JOHN H. SEALS, l^gg&rog!
ATLANTA. GA.. SATURDAY, APRIL !i. 1875.
[For The Sunny South.]
<1 ( K H I DAS.
The last night of the Old Year, the first night of the New,
Love angels to my pillow came bringing a dream of you—
A dream above all other dreams, for New Year’s dreams
I dreamed the day was golden.—a blue midsummer sky,—
The breezes flower-laden,—bird-music rippling by;
And underneath the od’rous pines we wandered, you and I.
Those wide and wondrous woodlands, arching from limb
Like some vaulted cathedral, so solemn, vast and dim,
With wild rose-cross confessional and font with mossy rim.
Our hearts so full of gladness, the world so far away,
We walked in solemn silence—our lips had naught to say, *
Till just beside the rose-cross we knelt as if to pray.
“ My love, my life, my darling!” kissing my lips you said.
A halo seemed in my delight to crown my heart and head;
My feet uplifted from the earth, on Love’s glad wings
An utterance of happiness life but once ever knows;
True joy can even to ourselves our better selves disclose;
The hidden beauty of my heart unfolded like a rose. j
And now like one who sees beyond, possession rich and
I wait, buoyed by a living hope that, some time far or
Love’s benison will on me rest—those sweet words I shall
[Written for The Sunny South.]
The Border Mystery.
BY MARY E. BRYAN.
AT THE BALL -AN EXCITING WALTZ THE MIDNIGHT
RIDE—IHHMAEL S KONG—MONSOON BBOUGHT BACK.
TLo \h*\\ ..i wl,<'x-.nX'. J.Vo ..'A
Ak usunl, Melioent's grace nn3 Ibeauty faud her
novelty as bride) litul drawn a circle of admirers
around her. She exerted herself to he agreeable,
hut her heart was heavy with trouble that had
more than one source. In addition to her anx
iety for Islimael, she had the consciousness that
her husband's eyes still wore their look of cold
ness and distrust whenever they turned upon
her. Many times, too, the image of Manch,
anxious but helpless and suffering, came up be
fore her in contrast to the light and gayety
She was looking lovely in spite of her pale
ness, seeming by her dress to personate the wild
yellow jessamine—the pride of Southern forests.
She wore an amber-colored satin, whose over
dress of misty lace was looped with garlands of
yellow jessamine, while a spray of the buds and
hells of the same beautiful flower was ;■ fastened
in the long curls of her hair.
She had danced a quadrille and was talking
to her partner when her glance lighted upon the
figure of Colonel Archer, conspicuous by his
height even in that crowd of till Western men.
He made his way to her side.
“Is it your policy to hide your light under a
bushel to-night, lest it should attract too many
fluttering moths around it?" he asked. “I have
licen looking for you everywhere.”
caught sight of Colonel Archer approaching also.
He stopped short and remained nt a little dis
tance, quietly observant. , “■ »
“Does the jessamine droop ?” said the Compel,
at Melicent’* elbow. “If so, I bring a revi^\”
She turned quickly; a tide of eoW rnshe* to
her face and then instantly receded. Mr. Avery
saw her emotion, hut he did not know that it was
caused by the expression she saw in Colonel
Archer’s eyes. They were absolutely flashing.
Triumphant elation shone in them, and behind
this glowed a fiercer tire.—the look of the blood
hound when he has brought his victim to bay.
Melicent knew well what that look meant.
“Y’on have news,” she found'courage to say.
“ You shall hear it,” he said. They are play
ing a waltz again —the Sophien—my favorite.
You will not refuse me now ?”
She gave him her hand without a word. . She
would have done so even if she had seen the
look her husband cast upon her, for she was
consumed by suspense, and she.felt- that a crisis
was at hand. Colonel Archer ptoyed with her
•Then you must have seen me, for I have not anxiety tantalizinglv, unconscious wliat cruelty
been retiring. Perhaps you saw me in the crowd p was."
and did not recognize me. I wear my hair dif
“Yes,— in a shower of curls. But that makes
no difference; I should know you in any dis
guise even that of a hideous loose wrap and
double folds of vail." he added significantly.
“What do you mean?” inquired Melicent, in
consternation. " He saw and knew me to-day,”
was her thought.
“ I will tell you while we are dancing. Will
you give me this waltz?—the music is just be
“ You forget—I never waltz.”
“Out of deference to your lord and master’s
commands- I remember.”
“Out of regard to my husband's wishes,” cor
“Set them aside for this once. I am going
presently, and I make my petition for one
“Y’ou are going so soon ?”
“Yes; I have an appointment. 1—but I can
not talk to yon here, with all these listening ears
around ns." he broke off. bending over her and
speaking low. “ Will you give me the waltz?”
