am compiling a new work on zoology, and will devote a chapter to the species of animal you have mentioned."

"Toney will give you a history of the origin and objects of the organization," said Tom.

"With the greatest pleasure," said Toney. "But come, let us light our cigars and take seats on yonder bench under the trees and make ourselves comfortable."

The three friends proceeded to the spot designated, and while the fragrant smoke was rolling off from their cigars, Toney gave an account of the Mystic Brotherhood, such as Seddon had already been made acquainted with; following it up with a recital of the events which had recently transpired in the town of Bella Vista; including a graphic description of the combat between Botts and the monkey in the ball-room; the contemplated duel between Botts and Bragg, and its singular termination; the terrible quarrel between the latter and the landlord, and the expulsion of the valiant captain from the hotel; the abortive attempt of Perch to commit suicide, and the scenes that ensued up to the time of the arrival of Tickle. The Professor listened with grave interest, and occasionally made a note in a little book which he drew from his pocket and held in his hand. When Toney had concluded, he exclaimed,—

"Well, Toney, I thought that I knew something, but you are a long way ahead of me, my boy, in useful knowledge. Let me see." And he looked over his notes. "The Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts. An order founded on principles of benevolence. Its object the welfare of women. To prevent marriages. Single women much happier than those who are married. A grand idea of M. T. Pate. Toney, this organization must flourish. It will soon get far ahead of the Order of Seven Wise Men. But it must have leaders. Who are its officers?"

"I have a list of them here," said Toney, drawing a paper from his pocket-book.

[Pg 71]

"What is this?" said the Professor, taking the paper in his hand and glancing over it. It read as follows:

M. O. O. S. S.
N. G. G. . . . . . . M. T. Pate.
M. W. D. . . . . . . Wm. Wiggins.
P. O. P. F. . . . . . Edward Botts.
G. G. G. . . . . . . Samuel Perch.
D. A. . . . . . . . Lucius Love.
N. N. . . . . . . . Altamont Dove.
W. W. . . . . . . . Marmaduke Bliss.

"What do those letters signify?" said the Professor.

"I have been puzzling my held over them for a long while," said Toney. "Suppose you and Tom Seddon now aid me in deciphering them."

"Agreed!" said Tom.

"N. G. G.," said the Professor. "What does that mean?"

"I can't make it out," said Toney.

"Noble Grand Gander," suggested Tom.

"Good!" said Toney. "Tom, you are an Œdipus!"

"M. T. Pate is the Noble Grand Gander of the organization," said the Professor, making an entry in his book. "M. W. D. What does that signify?"

"You are too hard for me," said Toney.

"Most Worthy Donkey," said Tom.

"Hurrah!" said Toney,—"that's it, I am certain. Tom, you should open a guessing school,—you would make your fortune."

"P. O. P. F.," said the Professor. "What's that?"

"Can't you guess, Tom?" said Toney.

"I am balked," said Tom.

"Botts?" said the Professor. "Is he the handsome man who was chasing the negroes?"

"The same," said Toney.

"Prince Of Pretty Fellows," suggested the Professor.

"That's it! excellent!" exclaimed Toney.

"G. G. G.?" said the Professor.

"Great Green Gosling," said Tom.

"Perch is the Great Green Gosling," said the [Pg 72]Professor, making an entry in his book. "And now for Love. What is the signification of D. A.?"

"Dainty Adorer," said Toney; and the Professor made a note, and then inquired the meaning of N. N.

"Noble Nonentity," said Tom.

"That hits Dove exactly," said Toney.

"There is one more," said the Professor.

"What is that?" asked Toney.

"W. W.," said the Professor.

"Winsome Wooer," suggested Seddon.

"That completes the list," said the Professor, looking over his note-book and making another entry.

"Bliss is the Winsome Wooer. Toney, how did you procure this curious document?"

"It came into my possession under very extraordinary circumstances," said Toney. "Would you like to hear the story?"

"I would, indeed," said the Professor.

"Let us have it," said Tom.

"You have heard me speak of the Widow Wild, who lives in the vicinity of Mapleton?" said Toney.

"Frequently," said Tom.

"The widow has a very handsome residence, and in it dwells a very pretty daughter."

"The lovely Rosabel Wild?" said Tom.

"How did you learn her name?" inquired Toney.

"Oh, I have learned that and much more in addition," said Tom.

"What more?" said Toney.

"I have been credibly informed that a certain young lawyer, who answers to the name of Toney Belton, and who seldom deigns to look at any other woman, is wonderfully enchanted and woefully bewitched by the lovely Rosabel Wild. Is it not so? Come, make a clean breast of it, Toney. An honest confession is good for the soul?"

"Well, Tom, I will be candid with you, and say, in sailor's phraseology, that if I were about to embark on a voyage of matrimony, as captain of the craft I would like to have Rosabel Wild for my mate. But the widow is very eccentric, and has often declared, in the most [Pg 73]emphatic terms, that no man can marry her daughter unless he is worth a hundred thousand dollars. Now, you know that I have not got a hundred thousand dollars."

"But your bachelor uncle, Colonel Abraham Belton, has, and you will be his heir."

"That is by no means so certain as you seem to suppose. Colonel Abraham Belton, although he has lived longer than yourself by some twenty years, is really as young a man as either of us, for nature has given him a constitution of iron. He is so tough that time has never been able to plow a furrow in his face, nor has he a gray hair in his whiskers. He may marry a wife."

"Very true," said the Professor; "and she may raise up children unto Abraham."

"And," said Toney, "the children of Abraham may deprive me of the hundred thousand dollars."

"Toney, you are a man of sense," said the Professor; "and the French maxim-maker says that a wise man may sometimes love like a madman, but never like a fool. But let us hear your story."

"Well, you must know that I am really a very great favorite with the Widow Wild, although I have not the requisite sum for a son-in-law. I believe that Rosabel would be willing to wait until I get the hundred thousand dollars. Indeed, to be candid, I have consulted her, and she has expressed a decided determination to do so. This, however, is a profound secret between the young lady and myself, which we have never confided to the widow. I am often at the house."

"I should suppose so," said Tom.

"On a certain evening I was there, and the clock striking eleven, I rose and was about to take my leave, when the widow urged me to remain, saying that she had received an intimation that Love, Dove, and Bliss, who, you must know, sing as sweetly as nightingales, were coming to entertain Rosabel with a serenade. Now, the widow has a singular antipathy to the Seven Sweethearts, and not one of them can gain admission to her mansion; but Love, Dove, and Bliss had met Rosabel a few nights before at a party, where Dove kept fluttering around her until the widow, who was also present, [Pg 74]expressed a desire to take him home and put him in a cage with her canary-bird. It was a fine moonlight night, and we sat conversing in the parlor until about twelve o'clock, when we heard the voice of Dove under Rosabel's window, singing, in mellifluous notes,—

'Wake, fairest, awake! at thy window now be;
The moon on the midnight her splendor is pouring.
Wake, fairest, awake! from thy window now see,
Like a saint at his shrine, thy lover adoring.
'Come, beautiful, forth on thy balcony high,
While silver-toned music around thee is floating;
And yon shooting-star shall come down from the sky,
Like a slave at thy feet his homage devoting.
'Nay, venture not, dearest! lest over the air
Some spirits should chance to be wand'ring this even;
And, deeming thee some truant angel now there,
Might steal thee away to their home in the heaven.'

"'Rosabel,' said I, 'how can you refrain from jumping out the window when a pretty little man like Dove invites you to come forth and behold "thy lover adoring"?'

"'But,' said Rosabel, 'in the last verse he warns me not to venture.'

"'That is true,' said I; 'the little man manifests a wonderful solicitude for your safety. He is apprehensive lest you might be arrested as a runaway angel,—a fugitive from service.'

"'Hist! hist!' said Rosabel.

"'That is Love,' said I; and the voice of the serenader was heard singing,—

'The silvery cloudlets now are weeping, love,
Sweet dewdrops on the flowers,
And mellow moonlight now is creeping, love,
Under the ivy bowers.
And thou hast heard the vesper hymn
That stirred the balmy air,
When, as the shadows grew more dim,
The pious met in prayer.
'Their sacred rosaries they were counting, love,
Unto their saints in heaven,
And telling them to what a mountain, love,
Their sins had grown this even.
[Pg 75]
While thus to saints on high they pour
Their prayers at evening bland,
I am contented to adore
An angel near at hand.'

"'Oh, Rosabel!' I exclaimed, 'I always thought you were an angel, and now I know it, for both Love and Dove have testified to the fact. Out of the mouths of two witnesses has the truth been established. You are an angel, Rosabel, but please don't fly away.'

"'Nonsense, Toney! Don't go crazy. Be quiet—hush! Listen!'

"'That is Bliss,' said I; and we heard him singing,—

'My little, lovely, laughing maid!
So great a thief thou art,
I do declare, I am afraid
Thou'st stolen all my heart.
'Thou'st stolen the lily's purest white,
Thou'st stolen the rose's hue,
Thou'st stolen each flow'ret's beauties bright,
And stolen my poor heart too.
'Well, little rogue, come help yourself,
Your robberies repeat,
And take the rest of the poor elf
Who's sighing at your feet.'

"'He accuses you of felony,' said I. 'Oh, Rosabel! why did you, after having perpetrated so many larcenies among the flower-beds, steal the poor little man's heart?'

"'What would I want with his heart?' said Rosabel, pouting.

"'He tells you to keep it, and makes an offer of himself. He offers you Bliss.'

"'The impudent little scamp!' said the widow. 'Tell Juba and Jugurtha to come here.'

"'Yes, ma'am,' said a colored girl, who stood grinning behind the widow's chair.

"Two gigantic negro men soon made their appearance.

"'Are the dogs in the kennel?' said the widow.

"'Yes, ma'am,' said Juba.

"'Oh, mother!' exclaimed Rosabel, 'you won't do that! It is a pity!'

[Pg 76]

"'Indeed I will,' said the widow. 'Let them loose!'

"'Yes, ma'am;' and Juba and Jugurtha grinned, and each uttered a low chuckle as they hurried from the room.

"The voice of Dove was warbling another melody. It stopped suddenly, for the baying of hounds was heard on the opposite side of the house. I looked out the window, and in the moonlight could see Love and Bliss leaping over the paling fence. Dove was climbing an apple-tree, when a dog seized him behind and tore away his tail——"

"What!" said the Professor.

"The tail of his coat," said Toney. "Dove took refuge among the branches of the tree.

"After awhile Juba entered the room showing his ivory and exhibiting a piece of broadcloth, which he held in his hand as a trophy.

"'What is that?' asked the widow.

"'Dunno, ma'am,—I tuk it from Trouncer.'

"'Let me look,' said I. 'Why, it's Dove's tail!'

"The widow shrieked with laughter, and Rosabel hid her face on the cushion of the sofa and shook as if she had an ague. I put my hand in the pocket and drew out a number of papers.

"'What are those?' said the widow.

"'Love-letters,' said I. 'Here, Rosabel, you can read them.'

"'And those?' said the widow.

"'Verses,' said I,—'songs and sonnets. Rosabel, you can copy them into your album.'

"'And that?' said the widow.

"'Why,' said I,'this puzzles me.'

"'What does M. O. O. S. S. mean?' asked the widow.

"'Oh, I know what that means,' said I.

"'What?' said Rosabel.

"'It signifies Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts.' And I gave Rosabel and her mother an account of the Sweethearts, which excited much merriment.

"'But these letters, N. G. G. and M. W. D.,—what do they mean?' asked the widow.

"'That I cannot tell,' said I.

"'Do try to find out,' said Rosabel.

[Pg 77]

"I promised to do so, and have ever since retained the paper in my possession for the purpose of deciphering it."

"But what became of Dove?" asked the Professor.

"I must tell you," said Toney. "When I retired I could not sleep. I thought about Rosabel, and then about Dove in the apple-tree, and then I would roar with laughter; and Rosabel and her mother must have heard me, for I could hear explosions of mirth in an adjoining apartment. Towards morning I got into a doze and was dreaming that I had a hundred thousand dollars, and had purchased a diamond ring for Rosabel, who had ordered her bridal attire, when I was awakened by hearing voices in the garden. I jumped out of bed and ran to the window. It was daylight, and under the apple-tree I beheld Juba walking to and fro with the steady pace of a Roman sentinel. Dove was perched on a bough over his head, and I could hear him in piteous tones begging the negro to tie up the dogs. For a long while his supplications made no impression on the obdurate African. Finally he drew a coin of glittering gold from the pocket of his vest, and the tempting bribe produced the desired effect. The dogs were tied up, and Dove dropped from the tree, and leaped over the fence and vanished."

Just then the loud sound of a gong, announcing the arrival of the hour for dinner, was heard, and Toney and his friends arose from their seats and walked toward the hotel.


In the afternoon, as the sun was descending towards the western horizon, and the balmy breezes were gently stirring the leaves of the silver maples which shaded the main avenue leading from the hotel, Toney, in company with Tom and the Professor, proceeded on a promenade. They had not gone far before they perceived Harry Vincent and Clarence Hastings just in advance of them, walking slowly and apparently engaged in earnest [Pg 78]conversation. They overheard Harry say, "I tell you my mind is made up. I am off for Mexico, and I want you to go with me."

Clarence shook his head. His mind was not yet made up.

"Did you hear that?" said Toney.

"Yes," said Tom. "Harry is going to Mexico."

"Do you mean the tall, handsome young man walking on the left?" said the Professor.

"The same," said Toney.

"I thought he had military glory in his mind as soon as I saw him," said the Professor.

"Why so?" asked Toney.

"A close observer can sometimes tell what is in a man's mind by his walk," said the Professor. "From the erect manner in which the young man carried his head and the determined tread with which he brought down his foot, I was certain that he had resolved on a march for the Halls of the Montezumas."

The Professor and his two friends had now halted under a tree and were engaged in conversation, when Claribel and Wiggins came by, and as they passed Harry and Clarence, Wiggins bowed, but the lovely Claribel never turned her head.

"Did you observe that?" said Seddon.

"I did," said Tony.

"Military glory is getting into the mind of the other young gentleman, I think," said the Professor. "He seems to be half a head taller than he was a moment ago, and his foot comes down with a determination that indicates no benevolent intentions towards Santa Anna and his myrmidons. But, look! yonder comes our three pretty little men."

Love now passed them, followed by Dove and Bliss, each escorting a very beautiful young lady. Love seemed to be supremely happy, and in terms of rapture was directing the attention of the smiling beauty to the magnificent sunset.

"Yon sun that sets upon the sea
We follow in his flight;
Farewell, awhile, to him and thee——

[Pg 79]

Ugh! ugh! ugh!" exclaimed Love; and the lady loudly shrieked as he was lifted from his feet and rudely carried away from her side.

A mischievous dog had assaulted an aged sow of monstrous proportions, which was quietly rooting in the street, and the affrighted porker frantically rushed between the legs of the beau and galloped off with him on her back. Love was half paralyzed with terror. He fell forward on the back of the sow and convulsively grasped her by the ears. The ladies fled screaming toward the hotel, while Dove and Bliss stood petrified with astonishment. Toney, Tom, and the Professor ran at full speed after Love, who was rapidly galloping away on the back of his courser. The dog, delighted with the sport, kept pinching the hams of the sow, and in the hope of escaping from her ruthless tormentor, she diverged from the main avenue and ran across a common to a pond of mud and water. Into the pond plunged the sow with the unfortunate beau on her back, scattering a flock of ducks, that with loud quacks fluttered up the banks, where stood the dog barking and bobbing his head in the full enjoyment of the fun.

In a few moments groups of men and boys were assembled on the margin of the pond. Love sat on the back of the sow bespattered with mud, and still tenaciously holding on by her long, pendant ears. Suddenly a voice was heard, apparently issuing from the mouth of the porker, and exclaiming, "Let go my ears!"

"Golly! did you hear that?" exclaimed Cæsar, with his eyes dilating in amazement.

"The hog's talking," said Hannibal.

"That beats Balaam's ass!" said Tom Seddon.

"Get off my back!" shrieked the sow, and Love, in the utmost terror, rolled off into the mud. The sow slowly waded towards the bank and gazed up at the dog with a look of indignation. Her canine persecutor was put to flight by a stone hurled from the hand of Hannibal, when she ascended the bank, and, shaking the mud from her sides, with a grunt trotted off, and was soon seen industriously digging with her nose in a sward of clover.

"Jehosophat! that hog talked," said Hannibal.

[Pg 80]

"Nonsense!" said Toney.

"'Deed, Massa Belton, that old sow talked. I heerd her talkin' myself," said Cæsar.

"The devil's in the swine," said Seddon.

"I b'lieves that old sow's the debbil," said Hannibal.

"Pshaw!" said Toney, "it was some boy you heard talking. Do you suppose that the hogs in this town have the gift of gab? Here, help Mr. Love out of the pond."

The unfortunate beau sat helplessly in the midst of the mud and water, and was turning his eyes imploringly towards Dove and Bliss, who stood on the bank.

"Wade in and help him out," said Toney to the negroes.

Cæsar and Hannibal both shook their heads.

"Here, take this," said Toney, handing each a silver coin. "Now, wade in."

Cæsar and Hannibal commenced slowly rolling up the legs of their trousers until they had gathered them in bundles above their knees. They then with much deliberation waded to the middle of the pond, and each taking Love by an arm, lifted him up, and bringing him ashore, laid him down on the bank.

"Get that wheelbarrow," said Toney, pointing to a vehicle of the sort which had been left on the common.

Cæsar brought the barrow, and Hannibal lifted Love up and deposited him in the bottom of the vehicle, and, followed by a procession of people, carried the luckless beau back to the hotel.

"Take him to the bath-house," said the landlord.

The negroes obeyed orders, and left Love in the care of Dove and Bliss.

"That hog talked," said Cæsar.

"Sartingly!" said Hannibal. "Golly! who ever heerd a hog talk afore dat?"

"Those African gentlemen are fully persuaded that the sow spoke," said Seddon to the Professor.

"It may be so," said the Professor. "She was under the influence of Love, and that has been known to produce miraculous results."

In the mean while, Wiggins and the lovely Claribel, in utter ignorance of the melancholy catastrophe just[Pg 81] related, had continued their walk until they entered a delightful grove on the outskirts of the town. Here was a beautiful fountain and rustic bench, around which hung a canopy of clustering vines. Claribel was about to seat herself on the bench when a hideous head was thrust out from among the vines. The lady uttered a faint scream and swooned in terror. Wiggins was dreadfully startled, and drawing back a cane with a leaden bullet enveloped in gutta-percha on its end, dealt a blow on the head of the apparition which would have cracked the skull of an ox. The monster fell back dead in the bushes. Wiggins now turned his attention to his fair companion. She was unconscious. He lifted her up, and, with the lovely Claribel in his arms, seated himself on the rustic bench. Her head rested against his bosom, and Wiggins bent down until his mouth accidentally came in contact with her ruby lips. It was an accident, and Wiggins did not intend to commit a trespass, but he could not help it. Wiggins kissed Claribel on her delicious little mouth. Now, who ever kissed a lovely young lady once without wanting to kiss her again? Wiggins kissed her again, and then several times in rapid succession. Just then Harry Vincent and Clarence Hastings, unperceived by Wiggins, entered the grove. They stood still in astonishment. An expression of horror was depicted on the countenance of Clarence. For a moment he stood as if rooted to the earth. Then pulling Harry by the arm, he said, in a hoarse whisper, "Come!" The young men walked on in silence for about five minutes, when Clarence said, "Harry, I will go with you to the Mexican war."

[Pg 82]


On the morning after the events related in the preceding chapter, the ladies at the hotel could talk of nothing but Love. Love seemed to occupy all their thoughts, and at breakfast many a pair of beautiful eyes were directed towards the door of the saloon each time it opened, in eager expectation of his appearance. But he did not appear, and many young damsels retired from the table sadly disappointed by his invisibility. At about ten o'clock in the morning a rumor became prevalent that Love was about to appear, and many a pretty face might be seen peeping from a half-opened door, evidently for the purpose of getting a glimpse of the Dainty Adorer when he came forth. Soon the heavy tramp of feet was heard in the corridor, as Scipio, Cæsar, and Hannibal marched along carrying trunks with the names of Love, Dove, and Bliss in large letters on their lids. The Dainty Adorer now came form with the Noble Nonentity on his right and the Winsome Wooer on his left. The three little men had their arms locked, and were followed by Wiggins and M. T. Pate, who seemed to be exceedingly sad. As the melancholy procession descended the stairway, from numerous doors opening into the corridor issued lovely young ladies, who hurried to the upper landing, where was soon assembled a galaxy of beauty gazing after Love, Dove, and Bliss, who were taking their departure. As the daintily-dressed little beaus went forth into the street, the bevy of beauties descended the stairway and assembled on the veranda, where they continued to gaze down the avenue until Hannibal, who led the advance, turned a corner, and then, in a moment, Love, Dove, and Bliss were hidden from their view. One might have imagined that the departure of Bliss would have produced a feeling of melancholy among the beauties who had been deserted; but such was not the case. Peals of laughter were heard, and, regardless of[Pg 83] the flight of Dove and the departure of Bliss, the young ladies talked merrily of Love during the entire day.

Toney, Tom, and the Professor were at the railway and witnessed the departure of Love, Dove, and Bliss with manifest regret. They turned away and walked for some moments in profound silence, when Seddon exclaimed,—

"Yonder comes Captain Bragg!"

The cosmopolite approached them at a hurried pace, and apparently in much excitement. He was introduced to the Professor, and then Toney inquired about the condition of his health.

"I am physically well, Mr. Belton," said Bragg, "but am mentally afflicted."

"Indeed!" said Toney. "I trust that there has been no serious cause for this disturbance of your usual equanimity."

"I have met with a great, I fear an irreparable, loss," said Bragg.

"A ship foundered at sea without any insurance on her?" inquired the Professor.

"My monkey," said Bragg.

"Alas!" exclaimed Tom Seddon in pathetic tones, "is the monkey no more?"

"Is he dead?" said Toney, apparently in great anxiety to learn its fate.

"I know not," said Bragg. "He is missing. I have searched for him in vain."

"He may have run away and escaped over Mason and Dixon's line," said the Professor. "Could you not reclaim him under the fugitive slave law?"

"That monkey would never have run away, Mr. Tickle. I have fed him and protected him, and he could never have been guilty of such gross folly and base ingratitude."

"A negro, who is clothed and fed and protected, will occasionally run off from a comfortable home, and why not a monkey?" said Seddon.

"A negro may run away from the mush-pot of his master because he is a slave, and is impelled by a natural and laudable desire for liberty. But my monkey was not a slave, Mr. Seddon. He was a friend and a companion. Monkeys and apes, Mr. Tickle, have emotions and [Pg 84]sentiments. All they lack is the power of speech to give expression to their thoughts and feelings."

"They sometimes, though rarely, have that faculty," said the Professor. "On one occasion I heard a venerable baboon express himself in emphatic and excellent English."

"Indeed!" said Bragg.

"It was in Kentucky," said the Professor, "There was a traveling menagerie exhibiting in a small village. A number of negroes were examining the baboon with much curiosity, and one of them insisted that he could talk but would not, because if he did the white people would put him to work, and he was too lazy to work. I was present and heard the baboon indignantly exclaim, 'You lie, you ugly, nasty nigger! I am not as lazy as you are! Begone! or I'll bite your nose off!' The Africans tore a hole in the tent in their efforts to get out."

Here there was heard an uproar in the street and a crowd of boys was seen approaching. One of them was carrying an animal, which he grasped by the tail and held with its head hanging down.

"What is that?" asked Seddon.

"A dead monkey," said the boy. "We found him in the grove by the fountain lying on his back in the bushes."

Bragg rushed forward and the boy dropped the monkey, which lay on the ground with its hideous face turned upward.

"My monkey! my monkey!" exclaimed Bragg. He stooped down and examined the dead body. Its skull had been cracked by a terrible blow which must have produced instant death. "This monkey has been foully murdered! Oh, that I knew the villain who perpetrated the bloody deed! Who killed my monkey? I say who killed my monkey?" said Bragg.

"Botts!" said a voice apparently issuing from the mouth of the monkey. Bragg started back with a look of amazement. The crowd of boys opened and they fell back in awe and terror.

"Bill," said a boy to his companion, "that monkey spoke."

[Pg 85]

"True as preaching!" said Bill. "I heard it."

Bragg stood speechless for some minutes. Then, in solemn tones, he exclaimed,—

"Gentlemen, did you not hear that?"

"What?" said Toney, who with Tom stood at a distance of some paces. "I heard nothing."

"Did you not hear a voice issuing from the mouth of the corpse and proclaiming the name of the murderer?" exclaimed Bragg.

"Impossible!" said Seddon.

"By no means impossible," said the Professor. "Shakspeare, who is good authority on all such subjects, tells us that

Stones have been known to move and trees to speak;
Auguries and understood relations have,
By magot-pies and choughs and rooks, brought forth
The secret'st man of blood."

"True, Mr. Tickle," said Bragg. "And as sure as yonder sun is shining in the heavens I heard a voice issuing from that monkey's mouth and proclaiming Botts to be the murderer!"

"Botts could prove an alibi," said Toney. "He has gone back to Mapleton."

"The conscience-stricken villain!" exclaimed Bragg. "He has imbrued his hands in innocent blood and then fled. I will follow him to the ends of the earth!" And Bragg started off as if in pursuit of the murderer.

"Captain!" shouted Seddon, "What will you do with the corpse?"

"Bury it," said Bragg, coming back,—"and then I will seek out that villain Botts."

Accompanied by the boys, Bragg proceeded to bury his monkey.

"That man is insane," said the Professor.

"All excitable people are insane at times," said Toney.

"Bragg has monkey-mania," said Tom.

"And pseudomania," said Toney.

"His lies are harmless," said Seddon.

"And amusing," said Toney. "Bragg can beat Baron Munchausen."

"That was an amusing story he told about his [Pg 86]residence in Africa among those long-tailed gentlemen," said Seddon.

"What was that?" asked the Professor.

Here Tom gave an account of Bragg's residence in Africa as related by himself.

"The man is demented," said the Professor. "But do you think he will go after Botts?"

"As sure as his name is Bragg," said Toney. "Yonder he comes now."

Bragg was seen walking towards them rapidly, carrying a carpet-bag.

"Good-by, gentlemen!" said he, hurrying along.

"Are you going, captain?" said Toney. "When will you return?"

"As soon as I have settled with that villain Botts. Good-by!"

Bragg hurried to the railway. A train of cars was just ready to start. "All aboard!" shouted the conductor, and the train moved off. Bragg seated himself with an ominous frown on his brow, for he was thinking of Botts. Immediately in front of him sat a man who had a large bundle by his side. The cars soon stopped at another station. The man got up and went out, leaving his bundle behind.

"Here, my man, you have left your bundle!" exclaimed Bragg.

The man made no answer, but had disappeared. The whistle sounded and the train was moving off, Bragg jumped up and threw the bundle out the window. It was picked up by a ragged loafer, who ran off with it. Just then the man re-entered the car.

"Where is my bundle?" exclaimed he.

"That man threw it out the window," said a passenger, pointing to Bragg.

"What!" exclaimed the man, and he looked out the window and saw the loafer running of with his bundle. "You infernal thief!—threw my bundle out the window for one of your gang to carry off!"

Bragg protested his innocence and endeavored to explain.

"Oh, that's a pretty story!" said the man. "You[Pg 87] are a sharp rogue! If you don't pay me for my bundle I will have you arrested at the next station and carried back to jail."

"How much was your bundle worth?" asked Bragg.

"Twenty dollars," said the man.

"Here's the money," said Bragg.

The man took the twenty dollars and resumed his seat. The train now stopped at another station and two constables rushed on board. They looked around with keen and searching glances.

"Jim," said one of them to the other, "that's the man. Arrest him!"

"I arrest you in the name of the law," said Jim, laying his hand on Bragg's shoulder.

"Arrest me!" exclaimed the astonished captain. "For what?"

"Burglary!" said the constable.

"By the powers of mud, stand back!" shouted the indignant Bragg.

"Come along, my lad!" said the constable. And Bragg, struggling with the officers and uttering volleys of oaths, was dragged from the car and had handcuffs put on his wrists.

"I knew that fellow was a thief," said the man who had lost his bundle.

A daring burglary had been committed in the neighborhood of Bella Vista. At about twelve o'clock on the preceding night the store-room which adjoined the dwelling-house of a country merchant had been broken open. The merchant was aroused and entered the store-room, but was knocked down and gagged by the burglars, and his goods carried off before his eyes. He had described the leader of the gang as a tall, raw-boned man, with a Roman nose. The appearance of Captain Bragg corresponded to the description, and hence he was arrested by the vigilant constables.

Great was the astonishment of Toney and his two friends when the train stopped, and they beheld Bragg led from the cars by the officers, with handcuffs on his wrists.

"Good heavens!" said Toney, "Bragg has [Pg 88]encountered Botts and murdered him, and has been arrested for the crime."

"That is just what has happened!" exclaimed Seddon, with a look of horror.

"It is shocking to think of!" said Toney.

"Murder a man on account of a monkey!" said Seddon.

The constables kept off the crowd, and would allow no one to speak to the prisoner.

"Mr. Belton!" exclaimed Bragg, "I want you to be my attorney."

"Very good," said Jim, "you can talk to your lawyer."

Toney was permitted to converse with Bragg, who explained to him the nature of the charge which had caused his arrest.

"Thank Heaven!" exclaimed Toney.

"Thank Heaven for what?" asked Bragg, in astonishment.

"That it is no worse," said Toney.

"What could be worse? Arrested as a burglar!" said Bragg.

"Where were you at twelve o'clock last night?" inquired Toney.

"At my boarding-house," said Bragg.

"Can you prove that?" said Toney.

"Yes," said Bragg.

"By whom?" inquired Toney.

"By my landlady and a dozen of her boarders. I was playing cards, and won a hundred dollars," said Bragg.

"Tom Seddon," shouted Toney, "run to Captain Bragg's boarding-house, and tell the landlady and her boarders to come immediately to the magistrate's office."

Captain Bragg was brought into the office.

"Take off the handcuffs," said the justice. "A party accused should be unmanacled when he has a hearing."

Jim took off the handcuffs, and then stationed himself at the door with his hand on his revolver, ready to shoot down the desperate burglar if he should attempt to escape.

"Now, Mr. Belton," said the justice, "we will proceed with the examination."

[Pg 89]

The landlady swore that Captain Bragg was in her house at twelve o'clock on the preceding night. Her testimony was fully corroborated by that of a dozen of her boarders. An alibi had already been clearly established by the evidence, when the merchant who had been robbed walked into the room. He approached Bragg and scrutinized his countenance.

"This is not the man," said he. "The robber was a much handsomer man than the ugly old fellow you have got here."

In consequence of this testimony Captain Bragg was discharged from custody; but he was so mortified and humiliated at having been handcuffed and charged with burglary that he immediately took his departure from Bella Vista; telling Toney that he intended to leave the United States, and seek an asylum among the islands of the Pacific Ocean.


"It is too bad! it is too bad!" exclaimed Tom Seddon, rushing into the room which Toney and the Professor were quietly fumigating with a couple of havanas. "It is terrible to think of!"

"What's the matter, Tom?" said Toney. "Has old Crabstick been afflicted with another fit of canine rabies, and bit you on the calf of the leg?"

"Harry Vincent and Clarence Hastings have gone to Mexico!" said Tom.

"Well, what of that?" said Toney. "Thousands of young men have gone thither, and many have won distinction; and from my knowledge of Harry and Clarence, I am certain that both of them will soon gather luxuriant crops of laurel on the field of battle."

"But Claribel Carrington is dying," said Seddon.

"What?" exclaimed Toney.

"Dying?" said the Professor.

"I fear it is so," said Tom. "I was at Colonel [Pg 90]Hazlewood's house this morning when the newspaper was brought in. Claribel took it in her hand and was glancing over it when she suddenly let it drop; sat speechless for a moment; put her hand to her brow, and then, with a faint cry, sank senseless on the floor. She had seen the paragraph announcing the departure of Clarence and Harry. We lifted her up and her lips were discolored with blood. I fear that the sudden shock produced the rupture of a blood-vessel. She was carried to her room, and two doctors are in attendance."

"But what of Imogen?" asked Toney.

"She hastily snatched up the paper and glanced at the paragraph, and then it fell from her hand. She never uttered a word. I do not know whether that stately beauty is possessed of feeling," said Seddon.

"As much perhaps as the other," said the Professor. "Some women are like the Laconian boy, with the fox eating away his life. With them agony has no outward expression. They suffer and are silent."

"Women are enigmas," said Toney.

"They are like pigs," said the Professor.

"How so?" asked Toney.

"If you want them to go to Cork you must make them suppose you desire them to go to Kilkenny."

"I believe you are right," said Toney. "Now, here are Claribel and Imogen who have been bestowing their smiles on everybody but Clarence and Harry. For those two gentlemen, who are handsome, educated, and accomplished, neither of these young ladies has had a kindly look or friendly word for a whole week. One who was unacquainted with the secret workings of a woman's heart would have supposed that Claribel was deeply in love with Rosebud's purple proboscis."

"Who is Rosebud?" asked the Professor.

"Wiggins," said Toney.

"The fellow with the long rubicund nasal protuberance?" asked the Professor. "He who is supposed to be the Most Worthy Donkey of the Mystic Brotherhood?"

"The same," said Toney. "And Imogen appeared to be equally infatuated with the Long Green Boy."

[Pg 91]

"Who is he?" inquired the Professor.

"Sam Perch," said Toney.

"Oh, you mean the Great Green Gosling," said the Professor. "The interesting young gentleman who was so unsuccessful in his elaborate attempt at suicide."

"That's the youth," said Toney. "And now, when Clarence and Harry, worried and maddened by the caprice of these two young ladies, have gone off to Mexico, you see what has happened."

"It was all the doings of your Seven Sweethearts, as you call them," exclaimed Tom Seddon. "They must be made to leave the town."

"They have all gone but two," said Toney. "The exodus of Love, Dove, and Bliss leaves Pate and Wiggins alone to conduct the operations of lady-killing and making havoc among hearts."

"And Wiggins has killed Claribel, if I am not mistaken," said Seddon. "They must be made to leave," said he, with emphasis. "Pate has been bobbing his big bald head about in the mansion of old Crabstick, and has been gallanting Ida all around. He has magnetized her eccentric guardian, who is under the impression that Pate is wealthy, and cordially welcomes him to his house; while he will hardly allow me to exchange a word with Ida, and sometimes when I am in the parlor he will have one of his fits of hypochondria, or whatever you may call it, and will come bounding in on all fours, barking and pretending to bite. It is all put on; for the old Cerberus is polite enough in the presence of M. T. Pate."

"Well, Tom, how do you propose to effect the expulsion of the Noble Grand Gander and the Most Worthy Donkey?" asked Toney.

"They met me on the street about an hour ago," said Seddon, "and proposed that we three should accompany them on a serenade, intended for the entertainment of Ida."

"How far does Crabstick live from the town?" inquired Toney.

"About two miles," said Tom.

"Let us go," said Toney.

"I will arrange with some young men in Bella Vista,[Pg 92] who will eagerly participate in the performance. We will have fun," said Seddon.

"There is nothing like fun," said the Professor. "I am about to originate a sect to be called the Funny Philosophers. Let's organize it at once. We three,—Toney, Tom, and Tickle."

"Agreed," said Toney.

"And now we will commence operations by going on the proposed serenade," said the Professor.

"And Pate and Wiggins shall leave this town!" said Tom Seddon.


There was no moon, but the stars were brightly twinkling, when Toney, Tom, and the Professor started, in company with Wiggins and M. T. Pate, on a pedestrian excursion to the mansion of Samuel Crabstick, situated at a distance of about two miles from the town of Bella Vista. They had proceeded some distance when they came to a rustic stile which had been erected over a fence on the side of the main road, and from which a path led through a field into a forest. Toney seated himself on the stile and proposed that they should diverge from the main road and follow the path across the field; saying that it was the most direct route to their place of destination.

"I would prefer the main road," said Pate. "It is more circuitous; but there is no moon, and it will be very dark in yonder forest. We will have difficulty in finding our way through it."

"Not at all," said Toney, "I know every foot of the path, which runs in a straight line to the place we are going."

"Then, let us take the path," said the Professor. "When beauty is the attraction I always want to make a bee-line for her abode."

"That is in accordance with natural laws," said Toney. "Who ever saw pyrites of iron taking a circuitous route to the magnet? Ida is the magnet. Is it not so, Tom?"

[Pg 93]

Tom nodded assent.

"And we are the pyrites," said the Professor. "Let us go straight to the attraction, and not be acting contrary to the laws of nature."

Pate was overcome by these arguments, and, ascending the stile, was about to pursue that path, when Toney called out,—

"Don't be in a hurry, Mr. Pate. We have plenty of time."

"In fact, it is too early yet for a serenade," said the Professor. "We should wait until the young lady has put on her nightcap. If we wake her out of her first nap, when she has been wandering in the fairy-land of dreams, her impression will be that angels are singing around her window."

"That is so," said Toney. "Let us wait. I have a proposition to make."

"What is that?" asked the Professor.

"Here we are going on a serenade," said Toney. "Now, I move that each man furnish evidence of his musical accomplishments by singing a song. Let Mr. Pate lead off."

"A song from Mr. Pate!" cried the Professor.

"A song from Mr. Pate!" shouted Seddon.

"Mr. Pate will now sing," said Toney.

Thus urged, Pate seated himself, and in loud if not mellifluous tones sang as follows:

The summer day's faded and starlight is streaming
In beautiful showers from heaven above;
And welcome sweet midnight! for then in its dreaming
My spirit is wafted away to my love.
Let others rejoicing, then welcome Aurora,
As fann'd by zephyrs she blushes so bright;
But midnight! sweet midnight! I'll ever adore her,
And mourn when the morning returns with its light.

"Mr. Pate," said the Professor, "if you wake the young lady up by warbling that melody under her window, she will think that you are an angel of magnificent proportions and tremendous vocal powers. Now, Mr. Wiggins, it is your turn."

[Pg 94]

Wiggins cleared his throat and sang the following ditty:

Oh, maiden fair,
With raven hair,
And lips so sweetly pouting,
I do avow,
That until now,
I've in my mind been doubting
If 'twere not sin
To rank you in
The race of us poor mortals;
Thinking you might,
By some fair sprite,
Escaped from heaven's own portals.
But as I now
Gaze on that brow
So fondly and so madly,
I am afraid,
My lovely maid,
My fancy's lowered sadly;
For while 'mid bliss
So sweet as this
My soul's to rapture given,
Alas! my mind
Is more inclined
To earth than 'tis to heaven.

"Indeed, Mr. Wiggins, you must not warble that song under the young lady's window," said the Professor.

"I do not intend to do so," said Wiggins.

"I am glad of that," said the Professor, "for if you did she would imagine that you were some fallen angel on a midnight peregrination. And now, Toney, let us hear from you."

Toney sang:

Come to the green grove! where wild vines are clinging
Around the tall elms, whose broad boughs are flinging
Their shade o'er the roof of the cottage so near
To the banks of the streamlet meandering clear.
There we'll recline 'neath the shade of the willow,
Where roses and lilies have wreathed a sweet pillow,
And the goldfinch concealed in the green boughs above
Is warbling all day to his beautiful love.
There we will watch the blithe humming-bird roving,
And purple-winged butterflies fairy-like moving
Among the blue violets that bloom at our feet,
And throw all around us their fragrance so sweet.
[Pg 95]
There thou shalt sing, love, and then as I hear thee,
Drink in thy soft tones, and know that I'm near thee,
I'll fancy 'tis Eden around me I see,
And thou art an angel to share it with me.

"Toney," said the Professor, "when the young lady hears that she will suppose that the spirit of a troubadour is warbling under her window. And now, Mr. Seddon."

Tom sang:

The green wood is ringing with mocking-birds' notes,
And melody springing from turtle-doves' throats,
And wild flowers growing so beautiful there,
Their fragrance are throwing all over the air.
But see! in yon bower, that wild vines inclose,
A lovelier flower than lily or rose;
Your beauties have vanished, ye lilies so fair,
To her cheeks are banished; go seek for them there!
Your sweetness, ye roses, which butterflies sip,
Hath gone—it reposes upon her soft lip;
Thy music, sweet dove, now no more thou'lt prolong!
Oh, list to my love now! she's stolen thy song.

"Mr. Seddon, the young lady will be persuaded that you are a twin brother to the troubadour," said the Professor.

"And now, Charley," said Toney, "we are waiting to hear you warble."

The Professor sang:

Come hasten with me, love,
Come hasten away!
Come haste to yon lea, love,
Where flow'rets so gay
Their beauties have blended,
As richly as though
'Twere fragments all splendid
Of yonder bright bow,
By fairy hands riven
In moments of mirth,
And flung from yon heaven
T' embellish the earth.
Come haste to yon lea, love,
Come hasten with me!
And then thou shalt see, love,
Naught fairer than thee.

[Pg 96]

"How do you expect her to see in the dark?" said Toney.

"Oh, she must have patience and wait until morning," said the Professor.

The serenaders now arose from their seats, and, proceeding across the field, soon entered the forest, which was traversed in various directions by paths made by the cattle that were accustomed to browse on the bushes. The path pursued by the party soon led them to a spot where the foliage was dense, and, entirely excluding the starlight, enveloped them in gloomy darkness. Tom Seddon now exclaimed,——

"Toney, why did you select this road? Let us go back. This is the very spot where a man was found, not long ago, with his throat cut, and three bullet-holes through his head."

"Horrible!" exclaimed Pate.

"Let us go back!" cried Wiggins.

"Numerous robberies and murders have been committed in this forest," said Tom. "In fact, it is infested by a gang of desperadoes. If we go on, none of us may ever return to Bella Vista alive."

"Oh! oh!" groaned Pate.

"Let us go back!" exclaimed Wiggins,—"I will not—ugh!"

There was a sudden flash from the bushes, followed by a loud report, and poor Tom dropped dead at the feet of M. T. Pate. Before a word could be uttered, another shot was fired, and Toney staggered against a tree and then fell to the ground with a groan.

"Run!—run!" exclaimed Pate.

"Run!—run!—run!" cried Wiggins.

"Run!—run!—run!—run!" said the Professor, when there was another report, and he exclaimed, falling to the earth, "Oh!—oh!—oh!—I am shot!—help!—help!—murder! murder!"

Pate and Wiggins fled through the forest with the murderers shouting and firing in their rear. As it happened, they soon became separated, and each got into a path which led him away from the other. After running with unexampled speed for some time, Pate suddenly found himself[Pg 97] on the back of some huge horned monster, which rose from the earth with a loud roar and galloped off with him. How far he rode on the back of his terrible courser he never could tell; but at last the creature leaped over the trunk of a fallen tree, and Pate rolled off and sank to the earth in a comatose condition, induced by extreme terror.

When he became conscious, he got up and wandered for hours, through the forest, lost and bewildered, and in the utmost dread of falling into the hands of the desperadoes, who had slain poor Toney, Tom, and the Professor. At length the day broke; and as he wandered on he espied some one coming towards him who had a most hideous appearance. Pate was about to turn and fly, when the man called to him, and he recognized the voice of William Wiggins.

Wiggins had fled in headlong haste until he had emerged from the forest, and entered an inclosure surrounding a farm-house. Here he was so unfortunate as to overturn a bee-hive and was so badly stung by the infuriated insects that he rushed blindly around, and got among the poultry. Hearing the commotion among his fowls, the farmer came out with a club, and vigorously belabored the supposed thief, until the latter escaped, and fled back to the forest, with his face shockingly swollen by the stings of the bees, and his body terribly bruised by the blows from the farmer's cudgel.

When Wiggins had told his doleful story, Pate proceeded to relate how he had been carried off on the back of some horned monster, which had suddenly risen out of the earth, and must have been the devil. It now being broad daylight, they succeeded in finding the way to the town, where they told a tale of horror to the landlord at the hotel. But while they were describing the bloody murder in the forest, the landlord, with a smile, pointed out Toney, Tom, and the Professor standing on the opposite side of the street, in the midst of a group of young men, who were laughing immoderately at something which was being told. Pate and Wiggins were now informed that they had been made the victims of a singular custom, which was peculiar to that locality, and was termed, "running a greenhorn." Apprehensive of[Pg 98] the ridicule which would be heaped upon them, they immediately took their departure from the beautiful town of Bella Vista.


"The Funny Philosophers have caused the exodus of the Seven Sweethearts," said the Professor, as the three friends sat in Toney's room in the hotel the morning subsequent to the departure of Pate and Wiggins.

