Press enter after choosing selection

The Of Stranger Of Nahant

The Of Stranger Of Nahant image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

I, The senson of the year eIiteen bundred and fifty was a brilliant ono nt Nahant. Tlie cottages wero all occopied ; the hotel had uot then been desiroyed fue. Great masters of his'ory and oetry, grcat dames of tho high world, i lovely girl3 of the gay world, dashing men of the last world, mor, frora every land beneath the sun, lont all the attractions thej possessed to rctider Nahant n detirablc place lo be, and to be seen at In those days of polkas and waltzes - when Jenny Lindand Sontag were the musioal divinkieF, and littlo Paul Julien ws knocking tb e pense out of all heads with bis maaical baton - ia those daye, or thereabouts, occurred the oveut which constiiutc our truthful story. Just at the extremo verge of the rooby promontory, looking out upon the righ' noro.'s the placid bay, and n front upori ! the uneasy id, now dimpliog lato sruileR in thostinshiue and now breaking I ioto teara against the roeky breast ot' yon distant lighthouso, stood, and utill may stand, of frame cottages. The site is the lovliest in all Nahant ; from thence the eye ootnaiands r.n expanse of water limited only by the power of visión, studded with i-lands, watch towera and ?;riin forts; there all dt'.y and all niaht the wave sullenly breaks on the coid gray stones of the shore, wboise cavernous cÜfi's leppond with a ft hollow chorus evoked from their iieptlis. It is a gnod place to be at wlien the dog s:nr is in the asccndar.t. The Urgest of tho cottages tras the cno ncarest the verge of tiio bank vrliich descended to thc sea. Tho grounda ran down to the road which skirts tho cdge of tho bluff, and its piazza commanded a view of eqme giant hand grotesqi:cly heaped together not a rod fr-om the farm land, frora wbenoc at low tide it was ensily oocessible. The cottage was built of tiinber and painted a duij browo. Generous piazzas stretched on three sides of it. Largo rooms on the hall í;avc ampio scope for luxury, comfort. and hospitaüty. Through the hall itself the sea-brctzes ebbed and fiowed in delicious wavea, rassed lo and fro through thc lüttiee doors. The cottagi! had been the scene in formcr years of mibridlcd gayetj and cxtravagances. ]3ut the wealtby family which had built it and resided in it had disappoared, no otoe kuew where. Thero were wbispers óf family dissension and family shainc. Jiowsoever that may be, of tbe proud falher :ind stately tnother the gay brothers and beautiful sisters, none were cvin seen now at Nahant. - I'ivo j-pars üg: the cottage had been so!d witb all it beautiful furniture, sinc? ihen they had l)i:on annually let to the first comer nnti] the origioal proprietor was ahnost forgotten. Vit it oad nevcr been a gay house muco they left it. A old miser bad occupied it fur the last threo Pcacon; and when he -vas deprived of tiie life lie had only known how to misuse, tliu house was renti a qoiet youi'g couple whoso only ehild wan ton inlainine to wake up llic cchoep of the uil] rooms by ehildhood's laugbter and for whOBfl tender lunga the blighting pea air wos too keen ; e olher death witliiri ita walls addcd to the funeral sadupss and gloom of tho 11-faled cottage. Tho agent of the owncr waa ir. dicpair, The old driver of tho Lyou stage Baid tliat no good would come from tbftt house; and as he took two driijks of raw whisky immediately nfter his melaneholy prediction, liig admirers, the horse boyn, were etraigbtway eonviuced that the houso waj hauntod, and such of tlicm as wero Cntliolics piously crosed tbeiuEclvcs ever afterward ou passing is curscd portal. Nevertlio'etT the owner lost no reut. Early in June it wna put in tliorouh drder, and new furuituro brought by water from 1 ton; late in tlie moulb the tenant was u full possession. He was scarccly thirty years oíd and unmarried. An aprd wonian acted as bis housekceper. He owned a slooprigged yaeht, and a chcstnut-bay saddlehorse. He was a skillful sailor and a bold rider. He would bont arouod tlie lightbouse BgaiDBt a stiff gale with a singlo reef, when every other veesel would be doublé reefod. IIow ho managed it with so littlo balbist perplexed the fislier:nen. He would tal:e his borse nmong eliSe wbere nothing four-footed but a goat