“I have told you I would not waltz to-night
There are other dances. ”
“Stupid, insipid affairs! No—the waltz or
“It must be nothing, then.” Melicent said,
with a shade of coldness and irritation in her
He fixed his eyes upon her with a penetrating
look, then stooped to pick up the fan she had
dropped. As he gave it to her he said;
“When I return you will waltz with me with
out being twice asked.'
He turned oft' abruptly. Soon afterwards
Melicent saw him leave the room. His last
words added in some vague way to her uneasi
ness. She was sure they had a hidden signifi
In an hour Colonel Archer re-entered the ball
room. Melicent did not see him when he came
in. She was leaning against the frame-work of
“ What a slender waist J” he exclaimed, as they
whirled round to the sweet German music. “It
is nothing to clasp. How could you muffle it so
this afternoon? Did yon think to disguise your
self from me ? I knew you when I first peeped
at you —standing hesitating at the gate. What
was your motive in going there ? Tell me hon
“Curiosity,” uttered Melicent, faintly. “I
wanted to know the result of your plot.”
“But you learned nothing, and you flitted
like a scared bird before I could' speak to you.
The time was not then ripe. I told you to wait
patiently and I would bring yon news of suc
“Do yon bring it now ?”
“Yes," he cried in low, exulting tones. “He
is found—I have succeeded. We have tracked
the cowardly wolf to his lair ! I shall have re
venge for my murdered father at last—at last!”
His eyes shone down into hers with a fierce
splendor; his face was aglow with the blended
passions of hate and triumph. Melicent could
not speak; her look told him to go on.
“He is found. He is here, as I suspected.
He is a fisherman. He lives in a hut on Black
Bayou and goes by the name of—Islimael.
The room swam round to Melicent — the' lights,
the music, the voices were a dull confusion.
lying listlessly across his violin, his eyes, darker
and larger since his illness, looking wistfully
He turned around; he stared at her mutely,
wildly; he rose to his feet and tottered forward.
“Milly! Milly! My God, it is my darling's
spirit!” he cried, extending his arms.
Melicent sprang to him and caught him in her
own grasp, strengthened preternaturally by ex
“Hush !” she uttered; “be calm. I am Mrs.
Avery. Your enemies are upon yon. They will
be here in a few moments. Y’ou must fly in
stantly—there is not a moment to be lost. I
have brought you ahorse; are you strong enough
“ It is no use !” he cried, falling back against
the wall, and looking hopelessly forward. “It
had to come. It is God’s hand. I am tired of
“It is of use to try-to save yourself. Y'ou can
do it. Oh ! courage, courage ! Come at once—
for Manch's sake, for my sake !”
He was looking at her wildly,' yearningly,
seeming to lose sight of his danger in one
“ Oh ! My God ! how like she is to Milly !” he
Melicent had found him his coat.
“Pnt it on,” she said. “Is your purse in it?
Y’es. See, I put this loaf of bread into the other
pocket. You will not have time to stop for food.
Ah ! you have on your shoes—that is well. Here
is your hat. Now come, Ishmael; come at once !
Lean upon me.”
She threw her arm about him. She overcame
. his weakness, his despondency by her own
strength and courage. She drew him out to
where the horse was standing. She held the
bridle while he mounted.
“Good-bye,” she whispered; “good-bye, Ish
mael. God be with you.”
He gave her hand a convulsive and trembling
t “Yon have befriended me as no other human
being ever did. God bless you for it, lady ! The
thanks of a poor creature like I am are a small
He galloped awny through the shadows. Mel
icent fell upon her knees, silently praying as
she listened to the sound of the retreating hoof-
, strokes.. As it died away, a thought of herself
! return^ would fjV'Triiacl day* before
she conld reach home. How should she account
for her absence ? How should she meet her hus
band’s indignant anger, his scornful suspicion ?
She had seen that his distrust was culminating
to a crisis. Now she felt there would ,be an open
rapid and desperate resolve. When he returned, ! She was left alone to her inexpressible relief— outburst—a public shame. Her little social
she took the glass from his hand, and said with left to throw herself back upon the seat - to world, where she had trod as a queen, seemed
a smile and a bend of her graceful head: ' j crush her hands together and nerve herself for tottering under her. Her home world of love
“I drink to your success. May you prosper what she intended to do. and peace and confidence had already been
in love as yon have done in revenge. If you are “ Drive faster,” she said to the coachman. hopelessly darkened by the shadow of secresy
as indefatigable in pursuit of the one as you He obeyed. In a few moments she was at and suspicion.
have been of the other, there is no maiden’s I home. She sent back the carriage, unlocked She was thinking these bitter thoughts—still
heaHtUat will resist your siege.” > the hall door and entered noiselessly. There kneeling with her face buried in her hands.
