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Title: Blood Will Tell - The Strange Story of a Son of Ham
Author: Davenport, Benj. Rush
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 "Blood Will Tell - The Strange Story of a Son of Ham" ***

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made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)



Transcriber’s Note: The reader may wish to be warned that this book
contains racial stereotyping more than usually unpleasant even by the
standards of its time. Read as far as the Dedication and use that to
decide whether or not you want to continue.



[Illustration: “The brutalized features of Walter Burton were revealed.”

Frontispiece]



                             BLOOD WILL TELL

                          THE STRANGE STORY OF
                              A SON OF HAM

                                   BY
                          BENJ. RUSH DAVENPORT
                                AUTHOR OF
                   Blue and Gray, Uncle Sam’s Cabins,
                       Anglo-Saxons, Onward, Etc.

                              Illustrations
                                   by
                              J.H. Donahey

                                CLEVELAND
                             Caxton Book Co.
                                  1902

                                Copyright
                                   by
                          Benj. Rush Davenport
                                  1902

                           All rights reserved



DEDICATION

To all Americans who deem purity of race an all-important element in the
progress of our beloved country.

THE AUTHOR

For obvious reasons the date of this story is not given ...



List of Illustrations



    “The brutalized features of Walter Burton were revealed.  Frontispiece

    “Lucy passed her soft, white arm around her grandfather’s
       neck.”                                                     Page 108

    “He recklessly rushed in front of Burton.”                    Page 286

    “Lucy, I have always loved you.”                              Page 340



BLOOD WILL TELL



I.


Boston was shrouded in a mantle of mist that November day, the north-east
wind bringing at each blast re-enforcement to the all-enveloping and
obscuring mass of gloom that embraced the city in its arms of darkness.

Glimmering like toy candles in the distance, electric lights, making
halos of the fog, marked a pathway for the hurrying crowds that poured
along the narrow, crooked streets of New England’s grand old city. In one
of the oldest, narrowest and most crooked thoroughfares down near the
wharfs a light burning within the window of an old-fashioned building
brought to sight the name “J. Dunlap” and the words “Shipping and
Banking.”

No living man in Boston nor the father of any man in Boston had ever
known a day when passing that old house the sign had not been there for
him to gaze upon and lead him to wonder if the Dunlap line would last
unbroken forever.

In early days of the Republic some Dunlap had in a small way traded with
the West Indian islands, especially Haiti, and later some descendant
of this old trade pathfinder had established a regular line of sailing
ships between Boston and those islands. Then it was that the sign “J.
Dunlap, Shipping and Banking” made its appearance on the front of the old
house. A maxim of the Dunlap family had been that there must always be a
J. Dunlap, hence sons were ever christened John, James, Josiah and such
names only as furnished the everlasting J as the initial.

“J. Dunlap” had grown financially and commercially in proportion to
the growth of the Republic. There was not room on a single line in the
Commercial Agency books to put A’s enough to express the credit and
financial resources of “J. Dunlap” on this dark November day. Absolutely
beyond the shoals and shallows of the dangerous shore of trade where
small crafts financially are forced to ply, “J. Dunlap” sailed ever
tranquil and serene, neither jars nor shocks disturbing the calm serenity
of the voyage.

This dismal November day marked an unparalleled experience in the career
of the present “J. Dunlap.” The customary calm was disturbed. J. Dunlap
disagreed and disagreed positively with J. Dunlap concerning an important
event, and that event was a family affair.

The exterior of “J. Dunlap” may be dark, grimy, dingy and old, but within
all is bright with electric light. Behind glass and wire screens long
lines of clerks and accountants bend over desks and busy pens move across
the pages of huge ledgers and account books—messengers hurry in and out
of two glass partitioned offices. On the door of one is painted “Mr.
Burton, Manager;” on the other “Mr. Chapman, Superintendent.”

Separated by a narrow passageway from the main office is a large room,
high ceiling, old-fashioned, furnished with leather and mahogany fittings
of ancient make, on the door of which are the words, “J. Dunlap, Private
Office.” This is the _sanctum sanctorum_ in this temple of trade. Within
“J. Dunlap’s” private office before a large grate heaped high with
blazing cannel coal two old men are seated in earnest conversation. They
are “J. Dunlap.”

Seventy-two years before this November day that enfolded Boston with
London-like fog there were born to one J. Dunlap and his wife twin boys
to whom were given in due season the names of James and John. These boys
had grown to manhood preserving the same likeness to each other that they
had possessed as infants in the cradle. James married early and when his
son was born and was promptly made a J. Dunlap, his twin brother vowed
that there being a J. Dunlap to secure the perpetuation of the name, he
should never marry.

When the J. Dunlap, father of the twin brothers, died, the twins
succeeded to the business as well as the other property of their father,
share and share alike. To change the name on the office window to Dunlap
Bros. was never even dreamed of; such sacrilege would surely have caused
the rising in wrath of the long line of ghostly “J. Dunlaps” that had
preceded the twins. Hence on this dark day “J. Dunlap” was two instead of
one.

Handsome men were all the Dunlaps time out of mind, but no ancestor was
ever more handsome than the two clean cut, stalwart, white haired old
men who with eager gestures and earnest voices discussed the point of
difference between them today.

“My dear brother,” said the one whose face bore traces of a more burning
sun than warms the Berkshire hills, “You know that we have never differed
even in trivial matters, and James, it is awful to think of anything that
could even be called a disagreement, but I loved your poor boy John as
much as I have ever loved you and when he died his motherless little girl
became more to me than even you, James, and it hurts my heart to think
of my darling Lucy being within possible reach of sorrow and shame.” The
fairer one of the brothers bent over and grasping with both hands the
raised hand of him who had spoken said with an emotion that filled his
eyes with moisture:

“God bless you, John! You dear old fellow! I know that that loving heart
of yours held my poor boy as near to it as did my own, and that Lucy
has ever been the dearest jewel of your great soul, but your love and
tenderness are now conjuring up imaginary dangers that are simply beyond
a possibility of existence. While I will not go so far as to admit that
had I known that there was a trace of negro blood in Burton I should have
forbidden his paying court to my granddaughter, still I will confess
that I should have considered that fact and consulted with you before
consenting to his seeking Lucy’s hand. However, it is too late now, John.
He has won our girl’s heart and knowing her as you do you must appreciate
the consequences of the disclosure of this discovery and the abrupt
termination of her blissful anticipations. It is not only a question of
the health and happiness of our dear girl, but her very life would be
placed in jeopardy.”

This seemed an unexpected or unrealized phase of the situation to the
first speaker, for he made no reply at once but sat with troubled brow
gazing into the fire for several minutes, then with a sigh so deep that
it was almost a groan, exclaimed:

“Oh! that I had known sooner! I am an old fool! I might have suspected
this and investigated Burton’s family. John Dunlap, d——n you for the
old idiot that you are,” and rising he began pacing the floor; his
brother watched him with eyes of tender, almost womanly affection until
a suspicious moisture dimmed the sight of his worried second self. Going
to him and taking him by the arm he joined him in his walk back and forth
through the room, saying:

“John, don’t worry yourself so much old chap, there is nothing to fear;
what if there be a slight strain of negro blood in Burton? It will
disappear in his descendants and even did Lucy know all that you have
learned, she loves him and would marry him anyhow. You know her heart and
her high sense of justice. She would not blame him and really it is no
fault of his.”

“You say,” broke in his brother, “that the negro blood will disappear
in Burton’s descendants? That is just what may not happen! Both in the
United States and Haiti I have seen cases of breeding back to the type
of a remote ancestor where negro blood, no matter how little, ran in the
veins of the immediate ancestor. In the animal kingdom see the remoteness
of the five toed horse, yet even now sometimes a horse is born with five
toes. Man is but an animal of the highest grade.”

“Well, even granting what you say about the remote possibility of
breeding back, you know that our ancestors years ago stood shoulder to
shoulder with Garrison, Beecher and those grand heroes who maintained
that the enslavement of the negro was a crime, and that the color of the
skin made no difference—that all men were brothers and equal.”

“Yes, I know and agree with our forefathers in all of that,” exclaimed
the sun burned J. Dunlap with some show of impatience. “But while slavery
was all wrong and equality before the law is absolutely right, still
I have seen both in this country and in the West Indies such strange
evidence of the inherent barbarism in the negro race that I am almost
ready to paraphrase a saying of Napoleon and declare, ‘Scratch one with
negro blood in him and you find a barbarian.’”

“Your long residence in disorderly Haiti, where your health and our
interest kept you has evidently prejudiced you,” replied the fair J.
Dunlap. “Remember that for generations our family has extended the
hospitality of our homes to those of negro blood provided they were
educated, cultured people.”

“Yes, James, Yes! Provided they had the culture and education created
by the white man, and to be frank between ourselves, James, there has
been much affectation about the obliteration of race distinction even in
the case of our own family, and you know it! We Dunlaps have made much
of our apparent liberality and consistency, but in our hearts we are as
much race-proud Aryans as those ancestors who drove the race-inferior
Turanians out of Europe.”

James Dunlap was as honest as his more impetuous brother. Suddenly
stopping and confronting him with agitated countenance, he said: “You
are right, John, in what you say about our affecting social equality
with those of negro blood. God knows had I been aware of the facts that
you have hastened from Port au Prince to lay before me all might have
been different; our accursed affectation may have misled Burton, who is
an honorable gentleman, no matter if his mother was a quadroon. Social
equality may be all right, but where it leads to the intermarriage of the
races all the Aryan in me protests against it, but it is too late and
we must trust to Divine Providence to correct the consequences of the
Dunlap’s accursed affectation.”

“I expected Lucy to marry Jack Dunlap, the son of our cousin; then the
old sign might have answered for another hundred years. Lucy and Jack
were fond of each other always, and I thought when two years ago I left
Boston for Haiti that the match was quite a settled affair. Why did you
not foster a marriage that would have been so satisfactory from every
standpoint?”

“I did hope that Lucy would marry your namesake, dear brother;
don’t blame me; while I believe that the boy was really fond of my
granddaughter, still, being poor, and having the Dunlap pride he
positively declined the position in our office that I offered him. I
wished to keep him near Lucy and to prepare him to succeed us as ‘J.
Dunlap.’ When I made the offer he said in that frank, manly, sailor
man fashion of his that he was worthless in an office and he wished no
sinecure by reason of being our kinsman; that he was a sailor by nature
and loved the sea; that he wished to make his own way in the world; that
if we could fairly advance him in his profession he would thank us, but
that was all that he could accept at our hands.”

“See that now!” exclaimed the listener. “Blood will tell. The blood of
some old Yankee sailor man named Dunlap spoke when our young kinsman made
that reply. Breed back! Yes indeed we do.”

“No persuasion could move the boy from the position he had taken and as
he held a master’s certificate and had proven a careful mate I gave him
command of our ship ‘Lucy’ in the China trade. I imagine there was some
exhibition of feeling at the parting of Lucy and John, as my girl seemed
much depressed in spirits after he left.

“You recall how Walter Burton came to us fifteen years ago with a letter
from his father, our correspondent in Port au Prince, saying that he
wished his son to enter Harvard and asking us to befriend him. The lad
was handsome and clever and we never dreamed of his being other than
of pure blood. He was graduated at the head of his class, brilliant,
amiable, fascinating. Our house was made bright by his frequent visits.

“When his father died, leaving his great wealth to Walter, he begged
to invest it with us, and liking the lad we were glad to have him with
us. Beginning at the bottom, by sheer force of ability and industry,
within ten years he has become our manager. I am sure John Dunlap,
your namesake, never told Lucy that he loved her before he sailed for
China. The pride of the man would hold back such a declaration to our
heiress. So with Jack away, his love, if it exist, for Lucy untold, it
is not strange that Burton, and he is a most charming man, in constant
attendance upon my granddaughter should have won her heart. He is
handsome, educated, cultured and wealthy. I could imagine no cause for an
objection, so when he asked for Lucy’s hand I assented. The arrangements
are completed and they will be married next month. Lucy wished you to
witness the ceremony and wrote you and you hasten from Haiti home with
this unpleasant discovery. Now, John, think of Lucy and tell me, brother,
what your heart says is our duty.”

James Dunlap, exhausted by the vehement earnestness that he had put into
this long speech, recounting the events and circumstances that had led
up to the approaching marriage of his granddaughter, dropped into one of
the large armchairs near the fire, waiting for a reply, while his brother
continued his nervous tramp across the room.

Silence was finally disturbed by a light knock on the door and a
messenger entered, saying that Captain Dunlap begged permission to speak
with the firm a few moments. When the name was announced the two brothers
exchanged glances that seemed to say, “The man I was thinking of.”

“Show him in, of course,” cried John Dunlap, eagerly stopping in his
monotonous pacing up and down the room.

The door opened again and there entered the room a man of about
twenty-seven years of age, rather below the medium height of Americans,
but of such breadth of shoulders and depth of chest as to give evidence
of unusual physical strength. A sailor, every inch a sailor, anyone
could tell, from the top of his curly blonde hair to the sole of his
square toed boots. His sunburnt face, while not handsome, according to
the ideals of artists, was frank, manly, bold—a brave, square jawed
Anglo-Saxon face, with eyes of that steely gray that can become as tender
as a mother’s and as fierce as a tiger’s.

“Come in, Jack,” cried both of the old gentlemen together.

“Glad to see you my boy,” added John Dunlap. “How did you find your good
mother and the rest of our friends in Bedford? I only landed today; came
from Port au Prince to see the Commons once more; heard that the ‘Lucy’
and her brave master, my namesake, had arrived a week ahead of me, safe
and sound, from East Indian waters.”

So saying he grasped both of the sailor’s hands and shook them with the
genuine cordiality of a lad of sixteen.

“Have you seen my granddaughter since your return, Captain Jack?”
inquired James Dunlap, as he shook the young man’s hand.

“I was so unfortunate as to call when she was out shopping, and as Mrs.
Church, the housekeeper, told me that she was so busy preparing for the
approaching wedding that she was engaged all the time, I have hesitated
to call again,” replied the sailor, as with a somewhat deeper shade of
red in his sun burned face he seated himself between the twins.

“Lucy will not thank Mrs. Church for that speech if it is to deprive
her of the pleasure of welcoming her old playmate and cousin back to
Boston and home. You must come and dine with us tomorrow,” said Lucy’s
grandfather.

“I am much obliged for your kind invitation, sir, but if you will only
grant the request I am about to make of the firm, my next visit to my
cousin will be to say goodby, as well as to receive a welcome home from a
voyage.”

“Why, what do you mean, lad!” exclaimed both of the brothers
simultaneously.

Concealment or deception was probably the most difficult of all things
for this frank man with the free spirit of the sea fresh in his soul, so
that while he answered the color surged up stronger and stronger in his
face until the white brow, saved from the sun by his hat, was as red as
his close shaven cheeks.

“Well, sir, this is what I mean. I learned yesterday that the storm we
encountered crossing the Atlantic coming home had strained my ship so
badly that it will be two months before she is out of the shipwright’s
hands.”

“What of that, Jack,” broke in the darker J. Dunlap. “Take a rest at
home. I know your mother will be delighted, and speaking from a financial
standpoint, as you know, it makes not the least difference.”

“I was going to add, sir, that this morning I learned that Captain
Chadwick of your ship ‘Adams,’ now loaded and ready to sail for
Australia, was down with pneumonia and could not take the ship out,
and that there was some difficulty in securing a master that filled
the requirements of your house. I therefore applied to Mr. Burton for
the command of the ‘Adams,’ but he absolutely refused to consider the
application saying that as I had been away for almost two years, that it
would be positively brutal to even permit me to go to sea again so soon,
and that the ‘Adams’ might stay loaded and tied to the dock ten years
rather than I should leave home so speedily.”

“Burton is exactly right, I endorse every word he has said. You can’t
have the ‘Adams’!” said James Dunlap with emphasis. “What would Martha
Dunlap, your mother, and our dear cousin’s widow, think if we robbed her
of her only son so soon after his return from a long absence from home?”

“My mother knows, sir, that my stay at home will be very brief. She
expects me to ask to go to sea again almost immediately. I told her
all about it when I first met her upon my return,” and as he spoke the
shipmaster’s gaze was never raised from the nautical cap that he held in
his hand.

“Well! You are not going to sea again immediately, that is all about
it. You have handled the ‘Lucy’ for two years, away from home, using
your own judgment, in a manner that, even were you not our kinsman,
would entitle you to a long rest at the expense of our house as grateful
shipowners,” said Lucy’s grandfather.

The young man giving no heed to the compliment contained in the remarks
made by James Dunlap, but looking up and straight into the eyes of the
brother just arrived from Haiti, said so earnestly that there could be no
question of his purpose:

“I wish to get to sea as soon as possible. If I cannot sail in the
‘Adams,’ much as I dislike to leave you, sirs, I must seek other employ.”

“The devil you will!” exclaimed his godfather angrily.

“Why, if you sail now you will miss your cousin’s wedding and disappoint
her,” added James Dunlap.

“Again, gentlemen, I say that I shall get to sea within a few days. I
either go in the ‘Adams’ or seek other employ,” and all the time he was
speaking not once did the sailor remove his steady gaze from the eyes of
him for whom he was named.

To say that the Dunlap brothers were astonished is putting it too mildly;
they were amazed. The master of a Dunlap ship was an object of envy
to every shipmaster out of Boston—the pay and employ was the best in
America—that a kinsman and master should even propose to leave their
employ was monstrous. In amazement both of the old gentlemen looked at
the young man in silence.

Suddenly as old John Dunlap looked into young John Dunlap’s honest eyes
he read something there, for first leaning forward in his chair and
gazing more intently into the gray eyes of the sailor, he sprang to his
feet and grasping the arm of his young kinsman he fairly hauled him to
the window at the other end of the room, then facing him around so that
he could get a good look at his face, he almost whispered:

“Jack, when did you learn first that Lucy was to be married?”

“When I came ashore at Boston one week ago.”

The answer came so quickly that the question must have been read in the
eyes of the older man before uttered.

“I thought so,” said the old man softly and sadly, as he walked, still
holding the sailor by the arm, back to the fire, and added as he neared
his brother:

“James, Jack wants the ‘Adams’ and is in earnest. I can’t have him leave
our employ; therefore he must go as master of that ship.”

“But, brother, think of it,” exclaimed James Dunlap.

“There is no but about it, James, I wish him to sail in our ship, the
‘Adams,’ as master. I understand his desire and endorse his wish to get
to sea.”

“Oh! Of course if you really are in earnest just instruct Burton in the
premises, but Jack must dine with us tomorrow and see Lucy or she will
never forgive him or me.”

“Don’t you see that the lad has always loved Lucy, is heartbroken over
her marriage and wants to get away before the wedding?” cried John
Dunlap, as he turned after closing the door upon Captain Jack’s departing
figure.

“What a blind old fool I am not to have seen or thought of that!”
exclaimed his brother.

“How I wish in my soul it was our cousin that my girl was going to marry
instead of Burton, but it is too late, too late.”

Sadly the darker Dunlap brother echoed the words of Lucy’s grandfather,
as he sank into a chair and covered his face with his hands:

Too late! Too late! Too late!



II.


“You don’t mean that Mr. Dunlap has consented to your going out to
Australia in charge of the ‘Adams,’ do you, Captain Jack?”

The man who asked the question, as he rose from the desk at which he
was sitting, was quite half a head taller than the sea captain whom
he addressed. His figure was elegant and graceful, though slim; his
face possessed that rare beauty seen only on the canvas of old Italian
masters, clearly cut features, warm olive complexion in which the color
of the cheeks shows in subdued mellow shadings, soft, velvet-like brown
eyes, a mouth of almost feminine character and proportion filled with
teeth as regular and white as grains of rice.

Save only that the white surrounding the brown of his beautiful eyes
might have been clearer, that his shapely hands might have been more
perfect, had a bluish tinge not marred the color of his finger nails, and
his small feet might have been improved by more height of instep, Walter
Burton was an ideal picture of a graceful, handsome, cultivated gentleman.

“Yes, Mr. Burton, I am to sail as master of the ‘Adams.’ How soon can I
get a clearance and put to sea?”

“It is an absolute outrage to permit you to go to sea again so soon. Why,
Captain, you have had hardly time to get your shore legs. You have not
seen many of your old friends; Miss Dunlap told me last evening that she
had not even seen you.”

Burton’s voice was as soft, sweet and melodious as the tones of a silver
flute, and the thought of the young sailor’s brief stay at home seemed to
strike a chord of sadness that gave added charm to the words he uttered.

“I expect to dine with my cousin tomorrow evening and will then give her
greeting upon my home coming and at the same time bid her goodby upon my
departure.”

“I declare, Jack, this is awfully sad to me, old chap, and I know Lucy
will be sorely disappointed. You know that we are to be married next
month and Lucy has said a dozen times that she wished you to be present;
that you had always been a tower of strength to her and that nothing
could alarm or make her nervous if, as she put it, ‘brave and trustworthy
Jack be near.’”

The sailor’s face lost some of its color in spite of the tan that sun
and sea had given it, as he listened to words that he had heard Lucy
say when, as a boy and girl, they had climbed New Hampshire’s hills, or
sailed along Massachusetts’ coast together.

“I shall be sorry if Lucy be disappointed, but I am so much of a sea-swab
now that I am restless and unhappy while ashore.”

What a poor liar young John Dunlap was. His manner, or something, not
his words, in that instant revealed his secret to Burton, as a flash of
lightning in the darkness discloses a scene, so was Jack’s story and
reason for hurried departure from Boston made plain.

By some yet unexplained process of mental telegraphy the two young men
understood each other. Spontaneously they extended their hands and in
their warm clasp a bond of silent sympathy was established. Thus they
stood for a moment, then Burton said in that sad, sweet voice of his:

“Jack, dear old chap, I will get your clearance papers tomorrow and you
may put to sea when you please, but see Lucy before you sail.”

Ere Dunlap could reply the door of the manager’s office opened and there
entered the room a man of such peculiar appearance as to attract the
attention of the most casual observer. He was thin, even to emaciation.
The skin over his almost hairless head seemed drawn as tightly as the
covering of a drum. The ghastliness of his dead-white face was made more
apparent by the small gleaming black eyes set deep and close to a huge
aquiline nose, and the scarlet, almost bloody stripe that marked the
narrow line of his lips.

“Beg pardon,” said the man, seeing someone with Burton, and then,
recognizing who the visitor was, added:

“Oh, how are you, Jack? I did not know that you were with the manager,”
and he seemed to put the faintest bit of emphasis upon the word
“manager.”

“Well, what is it, Chapman?” said Burton somewhat impatiently.

“I only wished to inform you that I have secured a master for the
‘Adams.’ Captain Mason, who was formerly in our employ, has applied for
the position and as he was satisfactory when with us before I considered
it very fortunate for us to secure his services just now.”

“The ‘Adams’ has a master already assigned to her,” interrupted the
manager.

“Why! When? Who?” inquired the superintendent eagerly.

“The ‘Adams’ sails in command of Captain Dunlap here.”

The gleaming black eyes of Chapman seemed to bury their glances into the
very heart of the manager as he stretched his thin neck forward and asked:

“Did you give him the ship?”

“J. Dunlap made the assignment of Captain Jack to the ship today at his
own request and contrary to my wishes,” said Burton abruptly, somewhat
annoyed at Chapman’s manner.

It was now the turn of Jack to stand the battery of those hawk eyes of
the superintendent, who sought to read the honest sailor’s soul as he
shot his glances into Jack’s clear gray eyes.

“Ah! Cousin Jack going away so soon and our Miss Lucy’s wedding next
month. How strange!” Chapman seemed speaking to himself.

“If that is all, Chapman, just say to Mason that the firm appointed a
master to the ‘Adams’ without your knowledge; therefore he can’t have the
ship,” said Burton with annoyance in his tone and manner, dismissing the
superintendent with a wave of his hand toward the door.

When Chapman glided out of the room, the man moved always in such a
stealthy manner that he appeared to glide instead of walk, Burton
exclaimed:

“Do you know, Jack, that that man Chapman can irritate me more by his
detective demeanor than any man I ever saw could do by open insult. I am
ashamed of myself for allowing such to be the case, but I can’t help it.
To have a chap about who seems to be always playing the Sherlock Holmes
act is wearing on one’s patience. Why, confound it! If he came in this
minute to say that we needed a new supply of postage stamps he would make
such a detective job of it that I should feel the uncomfortable sensation
that the mailing clerk had stolen the last lot purchased.”

Jack, who disliked the sneaky and secretive as much as any man alive and
had just been irritated himself by Chapman’s untimely scrutiny, said:

“I am not astonished and don’t blame you. While I have known Chapman all
my life, I somehow, as a boy and man, have always felt when talking to
him that I was undergoing an examination before a police magistrate.”

“Of course I ought to consider that he has been with the house for more
than forty years and is fidelity and faithfulness personified to ‘J.
Dunlap,’ but he is so absurdly jealous and suspicious that he would wear
out the patience of a saint, and I don’t pretend to be one,” supplemented
Burton.

“Half the time,” said Jack, glad apparently to discuss Chapman and thus
avoid the subject which beneath the surface of their conversation was
uppermost in the minds of both Burton and himself.

“I have not the slightest idea what ‘Old Chap,’ as I call him, is driving
at. He goes hunting a hundred miles away for the end of a coil of rope
that is lying at his very feet, and he is the very devil, too, for
finding out anything he wishes to know. Why, when I was a boy and used to
get into scrapes, if ‘Old Chap’ cornered me I knew it was no use trying
to get out of the mess and soon learned to plead guilty at once,” and
Jack smiled in a dreary kind of way at the recollection of some of his
boyish pranks.

“Well, let old Chapman, the modern Sherlock Holmes, and his searching
disposition go for the present. Promise to be sure to dine with Lucy
tomorrow evening. She expects me to be there also, as she is going to
have one or two young women and needs some of the male sex to talk to
them. I know that she will want you all to herself,” said Burton.

“Yes, I’ll be on hand all right tomorrow night and you get my papers in
shape during the day, as I will sail as early day after tomorrow as the
tide serves,” replied the captain.

“By the way, Jack! Send your steward to me when you go aboard to take
charge of the ‘Adams’ in the morning. Tell him to see me personally. You
sailors are such queer chaps and care so little about your larder that I
am going to see to it myself that you don’t eat salt pork and hard tack
on your voyage out, nor drink bilge water, either.”

“You are awfully kind, Burton, but you need not trouble yourself. I am
sure common sea grub is good enough for any sailor-man.”

As they walked together toward the front door, when Captain Jack was
leaving the building, in the narrow aisle between the long rows of desks
they came face to face with the superintendent. He stepped aside and
gazing after them, whispered:

“Strange, very strange, for Jack Dunlap to sail so soon.”

“Be sure to send that steward of yours to me tomorrow, Jack,” called the
manager of “J. Dunlap” as the sturdy figure of the sailor disappeared in
the fog that filled the crooked street in which Boston’s oldest shipping
and banking house had its office.

“And no ship ever sailed from Boston provided as yours shall be, poor old
chap,” muttered the manager as he hurried back to his own room in the
office. “There shall be champagne enough on board the ‘Adams,’ Jack, to
drink our health, if you so will, on our wedding day, even though you be
off Cape Good Hope.”

       *       *       *       *       *

In the gloaming that dark November day the Dunlap brothers were seated
close together, side by side, in silence gazing into the heap of coals
that burned in the large grate before them. John Dunlap’s hand rested
upon the arm of his brother, as if in the mere touching of him who had
first seen the light in his company there was comfort.

Burton thought, as he entered the private office that no finer picture
was ever painted than that made by these two fine old American gentlemen
as the flame from the crackling cannel coal shot up, revealing their
kind, gentle, generous faces in the surrounding gloom of the room.

“Pardon me, gentlemen,” said the manager, pausing on the threshold,
hesitating to break in upon a scene that seemed almost sacred, “but I was
told that you had sent for me while I was out of the office.”

“Come in, Burton, you were correctly informed,” said James Dunlap, still
neither changing his position nor removing his gaze from the fire.

“My brother John and I have determined as a mark of love for our young
kinsman, Captain John Dunlap, and as an evidence of our appreciation
for faithful services rendered to us as mate and master, to make him a
present of our ship ‘Adams,’ now loaded for Australia,” continued James
Dunlap, speaking very low and very softly.

“You will please have the necessary papers for the transfer made out
tonight. We will execute them in the morning and you will see that the
proper entry is made upon the register at the custom house. Have the full
value of the ship charged to the private accounts of my brother John and
myself, as the gift is a personal affair of ours and others interested in
our house must be fully indemnified,” continued the old man as he turned
his eyes and met his brother’s assenting look.

The flame blazing up in the grate at that moment cast its light on
Burton’s flushed face as he listened to the closing sentence of Mr. James
Dunlap’s instructions.

“Forgive me, sir, but I do not comprehend what you mean by ‘others
interested in our house.’ I believe other than yourselves I alone have
the honor to hold an interest in your house,” and moving forward in the
firelight where he would stand before the brothers he continued, almost
indignantly, his voice vibrating with emotion:

“You do me bitter, cruel injustice if you think that I do not wish, nay
more, earnestly beg, to join in this gift. I have learned that today that
would urge me to plead for permission to share in this deed were it of
ten times the value of the ‘Adams.’”

Quickly old John Dunlap, rising from his chair, placing his hand on
Burton’s shoulder and regarding him kindly, said:

“I am glad to hear you say that, Burton, very glad. It proves your
heart to be right, but it cannot be as you wish. Jack is so sensitive
even about receiving aid from us, his kinsmen, that you must conceal the
matter from him, put the transfer and new registration with his clearance
papers and tell him it is our wish that they be not opened until he is
one week at sea.”

“Could the transfer not be made just in the name of the house without
explanation? He might never think of my being interested,” urged the
manager eagerly.

“You are mistaken, Walter,” said James Dunlap. “Within a month you might
see the ‘Adams’ sailing back into Boston harbor. I am sorry to deny you
the exercise of your generous impulse; we appreciate the intent, but
think it best not to hamper a gift to this proud fellow with anything
that might cause its rejection.”

Burton, realizing the truth of the position taken by the brothers and
the hopelessness of gaining Jack Dunlap’s consent to be placed under
obligations to one not of his own blood, could offer no further argument
upon the subject. Dejected and disappointed he turned to leave the room
to accomplish the wishes expressed by the twins. As he reached the door
John Dunlap called to him.

“Hold on a minute, Burton. Have we any interest in the cargo of the
‘Adams?’”

“About one-quarter of her cargo is agricultural implements consigned to
our Australian agent for the account of the house,” quickly answered the
manager.

“Charge that invoice to me and assign it to Jack.”

“Charge it jointly to us both,” added James Dunlap.

“No you don’t, James! We only agreed on the ship. John is my godson and
namesake. I have a right to do more than anyone else,” exultantly cried
the kind hearted old fellow, and for the first time that day he laughed
as he slapped his brother on the shoulder and thought of how he had
gotten ahead of him.

Burton was obliged to smile at the sudden anxiety of Mr. John to get rid
of him when Mr. James began to protest against his brother’s selfishness
in wishing to have no partner in the gift of the cargo.

“Now, you just hurry up those papers, Burton. Yes, hurry! Run along! Yes,
Yes,” and so saying old Mr. John fairly rushed him out of the room.

“How I wish I were Captain Jack’s uncle, too,” thought Burton sadly, with
a heart full of generous sympathy for the man who he knew loved the woman
that ere a month would be Mrs. Burton.



III.


Some men have one hobby, some have many and some poor wretches have none.
David Chapman had three hobbies and they occupied his whole mind and
heart.

First in place and honor was the house of J. Dunlap. “The pillared
firmament” might fall but his fidelity to the firm which he had served
for forty years could never fail. His was the fierce and jealous love
of the tigress for her cub where the house of Dunlap was concerned. He
actually suffered, as from mortal hurt, when any one or any thing seemed
to separate him from this great object of his adoration.

He had ever regarded the ownership of even a small interest by Walter
Burton as an indignity, an outrage and a sacrilege. He hated him for
defiling the chiefest idol of his religion and life. He was jealous of
him because he separated in a manner the worshiper from the worshiped.

Because solely of jealous love for this High Joss of his, Chapman would
have gladly, cheerfully suffered unheard of agonies to rid the house of
J. Dunlap of this irreverent interloper who did not bear the sacred name
of Dunlap.

The discovery of anything concealed, unravelling a mystery, ferreting
out a secret was the next highest hobby in Chapman’s trinity of hobbies.
He was passionately fond of practicing the theory of deduction, and was
marvelously successful at arriving at correct conclusions. No crime, no
mystery furnished a sensation for the Boston newspapers that did not call
into play the exercise of this the second and most peculiar hobby of
Chapman.

By some strange freak of nature in compounding the elements to form the
character of David Chapman, an inordinate love for music was added to the
incongruous mixture, and became the man’s third and most harmless hobby.
Chapman had devoted years to the study of music, from pure love of sweet
and melodious sounds. In the great and musical city of Boston no one
excelled him as master of his favorite instrument, the violoncello. Like
Balzac’s Herr Smucker, in his hours of relaxation, he bathed himself in
the flood of his own melody.

Chapman owned, he was not poor, and occupied with his spinster sister,
who was almost as withered as himself, a house well down in the business
section of the city. He could not be induced to live in the more
desirable suburbs. They were too far from the temple of his chiefest
idol, the house of J. Dunlap.

“Jack Dunlap sails as master of our ship ‘Adams’ day after tomorrow,”
suggested Chapman meditatively, as he sipped his tea and glanced across
the table at the dry, almost fossilized, prim, starchy, old lady seated
opposite him in his comfortable dining room that evening.

“Impossible, David, the boy has only just arrived.”

And the little old lady seemed to pick at the words as she uttered them
much as a sparrow does at crumbs of bread.

“It is not impossible for it is a fact,” replied her brother dryly.

“What is the reason for his sudden departure? Did the house order him to
sea again?” pecked out the sister.

“No, that is the strange part of the affair. Jack himself especially
urged his appointment to the ship sailing day after tomorrow.”

“Then it is to get away from Boston before Lucy is married. I believe he
is in love with her and can’t bear to see her marry Burton.”

Oh! boastful man, with all your assumed superiority in the realm of
reason and your deductive theories and synthetical systems for forming
correct conclusions. You are but a tyro, a mere infant in that great
field of feeling where love is crowned king. The most withered, stale,
neglected being in whose breast beats a woman’s heart, by that mysterious
and sympathetic something called intuition can lead you like the child
that you are in this, woman’s own province.

“You are entirely wrong, Arabella, as usual. Jack never thought of Miss
Lucy in that way; besides he and Burton are exceedingly friendly; can’t
you make it convenient to visit your friends in Bedford and see Martha
Dunlap? If anything be wrong with Jack, and I can help him, I shall be
glad to do so. The mother may be more communicative than the son.”

“I will surely make the attempt to learn if anything be wrong, and
gladly, too; I have always loved that boy Jack, and if he be in trouble
I want you to help him all in your power, David.” The little old maid’s
face flushed in the earnestness of the expression.

“Burton is still an unsolved problem to me,” and in saying the words
Chapman’s jaws moved with a kind of snap, like a steel trap, while his
eyes had the glitter of a serpent’s in them as he continued, “for years I
have observed him closely and I cannot make him out at all. I am baffled
by sudden changes of mood in the man; at times he is reckless, gay,
thoughtless, frivolous, and I sometimes think lacking in moral stamina;
again he is dignified, kind, courteous, reserved and seems to possess the
highest standard of morals.”

“I don’t suppose that he is unlike other men; they all have moods. You do
yourself, David, and very unpleasant moods, too,” said Arabella with the
proverbial sourness of the typical New England spinster.

“Well, I may have moods, as you say, Arabella, but I don’t break out
suddenly in a kind of frenzy of gaiety, sing and shout like a street Arab
and then as quickly relapse into a superlatively dead calm of dignity and
the irreproachable demeanor of a cultured gentleman.

“Now, David, you are allowing your dislike for Burton and your prejudice
to overdraw the picture,” said prim Miss Arabella, as she daintily raised
the teacup to her lips.

