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Title: Peak's Island - A Romance of Buccaneer Days
Author: Piper, Anna W. Ford
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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 PEAK'S ISLAND


  A ROMANCE
  OF
  BUCCANEER DAYS


  BY
  FORD PAUL

  PORTLAND, MAINE
  PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR
  1892


  PRESS OF BROWN THURSTON CO., PORTLAND


  DEDICATED TO
  Cora Caroline Clifford
  AS A SMALL TRIBUTE OF GREAT LOVE
  BY THE AUTHOR


    FORD PAUL



CHAPTER I.

    Roll on thou deep and dark blue ocean roll;
    . . . . . . Upon the watery plain.
    The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
    A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
    When for a moment like a drop of rain,
    He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
    Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.


SEPTEMBER 27, 1607.

Dead bodies everywhere. The ocean, lashed to fury by the gale of
yesterday, came booming and hissing upon the beach in great breakers
white with foam; each billow as it dashed upon the jagged and broken
rocks bore in its terrible embrace still more human victims, or some
portion of the two unlucky ships that were fast breaking up. One wedged
in between two rocks with just sufficient play to allow of its heaving
from side to side, with every wave that struck it. The other and much
larger vessel, the Queen Elizabeth, a fine British ship, which had
sailed from England freighted with a cargo of general merchandise for
the colony of Virginia, went crashing up against the cruel stone teeth
of the cliff which overhung and projected into the angry sea; dismasted,
her bulwarks and rigging torn away she floated out into deeper water
only to be driven back again upon the rocks, by the violence of the wind
and the rapidly incoming tide.

Another crash and another, the forecastle carried away, the decks
opening, bales, chests, cordage, stores of all sorts tossed high up on
the shore, more dead bodies--chiefly of men, for they had some time
before given up to the few women and children the now capsized and
shattered boats. All along the shore, as far as eye could see, the beach
was composed of a heterogeneous mass of enormous fragments of rock
thrown together and piled up on each other, leaving here and there in
their midst a separate pool of sea water; in some of these pools was a
dead body or two, but by far the greater number were lying in every
imaginable, distorted position among the huge, irregular blocks of
stone. Many, who had been washed in sufficiently far to escape drowning,
were killed by the force with which they were dashed on shore: there,
with broken bones and gnashed and blood-stained bodies, they slept in
death, like men who had fallen in some great battle. It was noon, but
not a ray of sunlight glinted across the ghastly scene. Every sound was
lost in the terrific roar of the great, heaving hills of water, which
rolled in continuously; huge masses of wet gray cloud hung over all,
obscuring or transforming every visible object. Far up among the shingle
lay one human form which still bore signs of life. It was that of a
young lady, attired in deep mourning, a stream of blood trickled down
the pale face, and from time to time one hand moved convulsively toward
a deep cut in her head as if to assuage the pain; presently in
half-consciousness she whispered "Do not tell my mother I am hurt, it
would grieve her. She has had too much sorrow already."

The beloved mother, and all others who had made life precious to the
speaker, had three years previously been tenderly laid to rest in their
quiet graves thousands of miles away; but at this moment the mind had
only half awakened. A few minutes later her brain was clear and active,
and the truth flashed upon her in all its force. The recollection of her
bereavement and the fact of her being utterly alone in life, were the
first thoughts that came and the thoughts which dominated. And so it is
that all who are called upon to endure a great sorrow, acutely realize
that sorrow again and again with each return of the mind to the
consciousness of human existence, whether it be after the delerium of
fever, the stunning from an accident, or the awaking each morning to
daily life. With the awaking to our senses assuredly comes the old
heartache; nay, before we awake it is there, and before we are conscious
of aught else we are conscious of the grief which weighs heaviest on our
soul. Thus it was with Anna Vyvyan: the awaking to life brought with it
the pain in all its intensity, although she lay there on the cold
stones, her clothing drenched through and through, bareheaded, her hair
matted together with the sea water, bruised and cut and faint from
exhaustion, still the present physical suffering seemed by comparison
nothing to her. Everything was buried in the sorrow of the past, the
sorrow that she had lived through, but had not left behind.



CHAPTER II.

    The stately homes of England
      How beautiful they stand,
    Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
      O'er all the pleasant land!
    The deer across their greensward bound
      Through shade and sunny gleam,
    And the swan glides past them with the sound
      Of some rejoicing stream.

    The merry homes of England--
      Around their hearths by night,
    What gladsome looks of household love
      Meet in the ruddy light!
    There women's voice flows forth in song
      Or childhood's tale is told
    Or lips move tunefully along
      Some glorious page of old.

    The blessed homes of England,
      How softly on their bowers,
    Is laid the holy quietness
      That breathes from Sabbath hours
    Solemn, yet sweet, the church bell's chime
      Floats through their woods at morn,
    All other sounds at that still time
      Of breeze and leaf are born.


Miss Vivyan was the daughter of an officer of high rank in the navy of
Queen Elizabeth, who lost his life in the royal service while his little
girl Anna was still very young. His valor had gained for him many medals
and yet more substantial honors in the form of valuable grants of land
from Her Majesty. This property, added to the family inheritance of
Anna's mother, who was a lady of old and noble race, left both the widow
and her child in very affluent circumstances. The young widow, handsome
and possessed of brilliant talents, attracted many suitors for her hand;
but her heart lay far down beneath the sea with her dead husband, and
she resolved to devote her love and her life to the care of her child.
She accordingly retired to an old manor house on the borders of Wales,
which had descended to her through many generations. The great stone
halls and corridors, the long, low rooms and the little diamond-shaped
window panes, admitting so small an amount of light, might have given to
some minds a feeling of gloom; but both mother and daughter had their
occupations, the one in giving, the other in receiving, an education,
beside the care of all the sick and poor peasants of the neighborhood.
Indeed they were so happy in their affection for each other and found so
much to do, that they had neither the time nor the inclination to
cultivate morbid or gloomy thoughts, which would, they felt, make their
companionship an infliction on every one whom they approached, and unfit
them for the duties of their position. So life went on calmly and
happily with them.

A faithful steward attended to the estates and a good old housekeeper
managed the servants, always keeping order, discipline and peace in the
establishment. Twice a year they were allowed to have a dance in the
servants' hall, one at Christmas and the other on Anna's birthday, on
which occasions they invited the sons and daughters of the neighboring
farmers, and the tradespeople who supplied the manor house. The village
shoemaker, the tailor, and the blacksmith were the musicians, and to the
strains of two violins and a clarionet, they merrily danced through the
livelong night, such good old figures as Sir Roger de Coverly, Speed the
Plough, and the Cushion dance, till the rising sun streamed in at the
windows and warned them that it was time to blow out the candles, take
off their holiday garb, and assume their daily work. As for the mistress
of the mansion, she found her pleasures in the duties of her position
and the rich companionship of a well stocked library. She had no
neighbors of her own rank within several miles distance, no one to visit
or to be visited by, with the exception of the old bachelor clergyman of
the parish, whose formal calls took place at stated intervals, unless
some sudden case of want among the poor caused him to ask her aid, for
he knew very well that her heart and hand went forth on every occasion
of distress. Hers it was to soothe and cheer and comfort and help, and
many a thorny path was made smooth and many a heavy burden lifted by her
brave and generous spirit and the pleasant, cheerful way she had of
doing such things. In the presence of others she made a duty of
cultivating cheerfulness of manner. Not that she ever for a moment
forgot the recollection of her love and her loss; but she considered her
sorrows too sacred for a subject of conversation on one hand, and on the
other, that her grief was her own, and that she had no right to intrude
it upon others, or to weigh down and sadden their lives by what was sent
for her to bear. Hence her presence was always welcome to the peasants,
who regarded her with reverence and affection, as she passed,
accompanied by her little daughter, from cottage to cottage leaving some
dainty for the sick, or an article of clothing for the needy.

Years went by and Anna had left babyhood far behind her and was now a
girl of fifteen. Her mother at this period, decided that it was time to
call in the aid of masters to assist in her daughter's education.
Accordingly, such were summoned from a distant town. There was a master
for the minuette and the gavotte, a master for the harpsichord, a master
for the French and Italian languages, and so on. The days and hours were
all laid out systematically, giving an abundance of time for physical
training and out-door life, but with the exception of the masters for
music and dancing (more especially the former) none of these instructors
made much impression upon the girl's mind. Her heart and soul were given
to music. While she was in the house her time was spent between the old
church organ that stood in the hall, and the harpsichord which adorned
the long, oak-panelled drawing-room. When out of doors she was forever
listening to the music of nature, the wind through the trees, the dash
of the water-fall, the rippling of the brook, all had their charm and
fascination, for nature never played out of tune. She would try to make
out what key these sounds were in, whether they varied at different
seasons, or if change in the weather made them alter,

    Music was her passion, her love, her life.

Just at that time, two new inmates were added to the manor house family.
Young Cecil Vyvyan, a cousin of Anna's, who was of the same age as
herself, and his tutor, Dr. Strickland, a grave, middle-aged Scotch
doctor of philosophy. The boy's parents were in India, which caused the
widow to suggest to them that he should, for a few years, make his home
with her, in order that she might watch over his health, which was
exceedingly delicate.

It was in the twilight of a day late in the autumn that Anna waited in
the large old-fashioned library to make the first acquaintance of her
cousin. In the broad stone fireplace, logs of beech and chestnut were
piled up on the hearth, across brass dogs, where they blazed, and
glowed, and lighted up the comfortable looking room, with its dark,
massive, carved oak furniture, its painted glass windows, its rich but
faded velvet draperies, interspersed here and there with a piece of old
tapestry, the needlework of the ladies of former generations. A few
family portraits, and well-filled bookcases of vellum-bound octavos,
quartos and folios. As the butler threw open the door of the room and
announced Master Cecil Vyvyan, Anna went forward to greet the latter,
and almost gave a start of surprise at seeing the real cousin differ so
much from the ideal one which she had pictured to herself; for she
expected to find Cecil of the same type as the English boys that she had
always seen. She thought he would be large of his age, with a fresh rosy
complexion, bright eyes, an open countenance, crowned with masses of
rich, curling locks. Strong and healthy, overflowing with buoyant
spirits, agile and ready for active service either of work or play.
Instead of which there stood before her one of small stature and thin,
diminutive figure, with a pale, weary-looking face and tired eyes, which
apparently did not observe any of the objects by which he was
surrounded, but concentrated their gaze upon the young girl only, with
whom he stood face to face, carefully regarding her with that scrutiny
which we are all wont to use when we first make the acquaintance of a
new relative.

Anna gave him her hand and welcomed him with a few kind words. As the
boy and girl stood there, no two cousins could have appeared more
externally unlike, and yet never were two more alike in their highest
tastes and deepest feelings. But an ordinary looker-on would only see
the boy so small, and quiet, and weary, and the girl so tall, and
active, and healthy, abounding in lively spirits, in the full enjoyment
of her young life, with the mother she adored, thinking nothing could be
more beautiful than her picturesque old home and its surroundings of
hill and valley, and woodland, and broad green meadows, and turning over
in her mind how she would show Cecil all the favorite haunts. The lily
pond in the park, the finest view of the Welsh mountains, and the right
place for a good gallop--then the ponies, and the dogs, and the fish
pools.

"You must be tired from so long a journey, Cousin Cecil," said she, "let
me bring this armchair; it is the most restful one in the whole house.
It has a pedigree, too, the same as you and I have. It belonged to our
great-grandfather, Sir Vyell Vyvyan, and was made more than a hundred
years ago from one of the oaks which grew in the north grove in the
park," so saying she laid one hand on the back of a huge, cumbersome
piece of furniture, and rolled it across the room up in front of the
glowing logs.

It was now Cecil's turn to be amazed, how could she move that great,
clumsy thing, he pondered to himself, I could not. With a gentle thank
you, and bowing gracefully to her, he sank into their great-grandfather's
chair, and was almost lost sight of among the ample velvet cushions.

Anna who had seated herself on one side of the fireplace, was watching
the pale face, and the weary eyes that were looking dreamily at the
fantastic shapes which from time to time the glowing embers assumed.
Presently a slight, convulsive shudder passed through the boy's frame
and a quiet little sigh escaped him.

He is sad, thought Anna, perhaps he is thinking of his home in Calcutta,
poor fellow, I must do something to amuse him. At the same instant, what
she considered a very happy thought suggested itself.

"I am so glad you came, Cousin Cecil," said she "they say you will soon
get well and strong here. I have a little terrier that catches rats, you
shall take him out in the morning, if you like, and the gardener's boy
will show you where you can kill plenty."

"I don't kill rats," he replied, still keeping his eyes fixed upon the
burning logs and striving to follow the outlines of a fairy island with
palms and tropical plants and ferns as tall as forest trees, which, in
his imagination, he saw there.

"Do you go with your terrier to kill rats?" he inquired, with the
slightest tone of sarcasm in his voice.

"Oh, no," replied the girl, "but I thought you would like to. Most boys
are amused by it, they call it sport, and you know the rats must be
killed or we should have them running behind the wainscot of all the
rooms in the house, and the gamekeeper would not be able to rear the
young pheasants, and we should have no chickens nor pigeons, nor
anything of the kind."

"Why, Cousin Anna," said the boy, "have you a Scotch governess, and does
she make you give a reason for every thing, and give you her reason in
return? That's what Dr. Strickland does with me. It tires me dreadfully,
and I don't see what use it is, for I always know things without
reasoning about them; they come to me of themselves."

Anna, in her eagerness to show kindness to the guest of the house, and
to divert what seemed to her his sad thoughts, did not stop to make any
reply, but rose and hastily crossed over to one of the bookcases,
bringing back in her arms a large folio, full of colored illustrations
of field sports.

"Now, Cousin Cecil," said she, drawing up a chair close by the side of
his, and laying the folio open upon her lap, "this will please you I am
sure; this is not about rats, but thorough-bred horses and dogs,
stag-hounds and fox-hounds. Did you ever hear that our grandfather kept
a pack of fox-hounds here, that is a hundred dogs you know. I will take
you to the kennels and the huntman's lodge some day soon."

Cecil did not know that a hundred dogs made a pack, for he had passed
all his life in India, until a few months previous to his coming to the
manor house.

"Look at this picture of coursing, here is another of hawking, and now
see these otter hounds."

"The landscape is beautiful," said the boy. "I like the soft gray light
on those distant hills in the background, but I do not care about
pictures of horses and dogs; please take them away. I like to see the
animals moving in the fields, but I think all this kind of sport is very
cruel."

This was said in an extremely gentle way, and at the same time with an
inflection of the voice which made a deep impression upon his listener.
I wonder what I can do to amuse him, thought Anna; I don't suppose he
would care to look at my last piece of embroidery, or hear how many
sonatas I can play; I am afraid he is sorry he came here, perhaps he was
thinking of the Himalaya mountains, when he said he liked those hills
in the picture. Most boys like out-door amusements, she again thought to
herself, and acting upon the idea of the moment.

"Cecil," said she, "we have two capital ponies, we will go out in the
forenoon to-morrow if you like, for we are to have a holiday from our
studies all day, in honor of your coming here."

Again a gentle "thank you" from Cecil, his tired eyes still seeking air
castles among the red and gray embers of the fire. After some minutes
silence, he turned to look at the tall old clock in the corner, which,
in addition to the hours and minutes depicted upon its face, was adorned
with supposed likenesses of the sun and moon and other heavenly bodies,
beside the terrestrial globe which represented Jerusalem as being
situated in the very center of the earth's surface.

The same old clock, which had stood in the same corner of the library
long enough to mark the hours of the births and marriages, the meetings
and partings, and death, of several generations of the Vyvyans, now
chimed in slow, subdued tones, through which ran the echo of a wail,
like the voice of a human being, who has seen much and suffered much.

"Dr. Strickland will expect me to return to him now, Cousin Anna, so I
must say 'good evening'."

"Before you go, Cecil, tell me at what time you will be ready to ride
with me to-morrow?"

"I must ask my tutor," he replied.

"Very well, you can let me know at breakfast time. I suppose you can
find your way to your part of the house, follow straight along the
corridor till you come to the south wing at the end. Your study and all
the other rooms for you and Dr. Strickland are there. Good night."

The next day the ponies were brought round to the hall door immediately
after luncheon, and the boy and girl were mounted. Cecil, whose chief
mode of locomotion had hitherto been in a palanquin, did not by any
means enjoy his present situation; but as he made no remark, his cousin
supposed he was as pleased and jubilant at having an opportunity of
seeing the beautiful surroundings of the place as she was showing them.
They rode through the park, down the long avenue of oaks and beeches,
and out by the keeper's lodge to the lake, and then away over the hill
among the scattered cottages of the peasants, who touched their hats or
curtsied as the cousins rode by. Anna always returning their salutations
with some pleasant word or nod, or an inquiry after their welfare. At
last they turned their ponies homeward. The boy all the while silent;
the girl chattering and explaining and repeating anecdotes which had
been told to her, and laughing merrily at the ludicrous passages in
them. As they were again entering the park, the boy's riding whip
slipped out of his hand and fell to the ground. Looking at his cousin
with a grave expression of face, he said,

"I have dropped my whip, what shall I do?"

"Dismount and pick it up," replied Anna.

"But I cannot," he replied, "I am afraid I could not mount again without
the groom to help me."

"Very well, then I will get it," so down she sprang, passed up the whip
to Cecil, and bounding into her saddle again was off at a canter before
the boy could say a word.

"Come along, Cecil," she cried, looking back, "come along, this is the
finest stretch of ground in the country for a race."



CHAPTER III.

    No--that hallowed form is ne'er forgot
        Which first love traced;
    Still it lingering haunts the greenest spot
          On memory's waste.
          'Twas odor fled
          As soon as shed:
    'Twas morning's wingèd dream;
    'Twas a light that ne'er can shine again
        On life's dull stream:
    Oh! 'twas light that ne'er can shine again
        On life's dull stream.


Dr. Strickland and his pupil had been fairly ensconced, and for some
time past settled in the pretty, sunny rooms in the south wing of the
manor house. All the windows of the lower suite opened to the ground,
and overlooked and led into a Dutch flower garden, which, in accordance
with its name, was laid out in formal walks with high box borders on
each side, and stiffly-shaped flower beds of poppies, and tulips, and
marigolds, and clusters of monkshood, and the tall white lilies of
France, edged round with thyme and sweet basil. In the soft green turf,
were planted evergreen trees, which were cut and clipped into fantastic
shapes of peacocks, and pyramids, and cubes, and swans, and other
devices. Here and there were clumps of holly and yew, from the midst of
which some fawn or dryad, some Hebe or Flora, in Italian marble, had
long kept watch. Then there were the old cedars of Lebanon, with seats
encircling their great trunks, the ends of their long branches lying on
the grass, offering beneath them, rest and shade at any hour of the day.
The western side of the garden terminated in what was known as Lady
Dorothy's walk. A straight, long, gravel walk, bordered on either side
by a few feet of soft turf, and an avenue of yew trees two centuries
old. The small closely-growing foliage of these trees was so dense that
it formed a perpetual green wall, effectually shutting out all the
world, with the exception of the sun at noonday, and the stars and moon
at night. At the head of the walk was a sundial, and at the further end
a fountain. Not a great, noisy, conspicuous construction, suggestive of
the rush and turmoil of life, drowning in its splash all the sweet
sounds of bird and bee, and the marvelous music of nature, but a pure,
gentle, dainty little fountain, the sound of whose crystal drops, so
full of soothing and tenderness, fell upon the ear like the voice of the
one we love. Near the fountain was a rustic seat from which one might
look across the park with its forest trees, its green undulations, and
its lake, and still further away westward to the purple Welsh mountains.
In every way this was a beautiful garden, a place to dream of, and live,
and love, and die in.