“Tlay siege to bnt one heart,'Ahe said, “and was no sound in response. The servants were Suddenly she lifted her head. The tramp of a
that is too strongly barricaded aiffi too jealously asleep or amusing themselves in the kitchen situ- horse’s feet were again audible. She listened
guarded for me to hope that it will soon capitu- ated in the back part of the yard. .She ran up intently. The sound grew more distinct—came
late. Bnt, nU desperandum." swiftly to her room, put on a’ rfdingvhabit over nearer—nearer still. What could it mean ? Was
“ Aftro/ios of hearts and maidens!,” said Meli- her ball dress, and going to the library, took a Ishmael returning? YVhat can he have left be-
cent gaily, “I have one request to make. I key from her husband's desk, and went out hind that is so important as his own safety ? she
have risked my husband’s displeasure by waltz- again —out to the stable-yard. With the key she thought.
ing—all because of you. You owe me some re- had taken she unfastened the stalde-door and The dark, moss-hung branches parted; a man
turn. Well, do you see that young lady in bine entered, lighted only by the moonlight. She ; rode into the dimlv-lighted space, leading a
sitting yonder partnerless,—a forlorn but lovely went up to her own" horse-the beautiful half- horse bridled and saddled. One glance suf-
wall-flower? She is one of the three who came i. breed Arabian she had brought from home, and ficed,—the man was Colonel Archer and the
here to-night under my chaperonage. I should ! patted his arched neck. horse was Monsoon !
like her to enjoy her;firai ball, and T know how “Yon and I part forever to-night,” she said, j
agreeable you can bd’when you please. I want “Do your best for me, Monsoon, my brave horse. -
you to dance with her the set that is about to Human life will hang on your speed to-niglit.”
form. ” .« There were several bridles and men’s saddles
* He shrugged his shoulders. hanging against the walls. . She took down the J
“It is such a bore to dance a quadrille—and plainest of these and put them on her horse with
with a young miss, too ! She is sure to be either hands that had not forgotten their early skill. She
hoydenisli or sentimental, pert or bashful; in was a perfect horsewoman. Often when she was
either case—intolerable.” Milly Brown she had ridden half-tamed mus-
“No, I assure you she is quite natural and i tnngs barebacked; so she had no hesitation now
charming. Here, come with me; let me give ' in springing into the man's saddle she had girted
her the pleasure of your acquaintance—for my securely upon her favorite. She rode slowly
sake, remember.” ' out of the stable-yard—slowly out of the street,
“For your sake I would give her my head.” but increased her speed as she entered the more
“Oh! I shall not ask such a sacrifice in her suburban portion of the town, for the houses
behalf. Only your hand in the next dance— i were dark and there were no passers in the
your heart, perhaps, as a willing after-gift.” streets. When she reached the outskirts of the
And going across the room with Colonel town, she slackened rein upon her horse and
Archer, she presented him to Miss Stanley and urged him into a gallop. Swiftly she sped along
left them. the road that ran parallel to Black Bayou. The
“Pray heaven the set may be a long one !” she moon shone wanly out; the long, black shadows
‘MILLY! MILLY! MY GOD, IT IS MY DARLING S SPIRIT!”
Colonel Archer dismounted and stood before
“Mrs. Avery, I have brought back your horse,”
“Bnt where is he? Where is Ishmael?” she
“If yon mean Neil Griffin, the murderer, he
has been arrested, he is on his way to prison.”
“Too late! Oh, God! I was too late again!”
‘“Too late again.’ Mrs. Avery, what do yon
mean ? YVhat is this man to you ?”
She made no reply. She did not seem to hear
him. She stood wringing her hands together
and looking despairingly out into the shadows.
The light from Ishmael’s lamp streamed through
the window and fell across her white, anguished
face. He looked at her intently, wonderingly, a
thought as she at once sought out her husband, lay across her path. She had wild memories of uioment: then he repeated his question.
> a group of gentlemen as she that other terrible night, when she had ridden “What was this man to yon .
He was talking to
came up. She laid, her hand on his arm and
drew him a little aside.
“ Aleck,” she said.difting her pleading eyes to
his stern face, “I am tired of the ball, andlfeel
“You seemed so just now, madam,” he said,
with bitter emphasis.
“ You say that because I waltzed with Colonel
Archer. It was against my inclination. It was
in a manner forced upon me by—circumstances.
But yGn do not understand—you will not be
lieve me. Let that pass; I am unwell—I wish to
She turned her eyes upon him.
“Y’ou deceived me. Y’ou said he would not
be arrested in three or four hours.”
“Afterwards I thought best to hurry matters.
The sequel shows I was correct. We were just
in time to intercept him. You had nearly fore
stars. “If Colonel Archer did not deceive me I stalled us. And mom talk of deception—mom who
will be in time,” she thought. “He said in two bave played me false all the time. And I never
vainly to the rescue of Neil Griffin so long ago.