“I am not overdrawing the picture! I have seen and heard Burton when
he thought that he was alone in the office, and I say that there is
something queer about him; Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of that old story
are common characters in comparison. I knew his father well; he was
an every-day sort of successful business man; whom his father married
and what she was like I do not know, but I shall find out some day,
as therein may lie the reading of the riddle,” retorted the brother
vehemently.

“As Lucy Dunlap will be married to the man shortly and it will then be
too late to do anything, no matter what is the result of your inquiry, it
seems to me that you should cease to interest yourself in the matter,”
chirped the bird-like voice of Miss Arabella.

“I can’t! I am absolutely fascinated by the study of this man’s strange,
incongruous character; you remember what I told you when I returned from
the only visit I ever made at Burton’s house. It was business that forced
me to go there, and I have never forgotten what I saw and heard. I am
haunted by something that I cannot define,” said Chapman, intensity of
feeling causing his pale face and hairless head to assume the appearance
of the bald-eagle or some other bird of prey.

“Think of it, Arabella! That summer day as I reached the door of his
lonely dwelling, surrounded by that great garden, through the open
windows there came crashing upon my ears such a wild, weird burst of song
that it held me motionless where I stood. The sound of those musical
screams of melodious frenzy, dying away in rythmic cadence until it
seemed the soft summer breeze echoed the sweet harmony in its sighing.
Words, music and expression now wild and unbridled as the shriek of a
panther, and then low, gentle and soothing as the murmuring of a peaceful
brook,” cried Chapman, becoming more intense as his musical memory
reproduced the sounds he sought to describe.

“David, you know that music is a passion with you, and doubtless your
sensitive ear gave added accent and meaning to the improvised music of a
careless, idle young man,” interrupted Miss Arabella.

“Not so! Not so! I swear that no careless, idle man ever improvised
such wild melody; it is something unusual in the man; when at last the
outburst ceased, and I summoned strength to ring the bell, there was
something almost supernatural that enabled that frenzied musician to meet
me with the suavity of an ordinary cultured gentleman of Boston as Burton
did when I entered his sitting room.”

“Brother, I fear that imagination and hatred in this instance are sadly
warping your usually sound judgment,” quietly replied the sedate sister,
seeing the increasing excitement of her brother.

“Imagination created also, I suppose, the uncanny, barbaric splendor with
which his apartments were decorated which I described to you,” sneered
the man.

“All young men affect something of that kind, I am told, in the adornment
of their rooms,” rejoined the spinster, mincing her words, and, old as
she was, assuming embarrassment in mentioning young men’s rooms.

“Nonsense! Arabella, I have seen many of the Harvard men’s rooms. A
few swords, daggers, and other weapons; a skin or two of wild animals;
something of that kind, but Burton’s apartments were differently
decorated; masses of striking colors, gaudy, glaring, yet so blended by
an artistic eye that they were not offensive to the sight. Articles of
furniture of such strange, savage and grotesque shape as to suggest a
barbarian as the designer. The carving on the woodwork, the paneling, the
tone and impression created by sight of it all were such as must have
filled the souls of the Spanish conquerors when they first gazed upon
the barbaric grandeur of the Moors, as exposed to their wondering eyes by
the conquest of Granada.”

“Don’t get excited, David!” said staid Miss Arabella. “Suppose that you
should discover something to the discredit of Burton, what use could and
would you make of it?”

The veins in Chapman’s thin neck and bony brow became swollen and
distended as if straining to burst the skin that covered them; his eyes
flashed baleful fire, as extending his arm and grasping the empty air as
if it were his enemy, he fairly hissed:

“I! I! I would tear him out of the house of J. Dunlap, intruder that he
is, and cast him into the gutter! Yea! though I tore the heartstrings
of a million women such as Lucy Dunlap! What is she or her heart in
comparison with the glory of Boston’s oldest business name?”

Panting, as a weary hound, who exhausted but exultant, fastens his fangs
in the hunted stag, overcome by the violence of his hatred, David Chapman
dropped down into his chair.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nestling among grand old oaks and profusion of shrubbery, now leafless
in the November air of New England, on the top of the highest hill in
that portion of the suburbs, sat the “Eyrie,” the bachelor home of Walter
Burton.

Though the house was small, the conservatory adjoining it was one of the
largest in the city. Burton was an ardent lover of flowers, and an active
collector of rare plants. The house stood in the center of an extensive
and well kept garden through which winding paths ran in every direction.

The place would have seemed lonely to one not possessing within himself
resources sufficient to furnish him entertainment independent of the
society of others.

Burton never knew loneliness. He was an accomplished musician, an
artist of more than ordinary ability, a zealous horticulturist, and an
omnivorous devourer of books.

A housekeeper who was cook at the same time, one man and a boy for the
garden and conservatory and a valet constituted the household servants of
the “Eyrie.”

At the moment that Chapman’s wrathful mind was expressing its
concentrated hate for him, the owner of the white house on the hill
sat before the open grand piano in his music-room, his shapely hands
wandering listlessly over the keys, touching them once in a while in an
aimless manner. The young man’s mind was filled with other thoughts than
music.

Chapman had drawn an accurate picture of Burton’s apartments in many
respects, yet he had forgotten to mention the many musical instruments
scattered about the rooms. Harp, guitar, mandolin, violin, banjo and
numberless sheets of music, some printed and some written, marked this
as the abode of a natural musician. Burton was equally proficient in the
use of each of the instruments lying about the room, as well as being the
author of original compositions of great beauty and merit.

The odor of violets perfumed the whole house. Great bunches of these,
Burton’s favorite flower, filled antique and queerly shaped vases in each
room.

Burton ceased to even sound the keys on which his hands rested, and as
some scene was disclosed to his sympathetic soul, his soft brown eyes
were dimmed by a suspicious moisture. Sighing sadly he murmured:

“Poor Jack! While I am in a heaven of bliss with the woman I love,
surrounded by all that makes life enjoyable, he, poor old chap, alone,
heartsick and hopeless, will be battling with the stormy waves of the
ocean. Alas! Fate how inscrutable!”

As his mind drifted onward in this channel of thought, he added more
audibly, “What a heart Jack has! There is a man! He will carry his secret
uncomplaining and in silence to his grave, that, too, without permitting
envy or jealousy to fill his soul with hatred; I would that I could do
something to assuage the pain of that brave heart.” And at the word
“brave” the stream of his wandering fancy seemed to take a new direction.

“Brave! Men who have sailed with him say he knows no fear; the last
voyage they tell how he sprang into the icy sea, all booted as he was,
waves mountain high, the night of inky blackness, to save a worthless,
brutal Lascar sailor. Tender as a woman, when a mere child as careful
of baby Cousin Lucy as a granddame could be, and ever her sturdy little
knight and champion from babyhood. Poor Jack!”

Again the current of his thought changed its course. He paused and
whispered to himself, “Lucy, am I worthy of her? Shall I prove as kind,
as true and brave a husband as Jack would be to her? Oh! God, I hope so,
I will try so hard. Sometimes there seems to come a strange inexplicable
spell over my spirit—a something that is beyond my control. A madness
seems to possess my very soul. Involuntarily I say and do that, during
the time that this mysterious influence holds me powerless in its grasp,
that is so foreign to my natural self that I shudder and grow sick at
heart at the thought of the end to which it may lead me.”

At the recollection of some horror of the past the young man’s face paled
and he shivered as if struck by a cold blast of winter wind.

“Ought I to tell Lucy of these singular manifestations? Ought I to alarm
my darling concerning something that may partly be imaginary? I am
uncertain what, loving her as I do, is right; I can always absent myself
from her presence when I feel that hateful influence upon me, and perhaps
after I am married I may be freed from the horrible thraldom of that
irresistible power that clutches me in its terrible grasp. I cannot bear
the idea of giving my dear love useless pain or trouble. Had I not better
wait?”

At that moment some unpleasant fact must have suggested itself or rather
forced itself upon Burton’s mind for he pushed back the piano-stool and
rising walked with impatient steps about the room, saying:

“It would be ridiculous! Absurd! Really unworthy of both Lucy and myself
even to mention the subject! Long ago that old, nonsensical prejudice had
disappeared, at least among cultivated people in America. There is not
a shade of doubt but that both the Messrs. Dunlap and Lucy are aware of
the fact that my mother was a quadroon. Doubtless that circumstance is
deemed so trivial that it never has occurred to them to mention it to me.
People of education and refinement, regardless of the color of skin, are
welcome in the home of the Dunlaps as everywhere else where enlightenment
has dispelled prejudice.”

He paused and bursting into a musical and merry laugh at something that
his memory recalled, exclaimed,

“Why, I have seen men and women as black as the proverbial ‘ace of
spades,’ the guests of honor in Mr. James Dunlap’s house, as elsewhere in
Boston. I shall neither bore nor insult the intelligence of my sweetheart
or her family by introducing the absurd subject of blood in connection
with our marriage. The idea of blood making any difference! Men are
neither hounds nor horses!”

Laughing at the odd conceit that men, hounds and horses should be
considered akin by any one not absolutely benighted, he resumed his seat
at the piano and began playing a gay waltz tune then popular with the
dancing set of Boston’s exclusive circle.

As Burton ended the piece of music with a fantastic flourish of his own
composition, he turned and saw his valet standing silently waiting for
his master to cease playing.

“Ah! Victor, are the hampers packed carefully?” exclaimed Burton.

“Yes, sir,” replied the valet, pronouncing his words with marked French
accent. “The steward at your club furnished all the articles on the list
that the housekeeper lacked, sir.”

“You are sure that you put in the hampers the ‘44’ vintage of champagne,
the Burgundy imported by myself, and you examined the cigars to be
certain to get only those of the last lot from Havana?”

“Quite sure, sir; I packed everything myself, as you told me you were
especially anxious to have only the very best selected,” said the little
Frenchman.

“Now, listen, Victor; tomorrow I dine away from home, but before I leave
the house I shall arrange a box of flowers, which, with the hampers,
you are to carry in my dog-cart to Dunlap’s wharf and there you are to
have them placed in the cabin of the ship ‘Adams.’ You will open the box
of flowers and arrange them tastefully, as I know you can, about the
master’s stateroom—take a half-dozen vases to put them in.”

“Very good, sir; it shall be done as you say, sir,” answered the valet
bowing and moving toward the door.

“Hold on, Victor!” called Burton, “I wish to add just this: if by any
accident, no matter what, you fail to get these things on board the
‘Adams’ before she sails, my gentle youth, I will break your neck.”

So admonished the servant bowed low and left the room, as his master
turned again to the piano and began to make the room ring with a furious
and warlike march.



IV.


The United States is famous for its beautiful women, but even in that
country where beauty is the common heritage of her daughters, Lucy
Dunlap’s loveliness of face and figure shone as some transcendent planet
in the bright heavens of femininity where all are stars.

“How can you be so cruel, Jack, as to run away to sea again so soon and
when I need you so much?”

The great hazel eyes looked so pleadingly into poor Jack’s that he could
not even stammer out an excuse for his departure.

Sailors possibly appreciate women more than all other classes of men.
They are so much without their society that they never seem to regard
them as landsmen do, and Lucy Dunlap was an exceptional example of
womankind to even the most _blase_ landsman. Small wonder then that
sailor Jack, confused, could only gaze at the lovely being before him.

Lucy Dunlap, though of the average height of women, seemed taller, so
round, supple and elastic were the proportions of her perfect figure. The
charm of intellectual power gave added beauty to a face whose features
would have caused an artist to realize that the ideal model did not exist
alone in the land of dreams.

In the spacious drawing-room of Dunlap’s mansion were gathered those
who had enjoyed the sumptuous dinner served that evening in honor of
their seafaring kinsman. Mr. John Dunlap was relating his experiences in
Port au Prince to his old friend, Mrs. Church, while his brother, with
that old-fashioned courtliness that became him so well, was playing the
cavalier to Miss Winthrop, one of his granddaughter’s pretty friends.
Walter Burton was bending over Miss Stanhope, a talented young musician,
who, seated before the piano, was scanning a new piece of music.

There seemed a mutual understanding between all of those present that
Lucy should monopolize her cousin’s attention on this the first occasion
that she had seen him for two years, and probably the last for a like
period of time. In a far corner of the great room Jack and Lucy were
seated when she asked the question mentioned, to which Jack finally made
awkward answer by saying:

“Oh! well, Lucy, I am not of much account at social functions. I should
only be in some one’s way. I fancy my proper place is the quarter-deck of
a ship at sea.”

“Don’t be absurd, Jack! You know much better than that,” said his cousin,
glancing at the manly, frank face beside her, the handsome, curly blonde
head carried high and firm, and the grand chest and shoulders of the man,
made more noticeable by the close fitting dress coat that he wore.

“Why, half the women of our set in Boston will be in love with you if you
remain for my wedding. Please do, Jack. I will find you the prettiest
sweetheart that your sailor-heart ever pictured.”

“I am awfully sorry, little cousin, to disappoint you, as you seem to
have expected me to be present at your wedding,” said Jack manfully,
attempting to appear cheerful.

“And as for the sweetheart part of your suggestion, it may be ungallant
to say so, but I don’t believe there is any place in my log for that kind
of an entry.”

“How odd it is, Jack, that you have never been in love; why, any woman
could love you, you big-hearted handsome sailor.”

Lucy’s admiring glances rested upon the face of her cousin as innocently
as when a little maid she had kissed him and said that she loved him.

“Yes, it is rather odd for a man never to love some woman, but I can’t
say that I agree that any woman could or would love me,” answered Jack
dryly, as he smiled at the earnest face turned toward him.

Miss Stanhope played a magnificent symphony as only that clever artist
could; Walter Burton’s clear tenor voice rang out in an incomparable solo
from the latest opera, but Lucy and Jack, oblivious to all else, in low
and confidential tones conversed in the far corner of the room.

As of old when she was a child, Lucy had nestled down close to her
cousin and resting one small hand upon his arm was artlessly pouring
out the whole story of her love for Walter Burton, her bright hopes and
expectations, the joy that filled her soul, the happiness that she saw
along the vista of the future; all with that freedom from reserve that
marks the exchange of confidences between loving sisters.

The day of the rack and stake has passed, but as long as human hearts
shall beat, the day of torture can never come to a close; Jack listened
to the heart story of the innocent, confiding woman beside him, who, all
unaware of the torture she was inflicting, painted the future in words
that wrung more agony from his soul than rack or stake could have caused
his body.

How bravely he battled against the pain that every word brought to his
breast! Pierced by a hundred darts he still could meet the artless gaze
of those bright, trusting, hazel eyes and smile in assurance of his
interest and sympathy.

“But of course my being married must make no difference with you, Cousin
Jack. You must love me as you always have,” she said, as if the thought
of losing something she was accustomed to have just occurred to her mind.

“I shall always love you, Lucy, as I ever have.” The sailor’s voice came
hoarse and deep from the broad breast that rose and fell like heaving
billows.

“You know, Jack, that you were always my refuge and strength in time of
trouble or danger when I was a child, and even with dear Walter for my
husband I still should feel lost had I not you to call upon.” Lucy’s
voice trembled a little and she grasped Jack’s strong arm with the hand
that rested there while they had been talking.

“You may call me from the end of the earth, my dear, and feel sure that
I shall come to you,” said Jack simply, but the earnest manner was more
convincing to the woman at his side than fine phrases would have been.

“Oh! Jack! what a comfort you are, and how much I rely upon you. It makes
me quite strong and brave to know that my marriage will make no change in
your love for me.”

“As long as life shall last, my cousin, I shall love you,” replied the
man almost sadly, as he placed his hand over hers that held his arm.

“Or until some day you marry and your wife becomes jealous,” added Lucy
laughing.

“Or until I marry and my wife is jealous,” repeated Dunlap with the
faintest kind of emphasis upon “until.”

Miss Stanhope began to play a waltz of the inspiring nature that almost
makes old and gouty feet to tingle, and is perfectly irresistible to the
young and joyous. Burton and Miss Winthrop in a minute were whirling
around the drawing-room. How perfectly Burton could dance; his easy
rythmic steps were the very poetry of motion. Lucy and Jack paused to
watch the handsome couple as they glided gracefully through the room.

“Does not Walter dance beautifully?” exclaimed Lucy as she followed the
dancers with admiring glances.

“Bertie Winthrop, who was at Harvard with Walter, says that when they
were students and had their stag parties if they could catch Walter
in what Bertie calls ‘a gay mood,’ he would astonish them with his
wonderful dancing. Bertie vows that Walter can dance any kind of thing
from a vulgar gig to an exquisite ballet, but he is so awfully modest
about it that he denies Bertie’s story and will not dance anything but
the conventional,” continued Lucy.

“Take a turn, Jack!” called Burton as he and his partner swept by the
corner where the sailor and his cousin were seated, and added as he
passed, “It is your last chance for some time.”

“Come on, Jack,” cried Lucy springing up and extending her hands. A
moment more and Jack was holding near his bosom the woman for whom his
heart would beat until death should still it forever.

Oft midst the howling winds and angry waves, when storm tossed on the
sea, will Jack dream o’er again the heavenly bliss of those few moments
when close to his heart rested she who was the beacon light of his
sailor’s soul.

When the music of the waltz ended, Jack and his fair partner found
themselves just in front of the settee where John Dunlap and Mrs. Church
were seated.

“Uncle John, I have been trying to induce Jack to stay ashore until after
my wedding,” said Lucy addressing Mr. John Dunlap who had been following
her and her partner with his eyes, in which was a pained expression, as
they had circled about the room.

“Won’t you help me, Uncle John?” added the young woman in that pleading
seductive tone that always brought immediate surrender on the part of
both her grandfather and granduncle.

“I am afraid, Lucy, that I can’t aid you this time,” replied the old
gentleman and there was so much seriousness in his sunburnt face that
Lucy exclaimed anxiously:

“Why? What is the matter that the house must send Cousin Jack away almost
as soon as he gets home?”

“Nothing is the matter, dear, but it is an opportunity for your cousin
to make an advancement in his profession, and you must not be selfish in
thinking only of your own happiness, my child. You know men must work and
women must wait,” replied her uncle.

“Oh! Is that it? Then I must resign myself with good grace to the
disappointment. I would not for the world have any whim of mine mar dear
old Jack’s prospects,” and Lucy clasped both of her dimpled white hands
affectionately on her cousin’s arm, which she still retained after the
waltz ended, as she uttered these sentiments.

“I know Jack would make any sacrifice for me if I really insisted.”

“I am sure that he would, Lucy, so don’t insist,” said John Dunlap very
seriously and positively.

Just then Burton began singing a mournfully sweet song, full of sadness
and pathos, accompanying himself on a guitar that had been lying on the
music stand. All conversation ceased. Every one turned to look at the
singer. What a mellow, rich voice had Walter Burton. What expression he
put into the music and words!

What a handsome man he was! As he leaned forward holding the instrument,
and lightly touching the strings as he sang, Lucy thought him a perfect
Apollo. Her eyes beamed with pride and love as she regarded her future
husband.

None noticed the flush and troubled frown on old John Dunlap’s face.
Burton’s crossed legs had drawn his trousers tightly around the limb
below the knee, revealing an almost total absence of calf and that the
little existing was placed higher up than usually is the case. That
peculiarity or something never to be explained had brought some Haitian
scene back to the memory of the flushed and frowning old man and sent a
pang of regret and fear through his kind heart.

“God bless and keep you, lad! Jack, you are the last of the Dunlaps,”
said Mr. John Dunlap solemnly as they all stood in the hall when the
sailor was leaving.

“Amen! most earnestly, Amen!” added Mr. James Dunlap, placing his hand on
Jack’s shoulder.

“Good-by! dear Jack,” said Lucy sorrowfully while tears filled her eyes,
when she stood at the outer door of the hall holding her cousin’s hand.

“Think of me on the twentieth of next month, my wedding day,” she added,
and then drawing the hand that she held close to her breast as if still
clinging to some old remembrance and anxious to keep fast hold of the
past, fearful that it would escape her, she exclaimed:

“Remember, you are still my trusty knight and champion, Jack!”

“Until death, Lucy,” replied the man, as he raised the little white hand
to his lips and reverently kissed it.

She stood watching the retreating figure until it was hidden by the gloom
of the ghostly elms that lined the avenue. As she turned Burton was at
her side.

“How horribly lonely Jack must be, Walter,” she said in pitying tones.

“More so than even you realize, Lucy,” rejoined Burton sadly.

Alone through the darkness strode a man with a dull, hard, crushing pain
in his brave, faithful heart.

       *       *       *       *       *

“The child will be ruined,” said all the old ladies of the Dunlaps’
acquaintance when they learned that it had been determined by the child’s
grandfather to keep the motherless and fatherless little creature at home
with him, rather than send her to reside with some remote female members
of her mother’s family.

“Those two old gentlemen will surely spoil her to that degree that she
will be unendurable when she becomes a young woman,” asserted the women
with feminine positiveness.

“They will make her Princess of the house of Dunlap, I suppose,” added
the most acrimonious.

To a degree these predictions were verified by the result, but only to a
degree. The twin brothers almost worshiped the beautiful little maiden,
and did in very fact make her their Princess, and so, too, was she often
called; but possibly through no merit in the management of the brothers,
probably simply because Lucy was not spoilable was the desirable end
arrived at that she grew to be a most amiable and agreeable woman.

The son of Mr. John Dunlap, the father of Lucy, survived but one year
the death of his wife, which occurred when Lucy was born. Thus her
grandfather and uncle became sole protectors and guardians of the child;
that is until the lad, Jack Dunlap, came to live at the house of his
godfather.

Young Jack was the only child of a second cousin of the twin brothers;
his father had been lost at sea when Jack was yet a baby. His mother,
Martha Dunlap, had gladly availed herself of the kind offer of the boy’s
kinsman and godfather, when he proposed that the boy should come and
live with him in Boston, where he could obtain better opportunities for
securing an education than he could in the old town of Bedford.

Jack was twelve years of age when he became an inmate of the Dunlap
mansion, and a robust, sturdy little curly haired chap he was; Princess
Lucy’s conquest was instantaneous. Jack immediately enrolled himself as
the chief henchman, servitor and guard of the pretty fairy-like maid of
six years. No slave was ever more obedient and humble.

Great games awoke the echoes through Dunlap’s stately old dwelling;
in winter the lawn was converted into a slide, the fish-pond into a
skating-rink; in summer New Hampshire’s hills reverberated with the merry
shouts of Jack and “Princess” Lucy or flying over the blue waters of the
bay in the yacht that his godfather had given him. Jack, aided by Lucy’s
fresh young voice, sang rollicking songs of the sea.

The old gentlemen dubbed Jack, “Lucy’s Knight,” and were always perfectly
satisfied when the little girl was with her cousin.

“He is more careful of her than we are ourselves,” they would reply when
speaking of Jack and his guardianship.

All the fuming of Miss Lucy’s maids and the complaints of Miss Lucy’s
governess availed nothing, for even good old Mrs. Church joined in the
conspiracy of the grandfather and uncle, saying:

“She is perfectly safe in Jack’s care, and I wish to see rosy cheeks
rather than hear Emersonian philosophy from our pet.”

Notwithstanding the “lots of fun,” as Jack used to call their frolics,
Lucy and Jack did good hard work with their books, music and “all the
rest of it,” as the young people called drawing and dancing.

When Jack became twenty years of age, and was prepared to enter Harvard
college, where Mr. John Dunlap proposed to send him, he made his
appearance one day in the city and asked to see his kind kinsman.

“I thank you, sir, for your great kindness in offering to place me in
Harvard College, as I do for all the countless things you have done for
me, but I can’t accept your generous proposition. You will not be angry,
I am sure, for you know, I hope, how grateful I am for all you have done.
But, sir, I have a widowed mother and I wish to go to work that I may
earn money for her and obtain a start in life for myself,” said Jack with
boyish enthusiasm when admitted to the presence of Mr. John Dunlap.

Though the old gentleman urged every argument to alter Jack’s
determination, the boy stood firmly by what he had said.

“You are my namesake, the only male representative of our family; neither
you nor your mother shall ever want. I have more money than I need.” Many
other inducements were offered still the young man insisted upon the
course that he laid out for himself.

“I am a sailor’s son and have a sailor’s soul; I wish to go to sea,” Jack
finally exclaimed.

Both of the twins loved Jack. He had been so long in their house and so
closely associated with Lucy that he seemed more to them than a remote
young kinsman.

Finding Jack’s decision unalterable, a compromise was effected on the
subject. Jack should sail in one of their coasting ships, and when on
shore at Boston continue to make their house his home.

Great was the grief of Lucy at parting with her Jack, as she called
him. But consoling herself with the thought that she should see him
often and that the next autumn she should be obliged to leave Boston
for some dreadful seminary and thus they would be separated under any
circumstances, she dried her eyes and entered with enthusiasm into his
preparations for sea, saying, “I have a good mind to dress up as a boy
and go with Jack! I declare I would do it, were it not for grandfather
and Uncle John.”

Jack’s kit on his first voyage was a marvel in the way of a sailor’s
outfit; Lucy had made a bankrupt of herself in the purchase of the most
extraordinary handkerchiefs, caps, shirts and things of that kind that
could be found in Boston, saying proudly to Mrs. Church when displaying
the assortment:

“Nothing is too good for my sailor boy.”

After several years of sea service Mr. James Dunlap, during the residence
of his brother in Haiti, had tendered to Jack a position in the office,
hoping that having seen enough of the ocean he would be willing to
remain ashore and possibly with a half-formed hope that Jack would win
Lucy’s hand and thus the house of Dunlap continue to survive for other
generations.

Much to the chagrin of Lucy’s grandfather, Jack absolutely refused to
entertain the proposition, saying:

“I should be of no earthly use in the office. I am not competent to fill
any position there, and I positively will not accept a sinecure. If you
wish to advance me, do so in the line of my profession! Make me master
of your ship Lucy and let me take her for a two years’ cruise in Eastern
waters.”

Thus it happened that Jack was absent from Boston for two years and
returned to find that he had lost that, that all the gold of El Dorado
could not replace—the woman whom he loved.



V.


“Mother Sybella, Mother Sybella! May I approach?” yelled every few
minutes the man seated on a rock half way up the hill that rose steep
from the Port au Prince highway.

The neglected and broken pavement of the road that remained as a monument
to the long-departed French governors of Haiti was almost hidden by the
rank, luxurious growth of tropical plants on either side of it. As seen
from the hillside, where the man was sitting, it seemed an impracticable
path for even the slowly moving donkeys which here and there crawled
between the overhanging vegetation.

The man looked neither to the right nor to the left, but throwing back
his head, at intervals of possibly fifteen minutes, as if addressing the
blazing sun above, bawled out at the top of his voice:

“Mother Sybella! Mother Sybella! May I approach?”

The man was a mulatto, though with features markedly of the negro type;
around his head he wore a much soiled white handkerchief. His body was
fairly bursting out of a tight-fitting blue coat of military fashion,
adorned with immense brass buttons. His bare feet and long thin shanks
appeared below dirty duck trousers that once had been white.

There evidently was something awe-inspiring about the name that he
shouted even though the rest of the words were unintelligible to the
natives. The man shouted his request in the English language; the natives
of Haiti used a jargon of French, English and native dialect difficult to
understand and impossible to describe or reproduce in writing.

If, when the man called, a native were passing along the highway, as
sometimes happened, he would spring forward so violently as to endanger
the safety of the huge basket of fruit or vegetables that he carried upon
his head, and glancing over his shoulder with dread in his distended,
white and rolling eyes, would break into a run and speed forward as if in
mortal terror.

The man had just given utterance to a louder howl than usual when he felt
the grip of bony claw-like fingers on his shoulder; with one unearthly
yell he sprang to his feet, turned and fell upon his knees before the
figure that so silently had stolen to his side.

“Has the yellow dog brought a bone to his mother?” The words were spoken
in the patois of the native Haitians with which the man was familiar.

The speaker was a living, animated but mummified black crone of a woman.
She leaned upon a staff made of three human thigh bones, joined firmly
together by wire. Her fleshless fingers looked like the talons of a
vulture as she gripped the top of her horrid prop and bent forward toward
the man.

Her age seemed incalculable in decades; centuries appeared to have passed
since she was born. The wrinkles in her face were as gashes in black
and aged parchment, so deep were they. The skin over her toothless jaws
was so drawn and stretched by untold time that the very hinges of the
jaw were plainly traced; in cavernous, inky holes dug deep beneath the
retreating forehead sparkled, like points of flame, eyes so bright and
glittering that sparks of electric fire shot forth in the gaze by which
she transfixed the groveling wretch at her feet.

“Answer, Manuel; what have you brought for Mother Sybella?”

Finally the startled and fearful Manuel found courage to reply:

“The coffee, sugar, ham and calico are in that bundle lying over there,
Mother Sybella,” and the man pointed to a roll of matting near him.

“And I told you to gather all the gossip and news of Port au Prince. Have
you done so?” queried the hag with a menacing gesture.

“Yes! yes! Mother; every command has been obeyed. I have learned what
people are talking of, and, too, I have brought some printed talk from
among the Yankees,” cried the mulatto quickly, anxious to propitiate the
crone.

“Fool, you know I can’t make out the Yankee printed talk,” snarled the
sunken lips.

“I can though, Mother Sybella; I lived among the Yankees many years. I
will tell you what they talk of concerning our country,” said the man
rising from his knees.

“I will listen here in the sun’s rays; I am cold. Sit there at my feet,”
mumbled the hag, crouching down on the rock that had been occupied by
Manuel.

“Begin,” she commanded fiercely, fixing her keen gaze upon the yellow
face below her.

“Dictator Dupree is unable to obtain money to pay the army; the Yankees
and English will not make a loan unless concessions be made to the
whites.”

“What says Dupree?” muttered the old woman.

“Dupree fears an insurrection of the people if he make concessions to the
whites, and an outbreak by the army if he fail to pay the arrears due
to it. He is distracted and knows not which move to make,” answered the
yellow man at the hag’s feet.

“Dupree is a coward! Let him come to me and see how quickly his
difficulties disappear! The army is worthless, the people powerful,”
cried Sybella.

“Go on! Squash-head,” she ordered.

“Twenty priests, with a Bishop at their head, have come from France, and
go among the people urging them to attend the churches, and threatening
them with awful punishment hereafter if they fail to heed the commands of
the priests,” continued Manuel.

“Much good may it do the black-gowns,” chuckled the old creature, making
a horrible grimace in so doing.

“My children fear Sybella more than the black-gowns’ hell,” she cackled
exultantly.

“The priests are trying to persuade the Dictator to give them permission
to re-open those schools that have been closed so long, but Dupree has
not consented yet. He seems to fear the anger of the black party in
Haiti,” said the witch’s newsman.

“He does well to hesitate!” exclaimed Sybella.

“If he consent, I shall set up my altar, call my children around me and
then! and then! No matter, he is a coward; he will never dare consent,”
she added. The mulatto here drew from his bosom a newspaper. Shading his
eyes from the sun’s glare, he began searching for any item of news in the
Boston paper that he had secured in Port au Prince, which might interest
his terrifying auditor.

“Do you wish to know about the Yankee President and Congress?” he asked
humbly, pausing as he turned the sheet of the newspaper.

“No! you ape, unless they mention our island,” replied the woman, her
watchful eyes looking curiously at the printed paper that the man held.

“About the ships coming and going between the United States and Haiti?”
he asked anxiously, as if fearing that he might miss something of
importance to the black seeress.

“No! That is an old story; the accursed Yankees are ever coming and
going, restless fools,” said the woman.

“Here is a long account of a grand wedding of a wealthy Haitien that has
just taken place in Boston. He married the granddaughter and heiress of
J. Dunlap, who is largely interested in our island,” remarked Manuel
interrogatively.

“His name! fool, his name!” almost screamed the hag, springing to
her feet with an agility fearful to contemplate in one so decrepit,
suggesting supernatural power to the beholder. Manuel, with trembling
lip, cried, as she fastened him in the shoulder with her claws:

“Burton! Walter Burton!”

Without changing, by even a line her fingers from the place where she had
first fixed them in the flesh of the frightened man, she dragged him,
bulky as he was, to his feet, and up the steep, pathless hillside with a
celerity that was awful to the frightened mulatto.

A deep ravine cutting into the back of the hill formed a precipice. Along
the face of the rocky wall thus formed a narrow, ill-defined footway ran,
almost unsafe for a mountain goat. Nearly a thousand feet below, dark
and forbidding in the gloom of jungle and spectral moss-festooned trees,
roared the sullen mutterings of a mountain torrent.

When near the top of the hill, with a quick whirl the black crone darted
aside and around the elbow of the hill, dragging Manuel along at a
furious pace, she dashed down the precipitous path with the swiftness and
confidence of an Alpine chamois.

Half way down the cliff, a ledge of rock made scanty foundation for a hut
of roughly hewn saplings, thatched with the palm plants of the ravine
below. So scarce was room for the hovel that but one step was necessary
to reach the brink of the declivity.

As the excited hag reached the aperture that served as the doorway of her
den, a hideous, blear-eyed owl, who like an evil spirit kept watch and
ward at the witch’s castle, gave forth a ghostly “Hoot! Hoot!” of welcome
to his mistress. At the unexpected sound the mulatto’s quivering knees
collapsed and he sank down, nearly rolling over the edge of the precipice.

Sybella seemed not to feel the weight of the prostrate man whom she still
clutched and hauled into the dark interior of her lair.

Dropping the almost senseless man, she threw some resinous dry brush upon
a fire that was smouldering in the center of the hut. As the flame shot
up Manuel opened his eyes. With a shriek he sprang to his feet, terror
shaking his every limb as he stared about him.

Two giant rats were tugging at some bone, most human in shape; each
trying to tear it from the teeth of the other, as squealing they circled
around the fire. In corners toads blinked their bead-like eyes, while
darting lizards flashed across the floor. Slowly crawling along between
the unplastered logs of the walls snakes of many colors moved about or
coiled in the thatch of the roof hung head downward and hissed as they
waved their heads from side to side.

Along the wall a bark shelf stood. On it were two small skulls with
handles made of cane. These ghastly vessels were filled with milk. Conch
shells and utensils made of dried gourds were scattered on the shelf,
among which a huge and ugly buzzard stalked about.

An immense red drum hung from a pole fixed in a crevice of the rock and
by its side dangled a long and shining knife. A curtain of woven grass
hanging at the rear of the hovel seemed to conceal the entrance to some
cavern within the hill’s rock-ribbed breast.

When the blaze of the burning fagots cast a glow over the grewsome
interior of this temple of Voo Doo, Sybella, the High Priestess, turned
upon the cowering man, upon whose ashy-hued face stood great drops of
ice-cold sweat, tearing from her head the scarlet turban that had hidden
her bare, deathly skull, and beckoning him with her skeleton hand to
approach, in guttural, hissing voice commanded:

“Say over what you told me on the hill! Say, if you dare, you dog, here
in my lair where Tu Konk dwells, that my daughter’s grandson, the last of
my blood, has mated with a white cow.”

Benumbed by the dazzling light that poured from the black pits in her
naked, fleshless skull, the mulatto could not walk, but falling on his
hands and knees he moved toward her; prostrate at her feet, overcome by
fear, he whined faintly:

“Burton, Walter Burton, married a white woman in Boston the twentieth of
last month.”

The hag grasping his ears drew his head up toward her face, and thrusting
her terrible head forward she plunged her gaze like sword points down
into the man’s very soul.

With a cry like that of a wounded wild-cat, she jumped back and throwing
her skinny arms up in the air began waving them above her head, screaming:

“He does not lie! It is true! It is true!”

In impotent rage she dug the sharp nails of her fingers into the skin of
her bald head and tore long ridges across its smooth bare surface.

Suddenly she seized the mulatto, now half-dead from terror, crying:

“Come! Goat without horns, let us tell Tu Konk.”

Manuel, limp, scarcely breathing, staggered to his feet. The hag held him
by the bleeding ears that she had half torn from his head. Pushing him
before her they passed behind the curtain suspended against the rock wall
at the rear of the room.

