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Title: Daisy in the Field
Author: Warner, Susan, 1819-1885
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Daisy in the Field" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Warner, Susan, 1819-1885, Daisy in the field, 1868, Ward Lock edition n.d.


DAISY IN THE FIELD

BY
ELIZABETH WETHERELL

Author of "The Wide, Wide World," "Queechy," etc., etc.


WARD, LOCK &CO., LIMITED
LONDON AND MELBOURNE

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London



CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. THE FIRST SMOKE OF THE BATTLEFIELD

CHAPTER II. AT THE RENDEZVOUS

CHAPTER III. IN REVIEW

CHAPTER IV. ON FOOT

CHAPTER V. ON HORSEBACK

CHAPTER VI. IN THE FIRE

CHAPTER VII. DETAILED FOR DUTY

CHAPTER VIII. DAISY'S POST

CHAPTER IX. SKIRMISHING

CHAPTER X. WAITING

CHAPTER XI. A VICTORY

CHAPTER XII. AN ENGAGEMENT

CHAPTER XIII. A TRUCE

CHAPTER XIV. FLIGHT

CHAPTER XV. OLD BATTLEFIELDS

CHAPTER XVI. THE FORLORN HOPE

CHAPTER XVII. OUT OF THE SMOKE

CHAPTER XVIII. A MARKED BATTERY

CHAPTER XIX. ONE FALLEN

CHAPTER XX. THE WOUNDED

CHAPTER XXI. THE HOSPITAL

CHAPTER XXII. ORDERS

CHAPTER XXIII. "HERE!"

"My half-day's work is done;
And this is all my part -
I give a patient God
My patient heart.

"And clasp his banner still,
Though all the blue be dim.
These stripes, no less than stars,
Lead after Him."



CHAPTER I.

THE FIRST SMOKE OF THE BATTLEFIELD.

While Miss Cardigan went with her nephew to the door, I
remained standing by the fire, which could have witnessed to
so much done around it that night. I felt strong, but I
remember my cheeks had an odd sensation as if the blood had
left them. I did not know Miss Cardigan had come back, till I
saw her standing beside me and looking at me anxiously.

"Will you go and lie down now, my lamb?"

"Oh, no!" I said. "Oh, no - I do not want to lie down. I have
not done my studying yet, that I came to do."

"Studying!" said Miss Cardigan.

"Yes. I want something out of some of your books. I have not
done it. I will sit down and do it now."

"You're much more fit to lie down and go to sleep," said she,
sorrowfully. "Let be the study, Daisy; and take some rest,
while ye can."

"I shall have plenty of time," I said. "I do not want any
rest, more than I shall get so."

Miss Cardigan sighed - I had heard more sighs from her that
night than in all my knowledge of her before; and I sat down
on the floor again, to pull out again the volumes I had put
up, and begin my school work anew. As I touched them, I felt
how much had come into my hands, and fallen out of my hands,
since I took them up before, just a few hours ago. It would
not do to think of that. I resolutely put it back, and set
myself about getting out of the books the facts I wanted for
my work. Miss Cardigan left the room; and for a time I turned
over leaves vigorously. But the images of modern warfare began
to mix themselves inconveniently with the struggles of long
ago. Visions of a grey uniform came blending in dissolving
views with the visions of monarchs in their robes of state and
soldiers in heavy armour; it meant much, that grey uniform;
and a sense of loss and want and desolation by degrees crept
over me, which had nothing to do with the ruin of kingdoms.
The books grew heavy; my hands trembled; yet still I tried to
make good work, and bade myself deal with the present and let
the past and the future alone. The "present" being represented
by my school day and my studies. Could I do it? The past and
the future rushed in at last, from opposite sides as it were,
and my "present" was overthrown. I dropped my books and myself
too, as nearly as possible; my heart gave way in a deep
passion of tears.

Now I tried to reason myself out of this. What had I lost? I
asked myself. What were these tears for? What had I lost, that
I had not been without until only twelve hours before? Indeed
rather, what had I not gained? But my reasonings were of no
use. Against them all, some vision of Thorold's face, some
sparkle of his eyes, some touch of his hand, would come back
to me, and break down my power and unlock fresh fountains of
tears. This passion of self-indulgence was not like me, and
surprised myself. I suppose the reason was, I had been so long
alone; I had been working my way and waiting, in exile from
home as it were, so many days and years; nobody that loved me
better than I loved myself had been near me for so very long;
that the sweetness so suddenly given and so suddenly taken
away left me a little unsteady. Was it wonderful? The joy and
the grief were both new; I was not braced for either; the one
seemed to add poignancy to the other; and between the two
facts, that Thorold loved me, and that he was gone from me
into what might be a duty of danger, - that he was gone into
danger and that he loved me, - for a little while my soul was
tossed back and forth like a ship on a stormy sea, unable to
make any headway at all. And so Miss Cardigan found me. She
half lifted half drew me up, I remember; made me lie down
again on the sofa, gave me some hot tea to drink; and when she
had made me drink it, she sat still looking at me, silent, and
I thought a good deal disturbed. It would be difficult to tell
why I thought so. Perhaps it was because she said nothing. I
lay quiet with my face hid in my hands.

"What do you think to do with yourself to-day, now?" - was at
last her practical question.

"What o'clock is it?" I whispered.

"It's just on the stroke of six, Daisy."

"I'll get up and go on with my work," I said; and I raised
myself to a sitting posture accordingly.

"Work!" echoed Miss Cardigan. "You look like much of that!
Your cheeks" (and she touched them) "they are the colour of my
magnolia there that has just opened. A night's work Christian
has made of it! I suppose he is travelling off as content as
if he had something to praise himself for. The pride of these
men! -"

I could not help laughing, and laughing made me cry. Miss
Cardigan promptly put me back on the cushions and bade me lie
still; and she sat in front of me there like a good shaggy
human watch dog. I should not say _shaggy_, for she was entirely
neat and trim; but there was something of sturdy and
uncompromising about her which suggested the idea. I lay
still, and by and by went off into a sleep. That restored me.
I woke up a couple of hours later all right and quite myself
again. I was able to rush through the bit of study I had
wanted; and went over to Mme. Ricard's just a minute before
school opened.

I had expected some uncomfortable questioning about my staying
out all night; but things do not happen as one expects. I got
no questioning, except from one or two of the girls. Mme.
Ricard was ill, that was the news in school; the other
teachers had their hands full, and did not give themselves any
extra trouble about the doings of so regular and trusted an
inmate as myself. The business of the day rolled on and rolled
off, as if last night had never been; only that I walked in a
dream; and when night came I was free to go to bed early and
open my budget of thoughts and look at them. From without, all
was safe.

All day my thoughts had been rushing off, away from the
schoolroom and from studies and masters, to look at a receding
railway train, and follow a grey coat in among the crowd of
its fellows, where its wearer mingled in all the business and
avocations of his interrupted course of life. Interrupted!
yes, what a change had come to his and to mine; and yet all
was exactly the same outwardly. But the difference was, that I
was thinking of Thorold, and Thorold was thinking of me. How
strange it was! and what a great treasure of joy it was. I
felt rich; with the most abounding, satisfying, inexhaustible
treasure of riches. All day I had known I was rich; now I took
out my gold and counted it, and could not count it, and gave
full-hearted thanks over it.

If the brightness wanted a foil, it was there; the gold
glittered upon a cloudy background. My treasure was not
exactly in my hand to enjoy. There might be many days before
Thorold and I saw each other's faces again. Dangers lay
threatening him, that I could not bear to think of; although I
knew they were there. And even were this cloud all cleared
away, I saw the edges of another rising up along the horizon.
My father and my mother. My mother especially; what would she
say to Daisy loving an officer in the Northern army? That
cloud was as yet afar off; but I knew it was likely to rise
thick and black; it might shut out the sun. Even so I my
treasure was my treasure still, through all this. Thorold
loved me and belonged to me; nothing could change that.
Dangers, and even death, would not touch it. My mother's
command could not alter it. She might forbid his marrying me;
I must obey her; but the fact that we loved each other was a
fact beyond her reach and out of her, power, as out of mine.
Thorold belonged to me, in this higher and indestructible
sense, and also I belonged to him. And in this joy I rejoiced,
and counted my treasure with an inexpressible triumph of joy
that it was uncountable.

I wondered too, very much. I had had no idea that I loved
Thorold; no dream that he liked me had ever entered my head. I
thought we were friends, and that was all. Indeed I had not
known there was anything in the world more, until one night
ago.

But I winced a little, privately, in the very bottom of my
heart, that I had let Thorold have so much liberty; that I had
let him know so easily what he was to me. I seemed unlike the
Daisy Randolph of my former acquaintance. She was never so
free. But it was done; and I had been taken unawares and at
disadvantage, with the thought of coming danger and separation
checking every reserve I would have shown. I had to be content
with myself at all events; Thorold knew my weakness and would
never forget it another time.

I thought a great many other thoughts that night; some of them
were grave enough. My sleep however, when I went to sleep, was
as light as the fall of the dew. I could not be careful. Just
seventeen, and just come into life's great inheritance, my
spirit was strong, as such spirits are, to throw off every
burden.

For several days it happened that I was too busy to see Miss
Cardigan. I used to look over to her house, those days, as the
place where I had begun to live. Meanwhile I was bending my
energies to work, with a serious consciousness of woman's life
and responsibility before me. In one way I think I felt ten
years older, when next I crossed the avenue and went into the
familiar marble-paved hall and opened Miss Cardigan's door.
That Thorold was not there, was the first thought with me.
Certainly the world had made a revolution; but all things else
looked as usual; and Miss Cardigan gave me a welcome just as
if the world had not turned round. She was busy with the
affairs of some poor people, and plunged me into them as her
custom was. But I fancied a somewhat more than usual of sober
gravity in her manner. I fancied, and then was sure of it;
though for a long time nothing was said which touched Thorold
or me. I had forgotten that it was to come; and then it came.

"And what have ye been doing, my bonnie lady, since ye went
away at eight o'clock o' the morn?"

I started, and found that I had lost myself in a reverie. I
said, I had been studying.

"You and me have need to study some new things," Miss Cardigan
said, soberly.

"Yes ma'am," I said. But then - "What, Miss Cardigan?"

"There's our duty" - she said, with a pause at that part of
her sentence; - "and then, how to do it. Yes, Daisy, you need
not look at me, nor call the bloom up into your cheeks, that
Christian says are such an odd colour. Don't you think you
have duties, lassie? and more to-day than a fortnight syne?"

"But - Miss Cardigan," I answered, - "yes, I have duties; but
- I thought I knew them."

"It will do no harm to look at them, Daisy. It is good to see
all round our duties, and it's hard too. Are you in a hurry to
go back to school?"

"No, ma'am - I can have the evening."

Miss Cardigan pushed her work-baskets and table away, and drew
her chair up beside mine, before the fire; and made it blaze,
and sat and looked into the blaze, till I wondered what was
coming.

"I suppose this is all a fixed thing between Christian and
you," she began at last.

I hardly knew what she meant. I said, that I could not unfix
it.

"And he will not, no fear! So it is fixed, as we may say;
fixed as two hearts can make it. But it's very sudden, Daisy;
and you are a young thing, my dear."

"I know it is sudden," I said, meekly. "It is sudden to me.
But he will not like me less for my being so young."

Miss Cardigan laughed a short laugh.

"Troth, he's no right, being young himself, we may say. You
are safe for his liking, my bonnie Daisy. But - your father
and mother, my dear?"

"Yes, Miss Cardigan."

"What will their word be?"

"I do not know, ma'am."

"You will tell them, Daisy?"

This was very disagreeable to me. I had thought over these
things, and made up my mind; but to outline on canvass, as it
were, and put in full depth of shadow, all the images of
opposition real and possible that might rise in my way - which
I knew might rise, - I liked not to do it. Still Miss Cardigan
had reason; and when she repeated, "You will tell them at
once?" I answered,

"No, Miss Cardigan; I think not."

"When, then, will you tell them?" she said shortly.

"I think I will not tell them at all. I will wait, till -"

"Till Christian does it?"

"Yes."

"When will _that_ be?"

"I do not know. It may be - a great while. Why should I tell
them before, Miss Cardigan?"

"For many reasons, as they seem to my mind, Daisy; and I
thought, as they would seem to yours. 'Honour thy father and
thy mother.' Daisy, would it be honouring them, to let them
not know?"

There were so many things, of which Miss Cardigan was
ignorant! How could I answer her? I sat silent, pondering the
difficulty; and she was silent on her side, waiting for me to
think over it. It was never her way to be in a hurry; not to
leave her work half done neither, as I knew.

"I will honour them the best way I can," I said at length.

"Then you will write them next steamer. Is it not so, Daisy?"

"That would make it very difficult for me to honour them," I
said; "to honour them in action, I mean."

"Why so? There is no way so short as a straight way."

"No, ma'am. But -I cannot undo what is done, Miss Cardigan."

"What our cheeks say your heart has done. No, child." And
again I heard the unwonted sigh from Miss Cardigan's lips.

"Not my heart only," I went on, plucking up courage. "I have
spoken - I have let him speak. I cannot undo it - I cannot
undo it."

"Well?" said Miss Cardigan, looking anxious.

"It was done before I thought of mamma and papa. It was all
done - it is done; and I cannot undo it now, even for them."

"My dear, you would not marry without your parents' consent?"

"No, Miss Cardigan. They may forbid _that_."

"What then? What harm would be done by your letting them know
at once how the case stands. They would care for your
happiness, Daisy."

Not with a Northerner, a farmer's son, and an officer in the
Northern army. I knew how it would be; but I could not tell
Miss Cardigan.

"What is it you cannot undo, little Daisy?" she said softly, I
suppose seeing me look troubled. And she stretched out a kind
hand and took hold of mine. It was very hard to bear. All this
was a sort of dragging things into light and putting things in
black and white; more tangible and more hard to deal with for
ever after.

"What is it you cannot undo? Since you confess, that if they
desired, you would undo the whole."

"Not my faith, nor my affection," - I said, slowly. "Some
things they may forbid, and I obey; but _these_ things are
passed beyond their power, and beyond mine. I will be true. I
cannot help it now, if I would."

"But, Daisy -" said Miss Cardigan, and she was evidently
perplexed now herself. - "Since you are ready to obey them in
the utmost and give up Thorold if they say so, what is there,
my dear, which your father and mother could command _now_ in
which you are not ready to obey them?"

"The time has not come, Miss Cardigan," I said. "It may be -
you know it may be - long, before they need know anything
about it; before, I mean, anything could be done. I am going
abroad - Christian will be busy here - and they might tell me
not to think of him and not to write to him; and - I can't
live so. It is fair to give him and myself the chance. It is
fair that they should know him and see him before they hear
what he wants of them; or at least before they answer it."

"Give him and yourself the _chance_ - of what, Daisy?"

"I don't know," I said faint-heartedly. "Of what time may do."

"Then you think -my dear, you augur ill of your father's and
mother's opinion of your engagement?"

"I can't help it now, Miss Cardigan," I said; and I know I
spoke firmly then. "I did not know what I was doing - I did
not know what was coming. If I had known, if I could have
helped myself, I think I ought not to have loved anybody or
let anybody speak to me without my father and mother choosing
it; but it was all done before I could in the least help it;
and you know I cannot help it now. I owe something besides to
them now. I will not disobey them in anything I can help; -
but I will be true, - as long as I live."

Miss Cardigan sat a long while silent, holding my hand all the
while; sometimes clasping, and sometimes fondling it. Then she
turned and kissed me. It was very hard to bear, all of it.

"I suppose you are a great heiress," she said at last; as if
the words escaped her, and with a breath of a sigh.

"It is not that!" I exclaimed. "No, I am not. I am not - I
shall not be a great heiress, or an heiress at all, I think.
Christian is richer than I."

"My dear!" said Miss Cardigan. "Christian never said a word to
me about it, but your friend Mrs. Sandford - she told _me_; she
told me you would be one of the richest women in your State."

"She thought so," - I said.

"My dear, your parents are very wealthy; and they have only
one other child, Mrs. Sandford told me. I remember, for it
took me with a pity at my heart, little Daisy, for you."

"Yes, they are wealthy," I said; "and Ransom, my brother, is
the only other one. _He_ will be rich. But I shall not."

"Do you mean he is the favourite?" said Miss Cardigan.

"Oh, no!" I said. "At least, if he is, so am I. It isn't that.
But I shall never be an heiress, Miss Cardigan. I shall be
very poor, I rather think."

I smiled at her as I said these words - they were upon the
first pleasant subject that had been touched for some time
between us; and Miss Cardigan looked quite bewildered. I
remembered she had good reason; and I thought it was right,
though very much against my will, to explain my words.

"You know what makes my father and mother rich?" I said.

"My dear!" said Miss Cardigan - "They have large Southern
properties."

"And you know what makes Southern wealth?" I went on.

"Rice - cotton -"

"No, it isn't that," I said.

"What then, my dear? I do not know what you mean. I thought it
was mainly cotton."

"It is unpaid labour," I said. "It is hands that ought to work
for themselves; and men and women that ought to belong to
themselves."

"Slaves," said Miss Cardigan. "But, Daisy, what do you mean?
It's all true; but what can you do?"

"I can have nothing to do with it. And I will have nothing. I
would rather be poor, as poor as old Darry and Maria, than
take what belongs to them. Miss Cardigan, so would you."

She settled herself back in her chair, like a person who has
got a new thought. "My dear child!" she said. And then she
said nothing more. I did not wish she should. I wanted no
counsel, nor to hear any talk about it. I had only spoken so
much, as thinking she had a right to hear it. I went back into
my own meditations.

"Daisy, my child," she said suddenly after a while, - "there
is only one thing to be said; and the word is not mine. 'If
the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated
you."

"Why, Miss Cardigan," said I, smiling, "do you think the,
world will hate me for such a thing?"

"It hates all those who pretend to tell it is wrong."

"I do not pretend to tell it anything," I said.

"There is no preaching like that of the life. Daisy, have you
well considered this matter?"

"For years."

"Then I'll know how to pray for you," she said. And there our
conversation ended. It had laid on my heart a grave burden of
well-defined care, which went with me thenceforth. I could
never ignore it nor doubt it was there. Not but I knew well
enough each several point in our discussion, before it had
come up in words between Miss Cardigan and me; but having so
come up, and taken form, each was a tangible thing for ever
after. It is odd, how much we can bear unspoken, to which
words give an unendurable weight and power. However, these
troubles, in their present form, were not unendurable. I only
felt them constantly from that time.

My visits to Miss Cardigan now were what they had always been;
only perhaps she was a little more tenderly affectionate and
careful of me. We did not go back to the discussions of that
day, nor to any other regarding my affairs; but she and I
scanned the papers well, and talked to each other of the items
that seemed now to touch Thorold's and my future as well as
the future of the country. We talked, - I could not help it;
and yet often I would as lief not; the subjects were not
quieting.

The first thing, was the going to Washington of Christian and
his class. He wrote to me about it. They went in haste and
zeal; waiting for nothing; losing not a train; going by night.
Some in civilian's dress; some in cadet clothes, with the
black stripe torn off the leg; all eager for their work. What
work? It was peaceful enough work just at first. Thorold and
others were set to drill the new citizen soldiers who had come
in, answering to the President's proclamation, and who knew
simply nothing of the business they were to be wanted for, if
wanted at all. It was likely they would have something to do!
Already a second proclamation from the President had called
for a second supply of men, to serve for three years, if the
war was not sooner ended. Seamen for the navy also, in like
manner.

For three years or the war! It went to my heart, that
requisition. It looked so terribly in earnest. And so
unhopeful. I wondered, those days, how people could live that
did not know how to pray; when every one had, or might have, a
treasure at stake in this fierce game that was playing. I have
often since felt the same wonder.

I do not know how studies and the usual forms of school
recitations went on; but they did go on; smoothly, I suppose.
I even recollect that mine went on successfully. With my
double or treble motive for desiring success, I had also a
reason for prizing and remembering the attainment. But my head
was on graver matters, all the time. Would the rebels attack,
Washington? it was constantly threatened. Would fighting
actually become the common news of the land? The answer to
this second query began to be sounded audibly. It was before
May was over, that Ellsworth's soldiers took possession of
Alexandria, and he was killed. That stirred people at the
time; it looks a very little thing now. Alexandria! how I
remembered driving through it one grey morning, on one of my
Southern journeys; the dull little place, that looked as if it
had fallen asleep some hundred or two years ago and never
waked up. Now it was waked up with rifle shots; but its slave
pen was emptied. I was glad of that. And Thorold was safe in
Washington, drilling raw soldiers, in the saddle all day, and
very happy, he wrote me. I had begun to be uneasy about his
writing to me. It was without leave from my father and mother,
and the leave I knew could not be obtained; it would follow
that the indulgence must be given up. I knew it must. I looked
that necessity in the face. A correspondence, such a
correspondence, carried on without their knowing of it, must
be an impossibility for me. I intended to tell Christian so,
and stop the letters, before I should go abroad. My
difficulties were becoming daily more and more clear, and
looking more and more unmanageable. I wondered sometimes
whither I was drifting; for guide or choose my course I could
not. I had got into the current by no agency and with no fault
of my own. To get out of the current - perhaps that might not
be till life and I should go out together. So I was a somewhat
sober and diligent student those closing weeks of the term;
and yet, very happy, for Christian loved me. It was a new,
sweet, strange, elixir of life.

The term was almost out, when I was called to the parlour one
day to see Mrs. Sandford. All winter I had not seen her; she
had not been in New York. I think she was unaffectedly glad to
see me; somehow my presence was pleasant to her.

"Out of school!" she exclaimed, after a few greetings had
passed. "Almost out of school. A woman, Daisy. My dear, I
never see you but I am struck with the change in you. Don't
change any more! you are just right."

I laughed and asked her, what was the change in me? I had not
grown taller.

"No -" said Mrs. Sandford - "I don't know that you have; but
your figure is improved, and you have the air of being taller,
Daisy. I never saw you looking so well. My dear, what work you
are going to do now! now that you are out of the 'elements.'
And by the by - what _are_ you going to do, when school closes
and you are set free?"

I said I could not tell; I had received no directions. I was
waiting for letters from somewhere, to tell me what I must do.

"Suppose you go with me to Washington."

"Washington!" - I ejaculated, and therewith the power of
speech left me.

"Yes. You are not afraid, Daisy, that you look at me so? Some
people are afraid, I know, and think Washington is going to be
stormed by the Southern army; but that is all nonsense, Grant
says; and I always trust Grant. He knows. He wants me to come.
He says Washington is a novel sight just now, and I may never
have such another chance; and I think I shall do as he says
and go. Washington is full of soldiers, and no ladies in it.
You are not _afraid?_"

"Oh, no. But - Dr. Sandford has not written to me to come."

"Yes, he has; or something very like it. He asked me to come
and see you as I passed through the city - I was not likely to
need his admonition, Daisy, my dear, for it always does me
good to see you; - and he added that I might suggest to you
that I was coming, and ask you if your curiosity inclined you
to take the trouble of the journey. He said _he_ thought it
worth while, - and that we would both find it so."

I was dumb. Dr. Sandford little knew to what he was inviting
me; and I - and Thorold - What a strange chance.

"Well, what are you pondering?" Mrs. Sandford cried gaily.
"Dresses? You don't care for dresses; besides, we can have
them made in two minutes. Don't you want to go, Daisy? I am
sure you do; and I am sure Grant will take famous good care of
us, and you specially, and show us the camps and everything.
And don't you want to see the President?"

"I have seen him."

"When, and where?"

"In the street - when he went through, on his way to
Washington."

"Well, I don't care much for Presidents; but this one they say
so many different things about, that it makes me curious.
Don't you want to see him again?"

"Yes - I would like it."

"Then you'll come with me - I see it; and I'll have everything
in readiness. Thursday, does your school-work end? then we
will go Saturday. You will want one day perhaps, besides, they
say Friday is unlucky. I never go a journey on Friday."

"I would as lieve go Friday as any day," I said.

"Oh, well - Saturday will be soon enough; and now good-bye, my
dear; you to your work and I to mine. You are beautiful, my
dear Daisy!" she added, kissing me.

I wondered if it was true. If it was, I was glad, for
Thorold's sake. I knew it would be a pleasure to him. And to
my father and mother also; but that brought other thoughts,
and I went off to my studies.


CHAPTER II.

AT THE RENDEZVOUS.


The examination was over and school ended for me, before I had
one half hour to spare to go to see Miss Cardigan. The
examination had passed as I could have wished it might; all
had gone well; and I could afford to put by that whole train
of thought, even as I put up my school-books and stowed them
away; being things that I should not immediately want again.
Some time would pass, it was likely, before I would need to
refresh my memory with mathematics or philosophy. My music was
another matter, and I kept that out.

I put my books hastily as well as securely away; and then took
my hat and rushed over to Miss Cardigan's. It was a very warm
June day. I remember now the cool feeling of her marble hall.
Miss Cardigan sat in her matted parlour, busy as always,
looking quiet and comfortable in a white muslin wrapper, and
neat as a pin; also an invariable thing. Something in the
peaceful, settled, calm air of the place impressed me, I
suppose, with a feeling of contrast; of an uninvaded,
undisturbed domain, which changes were not threatening. I had
gone over the street hurriedly; I walked into the room with a
slow step.

"Daisy! my dear child!" Miss Cardigan exclaimed, - "is it you?
and is all over? I see it is. Just sit down, and you shall
have some strawberries; you look tired, my love."

I sat still, and waited, and eat my strawberries.

"Miss Cardigan," I said at length, "what is Christian's
address in Washington?"

"In Washington? I don't know. Did he never give it to you?"

"No, ma'am; nothing except 'Washington.' "

"I suppose that is enough. Haven't you written to him?"

"I have written once. - I have been thinking, Miss Cardigan,
that I must stop the writing."

"Altogether?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"His writing too?"

"Yes. My father and mother do not know - and I cannot ask
them, - and -"

"You are right," Miss Cardigan answered sorrowfully. "And yet
you will let your engagement stand, Daisy?"

"I cannot break my part of it, ma'am. I - nor they - cannot
change what is, and what has been done. The future is in their
hands - or in God's hands, rather."

Miss Cardigan sighed.

"And what then, dear, about the address?" she said.

"Because, Miss Cardigan, I am going there. I am going to
Washington."

She stopped her work to look at me.

"I am going Saturday. My guardian has sent for me. It is very
strange, Miss Cardigan; but I must go; and I thought I would
like to know in what part of the city Christian is."

"Will you write to let him know? You will, of course. Write
just as usual, child; the letter will reach him."

"Why should I, Miss Cardigan? what use? He cannot come to see
me."

"Why not?"

"I would not dare. My guardian watches me well; and he would
not like my seeing Mr. Thorold of all people."

"Why not? Ah, child! there is a rose leaf in each of your
cheeks this minute. That tells the story. Then, Daisy, you had
better not go to Washington. Christian will not bear that very
well; and it will be hard for you too. My dear, it will be
hard."

"Yes, ma'am - and hard not to go. I shall go, Miss Cardigan."

"And mayn't I tell him you are there?"

"No, ma'am. If I can, I will let him know somehow."

But a sense of the difficulties, dangers, doubts and
uncertainties, thronging my way, therewith pressed heavily
upon me; and I sat in silence and weariness, while Miss
Cardigan put up her work and ordered tea, and finally went off
to her greenhouse. Presently she came back with a rose in her
hand and held it under my face. It was a full dewy sweet
damask rose, rich and fragrant and lovely as such a rose can
be. I took it and looked at it.

"Do ye mind," my old friend said, "how the flowers spoke to
you and brought you messages, when Daisy was a child yet and
first came to see me?"

"I know - I remember," I said.

"Does that no tell you something?"

"What does it tell me?" I said, scarce able to command my
words, under the power of association, or memory, which was
laying its message on my heart, though it was a flower that
bore the message. Inanimate things do that sometimes - I
think, often, - when the ear of the soul is open to hear them;
and flowers in especial are the Lord's messengers and speak
what He gives them. I knew this one spoke to me.

"Listen, and see," Miss Cardigan said.

I looked, and as I looked, these words came up in my mind -

"Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?"

"The Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him."

And still as I looked, I remembered, - "In all their
afflictions He was afflicted;" - and, "My God shall supply all
your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
The words came into my head; but apart from the words, the
rose seemed to say all these things to me. People who never
heard flowers talk would think me fanciful, I suppose.

"And you will go to that city of trouble, and you will not let
Christian know?" Miss Cardigan said after a while.

"Yes ma'am. - No ma'am," I answered.

"Suppose he should be angry about it?"

"Does he get angry?" I asked; and his aunt laughed.

"Does the child think he is perfect?"

"No, certainly," I said; "of course he has faults; but, Miss
Cardigan, I did not think anger was one of them, - or getting
angry."

"He will never get angry with you, Daisy, it is my firm
belief."

"But does he, easily, with other people?"

"There! I don't know," she said. "He used to be gay quick with
his temper, for all so gentle as he is. I wouldn't try him too
far, Daisy, with not letting him know."

"I cannot tell him -" I said, sighing.

For I knew, better than she did, what thorough good care would
be taken of me, and what small mercy such a visitor as Mr.
Thorold would meet at the hands of my guardians. So with a
doubtful heart I kissed Miss Cardigan, and went back over the
way to prepare for my journey. Which was, however, thrown over
by a storm till the next week.

The journey made my heart beat, in spite of all my doubts. It
was strange, to see the uniforms and military caps which
sprinkled every assemblage of people, in or out of the cars.
They would have kept my thoughts to one theme, even if
wandering had been possible. The war, - the recruiting for the
war, - the coming struggle, - the large and determined
preparation making to meet it, - I saw the tokens of these
things everywhere, and heard them on every hand. The long
day's ride to Washington was a long fever dream, as it seems
to me now; it seemed a little so to me then.

It was dark when we reached Washington; but the thought that
now became present with me, that anywhere Thorold might be,
could scarce be kept in check by the reflection that he
certainly would not be at the railway station. He was not
there; and Dr. Sandford was; and a carriage presently conveyed
us to the house where rooms for us were provided. Not a hotel,
I was sorry to find. By no chance could I see Thorold
elsewhere than in a hotel.

Supper was very full of talk. Mrs. Sandford wanted to know
everything; from the state of the capital and the military
situation and prospects for the nation, to the openings for
enjoyment or excitement which might await ourselves. The
doctor answered her fast enough; but I noticed that he often
looked at me.

"Are you tired?" he asked me at length; and there was a tone
of gentle deference in his question, such as I often heard
from Dr. Sandford. I saw that my silence struck him.

"Nonchalant," said Mrs. Sandford, half laughing. "Daisy does
not care about all these things. Why should she? To see and to
conquer are the same thing with her, whatever becomes of your
Southern and Northern camps and armies."

"Indeed I do care," I said.

"For receptions at the White House? - or military reviews? -
or parades, or encampments? Confess, Daisy."

"Yes, I care," I said. "I care about some of these things."

"I am glad to hear it," said Mrs. Sandford. "I really thought,
Daisy, you were superior to them all. Why, child, you have
done nothing but meditate, in the gravest manner, ever since
we took seats in the cars this morning. I was thinking that
nothing but cabinet ministers would interest you."

This would not do. I roused myself and smiled.

"What do you think of your ward?" said Mrs. Sandford
pointedly.

"I think more of her guardian," said the doctor somewhat
dryly.

"How soon are you going to send Daisy to Europe?"

"According to orders, just as soon as I can satisfy myself
with a good opportunity. I wish you would go."

"Meanwhile, it is a very good thing that she should come here.
It will keep her from _ennui_ at least. Washington is alive,
that is one thing; and Daisy, my dear, we may mount muskets
yet. Come, let us go and get a good night's sleep while that
is possible."

I was glad to be alone. I took off my dusty travelling dress,
refreshed myself with a bath, put on a wrapper, and sat down
to think.

I found my heart was beating in a way that showed some mental
fever. What was I about? what was I going to do? I asked
myself.

I sat with my head in my hands. Then I got up and walked the
floor. I found that I was determined to see Mr. Thorold, and
to see him as soon as possible. Yet I had no certain means of
communicating with him. My determination was a vague
determination, but it sprung from the necessity of the case. I
must see Mr. Thorold. Both of us in Washington for a little
while now, no foresight could tell when again we might be near
each other. It might well be never. I would see him. Then came
the question, - Daisy, what are you going to say to him, when
you see him? I walked and thought.

Our correspondence must cease. I must tell him that. - It was
dreadfully hard to think it, but I knew it must cease. I could
not receive letters from Christian in Switzerland, and
certainly I could not write them, without the knowledge of my
father and mother; - and if I could, I would not. We must stop
writing; we must be hundreds of miles apart, know that dangers
clustered round the path of one if not both, know that clouds
and uncertainties hung over all our future, and we must not
write. And I must tell Mr. Thorold so. It was very hard; for I
did not flatter myself with an easy bright clearing away of
our difficulties by and by, even if the storm of the war
should roll over and leave Christian to encounter them with
me. I did not hope that explanations and a little persuasion
would induce my mother and my father to look favourably on a
Northern suitor for their daughter's hand. My father? - he
possibly might give up his pleasure for the sake of my
happiness; with my mother I saw no such possibility. It was
useless to hope they would let me write to an officer in the
Union army. If any chance at all for my happiness were in the
future, it must lie in changes not yet accomplished, or in Mr.
Thorold's own personal power of recommending himself; rather
in both these. For the present - I could not tell how long -
now, soon, as soon as I should leave Washington again, we must
be separated. I wished I could see Thorold that very evening!
In Washington - maybe not far off - and days so few - and I
could not see him! I sat down again and put my head in my
hand. Had I done wrong, made any unconscious mistake neglected
any duty, that this trouble had come upon me? I tried to
think. I could not find that I had to blame myself on any such
score. It was not wrong to go to West Point last summer. I
held none but friendly relations with Mr. Thorold there, so
far as I knew. I was utterly taken by surprise, when at Miss
Cardigan's that night I found that we were more than friends.
Could I hide the fact then? Perhaps it would have been right
to do it, if I had known what I was about; but I did not know.
Mr. Thorold was going to the war; I had but a surprised
minute; it was simply impossible to hide from him all which
that minute revealed. Now? Now I was committed; my truth was
pledged; my heart was given. My heart might be broken, but
could never be taken back. Truth must be truth; and my life
was Mr. Thorold's if it belonged to anybody but my father and
mother. I settled that point. It was needless ever to look at
it again.

I had something else to tell Mr. Thorold; and here I took up
my walk through the room, but slowly now. I was not going to
be an heiress. I must tell him that. He must know all about
me. I would be a poor girl at last; not the rich, very rich,
Miss Randolph that people supposed I would be. No yearly
revenues; no Southern mansions and demesnes; no power of name
and place. Would Mr. Thorold care? I believed not. I had no
doubt but that his care was for myself alone, and that he
regarded as little as I the adventitious circumstances of
wealth and standing which I intended to cast from me.
Nevertheless, _I_ cared. Now, when it was not for myself, I did
care. For Mr. Thorold, I would have liked to be rich beyond my
riches, and powerful above my power. I would have liked to
possess very much; that I might make him the owner of it all.
And instead, I was going to give him as poor a wife as ever he
could have picked up in the farm-houses of the North. Yes, I
cared. I found I cared much. And though there was not, of
course, any wavering of my judgment as to what was right, I
found that to do the right would cost me something; more than
I could have thought possible; and to tell Mr. Thorold of it
all, was the same as doing it. I walked down a good many
bitter regrets, of pride or affection; I think both were at
work; before I dismissed the matter from my mind that night.

I think I had walked a good part of the night while I was
cogitating these things and trying to bring my thoughts into
order respecting them. While I was at last preparing for
sleep, I reflected on yet another thing. I always looked back
to that evening at Miss Cardigan's with a mixture of feelings.
Glad, and sorrowful, and wondering, and grateful, as I was in
the remembrance, with all that was mingled a little
displeasure and disapproval of myself for that I had allowed
Mr. Thorold so much liberty, and had been quite so free in my
disclosures to him of my own mind. I did not know how it had
happened. It was not like me. I ought to have kept him more at
a distance, kindly of course. One, or two, kisses - my cheek
burnt at the thought - were the utmost he should have been
allowed; and I ought to have been more reserved, and without
denying the truth, to have kept myself more in my own power. I
resolved I would do it in the future. I would keep my own
place. Mr. Thorold might indeed know what he was to me and
what I was to him; I did not mean to hide that; but he must be
satisfied with knowing it and not take any liberties with the
knowledge.

So I went to sleep; but my sleep was heavy and scarcely
refreshing. I woke up, startled with the thought that I was in
Washington and might see Christian to-day. And I found the
desire quite outran the possibility.

I was therefore ready to agree to all the plans of my
companions; which included for that day a ride to the camps
and the President's reception. Abroad, amidst the stir of men,
especially where soldiers were or soldiers' work was done, I
might hope to see Christian. What then, if I saw him? I left
that point. One thing at a time.

CHAPTER III.

IN REVIEW


There were a party of us that went that morning to see the
sights in the neighbourhood of Washington. On horseback we
were; Dr. Sandford and Mrs. Sandford, Colonel Forsyth, whom I
had seen at West Point, another gentleman, and myself. I
suppose my senses were keened by anxiety; I never shall forget
the wonderful beauty of the afternoon and of what we came to
see. In some intense moods of mind, it seems as if every
sunbeam had daguerreotyping power, and memory the preparedness
to receive and retain. And I could tell even now, where there
was a sunny bank, and where a group of sun-touched trees; the
ring of our horses' hoofs is in my ear with a thought; and I
could almost paint from memory the first view of the camp we
went to see. We had crossed over into Virginia; and this
regiment, - it was Ellsworth's they told me, - was encamped
upon a hill, where tents and trees and uniforms made a bright,
very picturesque, picture. Ellsworth's corps; and he was gone
already. I could not help thinking of that; and while the rest
of the party were busy and merry over the camp doings, I sat
in my saddle looking over some lower grounds below the hill,
where several other regiments were going through certain
exercises. It looked like war! it went through my heart. And
Ellsworth's soldiers had lost their commander already. Very
likely there was somebody to miss and mourn him; somebody at
home; his mother - a young wife, perhaps -

"Is Daisy tired already?" Dr. Sandford's voice was at my side.

I roused myself and said we had had a pretty brisk ride, and I
had not been on horseback in a long time; which was true and I
felt it.

"Has it been too much for you?" he said, with a change of
tone.

I disclaimed that.

"These war-shows make you thoughtful?"

"They give me something to think about."

"They need not."

"How can they help it?"

"Daisy, I am confident there is not the slightest danger to
Washington. Do you think I would have brought you into
danger?"

"Oh, I am not thinking of danger to myself!" I exclaimed. "I
am not afraid in that way."

"For the country, are you afraid?"

"Dr. Sandford, do you think there is real danger to the
country?" I asked.

"The South will do what they can."

"Do you expect the North will be able to stand against them?"

"_You_ do not," - he said smiling.

"I know nothing about it," I said; "or at least, I know very
little of what the North can do. Of course, I know _some_
Northern soldiers will fight as well as any; but, do you
think, Dr. Sandford, they can stand - the greater part of them
- do you think they can meet the bravery and skill of the
South and get the better?"

I asked anxiously. Dr. Sandford's brow grew grave.

"Daisy, I don't know, as you say; but I have lived among the
Northern people in my life; and when a Yankee 'takes a
notion,' he is as tough a customer as ever I wish to have to
deal with."

"But they are not accustomed to fighting," I said.

"I am afraid they will be, before it is through."

"Then you think they are as brave as the South? Can they be?"

Dr. Sandford laughed at me a good deal. Nevertheless, I could
not find out what he thought; and I knew, I thought, what he
did not know so well. I knew the fiery proud spirit of my
native portion of the people. While his banter fell on my
ears, my eyes went off to the sunlit green fields where the
troops were parading; on Southern soil; and I saw in
imagination the rush and fury of vengeful onset, which might
come over those very fields; I saw the unequal contest; I saw
- what happened soon after. I sighed as I turned my eyes to
the doctor again.

"You are more of a Southerner than I thought you," he said.
And I fancied some gratification lurked behind the words.

"But _you_ are true?" I exclaimed.

"True!" said the doctor, smiling. "True to what? I hope I am
true."

"I mean, you are a true Northerner? you do not sympathise with
the South?"

"I do not think they are in the right, Daisy; and I cannot say
I wish they should succeed. It is very natural that you should
wish it."

"I do not," I said. "I wish the right to succeed."

"I believe you do, or you would not be Daisy. But, with a
woman, - excuse me, - the right is where her heart is."

Dr. Sandford touched so much more than he knew in this speech,
I felt my cheek grow hot. I thought at the same time that he
was speaking with the intent to find out more than he knew. I
was silent and kept my face turned from him.

"You do not plead guilty," he went on.

"The charge is not guilt, but weakness," I said coolly.

"Weakness!" said the doctor. "Not at all. It is a woman's
strength."

"To be misled by her feelings?"

"No; to be _led_ by them. Her feelings tell her where the right
is - generally. You are Daisy; but a woman, and therefore
perhaps no exception. Or _are_ you an exception? How is it,
Daisy?"

"I do not wish the South to succeed, Dr. Sandford - if that is
what you mean."

"It is quite enough," he said, "to constitute you a remarkable
exception. I do not know three more at this minute, in this
cause. You will not have the sympathies of your father and
mother, Daisy?"

"No, Dr. Sandford."

"Your cousin, Mr. Gary, whom we saw last summer; - on which
side is he?"

"I have not heard from him since he came to Washington. I do
not know where he is. I want to find out."

"We can easily find out," said the doctor. "If Colonel Forsyth
does not know, we shall see somebody this evening probably who
can tell us about him."

We rode home through the lingering sunlight of that long day;
uniforms, camps, fortifications, cannon, on all sides
proclaiming the new and strange state of things upon which the
country had fallen; busy people passing and repassing in all
directions; an air of life and stir everywhere that would have
been delightful, if the reason had been only different. It
saddened me. I had to make a constant effort to hide the fact
from my companions. One of them watched me, I knew. Dr.
Sandford thought I was tired; and proposed that we should
defer going to the White House until the next occasion; but I
could not rest at home and insisted on carrying out the
original scheme for the day. I was in a fever now to see Mr.
Thorold; keeping up a constant watch for him, which wearied
me. To watch with more hope of success, I would go to the
President's reception. Mr. Thorold might be there.

Mrs. Sandford, I remember, was very earnest about my dress. I
was in no danger from gratified or ungratified vanity now; it
was something else that moved me as I robed myself for that
reception. And I met my escort in the drawing-room, forgetting
that my dress could be a subject of interest to anybody but
one, - who might not see it.

"Why, that is - yes! that is the very same thing you wore to
the cadets' hop; the last hop you went to, Daisy?" Mrs.
Sandford exclaimed, as she surveyed me.

"It will do, won't it?" I said. "I have had nothing new made
this spring."

"Do!" said the lady. "What do you think, Grant?"

Dr. Sandford's face was a little flushed.

"Anything will do," he said. "It makes less difference than
ladies suppose."

"It has more to do than gentlemen ever imagine!" Mrs. Sandford
returned indignantly. "It is very good, Daisy. That pure white
somehow suits you; but I believe everything suits you, my
dear. Your mother will be a proud woman."

That sentence laid a little weight on my heart, which had just
been springing with undefined hope. I had been thinking of
somebody else who might perhaps be not displeased with me.

I sought for his figure that night, among the crowds at the
President's reception; amidst all the other interests of the
hour, that one was never forgotten. And there were many
interests certainly clustering about Washington and Washington
society then. The assembly was very peculiar, very marked,
very striking in many of its characteristics. The women were
few, much fewer than make part of ordinary assemblies; the men
were unusually well-looking, it seemed to me; and had an air
of life and purpose and energy in definite exercise, which was
very refreshing to meet. Besides that, which was generally
true, there were in Washington at this time many marked men,
and men of whom much was expected. The last have been first,
it is true, in many an instance; here as elsewhere;
nevertheless, the aspect of things and people at the time was
novel and interesting in the highest degree. So, was the talk.
Insipidities were no longer tolerated; everybody was _living_,
in some real sense, now.

I had my second view of the President, and nearer by. It did
not disappoint me, nor change the impression produced by the
first view. What a homely face! but I thought withal, what a
fine face! Rugged, and soft; gentle, and shrewd; Miss
Cardigan's "Yon's a mon!" recurred to me often. A man, every
inch of him; self- respecting, self-dependent, having a sturdy
mind of his own; but wise also to bide his time; strong to
wait and endure; modest, to receive from others all they could
give him of aid and counsel. But the honest, keen, kindly eyes
won my heart.

The evening was very lively. There were a great many people to
see and talk to, whom it was pleasant to hear. Dr. Sandford, I
always knew was a favourite; but it seemed to me this evening
that our party was thronged. Indeed I had little chance and
less time to look for Mr. Thorold; and the little I could use
availed me nothing. I was sure he was not there; for he
certainly would have seen me. And what then? It would not have
been agreeable. I began to think with myself that I was
somewhat inconsistent.

It was not till I got home that I thought this, however. I had
no time for private reflections till then. When we reached
home, Mrs. Sandford was in a talkative mood; the doctor very
silent.

"And what do you think of General Scott, Daisy? you have not
seen him before."

"I do not know," I said. "I did not hear him, talk."

"You have not heard Mr. Lincoln talk, have you?"

"No, certainly not; not before to night."

"You know how you like _him_," Dr. Sandford said pointedly.

"Yes."

"My dear, you made him the most beautiful reverence that I
ever knew a woman could make; grace and homage in perfection;
but there was something else in it, Daisy, something more;
something most exquisitely expressed. What was it, Grant?"

"You ought to know," said the doctor, with a grim smile.

"I do, I suppose, only I cannot tell the word for it. Daisy,
have you ever seen the President before?"

"When he passed through New York," I said. "I stood in the
street to see him."

Dr. Sandford's eyes opened upon me. His sister-in-law
exclaimed,

"You could not see him _then_, child. But you like him, don't
you? Well, they tell all sorts of stories about him; but I do
not believe half of them."

I thought, I could believe all the good ones.

"But Grant, you never can keep Daisy here," Mrs. Sandford went
on. "It would be hazardous in the extreme."

"Not very," said the doctor. "Nobody else is going to stay; it
is a floating community."

So we parted for the night. And I slept, the dark hours; but
restlessness took possession of me the moment I awoke. Dr.
Sandford's last words rung in my heart. "It is a floating
community." "Nobody else is going to stay." I must see Mr.
Thorold. What if _he_ should be ordered on, away from Washington
somewhere, and my opportunity be lost? I knew to be sure that
he had been very busy training and drilling some of the new
troops; and I hoped there was enough of the same work on hand
to keep him busy; but I could not know. With the desire to
find him, began to mingle now some foretaste of the pain of
parting from him again when I - or he - should leave the city.
A drop of bitter which I began to taste distinctly in my cup.

I was to learn now, how difficult it sometimes is in new forms
of trial, to be quiet and submissive and trust. I used to be
able to trust myself and my wants with God; I found at this
time that the human cry of longing, and of fear, was very hard
to still. I was ready to trust, if I might only see Mr.
Thorold. I was willing to wait, if only we might not be
separated at last. But _now_ to trust and to wait, when all was
in doubt for me; when, if I missed this sight of my friend, I
might never have another; when all the future was a cloudy sea
and a rocky shore; I felt that I _must_ have this one moment of
peace. Yet I prayed for it submissively; but I am afraid my
heart made its own cry unsubmissively.

I was restless. The days that followed the President's levee
were one after the other filled up with engagements and
amusements, - if I can give that term to what had such deep
and thrilling interest for me; but I grew only more secretly
restless with every one. My companions seemed to find it all
amusement, the rides and parades and receptions that were
constantly going on; I only saw everywhere the preparation for
a desperate game soon to be played. The Secessionists
threatened Washington; and said "only wait till the Fourth."
The people in Washington laughed at this; yet now and then I
saw one who did not laugh; and such were often some of those
who should know best and judge most wisely. Troops were
gathered under Beauregard's command not very far from the
capital. I knew the dash and fire and uncompromising temper of
the people I was born among; I could not despise their threats
nor hold light their power. My anxiety grew to see Mr.
Thorold; but I could not. I watched and watched; nothing like
him crossed my vision. Once, riding home late at night from a
gay visit to one of the neighbouring camps, we had drawn
bridle in passing the grounds of the Treasury Building, where
the Eleventh Massachusetts regiment was encamped; and slowly
walking by, were endeavouring to distinguish forms and sounds
through the dim night air - forms and sounds so novel in
Washington and so suggestive of interests at stake and dangers
at hand; when the distinct clatter of a horse's hoofs in full
gallop came down the street and passed closed by me. The light
of a passing lamp just brushed the flying horseman; not enough
to discover him, but enough to lift my heart into my mouth. I
could not tell whether it were Mr. Thorold; I cannot tell what
I saw; only my nerves were unstrung in a moment, and for the
rest of that night I tossed with impatient pain. The idea of
being so near Mr. Thorold, was more than I could bear. One
other time, in a crowd, I heard a bit of a laugh which
thrilled me. My efforts to see the person from whom it came
were good for nothing; nobody like my friend was in sight, or
near me; yet that laugh haunted me for two days.

"I do not think Washington agrees with Daisy," Mrs. Sandford
said one morning at breakfast.

"She never looked better," said the doctor.

"No. Oh, I don't mean that; she looks all herself; yes, she is
in great beauty; but she is uncommonly abstracted and
uninterested."

"Not being in general a sensitive person," observed Dr.
Sandford.

I explained that I had never been more interested in my life;
but that these things made me sober.

"My dear Daisy!" Mrs. Sandford laughed. "You were never
anything but sober yet, in all your little life. I should like
to see you intoxicated."

I felt on dangerous ground and was silent. The doctor asked
why? - to Mrs. Sandford's last speech.

"No matter!" said the lady. "The first man she loves will know
why."

"The first," said Dr. Sandford dryly. "I hope she will not
love more than one."

"She will be an uncommonly happy woman then," said Mrs.
Sandford. "Nonsense, Grant! every woman loves two or three
before she has done. Your first liking will come to nothing, -
Daisy, my dear, I forewarn you; - and most probably the second
too; but no one will be the wiser but yourself. Why don't you
blush, child? On my word, I believe you are growing pale!
Never mind, child; I am not a prophet."

I believe the blushes came then, and they all laughed at me;
but Dr. Sandford asked me very kindly if I was too tired to
see the review that day? I was not tired; and if I had been,
nothing would have tempted me to be absent from the review. I
went everywhere, as far as I could; and Dr. Sandford was
always with us, indulging every fancy I expressed or did not
express, it seemed to me. He had to work very hard at other
times to make up for it; and I thought Washington did not
agree with _him_. He looked pale and jaded this day.

I thought so after the morning's work was done; at the time I
had no leisure for such thoughts. The morning's work was a
review of many thousand troops, by the President. Dr. Sandford
and our friends had secured an excellent place for us, from
which we could well see all we wished to see; and I wished to
see everything. For various reasons. The platform where Mr.
Lincoln stood had its own peculiar attractions and interests.
It held himself, first of all, standing in front, in plain
view much of the time. It held besides a group of men that one
liked to look at just then. General Scott was there, and I
know not how many other generals; the members of the Cabinet,
and inferior military officers; and each colonel of the
regiments that passed in review, after passing, dismounted and
joined the group on the platform. I looked at these officers
with particular interest, for they and their command were
going straight across into Virginia expecting active service
soon. So I looked at their men. While each regiment marched
by, the band belonging to it halted and played. They were
going to the war. In good earnest they were going now. This
was no show of pleasure; it was work; and my heart, it seemed
to me, alternately beat and stood still. Sometimes the
oppression of feeling grew very painful, obliged as I was to
hide carefully the greater part of what I felt. A little
additional stir was almost more than I could bear. One
regiment - the Garibaldis, I think, had bouquets of flowers
and greens in their hats. I did not indeed notice this, until
the foremost came just in front of the platform and the
President. Then the bouquets were taken out from the hats, and
were tossed, in military order, rank by rank, as the files
passed by, to Mr. Lincoln's feet. It was a little thing; but
how it shook me! I was glad of the rush which followed the
passing of the regiment; the rush of people eager to secure
these bunches of flowers and evergreens for memorials; the
diversion of interest for a moment gave me chance to fight
down my heart-swelling.

"Daisy! you are - what is the matter? You are not well - you
are tired," - my guardian exclaimed anxiously, as he came back
to my side with one of the Garibaldi flower bunches.

"I am well - you are mistaken, Dr. Sandford," I made myself
say quietly.

"For which side are you so anxious?" he inquired. "You are
paler than you ought to be, at this moment, with a smile on
your lips. I got this for you - will you scorn it, or value
it?"

"You would not waste it upon me, if you thought I would scorn
it?" I said.

"I don't know. I am not infatuated about anybody. You may have
the bouquet, Daisy. Will you have it?"

I did not want to have it! I was not amusing myself, as many
and as Mrs. Sandford were doing; this was not an interesting
little bit of greens to me, but a handful of pain. I held it,
as one holds such handfuls; till the regiment, which had
halted a little while at Willard's, was ordered forward and
took the turning from Pennsylvania Avenue into the road
leading to Virginia. With that, the whole regiment burst into
song; I do not know what; a deep-voiced grave melody from a
thousand throats, cheering their advance into the quarter of
the enemy and of actual warfare. I forgot Dr. Sandford then,
whose watchful eyes I generally remembered; I ceased to see
the houses or the people before me; for my eyes grew dim with
tears it was impossible to keep back; and I listened to
nothing but that mellow, ominous, sweet, bitter, strain, till
the sound faded away in the distance. Then I found that my
cheeks were wet, and that Mrs. Sandford was wondering.

"This is what it is to have an ear for music!" she said.
"There is positively no possession which does not bring some
inconvenience on the possessor. My dear Daisy, you are in
pain; those were not tears of joy; what did that chant say to
your sensibilities? To mine it only sounded strength, and
victory. If the arms of those - _what_ are they? - that
regiment, - if their arms are only constituted proportionately
to their throats, they must do good fighting. I should think
nothing would stand before them. Daisy, they will certainly
bear down all opposition. Are you afraid? Here is the Fourth,
and Washington safe yet, for all the Southern bluster."

"I do not think you had better try to go to the Capitol," the
doctor put in.

"What, to see the meeting of Congress? Oh, yes, we will. I am
not going to miss it."

"Daisy will not?" he asked.

But Daisy would. I would try every chance. I did not at the
moment care for Congress; my wish was to find Mr. Thorold. At
the review I knew I had little reason to hope for what I
wanted; at the Capitol - after all, what chance there? when
Mr. Thorold was drilling troops from morning till night;
unless he had been already sent out of Washington. But I would
go. If I had dared, I would have expressed a desire to see
some troops drilled. I did not dare.

I remember nothing of the scene at the Capitol, except the sea
of heads, the crowd, and the heat; my intense scrutiny of the
crowd, and the weariness that grew on me. Mrs. Sandford had
friends to talk to; I only wished I need not speak to anybody.
It was a weary day; for I could not see Mr. Thorold, and I
could not hear the President's Message. I was so placed or so
surrounded that it came to me only in bits. Wearily we went
home.

At least, Dr. Sandford and I. Mrs. Sandford tried in vain to
rally us.

"There is to be a marriage in camp," she said. "What do you
think of that, Daisy? We can have invitations, we like. Shall
we like? Wouldn't it be a curious scene? Daisy is interested,
I see. Grant, no. What is the matter, Grant?"

"I hope, nothing," said the doctor.

"Will you go, if I get you an invitation?"

"Who is to be married?"

"La fille du régiment."

"It takes two," said the doctor.

"Oh! The other is a sergeant, I believe; some sergeant of the
same regiment. They are to be married to-morrow evening; and
it is to be by moonlight and torchlight, and everything odd;
up on that beautiful hill where we were the other day, where
the trees and the tents make such a pretty mingling with red
caps and everything else."

"I hope the ceremony will be performed by comet light, too,"
said Dr. Sandford. "It ought, to be in character."

"You do not feel well to-night, Grant?"

"Tired. So is Daisy. Are you tired of Washington, Daisy?"

"Oh - no!" I said eagerly. "Not at all. I like very much to be
here."

"Then we will go and see the sergeant's wedding," said he.

But we did not; for the next day it was found to be only too
true that Dr. Sandford was unwell. Perhaps he had been working
too hard; at any rate, he was obliged to confess to being ill;
and a day or two more settled the question of the amount of
his indisposition. He had a low fever, and was obliged to give
up to it.

CHAPTER IV.

ON FOOT


Mrs Sandford devoted herself to the doctor. Of course, a
sudden stop was put to our gay amusements. I could not ride or
drive out any more; nor would I go to entertainments anywhere.
The stir and the rush of the world had quietly dropped me out
of it.

Yet I was more than ever eager to be in it and know what was
doing; and above all, what one was doing. I studied the
newspapers, more assiduously than I had hitherto had time for.
They excited me almost unbearably with the desire to know more
than they told, and with unnumbered fears and anxieties. I
took to walking, to wear away part of the restless uneasiness
which had settled upon me. I walked in the morning; I walked
at evening, when the sun's light was off the avenue and the
air a little cooler; and kept myself out of the house as much
as I could.

It was so that I came upon my object, when I was not seeking
it. One evening I was walking up Pennsylvania avenue; slowly,
for the evening was warm, although the sun had gone down.
Slowly and disconsolately. My heart began to fail me. I
pondered writing a word to Mr. Thorold, now that I was
completely at liberty; and I wished I had done it at once upon
Dr. Sandford's becoming ill. Two or three days' time had been
lost. I should have to take the note to the post-office
myself; but that would not be impossible now, as it had been
until now. While I was thinking these things, I saw a horseman
riding down the avenue; a single horseman, coming at a fast
gallop. I had never seen Mr. Thorold on horseback; yet from
almost the first sight of this mounted figure my heart said
with a bound who it was. I stood still by the curbstone,
looking breathlessly. I felt more and more sure as he drew
nearer, if that can be when I had been sure all along; but,
would he know me? Would he even see me, in the first place? So
many ladies walk on Pennsylvania avenue; why should his eye
pick me out? and he was riding so fast too, there would be but
one instant to see or miss me. I would not like to go again
through the suspense of that minute, though it was almost too
intense to be conscious pain. I stood, all eyes, while that
figure came on, steady, swift, and moveless, but for the quick
action of the horse's muscles. I dared not make a sign,
although I felt morally sure who it was, until he was quite
close to me; then, I do not know whether I made it or not. I
think not; but the horse wheeled, just as he was past me; I
did not know a horse could wheel so short; and the rider had
dismounted at the same instant it seemed, for he was there, at
my side, and my hand in his. I certainly forgot at that minute
all I had stored up to say to Mr. Thorold, in the one great
throb of joy. He did not promise to be easily managed, either.

"Daisy!" was his first question - "Daisy, where have you
been?"

"I have been here - a while."

"I heard it from Aunt Catherine yesterday - I should have
found you before another day went over - Daisy, how long?"

I hardly liked to tell him, he looked so eager and so
imperative, and so much as if he had a right to know, and to
have known. But he did not wait for the answer; and instead,
drawing my arm within his own, bent down to me with looks and
words so glad, so tender, so bright, that I trembled with a
new feeling, and all the blood in my heart came surging up to
my face and away again. The bridle was over his other arm, and
the horse with drooped head walked on the other side of him,
while Mr. Thorold led me on in this fashion. I do not know how
far. I do not know what he said or what I answered, except in
bits. I know that he made me answer him. I was not capable of
the least self-assertion. What startled me at last out of this
abstraction, was the sudden fear that we might be observed. I
looked up and said something about it. Only to my confusion;
for Thorold laughed at me, softly, but how he laughed - at me.
I tried a diversion.

"Have you been drilling troops to-day?"

"All day; or I should have come to find and scold you. By the
way, how long _have_ you been in Washington, Daisy?"

"I should not have thought you would ride such a pace at the
end of a day's work - you did not ride like a tired man."

"I am not a tired man. Didn't I tell you, I had a letter from
Aunt Catherine yesterday. I have felt no fatigue since. When
did you come here, Daisy?"

"Christian, I could not let you know, for I was with my
guardian - he is a sort of guardian for the time - and -"

"Well? I know your guardian. Dr. Sandford, isn't he"

"Yes, but he would not like to see you."

"I don't care whether he likes it or not, Daisy."

"Yes, but, you see, Christian, it would be not pleasant if he
were to carry me off away from Washington; as he took me from
West Point last year."

"To get you away from me?"

"He would, if he suspected anything."

"Daisy, I do not like suspicions. The best way is to let him
know the truth."

"Oh, no, Christian!"

"Why not, little one?"

"I would rather my father and mother heard it first from you
in person," I answered, stumbling in my speech.

"So would I, Daisy; but the times are against us. A letter
must be my messenger; and Dr. Sandford has nothing to do with
the matter."

"He would think he had," I answered, feeling the difficulties
in my way.

"Aren't you my Daisy?" he said, looking down into my face with
his flashing eyes, all alight with fire and pleasure.

"But that -" I began.

"No evasions, Daisy. Answer. Aren't you mine?"

I said "yes" meekly. But what other words I had purposed to
add were simply taken off my lips. I looked round, in scared
fashion, to see who was near; but Thorold laughed softly
again.

"It is too dark for people to make minute investigations,
Daisy."

"Dark!" said I. "Oh, Christian, I must go home. I shall be
missed, and Mrs. Sandford will be frightened."

"Will the doctor come after you?"

"Oh, no, he is sick; but Christian, I must go home."

He turned and went with me, changing his tone, and making a
variety of tender inquiries about my situation and my doings.
They were something new; they were so tender of me, so
thoughtful of my welfare, so protecting in their inquisitive
care; and moreover they were the inquiries of one who had a
right to know all about me. Something entirely new to my
experience; my mother's care was never so sympathetic; my
father's never so fond; even my guardian's was never so
strict. Dr. Sandford to be sure had no right to make his care
like this. I did not know that Mr. Thorold had; but I found it
was indisputable. And in proportion it was delightful. We had
a slow, very busy walk and talk until within a few doors of my
Washington home; there we parted, with a long hand clasp, and
the promise on my part that Mr. Thorold should find me at the
same hour and place as to-day on the next evening.

Nobody was looking for me, and I gained my room in safety. I
was very happy, yet not all happy; for the first use I made of
my solitude, after getting rid of my bonnet and mantilla, was
to sit down and cry. I asked myself the reason, for I did not
like to be in the dark about my own feelings; this time they
were in a good deal of confusion.

As I look back, I think the uppermost thing was my happiness;
this new, delicate, strange joy which had come into my life
and which I had never tasted so fully or known the flavour of
it so intimately as this evening. Looks and tones, and little
nameless things of manner telling almost more yet, came back
to me in a small crowd and overwhelmed me with their
testimony. Affection, and tenderness, and pleasure; and
something apart from these, an inexplicable assuming of me and
delight in me as so assumed; they found me or made me very
weak to-night. What was the matter? I believe it was, first,
this happiness; and next, the doubt that rested over it and
the certainty that I must leave it. Certainly my weeping was
hearty enough to answer to all three causes. It was a very
unaccustomed indulgence to me; or not an indulgence at all,
for I was not fond of tears; but it did act as a relief. I
washed away some of my trouble in my tears; the happiness
sprung to the surface; and then I could almost weep for joy
and thankfulness that I was so happy. Even if the grounds of
my happiness were precarious, I had trusted God all my life
with all I cared for; could I not trust Him still? My tears
stopped; and I believe one or two smiles could not be checked
as I remembered some look or word of Mr. Thorold's.