dared to go before. It was wbi?pered thet tbo horee bad Arabian blood in bis vcios ; he callod it Abriman. The mystorious tenant of the haunted house was a constant rider. He rose early and retired late. He dined at five o'clook. atid a'waya dres3fd fo dinner, even whcn alone. "Lucullu with Lucullus," eaid he. JNVt withstanding bis peculiar mode of lift he had noi been two weeks at Xahan before he vvas popular with the permanent inhabitants and the sojnurners. He was liberal, polite, and at times quite social. Wlien he was unsoeial it was ouiy on horsebacl; or in his yaciit. Ho exehangeri usual visit? cf courtesy with bis neihbore; he, howevcr, avoided the excitemert of the hotel. Among the vil'agers be was known a "The Stranger." On Sundays ho would ride to ohuroh at Lynn, along that strip of sand which bartly connects Nahant with the main land. Ö, beautiful waters of the bay! O, fre'.ful waters of the ccean ! how you si ivo here to commingle, beating out your lives against the uosympathizing desert of saDda whioh diíides you ! JtiarK to tüe gentío leminine protcs of the bay - hark to tho mauly murmur of the ocean. "It was thus tbat wo wero 6?pnrated, said the tenant of tbc cottage one day as he pru=ed to look at the divided waters before rounding tho cove and as ccixüng tlic liill wliicli let] to bis home and the ehadow of the thonght followcc bim as he pursued bis path. Ho eaw neither the beauty of the woods, nor tbc glory of tbo villas, nor the comfort of the cottages, eacased ia viues ; nor did he liear the song of the insects, the low of the cattle, tho shouts of tho cbildren at play, nor the mirth and the music borofrom tho pleasurc-palnces of the votancs of watering-place life. Jt was evident that in the long past thero was some "day that is dencl," of which the "iernicr grace;' would oever come bsek to hini. We have] os yet said nothing of lus personal nppearaace. They '.vlio knew hiin in thoso days describo him iu tbis wiso: Over the middlo beight, with deep chest, sqi:ara shouldcrs and wellknit, slender limbs. Ui forohead was rather low but broad, obeek-booes, mootb large, chin wpll-made and firm - His hair was chestnut acd bis eyes deep gray. ITo wore nö beard, but ooneealed his mouth wilh a heavy, drooping moustacbe. Ilia manner was that of a man of, the world, aeeustomed to wonder nt notbing. ïüb addresa was po'iíbcd and singolarly fascinatiug. His eonversation in English and Frcnch - the former beinsr liis vernacular - was entertaininc', and at times profonnd. Ho was bom in an interior town in one of the Atlantic States, ond bad boon cducated at Harvard, where' he had been preemiuent as a linguist and not deficiënt as a mnthematirian. After loaving college be travelcd for a year o Tuirope, nnd then went to New York city, where he studied law. mitted to tho Bar ho met with briiliant suecess. It was evident that nmbition rather than neeessity stimulated his efforts for his fortune was ampie. His services commanded a high conipensation. 'Oly duty to my profespion demands that, I who can nfford to work for notbing, shoulfl not briog down the standard of fee?," he used to say. But he gave away in charity one half of bis professional income. Heworked vrith ristonishiDg rapidity, and thus bnd mueh time for social intercourse. Ke was a Isdy'a man. This profound young lawyer, this brilliant Bpeaker, was witbal nn excellent dancer. It was even whispcred - ob, scandal to staid fraternity of avryers ! - that lio was an adept in fiïrtation. - He did cot hesitalc to cali his friends many out of the pale of good society - Ho sat one hight at the opera in t'ic private bos of the prima donna duïing the acis when shewas not on the stae. "Slie 8 a cnltivated, beautiful and good woman." sa:d ho in reply to a remonstrance; ''why sliould I be nshomed to bo seen in her company?" This was thrn rank heresy, even in brilüant and liberal New York. Tbis young innovator was a gront favorito witn the oíd men. Refpectful witbont being obseqnious, talkatire without bcing garrulous, he infused the s.ip of Irs fresh, young nature into their lading livcs. In his society they lived thoir life over again. Young, rioh, talenicd, wiih tho laurels of fame nlrcndy witliin his grasp wbat happiness ? Ar.d he wus happ) as he trod his flowcr-strewn path, bis days pased in congenial toil and in niniiig freeh reputation - his nigbts devoted to music, literaturo and the social pleasures. No serious attaebment perplexed him ; lifo was too short, to be frittered away in eight. In philosophy ho was au E picurean, antil misfortune ohonged him to a siony Stoio. J-I e wns now twen'y-seven ye:irs old. On his twenty-seventh birth-day, as ho aftcrwards grimly remembered, he attendrd a small ten-party, Thero was a dozen or mote gatbered toge'.her, and tho pratt'e was cri.'