The cave they entered was of small dimensions. It was illuminated by
four large candles, which stood at each of the four corners of a baby’s
cradle. This misplaced article occupied the center of the space walled in
by the rocky sides of the apartment. The place otherwise was bare.

Sybella as soon as the curtain fell behind her began a monotonous chant.
Moving slowly with shuffling side-long steps around the cradle, sang:

    “Awake, my Tu Konk, awake and listen;
    Hear my story;
    My blood long gone to white dogs;
    Daughter, granddaughter, all gone to white dogs;
    One drop left to me now gone to white cow;
    Tu Konk, Tu Konk, awake and avenge me.”

Manuel saw something move beneath the covering in the cradle.

    “Awake, Oh! my Tu Konk;
    Awake and avenge me!”

Manuel saw a black head thrust itself from below the cover, and rest upon
the dainty pillow in the cradle. The head was covered by an infant’s lacy
cap.

Sybella saw the head appear. Dashing under the curtain and seizing one of
the skull-cups she returned and filled a nursing bottle that lay in the
cradle.

The head covered with its cap of lace rose from the pillow. Sybella,
on her knees, with bowed head and adoring gestures, crept to the side
of the cradle and extended the bottle. King of terrors! By all that is
Horrible!

The nipple disappeared in the scarlet flaming mouth of an immense, fiery
eyed, hissing black-snake. It was Tu Konk!

    “Drink, my Tu Konk.”
    “Bring back my black blood.”
    “Leave me not childless.”
    “Curse then the white cow.”
    “Send her the black goat.”
    “Give her black kids.”
    “Black kids and white teats.”
    “Serve thus the white cow.”

Chanting these words, the Voo Doo priestess struck her head repeatedly
upon the hard surface of the floor of the cave. Blood ran down her face
to mingle with the froth that dropped from her shriveled and distorted
lips.

The mulatto with bursting, straining eye-balls and chattering teeth
gasped for breath. The hideous grotesqueness of the scene had frozen the
very life-blood in his veins. The vestments of an angel adorning a fiend!
Paralyzed by fear, with bulging eyes nearly popping from their sockets,
the man stared at the horrible head surrounded by those trappings most
closely associated with innocence.

Human nature could stand no more! With one frenzied shriek Manuel broke
the spell that held him helpless. Tearing aside the curtain he leaped out
of this Temple of Terrors; heedless of the danger of plunging over the
precipice he raced along the treacherous path nor paused for breath until
miles intervened between Tu Konk, Sybella and himself.



VI.


No social event of the season equalled the Burton-Dunlap wedding.
For weeks prior to the date of the ceremony it had been the one
all-engrossing theme of conversation with everybody; that is, everybody
who was anybody, in the metropolis of the Old Bay State.

The immense settlement, the magnificent gifts, the exquisite trousseau
from Paris, the surpassing beauty of the bride, the culture and
accomplishments of the handsome groom, the exalted position of the
Dunlap family, these formed the almost exclusive topics of Boston’s most
exclusive set for many weeks before the wedding.

What a grand church wedding it was! The church was a perfect mass of
flowers and plants of the rarest and most expensive kind. The music
grandissimo beyond expression. A bishop assisted by two clergymen
performed the ceremony. The bride, a dream of loveliness in lace, satin
and orange blossoms; the groom a model of grace and chivalry; the tiny
maids, earth-born angels; the ushers Boston’s bluest blooded scions of
the Pilgrim Fathers, and finally everybody who was anybody was there.

And the reception! The Dunlap mansion and grounds were resplendent in a
blaze of light; the beauty, talent, wealth and great names of New England
were gathered there to congratulate the happy bride, Dunlap’s heiress,
and the fortunate groom.

“A most appropriate match! How fortunate for all concerned! How
delightful for the two old gentlemen!” declared everybody who was anybody.

Four special policemen guarded the glittering array of almost priceless
wedding presents; in the splendid refreshment room, brilliant in
glittering glass and silver, Boston’s best and gentlest pledged the happy
bride and groom in many a glass of rarest wine and wished long life and
happiness to that charming, well-mated pair.

The bride, radiant in her glorious beauty, rejecting as adornment for
this occasion, diamond necklace and tiara, gifts of the groom, selected a
simple coil of snowy pearls.

“The gift of my Cousin Jack,” she proudly said. “My earliest lover and
most steadfast friend.”

The savings of years of sailor life had been expended ungrudgingly to lay
this tribute of love on that fair bosom.

How well assured was the future of this fortunate couple! The prospect
stretched before them like one long, joyous journey of uninterrupted
bliss. Life’s pathway all lined with thornless roses beneath summer’s
smiling sky.

Naught seemed lacking to make assurance of the future doubly sure. Youth,
health, wealth, social position, culture, refinement, intelligence,
amiability.

Soft strains of music floated on the perfumed air, bright eyes “spake
love to eyes that spake again,” midst palms and in flower-garlanded
recesses gentle voices whispered words of love to willing ears; in the
center of this unalloyed blissfulness were Burton and his bride.

“Old bachelors are as excitable concerning marriage as old spinsters
can possibly be. See Mr. John Dunlap, how flushed and nervous he seems!
He hovers about the bride like an anxious mother!” So said two elderly
grand-dames behind their fans while watching the group about Burton’s
fair young wife.

Among that gay and gallant company moved one restless figure and peering
face. David Chapman, leaving his sister, Miss Arabella, under the
protecting care of Mrs. Church, lest during the confusion of so large a
gathering, some daring cavalier, enamored of her maiden-charms, should
elope with the guileless creature, mingled with the throng of guests,
unobtrusive, but ever vigilant and watchful.

Chapman’s countenance bore an odd expression, a mixture of satisfied
curiosity, vindictiveness and regret.

That very day a superannuated sailor who for years had served the house
of Dunlap, and now acted as ship-keeper for vessels in its employ, called
to report to the superintendent some trifling loss. Before leaving he
asked respectfully, knuckling his forehead.

“Is the manager goin’ to marry ter’day?”

“Yes; why?” said Chapman sharply.

“Nothin’ ’cept I’ve often seen his mother and took notice of him here,”
replied the man.

“Where did you see Mr. Burton’s mother? Who was she?” Chapman asked
eagerly in his keen way.

“In Port au Prince, mor’n twenty-five year er’go. She was Ducros’, the
sugar planter’s darter, and the puttiest quadroon I ever seen. Yea, the
puttiest woman of any kind I ever seen,” answered the old ship-keeper in
a reminiscent tone.

Chapman’s eyes fairly sparkled with pleasure as he thus secured a clew
for future investigation, but without asking other questions he dismissed
the retired seaman. It was this information that gave to his face that
singular expression during the reception.

A private palace car stood on the track in the station waiting for the
coming of the bridal party. Naught less than a special train could be
considered when it was decided that Florida should be the favored spot
where the wealthy Haitien and his bride, the Dunlap heiress, would spend
their honeymoon.

Soft and balmy are the breezes, that pouring through the open windows of
the car, flood the interior with odors of pine cones and orange blooms,
as Burton’s special train speeds through the Flower State of the Union.

The car is decked with the fresh and gorgeous blossoms of this snowless
land; yet of all the fairest is that sweet bud that rests on Burton’s
breast.

“Walter, how sweet is life when one loves and is beloved,” said Burton’s
young wife dreamily, raising her head from his breast and gazing fondly
into her husband’s eyes.

“Yes, love, life then is heaven on earth, sweet wife,” whispered the
husband clasping closely the yielding figure in his arms.

“I am so happy, dearest Walter, I love you so dearly,” murmured Lucy
clinging still closer to her lover.

“You will always love me thus, I hope, my darling,” said Walter, as he
kissed the white forehead of his bride.

“Of course I shall, my own dear husband,” answered unhesitatingly the
happy, trusting woman.

“Could nothing, no matter what, however unexpected and unforeseen, shake
your faith in me, or take from me that love I hold so sacred and so
dear?” asked Burton earnestly, pressing his wife to his heart.

“Nothing could alter my love for you, my husband,” answered Lucy quickly,
as she raised her head and kissed him.

The special train slows up at a small station. Put on breaks! The whistle
calls, and the train stops until the dispatcher can get a “clear track”
message from the next station.

The crowd of negroes, male and female, large and small, stare with
wondering admiration at the beautiful being who appears on the rear
platform of the car accompanied by such a perfect Adonis of a man.

Lucy Burton was an object not likely to escape attention. Her full
round form, slender, yet molded into most delicious curves, was shown
to perfection by the tight-fitting traveling gown of some kind of
soft stuff that she wore; her happy, beautiful face, bright with the
love-light in her hazel eyes, presented a picture calculated to cause
even the most fastidious to stare. To the ignorant black people she was a
revelation of loveliness.

As the negroes, in opened-mouthed wonder, came closer and clustered
about the steps of the car, their great eyes wide and white, Lucy drew
back a little and somewhat timidly slipped her hand into her husband’s,
whispering:

“I am afraid of them, they are so black and shocking with their rolling
eyes and thick lips.”

“Nonsense! sweetheart,” said Walter with a laugh not all together
spontaneous.

“They are a merry, gentle folk, gay and good-natured; the Southern people
would have no other nurses for their babies. I thought New England people
had long since ceased to notice the color of mankind’s skin.”

“But, Walter, how horrid they are! We see so few of them in New England
that they don’t seem like these. How dreadfully black and brutal they
are. Let us go inside, I really am afraid!” cried Lucy in a low voice
and started to retreat.

At that moment a tall and very black woman who held a baby at her breast,
negro-like, carried away by thoughtless good nature and admiration for
the lovely stranger, raised her ink-colored picaninny, and in motherly
pride thrust it forward until its little wooly black head almost touched
Lucy’s bosom.

With one glance of loathing, terror and unconcealed horror at the object
resting nearly on her breast, Lucy gave a scream of fear and fled.
Throwing herself on one of the settees in the car she buried her face
among the cushions and wept solely from fright and nervousness.

“Why! sweetheart, what is the matter? There is nothing to fear. Those
poor people were only admiring you, my darling,” cried Burton hurrying to
his young wife’s side and seeking to quiet her fears.

“I can’t help it, Walter, all those black faces crowded together near to
me was awful, and that dreadful little black thing almost touched me,”
sobbed Lucy nervously.

“Darling, the dreadful little black thing was only a harmless baby,”
replied the husband soothingly.

“Baby!” cried the astonished young woman, lifting her head from the
cushions and regarding her companion through her undried tears with
doubt, as if suspecting him of joking. “I thought it was an ape or some
hideous little imp! Baby!” and seeing that there was no joke about what
her husband said, she added:

“I didn’t know negroes looked like that when babies. I would not touch
that loathsome, horrid thing for worlds. It made my flesh fairly quiver
to see it even near me.”

Walter Burton succeeded in allaying the alarm of his wife only after the
train had resumed its rapid journey southward. When Lucy, lulled to sleep
by the low music of the guitar which he played to distract her attention
from the unpleasant recollection, no longer demanded his presence, Burton
sought the smoking-room of the car and passed an hour in solemn, profound
meditation, as he puffed continuously fragrant Havanas.

“I was wrong! She did not know. Now she never shall if I can prevent
it.” Such were the words of Lucy’s husband when throwing away his cigar
he arose to rejoin his young wife.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many hundred miles from flowery Florida across a watery way, a ship was
wildly tossing upon an angry, sullen sea. For three days and nights with
ceaseless toil, in constant danger, the weary crew had battled with
howling winds and tempestuous waves.

A storm of awe-inspiring fury had burst upon the good ship “Adams,” of
Boston, bound for Melbourne, on the night of December the nineteenth in
that good year of our Lord.

The superb seamanship of the skipper, combined with the prompt alacrity
of the willing crew, alone saved the ship from adding her broken frame to
that countless multitude which rest beneath the waves.

The wind was still blowing a gale, but there was perceptibly less force
in it, as shrieking it tore through the rigging and against the almost
bare masts, than there had been in three days.

Two men stood in the cabin, enveloped in oil-skins, with rubber boots
reaching above their knees. Their eyes were red from wind and watching,
while they answered the heave of the ship wearily as if worn out with the
excessive labor of the last seventy-two hours. The men were the two mates
of the “Adams.” The captain had sent them below for a glass of grog and a
biscuit. There had been no fire in the galley for the three days that the
storm had beaten upon the ship.

“The skipper must be made of iron,” said the shorter man, Morgan, the
second officer.

“He has hardly left the deck a minute since the squall struck us, and he
is as quick and strong as a shark,” he continued, munching on the biscuit
and balancing himself carefully as he raised his glass of grog.

“Every inch a sailor is the skipper,” growled the larger man hoarsely.

“Sailed with Captain Dunlap in the ‘Lucy,’ and no better master ever trod
a quarter-deck,” added Mr. Brice, the first officer of the “Adams.”

“He surely knows his business and handles the ship with the ease a
Chinaman does his chopsticks, but he’s the surliest, most silent skipper
I ever sailed with. You told us, Mr. Brice, when you came aboard that he
was the jolliest; was he like this when you were with him on the ‘Lucy’?”
said the second mate inquiringly.

“No, he wasn’t!” mumbled old Brice in answer.

“Somethin’ went wrong with him ashore,” adding angrily as he turned and
glared at his young companion:

“But ’tis none of your blamed business or mine neither what’s up with the
skipper; you didn’t ship for society, did you?”

“That’s right enough, Mr. Brice, but I tell you what ’tis, the men think
the captain a little out of trim in the sky-sail. They say he walks about
ship at night like a ghost and does queer things. Second day of the
storm, the twentieth, in the evening, while it was blowing great guns and
ship pitching like she’d stick her nose under forever, I was standin’ by
to help Collins at the wheel; we see the skipper come staggering along
aft balancing himself careful as a rope walker an a holdin’ a glass of
wine in his hand. When he gets to the rail at the stern he holds up high
the glass and talks to wind, Davy Jones or somethin’, drinks the wine and
hurls the glass to hell and gone into the sea. How’s that, mate? Collins
looks at me and shakes his head, and I feels creepy myself.”

For a minute Brice, with red and angry eyes, stared at the second mate,
then he burst out in a roar:

“I’ll knock the head off ’er Collins, and marlin spike the rest ’er the
bloomin’ sea lawyers in the for’castle if I catch them talkin’ erbout the
skipper, and I tell you, Mr. Second Mate, you keep your mouth well shut
or you’ll get such ’er keel haulin’ you won’t fergit. Captain Dunlap is
no man to projec’k with and he’s mighty rough in er shindy.”

With that closing admonition the first officer turned and climbed the
reeling stairs that led to the deck. As he emerged from the companion-way
a great wave struck the side of ship heeling her over and hurling the
mate against the man who had formed the topic of discussion in the cabin
below.

The skipper was wet to the skin; he had thrown aside his oil-skins to
enable him to move more nimbly, his face was worn, drawn and almost of
leaden hue. Deep lines and the dark circles around his eyes told a story
of loss of sleep, fatigue and anxiety. How much of this was due to an
aching pain in the heart only Him to whom all things are revealed could
know.

Morgan’s story was true. He had described when, how and under what
conditions Jack had pledged Lucy in a glass of wine on her wedding day,
praying God to send blessings and happiness to his lost love.

Sing sweet mocking birds! Shine genial sun! Bloom fairest flowers of
Sunny Florida! Bliss be thine, loved Lucy! Dream not of the ocean’s angry
roar! The tempest’s cruel blast!



VII.


“I really can hardly realize, grandfather, that I have been married one
year and that today is the anniversary of my wedding,” exclaimed Mrs.
Walter Burton to her grandfather, as lingering over a late breakfast,
they chatted in a desultory manner on many subjects.

The breakfast-room of the Dunlap mansion was one of the prettiest
apartments in the house; bright and airy, with great windows reaching
from ceiling to floor, which flooded the place with sunshine and
cheerfulness this brilliant snowy New England morning.

Surely it had been difficult to find anything prettier than the young
matron who presided over the sparkling service with the grace of the
school-girl still visible notwithstanding the recently assumed dignity of
wife.

Lucy Burton’s face and form possessed that rare quality of seeming
always displayed to best advantage in the last costume she wore. Nothing
could be more becoming than the lace-trimmed breakfast gown of a clinging
silky, pink fabric worn by her this morning.

The tete-a-tete between grandfather and granddaughter each morning over
the breakfast-table was an established and, to both, a cherished custom
that had grown up since Lucy’s marriage.

Mr. James Dunlap carried his seventy-three years as lightly as many men
of less rugged constitutions carry fifty. His was a fresh, healthy,
kindly old face, the white hair resting like the snow on some Alpine peak
served but to heighten the charm of those goodly features below.

“A year to young people means very little, I judge, daughter, but we old
folk regard it differently. You have been away from me during the last
year so much that old man as I am, the time has dragged,” the grandfather
replied laying aside his morning paper and adjusting his glasses that he
might see better the pretty face across the table.

“Now, that I look at you, my dear, apparently you have not aged to any
alarming extent since you have become a matron,” jocosely added the old
gentleman, his eyes beaming lovingly on his granddaughter.

“I may not show it, still I have my troubles.” Lucy’s attempt to wrinkle
her smooth brow and draw down the corners of her sweet mouth while she
tried to muster up a sigh was so ridiculous that her companion began to
laugh.

“Don’t laugh at me, grandfather; it’s unkind,” cried Lucy, with the
childish manner that still crept out when alone with him who had been
both father and mother to her.

“Very well, deary, I shall not laugh. Tell me of those dire troubles that
afflict you,” rejoined her still smiling grandfather.

“Well! now there is Walter, obliged to run away so early to that horrid
old office that I never see him at the breakfast-table,” began the young
creature with pretty pettishness.

“Sad! indeed sad!” said Mr. Dunlap in affected sorrow. “A gay young
couple attend some social function or the theatre nightly and are up
late; the unfortunate young husband is obliged to be at his office at ten
o’clock in the morning to save an old man of seventy odd from routine
labor; the young wife who is fond of a morning nap must breakfast alone,
save the companionship of an old fogy of a grandfather; ’tis the saddest
situation I ever heard of.”

The laughter in the old gentleman’s throat gurgled like good wine poured
for welcome guest as Lucy puckered up her lips at him.

“Then that hateful old ‘Eyrie.’ When we were married and you insisted
that we should live here with you, which, of course, I expected to do, I
thought Walter would sell or lease that lonely bachelor den of his, but
he has done no such thing; says he keeps up the establishment for the
sake of the conservatory, which is the finest in the State,” proceeded
the wife ruefully recounting her alleged woes.

“Walter speaks truly concerning the conservatory at the ‘Eyrie.’ Mr.
Foster Agnew, who is authority on the subject, says that he has never
seen a finer collection of rare and beautiful plants and flowers in any
private conservatory in this country,” replied Mr. Dunlap in defense of
Burton’s action in maintaining his former home.

“Yes, but there is no reason for Walter’s running up there at all hours
of the night, and sometimes even staying there all night, telling me
that he is anxious about the temperature; that Leopold may fall asleep
or neglect something. I hate that miserable conservatory,” rejoined Lucy
with flushed face and flashing eyes.

“Oh! Pshaw! you exacting little witch! You are fearfully neglected by
reason of the ‘Eyrie’s’ conservatory, are you? Now, let me see. You were
in Florida and California two months of the last year, and in Europe four
more, leaving just six months that you have spent in Boston since your
marriage. I suppose Walter has spent a half dozen nights at the ‘Eyrie.’
Great tribulation and trial,” rejoined the amused grandfather.

“Well, but Walter knows I don’t like his going there at night. Something
might happen to him,” persisted Lucy, woman-like seizing any argument to
gain her point.

[Illustration: “Lucy passed her soft, white arm around her grandfather’s
neck.”

Page 108]

“As Princess Lucy does not like it, she thinks that should be a
sufficient reason for the visits to the ‘Eyrie’ at night to cease. Being
accustomed to that humble and abject obedience rendered to her slightest
wish by the old slaves John and James, and the young slave, Jack Dunlap.
Is that it, Princess?” said the old gentleman making a mocking salaam to
‘Her Highness’ as he sometimes called his pretty _vis-a-vis_.

“Stop making fun of me, grandfather; I think you are really unkind. I
never made slaves of you and Uncle John and good old Jack. Did I now?”

Lucy Burton surely was a beauty. Small wonder that the Dunlap men, old
and young, loved her long before Walter Burton came to win her. She
looked so pretty as she asked the last question that her grandfather held
out his hands and said:

“Come here, my dear, and kiss me. I forgive you if you have been an
exacting ruler.” When Lucy settled herself on the arm of his chair as
some graceful bird of gay plumage perches itself on a twig, the fine old
face was filled with tenderness and love as he kissed her.

Lucy passed her soft white arm around her grandfather’s neck, and
resting her dimpled cheek on his snowy head, she said seriously:

“That is not all of my reason for disliking the ‘Eyrie.’ You know,
grandfather, I should not discuss my husband with any one other than
yourself, so this is a secret; I have noticed that whenever Walter
makes an all-night visit to the ‘Eyrie’ that the trip is preceded by an
outburst of unusual hilarity on his part; in fact, on such occasions I am
almost annoyed by something nearly undignified in Walter’s demeanor; he
seems as thoughtless as a child, says and does things that are ridiculous
and silly.”

“Tut, tut, child, you have a very vivid imagination, and are so anxious
for everyone to regard your husband with the exaggerated admiration that
you have for him, that you are allowing yourself to become hypercritic,
my pet,” rejoined Mr. Dunlap reassuringly.

“No, grandfather, you are mistaken. I not alone notice something
peculiar about Walter’s periodical outbursts of unseemly mirth; I see
others regard with surprise this departure from his customary reposeful
dignity,” insisted the young wife earnestly with a note of indignation
in her voice when speaking of others observing any thing strange in the
conduct of her husband.

“Oh! nonsense, Lucy, all young men occasionally cast aside dignity.
In the fullness of youth and vigor they become now and again fairly
exuberant with happiness and forget all about the conventionalities of
society. I have seen nothing about Walter in that particular different
from other young men. Don’t make yourself wretched over nothing, little
girl.”

“Possibly I observe my husband with more attention than anyone else, even
than you, grandfather, for I certainly perceive a great differentiation
between Walter’s spasmodic mirth and similar exhibitions by other men.
Walter seems different in many ways that mystify me. On every occasion
that he remains all night at the ‘Eyrie,’ after a display of this
extraordinary and boyish merriment, he returns home the next day with
broad dark circles around his eyes, and is in a most depressed state of
spirits,” said the young wife, with real anxiety revealed in the tone of
her voice.

“Well, really, daughter, if you are anxious concerning what you say, I
shall observe Walter more closely. He may be over exerting himself by
the late hours that he keeps in your company, and the detail work that
he has taken off my hands. However, just as a venture, I will wager a
box of gloves against a kiss, deary, that Walter does not appear in the
condition you have described this evening, notwithstanding that he passed
last night at the ‘Eyrie’ and was markedly mirthful during last evening,”
said Lucy’s grandfather, passing his arm around her slim waist and
drawing his anxious girl to his heart.

“I am glad you mentioned last evening, for I wish to speak of something
I noticed during the serving of dinner and afterward. Who was that old
gentleman whom you introduced as Professor Charlton?” said the young
woman interrogatively.

“Oh, that is my old friend and fellow classmate when we were at Harvard.
He is a Georgian and is Dean of the Georgia University and one of the
most learned ethnologists in the world. He is here to consult with
Professor Wright of Harvard concerning a forthcoming book on which
Charlton has been engaged for years. Now, that I have answered fully, why
were you curious about that old book-worm and chum of mine, my pretty
inquisitor?”

“Simply because he seemed perfectly fascinated by my husband. He appeared
unable to remove his gaze from him even when addressed by you or any one
else. He would peer at him over his glasses, then raise his head and
inspect Walter through them just as botanists do when they come upon some
rare plant.”

“By Jove! What next will that brown head of yours conjure up to worry
over? Are you jealous of old Charlton’s admiring glances? If he were
a pretty woman I might understand, but old Cobb Charlton. Well! I am
prepared for anything, my pet, so go ahead. What about those glances
seen by your watchful eyes?” said her grandfather, chuckling over some
farcical suggestion in connection with old Professor Thos. Cobb Charlton.

“Yes, but they were not admiring glances, and I didn’t say so. They
were studious, scrutinizing, investigating, and I thought, insulting,”
indignantly replied Lucy.

“Ah! Now we are called upon to criticise the quality and kind of glance
with which an old student may regard a gay young fellow who is rattling
gleefully through a somewhat tedious dinner,” said Mr. Dunlap in an
amused manner.

“You may laugh at me, grandfather, as much as you please, but Walter was
made so nervous and uncomfortable by that old fellow’s disconcerting
scrutiny that he acted almost silly. I have never seen him quite so
ridiculously merry. That old Professor squinted even at Walter’s hands,
as if he wished for a microscope to examine them, and after dinner while
Walter was singing he edged up near the piano and peered down Walter’s
throat, listening intently as if to catch some peculiar note for which
he was waiting, all the time with his old head on one side like an ugly
owl,” said the exasperated young woman.

Lucy’s description of his old college friend and her manner of setting
forth his idiosyncracies was too much for James Dunlap’s risibility.
He threw back his head and incontinently laughed in his granddaughter’s
pretty flushed face.

“Oh! my, Oh! my! How old Cobb would enjoy this! My dearest, old Cobb
Charlton is the jolliest, most amiable fellow on earth. He would not
wound the sensibilities of a street-dog, and is one of the best bred
gentlemen alive. Oh! my, Lucy! You’ll be the death of me yet with your
whimsical notions,” cried the fine old fellow leaning back in his chair,
shaking with laughter.

“Well, I don’t care; it is just as I said, for finally, he seemed to
discover something about Walter for which he had been seeking. I saw a
self-satisfied smile steal over his face as he nodded his bushy white
head. Then he stared at you as if amazed, and then, if I be not blind
and I don’t think that I am, he had the impertinence to look at me with,
actually, pity in his big, staring black eyes,” retorted Lucy angrily as
she recalled the events of the previous evening.

“Imagination, pure and simple!” exclaimed Mr. Dunlap, continuing to
laugh, enjoying hugely Lucy’s anger.

“Charlton was possibly thinking about something connected with his
favorite science and probably did not even see us while apparently he was
casting about those peculiar glances that you depict so vividly.”

“Even so, I think it ill-bred and unkind in him to make my husband the
subject of a study in ethnology.”

“Ah!” gasped her grandfather, as though a sudden pain had struck his
heart. Some new idea had flashed upon his brain, the laughter vanished
from lips and the color from his face. He straightened up in his chair
while a look of anxiety replaced the merriment that had sparkled in his
eyes.

“Why, what is the matter, grandfather?” cried Lucy in undisguised alarm
at the change in his countenance.

“Nothing, my darling, it will pass away. Please hand me a glass of
water,” the old man answered.

Lucy hastened to fill a glass with water and while she was so engaged
Mr. Dunlap struggled to master some emotion that had caused the sudden
departure of all his jocoseness of the moment before she said that her
husband had been made a subject of a study in ethnology.

“I am better now, thank you, dear; it was just a little twinge of pain
that caught me unaware of its approach,” said the old gentleman forcing a
smile to his pale lips.

“And now let us talk about your Cousin Jack, and leave alone the vagaries
of a moth-eaten old scholar whom you will probably never see again,” he
continued, as if eager to banish some disagreeable thought from his mind.

“Oh, yes! Do tell me some news of dear old Jack. His very name seems to
bring the purity, freshness and freedom of the sea into this hot-house
life one leads in society. Where is he and how is he?” cried Lucy
enthusiastically at mention of the name of her sailor cousin.

“You recall, do you not, the brief mention that he made in the first
letter that we received after he sailed of a fearful storm encountered by
his ship when not less than a month out from Boston, and that his ship
(so he wrote) had been fortunate enough to rescue some people from a
foundered and sinking vessel during the gale?” asked Mr. Dunlap regaining
gradually his composure as his mind dwelt upon a subject pleasant to
contemplate.

“Yes, surely, I remember, grandfather, because the storm, I recall, was
at its height on my wedding day and I wondered at the time if in all that
fearful danger Jack even thought of me.”

“Well, then! to begin with I must let you into a state secret. Your good
Uncle John the day before Jack sailed insisted that he should carry old
Brice, who had been long in our service, as one of his mates. John’s
object was this: knowing Jack’s pride and obstinacy, he feared that he
might need help and not apply to us for it, so he sent for Brice and
bribed him to stick by our young kinsman and keep us informed concerning
his welfare. We have had only glowing accounts of Jack’s success as a
ship-owner from Brice. Yesterday there came a letter and a copy of a
London paper from him that filled my heart with pride and pleasure, and I
know will overjoy your uncle.

“Do hurry, grandfather. I can’t wait long to hear fine things about my
good, faithful old Jack,” exclaimed Lucy impatiently, as she resumed her
place on the arm of the old man’s chair.

“This is what the report in the London newspaper states, and is what
neither Jack nor Brice wrote home. The ship that foundered was filled
with emigrants from Ireland bound for Australia. The fourth day of
the storm she was sighted by the ‘Adams.’ While the wind had subsided
somewhat the waves were still rolling mountain high. When Jack called
for volunteers to man the boats the crew hung in the wind, until Jack,
noticing the women and children on the deck of the sinking ship, called
to Brice to come with him, and pushing aside the reluctant crew made
ready to spring into a boat which had been lowered. Then the shamed crew
rushed over the side and insisted that the captain allow them to make
the attempt to rescue the people from the wrecked vessel. With the last
boat-load of the emigrants that came safely on board of the ‘Adams’ was
a little girl who, weeping bitterly, cried that her sick mother had been
left behind. The sailors and Mr. Morgan, the second mate of the ‘Adams,’
said that the child’s mother was nearly dead, lying in a bunk in the
sick-bay, and that she had smallpox and no one dared lift and carry her
to the boat.”

“What an awful position! What did Jack say?” cried Lucy, breaking the
thread of her grandfather’s narrative.

“Jack did not say much, but he did that that makes me proud to call him
my kinsman, a Dunlap and a Yankee sailor. He whispered to the child
not to cry any more, that she should have her mother brought to her.
Then he leaped into the boat and was shoving off to make the trip alone
to the wreck when old Brice tumbled over the ship’s side and took his
place at an oar. Jack brought the woman in his arms from the sick-bay
and laid her in the boat, regaining his own ship, he made the smallpox
patient comfortable in his own cabin, nursed her himself and saved her
life,” said Mr. Dunlap exultantly, relating the report of the rescue as
published in the English journal.

“Hurrah! for our noble Jack!” cried Lucy, springing up and waving about
her head a napkin that lay upon the table.

“But hear the end, daughter, in recognition of the humanity of the
generous deed, the Royal Humane Society of England has presented both
Jack and Brice with medals, and as an extraordinary mark of distinction,
the King of England has, with his own hand, written a letter to our
Jack, congratulating him upon the performance of a noble, unselfish and
courageous act,” added the grandfather.

“Three times three! for brave Jack Dunlap! Hurrah, for the blood of a
good old Yankee race that tells its story in noble deeds,” and waving
the improvised banner above her fair head she bent down and kissed the
glowing cheek of the proud old man.

“Run along now, dear, and dress. You may take me for a sleigh-ride behind
your fast ponies before I go down to the office.”

As Lucy went upstairs, there came floating back to her grandfather’s ears
her fresh, musical voice singing:

    It’s a Yankee ship,
    It’s a Yankee crew,
    That’s first on waters blue.



VIII.


Early in the morning after Mr. Dunlap’s dinner-party in honor of
Professor Charlton, when the newly risen sun had made a dazzling field
of glittering diamonds of the snow that lay white and spotless about the
‘Eyrie,’ Walter Burton threw up the sash of one of the long, low windows
in his sitting-room and stepped out on the balcony.

With a sigh of relief he drank in deep draughts of the fresh, crisp air,
and exclaimed as he shaded his eyes:

“What a blessing is fresh air and sunlight after the closeness of the
house and gas-light.”

The man’s face was haggard and drawn like one who has passed a night of
vigil and suffering. His eyes were surrounded by bands of black that gave
to them a hollow appearance.

“How utterly idiotic and inexplicable seems my mood and conduct of last
night out here in the sunshine, now that I am my natural self once more.”

Burton walked down from the balcony on the crackling snow that lay dry
and sparkling on the lawn in front of the house. After a few moments
spent in the exercise of pacing about and swinging his arms, he returned
to his sitting-room refreshed and apparently restored to his usual
condition of mind.

All around the room that he entered were scattered promiscuously, musical
instruments, books, cushions, flowers and fragments of a late supper,
all in that confusion that could not fail to impress the beholder with
the idea that the room had been recently the scene of reckless orgies.
Pillows heaped upon a sofa still bore the imprint of some one’s head, and
was evidently the couch from which the young man had risen when he went
forth into God’s bright sunlight.

With supreme disgust depicted on his aesthetic countenance, Walter Burton
gazed at the evidence of his nocturnal revel while in that state of mind
he had named idiotic.

“These sporadic spells of silliness which come over my spirit are
as revolting to me, when relieved from their influences, as is
incomprehensible the cause of their coming,” muttered Burton, kicking
aside the various articles that littered the floor.

“What earthly reason could there be for the peculiar effect produced
upon me by the scrutiny of that old professor from the South? There
exists nothing natural to account for the strange sensation caused by the
penetrating gaze of that old Southerner.

“The cause must be sought in the sphere of the supernatural, a province
wherein reason, education and culture protest against my wandering.”
Pausing the young man strove to recall the scenes and sensations of the
previous night, but in vain.

“It is useless for me to struggle to bring back the vanished state of
feeling that possessed me last evening. It refuses to pass before the
spectrum of my mind.

“It is ever thus while the normal condition of my mental faculties
exists. I always fail to catch the fleeting shadow of that distorting
spectre that haunts my spirit with its degrading, masterful influence.

“Could I but hold that sensation that steals upon me, while my mental
powers are yet unimpaired by its presence, I might make a diagnosis of
the disease, analyze the cause and produce the remedy, but my attempts
are always futile. I fail to reproduce the feeling that was all-pervading
a few short hours before the current of my mind returned to its
accustomed channel.”

The helplessness and baffled look upon the man’s face as he ended this
self-communion was piteous. Throwing himself into a chair and covering
his face with his hands, he cried almost with a moan:

“To what depth of degradation, brutality and crime may I not be
carried while actuated by a power foreign and antagonistic to all that
Christianity, morality and education have imparted to me?”

“My God! How I had hoped that time and marriage would cause a diminution
in the power of these strange spells and the frequency of their visits,
until, at last, I might be freed from a thralldom repugnant to all my
better self.”

“Vain that hoped for release! Rather do the mysterious visitations
increase in frequency, and alas! also in power.”

“Like insidious waves that sap and undermine the foundation of some
massive granite cliff, the delusive tide recedes but to return, each
succeeding visit adding to the inroad already made. Though small may be
the gain, they never once relax their firm grip upon the headway won
before, until the toppling mass comes crashing from its majestic height,
vanquished by and victim of unremitting insidiousness.”

“So I find with each recurrence of the tide of the strange spell that
submerges me. That granite cliff of Christianity whereon I builded
my castle of morality, that bastion of education, those redoubts of
refinement, culture, aesthetics, deemed by me as creating an impregnable
fortress wherein by the aid of civilization I should find secure shelter,
are trembling and toppling, undermined by the waves of that inexplicable,
relentless influence.”

“Each attack finds me weaker to resist, each advance carries me further
from my fortress; I feel my defense falling; I am drawing nearer to the
brink; shall I fall? Shall I go crashing down, dragged from my high
estate by some fiendish tendency as inexorable as it is degrading?”

“As yet I am enabled to resist beyond the point of insensate silliness
and folly, but each returning shock is accompanied by ever stronger
suggestion of immorality, brutality and crime. Shall I be strong enough
always to repulse this tireless current of assault? Shall I finally
succumb and fall to the level of the barbarian and the beast? Soul
harrowing thought!”

“The insane or drink frenzied man is unconscious of his acts, but such
is not my miserable fate, while held in bondage by that unknown power I
appreciate the absurdity of my every act. I still am I, but powerless to
control myself, I catch the look of wonder that fills the eyes of others.
I feel the shame, but am powerless to remove the cause.”