I was to see him the next evening; and it would behove me to
lose no time in telling him all the various matters I had
wished him to understand. It seemed to me there was something
to reconsider in my proposed communications. I had to tell him
that our correspondence must be stopped. Would he agree to
that? I had thought he would agree, and must, to anything I
desired. To-night assured me that he had a will in the matter
too, and that his will was strong. Further, it assured me that
he had a right; and knew it. Yet it was impossible that we
should write to each other without my parents' leave; and
impossible that we should gain the leave. Mr. Thorold would
have to see the matter as I looked at it; but a doubt came
over me that to make him do so might prove difficult. That was
one thing. Then about my not being an heiress. I suddenly
found a great dislike in myself to speak to him on the
subject. There was no doubt that it would be right to tell him
what I had thought to tell him; wrong not to do it; the right
and the wrong were settled; my willingness was not. A little
inner consciousness that Mr. Thorold would relish any handling
of the matter that savoured of the practical, and would
improve it for his own ends, made my cheek hot. Yet I must
tell him. The thing stood, with only an addition of
disagreeableness. And what chance should I have, in the
street?

I meditated a good while, before there suddenly started into
my mind a third subject upon which I had meant to take action
with Mr. Thorold. I had thought to qualify a little the
liberty he had assumed upon our first betrothal; to keep at a
somewhat more reserved distance, and make him. Could I? Was
Mr. Thorold under my management? He seemed to take me under
his. I pondered, but between laughing and rebellion I could
make nothing of the subject. Only, I resolved, if
circumstances gave me any chance, to act on my proposed
system.

The next day was swallowed up in like thoughts. I tried to
arrange my subjects and fix upon one to begin with; but it was
a vain effort. I knew that as soon as I began to get ready for
my walk. Things must come as they would. And my cross tides of
purpose resolved themselves into one long swell of joy, when I
discerned the figure I was looking for, waiting for me on
Pennsylvania avenue; too soon, for it was near the place where
we parted the night before.

"This is very dangerous -" I said, as we began to stroll up
the avenue.

"What?" said Mr. Thorold, looking down at me with his eyes as
full of mischief as ever.

"It is so light yet, and you come so near the house."

"You walk with other people, don't you?"

"I am not afraid of the other people."

"Are you afraid of me?" said he smiling; and then growing
grave, "We may have only a few times, Daisy; let us make the
most of them."

How could I start anything after that. I was mute; and Mr.
Thorold began upon a new theme.

"Daisy, how long have you been in Washington?"

"Christian, I _could_ not let you know. I was always hoping to
see you somewhere."

"Sounds as if you felt guilty," he said. "Confess, Daisy; you
look as if you were afraid I would be angry. I will not be
very hard with you."

I was afraid; and he was angry, when I told him. His face
flushed and his eye changed, and turned away from me.

"Christian," I said, "I was very unwilling that Dr. Sandford
should know anything about it; that was my reason. If I had
written to you, you know you would have come straight to where
I was; and the risk was too great."

"What risk?" he said. "I might have been ordered away from
Washington; and then we might never have met."

"Are you vexed?" I said gently.

"You have wronged me, Daisy."

It gave me, I do not know whether more pain or pleasure, the
serious grave displeasure his manner testified. Neither pain
nor pleasure was very easy to express; but pain pressed the
hardest.

"I have been looking for the chance of seeing you; looking the
whole time," I said. "Everywhere, it was the one thing I was
intent upon."

"Daisy, it might have been lost altogether. And how many days
have been lost!"

I was silent now; and we walked some steps together without
anything more. But the next words were with a return to his
usual clear voice.

"Daisy, you must not be afraid of anything."

"How can I help it?" I asked.

"Help it? - but have _I_ brought those tears into your eyes?"

It was almost worth while to have offended him, to hear the
tone of those words. I could not speak.

"I see you are not very angry with me," he said; "but I am
with myself. Daisy, my Daisy, you must not be so fearful of
unknown dangers."

"I think I have been fearful of them all my life," I answered.
"Perhaps it is my fault."

And with unspeakable joy I recognised the truth, that at last
my life was anchored to one from whom I need neither fear nor
disguise anything.

"To fear them is often to bring them." he added.

"I do not think it will, in my case," I said. "But, if Dr.
Sandford had known you were coming to see me, he might have
carried me off from Washington, just as he did from West Point
last year."

"From West Point?" said Mr. Thorold, his eyes making a
brilliant commentary on my words; - "Did he carry you away
from West Point for any such reason? Is he afraid of me?"

"He would be afraid of anybody," I said in some confusion, for
Mr. Thorold's eyes were dancing with mischief and pleasure; -
"I do not know - of course I do not know what he was afraid
of; but I know how it _would_ be."

Mr. Thorold's answer was to take my hand and softly draw it
through his own arm. I did not like it; I was fearful of being
seen to walk so; yet the assuming of me was done in a manner
that I could not resist nor contravene. I knew how Christian's
eyes fell upon me; I dared not meet them.

"Is the doctor jealous of you, Daisy?" he whispered laughing.
I did not find an answer immediately.

"Does he _dare?_" Mr. Thorold said in a different tone.

"No, no. Christian, how imperious you are!"

"Yes," he said; "I will be so where you are concerned. What do
you mean, Daisy? or what does he mean?"

"He is my guardian, you know," I said; "and he has sharp eyes;
and he is careful of me."

"_Very_ careful?" said Mr. Thorold, laughing and pressing my
arm. "Daisy, _I_ am your guardian while you are in Washington. I
wish I had a right to say that you shall have nothing more to
do with Dr. Sandford. But for the present I must mind my
duty."

"And I mine," - I added, with my heart beating. Now it seemed
a good opening for some of the things I had to say; yet my
heart beat and I was silent.

"Yours, Daisy?" he said very tenderly. "What is yours? What
present pressure of conscience is giving you something hard to
do? I know it will be done! What work is this little soldier
on?"

I could not tell him. I could not. My answer diverged.

"What are _you_ on, Christian?"

"The same thing. Rather preparing for work - preparing others.
I am at that all day."

"And do you expect there will be real work, as you call it?
Will it come to that?"

"Looks like it. What do you think of Fairfax Court-house? -
and Great Bethel? - and Falling Waters, and so on?"

"That was bad, at Great Bethel," I said.

"Mismanagement -" said Mr. Thorold calmly.

"And at Vienna."

"No, the troops behaved well. They behaved well, Daisy. I am
content with that."

"Do you think - don't be angry, Christian! - do you think the
people of the North generally will make as fiery fighting men
as the people of the South, who are used to fighting, and
commanding, and the practice of arms?"

"When you get a quiet man angry, Daisy, he is the very worst
man to deal with that you ever saw."

"But the people of the North are all accustomed to peaceful
employments?"

Mr. Thorold laughed, looking down at me with infinite
amusement and tenderness mixed.

"I see what your training has been," he said. "What will you
do when you have one of those quiet people for your husband?"

"Quiet!" said I. "When your eyes are showering sparks of fire
all over me!"

"Daisy," he said, "those rose leaves in your cheeks are the
very prettiest bits of colour I ever saw in my life."

"But we are wandering from the subject," I said.

"No, we are not," he said decidedly. "You are my one subject
at all times."

"Not when you are training soldiers?" I said half laughing.
But he gave me a look which silenced me. And it nearly took
away all the courage I had, for everything I wanted to say to
him and had found it so difficult to say.

"Christian," I began again after an interval, "were the troops
that were sent over into Virginia just now, sent, do you
suppose, to meet Beauregard?"

"I suppose so."

"You are not going?" - I asked, because the question was
torturing me.

He looked down at me again, a steady, fixed, inquiring look,
that grew very full of affection before he answered,

"I hope so, Daisy."

"You are not ordered!"

"No; not yet."

"But if you were to go, would you not know it by this time?"

"Not certainly. Some troops will be left here of course, to
guard Washington."

I walked with my heart in my mouth. I knew, what he did not
say, that orders might be issued suddenly and as suddenly
obeyed; with no beforehand warning or after delay. How could I
speak anything of what had been in my mind to be said? Yet the
very circumstances which made it more difficult made it also
imperative, to speak them. I fought myself, while Mr. Thorold
sometimes watched me and constantly took care of me, with a
thoughtful care in little things which was eloquent.

"Christian" - I began, feeling my voice changed.

"That is to tell me we must turn homeward?" he said gayly.

"No; I want to speak to you. But we must turn homeward too."

"To speak to me? In that voice? Look at me, Daisy. - No, I
won't hear it now, and not here. We must have something
better. Daisy, go and ride with me to- morrow evening!"

"Oh, I cannot."

"Yes, Daisy. I ask it of you. Dr. Sandford is in bed. He
cannot go along. Then you can tell me all that is on your mind
about Northern soldiers."

"Oh, I only thought Christian - You know, I know the temper of
the Southern people."

"You will know the temper of the other section of the country
some day," he said, with a smile at me which was half serious
and half personal in its bearing. But he made me promise to go
and ride with him if I could; and so left me.

I met Mrs. Sandford as I went into the house. She said she was
glad I kept up my walks; she was sorry I had such a terribly
dull time; it was a pity I came to Washington. Dr. Sandford
was no better, and much worried about me, that I should be so
cut off from amusement.

"Tell him I am doing very well, and having time to read the
papers," I said.

"Those horrid papers!" said Mrs. Sandford. "They make my hair
stand on end. I wouldn't read them; Daisy."

"But you do."

"Well, I cannot keep my hands off them when I see them; but I
wish I was where I could never see them. Ever since I read
General Beauregard's proclamation, I have been in a fury with
everything South; and it is uncomfortable to be in a fury. O
dear! I wish Grant would get well and take us away. Come in
and let us have a cup of tea, dear. Isn't it hot?"

I took the tea and bore the talk, till both were done and I
could shut myself into the seclusion of my own room. And tears
did not come to-night, but dry heart- aching pain instead;
with which I struggled till the night had worn far on.
Struggled, trying to reason it away and to calm it down by
faith and prayer. Ah me! how little reason could do, or faith
either. For reason only affirmed and enlarged my fears; and
faith had no power to say; they might not come true. The
promise, "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings," belongs to
those who have their will so merged in God's will as not to be
careful what that will may be. I had not got so far. A new
lesson was set me in my experience book; even to lay my will
down; and nobody who has not learned or tried to learn that
lesson knows how mortal hard it is. It seemed to me my heart
was breaking the whole livelong night.

CHAPTER V.

ON HORSEBACK


A little sleep and the fresh morning light set me up again. I
was to ride with Mr. Thorold in the evening; my mind fixed on
that nearest point, and refused for the moment to go further.
I heard from Mrs. Sandford at breakfast that Dr. Sandford was
no better; his low nervous prostration continued and
threatened to continue. Mrs. Sandford was much troubled about
me. All this suited my convenience; even her unnecessary
concern; for I had made up my mind to tell Mrs. Sandford I was
going to ride; but I would not till our late dinner, that
there might be no chance of her consulting the doctor. At
dinner I mentioned that a friend had asked me to ride and I
had half consented. Mrs. Sandford looked somewhat startled and
asked who the friend might be?

"Another officer," I said quietly; "his name is Thorold. I saw
him last summer, Mrs. Sandford; and I know about him. He is a
good one to go with."

"I can't ask Grant anything," she said, looking doubtful. "He
knows everybody."

"It is not needful," I answered. "I am going to take the
indulgence this once. I think it will do me good."

"Daisy, my dear!" said Mrs. Sandford - "You are as good as
possible - but you have a will of your own. All you
Southerners have, I think."

I replied that I was a Northerner; and the talk went to other
things. Mrs. Sandford left me with a kiss and the injunction
to take care of myself. I was very glad to get off so, for she
looked a little unsatisfied. My way was clear now. I dressed
with a bounding heart, mounted, and was away with Mr. Thorold;
feeling beneath all my gladness that now was my time and my
only time for doing all the difficult work I had set myself.
But gladness was uppermost, as I found myself in the saddle
and away, with Mr. Thorold by my side; - for once free and
alone together; - gladness that kept us both still I think;
for we exchanged few words till we were clear of the city and
out upon the open country. There we slackened bridle, and I
began to feel that the minutes were exceedingly precious. I
dreaded lest some words of Christian's should make it
impossible for me to do what I had to do.

"Christian," I began, "I have things to talk to you about."

"Well," said he brightly, "you shall. Will it take a great
while, Daisy? Because I have things to talk to _you_ about."

"Not a great while, I hope," I said, almost stammering.

"You shall talk what you will, darling. But wait till we get a
better place."

I would have liked the place where we were, and the time.
Better where the road was rough than where it was smooth;
easier where there was something to make interruption than
where Christian could give too exclusive heed to me. But I
could not gainsay him; and we rode on, till we came to a piece
of pretty broken ground with green turf and trees. Here Mr.
Thorold stopped and proposed that we should dismount; he said
we should talk more at our ease so. I thought my predetermined
measures of dignity could be more easily maintained on
horseback; but I could not bear to refuse him, and he did not
mean to be refused, I saw. He had dismounted even while he
spoke, and throwing his horse's bridle over the branch of a
tree, came to lift me down; first throwing his cap on the
grass. Then keeping me in his arms and bending a brilliant
inquisitive look on my face, he asked me,

"Daisy - is this my Daisy, as I left her?"

I could not help answering a plain yes. Nothing in me was
changed; and come what might, that was true. No other answer
would have been true. And I could not blame him that he held
me fast and kissed me, almost as he had done that first time.
Almost; but the kisses were more grave and deliberate now;
every one seemed a seal and a taking possession. Indeed the
whole manner of Mr. Thorold had taken gravity and manliness
and purpose; he was changed, as it would have taken much
longer in other circumstances to change a man. I stood still
and trembled, I believe; but I could no more check him than I
could that first night.

Still holding me fast, he lifted my face a little and smiling
asked me, what Daisy had to say to him? The tone, tender and
happy, was as much as I could bear; more than I could answer.
He led me a little way, arranged a seat for me on a green
bank, and threw himself down by my side. But that was very
inconvenient, for he could look up right into my face.

"Business, Daisy?" he said gayly and tenderly at once. The
tone seemed to .touch the colour in my cheeks and the droop of
my eyes.

"Yes," I said. "It is business."

"Well, what, love?"

"Christian," said I, putting my hand in his, "you know papa
and mamma do not know of this."

"They shall know, as soon as I can write to them," he answered.
"I understand - you do not wish that, Daisy; but see - I
cannot leave it unsaid, as long as your thought would leave
it. Till they know, I have only half a right to you. I cannot
live so."

"You must," I whispered, - "till this war is over."

"What then?" said he quickly. "How will that help the matter?"

"Then they may see you for themselves. A letter would not do."

"If you please, how do you expect I am to live till then?" he
said smiling. "With half a right to you."

"Yes - with that, - and without writing to me," I answered.

"Daisy!" exclaimed Thorold, raising himself half up.

"Yes," I said - "I know - I have been wanting to talk to you
about it. You _know_, Christian, I could not write nor receive
your letters without my father's and mother's permission."

"Can _you_ bear that, Daisy?" he asked.

My heart seemed to turn sick. His words suggested nothing new,
but they were his words. I failed to answer, and my face went
down in my hands.

"There, is no need of that, darling," he said, getting one of
them and putting it to his lips. "Here you are fearing dangers
again. Daisy -with truth on your side and on mine, nothing can
separate us permanently."

"But for the present," - I said as soon as I could speak. "I
am sure our chance for the future is better if we are patient
and wait now."

"Patient, and wait?" said Mr. Thorold. "If we are patient now?
What do you mean by patience? You in Switzerland, with half a
hundred suitors by turns; and I here in the smoke of artillery
practice, unable to see twenty yards from my drill - and _that_,
you think, does not call for patience, but you must cut off
the post-office from our national institutions. And to wait
for you is not enough, but I must wait for news of you as
well!"

"Christian!" said I, in desperation - "it is harder for me
than for you."

He laughed at that; laughed and looked at me, and his eyes
sparkled like a shower of fireworks, and then I was sure that
a mist was gathering in them. I could scarcely bear the one
thing ands the other. My own composure failed. He did not this
time answer by caresses. He got up and paced the turf a little
distance below me; his arms folded, his lips set, and the
steps never slackening. So he was when I could look up and
see. This was worse than anything. And the sun was lowering
fast, and we had settled nothing, and our time was going. I
waited a minute, and then I called him. He came and stood
before me, face and attitude unchanged.

"Christian," I said, - "don't you see that it is best - my
plan?"

"No," he said.

I did not know what to urge next. But as I looked at him, his
lips unbent and his face shone down at me, after a sort, with
love, and tenderness and pleasure. I felt I had not prevailed
yet. I rose up and stood before him.

"Indeed it is best!" I said earnestly.

"What do you fear, Daisy?" His look was unchanged and feared
nothing. It was very hard to tell him what I feared.

"I think, without seeing you and knowing you, they will never
let us write; and I would rather they did not know anything
about the - about us - till you can see them."

He took both my hands in his, and I felt how hard it is for a
woman to move a man's will when it is once in earnest.

"Daisy, that is not brave," he said.

"No - _I_ am not," I answered. "But is it not prudent?"

"I do not believe in cowardly prudence," he said; but he
kissed me gently to soften the words; "the frank way is the
wisest, always, I believe; and anyhow, Daisy, I can't stand
any other. I am going to ask you of your father and mother;
and I am going to do it without delay."

"I wish they could see you," I said helplessly.

"And as I cannot be present to do my pleading in person, I
must trust you to plead for me."

"You forget," said I; "it is against you that you are a
Northern officer."

"That may depend upon the event of the war," he said; and I
saw a sparkle again. Wilful and manly as he could be; but he
did not know my father and mother. Yet that last word of his
might be true; what if it were? The end of the war! When might
that be? and how? If all the Northern army were Thorolds, -
but I knew they were not. I felt as if my magazine of words
was exhausted. I suppose then my face spoke for me. He
loosened his hold of one hand to put his arm round me and draw
me to him, with a fine tenderness, both reverent and
masterful.

"My Daisy" - he said, - "what do you want of me?"

And I could not tell him then. As little could I pretend to be
dignified. Pain was too sharp. We drew very close to each
other, and were very silent for those minutes. I would command
myself, and did, hard work as it was, and though my face lay
on his shoulder. I do not know how his face looked; when he
spoke again the tone was of the gravest tenderness.

"What do you want of me, Daisy?"

"I think, this," I said, raising my head and laying my hand on
his shoulder instead. "Suppose, Christian, you leave the
question undecided - the question of letters, I mean, - until
I get there, - to Switzerland, - and see my father and mother.
Perhaps I can judge then what will be safe to do; and if I can
write, you know I will write immediately."

"And if you cannot?"

"Then - I will write once, to let you know how it is."

He stood still, reading my face, until it was a little hard to
bear, and my eyes went down.

"Suppose your father and mother - suppose they are obdurate,
Daisy, and will not have me, being a Northern man and in the
Government service?"

What then? I could not say.

"Suppose it, Daisy."

"Well, Christian?" I said, raising my eyes to his face.

"What will you do?"

"You know, Christian, I _must_ obey my father and mother."

"Even as I my other duty. Well, we are both soldiers. But what
would you do, Daisy?"

"Do? -" I repeated.

"Yes," he said very gravely, and with a certain determination
to have the answer.

"I should do nothing, Christian. I should be just the same."
But I believe my cheeks must have answered for me, for I felt
them grow pale.

"What if they chose a Southern husband for you, and laid their
commands in his favour?"

"I am _yours_ -" I said, looking up at him. I could not say any
more, but I believe Mr. Thorold understood it all, just what I
meant him to understand; how that bond could never be
unloosed, what though the seal of it might be withheld. He was
satisfied.

"You are not brave, Daisy," he said, holding me again very
close; "here are these cheeks fairly grown white under my
supposings. Does that bring the colour back?" he added
laughing.

"Christian," I said, seizing my time while my face was half
hidden, "what would _you_ do, supposing I should prove to be a
very poor girl?"

"What is that?" said he, laughing more gayly, and raising my
face a little.

"You know what our property is."

"No, I do not."

"You know - I mean, you know, my father's and mother's
property is in Southern lands mostly, and in those that
cultivate them."

"Yes. I believe I have understood that."

"Well, I will never be the owner of those people - the people
that cultivate those lands; and so I suppose I shall not be
worth a sixpence; for the land is not much without the
people."

"You will not be the owner of them?"

"No."

"Why do you tell me that?" said Mr. Thorold gravely.

"I wanted you to know -" I said, hesitating and beginning very
much to wish my words unsaid.

"And the question is, what I will do in the supposed
circumstances? Was that it?"

"I said that," - I assented.

"What shall I do?" said Mr. Thorold. "I don't know. If I am in
camp, I will pitch a tent for my wife; it shall have soft
carpets and damask cushions; as many servants as she likes,
and one in especial who will take care that the others do her
bidding; scanty accommodations, perhaps, but the air full of
welcome. She will like it. If I am stationed in town
somewhere, I will fill her house with things to please her. If
I am at the old farm, I will make her confess, in a little
while, that it is the pleasantest place she ever saw in her
life. I don't know what I will do! I will do something to make
her ashamed she ever asked me such a question."

"Oh, don't!" said I, with my cheeks burning. "I am very much
ashamed now."

"Do you acknowledge that?" he said, laughing and taking his
revenge. "So you ought."

But then he made me sit down on the grass again and threw
himself at my feet, and began to talk of other things. He
would not let me go back to the former subjects. He kept me in
a state of amusement, making me talk too about what he would;
and with the light of that last subject I had unluckily
started, shining all over his face and sparkling in his eye
and smile, until my face was in a condition of permanent
colour. I had given him an advantage, and he took it and
played with it. I resolved I would never give him another. He
had gone back apparently to the mood of that evening at Miss
Cardigan's; and was full of life and spirits and mischief. I
could do nothing but fall in with his mood and be happy;
although I remembered I had not gained my point yet; and I
half suspected he had a mind I should not gain it. It was a
very bright, short half hour; and then I reminded him it was
growing late.

"Moonlight -" he said. "There is a good large moon, Daisy."

"But Mrs. Sandford -" I said.

"She knows you are your own mistress."

"She _thinks_ I am," I said. "You know better."

"You are mine," said Mr. Thorold, with gentle gravity,
immediately. "You shall command me. Do you say go, Daisy?"

"May I influence you in something else?" I said putting my
hand in his to enforce my words.

"Eh?" said he, clasping the hand. "What, Daisy?"

"Christian, I want you not to write to my father and mother
until I give you leave." I thought I would let go arguing and
try persuasion.

He looked away, and then looked at me; - a look full of
affection, but I saw I had not moved him.

"I do not see how we can settle that, Daisy."

"But you said - you said -"

"What?"

"You said just now, you intimated, that my wishes would have
weight with you."

He laughed a little, a moved laugh, and kissed me. But it was
not a kiss which carried any compromise.

"Weight with me? Yes, a little. But with me, Daisy. They must
not change me into somebody not myself."

"Would that? -"

"If I could be content to have your faith in secret, or to
wait to know if I might have it at all? I must be somebody not
myself, Daisy."

I pondered and felt very grave. Was it true, that Mr. Thorold,
though no Christian, was following a rule of action more noble
and good than I, who made such professions? It was noble, I
felt that. Had my wish been cowardly and political? Must not
open truth be the best way always? Yet with my father and
mother old experience had long ago taught me to hold my tongue
and not speak till the time came. Which was right? I felt that
his rule of action crossed all my _inner_ nature, if it were not
indeed the habit which had become second nature. Mr. Thorold
watched me.

"What is it, Daisy? - my Daisy?" he asked with a tender
inquisitiveness, though looking amused at me.

"I was thinking -" I answered, - "whether you are a great deal
better than I am."

"Think it by all means," he said laughing. "I am certainly a
good deal braver. But what else, Daisy? there was something
else."

"That," said I. "I was thinking of my habit, all my life long,
of keeping things back from my father and mother till I
thought it was safe to show them."

"Are you going to let that habit live? What lessons you will
have to learn, my little Daisy! I could never bear to have my
wife afraid of me."

"Of you!" I said. "I never should." - But there I stopped in
some confusion, which I knew my neighbour enjoyed. I broke up
the enjoyment by standing up and declaring that it was now
time to go.

We had a pretty ride home. My mind was disburthened of its
various subjects of care which I had had to communicate to Mr.
Thorold; and although I had not been able entirely to prevail
with him, yet I had done all I could, and my conscience was
clear. I let myself enjoy, and the ride was good. Mr. Thorold
said we must have another; but I did not believe that
feasible.

However, it fell out so. Dr. Sandford lingered on in the same
disabled state; his sister-in-law was devoted to her
attendance on him; I was left to myself. And it did come to
pass, that not only Mr. Thorold and I had walks continually
together; but also we had one more good ride. I did not try
moving him again on the point of my father and mother. I had
read my man and knew that I could not. And I suppose I liked
him the better for it. Weakness is the last thing, I think,
that a woman forgives in men, who ought to be strong.
Christian was not weak; all the more he was gentle and tender
and thoughtful for those who were. Certainly for me. Those
days, those walks, - what music of thought and manner there
was in them! The sort of protecting care and affection I had
from him then, I never had from any other at any time. Care
that seemed to, make my life his own; affection that made it
something much before his own; but all this told, not in
words, which could not have been, but in indescribable little
things of manner and tone; graces too fine to count and
measure. Once I had fancied I ought to put more reserve into
my manner, or manage more distance in his; that thought fled
from me after the first afternoon's ride and never came back.
I did not take care for myself; he took care for me. The
affection that held me as a part of himself, held me also as a
delicate charge more precious than himself; and while he
protected me as one who had a right to do it, he guarded me
also as one whose own rights were more valuable than his. He
never flattered, nor praised, nor complimented me; or with
rare exceptions; but he showed me that he lived for me, and
sometimes that he knew I lived for him.

What days and walks! The extreme and impending gravity of the
time and the interests at work, lent only a keen and keener
perception of their preciousness and sweetness. Any day our
opportunities might suddenly come to an end; every day they
were welcomed as a special fresh gift. Every evening, as soon
as Mr. Thorold's engagements allowed it, he met me on the
avenue, and we walked until the evening was as far spent as we
durst spend it so. I basked in a sunshine of care and
affection which surrounded me, which watched me, which catered
to my pleasure, and knew my thoughts before they were spoken.
We were both grown suddenly older than our years, Mr. Thorold
and I; the coming changes and chances in our lives brought us
to life's reality at once.

One ride besides we had; that was all. Except one other
experience; which was afterwards precious to me beyond price.

As it became known that Dr. Sandford's illness was persistent
and not dangerous, and that I was in consequence leading a
(supposed) bitterly dull life; it naturally happened that our
acquaintances began to come round us again; and invitations to
this or that entertainment came pouring upon me. I generally
refused; but once thought it, best, as a blind to Mrs.
Sandford, to accept an invitation to ride. Mrs. Sandford as
before demurred, but would not object.

"Who is it this time, Daisy?" she asked.

I named Major Fairbairn; luckily also an officer whom I had
known the last summer at West Point.

"Nothing but officers!" she remarked in a dubious tone. "Not
much else to be had here."

"And nothing much better anywhere," I said, "when, one is
going on horseback. They know how to ride."

"All Southerners know that. By the way, Daisy, I have heard
yesterday of Lieutenant Gary. He is in Beauregard's army."

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Quite, I think. I was told by Mr. Lumpkin; and he knows all
the Southern doings, and people."

"Then he ought not to be here." I said. "He may let them know
our doings."

"_Ours!_" said Mrs. Sandford. "How fierce you are. Is Major
Fairbairn South or North? I don't remember."

"From Maine."

"Well. But, Daisy, what will your father and mother say to
you?"

There was no use in considering that question. I dismissed it,
and got ready for the major and my horse. Mounted, my
companion asked me, where should we go? I had considered that
point; and after a little pause asked, as coolly as I could,
where there were any troops drilling in cavalry or artillery
exercises. Major Fairbairn pondered a minute and told me, with
rather a rueful countenance.

"Let us go there first," I said. "It is an old story to you;
but I never saw such a thing. I want to see it and understand
it, if I can."

"Ladies like to see it, I know," said the major.

"You think, we cannot understand it?"

"I don't see how you should."

"I am going to try, Major Fairbairn. And notwithstanding your
hopeless tone, I expect you to give me all the help you can."

"I think, the less you understand of it, the better," said the
major.

"Pray why?"

"Doesn't seem comfortable knowledge, for those who cannot use
it."

"Men think that of many things," I said. "And they are much
mistaken. Knowledge is always comfortable. I mean, it is
comfortable to have it, rather than to be ignorant."

"I don't know -" said the major. "Where ignorance is bliss -"

"Ignorance never is bliss!" I said energetically.

"Then the poet must be wrong."

"Don't you think poets may be wrong as well as other people,
Major Fairbairn?"

"I hope so! or I should wish to be a poet. And that would be a
vain wish for me."

"But in these war matters," I resumed, as we cantered on, "I
am very much interested; and I think all women ought to be -
must be."

"Getting to be serious earnest -" said the major, resignedly.

I was silenced for a while. The words, "serious earnest," rang
in my heart as we went through the streets.

"Is it getting to be such serious earnest?" I asked as lightly
as I could.

"We shall know more about it soon," the major answered. _His_
carelessness was real.

"How soon?"

"May be any day. Beauregard is making ready for us at Manassas
Junction."

"How many men do you suppose he has?"

"Can't tell," said the major. "There is no depending, I think
myself, on any accounts we have. The Southern people generally
are very much in earnest."

"And the North are," I said.

"It is just a question of who will hold out best."

I thought I knew who those would be; and a shiver for a moment
ran through my heart. Christian had said, that the success of
his suit with my father and mother might depend on how the war
went. And certainly, if the struggle should be at all
prolonged and issue in the triumph of the rebels, they would
have little favour for the enemies they would despise. How if
the war went for the North?

I believe I lost several sentences of my companion in the
depth of my musing; remembered this would not do; shook off my
thoughts and talked gayly, until we came to the place where he
said the drilling process was going on. I wondered if it were
the right place; then made sure that it was; and sat on my
horse looking and waiting, with my heart in a great flutter.
The artillery wagons were rushing about; I recognised _them;_
and a cloud of dust accompanied and swallowed up their
movements, a little too distant from me just now to give room
for close observation.

"Well, how do you like it, Miss Randolph?" my major began,
with a tone of some exultation at my supposed discomfiture.

"It is very confused -" I said. "I do not see what they are
doing."

"No more than you could if it was a battle," said the major.

"Won't they come nearer to us?"

"No doubt they will, if we give them time enough."

I would not take this hint. I had got my chance; I was not
going to fling it away. I had discerned besides in the distant
smoke and dust a dark figure on a gray horse, which I thought
I knew. Nothing would have drawn me from the spot then. I kept
up a scattering fire of talk with my companion, I do not know
how, to prevent the exhaustion of his patience; while my heart
went out at my eyes to follow the gray horse. I was rewarded
at last. The whole battery charged down upon the point where
we were standing, at full gallop, "as if we had been the
Secession army," Major Fairbairn remarked; adding, that
nothing but a good conscience could have kept me so quiet. And
in truth guns and horses and all were close upon us before the
order to halt was given, and the gunners flung themselves from
the wagons and proceeded to unlimber and get the battery in
working order, with the mouths of the cannon only a few yards
from our standing-place. I hardly heard the major now, for the
gray horse and dark rider were near enough to be seen,
stationed quietly a few paces in the rear of the line of guns.
I saw his eye going watchfully from one point to another of
his charge; his head making quick little turns to right and
left to see if all were doing properly; the horse a statue,
the man alive as quicksilver, though nothing of him moved but
his head. I was sure, very sure, that he would not see me. He
was intent on his duty; spectators or the whole world looking
on were nothing to him. He would not even perhaps be conscious
that anybody was in his neighbourhood. I don't know whether I
was most glad or sorry; though indeed, I desired nothing less
than that he should give any sign that he saw me. How well he
looked on horseback, I thought; how stately he sat there,
motionless, overseeing his command. There was a pause now;
they were all still, waiting for an order. I might have
expected what it would be; but I did not, till the words
suddenly came out -

"Battery - Fire!"

The voice went through my heart; but my horse's nerves were
immediately as much disturbed as mine. The order was followed
by a discharge of the whole battery at once, sounding as the
burst of one gun. My horse, exceedingly surprised, lifted his
fore feet in the air on the instant; and otherwise testified
to his discomposure; and I had some little difficulty to keep
him to the spot and bring him back to quietness. It was
vexatious to lose such precious minutes; however, we were
composed again by the time the smoke of the guns was clearing
away. I could hardly believe my eyes. There lay the cannon, on
the ground, taken from their carriages; the very carriages
themselves were all in pieces; here lay one wheel, there lay
another; the men were sitting around contentedly.

"What is the matter?" I exclaimed.

"The officer in charge of the drill, seeing what mischief his
guns have unwittingly done, you see, Miss Randolph, has taken
his battery to pieces. He will not fire any more while you are
here. By George!" said the major, "I believe here he comes to
tell us so."

I wished myself away, as I saw the gray horse leap over some
of the obstacles before him and bear down straight towards me.
I bowed low, to hide various things. Mr. Thorold touched his
cap gravely, to the major as well as to me, and then brought
his gray horse alongside.

"Your horse does not like my battery," he remarked.

I looked up at him. His face was safely grave; it meant
business; but his eyes sparkled a little for me; and as I
looked he smiled, and added,

"He wants a spur."

"To make him run? I had difficulty enough to prevent his doing
that just now, Mr. Thorold."

"No; to make him stand still. He wants punishing."

"Miss Randolph deserves a great deal of credit," said the
major. "But all Southern women know how to ride; and the men
to fight."

"We are going to have a hard time then," said Thorold; with a
wilful presuming on his privileges.

"But what have you done with your battery?" I asked.

"Taken it to pieces - as you see."

"Pray, what for? I thought something was the matter."

"Nothing was the matter, I am glad to know," Thorold said
looking at me. "It is sometimes necessary to do this sort of
thing in a hurry; and the only way to do it then in a hurry,
is to practise now when there is no hurry. You shall see how
little time it will take to get ready for another order to
fire. But Miss Randolph had better be out of the way first.
Are you going farther?"

The major said he hoped so, and I answered certainly.

"I shall fire no more while you are here," Thorold said as he
touched his cap, and he gallopped back to his place. He sat
like a rock; it was something pretty to see. Then came an
order, which I could not distinguish; and in an incredibly
short time wheels were geared, guns were mounted, and the
dismantled condition of everything replaced by the most alert
order. The major said it was done very well, and told me how
quick it could be done; I forget, but I think he said in much
less than a minute; and then I know he wanted to move; but I
could not. I held my place still, and the battery manoeuvred
up and down the ground in all manner of directions, forming in
various forms of battery; which little by little I got the
major partially to explain. He was not very fluent; and I did
not like his explanations; but nevertheless it was necessary
to give him something to do, and I kept him busy, while the
long line of artillery wagons rushed over the ground, and
skirted it, and trailed across it in diagonal lines; walking
sometimes, and sometimes going at full speed of horses and
wheels. It stirred me, it saddened me, it fascinated me, all
at once; while the gray horse and his rider held my eye far
and near with a magnet hold. Sometimes in one part of the
line, sometimes in another, the moving spirit and life of the
whole. I followed and watched him with eye and heart, till my
heart grew sick and I turned away.

CHAPTER VI.

IN THE FIRE


My ride with Major Fairbairn made me unsettled. Or else it was
my seeing Mr. Thorold at his drill. A certain impatience
seized me; an impatience of the circumstances and position in
which I found myself privately, and of the ominous state and
position of affairs in public. The horizon black with clouds,
the grumble of the storm, and yet the portentous waiting and
quiet which go before the storm's burst. It irked me to see
Mr. Thorold as I had seen him yesterday; knowing ourselves
united, but standing apart as if it were not so, and telling a
lie to the world. It weighed on me, and I half felt that
Christian was right and that anything openly acknowledged was
easier to bear. And then Major Fairbairn's talk had filled me
with fears. He represented things as being so very
threatening, and the outbreak of the storm as being so very
near; I could not regain the tranquillity of the days past, do
what I would. I did a very unwise thing, I suppose, for I went
to reading the papers. And they were full of Northern
preparations and of Southern boastings; I grew more and more
unsettled as I read. Among other things, I remember, was a
letter from Russell, the _Times_ correspondent, over which my
heart beat wearily. For Mr. Russell, I thought, being an
Englishman, and not a party to our national quarrel, might be
expected to judge more coolly and speak more dispassionately
than our own writers, either South or North. And the speeches
he reported as heard from Southern gentlemen, and the feelings
he observed to be common among them, were most adverse to any
faint hope of mine that the war might soon end, or end
advantageously for the North, or when it ended, leave my
father and mother kindly disposed for my happiness. All the
while I read, a slow knell seemed to be sounding at my heart.
"We could have got on with those fanatics if they had been
either Christians or gentlemen" - "there are neither
Christians nor gentlemen among them." "Nothing on earth shall
ever induce us to submit to any union with the brutal, bigoted
blackguards of the New England States, who neither comprehend
nor regard the feelings of gentlemen." That was like what
Preston said. I recognised the tone well. And when it was
added, "Man, woman, and child, we'll die first" - I thought it
was probably true. What chance then for Christian and me?
"There is nothing in all the dark caves of human passion," Mr.
Russell wrote, "so cruel and deadly as the hatred the South
Carolinians profess for the Yankees." The end of the letter
contained a little comfort in the intimation of more moderate
counsels just then taking favour; but I went back to my father
and mother, and aunt, and Preston, and others; and comfort
found no lodgment with me. Then there was an extract from a
Southern paper, calling Yankees "the most contemptible and
detestable of God's creation" - speaking of their "mean,
niggardly lives - their low, vulgar and sordid occupations" -
and I thought, How can peace be? or what will it be when it
comes?

I went out for my usual evening walk, longing and half
dreading to see Mr. Thorold; for I did not like to show him my
fears; they gave him pain; and yet at the same time I wanted
him to scold them away. But this time I did not see him. I
walked the avenue, at first eagerly, then anxiously; then with
an intense pressing pain and suspense which could hardly be
borne. Neither Thorold nor Thorold's horse appeared among all
the figures moving there; and after walking as long as I
dared, I was fain to go home with that pain in my heart. It
seemed, as I went up the stairs to my room, almost as if I
could die at once with it. Yet I had to make my hair smooth
and meet Mrs. Sandford at tea, and hear all her little details
about Dr. Sandford's illness; which, as they were precisely
the same as those of the day before, had nothing even to hold
my attention for a moment. But I attended. It was necessary.
And I eat toast and drank tea. That was necessary too; with
every mouthful a stab of pain, and every little ordinary
incident of the tea-table a wrenching of my heartstrings. One
does those things quietly and the world never knows. But I
hailed it as a great relief when Mrs. Sandford rose from the
table.

"Poor Daisy!" she said. "I must leave you to yourself again -
all alone. It's too bad!"

"I like it very well so," I told her.

"It mustn't go on," she said. "Really it must not. You will
mope, if you don't already. _Don't_ you, Daisy? Where are all
your admirers?"

She had touched my face caressingly with her fingers, and I
had to look up and meet her. It was one of the hardest minutes
of self-control I ever knew. I met her and answered calmly,
even coldly; and she went; and I sat down and shrank, I
remember how I shrank, lowering my head and neck and shoulders
in a crushing reaction from the erect self-assertion of the
moment before. The next thing, two hands were on my shoulders
and a voice whispered in my ear a question, "what was the
matter?". So as no other voice ever asked me that question; -
with the tender assumption of the right to know, and an
equally gentle hint that there was comfort and help somewhere
not far off. Now, however, I only started up with terror at
hearing that voice there; - terror instantly displaced by
another terror at the reason of its being there. I knew, I
can't tell how I knew, by the first glance into Mr. Thorold's
face.

"Yes," said he, in a low voice, "I have got orders."

"Where?" I managed to ask. "To do what?"

"I must take a battery across the country to General
Patterson."

"That will take you out of the way," I said.

"Out of the way of what?" said he, drawing me to his breast,
and looking down into my face with his hazel eyes sparkling
over a depth of something that was not merry. "Out of the way
of what, Daisy?" he repeated. "Out of the way of fighting, do
you mean? Is that your way of being a proper soldier's wife?
It is out of your way, love; that is what I think of."

I hid my face and we stood still. It was no time then to be
dignified.

"How long?" - I whispered at last.

"Impossible to tell, you know. I could not meet you this
evening. I must be off in an hour."

"To-night?"

"Yes."

There was another silence.

"What is General Patterson doing?" I ventured then.

"I suppose he has to keep Johnston in order. How long will you
stay in Washington? - can you tell?"

"Till Dr. Sandford can travel. - He is no better."

"Well!" - and a breath of a sigh came then which went to my
heart - "Something will be decided before a few days; and then
we shall know a little better where we stand. I must go!"

He clasped me close and gave me kisses all over my face; but I
would not have lost one this time. Then he gently put me on
the sofa, pressed his lips to mine one last time, and was out
of the room in an instant. I listened to every step in the
hall; I heard him open the door and shut it; I heard his foot
upon the stone steps outside two or three times; and then I
had lost all.

I sat very still and stunned for a long time. There seemed
nothing to do. I could not rouse myself. It was the fear of
being found there that roused me at last. I gathered myself
up, and went to my room. Oh days, days! How much one lives
through.

I was keen set now for news, army news especially; and I spent
hours in studying all the public prints that were within reach
of my hand. So contradictory they were, and so confusing, that
they made me only the more long for actual living advices. The
second day, Major Fairbairn came to ask me again to ride; and
though at first I thought I could not, the next feeling of
restless uncertainty and suspense decided me. Better be on a
horse's back than anywhere else, perhaps. And Major Fairbairn
was not a bad person to talk to. But I had to nerve myself
forcibly to the task of entering upon the subject I wanted.

"How perplexing the papers are," I remarked, by way of making
an easy beginning.

"Find them so?" said the major. "That is because you read all
sides."

"How else can one make up one's mind? How can you know what is
the truth?"

"Apparently you do not know it that way," said the major,
smiling. "No; the way is, to choose your side, and stick to
it. Then you stand a chance to be comfortable."

"But you cannot go into society without hearing more sides
than one."

"Silence the wrong."

"I want to know first which is right."

"Haven't you found _that_ out yet?" my companion said, with a
surprised glance at me. "I thought, Miss Randolph, you were a
safe person; all right for the good cause."

"Oh, yes, of course, that is not the question. I do not want
to hear both sides to decide that. But I mean lesser
questions; movements, probabilities, dangers; the truth of
actual events. _Those_ I want to know about."

"I am sure, so do I," said the major.

"I hoped you could enlighten me, Major Fairbairn."

"About movements?" said the major. "Well, our forces are
moving; there is no doubt. McDowell is going forward in
earnest at last."

"Against Beauregard?"

"Against whatever he meets; and I suppose Beauregard will meet
him."

"Then there will be a battle?"

"I hope so."

"Why do you hope so, Major Fairbairn?"

"It is the shortest way to peace, Miss Randolph. But it is not
likely that one battle will do it."

"I know it will not if the North succeed," I said; "but how if
the Southern army should get the better?"

"You aren't a rebel in disguise?" said the major, looking
askance at me. "Is my reputation in danger, to be riding with
you?"

"It is just as well to look the truth in the face, Major
Fairbairn."

"So it is; you are right there," said my companion seriously
enough. "Well, I look for a long tussle of it, whichever way
this particular game goes to-day. It will be well if there is
anything left to fight for, by the time it is over."

"There is always the truth" - I said.

"The truth gives poor board wages to its servants, though,"
said the major. "It is all very well to cry 'victory,' when
there is no corn in the hopper."

"Is it likely that Patterson will fight?" I asked, with my
heart in my mouth. I had been trying to get this question out;
and it seemed to me now as if every word were as big as two.

"Humph! - I don't know," said the major. "I suppose he will,
if he can't help it."

"What do you mean?"

"Why, he has got work enough to do," said Major Fairbairn. "I
don't know if it is work that he likes. I have some private
acquaintance with the man. His business is to keep Johnston
busy, so that he will not have leisure to look our way."

"And suppose Patterson does not do his duty?"

"Then we may have too much on our hands. Beauregard doesn't
want any help just now." And weary, no doubt, of the subject,
the major diverged to some lighter matters of conversation. I
tried to answer and make talk, but my heart was very sick. I
could hardly know what he was saying; Beauregard, and
Patterson, and Johnston, so ran in my thoughts. I suppose the
major did not find it out, for he seemed very well satisfied,
and at parting said that "after the victory" he would come and
have another ride with me.

So I waited now for news. Dull, dreadful days; long with an
interminable length of quarters and half hours; heavy with
fear. They were not many; for the morning but one, I think,
after my last ride, a gentleman stopped me in the street to
tell me that firing had been heard that morning, and McDowell
had, it was thought, met his enemy. I calculated the days
since I had seen Mr. Thorold; speculated on Patterson's
probable activity or non-activity, and Christian's consequent
place and duty in the position of affairs; and could only know
that it was all a confusion of pain. At first I thought to go
at once back to the house and give up my walk; but a second
thought of that dull weary waiting inside of walls sent me on
up the avenue. I might hear something more; at any rate, the
open sky was a better breathing-place.

The open sky! Blue and calm as ever; moveless and pure; while
the grim strife of a battlefield was raging beneath it. Was
there another struggle where Johnston's forces were opposed by
General Patterson? And why could I not leave my cares now, as
so many a time I had left them, as I longed to leave them this
minute, - in the hand that upheld that blue sky? I could not.
That is to say, I did in some fashion, which kept me from
utterly fainting; but I was not confident; I was not willing
that the will of God should be done irrespective of mine, If
writhed from under the pressure of a coming possibility. Could
I help it? My one first earthly joy, the treasure that
gathered up all life's riches for me; could I think of that
treasure being scattered and not know that should be left
poor? And what if God willed I should be thus poor? Ah, I was
not ready.

I had a long, feverish walk, made as long as I could; and came
home with a sort of thirst of heart, and very weary. Mrs.
Sandford met me, and I had to turn into the parlour.

"Grant is a little better, I think," she said.

I could not find words to speak to her. If he was better, why,
then, he would be taking me from Washington. I knew how it
would be.

"He is certainly better," she repeated, with exultation in her
voice; "and now, my dear Daisy, we will get away from this
horrid place. My dear, how - how _grey_ you look! What is the
matter? you are tired to death."

I almost wished I was. However, I commanded myself, and told
her I had been walking far, and it was hot, and no doubt I was
grey with dust.

"And do you know," Mrs. Sandford went on, "they say the attack
has commenced. Firing has been heard from some direction down
in Virginia; the doctor told me."

"Mr. Vinton told me."

"Did he? while you were out? and you never mentioned it!
Daisy, you are the coolest creature! I envy you for that more
than for everything else you have got; though people do say -
some people - that Miss Randolph's grey eyes are depths of
delight. My dear! whose possible encomiums have I hit in your
memory, that your cheeks are taking up the matter with such a
delicious rose colour?"

She did not know what she touched. It was no vanity, but her
words brought up suddenly what Thorold had told his aunt about
Vermont lakes, and all the bitter-sweetness of that evening.
My heart swelled. I was very near bursting into tears and
astonishing Mrs. Sandford.

"Daisy, my dear," she said fondly and half seriously, "you are
too great a treasure to be risked out of your parents' hands.
The responsibility is weighing upon me. I hope Grant will get
well, I am sure, and take us away. What with one sort of
danger and another, it is really too much. Fancy, what it
would be if we were to lose this battle! Why, the rebels would
be here in no time; the doctor said so."

"Well -" I said. I could not tell all my thought; that in such
an event I would not be anywhere but where I was, for worlds;
unless indeed I could be with the army of General Patterson
before Johnston.

"Is Dr. Sandford really better?" I asked.

"He certainly is; I am so glad! and I will tell him you asked
so earnestly about him, and that will make him better still.
Yes, we will get away now from this dismal place some time, I
do believe. Do go and lie down, Daisy; and I will send you
some lemonade."

The lemonade stood by me all day; while I thought of the smoke
and the conflict to which no refreshment could come. I could
not touch the lemonade.

I cannot tell now whether that day was Friday or Saturday. I
have tried to recollect, and I cannot. I am not sure whether
it was not Thursday. But I know it was Saturday evening when
the next thing happened which stands clear in my memory. I was
in my own room, forlornly endeavouring to work some worsted
embroidery; - though the sickness of my heart seemed to find
its way into my fingers, and it was with pain and difficulty
that they pulled the needle in and out. It was only more
difficult to sit still and do nothing; and to read was
impossible. I sat drawing the wool through the canvass-drawing
long threads of thought at the same time - when Mrs. Sandford
burst in.

"Daisy! - they say McDowell has had a bad time - they have
driven him back, or something; isn't it dreadful! - and there
you sit embroidering as quiet as can be. But bless me, child!
you haven't a bit of colour. Washington will kill us all yet."

"Who told you?"

"Doctor Barnard says it's so; it's all through the city. And
if the rebels get the better of McDowell, they'll come
straight here, Daisy, and take Washington. Oh, I wish Grant
was well enough to set right off to-morrow! but he isn't. How
can you be so quiet? I tell you, our army has been repulsed,
and how bad it is nobody knows."

"We had better wait till somebody does know," I said. "We have
had repulses before. There was Big Bethel - and Vienna - and a
great many."

"But this is McDowell and the great army; and Beauregard has
hosts at his back."

"Well! -" I said.

"But you are dreadfully pale, Daisy. How can you keep so
quiet? What are you made of?"

"I do not think they will take Washington," I said. "I am in
no hurry, for my part, to get away. Look - do you say maroon
or dark purple for this bit of grounding? I cannot make up my
mind."

Mrs. Sandford dived into the purples and browns of my coloured
wools; came back again to McDowell and Beauregard, but came
back quieted, and presently left the room. Then, I put down my
needle and laid my head on the table, and shook from head to
foot with the trembling she had given me. And a longing to see
Christian took possession of me; a sick, crying thirst for the
sight, if it were only for a minute; the impatient agony of
self-will. Necessity's bands and manacles put it down after a
time.

The next day was Sunday. I went to church alone, and with my
usual average of calm. But I heard some one say to his
neighbour, that there was a great battle going forward - with
what promise nobody knew. The words sent me home with a sort
of half breath. I avoided Mrs. Sandford, took no dinner; and
in the afternoon feverishly crept out to church again. The air
seemed to me full of bodings. Yet I heard nothing. I saw
people whisper each other, and nod; I thought good news was
given and received, and I breathed a little easier. It was not
till I was coming out from the service that any one spoke to
me. I found myself then near a gentleman whom we knew.

"Glorious news, Miss Randolph!" he half whispered. "General
Scott will dine with a good appetite to-day."

"What is the news"

"Oh, a great victory! We have not got the details yet, of
course; but it seems all is going right."

"It _seems_ going right."

"Yes. You know we have not details yet. There's been heavy
fighting, though."

"Is it a general engagement?"

"Oh, yes! All in that could be in. And some that had no
business to be in. They say, Johnston has reinforced
Beauregard; but they are totally routed, I believe. So it is
said."

"Who says it?"

"The accounts from the battlefield, I presume. They are coming
in all the time. The Nation has triumphed. I congratulate you.
I know you are loyal. Mrs. Sand- ford will be rejoiced. Good
afternoon."

It was too sudden, too soon, and too confused. I could not
breathe freely yet. Johnston reinforced Beauregard? That was
just what Patterson was expected to prevent; ought to have
prevented. Then, probably, Patterson had done no fighting? I
was pondering, when I suddenly found Major Fairbairn beside
me. He belonged with the troops left to guard Washington.

"Oh, Major," said I, "what is the news?"

"Firing down in Virginia, -" said the major, laconically.

"Is it true, that a battle has been won by McDowell?"

"I wish it were," said he; "but in general it is safe not to
speak of a fight till it is over."

"Then it is not over?"

"I have not heard that it is."

"But they tell me a fight has been won."

"They tell every conceivable thing in war-time," said the
major. "Don't you know that? It is safe to believe nothing."

"Has Johnston joined Beauregard?"

"I am afraid he has. The advices seem to put that beyond
disbelief."

"You are _afraid!_ Then the news means nothing to you; nothing
good, I mean?"

"The rumours mean nothing to me," said the major, smiling.
"The reliable news is really, so far, not much. It is certain
there is a battle going on, Miss Randolph, and a battle along
the whole line. And it is certain that Patterson had orders to
follow up Johnston, and keep him from troubling us. And I am
afraid it is also certain that he has not done it - confound
him! Excuse me; but a man who don't obey orders deserves to
have people swear at him, Miss Randolph."

I left the major at a corner, and before I got home, another
acquaintance informed me that the victory was undoubted,
though severely purchased, and that the city was in a state of
exultation. I did not know what to think. I said as little as
possible to Mrs. Sandford; but later in the evening Dr.
Barnard came with the details of the day, and the added
intelligence that since seven o'clock the firing had
recommenced.

"What for? if the victory is sure?" said Mrs. Sandford; and I
went to my room feeling that it was not sure. Nevertheless I
slept that night. I cannot tell why, or how. Whether it were
most akin to weariness or despair, I slept, and quietly, and
the whole night through. But I know very well that I awaked
with a full sense that it was not to quietness nor peace. I
took up my burden as I got out of bed.

My room was at the back of the house. Consequently I heard and
saw nothing of the outer world till I came down to the
breakfast-room. Nobody was there yet, and I went to the
window. The first thing I saw then made my heart stand still.
A group was gathered just before the window, on the sidewalk.
In the midst a soldier, one of a gay Zouave regiment, not at
all gay now, stood talking to a little crowd of listeners;
talking in a pouring rain, which nobody seemed to care about.
He was wet; his bright uniform was stained and draggled; he
had no musket; and his tasseled cap sat on a head which in
every line and movement expressed defeat and disgrace. So they
all listened who stood around; I read it as well as if I had
heard the words they were hearing. I saw dejection, profound
sorrow, absorbed attention, utter forgetfulness of present
bodily discomfort. I noticed that one man who carried an
umbrella had put it down, and stood listening in the rain.
Occasionally the soldier raised his arm to eke out his words
with a gesture; and then moved a step as if to go on, but they
closed around him again and staid him with eager questions or
urgings. I was very near throwing up the sash to ask what it
all was; and then I thought, what matter! I should know soon
enough, But I could not move from the window; and Mrs.
Sandford entering and seeing me there came and looked over my
shoulder. I did not know it, till I heard her -

"Good Heavens! - Daisy, my dear, what is the matter?"

"We shall hear presently," I said, turning away from the
window.

"But what is it?" - And Mrs. Sandford first took my place, and
then did what I had been tempted to do; - threw up the sash.

"What is the matter?" she said. "Is there news. Men, is there
news?"

I do not know what was answered; I did not hear; I had gone
into the middle of the room; but Mrs. Sanford closed the
window presently and came to me, looking even pale. A rare
thing for her.

"Daisy, there is trouble," she said.

"Yes, -" I answered.

"How do you know? They say - they say, the army is all cut to
pieces!"

I could not speak about it. We knew nothing yet; but Mrs.
Sandford went on -

"He says, everybody is killed. All routed and destroyed, the
army is. Can it be possible?"

I thought it was very possible: I never had doubted but that
the Southerners - as a body - were the best fighters. But I
said nothing; while Mrs. Sandford poured out sorrows and fears
and speculations in a breath. I could have smiled, but that I
could not have smiled. We stood still, looking at each other,
nobody remembering breakfast. I was thinking, if the cause was
lost, where would Mr. Thorold be then. And I ceased to hear
Mrs. Sandford.

"But Daisy!" she said suddenly - "the other army -
Beauregard's - they will be here directly to take Washington,
if all this is true; and it must be true; or that soldier
would not have been out there in the rain. They will be coming
here directly, Daisy. And, bless me! how wicked I am! You are
standing there, patient and pale, and you have had no
breakfast. Come here and let me give you some coffee. Grant
said he would be down to dinner perhaps; and how angry he
would be."

We drank cups of coffee, but I do not think either of us broke
bread.

That was a weary day. All the day long new groups were forming
and dispersing in the street, telling and talking over the
news; groups of all sorts. Soldiers discoursing to audiences
like the one in the morning; knots of officers; twos and
threes of business men; debating, inquiring, discussing; all
under the dark rain, all with downcast faces and dispirited
bearing. Late in the day Major Fairbairn called. He somewhat
reassured us. The carnage was not so great; the loss not so
tremendous, as we had at first been told; the damage done not
so absolutely overwhelming.

"Then you do not think Beauregard will come and take
Washington?" Mrs. Sandford asked.

"I don't know!" the major said, with a smile. "He must be
quick about it, or it will be too late."

"But is this a final settling of the question, Major
Fairbairn?" I inquired. "That is what I want to know."

"We have been whipped," he said, looking at me.

"Yes, I know; but the North - will they take this as a
settlement of the question?"

"The North!" echoed the Major. "Will they give up, you mean?
Not just yet! The Government does not feel like it. Do you?"

"I am so ignorant -" I answered.

"You must be, - pardon my saying so. Not at all. The sting of
the whip will make us move faster. Orders are issued already
for the reinforcement and reorganisation of the army. General
McClellan is to take command here; and we will get things upon
a new basis."

"Is McClellan the man we want?" Mrs. Sandford inquired.

"I cannot say. If he is not, we will wait for another."

"You are very cool, Major Fairbairn!" said the lady.

"It is the best plan, in July."

"But it is very hard to keep cool."

The major smiled and looked at me.

"What has Patterson been doing all this while?" I asked.
Smiles died out of the major's face.

"_He_ has kept cool," he said. "Easy - when a man never was
warm."

"And you think, major," said Mrs. Sandford, "you really think
that the truth is not so bad as it has been reported. Why, Mr.
May was positive the rebels would come and take Washington.
You think there has not been such dreadful loss of life after
all?".

"A tenth of the story will be nearer the mark," said the
major. "But we shall know more particulars to-morrow; and I
will step in again, as I can, and let you know what I know. I
must not stay now." And with a bow to me, the major went.

I did not stop then to inquire what his bow meant. Nor did I
hear Mrs. Sandford's long string of comments and speculations,
any further than was necessary to enable me to reply from time
to time with some show of connectedness. I was eagerly
calculating chances, without any basis of data to go upon.
Trying to conjecture General Patterson's probable coming duty,
and to what it might lead. If his foe had disappeared from
before him, must he not follow on this way, where (I thought)
men were so imperatively needed? If he came, there would be
fighting for him, certainly, the next time! Beauregard would
muster again for the fray; I knew that; and it seemed the
Union army was going to make ready also on its side. If
Patterson and his command staid where he was, to take care of
that part of the country, perhaps it might be a bloodless
charge for a while; it might, till the two grand armies should
encounter once more, and one or the other get the mastery.
Then, how long might it be, before these two armies would be
ready to try another, a third tussle together? and would Mr.
Thorold be willing to stay permanently where inaction would be
his portion? Twenty such incongruous unreasonable questions I
was mooting and turning over, while Mrs. Sandford's running
fire of talk made it impossible for me to think to any
conclusion.

When I went up to my room, however, and got free of her, I sat
down to it. There had been no fighting for this bout in that
part of the army where Patterson commanded and where Thorold
served. So far he had escaped. Now, if Patterson could only be
kept in that region, for a little time, and the question
between the North and South be brought to an issue meanwhile
and decided here -

I was in a fever of hope and fear, cogitating deeply things
which I had no means of knowing or settling, when the question
suddenly occurred to me, What was I doing? What was I doing?
Only, trying to arrange the wheels of Providence; trying to
make peace and war; to kill and to keep alive. I was taking
and bearing on my shoulders the burden of the nation's armies
and of their destiny. It fell on my heart all at once, what I
was doing. And my nerves were straining, even now, to throw
around my beloved the shield of circumstances; to keep him
where he would be safe; to put my hand between his life and a
blow. Could Daisy do that? Was her arm long enough, or her eye
enough far-seeing? In despair and in humiliation both, I fell
on my knees. _This_ must be given up. I must leave armies and
battles, yes and every several bullet and cannon ball, yes,
yes, and more; I must leave Mr. Thorold's life and heart in
other hands than mine. I must put the care of them out of
mine; I must give up even the thought of shielding him, or
arranging for him. More. Yes, though it pressed upon my heart
with the great difficulty, I must be willing to have God do,
with him and with me, just what He pleased. How else could I
live, with the struggle before me? How else could I live at
all as a believing and obedient child of God? "I must," and "I
will," are not words for a child to say.

My heart, my heart, how it died within me as I saw my duty! as
I saw that it behoved me to give up all, and then wait in
patience to see what the Lord would let me have. My heart died
first, and then rose again to the struggle. But those only
know what a struggle it is, who, have tried. It seems to me,
most people, even Christians, do not try. Yet, to "forsake
all," the test of discipleship, what is it but to cease saying
"I must" and "I will," about anything, and to hold everything
thenceforth at the will of God. I spent that night on my
knees, when I was not walking the floor. I spent it in tears
and in pleading the promises; sometimes almost in despair. But
I reached at last a place of great calm. I gave up insisting
upon my own will; and though with every nerve of affection
throbbing, as it were, I gave up the care of myself and of
Thorold; I gave up the disposal of the lives of both. And when
the calm was once reached, it grew deeper and quieter, and the
throbbing nerves were stilled, and a great burden was taken
off my shoulders. And then, the sense of a love better than
mine, and of a power stronger than mine, stole over my heart
with an infinite sweetness; the parched and thirsty places of
my spirit seemed to catch the dews of heaven; and still
soothed and quieted more and more, I went to sleep with my
head upon the bed's side, where I was kneeling.

CHAPTER VII.

DETAILED FOR DUTY


I awaked in the peace of one who has laid his burden down. My
joints were a little stiff, from the position in which I had
slept; my mind was set free. The charge of the rival armies
and their conflicts was no longer on my shoulders; even the
care of individual life and safety I thought no longer to
secure. Myself I was a soldier, in a different army; and I had
been forgetting my business and presuming into the General's
province. No wonder my nerves were strained and my heart
almost broken. That was now all given up; and I went through
my morning duties in a quiet that was profound, if it was also
very humble. I had found the only harbour of rest that can be
found on the shores of this world; that one which is entered
by paying the tribute of one's self-will. The tides of the
great sea do not rise and fall there; the anchorage is good;
the winds that weep over the waters bring balm with them; and
the banner that floats at the entrance bears this inscription
-

"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed,
trusting in the Lord."