Springtime had come, and Cecil and his tutor were sitting in their
study, looking out at the linnets flitting about the garden, and at the
primroses and blue violets which grew in front of the windows. The
lessons of the day were over, and the Doctor was pursuing his favorite
amusement, namely, drawing mathematical deductions, and coming to
logical conclusions upon all matters. Although he was a ripe scholar, he
would frequently forget himself, and break out in his strong Scotch
accent; but that signified nothing, as Cecil perfectly understood his
speech, and the family all liked him, for they knew he was a good man
and greatly interested in the well-doing of his pupil.

"Ye had a lang walk wi' your cousin this morning," said the Doctor. "I
hope ye understand her better than ye did."

"I am not sure that I do," answered Cecil. "I don't see why she moves so
quickly and is always well; I don't like people who are always well,
they cannot feel for others."

"Ye should no say that, Cecil, when ye look at your aunt; she's no
invalid, but she gi'es up her life for the sak' o' others. Did ye ken
that these verra rooms are the anes she likes most, the anes she lived
in till we came, and she gave them up that ye might enjoy the best she
had to offer?"

"O yes, I know that," said Cecil. "My aunt is very kind, but I was not
thinking of her when I spoke, I was thinking of Cousin Anna; she runs so
fast and when she is not singing, she is laughing, and I don't believe
she has any nerves, for the other day my pony got a stone in his shoe,
and she was off hers in a moment, seized my pony's fetlock and snatching
up something in the road, knocked out the stone and mounted in less time
than I have taken to tell you. Now none of the young ladies in India
would take a pony's fetlock in their hand, so I think Cousin Anna cannot
possess nerves."

"In one respect ye are right," said the Doctor, "Such a young leddie as
ony o' those we used to see in India, would ride on and leave ye, and
when she got home, she would tell one of the servants to tell some one
of the other servants to see aboot it, and when they had passed the
order through half a dozen, in the course of a few hours perhaps one of
them would be with you, and, in the meantime, she would be lying on the
sofa, with Shastri standing by, fanning her out of her nervous shock."

"But think of the first day I rode with my cousin, she surprised me so
when she picked up my whip, I thought then she had no nerves."

"Admitting such a statement to be true," replied the Doctor, "which we
are by nae means sure of, for the truth has no been logically proved, I
say, admitting that it be true, is it no' a gude thing for ye that your
cousin has nae nerrves, if ye are to gang aboot drapping things that ye
dar' na pick up again. In the sense that ye appear to desire your cousin
to hae nerrves, I dinna ken mysel' what use they wad be to a young
leddie wi' a speerit such as she has. I wad no' wish to see a lassie o'
her years hae nerrves; na, na, she wad no hae ony use for them;
Providence kens what is guide for us a', and will send her the nerrves
when she is fit to manage them."

"Still I don't see," said Cecil, "why she is not frightened sometimes.
Perhaps she may be, but if so she will never say so; I don't think a
girl ought to be so fearless."

"Perhaps ye dinna ken that young leddies o' her rank in England are all
educated in that way. The English hae this proverb amang them. 'A
well-born woman is ever brave.' Your cousin inherits her courage a long
way back, she is no mongrel born; I wish ye to see for yourself, Cecil,
that it is a gude thing to be brave. There are mony ways o' showing it
beside being a soldier or a sailor." And then the Doctor dropped his
Scotch accent and spoke slowly, "We ought to be brave enough to do our
duty to others," said he. "And now I will give you six reasons for being
brave for the sake of those we love. Firstly, brave that we may inspire
them, with courage when their hearts are weary. Secondly, brave that we
may be patient and gentle when their nerves demand rest. Thirdly brave
that we may be kind and diligent and loving when they are sick.
Fourthly, brave that we may not be morbid and gloomy and thus depress
them. Fifthly, brave that we may be faithful and true in all things.
Sixthly, brave that we may endure without murmuring to the end."

Long after the Doctor had left the room, Cecil was still there, leaning
his head against the side of the window and thinking over this
conversation. He possessed a generous disposition, and could not bear
the idea of having misjudged his cousin. But he was of a sensitive
temperament and not having a robust constitution, the girl's gaiety of
spirit and great vital energy fatigued him. The cousins continued their
amusements and their studies steadily together for the next two years,
and although Cecil still called Anna as wild as a hawk, yet he never got
into any serious difficulty, but he applied to her to help him out of
it, whether it was in solving a problem or otherwise; carrying out Dr.
Strickland's teaching he appeared to feel that his strength lay with her
and she in her turn was rejoiced to help him.

There are natures which seem made to help others, they find their
greatest happiness in it; and so it was with Anna, the more he needed
her help the more she delighted in giving it. Cecil's health was greatly
improved by the climate of England, and with stronger health came
stronger nerves. He now no longer thought his cousin without them, but
he thought she knew how to control them; in fact, they had grown to love
each other with that certain kind of cousinly affection which one often
sees, and which is very true and lifelong, but has not the rapture, the
intensity, nor the anguish, which belong to really falling in love.

It was a day in sweet summer time, all roses and beauty, when the young
people met as usual in Lady Dorothy's walk; it was their favorite place,
and here they would ramble up and down, and sit by the fountain, and
talk, and paint, and read for hours together; and the next day it was
the same thing, and the next, and the next, for they never grew tired of
the place, or of each other. They were now pacing the long walk, and
although they were past the age of eighteen, they still continued their
studies, but were permitted to select them.

"What a pleasant thing it is, Cecil, to follow out one's own life and
study what we wish," said Anna. "I am so glad to be free, no more
construing sentences, no more conjugating verbs, no more solving
problems; I always hated all of that dry stuff."

"What are you going to do, then," inquired Cecil.

"Firstly, I shall spend more time with my mother, more time in the study
of my music, and read all the poetry I wish to, and ride on horseback,
and dance, and, of course, help my mother more in taking care of the
peasantry."

"Now, Cecil, what shall you do?"

"Firstly, I think I shall paint, and rove about among this beautiful
scenery," he replied. "I shall paint until I feel sure that I shall take
the first prize in the grand exhibition; I will not exhibit one stroke
of my brush until then."

"Well done, Cecil," said Anna, "that is the spirit I like."

For she knew as she looked at him, that he possessed a wealth which no
money can buy, a soul full of poetry, a mind full of genius, the
elements of true greatness in any art, and the only wealth that she
valued.

And Cecil went on with his painting, and progressed, and brought more
depth of tone and beauty into his pictures with every fresh attempt,
till the canvas seemed to live under his hand, and his poetic soul and
gentle nature spoke through his art. When any difficulty presented
itself, he would always seek Anna and have her near him, not that she
was an artist, but from some cause he could paint his best when she was
by; indeed they were together the greater part of the time, for if they
began the day in their different parts of the house, by some chance they
either found each other in the library, or Lady Dorothy's walk, long
before noon. They drifted to the same place, they scarcely knew how, but
they began to know that the presence of each one to the other, was
equally essential to their happiness. Cecil was a poet, not a writer of
rhymes or jingles, but as we have said a true poet in his soul. Anna
felt this in all her intercourse with him and heard it in the tones of
his voice when he spoke, a voice that had a ring in it, a resonance, and
that exquisite power of modulation which says more than the words
themselves. And so time went swiftly and sweetly by with their walks and
rides, and occupations, until they were twenty years old. Anna happy in
the possession of Cecil's love, with life as she wished it, pure, joyous
life, with music and beauty everywhere. A song ever on her lips, the
happiest, merriest maiden in all "Merrie England."

Cecil in his gentle way, deriving extreme pleasure from the study and
exercise of his art, and Anna's companionship. For the cousinly
affection of two years ago, had in both of them merged into deep intense
love, which ended only with their lives.



CHAPTER IV.

    And those were sudden partings such as press
    The life from out young hearts.

           *     *     *     *     *

    O who wad wear a silken gown
      Wi' a poor broken heart,
    And what 's to me a siller crown
      If from my love I part.

           *     *     *     *     *

    Alone, alone, all, all alone,
      Alone on a wide, wide sea!
    And never a saint took pity on
      My soul in agony.


It was springtime again, and the snowdrops were nodding their dainty,
little white heads, and the linnets were again building their nests in
the sweet old garden, when Anna's mother summoned her from Cecil's side
in Lady Dorothy's walk, to the oak-paneled drawing-room.

"My daughter," she began, "I regret that I must interrupt your present
happiness, but circumstances compel me to separate you and Cecil for the
present. It is time that you were presented at court, and it is time
that you passed a season in London. We have hitherto lead so secluded a
life that your name is not known beyond the limits of our county, and I
feel I am not doing my duty by you."

"But we are all very happy, mother," said Anna. "Why need we be more
known?"

"Yes, my daughter, we are happy now but changes must come to all
sometime. I may be called away from you."

"O my dearest mother do not say that, I cannot, I dare not think of what
life would be without you; you know I will do anything you wish, or give
up everything else in life, but I cannot give you up; it would break my
heart, I should die," cried Anna.

"Broken hearts don't die, my daughter, would to God that they did; few,
very few die of broken hearts, but many live with them. I have carefully
considered what is my duty toward you, and my reason and affection
coincide; now listen, in case I am called away by death, there is Cecil
to whose care and protection I could resign you, for I knew you loved
each other long before you knew it yourselves; I am happy that it is so,
but if Cecil were taken away also, there would be no very near relatives
to care for you, for the nearest members of your father's family are in
India, and mine in the colony of Virginia, and as you will inherit the
landed estates of your late grandfather as well as mine, it would be
better that you should make trustworthy friends before I leave you, I
see this pains you, dear daughter, I shall say no more on this subject.
In three days we shall set out for London as the season has already
begun, and we shall require some time to get our court dresses made."

The last evening at the manor house was passed by Anna and Cecil under
the light of the stars, in Lady Dorothy's walk. The next morning saw
the large, old yellow family coach at the door, drawn by four strong,
heavy horses, a coachman and groom on the box, a maid and a butler in
the rumble, and the widow and her daughter inside. Cecil who was
standing by one of the coach windows looking very pale and thoughtful,
tried to put on a smile as he said,

"We are to look for you both back again in the early autumn, you said,
aunt."

"Yes, Cecil, as soon as the first brown leaves fall."

The young people looked good by to each other, but said not a word, and
the heavy old coach moved away. In three days more the travelers were in
London, and in due course Anna was presented at court by her mother, who
had herself been presented on the occasion of her marriage. Then came
calls and cards and invitations to balls and routs and state dinners,
and the poor tired mother went through all these ceremonies as a duty
toward her daughter, and the daughter endured it because she loved her
mother, and desired to obey her wish. It was necessary that a young
heiress of her rank should be dressed in accordance with the fashion of
the day, but the young heiress longed to be released from the thraldom
of fashion, the fatiguing, heavy brocade dresses, the hoops, the stiff
ruff and the stomacher, the farthingale and high heeled shoes, and a
thousand times more than all, did she desire to be released from the
artificial and to her unsatisfactory life, from the flattery, the
coquetry, the idle, envious tattle, and to be back again with Cecil, in
her simple, healthy attire, and to live among honest hearts.

The autumn came, and the dry brown leaves began to fall from the trees.
Day after day, Cecil opened the harpsichord, and laid a bouquet of the
rich deep-hued flowers of the season upon it, and then he took his place
by the fountain, and watched the winding road through the park, so that
he might get the first sight of the coach when it returned. The autumn
leaves continued to fall, and Cecil kept his daily vigil until they were
lying deep on the ground, and the branches overhead were bare. Then came
a letter saying that Cecil's aunt was ordered by her doctor to pass the
winter in Italy, in the hope of curing a cough, which had of late
settled upon her, so that it would be spring before the ladies could
return to the manor house, hence they traveled to Italy and spent the
winter among its masterpieces of genius, both in music and art. The soft
air seemed all that was wanted to restore Anna's mother to health. Every
day, they found something beautiful that they desired Cecil to see, but
it was too late now to send for him, for spring was near. With the
spring, came back the cough, and again the medical order was change of
climate. This time, a sojourn of some months in Norway was prescribed
for Mrs. Vyvyan, bracing air, and much out-door life in the pine woods.
After many weeks of slow journeying, the ladies with two of their
servants reached Norway, and took up their abode in an old chateau, in
the midst of a pine forest so-called, but a forest really composed of
many varieties of fir and spruce, as well as pine. The combined aroma of
these woods made the air fragrant for many acres around the chateau, and
for a time, it appeared to have the most beneficial effect upon the
invalid. But one quiet eve, when the summer days had waned, and the
faded leaves of another autumn fell, a pang of anguish shot through
Anna's heart. The dearly loved mother was called away.

       *     *     *     *     *

A short time only had elapsed since that event, and the servants were
packing, and making preparations for the return to the manor house, when
a mounted courier arrived at the chateau, with a large package of papers
addressed in Dr. Strickland's handwriting. Very long, and full of
feeling, and minute in every detail, was the letter the good man had
written, if letter so long a dispatch might be called. He told of
Cecil's conversations, of his watchings from beside the fountain; how
every day he picked flowers, and put them on the harpsichord, saying
this is the place she loves best; and how he faded and wasted day by
day, yet struggled so bravely against the hand of death, that he might
finish his last and best picture for Anna; and how on the last day of
his life, he had laid his flowers on the harpsichord as usual, and then
desired to be carried to the library and lifted into their
great-grandfather's chair to die,--the chair that Anna had placed for
him the first time they met.

When Anna had finished reading the final words of Dr. Strickland's
letter, she rose and moved quietly into the recess of one of the large,
heavily mullioned windows, and looked down a long vista into the forest,
to the tall dark pines under which was her mother's grave. Every vestige
of color had left both cheek and lip, and she stood in the great somber
room, as cold and white and as still as the statues which adorned its
walls. The extremes of grief and joy have no speech; she had none. No
cry of lamentation went forth; no tears of relief fell from her eyes;
she knew her life was ended, but she also knew that she could not die.
Three words only escaped her lips. "O God, alone."



CHAPTER V.

    Has hope like the bird in the story,
      That flitted from tree to tree
    With the talisman's glittering glory
      Has hope been that bird to thee?

    On branch after branch alighting,
      The gem did she still display,
    And when nearest and most inviting,
      Then waft the fair gem away?


Among the papers of the late mistress of the manor house, were found two
letters which from their dates showed that they had been written during
her stay in Italy. One was addressed to Sir Thomas Richardson, Lord
Chief Justice of England, the other to her daughter. She appeared to
have had a foreshadowing of her death, and directed Anna, in case of
such an event, to have Sir Thomas' letter delivered to him immediately,
and to abide by whatever decision he might come to. Anna had never seen
Sir Thomas, but she knew that he was in some way related to her on her
mother's side of the family, and that he was an old gentleman, who lived
among his books, in an old-fashioned country house in one of the midland
counties of England, with no one but his servants about him. And when
the decision came, which informed Miss Vyvyan that she too was to live
there, as his ward, she was thankful, for the tie of kindred was strong
in her nature, and she thought to herself, there is still a link, that
connects with the memory of my loved mother. Besides he is old and
alone, perhaps I may be able to do something to make his life less
lonely. But what could she do, she asked herself, for to her all seemed
vague and undefined.

Arriving at the quiet old home of Sir Thomas, with its smooth green lawn
and flat meadows around and in front of the house, she was shown into
the presence of a tall, stately, white-haired, old gentleman to whom
nature had indeed been gracious, for he was extremely handsome, and of
courtly manners. He greeted her kindly but with much dignity, and
addressed her throughout the conversation as Miss Vyvyan. A shudder
swept through her frame each time she heard herself so called, by the
only one left who had the right to address her by her own familiar name
of Anna, which she had hoped he would do. But although desiring to be in
every way kind to his ward, his ideas of dignity and courtesy were
fixed, and to him she was always Miss Vyvyan. Thus without a thought of
causing her pain, he ever brought before her the deepest sense of her
bereavement and her isolation. Life in Sir Thomas' home was very
different from life at the manor house, both in doors and out. The old
gentleman passed most of his time in his library, and Anna rarely saw
him until evening, when he would sometimes instruct her in playing
chess. When she went outside of the house, all seemed strange and dull
and dreary, plain grass lawns all around, not a flower bed to be seen,
no long garden walk, no fountain, no hills to ramble over, no purple
mountains in the distance, but a flat level country on all sides. And
when she came in doors again, no loved mother, no Cecil to greet her.

Nearly three years had gone by since Anna's arrival as Sir Thomas' ward.
It was evening, and they had just finished their game of chess, when he
for the first time addressed her as my dear young lady, and after a
short pause proceeded.

"This is not a fit place for you; I am too old to be the companion of
youth; I am doing you injustice in allowing you to remain with me, and
have decided that you shall have a more suitable home."

"I do not wish to leave you, Sir Thomas," replied Anna, "besides I have
nowhere to go. I cannot live at the manor house all alone."

"Certainly you cannot," he answered. "I have arranged everything for you
to the best of my power. You do not really come into property until you
are twenty-five years of age. Your landed estates and other moneys are
secured to you in such a way that you need not feel the least
apprehension about your affairs, everything has been attended to. The
manor house will be in the charge of a steward for the present. You will
probably wish to live there again some day. As I have just said, I am
too old; I may not, I cannot have long to remain here. There is a cousin
of your mother living in the colony of Virginia, Fairfax by name. He has
a wife and family, two nephews, whom he has adopted, twins, I think,
also Fairfaxes. They stand in the degree of a third generation from
myself. I mean to say these twins are about the same age my grandson
would be now, had he been spared to my declining years. Therefore, they
must be a few years older than you are, and more adapted for being
companionable to you, than I am. I have been in correspondence with your
Cousin Fairfax, during many months, in regard to your making your home
with them in Virginia, until you are older, and have ceased so much to
need protection, or until you have settled in a home of your own. The
arrangement appears to be very agreeable to them, and I trust you will
be happy in their society. I cannot part with you without saying that
your presence in my house has given me much pleasure--the only one now
left to me, that of recollection. Although you are very quiet, for one
who has only reached your years, yet the sound of your footstep about
the house called sweet though sad memories of my only daughter, and I
thank you for them. If I thought only of myself, I should keep you here
till the end, but there are times when it is more noble to resign than
to fulfill the dearest wishes of our heart."

       *     *     *     *     *

It was in the summer of 1607 that Miss Vyvyan, attended by her waiting
woman, sailed from England, for the colony of Virginia, in the ship
Queen Elizabeth, from which she had just been wrecked, when we took up
the narrative of her early life. To that period of time we will now
return.



CHAPTER VI.

    This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
    Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight.
    Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic.
    Stand like harpers hoar with beards that rest on their bosoms.
    Loud from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced neighboring ocean,
    Speaks and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

       *     *     *     *     *

    And thou too who so 'ere thou art
      That readest this brief psalm
    As one by one thy hopes depart
      Be resolute and calm.

    Oh fear not in a world like this,
      And thou shalt know ere long,
    Know how sublime a thing it is
      To suffer and be strong.


As the shipwrecked young lady lay on the cold, rough beach, amid the
dead bodies, with the hoarse roar of the ocean sounding in her ears, and
the heavy, wet clouds of mist clinging about her, indifferent to life or
death, the recollection of the ship being pursued by buccaneers and
driven far out of her course came back to her mind, and then being
caught in a hurricane and seeing another vessel battling with the
tempest, and both ships furiously hurried on toward a wild, rocky coast,
the vessels crashing on shore and rebounding again, and some one
lifting her into a boat, and then she remembered no more. While these
recollections were passing through her brain, she raised herself upon
her elbow and looked around. Death everywhere, the ocean with its
floating corpses and wreckage lay before her. On either hand a long
broken beach, with its gloomy rocks and its scattered dead. A scene
which at any other time in her life would have struck her with awe, she
now gazed at quietly, and questioned "Why am I the only one left, oh, if
I too could die." Turning to look behind her through the mist, she
observed that the land was hilly, and in some places rose to a
considerable height. The whole surface as far as she could make out was
covered by a thick growth of lofty pines, mingled with spruce and other
sorts of fir, among which sprung up an entanglement of various kinds of
undergrowth, all these trees and shrubs growing nearly down to the sea
and forming so thick a forest, that it was impossible for sight to
penetrate it further than a few yards. There was no building of any kind
to be seen, no sign of human habitation of either savage or civilized
life. The great abundance of pine trees, and the general appearance of
the forest, which strongly resembled the forests of Norway, instantly
called up the question in Anna Vyvyan's mind, can it be possible that
destiny has sent me back to the land of my mother's grave?

