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Trumped By 4 Tiger

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"My dear Eversley, wuat iu the world have you been doing with your sel f all this moruing f" cried Frcd Sandiland, Esq., resident collector of H. 15. M.'s Provinco of Wellsley and Penitng, as his frieud sauntercd slowly into the )roakfast room - a loug, low apariment, as the fashion of a bungalow demande, ts walls hung with aiillcicd stage' houds and huge buüalo horos, stauds of rifks, ;uus, rods, aud all the equipments dear o a sportsman, while the Öliioess niating on the floor was littered with skins of various aniuials ; dcep French httices, opening ou two BÍdts upon a broad reranduh, shaded by msny clusters of L'i-saiuine and passiun vino ; frow thia ceps discend d u; on a Bloping 1 wn, oinewhat boroi by the hat of au Indian sim, but iacliiiing gcutiy till it met .he cool waters of the strait that separates Penangfroin tlio maui land. Aero;s ho water - dim and blue io iho nooiuiay laze - rose the distaut muuntaind of uedah, wLüe nearcr u fiingo of betel aud eocoa.pnlms lined the opposi.e shoie. The jungle had been cleared. in the vicinity of the house, letiviug Fcitterod roups of palms and wild ahrubs to roieve the eyo with tlioir rich luxuiiaucu f leaf. "Kate," resumed Sandiland, turuing o his sister, who, seated at the foot of he table, hftd raised ihe loyclicst psii of jiay eycs in all ludia, as Eversley enercd, greeting bim with n cold 'Good uorniug," "has been more than half inlined tp leuve jou to breakfasl aloue." "I beg your pardou, Mis Sandilaud, ut I trust my game b;ig may reet innend me to meicy," taid Everley, uietly stating hiniself, and begiauing lis breakfust. "I had no idea it was so Inte, but, a cpuple of hours' capital sport ïnong the snipe, Banda, the ehikanu, buud the tracks of a tigcr ; we followed !iem down te tbc water's edge, where ie appears to have prossed back to the main-land," '■ I have not heard of odg on the sland for the last three ycars," said andiland. "Once upon a time wo uscd to have lem frequently, but thejuugles aro too ïuuh shot though nov.1' "I would advise yotf, neveitheless, Hiss Saodiland," replied Eversley, "to )e careful how you extend your walks nattended ; neighbors of this desenpon are not pleasant." "ïhank you," Captain Eversley - 1 ïave no doubt a tiger would bo an utiileasunt coinpanion but I am not at II of meeting ono near Soonda. Vlay I give you another cup of tea ? - tfo ! - well, then, I will leave you and ''red to finish your brcakfast and beroots togetlwr." "Wliat'a tho row, Jim, bctween j'ou nd Kate ? I thaught you and she were going to get ön together capitally, nd yet at the eud of nix weeks you otii appear more crushingly poüte thu ver." Evers'ey was lighting bis cheroot rom the joss-stick oa tbc mantel-piece; ie fsuioked quietly for a minute before ie auswered : "I don't mind telling you, Fred, old 'ellow, though you know I am not a jood hand at confidences - the long and hort of the matter is that I 'm in love with Ka - , your sister.:' "Small blaine to you. Sho is the rettiest aud the best girl in tho Presiencies, and you know, Jim, thcre isno man I would rather sec her marry than 'ourself ; but I can't sea how your béng in Iüvo with her aeoounts for the xcessive politeuess betweeo you," and Bandiland put his hand afleotionatcly on vernley's shoulder. ïhe two friends ooked at each other for a inoment, and bey exchaoged a quiet grusp of the land. "Well," eaid Efereley, "I'm nfraid 'va made an awful as of myeelf, Fred, nd spoilt my chance by doing o ; but couldn't help it, aud so the othor night while we were smoking down on .he rouks iu the inoonlight, the whole hing came over me. I feit if Kate lidu't love me, I should never love any other girl, aud I told her so." "By Jove bui you have queer ideaa of your owu about love making, Master íiin. Do you suppose a woman is gong to accept you because you sudduuly liscover you are iu love with her, and ilurt out a