The first thing I heard from Mrs. Sandford was that he doctor
was almost well, and would come down stairs after breakfast. I
knew what that portended for me; thought I knew; but as I
said, I had given up the management of myself and my concerns.
"If ye be not able to do that thing which is least, why take
ye thought for the rest?" I got my worsted and sat down stairs
at my work, to be ready to see the doctor when he should come.
Mrs. Sandford took post at the window; and so we waited. The
weather to-day was clear and bright; the street full yet of
motley groups, returned soldiers and gathered civilians,
looking however far less dismal than the day before. Mrs.
Sandford from the window detailed all she saw; while my
worsted needle went in and out to an interrupted refrain - "He
shall not be afraid of evil tidings" - "Why take ye thought?"
-

Then Mrs. Sandford said, "Here comes the major, Daisy. It
seems to me he is very attentive -" and in the major walked.

He gave his hand to me, and his eye glanced at the figure in
the window. I could not help the thought that he wished it not
there. But things too far down had been stirred in me, for a
little surface matter like this to move my calm.

"What news, major?" my friend asked.

"Good. How do you do, Mrs. Sandford? I told you yesterday that
it would be good."

"Yes, but how good is it, Major Fairbairn?"

"Fine."

"Well, go on and tell us. You are a nice major."

"Thank you. In the first place, as you may remember I said it
would be, the lists of casualties are greatly reduced."

"Casualties?" said Mrs. Sandford. "What is that? I am learning
so many new things."

"The lists of the killed and wounded."

"Oh! That is what a military man calls _casualties_, Daisy, my
dear."

"It is the term in common use -" said the major, looking
somewhat taken aback.

"I know. Pray, Major Fairbairn, have the officers of the army
the reputation of making good husbands and heads of families?"

"I have always heard that they did," said the major, colouring
a little and by no means free of his astonishment.

"I don't see how they can have any sympathy for little common
heartaches and headaches, though, when to be run through the
body is such a trifle. They can't, I think, major."

"But Mrs. Sandford -"

"For instance," the lady went on, unmercifully, - "for
instance, Miss Randolph has her head taken off by a cannon
ball. The doctor and I are desolate; but Major Fairbairn says
it is a 'casualty.' Or, the doctor himself may be hit by a
shot not intended for him, and put out of charge of his
hospital for ever. Miss Randolph and I are in ashes; but our
friend Major Fairbairn says it is only a 'casualty.' "

"But _friends_, Mrs. Sandford, -" the major began.

"Everybody has friends," said Mrs. Sandford. "I was reading in
the paper just now a list of these little accidents. One man
had his leg shattered by a minie ball; it killed him in a few
hours. Another had a charge of grape-shot in his breast; it
struck the spine. _He_ is dead. What is grape-shot, Major
Fairbairn?"

The major hastily passed to the sideboard in the other room
and brought me a glass of water.

"Daisy!" Mrs. Sandford exclaimed. "Are you faint, my dear?
These are only casualties. My dear, are you faint? what is the
matter? - Bless me, how white you are! What is it?"

I drank the water, and struggled back into composure, at least
outwardly; being very much surprised at myself.

"But what _is_ the matter, Daisy? what is the matter? I have
said nothing in the world. Cannot you bear that?"

"Major Fairbairn was going to tell us something, ma'am," I
said, endeavouring to throw my thoughts off.

"That can wait until you are better."

"No," I said, "do not wait. I am well. What were you going to
say, major?"

"Only that things are much better than they were supposed to
be yesterday."

"You said that before. Please go on."

"Well, it is always so," said the major. "At first all the
stragglers are counted for lost. Then they come in. They are
coming in now, by scores, all the while. Instead of thousands
killed and wounded, it is found to-day that there are but five
or six hundred; and without being particularly hard-hearted, I
rejoice at it. That is part of what I was going to say."

The major spoke gravely, and looked at me with an anxious
expression. I assured him I was better, and begged him to tell
us the rest.

"You have put it all out of my head, Miss Randolph. Will you
have - won't you have - something else? - wine? Pardon me, you
have not regained your usual colour."

"The best thing would be some more of your good news. I have a
great appetite for good news, after yesterday."

"Naturally. Well, the rest of my news is very good. The
country is answering the call made upon her."

"The call for fortitude?" said Mrs. Sandford.

"The call for men, - and for pluck, if you like," said the
major.

"More men," - said Mrs. Sandford.

"Certainly. We must have men. And from every quarter, wherever
we have heard, there comes an enthusiastic response. Sixty
thousand new men have been accepted already by the Government;
and they are coming in all the while. There will be a very
great number of fresh arrivals here in a very few days. Miss
Randolph, your question is answered."

"What question, Major Fairbairn?"

"Whether the North would give up, you know."

"I am glad," I said. "I am glad!"

"And even in saying it, you grow pale again, Daisy. You are
not well!" Mrs. Sandford exclaimed.

"Perfectly well. These times are exciting."

"Rather too exciting. I like the excitement that brings the
blood into the cheeks. Do go out and take a walk; you want
fresh air; or yesterday has unstrung your nerves. But you were
so quiet, I thought nothing moved you. Do go and take a walk,
Daisy."

The major added a quiet word of urging, saying that if I could
go at once, he would see that I did not faint before I got
home.

I was bewildered, I think, or I should not have gone; but I
wanted to get away from the talk and to feel the fresh air; I
was stifled; and I went. My nervous perturbation was a
surprise to me. I had given up everything, I thought; I was
quite calm, ready for everything. I thought I was; and yet, so
little a word had unsettled me. So I went with the major. And
then, I was brought to myself presently by more than the fresh
air; for I found my friend somewhat too happy in his charge,
and more careful of me than I chose he should think there was
any occasion for. Moreover, I could not bear to accept his
care. I summoned my forces and plunged him into a depth of
political and philosophical discussion which he could not get
out of till he left me again at my own door. I reassured Mrs.
Sandford then; and sat down to my worsted embroidery with a
profound sense of how little my strength was. A few minutes
afterwards Dr. Sandford came in.

I had not seen him now for several weeks; and I never saw him
look better. It immediately struck me, that with him well, it
mattered comparatively little whether Mr. Thorold and I were
in the same place together or not. Dr. Sandford's clear blue
eye was not to be braved with impunity. No more was it to be
shunned. But I needed not to shun it. I met it full now. I
could, since last night. The disposal of my affairs, if it was
not in me, it certainly was not in him. He met me with a smile
and a look of pleasure; and sat down by me to watch the
progress of my worsted work. So ostensibly; but I soon knew
that he was watching not my work, but me.

"How have these weeks been with Miss Randolph? Dull?"

"No," I said; - "not dull."

"How have they escaped that?"

"There has been too much to interest, Dr. Sandford."

"Yet I see you at your Berlin wools. Pardon me - but whenever
I see a lady busy with her needle and a bit of canvass, I
always think she is hard up for something to think of. Pardon
again, Daisy. I know you have no mercy upon slang."

"See how mistaken you are, Dr. Sandford."

"In that? Not in that."

"No; but in your notions about wool and canvass."

"They are true!" said the doctor.

"Ah, but, don't you know that extremes meet?"

"What extremes?"

"All extremes, perhaps. I have been working worsted; for a
day or two, just because I had so much to think of."

"They have been exciting days," said the doctor slowly, "to a
sick man who could do nothing."

"Why not to a woman, for the same reason?"

"Have they tried you very much, Daisy?"

"Why, she was turning faint here a little while ago," broke in
Mrs. Sandford, "because I was giving an account of some
wounded soldiers I had read about in the papers; and the major
and I persuaded her to go out and take a walk to recover
herself."

"The major? - that is indefinite, though you use the definite
article. What major?"

"Oh, we have a number of military friends. They have kept us
alive since you have been shut up. What is this one, Daisy? He
is a very good one. Major Fairbairn."

"Fairbairn? I do not know him," said the doctor.

"It is not necessary that you should know everybody," said his
sister-in-law. "Daisy knows him very well."

"And likes him -" said the doctor; "or he could not have a
share in persuading Miss Randolph to anything."

"Yes, I like him," I said. I thought, the more friends in the
army I had, the better; and also, that Dr. Sandford must not
be permitted to push his lines too far.

"Who _is_ Major Fairbairn?"

"I do not know; he is from Maine or New Hampshire, I think."

"Your parents, Daisy, would not desire these Northern
associations for you; would they?"

I do not know with what calm I faced the doctor and answered
him. "These Northern associations" - the words touched the
innermost beatings of my heart - if such an expression can be
used. Yet I looked at Dr. Sandford in absolute calm, knowing
all that the doctor did not know, and spoke with perfect
composure.

"I cannot escape them, you know, Dr. Sandford, unless I were
to go over to the enemy's lines; and I cannot do that."

"I would not wish that," said the doctor.

"Then your feelings continue all with the Northern men,
Daisy?"

"All -" I said.

I went back to my worsted work, but I had a sense that the
doctor was studying me. One cannot judge, of course, of one's
own manner, or know what is in it; so I cannot tell what had
been in mine. The doctor sat and considered me; I thought, in
some perplexity.

"Daisy's feelings are appreciated and returned by the Northern
men," Mrs. Sandford said, laughing. "Rides and walks - how
many rides and walks have you taken, Daisy, these forlorn
weeks, with officers of the Northern army? Oh! they are not
ungrateful."

Dr. Sandford made no answer, and when he spoke I knew he was
not making answer to these words. But they startled me.

"Is there anybody engaged in this struggle, Daisy, that you
are concerned for?"

"Certainly!" I said; - "several."

"I was not aware -" the doctor began.

"Some whom you know, and some whom you don't know, and on both
sides."

"You have a cousin, I believe, somewhere in the Southern army.
He was at West Point, if I remember."

"Preston Gary. I do not know where he is now, only he is among
them. They say, he is with Beauregard. I was very fond of him.
Then there is my brother; he either is with them or he will
be; and there are still others."

"On the Southern side," said the doctor.

"Those two are on the Southern side," I said. "Others are on
the Northern. I am there myself."

"Not exactly in the struggle," said the doctor; "and yet, I do
not know. These women!"

I think the doctor was baffled by my perfect quietness and
readiness. He spoke presently in a disengaged manner, -

"Mr. Ransom Randolph is in no danger at present. I know from a
word in a late letter from your father, that he is in Europe
still. Would you not like to get out of this confused state of
things, and join them there?"

"I would like better to go if it was peace here," I said.

"Would you? Then you are not afraid lest the rebels should
take Washington and confiscate the whole of us?"

"Major Fairbairn thinks the danger of that is past."

"He does! However, other dangers might arise -"

"I knew you would not think Washington very safe ground for
us," Mrs. Sandford rejoined.

"Mrs. Sandford is at her own risk. But I should hardly be
doing the duty of a good guardian if I risked anything, where
so important a charge is committed to me. I shall get you away
from here without delay. How soon can you both be ready?"

I wanted to say I was ready, but I could not get out the
words. My two friends debated the matter, and the doctor fixed
his own time. The day after to-morrow.

It was good for me, that I had given up the charge of my own
interests; or I never could have maintained the ease of manner
which it was desirable to maintain in face of this
proposition. I was very calm, remembering that "a man's heart
deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps." I went on
with my worsted stitching under the eye of the doctor. I do
not know why he watched me so.

"Has anybody ventured to tell you, Miss Randolph, that you
have changed within a few months?" This question was put after
I had forgotten the doctor and was marching somewhere before a
battery in Patterson's column. I started a little.

"Yes, indeed! has she not?" exclaimed Mrs. Sandford. "Changed!
She came out of school the dearest little schoolgirl that ever
lived; or I should say, she went back to school so, last year.
What has the year done to you, Daisy?"

"What _has_ it done to me?" I replied, smiling at her. "How am I
changed?"

"Changed!" Mrs. Sandford repeated. "Tell her, Grant, what is
she now?"

"She would not thank me for telling her," said the doctor.

"But I will thank you, Mrs. Sandford," I said. "I _was_ 'the
dearest little schoolgirl.' "

"My dear, you are not that now," Mrs. Sandford said solemnly.

"It all comes to this, Daisy," said the doctor. "You are a
psychological puzzle to me. For the matter of that, now I
think of it, you always were. When you went to visit Molly
Skelton, and carried rose-bushes round the country in your
pony-chaise, just as much as now. You are not the same Daisy,
however."

"Yes, I am; just the same," I said earnestly.

"Fancy it!" said Mrs. Sandford. "My dear, you do I not see
yourself; that is clear."

"I would like to do the same things again," I insisted. But
that nearly choked me. For a vision of myself in my happy
pony-chaise; the free, joyous child that I was, ignorant of
soldiers and wars, further than as I knew my dear Captain
Drummond; the vision of the Daisy that once was, and could
never be again; went nigh to shake all my composure down. The
emotion came with a rush, and I had nearly succumbed to it.

"Miss Randolph has a philosophy," the doctor went on, still
watching me, - "which is not common to the world, and which I
have hitherto in vain endeavoured to fathom. I have always
fancied that I should be happier if I could find it out."

"Did I never tell you what it was, Dr. Sandford?"

"Never - intelligibly. You will excuse me. I do not mean to
accuse you, but myself."

"But you know what it is," I said, facing him. "My philosophy,
as you call it. It is only, to live for the other world
instead of this."

"Why not live for this world, while you are in it, Daisy?"

"I am not going to stay in it."

"I hope, very long!" said the doctor - seriously. "And do you
not think that people are meant to enjoy this world, while
they have it?"

"Yes, when they can," I answered; remembering vividly that
enjoyment is not always the rule. "But I enjoy the world
better than you do, Dr. Sandford; because, living for the
other, I take the good of both. And if this fails at any time,
the other - cannot."

Dr. Sandford's blue eye went as deep into mine, and into me, I
think, as it could; and he did not look satisfied.

The preparations for our journey were pressed with a diligence
that admitted of no delay, all that day and the next. I was
quietly busy too, thinking that it did not matter; that the
time must come, and as well then as ever.

I had miscalculated my strength, or my weakness. Or perhaps
the emotional part of our nature is never to be depended on.
That dim morning of our early departure is fixed in my memory
as one of the most heart-sinking times my heart ever knew. My
companions were brisk and bright, in travelling mood, taking
cars and porters and ticket offices and crowds, as pleasant
concomitants of a pleasant affair. Glad to get away from
Washington, both of them. And I, alone in my heart, knew what
a thread was breaking for me; knew that Thorold's path and
mine were starting from that point upon divergent lines, which
would grow but further and further apart every day. Until that
moment I had not realised what it would be, to leave the
neighbourhood of his work and his danger, and cut off all but
the most distant and precarious communication between him and
me; what it would be, too, to him, to know that I was gone. It
did seem then for a minute as if I could not go; as if I must,
as necessity, remain within hailing distance of him, and at
the headquarters of information. But there was another "must,"
stronger than mine; I was seated in the car, the whistle blew
its mockery of me; and the slow movement which immediately
followed was the snapping of the thread, - the parting of the
lines. It was something that no human action could stay or
avert now; and the gentle motion soon grew to a whirl of speed
which bore me relentlessly away. The slow pang of that first
stir of the cars, I can feel yet.

It was a dumb pain at my heart all day. I could not understand
myself. For several days I had been quiet and prepared, I
thought, and submissive; now to-day all was disorder; no
preparedness; no quiet. Instead were heartaches and regrets
and wild wishes; sometimes in dull and steady force, like a
still rain storm; and sometimes sweeping over me with the fury
of a tempestuous blast. I had not strength to resist; my
utmost was to keep a calm front before my friends. I did that,
I think. But what torture is it not, to be obliged to hear and
answer all manner of trifling words, to enter into every
trivial thought, of people at ease around one, when the heart
is bending and bowing under its life burden; to be obliged to
count the pebbles in the way, when one is staggering to keep
one's footing at all. Yes, and one must answer with a
disengaged face, and one must smile with ready lips, and
attention must not wander, and self-absorption for a minute
cannot be allowed. Perhaps it was good for me.

My companions attended to me well, so that I got no respite
all day. Not till night, when I reached my room; and when I
had respite, I found no rest. It was great relief to put my
head down without fear lest somebody should ask me if it
ached; but all night long I struggled with the pain that had
fought me all day. The next morning I went to find Miss
Cardigan. To my great disappointment she was not at home; and
would not be at home, I was told, under a week.

I passed slowly in, over the familiar stones of the marble
floor, in through the empty rooms, to the innermost one which
opened upon the little conservatory. That too was stripped of
its beauties; most of the plants were set out in the open
ground, and the scaffolding steps were bare. I turned my back
upon the glass door, which had been for me the door to so much
sweetness, and sat down to think. Not only sweetness. How
strange it was! From Miss Cardigan's flowers, the connecting
links led on straight to all my sorrow and heartache of the
present and perhaps of many future days. They had led me here;
and here Mr. Thorold had said words to me that had bound him
and me together for the rest of our lives, and made his
welfare my welfare. And now, he was in the shock of
battlefields; and I - afar off - must watch and listen. And I
could not be near and watch. I must be where even good news
would be no news, except of the past; where nobody would speak
to me of Mr. Thorold, and where I could not speak of him to
anybody. I was sure, the more I thought of it, that the only
possible chance for a good issue to our engagement, would be
to wait until the war should be over; and if he persisted in
his determination of speaking to my father and mother before
such a favourable conjuncture, the end would be only disaster.
I somewhat hoped, that the pressure of active duty on his
part, or some happy negligence of post-office officials, or
other contingency, might hinder such a letter as he had
threatened from coming to my father's hands at present.

Meanwhile, in Miss Cardigan's little room, I struggled for a
right mind. If I was sorrowful, I told myself, I was also
glad. If I pitied myself a little for all that had happened,
it was also true that I would not have undone it - that is, my
part in it, - for the world. I would rather belong to Mr.
Thorold, even through all this pain, than be nothing to him
and have him nothing to me. Yes, even going away on my distant
journey to Europe, the knowledge of his love was a richer
jewel in my heart than any other of earth's jewels that I
carried. So what was I crying about?

I washed away some of the soreness of the days past in those
tears. And then I came quietly back to my position; willing
that God should dispose of me and do with me what He pleased;
send me away or bring me home; give or take from me. At least
so far I was willing, that I gave up all care-taking and
ceased to struggle. My mood grew even sunshiny as I walked
back to the hotel where we were all stationed. Hope began to
execute little dances before me.

The doctor was busy now, I understood, with trying to find
some party with whom I might make the journey to Switzerland.
Mrs. Sandford was eager to get back to Melbourne, or its
neighbourhood; I always called the whole region by that name.
How I wished I could be allowed to go with her, and wait there
till an opportunity offered for my further journey! But such
were not the views of my guardian.

"Here's devotion!" exclaimed Mrs. Sandford as I came in to tea
one evening. "My dear, he says he will go with you himself."

"Where? - who?" I asked.

"Why, Grant, to be sure. He says he will go with you, himself,
and then his mind will be easy."

"How can he?" I said. "An army surgeon, - how can he get
away?"

"Yes, and in war-time," said Mrs. Sandford. "But the truth is,
that he needs to get away, he says; he is not fit for duty;
and the voyage over and back will just set him up. I think it
is a capital plan, for my part. He won't be gone any length of
time, you know; and indeed he must not; he will just run
across and put you in the hands of your friends; and so your
passage is engaged, Daisy, in the _Persia_. I only wish I was
going along, but I can't. I advise you never to marry Grant.
It ties one up terribly."

"It does not tie _you_ very close," the doctor answered.

"When does the _Persia_ go?" I asked.

"Yes, indeed; that _is_ a question," said Mrs. Sandford. "Just
think - she sails Saturday, and this is Thursday. Only one
single day for you, Daisy; but after all, it is best so. You
can be ready just as well, and the sooner you are off now the
better. I shall miss you dreadfully, though."

I felt my cheeks turn cold, and I busied myself with my cup of
tea.

"You are not so eager to be off, Miss Randolph, as my good
sister is to have you," I heard the doctor say.

"No, not quite. I would like better to go if all this trouble
in the country were ended."

"That would be to wait some time, I am afraid, said the
doctor, helping himself to a piece of toast. And I do not know
what in his motion and his manner of speech conveyed to me the
notion that he was glad I could not wait. And, my mother's
child though I was, I could not thwart him this time.

"It is a good time to be away, _I_ think," said Mrs. Sandford.
"I'd keep the news from her, Grant, if I were you. She sits
and studies the papers as if her life were in them."

"There will be no news on board the steamer," said the doctor.

Yes, I knew that. The very beginning of my journey was to cut
me off from tidings. How should I get them in Switzerland? And
I must go too without seeing Miss Cardigan. Well, I thought,
nothing can take my best Friend from me.

CHAPTER VIII.

DAISY'S POST


Dr. Sandford and I stood together on the deck of the steamer,
looking at the lessening shore. I was afraid the doctor should
see how I looked, yet I could not turn my eyes from it. I had
given up the care of myself; I could bear to see America
fading out of my sight; yet it seemed to me as if I left Daisy
and her life there, and as if I must be like a wandering
spirit from another world till I should come back to those
shores again. I would minister to my father and mother, but
nobody would minister to me. And I thought it was very likely
very good for me. Maybe I was in danger of growing selfish and
of forgetting my work and all happiness except my own and
Thorold's. I could do nothing for either of those now; nothing
actively. But I called myself up as soon as that thought
passed through me. I could always pray; and I could be quiet
and trust; and I could be full of faith, hope and love; and
anybody with those is not unhappy. And God is with his people;
and he can feed them in a desert. And with that, I went down
to my stateroom, to sob my heart out. Not altogether in
sorrow, or I think I should not have shed a tear; but with
that sense of joy and riches in the midst of trial; the
feeling of care that was over my helplessness, and hope that
could never die nor be disappointed sin spite of the many
hopes that fail.

After that, my voyage was pleasant, as every voyage or journey
is when one goes in the Lord's hand and with Him for a
companion. I had no news, as the doctor had said, and I laid
down all the matter of the war; though I was obliged to hear
it talked of very much and in a way that was often extremely
hard to bear. The English people on board seemed to think that
Americans had no feeling on the subject of their country, or
no country to feel about. Certainly they showed no respect for
mine; and though Dr. Sandford and one or two other gentlemen
could and did answer their words well and cogently, and there
was satisfaction in that; yet it was a warfare I did not
choose to enter into unless good breeding could be a defence
on both sides. They abused Mr. Lincoln; how they abused him!
they have learned better since. They abused republics in
general, rejoicing openly in the ruin they affected to see
before ours. Yes, the United States of America and their
boasted Constitution were a vast bubble - no solidity - rather
a collection of bubbles, which would go to pieces by their own
contact. Specially the weight of dislike and maligning fell on
the Northern portion of the country; sympathy was with the
South. These natives of the free British Isles were
unmistakably disposed to cheer and help on a nation of
oppressors, and wished them success. It was some time before I
could understand such an anomaly; at last I saw that the
instinct of self-preservation was at work, and I forgave as
natural, what I could not admire as noble.

This element in our little society troubled somewhat my
enjoyment of the voyage. I _had_ some patriotic nerves, if I was
an American; and every one of them was often tingling with
disagreeable irritation. Besides, ill-breeding is of itself
always disagreeable enough; and here was ill-breeding in well-
bred people, - worst of all. And I had my own private reasons
for annoyance. A favourite theme with the company was the want
of soldiers or generals at the North, and the impossibility
that a set of mechanics and tradesmen, who knew only how to
make money and keep it, should be able in chivalrous and
gentlemanly exercises to cope with the Southern cavaliers, who
were accustomed to sword and pistol and the use of them from
their youth up. Bull Run, they said, showed what the
consequence must always be, of a conflict between soldiers
with the martial spirit and soldiers without it. It would be
much better and cheaper for the North to succumb at once. I
had Southern prejudice enough to believe there might be a good
deal of truth in this, but I could not bear to hear it or to
think it; for besides the question of country and right, the
ruin of the North would be disaster to Mr. Thorold and me. I
shunned at last all conversation with our English companions,
as far as I could, and bent my thoughts forward to the joyful
meeting which lay before me with father and mother and
brother. Brighter and brighter the prospect grew, as each day
brought it nearer; and I sat sometimes by the hour looking
over the waters and resting my heart in the hope of that
meeting.

"Almost in, Miss Randolph," said the doctor, coming to my side
one of those times.

I brought my eyes from the dancing sea, and answered "You are
glad."

"Very glad."

"What route will you take, when we get to land?"

"The shortest."

"You do not wish to see anything by the way?"

"I can see enough, after I get to them," I answered.

"You are at a happy time of life!" the doctor said after a
pause.

"Are you past it, Dr. Sandford?" I asked, replying, I think,
to something in the tones of his voice.

"I do not know. I think, yes. Cologne cathedral will never be
to me what it will be to you."

"What will it be to me?"

"I wish you would tell me, when you see it."

"Does it lie in our route?" I asked somewhat eagerly.

"It can - if you choose."

"But I should not want to stop to look at it," I said; "and I
could not see it without stopping, I suppose."

"I suppose not. Well, we will push forward as fast as
possible. To Lausanne, is it?"

"They _were_ at Lausanne. They were talking of going to
Lucerne."

"To stay?"

"For some time, I think. Papa was getting tired of Lausanne.
We shall know as soon as we reach our port."

"Wonderful things will crowd upon you now, Daisy," the doctor
said meditatively. "And you are as ready for them as ever."

"Don't they crowd upon everybody?" I said, remembering what
strange ones life had lately brought to me.

"Everybody does not see them - does not know it. You have this
peculiarity, that you will not fail to note every one that
comes within your knowledge. Europe will be a wonder gallery
to you. And life, perhaps."

"Oh, life is now, Dr. Sandford."

He had been looking very grave. He smiled at me then, one of
his bright, winsome smiles that the child Daisy used to get.
It made my heart sore with longing for him, and sorrow.

"Isn't it a wonder, that I live, and that I shall live for
ever?" I said. "That this world is only the portal to glory?
Isn't it a wonder, that there is a highway from these low
grounds to Heaven's court, and that the gates of brass and
bars of iron that stopped the way, are broken asunder? Isn't
it a wonder, that the Prince of Heaven came down to open the
way and to show it to us? and is there any wonder so great, as
that, after this, any mortal should refuse to walk that way?"

"Grant Sandford, to wit!" said the doctor with an odd
expression, something between pleased and displeased. "I am
afraid, Daisy, he would want an angel to go before him after
all."

I remember this little talk well, for it puzzled me and did
not seem like Dr. Sandford. I remember nothing else of any
interest till we came to Switzerland and I was near my
journey's end. We had pushed on, sometimes by night and day;
stopping only for necessary meals and refreshment. I wanted no
delay. When we reached the glories of the Swiss mountains,
even yet distant, my mood oddly changed, and I was no longer
in a hurry. My life, I knew, would take a new turn, in among
those mountains somewhere; and it might not, I had a shrewd
suspicion that it would not, be a turn for my ease and
comfort; and even while I was as eager as ever to see my
father and mother, at the same time I was willing to take the
last steps of the way more slowly, and enjoy what I had and
what I hoped for together, before reality should displace
anticipation. This is my understanding of the mood as I look
back to it; at the time I did not reason, but only was
conscious of being ready to linger and willing to lose nothing
of novelty and beauty on my way. However, lingering was not
possible. By one conveyance and another we pushed our way on,
till Lucerne, our place of destination, was reached.

I saw nothing in the town, almost literally, while we were
making our way through its streets. I was in a breathless
state; my senses could not play, or my mind could receive no
impression from them. It was disappointment and relief too,
when coming to the house where my father and mother lived, we
were told that the family were gone out of town on some
excursion and would not be back till evening. The servants
told us. This was no hotel, but a nice little private house
which my father had hired and where he and my mother were
living entirely at home.

I knew I was at home, as my feet pressed the stairs going up
to the little drawing-room. "At home." Not since we left
Melbourne had the exquisite sensation come over me. It came
now like a subtle perfume, pervading and surrounding
everything. My eyes filled with tears of great joy, as I
mounted the stairs. I would not let Dr. Sandford see them. He,
I knew, felt like anything but crying for joy. He was
certainly very honestly fond of me and of my company, and I
was grateful for it.

The servant led us to a little drawing-room, out of which
another opened; over the simple furniture of which my mother's
hand had thrown a spell of grace. And luxurious enjoyment too;
that belonged to her. A soft rug or two lay here and there; a
shawl of beautiful colour had fallen upon a chair-back;
pictures hung on the walls, - one stood on an easel in a
corner; bits of statuary, bronzes, wood-carvings, trifles of
art, mosaics, engravings, were everywhere; and my mother's
presence was felt in the harmony which subdued and united all
these in one delicious effect. My mother had almost an
Oriental eye for colour and harmony. It was like seeing a bit
of her, to be in her room. I lost my head for a moment,
standing in the middle of the floor; then I turned to Dr.
Sandford.

"Now you are happy," he said, extending his hand - "and I will
leave you."

"No, Dr. Sandford - you will sit down and be happy too."

"You could command me to sit down, undoubtedly; but I am
afraid my happiness is beyond your power."

"I wish it was not!" I said earnestly. "You have been very
good to me, Dr. Sandford."

His face flushed a little and paled, and the eyes which were
so fond of reading other people's seemed now to shun being
read. I could not understand his expression, but it troubled
me.

"Happiness is always beyond other people's power," I said; -
"but not beyond one's own."

"That's your confounded theory!" he answered, bringing the
word out very gingerly and with a little laugh. "I beg ten
thousand pardons, Daisy; but a slight expression of
indignation was an unavoidable indulgence just then. You would
make every one responsible for all the troubles that come upon
him!"

"No - only for their effect upon his happiness," I ventured,
doubtfully.

"You think the effect of troubles upon happiness is then
optional!" - he said, with a humorous expression so cool and
shrewd that I could not forbear laughing.

"I do not mean exactly that."

"Your words were well chosen to produce that impression."

"No, Dr. Sandford - yes, perhaps they were; - but the real
truth is, that we may have a happiness that is beyond the
reach of trouble. So much is optional."

"With Daisy Randolph," said the doctor. "For the rest of the
world, a brown study will never be a golden reflection." He
held out his hand as he spoke.

"But are you going?" I said; - "before my father and mother
come home?"

"I will call before I leave Lucerne."

"How soon do you expect to do that?"

"Immediately, Daisy; to-morrow. I must hasten back to my post,
you know; before there is another Bull Run, if possible. It is
very good that you are out of the way of such things," he
said, eyeing me earnestly. "The very mention of them - do you
know what it does?"

"It gives me a great feeling of pain, I know," I said, trying
to rally.

"It does that, I see. I did not know the power of imagination
was so strong in you. I thought you were rather a literalist."

"And I think I am," I answered as calmly as I could. "It does
not require much imagination. It did not, when I was in
Washington."

"It does not now," said the doctor; "for your cheeks have not
got back their colour yet. What banished it, Daisy?"

It was the old tone and look I used to meet in my childhood,
and to which I always then rendered obedience. For an instant
the spell was upon me now; then I threw it off, shook hands
with the doctor and parted from him with a bow and smile which
told him nothing. And he succumbed in his turn; made me a
profound reverence and left the room.

My first feeling was of gladness that he was gone. My next
was, the sense that I was under my natural guardians once
more. I felt it with a thrill of delight, even though I had a
full consciousness that I was going to be far less my own
mistress than for some time I had been accustomed to find
myself. Dr. Sandford rather took laws from me, in most things.
This however did not give me much concern. I went round the
rooms to quiet myself, for I was growing more and more
excited. I went studying one by one the objects in the little
home museum, for such those drawing-rooms were to me. I read,
not natural history but family history in them; here my
father's hand had been, here By mother's, leaving some token
of study, or luxury, or art, or feeling. A very handsome
meerschaum seemed to give also a hint of my brother's
presence. The home review did not quiet me; I found it would
not do; I went to the window. And there I sat down
immediately, to hear all that nature said to me; as once Miss
Cardigan's flowers.

I had expected to see the town; and it was part of the town no
doubt that stretched away before me, but it had rather the
beauty of the country. There was nothing regular in streets or
buildings, nor compact; the houses scattered away down the
hill, standing here and there, alone and in groups, with
fields or pieces of fields intermingling. Pretty houses, with
quaint dormer windows and high sloping roofs. We were on a
height, I found, from which the eye went down delightfully
over this bit of the rambling old town. A courtyard, with
grass and young trees, was the first thing next the house on
this side; which I found was not the front; then the ground
fell sharply, and most of the houses stood upon a level below
bordering the lake. A stretch of the lake lay there, smooth,
still, bearing the reflection of some houses on its opposite
edge; where softened under a misty atmosphere another little
town seemed to rest on a rising bank. And then, just behind
it, rose the mountain, looking down upon lake and towns as if
to forbid a thought of foolishness in any one who should ever
live there. So, in its beautiful gravity, Mont Pilatte seemed
to me, then and always. Are not mountains always witnesses for
God? This first time I saw it, a misty cloud had swept across
the breast of the mountain and hid part of the outline; but
the head lifted itself in sunlight just above the veiling
cloud, and looked down in unspeakable majesty upon the lower
world. Always my eyes went back to that wonderful mountain
head; then fell to the placid lake and the little town
sleeping in misty sunlight on its further border; then caught
the sharp pointed towers of a church or cathedral close by at
my left hand, just within my picture; I could not see the
whole church; then back to the soft veiled mountain. A more
picturesque combination never went into a view. I sat still in
a trance of pleasure, only my eyes moving slowly from point to
point, and my heart and soul listening to the hidden melodies
which in nature's great halls are always sounding. I do
believe, for the matter of that, they are always sounding in
nature's least chambers as well; but there is the tinkle of a
silver bell, and there is the thunder of the great organ. At
any rate I was quieted, comforted, soothed, and entirely
myself again, by the time I had listened to Mont Pilatte for a
couple of hours.

The day wore on, and the lights changed, and the cloud
deepened on the mountain. The lights had not begun to fade
yet, though it was the time of long shadows, when a little
bustle below and steps on the stairs drew me away from the
window and brought me to my feet; but I stood still. The first
one was mamma, and her first word of course broke the spell
under which I had been standing and brought me into her arms.
And that word I pondered many a time afterwards. It was
simply, "Why, Daisy!" - but the letters put together tell
nothing of what was in the expression. Pleasure and affection
there were, of course; and there was something beside, which I
could not help thinking gave token of gratified surprise. What
should have excited it I do not know, unless it were that my
appearance pleased her better than she had expected. It was
not surprise at my being there, for the servants had told of
that. My father, who was next, said exactly the same words;
but his "Why, Daisy!" had an altogether different expression.
I flung myself into his arms, and then almost broke my heart
with the thought that I had been so long out of them. My
father pressed me very close, and kept very still. I felt my
mother touch me on the shoulder, and heard her tell me not to
be so excited; but I could not mind her. And papa, sitting
down, kept me in his arms and held me fast and kissed me, and
I sobbed myself into content.

"Is that Daisy?" said mamma. I was sitting on papa's knee yet.
I looked up at her. She was standing beside us.

"Doesn't she look like it?" my father said, fondly, stroking
my hair.

"She does not act like it," said my mother.

But I hid my face in papa's neck at that, and he kissed me
again.

"Don't you mean to speak to anybody else?" said mamma, with an
amused voice.

"Nobody else has any right," said papa. I looked up however,
eagerly, and saw what I could only guess was Ransom, he had so
grown and changed. He was looking curious and pleased. I got
up to salute him.

"Why, Daisy!" said he, returning my embrace with more new than
old emotion as it seemed to me, - "you are a sister of whom a
fellow may be proud."

"Can't you say as much for him, Daisy?" said my mother.

"As far as looks go -" I answered slowly, surveying him. He
was excessively handsome, and his mother's own boy in grace of
person and manner. I could see that in the first moment.

"As far as looks go" - my mother repeated. "_That_ is like
Daisy. Is it the very same Daisy?"

I looked up at her, and they looked at me. Oddly enough, we
were all silent. Had I changed so much?

"Mamma, there is the difference between ten and seventeen," I
said. "I don't think there is much other."

"And between formed and unformed," said my brother Ransom; for
my father and mother were still silent, and I could hardly
bear to meet their eyes.

"What is formed, and what is unformed?" I asked, trying to
make it a light question.

"My opinion is not unformed," said Ransom, - "and your destiny
is - formed."

"Papa," said I, "Ransom is very quick in deciding upon my
destiny." But with that look into each other's eyes, Ransom's
words were forgotten; my father clasped me in a fresh fond
embrace and my head went down upon his shoulder again. And we
were all still. Words are nothing at such times. I think one
rather speaks light words, if any; thoughts are too deep to
come out. At last my mother remarked that our toilettes were
among the unformed things, and suggested that we should go to
our rooms for a little while before dinner. I got up from
papa's knee and followed mamma; and passing Ransom with a
smile, he suddenly clasped me in his arms and kissed me.

"I am proud of you, Daisy," he whispered.

Arrived in mamma's room, her tenderness came out after her own
fashion. She examined me; her hands touched me caressingly;
she helped me to dress, although her maid was at hand.

"You did not tell me you had such beautiful hair," she said,
when I had unbound it to put it in order.

"Mamma!" I laughed. "Why should I?"

"And there are a great many other things you have not told
me," she went on. I had to control myself to prevent a start,
though her words meant nothing.

"Of course, mamma," I answered.

"Yes; you could hardly have been expected to give me a
catalogue raisonné of your advantages. Do you know them
yourself, Daisy?"

"Mamma, - I suppose I know some of them."

"Do you know, for instance, that your skin is exquisite, in
colour and texture?"

"Mrs. Sandford used to tell me so," I said.

My mother drew the tips of her fingers over my cheek.

"And now, at my saying that, comes a little rose hue here, as
delicate as the inside of a shell. But you have lost all the
look of delicate condition, Daisy; this is the colour of
perfect health."

"Dr. Sandford has taken care of me, mamma."

"Your father trusted a great deal to Dr. Sandford. Do you
think his trust was well placed?"

"Nobody could have taken more care of me, mamma. Dr. Sandford
has been very good."

"He always was your favourite," she remarked.

"Well, mamma, he deserved all I have given him."

"Don't give anybody much, - unless I bid you," my mother said,
laughingly. "Daisy, you have matured better even than I ever
thought you would, or than your aunt Gary told me. Your figure
is as good as ever mine was."

She took up one of my hands, looked at it, kissed it, and as
she let it drop asked carelessly, -

"What has become of Preston now?"

I felt as if breakers were all around me. "He has joined the
Southern army," I said.

"When did you see him?"

"Not since a year ago."

"Where then?"

"At West Point, mamma. He only graduated this spring."

"Were you long at West Point?"

"Yes, ma'am - some weeks."

"Dr. Sandford did not show remarkable care in that."

"He thought so, mamma, for he found me not well, and took me
away immediately from school, without waiting for the term to
close. Mrs. Sandford and he, were going to West Point - and so
-"

"West Point did you good?"

"I grew well there."

"Your aunt tells me, your voice is very uncommon, Daisy. Is
she right in that?"

"Mamma - you can judge better than I. It is not so easy for me
to judge how it sounds."

"You know how it sounds to you."

"Yes, but then I am thinking of the music. I cannot tell,
mamma, how it sounds to other people."

"Well, we shall be able to judge by and by," my mother said,
in a satisfied tone. "Your speaking voice is as calm and sweet
as I ever heard."

"_Calm?_ mamma," I said, laughing.

"Yes, child. Don't you know most people's voices have a little
thread, if it is not more, of sharpness or roughness, coming
out somewhere. It is sure to come out somewhere; in one form
of speech or another; with some people it only appears in the
laugh, and they should never laugh. Your voice is like a chime
of bells." And my mother took me in her arms, half-dressed as
I was, and pressed her lips full upon mine; looking into my
face and playing with me and smiling at me; finishing with
another pressure of her mouth to mine.

"Your lips are very sweet," she said, with a half sigh. "I
wonder who else will think so!"

And if one bit of vanity or self-exaltation could have been
stirred in my thoughts, though it were by my mother's praises,
these last words banished it well. I was sobered to the depths
of my heart; so sobered, that I found it expedient to be busy
with my dressing, and not expose my face immediately to any
more observations. And even when I went down stairs, my
father's first remark was, -

"It is the same Daisy!"

"Did you doubt it, papa?" I asked, with a smile.

"No, my pet."

"Then why do you say that as soon as I make my appearance!"

"I can hardly tell - the consciousness forced itself upon me.
You are looking at life with a microscope, - as of old."

"With a microscope, papa!"

"To pick up invisible duties and find out indiscernible
dangers -"

"When one is as old as I am," I said, "there is no need of a
microscope to find out either dangers or duties."

"Ha!" said my father, folding me in his arms - "what dangers
have you discovered, Daisy?"

"I believe they are everywhere, papa," I said, kissing him.

"Not here," he said, fondly; "there shall be none here for
you."

"Mr. Randolph," said mamma, laughing, "if Daisy is to be meat
and drink as well as scenery to you, we may as well dispense
with the usual formalities; but I hope you will condescend to
look at dinner as usual."

CHAPTER VIII.

SKIRMISHING


That first dinner at home! how strange and sweet it was. So
sweet, that I could scarcely hear the note of the little
warning bell down in the bottom of my heart. But mamma had
struck it up stairs, and its vibrations would not quite be
still. Yet there was a wonderful charm in my own home circle.
The circle was made larger in the evening, by the coming in of
two of Ransom's friends, who were also, I saw, friends of my
father and mother. They were two Southern gentlemen, as I
immediately knew them to be; MM. de Saussure and Marshall,
Ransom's worthy compeers in the line of personal appearance
and manner. De Saussure especially; but I liked Marshall best.
This I found out afterward. The conversation that evening
naturally went back to America which I had just come from, and
to the time of my leaving it, and to the news then new there
and but lately arrived here. I had to hear the whole Bull Run
affair talked over from beginning to end and back again. It
was not so pleasant a subject to me as to the rest of the
company; which I suppose made the talk seem long.

"And you were there?" said Mr. de Saussure, suddenly appealing
to me.

"Not at Manasses," I said.

"No, but close by; held in durance in the capital, with
liberators so near. It seems to me very stupid of Beauregard
not to have gone in and set you free."

"Free?" said I, smiling. "I was free."

"There will be no freedom in the country, properly speaking,
until that Northern usurper is tossed out of the place he
occupies."

"That will be soon," said my mother.

"In what sense is Mr. Lincoln a usurper?" I ventured to ask.
"He was duly elected."

"Is it possible Daisy has turned politician?" exclaimed my
brother.

"He is not a usurper," said Mr. Marshall.

"He is, if being out of his place can make him so," said De
Saussure; "and the assumption of rights that nobody has given
him. By what title does he dare shut up Southern ports and
send his cut-throats upon Southern soil?"

"Well, they have met their punishment," my father remarked.
And it hurt me sorely to hear him say it with evident
pleasure.

"The work is not done yet," said Ransom. "But at Bull Run
rates - 'sixty pieces of splendid cannon' taken, as Mr. Davis
says, and how many killed and prisoners? - the mud-sills will
not be able to keep it up very long. Absurd! to think that
those Northern shopkeepers could make head against a few dozen
Southern swords."

"There were only a few dozen swords at Manasses," said De
Saussure. "Eighteen thousand, Mr. Davis puts the number in his
Richmond speech; and the Northern army had sixty thousand in
the field."

"A Richmond paper says forty thousand instead of eighteen,"
Mr. Marshall remarked.

"Mr. Russell, of the London _Times_, estimated Beauregard's
force at sixty thousand," I said.

"_He_ don't know!" said De Saussure.

"And Mr. Davis does not know," I added; "for the whole loss of
cannon on the Northern side that day amounted to but
seventeen. Mr. Davis may as well be wrong in one set of facts
as in another. He said also that provisions enough were taken
to feed an army of fifty thousand men for twelve months."

"Well, why not?" said Ransom, frowning.

"These gentlemen can tell you why not."

"Pretty heavy figures," said Mr. Marshall.

"Why are they not true, Miss Randolph?" Mr. de Saussure asked,
bending as before a most deferential look upon me.

"And look here, - in what interest are you, Daisy?" my brother
continued.

"Nothing is gained by blinking the truth anywhere, Ransom."

"No, that is true," said my father.

"Daisy has been under the disadvantage of hearing only one
side lately," my mother remarked very coolly.

"But about the provisions, Miss Randolph?" Mr. De Saussure
insisted, returning to the point with a willingness, I
thought, to have me speak.

"Mamma says, I have heard only one side," I answered. "But on
that side I have heard it remarked, that twelve thousand
wagons would have been required to carry those provisions to
the battlefield. I do not know if the calculation was
correct."

Mr. De Saussure's face clouded for an instant. My father
seemed to be pondering. Ransom's frowns grew more deep.

"What side are you on, Daisy?" he repeated.

"She is on her own side, of course," my mother said.

"I hope there is no doubt of that, Mrs. Randolph," said Mr.
Marshall. "Such an enemy would be very formidable! I should
begin to question on which side I was myself."

They went off into a long discussion about the probable
movements of the belligerent parties in America; what might be
expected from different generals; how long the conflict was
likely to last, and how its certain issue, the discomfiture of
the North and the independence of the South, would be
attained. Mingled with this discussion were laudations of
Jefferson Davis, scornful reviling of President Lincoln, and
sneers at the North generally; at their men, their officers,
their money, their way of making it and their way of spending
it. Triumphant anticipations, of shame and defeat to them and
the superb exaltation of the South, were scattered, like a
salt and pepper seasoning, through all the conversation. I
listened, with my nerves tingling sometimes, with my heart
throbbing at other times; sadly inclined to believe they might
be right in a part of their calculations; very sadly sure they
were wrong in everything else. I had to keep a constant guard
upon my face; happily my words were not called for. My eyes
now and then met papa's, with a look that gave and received
another sort of communication. When the evening was over, and
papa was folding me in his arms to bid me good-night, he
whispered, -

"You and I cannot be on two sides of anything, Daisy?"

"Papa - you know on what side of most things I am -" I replied
to this difficult question.

"Do I? No, I do not know that I do. What side is it, Daisy?"

"On the Lord's side, papa, when I can find out what that is."

"Make me sure that you have found it, and I will be on that
side too," he said, as he kissed me.

The words filled me with a great joy. For they were not spoken
in defiance of the supposed condition, but rather, as it
seemed to me, in desire and love of it. Had papa come to that?
The new joy poured like a flood over all the dry places in my
heart, which had got into a very dry state with hearing the
conversation of the evening. I went to bed tired and happy.

Nevertheless I awoke to the consciousness that I had a nice
piece of navigation before me, and plenty of rough water in
all probability. The best thing would be for me to be as
silent as possible. Could I be silent? They all wanted to hear
what I would say. Every eye had sought mine this past evening.

I was the first in the breakfast-room, and papa was the next.
We were alone. He took me tenderly in his arms and held me
fast, looking at me and kissing me by turns.

"Are you well now, papa?" I asked him. "Are you quite well
again?"

"Well enough," he answered; "not just as I was once."

"Why not, papa?"

"I have never quite got over that unlucky fall. It has left my
head a little shaky, Daisy; and my strength - Never mind! you
are my strength now, my pet. We should have gone home before
this, only for the troubles breaking out there."

I leaned my head upon his breast, and wished the troubles were
not! What a division those troubles made, unknown to him,
between his heart's happiness and mine - yes, between him and
me. Mamma came in and looked at us both.

"It is a very pretty picture," she said. And she kissed me,
while papa did not let me out of his arms. "Daisy, you are a
beauty."

"She is a great deal better than a beauty," said my father.
"But, now I look at you, Daisy - yes, you _are_ a beauty,
certainly."

They both laughed heartily at the colour which all this raised
in my face.

"Most exquisite, her skin is," said my mother, touching my
cheek. "Did you ever see anything superior to it, Mr.
Randolph? Rose leaves are not any better than that. Pshaw,
Daisy! - you must get accustomed to hear people say it."

"Nobody shall say it to me, mamma, but you."

"No," said my father. "That is my view of it, too."

"Nonsense!" said mamma - "there are a thousand ways of doing
the same thing, and you cannot stop them all. Your hair is as
fine as possible, too, Daisy, although it has not had me to
take care of it."

"But I did just as you told me with it, mamma," I said.

She kissed me again. "Did nobody ever tell you you were
beautiful?" she asked archly. "Yes, I know that you did just
as I told you. You always did, and always will. But did you
not know that you were beautiful?"

"Speak, Daisy," said papa. Said as it was with a smile, it
brought childish memories vividly back.

"Mamma," I said, "I have heard something of it - and I suppose
it may be true."

They laughed, and mamma remarked that I was human yet. "There
is a difference between the child and the woman, you will
find, Mr. Randolph."

Papa answered, that it was no very remarkable token of
humanity, to have eyes and ears.

"Daisy's eyes were always remarkable," said my mother.

"But, mamma," said I, "in other things there is no difference
between the child and the woman. My outside may have altered -
my mind is not changed at all; only grown."

"That will do," said mamma.

I was obliged to leave it to time, and hoped to make myself so
pleasant that what I could not change in me might be at least
tolerated, if it were not approved. It seemed an easy task! I
was such a manifest subject of joy, to father and mother, and
even Ransom too. A newly discovered land, full of gold, is not
more delightfully explored by its finders, than I was watched,
scrutinised, commented on, by my family.

That first day, of course, they could not let me out of their
sight. It was nothing but talk, all day long. In the evening
however our last evening's guests reappeared. The conversation
this time did not get upon American politics, so everybody
showed to better advantage; I suppose, myself included. We had
music; and the gentlemen were greatly delighted with my voice
and my singing. Mamma and papa took it very coolly until we
were left alone again; then my mother came up and kissed me.

"You have done your duty, Daisy, in improving your voice," she
said. "You are a Daisy I am perfectly satisfied with. If you
can sing as well in public as you have done to-night in
private, papa will be proud of you."

"In public, mamma?" I said.

"Yes. That does not frighten you. Nothing does frighten you."

"No, mamma, but - what do you mean by 'in public'?"

"Not on the stage," said mamma.

"But mamma, - papa," - I said, anxiously, "this is what I want
you to understand. I will do anything in the world you wish me
to do; only, I am - I must be, - you know, - a servant of
Christ."

"I said nothing against that," my mother replied. But my
father, clasping me in his arms, whispered, -

"We will be servants together, Daisy."

That word sent me to bed with a whole heartful of
thankfulness. I could bear anything now, if his words meant
what I hoped they did. And I should have security, too,
against any too great trial of my affection and duty to him
and to mamma.

An expedition had been arranged for the next day; in which my
brother and his friends were to take me upon the lake. Mamma
and papa would not go. It was a day, in one sort, of such
pleasure as I had never known till then. The beautiful water,
the magnificent shores of the lake, the wonderful lights on
the mountains, almost took me out of this world; to which they
seemed scarcely to belong. I cannot tell what a pang in the
midst of this pleasure the thought of Mr. Thorold brought with
it. The life I was living now was so very far from his life,
and so unlike; my part of the world was now so very distant
from his, - there was such an abyss between; - and yet the
Swiss hills were so glorious, and I was enjoying them. I began
to wonder, as we were sailing towards home in the end of the
day, what work I had to do in this new and strange place; why
was I here? Perhaps, to learn patience, and have faith grow
strong by trial, while all my life hopes waited upon a will
that I did not know and must trust. Perhaps, to stand up for
Christian truth and simplicity in the face of much opposition.
Perhaps, to suffer, and learn to bear suffering.

"You are fatigued, Miss Randolph?" said the soft voice of De
Saussure.

"Or beauty of scenery, so much beauty, makes you melancholy,"
said Mr. Marshall. "It always makes me so, if I let myself
think of it."

"Why should it make any one melancholy?" I asked. "I think
beauty has the contrary effect."

"A little beauty. But very great and wonderful loveliness - I
don't know why, it always moves me so. It is something too far
beyond me; it is unlike me; it seems to belong to another
stage of being, while I am held fast in this. It mocks me, -
somehow."

"It does not do so with me," I said.

"Ah, it is your world!" De Saussure said, laughing. "It could
not do so with you very well."

"But look at Mont Pilatte now," resumed Mr. Marshall, - "with
that crown of light on its brow; - does it not give you the
feeling of something inapproachable - not literally but
spiritually, - something pure, glorious, infinite - something
that shames us mortals into insignificance?"

I looked, and I thought I knew why he felt as he did; but I
did not think I could explain it to him just then.

"Have you a little of my feeling?" he said again. "Do you
understand it?"

"I understand it, I think," I said.

"And do not share it at all?"

"No, Mr. Marshall. Of course, the mountain is great, and I am
small; but the purity, and the glory, - that is not beyond
reach; and no human being ought to be insignificant, and none
need be."

"Not if his life is insignificant?"

"Nobody's life ought to be that," I answered.

"How can it be helped, in the case of many a one?"

"Yes indeed," said De Saussure; "there is a question. I should
like to hear Miss Randolph answer it."

One spoke lightly and the other earnestly. It was not easy to
answer them both.

"I should like to have you define insignificance first," I
said.

"Can there be a more significant word?" said Mr. De Saussure.
"It defines itself."

"A life of insignificance, is a life that does not signify
anything," Mr. Marshall added.

"Most people's lives signify something," I said, stupidly, my
thoughts running on far ahead of my words.

"Yes, to somebody in the corner at home," Mr. Marshall said,
"whose affection cannot make a true estimate. But do most
people's lives signify anything, except to some fond judgment
of that sort?"

"Who is estimating you, in a corner at home?" said Mr. de
Saussure.

"Nobody - and that you know. Nobody, except my old mammy."

"You are a lucky fellow, Hugh. Free as air! Now I have five or
six dear appraisers at my home; who are of opinion that an
epaulette and a commission would add to my value; or rather,
to do them justice, they are very desirous to have my life -
or my death - tell for something, in the struggle which
occupies all their, thoughts at present. I do not mean that
they have no choice, but, one or the other. And so am I
desirous; but - Lucerne is so very captivating! And really,
as, I said, one signifies so little."

"One is half of two," said Ransom - "and a hundredth part of a
hundred."

"I should like, I think, to be half of two," said De Saussure,
comically. "I don't care about being the hundredth part of
anything."

"But you are going when I go?" said Ransom.

"Mrs. Randolph says so; and I suppose she will command me.
What does Miss Randolph say?"

"Yes, to my question," said Hugh Marshall.

"I do not quite know what is either question," I replied; "and
a judge ought to understand his cause."

"Is it my duty to go and plunge into the mêlée at home,
because my mother and two aunts and three sisters are all
telling me they will renounce me if I do not? I say, what does
one signify?"

"And _I_ say, how may one escape from insignificance? - anyhow?"

"A man with your income need not ask that," said Ransom.

"What does Miss Randolph say?" De Saussure insisted.

"If you will tell me, Mr. De Saussure, what the South is
fighting for, I can better answer you."

"That speech is Daisy all over!" said Ransom impatiently. "She
never will commit herself, if she can get somebody to do it
for her."

"Fighting for freedom - for independence, of course!" Mr. De
Saussure said, opening his eyes. "Is there any question?"

"How was their freedom threatened?"

"Why," said Ransom, hotly, "what do you think of armies upon
the soil of Virginia? - invading armies, come to take what
they like? What do you think of Southern forts garrisoned by
Northern troops, and Southern cities in blockade? Is that your
idea of freedom?"

"These are not the cause, but the effect, of the position
taken by the South," I said.

"Yes, we fired the first gun, Randolph," said Mr. Marshall.

"Sumter was held against us," said Ransom.

"Not till South Carolina had seceded."

"Well, she had a _right_ to secede!" cried Ransom. "And this
right the Northern mudsills are trying to trample out. If she
has not a right to be governed as she likes, she is not free."

"But why did she secede?" I asked. "What wrong was done her?"

"You are a girl, and cannot understand such matters!" Ransom
answered, impatiently. "Just ask mamma to talk to you; - or I
will!"

"Miss Randolph's question is pertinent though," said Mr.
Marshall; "and I am ashamed to confess I am as little able to
answer it as she. What wrong had they to complain of?"

"Why, Hugh, you certainly know," his companion answered, "that
Lincoln was elected; and that if the government is to be in
the hands of those who do not think and vote with us - as this
election shows it will - we shall be pushed to the wall. The
South and her institutions will come to nothing - will be in a
contemptible minority. We do not choose that."

"Then the wrong done them was that they were out-voted?" Mr.
Marshall said.

"Put it so!" De Saussure replied, with heat; "we have a right
to say we will govern ourselves and sail our own boat."

"Yes, so I think we have," said the other. "Whether it is
worth such a war, is another question, Such a war is a serious
thing."

"It would be mean-spirited to let our rights be taken from
us," said Ransom. "It is worth anything to maintain them."

"It will not be much of a war," resumed De Saussure. "Those
poor tailors and weavers will find their workshops are a great
deal more comfortable than soldiers' tents and the battle-
ground; and they won't stand fire, depend upon it."

"Cowardly Yankees!" said Ransom.

"That is Preston's favourite word," I remarked. "But I am not
clear that you are not both mistaken."

"You have lived among Yankees, till it has hurt you," said
Ransom.

"Till I have learned to know something about them," I said.

"And is your judgment of the probable issue of the war,
different from that I have expressed, Miss Randolph?" Mr. De
Saussure asked.

"My judgment is not worth much," I said. "I have doubts."

"But you agree with us as to the right of preserving our
independence?" Mr. Marshall said.

"Does independence mean, the governing power? Does every
minority, as such, lose its independence?"

"Yes!" said De Saussure - "if it is to be permanently a
minority."

"That would be our case, you see," Mr. Marshall went on. "Are
we not justified in endeavouring to escape from such a
position?"

I was most unwilling to talk on the subject, but they were all
determined I should. I could not escape.

"It depends," I said, "the settlement of that question, upon
the other question, whether our government is one or twenty."

"It is thirty!" said Ransom.

I had thrown a ball now which they could keep up without me.
To my joy, the whole three became so much engaged in the game,
that I was forgotten. I could afford to forget too; and
quitting the fair lake and the glorious mountain that looked
down upon it, ceasing to hear the eager debate which went on
at my side, my thoughts flew over the water to a uniform and a
sword that were somewhere in that struggle of rights and
wrongs. My heart sank. So far off, and I could not reach him;
so busy against the feelings and prejudices of my friends, and
I could not reconcile them; in danger, and I could not be
near; in trouble, perhaps, and I could not help. It would not
do to think about. I brought my thoughts back, and wondered at
old Mont Pilatte which looked so steadily down on me with the
calm of the ages.

CHAPTER X.

WAITING


For weeks after this sail on the lake my life was like a fête
day. Expeditions of all sorts were planned and carried out for
my pleasure. One day we were exploring the lake shores in a
boat; the next, we went back into the country, as far as we
could go and return before evening; a third day we climbed the
mountains somewhere and got glorious new views of what the
world is. Nothing could hinder, in those days, but that my
draught of pleasure was very full. Whatever weight might lie
at my heart, when I found myself high, high up above the
ordinary region of life, resting on a mountain summit from
which I looked down upon all that surrounded me other days; a
little of that same lifting up befel the thoughts of my heart
and the views that have to do with the spirit's life. I stood
above the region of mists for a little. I saw how the
inequalities of the lower level, which perplex us there, sink
into nothing when looked upon from a higher standpoint. I saw
that rough roads led to quiet valleys; and that the blessed
sunlight was always lying on the earth, though down in one of
those depths one might lose sight of it for a time. I do not
know how it is, but getting up into a high mountain has a
little the effect of getting out of the world. One has left
perplexities and uncertainties behind; the calm and the
strength of the everlasting hills is about one; the air is not
defiled with contentions or rivalries or jealousies up there;
and the glory of creation reminds one of other glory, and
power, and wisdom and might; and one breathes hope and rest.
So I used to do. Of all our excursions, I liked best to go up
the mountains. No matter how high, or by how difficult a road.

Mamma and papa were only now and then of the party. That I was
very sorry for, but it could not be helped. Mamma had seen it
all, she said; and when I urged that she had not been to this
particular "horn," she said that one "horn" was just like
another, and that when you had seen one or two you had seen
them all. But I never found it so. Every new time was a new
revelation of glory to me. If I could have had papa with me,
my satisfaction would have been perfect; but papa shunned
fatigue, and never went where he could not go easily. I was
obliged to be content with my brother and my brother's
friends; and after I had made up my mind to that, the whole
way was a rejoicing to me, from the time I left the house till
we returned, a weary and hungry party, to claim mamma's
welcome again. Our party was always the same four. Mr. de
Saussure and Hugh Marshall were, I found, very intimately at
home with my father and mother, and naturally they were soon
on the same footing with me. As far as care went, I had three
brothers to look after me, of whom indeed Ransom was not the
most careful; and as to social qualifications, they were
extremely well-bred, well-educated, and had a great deal of
general and particular cultivation. In the evenings we had
music and conversation; which last was always very pleasant
except when it turned upon American affairs. Then I had great
twinges of heart, which I thought it wise to keep to myself as
closely as possible.

I remember well the twinge I had, when one evening early in
September De Saussure came in, the utmost glee expressed in
his eyes and manner, and announced his news thus; -

"They have had a battle at Springfield, and Lyon is killed."

"Who is Lyon?" I could not help asking, though it was
incautious.

"You should not ask," he said more gently as he sat down by
me; "you have no relish for these things. Even the cause of
liberty cannot sweeten them to you."

"Who is Lyon, De Saussure?" my father repeated.

"A Connecticut fellow." The tone of these words, in its utter
disdain, was inexpressible.

"Connecticut?" said my father. "Has the war got into New
England? That cannot be."

"No, sir, no, sir," said Ransom. "It is Springfield in
Missouri. You find a Yankee wherever you go in this world."

"Wilson's Creek is the place of the battle," Mr. De Saussure
went on. "Near Springfield, in Missouri. It was an
overwhelming defeat. Lyon killed, and the next in command
obliged to beat off."

"Who on our side?" asked my mother.

"Ben McCulloch and Price."

"How many engaged? Was it much of an affair?"

"We had twenty thousand or so. Of course, the others had
more."

"It doesn't take but one or two Southerners to whip a score of
those cowards," said Ransom.

"Why should not the war have got into New England, Mr.
Randolph?" my mother asked. "You said, 'That cannot be.' Why
should it not be?"

"There are a few thousand men in the way," said my father;
"and I think they are not all cowards."

"They will never stand before our rifles," said De Saussure.

"Our boys will mow them down like grass," said Ransom. "And in
New Orleans the fever will take care of them. How soon,
mother, will the fever be there?"

Mamma and Ransom compared notes upon the probable and usual
time for the yellow fever to make its appearance, when it
would wield, its scythe of destruction upon the fresh harvest
of life made ready for it, in the bands of the Northern
soldiers in Louisiana. My whole soul was in a stir of
opposition to the speakers. I had to be still, but pain
struggled to speak.

"You do not enjoy the prospect -" Hugh Marshall said, softly.

I only looked at him.

"Nor do I," said he, shaking his head. "A fair fight is one
thing. - It is a terrible state of affairs at home, Miss
Randolph."

I had the utmost difficulty to keep quiet and give no sign. I
could have answered him with a cry which would have startled
them all. What if Thorold were ordered down there? He might
be. He would go where he was ordered. That thought brought
help; for so would I! A soldier, in another warfare, I
remembered my ways were appointed, even as his; only more
wisely, more surely, and on no service that could by any means
be in vain. But yet the pain was very sharp, as I looked at
the group who were eagerly discussing war matters; my father,
my mother, my brother, and De Saussure, who in the interest of
the thing had left my side; how keen they were! So were others
keen at home, who had swords in their hands and pistols in
their belts. It would not do to think. I could but repeat to
myself, - "I am a soldier - I am a soldier - and just now my
duty is to stand and bear fire."