-p and eolivcning. Among the guest was a Btranger to him. It was a iil just merfinp; into womauhood - not neftrly bs attractive n Rppcaranco as a huntlred women 1)0 had met that winter; yet, comebow - inexplicably somehuw I - he feit that his time had Tiio soqaaiatance formed that. Dg ripencd into friendsbip, and as ho hoped, that frieniisbip wns ripi into love. He, in tho streugth of his manhood and tho flush of his repu'ation and shc', in iiie sweetness of her girlhood, as they trod tho flying hours arm in arm formad a benutiful tableau, or succession of views of plcasure, cach dissolving into ono ooro charming than the last. - Bbe wns an orphan, wlioco father, a stern old Puritan, had recently died, and wüb buried beneath sod much fïirer to look at tuan his forbidiiing f;tce. She lived ia the city of New York with a widowed aunt - a lady wboso social poaition had given her niece every opportunity for entrnnce into so-called fasbionablo circles. The ponsire beauty of the girl hüd won many admirora, all of whoin, however, had gracefully re beforo the impetous advances cf the young lawyer. L loaroely knewi he was drifting to, and soaroely cared IIo was still nn epieurean, acting on the principie of the ono to Thaliarchus. Aa for the girl she seeraod to yield berself entirely to bira. She was always willing to go vrith hira to the opera, ball or concert. He bought horics in order that he might drive and ride with hor. Ile spent hour after hour at her house, listcning to her talk or her finging. It was evident to the v.-orld that lor ence in his life he was serious; be did not deny t. Ile only smiled when congratulated on his bucccss, for success, it apparently was. Indeed tho30 who knew his hi-story- how he had nov er been constant, hut alwr.ys ehifting pitied the poor girl whom tbey suppoed to be his last victim. There could be no doubt but she was much attached to him- cbarmed by the serpeat, the old ladies thought. But in truth he was earnestly, even pasionate!y, in lovo.- Sho knew it ; he beüoved that sLe oved him. And thus the hnppy hours glided on amid dances and song, ridesand walk1?, concerts nnd operas- in pleasures so pcre that it was cruel in fate to break the spel!. Iet it was broken. The Winter and spring hod pas3ed away, and the sainmer heat drove the girl and her aunt to the seaside. He was absorbed just at that time with a heavy casp, and uouiu uut, loiiow tnem. Uut, bc foared to trast her, uncommitted to the fascinating society of a watering-place ; so, from his office, in the midst of thoparnphrenalia of business, he wroto to her. He, the eminent lawyer, pleaded stronly his own case ; he tbe brilliant man of society, offered bimselfand his attraetions; !ic, tao njan of honor, did wbat he had never done before- pledged to her his firni and lastiug love. This was the answer : NaHANT, July 10. "I scarcely bare courage to answer yoar letter, for I know how I must apoenr in your eyos when I teil you what I no longerdaro concsal ; I cannot be your wifö. I am alroady the wife of another. Do net curse me, but pity my weaknoss, and if yon can, forgive me. ff tears and anguiah of mind can expiito my sin-- for sin it is - t is espiated. [ niay -riolato a formal vow. i may place inyself in your power, but I dare not. My ansiver is,that I lova you but cannot be your wifo. v Suiker, as you have heard ras a "ern man and was supp'.scd to ho prudent in his business affairp. But the uania of speotilaiion swept awny his ortune. A oreditor w'uo held he obliratiqrfnó tho of twenly thousand dollars was threatening him with rrest nnd fankruptey, Tliis man was ou:ig and riel). Hi personal arpearneo was net bai!. His name was Hartey Kennett. He offered to cancel the otes if I marry him. I loved ïy father and corisea ted. Tiic papers w;re defltrnyed and a release of all laims escouted