propasal likc a euap shvt ut a juiigle-fowl ? My dsr boy, Laií their fuu is iu discovering we love thum Now I don't believe Katu has a bit of noenno about her ; Itill, you wou't find miy woiiMuí willing lo pivo up the preseniptive riglitH of her sex ; her lovo must bu sought, not domuiidcd. But what did slio síij ?" "Sha made a most dignified courtesy, and thankod íno in the iciost of tones; but was iifraid that che would üud too dangorous rivala n tigershootiüg and pig-Btiobing, to vonture to entertain my pioposal. I blundered out that I wouíd give up cverylhing - " "The douce you did ! Come, that's beiter." "But 8ho quietly put a stop to it all, and, witliing me good night, swept into tin; houso, leavH.g mo moro desperately iu lovo than ever." Sandiland bioke into a latigh. "Mj dear oid Jim, I tlnuk your cao s hojioless, if j'du onJy uiauage it rightly. Let me givo you sume advice." "Thank you, Pred, all the 8ame as if I took it ; but Vd ratber not. I do not know mach about vvomen, but I do kuow this: that if I cannot make your sister lovc mo as I am, I won't under faise prdenses. I love her well enough to give up my own taetes nnd habits, but I cun't go moauiog liko a dyspeptio terrier." "í duro wy you are rlght, Jim ; anyliow, you know yod have my best wishes for your sueoess.'' "Well, I must be off'aud write somo letters; but do try and persuade your sister tot lo vcuture too far from the buDgalow. I have told JJauda to keep a lookout for tlie traoks of that tiger. Jle swears tle brute has swum back, and may not b seen ngain for months ; but still the ehould not oxpose herself." 'Banda is right. Thcre is no danger Dow, but Yiliy don't you isk Kate yoursoli ? But I must bo iff to town, and there come tlie horses. Diuner at baíf past eeven, romember, and I shall not sce you btfore." E versie y went with a friend to the rr.ndah, and watclied him inouni and ride away, foltawed by hid syce, uutil their white garments were lost amid the dark green shadows of tho palms ; and then, turning wilh á half repressed sii;!i enteied tho house. lío walked moodily once or twieo up and down the loug room, and then tkrew bimself unan a lounge, wbero La reuiained buritd iu thought. "Frcd s utbng," he said, at last, risinft res'.lesily ; '! have do chance - our tastes are too different. And I was an ass to think s!ie oould ever love a fellow like me, who, at the best, was never half good enongh for her. It is shoer folly lor me (o remain here any looger, cating my henrt away by dreaming of the hapfiucsB I could never have won. The mail sieamer goos to-morrow, and. by Jovc, l'll go in her !" aud be walked iinviotuously irom the rouni. Two minules later a lovely face poep cd through the fo!ds of the heavy curtiiiu that separated the mut-ic-room - aD alcovo that could only bo enterad from thu largor ipartment - and Kate Sandiland, her face stiuggliug belween blush es aud laughtjr and yet witli the euspicion of u tear in tbe sweet giay eyes. tlud lightly across tbe soft matting, and BOOght refute in her own pretty moming loom, where she sat fr an hour, tüently gaziug over the rioh blue of ihe s'.rait, hecdless of tbe flashiug glitter of ibe sun upon ihu water, the sbimmer of the leaves in the distant palm gruvea, or the wild chorus of tbc nativo boatinuu as thcy pulled lliuir cargoes of cocoaQuts and plantaina past toward Penang. At last a bright suiile lit upou the sweet, firm ouilines of her mouth, and pdog she drew down with an impera tive motioa the dark Veuetian of the Windows. Evcrsley plosed Lis last letter, and threw it upon the table. "1 havo only to say 'good byo' now, aod then aaother leaf in my Jife is turued.' He stood for a moment with bis arms resting upou the back of bis chaír, wbile memory poured a flood of rücolleptior.s upon Lis miud - Kato, tbtir lides, their walks, tho echo of her songs, the ilutter of her dros3 amid the jessamiuos, hor happy laugh, all came back to hiin with sucb paiuful distinctnets. "Pshaw ! IIulloo there 1" he exclaimed, goiñg to tho door. "Chitta, teil Banda I want him." "Bauda,1 he said, when the ehikarru appeared, "has tho sea-breeze sprung up yet?" Yes, sahib, it is cool now." "Well, then, get my gun, and we will havo anothor turn ambng' tbe enipe. 