There was little chance in those days at Lucerne for me to be
alone with papa. The opportunities we had we both enjoyed
highly. Now and then mamma would be late for breakfast, or
even take hers in bed; once in a while go out to a visit from
which I begged off. Then papa and I drew together and had a
good time. One of these chances occurred a few days after the
news came of General Lyon's death. We were alone, and I was
drawing, and papa had been watching me a little while in
silence.

"Daisy," he began, "am I wrong? It seems to me that you do not
look upon matters at home with just the eye that the rest of
us have for them?"

"What matters, papa?" I said, looking up, and feeling
troubled.

"You do not like the war."

"Papa, - do you?"

"Yes. I think our countrymen are right, and of course I wish
that they should have their rights."

"Papa," said I, "don't you think it must be very strong
reasons that can justify so dreadful a thing as a war?"

"Undoubtedly; but the preservation of liberty is one of the
strongest that can be conceived."

"Papa - you know I want liberty for the blacks."

"It is like you, my dear child," my father said, after pausing
a minute; "it is like your generous nature; but Daisy, I think
those people do not want it for themselves."

"Papa, if they did not, I should think it would be one of the
strongest arguments on my side; but I am sure they do. I know
a great many of them that do."

"Did not you, perhaps, bring about that desire in them, by
your kind and possibly somewhat misjudged indulgences?"

"No indeed, papa; it was our overseer, with his wicked ways.
That Mr. Edwards is dreadful, papa!"

"All overseers are not good," said my father with a sigh. "The
people at Magnolia are as well treated, on the whole, - as
they can be anywhere, I think, - I hope."

"You do not know, papa. If they are, you have said all. And
there is our old Maria, who has nothing to do with Mr.
Edwards; she has no hope nor anticipation which does not go
beyond this world; and it is so with a great many of them.
They have that hope; but they sing, "I am bound for the
promised land!" - in a minor key; and to a plaintive air that
makes your heart ache."

"Yours, Daisy," said my father with a somewhat constrained
smile.

"Papa," I went on, trembling, but I thought it best to
venture, - "if the issue of this war could be to set all those
people free, I could almost be glad."

"That will not be the issue, Daisy," he said.

"Papa, what do you think will?"

"It can have but one issue. The Southern people cannot be put
down."

"Then, if they succeed, what will be the state of things
between them and the North?"

"It is impossible to tell how far things will go, Daisy, now
that they have actually taken up arms. But I do not think the
Southern people want anything of the North, but to be let
alone."

"How would it be, if the North succeeded, papa?"

"It cannot succeed, Daisy. You have heard a different
language, I suppose; but I know the men, - and the women, - of
the South. They will never yield. The North must, sooner or
later."

I could not carry this on, and turned the conversation. But I
had to listen to a great deal of the same sort of thing, in
which I took no part. It came up every day. I discovered that
my mother was using her influence and all her art to induce
our two young friends to return home and enter the Southern
army. She desired with equal vehemence that Ransom should take
the same course; and as they all professed to be strong in the
interests and sympathies that moved her, I was a little
puzzled to understand why they delayed so long. For they did
delay. They talked, but nothing came of it. Still we went on
fresh excursions and made new expeditions; spending days of
delight on the mountain sides, and days of enchantment in the
mountain valleys; and still our party was of the same four. It
is true that papa did not at all share mamma's eagerness to
have Ransom go; but Ransom did not greatly care for papa's
likings; and in the case of the others, I did not see what
held them.

The printed news from home we had of course, regularly; and as
far as I could without being watched, I studied them. The
papers after all were mostly Southern, and so filled with
outrageous invective and inflated boasting, that I could not
judge anything very certainly, from what they said. Nothing of
great importance seemed to be transpiring between the
belligerent parties. I supposed that it wanted but some such
occurrence or occasion to send off our three young men like a
ball from a rifle, straight to the seat of war. Meanwhile we
enjoyed ourselves. Others did, and I did also, whenever I
could put down fear and lift up hope; and I was young, and
that happened to me sometimes. So the weeks ran on.

"I really don't see why I should be in a hurry to plunge
myself into that angry confusion of things at home," Hugh
Marshall said one day. "It seems to me, they can get through
it without my help."

"Well, you are not in a hurry." I answered.

We were out as usual for a day's pleasure among the mountains,
and Hugh and I were resting on a sunny bank waiting for the
others to come up. We had distanced them.

"What do you think about it?" he said, suddenly drawing
himself up from the grass and looking in my face.

"Men do not rule their course by what women think," - I
answered.

"No, you are wrong; they do! Sometimes they do," - he said. "I
have no mother nor sister to counsel me; only Mrs. Randolph
bids me go home and be a soldier; but I would as lieve take
advice from you. What would you tell me to do - if I were your
brother?"

"I do not tell Ransom anything."

"He is under his mother's tutelage; but I am not. Tell me what
to do, Miss Randolph. I am sure your counsel would be good. Do
you wish me to go and fight the North, as your mother says I
ought?"

"I wish people would not fight at all," I said, with my heart
straitened.

"Of course; but here we are in it, or they are; and it is the
same thing. Don't you think they can get through it without
me? or do you say as your mother, - 'Every one go!' "

He looked at me more earnestly than was pleasant, and I was
greatly at a loss what to answer. It was wisest for me not to
commit myself to a course opposed to my mother's; and yet,
truth is wisest of all. I looked to see Ransom and Mr. De
Saussure, but they were not in sight.

"You are not speaking in jest," I said; "and I have no
business to speak in earnest."

"You never speak any other way," he rejoined. "Tell me your
mind. You are never violent; do you feel as Mrs. Randolph does
about it? Would you like me better if I went heart and soul
into the fray at home?"

"That would depend upon the-views and motives with which you
went into it."

"Well - if I did it for love of you?" he said smiling.

"I cannot imagine that anybody should do such a thing for love
of me. Nothing but the strongest and purest convictions of
duty can justify such a thing as fighting."

"I suppose I know what that means," he said somewhat gloomily.

"No," said I hastily, "I don't think you do."

"What does it mean, then?" he asked.

"Permit me to ask first, Are your convictions strong and
clear, that it is your duty to go home and enter the war for
the South?"

"That's a searching question," he said laughing. "To say yes,
would be to condemn myself at once. To say no, - what would
that do for me with Mrs. Randolph?"

"You are not speaking to Mrs. Randolph," I said, half under my
breath.

He looked up eagerly in my face. "You do not think as she
does!" he said. "You do not believe in fighting, under any
circumstances?"

"Yes, I do, Mr. Marshall," I said; and I felt myself colour.
"I do believe in fighting, when it is to relieve the
oppressed, to deliver those who are trampled upon, or to save
ourselves or others from worse than death."

"Our friends at the South can hardly be said to be in such
extremity," he said, looking rather perplexed; "unless you
believe all that the papers say about Yankee invaders; and I
for one am not ready to do that."

"Nor I," I said; "I know them too well."

"Then who is so bitterly oppressed just now, Miss Randolph?"

"If you do not know of anybody, I would not fight, Mr.
Marshall."

"Really?" said he. "Perhaps I ought to go home and take care
of my twelve hundred people at Vincennes. Is that your
thought?"

"Are they in need of care?" I asked.

" 'Pon my word, I don't know. Perhaps it would be nearer right
to say, take care of myself; for if the war should come the
way of Vicksburg, and Yankee arms have a little success, there
might be the mischief to pay at Vincennes. On reflection, I
don't see how I could take care of myself, either. Then you do
not bid me go?" he asked again.

"You remember our words one day about insignificant lives?"

"Yes!" he cried eagerly; "and I have been longing ever since
to ask you to explain more fully what interested me so much. I
never could get a chance. I assure you, I have felt to the
bottom of my heart what it is to have one's existence really
worth nothing, to anybody. How may it be better? My life has
to do with nothing but insignificant things."

"But you must define insignificance," I said.

"Is it needful?"

"I think so. What makes things insignificant? Not their being
small, - or common?"

"What then, Miss Randolph?"

"Small things, and common things, are often to the last degree
important, you know, Mr. Marshall."

"Yes; but however small and common, I cannot feel that I am
important, in any degree," he said, half laughing.

"We were talking of lives, and things."

"Yes. Excuse me. Well?"

"I think I see the crowns of two hats, down below, which
belong to some people that we know."

"Is it they?" he exclaimed; - "and I wish they were farther
off. Finish what you were going to say, Miss Daisy! Do not
leave me in ignorance now, after bringing me so far."

"I can only tell you what I think," I said.

"And that is precisely what I want to hear," he answered
earnestly.

"You will not agree to it, though, and I do not know that you
will even understand me. Mr. Marshall, I think that nothing is
insignificant which is done for God; and that everything which
is not done for Him, directly or indirectly, is insignificant
or worse."

"I do _not_ understand -" he said thoughtfully. "In what sense
can a thing be 'done for God?' Unless it is building a church
or founding a hospital."

"Very few churches have been built for God," I said. "At
least I think so."

"Why, the old monks -" Mr. Marshall began. But just then our
missing companions came up, and he stopped. They had been
lured aside from the way by the sight of some game. We had no
more private talk; but Hugh Marshall was sober and thoughtful
all the rest of the day.

He sought such talks with me now whenever he could; and seemed
to enter into them like a man, with an earnest purpose to know
the truth and to do his work in the world if he could find it.
I grew, in a way, very fond of him. He was gentle, well-bred,
happy-tempered, extremely careful of my welfare and pleasure,
and regardful of my opinions, which I suppose flattered my
vanity; well-read and sensible; and it seemed to me that he
grew more agreeable every day.

The accounts from the seat of war in America were not very
stirring just then; nothing great was done or expected; and
the question of our young men's return to take part in what
was going on, was suffered for a time to fall out of sight.
Meanwhile we left Lucerne and went to Geneva. There was more
society, in a quiet way; and there was a fresh harvest of
pleasure to be reaped by me and for me in the domains of
nature.

CHAPTER XI.

A VICTORY


"Daisy, - you are very happy!" my father said one day when I
was sitting with him. We were looking out upon the lake, which
our windows commanded; but I found papa's look had come back
from the window to me.

"You are very happy!" he said.

"Yes, papa, - pretty happy."

"Pretty happy?" said he, putting his hand under my chin and
turning my face again round to him, and then kissing me.
"Pretty _and_ happy, you mean."

"No, papa," I said laughing; - "I don't mean that."

"It is true, though," said he. "There was a bit of a smile
upon your mouth just now - before I spoke; - what were you
thinking of?"

"Papa, it is so glorious, - the lake and its shores in this
sunlight."

"That was all?"

"No, not quite all, papa."

"I thought not. What was the rest of it, Daisy?"

"Papa, I was thinking with joy, that I belong to the wonderful
One who made all that; and so, that the riches of his power
and glory are in a certain sense mine; - just as everything
good in you is mine, papa."

He folded me in his arms and kissed me again, very fondly.

"There is not much good in me, Daisy."

"Yes, papa, - for me."

"But there is a great deal in you, - for somebody."

"For you, papa."

"Nobody else, Daisy?"

He was holding me close in his arms and looking down into my
face. I believe the colour must have come into my cheeks.

"Ah, I thought so!" he said. "Even so soon, Daisy, you are
leaving me for somebody else."

"Papa!" I exclaimed, hiding my face in his neck, - "I will
never leave you, till you say so."

"Till I say so? I will not be over selfish, my dear child. I
do not mean that."

"Who is it to be, Daisy?" my mother's voice said behind us.

I started up in absolute terror. What had I said? and what did
she mean? I looked at her, speechless.

"Well?" she said laughing, "what is the matter? You need not
turn white about it. Is your father the only one to be in your
confidence? I will withdraw then."

"Stop! - Mamma!" I cried; "what are you saying? There is no
confidence. What are you talking about?"

"I only asked, who it was to be, Daisy? I thought you were
talking of leaving us, and naturally concluded it was to be
with somebody."

"Mamma - oh, mamma, I was speaking only in the abstract."

Mamma laughed. "In the abstract! Well, you will have to come
from generals to particulars, Daisy. Abstractions will not
satisfy anybody long."

I was in great difficulty and great confusion. Papa drew me
into his arms again and kissed my lips and cheeks and eyes, as
if he would have hid my blushes.

"You shall be as abstract as you like," he said; "and as long
as you like. I give you leave."

"That's nonsense, though, Mr. Randolph," said my mother,
standing at the back of his chair. "Daisy cannot live in
abstractions for ever. She must choose, and let her choice be
known; and the sooner the better. Nobody can guess it now. She
has been abstract enough."

I was in the greatest perplexity at this speech, which
conveyed to me no meaning whatever. Let my choice be known?
Did mamma know about Mr. Thorold? I knew she could not; but
then, what did she mean?

"There is no hurry, Felicia," said papa.

"I will not have Daisy marry any but an American, Mr.
Randolph."

"Agreed. There is no present likelihood that she will."

"But when we get to Florence, Mr. Randolph, and she is seen in
the great world, things may not absolutely be within your
control - or mine."

Mamma stood tapping her fingers upon the back of my father's
chair, and I thought her very odd indeed. Her last sentence,
however, had a word that I could answer. I stood up and faced
her.

"Mamma," I said, "I am going to say something that you will
not like."

"Then do not say it, Daisy."

"I would not, if I could help it. But you know, mamma, I am a
servant of God - I have not changed, - and I and the 'great
world' have nothing in common."

"Well? -" said mamma calmly.

"I do not belong to it. I have no place in it."

"No, of course. You are just out of school. A few months more
will change all that."

"No, mamma, - please!"

"Yes, Daisy, - please!" she said, tapping my cheek with her
finger, and then leaning forward to kiss me with smiling lips.
"You do not know what you are talking about, my love. You are
made for the great world, Daisy. There is no danger of turning
your head; so I have no objection to explain to you that you
are magnificent."

"Mamma, what difference can that possibly make?"

They both laughed at me, and mamma said I would soon see.

"But, mamma," I urged, "that world and I have nothing in
common. I should be out of my place in it, and it would find
me something strange."

"It is quite time to have that altered then," she said. "You
may be a nun if you choose afterward; but you shall know what
the great world is, before you give it up; and it shall know
you. You may spend your odd minutes in considering what dress
you will wear for your first appearance, Daisy. Don't ask me
for a white cambric and an apron with pockets."

I stood in much perplexity, not resolved what I ought to say
next. Papa took my hand.

"It is not much, to show yourself," he said kindly. "What is
the difficulty, Daisy?"

"You mean, show myself in a fine dress and in a fine assembly,
papa?"

"I don't care about the dress," he answered.

"Yes, but you do, Mr. Randolph," said my mother. "Daisy would
not wear a print, for instance, to the Grand Duke's ball. Your
complexion, Daisy, will take any sort of colour; but rubies
will look especially well on this skin, and pearls." She
touched my face caressingly as she spoke, pushing back the
hair from my temple and then bringing her hand down to take
hold of my chin. "Little fool!" said she laughing - "does it
dismay you?"

"Yes, mamma, - the thought of crossing your pleasure."

"You shall not do that. Good children always obey their
mothers, I am not going to have you settled down on a
plantation at home, east or west, without at least letting the
world see you first."

"Daisy does not want jewels," said my father. "She is too
young."

"One day she will," said mamma; "and an occasion might make it
proper, even now. I hope so; for I want to see the effect."

Mamma went away, with that; and I sat down again by papa's
side. Not to dream over the sunlight on the lake any more; I
was busy with cloudy realities. "Children, obey your parents
_in the Lord_." Oh, why did duty bid me go contrary to the
pleasure of mine! I would have so gladly pleased them to the
utmost limits of my power. Papa was watching me, though I did
not know it, and presently said very gently, -

"What is it, Daisy?"

"Papa, I want to please you and mamma so much!"

"And cannot you?"

"Not in this, papa."

"Why? Explain to me. I do not understand your position,
Daisy."

"Papa, I am a servant of Christ; and a servant is bound to do
his Master's will."

"But you are begging the question."

"If you will have patience, papa, I will try to tell you how
it is. You know the Lord said, 'If any man serve me, let him
follow me.' You know how He lived and what He lived for.
Should I be following in his footsteps, when I was dressing
and dancing and talking nonsense or nothings and getting so
tired that I could do nothing but sleep all the next day? And
papa, that is not all. It is so difficult, when one is dressed
to look well and others are dressed in like manner, or for the
same object, I mean, - it is very difficult not to wish to
look well, and to wish to look better than other people, and
to be glad if one does; and then comes the desire for
admiration, and a feeling of pride, and perhaps, emulation of
somebody else; and one comes home with one's head filled with
poor thoughts, and the next day one is fit for nothing. And is
that, following Christ? who went about doing good, who sought
not His own, who was separate from sinners. And He said to His
people, 'Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the
world.' "

"Why, Daisy," said my father, passing over the last part of my
speech, "how do you know all this? Have you been out into the
great world already?"

"No, papa; but if the little world has such effects what must
the great one do?"

"Pray, what little world have you seen?"

"The little world of West Point, papa. And something of the
world of Washington."

"_That_ is not much like a European court," said my father. "How
did you like West Point?"

"Very much indeed."

"Did you go to balls there?"

"Oh, no, sir! only little hops, that the cadets have in the
evenings."

"Was Preston there then?"

"He was entering upon his last year at the Academy."

"Had he improved?"

"Papa. - I thought he had _not_."

My father smiled. "Which of these young friends of ours do you
like the best, Daisy?"

"Mr. Marshall and Mr. De Saussure, do you mean?"

"I mean them."

Something in papa's tone made my answer, I was conscious, a
little constrained. I was very sorry, and could not help it.

"Papa - I think - Don't you think, Mr. Marshall has the most
principle?"

"Do you always like people best that are the best, Daisy?"
said papa laughing. "Because, I confess I have a wicked
perverseness to do the other way."

After this conversation I seemed to see several clouds rising
on my horizon in different quarters. I thought it was wisest
not to look at them; but there was one that cast a shadow
always on the spot where I was. It was so long since I had
heard from Mr. Thorold! I had told him he must not write to
me; but at the same time he had said that he would, and that
he would enclose a letter to my father. Neither letter had
come. It was easy to account for; he might not have had a
chance to write; or in the confusions at home, his despatch
might have been detained somewhere; it might reach me after a
long interval, or it might never reach me! There was nothing
strange about it; there was something trying. The hunger of my
heart for one word from him or of him, grew sometimes
rapacious; it was a perpetual fast day with me, and nature
cried out for relief. _That_ cloud cast a shadow always over me
now; only except when now and then a ray from the eternal
sunshine found a rift in the cloud, or shot below it, and for
a moment my feet stood in light. I had letters from the
Sandfords; I had even one from Miss Cardigan; it did me a
great deal of good, but it broke my heart too.

Mamma and I kept off the subject of the great world for a
while; I think my father purposely prolonged our stay at
Geneva, to favour my pleasure; and I hoped something after all
might prevent the discussion of that subject between mamma and
me, at least for the present. So something did.

I came down one afternoon to the green bank behind the house,
where a table stood, and where we took our meals when the
weather was fine. Our three young men were around it and the
air was fragrant with the fumes of their cigars. The cigars of
two of them were tossed away on my appearance. Ransom held his
in abeyance.

"I did not know you were here," I said, "or I should have
scrupled about interrupting anything so pleasant."

"You do not think it pleasant, confess, Miss Randolph," said
De Saussure, drawing near to look over the progress of my
work.

"Do you dislike it, honestly, Miss Randolph?" said Hugh
Marshall.

"I don't dislike sugar-plums," I said.

"Daisy likes nothing that ordinary people like," cried Ransom.
"I pity the man that will marry you, Daisy! He will live
within a hedge-row of restrictions. You have lived among
Puritans till you're blue."

I lifted my eyes to Ransom without speaking. What there was in
my look, I do not know; but they all laughed.

"What connection is there between cigars and sugar-plums?"
Hugh Marshall asked next.

"None, I suppose," I said. "Only, - what would you think of a
lady who sat down regularly to eat sugar-plums three or four
times a day and the last thing before going to bed? and who
evidently could not live without them."

"But why not take a sugar-plum, or a cigar, as well as other
things - wine, or fruit, for instance?" said Marshall.

"It is an indulgence - but we all allow ourselves indulgences
of one sort or another."

"Besides, with a lady it is different," said De Saussure. "We
poor fellows have nothing better to do, half the time."

I had no wish to lecture Mr. De Saussure, but I could not help
looking at him, which again seemed to rouse their amusement.

"You seem to say, that is an insignificant way of life," Hugh
Marshall added.

"We'll try for something better to-morrow," said De Saussure.
"We have laid a plan to go to see the lake of Annecy, Miss
Randolph, if we can secure your company and approbation. It
will just take the day; and I propose that each one of us
shall go prepared to instruct the others, at luncheon, as to
his or her views of the worthiest thing a man can do with his
life; - cigars being banished."

"Cigars are not banished yet," said Ransom, taking delicate
whiffs of his own, which sent a fragrant wreath of blue smoke
curling about his face.

"What do you say, Miss Randolph?" Hugh asked.

"Wouldn't you like to see the house of Eugene Sue?" said De
Saussure.

"Who was Eugene Sue?" was my counter question; and they
laughed again, our two friends with sparkling eyes.

"Look here, Daisy!" said Ransom, suddenly bringing down his
chair on four feet and sitting upright, - "I wish you would
put an end to this indulgence of sight-seeing and your
society, and send these gentlemen home with me. I must go, and
they ought to go too and do their duty. A word from you would
send either of them straight to Beauregard's headquarters.
Talk of indulgences!"

"I do not wish to send either of them there," was my
incautious answer.

"Do you think it is always wrong to fight?" De Saussure asked.

I said no, with an internal shiver running through me from
head to foot. They went into a mutual gratulation on the
causes for fighting that existed on the part of the Southern
States, and the certainty that the warlike spirit of the North
would "die off like a big fungus," as one of them phrased it.
I could not discuss the point with them, and I got away as
soon as it could gracefully be done.

But something in this little talk, or in what went before it,
had unsettled me; and I slept little that night. Anxieties
which had lain pretty still, and pain which had been rather
quiet, rose up together and shook me. My Bible reading had
given me a word which for a time helped the confusion. "No man
that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life,
that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

Not to be entangled with the affairs of this life! - and my
heart and soul were in a whirl of them; I might say, in a
snarl. And true the words were. How could I please Him who had
chosen me to be a soldier, with my heart set on my own
pleasure, and busy with my own fears? I knew I could not. The
quiet subjection of spirit with which I left Washington, I had
in a measure lost at Lucerne. Somehow, opposition had roused
me; and the great distance and the impossibility of hearing
had made my imagination restless; and the near probability
that mamma would not favour our wishes had caused me to take a
sort of life and death grasp of them. The management of
myself, that I had resigned, I found I had not resigned it;
but my heart was stretching out yearning hands to Thorold and
crying for a sight of him. Meanwhile, the particular work that
I had to do in Switzerland had been little thought of. What
was it?

I spent that night waking. My room looked not to the lake, but
over an extent of greensward and orchards, lit up now by a
bright moon. I knelt at my window, with a strong recollection
of former times, and a vain look back at my little old self,
the childish Daisy, whose window at Melbourne, over the
honeysuckles, had been so well used and had entertained such a
quiet little heart. Then there had been Miss Pinshon's Daisy;
but all the Daisies that I could remember had been quiet
compared to this one. Must joy take such close hold on sorrow?
Must hopes always be twin with such fears? - I asked amid
bitter tears. But tears do one good; and after a little
indulgence of them, I brought myself up to look at my duty.
What was it?

I might love, and fear, and hope; but I must not be
"entangled." Not so concerned about myself, either for sorrow
or joy, that I should fail in anything to discern the Lord's
will, or be unready, or be slow, to do it. Not so but that my
heart should be free, looking to God for its chief strength
and joy always and everywhere, - yes, and holding my hopes at
his hand, to be given up if he called them back. With Thorold
parted from me, in the thick of the war struggle, almost
certain to be rejected by both my father and my mother, could
I have and keep such a disentangled heart? The command said
yes, and I knew there were promises that said yes too; but for
a time I was strangely unwilling. I had a sort of
superstitious feeling, that the giving up of my will about
these things, and of my will's hold of them, would be a
preliminary to their being taken away from me in good earnest.
And I trembled and wept and shrank, like the coward I was.

"And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not
crowned, except he strive lawfully."

"God's way is the way," I said to myself, - "and there is no
other. I know, in what I said to mamma that afternoon about
dressing and going into the world, it was not all principle.
There was a mixture of selfish disinclination to go into
society, because of Mr. Thorold and my feeling about him. My
thoughts and will are all in a tangle; and they must be
disentangled."

The struggle was long and sore that night. Worse than in
Washington; because here I was alone among those who did not
favour Mr. Thorold, and were opposed in everything to his and
my views and wishes. Temptation said, that it was forsaking
their cause, to give up my will about them. But there is no
temptation that takes us and God has not provided a way of
escape. The struggle was sharp; but when the dawn broke over
the orchards and replaced the glory of the moonlight, my heart
was quiet again. I was bent, before all things, upon doing the
will of God; and had given up myself and all my hopes entirely
to His disposal. They were not less dear hopes for that,
though now the rest of my heart was on something better; on
something which by no change or contingency can disappoint or
fail. I was disentangled. I stood free. And I was happier than
I had been in many a long day. "The peace of God." If people
could only possibly know what that means!

CHAPTER XII.

AN ENGAGEMENT


The expedition to Annecy had been determined on, and papa and
mamma were to go. I went in a carriage with them, while the
others were on horseback; so I had a nice quiet time, which
suited me; a time of curious secret enjoyment. It seemed as if
a gratulation came to me from every blade of grass and every
ray of sunlight; because I was a servant of God, and as wholly
given up to do His will as they were. There was communion
between them and me. Of those "ministers of His, that do His
pleasure," I would be one; to do what He had for me to do in
the world, should be my care and joy at once; and the care of
myself - I left it to Him. One goes light when one does not
carry that burden.

"Daisy, you are dreadfully sober," said mamma.

"Not _dreadfully_, mamma, I hope," I said with a smile.

"You are pale too," she went on. "Mr. Randolph, Daisy thinks
too much."

"It is an old weakness of hers," said papa. "I am afraid it is
beyond our reach, Felicia."

"I will break it up for to-day," said mamma as the carriage
stopped and Mr. De Saussure came to the steps. "Charles, Daisy
has got into a brown study. I give her to you in charge, not
to allow anything of the sort again till we get home. And
order luncheon at once, will you. I can't go walking or sight-
seeing without that."

Mr. de Saussure gave me his arm and took me with him, as he
said, to help about the luncheon. It was soon spread out of
doors, beneath the shade of some large trees, and we gathered
round it in holiday mood. Bread was sweet, with that page of
beauty spread out before my eyes all the time; - for between
the boles of the trees and under their hanging branches I
could see the glittering waters of the lake and a bit of its
distant shore. I did not go into a brown study, however, not
wishing to give occasion to Mr. De Saussure's good offices. I
thought he had quite enough enjoyed his charge during the
business before luncheon. To my disappointment, after the meal
papa declared himself tired and went to lie down.

"We have forgotten our agreement," said Mr. De Saussure. "At
luncheon, we were all to tell, Mrs. Randolph, what we think
the worthiest thing to live for."

"Were we?" said mamma. "That sounds like one of Daisy's
problems."

"It is not hers, however," he rejoined; "any further than that
I am mainly curious to know what she will say about it."

"You ought to be equally anxious about my opinion, it seems to
me," mamma said.

"Do I not know it already? Pour la patrie, - does anything go
before that in your mind? Honestly, Mrs. Randolph, - is it not
in your opinion the worthiest thing anybody can do, to fight,
or to die - still better, - for the independence of the
South?"

"You do not think so," said mamma, "or you would be there."

"I am selfish, and have selfish hopes and fears. But you think
so?"

"Let us hear what you consider the worthiest object of life,"
said mamma.

"It is not my turn. Miss Randolph, your mother has spoken -
the next honour belongs to you."

"The worthiest object of life?" I said. "Is that the
question?"

"It will not be a question, when you have answered it," De
Saussure said gallantly.

"You will not like my answer," I said. "I should think it
would be, To please God."

"But that is not an answer, pardon me. Of course, the Supreme
Being is pleased to see people following the worthiest object;
and the question is, What is the _worthiest?_"

I did not like to hear Mr. De Saussure's tongue touch themes
where it was not at home. The conversation was too serious for
light handling; but I could not get out of it.

"You will find that my answer includes all," I said. "It is
impossible to lay down a rule, as to particulars, that will
fit all cases. It is the best thing one man can do, to lay
down his life for his country; the best thing another man can
do is to stay at home and devote himself to the care of an
infirm mother or father; but in either case, for God."

"I do not understand -" said Mr. Marshall.

"Suppose the one goes to the battlefield for his own glory,
and the other stays at home for his own ease?"

"Don't you think glory is a thing to live for?" said Ransom,
with an indignant expression that reminded me painfully of our
childish days.

"Yes," I said slowly, - "I do; but not the praise of men,
which is so often mistaken. The glory that comes from God, -
_that_ is worth living for."

"What an incomprehensible girl you are!" Ransom answered
impatiently.

"She'll mend -" said mamma.

"But, Miss Randolph," said Mr. Marshall, "the care of infirm
relatives, a father or a mother, can anything make that
unworthy?"

"Not in itself," I said; "but suppose a man's duty calls him
away? It might. You can suppose such a case."

"I see what I have to expect," mamma said with a laugh. "Daisy
will take care of me, until some duty calls her away. I will
not count upon you, Daisy, any longer than that. De Saussure,
what is _your_ estimate of life's objects? On honour, now!"

"I can think of nothing better than to live for somebody that
one loves," he said.

"I knew you would say that," she rejoined. "Hugh, what do you
say?"

"I need to go to school, Mrs. Randolph."

"Well, go to school to Daisy," said mamma with another light
laugh. "And come, let us walk, or we shall not have time.
EugŠne Sue, is it, that we are going to see?"

"Only his house, madam. Miss Randolph, I am charged, you know,
with your studies to-day."

I was not in the mood of accepting Mr. De Saussure's arm, but
just then it was the only thing to do. My mother and Ransom
and Hugh Marshall were presently some little distance behind,
an interval separating us; and Mr. De Saussure and I followed
the shores of the lake, taking such counsel together as our
somewhat diverse moods made possible. I was thinking, what a
life of hard work the two prophets Elijah must have known in
their time; he who was first of the name, and his greater
successor, John the Baptist. Each of them worked alone,
against a universal tide of adverse evil that flooded the
land. If I found it so sorrowful to be alone in my family and
society, what must they have felt with the whole world against
them. And Elijah's spirit did once give out, brave as he was:
"It is enough, O Lord; take away my life." I thought I could
understand it. To be all alone; to have no sympathy in what is
dearest to you; to face opposition and scorn and ridicule and
contumely while trying to do people good and bring them to
good; to have only God on your side, with the bitter
consciousness that those whom you love best are arrayed
against him; your family and country; - I suppose nobody can
tell how hard that is to endure, but he who has tasted it. My
taste of it was light indeed; but a half hour with Miss
Cardigan would have been inexpressibly good to me that day. So
I thought, as I walked along the bank of the lake with Mr. De
Saussure; and then I remembered "my hiding-place and my
shield."

"You are very silent to-day, Miss Randolph," said my companion
at length. I may remark, in passing, that _he_ had not been.

"It is enough to look, and to think," I answered, "with such a
sight before one's eyes."

"Do you know," said he, "such independence of all the exterior
world, - of mortals, I mean, - is very tantalising to those
disregarded mortals?"

"Do you find it so? It is fair then to presume, in a place
like this, that what takes up my attention has not so much
charm for you."

"That is severe!" he said. "Do you think I do not see all this
beauty before us? But pardon me, - have _you_ seen it?"

"I have tasted it every step of the way, Mr. De Saussure."

"I am rebuked," he said. "You must excuse me - I had counted
upon the pleasure of seeing you enjoy it."

"One's enjoyment is not always heightened by giving it
expression," I said.

"No, I know that is your theory - or practice," he said. "My
sisters are always so vehement in their praises of anything
they like, that nobody else has a chance to know whether he
likes it or not. I generally incline to the _not_."

I added no remark upon Mr. De Saussure's or his sisters'
peculiar way of enjoying themselves.

"But you _are_ uncommonly silent," he went on presently; -
"_triste_, _rêveuse_. It is impossible not to suffer from it, - in
one who values your words as much as I do."

"Why, I thought you were apt to look upon things from a
different point of view, - not from mine," I said.

"I must be wrong then - always. Miss Randolph, you are of a
gentle and kind disposition, - I wish you would be my Mentor!"

"I am not old enough to be Mentor," I said.

"To be mine! Yes, you are," he rejoined eagerly. "I would not
have you a day older."

"I shall be that to-morrow," I said, laughing.

"But if you were mine," he said, changing his tone, "every day
would only add to your power and your qualifications for doing
me good. And I know that is what you love."

"I cannot see that I have done you the least good, so far, Mr.
De Saussure," I said, amused. "I think you must be mistaken."

"Will you try, Daisy?" he said insinuatingly, and stopping
short in our walk.

"Try what, Mr. De Saussure?" I said, beginning to be
bewildered.

"Surely you know! You are a little cruel. But you have the
right. Be my Mentor - be my darling - promise to be, one of
these days, my wife."

I dropped my arm from Mr. De Saussure's and stood in a maze, I
might say with truth, frightened. Up to that minute, no
suspicion of his purpose or mind regarding me had entered my
thoughts. I suppose I was more blind than I ought to have
been; and the truth was, that in the utter preoccupation of my
own heart, the idea that I could like anybody else but Mr.
Thorold, or that anybody else could like me, had been simply
out of sight. I knew myself so thoroughly beyond anybody's
reach, the prior possession of the ground was so perfect and
settled a thing, that I did not remember it was a fact hidden
from other eyes but mine. And I had gone on in my supposed
walled-in safety; - and here was somebody presuming within the
walls, who might allege that I had left the gate open.
However, to do Mr. De Saussure justice, I never doubted for a
moment that his heart might be in any danger of breaking if I
thrust him out. But for all that, I lost my breath in the
first minute of discovery of what I had been doing.

"You hesitate," said he. "You shall command me, Daisy. I will
go instantly, hard as it would be, and give all my power to
furthering the war at home; - or, if you bid me, I will keep
out of it, which would be harder still, were you not here
instead of there. Speak, won't you, -a good word for me?"

"You must do nothing at my command, Mr. de Saussure," I said.
"I have known you only as mamma's and my brother's friend; - I
never thought you had any other feeling; and I had no other
towards you."

"Mrs. Randolph _is_ my friend," he said eagerly. "She does me
the honour to wish well to my suit. She looks at it, not with
my eyes, but with the eyes of prudence; and she sees the
advantages that such an arrangement would secure. I believe
she looks at it with patriotic eyes too. You know my estates
are nearly adjoining to yours. I may say too, that our
families are worthy one of another. But there, I am very
conscious, my worthiness ends. I am not personally deserving
of your regard - I can only promise under your guidance to
become so."

A light broke upon me.

"Mr. De Saussure" - I began; but he said hastily, "Let us go
on - they are coming near us;" and I took his offered arm
again, not wishing more than he to have spectators or hearers
of our talk; and now that the talk was begun, I wished to end
it.

"Mr. de Saussure," I said, "you are under a serious mistake.
You speak of my estates; I must inform you that I shall never,
under any circumstances, be an heiress. Whoever marries me -
if I ever marry - will marry a poor girl."

"Pardon me -" he began.

"Yes," said I interrupting him; - "I know of what I speak."

"What can you mean, Miss Randolph?"

"I assure you, I mean exactly what I say. Pray take it so."

"But I do not understand you."

"Understand this, - that I shall be a penniless woman; or
something very like it. I am making no jest. I am no heiress -
as people think."

"But you confound me, Miss Randolph," he said, looking both
curious and incredulous. "May I ask, what can be the
explanation of your words? I know your Magnolia property - and
it is, I assure you, a very noble one, and unencumbered.
Nothing can hinder you from inheriting it - at some, we hope,
of course, very distant day."

"Nevertheless," I said, "if I live to see that day, I shall be
very poor, Mr. De Saussure."

"You will condescend to explain so extraordinary a statement?"

"Is not my word sufficient?"

"Pardon me, a thousand times; but you must see that I am in a
difficulty. Against your word I have the word of two others -
your mother and your brother, who both assure me of the
contrary. May it not be, that they know best?"

"No, Mr. De Saussure; for the fact depends on something out of
their knowledge."

"It is out of my knowledge too," he said.

I hesitated a little, and then said, -

"I will explain myself, Mr. De Saussure, trusting to your
honour to keep silence about it. I am a friend of the coloured
people."

"Oh! - So are we all," he said.

"And I will never be rich at their expense."

"By their means, is not necessarily at their expense," he said
gently.

"It is at their expense," I repeated. "I do not choose to be
rich so. And the religion I live by, forbids me to do to
others as I would not like they should do to me."

"I am sure, by that rule, your dependants at Magnolia would
implore you not to give them over to other hands. They will
never have so kind a mistress. Don't you see?" he said with
the same insinuating gentleness.

"I shall give them over to no other hands. I would make them
as free as myself."

"Make them free!"

"That is what I would do."

"You cannot mean it," he said.

"You see, Mr. De Saussure, that I shall be very poor."

"You are playing with me."

"I am very serious."

"It is rank Northern madness!" he said to himself. "And it is
Mrs. Randolph's daughter. The thing is impossible."

"It _is_ Mrs. Randolph's daughter," I said, withdrawing my hand
from his arm. "I pray you not to forget it."

"Pray, forgive me!" he said eagerly. "I was bewildered, and am
yet. I did not know where I was. It seems to me I cannot have
heard you aright."

"Quite right, Mr. De Saussure."

"But just reflect!" he said. "These creatures, whose cause you
are advocating, they are but half human; they cannot take care
of themselves; their very happiness is identified with their
present position."

"It is not the view they take of it."

"They are incapable of forming any judgment on the matter."

"At least they know what _they_ mean by happiness," I said; "and
in their mouths it is not a synonym with slavery. And if your
words are true, Mr. De Saussure, in the case of some of those
poor people, - and I know they are, - it is one of the worst
things that can be said of the system. If some of them are
brought so low as to be content with being slaves, we have
robbed them of their humanity."

"It is absolutely Northern radicalism!" said Mr. De Saussure
to himself.

"No," I said, - "it is Christian justice and mercy."

"You will allow me to represent to you, without any
presumption, that there are very many Christians, both at the
South and North, who do not look at the matter with your
eyes."

"I suppose they have never really seen it," I answered sadly.
"People that have always lived close to something, often do
not know what it is. My father has never seen it - nor, my
mother. _I_ have."

"They would not agree with you; your views would not harmonise
with theirs."

"And therefore I trust to your honour to keep silence
respecting mine."

"I am bound," he answered gloomily; and we walked a few
minutes in silence.

"You will change your manner of thinking, Miss Randolph," he
began again. "Yours is the vision of inexperienced eyes and of
impulsive generosity. It will not remain what it is."

"Inexperienced eyes see the clearest," I answered. "The habit
of wrong is no help towards judging of the right."

"You will think differently by and by."

"Not while I am a servant of God and He commands me to break
every yoke, to do as I would be done by, to look not on my own
things, but also on the things of others. We owe our poor
people not liberty only, but education, and every advantage
for restored civilisation; - a great long debt."

"And is this the reason why you will not look favourably on my
suit?" he said after another interval.

"It is a reason why you will not wish to prosecute it, Mr. De
Saussure."

"You are very severe!" he said. "Do you really think that?"

"You know it is true. I do not wish to be severe."

"Have you then no kindness for me?"

"Why do you ask?"

"You are so dreadfully calm and cool!" he said. "One has no
chance with you. If this matter were not in the way, would you
have any kindness for me, Daisy? Is this all that separates
us?"

"It is quite enough, Mr. De Saussure. It is as powerful with
you as with me."

"I am too late, I suppose!" he said, as it seemed to me,
rather spitefully. As he was too late, it was no use to tell
him he could never have been early enough. I was silent; and
we walked on unenjoyingly. Vexation was working in his
countenance, and a trace of that same spite; I was glad when
we came to the end of our way and the other members of our
party closed up and joined us.

As I cared nothing for the house they had come to see, I
excused myself from going any nearer, and sat down upon the
bank at a little distance while they gratified their
curiosity. The view of the lake and lake shores here was very
lovely; enough to satisfy any one for a long while; but now,
my thoughts only rested there for a minute, to make a spring
clear across the Atlantic. Mr. Thorold was very close to me,
and I was very far from him; that was the burden of my heart.
So close to me he had been, that I had never dreamed any one
could think of taking his place. I saw I had been a simpleton.
Up to that day I had no suspicion that Mr. De Saussure liked
me more than would be convenient; and indeed I had no fear now
of his heart being broken; but I saw that his unlucky suit
made a complication in my affairs that they certainly did not
need. - Mamma approved it; yes, I had no doubt of that. I knew
of a plantation of his, Briery Bank, only a few miles distant
from Magnolia and reputed to be very rich in its incomings.
And, no doubt Mr. De Saussure would have liked the
neighbourhood of Magnolia, and to add its harvest to his own.
And all the while I belonged to Mr. Thorold, and nobody else
could have me. My thoughts came back to that refrain with a
strong sense of pain and gladness. However, the gladness was
the strongest. How lovely the lake was, with its sunlit hills!

In the midst of my musings, Hugh Marshall came and threw
himself on the ground at my side. I welcomed him with a smile;
for I liked him; he was a friend; and I thought, - This one
does not want me at any rate. I was a great simpleton, I
suppose.

"I was afraid you had deserted me to-day," he said.

"I am sure, it is I who might rather have thought that of
you," I answered; and indeed I had wished for his company more
than once.

"You could not have thought it!" he said.

"Have you satisfied your curiosity with Eugene Sue's house?"

"I do not care to look at anything that you don't like," he
replied.

"Cigars? -" I suggested.

"No indeed. If you disapprove of them, I shall have no more
fellowship with them."

"That is going quite too far, Mr. Marshall. A man should never
give up anything that he does not disapprove of himself."

"Not to please somebody he wishes to please?"

"Of course," I said, thinking of Mr. Thorold, - "there might
be such cases. But in general."

"This is one of the cases. I wish to please you."

"Thank you," I said earnestly. "But indeed, I should be more
pleased to have you follow your own sense of right than any
notion of another, even of myself."

"You are not like any other woman I ever saw," he said
smiling. "Do you know, they all have a passion for command?
There are De Saussure's mother and sisters, - they do not
leave him a moment's peace, because he is not at home
fighting."

I was silent, and hoped that Mr. De Saussure's friends might
now perhaps get him away from Geneva at least.

"You think with them, that he ought to go?" Hugh Marshall said
presently with a shadow, I thought, on his words.

"I would not add one more to the war," I answered.

"Your mother does not think so."

"No."

"Mrs. Randolph has almost signified to me that her favour will
depend on my taking such a course, and doing all I can to help
on the Confederacy."

"Yes, I know," I said rather sadly; "mamma feels very strongly
about it."

"You do not?"

"Yes, Mr. Marshall, I do; but it is in a different way."

"I wish you would explain," he said earnestly.

"But I do not like to set myself in opposition to mamma; and
you ought to do what you yourself think right, Mr. Marshall;
not what either of us thinks."

"What do _you_ think is right?" he repeated eagerly.

"My thoughts do not make or unmake anything."

"They make - they will make, if you will let them - the rule
of my life," he answered. "I have no dearer wish."

I was struck with dismay.

"Please do not say that!" I said trembling. "My thoughts
should rule only my own life; not anybody, else's."

"One more!" said Hugh Marshall. "They must rule one more.
There will be one, somewhere, whose highest pleasure will be
to please you, as long as he has a life to give to it. - Will
you take mine?" he said after a pause and in a lower tone. "I
offer it to you undividedly."

It cannot be told, the sickness of heart which came over me.
The mistake I had made in my blindness, the sorrowfulness of
it, the pain I must give, the mischief it might do, I saw it
all at once. For a while, I could not find words to speak.
Hugh studied my face, and must have seen no ground of hope
there, for he did not speak either. He was quite silent and
left it to me. Oh, Lake of Annecy! what pain comes to me now
with the remembrance of your sweet waters.

I turned at last and laid my hand upon Hugh's arm. He did not
mistake me; he took my hand in his, and stood looking at me
with a face as grave as my own.

"What is the matter, Daisy?" he said sorrowfully.

"I have made a miserable mistake!" I said. "Cannot we be
friends, Mr. Marshall? - dear friends, and nothing more?"

"Why 'nothing more'?"

"I can be no more to you," I answered.

"Why not?"

"I have not the feeling. I have not the power. I would, if I
could."

"It is I who have made a mistake," he said, as he dropped my
hand.

"No, it is I," I said bitterly. "I have been childishly wrong.
I have been foolish. It never entered my thought, that you -
or anybody - liked me, except as a friend."

"And he got your heart without your knowing it?"

"Who?" said I, frightened.

"De Saussure, of course."

"De Saussure! No indeed. I would a thousand times rather give
it to you, Hugh. But, I cannot."

"Then it will come," said he, taking my hand again; "if you
can say that, it will come. I will wait."

"No, it will not come," I said, as we looked one another in
the face. "I can be only a friend. May I not be that?"

He eyed me keenly, I saw, and my eyes for a moment fell. He
let go my hand again.

"Then, I understand," - he said. "Shall we go? I believe it is
time."

"Where is mamma?" I asked, looking about in some bewilderment
now.

"Mrs. Randolph and the rest have gone on; they are some
distance ahead of us by this time."

And what were they all thinking too, by this time! In great
dismay I turned to go after them with my unwelcome companion.
We walked in silence; I blaming myself greatly for stupidness
and blindness and selfish preoccupation, which had made me
look at nobody's affairs but my own; and grieving sadly too
for the mischief I had done.

"Mayn't we be friends, Mr. Marshall?" I said somewhat timidly
at last; for I could not bear the silence.

"I can never be anything else," he said. "You may always
command me. But I have not misunderstood you, Daisy? You meant
to tell me that - _some one_ has been more fortunate than I, and
been beforehand with me ?"

"I did not mean to tell you that," I said in a good deal of
confusion.

"But it is true ?" he said, looking searchingly at me.

"Nobody knows it, Hugh," I said. "Not my mother nor my
father."

The silence fell again and again became painful. The others of
our party were well in advance. - We caught no glimpse of them
yet.

"We will be friends, Mr. Marshall?" - I said anxiously.

"Yes, we will be friends, Daisy; but I cannot be a friend near
you. I cannot see you any longer. I shall be a wreck now, I
suppose. You might have made me - anything !"

"You will make yourself a noble name and place in the world,"
I said, laying my hand on his arm. "The name and the place of
a servant of God. Won't you, Hugh? Then you will come to true
joy, and honour - the joy and honour that God gives. Let me
have the joy of knowing that! I have done so much mischief, -
let me know that the mischief is mended."

"What mischief have you done?" he asked, with his voice
roughened by feeling.

"I did not know what I was leading you - and others - into."

"You led to nothing; except as the breath of a rose leads one
to stretch out one's hand for it," he answered. "The rose has
as much design!"

He turned aside hastily, stooped for a little twig that lay on
the roadside, and began assiduously breaking it up. And the
silence was not interrupted again, till we came in sight of
our friends in advance of us, leisurely walking to let us come
up. Then Hugh and I plunged into conversation; but what it was
about I have not the least remembrance. It lasted though, till
we joined company with the rest of our party, and the talk
became general. Still I do not know what we talked about. I
had a feeling of thunder in the air, though the very stillness
of sunlight beauty was on the smooth water and the hilly
shore; and I saw clouds rising and gathering, even though Mont
Blanc as we returned that evening showed rosy hues to its very
summit in the clear heaven. I can hardly tell how, my mother's
manner or something in it, made me sure both of the clouds and
the thunder. It was full of grace, tact and spirit, to such a
point of admiration. Yet I read in it, yes, and in that very
grace and spirit, a certain state of the nervous powers which
told of excitement at work, or a fund of determination
gathering; the electric forces massing somewhere; and this
luminous play only foretold the lightning.

CHAPTER XIII.

A TRUCE


It is odd with what significance little things become endued,
from their connection with other things which are not little.
I remember the white dress mamma wore the next day, and the
red cashmere scarf she had wrapped round her. I remember how
happy and easy the folds of her drapery were, and how I
noticed her graceful slow movements, Surely grace is a natural
attribute of power, even though power be not always graceful;
at least any uncertainty of meaning or manner is fatal to
gracefulness. There was no uncertainty about mamma ever,
unless the uncertainty of carelessness; and that itself
belonged to power. There was no uncertainty in any fold of her
cashmere that morning; in any movement of her person, slow and
reposeful as every movement was. I knew by a sort of instinct
what it all meant. Indeed these were mamma's ordinary
characteristics; only appearing just now with the bloom of
perfection upon them. She was powerful and she knew it; I knew
myself naturally no match for her. It was always very hard for
me to withstand mamma. Nothing but the sense of right ever
gave me courage to do it. But striving for the right, the
Christian is not at his own charges, and has other strength
than his own to depend upon.

"You do not eat, my darling," papa said to me.

"Daisy has too much to think of," said mamma with a sort of
careless significance. "I will have another bit of chicken,
if you please, Mr. Randolph."

"What is she thinking of?"

"Girls' thoughts are unfathomable," said mamma.

"_Is_ it thoughts, Daisy?" said my father.

"I suppose it may be, papa."

"Then I shall do something to break up thinking," he said.

But I knew I must not look for help so. To appeal to one of my
parents against the other, was what it would never answer to
do, even if I could have done it. I felt alone; but I was as
quiet as mamma. I had not so good an appetite.

In the course of the morning she had me up stairs to consider
the matter of dresses and fashions; and we were turning over a
quantity of laces and jewels. Mamma tried one and another set
of stones upon me and in my hair.

"Rubies and pearls are your style," she said at length.
"Diamonds are out of harmony, somehow. You are magnificent,
Daisy; and pearls make you look like the Queen of Sheba. I
cannot imagine why diamonds do hot suit you."

"I do not suit them, mamma."

"Pardon me. You do not know yourself. But girls of your age
never do. That is where mothers are useful, I suppose. Which
is it to be, Daisy?"

"I do not want either, mamma."

"Yes; that is of course too. But which do you like best, of
the two? I suppose you have some preference."

"Mamma, I think I prefer the pearls, but you know -"

Mamma stopped my mouth with a kiss. "Little goose!" she said,
- "I am not talking of pearls. Did I not say what I was
thinking of? I supposed we both had the same thought, Daisy,
and that you would understand me."

"I thought it was pearls and rubies, mamma."

"Well, now you know it is not; and again I come back to my
question, - Which is it to be?"

"Which - of what, mamma?"

"Nonsense, Daisy; - you know."

"I know nothing of any choice that I have to make, ma'am, if
you do not mean about jewels; and of them, as I said, I should
prefer neither."

"You may choose and refuse among jewels," said my mother, -
"and refuse and choose; but among some other things it is
necessary to make a choice and stick to it."

"Yes, mamma; but I am not in such a necessity."

"What choice have you made, then? It is the same thing, Daisy;
only I want to know. Do you not think it is reasonable that I
should know?"

"Please explain yourself, mamma."

"Hugh Marshall, then, and Charles De Saussure. What is your
mind about them?"

"I like them, mamma, as your friends and as mine, - very well,
- but no more."

"Only very well."

"No more, mamma."

"Very well, is a good deal," said mamma coolly. "Which of them
must I like a little more than very well, Daisy?"

"Mamma? -"

"Whoever owns and possesses you, I should wish to like very
much. Which is it to be, Daisy?"

"Neither of these gentlemen, mamma."

"Did De Saussure propose to you yesterday?"

"Yes."

"What did you say to him?"

"I made him understand that he was nothing to me."

"He is something to me," said mamma. "He is one of the first
young men I know, and has one of the finest estates - close by
yours, Daisy."

"Estates are nothing in such a matter, mamma."

"That is like saying that pearls and rubies are nothing on
such a skin as yours," said mamma laughing. "But you may think
of the men, Daisy, and I will think of the estates; that is
all _en règle_."

"I do not wish to think of these men, mamma."

"It is late in the day to say that. You must have thought of
them both, Daisy, and long ago."

"It never entered my head till yesterday, mamma, that either
of them liked me."

"You must have seen it for weeks past."

"I did not, mamma, - I never thought of such a thing as
possible, till yesterday."

"Is it a possible thing," said mamma, "that a daughter of mine
can be such a simpleton? It is time you were married, Daisy,
if you can break hearts like that, without knowing it."

"Better be a simpleton than wicked," I said.

"And that comes to the point," said mamma. "You have most
unaccountably encouraged the addresses of these gentlemen -
and seeing that you did, so have I; - now, to clear both
yourself and me, let your preference be made known. It need
not take you long to make your mind up, I suppose."

"I am very sorry, mamma. I have done wrong; I have been very
foolish; but I cannot do worse. I do not like either of these
gentlemen well enough for what you mean."

"If you have done wrong, you can mend it," said mamma. "Liking
will come fast enough, Daisy; a girl like you does not think
she can like anybody but her father and mother; she finds out
her mistake in time. So will you. I will decide for you, if
you have no choice. Charles De Saussure is my friend, and I
think he is most of a man of the two. I will tell Charles that
you will make him happy by and by."

"No, mamma, I will not. Do not tell him so."

"Do you like Hugh Marshall better?"

"I do not like either of them in the way you mean."

"Do you like Hugh better? Answer me."

"Mamma -"

"No, answer me. A plain answer. Do you like Hugh better?"

"A great deal better; but -"

"That settles it," said mamma. "You shall be Hugh Marshall's
wife. Don't tell me a word against it, Daisy, for I will not
hear you. I do not like Marshall as well, myself, but his
property is even larger, I believe; and as I am not in love, I
may be allowed to think of such things. It is away over on the
Mississippi; but we cannot help that. I will make Hugh happy
to-day, and then - you shall, Daisy."

"No, mamma, - never. It cannot be."

"It must, Daisy. You have compromised yourself, and me. You
have allowed these gentlemen's attentions; you have been seen
everywhere with them; you owe it to yourself and them to
declare your choice of one of them now. You must make up your
mind to it. If you are not in love, it cannot be helped; that
will come in time; but I think you are. Hey, Daisy?" she said,
lifting my chin with her forefinger and looking into my face,
- "isn't it true? Isn't it true? Ah, silly thing! - Eyes that
are wells of sweetness for somebody - for all down they go, -
a mouth that has smiles enough for somebody, - though it
trembles, - and what does this rose leaf mean, that is
stealing over every one of your two cheeks? it is a witness to
somebody, who has brought it there. Go - I know all about it.
You may make your confession to Hugh, if you like it best."

I thought mamma would have broken my heart. I rose up in
despair.

"To-day, Daisy," mamma repeated. "It must be done to-day."

What could I say? I did not know.

"Mamma, it is not as you think. I do not care for Hugh
Marshall."

"Is it De Saussure, then?" she asked, turning quickly upon me.

"No, mamma."

"Is it Preston Gary?" she asked, with a change in her voice.

"No, Oh, no, mamma!"

"Then it is one of these. Daisy, I protest I have not skill
enough to find out _which_ of them; but you know, and that is
sufficient. And they must know too; there can be no more of
this three-cornered game. It is time to put an end to it. I
have read you, if you have not read yourself; and now, my
child, you must be content to let the rose blossom, that you
keep so carefully folded up in its green leaves. One of these
gentlemen will leave us presently; and the other, whichever it
is, I shall consider and treat as your acknowledged suitor;
and so _must you, Daisy_. He will be going home to the war, he
too, in a short time more; and he must go with the distinct
understanding that when the war is over, you will reward him
as he wants to be rewarded. Not; till then, child. You will
have time enough to think about it."

My mother had shut my lips. I was afraid to say anything good
or bad. She had read me; yes, I felt that she had, when she
looked into my face and touched my cheeks and kissed my lips,
which I knew well enough were trembling, as she had said. She
had read me, all but the name in my heart. What if she had
read that? The least movement now on my part might bring it to
the light; what if it came? I did not know what then, and I
was greatly afraid. An old awe of my mother and sense of her
power, as well as knowledge of her invincible determination,
filled me with doubt and fear. She might write to Mr. Thorold
at once and forbid him ever to think of me; she might send him
word that I was engaged to Mr. De Saussure. And indeed I might
also possibly clear my own action to Mr. Thorold; but change
hers, never. My faith failed, I believe. I was like Abraham
when he went into Egypt and feared somebody would kill him to
get possession of his wife. I did not, like him, resort to a
fiction for my safety; but neither did I trust God and dare
tell the truth.

My own will was as good as mamma's. I was not afraid of weakly
yielding some time or other; I was only afraid of her outside
measures.

She resumed her occupation of trying laces and jewels on me;
finally laughed, chucked me under the chin, kissed me, called
me a pretty goose, and bade me go and dress myself "for
whomever I liked best." I went to my room to have the
heartache.

I had given up the management of myself; I was not struggling
now; I knew there would be a way out of all my perplexities
some time; but nevertheless my heart ached. I did dress
myself, however, for that is an important part of a woman's
work; and I went down stairs with a vague hope in my heart
that I might see Hugh and somehow enlist him on my side, so
far at least as to make him delay his departure; though I
could not imagine how I could ask it, nor what I could say to
him of any sort that would benefit me or that would not do him
harm. But I thought in vain. I did not see him. Mr. De
Saussure came, and played chess with me all the evening. I
played very ill, and he won every game, till I thought he
would stop for the very stupidness of it.

Some painful days followed that day; during which mamma
managed to make me accept Mr. De Saussure's attentions in
public and in private. She managed it; I could not escape them
without making a violent protest, and I did not of course
choose that. Hugh Marshall was gone; he had come only to take
a hurried leave of us; suddenly obliged to return home, he
said; "he had lingered too long." Mr. De Saussure's eyes
flashed with I triumph; every line of mamma's face (to me)
expressed satisfaction, of course gracefully concealed from
everybody else. But Hugh and I parted with a great grasp of
the hand, which I am sure came from both our hearts and left
mine very sore. Then he was gone. After that, Mr. De Saussure
took Hugh's place and his own too in our little society; and
for a few days things went on in a train which I knew was
preparing mischief.

Then one night the explosion came. We were out on the lake in
a boat; mamma, Mr. De Saussure, and I; we had gone to see the
colours come and go on the great head of Mont Blanc. In the
glory of the sight, I had forgotten who was with me and where
I was, for the moment; and I was thinking of the colours and
lights of the New Jerusalem, than which those before me seemed
scarcely less unearthly. Thinking, with a pang at the distance
between; with a longing for those pure heights where human
life never casts its flickering shadow; with a cry for Thorold
in my heart, whom every sight of joy or beauty was sure to
bring before me. I was rudely recalled from my momentary
dream, though it was by my mother's soft voice.

"Daisy -"

I started and came back to earth and the Lake of Geneva.

"Mr. De Saussure is going soon to leave us and return home -
you know for what. Before he goes, he desires the satisfaction
of kissing your hand. I suppose he would have liked a little
more, but I have only promised the hand."

"I have explained myself to Mr. De Saussure, mamma; he is
under no mistake."

"So I have told him. He could not ask more than you have given
him; but leaving us for a long while, Daisy, and on such a
service, a little further grace would not be ill bestowed. I
shall give him leave, if you do not," she added laughing; "and
I may give him more than you would like, Daisy."

I think at that minute I felt as if I would like to make one
spring out of this world and all its confusions into that
other world I had been thinking of; but one does not get quit
of one's troubles so easily. That minute on the Lake of Geneva
was one of the _ugliest_ I have ever known. Mamma was smooth and
determined; Mr. De Saussure looked triumphant and expectant;
for a moment my heart shrank, but I do not think I showed it
outwardly.

"Daisy -" said mamma, smiling.

"Yes, ma'am."

"Mr. De Saussure is waiting. Will you speak the word? - or
shall I?"

"I have spoken to Mr. De Saussure," I said, coldly.

"Not very clearly. He understands you better now."

"Permit me to say," put in blandly Mr. De Saussure, - "that I
am rejoiced to find I did _not_ understand you at a former
conversation we held together. Mrs. Randolph has been my kind
interpreter. You will not _now_ refuse me?" he said, as he
endeavoured to insinuate his fingers into mine.

"Kiss her, Charles!" said mamma; "she is a coy girl. I give
you leave."

And before I could anticipate or prevent it, Mr. De Saussure's
arm was round me and the salute was given. I think mamma
really thought she could bestow me away as she pleased. I am
sure she had no idea of the nature she was combating. Nobody
had ever withstood her successfully; she did not think that I
could be the first. But this little thing - it was not a
little thing to me at the time - cut the knot of my
difficulties. Released from Mr. De Saussure's encircling arm,
I removed myself to the other side of the boat and drew my
shawl round me. I do not know what significance was in my
action, but mamma said, "Nonsense!"

"I have not offended, have I?" said Mr. De Saussure.
"Remember, I had liberty."

"Mamma," I said, "if you will sit a little further that way,
you will restore the balance of the boat."

"Which you have entirely disarranged, Daisy," she said as she
moved herself.

"Daisy will acknowledge I had liberty," Mr. De Saussure
repeated.

"Mamma," I said, "don't you think it is growing chill?"

"Row us home, Charles," said my mother. "And, Daisy, don't be
a fool. Mr. De Saussure had liberty, as he says."

"I do not acknowledge it, ma'am."

"You must give her line, Charles," mamma said, half laughing
but vexed. "She is a woman."

"I hope she will grant me forgiveness," he said. "She must
remember, I _thought_ I had liberty."

"I shall not forget," I answered. "I understand, that respect
for me failed before respect for my mother."

"But! -" he began.

"Be quiet, Charles," my mother interrupted him. "Pull us to
shore; and let fits of perverseness alone till they go off.
That is my counsel to you."

And the remainder of our little voyage was finished in
profound silence. I knew mamma was terribly vexed, but at the
same time I was secretly overjoyed; for I saw that she yielded
to me, and I knew that I should have no more trouble with Mr.
De Saussure.

I did not. He lingered about for a few days longer, in moody
style, and then went away and I saw him no more. During those
days I had nothing to do with him. But my mother had almost as
little to do with me. She was greatly offended; and also, I
saw, very much surprised. The woman Daisy could not be quite
the ductile thing the child Daisy had been. I took refuge with
papa whenever I could.

"What is all this about De Saussure and Marshall?" he asked
one day.

"They have both gone home."

"I know they have; but what sent them home?"

"Mamma has been trying to make them go, this long while, you
know, papa. She wanted them to go and join Beauregard."

"And will they? Is that what they are gone for?"

"I do not know if they will, papa. I suppose Mr. De Saussure
will."

"And not Marshall?"

"I do not know about him."

"What did _you_ do, Daisy?"