in mypreEenco. A clerrymnn was sent for; I perjurod myee!f )eforo him as he performod the ceremoy. I had fulfillcd tho ornel eonditions f the bargain; and I (hen fled frommy )ridegroom's side, aiid haro nercr seen ira Eince. Aftcr rv fatiter'i dei ame to livc with my aunt, always 1 aioing my own ñamo! JMy husband- O, God .' - aftcr a few fruitless attempts o win my confidcnce, had apparently bandoned me to my fatc. I hare inignontly returnert all hia present?, and efusod to bo indebícd to bim for surort. Biit for that terrible, terrible íarriage vow, I am as freo aa I was in :f."ey. "This marringo was my first crimo. - "ue second was in not revea'ing those 'o you wben 1 first discovered that ou vrerc learning to liko me. But conder ! I 'had led a loveless liío. I, pos■?ssujg a nature of tho higfaest eapacity or aíTectioa liad never beforo been permitted to taste tho intosicatiDg draught I cóuld not ppoak tbo vords that would drive you forever from me. üfíen I resolved to do t, eest what it might ; but sho eentence would always die away un poken on my lips. This wns my great crime - a crime whose great shadow 1 kDOW must always rest upon ay lifo. I can only plead my ovo for you in ex! ion - a feeble, selSsh plea. "Oh, that I had met you econcr or ncver at all ! I wish this "for your sake. e sensfl of your aíTectioD, undeservcd thoogh it be, is tho only glestn of light in the darkness which ecvelops mo. "It ia best that v;c should not meet again. Dear as you nre to me, I dare not, after vlint I have writteo, soo you again. Thiuk of mo ns dead. I ehall hear of your dislinotion and sticccss with melaochoiy plearoro, and if you tru'y love, let your luture bo clouded by no thoiïglit of me. Farewell 1 The luttcr was without ngDotura and the paper was bli'tored wi'h tears. It waa a ornel blow. He s)ept none that nigiit, but paod big offico to nml fro like a esged panther. Hia d were locked cltents during the next ' It viis not a caso of unroqnited lovp. quited We t!iey say s susceptible of cure; a lamp will go out f uot fed with oil, Had she scorneil hitn, bitter as would havo boon the stroke to his prido, the dicappointmeot would have aiTected hifl ewu lift'. Tiiey would have d with the conveotipaal " V."o may ntill bo friciids," only to meet agniu n tho s.cial world. With bis habita of sfilf command, l r'ven bc ab'o to i the subject. to would winee n ifhen he hoard his nnme coupled with hors, but he would bo able to asr-urc liis fiiends wi'.h perfect composuro, that there was nothing in it at all. Ho would drink a. trifle more doeply, and bo rit in hia dreïs, until tho world ' tbinfc he was g"ing to the bad. In tbe coursc of timo tliis would wear o(T, and ag the yeara pnse(l by ho wobld wonder at his carly folly. Or even if !iis carly affeotiona wero depply set upon her, after iho first beur of agony waa over he would realizo merely that thn i romance and the love was. sema out of) his lifo - that lic had etakcd and lost so far as domestic bappiness wns oonccrncd but everytliing else wasleft; bealtb, wualth, auibition, literatnre, travel and even the deüght of fema'e soeiety - cbarming even undor the chüliug name of friendship. But this was a far different case. Here pa9Pon, paesion fed was inextingjuishable, but fate plac. i an itnpaesable barrier between. There was no consolation. He turned to his law booka and they mocked him : "Our law considera marriage in no other light than a oiril contract. Tho holiness of the matrimonial state is left to the eeelcsiasticil law." He opened tha Holy Book, end there came to him the dreadful warniog of the tenth cotctuandment. Ho could not escape froia bis thought. It wa y-isi retríbution. How many hearts had he tramplcd upon ! Ha hiid mocked at tho destróyer, aad llie destróyer bad come. He could havo pxchümeci in iho languago of a modern Freceh wiiiar: - "This is my puniahmeat. Ths pageion of whose ezisteace I rras inoredulou lm" struck me liko a thunderbol, aad !oft nnthing in its passago but ashes of desolation. I am more than disgusted with life; I am absolutely ïnüiiTöient to ii.:' Por the saiT9 of his maohrod it was well that no oce saw the effect of his wetkneve. He wpg outwardly oIn ; - be quietly proceeded to close np his business; new affairs vrere cocaistent'y refused attention. He announced his intention of