Orpheus C. Kerr: The Mystery of Mr. E. Drood

Original: Punchinello, Juni-November 1870

AN ADAP­TA­TION

The Amer­i­can Press's Young Gen­tle­men, when tak­ing their shady lit­er­ary walks among the Columns of In­ter­est­ing Mat­ter, have been known to re­mark—with a glib­ness and grace, by Jove, great­ly in ex­cess of their salaries—that the rea­son why we don't pro­duce great works of imag­i­na­tion in this coun­try, as they do in other coun­tries, is be­cause we haven't the ge­nius, you know. They think—do they?—that the bran-new lo­cal­i­ties, post-of­fice ad­dress­es, and of­fi­cial ti­tles, char­ac­ter­is­tic of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca, are rife with all the grand old tra­di­tion­al sug­ges­tions so use­ful in help­ing along the ro­man­tic in­ter­est of fic­tion. They think—do they?—that if an Amer­i­can writ­er could write a Novel in the exact style of COLLINS, or TROL­LOPE, or DICK­ENS: only lay­ing its scenes and hav­ing its char­ac­ters in this coun­try; the work would be as ro­man­ti­cal­ly ef­fec­tive as one by COLLINS, or TROL­LOPE, or DICK­ENS; and that the pos­si­bly nec­es­sary in­ci­den­tal men­tion of such na­tive places as Scher­mer­horn Street, Dobb's Ferry, or Chica­go, wouldn't dis­turb the nicest dra­mat­ic il­lu­sion of the imag­i­na­tive tale. Very well, then! All right! Just look here!—O A.P's Young Gen­tle­men, just look here—

CHAP­TER I 
DAW­NA­TION

A mod­ern Amer­i­can Rit­u­al­is­tic Spire! How can the mod­ern Amer­i­can Rit­u­al­is­tic Spire be here! The well-known ta­per­ing brown Spire, like a closed um­brel­la on end? How can that be here? There is no rusty rim of a shock­ing bad hat be­tween the eye and that Spire in the real prospect. What is the rusty rim that now in­ter­venes, and con­fus­es the vi­sion of at least one eye? It must be an in­tox­i­cat­ed hat that wants to see, too. It is so, for rit­u­al­is­tic choirs strike up, acolytes swing censers dis­pens­ing the heavy odor of punch, and the rit­u­al­is­tic rec­tor and his gaudi­ly robed as­sis­tants in alb, cha­suble, ma­ni­ple and tu­ni­cle, in­tone a Nux Vom­i­ca in gor­geous pro­ces­sion. Then come twen­ty young cler­gy­men in stoles and biret­tas, run­ning after twen­ty mar­riage­able young ladies of the con­gre­ga­tion who have sent them worked slip­pers. Then fol­low ten thou­sand black monkies swarm­ing all over ev­ery­body and up and down ev­ery­thing, chat­ter­ing like fiends. Still the Rit­u­al­is­tic Spire keeps turn­ing up in im­pos­si­ble places, and still the in­ter­ven­ing rusty rim of a hat in­ex­pli­ca­bly clouds one eye. There dawns a sen­sa­tion as of writhing grim fig­ures of snakes in one's boots, and the in­ter­ven­ing rusty rim of the hat that was not in the orig­i­nal prospect takes a snake-like—But stay! Is this the rim of my own hat tum­bled all awry? I' mushbe! A few re­flec­tive mo­ments, not un­re­lieved by hic­cups, mush be d'voted to co'shider-ER­A­TION of th' posh'bil'ty.

Nod­ding ex­ces­sive­ly to him­self with un­speak­able grav­i­ty, the gen­tle­man whose di­lut­ed mind has thus played the Dick­ens with him, slow­ly aris­es to an up­right po­si­tion by a se­ries of com­pli­cat­ed ma­noeu­vres with both hands and feet; and, hav­ing care­ful­ly bal­anced him­self on one leg, and shak­ing his ag­gres­sive old hat still far­ther down over his left eye, pro­ceeds to take a cloudy view of his sur­round­ings. He is in a room going on one side to a bar, and on the other side to a pair of glass doors and a win­dow, through the bro­ken panes of which var­i­ous musty cloth sub­sti­tutes for glass ejac­u­late to­ward the outer Mul­ber­ry Street. Tilt­ed back in chairs against the wall, in var­i­ous at­ti­tudes of dis­lo­ca­tion of the spine and com­pound frac­ture of the neck, are an Al­der­man of the ward, an As­sis­tant-As­ses­sor, and the lady who keeps the hotel. The first two are shape­less with a slum­ber de­fy­ing every law of com­fort­able anato­my; the last is dream­i­ly at­tempt­ing to light a stumpy pipe with the wrong end of a match, and shed­ding tears, in the dim morn­ing ghast­li­ness, at her re­peat­ed fail­ures.

"Thry an­oth­er," says this woman, rather thick­ly, to the gen­tle­man bal­anced on one leg, who is gaz­ing at her and wink­ing very much. "Have an­oth­er, wid some bit­ters."

He straight­ens him­self ex­treme­ly, to an im­mi­nent peril of falling over back­ward, sways slight­ly to and fro, and be­comes as se­vere in ex­pres­sion of coun­te­nance as his one un­cov­ered eye will allow.

The woman falls back in her chair again asleep, and he, walk­ing with one shoul­der de­pressed, and a species of side­wise, run­ning gait, ap­proach­es and pois­es him­self over her.

"What vi­sion can she have?" the man muses, with his hat now fully upon the bridge of his nose. He smiles un­ex­pect­ed­ly; as sud­den­ly frowns with great in­ten­si­ty; and in­vol­un­tar­i­ly walks back­ward against the sleep­ing Al­der­man. Him he ab­stract­ed­ly sits down upon, and then lis­tens in­tent­ly for any ca­su­al re­mark he may make. But one word comes— "Wairz­er­nat'chal'za­tionc­tifk­its."

"Un­in­tel­li­gent!" mut­ters the man, wea­ried­ly; and, ris­ing de­ject­ed­ly from the Al­der­man, lurch­es, with a crash, upon the As­sis­tant-As­ses­sor. Him he shakes fierce­ly for being so bony to fall on, and then hear­kens for a suit­able apol­o­gy.

"Warzwaz-your­wifesin­come-lash'—lash'-year?"

A thought­ful pause, par­tak­ing of a doze.

"Un­in­tel­li­gent!"

Com­pli­cat­ed­ly aris­ing from the As­ses­sor, with his hat now al­most hang­ing by an ear, the gen­tle­man, after var­i­ous fu­tile but in­ge­nious ef­forts to face to­wards the door by turn­ing his head alone that way, fi­nal­ly suc­ceeds by walk­ing in a cir­cle until the door is be­fore him. Then, with his whole coun­te­nance charged with al­most scowl­ing in­ten­si­ty of pur­pose, though find­ing it dif­fi­cult to keep his eyes very far open, he bal­ances him­self with the ut­most care, throws his shoul­ders back, steps out dar­ing­ly, and goes off at an acute slant to­ward the Al­der­man again. Re­cov­er­ing him­self by a tremen­dous ef­fort of will and a few wild back­ward move­ments, he steps out jaun­ti­ly once more, and can not stop him­self until he has gone twice around a chair on his ex­treme left and reached al­most ex­act­ly the point from which he start­ed the first time. He paus­es, pant­ing, but with the scowl of de­ter­mi­na­tion still more in­tense, and con­cen­trat­ed chiefly in his right eye. Very cau­tious­ly ex­tend­ing his dex­ter hand, that he may not de­stroy the nice­ty of his per­pen­dic­u­lar bal­ance, he points with a fin­ger at the knob of the door, and suf­fers his stronger eye to fas­ten firm­ly upon the same ob­ject. A mo­ment's bal­anc­ing, to make sure, and then, in three ir­re­sistible, rush­ing strides, he goes through the glass doors with a burst, with­out stop­ping to turn the latch, strikes an ash-box on the edge of the side­walk, re­bounds to a lamp-post, and then, with the ir­re­sistible rush still on him, de­scribes a hasty wavy line, marked by ir­reg­u­lar heel-strokes, up the street.

That same af­ter­noon, the mod­ern Amer­i­can Rit­u­al­is­tic Spire rises in du­pli­cate il­lu­sion be­fore the mul­ti­ply­ing vi­sion of a trav­eller re­cent­ly off the fer­ry-boat, who, as though not sat­is­fied with the length of his jour­ney, makes fre­quent and un­ex­pect­ed tri­als of its width. The bells are ring­ing for ves­per ser­vice; and, hav­ing fair­ly made the right door at last, after re­peat­ed­ly shoot­ing past and falling short of it, he reach­es his place in the choir and per­forms vol­un­taries and in­vol­un­taries upon the organ, in a man­ner not dis­tin­guish­able from al­most any fash­ion­able church-mu­sic of the pe­ri­od.