"Our sect must flourish," said Toney.

"And Pate's big bald head will not be seen bobbing about in Bella Vista," said Tom.

"Mr. Seddon, you should not speak irreverently of bald heads," said the Professor. "Remember the forty irreverent young lads and the she-bears, and learn that bald-headed people are under the especial protection of Providence. I am partially bald myself, and am under the impression that this calamity came upon me in consequence of my having once deprived an unfortunate individual of his hair."

"Did what?" exclaimed Toney.

"On one occasion I helped to scalp a man," said the Professor, gravely and mournfully.

"Helped to scalp a man!" exclaimed Seddon.

"I am sorry to say that I did, Mr. Seddon," said the Professor.

"How was it?" asked Toney.

"It is a strange story," said the Professor.

"Let us have it," said Seddon.

"Some years ago," said the Professor, "I was on a steamboat going down one of the large rivers in the South-west. The boat stopped at a landing and a big fellow came on board. He was a rough, unpolished individual, with long hair reaching down to his shoulders. He appeared to be in a bad humor with himself and with all mankind; being one of those peculiar specimens of humanity who believe that the whole duty of man is to[Pg 99] fight. As soon as he came on board it was apparent to the passengers that he was a bully in quest of a quarrel. But everybody avoided him, and for a long while he was unsuccessful in finding what he was seeking for. Finally, however, his perseverance was amply rewarded. The bell rang for dinner, and there was a rush for the saloon. The bully seated himself at the head of the table. At intervals, among the dishes, were a number of apple-pies. 'Waiter,' exclaimed the bully, 'bring me that pie.' It was placed before him. 'And that one,' said he. The waiter obeyed, and the bully reiterated his order until he had every apple-pie on the table directly under his nose."

"The glutton!" said Toney.

"Did he eat all the pies?" asked Tom.

"No, Mr. Seddon, he did not," said the Professor. "Having collected all the pies before him, he sternly glanced at the two rows of indignant faces along the table. He saw anger in every eye; a frown upon every brow; but not a word had been spoken. There was a dead silence, when the bully brought down his fist on the table with tremendous force, and fiercely shouted, 'I say that any man who don't like good apple-pie is a d—d rascal!' This was more than human nature could endure. In an instant every man was on his feet. The table was overturned, and hams, and turkeys, and roast-pigs rolled on the floor. There was a general fight. Pistols exploded, bowie-knives were brandished, and fists flourished!"

"All endeavoring to get at the daring monopolizer of the apple-pies, I suppose?" said Tom.

"By no means, Mr. Seddon," said the Professor. "There was promiscuous fighting. Many who had no opportunity of dealing a blow at the bully, fought and pommeled one another. I retreated to a corner."

"But what became of the bully?" asked Toney.

"I was about to tell you. As I stood on the defensive, warding off the blows which were occasionally aimed at me, I saw a huge head coming towards me like a battering-ram, the body to which it belonged being propelled by kicks in the rear. The head was about to come in contact with this portion of my anatomy—what do you[Pg 100] call it?" said the Professor, placing his hand on the part designated.

"The bread-basket," said Toney.

"No, that is not it," said the Professor.

"The abdomen," said Tom.

"That's the scientific term," said the Professor. "In order to protect my abdomen from injury, I involuntarily reached out and convulsively grasped the head by its long hair. As I did so, a bowie-knife descended and shaved off the scalp, leaving it, with its long locks, in my grasp."

"What did you do with your trophy?" asked Toney.

"I rushed from the saloon, yelling like an Indian, with the scalp in my hand. It belonged to the bully. He soon came upon deck howling for his hair."

"Did you restore it to the owner?" asked Tom.

"No," said the Professor. "To the victor belong the spoils. I escaped into the cook's galley, and carefully wrapped the scalp in some loose sheets of the Terrific Register, and put it in my pocket, and afterwards transferred it to my trunk. It is now in the possession of the learned Professor Boneskull, who has been informed by his oracle that it was one of the trophies found by the Kentuckians in the possession of the celebrated Tecumseh when he was slain in battle."

"But the bully?" said Toney. "I am interested in his fate."

"He was like Samson. The loss of his hair seemed to deprive him of strength and courage. His belligerency departed from him. He became quiet and orderly, and during the rest of the passage never meddled with the apple-pies, but behaved with perfect decorum. He was soon afterwards seen on the anxious bench at a camp-meeting, and he is now a bald-headed Methodist preacher, remarkable for his piety and mild and dovelike disposition."

"The loss of his locks seems to have been of essential service to him," said Seddon.

"I wish, however, that I had given him back his hair," said the Professor. "I suffered severely in consequence of depriving him of it."

[Pg 101]

"In what way?" inquired Tom.

"It was retribution, I suppose," said the Professor. "As soon as I had pocketed the fellow's hair I began to lose my own. It fell out by handfuls, and in a few months I had a bald patch on the top of my head of ample area. It made me melancholy and poetical."

"I must confess that I cannot perceive any necessary connection between a bald head and poetry," said Toney.

"Why, Toney, my dear fellow," said the Professor, "you must know that when a man gets a bald pate he naturally begins to think of domestic bliss and connubial felicity, which are poetical subjects. If he meditates long on these subjects, versification will be the inevitable result. It was so in my case. As I titillated the top of my bald head with my forefinger, I plainly perceived that the time had come for me to marry. So, like a bird on Saint Valentine's day, I began to look around for a mate."

"You were like Dobbs, seeking for an angel and seven sweet little cherubs," said Tom.

"No, Mr. Seddon, I was seeking for a dovelike little woman, and I thought I had found one. In my imagination Dora was like a gentle white dove. I cooed around her, and courted for weeks, and wrote some verses in her album. I remember them well."

"I would like to hear them," said Toney.

"They can be produced from the archives of my memory," said the Professor; and he recited the following verses:

When morn had sown her orient gems among the golden flowers
That blushed upon their purple stalks in fairy-haunted bowers,
Among the glowing throng around, a tender bud I spied,
That meekly held its humble place the verdant walk beside.
No gaudy beauties decked its crest with variegated dyes,
Like blinding splendors blazing o'er the summer's evening skies;
With simple moss encircled round, it hung its head to earth,
And yet in Flora's language it denotes superior worth.
And—what from poet's eye is hid, by others though unseen?—
It was the favorite palace of the lovely Fairy Queen;
Adown its tender petals oft her tiny chariot rolled,
And she within its fragrant folds her Elfin court did hold.
[Pg 102]
'Twas then I thought of one who blooms 'mid beauty's living flowers,
Like this sweet bud among its mates within the garden's bowers,
With unassuming, modest grace—her charms she never knew—
Superior worth her brightest charm. And, lady, is it you?

"I read these verses to Dora, and then I asked her the question propounded in the last line."

"What did she say?" inquired Tom.

"She said no!"

"Perhaps she was offended by the comparison to so humble a flower," said Seddon.

"It may have been so," said the Professor. "I then asked her a question in relation to the annexation of our destinies."

"What did she say?" asked Toney.

"She said no! I then asked her again in more unequivocal terms. I told her that I was seeking for domestic bliss and connubial felicity, and earnestly inquired if she would not assist me in the search."

"What was her reply?" asked Tom.

"She said no! And this time the dovelike Dora laughed in my face."

"After having answered no three times?" said Tom.

"Three negatives do not make an affirmative, Mr. Seddon, especially when the final negation to your very serious and sentimental proposal is accompanied by laughter. I was mortified and angry, and so I hurried home——"

"To do like Perch—procure a pint of laudanum?" inquired Toney.

"Not at all," said the Professor. "Upon arriving at my homestead I ate a very hearty dinner; for I was hungry and had a wolfish appetite; after which I immediately went into the arms of Morpheus. I did not wake until next morning, when, as I stood before a mirror making my toilet, I perceived that the bald patch on my head was considerably enlarged. A fit of melancholy and poetry came upon me, and resulted in the production of some verses, which, with your permission, I will repeat."

"Do so," said Toney.

"By all means!" said Seddon.

[Pg 103]

"It is a simple little ballad," said the Professor, "in which I endeavored to mingle as much pathos as did Goldsmith in his Hermit. Its recitation has often drawn tears from very obdurate individuals, and, gentlemen, I now notify you to produce your pocket-handkerchiefs."

The Professor then recited the following stanzas:

The gentle spring is breathing
Its fragrance all around,
Rich with the scent of flow'rets
That blossom o'er the ground;
As if the glorious rainbow,
When thunders rolled on high,
Had parted into fragments
And fallen from the sky,
And scattered o'er the meadows,
And through the orchards green,
Its variegated colors
To beautify the scene;
The while, on golden winglets,
The humming-bird so gay,
Moves with a fairy motion,
And rifles sweets away:
So rich his purple plumage,
So beautiful his crest,
'Tis to the eye of fancy
As if some amethyst,
Carved into a bright jewel
All gloriously to deck,
With its surpassing splendors,
Some lovely lady's neck,
Hath felt the life-blood flowing
From a mysterious spring,
And fled a gaudy truant
Upon a golden wing,
Filled with a fairy spirit
To sport upon the air,
With never-tiring pinions
Among the flow'rets fair.
Adown the sloping mountain,
Where wave the ceders green,
And ever-verdant laurel
In blooming clusters seen,
Leaps the wild, flashing streamlet
With a loud shout of mirth,
As though some mine of silver,
Deep buried in the earth,
[Pg 104]
By hidden fires were melted
Within its gloomy caves,
And from its dark cell bursting,
With its translucent waves,
Now sparkles in the sunbeam,
Now hid by ivy's shade,
Till o'er a steep ledge pouring,
It forms a wild cascade,
Where, dashed into bright fragments,
It glitters in the beam,
And with its brilliant colors
Unto the eye doth seem,
That showers of liquid rubies,
And molten gems of gold,
With sapphire and with amber,
In mingling waves are rolled
O'er these high rocks in torrents
Unto the vale below,
Then gain a course of smoothness,
And gently on do flow
'Mid banks of blooming roses
And snow-white lilies fair,
Where butterflies are floating
Upon the balmy air,
With many-colored winglets,
O'er fragrant violets blue,
And gayly sip their nectar
Mixed with the honey'd dew;
To gaze upon their beauties
'Twould seem as if some fay,
When roving through some garden
Upon a sunny day,
Had waved his wand of magic
O'er rose and tulip bright,
That filled with life had started
Upon a joyous flight,
And down the grassy meadows,
And 'mid the blooming trees,
To visit now their kindred,
Are floating on the breeze:
While from the woodland's thickets
At intervals are heard
The soft, melodious music
Of the sweet mocking-bird;
Which from those green recesses
Echoes the merry notes,
The little feathered songsters
Pour from their warbling throats.
[Pg 105]
Thus nature ever smiling,
Each living creature gay
Seems filled with sunny gladness
Throughout the cloudless day;
While I, a lonely bachelor,
Do bear a bleeding heart,
Just like a wounded wild goat
When stricken by a dart.
I've seen each tie dissolving
Of love and friendship sweet,
Like lumps of sugar-candy
When held unto the heat:
My friends they all proved traitors,—
I'm told it's always so,—
Fidelity's a stranger
In this rude world below.
They smoked my best havanas
And drank my best champagne,
And borrowed many a dollar
They ne'er returned again:
But soon as fortune left me,
They all deserted too—
They made me half a Timon—
The sycophantic crew!
I turned from man to woman—
Sweet woman to admire!
But from the pan 'twas leaping
Into the blazing fire!
I met a lovely maiden,
Who looked so very kind,
I thought she was an angel,
But I was very blind!
Like a deceitful siren,
She led me far astray;
I wandered in love's mazes
Until I lost my way;
But when I knelt to worship,
Why, then she laughed outright—
I told her I was dying,
And Dora said I might.
At that I grew quite angry,
And feeling partly cured,
Went home and ate my dinner,
And then was quite restored:
I ate six apple-dumplings,
Then laid me down to sleep,
Nor woke until next morning,
Then from my couch did creep,
[Pg 106]
And gazing in the mirror,
The sight my soul appall'd,
For I beheld with horror
That I was growing bald:
Since then I've known no pleasure!
Man's treachery I could bear,
And the deceits of woman,
But not the loss of hair!

"Goldsmith never wrote anything like that," said Seddon.

"Nor Tennyson, neither," said Toney.

"Tennyson be hanged!" exclaimed Tom. "I'll match Tickle against him any day."

"The composition of this poem fully developed my poetical genius," said the Professor. "I discovered that I could be a bard; and so I composed a whole book of poems."

"What did you do with it?" asked Toney.

"I published it," said the Professor. "Did you never hear of it?"

"I must candidly admit that I never did," said Toney.

"The critics cut and slashed away at my little book for about a month; and then they let it alone. It was not until several years after its publication that I heard a word in its praise; and that was under peculiar circumstances. I was looking over a lot of second-hand books on a stall at the corner of a street, when I discovered my own poems. I asked the price. The man said it was a work of rare genius and very scarce, but that as a favor I could have it for a dollar. This sounded like posthumous praise, and was very flattering. So I bought the book, and you can read it at your leisure."

"Now we are on literary subjects," said Seddon, "I must remind Toney of his promise to read his biography of Pate."

"Of whom?" asked the Professor.

"Of M. T. Pate, the illustrious founder of the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts," said Seddon. "Toney has written his biography."

"Only one chapter," said Toney. "I can clearly foresee that Pate is destined to become a very distinguished[Pg 107] man. As he makes materials for his biography the work will progress. The first chapter has been written."

"Read it," said Tom.

"Read it! read it!" exclaimed the Professor.


In compliance with the wishes of his two friends, Toney drew from a trunk his manuscript, and laying it on a table before him, said, "You will perceive, gentlemen, that in my first chapter of this biography I speak of Pate as an eminent personage. This requires a word of explanation. Pate may not yet be considered as a very eminent man, but before the completion and publication of the work I am confident that he will rank among the most distinguished personages of the age; and that the adjective which I have used will then be recognized as strictly appropriate."

With these prefatory remarks, Toney proceeded to read as follows:

"We have been baffled in our efforts to obtain satisfactory information in relation to the birthplace of the eminent personage whose biography we have undertaken to write. It is known that he was born somewhere in the South; but whether among the cotton-plantations of the Carolinas or the tobacco-fields on the borders of the Chesapeake, we have never been able to ascertain. It is said that the honor of having been the natal place of the immortal Mæonides was claimed by seven famous cities of ancient Greece; and it may be that, in future ages, at least seven States of the South will contend for the great glory of having produced the illustrious M. T. Pate. It is perhaps fortunate that at the period of his birth the number of those States did not exceed seven; otherwise a satisfactory adjustment of the apprehended difficulty would be even more hopeless than it is at present.

"It is equally out of our power to designate the [Pg 108]particular period when this eminent man entered the world in which he was destined to make so remarkable a figure. There is a tradition that he was born in the year of the embargo; and the inability of the administration of that day to prohibit all kinds of importations, seems to have been a fortunate circumstance at the very commencement of his career. It is said that he was a very big baby at his advent, and grew prodigiously, but was remarkable for his gravity, to such a degree that the wise women who assembled in frequent consultations around the cradle used to asseverate, with much emphasis of expression, that he looked as grave as a judge. One of his parents was pious, and both were respectable; and at the proper period he was brought to the baptismal font and Christianized with the usual solemnities. Some difficulty was encountered in the selection of a name. An elderly maiden lady, a friend of the family, had predicted that he would be a bishop, and now insisted that he should have a scriptural name, as most appropriate for one who was destined to occupy the very highest position in the church. The male head of the family had been perusing an odd volume of the History of Greece, in which he was much interested, and was desirous of naming his heir after one of the heroes of that classic land. These opposite views led to many warm discussions, which eventually resulted in a judicious compromise, it being agreed that the wonderful baby should have two names, and that each party should select one of them. So the good old lady seated herself, and putting on her spectacles, opened the Bible at the Book of Daniel where the King of Babylon was put into the pasture-fields. She was much struck with the passage, and proposed the name of Nebuchadnezzar, as exceedingly sonorous and quite uncommon. To this a serious objection was urged by the old gentleman, who sagaciously remarked that the name was so long that nobody would ever give the boy the whole of it, and he would be nicknamed Nebby or Neb. This suggestion had its effect, and the pious old lady proceeded to search the Scriptures again, and finally selected the name of Matthew, saying that, in her opinion, he was about the best of all the apostles, although he had once been a[Pg 109] publican, for he was the first one of them who had ever thought of writing a gospel. So the boy was named Matthew Themistocles, after an evangelist and a heathen; as if he were destined to combine in his character the opposite qualities of a saint and a sinner.

"It is believed that even in the cradle this robust and remarkable baby gave evidence of superior intelligence; and it is much to be regretted that he had no admiring Boswell at that early period of his existence to describe his extraordinary doings. But no historian ever makes a record of the wisdom which proceeds from the mouths of babes and sucklings; and when we behold the learned and illustrious man swaying mighty masses by his eloquence, or dignifying and adorning the bench, imagination finds it difficult to travel back and discover him in the cradle, so puny and insignificant that the portly old crier of the court could have enveloped him in his handkerchief, like a bit of bread or cheese, and stowed him in the capacious pocket of his overcoat.

"When the moon stood still in the valley of Ajalon, the people on the other side of the hills knew not that a great luminary was in their immediate neighborhood. But when she got in motion and slowly arose, until her silvery edges were seen above the surfaces of the surrounding eminences, the crowds began to collect and watch with absorbing interest the increasing proportions of the magnificent phenomenon. And when, in full effulgence, she was over the tops of the trees, all admired her splendor, and many began to dispute about her apparent size: some saying that she seemed to them as big as an ordinary platter; others, that she was equal in dimensions to a fine large cheese; while a few affirmed that her circumference was as great as that of the wheel of the war-chariot of Joshua, the son of Nun. Thus has it been with each intellectual light which has shone on the world; at one time hid in the vale of obscurity,—in the valley of Ajalon,—then surmounting the intervening obstacles, the first rays of the rising luminary are seen, and people begin to talk and admire, until finally it becomes visible in full-orbed splendor, when a variety of opinions are heard in reference to its actual magnitude.[Pg 110] We once heard an old lawyer, who was laudator temporis acti, assert with savage emphasis that a certain occupant of the bench was 'a picayune judge,' thus intimating that this splendid luminary of the law did not seem to him bigger than an insignificant five-penny bit. But the eyes of old men are weak and watery, and not to be trusted. Some of the junior members of the legal fraternity said that he was as large as a dinner plate; others were of opinion that he had attained the size of an ordinary cheese; while many of the non-professional multitude loudly asserted that he was fully equal in magnitude to the hindmost wheel of an omnibus.

"During several years after he had emerged from babyhood, M. T. Pate was hidden from public observation, and hoed corn in the valley of Ajalon. Here he laid a permanent foundation for that powerful constitution which has enabled him to perform the Herculean labors of his later years. His constant exercise in the open air gave him the extraordinary appetite which clung to him so faithfully amidst all the misfortunes of life. It also strengthened his digestion, and enabled him to consume enormous quantities of food without the slightest inconvenience. It is said that he was extremely fond of buttermilk, and would loiter around the dairy on churning days to obtain a supply. When he could not get buttermilk, he was contented with bonny-clabber and cottage-cheese. Many a sickly youth in our large cities would be benefited by such a system of diet, and might become a stout, athletic man, instead of looking like a puny exotic, soon to wither and fade away. Vigorous constitutions are necessary to enable men to conquer in the great battle of life; and nearly every distinguished personage in this country, from George Washington to Daniel Webster, was born and reared amidst rural scenery.

"Nourished on buttermilk and bonny-clabber, M. T. Pate grew rapidly, and becoming quite a big boy, began to exercise the privilege of thinking for himself. His sagacious intuition, even at that early age, enabled him to perceive that although the cultivation of the soil was an honorable, useful, and healthful occupation, its tendency to increase his pecuniary resources was exceedingly[Pg 111] doubtful, as there was no probability that he would ever become the owner of a farm, either by descent or purchase. So he determined to engage in mercantile pursuits, as offering greater facilities for the speedy acquisition of wealth. With this end in view, he went into a store in which crockery was sold; and here he remained during three entire years, first in the capacity of shop-boy and afterwards as salesman.

"While thus actively engaged in commerce, his industry was untiring and his economy almost without a precedent. In those early days of his eventful career this eminent man was frequently seen on the street following a customer and carrying articles of crockery-ware which had been purchased. On one occasion he met with a serious misfortune; for while walking in the wake of an old gentlewoman, and carrying in his hand a vessel intended for her sleeping apartment, he inadvertently trod on an orange-peeling, and was precipitated forward on the pavement with such force as to break the brittle piece of pottery into atoms and cause the blood to stream from his nostrils. This was the only occasion on which he ever received a reprimand from his employer; and he bore the severe trial with fortitude and resignation.

"For services rendered on various occasions, he frequently received gratuities from the purchasers at the store; and having resolved to become rich as rapidly as possible, he procured a little brown jug with an opening in its side, just wide enough to admit a quarter of a dollar edgewise. In this treasury he carefully deposited his earnings; and had it not been for this commendable economy, the world might never have seen him in the exalted positions which he afterwards occupied; for a commercial crisis occurring, the store was closed, and, like a ship struck by a sudden squall, he was thrown on his beam-end. But the solid contents of the little brown jug afforded him sufficient ballast, and he thus succeeded in gallantly weathering the storm.

"A great man, struggling with adversity, is a spectacle upon which the good-natured old gods of Greece and Rome are said to have gazed with more than ordinary interest. It is impossible to imagine a more sublime[Pg 112] example of patience and perseverance than that exhibited by M. T. Pate in his early days, when he first broke open his little brown jug and counted his coppers and quarters. His rigid economy had resulted in a considerable accumulation of coin, and an accurate enumeration of the contents of his treasury exhibited the sum of two hundred and sixty-four dollars and thirty-seven and a half cents, all in specie. With these resources he determined to begin the battle of life in earnest, and to become a great man as speedily and as cheaply as possible. The pious old lady, who had furnished him with one of his names, now urged him to enter upon a course of theological studies, so that she might soon have the satisfaction of seeing him in holy orders and on the high road to a bishopric. But upon inquiry, he ascertained that to become a bishop it would be necessary for him to understand Hebrew as well as Greek; and he was apprehensive that before he could master even the rudiments of those difficult languages the accumulations of his industry and economy would be entirely exhausted. The good old lady promised him pecuniary assistance, and thus encouraged he began with the Greek; but his hopes were soon blasted by a singular misfortune, which deprived the church of one of its brightest ornaments, and multitudes of sinners of the counsel and consoling advice of a learned, pious, and venerated pastor. Upon a bright morning in May, as he sat at an open window, repeating the letters of Cadmus aloud, his benefactress, who was in the garden below with a negro servant named Alfred, engaged in horticultural pursuits, was shocked by hearing certain sounds, which in her ignorance and simplicity she supposed to be of terrible significance. She rushed into the house and began to upbraid the astonished student with his base ingratitude and treachery. In vain did the unfortunate victim of her lamentable ignorance protest his entire innocence. She had the highest kind of evidence—that of her own senses—against the plea of not guilty. Had she not heard him say, and reiterate it again and again, 'Alfred, beat her! d—d her! pelt her?' She would listen to no explanation, but indignantly ordered him to get out of her house. Her anger[Pg 113] burned perpetually, like the lamp of a vestal virgin, and from that time forth she would have nothing to say to him. Thus was the unlucky youth thrown once more upon his beam-end, and was compelled to abandon all hope of ever becoming a bishop."

Here the reading was interrupted by Tom Seddon, who exclaimed,—

"Toney, you had better leave that out. Nobody will believe that Pate, who was about to commence his theological studies, would sit on the sill of the window and swear so profanely at the pious old lady in the garden——"

Tom was here interrupted by a loud laugh from the Professor.

"You do not see the point," said Toney.

"What is it?" asked Tom.

"Why," said the Professor, "Pate was repeating the first four Greek letters, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and the old woman supposed that he was swearing."

"Oh, that's it!" said Tom. "I was dull, indeed!"

"But," said the Professor, "I think that I have heard this anecdote before."

"Undoubtedly you have," said Toney. "Pate is a much older man than you. He was the unlucky student who met with this sad misfortune. It happened when you were in your nurse's arms. You heard the anecdote after you grew up, but never learned until now that the student was M. T. Pate. But shall I resume my reading?"

"Do so," said the Professor. "I am much interested."

Toney took up the manuscript, and read:

"Having been constrained to give up the gospel, he determined to betake himself to the study of law, in which a knowledge neither of Hebrew nor of Greek was necessary. Having labored at Latin for a few weeks, he entered a law-school, where he continued for some time; the contents of the little brown jug miraculously holding out like the oil in the widow's cruse, owing to his great economy. It is not to be supposed that even this able jurist could without an earnest effort overcome every[Pg 114] obstacle which lies in the path of the student of law. On the contrary, when he first encountered Coke, he was much discouraged and sometimes afflicted with fits of despondency. But plucking up courage, he went vigorously to work, and in six weeks had mastered all the learning of that great and voluminous author which he believed it possible for any human intellect ever to comprehend. In performing this Herculean labor he scratched a considerable quantity of hair from his head; and continuing this singular practice during the whole course of his studies, before he had finished the fourth book of Blackstone,

his scalp's
Bald, barren surface shone like the bare Alps."

"In other words, he became a bald Pate," said Tom.

"Mr. Seddon," said the Professor, "you are strangely forgetful of the admonition to speak reverently when you refer to a depilous cranium. Now, here you are punning with the most unbecoming levity on a nude noddle. You had better beware! Although there are no she-bears in this vicinity to perform their painful duty, you may not escape with impunity."

"Peccavi," said Tom.

"Absolution is granted;" said the Professor. "Toney, proceed with the reading."

Toney resumed:

"A celebrated Irish barrister attributed his success in the profession to the fact that he started without property of any sort save only a pair of hair-trigger pistols. M. T. Pate carried no carnal weapons. He had neither hair-trigger pistols nor much hair on his head; but he had a little learning, which is said to be a dangerous thing. When he was admitted to practice, the contents of the little brown jug had been expended; and he started in his profession with a vigorous constitution and a small volume of legal lore, entitled 'Every Man his own Lawyer.'

"The members of the legal fraternity are indebted to M. T. Pate for an important discovery immediately subsequent to his admission to the bar. We are told—

[Pg 115]
There is a language in each flower
That opens to the eye;
A voiceless but a magic power
Doth in earth's blossoms lie,

and we find that the poet selects as an appropriate symbol of his delightful occupation 'the dew-sweet eglantine.' The soldier chooses

The deathless laurel as the victor's due.

The young maiden selects the rosebud, and the weeping widow the cypress. The lover's flower is the myrtle; the player's, the hyacinth; the pugilist's, the fennel. But there never was a symbol for the legal profession until the sagacity of M. T. Pate discovered it in the arbutus unedo, or strawberry, which, upon a careful perusal of Flora's lexicon, he found to be emblematic of perseverance. And as the gladiators of ancient Rome were accustomed to mingle large quantities of fennel with their food, because it tended to give them strength and courage, so did this industrious lawyer never fail, when an opportunity offered, to devour a great abundance of strawberries; being fully persuaded that the fruit imparted a wonderful degree of patience and perseverance. In the spring strawberries and cream were consumed by him in immense quantities; and at other seasons of the year the preserved fruit was never absent from his table."

"Mr. Seddon," said the Professor, "pay attention to that. You are a young lawyer, and I would advise you to have the example of M. T. Pate ever in contemplation."

"I most certainly will," said Seddon.

"Never turn your back on a bowl of strawberries and cream," said the Professor.

"Never!" exclaimed Seddon,—"never!"

"Be assured," said the Professor, with much solemnity, "that a sincere devotion to this delicious little berry will finally bring its reward. It will enable you to wait with admirable patience for the big case which is to come and place you prominently before the public. Toney, excuse this interruption. Read on,—I am becoming deeply interested."

[Pg 116]

Toney proceeded with the reading as follows:

"We occasionally meet with an instance of the falsification of the old adage that fools are the recipients of fortune's favors; for this illustrious man, at the very outset of his professional career, met with no ordinary good luck. A few days subsequent to his admission to the bar, the pious old maiden, whose deplorable ignorance of the Greek alphabet had deprived one profession of an ornament and added it to another, left these sublunary scenes for her supernal abode in Abraham's bosom. She had never forgotten nor forgiven the supposed ingratitude of her former protégé. So far from this, she had, on every occasion, denounced him, with all the vehemence of virtuous indignation, as the black-hearted instigator of a meditated assault on her person. What, then, was his astonishment when he found that she had left a will in which she had bestowed on him all her worldly possessions. This testamentary document had been executed many years anterior to the melancholy event which had caused so wide a breach between them. She had put it carefully away and must have entirely forgotten it; for had her mind once reverted to the circumstance of its existence, nothing short of a supermundane interposition could have saved it from the devouring flames. She left him a beautiful farm, and personal property to a considerable amount, with the unusual proviso in the will that he should be a bishop. Some of her relatives seemed disposed, at first, to contend for the property, on the ground that as he was not a bishop he could not claim under the will. But this learned jurist cited the legal maxim lex non cogit ad impossibilia, and said that although he was not a bishop at that particular period, he would endeavor to carry out the intentions of the testatrix by becoming one as soon as a favorable opportunity should offer. To manifest his sincerity he immediately became a devout member of the church, and would sometimes read the service when the pastor was absent; and this he continued to do even after his secular duties had got to be exceedingly onerous; being apprehensive of trouble about his title unless he observed this wise precaution. Thus was this threatened lawsuit nipped in the bud; and[Pg 117] M. T. Pate took peaceable possession of his beautiful farm, which he soon found was mortgaged nearly to the extent of its actual value in the market.

"Pecuniary difficulties, like the rowels of a Spanish spur applied to the flanks of a donkey, impel a man onward in his career. Now, let no one imagine that we perceive any particular resemblance between this eminent jurist and an ass; and we hope that none of his numerous and ardent admirers will be shocked by the simile which we have employed, for it is not only appropriate in its present connection but it is undoubtedly classical. The mighty Ajax was compared by Homer to an ass; but it was only to show what sturdy qualities he possessed, and what an immense amount of beating he could stubbornly endure. With intentions equally as innocent, we have likened the eminent M. T. Pate to an ass, merely to show how stoutly he stood up under the burden he bore, and how he was impelled to vigorous efforts by the spur of necessity. Had his beautiful farm been unincumbered, he might have remained in obscurity, up to his knees in clover, and daily growing fatter and more lazy in the luxuriant pastures of prosperity. But with the burden of a heavy mortgage on his back, and the rowels of pecuniary difficulties goring his flanks, he got briskly into motion, and in his onward career, whether by accident or otherwise, took the right direction, and finally reached the glorious goal at which so many are aiming, but which so few will ever attain."

"What glorious goal has Pate reached?" asked the Professor.

"You forget the observations with which I prefaced the reading of the manuscript," said Toney. "This is only the first chapter of what is intended to be a very voluminous work. It is true that M. T. Pate has not yet reached the goal designated, but long before I have written the concluding portion of his biography I am confident that you will behold him on the very pinnacle of the temple of fame."

"Toney is a prophet," said Tom. "He truly predicted what has since happened to the two young ladies and their lovers who have gone to the Mexican war."

[Pg 118]

"Poor Claribel!" said Toney. "I sincerely wish that my vaticinations had not been verified."

"Pooh! pooh!" said the Professor. "Their lovers have taken wing and flown away, but they will come back little turtle-doves in the spring, and then, after a little billing and cooing, you will see two pretty pairs building their nests. And besides, although love is a disease which is supposed to attack the heart, it is seldom fatal in its results."

"Is it not?" said Tom.

"Why, no," said the Professor. "Dora jilted me, and am I dead? Ecce homo! fat and flourishing, and the founder of the sect of Funny Philosophers."

"I would really like to know the condition of Claribel's health," said Toney.

"It had much improved when I called and made inquiry this morning," said Tom. "But I thought that I was about to witness war and bloodshed in the house."

"How so?" asked Toney.

"Hostilities have broken out between the two doctors," said Tom. "They were quarreling in the hall when I entered, and left the house shaking their fists in each other's faces."

"What about?" inquired Toney.

"I was unable to ascertain," said Tom.

"Well, never mind," said the Professor. "Who shall decide when doctors disagree? Toney, let us hear the concluding portion of your manuscript. But, by Jove! what's that?"

A loud noise was heard in the street; men shouting and boys hurrahing. Tom Seddon snatched up his hat, and, followed by Toney and the Professor, ran from the room.

[Pg 119]


"Hurrah for Bull!" shouted a boy, as Tom reached the pavement in front of the hotel.

"Bully for Bear! Pitch in! Hit him again! He called you another liar!" yelled a ragged urchin on the opposite side of the street.

"Who are those belligerent gentlemen?" asked the Professor.

"The very two doctors I saw shaking their fists in each other's faces at Colonel Hazlewood's door," said Tom Seddon. "I thought there would soon be active hostilities between them."

"Good for Bull!" cried an urchin.

"Wade in, Bear!" shouted another.

"I bet on Bull!" said a third.

"Bear's the man for my money!" yelled a fourth.

"Which is Bull?" asked the Professor.

"The red-faced man with spectacles on his nose, who is standing up in the buggy without a top, and is menacing his antagonist with the butt end of his whip," said Tom Seddon.

"And Bear is the short fat man on horseback, brandishing his cane?" said Toney.

"The same," said Seddon.

"Right cut against cavalry!" shouted a soldier on the pavement, as Bull aimed a blow at Bear with his whip.

"By jabers! that's the prod!" cried an Irishman, as Bear thrust the end of his cane in his adversary's face.

The horse attached to the buggy now moved on a few paces and halted. Bear sat still on his horse, fiercely gazing at his antagonist.

"At him again!" cried a boy.

"Don't be afraid! Show the blood of your mother!" yelled a second urchin.

"Charge, Chester, charge!" shouted a third.

Bear furiously spurred his horse and rushed up to the[Pg 120] buggy. A blow from Bull's whip knocked off his hat, and his bald head shone in the sun. At the same time a thrust from Bear's cane deprived Bull of his spectacles.

"Hurrah for Bear! He has knocked out Bull's eyes!" shouted a boy.

Bull seized Bear's cane and pulled it from his hands. Bear reached out and grasped Bull by the top of his head. Bull's wig came off.

"Hurrah! hurrah! he has scalped him!" shouted a boy.

Bull was infuriated. He grappled Bear by a tuft of hair that grew on the side of his head. Bear's horse started back and the rider fell over his neck into the buggy. Then both belligerents commenced furiously fighting with their fists.

"I command the peace! I command the peace!" cried a portly gentleman on the pavement.

"They are at close quarters," said a soldier. "It is too late to command the peace."

The belligerents in the buggy were furiously dealing blows and loudly uttering profanity, and the horse was frightened and ran off with the vehicle. Tom Seddon leaped on Bear's horse and galloped off in pursuit. On the main road leading from the town was a company of cavalry returning from a parade. The troopers opened to the right and left, and the two doctors passed through, furiously pommeling each other in the buggy.

"By fours, right about wheel!" shouted the captain. "Trot! Gallop! Charge!" and away went the cavalry, clattering down the road in pursuit of the belligerent doctors! Tom Seddon brought up the rear.

On went the doctors in their war-chariot, each dealing blows at his antagonist, and shouting and swearing in utter unconsciousness of the surroundings! On rode the gallant captain at the head of his company! On galloped Tom Seddon in the rear! Over a hill and down a descent they rushed at a terrific rate! On the top of the next hill stood a toll-gate. The keeper, seeing a horse running at full speed with a vehicle, closed the gate and stopped his career. "Halt!" shouted the captain. "Halt! halt!" cried the lieutenants. And the troopers[Pg 121] halted and sat on their panting horses, surrounding the buggy.

"Draw sabers!" shouted the captain. And every saber leaped from its scabbard.

"Surrender!" said the captain, riding up to the buggy. "In the name of the State I demand your surrender!" But Bull and Bear heard not, and heeded not. Each had grappled his antagonist by the throat, and was fiercely fighting.

"Sergeant, dismount two sections and secure the prisoners," said the captain.

Eight stalwart troopers, headed by a sergeant, leaped from their horses, and, rushing to the buggy, seized Bull and Bear by the legs and pulled them apart.

"Tie their hands behind their backs," said the captain, "or they will go at it again."

The prisoners were securely bound with cords, and each mounted behind a trooper, and were thus conducted back to the town.

"I commit you both to jail for an outrageous breach of the peace," said the magistrate, who still stood on the pavement. "Here, constable, is the commitment. Take them both to jail. Put them in separate cells, and don't let them get at one another again."

"Good heavens!" said Colonel Hazelwood, as he saw the two physicians led away in the custody of the constable, "what am I to do? I have a sick person in my house, and the only two doctors in the town have been sent to jail for fighting in the street."

"What did they quarrel about?" asked Toney.

"Why," said the colonel, "the young lady was nervous, and could not sleep; and Bull wanted to give her a decoction of hops, while Bear was of opinion that she should drink a cup of catnip-tea."

"Colonel," said the Professor, "allow me to give you some advice."

"What is that?" inquired the colonel.

"Never admit two doctors into your house, unless you desire to be the spectator of a pugilistic combat."

[Pg 122]


"That was a brilliant charge of cavalry in which you so gallantly participated, Mr. Seddon," said the Professor, when the three friends had returned to Toney's room. "In promptness and impetuosity it will compare with Colonel May's famous charge at the battle of Resaca de la Palma."

"It was decisive," said Seddon. "Put an end to hostilities."

"And now, Toney, do not let these two doctors be instrumental in bringing the life of M. T. Pate to an abrupt termination," said the Professor.

"Two doctors are enough to bring any man's life to a termination," said Seddon. "If the walls of the jail were not solid and strong, it would be a very heavy premium which would induce me to insure the lives of their patients in Colonel Hazlewood's house."

"It is not becoming in one of the Funny Philosophers to joke on such a sad and serious subject," said the Professor. "Toney, proceed with the reading of the biography of M. T. Pate."

Toney took up the manuscript and read as follows:

"The mighty oak, whose massive timbers entered into the construction of the magnificent steamship, was once an insignificant acorn, and the illustrious man whose wisdom and eloquence are the admiration of the multitude was once a humble attorney practicing in the petty court of a justice of the peace. A few miles from his residence was a village where Justice Johnson held his court on every second and fourth Saturday in each month. He had civil jurisdiction in actions of debt where the amount involved did not exceed the sum of fifty dollars; to which were superadded powers of adjudication in certain criminal causes, where the slave population were accused of sundry peccadilloes, such as nocturnal aggressions on the hen-roosts of the farmers in the neighborhood. From the[Pg 123] decisions of the justice in civil suits there was an appeal to the county court.

"In the court of the learned and dignified Justice Johnson M. T. Pate commenced his professional career; and here he continued to practice for a number of years before he ventured upon a more extended field of action. The fees were small, but with many cases and much economy his accumulations might be considerable. And, besides, like many men of merit, he was diffident of his abilities, and dreaded to meet a trained adversary in the field of forensic controversy. He hoped that this diffidence would wear off by degrees, and that he would not be like Counselor Lamb, who said that the older he grew, the more sheepish he became——"

"Stop, Toney, stop!" said the Professor. "Do you think that a pun is allowable in the biography of a great man, which should be almost as grave and dignified in its style as the history of a great nation?"

"It is not a pun," said Toney. "It is the serious remark of a very learned lawyer. Lamb is a meek old lawyer in Mapleton, remarkable for his modesty. For many years he contented himself with a lucrative chamber practice, and never attempted to address a court or jury. But on one occasion a favorite negro servant of the lawyer was indicted for cutting off a bull's tail. Lamb undertook to defend him before a jury. He arose with much trepidation; his voice faltered; he could not articulate a word. A profuse perspiration bathed his brow, and he took out his handkerchief and wiped his face. There was some ugly unguent on the handkerchief, and it left a black spot on his brow.

"'Look at old Lamb's face,' said a young attorney, in a loud whisper.

"'It is—lam'black!' said another.

"The twelve jurors in the box grinned. Lamb shook from head to foot. He grew desperate, and, in a loud voice, exclaimed, 'Gentlemen of the jury, the prisoner is indicted for cutting off a bull's tail. What—what——' There was an awkward pause.

"'He was going to ask what should be done with the bull,' whispered a young limb of the law.

[Pg 124]

"'Sell him at wholesale—you can't retail him,' said another attorney, in a whisper so loud as to be distinctly audible.

"The jury were convulsed with laughter, which so increased the agitation of the advocate that he shook like an aspen, and finally dropped into his seat and covered his face with his handkerchief. The judge rapped with his gavel, and repressing the merriment which pervaded the court-room, told the counselor to proceed with his argument. But he could not utter another word. Some days afterwards as Lamb sat in his office, lamenting his infirmity to a friend, he said that the older he grew, the more sheepish he became."

"Your explanation is perfectly satisfactory," said the Professor, gravely. "Resume the reading of Pate's biography."

Toney read on:

"But even in this quiet little court he had an adversary who was a thorn in his side, often causing him great affliction, and sometimes intense agony. This adversary was a carpenter with a hooked nose and a most singular physiognomy, known by the name of Peter Piddler, and supposed to be crazy on all subjects except those appertaining to the law. On legal questions he exhibited great astuteness, and, having renounced the jack-plane and procured an odd volume of Burn's Justice, he had been practicing for some years before Justice Johnson, when M. T. Pate made his début. The carpenter considered himself the monarch of that bar, and when his youthful antagonist entered the arena, the contest between them was watched with nearly as much interest in the little village as was the meeting of Pinkney and Webster on a more celebrated forum. Many predicted that Piddler had now met with his match, and might even have to succumb; but their vaticinations were not verified in every instance. Extraordinary as it may seem, the carpenter usually came off victorious, and the learned attorney frequently left the court and went home deeply dejected by the humiliation of defeat.

"In that neighborhood many people still talk about those celebrated trials, where Justice Johnson presided[Pg 125] and Piddler and Pate contended for victory. Most of these accounts are legendary, and no more reliable than are those in relation to the early efforts of the eloquent orator of the Old Dominion. One, however, we have ascertained to be strictly authentic. A stout African, a slave named Sam, and an incorrigible sinner, had been brought before Justice Johnson on the grave charge of having purloined a hen, the property of a widow lady in that vicinity. Pate was for the defense and Piddler for the prosecution. The widow's son, a lad of twelve years, who was the principal witness, testified that he had set the hen, putting twenty eggs under her, which was more than she could conveniently cover. With an admonition to the patient fowl to 'spread' herself, he left her, and, climbing a cherry-tree, was eating the fruit, when he saw Sam carry off both the hen and the eggs. The testimony was conclusive of the prisoner's guilt, and his counsel had to assail the character of the witness. But he was ably vindicated by Piddler, and the unfortunate Sam was convicted of petty larceny. Justice Johnson, being a humane man, in passing sentence, said, with tears in his eyes, 'Sam, it gives me great pain to order corporal punishment to be indicted on any one, but my solemn duty must be performed. The sentence of the court is, that you be taken hence to the horse-rack, and have twelve lashes laid on your bare back, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul!'

"Sam was taken to the place of execution, and having undergone his punishment with heroic fortitude, was about to be released by the constable, when his counsel appeared in court and moved for a new trial. The court ordered the officer to keep a sharp lookout on Sam, and sent for Piddler, who was celebrating his victory in a neighboring bar-room. Pate argued his motion with much ability, and demonstrated that the hen was worth so much, and that when the twenty eggs were hatched each chicken would be worth so much, and that the aggregate would amount to a sum sufficient to constitute the offense of grand larceny, over which the court had no jurisdiction. Piddler was fuddled, and failing to perceive any other weak point in his adversary's argument, [Pg 126]contented himself with saying that he did not think that his learned brother had any right to count his chickens before they were hatched. Justice Johnson very properly rebuked him for his levity; and firmly expressing his determination to maintain the dignity of the court, finally granted a new trial. So the case was again tried and with the same result. Sam was convicted and sentenced to receive another installment of twelve lashes on his bare back. Piddler always boasted of his success in this prosecution, and said that if he was defeated on the motion for a new trial, nevertheless he had got the curly-headed rascal twenty-four lashes on his bare back instead of twelve. On the other hand, Mr. Pate, after he had acquired more experience in his profession, candidly acknowledged that the motion for a new trial was an error on his part, as it could do his client no good under the circumstances, and actually did him a deal of harm. But he said he was then young, and allowed himself to be carried away by too eager a desire for the glory of a victory over his vaunting antagonist.