"Papa - you know I do not like the war."

"How about liking the gentlemen?"

"I am glad they are gone."

"Well, so am I," papa answered; "but what had you to do with
sending them home?"

"Nothing, papa, - only that I unfortunately did not want them
to stay."

"And you could not offer them any reward for going?"

"Papa, a man who would do such a thing for _reward_, would not
be a man."

"I think so too, Daisy. Your mother somehow takes a different
view."

"She cares only for the soldier, papa; not for the man."

Papa was silent and thoughtful.

There were no other intimate friends about us in Geneva; and
our life became, I must confess, less varied and pleasant
after the young men had gone. At first I felt only the relief;
then the dulness began to creep in. Papa led the life of an
invalid, or of one who had been an invalid; not an active life
in any way; I thought, not active enough for his good. Some
hours I got of reading with him; reading to him, and talking
of what we read; they did my father good, and me too; but they
were few, and often cut short. As soon as mamma joined us, our
books had to be laid aside. They bored her, she said, or
hindered her own reading; and she and papa played draughts and
chess and piquet. Mamma was not in a bored state at other
times; for she was busy with letters and plans and
arrangements, always in a leisurely way, but yet busy. It was
a sort of business with which I had no sympathy, and which
therefore left me out. The cause of the South was not my
cause; and the discussion of toilettes, fashions, costumes and
society matters, was entirely out of my line. In all these,
mamma found her element. Ransom was no resource to anybody;
and of course not to me, with whom, now as ever, he had little
in common. Mamma held me aloof, ever since Mr. De Saussure's
departure; and I only knew indirectly, as it were, that she
was planning a social campaign for me and meditating over
adornments and advantages which should help to make it
triumphant. Life in this way was not altogether enjoyable. The
only conversation which could be said to be general among us,
was on the subject of home affairs in America. That rung in my
ears every day.

"Glorious news, sir!" cried Ransom one day as he came in to
dinner. "Glorious news! The first real news we have had in a
long time."

"What is it?" said my father; and "What, Ransom?" my mother
asked, with a kindling eye. My heart sank. Those know who
remember those times, how one's heart used to sink when news
came.

"What is it, Ransom?"

"Why, a large body of them, the Yankees, got across the
Potomac the night of the 20th; got in a nest of our
sharpshooters and were well riddled; then, when they couldn't
stand it any longer, they fell back to the river and tried to
get across again to the other side, where they came from; and
they had no means of getting across, nothing but a couple of
old scows; so they went into the water to get away from the
fire, and quantities of them were drowned, and those that were
not drowned were shot. Lost a great many, and their commanding
officer killed. That's the way. They'll have enough of it in
time. The war'll be over in a few weeks or months more. De
Saussure will not have time to raise his regiment. I don't
think, mamma, it's any use for me to go home, it'll be over so
soon."

"Where was this?" inquired my father.

"Some place - Ball's Bluff, I believe. It was a grand affair."

"How many did they lose?" my mother said.

"Oh, I don't know - some thousands. We lost nothing to speak
of. But the thing is, they will lose heart. They will never
stand this sort of thing. They have no officers, you know, and
they can have no soldiers. They will be obliged to give up."

Words were in my heart, but my lips knew better than to speak
them. _Had_ they no officers? Had Christian no soldiers under
him? My head was ready to believe it; my heart refused. Yet I
thought too I had seen at the North the stuff that soldiers
are made of.

"If I were you," said my mother, "I would not let it all be
over before I had a part in it."

"The war is not ended yet, Felicia," my father remarked; "and
it will take more than a few hard knocks to make them give
up."

"They have had nothing but hard knocks, sir, since it began,"
Ransom cried.

"Your father always takes a medium view of everything," my
mother said. "If it depended on him, I believe there would be
no war."

"I should have one other vote for peace," papa said, looking
at me.

"It is well Daisy was not born a boy!" Ransom said.

"I hope you will not make me wish you had been born a girl,"
my father replied. "Strength is no more noble when it ceases
to be gentle."

"Must not every woman wish for peace?" I said. It was an
unhappy attempt at a diversion, and if I had not been in a
hurry I should not have made it.

"No," my mother answered, not sharply, but with cold
distinctness. "Before the South should submit to the dictation
or reproof of Northern boors and fanatics, I would take a
musket myself and die in the trenches."

"It is an ugly place to die in, my dear," answered my father.

"See Daisy shiver!" Ransom exclaimed; and he burst into a
laugh, "Mamma, Daisy's blood has grown thin at the North. She
is not a true Southern woman. There is no fire in you, Daisy."

Not at that moment, for I was sick and cold, as he said. I
could not get accustomed to these things, with all the
practice I had.

"No fire in her?" said papa, calmly. "There is ammunition
enough, Ransom. I don't want to see the fire, for my part. I
am glad there is one of us that keeps cool. My darling, you
look pale - what is it for?"

"Fire that burns with a blue flame," said mamma.

"Blue?" - said papa, with a look at me which somehow set us all
to laughing.

"The carmine is coming in again," said mamma. "I profess I do
not understand you, Daisy."

I was afraid she began to suspect me.

It was very true that mamma did not understand me; and it was
the unhappiness of my life. I tried hard to narrow the
distance between us, by every opportunity that the days or the
hours gave; and a certain accord was after a time established
anew in our relations with each other. Mamma again took to
adorning and playing with me; again studied my toilettes and
superintended my dressing; made me as exquisite as herself in
all outward paraphernalia. I let her alone; in this at least I
could gratify her; and no occasion of gratifying her was to be
lost. Papa was pleased too, though I think it made less
difference to him what I was dressed in; yet he observed me,
and smiled in a way to show his pleasure whenever a new device
of mamma's produced a new effect. She sought society for
herself and me now. We removed from Geneva and went to
Florence. I was thankful it was not to Paris. Every foot of
Italy had great charms for me; and I dreamed over Florence,
with a delighted fancy that never grew tired or tame. That my
evenings were spent in what I did not care for, could not
spoil my days. Our walks and drives, which papa and I often
now took alone, were delicious beyond expression. I forgot the
whirl of the night before and of the evening to come, and I
was the child Daisy again, I think, in very much. At night
mamma had me.

There was a lull at this time in the news from home. Both
parties in America were gathering up their strength; and in
the mean time the only affairs we heard of were inconclusive
skirmishes, sometimes turning out for the advantage of one
side, sometimes of the other; but not to signal advantage for
anybody. I hoped, with such a lull, that things might subside
into a state susceptible of composition. I might have
reasoned, if I looked at home, upon the unlikelihood of any
such thing. No news of advantages lost or gained had any
effect upon my mother and brother but to make them more keen
in the cause and more relentless in pursuit of their end. The
hearing of a trifling success was like a taste of blood to the
lion; the loss of Beaufort and its forts was turned into an
occasion of triumph because "the great naval expedition" had
accomplished no greater things. They laughed at McClellan's
review of troops; and counted up the gains his adversaries
were to realise from the co-operation of foreign well-wishers.
And then the taking of Mason and Slidell put them into a fume
of indignation and scorn. My father shared, though more
gently, in all this. I was alone. Could I tell them that my
heart was with the Northern army; and how it went out after
every gleam of one particular sabre?

My mother drew me into society by degrees. I hardly knew where
the line was passed, between quiet conversaziones and
brilliant and courtly assemblies. It was passed when I was
unwitting of it, or when I felt unable to help it. My mother
had been so much alienated by my behaviour toward Marshall and
De Saussure, that I thought it needful to please her by every
means in my power, short of downright violation of conscience.
"Children, obey your parents _in the Lord_," - I did not forget;
I thought I was doing the very thing. For it was not to please
myself, that I let my mother make me look as she chose and let
her take me - where she would. My heart was too sore to be
ambitious and too sober to feel the flutterings of vanity. I
knew the effect of her doings was often what satisfied her;
but the nearest approach to a thrill of vanity in myself was,
I think, the wish that Christian could see me. And as he could
not, I seemed to wear an armour of proof against other eyes. I
did not care for them.

Nevertheless, I began to be sensible that they cared for me. I
obeyed my mother at first because she signified her will very
absolutely, and allowed me to see that any refusal on my part
would make a breach between us. I left myself in her hands, to
dress and adorn and lead about as she liked; I could not help
it without an effort that would have parted us. And besides, I
believe I accepted these engrossments of society as a sedative
to keep me from thinking. They took a great deal of tine and
occupied my attention while they lasted.

By degrees there came a change. As I said, I was admired. At
first I cared little for any eyes but those which could not
see me; but that did not last. I began to like to be admired.
Soon after that, it dimly dawned upon me, that some of those
whom I saw now every day, might come to admire me too much. I
had learnt a lesson. There were several gentlemen, whose
society I liked very well, who gave us, I began to perceive, a
great deal of it. I saw them at night; I saw them by day; they
met us in our walks; they even joined us in our rides. One was
a German; a very cultivated and agreeable talker, well-bred,
and in high position at Florence. Another was a delightful
Italian; poor I think. A third was a young English nobleman;
rich, but nothing more that I could discover. The German
talked to me; the Italian sang with me; the Englishman
followed me, and was most at home in our house of them all. I
had been taking the good of all this, in a nice society way,
enjoying the music and the talk and the information I got from
the two first, and I am afraid enjoying too the flowers and
the attentions of the third, as well as of still others whom I
have not mentioned. I was floating down a stream and I had not
thought about it, only enjoyed in a careless way; till a
little thing startled me.

"We do not have so much time for our walks as we used, Daisy,"
papa said one day when he came into the drawing-room and found
me with my habit on. "Where are you going now?"

"To ride, papa, with Lord Montjoy."

"My Daisy is not a daisy any longer," said papa, folding me in
his arms. "She has grown into a white camellia. Going to ride
with Lord Montjoy! -"

I cannot say what in these last words of papa gave me a whole
revelation.

"I think you are mistaken, papa," I said. "I am Daisy yet."

"I _was_ mistaken," said papa smiling, but rather shadowedly, I
thought; - "I should have said a rose camellia. Here is Lord
Montjoy, my dear. Go."

I am sure Lord Montjoy had little satisfaction in that ride;
at least I am sure I had little. I was longing for time to
think, and frightened besides. But when the ride was over,
mamma wanted me; the evening claimed me for a grand reception;
the morning held me in sleep; we had company at luncheon; I
was engaged with another riding party in the afternoon, and
another assembly expected me at night. I could not rest or
think, as I wanted to think, till night and morning had again
two or three times tossed me about as a society ball. I think
one's mind gets to be something like a ball too, when one
lives such a life; all one's better thoughts rolled up, like a
hybernating hedgehog, and put away as not wanted for use. I
had no opportunity to unroll mine for several days.

But I could not bear this state of things long; and at last I
excused myself from a party one morning and went to walk with
papa; and then that hedgehog of thoughts began to stir and
unfold and come to life. Still I wanted quiet. We had been
going through a picture gallery, where I did not see the
pictures; then, as often before, I persuaded papa to walk on
further and take post where we could look at our leisure on
the beautiful Dome. This was an unceasing pleasure to me. Papa
was not so fond of it; he came for my sake, as he often was
accustomed to do. To-day, instead of soothing, its majestic
beauty roused all there was to rouse within me. I suppose we
were a long time silent, but I do not know.

"Daisy, you are very quiet," papa said at length.

"Yes papa," I said, rousing myself. "I was thinking."

"That is an old disease of yours, my pet. I wish I could enjoy
that great Dome as much as you do."

"Papa, it is so perfect!"

"The Grecian temples suit me better, Daisy."

"Not me, papa."

"Why do they not? What can equal their grace and symmetry?"

"It is cold beauty, papa; there is nothing to lift the
thoughts up; and I don't believe those who built them had any
high thoughts - spiritual thoughts, I mean, papa."

"And you think the builder of the Dome of Florence had?"

"Yes, sir - I think so."

"The one means no more to me than the other, Daisy."

"Papa," I said, "don't you remember, when you sent me word I
must stay two years longer in school without seeing you and
mamma, you sent me a promise too? - by Aunt Gary."

"I remember very well, Daisy. Are you going to claim the
promise?"

"Papa, may I?"

"Certainly."

"But, papa, -does the promise stand good, like Herod's promise
to that dancing woman? is it to be whatever I ask?"

"I believe I said so, Daisy. By the way, why do you not like
dancing?"

"I suppose I should like it, papa, if I let myself do it."

"Why not let yourself do it? You do not want to make yourself
singular, Daisy."

"No more than I must, papa. But about your promise."

"Yes. Well?"

"It stands good, papa? if it is 'to the half of your
kingdom.' "

"That was a rash promise of Herod, Daisy."

"Yes, papa; but I am not a dancing girl."

Papa laughed, and looked at me, and laughed again, and seemed
a good deal amused.

"What put that argument into your mouth?" he said. "And what
is the reason that it is an argument? You are very absurd,
Daisy! You are very absurd not to dance; so your mother says;
and I am absurd too, by that reasoning; for I like you better
than if you did. Well, not being a dancing girl, what is your
petition? I reckon it will stand good, even to the half of my
kingdom. Though indeed I do not know how much of a kingdom
will remain to me, by the time matters are composed at home.
There will be no crops grown at the South this year."

"It would not cost more to go to Palestine, would it, papa,
than to live as we are doing now?"

"Palestine!" he exclaimed. "Your mother would never go to
Palestine, Daisy."

"But you and I might, papa, - for a few months. You know mamma
wants to go to Paris, to be there with Aunt Gary, who is
coming."

"She wants you there too, Daisy, I much suspect; not to speak
of me."

"What better time can we ever have, papa?"

"I do not know. I am afraid your mother would say any other
would be better."

"Papa, I cannot tell you how glad I should be to go now."

"Why, Daisy?" said papa, looking at me. "To my certain
knowledge, there are several people who will be desolate if
you quit Florence at this time - several besides your mother."

"Papa, - that is the very reason why I should like to go -
before it becomes serious."

Papa became serious immediately. He lifted my face to look at
it, flushed as I suppose it was; and kissed me, with a smile
which did not in the least belie the seriousness.

"If we go to Paris, Daisy? - we should leave your enemies
behind."

"No papa - two of them are going to Paris when we go."

"That _is_ serious," said my father. "After all, why not,
Daisy?"

"Oh, papa, let us get away while it is time!" I said. "Mamma
was so displeased with me because of Mr. De Saussure and Mr.
Marshall; and she will be again - perhaps."

"Why, Daisy," said papa, lifting my face again for scrutiny, -
"how do you know? Are you cased in proof armour? are you sure?
Do you know what you are talking of, Daisy?"

"Yes, - I know, papa."

"I see you do. Whenever your eyes are deep and calm like that,
you are always in your right mind and know it. That is, you
are thoroughly yourself; and so far as my limited acquaintance
with you goes, there is no other mind that has the power of
turning you. Yes, Daisy; we will go to Palestine, you and I."

I kissed his hand, in the extremity of my joy.

"But this is not a proper season for travelling in Syria, my
pet. I am afraid it is not. The winter rains make the roads
bad."

"Oh, yes, papa. - We will be quiet when it rains, and travel
on the good days. And then we shall be in time to see the
spring flowers."

"How do you know anything about that, Daisy?"

"Papa, I remember when I was a child, at Melbourne, Mr.
Dinwiddie told me some of these things; and I have never
forgotten."

"Have you wanted to go to Palestine ever since you were ten
years old?"

"Oh, no, papa; only of late. When your promise came, then I
thought very soon what I would ask you. And now is such a good
time."

"There will be different opinions about that," said my father.
"However, we will go, Daisy. To the half of my kingdom. Your
mother has the other half. But allow me to ask you just in
passing, what do you think of our young English friend?"

"He has no head, papa."

Papa looked amused.

"Signor Piacevoli - what do you think of him?"

"He is very nice and kind and full of good things; but he has
no principles, papa; no settled principles."

"He has a head," said papa.

"Yes, sir; out of order."

"How do you estimate Mr. Leypoldt, then? - _his_ head is in
order, and a good deal in it."

"Only the truth left out, papa."

"The truth?" said my father. "He is fuller of truth, of all
sorts, than any one else I know, Daisy."

"Truth of all sorts, papa, but not _the_ truth. He understands
the world, and almost everything in it; but not who made it
nor what it was made for; and he knows men; but not their
work, or place, or destiny in the universe. He knows what they
are; he has no idea what they ought to be, or what they may
be."

"He is not a religious man, certainly. Do you carry your
principles so far, Daisy, that you mean you would not let
anybody approach you who is not of your way of thinking?"

A pang shot through my heart, with the instant sense of the
answer I ought to give. I might have evaded the question; but
I would not. Yet I could not immediately speak. I was going to
put a bond upon myself; and the words would not come.

"Do you mean that, Daisy?" papa repeated. "Seriously. Is it
your rule of supposed duty, that a man must be a Christian
after your sort, to obtain your favour?"

"Papa," I said struggling, - "one cannot control one's
liking."

"No," said papa, laughing; "that is very true. Then if you
_liked_ somebody who was not that sort of a Christian, Daisy,
you would not refuse to marry him?"

"Papa," I said with difficulty, - "I think I ought."

The words struck upon my own heart, I cannot tell how heavily.
But they were forced from me. When the question came, it had
to be answered. I suppose the matter had really been in my
mind before, vaguely, and I had refused to look at it, while
yet I could not help seeing its proportions and bearing; so
that when papa asked me I knew what I must say. But the spoken
words stunned me, for all that.

"I suppose," said papa, not lightly, "you will think so till
you are tried; and then you will take a woman's privilege of
changing your mind. But if the trial is to come in that shape,
Daisy, it is very far off. There are no men of your way of
thinking, my pet."

He kissed me as he said it; and I could not for a moment
speak.

"But we will go to Palestine, papa?"

"Yes, we will go to Palestine. That is fixed. You and I will
take a holiday, and for a while give up all thoughts of
marrying and giving in marriage."

CHAPTER XIV.

FLIGHT


I am coming to the holiday of my life; a time that seems, as I
look back to it, like a chequered mosaic of pleasure pieces
laid in bright colours, all in harmony, and making out a
pattern of beauty. It is odd I should speak so; for I have
known other holidays, when fewer clouds were in my sky and
fewer life-shadows stretching along the landscape.
Nevertheless, this is how it looks to me in the retrospect;
and to write of it, is like setting the pins of that mosaic
work over again. Not one of them is lost in my memory.

Truly I have known other holidays; yet never one that took me
out of so much harassment and perplexity. And I could not get
rid of all my burdens, even in Palestine; but somehow I got
rid of all my anxious trouble about them. I had left behind so
much, that I accepted even thankfully all that remained. I was
free from mamma's schemes for me, and cleared from the pursuit
of those who seconded her schemes; they could not follow me in
the Holy Land. No more angry discussions of affairs at home,
and words of enmity and fierce displeasure toward the part of
the nation that held my heart. No more canvassing of war news;
not much hearing of them, even; a clean escape from the
demands of society and leisure for a time to look into my
heart and see what condition it was in. And to my great
astonishment I had found the love of admiration and the
ambition of womanly vanity beginning to stir again; in me, who
knew better things, and who really did not value these; in me,
who had so much to make me sober and keep down thoughts of
folly. I found that I had a certain satisfaction when entering
a room, to know that the sight of me gave pleasure; yes, more;
I liked to feel that the sight of no one else gave so much
pleasure. I could hardly understand, when I came to look at
it, how so small a satisfaction could have taken possession of
my mind; I was very much ashamed; but the fact remained. When
we set sail for Palestine I got clear, at least for the time,
from all this. I hoped for ever. - And it was exceedingly
sweet to find myself alone with papa.

How mamma ever consented to the plan, I do not know. Because
papa had settled it and given his word, perhaps; for in those
cases I know she never interfered; necessity made her yield.
She would not go with us; she went to Paris, where Aunt Gary
was come for the winter. Ransom went home to join the army;
and papa and I took our holiday. I ought not to have been so
happy, with so many causes of anxiety on my mind; Ransom in
the war on one side, and Christian already engaged on the
opposite side; both in danger, not to speak of other friends
whom I knew; and my own and Mr. Thorold's future so very dark
to look forward to. But I was happy. I believe, the very
enormous pressure of things to trouble me, helped me to throw
off the weight. In fact, it was too heavy for me to bear. I
had trusted and given up myself to God; it was not a mock
trust or submission; I laid off my cares, or in the expressive
Bible words, "rolled them" upon him. And then I went light.
Even my self-spoken sentence, the declaration that I ought not
to marry a person who was not a Christian, did not crush me as
I thought it would. Somebody has said very truly, "There is a
healing power in truth." It is correct in more ways than one.
And especially in truth towards God, in whole-hearted devotion
to him, or as the Bible says again, in "wholly following the
Lord," there is strength and healing; "quietness and assurance
for ever." I was no nearer despair now than I had been before.
And I was more ready for my holiday.

My holiday began on board the steamer, among the novel
varieties of character and costume by which I found myself
surrounded. I was certainly getting far away from the American
war, far from Parisian saloons; I could not even regret the
Dome of Florence. And I shall never forget the minute when I
first looked upon the coast of Jaffa. I had been in the cabin
and papa called me; and with the sight, a full, delicious
sensation of pleasure entered my heart, and never left it, I
think, while I stayed in the land. The picture is all before
me. The little white town, shining in the western sun on its
hill, with its foot in the water; the surf breaking on the
rocks; and the long line of high land in the distance, which I
knew was the hill country of Palestine. I was glad, with a
fulness of gladness. Even the terrors of landing through the
surf could not dash my pleasure, though the water was not
quiet enough to make it safe, and I did not see how we were
possibly to get through. I thought we would, and we did; and
then out of the confusion on the quay we found our way to a
nice little hotel. Few things I suppose are nice in Jaffa; but
this really seemed clean, and I am sure it was pleasant. The
Oriental style of the house - the courtyard, and alcove rooms,
stone floors and cushioned divans, - were delightful to me.
And so was our first dinner there; papa and I alone, tired and
hungry, and eating with the Mediterranean full in sight, and
the sun going down "ayont the sea." I established a truce with
sorrowful thoughts that evening, and slept the night through
in peace. The next morning papa found me standing at the
window of one of our rooms that looked inward from the sea.

"Well, Daisy," said he, putting his hands on my shoulders - "I
have got my Daisy of ten years old back again. What is it
now?"

"Oh, papa," I exclaimed, "look at the housetops! I have read
of housetops all my life; and now here they are!"

"They have been here all the time, Daisy."

"But - it is so impossible to realise without seeing it, papa.
It was on such a housetop that Peter was when he had his
vision. You can see, it is the pleasantest part of the house,
papa. I should like to sleep on the housetop, as they do in
summer; with only the stars over me. How nice!"

"What was Peter's vision, besides the stars?"

"Papa! Not the stars; his vision was at noonday. I have just
been reading about it. How delicious the Bible will be here!"

"It is always delicious to you, I think," papa said; I fancied
rather sadly. "It is a taste you were born with. Sit down and
read me about that vision."

But it was papa that sat down, and I stood by the window, and
we read together those chapters of the Acts; and papa grew
very much interested, and we had an excellent talk all
breakfast time. The strange dishes at breakfast helped the
interest too; the boiled rice and meat, and the fish and the
pomegranates. I seemed to have my living in Bible times as
well as places. The Mediterranean lay sparkling before us; as
it was before Peter no doubt when he went up to that housetop
to pray. The house is gone; but it is the same sea yet.

"I shall always look upon Jaffa with respect," said papa, at
last; "since here it was that the gates of religion were
publicly set open for all the world, and the key taken out of
the hands of the Jews. It is a little place too, to have
anything of so much interest belonging to it."

"That is not all, papa," I said. "Solomon had the cedar for
the Temple, and for all his great buildings, floated down
here."

"Solomon!" said papa.

"Don't you remember, sir, his great works, and the timber he
had to get from Lebanon?"

"Did it come this way?"

"The only way it could come, papa; and then it had to go by
land up to Jerusalem - the same way that we are going; thirty-
three miles."

"Where did you learn so much about it?"

"That isn't much, papa; all that is in Murray; but now may I
read you about Solomon's floats of timber, while you are
finishing that pomegranate?"

"Read away," said papa. "Pomegranates are not ripe now, are
they?"

"They keep, papa."

Papa laughed at me, and I read to him as much as I liked; and
he was almost as much engaged as I was.

"We'll go out and look at this famous harbour for lumber," he
said. "It is not good for much else, Daisy; I thought
yesterday we should certainly make shipwreck on that reef. Is
it possible there is no better along the coast."

"It is not what we would call a harbour at all, papa. Nothing
but little boats can get through that narrow opening in the
reef; and I suppose, Solomon's cedar timber got through."

"The ships of old time were not much more than our boats, many
of them," said my father. "How delightfully you realise
everything, Daisy!"

"Well, papa, - don't you?"

"Not the past, child. I realise _you_ by my side."

"Papa, if you think about it a little, you will realise Joppa
too."

"I have not your imagination, Daisy. About Solomon's temple, -
there is nothing of it left now, I suppose?"

"Oh, no, papa!"

"It might, Daisy. Thebes is vastly older."

"But, papa, - don't you remember, there was not one stone of
all those buildings to be left upon another stone. Nothing is
left - only some of the foundation wall that supported the
floor, or the platform, of the Temple."

"Well, we shall see, when we go to Jerusalem," my father said.

In the meantime we went out and took a great walk about the
environs of Joppa. Through the miles of gardens; the grand
orange groves, and pomegranate, lemon, fig, apricot and palm
orchards. The oranges and lemons getting their great harvests
ready; cultivation going on beneath the trees; the water-
wheels working; the curious hedges of prickly pear, four and
six feet high, reminding us all the while, if nothing else
did, that we were in a very strange land. What endless delight
it was! The weather had just cleared the day before; and to-
day, the fifteenth of January, the sun shone still and fair
and warm. I saw that papa was getting good with every step,
and growing interested with every hour. We went down to the
beach, and strolled along as far as the tanneries; every wave
that broke at my side seeming to sing in my ears the reminder
that it broke on the shores of Palestine. Papa wished the
oranges were ripe; I wished for nothing.

Then we entered the city again, and examined the bazars;
lingering first a good while to watch the motley, picturesque,
strange and wild crowd without the city gate. It was my first
taste of Oriental life; papa knew it before, but he relished
it all afresh in my enjoyment of it. Of course we were taken
to see Simon's house and the house where Tabitha died.

"Do you realise anything here, Daisy?" papa asked, as we stood
on the flat roof of the first of these two.

"Yes, papa."

"Pray, what? St. Peter never saw this building, my dear."

"No, papa, I don't think it. But he saw the Mediterranean -
just so, - and he had the same sky over him, and the same
shores before him."

"The same sky, Daisy? What is the sky?"

"Yes papa, I know; but there is a difference. This Syrian sky
is not like the sky over Florence nor like the sky over
Melbourne. And this is what Peter saw."

"You are a delicious travelling companion, Daisy," said papa.
"Your mother is good, but you are better. Well, take me with
you now in your journey into the past."

We sat down there on the roof of the so-called house of Simon,
papa and I; he gave the guide a bonus to keep him contented;
and we read together chapters in the Old Testament and
chapters in the New. It was drinking water from wells of
delight. Bible words never seemed so real, nor so full. And
then when I thought that I was going on to Jerusalem - to
Jericho - to Mount Tabor, and the Sea of Galilee, and Lebanon,
- that Joppa was only the beginning, - I could hardly contain
my joy. I could only give thanks for it all the time. True, I
did remember, as I looked over that bright sea of the Levant,
I did remember that far away there was a region of conflict
where the interests nearest to me were involved; a strife
going on, in which the best blood in the world, the dearest in
my account, might be shed or shedding. I remembered it all.
But the burden of that care was too heavy for me to carry; I
was fain to lay it down where so many a load has been laid
before now; and it was easier for me to do it in Syria than
anywhere else; God's own land, where His people had had so
many tokens to trust Him. Where Peter's doubts of conscience
were resolved by a vision, where the poor worker of kindness
was raised from the sleep of death, it was not there the place
for me to doubt whether the Lord looked upon my trouble, or
whether he cared about it, or whether he could manage it. I
laid care and doubt to sleep; and while I was in the Lord's
land I walked with the Lord's presence always before me. There
is no want to them that fear him.

We were detained at Joppa three days by a most pouring rain,
which kept us fast prisoners in doors. The time was however
not lost. We had despaired of making arrangements at Joppa for
our journey, any further than such as would take us to
Jerusalem. Joppa is no place for such arrangements. But while
we waited there in the rain, a party of English people arrived
who came to take the steamer for home. They had just ended
their travels in the Holy Land; and while waiting for the
steamer, one of them who was an invalid sought the shelter of
our hotel. We came to know each other. And the end was, we
secured their travelling equipment. Tents, servants and all,
were made over to papa, with mutual pleasure at the
arrangement. So when the sun shone out on the fourth day, we
were ready to start in great comfort. I had a dear little
Syrian pony, which carried me nicely through my whole journey;
papa had another that served him well. The tents and tent
fittings were in the English style of perfection; cook and
interpreter and other servants knew their business, and we had
no reason to complain of them from the beginning to the end of
our tour. Moreover, in those days of waiting at Joppa, and
intercourse with the ladies of the party, I got from them some
useful hints and details which were of great service to me
afterwards. I had always wished to go through Palestine living
in our own tents; papa had been a little uncertain how he
would do. Now it was settled. I had my maid, of course; but
she was the greatest trouble I had, all the way.

The morning of our setting out from Joppa is never to be
forgotten. It was clear and balmy. For miles we rode through
the orange gardens, getting ready fast for their superb
harvest, which would be ripe a month later. Then through a
pleasant open country; - cornfields and meadows interspersed
with trees in patches. It was easy riding, and I liked my
pony, and my heart was full of exhilaration.

"Well?" said papa, as my eye met his one time in the course of
its wanderings.

"Papa, it is the plain of Sharon!"

"You speak as if it were a place where you had played, when
you were a child."

"Papa, in some measure it is like that; so often I have read
about the old things that were done here."

Papa smiled at me? and asked what? But I could not tell him
while we were going at a canter.

"It would be pretty in spring," he said. "Where are we to stop
to-night, Daisy? I have left all that to you. I do not know
the country as you do."

"Papa, we set off so late, we shall not be able to get further
than Latron to-night."

"What place is that? is it any place?"

"Supposed to be the Modin of the Maccabees."

"Have you brought any books, Daisy?" was papa's next question.

"No, papa, except 'Murray' and the Bible."

"We ought to have more," he said. "We must see if we cannot
supply that want at Jerusalem."

Papa's interest in the subject was thoroughly waking up. We
lunched at Ramleh. How present it is to me, those hours we
spent there. The olive groves and orchards and cornfields, the
palms and figs, the prickly-pear hedges, the sweet breath of
the air. And after our luncheon we stayed to examine the ruins
and the minaret. Our master of ceremonies, Suleiman, was a
little impatient. But we got off in good time and reached our
camping ground just before sunset. Tiere too, the sunlight
flashing on those rocks of ruin comes back to me, and the wide
plain and sea view which the little hill commands. Papa and I
climbed it to look at the ruins and see the view while dinner
was getting ready.

"What is it, Daisy?" he said. "You must be my gazetteer and
interpreter for the land; Suleiman will do for the people."

"It is an old Crusaders' fortress, papa; built to command the
pass to Jerusalem."

That was enough for papa. He pored over the rough remains and
their associations; while I sat down on a stone and looked
over the Philistine plain; scarce able to convince myself that
I was so happy as to see it in reality. Papa and I had a most
enjoyable dinner afterwards; he enjoyed it, I knew; and our
night's rest was sweet, with a faint echo of the war storms of
the ages breaking upon my ear.

To my great joy, there was no storm of the elements the next
morning, and we were able to take up our march for Jerusalem.
The road soon was among the hills; rough, thickety, wild; from
one glen into another, down and up steep ridge sides, always
mounting of course by degrees. Rough as it all was, there were
olives and vineyards sometimes to be seen; often terraced
hillsides which spoke of what had been. At last we came up out
of a deep glen and saw at a distance the white line of wall
which tells of Jerusalem. I believe it was a dreary piece of
country which lay between, but I could hardly know what it
was. My thoughts were fixed on that white wall. I forgot even
papa.

We had pouring rains again soon after we got to Jerusalem. I
was half glad. So much to see and think of at once, it was
almost a relief to be obliged to take things gradually. I had
been given numerous good bits of counsel by the kind English
ladies we had seen at Jaffa; and according to their advice, I
persuaded papa that we should go down at once to Jericho and
the Dead Sea, without waiting till the weather should grow too
hot for it; then Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives and all the
neighbourhood would be delightful. Now, they were very gray
and forlorn to a stranger's eye. I wanted papa to be pleased.
_I_ could have enjoyed Jerusalem at any time. But I knew that by
and by Jericho would be insupportable.

So papa and Suleiman made their arrangements. All that we
wanted was a guard of Arabs; everything else we had already.
The rain ceased after the third day; and early in the morning
we went out of the eastern gate of the city and moved slowly
down the slope of the Kedron valley and up the side of Mount
Olivet.

It was my first ride in the environs of Jerusalem; and I could
hardly bear the thoughts it brought up. Yet there was scant
time for thoughts; eyes had to be so busy. The valley of the
Kedron! I searched its depths, only to find tombs everywhere,
with olive trees sprinkled about among them. Life and death;
for if anything is an emblem of life in Palestine, I suppose
it is the olive. They looked sad to me at first, the olives;
their blue-gray foliage had so little of the fresh cheer of
our green woods. Afterwards I thought differently. But
certainly the valley of the Kedron was desolate and mournful
in the extreme, as we first saw it. Nor was Olivet less so.
The echo of forfeited promises seemed to fill my ear; the
shades of lost glory seemed to tenant all those ways and
hillsides. I could but think what feet had trod those paths;
what hands of blessing had been held out on these hills;
turned back and rejected, to the utter ruin of those who
rejected them. The places of Solomon's splendour and David's
honour, in the hands of the Moslem; or buried beneath the
ruins of twenty desolations. And in the midst of such thoughts
which possessed me constantly, came thrills of joy that I was
there. So we mounted over the shoulder of the Mount of Olives,
and the day cleared and brightened as we went on. Then came
the ruins of Bethany. I would have liked to linger there; but
this was not the time. I left it for the present.

"We must dismount here, Daisy," said papa the next minute. And
he set me the example. "Our own feet will do this next piece
of road most satisfactorily."

We scrambled down, over the loose stones and rock, the very
steep pitch just below Bethany. I do not know how deep, but
hundreds of feet certainly. Our mules and horses came on as
they could.

"Is this to be taken as a specimen of Palestine roads, Daisy?"

"I believe they are pretty bad, papa."

"How do you like it?"

"Oh, papa," said I, stopping, "I like it. Look - look yonder -
do you see that glimmer? do you know what that is, papa?"

"It is water -"

"It is the Dead Sea."

"Thirty-six hundred feet below. We have a sharp ride before
us, Daisy."

"Not quite so much below us - we have come down some way.
Papa, don't you enjoy it?"

"I enjoy _you_," he said, smiling. "Yes, child, I enjoy it; only
I don't enjoy such villainous roads."

"But then, papa, you know it is the only possible way the road
can go, and always has been; and so we are sure that Christ
was here many a time. _Here_, papa, where our feet are
treading."

Papa looked at me and said nothing.

The way was so pleasant, that we walked on ahead of our mules,
till we came to the spring about a mile from Bethany. It was
strange to look at the water pouring out its never failing
stream, and to remember it had been doing just so ever since
nineteen hundred years ago.

"How often travellers have rested here and drunk of the water,
papa; how often Christ was here."

"That arch was not over the spring in those days, though,"
said papa.

But papa stood and looked at the spring and at the ravine, and
I saw that he was catching something of my feeling. We mounted
there, and the rest of the way we had no more talk. I did not
want to talk. There was too much to think about, as we wound
down the rough valleys or watercourses among the desolate
hills; while the air grew constantly warmer as we got lower.
No trees, no life, no vine terraces; and this was the way to
Jericho. At the ruined khan, a good distance from the top, we
dismounted and stopped to rest and take our lunch.

"Well, Daisy," said papa, "are you enjoying yet?"

"Every minute, papa."

"I am very glad. But I am very tired."

"Papa, you must take a good rest here; and here is an orange
for you. I will give you something else directly."

Papa stretched himself out wearily on the stones.

"What is the source of your pleasure just now, Daisy? It is as
barren a landscape as ever I traversed."

"Papa, David went this way when he fled from Absalom."

"Humph!" said papa, as if there were not much pleasure in that
association.

"And Jesus and His apostles came this way, up from Jericho; up
and down, I suppose, many a time; they have rested _here_,
papa."

"And I see, Daisy, you love the ground where those feet have
trod. I never could understand it before. I fancy, I could
never attain power of realisation to get near enough to the
subject."

"Do you now, papa?"

"Hardly. By sympathy with you, Daisy."

"A little below, papa, we shall come to the Valley of Achor,
where Achan was stoned."

"I don't know that story, Daisy. You may read it to me."

We had a long reading and resting there by the ruined khan.
Papa was ready to listen and talk; and I saw that so long as
we were in Palestine he would read the Bible as much as I
liked. Then we made the rest of our way. I knew he could not
but be interested with that. The scenery became so wild and
grand as to satisfy even him. We got the glorious view of the
plains of Jericho from the top of the steep descent, and stood
still for some time to look. Papa said it was a noble view;
but to me it was so full of the riches of association that I
could hardly feast upon it enough. Down there, Jericho of old
had stood and fallen; when the priests and the people of
Israel compassed it about with trumpets of victory. There, or
over against it, the Jordan had been divided to let the people
pass over. In later days Elijah and Elisha had gone over
single-handed. Down on that plain had stood Herod's Jericho,
which Christ had gone through time and again; where Zaccheus
climbed the tree to see Him, and Bartimeus sitting by the
wayside had cried out for his mercy and got it. What was there
before me in all that scene that did not tell of the power of
faith - of the grace of God - of the safety and strength of
His children - of the powerlessness of their enemies. My heart
sang hymns and chanted psalms of rejoicing, while my little
Syrian pony stood still with me at the top of the pass of
Adummim. I even forgot papa.

At the bottom we found ourselves in a new world. Water and
wood, luxuriant vegetation of many kinds; a stream even to
ford, the brook which comes down from Wady Kelt, now full with
the rains; a warm delicious atmosphere, and the sun shining on
the opposite Moab mountains.

And then came another sight which is very pleasant at the
close of a long day of fatigue and excitement; our tents, up
and ready for us. Our Syrian cook gave us a good dinner; and
papa was satisfied to see me so happy. I thought he was a
little happy himself.

CHAPTER XV.

OLD BATTLEFIELDS


The next day papa was so tired that he would not go anywhere.
So I had to be quiet too. It was no hardship. I was rather
glad, to take in leisurely the good of all I had before and
around me, and have time for it. Our tents were pitched by the
beautiful fountain Aines-Sultân; which the books told me was
Elisha's fountain. I wandered round it, examining the strange
trees and bushes, gathering flowers; I found a great many;
studying the lights and shades on the Moab mountains, and
casting longing looks towards the Dead Sea and the Jordan. I
took my maid with me in my wanderings, and Suleiman also kept
near me like a shadow; but nobody of all our caravan behaved
to me with anything but the most observant politeness. The
Arabs, taught, I suppose, by other travellers whom they had
attended, were very eager to bring me natural curiosities;
birds and animals and shells and plants. I had no lack of
business and pleasure all that day. I wanted only some one to
talk to me who could tell me things I wanted to know.

The day had come to an end, almost; the shadow of Quarantania
had fallen upon us; and I sat on a rock by the spring,
watching the colours of the sunset still bright on the trees
in the plain, on the water of the sea, and on the range of the
Moab hills. From all these my thoughts had at last wandered
away, and were busy at the other end of the world; sad, with a
great sense that Mr. Thorold was away from me; heavy, with a
moment's contrast of pleasures present and pleasures past. My
musings were suddenly broken by seeing that some one was close
by my side, and a single glance said, a stranger. I was
startled and rose up, but the stranger stood still and seemed
to wish to speak to me. Yet he did not speak. I saw the air of
a gentleman, the dress of a European in Syria, the outlines of
a personable man; one glance at his face showed me a bronzed
complexion, warm-coloured auburn hair, and a frank and very
bright eye. I looked away, and then irresistibly was driven to
look back again. He smiled. I was in confusion.

"Don't you know?" he said.

"Not -?"

"Yes!"

"Can it be, - Mr. Dinwiddie?"

"Is it possible it is Daisy?" he said, taking my hand.

"Oh, Mr. Dinwiddie, I am so glad to see you!"

"And I am so glad to see you - here, of all places, at
Elisha's fountain. The first question is, How came we both
here?"

"I persuaded papa to bring me. I wanted to see Palestine."

"And I heard of you in Jerusalem, and felt sure it must be
you, and I could not resist the temptation to take a little
journey after you."

"And you are travelling through Palestine too?"

"In one way. I am living here - and life is a journey, you
know."

"You are _living_ in Palestine?"

"In Jerusalem. I came here as a missionary, five years ago."

"How very nice!" I said. "And you can go with us?"

He shook my hand heartily, which he had not yet let go,
laughing, and asked where we were going?

"I want to see the Dead Sea, very much, Mr. Dinwiddie; and
papa was in doubt; but if you were with us there would be no
more difficulty."

"I shall be most happy to be with you. Do you know where you
are now?"

"I know a little. This is Elisha's fountain, isn't it?"

"Yes; and just hereabouts are the ruins of old Jericho."

"I did not know. I wondered, and wanted to know. But, Mr.
Dinwiddie, have you got a tent?"

"I never travel without one."

"Then it is all right," I said; "for we have a cook."

"I should not miss that functionary," he said, shaking his
head. "I am accustomed to act in that capacity myself. It is
something I have learned since I came from Virginia."

We were called to dinner and had no time then for anything
more. Our table was spread in front of the tents, in a clear
spot of greensward; in the midst, I thought, of all possible
delights that could be clustered together - except one. The
breeze was a balmy, gentle evening zephyr; the sunlight,
hidden from us by the Quarantania, shone on the opposite
mountains of Moab, bringing out colours of beauty; and glanced
from the water of the Dead Sea, and brightened the hues of the
green thickets on the plain. Jericho behind us, the Jordan in
front of us, the confusions of the world we live in thrust to
a great distance out of the way, - I sat down to the open-air
meal with a profound feeling of gratitude and joy. It was also
a relief to me to have Mr. Dinwiddie's company with papa; he
knew the land and the people and the ways of the land, and
could give such good help if help were needed. He could be
such good society too.

I fancied that papa's reception of Mr. Dinwiddie was rather
slack in its evidence of pleasant recollection; but however,
every shadow of stiffness passed away from his manner before
dinner was over. Mr. Dinwiddie made himself very acceptable;
and there, where we had so much to talk about, talk flowed in
full stream. It was arranged that the new member of our party
should be our guest and our travelling companion during as
much of our journey as his duties allowed; and I went to sleep
that night with a deep and full sense of satisfaction.

Papa declared himself still the next day unable for a very
long and exciting day's work; so it was decided that we should
put off till the morrow our ride to the Jordan and the Dead
Sea, and Mr. Dinwiddie proposed to conduct me to Mount
Quarantania to see the hermits' caves which are remaining
there. Of course they remain; for the walls of caves do not
crumble away; however, the staircases and rock ways which led
to the upper ones have many of them suffered that fate.

We had a delicious walk. First along the foot of the mountain,
skirting a little channel of running water which brings the
outflow of another fountain to enrich a part of the plain. It
was made good for the cultivation of a large tract; although
very wild and disorderly cultivation. As we went, every spot
within sight was full of interest; rich with associations; the
air was warm but pleasant; the warble of the orange-winged
blackbird - I don't know if I ought to call it a warble; it
was a very fine and strong note, or whistle, - sounding from
the rocks as we went by, thrilled me with a wild reminder of
all that had once been busy life there, where now the
blackbird's cry sounded alone. The ruins of what had been, -
the blank, that was once so filled up, - the forlorn repose,
where the stir of the ages had been so restlessly active. I
heard Mr. Dinwiddie's talk as we went, he was telling and
explaining things to me. I heard, but could not make much
answer. Thought was too full.

A good distance from home, that is, from the tents, we reached
the source of all that fertilising water the channel of which
we had followed up. How wild the source was too! No Saracenic
arch over that; the water in a full flow came out from among
the roots of a great tree - one of the curious thorny dôm
trees that grow in thickets over the plain. I believe our
Arabs called them dôm; Mr. Dinwiddie said it was a Zizyphus.
It was a very large tree at any rate, and with its odd thorny
branches and bright green foliage canopied picturesquely the
fine spring beneath it. All was wild and waste. The Arabs do
not even root out the dîm or nubk trees from the spots they
irrigate and cultivate; but the little channels of water flow
in and out among the stems and roots of the trees as they can.
Times are changed on Jericho's plain.

I thought so, as we turned up the slope of rock rubbish which
leads to the foot of the cave cliffs. The mountain here is a
sheer face of rock; and the caves, natural or artificial,
pierce the rock in tiers, higher and lower. The precipice is
spotted with them. The lowest ones are used now by the Arabs
to pen their sheep and quarter their donkeys; Mr. Dinwiddie
and I looked into a good many of them; in one or two we found
a store of corn or straw laid up. Many of the highest caves
could not be got at; the paths and stairs in the rock which
used to lead to them are washed and worn away; but the second
tier are not so utterly cut off from human feet. By a way
chiselled in the rock, with good nerves, one can reach them.
My nerves were good enough, and I followed Mr. Dinwiddie along
the face of the precipice till we reached some sets of caves
communicating with each other. These were partly natural,
partly enlarged by labour. Places were cut for beds and for
cupboards; there was provision of a fine water tank, to which,
Mr. Dinwiddie told me, there were stone channels leading from
a source some hundreds of feet distant; cistern and tubes both
carefully plastered. A few Abyssinian Christians come here
every spring to keep Lent, Mr. Dinwiddie said. How much more
pains they take than we do, I thought.

"Yes," said Mr. Dinwiddie, when I said my thought aloud, -
" 'Skin for skin; all that a man hath will he give for his
life.' But when the conscience knows that heaven is not to be
bought that way, then there is no other motive left that will
use up all a man's energies but the love of Christ
constraining him."

"The trouble is, Mr. Dinwiddie, that there is so little of
that."

"So little!" he said, - "even in those of us who love most. I
do not mean to say that this love had no share in determining
the actions of those who used to live here; perhaps they
thought to get nearer to Christ by getting nearer to the
places of His some time presence and working in human flesh."

"And don't you think it does help, Mr. Dinwiddie?" I said.

He turned on me a very deep and sweet look, that was half a
smile.

"No!" he answered. "The Lord may use it, - He often does, - to
quicken our sense of realities and so strengthen our
apprehension of spiritualities; but just so He can use other
things, even remote distance from such and all material helps.
Out of that very distance He can make a tie to draw the soul
to Himself."

"There must have been a great many of those old Christians
living here once?" I said.

"Yes," said Mr. Dinwiddie. "On this face of the mountain there
are thirty or forty caves - I think there are many more in the
gorge of the Kelt, round on the south face. Do you see that
round hole over your head?"

We were standing in one of the caverns. I looked up.

"I cannot get you up there," he went on, - "but I have climbed
up by means of a rope. There are other rooms there, and one is
a chapel - I mean, it was one, - with arches cut to the
windows and doorways, and frescoed walls, full of figures of
saints. Through another hole in another ceiling, like this, I
got up into still a third set of rooms, like the ones below.
Into those nobody had come for many a year; the dust witnessed
it. Back of one room, the chapel, was a little low doorway;
very low. I crept through - and there in the inner place, lay
piled the skeletons of the old hermits; skulls and bones, just
as they had been laid while the flesh was still upon them; the
dust was inches deep. A hundred feet higher up there are more
caverns. No, I should not like to take you - though the
Abyssinian devotees come to them every spring. Yet higher than
those, far up, near the top of the mountain, I have explored
others, where I found still more burial caves like the one
just here above us. Chapels and frescoes were up there too."

"And difficult climbing, Mr. Dinwiddie."

"Very difficult. Broken stairs and dizzy galleries, and deep
precipices, with the vultures floating in air down below me."

"What a place for men to live!"

"Fitter for the doves and swallows which inhabit the old
hermits' houses now. Yet not a bad place to live either, if
one had nothing to do in the world. Sit down and rest and let
us look at it."

"And I have got some luncheon for you, Mr. Dinwiddie. I should
have missed all this if you had not been with me. Papa would
never have come here."

There were many places in front of the cells where seats had
been cut out in the rock; and in one of these Mr. Dinwiddie
and I sat down, to eat fruit and biscuit and use our eyes; our
attendant Arab no doubt wondering at us all the while. The
landscape in view was exceedingly fine. We had the plains of
Jericho, green and lovely, spread out before us; we could see
the north end of the Dead Sea and the mouth of the Jordan; and
the hills of Moab, always like a superb wall of mountain
rising up over against us.

"Do you know where you are?" said Mr. Dinwiddie.

"Partly."

"The site of old Jericho is marked by the heaps and the ruins
which lie between us and our camp."

"Yes. That is _old_ Jericho."

"Over against us, somewhere among those Moab hills, is the
pass by which the hosts of the 'sons of Israel' came down,
with their flocks and herds, to the rich plains over there, -
the plains of Moab."

"And opposite us, I suppose, somewhere along there in front of
old Jericho, is the place where the waters of the river failed
from below and were cut off from above, and the great space
was laid bare for the armies to pass over."

"Just over there. And there - Elijah and Elisha went over dry
shod, when Elijah smote with his mantle upon the waters; and
there by the same way Elisha came back alone, after he had
seen his master taken from him."

"Those were grand times!" I said, with a half breath.

"They were rough times."

"Still, they were grand times."

"I think, these are grander."

"But, Mr. Dinwiddie, such things are not done now as were done
then."

"Why not?"

"Why, how can you ask?"

"How can you answer?"

"Why, Mr. Dinwiddie, the river is not parted now, this river
nor any other, for the Lord's people to go over without
trouble."

"Are you sure?" said he, with the deep sweet look I had
noticed. "Do they never come now, in the way of their duty, to
an impassable barrier of danger or difficulty, through which
the same hand opens their path? Did you never find that they
do, in your own experience?"

A little, I had; and yet it seemed to me that a very Jordan of
difficulty lay before me now, rolling in full power. Mr.
Dinwiddie waited a moment and went on.

"That old cry, 'Where is the Lord God of Elijah?' - will bring
down His hand, now as then; mighty to hold back worse waves
than those of the 'Descender.' Aaron's rod, and the blast of
the priests' trumpets, were but the appeal and the triumph of
faith. And before that appeal stronger walls than those of
Jericho fall down, now as well as then."

"Then it must be the faith that is wanting," I said.

"Sometimes" - Mr. Dinwiddie answered; "and _not_ sometimes. That
earnest Sunday-school teacher, who prayed that the Lord would
give him at least one soul a week out of his Bible class, and
who reported at the end of the year, _fifty-two_ brought to God,
- what do you think of his faith? - and his Jericho?"

"Is it true?" I said.

"It is true. What are the walls of stone and mortar to that?
We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
darkness of this world. - But our Captain is stronger."

I think we were both silent for some time; yet there was a din
of voices in my ear. So it seemed. Silence was literally
broken only by the note of a bird here and there; but the
plain before me, the green line which marked the course of the
Jordan, the Moab mountains, the ruins at my feet, the caves
behind me, were all talking to me. And there were voices of my
own past and present, still other voices, blending with these.
I sat very still, and Mr. Dinwiddie sat very still; until he
suddenly turned to me and spoke.

"Will nothing but a miracle do, Miss Daisy?"

The tone was so gentle and so quietly blended itself with my
musings, that I started and smiled.

"Oh, yes," I said; - "I do not suppose I want a miracle."

"Can a friend's counsel be of any use?"

"It might - of the greatest," I answered; - "if only I could
tell you all the circumstances."

"Before we go to that, how has it fared with my little friend
of old time, all these years?"

"How has it _fared_ with me?" - I repeated in doubt.

"There is only one sort of welfare I know," he said. "It is
not strength to the body, or gold to the purse. I am 'well'
only when God's favour is shining on me and I am strong to run
the way of His commandments."

"I am not strong," I said.

"You know I do not mean my own strength, or yours," he
answered.

"I have never forgotten what you used to tell me," I said.

"Good. And yet, Miss Daisy, I would rather you could tell me
you had forgotten it; that you had gone on so far from that
beginning as to have lost it out of view."

"Ah, but I have not had so many friends to teach me, and help
me, that I could afford to forget the first one," I said. "I
have one dear old friend who thinks as you do, - and that is
all; and I cannot see her now."

" 'If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to
all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given
him,' " Mr. Dinwiddie said.

"I lack wisdom, very much; but it does not seem to come, even
though I ask for it. I am sometimes in a great puzzle."

"About what to do?"

"Yes."

"You can always find out the first step to be taken. Jesus
will be followed step by step. He will not show you but one
step at a time, very often. But take that, holding His hand,
and He will show you the next."

"So I came here," I said.

"And what is the work to be done here? on yourself, or on
somebody else?"

"I do not know," I said. "I had not thought it was either.
Perhaps I am learning."

He was silent then, and I sat thinking.

"Mr. Dinwiddie," I said, "maybe you can help me."

"I will gladly, if I can."

"But it is very difficult for me to put you in possession of
the circumstances - or in the atmosphere of the circumstances.
I do not know that I can. You know that papa and mamma do not
think with me on the subject of religion?"

"Yes."

"There are other things in which I think differently from them
- other things in which we feel apart; and they do not know
it. Ought I to let them know it?"

"Your question is as enigmatical as an ancient oracle. I must
have a little more light. Do these differences of feeling or
opinion touch action? - either yours or theirs?"

"Yes, - both."

"Then, unless your minds are known to each other, will there
not be danger of mistaken action, on the one part or on the
other?"

"Telling them would not prevent that danger," I said.

"They would disregard your views, or you would disregard
theirs, - which?"

"I must not disregard theirs," I said low.

Mr. Dinwiddie was silent awhile. I had a sort of cry in my
heart for the old dividing of the waters.

"Miss Daisy," he said, "there is one sure rule. Do right; and
let consequences break us to pieces, if needs be."

"But," said I doubtfully, "I had questioned what was right; at
least I had not been certain that I ought to do anything just
now."

"Of course I am speaking in the dark," he answered. "But you
can judge whether this matter of division is something that in
your father's place you would feel you had a right to know."

I mused so long after this speech, that I am sure Mr.
Dinwiddie must have felt that he had touched my difficulty. He
was perfectly silent. At last I rose up to go home. I do not
know what Mr. Dinwiddie saw in me, but he stopped me and took
my hand.

"Can't you trust the Lord?" he said.

"I see trouble before me, whatever I do," I said with some
difficulty.

"Very well," he said; "even so, trust the Lord. The trouble
will do you no harm."

I sat down for a moment and covered my face. It might do me no
harm; it might at the same time separate me from what I loved
best in the world.

"Cannot you trust?" he repeated. " 'He that putteth his trust
in the Lord shall be made fat.' "

"You know," I said, getting up, "one cannot help being weak."

"Will you excuse me? - That is precisely what we _can_ help. We
cannot help being ignorant sometimes, - foolish sometimes, -
short-sighted. But weak we need not be; for 'in the Lord
Jehovah is everlasting strength;' and 'he giveth power to the
faint.' "

"But there is no perfection, Mr. Dinwiddie."

"Not if by perfection you mean, standing alone. But if the
power that holds us up is perfect, - what should hinder our
having a fulness of that? 'If ye shall ask anything in My
name, I will do it.' Isn't that promise good for all we want
to ask?"

I sat down again to think. Mr. Dinwiddie quietly took his
place by my side; and we were still for a good while. The
plains of Jericho and the Jordan and the Moab mountains and
the Quarantania, all seemed to have new voices for me now;
voices full of balm; messages of soft-healing. I do think the
messages God sends to us by natural things are some of the
sweetest and mightiest and best understood of all. They come
home.

"Do you think," I asked, after a long silence, "that this
mountain was really the scene of the Temptation?"

"Why should we think so? No, I do not think it."

"But the road from Jericho to Jerusalem - there is no doubt of
that?"

"No doubt at all. We are often sure of the roads here, when we
are sure of little else."

There was a pause; and then Mr. Dinwiddie broke it.

"You left things in confusion at home. How do you feel about
that?"

"At home in America?" I said. "I do not feel about it as my
parents do."

"You side with the North!"

"I have lived there so much. I know the view taken there; and
it seems to me the right one. And I have lived at the South
too; and I do not like the view held there, - nor the practice
followed."

"There are some things I can fancy you would not like," he
said musingly. "I have not known what to think. It seems to me
they have made a false move. But it seems to me they must
succeed."

"I don't know," I said. "Perhaps."

He looked at me a little hard, and then we left the hermits'
caves and went down the plain to our encampment.

CHAPTER XVI.

THE FORLORN HOPE


The spot where our tents were pitched commands a view, I think
one of the loveliest in the world. Perhaps with me association
has something to do with the feeling. That broad sweep of the
plains of Jericho, bright with their groves of Zizyphus trees;
the lake waters coming in at the south; the great line of the
Moab horizon, and the heights of the western shore; and then
the constant changes which the light makes in revealing all
these; I found it a study of beauty, from the morning till the
night. From the time when the sun rose over the Moab mountains
and brightened our dôm trees and kissed our spring, to the
evening when the shadow of Quarantania stretched over all our
neighbourhood, as it stretched over Jericho of old, and the
distant hills and waters and thickets glowed in colours and
lights of their own.

The next morning after my walk I was up early, and going a
little way from my tent door, I sat down to enjoy it. The
servants were but just stirring; my father and Mr. Dinwiddie
safe within their canvas curtains. It was very nice to be
alone, for I wanted to think. The air was deliciously balmy
and soft; another fair day had risen upon us in that region of
tropical summer; the breath of the air was peace. Or was it
the speech of the past? It is difficult to disentangle things
sometimes. I had troublesome matters to think about, yet
somehow I was not troubled. I did not lay hold of trouble, all
the while I was in Palestine. Mr. Dinwiddie's words had
revealed to me that it might be my duty to tell my father all
that was in my heart. Suspicions of the fact, only, had
crossed my thought before; but "as iron sharpeneth iron, so a
man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." I saw more
clearly. And the longer I sat there on my stone looking over
to the line of the Jordan and to the hills through which the
armies of Israel had once come down to cross it, the clearer
it grew to my mind, that the difficulty before me was one to
be faced, not evaded. I saw that papa had a right to know my
affairs, and that he would think it became me as a Christian
not to make a mystery of them. I saw I must tell papa about
myself. And yet, it did not appal me, as the idea had often
appalled me. I was hardly afraid. At any rate, there before me
the hosts of the Israelites had passed over dry shod; though
the river was swift and strong; and the appeal of Elisha, -
"Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" - came home to my ear like
a blast of the priests' silver trumpets. I felt two hands on
my shoulders.

"Studying it all, Daisy?"

"Papa, I am never tired of studying."

"This is a wonderful place."

"Papa, you know little about it yet. Old Jericho was up
there."

"You speak as if I had gone to school in 'old Jericho,' " said
my father, laughing. "I have the vaguest idea, Daisy, that
such a city existed. That is all."

"Sit down, papa, while breakfast is getting ready, and let me
mend your knowledge."

So we read the story there, on the stone by the spring. Mr.
Dinwiddie joined us; and it was presently decided that we
should spend the morning in examining the ground in our
neighbourhood and the old sites of what had passed away. So
after breakfast we sat out upon a walk over the territory of
old Jericho.

"But it is strange," said papa, "if the city was here, that
there are no architectural remains to testify as much."

"We rarely find them, sir, but in connection with Roman or
Saracenic work. Shapeless mounds, and broken pottery, as you
have it here, are all that generally mark our Palestine
ruins."

"But Herod?" said papa. "He was a builder."

"Herod's Jericho was a mile and a half away, to the east. And
moreover, if anything had been remaining here that could be
made of use, the Saracens or Crusaders would have pulled it to
pieces to help make their sugar mills up yonder, or their
aqueducts."


"There is no sugar cane here now?"

"Not a trace of it. Nor a palm tree; though Jericho was a city
of palms; nor a root of the balsam, though great gain was
derived to Judea in ancient times from the balsam gardens
here."

We mounted our horses and rode down to the site of Herod's
Jericho, on the banks of the little stream that issues from
the gorge of the Wady Kelt. How lovely, and how desolate, it
was. The stream overhung with trees and bordered with
oleanders and shrubs of which I have forgotten the names, and
crossed by old arches still; and around, the desolate tokens
of what once was. Foundation lines, and ruined aqueducts. Mr.
Dinwiddie made us remark the pavement of the road leading up
to the Kelt, the old road to Jerusalem, the road by which
Jesus went when the blind men called him, and over which,
somewhere on its way, stretched the sycamore tree into which
Zaccheus climbed. Ah how barren and empty the way looked now!
- with Him no longer here. For a moment, so looked my own path
before me, - the dusty, hot road; the desolate pass; the
barren mountain top. It was only a freak of fancy; I do not
know what brought it. I had not felt so a moment before, and I
did not a moment after.

"Where His feet lead now, the green pastures are not wanting,
-" Mr. Dinwiddie said; I suppose reading my look.

"Never, Mr. Dinwiddie?"

"Never!"

"But it _seems_, often, to people, that they are wanting."

"Their eyes are so blinded by tears that they cannot see them,
sometimes. Even then, they can lie down and feel them, - feel
that they are in them."

"Are there any sycamore trees here now?" my father asked.

"Two or three poor old specimens; just enough to show for the
story. Those sycamore figs belong to the low and warm
situations; this is the proper place for them."

Papa felt so well that we determined to push on to the Jordan.
It was a hot, long ride, over a shadeless and barren plain;
and when we came to the river papa declared himself very much
disappointed. But I was not. Narrow and muddy as the stream
was, it was also powerful in its rapid flood; no one could
venture to bathe in it. The river was much swollen and had
been yet more so; the tracks of wild animals which the floods
had disturbed were everywhere to be seen. Papa and Mr.
Dinwiddie reasoned and argued, while I sat and meditated; in a
deep delight that I should see the Jordan at all. We took a
long rest there, on its banks. The jungle was a delicious
study to me, and when the deep talk of the gentlemen subsided
enough to give me a chance, I got Mr. Dinwiddie to enlighten
me as to the names and qualities of the various trees and
plants. They were of fine luxuriant growth. Poplars and
sycamores and other trees, willows, I think, and exquisite
tamarisks in blossom; and what I specially admired, the canes.
I understood then how people might go into the plain to see "a
reed shaken with the wind." Growing twelve to fifteen feet
high, with graceful tufts of feathery bloom which they bow and
sway to the breeze in a manner lovely to see.

Another day we rode down to the shore of the Dead Sea; papa
being none the worse for his Jordan excursion. Then the rain
visited us, and for two or three days we were kept in our
tents. With some difficulty I then persuaded papa to go
further south, to the shore of the Dead Sea, to some pleasant
camping ground by one of its western springs; there rain falls
almost never. So, first at Ain Feshkah and then at Ain Jidi,
we spent another couple of weeks; without Mr. Dinwiddie it
would have been impossible, but his society kept papa from
wearying and made everything as enjoyable as could be to both
of us. It was the middle of February when we returned to
Jerusalem.