CHAP­TER II
A DEAN, AND A CHAP OR TWO ALSO

Whoso­ev­er has no­ticed a party of those se­date and Ger­manesqueiy philo­soph­i­cal an­i­mals, the pigs, scram­bling pre­cip­i­tate­ly under a gate from out a cab­bage-patch to­ward night­fall, may, per­haps, have ob­served, that, im­me­di­ate­ly upon emerg­ing from the sa­cred veg­etable pre­serve, a cou­ple of the more el­der­ly and de­sign­ing of them as­sumed a sud­den air of ab­stract­ed mus­ing, and re­duced their progress to a most dig­ni­fied and leisure­ly walk, as though to con­vince the human be­hold­er that their re­cent prox­im­i­ty to the cab­bages had been but the triv­ial ac­ci­dent of a med­i­ta­tive stroll.

Sim­i­lar­ly, ser­vice in the church being over, and divers per­sons of pig­gish solem­ni­ty of as­pect dis­pers­ing, two of the lat­ter de­tach them­selves from the rest and try an easy lounge around to­ward a side door of the build­ing, as though will­ing to be taken by the outer world for a cou­ple of unim­peach­able low-church gen­tle­men who mere­ly hap­pened to be in that neigh­bor­hood at that hour for an air­ing.

The day and year are wan­ing, and the set­ting sun casts a ruddy but not warm­ing light upon two fig­ures under the arch of the side door; while one of these fig­ures locks the door, the other, who seems to have a music book under his arm, comes out, with a strange, screwy mo­tion, as though through an open­ing much too nar­row for him, and, hav­ing poised a mo­ment to ner­vous­ly pull some imag­i­nary ob­ject from his right boot and hurl it madly from him, goes un­ex­pect­ed­ly off with the pre­cip­i­tan­cy and equi­lib­ri­ous­ly con­cen­tric man­ner of a gen­tle­man in his first pri­vate essay on a tight-rope.

"Was that Mr. BUM­STEAD, SMYTHE?"

"It wasn't any­body else, your Rev­er­ence."

"Say 'his iden­ti­ty with the per­son men­tioned scarce­ly comes with­in the le­git­i­mate do­main of doubt,' SMYTHE—to Fa­ther Dean, the younger of the pig­gish per­sons soft­ly in­ter­pos­es,

"Is Mr. BUM­STEAD un­well, SMYTHE?"

"He's got 'em bad to-night."

"Say 'in­cip­i­ent cere­bral ef­fu­sion marks him es­pe­cial­ly for its prey at this ves­per hour.' SMYTHE—to Fa­ther DEAN," again soft­ly in­ter­pos­es Mr. SIMP­SON, the Gospel­er.

"Mr. SIMP­SON," pur­sues Fa­ther DEAN, whose name has been mod­i­fied, by var­i­ous the­o­log­i­cal stages, from its orig­i­nal form of Paudean, to Pere DEAN—Fa­ther DEAN, "I re­gret to hear that Mr. BUM­STEAD is so del­i­cate in health; you may stop at his board­ing-house on your way home, and ask him how he is, with my com­pli­ments." Pax vo­bis­cum.

Shin­ing so with a sense of his own be­nig­ni­ty that the re­tir­ing sun gives up all ri­val­ry at once and in­stant­ly sets in de­spair, Fa­ther DEAN de­parts to his din­ner, and Mr. SIMP­SON, the Gospel­er, be­takes him­self cheer­i­ly to the sec­ond-floor-back where Mr. BUM­STEAD lives. Mr. BUM­STEAD is a shady-look­ing man of about six and twen­ty, with black hair and whiskers of the win­dow-brush school, and a face re­mind­ing you of the BOUR­BONS. As, al­though light­ing his lamp, he has, ab­stract­ed­ly, al­most cov­ered it with his hat, his room is but im­per­fect­ly il­lu­mi­nat­ed, and you can just de­tect the ac­cordeon on the win­dow-sill, and, above the man­tel, an un­fin­ished sketch of a school-girl. (There is no artis­tic merit in this pic­ture; in which, in­deed, a sim­ple tri­an­gle on end rep­re­sents the waist, an­oth­er and slight­ly larg­er tri­an­gle the skirts, and straight-lines with rake-like ter­mi­na­tions the arms and hands.)

"Called to ask how you are, and offer Fa­ther DEAN'S com­pli­ments," says the Gospel­er.

"I'm all­right, shir!" says Mr. BUM­STEAD, ris­ing from the rug where he has been tem­porar­i­ly repos­ing, and drop­ping his um­brel­la. He speaks al­most with fe­roc­i­ty.

'You are await­ing your nephew, EDWIN DROOD?"

"Yeshir." As he an­swers, Mr. BUM­STEAD leans lan­guid­ly far across the table, and seems vague­ly amazed at the as­pect of the lamp with his hat upon it.

Mr. SIMP­SON re­tires soft­ly, stops to greet some one at the foot of the stairs, and, in an­oth­er mo­ment, a young man four­teen years old en­ters the room with his car­pet-bag.

"My dear boys! My dear ED­WINS!"

Thus speak­ing, Mr. BUM­STEAD si­dles ea­ger­ly at the new comer, with open arms, and, in falling upon his neck, does so too heav­i­ly, and bears him with a crash to the ground.

"Oh, see here! this is played out, you know," ejac­u­lates the nephew, al­most suf­fo­cat­ed with trav­el­ling-shawl and BUM­STEAD.

Mr. BUM­STEAD rises from him slow­ly and with dig­ni­ty.

"Ex­cuse me, dear EDWIN, I thought there were two of you."

EDWIN DROOD re­gains his feet with alacrity and casts aside his shawl.

"What­ev­er you thought, uncle, I am still a sin­gle man, al­though your way of com­ing down on a chap was enough to make me be­side my­self. Any grub, JACK?"

With a check upon his en­thu­si­asm and a sud­den gloom of ex­pres­sion amount­ing al­most to a squint, Mr. BUM­STEAD mo­tions with his whole right side to­ward an ad­ja­cent room in which a table is spread, and leads the way thith­er in a half- cir­cle.

"Ah, this is prime!" cries the young fel­low, rub­bing his hands; the while he re­al­izes that Mr. BUM­STEAD'S squint is an at­tempt to in­clude both him­self and the pic­ture over the man­tel in the next room in one in­cred­i­bly com­pli­cat­ed look.

Not much is said dur­ing din­ner, as the strength of the board­ing-house but­ter re­quires all the nephew's en­er­gies for sin­gle com­bat with it, and the uncle is so ab­sorbed in a dreamy ef­fort to make a salad with his hash and all the con­tents of the cas­tor, that he can at­tend to noth­ing else. At length the cloth is drawn, EDWIN pro­duces some peanuts from his pock­et and pass­es some to Mr. BUM­STEAD, and the lat­ter, with a wet towel pinned about his head, drinks a great deal of water.

"This is Sissy's birth­day, you know, JACK," says the nephew, with a squint through the door and around the cor­ner of the ad­join­ing apart­ment to­ward the crude pic­ture over the man­tel, "and, if our re­spec­tive re­spect­ed par­ents hadn't bound us by will to marry, I'd be mad after her."

Crack. On EDWIN DROOD'S part.

Hie. On Mr. BUM­STEAD'S part.

"No­body's dic­tat­ed a mar­riage for you, JACK. You can choose for your­self. Life for you is still fraught with free­dom's in­tox­i­cat­ing—"

Mr. BUM­STEAD has sud­den­ly be­come very pale, and per­spires heav­i­ly on the fore­head. "Good Heav­ens, JACK! I haven't hurt your feel­ings?"

Mr. BUM­STEAD makes a fee­ble pass at him with the wa­ter-de­canter, and smiles in a very ghast­ly man­ner. "Lem me be a mis'able warn­ing to you, EDWIN," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, shed­ding tears.

The scared face of the younger re­calls him to him­self, and he adds: "Dont mind me, my dear boys. It's cloves; you may no­tice them on my breath. I take them for nerv'shness." Here he rises in a se­ries of trem­bles to his feet, and bal­ances, still very pale, on one leg.

'You want cheer­ing up," says EDWIN DROOD, kind­ly.

'Yesh—cheer­ing up. Let's go and walk in the grave­yard," says Mr. BUM­STEAD.

"By all means. You wont mind my slip­ping out for half a minute to the Alms House to leave a few gum-drops for Sissy? Rather spoony, JACK."

Mr. BUM­STEAD al­most loses his bal­ance in an im­pru­dent at­tempt to wink arch­ly, and says, "Nor­ring-half-sh'-shweet-'n- life." He is very thick with EDWIN DROOD, for he loves him.

"Well, let's skedad­dle, then."