speoding the nest tvo ve.irs abroad. In September bis Lay scq'jaiütnncea reccived bis carda with the myetical P. P. C. engraved in the corner. Over t'uo Feas ho saüed ioto the scm ot tlio o!d wond. ile revisiteu the scènes which had pleased him so maofa in the hey-day of youth and hope, but his desolntion ever followed him. IIi; skirted tlieipiediterraneari in a yacht, and íbr a moment revived the old enthusUsru as ha eaiied among the isles of G-reeco. Tho demon of unrest still seizing him, he tried t'13 exei'ement of deeert life, und exposed h'u already bronzed face to tho burniog sun of Syria. His talent ns a linguïst enabled him to aoquiro the Arabic, which together with tiis skil] as a horseman, gave hira a great iniluenco with the ohüdren of tlio plains And th'is two years passed sway, and s'.ill Ijo loitered on, like the Parthian always casting a glance b ward - backward into the irrevocable Past, from the dcpths of which carne to bis eara tho "apocalyptical iV lic had not hcard from her since the receipt of that fatal lettor, to which he au responded by a brief noto as? . her of his fidoltty to the memory of their love, and notifying her of his intontions to go abroad. Was she stül alive? In the hope of finding her dead he carnn home, bringing liis favorite borso wi;h liim. fie cotild find no trace of Hartley Kennett. Híb wifa wns living with her aunfc in an inknd villago of MaaiaobusettB. His first impulso was to go thero, but his senee of honor re.trained him. Having no settled plan1, he rented a cot'age at Nahant. Ke ahvays loved thñ sea, and now it affordod him an excitement. He feit so indifferent as to his life that he hesitated at no perils, the cool spray dashing over the yacht against Iva brow eccnied a bcnediction after a prayer, and quieted bisdiafnrbed soul. His stoieistn, under the influenceof a closo comimmion with Nature, was softcning day by day, and on that sen-girt pronxmiory he was bezinning to find a consolatioa nevcr to Fade away. ii. It was an esccedingly bot July day. It was hot even at sca-girt Nahant- hot even in tho darkenod cottage of the Stranger. The sea breezes had for the time ceased to blow. There was quiet in the air and calin en tho ocean. A few coasling vessels were in sight, lngging along with empty sails. and droopiug streair.ors. The noiso of the breakers had subsided into a f;ünt mnrmur. No one was seon on the roads, whoso dusty surface shono whito in tho lierco sunbcams. All creation secmed aslsep, watehcd over by the god of light with his eye of fire. The loungers of the hotel wero in a state of boredom. Jiven billiards were too great an eïcrtion, while tenpios were not to be thcught of. To pip cobblers and juleps had become tho chirf end in life. Arrayed in dresses of white, tbe Indics reeeiveel the adnration of their lorer", ilto n white. Everythiag was aubducJ and languid. Tho birds forpot to sing - tho does lay dreaining in tho shade. tinner thnt day had been an id!e ceremony, cscept as to the domomption of wincs and icos. As if suggestive ot warrath, the band had been V'ng "Partaot pour la Syrin.'' The only consolation left was to commiserato the denizens of tbc cltios. Whnt must be ïho heat amtdBt brieka arul inortnr ! IIow stifiin the air must be in the narncs ntid streets, whon tho ntmosphero was closo even at tlua beauliiul ui a ot the ssa ? The slow houvs hat dnggu a'ong nafil four o'cliok had ornne. The Stranger wis rcadinr; in the hall of the cottage, lic rcail Ironi a book whih the moinipg mail had brotight bim. It was tho laat volume of reporte of case il by t lic Court of Appoala (f New York State. II is nntne appeared many tiines on it pages; it embraced the last jears of his praotice. It wns the ihst hw hook ho hod cpeucd since ! dosed his ouice. I!e rcad with avidity tbe reporta of the cases in y!