"So frequently defeated before Justice Johnson, Mr. Pate had many appeals to the county court. These were usually tried by other attorneys whom he employed before the cases were called. But he was regular in his attendance, and each morning, during the terms, might be seen mounted on his favorite nag, Old Whitey, and traveling towards the metropolis of the county. Although there were many stables in the town where hay and oats could be had for hungry horses, he always fastened his steed to a tree, where the animal remained from nine o'clock in the morning until late in the afternoon, with nothing to satisfy his natural craving for food. Thus did the lawyer not only save the expense of provender, but also of whip and spur, for Whitey was always in a hurry to get home and enjoy the luxury of the abundant pastures on the farm. The tree which was thus used as a stable withered and died many years ago, having been entirely stripped of its bark by the teeth of the hungry horse. Being an object of great curiosity, it was cut down and manufactured into canes, which were in great demand and sold at extravagant prices.[Pg 127] One of these walking-sticks was purchased by a gentleman from Louisiana, who carried it home and presented it to General Taylor; at the same time giving him a history of the lawyer and his horse. The old hero, who admired simplicity of character, was much struck with the story, and named his favorite war-horse Old Whitey. And thus did it happen that the gallant charger which carried Old Rough and Ready through the glorious battle of Buena Vista, had the honor of being named after the horse which had so often carried this distinguished lawyer with all his learning to court."

"Is that all?" said the Professor, as Toney laid aside the manuscript.

"That ends the chapter," said Toney. "And it was more than enough for Tom Seddon, for he has been asleep for the last fifteen minutes."

"Mr. Seddon," said the Professor, "has probably glided into a condition of trance, and now has before him a beautiful vision of a bowl of strawberries and cream. It would not be in accordance with the principles of genuine philanthropy to awaken him to the unsavory realities of ordinary existence. Shall we leave him to wander in the land of Nod, and take a walk through the town?"

"Agreed," said Toney. And, putting on their hats, they left Tom Seddon snoring on Toney's bed, and proceeded on a promenade.


"That man on the other side of the street looks like one of the belligerent doctors," said the Professor, as he and Toney stood on the pavement in front of the hotel.

"It is Doctor Bull, minus his spectacles, and with the addition of a very black eye," said Toney.

"His vision seems not to be very clear! There! he has stumbled over a dog, and is indignantly bestowing on the unlucky cur a couple of kicks," said the Professor.

"Bull is very near-sighted," said Toney. "He will get along badly without the aid of his spectacles."

[Pg 128]

"I wonder how he got out of jail?" said the Professor.

"Colonel Hazlewood bailed him out," said the landlord. "The colonel needs his services in attendance on his niece, Miss Carrington, who is still in a critical condition."

"Did the colonel also bail out the other physician?" asked the Professor.

"No, indeed!" said the landlord. "The colonel said he was afraid to let the other fellow out while the young lady was ill. The two doctors might get to fighting again, and their patient might die while they were settling their difficulties."

"I perceive that the colonel is an apt scholar in the school of experience," said the Professor. "It is not advisable to allow more than one doctor to run at large at a time in a small town like this."

"I am glad that Bull is out," said the landlord.

"Why so?" asked Toney.

"He has a patient in my house. The gentleman is quite sick. He is in the room next to the one occupied by you, Mr. Belton. I hope you have not been disturbed."

"Not at all," said Toney. "He has been very quiet. I was not aware that there was a sick person in the apartment. Come, Charley, let us walk to the post-office."

A letter was handed to Toney at the post-office, which he read, and then exclaimed,—

"Well, Charley, my holiday is over. I must go back to Mapleton by the next train."

"Indeed!" said the Professor. "What urgent business renders your presence necessary in Mapleton?"

"The great case of Simon Rump vs. the Salt-Water Canal Company is to be argued next week. I am counsel for the company, and my distinguished friend M. T. Pate is Rump's attorney. It is a claim for damages. The company are about to construct a portion of their canal through Rump's real estate, and a jury are to assemble on the ground and assess the damages which should be paid to Simon Rump."

"Who is Simon Rump?"

"You have heard Tom Seddon and myself speak of Simon Dobbs?"

[Pg 129]

"The unfortunate individual who was baffled by the Mystic Order of Sweethearts in his efforts to obtain an angel and seven sweet little cherubs?"

"The same," said Toney. "Well, Simon Dobbs is now Simon Rump."

"Simon Dobbs is now Simon Rump? I don't comprehend."

"It is so. Simon Dobbs is now Simon Rump, and in his domicile dwell an angel and seven sweet little cherubs."

"I am glad that the poor fellow has at last obtained the companionship of angelic beings after so much tribulation. But how did it happen that his name was changed? Had the angel changed her name, when she came to dwell with Dobbs, it would have been more in accordance with established usage."

"The angel would not consent to change her name. I might as well tell the story at once, for I see that your curiosity is aroused."

"Indeed it is," said the Professor. "I am as curious as a maiden lady who has accompanied this terrestrial orb in fifty annual revolutions around the center of the solar system. How did Dobbs become Rump?"

"After the poor fellow met with so serious a mishap, when he wanted to purchase a wife and a couple of children, he lived in melancholy seclusion during several years. He has a fine farm in the neighborhood of Mapleton. On the east side of his farm, and nearer to the town, is the estate of the Widow Wild, and on the west was the land of Farmer Rump who was also named Simon. Rump had fine possessions, and a buxom wife, and seven children, and was prosperous and contented. But he was taken sick, and a doctor being sent for, in about a week Simon Dobbs followed the hearse of his friend and neighbor Simon Rump to the cemetery. The widow wept and the seven children were in deep affliction. Dobbs had a soft heart, and went frequently to the house to console the widow and orphans. The widow was buxom and blooming and the children were chubby. An idea entered the head of Dobbs. Here were an angel and seven sweet little cherubs. Could he not persuade them to come and dwell in his domicile? In the solitude of his home he again had[Pg 130] visions of future felicity. In due time he presented the question of annexation for the consideration of the widow. It was decided in the negative. She said that she had been the wife of Simon Rump, and when she planted a rose on the grave of that good man she had solemnly vowed that she would never be the wife of anybody but Simon Rump. Dobbs went home and had a fit of the blues. He thought of his first love and of his subsequent misfortunes. He thought of Susan and the Seven Sweethearts. He thought of the dreadful beating he had received when he wanted to buy a wife and a couple of children. He thought of the refusal of the Widow Rump, and he was in despair. His home would never be the abode of an angel and seven sweet little cherubs."

"Poor fellow!" said the Professor. "His was, indeed, a sad fate! Excuse me, Toney, if I apply my handkerchief. A tear will ooze from the corner of my eye."

"There is no need for your handkerchief. Dobbs's prospects now began to brighten. Fortune smiled on him at last."

"The cruel jade!" said the Professor. "She sometimes becomes ashamed of her barbarity and makes amends. I trust it was so in the case of poor Dobbs."

"It was," said Toney. "A few days after the rejection of his suit by the widow, a splendid opportunity, which presented itself, for an amazing display of his gallantry, enabled him to win her heart. On a bright morning in July there was an unusually large congregation assembled in groups in front of the village church, which stands in a grove of fine old trees, affording a delightful shade. While the people were thus awaiting the arrival of their pastor, the widow rode up, accompanied by her eldest son, a boy of twelve years of age. The lad dismounted and led the widow's steed to a big chestnut stump, then used as a horseblock. She attempted to dismount, but just at that moment the horse suddenly started to one side, and she was caught on the pommel, and there hung suspended, like Mohammed's coffin, between heaven and earth. The gawky boy exclaimed, 'Great golly!' and stood holding the horse. The ladies shrieked and put down their veils, and the gentlemen, instead of going to the rescue, turned away[Pg 131] as if seized with a sudden panic. In this emergency the remarkable presence of mind of Simon Dobbs was wonderfully demonstrated. Hearing the cries of the distressed lady, he coolly put his hand in his pocket and drew forth a large knife, which he was accustomed to use in his orchard for pruning purposes; then turning his back and opening the blade, he advanced backward until his shoulders almost touched her as she hung in a state of awful suspense; when with a skillful movement of the knife he cut off the end of the dress which clung to the pommel, and the lady fell unharmed to the ground. A shout of applause rewarded this noble achievement; and from that day the heart of the buxom widow was the property of Simon Dobbs."

"So it should have been," said the Professor. "In books of chivalry and romance a valorous knight, who rescues a fair one in distress, is always rewarded by the possession of that important organ."

"The pastor did not come," said Toney. "The reverend gentleman was sick; but the congregation found an efficient substitute in M. T. Pate, who mounted the pulpit and read the usual prayers, and then selected the ninth chapter of Genesis. When in his loud and solemn tones Pate read the twenty-third verse, every eye in the congregation was directed first towards the widow and then towards Simon Dobbs. The widow went home and read the chapter over and was deeply impressed. She was convinced that Simon Dobbs was a good man, and could be compared to the favorite sons of the patriarch. She knew that he would make a devoted husband. When Dobbs called on the following day to inquire after her health, she blushed until her face was as ruddy as the morning, and Dobbs saw in her blushes the beams of an Aurora which was the harbinger of his happiness."

"Too poetical, Toney," said the Professor. "But proceed. What did Dobbs do?"

"He drew his chair close up to the widow; and this time as he approached her he did not turn his back."

"Well, what did he do?"

"He took hold of her hand."


[Pg 132]

"He squeezed it."


"He advanced his mouth in close proximity to her lips."


"He kissed her."

"And then?"

"One of the little cherubs ran into the room, and bawling out, 'You stop biting my mamma!' struck Dobbs with a stick."


"Dobbs saw a servant-maid's grinning face at the door. He snatched up his hat and rushed from the house. The widow seized the little cherub, and laid him over her lap and spanked him."

"What became of Dobbs?"

"He returned next evening. The cherubs were all put to bed. He again presented the question of annexation for the consideration of the widow. This time it was debated on both sides. The widow told him that she had solemnly vowed never to be the wife of anybody but Simon Rump. She could not break her vow. Dobbs then proposed to change his name to Rump. This proposition was satisfactory. M. T. Pate filed a bill in chancery for Dobbs, and a decree was passed changing his name to Rump; and Simon Dobbs is now Simon Rump; and an angel dwells with him, and seven sweet little cherubs run about his domicile with their bare feet."

"Cherubs are always barefooted," said the Professor. "They are painted so on canvas. It couldn't be otherwise."

"Why not?" said Toney.

"Because no shoemaker ever entered the kingdom of heaven."

"I cannot see why the disciples of St. Crispin should be excluded," said Toney.

"They never tell the truth, and liars—you know the text. Did you ever see the picture of an angel with a pair of shoes on his feet?"


[Pg 133]

"They have no shoemakers among them," said the Professor.

They had now reached the hotel, and, after Toney had directed Hannibal and Cæsar to come for his trunks, were approaching his room, when they heard a loud noise, and Tom Seddon's voice furiously shouting "Villain!" This was followed by the sound of some heavy body falling on the floor. Toney and the Professor rushed into the room. In the middle of the floor stood Tom Seddon with his clothes covered with blood. A crimson stream spouted from his person and sprinkled the floor. In a corner of the room lay Dr. Bull, having just been knocked down by a blow from Seddon's fist. On the bed was a basin turned upside down. With the ferocity of a tiger Tom was about to spring at Bull again when Toney caught him and held him back.

"Let me at him!" shouted Tom, savagely. "He has had my blood and I want his!"

"Are you not Jones?" groaned Bull, in the corner.

"Jones! who is Jones? You bloody old villain!" cried Tom.

"Good heavens!" said Bull, "I fear I have made a mistake! I have bled the wrong man!"

Toney roared with laughter, and the Professor fell on the bed and emitted violent explosions of mirth.

Bull, who had been deprived of his spectacles in his desperate encounter with Bear, was nearly blind, and going into the wrong room had approached the bed. Tom was snoring. Bull felt his pulse. "Symptoms of apoplexy!" exclaimed Bull. "A decided change for the worse! He must be immediately depleted or the attack may be fatal!" Bull got a basin, rolled up Tom's sleeve, took out a lancet and sprung it. The blood spirted, and Tom jumped up and knocked Bull down.

All this was explained after Tom's arm had been bound up by the Professor; Bull being too much disabled by the blow and his fall to render any assistance.

"The doctor has amply apologized," said Toney.

"By Jove! does such an outrage admit of an apology?" said Tom, looking at Bull with savage ferocity.

[Pg 134]

"My dear sir, it was a mistake! I thought it was Jones!" said the doctor, making for the door.

"Good-by, doctor!" said Toney. "You have let the bad blood out of him, and he will soon be in a better disposition."

Bull hastily departed with both eyes in a damaged condition.

"He has had my blood and I would like to have his," said Tom.

"Mr. Seddon, you should cultivate a more benign disposition," said the Professor. "Bull practiced phlebotomy on you with the best intentions."

"And now, Tom, I must leave you," said Toney, as Cæsar and Hannibal entered the room to carry his trunks to the railway.

"Are you going?" said Tom.

"Must go," said Toney. "I have to prepare for the great case of Simon Rump vs. The Salt-Water Canal Company. I leave Charley with you, who will attend to your wound, and when it has healed you and he come to Mapleton and hear the argument of my distinguished adversary M. T. Pate."

Both promised to do so; and shaking hands with his two friends, Toney went out and closed the door, but immediately opened it again and said,—

"Tom, when you take another siesta, remember to bolt the door and keep Bull out. Good-by!"

[Pg 135]


"Simon, my love," said Mrs. Rump, as she handed her affectionate spouse a cup of coffee at breakfast, "what lawyer have you got to speak to the jury in our great case against the Canal Company?"

"Why, my angel," said Simon, "I have got Mr. Pate, the great lawyer in Mapleton."

"Is Mr. Pate the bald-headed man who sometimes reads the prayers in church?" asked the angel.

"He is the man," said Simon.

"He must be a very good man," said the mother of the seven sweet little cherubs.

"He is," said the lord of the mansion; "and he is also a very learned man. He has more than a dozen books in his office as big as the Bible, and he reads in them every day."

"Oh, my!" said Simon's angel. "No wonder he is bald! Reads all those big books! What a heap he must know!"

"Indeed, he does," said Simon. "And he has promised to make a great speech against the Canal Company, and get us a power of damages."

"How much?" inquired the angel.

"Thirty thousand dollars—not a cent less."

"Gracious goodness! thirty thousand dollars! We will be as rich as the Widow Wild almost! Indeed, my love, you must buy a nice new carriage. I don't like to ride to church on horseback and see the Widow Wild coming in her carriage."

"And I want a hobby-horse," said one of the male cherubs.

"And I want a nice new doll," said a female cherub.

"Hush, you noisy brats!" said the angel. And she slapped the male cherub on the side of the face, and in the operation overturned her cup, and spilt the hot coffee on the female cherub's head. The two cherubs tried the[Pg 136] strength of their lungs; and Simon Rump arose from the table, and, putting on his hat, opened the door to go forth and talk with his lawyer about the big case.

The angel followed Simon to the porch and said,—

"Thirty thousand dollars! Oh, my! But how much are you to pay Mr. Pate?"

"One-tenth," said Simon.

"How much is that?" asked the mother of the cherubs.

"Three thousand dollars," said Simon.

"Three thousand dollars! Gracious! That is a heap of money to pay a lawyer for talking to a jury for an hour."

"But Mr. Pate has to read all those big books. It would take me ten years to read all those books; and then I would not understand what is in them," said Simon, scratching his head.

"Three thousand dollars! How much will we have left?"

"Twenty-seven thousand dollars," said Simon.

"Twenty-seven thousand dollars! That is a heap of money! I must have a brand-new carriage with eagles painted on its sides. I don't like to ride to church on horseback."

"Before we were married I used to like to see you coming to church on horseback," said Simon.

The mother of the cherubs bestowed a connubial kiss on Simon, who went from his gate merrily whistling, as any man might who had an angel and seven sweet little cherubs dwelling in his domicile, and expected soon to get twenty-seven thousand dollars from a wealthy corporation.

Toney Belton had been occupied since his return to Mapleton in preparation for the proper presentation of his case to the jury. His distinguished adversary had composed a great speech to be delivered on the occasion. Pate had determined to operate on the feelings and prejudices of the jury, and thus obtain a verdict for the thirty thousand dollars which he had confidently promised to his client Simon Rump.

On the morning of the day on which the jury were to assemble on the ground, Tom Seddon and the Professor arrived in the cars from Bella Vista. The jury were[Pg 137] conveyed to the ground in an omnibus in charge of the sheriff. M. T. Pate arrived on Old Whitey, and, dismounting, tied his steed to a tree, which the animal immediately commenced divesting of its bark.

The twelve peers deliberately walked over the ground, and having carefully examined that portion of it through which the canal was to be constructed, seated themselves on two benches, which had been prepared for their accommodation, under the shade of a spreading beech. Simon Rump's counsel was then informed that the jury were ready to hear his argument.

"Pate is going to make a great speech," said Tom Seddon, as Pate drew from his pocket a number of papers and laid them on a stump which he used as a table. "With that black coat and white cravat he looks very much like the picture of old John Bunyan in the Pilgrim's Progress."

"John Banyan was an eloquent man," said the Professor. "And from the very profound and extremely solemn look of the advocate now preparing to address the jury, I expect to listen to eloquence of the highest order. Be ready with your handkerchief, Mr. Seddon, for or some burst of pathos may find you wholly unprepared for the flood of tears which you will be compelled to shed over the wrongs of Simon Rump."

"Hush!" said Tom Seddon, "Pate is wiping the top of his big bald head with his handkerchief. He is about to begin."

"Mr. Seddon," said the Professor, "must I continually admonish you to speak reverently of bald heads? Remember the she-bears!"

"Hush!" said Tom,—"listen!"

M. T. Pate spoke as follows:

"Gentlemen of the jury,—No more important case than this ever came before a jury either of ancient or modern times. An outrage unparalleled in the whole history of Christian jurisprudence is about to be perpetrated upon my law-abiding, inoffensive, and patriotic client, Simon Rump. And by whom? By a powerful, an overgrown, a gigantic corporation! And, gentlemen, what is a corporation? It is defined by the great Judge Marshall to[Pg 138] be 'an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.' In addition to this, I assert, that these corporations have neither souls to be saved nor bodies to be damned. Gentlemen, we read of no such thing in the Bible as a corporation. I have carefully searched the five books of Moses, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, and I cannot find that God's chosen patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Noah, ever chartered a single corporation. Neither do we find that such monopolies were ever tolerated by David or Solomon, or any of the kings or judges of Israel. And I challenge my learned brother on the other side to produce from the whole of the New Testament one single text in favor of corporations. Have I not, then, a right to assert that these soulless corporations are not sanctioned by the Christian religion, but are of heathen invention?

"Gentlemen, is it necessary for me to tell you who is the plaintiff in this cause? Is there an individual now within the sound of my voice who has not known and loved the name of Rump since the days of his boyhood? Simon now lives upon the very spot where he was born, and where the bones of his ancestors are buried. Few men can boast of so glorious a lineage. His forefathers fought against the Frenchmen, the Indians, and the British; and had Simon lived in those days, he would have fought as valiantly as they did; for he is a worthy descendant of illustrious sires.

"Gentlemen, if you have tears to shed, prepare to shed them now. A few weeks ago a worthy farmer of your county, upon a bright, warm summer's day, was seated by his own cheerful fire, with his venerable wife and innocent little ones playing around him. There he sat with his head proudly erect, for he knew that no mortal man could take from him one foot of that sacred soil without his own free consent. But what it was out of the power of mortal man to do he learned could be done by a soulless corporation. Imagine the feelings of Simon Rump then, and imagine the feelings of Simon Rump now. Imagine the feelings of Simon Rump's venerable wife then, and imagine the feelings of Simon Rump's venerable wife now. Imagine the feelings of Simon[Pg 139] Rump's innocent little ones then, and imagine the feelings of Simon Rump's innocent little ones now.

"But, gentlemen, Simon Rump is not the only man, nor is Mrs. Rump the only woman, nor are the innocent little Rumps the only children who will be made to suffer from the outrage of this heathen defendant. A whole community will be divided in twain. Permit this canal to be dug, and will not your county be virtually divided as if into two separate kingdoms? It is to be forty feet wide and six feet deep, and not one word is said about bridges over it. What will be the consequences? Will there not be a separation of friends and relatives; and what money can compensate for that?

"Gentlemen of the jury, in behalf of Simon Rump; in behalf of Simon Rump's venerable wife; in behalf of Simon Rump's innocent little ones; in behalf of Simon Rump's friends and Simon Rump's neighbors; and in behalf of an insulted and outraged community, I appeal to you by your love of right and your abhorrence of wrong, and by your devotion to your country, and your pride for your country, to inflict upon this soulless, tyrannical, and heathen defendant such a tremendous verdict as will ever hereafter operate as a shield to the weak and a warning to the proud."

"What do you think of that?" said Tom Seddon to the Professor when Pate had concluded.

"Mr. Seddon, you might live longer than an antediluvian and never hear such a speech again," said the Professor, with impressive solemnity.

"Toney will find it difficult to make a reply," said Tom.

"Toney looks serious," said the Professor. "He seems to be aware that he has to surmount huge difficulties, and is going to work with due deliberation."

"What a grave aspect he has assumed as he now rises before the jury!" said Tom. "One might suppose that, instead of answering Pate's speech, he was about to deliver a funeral oration over his dead body."

Toney Belton now spoke as follows:

"Gentlemen of the jury,—While listening with the most profound attention and admiration to the solemn and powerful appeal just made by my learned and [Pg 140]eloquent brother; and while beholding, at the same time, the evident wonder thereby created among this large and respectable assemblage, I was reminded of what is written in the fourth chapter of the First Book of Kings,—'And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon.'

"Gentlemen, I shall not even attempt to reply to all the arguments advanced to you by my learned brother. I have too much respect for Simon Rump's venerable wife, and Simon Rump's innocent little ones, and for the bones of Simon Rump's buried ancestors, to say one word in disparagement of any of the aforesaid individuals.

"But there are other portions of my brother's argument which I must notice, for I fear that they were calculated to produce a powerful effect upon a jury of humane and benevolent men.

"The learned counsel tells us that this county is to be divided into two separate kingdoms, as distinct from each other as if an impassable gulf had suddenly opened between them. He informs us that such must be the inevitable result of the construction of this canal. As he alluded to the heart-rending scenes about to ensue from this separation, the description was so graphic that the picture became visible, not only to the imagination, but almost to the naked eye.

"Behold the canal already dug not less than forty feet wide and six feet deep! On either side are assembled groups of men, women, and children; for the locks are about to be opened and the waters to rush in. Tears are standing in their eyes, and their sighs and lamentations burden the air. On the east side of the canal is the fond father, and on the west his favorite son. On the east side of the canal is the anxious mother, and on the west her prettiest daughter. On the east side of the canal is the pensive maiden, and on the west her lover 'sighing like a furnace.' There they stand about to part forever! For the lock has been opened above, and the water is now rushing into the canal. The moment of separation is at hand, and they are about to part never to meet again beneath the skies!

"Instinctively each one of these disconsolates stretches forth the right hand to take a last embrace of a parent,[Pg 141] child, brother, sister, mistress, or lover! But even this small consolation is denied; for, behold, the water is already forty feet wide, and nearly six feet deep! Then there are groans, and moans, and loud lamentations; and tears gush forth, falling like a summer's shower into the dividing waters. There is cast from each face one last, long, agonizing look; and those broken-hearted friends and relatives depart to their respective homes, to meet no more until they meet in heaven, and to smile no more on earth.

"But hark! what sudden, horrid shriek is that? It comes from the Rumps!

Oh, mercy dispel
Yon sight that it freezes my spirit to tell!

One of the little Rumps has been left on the other side of the canal!

"Gentlemen of the jury, my feelings so overcome me that I can proceed no further, and must therefore submit the rights of my heathen client solely to your Christian mercy."

The effect produced by Tony Belton's speech was extraordinary. Shouts of laughter burst from the spectators and the jury. Indeed, some of the latter were so overcome with merriment that they rolled from their benches upon the grass; the tears streaming from their eyes, and their whole frames apparently convulsed with laughter.

"Where is Mr. Pate?" cried Simon Rump, when the tumult had, in some degree, subsided. "Mr. Pate! Mr. Pate! Where is Mr. Pate?"

"Yonder he goes!" said a boy. "Great golly! ain't he riding!"

"Go fetch him back! Go fetch him back!" cried Rump.

"It would take Flying Childers to catch that old white horse!" said one of Rump's neighbors. "Your lawyer has gone, and you will now have to make a speech yourself."

"My lawyer has run away! I am ruined! I am ruined!" exclaimed Rump.

"Mount my horse, and ride after your attorney," said[Pg 142] the sheriff, his sides shaking with laughter. "Make haste, Mr. Rump! The jury are waiting to hear his argument in reply to Mr. Belton."

Simon Rump shook his head in despair. Rendered frantic by the ridicule of his merciless adversary, his attorney had rushed wildly from the scene of his discomfiture, mounted his horse, and galloped away, and poor Rump was left inops consilii.

"Mr. Rump," said the sheriff, "the jury have requested me to inform you that they are ready to hear anything which you have to say. You are entitled to the closing argument."

"I can't make a speech," said Rump; "and my lawyer has run away."

"Then the case is submitted for the decision of the jury without further argument," said the sheriff.

Rump mournfully nodded his head in acquiescence. Whereupon the twelve peers arose from their seats, and walked aside in consultation. They soon returned, and rendered a verdict for the defendant. Rump had to pay the costs, which amounted to one hundred dollars. He pulled out his pocket-book, and handed ninety dollars to the sheriff.

"Ten dollars more," said the sheriff.

"Mr. Pate will pay the other ten dollars," said Simon.

"How so?" asked the sheriff.

"He was to get one-tenth of the money recovered," said Rump.


"As we have lost the case, he should pay one-tenth of the costs."

"That is strictly in accordance with the principles of law applicable to copartnerships,—is it not, Mr. Seddon?" said the Professor.

"Certainly," said Tom; "profits and losses must be in proportion to the interest which each partner has in the firm."

The sheriff thought otherwise, and Rump reluctantly paid the whole amount; saying that he would sue M. T. Pate for the ten dollars paid on his account. A few days afterwards he actually brought suit before Justice [Pg 143]Johnson, who rendered a judgment against M. T. Pate for ten dollars and costs.

Simon Rump went home a melancholy man. As he entered his door he was met by the mother of the cherubs, who threw her arms around his neck and embraced him with connubial fondness.

"Oh, Simon, my love, I am so glad you have come back! There is a brand-new carriage in Mapleton now offered for sale. It will just suit us. Have they paid all the money? How much have you got?"

Simon Rump was silent.

"How much money have you brought home with you?" asked Simon's angel.

"Not one cent," said Simon, sadly. "I went away this morning with one hundred dollars in my pocket-book, and now it is empty. I had to pay some money for Mr. Pate."

"But Mr. Pate will pay it back to you out of the three thousand dollars," said the angel.

"No he won't," said Simon.

"Yes he will," said the angel. "Mr. Pate is a good man. He reads the prayers in church."

"I'll sue him," said Simon.


"I'll sue M. T. Pate for ten dollars," said Simon, savagely.

"Sue your own lawyer?" exclaimed the mother of the cherubs. "Your own lawyer, who has made a great speech, and gained our case?"

"He didn't gain our case,—he lost it."

"Lost our case?" screamed the angel. "Simon Rump, you don't mean to say that Pate lost our case?"

"That's just what happened," said Simon Rump.

"Did he make a speech?"

"He made a speech, and then he ran away."

"What made him run away?"

"He got scared," said Simon.

"What did he say in his speech?"

"He talked to the jury about you, and me, and the children."

"What did Pate say about me?"

[Pg 144]

"He called you venerable."


"He called you Simon Rump's venerable wife."

"Me? Me?"

"Yes, you," said Simon. "He called you venerable several times."

"Several times?"

"Yes, four or five times."

"Said so to the jury?"


"What did you do?"


"Simon Rump, you are a brute!" said the angel.

"But, my duck," said Simon, "I could not——"

"Don't call me your duck! Duck, indeed! Simon Rump, you are a brute! You have no feeling. What! stand there and hear that bald-headed booby call me venerable! Well, I'll give Mr. Pate a piece of my mind. Venerable! venerable!" And the mother of the cherubs rushed from the room in a state of unangelic excitement, while Simon Rump seated himself in his big arm-chair and looked doleful and desolate.

On the following morning as M. T. Pate sat on his porch, brooding over the humiliation of his defeat, a sable son of Africa rode up and handed him a letter. He opened it and read as follows:

"Mr. M. T. Pate,—Simon has told me that in your speech to the jury you several times called me venerable. No wonder you lost our case! for after such a whopper about me it was not likely that a single man on the jury would believe one word you might say. How dare you call a decent woman like me venerable? I am not so venerable as you yourself, with your big head almost bare of hair outside and altogether bare of brains inside.

"You ran away because you were afraid to look twelve honest men in the face after what you had said about me. You may have better luck when you have learned to tell the truth. No more at present.

"Abigail Rump."

This letter, though mortifying at the time, was [Pg 145]afterwards of essential service to M. T. Pate. He perceived that adjectives suggestive of personal qualities were often, like edged tools, to be used with extreme caution, especially in their application to the female sex; and that the equanimity even of the mother of seven sweet little cherubs might be seriously disturbed by an indiscreet use of the word venerable.


"Mr. Pate made an astonishing speech," said the Professor to Toney and Tom, the day after the trial; "such a speech as has been seldom listened to by any audience,—a speech that was unanswerable by argument."

"And Toney knew it," said Tom, "and did not attempt to answer it by argument."

"Toney," said the Professor, "was like a wild Indian, dodging around and aiming his arrows at Pate, who had come on the ground with a heavy piece of artillery."

"Why do you compare me to a savage?" said Toney.

"Because you use merciless weapons," said the Professor. "Civilized men do not employ the scalping-knife and tomahawk."

"Nor did I," said Toney.

"Figuratively and metaphorically speaking, you did," said the Professor. "You brought into the field of forensic controversy a most barbarous and cruel weapon."

"What was that?" asked Toney.

"Ridicule," said the Professor. "It may be termed the oratorical scalping-knife. Why, sir, Demosthenes, with all his thunder, would have been powerless against it. Now, M. T. Pate, though not equal to the great Athenian, is an eloquent man. He drew tears from Mr. Seddon, who wept profusely over the wrongs of Simon Rump, and his venerable wife, and innocent little ones. But of what avail is the most touching pathos and sublime eloquence when met by ridicule? Do you not [Pg 146]recollect what the poet and philosopher Pope says on this subject?"

"I do not," said Toney.

"Let an ambassador," says he, "speak the best sense in the world and deport himself in the most graceful manner before a prince, yet if the tail of his shirt happen (as I have known it to happen to a very wise man) to hang out behind, more people will laugh at that than attend to the other."

"That is as true as a text from Holy Writ," said Tom Seddon.

"It is a truth, Mr. Seddon, by no means creditable to the good sense of mankind, as we have seen in the case of the learned, eloquent, but unlucky M. T. Pate," said the Professor. "Pate's unfortunate allusion to the prospective division of families, resulting from the construction of the canal, afforded an opportunity for ridicule, and the great beauty and eloquence of his speech were lost sight of the very moment the audience beheld Tony Belton's finger pointing to the visible protrusion of his nether garment."

"Pate rode away at a terrific speed," said Seddon. "I have not heard of him since. If he has unfortunately broken his neck, Toney Belton will be answerable for the awful catastrophe."

"No responsibility can possibly attach to me," said Toney. "You are entirely mistaken in reference to the cause of his abrupt departure. Mr. Pate had promised to make a speech in behalf of Simon Rump. He did make a speech, and then, looking at his watch, he hurried away; for he had more important business on hand than any which lawyers have to transact. He was to preside at a committee. The hour for its meeting had nearly arrived, and hence he was compelled to make a liberal use of whip and spur."

"A committee!" exclaimed Tom.

"What committee?" asked the Professor.

"A committee composed of several of the most distinguished members of the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts," said Toney.

"What is its object?" asked the Professor.

[Pg 147]

"A tournament," said Toney.

"A what?" exclaimed Seddon.

"A tournament," said Toney. "To M. T. Pate belongs the distinguished honor of being the originator of a tournament in this age and country."

"How did such an extraordinary idea ever enter his head?" said Seddon.

"Great men," said Toney, "are often led to important discoveries by certain phenomena, which, to ordinary minds, are devoid of significance. Suppose you, Tom Seddon, had been sitting under an apple-tree, instead of Newton, and an apple had fallen and hit you on the head; what would you have done?"

"Scratched my cocoanut," said Tom.

"In the situation supposed," said the Professor, "it is highly probable that Mr. Seddon would first have vigorously titillated the top of his head, and then picked up the pippin and devoured it."

"It was not so with the great Newton," said Toney. "The sudden shock which his cranium received awakened an idea, and that idea expanded into a magnificent system of philosophy. And so it was with M. T. Pate."

"Did Pate sit under an apple-tree?" asked Tom.

"No," said Toney; "it was a cherry-tree. He was seated on the greensward under its shade, when his attention was attracted to the curious pranks of a couple of urchins. They had paper caps on their heads with the tail-feathers of a rooster stuck in their crowns. Pate heard one of the little fellows say, 'I'll be Bonaparte,' and his companion immediately rejoined that he was Wellington. The illustrious Napoleon was armed with a bean-pole, and the Iron Duke held in his hand the fragment of a fishing-rod. After marching and countermarching, and performing many difficult evolutions, the martial enthusiasm of Napoleon finally rose to such a pitch that he could no longer restrain himself. As impetuously as when he was leading his valiant legions over the bridge of Lodi, he charged upon Wellington, and, before the latter could parry the thrust, inserted the end of the bean-pole in his mouth, to the no small damage of his ivory. The hero of Waterloo having his mouth thus[Pg 148] unexpectedly opened, gave utterance to a cry which was, by no means, so warlike as might have been anticipated. It had the effect to bring a certain belligerent dame to the door, who had thus got an intimation that hostilities had actually commenced between Bonaparte and Wellington. She sallied forth, and seizing upon the illustrious Napoleon, she laid him over her lap, and gave him what, in the technical phraseology of the nursery, is termed a good spanking. Poor Bonaparte bellowed lustily under the operation, and as soon as he had escaped from the hands of his ruthless captor, went and sat on the sill of the door and sobbed sorrowfully over his disgrace. All his martial enthusiasm had been suddenly quenched. 'No sound could awake him to glory again,' and for the space of one whole hour he indignantly refused to eat even gingerbread."

"I can sympathize with poor Bonaparte," said the Professor, "for I was once the unhappy victim of a similar misfortune in days gone by, when I was not much taller than a gooseberry-bush. I had been diligently perusing that good old book, the Pilgrim's Progress, and under the delusion that I was the valiant Great-heart, I assaulted an urchin who was supposed to be Giant Despair. I overcame the giant, and was imprisoned in the pantry, and afterwards tried, and convicted, and sentenced to undergo the cruel ordeal of a tough twig for a forcible entry into sundry jars of jelly. But what impression did the fall of Napoleon make upon the mind of M. T. Pate?"

"While meditating upon this event, an idea entered his head, which ultimately led to an important discovery. His wonderful sagacity enabled him to perceive that if a little boy could be Bonaparte, a little man might impersonate any hero of whom history makes mention."

"Even Jack the Giant-killer," suggested Tom Seddon.

"If," said Toney, "the unlucky urchin, who had been spanked by his indignant mamma, could arm himself with a bean-pole, and assault Lord Wellington with such vigor and impetuosity, could not a number of delicate and dainty youths be mounted on diminutive horses, and represent Richard the Lion-hearted, or Ivanhoe, or any[Pg 149] of the mail-covered barons whose valorous deeds are immortalized in the pages of Froissart or of Walter Scott?"

"Is it meant that the Dainty Adorer or the Winsome Wooer could do this?" asked Tom Seddon.

"So thought M. T. Pate," said Toney.

"What would be the effect of a moderate blow from the ponderous fist of one of the aforesaid barons on the head of little Love?" inquired Tom.

"Immediate work for the undertaker," answered the Professor.

"Or suppose," said Tom, "that Dove was spanked by Richard, as was the little boy by his mother?"

"He would be crushed like a pepper-corn pounded by a pestle in a mortar," remarked the Professor.

"And," said Seddon, "the immense load of iron and steel carried by one of the knights at the tournament of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where three combatants were killed, one smothered in his armor, and thirty wounded, if put upon Bliss——"

"Would cause the dainty creature to think of Pelion piled upon Ossa," observed the Professor.

"But," said Toney, "Pate was well acquainted with the wonder-working powers of the imagination, and knew that with the aid of this faculty he could easily induce young maidens, who were diligent students of romance, to believe that the Noble Nonentity, the Dainty Adorer, and the Winsome Wooer, mounted on ponies, and flourishing long poles, were valorous knights, armed for the performance of doughty deeds; just as the unsophisticated birds are made to imagine that the effigies placed by a farmer around his cornfield are the dangerous and destructive bipeds in whose images they have been cunningly fashioned."

"You now perceive, Mr. Seddon," said the Professor, "in what various aspects the same subject will be contemplated by different minds. Mr. Pate is a man of an original and sublime genius, and entertains ideas which would never enter into either your head or mine."

"But," said Tom, "what did he do with his grand idea?"

"Having thoroughly elaborated it," said Toney, "he[Pg 150] called a meeting of the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts and made known his important discovery. The announcement was received with acclamations of applause, and the projected tournament pronounced worthy of the illustrious founder of their noble order. A committee was appointed, composed of the Prince of Pretty Fellows, the Noble Nonentity, the Dainty Adorer, and the Winsome Wooer, with the Noble Grand Gander himself as chairman; and upon this dignified body was devolved the onerous duty of developing all the details of the intended tourney. Numerous meetings were held by the committee, and many discussions ensued. Books of chivalry and romance were referred to, and the Chronicles of Froissart diligently perused. But by far the highest authority on the subject was the novel of Ivanhoe, in which the most graphic and intelligible account of a tournament was to be found. But when Pate read to the committee Walter Scott's description of the passage of arms at Ashby——"

"I remember it well!" exclaimed Tom Seddon, enthusiastically. "How the knights met in the encounter,—how the lances were shivered, the powerful steeds thrown back on their haunches, and many combatants hurled from their saddles by the terrible shock,—how Richard assailed the gigantic Front de B[oe]uf, and struck down horse and rider at a single blow, and then, wresting the battle-axe from the hands of the bulky Athelstane, dashed him senseless to the ground! It is sublime! it is magnificent!"

"What effect did the reading of this description by Walter Scott, which has so aroused the enthusiasm of Mr. Seddon, produce on the committee?" asked the Professor.

"Every member of the committee turned pale," said Toney. "Bliss trembled and was silent; while Love loudly exclaimed that he would not take part in any such performance, and Dove said that indeed it was too dangerous."

"But the ultimate result?" said the Professor.

"The panic produced by the reading of this passage from Ivanhoe was so great," said Toney, "that it nearly[Pg 151] caused an abandonment of their intention to hold a tournament. The committee adjourned to meet on the following day for further deliberation. M. T. Pate went home and passed a sleepless night in profound meditation."

"One might suppose," said the Professor, "that the activity of his mind would have enabled him to surmount the difficulty which had presented itself. Could he not recollect that in the encounter between Napoleon and Wellington, neither of them had used artillery or any of the deadly weapons employed in modern warfare? If these illustrious heroes could dispense with fire-arms, why could not Richard and Ivanhoe get along very well without their heavy defensive armor and ponderous swords and battle-axes?"

"That was precisely the conclusion arrived at by M. T. Pate in his nocturnal meditations," said Toney. "He perceived that the whole danger of a tournament might be avoided by mounting his knights on small horses, with chicken-feathers in their caps, and long poles in their hands; when, instead of charging at each other, they could, in succession, charge at a mark in the shape of a ring; and he who was the most expert in thrusting his pole through the ring, could be proclaimed the victorious champion, entitled to crown the Queen of Love and Beauty."

"It is to be hoped," said the Professor, "that this grand idea entered the mind of M. T. Pate cautiously and on tiptoe. If it rushed in unannounced, like a daring intruder, there was danger of its upsetting all the furniture, and disturbing him as much as was Archimedes when he leaped out of the bath exclaiming, 'Eureka! eureka!'"

"Pate jumped out of bed," said Toney, "and danced over the floor, exclaiming, 'I have got it! I have got it!' His old housekeeper, who had been fast asleep in an adjoining apartment, was aroused by these loud cries, and thinking that there were robbers in the house, ran to the window and commenced shrieking, 'Help! help! help! murder! murder! murder!' with the whole strength of her lungs."

"Now, here was a fuss in the family," said Seddon. "What did Pate do to quell this disturbance?"

[Pg 152]

"He called to her in loud and angry tones, and ordered her to cease her frightful outcries. But the more loudly he called, the more loudly the old woman bawled, and finally four or five neighbors came running to the house armed with axes and pitchforks. These men, hearing the cries of murder from the old woman, and Pate's angry voice in denunciation, under the impression that the latter had gone crazy and was about to commit a homicide, broke down the door, and, rushing in, seized him and threw him upon the floor, and bound him fast with the bedcords. The housekeeper, when she heard the men rushing into the house, was convinced that robbers had possession; and, in the utmost terror, the poor creature fled down a back stairway and out the door, and ran across a field until she entered a forest, where she fell down in a state of insensibility."

"But what did the men do with their prisoner?" said Seddon.

"Pate being bound with cords now conducted himself like a furious maniac. He raved, and swore, and kicked, and foamed at the mouth, and endeavored to bite his captors with his teeth. But he was held down on the floor by two stalwart farmers, while the others consulted together; and the unanimous opinion was that so dangerous and murderous a lunatic should be immediately confined in a hospital. A horse was harnessed to a cart, and they put Pate, securely bound with cords, in the bottom of the vehicle, and while one drove, the others walked alongside, with their axes and pitchforks on their shoulders, and thus conveyed him to a lunatic asylum situated a few miles from Mapleton."

"It is under the superintendence of Dr. Mowbray," said Seddon. "I know him well."

"Dr. Mowbray was awakened by the farmers loudly calling at the door. 'What do you want?' said he, putting his head out the window.

"'We've got a crazy man here,' said Farmer Brown, 'and want to get him off our hands. Come down, doctor, and take him in.'

"The doctor dressed himself and came down. 'Here he is,' said Farmer Jones. 'He is as mad as the moon can make a man!'

[Pg 153]

"'I am not mad! I am not mad!' exclaimed Pate, in the bottom of the cart.

"'He is talking poetry,' said Brown. 'I heard my little boy speak that at school.'

"'My men,' said the doctor, 'whom have you got here? Why, it is Mr. Pate! When did he go mad?'

"'I am not mad! I am not mad!' piteously exclaimed poor Pate.

"'Don't you hear that, doctor?' said Jones. 'He is as crazy as an old cow with a wolf in her back!'

"'Who sent him here?' asked the doctor.

"The farmers now told their story.

"'My men,' said the doctor, 'I fear that you have acted without sufficient authority. Let me talk to Mr. Pate.'

"After a conversation with the unhappy captive, the doctor told his captors that they had better go home and attend to their own business; that Pate was not crazy, and might have every one of them prosecuted for a burglarious entry into his house in the night-time. When the farmers heard this they fled with precipitation, leaving their captive in the hands of the doctor, who unbound him and treated him kindly, and, after breakfast, loaned him a horse, on which he rode back to his home."

"What did Pate do after he was declared sane by the doctor and released from captivity?" asked the Professor.

"He proceeded with his preparations for the tournament," said Toney. "His views in relation to tilting at a ring were unanimously approved by the committee; though the Noble Nonentity suggested, that as the weather would be very sultry, each knight should be allowed to carry an umbrella to protect himself from the heat of the sun. This prudent suggestion, intended to guard against the danger of coup de soleil, is still under consideration, and is a matter yet to be decided by the committee, to meet which was the cause of Pate's hurried departure on yesterday."

"When does the tournament come off?" asked Tom Seddon.

"Next Monday," said Toney. "Tom, you must be here on that day."

"I most certainly will," said Tom.

[Pg 154]

"And I, too," said the Professor.

"Are you going back with Tom?" asked Toney.

"I intend to return to Bella Vista for the purpose of protecting Mr. Seddon from Dr. Bull, if that eminent physician should undertake to make any more experiments in phlebotomy," said the Professor. "But I will be here on the day of the tourney. Good-by, Toney."

"Good-by, Charley; good-by, Tom," said Toney, shaking hands with his two friends, who proceeded to the cars, and took passage for Bella Vista.