Mr. BUM­STEAD very care­ful­ly pois­es him­self on both feet, puts on his hat over the wet towel, gives a sud­den hor­ri­fied glance down­ward to­ward one of his boots, and leaps fran­ti­cal­ly over an ob­ject.

"Why, that was only my cane," says EDWIN.

Mr. BUM­STEAD breathes hard, and leans heav­i­ly on his nephew as they go out to­geth­er.

CHAP­TER III
THE ALMS-HOUSE

For the pur­pose of pre­vent­ing an in­con­ve­nient rush of lit­er­ary tuft-hunters and sight-seers thith­er next sum­mer, a fic­ti­tious name must be be­stowed upon the town of the Rit­u­al­is­tic church. Let it stand in these pages as Bum­steadville. Pos­si­bly it was not known to the Ro­mans, the Sax­ons, nor the Nor­mans by that name, if by any name at all; but a name more or less weird and full of damp syl­la­bles can be of lit­tle mo­ment to a place not owned by any ad­ver­tis­ing Sub­ur­ban- Res­i­dence bene­fac­tors.

A dis­agree­able and healthy sub­urb, Bum­steadville, with a strange odor of dried bones from its an­cient pau­per buri­al- ground, and many quaint old ruins in the shapes of el­der­ly men en­gaged as con­trib­u­tors to the month­ly mag­a­zines of the day. An­tiq­ui­ty per­vades Bum­steadville; noth­ing is new; the very Rye is old; also the Ja­maica, Santa Cruz, and a num­ber of the na­tive maids. A drowsy place, with all its changes lying far be­hind it; or, at least, the sun-browned men­di­cants pass­ing through say they never saw a place of­fer­ing so lit­tle pre­sent change.

In the midst of Bum­steadville stands the Aims-House; a build­ing of an antic order of ar­chi­tec­ture; still known by its orig­i­nal title to the payno­bil­i­ty and in­di­gen­try of the sur­round­ing coun­try, sev­er­al of whose an­ces­tors abode there in the days be­fore vot­ing was a cer­tain liveli­hood; al­though now bear­ing a door-plate in­scribed, "Macas­sar Fe­male Col­lege, Miss CAROWTHERS." Whether any of the coun­try ed­i­tors, pro­jec­tors of Amer­i­can Comic pa­pers, and other in­mates of the ed­i­fice in times of yore, ever come back in spir­it to be as­ton­ished by the man­ner in which mod­ern se­ri­ous and hu­mor­ous print can be made pro­duc­tive of any­thing but penury by pub­lish­ing True Sto­ries of Lord BYRON and the au­to­bi­ogra­phies of de­tached wives, maybe of in­ter­est to philoso­phers, but is of no ac­count to Miss CAROWTHERS. Every day, dur­ing school-hours, does Miss CAROWTHERS, in spec­ta­cles and high-necked al­paca, pre­side over her Young Ladies of Fash­ion, with an aus­ter­i­ty and el­der­li­ness be­fore which every men­tal image of Man, even as the most po­et­i­cal of ab­strac­tions, with­ers and dies. Every night, after the young ladies have re­tired, does Miss CAROWTHERS put on a fresh­en­ing as­pect, don a more youth­ful low-necked dress—

As though a rose Should leave its clothes And be a bud again,— and be­come a sprightli­er Miss CAROWTHERS. Every night, at the same hour, does Miss CAROWTHERS dis­cuss with her First As­sis­tant, Mrs. PILLS­BURY, the In­alien­able Bights of Women; al­ways mak­ing cer­tain ca­su­al ref­er­ence to a gen­tle­man in the dim past, whom she was obliged to sue for breach of promise, and to whom, for that rea­son, Miss CAROWTHERS air­i­ly refers, with a tol­er­a­tion bred of the lapse of time, as "Breachy Mr. BLOD­GETT."

The pet pupil of the Aims-House is FLORA POTTS, of course called the Flow­er­pot; for whom a hus­band has been cho­sen by the will and be­quest of her de­part­ed papa, and at whom none of the other Macas­sar young ladies can look with­out won­der­ing how it must feel. On the af­ter­noon after the day of the din­ner at the board­ing-house, the Macas­sar front-door bell rings, and Mr. EDWIN DROOD is an­nounced as wait­ing to see Miss FLORA. Hav­ing first rubbed her lips and cheeks, al­ter­nate­ly, with her fin­gers, to make them red; held her hands above her head to turn back the cir­cu­la­tion and make them white; and added a lit­tle lead-pen­cil­ing to her eye­brows to make them black; the Flow­er­pot trips in­no­cent­ly down to the par­lor, and stops short at some dis­tance from the vis­i­tor in a cu­ri­ous sort of an­gu­lar de­flec­tion from the per­pen­dic­u­lar.

"O, you ab­surd crea­ture!" she says, plac­ing a fin­ger in her mouth and slight­ly wrig­gling at him. "To go and have to be mar­ried to me whether we want to or not! It's per­fect­ly dis­gust­ing."

"Our par­ents did rather come a lit­tle load on us," says EDWIN DROOD, not ren­dered en­thu­si­as­tic by his re­cep­tion.

"Cant we get a habeas cor­pus, or some other ridicu­lous thing, and ask some per­fect­ly ab­surd Judge to serve an in­junc­tion on some­body?" she asks, with pret­ty earnest­ness. "Don't, Eddy—do-o-nt." "Don't what, FLORA?" "Don't try to kiss me, please." "Why not, FLORA?" "Be­cause I'm enam­eled." "Well, I do think," says EDWIN DROOD, 'that you put on the Gre­cian Bend rather heav­i­ly with me. Per­haps I'd bet­ter go."

"I wouldn't be so exquisite­ly hate­ful, Eddy. I got the gum-drops last night, and they were per­fect­ly splen­did."

"Well, that's a com­fort, at any rate," says her af­fi­anced, dimly con­scious of a dawn­ing ci­vil­i­ty in her last re­mark. "If it's re­al­ly pos­si­ble for you to walk on those high heels of yours, FLORA let's try a prom­e­nade out-doors."

Here Miss CAROWTHERS glides into the room to look for her scis­sors, is re­mind­ed by the scene be­fore her of Breachy Mr. BLOD­GETT; whis­pers, "Don't tri­fle with her young af­fec­tions, Mr. DROOD, un­less you want to be sued, be­sides being in­ter­viewed by all the pa­pers;" and glides out again with a sigh.

FLORA then puts upon her head a fig-leaf trimmed with lace and rib­bon, and gets her hoop and stick from be­hind the hall-door. EDWIN DROOD takes from one of his pock­ets an in­dia-rub­ber ball, to prac­tice fly-catch­es with as he walks; and driv­ing the hoop and throw­ing and catch­ing the ball, the two go down the an­cient turn­pike of Bum­steadville to­geth­er.

"Oh, please, EDDY, scrape your­self close to the fences, so that the girls can't see you out of the win­dows," pleads FLORA. "It's so ut­ter­ly ab­surd to be walk­ing with one that one's got to marry whether one likes it or not; and you do look so per­fect­ly ridicu­lous in that short coat, and all your other things so tight."

He gloomi­ly scrapes against the fences, drop­ping his ball and catch­ing it on the re­bound at every step. "Which way shall we go?" "Up by the store, EDDY, dear."

They go to the all-sorts coun­try store in ques­tion, where EDWIN DROOD buys her some sas­safras bull's-eye candy, and then they turn to­ward home again.

"Now be a good-tem­pered EDDY," she says, trundling her hoop be­side him, "and pre­tend that you aren't going to be my hus­band." "Not if I can help it," he says, catch­ing the ball al­most spite­ful­ly. "Then you're going to have some­body else?" 'You make my head ache, so you do," whis­pers EDWIN DROOD. "I dont want to marry any­body at all!"

She tick­les him under the arm with her hoop-stick, and turns eyes that are all se­ri­ous upon his. "I wish, EDDY, that we could be per­fect­ly ab­surd friends to each other, in­stead of ut­ter­ly ridicu­lous en­gaged peo­ple. It's exquisite­ly awful, you know, to have a hus­band picked out for you by dead folks, and I'm so sick about it some­times that I hard­ly have the heart to fix my back-hair. Let each of us for­bear, and stop teas­ing the other."

Great­ly pleased by this per­fect­ly in­tel­li­gent and for­giv­ing ar­range­ment, EDWIN DROOD says: 'You're right, FLORA Teas­ing is played out;" and drives his ball into a per­fect fren­zy of bounces.

They have ar­rived near the Rit­u­al­is­tic church, through the win­dows of which come the or­gan-notes of one prac­tis­ing with­in. Some­thing fa­mil­iar in the grand air rolling out to them caus­es EDWIN DROOD to re­peat, ab­stract­ed­ly, "I feel—I feel—I feel—"

FLORA si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly af­fect­ed in the same way, un­con­scious­ly mur­murs,—"I feel like a morn­ing star."