“And, oh! the horror of seeing and recognizing a look of rebuke and
repulsion in the eyes of those I love and those who love me. To see the
smile of pride vanish and the blush of mortification succeed it on the
face of that being of all the world to me the dearest and fairest.”

“Last night in my dear Lucy’s eyes I read reproof, rebuke, and on her
cheeks I saw the red flag of shame. Cognizant of the cause, I, like a
leaf upon the current of some mighty cataract, helpless, rushed along
in humiliation and self-disgust. I beat against the stream with all
my remaining strength of mind; I struggled to regain the shore of my
accustomed dignity, but all in vain.”

“I was carried on and on, until plunging over the brink of the fall
I struck the bottom where lie those self-respect destroying rocks
of disgrace. In ignominy I fled and sought refuge here; ceasing my
unavailing efforts to break the chain that held me I gave free rein to
the influences that governed my mood.”

“Wild and ribald songs burst from my lips, hilarious and lascivious
music poured from the instruments that I touched, movements, rythmic
but novel, fantastic, barbarous, jerked my limbs about in the measure of
some savage dance. I ate and drank more as an untutored tribesman of the
jungle than a civilized citizen of our cultured country.”

“All unrestrained and unopposed that mystifying mood bore me on
recklessly, abandoned, until it swept me to the very verge of wickedness
and sin. On the extremist edge of that precipice, below which lies the
gulf of infamy, I found strength to grasp and hold the feeble tendrils of
that higher estate that still clung around me; in every fiber of my being
there surged Satanic suggestions to relinquish my hold upon the fragile
stay to which I desperately clung, and take the plunge into that dark
gulf below.”

“Go where base associates await you! Where lewdness, lasciviousness,
brutality, beastliness and licensed libidinousness lead to savage satiety
that ends in blood. These were the suggestive words whispered to me by
that fiendish spirit of these strange spells. They vibrated through every
nerve and vein of my racked and straining being.”

“Thank God! I still had power of soul sufficient to resist, but Lord! how
long shall I be enabled to avert that which is seemingly my doom?”

Burton arose and for several minutes walked about the apartment with
agitated, nervous tread. Passing before a long mirror that stood between
the windows, he stopped suddenly before it, gazed intently at his image
reflected there, and cried out:

“The reflection there tells me that I appear to be as other men around
me. In stature and features I seem not essentially at variance with the
average man I meet, perhaps I am even more comely. What then is it that
caused me to fall shamefaced, embarrassed and simpering like a silly
school boy, before the scrutiny of that old scholar last night?”

“I hold the Christian faith; I possess more than the ordinary degree of
education common in this country; I have acquired proficiency in many
accomplishments; I bear the impress of the culture and refinement of this
most enlightened century, and yet! and yet!”

“The searching, piercing glance of that old scientist seemed to penetrate
some concealing veil and tearing it aside revealed me in my very
nakedness; I seemed to stand forth an exposed impostor; I felt myself a
self-confessed charlatan, caught in the very act of masquerading in the
stolen trappings of my superiors; I became the buffoon in borrowed gown
and cap of the philosopher, an object of ridicule and wrath.”

“Before those deep seeing eyes I was no longer self-assured; convicted
of mimicking manners foreign to myself, I seemed to cast aside the
unavailing, purloined mask and mummery and thus reveal myself a fraud.
Seeking safety from the scorn and just resentment of the defrauded I took
refuge in pitiful imbecility and silliness.”

“Once before the same experience was mine. In Paris, at the American
Ambassador’s reception I met the Liberian minister. As soon as the
gigantic black man fastened his gaze upon me, I became disconcerted. When
we clasped hands all the feeling of superiority that education gives
departed from me, all the refined sentiments created by culture vanished,
I could only simper and chuckle like a child over senseless jokes as did
the negro giant beside me.”

“On that occasion, fearing to shock and disgust my bride, I stole like
a thief from her side and feigning sudden illness begged a friend to
take my place as escort of my wife, while as one bereft of reason I
raced along the boulevards and buried myself beneath the dark shade of
the trees in the Bois de Boulogne, where, capering and shouting madly I
danced until, exhausted, I fell to the ground.”

As Burton stood regarding his image reflected in the mirror, he became
suddenly aware of how wan and worn was the face before him and turning
wearily away he exclaimed,

“I must throw aside these wretched recollections and forebodings. I look
absolutely ill. I shall be in no condition to appear either at the office
or at my home unless I succeed in obliterating some of the evidences of
my suffering last night.”

When, by a mighty effort, he had acquired sufficient control of his
nerves and voice as not to attract the attention of his valet, he rang
the bell.

“Victor, prepare my bath, lay out some linen and a proper suit of
clothing. Order my breakfast served as soon as I ring, open the windows
and let fresh air into the room when I leave it,” said Burton to his
attendant, when the valet appeared in answer to his master’s summons.

A refreshing bath, a liberal indulgence in strong, black coffee, assisted
by the will power of the man enabled Burton to enter the office of “J.
Dunlap” almost entirely restored to his customary appearance.

The Manager had just finished examining the reports submitted by the
heads of the various departments of the great Shipping and Banking house
when the door of his office opened and the Superintendent entered.

David Chapman looked even more hawk-like, hungry and eager than when he
had stood one year before in the same place.

“Beg pardon, Mr. Burton, but I thought you might wish to be informed of
the fact that under instructions from Mr. Dunlap, I am forwarding by
the steamer that leaves today for Hong Kong, a package and some letters
that Mr. Dunlap gave me to send to Captain Jack Dunlap. The package
contains, I believe, a testimonial of Mr. Dunlap’s admiration for the
noble conduct of his kinsman in connection with the rescue from the wreck
of that emigrant ship. As I am availing myself of the opportunity to
communicate my own opinion concerning Captain Jack’s action, I thought
it not improbable that you would wish to send some message,” said the
Superintendent, peering stealthily at Burton as he spoke.

“I thank you, Chapman, most heartily for letting me know this,” cried
Burton warmly.

“How much time may I have to prepare a letter and package to accompany
yours and Mr. Dunlap’s?”

“Mr. Dunlap told me to hold the package until he arrived at the office
as it was likely that his granddaughter would wish to place some
communication for her cousin with his.”

“And I am sure she will! My wife’s admiration for her cousin Jack
is unbounded. I will hasten to prepare my contribution to the
congratulations sent to Captain Jack. He is a magnificent man and I am
proud to be connected in any way with such a noble character.”

“You are right, sir. Jack Dunlap is a brave, true man and comes of a
brave, true race. His actions prove that blood will tell,” rejoined
Chapman with more enthusiasm than it seemed possible for one of his
disposition to exhibit.

“Oh! Pshaw! Nonsense! I give Jack greater credit for his courage and
faithfulness than you do when you announce the absurd doctrine that men
inherit such qualities. I give him alone credit for what he is, not
his race or blood. Blood may be well enough in hounds and horses, but
education and culture make the man not the blood in his veins,” exclaimed
Burton impatiently.

“The same reason that exists for the superiority of the well-bred horse
or dog, causes the man of a good race to be the superior of the man of
an inferior race,” said Chapman meaningly, with an almost imperceptible
sneer in the tone of his voice.

“That argument might hold good provided that men like horses carried
jockeys to furnish the intelligence or like hounds had huntsmen to guide
them,” replied the Manager with more heat than seemed justified.

“Give a mule the most astute jockey on earth and he is no match for the
thorough-bred horse. Give the mongrel cur the craftiest huntsman, he
can neither find nor hold as the hound of pure blood. Give the man of
inferior race every advantage that education and culture can furnish, he
still remains inferior to the man of the purer, better race and blood.
The superiority of the latter lies in the inherent qualities of his
race,” replied Chapman, while a sinister smile distorted his thin scarlet
lips, and a baleful light flashed from his black eyes. For a moment he
waited to see the effect of his last speech, then turned and glided from
the Manager’s office.



IX.


Arabella Chapman was the neatest of housekeepers. The sitting room of
the home of David Chapman was a pattern of tidiness and cleanliness,
the furniture was rubbed and polished until it shone like glass, every
picture, rug and curtain was as speckless as newly fallen snow.

Miss Arabella seemed especially created to form the central figure of her
surroundings, as seated on a low rocking chair, she plied a neat little
needle on some nice little article of lace-work.

No tiny, tidy wren was ever brighter and more chipper in its shining
little brass cage than was Miss Arabella, as, bird-like, she peeped at
her brother, when he drew the cover from the violoncello which stood in
one corner of the room.

“I am glad to see that you intend passing the evening at home, David,”
piped up the ancient maiden.

“It has really been so long since we had any music that I am delighted
to see you uncover your violoncello,” continued the twin sister of David
Chapman.

“Well, Arabella, the fact is that in my many excursions during the last
year I have collected such a quantity of food for thought, that, like a
well filled camel I feel it necessary to pause and chew the cud awhile,”
replied David arranging some sheets of music on a stand and passing his
hand lovingly over the chords of the instrument that he held.

“I must admit that I should prefer to remain hungry mentally forever if
to procure food for thought it were necessary to don the apparel of a
tramp, and prowl around at all hours of the night, seeking, doubtless,
in the vilest dens, among the lowest vagabonds for mental sustenance,”
chirped Arabella sharply, prodding her needlework spitefully.

“Perhaps, my good sister, you will never quite understand that some
men are born investigators. By nature they are led to investigate any
phenomenon that presents itself.”

“Then I insist that it is a most unfortunate thing for one so born,”
pecked Miss Arabella with the sharpness of a quarrelsome English sparrow.

“It causes one to make a Paul Pry of himself and wander about in a very
questionable manner at unseemly hours, to the injury of both health and
reputation. When one of your age, David, is so endowed by nature it is a
positive misfortune.”

Chapman appeared greatly amused by the irritated manner of his sister,
for he smiled in that ghastly way of his as he leaned back in his chair,
still with his violoncello resting between his legs, and said,

“You see, Arabella, there may be a great difference in the way we regard
the affairs of life. Doubtless scientific researches may not afford
much pleasure to a spinster of your age, but such researches are very
attractive to me.”

“All I can add to the opinion already expressed is that when your
so-called scientific researches not alone lead you to assume the
character of an outcast, and cause you to wander about at night like
a homeless cat, but also induce you to make our home a receptacle for
all the stray, vulgar, dirty negroes that happen to come to Boston, I
must certainly protest against indulgence in such researches by you,”
retorted the elderly maiden severely, as she cast her glances about her
immaculately clean apartment, and remembered some disagreeable event of
the last few months.

David was highly amused by this speech, for he gave utterance to a
cackling kind of laugh and exclaimed,

“Arabella, you’ll never get to heaven if the road be muddy. You will be
fearful of getting your skirts soiled. I shall be right sorry for your
soul if the path to the other place be clean. I fear in that event that
nothing could hold you back from going straight to Hades.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, David. You know full well that I am no more
particular about tidiness than every other decent woman.”

What monomaniac on the subject of cleanliness ever thought otherwise?

“I insist,” continued Miss Arabella indignantly, “that when one indulges
a fad to the extent of disarranging an entire household, under the
pretense that it is part of a scientific research, it is time to protest
against such proceedings.”

“Oh, I don’t imagine that the entire household has seriously suffered by
my investigations in the field of ethnology,” replied the brother still
enjoying his sister’s perturbation of mind as she recalled some recent
experiences.

“It may be highly amusing to you, David. I hope that you enjoy the joke,
but it has been anything but amusing to me and to Bridget, having to
clean, rub and air every article of furniture in the house two or three
times each week, and it is no laughing matter to freeze while the cold
wind blows the disgusting odors left by your guest out of the rooms.
Bridget has notified me that she will leave if you continue to make a
hostelry for dirty darkies out of the house,” said the sister fairly
shivering at the remembrance of the condition in which she had found her
spotless premises after a visit of some of her brother’s newly found
associates.

“I don’t think that I am the only member of this family that has a hobby,
Arabella,” replied Chapman grinning at the flushed little lady.

“I am unaware of what you refer to, David. I certainly have no such
uncomfortable idiosyncrasy as a hard ridden hobby.”

“Don’t you think even cleanliness may become a most pestiferous hobby?”
queried Chapman with assumed guilelessness.

“Cleanliness and tidiness are but other words for common decency, and can
never be classed with the vagaries of a ‘born investigator,’” said the
spinster sarcastically, sticking her dictum into her needlework, savagely.

“You doubtless have heard, Arabella, of the woman who possessed so much
of what you call ‘common decency’ that she forced her family to live
in the barn in order that the dwelling might remain clean and tidy,”
answered Chapman, to whom the wrath of Arabella was the greatest pleasure
imaginable.

“I only wish that we had a barn. I would soon enough force you to
entertain your negro visitors there instead of bringing their odoriferous
persons and filthy accompaniments into this house,” cried the sister
vindictively.

“You must be reasonable, my most precise sister,” said David.

“When I became interested in the science of ethnology, I deemed
it expedient to begin by studying the negro race, their habits,
characteristics, manners and tendencies. Being a man born and bred
in a northern state I have never had the opportunities possessed by
southerners, who are surrounded by negroes from infancy, to know the
traits of that most interesting race. Hence I have been forced, on behalf
of science, to go forth and gather such material as was obtainable for
subjects of study and observation.”

“David, don’t be hypocritical with me; you know that neither ethnology
nor the negro race possessed the slightest interest for you, until you
learned that Walter Burton had a strain of negro blood in his veins.”

“I do not deny that my zeal was not diminished by that fact,” answered
Chapman shortly and dryly.

“And I maintain that your zeal is caused entirely by that fact, and I
wish to say further, David Chapman,” exclaimed the withered wisp of
a woman, drawing herself up very straight in her chair and looking
angrily at her brother, “if all this investigation and research lead to
anything that may cause trouble, annoyance or pain to Lucy Dunlap, whom
I have held in these arms as a baby, then I say that you are a wicked,
ungrateful man, and I wish to know nothing of your diabolic designs, nor
of the disgusting science that you call ethnology.”

God bless the dried-up spinster! God bless thy bony, skinny arms that
held that baby! Thrice blessed be the good and kindly heart that beats
warmly in thy weak and withered little body.

Seriously and steadily did Chapman gaze for a minute at the vehement,
fragile figure before him, then said meditatively,

“I believe she loves the Dunlap name as much as I do myself.”

“More, indeed a great deal more, for I could not cause pain to one of
that name even though I benefited all the other Dunlaps who have ever
been born by so doing,” quickly cried the old maid.

“Don’t alarm yourself needlessly, sister,” said Chapman earnestly.

“My investigations are neither undertaken to injure Lucy nor could they
do so even had I that intention. It is too late. I am perfectly frank
and truthful when I state that the subject is exceedingly interesting to
me, and the developments fascinating. Since I have familiarized myself
somewhat with the leading peculiarities of the negro race I recognize
much more of the negro in Burton than I imagined could possibly exist in
one possessing so great a preponderance of the blood of the white race.”

“I am glad to learn that no harm can come to Lucy by your persistent
pursuit after knowledge of ethnology, but I must say it does not seem to
me a very genteel course of conduct for a man of you age and education to
be spying about and watching an associate in business,” said the candid
Arabella.

“I assure you that I am not obliged either to play the spy or watch
particularly, for it seems to me that the negro in Burton positively
obtrudes itself daily. In fact I am certain that it is neither because
I am watching for such evidences, nor because I can now recognize
negro traits better than formerly, but simply because the negro in
the man becomes daily more obtrusively apparent,” answered Dunlap’s
superintendent as he began tuning and testing his favorite musical
instrument.

Even the most prejudiced critic would be forced to admit that whatever
David Chapman undertook to do he accomplished well. He never relaxed in
persistent effort until an assigned task was performed. He became for the
time being absolutely fanatic upon any subject he had before him. His
performance on the violoncello was of the same character as his efforts
in other directions where his attention was demanded. It was artistic,
magnificent, sympathetic and impressive.

To the violoncello Chapman seemed to tell his soul-story; through it he
breathed those hidden sentiments that were so deeply buried in the secret
recesses of his heart that their existence could never be suspected.
Music seemed the angel guarding with flaming sword the gateway of
this peculiar man’s soul. When music raised the barrier glimpses of
unexpected beauties surprised all those who knew the jealous, prying,
cynical nature of the man.

As David Chapman began playing his sister with closed eyes rested her
head on the back of the rocking chair and bathed her lonely old heart
in the flood of melody that poured from the instrument in her brother’s
hands.

How that music spoke to the poor, craving, hungry heart within her flat
and weazen bosom. Youth and hope seemed singing joyous songs of life’s
springtime; love then burst forth blushing while whispering the sweet
serenade of that glorious summer season of womankind. Then in cadence
soft and tender, gently as fall the autumn leaves, the music sadly told
of blighting frosts. Youth and hope like summer roses withered and
vanished. Now the gloom, despair and disappointment of life’s winter
wailing forth filled the heart of the forlorn old maiden; tears rolled
down her wrinkled cheeks unheeded and almost a sob escaped from her
quivering lips.

Weep no more sad heart. The music in pealing tones of triumph is shouting
the Glad Tidings of that eternity of endless spring, where all is Love
and all is Joy; where the flowers of everlasting summer never fade and
die; where no blighting frost can come to wither the blossoms of Youth
and Hope; where the cold blasts of winter’s gloom and disappointment
never blow to chill and sadden the soul.

Grandly resound those notes triumphant; open seem the gates of that
promised future, together brother and sister their souls seem ascending;
above all is bright, refulgent with the great light of gladness, now,
coming sweetly, faintly, they catch the sound of welcome, sung above by
that heavenly chorus.

The music died away in silence. Brother and sister sat for a long
time, each busy with their own thoughts. Who but the All-wise can ever
tell what thoughts come on such occasions to those who in silence hold
self-communion in the sanctuary of their own souls.

“David, it seems strange to me that one having the tenderness of heart
that you have, should never have found some good woman to love,” said the
sister softly when the silence was finally broken.

“Indeed, sister, I sometimes think I might have done so and been happier
far than I am, had I not early in life given, in the intense way that
is part of my nature, all the love of my heart and consecrated all my
devotion to the business in which I then engaged and submerged my every
emotion in the glory and honor of the house of ‘J. Dunlap.’”

“Ah, brother, I often think of that and wonder what would happen if aught
should go wrong with the object of your life-long devotion.”

“It would kill me, Arabella,” said Chapman quietly.

The certainty of the result to the man, should misfortune shatter the
idol of his adoration, was more convincingly conveyed to the listener by
that simple sentence and quiet tone than excited exclamation could have
carried; Arabella uttered a sigh as she thought of the unshared place
that ‘J. Dunlap’ held in the strenuous soul of her brother.

“Brother, you should not allow your mind and heart to become so wrapped
up in the house of Dunlap; remember the two old gentlemen, in the course
of nature, must soon pass away and that then there is no Dunlap to
continue the business, and the career of the firm must come to an end.”

“No, Arabella, that may not happen,” replied Chapman. His voice, however,
gave no evidence of the pleasure that such a statement from him seemed to
warrant.

“There was an ante-nuptial contract entered into by Burton, in which
it is agreed that any child born to James Dunlap’s granddaughter shall
bear the name of Dunlap; hence the career of our great house will not
necessarily terminate upon the death of the twin brothers.”

“I am so glad to know that, David. I have been much concerned for your
sake, brother, fearing the dire consequences of the death of both of the
old gentlemen whom you have served so devotedly for forty odd years.”
The reassured little creature paused and then a thought, all womanly,
occurred to her mind reddening her peaked visage as she exclaimed,

“What beautiful children the Burton-Dunlaps should be!”

A worried, anxious, doubtful look came over Chapman’s countenance. He
gazed at the floor thoughtfully for several minutes and then apparently
speaking to himself said,

“That is the point; there is where I am at sea; it is that question that
gives me most anxiety.”

“Why, what can you mean, most inscrutable man, Mr. Burton is one of the
handsomest men that I ever saw and surely no prettier woman ever lived
than sweet Lucy Dunlap,” cried the loyal-hearted old maid.

“It is not a question of beauty, it is a question of blood. If it be only
a matter of appearances Lucy Burton’s children would probably be marvels
of infantine loveliness, but it is a scientific problem,” replied David
seriously and earnestly.

“What in the name of all that is nonsensical has science to do with
Lucy’s babies if any be sent to her?” cried out Miss Arabella, forgetting
in her excitement that maidenly reserve that was usually hers.

“I regret to say that science has a great deal to do with the subject,”
answered the brother quietly. “It is a matter of grave doubt in the
minds of many scientific men whether, under any circumstances, an
octoroon married to one of the white race ever can produce descendants;
it is claimed by many respectable authorities that negro blood is not
susceptible of reduction beyond the point attained in the octoroon; that
it must terminate there or breed back through its original channel,”
continued Chapman.

“It is not true! I don’t believe a word of such stuff,” ejaculated Miss
Arabella, dogmatically.

“Authorities admit, it is true, that there may be exceptions to the
invariability of this law, but claim that such instances are faults
in nature and likely, as all faults in nature, to produce the most
astounding results. These authorities assert that the progeny of an
octoroon and one of the white race being the outcome of a fault in
nature, are certain to be deficient in strength and vigor, are apt to
be deformed, and even may possibly breed back to a remote coal-black
ancestor,” said Chapman, speaking slowly, punctuating each sentence with
a gasping sound, almost a groan.

“Stuff and nonsense!” exclaimed his sister rising in indignation from her
chair and moving toward the door, saying,

“I positively will hear no more of your absurd science. It’s all
foolishness. If that be the idiocy that you learn from ethnology I
think that you had better occupy your time otherwise. Thanks to your
‘authorities’ and their crazy notions, I suppose that I shall dream all
night of monkeys and monsters, but even that is better than sitting her
and listening to my brother, whom I supposed had some brains, talk like
a fit subject for the lunatic asylum.” With the closing sentence, as a
parting shot at her brother the incensed spinster sailed out of the door
and with a whisk went up stairs to her virgin chamber.



X.


“Lucy Burton is a perfect dream tonight, is she not?” exclaimed
enthusiastically Alice Stanhope, gazing admiringly at the fair companion
of her school days who had just entered the room leaning on the arm of
her husband.

“Almost as pretty as you are,” gallantly replied ‘Bertie’ Winthrop, to
whom the remark of the young woman was addressed.

“Well, don’t expect me to vie with you in flattery and reply by saying
that Mr. Burton is almost as handsome as you are, for I am like the
father of our country, ‘I can’t tell a lie.’”

“Oh! Now, that’s good. I am justified in supposing from that speech that
Burton is not nearly as handsome as I am, much obliged,” replied young
Winthrop, laughing and making a profound obeisance to the pretty creature
beside him.

“You know what I mean you rascal, so don’t try to look innocent. See
with what adoring glances Lucy looks up into her husband’s face,” said
Miss Stanhope again calling her attendant’s attention to the group of
guests near the entrance.

“Are you going to look at me like that a year from now?” asked ‘Bertie’
in a quizzical fashion as he slyly squeezed the dimpled elbow near his
side. On dit, Alice Stanhope and Albert Winthrop will soon be married.

“Bertie, you horrid tease, I don’t believe you will ever deserve to be
looked at except angrily,” retorted the blushing girl and added as she
moved a little further from him,

“And you behave, sir, or I won’t let you remain by me another minute.”

“It’s a deuce of a crush you have gotten up,” said ‘Bertie’ promptly
disregarding the warning that he had received by stepping up close to the
side of his fiancee.

“Where did you get all these people anyway, Alice?”

“There’s no ‘all these people’ about it, they are the musical set among
my friends in Boston and New York; as Signor Capello and Mme. Cantara
are to sing of course everyone invited was eager to be present.”

“Never invite all your musical friends to dine with us when we are—”

“Hush, you embarrassing wretch,” cried Miss Stanhope turning to welcome
some recently arrived guests.

After considerable diplomatic finessing and resort to that most
efficacious auxiliary, “Papa’s cheque book,” Miss Stanhope had secured
the services of the two great operatic luminaries to sing at a grand
musicale given by her.

All the “swell set” of Boston and New York thronged the palacious home
of the Stanhope’s on the occasion. The gray-haired, courtly governor of
Massachusetts was chatting as gaily with petite Bessie Winthrop as he had
done with her grandmother a half century before. Foreign diplomatists
and Federal potentates discussed in corners the comparative merits of
Italian and German composers of music; literary lights from all over New
England joined the musical element of New York and Boston in filling the
Stanhope’s halls.

“I insisted upon coming here tonight, Alice, even though this over-worked
husband of mine did complain of a headache at dinner and I was loathe to
have him accompany me. You remember this is the anniversary of my wedding
and I wished to celebrate the day,” said Lucy Burton to the hostess when
at last Burton had managed to make a way for himself and wife through the
crowded rooms and reached the place where Miss Stanhope was receiving her
guests.

“I am awfully glad you came, dear. We are sure to have a treat. Signor
Capello has promised to sing something from the new opera by Herman that
has just been produced in Berlin,” and addressing Burton Miss Stanhope
added,

“I trust that your headache has disappeared.”

“Thank you, Miss Alice, it has entirely vanished under the influence of
my charming wife’s ministrations, and the brilliant gathering about me
here,” replied Burton.

“A slight pallor and circles around sad eyes, you know, Mr. Burton, give
an exceedingly interesting and romantic appearance to dark men,” rejoined
Alice Stanhope smiling in spite of her effort not to do so when she
noticed the anxious, worshiping look with which Lucy regarded her husband.

“Really, I believe Lucy is more in love than she was a year ago,” said
the laughing hostess as she turned to receive the German Ambassador,
who had traveled all the way from Washington in the hope of hearing
selections from Herman’s new opera.

In all that gathering of fair women and gallant men, there was no couple
so noticeable as the splendid pair who this day one year before were
wedded.

As Burton and his wife passed through the crowded halls all eyes were
turned toward them, paying mute tribute to the exceeding beauty of both
man and woman.

Burton, by one of those sudden rebounds of spirit to which he was
subject, inspired by the gaiety about him was in a perfect glow of
intellectual fire. The brilliancy of his well trained mind never
shone more brightly, his wit scintillated in apt epigrams, and
incomparably clever metaphors. He won the heart of the German
Ambassador by discussing with the taste and discrimination of a savant
that distinguished Teuton’s favorite composer, Herman, using the deep
gutturals of the German language with the ease of a native of Prussia.

He exchanged bon-mots with wicked old Countess DeMille, who declared him
a _preux chevalier_ and the only American whom she had ever met who spoke
her language, so she called French, like a Parisian.

Lucy’s beaming face and sparkling eyes told of the rapture of pride and
love that filled her heart. She looked indeed the “Princess” as with
her well-turned head, with its gold-brown crown, held high, she proudly
looked upon her lover and her lord and caught the approval and applause
that appeared in every eye about her.

Never had her husband seemed so much superior to all other men, in Lucy’s
mind, as he did this night. Wherever they paused in their passage around
the rooms, that spot immediately became the center of a group of people
eager to render homage to the regal beauty of the young matron, and to
enjoy the wit and vivacity of the most _distingue_ man present.

“Ah, Mr. Burton, I see that the splendor of the Rose of Dunlap remains
undiminished, notwithstanding its transference from the garden of its
early growth,” said the gallant Governor of the old Bay State when
greeting the young couple as they stopped near him.

“The splendor of the roses of Massachusetts is so transcendent that it
would remain unimpaired in any keeping how e’er unworthy,” replied Lucy’s
husband, bowing gracefully to the Executive of the State.

“When I saw you enter the room, Mrs. Burton, I hoped to see my old
friend, your grandfather, follow. How is James? You see I take the
liberty of still speaking of him as I did many years before your bright
eyes brought light into the Dunlap mansion.”

“Grandfather is very well, thank you, Governor, but I failed to coax him
away from his easy chair and slippers this evening; beside I think he was
a little ‘grump,’ as I call it, about having lost a wager to a certain
young woman of about my height; he declared it was not the box of gloves
but loss of prestige that he disliked,” answered Lucy merrily as she
looked up at the amused countenance of the Governor.

“I fear that I shall be obliged to exercise my official prerogative and
give that gay youth, James Dunlap, a lecture if I hear anything more of
his reckless wagers,” said the jocose old gentleman, and then added:

“By the way, Mrs. Burton, the newspapers this evening contain long
accounts of the magnificent conduct of a New England sea captain, to whom
the King of England has sent a letter of congratulation and praise. As
the name given is Captain John Dunlap, I have been wondering if it can be
that stubborn fellow whom your Uncle John and I endeavored to convince
that he ought to enter Harvard.”

“It is the same stubborn, dear old cousin Jack who preferred the sea
to being sent to Harvard, and he is the best and bravest sailor on the
waters blue,” answered Lucy quickly, her face flushed by pleasure at
hearing Jack’s praises sung and pride in knowing that he was her kinsman.

“It seems the lad was wiser than we were when he refused to be convinced
by John and me. A grand sailor might have been spoiled in the making of
a poor scholar. As long as the sailor sons of Uncle Sam can number men of
your cousin Jack’s kind among them we need never fear for honor of the
Gem of the Ocean,” said the Governor quite seriously.

“I heartily endorse that sentiment, your Excellency, but fear that on
land or sea it would be difficult to discover many men like Jack Dunlap,”
exclaimed Walter Burton warmly.

“When is he coming home, Lucy? You know that I lost my heart the first
time that I met your bronzed sailor cousin, and am waiting anxiously
for my mariner’s return,” said Bessie Winthrop, her violet-colored eyes
twinkling with the gladness of youth and happiness. _En passant_ she was
a fearful little flirt.

“He does not say in his letters when we may expect him, but when I write
I’ll tell him what you say, and if he does not hurry home after that
nothing can induce him to do so,” said Lucy as she moved away with her
husband to make room for several admirers of Miss Winthrop who were
eagerly awaiting an opportunity to pay court to that popular young lady.

Just as Burton and his wife left the Governor and his pretty companion,
the tuning of instruments announced the prelude to the programme for the
evening. Silence fell upon the assembly, the gentlemen sought seats for
the ladies and secured the most available standing room for themselves.

Surely Signor Capello never sang so grandly before. The superb harmony of
Herman’s great composition filled the souls of that cultivated audience.
The German Ambassador was in a perfect ecstasy of delight, and even the
least appreciative were impressed, while the hypercritic, casting aside
all assumption of _ennui_, became enthusiastic.

Madame Cantara trilled and warbled in tones so clear, flute-like and
sweet that to close one’s eyes was to imagine the apartment some vast
forest, filled with a myriad of feathered songsters, vying with each
other for woodland supremacy in Apollo’s blessed sphere.

Miss Stanhope’s musicale was a pronounced and splendid success. Nothing
approaching it had entertained Boston’s fastidious “four hundred” that
season.

Burton declared that it was the most delightful function he had attended
in years, when Lucy, enwrapped in furs, was closely nestled at his
side in the carriage after the entertainment was over. Burton was _par
excellence_ a judge of such affairs. In fact, he had been accorded the
position of _arbiter elegantiarum_ by a tacit understanding among people
of taste and culture in Boston’s elite society.

It was among such scenes, surroundings, environments and society as above
described that Burton’s life had been passed since coming to America. It
was in this joyous atmosphere that the first year of Lucy’s married life
glided by so rapidly that the length of time seemed difficult for her to
realize. It was like the dream of a summer’s day, so bright, cloudless
and calm, so fragrant with the perfume of love’s early blossoms, that its
passage was as that of a fleeting shadow.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sinking sun cast lengthening shadows across Manila Bay, where
swinging peacefully at their anchors lay the great war ships of several
nations, and where the tall masts of a fleet of merchantmen caused bars
of shade to stripe the burnished waters of the Bay.

The starry flag of the great Republic had received that salute, ever
loyally given by the sons of Columbia, as the sun sank beneath the
horizon, and the bugle blew its farewell to the departing orb of day.

Four majestic, floating fortresses, on whose decks stood uncovered crews
as the proud flag of the union descended, gave notice to the world of
the might of that young giant of the west that held dominion in the
Philippines.

Striding along in the rapidly darkening twilight, up the main street of
Manila, walked one who would have been known as a sailor by his swinging,
rolling gait, even without the nautical cut and material of the clothing
that he wore.

As he approached the newly erected, palacious American hotel, around
which ran a broad veranda filled with tables and chairs, the chief resort
of the army and naval officers stationed at Manila, a voice cried from
the balcony above him:

“Jack Dunlap, by all that is marvelous!”

The sailor-man looked up and with an exclamation of pleased recognition,
shouted:

“Tom Maxon, by all that is fortunate!”

“Come up here this instant, you sea-dog, wet your whistle and swap yarns
with me,” called the first speaker, rising from the table at which he was
seated and hurrying to the top of the half dozen steps that rose from the
sidewalk to the entrance on the veranda.

The two men shook hands with the warmth and cordiality of old cronies,
when the sailor reached the balcony. The meeting was evidently as
agreeable as it was unexpected.

The man who had been seated on the veranda, when the sailor approached,
was apparently of the same age as the friend whose coming he had hailed
with delight. He, too, was evidently a son of Neptune, for he wore the
cap and undress uniform of a lieutenant in the United States Navy.

He was a big, fine man on whose good-looking, tanned face a smile seemed
more natural, and, in fact, was more often seen than a frown.

“Jack, old man, you can’t imagine how glad I am to run afoul of you.
Had the choice been left to me as to whom I would choose to walk up the
street just now, I’d have bawled out ‘Good old Jack Dunlap!’ Well, how
are you anyway? Where’ve you been? and how are all in Boston? But first
let’s have a drink; what shall it be, bully?”

All of these questions and ejaculations were made while the naval man
still held Jack’s hand and was towing him along like a huge, puffing
tug toward the table from which the officer sprang up to welcome his
companion.

“By Jove, Tom, give me time to breathe; you’ve hurled a regular broadside
of questions into my hull. Haul off and hold a minute; cease firing! as
you fighters say,” expostulated our old acquaintance, Captain Jack, as he
was fairly shoved into a chair at the table and opposite the laughing and
red-faced lieutenant.

“Come here, waiter,” called Maxon to a passing attendant, in high glee
over Jack’s cry for quarter and his own good luck in meeting an old chum
when he was especially lonely and eager to have a talk about home and
friends.

“Bring us a bottle of champagne and let it be as cold as the Admiral’s
heart when a poor devil of a lieutenant asks for a few day’s shore leave.”

“Now, my water-logged consort, we will first and foremost drink in a
brimming bumper of ‘Fizz’ the golden dome in Boston and the bonny-bright
eyes of the beauties that beam on it,” exclaimed jolly Tom Maxon,
bubbling over with happiness at having just the man he wished to talk
about Boston with.

“I say! Tom, have you been studying up on alliteration? You rang in all
the B’s of the hive in that toast,” said the merchant skipper, emptying
his glass in honor of Boston and her fair daughters.

“I don’t require thought or study to become eloquent when the ‘Hub’ and
her beauties be the theme, but you just up anchor and sail ahead giving
an account of yourself, my hearty,” Tom replied with great gusto.

“To begin, then, as the typical story writer does, one November day some
thirteen months ago, I sailed away (I’ve caught the complaint. I came
near making a rhyme) from Boston in the good ship ‘Adams.’ When a week
out of harbor as per instructions from the house of Dunlap, I unsealed my
papers to find that the ship had been presented to me by my kinsmen, the
Dunlap brothers.”

“Stop! Hold, my hearty, until we drink the health of the jolly old twins.
May their shadows never grow less and may the good Lord send along such
kinsmen to poor Tom Maxon,” interrupted the irreverent Tom, filling the
glasses and proceeding to honor the toast by promptly draining his.

Jack and Tom had been pupils in the same school in Boston when they were
boys. Their tastes and dispositions being much alike they became chums
and warm friends. Like young ducks, both of the lads naturally took
to the water. When they had gotten through with the grammar-school an
appointment to the Annapolis Naval Academy was offered to young Maxon
by the representative of his Congressional district, which he joyfully
accepted, and hence was now a United States officer. Jack had entered the
High School and later the merchant marine service.