Intense excitement prevailed in the community when the day for the tournament arrived. The governor of the State was expected to be present with his military staff, the adjutant-general, and other distinguished personages. It was anticipated that the array of beauty would be immense; and, for a week anterior to the eventful day, each fair maiden had held frequent consultations with her mirror, in order to ascertain whether there was a probability that she might have the high honor of being crowned Queen of Love and Beauty by some valorous and victorious knight.

Tom Seddon and the Professor had arrived on the preceding evening from Bella Vista. Tom was now supremely happy, for Ida Somers had temporarily escaped from the supervision of her cynical uncle, and was the guest of the Widow Wild. The Professor told Toney that when Tom heard that Ida had gone to Mapleton to attend the tournament, he could hardly content himself to wait for the next train, but wanted to be off like a pyrite of iron after the magnet; and that, when on the cars, he was continually complaining of the sluggishness of the iron horse, which failed to go faster than twenty miles in an hour.

[Pg 155]

Tom escorted the beautiful Ida to the ground, who bestowed on her escort many a smile, and furtively glanced at his face, radiant with happiness, and came to the conclusion that Tom was a very handsome fellow; but would not for the world have permitted anybody to know that such was her decided opinion.

Toney walked behind Ida and Tom, with Rosabel by his side, while the Professor had the Widow Wild under his protection. They were soon comfortably seated, and cast their eyes around to survey the scene before them.

"Who are those military gentlemen standing in a line in front of their horses?" said Rosabel to Toney.

"Those are the knights," said Toney. "The big man on the right is Richard."

"Who is Richard?" asked Rosabel.

"Richard the Lion-hearted," said Toney.

"Why, he looks like Mr. Pate," said Ida.

"Richard and Pate are one and the same person to-day," said Toney. "M. T. Pate is now Richard Plantagenet, Miss Somers; and if he should prove victorious in the lists he may crown you Queen of Love and Beauty."

Tom Seddon was silent, but he gazed at Richard with a look of savage ferocity, which reminded the Professor of the expression of his countenance just after he had been bled by Doctor Bull.

"The knight standing next to Mr. Pate, who is he?" asked Rosabel.

"Ivanhoe," said Toney.

"It is Mr. Wiggins," said Ida.

"Formerly Mr. Wiggins, now the son of Cedric,—the disinherited knight, the valiant Ivanhoe."

"And the little man whose head hardly reaches to his horse's mane? How in the world will he ever mount?" said Rosabel.

"Oh, never fear. His esquire will help him on his horse. He is a Knight Templar," said Toney.

"What is his name?" said Rosabel.

"Brian de Bois Guilbert," said Toney.

"It is Little Love," said Tom Seddon.

"And the one next to him is Dove," said the widow.

"Formerly Dove, but now Athelstane the Saxon,"[Pg 156] said Toney. "He is a knight of great prowess, and has royal blood in his veins."

"And the other little man standing in front of the black horse, who is he?" asked Rosabel.

"Why, that is Bliss," said the widow.

"No longer Bliss," said Toney, "but the accomplished and gallant Maurice de Bracy."

"And Ned Botts and Sam Perch," said the widow, "who have they become?"

"Those two gentlemen," said Toney, "have selected their designations from localities to which they are strongly attached and desire to honor by their valorous deeds of knighthood. Mr. Botts, who formerly resided in a village where each householder was required by an immemorial custom to keep at least six of the canine species, whose barking and howling at night were supposed to be good for persons afflicted with typhoid fever, calls himself the Knight of Cunopolis."

"Cunopolis!" said Ida. "Oh, what a pretty name!"

"It is composed of two Greek words," said the Professor.

"What is the signification?" asked Rosabel.

"Dog Town," said the Professor.

"Dog Town! Oh, horrid!" said Ida.

"Mr. Botts is the Knight of Cunopolis, or Dog Town," said Toney.

"And Perch?" asked the widow.

"The father of that young man," said Toney, "had heard that N. P. Willis, while residing in Wyoming Valley, had named his place Glenmary in compliment to his wife, and in honor of his own wife has named his place Glenbetsy. So Perch is the valorous Knight of Glenbetsy."

"Glenmary is a very beautiful name," said Ida.

"And so is Glenbetsy," said the Professor.

"Tastes may differ," said Toney.

"Mr. Belton," said the widow, "what is Barney Bates doing there—holding that horse?"

"He is esquire to Richard Plantagenet," said Toney. "Each one of those boys is esquire to a gallant knight, and holds his horse until the champion is ready to mount."

[Pg 157]

"Barney is a bad boy," said the widow.

"Indeed, he is a bad boy!" said Rosabel.

"The only harm I ever knew Barney to do," said Toney, "was to turn a tavern-keeper's sign upside down, and when Boniface came out in the morning, he beheld an Irishman standing on his head before the door trying to read the letters which were inverted."

"He tied bells to my horse's tail," said the widow.

"He did worse than that," said Rosabel.

"What was it?" said Toney.

"Why," said Rosabel, "some pious people were engaged in holding a prayer-meeting, and he tied a bundle of firecrackers behind an unlucky cur and applied a torch."

"Oh, I recollect!" said Toney, laughing. "The demented dog ran into the midst of the meeting, carrying terror and confusion wherever he went. The worthy minister said that he saw the hand of Satan in this trick; and ever since that time Barney has been supposed, by good people, to act by the instigation of that great designer of mischief."

"That boy will play some trick on those knights," said the widow.

"Why, mother," said Rosabel, "how can he? They have him right before their eyes."

"Never mind," said the widow. "Mark what I say. Barney will play some trick on the knights."

"Look yonder!" exclaimed Tom Seddon.

"Oh, splendid!" cried Ida.

"Who is he?" asked Rosabel.

"The governor of the State," said Toney.

"What a noble horse he is riding!" said Rosabel.

"And what a beautiful uniform he has on!" said Ida.

"Who is the fat man riding on his right?" asked Rosabel.

"The adjutant-general," said Toney.

"And these other gentlemen?" asked Ida.

"His military staff," said Toney.

The governor and his staff, in gorgeous uniforms and magnificently mounted, rode over the ground, and halting in front of the knights, who were standing in a line, each by the side of his steed, his Excellency addressed[Pg 158] them in a brief but eloquent and impressive speech. He told them that this was a great occasion, and that the eyes of fair women and brave men were fixed upon them; and urged them to comport themselves as chivalrous and valiant knights. His Excellency, amidst loud applause, then retired to the extremity of the lists, where he gracefully sat on his horse, a few paces in advance of his staff, with the adjutant-general on his right.

The valiant champions now proceeded to mount. It devolved on Richard to make the first tilt at the ring. The Marshal blew a trumpet, and exclaimed, in a loud voice, "Preux chevaliers! faites vous devoirs!" Richard leveled his pole and was about to make an impetuous charge at the ring, when Old Whitey began to kick up behind, and becoming unmanageable, ran off in the direction of the governor and his staff. Richard still held his pole horizontally, and had not his Excellency skillfully handled his horse, he would have been hurled from his saddle. As it was, the unfortunate adjutant-general received the shock. The end of the pole struck him fair on the breast, and down he went in the dust; for who could withstand the terrible charge of Richard the Lion-hearted?

Having unhorsed the adjutant-general, on went the indomitable Richard, scattering the crowds, until he suddenly left the lists, and was seen dashing down the road, with his pole still poised, and his horse kicking up his heels and casting clouds of dust behind him.

Just then Ida uttered a shriek as Love was thrown over the head of his horse and fell at her feet.

"Pick Love up!" exclaimed the widow.

"Oh—oh—oh, mercy!" screamed Rosabel, as Bliss came charging towards her; and his horse, rearing and kicking, hurled the rider over his head and almost deposited Bliss in the young lady's lap.

"Look out for Dove, ladies!" exclaimed Toney, as Dove took flight from the back of his horse and fell at the feet of the fair candidates for the crown.

"Gracious heavens! look yonder!" cried the widow.

All eyes were turned in the direction indicated.

The other knights, emulating the example of their [Pg 159]illustrious leader, were charging the governor's staff. The Knight of Cunopolis headed the onset; and after dismounting two captains and one colonel, the three valorous knights, with an amazing clatter of hoofs, went off after Richard the Lion-hearted.

His Excellency was astounded at this novel manner of conducting a tournament; but, being admirably mounted and fond of excitement, he galloped off with a portion of his staff in pursuit of the fugitive knights. About a mile on the road his horse leaped over Ivanhoe, who had sought repose on the bosom of his mother earth. Farther on the valorous Knight of Glenbetsy was seen floundering among the frogs in a pond of water. They now came in sight of the Knight of Cunopolis, who was going along at a furious speed, still carrying his pole in his hand, when down went his horse in a gully. Leaving one of his staff to assist the fallen hero, on went his Excellency in pursuit of Richard the Lion-hearted. Reaching the top of an eminence, he beheld Richard on his white charger riding along at a terrific speed. His Excellency, who was a famous fox-hunter, now stood in his stirrups and shouted, "Tallyho! tallyho!" and then applied whip and spur with redoubled vigor.

They soon crossed a stream which formed the boundary of two counties.

Richard was now hidden from their view by an angle in the road; and when their panting and foam-covered horses had galloped another mile, they beheld him lying on the ground by the side of his gallant charger. Old Whitey had fallen, thoroughly exhausted; and Richard, dismounted at last, now lay in the road, gasping for breath, but still grasping his long pole.

When he had been restored to consciousness, his Excellency complimented him on his admirable horsemanship, and said that the chase had afforded him fully as much enjoyment as he had ever found in the most exciting fox-hunt.

In the afternoon of the same day, as Rosabel and Ida were seated on the porch of the Widow Wild's mansion, in company with Toney and Tom, they beheld, on the road leading to Mapleton, a procession of people on [Pg 160]horseback following a carriage, in which were seated a Caucasian and an African.

"What is that?" said Rosabel. "It looks like a funeral."

"Nothing like a funeral," said Toney, who had applied an opera-glass to his eye.

"What can it be?" asked Rosabel.

"A triumphal procession in honor of Richard Plantagenet," said Toney. "The governor and his staff are conducting him back to the town. Richard's chariot is driven by an Ethiopian, and another African is leading his white charger, which seems much exhausted."

"I do wonder what made those horses run away with the knights?" said Rosabel.

"We have made the discovery," said the widow, coming on the porch in company with the Professor. "It was just as I had predicted. That Barney Bates was at the bottom of the mischief."

"What did he do?" asked Rosabel.

"Why," said the Professor, "in anticipation of the tournament, Barney had procured pieces of leather perforated by a number of long and sharp tacks, the points of which were carefully covered by other pieces of thinner leather, so arranged that it required the weight of the rider to cause the tacks to pierce through. Bates had seduced the other boys from their allegiance to their respective knights, and under each saddle was one of these cruel instruments of torture, ready to give the steed great agony as soon as the valiant knight had mounted."

"And that caused the horses to kick up and run off?" said Ida.

"That was undoubtedly the cause of their extraordinary excitement," said the Professor.

"I wonder what has become of Love?" said Ida.

"He fell at your feet," said Toney.

"And Bliss?" said Rosabel.

"Bliss endeavored to bestow himself on you," said Toney.

"Indeed, he was very near falling in Rosabel's lap," said the widow.

"And what did they do with Dove?" asked Ida.

[Pg 161]

"Ladies," said the Professor, "I have made inquiry, and can answer your questions. Those three gallant knights were carried from the lists to the town. No bones had been broken, but their nerves were terribly shattered. They were conducted to a chamber in the hotel, and strong tonics brought from the bar and skillfully administered by the landlord. At this very moment, Love, Dove, and Bliss are snugly sleeping in the same bed, and probably dreaming of future fields of glory."


In the society of the beautiful Ida, Tom Seddon passed seven days of rapture. Every morning and evening he was at the mansion of the Widow Wild, and had eyes and ears for nobody but Ida. The Professor informed Toney that in their walks homeward by moonlight, Tom was usually as silent as a man who had a difficult problem in his head for solution, and that on several occasions, when he had endeavored to engage him in conversation, he had started from a reverie, and exclaimed, "Indeed, Miss Ida, what you say is very true."

"He mistook you for Ida?" asked Toney.

"To be sure he did," said the Professor. "Mistook me for a young lady. Is it not a pretty piece of business for the founder of the sect of Funny Philosophers to have the imagination of one of his disciples clothing him in petticoats? Toney, tell me, candidly, do I look like Ida?"

"Not much, I must confess," said Toney, laughing. "But Ida's image is impressed on Tom's organ of vision, and when he looks at you the image aforesaid is dancing in the intervening space."

"And so he mistakes me for the young lady. Tom Seddon is getting to be really disagreeable," said the Professor. "During the day, when Ida is not present, he is as absent-minded as was ever old Sir Isaac Newton;[Pg 162] and at night, as we occupy the same room in the hotel, I am annoyed by his somniloquism."

"What does he say?" asked Toney.

"I cannot comprehend his incoherent mutterings, but sometimes hear 'Ida, Ida,' articulated with tender emphasis. I do wish that Tom would get out of Doubting Castle."

"What sort of a place is that?" asked Toney.

"A place in which all young ladies compel their lovers to dwell for a period, either long or short, according to their whim or caprice. I have known some maidens, who looked as meek and gentle as the doves that cooed in the garden of Eden in the days of primeval innocence, exhibit as much cruelty to their captives as did Old Giant Despair to the poor Pilgrims who had fallen into his hands. Indeed, I have known some lovers held in Doubting Castle for years."

"Do you think that Tom's term of imprisonment will be of long duration?"

"I think not. Ida's uncle is opposed to Tom's suit, is he not?"

"Oh, very much. He puts almost insuperable barriers between Tom and Ida. He sometimes chases Tom out of his house by pretending to have a fit of canine rabies."

"This opposition on the part of the old Cerberus will be the means of soon liberating Tom from Doubting Castle."

"How so?"

"As I said on a former occasion, women are like pigs: if you try to head them off they will give a squeal and bolt by you, and travel the very road you didn't want them to go. Old Crabstick will soon find this out. Tom Seddon will not long remain in Doubting Castle."

"Yonder he comes now," said Toney.

"He is out of the Castle,—I know it," said the Professor.

"What makes you think so?"

"Look at how he walks. His head is up. His step is as light as if his feet were feathers. Yesterday he held his head down, as if he were calculating the distance to the antipodes, and walked as if he had a large quantity[Pg 163] of lead in the bottom of his boots. I'll bet that he don't call me Miss Ida after to-day."

Tom Seddon approached them with his face radiant with smiles. He took Toney by the hand and shook it energetically. He then seized the Professor by both hands and gave him a violent shaking.

"It is a beautiful day," said Tom.

"It is always so," said the Professor, "after——"

"After what?" asked Tom.

"After the sun comes from behind the clouds," said the Professor.

"Toney, my dear fellow, I want to speak to you," said Tom, taking Toney by the arm and leading him aside.

"I knew it," muttered the Professor to himself. "The gates of Doubting Castle are wide open. He is out. How happy he looks! I wonder if it always makes a man feel so happy? I wish I could find Dora. I'd risk another negative."

Tom told Toney his secret. He had walked with Ida in the Widow Wild's garden, and had told the young lady how—— But this ought not to be repeated. He and Ida had exchanged vows of eternal fidelity, and Miss Somers had promised to become Mrs. Seddon at some future period not yet clearly designated. This was a profound secret between Toney and Tom, and the latter was confident that the Professor did not even guess at it, as was evident from the very grave manner with which he remarked, as they came where he stood,—

"Toney, it is about time for me to go home and prepare for the exhibition. You will be there to-night?"

"Yes, Tom and I will be there, and bring the ladies."

The Professor proceeded to his lodging, while Toney and Tom walked to the residence of the Widow Wild, and sat on the porch with Rosabel and Ida.

Joseph Boneskull, the learned phrenologist, was to make a public examination of heads, and, as a sort of afterpiece, the Professor had promised to make some experiments in biology. This he did merely as an amateur, and for the entertainment of his friends. The profits of the exhibition inured to the benefit of Boneskull.

There was a large crowd gathered in the town hall of[Pg 164] Mapleton. Toney and Tom escorted Ida, Rosabel, and the widow to the exhibition, and secured for them comfortable seats.

"Who is that little man seated on the platform?" asked Rosabel.

"That is the phrenologist," said Toney.

"What is that thing on the table before him?" asked Rosabel.

"The phrenologist informed me that it was the skull of a distinguished negro lawyer of Timbuctoo," said Toney.

"It looks like a sheep's head," said the widow.

Boneskull now arose and made a few remarks, tending to show what important results the science of phrenology was destined to produce; saying that in the administration of justice the guilt or innocence of parties accused of crimes could be ascertained with certainty by an inspection of their craniums; that men could thus know what occupation or calling they should pursue, and whom they should marry; remarking, with emphasis, that no gentleman should venture upon matrimony until he had first made a critical examination of the young lady's head.

"What's that he says?" asked the widow.

"Why, mother, he says that gentlemen should examine young ladies' heads when they court them," said Rosabel.

"If I were a young lady," said the widow, "I would like to see any man come pawing about my head."

Tom looked at Ida, and Ida blushed, and Tom was satisfied and willing to venture on matrimony without an examination of that beautiful head covered with long and luxuriant tresses.

"What is Mr. Pate going to do?" asked Rosabel, as Pate took a seat on the platform.

"He has presented himself for examination," said Toney.

The phrenologist carefully manipulated the big bald head before him, and then exclaimed, with enthusiasm,—

"This gentleman has a most magnificent cranium. His perceptive faculties are large, and so are the organs of firmness, benevolence, and conscientiousness; comparison is very large, and causality is immense. I have[Pg 165] never met with a finer development of the reasoning faculties except on the skull of the distinguished lawyer of Timbuctoo, which now lies before me on the table. This gentleman would excel in intellectual pursuits, and might make a great and distinguished judge, the equal of Mansfield or Marshall."

Pate retired from the platform a proud and happy man, and from that day became an enthusiastic student of the science of phrenology.

Perch seated himself in the chair which he had vacated.

"This gentleman," said Boneskull, "is better fitted for domestic life. He would be a devoted lover, and a disappointment in love might drive him to despair, and even suicide."

Perch hastily retired, for he recollected the bottle of brandy which he had swallowed in a fit of desperation after his unfortunate interview with the beautiful Imogen in Colonel Hazlewood's garden. Love and Dove now seated themselves in two chairs, and were examined by Boneskull, who said,—

"The organs of these gentlemen correspond in every particular. Each can sing sweetly, and either could easily win a woman's heart."

"What's that?" exclaimed the widow.

"Listen," said Rosabel.

"They could conquer in affairs of love, and either could drive a woman to despair; but neither would do so, for in both the organ of benevolence is immensely developed."

"Did you ever hear such talk?" said the widow. "Dove drive a woman to despair! Well, I wonder what he is going to say about Ned Botts?" said she, as that uncomely individual ascended the platform and seated himself in the chair.

"Perhaps," said Boneskull, with a look of embarrassment, "you might be offended if I were to say what is revealed by the bumps?"

"Not at all," said Botts. "Speak out."

"The organ of destructiveness is very large. This man might commit——"

"What?" said Botts.

"Murder," said Boneskull.

[Pg 166]

Botts jumped up and knocked Boneskull down, and kicked him off the platform.

"Murder! murder! murder!" roared the phrenologist as he rolled on the floor among the audience.

The ladies shrieked, and two constables rushed forward, and, seizing Botts, who was swearing vociferously, led him from the room.

"Where is Boneskull?" exclaimed a man in the crowd.

"Here he is under my feet," said another.

The little man was lifted up and placed on the platform.

"Oh, dear," said Rosabel, "he is almost murdered! Look how he is bleeding."

Boneskull put his handkerchief to his nose, from which a crimson stream was copiously flowing, and hastily retreated from the room by a back door.

The Professor followed him out, and soon returned and announced that the phrenologist was too much disabled to resume his position on the platform. It was therefore proposed to entertain the audience with some experiments in biology, and to show them the wonderful effects of a psychological illusion.

"Let any one who is so disposed," said the Professor, "sit for fifteen minutes with his eyes closed and his right thumb on his left pulse. At the end of that time I will commence my experiments."

Several persons immediately put themselves in the required position. The Professor held his watch in his hand, and at the expiration of the time named, approached M. T. Pate, who was sitting with his eyes closed and his thumb on his wrist. "Open your eyes! open your eyes, if you can!" said the Professor, in an abrupt tone of command. Pate's eyes flew wide open. "You won't do," said the Professor, and he approached Simon Rump. "Open your eyes! open your eyes, sir, if you can,"—but Rump's eyes were as tightly closed as if he had padlocks on the lids, and the Professor conducted him to the platform. Dove and Bliss were also unable to open their eyes, and were seated by the side of Simon Rump.

"This is a nice young lady," said the Professor, addressing Dove and pointing to Rump. "She is in love with you and expects you to court her."

[Pg 167]

Dove drew his chair close up to Rump and put his arm around his neck and kissed him. Rump looked modest and blushed deeply.

"Will you allow that?" said the Professor. "The young lady is in love with you and he is kissing her."

Bliss seized Dove and commenced pulling him away. There was quite a struggle between them, when the Professor sternly cried out,—

"What are you doing there? Quarreling over that ugly black woman?"

Dove and Bliss started back with horror depicted in their countenances. To each of them Simon Rump had assumed the appearance of a hideous negress.

"Look out! it is a snake! it will bite you!" said the Professor, throwing down his cane. Rump, Dove, and Bliss ran around the platform with cries of terror. "It is a telescope! Pick it up! you can see the capitol at Washington through it." Rump put it to his eyes and beheld the national capitol.

"Stand here," said the Professor to Rump. "Now, whom would you like to see?—the dead?"

"No, no!" exclaimed Rump.

"The absent?"



"Susan," said Rump.

"There she is!" said the Professor, pointing to a female form at the far end of the room. Rump uttered a cry of rapture, and, leaping from the platform, ran to the female, and threw his arms round her neck, and kissed her on both cheeks.

"Look at Simon Rump!" said the Widow Wild. "The miserable dog! he is kissing my cook, who is as black as Beelzebub."

The cook screamed, and fought Simon Rump with her nails; and another belligerent now appeared in his rear. This was Simon's angel, who had beheld his conduct with intense indignation, and was now fiercely assaulting him with her parasol. Two of the cherubs also took part in the combat, and Rump was driven from the door into the street. The crowd followed, cheering the angel[Pg 168] and the two cherubs. Rump was overpowered, and turning his back, ignominiously fled, leaving the angel and cherubs in possession of the field. While men and women stood in the street in wild excitement, the Professor locked the door of the hall and proceeded to his lodgings.


Like one who has committed a great crime, and knows that retributive justice is in close proximity to his heels, Simon Rump fled homeward, on foot, a miserable man. The blows and the hair-pulling, of which he was the recipient, had driven the delusion from his brain, and he was conscious of his guilt, and in trembling apprehension awaited his punishment. In the house, where he had spent so many hours in days gone by, contemplating the blissful period when it would be the abode of an angel and seven sweet little cherubs, he now sat and listened with a feeling of extreme terror for the sounds which would indicate the approach of the angel aforesaid.

At length the clatter of horses' hoofs was heard, and peeping through the window, poor Rump beheld the angel ride up with a female cherub on the pillion behind her. A male cherub was mounted on the other horse. As Rump saw them in the act of dismounting, the manly fortitude which he had endeavored to summon up instantly forsook him, and he seized his hat and fled with precipitation from the house through a back door. The wretched man ran with speed until he reached a wood on the outskirts of his farm, where he wandered for hours, like one who had been driven an outcast from association with his kind. Tired and sleepy, he at last ventured into his barn, and throwing himself on a bundle of hay, endeavored to recruit his exhausted faculties in the arms of Morpheus.

With the ruddy dawn of the day the consciousness of[Pg 169] his misery returned. Rump rubbed his eyes and looked around. At the distance of one hundred yards from where he sat on his bundle of hay he beheld his domicile, in which dwelt an angel and seven sweet little cherubs, who had become to him the beings he most dreaded to encounter. The hour for breakfast at length arrived, and he knew that hot coffee and buttered cakes were on the old mahogany table, and he was a miserable wretch banished from his own board. Hunger at length drove him forth, and with timidity he approached his house, ascended the steps, and attempted to open the door. It was bolted. Rump rapped.

"Who is there?" asked the angel, in shrill and abrupt tones.

"It is I," said Simon.

"Who is I?" asked the mother of the cherubs.

"Simon Rump," said the lord of the mansion.

"Simon Rump is dead. I planted a rose over that good man's grave more than a year ago. What do you want?"

"I am hungry; I want my breakfast," said Simon.

"Go around to the kitchen and eat with the cook," said the angel.

Simon Rump now knew that the angel was inexorable, and that henceforth he was a stranger at his own door. He walked away with a sad heart and obtained a breakfast at a neighbor's house. This benevolent individual endeavored to comfort the poor exile, and offered him an asylum until the wrath of the angel should be appeased. In his new abode Simon remained during the day, and at night he would wander around his own house, which he was now forbidden to enter.

One night, as he was wandering on the boundary between his farm and the estate of the Widow Wild, he heard a commotion among a herd of swine. Rump had recently lost several porkers, and was confident that some one was now in the act of stealing a hog. He followed in the direction of the sound, and in the moonlight beheld a negro dragging, by its legs, a large animal of the porcine species to the door of his cabin. The African here threw his squealing victim on its back, and instantly[Pg 170] plunged a large knife into its throat. Rump rushed forward, and seizing the assassin by the collar, commenced severely belaboring him with a stout hickory, at the same time indignantly denouncing him in terms of vituperation. The negro was astounded at this sudden assault on his person, and bounding about with extraordinary agility, loudly exclaimed,—

"Take care, Massa Rump! take care, or you will hurt yourself!"

But Rump, regardless of this advice, continued his vigorous exercise until he had broken his hickory, when he exclaimed,—

"Who are you?"

"I am Sam."

"You are the infernal thief who was whipped for stealing the hen and eggs! Whose hog is that?"

"It belongs to the Widow Wild."

"I thought it was mine," said Rump. "But, no matter, you have got to go to jail. Come along!"

This predatory African was incarcerated in the jail of the county, and being unacquainted with any lawyer except the eloquent advocate who had once so ably defended him in the court of Justice Johnson and obtained for him a new trial in spite of the efforts of Piddler to prevent it, he sent for M. T. Pate, and employed him in his defense against this charge of felony.

Here, then, was an opportunity for the aspiring advocate to distinguish himself.

The eulogy pronounced by the learned phrenologist on his intellectual developments had awakened ambitious hopes in his bosom, and Pate determined to prepare in the most elaborate manner for the defense of his sable client, and was confident of redeeming his reputation, which had been so badly damaged in his encounter with Toney Belton. It was exceedingly fortunate for him that the trial could not take place until a week subsequent to the time when he was employed as counsel. Unlike some other able advocates, he had none of that superficial but convenient talent which enables its possessors to make some of their best efforts almost impromptu. Like the bird of wisdom, he meditated much before he opened his mouth,[Pg 171] and seldom ventured upon any public effort without having previously thrown his thoughts into the shape of a written composition, which was carefully committed to memory, to be used on the proper occasion. Had there not been an opportunity for preparation during a whole week, that portion of his speech in defense of Sam, which he succeeded in producing from the archives of his memory, would, without doubt, have been far less remarkable for its beauty and eloquence.

Demosthenes would never have been the foremost man in the Athenian forum if he had not labored assiduously to correct his imperfections by going daily to the seashore, with his vocal organ well ballasted with pebbles, and delivering his orations with the winds howling around him and the waves roaring at his feet. In imitation of so illustrious an example, M. T. Pate, having composed an elaborate speech in defense of the incarcerated African, daily resorted to some secluded spot, and gave utterance to his eloquence with the birds twittering their delight, and the frogs croaking their hoarse notes of approbation.

On a certain afternoon Toney and Tom were walking in the direction of the Widow Wild's mansion, engaged in earnest conversation.

"But," said Toney, "Ida is entirely dependent on her eccentric uncle, and you have but little property."

"Ida is willing to wait until I have acquired sufficient——"

"To buy a cottage big enough to hold an angel and seven sweet little cherubs?" said Toney. "But a cottage is not all. Angels must eat, and cherubs must have bread and butter, and it takes money to obtain a constant supply of such articles. Love cannot live on earth without the aid of the butcher and baker."

"I will go to work at my profession and make money," said Tom.

"That you can do," said Toney; "but it takes time."

"Ida is willing to wait for ten years," said Tom. "I wish somebody would tell me where there is a gold mine."

"What would you do?" asked Toney.

[Pg 172]

"I would dig sixteen hours in each day until I had a hundred thousand dollars," said Tom.

"And so would I," said Toney; "for I want exactly one hundred thousand dollars."

"I wonder if there is not gold in our newly-acquired territory on the Pacific coast?" said Tom.

"Would you go there?" asked Toney.

"Yes," said Tom, "and stay for five years, if necessary, to get enough gold to buy a home——"

"For Ida and the cherubs?" said Toney.

"What noise is that in the wood?" exclaimed Tom.

"Two drunken men quarreling over an empty bottle," said Toney.

They now entered the wood and proceeded in the direction of the noise.

"Stop!" said Tom. "Look yonder!"

Toney looked in the direction indicated, and beheld the robust form of M. T. Pate perched upon a stump, his arms and legs in violent motion, and words rolling from his lips with amazing volubility.

"What is he doing?" said Tom, "Has he gone mad?"

"No; he is practicing oratory; it is a rehearsal," said Toney.

"How would he look if we were to go up and speak to him?" said Tom.

"Like an unfortunate dog taken in the act of assassinating a sheep," said Toney. "Don't let him see us. Listen! What's that he is saying?"

"Something about the Widow Wild," said Tom. "Hear that! He says she has a heart of flint."

"Calls her a harpy," said Toney.

"It's well for him the widow does not hear him," said Tom. "What's it all about?"

"Pate's client has stolen the widow's hog, and the lawyer is getting ready to abuse the owner of the property. Hark! What's that?"

There was a noise in the bushes, and two men sprang out with clubs in their hands, and ran towards Pate, loudly shouting,—

"Here he is! Catch him! catch him!"

[Pg 173]

Pate looked around, and then leaped from the stump and fled through the wood with the speed of a frightened antelope.

"Stop! stop! Halt! halt!" cried Toney and Tom.

The men halted, and coming towards them, were recognized as two laborers employed on the Widow Wild's estate.

"What were you going to do?" asked Toney.

"Give that fellow a good beating," said one of the men.

"What has he been doing?" inquired Tom.

"He comes here every day and gets on that stump, and abuses the Widow Wild, who is as nice a woman as a man ever worked for, and we won't stand it! So we cut these clubs and lay in the bushes for him."

"You had better let him alone," said Toney. "He is a lawyer."

"Let him come here again!" said one of the men.

"Even if he was a priest!" said the other.

"What would you do?" asked Toney.

"Break every bone in his body!" said the man, brandishing his club. And with this emphatic declaration of their intentions, the men returned to their work, while Toney and Tom proceeded on their way to the residence of the Widow Wild.


The frequent delivery of his elaborate speech, before an audience of feathered bipeds and amphibious quadrupeds, had fully prepared M. T. Pate for the day of trial. On the morning of that eventful day he was seen seated in court with a grave aspect, which indicated that he sensibly felt the weight of the tremendous responsibility which rested upon him.

The prisoner was put in the dock, when the Commonwealth's attorney and Mr. Pate announced themselves ready for trial, and were each furnished with a list of the[Pg 174] jurors in attendance. The offense charged in the indictment being felony, the prisoner was entitled to twenty peremptory challenges. In exercising this important privilege, Mr. Pate displayed his great knowledge of human nature acquired by a thorough study of phrenology. He scrutinized closely the head of each juror as he was called to the book, and when the organ of benevolence appeared to be diminutive, he cried out, with a loud voice, "Challenge!" But if that merciful organ was largely developed, he eagerly exclaimed, "Swear him! swear him!" putting a strong emphasis on the word "him."

A jury having been impaneled, after a brief statement of the case by the Commonwealth's attorney, the Widow Wild was put upon the stand and proved property as alleged in the indictment. Pate put her under a cross-examination, and asked,—

"Madam, what was the sex or gender of your hog?"

The widow hesitated and looked at the judge, who told her to answer the question.

"It was a gentleman hog," said she.

"How do you know it was a gentleman hog?" asked Pate.

"I know it just as well as I know that you are not a gentleman hog," said the widow, tartly.

"You may take your seat," said the lawyer.

"Thank you, sir," said the widow. And with a toss of her head, and a fiery look of indignation at the attorney, she glided to a seat in the corner of the room, where she announced to the Professor her intention to repay Pate for his impudence.

Simon Rump was now sworn, and testified to the facts already stated in the preceding chapter, and which appeared to be conclusive proof of the guilt of the accused. But Pate was not discouraged. He put Rump under a rigorous cross-examination, and asked him if he was not subjected to psychological illusions. The opposite counsel interposed an objection to this question, and the court inquired of Mr. Pate his object in asking it.

"May it please your Honor," said Pate, "I expect to show that this man Rump is one of those unfortunate[Pg 175] individuals who are continually subjected to psychological illusions. This class are quite numerous, and not long ago I heard one of them say that he had seen a heavy piano get up of its own accord and dance on nothing, half-way between the ceiling and the floor, all the while playing a tune, and keeping time with its feet to its own music.

"Another man told me that he had seen a certain doctor walk on the air, and pass out at one window in the third story of a house and come in at the other. And it is said that this Simon Rump alleges that he once saw a white ghost, in a clump of willows, in the rear of his barn. Now, learned men inform us that these objects have no real existence, but are simply projections from the disordered brain of the person who imagines that he sees them. May it please your Honor, it is not at all unlikely that Sam and the hog were nothing more than projections from the disordered brain of Simon Rump. If a man's brain can project a heavy piano and cause it to dance a jig on the air, could not Rump's brain project a big negro with a whole hog on his shoulder?"

In anticipation of this testimony, Pate had carefully prepared his argument at home and had committed it to memory.

He now succeeded in carrying his point, the court deciding that, upon general principles, there was nothing to preclude the prisoner's counsel from proving, if he could so do, that Rump's brain was in such a disordered condition as to render his testimony unreliable. So the question was put to Rump, who said that he had walked at all hours of the night, and had never seen a psychological illusion; that he had never "heard tell of them" before, and did not know what they were. After much badgering, however, he admitted that he had seen something behind his barn, which, to the best of his knowledge and belief, was a ghost. Having been worried until he had made this admission, poor Rump was finally dismissed from the stand.

The testimony of the State was here closed.

The court now inquired of Mr. Pate if he had any witnesses to examine on the part of the defense.

[Pg 176]

"Yes, may it please your Honor," was the reply, "we have one very important witness. Call Professor Joseph Boneskull."

Thereupon the crier called, in a loud voice, "Professor Joseph Boneskull! Professor Joseph Boneskull!"

Immediately a bald-headed little man, about five feet two inches in stature, walked up to the witness-stand, carrying in his hand a phrenological plaster cast of a human head. All eyes opened in amazement and looked with wonder, first at the head on the little man's shoulders, and then at the head in his hand.

This strange witness, who seemed to come on the stand under the impression that two heads were better than one, was sworn by the clerk in the usual form, when Mr. Pate asked,—

"What is your profession, trade, occupation, or calling?"

"My profession," said the witness, "is one of which all sensible men might be proud. I am a phrenologist. I tell the diversified mental and moral characteristics of men, women, and children, whether they be white or whether they be black, by a manipulatory examination of the superficial, distinctive developments of their respective craniums, vulgarly denominated skulls."

"Have you, or have you not, made, very recently, a critical examination of the cranium of the prisoner at the bar?"

"I answer, most unequivocally, I have."

"Can you inform the jury what are the respective developments of the prisoner's organs of alimentiveness, acquisitiveness, and conscientiousness?"

Here the opposite counsel rose and objected to the question; saying that the introduction of such testimony was wholly unwarranted by any of the established rules of evidence.

After an argument of some length, the court decided that the testimony in relation to the phrenological developments of Sam was inadmissible. Thereupon Professor Boneskull retired from the stand, carrying both heads with him as he went.

"Mr. Pate, have you any further testimony to offer?" inquired the court.

[Pg 177]

"None whatever," was the mournful response.

"Then, gentlemen, go before the jury," said the judge.

The remarks of the Commonwealth's attorney, which were very brief, are not remembered; but a portion of Mr. Pate's great argument has been retained in the memory of men in a fine state of preservation. He spoke as follows:

"May it please your Honor, and gentlemen of the jury,—No advocate ever rose to address a Christian jury under so many and such tremendous disadvantages as now encompass me and my unfortunate but innocent and virtuous client. The prisoner is unjustly and falsely accused of stealing the Widow Wild's hog; and that ruthless woman is here to-day with a heart of flint in her bosom, and with all the influence which the wealth she has grasped and retained with the harpy hand of avarice enables her to exert,—she is here to-day not to prosecute, but to persecute, to calumniate, to crush, and to ruin this poor, unfriended, innocent, and unoffending African.

"There is another disadvantage under which my client labors. In the language of a great Roman poet, hic est niger, and while men of the Caucasian race are tried by their peers, that sacred right is withheld from Sam, simply because he is an African, although it is possible, and even probable, that he has royal blood in his veins as one of the descendants of the heroic kings of Timbuctoo. Has not Sam the right to be tried by his peers? and who in that jury-box can be considered as the peer of Sam?

"Gentlemen of the jury, I am aware of the tremendous peril which now environs my client; and I know that my zeal in behalf of this unhappy criminal has made me many enemies; but, in the eloquent language of that venerable patriot and signer of our glorious Declaration of Independence, old John Adams, 'Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish,' I give my heart and my voice in defense of Sam.

"Did not the great Cicero defy public opinion when he stood before Pompey in defense of Milo, who had been indicted for the murder of the unprincipled Clodius? Did not the celebrated William H. Seward brave public prejudice when he boldly defended the negro Freeman,[Pg 178] who had murdered six or seven white men and women in a single night? And shall I hesitate to risk my popularity by defending this innocent African who has stolen the Widow Wild's hog?

"Gentlemen, may my right hand wither, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, when I am afraid to lift my voice to advocate the cause of my innocent and calumniated client.

"Gentlemen, Luther Martin was one of the greatest lawyers in America, and did he not say, in his celebrated speech in defense of Aaron Burr, that 'the law presumes every man to be innocent until he is proved to be guilty?' And where is the proof of guilt in this case? Do they expect you to believe the testimony of Simon Rump? Who is Simon Rump? A miserable and deluded man, who sees a thousand things which never had any existence except in his disordered imagination. Rump swore on that stand that he had never seen a psychological illusion.

"Gentlemen, I watched his countenance when he made that statement under oath, and I observed his lip quiver and his cheek turn pale, for Simon Rump knew that he was swearing to an unmitigated falsehood. Did he not on a recent occasion mistake a hickory stick for a snake? and afterwards use it as a telescope, and said that he beheld the capitol at Washington? Did he not publicly kiss the Widow Wild's black cook on both cheeks, believing her to be a beautiful young lady of Caucasian complexion? Why, gentlemen, Rump's disordered brain is a perfect machine-shop for the manufacture of psychological illusions, which are projected as he walks abroad during the day, or sits in the chimney corner smoking his pipe in the evening. The brain of this unhappy man projected a hobgoblin as he wandered about in the dark in the rear of his barn; and could it not just as easily have projected a hog? Why, gentlemen, the disordered brain of Simon Rump is capable of projecting an elephant or a rhinoceros! And could it not, then, have projected the pitiful porker which he alleged he saw in the possession of Sam?

"Gentlemen of the jury, Simon Rump never saw either Sam or the hog on the occasion referred to in his testimony; he only saw a phantom created by his diseased[Pg 179] mental organization; and when this miserable man reproduces the illusive images projected from his disordered cranium, for the purpose of convicting my unfortunate client, each one of you should exclaim, in the language of the immortal William Shakspeare:

'Hence, horrible shadow!
Unreal mockery, hence!'

"Gentlemen of the jury, had this honorable court permitted me to examine the learned Professor Boneskull, I could have easily proved by him that the guilt of Sam is a natural impossibility. This was the very Gibraltar of our defense, and it has been partially demolished by the court. But, gentlemen, although you have not the testimony of Professor Boneskull before you, the prisoner himself is seated in full view, and you can certainly rely upon the evidence of your own senses, which, according to Greenleaf, affords the strongest kind of proof. I entreat you to look upon the goodly countenance of my client and to scrutinize closely his phrenological developments. The organ of alimentiveness is remarkably diminutive. Is it not, then, a natural impossibility that Sam should have so enormous an appetite that he would seek to devour a whole hog? His organ of acquisitiveness is still smaller, and he could not covet nor desire another man's property; while his immense development of conscientiousness renders it impossible for him to steal.

"Gentlemen, the bumps clearly demonstrate that the guilt of the prisoner is a natural impossibility. Nature herself cries aloud that he is innocent. Sam—Sam—I say—Sam!" Here Mr. Pate commenced pulling vigorously at the drawer in the table before him, while Sam, who was dozing in the prisoners' dock, suddenly started up and exclaimed, in a loud voice, "Sir!"—at which the bailiffs called out, "Silence! Silence!" and the judge rapped with his gavel.

Bad luck had been watching the eloquent advocate from the moment he commenced his argument, and the ugly demon now pounced upon him as he stood, in anticipation of his triumph, on the ramparts of his Gibraltar. His oration had been written on half-sheets of paper,[Pg 180] which, with two law-books, he had put in a drawer of the table, intending to take out a few sheets at a time in the order in which he might want to use them. When the speaker had concluded the last sentence as above, he put his hand to the drawer to get the next sheet of manuscript for the purpose of refreshing his memory; but how great was his horror on finding the drawer closed in such manner that he could not open it! By some awkward arrangement of the books one of them had opened, and was acting as a lock to prevent the drawer from being pulled out.

Mr. Pate pulled vigorously at the drawer, but in vain; at the same time repeating, in hysterical tones, the words, "Gentlemen of the jury,"—"Gentlemen of the jury." He was then heard to exclaim, in a sort of soliloquy, "Gracious heavens! Sam will be sent to the penitentiary unless I can get that drawer open!" Here he gave another tremendous tug at the drawer, and saying, "Gentlemen of the jury,"—"Gentlemen of the jury,"—"A natural impossibility!" sank back in his seat with his face bathed in a profuse perspiration.

The attention of the jury and spectators was attracted by the strange conduct of the speaker, and a general peal of laughter broke forth as soon as they perceived his awkward dilemma. These demonstrations of mirth, which the court could not wholly repress, so increased the agitation of poor Pate, that he sprang up and rushed from the court-room like a man on a wild hunt after his wits.

"He has suddenly seen a psychological illusion," said a pitiless limb of the law in a loud whisper.

"No," said Toney Belton, "he has gone for a locksmith to open the drawer, and will soon return and conclude his argument."

But the eloquent advocate never came back to conclude his powerful appeal in behalf of Sam, who was convicted by the jury and sentenced by the court to confinement in the penitentiary for the term of two years and six months.

[Pg 181]


"There are persons so peculiarly constituted as to suppose that all the inhabitants of the terrestrial globe have their minds occupied with thoughts of them," said Toney to the Professor.

"And that all the people of the planets are peeping through telescopes and making critical observations on their actions," said the Professor.

"The unfortunate M. T. Pate must have been in some such mental condition after his lamentable break down in court."

"What has become of him? I have not seen him for a whole month."

"During several weeks he remained in seclusion, and manufactured an immense amount of melancholy for home consumption. His stock being finally exhausted he came forth into the world again."

"To discover that the world was occupied with its own affairs and thinking very little about him?"

"Yes; some were engaged in making money; some in making mischief——"

"And Tom Seddon in making love with indefatigable industry——"

"While the earth revolved on her axis as if nothing extraordinary had ever occurred in the court-room."

"What is Pate now doing?"

"He has become a collecting lawyer."

"What is that?"

"An attorney who, for a moderate commission, rides over the country collecting money for his clients."

"A dun? Why, yonder comes Pate now on his old white horse!"

"Good-morning, Mr. Pate," said Toney, as the lawyer rode up.

"Are you riding far to-day?"

"Only to the Widow Wild's residence. I have a claim[Pg 182] to collect for Mr. Clement. Good-morning, gentlemen." And Pate rode on.

"Did he say he was going to the Widow Wild's residence?" asked the Professor.

"Yes; to dun her for a debt."

"If my identity was merged in that of M. T. Pate, I would be afraid to venture within a hundred yards of the widow's house."