They then join hands, under the same ir­re­sistible spell, and take danc­ing steps, hum­ming, in uni­son, "Shoo, fly! don't bod­der me."

"That's JACK BUM­STEAD'S play­ing," whis­pers EDWIN DROOD; "and he must be breath­ing this way, too, for I can smell the cloves."

"O, take me home," cries FLORA sud­den­ly throw­ing her hoop over the young man's neck, and drag­ging him vi­o­lent­ly after her. "I think cloves are per­fect­ly dis­gust­ing."

At the door of the Aims-House the pret­ty Flow­er­pot blows a kiss to EDWIN, and goes in. He makes one trial of his ball against the door, and goes off. She is an in-fant, he Js an off-'un.

CHAP­TER IV
MR. SWEENEY

Ac­cept­ing the New Amer­i­can Cy­clopae­dia as a fair stan­dard of stu­pid­i­ty—al­though the prej­u­dice, per­haps, may arise rather from the iras­ci­bil­i­ty of the few using it as a ref­er­ence, than from the calm judg­ment of the many em­ploy­ing it to fill- out a showy book-case—then the newest and most Amer­i­can Cy­clopaedist in Bum­steadville is Judge SWEENEY.

[Foot­note: Mr. SAP­SEA, the orig­i­nal of this char­ac­ter In Mr. DICK­ENS' ro­mance, is an auc­tion­eer. The pre­sent Adapter can think of no near­er Amer­i­can equiv­a­lent, in the way of a per­son at once res­i­dent in a sub­urb and who sells to the high­est bid­der, than a sup­pos­able mem­ber of the New York ju­di­cia­ry.]

It is Judge SWEENEY'S plea­sure to found him­self upon Fa­ther DEAN, whom he great­ly re­sem­bles in the in­tel­lec­tu­al de­tails of much fore­head, stom­ach, and shirt-col­lar. When upon the bench in the city, even, grant­ing an in­junc­tion in favor of some rail­road com­pa­ny in which he owns a lit­tle stock, he fre­quent­ly in­tones his ac­com­pa­ny­ing re­marks with an ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal solem­ni­ty em­i­nent­ly cal­cu­lat­ed to sup­press every pos­si­ble ten­den­cy to lev­i­ty in the as­sem­bled lawyers; and his dis­charge from ar­rest of any for­eign gen­tle­man brought be­fore him for il­le­gal vot­ing, has often been found strik­ing­ly sim­i­lar in sound to a pas­toral Bene­dic­tion.

That Judge SWEENEY has many ad­mir­ers, is proved by the im­mense local ma­jor­i­ty elect­ing him to ju­di­cial em­i­nence; and that the ad­mi­ra­tion is mu­tu­al is like­wise proved by his sub­se­quent ap­pre­cia­tive dis­missal of cer­tain frivolous com­plaints against a ma­jor­i­ty of that ma­jor­i­ty for tri­fling mis­ap­pre­hen­sions of the Reg­istry law. He is a port­ly, dou­ble- chinned man of about fifty, with a moral cough, eye-glass­es mak­ing even his red nose seem min­is­te­ri­al, and lit­tle gold bal­lot-box­es, lo­co­mo­tives, and five-dol­lar pieces, hang­ing as "charms" from the chain of his Re­peater.

Judge SWEENEY'S villa is on the turn­pike, op­po­site the Aims-House, with doors and shut­ters giv­ing in whichev­er di­rec­tion they are opened; and he is sit­ting near a table, with a sheet of paper in his hand, and a bowl of warm lemon tea be­fore him, when his ser­vant-girl an­nounces "Mr. BUM­STEAD."

"Happy to see you, sir, in my house, for the first time," is Judge SWEENEY'S hos­pitable greet­ing.

'You honor me, sir," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, whose eyes are set, as though he were in some kind of a fit, and who shakes hands ex­ces­sive­ly. 'You are a good man, sir. How do you do, sir? Shake hands again, sir. I am very well, sir, I thank you. Your hand, sir. I'll stand by you, sir—though I never spoke t' you b'fore in my life. Let us shake hands, sir."

But in­stead of wait­ing for this last shake, Mr. BUM­STEAD abrupt­ly turns away to the near­est chair, de­posits his hat in the very mid­dle of the seat with great care, and reck­less­ly sits down upon it.

The lemon tea in the bowl upon the table is a fruity com­pound, con­sist­ing of two very thin slices of lemon, which are main­tained in hor­i­zon­tal po­si­tions, for the free ac­tion of the air upon their upper sur­faces, by a pint of whiskey pro­cured for that pur­pose. About half a pint of hot water has been added to help soft­en the rind of the lemon, and a por­tion of sugar to cor­rect its acid­i­ty.

With a wave of the hand to­ward this trop­i­cal pre­serve, Judge SWEENEY says: 'You have a rep­u­ta­tion, sir, as a man of taste. Try some lemon tea."

En­er­get­i­cal­ly, if not fran­ti­cal­ly, his guest holds out a tum­bler to be filled, im­me­di­ate­ly after which he in­sists upon shak­ing hands again. 'You're a man of in­sight, sir," he says, work­ing Judge SWEENEY back and forth in his chair. "I am a man of taste, sir, and you know the world, sir."

"The World?" says Judge SWEENEY, com­pla­cent­ly. "If you mean the re­li­gious fe­male daily paper of that name, I cer­tain­ly do know it. I used to take it for my late wife when she was try­ing to learn Latin."

"I mean the ter­res­tri­al globe, sir," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, ir­ri­ta­bly. "The great spher­i­cal foun­da­tion, sir, upon which Boston has since been built."

"Ah, I see," says Judge SWEENEY, ge­nial­ly, "I be­lieve, though, that I know that world, also, pret­ty well; for, if I have not ex­act­ly been to for­eign coun­tries, for­eign coun­tries have come to me. They have come to me on—hem!—busi­ness, and I have im­proved my op­por­tu­ni­ties. A man comes to me from a ves­sel, and I say 'Cork,' and give him Nat­u­ral­iza­tion Cer­tifi­cates for him­self and his friends. An­oth­er comes, and I say 'Dublin;' an­oth­er, and I say 'Belfast.' If I want to trav­el still fur­ther, I take them all to­geth­er and say 'the Polls.'"

'You'll do to trav­el, sir," re­sponds Mr. BUM­STEAD, ab­stract­ed­ly help­ing him­self to some more lemon tea; "but I thought we were to talk about the late Mrs. SWEENEY."

"We were, sir," says Judge SWEENEY, ab­stract­ed­ly re­mov­ing the bowl to a side­board on his far­ther side. "My late wife, young man, as you may be aware, was a Miss HAG­GER­TY, and was im­bued with homage to Shape. It was ru­mored, sir, that she ad­mired me for my Manly Shape. When I of­fered to make her my bride, the only words she could ar­tic­u­late were, "O, my! /?"—mean­ing that she could scarce­ly be­lieve that I re­al­ly meant her. After which she fell into strong hys­ter­ics. We were mar­ried, de­spite cer­tain ob­jec­tions on the score of tem­per­ance by that cor­rupt Rad­i­cal, her fa­ther. From look­ing up to me too much she con­tract­ed an af­fec­tion of the spine, and died about nine months ago. Now, sir, be good enough to run your eye over this Epi­taph, which I have com­posed for the mon­u­ment now erect­ing to her mem­o­ry."

Mr. BUM­STEAD, rous­ing from a doze for the pur­pose, fixes glassy eyes upon the slip of paper held out to him, and reads as fol­lows:

MARY ANN,
Un­l­it­i­gat­ing and Un­lit­er­ary Wife of
HIS HONOR, JUDGE SWEENEY.
In the dark­est hours of
Her Hus­band's for­tunes
She was never once tempt­ed to Write for
THE TRI­BUNE, THE IN­DE­PEN­DENT, or THE RIVER­SIDE MAG­A­ZINE:
Nor did even a dis­ap­point­ment about a new bon­net ever in­duce her to threat­en her hus­band with
AN IN­DI­ANA DI­VORCE.
STRANGER, PAUSE,
and con­sid­er if thou canst say the same about
THINE OWN WIFE!
If not,
WITH A RUSH RE­TIRE.

Mr. BUM­STEAD, af­fect­ed to tears, in­ter­spersed with nods, by his read­ing, has bare­ly time to mut­ter that such a wife was too good to live long in these days, when the ser­vant an­nounces that "MCLAUGH­LIN has come, sir."

JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, who now en­ters, is a stone-cut­ter and mason, much em­ployed in patch­ing di­lap­i­dat­ed graves and cut­ting in­scrip­tions, and pop­u­lar­ly known in Bum­steadville, on ac­count of the dried mor­tar per­pet­u­al­ly hang­ing about him, as "Old Mor­tar­i­ty." He is a rick­et­ty man, with a chron­ic dis­ease called bar-rooma­tism, and so very grave-yardy in his very 'Hid that one al­most ex­pects a jacet to fol­low it as a mat­ter of course.

"JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN," says Judge SWEENEY, hand­ing him the paper with the Epi­taph, "there is the in­scrip­tion for the stone."

"I guess I can get it all on, sir," says MCLAUGH­LIN. 'Your ser­vant, Mr. BUM­STEAD."

"Ah, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, how are you?" says Mr. BUM­STEAD, his hand with the tum­bler vague­ly wan­der­ing to­ward where the bowl for­mer­ly stood. "By the way, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, how came you to be called 'Old Mor­tar­i­ty'? It has a drunk­en sound, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, like one of Sir WAL­TER SCOTT'S char­ac­ters dis­guised in liquor."

"Never you mind about that," says MCLAUGH­LIN. "I carry the keys of the Bum­steadville[1] church­yard vaults, and can tell to an atom, by a tap of my trow­el, how fast a skele­ton is drop­ping to dust in the pau­per buri­al-ground. That's more than they can do who call me names." With which ghast­ly speech JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN re­tires un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly from the room.

Judge SWEENEY now at­tempts a game of backgam­mon with the man of taste, but be­comes dis­cour­aged after Mr. BUM­STEAD has land­ed the dice in his vest-open­ing three times run­ning and fall­en heav­i­ly asleep in the mid­dle of a move. An en­su­ing pota­to salad is made equal­ly dis­cour­ag­ing by Mr. BUM­STEAD'S per­sis­tent at­tempts to cut up his hand­ker­chief in it. Fi­nal­ly, Mr. BUM­STEAD[2] wild­ly finds his way to his feet, is plunged into pro­found gloom at dis­cov­er­ing the con­di­tion of his hat, at­tempts to leave the room by each of the win­dows and clos­ets in suc­ces­sion, and at last goes tem­pes­tu­ous­ly through the door by ac­ci­dent.

CHAP­TER V
MR. MCLAUGH­LIN AND FRIEND

JOHN BUM­STEAD, on his way home along the un­steady turn­pike—upon which he is sure there will be a dread­ful ac­ci­dent some day, for want of rail­ings—is sud­den­ly brought to an un­set­tled pause in his ca­reer by the spec­ta­cle of Old Mor­tar­i­ty lean­ing against the low fence of the pau­per buri­al-ground, with a shape­less boy throw­ing stones at him in the moon­light. The stones seem never to hit the ven­er­a­ble JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, and at each miss the spry mon­key of the moon­light sings "Sold again," and casts an­oth­er mis­sile still fur­ther from the mark. One of these goes vi­o­lent­ly to the nose of Mr. BUM­STEAD, who, after a mo­men­tary en­joy­ment of the evening fire­works thus light­ed off, makes a wrath­ful rush at the play­ful child, and lifts him from the ground by his ragged col­lar, like a di­min­ished suit of Mr. GREE­LEY'S cus­tom­ary ha­bil­i­ments.

"Mis­er­able snipe," de­mands BUM­STEAD, eye­ing his tro­phy gloomi­ly, and giv­ing him a turn or two as though he were a mack­er­el under in­spec­tion, "what are you doing to that goorole­man?"

"Oh, come now!" says the lad, spar­ring at him in the air, "you just lemme be, or I'll fetch you a wipe in the jaw. I ain't doing no­think; and he's werry good to me, he is."

Mr. BUM­STEAD drops the pre­sump­tu­ous viper, but im­me­di­ate­ly seizes him by an ear and leads him to MCLAUGH­LIN, whom he asks: "Do you know this in­sect?"

"SMAL­L­EY," says MCLAUGH­LIN, with a nod.

"Is that the name of the sar­dine?"

"Blagyer­boots," adds MCLAUGH­LIN.

"Shine 'em up, red hot," ex­plains the boy. "I'm one of them fellers." Here he breaks away and hops out again into the road, singing:

"Aina, maina, mona, Mike, Bas­sa­lona, bona, strike! Hay, way, crown, rack, Hal­li­co, bal­li­co, we—wo—wack!"

—which he ev­i­dent­ly in­tends as a kind of Hi­tal­ian; for, si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly, he aims a stone at JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, grazes Mr. BUM­STEAD'S whiskers in­stead, and in an­oth­er in­stant a sound of break­ing glass is heard in the dis­tance.

"Peace, young scor­pi­on!" says Mr. BUM­STEAD, with a com­mand­ing ges­ture. "JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, let me see you home. The road is too un­steady to-night for an old man like you. Let me see you home, far as my house, at least."

"Thank you, sir, I'd make bet­ter time alone. When you came up, sir, Old Mor­tar­i­ty was med­i­tat­ing on this bone-farm," says Mr. MCLAUGH­LIN, point­ing with a trow­el, which he had drawn from his pock­et, into the pau­per buri­al-ground. "He was think­ing of the many laid here when the Aims-House over yon­der used to be open as a Aims-House. I've patched up all these graves, as well as them in the Rit­u­al church­yard, and know 'em all, sir. Over there, Ed­i­tor of Coun­try Jour­nal; next, Stock­hold­er in Erie; next, Gen­tle­man who Un­der­took to be Guid­ed in His Agri­cul­ture by Mr. GREE­LEY'S "What I Know about Farm­ing;' next, Orig­i­nal Pro­jec­tor of Amer­i­can Punch; next, Pro­pri­etor of Rural News­pa­per; next, an­oth­er Pro­jec­tor of Amer­i­can Punch—in­deed, all the rest of that row is Amer­i­can Punch­es, next, Con­duc­tor of Rus­tic Daily; next, Man­ag­er of Ital­ian Opera; next, Stock­hold­er in Mor­ris and Essex; next, Amer­i­can Nov­el­ist; next, Hus­band of Lit­er­ary Woman; next, Pas­tor of South­ern Church; next, Con­duc­tor of Provin­cial Press.—I know 'em ALL sir," says Old Mor­tar­i­ty, with exquisite pathos, "and if a flow­er could spring up for every tear a friend­less old man has dropped upon their ne­glect­ed graves, you could­nt see the wood­en head-boards for the roses."

"Tharsvery­true," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, much af­fect­ed—"Not see 'em for your noses—beaut­ful idea! You're a goorole­man, sir. Here comes SMAL­L­EY again."

"I ain't doing no­think, and you're all the time want­ing me to move on, and he's werry good to me, he is," whim­pers SMAL­L­EY, throw­ing a stone at Mr. BUM­STEAD and hit­ting Old Mor­tar­i­ty.

"Didnt I tell you to al­ways aim at me?" cries the lat­ter, an­gri­ly rub­bing the place. "Dont I give you a penny a night to aim right at me?"

"I only chucked once at him," says the youth, pen­i­tent­ly.

'You see, Mr. BUM­STEAD," ex­plains JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, "I give him an Ob­ject in life. I am that Ob­ject, and it pays me. If you've ever no­ticed these boys, sir, they never hit what they aim at. If they throw at a pi­geon or a tree, the stone goes through a gar­ret win­dow. If they throw at a dog, it hits some pass­er-by on the leg. If they throw at each other, it takes you in the back as you're turnin' a cor­ner. I used to be get­ting hit all over every night from SMAL­L­EY'S aim­ing at dogs, and pi­geons, and boys like him­self; but now I hire him to aim at me, ex­clu­sive­ly, and I'm all safe.—There he goes, now, miss­es me, and breaks an­oth­er winder."

"Here, SMAL­L­EY," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, as an­oth­er stone, aimed at MCLAUGH­LIN, strikes him­self, "take this other penny, and aim at both of us."

Thus per­fect­ly pro­tect­ed from painful con­tu­sion, al­though the air con­tin­ues full of stones, Mr. BUM­STEAD takes JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN'S arm, as they move on­ward, to pro­tect the old man from harm, and is so care­ful to pick out the choice parts of the road for him that their progress is di­gres­sive in the ex­treme.

"I have heard," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, "that at one end of the pau­per buri­al-ground there still re­mains the cel­lar of a for­mer chapel to the Aims-House, and that you have bro­ken through into it, and got a steplad­der to go down. Isthash­so?"

'Yes; and there's coffins down there."

'Yours is a hic-streme­ly strange life, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN."

"It's cer­tain­ly a very damp one," says MCLAUGH­LIN, silent­ly urg­ing his strange com­pan­ion to sup­port a lit­tle more of his own weight in walk­ing. "But it has its sci­ence. Over in the Rit­u­al­is­tic buri­al-yard, I tap the wall of a vault with my trow­el- han­dle, and if the sound is hol­low I say to my­self: 'Not full yet.' Say it's the First of May, and I tap a cof­fin, and dont hear any­thing more in it, I say: 'Ei­ther you're not a woman in there, or, if you are, you never kept house.'—Be­cause, you see, if it was a woman that ever kept house, it would take but the least thing in the world to make her in­sist upon 'mov­ing' on the First of May."