A low wail like the cry of a young child in distress, caused the only
hearer to start to her feet, and looking on the other side of a broken
rock close by, she saw stretched out white and still, a young lady by
the side of whom, in a half-standing position, and bending over her was
a beautiful golden-haired little girl of between two and three years. In
another instant Anna was also bending over the young mother, to whom she
found the child was tied by a crimson silk sash such as were worn by
military officers. The tearful little one turned up her sweet face,
without any apparent fear, but with a great deal of sorrow in it, and
said, in her baby language,

"Mama dorn seep," then she pressed her lips upon the cold white cheek,
and kissed it and stroked and patted the also beautiful mother, who lay
so mute and pallid and unconscious of all her little one's gentle love.

Again and again came the cry from the poor forlorn little creature, "Det
up, mama, det up, mama;" but the dear mamma was beyond the reach of the
sweet baby voice. Anna's first thought was to see if any sign of life
remained in the slender form before her, but she could find no pulse,
and the face and hands were as cold, as the rocks upon which she was
lying. Miss Vyvyan unfastened the child, and drew away the long sash,
which had tied her to her mother's waist. As she did so, she observed
the delicately formed features, which were so regular and proportionate
that they might have been chiseled in marble, to represent some Greek
goddess. She saw the masses of soft brown hair, and the long dark
eyelashes, which dropped upon the cheek like silken fringe. She
observed, too, the simple traveling habit, made of the finest material,
but perfectly free from any attempt at vulgar ornament. And as she took
the child into her arms, and looked down once more on the sweet white
face, which lay on the stones at her feet, and noted the refinement in
everything about her, she knew that the little one's mother came of
gentle blood. The child was willing to go to Anna, but not willing to be
removed out of sight of its mother. So Miss Vyvyan sat down where they
were with the little one in her lap, and shook out the silk sash with
the idea of wrapping it round the shivering child, but that, too, was
wet, every thing in the shape of clothing was wet, both on Anna and the
child. All that she could do for the moment to comfort the tiny thing,
was to fold it in her arms, and try by that means to keep it from
perishing with cold. It had probably been shielded by some heavy woolen
wrap, which was torn off by the breakers when they were cast on shore,
for as Anna shook out the silk sash, there fell from it a strip of thick
woolen fringe, which had the appearance of having belonged to a shawl.

But now the child was bareheaded, and wore a little white dress of
exceedingly fine embroidery, which also spoke of the mother's love, for
none but loving hands ever wrought work so dainty as that. Round its
neck was clasped a small gold chain of minute links of very fine
workmanship. So thin and delicately was it made, that it resembled a
thread of golden silk. Anna examined it carefully to see if she could
find any letter or name upon it, but none was there, then she spoke to
the child as it lay nestling its pretty head upon her arm, and still
talking to its mother, and said,

"Tell me, dear little one, what is your name?"

The child looked up, but evidently could not understand the meaning of
her words.

Anna tried again by laying one of her fingers on the child's shoulder
and saying, "Who's dat?"

"Mama's baby," answered the little one in an instant.

"Will Mama's baby tell me where papa is?"

"Dorn seep," replied the child.

"Tell me where dorn seep, sweet child."

"Down dare," answered she, pointing to a mass of human bodies which were
thrown together on the beach some distance below them, and which were
constantly kept in motion by the incoming tide.

Anna's desire to die no longer existed; as she held the beautiful little
creature to her heart and rocked it, all her thoughts concentrated in
the one question, what could she do to aid this sweet helpless one. The
ideas rushed through her mind with the rapidity that they come to us in
fever. It must have warmth and food, or it will perish. I cannot let it
die, it is so beautiful, and I love it. I must act this moment. Rising
with the child in her arms, she hastened along as rapidly as she could
among the wreckage, scrambling between bales and chests of all kinds, in
the hope of finding something, anything; she could not surmise what it
might be, but some sustenance must be had for the child. Although
hundreds of cases and bales were strewed about, they were all so
securely corded and nailed up, that it was impossible to procure
anything from them.

At last, far in on the land, she came to a large pile of freight, which
had struck so violently, that the greater number of the cases and bales,
had broken in two, or had burst open. The first object that met her
sight, was a broken chest full of table covers of rich cloth, evidently
the product of India and Persia, as the silk embroidered borders in
oriental needlework showed; happily everything was thrown in so far that
it was dry.

Taking one of the table covers, she wrapped it round the child, who in
the midst of its discomfort showed its gentle nature by saying,

"Pitty sing, pitty sing," and holding up its sweet face to kiss Anna.

"Yes, mama's baby shall have more pretty things soon," said Miss Vyvyan.

"Dinner," cried the child, "bing dinner, Dinah bing dinner."

"Yes, darling, we must find dinner for mama's baby."

"Dinah bing dinner?" again repeated the poor, hungry little thing, with
an expressive look of interrogation.

"Yes, dear, yes;" folding the soft woolen cover still more closely round
the child, Anna placed her in a sheltered spot. "Stay there a moment,
baby, while I bring dinner."

From the marks on the outside of the boxes it was plain that they had
come from some Mediterranean port, and contained fruits and other
edibles. With a heavy stone, Anna soon broke open a small box of candied
fruit, selecting some, she gave it to the half-starved child. One of the
baby hands held her fruit, the other one was instantly stretched out
toward the box.

"Mama, tandy, too," she cried.

"Mama is asleep, darling, she does not want candy."

"Oh mama, tandy, too," she repeated, with an earnestness that sent a
thrill through Anna's heart.

"Yes; mama's baby shall take some if she wishes to."

The child took a piece of the fruit, "Doe now," she said.

"Go where, baby?"

"Mama," answered the child, struggling among the folds of her wrap, to
get on to her feet and pointing in the direction of its mother. A nature
so full of love, shall not be pained or thwarted by me, mused Anna, as
she carried back the child who had already become precious to her. When
they reached the place where the cold white mother was lying, and Anna
was in the act of putting the little one on the ground as it desired, an
unusually large wave broke so close by, that the spray and foam dashed
against, and flowed over the sweet pale face. The child uttered a sharp
cry of distress, and disengaging itself from Anna's arms and darting to
its mother, threw itself down by her side, and, clasping her neck with
its tiny arms, covered with kisses the face that was so dear. The next
wave will carry the mother away, Anna thought. I cannot let the child
witness such a sight, it would break her loving little heart, and she
also felt that she, herself, could not give up to the all-devouring
ocean, the object of so much affection in the babe. Placing the little
one in safety, she took up the cold, white burden in her arms, and
carried it far back from the reach of the sea, putting it down on the
moss, at the root of a large pine. As it lay there so lone and sad and
beautiful, with the child standing by it, for the little soul had
followed with its swiftest steps, Anna bent over it and kissed the face.
Poor dear, she murmured in a whisper, as long as I exist, my love and my
life shall be devoted to your child. She bent again and kissed the cold
lips. Could it be possible that breath came lightly through them? It
was,--it was,--deeper and deeper drawn and more regular each time.
Merciful God, she lives, and the tears fell fast from eyes that had long
been dry with grief. A faint sigh, and the partial parting of the long
silken eyelashes, told that life was coming back still more and more. In
a few moments she feebly uttered, "My child."

"Your child is safe and with you," replied Anna, lifting the little one
closer to its mother's side.

"Dudley," she faltered.

"He has not come yet," said Anna, surmising for whom she was inquiring,
and pitying in her inmost soul the widowed heart that must so soon learn
to live without him.

When the poor mother opened her eyes, the scene of horror was more than
her delicate organization could endure, and a violent, fit of trembling
came upon her.

"Tote on," said the anxious, sensitive child.

The suggestion was acted upon, Anna ran to the pile of dry wreckage, and
soon returned, with an armful of table covers and a box.

"Tote on mama," cried the child hurriedly, as if it felt there was no
time to be lost.

"Yes, darling, a coat for mama," said Anna, improvising a pillow with
one, and wrapping several other warm covers about the shivering mother.

"Take this," said she, holding to her lips some cordial which she had
poured into a mussel shell, "It is buanaba, a very delicate restorative
made in Turkey, pray try to take it, it will keep you from shivering
so."

As we have already said, Anna possessed great vital energy, and with her
to think was to act. She saw that the delicate, slender young mother and
the child must both die, unless she could find some means of getting
them warm. There was an abundance of dead wood close by, if she could
only start the first spark of fire. Pushing her way a few yards into the
forest, she brought out a quantity of dead grass and resinous wood, and
continued striking two stones together until at last the spark came, and
a good fire soon blazed high, and sent out its glow toward the pine tree
beneath which they were lying. Some large stones were soon heated in the
hot embers, and rolled to the feet of the mother. Covering was brought
and held to the fire, and the lowly bed made so warm that the exhausted
mother and her little one fell into a natural and refreshing sleep. In
the meantime Anna was everywhere scrambling and climbing among the
freight, dragging what she could not carry, searching for anything that
might be appropriated as a covering against the cold, and looking after
the cases of eatables with a thought for the poor, starving ones under
the pine tree. It was late in the afternoon when the sleepers awoke. The
mist had in a great measure cleared away, and the sunlight was
straggling through the remaining clouds. A good fire was burning, and a
tin of water was boiling beside it. A long box cover, supported by
stones at each end, formed a table, other box lids made seats, and the
table was spread with food that would at least sustain life. Heaped up
under another pine tree, was a sufficient supply of both food and
covering, to provide for the ladies and child for some time to come.
There was no lack of tins of all shapes, so they were made use of to
cook in, and for holding food. As soon as the child was thoroughly
awake, it sat up in its bed, showing its sweet fair face, and smiling
with happiness at finding its mother awake by its side. Taking up a cup
of food made from sea moss and sweetened with the candied fruit, Anna
attempted to feed the child by means of a shell, but it turned its face
away, and said in tones full of distress, "Mama too, Dinah bing dinner."
When Anna took hot coffee from the fire and propped up the exhausted
mother and induced her to drink it, everything went well with the child.
It was perfectly satisfied, and took its own food, and laughed and
played with the pebbles and shells that were brought to it.

"I have tried often, very often to speak to you," said the mother,
addressing Anna for the first time; "I was conscious, but I could not
speak; I was too weak I suppose, and now my voice has come back to me, I
have no words, I do not know what I can say to you."

"Will you let me suggest what you shall say," asked Anna? "It is this;
say what I can do that would most help you and your lovely child; and
now try to rest while I think how you can be sheltered from the night
air, for night will be upon us in the course of two hours at furthest."

The fog and mist had now completely disappeared, and given way to the
sun, which, however, was nearing the horizon, and the trees cast long
shadows on the grass.

While the mother and child had been asleep in the afternoon, Anna had
built up a few broken boards and stones between them and the sea, that
they might not be pained on their first awaking by seeing the terrible
sight which was so near.

"I am better," said the mother. "I feel stronger. I cannot endure to see
you doing all. I want to help you. I do not need more rest now. But tell
me first, pray tell me the truth, whatever it may be. Is there any one
left alive here besides ourselves. Have you seen an officer in a
colonel's uniform? My husband was in the service of King James, he wore
the royal uniform, when he tied my child to my waist with his sash, and
lifted me into a boat. I cannot remember any more. I think I must have
been stunned. How long have we been here? I seem to have lost some of
the time, but I felt you take away my child, and I heard you speak
tenderly to it. Have we been here too long for my husband to be living?
Tell me, can it be possible that I may find him?"

Anna could not add to her anguish by repeating what the child had said
when questioned about its father, for she believed it had spoken truly
when it answered,

"Dorn seep, down dare."

"I do not think we have been here longer than to-day," she replied. "I
do not know exactly. It was early in the morning when our ship struck
the rocks, but it was broad daylight when I came to my senses on the
shore. The tide was coming in, it was very high, and now it must have
been going out for nearly four hours, so I think we must have been cast
on shore this morning."

"Then my husband may still be alive, I must seek him." With those words,
she rose to her feet, but nearly fainted with the effort.

"Your child is sleeping," said Anna. "Let me support you, if you will
attempt to walk. Tell me your husband's name, that I may call it aloud;
these rocks are very rugged and I can send my voice into places among
them, that it would be impossible to go into."

"Colonel Carleton," she replied.

"Lean on me, Mrs. Carleton. Shall we go down this way?"

The tide had carried out the mass of floating bodies to which the child
had pointed at noon, but numbers of others still remained in all
directions. Tottering and staggering among the dead, Mrs. Carleton
continued her search, until she had looked into every ghastly face that
lay there.

"Now will you call aloud for me," she said, "for I cannot, my strength
is gone."

Anna called, but the only sound that came back was the echo of her own
voice from the forest and the heavy rolling of the sea. They returned in
silence to the child, who was still asleep. The sun had nearly set, when
all at once a rich, bright glow from the west rose behind the forest and
flooded every object with golden light. Looking out to sea eastward,
they observed only a few miles away many islands, some of them covered
with forests down to the water's edge.

"Where can we be," they both ejaculated at the same time. There was no
habitation visible on any of them, nor any smoke rising from them.

"These trees remind me of Norway," said Anna. "Do you think we can be in
Norway?"

"I am unable to say," replied Mrs. Carleton, "but I am sure we are in a
northern clime by the growth both of trees and plants."

The ladies seated themselves by the sleeping child, trying to think what
it was best for them to do. There was no time for delay; it would soon
be dark, and the little group of three appeared to be the only living
human beings in the place, wherever that place might be. While they were
talking together, they had turned their backs to the sea and were
looking toward the sunset, and watching the varied rays of light which
here and there penetrated through the forest on the hill before them.

"I did not hear your name, Mrs. Carleton, on board the ship I sailed in
from England," said Anna.

"I did not come from England," she answered. "My parents settled in the
colony of Virginia long ago. I was born there, that is my home. My
husband as well as myself, had many relatives in England, and we were
going to visit them, and intended to have our child baptized there, that
its name might be registered among those of its forefathers. Sometime
after we sailed, we fell in with buccaneers; but our ship, the Sir
Walter Raleigh, was a fast sailor, and we got away from them; yet I was
told when the hurricane came on, that they were the cause of our being
out of our course, hence our calamity."

"We met the same destiny," said Anna, and then she told in a few words
whence she had sailed, and that her name was Vyvyan.

The hill in front of the ladies, rose too high for them to see the
actual setting of the sun, but the rich glow of gold and crimson now lit
up the whole forest, and defined the outline of the rising ground.

"What is that I see?" said Mrs. Carleton, shading her eyes with her
hands.

"'Tall pines' I think," answered Anna.

"No, it is a tower; look, Miss Vyvyan, in that direction, see on the
hill; it is a stone tower; look, now the light has changed; there are
windows, many of them, see on the right the building extends a great
way, it is very large."

Anna looked through the wood where Mrs. Carleton directed, and saw
distinctly in the rosy light of the sunset, an immense stone building,
with a massive tower capable of containing many rooms, and rising to the
height of two hundred feet. With the exception of the tower, the
building was very irregular, and gave the impression of having been
erected at different periods. It combined the characteristics of a
feudal castle and a fortress. It was old and gray, but by no means a
ruin, yet it had a gloomy and forbidding appearance. The ladies looked
at each other and hesitated, they did not speak for a few moments; the
same idea possessed the mind of each. They thought that good people
would not live in such a place, amid such wild surroundings, but neither
one of them would unnerve the other by saying so, for they knew in their
present situation they required all the courage that they could command,
in order that they might be ready to meet their uncertain fate.

While they continued looking almost spellbound the child awoke, and
observing their earnest gaze, added her own scrutiny to theirs. She bent
her little golden head forward and saw some of the windows upon which
the reflection of light glinted.

"Home," she exclaimed, smiling with childish glee, "doe home," taking
hold of her mother's dress to draw her in the direction of the building,
which was about half-way up the hill, and only a few hundred yards from
where they now stood.



CHAPTER VII.

    The battled towers the donjon keep,
      The loop-hole grates where captives weep,
    The flanking walls that round it sweep,
      In yellow luster shone.

           *     *     *     *     *

    Act,--act in the living present!
      Heart within and God o'erhead!

           *     *     *     *     *

    Let us then be up and doing
      With a heart for any fate
    Still achieving, still pursuing
      Learn to labor and to wait.


The ladies held a consultation, should they attempt to go to the castle
and ask for shelter. How could the child, which like themselves had
hitherto lived in luxury, pass a night on the beach. Beside the forest
looked as if it was the resort of wolves and bears. It would be unsafe.
They could not after dark remain where they were, there was no
alternative, so they decided to go at once to the building. There was no
path, but they held the branches aside for each other. Taking the child
with them, they stumbled over the loose stones and among the briers as
well as their want of strength would permit, for they were much
exhausted. Mrs. Carleton was so weak that she fell several times and was
severely hurt, but no murmur escaped her and she rose and struggled on
again as if nothing had happened, turning, from time to time, with some
word of kindness or cheer to Miss Vyvyan, who was helping the little one
along.

Emerging from the woods, they found themselves in a long, open space of
grass, which was surrounded on all sides by the forest. The great
building stood full in front of, and overshadowed them. It was a
veritable feudal castle and, as we have said, grand, gloomy and
forbidding to look at. The windows were far up from the ground, no
entrance door was in sight, no walks or drives around it, everywhere
rank grass, with here and there a tuft of golden-rod, or fall aster
springing up. No smoke rising from any of the chimneys, no traces of
footsteps, no sound but the sighing of the wind through the pines, and
the surging of the ocean. Mrs. Carleton was first to break the silence.

"If I were by myself," said she, "I should imagine I must be dreaming,
but I feel the reality of our position, this is no dream. We are all
alone here; this place must have been deserted long ago. Look, there is
the entrance overgrown with brambles. It is best that we are alone; if
we can get shelter, we need not fear molestation."

She spoke calmly and cheerfully and tried to wear a smile for the sake
of the two who were looking at her and listening to her words. Anna had
entertained grave fears for Mrs. Carleton while they were getting up to
the castle. She thought the delicate frame must give way altogether, but
she now saw that her newly-made friend was as brave, as she was gentle
and loving and faithful, and fear gave place to hope and resolve. As she
went a few steps to gather some asters, which the child wished for, she
said to herself, "This fragile, suffering, uncomplaining woman has
already taught me a great lesson, and I will never seek selfish relief
by adding to her overburdened life, the weight of my own sorrow. She
shall always think me cheerful, whatever I may know my self to be, for
nothing that I can do will be of so much help to her and the sweet
child."

As Anna returned, the little one stretched out her hands to receive the
flowers and held up the rosy lips to give a kiss for them, which was her
usual mode of acknowledging any kindness shown to her.

"Miss Vyvyan," said Mrs. Carleton, "I have been looking on the other
side while you have been gathering the flowers. I find there is an
immense pile of ruins there, which looks as if it were the ruins of a
tower. That small entrance at the north end is the only one that is
open. Shall we try to get in, we can beat down the brambles."

The doorway was low and arched, the stone work about it coarse and
massive, the door had fallen from the upper hinge, and lay so far open
that ingress was very easy. The ladies entered and passed into a broad
stone passage, which was many yards in length and led to a staircase at
the foot of the great tower at the south end. As they passed along the
passage, they saw a number of rooms on either side, which were all in
semi-darkness, being lighted only by narrow loopholes in the outer
walls, yet there was sufficient light to show them that they were all
well filled with what appeared to be chests, boxes and packages, but the
ladies were too much fatigued to make any examination of them. They
observed that the walls were all of rough stone, but there was no
feeling of dampness. On reaching the staircase, Mrs. Carleton discovered
some inscriptions cut deep into the wall.

"What is this, Miss Vyvyan? I see it is not Greek or Latin or Hebrew. I
never saw any characters like these."