"I sat by her side in the court-room, and heard her declaration of war against M. T. Pate."

"He denounced her terribly in his speech to the jury."

"And she denounced him terribly in her speech to me."

"I wish Tom Seddon was here; we might send him to witness the interview between the widow and M. T. Pate."

"His absence is to be deplored. Ida has done the sect of Funny Philosophers great injury by carrying off one of its most efficient members, who is so much needed in this emergency. But when that young lady returned to Bella Vista she took Mr. Seddon's heart with her; and, of course, it was not to be expected that he should exist in one locality, and that important organ, which is supposed to be the seat of vitality, in another."

The Professor here proceeded to animadvert on the conduct of young ladies in appropriating other people's hearts, and was making sundry remarks on the subject, when he was interrupted by Toney, who exclaimed,—

"Why, yonder comes Clement and his clerk from the direction of the Widow Wild's house! Good-morning, Mr. Clement. Have you seen Mr. Pate?"

"I saw him ride up the avenue leading to Mrs. Wild's house, and dismount," said Clement.

"I saw him pull the bell at the front door," said the clerk.

"Was the door opened to him?" asked the Professor.

"It was opened by the widow herself, who, with a smiling countenance and an extended hand, seemed to bid him welcome," said the clerk.

"That is strange!" said the Professor.

"Not so strange as it may seem," said the clerk; "for, though Pate is sometimes bad-mannered among men, he[Pg 183] will purr as softly as a pussy cat as soon as he comes in proximity to a petticoat. It is just as likely as not that the widow has taken a fancy to him."

"Women are enigmas," said Toney.

"The Widow Wild certainly is," said the Professor. "She would puzzle the brain of an Œdipus."

The deadly hostility of the widow to M. T. Pate was well known to the people of Mapleton, and a crowd collected around Clement; and, in a prolonged discussion, endeavored to solve what now appeared to be a mystery.

"She was glad to see him!" said one.

"Shook hands with him!" said another.

"Invited him in!" said a third.

"But why does he stay so long?" said Clement.

During the day this question was often repeated by the gossips, who assembled in groups, with their gaze fixed on the road leading from the widow's mansion to the town.

Suddenly a horse and rider are seen approaching from that direction at a furious speed. As they come nearer, the man seems to be without a hat, and with a heavy suit of black hair, and huge black whiskers. The steed is spotted like a leopard. The people behold the strange horse and rider with amazement as they enter the town with the speed of Tam O'Shanter. At this moment a shout goes up from the crowd.

"Stop! stop!, stop!" cried a number of voices.

But, Mazeppa-like, the mysterious apparition dashes through the town; and while men, women, and children are gazing in gaping wonderment, the bare-headed rider and spotted steed disappear beyond a distant hill.

"Who do you think it was?" said a group of astonished people to the Professor.

The Professor shook his head and was silent.

"What is your opinion, Mr. Clement?" asked a man in the crowd.

Clement was puzzled, and said nothing.

"Who was that hatless and hugely-whiskered rider?" said Toney to the Professor.

"It is a mystery yet to be solved," said the Professor, as he took Toney's arm and walked with him to the latter's office.

[Pg 184]


"What may be the subject of your meditations?" said Toney to the Professor on the following morning, as he dodged aside to avoid coming in collision with the latter, who was walking with his gaze apparently fixed on the toes of his boots.

"I beg pardon!" said the Professor, with a look of surprise. "I had no intention of converting myself into a battering-ram. I am in no belligerent mood, I assure you. To tell the truth, Toney, I am very sad."

"What may be the cause of your melancholy?"

"Disappointment in my fondest wishes."

"In love?"

"No, not in love. I was once disappointed in love, and I know what that is. It is a sore trial, but nothing to the affliction which I now endure."

"I cannot imagine the nature of your trouble. From what does it proceed?"

"Breach of promise."


"Breach of promise unadvisedly made to five respectable maiden ladies."

"To all five? Why, you must be a Turk!"

"What am I to do?" said the Professor, with a look of despondency. "I cannot fulfill my promise."

"I should think not, unless you emigrate to Salt Lake."

"I wish Tom Seddon were here. He could assist me."

"Do you suppose he would abandon Ida?"

"Toney, my dear fellow, you can help me."

"By taking one of the respectable maiden ladies off your hands? I beg to be excused. There is but one woman in the world I would marry, and that I would do quickly enough if I had a hundred thousand dollars."

"I was not speaking of marriage."

[Pg 185]

"Did you not say that you had promised five respectable maiden ladies?"

"Not to conduct them to the altar."

"What, then?"

"To unravel the great mystery which is now agitating the minds of the entire population of this town, and more especially of the female portion."

"What is that?"

"Who was the bare-headed rider on the Woolly Horse? Toney, can you tell? If I do not discover this secret, what will become of me when I return to my boarding-house where the five respectable maiden ladies are waiting to receive the information, which I have solemnly promised to obtain and impart? Toney, do you know who was the man on the Woolly Horse?"

"I do not."

"Have you been to the Widow Wild's house since the apparition dashed through the street on yesterday?"

"I was at the widow's house last night."

"What did you discover?"


"Did you allude to M. T. Pate?"

"I did."

"What did the widow say?"

"She said he was a very smart lawyer, and then changed the topic of conversation."

"That woman is a mystery I cannot solve. She will drive me mad! But what did Rosabel say when Pate's name was mentioned?"

"She and her cousin, the widow's niece, tittered."


"The widow sharply rebuked them for their levity."

"What then?"

"The young ladies attempted to smother themselves."


"By holding their handkerchiefs to their mouths."

"Did they succeed?"

"They did not. The attempt was a failure. There were explosions of laughter, and the young ladies jumped up and ran from the room. I saw them no more that night, but I heard from an adjoining room loud shrieks——"

[Pg 186]

"What! shrieks? Nothing serious, I hope?"

"Shrieks of laughter."

"And you have discovered nothing?"


"Toney, what am I to do? I cannot return to my boarding-house, and look those five respectable maiden ladies in their faces, and say I know nothing."

"Have you seen Mrs. Foot?"


"Let us go to her house."

"Why should we go there?"

"It is the headquarters of all the female gossips in the town."

"Then we will go. It is the place for information. Who is Mrs. Foot?"

"The mother of the three tall young ladies whom you have seen escorted by Love, Dove, and Bliss."

"The giraffes in petticoats? What are their names?"

"Cleopatra, Theodosia, and Sophonisba."

"They are very tall women with very long names. Which of them was carrying little Love hooked to her arm?"

"That was Cleopatra."

"And the one who was looking down so benignly on Dove?"


"And Sophonisba had secured Bliss. Toney, I seldom vaticinate, but I now predict that those three little men will marry those three stupendous sisters."

"That would be against the rules of the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts, of which order Love, Dove, and Bliss are active and useful members."

"When a very little man," said the Professor, not heeding Toney's last observation, "comes in daily contact with a woman of gigantic proportions, a marriage is inevitable."

"How do you account for such a phenomenon?"

"Upon very obvious principles. A little man like Bliss, promenading with a giantess like Sophonisba, looks up to her when he speaks, and his numerous soft and tender expressions ascend like prayers addressed to some[Pg 187] superior being above him. Sophonisba looks down and beholds poor little Bliss walking by her side like a motherless lamb needing protection. A feeling of pity takes possession of her bosom, and pity is nearly akin to love."

"The big woman first pities the little man, and then loves him?"

"That is just it. Did you ever see a very large woman married to a man of similar proportions?"

"Indeed, I have. Mrs. Foot is as tall as Sophonisba, and much more robust. Her husband, Gideon Foot, looks like Winfield Scott; while her son, who is called Hercules, stands six feet seven in his stockings."

"A race of giants! descended, perhaps, in a direct line from Ogg, the King of Bashan."

"Here is the house, and we have arrived at about the right time in the afternoon. The gossips usually assemble at this hour."

"Why, this is the very place where we discovered Love, Dove, and Bliss, one night, singing so sweetly."

"They come here and warble nearly every night under the windows."

"Serenading the giantesses, I suppose?"

"Yes; serenading the young ladies,—the Feet."

"Toney, is that correct?"


"The Feet."

"Do you not say the Browns and the Smiths?"


"What is the plural of Foot?"


"Of course. You would not have me say Foots?"

"It is a question of philology which I am unable to determine."

"Let us go in," said Toney.

He pulled the bell, and a servant appeared, and ushered them into a parlor, where sat Mrs. Foot with her three daughters, and three female friends. The Professor was introduced by Toney to the lady of the house, and then to Cleopatra, Theodosia, and Sophonisba; after which ceremony, the two gentlemen were introduced by Mrs. Foot to Mrs. Cross, Mrs. Hobbs, and Mrs. Smart.

[Pg 188]

"Oh, Mr. Belton," said the gigantic mother of the three stupendous sisters, "I am so glad you have come! Have you heard anything?"

"In respect to what?" asked Toney.

"The Woolly Horse!" said Mrs. Foot.

"The Woolly Horse!" exclaimed Mrs. Cross.

"The Woolly Horse!" cried Mrs. Hobbs.

"Who was the man on the Woolly Horse?" eagerly inquired Mrs. Smart.

The young ladies said nothing; but half a dozen blue eyes belonging to the young ladies aforesaid were intently fixed on Toney, in expectation of his answer. Toney was silent. Mrs. Foot arose from her chair and came close to him. Her three female friends made a similar movement, and Toney was surrounded.

"Have you heard anything?" reiterated Mrs. Foot.

"Who was the man on the Woolly Horse?" screamed Mrs. Smart.

"Indeed, madam, that is just what I would like to know," said Toney.

The expression of eager expectation on the countenance of each lady was instantly changed to one of sad disappointment.

"He don't know," sighed Mrs. Foot.

"He don't know," said Mrs. Cross, with a profound suspiration.

"It is too bad!" exclaimed Mrs. Hobbs.

"That nobody should know who was the man on the Woolly Horse!" said Mrs. Smart, in extreme vexation.

"My friend Mr. Tickle may know," said Toney, with a mischievous twinkle of his eye, as he directed their attention to the Professor, who was instantly surrounded.

"Who was it, Mr. Tickle?" said Mrs. Foot.

"Who was it?" exclaimed Mrs. Cross.

"Oh, dear! who was it?" cried Mrs. Hobbs.

"Mr. Tickle, who was the man on the Woolly Horse?" screamed Mrs. Smart.

"Ladies," said the Professor, with profound gravity, "it may have been an Osage Indian carrying a Woolly Horse, which he had captured in the Rocky Mountains, to Barnum."

[Pg 189]

"It was an Osage Indian on the Woolly Horse!" screamed Mrs. Smart.

"No, it wasn't an Osage Indian," said Mrs. Tongue, who had entered the room unobserved.

She was instantly surrounded.

"Who was it? Who was it?" was asked and reiterated.

"Wait until I get my breath," said Mrs. Tongue, sinking into a chair. "Bless me! I have walked so fast!"

"Who was it? Who was it? Who was it?" came with reiterations from several female voices while the lady was employed in getting her breath.

"Will you all promise not to say a word about it?" said Mrs. Tongue.

"Yes—yes!—not a word—not a syllable!—we will not breathe it!" was instantly and unanimously promised by the female portion of Mrs. Tongue's audience.

"You know the Widow Wild's cook?" said Mrs. Tongue.

"Yes," said Mrs. Foot.

"The black woman whom Simon Rump kissed!" screamed Mrs. Smart.

"The miserable dog!" cried Mrs. Cross.

"The cook," said Mrs. Tongue, "was at my house about half an hour ago, and told me——"

"What? What? What? What?" exclaimed four female voices simultaneously.

"That Mr. Pate rode up to the Widow Wild's house, on yesterday morning, and, dismounting, pulled the bell at the front door. The widow opened the door herself, and received Mr. Pate with much cordiality. Having invited him in, she introduced him to her daughter and niece; and he and the three ladies soon got to be so sociable that they sat down to a game of whist. Time passed pleasantly and rapidly until dinner was announced. After dinner the widow proposed a game of blind-man's-buff; and the three ladies and Pate began the game with much merriment. It came to the lawyer's turn to be blinded; and, as soon as the handkerchief was over his eyes, the widow rang a bell and her two big negro men, Juba and Jugurtha, rushed into the room and caught Pate, and Juba held him while Jugurtha smeared tar over his head[Pg 190] and face. The widow then took a basket of black wool, and stuck the wool all over his head, and put some big bunches on his checks, so as to look like very large whiskers. The lawyer cried like a child and begged for mercy; but the widow laughed immoderately while she was decorating him with the wool. When released, the lawyer fled to the door, and there stood his horse in much the same condition as himself. He mounted and rode wildly away; the widow calling after him, 'Mr. Pate! Mr. Pate! be sure to come back and get your money to-morrow!'"

"Did you ever hear the like?" said Mrs. Foot.

"Never!" exclaimed Mrs. Cross.

"No; never!" cried Mrs. Hobbs.

"And so Mr. Pate was the man on the Woolly Horse!" screamed Mrs. Smart.

"Hush!" exclaimed Cleopatra, who was sitting at a window. "Here is Mr. Love."

"Hush!" said Theodosia, "Here is Mr. Dove."

"Hush!" said Sophonisba. "Here is Mr. Bliss."

"They are Mr. Pate's particular friends," said Mrs. Foot. "It will not do to say anything about him before them,—it might hurt their feelings. Let us talk about something else."

The three little men now entered the room, and Toney and the Professor arose, and, bowing to the ladies, withdrew. They walked together until they reached Toney's office, when the Professor said, "Well, Toney, I can now face the five respectable maiden ladies without trepidation. Eureka! eureka! Good-by, old fellow."

"Good-by," said Toney, laughing. And he entered his office, while the Professor proceeded with rapid strides towards his boarding-house.

[Pg 191]


Circumstantial evidence seemed to corroborate the extraordinary statement of Mrs. Tongue, recorded in the preceding chapter. It was now recollected that no other horse and rider had been observed to come from the direction of the Widow Wild's mansion during the day on which it was known that the lawyer had gone thither to see that eccentric lady in reference to Clement's claim. For about a week subsequent M. T. Pate was said to be confined to his house by sickness; and when his friends called to inquire after his health, they were told by his housekeeper that he declined to receive any visitors. When he again appeared in public it was noticed that he traveled as a pedestrian; and several youths, curious to know what had become of old Whitey, having clandestinely visited the stable which he had always occupied, upon peeping through a crevice in the door were astonished at beholding in a stall a horse which was as hairless as a Chinese dog of the edible species. They promulgated the opinion that old Whitey had been subjected to a tonsorial operation, and that his hair had been closely shaven off by a razor or some other sharp instrument. Another link in the chain of circumstances was the fact that M. T. Pate now wore a wig; and calling at the house of Mrs. Hobbs on a certain afternoon, a little daughter of that lady ran into the room and was taken by the lawyer on his lap. The innocent child playfully caught hold of Pate's locks, and screamed with horror at beholding the top of his head coming off. The child was carried out, vociferously shrieking, and from that day would never venture in the room when the lawyer visited the house. Although Pate quickly replaced his wig, the observant Mrs. Hobbs had discovered the entire nudity of his noddle; and, with all convenient speed, repairing to the house of Mrs. Foot, gave a detailed account of the catastrophe which had so frightened her little daughter; [Pg 192]emphatically asserting that all the hair which once grew on the sides of Mr. Pate's head had mysteriously disappeared, and that his head, deprived of the wig, was as smooth and depilous as a pumpkin.

Notwithstanding the strange rumors in relation to his ride on the Woolly Horse, the manners of Mr. Pate in the presence of the gentler sex were so bland and fascinating that he soon recovered his popularity in the social circle. The wig, which he now wore, had greatly improved his personal appearance, and transformed him into quite a handsome man. In a few weeks the excitement produced by the startling apparition of the bare-headed rider on the Woolly Horse had subsided, and other subjects occupied the public mind. Old Whitey was still invisible, but Pate moved about on foot, and was frequently seen escorting the young ladies of the town, on their promenades, and to social parties and places of amusement.

On a bright Sabbath morning Toney walked with the Professor to the fine old church, which had been built in colonial times, on the suburbs of the town. The pastor failed to appear; but M. T. Pate ascended the pulpit and read the usual prayers, together with several chapters from the Bible, and gave out the first and fourth verses of Part 13 of the ninety-seventh selection of Psalms. When Pate joined in the exercises with his loud bass voice, the singing was very interesting and impressive; especially when they came to the last two lines.

After the services were concluded, he came down into the aisle, and gradually made his way to the door, surrounded by the female portion of the congregation. He seemed to be endeavoring to talk to more than a dozen ladies at the same time, and each of them appeared anxious to get nearest to his honored person. His manner in the pulpit had been most solemn and impressive; but now he had put off his clerical gravity, and was exceedingly merry and gallant; while his little pleasantries were delivered

"In such apt and gracious words
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse."

[Pg 193]

But it was quite evident that he gave a decided preference to the younger and prettier portion of this circle of his female admirers. He was soon seen to march off with a nice young lady hanging on his arm.

"Who is that beautiful girl whom the parson's proxy has captured and is carrying off?" said the Professor to Toney.

"It is Miss Juliet Singleton, the daughter of the wealthy old gentleman who lives in the rural retreat on the top of yonder hill."

"There is a young gentleman standing with his arms folded and his back against a tree, who does not seem to have much of the milk of human kindness in his bosom just at this moment," said the Professor, pointing to a stalwart young man, who was gazing at Pate and his fair companion with eyes in which indignation was plainly expressed.

"It is Juliet's discarded lover," said Toney, "and, by a singular coincidence, his name is Romeo."

"A discarded lover is usually of a very ferocious disposition."

"Especially when he sees his rival walk off with the object of his affections."

"I know of no more savage animal, unless it be a man with the toothache. If I were walking in Mr. Pate's boots I would not like to meet that Romeo,—what's his cognomen?"


"I would not like to meet Lawton in a lonely place upon my return from Juliet's abode. After beholding the menacing aspect of Romeo's visage, I think it highly probable that I shall, to-night, dream of M. T. Pate wending his way homeward with a pair of black eyes. How did it happen that Pate succeeded in stealing the affections of Juliet from that young man, who must be very handsome when he is not so diabolically ferocious?"

"Immediately subsequent to Pate's return from Bella Vista he discovered that Romeo was visiting Juliet——"

"With the obsolete idea of connubial felicity in his head, I suppose?"

"Juliet seemed to dote on her adorer. Love and Dove[Pg 194] had serenaded her in vain. Bliss had visited her, but she regarded him not. It was therefore a matter of astonishment to all the gossips, male and female, when they learned that, in a few weeks after M. T. Pate became acquainted with her, Romeo was a discarded lover."

"Poor Romeo! He had a perception of the miraculous power of superior genius. What are Pate's intentions? Does he propose to lead the young lady to the hymeneal altar?"

"Of course not. He is the founder of the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts, and is merely performing his duty. His object is to prevent a marriage."

"I must consult the five respectable maiden ladies in relation to this peculiar case," said the Professor. And bidding Toney good-morning, he walked towards his boarding-house.

During the above conversation, Pate was escorting the beautiful Juliet to her abode. His attentions to this young lady were extraordinary. Every evening he was seated by her side. In the mornings they would take long and romantic walks to gather wild flowers in the forest; and in the afternoons they had many pleasant drives in his buggy; he having purchased a magnificent gray horse as a substitute for the invisible Whitey.

He soon discovered that the young lady was exceedingly sentimental, and liked to listen to conversations in which love was the prominent topic. So he adopted a euphuistic style of speech, and became a successful imitator of Sir Piercie Shafton. He would address her as his adorable perfection; would sometimes lift her fair fingers to his lips; and, occasionally, in a sort of rehearsal, would go down on his knees and show her how love ought to be made. On one occasion the Irish servant found Pate in this attitude in the parlor, and hastily retreated, believing that he was making a proposal of marriage. She told her master that Miss Juliet was seated in a rocking-chair, and that Pate was kneeling before her, and praying to her as if she was the Blessed Virgin, and that she had heard him ask Juliet if she had no heart "at all, at all." The old gentleman was wonderfully pleased, when he received this information, at the prospect of soon having so[Pg 195] accomplished a son-in-law. Pate inserted many pretty verses, which had been written for him by a young poet, in the lady's album; and on one occasion, when he was absent from home, wrote her a number of sentimental letters, in one of which he spoke of the promise which he had made to her, and which he would never forget. On the seal, which he had used, were engraved the figures of two doves putting their bills together, as if in the act of exchanging a connubial kiss. In fact, so assiduous were his intentions, and so numerous his rehearsals of courtship, that the simple-minded girl actually believed that he had made her a promise of marriage, and that he was the man who had been predestined, from the beginning of the world, to be her wedded lord.

There was a sweet, sequestered spot near her father's mansion, where a number of trees threw a delightful shade over a bubbling fountain. Under the trees was a rustic bench; and this was a favorite resort of the fair Juliet, where she was often found by Pate sitting in the moonlight, and, usually, in a very sentimental mood. One evening, just after twilight, she not being at the house, he proceeded to the fountain, and discovered her sitting on the rustic seat. She seemed pensive, and, when he spoke to her, only answered with a deep sigh. He seated himself by her side and inquired into the cause of her melancholy; but there was no response. He took her left hand in his and lifted it to his lips. As with tender devotion he was about to imprint an impassioned kiss, she drew suddenly back, and dealt him a powerful blow, with her right fist, under the eye, which knocked him from his seat, and he fell on the ground. She then sprang to her feet, and, drawing a bludgeon from beneath her garments, commenced beating him cruelly, regardless of his cries for mercy, until, at last, he was stunned by the shower of blows which descended in rapid succession, and lay senseless on the earth.

[Pg 196]


When Pate became conscious he was in bed, having been carried home by some laborers, who found him in a sad condition, and thought at first that he was a murdered man. A doctor sat by his side, who had bandaged his wounds and bruises, and given proper attention to an arm which had been broken. It was many weeks before he could leave his house; and when he went abroad his bosom was boiling with indignation at the treatment which he had received at the hands of the fair Juliet, who, he believed, was a fiend or a fury in disguise.

So intense was his anger at the conduct of the beautiful Amazon that he treated her with the greatest indignity, and, when he met her at church, turned his back on her with a scornful curl of his lip. He publicly accused her of an atrocious assault on his person, and said that she had first knocked him down with her fist, and had then broken his arm, and attempted to murder him with a heavy bludgeon.

The greatest enemy which a man may have is the little organ which lies in his mouth just behind his teeth. The experience of M. T. Pate unfolded this truth when, one morning, the sheriff of the county called upon him with two interesting documents. The one was a writ of summons in an action for slander, and the other a similar process in a suit for breach of promise of marriage. He had accused the fair Juliet of an assault on him with intent to murder, which accusation, if true, would subject her to a criminal prosecution. The words spoken were therefore actionable. He had also treated her with contempt; and the poet tells us that

"Hell holds no fury like a woman scorned."

By the advice of her father, who was greatly enraged at the treatment which his daughter had received, both suits had been instituted.

[Pg 197]

When the day of trial arrived, there was an immense crowd in the hall of justice, all of whom sympathized with the young lady. In the action for slander, Pate had pleaded the truth in justification. By the rules of pleading, in so doing he admitted the speaking of the words complained of, and undertook to prove that they were true. But to his utter dismay he had no witnesses to establish the proof, as no one but Juliet and himself were present when the assault was made upon him. To put him in a worse position before the jury, the fair plaintiff succeeded in proving an alibi, by calling several witnesses to the stand who swore that, on the very evening when the assault was alleged to have been committed at the fountain under the trees, Juliet was some ten miles away at the house of her grandmother. Pate, when he heard this testimony, was immeasurably shocked at the corruption and villainy of mankind; for had he not sat by her side on the rustic bench? had he not taken her fair hand in his own and lifted it to his lips? had he not felt the blow from her fist which had knocked him from his seat? had he not beheld her standing over him with her garments fluttering in his face, and the terrible cudgel in her hand? had he not besought the infuriated Amazon to have mercy on him, while she was ruthlessly beating him, until he became insensible?—and now these false and perjured witnesses, bribed, no doubt, by her father's money, had sworn that she was some ten miles distant from the scene of the outrage!

Pate being unable to establish the truth in justification, the counsel for the plaintiff took occasion to arouse the indignation of the jury against the defendant. He traveled beyond the evidence, as zealous advocates will often do, and told them that this man had basely slandered a respectable young lady in order to extenuate his own dishonorable conduct in trifling with her affections by shamefully violating his promise of marriage. He called the attention of the jury to the absurdity of the charge which Pate, by his plea, alleged to be true. Could any sane person believe that a young lady, with a hand so small and delicate, could double her fist and knock down a bulky man like Pate, and then beat him unmercifully with[Pg 198] a heavy bludgeon? And where was the proof of the allegation in the defendant's plea? While he had produced no evidence in support of his preposterous charge, the plaintiff had demonstrated its falsity by establishing an alibi. In a peroration, abounding in vituperation, he then demanded vindictive damages as a punishment for this base and abominable slander. When he had closed his argument, the feelings of the jury were so excited that they retired, and in a few moments returned, with a verdict awarding twelve thousand dollars to the plaintiff as damages for the injury which she had sustained.

On the following day the suit for breach of promise of marriage was tried. As men seldom make promises of marriage in the presence of witnesses, in actions of this sort much of the proof is inferential. It was proved that Pate was in constant attendance on the young lady; that every evening he was seated by her side in her father's parlor, or taking romantic walks in her company, by moonlight, with her arm locked in his own; that in the morning he would walk with her to gather wild flowers in the forest; that in the afternoon he would be seen riding with her in lonely and unfrequented roads; and several witnesses swore that they had seen him on his knees before her, apparently making a most tender appeal. The Irishwoman testified to the scene in the rocking-chair, and said that he was praying to her, and asking her "if she had no heart at all, at all." The woman was asked if she could recollect what day it was on which she had witnessed the scene in the rocking-chair. She said it was the twenty-first day of May, because on that day the bantam hen had hatched a brood of chickens, and she had marked the date of the successful incubation on the top of the hen-coop. A letter, from Pate to Juliet, was then produced, dated the twenty-fifth of May, in which he spoke of the promise he had made her, and which he would never forget. The nature of this promise was not explained by the context; but so powerful was the impression made on the minds of the jury, that, after the closing argument of the counsel for the plaintiff, in which the character of M. T. Pate was torn to tatters,[Pg 199] they retired, and soon returned with a verdict awarding damages to the injured lady to the amount of twenty thousand dollars.

In each case a motion for a new trial failed, and the judgments were soon followed by executions, under which the whole of Pate's property was seized and sold. He bore his reverses with fortitude until he saw old Whitey under the auctioneer's hammer, when his firmness forsook him, and he was seen to shed tears. When the judgments were satisfied but a small sum remained. Pate was compelled to remove from his beautiful residence, and obtained lodgings in the boarding-house where the Professor and the five respectable maiden ladies had dwelt for many months.

Not long afterwards he was informed by one of the respectable maiden ladies that Juliet, with the proceeds arising from the sale of his real and personal estate in her possession, had been married to Romeo, to whom she had become reconciled. M. T. Pate had no ill feelings towards this young man, and could not help pitying him. He predicted, in the presence of the Professor and the five respectable maiden ladies, that Romeo would be murdered by Juliet, in cold blood, before the end of the honeymoon.

At the very moment when Pate was predicting this homicide, the young wife was seated by Romeo's side on the rustic bench by the fountain. One arm was around Romeo's neck and her head rested fondly against his shoulder. And it so happened that their conversation was about M. T. Pate.

"And he asserted," said Juliet, "that on this very spot he was dreadfully beaten. How strange that a man, who reads the prayers from the pulpit, should tell such a falsehood!"

"Dearest Juliet," said Romeo, "Mr. Pate did not tell a falsehood."

"Oh, Romeo! can you believe that man's story?"

"Indeed, I do."

"Believe that Mr. Pate was beaten?"

"Yes; dreadfully beaten."

"By me?"

"No; not by you."

[Pg 200]

"By whom?"

"By him who is now your loving husband."

"By you?"

"Yes; by me. When I heard that you had been suddenly called from home to attend upon your grandmother, who was sick, I clothed myself in female attire, and seated myself on this bench, to settle accounts with M. T. Pate. It was this arm which dealt him the blow under the eye, and afterwards wielded the cudgel which bruised his body and fractured his limb."

"Oh, Romeo! you nearly murdered him."

"Had it not been for the approach of the laborers I would have murdered him!"

"You would?"

"Dearest Juliet, I loved you so that I would have murdered twenty men for your sake!"

Juliet threw her arms around Romeo's neck and kissed him a countless multitude of times; and, strange as it may seem, she loved her husband more deeply after he had confessed that he was capable of committing twenty homicides for her sake.


The marriage of Juliet to Romeo had made one young man supremely happy, and another intensely miserable. At a distance of about three miles from the residence of the fair Juliet dwelt Farmer Lovegood, having an only son, who, as he grew up, looked so like a picture of the leader of the Israelites in the farmer's old family Bible, that he was called Moses by common consent, and was soon known by no other name. This unsophisticated youth had always been remarkable for bashfulness in the presence of the opposite sex. So vividly had his imagination depicted the horrors of a captivity in the hands of these merciless foes of the masculine gender that, at the first glimpse of a petticoat, he would frequently glide away as[Pg 201] if he had beheld "the devil in disguise." But on a certain Sabbath he saw the beautiful Juliet, seated in her father's pew, and was cruelly enamored. He became a regular attendant at the church; but instead of joining in the devotions of the congregation, he sat in a corner and silently worshiped the lovely owner of the pair of blue eyes and golden tresses. During the week he profoundly meditated on the beauty of Juliet, and on each successive Sunday repaired to the church, and devoutly adored her in the seclusion of his corner.

At length Moses manfully resolves on a pilgrimage to the hallowed spot which holds the object of his adoration. Accordingly he starts from his rural home, and, with infinite toil, wends his way in solitude beneath the silvery light of the twinkling stars, through tangled thickets and thorny fields; floundering through bogs and briers, and tumbling over snake-fences, with thoughts so delicious that, could they have escaped from his bosom and taken a beautiful embodiment, they would have planted his pathway with flowers as sweet as if steeped in the honeyed dews of Hymettus. And now he comes in view of the mansion in which dwells the lovely idol of his worship. He stands beneath the spreading boughs of the trees which shade the sacred spot. He sees the lights within the neatly-furnished parlor. He even hears the siren song of the enchantress, giving utterance to the sweet emotions of her soul, as if magnetically informed of his approach and inviting him to enter. But he pauses. His faculties are seized with a sudden panic, like raw recruits when first brought into action. His heart palpitates, and, with a pit-a-pat motion, comes mounting up to his mouth. His joints tremble. He walks to and fro under the trees, like a fellow sent upon a fool's errand, who has forgotten his message. Finally the lights disappear, and the fair Juliet has retired to rest, while the toil-worn swain proceeds homeward, breathless, and faint, and leaning upon his hickory cudgel. Moses made many nightly pilgrimages in the same manner, and with similar results; until, one morning, he accidentally heard that Juliet was married to Romeo.

The unfortunate Moses now became intimately [Pg 202]acquainted with misery. Sleep forsook his pillow, and after several nights of wakefulness, he began to meditate upon the various methods of putting one's self to death; but for a number of days his conclusions were unsatisfactory. He put the muzzle of a pistol in his mouth, but there was a mutiny among his fingers, and they rebelliously refused to obey his will, and pull the trigger. He seated himself on a beam in his father's barn, with one end of a rope around his neck and the other securely fastened to the beam, when he suddenly recollected that a man who is hanged usually turns black in the face and presents a hideous appearance. He stood on a brow of a precipice, overhanging a deep and turbid stream, and was about to leap into the water below, when he recoiled with horror at the prospect of being eaten by the fishes, and thus deprived of decent sepulture.

Moses now wisely determined to pass away without any unnecessary suffering. He supposed that on the shelves of the apothecary, in Mapleton, were potent drugs which would put him in a condition of somnolency, during which he could easily glide out of this sublunary state of existence. So he proceeded to the town, and having procured the proper material for his purpose, was hurrying homeward with deadly intent, when he inadvertently ran against a man who was standing in the street reading a newspaper to a crowd of people. The rapidity with which Moses was walking caused him to collide with great force, and nearly overthrew the reader of the paper. The man turned round, and, grasping Moses by the collar, shook him fiercely.

"I beg pardon!" exclaimed Moses, aroused, by the rude shaking he had received, to a consciousness of his surroundings,—"I beg pardon! I did not see."

"Did not see!" said the man. "Where are your eyes that you can't see a whole crowd of people?"

"I beg pardon!" reiterated Moses, meekly.

"It is granted; but mind how you walk next time!" And with this admonition, the man resumed the reading of the paper, as follows:

"Immense discoveries in the placers! Captain M. reported to have already fifteen barrels buried!"

[Pg 203]

"Fifteen barrels of what?" asked Moses of a man standing near him, and who happened to be M. T. Pate.

"Fifteen barrels of gold!" said Pate.

"Of what?"

"Of gold."

"Have they discovered gold near Mapleton?"

"No—no—not here."

"Where, then?"

"In California. Have you not heard the news? The papers have been full of the accounts for the last three weeks. Where have you been living?"

"At home."

"And not heard of the gold discoveries! People are digging out gold-dust by the barrel. In a week a man can become as rich as John Jacob Astor. We have formed a company and are going to California as soon as the ship is ready to sail."

"I would like to go," said Moses.

"You can join our company."

"I will go," said Moses.

"Come along with me," said Pate. And he conducted his recruit to a room where several members of his company were assembled. Here Moses was introduced to Wiggins, Love, and Dove, and a long and earnest conversation ensued; after which Moses signed a paper purporting to be the constitution of a mining association; to which were already subscribed the names of the persons present, and also of Messrs Botts, Perch, and Bliss.

"When does the ship sail?" asked Moses.

"In about a week," said Wiggins.

"We leave Mapleton to-morrow," said Pate. "We must be in the city to make arrangements for the voyage."

"I wish we were off," said Moses. "I will go home and bid my father farewell, and come here to-night."

Moses hurried home, and on the way threw the deadly drug, which he had purchased of the apothecary, into a stream of water to poison the fishes. He thought no more of suicide. Avarice had entered his soul, and expelled another powerful passion, which had been impelling him to the commission of felo de se. Love, like a cruel leopard, had clutched the heart of Moses, when[Pg 204] Avarice, like a mighty lion, appeared and compelled the leopard to abandon its prey.

The father of Moses had already heard of the wonderful discoveries of gold on the Pacific coast, and was willing that his son should go thither and secure his fortune. The parent was a pious man, and he bade Moses kneel before him, while he laid his hands on his head and gave him his blessing. He then proceeded to his barn, and procuring two sacks made of stout canvas and each capable of containing a couple of bushels, he presented them to Moses, saying,—

"My son, be not greedy of gold. Moderate your desires; and when you have filled these two sacks return again to your father's house."

Moses dutifully vowed obedience to the injunctions of his venerable sire. He received the sacks with a light heart, for he felt that light was the task imposed upon him. He departed with the pleasing anticipation of a brief sojourn in the distant land and a speedy return to the halls of his ancestors.


"It was the saddest hour of my life when I parted from Rosabel," said Toney to the Professor, as they stood on the platform at the railway in Mapleton waiting for the train which was to convey them to the Monumental City, where they were to embark for California.

"Rosabel was willing that you should go?" asked the Professor.

"The dear girl wept as if her heart was breaking. I never knew how deeply I loved her until then. Only to think that I may be absent for five years! But we both thought that it was better that I should go."

"And make the hundred thousand dollars."

"There can be no hope of our union until I have the[Pg 205] hundred thousand dollars. You know the Widow Wild's eccentricity."

"That woman is a profound mystery. And Tom Seddon, whom we expect in the train,—do you think that he can part from Ida?"

"Poor Tom's situation is like mine. He can never hope to marry Ida while her uncle is alive, unless he has an ample fortune."

"You refer to the old Cerberus, who used to pretend to have fits of canine rabies, and drive Tom out of the house?"

"He has entirely excluded Tom from the house."

"Where does Tom manage to see Ida?"

"At Colonel Hazlewood's residence. Ida is the only companion of Claribel and Imogen, who see no other company."

"See no company! They used to be gay enough."

"When Clarence and Harry went to Mexico, they secluded themselves from society."

"What has become of those young men? They did not return when the troops came back from Mexico."

"At the battle of Molino del Rey, where both were distinguished for heroic daring, Clarence was badly wounded; and, after our army entered the City of Mexico, he was in the hospital for several months, and was tenderly nursed by Harry until he recovered. When peace was concluded, and the army was about to march back to Vera Cruz, they resigned their commissions and proceeded to the port of Acapulco on the Pacific coast. Since then there have been no tidings of them."

"Look yonder!" said the Professor. "Are they going to California?"

Toney's eyes followed the direction indicated by the Professor's finger, and beheld what seemed like a procession of giants. In front towered Mrs. Foot by the side of her tremendous husband; while behind them walked the three stupendous sisters, followed by Hercules, who brought up the rear.

"A fine morning, Mrs. Foot," said Toney.

"How do you do, Mr. Belton?" said the towering lady. "Have you seen Mr. Love?"

"He has gone to the city to embark for California," said Toney.

[Pg 206]

"He has!" exclaimed Mrs. Foot. "And Dove? And Bliss?"

"Gone with Mr. Love," said Toney.

"I told you so!" said Gideon Foot, looking around at the young giantess in his rear.

"Going to California—are they?" cried Mrs. Foot.

"Yes, madam," said Toney.

"If I catch Dove I'll wring his neck!" said the gigantic Gideon.

"Oh, father!" exclaimed Theodosia.

"Come!" said Gideon, gruffly. "Yonder is the train!"

The harsh scream of a steam whistle was heard, and a train of cars thundered up to the platform. Gideon Foot and his family went on board, and were followed by Toney and the Professor, who found Tom Seddon, seated in a car, looking pale and melancholy. After an exchange of salutations, poor Tom relapsed into silence, for he was thinking of Ida. Toney was also extremely taciturn, and hardly uttered a word until they reached the depot in the suburbs of the city. Here they took a carriage, and were driven directly to where the ship lay at the wharf, and went on board,—their arrangements having been made on a former visit to this beautiful metropolis of Maryland.

Mrs. Foot and her three daughters proceeded to the residence of her sister, who lived in the city, and was the wife of a Mr. Sampson. Gideon and Hercules went in search of Love, Dove, and Bliss. In about an hour they encountered these three adventurous gold-hunters daintily dressed, with nice silk hats on their heads, and polished French leather on their lower extremities. Each had white kid gloves on his hands, and carried a slender cane, with which he occasionally tapped the toe of his boot. They looked like little bridegrooms going to be married.

"Good-morning, Mr. Love," said Gideon, blandly.

"I am glad to see you, Mr. Foot," said Love. And he and his two companions shook hands with Gideon and Hercules.

"You seem to be in a hurry," said Gideon.

"The ship sails to-day, and we must be aboard," said Love.

"Going to California?" said Gideon.

[Pg 207]

"Yes; going to dig gold," said Love. And he and Dove tapped the toes of their boots with their little canes, while Bliss pulled off his new silk hat and smoothed his odoriferous locks.

"Hercules is going," said Gideon.

"Are you, indeed?" asked Love, looking up at Hercules.

"Yes," said Hercules, "as soon as I have bid my mother good-by."

"Is Mrs. Foot in town?" inquired Love.

"She is, and would be so glad to see you," said Gideon. "Come with us and bid Mrs. Foot good-by, and Hercules will go with you to the ship."

"Let us go and bid Mrs. Foot good-by," said Love, looking at his two companions.

"We will go," said Dove.

"Let us go," said Bliss.

"Come," said Gideon. And the three little men accompanied the gigantic father and son to the residence of Mrs. Sampson. They entered the house, and were conducted by Gideon, through a large front apartment, to a back parlor, which communicated, by a door, with a room in the rear.

"Take seats, gentlemen," said Gideon. "Mrs. Foot will be with you in a moment."

Gideon returned to the hall where Hercules was waiting.

"Go fetch the parson," said Gideon. "Make haste!"

Hercules hurried away, and Gideon returned to the back parlor and locked both doors. He then stood in the middle of the floor and elevated himself to his full height, so that his head almost seemed to touch the low ceiling, as he gazed sternly at Love, Dove, and Bliss, who sat on a sofa, and who now began to tremble.

"Look here!" said Gideon, "I am a man of few words. Do you know what you have got to do?"

"What?" said Love, looking dreadfully frightened.

"You three fellows have been hanging around my daughters for the last six months," said Gideon. "You have come to the house in the morning; you have come in the afternoon; you have come at all hours, and[Pg 208] the girls have had no time to do any household work on account of you. Even at night, when they were in bed, you would be under their windows making more noise than so many tomcats with your serenades. Now, what do you intend to do?"

"Nothing," said little Love, very meekly.

"Nothing!" exclaimed the gigantic Gideon Foot. "Nothing! Just say that again and I will wring your neck! Come! I'll have no fooling! You have got to marry my three daughters!"

The eyes of the three little men widely dilated, and were fixed on Gideon's towering form, but their tongues were silent; they were dumb with terror.

"You have got just ten minutes to make up your minds. If you don't agree to marry my daughters, I will come back in ten minutes and wring your necks."

Gideon left the room and locked the door.

"What shall we do?" said Love.

"He has locked the door," said Dove.

"He'll murder us!" said Bliss.

"We had better marry the young ladies," said Love.

"You will take Cleopatra," said Dove.

"And you will take Theodosia," said Love.

"And Bliss will marry Sophonisba," said Dove.

The three little men now held a hurried consultation, and were unanimously in favor of matrimony, when Gideon opened the door.

"Your ten minutes are out," said Gideon.

"We have agreed to be married," said Love.

"Very good," said Gideon. "The parson is waiting in the front room, and I have the three licenses in my pocket. Which one do you marry?"

"Cleopatra," said Love.

Gideon went to the door opening into the back room, and unlocking it, put his head through and uttered a few words. Cleopatra came forth, blushing.

"Stand up!" said Gideon to Love.

Love arose from his seat trembling from head to foot.

"Take her arm," said Gideon. "That's right. Now, come along!"

Gideon opened the door, and Love walked with [Pg 209]Cleopatra into the front room, where stood the parson with his book open ready to make them man and wife. In a very brief space of time Love and Cleopatra were united in the holy bands of matrimony. The parson looked as if he expected to see the happy man salute his bride; but Love was unable to reach up, and Cleopatra did not bend down, and so this formality was not observed. The wedded pair walked into the back parlor, followed by Gideon, who turned to Dove and said,—

"Whom do you marry?"

"Theodosia, if you please," said Dove, with meek resignation.

At the summons of Gideon, Theodosia appeared and was united to Dove, and then Sophonisba was married to Bliss. Mrs. Foot then rushed from the back room and fondly embraced her daughters, and also her three little sons.

"There, now," said Gideon, "we are through with the business. Are the carriages at the door?" asked he of Hercules, who went out to ascertain if they had arrived.

"We will go home in the next train," said Gideon.

"Can't we go to California?" whimpered Love.

"No," said Gideon, "of course not. You must go home with your wives."

"And be happy," said Mrs. Foot.

"Hercules is going to California," said Gideon. "He can dig gold enough for the whole family."

Hercules was standing in the street before the door, when Pate and Wiggins approached him.

"Have you seen Mr. Love?" asked Pate.

"He is in there," said Hercules, pointing to the house.

"And Dove and Bliss?" said Pate.

"In there with Love," said Hercules.

"We have been looking for them," said Wiggins.

"The ship will sail in a few hours, and they should be on board," said Pate.

"I don't think they are going," said Hercules.

"Not going!" exclaimed Pate.

"I think not," said Hercules.

Two carriages were now driven up, and stopped in[Pg 210] front of the house. The door opened, and out came Love hanging on the arm of Cleopatra.

"Mr. Love! Mr. Love!" exclaimed Pate, "the ship is about to sail and you should be on board. Come with us."

"I can't go; I am married," said Love, with a look of despair.

"Come along!" said Cleopatra. And she and her little husband entered one of the carriages.

"Good heavens!" ejaculated Pate.

"Married!" exclaimed Wiggins.

"Mr. Dove! Mr. Dove! you will be left!" cried Pate, as Theodosia led her husband down the steps.

"I can't go; I am married," said poor Dove, as his wife conducted him to the carriage.

"Indeed, Mr. Bliss, you will be left behind!" said Pate, as Bliss and his bride descended the steps.

"I can't go; I am married," said the little man, dolefully, as Sophonisba led him to the carriage.