The rainy season was not of course at an end yet; but a change
of beauty had come over the land. We found fruit trees in
blossom, almond and peach; and apricots just ready to bloom.
Corn up and green; and flowers coming and come. I had my own
plans, made up from the experience and counsels of my English
friends; but papa wanted to see Jerusalem, and I waited. Of
course I wanted to see Jerusalem too; and here again Mr.
Dinwiddie was our excellent friend and guide and instructor.
Papa was quite in earnest now; and went about the city
examining walls and churches and rock-tombs and all the
environs, with a diligent intentness almost equal to mine; and
he and Mr. Dinwiddie had endless talks and discussions, while
I mused. The words, "Constantine," "Byzantine," "Crusaders,"
"Helena", "Saracenic," "Herod," "Josephus;" with modern names
almost as well known; echoed and re-echoed in my ears.

"Daisy!" said papa suddenly in one of these talks, - "Daisy!
you are not interested in this."

"Papa, it is so uncertain."

Mr. Dinwiddie laughed.

"But the question, child; don't you care about the question?
how is it ever to be made certain? I thought this question
would engage all your attention."

"How can it ever be made certain, papa? After those hundred
and fifty years when there were no Jews allowed here, who was
to remember the spot of the Sepulchre? Few but Christians knew
it, in the first place."

"Oh, you _have_ thought about it!" said papa. "But are you not
interested in a _probable_ site, Daisy?"

"No, papa."

"All these old churches and relics then do not concern you?"

"Papa, I only go to see them for your sake."

"Well," said papa, "now I will go to the Mount of Olives for
your sake."

That was my plan; following the advice of the English party,
who said they had enjoyed it. We hired for a time a little
stone dwelling on the Mount of Olives, from which we had a
fine view of the city; and to this new home papa and I moved,
and took up our quarters in it. Of all my days in the Holy
Land, excepting perhaps the time spent at Jericho and Engedi,
these days were the best. They are like a jewel of treasure in
my memory.

The little dwelling to which we had come was rougher in
accommodation than our tents; but the season was still early,
and it gave better shelter to papa. It was a rude stone house,
with a few small rooms at our service; which I soon made
comfortable with carpets and cushions. The flat roof above
gave us a delightful view of the country and abundant chance
to examine and watch all its points and aspects. I spent the
hours up here or at the window of our little sitting-room;
using my eyes all the time, to take in and feast upon what was
before them. Only when papa would go out with me, I left my
post; to take up the survey from some new point of view. I had
a great deal to think of, those days; a certain crisis in my
life had come, or was coming; I was facing it and getting
ready for it; and thinking and looking seemed to help and
stimulate each other. It was wonderful to watch the lights
change on Jerusalem; from the first sunbeam that came over the
hills of Moab and touched the city, to the full glare of the
midday, and then the sunset colours on land and rock and
building, transforming the dull greys and whites with a flush
of rosy beauty and purple splendour. The tints that hovered
then upon the red hills of Moab were never to be forgotten. I
watched it, this change of light and shade and colour, from
day to day. I learned to know Jerusalem and her surrounding
hills and her enclosing valleys; and the barrier wall of Moab
became a familiar line to me. All this while, as I said, I had
a great deal to think of, and was thinking. Past, present and
future chased each other in and out of my head; or rather, it
seems to me, dwelt there together.

"Daisy!" - papa called to me when I was on the roof one day. I
ran down.

"What are you doing up there?"

"I was looking, papa. I was studying topography."

"Let us go out and study it a little by actual survey. I think
a walk would do me good."

We went down first to the valley of the Kedron, and wandered
about there; sometimes sitting down under the shade of the
olive trees to rest; speculating upon localities, recalling
scenes of history; wondering at the path which descends into
the valley from St. Stephen's gate and goes on over the Mount
of Olives to Bethany. Above all things, that path held my
eyes. No doubt the real path that was travelled eighteen
centuries ago lay deep beneath many feet of piled-up rubbish;
but the rubbish itself told a tale; and the path was there.
After a long stay in the valley, we mounted the hill again,
where our temporary home was; and passing that, went on to the
height of the hill. There we sat down. The westering sun was
casting lines of light all over the landscape, which would be
soon floods of colour. Papa and I sat down to look and wait.

"It certainly is worth coming for," said papa. "Our journey
realises more than all I had hoped from it, Daisy."

"I am so glad, papa!"

"But you, Daisy, how is it with you? You seem to me a little,
and not a little, _distraite_."

"I have so much to think of, papa."

"More than I have?"

"Why, yes, papa," I said, half laughing. "I think so."

"You must have fields of speculation unknown to me, Daisy."

"Yes, papa. Some time I want to talk to you about them."

"Isn't now a good time?" said papa, carelessly.

I was silent a while, thinking how to begin. It was a good
time, I knew, and I dared not let it pass. I had been waiting
till Mr. Dinwiddie should have left us and papa and I be quite
alone; and he was to join us again as soon as we started on
our northward journey. Now was my best opportunity. All the
more, for knowing that, my heart beat.

"Papa," I began, "may I ask you a few questions, the better to
come at what I want?"

"Certainly. Your questions, Daisy, I have always found
stimulating."

"Then first, what is it you think of most, in looking over
from this place to Jerusalem?"

"Of course," said papa, rousing himself, "the prominent
thought must be the wonderful scene that was acted there
eighteen hundred years ago; not the course of history before
or after. Is that what you mean?"

"I mean that, papa. I mean the death of Christ. Papa, what was
that for?"

"Why, as I understand it, Daisy, it was a satisfaction to the
justice of God for the sins of the world. Are you going to put
me through a course of theology, Daisy?"

"No, papa. But do you think it was for all the world, or only
for a part of them?"

"For all, of course. The Bible words I take to be quite clear
on that point, even if it were possible that it should have
been otherwise."

"Then it was for you and me, papa?"

"Yes."

"And for those ignorant Moslems that live in the city now?"

"Yes, of course it was; though I think they will not have much
good of it, Daisy."

"Never mind that, papa. Then it was for my old June, and for
Maria and Darry and Pete and Margaret, and all the rest of our
people at Magnolia?"

"Yes," said papa, rousing up a little. I did not look at him.

"Papa, don't you think the Lord Jesus loves the people for
whom He died?"

"Certainly. It is inconceivable that He should have died for
them if He did not love them. Though that is also a great
mystery to me, Daisy."

"Papa, don't you think that, having died for them, He holds
them precious?"

"I suppose so," said papa slowly.

"Every one?"

"Yes."

"Do you think He loves one man less than another because his
skin is darker?"

"Certainly not, Daisy."

"Then papa - should we?"

"I do not know that we do," papa said, after a pause.

"Papa, think. What would you say to our, or anybody's, holding
white men in slavery - making them work without wages - and
forcing them to obey under the lash?"

"They are an inferior race, Daisy," papa answered again after
a pause. His voice showed he did not enjoy the conversation;
but it was needful for me to go on.

"Papa, they have been kept down. But suppose they were
inferior, - since Christ died for them, does He not love
them?"

"I have no doubt of it."

"Then, papa, what will He say to us, for keeping those whom He
loves and died for, at arms' length or under our feet? and
what will He say to us for keeping them out of the good He
died to give them?"

"We do not, Daisy! They have their religious privileges."

"Papa, I have lived among them as you never did. They may not
meet together to pray, on pain of the lash. They cannot have
Bibles, for they are not allowed to read. They have no family
life; for husbands and wives and parents and children are
parted and torn from each other at the will or for the
interest of their owners. They live like the animals."

"Not on my estates!" said papa, rousing himself again. "There
is no selling and buying of the people there."

"Pete's wife was forcibly taken from him, papa, and then sent
South."

"By whom?"

"By Edwards. And the rest of the hands were in mortal fear of
him; utterly cowed. They dared not move without his pleasure."

"Abuses," papa muttered; - "nothing to do with the system."

"What must the system be where such things are possible? where
one such thing is possible? And oh, papa, they suffer! there
is no such thing as real comfort of life; there is no scope or
liberty for the smallest upward tendency. Nothing is their
own, not their own time; they have no chance to be anything
but inferior."

"They have all the essentials of comfortable living, and they
are comfortable," said my father.

"Papa, they do not think so."

"Few people do think so," said papa. "It is a vice of
humanity."

I was silent a little bit, and then I ventured to say, -

"Papa, the Lord Jesus loved them well enough to die for them."

"Well," said papa, rather growlingly, "what then?"

"I am thinking, what will He say to us for handling them so."

"What would you do for them, Daisy?"

"All I could, papa," I said softly.

"How much could you, do you suppose?"

"Papa, I would not stop as long as there was anything more to
be done."

"I suppose you would begin by setting them all free?"

"Wouldn't you wish it, papa, for yourself and me, if we were
two of them? - and for mamma and Ransom, if they were two
more?"

"You are mistaken in thinking it is a parallel case. They do
not wish for liberty as we should."

"Then it only shows how much harm the want of liberty has done
them already. But they wish for it quite enough, papa; quite
enough. It breaks my heart to think how much they do wish for
it."

"My child, you do not know what you are talking about!" papa
answered; half worried, I thought, and half impatient. "In the
first place, they would not be better off if they were set
free; though you think they would; and in the second place, do
you know how it would affect our own condition?"

"Papa," I said low, - "it has nothing to do with the question.
I do not care."

"You would care."

"I care for this other more, papa."

"Daisy, understand. Instead of being well off, you would be
poor; you would be poor. The Southern estates would be worth
nothing without hands to cultivate them; and my Northern
estates will go to your brother."

"I should never be rich in the way you think, papa."

"How so?"

"I would never be rich in that way."

"What would you do?"

"I would be poor."

"It is not so easy to do as to talk about," said my father.
"At the present time, Daisy, - I suppose, if you had your
will, you would set at liberty at once all the people on the
Magnolia plantations?"

"Indeed I would, papa."

"Then we should be reduced to a present nothing. The Melbourne
property brings in very little, nothing, in fact, without a
master on the spot to manage it. I dare say some trifling rent
might be obtained for it; and the sale of Magnolia and its
corresponding estates would fetch something if the times
admitted of sale. You know it is impossible now. We should
have scarce anything to live upon, my child, to satisfy your
philanthropy."

"Papa, there was a poor woman once, who was reduced to a
handful of meal and a little oil as her whole household store.
Yet at the command of the prophet of the Lord, she took some
of it to make bread for him, before she fed herself and her
child - both of them starving. And the Lord never let her want
either meal or oil all the time the famine lasted."

"Miracles do not come for people's help, now-a-days, Daisy."

"Papa, yes! God's ways may change, His ways of doing the same
thing; but He does not change. He takes care of His people now
without miracles, all the same."

"All the same!" repeated papa. "That is an English
expression, that you have caught from your friends."

We were both silent for a while.

"Daisy, my child, your views of all these things will alter by
and by. You are young, and have slight experience of the
things of life. By and by, you will find it a much more
serious thing than you imagine to be without wealth. You would
find a great difference between the heiress and the penniless
girl; a difference you would not like."

"Papa," I said slowly, - "I hope you will not be displeased or
hurt, - but I want it to be known, and I wanted you should
know, that I never shall be an heiress. I never will be rich
in that way. I will take what God gives me."

"First throwing away what He has given you," said papa.

"I do not think He has given it, papa."

"What then? have we stolen it?"

"Not we; but those who have been before us, papa; they stole
it. All we are doing, is keeping that which is not ours."

"Enough too, I should think!" said papa. "You will alter your
mind, Daisy, about all this, if you wait a while. What do you
think your mother would say to it?"

"I know, papa," I said softly. "But I cannot help thinking of
what will be said somewhere else. I would like that you and I,
and she too, might have that 'Well done' - which the Lord
Jesus will give to some. And when they enter into the joy of
their Lord, will they care what His service has cost them?"

My eyes were full of tears, and I could scarcely speak; for I
felt that I had gained very little ground, or better no ground
at all. What indeed could I have expected to gain? Papa sat
still, and I looked over at Jerusalem, where the westing sun
was making a bath of sunbeams for the old domes and walls. A
sort of promise of glory, which yet touched me exceedingly
from its contrast with present condition. Even so of other
things, and other places besides Jerusalem. But Melbourne
seemed to be in shadow. And Magnolia? -

I wondered what papa would say next, or whether our talk had
come to a deadlock then and there. I had a great deal more
myself to say; but the present opportunity seemed to be
questionable. And then it was gone; for Mr. Dinwiddie mounted
the hill and came to take a seat beside us.

"Any news, Mr. Dinwiddie?" was papa's question, as usual.

"From America."

"What sort of news?"

"Confused sort - as the custom is. Skirmishes which amount to
nothing, and tell nothing. However, there is a little more
this time. Fort Henry has been taken, on the Tennessee river,
by Commander Foote and his gunboats."

"Successes cannot always be on one side, of course," remarked
my father.

"Roanoke Island has been taken, by the sea and land forces
under Burnside and Goldsborough."

"Has it!" - said papa. "Well, - what good will that do them?"

"Strengthen their hearts for continuing the struggle," said
Mr. Dinwiddie. "It will do that."

"The struggle cannot last very long," said my father. "They
must see sooner or later how hopeless it is."

"Not in the light of these last events," said Mr. Dinwiddie.
"What does my other friend here think about it?"

"About what, Mr. Dinwiddie?"

"The length of the struggle."

"Do you think Daisy has some special means of knowledge?"
asked my father, carelessly.

"Well - yes," said Mr Dinwiddie. "She has been among Northern
friends a good while; perhaps she can judge better of their
tone and temper than I can, - or you, sir."

"I cannot hold just the view that you do, Mr. Dinwiddie, - or
that papa does."

"So I supposed. You think there are some good soldiers in the
Northern army."

"It would be absurd to suppose there are not," said my father;
"but what they do want, is a right understanding of the spirit
of the South. It is more persistent and obstinate, as well as
strong, than the North takes any account of. It will not
yield. It will do and endure anything first."

I thought I had heard papa intimate a doubt on that issue;
however I said nothing.

"If _spirit_ would save a people," Mr. Dinwiddie rejoined,
"those walls over against us would not bear the testimony they
do. No people ever fought with more spirit than this people.
Yet Jerusalem is a heap of ruins."

"You do not mean that such a fate can overtake the whole
South?" said my father.

"I mean, that the race is not always to the swift. The South
have right on their side, however."

"Right?" said I.

"I thought that would bring you out," Mr. Dinwiddie said, with
a kindly look at me.

"Daisy is an abolitionist," said papa. "Where she got it, is
out of my knowledge. But I think, Mr. Dinwiddie, there are
minds so constituted that they take of choice that view of
things which is practically the most adverse to their own
interest."

"Tell papa, Mr. Dinwiddie, that that cannot be."

"What cannot be, if you please?"

"I mean, that which is the _right_ cannot be the wrong in any
sense; cannot be even the wrong view for anybody's interest
that adopts it."

"Fair theories -" said papa.

"Something else, it must be, papa. There is a promise - 'With
what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you again.'
'Give, and it shall be given unto you; full measure, pressed
down, heaped up, and running over, shall men give into your
bosom.' "

"Why into my bosom?" said papa. "I would rather it were into
my hands, or a basket, or anything."

We went off into a laugh upon that, and Mr. Dinwiddie
explained, and the conversation turned. We went into the house
to have tea; and there we discussed the subject of our further
journey and when we should set off. Mr. Dinwiddie was engaged
to go with us to Lebanon. But it was concluded that we would
wait yet a little for the season to be further advanced. For
me, I was in no hurry to leave the Mount of Olives and
Jerusalem.

We sat on the roof that evening and watched the lights kindle
in Jerusalem, and talked of the old-time scenes and changes;
till I supposed the question of home troubles and our poor
Magnolia people was pretty well driven from papa's mind. But
when Mr. Dinwiddie was gone, and I was bidding him good-night,
he held me fast in his arms, looking down into my face.

"Little Daisy!" - he said.

"Not just now, papa."

"The very same!" he said. "My little Daisy! - who was always
forgetting herself in favour of any poor creature that came in
her way."

"Papa - what did our Lord do?"

"Daisy, do you expect to conform yourself and everybody to
that pattern?"

"Myself, papa. Not everybody."

"Me? -"

I could not answer papa. I hid my face on his breast; - for he
still held me. And now he kissed me fondly.

"We must not do what mamma would never agree to," he said very
kindly. Again I could make no answer. I knew all about mamma.

"Daisy," said papa presently, we had not changed our position,
- "is Mr. Dinwiddie your friend, or mine?"

"Of us both, papa!" I said in astonishment. "Of me;
particularly, perhaps; because he knows me best and has known
me longest."

"Then he comes here to see you?"

"And you, papa."

"I am afraid he does not come to see me," papa said. "Do you
like to see him very much, Daisy?"

"Certainly, papa; very much; because he is an old, old, very
good friend. That is all."

"You are sure?"

"Quite sure, papa."

"I believe that _is_ all," said papa, looking into my face.

"I am afraid, however, that our friend wishes he were not
quite so old a friend."

"No, papa," I said; "you are, mistaken. I am sure Mr.
Dinwiddie does not think so. He knows better."

"How does he know better?"

"I think he understands, papa."

"What?"

"Me."

"What about you?"

"I think he thinks only that, - what I said, papa."

"And how came you to think he thinks anything about it?"

"Papa -"

"Has he ever told you his thoughts?"

"No, sir; certainly."

"Then what do you mean, Daisy."

"Papa - we have talked."

"But not about that?"

"No, papa; not about Mr. Dinwiddie's feelings, certainly. But
I am sure he understands."

"What, my pet?"

"My feelings, papa."

"Your feeling about himself?"

"Yes."

"How should he understand it, Daisy?"

"I think he does, papa -"

"You say, you 'have talked'? What course did your talk take?"

My heart beat. I saw what was coming now, - what ought to
come. It was my time.

"It was a very general course, papa. It did not touch,
directly, my feeling for Mr. Dinwiddie, or anybody."

"Indirectly?"

"I think - I do not know - I half fancied, Mr. Dinwiddie
thought so."

"Thought what?"

"That it did touch some feeling of mine."

"Not for himself. For some other?"

"Yes -" I whispered.

"For whom?" he said abruptly. And then as I hesitated, -

"For one of those two?"

"What two?"

"De Saussure or Marshall?"

"Oh, no, papa!"

"Your cousin Gary?"

"Oh, no, papa!"

"Have I lost you, Daisy?" he said then in a different tone,
gentle and lingering and full of regret. My breath was gone; I
threw my arms around his neck.

"Why did you never tell me before, Daisy?"

"Papa, - I was afraid."

"Are you afraid now?"

"Yes."

"Let us have it over then, Daisy. Who is it that has stolen
you from me?"

"Oh no one, papal" I cried. "No one could. No one can."

"Who has tried, then?"

"A great many people, papa; but not this person."

"How has it come to pass then, my pet? And who is this
person?"

"Papa, it came to pass without anybody's knowing it or meaning
it; and when I knew it, then I could not help it. But not what
you say has come to pass; nobody has stolen or could steal me
from you."

"I have only lost, without any other being the gainer," said
papa a little bitterly.

"No, papa, you have not lost; you cannot; I am not changed,
papa, do you not see that I am not changed? I am yours, just
as I always was, - only more, papa."

Papa kissed me, but it cut me to the heart to feel there was
pain in the kiss. I did what my lips could to clear the pain
away.

"Half is not as much as the whole, Daisy," he said at length.

"It may be, papa. Suppose the whole is twice as large as it
used to be?"

"That is a good specimen of woman's reasoning. But you have
not told me all yet, Daisy. Who is it that holds the other
half?"

There was so much soreness and disappointment shown in papa's
words, rather in the manner of them, that it was extremely
difficult for me to carry on the conversation. Tears are a
help, I suppose, to other women. They do not come to me, not
at such times. I stood still in papa's arms, with a kind of
dry heartache. The pain in his words was a terrible trial to
me. He folded me close again and kissed me over and over, and
then whispered, -

"Who is it, Daisy?"

"Papa, it was at West Point. I never meant it, and never knew
it, until I could not help it."

"At West Point!" said papa.

"Two years ago, when Dr. Sandford took me there."

"It is not Dr. Sandford!"

"Oh, no, papa! He is not to blame. He did everything he could
to take care of me. He knows nothing it all about it."

"Who is it, then?"

"He was a cadet then, papa; he is in the army now."

"Who is he?"

"He is from Vermont; his name is Thorold."

"Not a Southerner?"

"No, papa. Do you care very much for that?"

"Is he in the _Northern_ army, Daisy?"

"He could not help that, papa; being a Vermonter."

Papa let me go; I had been standing in his arms all this
while; and took several turns up and down our little room. I
sat down, for my joints trembled under me. Papa walked and
walked.

"Does your mother know?" he said at last.

"I dared not tell her."

"Who does know?"

"Nobody, papa, but you, and an old friend of mine in New York,
- an aunt of Mr. Thorold's."

"Daisy, what is this young man?"

"Papa, I wish you could know him."

"How comes it that he, as well as you, has kept silence?"

"I don't know, papa. His letter must have miscarried. He was
going to write to you immediately, just before I left
Washington. I was afraid to have him do it, but he insisted
that he must."

"Why were you afraid?"

"Papa, I knew you and mamma would not be I pleased; that it
would not be what you would wish; and I feared mamma, and
perhaps you, would forbid him at once."

"Does he write to you?"

"I would not let him, papa, without your permission; and I was
afraid I could not get that."

"What did you expect to do then, Daisy, if I was never to be
told?"

"I thought to wait only till the war should be over, papa, -
when he might see you himself and you might see him. I thought
that would be the best way."

"_He_ did not?"

"No; he insisted on writing."

"He was right. What is the young man's name, Daisy? you have
not told me yet."

"Christian Thorold."

"Thorold," said papa. "It is an English name. Have you heard
nothing from him, Daisy, since you came to Switzerland?"

"Nothing," - I said.

Papa came over again to where I sat on the divan, bent down
and kissed me.

"Am I such a terror to you, Daisy?"

"Oh, no, papa," I said, bursting into tears at last; - "but
mamma - you know if mamma said a word at first, she would
never go back from it."

"I know," he said. "And I choose, for the present, that this
matter should remain a secret between you and me. You need not
tell your mother until I bid you."

"Yes, papa. Thank you."

"And, Daisy," said he stroking my hair fondly, - "the war is
not ended in America yet, and I am afraid we have a long time
to wait for it. Poor child! - But for the present there are no
storms ahead."

I rose up and kissed papa, with a very tender good-night given
and exchanged; and then I went to my room. The Jerusalem
lights were out. But a peace, deep and wide as the blue arch
of the sky, seemed to have spanned my life and my heart.

CHAPTER XVII.

OUT OF THE SMOKE


There was an immense burden lifted off me. It is difficult to
express the change and the relief in my feelings. The next day
was given to an excursion in the neighbourhood; and I never
can forget how rare the air seemed to be, as if I were
breathing pure life; and how brilliant the sunlight was that
fell on the wonderful Palestine carpet of spring flowers. All
over they were; under foot and everywhere else; flashing from
hidden places, peeping round corners, smiling at us in every
meadow and hillside; a glory upon the land. Papa was in great
delight, as well as I; and as kind as possible to me; also
very good to Mr. Dinwiddie. Mr. Dinwiddie himself seemed to me
transformed. I had gone back now to the free feeling of a
child; and he looked to me again as my childish eyes had seen
him. There was a great amount of fire and vigour and
intellectual life in his countenance; the auburn hair and the
brown eyes glowed together with the hue of a warm temperament;
but that was tempered by a sweet and manly character. I
thought he had grown soberer than the Mr. Dinwiddie of my
remembrance.

That particular day lies in my memory like some far-off lake
that one has seen just under the horizon of a wide landscape,
- a still bit of silvery light. It is not the distance,
though, in this case, that gives it its shining. We were going
that morning to visit Gibeon and Neby Samwil; and the
landscape was full, for me, of the peace which had come into
the relations between me and papa. It was a delicious spring
day; the flowers bursting under our feet with their fresh
smiles; the air perfumed with herby scents and young sweetness
of nature; while associations of old time clustered all about,
like sighs of history. - We went first along the great stony
track which leads from Jerusalem to the north; then turned
aside into the great route from Jaffa to Jerusalem; not the
southern and rougher way which re had taken when we came from
the coast. This was he approach of almost all the armies which
have poured their fury on the devoted city. We went single
file, as one has to go in Palestine; and I liked it. There was
too much to think of to make one want to talk. And the
buoyancy of the air seemed to feed mind as well as body, and
give all the stimulus needed. Mr. Dinwiddie sometimes called
out to me to point my attention to something; and the rest of
the time I kept company with the past and my own musings.

We visited Gibeon first, and stood by the dry pool where Abner
and Joab watched the fight of their twelve picked men; and we
read Solomon's prayer.

"This is a wonderful country," said papa, "for the way its
associations are packed. There is more history here than in
any other region of the world."

"Well, papa, it is the world's history," I said.

"What do you mean, Daisy?"

I hesitated; it was not very easy to tell.

"She is right though," said Mr. Dinwiddie; "it is the very
core of the world's history, round which the other is slowly
gathering and maturing, to the perfected fruit. Or to take it
another way, - ever since God at the first did visit the
Gentiles, to take put of them a people for His name, His
dealings with that people have been an earnest and an image of
His course with His Church at large. We may cut down to the
heart of the world and find the perfect flower here - as we do
in bulbs."

"A blossoming to destruction then, it seems," said my father.

"No!" said Mr. Dinwiddie - "to restoration and glory. The
history of this land is not yet finished."

"And you think _that_ is in store for it yet?"

Mr. Dinwiddie answered, - " 'Thus saith the Lord; If ye can
break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night,
and that there should not be day and night in their season;
then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant,
that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and
with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As the hosts of
heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea
measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and
the Levites that minister unto me.' "

"Who spoke that?"

"The prophet Jeremiah."

"And when, pray?"

"When Nebuchadnezzar and his army were just upon the point of
completing the destruction of the city - and of the people."

"Then it refers to their return from captivity, does it not?"

"As the type of the other restoration," said Mr. Dinwiddie.
"For 'In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch
of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute
judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall
Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is
the name whereby she shall be called, The Lord our
righteousness.' Moreover, in Ezekiel's vision of a new temple
and city, he gives the dimensions of the temple large enough
to take in all Jerusalem, and the holy city as many times
exceeding its utmost actual limits; and he says, 'The name of
the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.' Jehovah
shammah. I wish the day were come."

"You take it as entirely figurative!" said papa. "I thought
just now you made it entirely literal."

"What is a figure?" said Mr. Dinwiddie. "And if you take away
the literal, where will the spiritual be?"

"True," said papa. "These are things I have not studied."

And then we mounted to the height of Neby Samwil and sat down
for a good long look. Mr. Dinwiddie was here as elsewhere
invaluable. He told us everything and pointed out everything
to us, that we ought to see or know. The seacoast plain lay
below; - spread out for many a mile, with here a height and
there a cluster of buildings, and the blue sea washing its
western border. We could easily see Jaffa, Ramleh and Lydda;
we picked those spots out first which we knew. Then Mr.
Dinwiddie pointed us to Ashdod, and to Ekron, a little to the
left of Ramleh.

"And that is where Nebuchadnezzar was with his army, before he
went up to Jerusalem," I said.

"The first time," said Mr. Dinwiddie. "Yes; there his hosts of
Chaldeans lay in the plain; and there after the place was
taken he impaled the chiefs of the town; and then flushed with
power, came up to Jerusalem and cast banks against it. So he
says; and we know that so Isaiah prophesied he would do; and
we know that Hezekiah bought him off."

"Did he come up this way of the Beth-horons?" I asked.

"I suppose so. And down this way, Joshua chased the fleeing
kings and their followers and overthrew them as they fled down
the pass - what a rush it must have been! - and down there,
down where the green sweeps into the hills from the plain,
there is Ajalon."

"Papa, do you see?"

"I see; but I do not understand quite so well as you do,
Daisy, what you are talking about."

"It is Miss Randolph's own country," remarked Mr. Dinwiddie.

"She is not a Jewess," said papa.

"Pardon me - we have it on authority that 'he is a Jew which
is one inwardly;' - an Israelite indeed," Mr . Dinwiddie
muttered to himself.

I saw papa was puzzled and half displeased. I hastened to turn
the conversation, and showed him where Bethel lay and the
mountains of Ephraim; and finally ordered our luncheon basket
to be brought forward. But we had to leave our position and
choose a shaded place, the sun was growing so hot.

"How long do you expect to remain here - in Palestine, Mr.
Dinwiddie?" something prompted me to ask. He hesitated a
moment or two and then replied -

"I cannot tell - probably as long as I stay anywhere on this
scene of action."

"You do not mean ever to come home?" I said.

"What is 'home,' Miss Daisy?" he replied, looking at me.

"It is where we were born," said papa.

"Would your daughter say so?"

"No," I answered; for I was born at Magnolia. "But I think
home is where we have lived, - is it not?"

"Melbourne?" Mr. Dinwiddie suggested.

"No," said I; "it is not Melbourne now, to be sure; but
neither could it be possibly any place in Europe, or Asia."

"Are you sure? Not in _any_ circumstances?"

I cannot tell what, in his tone or look, drove his meaning
home. But I felt the colour rise in my face and I could not
answer.

"It is where the heart is, after all," Mr. Dinwiddie resumed.
"The Syrian sky does not make much difference. _My_ home is
waiting for me."

"But we speak of home here, and properly."

"Properly, for those who have it."

"I think, Mr. Dinwiddie, that we say 'home' sometimes, when we
speak only of where the heart was."

"Better not," he said. "Let us have a living home, not a dead
one. And that we can, always."

"What do you know of places where the heart _was?_" said papa,
looking at me curiously.

"Not much, papa; but I was thinking; and I think people mean
that sometimes."

"We will both trust she will never come nearer to the
knowledge," said Mr. Dinwiddie, with one of his bright looks
at papa and at me. It was assuming a little more interest in
our affairs than I feared papa would like; but he took it
quietly. More quietly than I could, though my reason for
disquietude was different. Mr. Dinwiddie's words had set
vibrating a chord in my heart which could not just then give a
note of pleasure. I wanted it to lie still. The wide fair
landscape took a look to me instantly, which indeed belonged
to it, of "places where the heart was;" and the echo of broken
hopes came up to my ear from the gray ruins near and far. Yet
the flowers of spring were laughing and shouting under my
feet. Was it hope, or mockery?

"What are you questioning, Miss Daisy ?" said Mr. Dinwiddie,
as he offered me some fruit.

"I seemed to hear two voices in nature, Mr. Dinwiddie; - I
wanted to find out which was the true."

"What were the voices? - and I will tell you."

"One came from the old heap of Ekron yonder, and the ruins of
Ramleh, and Jerusalem, and Gibeon, and Bethel; - the other
voice came from the flowers."

"Trust the flowers."

"Why, more than the ruins?"

"Remember," - said he. "One is God's truth; the other is man's
falsehood."

"But the ruins tell truth too, Mr. Dinwiddie."

"What truth? They tell of man's faithlessness, perversity,
wrongheadedness, disobedience; persisted in, till there was no
remedy. And now, to be sure, they are a desolation. But that
is not what God willed for the land."

"Yet surely, Mr. Dinwiddie, there come desolations into
people's lives too."

"By the same reason."

"Surely without it sometimes."

"Nay," he said. " 'The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants;
and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.' "

"But their lives are empty sometimes?"

"That they may be more full, then. Depend on it, the promise
is sure, - they shall not want any good I thing."

"One must let the Lord judge then," I said somewhat
sorrowfully, "what are the good things."

"Will we not?" said Mr. Dinwiddie. "Do we know? We must agree
to his judgment, too; and then we shall find there is no want
to them that fear him. The Lord is my Shepherd! - I shall not
want. But the sheep follow the shepherd, and never dream of
choosing out their own pasture, Miss Daisy."

My voice choked a little and I could not answer. And all the
rest of the day I could not get back my quiet. The talk of
leaving the choice of my life out of my own hands, had roused
my hands to cling to their choice with a terrible grasp lest
it should be taken away from them. The idea that Thorold and I
might be parted from each other, made my heart leap out with
inexpressible longing to be with him. It was not till we got
home to the Mount of Olives again, and I was watching the
glory of the sunset, turning Jerusalem to gold and bringing
out rosy and purple and amethyst hues from the Moab mountains,
that my heart leapt back to its rest and I heard the voice of
nature and God again above the din of my own heart.

As soon as the season was far enough advanced, and Mr.
Dinwiddie could make his arrangements to be with us, we left
Jerusalem and its surroundings and set off northwards. It was
hard to go. Where many a sorrowful traveller has left his
little mound of farewell stones on Scopus, I stood and looked
back; as long as papa would wait for me. Jerusalem looked so
fair, and the thought and prospect of another Jerusalem lay
before me, fairer indeed, but so distant. And I fancied storms
and some rough travelling between. And here, in the actual
Jerusalem, my life had been very sweet; peaceful with a whole
flood tide of peacefulness. I resolved I would not lose nor
forget this ungratefully; but as long as I could I would be
happy. So I turned my face at last to enjoy every foot of the
way to Nablous.

During our stay at Jerusalem and on the Mount of Olives, of
course letters and papers had been received regularly; and
sometimes a bit of news from America had made all our hearts
stir. Mine, with a new throb of hope and possible exultation;
for what we heard was on the side of Northern successes.
Still, papa and Mr. Dinwiddie agreed these were but the
fortune of war, and could not - in the nature of things last.
The South could not be overcome. So they said, and I feared.
But a thrill of possible doubt came over me when I heard of
Fort Donelson, and the battle of Pea Ridge, and the prowess of
the little iron-clad _Monitor_. And a great throb of another
kind heaved my heart, when we got the news of President
Lincoln's Message, recommending that assistance should be
given by Congress to every Southern State which would abolish
slavery. A light broke in upon the whole struggle; and from
that time the war was a different thing to me. Papa and Mr.
Dinwiddie talked a great deal about it, discussing the subject
in almost all its bearings. I sat by and said nothing.

I would not read the papers myself, all this time. In America
I had studied them, and in Switzerland and in Florence I had
devoured them. Here in the Holy Land, I had made an agreement
with myself to be happy; to leave the care of things which I
could not manage, and not to concern myself with the
fluctuations on the face of affairs which I could not trace
out to their consequences, do what I would. So. I heard the
principal points of news from papa's talk and Mr. Dinwiddie's;
I let the papers alone. Only with one exception. I could not
help it. I could not withhold myself from looking at the lists
of wounded and killed. I looked at nothing more; but the
thought that one name might be there would have incessantly
haunted me, if I had not made sure that it was not there. I
dreaded every arrival from the steamers of a new mail budget.

From Mr. Thorold I got no letter. Nor from Miss Cardigan. From
Mrs. Sandford one; which told me nothing I wanted to know. To
mamma papa had writ- ten, describing to her the pleasure we
were enjoying and the benefit his health was deriving from our
journey, and asking her to join us at Beyrout and spend the
summer on Lebanon.

Towards Beyrout we now journeyed gently on; stopping and
lingering by the way as our custom was. At Nablous, at
Nazareth, at Tiberias, at Safed, at Banias; then across the
country to Sidon, down to Khaiffa and Carmel; finally we went
up to Beyrout. Papa enjoyed every bit of the way; to me it was
a journey scarcely of this earth, the happiness of it was so
great. Mr. Dinwiddie everywhere our kind and skilful guide,
counsellor, helper; knowing all the ground, and teaching us to
use our time to the very best advantage. He made papa more at
ease about me, and me about papa.

At Beyrout, for the first time since we left Jerusalem, we
found ourselves again in a hotel. Mr. Dinwiddie went to find
our despatches that were awaiting us. Papa lay down on the
cushions of a divan. I sat at the window, wondering at what I
saw. I wonder now at the remembrance.

It was afternoon, and the shades and colours on the mountains
and the sea were a labyrinth of delight. Yes, the eye and the
mind lost themselves again and again, to start back again to
the consciousness of an enchanted existence. The mountains
rising from the coast were in full view of my window, shaded
with all sorts of green from the different woods and
cultivation which clothed their sides. The eye followed their
growing heights and ridges, till it rested on the snow summit
of Sunnin; then swept round the range to the southward; but
ever came back again to the lofty, reposeful majesty of that
white mountain top in the blue ether. Little streams I could
see dashing down the rocks; a white thread amongst the green;
castles or buildings of some stately sort were upon every
crag; I found afterwards they were monasteries. The sea waves
breaking on the rocks of the shore gave other touches of
white, and the sea was taking a deep hue, and the town
stretching back from it looked gay and bright, with pretty
houses and palm trees and palaces, and, bright-coloured
dresses flitting here and there in the streets; and white
sails were on the sea. I had never seen, I have never seen,
anything more lovely than Beyrout. I had come to the city
rather anxious; for we expected there to meet a great budget
of news, which I always dreaded; wandering about from place to
place, we had been blissfully separated for some time from all
disturbing intelligence. Now we must meet it, perhaps; but the
glory of the beauty before me wrapped my heart round as with
an unearthly shield. Peace, peace, and good will, - it spoke,
from Him who made the beauty and owned the glory; softly it
reminded me that my Father in heaven could not fail in love
nor in resources. I leaned my head against the frame of the
open window, and rested and was glad.

Mr. Dinwiddie came back with a business step. I looked up, but
I would not fear. He laid a pile of letters and papers before
papa, and then sat down to the consideration of some of his
own.

"What is doing at home, Dinwiddie?" papa asked.

"A good deal, since our last advices."

"What? I am tired of reading about it."

"Yes," said Mr. Dinwiddie. "You want me to save you the
trouble?"

"If it is no trouble to you."

"The news is of several advantages gained by the Yankees."

"That won't last," said papa. "But there are always
fluctuations in these things."

"Back in March," Mr. Dinwiddie went on, "there are reported
two engagements in which our troops came off second best - at
Newhern and at Winchester. It is difficult perhaps to know the
exact truth - the papers on the two sides hold such different
language. But the sixth of April there was a furious battle at
Pittsburg Landing, our men headed by Beauregard, Polk and
Sidney Johnston, when our men got the better very decidedly;
the next day came up a sweeping reinforcement of the enemy
under Grant and others, and took back the fortune of war into
their own hands, it seems."

"Perhaps that is doubtful too," observed my father.

"I see Beauregard asked permission to bury his dead."

"Many killed?" asked my father.

"Terribly many. There were large numbers engaged, and fierce
fighting."

So they _can_ do it, I said to myself, amid all my heart-
beating.

"There will be of course, some variation of success," said my
father.

"The pendulum is swung all to one side, in these last news,"
said Mr. Dinwiddie.

"What next?"

"Fort Pulaski is taken."

"Pulaski!" my father exclaimed.

"Handsomely done, after a bombardment of thirty hours."

"I am surprised, I confess," said papa.

"The House of Representatives has passed a bill for the
abolition of slavery in the District."

"Oh, I am glad!" I exclaimed. "_That_ is good."

"Is that _all_ you think good in the news?" said Mr. Dinwiddie a
little pointedly.

"Daisy is a rebel," said papa.

"No, papa; not _I_ surely. I stand by the President and the
Country."

"Then _we_ are rebels, Dinwiddie," said papa, half wearily.
"Half the country is playing the fool, that is clear; and the
whole must suffer."

"But the half where the seat of war is, suffers the most."

"That will not last," said papa. "I know the South."

"I wonder if we know the North," said Mr. Dinwiddie. "Farragut
has run the gauntlet of the forts at the mouth of the
Mississippi and taken New Orleans."

"Taken New Orleans!" my father exclaimed again, rising half up
as he lay on the cushions of the divan.

"It was done in style," said Mr. Dinwiddie, looking along the
columns of his paper. "Let me read you this, Mr. Randolph."

Papa assented, and he read; while I turned my face to the
window again, and listened to Farragut's guns and looked at
Lebanon. What a strange hour it was! There was hope at work
and rejoicing; but it shook me. And the calmness of the
everlasting hills and the mingled sweetnesses of the air, came
in upon the fever of my heart with cooling and quieting power.
The sea grew a deeper blue as I listened and looked; the
mountains - what words can tell the mantle of their own purple
that enfolded them as the evening came on; and the snowy
heights of Sunnin and Kunisyeh grew rosy. I looked and I drank
it in; and I could not fear for the future.

I believe I had fallen into a great reverie, during which Mr.
Dinwiddie ended his reading and left the room. It was papa's
touch on my shoulder that roused me. He had come to my side.

"Are you happy, Daisy?" was his question.

"Papa? -" I said in bewilderment.

"Your face was as calm as if you had nothing to think about."

"I had been thinking, papa. I was thinking, I believe."

"Does this strange news make you happy?"

"Oh, no, papa; not that."

"What then?"

"Something that is no news, and that never can grow old, papa.
The mountains and the sea were just reminding me of it."

"You mean - what? You speak riddles, Daisy."

"Papa, you would give me everything good for me, if you
could."

He kissed me fondly.

"I would, my child. Whether I can, or no, that troubles me by
its uncertainty."

"Papa, my Father in heaven can, and will. There is no doubt
about His power. And so there is no uncertainty."

"Daisy! -" said papa, looking at me in a strange way.

"Yes, papa, I mean it. Papa, you know it is true."

"I know you deserve all I can give you," he said, taking my
face in his two hands and looking into it. "Daisy - is there
anybody in the world that loves you as well as I do?"

That was a little too much, to bring up my heart in words in
that manner. In spite of my composure, which I thought so
strong, I was very near bursting into tears. I believe my face
flushed and then grew pale with the struggle. Papa took me in
his arms.

"You shall have no trouble that I can shield you from," he
said tenderly. "I will put nothing between you and this young
man if he is worthy of you, Daisy. I will pat nothing. But
others may. My power reaches only a certain distance."

"Papa -" I began, but I could not say what I would.

"Well?3 - said he tenderly, stroking my hair, "what is it? I
would keep all trouble from you, my pet, if I could."

"Papa," I whispered, "that may not be best. We must leave
that. But papa, if you only knew what I know and were glad as
I am glad, - I think I could bear all the rest!"

"How shall I be glad as you are glad, Daisy?" he said, half
sadly.

"Papa, let Jesus make you happy!"

"You are talking Hebrew, my child."

"No, papa; for if you seek Him, He _will_ make you happy."

"Come! we will seek him from to-day," my father said.

And that was my summer on Lebanon. My mother wrote that she
would not join us in Syria; she preferred to remain in Paris,
where she had my aunt Gary's company and could receive the
American news regularly. Her words were bitter and scornful
about the successes of the Northern army and McClellan's
fruitless siege of Yorktown; so bitter, that papa and I passed
them over without a word of comment, knowing how they bore on
my possible future.

But we, we studied the Bible, and we lived on Lebanon. And
when I have said that, I have said all. From one village to
another, higher and higher up, we went; pitching our tents
under the grand old walnut trees, within sight or hearing of
mountain torrents that made witcheries of beauty in the deep
ravines; studying sunrisings, when the light came over the
mountain's brow and lit our broken hillside by degrees, our
walnut tree tops and the thread of the rushing stream; and
sunsets, when the sun looked at us from the far-off
Mediterranean and touched no spot of Lebanon but to make a
glorified place of it. With Mr. Dinwiddie we took rides to
different scenes of wonder and beauty; made excursions
sometimes of a week or two long; we dreamed at Baalbec and
rejoiced under the Cedars. Everywhere papa and I read the
Bible. Mr. Dinwiddie left us for some time during the summer,
and returned again a few days before we left Lebanon and
Syria.

"So you are going to-morrow" - he said the last evening, as he
and I were watching the sunset from the edge of the ravine
which bordered our camping-ground. I made no answer, for my
heart was too full.

"It has been a good summer," he said. I bowed my head in
assent.

"And now," he said, "you push out into the world again. I feel
about you as I did when I saw your little craft just starting
forth, and knew there were breakers ahead."

"You do not know that now, Mr. Dinwiddie?" I said.

"I know there are rocks. If the sea should let you pass them
in quiet, it would be a wonder."

That was too true, I knew. I could only be silent.

"How do you feel?" he next asked.

"I know it is as you say, Mr. Dinwiddie."

"And in view of it? -"

"What can I do, - Mr. Dinwiddie?"

"Nothing to avoid the rocks. The helm is not in your hand."

"But I know in whose hand it is."

"And are willing to have it there?"

"More than willing," I said, meeting his eye.

"Then the boat will go right," he said, with a sort of accent
of relief. "It is the cross pulls with the oar, striving to
undo the work of the rudder, that draw the vessel out of her
course. The Pilot knows, - if you can only leave it to the
Pilot."

There was a pause again.

"But He sometimes takes the boat into the breakers," Mr.
Dinwiddie said.

"Yes," I said. "I know it."

"What then, Daisy, my friend?"

"What then, Mr. Dinwiddie?" I said, looking up at him. "Then
she must be broken to pieces."

"And what then? Can you trust the Pilot still?"

His great eyes were flashing and glittering as he looked at
me. No careless nor aimless thought had caused such an
interrogatory, I knew. I met the eyes which seemed to be
blazing and melting at once, but I answered only by the look.

"You may," he went on, without taking his eyes from mine. "You
may trust safely. Even if the vessel is shaken and broken,
trust even then, when all seems gone. There shall be smooth
waters yet; and a better voyage than if you had gone a less
wearisome way."

"Why do you say all this to me, Mr. Dinwiddie?"

"Not because I am a prophet," he said, looking away now, -
"for I am none. And if I saw such trials ahead for you, I
should have hardly courage to utter them. I asked, to comfort
myself; that I might know of a certainty that you are safe,
whatever comes."

"Thank you," I said, rather faintly.

"I shall stay here," he went on presently, "in the land of my
work; and you will be gone to-morrow for other scenes. It
isn't likely you will ever see me again. But if ever you need
a friend, on the other side of the globe, if you call me, I
will come. It is folly to say that, though," he said plucking
hastily at a spear of grass; - "you will not need nor think of
me. But I suppose you know, Daisy, by this time, that all
those who come near you, love you. I am no exception. You must
have charity for me."

"Dear Mr. Dinwiddie," I said reaching out my hand, - "if I
were in trouble and wanted a friend, there is no one in the
world that I would sooner, or - rather, or as soon or as lief,
ask to help me. Except -" I added, and could not finish my
sentence. For I had remembered there was an exception which
ought to be implied somewhere.

"I know," he said, wringing my hand. "I wish I could heap
blessings on the head of the exception. Now let us go in."

The next day we rode down to Beyrout, and took the steamer
that same evening.

CHAPTER XVIII.

A MASKED BATTERY


My Palestine holiday lasted, in some measure, all the way of
our journey home; and left me at the very moment when we
entered our Parisian hotel and met mamma. It left me then. All
the air of the place, much more all the style of mamma's dress
and manner, said at once that we had come into another world.
She was exquisitely dressed; that was usual; it could not have
been only that, nor the dainty appointments around her; - it
was something in her bearing, an indescribable something even
as she greeted us, which said, You have played your play - now
you will play mine. And it said, I cannot tell how, The cards
are in my hands.

Company engaged her that evening. I saw little of her till the
next day. At our late breakfast then we discussed many things.
Not much of Palestine; mamma did not want to hear much of
that. She had had it in our letters, she said. American
affairs were gone into largely; with great eagerness and
bitterness by both mamma and Aunt Gary; with triumphs over the
disasters of the Union army before Richmond, and other lesser
affairs in which the North had gained no advantage; invectives
against the President's July proclamation, his impudence and
his cowardice; and prophecies of ruin to him and his cause.
Papa listened and said little. I heard and was silent; with
throbbing forebodings of trouble.

"Daisy is handsomer than ever," my aunt remarked, when even
politics had exhausted themselves. But I wondered what she was
thinking of when she said it. Mamma lifted her eyes and
glanced me over.

"Daisy has a rival, newly appeared," she said. "She must do
her best."

"There cannot be rivalry, mamma, where there is no
competition," I said.

"Cannot there?" said mamma. "You never told us, Daisy, of _your_
successes in the North."

I do not think I flushed at all in answer to this remark; the
blood seemed to me to go all to my heart.

"Who has been Daisy's trumpeter?" papa asked.

"There is a friend of hers here," mamma said, slowly sipping
her coffee. I do not know how I sat at the table; things
seemed to swim in a maze before my eyes; then mamma went on, -
"What have you done with your victim, Daisy?"

"Mamma," I said, "I do not at all know of whom you are
speaking."

"Left him for dead, I suppose," she said. "He has met with a
good Samaritan, I understand, who carried oil and wine."

Papa's eye met mine for a moment.

"Felicia," he said, "you are speaking very unintelligibly. I
beg you will use clearer language, for all our sakes."

"Daisy understands," she said.

"Indeed I do not, mamma."

"Not the good Samaritan's part, of course. That has come since
you were away. But you knew once that a Northern Blue-coat had
been pierced by the fire of your eyes?"

"Mamma," I said, - "if you put it so, I have known it of more
than one."

"Imagine it!" said mamma, with an indescribable gesture of
lip, which yet was gracefully slight.

"Imagine what?" said papa.

"One of those canaille venturing to look at Daisy!"

"My dear," said papa, "pray do not fail to remember, that we
have passed a large portion of our life among those whom you
denominate canaille, and who always were permitted the
privilege of looking at us all. I do not recollect that we
felt it any derogation from anything that belonged to us."

"Did you let him look at you, Daisy?" mamma said, lifting her
own eyes up to me. "It was cruel of you."

"Your friend Miss St. Clair, is here, Daisy," my aunt Gary
said.

"My friend!" I repeated.

"She is your friend," said mamma. "She has bound up the wounds
you have made, Daisy, and saved you from being in the full
sense a destroyer of human life."

"When did Faustina come here?" I asked.

"She has been here a month. Are you glad?"

"She was never a particular friend of mine, mamma."

"You will love her now," said mamma; and the conversation
turned. It had only filled me with vague fears. I could not
understand it.

I met Faustina soon in company. She was as brilliant a vision
as I have often seen; her beauty was perfected in her
womanhood, and was of that type which draws all eyes. She was
not changed, however; and she was not changed towards me. She
met me with the old coldness; with a something besides which I
could not fathom. It gave me a secret feeling of uneasiness; I
suppose, because that in it I read a meaning of exultation, a
secret air of triumph, which, I could not tell how or why,
directed itself towards me and gathered about my head. It grew
disagreeable to me to meet her; but I was forced to do this
constantly. We never talked together more than a few words;
but as we passed each other, as our eyes met and hers went
from me, as she smiled at the next opening of her mouth, I
felt always something sinister, or at least something hidden,
which took the shape of an advantage gained. I tried to meet
her with perfect pleasantness, but it grew difficult. In my
circumstances I was very open to influences of discouragement
or apprehension; indeed the trouble was to fight them off.
This intangible evil however presently took shape.

I thought I had observed that for a day or two my father's
eyes had lingered on me frequently with a tender or wistful
expression, more than usual. I did not know what it meant.
Mamma was pushing me into company all this while, and making
no allusion to my own private affairs, if she had any clue to
them. One morning I had excused myself from an engagement
which carried away my aunt and her, that I might have a quiet
time to read with papa. Our readings had been much broken in
upon - lately. With a glad step I went to papa's room; a
study, I might call it, where he spent all of the time he did
not wish to give to society. He was there, expecting me; a
wood-fire was burning on the hearth; the place had the air of
comfort and seclusion and intelligent leisure; books and
engravings and works of art scattered about, and luxurious
easy-chairs standing ready for the accommodation of papa and
me.

"This is nice, papa!" I said, as the cushions of one of them
received me.

"It is not quite the Mount of Olives," said papa.

"No indeed!" I answered; and my eyes filled. The bustle of the
fashionable world was all around me, the storms of the
political world were shaking the very ground where I stood,
the air of our little social world was not as on Lebanon sweet
and pure. When would it be again? Papa sat thinking in his
easy-chair.

"How do you like Paris, my child?"

"Papa, it does not make much difference, Italy or Paris, so
long as I am where you are, and we can have a little time
together."

"Your English friend has followed you from Florence."

"Yes, papa. At least he is here."

"And your German friend."

"He is here, papa."

There was a silence. I wondered what papa was thinking of, but
I did not speak, for I saw he was thinking.

"You have never heard from your American friend?"

"No, papa."

"Daisy," said papa, tenderly, and looking at me now, - "you
are strong?"

"Am I, papa?"

"I think you are. You can bear the truth, cannot you?"

"I hope I can, -any truth that you have to tell me," I said.
One thought of terrible evil chilled my heart for a moment,
and passed away. Papa's tone and manner did not touch anything
like that. Though it was serious enough to awake my
apprehension. I could not guess what to apprehend.

"Did you get any clear understanding of what your mother might
mean, one day at breakfast, when she was alluding to friends
of yours in America? - you remember?"

"I remember. I did not understand in the least, papa."

"It had to do with Miss St. Clair."

"Yes."

"It seems she spent all the last winter in Washington, where
the society was unusually good, it is said, as well as
unusually military. I do not know how that can be true, when
all Southerners were of course out of the city - but that's no
matter. A girl like this St. Clair girl of course knew all the
epaulettes there were."

"Yes, papa - she is always very much admired. She must be that
everywhere."

"I suppose so, though I don't like her," said papa. "Well,
Daisy, - I do not know how to tell you. She knew your friend."

"Yes, papa."

"And he admired her."

I was silent, wondering what all this was coming to.

"Do you understand me, Daisy? - She has won him from you."

A feeling of sickness passed over me; it did not last. One
vision of my beautiful enemy, one image of her as Mr.
Thorold's friend, - it made me sick for that instant; then, I
believe I looked up and smiled.

"Papa, it is not true, I think."

"It is well attested, Daisy."

"By whom?"

"By a friend of Miss St. Clair, who was with her in Washington
and knew the whole progress of the affair, and testifies to
their being engaged."

"To whose being engaged, papa?"

"Miss St. Clair and your friend, - Colonel Somebody. I forget
his name, Daisy, though you told me, I believe."

"He was not a colonel, papa; not at all; not near it."

"No. He has been promoted, I understand. Promotions are rapid
in the Northern army now-a-days; a lieutenant in the regulars
is transformed easily into a colonel of volunteers. They want
more officers than they have got, I suppose."

I remained silent, thinking.

"Who told you all this, papa?"

"Your mother. She has it direct from the friend of your
rival."

"But, papa, nobody knew about me. It was kept entirely
private."

"Not after you came away, I suppose. How else should this
story be told as of the gentleman _you were engaged to?_"

I waited a little while, to get my voice steady, and then I
went on with my reading to papa. Once he interrupted me to
say, "Daisy, how do you take this that I have been telling
you?" - and at the close of our reading he asked again in a
perplexed manner, "You do not let it trouble you, Daisy?" -
and each time I answered him, "I do not believe it, papa."
Neither did I; but at the same time a dreadful shadow of
possibility came over my spirit. I could not get from under
it, and my soul fainted, as those were said to do who lay down
for shelter under the upas tree. A poison as of death seemed
to distil upon me from that shadow. Not let it trouble me? It
was a man's question, I suppose, put with a man's
powerlessness to read a woman's mind; even though the man was
my father.

I noticed from that time more than ever his tender lingering
looks upon me, wistful, and doubtful. It was hard to bear
them, and I would not confess to them. I would not and did not
show by look or word that I put faith in the story my father
had brought me, or that I had lost faith in any one who had
ever commanded it. Indeed I did not believe the story. I did
trust Mr. Thorold. Nevertheless the cold chill of a "What if?"
- fell upon me sometimes. Could I say that it was an
impossibility, that he should have turned from me, from one
whom such a thorn hedge of difficulties encompassed, to
another woman so much, - I was going to say, so much more
beautiful; but I do not mean that, for I do not think it. No,
but to one whose beauty was so brilliant and whose hand was so
attainable? It would not be an impossibility in the case of
many men. Yes, I trusted Mr. Thorold; but so had other women
trusted. A woman's trust is not a guarantee for the worthiness
of its object. I had only my trust and my knowledge. Could I
say that both might not be mistaken? And trust as I would,
these thoughts would rise.

Now it was very hard for me to meet Faustina St. Clair, and
bear the supercilious air of confident triumph with which she
regarded me. I think nobody could have observed this or read
it but myself only; its tokens were too exceedingly slight
and inappreciable for anything but the tension of my own heart
to feel. I always felt it, whenever we were in company
together; and though I always said at such times, "Christian
cannot love her," - when I was at home and alone, the shadow
of doubt and jealousy came over me again. Everything withers
in that shadow. A woman must either put it out of her heart,
somehow, or grow a diseased and sickly thing, mentally and
morally. I found that I was coming to this in my own mind and
character; and that brought me to a stand.

I shut myself up one or two nights - I could not command my
days - and spent the whole night in thinking and praying. Two
things were before me. The story might be somehow untrue. Time
would show. In the meanwhile, nothing but trust would have
done honour to Mr. Thorold or to myself. I thought it was
untrue. But suppose it were not, - suppose that the joy of my
life were gone, passed over to another; who had done it? By
whose will was my life stripped? The false faith or the
weakness of friend or enemy could not have wrought thus, if it
had not been the will of God that His child should be so
tried; that she should go through just this sorrow, for some
great end or reason known only to Himself. Could I not trust
Him -?

If there is a vulture whose claws are hard to unloose from the
vitals of the spirit, I think it is jealousy. I found it had
got hold of me, and was tearing the life out of me. I knew it
in time. O sing praise to our King, you who know Him! he is
mightier than our enemies; we need not be the prey of any. But
I struggled and prayed, more than one night through, before
faith could gain the victory. Then it did. I gave the matter
into my Lord's hands. If he had decreed that I was to lose Mr.
Thorold, and in this way, - why, I was my Lord's, to do with
as He pleased; it would all be wise and glorious, and kind
too, whatever He did. I would just leave that. But in the mean
time, till I knew that He had taken my joy from me, I would
not believe it; but would go on trusting the friend I had
believed so deserving of trust. I would believe in Mr. Thorold
still and be quiet, till I knew my confidence was misplaced.

It was thoroughly done at last. I gave up myself to God again
and my affairs; and the rest that is unknown anywhere else,
came to me at His feet. I gave up being jealous of Faustina.
If the Lord pleased that she should have what had been so
precious to me, why, well! I gave it up. But not till I was
sure I had cause.

What a lull came upon my harassed and tossed spirit, which had
been like a stormy sea under cross winds. Now it lay still,
and could catch the reflection of the sun again and the blue
of heaven. I could go into society now and please mamma, and
read at home to papa and give him the wonted gratification;
and I could meet Faustina with an open brow and a free hand.

"Daisy, you are better this day or two," papa said to me,
wistfully. "You are like yourself. What is it, my child?"

"It is Christ, my Lord, papa."

"I do not know what you can mean by that, Daisy," said papa,
looking grave. "You are not an enthusiast or a fanatic."

"It is not enthusiasm, papa, to believe God's promises. It
can't be fanaticism, to be glad of them."

"Promises?" said papa. "What are you talking of?"

"Papa, I am a servant of Christ," I said; I remember I was
arranging the sticks of wood on the fire as I spoke, and it
made pauses between my words; - "and He has promised to take
care of His servants and to let no harm come to them, - no
real harm; - how can I be afraid, papa? My Lord knows, - He
knows all about it and all about me; I am safe; I have nothing
to do to be afraid."

"Safe from what?"

"Not from trouble, papa; I do not mean that. He may see that
it is best that trouble should come to me. But it will not
come unless He sees that it is best; and I can trust Him."

"My dear child, is there not a little fanaticism there?"

"How, papa?"

"It seems to me to sound like it."

"It is nothing but believing God, papa."

"I wish I understood you," said papa, thoughtfully.

So I knelt down beside him and put my arms about him, and told
him what I wanted him to understand; much more than I had ever
been able to do before. The pain and sorrow of the past few
weeks had set me free, and the rest of heart of the last few
days too. I told papa all about it. I think, as Philip did to
Queen Candace's servant, I "preached to him Jesus."

"So that is what you mean by being a Christian," said papa at
last. "It is not living a good moral life and keeping all
one's engagements."

" 'By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified.'
Even you, papa, are not good enough for that. God's law calls
for perfection."

"Nobody is perfect."

"No, papa; and so all have come short of the glory of God."

"Well, then, I don't see what you are going to do, Daisy."

"Christ has paid our debt, papa."

"Then nobody need do anything."

"Oh, no, papa; for the free pardon that is made out for you
and me - the white robe that Christ counsels us to buy of Him
- waits for our acceptance and is given only on conditions. It
is ready for every one who will trust Christ and obey Him; a
free pardon, papa; a white robe that will hide all our
ugliness. But we must be willing to have it on the
conditions."

"And how then, Daisy?"

"Why, this way, papa. See, - I am dead - with Christ; it is as
if I myself had died under the law, instead of my substitute;
the penalty is paid, and the law has nothing to say to a dead
malefactor, you know, papa. And now, I am dead to the law, and
my life is Christ's. I live because He lives, and by His
Spirit living in me; all I am and have belongs to Christ; the
life that I live, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me and gave Himself for me. I am not trying to keep the
law, to buy my life; but I am _keeping_ the law, because Christ
has given me life - do you see, papa? and all my life is love
to Him."

"It seems to me, Daisy," said papa, "that if faith is all,
people may lead what lives they choose."

"Papa, the faith that believes in Christ, loves and obeys Him;
or it is just no faith. It is nothing. It is dead."

"And faith makes such a change in people's feelings and
lives?"

"Why, yes, papa, for then they live by Christ's strength and
not their own; and in the love of Him, and not in the love of
themselves any longer."

"Daisy," said papa, "it is something I do not know, and I see
that you do know; and I would like to be like you anyhow. Pray
for me, my child, that I may have that faith."

I had never done it in his presence before, but now I knelt
down by the table and uttered all my heart to the One who
could hear us both. I could not have done it, I think, a few
weeks earlier; but this last storm had seemed to shake me free
from everything. What mattered, if I could only help to show
papa the way? He was weeping, I think, while I was praying; I
thought he sought to hide the traces of it when I rose up; and
I went from the room with a gladness in my heart that said,
"What if, even if Thorold is lost to me! There is something
better beyond."

Papa and I seemed to walk on a new plane from that day. There
was a hidden sympathy between us, which had its root in the
deepest ground of our nature. We never had been one before, as
we were one from that time.

It was but a few days, and another thing happened. The mail
bag had come in as usual, and I had gathered up my little
parcel of letters and gone with it to my room, before I
examined what they were. A letter evidently from Mr. Dinwiddie
had just made my heart leap with pleasure, when glancing at
the addresses of the rest before I broke the seal of this, I
saw what made my heart stand still. It was the handwriting of
Mr. Thorold. I think my eyes grew dim and dazed for a minute;
then I saw clearly enough to open the envelope, which showed
signs of having been a traveller. There was a letter for me,
such a letter as I had wanted; such as I had thirsted for; it
was not long, for it was written by a busy man, but it was
long enough, for it satisfied my thirst. Enclosed with it was
another envelope directed to papa.