She seemed again to hear that struggling cry of
mortal agony, to see that swinging form in the
red-torch glare, to behold the cruel ring of cruel
faces that encircled “Gallows Tree.” YVould
she he again too late? She .glanced up at the
guessed your double-dealing— never had a real
suspicion of your treachery, until it was sug
gested to me to-night by a woman. It takes the
sex to understand each other, I thought. So I
took to heart Mademoiselle Maline’s hint of your
or three hours, and it has not yet been an hour,
She turned out into the dim path that led
down to the bayou. She forded the stream and
She still whirled in the waltz through her mo- i go home." approached the cabin of Ishmael. What sound . . , . , ,
meutnm and the strength of her partner's arm: He looked at her white face and haggard eyes was that which came from behind the wall of interest in Griffin, and watched you closely wnen
but her feet hardly touched the floor: her head with wonder. And he had seen her laughing so long moss and live-oak boughs? The plaintive . made my communication, i saw your emo-
leaned heavily on her partner's shoulder. gaily a moment ago ! But there was no mistak- notes of a violin touched softly as an accompani- tu ? n: ^ understood the maneuver about the dance
“Y’ou are dizzy," he said; “we have waltzed ing the expression of pain about her mouth—the ment to the song she had heard Ishmael whist- with your young lady charge. She nail her dance,
too fast. We will sit down and rest." look of wildness in her eyes. His face relaxed ling while he fed his birds—the mournful little slnce I had promised you, but it had nearly cost
He placed her in a seat, and noting her white from its mould of cold irony. love ballad whose words Colonel Archer had me m . v revenge or rather, it had nearly caused
cheeks, said; “Y’ou want me to go with yon,” he said. recalled to her mind. She checked her horse a its postponement. Nve had to nde in hot haste,
“I will get you a glass of water.”
“Stop one moment,” she managed to say.
“ Ton did not tell me—will yon arrest him to
“Y’es. in two or three hours from now. I have
the warrant for his arrest in my pocket. I
should have gone after him at once, hut I wanted
to look in here again—to tell vou and—to have
an open window, feeling weary and heart-sick. my way about the waltz. He is safe enough; he ( slip off almost unnoticed.
“No: I do not wish to take the Stanley girls moment to listen,
away. They are dancing and enjoying'them
selves; and I wonld not like them to feel slighted,
as they would do if we both went away. I wish
you to stay to excuse my going home, and to
bring them when they are ready to leave. You
need only accompany nie to the carriage. I will
fiend it hack. The, dance is beginning.—I can
Her husband stood not far off. covertly observing
her while he affected to be conversing and watch
ing the movements of some chess-players near
him. The tired, sad look on her sweet face ex
tinguished for the moment his feelings of mis
trust. His heart was filled with yearning, sell- gallows a second time."
reproachful tenderness. He excused himselt to Melicent shuddered inwardly, but she calmed
the friend who claimed his attention, and was herself by an effort of will. While Colonel
making his way to his wife’s side, when he Archer was gone for the water, she formed a
He gave her his arm without another word,
and she passed through the rooms, smiling and
to her eyes. She dashed them off, sprang from
is not suspecting —thinks himself all right. Just
now. indeed, he is doubly safe,—he is sick."
“ Sick ?” bowing her graceful adieux and her acknowledg- her horse and stood within the door-way of the
“Oh ! 4ie shall be well cared for: he shan't ment of the anxious expressions elicited by her dimly-lighted hut. Her hat had fallen off, her
have a chance to die in his bed and cheat the pale face and evident indisposition. Mr. Avery loose' hair flowed around her; all artificial dis
banded her into the carriage and left her with a guise of dress and expression was banished from
simple good night, going around afterwards to her at this moment She had not counted upon
the man on the box and enjoining him to drive the effect her presence wonld have upon Ish-
and it was a lucky chance that we were in time
to see Monsoon dash into the road a hundred
yards ahead of us.”
“Ah ! if I had made more haste.”
“ That would have availed nothing; only made
a delay—given - us a chase for onr fox. Do you
think I would .have suffered him to escape ? But
it was not yonr fault that he was caught; you
The words seemed to Melicent to haveatonch- did yonr best to frustrate me. You have risked
ing significance. Tears for the first time rushed to-night—more than I care to name. I never
* My love has friends and fortune
The rich attend her door;
My love has gold and silver,
While I, alas! am poor.
The ribbon fair that bound her hair
Was all she left to me.
While here I lie alone to die
Beneath the willow tree.”
suspected you of so much courage or—so much
“Think of me as you please." answered Meli
cent, gloomily. “It is humiliating, but it is
nothing to what he has to hear.”
She was hardly conscious that she spoke aloud.
She did not reflect upon what Colonel Archer
carefully, as Mrs. Avery was not well.
mael. He sat on the edge of his pallet, his hand might think, or what suspicions ot her might be