"All married!" exclaimed Wiggins.

"What does it mean?" said Pate.

"Good-by, Hercules," said Gideon.

"God bless you, my son," said Mrs. Foot. And she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him.

"Good-by, father! good-by, mother!" said Hercules. And then he rushed to one of the carriages, and putting in his head, exclaimed, "Good-by, sisters! good-by, little brothers!"

The three brides kissed Hercules and wept, while their husbands shook him by the hand. After many fond embraces and wishes for his welfare the carriages were driven off, leaving Hercules standing in the street, with Wiggins and Pate gazing up at him with looks of perplexity.

"Are you going to California?" asked Pate.

"I am," said the giant, wiping the tears from his eyes.

"And Love, Dove, and Bliss are not going?" said Wiggins.

"No; they have married my sisters, and are going home to be happy," said Hercules. And he wiped away some more tears that came into his eyes.

[Pg 211]

"What made them marry your sisters?" asked Pate.

"I reckon it was because they loved them," said Hercules.

"They should have given us notice," said Wiggins.

"We have lost three men from our company," said Pate.

"Did my little brothers belong to your company?" asked Hercules.

"They did," said Pate.

"And have left us without giving notice," said Wiggins.

"Will you take me in their places?" said Hercules. "I can dig more gold than they could."

"Will you join our company?" asked Pate.

"Yes, if you will give me as much gold as my three little brothers were to get. I can do more digging than all three of them."

"So he can," said Wiggins.

"I have no doubt of it," said Pate, looking at the towering form and broad shoulders of the giant with enthusiastic admiration.

After a brief conference, the proposition of Hercules was acceded to, and the three gold-hunters hurried on board the vessel, which was about to spread her white wings, and proceed on her way to the land where rivers were said to be rolling between banks of golden sands, which glittered in the last rays of the setting sun.

[Pg 212]


As the ship moved away from the wharf, and was towed by the steam-tug into the stream, M. T. Pate stood upon the deck, humming a stanza of Byron's celebrated adieu to his native land, when he heard a strain of music as if coming from the clouds. From the foretop, in clear and mellifluous tones, was heard the following melody:

Farewell! farewell! but ever,
When wand'ring o'er the sea,
Though worlds of water sever,
This heart shall turn to thee.
Though thy sweet smile be hidden
Unto my soul so dear;
Though I be then forbidden
Thine angel voice to hear;
Though stern fate bid me wander
Away from thee afar,
Yet hope will turn the fonder
Unto its one bright star.
The bird that on the bough, love,
So sweetly sang of late,
Hath often been ere now, love,
Thus driven from his mate;
But still he wakes his song, love,
Returning there anew;
And thus, oh, thus, ere long, love,
Will I return to you.

"A sweet little cherub sits up aloft to cheer us with his soothing symphony," said Professor to Toney.

"It is Tom Seddon," said Toney, glancing upward. "Just now he climbed up the rigging, inserted his person through the lubber's hole, and seated himself in the foretop."

"Where he is laudably exercising his lungs for the entertainment of the company below," said the Professor.

[Pg 213]

"Poor Tom is not thinking of the company below," said Toney. "His thoughts are far away."

"With Ida?" said the Professor. "Yet one of the company below seems to be wonderfully excited by his music. Did you ever hear such a clatter of hoofs?"

"You refer to the young gentleman on the top of the cook's galley, who is occupied with certain saltatory movements which appear to be an awkward imitation of dancing?" said Toney.

"Who is he?" asked the Professor.

"Sam Perch," said Toney.

"The verdant youth who is sometimes called the Long Green Boy?" said the Professor.

"The same," said Toney.

"This extraordinary lad seems to possess the chameleon-like faculty of occasionally changing his color," said the Professor.

"How so?" said Toney.

"He has ceased to be green for the present, and has become exceedingly blue."

"Is punning allowable?" said Toney.

"That depends entirely on circumstances," said the Professor. "If on dry land a man makes a pun in your presence, knock him down if you are able."

"And at sea?" said Toney.

"Pun away as much as you please. In Neptune's dominions the area of liberty is ample, and freedom of speech is seldom interfered with."

"Do you recognize that solemn personage standing at the bow and gazing so intently over the broad waters?" said Toney.

"It is Moses," said the Professor. "He hopes soon to get a glimpse of the land of promise."

"I heard him tell Hercules just now that he only wanted four bushels of gold-dust,—two for himself and two for his father. He said that he expected to fill his two sacks in about a week after he reached the mines, and should then immediately start for home."

"His absence will be of short duration," said the Professor. "But who is Hercules?"

"The big fellow to whom Botts has just administered a[Pg 214] potation from the black bottle which he now holds in his hand," said Toney.

"The giant smacks his lips in approval at the quality of the contents," said the Professor.

"I certainly recognize that nose," said Toney, pointing to an individual whose face was covered with an impenetrable thicket of black beard, leaving only two twinkling eyes and his nasal protuberance visible.

"That extraordinary nose belongs to William Wiggins," said the Professor.

"To Rosebud?"

"No longer Rosebud," said the Professor. "As soon as he came on board the sailors called him Old Grizzly. He will be known by no other name at sea, for when the jolly tars are in the nominative case, the designation they give a man always clings to him. Hereafter we may as well cease to call him Wiggins, and speak of him as Old Grizzly."

"He must have been at enmity with the barbers for the last four weeks," said Toney.

"When he determined to seek his fortune in the auriferous regions of the far West, he made a solemn vow not to allow a razor to come in contact with his countenance until he had dug two barrels of gold, which he said was enough for any one man. So his beard must continue to grow longer until he gets his two barrels of gold."

"It will be long enough before he gets the gold," said Toney.

"Pun away boldly," said the Professor; "we are now on the water. But come, let us go below, and look after our goods and chattels."

During the night the ship anchored in the bay; and next morning the pilot was sent off, and she stood out to sea.

Coming on deck at an early hour in the morning, Toney and the Professor were watching the silvery spray darting off from the bow, when they heard a singular sound, as if proceeding from some huge sea-monster seized with a fit of the colic. Looking along the bulwarks, they beheld poor Hercules, with outstretched neck and dilated eyes, pouring out libations to the inexorable god of the[Pg 215] seas. And soon, with pallid cheeks, M. T. Pate appeared, followed by the Long Green Boy, Old Grizzly, and Moses, who, with many others, silently glided to the side of the giant, who, as he stood thrusting out his head and neck with certain indescribable jerks, and towering above his companions, engaged in similar exercises, resembled some tall and bulky Shanghai rooster, with all his numerous progeny around him, grievously afflicted with that terrible visitation of the poultry-yard which hen-wives denominate the gapes.

The Professor was a benevolent little fellow, with a high opinion of his medical skill; so he proceeded to the cabin, and brought forth a bottle containing a beverage much more potent than that in which Adam was accustomed to drink the health of Eve when in the garden of Eden. He first applied to Hercules; and holding the neck of the bottle in close proximity to his lips, earnestly exhorted him to try the infallible remedy of absorption, assuring him that it was a sovereign cure for his ailment in particular, as well as for nearly every other ill in this sublunary state of existence. But Hercules, grinning "horribly a ghastly grin," turned quickly away, and gave expression to his abhorrence of the proposition in loud and boisterous sounds, which seemed to come from the very bottom of a soul intimately acquainted with sorrow.

The kind-hearted Professor then proceeded to the Long Green Boy, who was rapidly projecting out and drawing back his head in a horizontal direction, and giving utterance to a succession of sounds which resembled a small hurricane of hiccoughs. The verdant youth cast a look of disgust at the sparkling fluid, and waving his hand impatiently, turned away, and continued in the awkward but faithful performance of his part in the exercises of the morning. Moses gave the Professor a look of indignation, while Old Grizzly so far forgot himself as to advise the benevolent little fellow, in the emphatic phraseology usually employed by the sons of Belial, to locate himself in a certain remote quarter of the universe not proper to be mentioned to "ears polite."

The Professor then entreated M. T. Pate to imbibe from the bottle containing his catholicon. But poor Pate was[Pg 216] busily engaged in the performance of sundry remarkable and difficult evolutions; thrusting out and drawing in his head with unexampled vigor.

"He is trying to swallow his own head," said Toney, taking the Professor aside and pointing to Pate.

"And actually seems to entertain the most sanguine hopes of succeeding in his hazardous undertaking," said the Professor.

"What undertaking?" asked Tom Seddon, who just then came on deck.

"He is seeking to swallow his own cocoanut," said the Professor.

"Who?" asked Tom.

"M. T. Pate," said the Professor. "Look at him! I am apprehensive that he will succeed."

"You could not induce any of them to imbibe?" said Toney.

"No," said the Professor; "they are teetotalers, and Hercules is the President of the association. Come, let me introduce you to the amphibious animals who inhabit the forecastle."

The Professor and his two friends walked forward, and saw seated on the anchor an old sea-monster, with a very short pipe in his mouth. His original name was Timothy; but several reefs had been taken in it by his shipmates, and it had been finally tucked up into Tim.

Tom Seddon, like most young lovers who have just parted from the objects of their affections, had a tender heart, and, pitying the old sailor reduced to the necessity of endangering the end of his nose when he performed the important ceremony of fumigation, handed him a pipe with a long stem.

Old Tim examined this valuable present with a cool glance of criticism; and then proceeded to break the stem.

"Don't," said Tom. "What are you doing?"

"Too much timber!" said the old tar, laconically. And he broke off the stem within an inch of the bowl, which he filled with chips from a plug of tobacco; putting on top a live coal procured from the cook's galley.

"That beats thunder!" said Tom.

"Let him alone," said the Professor. "If he wants[Pg 217] to give his proboscis the benefit of an auto da fe, it is his own business."

"Look at him!" said Tom.

"His nasal protuberance enveloped in vapor looks like an altar abundantly supplied with incense," said the Professor. "But who are those dusky gentlemen with whom Toney seems to be so intimate?"

"This one is from the island of Madeira," said Toney.

"Si, señor," said the sailor.

"His name is Pedro," said Toney.

"Which being interpreted is Peter," said the Professor.

"Pete," said Old Tim, with a puff at his pipe.

"Probably that is a corruption of the text," said the Professor, suggestively.

"And here is a Sardinian whose name is Pablo," said Toney.

"Which when translated is Paul," said the Professor.

"Jupiter!" exclaimed Tom Seddon, jumping back.

"It is Jupiter's brother," said the Professor, as a huge head appeared over the bow, followed by an immense body, which had been down in the forechains. "Neptune is coming on board to give you a fraternal hug."

"Old Nick!" said Tim, with another puff at his short pipe.

"Old Nick?" said the Professor. "I was not aware that he was an aquatic animal. I had always understood that he delighted to dwell in another element."

"Who is that lad running down the rigging?" said Tom to Timothy.

"Young Nick," said the salt, with another puff at his pipe.

"Old Nick and Young Nick!" said the Professor. "Undoubtedly these are nicknames bestowed on them for euphony."

"What port is that?" asked Tim, taking the pipe from his mouth.

"It lies on the south side of the Anonymous Islands," said the Professor.

"I have been there," said Old Nick. "Sailed with Captain Morrell in the ship Tartar. Good port. Rum cheap and tobacco plenty."

[Pg 218]

"I have no doubt of it," said the Professor, as he arose from his seat on a coil of rope, and, at the sound of the steward's bell summoning them to breakfast, walked with Toney and Tom to the cabin.


"Look at M. T. Pate," said Tom Seddon, as he sat with Toney and the Professor on deck one morning, about a week after they had been at sea.

The ship was running at the rate of nine knots, with the wind on the quarter.

"He treads as tremulously as a turkey condemned to the ordeal of tripping over a liberal sprinkling of hot ashes," said the Professor.

"Getting his sea-legs," said Old Tim, as he toddled by with a rope in his hand.

"Our venerable friend suggests that Pate is about to undergo a metamorphosis and become amphibious," said the Professor.

"What are Wiggins and Botts doing yonder?" said Toney.

"Hugging!" said Tom.

"The hug of the Old Grizzly is dangerous," said the Professor.

"And Perch and Hercules seem to have fraternized," said Toney.

"The Long Green Boy is clinging to the giant as the vine clings to the oak," said the Professor.

"Poor Moses!" said Toney.

"Look at him!" said Tom.

"His eyes are amply dilated," said the Professor.

"He is afraid that the ship will be upset," said Tom.

"How do you think that Pate would now perform on the light fantastic toe?" said Toney.

"Speaking of that suggests an idea," said the Professor.

"What is that?" asked Toney.

[Pg 219]

"Next Thursday will be Washington's birthday," said the Professor.

"Well?" said Toney.

"Let us have a ball," said the Professor.

"A ball!" exclaimed Toney.

"A ball!" cried Tom.

"Yes," said the Professor, "let us have a ball for the fun of the thing."

"We are the Funny Philosophers," said Toney.

"Let us have the ball," said Tom.

"But where are the ladies?" said Toney.

"There are no representatives of these sweet 'wingless angels' on board except the captain's spouse," said the Professor.

"Who has sailed in company with her weather-beaten consort for some twenty years," said Toney.

"And is as good a seaman as himself," said Tom.

"Do not be tossing the queen's English on the horns of an Irish bull," said the Professor. "Yet what you say is measurably true; for when the venerable Timothy is more than ordinarily sad and susceptible of melancholy impressions, he is often heard to bitterly complain of his hard lot in being compelled to serve under a 'she boss,' who, he alleges, is the better man of the two."

"I have no doubt," said Tom, "of the ability of this ancient lady to carry the ship safely through the dangers of the most difficult navigation."

"But," said Toney, "I hardly suppose that she would be able to steer through the intricate mazes of a fashionable hop without the imminent danger of running aground."

"Yet," said the Professor, "her presence on board relieves us from a perplexing dilemma."

"How so?" asked Toney.

"There can be no doubt," said the Professor, "that in sundry sea-chests she has stowed away an incalculable quantity of female attire. Now, if I can but obtain the run of her wardrobe, the preparations for the ball will be made without difficulty."

"Let us call a meeting in the cabin," said Toney.

"A most excellent suggestion!" said the Professor. "Let the meeting be immediately convened."

[Pg 220]

A meeting of the passengers resulted in a determination to have a grand ball in honor of the birthday of the immortal Washington, and the Professor was unanimously chosen to make the arrangements. He immediately entered upon the performance of his arduous and important duties. After a negotiation, which was conducted on his part with the skill of a consummate diplomatist, he succeeded in concluding an advantageous treaty with the captain's lady, and obtained an abundant supply of female apparel. A number of the most youthful of the passengers were then subjected to a tonsorial operation, obliterating every indication of a nascent beard from their features; after which they were arrayed in the garments obtained from the old lady's wardrobe.

"Don't they look beautiful?" said Tom Seddon.

"Just like a bevy of blushing and modest maidens," said Toney.

"The susceptible Long Green Boy has fallen in love with one of them already," said Tom.

"I fear that he will again be the victim of a hopeless attachment," said Toney.

"I regret the absence of Love and Dove," said the Professor.

"What nice little ladies they would have made!" said Tom.

"Their dancing days are over," said Toney.

"Matrimony imposes important duties," said the Professor; "and the little Loves and Doves will soon claim their undivided attention."

The ball-room was a long apartment, under the forecastle, called the forward cabin. It was illuminated by a number of lamps, which "shone o'er fair women and brave men" assembled to enjoy that "scene of revelry by night."

"Look at Moses!" said Tom Seddon.

"The young man seems to be greatly terrified," said the Professor.

"He is like one under an optical illusion," said Toney.

"Moses believes he is now in the presence of more than a dozen beautiful women," said Tom.

"And has shrunk timidly in a corner to avoid the observation of the enemy," said Toney.

[Pg 221]

"He has attracted the attention of a young maiden who has fixed her bright glances on him, as if meditating mischief," said the Professor.

"She is a bold girl," said Toney.

"Strangely forgetful of the obvious rules of propriety!" said the Professor.

"Poor Moses is protesting," said Toney.

"But in vain; for she has grappled him around the waist," said Tom.

"And is carrying him by main force into the middle of the floor," said Toney.

"Was ever such vigor witnessed among virgins!" said Tom.

"Never since the extinction of the Amazonian race!" said the Professor.

"Moses and his partner lead off," said Toney.

"Clear the way!" said Tom, as each gayly attired gallant selected a partner; and soon "the fun grew fast and furious."

"Mr. Pate seems to be perfectly at home in the dance," said the Professor.

"And so does the Long Green Boy," said Toney.

"Old Grizzly is performing his part admirably," said Tom.

"He is peeping from behind a masked battery of black beard upon the charms of his agreeable partner," said Toney.

"The young lady should beware of his hug," said Tom.

"The pair forcibly remind one of the old story of Beauty and the Beast," said the Professor.

"Hercules and the damsel with whom he is dancing require an immense amount of sea-room," said Toney.

"Heads up!" exclaimed Tom. And, as he uttered this exclamation, the ship, which had been running on an even keel, gave a sudden lurch to the larboard, upsetting all the fun in an instant, and spoiling the poetry of motion.

"Ah, then and there was hurrying to and fro,"

and Hercules pitched headforemost with his partner into[Pg 222] a bunk. The indignant damsel arose and gave utterance to a wish the literal fulfillment of which would have found Hercules, poor fellow! sadly in need of the aid of an experienced oculist.

After the ceremony of a general prostration there was a tumultuous rush for the companion-ladder. The Professor reached the deck, after having inadvertently perpetrated the atrocious outrage of tearing away a considerable portion of female finery from the person of a fair damsel who was boldly mounting ahead, and who bestowed upon him sundry benedictions of singular import. The first object he beheld was M. T. Pate on his knees in an attitude of supplication.

"What's the matter, Mr. Pate?" exclaimed the Professor.

"Now I lay me down to sleep!" ejaculated Pate, with extreme fervor.

"What has happened?" cried Tom Seddon.

"Now I lay me down to sleep!" reiterated Pate.

"No time for praying! You had better cut your yarn short and lay hold on a rope," said the mate, in emphatic terms by no means in unison with Pate's devotional sentiments.

"What's broke loose?" said Toney.

"The ship has been taken aback!" cried the mate. And he rushed forward and commenced kicking old Tim, who was lying supinely on his back in a condition of somnolency.

The crew had been inspired with patriotic emotions equal to those of the passengers, and, while getting up water from below, had discovered a case of brandy, and secretly conveyed it to the forecastle. Here the multitude of libations in honor of the father of his country had been productive of serious consequences.

In the course of the evening the mate saw approaching one of those sudden squalls so common in those latitudes, and ordered all hands aloft. But he might as well have been issuing his orders to the inmates of a bedlam. There lay Timothy on the deck, a picture of perfect repose and innocent tranquillity. Peter and Paul were engaged in a hot controversy with Old Nick, whose[Pg 223] youthful namesake was occupied with certain saltatory movements on the top of the forecastle. Just then the squall struck the ship and nearly carried the lee-rail under. In an instant the instincts of the sailor were aroused, and all had an idea that something was to be done; but there was a strange want of unanimity in reference to the measures proper to be adopted. Forth rushed the captain from his cabin; but his occupation was gone. There stood Old Nick, giving orders vociferously, evidently under the impression that he had been recently promoted and was an admiral of the blue. This daring usurper was finally disposed of by the second mate, who put himself in the attitude of a shoulder-striker and laid him at his length in an undignified position in the lee-scupper.

It was then that the dancers from the ball-room rushed upon deck. These—ladies and all—laid hold on the ropes; and under the direction of the officers the canvas was taken in, and the vessel was relieved from her perilous situation and brought before the wind.

"Great praise is due to the petticoats," said the Professor, "who, by laying aside their modesty and climbing into the rigging, materially assisted in saving the ship."

"The women have behaved like men," said Toney.

"Let us drink their health," said Tom.

"That proposition is carried unanimously," said Toney. And they proceeded to the cabin and toasted the ladies over a bottle of wine.

[Pg 224]


"Mr. Pate seems to be profoundly meditating upon the immensity of the water contained in the ocean," said the Professor, one afternoon, as he pointed to Pate, who was leaning over the bulwarks apparently in a condition of mental abstraction.

"It is probable that he is now calculating how long a period it would take to pump the Atlantic dry," said Toney.

"Land ho!" cried a loud voice in the direction of the forecastle.

There was a general rush forward at this announcement; and on the bow stood Peter, pointing with extended arm to some object which he asserted was land. But nobody could see it except himself; and Moses soon became skeptical, and finally declared that the fellow was a fool. This he demonstrated from the fact that Peter kept pointing to a dim cloud, about as big as the crown of his hat, with the absurd affirmation that it was terra firma. The opinion of Moses was warmly supported by M. T. Pate and others, who promulgated it with considerable emphasis. But Peter still stood at his post pointing prophetically afar off, and he now had Old Nick at his elbow, who stoutly corroborated all that he had uttered.

In the mean while the vessel, borne along by the breeze, kept steadily on her way, and the little cloud loomed larger on the horizon, and gradually grew more and more distinct. The almost imperceptible shade deepened into a substantial blue, and finally brightened into a beautiful green, and Cape Frio became plainly visible.

The prospect of soon getting on shore caused much excitement in the cabin, after supper, and considerable conviviality.

After partaking of several glasses of wine, the Professor turned to Toney and Tom, and gravely remarked,—

[Pg 225]

"We are informed, by the highest authority on the subject, that there is a very great difference between ebrius and ebriolus. It is not becoming in one of the Funny Philosophers to be anything more than ebriolus. Let us leave these devotees of Bacchus to their orgies in honor of the god of the grape, and go upon deck."

"Come!" said Toney. "I have no wish to carry a headache on shore with me to-morrow."

"Nor I," said Tom, ascending the companion-ladder.

They walked forward until they came to the cook's galley, when the Professor stopped suddenly and exclaimed, pointing to a hog which had been butchered and hung up with its head downward,—

"Here has been a bloody deed!"

"Not a homicide?" said Toney.

"No; a suicide," said Tom.

"Let your puns be in plain English," said the Professor.

"Latin puns are too obscure," said Toney.

"Mr. Seddon must atone for this offense by doing penance," said the Professor.

"In what way?" asked Tom.

"You must immediately climb into the rigging and run a rope around the foretop-gallant yard," said the Professor.

"What's your purpose?" asked Toney.

"To suspend this deceased porker from the masthead," said the Professor.

"We will have fun," said Tom.

"Fun is the true philosophy of life," said the Professor.

Tom did as directed, and in a few moments the porker rapidly ascended and was lashed to the masthead. The Professor then walked to the bow, where was seated Old Nick, telling a wonderful yarn to Tim, who was smoking his pipe.

"On the Gold Coast six months. The niggers brought us gold-dust in quills. One day their duke died."

"Have the negroes dukes among them?" asked Toney.

"Their head-man. They put all his wives and slaves in a pen."

[Pg 226]

"What for?" asked Tom.

"To knock them on the head and bury them with the duke. Never heard such howling. One nigger jumped over the pen, ran down to the shore, and swam to the ship. They came around in canoes after him. Captain told me to throw him overboard. Had to obey orders. They took him ashore and knocked him on the head with clubs. Next night I was on the beach. Something jumped right up before me and grinned in my face. Looked like the big nigger I had pitched overboard."

"I thought they had knocked him on the head," said Toney.

"His ghost. It gave a whoop and jumped clean over my head, and then jumped back again."

"Like a circus-rider," said Tom.

"Kept jumping back and forth over my head, whooping and grinning. I got mad, and struck at it with a stick. Jerked stick from my hand and beat me over the back with it. I grabbed at the tarnal ghost, and if I could have got a grip on it I'd downed it. Couldn't hold it; got scared."

"No wonder," said Toney. "Any man would have been scared with this great ugly bugaboo whooping and yelling, and jumping backward and forward over his head, and beating him with his own cane."

"Ran for the boat. Ghost followed me. Priest had come ashore in the boat with a bottle of holy water in his pocket. He flung it in the critter's face, when it gave a whoop and vamosed."

"You infernal thieves!" said the cook, coming forward with a large butcher's knife in his hand and confronting the sailors, "what have you done with my hog?"

"Didn't touch your hog," said Old Nick.

"Don't be lying there," said the ireful cook. "You have stolen that hog and hid it in the forecastle. Not a taste of lobscouse will you lubbers get until you give up my hog. I'll cut off your rations, you blasted rogues! I'd like to see one of you get any duff for his dinner on Sundays, after this."

The sailors were alarmed, for the cook is the great man on shipboard. They humbly protested their innocence,[Pg 227] but were sternly denounced as liars and thieves who had stolen the porker, intended for the passengers' dinner, and hidden it in the forecastle. As the cook was brandishing his knife, and growing more violent in his denunciations, he was startled by hearing loud squeals overhead. The sounds were like the shrill cries of a large hog which was having a knife plunged into his throat.

"Great thunder!" exclaimed Tom.

The cook and the sailors gazed upward with looks of amazement.

There was a reiteration of loud squeals. The cook dropped his knife and ran into his galley. The sailors fled with precipitation, until they reached the quarter-deck. Tom Seddon stood gazing upward, while Toney whispered to the Professor.

"Yes," said the Professor, "a faculty occasionally exercised. It must be a profound secret."

"Shall I tell Tom?"

"Whisper it to him, and warn him to be reticent."

Toney whispered to Tom, who nodded his head and seemed to comprehend.

"You lying lubbers!" said the mate, coming forward, followed by the sailors. "Telling your yarns about a hog in the——"

Here there was a succession of loud squeals from the masthead. The hog seemed to be in great agony. The sailors fled to the stern, and the mate rushed into the captain's cabin. The captain came forward. The squeals were louder and more prolonged. The mate trembled and turned pale.

"What is it?" said the captain.

"The cook killed a hog and hung it alongside his galley, and the devil has carried it up there!" said the mate, pointing to the masthead.

"The devil is in the habit of getting into hogs," said Toney.

"He once got into a whole herd of swine," said Tom.

"There is Scripture for that," said the mate.

"I must have that hog down," said the captain. "Here—Nick—Tim—Peter—Paul! up to the masthead and lower the hog!"

[Pg 228]

Not a man would stir. The crew loudly swore that they would not go up there for any captain that ever trod a quarter-deck.

"You go up," said the captain to the mate.

"Nary time," said the mate. "My business is to navigate the ship,—not to fight the devil. You go up."

The captain laid hold on a rope, and was about to ascend, when loud squeals were heard, and cries of "Murder! murder! murder!" from the masthead. The captain let go his hold and fell on the deck.

"There are more than a dozen devils up there!" shouted the mate.

"What's to be done?" said the captain, rising on his feet and looking aghast.

"Let them alone until we get into port, and then hire a lot of priests to sprinkle the ship with holy water," said the mate.

"I'll have her swabbed with barrels of holy water!" exclaimed the captain.

"Thank God, it is daylight," said the mate.

It was now morning, and the ship sailed on, and was soon abreast of the castle of Santa Cruz.

"American ship ahoy!" was shouted through a trumpet from the ramparts.

"Hello!" was the response from the deck.

"How many days did you come from?"


"All right!" And the vessel glided along, and, passing the Sugar-Loaf, soon anchored in the spacious and beautiful harbor of the Brazilian metropolis, with the hog at her masthead.

[Pg 229]


"Why does your captain carry that hog at his masthead?"

This question was asked by a midshipman who came alongside in a boat and was recognized by Toney and the Professor as a former acquaintance. They and Tom Seddon were seated in the boat and about to go ashore.

"Every man has his idiosyncrasies," said the Professor. "Van Tromp sailed through the British Channel with a broom at his masthead; and our captain never enters a harbor without a hog hanging on his foretop-gallant yard."

"Van Tromp's broom was a symbol of victory," said the young officer.

"And our captain's hog is a symbol of good living," said the Professor.

"He wishes to have it known that, while other vessels come into port on short rations, he carries an abundance of grub wherever he goes," said Toney.

"He must be an eccentric old codger," said the middy.

"He is, indeed," said the Professor.

"Here we are," said the middy. And he sprang on shore, followed by his three friends, whose sea-legs were of very little use to them; for they staggered about as if they had freely participated in the conviviality of the preceding night and still sensibly felt its effects. They managed at length to waddle along with the earth apparently rocking and rolling under their feet, and finally reached Pharoux's Hotel in Palace Square, where comfortable quarters were secured.

On the following morning the Professor, in company with his three friends and M. T. Pate, walked forth into the Square. As they passed in front of the Palace, the negro sentinel, with a staid demeanor, was pacing to and fro, while squads of his sable comrades lounged around, like lazy black dogs, basking in the sun.

"Look at that gigantic American standing among the[Pg 230] Brazilian soldiers who seem like pigmies by comparison," said the midshipman.

"It is Hercules," said the Professor.

"Or Goliath of Gath," said the midshipman. "Do you know him?"

"He came out in our ship," said Toney.

"If your captain carried many such giants on board, I wonder that he had a spare porker to hang at his masthead."

"Hercules seems to be on terms of intimacy with those black guards of the House of Braganza," said Toney.

"No punning now, if you please; we are on land," said the Professor.

"But on foreign land, where the points of our puns cannot be perceived by the natives," said Toney.

"Your apology is perfectly satisfactory," said the Professor.

"Let us see what Hercules is going to do," said Tom Seddon.

They approached, and stood in close proximity to the tail of his coat. He had taken a musket from the hands of a grinning Brazilian of African descent, and, pointing to the flint lock, with a sagacious shake of his noddle, informed him that he was far behind the age; at the same time expatiating on the manifest superiority of the percussion principle. To the instruction of this able tactician the soldiers, although unable to comprehend a word of English, seemed to be listening with profound attention, when a loud laugh from Toney and Tom interrupted this morning's first lesson.

In the course of their wandering through the town they came to a navy-yard, where they saw several vessels in an interesting condition of rottenness. While examining these hulks, an astonishing confusion of tongues was heard in their rear; and, turning around, they beheld a fellow as black as Beelzebub, who wore an officer's uniform and was endeavoring to hold a colloquy with M. T. Pate, who listened and replied with an amiable condescension; but, as neither understood a word that was addressed to him, the utterance of each was an enigma to the other. The Professor winked at Toney, and then gravely remarked,[Pg 231] "Mr. Pate, this negro is doubtless begging for a dump,"—a huge copper coin of the value of several cents, which the Brazilians have invented for the convenience of commerce.

Pate, who in his own country was of Southern birth and accustomed to negroes solely in a menial capacity, drew forth a ponderous dump from his pocket, and bestowing it upon the officer of his Imperial Majesty with a benevolent smile, went on his way, leaving the object of his benefaction astounded by this evidence of his generosity.

As they proceeded up a street they encountered a pair of sturdy Africans carrying a sedan-chair attached to a couple of poles. Its sides were surrounded with gaudy curtains, for the protection of the timid señorita seated within from the bold gaze of the common multitude. Walking behind it were Botts, Old Grizzly, and the Long Green Boy, who appeared to have attached themselves to the procession as a committee of investigation; while, ranging up alongside, like a vigilant cruiser about to overhaul a suspicious craft in quest of a contraband cargo, was the adventurous Moses in a prodigious state of excitement, staring at the object of his amazement with dilated eyes, in blissful ignorance of his dangerous proximity to a petticoat. But great was his consternation when informed that there was a young lady behind the curtain. He started back with a terrified expression; and the Professor afterwards said that had not his limbs failed him, and his knees come in collision, like bones in the hands of an Ethiopian serenader, they would have been entertained with the sight of a desperate fugitive darting up the street with the caudal appendage to his coat taking a horizontal projection as he hurried along.

Having during the day visited various localities in the city, they returned to the hotel, and on the following morning proceeded on an expedition to the Imperial gardens. They rode in a huge omnibus drawn by four couples of mules, and navigated by four adventurous natives, each seated on the back of one of the animals, with prodigious rowels on his heels, which seemed to indicate a ruthless determination to gore out the vitals of the beast if he showed the least signs of a refractory disposition, and dared to dispute the supremacy of the[Pg 232] rider. Under the shade of cocoa- and coffee-trees they rumbled over the road, and at length arrived at the gates of the gardens.

This inclosure, equal in area to a large farm, was cultivated with great care and filled with every variety of flowers and fruitage. At intervals, among the trees, were fanciful little tenements for the accommodation of those whose business it was to plant and to prune.

Tom Seddon became poetic, and declared that they had discovered a paradise in which an Adam and Eve were probably then dwelling in immortal youth and innocence.

After exploring the gardens for several hours, the Professor seated himself in a beautiful arbor, and, while the gorgeous butterflies and birds of variegated and magnificent plumage were flitting around him, he sang:

The op'ning rose doth brightly glow
With pearly dews of even,
Like a fragment fall'n from yonder bow,
Which hangeth like Hope in the heaven.
And gayly on a golden wing,
At the sweet evening hour,
The humming-bird comes like a fairy thing
To flit round the beautiful flower.
Oh, be not like that humming-bird
Around the sweet rose roving,
That is ling'ring there, while e'er is heard
The breezes of summer moving,
But when the chilly blast has blown
And wint'ry storms are brewing,
He flieth away to a milder zone,
And leaveth it then to its ruin;
Be like that bird we oft have seen,
Whose mellow notes were ringing
Among the willows when all was green,
And flowers around us were springing.
And when those boughs are all stript bare,
By wint'ry storms o'ertaken,
That faithful bird is still ling'ring there,
Nor hath ever that spot forsaken.

"A song from Mr. Seddon," cried the Professor, as he concluded his own melody. Tom sang as follows:

[Pg 233]
Though many days have vanished
Since last I sighed adieu,
Yet time has never banished
The love I feel for you:
Though many leagues now sever,
Yet I forget thee never;—
True love grows the stronger
As it endures the longer.
Though absence bringeth sorrow
Upon the soul like night,
Yet on that night a morrow
Shall shed its golden light,—
And hope's lone star shall burn, love,
Brightly till I return, love,
And in thy smile discover
That night's last gloom is over.

"Poor Tom is thinking of Ida," said the Professor, in a whisper to Toney, as Tom turned aside and furtively wiped away a tear that stood in his eye.

"How can he help thinking of her?" said Toney.

"And Rosabel?" said the Professor.

"Do you suppose," said Toney, "that I ever forget her? I am mirthful, for it does not become a true man to be moody and melancholy. But I never forget."

"Nor does it become one of the Funny Philosophers to sport with such feelings," said the Professor, visibly affected. "I do not forget Dora."

"Do you not?"

"No; though she has long since forgotten me," said the Professor, sadly.

"A song from Mr. Perch," exclaimed a voice in the crowd, and in plaintive tones the Long Green Boy gave utterance to the following melody:

Oh, give me now the heart that thou once stole away from me
When list'ning to thy treacherous vow beneath the greenwood tree;
The flowers then bloomed above the ground, fanned by the breath of spring;
The humming-bird was sporting round upon a purple wing.
The gentle May hath passed away, the rose-leaves all are dead;
That faithless humming-bird so gay on wanton wing hath fled,
Nor cometh there to mourn their fate, but seeks a southern sun;
And thou hast left me desolate, thou false and cruel one.

[Pg 234]

"Perch is thinking of the beautiful Imogen and the scene in Colonel Hazlewood's garden," said Toney to the Professor. "Neither you nor he seem to have a very favorable opinion of the humming-bird."

"The little creature always reminds one of a fickle beauty, and Perch and I are forsaken lovers; each having felt the full force of a negative. But what is Hercules about to do?"

The giant had seated himself under the shade of a blooming bough, and for the first, and probably for the last time, until translated to a happier sphere, was endeavoring to give vent to the blissful emotions of his soul by attempting the execution of a difficult piece of music; in stentorian tones invoking a certain Susannah and imploring her on no account to weep for him. As with the voice of a Cyclops, at the close of each stanza, he bellowed forth,—

"Oh, Susannah! don't you cry for me!
I'm going to California with my wash-bowl on my knee!"

the whole party gathered around him and listened in breathless wonder. At length the Professor remarked,—

"What a pity it is that Susannah is not now present!"

"Do you think she would stop her crying?" said Toney.

"I imagine she would," said the Professor. "Unless the young lady's perception of the ludicrous is very obtuse, I cannot help thinking that the musical invocation of Hercules would have the desired effect."

"Will that big fellow never cease his bellowing?" asked the midshipman.

"Not until he has sung the last verse," said Tom Seddon; "and the song is longer than the ninety-seventh selection of Psalms as versified by Sternhold and Hopkins."

"He has already finished a multitude of staves," said Toney.

"Enough to make himself a butt," said the Professor.

"That is an atrocious pun," said Toney; "and perpetrated on dry land."

[Pg 235]

"But on foreign land, and in the Emperor's gardens," said the Professor.

"Very true," said Toney; "you escape with impunity; being on Brazilian soil."

"Let us be off!" said Tom Seddon; "the sun is getting low."

"And come back for Hercules to-morrow. We will find him concluding the last stanza," said Toney.

"Will he sing all night?" asked the midshipman.

"Hercules has great powers of endurance," said the Professor.

"Come!" said Tom Seddon. And the party started for the omnibus; when Hercules arose and followed, still singing his interminable melody.

The sun had disappeared behind the horizon and the full moon had arisen in all her magnificence long before they reached the suburbs of the city. As they rode along listening to the chimes of the church bells, which in Catholic countries are sounding every evening, the voice of Hercules was heard, at intervals, bellowing forth,—

"The bulgine burst, the horse run off; I thought I'd surely die!
I shut my eyes to hold my breath; Susannah, don't you cry!
Oh, Susannah, don't you cry for me!
I'm going to California with my wash-bowl on my knee!"


Upon returning to the city, M. T. Pate met with a misfortune, which gave him sad affliction when he afterwards came to reflect upon his folly. He had throughout the whole course of his life been a very temperate man, and on Sundays was exceedingly pious. But he and Hercules were now seduced by a party of dissolute fellows, who kept them in a state of inebriation for several days. In fact, Hercules got profoundly intoxicated, and continued in that condition until he was carried on board the ship when she was about to sail; while Pate became [Pg 236]boisterous and broke a number of goblets and decanters, and even challenged the proprietor of the hotel to a pugilistic combat. The latter earnestly implored the interposition of Toney Belton, who, upon going to Pate's room, found him standing in the midst of a number of boon-companions, with a bottle in his grasp, making as much noise as was possible by bellowing forth the following bacchanalian melody:

The ruby wine sparkles so bright in the bowl,
To pleasure it seems to invite;
And, by heavens, I vow he's a pitiful soul
Who scorneth our revels to night.
Let sages discourse on the follies of man,
And learnedly talk of his woes;
But boys, we'll be happy whilever we can,—
So toss off the goblet!—here goes!
Oh, why should we mourn o'er the sorrows of earth,
And turn from its pleasures away?
He's wiser by far who turns sorrow to mirth,
And tastes of life's joys while he may.
When all that the sages have taught is summed up,
Can it lessen one moment our woes?
Oh, no! but they linger not over the cup,—
So toss off the goblet!—here goes!

When this song was concluded, Toney began to express his astonishment at Pate's conduct, but his voice was soon drowned by several fellows loudly singing,—

Silvery dews are falling lightly,
Golden stars are twinkling brightly,
Now's the hour when Pleasure greets us,
Round the festive board she meets us,
When we mingle heart and soul
O'er the flowing, foaming bowl.

"But, Mr. Pate, you will be sorry for this when——"

Farewell now to care and sorrow!
They our moments ne'er shall borrow;—
We, the joyous sons of folly,
Leave to sages melancholy,
When we mingle heart and soul
O'er the flowing, foaming bowl.

[Pg 237]

"Yes, this is fine fun," said Toney; "but after awhile you will have trouble, and——"

If the ills of life surround us,
If misfortune's arrows wound us,
Still a balm we may discover
In the bumper running over,
When we mingle heart and soul
O'er the flowing, foaming bowl.

"By heavens, you ought to have a strait-jacket!" said Toney. "Ain't you a pretty picture?—standing there with your coat off and your breeches rent in the rear! I wish some of the ladies whom you used to be making love to could now see——"

Cupid is a treacherous urchin,
With his darts each bosom searching;
If we've false and cruel found him,
On the bumper's brim we'll drown him,
When we mingle heart and soul
O'er the flowing, foaming bowl.

"Pate, you'll be singing another song to-morrow, when——"

Fortune, whom we've trusted blindly,
She may deal with us unkindly;
At her freaks we're lightly laughing,
As the bright wine we are quaffing,
When we mingle heart and soul
O'er the flowing, foaming bowl.

"You are as crazy as a bedlamite!" exclaimed Toney, "When you come to your senses, you will consider this the greatest misfortune that——"

Glorious rainbows, shine forever
O'er misfortune's clouds, and never
Fade away from a good fellow
In his glasses growing mellow,
When we mingle heart and soul
O'er the flowing, foaming bowl.

"Well, go ahead!" said Toney, turning on his heels. "Go ahead, if you think there is no hereafter——"

Give the night to song and laughter,—
Care may come, perchance, hereafter;
[Pg 238]
We will linger till the morning
Smileth with a rosy warning,
When we'll mingle heart and soul
O'er a flowing, parting bowl.

Pate continued to conduct himself in this outrageous manner, notwithstanding the repeated and earnest remonstrances of his friends, until the morning on which the vessel was to sail, when the Professor found him, with a rueful countenance, sitting on the stool of repentance. They proceeded to the office of the hotel to settle their bills.

In Brazil they have an imaginary coin, corresponding to the mill of our decimal currency, in which, when making out a bill, they compute the amount, putting before the sum charged the identical mark which is prefixed to the Federal dollar, so that a stranger, whose debit is ten dollars, sees on the bill $10.000. The Professor was aware of this mode of computation, but M. T. Pate was not. The latter was therefore utterly astounded when his bill was handed to him, and he saw charged on it $55.000. Pate turned deadly pale when he perceived the heavy sum he was expected to pay; and Toney and the Professor took him aside and told him that, while so dreadfully intoxicated, he had broken and destroyed much valuable property in the hotel, and that the damage was charged in the bill. Pate was now shocked at the consequences of his indiscretion, and exclaimed,—

"Oh, that a man should be such a fool!"

"As to put an enemy in his mouth to steal away his brains," said the Professor.

"What am I to do?" cried Pate.

"Pay the bill," said Toney.

"I cannot. It is impossible for me to pay so large a sum of money," said Pate.

"I am sorry for that," said the Professor. "In Brazil there is imprisonment for debt."

"What?" exclaimed Pate, in extreme terror.

"There is imprisonment for debt in this country," said the Professor; "and if you do not pay the bill, the proprietor of the hotel will have you put in the calaboose."

"Where you may have to remain during your whole life," said Toney.

[Pg 239]

"Oh! oh!" cried Pate, looking as pale as a ghost. "What—what shall I do?"

"Get the money and pay the bill," said Toney.

"I cannot—I cannot!" said Pate, perspiring from every pore.

"This is a great calamity," said the Professor. "Only to think of a man having to spend, perhaps, forty years of his life in prison!"

"To end his days in a dungeon!" said Toney, sadly.

"Gentlemen—gentlemen! what—what shall I do?" exclaimed Pate, groaning piteously.

"Toney," said the Professor, "an expedient suggests itself to my mind, but I am doubtful of its propriety."

"What is it?" asked Toney.

"Do you think that it would be morally wrong for Mr. Pate to take French leave?"

"I do not," said Toney. "He cannot pay the bill, and unless he escapes as speedily as possible he may have to die in prison. A man may do anything to preserve his liberty. Besides, when Mr. Pate returns from California with his gold, he can stop at Rio and pay the bill."

"I will! I will!" exclaimed Pate. "I will pay every dollar of it!"

"Come here, Mr. Pate," said the Professor. And he and Toney conducted him to the street and pointed towards the harbor.

"Run!" said the Professor.

"Run!—run!" exclaimed Toney.

"Run, Pate!—run!" cried Tom Seddon, who had followed them out.

The delinquent debtor looked around to see if his ruthless creditor was watching him, and then darted down the street and ran at full speed until he reached the water's edge, when he leaped into a boat, and told the men to row as fast as they could for the ship. In the mean while Toney and the Professor returned to the office of the hotel and quietly settled the bill with the contents of Pate's purse, which they had taken from his pocket while he was intoxicated, and still retained in their possession for safe keeping.

When M. T. Pate came near the ship, he beheld the[Pg 240] extraordinary spectacle of a human body rising from the surface of the water and hanging high in the air, with its arms and legs desperately striking out, as if seeking to test, by a practical experiment, the possibility of swimming in that uncertain element. After dangling over the deck for a short space of time, it disappeared behind the bulwarks.

Pate witnessed the awful spectacle with a feeling of intense horror.