13y the-way, did you find any moro signs of the tiger this moruiug ?" "No, suhib he has gone back to Lis owu jungle." , 'Woll, bring Grouse with you; the old dog is the steadiest retriever, and meet mo in a quarter uf of an hour on the front veranda." As Eversley appearod wliere Banda was already waiting for him, he caught tho lastglimpse of a dress diíappearing down one of the native paths. "Who is that, Banda ? H&a Miss Sandiland gone out to walk ï" "Missee Kate, sahib." Evcrsley tliought for a moment, thon re enteied the house, and rotumed witb a duuble burreled,riüe wbioh be gave to the eliikarru. "We may corue across sorne large game," ho said ; and, taiiug up Iiis own gun, walked rapidly away in the direc tion Kato had gone, followed by Banda. An hour and a half was epent working up the edge of a swamp a milc from Soonda; ünd Grouse had buen kept busy wben asaipe arose some clistauce off. With a long shot, Kversley brought it down ; but the bird towored and pitohed dcad a huodred yards further 011 tho edge of a strip of a jungle. Tho old dog was sent to rctrieve it. As they drew near tho spot, and wero feathoriug eagerlj along the brush, the dog, with a yelp and a gtowl, came running back to Lis inatstcr, ha tail between hia legs, and every hair on his body erect and quiveriog witb rage and fear. "What'a up now, Grouse?" eaid liverdey. "Go on, old dog. Suek tlead I" But the dog refused to move, replying with a deep growl, oud gazing iutcutly at the jungla. Eversley walked to tbe spot, witli a view to recovering the bird and ascertaining the object of Grouso's terror. Somothing on tlio ground attractod bis a'tnntion. Stooping, he examinod it intentlj, and ihou, riaing, oallud to tbe skikarru ; "Banda, no wonder poor Qrouso is in aucli a funk. II ere aro the tracks of our friond the tigar, and not half an hour old, and, ijood God, Miss Sandilund is out and ulooe !" Eversley wsb a man of great ooolnees and nerve, but for a momeo t a terrible foeling of few camo over him 'But for a moment osily ; the next, Iih was again the man of prompt and decided ac.tion. "Draw tho charges of my gun, Banda and load with ball ; then follow up tho track ; I am going to searoh for Alias Saudiland. And semng tho rifle from tho ehikarru'e kaud, hostruek across the low jungle toward the path takeu by Kate, crashing through the tll grass nnd brush at a pace that would have distsneed aoy but a eporUmao, Miss Sandiland pursued her way toward a spot, the frequent termiuntion of her ovouiug walka. Once a mere biiJ'etrack, occasiiinally used by coolie fisbermoD, her brothcr, at her vvish, had caussd it to bu upeuud and cnlarged. Today, lost in thought, sho had followed it carclessly, until she iound herse'f upon the gray, sandy beach of the strait. The sun wa8 setting behind tho blue line of mouutains, and tlie water blazed with ivid streaks of red ; the sky, broken into heavy masees of clouds, was glorious in gold and purple, and all thu wouderi'ul bleudiogs of an Iudian eunset. Kate stood for a while, watching with eager eyes the rapid transformatious of shape aud color; and then, tompted by the lirrn, smooth sand, strolh d ulong the beuch, aud scated herself upon a low lt;dge of rook. She sat lonp, absorbed by tho sunset aud her tl oights, interwoaving the rich liues of the one with the varyhig li-jhts and okadows of tho other, and tha puiing clouds warued her that it was timo to return. B.ut, as she rose frora hpr soat, her cye grew eudclcnly glazod and fixed ; tlio rouiided, graceful unes of tho fair "orín appeared to stiffen iuto marble, and she stoud breatlilej almost lifeleas with rror, half blindad with the horror of int first glttDue. She rather feit llian s iw that bLu stood face to face with a tiger. Crouching, motiouless, upon the eilge