I waited to get calm again; for the joy which shot through all
my veins was a kind of elixir of life; it produced too much
exhilaration for me to dare to see anybody. Yet I think I was
weeping; but at any rate, I waited till my nerves were quiet
and under control, and then I went with the letter to papa. I
knew mamma was just gone out and there was no fear of
interruption. Papa read the letter, and read it, and looked up
at me.

"Do you know what this is, Daisy?"

"Papa, I guess. I know what it was meant to be."

"It is a cool demand of you," said papa.

I was glad, and proud; that was what it ought to be; that was
what I knew it suited papa that it should be. I stood by the
mantelpiece, waiting.

"So you knew about it?"

"Mr. Thorold said he would write to you, papa. I had been
afraid, and asked him not. I wanted him to wait till he could
see you."

"One sees a good deal of a man in his letters," said papa;
"and this is a man's letter. He thinks enough of himself,
Daisy."

"Papa, - not too much."

"I did not say too much; but enough; and a man who does not
think enough of himself is a poor creature. I would not have a
man ask me for you, Daisy, who did not in his heart think he
was worthy of you."

"Papa, you draw nice distinctions," I said half laughing.

"That would be simple presumption, not modesty; this is
manliness."

We were both silent upon this; papa considering the letter, or
its proposal; I thinking of Mr. Thorold's manliness, and
feeling very much pleased that he had shown it and papa had
discerned it so readily. The silence lasted till I began to be
curious.

"What shall we do now, Daisy?" papa said at last. I left him
to answer his own question.

"Hey? What do you wish me to do?"

"Papa, - I hope you will give him a kind answer."

"How can I get it to him?"

"I can enclose it to an aunt of his, whom I know. She can get
it to him. She lives in New York."

"His aunt? So you know his family?

"No one of them, papa, but this one; his mother's sister."

"What sort of a person is she?"

So I sat down and told papa about Miss Cardigan. He listened
with a very grave, thoughtful face; asking few questions, but
kissing me. And then, without more ado, he turned to the table
and wrote a letter, writing very fast, and handed it to me. It
was all I could have asked that it might be. My heart filled
with grateful rest.

"Will that do?" said papa as I gave it back.

"Papa, only one thing more, - if you are willing, that we
should sometimes write to each other?"

"Hm - that sounds moderate," said papa. "By the way, why was
not this letter written and sent sooner? What is the date? -
why, Daisy! -"

"What, papa?"

"My child, this letter, - it is a good year old, and more;
written in the beginning of last winter."

It took me a little while to get the full bearings of this;
then I saw that it dated back to a time quite anterior to the
circumstances of Faustina St. Clair's story, whatever that
amounted to. Papa was all thrown back.

"This is good for nothing, now, you see, Daisy."

"Oh, no, papa."

"For the purposes of action."

"Papa, it does not matter, the date."

"Yes, Daisy, it does; for it speaks of a man of last year, and
my answer would go to a man of this year."

"They are not different men, papa."

"I must be assured of that." He was folding up his letter, his
own, and I saw the next thing would be to throw it into the
fire. I laid my hand over his.

"Papa, don't do that. Let me have it."

"I cannot send it."

"Papa, let me have it. I will send it to Miss Cardigan - she
loves me almost as well as you do - I will tell her; and if
there is any truth in mamma's story, Miss Cardigan will know
and she will burn the letter, just as well as you. And so you
would escape doing a great wrong."

"You may be mistaken, my child."

"Then Miss Cardigan will burn the letter, papa. I can trust
her."

"Can _I_ trust her?"

"Yes, papa, through me. Please let me have it. There shall
come no harm from this, papa."

"Daisy, your mother says he is engaged to this girl."

"It is a mistake, papa."

"You cannot prove it, my child."

"Time will."

"Then will be soon enough for my action."

"But papa, in the mean time? - think of the months he has been
waiting already for an answer -"

I suppose the tears were in my eyes, as I pleaded, with my
hand still upon papa's hand, covering the papers. He slowly
drew his hand away, leaving the letter under mine.

"Well!" - said he, - "do as you will."

"You are not unwilling, papa?"

"I am a little unwilling, Daisy; but I cannot deny you, child.
I hope you are right."

"Then, papa, add that one word about letters, will you?"

"And if it is all undeserved?"

"It is not, papa."

Papa set his teeth for a moment, with a look which, however,
wonted perhaps in his youthful days, I had very rarely seen
called up in him. It passed then, and he wrote the brief word
I had asked for, of addition to his letter, and gave it to me;
and then took me in his arms and kissed me again.

"You are not very wise in the world, my Daisy," he said; "and
men would say I am not. But I cannot deny you. Guard your
letter to Miss Cardigan. And for the present all this matter
shall sleep in our own bosoms."

"Papa," I asked, "how much did mamma know - I mean - how much
did she hear about me that was true?"

"It was reported that you had been engaged."

"She heard that."

"Yes."

"She has never spoken about it."

"She thinks it not necessary."

I was silent a moment, pondering, as well I might; but then I
kissed papa and thanked him, and went off and wrote and posted
my letter with its enclosure. Sufficient to the day is the
evil thereof.

CHAPTER XIX.

ONE FALLEN


I sent my letter, and waited. I got no answer. The weeks
rolled on, and the months. It was palpable, that delays which
had kept back one letter for a year might affect the delivery
of another letter in the same way; but it is hard, the
straining one's eyes into thick darkness with the vain
endeavour to see something.

The months were outwardly gay; very full of society life,
though not of the kind that I cared for. I went into it to
please mamma; and succeeded but partially; for she insisted I
was too sober and did not half take the French tone of easy,
light, graceful skimming over the surface of things. But mamma
could be deep and earnest too on her own subjects of interest.
The news of President Lincoln's proclamation, setting free the
slaves of the rebel States, roused her as much as she could be
roused. There were no terms to her speech or my aunt Gary's;
violent and angry against not only the President, but
everything and everybody that shared Northern growth and
extraction. - How bitterly they sneered at "Massachusetts
codfish;" - I think nothing would have induced either of them
to touch it; and whatsoever belonged to the East or the North,
not only meats and drinks, but Yankee spirit and manners and
courage, were all, figuratively, put under foot and well
trampled on. I listened and trembled, sometimes; sometimes I
listened and rejoiced. For, after all, my own affairs were not
the whole world; and a thrill of inexpressible joy went
through me when I remembered that my old Maria, and Pete, and
the Jems, and Darry, were all, by law, freed for ever from the
oppression of Mr. Edwards and any like him; and that the day
of their actual emancipation would come, so soon as the rights
of the Government should be established over the South. And of
this issue I began to be a little hopeful, beginning to
believe that it might be possible. Antietam and Corinth, and
Fredricksburg and New Orleans, with varying fortune, had at
least proclaimed to my ear that Yankees could fight; there was
no doubt of that now; and Southern prowess could not always
prevail against theirs. Papa ceased to question it, I noticed;
though mamma's sneers grew more intense as the occasion for
them grew less and less obvious.

The winter passed, and the spring came; and moved on with its
sweet step of peace, as it does even when men's hearts are all
at war. The echo of the battlefields of Virginias wept through
the Boulevards with met often; and it thundered at home. Mamma
had burst into new triumph at the news of Chancellorsville;
and uttered with great earnestness her wish that Jefferson
Davis might be able to execute the threat of his proclamation
and hang General Butler. But for me, I got no letter; and
these echoes began to sound in my ear like the distant outside
rumblings of the storm to one whose hearthstone it has already
swept and laid desolate. I was not desolate; yet I began to
listen as one whose ears were dim with listening. I met
Faustina St. Clair again with uneasiness. Not the torment of
my former jealousy; but a stir of doubt and pain which I could
not repress at the sight of her.

When the summer drew on, to my great pleasure we went to
Switzerland again. We established ourselves quietly at
Lucerne, which papa was very fond of. There we were much more
quiet than we had been the fall before; Ransom having gone
home now to take his share in the struggle, and our two
Southern friends who had also gone, having no successors like
them in our little home circle. We made not so many and not so
long excursions. But papa and I had good time for our
readings; and I had always a friend with whom I could take
counsel, in the grand old Mont Pilatte. What a friend that
mountain was to me, to be sure! When I was downhearted, and
when anything made me glad; when I was weary and when I was
most full of life; its grand head in the skies told me of
truth and righteousness and strength; the light and colours
that played and rested there, as it held, the sun's beams and
gave them back to earth, were a sort of promise to me of
beauty and life above and beyond this earth; yes, and of its
substantial existence now, even when we do not see it. They
were a little hint of what we do not see. I do not exactly
know what was the language of the wreaths of vapour that robed
and shrouded and then revealed the mountain, with the
exquisite shiftings and changings of their gracefulness; I
believe it was like, to me, the floating veil that hides God's
purposes from us, yet now and then parting enough to let us
see the eternal truth and unchangeableness behind it. I told
all my moods to Mont Pilatte, and I think it told all its
moods to me. After a human friend, there is nothing like a big
mountain. And when the news of Gettysburg and Vicksburg came;
and mamma grew furious; and I saw for the first time that
success was truly looming up on the horizon of the North, and
that my dear coloured people might indeed soon be free; that
night Mont Pilatte and I shouted together.

There came no particular light on my own affairs all this
time. Indeed mamma began to reproach me for what she called my
disloyal and treacherous sentiments. And then, hints began to
break out, very hard to bear, that I had indulged in
traitorous alliances and was an unworthy child of my house. It
rankled in mamma's mind, that I had not only refused the
connection with one of the two powerful Southern families
which had sought me the preceding year; but that I had also
discouraged and repelled during the past winter several
addresses which might have been made very profitable to my
country as well as my own interests. For what had I rejected
them all? mamma began to ask discontentedly. Papa shielded me
a little; but I felt that the sky was growing dark around me
with the coming storm.

One never knows, after all, where the first bolt will come
from. Mine struck me all unawares, while I was looking in an
opposite quarter. It is hard to write it. A day came, that I
had a father in the morning, and at night, none.

It was very sudden. He had been feeble, to be sure, more than
usual, for several days, but nobody apprehended anything.
Towards evening he failed - suddenly; sent for me, and died in
my arms, blessing me. Yes, we had been walking the same road
together for some time. I was only left to go on awhile longer
alone.

But Mont Pilatte said to me that night, "There remaineth a
rest for the people of God." And while the moon went down and
the stars slowly trooped over the head of the mountain, I
heard that utterance, and those words of the hymn -

"God liveth ever:
"Wherefore, soul, despair thou never."

I could go no farther. I could think no more. Kneeling at my
window-sill, under the starry night, my soul held to those two
things and did not loose its moorings. It is a great deal, to
hold fast. It was all then I could do. And even in the
remembrance now of the loneliness and desolate feeling that
came upon me at that time, there is also a strong sense of the
deep sweetness which I was conscious of, rather than able to
taste, coming from those words and resting at the bottom of my
heart.

I was in some measure drawn out of myself, almost immediately,
by the illness of my mother. She fell into a nervous
disordered condition, which it taxed all my powers to tend and
soothe. I think it was mental rather than bodily, in the
origin of it; but body and mind shared in the result, as
usual. And when she got better and was able to sit up and even
to go about again, she remained under the utmost despondency.
Affairs were not looking well for the Southern struggle in
America; and besides the mortification of her political
affections, mamma was very sure that if the South could not
succeed in establishing its independence, we should as a
family be ruined.

"We are ruined now, Daisy," she said. "There can be nothing
coming from our Magnolia estates - and our Virginia property
is a mere battle ground, you know; and what have we to live
upon?"

"Mamma, there will be some way," I said. "I have not thought
about it."

"No, you do not think but of your own favourite speculations.
I wish with all my heart you had never taken to fanatical
ways. I have no comfort in you."

"What do you mean by fanaticism, mamma?"

"I will tell you!" replied mamma with energy. "The essence of
fanaticism is to have your own way."

"I do not think, mamma, that I want to have my own way."

"Of course, when you have it. That is what such people always
say. They don't want to have their own, way. I do not want to
have mine, either."

"Is not Dr. Sandford attending to our affairs for us, mamma?"

"I do not know. Your father trusted him, unaccountably. I do
not know what he is doing."

"He will certainly do anything that can be done for us, mamma;
I am persuaded of that. And he knows how."

"Is it for your sake, Daisy?" mamma said suddenly, and with a
glitter in her eye which boded confusion to the doctor.

"I do not know, mamma," I said quietly. "He was always very
good and very kind to me."

"I suppose you are not quite a fool," she said, calming down a
little. "And a Yankee doctor would hardly lose his senses
enough to fall in love with you. Though I believe the Yankees
are the most impudent nation upon the earth. I wish Butler
could be hanged! I should like to know that was done before I
die."

I fled from this turn of the talk always.

It was true, however brought about I do not know, that Dr.
Sandford had been for some time kindly bestirring himself to
look after our interests at home, which the distressed state
of the country had of course greatly imperilled. I was not
aware that papa had been at any time seriously concerned about
them; however, it soon appeared that mamma had reason enough
now for being ill at ease. In the South, war and war
preparations had so far superseded the usual employments of
men, that next to nothing could be looked for in place of the
ordinary large crops and ample revenues. And Melbourne had
been let, indeed, for a good rent; but there was some trouble
about collecting the rent; and if collected, it belonged to
Ransom. Ransom was in the Southern army, fighting no doubt his
best, and mamma would not have scrupled to use his money; but
Dr. Sandford scrupled to send it without authority. He urged
mamma to come home, where he said she could be better taken
care of than alone in distant Switzerland. He proposed that
she should reoccupy Melbourne, and let him farm the ground for
her until Ransom should be able to look after it. Mamma and
Aunt Gary had many talks on the subject. I said as little as I
could.

"It is almost as bad with me," said my aunt Gary, one of these
times. "Only I do not want much."

"I _do_," said mamma. "And if one must live as one has not been
accustomed to live, I would rather it should be where I am
unknown."

"You are not unknown here, my dear sister!"

"Personally and socially. Not exactly. But I am historically
unknown."

"Historically!" echoed my aunt.

"And living is cheaper here too."

"But one must have _some_ money, even here, Felicia."

"I have jewels," said mamma.

"Your jewels! - Daisy might have prevented all this," said
Aunt Gary, looking at me.

"Daisy is one of those whose religion it is to please
themselves."

"But, my dear, you must be married some time," my aunt went
on, appealingly.

"I do not think that is certain, Aunt Gary."

"You are not waiting for Preston, are you? I hope not; for he
is likely to be as poor as you are; if he gets through the
battles, poor boy!" And my aunt put her handkerchief to her
eyes.

"I am not waiting for Preston," I said, "any more than he is
waiting for me."

"I don't know how that is," said my aunt. "Preston was very
dependent on you, Daisy; but I don't know - since he has heard
these stories of you" -

"Daisy is nothing to Preston!" my mother broke in with some
sharpness. "Tell him so, if he ever broaches the question to
you. Cut that matter short. I have other views for Daisy, when
she returns to her duty. I believe in a religion of obedience
- not in a religion of independent self-will. I wish Daisy had
been brought up in a convent. She would, if I had had my way.
These popular religions throw over all law and order. I hate
them!"

"You see, Daisy my dear, how pleasant it would be, if you
could see things as your mother does," my aunt remarked.

"I am indifferent whether Daisy has my eyes or not," said
mamma; "what I desire is, that she should have my will."

The talks came to nothing, ended in nothing, did nothing. My
aunt Gary at the beginning of winter went back to America. My
mother did as she had proposed; sold some of her jewels, and
so paid her way in Switzerland for some months longer. But
this could not last. Dr. Sandford urged her return; she wished
also to be nearer to Ransom; and in the spring we once more
embarked for home.

The winter had been exceedingly sad to me. No word from
America ever reached my hands to give me any comfort; and I
was alone with my sorrow. Mamma's state of mind, too, which
was most uncomfortable for her, was extremely trying to me;
because it consisted of regrets that I could not soothe,
anxieties that I was unable to allay, and reproachful wishes
that I could neither meet nor promise to meet. Constant
repinings, ceaseless irritations, purposeless discussions;
they wearied my heart, but I could bring no salve nor remedy
unless I would have agreed to make a marriage for money. I
missed all that had brought so much sweetness into even my
Paris life, with my talks with papa, and readings, and
sympathy, and mutual confidence. It was a weary winter, my
only real earthly friend being Mont Pilatte. Except Mr.
Dinwiddie. I had written to him and got one or two good,
strong, kind, helpful answers. Ah, what a good thing a good
letter is!

So it was great relief to quit Switzerland and find myself on
the deck of the steamer, with every revolution of the paddle
wheels bringing me nearer home. Nearer what had been home; all
was vague and blank in the distance now. I was sure of
nothing. Only, "The Lord is my Shepherd," answers all that. It
cannot always stop the beating of human hearts, though; and
mine beat hard sometimes, on that homeward voyage. Mamma was
very dismal. I sat on deck as much as I could and watched the
sea. It soothed me, with its living image of God's grand
government on earth; its ceaseless majestic flow, of which the
successive billows that raise their heads upon its surface are
not the interruption, but the continuation. So with our little
affairs, so with mine. Not for nothing does any feeblest one's
fortunes rise or fall; but to work somewhat of good either to
himself or to others, and so to the whole. I was pretty quiet
during the voyage, while I knew that no news could reach me; I
expected to keep quiet; but I did not know myself.

We had hardly entered the bay of New York, and I had begun to
discern familiar objects and to realise that I was in the same
land with Mr. Thorold again, when a tormenting anxiety took
possession of my heart. Now that I was near him, questions
could be put off no longer. What tidings would greet me? and
how should I get any tidings at all? A fever began to run
along my veins, which I felt was not to be cured by reasoning.
Yes, I was not seeking to dispose my own affairs; I was not
trying to take them into my own hands; but I craved to know
how they stood, and what it was to which I must submit myself.
I was not willing to submit to uncertainty. Yet I remembered I
must do just that.

The vessel came to her moorings, and I sat in my muse, only
conscious of that devouring impatience which possessed me; and
did not see Dr. Sandford till he was close by my side. Then I
was glad; but the deck of that bustling steamer was no place
to show how glad. I stood still, with my hand in the doctor's,
and felt my face growing cold.

"Sit down!" he said, putting me back in the chair from which I
had risen; and still keeping my hand. "How is Mrs. Randolph?"

"I suppose you know how she is, from her letters."

"And you?" he said, with a change of tone.

"I do not know. I shall be better, I hope."

"You will be better, to get ashore. Will you learn your
mother's pleasure about it? and I will attend to the rest."

I thanked him; for the tone of genuine, manly care and
protection, was in my ears for the first time in many a day.
Mamma was very willing to avail herself of it too, and to my
great pleasure received Dr. Sandford and treated him with
perfect courtesy. Rooms were provided for us in one of the
best hotels, and comforts ready. The doctor saw us established
there, and asked what more he could do for us before he left
us to rest. He would not stay to dinner.

"The papers, please," said mamma. "Will you send me all the
papers. What is the news? We have heard nothing for weeks."

"I will send you the papers. You will see the news there,"
said the doctor.

"But what is it?"

"You would not rest if I began upon the subject. It would take
a good while to tell it all."

"But what is the position of affairs?"

"Sherman is in Georgia. Grant is in Virginia. There has been,
and there is, some stout fighting on hand."

"Sherman and Grant," said mamma. "Where are my people,
doctor?"

"Opposed to them. They do not find the way exactly open," the
doctor answered.

"Hard fighting, you said. How did it result?"

"Nothing is decided yet - except that the Yankees can fight,"
said the doctor, with a slight smile. And mamma said no more.
But I took courage, and she took gloom. The papers came, a
bundle of them, reaching back over several dates; giving
details of the battles of the Wilderness and of Sherman's
operations in the South. Mamma studied and studied, and
interrupted her dinner, to study. I took the sheets as they
fell from her hand and looked - for the lists of the wounded.
They were long enough, but they did not hold what I was
looking for. Mamma broke out at last with an earnest
expression of thanksgiving that Sedgwick was killed.

"Why, mamma?" I said in some horror.

"There is one less!" she answered grimly.

"But _one_ less makes very little difference for the cause,
mamma."

"I wish there were a dozen then," said she. "I wish all were
shot, that have the faculty of leading this rabble of numbers
and making them worth something."

But I was getting, I, to have a little pride in Northern
blood. I said nothing, of course.

"You are just a traitor, Daisy, I believe," said mamma. "You
read of all that is going on, and you know that Ransom and
Preston Gary are in it, and you do not care; except you care
on the wrong side. But I tell you this, - nothing that calls
itself Yankee shall ever have anything to do with me or mine
so long as I live. I will see you dead first, Daisy."

There was no answer to be made to this either. It only sank
down into my heart; and I knew I had no help in this world.

The question immediately pressed itself upon our attention,
where would we go? Dr. Sandford proposed Melbourne; and urged
that in the first place we should avail ourselves of the
hospitalities of his sister's house in that neighbourhood,
most generously tendered us, till he could be at leisure to
make arrangements at our old home. Just now he was under the
necessity of returning immediately to Washington, where he had
one or more hospitals in charge; indeed he left us that same
night of our landing; but before he went he earnestly pressed
his sister's invitation upon my mother, and promised that so
soon as the settlement of the country's difficulties should
set him free, he would devote himself to the care of us and
Melbourne till we were satisfactorily established.

"And I am in hopes it will not be very long now," he said
aside to me. "I think the country has got the right man at
last; and that is what we have been waiting for. Grant says he
will fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer; and I
think the end is coming."

Mamma would give no positive answer to the doctor's instances;
she thanked him and talked round the subject, and he was
obliged to go away without any contentment of her giving.
Alone with me, she spoke out: -

"I will take no Yankee civilities, Daisy. I will be under no
obligation to one of them. And I could not endure to be in the
house of one of them, if it were conferring instead of
receiving obligation."

"What will you do, then, mamma."

"I will wait. You do not suppose that the South can be
conquered, Daisy? The idea is absurd!"

"But, mamma? -"

"Well?"

"Why is it absurd?"

"Because they are not a people to give up. Don't you know
that? They would die first, every man and woman of them."

"But mamma, whatever the spirit of the people may be, numbers
and means have to tell upon the question at last."

"Numbers and means!" mamma repeated scornfully. "I tell you,
Daisy, the South _cannot_ yield. And as they cannot yield, they
must sooner or later succeed. Success always comes at last to
those who cannot be conquered."

"What is to become of us in the mean time, mamma?"

"I don't see that it signifies much," she said, relapsing out
of the fire with which the former sentences had been
pronounced. "I would like to live to see the triumph come."

That was all I could get from mamma that evening. She lay down
on a sofa and buried her face in pillows. I sat in the
darkening room and mused. The windows were open; a soft warm
air blew the curtains gently in and out; from the street below
came the murmur of business and voices and clatter of feet and
sound of wheels; not with the earnestness of alarm or the
droop of depression, but ringing, sharp, clear, cheery. The
city did not feel badly. New York had not suffered in its
fortunes or prosperity. There was many a battlefield at the
South where the ravages of war had swept all traces and hopes
of good fortunes away; never one at the North where the corn
had been blasted, or the fruits of the earth untimely ravaged,
or the heart of the husbandman disappointed in his ground.
Mamma's conclusions seemed to me without premise. What of my
own fortunes? I thought the wind of the desert, had blown upon
them and they were dead. I remember, in the trembling of my
heart as I sat and listened and mused, and thoughts trooped in
and out of my head with little order or volition on my part,
one word was a sort of rallying point on which they gathered
and fell back from time to time, though they started out again
on fresh roamings - "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place
in all generations"! - I remember, - it seems to me now as if
it had been some time before I was born, - how the muslin
curtains floated in on the evening wind, and the hum and stir
of the street came up to my ear; the bustle and activity,
though it was evening; and how the distant battlefields of
Virginia looked in forlorn contrast in the far distance. Yet
this was really the desert and that the populous place; for
there, somewhere, my world was. I grew very desolate as I
thought, or mused, by the window. If it had not been for those
words of the refuge, my heart would have failed me utterly.
After a long while mamma roused up and we had tea brought.

"Has Dr. Sandford gone?" she asked.

"He bid us good bye, mamma, you know. I suppose he took the
evening train, as he said."

"Then we shall have no more meddling."

"He means us only kindness, I am sure, mamma."

"I do not like kindness. I do not know what right Dr. Sandford
has to offer me kindness. I gave him none."

"Mamma, it seems to me that we are in a condition to receive
kindness, - and be very glad of it."

"You are poor-spirited, Daisy; you always were. You never had
any right pride of blood or of place. I think it makes no
difference to you who people are. If you had done your duty to
me, we should have been in no condition now to 'receive
kindness,' as you express it. I may thank you."

"What do you mean to do, mamma?"

"Nothing."

"Stay here, in this hotel?"

"Yes."

"It will be very expensive, mamma."

"I will meet the expense."

"But, mamma, - without funds?"

"I have a diamond necklace yet, Daisy."

"But, mamma, when that is gone? -"

"Do you think," she broke out with violence, "that this war is
going to last for ever? It _cannot_ last. The Yankees will find
out what they have undertaken. Lee will drive them back. You
do not suppose _he_ can be overcome?"

"Mamma - if the others have more men and more means -"

"They are only Yankees," - mamma said quietly, but with a
concentration of scorn impossible to give in words.

"They know how to fight," - I could not help saying.

"Yes, but _we_ do not know how to be overcome! Do you think it,
Daisy?"

"Mamma - there was New Orleans - and Vicksburg - and
Gettysburg; - and now in Virginia -"

"Yes, now; these battles; you will see how they will turn. Do
you suppose this Yankee Grant is a match for Robert E. Lee?"

It was best to drop the discussion, and I dropped it; but it
had gone too far to be forgotten. Every bit of news from that
time was a point of irritation; if good for the South, mamma
asserted that I did not sympathise with it; if good for the
North, she found that I was glad, though I tried not to show
that I was. She was irritated, and anxious, and unhappy. What
I was, I kept to myself.

CHAPTER XX.

THE WOUNDED


One desire possessed me, pressing before every other; it was
to see Miss Cardigan. I thought I should accomplish this very
soon after my landing. I found that I must wait for days.

It was very hard to wait. Yet mamma needed me; she was nervous
and low-spirited and unwell and lonely; she could not endure
to have me long out of her sight. She never looked with favour
upon any proposal of mine to go out, even for a walk; and I
could hardly get permission. I fancied that some - latent -
suspicion lay beneath all this unwillingness, which did not
make it more easy to bear. But I got leave at last, one
afternoon early in June; and took my way up the gay
thoroughfares of Broadway and the Avenue.

It was June, June all over. Just like the June of four years
ago, when Dr. Sandford took me away from school to go to West
Point; like the June of three years ago, when I had been
finishing my school work, before I went to Washington. I was a
mere girl then; now, I seemed to myself at least twenty years
older. June sweetness was in all the air; June sunlight
through all the streets; roses blossomed in courtyards and
looked out of windows; grass was lush and green; people were
in summer dresses. I hurried along, my breath growing shorter
as I went. The well-known corner of Mme. Ricard's
establishment came into view, and bright school-days with it.
Miss Cardigan's house opposite looked just as I had left it;
and as I drew near I saw that this was literally so. The
flowers were blossoming in the garden plots and putting their
faces out of window, exactly as if I had left them but a day
ago. My knees trembled under me then, as I went up the steps
and rang the bell. A strange servant opened to me. I went in,
to her astonishment I suppose, without asking any questions;
which indeed I could not. What if a second time I should find
Mr. Thorold here? Such a thought crossed me as I trod the
familiar marble floor, after the wild fashion in which our
wishes mock our reason; then it left me the next instant, in
my gladness to see through the opening door the figure of my
dear old friend. Just as I had left her also. Something, in
the wreck of my world, had stood still and suffered no change.

I went in and stood before her. She pulled off her spectacles,
looked at me, changed colour and started up. I can hardly tell
what she said. I think I was in too great a confusion for my
senses to do their office perfectly. But her warm arms were
about me, and my head found a hiding-place on her shoulder.

"Sit down, my lamb, my lamb!" were the first words I remember.
"Janet, shut the door, and tell anybody I am busy. Sit you
down here and rest. My lamb, ye're all shaken. Daisy, my pet,
where have you been?"

I sat down, and she did, but I leaned over to the arms that
still enfolded me and laid my head on her bosom. She was
silent now for a while. And I wished she would speak, but I
could not. Her arms pressed me close in the embrace that had
so comforted my childhood. She had taken off my bonnet and
kissed me and smoothed my hair; and that was all, for what
seemed a long while.

"What is it?" she said at last. "I know you're left, my
darling. I heard of your loss, while you were so far away from
home. One is gone from your world."

"He was happy - he is happy," I whispered.

"Let us praise the Lord for that!" she said in her broadest
Scotch accent, which only came out in moments of feeling.

"But he was nearly all my world, Miss Cardigan."

"Ay," she said. "We have but one father. And yet, no, my bairn.
Ye're not left desolate."

"I have been very near it."

"I am glad ye are come home."

"But I feel as if I had no home anywhere," I said with a burst
of tears which were a great mercy to me at the time. The
stricture upon my heart had like to have taken away my breath.
Miss Cardigan let me weep, saying sympathy with the tender
touch of her soft hand; no otherwise. And then I could lift
myself up and face life again.

"You have not forgotten your Lord, Daisy?" she said at length,
when she saw me quiet. I looked at her and smiled my answer,
though it must have been a sober smile.

"I see," she said; "you have not. But how was it, so far away,
my bairn? Weren't you tempted?"

"No, dear Miss Cardigan. What could tempt me?"

"The world, child. Its baits of pleasure and pride and power.
Did they never take hold on ye, Daisy?"

"My pleasure I had left at home," I said. "No, that is not
quite true. I had the pleasure of being with papa and mamma;
and of seeing a great deal of beauty, too. And I had pleasure
in Palestine, Miss Cardigan; but it was not the sort to tempt
me to forget anything good."

"And pride?" said the old lady.

"Why do you ask me?"

"You're so bonny, my darling. You ken you are; and other folks
know it."

"Pride? Yes, it tempted me a little," I said; "but it could
not for long, Miss Cardigan, when I remembered."

"Remembered? What was it you remembered?" she said very
tenderly; for I believe my eyes had filled again.

"When I remembered what I was heir to."

"And ye didn't have your inheritance all in the future, I
trust?" said my old friend. "There's crumbs to be gotten even
now from that feast; ye didn't go starving, my bairn?"

"I hadn't much to help me, Miss Cardigan, except the Lord's
wonderful world which He has made. That helped me."

"And ye had a crumb of joy now and then?"

"I had more than crumbs sometimes," I said, with a sober
looking back over the years.

"And it is my own living Daisy and not an image of her? You
are not spoiled a bit, my bairn?"

"Maybe I am," I said, smiling at her. "How do I know?"

"There's a look in your eyes which says you are not," she said
with a sort of long breath; "and I know not how you have
escaped it. Child! the forces which have assailed you have
beaten down many a one. It's only to be strong in the Lord, to
be sure; but we are lured away from our strength, sometimes,
and then we fall; and we are lured easily."

"Perhaps not when the battle is so very hard to fight, dear
Miss Cardigan."

"Maybe no," she said. "But had ye never a minister to counsel
ye or to help ye, in those parts?"

"Only when I was in Palestine; nowhere else."

"You must have wanted it sorely."

"Yes, but, Miss Cardigan, I had better teaching all the time.
The mountains and the sun and the sky and the beauty, all
seemed to repeat the Bible to me, all the time. I never saw
the top of Mont Blanc rosy in the sunset, nor the other
mountains, without thinking of those words, 'Be ye perfect,
even as your Father in heaven is perfect;' - and, 'They shall
walk with me in white.' -"

Miss Cardigan wiped away a tear or two.

"But you are looking very sober, my love," she said presently,
examining me.

"I have reason," I said. And I went on to give her in detail
the account of the past year's doings in my family, and of our
present position and prospects. She listened with the greatest
sympathy and the most absorbed attention. The story had taken
a good while; it was growing late, and I rose to go. Not till
then was her nephew alluded to.

"I'm thinking," then said Miss Cardigan slowly, "there's one
person you have not asked after, who would ill like to be left
out of our mouths."

I stood still and hesitated and I felt my face grow warm.

"I have not heard from him, Miss Cardigan, since -"

And I did not say since when.

"And what of it?" she asked.

"Nothing -" I said, stammering a little, "but I wait."

"He's waiting, poor lad," she said. "Have ye not had letters
from him?"

"Never; not since that one I sent him through you."

"He got it, however," said Miss Cardigan; "for there was no
reason whatever why he should not. Did you think, Daisy, he
had forgotten you?"

"No, Miss Cardigan; but it was told of him that - he had
forgotten me."

"How was that done? I thought no one knew about your loving
each other, you two children."

"So I thought; but - why, Miss Cardigan, it was confidently
told in Paris to my mother that he was engaged to a schoolmate
of mine."

"Did you believe it?"

"No. But I never heard from him again, and of course papa did
believe it. How could I tell, Miss Cardigan?"

"By your faith, child. I wouldn't have Christian think you
didn't believe him, not for all the world holds."

"I did believe him," I said, feeling a rill of joy flowing
into some dry places in my heart and changing the wilderness
there. "But he was silent, and I waited."

"He was not silent, I'll answer for it," said his aunt; "but
the letters might have gone wrong, you know. That is what they
have done, somehow."

"What could have been the foundation of that story?" I
questioned.

"I just counsel ye to ask Christian, when ye see him - if
these weary wars ever let us see him. I think he'll answer
ye."

And his aunt's manner rather intimated that my answer would be
decisive. I bade her good bye, and returned along the
shadowing streets with such a play of life and hope in my
heart, as for the time changed it into a very garden of
delight. I was not the same person that had walked those ways
a few hours ago.

This jubilation, however, could not quite last. I had no
sooner got home, than mamma began to cast in doubts and fears
and frettings, till the play of the fountain was well nigh
covered over with rubbish. Yet I could feel the waters of joy
stirring underneath it all; and she said, rather in a
displeased manner, that my walk seemed to have done me a great
deal of good! and inquired where I had been. I told her, of
course; and then had to explain how I became acquainted with
Miss Cardigan; a detail which mamma heard with small
edification. Her only remark, however, made at the end, was,
"I beseech you, Daisy, do not cultivate such associations!"

"She was very good to me, mamma, when I was a schoolgirl."

"Very well, you are not a schoolgirl now."

It followed very easily, that I could see little of my dear
old friend. Mamma was suspicious of me and rarely allowed me
to go I out of her sight. We abode still at the hotel, where
we had luxurious quarters; how paid for, mamma's jewel-box
knew. It made me very uneasy to live so; for jewels, even be
they diamonds, cannot last very long after they are once
turned into gold pieces; and I knew ours went fast; but
nothing could move my mother out of her pleasure. In vain Dr.
Sandford wrote and remonstrated; and in vain I sometimes
pleaded. "The war is not going to last for ever," she would
coldly reply; "you and Dr. Sandford are two fools. The South
_cannot_ be conquered, Daisy."

But I, with trembling hope, was beginning to think otherwise.

So the days passed on, and the weeks. Mamma spent half her
time over the newspapers. I consulted them, I could not help
it, in my old fashion; and it made them gruesome things to me.
But it was a necessity for me, to quiet my nerves with the
certainty that no name I loved was to be found there in those
lists of sorrow.

And one day that certainty failed. Among the new arrivals of
wounded men just come into Washington from Virginia, I saw the
name of Captain Preston Gary.

It was late in the summer, or early in September; I forget
which. We were as we had been; nothing in our position
changed. Mamma at the moment was busy over other prints,
having thrown this down; and feeling my cheeks grow white as I
sat there, I held the paper to shield my face and pondered
what I should do. The instant thought had been, "I must go to
him." The second brought difficulties. How to meet the
difficulties, I sat thinking; that I must go to Preston I
never doubted for a moment. I sat in a maze; till an
exclamation from my mother brought my paper shield down.

"Here's a letter from the doctor, Daisy; he says your cousin
is in the hospital."

"_His_ hospital?" I asked.

"I suppose so; he does not say that. But he says he is badly
wounded. I wonder how he comes to be in Washington?"

"Taken prisoner, mamma."

"Yes, - wounded," mamma said bitterly. "That's the only way he
could. Dr. Sandford bids me let his mother know. She can't go
to him; even if my letter could reach her in time and she
could get to Washington, which I don't believe she could; she
is too ill herself. I shall not write to her."

"Let us go, mamma; you and I."

"I?" said mamma. "_I_ go to that den of thieves? No; I shall not
go to Washington, unless I am dragged there."

"But Preston, mamma; think!"

"I am tired of thinking, Daisy. There is no good in thinking.
This is the work of your favourite Northern swords and guns; I
hope you enjoy it."

"I Would like to remedy it, mamma; to do something at least.
Mamma, do let us go to Preston!"

I spoke very earnestly, and I believe with tears. Mamma looked
at me.

"Why, do you care for him?" she asked.

"Very much!" I said weeping.

"I did not know you had any affection for anything South,
except the coloured people."

"Mamma, let us go to Preston. He must want us so much!"

"I cannot go to Washington, Daisy."

"Can you spare me, mamma? I will go."

"Do you love Preston Gary?" said mamma, sitting up-right to
look at me.

"Mamma, I always loved him. You know I did."

"Why did you not say so before?"

"I did say so, mamma, whenever I was asked. Will you let me
go? O mamma, let me go!"

"What could you do, child? he is in the hospital."

"Mamma, he may want so many things; I know he must want some
things."

"It is vain talking. You cannot go alone, Daisy."

"No, ma'am; but if I could get a good safe friend to go with
me?"

"I do not know such a person in this place."

"I do, mamma, - just the person."

"Not a fit person for you to travel with."

"Yes, mamma, just the one; safe and wise to take care of me.
And if I were once there, Dr. Sandford would do anything for
me."

Mamma pondered my words, but would not yield to them. I wept
half the evening, I think, with a strange strain on my heart
that said I must go to Preston. Childish memories came thick
about me, and later memories; and I could not bear the idea of
his dying, perhaps, alone in a hospital, without one near to
say a word of truth or help him in any wish or want that went
beyond the wants of the body. Would even those be met? My
nerves were unstrung.

"Do stop your tears, Daisy!" mamma said at length. "I can't
bear them. I never saw you do so before."

"Mamma, I must go to Preston."

"If you could go there properly, child, and had any one to
take care of you; as it is, it is impossible."

I half thought it was; I could not bend mamma. But while we
sat there under the light of the lamp, and I was trying to do
some work, which was every now and then wetted by a drop that
would fall, a servant brought in a note to me. It was from
Mrs. Sandford, in New York, on her way to Washington to look
after a friend of her own; and asking if in any matter she
could be of service to me or to mamma. I had got my
opportunity now, and I managed to get mamma's consent. I
answered Mrs. Sandford's note; packed up my things; and by the
early train next morning started with her for Washington.

Mrs. Sandford was very kind, very glad to have me with her,
very full of questions, of sympathy, of condolence, and of
care; I remember all that, and how I took it at the time,
feeling that Daisy and Daisy's life had changed since last I
was under that same gentle and feeble guidance. And I remember
what an undertone of music ran through my heart in the thought
that I might perhaps hear of, or see, Mr. Thorold. Our journey
was prosperous; and the next person we saw after arriving at
our rooms was Dr. Sandford. He shook hands with his sister;
and then, his eye lightened and his countenance altered as he
turned to the other figure in the room and saw who it was.

"Daisy!" he exclaimed, warmly grasping my hand, - "Miss
Randolph! where is Mrs. Randolph, and what brings you here?"

"Why, the train, to be sure, Grant," answered his sister-in-
law. "What a man you are - for business! Do let Daisy rest and
breathe and have something to eat, before she is obliged to
give an account of herself. See, we are tired to death."

Perhaps she was, but I was not. However, the doctor and I both
yielded. Mrs. Sandford and I withdrew to change our dresses,
and then we had supper; but after supper, when she was again
out of the room, Dr. Sandford turned to me and took my hand.

"I must go presently," he said. "Now, Miss Randolph, what is
it?"

I sat down and he sat down beside me, still holding my hand,
on a sofa in the room.

"Dr. Sandford, my cousin Gary is a prisoner and in the
hospital. You wrote to mamma."

"Yes. I thought his mother might like to know."

"She is ill herself, in Georgia, and cannot come to
Washington. Dr. Sandford, I want to go in and take care of
him."

"You!" said the doctor. But whatever he thought, his
countenance was impenetrable.

"You can manage that for me."

"Can I?" said he. "But, Daisy, you do not come under the
regulations."

"That is no matter, Dr. Sandford."

"How is it no matter?"

"Because, I know you can do what you like. You always could
manage things for me."

He smiled a little, but went on in an unchanged tone.

"You are too young; and - excuse me - you have another
disqualification."

"I will do just as you tell me," I said.

"If I let you in."

"You will let me in."

"I do not see that I ought. I think I ought not."

"But you _will_, Dr. Sandford. My cousin was very dear to me
when I was a child at Melbourne - I love him yet very much -
no one would take so good care of him as I would; and it would
be a comfort to me for ever. Do let me go in! I have come for
that."

"You might get sick yourself," he said. "You do not know what
you would be obliged to hear and see. You do not know, Daisy."

"I am not a child now," - I replied.

There was more in my answer than mere words; there was more, I
know, in my feeling; and the doctor took the force of it. He
looked very sober, though, upon my plan, which it was evident
he did not like.

"Does Mrs. Randolph give her consent to this proceeding?" he
asked.

"She knows I came that I might look after Preston. I did not
tell her my plan any further."

"She would not like it."

"Mamma and I do not see things with the - same eyes, some
things, Dr. Sandford. I think I _ought_ to do it."

"I think she is right," he said. "You are not fit for it. You
have no idea what you would be obliged to encounter."

"Try me," I said.

"I believe you are fit for anything," he broke out in answer
to this last appeal; "and I owned myself conquered by you,
Daisy, long ago. I find I have not recovered my independence.
Well - you will go in. But you cannot be dressed - _so_."

"No, I will change my dress. I will do it immediately."

"No, not to-night!" exclaimed the doctor. "Not to-night. It is
bad enough to-morrow; but I shall not take you in to-night.
Rest, and sleep and be refreshed; I need not say, be strong;
for that you are always. No, I will not take you with me to-
night. You must wait."

And I could do no more with him for the time. I improved the
interval, however. I sent out and got some yards of check to
make aprons; and at my aprons I sat sewing all the evening, to
Mrs. Sandford's disgust.

"My dear child, what do you want of those things?" she said,
looking at them and me with an inexpressible disdain of the
check.

"I think they will be useful, ma'am."

"But you are not going into the hospital?"

"Yes; to-morrow morning."

"As a visitor. But not to stay."

"I am going to stay if I am wanted," I said, displaying the
dimensions of my apron for my own satisfaction.

"My dear, if you stay, you will be obliged to see all manner
of horrible things."

"They must be worse to bear than to see, Mrs. Sandford."

"But you cannot endure to see them, Daisy; you never can.
Grant will never allow it."

I sewed in silence, thinking that Dr. Sandford would conform
his will to mine in the matter.

"I will never forgive him if he does!" said the lady. But that
also I thought would have to be borne. My heart was firm for
whatever lay before me. In the hospital, by Preston's side, I
was sure my work lay; and to be there, I must have a place at
other bedsides as well as his. In the morning Mrs. Sandford
renewed her objections and remonstrances as soon as she saw
her brother-in-law; and to do him justice, he looked as ill
pleased as she did.

"Daisy wants to go into the hospital as a regular nurse," she
said.

"It is a weakness of large-hearted women now-a-days."

"Large-hearted! Grant, you are not going to permit such a
thing?"

"I am no better than other men," said the doctor; "and have no
more defences."

"But it is Daisy that wants the defences," Mrs. Sandford
cried; "it is she that is running into danger."

"She shall want no defences while she is in my hospital."

"It is very well to say; but if you let her in there, you
cannot help it. She must be in danger, of all sorts of harm."

"If you will prevent it, Mrs. Sandford, you will lay me under
obligations," said the doctor, sitting down and looking up at
his sister-in-law somewhat comically. "I am helpless, for I
have passed my word. Daisy has the command."

"But just look at the figure she is, in that dress! Fancy it!
That is Miss Randolph."

The doctor glanced up and down, over my dress, and his eye
turned to Mrs. Sandford with provoking unconcern.

"But you will not let her stay there, Grant?"

The doctor looked up at me now, and I saw an answer ready on
his lips. There was but one way left for me, I thought; I do
not know how I came to do it, but I was not Daisy that
morning; or else my energies were all strung up to a state of
tension that made Daisy a different person from her wont. I
laid my hand lightly over the doctor's mouth before he could
speak. It silenced him, as I hoped. He rose up with a look
that showed me I had conquered, and asked if I were ready. He
must go, he said.

I did not keep him waiting. And once out in the street, with
my hand on his arm, I was quite Daisy again; as humble and
quiet as ever in my life. I went like a child now, in my
guardian's hand; through the little crowds of men collected
here and there, past the sentinels at the hospital door, in
through the wide, clean, quiet halls and rooms, where Dr.
Sandford's authority and system made everything work, I
afterwards found, as by the perfection of machinery. Through
one ward and another at last, where the rows of beds, each
containing its special sufferer, the rows of faces, of various
expression, that watched us from the beds, the attendants and
nurses and the work that was going on by their hands, caused
me to draw a little closer to the arm on which I leaned and to
feel yet more like a weak child. Yet even then, even at that
moment, the woman within me began to rise and put down the
feeling of childish weakness. I began to be strong.

Out of the wards, into his own particular room and office,
comfortable enough, Dr. Sandford brought me then. He gave me a
chair, and poured me out a glass of wine.

"No, thank you," said I, smiling. "I do not need it."

"You are pale."

"That is womanish; but I am not weak or faint, though."

"Do you maintain your purpose?"

"Yes, certainly."

"You had better take off your bonnet and shawl then. You would
find them in the way."

I obeyed, and went on to envelope myself in my apron. Dr.
Sandford looked on grimly. Very ill pleased he was, I could
see. But then I laid my hand on his arm and looked at him.

"I am so much obliged to you for this," I said earnestly. And
his face softened.

"I am afraid it is wrong in me," he remarked.

"If you thought it was, you would not do it," I answered; "and
I hope I should not ask it. I am ready now. But Dr. Sandford,
I want teaching, as to what I ought to do. Who will teach me?"

"I will teach you. But you know how to give a sick man tea or
soup, I fancy, without much teaching."

"There are other things, Dr. Sandford."

"It will not be necessary. There are others to do the other
things. Captain Gary has only some simple wounds to be
dressed."

"But there are others, Dr. Sandford? And I must know how to do
all that the nurses do. I am not here to be in the way. I am
not going to take care of my cousin only."

"There is enough to do," said the doctor; "but, you will not
like it, Daisy."

Something in his wistful look at me, something in the contrast
between merely seeing what he was afraid I should see, and the
suffering itself which by the sufferers had to be borne,
touched me keenly. My eyes filled as I looked at the doctor,
but I think the purpose in my heart perhaps came out in my
face; for his own suddenly changed, and with a "Come, then!" -
he gave me his arm and led the way upstairs and into another
succession of rooms, to the ward and the room where my cousin
Preston lay.

CHAPTER XXI.

THE HOSPITAL


A clean, quiet, airy room, like all the rest; like all the
rest filled with rows of beds, the occupants of which had come
from the stir of the fight and the bustle of the march, to lie
here and be still; from doing to suffering. How much the
harder work, I thought; and if it be well done, how much the
nobler. And all who know the way in which our boys did it,
will bear witness to their great nobleness. Patient, and
strong, and brave, where there was no excitement to cheer, nor
spectators to applaud; their fortitude and their patience and
their generous self-devotion never failed nor faltered, when
all adventitious or real helps and stimulants were withdrawn,
and patriotism and bravery stood alone.

From the turn of Dr. Sandford's head, I knew on which side I
might look to see Preston; and as we slowly passed up the long
line of beds, I scanned breathlessly each face. Old and young,
grim and fair, gentle and rough; it was a variety. And then I
saw, I should hardly have known it, a pale face with a dark
moustache and a thick head of dark, glossy hair, which was
luxuriant yet, although it had been cropped. His eyes were
closed as we came up; opened as we paused by his bed-side, and
opened very wide indeed as he looked from the doctor to me.

"How do you do, this morning, Gary?" said my conductor.

"Confoundedly -" was the somewhat careless answer, made while
examining my face.

"You see who has come to look after you?"

"It isn't Daisy!" he cried.

"How do you do, Preston?" I said, taking hold of the hand
which lay upon the coverlid. He drew the hand hastily away,
half raising himself on his elbow.

"What have you come here for?" he asked.

"I have come to take care of you."

"_You_," said Preston. "In this place! Where is mamma?"

"Aunt Gary is far away from here. She could not get to you."

"But you, you were in Switzerland."

"Not since last May."

"Lie down, Gary, and take it quietly," said Dr. Sandford,
putting his hand on his shoulder. Preston scowled and
submitted, without taking his eyes from my face.

"You are not glad to see me?" I asked, feeling his manner a
little awkward.

"Of course not. You ought not to be in this place. What have
you got on that rig for?"

"What rig?"

"That! I suppose you don't dress so at home, do you? You
didn't use it. Hey? what is it for?"

"It is that I may be properly dressed. Home things would be
out of place here."

"Yes; so I think," said Preston; "and you most of all. Where
is Aunt Randolph?"

"You do not seem very grateful, Gary," said the doctor, who
all this while stood by with an impenetrable countenance.

"Grateful - for what?"

"For your cousin's affection and kindness, which has come here
to look after you."

"I am not grateful," said Preston. "I shall not have her
stay."

"What has brought _you_ here, Preston?" I asked by way of
diversion.

"Me? Powder. It's an infernal invention. If one could fight
with steel, there would be some fun in it. But powder has no
respect of persons."

"How has it hurt you?" I asked. I had somehow never chosen to
put the question to Dr. Sandford; I can hardly tell why. Now
it was time to know. Preston's eye fell on me with sudden
gentleness.

"Daisy, go away," he said. "You have no business here. It is
of all places no place for you. Go away, and don't come
again."

"Dr. Sandford," said I, "will you take me with you and give me
my lesson? That is the first thing. I must earn my right to
the place, it seems."

The doctor looked at me in his turn; I avoided the eye of
Preston. He looked at me in a way not hard to read; quite
agreeing with Preston in wishing me away, but, I saw also,
respecting my qualifications for the work I had come to do. I
saw that he gave me a great reverence on account of it; but
then, Dr. Sandford always gave me more reverence than belonged
to me. I made use of this, and held my advantage. And the
doctor seeing that I was calmly in earnest, even took me at my
word.

We began a progress through the ward; during which every man's
condition was inquired into; wounds examined and dressed; and
course of treatment prescribed. I looked on at first as a mere
spectator; bearing the revelation of pain and suffering with
all the fortitude I could muster; but I found in a little
while that it would overmaster me if I continued an idle
looker-on; and putting aside the attendant nurse at last with
a whisper to which she yielded, I offered myself quietly in
her place to do her work. Dr. Sandford glanced at me then, but
made no remark whatever; suffering me to do my pleasure, and
employing me as if I had been there for a month. He began to
give me directions too. It seemed a long age of feeling and
experience, the time while we were passing through the ward;
yet Dr. Sandford was extremely quick and quiet in his work,
and lost no seconds by unnecessary delay. Even I could see
that. He was kind, too; never harsh, though very firm in his
authority and thorough in his business. I could not help an
unconscious admiration for him growing as we went on. That
steady, strong blue eye; what a thing it was for doubt and
fear to rest on. I saw how doubt and fear rested. I thought I
did; though the bearing of all the sufferers there was calm
and self-contained to an admirable degree. It was so, I heard,
with all our soldiers everywhere.

We came round, last of all, to Preston's couch again; and the
doctor paused. He glanced at me again for the first time in a
long while. I do not know how I trembled inwardly; outwardly,
I am sure, I did not flinch. His eye went to Preston.

"Do you see, you are to have a better nurse than you deserve?"
he said.

"It is disgusting!" Preston muttered.

"Some things are," answered the doctor; "not a brave woman, or
a gentle man."

"Send Daisy away from this place. You know she ought not to be
here; and you can forbid it."

"You overstate my power, my friend," said the doctor. "Shall
we see how you are getting along to-day."

Preston's eye came to me again, silently, with reluctance and
regret in it. I was touched more than I chose to show, and
more than it was safe to think about."

"Does she know?" he asked.

"She does not know. Your cousin, Miss Randolph, has given one
of his arms for his cherished cause."

"And one of my legs too," said Preston. "If it would do the
cause any good, I would not care; but what good does it do?
That's what I don't like about powder."

I had much ado to stand this communication. The work of
examining and dressing Preston's wounds, however, immediately
began; and in the effort to do my part, as usual, I found the
best relief for overstrained nerves. I think some tears fell
upon the bandages; but no word of remark was made by either
physician or patient, till the whole business was concluded.
Dr. Sandford then carried me off to a nice, warm, comfortable
apartment, which he told me I might always hold as my own
whenever I had time to be there; he seated me in a chair, and
a second time poured me out a glass of wine, which he took
from a cupboard.

"I do not drink it," I said, shaking my head.

"Yes, you do, - to-day."

"I never drink it," I said. "I cannot touch it, Dr. Sandford."

"You must take something. What is the matter with the wine? Is
it disagreeable to you?"

"I will not help anybody else drink it," I said, looking at
him and forcing a smile; for I was tired and very sick at
heart.

"Nobody will know you take it."

"Not if I do not take it. They will if I do."

"Are you going upon that old childish plan of yours?" said the
doctor, sitting down beside me and looking with a wistful kind
of tenderness into my face. "Are you bent still upon living
for other people, Daisy?"

"You know, the Master I follow did so; and His servants must
be like him," I said, and I felt my smile was stronger and
brighter this time. Dr. Sandford arose, summoned an attendant
and sent him off for a cup of tea for me; then saw me take it.

"Now," said he, "are you fixed in the plan of devoting
yourself to the care of this ungracious cousin?"

"Of him, and of others," I said.

"He does not deserve it."

"Suppose we waited to give people their deserts, Dr.
Sandford?"

"Some people deserve to be allowed to take care of you," said
the doctor, getting up and beginning to pace up and down the
floor. "They deserve it; and find it hard work; or denied them
altogether."

"You do take care of me," I said gratefully. "You always did,
Dr. Sandford. You are doing it now; and I am thanking you all
the time in my heart."

"Well," said he abruptly, standing still before me, - "you are
one of those who are born to command; and in your case I
always find I have to obey. This room you will use as you
please; no one will share it with you; and you need a
retiring-place for a breath of rest when you can get it. I
shall see you constantly, as I am going out and in; and
anything you want you will tell me. But you will not like it,
Daisy. You can stand the sight of blood, like other women,
whose tenderness makes them strong; but you will not like some
other things. You will not like the way you will have to take
your meals in this place."

I had finished my cup of tea, and now stood up to let the
doctor take me back to my place beside Preston; which he did
without any more words. And there he left me; and I sat down
to consider my work and my surroundings. My cousin had
forgotten his impatience in sleep; and there was a sort of
lull in the business of the ward at that hour.

I found in a few minutes that it was a great comfort to me to
be there. Not since papa's death, had so peaceful a sense of
full hands and earnest living crept into my heart. My thoughts
flew once or twice to Mr. Thorold, but I called them back as
soon; I could not bear that; while at the same time I felt I
was nearer to him here than anywhere else. And my thoughts
were very soon called effectually home from my own special
concerns, by seeing that the tenant of one of the neighbouring
beds was restless and suffering from fever. A strong, fine-
looking man, flushed and nervous on a fever bed, in helpless
inactivity, with the contrast of life energies all at work and
effectively used only a little while ago, in the camp and the
battlefield. Now lying here. His fever proceeded from his
wounds, I knew, for I had seen them dressed. I went to him and
laid my hand on his forehead. I wonder what and how much there
can be in the touch of a hand. It quieted him, like a charm;
and after a while, a fan and a word or two now and then were
enough for his comfort. I did not seem to be Daisy Randolph; I
was just - the hospital nurse; and my use was to minister; and
the joy of ministering was very great.

From my fever patient I was called to others, who wanted many
various things; it was a good while before I got round to
Preston again. Meanwhile, I was secretly glad to find out that
I was gaining fast ground in the heart of the other nurse of
the ward, who had at first looked upon me with great doubt and
mistrust on account of my age and appearance. She was a
clever, energetic New England woman; efficient and helpful as
it was possible to be; thin and wiry, but quiet, and full of
sense and kindliness. With a consciousness of her growing
favour upon me, I came at last to Preston's bedside again. He
looked anything but amicable.

"Where is Aunt Randolph?" were his first words, uttered with
very much the manner of a growl. I replied that I had left her
in New York.

"I shall write to her," said Preston. "How came she to do
such an absurd thing as to let you come here? and whom did you
come with? Did you come alone?"

"Not at all. I came with proper company."

"Proper company wouldn't have brought you," Preston growled.

"I think you want something to eat, Preston," I said. "You
will feel better when you have had some refreshment."

It was just the time for a meal and I saw the supplies coming
in. And Preston's refreshment, as well as that of some others,
I attended to myself. I think he found it pleasant; for
although some growls waited upon me even in the course of my
ministering to him, I heard from that time no more
remonstrances; and I am sure Preston never wrote his letter. A
testimonial of a different sort was conveyed in his whispered
request to me, not to let that horrid Yankee spinster come
near him again.

But Miss Yates was a good friend to me.

"You are looking a little pale," she said to me at evening.
"Go and lie down a spell. All's done up; you ain't wanted now,
and you may be, for anything anybody can tell, before an hour
is gone. Just you go away and get some rest. It's been your
first day. And the first day's rather tough."

I told her I did not feel tired. But she insisted; and I
yielded so far as to go and lie down for a while in the room
which Dr. Sandford had given to me. When I came back, I met
Miss Yates near the door of the room. I asked her if there
were any serious cases in the ward just then.

"La! half of 'em's serious," said she; "if you mean by that
they might take a wrong turn and go off. You never can tell."

"But are there any in immediate danger, do you think?"

She searched my face before she answered.

"How come you to be so strong, and so young, and so - well, so
unlike all this sort of thing? - Have you ever, no you never
have, seen much of sickness and death, and that?"

"No; not much."

"But you look as calm as a field of white clover. I beg your
pardon, my dear; it's like you. And you ain't one of the India
rubber sort, neither. I am glad you ain't, too; I don't think
that sort is fit to be nurses or anything else."

She looked at me inquiringly.

"Miss Yates," I said, "I love Jesus. I am a servant of Christ.
I like to do whatever my Lord gives me to do."

"Oh!" said she. "Well I ain't. I sometimes wish I was. But it
comes handy now, for there's a man down there - he ain't a
going to live, and he knows it, and he's kind o' worried about
it; and I can't say nothing to him. Maybe you can. I've
written his letters for him, and all that; but he's just
uneasy."

I asked, and she told me, which bed held this sick man, who
would soon be a dying one. I walked slowly down the ward,
thinking of this new burden of life-work that was laid upon me
and how to meet it. My very heart sank. I was so helpless. And
rose too; for I remembered that our Redeemer is strong. What
could I do?

I stood by the man's side. He was thirsty and I gave him
lemonade. His eye met mine as his lips left the cup; an eye of
unrest.

"Are you comfortable?" I asked.

"As much as I can be." - It was a restless answer.

"Can't you think of Jesus, and rest?" I asked, bending over
him. His eye darted to mine with a strange expression of
inquiry and pain; but it was all the answer he made.

"There is rest at His feet for all who trust in Him; - rest in
His arms for all who love Him."

"I am not the one or the other," he said shortly.

"But you may be."

"I reckon not, - at this time of day," he said.

"Any time of day will do," I said tenderly.

"I guess not," said he. "One cannot do anything lying here -
and I sha'n't lie here much longer, either. There's no time
now to do anything."

"There is nothing to do, dear friend, but to give your heart
and trust to the Lord who died for you - who loves you - who
invites you - who will wash away your sins for His own sake,
in His own blood, which He shed for you. Jesus has died for
you; you shall not die, if you will put your trust in Him."

He looked at me, turned his head away restlessly, turned it
back again, and said, -

"That won't do."

"Why?"

"I don't believe in wicked people going to heaven."

"Jesus came to save wicked people; just them."

"They've got to be good, though, before they" - he paused, -
"go - to His place."

"Jesus will make you good, if you will let him."

"What chance is there, lying here; and only a few minutes at
that?"

He spoke almost bitterly, but I saw the drops of sweat
standing on his brow, brought there by the intensity of
feeling. I felt as if my heart would have broken.

"As much chance here as anywhere," I answered calmly. "The
heart is the place for reform; outward work, without the
heart, signifies nothing at all; and if the heart of love and
obedience is in any man, God knows that the life would follow,
if there were opportunity."

"Yes. I haven't it," he said, looking at me.

"You may have it."

"I tell you, you are talking - you don't know of what," he
said vehemently.

"I know all about it," I answered softly.

"There is no love nor obedience in me," he repeated, searching
my eyes, as if to see whether there were anything to be said
to that.

"No; you are sick at heart, and dying, unless you can be
cured. Can you trust Jesus to cure you? They that be whole
need not a physician, He says, but those that are sick."

He was silent, gazing at me.

"Can you lay your heart, just as it is, at Jesus' feet, and
ask him to take it and make it right? He says, Come."

"What must _I_ do?"

"Trust Him."

"But you are mistaken," he said. "I am not good."

"No," said I; and then I know I could not keep back the tears
from springing; - "Jesus did not come to save the good. He
came to save you. He bids you trust Him, and your sins shall
be forgiven, for He gave His life for yours; and He bids you
come to Him, and He will take all that is wrong away, and make
you clean."

"Come?" - the sick man repeated.

"With your heart - to his feet. Give yourself to Him. He is
here, though you do not see Him."

The man shut his eyes, with a weary sort of expression
overspreading his features; and remained silent. After a
little while he said slowly -

"I think - I have heard - such things - once. It is a great
while ago. I don't think I know - what it means."

Yet the face looked weary and worn; and for me, I stood beside
him and my tears dripped like a summer shower. Like the first
of the shower, as somebody says; the pressure at my heart was
too great to let them flow. O life, and death! O message of
mercy, and deaf ears! O open door of salvation, and feet that
stumble at the threshold! After a time his eyes opened.

"What are you doing there?" he said vaguely.

"I am praying for you, dear friend."

"Praying?" said he. "Pray so that I can hear you."

I was well startled at this. I had prayed with papa; with no
other, and before no other, in all my life. And here were rows
of beds on all sides of me, wide-awake careless eyes in some
of their occupants; nurses and attendants moving about; no
privacy; no absolute stillness. I thought I could not; then I
knew I must; and then all other things faded into
insignificance before the work Jesus came to do and had given
me to help. I knelt down, not without hands and face growing
cold in the effort; but as soon as I was once fairly speaking
to my Lord, I ceased to think or care who else was listening
to me. There was a deep stillness around; I knew that; the
attendants paused in their movements, and words and work I
think were suspended during the few minutes when I was on my
knees. When I got up, the sick man's eyes were closed. I sat
down with my face in my hands, feeling as if I had received a
great wrench; but presently Miss Yates came with a whispered
request that I would do something that was required just then
for somebody. Work set me all right very soon. But when after
a while I came round to Preston again, I found him in a rage.