"They are runic," replied Anna. "I should not know what they are, only
that I have seen them on old ruins in Norway. Do you think we are in
Norway? This old castle is very much like buildings I have seen there."

Mrs. Carleton, who was an excellent botanist, again referred to the
trees and plants which they had seen as they came up from the beach.

"Those fall asters," she said, "and the species of golden-rod are both
of northern growth, but I cannot in the least feel sure of our
whereabouts. It scarcely seems probable that we shall find the means of
getting away from this place very soon, for there is no evidence of any
commerce here, and as far as I can judge, nothing for merchants or
traders to come for. I do not say this to dishearten you, Miss Vyvyan,
but I feel it right that we should speak openly and honestly to each
other."

"I understand you," replied Anna, "you do not wish to fill my
imagination with false hopes; it is good, and kind, and sensible, and I
thank you for speaking as you have done. I feel myself that this is no
time for dreaming, and I do not any longer care to indulge in it. All I
care for, is to lead an earnest, true life in whatever position Fate may
place me. If we are destined to remain together, you shall see."

The ladies had now ascended the winding stone staircase as far as the
top of the first flight from the ground. From the stairs, they stepped
into a corridor with a stone floor and bare stone walls, somewhat
similar to the one below, but wider and well lighted. From this
corridor, branched off other passages and staircases, leading both above
and below, and numberless rooms of all kinds, the doors of which were
chiefly open, showing the most luxurious and costly furniture, and the
richest hangings, containing chests filled with rich velvets and satins,
and all other requirements of ladies' dress. Some rooms were evidently
sleeping apartments, others were furnished as parlors, the walls being
hung with tapestry, and adorned with rare paintings and mirrors in
frames of the most exquisite workmanship, in ivory, silver and bronze.
Rich carpets and rugs covered the floors. The rooms all felt dry. They
had wide, open fireplaces in which stood fire dogs of brass or iron; in
some of them still remained half-burned or charred logs, and the dead
ashes of long years ago. The ladies remarked that, amidst all this
abundance of wealth, there was a certain incongruity in the arrangement
of the contents of every room. In one they found silk draperies from
India, a divan from Turkey, an Italian settee in the finest Florentine
carving; beside it a massive English table of heart of oak, and the
light, spider-legged gilt chairs of Paris, with their faded red silk
cushions, and so on. They rambled through room after room. In many of
them were firearms of all dates and nations, sabers and cutlasses,
daggers and swords, with pistols and guns, and powder flasks, and
spears. Some of these lay upon the tables and chairs, and others hung
from the walls. In all the sleeping-rooms, were numberless articles of
men's dress, uniforms and costumes of various kinds, sufficient in
variety to supply disguises for a whole regiment. With the exception of
the number of firearms and other instruments of warfare lying about, the
rooms were all in order. The reflection of the setting sun streamed in
at the windows, and across the floors at the west side of the castle,
and lit up the mirrors, and pictures, and beautiful and curious works of
art, which hung on the walls, or stood on the shelves, or on quaint
pieces of furniture, and which abounded everywhere and made the interior
of the building a pleasant contrast to the gloomy-looking outside.

Passing hastily through the rooms which led off the corridors, the
ladies returned to the great tower at the south end. They found the
door, which gave entrance to it was closed; but on Mrs. Carleton laying
her hand upon the lock, it at once gave way, and they went through a
vestibule, and entered a large and very handsome room. It was octagon in
form, with a window in every division. The upper part of each window was
made of antique painted glass, which shed red hues of crimson, gold and
purple in different parts of the room, ever varying their position with
the change in the sun's altitude, and giving the apartment at all times
of the day, a bright, cheerful appearance. This room was furnished still
more gorgeously than any of the others. The walls were hung with the
richest kinds of Spanish tapestry; on a ground of dark green silk
velvet, was embroidered large flowers and arabesques in gold,
interspersed at intervals with the well-known representations of the
three castles, which are a part of the arms of Spain. The furniture was
all of chestnut, carved in the deeply cut and highly raised work, which
is so rich and elaborate, and peculiar to the Spanish artists. Several
curiously cut mirrors hung on the walls, and also some exceedingly
delicate paintings in ivory, and, a number of choice enamels on plaques
of gold. The mantel piece of stone was high and adorned with beautiful
vases of Egyptian and Etruscan make, mingled with those of Rome and
Herculaneum, and the more modern flower-holders of Bohemian and Venetian
glass. The sofas, as well as the luxurious armchairs, were covered with
green silk velvet. The window draperies were of the same, ornamented
with gold fringe.

The floor was made of various kinds, inlaid in mosaic work, as we see
them in Italy. Soft ruby colored rugs were lying in front of the table,
and before the fireplace. On one side, was a small carved bookcase
containing a few volumes of novels, some of poetry and a few sacred
books of the Roman Catholic creed, all of them in Spanish.

In one or two of the books, the name of "Inez" was written. Across the
end of one of the sofas lay a guitar of satin-wood, inlaid with
mother-o'-pearl, with a Spanish lace mantilla by the side of it, and on
a small table close by was an open music book containing Spanish songs.

Everything gave evidence of having been left untouched for many years,
the flowers in the vases had dried, and fallen bit by bit, and lay in
small heaps that looked like chaff. In one corner of the room stood a
tall Chinese jar, that had once contained sprays of the fragrant fir
balsam, which was now little else than dust. In the wide, open fireplace
on the hearth, the wood that had been carefully placed on the dogs ready
to light, had become so dry, that it had crumbled away, and fallen to
pieces with its own weight.

The ladies felt the importance of using the remaining daylight in making
some preparations for the night, so deferred any further examination of
the castle until the next day. They experienced a certain feeling of
safety in being alone.

"Mrs. Carleton," said Miss Vyvyan, "you will not mind if I run down to
the beach, and bring up some of the table covers and some food. I shall
soon be back again."

"I do not mind being left, but I do mind your doing it without help; I
want to help you in everything, but I am not strong enough yet. We will
stand by the window and watch you as far as we can."

The child understood the conversation, and turning with a very earnest
and inquiring look to her mother, she said,

"Be back."

"Yes, dear, Miss Vyvyan is coming back. That is my little one's way of
saying she wishes you to return," said Mrs. Carleton. "She always says
to me, if I am leaving the room, 'be back,' she means come back."

"I like to hear her say it," said Anna; "it sounds so real and so
pretty, and it is her own way of expressing what she desires. I hope you
will always allow her to keep that little remnant of babyhood. I ask it
of you as a favor."

"I am only too glad, Miss Vyvyan, to do anything you wish," replied Mrs.
Carleton.

As Anna left the room and hastened down the tower stairs, she heard the
sweet little voice calling after her,

"Be back, be back."

Mrs. Carleton had prepared a pleasant surprise for Anna on her return.
She had taken a flint from the lock of one of the guns, and had
succeeded in lighting a cheerful fire, before which the ladies spread
the table covers, and slept until the light of the morning sun shone in
upon them through one of the painted windows, and made brilliant hues
in various parts of the room, which the child called butterflies. The
little party was rested and refreshed, and awoke to be greeted by a
beautiful day.

As soon as they had breakfasted, they began a thorough investigation of
their new abode. They descended to the basement where they had entered,
and discovered in one of the rooms immense stores of provisions of all
kinds, many of them in good order, for they were in sealed jars and
cases. One of the down-stairs rooms was a carpenter's shop, containing
tools of all sorts, which were of great use to the ladies in opening
many things that it would have been impossible for them to do otherwise.
There was a large store of wine, and a kitchen containing strangely
shaped cooking utensils from different countries. Near the small north
doorway by which the ladies entered the castle, was a narrow stone
staircase, leading down under ground, but it was so dimly lighted, that
they did not attempt to go down it. Ascending again to the tower, they
discovered several more beautiful rooms in it, all richly furnished. All
these rooms had apparently been set apart for the use of the lady, with
the exception of one, a library, containing carved oak shelves, loaded
with books in many different languages; the heavy furniture was also of
carved oak, cushioned with old gold embossed leather. A Spanish cloak of
crimson velvet was thrown across the back of one of the chairs, and upon
the seat of it lay a sombrero with a plume, also a sword and a pair of
gauntlets. An arched doorway in one corner of the library, led into a
small watch tower, the whole size of which was filled up by a winding
stone staircase.

"Come, Miss Vyvyan," said Mrs. Carleton, "we will go up here, and we
may, perhaps, see something that will tell us where we are." They
climbed the stairs to the top, and passed through a low door on to the
battlements of a great tower, whence they looked down at the pine trees,
two hundred feet below. They saw at once that they were on an island;
not by any means a large one, and that the whole of it was covered by
forest as far as the water's edge, excepting in a few places where a
bare rock or swamp intervened. They looked to the south and saw only the
open ocean. The day was clear and calm, and they could see away to the
horizon. To the east lay many other islands; then to the north the same
sight met their eyes. Looking to the west still more islands were to be
seen, and also what appeared to be the mainland, and far away, perhaps
seventy miles off in the distance, a magnificent range of lofty
mountains. Nothing could exceed the beauty of the scene. As they walked
round the top of the tower, looking down upon all these forest-clad
islands without any sign of habitation, Mrs. Carleton, turning to Anna,
said, "Let us try to think over all the maps we have studied in our
geography lessons."

"Just what I have been trying to do," said Anna, "but I can only think
of a great number of islands in the Pacific ocean, and we know we are
not there, and we are not in any of the West India islands, for, as you
say, the trees tell us we are in the north, and now that I see so many
islands, I know we are not in Norway. But is it not strange that the
runic characters are in so many places in this castle? See, here are
more of them, exactly the same as I saw when we were in Norway."

"Yes," replied Mrs. Carleton; "everything tells us we are in the north,
and also tells us we are alone. We may have to remain here, we know not
how long, perhaps years; and then, too, we have something else to
consider. These trees show that the winters in this region are very
severe, as do also the rents in the rocks that we clambered among on our
way up to the castle. Those great fissures were all caused by the action
of intense frosts, by such a degree of cold as you and I have no idea
of, excepting from what we have read. In a climate like this, we know
the winter sets in early, so I think, Miss Vyvyan, the only thing we can
do is to prepare for it immediately as soon as we can."

"I see; everything is exactly as you say," replied Anna, "and now let me
ask you a favor. I am stronger physically than you are, and I beg you to
allow me to undertake the heavier share of our occupation. Let me do all
that requires to be done outside the castle, such as getting wood and
water, and whatever we may want from the wreckage, and you take charge
of the inside of our present home, in which you must allow me to help
you. I understand you already, and I believe you would do everything
and endure all the fatigue without a murmur, but that is impossible; you
have not the strength, and you must try to be well for the sake of your
dear child."

Mrs. Carleton endeavored to remonstrate with Miss Vyvyan about the
division of the toil, which was so new and strange to each of them, for
she was born with a great generous heart that was ready and willing to
do and die for others; but Anna would not listen to her sweet pleadings,
although in her soul she admired them.

"Bow wow," said the little one, pointing down to the forest.

The ladies looked over the battlements and, to their horror, saw three
wolves creeping stealthily along under the shadow of the great pines
below. They thought instantly of the fallen door at the entrance, and
hastened down the tower stairs as far as the room hung with green velvet
tapestry, where they had passed the night, and which they decided should
in future be their sitting-room, so they named it the green parlor. As
they entered, the glow of the cheerful fire on the hearth, the beautiful
prospect of forest and sea from the windows, and the child's
butterflies, glancing here and there, gave a bright and pleasant air to
the room, but the ladies felt much disturbed by the discovery of wolves
so near them, and the knowledge of the open door in the passage below.

"Miss Vyvyan," said Mrs. Carleton, "there are other doors of entrance to
this, castle; I saw them, we will go and see if we can open one of
them; and then we will close up the door below altogether."

At the end of a passage leading from the tower, and not far from the
green parlor, they found a massive door, strongly barred and bolted
inside. They drew the bolts, and on opening it led down on the outside,
by a long flight of stone stairs to the grass below, and very near to
the place on which they stood on their arrival from the beach.

"We shall be safe in one respect now," said Mrs. Carleton, "for no
animal can break this door and we can keep it bolted."

The first thing to be done now was to close up the entrance down stairs.
The ladies went down and out through the door by which they had entered
the castle at the north end. Quickly gathering up some of the wood which
lay round about them, they set fire to it, in order to scare away any
wolves which might be prowling near, and at once went to work, carrying
stones from the ruins of the fallen tower, and by their joint strength
replacing the door. They next piled up such a barrier of great stones
behind it, that they were sure that no wolves could enter that way. They
had finished their first attempt at building and were about to go up
again to the green parlor, when the child with a little laugh and in its
sprightly way cried out,

"Kitta, kitta, see kitta." At the same instant running as fast as her
tiny feet could go, after two small white kittens which the next moment
disappeared down the half-dark stairs, that they had noticed when they
first arrived, but were too tired to investigate at that time.

They now looked down them and in the dim light, saw only a passage which
led in the direction of the fallen tower. They satisfied themselves that
there was no opening from that to the outside of the building, and
concluded that the immense pile of ruins completely stopped up all means
of ingress that way, so they decided not to go to the bottom of the
gloomy staircase for mere curiosity, when time was so precious to them,
for they felt as Mrs. Carleton had remarked that winter might be upon
them very soon. They passed all the remainder of the day in bringing up
from the beach such supplies as they most needed, and decided to devote
a portion of each day to this occupation as long as the weather
permitted.

Before sunset they were all safe in the castle again, the child running
about the room they were arranging, and delighted with the many
beautiful ornaments. The ladies made up their minds to adapt themselves
to their circumstances, and be as cheerful as they could, for the
child's sake. They selected the tower for their residence, as it
contained the best rooms in the castle, and the view from every one of
them was beautiful. They could go up the watch tower and look off from
the battlements, over the islands and forests, to those majestic purple
mountains, whenever they desired to do so.

A sleeping room next to the green parlor was chosen for Mrs. Carleton.
It was fitted up with the same degree of luxury as most of the others,
the furniture being of satin wood and ivory, and the hangings and
drapings of the bed and windows of pink velvet and white lace. Two
curiously wrought silver lamps stood on the dressing table, and showed
that they had burned themselves out. In front of the mirror was a jewel
casket; it was open, and showed rings and aigrettes of diamonds and
emeralds. A few ruby ornaments lay on the table, and a string of pearls,
also a small lace scarf and a pair of lady's gloves, embroidered on the
backs with gold. The curtains and velvet draperies of the windows were
completely closed, and the room looked as though some one had dressed in
it and gone away and left the lamps burning. Everything was a mystery to
the ladies which they could not unravel.

When the day was over, Mrs. Carleton and Miss Vyvyan sat beside the
sleeping child, in Mrs. Carleton's room. The fire was burning on the
hearth, and the full moon poured its beams in at the windows; they had
no other light.

Mrs. Carleton spoke much of her bereavement, but struggled to be brave,
and to resign herself to a destiny she could not alter, at the same time
revealing, quite unawares to herself, a character full of intense
affection, unselfishness and great courage.

As Anna watched the sweet, pure face so full of emotion and sensibility,
and the firelight flickered upon and lit up the refined features, her
whole heart yearned toward her new friend, and her own sorrow was
buried in those of the forlorn young mother.

"I have been considering," said Miss Vyvyan, "about your child. Do you
not think we ought to make life as bright and happy as we can for her,
and we can do a great deal, although we may have to stay in exile for a
long while. She need never suffer from that idea. All will depend upon
the way we educate her, and the way we live."

"Exactly so," replied Mrs. Carleton. "We will make our lives as good an
example as possible; we will bring her up, as far as circumstances will
admit, the same as we would do if she were in my old home. We cannot
have the servants we have been accustomed to have, but we can make this
home a systematic one, and a refined one, and we must make it a cheerful
one for her sake."

"There is one thing I feel very anxious about," said Mrs. Carleton; "my
child has not yet been baptized. As I told you, we were going to take
her to England for that purpose. I should feel happier if I could carry
out my husband's wish, and be able to call her by the name he so much
liked."

"I can fully enter into your feelings," said Miss Vyvyan. "Why not
baptize her yourself? I presume you are familiar with the service, as we
have baptisms in our church so frequently."

"Yes," replied Mrs. Carleton, "and I cannot see that there would be
anything wrong in doing so, myself, as there is not any one else to do
it."

"It can no more be wrong," said Anna, "to repeat the baptismal prayers
for your child, than it is to offer up your daily prayers for her.
Indeed to me it seems perfectly right, as we are situated at present."

"I am glad you entertain those feelings on the subject, Miss Vyvyan,"
replied Mrs. Carleton, "and as we are both of the English church, will
you be godmother to my little one?"

"You confer great happiness on me," replied Anna, "by making such a
request. What do you intend to call her?"

"Cora was the name my husband wished her to be called," replied Mrs.
Carleton. "And I desire to add Caroline to it, as that is the name of my
dear mother, and is now, alas, the only means I have of showing my
affection for her, who is perhaps at this moment mourning my absence."

"Will you baptize her to-morrow?" inquired Miss Vyvyan. "If you will, we
can make a dress for her in the forenoon. There is an abundance of white
India muslin and cashmere, too, enough I should say to dress her for
years to come."

"Yes," answered Mrs. Carleton, "I like that idea, and we will keep her
always dressed in white."

"And as to yourself," said Anna, "I ask you as a favor, to let me
choose for you in this instance, I wish you always to be beautifully
dressed in colors, that will look bright and cheerful. I think it will
have an influence on the child's spirits and thence on her health. I do
not feel that we need to have any compunction about using the things we
find here, for we see that this place must have been deserted many
years ago, and I cannot help thinking that all these costly things are
the plunder of buccaneers."

"Nothing is so probable," answered Mrs. Carleton. "Indeed, when we
consider for a moment, everything seems to say so. Many of those cases
which still remain unopened are such as the merchants bring to the
colony of Virginia. I have seen similar ones there which came from
foreign countries. It occurs to me that all these stores are the cargoes
of ships that have been robbed by those desperate men who have been and
still are the terror of the sea; but why they left this place so
suddenly is difficult to divine, unless, perhaps, retribution fell upon
them when they were out at sea on some of their marauding expeditions.
Evidently a lady has lived here, too; perhaps they took her with them on
their last voyage, and she also may have been lost, so I think we may
feel we are not doing wrong in using such things as are necessary to our
existence while we are here."

The next morning the ladies were up early busying themselves with their
preparations for the child's baptism. As they sat by the open window in
the green parlor, making the little white dress, the sunlight falling
upon the floor, the soft, warm breeze from the south coming in upon
them, and the beautiful child playing about the room, prattling to
herself in her baby language, and trying with her little hands to cover
the colored shadows--butterflies as she called them,--and to hold them
in one place, they each of them thought to themselves how much there is
in life to make us happy; and yet, and yet, who can be happy when there
is an empty place which nothing here can fill. They neither of them
expressed what they thought, for they had each made a resolution to help
the other.

The sea and sky were one beautiful blue; there was just sufficient
breeze to cause white caps at distant intervals, and to toss the surf
lightly against the rocks.

The ladies finished their sewing, and with the child went out to gather
some wild flowers to adorn their parlor for the baptism. In a few
minutes they saw a narrow path which they followed and found that it
lead to a well of pure water only a little way off. Below this was a
swamp surrounded by a luxuriant growth of asters of every hue, and white
and pink spirea and golden rod, and blue iris, and the delicate,
rose-colored arethusa, and the blue fringed gentian abounded on every
hand; also shrubs of the bayberry, wild rose and sweet brier, with many
beautiful ferns.

By Mrs. Carleton's refined taste the green parlor was soon transformed
into a fairy bower. The autumn sunshine sent a flood of golden light
over all, and the child, dressed in its fresh white attire, was
baptized, and Miss Vyvyan was its godmother. The ceremony was just over
and the latter lady was still standing with the child in her arms,
beside a large crystal bowl which was placed on the table and embedded
in green moss and wreathed round the top with white roses. It contained
the water from which the child had received the symbol of the Christian
church.