íc!i 1 Boen engaged. The oM í'üoünge of profeppionsl urn bition cnio back to bim ; his cyo kindled with eptbuoium ■ Ho seemed to be agaia íWíijing convinoing judges, and captivatiog audiÜV.CQ9 : :mn consnlted by his pi ] brethren on ilt poinli of law ; tho coúrts wcre showering uppn !':::i patronage which he eateetued as evidenc.e of confiratberthan means of euiolument. All the gloryof hi nancenful oareer vva1 lus once nrnre ; ho was graapiog the highcst forensic. bunors. Vby lmi he abaudoiici.' all this ? Vitii he ïiot vvror .13 he did ? Would not etrenuons pursuit of his ]irofeisiou havo brought bim n soheo from grief? Tho thought pxeited, nnnervd hint. lie roso from bis cliair, ar.d still holdiug tho bonk, paced nmaacily up and down tho ■nide hall, Ke begon to fl that liis idle ufe of the past two years had been n mistake. Was it too late to repent? He thought nofc, In Septainbflt he would re-establiah himseKin Tew York. Eren if he wore already forgotten, tho lower rounds of tho ladder wero easilj Roce?-ible, and he clid tnA trust his power to quickly grasp highest. Aa he continuad bis walk, maturiog his new project, ho feit every now and then alight whiffs of ir from the weRtern dfior. Jt secmed to ba growing darker. Ha stepped out on the balcony and i watohsd the gathering of tLe storm. j Dark macees of doud were formiog in t'ue ïresiern elij, and pressing eaetward wiih marrelotta rapidity. Lowering and black they fidvaosed, & drwdfnl host. From the southwcst carne constantly iDcreaging puffa of wind, until tbo trees began to bow t'üeir hoada, and the du-t ■, and the ba_, od oc3n to toss and foam üko a seaïhing cauldron. Low rnuiterings of thunder, preceded by distan t flashes of lightning, added to the confusión. A sguallof the worst desoription was abouk to break upon NahaiU. The vessel in t!)3 bay and on the ocaan wr guardhg naiust Ihe irapendiag dangers. Baila were furled and reefed, anchors ]t go, and with their hearis brought round t9 tho wind they were prapared 4o rids out tbe B'oim. All the small crafts ran into the shore, so thai in a short time nothing was secn aüoit but vesscls of largo sizo. At last the storm broke, acd with furv. The wind waüed and LowUd, and hifted fro;u om quarter 'o the other, lik a dissppointed aad iüiuriated demon. The surf gr8w ppac, utiüI the wbite surt running up av.ü down the coast sesrosd likod spirits awakening from tlie doen. Er.y and cesan ware oovered with wbite-caps ; t!;e vesïftl rocked gentiy to and fro, seeming to hugh at Ihe fury of the wsves; tbe atmoèphere was darkened ; therewaH a siighi rain; the ligbtniug was vivid; the thunder wa! sonörous arn) prolongd. Tho stranger liad waichsd the storm witli interest; he keenly spprec'atcd it graudeur. Finaily, be put'on his peajacket and a feli ba and deecanded the bilí to a litlle cov wkere -were corgregatcd tho fishermeu and tbe morehflrdy of tbe people from tbs hotol. They were lookiog intently out on the bay at a JUtle skiff wliich tbe stropg wiod soeacfl to be cfirryincr out to sen. "With a glnss its charactor could bo pUinly inndc it was a TuckortoQ skiff. Nov, a Tuckcríon pkiiT is about fourteon feet in length, and ii hrp at both endo. It usuaüy earries a lhr cornered 6aü; it is steercd with an oar or by a rudder ; it is capablo of great speed ; it is yery "craDk ;" it ie t'ne last kind of cralt to which ons wonld desire to trust his life in n heavy sea - nioreover it requites great sklU to properly sai! a Tuckerton ■ Now tho wind, beiag southweit, was directly on the qnarter of the skiff, wbieh therefore careened groatly towards tho península. The böllied bid the boatmaa from sig'ut. Once or tnice it seemcd as if he wished to go about, but the inacceuvre ras only partially executed, and the skiS rega:ned her hetding tovards tho broad oceaa. (!omratenk judgcs -V7CT0 of the opinión that ia bringn her nronnd so muoh watar was shipped as to frighten thebnatrnan frora his purpose. Of coursc to lay her to was out of tho queatioD. High r.s tbc wavcs vrnrc running now, the sbifF must capsize if uot relieved. Several timei she lay so cIopc to the water that it ai believed tbat tho catastrpha had corae, but the buoyant skiiTsocn righted. The wind began to blow in flaws. In tbe interval tho boatman atlemptcd ouce more to go about. Just as tho canvass was fhaking a sudden flaw struck her and her sail disappesireil from sight, A momentary shudder ran through tho party on eborc. Every glass was directed to the spot wherc a moment before the sail had beea visible. They oould descry tho huil etill floating, and cünging to it the figuro of a man. How long can he hoM on 'i How can he be saved? Who will venture in such b sea? Who will risk hia life in such a aervico ? Will money compénsate ? Largo surns were frealy offered' bj gentlemen present. The fishermen