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The sunny South. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1875-1907, April 13, 1878, Image 1

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fHE fLOWERS COUiCTIUN VOL. III. J. H.&W.B. SEALS, fpBoraSroKs. ATLANTA, GA„ SATURDAY, APRIL, 13, 1878. r n?T?‘Yf Q 3 * 3 PER an NUM 1 itilALVlD,! IN ADVANCE. ISO. 117 Love Me Best--A Lyric. BY EMILY HAWTHOENE. My life is sad and lonely, An aching fills my breast, Love's query haunts my being Ab wild bird haunts her nest, Whose song in notes atremble Is love me, love me best. Thou may'st not love me only Fair brows thy lips have pressed ; But, ah ! I yearn to hear thee Say words that make me blest, Thy voice to me the tend'reet Whisper I love thee best. I’m longing, grieved and lonely, Like child to be caressed; To feel thy strong arm round me, To lean upon thy breast Through life, beyond, forever To know thou lov’st me best. iNLiANArouis, November, 18. U77, [From the Bovs and Girls oi the South.1 THE WAjNDEIIDU BOYS; Or, Tlie Adventures of Bold Ben and Timid Tom. [continued. ] CHAPTER VI. OrT or THE ‘CAGE’—THE SHADOW' OF EVIL. The poacher frequently passed the ‘cage’ on his way home, and had acquired the habit of stopping as he went by to see whether it con tained anyone with whom he was acquainted. From the description previously given of Dan’s professional pursuits, it will not be diffi cult to imagine that he would occasionally find a pal, who had rendered himself obnoxious to the law, immured within the walls of the lock up. Dan then felt it his duty to administer a few words of consolation to the prisoner, and per- ».. t : iv.tv jh' ^ r»T' n 4 ! 7* *'f to ft r.hv?n the monotony of his confinement. He always struck up some characteristic ditty as he approached the spot, as a signal that he was coming, and his eyes were always directed to the window and its iron bars, from between which many a haggard face had looked down upon him. It was now night, so that the poacher could not distinguish more than the building itself standing out in bold relief amidst the prevail ing gloom, until he came quite close to it, and then he heard a voice that made him start. ‘Dan ! Dan, old fellow, is that you?’cried Ben, eagerly. ‘Yes, it’s me. But, eh—why, Lor’ bless me ! it can’t be !’ exclaimed the poacher, almost mis trusting the evidence of his ears. ‘Yes, it is. It’s Ben Trusty,’ exclaimed the youthful prisoner. ‘So it is !’ ejaculated Dan, in a tone of aston ishment. ‘Lor’ bless me ! oo’d ’a thought it?’ ‘Tom's with me, too,’said Ben. ‘What, both on yer ? Why, whatever ’a yer been a-doing ?’ asked Dan. ‘Nothing very dreadful,’ returned Ben; ‘we had a fight with the magistrate’s son and a friend of his, and gave ’em a good licking. That’s all.’ ‘Lor’, did ’ee, though?’ ejaculated the poacher, in a tone of much gratification. ‘Old Bnmpus locked ‘ee up here in consekence ?’ ‘Yes, till to-morrow,’ Ben answered, ‘when we’re to he brought up again, and I suppose then he’ll send us to prison.’ YVhat, for’idin’ a couple of young swells? No, no, not so bad as that !’ cried Dan, indig nantly; ‘a fair fight atween boys bean’t a prison- able offence.’ ‘I fancy it will be for us, though,’ returned Ben, ‘that is, unless we could manage to get out of this place.’ ‘What d’ye mean—break out?’ asked the poacher, in some surprise at the boldness of the idea. ‘Yes, break out,’ re-echoed Ben, firmly. ‘Will you help us ?’ he added. ‘Of course I will,’ answered Dan, readily; ‘it wouldn't be the first time, either, as I've done that tor a poor chap. I’ll help’ee mv boy, with all my heart.’ ‘Thank’ee, Dan, I was sure you would !’ ex claimed Ben, gratefully. ‘Oh’ thank you, Dan, old boy !’ cried Tom, ea gerly, from within. ‘All that has to be done’s to get rid of these iron bars,' said Ben. ‘Yes, that be ali,’ returned the poacher dryly, ‘and enough, too ! They’re pretty tough.' ‘They are, indeed, - Ben replied. ‘What’s to j he done with ’em ? Have you got a file?’ ‘A sort of a one,’ answered Dan, ‘but it bean’t j up to filing up iron bars. Yer’ll have to go to | work another way.’ ‘What way, Dan ?’ ‘I’ll tell yer, my boy. If yer notices, yer’ll : find as the iiame o’ the winder’s wood.’ ‘Yes, it is wood,’ assented Ben. ‘Werry good. Then you’ll see in a minnit it’ll | be easier by long chalks to saw through wood j than to file through iron.’ ‘Certainly;have you got a saw-?’ ‘I believe yer, I just have, too. Put yer ’and cut er tli’ winder as far as yer can.’ Ben obeyed this direction, and Dan, having taken from his pocket his marvellous knife, cried, ‘Now then, get ready to kotch it!’ ‘Ail ready,’ returned Ben. The poacher, taking as good aim as the dark ness would permit, threw up the knife. After several attempts the lad caught it. ‘I’ve got it!’ he cried. ‘Why, it’s your knife,’ he remarked, as he felt it in his hand. ‘Yer’ll find th' saw about th’ middle o’ th’ Mr. Murdoch, in the meantime, seated himself ou a block of wood which served as a stool. sawed some distance, yer mnst stop an’ begin th’ other side, an’ saw down’ards th’ oppereite | way till th’ saw marks meet in a pint. Then ar- ; ter that, all yer’ll ’ave t’ do ’ill be t’ pash. Dy’e ' understand s ' •Yes,’ answered Ben, grasping . j a des,’ explained Dan. ,^nd now how am I to go to work?’ asked Ben •Y e r must begin at th’ side o’ one o’ th’ bars, w down’ards aslant. Then, when yer’ve : with one hand and beginning to saw with the other. The instrument he was using being very ' little longer than the breadth of the window j frame, his progress was not very rapid, but he ; worked on perseveringly. ‘How be ye gettin’ on ?’ inquired Dan, after a j little time. ‘Slowly, but surely, I think,’ answered Ben, wiping his face. ‘Slow an’ sure wins th’ race,’ remarked the poacher, encouragingly. ‘That saw' be a beau- [ tifnl piece o’ steel, bean’t it?’ ‘I wish it was a little longer,’ Ben replied. ‘Yer can’t ’ave it always, my boy,’ said Dan. ‘If it was longer I couldn’t a’ carried it in my pocket, an’ then what would yer done?’ ‘Ob, I don’t complain,’returned Ben, ‘I’m get ting on very well.’ After sawing for some time in one direction, Ben commenced on the other side of the bar, and continued as before, until the saw marks met at a sharp angle. Having accomplished this much of the work, he laid aside the instrument for a time, and grasping the bar with both hands, began to work it to and fro. After some little exertion, it began to loosen. ‘Do it move ?’ asked Dan. Y'es,’ answered Ben, triumphantly. ‘Tug away, old fellow,’ called Tom, on whose shoulders Ben was standing. ‘Do I hurt yon with my heels,’ Ben inquired. ‘No, never mind me,’ returned his brother, eagerly; ‘I waDt to get out.’ ‘Not more than I do,’ replied Ben, redoubling his efforts. In a few r moments the bar had become quite loose, and shortly after it came clean out of its socket. ‘Hurrah !’ cried Ben, exultingly, flourishing he piece of iron out of the window. ‘Hurrah !’ echoed Tom. •Sh, sh, sh, my boys,’ said Dan, in an ad monitory tone; ‘it’s a good rule never to ’oiler till ye be out o’ th’ wood.’ The boys felt the justice of the proverb, and restrained their enthusiasm. Besides, the work was not yet done. One bar was removed, but Ben and Tom W'ere big boys, and the opening w’as not large enough toj allow them to creep through. Again was the saw' put to the work, and by proceeding in the same way as before, in course of time a second bar followed the first. ‘Phew! it’s warm work,’ ejaculated Ben, as he handed down the iron rod to his brother. ‘But no matter for that. The way is clear now, and all we have to do is to get out of here as quickly as possible.’ ‘Oh, yes, yes !’ cried Tom; ‘don’t lose a min ute. Y'ou go first.’ ‘No, you.’ Ben lowered himself down on to the seat and then helped his brother to mount the window. ‘Are you there, Dan ?’ Tom asked. ‘Sh!’ returned the poacher in a cautious whisper. ‘I fancied I ’eerd footsteps. Wait a minnit.’ Dan walked a few yards from the spot and listened. He then made a circuit of the building and listened again All was silent. ‘ I am coming,’ said Tom, eagerly: ‘ get ready for a catch.’ The poacher stood close the w r all, whilst the boy, after some^, oVva. g 4ble rnuscu- ! v* inn*' *-■ <V r.-vnMfiter,’ 'Id* V the bar firmly through the window. Y burst was occasioned by over-anxiety at their late return, ana Ben said : ‘It isn’t our fault, Janey, that we’re out so late. We’ve been locked np in the cage, and have only just got out.’ Jane Trusty looked at them as one bewil dered. Everything that night seemed to her strange and unnatural, and she could only echo faint ly— ‘Cage—locked up—I don’t understand. ‘That’s what made ns late, you know, Janey dear,’said Tom, who thought she looked white and frightened. ‘I hope dad hasn’t been very anxious about us,’ Ben went on. This question seemed to recall her brother’s sad condition vividly to her recollection. ‘Poor John ! poor John !’ she cried, shaking her head, and then she burst into tears again, ‘What’s the matter ?’ asked the boys in a tone of alarm. ‘He be mad! dying I be afeard,’ returned Jane, with a burst of grief. ‘Dying !’ exclaimed Ben and Tom, fastening upon the last word. ‘Oh, don’t say that!’ ‘Come an’ look at ’im,’ she replied, as she went toward the hack room. The hoys follow'ed. Old John was still crouching upon the floor, just as she had left him, and still murmuring to himself. ‘There he be,’ said Jane, sadly; ‘don’t he look had ?’ There was something in the vacant, listless manner of the old man that impressed the boys painfully. They could not hut acknowledge that he did ‘look bad,’ very bad, and they felt certain also that it was on their account. ‘I was sure he’d be frightened at our not being home,’ said Tom, in a low tone of self-reproach; but we couldn’t help ourselves.’ ‘He’ll be better when he sees we’re here,’ whispered Tom; ‘let’s speak to him.’ The boys approached the old man, and, bend- i ing down before him, said gently: j ‘Don’t be alarmed, dad, we’re here.’ ply to Janes earnest inquiries; ‘hut, on the ' John Trusty looked up at the sound of their other hand, it was equally possible he might i voices, and gazed at them earnestly, then, as not. There was great bodily prostration, com- j though the familiar faces he loved recalled his bined with much nervous irritation and men- j scattered ideas when nothing else could, the Rhonlrl ' vacant, "vnrrssion seemed pfadually to die away Here he hung for an instant. ‘Let go, my lad,’said Dan: ‘ I be underneath.’ ^ ~~ Av rv ttt rA^riri anticipate a iatai result. ’ The doctor, however, did what he could. He bled the sufferer, and, having administered a Tom released his grasp, and his stanch friend i soothing draught, deparedt to visit other pa- caught him in his stalwart arms. ‘ That be one,’ he remarked; ‘ now for t’other.’ ‘Come on, Benny!’ urged Tom, nervously straining his eyes towards the window. ‘ I’m after yon, old fellow !’ said Ben. who, in his effort to thrust his feet out of the window, had curled himself up like the letter S. ‘ That’s it!’ he exclaimed, as hTs legs suddenly made their appearance on the outside; ‘ and now good-by to the cage !’ The next moment he too had dropped to the ground, and stood with his hands clasped in that of his brother. ‘Thank’ee, Dan, old fellow!’ exclaimed the boys, warmly hugging bis arm gratefully; ‘we’d never got out if it hadn’t been for you.’ ‘I don’t think as yer would,’ grinned the kind-hearted man, hu^jing them in return, ‘ but, Lor’ love yon. ye’re verry welcome ! an’ now th’ sooner we gits av ay from ’ere the bet ter.’ The party moved on a few steps, and then Ben stopped suddenly. ‘ I think we ought to go home, and just tell dear old dad that we’re oat of the cage.’ ‘ D’yer think so ?’ Dan repiied; ‘well, ’ ee can go if ’ee likes, but you mast be careful as no un’ sees yer.’ He laid his hands affectionately on their shoulders, as he spoke: Oh, there’s no fear of that at this time of : en ^Y Re shrieked out : tients, leaving his sister to watch him John Trust}' did not recover conscionness, but lay in bis bed w’ith his eyes staring vacant ly and muttering, and raving by turns in such a wild and unnatural manner, that poor Jane i felt almost frightened to death, as she sat by his bedside. By degrees, however, the paroxysm passed off, j and John sunk into a stupor, which was not sleep In this state he continued for some time. The clock ticked on in its usual methodical j manner, minute after minute, hour after hour, j The shrubs in the garden, agitated by the i night wind, could be seen through the window, nodding their heads to and iro, and sometimes, j impelled by an extra strong gust, they dashed j their heavy tops against the glass panes and ; startled the watcher, though the sick man heed- j ed not. Suddenly, however, he started up with a look ! of extreme terror on his haggard features. ‘liark ! hark!’ he cried, ‘don’t you hear ’em ? J I do. Though they whisper, I can catch every j word they utter. She !’ he continued, in a tone ’ of caution, ‘let lue creep close behind the door, j that I may listen.’ ‘Don’t, John! pray don’t talk so,’ entreated j his sister; ‘there bean’t no one a whisperin.’ But John taking no notice rambled on. Pres night,’returned Ben. ‘Dad’ll be in a regular | fever at not’seeing us, and it will ease his mind j to know that we are safe. ’ ‘Well p’raps it will,’ admitted the poacher. •Then I suppose yer’ll come to my old burrow arterwards.’ ‘Yes, you may expect us before long, was Ben’s reply. ‘All right, I shall wait for ’ee,’ said Dan. ‘Good-by old fellow, for the present,’exclaim ed the two boys. ‘Good-by, my lads, and good luck to ’ee,’ re turned the poacher, warigly as he removed his hands and released them. Ben and Tom hurried away. Dan remained aa instY.*t looking after them i through the gloom, an .l then continued his journey homewards. , Had it been light instead of dark, Dan would have been assured that his ears had not deceiv ed him when he fancied a short time previous ly he had heard the sound of footsteps. Close upon the track of our young heroes ap- ; peared the cloaked figure of a man, who, as with | noiseless step he glided through the misty ; night, might have been taken for a shadow. Had the unconscious boys been aware of this, ! could they have read the past, or have foreseen the future, they would have known too well, | that the shadow tha^ followed in their path was ] to them a shadow of evil. Ah, murderers ! wretches! bean’t ’ee satisfied wi’ killin’ th’ master, but must ’ee destroy th’ poor missus and th’ dear boys ! No, no, ’ee shan’! ’ee shan’t! I’ll warn her ! I’ll let her know what vipers is crawlin’ around her.’ Jane Trusty, perfectly ignorant of the terri ble events, the remembrance of which was then crowding her brotuer’s delirious braiu with hor rors, felt certain he was going mad, and could hardly help shrieking herself from sheer ter ror. But before she could even do this, John was off again. ‘What be that!’ he cried; ‘don’t ’ee hear it cracklin?’ ‘No, no, John dear; I ’ear no cracklin.’ You fancy things,’ said his sister, in a soothing tone as she could assume. ‘I ’ear it,’ went on the sick man, ‘an’I do know what it be. It be fire;’ he shouted, ‘hot, scorchiu’ flames ragin’ over my ’ead, and craw lin’ up the stairs like fiery serpents. Don’t ’ee feed th’ heat? My tongue be cleavin’ to my roof. See, see ! th” thick black smoke be rollin’ t’ where th’ poor missus an’ th’babes be sleepin.’ ‘Ow the smoke chockesme !’ __ pfadnal from his features, his eyes Ar-guu consciousness; more and 'more wistful and yearning grew the looks he li stened on the lads. His lips quivered, and his fingers moved tremulously. Then with a sudden cry, memory resumed its power, and he knew them. ‘Ben—Tom—my darlings !’ he cried, as he sprang up, in wild ecstasy of joy. ‘’Ee be alive still, then. Come ’ere; come, let me feel ’ee close to me—close—close.’ He opened his arms, and the boys, wondering at his strange excitement, approached him, and he clasped them and strained them convul sively to his breast. For a moment no one spoke, and there was a dead silence, interrupted only by the ticking of the clock. Then the door leading from the other room might have been seen to open slightly, and a pale face to glance in hastily ..and disappear again almost instantaneously. But no one observed this. ‘I ha' gotten ’ee again my dear boys,’ sobbed John, wlio seemed now quite like a feeble, im becile old man. ‘I feel ’ee be safe while I ’old ’ee in my arms. Ah !’ he sighed, ‘I eld ’ee once theer, many long ’ears agone, one night when ’ee wur infants. Oh, that night!' he exclaimed, with a vivid shudder; ‘ee don’t remember it— how should ’ee ?’ but I do; I’ll never furget it—- never never.’ Again a shudder seemed to shake tho old man’s frame, and then, as though some new and horrible idea bad fastened upon him, he exclaimed hurridly to the boys: •This place bean’t safe for ’ee, your precious lives be in danger while ’ee stay ’ere. Ee maun’t stop an hour—a minnit. Go, go, my boys, while it’s dark and no ’un but God can see ’ee. I'll pray for 'ee, though I can’t go wi’ee. Afore th’ mornin’ you mun be far away.” Beu and Tom were not particularly surprised at these hasty and excited words. They evidently (in their minds) pointed at their escape frem the cage, and the consequen ces that would result if they were retaken. • We’ll go, dad,’ said Ben, soothingly, ‘where no one can find us. We’re young and strong, and can work and earn our living earnestly, and when we get some where we’ll send for you. Eh ?’ Y'es, that we will,’joined in Tom. ‘Yes, yes!’ murmured the old man, hurriedly; ‘but don’t stay now. Go, go, and God bless’ee! Once more John Trusty folded his arms around the orphans, and his love for a moment overpowered even his tears and he held them locked in his embrace. CHAPTER IV. THE SHADOW OF EVIL ON THE THEESHOLD. The light burned dimly in one of the homely I but comfortable apartments of Clwyd Yale Cot- I tage. ! This was the room, where, stretched on abed, He t peered intently.*through the gloom, hut ! the sheets of which were clean and white as the could distinguish nothing. j driven snow, lay poor John Trusty. It was not ‘My ears must a deceived me, I could ’aswore i John’s usual sleeping apartment, blit being on leered some uu movin about yonder, and it , the ground floor, and nearest at hand, it was tin t werry often us 1 m mistook,’ he muttered found most convenient for his am to himself. He lingered yet another instant, and then re turned to his original post beneath the window, ou the other side of which the anxious prison ers waited with beating hearts. ‘ Is it all right ? whispered Tom, hurriedly. ‘Yes, I think so, returned Dan, also in a whisper; ‘but, right or wrong, the sooner you both be out now the better.’ is reception, when he was brought home insensible. His kind-hearted sister Jane was almost scared out of her wits at the sight of her brother in his unconscious state. Dr. Poppyleaf, the Denbigh surgeon, had been hastily summoned, and after much con sideration, had informed the anxious woman that the patient was in a highly critical state. ‘It was possible he might rally,’ he said, in re- I ha’ done my dooty by th’ dear lads so fur T ..... . ,. .. , i as I could.’ he murmured speaking to himself, In his delirium the excited man sprang from f a n when I meet th’ dear master and missus ag’in, as I ’ope to do soorn day, I don’t think as they’ll reproach me for neglectin’em. It a’most breaks my ’eart to part wi’em, but,— Suddenly he unwound his arms and cried ex citedly: ‘While I be talkin' th’ murderers may be spreadin’ theer nets. Go, now, my darling! don’t say another word, but go!’ ‘He pointed excitedly to the door, and without saying another word Ben and Tom obediently left the room, went straight to the front door, which they found open, and passed out. Their evil shadow had preceded them, and now, crouching behind a cluster of bushes, watched them as they quitted the peaceful home of their childhood. ‘Now, then, for Dan’s cottage,’ said Ben, as they strode briskly forward. The shadow of evil was still close upon iheir steps as they went. his bed, and struck violently at an imaginary door, which having broken open, he staggered round the room as if in search of something. ‘Ha, here they be !’ he cried, with desperate exultation; ‘I ha’ gotten th’ babes—ha, ha, ha,— thank God, I ha’ gotten they !’ Then, with an exulting delirious laugh, that rang through the small cottage, he crouched down upon the ground, and went through some strange pantomime which he seemed to under stand, and the subject of which the reader will also be familiar with, but which to Jane Trusty was most widly incomprehensible and awful. ‘He be mad, poor dear; he be mad !’ she cried, in a tone of great distress. ‘YVhat be I to do ?’ In answer to this, to lier great relief, she heard the latch of the front door raised, and immedia tely after the familiar voices of the boys reach ed her ears. ‘It’s Benny and Tom !’ she exclaimed in a tone of relief, as she hurried into the next room to meet them. ‘Oh, my dear boys !’ was all the poor woman could say, and then she burst into tears. Ben and Tom, who knew nothing of what had occurred to John, imagined that this out- Dan Dark was Standing in the door of his hovel, smoking his pipe, when the boys reach- ed ‘Better late than never’ ,be a good ole sayin’,