"Great heavens!" he exclaimed, "has the captain taken upon himself the responsibility of ordering an execution? What a daring exercise of arbitrary power! It is dangerous to go on board! The brutal tyrant might hang any of his passengers!"

He was about to order the men to row back to the shore when he recollected the danger which there awaited him. He was between Scylla and Charybdis. In the mean while the Brazilian boatmen, who, with their backs towards the ship and their ignorance of the English language, neither witnessed the startling phenomenon nor understood the meaning of Pate's exclamation, vigorously plied their oars, and soon brought the boat to the vessel's side. Pale with terror and trembling in every joint, Pate looked up and beheld a number of passengers on deck laughing immoderately. Their mirth convinced him that no tragedy had been enacted, and he went on board where he learned that Hercules had been captured on shore and brought alongside lying in the boat in a helpless condition superinduced by inebriation. A perplexing consultation among his captors was cut short by Old Nick, who, having made ready a rope, leaped into the boat, and putting a stout band around the body of the giant, hooked on,—and up he went, with his imperfectly articulated maledictions mingling with the hearty "Heave ho!" of Peter and Paul, who were hoisting him on deck.

Thus was Hercules held up as an example to all evildoers; and when the Professor reached the ship, and was informed of the circumstance, he gravely remarked that men who were so imprudent as to indulge in the excessive use of strong drinks would sometimes become wonderfully elevated.

[Pg 241]


The mortification of M. T. Pate at having been compelled to leave the Brazilian Empire as an absconding debtor was intense, and he was now teased and tormented by his comrades in the most unmerciful manner.

They told him that as soon as his ruthless creditor discovered his flight he would apply to the Emperor for redress, who would dispatch a swift-sailing man-of-war to capture him; and that he would be carried back and imprisoned in the calaboose until he had paid the last dump of the debt. Whenever a sail hove in sight, some one would cry out, "There comes the Brazilian vessel in pursuit of Pate;" when all would advise him to secrete himself in the hold of the ship, and said that they would inform the captain of the man-of-war that he had unfortunately fallen overboard when off Cape Frio.

He was so worried by these pitiless jokes that he became misanthropic, and finally refused to associate with any of the passengers. He would leave the cabin, where at night there were usually much fun and merriment, and where he was sure to be the butt of some cruel jest, and, going upon deck, would seat himself upon a stool and brood in solitude over his misery, until he was in a sound sleep.

One night there was a dead calm upon the waters, and not a sound was heard except the flapping of a sail as the ship rolled over a wave, or the monotonous notes which proceeded from the perforations in the nasal protuberance of the melancholy Pate, who had fallen asleep as he sat on his stool. But suddenly there is an unnatural noise, and a frightful fluttering overhead, and down it comes—a ghostlike creature!—long, lean, and spectral!—with two gigantic wings beating wildly about! With a chorus of strange cries it tumbles upon deck, upsetting the unlucky Pate, who with a loud yell of terror, rolls over and over into the scupper; while Peter and Paul, headed by Old Nick, rush thither and mingle[Pg 242] with a crowd of passengers who come from the cabin. And there they behold poor Pate lying on his back in the scupper, and yelling "murder," with the strength of his lungs; while over him stands Moses, glorying in his achievement. He had espied a booby-bird roosting upon the mainyard, and with a catlike step crept up and effected its capture. And thus the sudden and unexpected descent of the two boobies upon the deck was the cause of all this commotion. The position of Pate, as he lay on his back in the scupper, bawling "murder!" with the booby beating him with its wing, was exceedingly ludicrous. He was now teased until he was driven to the border of desperation. Tom Seddon had, with thoughtless levity, revealed the existence of the Mystic Brotherhood, and made known the fact that M. T. Pate was the Noble Grand Gander of the order. After this revelation there was no more peace for poor Pate on board the ship. At the table some one would call out in a loud voice and inquire if the Noble Grand Gander would be helped to a piece of the duff, when there would be a general roar of laughter. In the morning, when he came from his bunk, many would inquire, with mock respect, after the health of the Noble Grand Gander. And now, in the unfortunate affair with the booby, the passengers generally expressed their profound regret that the great American Gander had been overthrown by a Brazilian booby.

In the mean while the ship sailed on; the weather gradually grew colder, and the three curious spots in the heavens, called the Clouds of Magellan, were visible at night, and indicated an approximation to the coast of Patagonia.

The Professor had a sympathy for Pate, and would sometimes endeavor to alleviate his sufferings by cheerful conversation. They were one day standing on deck conversing about the Clouds of Magellan, and the Professor was suggesting the propriety of sending up an artist in a balloon to paint them red, white, and blue, so that the American colors might hang over these regions in anticipation of their annexation to the great republic, when they heard the voice of Moses exclaiming,—

[Pg 243]

"Look yonder!"

"What is it?" said Pate, pointing to an enormous creature sailing through the air and coming towards the ship.

"It is one of the Clouds of Magellan riding on the back of Old Boreas," said the Professor.

"No," cried Tom Seddon, "it is the gigantic ghost of the poor booby coming to haunt Moses for the deep damnation of his taking off."

The optical orbs of Moses expanded wider and wider, as the form of the winged monster loomed larger and larger, until, with a flap of its tremendous pinions, it came alongside, and, after several times sweeping around the ship, finally settled down on the water in the wake.

The Professor having ascertained that this object, on which Moses was gazing with wonder and awe, was an albatross, attached a piece of pork to a line and threw it overboard, with an invitation to the stranger to lay hold, so that he might hoist him on board. The gigantic bird eagerly accepted the invitation, and snatching the delicious morsel in his beak, held on with a pertinacity which indicated his appreciation of the prize. And now he was seen to stretch out his neck with an extraordinary projection, and his huge body following it at a run, beating the water with two enormous wings, over the poop he came, with a tremendous fluttering, and down on the deck, where he stood like a prodigious goose, wholly unable to define his position.

The creature walked the deck with a curious stare, until coming in proximity to M. T. Pate, it stopped and gazed in his face, when some wicked wag cried out,—

"Put a saddle and bridle on him, Mr. Pate."

"By all means," cried another passenger; "and if the Brazilian man-of-war should overhaul the vessel, you can ride away on the back of your winged courser and easily effect your escape."

These suggestions so irritated Pate that he suddenly seized a handspike and dealt the albatross a blow, the lethal effects of which laid it a lifeless corpse at his feet. There was a loud hurrah for the Noble Grand Gander,[Pg 244] and Pate, boiling with indignation, walked forward and leaned against the forecastle.

He was now sternly denounced by Old Nick, who told him, in emphatic terms, that he would never have any more good luck as long as he lived; and Peter and Paul coincided with him in the prediction. Not many moments elapsed before these vaticinations of ill fortune began to be verified. Neptune, with indignation, had beheld the murderous deed, and prepared a fitting punishment. He sent a huge wave, which broke over the bow with a crash. The sailors saw it coming and sprang into the rigging; while the assassin of the albatross was knocked off his feet and went wallowing into the scupper. Amidst loud and boisterous laughter, M. T. Pate hurried into the cabin with a stream of salt-water flowing from the tail of his coat; while a number of voices commenced singing,—

"A life on the ocean wave,
A home on the rolling deep," etc.

A few days subsequent to these events, they came in sight of Tierra del Fuego; and as the ship ran down within a league of the shore, there was a suggestion that the officers had determined to leave the slayer of the albatross on this desolate coast; being afraid to venture round the Horn with such a Jonah on board. The Professor told Pate to pay no attention to these remarks, as the captain had a cousin who had emigrated to this part of the world and opened a hotel, and he was going to take the passengers on shore and give a "general treat." But the ship stood away to the south, and, followed by clouds of Cape pigeons and albatrosses, went rolling around the Horn, and after a rough controversy with old ocean, which lasted for several weeks, eventually came in sight of the Island of Juan Fernandez.

Several of the passengers expressed an opinion that the captain would now put Pate on shore, and said that he would have to live here in solitude and clad in goats' skins like Alexander Selkirk. But the vessel sailed on, and the peaks of the famous island were soon hid behind the horizon; and this was their last sight of terra firma until[Pg 245] they beheld the tops of the Andes, and soon afterwards entered the harbor of Callao.

"There was a scene of revelry by night" in the cabin, like that which had preceded their landing on Brazilian soil. The Professor, with Toney and Tom, remained on deck until the sounds of conviviality had ceased, and then proceeded to "turn in."

"What is this?" said Tom Seddon, coming in contact with a huge head hanging over the side of a hammock.

"It is a remarkable case of suspended animation," said the Professor.

"Hercules has again become wonderfully elevated," said Toney.

"And has turned Wiggins out of his hammock," said Tom.

"Old Grizzly and M. T. Pate seem to prefer the floor," said Toney, pointing to the two individuals named, who were lying supinely on their backs by the side of a sea-chest under the hammock.

"Hercules seems to be hovering over them like a benignant spirit with the most benevolent intentions," said the Professor; and he and his two friends passed on, and, stowing themselves away in their bunks, were awaiting the approach of "tired nature's sweet restorer," when a hideous howl, like the outcry of a wounded dragon, rang through the cabin. A score of startled passengers leaped hurriedly up, and rushing forward beheld the catastrophe. Hercules had pitched headforemost from his hammock, and precipitating himself first on the sea-chest, had rolled over, and covered with his huge body the prostrated forms of Old Grizzly and M. T. Pate.

Unable to account for his sudden descent, and wholly confounded by his fall, he was giving utterance to his emotions in a succession of diabolical howls.

Old Grizzly slowly arose, and assuming a sitting posture, growled out his decided disapprobation of such proceedings, while M. T. Pate was writhing and wriggling under his heavy burden, and uttering piteous groans.

"Pate is like old John Bunyan's poor pilgrim," said Tom Seddon.

"Groaning under his load of sin," said Toney.

[Pg 246]

"Let us shrive him," said the Professor. And he and Toney seized Pate by the legs, and, pulling vigorously, succeeded in relieving him from the immense load of iniquity which rested upon him.


After spending a day in Callao, and visiting the site of the ancient town, which had been destroyed by an earthquake, the band of gold-hunters proceeded to the city of Lima. This splendid capital presents many objects of interest to the stranger. The Professor and his companions were astonished at the number and magnificence of the churches; and as he was going through a gallery in one of these sacred edifices, Wiggins discovered three holy men playing at monte, and was only prevented from taking a hand by his ignorance of the Castilian language. Moses was shocked at seeing the countrywomen riding astraddle on donkeys when they entered the town on their way to the market; and he was inexpressibly alarmed when a young female stopped him on the street, and, producing a cigar, politely asked him for a light. So great was his agitation that, instead of complying with her request, he dropped his own cigar in the gutter and hastily retreated behind Botts, whose ugly visage frightened the woman away. Hercules, having constituted himself an inspector of the pale brandies of the country, on a certain night went up on the flat roof of the hotel and fell through a glass door among some Spaniards engaged in a quiet game below; and the Dons, supposing, from his novel mode of entrance, that he came with burglarious intent, fled from the apartment, leaving him lying in the middle of the floor, and uttering the most terrific yells.

Toney and the Professor rushed into the room, and with some difficulty lifting the giant on his feet, discovered that he had sustained no injury from his sudden[Pg 247] descent. As Hercules staggered out of the room, the Professor pointed towards him, and gravely remarked,—

"I am now convinced of the utter falsity of what has been so long received as an axiom in natural philosophy."

"What is that?" asked Toney.

"That confined fluids press equally in all directions," said the Professor.

"That only holds good in hydrostatics," said Toney.

"Where water is concerned, the principle may be correct," said the Professor, "but it is not applicable to the juice of the grape. But where is Tom Seddon? I haven't seen him during the whole day."

"He and M. T. Pate have just returned from a visit to the tomb of Pizarro," said Toney; "and Pate has been much shocked at a discovery which he there made."

"What is that?" asked the Professor.

"Most of the bones of that celebrated conqueror have been stolen," said Toney.

"By whom?" asked the Professor.

"By visitors to the tomb," said Toney.

"Sic transit gloria mundi!" said the Professor. "Pizarro stole the Inca's possessions, and now his own bones have been carried off by pilfering hands, and, perhaps, manufactured into knife-handles. I hope I never may be a great man; a General, or a President, or anything of that sort."

"Why not?"

"The very idea is horrible!"

"How so?"

"To see one's name in large letters over the picture of a horse on a hand-bill posted against the door of a blacksmith's shop; or to have a mangy hound for your namesake!"

"Here comes Tom," said Toney, as Seddon entered the apartment and commenced telling them about the bull-fight which was to take place on the next day, which would be Sunday.

"We will all go," said the Professor; "but I am hungry. Let us go into the eating-room and order three plates of lizards."

[Pg 248]

"I would prefer a beefsteak smothered in onions," said Seddon.

"De gustibus non disputandum est," said the Professor as he entered the eating-room, and, seating himself at a table, ordered his lizards.


On the bright Sabbath morning Toney Belton and his companions were following an immense crowd of people along the banks of the Rimac, in the direction of the bull-fight, when they were compelled to halt and listen to a polemical controversy between the Professor and M. T. Pate. The latter had followed along quietly, and without observation, until accidentally discovering their destination, he stood still and refused to proceed. In vain did the Professor try argument and blandishment to remove his scruples of conscience. On the first day of the week Pate was immovably pious.

"Come along, Mr. Pate!" said the Professor, in a coaxing tone.

"This is the Sabbath," said Pate, "and a day of rest."

"But," said the Professor, "in this country the churches are always open, and the people are praying every day in the week, and the only way for them to rest is to stop praying on Sunday and do something else. When you are in Rome do as Rome does."

"Everybody is going to the bull-fight," said Toney.

"Yonder is a carriage-load of bishops," said the Professor.

"And look at those two shovel-hats jogging along on their mules," said Tom Seddon.

"This is Sunday," said Pate, solemnly shaking his head.

"I have been informed by the oldest inhabitant that Sunday has never yet got around Cape Horn," said the Professor.

[Pg 249]

But Pate was deaf to their sophistical arguments, and, shaking his head with a melancholy look, turned on his heels and took his departure.

The Professor and his companions were soon seated in the amphitheater, which formed an immense circle, with seats rising in tiers, one above the other. A strong barricade of stout timbers protected the twenty thousand men, women, and children who, with the Priests, the President, and the Congress of the country were here assembled, and waited with impatience until a gate was opened and several of the combatants appeared, some on horseback armed with long lances, and others on foot.

"Great thunder! what are those?" exclaimed Tom Seddon, pointing to four uncouth shapes stalking into the arena wearing ugly masks with enormous beaks, and having dusky wings ingeniously fitted to their sides.

"They look like very large turkey-buzzards," said Toney.

"Half men and half birds," said Moses.

"They are Peruvian fairies," said the Professor, turning round and imparting this information to Moses.

"Fairies!" exclaimed Moses, his eyes opening in astonishment.

"A gigantic species of fairy peculiar to this country," said the Professor.

"What are they going to do?" asked Moses.

"They are exceedingly fond of bull-beef," said the Professor. "They will wait until the animal is slain, and then dine on the carcass."

"After which," said Toney, "they will spread their wings and fly away to Fairy-land, supposed to be located somewhere among the peaks of the Andes."

"And which was never visited by mortal man," said the Professor.

Moses now gazed at the fairies with wonder and awe; while Tom Seddon exclaimed, "Look at that handsome woman standing in the center of the arena!"

"She is splendidly dressed," said Toney.

"Who is she?" asked Moses.

"The President's wife," suggested Toney.

"Is she going to fight the bull?" asked Moses.

[Pg 250]

"That may be her intention," said Toney.

"She has no weapon," said Wiggins.

"She will take the bull by the horns," said Toney.

"She is in great danger," said Moses.

"It is the Blessed Virgin,—you may behold a miracle," said the Professor.

"Is she alive?" asked Moses.

"She does not move," said Wiggins.

"She stands stoutly on her feet," said Toney.

"Look yonder!" exclaimed Tom Seddon, as a gate flew open, and in came, with a bound and a bellow, a huge black bull, with his eyes fiercely glaring, as if he were smarting under some recent insult and expected other indignities to be offered. But beholding the image, he moved towards it, bowing his head and scraping his foot.

"He seems disposed to be very polite in the presence of a lady," said Toney.

"He is making a very profound obeisance," said Tom.

"Only in mockery," said the Professor as the bull rushed forward, and, thrusting his horns through the robes of the Holy Mary, lifted her from the earth. But hardly had he touched her sacred person when a succession of loud reports ensued, such as are heard when idle urchins have fastened their fire-works behind the flanks of some venerable parent of puppies.

"A miracle!" exclaimed the Professor.

"A miracle!" cried Toney.

"A miracle!" shouted Tom.

The eyes of Moses widely dilated, and he gazed in intense wonder. Off went the bull with the image hanging on his horns, roaring and running around; while ever and anon the Blessed Virgin would emit an explosion which added an increase to his speed. Finally she fell to the ground, and was sacrilegiously trampled under hoof, and lay with her gaudy robes scorched, and smoking, and torn to tatters.

"What a shocking sight!" exclaimed Tom Seddon.

"Will nobody go to her rescue?" said Toney.

"Yonder comes her avenger!" said the Professor, as a man on foot advanced, with one hand brandishing a dart[Pg 251] having a small streamer attached to it, and shaking a red flag with the other. The bull, indignant at the insult, came at him with a bound, when, nimbly leaping aside, he planted his missile in the flank of his foe, and the infuriated animal charged on another assailant with similar results.

Soon his sides were covered with little javelins, each having a gaudy pennon on its end waving in the wind. He fought with pluck and determination, but evidently at a disadvantage; for his antagonists, when hard pressed, would retreat behind a circular palisade of posts, whither he could not follow them. Making a charge on one of the buzzards, however, he tore off a wing before the clumsy bird could get out of the way. The disgusting fowl uttered a loud squall, such as was never heard from one of its species before.

"The poor fairy has lost one of his pinions," said Tom.

"He will not be able to soar away to his home in the Andes after he has dined," said Toney.

"The cavalry are about to take part in the engagement," said the Professor, as the horsemen galloped around and added to the torments of the animal by pricking him with their lances.

"He fights manfully," said Tom.

"Mr. Seddon," said the Professor, "be so good as to keep your Irish bulls in the background. You should not venture to introduce them among Spanish cattle."

"He exhibits great courage against overwhelming odds," said Toney.

"But, as has been asked on numerous occasions, what can a single hero do against a host?" said the Professor.

"What is that big man going to do with his long knife?" asked Moses, as a stalwart fellow, armed with a short, straight sword, advanced on foot and fixed his gaze on his victim. With eyes wildly rolling, and red torrents of blood streaming from his wounds, the bull moved towards this new antagonist, with his head to the ground, hoping to toss him on his horns. But the wily matadore, with a dexterous thrust, pierced the spine of the neck, and the agonies of the animal were over. Hardly had he[Pg 252] fallen when the four buzzards rushed forward and commenced pecking at the carcass.

"The fairies are hungry," said the Professor, turning round and speaking to Moses.

"The one-winged gentleman seems determined to have his share of the feast," said Toney.

"Look! look!" cried Tom Seddon, as up went a rocket and in came six white horses splendidly harnessed, by whose united strength the mutilated body of the bull was dragged out at a gallop, to make room for another victim.

"Look at yonder fellow riding his horse around the arena, with his side gored open and torrents of blood gushing from the ghastly wound!" said Toney.

"This is pretty sport, but I think that I will put an end to it," said the Professor to Toney, in a low and confidential tone.

"That is impossible," said Toney.

"The celebrated Arago says that he who, outside of pure mathematics, uses the word impossible, lacks prudence," said the Professor.

"Here he comes!" cried Tom Seddon, as a bull of prodigious size and savage ferocity bounded into the arena, and after moving around and wildly glaring at the assembled multitude, finally halted within a few paces of the seats occupied by Toney and the Professor. The enraged animal was pawing the earth with his foot, when one of the combatants advanced towards him, brandishing a dart. The bull elevated his head and surveyed him with an indignant look. The man poised his missile and was about to hurl it when, in the Castilian language, from the mouth of the angry animal come forth the words,—

"Hold, villain! hold!"

The man dropped his dart and instantly fled. On the seats in proximity to the Professor there were great commotion and alarm, while from those afar off there were loud cries of derision at the cowardice exhibited by the combatant who had fled. Several men now advanced on foot, and the horsemen followed, with the four buzzards in the rear, flapping their wings. They surrounded the bull, and each footman brandished his dart, while the[Pg 253] horsemen poised their lances. The animal regarded them with a ferocious aspect, and, as they were about to attack him with their weapons, a hoarse voice was heard issuing from his throat, and exclaiming,—

"Stand back! ye bloody villains, forbear!"

The men recoiled in horror, and, dropping their weapons, fled with precipitation, exclaiming, "El diablo! el diablo!"

The buzzards hurried over the barricades followed by the footmen, who threw themselves among the spectators, crying out, "El diablo! el diablo!—it is the devil! it is the devil!" The horsemen galloped frantically around, and finally fled through a gate, which was instantly closed and barred. "El diablo! el diablo!" was shouted by hundreds of voices.

"It is Satan! it is Satan!" exclaimed several priests, who sat near the Professor, as the bull, after running around, stood still and glared at them with fiery eyes.

"I am Beelzebub!" roared the bull.

With loud cries of "Satan!" "Beelzebub!" "the devil!" the priests and the people leaped from their seats, and, tumbling over each other, rolled out of the amphitheater into the open air. Along the banks of the Rimac, men, women, and children were flying in terror, with loud cries of "El diablo! el diablo!"

"Where is Moses?" asked the Professor, as with Toney and Tom he sat in the deserted amphitheater.

"He and Wiggins have gone with the crowd," said Toney.

"The bull will have to perform before empty benches," said the Professor.

"That animal has created more commotion than any of the Pope's bulls in the Dark Ages," said Toney.

"He is equal to Apis, the sacred bull of the Egyptians," said the Professor, as they arose from their seats and left the amphitheater.

[Pg 254]


At the hotel in Lima the Professor and his friends found the supercargo of the ship who had come to hunt up the passengers. The captain had been in trouble; the crew having mutinied and refused to work because they were not allowed the privilege of a cruise on shore. The controversy between the quarter-deck and the forecastle was finally adjusted, and the crew agreed to go to work on condition of afterwards having one day of liberty. The supercargo said that they were now on shore in Callao, and that the vessel would sail on the following morning.

Upon receiving this information, the passengers made preparations to proceed on foot to Callao; it being impossible to obtain any vehicle on that day, as everything which had wheels or hoofs had gone to the bull-fight and had been left behind in the general stampede which ensued. The Professor inquired for M. T. Pate, but he was not in the hotel, and from information received, it was supposed that he had already left the city and proceeded to the port.

Lima, unlike most American cities, is encompassed by a wall. Just beyond the gate, which opens on the six miles of level road leading to Callao, are a number of mounds heaped up by the ancient inhabitants of the country for the purpose of hiding the remains of mortality. But as these poor pagans were unwilling to leave the world as unadorned as they had entered it, numerous excavations had been made by their Christian successors, who had stripped them of their heathenish ornaments, and carried them off, to be converted into the images of saints.

The Professor and his companions turned aside from the road and proceeded to an inspection of the place.

Hercules had already thrust his long neck into one of the excavations, when, with a loud exclamation, he drew suddenly back as if he had certainly seen a sight. The[Pg 255] Long Green Boy now peeped into the aperture, and, starting back, looked as if he were about to exclaim, "Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!" But lo! it starts up—it moves towards them—long, lean, and spectral!—in robes as white as the driven snow, like the shivering shade of an ancient Inca come hither to mourn over the extinction of his race.

Hercules assumes the posture of a racer ready to make a desperate spring, and only waiting for the word "Go!" The Professor throws himself in the attitude of Hamlet in his interesting interview with the ghost. Botts clutches the hilt of his bowie-knife and stands prepared to battle with whatever may come forth. But hold! rash man, forbear! No horrible apparition of an unbaptized infidel is this, but a pious Christian and a poor countryman in distress. It is the unfortunate M. T. Pate stalking forth with no covering except a single shirt.

Finding no congenial society in the city, he had wandered hither to meditate among the tombs. His reveries were rudely interrupted by certain grim-looking fellows carrying carbines, one of which was presented to his breast with an observation which, for want of an interpreter, he was unable to comprehend. Poor Pate was too much awed to animadvert upon the sinfulness of such proceedings on Sunday; and these bold Sabbath-breakers, having rifled his pockets, stripped him of all that he had, and left him in the condition in which he was found.

Having heard his dolorous story, the Professor exclaimed,—

"But, Mr. Pate, what is to be done? You cannot travel along the public highway in that condition of nudity."

"If he does," said Toney, "the people will suppose that he is a model artist."

"The weather is hot," said Tom Seddon. "And he will not feel uncomfortable with nothing on but his shirt."

"If Pate goes into Callao, in a nude condition, he will frighten the women into fits," said Toney.

"And he will be arrested and put in the calaboose," said the Professor.

[Pg 256]

"What is to be done?" asked Toney. "Our trunks are in Callao, and there is no spare clothing among us."

"Mr. Pate can have my drawers," said Wiggins. And he pulled them off and handed them to his unfortunate friend.

"And I will let him have my coat," said Hercules, pulling it off.

"That coat is like charity," said the Professor.

"How so?" asked Toney.

"It covers a multitude of faults," said the Professor, pointing to the giant's linen coat, which completely enveloped the person of Pate and hung down to his heels.

"What will Mr. Pate do for a pair of boots?" said Moses.

"Never mind," said Tom Seddon, "the road is sandy and will not hurt his bare feet."

"And when he comes to stony places I will carry him on my back," said Hercules.

"Come along, Mr. Pate," said Toney.

"And when you return from California with your gold you should by all means carefully avoid these localities," said the Professor.

Poor Pate uttered not a word in response to these advisory remarks, but all were convinced by the quivering of his lip and other outward signs that he was inwardly vowing that he would do so.

They now hurried on; Toney, Tom, and the Professor leading the advance, and when about half-way between Lima and Callao, they espied a curious kind of cavalry coming up the road. It was the ship's company ashore on liberty and making the most of that inestimable blessing. Each jolly tar was mounted on a little donkey, and at the head of the cavalcade rode Old Nick, having a leadline in his hand; and this steady and experienced seaman, apprehensive of shoals or hidden rocks, kept constantly heaving the lead and calling out the number of fathoms each time that it fell. Once he was heard to cry out "No bottom!" and down went his donkey in a hole; but the dauntless navigator assured his shipmates that, though the little craft had her lee-rail under, she would soon[Pg 257] right up without losing a stick of her timber; and the result was just as he had said.

"Where is Pate?" asked the Professor.

"Yonder he is," said Toney, pointing to Pate, about a quarter of a mile behind, mounted on the back of Hercules, with Wiggins walking on one side and Perch on the other; Botts and Moses bringing up the rear.

"Hercules is carrying him over the stony road," said Tom.

"The giant has a big body and a big heart," said the Professor; "but he shall not be treated like a beast of burden. Pate shall ride Old Nick's donkey."

"Old Nick will not give up his donkey," said Toney.

"We will see," said the Professor. And he advanced near the spot where the huge sailor sat on the little animal with his feet touching the ground. Just at that moment Old Nick gave the bridle a jerk.

"Oh—oh! You hurt! Get off my back, you drunken lubber!" exclaimed a voice issuing from the mouth of the beast. Old Nick leaped off and fled down the road.

"Avast there!" cried Tim.

"Hush up, you old fool! you are drunk too!" said Tim's donkey. The sailor rolled off.

"Get off my back!" exclaimed another donkey.

"Get off! get off! you ought all to be hung at the yard-arm for mutiny!" shouted each donkey in succession. With wild yells of terror, the sailors fled down the road to Callao, ran at full speed through the town to the water's edge, leaped into a boat and went on board the vessel.

"Here, Mr. Pate, mount on this donkey," said the Professor, as Pate came riding along on the back of Hercules. The Professor selected an animal for himself, and he and Pate rode into Callao, and halted at the hotel, where they had left their trunks when they had started for Lima.

At the hotel, Pate retired to a room and made his toilet; but when he again appeared he was so teased and tormented by certain wicked wags that he abruptly left the hotel and rushed into the street. He was seen no more. The passengers went on board and the ship was ready to sail. The captain went on shore and made inquiry for Pate. Nothing could be heard of him, and,[Pg 258] after losing several days in a fruitless search, the ship finally put to sea.

During the voyage there were numerous discussions in relation to his probable fate; but ultimately the opinion prevailed that he had gone back to Lima, to pay his bill at the hotel, and had thus been left behind. The ship sailed on without him, and after a voyage of two months, passed through the Golden Gate, and anchored in the harbor of San Francisco.


"This seems to be a city of tents," said the Professor, as they stood on a hill which has long since been removed, and now forms a portion of the artificial foundation for the immense warehouses which stand where their ship anchored between Happy Valley and Goat Island.

"I see very few houses," said Tom Seddon.

"Only the old Spanish structures built a hundred years ago with adobe brick," said the Professor.

"In two years from the present period," said Toney, "you will see houses all over this space,—hotels of six stories, and commodious dwellings and warehouses."

"Toney is a prophet," said Tom.

"On the very spot where we now stand there is gold in abundance," said Toney.

"In these sand-hills?" exclaimed Tom.

"Yes; in these very sand-hills where we now are," said Toney; "if a man has sagacity enough to perceive his chance and avail himself of it."

"I divine your meaning," said the Professor. "Let us buy one of these sand-hills."

"That was just what I was about to propose," said Toney.

"What will we do with it?" asked Tom.

"Leave it here and go to the mines," said Toney.

"It won't run away," said the Professor.

[Pg 259]

"Of what use will it be to us, or anybody else?" said Tom, kicking the sand about with his feet.

"In a few years an immense city will extend for miles around," said Toney. "Our lot will be in the very center of the town."

"Hurrah! hurrah!" cried Tom, throwing up his wool hat. "I see! I see! let us buy the sand-hill."

"How much money have you?" asked Toney.

"Five thousand dollars," said Tom.

"I have about an equal amount in my trunk," said the Professor.

"And I can raise about as much more," said Toney. "Come, let us make our purchase without delay."

Business was then rapidly transacted in the El Dorado of the West, where, at that period, immense fortunes were frequently made and lost in a month. In a few hours the three friends were the owners of the sand-hill, and had their titles secured by deeds duly executed.

On the following morning they hunted up Hercules and his companions, who were feasting on wild geese and quails at a tent in Montgomery Street, and embarked in a boat for Stockton, from which point they intended to proceed across the country to the mines on the Moquelumne River. In the afternoon of the same day they were entering the mouth of the San Joaquin when a schooner ran by them.

"What place is this?" shouted Toney.

"New York," answered a man on the schooner.

"Not much like New York," said the Professor.

"What place is it?" asked Tom Seddon.

"New York!" shouted the man, with vehemence.

"He knows," said Toney.

"Let us go ashore and dine at the Astor House," said the Professor.

They went on shore, but were unable to find the hotel designated, and made a meal on elk meat, in a tent kept by a one-eyed Hibernian; after which they again proceeded up the river until about the middle of the night, when they lashed to the tulas on the bank, and lay in the bottom of the boat, sometimes snoring and at other times fighting the mosquitoes.

[Pg 260]

In the morning they hoisted sail, and in so doing Moses fell over the bow of the boat and was hauled in at the stern. After Moses had thus performed his ablutions, they sailed on until about ten o'clock, when Tom Seddon exclaimed, "This river is as crooked as the track of a snake! What mountain is that? It sometimes seems on the larboard, and sometimes on the starboard."

"That is Mount Diablo, I suppose, from the description I have had of it," said the Professor.

"The Devil's Mountain," said Tom.

"In plain English, the Devil's Mountain," said the Professor.

"I never was so hungry; I could eat a bear," said Tom.

"Better eat a bear than that a bear should eat you," said the Professor.

"I will starve before we get to Stockton," said Tom. "Let us go on shore and shoot some game."

"Agreed!" said Toney. And they ran in along shore, and, fastening their boat to the bough of a tree, landed and proceeded through the tulas in the direction of Mount Diablo. When they had gone about a mile they reached an open space surrounded with thickets. Here they halted, and were gazing around in search of game, when Tom Seddon suddenly exclaimed, "Look! look!"

About two hundred paces from where they stood a man rushed out from the thicket, and behind him came forth a huge and ferocious monster apparently in pursuit. The hideous beast ran after the man, and striking him with its nose under the tail of his coat hurled him headforemost about twenty feet. The man fell on his hands and knees, and the monster stood still and gazed at him intently.

"The devil!" exclaimed Tom Seddon.

"From Mount Diablo," said the Professor.

"It is a grizzly bear," said Toney.

"Gracious!" exclaimed Moses.

"That fellow had better run," said Tom.

"He has taken your advice," said the Professor.

"The bear is after him again," said Toney.

"Great thunder! I would as soon be shot out of a cannon!" shouted Tom Seddon, as the huge creature thrust its nose under the man's coat and propelled him[Pg 261] forward with prodigious velocity. The man again fell on his hands and knees, and the beast stood still and regarded him with a steadfast look.

"The bear is waiting for him to get up," said Tom.

"That's right," said the Professor. "Never strike a man when he is down."

"He is on his feet again," said Tom, as the man sprang up and commenced running.

"And the bear is at him again," said Toney, as the eccentric monster rushed at the man and hurled him headlong with tremendous force.

"Jupiter Tonans!" exclaimed Tom. "That was a settler."

"He is stunned," said Toney, as the man lay motionless with his face on the ground. The bear stood still and looked intently at the prostrate form. The man did not move. After gazing at him for several moments, the bear walked up and smelled him from head to foot.

"Is he going to eat him?" cried Tom.

"I do not believe that he is," said the Professor.

"Look there! Did you ever see the like?" cried Tom, as the bear commenced plowing up the earth with its nose and piling it on the man's body.

"He is burying him," said Toney.

"That bear has good principles in his composition," said the Professor. "He buries his dead."

The bear continued to pile the earth over the man until he had raised quite a mound, when he turned round, and, at a shuffling gait, went off in the direction of Mount Diablo, and was soon hidden in the thicket.

Toney and his friends now ran to the spot where the man was buried. The end of his coat was visible. Toney and Tom tugged at the tail of the coat, while the Professor aided in the disinterment by kicking off the earth with his feet.

"By the powers of mud!" was uttered in a hoarse voice, and the man sprang erect.

"Captain Bragg!" exclaimed Toney, in astonishment.

"Great thunder!" cried Tom.

The astonishment of Bragg was equal to that of Toney and Tom. He was covered with dirt, and swore [Pg 262]vehemently "by the powers of mud." He eventually became more composed, and, while walking to the boat, accounted for the condition in which he was found. In coming down the river he had quarreled with the captain of the vessel, and challenged him to single combat. The captain had rudely refused to accept the challenge, and put Bragg on shore, where, in wandering about, he had encountered the bear.

"Look!—look!—what's that?" cried Moses, as an agile creature with very long ears sprang up before them.

"It is a young donkey," said Toney.

Tom fired his gun and the animal fell dead.

"In this country it is called a jackass rabbit," said Bragg, as Tom shouldered his game and carried it to the boat.

A fire was kindled, and in a short time they were feasting on the broiled flesh of the rabbit. During the meal Botts and Bragg regarded each other with looks of savage ferocity, but no words were exchanged between them. Toney's mind was relieved from anxiety when Bragg pointed to a schooner coming down the river, and said,—

"Mr. Belton, you would confer a great favor by putting me on board yonder vessel. I intend to proceed to San Francisco and settle with that villainous captain."

The boat put off from the shore and conveyed Bragg to the schooner, and then proceeded up the river. When they were about six miles from Stockton, half a dozen barges filled with armed men came around a bend in the river.

"Boat ahoy!" cried a tall man standing up in the foremost barge. No attention was paid to this hail, and the boat was kept on its course. In an instant more than fifty rifles were leveled at them, and Perch and Wiggins crouched down in the bottom of the boat and covered themselves with a buffalo robe.

"What do you want?" cried Toney.

"We are hunting for Red Mike, Long-Nose Jack, and the Preacher," exclaimed several men in the barges, which now came alongside.

"They are not here," said Toney.

"We will see," said one of the men. "Who is that[Pg 263] hiding there?" And he jerked the buffalo robe aside and beheld Perch's fiery head of hair.

"Red Mike!" he exclaimed.

"And that is Long-Nose Jack," said another man, pointing to Wiggins's extraordinary nasal projection.

"And there is the Preacher," said a big fellow, gazing sternly at Moses, who, from his peculiar conformation, looked much like a parson in disguise.

"The Preacher is the worst of the whole gang," said one of the men.

"We will hang him on the highest limb," said another.

"Good heavens, gentlemen! you are not going to hang them?" exclaimed Toney.

"They have done nothing!" cried Tom.

"They have just landed in California," said the Professor.

"You three fellows shut up," said one of the men. "We have got nothing against you, but we know these chaps. They are New York Hounds. Robbed a tent last night. We'll hang them as soon as we get back to Stockton."

Moses and Perch were dumb with terror, as they were dragged into one of the barges, while Wiggins ejaculated,—

"Oh, Lord! oh, Lord!" With loud cheers the men rowed away in the direction of Stockton. Toney and his friends followed, but were soon left far behind.

When the lynching-party reached Stockton with their captives, loud shouts were heard on shore.

"They have got them! they have got them! Ropes!—ropes!" were the cries, as the unfortunate prisoners were dragged from the barge.

"Hang them! hang them!" was shouted and screamed by infuriated men, who came running with ropes prepared for the execution of the robbers. The affrighted prisoners were hurried to a large oak, which stood about a hundred yards from the main street. Three mules were now led to the spot, and the supposed felons, with ropes around their necks, were made to mount on the backs of the animals. A man climbed into the tree and fastened the ropes to a large horizontal limb. Each mule was held[Pg 264] by its bridle, while a man stood behind with a whip, ready to apply the lash at a given signal.

"Now," said a tall individual, who seemed to be the leader of the lynchers, "if you three fellows have got any thing to say, sing out. You have got five minutes to live. When I fire off this pistol, the mules will jump from under you, and you are gone."

"Oh!—oh!—oh!" groaned Perch.

"Tell my father," said Moses, turning his head round and looking piteously at Perch, "that I was hung for nothing."

"I can't tell him," said Perch, "I've got to be hung myself,—oh!—oh!—oh!"

"You have three minutes left," said the man with the pistol, looking at his watch.

"Oh, Lord! oh, Lord! oh, Lord!" ejaculated Wiggins.

"If that's all you've got to say, you might as well shut up and be hung at once. Two minutes left!"

"Oh! oh! oh!" groaned Perch.

"One minute!"

"Mercy!—mercy!—mercy!" cried Moses.

The man cocked his pistol and elevated it over his head.

"Oh, Lord! oh, Lord! oh, Lord!" screamed Wiggins.

"Hold on!" cried a voice in the crowd.

"What's broke loose?" said the man, lowering his pistol and turning round.

"Here comes the Alcalde!" shouted a number of voices, as a rough fellow, with long hair, galloped up and halted his panting horse in front of the gallows.

"What are you doing there?" asked he. And he glanced at Moses and his comrades, sitting on the mules, with the ropes around their necks.

"Hanging Red Mike, Long-Nose Jack, and the Preacher," said the man with the pistol in his hand.

"You have waked up the wrong passengers. We caught the infernal thieves on the road to San José. Here they are," said the Alcalde, as a party of men galloped up, having three prisoners in custody with their hands tied behind their backs.

[Pg 265]

"Let these men go," said the Alcalde, pointing to Moses and the other two who were just about to be hung.

The supposed robbers were released and the real offenders placed on the backs of the mules.

"Run!" cried Moses, "run! run!" And he and his two companions fled in headlong haste to the water's edge, and encountered Toney and the other occupants of the boat, who were just landing.

"Where are you going?" said Toney, as all three leaped into the boat and seized the oars.

"Home!" exclaimed Moses.

"Back to the States!" cried Perch.

"I wouldn't stay here a week for all the gold in the mountains!" shouted Wiggins.

"Come back! don't be fools! it was all a mistake," said Toney.

"You'll be murdered," said Wiggins.

"Oh, Toney, come with us! They will hang you if you stay here!" cried Moses.

"Don't make dunces of yourselves," said Toney.

"Good-by!" said Wiggins.

"Farewell! farewell!" cried Perch.

"God bless you, Toney!" ejaculated Moses, as he and Perch commenced pulling vigorously at the oars, while Wiggins laid hold on the tiller.

They rested not during the whole ensuing night, and in the afternoon of the next day arrived at San Francisco. A steamer was about to sail, and they immediately went on board, and in a fortnight were landed at Panama.

Having procured mules, they proceeded across the Isthmus to Cruces.

Here they entered a public house, and behind the bar beheld a bald-headed man washing a bottle.

"Look there!" exclaimed Perch.

"Mr. Pate!" cried Wiggins.

The bald-headed man looked up, and, uttering a cry of recognition, dropped the bottle, and, running from behind the bar, threw his arms around Wiggins's neck and hugged him fraternally.

[Pg 266]


When M. T. Pate rushed from the hotel in Callao, he had been rendered frantic by the ridicule of the merciless wags by whom he was surrounded. Blinded with passion, he was hurrying along, not knowing nor caring whither he went, when he ran over a buzzard in the street and fell flat on his face. Springing to his feet, he struck the bird a heavy blow with a stick which laid it dead in the gutter. These industrious scavengers are protected by law in the Peruvian cities, and hardly had Pate committed this outrage when he was seized by a couple of soldiers and carried to the calaboose. For many weeks Pate pined in prison, living on exceedingly low diet. He was plunged in the depths of despair, and supposed that he would have to end his days in captivity as an expiation for his offense. He could see but a single gleam of hope. An earthquake might come and shake down the walls of his prison, and he might thus effect his escape. But there appeared to be a dearth of earthquakes in the country just at that time. Pate had often, during a long drought, read the prayers in church for rain, and he now used the same formula and prayed for an earthquake. But no convulsion of nature occurred, although he would often put his ear to the floor, and eagerly listen for the rumbling sounds which usually precede a subterranean commotion. One afternoon an old American tar was put in the calaboose for riotous conduct while drunk. The sailor lay on the floor, in the same room with Pate, and slept soundly until about the middle of the night, when he woke up sobered and in the full possession of his faculties. Pate was on his knees, loudly and fervently praying for an earthquake. The old salt sat on the floor and listened until he began to comprehend, when he became much excited.

"Avast, you lubber!" he cried out, springing to his feet.

Pate paid no attention. He was so absorbed in his[Pg 267] devotions as not to be conscious of exterior surroundings.

"Stop your yarn!" said the sailor.

Pate heeded him not.

"Shiver my timbers!" shouted the old tar, fiercely, "if I don't plug up your dead-lights!" And he seized Pate by the collar and thrust his huge fist under his nose.

"Murder!" cried Pate.

"Murder, and bloody murder, it will be, if you don't stop spinning your yarn," said the sailor.

"Who are you? who are you?" cried Pate.

"Belong to the ship Fredonia," said the tar.

"Did you kill a buzzard?" said Pate.

"No; I got drunk. They'll let me out in the morning. I've been here before."

"Will you get out? I'll have to stay here all my life."

"What sort of a cruise have you been on that brought you into this port? What did they put you here for?"

"I killed a buzzard."

"If you'd killed a man they wouldn't have minded it much. But they think more of their blasted buzzards than they do of their shovel-hats."

"Will I ever get out?" cried Pate. "Oh, that I could get a letter to my friends!"

"Are you an American man?"

"I am! I am! And in a dirty prison for killing a buzzard!"

"Give me your paw, shipmate! I'll stand by you. Good luck was the wind that brought me under your stern."

Pate and the old tar now had a long talk, and it was determined that the former should address a note to the American consul, which he did; writing with a pencil on a blank leaf torn from his pocket-book. In the morning the sailor was released, and carried Pate's communication to the consul, who transmitted it to the American minister at Lima.

The condition of the unhappy captive thus came to the knowledge of the representative of the great republic; who told the Peruvian government, in plain terms, that his country would not permit one of her [Pg 268]citizens to remain in prison during so long a period, merely for the paltry offense of slaying a turkey-buzzard. An angry correspondence ensued; and during its pendency, a heavy American frigate and two corvettes came into the harbor of Callao, and anchored with their broadsides bearing upon the fort. The decided tone of the minister who was a man of nerve and determination, and the presence of this formidable force, convinced the Peruvian authorities that his Excellency was in earnest; and being in no condition to risk a bombardment, much less a ruinous war with a nation so powerful as the United States, they consented to the release of the prisoner on condition that he should leave the country within forty-eight hours.