Though seeing but little of each other after their first separation, the
same feeling of friendship and comradeship was maintained between Jack
and Tom that had existed when as Boston schoolboys they chummed together,
and whenever, at rare intervals, they were fortunate enough to meet they
mutually threw off all the reserve that had come to them with age and
became Boston boys once again.

“Now, heave ahead, my bully-boy!” cried Tom, putting down his empty wine
glass.

“In addition to the gift of the ship from the firm, I found that my old
cousin John had personally presented me with a large part of the ship’s
cargo.”

“Again hold! you lucky sea-dog! Here’s to dear old Cousin John, and God
bless him!” called Tom gleefully, his generous sailor-soul as happy over
the good fortune of his friend as if he himself had been the beneficiary
of Mr. John Dunlap’s munificence, again pledging Jack’s kind kinsman in a
glass of iced wine.

“With all my heart I say, amen! Tom, God never made better men and more
liberal kinsmen than the ‘J. Dunlaps,’” said Jack earnestly as he began
again his recital.

“When I arrived in Melbourne I disposed of my cargo through our agents,
loaded and sailed for Liverpool, returned to Melbourne, took on a cargo
for Manila, and here I am drinking to long life and good health to my two
old kinsmen with my school fellow Tom Maxon.”

“And the future programme is what?” said the lieutenant.

“You have left out lots about yourself, that I know of, concerning your
past movements, so try to be truthful about your future plans,” continued
Maxon, assuming an inquisitorial air.

“All right, my knowing father confessor,” answered Dunlap, laughing.

“I have done well as far as making money is concerned, which statement
I wish added to my former deposition. Oh! most wise judge; I propose
sailing within the week for Hong-kong, thence to San Francisco, from the
latter port I desire to clear for Boston, in God’s country, stopping,
however, at Port au Prince, Haiti, both as a matter of business and also
with the design of personally thanking my kind godfather for his gifts.
Finally I hope to reach New England and be with my dear mother while
yet the Yankee hills are blooming with summer flowers. One word further
and my story is finished. My object in returning to Boston is to induce
my mother to return with me to Australia, where I have purchased some
property and where I desire to make my home in future—finis—”

“Fairly well told, my bold buccaneer; however, I disapprove of your
making Australia your home. Now, sir, what about saving a few smallpox
patients, emigrants, and such like, and receiving a letter from H.M. King
of England, and such trifles as we read of in the newspaper?” demanded
Tom, sententiously.

“Oh! That just happened, and there has been too much said about it to
find a place on my logbook,” replied Jack, shortly, coloring just a shade.

“I’m!—well, no matter—I don’t agree with you, but I will shake your hand
once again and say that I find my old chum as modest as I always knew
him to be brave,” rejoined Tom Maxon, rising, reaching over and grasping
Jack’s hand, and bowing gravely and respectfully as he held it.

Jack’s face was now all fire-red, as he said in great embarrassment:

“Oh, Pshaw, slack up, Tom, haul off.”

“You know what the Admiral said when he read the account of what you had
done?” cried out Tom when he settled back in his chair.

“Of course, you don’t, but it’s a fine ram at the merchant marine. The
Admiral thinks that an officer for sea service can’t be made except at
Annapolis. When he read of what you had done, he exclaimed: ‘That fellow
is almost good enough to be an officer in the United States Navy.’ The
Executive officer who heard the Admiral repeated it, and ever since the
fellows of our mess, who hate some of the ‘snobs’ that Annapolis sends to
us, have been quietly poking fun at the old man about it.”

“Now, will Lieutenant Thomas Maxon, U.S.N., in all the glory of his
Annapolis seamanship, give an account of himself?” broke in Jack, anxious
to escape further mention of his own affairs.

“The last time I saw you, Tom, you were dancing at the end of Bessie
Winthrop’s hawser. Though I had never, at the time, met your charmer, I
thought her a pretty craft.”

“That’s it! Now you touch the raw spot!” cried Tom.

“I was stationed at Boston, and went about some little. I met Bert
Winthrop’s sister and, like an ass of a sailor that I am, fell in love
with her at the first turn of the wheel. Well, I rolled around after the
beauty like a porpoise in the wake of a dolphin for the whole season.
Finally I mustered up courage to bring the chase to a climax and got a
most graceful conge for my temerity, whereupon I retired in bad order,
and was rejoiced when assigned to the battleship Delaware and sent to
sea.”

As the rollicking sailor ended his story, he threw back his head and
began softly singing in a sentimental tone, “Oh! Bessie, you have broken
my heart.”

“Well, I’ll go bail that the fracture won’t kill you, you incorrigible
joker,” said Jack, interrupting the flow of Maxon’s sentimentality.

“See, now, our best friends never take us seriously, and sympathize with
us when we suffer,” said the lieutenant dolefully.

“But to continue my sad story. I was ordered to the U.S.S. Delaware,
flag-ship of the Asiatic fleet. Admiral Snave can out-swear Beelzebub,
has the sympathy of a pirate, and would work up all the old iron of a
fleet if there was as much in it as in the mountains of Pennsylvania. So
your poor, delicate friend is tempted to ask to be retired on account
of physical disability.” So saying, Tom began roaring with laughter so
healthful that it shook his stalwart frame.

“Hold though!” exclaimed the U.S. officer, stopping in the midst of his
outburst of merriment, suddenly thinking of something omitted.

“You must understand that we all admire the Admiral hugely. He is a
magnificent officer, and a fighter to the end of his plume; carries a
chip on his shoulder when he imagines anyone is spoiling for a fight, or
even looks crossways at grand Old Glory.”

Thus the two friends talked on, relating their experiences, joking
each other, and laughing in that careless happy way, common alike to
schoolboys and those who sail the sea.

Captain Dunlap declared that this berth was good enough for him, that
he would drop his anchor right there, and calling a waiter proceeded to
order everything on the menu for dinner, telling the waiter to serve it
where they were and serve slowly so that they might enjoy a rambling
conversation while they dined.

Eating, drinking, talking and smoking, the chums of boyhood days sat for
hours, until the streets became, as was the veranda, almost deserted.
Suddenly in an interval of silence as they puffed their cigars, a
piercing scream disturbed the quiet of the street below. Again and again
was the cry repeated in an agonized female voice.

Both men sprang to their feet and peered along the dark avenue that ran
toward the bay. About a block away they discerned just within the outer
circle of light cast by an electric burner a struggling mass of men.
At the instant that Jack and Tom discovered whence came the cries, a
figure broke from the crowd and ran screaming through the illuminated
spot on the avenue pursued by a half dozen men wearing the Russian naval
uniform. The pursued figure was that of a half nude female.

With an angry growl, Jack Dunlap placed one hand on the low railing
around the veranda and cleared it at a bound, landing on the sidewalk
below, he broke into a run, and dashed toward the group of men under the
electric light, who were struggling with the person whom they had pursued
and recaptured.

“The flag follows trade in this case,” cried Maxon, who would joke even
on his death-bed, as he, too, sprang to the pavement and raced after Jack.

The brutal Finnish sailors of the Russian man-of-war in Manila Bay swore
to their mess-mates that ten gigantic Yankees had fallen upon them and
taken away the Malay girl. They thus accounted for their broken noses and
discolored optics.

Truth is, that it was a rush; the working of four well-trained Yankee
arms like the piston rods of a high-speed engine. Outraged American
manhood and old Aryan courage against the spirit of brutal lustfulness,
ignorance and race inferiority.

“I say, Jack,” cried out Maxon as he raised his face from the basin in
which he had been bathing a bruise, “Why don’t you go in for the P.R.
championship? You must be a sweet skipper for a crew to go rusty with!
Why, Matey, you had the whole gang going before I even reached you. Look
here, sonny, you are just hell and a hurricane in a shindy of that kind.”

“Well, I tell you, Tom,” called Jack from the next room, where, seated on
the edge of the bed, he was binding a handkerchief around the bleeding
knuckles of his left hand.

“That kind of thing always sets my blood boiling, but that in a city
under our flag an outrage of that kind should be attempted made me wild.
I guess from the looks of my hands that maybe I did punch rather hard.”
Rising, Jack walked to the open door between the two bedrooms and added:

“I don’t mind just a plain fight, or even sometimes a murder, but when
it comes to a brute assaulting a woman or child, I’m damned if I don’t
become like one of Victor Hugo’s characters, ‘I see red.’ Temper seems to
surge in my very blood.”

Jack’s face, as he spoke, wore an angry scowl, to which the earnest
gesticulations with his bandaged fists gave double meaning.

“Of course it surges in your blood, old chap, as it does on such
occasions in mine and every other decent descendant of Shem and Japheth
on earth,” replied Tom Maxon.



XI.


The Scottish Bard has written that to see fair Melrose Abbey a-right,
one must visit it in the moon’s pale light. To see New England in its
greatest glory one must visit that section of hallowed memories in the
summer season.

Then it is that granite hills are wrapped in emerald mantles. Then it is
that hill-sides, slopes and meadows are dimpled with countless daisies,
peeping enticingly from the face of smiling nature. Then it is brooks,
released from winter’s icy bondage, laugh, sing, dance and gambol like
merry maidens in some care-free frolic.

August, in the second year of Lucy Burton’s married life, found Dunlap’s
mansion still occupied by the entire family. True, the Dunlap estate lay
in the most elevated portion of the suburbs of Boston, and the house
stood in the center of extensive grounds almost park-like in extent and
arrangement, still it was unusual for the house to be occupied by the
family at that season of the year.

Generations of Dunlaps had sought relief from city life and bustle during
the month of August, either among the Berkshire Hills, where an ornate
villa had been owned by them for decades, or at Old Orchard, where their
summer home was rather a palace than a cottage, though so called by
the family. Burton, too, had a fine establishment at Newport; yet this
eventful August found the family in their city residence.

Many other things unusual attracted attention and caused comment among
the associates of members of the Dunlap household. Burton and Lucy had
been noticeably absent during the past few months from those public
functions to which, by their presence, they had formerly given so much
eclat.

The very clerks in the office of J. Dunlap commented upon the jubilant
spirit that had taken possession of, the always genial, manager. Chapman
regarded his apparent joyousness with suspicion, and of all the office
forces alone seemed displeased with its presence.

To intimate friends Burton spoke of selling the “Eyrie,” saying that it
was of no further use or pleasure to him; that for months he had only
been near it to select some choice flowers from the conservatory for the
vases that adorned his wife’s apartments.

Mr. James Dunlap, ever the kindest, most considerate of beings,
the gentlest of gentlemen, had become so solicitous concerning his
granddaughter’s comfort and care as to appear almost old womanish.
The anxiety he displayed about all that tended to Lucy’s welfare was
absolutely pathetic.

Walter Burton’s demeanor toward his young wife might, for all men, serve
as a model of devoted, thoughtful deportment on the part of husbands.
To amuse and entertain her seemed his all-absorbing idea and object. To
exercise his brilliant mental gifts in gay and enlivening conversation
was his chief pleasure. To use all the great musical talent that he
possessed, to drive any momentary shadow of sadness from her spirit. To
stroll about the garden in the moonlight, again whispering those words of
love by which he had first won her, was blissful occupation to him.

Even good old Uncle John in far-off Haiti imbibed the spirit that seemed
all pervading in the realm about the young matron. Great hampers of
tropical fruits, plants and flowers came by trebly-paid expressage from
the West Indies, speed alone being considered. They must be fresh when
offered to Lucy. Then, too, almost daily messages came over the cable
from Haiti, “How are all today,” signed “John,” and it was ordered at
the office that each day should go a message to Port au Prince, unless
especially forbidden, saying, “All is well,” this to be signed “James.”

Mrs. Church, the most sedate, composed and stately of old gentlewomen,
too, is in a flutter of suppressed excitement, frequently closeted in
deep and mysterious consultations with medical men and motherly looking
women; giving strange orders about the preparation of certain dishes for
the table, driving the chef almost distracted by forbidding sauces that
should always accompany some favorite entree of that tyrant.

A suite of rooms in the Dunlap mansion has been newly decorated; nothing
like these decorations has ever been seen before in Boston. In elegance,
taste and beauty they are the _ne plus ultra_ of decorative art. One,
while in the sacred precincts of the recently remodeled apartments, might
readily imagine that spring had been captured and fettered here to make
its sweet, bright presence perpetual in this favored place. Colors of the
tinted sunbeam mingled with the peach blossom’s tender shade to make the
spot a bower of beauty wherein a smiling cupid might pause and fold his
wings to slumber, forgetful of his couch of pink pearl shell.

The cultured, artistic, delicate taste of Boston’s _arbiter elegantiarum_
never produced anything approaching the exquisite blending of colors and
unique, airy, harmonious fittings seen in this, the ideal conception of
the abode of angels.

The delicacy and tenderness of Lucy’s refined and loving spirit
contributed to create an indefinable feeling that this was the chosen
spot where innocence, purity and love should seek repose. Her womanly
instinct had added soft shadings to art’s perfect handiwork.

The great sea shell, half opened, made of shining silver, lined with
the pearly product of the Eastern Isles, in which lie, soft and white
as snow, downy cushions, filled from the breasts of Orkney’s far-famed
fowls, and these be-trimmed with lace in tracery like frost on window
pane, in texture so gossamery and light that the brief span of life seems
all too short in which to weave one inch, must surely be the nest wherein
some heaven-sent cherub shall nestle down in sleep.

Some sprite from fairy-land alone may make a toilet with the miniature
articles of Etruscan gold, bejeweled with gems of azure-hued turquois
that fill the gilded dressing case.

The chiffoniers, tables, chairs and stands are all inlaid with woods
of the rarest kinds and colors, with ivory and polished pearl shells
interwoven in queerly conceived mosaic; mirrors of finest plate here
and there are arranged that they may catch the beauteous image of the
cherubic occupant of this bijou bower, and countlessly reproduce its
angelic features; urns and basins of transparent china-ware, in the
production of which France and Germany have surpassed all former efforts,
beautified by the brushes of world-renowned artists, furnish vessels in
which the rosy, laughing face and dimpled limbs may lave.

The Western hills have cooled the eager glance of the August sun. Lucy,
softly humming as she assorts and arranges a great basket of choice
buds and blossoms just arrived from the “Eyrie,” is seated alone in a
fantastic garden pagoda, which, trellised by climbing rose bushes, stands
within the grounds of the Dunlap estate.

As she rocks back and forth in the low chair that is placed there for
her comfort, little gleams of sunshine sifting through the screen of
roses wander amidst her gold-brown tresses and spot the filmy gown of
white she wears with silver splashes. As the lights and shadows of the
gently swaying leaves and roses dance about her, she seems surrounded by
hosts of cherubim in frolicsome attendance on her. Some thought of that
nature came to her, for she let her hands lie still in her lap among the
blossoms and watched the ever fleeting, changeful rays of sunlight and
shade that like an April shower fell upon her. Then she smiled as at some
unseen spirit and smiling grew pensive.

The limpid light in Lucy’s eyes, as gazing into the future she sees the
coming glory of her womanhood, is that same light that shone along the
road from Galilee to Bethlehem, when she, most blessed of women for all
time, rode humbly on an ass to place an eternal monarch on a throne.

That light in Lucy’s pensive hazel eyes, that gentle, hopeful expectant
look on her sweet face, has, from the time that men were born on earth
subdued the fiery rage of angry braves in mortal strife engaged, has
turned brutality into cowering shame, and caused the harshest, roughest
and most savage of the human kind to smooth the brow, soften the voice
and gently move aside, rendering ready homage to a being raised higher
far than the throne of the mightiest king on earth.

As she, who chambered with the cattle on Judah’s hills, opened the
passage from the groaning earth to realms of eternal bliss by what she
gave to men, so ever those crowned with that pellucid halo of expected
maternity stand holding ajar the gates that bar the path from man to that
mysterious source of life and soul called God.

It is woman in her grandest glory, who draws man and his Maker near
together, with arms outstretched and hands extended she grasps man and
reaches up toward the Divine Author of our beings.

In simplest attire and humblest station she sanctifies the spot she
stands upon. When most beset by want or danger there lives no man worthy
of the name, who could refuse to heed her lightest call.

Oh! that wistful, yearning, hopeful, tender, loving look that
transfigured Lucy’s sweet face until resemblance came to it, to that face
that has employed the souls, hearts and hands of those most gifted by
high heaven with pen and brush.

Out of this trance-like blissfulness the pensive dreamer was aroused by
the coming of her ever constant guardian, her grandfather, who told her
that Miss Arabella Chapman had called, bringing some offering that could
be placed in no other hand than that of the young matron.

Away hastened Lucy to greet the time-worn maiden, but fresh-hearted
friend, and to hurry with her up to a sealed and sacred apartment, over
whose threshold no male foot must ever step, wherein was hidden heaping
trays and shelves of doll-like garments of marvelous texture and make,
articles the names of which no man ever yet has learned to call, all
so cunningly devised as to create the need of lace, embroidery or such
matter on every edge and corner.

Silky shawls and fleecy wraps, and funny little caps of spider-spun lace,
and socks of soft stuff so small that Lucy’s tiny thumb could scarce
find room therein, all and much more than man can tell were here stored
carefully away and only shown to closest friends by the fair warder of
that holy keep.

And, oh! the loving, jealous care of Lucy. No hand but her own could fold
these small garments just right. What awful calamity might befall should
one crease be awry or disturbed; no eye so well could note some need in
that dainty, diminutive collection of fairy underwear as hers; no breast
could beat so tenderly as hers as close she pressed, fondled and kissed
the little gowns for elfin wear.

Who would for all the gold coined on earth rob her of one jot or tittle
of her half-girlish, all-womanly joy and jealous care? Not one who ever
whispered the word Mother!

That night the watchman and his faithful dog who guarded the Dunlap
house and grounds, saw at the unseemly hour of two o’clock many lights
suddenly appear within the mansion. The shadow of the family physician,
white-haired and wise, flits by the windows of the room which, for some
weeks, he has occupied. Mrs. Church in wrapper, lamp in hand, hastens by
the great hall window and ascends the stairs, accompanied by an elderly
woman, who a month before came to live in the mansion. Soon a window on
the balcony is raised and Mr. James Dunlap in dressing gown and slippers
steps out, accompanied by Mr. Burton, who seems too nervous to notice Mr.
Dunlap’s soothing hand placed on his shoulder.

Soon the bell, that warns him to open wide the outer gate, is rung, and
then the watchman and his dog see no more of the commotion within the
house. As he holds back the gate, he asks of the coachman, who, with the
dog-cart and the horse, Dark Dick, is racing by:

“What’s the matter?” In reply he only catches the words:

“Another nurse, d—— quick!”

A standing order of the house of J. Dunlap was that should at any
time neither J. Dunlap nor the manager appear by the noon hour, the
superintendent, Mr. Chapman, should take cab and hasten to the residence
of Mr. James Dunlap for instructions concerning transactions that pressed
for immediate attention.

Five minutes after noon, on the day when at two o’clock in the morning
the private watchman had seen lights appear within the Dunlap mansion.
David Chapman was seated in a cab speeding toward his employer’s
residence.

As the cab turned the corner on the avenue that ran before the gate of
the Dunlap place, the horse’s hoof-beats were silenced. Chapman looked
out; the straw-carpeted pavement told the whole story. He ordered
the driver to stop his horse, and springing from the vehicle the
superintendent, walking, proceeded the balance of the distance.

The vigil and anxiety of the past night had told fearfully on
well-preserved Mrs. Church, thought Chapman as he noted her drawn, white
and frightened face, and listened to the awed tone of her voice, as she
told him that a boy was born to Lucy; that she was very ill; that Mr.
Burton was troubled and wretched over the danger of his wife, and would
see no one; that Mr. Dunlap, exhausted by agony of mind and weakened by
watching, had fainted, was now lying down and must not be disturbed under
any circumstances.

Chapman in mute amazement stared at the trembling lips that gave an
account of the striking down, within so short a time, of all three
members of the family. Speechless he stood and stared, but could find no
words to express either his surprise or sorrow. As he stood thus, a faint
and husky, yet familiar, voice called from the far end of the wide hall
that ran through the center of the house.

“David, wait; I want you.”

With uncertain step, and bowed head, a figure came forward. As Chapman
turned he saw that it was Mr. Dunlap. One moment the old employee gazed
at the approaching man. Then springing toward him, he cried as he caught
sight of the ashen hue on his old master’s blanched and deep-lined face,
and saw the blank look in his kind eyes:

“You are ill, sir; sit down!”

“Yes, David; I am not well; I am somewhat weak, but I wish to give
you certain commands that must not, as you value my friendship, be
disobeyed.” The old man paused and painfully sought to gain command of
his voice, and failing, gasped forth:

“Send a message to my brother saying, ‘It is a boy and all is well,’ and
add—David Chapman, do you understand me?—and add these very words, ‘Do
not come home; it is unnecessary.’ Sign the message ‘James’—and, listen,
Chapman, listen; no word that I am not well or my granddaughter in danger
must reach my brother John.”

“Your instructions shall be obeyed, sir,” and Chapman’s voice was almost
as indistinct as that of his loved master.

“What of the business, sir, while Mr. Burton is absent?” the
ever-faithful superintendent asked.

“Use your own discretion in everything,” and with a dry, convulsive sob
that shook his bended frame, he added in a whisper:

“It makes no difference now.”

David Chapman heard the sob, and caught those heartbroken words. In an
instant that strangely constituted man was on his knees at the feet of
him whom of all on earth he worshiped most.

“Can I help you, sir, in your trouble? Say anything that man can do, and
I shall do it, sir,” cried Chapman piteously.

“No, David, no; but, David, I thank you. Go, my faithful old friend, and
do what I have requested.”

Chapman arose and pressed the wan hand that James Dunlap extended, then
hurried from the house.

Those who saw the superintendent that day wondered why they were unable
to tell whether it was grief or rage that marked the man’s face so deeply.

The message as dictated was sent that day to Haiti.



XII.


By special concession from the Haitian government, the blacks still
maintaining a prejudice against white people owning real estate in Haiti,
John Dunlap had purchased several acres of land lying in the outskirts of
Port au Prince, and had built a commodious house thereon, constructed in
accordance with the requirements of the warm climate of the island.

To-night with impatient manner he is walking up and down the veranda
which surrounds the house, accompanied by Captain Jack Dunlap, to whom he
says:

“I do not like the monotonous sentence that, without change, has come
to me daily for two weeks past. It is not like my brother James, and
something, that I cannot explain, tells me that all is not well at home
in Boston.”

“Don’t you think that this presentiment is only the result of anxiety;
that you are permitting imaginary evils to disturb you, sir?” put in Jack
respectfully.

“No, Jack, I do not. From boyhood there has existed an indescribable bond
of sympathy between my brother and myself that has always conveyed to
each of us, no matter how far apart, a feeling of anxiety if trouble or
danger threatened either one. For days this feeling has been increasing
upon me, until it now has become unbearable. I regret that I did not take
passage on the steamer that sailed today for New York. Now I must wait a
week.” As Mr. Dunlap came to the end of his sentence, a chanting, croning
kind of sound was heard coming from some spot just beyond the wall around
his place.

“Confound that old hag!” cried the impatient old gentleman, as he heard
the first notes of the weird incantation, “for the last month, night and
day, she has been haunting my premises, wailing out some everlasting
song about Tu Konk, white cows, black kids, and such stuff, all in that
infernal jargon of the mountain blacks. She looks more like the devil
than anything else. I tried to bribe her to go away, but the old witch
only laughed in my face. I then ordered her driven away, but the servants
are all afraid of her and can’t be induced to molest her.”

“She probably is only some half-witted old woman, whom the superstitious
negroes suppose possessed of supernatural power. I don’t think the matter
worthy of your notice,” said Jack.

“I suppose it is foolish, but her hanging about my place just now, makes
me nervous; but never mind the hag at present. I was going to say to you,
when that howling stopped me, that so strong has become my feeling of
apprehension within the last few hours that could I do so, I should leave
Port au Prince tonight and hurry straight to Boston and my brother. This
cursed Haitian loan, for which the English and American bankers hold our
house morally, if not legally, responsible, has held me in Haiti this
late in the hot season, and, tonight, I would gladly assume the entire
obligation legally, to be placed instantly on Boston Common.”

The positiveness and seriousness with which his kinsman spoke caused even
Jack’s steady nerves to become somewhat shaken. Just then footsteps were
heard coming rapidly up the walk that led to the roadway. As the two
Dunlaps reached the top step of the veranda a telegraph messenger sprang
up the stairs and handed an envelope to Mr. John Dunlap. With trembling
fingers he opened the paper and going to a lamp that hung in the hallway
read it. Then with a cry of pain he would have fallen to the floor had
not Jack’s strong arms been around him.

“I knew it, I knew it,” he moaned.

Jack took the message from the cold, numb hand of the grief-stricken man
and read:

“Come immediately; your brother dying, Lucy in great danger. David
Chapman.”

Jack almost carried the groaning old man to a couch that stood in the
hall, placing him upon it he hurried to the side-board in the dinner-room
for a glass of wine or water; when he returned he found Mr. Dunlap
sitting up, with his face hidden in his hands, rocking back and forward
murmuring.

“A million dollars for a steamer; yea! all I am worth for a ship to carry
me to Boston! Oh! Brother, Brother!”

Jack, though stricken to the heart by what the message said, still held
firm grip upon his self-command for the sake of the kind old man before
him. When he heard the muttered words of his suffering friend, for one
instant he stood as if suddenly struck by some helpful idea, then cried,

“You have the fastest sailing ship on the Atlantic, Cousin John. The
‘Adams’ has only half a cargo aboard. She can beat any steamer that sails
from Haiti to America, if there be breeze but sufficient to fill her
canvas. My crew is aboard. Within one hour my water casks can be filled,
the anchor up, the bow-sprit pointing to Boston, and, God send the wind,
we’ll see the Boston lights as soon as any steamer could show them to us,
or I’ll tear the masts out of the ‘Adams’ trying.”

Like the revivifying effect of an electric shock, the words of the seaman
sent new life into John Dunlap. He sprang to his feet, grabbed for a
hat and coat lying on the hall-table and, ere Jack realized what was
happening, was racing down the pathway, leading to the road, calling
back:

“Come on, my lad, come on!”

Soon Jack was by the old man’s side, passing his arm through that of his
godfather, and thus helping him forward, their race toward the water was
continued.

Not one word was said to the house-servants. The Dunlaps saw no one
before they dashed from the premises; no, not even the evil, flashing
eyes of the old black hag, who, listening to what they said, peered at
them through the low window case.

“Mr. Brice, call all hands aft,” commanded Captain Dunlap as he stepped
upon the deck of his ship, half an hour after leaving the house of Mr.
Dunlap in Port au Prince.

“Men,” said the skipper, when the astonished crew had gathered at the
mast and were waiting.

“Most of you have sailed with me for months, and know I ‘crack on’ every
sail my ship can carry at all times. Now, listen well to what I say.
This old gentleman at my side, my kinsman and friend, and I have those
in Boston whom we love, and we have learned tonight that one of them is
dying and one is in danger. We must reach Boston at the earliest moment
possible. Within the hour I’ll heave my anchor up and sail, such carrying
of sail, in weather fair or foul, no sailor yet has seen as I shall do.
My masts may go. I’ll take the chance of tearing them out of the ship
if I can but gain one hour. No man must sail with me in this wild race
unwillingly or unaware of what I intend to do. Therefore, from mate to
cabin-boy, let him who is unwilling to share the perils of this trip step
forward, take his wages and go over the side into the small boat that
lies beside the ship.”

The skipper Stopped speaking and waited; for some seconds there was a
scuffling of bare feet and shoving among the knot of seamen, but no man
said aught nor did any one step forward. At last the impatient master
cried out,

“Well, what’s it to be! Can no man among you find his tongue?”

Then came more shuffling and shoving and half audible exclamations of
“Say it yourself!” “Why don’t you answer the skipper?” Finally old Brice
moved around from behind the captain and stood between him and the men.
Then addressing the master but looking at the crew, he said,

“I think, sir, the men wish to say, that they are Yankee sailors, and see
you and Mr. Dunlap half scuttled by your sorrow and that they will stick
by you, and be d——n to the sail you carry! Is that it, men?”

A hoarse hurrah answered the first officer’s question.

“The mate says right enough; we’ll stick to the ship and skipper,” came
in chorus from the brazen lungs of the crew.

Such scampering about the deck was never seen before on board the “Adams”
as that of the next thirty minutes. When the crew manned the capstan and
began hoisting the anchor a strange black bundle, with gleaming eyes,
came tumbling over the bow. The startled crew sprang away from what they
took to be a huge snake, but seeing, when it gathered itself together and
stood upright, that it was an old witch of a black woman, they bawled out
for the mate.

The old termagant fought like a wild-cat, scratching and tearing at the
eyes of the men as they bundled her over the ship’s side and into the
canoe in which she had come from the shore. All the time the hag was
raving, spitting and swearing by all kinds of heathenish divinities that
she would go to Boston to see “my grandchild,” and muttering all sorts of
imprecations and incantations, in the jargon of the West Indies, upon the
heads of all who attempted to prevent her.

As the ship gathered headway and swung around, Mr. John Dunlap, who
stood in the stern, heard a weird chant, which he recognized as coming
from below him. He looked over the railing and saw old Sybella standing
upright in the canoe in which she had been thrust by the crew, waving her
skinny bare arms, and chanting,

    “Tu Konk, the great one
    Send her the Black Goat
    White cow, Black kid
    White teat, Black mouth
    Tu Konk, Oh, Tu Konk
    Black Blood, Oh, Tu Konk
    Call back, Oh! Tu Konk.”

When Sybella saw Mr. Dunlap she ceased her song, and began hurling savage
and barbarous curses upon him and his, which continued until the tortured
old gentleman could neither hear nor see the crone longer.

There was just enough cargo aboard the “Adams” to steady her and give
her the proper trim. As soon as Jack secured enough offing, in sailors’
parlance he “cut her loose.” Everything in shape of sail that could draw
was set, the skipper took the deck nor did he leave it again until he
sprang into a yawl in Boston harbor.

On the second day out from Port au Prince, the wind increased to the fury
of a gale, but still no stitch of cloth was taken from the straining
masts and yards of the “Adams.” Two stalwart sailors struggled with the
wheel, the muscles of their bared and sinewy arms standing out taut, as
toughened steel. The ship pitched and leaped like a thing of life. The
masts sprang before the gale as if in their anguish they would jump clear
out of the ship.

With steady, hard set eyes, the skipper watched each movement of his
ship. He knew her every motion as huntsman knows the action of his
well-trained hound. His jaws were locked, the square, firm, Anglo-Saxon
chin might have been modeled out of granite, so rock-like did it look.
Away goes a sail, blown into fragments that wildly flap against the yard.
Will the skipper ease her now?

Old Brice looked toward the master, saw something in his eyes, and saw
him shake his head—

“Lay along here to clear up the muss, and set another sail!” bawled
Brice, and again he looked toward the skipper; this time Jack nodded.

Brave old John Dunlap scarcely ever left the deck. He had a sailor’s
heart and he had mingled with those of the sea from babyhood. He saw the
danger and going to his namesake, said,

“Carry all she’ll bear Jack. If you lose the ship, I’ll give you ten; get
me to Boston quickly, lad, or wreck the ship.”

“I will,” was all the answer that came from Jack’s tightly pressed lips,
nor did he change his gaze from straight ahead while answering—yet the
old man knew that Jack would make his promise good.

He, who in the hollow of His hand doth hold the sea, knew of their need
and favoring the object of such speed, did send unto that ship safety
through the storm and favoring winds thereafter.

No yacht, though for speed alone designed, ever made such time, or ever
will, or ever can, as made the good ship “Adams” from Port au Prince to
Boston harbor.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the two weeks that succeeded the birth of Lucy’s baby, her
grandfather never left the house, but like some wandering spirit of
unrest, moved silently but constantly, in slippered feet, from room to
room, up and down the broad flight of stairs, and back and forth through
the halls.

Maids and serving men stepped aside when they saw the bent and faltering
figure approaching; James Dunlap had aged more within two weeks than
during any ten years of his life before. His kind and beaming eyes of
but yesterday had lost all save the look of troubled age and weariness.
The ruddy glow bequeathed by temperate youth had vanished from his
countenance in that short time, as mist beneath the rays of the rising
sun. The strong elastic step of seasoned strength had given place to the
shambling gait of aged pantaloon.

Burton in moody silence kept his room, or venturing out was seen a
changed and altered man, with blood-shot eyes, as if from endless tears,
and haggard, desperate face deeply traced by lines of trouble’s trenches
dug by grief.

Mrs. Church, the physician, nurse and even the buxom black woman, who
came to give suck to the babe, all, seemed awe struck, distraught, as if
affrighted by some ghostly, awful thing that they had seen.

And then, too, all seemed to hold some strange, mysterious secret in
common, that in some ways was connected with the recently arrived heir
to the Dunlap proud name and many millions. The frightened conspirators
held so sacred the apartments blessed by the presence of the Dunlap heir,
that none but themselves might enter it, or even, in loyal love for all
who bear their old master’s name, see the babe. One poor maid in loving,
eager curiosity had ventured to peep into the sacred shrine and when
discovered, though she had seen naught of the child, was quickly driven
from the house and lost her cherished employment.

Lucy Burton from the first hour after the birth of the child was very
ill. For two whole days she hovered, hesitatingly, between life and
death, most of the time entirely unconscious or when not so in a kind of
stupor. But finally, after two days of anxious watching, the physician
and Mrs. Church noticed a change. Lucy opened her eyes and feebly felt
beside her as if seeking something, and finding not what she sought,
weakly motioned Mrs. Church to bend her head down that she might whisper
something in her ear. As her old friend bent over her, she whispered
softly,

“My baby, bring it.”

Mrs. Church’s face became so piteous as she turned her appealing eyes
toward the Doctor that, that good man arose and coming to the bedside
took Lucy’s soft white hand in his. He had known her as an infant, and
guessing from Mrs. Church’s face what Lucy wished, he said,

“Not yet, dear child, you are too ill and weak, and the excitement might
be dangerous in your condition.”

But Lucy would listen no longer; she shook her head and cried out quite
audibly:

“Bring me my baby! I want to see it. Every mother wishes to see her
baby.” Tears came rolling from her sweet eyes.

“But child, the baby boy is not well and to bring him to you might cause
serious conditions to arise.”

Well did that Doctor know the mother heart. How ready that heart ever
is to suffer and to bleed that the off-spring may be shielded from some
danger or a single pang.

“I can wait; don’t bring my darling if it will do him harm. A boy! A boy!
My boy! I’ll wait, but where is Walter?”

The Doctor told the nurse to summon Mr. Burton, but cautioned Lucy not to
excite or agitate herself as she had been quite ill.

Let him who has seen the look on the condemned felon’s face, when the
poor wretch gazes on the knife within the guillotine, recall that look.
Let him who has seen the last wild, desperate glance of a drowning man,
recall that look, and mingle with these the look of Love at side of
Hope’s death-bed, and thus find the look on Burton’s face when he entered
his wife’s bedroom.

With arms outstretched she called to the faltering man,

“Walter, it is a boy! My baby! Your baby! My husband!”

The man fell, he did not drop, upon his knees by the bedside and burying
his face in the covering wept bitterly. He took her hands, kissed them,
and wet them with his tears.

“Oh! Don’t weep so, darling. I will soon be well, and Oh! my husband we
have a precious baby boy.” Then she said, as if in the joy of knowing
that her baby was a boy, she had forgotten all else,

“Tell grandfather to come here. Tell him the boy shall bear his name.”

The Doctor went himself to bring her grandfather to her. She never
noticed that strange fact.

James Dunlap, never had you in your seventy-three years of life more need
of strength of mind than now!

Her grandfather came to her leaning heavily upon the Doctor’s arm. He
bent and kissed her brow, and in so doing dropped a tear upon her cheek.
Quickly she looked up and seeing pain and grief in the white face above
her, she started and in the alarmed voice of a little child, she cried,

“Am I going to die? Are you all so pale and weep because I am dying? Tell
me Doctor! Why Mamma Church is crying too.”