of tho jungle, not tbir{y yards from where shu tood, with ta haggard, cowatdly ojea glaring at ber, lay the gauut Uruj of tiie huge beast. Flushing ;hrough tlio girl'd brain cauio a score of niad, wild impulses, with lightning-üko rapi'lity. Uut she rcmenibered - she ad hcard Everuley say, and tho pain at cr heart g'ow greater as she thought of Mm - tual the ouly chance oí r-afety rvas to fuce, with u steady eye, the rcacherous brute buforo her. Her eyes ittd been fastened upoo it with a belpess sort of fascination ; but now she roused herself to fix thein sternly on the ierce, great orbs, ihat thrilled her with their crue! glare. lier courage roso and sank, as hope uid tuur alterpated; but at last even her !r;ive nature begnn to lnil. She feit ,hat lier brentk oame iu long, gasping obs ; the litjlit began to fade from lier eyes ; the dreadful ionii if the tiger rew dim and indistioot, and she knew ,hat she was faintiug. With a last Hort, she roused bergelf, aud cried : "Evertley, Eversley 1 whyaroyouuot here ?" "My brave darling, I ara here !" And a dark forja swept rapidly past, and stood bclwaon qr aod her terrible oa. Kate recovered her senses iu an intaut, and the sepne before her wusnover brgotten. The tigar, arouaed by the treseiicc of a nev,' antagonist, was st;!l rouchiüg, with its head between its uonnous paws, but the Ioiik, striped ack was arehed for 4 spriiig, and the ong, little tai swept in angry curves roui side to side, its eyes sparkled red with lage, and a savage anarl, ihat made Kate's blood run cold, came from he wrinklutj, griuning jaws. Eversley, no new bitud at tiger-shootng, and, next to 'Tiger Kace," the ceeuest eyu and stoadiewt hand on trigger in India, stood like a rock, for what, o poor Kate, seemed an eternity, though ut a few swift seconds. i5ut as he drew he trigger, the tiger moved its head with a flight upward niotioD, apd the all, missing the bram, buried itself in he massive chest. With a growl that illtd the air like thuudcr, the huge )rutc shot forward. Kutc closed her eyes, but tho second barrel had done it luty. Crashing through the tawny kuil, the balt passed clean through the rain, lodgiug deep iu the kuotted muscles of the neck, aud, dead iu thu air, he huge oaroiM rolled over, a lifuless leap, a few yards from Eversley's feat. He ihrew bis rifle down, aud turucd o Miss Sandiland. "Thank Qod J" be aid j and there was euch an earnest pathos in Lía tone hat the warm tears rushed to Kate's eyes as sho held botb hauds toward h}m, with a look that iuust have spoken volumes. For a moment after, the gi'ay eyes were hiddun deep in the breaot of his hooting-jacket. They were raised presently, wilh tearo still trembling ou their abluís. "I do indcod tbanlc God, dearest, aud doiibly thut I aui saved by you." Fred Sapilapd rang the bcll impaiently. "Send Miss Sandiland's maid to teil ïer that dinnor is on the table. And where is Captain lversley ?" "Eversiey öaiiib wlk on veranda &SS Kste," replied Coitty with a alarm). öaudiland walked wrathfully across tl e room, and threw the glass door pen. "Kate, I'm astonished !" but ho sfcop3ed short, with a whistle. Kate rosu with a loveiy blush, and ihrowiog her arm round his neefc, whiapered, as sho kissed him : "Jim will teil you all about it, dear Fred " "Jim, indeed !" cxclaimod hor brother, sarcastically, as bLo vauishpd. "Whnt does it all mean, Evcrsley ? I tliought I kuow sfimetbitig aboutyoung woroen, but this is a new phase." Evorslcy told bis story, and tolt! it aguiu, later, as tliey sat togother nfler dinner benoath the juHsnmints, and Sumfiiland lau'liud ligluly, to cocceal Lis deeper emotion. "I can't thank you, my deur old fullow ; l'll leavo Kate to do that," he said ; and then went on, to liis sister's great indignation ; "but believo me, Eversluy, the tiger wa the besk trump you fcvor plaj'ed " And, putting hia bands in bin pockets hc strolled down to tbo beacli to finish bis ohoioot, wlii e Kate öaudiluud paid bir dubt of thanks.


Old News
Michigan Argus