"Now," said Mrs. Carleton, "I wish to say to you, Miss Vyvyan, that from
this day Cora belongs to both of us, to you as well as to myself; she
will henceforth be _our_ child. I want you to have someone you can speak
of as 'mine.' I am thankful that I never knew what it was to be without
someone of my own to love, who was near to me, but I can picture to
myself what a death in life such an existence must be to those who have
to endure the separation, and I should feel very selfish if I did not
divide my happiness with you."

"I do not know how to answer you," said Miss Vyvyan. "I cannot say what
I wish to. Will you grant me one more kindness; that is, let Cora always
call me by my name, Anna, and you do the same. It is more than three
years since anyone called me Anna; there is no one left to do so."

"I will," said Mrs. Carleton, "and to you I must be Ada, for so I am
named. I am glad that you are pleased at having Cora for your godchild.
I thought you would be; that was a little plan of mine. I wanted to do
something to make you feel happier."

Gentle, loving Ada, always thinking of the good she could do to others,
always self-abnegating, always giving up her own happiness that others
might receive pleasure; even in the midst of grief, bereavement and
exile, devising means to cheer a life that she saw was more lonely than
her own--such was her character.

The position in which Miss Vyvyan now stood as Cora's godmother created
a sincere bond of friendship between the two ladies, which as time went
on developed into a lifelong affection. They each understood and
appreciated every thought and feeling of the other. The child, who was
of an intense and affectionate temperament, loved both of her guardians.
She confided in Anna and would stay with her for hours together, and she
always demanded in her baby way that Anna should partake equally with
her mother and herself of everything that she deemed pleasure and
enjoyment, and if Miss Vyvyan remained long out of sight, inquiry and
desire were expressed by Cora in one little sentence, "Anna be back." At
the same time, with an innate and delicate discrimination, the child
defined the distinction between her filial love for her mother and that
given to her friend in so natural a way that neither of the ladies could
ever feel slighted or wounded in the least degree.



CHAPTER VIII.

    He who ascends to mountain tops, shall find
    The loftiest peak most wrapped in clouds and snow;
    He who surpasses or subdues mankind,
    Must look down on the hate of those below.
    Though high above the sun of glory glow,
    And far beneath the earth and ocean spread,
    Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow
    Contending tempests on his naked head,
    And thus reward the toils which to those summits led.


They had been domiciled in the castle for several days when Miss Vyvyan
said,

"As I am to take care of the commissariat department out of doors, Ada,
I think it would be well for me to go down to the beach and bring up all
the provisions I can, while we have such fine weather, as we think the
winter may be very long here, so if you consider it a good plan I will
fill another storeroom."

"We will all go down, Anna," replied Mrs. Carleton. "We have been here
five days now, and I hope the tide may have removed much that was
distressing to see there."

When the ladies reached the beach it was as Mrs. Carleton had supposed,
all the corpses had floated away, but the whole beach and the shore far
up from the sea was still strewn with wreckage. They worked very
diligently, making piles of many things that might be useful, little
Cora trotting about as busily as her companions, and helping as far as
she knew how. It was scarcely ten o'clock, but the ladies had been out
in the sun for some time lifting and carrying heavy burdens, an
occupation which was as fatiguing to them as it was novel. So that they
might rest a little while, and get all the sea breeze that there was on
that still day, they went out on to a mass of high rocks, which
projected into the ocean and formed a cove on each side.

Scarcely had they seated themselves, when they saw a gentleman climbing
up from one of the coves below and coming toward them. He was a young
man perhaps twenty-seven years of age. As he approached them, they
noticed that his appearance was that of a gentleman of rank, his every
movement was full of grace and high breeding, his figure was slender and
under the middle size, and his face exceedingly handsome and refined.
His bright chestnut colored hair was long and fell in waving masses on
his shoulders. He wore a small beard of the same hue, his dress was very
rich and elaborate, after the fashion of the time, and when he spoke,
his voice and courtly manner, told that he was what his appearance
indicated. As soon as he came near to them, he bowed low, and made a
gesture with one hand, as if raising his hat, but he was bareheaded.

"Ladies," he began, "pardon me for intruding upon you, but for the love
of heaven give me a cup of water, it is many days since I moistened my
lips, I have been shipwrecked on your coast."

The ladies were on their feet in an instant. Mrs. Carleton running to a
birch tree a few yards back from the beach, and breaking off a piece of
bark, deftly bent it into a cup, which she handed to Miss Vyvyan to fill
from the same pond that had supplied them with water the first day they
were thrown upon the island. Refreshed by the draught the stranger tried
to thank them, but speech and strength failed him, and tottering a few
paces toward the land, he fell down insensible beside a fissure in one
of the rocks. The ladies went to him.

"His hands are as cold as if he were dead, Ada," said Miss Vyvyan. "What
will it be best to do?"

"What did you do for me, when you first tried to help me?" replied Mrs.
Carleton.

"I tried to get you warm."

"Well, then, we must do that."

At these words, they simultaneously took off the outside wraps they
wore, and laid them over him, and hastened about among the wreckage,
until they had a good supply of warm rugs and coverings.

"Where did you get those hot stones that you placed at my feet," said
Mrs. Carleton?

"I made a fire and heated them."

Then we will make a fire and do the same thing.

They covered the poor fellow over, and put hot stones to his feet, and
he seemed to be sleeping. In the meantime they prepared some light food
for him. They sat in silence near by, waiting to see what they could do,
should he return to consciousness. They observed the color coming back
to his face, and a bright pink spot burned on each cheek.

"I fear," said Mrs. Carleton, "fever is setting in. I will make
something with the fruit we brought down, that will quench his thirst."

The child seemed to echo the thoughts of her companions, seeing them
anxiously engaged in ministering to the sufferer. She began gathering up
anything that she thought pretty, and laid it by his side. Presently she
went to him with a few wild flowers, which she had picked from the
crevices of the rocks and among the shore grass close by. She observed
the ladies spoke in low tones to each other and moved about very
quietly. She knew there was some cause for this, for, young as she was,
she had already an idea of illness and suffering, and her little heart
was full of pity for others. She stood looking at him as he lay asleep
before her, waiting with her wild flowers, until the time should come
for her to give them to him. "Poorest, poorest," she repeated, at the
same time stroking his hair with her baby hand. That was her own word,
and her own way of showing sympathy and pity. The little one's
vocabulary was, at this period of her life, very limited, but equally
significant of all that she saw and felt. She possessed no extraneous
babble. The only words she was capable of uttering came from her heart;
hence they fell upon her hearers with all the beauty and strength of
truth. "Poorest, poorest," she again repeated; "dorn seep; papa dorn
seep, too."

At the child's last sentence, a shudder quivered through Mrs.
Carleton's frame, and a still whiter shade passed over the already pale
face. She clasped her little one close to her and bowed down upon its
head. She did not utter a sound. Her silence said more than any words
could have done, for hers was a sorrow that had no speech.

After a restful sleep, the young man awoke, and sitting up among the
many rugs and coverings by which he was surrounded, he looked about in
every direction, and appeared to be endeavoring to realize his true
position. He saw the high tower of the castle rising so near to him
among the trees; he saw the ladies and the child, but he did not feel
quite sure of the truth of all he saw until Mrs. Carleton put a cup into
his hand and said,

"This is a fever drink; will you take some? I have just made it from
fruit, the same as we make it in Virginia."

"Thank you," he said. "I know what it is. I am a Virginian. I sailed
from that colony in the ship Sir Walter Raleigh. Who has been so kind as
to bring me all these rugs," he continued.

"We did," replied Mrs. Carleton, looking in the direction of Miss
Vyvyan, who with the child stood near them.

"What, with your own hands? I regret to have caused you so much trouble;
although I am grateful to you in the extreme, I would have preferred you
to have given orders to some of your servants. It is not seemly that
ladies such you are should wait upon me; it is not consistent with the
chivalry of a gentleman."

"I understand your feelings on this subject," said Mrs. Carleton, "for
I, too, am a Virginian; but we have no servants now, and my friend and I
are glad that we can be useful. It is five days since your ship was
wrecked, therefore we know that you must have suffered greatly. Pray do
not be disturbed by seeing us doing what little we can to save you from
perishing; let me assure you that we are very happy to do our utmost."

The young man bowed, his cheeks still wore the bright flush of fever
which heightened the intensity of his soft brown eyes, that beamed with
gratitude.

"Do you say that you are a Virginian?" he inquired, addressing Mrs.
Carleton.

"Yes," she answered; "we were in the Sir Walter Raleigh, too; that is to
say, my husband and child with myself, but I never saw any of the
passengers. I remained in my cabin all the time we were at sea."

"I recollect you, now," he said. "I saw Colonel Carleton lift you and
your child into a boat when our ship went ashore."

"Were you acquainted with Colonel Carleton?" she inquired. "He was my
husband."

"We were not acquainted until we met on board, but during the several
weeks we were at sea we passed all the time together. You say he _was_
your husband. Is it possible that generous-hearted man is lost?"

Mrs. Carleton made an inclination with her head.

"Forgive me," he said, "my conversation has caused you pain."

"Please continue," she replied, "tell me all you know about him."

"I witnessed many of his acts of kindness during our voyage, and
received kindness from him at what I suppose was the last moment of his
life. The boat you were in was full and I urged him to get into another
one, but he refused, saying, 'I can swim and you cannot.' At the same
moment he took hold of me and dropped me into the boat as easily as if I
were a child. You know how tall and powerful he was. The next instant
your boat was capsized and I saw Colonel Carleton leap into the sea and
swim toward you. His hand was almost upon your arm, when an enormous
wave swept him out of sight. The same wave capsized our boat, and the
next one threw me into the cove below. I might have got away before, but
part of a broken mast lay across my chest and I was entangled hand and
foot by the rigging. I could neither move nor call aloud. I heard voices
more than once, the voices of ladies. I believe it was your voice and
that of your friend, for I never knew my ear to deceive me. I saw
corpses lying all around me. The tide took them away and brought them
back again many times while I was there. All one night a dead hand lay
across my throat, but I could not disengage my hands to remove it. I had
no fever; I was conscious of everything. The tide was higher than usual
this morning. It lifted the mast and I crawled from under it."

He appeared to suffer much from exhaustion and lay down again upon the
rugs, and closing his eyes remained silent. After a little rest, he
again sat up and resumed his conversation with Mrs. Carleton.

"I have a great love of music," he began. "I left the colony of Virginia
with the intention of going to London, to perfect my study of that
divine art, under the direction of Orlando Gibbons. He is very young to
be a composer, but he is already of much renown."

For some time he continued to speak fluently on the subject of music, a
subject of which the ladies perceived he was a complete master. As he
talked, he became full of enthusiasm, and that wondrous light which
belongs to genius alone illumined his beautiful, eyes and his whole soul
spoke through them.

"Ah, my madrigals," said he, "they will yet be sung to His Majesty, King
James. My symphonies I shall submit to Orlando Gibbons, then I shall
hear them played by a full orchestra, the world will hear, then justice
will be accorded to me, the great masters will be my judges, genius such
as theirs allows them to be generous and true in their opinions of other
men. They will see me as I am. They will not condemn what they cannot
understand. They will not call my life useless, because my tastes, my
talents and my whole being compel me to be different from those among
whom I live. I cannot help it, and I would not if I could."

An expression of mental pain passed over his face as he thus proceeded.
"Why did my uncle call my life and my work useless? It is hard to be
misunderstood. If I can create out of my own brain something that is
pure and beautiful, that gives happiness, that draws coarse natures away
from their coarseness, to feelings more elevated, that can bring to some
an ecstasy of delight, to others a sweet calm. If I follow a pursuit
which injures no human being, no living creature, why am I to endure
displeasure? Is it more manly, more noble to hunt the poor, panting deer
till it falls gasping on the ground, and then to save its life for the
purpose of chasing it again for sport? Is it more noble to ride races
till the horses drop down dead? Tell me, do such pursuits elevate or
brutalize?"

Taking a roll of paper from his breast, he handed it to Mrs. Carleton,
saying, "I have a symphony here which I composed since I left my home;
would you like to look at it? I wish my twin brother Ronald could see
this; he understands me, and he will understand my music, although since
his accident, his hand can no longer obey his will; yet he will read my
symphony, aye, more, he will play it in his soul. With it you will find
a song also, the words and music are both mine; when you have read it,
will you hand it to your friend?"

Mrs. Carleton took the roll of music into her hand, but observing that
the writing was almost obliterated from having been so long wet with sea
water, she passed it to Miss Vyvyan, who sat a little farther off,
desiring to spare him the pain of seeing that his composition was
destroyed. The many pages of music were entirely illegible, with the
exception of part of the refrain of the song, the words of which ran
thus:--

    Bury me deep,
    Where the surges sweep,
    And the heaving billows moan.

At the bottom was the name "Ralph." The following part of the signature
was destroyed.

As Anna read over the words of the song, she could not help feeling that
they might be prophetic of what was very near. She folded the paper
together and returned it to him.

"Is that your signature?" she asked.

"Yes, that is my name," he replied. "Do you like music," he continued.

"I do," she said.

"How much do you like it?"

"I like it to such a degree," she replied, "that I think life is not
life without music."

"Ah, that is what I think," he said. "But I am exhausted. Ladies, will
you pardon me if I sleep a little while? I want to get back my strength,
that I may be able to wait upon you both, and make all the return in my
power for your great kindness to me."

He soon fell into a restless, broken sleep, constantly murmuring to
himself incoherently.

"Anna," said Mrs. Carleton, "he is very ill, and it is almost sunset,
and quite impossible for us to take him up to the castle. We must make
some shelter here for him; the breeze already comes in from the sea
much cooler, and the night will be cold." The ladies picked up loose
stones and planks and everything they could move, and formed a low wall
around him, making a place of shelter as large as a small room. They
then drew up a portion of a sail and laid it partially across for a
roof. He still slept, but as they looked at him, they saw the fever was
rapidly increasing; a still brighter flush was on his cheeks; his lips
were parched, and his breathing distressingly short and oppressed.

"What can we do?" said Mrs. Carleton. "See there, Anna! The sun has gone
behind the hill to the west of the castle; it will soon be dark. It
would be terrible to leave him here to perish, for he needs great care,
beside the wolves may come, and he is too ill to defend himself. Do tell
me what you think it best to do?"

"One of us must watch by him to-night, Ada," replied Miss Vyvyan, "and
if he should be better to-morrow, we may be able to get him up to the
castle. I must be the one to watch. Little Cora could not pass the night
without you, and even if she could, you are not well enough yet to be
out in the night air. Let me go up and get a few things such as he may
require. I will be back very quickly."

When Miss Vyvyan entered the castle, the sun had set, and a dull gray
hue had settled upon every room. How dreary for poor Ada, she thought to
herself, here almost alone, with the death of her husband so recent, and
so vividly brought before her to-day. She at once thought of kindling a
fire as the only means she had of taking away some of the gloominess of
the place. She did so, and then spread a supper table as temptingly as
she could with the only food they had at command, and hastened back
again to the beach.

"He still sleeps," said Mrs. Carleton, "but his fever is very high. It
distresses me to leave you here, Anna, and I would not, but for little
Cora's sake."

"I understand you," replied Anna; "I shall always understand you. We are
not mistresses of our own destiny; we have to do what we can, not what
we wish. I know all that you would do if you could."

As Mrs. Carleton took the child in her arms and turned her steps toward
the castle, the moon rose slowly from the sea and made a long, golden,
glimmering path from the horizon to the shore. It was the harvest moon,
which was almost at the full. The night was light and still, with the
exception of the sound of the waves, which broke upon the beach below in
one long, continuous moan.

Anna watched beside her charge, sometimes moistening his parched lips,
sometimes arranging his improvised pillow, and listening to every sound
both near and distant, with that quick, discriminating sense of hearing
which we acquire from watching over those we love, and which she had
learned during the last illness of her mother. The night was now far
advanced. Close beside her came the quick, hard breathing, and the
indistinct murmuring of the sufferer.

From down below, still arose the mournful tones of the heavily rolling
waves, and from the forest came the howling of the wolves, but she could
hear they were not near; and resolved if they should approach to scare
them away, by setting light to a pile of wood which Mrs. Carleton had
laid together for that purpose.

As she sat there on the ground and realized her situation, a feeling
almost of terror came over her. During the past few years, she had gone
through the discipline of a long lifetime. This night, the past and
present seemed to combine to crush out the remnant of courage that had
been left to her. She buried her face in her hands and rocked to and
fro, struggling with her feeling, struggling with destiny, and
struggling to call back some of her former self; that as her day, so her
strength might be.

At that moment, Ralph awoke; he turned his face on his pillow, and
regarding her with great earnestness, he said, "Where is Ronald, my
brother? I want him here now."

Anna went nearer to him and, looking at the flushed face and the
brilliant, restless eyes, saw that he was delirious.

"Ronald," he repeated. "Are you there?"

"Perhaps he is near you," said Anna, wishing to solace him.

"That is well," he answered. "I will play my new composition to him."

He immediately began to move his hands over the rugs which covered him,
as if he were playing the organ.

"Ah," said he, "that is the chord I sought,--thank heaven.--Listen to
this.--Hark, hear this resolution. Now do you see what that chord leads
up to?--How is that harmonic progression?--How does this sound?--I shall
have a double suspension there.--Ah, that is good.--Hark; now can you
hear the melody running through the minor?--Yes, the violoncellos come
in there,--so it must be.--More ink; quick, quick,--there is so much to
write and so little time."

He sank down again, exhausted, and fell into a deep sleep. After an hour
he again awoke, the flush had left his cheek; he was very calm, and had
perfectly regained his senses.

"I have been dreaming of my brother Ronald," he said. "I thought he was
here. Can you tell me what time it is?"

"I think," replied Anna, "by the position of the moon, it must be an
hour past midnight."

"I have been ill," he said, "but I feel better, much better; almost well
again. I want to thank you ladies for so much kind care of me; both Mrs.
Carleton and you, but I do not know what to call you. I did not hear
your name."

"I do not wish you to thank me now," said Anna, "because you are too
weak to talk at present, but I will tell you my name. It is Anna
Vyvyan."

"Vyvyan," he repeated. "I know that name; I will tell you all about it
to-morrow--I feel faint.--There is a great oppression at my
heart.--Those timbers crushed my chest.--I cannot breathe.--Raise me
up."

Anna knelt on the ground beside him and raised him up as he desired.

"Yes," he said, "tired, tired."

The next moment a wonderful far-away look of rapture came over his
beautiful face, and then a pale shadow such as might be caused by the
passing flight of a bird;--his head fell upon her shoulder;--he was
dead. Anna laid his lifeless body gently down and watched beside it
through the silent hours of the night, gazing from time to time at the
finely-formed features. They had a fascination for her, and she could
not dispossess her mind of the thought that she had seen them before.

The first few streaks of dawn came creeping over land and sea, and the
sun arose and shed a shimmering light on the surrounding islands, the
forest and the misty mountain tops. With daylight, the howling of the
wolves ceased, and the only signs of life were the sea gulls that
floated about near the shore or ran screaming along the beach devouring
their prey, and a pair of eagles which constantly hovered near and
swooped down close to where the dead man was lying. Anna covered the
cold, pale face and went nearer to protect it from any attack.

The sun had not long risen when Mrs. Carleton with little Cora left the
castle.

Anna heard their voices, and went to meet them. "I must be careful how I
speak," she said, addressing Mrs. Carleton, "for I feel sure Cora
understands much more than she can find language to express, but I have
to tell you that ever since about an hour after midnight I have been all
alone. He sleeps."

The ladies gave the child some shells to play with, and went to where
his body lay. They drew the sail over the low wall which they had made
around him and completely covered in the little room.

"That will keep any eagles or wolves away while daylight lasts," said
Mrs. Carleton, "but we must bury the poor fellow's body before night.
The thought of having it devoured or mutilated when it is in our power
to prevent it, is more than either of us could bear, for in addition to
the forlorn state that we found him in, his genius and his gentle
breeding made both of us take an interest in him. Beside, his being a
Virginian, and the last person to speak with Dudley, gave him a claim on
my friendship."