"Won'rful!" says Mr. BUM­STEAD. "Some­time when you're sober, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, I'll do a grave or two with you."

On their way they reach a bar-room, into which Mr. BUM­STEAD is anx­ious to take Old Mor­tar­i­ty, for the pur­pose of get­ting some­thing to make the lat­ter stronger for his re­main­ing walk. Fail­ing in his ar­dent en­treaties to this end—even after des­per­ate­ly of­fer­ing to eat a few cloves him­self for the sake of com­pa­ny—he cold­ly bids the stone-cut­ter good­night, and starts haugh­ti­ly in a se­ries of spi­rals for his own home. Sud­den­ly catch­ing sight of SMAL­L­EY in the dis­tance, he fu­ri­ous­ly grasps a stone to throw at him; but, al­low­ing his arm to de­scribe too much of a cir­cle be­fore part­ing with the stone, the lat­ter strikes the back of his own head, and he goes on, much con­fused.

Ar­riv­ing in his own room, and aris­ing from the all-fours at­ti­tude in which, from ec­cen­tric­i­ty, he has as­cend­ed the stairs, Mr. BUM­STEAD takes from a cup­board a cu­ri­ous, an­tique flask, and near­ly fills a tum­bler from its am­ber-hued con­tents. He drinks the po­tion with some­thing like fren­zy; then soft­ly steals to the door of a room open­ing into his own, and looks in upon EDWIN DROOD. Calm and un­trou­bled lies his nephew there, in pleas­ant dreams. "They are both asleep," whis­pers Mr. BUM­STEAD to him­self. He goes back to his own bed, ac­com­pa­nied un­con­scious­ly by a chair caught in his coat-tail; puts on his hat, opens an um­brel­la over his head, and lies down to dread ser­pen­tine vi­sions.

CHAP­TER VI
IN­SUR­ANCE IN GOSPEL­ER's GULCH

The Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS SIMP­SON (OC­TAVIUS, be­cause there had been seven other lit­tle SIMP­SONS, who all took after their fa­ther when he died of mumps, like seven kit­tens after the parental tail,) hav­ing thrown him­self all over the room with a pair of dumb-bells much too strong for him, and taken a sei­dlitz pow­der to oblige his dys­pep­sia, was now part­ing his back hair be­fore a look­ing-glass. An unim­peach­ably con­sump­tive style of cler­i­cal beau­ty did the mir­ror re­flect;

the coun­te­nance con­tract­ing to an ex­pres­sion of al­most malev­o­lent piety when the comb went over a bump, and re­lax­ing to an open-mouthed char­i­ty for all mankind, amount­ing near­ly to im­be­cil­i­ty, when the more com­plex re­quire­ments of the part­ing pro­cess com­pelled twists of the head scarce­ly com­pat­i­ble with even so much as a squint at the glass.

It being break­fast time, Mrs. SIMP­SON—moth­er of OC­TAVIUS—was just down for the meal, and sur­veyed the op­er­a­tion with a look of undis­guised anx­i­ety.

'You'll break one of them yet, some morn­ing, OC­TAVE," said the old lady.

"Do what, OLDY?" asked the writhing Gospel­er, ap­par­ent­ly speak­ing out of his right ear.

'You'll break ei­ther the comb, or your neck, some morn­ing."

Ren­dered mo­men­tar­i­ly ir­ri­ta­ble by this ag­gra­vat­ing re­mark, the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS made a jab with the comb at the old lady's false-front, pulling it down quite askew over her left eye; but, upon the sud­den en­trance of a ser­vant with the tea­pot, he made pre­cip­i­tate pre­tence that his hand was upon his moth­er's head to give her a morn­ing bless­ing.

They were a strik­ing pair to sit at break­fast to­geth­er in Gospel­er"s Gulch, Bum­steadville: she with her su­perb old nut­cracker coun­te­nance, and he with the dys­pep­sia of more than thir­ty sum­mers caus­ing him to deal gen­tly with the fish- balls. They sat with­in sound of the bell of the Rit­u­al­is­tic Church, the ring­ing of which was for­ev­er de­lud­ing the peas­antry of the sur­round­ing coun­try into the idea that they could cer­tain­ly hear their miss­ing cows at last (hence the name of the church—Saint Cow's); while the sonorous hee-haw­ing of an oc­ca­sion­al Na­ture's Con­gress­man in some dis­tant field re­mind­ed them of the outer po­lit­i­cal world.

"Here is Mr. SCHENCK'S let­ter," said Mrs. SIMP­SON, hand­ing an open epis­tle across the table, as she spoke to her son, "and you might read it aloud, my OC­TAVE."

Tak­ing the tea-cup off his face, the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS ac­cept­ed the mis­sive, which was writ­ten from "A Per­fect Stranger's Par­lor, New York," and began read­ing thus: "Dear Ma-a-dam—

I wri-i-te in the-e Chai-ai-ai-air-"

—"Dear me, OC­TAVE," in­ter­rupt­ed the old lady, "cant you read even a let­ter with­out In­ton­ing—and to the tone of 'Old Hun­dredth,' too?"

"I'm afraid not, dear OLDY," re­spond­ed the Gospel­er. "I'm so much in the habit of it. You're not so rit­u­al­is­tic your­self, and may be able to do bet­ter."

"Give it back to me, my sings­ing-son­ny," said the old lady; who at once read as fol­lows: "DEAR MADAM, I write from the chair which I have now oc­cu­pied for six hours, in the house of a man whom I never saw be­fore in my life, but who comes next in the Di­rec­to­ry to the ob­sti­nate but fi­nal­ly con­quered being under whose roof I res­o­lute­ly passed the greater part of yes­ter­day. He sits near me in an­oth­er chair, so much weak­ened that he can just reply to me in whis­pers, and I be­lieve that a few hours more of my talk will leave him no choice be­tween dying of ex­haus­tion at my feet and tak­ing a Pol­i­cy in the Bo­re­al Life In­sur­ance Com­pa­ny, of which I am Agent. I have spo­ken to my wards, MONT­GOMERY and MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON, con­cern­ing MAG­NO­LIA'S being placed at school in the Macas­sar, and MONT­GOMERY'S ac­cep­tance of your son, OC­TAVIUS, as his tutor, and shall take them with me to Bum­steadville to-mor­row, for such dis­po­si­tion. Hop­ing, Madam, that nei­ther you nor your son will much longer fly into the face of Prov­i­dence by de­clin­ing to in­sure your lives, through me, in the Bo­re­al, I have the honor to be Yours, for two Pre­mi­ums, MELANC­THON SCHENCK."

"Well, OLDY," said OC­TAVIUS, with dis­mal coun­te­nance, "do you think we'll have to do it?"

"Do what?" asked the old lady.

"Let him In­sure us."

"I'm afraid it will come to that yet, OC­TAVE. I've known per­sons to die under him."

"Well, well, Heav­en's will be done," mut­tered the pa­tient Gospel­er. "And now, moth­er, we must do some­thing to make the first com­ing of these young strangers seem cheer­ful to them. We must give a lit­tle din­ner-par­ty here, and in­vite Miss CAROWTHERS, and BUM­STEAD and his nephew, and the Flow­er­pot. Dont you think the cod­fish will go round?"

'Yes, dear: that is, if you and I take the spine," replied the old lady.

So the party of re­cep­tion was ar­ranged, and the in­vi­ta­tions hur­ried out.

At about half an hour be­fore din­ner there was a sound in the air of Bum­steadville as of a pow­er­ful stump-speak­er ad­dress­ing a mass-meet­ing in the dis­tance; rapid­ly in­ten­si­fy­ing to sten­to­ri­an phras­es, such as—"pro­vide for your mis­er­able sur­viv­ing off­spring"—"lower rates than any other com­pa­ny"—"full amount cheer­ful­ly paid upon hear­ing of your death"—until a hack ap­peared com­ing down the cross­road de­scend­ing into Gospel­er's Gulch, and stopped at the Gospel­er's door. As the faint driv­er, trem­bling with ner­vous de­bil­i­ty from great ex­cess of death­ly ad­mo­ni­tion ad­dressed to him, through the front win­dow of his hack, all the way from the ferry, checked his hors­es in one fee­ble gasp of re­main­ing strength, the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS stepped forth from the door­way to greet Mr. SCHENCK and the dark-com­plex­ioned, sharp-eyed young broth­er and sis­ter who came with him.