"What _has_ come over you?" he said, looking at me with a
complication of frowns. I was at a loss for the reason, and
requested him to explain himself.

"You are not Daisy!" he said. "I do not know you any more.
What has happened to you?"

"What do you mean, Preston?"

"Mean!" said he with a fling. "What do _you_ mean? I don't know
you."

I thought this paroxysm might as well pass off by itself, like
another; and I kept quiet.

"What were you doing just now," said he savagely, "by that
soldier's bedside?"

"That soldier? He is a dying man, Preston."

"Let him die!" he cried. "What is that to you? You are Daisy
Randolph. Do you remember whose daughter you are? _You_ making a
spectacle of yourself, for a hundred to look at!"

But this shot quite overreached its mark. Preston saw it had
not touched me.

"You did not use to be so bold," he began again. "You were
delicate to an exquisite fault. I would never have believed
that _you_ would have done anything unwomanly. What has taken
possession of you?"

"I should like to take possession of you just now, Preston,
and keep you quiet," I said. "Look here, - your tea is coming.
Suppose you wait till you understand things a little better;
and now - let me give you this. I am sure Dr. Sandford would
bid you be quiet; and in his name, I do."

Preston fumed; but I managed to stop his mouth; and then I
left him, to attend to other people. But when all was done,
and the ward was quiet, I stood at the foot of the dying man's
bed, thinking, what could I do more for him? His face looked
weary and anxious; his eye rested, I saw, on me, but without
comfort in it. What could I say, that I had not said? or how
could I reach him? Then, I do not know how the thought struck
me, but I knew what to do.

"My dear," said Miss Yates, touching my shoulder, "hadn't you
better give up for to-night? You are a young hand; you ain't
seasoned to it yet; you'll give out if you don't look sharp.
Suppose you quit for to- night."

"O no!" I said hastily - "Oh no, I cannot. I cannot."

"Well, sit down, any way, before you can't stand. It is just
as cheap sittin' as standin'."

I sat down; she passed on her way; the place was quiet; only
there were uneasy breaths that came and went near me. Then I
opened my mouth and sang -


"There is a fountain filled with blood,
"Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
"And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
"Lose all their guilty stains."


"The dying thief rejoiced to see
"That fountain in his day;
"And there may I, as vile as he,
"Wash all my sins away."


I sang it to a sweet simple air, in which the last lines are
repeated and repeated and drawn out in all their sweetness.
The ward was as still as death. I never felt such joy that I
could sing; for I knew the words went to the furthest corner
and distinctly, though I was not raising my voice beyond a
very soft pitch. The stillness lasted after I stopped; then
some one near spoke out -

"Oh, go on!"

And I thought the silence asked me. But what to sing? that was
the difficulty. It had need be something so very simple in the
wording, so very comprehensive in the sense; something to tell
the truth, and to tell it quick, and the whole truth; what
should it be? Hymns came up to me, loved and sweet, but too
partial in their application, or presupposing too much
knowledge of religious things. My mind wandered; and then of a
sudden floated to me the refrain that I had heard and learned
when a child, long ago, from the lips of Mr. Dinwiddie, in the
little chapel at Melbourne; and with all the tenderness of the
old time and the new it sprung from my heart and lips now -


"In evil long I took delight,
"Unawed by shame or fear;
"Till a new object struck my sight,
"And stopped my wild career."


"O the Lamb - the loving Lamb!
"The Lamb on Calvary
"The Lamb that was slain, but lives again,
"To intercede for me."


How grand it was! But for the grandeur and the sweetness of
the message I was bringing, I should have broken down a score
of times.

As it was, I poured my tears into my song, and wept them into
the melody. But other tears, I knew, were not so contained; in
intervals I heard low sobbing in more than one part of the
room. I had no time to sing another hymn before Dr. Sandford
came in. I was very glad he had not been five minutes earlier.

I followed him round the ward, seeking to acquaint myself as
fast as possible with whatever might help to make me useful
there. Dr. Sandford attended only to business and not to me,
till the whole round was gone through. Then he said, -

"You will let me take you home now, I hope."

"I am at home," I answered.

"Even so," said he smiling. "You will let me take you _from_
home then, to the place my sister dwells in."

"No, Dr. Sandford; and you do not expect it."

"I have some reason to know what to expect, by this time. Will
you not do it at my earnest request? not for your sake, but
for mine? There is presumption for you!"

"No, Dr. Sandford; it is not presumption, and I thank you; but
I cannot. I cannot, Dr. Sandford. I am wanted here."

"Yes, so you will be to-morrow."

"I will be here to-morrow."

"But, Daisy, this is unaccustomed work; and you cannot bear
it, no one can, without intermission. Let me take you to the
hotel to-night. You shall come again in the morning."

"I cannot. There is some one here who wants me."

"Your cousin, do you mean?"

"Oh no. Not he at all. There is one who is, I am afraid,
dying."

"Morton," said the doctor. "Yes. You can do nothing for him."

But I thought of my hymn, and the tears rose to my eyes.

"I will do what I can, Dr. Sandford. I cannot leave him."

"There is a night nurse who will take charge. You must not
watch. You must not do that, Daisy. I command here."

"All but me," I said, putting my hand on his arm. "Trust me. I
will try to do just the right thing."

There must have been more persuasion in my look than I knew;
for Dr. Sandford quitted me without another word, and left me
to my own will. I went softly down the room to the poor friend
I was watching over. I found his eyes watching me; but for
talk there was no time just then; some services were called
for in another part of the ward that drew me away from him;
and when I came back he seemed to be asleep. I sat down at the
bed foot and thought my hymn all over, then the war, my own
life, and lastly the world. Miss Yates came to me and bent
down.

"Are you tired out, dear?"

"Not at all," I said. "Not at all - tired."

"They'd give their eyes if you'd sing again. It's better than
doctors and anodynes; and it's the first bit of anything
unearthly we've had in this place. Will you try?"

I was only too glad. I sang, "Jesus, lover of my soul" - "Rock
of Ages" - and then, -


"Just as I am, without one plea,
"But that Thy blood was shed for me,
"And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
"O Lamb of God, I come."


And stillness, deep and peaceful seeming, brooded over all the
place in the pauses between the singing. There were restless
and weary and suffering people around me; patient indeed too,
and uncomplaining, in the worst of times; but now even sighs
seemed to be hushed. I looked at the man who was said to be
dying. His wide open eyes were intently fixed upon me; very
intently; and I thought, less ruefully than a while ago. Then
I sang, -


"Come to Jesus just now -"


As I sang, a voice from the further end of the room took it
up, and bore me company in a somewhat rough but true and manly
chorus, to the end of the singing. It rang sweet round the
room; it fell sweet on many ears, I know. And so I gave my
Lord's message.

I sang no more that night. The poor man for whose sake I had
begun the singing, rapidly grew worse. I could not leave him;
for ever and again, in the pauses of suffering, his eyes
sought mine. I answered the mute appeal as I best could, with
a word now and a word then. Towards morning the struggle
ceased. He spoke no more to me; but the last look was to my
eyes, and in his, it seemed to me, the shadow had cleared
away. That was all I could know.

CHAPTER XXII.

ORDERS


I slept longer than I had meant to do, the next morning; but I
rose with a happy feeling of being in my place; where I wanted
to be. That is, to be sure, not always the criterion by which
to know the place where one ought to be; yet where it is a
qualification it is also in some sense a token. The ministry
of the hours preceding swept over me while I was dressing,
with something of the grand swell and cadence of the notes of
a great organ; grand and solemn and sweet. I entered the ward,
ready for the day's work, with a glad readiness.

So I felt, as I stepped in and went down the space between the
rows of beds. Miss Yates nodded to me.

"Here you are!" she said. "Fresh as the morning. Well I don't
know why we shouldn't have pleasant things in such a place as
this, if we can get them; there's enough that ain't pleasant,
and folks forget there is anything else in the world. Now
you'll be better than breakfast, to some of them; and here's
breakfast, my dear. You know how to manage that."

I knew very well how to manage that; and I knew too, as I went
on with my ministrations, that Miss Yates was not altogether
wrong. My ministry did give pleasure; and I could not help
enjoying the knowledge. This was not the enjoyment of
flattering crowds, waiting round me with homage in their eyes
and on their tongues. I had known that too, and felt the
foolish flutter of gratified vanity for a moment, to be
ashamed of it the next. This was the brightening eye, the
relaxing lip, the tone of gratification, from those whose days
and hours were a weary struggle with pain and disease; to
bring a moment's refreshment to them was a great joy, which
gives me no shame now in the remembrance. Even if it was only
the refreshment of memory and fancy, that was something; and I
gave thanks in my heart, as I went from one sufferer to
another, that I had been made pleasant to look at. Preston
himself smiled at me this morning, which I thought a great
gain.

"Well, you do know how to sing!" he said softly, as I was
giving him his tea and toast.

"I am glad you think so."

"Think so! Why, Daisy, positively I was inclined to bless
gunpowder for the minute, for having brought me here. Now if
you would only sing something else - Don't you know anything
from Norma, or II Trovatore?"

"They would be rather out of place here."

"Not a bit of it. Create a soul under the ribs - Well, this is
vile tea."

"Hush, Preston; you know the tea is good, like everything else
here."

"I know no such thing. There is nothing good in this place, -
except you, - and I suppose that is the reason you have chosen
it for your abode. I can't imagine how Aunt Randolph came to
let you, though."

"She let me come to take care of you."

"_I_'m not worth it. What's a man good for, when there is only
half of him left? I should like just to get into one other
field, and let powder take the other half."

"Hush, Preston! hush; you must not talk so. There's your
mother."

"My mother won't think much of me now, I don't know why she
should. You never did, even when I was myself."

"I think just as much of you now as ever, Preston. You might
be much more than your old self, if you would."

Preston frowned and rolled his head over on the pillow.

"Confounded!" he muttered. "To be in such a den of Yankees!"

"You are ungrateful."

"I am not. I owe it to Yankee powder."

What, perhaps, had Southern powder done? I shivered inwardly,
and for a moment forgot Preston.

"What is the matter?" said he. "You look queer; and it is very
queer of you to spill my tea."

"Drink it then," I said, "and don't talk in such a way. I will
not have you do it, Preston, to me."

He glanced at me, a little wickedly; but he had finished his
breakfast and I turned from him. As I turned, I saw that the
bed opposite, where Morton had died a few hours before, had
already received another occupant. It startled me a little;
this quick transition; this sudden total passing away; then,
as I cast another glance at the newly come, my breath stood
still. I saw eyes watching me, - I had never but once known
such eyes; I saw an embrowned but very familiar face; as I
looked, I saw a flash of light come into the eyes, quick and
brilliant as I had seen such flashes come and go a hundred
times. I knew what I saw.

It seems to me now in the retrospect, it seemed to me then, as
if my life - that which makes life - were that moment suddenly
gathered up, held before me, and then dashed under my feet;
thrown down to the ground and trampled on. For a moment the
sight of my eyes failed me. I think nobody noticed it. I think
nothing was to be seen, except that I stood still for that
minute. It passed, and my sight returned; and as one whose
life is under foot and who knows it will never rise again, I
crossed the floor to Thorold. We were not alone. Eyes and ears
were all around us. Remembering this, I put my hand in his and
said a simple -

"How do you do?"

But his look at me was so infinitely glad and sweet, that my
senses failed me again. I did not sink down; but I stood
without sight or hearing. The clasp of his hand recalled me.

"It is Daisy!" he said smiling. "Daisy, and not a vision. My
Daisy! How is it?"

"What can I do for you?" I said hastily.

"Nothing. Stand there. I have been looking at you; and thought
it was long till you would look at me."

"I was busy."

"Yes, I know, love. How is it, Daisy? When did you come back
from Switzerland?"

"Months ago."

"I did not know of it."

"Letters failed, I suppose."

"Then you wrote?"

"I wrote, - with papa's letter."

"When?"

"Oh, long ago - long ago; - I don't know, - a year or two."

"It never reached me," he said, a shadow crossing his bright
brow.

"I sent it to your aunt, for her to send it to you; and she
sent it; I asked her."

"Failed," he said. "What was it, Daisy?"

The question was put eagerly.

"Papa was very good," I said; - "and you were very right,
Christian, and I was wrong. He liked your letter."

"And I should have liked his?" he said, with one of those
brilliant illuminations of eye and face.

"I think you would."

"Then I have got all I can ask for," he said. "You are mine;
and while we live in this world we belong to each other. Is it
not so?"

There was mamma. But I could not speak of her. Even she could
not prevent the truth of what Christian said; in one way it
must be true. I gave no denial. Thorold clasped my hand very
fast, and I stood breathless. Then suddenly I asked if he had
had his breakfast? He laughed and said yes, and still clasped
my hand in a grasp that said it was better than food and drink
to him. I stood like one from under whose feet the ground is
slipping away. I longed to know, but dared not ask, what had
brought him there; whether he was suffering; the words would
not come to my lips. I knew Dr. Sandford would be here by and
by; how should I bear it? But I, and nobody but me, must do
all that was done for this sufferer at least.

I left Mr. Thorold, to attend to duties that called me on all
hands. I did them like one in a dream. Yet my ordinary manner
was quiet, and I suppose nobody saw any difference; only I
felt it. I was looking all the time for the moment of Dr.
Sandford's appearance, and praying for strength. It came, his
visit, as everything does come, when its time was; and I
followed him in his round; waiting and helping as there was
want of me. I did it coolly, I know, with faculties sharpened
by an intense motive and feelings engrossed with one thought.
I proved myself a good assistant; I knew Dr. Sandford approved
of me; I triumphed, so far, in the consciousness that I had
made good my claim to my position, and was in no danger of
being shoved away on the score of incompetency.

"Doctor," said Preston when we came round to him, "won't you
send away Miss Randolph out of a place that she is not fit
for?"

"I will," said Dr. Sandford grimly, "when I find such a
place."

"Out of _this_ place, then, where she ought not to be; and you
know it."

"It would be your loss, my friend. You are exercising great
self-denial, or else you speak in ignorance."

"She might as well go on the stage at once!" said Preston
bitterly. "Singing half the night to sixty soldiers, - and
won't give one a thing from Norma, then!"

The doctor gave one quick glance of his blue eye at me; it was
a glance inquiring, recognising, touched, sympathising, all in
an instant; it surprised me. Then it went coolly back to his
work.

"What does she sing?"

"Psalms" - said Preston.

"Feverish tendency?" said the doctor.

Preston flung himself to one side, with a violent word, almost
an oath, that shocked me. We left him and went on.

Or rather, went over; for at the instant Dr. Sandford's eye
caught the new occupant of the opposite bed. I was glad to
find that he did not recognise him.

The examination of Mr. Thorold's wounds followed. They were
internal, and had been neglected. I do not know how I went
through it; seeing how he went through it partly helped me,
for I thought he did not seem to suffer greatly. His face was
entirely calm, and his eye clear whenever it could catch mine.
But the operation was long; and I felt when it was over as if
I had been through a battle myself. I was forced to leave him
and go on with my attentions to the other sufferers in the
ward; and I could not get back to Mr. Thorold till the dinner
hour. I managed to be at his side to serve him then. But he
had the use of his arms and hands and did not need feeding,
like some of the others.

"It is worth being here, Daisy," said Mr. Thorold, when I came
with his dinner; which was, however, a light one.

"No," said I. Speaking in low tones, which I was accustomed to
use to all there, we were in little danger of being overheard.

"Not to you," said he with a laughing flash of his eye; "I
only spoke of my own sense of things. That is as I tell you."

"How do you do now?" I asked tremblingly.

His eye changed, softened, lifted itself to mine with a
beautiful glow in it. I half knew what was coming before he
spoke.

"We know in whose hands I am," he said. "I have earned the
'right to my name,' Daisy."

Ah, that was hard to bear! harder than the surgeon's probe
which had gone before. It was hard at the same time not to
fall on my knees to give thanks; or to break out into a shout
of glad praise. I suppose I showed nothing of it, only stood
still - and pale by the side of the bed; till Mr. Thorold
asked me for something, and I knew that I had been neglecting
his dinner. And then I knew that I was neglecting others; and
flew across to Preston, who needed my services.

"Who's that over yonder," he grumbled.

"One newly come in - wounded," I replied.

"Isn't it somebody you know?"

"It is one I used to know."

"Then you know him yet, I suppose. It is that fellow Thorold,
isn't it?"

"Yes."

"What has brought him here?"

"He is wounded," I whispered.

"I am glad of it!" said Preston, savagely. "Why shouldn't he
be wounded, when his betters are? Is he badly off?"

I simply could not answer at the minute.

"How's he wounded?"

"I do not know."

"You don't know! when you were attending to him. Then he
hasn't lost a leg or an arm, I suppose? You would know that."

"No."

"D-n him!" said Preston. "That _he_ should be whole and sound
and only half of me left!"

I was dumb, for want of the power to speak. I think such a
passion of indignation and displeasure never found place in my
heart, before or since. But I did not wish to say anything
angrily, and yet my heart was full of violent feeling that
could find but violent words. I fed Preston in silence till
his dinner was done, and left him. Then as I passed near him
again soon after, I stopped.

"You are so far from sound, Preston," I said, "that I shall
keep out of the way of your words. You must excuse me - but I
cannot hear or allow them; and as you have no control over
yourself, my only resource is to keep at a distance."

I waited for no answer but moved away; and busied myself with
all the ward rather than him. It was a hard, hard, afternoon's
work; my heart divided between the temptation to violent anger
and violent tears. I kept away from Mr. Thorold too, partly
from policy, and partly because I could not command myself, I
was afraid, in his presence. But towards evening I found
myself by his side, and in the dusk our hands met; while I
used a fan with the other hand, by way of seeming to do
something for him.

"What is the matter?" he whispered.

"Matter?" I repeated.

"Yes."

"There is enough the matter here always, Christian."

"Yes. And what more than usual this afternoon?"

"What makes you ask?"

"I have been looking at you."

"And what did you see?"

"I saw that you were hiding something, from everybody but me.
Tell it now."

"Christian, it was not anything good."

"Confess your faults one to another, then," said he. "What is
the use of having friends?"

"You would not be pleased to hear of my faults."

I could see, even in the dim light, the flash of his eye as it
looked into mine.

"How many, Daisy?"

"Anger," I said; - "and resentment; and - self-will."

"What raised the anger?" said he; a different tone coming into
his own voice.

"Preston. His way of talking."

"About me?"

"Yes. I cannot get over it."

And I thought I should have broken down at that minute. My
fan-play ceased. Christian held my hand very fast, and after a
few minutes began again -

"Does he know you are angry, Daisy?"

"Yes, he does; for I told him as much."

"Did you tell him sharply?"

"No. I told him coldly."

"Go over and say that you have forgiven him."

"But I have not forgiven him."

"You know you must."

"I cannot, just yet, Christian. To-morrow, perhaps I can."

"You must do it to-night, Daisy. You do not know what else you
may have to do before to-morrow, that you will want the spirit
of love for."

I was silent a little, for I knew that was true.

"Well? -" said he.

"What can I do?" I said. "I suppose it will wear out; but just
now I have great displeasure against Preston. I cannot tell
him I forgive him. I have not forgiven him."

"And do not want to forgive him?"

I was again silent, for the answer would have had to be an
affirmative.

"If I could reach you, I would kiss that away," said Thorold.
"Daisy, must _I_ tell _you_, that there is One who can look it
away? You need not wait."

I knew he spoke truth again; and I had forgotten it. Truth
that once by experience I so well knew. I stood silent and
self-condemned.

"Christian, I do not very often get angry; but when I do, I am
afraid the feeling is very obstinate."

"The case isn't desperate - unless you are obstinate too," he
said, with a look which conquered me. I fanned him a little
while longer; not long. For I was able very soon to go across
to Preston.

"Are you going to desert me for that fellow?" he growled.

"I must desert you, for whoever wants me more than you do; and
you must be willing that I should."

"If it wasn't for confounded Yankees!" he said.

"Yankees are pretty good to you, Preston, I think, just now.
What if they were to desert you? Where is your generosity?"

"Shot away. Come, Daisy, I had no business to speak as I did.
I'll confess it. Forgive me, won't you?"

"Entirely," I said. "But you gave me great pain, Preston."

"You are like the thinnest description of glass manufacture,"
said Preston. "What wouldn't scratch something else, makes a
confounded fracture in your feelings. I'll try and remember
what brittle ware I am dealing with."

So that was over, and I gave him his tea; and then went round
to do the same by others. I had to take them in turn; and when
I got to Mr. Thorold at last, there was no more time then for
talking, which I longed for. After the surgeon's round, when
all was quiet again in the room, I sat at the foot of Mr.
Thorold's bed with a kind of cry in my heart, to which I could
give no expression. I could not kneel there, to pray; I could
not leave my post; I could not speak nor listen where I wanted
a full interchange of heart with heart; the oppression almost
choked me. Then I remembered I could sing. And I sang that
hour, if I never did before. My sorrow, and my joy, and my cry
of heart, I put them all into the notes and poured them forth
in my song. I was never so glad I could sing as these days. I
knew, all the time, it was medicine and anodynes and strength
- and maybe teaching - to many that heard; for me, it was the
cry of prayer, and the pleading of faith, and the confession
of utmost need. How strong "Rock of Ages" seemed to me again
that night; the hymn, "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,"
was to me a very schedule of treasure; my soul mounted on the
words, like the angels on Jacob's ladder; the top of the
ladder was in heaven, if the foot of it was on a very rough
spot of earth. That night I sang hymns, in the high-wrought
state of my feelings, which the next day I could not have
sung. I remember that one of them was "What are these in
bright array," with the chorus, "They have clean robes, white
robes." "When I can read my title clear," was another.
Sometimes a hymn starts up to me now, with a thrill of
knowledge that I sang it that night, which yet at other times
I cannot recall. I sang till the hour, and past it, when I
must go to my room and give place to the night watchers. I
longed to stay, but it was impossible; so I went and bade
Preston good-night, who said to me never a word this time;
spoke to one or two others; and then went to Mr. Thorold. I
laid my hand on his. He grasped it immediately and looked up
at me with a clear, sweet, bright look, which did me untold
good; pulling me gently down. I bent over him, thinking he
wished to speak; then I knew what he wished, and obeying the
impulse and the request, our lips met. I don't know if anybody
saw it; and I did not care. That kiss sent me to sleep.

The next day I was myself again. Not relieved from the
impression which had seized me when I first saw Mr. Thorold;
but quietly able to bear it; in a sort raised above it. To do
the moment's duty; to gather, and to give, every stray crumb
of relief or pleasure that might be possible for either of us;
better than that, to do the Lord's will and to bear it, were
all I sought for. All at least, of which I was fairly
conscious that I sought it; the heart has a way of carrying on
underground trains of feeling and action of its own, and so
did mine now. As I found afterwards. But I was perfectly able
for all my work. When next I had an opportunity for private
talk with Mr. Thorold, he asked me with a smile, if the
resentment was all gone? I told him, "Oh, yes."

"What was the 'self-will' about, Daisy?"

"You remember too well," I said.

"What?"

"Me and my words."

"Why?"

"It is not easy to say why, just in this instance."

"No. Well, Daisy, say the other thing. About the self-will."

I hesitated.

"Are you apt to be self-willed?" he asked, tenderly.

"I do not know. I believe I did not use to think so. I am
afraid it is very difficult to know oneself, Christian."

"_I_ think you are self-willed," he said, smiling.

"Did you use to see it in me?"

"I think so. What is the present matter in hand, Daisy?"

I did not want to tell him. But I could not run away. And
those bright eyes were going over my face and reading in it, I
knew. I did not know what they read. I feared. He waited,
smiling a little as he looked.

"I ought not to be self-willed, - about anything," - I said at
last.

"No, I suppose not. What has got a grip of your heart then,
Daisy?"

"I am unwilling to see you lying here," I said. It was said
with great force upon myself, under the stress of necessity.

"And unwilling that I should get any but one sort of
discharge," - he added.

"You do not fear it," I said, hastily.

"I fear nothing. But a soldier, Daisy, - a soldier ought to be
ready for orders; and he must not choose. He does not know
where the service will call for him. He knows his Captain does
know."

I stood still, slowly fanning Mr. Thorold; my self-control
could go no further than to keep, me outwardly quiet.

"_You_ used to be a soldier," he said gently, after a pause.
"You are yet. Not ready for orders, Daisy?"

"Christian - you know, -" I stammered forth.

"I know, my beloved. And there is another that knows. He knows
all. Can't you leave the matter to him?"

"I must."

"Must is a hard word. Let Jesus appoint, and let you and me
obey; because we love Him, and are His."

He was silent, and so was I then; the words trooping in a sort
of grand procession through some distant part of my brain -
"All things are yours; whether life, or death, or the world,
or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye
are Christ's; and Christ is God's." I knew they swept by
there, in their sweetness and their majesty; I could not lay
hold of them to make them dwell with me then.

A few days went past, filled with duty as usual; more filled
with a consuming desire which had taken possession of me, to
know really how Mr. Thorold was and what were the prospects of
his recovery. His face always looked clear and well; I thought
his wounds were not specially painful; I never saw any sign
that they were; the dressing of them was always borne very
quietly. _That_ was not uncommon, but involuntary tokens of pain
were sometimes wrung from the sufferers; a sigh, or a knit
brow, or a pale cheek, or a clinched hand, gave one sorrowful
knowledge often that the heroism of patient courage was more
severely tested in the hospital than on the field. I never saw
any of these signs in Mr. Thorold. In spite of myself, a hope
began to spring and grow in my heart, which at the first
seeing of him in that place I had thought dead altogether. And
then I could not rest short of certainty. But how to get any
light at all on the subject was a question. The other nurse
could not tell me, for she knew no more than myself; not so
much, for she rarely nursed Mr. Thorold. Dr. Sandford never
told how his patients were doing or likely to do; if he were
asked, he evaded the answer. What we were to do, he told
explicitly, carefully; the issue of our cares he left it to
time and fact to show. So what was I to do? Moreover, I did
not wish to let him see that I had any, the least, solicitude
for one case more than the rest. And another thing, I dreaded
unspeakably to make the appeal and have my doubts solved. With
the one difficulty and the other before me, I let day after
day go by; day after day; during which I saw as much of Mr.
Thorold as I could, and watched him with intense eyes. But I
was able to resolve nothing; only I thought his appetite grew
poorer than it had been, while that of many others was
improving. We had some chance for talk during those days; by
snatches, I told him a good deal of the history of my European
life; and he gave me details of his life in camp and field. We
lived very close to each other all that time, though outward
communication was so restricted. Hearts have their own way of
communicating, - and spirits are not wholly shut in by flesh
and blood. But as the days went by, my anxiety and suspense
began to glow unendurable.

So I followed Dr. Sandford one morning to his den, as he
called it.

"Are you getting tired of hospital life?" he asked me? with a
smile. "I see you want to speak to me."

"You know I am not tired."

"I know you are not. There is something in a woman that likes
suffering, I think, if only she can lay her hand on it and
relieve it."

"That is making it a very selfish business, Dr. Sandford."

"We are all selfish," said the doctor. "The difference is,
that some are selfish for themselves, and some for other
people."

"Now you are cynical."

"I am nothing of the kind. What do you want with me?"

"Preston is doing very well, is he not, Dr. Sandford."

"Perfectly well. He will be out just as soon as in the nature
of things it is possible. I suppose, or am I not to suppose,
that then you will consider your work done?"

"I do not think he wants me a quarter as much as other people,
now."

"He does not want you at all, in the sense of needing. In the
other sense, I presume different people might put in a claim
to be attended to."

"But, Dr. Sandford, I wish I knew who of all these people in
the ward need me most."

"You are doing all you can for all of them."

"If I had that knowledge, though, I might serve them better -
or with more judicious service."

"No you could not," said the doctor. "You are twice as
judicious as Miss Yates now; though she is twice as old as
you. You do the right thing in the right place always."

"I wish you would do this thing for me, nevertheless, Dr.
Sandford. I wish it very much."

"What thing?"

"Let me know the various states of the patients, and their
prospect of recovery."

"Most of them have a very fair prospect of recovery," said the
doctor.

"Will you do it for me, Dr. Sandford? - I ask it as a great
favour."

"Gary's all right," he said, with a full look at me.

"Yes, I know; but I would like to know how it is with the
others. I could better tell how to minister to them, and what
to do."

"The thing to be done would not vary at all with your
increased knowledge, Daisy."

"Not the things in your line, I know; but the things in mine."

"You would know better how to sing, to wit?" said the doctor.

"And to pray -" I said half under my breath.

"Daisy, I haven't a schedule of the cases here; and if I told
you, you might forget, among so many, which was which. Anyhow,
I have not the schedule."

"No, but you could do this for me. To-night, Dr. Sandford,
when you go round, you could indicate to me what I want to
know, and nobody else be the wiser. When we come to any case
that is serious, but with hope, take hold of your chin, so; if
any is serious without hope, just pass your hand through your
hair. You do that often."

"Not when I am going my rounds, Daisy," said the doctor,
looking amused.

"Only this time, for me," I pleaded.

"You would not sing as well."

"I should - or I might - know better how to sing."

"Or you might not be able to sing at all. Though your nerves
are good," the doctor admitted. "Women's nerves are made of a
material altogether differently selected, or tempered, from
that of masculine nerves; pure metal, of some ethereal sort."

"Are there such things as masculine nerves?" I asked.

"Do you doubt it?" said the doctor, turning a half reproachful
look upon me.

"Dr. Sandford, I do not doubt it. And so, you will, for once,
and as an extraordinary kindness, do this thing for me that I
have asked you."

"The use of it is hidden from me," said the doctor; "but to
admit my ignorance is a thing I have often done before, where
you are concerned."

"Then I will take care to be with you as soon as you come in
this evening," I said, "so as to get all you will tell me."

"If I do not forget it," said the doctor.

But I knew there was no danger of his forgetting. There was no
taking Dr. Sandford off his guard. In all matters that
concerned his professional duties, he was like steel; for
strength and truth and temper. Nothing that Dr. Sandford did
not see; nothing that he did not remember; nothing that was
too much for his skill and energies and executive faculty.
Nobody disobeyed Dr. Sandford - unless it were I, now and
then.

I walked through the rest of that day in a smothered fever.
How I had found courage to make my proposition to the doctor,
I do not know; it was the courage of desperate suspense which
could bear itself no longer. After the promise had been
obtained that I sought, my courage failed. My joints trembled
under me, as I went about the ward; my very hands trembled as
I ministered to the men. The certainty that I had coveted, I
dreaded now. Yet Mr. Thorold looked so well and seemed to
suffer so little, I could not but quarrel with myself for
folly, in being so fearful. Also I was ready to question
myself, whether I had done right in seeking more knowledge of
the future than might come to me day by day in the slow course
of events. But I had done it; and Dr. Sandford was coming in
the evening.

"What is the matter with you, Daisy?" Mr. Thorold said.

"Is anything the matter?" I replied.

"Yes. What is it?"

"How can you see it, Christian?"

"I?" - said he. "I see right through your eyes, back into the
thought that looks out of them."

"Yet you ask me for the thought?"

"The root of it. Yes. I see that you are preoccupied, and
troubled; - and trembling. _You_, my Daisy?

"Can I quite help it, Christian?"

"Can you quite trust the Lord?"

"But, - not that He will always save me from what I fear."

"No; not that. Let Him save you from the _fear_."

"How have you learned so much about it, so much more than I?"
- and my lips were trembling then, I know.

"I have had time," he said gently. "All those months and
months, when you were at an unimaginable distance from me,
actually and morally, - and prospectively, - do you think I
had no chance to exercise myself in the lesson of submission?
I fought out that problem, Daisy."

"Were you in Washington the winter of '61?" I asked, changing
the subject; for I could not bear it.

"Part of that winter," he said, with a somewhat surprised look
at me.

"Did you meet in society here that winter a Miss St. Clair,
who used to be once a schoolmate of mine? - very handsome."

"I think I remember her. I knew nothing about her having been
at school with you, or I think I should have sought her
acquaintance."

"She was said to have yours."

"A passing, society acquaintance, she had."

"Nothing more?"

"More?" said he. "No. Nothing more."

"How came the report that you were her dearest friend?"

"From the father of lies," said Mr. Thorold; "if there ever
was such a report; which I should doubt."

"It came to me in Paris."

"Did you believe it?"

"I could not; but papa did. It came from Miss St. Clair's own
particular friend, and she told mamma, I think, that you were
engaged to her."

"I think particular friends are a nuisance!" said Mr. Thorold.
"Why, she was said _here_, to be engaged to somebody, - Major -
Major Somebody, - I forget. Major Fairbairn."

"Major Fairbairn!"

"Yes. Why?"

"That explains it," I exclaimed.

"Explains what?" said Mr. Thorold. And such a shower of fire
as came from his eyes then, fun and intelligence and
affection, never came from anybody's eyes beside. I had to
tell him all I was thinking about; and then hurry away to my
duties.

But at tea time I could touch nothing. The trembling had
reached my very heart.

"Why, you ain't going to give out, are you?" said Miss Yates
in a concerned voice. "You've gone a little beyond your
tether."

"Not at all," said I; "not at all. I am only not hungry. I
will go back, if you please, to something I _can_ do."

I busied myself restlessly about the ward, till one of the
men, I forget who, asked me to sing to them. It had become a
standing ordinance of the place; and people said, a very
beneficial one. But to-night I had not thought I could sing.
Yet when he asked me, the power came. I did not sit down 'as
usual;' standing at the foot of Mr. Thorold's bed I sang,
leaning hard against strength and love out of sight; and my
voice was as clear as ever.

The ward was so very still that I should have thought nothing
could come in or go out without my being conscious of a stir.
However, the absolute hush continued, until it occurred to me
that I must have been singing a great while, and I half turned
and glanced down the room. My singing was done; for there
stood Dr. Sandford, as still as I had been, with folded arms
near the door. I went towards him immediately.

"Do you have this sort of concert most evenings?" he inquired,
as he took my hand.

"Always, Dr. Sandford."

"I never heard you sing so well anywhere else," he remarked.

"I never had such an audience. But now, you remember my
request this morning, Dr. Sandford?"

"I never forget your requests," he said, gravely. And we went
to business.

From one to another, from one to another. Generally with no
more but a pleasant or a kind word from the doctor to the
patient; but two or three times the doctor's hand came to his
chin for a moment, before such a word was spoken. - It did not
in those cases tell me much. I had known, or guessed, the
truth of them before. I suppose every good nurse must get a
power or faculty of reading symptoms and seeing the state of
the patient, both actual and probable. I was not shocked nor
startled. But the shock and the start were all the greater,
when pausing before the one cot which held what I cared for in
this world, the doctor's fingers were thrust suddenly through
his thick auburn hair. He went on immediately with the due
attention to Mr. Thorold's wounds; and I waited and stood by,
with no outward sign, I think, of the death at my heart. Even
through all the round, I kept my place by Dr. Sandford's side,
doing whatever was wanted of me, attending, at least in
outward guise, to what was going on. So one can do, while the
whole soul and life are concentrated on some point unconnected
with it all, outside of it all, in the distance. Towards that
point I slowly made my way, as the doctor went through his
rounds; and came up with it at last in the little retiring
room which he called his own and where our conversation of the
morning had been held.

"I see how little I know, Dr. Sandford," I remarked.

"Ay?" said he. "I had been thinking rather the other way."

"You surprised me very much - with the one touch of your
hair."

The doctor was silent.

"I should have thought - in my ignorance - several others more
likely to have called for it."

"Thorold is the only one," said the doctor.

"How is it?"

"The injuries are internal and complicated; and beyond reach."

The doctor had been washing his hands, and I was now washing
mine; and with my face so turned away from him, I went on.

"He does not seem to suffer much."

"Doesn't he?" said the doctor.

"Should he?"

"He should, if he has not good power of self-control. No man
in the ward suffers as he does. I have noticed, he hides it
well."

I was washing my hands. I remember my wringing the water from
them; then I remember no more. When I knew anything again, I
was lying on an old sofa that stood in the doctor's room, and
he was putting water or brandy - I hardly know what - on my
face. With a face of his own that was pale, I saw even then,
without seeing it, as it bent over me. He was speaking my
name. I struggled for breath and tried to raise myself. He
gently put me back.

"Lie still," he said. "Are you better?"

"I am quite well," I answered.

He gave me a few drops of something to swallow. It revived me.
I sat up presently on the sofa, pushed back the hair from my
face, and thought I would get up and be as though nothing had
been. Dr. Sandford's hand followed my hasty fingers and put
gently away from my brow the hair I had failed to stroke into
order. It was an unlucky touch, for it reached more than my
hair and my brow. I turned deadly sick again, and fell back
into unconsciousness.

When a second time I recovered sense, I kept still and waited
and let Dr. Sandford minister to me as he thought best, with
strong waters and sweet waters and ice water; until he saw
that I was really restored, and I saw that great concern was
sitting upon his features.

"You have overtasked yourself at last," he said.

"Not at all," I answered, quietly.

"You must do no more, Daisy."

"I must do all my work," I said. And I sat up now and put my
feet to the floor, and put up my fallen-down hair, taking out
my comb and twisting up the hair in some semblance of its
wont.

"Your work here is done," said the doctor.

I finished doing up my hair and took a towel and wiped the
drops of water and brandy from my face.

"Daisy, I know your face," said the doctor, anxiously; "and it
has just the determined gentleness I used to see at ten years
old. But you would yield to authority then, and you must now.
And you will."

"When it is properly exerted," I said. "But it is not now, Dr.
Sandford, and it will not be. I am perfectly well; and I am
going to do my work."

"You fainted just now from very exhaustion."

"I am not exhausted at all. Nor even tired. I am perfectly
well."

"I never knew you faint before."

"No," I said. "It is very disagreeable."

"Disagreeable!" said the doctor, half laughing, though
thoroughly disturbed. "What made you do it, then?"

I could not answer. I stood still, with cheeks I suppose again
growing so white, that the doctor hastily approached me with
hartshorn. But I put it away and shook my head.

"I am not going to faint again, thank you."

"Daisy, Daisy!" said the doctor, "don't you know that your
welfare is very dear to me?"

"I know it," I said. "I know you are like a good brother to
me, Dr. Sandford."

"I am not like a brother at all!" said he. "Cannot you see
that?"

"I do not want to see it," I answered sadly. "If I have not a
brother in you, I have nothing."

"Why?" he asked shortly.

But I made no answer, and he asked no more. He looked at me,
made a step towards the door, turned back, and came close to
me, speaking in a husky changed tone, -

"You shall command me, Daisy, as you have long done. Let me
know what to do to please you."

He went away then and left me. And I gathered my strength
together and went back to Mr. Thorold.

CHAPTER XXIII.

"HERE!"


From that time we all were, to all seeming, just as we had
been before that day. Dr. Sandford went his rounds, with no
change perceptible in his manner towards any- body, or towards
me. I think I was not different in the ward from what I had
been, except to one pair of eyes: The duties of every day
rolled on as they had been accustomed to do; the singing of
every night was just as usual. One thing was a little changed.
I sought no longer to hide that Mr. Thorold was something to
me. The time for that was past. Of the few broken minutes that
remained to us, he should lose none, nor I, by unnecessary
difficulty. I was by his side now, all I could without
neglecting those who also needed me. And we talked, all we
could, with his strength and my time. I cared not now, that
all the ward should see and know what we were to each other.

Mr. Thorold saw a change in me, and asked the reason. And I
gave it. And then we talked no more of our own losses.

"I am quite ready to go, Daisy," he had said to me, with a
look both bright and sweet which it breaks my heart, while it
gladdens me, to remember. "You will come by and by, and I
shall be looking for you; and I am ready now, love."

After that, we spoke no more of our parting. We talked a very
great deal of other things, past and future; talks, that it
seems to me - now were scarce earthly, for their pure high
beauty, and truth, and joy. The strength of them will go with
me all my life. Dr. Sandford let us alone; ministered, to Mr.
Thorold and me, all he could; and interfered with me no more.
Preston took an opportunity to grumble; but that was soon
silenced, for I showed him that I would not bear it.

And the days in the hospital sped away. I do not know how; I
did not know at the time. Only as one lives and works and
breathes and sleeps in the presence of a single thought,
enveloping and enfolding everything else. The life was hardly
my own life; it was the life of another; or rather the two
lives were for the time so joined that they were almost one.
In a sort happy, as long as it was so.

But I knew it could not last; and the utter uncertainty when
it would end, oppressed me fearfully. Nothing in Mr. Thorold's
looks or manner gave me any help to judge about it. His face
was like itself always; his eye yet sometimes flashed and
sparkled after its own brilliant fashion, as gayly and freely
as ever. It always gave me untold pain; it brought life and
death into such close neighbourhood, and seemed to mock at the
necessity which hung over us. And then, if Mr. Thorold saw a
shadow come over my brow, he would give me such words and
looks of comfort and help, that again death was half swallowed
up of a better life, before the time. So the days went; and
Mr. Thorold said I grew thin; and the nurses and attendants
were almost reverentially careful of me; and Dr. Sandford was
a silent servant of mine and of Mr. Thorold's too, doing all
that was possible for us both. And Preston was fearfully
jealous and irritable; and wrote, I knew long afterwards, to
my mother; and my mother sent me orders to return home to her
at once and leave everything; and Dr. Sandford never gave me
the letters. I missed nothing; knew nothing; asked nothing;
until the day came that I was looking for.

It came, and left me. I had done all I had to do; all I wanted
to do; I had been able to do it all. Through the hours of the
last struggle, no hand but mine had touched him. It was borne,
as everything else had been borne, with a clear, brave
uncomplainingness; his eye was still bright and quiet when it
met mine, and the smile sweet and ready. We did not talk much;
we had done that in the days past; our thoughts were known to
each other; we were both looking now to the time of next
meeting. But his head lay on my shoulder at the very last, and
his hand was in mine. I don't think I knew when the moment
was; until somebody drew him out of my hands and placed him
back on the pillow. It was I then closed the eyes; and then I
laid my brow for a few minutes on the one that was growing
cold, for the last leave-taking. Nobody meddled with me; I saw
and heard nothing; and indeed when I stood up I was blind; I
was not faint, but I could see nothing. Some one took my hand,
I felt, and drew my arm through his and led me away. I knew,
as soon as my hand touched his arm, that it was Dr. Sandford.

I did not go back to the ward that day, and I never went back.
I charged Dr. Sandford with all my remaining care, and he
accepted the charge. No illness seized me, but my heart
failed. That was worse. Better have been sick. Bodily illness
is easier to get at.

And there was nobody to minister to mine. Dr. Sandford's
presence worried me, somehow. It ought not, but it did. Mrs.
Sandford was kind, and of course helpless to do me good. I
think the doctor saw I was not doing well, nor likely to be
better, and he brought me on to New York, to my mother.

Mamma understood nothing of what had passed, except what
Preston's letter had told her. I do not know how much, or
what, it was; and I did not care. Mamma, however, was wrought
up to a point of discomfort quite beyond the usual chronic
unrest of the year past. She exclaimed at my appearance;
complained of my change of manner; inveighed against
hospitals, lady nurses, Dr. Sandford, the war, Yankees and
Washington air; and declaimed against the religion which did
not make daughters dutiful and attentive to their mothers. It
was true, some of it; but my heart was dead, for the time, and
powerless to heed. - I heard, and did not feel. I could not
minister to my mother's happiness now, for I had no spring of
strength in my own; and ministry that was not bright and
winsome did, not content her. Such as I had I gave; I knew it
was poor, and she said so.

As the spring drew on, and days grew gentle, and soft weather
replaced the strong brace of the winter frost, my condition of
health became more and more unsatisfactory. My mother grew
seriously uneasy at length and consulted Dr. Sandford. And the
next thing was Dr. Sandford's appearance at our hotel.

"What is the matter with you, Daisy?" he asked, very
professionally. Mamma was out when he came.

"Nothing -" I answered; "except what will take its own time."

"Not like you, that answer," he said.

"It is like me now," I replied.

"We must get back to a better condition. It is not I good for
you to be in this place. Would you like to go into quarters
near Melbourne, for the summer?"

"Better than anything! - if you could manage it. Mamma would
not like it."

"I think I can convince her."

Dr. Sandford I knew had powers of convincing, and I judge they
were helped on this occasion by facts in the pecuniary state
of our affairs, to which my mother could no longer quite shut
her eyes. She had not money to remain where she was. I think
she had not been able, properly, to be there, for a good while
past; though the bills were paid somehow. But now her
resources failed; the war was evidently ending disastrously
for the South; her hopes gave way; and she agreed to let Dr.
Sandford make arrangements for our going into the country. It
was very bitter to her, the whole draught she had to swallow;
and the very fact of being under necessity. Dr. Sandford had a
deal of trouble, I fancy, to find any house or arrangement
that would content her. No board was procurable that could be
endured even for a day. The doctor found at last, and hired,
and put in order for us, a small cottage on the way between
Melbourne and Crum Elbow; and there, early in June, mamma and
I found ourselves established; "Buried," she said;
"sheltered," I thought.

"I wish I was dead," mamma said next morning.

"Mamma - why do you speak so? just now."

"There is no sort of view here - nothing in the world but
those grass fields."

"We have this fine elm tree over the house, mamma, to shade
us. That is worth a great deal."

"If the windows had Italian shades, they would be better. What
windows! Who do you suppose lived here before us?"

"Mamma, I do think it is very comfortable."

"I hope you will show that you think so, then. I have had no
comfort in you for a long time past."

I thought, _I_ should never have comfort in anybody any more.

"What has changed you so?"

"Changes come to everybody, I suppose, mamma, now and then."

"Is that all your boasted religion is good for?"

I could not answer. Was it? What is the boat which can only
sail in smooth water? But though feeling reproached, and
justly, I was as far from help as ever. Mamma went on -

"You used to be always bright - with your sort of brightness;
there was not much brilliance to it; but you had a kind of
steady cheerfulness of your own, from a child. What has become
of it?"

"Mamma, I am sorry it is gone. Perhaps it will wake up one of
these days."

"I shall die of heartache first. It would be the easiest thing
I could do. To live here, is to die a long death. I feel as if
I could not get a free breath now."

"I think, mamma, when we get accustomed to the place, we shall
find pleasantness in it. It is a world pleasanter than New
York."

"No, it is not," said mamma vehemently; "and it never will be.
In a city, you can cover yourself up, as it were, and half
hide yourself from even yourself; in such a place as this,
there is not a line in your lot but you have; leisure to trace
it all out; and there is not a rough place in your life but
you have time to put your foot on every separate inch of it.
Life is bare, Daisy; in a city one lives faster, and one is in
a crowd, and things are covered up or one passes them over
somehow. I shall die here!"

"Next spring you can have Melbourne again, mamma, you know."

But mamma burst into tears. I knew not how to comfort.


"Would'st thou go forth to bless? be sure of thine own ground;
"Fix well thy centre first; then draw thy circle round."


I was silent, while mamma wept.

"I wish you would keep Dr. Sandford from coming here!" she
said suddenly.

"I see his curricle at the gate now, mamma."

"Then I'll go. I don't want to see him. Do give him a
dismissal, Daisy!"

Our only faithful kind friend; how could I? It was not
possible that I should do such a thing.

"How is all here?" said the doctor, coming in.

I told him, as well as usual - or not quite. Mamma had not got
accustomed to the change yet.

"And Daisy?"

"I like it."

The doctor took an ungratified survey of my countenance.

"Don't you want to see some of your old friends?"

"Friends? - _here?_ Who, Dr. Sandford?"

"Old Juanita would like to see you."

"Juanita!" said I. "Is she alive?"

"You do not seem very glad of it?"

I was not glad of anything. But I did not say so.

"She would like to see you."

"I suppose she would."

"Do you not incline to gratify her?"

"Did you tell her of - my being here, Dr. Sandford?"

"It was a very natural thing to do. If I had not, somebody
else would."

"I will go over to see her some time," I said. "I suppose it
is not too far for me to walk."

"It is not too far for you to ride," said the doctor. "I am
going that way now. Put on your hat and come. The air will be
good for you."

It was not pleasant to go. Nevertheless I yielded and went. I
knew how it would be. Every foot of the way pain. The doctor
let me alone. I was thankful for that. And he left me alone at
Juanita's cottage. He drove on, and I walked up the little
path where I had first gone for a drink of water almost eleven
years ago. Yet eleven years, from ten to twenty-one, is not so
much, in most cases, I thought. In mine, it was a whole life-
time, and the end of a life-time. So it seemed.

The interview with my old nurse was not satisfactory. Not to
me, and I think not to her. I did not seem to her quite the
same Daisy Randolph she had known; indeed I was not the same.
Juanita had a little awe of me; and I could not be unreserved
and remove the awe. I could not tell her my heart's history;
and without telling it, in part, I could not but keep at a
distance from my old friend. Time might bring something out of
our intercourse; but I felt that this first sight of her had
done me no good. So Dr. Sandford found that I felt; for he
took pains to know.

Juanita was but little changed. The eleven years had just
touched her. She was more wrinkled, hardly so firm in her
bearing, not quite so upright, as her beautiful presence used
to be. There was no deeper change. The brow was as peaceful
and as noble as ever. I thought, speculating upon it, that she
must have seen storms, too, in her life-time. The clouds were
all cleared away, long since. Perhaps it will be so with me, I
thought, some day; by and by.

I thought Dr. Sandford would be discouraged in trying to do me
good; however, a day or two after this drive, I saw his horses
stopping again at our gate. My mother uttered an exclamation
of impatience.

"Does that man come to see you or me, Daisy?" she asked.

"Mamma, I think he is a kind friend to both of us," I said.

"I suppose every woman has a tenderness for a man that is
enamoured of her, if he is ever so great a fool," she
remarked.

"Mamma! - nobody ever accused Dr. Sandford before of being a
fool."

"He is a fool to look at you. Do get a little wisdom into his
head, Daisy!" And she left the room again as the doctor
entered the house.

I knew he and I understood each other; and though he might be
a fool after mamma's reckoning, I had a great kindness for
him. So I met him with frank kindness now. The doctor walked
about the room a while, talking of indifferent things; and
then said suddenly, -

"Do you remember old Molly Skelton?"

"Certainly. What of her?"

"She is dying, poor creature."

"Does _she_ know I am here?" I asked.

"I have not told her."

"Would she like to see me, do you think?" I said, with an
uneasy consciousness that I must go, whatever the answer were.

"If she can recognise you-I presume there is nobody else she
would so like to see. As in reason there ought not."

"Can you take me there, Dr. Sandford?"

"Not at this hour; I am going another way. This afternoon I
will take you, if you will go. Will you go?"

"If you will be so good as to take me."

"I will come for you then at four o'clock."

That ride I have reason to remember. It was a fair June
afternoon, though the month was almost out now; the peculiar
brilliance which distinguishes June shone through the air and
sparkled on the hills. With clear bright outlines the Catskill
range stretched away right and left before us, whenever our
road brought us in view of it; fulness of light on the sunny
slopes, soft depth of shadow on the others, proclaiming the
clear purity of the atmosphere. The blue of the sky, the fresh
sweetness of the air, the life of colour in the fields and
trees, all I suppose made their appeal at the doors of my
heart; for I felt the pressure. It is the life in this June
weather, I think, that reproaches what in us is not life; and
my spirit was dead. Not really, but practically; and the June
beauty gave me pain. I was out of harmony with it. And I heard
nature's soft whisper of reproof. Justly given; for when one
is out of harmony with nature, there is sure to be some want
of harmony with the Author of nature. The doctor drove me
silently, letting nature and me have it out together; till we
came to the old cottage of Molly Skelton, and he handed me
from the curricle. Still the doctor was silent.

He stopped, purposely I think, to speak to his groom; and I
went in first. The rows of flowers by the side of the walk
were tangled and overgrown and a thicket of weeds; no care had
visited them for many a day; but they were there yet. Molly
had not forgotten her old tastes. I went on, wondering at
myself, and entered the cottage. The sick woman lay on the bed
there, alone and seemingly asleep; I turned from her to look
at the room. The same old room; little different from what it
used to be; even two pots with geraniums in them stood on the
window-sill, drooping their heads for want of water. Nobody
had watered them for so long. Clearly Molly had not changed.
Was it only I? I looked and wondered, as I saw myself again at
ten years old in that very room. Here had been those first
cups of tea; those first lessons in A B C; and other lessons
in the beginnings of a higher knowledge. What had they all
come to? Was Molly the better in anything beyond her flowers?
What had eleven years wrought for her?

I turned again from the past, as the doctor came in, to look
at the poor creature herself. She did not answer the words he
addressed to her; I doubted if she heard them; she was
evidently oppressed with disease, which was fast making an end
of her. Experience had taught me now to judge somewhat of the
looks and condition of sick people. Molly, I saw, was very
sick; and I knew soon that it was with a combination of evils,
which had taken hold of her, and made her poor existence a
wearisome thing. It was near an end now.

"Speak to her," - said the doctor.

And I did, and he did; but we got no response. None in words;
I fancied that the look of the face bore witness to some
aroused attention; might it be more? One hand of Molly's lay
stretched out upon the coverlid. She was a mass of disease; I
should not have thought once that I could touch that hand; but
I had had training since then. I put my hand upon that poor
hand and clasped it. I fancied, I cannot tell why, that Molly
was sensible of my action and that she liked it; yet she did
not speak. - We sat so, my hand in hers, or hers in mine, and
Dr. Sandford watching us. Time went by. I hardly knew how it
went.

"How long will you stay?" he asked at length.

"I cannot leave her so, Dr. Sandford."

"You cannot stay here!"

"Why not?"

"It would be a peculiar proceeding. You would not do it?"

"I cannot do otherwise, Dr. Sandford. I cannot leave her alone
in this condition."

"I cannot leave _you_," he said.

"There is nothing to be afraid of," I returned, looking at
him. "And something may need to be done."

The doctor's look in answer was unguarded; it expressed so
much that he did not generally allow himself to express; it
was full of tenderness, of reverence, of affection. Full it
was of sorrow too. It was not a look I could meet. I turned
from it hastily; the former question was let drop; and we were
again still and silent. I had enough to keep me silent, and
Dr. Sandford was as mute. All three of us only breathed in
company, for a long while more; though I suppose some of Dr.
Sandford's meditations and mine came near together. I do not
know how time went; but then, the one to break silence was the
one I had thought might never speak again. Suddenly she began
in a low sort of crooning voice, saying over and over the same
words -

"I am in the valley - in the valley - in the valley -"

Maybe half a dozen times she repeated these words; and
forlornly true as they seemed of her, I was in doubt whether
she knew of what she was speaking. Could intelligence be
awake, in that oppressed condition of the bodily powers? Her
speech was a sort of mumbling repetition. But then, with a
change of tone, clean and round the words came out -

"But there's light in the valley! -"

My heart sprang with such an impulse of joy as quite
overleaped all my own sorrows and took me out of them. Then
Molly had not forgotten; then the seed sown long ago had not
perished in the ground or been caught away; it had been
growing and springing all these years; life had sprung up in
the ungenial soil, even everlasting life; and what were
earth's troubles to that? One vision of unseen things, rushing
in, made small all the things that are seen. The poor old
cripple, deformed and diseased, whose days must have been long
a burden to her, was going even now to drop the slough of her
mortality and to take on her the robes of light and the life
that is all glory. What if my own life were barren for a
while; then comes the end! What if I must be alone in my
journey; I may do the Master's work all the way. And _this_ is
His work; to set the captive free; light to the blind; the
opening of the prison doors to them that are bound; riches to
the poor; yes, life to the dead. If I may do this work, shall
I complain, because I have not the helper I wanted; when God
is my helper?

I waited but till Dr. Sandford was gone, for I made him go;
and then I knelt down by Molly's bedside, very, very humbled,
to weep out my confession and prayer.

Molly slumbered on, wanting nothing, when I rose to my feet;
and I went to the cottage door and sat down on the step. The
sun was going to set in glory beyond the blue misty line of
the mountains; the June evening light was falling, in
freshness and sweetness, on every leaf and blade of grass; and
the harmony I had wanted I had got again.

Molly's words had made the first rift in my cloud; the first
sunshine had reached me that I had seen for many a long day. I
saw it at last, as I sat in the cottage door and looked at the
glory of the evening. I saw, that although my life might be in
shadow for most of its way, yet the sunshine was on the other
side of the cloud, unchanged, and I should come out into it in
due time. And others were in its full rays already; - and my
poor Molly was just going to find its brightness. Could I not
wait a while? - just for myself? - and meanwhile do my blessed
work?

And now, in the hush of my spirit, nature came home to me with
her messages. The sunbeams laid their promise at my feet, of
everlasting joy; the hills told me of unchangeableness and
strength, and reminded me of what Mont Pilatte used to say.
The air breathed balm, comfort, the earnest of gracious
supply; the beauty around me said that God would not withhold
anything that was good for me. I could trust Him; and I
thanked Him for the messages of His creatures; and I prayed
that I, an intelligent living creature of higher order, might
live to carry higher messages, for Him, to all within my
reach. I gave myself to do His will. And as for the comfort of
my life, God would take care of that, and be Himself my
portion and my exceeding great reward.

The sun went down behind the Catskill leaving the mountains in
a bath of glorified mist; and I, strengthened and comforted,
left my door-step and went back to Molly. She lay as she had
lain, in what I might have supposed stupor; and perhaps it
was; but she had said there was light in the valley she was
going through. That was enough. She might speak no more; and
in effect she never did intelligibly; it did not matter. My
heart was full of songs of gladness for her; yes, for a moment
I almost stood up yonder, among the harpers harping with their
harps. Meanwhile I put the little room to rights; even as I
had tried to do when I was a little child. I succeeded better
now; and then I sat down to wait; there seemed nothing more to
be done. The evening shades closed in; I wondered if I were to
spend the night alone with the dying woman; but I was not
afraid. I think I have done with fear in this world. Even as
the thought passed me, Dr. Sandford came in.

He had not been able to get any help, and he came to take my
place, that I might go home. It ended in our watching the
night through together; for of course I would not leave the
cottage. It was a night of strange and new peace to me; peace
that I had not known for many months. Molly was slowly passing
away; not seeming to suffer much, needing little care; she was
past it; and Dr. Sandford bestowed his attention upon me. He
sent for refreshments; had a fire built, for the June night
was chill; and watched me and waited upon me. And I let him,
for I knew it gave him pleasure.

"How do you do?" he said to me one time when the night was far
spent.

"Why do you ask that, Dr. Sandford?"

"Must you know, before you tell me?"

"No, not at all; I was only curious, because I know you always
have a reason for your questions."

"Most people have, I believe."

"Yes, curiosity; but it is knowledge, not ignorance, that
prompts your inquiries, Dr. Sandford."

He smiled at that; one of the pleasant smiles I used to know
so well. I saw them rarely now. It made me a little sad, for I
knew Dr. Sandford's life had suffered an eclipse, as well as
mine.

"I have not so much knowledge that I do not desire more," he
said.

"Yes, I know. I am very well, thank you."

"You were not very well when I brought you here."

"No. I was well in body."

"You are better?"

"Yes."

"If it were not impertinent, I would like to ask more."

"It is not impertinent. You may ask."

"In pursuit of my old psychological study, you know. What has
happened in this poor little place, by this poor creature's
bedside, to do any good to Daisy Randolph?"

Now it was not according to my nature to like to tell him. But
what had I just been asking, but that I might carry messages?
So I spoke, slowly.

"This poor creature is just going to step out of this poor
place, into glory. The light of that glory is shining around
her now, for she said so. You heard her."

"Yes," said the doctor. "Well?"

"Well, Dr. Sandford, it reminded me how near the glory is, and
how little this world's things are in face of it. I have
remembered that I am a servant of the King of that land, and
an heir of the glory; and that He loves me now, and has given
me work to do for Him, and when the work is done will take me
home. And I am content."

"What 'work' are you going to do?" the doctor asked, rather
growlingly.

"I do not know. What He gives me."

And even as I spoke, there was a rush of tears to my eyes,
with the thought that I must do my work alone; but I was
content, nevertheless. Dr. Sandford was not. His fingers
worked restlessly among the thick locks of his hair; as if he
were busy with a thicket of thoughts as well; but he said
nothing more.

Towards morning Molly passed away from the scene of her very
lonely and loveless life journey. I went to the door again, in
time to see the rays of the morning brightening the blue ridge
which lay clear and cool over against me.

What light for Molly now! And what new light for me.

I drove home through that new light, outward and inward. I
could and did give mamma some pleasure at breakfast; and then
slept a quiet, dreamless sleep, to make up for my loss of the
night before.

I have got through my story now, I think. In Molly's cottage,
life started anew for me, on a new basis. Not my own special
gratification, but my Lord's will. And I seeking that, He
takes care of the other. I find it so. And He has promised
that everybody shall find it so. My only care is to do exactly
the work He means I shall do. It is not so easy always to find
out and make sure of that. I would like, if I followed my
liking, I would like to go South and teach in the Freedmen's
schools somewhere. But that is not my work now, for mamma
claims me here.

We are at Melbourne again. As soon as the last tenant's term
of possession was expired, Dr. Sandford had the house put in
order for us, and mamma and I moved in. There is a sort of
pleasure, in being here, in the old place; but it is a mingled
pleasure. I think all places are pleasant to me now. Mamma
reigns here queen, as of old; - for Ransom will not come
North, and leaves all in her hand. All the enjoyment, that is.
Dr. Sandford manages the business. I do not know how long this
will last; for Ransom may marry, and in that case he may wish
to live in the place himself, and mamma and I would have to
go; but that day is not yet; and the blue mountains across the
river, and the slopes of green turf, and the clumps and groves
of trees which stand about the house and adorn the grounds,
are all in even greater beauty than when I was ten years old;
and I enjoy them even more.

Dr. Sandford takes care of everything that mamma cannot
manage. I know why he does it; and I am sorry. He is like a
good brother to me, and I am very fond of him; he is coming
and going in our house continually; he furthers my plans, and
ministers to all my pleasure, and looks after my well-being,
somewhat as he did when I was ten years old; only with much
more of freedom and acknowledged affection and authority. I
think he fancies that time will befriend him and bring me to
look upon him in a light more kindly for his wishes. He is
mistaken. People may love truly and love again, I suppose; I
have no doubt men may; but I think not women. Not true women,
when they have once thoroughly given their hearts. I do not
think they can take them back to give again. And mine is Mr.
Thorold's.

My writing all this has been a great comfort to me and done me
good. Have I accomplished what I said at the beginning I would
try to do, - follow out the present truth of my life to the
possible glory? Surely I have found it. Through sorrow and
joy, through gain and loss, yes, and I suppose by means of
these, I have come to know that all joy, even fulness of joy,
is summed up in being wholly the Lord's child. To do His will,
and to be filled with the happiness that He can give and He
alone, that is enough for anybody. It is enough for me.


THE END.



Note by the transcriber :
DAISY IN THE FIELD is the continuation of MELBOURNE HOUSE
and DAISY.





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