They went up to the castle and did not return until just before sunset,
when they brought with them many beautiful wild flowers, which, as we
have said, abounded on the island. They also gathered branches of the
fragrant fir balsam, with which they lined the fissure in the rock on
which Ralph's body was lying. Folding around the latter a robe of rich
brocade, they lowered it tenderly into the tomb that nature had wrought.
As Anna laid the face cloth over the marble features, she started back.
The resemblance which had attracted and held her attention during the
night, had come out vividly since the morning. The likeness was to her
own mother, and was as marked as if Ralph had been her son. They covered
his silken winding-sheet with flowers until the sepulchre was filled,
then they laid flat stones across his resting place, and began to build
a cairn over all. They continued building until the sun went down,
little Cora bringing stones in her baby hands and placing them with the
same precision that she saw her mother and Miss Vyvyan were doing.

"We have made everything secure now, Anna," said Mrs. Carleton, "but we
will come again to-morrow and add more stones to the cairn, and every
time we come to the beach we will do the same. Will you take charge of
the manuscript? We do not know what the future may bring. He wished his
brother Ronald to see it, and we may, perhaps, some day have it in our
power to carry out his wish. Now we will go back to the castle, for I
see you are in great need of rest."



CHAPTER IX.

    Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
      Misprising what they look on
    .     .      .       .      .    to her
      All matter else seems weak; she cannot love,
    Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
      She is so self-endeared.


The maple leaves had turned from rose and crimson to orange, then to
pale yellow and to brown, and had fallen to the earth, for it was now
almost Christmas, but no snow was as yet on the ground. The ladies had
made all the rooms which they occupied in the tower very comfortable and
homelike, although they could neither of them bring themselves to speak
of the place by the name of home, for that was a sacred word to both of
them. They always spoke of their dwelling-place as the castle. We have
already said that the views from every room in the tower were of
exceeding loveliness. Most of the windows overlooked the islands, many
of which were far away, others perhaps only two or three miles off. At
one time, their beauty would be softened and half obscured by mist, at
another they would appear to be lifted up into the sky by the effect of
the mirage. At times a heavy sea fog hung over the island and obscured
every distant object, and to the nearer ones gave a weird and spectral
look.

Just at daylight one morning, when the fog was coming in from the ocean,
the ladies were awakened by the lowing of cattle. On looking down from
the tower windows, they saw some cows come out from under the trees and
pass along close to the walls of the building. They scarcely had time to
express their surprise to each other, before it was much heightened by
the appearance of a woman, who followed the animals out of the forest
and drove them quickly across the grass which had formerly been the
courtyard of the castle, to a high mound a little way to the north of
it, there both she and the cattle disappeared in the fog and among a
thick growth of spruces. The woman's movements were quick and firm, and
she stepped as one who not only possessed determination, but defiance
also. She was tall and gaunt and bony, possibly not fifty years old, but
her hair which hung loose in disheveled entanglement, was as white as if
she were eighty. She had large black eyes that flashed upon every object
that she looked at. She wore a red dress, which reached only a little
below her knees. On her feet she had a pair of heavy, high boots, such
as are worn by cavalry soldiers. Her head was partially covered by an
old cotton handkerchief which had once been of many bright colors.

"Did you hear what language she spoke," said Miss Vyvyan?

"I caught the sound of a few words somewhat like Italian, but it was not
Italian."

"I heard it," replied Mrs. Carleton. "I believe it was Spanish, but she
passed so quickly I could not hear distinctly, or I should have
understood her."

All that day the ladies remained in doors. They watched in the direction
of the mound, but nothing was to be seen which would lead them to
suppose that any dwelling was near to them; and so the time passed until
night covered the island with darkness. They had put little Cora to bed,
and were, according to their usual habit, sitting beside her in Mrs.
Carleton's room. The night was unusually cold. It seemed as if winter
had really sent in its heralds in advance, to announce its near
approach. The wind howled and shrieked through the rooms which
surrounded them up stairs, and groaned and roared in the many passages
and apartments down below. Their glowing log fire was so acceptable to
them, that they were loath to leave it, and so they sat talking together
until midnight. They had gained a very good idea of time by observing
the sun and moon, and were also greatly aided by the ebb and flow of the
tide. They knew exactly the high-water mark, by certain rocks; they knew
that it took so many hours to ebb and so many to flow, and they had
become so familiar with the sound of the outgoing and incoming tide,
that even in the darkness of night, they did not feel at a loss.

"It is past midnight, Anna," said Mrs. Carleton, going to one of the
windows and leaning out to listen, "The tide has just turned. Come
here," she continued. "What is that rising above the mound?"

"Sparks of fire and wood smoke," replied Miss Vyvyan. "There must be a
dwelling of some kind there. That is probably where the woman went to
with the cows, but it is strange that we have never seen anything of it
before to-night."

The intense cold of the next day warned the ladies that they must use
dispatch in finishing their arrangements, in order to be able to meet
the exigencies that a severe winter night might bring upon them. During
the two months they had been living in the castle, they had employed
themselves continually in bringing in supplies of all kinds, until they
felt they had ample stores to last them for a very long time, but they
were all in the rooms down stairs; and as the distance from the tower
was so great, and the weather so severe, they decided to make a
storeroom up stairs, on the same floor as that on which they lived. They
had been busy for some time, packing and carrying up their requirements,
little Cora, as usual, just as active as themselves, taking up her loads
and returning for more; her tiny feet pattering up and down the long,
stone staircase, flitting back and forth between her mother and Anna,
with her own peculiar, light, swift, graceful movement, which was like
that of a bird.

All at once, they each missed the return of the child; but as the ladies
were in separate parts of the castle, they each of them thought she had
remained with the other. After some time had elapsed, they began to
feel anxious, and each sought the other.

Meeting on the stairs, the question "Where is Cora?" came from the lips
of each of them at the same moment; then a hurried explanation, and a
terrible feeling of horror. They ran in every direction, calling her
name. They separated and went different ways; they met again and went in
search of her together. Could it be possible that she had gone up the
watch tower, and fallen from the battlements. They flew up the tower
stairs and looked over. They rushed down again and out into the court
yard; no sound, no sign of the child. In the agony of their distress,
they went into every room and opened every great chest, every large
piece of furniture.

"Oh Anna," cried Mrs. Carleton, "that woman we saw, do you think she has
stolen my child; perhaps put her to death. We must go to the mound where
we saw her go."

They followed the tracks of the cattle, and pushed their way through the
trees for a short distance, till they came to the almost bare mound; it
was high and long; near the base was an opening of irregular shape,
which was evidently the entrance, but it was partly closed by an old,
broken door. They had gone within a few feet of it, when the door was
violently thrown down, and the gaunt woman in the same strange dress
stood in the doorway, brandishing a rusty sword at them, and speaking
rapidly in a peculiarly harsh and high pitched voice. She spoke in
Spanish, which Mrs. Carleton perfectly understood, and which she, also,
spoke fluently.

"Go hence," said the woman. "What seek you here? I am Louisita, and all
that you see here is mine; my land, my trees, my seashore; hence I say,
away with you, or this sword pierces the heart of both."

"Pray, hear me one moment," pleaded Mrs. Carleton, "I am in the greatest
distress."

"What care I for your distress, have I not enough of my own without
listening to yours? Off with you."

"Only a few words," again entreated Mrs. Carleton. "I want to--"

"You may want, I heed that not. I want myself; I have nothing to give
you. I would not give you anything, if I had it. You are intruders on
this island. I saw you arrive, and the men you brought with you. Ha! ha!
You meant them to land here. Where are they now? I saw it all, ha! ha!
ha! You may wait for their return; they have made a long voyage, so long
that they will never come back; glad, glad, I hate the accursed sex,
they caused all my suffering; twenty years entombed here, through their
state of mad intoxication. If only one of that great band of pirates had
remained sober, I might have got away."

"Do let me ask you, have you seen my child?" said Mrs. Carleton. "I
entreat you to tell me."

"See your child. I saw you take food to one of the accursed sex. I saw
you try to make him live. I despise you for it. Why should he live to
drink, drink, and bring misery on me and all women? I tell you again I
hate them for their love of drink. I hold them in contempt for their
weakness. The ocean did well to swallow them down, just as their
brothers swallowed down the fiery drink on that fearful night when the
great tower fell and crushed a hundred of them."

"Do, I implore you, say if my child strayed anywhere in your sight?"
cried Mrs. Carleton, overcome with anguish. "We have lost her."

"Lost her; lost her; seen her;" echoed Louisita very slowly, and making
a long pause as if to collect her thoughts, she added, "The child was
young and the wolf was hungry."

As Mrs. Carleton translated the last sentence to Miss Vyvyan, she fell
fainting into Anna's arms.

"Do not heed what she says, dear Ada; let us believe the best until we
know the worst. Cora may have fallen asleep in some of the nooks in the
building, and so did not hear us call her."

The ladies returned to the castle. Miss Vyvyan was also under the most
intense apprehension, but she concealed her feelings from Mrs. Carleton.

"Which room were you in, Ada, when you missed Cora? She may, as I said,
be asleep, and perhaps she is among some of the bales in one of the
storerooms."

"I was down at the end of the passage," replied Mrs. Carleton, "in the
largest room. We will go there first."

They went down and searched the room, but could not find Cora. As they
came out of it they heard a sound which seemed to come from under
ground. They ran to the half-dark stairway which they had seen when they
blocked up the north door. The sound was more distinct; it was Cora's
voice in conversation. Who could have taken her down to that
subterranean place? They did not hesitate an instant, but descended the
stairs as quickly as the darkness would admit, and found themselves in a
dungeon where there was just sufficient light to see that an uncovered
well was close beside the path which they were following. The talking
had ceased. The silence was profound and added still greater gloom to
the place. They both stood bending over the well and looking down into
the depth of water which was black and silent. They each looked at the
other. They read the thoughts which passed through each other's mind.
They neither of them spoke. They did not dare to. While they still stood
bending over the well, straining both eyes and ears to the utmost,
little Cora's voice came again. It seemed close to them; they could not
distinguish any words, but the tones were those of her usual pretty baby
prattle. Was that voice from the spirit land? They could see nothing but
the gray stone walls of the dungeon, the dark, open well and some large,
loose stones, which had heavy iron chains with rings attached to them,
and which had in former years been fastened to the ankles of the
prisoners and worn by them till death relieved them of their burden.
Just in the same way as many of the poor victims of imperial tyranny are
to-day doomed to drag their chains and weights while they labor in the
mines of Siberia. Again came Cora's voice as if from the further corner
of the dungeon. The ladies stumbled among the loose stones in the
semi-darkness, Anna, who was more robust and the taller of the two,
folding her arms around Mrs. Carleton to support her, and both of them
feeling their way lest they should fall into any other well or
excavation. Arrived at the corner they saw a gleam of light, which came
in a slanting direction through a large hole in the wall. They still
heard the little voice and determined to follow it. The hole would only
admit of their crawling in on their hands and knees. This they did for
several yards, until everything was in complete darkness, and they found
they were against a wall straight in front of them, and could go no
further. The passage was too narrow for them to turn round and come out,
the top of it was so low it nearly touched their heads as they crawled
along. The air was oppressive, and suffocation almost overpowered them,
but they could still hear the voice which seemed nearer. Feeling the
walls carefully with their hands, they found that a sharp turn to the
right, led along in a direct line toward the sound. This passage was
also dark, and as narrow almost as a coffin. They continued crawling for
several yards more, sometime cutting their arms with the broken stones
which covered the bottom, and sometimes placing one of their hands upon
some cold substance which moved and felt as if it might be a lizard or a
sleeping snake. They neither called nor spoke, for they feared someone
might have the child, who would run away with her, if warned of their
approach, so they determined to come upon them suddenly. They were
greatly exhausted, but they struggled on.

At length daylight appeared at the end of the subterranean passage, and
in another moment they emerged from it and stood in a large stone hall,
amply lighted from above by open iron gratings and loopholes in the
walls; through one of the latter, a bright gleam of light fell like a
halo upon the sweet, fair face and the golden head of the child, who was
sitting on the floor, with a portion of her little white dress folded
around a kitten, which she was rocking in her arms and talking to. Happy
as was her wont and all unconscious of the flight of time and the
anxiety that she had caused, she seemed to have made some little
exploration of her own since she had been there and wanted to show her
discovery, just the same as Mrs. Carleton and Miss Vyvyan were always
doing to one another.

"Come," said she, getting up from the floor and taking her mother's
hand, "funny sing down dare; Anna too," she continued, and stretching
out her other hand, she caught hold of the folds of Miss Vyvyan's dress,
and drew her along also, leading them both across the hall to a large
gate of iron bars. It was locked, and closed the entrance to a broad
stone passage.

"Down dare, funny sing," she went on, pointing to a skeleton, which lay
just inside, and so near to the gate that one hand had been thrust out
between the bars and the bones of it were lying close to their feet. A
great quantity of long black hair still remained about the skull, in the
midst of which was a Mexican ear-ring of elaborate workmanship.
Everything told them that the skeleton was that of a woman. Glancing
round the hall, the ladies could not see any door. How did Cora get
there? Before they had time to inquire, little Cora saw something inside
the gate, and with her usual quick movement, she swiftly passed her tiny
hand between the closely placed iron bars and from a small heap of
débris of finger bones, drew out a richly chased gold ring, inscribed
with the name of "Inez;" set in it was a large ruby in the form of a
heart.

The child who possessed as part of her inheritance a fine, sensitive
instinct, looking at her mother, observed that her long silken eyelashes
were wet with tears, and that traces of recent mental agony lingered on
her face. In an instant, the dear little soul strove to comfort and
cheer, after the manner so often employed by each of her guardians
toward herself. Holding up the ring in one hand, and clinging round her
mother with the other, she said,

"See, mama, Cora dot pitty sing for mama. Don't ky, don't ky, Cora loves
mama."

"Sweet child," exclaimed Anna, taking her up into her arms and holding
her to her heart. "Sweet child, more precious to us every day, for each
one reveals some new beauty of character, some still more lovable
trait. Come, dear Ada, come away," she continued. "I will carry Cora.
How did my little godchild come here?" she said, addressing the little
one in her arms.

"Kitta doe," answered Cora.

"Yes darling, where did kitta go?"

"By dare," said the child, pointing to a massive column, one side of
which was built close to the wall and had the appearance of being placed
there as a support, but was in reality to conceal a doorway which led to
a flight of stairs between two walls.

The ladies went up, Miss Vyvyan carrying Cora. They soon found
themselves in one of the rooms which was nearly filled with firearms and
other implements of warfare. The entrance to it at the top of the stairs
was concealed in the same manner as the doorway below, and but for Cora
following the little white kitten, the ladies might have lived many
years in the castle and never have seen it. The subterranean passage
into which they accidentally crawled, had been made for a place of
concealment in case of a sudden attack upon the castle.



CHAPTER X.

    Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
    That host with their banners at sunset was seen:
    Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
    That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved and forever grew still.

           *     *     *     *     *

    And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
    And the might of the Gentile unsmote by the sword,
    Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!


Christmas had come and gone, and the snow was lying deep on the ground.
They had seen nothing of Louisita since the day Cora was lost.

"I wonder," said Mrs. Carleton, "how that poor woman, Louisita, exists?
for I think from what I saw the day we went to her, that she is all
alone, and if you recollect, she said something to that effect. I fear
she suffers in this cold weather. You saw, of course, that it was no
kind of a house that she came out of."

"Yes," replied Miss Vyvyan, "it appeared to be only a mound of earth."

"I want to take her some food," continued Mrs. Carleton. "Do you think
we can get there through the snow?"

"I can carry Cora," replied Miss Vyvyan, "if you can take the food."

Mrs. Carleton filled a box with both food and fruit, and the ladies,
with little Cora, went forth to visit Louisita.

She met them in the same manner as before, not allowing them to come
very near to the opening, and brandishing the old sword.

"If that child were one of the accursed sex," she said, with a malicious
look, "I would sever its head from its body."

The child could not, of course, understand her language, but she read
the look, and clasping her arms closely around Anna's neck, she buried
her face on her shoulder.

"Will you accept of this?" said Mrs. Carleton, speaking very gently, and
at the same time lifting the lid of the box.

Louisita sprang at the contents as a famished tigress might have sprung
upon some long-sought prey. Jerking the box out of Mrs. Carleton's
hands, she put it on the ground, and again raised her sword. "Hence,"
she cried, "all of you; no one enters here. Ha, what do I see; stop,
stop," she screamed. "Donna Inez, my lady, Donna Inez. Where did you get
that ring," she continued, pointing to Mrs. Carleton's finger, on which
she wore the ring that Cora had found. "That is the ring Donna Inez wore
the night they murdered her. Yes, the accursed sex murdered her, the
night they drank out of the skulls till they were all mad, mad, and the
great tower fell upon them; ha, ha, ha. Who will drink out of their
skulls when they find them? More of the accursed sex, they who make laws
to command women, and who cannot command themselves. Away with you. I
tell you to go, you are intruders."

"I fear your dress is not warm enough," said Mrs. Carleton. "You must
suffer from the cold."

"Suffer," shrieked Louisita, "I have known nothing else than suffering
for twenty winters and summers, and they the accursed sex caused it all
by their passion for the fiery cup; it soddened their brains; it
poisoned every good feeling in their hearts. It buried my husband under
the ruins of the tower; it bereft me of my home; it caused my two babes
to die of cold and hunger in this tomb."

"Poor Louisita," said Mrs. Carleton, "if you will come back with us to
the castle I will find some warm dresses and other comforts for you."

"Never," she replied; "it is haunted. I have not been into it since I
came away with my babes the morning after the tower fell."

"Why do you think it is haunted?" asked Mrs. Carleton.

"I know it is because I hear them shrieking in the night, and I hear
Donna Inez calling, 'Open the gate'."

"I will not ask you to come inside, Louisita, but if you will only come
up the outside steps to the door I will get you anything you wish for."

"I want food; I want warm clothes; I want something to cover my bed."

"You shall have it," said Mrs. Carleton. "I feel very sorry for you; I
wish to make you happy."

"Ha! ha! happy," she repeated. Then looking toward Miss Vyvyan she
continued, "Make her take that child out of my sight. She brings it here
to mock me. I will run my sword through her heart if ever she brings
that child here again."

"She does not bring my child here to mock you, Louisita. She is my
friend, and loves my child, and we could not leave it alone. My friend
always goes where I go, for fear anything might befall me. She cannot
speak Spanish or she would explain all to you."

"Go away with you," said Louisita; "go get the things for me. I will
come for them when I am ready, but I will not put my foot over the door
sill."

"All things considered, Ada," said Miss Vyvyan, "I think it is well that
Louisita is afraid to go into the castle, for she appears to be of a
spiteful nature, and might try to do Cora some harm, but we will never
again let the child be out of sight."

Mrs. Carleton prepared for Louisita's arrival by placing a number of
things of all kinds in the hall near to the entrance which the ladies
used. In a little while she came, still in the same short red gown and
cavalry boots, bearing the old sword in her hand.

"Where are my things?" she demanded of Mrs. Carleton, speaking in the
same defiant tone as usual. "Bring them here to the door. I told you I
would not enter. That belonged to Donna Inez," she said, taking up a
dress, "and that was Don Alphonzo's," seizing hold of the red velvet
cloak which the ladies had found in the library.

"Wrap the cloak about your shoulders, Louisita," said Mrs. Carleton; "it
will keep you warm."

"I will not," she answered, fiercely; "it belonged to one of the
accursed sex; he died through drinking of the fiery cup; he caused the
death of many through the same thing."

"Perhaps you will wear this, Louisita," said Mrs. Carleton, offering her
one of the best and warmest table covers that she and Miss Vyvyan had
brought from the wreck.

"Yes," said she, "I will; give me another for my bed."

"Let me go, Ada," said Miss Vyvyan, who had hitherto been standing far
back in the hall with Cora. "I know where we put one that will please
her, for I see that she likes red," and taking Cora up in her arms she
disappeared.