She so had called Mrs. Church when a wee maid and sometimes did so still.

The Doctor seeing that she was flushed and greatly excited hastened to
the bedside and said calmly but most earnestly,

“No, my dear. You will not die, they are not weeping for that reason, but
you have been very ill and we all love you so much that we weep from
sympathy for you, my dear. Now please lie down. You must my child, and
all must leave the room but nurse and me,” and speaking thus, he gently
pressed the gold-brown head back on the pillows and urged all to leave
the room immediately.

That night the nurse and Doctor heard the patient often murmur both while
awake and while she slept,

“My baby, my baby, it’s a boy, my baby.”

For two or three days after this night Lucy was quite ill again. Her mind
seemed wandering all along the path of her former life, but always the
all over-shadowing subject in all the wanderings of her thoughts was, “My
baby,” “My baby.” Sometimes she called for Jack saying, “Come Jack, and
see my baby,” and then for her uncle, laughing in her sleep and saying
“See, Uncle John, I’ve brought into the world a boy, my baby.”

When the fever again abated and once more she became conscious her first
words were “My baby, bring it now.”

For several days the mental resources of the nurse, Doctor and Mrs.
Church were taxed to their utmost in finding excuses for the absence of
the baby. He was not well. He was asleep, she was not well enough and
many other things they told her as reasons for not bringing her baby to
her.

But, Oh! the piteous pleading in her voice and eyes, as with quivering
lips and fluttering hands extended toward them she would beg,

“Please bring my baby to me. Every mother wishes to see her baby, to
press it to her breast, to feel its breath upon her cheek, to hold it to
her heart; Oh! Please bring my darling to me.”

Poor Mrs. Church, no martyr ever suffered more than did that
tender-hearted woman, who loved Lucy with a mother’s heart.

The Doctor, when he had reassured and quieted, for a little while, his
patient, would leave the room and standing in the hall would wring his
hands and groan, as if in mortal agony.

One night when Lucy seemed more restful than usual, and was slumbering,
worn out by emotion and watching, the Doctor, lying on a couch in the
hall, fell fast asleep. The nurse, seeing all about her resting, her
charge peacefully and regularly, first became drowsy, nodded and then
slept.

The gold-brown head was raised cautiously from its pillows, the hazel
eyes wide opened looked about, and seeing that the nurse was sleeping and
that no one was looking, then two little white feet slipped stealthily
from beneath the coverlet, the slim figure rose, left the bed and glided
along the well remembered passage that led from her chamber to that bower
of beauty made for her baby. As she, weak and trembling, stole along, she
smiled and whispered to herself:

“I will see my baby! I will hold him in my arms, I am his own mother.”

In the room, that with loving, hopeful hands she had helped to decorate,
the faintest flame gave dim, uncertain light, yet quick she reached the
silver shell-like crib and feeling found no baby there. Hearing a steady,
loud breathing of some one asleep and seeing the indistinct outline
of a bed in one corner of the room, she softly crept to its side and
feeling gently with her soft hands found a tiny figure reposing beside
the snoring sleeper. To gather the baby to the warm breast wherein her
longing, loving heart was beating wildly was the work of only an instant.

With her babe clutched close to her, she opened her gown and laid its
little head against her soft and snowy bosom, then she stole back,
carrying her treasure to her own chamber.

Like child that she was, women have much of childish feeling ever in
them. In girlish happiness she closed her eyes and felt her way to the
gas-light, and turned it up full blast, laughing to herself and saying as
she uncovered the baby’s face,

“I won’t peep. I’ll see my baby’s beauty all at once.”

She opened her eyes and looked!

Now, Oh! Mother of the Lord look down! Oh! Christ, who hanging on His
cross for the thief could pity feel, have pity now!

The thing she held upon her milk white breast was Black—Black with
hideous, misshapen head receding to a point; with staring, rolling eyes
of white set in its inky skin; and features of an apish cast, increased
the horror of the thing.

My God! That shriek! It pealed through chamber, dome and hall. Again,
again it rang like scream of tortured soul in hell. It roused the horses
in the barn, they neighed in terror, stamped upon the floor and struggled
to be free. The doves in fright forsook their cot. The dogs began to
bark. Yet high above all other sound, that wild, loud scream rang out.

When the nurse sprang up she dared not move so wild were Lucy’s eyes. The
Doctor, Burton, her grandfather found her standing, hair unbound, glaring
wildly at what crying, lay on the floor.

“Away, you thieves!” she screamed, and motioned to the door.

“You have robbed me of my babe, and left that in its stead.” She pointed
at the object on the floor.

Her grandfather pallid, tottering, moved toward her.

“Back, old man, back! You stole my child away,” she yelled, her blazing
eyes filled with insane rage and hate.

“My God! She is mad,” the Doctor cried, and rushing forward caught her as
she fell.

“Thank God! She has fainted; help me place her on the bed.”

Burton, petrified by the awfulness of the scene had until that moment
stood like some ghastly, reeling statue, now in an automatic manner he
came forward and helped the Doctor place her on the bed.

“Look to Mr. Dunlap,” cried the Doctor but ere anyone could reach him the
old man fell forward, crashing on the floor; a stroke of paralysis had
deadened and benumbed his whole right side.

Chapman was told next day that James Dunlap was dying. Then, for the
first and only time in the life of David Chapman, he disobeyed an order
given by a Dunlap and sent the message to Haiti.



XIII.


“The pilot is mad,” cried one old tar; and said,

“The master is drunk, or there’s mutiny aboard that ship.”

Thus spoke among themselves a knot of seafaring men who stood on the
Boston docks watching a ship under almost full sail, that came tearing
before a strong north-east gale into Boston’s crowded harbor.

The man who held the wheel and guided the ship through the lanes of
sail-less vessels anchored in the harbor, as a skillful driver does his
team in crowded streets, was neither mad nor drunk nor was there mutiny
among the crew. The man was Jack Dunlap; the ship was the “Adams.”

Jack knew the harbor, as does the dog its kennel. He held a pilot’s
certificate and waiving assistance steered his ship himself in this mad
race with time, that no moment should be lost by lowering sails until the
anchor dropped in Massachusetts sand.

The crew was ready at the sheets and running gear. Each man at his
station and all attention. Old Brice in the waist stood watching the
skipper ready to pass the word, to “let all go;” Morgan, the second mate,
at the boat davits held the tackle to lower away the yawl the instant the
ship “came round.”

The skipper at the wheel, stood steady, firm and sure, as though chiseled
from hardest rock. He never shifted his blood-shot eyes from straight
ahead. His strong, determined face, colorless beneath the tan, never
relaxed a line of the intensity that stamped it with sharp angles. The
skipper had not closed his eyes in sleep since leaving Port au Prince nor
had he left the deck for a single hour.

“Let go all!” the helmsman called and Brice repeated the order. The ship
flew around, like a startled stag and then came,

“Let go the anchor! Lower away on that boat tackle! Come, Cousin John,
we are opposite Dunlap’s docks. This is Boston harbor, thank God!” So
called Jack Dunlap, springing toward the descending small boat that had
hung at the davits, and dragging the no-way backward old gentleman, John
Dunlap, along with him.

The only moment lost in Port au Prince before the “Adams” sailed was to
arouse the operator and send a message to Chapman saying that John Dunlap
had left in the “Adams” and was on his way to Boston and his brother’s
bedside.

When the red ball barred with black streaming from the masthead announced
that a Dunlap ship was entering the port, the information was sent at
once to the city, and an anxious, thin and sorrowing man gave an order
to the driver of the fastest team in the Dunlap stables, to hasten to
Dunlap’s wharf and sprang into the carriage.

The impatient, scrawny figure of David Chapman caught the eyes of the
two passengers in the yawl, as with lusty strokes the sailors at the
oars urged the small boat toward the steps of the dock. Chapman in his
excitement fairly raced up and down the dock waving his hands toward the
approaching boat.

“He still lives!” he shouted when they could hear him, instinctively
knowing that, that question was first in the minds of those nearing the
wharf.

“And Lucy?” said Jack huskily, as he stepped on the dock and grasped
Chapman’s extended hand. Old John Dunlap had said never a word nor looked
right nor left, but springing up the steps with extraordinary agility in
one of his age, had run directly to the waiting carriage.

“Alive but better dead,” was all that the superintendent could find
breath to say as he ran beside Jack toward the carriage and leaped in.

“Stop for nothing; put the horses to a gallop,” commanded Mr. Dunlap,
leaning out of the carriage window and addressing the coachman as he
wheeled his horses around and turned upon the street.

It was at an early hour on Sunday morning when the Dunlaps landed and the
streets were freed from the week day traffic and the number of vehicles
that usually crowded them.

As the swaying carriage dashed along, Chapman was unable to make the
recently arrived men understand more than that Lucy had suddenly
become deranged as a result of her illness, and that this appalling
circumstance, in connection with his idolized granddaughter’s severe
sickness had produced a paralytic stroke, that had rendered powerless the
entire right side of James Dunlap’s body; that his vitality was so low
and his whole constitution seemed so shaken and undermined by the events
of the last few weeks, that the physicians despaired of his life.

As the foaming horses were halted before the entrance of the Dunlap
mansion, Mr. John Dunlap jumped from the still swaying vehicle and ran
up the steps, heedless of Mrs. Church and the servants in the hall, he
rushed straight to the well remembered room where, as boys, he and his
brother had slept, and which was still the bed-chamber occupied by Mr.
James Dunlap.

John Dunlap opened the door and for a moment faltered on the threshold;
then that voice he loved so well called out,

“Is that my brother John?” The stricken man had recognized his brother’s
footsteps.

An instant more and John Dunlap had thrown himself across the bed and
his arms were around his brother; for several minutes those two hearts,
which in unison had beaten since first the life-blood pulsated through
them, were pressed together. James Dunlap’s left hand weakly patting his
brother.

David Chapman had followed, close upon the heels of John Dunlap and
was crouching at the bottom of the bed, with his face hidden by the
bed-clothing that covered his old master’s feet, and was silently
sobbing. When Jack Dunlap entered the hall good Mrs. Church, who had been
a second mother to him while he lived at the Dunlap house in his school
boy days, ran to him and throwing her arms about his neck fell upon his
broad breast, weeping and crying,

“My boy is home! Thank God for sending you, Jack. We have suffered so,
and needed you so much, my boy!”

When the sailor man had succeeded in pacifying the distressed old
housekeeper and disengaged himself from her embrace, he hastened after
Chapman. As he entered the room and stepped near the bed he heard a
feeble voice which he scarcely recognized as that of Mr. James Dunlap,
say,

“It is all my fault John. You, brother, tried to prevent it. I alone am
to blame. I have driven my darling mad and I believe that it will kill
her. I did it Oh God! I did it. Blame no one John; be kind, punish no
one, my brother. I alone am at fault.”

These words came with the force of a terrible blow to Jack Dunlap, and
halted him in mute and motionless wonder where he was.

“James, don’t talk that way. I can’t stand it, brother. Whatever you have
done, I know not, and care not, it is noble, just and right and I stand
with you, brother, in whatsoever it may be,” said John Dunlap in a broken
but energetic voice.

“Has no one told you then, John?” came faintly from the partially
paralyzed lips of him who lay upon the bed.

“Told me what? Brother James; but no matter what they have to tell, you
are not blamable as you say; I stand by that.”

Though the voice was husky, there was a challenge in the tone that said,
let no man dare attack my brother. The innate chivalry of the old New
Englander was superior even to his sorrow.

“Who is in the room beside you, John?” asked James Dunlap, anxious
that something he had to say should not be heard by other than the
trustworthy, and unable to move his head to ascertain.

“No one, James, but our kinsman, Jack Dunlap, and faithful David
Chapman,” replied his brother.

The palsied man struggled with some powerful emotion, and by the greatest
effort was only able to utter in a whisper the words,

“Lucy’s baby is black and impish. The negro blood in Burton caused the
breeding back to a remote ancestor, as, John, you warned me might be the
case. It has driven my granddaughter insane and will cause her death. God
have mercy on me!” The effort and emotion was too much for the weak old
gentleman; his head fell to one side; he had fainted.

John Dunlap started when he heard these direful words. A look of horror
on his face, but brotherly love stronger than all else caused him to put
aside every thought and endeavor to resuscitate the unconscious man.

Poor Jack. He had borne manfully much heartache, but the dreadful thing
that he had just heard was too much for even his iron will and nerves. He
collapsed as if a dagger had pierced his heart, and would have fallen to
the floor had he not gripped the bedstead when his legs gave way.

Chapman raised his head and gazed, with eyes red from weeping, at him
who told the calamitous story of the events that had stricken him down.
There was a dangerous glitter in the red eyes as Chapman sprung to John
Dunlap’s assistance in reviving the senseless man.

When Jack recovered self-command sufficient to realize what was happening
about him, he found that the physician, who had been summoned, had
administered restoratives and stimulants, and that the patient had
returned to consciousness; that the kind Doctor was trying to comfort the
heartbroken brother of the sufferer even while obliged to admit that the
end of life for James Dunlap was not far distant.

“Come and get in my bed, Jack,” came in a low and indistinct voice from
the couch of the helpless patient. Captain Dunlap started in surprise,
but old John Dunlap made a motion with his hand and said in a voice
choking with emotion,

“He always so called me when we were boys,” and lying down by his brother
he put his arms lovingly and protectingly around him.

Thus the two old men lay side by side as they had done years before in
their cradle. The silence remained for a long time unbroken, save for the
muffled sobs that came from those who watched and grieved in the chamber.

“How cold it is, Jack, come closer; I’m cold. I broke through the ice
today and got wet but don’t tell mother, she will worry. Jack, don’t tell
on me.” The words were whispered to his brother by the dying man.

“No, Jim, I’ll not tell, old fellow,” bravely answered John Dunlap, but
a smothered sob shook his shoulders. He knew his brother’s mind was
straying back into the days of their boyhood.

For what inscrutable cause does the mind of the most aged recur to scenes
and associations of childhood when Death, the dread conqueror, draws
near? Why does the most patriarchal prattle as though still at the mother
knee in that last and saddest hour? Is it because mother, child, in
purity approach nearest to that transcendent pellucidity that surrounds
the throne of Him before whom all must appear? Does the nearness of the
coming hour cast its shadow on the soul, causing it to return to the
period of greatest innocence, and that love that is purest on earth?

“Jack, hold me, I am slipping, I am going, going, Jack.”

Alas! James Dunlap had gone on that long, last journey! The noble, kindly
soul had gone to its God. John Dunlap held in his arms the pulseless form
of him who for seventy-three years had been his second self, and whom he
had loved with a devotedness seldom seen in this selfish world of ours.

To see a strong man weep is painful; to hear him sob is dreadful; but to
listen and look upon the sorrow of a strong and aged man is heartbreaking
and will cause sympathetic tears to flow from eyes of all who are not
flinty-hearted.

Chapman, when he knew the end had come, clasped the cold feet of his old
employer and wept bitterly; Jack could bear no more. With bursting heart
he fled from the room, but kept the chamber sacred from intrusion, and in
the sole possession of the two old men who sorrowed there.

The funeral of James Dunlap was attended by the foremost citizens of that
section of the United States, where for so many years he had justly held
a position of honor and prominence.

The universal gloom and hush that was observable throughout the city of
Boston on the day that the sorrowful cortege followed all that remained
earthly of this esteemed citizen, gave greater evidence of universal
grief than words or weeping could have done.

While James Dunlap had never held any civic or political position, his
broad charity, unostentatious generosity, kindliness of spirit, constant
thoughtfulness of his fellow men, and the unassuming gentleness of his
lovable disposition and character, gave him an undisputed high place in
the hearts of his fellow citizens of both lofty and lowly condition.

The chief executive of his native state, jurists, scholars, and
capitalists gathered with rough, weather beaten seafaring men, clerks and
laborers to listen to the final prayer offered up, to Him above, at the
old family vault of the Dunlaps beneath the sighing willow trees.

       *       *       *       *       *

Haggard and worn by the emotions that had wrenched his very soul for the
past two or three weeks, David Chapman dragged himself to the tea-table
where his sister waited on the evening of the day of the funeral
ceremonies.

With the fidelity of a faithful, loving dog he had held a position during
all of many nights at the feet of him who in life had been his object
of paramount devotion; during those days with unswerving faithfulness
to the house of “J. Dunlap,” he was found leaden hued and worn, but
still attentive, at his desk in the office. The great business must not
suffer, thought the man, even if I drop dead from exhaustion. Neither
John Dunlap nor Walter Burton was in a condition, nor could they force
themselves, to attend to the business of the house no matter how urgent
the need might be.

When the business of the day ended, Chapman hastened to the Dunlap
mansion, and like a ghostly shadow glided to his position at the feet of
his old employer, speaking to no one and no one saying him nay—it seemed
the sad watcher’s right.

As David Chapman dropped into a chair at the tea-table, the anxious and
sympathetic sister said,

“Brother, you really must take some rest. Indeed you must, David, now
that all is over.”

“Yes, Arabella, I feel utterly exhausted and shall rest.”

The man’s condition was pitiable; his words came from his throat with the
dry, rasping sound of a file working on hardest steel.

“What a God-send Jack Dunlap is at this time, sister. He has taken charge
of everything, and in that steady, confident, masterful way of his has
brought order out of the chaos that existed at the mansion. It may be
the training and habits acquired at sea, but no matter what it is the
transformation in the affairs at the house is wonderful. His decisive
manner of directing everything and everybody and the correctness and
promptness with which all people and things are disposed of by him is
phenomenal. I thank Providence for the relief that Jack’s coming has
brought.”

The total exhaustion of Chapman’s intense energy was best exhibited in
the satisfaction he felt at having some one to assist him even in the
affairs of the Dunlaps.

“Jack is one of the best and strongest minded men in the world. While
I know that his heart is bleeding for all, especially for Lucy, he has
maintained a self-control that is superb,” said the spinster.

“When he learned that Lucy’s hallucination led her to believe that
the old family physician had conspired to deprive her of her baby, he
promptly procured the attendance of another doctor, saying positively,
‘Lucy’s mind must not be disturbed by sight of anything or person tending
to aggravate her mental disorder.’ He forbade Mrs. Church going into
Lucy’s apartments, dismissed the nurse and procured a new one, had that
accursed infant put with his nurse into other apartments and did it all
so firmly and quietly that no one dreamed of disputing any order given by
him,” said David wearily, but evidently much relieved with the changes
made by Jack.

“What of Lucy? How is she?” anxiously questioned Arabella.

“Her mental faculties are totally disarranged. She has not spoken
coherently since she fell senseless on that dreadful night and was
carried to her bed. Besides, her physical condition is precarious in the
extreme,” replied the brother.

“Has Jack seen her yet?” inquired the old maid sadly.

“Yes, and it is very strange how rational she became as soon as she saw
him enter the room. You know, Arabella, the steady, earnest, matter of
fact manner he has. Well, he walked into her room with just that manner,
they say he stopped to steady himself before going in, and said ‘How are
you, Cousin Lucy? I’ve come home to see you,’ and without a quiver took
her extended hands and pressed them to his breast.

“Lucy knew him at once when he stepped inside the door. She looked
intently at him, then gave a glad, joyful cry and held out her hands,
calling, ‘Jack, Oh Jack! Come to me, my champion! Now all will be well.’
Then she put her weak, white arms about his neck and began to weep as she
sobbed out, ‘Jack, I have needed you. You said you would come from the
end of the earth to me. I knew you would come; Jack, they have stolen my
angel boy, my baby. Jack, find it, bring it to me. I know you can. You
said until death you would love me, Jack. Oh! find my baby, my darling.’”

“Poor Lucy! Poor Jack!” broke in the old lady, as tears of pity ran down
her withered cheek.

“But think of the strength of the man, Arabella. You and I know what
he was suffering. Yet he answered with never a waver in his voice,
‘All right, little cousin, I am here and no harm shall come to you.
I’ll help you, but you must be a good little girl and stay quiet and
get well. Shall I have my mother come to sit with you?’ She cried out
at once, ‘Please do, Jack, Cousin Martha did not steal my baby,’ and
then he insisted that she put her head back on the pillow and close her
eyes. When she did so Jack had the courage to sit on the bedside and
sing softly some old song about the sea that they had sung together when
children. The poor girl fell fast asleep as he sung, but still clung to
Jack’s brown hand.”

Chapman gave a groan when he finished as if the harrowing scene was
before him.

“Blessings on the stout hearted boy,” whimpered the old lady.

“Lucy never calls, as formerly, for her grandfather or husband. In
fact, when Burton entered her room after that awful night she flew
into a perfect frenzy, accusing him of stealing her child and putting
some imp that, at some time, she had seen in Florida, in his place,
notwithstanding his protestations and entreaties. Her mad fury increased
to such a degree that the doctor insisted that Burton should leave the
room, and has forbidden him to again visit his wife until there is a
change in her mental condition. Of course, Lucy knows nothing of the
death of her grandfather.” The man’s voice became choked as he uttered
the last sentence.

“Have Jack and Mr. Burton been together since Jack’s return?” inquired
Arabella, after a long silence.

“I think not, except once when they were closeted in the library for two
hours the day after Jack arrived. When they came out I was in the hall
and heard Jack say, as he left the library with Burton, ‘I shall hold
you to your promise. You must wait until my cousin be in a condition of
mind to express her wishes in that matter.’ Jack’s voice was firm and
emphatic and his face was very stern. Burton replied, ‘I gave you my word
of honor.’ He seemed in great distress and mental anguish. My opinion
is that he had proposed disappearing forever, and I think so for the
reason that he had asked me to dispose of a great amount of his personal
securities, and to bring him currency for the proceeds in bills of large
denomination, and Jack must have objected,” rejoined Chapman.

“I am sorry for Mr. Burton and am glad Jack would not let him go away,”
said the kind spinster.

“Well I am not,” cried Chapman savagely, notwithstanding his fatigue.

“They would better let him go. This misfortune is the physical one that
long ago I told you was possible. The next may be spiritual and result in
some emotional or fanatic outburst of barbarous religious fervor that may
again disgrace us all. Then may develop the bestial propensities of the
sensual nature of savages and may result in crime and ruin the house of
Dunlap forever.”

“David, go to bed and rest. You are worn out and conjure up imaginary
horrors purely by reason of nervousness and weariness,” said the sister
soothingly.

“You maintained months ago that the danger of breeding back was
imaginary. What do you think now? The other things that I suggest as
possible, are inherent in Burton’s blood and may tell their story yet.”

Chapman, though weak, became vehement immediately upon the mention of
this unfortunate subject. It required all the persuasion and diplomacy
of his good sister to get him to desist and finally to retire to his bed
room for the rest that was so needed by the worn out man.



XIV.


“You have been a tower of strength to me, Jack, in the grief and trouble
of the last three months. I don’t know what would have become of us all
without your aid and comfort.”

So spoke Mr. John Dunlap. He appeared many years older than he did when
three months before he arrived in Boston on board the “Adams.” He was
bent, and care worn. Deep sorrow had taken the fire and mirth from his
honest, kindly eyes.

“I am rejoiced and repaid if I have been able to be of service to those
whom I love, and who have always been so kind to me,” replied Jack Dunlap
simply.

The two men were seated in the library of the Dunlap mansion in the
closing hour of that late November day, watching the heavy snow flakes
falling without.

“Jack, I have meditated for several days upon what I am about to say and
can find no way but to beg you to make more sacrifices for us,” said the
old gentleman, after a lapse of several minutes.

“The condition in which our family is demands the presence of some
younger, stronger head and hand than mine is now. I know the ‘Adams’ is
refitted, after her two years of service, and ready for sea. I know you,
my lad, and your reluctance to remain idle when you think that you should
be at work.”

“To be frank, sir, you have hit upon a subject about which I desired to
talk with you but have hesitated for several days,” said the young man,
with something of relief in his tone.

“Well then, Jack, to begin with, I wish to charter your ship for a voyage
and to show that it is no subterfuge to hold you here, I say at once I
wish you to sail in her.” Mr. Dunlap paused for a moment to note the
effect of his proposal and then continued,

“Let me go over the situation, Jack, and tell me if you do not agree
in my conclusions. Lucy, while apparently restored in a degree to her
former health, is still weak and looks fragile. The physicians advise
me to take her to a warmer climate before our New England Winter sets
in. Her dementia still continues, and while she is perfectly gentle and
harmless, she will neither tolerate the presence of her husband, nor poor
Mrs. Church, and is even not pleased or quiet in my company. I think
my likeness to my beloved brother affects her. She clings to your good
mother and to you, my lad, with the confident affection of a child. When
she is not softly singing, as she rocks and smiles in a heartrending,
far-off-way, some baby lullaby, she is flitting about the house like
some sweet and sorrowful shadow. Can we, Jack, expose our girl in this
condition to the unsympathetic gaze of strangers?”

“No, no, a thousand times no!” was the quick and emphatic answer of the
younger man.

“Now listen, Jack. Since the death of that poor, little misshapen black
creature, which innocently brought so much trouble into our lives, and,
Jack, your thoughtfulness in having it buried quietly in Bedford instead
of here is something I shall never forget. But to return to Lucy: Since
that object is out of the way, and after the consultation of those great
specialists in mental disorder cases, I am led to hope that Lucy may be
restored to us in all the glory of her former mental condition.”

“God speed the day,” exclaimed Jack fervently and reverently.

“The specialists affirm that as this aberration of mind was produced by
a shock and as there is no inherited insanity involved in the case, that
the restoration may occur at any moment in the most unexpected manner. A
surprise, shock or some accident may instantly produce the joyful change.

“It is for that very reason that I have insisted that Burton should
remain near at hand, and ready to respond to a call from the restored
wife for her husband’s presence. We must bear in mind the fact that
Lucy, before this hallucination, was devotedly attached to her husband
and grandfather. With the return of her reason we may justly expect the
return of her former affections and feelings,” interrupted Jack by way
of explanation of something he had done.

“I know that, Jack, and approve of your course, but I am only a weak
human creature, and notwithstanding the injunction of my dying brother
to blame no one, I cannot eradicate from my mind a feeling of animosity
toward Burton. I know that he is not culpable, but still I should be
glad to have him pass out of our lives, if it were not for the probable
effect upon Lucy if she ever be restored to reason. However, I was not
displeased by his decision to return to his own house, the ‘Eyrie,’ until
his presence was required here.”

“Burton’s position, sir, has been a very trying one. I may say a very
dreadful one, and I think that he has acted in a very manly, courageous
manner, sir, and I think it our duty, as Christian men, to put aside even
our natural repugnance to the author of our misfortune and be lenient
toward one who has suffered as well as ourselves.”

The young sailor stopped, hesitated, and then jerked out the words

“And to be frank and outspoken with you, sir, by heavens! I am saving
him for Lucy’s sake; if she wish him, when she know all, she shall have
him safe and sound if it cost my life.” There was a fierce determination
in Jack’s voice that boded no good to Burton should he attempt to
disappear, nor to any one who attempted to injure the man whom Lucy’s
loyal sailor knight was safe-keeping for his hopeless love’s sake.

“Jack, I love you, lad.” was all that the old Dunlap said, but he knew
and felt the grandeur of the character of the man, who pressed the dagger
down into his own heart, to save a single pang to the woman whom he loved
so unselfishly.

“But to resume the recital of my plans and our situation,” said the old
gentleman settling back in his chair. He had leaned forward to pat Jack
on the shoulder.

“We agree that Lucy cannot be subjected to the scrutiny and criticism of
strangers. I propose, that as the physicians advise a warmer climate,
to charter the ‘Adams,’ have the cabin remodeled to accommodate Lucy,
your mother, the nurse and Lucy’s maid, and to take them all with me to
Haiti, just as soon as the changes in the accommodations on your ship can
be made.”

“Burton goes with us, of course,” said Jack, assertively.

“Well, I had not determined that point. What do you think?”

“Decidedly, yes! The business may suffer, but let it. What is business in
comparison to the restoration of Lucy?” cried Jack in an aggressive tone
of voice.

“It shall be as you think best, my lad. The business will not suffer
in any event, for since Burton’s return to his position as manager, he
has in some extraordinary manner become worthless in the management
of the affairs of the house. He does not inspire the respect that he
did formerly nor does he seem to possess the same self-confidence and
decision of character that marked his manner before the events of the
past few weeks. I don’t know what I should have done had it not been for
Chapman. He has taken full charge of everything and will continue in
control while I am absent, if you decide to take Burton along.”

“You surprise me, sir. I had noticed no alteration in Burton’s manner,”
exclaimed Jack, sincerely astonished at what he heard.

“That is quite likely as he seems to regard you with a kind of awed
respect, but nevertheless what I state is an absolute fact. When first he
made his appearance at the office he endeavored by a brave, bold front to
resume his position, but somehow his attempt was a lamentable failure.
He seemed to feel that everyone was aware that there was something
sham about his assumed dignity and authority and like an urchin caught
masquerading in his father’s coat and hat, he has discarded the borrowed
garments and relapsed into the character that nature gave him. Burton’s
succeeding efforts to impress the office force and people with whom we do
business with a sense of his importance have been absurdly laughable,”
said Mr. Dunlap.

“The secret of the child, and all that concerns our family is confined
to our own people, and a few old and faithful friends, is it not?” asked
Jack in an anxious, troubled voice.

“Certainly, but that apparently does not lessen Burton’s sense of being
garbed in stolen apparel. I can notice the dignity and culture of the
white race growing less day by day in Burton’s speech and manner, just as
frost-pictures on a window pane lessen each hour in the rays of the sun
until naught remains but the naked and bared glass.”

“What will be the end of all this, if you be correct?” cried Jack.

“One by one the purloined habiliments of the superior race will disappear
until finally he will stand forth stripped of the acquired veneering
created by the culture of the white race, a negro. This transformation,
which I think time will effect, recalls to me an example of the
inordinate vanity and love of parading in borrowed plumage common to the
negro race. During one of the numerous insurrections in Haiti I used
to see one of the major generals of the insurgents—they had a dozen
for every hundred privates—a big black fellow, strut about, puffed up
with assumed importance and dignity. In less than one week after the
insurrection was suppressed he was at my door selling fish. While there
he began to ‘pat Juba,’ as he called it, and dance, giggling with
childish glee and winding up the performance by begging me for a quarter.
There you see the negro of it. Prick the balloon and when the borrowed
elevating gas escapes the skin collapses immediately,” said John Dunlap,
with the positiveness of a prophet.

“God grant that the end be not as you surmise or let God in His mercy
continue our Lucy in her present condition. It were more merciful.
History gives the records of men of the negro race who did not end their
lives in the manner you suggest, however,” replied Jack, extracting a
crumb of comfort from the last statement.

“True! my lad, true! There have been white elephants and white crows; in
every forest occasionally a rare bird is found. So with the negro race,
rare exceptions to the general rule do appear but so infrequently as to
only accentuate the accuracy of the general rule.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Walter Burton was seated at a table in his bedroom at the “Eyrie.” Before
him were scattered letters, papers and writing material. It was late at
night and he had evidently been engaged in assorting and destroying the
contents of an iron box placed beside him on the floor. His elbows were
on the table and his chin rested in both of his hands while he gazed
meditatively at the flame in the lamp before him.

“I am, oh! so weary of this farce. How I long to be able to run away and
be free,” he sighed as he said this to himself. After a little while he
continued.

“The farce has been played to the final act. I know it. What is the use
to continue upon the stage longer? Should Lucy’s mind return to its
normal condition she must be informed of what has transpired and then
my happiness will terminate anyhow. Of what earthly use is it for me to
remain here. She might call for me at first, but only to repulse me at
last. I am tolerated by old John Dunlap, hated or despised by the others
except the noblest of them all, Jack Dunlap. He relies upon my word of
honor. I must not lose his respect. I would to God I had given another
the promise not to disappear.”

The man paused for some time in his soliloquy and then broke out again
by exclaiming,

“The moment that the nurse showed the child to me a curtain of darkness
seemed to roll back. I saw clearly what produced the strange spells
that for so long have mystified me. I am a negro. My blood and natural
inclinations are those common to the descendants of Ham. It matters
not that my skin is white, I am still a negro. The acquirement of the
education, culture and refinement of the white race has made no change in
my blood and inherent instincts. I am ever a negro. Like a jaded harlot I
may paint my face with the hues of health but I am like her, a diseased
imitator of the healthy. I may have every outward and visible sign but
the inward and spiritual grace of the white race is not and can never be
mine. I am a wretched sham, fraud and libel upon the white race with my
fair skin and affected manner.”

The man’s arms fell upon the table and he hid his head in them and
groaned. Thus he remained for a short time, then raised his head and
cried out,

“I even doubt that my Christianity is genuine and not a hollow mockery!
The doctrine of Mahomet is received more readily, and practiced more
consistently by my native race in its ancient home of Africa than the
pure and elevating teachings of Christ. The laws of Mahomet seem more
consistent with the sensual nature of my race than the chaste commands
of Christ. History relates that Islamism is able to turn an African
negro from idolatry where the Christian religion utterly fails. Are my
protestations of faith in Christianity like my refinement, culture and
manners, merely outward manifestations in imitation of the white race and
as deceitful as is the color of my skin?”

Burton sat silent for several moments and then said in a tone of sad
reminiscence.

“I recall how everything in the Christian religion or service that
appealed to the emotional element within me aroused me, but is my
nature as a negro, susceptible of receiving, retaining and appreciating
permanently the truths of that purest and noblest of all faiths?” Again
the man paused as if silently struggling to solve the problem suggested.

“It has of late, I know, become the fashion to refuse to accept
the Scriptures literally, but there is one prophecy concerning the
descendants of Ham which thousands of years have demonstrated as true.”

“The sculpture of that oldest of civilizations, the mother of all
culture, the Egyptian, proves beyond a doubt that the children of Ham
came in contact with the source of Greek and Roman culture yet they
advanced not one step. The profiles of some even of the early Pharaohs
as seen on their tombs furnish unmistakable proof of that contact in the
Negroid type of the features of Egypt’s rulers.”

“The Romans carried civilization to every people whom they conquered and
to those who escaped the Roman domination they bequeathed an impetus that
urged them forward, with the single exception of the accursed Hamites.”

“The Arabs occupied Northern Africa and kept burning the torch of
civilization in the chaos of the Dark Ages in Europe. The Arabs
fraternized more freely with the sons of Ham than all other branches of
the human race, but failed to push, pull or drive them along the highway
of culture.”

“The negro race seems bound by that old Scriptural prophecy concerning
the descendants of Ham. It does not advance beyond being the hewers of
wood and drawers of water for the balance of mankind, notwithstanding
five thousand years of opportunity and inducement.”

“The negro race in Africa, its ancestral land, can point to no ruined
temples, no not even mounds like can the American Indians. It borrowed
not even the art of laying stones from Egypt. It has no written language
though the Phoenicians gave that blessing to the world. It has no
religion worthy of the name, neither laws nor well defined language.
Notwithstanding its association with Egyptian, Roman and Arabian culture
and civilization, fountains for all of the thirsty white race, the negro
race has benefited not at all. It is where it was five thousand years
ago. God’s will be done!”

Burton paused while a sneer came to his lips when he began again speaking.

“Haiti, after decades of freedom, starting with the benefits conferred
by the religion and civilization of one of the leading nations of earth,
is the home today of ignorance, slothfulness and superstition. Every
improvement made by the former white rulers neglected and passing away.
In the hands of the white race it had now been a Paradise. Liberia is as
dead, stagnant and torpid as if progress had vanished with the fostering
care of the white nations that founded that republic.”

The young man ceased in recapitulating the failures of his race, but
added with a sigh,

“In America! Well one may grow oranges in New England by covering the
trees with glass and heating the conservatory, but break the glass or let
the fire expire and the orange trees die. Break the civilization of the
white race in America like the glass, let the fire of its culture become
extinguished and alas for the exotic race and its artificial progress.”

“But enough of my race,” exclaimed Burton impatiently as he arose from
the table and began walking about the room.