Pate now determined to return home without delay. He had long since become disgusted with gold-hunting; and the home-sickness, which came over him in the calaboose, continued after he got out. So he immediately took passage on an English brig bound for Panama; intending to proceed by way of the Isthmus to New York.

Having purchased a monkey to keep him company during the voyage, he went on board, and the vessel sailed. He had a pleasant passage until they were within a day's sail of Panama, when he met with a sad mishap. He was sitting on deck, dandling his monkey on his knee, when a careless lubber let a pot containing red paint fall from the tops. The paint was spattered over M. T. Pate, who thought that it was his own blood and brains, and under this impression, supposing that he would have to give up the ghost, fainted away. But a bucket of salt-water being dashed in his face by an old tar, he revived, and, looking around, perceived that his monkey was dead. The pot had hit it on the head and killed it instantly. He mourned over his monkey until he reached Panama, where he rested a day, and then bought a mule and started across the Isthmus.

At a short distance from Cruces, in sight of the road, is a large ship's anchor lying in the wood. How it came there nobody can tell. Many suppose that it was conveyed from the Caribbean Sea up the Chagres River by Pizarro and his Spaniards, when they were proceeding to Panama to construct vessels for the conquest of Peru;[Pg 269] and that being unable to transport it any farther by land, they had left it lying in the forest.

Pate tied his mule to a tree, and, walking aside from the road, seated himself on the anchor and began to meditate.

"Here," said he, in a soliloquy, "once stood Pizarro the Conqueror. No daring robber, animated by the sordid love of gold, was that great man. He came to destroy the pagan superstitions of a benighted land, and to extend the blessings of civilization over an entire continent."

As Pate uttered these words, his guardian angel, who was anxiously hovering over him, wanted to warn him of his danger, but was unable to do so. A man of savage aspect had crept from a thicket in his rear, and, with a catlike step, was cautiously advancing, having a heavy club raised in readiness to strike.

"In those days," said Pate, "all was darkness and barbarism; but now, the benign influences of——"

The club descended. Pate beheld a whole constellation, and several planets at mid-day, and sank senseless to the earth.

When Pate opened his eyes it was late in the afternoon. Flocks of parrots were fluttering around him, and multitudes of monkeys were chattering and nimbly leaping among the boughs of the trees. He arose from the greensward with a bad headache, and discovered that he had been robbed. His money was gone, and his mule had disappeared. Without a dollar, he was in a strange land and thousands of miles from home. He staggered on until he reached Cruces, where he entered a public house kept by an American, to whom he related his misfortunes.

The man had just lost his bar-keeper, and employed M. T. Pate to wait upon his customers until he could earn money enough to pay his passage to the United States. And here he was found by Wiggins and his companions washing a bottle.

[Pg 270]


Wiggins and his friends furnished the unfortunate Pate with pecuniary means, and he accompanied them to Chagres and embarked for New York, where in due time they arrived, and immediately took passage on the Southern train. About a week after his arrival in Mapleton, Pate received a visit from the father of the fair Juliet, who informed him that his daughter, the wife of Romeo, had discovered that there had been a misapprehension on her part in regard to Pate's conduct.

"There has been a sad mistake," said Mr. Singleton. "You honestly believed that my daughter had beaten you, and did not intend to slander her when you so asserted."

"She did beat me, sir," said Pate, "and most barbarously. She knocked me down with her fist and then broke my arm."

"You thought so," said Mr. Singleton; "but it was a mistake."

"How could it be a mistake?" cried Pate. "Did I not feel the blow from her fist? Did I not see her standing over me, kicking me with her foot and beating me with a terrible club? Was not my arm broken? Did I not lie in bed for weeks? And then to sue me! And now I am a ruined man! I have not a dollar in the world!"

And the big tears rolled down his cheeks as he thought of his destitute condition.

"Mr. Pate," said the father of the fair Juliet, visibly affected by Pate's distress, "I am rich, and so is my daughter's husband. She is my only child and will inherit all my wealth. She don't want your property. Your farm has been purchased by us, and a deed prepared securing the title to you. Here is the deed, sir, and here is a check on my banker for a sum equal to the value of your personal property, which was sold by the sheriff. Good-morning, Mr. Pate." And Mr. Singleton hurried away, leaving Pate dumb with amazement.

[Pg 271]

After having been haunted by bad lack for a long period Fortune smiled upon M. T. Pate at last. The first thing he did, after being re-established in his former home, was to hunt up old Whitey, then in the possession of Simon Rump. Simon's angel had gone to Abraham's bosom, and the eldest of the female cherubs, who had now assumed the appearance of a full-grown woman, kept house for the bereaved Rump. When Pate called at the house he found his friend Perch seated by the side of the female cherub, who was evidently delighted with his society. Perch was entertaining the cherub with an account of his adventures by sea and land, and, like Desdemona,—

"She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful;
She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished
That Heaven had made her such a man."

The sagacity of M. T. Pate enabled him to perceive that Perch and the cherub were in the incipient stages of love, and he left them in that embarrassing condition and sought Simon Rump, whom he found feeding his hogs. Rump agreed to give up old Whitey, and Pate paid the ransom for his horse and rode home in a happy mood of mind.

Next morning, as he was riding his four-footed friend through the streets of Mapleton, he perceived Wiggins walking with the widow whom he had once led to the altar but failed to marry, owing to an unfortunate blunder. They had evidently become reconciled; and Wiggins was now performing the part of Othello, and employing the witchcraft which that dusky hero had used in wooing Brabantio's daughter.

As Pate rode on he met Gideon Foot, who informed him that Bliss had been blessed with an heir, and the boy was to be named M. T. Pate. Love had a sweet babe several weeks old, that looked like a Cupid smiling in the cradle, and very recently a pretty pair of young Doves had made their appearance in the town of Mapleton.

Pate rode home in a meditative mood. A strange feeling came over him; a feeling he had never experienced before; and as he sat in his lonely abode, absorbed in[Pg 272] meditation, it became stronger, and finally obtained the mastery.

"I see it plainly!" he exclaimed, in a soliloquy. "It is useless for man to seek to avoid his destiny. Inevitable Fate will pursue him wherever he goes. He cannot escape. My time has come. I must marry." He uttered these last words in great agitation, and trembled from head to foot. In a few moments he started up and exclaimed,—

"I must marry;—but whom?"

He could not answer this question, and held it under consideration for several months, without being able to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

During this period he witnessed the marriage of Perch and the cherub, and waited on Wiggins when the latter again led the blushing widow to the altar, and, on a second trial, responded pertinently and satisfactorily to the interrogatories propounded by the parson. His two friends were now in the midst of domestic bliss, while he was unable to solve the question, which was perplexing him during the day and interrupting his slumbers at night.

While in this condition of mind, he visited the metropolis of the State, and on a bright sunny day drove a young widow in his buggy to see a magnificent country residence, located a few miles from the city, which had just been completed, but was not yet occupied by the owner. With his fair companion on his arm he entered the building, and much time was spent in a critical examination of the various apartments, from the hall to the attic. The widow at last complained of fatigue, and seated herself in one of the parlors. Pate blandly requested her to excuse his absence for a few moments, and said that he would go down and explore the cellar. The lady waited for a long time and then began to feel lonesome, and finally becoming quite uneasy, impatiently exclaimed,—

"What in the world has become of him?"

Hardly had these words escaped her lips when she was horrified by hearing most singular and startling sounds coming up from the cellar below. It seemed as if a multitude of dogs, of every size and breed, had been let loose, and were all yelping and barking at the same time; while[Pg 273] amidst this canine uproar could be distinguished a human voice lustily shrieking,—

"Get out! get out! Help! help! Murder! murder!"

The lady was astonished and frightened, but had courage enough to rush towards the scene of action. But as soon as she had reached the head of the stairway leading to the cellar, a sight met her eyes which compelled her to retire; for modesty forbade her taking any part in the strife, although her companion was vastly overpowered and sadly in need of assistance. On the stairway stood M. T. Pate; having just escaped from the combined assault made upon him by a large number of dogs which had been temporarily confined in the cellar by the proprietor of the mansion. The whole of poor Pate's under-garments had been torn from his person, and there he stood in a tailless coat and a stout pair of boots, thanking a merciful Providence for the preservation of his life. In this condition he did not dare to appear in the presence of his fair companion, and communication was carried on between them, by each taking a position in a separate apartment and calling to the other in a voice raised to a high key. After a prolonged consultation conducted in this manner, the widow proposed to leave one of her under-garments in the room which she then occupied and retreat to another, while he came in and put it on. Poor Pate thankfully accepted the loan which the kind lady offered him; being driven to this shift to hide his nudity. He and the widow were compelled to remain in that lonely mansion until the shades of night covered the earth, when he drove her in his buggy back to the city. He left her at her door and proceeded with his buggy to a livery-stable. Here the sight of his strange habiliments created great amazement among the hostlers and stable-boys; and when he started up the street in his robes he was arrested by the police and carried to a station-house; where he spent the whole night weeping and wailing on a hard oaken bench. In the morning he was taken before a magistrate, where his strange story was listened to with wonder mingled with much merriment; and being entirely satisfactory, he obtained his discharge, as well as the loan of a coat and a pair of pantaloons.

[Pg 274]

On the following day Pate called upon the widow and restored the garment borrowed from her, after the brutal assault upon his person in the lonely mansion. She blushed when she received it, and sank into a chair overcome with emotion. The heart of a woman is an inexplicable puzzle. Newton, with his mighty mind, could comprehend the movements of suns and planets and calculate their density; but woman was to him an incomprehensible problem, even when he pressed the hand of a fair lady who sat by his side, and felt that he could make so free as to thrust her finger into the bowl of his pipe. Who can tell what caused the widow to bestow her affections on M. T. Pate? Perhaps, after he had so nearly fallen a bleeding victim to canine ferocity,—

"She loved him for the dangers he had passed,
And he loved her that she did pity them."

Upon no other hypothesis can we account for the fact that after he had been in constant attendance on the widow for several weeks they were married. A few days afterwards a carriage drove through the streets of Mapleton, in which sat M. T. Pate and his bride. The event was announced in the local newspaper, which also contained an obituary notice of the death of Samuel Crabstick, who had left a will, by which he bestowed the riches he had so carefully hoarded on his niece, the beautiful Ida Somers.


By the will of her uncle, Ida was in possession of a large estate. The fair young girl was without a near relative in the world. Colonel Hazlewood kindly undertook the management of her property; and, at the invitation of Rosabel and her mother, she made her home in the mansion of the Widow Wild. On a certain day we there find her seated in her room and engaged in composition. Her little fingers run rapidly over the pages, and soon finish a[Pg 275] letter of several sheets of gilt-edged note-paper. She gazes intently at her own name, written in a beautiful hand at the bottom of the last page, and then she kisses it. Having so done, she folds the letter, and then opens it and imprints another kiss on the same spot. Now, why did the young lady kiss her own name written at the end of the letter? Love has its unerring instincts, and Ida knew that as soon as a certain young gentleman opened that letter, and saw the name at the bottom of the last page, he would rapturously imprint a multitude of kisses on that particular spot. How did the young maiden know this? Had she not received a number of letters, and as soon as she saw "Tom" written at the end of each, had she not looked around to ascertain if any one was observing her; and then had not her ruby lips kissed the beloved name again and again in rapid succession? Thus Tom had been kissing Ida and Ida had been kissing Tom, for the last six months, with a whole continent between them.

The kiss was carefully sealed up in an envelope and conveyed to the post-office at Mapleton. The iron monster attached to a train of cars, rushing through the hills and over the valleys, carried it to New York. A magnificent steamer transported it over the Atlantic's waves, and across the Mexican Golf and the Caribbean Sea to the mouth of the Chagres River; and from thence it traveled in a canoe to Gorgona and Cruces; and then rode on the back of a mule to Panama, where another steamer received it, and plowing through the billows of the Pacific, entered the Golden Gate, and took it as far as San Francisco; and from thence, on another steamer, it proceeded up the bay, and entering the river, arrived at the city of Sacramento; and then rode on the back of another mule across the prairies and among the mountains, and was safely deposited in a post-office in a mining-town, where Toney Belton was awaiting the arrival of the mail. We thus see how many means of transportation were required to convey a young lady's kiss to her lover.

But where was the lover? About three miles from that post-office, on the side of a ravine, stood a young man clad in a pair of loose trousers and a red shirt. He[Pg 276] appeared to be engaged in culinary operations, and was, in fact, cooking flapjacks. His rifle leaned against a tree; his wool hat lay on the ground; the sleeves of his red shirt were rolled up to the elbow; his long beard was parted and tied in a knot behind his neck, so as to escape being scorched when he stooped over the fire; and he grasped the handle of a frying-pan, used instead of an oven, and watched the effect of the heat upon the material lying in the bottom of the pan. And now he lifts the pan from the fire and gives it a peculiar toss, and up flies a flapjack in the air about three feet above the pan, and, turning over as it descends, is caught and ready to be baked on the other side. Just as this feat was accomplished, a voice cried out,—

"Here, Tom, is a letter!"

Tom dropped the flapjack on the fire, and, in great excitement, ran to the spot where Toney Belton had just dismounted from a mule. The mule kicked at him, but Tom dodged, and, receiving the letter, hurried behind a pine-tree, and, seating himself on a rock, opened it. He turned it over, and seeing the signature, he kissed Ida several times in quick succession. Thus was Ida's kiss, after having traveled more than ten thousand miles, safely conveyed to Tom's lips.

Tom Seddon read the letter and was the happiest man in the diggings. When he came to the last line he kissed Ida again. Tom read the letter over five times, and at the close of each reading his lips approached the paper and tenderly pressed it. When he came from behind the tree, Toney had eaten all the flapjacks which had been baked. He told Toney that old Crabstick was dead and that he must go home.

"And so must I," said Toney.

"We will start to-morrow," said Tom.

"We will start from the mines to-morrow," said Toney.

"I wish you had a hundred thousand dollars," said Tom.

"I have more than a hundred thousand dollars," said Toney. "Read that." And he handed Tom a letter addressed to himself. Tom read it, and then ran to the[Pg 277] place where his wool hat lay on the ground, and, seizing it, threw it up in the air.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" shouted Tom. "You can now marry Rosabel!"


"Our sand-hill has been sold," said Toney, after Tom had concluded his enthusiastic demonstrations.

"And for five hundred thousand dollars!" said Tom.

"Good news for Charley when he comes into camp."

"It is time he had returned. He and Botts and Hercules have been prospecting since last Monday."

"They will be here to-day."

"Yonder comes Hercules now. What is that he has got? It looks like a coyote."

"No, it is a young deer."

Hercules walked up to the fire, and, nodding his head, threw his game on the ground.

"Where is Charley?" asked Toney.

Hercules pointed with his finger, and the Professor was seen approaching.

"Where is Botts?" asked Tom.

"He is dead," said Hercules.

"Dead!" cried Tom.

"Got killed," said Hercules, laconically; for he was tired and taciturn.

"Got killed!" exclaimed Toney. "How?"

"He'll tell you," said Hercules, pointing to the Professor, who now came up.

"It is true," said the Professor. "Botts is no more. He met with a violent death."

"How did it happen?" asked Toney.

"He fell a victim to his ungovernable temper," said the Professor. "On yesterday morning he and I left Hercules cooking some game, and proceeded to a [Pg 278]mining-town which we saw at a distance. Botts rode on a mule and I walked by his side. As we entered the town, Botts called out to a man whom we met,—

"'What place is this?'

"'Yuba Dam,' said the man.

"'What?' cried Botts, with a savage look. The man made no answer, but went on his way whistling. We had gone a little farther when another man approached us.

"'What place is this?' asked Botts.

"'Yuba Dam,' said the man.

"'What's that you say?' exclaimed Botts, glaring at the stranger with a ferocious aspect. The man was evidently of a timid disposition. He looked frightened and hurried on. Botts swore vehemently, and said that the next fellow who cursed him would catch it. As we went along we saw a man on the brow of a hill which rose abruptly from the river. The man had his back towards us, and before him, standing on its hind legs, was a kangaroo dog. The man seemed to be instructing the dog in the art of dancing.

"'I say, stranger,' cried Botts, 'what place is this?'

"'Yuba Dam,' said the man, without turning around.

"Botts uttered a howl of rage and sprang from his mule.

"'By the powers of mud!' shouted the man, facing about."

"It was Captain Bragg!" exclaimed Toney.

"Yes; it was Bragg," said the Professor. "Botts and Bragg eyed each other like two angry beasts. Both had weapons, but neither thought of drawing them. Each sprang at his enemy's throat. They were soon rolling on the ground and fiercely fighting. Botts was uppermost, when the kangaroo dog seized him by the seat of his breeches. A little bull terrier ran out from a tent and caught the kangaroo dog by the throat. Uttering howls of rage, and clutching each other by the throat, men and dogs rolled over and over, down the hill and into the river."

"Into the water?" exclaimed Tom.

"Yes; into the water ten feet deep."

"What became of them?" cried Toney.

[Pg 279]

"The dogs ceased to fight and swam ashore," said the Professor.

"But the men?" said Toney.

"They continued to clutch each other by the throat, and were swept away by the rapid current, and sank to rise no more."

"What an awful fate!" exclaimed Toney.

"Too awful to talk about," said the Professor. "Let us select some more pleasant topic of conversation."

"We have good news for you," said Toney.

"What's that?" asked the Professor.

Toney now informed him of the sale of the sand-hill, and of their intention to return to the States. A long consultation ensued, and by the time it had ended, Hercules had cooked the deer and it had grown dark. While they were eating the venison, two men encamped, and kindled a fire under a pine-tree, at a distance of about fifty yards from where they sat. After Hercules had satisfied the keen demands of hunger, he walked off, and, laying himself down by the trunk of a fallen tree, was soon in a sound sleep. Toney, Tom, and the Professor continued their conversation until a late hour.

"And now, Charley," said Toney, "as this is to be our last night in the mines, let us have some music."

"Give us 'Oft in the Stilly Night,'" said Tom.

The Professor drew a flute from his pocket and played the air which had been requested. As he concluded, a clear, manly voice, at the neighboring camp-fire, was heard singing:

The voice! the voice of music!
The melancholy flute!
Mournfully on the midnight air,
When all else is mute!
As if some gentle spirit,
With softly trembling voice,
Imprisoned in that hollow reed,
Mourned o'er perished joys!
Cease! cease that mournful music!
Oh, cease that plaintive strain!
It bids me feel as I would feel
Never more again!
[Pg 280]
The fairest hopes long blighted,
And youth's bright visions o'er,
And joys that shone so heavenly bright,
Gone for evermore!
These mem'ries rush upon me
With each sweet, mournful air;
Then, cease! in mercy, cease that strain!
Forbear! oh, forbear!

"Good heavens!" exclaimed Toney, "I recognize that voice!" And he sprang up and ran to the camp-fire. Two stalwart young men, in the rough garbs of miners, were standing with their backs to the blazing logs.

"Harry Vincent!" cried Toney.

"Clarence Hastings!" shouted Tom Seddon, as he rushed forward and grasped his long-lost friends each by the hand.


"What a madman I have been!" cried Harry.

"And what a crazy fool I have been for five long years!" exclaimed Clarence.

"I have been an idiot!" said Harry.

"And I have been a brute!" said Clarence, "to desert her as I did!"

"She is an angel!" cried Harry.

"What must she think of me?" groaned Clarence.

"Let us go back to the States!" said Harry, springing up impulsively.

"You can't go to-night. We will all be off in the morning," said Tom Seddon.

These exclamations were uttered by the two young men after a conversation, in which all that has been long known to the reader was fully explained.

In the morning, before the woodpecker's tap was heard on the bark of the lofty pines, the young men were on their feet, and making preparations for their departure.

"Where is Hercules?" asked Toney.

[Pg 281]

"He is sleeping by the side of yonder old log," said Tom.

"I will wake him," said Toney. And he proceeded to the spot pointed out, and came running back as pale as a ghost.

"What's the matter?" asked Tom.

Toney could hardly speak. He gasped out,—

"A rattlesnake is coiled up on his blanket!"

Tom Seddon was about to run to the spot, when Harry Vincent held him back.

"Hush!" said Harry. "Make no noise, or he is a dead man!"

He and Clarence then took their rifles and advanced cautiously to the place where Hercules lay in a sound sleep. The reptile was coiled up with its head nearly touching his shoulder. Harry put the muzzle of his rifle within an inch of the snake's head and fired.

Hercules leaped up and uttered a howl. He turned round and beheld two strange men standing before him with rifles in their hands. With a wild yell of terror the giant fled across the ravine, and along a road leading over a mountain.

"Come back! come back!" shouted Toney.

But Hercules continued his flight.

"Mount that mule, Tom, and ride after him, or the fool won't stop running until he gets to Oregon," said Toney.

Tom mounted the mule, and, after a long chase, captured the giant and brought him back to camp.

"Look there!" said Tom, pointing to the decapitated serpent.

"Was that it?" said Hercules. "He's a whopper!" And he stooped down and examined the dead body of his bed-fellow.

"Eighteen rattles and a button!" said Tom.

"Which indicate that he has lived twenty-one years," said Clarence.

"The snake had arrived at years of discretion," said the Professor.

"He showed very little discretion in selecting Hercules for a sleeping partner," said Toney.

[Pg 282]

"The firm of Hercules & Co. would be a dangerous one to deal with," said the Professor.

"To avoid it would have been prudent during the lifetime of his deceased partner," said Toney.

"What are you going to do with them?" asked Tom, as Hercules cut off the rattles and put them in his pocket.

"Carry them with me to the States, when I go," said Hercules.

"We are going back now," said Tom.

"Are you going?" asked Hercules.

"Yes," said Tom; "we are getting ready to start."

"I will go too," said Hercules; "I have got gold enough."

"What will you do with your gold when you get home?" asked Tom.

"Buy a farm, and then——" Hercules hesitated and blushed.

"Well, what then?" asked Toney.

"I will marry my little cousin," said the giant.

"That's right!" said Toney.

"Who is your little cousin?" asked Tom.

"Polly Sampson. She is a very little woman, but she is very pretty."

"Well, come help us to pack up, and we will all be off," said Tom.

"And you can go home and marry Polly Sampson," said Toney.

Hercules went to work with alacrity, and they were soon packed up, and on the road to Sacramento; which place they reached late at night, and on the following evening were in San Francisco. They were detained in the city of Saint Francis several days; and the business relating to the sale of their sand-hill having been completed, Toney, Tom, and the Professor went on board the steamer with their fortunes in their money-belts, in the shape of drafts on banking-houses in New York. They soon passed through the Golden Gate and were on the broad waters of the Pacific Ocean. The weather was fine, and the vessel was remarkable for her speed. In a few days they were running along in sight of the coast of Lower California, and about two leagues from the[Pg 283] land. The Professor was on deck, with a telescope in his hand, looking at the desolate coast, when he suddenly cried out,—

"There are several persons standing on the beach."

"They are pelicans," said the captain. "At a distance they are often mistaken for human beings."

"Human beings they are," said the Professor; "and, good heavens! there is a woman among them. They have a white handkerchief elevated as a signal of distress."

The captain took the telescope, and, after looking through it, said,—

"You are right. There are several men; and there is a woman among them."

"This coast is uninhabited," said the Professor. "Who can they be?"

"Persons escaped from some wreck," said the captain.

"Put the ship about! Run her in towards the land! They must be rescued!" cried the Professor.

"I dare not do it; the water is shoal," said the captain. "We must stop the engines and lower a boat."

The order was given; the engines stop, and the boat lowered, and into it leaped Toney and the Professor; while six seamen manned the oars. The boat put off from the vessel; and the sailors pulling with a will, they were soon approaching the shore. Several men were seen standing on a rock, and one of them was waving a white handkerchief. They cheered, and were responded to by the loud huzzas of the party in the boat, which grounded within a few yards of the shore. The Professor's gaze was intently fixed on some object at the base of the rock.

It was a young and beautiful woman. She was standing, with her eyes upturned and her hands clasped, as if thanking Heaven for their deliverance.

The Professor leaped into the water, and rushed to the beach. He stood for a moment gazing at the beautiful girl. He then rushed forward and exclaimed,—


As she heard his voice she started, and then, with a joyful cry of recognition, uttered his name, and was caught in his arms as, overcome with emotion, she was falling to the ground.

[Pg 284]


Major Stanhope, the father of Dora, and an officer in the army of the United States, had been stationed at San Francisco. His wife was dead and he had no child except Dora. They had resided in California about a year, when the gallant soldier, who had never recovered from the effects of a wound received in the storming of Chapultepec, found his health rapidly failing, and was soon removed to another sphere of existence. Dora's nearest relative, her father's sister, resided in the State of Virginia, and the young girl had taken passage on a vessel bound for Panama, with the intention of returning to the place of her nativity and residing with her aunt. The vessel was old and unseaworthy, and went to pieces in a violent storm encountered off the coast of Lower California. The boats in which the crew and passengers sought safety were swamped, with the exception of one, which reached the shore in a leaky condition; and if the Professor had not happened to take up the captain's telescope when he did, Dora and the six other human beings, who were thus discovered, would have perished on that desolate coast.

In a romantic valley of the Old Dominion Dora and the Professor had known each other in former days. The young man had tenderly loved the beautiful maiden, and his affection was secretly reciprocated; but on a certain occasion, while under the influence of temporary pique or caprice, Dora had rejected the man whom she deeply and sincerely loved, and they met no more, until, after the lapse of seven long years, fate brought them together on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

The weather continued to be fine, and the day after Dora had been brought on board, she had recovered from the effects of fatigue and exposure and came on deck with a beautiful bloom on her cheeks. The deportment of the Professor was now strangely altered. He was no[Pg 285] longer the man of wit and humor, and during the remainder of the voyage never uttered a joke. When the young maiden was on deck, he was constantly at her side, and when she retired to her state-room, he would sit for hours in a mood of mental abstraction.

"What is the matter with him?" said Tom to Toney, as, on a certain night, they were pacing to and fro on deck and puffing their cheroots. "Yonder he sits, gazing at the moon, and won't talk to anybody. What do you think he called me just now?"

"What?" asked Toney.

"He called me Miss Dora."

"Did he?" said Toney, laughing.

"He did, indeed."

"It was by way of retaliation," said Toney.

"Retaliation? How?"

"You used to call him Ida."


"When you were in Doubting Castle."

"What sort of a place is that?"

"You ought to know; you dwelt in it for some time. Poor Charley is in Doubting Castle. Let him alone. He will soon get out. I have observed the demeanor of the young lady when they were together, and I know, from certain unmistakable signs, that Charley will not have to listen to another negative. All is right. He will soon be the same jovial and agreeable companion he has hitherto been."

"He is a very disagreeable fellow now," said Tom.

"He used to say the same thing of you when you called him Ida, and would not let him sleep with your incessant somniloquism."

"I think we should call ourselves the Silent Philosophers," said Tom. "Harry and Clarence are thoughtful and taciturn, except when they are complaining about the slowness of the vessel. As for Charley, I believe he would not care if we were on a voyage of circumnavigation around the globe, now he has Dora on board."

"Our voyage on the Pacific is ended," said Toney. "Yonder is Panama."

"Where?" cried Tom.

[Pg 286]

"Do you not see the lights along the land?" said Toney.

The voice of the captain was now heard issuing orders, which satisfied Tom that they were about to go into port.


On the following morning, having landed on the soil of Central America, they started across the Isthmus. Dora rode on a little mule, and the Professor walked by her side, holding the bridle. Toney and Tom, with Clarence and Harry, proceeded on foot, Hercules bringing up the rear with a huge club in his hand. It was wonderful to witness the tender solicitude of the Professor for Dora. Along the road were a number of small houses, where the natives sold fruit and coffee to travelers, who came in crowds after a steamer had arrived at Panama. At these houses Dora's mule would halt, and the Professor would go in, and come forth with a nice cup of coffee; and as the young maiden put it to her lips her beautiful blue eyes would be peeping over the top of the cup at the smiling face of her escort with a most tender expression. He would then select the most delicious fruit and hand it to Dora, who would receive it with a sweet smile, which made some of the rough miners, passing, imagine that an angel sat on the back of the little mule.

Toney and his companions frequently halted to rest; and Dora's mule was far in advance of them on the road. When within a short distance of Cruces, they came to the spot where the anchor lay, near the side of the road. Here they beheld Dora and the Professor seated on the anchor and the mule quietly cropping the grass.

"Look yonder!" said Tom. And he started towards the pair seated on the anchor.

"Come on!" said Toney, with a peculiar look. Tom[Pg 287] took the hint, and, with his companions, continued to walk on in the direction of Cruces.

"All's right!" said Toney, in a whisper, to Tom. "The anchor is the emblem of hope."

"Do you think he will now get out of Doubting Castle?" asked Tom.

"I know it," said Toney. "Let us move on. Yonder is Cruces."

They stopped at the public house, where Wiggins and his companions found the unfortunate M. T. Pate washing a bottle. In about an hour the Professor arrived, leading Dora's little mule by the bridle. The Professor's face was radiant with happiness; and Dora's cheeks were covered with a multitude of the most beautiful blushes. Toney and Tom exchanged looks of peculiar significance.

The young lady rested at the public house; while the Professor walked with Toney and his companions to the river, where they hired canoes to convey them to Chagres. While they were bargaining with the negroes who were to row them down the river, the Professor uttered a number of jokes, which satisfied Tom that he was going to be an agreeable fellow again. As they were returning to the public house, the Professor took Toney aside, and informed him that, while seated on the anchor in the wood, he had again earnestly entreated Dora to assist him in his search for domestic bliss and connubial felicity.

"Well," said Toney; "and what was the result?"

"The proposition was decided in the affirmative," said the Professor.

Toney grasped the Professor's hand, and shook it violently.

"Shall I tell Tom?" asked Toney.

"You may, but with the injunction of secrecy," said the Professor.

Tom was informed of the event which had occurred on Pizarro's anchor in the wood, and he laid hold on the Professor and hugged him.

"Confound it, Tom!" said the Professor. "You hug like a cinnamon bear."

"I can't help it!" said Tom. "I am so glad! And[Pg 288] Toney has a hundred thousand dollars. Hurrah! hurrah!"

"When we get home, let no one know that I have a hundred thousand dollars," said Toney.

"Why not?" asked Tom.

"I wish the Widow Wild to suppose that I have come home as poor as I was when I left," said Toney. "I will explain my reasons hereafter, and may need your assistance."

"Can't I tell Ida?" asked Tom.

"Rosabel and Ida must be informed; but with the injunction of secrecy. Do you promise to conceal my good fortune?"

"I do; I will say nothing, except by your permission."

On the following day they arrived at Chagres, and took passage for New York, which city they reached after a pleasant voyage, and on the next day were in Baltimore. Here the Professor left them, and accompanied Dora to her home in Virginia. Toney and his friends arrived in Mapleton at night. They urged Clarence and Harry to remain here until morning; but the two young men were impatient to reach Bella Vista, and, taking leave of Toney and Tom, were wafted away in the direction of the homes from which they had been absent during five long years.

When Clarence Hastings and Harry Vincent approached Bella Vista it was midnight. In their impatience, each young man had put his head out the window of a car.

"Good heavens! what means that light?" cried Clarence.

"The town's on fire!" exclaimed Harry.

On rushed the iron horse, and as they entered the town the street was illuminated by a conflagration.

Around the mansion of Colonel Hazlewood are collected excited crowds of people. Flames are bursting from the roof, and nearly the whole interior is in a blaze. The inmates had been aroused by the cry of fire, in the middle of the night, and all have escaped. No; not all! Where are Imogen and Claribel? Their shrieks are heard; they are in the burning house, and surrounded by the crackling flames.

[Pg 289]

"My child! my child!" cries the gray-haired Colonel Hazlewood in an agony. He rushes into the building, and attempts to ascend the stairway, which is on fire. Suffocated by the dense smoke, he falls back insensible, and is dragged from the door.

"Bring ladders! bring ladders!" is shouted by a number of voices; but no ladders are at hand.

"Oh, God! oh, God! must they perish? Can nobody save them?" are the exclamations heard on every side. Several men rush into the house and are driven back by the smoke and the intense heat. While all stand still, with horror depicted in their countenances, two men come running with frantic speed to the spot. In an instant they seem to comprehend the danger of the young females, whose shrieks are heard from an upper chamber. Into the midst of the smoke and flames they rush, ascend the stairway, regardless of the scorching heat, and in a moment are seen leaping through a window upon the roof of a portico, each holding in his arms the form of a woman who has fainted. A loud shout goes up from the crowd. A ladder has been brought, and the two men descend, and rush to the opposite side of the street with their lovely burdens in their arms, as, with a terrific crash, the burning roof falls in. Colonel Hazlewood, recovering from his swoon, staggers across the street to utter his thanks.

"Harry Vincent!" he exclaimed. And Imogen opens her eyes and beholds her long-lost lover, while Claribel is still unconscious in the arms of Clarence Hastings.

[Pg 290]


The happiest month of Tom Seddon's life had rolled round,—the month preceding his marriage with the beautiful Ida. Toney Belton also seemed happy, and so did Rosabel, and the only discontented person in the Widow Wild's mansion was the widow herself. Nothing had been told her about the sale of the sand-hill; and the eight thousand dollars, the amount of gold which Toney acknowledged he had gathered by hard labor in the mines, made but a small portion of the sum necessary to constitute a fortune for a gentleman. The widow was dissatisfied with Fate on account of her hard dealings with Toney Belton.

Rosabel knew better. Under the injunction of secrecy, she and Ida had been made acquainted with the good fortune of their lovers, and knew that they were in the possession of wealth. Toney had considerable difficulty, however, to induce Rosabel to co-operate with him in his plans for giving the widow an agreeable surprise.

"Why not go to my mother and ask her to consent to our marriage?" said Rosabel. "She would interpose no objection, and you could inform her of your good fortune afterwards."

"Rosabel," said Toney, "when your mother, years ago, said, in my presence, with peculiar emphasis, that no man should marry her daughter who was not worth a hundred thousand dollars, I made a solemn vow never to ask her consent."

"You did?" exclaimed Rosabel.

"Yes; not even if I should some day be worth a million. I cannot break my vow."

"I must consult with Ida," said Rosabel.

"Do so," said Toney.

On the following day Tom and Ida were to be married. Toney and Rosabel were to accompany them to the church; and the widow would receive them at her house[Pg 291] after the marriage ceremony was performed. Tom and the widow were alone in earnest conversation.

"I would not swop with Adam if he were here with his Eden," said Tom. "There could be but one addition to my happiness."

"What is that?" asked the widow.

"I have a friend who dearly loves a young lady, and has loved her all his life; but he is supposed to be poor."

"Well, what of that?" said the widow.

"He has not obtained her parent's consent to their marriage," said Tom.

"Is your friend a worthy man—a clever fellow?" asked the widow.

"He is, indeed," said Tom. "I know of but one man who is his equal in all noble qualities."

"Who is that?" asked the widow.

"Toney Belton," said Tom.

"If your friend is like Toney Belton, he is good enough to marry an emperor's daughter," said the widow.

"But the young lady's parent—her mother—may not consent on account of his poverty," said Tom.

"Let your friend marry the young lady, and obtain her mother's approbation afterwards," said the widow, with much decision in her tone.

"Is that your advice?" asked Tom.

"It is," said the widow. "A parent is a fool to object to a man who can be compared with Toney Belton."

"I want my friend to be married when I am," said Tom.

"Well, let him be married at the same time," said the widow.

"But where are they to go until the young lady's parent becomes reconciled?" asked Tom.

"Bring them here," said the widow; "I will welcome them; and they can remain here until the foolish mother becomes reconciled."

"I will do so," said Tom. And he hurried away to inform Rosabel and Toney of the widow's advice.

"You will not act contrary to your mother's wishes?" said Toney to Rosabel.

[Pg 292]

"Certainly not," said Rosabel, with a sweet smile. "I have always been her obedient daughter."

On the day appointed for the wedding, a carriage, containing Ida and Rosabel, Toney and Tom, was driven away from the widow's door to the church. In about an hour the Widow Wild heard the sound of wheels on the avenue, and rushed to the porch. As Tom handed Ida out, the widow caught the beautiful bride in her arms, and kissed her with tender affection. She congratulated the newly-married couple, and then said to Tom,—

"But where is your friend?"

"Here he is," said Tom, pointing to Toney, who was getting from the carriage.

"What! Toney?"

Tom nodded.

"Is Toney your friend?"

"He is, and ever has been, the best and noblest of friends," said Tom.

"But is Toney married?" cried the widow, turning pale.

"He is," said Tom.

"Where is his wife?" gasped the widow.

"Let me introduce you to her," said Toney, as he handed the blushing Rosabel from the carriage.

"What? Rosabel?"

"Rosabel," said Toney.

"Rosabel married?"


"To whom?"

"To Toney Belton."

The widow was speechless for a moment. She then took Toney and Rosabel each by the hand, and said,—

"Now, tell me,—are you two married?"

"We are indeed," said Toney.

The widow kissed Rosabel, and then threw her arms around Toney's neck and kissed him. And then Mrs. Wild blubbered out,—

"Toney, why did you do so?"

"I thought you would not let me have Rosabel."

"Toney Belton, you were a fool! You might have had Rosabel five years ago if you had asked me."

"Did you not always say that no man should marry your[Pg 293] daughter unless he was worth a hundred thousand dollars?"

"And were you not worth a hundred thousand dollars five years ago?"


"Yes;—you. A man with nobility of mind, and heart, and soul," said the widow, "is worth more than hundred thousand dollars to the woman who marries him; while many a mean fellow, who has a hundred thousand dollars in his possession, is not worth a pinch of snuff."


About a week after they were married, Toney and Tom, with their brides, went to Bella Vista, and witnessed the union of Harry Vincent and Imogen Hazlewood, and of Clarence Hastings and Claribel Carrington. Upon his return to Mapleton, Toney received a letter from the Professor, informing him of his marriage with Dora. Dora's aunt having died, about six months before their arrival in Virginia, she had no near relative; and her husband had determined to purchase an estate near Mapleton, where they would, in future, reside. Toney was authorized to enter into negotiations for the purchase of the property.

While Toney and Tom were standing near the post-office, conversing about the contents of the Professor's letter, Seddon suddenly exclaimed,—

"Look!—look yonder!"

On the opposite side of the street they beheld what appeared to be a procession of giants and dwarfs. In front walked Cleopatra with little Love on her arm. Next followed Theodosia with Dove, who looked like a pigmy by her side. After them came Sophonisba with Bliss; and in the rear was Hercules with a very pretty but unusually diminutive woman. The giant could not stoop[Pg 294] to give her his arm, but led her by the hand. The procession passed on, and entered the house of Gideon Foot.

"Who in the world was that little woman?" asked Tom.

"His wife," said Toney.

"Is Hercules married?"

"He was married about a week ago to his little cousin Polly Sampson. He bought a farm adjoining that of Moses, whose father is dead. Hercules lives out there with his little wife, and has, I suppose, brought her into town on a visit to his relations."

"And what has become of Moses?" asked Tom.

"Moses is also married."

"He is?" exclaimed Tom, in astonishment.

"Yes; he is married notwithstanding his dread of the female sex."

"How did it ever happen?"

"By the death of his father, Moses became a landed proprietor, and is the owner of a fine farm in a high state of cultivation. Several enterprising young maidens endeavored to make an impression on his heart; but he could not be induced to go into their society until, on a certain occasion, there was a rural festival in the neighborhood, called an apple-butter boiling."

"Did Moses go to that?"

"He would not have gone had not some waggish young farmers first put him in an abnormal condition, by the consumption of a considerable quantity of hard cider. The cider imparted a wonderful degree of courage, and Moses went to the festival, where he soon found himself surrounded by rustic beauties. Moses drank more cider and became more courageous. Finally, as he sat in a corner with a pretty maiden, he popped the question."

"He did?"

"The young maiden said 'Yes' with a sweet smile, and looked so pretty that Moses kissed her."

"Great thunder!" cried Tom.

"When Moses got sober he was greatly alarmed; but it was too late to recede. More than twenty people had[Pg 295] heard his promise of marriage. The young woman's father threatened to have a suit brought for breach of promise; and her big brother said that he would cudgel the swain if he proved false to his engagement. So Moses, dreadfully frightened, was led like a lamb to the altar, and now has a very pretty wife, and looks contented and happy."

Toney purchased the property for his friend, and in a few weeks the Professor and Dora arrived with the intention of making it their permanent home. Tom became the owner of an adjoining estate. The three friends, with their wives, frequently assembled in the parlor of the Widow Wild, with whom Toney and Rosabel continued to reside after their marriage. Not long subsequent to the arrival of the Professor and Dora, Clarence and Harry, with Claribel and Imogen, came to Mapleton on a visit. During the conversation of the evening, Tom asked Toney if he still adhered to the opinion which he once so emphatically expressed as they sat on the veranda of the hotel in Bella Vista.

"What was that?" asked Toney.

"That the right man is never married to the right woman."

"No; I do not," said Toney, with emphasis. And he looked at Rosabel.

"There must be a recantation of such opinions when experience has demonstrated their fallacy," said the Professor, with a look of tender affection at Dora. Each husband looked at his wife, and each wife returned the glance; and it was evident that the ladies and gentlemen present were unanimously of opinion that the right men had been married to the right women.

"And what has become of the Mystic Order of Seven Sweethearts?" asked Tom.

"The organization has been destroyed by a power which man has never been able to resist," said Toney.

"What is that?" asked Rosabel.

"Love," said her husband.

"Amor vincit omnia," said the Professor, as he arose from his seat; and, bidding his friends good-night, [Pg 296]conducted Dora to their carriage. As they rode homeward, Dora inquired the meaning of those Latin words, and they were translated by her husband; and she now learned that even the stern old Romans recognized and acknowledged the

Omnipotence of Love.



[Pg 297]






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[Pg 298]

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[Pg 299]

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"In this graphic volume Mr. Dixon sketches American men and women sharply, vigorously and truthfully, under every aspect."—Dublin University Magazine.

[Pg 300]

The Old Mam'selle's Secret. After the German of E. Marlitt, author of "Gold Elsie," "Countess Gisela," &c. By Mrs. A. L. Wister. Sixth edition. 12mo. Cloth, $1.75.

"A more charming story, and one which, having once commenced, it seemed more difficult to leave, we have not met with for many a day."—The Round Table.

"Is one of the most intense, concentrated, compact novels of the day.... And the work has the minute fidelity of the author of 'The Initials,' the dramatic unity of Reade, and the graphic power of George Elliot."—Columbus (O.) Journal.

"Appears to be one of the most interesting stories that we have had from Europe for many a day."—Boston Traveler.

Gold Elsie. From the German of E. Marlitt, author of the "Old Mam'selle's Secret," "Countess Gisela," &c. By Mrs. A. L. Wister. Fifth edition. 12mo. Cloth, $1,75.

"A charming book. It absorbs your attention from the title-page to the end."—The Home Circle.

"A charming story charmingly told."—Baltimore Gazette.

Countess Gisela. From the German of E. Marlitt, author of "The Old Mam'selle's Secret," "Gold Elsie," "Over Yonder," &c. By Mrs. A. L. Wister. Third Edition. 12mo. Cloth, $1.75.

"There is more dramatic power in this than in any of the stories by the same author that we have read."—N.O. Times.

"It is a story that arouses the interest of the reader from the outset."—Pittsburg Gazette.

"The best work by this author."—Philada. Telegraph.

Over Yonder. From the German of E. Marlitt, author of "Countess Gisela," "Gold Elsie," &c. Third edition. With a full-page Illustration. 8vo. Paper cover, 30cts.

"'Over Yonder' is a charming novelette. The admirers of 'Old Mam'selle's Secret' will give it a glad reception, while those who are ignorant of the merits of this author will find in it a pleasant introduction to the works of a gifted writer."—Daily Sentinel.

Three Thousand Miles through the Rocky Mountains. By A. K. McClure. Illustrated. 12mo. Tinted paper Extra Cloth, $2.

"Those wishing to post themselves on the subject of that magnificent and extraordinary Rocky Mountain dominion should read the Colonel's book."—New York Times.

"The work makes one of the most satisfactory itineraries that has been given to us from this region, and must be read with both pleasure and profit."—Philada. North American.

"We have never seen a book of Western travels which so thoroughly and completely satisfied us as this, nor one written in such agreeable and charming style."—Bradford Reporter.

"The letters contain many incidents of Indian life and adventures of travel which impart novel charms to them."—Chicago Evening Journal.

"The book is full of useful information."—New York Independent.

"Let him who would have some proper conception of the limitless material richness of the Rocky Mountain region, read this book."—Charleston (S.C.) Courier.