"Why does she take that child everywhere," asked Louisita.

"I told you just now," replied Mrs. Carleton, "that my friend loves my
child, and they are always happy together."

"Does she think she is happy?" said Louisita, "what a fool she must be;
she is not happy, you are not happy, I am not happy. Oh, the fool, she
has not sense enough to know that she is not happy."

Just at this junction Miss Vyvyan returned with Cora on one arm, and
the other one loaded with warm, bright-colored articles, such as she
felt sure Louisita would like. As she approached the door, where the
woman stood, and passed the things to Mrs. Carleton, the child again
clung tightly as before to Anna, who hastily went back to the end of the
hall.

"Tell the fool to go away out of my sight with that child," said
Louisita, "and I will tell you about this place. I will not tell her
because she mocks me by bringing the child to remind me of my dead
babes--my babes who were famished to death."

Miss Vyvyan went to the green parlor with little Cora, and Louisita
began her narrative.

"I was born in Spain. When I was a young woman, Donna Inez was married
to Don Alphonzo in Madrid. She engaged me for her waiting woman. I was
married directly after to one of Don Alphonzo's sailors. We came to this
island in one of the Don's ships. The castle was most gorgeously
furnished with the spoils of almost every country in the world. I
thought Don Alphonzo was a great noble, so did my husband, for he was so
called in Spain, but soon my husband told me that the Don and all his
men were buccaneers. Donna Inez did not know the truth until after we
came here. We tried to get away, but that was impossible. The Don
brought the richest dresses and jewels to make the Donna like her home,
but he could not succeed. Many wrecks I have seen in just the same place
you were wrecked in; Don Alphonzo and his crew burned false signals at
night, they hoisted false colors by day, they drew the unfortunate ships
to their doom; the Don had a hundred men in this castle, ready to obey
his commands at any moment. They had uniforms and flags of many nations,
which they used as disguises and decoys. They robbed the vessels which
fell into their hands, they killed some of their crews, some they sold
into slavery, and others who refused to commit murder, they chained to
great stones down in the middle dungeon. That was called the 'dungeon of
death,' for they kept the men there until they died of starvation, and
when they died, they threw their bodies into the well. My husband, Juan,
was put into that dungeon, because he would not kill a Spanish boy who
was taken prisoner, but Donna Inez made the Don release him, for we
thought Juan would help us to get away. The Donna had promised to give
him half of her jewels, if he would find some way to get us back to
Spain, but he made himself powerless, he soddened his brain, he murdered
his manly feelings; he was once good and brave and I loved him with all
the intensity and devotion of a true woman, but he learned to value
strong drink more than my affection, he killed my love, he drowned it in
the fiery cup, and I grew to despise and loath him. Don Alphonzo was
worse than Juan, for he had so much learning and so much power and he
turned it all to a bad use. He blasted other lives by his own evil
example. Out of his wickedness grew the curse which fell upon me, but
he has met with retribution."

"Poor Louisita," said Mrs. Carleton, speaking very gently, "What can I
do for you?"

"Nothing," she replied. "Let me tell you the rest. One night the Don and
his crew came back with the greatest prize they ever seized. The men
were summoned to unload the ship. They made immense fires from the
castle to the beach, and by their glare they robbed the merchants of
their valuable cargo. It was near midnight before their rapacity was
satisfied. Don Alphonzo ordered the vessel to remain where she laid
until daybreak, when he intended to set her adrift, with all her crew on
board, that he might see them dashed on to those rocks which you see
down yonder. The Don then commanded a feast to be set in the banqueting
hall, in the base of the north tower. He ordered every man in the castle
to attend the revel, that they might rejoice over their great prize.
They all went; the wine flowed like water; they went down to the
banqueting hall by a secret stairway; they passed along a stone passage,
which was closed by an iron gate. The banqueting hall had no windows;
they always held their revels there, that they might not be surprised by
any enemy, for no light could be seen outside, and no one could tell
that they were carousing. I listened on the secret stairs until their
loud shouting had ceased, and I knew that the strong drink had soddened
their brains, and paralyzed their arms. I ran to Donna Inez; I dressed
her in the richest brocade; I covered her neck and arms with jewels of
fabulous worth, for I knew the effect of costly attire upon the accursed
sex whose help we needed. I made ready some caskets of jewels to take
with us. I told the Donna all that I had heard of the ship lying there
till morning, and we resolved to let the captain know that the Don and
all his men were powerless, and to offer him the Donna's jewels if he
would take us away. We knew he would be glad to escape; we knew he would
be glad of the jewels, for they would make him very rich. We were ready
to leave the castle. My babes were very young; they were asleep in a
large basket; I could easily carry them to the beach. We heard a sound
like a moan; it seemed far off, then a distant rumble, but nearer than
the first sound; next a terrific roar; another and a fearful crash,
crash. For a moment the whole castle trembled; a flash of light lit up
the place; the north tower was wrecked from top to bottom; the walls
fell inward; they fell as you see them lying now, for no hand has
touched them since. We knew an earthquake had occurred. My babes awoke
and screamed; I tried to quiet them, and to hold Donna Inez back, but
she tore herself away; she was panic stricken; she did not know what she
did; she said something to me as she ran out of her room about seeking
protection; she rushed down the stairs in the direction of the
banqueting hall; she never came up them again. As soon as I had hushed
my babes I followed her. She was inside the iron gate; it had closed
upon her as she passed through. It could only be opened by those who
understood the secret spring. There was no one who could come to show us
how to open it. We could not break the gate; that was impossible. We saw
that the further end of the castle was stopped, all filled up with
immense blocks of stone which had crashed in when the tower fell. Don
Alphonzo and more than a hundred men lay under the ruins; they shrieked
and groaned there all through the night. Donna Inez became frantic. She
dashed herself against the iron bars like some newly caged bird. In the
morning when the sun came up from the sea she was dead. I looked for the
ship; it had sailed. I had almost lost the power of moving, but the
cries of my babes called me back to activity. I gathered some covering
and some other things and took them to the Vikings' tomb. I tore away
the earth to make an entrance. We lived there till cold and hunger
killed my babes. I have lived there ever since. Nothing could induce me
ever to enter the castle again."

"Why do you call it the Vikings' tomb, Louisita?" asked Mrs. Carleton.

"That was what Don Alphonzo called it. I think he knew for he was a man
of much learning, although he had no sense. He said the Vikings built
the castle very long ago, and lived here for two hundred years till a
great pestilence prevailed among them, and so many died of it that the
remaining ones deserted the place. He said the Indians cast a spell over
the Vikings and bewitched them, because the Indians used to live here
in wigwams before the Vikings came and drove them away from their own
land, and would not allow them to bury their dead among their
forefathers, for they have a burial place on this island. It is down
there just below the swamp where I saw you gathering flowers one day
soon after you came here. There is a large elm tree down there, the only
one near. The Indians are buried there all round it. They always had an
elm tree in that place. They have a secret charm by which they keep it
there. The Vikings cut down their elm many times, but it sprung up again
in the night, and was as tall and large as ever the next day. When we
came here Don Alphonzo had their tree cut down every day, but it always
came up again just the same. At last he was afraid the Indian spirits
would cast a spell over him, too, so he let their elm alone. The Indians
still bury their dead under it, but no one ever sees them arrive. They
come in the night. An elm will always grow there till the two thousand
years for which they have their charm has expired. After that time there
will never be another."



CHAPTER XI.

    A fool, a fool!--I met a fool i' the forest.


The first winter which the ladies and little Cora passed on the island,
was unusually severe, but they had expected and prepared for it; and the
winter scene was so novel to them, and fraught with so much beauty, that
they never wearied of it. Besides the constant occupation in their
housekeeping and attending to Cora, and also caring for Louisita, and
providing her with all the comforts they had in their power to take to
her, for she still insisted in living in the Vikings' tomb, which she
never permitted them to enter.

Spring came at last, and with it returned to the island the robins, the
song thrushes, the beautiful golden orioles, and the humming birds, all
of which had gone southward at the beginning of winter. The wood violets
and the trailing arbutus blossomed among the grass. The spruces and
pines put forth their young buds, and the whole island wore a garb of
beauty.

The little family of three, spent much time out of doors, and visited
the beach almost daily, for they all loved the sea, especially little
Cora; and to enhance her happiness was the first desire of both of the
ladies. They frequently wandered around Ralph's grave, and never omitted
adding a stone to the cairn, which they had raised to his memory.
Little Cora with her tiny hands, always placing her own mite to the
pile. As the child grew stronger, they took longer walks, and taught her
from the book of nature as they went along, for Nature's lessons in
geology, and botany, and natural history, lay all around them.

They had by this, brought their lives into the same degree of system and
order, as that in which they had each of them been educated in their
respective homes; the want of which during the first part of their
residence on the island they greatly missed. They now divided their
days, and had regular hours for certain occupations, and they made a
compact, that they would always be cheerful in the presence of the
child, and meet their destiny bravely, that they might not give a somber
tinge to her young life. Everything went well with them as far as might
be, excepting that Louisita, who had the control over three cows, would
never let them have a drop of milk for Cora. The child had for a long
while after their coming, constantly repeated at every meal "Dinah, bing
milk." She seemed to think her negress nurse was somewhere near her, and
was able to bring anything she wished for, as formerly.

Her demands for milk, had ceased for a week or two, when one morning she
again begged for it, and when told she could not have any, a look of
extreme repression of feeling came over her features. She did not cry,
or in any way show temper. The food was distasteful to the poor little
thing; and the look of forced endurance, one may say that forced
resignation and endurance combined, which we sometimes see in older
faces and which is utterly discordant with their reasoning faculties,
was distressing to behold in one so young. The child could not
understand why she was not to have milk; but the brave spirit of her
mother was her birthright, and like her mother, she endured
disappointment without a murmur.

"This must not be any longer, Ada," said Miss Vyvyan. "It is too much
for you to witness, and for Cora to suffer. That dear child shall have
some milk. I will learn how, and I will milk one of those cows, whether
Louisita's sword kills me or not."

"Dear Anna," said Mrs. Carleton, "I pray you do not expose yourself to
danger; do not be rash. Why what has come to you? I never heard you
speak like that before."

"I know it, Ada, but you never saw me so placed else you would have. I
detest selfishness, and you have been so kind to Louisita, and she is
aware how precious Cora is to us. You know we shall not be depriving her
of anything, because she told us she threw most of the milk away; but
she encourages the cows to come here in order to keep them tame. You
recollect that she told you the rest of the herd which stay on the other
side of the island have become wild."

"I, of course, know that we should not be depriving Louisita," said Mrs.
Carleton; "but I fear so much that she may hurt you."

"Only teach me a few words of Spanish, Ada," said Miss Vyvyan, "and I
will put that out of her power. Teach me to say I am a spirit, you
cannot harm me."

"I am afraid, Anna; for your own sake I would not have you go."

"I am not in the least afraid of her," replied Miss Vyvyan. "I have
always done my best to help her, and I certainly intend to continue to
be kind to her, because she needs help; but I never submit to injustice
being done either to my friends or to myself. I consider it unjust to
throw away the milk which Cora so much requires."

With those words Miss Vyvyan left the room. In a few minutes she
returned.

"Ada," said she, addressing Mrs. Carleton, "my good old guardian, Sir
Thomas, used to say 'All is fair in love and in war.' Now I am going to
unite both love and war, for as I love you and Cora I must in all honor
defend you both, just as some gallant knight would do if he were here.
Put your hand on my shoulder and feel what is there."

Mrs. Carleton did so.

"Why, what have you under your dress?" said she.

"A whole suit of chain armor, Ada, that's all, and a helmet of the same
under this lace scarf on my head. Louisita won't have the pleasure of
piercing my heart this time, and when she finds that she cannot, she
will think the spirits are round me, or that I am like the Indians and
have a charm. I am going now; the cows are in sight. I saw how Louisita
milked, and I think I can do it. Look down from the window, Ada, and see
the fun."

"Anna be back," said the child, looking up with a face more full of
anxious desire than inquiry.

"Yes, precious one," replied Miss Vyvyan, "Anna will come back."

No sooner had Miss Vyvyan approached the cow and was endeavoring to
imitate as well as she could Louisita's way of milking, than the latter
came striding out of the mound wearing her cavalry boots and flourishing
her sword, exclaiming, as usual:

"Hence; away, away; all here is mine. Touch not that cow. I will pierce
your heart."

Miss Vyvyan who heard it all did not take any notice of her, but went on
with apparent indifference, pursuing her lacteal occupation. Louisita
stood over her and went through all the sword exercises that she was
mistress of. Still Miss Vyvyan continued her endeavor to milk, unharmed
either by cut or thrust. Presently, turning to Louisita, she repeated
her Spanish lesson as well as she could in the midst of her laughter.

"It is the fool who is laughing," said Louisita, looking up at Mrs.
Carleton, who was leaning out of one of the tower windows. "It is the
fool, who has not sense enough to know that she is not happy. I shall
never interfere with her again; she can have all the milk she wishes
for; she has a charmed life."



CHAPTER XII.

    The quality of mercy is not strained;
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless'd.
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest.


Summers and winters went by; five years had passed since the family had
been cast on the island; they had watched from the tower almost daily
for a white sail, but none had ever appeared, and yet they always
continued to hope that the day would come, and they struggled within
themselves to be patient and cheerful. Sometimes the thought would take
possession of the mind of each of the ladies, that one or other of them
might die, and how terrible it would be for the one who was left, and
worse still a thousand times, both of them might die and leave Cora; but
neither of them would ever breathe a word which could convey such an
idea to the other; and when such thoughts and feelings oppressed them,
they took the best method of dispelling their anxiety by engaging
themselves in some active occupation. They made a pretty garden for
summer enjoyment out of doors, and another for winter in one of the
large rooms, by filling boxes and chests with earth. They always had
beautiful flowers in their parlor, which was a great source of delight
to Cora, as well as to her guardians. The two guitars which they had
found in the castle, they strung with wire, and managed to have some
music every evening in the twilight; then they had a time set apart,
also in the early part of the evening, which they called Cora's hour.
For that period, they devoted themselves wholly to the recital of such
subjects as were suitable and pleasant to her, and which they varied
every day in the week, weaving each recital into a little story,
sometimes telling from history; at another time, Mrs. Carleton would
compose a story about Virginian life, and Miss Vyvyan would tell one
about foreign countries; but the hour Cora liked best, was the one
devoted to poetry and fairy tales. She was now in her eighth year, and
could read very well; but there were no fairy tales among the numerous
books in the library, so the ladies repeated them from memory. When the
friends had put Cora to bed, they always remained together during the
rest of the evening, working, and reading aloud to each other, making
new dresses for Cora, who grew very fast, or planning some pleasant
surprise for her, and as far as their present position allowed, always
considering the child's future, and in what manner it was their duty to
educate her, so that she might be best prepared to encounter any of the
reverses or changes of condition, which fate brings into the lives of so
many of us.

Louisita had taught the ladies how to poison some of the provisions with
a plant which grew in the woods, and by so doing, and laying the
poisoned food about the ground, they had destroyed nearly all the
wolves, and now wandered about the island where they desired, making
expeditions in search of flowers, or having little picnics for Cora in
the woods, and visiting Ralph's cairn without their former fear. They
had all been spending a long summer afternoon on the beach, the ladies
seated on the rocks between Ralph's cairn and the sea, Mrs. Carleton
working on a dress, that she was making for Louisita, Miss Vyvyan
reading aloud, and Cora filling in the small open spaces in the cairn,
with little stones of her own selecting. The sun had gone behind the
hill on the western side of the castle, when the little party left
Ralph's cairn and strolled along the shore, as they returned homeward,
gathering the beautiful sea-pea blossoms on their way.

"Anna," said Mrs. Carleton, "we have not seen Louisita to-day; shall we
go to the mound and tell her that her dress will be finished in the
morning, perhaps that would please her?"

"I am ready," replied Miss Vyvyan, "to go anywhere you please, Ada; you
always know the right thing to do."

"May I stay a little way off with Anna," said Cora, "not far; I am
afraid of Louisita, but I want to be near you mama, to take care of you.
Don't you think, Anna, that Louisita is very cross," said the child.

"Not now, dear, she has been very gentle and quiet for the last year."

"I remember," the child continued, "a long time ago when I was little
and you were trying to get some milk for me, and she hit you with her
sword, she frightened me so; I was afraid she would kill you."

"She does not carry her sword any longer," said Miss Vyvyan, "and she
does not scold us any more; she would not hurt any one now, your mama
has been so kind to her, and set her such an example of goodness that
she has made her good, too."

They had reached the entrance to the mound; Cora shrank back and clasped
Miss Vyvyan's hand, who led her a few steps on one side.

"What is this," said the child holding in her hand a gold ornament set
with garnets that she had just picked up from a heap of rubbish which
appeared to be sweepings from Louisita's abode.

"That is a fibula, Cora, such as I saw in a museum in Norway."

"Look, Anna, look at these," she continued, gathering up several antique
beads of glass mosaic and a few chess men of amber from the same place.
"Tell me what they are?"

"They all came from Norway," replied Miss Vyvyan, explaining their use
to her.

Mrs. Carleton meanwhile knocked on the broken planks which served for a
floor, and as Louisita did not appear she entered the mound, but soon
came out again, and whispered something to Miss Vyvyan who passed in,
leaving Mrs. Carleton with Cora. On first entering, it was difficult to
distinguish the interior of the place, or any of the numerous objects
that it contained, as the only light came in through the shattered door,
and a small hole on one side of the mound, which evidently served as a
chimney and a window also. After a few seconds, when Miss Vyvyan's eyes
became accustomed to the extremely subdued light, she saw that she was
in a place that was four or five hundred feet in circumference and about
twenty-four feet high. Advancing toward the side on which the hole was
broken, she observed Louisita. A gleam of light fell upon her. She was
kneeling in front of a small structure which formed a table. Her hands
were clasped in the attitude of prayer, and her fixed and glassy eyes
seemed to look up in the direction of a small silver crucifix, which
hung on the wall before her. Her features were set and rigid. The rich
brown Spanish tint had left her face. When Miss Vyvyan looked upon her
she knew that she was dead, and, on laying her hand upon her cold brow,
she concluded that death had taken place many hours previously; perhaps
the night before. She summoned Mrs. Carleton, and bidding Cora sit down
where they could see her from the inside of the mound, the ladies
proceeded to lay Louisita to rest in the same tomb that had so long been
her dwelling. They lifted her on to her bed; they folded the poor, tired
hands of the weary woman, whose life had lingered on through those
lonely, loveless years. They took the silver crucifix from the wall and
laid it upon her breast; for although they were not of her creed, they
respected her devotion. They felt thankful that in her lifetime they
had done all they could to lighten her burden. They felt still more
thankful for her own sake, that her pilgrimage was ended, and that she
had gone to join the babes who were so dear to her mother's heart.

Not finding sufficient boards to close up the entrance securely, the
ladies went to the further end of the place to get some which they saw
there. The pile was very high, and as soon as they took hold of one,
several other boards fell in broken pieces at their feet, revealing the
ribs of an old Norwegian ship, inside of which lay the skeleton of a man
which had been there so long, that it began to crumble to ashes the
moment it was exposed to the air. They turned to leave the ship when
another and much larger fall of boards exposed the skeleton of a horse.
They paused a moment and looked round; they saw that Louisita was not in
error when she had told them that the Norsemen were at one time on the
island, for there was every evidence of the mound being the tomb of a
Viking. Among the bones of the horse lay the remains of a bridle and
saddle of leather and wood, the mountings of which were in bronze and
silver. Near that of the man lay some ring-armor, a shield-buckle, two
stones of a hand-mill for grinding corn, bits for bridles, stirrups,
some gold finger rings and a fibula of the same metal. The ladies passed
quietly out of the tomb, and built up the entrance as well as they could
with stones and earth, across which they drew the vines and brambles
that grew among the spruces close by, so that at the end of the
following summer there was not any trace left of an entrance ever having
been there.