“Formerly I tried to curb an inclination that was incomprehensible. Now
that I know the cause I rather enjoy the relapses into my natural self. I
welcome the casting aside of the mask and affectation of the unreal. It
is a relief. The restraint imposed by the presence of those who know me
for what I am, is irksome. I long all day for the freedom of my isolation
here in the ‘Eyrie’ where no prying eye is finely discriminating the
real from the sham. I loath the office and the association there. Each
day I seem to drop a link of the chain that binds me to an artificial
existence.”

Suddenly an idea seemed to present some new phase to the soliloquizing
man. He put his hand to his head as if in pain, and cried out,

“But the end! What shall it be?”



XV.


“It was good of you Jack, to have Mr. Dunlap invite me to dine with
him this evening. I am deucedly weary of the ‘off colored,’” exclaimed
Lieutenant Tom Maxon as he and his companion, Captain Jack Dunlap walked
in the twilight through the outskirts of Port au Prince.

“To tell you the truth, Tom, I was not thinking of your pleasure in the
visit half so much as I was about my old kinsman’s. You see we have been
here a month, and as my Cousin Lucy is an invalid and sees no company,
Mr. Dunlap has divided his great rambling house into two parts. He and
Burton occupy one part and the women folk the other; I join them as
often as possible but as Burton is exceedingly popular with the dusky
Haitians and often absent, my old cousin is apt to be lonely. I thought
your habitual jolliness would do him good, and at the same time secure
you a fine dinner, excellent wine and the best cigars in Haiti; hence the
invitation.”

“How is Mrs. Burton? I remember her from the days when you, the little
Princess and I used to make ‘Rome howl’ in the Dunlap attic.”

“Lucy is much improved by the sea voyage and change of climate, but must
have absolute quiet. For that reason my mother keeps up an establishment
in one part of the house to insure against noise, or intrusion,” said
Jack.

“I hope that you didn’t promise much jollity on my part this evening, old
chum, for the thought of our little Princess being an invalid and under
the same roof knocks all the laugh and joke out of even a mirthful idiot
like Tom Maxon,” said the lieutenant.

“It’s sailing rather close to tears, I confess, Tom, but I do wish you
to cheer the old gentleman up some if you can,” replied Jack as they
strolled along the highway between dense masses of tropical foliage.

“I say, Jack, is Mr. Dunlap’s place much further? I don’t half like its
location,” said Maxon as he looked about him and noticed the absence of
houses and the thick underbrush.

“Why? What’s the matter with it? Are you leg weary already, you
sea-swab?” cried Dunlap laughing.

“Not a bit; but I’ll tell you something that may be a little imprudent
in a naval officer, but still I think you ought to know. The American
Consul fears some trouble from the blacks on account of the concessions
that Dictator Dupree was forced to grant the whites before the English
and American bankers would make the loan that Mr. Dunlap negotiated. The
rumor is that the ignorant blacks from the mountains blame your kinsman
and mutter threats against him. When Admiral Snave received the order at
Gibraltar to call at Port au Prince on our way home with the flag-ship
Delaware and one cruiser, we all suspected something was up, and after we
arrived and the old fighting-cock placed guards at the American Consulate
we felt sure of it,” replied Lieutenant Tom seriously.

“Oh! pshaw, these black fellows are always muttering and threatening but
it ends at that,” said Jack with a contemptuous gesture.

“‘Luff round,’ shipmate,” suddenly called Tom Maxon grabbing hold of
Jack’s arm and pointing through a break in the jungle that lined the
roadway.

“Isn’t that a queer combination over there by that dead tree?” continued
the officer directing Jack’s gaze to a cleared spot on the edge of the
forest.

In the dim light could be distinguished the figure of a well-dressed man,
who was not black, in earnest conversation with a bent old hag of a black
woman who rested her hand familiarly and affectionately upon his arm.
Dunlap started when he first glanced at them. The figure and dress of the
man was strangely similar to that of Walter Burton.

“Some go-between in a dusky love affair doubtless,” said Jack shortly as
he moved on.

“Well, I think I could select a better looking Cupid,” exclaimed Tom
laughing at the suggestion of the old witch playing the part of love’s
messenger.

“By the way, Jack, speaking of Cupid, I received a peculiar communication
at Gibraltar. It was only a clipping from some society paper but
this was what it said: ‘Mr. T. DeMontmorency Jones has sailed in his
magnificent yacht the “Bessie” for the Mediterranean, where he will
spend the winter. _En passant_, rumor says the engagement between Mr.
Jones and one of Boston’s most popular belles has been terminated.’
This same spindle shanked popinjay of a millionaire was sailing in the
wake of my _inamorata_ and was said to have cut me out of the race
after my Trafalgar. So, when I tell you, old chap, that the writing on
the envelope looks suspiciously like the chirography of Miss Elizabeth
Winthrop, you can guess why I can sing

    ‘There’s a sweetheart over the sea’
    ‘And she’s awaiting there for me.’”

The light-hearted lieutenant aroused the birds from their roosts by the
gusto of his boisterous baritone in his improvised song. He stopped short
and said abruptly,

“Jack, why the deuce didn’t you fall in love with the little Princess and
marry her yourself?”

“Hold hard, Tom. My cousin Lucy is the object of too much serious concern
to us all to be made the subject of jest just now, even by you, comrade,
and what you ask is infernal nonsense anyhow,” replied Jack, somewhat
confused and with more heat than seemed justifiable.

“Oh! I beg your pardon, Jack. You know that I’m such a thoughtless fool,
I didn’t think how the question might sound,” said Tom quickly, in
embarrassment.

Captain Dunlap made no mistake in promising the lieutenant of the U.S.N.
a good dinner, rare wine and fine cigars. John Dunlap in the desert of
Sahara would have surrounded himself, somehow, with all the accessories
necessary to an ideal host.

Good-natured Tom Maxon exercised himself to the utmost in cheering the
old gentleman and dispelling any loneliness or gloom that he might
feel. Tom told amusing anecdotes of the irascible admiral, recounted
odd experiences and funny incidents in his term of service among the
Philippinoes and Chinese; he sang queer parodies on popular ballads,
and rollicking, jolly sea songs until the old gentleman, temporarily
forgetting his care and grief, was laughing like a schoolboy.

When they were seated, feet upon the railing, _a la Americaine_, on the
broad piazza, listening to the songs of the tropical night birds, as they
smoked their cigars, the lieutenant recalled the subject of the location
of Mr. Dunlap’s house, by saying,

“I mentioned to Jack, while on my way here, sir, that it seemed to me
that you would be safer nearer the American Consulate in case any trouble
should arise concerning the concessions to the whites made by Dupree.”

“Oh! I don’t think that there is any occasion for alarm. To bluff and
bluster is part of the negro nature. The whole talk is inspired by
the agitation caused by the Voo Doo priests and priestesses among the
superstitious blacks from the mountains. By the way, Jack, our old friend
the witch who wished to sail in your ship with us when we left for
Boston, still haunts my premises.” As if to corroborate what the speaker
had just said, a wailing chant arose on the tranquil night air, coming
from just beyond the wall around the garden,

    “Oh! Tu Konk, my Tu Konk”
    “Send back the black blood.”

“There she is now,” exclaimed Jack and Mr. Dunlap at the same time.

“My black boy who waits at the table told me that the old crone was
holding meetings nightly in worship of Voo Doo, and that too in the very
suburbs of the city,” said Mr. Dunlap when the sound of old Sybella’s
voice died away in the distance.

“Where is Burton tonight?” asked Jack as if recalling something.

“I don’t know. When he does not appear at the established dinner hour I
take it for granted that he is at the club in the city or dining with
some of his newly made friends. He is quite popular here, being a Haitian
himself,” replied the old gentleman.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was late that night when Walter Burton entered the apartments reserved
for his exclusive use in the house of John Dunlap. Throwing off his coat
he sat down in a great easy chair in the moonlight by the open window and
lighted a cigar.

“I wish that I were free to fly to the mountains and hide myself here in
Haiti among my own people forever,” sighed the young man glancing away
off to the shadowy outline of the hills against the moonlit sky.

“The sensation of being pitied is humiliating and hateful, and that was
what I endured during the voyage from Boston, and have suffered ever
since I arrived and have been in enforced association with the Dunlaps.
The devoted love for Lucy, my wife, is a source of pain, not pleasure.
Her unreasoning antipathy now is more bearable than will surely be the
repulsion that must arise if, when restored to reason, she learn that I
am the author of the cause of her disappointment, horror and dementia.
Woe is mine under any circumstances! The evil consequences of attempted
amalgamation of the negro and white races are not borne alone by the
white participants but fall as heavily upon those of the negro blood who
share in the abortive effort.”

Burton seemed to ruminate for a long while, smoking in silence, then he
muttered,

“Am I much happier when with my own race? Hardly! When I am in the
society of even the most highly cultivated Haitian negroes I am unable
to free myself from the thought that we are much like a lot of monkeys,
such as Italian street musicians carry with them. We negroes are togged
out in the dignity, education and culture of the white race, but we are
only aping the natural, self-evolved civilization and culture of the
whites. The clothing does not fit us, the garments were not cut according
to our mental and moral measurements, and we appear ridiculous when we
don the borrowed trappings of the white race’s mind, and pompously strut
before an amused and jeering world.”

“When I imagined the mantle that I wore was my own it set lightly and
comfortably on me. Now that I realize that it is the property of another,
it has become cumbersome, unwieldy, awkward and is slipping rapidly from
my shoulders.”

“On the other side of the subject are equal difficulties. If, weary of
imitation and affectation, I seek the society of my race in all its
natural purity and ignorance, my senses have become so acute, softened
and made tender by the long use of my borrowed mantle that I am shocked,
horrified or disgusted. Oh! Son of Ham, escape from the doom pronounced
against you while yet time was new seems impossible. In My Book it is
writ, saith the Lord!”

In melancholy musing the man tortured by so many contrary emotions and
feelings, sat silently gazing at the distant stars and then cried out in
anguish of spirit,

“Oh! that I should be forced to feel that the Creator of all this grand
universe is unjust! That I should regard education and culture as a curse
to those foredoomed to be hewers of wood and drawers of water. That I
should realize that refinement is a cankerous limb, a clog and hindrance
to a negro, unfitting him for association with his own race and yet
impotent to change those innate characteristics inherited by him from his
ancestors, that disqualify him from homogeneousness with the white race.”

The young man’s voice was full of despair and even something of reproach
as his subtle intellect wove the meshes of the adamantine condition that
bound him helpless, in agony, to the rack of race inferiority.

“Mother Sybella, who has proven herself my great-grandmother, urges
me to fly and seek among my own people that surcease from suffering
unattainable among the whites. While she fascinates me, she fills me with
horror. I am drawn toward her yet I am repelled by something loathsome
in the association with her. She seems to possess hypnotic power over my
senses; she leads me by some magnetic influence that exerts control over
the negro portion of my nature.”

“I am ashamed to be seen by the white people, especially the Dunlaps,
in familiar conversation with the grandmother of my mother, but in our
secret and frequent interviews she has told me much that I was unaware
of concerning my ancestors and my mother. I have promised to attend a
meeting of my kinsmen tomorrow night, which will be held in a secluded
spot near the city, whither she herself will guide me. I do not wish to
go. I did not wish to make the promise and appointment to meet her, but
was compelled by the overmastering power she wields over the natural
proclivities within me. I must meet her and go with her.”

The struggle in the dual nature of the man between the contending forces
of the innate and the acquired was obvious in the reluctant tone in
which, while he admitted that he would obey the innate, he lamented the
abandonment of the acquired.

“I must go, I feel that I must! My destiny was written ere Shem, Ham
and Japhet separated to people the world. I bow to the inevitable! I am
pledged to Dupree for dinner tomorrow evening, but I shall excuse myself
early, and keep my appointment with Mother Sybella, and accompany her to
the meeting of my kindred.”



XVI.


The cleared spot selected by Mother Sybella as the scene of her mystic
ceremonies and the gathering place of the worshipers of Voo Doo,
though scarcely beyond the outskirts of the city, was so screened by
the umbrageous growth of tropical forest, interlaced with vanilla and
grape-vines that festoon every woodland of Haiti, that its presence was
not even suspected save by the initiated.

On the night that Dictator Dupree entertained, among other guests the
wealthy Haitian, Walter Burton, partner in the great American house of
“J. Dunlap,” and husband of the heiress to the millions accumulated by
the long line of “J. Dunlaps” which had controlled the Haitian trade with
the United States, a strange and uncanny drama was enacted almost within
sound of the music that enlivened the Dictator’s banquet.

Through trees entwined by gigantic vines, resembling monstrous writhing
serpents, glided silently many dark forms carrying blazing torches of
resinous wood to guide the flitting figures through the intricacies of
the hardly definable pathways that ran in serpentine indistinctness
toward the clear spot, where Mother Sybella had set up the altar of
Tu Konk, and was calling her children to worship by the booming of an
immense red drum upon which she beat at short intervals.

In the center of the clearing, coiled upon the stump of a large tree,
was a huge black snake, that occasionally reared its head and, waving it
from side to side, emitted a fearful hissing sound as it shot forth its
scarlet, flame-like tongue.

Torches and bonfires illuminated the spot and cast gleams of light upon
the dark faces and distended, white and rolling eyes of the men and women
who, squatting in a circle back in the shade of the underbrush, chanted a
monotonous dirge-like invocation to the Voo Doo divinity called by them
Tu Konk, and supposed to dwell in the loathsome body of the serpent on
the stump.

By almost imperceptible degrees the blows upon the drum increased in
frequency; old Sybella seemed some tireless fiend incarnate as gradually
she animated the multitude and quickened the growing excitement of her
emotional listeners by the ceaseless booming of her improved tom-tom.
Soon the forest began to resound with hollow bellowing of conch shells
carried by many of the squatters about the circle. The chant became
quicker. Shouting took the place of the droning monotonous incantations
to Tu Konk.

Higher and higher grew the gale of excitement. The shouting grew in
volume and intensity. Wild whoops mingled with the more sonorous shouts
that made the forest reverberate.

Suddenly the half-clad figure of a man sprang into the circle of light
that girded the stump whereon the now irritated snake was hissing
continuously. The man was bare to the waist and without covering on his
legs and feet below the knees; his eyes glared about him, the revolving
white balls in their ebony colored setting was something terrifying to
behold. The man uttered whoop after whoop and began shuffling sideways
around the stump, every moment adding to the rapidity and violence of his
motions until shortly he was madly bounding into the air and with savage
shouts tearing at the wool on his head, while white foam flecked his bare
black breast.

The man’s madness became contagious. Figure after figure sprang within
the lighted space about the serpent. Men, women, and even children all
more or less nude, the few garments worn presenting a heterogeneal
kaleidoscope of vivid, garish colors as the frenzied dancers whirled
about in the irregular light of the torches and bonfires.

Soon spouting streams of red stained the glistening black bodies, and
joined the tide of white foam pouring from the protruding, gaping,
blubber lips of the howling, frantic worshipers.

The fanatic followers of Voo Dooism were wounding themselves in the
delirium of irresponsible emotion. Blood gushed from long gashes made by
sharp knives on cheeks, breasts, backs and limbs. The gyrations of the
gory, crazed and howling mass were hideous to behold.

When the tempest of curbless frenzy seemed to have reached a point
beyond which increase appeared impossible, old Sybella rushed forward,
like the wraith of the ancient witch of Endor, dashing the dancers aside,
springing to the stump she seized the snake and winding its shining coils
about her she waved aloft the long, glittering blade of the knife that
she held in hand, and shrieked out, in the voice of an infuriated fiend,

“Bring forth the hornless goat. Let Tu Konk taste the blood of the
hornless one!”

A crowd of perfectly naked and bleeding men darted forward bearing in
their midst an entirely nude girl, who in a perfect paroxysm of terror
fought, writhed and struggled fearfully, yelling wildly all the time, in
the grip of her merciless and insensate captors.

The men stretched the screaming wretch across the stump on which the
snake had rested, pressed back the agonized girl’s head until her slender
neck was drawn taut. Quick as the serpent’s darting tongue, Sybella’s
bright, sharp blade descended, severing at one stroke the head almost
from the quivering body.

A fiercer, wilder cry arose from the insane devotees as a great tub
nearly full of fiery native rum was placed to catch the gushing stream
that flowed in a crimson torrent from the still twitching body of the
sacrifice to Voo Doo.

Sybella stirred the horrible mixture of blood and rum with a ladle, made
of an infant’s skull affixed to a shin-bone of an adult human being, and
having replaced the snake upon his throne, on the stump, in an abject
posture presented to the serpent the ladle filled with the nauseating
stuff. The re-incarnate Tu Konk thrust his head repeatedly into the
skull-bowl and scattered drops of the scarlet liquid over his black and
shining coils.

Then Sybella using the skull-ladle began filling enormous dippers made
of gourds, that the eager, maddened crowd about the Voo Doo altar held
expectantly forth, craving a portion in the libation to Tu Konk.

The maniacal host gorged themselves with the loathsome fluid, gulped down
in frenzied haste, great draughts of that devilish brew, from the large
calabashes that Sybella filled.

Now hell itself broke forth. No longer were the worshipers men and
women. The lid was lifted from hell’s deepest, most fiendish caldron. A
crew of damned demons was spewed out upon earth. With demoniac screams
that rent the calmness of the night, they beat and gashed themselves,
their slabbering, thick lips slapping together as they gibbered, like
insane monkeys, sending flying showers of foam over their bare and
bleeding bodies. Human imps of hell’s creation fell senseless to the
ground or writhing in hideous, inhuman convulsions twined their distorted
limbs about the furious dancers who stamped upon their hellish faces and
brought the dancers shrieking to the earth.

In the midst of this pandemonium, redolent with the odor of inferno,
a dark figure, that, crouched in the deep shade of the clustering
palm plants, and covered with a dark mantle, had remained unnoticed a
spectator of the scene, sprang up, hurled to one side the concealing
cloak and bounded toward the stump whereon the serpent hissed defiance at
his adorers.

With an unearthly yell, half-groan, half-moan, but all insane, frantic
and wild, the neophyte leaped about in erratic gyrations of adoration
before the snake, that embodiment of Tu Konk, the Voo Doo divinity.

As whirling and, in an ecstacy of emotion, waving aloft his hands the
howling dancer turned and the light of the bonfire fell upon his face,
the brutalized features of Walter Burton were revealed.

Those refined, aesthetic features that had made the man “the observed of
all observers” at Miss Stanhope’s musicale in Boston, had scarcely been
recognized as the same in the strangely flattened nose, the thickened
lips, the popped and rolling eyes of the man who, in the forest glade of
Haiti danced before the Voo Doo god Tu Konk the serpent.

Burton’s evening dress was torn and disarranged, his hair disheveled, his
immaculate linen spotted with blood, his shoes broken and muddy, his face
contorted and agonized, as twisting and squirming in every limb he sprang
and leaped in a fiercely violent dance before the snake. Yells of long
pent-up savage fury rang through the dank night air, as Burton threw back
his head and whooped in barbarous license.

Sybella’s flashing eyes gleamed with joy as she gazed at this reclaimed
scion of the negro race. She stole toward the flying figure that spun
around, transported to the acme of insane emotion, singing in triumphant
screeches as she crept forward,

    “Tu Konk, the Great one
    Tu Konk, I thank thee
    Back comes black blood
    No longer childless
    Tu Konk, I praise thee.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Dunlap was aroused at daylight by a messenger wearing the naval
uniform of the United States, who waited below with an important
communication from Lieutenant Maxon.

Two hours before Mr. Dunlap heard the rap on his bedroom door, a pale
and trembling figure, clothed in a dilapidated evening suit, had slunk
stealthily past his chamber and entered the apartments occupied by the
husband of the Dunlap heiress.

    “Dear Mr. Dunlap.—I am instructed by Admiral Snave to inform
    you that an uprising of the blacks is imminent; that it will
    be impossible to protect you in your exposed position should
    such an event take place. The admiral suggests that you remove
    your family at once to the American Consulate, where protection
    will be furnished all Americans. Very respectfully,

                                       Thomas Maxon, Lieut. U.S.N.”

    “P.S.—Please adopt the Admiral’s suggestion. I think you had
    better let Jack know about this.

                                                              T.M.”

Such were the contents of the letter of which the U.S. marine was bearer
and it was answered as follows:

    “Dear Mr. Maxon.—Express my gratitude to Admiral Snave for
    the suggestion, but be good enough to add that the health
    of my niece demands absolute quiet and that I shall remain
    here instead of going to the crowded Consulate; that I deem
    any disturbance as exceedingly improbable from my intimate
    acquaintance with the character of the natives of this island.

                        Very respectfully,

                                                         J. Dunlap.

    P.S.—Will notify Jack to bring a man or two from his ship to
    guard premises for a night or so.”

In the evening, as the shadows of night fell upon the house of Mr. John
Dunlap and the owls began to flutter from their roosts and hoot, Mr.
Brice, first officer, and McLeod, the big, bony carpenter of the “Adams”
were seated on the steps of the piazza in quiet contentment, puffing
the good cigars furnished by Mr. Dunlap after, what seemed to them, a
sumptuous banquet.

“I declare, Jack, were it not that the consequences might be serious, I
should rather enjoy seeing long-limbed Brice and that wild, red-haired
Scotchman of yours, led by you, charging an angry mob of blacks, armed
with those antiquated cutlasses that your fellows brought from the ship.
The blacks would surely run in pure fright at the supposed resurrection
of the ancient buccaneers. No scene in a comic opera could compare with
what you and your men would present,” said Mr. Dunlap in an amused tone,
as he rocked back and forth in an easy chair on the veranda, and chatted
with his namesake, Jack.

“It might be amusing to you, sir,” replied Jack laughing, “but it
would be death to any black who came within the swing of either of the
cutlasses carried by Brice and McLeod. I picked up a half dozen of those
old swords at a sale in Manila, and decorated my cabin with them. When I
told the men that there might be a fight they could find no other weapons
on board ship so denuded my cabin of its decorations and brought them
along. Of course I have a revolver but in a rush those old cutlasses
could do fearful execution. They are heavy and as sharp as razors.”

“While I am unwilling to take even a remote risk with Lucy and your
mother in the house, still in my opinion there is not one chance in a
million that anything but bluff and bluster will come of this muttering.
Admiral Snave is always anxious for a fight, and the wish is father of
the thought in this alarm,” said the old gentleman.

“Why isn’t Burton here?” asked Jack almost angrily.

“He is up stairs. He has been feeling ill all day and asked not to be
disturbed unless he be needed. I shall let him rest. However, he has a
revolver and is an excellent shot and will prove a valuable aid to us
should the fools attempt to molest the premises.”

For an hour or two Brice and McLeod exchanged an occasional word
or two but gradually these brief speeches became less frequent and
finally ceased altogether. Mr. Dunlap and Jack carried on a desultory
conversation for some time, but had sat in silent communion with their
own thoughts for possibly an hour when, under the somnific influence
of the night songsters, the Scotch ship-carpenter yawned, rose to his
feet and stretched his long, hairy arms. He paused in the act and thrust
forward his head to catch some indistinct sound, then growled,

“I hear murmuring like surf on a lee-shore.”

Brice arose and listened for a minute then called out,

“Captain, I hear the sound of bare feet pattering on the highway.”

Jack was on his feet in an instant and ran down the walk to the gate in
the high brick wall that surrounded the premises. He came running back
almost immediately and said in low voice as he reached the piazza.

“There is a mob coming toward the house, along the road leading from the
mountains. They carry torches and may mean mischief. Cousin John, will
you have Burton called and will you please remain here to look after the
women. Brice you and McLeod get cutlasses and bring me one also. We will
meet the mob at the gate.”

“Oh! It is nothing Jack, maybe a negro frolic. No use arousing Burton,”
said the elder Dunlap.

“If you please, sir, do as I ask. I will be prepared in any event,” said
Jack Dunlap tersely.

“All right, Commander, the laugh will be at your expense,” cried the
amused old gentleman as he ordered a servant to call Burton.

Jack and his two stalwart supporters had barely reached the gate when the
advance guard of the savage horde of black mountaineers appeared before
it. Instantly it flashed upon the mind of the skipper that if he barred
the gate, that then part of the mob might go around and break over the
wall in the rear of the house and attack the defenceless women.

“Throw open the gate, McLeod, we will meet them here,” commanded Captain
Dunlap, and turning as some one touched his shoulder, he found Burton at
his side, very pale and but half clad, with a revolver in his hand.

“Glad you are here, Burton.”

“I did not have time to put on my shoes.” said Burton.

The main body of the mob now came up and gathered about the open gate.
The men were armed with clubs and knives and some few, who were evidently
woodsmen, carried axes. Many torches shed their light over the black
and brutal faces, making them appear more ebony by the white and angry
eyes that glared at the men who stood ready to do battle just within the
gateway.

“I wish you people to understand that if you attempt to enter this gate
many of you will be killed.”

Young Dunlap spoke in a quiet voice, as he stood between the pillars of
the gate, but there was such an unmistakable menace in the steady tone
that even the ignorant barbarians understood what he meant.

For the space of a minute of time the mob hesitated. Suddenly a tall
woodsman struck a sweeping, chopping blow with his ax. The skipper sprang
aside just in time, and as quick as a flash of lightning a stream of
flame poured out of the pistol he held in his hand, and that woodsman
would never chop wood again.

Brice and McLeod had cast aside their coats, and with their long, sinewy
arms bared to the elbows, cutlasses grasped in their strong hands, they
were by Jack’s side in a second.

As the pistol shot rang out it seemed to give the signal for an assault.
With a howl, like wild and enraged animals, the mob rushed upon the men
at the gate. The rush was met by the rapid discharge of the revolvers
held by Dunlap and Burton; for a moment it was checked, then a shrill
voice was heard screaming high above the howling of the savages,

“Kill the white cow! She has stolen our son from us! Kill the Yankee
robbers! Spare my black goat!”

Sybella could be heard though concealed by the tall black men of the
mountains who again hurled themselves on the white men who guarded the
gateway.

The revolvers were empty. Jack sent his flying into a black face as he
gripped the hilt of his cutlass and joined old Brice and the carpenter in
the deadly reaping they were doing. Burton having no other weapon than
the revolver, threw it aside and seized a club that had dropped from the
hands of one of the slain blacks.

The sweep of those old cutlasses in the powerful hands that held them was
awful, magnificent; no matter what may have been the history of those
old blades they had never been wielded as now. But numbers began to tell
and the infuriated negroes fought like fiends, urged on by the old siren
Sybella who shrieked out a kind of battle song of the blacks.

How long the four held back the hundreds none can tell, but it seemed an
age to the fast wearying men who held the gate. A blow from an ax split
McLeod’s head and he fell dead without even a groan. Brice turned as he
heard his shipmate fall and received a stunning smash on the temple from
a club that felled him like an ox in the shambles.

[Illustration: “He recklessly rushed in front of Burton.”

Page 286]

Jack saw Burton, who was fighting furiously, beset by two savage blacks
armed with axes stuck on long poles. In that supreme moment of peril the
thought of Lucy’s sorrow at loss of her husband, should she be restored
to reason, came to the mind of the great hearted sailor. He recklessly
rushed in front of Burton, severed at a stroke of his sword the arm of
one of Burton’s assailants, and caught the descending ax of the other
when within an inch of the head of the man who had taken the place in
Lucy’s love that he had hoped for.

Jack Dunlap’s cutlass warded off the blow from Burton but the sharp ax
glanced along the blade and was buried in the broad breast of Lucy’s
knight, and he fell across the bodies of his faithful followers, Brice
and McLeod; Jack’s fast deafening ears caught sound of—

“Follow me, lads, give them cold steel. Don’t shoot. You may hit friends!
Charge!”

Tom Maxon’s voice was far from jolly now. There was death in every note
of it as, at the head of a body of United States Blue-jackets, he dashed
in among the black barbarians. When he caught sight of the prostrate,
bleeding form of his old school-fellow he raged like a wounded lion
among Sybella’s savage followers.

As the lieutenant saw that the range of fire was free from his friends,
he cried out, hoarse with passion,

“Fire at will. Give them hell!” and he emptied his own revolver into the
huddled crowd of mountaineers, who still stood, brave to recklessness,
hesitating about what to do against the new adversaries.

The repeating rifles of the Americans soon covered the roadway with dark
corpses. Long lanes were cut by the rapid fire through the black mass.
With howls and yells of mingled terror, rage and disappointment the
mob broke and taking to the jungle disappeared in the darkness of the
adjacent forest.

A sailor kicked aside what he thought was a bundle of rags, and started
back as the torch that he bore revealed the open, fangless mouth and
snake-like, glaring eyes of an old crone of a woman who in death seemed
even more horrible than in life.

A rifle ball, at close range, had shattered Mother Sybella’s skull.



XVII.


All established rules of the house of “J. Dunlap” were as the laws of the
Medes and Persians to David Chapman, inviolable. When the hour of twelve
struck and neither Mr. John Dunlap nor Mr. Burton appeared at the office,
the Superintendent immediately proceeded to the residence of Mr. Dunlap.

“I am sorry, Chapman, to have given you the trouble of coming out here,
but the fact is I am not so strong as formerly, and I expected that
Burton would be at the office and thought a day of repose might benefit
me,” remarked Mr. John Dunlap as Chapman entered his library carrying a
bundle of papers this March afternoon.

“Mr. Burton has only been at the office once within the past week and not
more than a dozen times since you all returned from Haiti some two months
ago,” replied the Superintendent, methodically arranging the various
memoranda on the large library table.

“First in order of date is as follows: Douglass and McPherson, the
solicitors at Glasgow, write that they have purchased the annuity for
old Mrs. McLeod and that the income secured to her is far larger than
any possible comfort or even luxury can require; they also say that the
lot in the graveyard has been secured and that the mother of the dead
ship carpenter is filled with gratitude for the granite stone you have
provided to mark her son’s grave and that no nobler epitaph for any
Scotsman could be carved than the one suggested by you to be cut on the
stone, ‘Died defending innocent women;’ they expect the body to arrive
within a few days and will follow instructions concerning the reinterment
of the remains of gallant McLeod; they add that beyond all expenditures
ordered they will hold a balance to our credit and ask what is your
pleasure concerning same, that the four thousand pounds remitted by you
was far too large a sum.”

“Far too small! Tell them to buy a cottage for McLeod’s mother and
draw at sight for more money, that the cottage may be a good one. Why!
Chapman, McLeod was a hero; but they were all of them that. He, however,
gave his life in our defense and there is no money value that can repay
that debt to him and his,” exclaimed Mr. Dunlap earnestly, and leaning
forward in the excitement that the recollection of the past recalled,
continued:

“David, the dead were heaped about the spot where McLeod, Brice and Jack
fell like corded fire-wood. When I could leave the women, Lieutenant
Maxon and his men had dispersed the blacks, I fairly waded in blood to
reach the place where Maxon and Burton were bending over Jack. It was a
fearful sight. It had been an awful struggle, but it was all awful that
night. I dared not leave the women, yet I knew that even my weak help was
needed at the gate. Had my messenger not met Maxon on the road, to whom
notice of the intended attack had been given by a friendly black, we had
all been killed.”

The excited old gentleman paused to regain his breath and resumed the
story of that dreadful experience.

“Martha Dunlap is the kind of woman to be mother of a hero. She was as
calm and brave as her son and helped me like a real heroine in keeping
the others quiet. We told Lucy it was only a jubilee among the natives
and that they were shouting and shooting off firearms in their sport
along the highway. God forgive me for the falsehood, but it served to
keep our poor girl perfectly calm and she does not even now know to the
contrary.” Mr. Dunlap reverently inclined his head when he spoke of that
most excusable lie that he had told.

“Jack does not get all of his nerve and courage from the Dunlap blood,
that is sure! When the surgeon was examining the great gash in his
breast, Martha stood at his side and held the basin; her hand never
trembled though her tearless face was as white as snow. All the others
of us, I fear, were blubbering like babies, I know, anyhow Tom Maxon was
whimpering more like a lass than the brave and terrible fighter that he
is. When the surgeon gave us the joyful news that the blow of the ax had
been stopped by the strong breast bone over our boy’s brave heart, we
were all ready to shout with gladness, but Martha then, woman like, broke
down and began weeping.”

There was rather a suspicious moisture in the eyes of the relator of the
scene, as he thought over the occurrences of that night in Haiti. Even
though all danger was past and his beloved namesake, Jack Dunlap, was
now so far recovered as to be able to walk about, true somewhat paler in
complexion and with one arm bound across his breast, but entirely beyond
danger from the blow of the desperate Haitian axman.

“That fighting devil of an American admiral soon cleared Port au Prince
of the insurgents and wished me to take up my residence at the consulate,
but I had enough of Haiti, for awhile anyway. So as soon as Jack could
safely be moved, and old Brice, whose skull must be made of iron, had
come around sufficiently after that smashing blow in the head, to take
command of the ‘Adams’ and navigate her to Boston, I bundled everybody
belonging to me aboard and sailed for home.” The word home came with a
sigh of relief from Mr. Dunlap’s lips as he settled back in his chair.

“When we heard of your frightful experience, I had some faint hope that
the shock might have restored Mrs. Burton to her normal condition of
mind,” said Chapman.

“Well, in the first place Lucy learned nothing concerning the affair,
and was simply told when she called for Jack that he was not well and
would be absent from her for a short time. But even had she received a
nervous shock from the harrowing events of that night, the experts in
mental disorders inform me that it is most unlikely that any good result
could have been produced; that as the primary cause of her dementia is
disappointed hope, expectation, and the recoil of the purest and best
outpouring of her heart, that the only shock at all probable to bring
about the desired change must come from a similar source,” answered Mr.
Dunlap.

“To proceed with my report,” said the Superintendent glancing over some
papers.

“Lieutenant Maxon is not wealthy, in fact, has only his pay from the
United States, and while his family is one of the oldest and most highly
respected in Massachusetts all the members of it are far from rich. The
watch ordered made in New York will be finished by the time the U.S.
Ship Delaware arrives, which will not be before next month.”

“That all being as you have ascertained, I am going to make a requisition
upon your ingenuity, David. You must secure the placing in Maxon’s hands
of twenty one-thousand dollar bills with no other explanation than that
it is from ‘an admirer.’ The handsome, gay fellow may think some doting
old dowager sent it to him. The watch I will present as a slight token
of my friendship when I have him here to dine with me, and he can never
suspect me in the money matter.” Mr. Dunlap chuckled at the deep cunning
of the diabolical scheme.

Chapman evidently was accustomed to the unstinted munificence of the
house of Dunlap, for he accepted the instruction quite as a mere detail
of the business, made a few notes and with his pen held between his teeth
as he folded the paper, mumbled:

“I’ll see that he gets the money all right, sir, without knowing where it
comes from.”

“Here are several things that Mr. Burton, who is familiar with the
preceding transactions, should pass upon, but as he is so seldom at the
office, I have had no opportunity to lay them before him,” continued the
ever vigilant Chapman, turning over a number of documents.

“I know even less than you do about Burton’s department, so make out the
best way that you can under the circumstances.”

“Is Mr. Burton ill, sir, or what is the reason why he is absent from
the office so much?” asked Chapman, to whom it seemed that the greatest
deprivation in life must be loss of ability to be present daily in the
office of J. Dunlap.

“I am utterly at a loss to explain Burton’s conduct, especially since
our return from Haiti. He is morbid, melancholy, and seems to avoid
the society of all those who formerly were his chosen associates and
companions. He calls or sends here daily with religious regularity to
ascertain the condition of Lucy’s health, and occasionally asks Jack
to accompany him on a ride behind his fine team. You know that he is
aware that Jack saved his life by taking the blow on his own breast that
was aimed at Burton’s head. He was devoted to Jack on the voyage home
and here, until Jack’s recovery was assured beyond a doubt, but now he
acts so peculiarly that I don’t know what to make of him,” replied the
perplexed old gentleman.

“Humph! Humph!” grunted Chapman, in a disparaging tone, and resumed the
examination of the sheets of paper before him. Selecting one, he said:

“I find Malloy, the father of the girl, who was the victim of that
nameless crime and afterward murdered, to be a respectable, worthy man,
poor, but in need of no assistance. He is a porter at Brown Brothers.
It appears that the girl, who was only fifteen years of age, was one of
the nursery maids in the Greenleaf family, and had obtained permission
to visit her father’s home on the night of the crime and was on her way
there when she was assaulted.”