"Now re­mem­ber, fel­low," said Mr. SCHENCK to the driv­er, after he had come out of the ve­hi­cle, shak­ing his cane men­ac­ing­ly at him as he spoke, "I've warned you, in time, to pre­pare for death, and given you a Sched­ule of our rates to read to your fam­i­ly. If you should die of apoplexy in a week, as you prob­a­bly will, your wife must pick rags, and your chil­dren play a harp and fid­dle. Dream of it, think of it, dis­so­lute man, and take a Pol­i­cy in the Bo­re­al."

As the worn-out hack­man, too de­spon­dent at thought of his im­pend­ing de­cease and fam­i­ly-bankrupt­cy to make any other an­swer than a groan, drove wretched­ly away, the ge­nial Mr. SCHENCK hoarse­ly in­tro­duced the young PEN­DRAG­ONS to the Gospel­er, and went with them after the lat­ter into the house.

The Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS SIMP­SON, with dire fore­bod­ings of the dis­com­fi­ture of his dear old nut-crack­er of a moth­er, did the hon­ors of a gen­er­al in­tro­duc­tion with a per­fect fail­ure of a smile; and, thence­forth, until din­ner was over, Mr. SCHENCK was the Egyp­tian fes­tal skele­ton that con­tin­u­al­ly re­mind­ed the ban­queters of their lat­ter ends.

"Great Heav­ens! what signs of the seeds of the tomb do I not see all around me here," ob­served Mr. SCHENCK, in a deep base voice, as he helped him­self to more cod­fish. "Here is my friend, Mr. SIMP­SON, with­er­ing under our very eyes with Dys­pep­sia. In Mr. BUM­STEAD'S manly eye you can per­ceive Con­ges­tion of the Brain. Gen­er­al De­bil­i­ty marked the ven­er­a­ble Mrs. SIMP­SON for its own. Miss POTTS and MAG­NO­LIA can bloom and eat caramels now; but what will be their an­guish when ma­lig­nant Small Pox rages, as it sure­ly must, next month! Mr. DROOD and MONT­GOMERY are re­joic­ing in the health and thin legs of youth; but how many lob­ster sal­ads are there be­tween them and fatal Cholera Mor­bus? As for Miss ELIZ­A­BETH CADY CAROWTHERS, there, her Skele­ton is al­ready com­ing through at the shoul­ders."—"Oh, my friends!" ex­claimed the ghast­ly Mr. SCHENCK, with beau­ti­ful en­thu­si­asm, "In­sure while yet, there is time; that the kin­dred, or friends, whom you will all leave be­hind, prob­a­bly with­in the next three months, may have some­thing to keep them from the Poor-House, or, its dread al­ter­na­tive—Crime!" He con­sid­er­ate­ly paused until the shud­der­ing was over, and then added, with melt­ing soft­ness—"I'll leave a few of our Sched­ules with you."

When, at last, this boon-com­pan­ion said that he must go, it was sur­pris­ing to see with what pas­sion­ate cor­dial­i­ty ev­ery­body helped him off. Mr. BUM­STEAD fren­zied­ly crammed his hat upon his beam­ing head, and, with one eager blow on the top, drove it far down over his ears; FLORA POTTS and MAG­NO­LIA thrust each a buck­skin glove far up ei­ther sleeve; Miss CAROWTHERS fran­ti­cal­ly stuck one of his over­shoes under each arm; Mr. DROOD wild­ly dragged his coat over his form, with­out trou­bling him at all about the sleeves, and breath­less­ly but­toned it to the neck; and the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS and MONT­GOMERY hur­ried him forth by the shoul­ders, as though the house were on fire and he the very last to be snatched from the falling beams.

These lat­ter two then al­most ran with him to the liv­ery sta­ble where he was to ob­tain a hack for the ferry; leav­ing him in charge of the liv­ery man—who, by the way, he at once fright­ened into a Bo­re­al Pol­i­cy, by a few fe­lic­i­tous re­marks (while the hack was prepar­ing) upon the cu­ri­ous re­cent fa­tal­i­ty of Heart-Dis­ease amongst mid­dle-aged podgy men with bul­bous noses.

CHAP­TER VII
MORE CON­FI­DENCES THAN ONE

'You and your sis­ter have been in­sured, of course," said the Gospel­er to MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON, as they re­turned from es­cort­ing Mr. SCHENCK.

"Of course," echoed MONT­GOMERY, with a sup­pressed moan. "He is our guardian, and has tram­pled us into a cou­ple of poli­cies. We had to yield, or ex­cess of Bo­re­al con­ver­sa­tion would have made us ma­ni­acs."

'You speak bit­ter­ly for one so young," ob­served the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS SIMP­SON. "Is it de­range­ment of the stom­ach, or have you known sor­row?"

"Heaps of sor­row," an­swered the young man. 'You may be aware, sir, that my sis­ter and I be­long to a fine old heav­i­ly mort­gaged South­ern fam­i­ly—the PEN­RUTHERS­ES and MUN­CHAUSENS of Chip­munk Court House, Vir­ginia, are our rel­a­tives—and that SHER­MAN marched through us dur­ing the late south­ward pro­jec­tion of cer­tain of your North­ern mil­i­tary scor­pi­ons. After our fa­ther's fe­lo-de­sease, en­su­ing re­mote­ly from an over­strain in at­tempt­ing to lift a large mort­gage, our moth­er gave us a step-fa­ther of North­ern birth, who tried to amend our con­sti­tu­tions and re­con­struct us."

"Dread­ful!" mur­mured the Gospel­er.

"We hated him! MAG­NO­LIA threw her scis­sors at him sev­er­al times. My sis­ter, sir, does not know what fear is. She would fight a lion; in­her­it­ing the spir­it from our fa­ther, who, I have heard said, fre­quent­ly fought a tiger. She can fire a gun and pick off a State Sen­a­tor as well as any man in all the South. Our moth­er died. A few morn­ings there­after our step-fa­ther was found dead in his bed, and the doc­tors said he died of a pair of scis­sors which he must have swal­lowed ac­ci­den­tal­ly in his youth, and which were found, after his death, to have worked them­selves sev­er­al inch­es out of his side, near the heart."

"Swal­lowed a pair of scis­sors!" ex­claimed the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS.

"He might have had a stitch in his side at the time, you know, and want­ed to cut it," ex­plained MONT­GOMERY. "At any rate, after that we be­came wards of Mr. SCHENCK, up North here. And now let me ask you, sir, is this Mr. EDWIN DROOD a stu­dent with you?"

"No. He is vis­it­ing his uncle, Mr. BUM­STEAD," an­swered the Gospel­er, who could not free his mind from the hor­ri­ble thought that his young com­pan­ion's fear­less sis­ter might have been in some way ac­scis­so­ry to the sud­den cut­ting off of her step-fa­ther's ca­reer.

"Is Miss FLORA POTTS his sis­ter?"

Mr. SIMP­SON told the story of the be­trothal of the young cou­ple by their re­spec­tive de­part­ed par­ents.

"Oh, that's the game, eh?" said MONT­GOMERY. "I un­der­stand now his whis­per­ing to me that he wished he was dead." In a mo­ment af­ter­wards they re-en­tered the house in Gospel­er's Gulch.

The air was slight­ly laden with the odor of cloves as they went into the par­lor, and Mr. BUM­STEAD was at the piano, ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Flow­er­pot while she sang. Ex­e­cut­ing with­out notes, and with his stony gaze fixed in­tent­ly be­tween the nose and chin of the singer, Mr. BUM­STEAD had a cer­tain mes­mer­ic ap­pear­ance of con­trol­ling the words com­ing out of the rosy mouth. Stand­ing be­side Miss POTTS was MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON, seem­ing­ly fas­ci­nat­ed, as it were, by the BUM­STEAD method of play­ing, in which the per­former's fin­gers per­formed al­most as fre­quent­ly upon the wood­work of the in­stru­ment as upon the keys. Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON sur­veyed the group with an arm rest­ing on the man­tel; Mr. SIMP­SON took a chair by his ma­ter­nal nut-crack­er, and Mr. DROOD stealthi­ly prac­ticed with his ball on a chair be­hind the sofa.

The Flow­er­pot was singing a neat thing by LONGFEL­LOW about the Evening Star, and seemed to ex­pe­ri­ence the most re­mark­able psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fects from Mr. BUM­STEAD'S wood­en vari­a­tions and ex­traor­di­nary stare at the lower part of her coun­te­nance. Thus, she twitched her plump shoul­ders strange­ly, and sang—

"Just a-bove yon sandy bar, As the day grows faint—(te-hee-he-he!) Lone­ly and love­ly a sin­gle—(now do-o-nt!)

Lights the air with"—(sto-o-op! It tick­les—)

Con­vul­sive­ly gig­gling and ex­claim­ing, al­ter­nate­ly, Miss POTTS abrupt­ly ended her beau­ti­ful bronchial noise with vi­o­lent dis­tor­tion of coun­te­nance, as though there were a spi­der in her mouth, and sank upon a chair in a con­di­tion al­most hys­ter­i­cal.