       *     *     *     *     *

Mrs. Carleton had missed Miss Vyvyan for a longer period of time than
usual one day, and in going in search of her to a part of the castle
which they rarely went into, she found her engaged in making a little
gift to surprise Cora with, and singing in a low tone the following
song:--

    WHY?

    Oh weary years why come and go
      With endless sorrow rife;
    And hope's dead dreams why come ye back
      To mock my empty life?

    Oh destiny, oh bitter fate,
      Oh burning tears that start,
    Why must the hearts that love the most
      Forever dwell apart?

Mrs. Carleton entered the room so gently that Miss Vyvyan was not aware
of her presence until the former was close beside her.

"You look sad, dear Anna; what can I do to cheer you?"

"This is a sad anniversary for me," replied Miss Vyvyan; "but I did not
intend you to know it."

"Let us hope, Anna, that time will give us back some of our former
happiness," said Mrs. Carleton.

"The grave is unrelenting, Ada; it never gives back what it has taken
from us. I will tell you all some day. I cannot talk about the past now;
it would unfit me for being of use to others who have suffered; it
would make me no companion for you and dear Cora; it would be selfish to
intrude my life upon you."

"No, Anna, pray tell me why I sometimes see so sad an expression on your
face which you change the instant you find I am looking at you. You know
you have never alluded to any event in your life prior to our being
shipwrecked. You have told me of your childhood, certainly, but that was
so bright and happy that the recollection of it must be an endless
source of thankfulness. Now I again pray of you, tell me all."

"As you so much wish it, Ada," replied Miss Vyvyan, "I will tell you
that the sunlight went out of my life too soon. At the time I first met
you the world was all darkness to me; all my days and years were winter,
and my only wish was to die."

"Oh Anna, do not say that," said Mrs. Carleton; "but go on and tell me
why."

"Forgive me, I fear I was rebellious, but I only thought of the present.
I could not look forward; it seemed as if there were no future for me
here. I was alone; the only lips which had the right to breathe my name
were sealed in death, and the stately dignity or cold respect with which
I was always addressed reminded me hourly of my isolated existence. I
have no words that can express to you the utter desolation I felt in
having no one to call me by name. I often sought the whispering of the
wind through the trees, the leaves and the long, waving grass in the
hope that it might emit a sound which my fancy could fashion into the
once familiar name, but all in vain; the trees and the leaves and the
grass, even the rocks and hills, whispered and murmured and talked of
many things, but the sound I most longed to hear came never."

Anna noticed that Mrs. Carleton looked sorrowful. She ceased speaking.

"Why did you stop, Anna; go on."

"I am distressing you, I see," answered Miss Vyvyan; "I ought not to
pain you."

"Please go on, Anna."

"I cannot expect you to comprehend my exceeding loneliness at that time,
because your life has never been empty, and you have now your beautiful
child. When first I met you I had nothing. When I say nothing, I do not
mean to infer that I was destitute of worldly means. I had an ample
fortune which I inherited from my mother, besides the manor house and
the landed estates of my grandfather; but I was destitute in the deepest
sense; I had nothing of my own to love; I was alone. Do you know what
that word alone means, 'when hope and the dreams of hope lie dead?' No,
Ada, you cannot, God grant you never may. At length there dawned that
rich, golden autumn day, when you named Cora, and gave me the right to
say 'My.' The surprise was so great to me that I scarcely knew whether I
was moving about in a dream, for my existence had been so long void of
interest that I deemed happiness for me dead. But when I took Cora in
my arms, and looked into the wondrous eyes, and saw the love, the
purity and the delicate sensibility of the being to whom I could always
in the future say 'My,' a new world and a new existence seemed before
me, and I thought angel voices thus whispered and said, 'We have brought
this beautiful child into your life to dwell forever as a sweet, fair
flower in the garden of your heart.' And as the child grew and talked
and called me by my name, the music of its voice and footstep gladdened
my soul and sent a thrill of joy through my whole being. Ever since the
day of our shipwreck, when you were lying on the beach so near death
that I did not dare to allow myself to believe that you could live, (and
may I say it, Ada, without seeming vain), when I was made the instrument
to call you back to life. Ever since that day until this, you and Cora
have seemed to belong to me; to be mine to love and live for. So you see
you have brought back the sunshine into my life. I have finished; I
shall never again talk in this way. My study shall be to brighten, not
to sadden, the path which lies before you in the future."

Anna Vyvyan kept her promise to the end.



CHAPTER XIII.

    The heart that has been mourning
    O'er vanished dreams of love,
    Shall see them all returning,
    Like Noah's faithful dove.
    And hope shall launch her blessed bark
    On sorrow's darkening sea.

           *     *     *     *     *

    I have had joy and sorrow; I have proved
    What lips could give; have loved and been beloved;
        I am sick and heart-sore,
        And weary, let me sleep;
        But deep, deep,
        Never to awaken more!


It was September again, and the golden rod and fall asters, that had for
seven seasons been Cora's delight, were once more in their yellow and
purple glory. The day was sunny, and the rich autumnal glow spread
itself over the walls of the old castle, the forest, the rocks, and the
sea, and the island and its surroundings seemed to the little family to
be more beautiful than ever.

Mrs. Carleton was engaged in decorating the green parlor with flowers
and trailing plants, which Miss Vyvyan and Cora had gathered for that
purpose. The two latter had gone down among the trees near the beach to
get the last basketful of moss to complete the work of adornment.

"Quick, Trefethen, quick, hand me my gun; see those birds, what an
immense flight of them," shouted a strong masculine voice within a few
yards of the trees which concealed them from view, and which also
prevented them from seeing from whom the voice came.

"Don't fire," cried Miss Vyvyan, instantly catching up Cora in her arms
as she used to do in the child's baby days.

"Don't fire," she repeated, "there are people here who are coming out of
the woods on that side," at the same time, forcing her way among the
trees, in the direction from which the voice came; and taking the
advantage of making an inspection without being seen herself.

Cora caught sight of two figures standing on the open ground between the
forest and the sea.

She clasped Miss Vyvyan's neck more tightly and whispered softly, "Look,
Anna, there are two papas."

Miss Vyvyan paused, and looking between the branches she saw a tall,
finely grown gentleman in the full military uniform of a colonel of the
British army. By his side stood a man of smaller stature who wore the
blue coat of a sea captain of that period. As the sunlight fell upon the
bright scarlet uniform, the gold laced hat, the gold epaulets and the
handsome scabbard which contained the colonel's sword, the child gazed
in great amazement, not unmixed with admiration.

As we have already said, Cora was born brave, and like her mother
struggled to keep up a calm courage through any emergency; but the poor
little heart trembled a little when she said,

"Anna, I think he is a very pretty papa, but why does he wear that
sword? Louisita used to wear a sword," she added.

"We are safe, Cora; he will not hurt us. He wears the uniform of our
king. He would help us if we wanted him to."

"Shall we go to him?" said the child.

"Yes; we must so that we can tell your mama what sort of persons are on
the island."

A few more steps took them out of the wood. Miss Vyvyan put the child
out of her arms and led her. The gentleman in uniform advanced to meet
them, and raising his hat said,

"Pray pardon me if I caused you any alarm. I did not know that this
island was inhabited, and I saw so much wild fowl that the temptation to
shoot was very strong."

"I can quite understand that," replied Miss Vyvyan. "We need no
apology," she added, "as we were aware that most gentlemen enjoy sport,
and your bearing and the uniform that you wear assure us that there is
no cause for alarm."

The officer bowed low, but made no reply.

Cora, who was still holding Miss Vyvyan's hand, looked up at her and
said again, "What a pretty papa, and more papas coming from the ship;
but I like this one best."

The child's excitement was so great that her whisper was very audible to
the officer.

"What does she mean?" he asked.

"That is her own way of expressing herself," Miss Vyvyan answered. "She
calls all pictures of men papas. We think she has some recollection of
her father, although she was little else than a babe when he was drowned
here, which is seven years ago to-day. She appears in some mysterious
way to realize that there was such a relationship, for she delights in
looking at pictures of papas as she calls them, more especially such as
are represented as wearing military uniform. And when she was very young
I have often seen her press her cheek against that of a small statuette
which we have of a soldier and kiss it and call it papa."

While Miss Vyvyan and the officer were still speaking Cora was examining
the handsome uniform, and the gentleman was looking intently at the gold
chain that the child wore round her throat. After a little conversation
the officer addressing Miss Vyvyan said,

"I hope you will not think me too inquisitive if I ask whether this fair
sea flower has a mother living."

"Oh yes," cried the child before Miss Vyvyan had time to reply, "I have
the dearest mama in the world and we do love her so, don't we Anna?"

Cora in her enthusiasm let go Miss Vyvyan's hand, and taking hold of the
officer's,

"Come," she said, "come with us and see her, and then you will love her,
too."

Miss Vyvyan was about to suggest that probably the strange gentleman
would prefer not to accept Cora's invitation until he had received one
from her mother, when he interposed by asking Cora what her mother's
name was.

"Why, it is mama," she replied.

"Yes, fair one; but she has another name."

"Oh, you mean Ada, that is what Anna calls her."

"She is Mrs. Carleton," said Miss Vyvyan.

"Great Heaven! my prayer is answered," exclaimed the officer. Turning
quickly away for a few paces he covered his face with his hands, and his
stalwart frame trembled with emotion.

"What is the matter," said Cora, "are you unhappy; never mind, do not be
sorry, papa."

"Yes, my beloved child, I am indeed your own papa who has come back to
you and mama; take me to her; I must go to her this moment, show me the
nearest way."

Cora again clasped her hand round one of his fingers and as she lead him
along she said, "Mama will be so happy for she thought you could never
come back to us, and she often told me that if we were good we should go
to you some day; poorest mama, big tears come into her eyes when she
tells me about my papa."

Arriving at the end of the corridor leading to the green parlor Cora ran
swiftly in advance of Miss Vyvyan and Colonel Carleton calling as she
went,

"Mama, mama, we have found a real papa, not a picture, but my own papa."

Then came the meeting of the long-parted hearts and the recounting of
events, which had taken place since the day on which destiny had torn
the husband and wife from each other. Cora full of fresh young life
joined in the conversation every instant, telling her father how they
used to get the eggs of the sea birds and the honey from the wild bees'
nest, and how they caught the sea perch from off the rocks, and how she
found a jar of gold coins near the Vikings' tomb, which her mama said
were pesos, and all about the fibula which she found there, also.

Then Colonel Carleton explained how he tried to rescue his wife and
child, just as Ralph had told them a few days after they were wrecked;
and how he was picked up by a young man from Wales who came out in the
English ship, and was lashed to a floating mast by that brave young
fellow, and by him kept from drowning until they fell in with a slave
ship that was bound for the coast of Africa, but was also out of its
course as well as their own unfortunate vessels; and how they were taken
on board and kept toiling under an African sun for nearly seven years,
when good fortune smiled upon them and they were sold as slaves and sent
to the colony of Virginia.

"The same young Welshman," continued Colonel Carleton, "has always been
with me. He has a very remarkable talent for navigation, and is now the
captain of my ship. If he had not been I do not think I should ever have
been able to find you, for I did not know that it was an island upon
which we were shipwrecked; but he did, and under Providence, I have
everything to thank him for."

"Beg pardon," said a voice at this part of Colonel Carleton's narrative,
and turning their eyes in the direction of the door they saw standing
there the muscular, well-knit figure, the pleasant face and bright eyes
of Captain Trefethen.

"Beg pardon," he repeated, "but I heard what the Colonel said about me,
and I want to say, that if he had not cut off the leather belt he wore
and let all his gold fall into the ocean, that I might have the leather
to chew when I was famishing with hunger on the mast, I must have died;
and I feel that under Providence I have everything to thank him for. I
made up my mind then never to leave the Colonel till I saw him moored in
a safe harbor. In a few days," Captain Trefethen continued, "everything
will be ready for the good ship 'Ada' to sail for Virginia, and as I do
not suppose the Colonel will want to take another voyage of discovery, I
will leave you all there, as I intended to come back to these parts
myself and settle on an island about forty miles down this bay. It has a
queer Indian name, 'Monhegan' they call it. Captain John Smith, who is
now ranging this coast, told me about it. He seems to have a fancy for
Indian names. I shall never forget how he sung the praises of an Indian
girl the night before he set out on his present voyage. 'Pocahontas,' he
called her. Here is some fruit and a few little things for the ladies,"
he continued, placing a box upon one of the tables and leaving the room.

When Colonel Carleton was again left with his wife and child and Miss
Vyvyan, he resumed his conversation, and answered all the anxious and
rapid inquiries of Mrs. Carleton. "Yes," he said, "I assure you again
that I left all the family in Virginia perfectly well. Your father
attended to my estates during my absence, and by his wisdom in managing
them, he has increased their value sevenfold. Your sister Julia was
married two years ago, and she has an excellent husband."

"Excellent husband," echoed Cora, "What kind of thing is that? Mama and
Anna never told me about the excellent. Where do you find it, is it a
bird; can it sing; may I have one?"

Cora was about to propound further questions regarding an excellent
husband when the merry peals of laughter from the two ladies and the
Colonel, put an end to her interrogations. She did not understand why
they all laughed, and like many of her elders under similar
circumstances she felt sensitive on that account; but with her usual
quickness of thought, she said, "I know why you are so merry, papa; it
is because you are so glad to be with us all in this parlor, that mama
has made so pretty with these bouquets and wreaths of flowers. Mama
makes all our rooms pretty; you ought to see them when the days are dark
and foggy, so that we cannot see anything outside; then mama gets so
many branches of the fragrant fir and green moss and red berries, and
makes the most beautiful things."

"Why does mama select the foggy days to adorn the rooms most, my
darling?" said the Colonel.

"Why, don't you know? she does it to make Anna and me happy. Sunshine
within, mama calls it, and Anna made a song about that; shall I sing it
to you?"

Without waiting for a reply, the child sung the song all through,
keeping time on her father's arm, which encircled her as she sat on his
knee.

When the refrain "our sunshine is within" ended, Colonel Carleton bent
down and pressed his lips upon the golden head of his little daughter.

There was a mist before his eyes as he said, "Yes, my darling, our
sunshine is within our own hearts, and it is in mine to-day for which I
thank God."

Cora continued talking, telling her father all about the beautiful
flowers on the island, and the picnics on the sea beach and in the
woods.

"And one day, papa," said she, "we went for a long walk to the north end
of this island, mama said it was, and we saw such a pretty little island
all covered with trees, and the eagles were up on the tall pines. It was
so close to our island that we could almost jump on to it, and mama said
I could think of a name for it, so I named it "Fairy island." I think
our island that we live on is very pretty, too, but I am glad we are
going to Virginia to live near grandpa and grandma and Aunt Julia and my
uncles, and I want to see grandpa's dog Franco. Do you know, papa, I
never saw a dog. And Anna must come, too, and live with us."

"Of course she will," said Colonel and Mrs. Carleton, both speaking at
the same time; "and perhaps," added Cora, "when it is summer, we will
go to England and visit Anna in her old home at the manor house."

"That is right, Cora," said Miss Vyvyan; "the way in which you have
arranged for the happiness of all of us is admirable."

"Yes," said Colonel Carleton, "Cora has made a very pleasant sounding
plan, but I am not as sure as my little daughter appears to be, that we
shall be able to carry out the whole of it, for when we land in
Virginia, Miss Vyvyan, your cousin, Ronald Fairfax, may have something
to say in the matter. From what Ada has already told me, you seem to
have felt great interest in poor Ralph, and he and Ronald so much
resembled each other in all respects that it was almost impossible to
distinguish them. Pardon me, if I say that I sincerely hope you may take
an interest in Ronald; besides the affection that existed between these
two brothers was so profound that Ronald will desire to show his
gratitude to you for your kind care of one so dear to him. How is he to
do it? I only see one way."

The next few days passed by very quickly, as every one was busily
engaged in making their preparations for the voyage. Full of autumn
beauty, the last day arrived, and the boat with its crew waited on the
beach for the family from the castle.

"Oh dear," said Cora, who was standing in the green parlor all ready to
start, with her arms full of her favorite golden rod and fall asters,
"how could I forget to pick up some of those shells which I like so
much; I wanted to take some to give to all of them at home, I am so
sorry."

"There will still be time enough to get some before we embark, Cora; you
shall have some, dear," said Miss Vyvyan.

"Why Anna," said Mrs. Carleton, "you are surely not going down to the
breakers to-day; I fear you will wear your life out for Cora's sake."

"Never mind me, Ada," replied Miss Vyvyan. "If I die in a labor of love
it will be the death I most desire."

So saying she took a little basket and left the room. As she passed
through the door Cora threw her a kiss and said, "Anna be back."

As we have said previously, the ladies liked Cora to keep some of her
baby language, and that was one of her own modes of expression which
they never corrected. It reminded them of her infancy and of their own
mutual attachment, which first met in the love they each of them bore
toward the child.

"Are you all ready?" said Colonel Carleton, as he came along the
corridor to the green parlor. "Where is Miss Vyvyan?" he added, on
entering the room.

"She has gone down to the breakers to get some shells that Cora wishes
to take to Virginia," replied Mrs. Carleton.

"We will all join her there," said the Colonel, "and then we can walk
back along the shore to our boat."

On arriving at the long ledge of rocks that ran straight out into the
ocean, and which they called the "Whale's Back," they entered the little
cove that was situated on the side nearest to the castle. There was Miss
Vyvyan's basket half filled with the shells that Cora so much desired;
but where was she?

In another moment, Cora with her quick step was springing up to the
highest part of the rocks. A shriek of anguish from the child, and the
cry in her former baby language, "Anna be back, Anna be back," brought
her parents instantly to her side. Looking from the high wall that
nature had formed, and across the larger cove on the other side, they
saw far out toward the open sea Miss Vyvyan's upturned face. She was
floating on an enormous wave which was bearing her rapidly toward the
shore.

"Oh Anna, poor Anna; save her Dudley," cried Mrs. Carleton, believing
anything possible to the brave and kind-hearted man, who had dared and
surmounted all obstacles for her own sake.

"Yes, dearest; yes, trust me. I will do my utmost," replied the Colonel,
quickly scaling the outer side of the cliff, and dashing over and among
the broken masses of rock that laid between him and the sea. Throwing
off his hat and heavy uniform coat, he stood with extended arms at the
water's edge, exactly at the spot where he knew the wave would strike.
Miss Vyvyan was being swiftly borne toward him and was within a few feet
distance.

"Keep calm," he called to her, "for heaven's sake, keep calm, and I can
save you."

The great wave bearing its living burden, broke upon the beach with
unusual violence. Colonel Carleton was struck and thrown far up toward
the shore by its mighty force. In another instant, he was on his feet
again, rushing forward after the receding water, which was carrying Miss
Vyvyan out. She still floated on the crest of the wave. Raising one hand
and unclasping it, she threw upon the beach a small white shell, saying
as she did so, "for dear Cora." She saw the friendly outstretched arm of
the brave man; she looked up to the rocks; she saw the pure, classic
features of gentle, loving Ada, paralyzed with distress, white as
marble, pallid and death-like, as on the day that she had kissed them
back to life seven years before. She saw the beautiful child, who was so
precious to her; she noted the terror, pain and love in its fair, young
face. She heard the sweet voice calling "Anna be back." She saw no more,
the waters covered her; the same ocean which had brought her to the
island, claimed her for its own and bore her away forever.

       *     *     *     *     *

Many summers and winters have come and gone, and long years have passed
away since the ladies and their dear little one lived on the island. The
flowers have faded and the trees of the forest have died with time, but
neither time nor death has power to kill the love of a true heart; that
lives on forever and ever and, phoenix-like, exists on its own ashes.
So it is that the solitary student wandering in the twilight along the
shore, and the young lovers, who are whispering the old, yet always
sweet story in the little cove close by, hear ever and anon, coming up
from the sea, the echo of Anna Vyvyan's last words, "For dear Cora."





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