“What has been done by the Police Department?” asked Mr. Dunlap eagerly.

“To tell the truth, very little. The detectives seem mystified by a crime
of so rare occurrence in our section that it has shocked the whole of
New England. However, I know what would have happened had the crowd
assembled around Malloy’s house when the body was brought home, been able
to lay hands on the perpetrator of the deed, the whole police force of
Boston notwithstanding.”

“What do you mean, David?”

“I mean that the wretch would have been lynched,” exclaimed Chapman.

“That had been a disgrace to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said the
old gentleman warmly.

“That may or may not be, sir. Malloy and his friends are all peaceable,
law-abiding citizens. Malloy was almost a maniac, not at the death of his
child but the rest of the crime, and the agony of the heartbroken father
was too much for the human nature of his neighbors, and human nature is
the same in New England as elsewhere in our land.”

“But the law will punish crime and must be respected no matter what may
be the provocation to ignore its regular administration of justice,” said
Mr. Dunlap with a judicial air.

“Truth is, sir, that one can hardly comprehend a father’s feelings under
such circumstances, and I don’t imagine there is a great difference
between the paternal heart in Massachusetts and in Mississippi. Human
nature is much alike in the same race in every clime. Men of the North
may occasionally be slower to wrath but are fearfully in earnest when
aroused by an outrage,” rejoined Chapman.

“I frankly confess, David, that I recognize that it is one thing for me
to sit here calmly in my library and coolly discuss a crime in which I
have no direct personal interest, and announce that justice according
to written law only should be administered, but it would be quite a
different state of mind with which I should regard this crime if one of
my own family were the victim of the brute’s attack. I fear then I should
forget about my calm theory of allowing the regular execution of justice
and everything else, even my age and hoary head, and be foremost in
seeking quick revenge on the wretch,” said the old New Englander hotly.

“Knowing you and your family as I do, sir, I’ll make oath that you would
head the mob of lynchers.”

“My brother James, who was the soul of honor and a citizen of whom
the Commonwealth was justly proud, was very liberal in his opinion of
lynching for this crime. It was the single criminal act for which his
noble, charitable heart could find no excuse. I think even my brother
James, model citizen though he was, would have been a law-forgetting man
under such circumstances.”

Old John Dunlap’s voice grew soft and tender when he mentioned the
name of his beloved brother, and either Chapman became extraordinarily
near-sighted or the papers in his hand required close scrutiny.

“I have published the notice of the reward of one thousand dollars
offered by our house for the capture of the perpetrator of the crime,”
said the Superintendent rather huskily, changing the subject from that of
the character of his old master.

“That is well, we are the oldest business house in Boston, and none can
think it presumptuous that we should be anxious to erase this stain from
the escutcheon of our Commonwealth. I wish every inducement offered that
may lead to the apprehension of the criminal.” Mr. Dunlap stopped short
as if suddenly some new idea had occurred to his mind, and then exclaimed:

“David, you possess a wonderful faculty for fathoming deep and complex
mysteries. Why don’t you seek to discover the perpetrator of this
horrible crime?”

David Chapman was not in the habit of blushing, but certainly his
cheeks took on an unusually bright crimson hue, as Mr. Dunlap asked
the question, and he answered in a somewhat abashed manner, as though
detected in some act of youthful folly.

“I confess, sir, that I am making a little investigation in my own way.
There are a few trifling circumstances and fragments of evidence left by
the criminal that were considered unworthy of attention by the police
that I am tracing up, like an amateur Sherlock Holmes.”

“Good for you, David! May you succeed in unearthing the brutal villain!
You have carte-blanche to draw on the house for any expense that your
search may entail. Go ahead! I will stand by you!” cried John Dunlap
enthusiastically.



XVIII.


“The abysmal depth of degradation has now been reached; I no longer, even
in my moments of affected refinement, attempt to conceal the fact from
myself, the gauzy veil of acquisition no longer deceives even me, it long
since failed to deceive others.”

What evil genii of metamorphosis had transformed the debonair Walter
Burton into the wretched, slovenly, brutalized being who, grunting, gave
utterance to such sentiments, while stretched, in unkempt abandonment, on
a disordered couch in the center of the unswept and neglected music-room
in the ‘Eyrie’ early on this March morning?

Even the linen of the once fastidious model of masculine cleanliness
was soiled, and the delights of the bath seemed quite unknown to the
heavy-eyed, listless lounger on the couch.

“I have abandoned useless effort to rehabilitate myself in the misfit
garments of a civilization and culture for which the configuration of my
mental structure, by nature, renders me unsuited. My child indicated the
off-springs natural to me. My emotion and actions in the forest of Haiti
gave evidence of the degree of the pure spirit of religion to be found
in my inmost soul, and my conduct, following natural inclinations, since
my return to Boston, has demonstrated how little control civilization,
morality, or pity have over my inherent savage nature.”

The man seemed in a peculiar way to derive some satisfaction from
rehearsing the story of his hopeless condition, and in the fact that he
had reached the limit of descent.

“I should have fled to the mountains of Haiti, had I not been led to
fight against my own kinsmen. For the moment I was blinded by the
thread-bare thought that I was of the white instead of black race, and
when I had time to free my mind from that old misleading idea, my hands
were stained with the blood of my own race. I was obliged to leave Haiti
or suffer the fate that ever overtakes a traitor to his race.”

“There is no hope of the restoration of my wife’s mental faculties,
and even should there be that is all the more reason for my fleeing
from Boston and forever disappearing, I retain enough of the borrowed
refinement of the whites in my recollection to know that as I am now I
should be loathesome to her.”

“Here, I must shun the sight of those who know me, realizing that I
can no longer appear in the assumed character that I formerly did.
Here, I skulk the streets at night in the apparel of a tramp seeking
gratification of proclivities that are natural to me.”

“I know that I must leave this city and country as quickly as possible.
The long repressed desires natural to me break forth with a fury that
renders me oblivious to consequences and my own safety. Repression by
civilization and culture foreign to a race but serves to increase the
violence of the outburst when the barrier once is broken.”

“I will go to the office today, secure some private documents and notify
Mr. Dunlap that I desire to withdraw at once from the firm of J. Dunlap.
I will nerve myself for one more act in the farce. I will don the costume
in which I paraded the stage so long for one more occasion.”

Burton arose slowly from his recumbent position as if reluctant to resume
even for a day a character that had become tiresome and obnoxious to his
negro nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

David Chapman had on several occasions made suggestions to the head of
the Police Department in Boston that had resulted in the detection and
apprehension of elusive criminals. Unlike many professional detectives,
Chief O’Brien welcomed the aid of amateurs and listened respectfully
to theories, sometimes ridiculous, but occasionally suggestive of the
correct solution of an apparently incomprehensible crime.

The deductive method of solving the problem of a mysterious crime
employed by Chapman was not alone interesting to the Chief of Detectives,
but appeared wonderful in the correctness of the conclusions obtained.
He therefore gave eager attention to what Chapman communicated to
him while seated in the Chief’s private office on the evening of the
day that Burton visited the office of J. Dunlap to secure his private
correspondence and documents.

“In the first place, Chief, as soon as I learned the details of this
Malloy crime, I decided that the perpetrator of it was of the negro
race,” said Chapman, methodically arranging a number of slips of paper
on the Chief’s desk, at which he sat confronting O’Brien on the opposite
side.

“How did you arrive at that decision?” said the detective.

“Well, as you are aware, for you laughed at me often enough when you ran
across me with my black associates, I ‘slummed’ among the negroes for
months to gain some knowledge of the negro nature”.

“Yes, I know that and often wondered at your persistent prosecution of
such a disagreeable undertaking,” said O’Brien.

“I learned in that investigation that beneath the surface of careless,
thoughtless gaiety and good nature there lies a tremendous amount of
cruelty and brutal savagery in the negro nature; that dire results have
been caused by a misconception of the negro character on this point to
those associated with them; that while sensual satiety produces lassitude
in other races, in the negro race it engenders a lust for blood that
almost invariably results in the murder of the victim of a brutal attack.
I checked the correctness of my conclusions by an examination of all
obtainable records and completely verified the accuracy of my deduction.”

“That had not occurred to me before,” said the Chief frankly; “now that
you mention it, I think from the record of that crime, as it recurs to me
at this moment, that your statement is true.”

“The next step was to look for the particular individual of the negro
race who could fit in with the trifling evidence in your possession,
which you so readily submitted to me. From the mold taken by your men
of the criminal’s foot-prints it is evident that his feet were small
and clad in expensive shoes. In the shape of the imprints I find
corroboration of my premise that the author of the crime was of the negro
race. The fragment of finger nail embedded in the girl’s throat, under a
microscope reveals the fact that, while the nail was not free from dirt,
it had recently been under the manipulation of a manicure and was not
of thick, coarse grain like a manual laborer’s nails,” said the amateur
detective glancing at his notes.

“Yes, I agree in all that, Mr. Chapman. Go ahead; what follows?” remarked
O’Brien.

“We have then a negro, but one not engaged in the usual employment of
the negro residents in Boston, to look for; next you found clutched in
the fingers of the dead girl two threads of brownish color and coarse
material, together with a fragment of paper like a part of an envelope on
which was written a few notes of music.”

“Yes, and I defy the devil to make anything result from such
infinitesimal particles of evidence,” exclaimed the professional
detective.

“Well, I’m not the devil.” said Chapman, quietly proceeding to
recapitulate the process adopted by him.

“From the few notes—you know that I am something of a musician—I began,
_poco a poco_, as they say in music, to reconstruct the tune of which
the few notes were a part. As I proceeded, going over the notes time and
again on my violoncello, I became convinced that I had heard that wild
tune before, and am now able to say where and when.”

“Wonderful, perfectly wonderful if you can, Chapman,” cried the
thoroughly interested Chief.

“What next?” O’Brien asked, impatient at the calmness of the man on the
opposite side of the desk.

“To-day I saw the finger that the fragment of nail found in the girl’s
neck would fit, and one finger-nail had been broken and was gone,”
continued Chapman, by great effort restraining the evidence of the
exultation that he felt.

“Where, man, where? And whose was the hand?” gasped O’Brien.

“Wait a moment! Upon reflection I realized that the only part of a man’s
apparel likely to give way in a desperate struggle would be a coat
pocket; that the hand of the girl had grasped the edge of the pocket and
in so doing had closed upon an old envelope in the pocket, which was torn
and remained in her hand with a couple of threads from the cloth of the
coat when the murderer finally wrenched the coat out of her lifeless
fingers.”

“Quite likely,” exclaimed the Chief impatiently.

“But hurry along, man,” urged the officer.

“This afternoon I examined under the most powerful microscope procurable
in Boston the threads that your assistant has in safe keeping. I
recognized the color and material of which those threads are made. I know
the coat whence the threads came, and the owner of the coat,” declared
Chapman emphatically.

“His name,” almost yelled the astonished detective.

“David Chapman,” was the cool and triumphant reply.

The Chief glared at the exultant amateur with wonder, in which a doubt of
the man’s sanity was mingled.

“It is the coat of the suit I wore while ‘slumming’ in my investigations
concerning the negro race. It has hung in my private closet in the office
until some time within the last two months, when it was abstracted by
some one having keys to the private offices of J. Dunlap. Mr. Dunlap,
Walter Burton and I alone possess such keys. Burton, like me, is tall and
slim, the suit will fit him; Burton is of the negro race; I heard Burton
play the tune of which the few notes are part when I went to his house on
the only occasion that I ever visited the ‘Eyrie;’ Burton’s shoes—I tried
an old one today which was left at the office some months ago—exactly
fit the tracks left by the murderer. Burton having no suit that he could
wear as a disguise while rambling the streets in search of adventure,
found and appropriated my old ‘slumming’ suit. You will find that suit,
blood-stained, the coat pocket torn, now hidden somewhere in the ‘Eyrie’
if it be not destroyed. Walter Burton is guilty of the Malloy assault
and murder!” Chapman had risen from his chair, his face was aflame with
vindictiveness and passion, his small eyes blazing with satisfied hatred
as he almost yelled, in his excitement, the denunciation of Burton.

“Great God! man, it can’t be,” gasped the Chief of Detectives, saying as
he regained his breath,

“Burton and the Dunlaps are not people to make mistakes with in such a
horrible case as this.”

“Burton has withdrawn from our firm. He has provided himself with a large
sum of currency. He is leaving the country. Tomorrow night he dines
with Mr. Dunlap to complete the arrangements for the severance of his
relations with the house of J. Dunlap. Captain Jack Dunlap will dine with
Mr. Dunlap on that occasion, and I shall be there to draw up any papers
required. The coast will be clear at the ‘Eyrie;’ go there upon the
pretext of arresting Victor, Burton’s valet, on the charge of larceny;
search throughout the premises; if you find the garments, and the coat
is in the condition I describe, come at once to the Dunlap mansion and
arrest the murderer, or it will be too late, the bird will have flown.”
The veins in Chapman’s brow and neck were fairly bursting through the
skin, so intense were the passion and vehemence of the man who, straining
forward, shouted out directions to the detective.

O’Brien sat for several minutes in silence, buried in deep meditation,
glancing ever and anon at Chapman, who, chafing with impatience, fairly
danced before the desk. The official arose and, walking to the window,
stood for some time gazing out upon the lighted street below. Suddenly he
turned and came back to Chapman, whom he held by the lapel of the coat,
while he said,

“Chapman, I know that you hate Burton. I know also of your fidelity to
the Dunlaps. You would never have told this to me, even as much as you
hate Burton, if it were not true. This disclosure and disgrace, if it be
as you suspect, will wound those dear to you.”

This phase of the situation had evidently not occurred to David Chapman
in his zeal for satisfaction to his all-consuming hatred of Burton. He
dropped his eyes, nervously clasped and unclasped his hands, while his
face paled as he faltered out,

“Well—maybe you had best not act upon my suggestions; I may be all wrong.”

“There, Mr. Chapman, is where I can’t agree with you. I am a sworn
officer of this commonwealth, and, by heavens! I would arrest the
governor of the state if I knew it to be my duty. Not all the money of
the Dunlaps or in the whole of Massachusetts could prevent me from laying
my hand on Walter Burton and placing him under arrest for the murder of
the Malloy girl, if I find the clothing you mention in the condition you
describe. I shall wait to make the search at the ‘Eyrie’ until tomorrow
night, that if there be a mistake it shall not be an irreparable one,”
said the conscientious Chief of Detectives sternly, in a determined tone
of voice.

“But I may be mistaken,” urged the agitated amateur detective.

“You have convinced me that there are grounds for your statements; I know
them now, and, knowing them, by my oath of office, must take action,”
quietly replied O’Brien.

“Then promise to keep my connection with the case a secret, except what
may be required of me as a witness subpoenaed to appear and testify,”
cried the now remorseful Chapman.

“That I will, and readily too, as it is but a small favor in comparison
to the great aid you have been to our department, and is not in conflict
with my duty. I shall also collect and hand over to you all of the
reward.”

“Never mind the reward; keep it for your pension fund,” replied the
regretful Superintendent of J. Dunlap, who had played detective once too
often and too well for his own peace of mind.



XIX


Never had there assembled beneath the roof of the Dunlap mansion since
the old house was constructed, a company so entirely uncomfortable as
that around the table in the library on the night that Walter Burton
dined for the last time with Mr. Dunlap.

John Dunlap’s mind was filled with doubts concerning what was his duty
with regard to Burton, having due consideration for the memory of his
deceased brother, and as to what would have been the wish of that beloved
brother under existing circumstances. Recognizing, as John Dunlap did,
the influence that his personal antipathy for Burton had upon his
conduct, he was nervous and uncomfortable.

Burton felt the restraint imposed upon him irksome, even for the time of
this brief and final visit to the home where his best emotions had been
aroused, and the purest delights of his artificial existence enjoyed. He
was anxious to be gone, to be free, to forget, and was impatient of delay.

Jack Dunlap, pale and somewhat thin, still carrying his arm bound to
his breast, felt the weight of the responsibility resting upon him in
releasing Lucy’s husband from a promise that for months had held him near
her should the husband’s presence be required at any moment, and was
correspondingly silent and meditative.

Nervous, expectant and fearful, David Chapman sat only half attentive
to what was said or done around him. His ears were strained to catch
the first sound that announced the coming of the visitors which he now
dreaded.

“The terms of the settlement of my interest in your house, Mr. Dunlap,
are entirely too liberal to me, and I only accept them because of my
anxiety to be freed from the cares of business at the earliest possible
moment, and am unwilling to await the report of examining accountants,”
said Walter Burton as he glanced over the paper submitted to him by
Chapman.

“Do you expect to leave the city at once?” asked Mr. Dunlap in a
hesitating, doubtful voice.

“Yes, I will make a tour through the Southern States, probably go to
California and may return and take a trip to Europe. I have promised
Captain Dunlap to keep your house informed of my movements and address at
all times, and shall immediately respond, by promptly returning, if my
presence in Boston be called for,” replied Burton.

“I confess, Burton, that my mind is not free from doubt as to the
propriety of allowing you to withdraw from our house. I should like to
act as my brother James would have done. His wishes are as binding upon
me now as when he lived,” said Mr. Dunlap in a low and troubled voice.

“It is needless to rehearse the painful story of the last few months,
Mr. Dunlap. Had your brother lived he must have perceived the total
vanity of some of his most cherished wishes regarding the union of his
granddaughter and myself. Heirs to his name and estate must be impossible
from that union under the unalterable conditions. My wife’s dementia and
her irrational aversion to my presence would have influenced him as it
does you and me, and—I might as well say it—I am aware of the fact and
realize the naturalness of the sentiment. I am _persona non grata_ here.”

There was a tinge of bitterness in the closing sentence and Burton
accompanied it with a defiant manner that evinced much concealed
resentment.

As Burton ceased speaking, the eyes of the four men sitting at the table
turned to the door, hearing it open. The footman who had opened it had
hardly crossed the threshold when he was pushed aside by the firm hand of
Chief of Detectives O’Brien, who, in full uniform, followed by a man in
citizens’ dress carrying a bundle under his arm, entered the room.

Mr. Dunlap hurriedly arose and advancing with outstretched hand exclaimed,

“Why! Chief, this is an unexpected pleasure—”

“Mr. Dunlap, stop a moment.” There was a look in the official’s eyes that
froze Mr. Dunlap’s welcome on his lips and nailed him to the spot on
which he stood. Chapman glanced at Burton, on whom O’Brien’s gaze was
fastened. Burton had risen and stood trembling like an aspen leaf without
a single shade of color left in cheeks or lips. Jack Dunlap’s face
flushed somewhat indignantly as he rose and walked forward to the side of
his kinsman.

“With all due regard for that high respect I entertain for you, Mr.
Dunlap, it has become my painful duty to enter your house tonight in my
official capacity and arrest one accused of the most serious crime known
to the law.” While O’Brien was speaking he moved toward the table, never
removing his eyes from Burton.

“What do you mean, sir?” cried Jack in a wrathful voice, interposing
himself between O’Brien and the table.

“Stand aside, Captain Dunlap!” said the Chief sternly. Quickly stepping
to Burton’s side and placing his hand on his shoulder he said,

“Walter Burton, I arrest you in the name of the Commonwealth, on the
charge of murder.”

With a movement too quick even for a glance to catch, the Chief jerked
Burton’s hands together and snapped a pair of handcuffs on the wrists of
the rapidly collapsing man.

The eyes of all present were fixed, in stupified amazement, on O’Brien
and Burton, and had not seen what stood in the open doorway until a low
moan caused Jack to turn his head. He saw then the figure of Lucy slowly
sinking to the floor.

Lucy in her wanderings about the house was passing through the hall when
the uniformed officer entered. Attracted by the unusual spectacle of a
man in a blue coat ornamented with brass buttons, she had followed the
policeman and overheard all that he had said, and seen what he had done.

“I will furnish bail in any amount, O’Brien,” exclaimed Mr. Dunlap,
staying the two officers by stepping before them as they almost carried
Burton, unable to walk, from the room.

“Please stand aside, Mr. Dunlap,” said the Chief kindly.

“Don’t make it harder than it is now for me to do my duty,” and gently
pushing the old gentleman aside, O’Brien and his assistant bore Burton
from the library and the Dunlap mansion.

“Help me, quick! Lucy has fainted!” called Jack, who, crippled as he was,
could not raise the unconscious wife of Burton.

When Mr. Dunlap reached Jack’s bending figure, Lucy opened her eyes,
gazed about wildly for an instant, gasped for breath as if suffocating,
and suddenly sprang unassisted to her feet, as if shot upward by some
hidden mechanism.

“Walter! My husband! Where is he? Where is grandfather? What has
happened?” she cried out, in a confused way, as one just aroused from a
sound sleep.

Jack and Mr. Dunlap stared at her for a moment in wonderment; then
something in her eyes gave them the gladsome tidings, in this their hour
of greatest trouble, that reason had resumed its sway over loved Lucy’s
mind; she was restored to sanity. The shock had been to her heart and
restored her senses, as a similar shock had deprived her of them. The
experts had predicted correctly.

“Walter is in trouble, danger. I heard that policeman say murder! Save my
husband, Jack! Uncle John! Where is my grandfather?”

Jack finally gathered enough of his scattered composure to reply somehow
to the excited young woman. He said all that he dared say so soon after
the return of reason to her distracted head.

“Be calm, Cousin Lucy! Your grandfather is absent from the city. You have
been ill. Your Uncle John and I will do all in our power to aid Walter if
he be in danger.”

She turned her eyes toward her Uncle John and regarded him steadily for
the space of a minute, and then she whirled about and faced Jack, crying
out in clear and ringing tones,

“I will not trust Uncle John. He dislikes Walter and always has, but you!
you, Jack Dunlap, I trust next to my God and my good grandfather. Will
you promise to aid Walter?”

“I promise, Lucy. Now be calm,” said Jack gently.

There was no madness now in Lucy’s bright, gleaming, hazel eyes; womanly
anxiety as a wife was superb in its earnestness. She was grand, sublime
as with the majestic grace of a queen of tragedy she swept close to her
cousin, then raising herself to her greatest height, with her hand
extended upward, pointing to heaven, she commanded as a sovereign might
have done.

“Swear to me, Jack Dunlap, by God above us and your sacred honor, that
you will stop at nothing in the effort to save my husband. Swear!”

“I swear,” said the sailor simply as he raised his hand.

The woman’s manner, speech, and the scene did not seem strange to
those who stood about her. She was suddenly aroused to reason to find
the object of her tenderest love in direst danger; her stay, prop and
reliance, her grandfather, unaccountably absent. In that trying stress of
circumstances, the intensity of the feeling within her wrought-up soul
found expression in excessive demands and exaggerated attitudes.

“Now go! my Jack; hurry after Walter and help him,” she urged as with
nervous hands she pushed him toward the door.

Next morning, when the newspapers made the startling announcement that
a member of the firm of J. Dunlap, Boston’s oldest and wealthiest
business house, had been arrested on the charge of that nameless crime
and the murder of the Malloy girl, the entire city was stunned by the
intelligence.

A crowd quickly gathered around the city jail. Threatful mutterings
were heard as the multitude increased in numbers about the prison. When
Malloy came and his neighbors clustered about the infuriated father of
the outraged victim, that slow and slumbering wrath that lies beneath the
calm, deceptive surface of the New England character began to make itself
evident. “Tear down the gates!” “Lynch the fiend,” and such expressions
were heard among the men, momentarily growing louder, as the cool
exterior of the Northern nature gave away.

Soon many seafaring men were seen moving among the most excited of the
mob, saying as they passed from one group to another, “It’s not true! You
know the Dunlaps too well!” “Keep quiet, it’s a lie!” “Dunlap offered a
reward for the arrest of the villain; it can’t be as the papers say!”

One sailor-man, who carried a crippled arm, mounted a box and made a
speech, telling the people there must be a mistake and begging them
to be quiet. When he said that his name was Dunlap, the seafaring men
began to cheer for “Skipper Jack,” and the mob joined in. Seeing one of
the Dunlap name so calm, honest and brave in their very midst, the mob
began to doubt, and shaking their heads the people moved gradually away
and dispersed, persuaded that naught connected with the worthy Dunlap
name could cause such foul wrong and disgrace to the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts.

The best legal talent of New England was retained that day for the
defense of Burton. When they had examined the circumstantial evidence
against Burton they frankly told Jack Dunlap that an alibi, positively
established, alone could save the accused man.

The unselfish sailor sought the seclusion of his cabin on board his ship,
that lay at anchor in the harbor, there to ponder over the terrible
information given him by the leading lawyers of Boston.

Uncomplainingly the man had resigned his hope of the greatest joy that
could come to his strong, unselfish soul—Lucy’s love. For the sake of
her whom he loved he had concealed his suffering. He had smothered the
sorrow that well nigh wrenched the heart out of his bosom, that he might
minister to her in the hour of her mental affliction. He had shed his
blood in shielding with his breast the man whom she had selected in his
stead. All this he had done as ungrudgingly and gladly as he had tended
her slightest bidding when as wee maid she had ruled him.

Love demanded of this great heart the final and culminating sacrifice.
Could he, would he offer up his honor on the altar of his love?

To this knight by right of nature, honor and truth were dearer far than
his blood or his life. Would he surrender the one prize he cherished
highest for his hopeless love’s sake?

    “I will swear that you were aboard my ship with me every hour
    of the night on which the crime of which you stand accused
    was committed. An absolute alibi alone can save you. May
    God forgive you! May God forgive me! and may the people of
    Massachusetts pardon

                                             Perjured Jack Dunlap.”

Such was the letter sent by the sailor, by well paid and trusty hand,
to the successful suitor for Lucy’s hand, now closely mewed within the
prison walls of Boston’s strongest jail.

Could any man’s love be greater than the love of him who sent that
letter?



XX


The court room was crowded, not only by the casual visitors to such
places, who are ever in search of satisfaction to their morbid curiosity,
but also by the most fashionable of Boston’s elite society.

The preliminary examination in the case of the Commonwealth vs. Walter
Burton was on the docket for hearing that day.

Nearly a month had elapsed since the arrest; all that an unlimited amount
of money could accomplish had been done to ameliorate the terrible
position of the prisoner. More than a million dollars was offered in bail
for the accused, and it was hoped that by a preliminary examination such
a strong probability of the establishment of an alibi could be presented,
that the Court would make an order permitting the acceptance of bail for
the appearance of the accused after the report of the Grand Jury.

Neither old John Dunlap nor Burton’s wife was present. Jack had insisted
that they must not be in the court-room when he was called upon to give
his evidence.

Lieutenant Thomas Maxon, bronzed, stalwart, and serious, sat beside his
friend Jack Dunlap among the witnesses for the defense.

With a face of ghastly white, Jack Dunlap, his arm still in a sling,
stared straight before him, heedless of the stir and flutter around
him while the audience was waiting the appearance of the judge and the
accused.

There was a look of desperate resolve and defiance on Burton’s face as
he entered the court-room between two officers and took his seat at the
counsel table behind the lawyers who appeared for the defense.

The prosecuting attorney proceeded, when the case was called, to present
the case for the Commonwealth with the coldness and emotionless precision
that marks the movements of an expert surgeon as he digs and cuts among
the vitals of a subject on the operating table.

Chapman was much embarrassed and very nervous on the witness stand;
his testimony was fairly dragged from his livid, unwilling lips; he
interjected every doubt and possible suspicion that might weigh against
his evidence and weaken the case of the Commonwealth. When he left the
stand he staggered like one intoxicated as he walked back to his seat
among the witnesses.

When the case of the people was closed, the leading counsel for the
defense, one most learned in the law, arose and, making a few well-chosen
introductory remarks, turned to a bailiff and said,

“Call Captain John Dunlap.”

For the first time in his life Jack Dunlap seemed afraid to look men in
the eyes. Neither glancing right nor left, he strode with a determined
air to the witness stand and took his seat. His face wore the hue of
death. His jaws were so clamped together that they seemed to crush his
teeth between them.

They asked his name, age and occupation and then his whereabout on the
night of the crime for which the prisoner stood accused.

The witness made answer briefly to each of these questions without
removing his gaze from the wall above the heads of the audience, and
seemed collecting himself for an ordeal yet to come.

“Who was with you on board your ship, the ‘Adams,’ that night?” was the
next question of the lawyer for the defense.

“Stop! Do not answer, Jack!” came in clear, commanding tones from the
mouth of the prisoner as he sprang to his feet. His lawyers about him
tried to pull him down into his chair, but he struggled and shook himself
free and stood where all could see him.

Burton looked around him defiantly at the assembled crowd in the
court-room, holding up his hand with palm turned toward Jack, in protest
against his giving answer to the last question. Then, throwing back his
head, he said in a loud and steady voice,

“I must and do protest against this further sacrifice in my behalf on
the part of that noble, generous, grand man on the stand. Already he has
far exceeded the belief of the most credulous in sacrificing himself for
those whom he loves. That I may prevent this last and grandest offering,
the honor of that brave man, I tell you all that I am guilty of the
crime as charged, and further, I hurl into your teeth the fact that by
your accursed affectation of social equality between the White and Negro
races, which can never exist, you are responsible in part for my crime,
and you are wholly answerable for much agony to the most innocent and
blameless of mortals on earth. Your canting, maudlin, sentimental cry of
social intercourse between the races has caused wrong, suffering, sorrow,
crime, and now causes my death.”

As Burton ceased speaking he swiftly threw a powder between his lips and
quickly swallowed it.

The audience, judge, lawyers, bailiffs, all sat still, chained in a
trance of astonishment as the accused man uttered this unexpected
phillipic against a sometime tradition of New England, and likewise
pronounced his guilt by this open and voluntary confession.

None seemed to realize that the prisoner’s speech was also his
valedictory to life, until they saw him reel, and, ere the nearest man
could reach him, fall, face downward, upon the court-room floor, dead.

Like the last ray of the setting sun, Burton’s expiring speech and deed
had been the parting gleam of the nobility begotten by the blood of the
superior race within his veins, and reflected on the bright surface of
the civilization and culture of the white race. The predominance of
animalism in the negro nature precludes the possibility of suicide in
even the extremest cases of conscious debasement. Suicide is almost
unknown among the negro race.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Chapman found dead at his desk in the office! My God! What more must I
bear in my old age! Oh! God, have mercy upon an old man!”

Poor old John Dunlap fell upon Jack’s shoulder and wept from very
weakness and misery, and so the sailor supported and held him until the
paroxysm of wretchedness had passed; then he gently led the broken old
gentleman to the easiest chair in the parlor of the Dunlap house and
begged him to sit down and compose his overwrought feelings.

“You say, Jack, that the porter found him seated at his desk this
morning; that he thought he was sleeping, as my faithful employee’s head
rested on his arms, and that it was only when he touched him and noticed
how cold he was that he realized that Chapman was dead. My God! How
awful!” groaned the distressed speaker.

“Yes, sir, and when the head clerks of the different departments
arrived and raised him they saw lying on his desk before him ready for
publication the notice of the closing of the business career of the house
of J. Dunlap, and they took from the dead man’s stiffened fingers the
long record of the firm to which he clung even in death.”

“I saw the poor fellow’s face grow pale and his features twitch as if in
pain when I told him that the career of our house was ended. I urged him
to rest here until he was better, but he only shook his head and hurried
from my presence.”

Mr. Dunlap spoke sadly and after a pause of several minutes, during which
an expression of deepest melancholy settled over his countenance, he
continued sorrowfully,

“Poor David Chapman, good and faithful servant! He loved the old house
of ‘J. Dunlap’ with all of his soul, and when he knew that the end had
come, it broke that intense heart of his.”

“Why did you determine, sir, to take the old sign down, and close those
doors that for two hundred years have stood open every day except
holidays?” asked Jack, full of sympathy for the grief-stricken kinsman
beside him.

“I cannot bear the sight of my loved boyhood’s home, dear old Boston, at
present. It has been the scene of so much agony and horror for me within
the past year that I must, for my own sake, get away from the agonizing
associations all about me here. Lucy absolutely must be taken away now
that her mind is restored to its normal condition, or she will surely go
mad from weeping and grieving. As soon as she is able to travel we shall
go to Europe to be absent months,—years. I am an old man, maybe I shall
never see Boston again.” The old man stopped to choke back a sob and then
said,

“It is hard, very hard, on me that I should be obliged to close the house
my brother James loved so well, and that has been a glory to the Dunlap
name for two centuries. It may break my heart, too, lad.”

The white head sunk on the heaving chest and an audible sob now shook the
bended frame. Jack watched his good godfather with manly tears filling
his honest eyes. Then, laying his hand softly on the old man’s arm, he
said,

“Cousin John, would you feel less wretched if I promised to leave the
sea, and do my best to keep the old sign, ‘J. Dunlap,’ in its place in
the crooked street where it has hung for two hundred years?”

John Dunlap raised his head almost as soon as his namesake began to
speak, and when Jack had finished he had him around the neck and was
hugging the sturdy sailor, crying all the time,

“God bless you, boy! Will you do that for your old kinsman? Will you,
lad?” And then wringing Jack’s hand he cried,

“A young J. Dunlap succeeds the old; all the ships, trade and the capital
remain as before! You and Lucy are sole heirs to everything! The chief
clerks will shout for joy to know that the house still goes on; they will
help you faithfully for love of my brother James and me. And oh! Jack,
when I am far away it will make my heart beat easier to know that the
Dunlap red ball barred with black still floats upon the ocean, and that
the old sign is still here; that I was not the one of my long line to
take it from its place.”



EPILOGUE.


Five times has Boston Common, old, honored in history’s story, slept
beneath its snowy counterpane, all damaskeened by winter sunbeam’s glory.

Five times have brooks in Yankee vales burst icy chains to flee, with
gladsome shouts of merriment, on joyous journey to the sea.

Five times have Massachusetts hills and dales been garbed in cloak of
emerald, embroidered wide in gay designs of daffodils and daisies since
the grand old Commonwealth was shocked by the commission of a horrid
crime by one called Burton.

An old sign still swings before an even older building, in one of
Boston’s most crooked streets. “J. Dunlap, Shipping and Banking,” is what
the passersby may read on the old sign.

Sometimes an old man is seen to enter the building above the door of
which is suspended this sign; he is much bent and white of hair, but
sturdy still, despite some four-score years. All men of Boston accord
great respect to this handsome old gentleman.

The man who is head and manager of all the business done within the old
building where that sign is seen, has the tanned and rugged look of one
who had long gazed upon the bright surface of the sea. While he is only
seen in landsmen’s dress, it seems that clothing of a nautical cut would
best befit his stalwart figure.

This head man at J. Dunlap’s office is cavalier-in-chief to three old
ladies, with whom he often is seen driving in Boston’s beautiful suburbs;
one of these white-haired old dames he addresses as “Mother,” another
as “Mrs. Church,” and the most withered one of the three he calls “Miss
Arabella.”

He has been seen, too, with a sweet, sad, yet very lovely young woman in
whose glorious crown of gold-brown hair silver silken threads run in and
out.

[Illustration: “Lucy, I have always loved you.”

Page 340]

A big, jovial naval man periodically drives up before the old sign and
shouting out, “Jack, come here and see the latest!” exhibits a baby to
the sailor-looking manager. The last time he roared in greatest glee,
“It’s a girl, named Bessie, for her mother.”

Kind harvest moon, send forth your tenderest glances, that fall betwixt
the tall elm’s branches on that sad, sweet face that lies so restfully
against a sailor’s loyal bosom.

“Lucy, I have always loved you!” Jack Dunlap kissed his “Little Princess”
and put his strong arms around her.

Everlasting time, catch up those words, and bear them on forever, as
motto of most faithful lover.

An old man, standing at a window in the Dunlap mansion, watched the man
and woman in the moonlight between the elm trees, and what he witnessed
seemed to bring a great joy to his good, kind heart, for he reverently
raised his eyes to heaven and said,

“My God, I thank Thee!”





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