reluolantlv drew back ; avorice waa cot as stroüg as love of life. The man must die. The jacht of tbo Stranger laj rcokng in tho slieltered coro. ít was largo anti staunch. He glanced a moment at tbe man in peril and at the plnything of his pleasure. It was a moment of vacillation ; that morjíut passed avray. Tho bystanders wïth toniething !i!;o awe paw hiui make his prpp&ratious for and of kumniuiy. He could not understand tho daoger fur lio doublé reefed bis. aail. A'li:t!e.boy atsisted bim. He was the son of a vvornan oí tho village, t!:o wu'ow of a fishermnn, drowned in just such a storm as tbis. The brave boy rettiiiied his place in the how aftar tbo bnat'vvas rcady to Bsil. Tha Stranger PsuSled a pleasurnble stnilo t t hiü bravcry, but ho gently lified hhü to tho ehore. f5jur mnther has noed of jou," Baid he ; "tlie riik is too prcot." He wttB ES3ted i:i tbo ptern wiih the tiiler in mie hnnd uud the ïbeet-rope in tho otlic:1, and was epee üug away on his Brt tack. He passid the head'.and, and rectiived the full foroe of the blast. The rnia was now coming dewn in torreuts. i!e had nn time to tbink of the diicoraforta fof bis situation ; other tboughts oooupied oiiod. As bc turned to tuk a look ot the hhcro be siiiv a woman f!' i iheb'uff; even t that dÏHtano he recogpized her. It was the wifn of ilartly Kennotl! And til-) Fftst-gliding boat wos opeadiog bino away from the beavon of !ns desire out intp pyrüs, and perhüps death. Whero now were the whisperirgs of nmbition, tho anticipations of professional fame ? Tbs sight of her bronght back the old seüfc of dssohitiou. Onca inore be stood in tho preaenee p{ iho unsttninable. The thought nifldáonod }:ir.i ; he let out the fcliect, and tho yaebt bounded fiorcely ovr bs ware. He renchtd tho capiizofl ?!;ÍT. lio nn tifies rou!l it bafore he could do vise riicaívi''fcs for the rcsciic of tho unforlnnnlc man wbo til olinging io it. Hy lasliing th? t-l'cr and tjjrg tho shcpt ropo he nt las managed to koep tlia bead of tho yacht to the wind long eaough to enable the boatman of tho skiff to be aesisted on board. By thii tima they wero far out at eca. Tho storm was at its heighi, the wind was so strong and flawy that the Strenger fearcd for bis raast ; but the yaoht rode tba blast vrell, and likc a sea-bird skimmad ths troubled waters. The euccor had not come a moment to soon. Tho roscued mn was in the last stages of exhaustion. For more thaa an hour he had clung to tho ilfated skiff. He was a man in the prime of cïrly manhood, and cf distinguished presenoe. Ho foebly but earnestly thanked hts preserver, but ho feared tht he would not live to' reaoh the ahore. He had been aailing for plsaiure, or driftiDg, for there was not a breath of air, and was caught unexpeotodly by the storm. If he should not surviro, he would desire that hi relativcs in Boston ahould be adrised of the partioulars of bis deceass. "Your name ?" asked tha Stranger. ;IIurtley Kennett." A gestare of surprise, whioh Kenr-.eU was too weak to observe, was the orily outward m'auifastation of the horror which pnsscssed at that injtant the steersmr.n of tho yacht But within him there was chaos of otnotions vast and uudefined. Hatred aod ohnrity, jealouay and pity, astonhhment and indignation, strovc for dominion ovor tho man. He had savod the oniy bciag whoM deaili he liad wished for. Tho lila of Hurtley Ke:mett etood betwcen him and luippiness. Hyiterioua fiite had calied hirn from the nands of Arabia to pluck this man from the grasp of the releutloss ocoan. Nor could he wholly repent his good act. There was somethiag in tho bsaring of Kennott which moved bis respecr, something in his nerveless languor whioh cxci'.ed hig pity. After all he must havo loved her ; he rout have hoped that after marriago she would return that lnve. Iïo had boen mistaken, and had uou'diIcsb taken up hia burdon of iife onoe more, lurniog his back on the villaga of j. And yetas the Stranger 6t ia tbe midsl of the tempest, sternly and mor.dily at the helm, thia terrible thoaght rank! cd in his breast - he was hearing Htrtley Kennc'.t to his wifo. What cbangeá might have tukon pia5e in two yoars u that wonian's heart ho did not dare to iajagine. But he saw her', aa tha nurso of her husband passinv' days and nights by his bediide. Conld b'qo now withatand tbe facinations, when to yield to them wasbut her duty and A fulñllment of her marriage oalh ? Tho Stranger was but a man, but he was a men solemnly bent on 3 difchnrg of duty. He Srmly kapt Ihe helm, and the yacht was now nearing tho shore. He did not attempt to land on tbe bay side, for although the water was gomewhat calm there, ha was so far out at sea now that he thought it prefcrablo to ruo in on the northeru sida of the headland, under the lee of which ho Lopsd gafely to ocnio sshorc. His reaponing proved fallacious, fcr he found tliat tho iurfï ing so high at lo greailv imperil the safety of Lis boat. But Innd he must. It was too ate now ío retraca his path, and he might meet even great:-ulties ou tho other cide. Kounsttlay helplcss at thobotto:n cf the boat ; ho wt s a care and fecoumbrance, not a coadjutor. The Straoger adoptad the on!y cours left. Ho fteered ftr a eaudy bcach wbich joiocd two promoatorie of reek, and pluüged tl.o oto the breakers which reareij. aloft their foamingcrestF. The experiment vras a bold one but it failed. Tho good ynoht bad dono nobiy that day; itliid lived in a sea whore only desiruction was to bo espected ; it had laughed at the tsmpest ; but now it met a foe of aactber kicd. The huge breakers heid it afoft for a moment, then with a mockiog roar dasliod t into the seething abyss of waters. Whcn the Siranger saw that the destruction of his yacht was iniriiiuont, and tbat his own life was in groat peril, a vsriety of ideas presented themsclvcs to hiia. Ia momcuts of graat dacger :;:d acts vitli icconccivablo rapidi. Should be dow abnndon Kennott to bis late ? Had he Dot already dono all that humanity required ? Tho crowd gathercd on thu beach had vriisesscd tho successful rescue, his ewíft return, aad tho disaster. Should he not Rvrim alone to tho ehore, acd lot tba deed body of Ilartley Kennett, wbich tho tide vrould wash up, brÏDg to bis wife the tidings of her relcaso ? But conscienco whispered to him that bis rork was not yet done, cocscienco triumphcd. No longer was he Epicurean or Stoio ; but, greater than either, in this last aut of heroism he bceaine a Clinatian. The escitoment on shore bad been intenso. Tha news had quickïy spread through tbs península, ond in spite of the'pouring rain nearly the wholo poulatioa was gathered to witEcss the daring exploit of ths Stranger. Whcn tho yaebt went down the;o v,aa :i bitter cry of despair from evcry ore, foliowed by a shout of joy whcn tho tvro nien emergsd from the trough of the w.ive, wero carried by the succeetling breaker a few feefc r.earer Bbore. Ono appeared to bo insensible, and was Fuppoited on the sarfaco by tho olher, who swam with one haad lustily throagh thü vast swel'a. Tlieiccret of succef sful swiicming ia heavy breskers is ahvays to swira with the breakef, and keep ju3t bohind it; never let it fall on you. Do not eshaust jourself by violent esertions betneen the breakers ; save your strength for tho great rush of waters, whoea i'orca you must utilizo. Evon whcn the tide ia running out, the waves n l'l bring yoa in, if aided only by a slight osertion on your part. Tho Stranger well underatood thee principies, and greal esperienco in soabathiag had taught hiui their applioation. But theio were foarful cdds against him now. It is tiuver eapy to swim with one hand ; tho Bfcrokep sro spnsmodio ralber than oentinuous, the movement lacka forco and spirif, thi strength readily fai'.s. But it is stilj more difSoult when you aro pilotiiig your way ainong gi:int breakers, aud with one band iupporting a liclpless load. Who that bas tried it bas uot feit tho swful solomcity ei' tho nitmtion ? Plunging through tho cresta of waves, descciidiug into tbo troiigb, hurried on by tho rush ing forward t driven b:ick by tho returning cui blindod by the spray, narrowly esc:: dostruotion beneath falling broaker?) his own life and that of Kennett relying'on tho power of tbat riht arm, air waniog, wr.s it strango that the heart of the Strunger sonk within him ? Yet his courage and determinntion did not feil bino. He bnffsted tho cruel wpjterp inanfuily. Kennett was insensiblsi ad tberefore belplcs. liad the Stranccr bat t'.itï ueo of bis c'.hcr arm, his snfoty would be assnred. Arain the tempte'r entcred his mir.d, but with a "Get thco Ctntludti on fimrili pepe,


Old News
Michigan Argus