'Your play­ing has made SISSY ner­vous, JACK," said EDWIN DROOD, hasti­ly con­ceal­ing his ball and com­ing for­ward. "I no­ticed, my­self, that you played more than half the notes in the air, or on the mu­sic-rack, with­out touch­ing the keys at all."

"That is be­cause I am not ac­cus­tomed to play­ing upon two pi­anos at once," an­swered BUM­STEAD, who, at that very mo­ment, was in­dus­tri­ous­ly play­ing the rest of the air some inch­es from the near­est key.

"He couldn't make me ner­vous!" ex­claimed Miss PEN­DRAG­ON, de­cid­ed­ly.

They bore the ex­cit­ed Flow­er­pot, (who still tit­tered a lit­tle, and was ner­vous­ly feel­ing her throat,) to the win­dow, for air; and when they came back Mr. BUM­STEAD was gone. "There, Sissy," said EDWIN DROOD, "you've driv­en him away; and I'm half afraid he feels un­pleas­ant­ly con­fused about it; for he's got out of the rear door of the house by mis­take, and I can hear him try­ing to find his way home in the back-yard."

The two young men es­cort­ed Miss CAROWTHERS and the two young ladies to the door of the Aims-House, and there bade them good-night; but, at a yet later hour, FLORA POTTS and the new pupil still con­versed in the cham­ber which they were to oc­cu­py con­joint­ly.

After dis­cussing the fash­ions with great ex­cite­ment; ask­ing each other just ex­act­ly what each gave for every ar­ti­cle she wore; and suc­ces­sive­ly prac­tic­ing male-dis­cour­ag­ing, male-en­cour­ag­ing, and chron­i­cal­ly-in-dif­fer­ent ex­pres­sions of face in the mir­ror (as all good young ladies al­ways do prepara­to­ry to their evening prayers,) the love­ly twain made solemn night­cap-oath of eter­nal friend­ship to each other, and then, of course, began pick­ing the men to pieces.

"Who is this Mr. BUM­STEAD?" asked MAG­NO­LIA, who was now look­ing much like a ghost.

"He's that ab­surd EDDY'S ridicu­lous uncle, and my mu­sic-teach­er," an­swered the Flow­er­pot, also pre­sent­ing an ema­ci­at­ed ap­pear­ance.

'You do not love him?" queried MAG­NO­LIA.

"Now go "wa-a-ay! How per­fect­ly dis­gust­ing!" protest­ed FLORA.

'You know that he loves you!"

"Do-o-n't!" plead­ed Miss POTTS, ner­vous­ly. 'You'll make me fid­get­ty again, just think­ing of to-night. It was too per­fect­ly ab­surd."

"What was?"

"Why, he was,—Mr. BUM­STEAD. It gave me the fun­ni­est feel­ing! It was as though some one was try­ing to see through you, you know."

"My child!" ex­claimed Miss PEN­DRAG­ON, drop­ping her cheek-dis­ten­ders upon the bu­reau, "you speak strange­ly. Has that man gained any power over you?"

"No, dear," re­turned FLORA wip­ing off a part of her left eye­brow with cold cream. "But didnt you see? He was look­ing right down my throat all the time I was singing, until it ac­tu­al­ly tick­led me!"

"Does he al­ways do so?"

"Oh, I don't know what he al­ways does!" whim­pered the ner­vous Flow­er­pot. "Oh, he's such an ut­ter­ly ridicu­lous crea­ture! Some­times when we're in com­pa­ny to­geth­er, and I smell cloves, and look at him, I think that I see the lid of his right eye drop over the ball and trem­ble at me in the strangest man­ner. And some­times his eyes seem fixed mo­tion­less in his head, as they did to-night, and he'll ap­pear to wan­der off into a kind of dream, and feel about in the air with his right arm as though he want­ed to hug some­body. Oh! my throat be­gins to tick­le again! Oh, stay with me, and be my ab­surd­ly ridicu­lous friend!"

The dark-fea­tured South­ern linen spec­tre leaned sooth­ing­ly above the other linen spec­tre, with a bot­tle of cam­phor in her hand, near the bu­reau upon which the back-hair of both was piled; and in the flash of her black eyes, and the de­fi­ant flirt of the kid-gloves dipped in glyc­er­ine which she was draw­ing on her hands, lurked death by light­ning and other harsh usage for whom­so­ev­er of the male sex should ever be caught look­ing down in the mouth again.

CHAP­TER VIII
A DAG­GERY TYPE OF FORT­ALK­RA­PHY

The two young gen­tle­men, hav­ing seen their bloom­ing charges safe­ly with­in the door of the Aims-House, and vain­ly en­deav­ored to look through the key­hole at them going up-stairs, scuf­fle away to­geth­er with that sen­sa­tion of blend­ed im­be­cil­i­ty and iras­ci­bil­i­ty which is equal­ly char­ac­ter­is­tic of cal­low youth and in­ex­pe­ri­enced Thomas Cats when re­tir­ing to­geth­er from the so­ci­ety of fe­male friends who seem to be still on the fence as re­gards their ul­ti­mate pref­er­ences.

"Do you bore your friends here long, Mr. DROOD?" in­quired MONT­GOMERY; as who should say: Maouiw-ow-ooo-spt! sp't!

"Not this time, Se­cesh," is the an­swer; as though it were ob­served, ooo-ooo-sp't! "I leave for New York again to-mor­row; but shall be off and on again in Bum­steadville until mid­sum­mer, when I go to Egypt, Illi­nois, to be an en­gi­neer on a rail­road. The stamps left me by my fa­ther are all in the stock of that road, and the Mr. BUM­STEAD whom you saw to­night is my uncle and guardian."

"Mr. SIMP­SON in­forms me that you are des­tined to as­sume the ex­pens­es of Miss POTTS, when you're old enough," re­marks MONT­GOMERY, his eyes shin­ing quite green­ly in the moon­light.

"Well, per­haps you'd like to make some­thing out of it," says EDWIN, whose orbs have as­sumed a yel­low­ish glit­ter. "Per­haps you South­ern Con­fed­era­cies didn't get quite enough of it at Get­tys­burgh and Five Forks."

"We had the exquisite plea­sure of killing a few thou­sand Yan­kee free-lovers," in­ti­mates MONT­GOMERY, with a hol­low laugh.

"Ah, yes, I re­mem­ber—at An­der­son­ville," sug­gests EDWIN DROOD, be­gin­ning to roll back his sleeves.

"This is your mag­na­nim­i­ty to the con­quered, is it!" ex­claims MONT­GOMERY, scorn­ful­ly. "I don't pre­tend to have your ad­van­tages, Mr. DROOD, and I've scarce­ly had any more ed­u­ca­tion than an Amer­i­can Hu­morist; but where I come from, if a car­pet-bag­ger should talk as you do, the cost of his fu­ner­al would be but a tri­fle."

"I can pre­pare you, at short­est no­tice, for some­thing very neat and taste­ful in the sil­ver-trimmed rose­wood line, with plat­ed han­dles, dark-com­plex­ioned Ku-klux," re­turns Mr. DROOD, prepar­ing to pull off his coat.

"Who would have be­lieved," so­lil­o­quizes MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON, "that even a scalawag North­ern spoon-thief, like our scur­rilous con­tem­po­rary, would get so mad at being re­mind­ed that he must be mar­ried some day!"

"Who­ev­er says that I'm mad," is the an­swer, "lies de­lib­er­ate­ly wil­ful­ly, wicked­ly, with naked in­tent to de­fame and ma­lign."

But here a heavy hand sud­den­ly smites EDWIN in the back, al­most snap­ping his head off, and there stands spec­tral­ly be­tween them Mr. BUM­STEAD, who has but re­cent­ly found his way out of the back-yard in Gospel­er"s Gulch, by re­mov­ing at least two yards of pick­et fence from the wrong place, and wears upon his head a ging­ham sun-bon­net, which, in his hur­ried de­par­ture through the hall of the Gospel­er"s house, he has mis­tak­en for his own hat. Sus­tain­ing him­self against the fierce evening breeze by hold­ing firm­ly to both shoul­ders of his nephew, this strik­ing ap­pari­tion re­gards the two young men with as much aus­ter­i­ty as is con­sis­tent with the flap­ping of the cape of his sun-bon­net.

"Gen­tlele­mons," he says, with painful syl­lab­ic dis­tinct­ness, "can I be­lieve my ears? Are you al­ready mak­ing jour­nal­ists of your­selves?"

They hang their heads in shame under the mer­ci­less but just ac­cu­sa­tion. "Here you are," con­tin­ues BUM­STEAD, "a quar­tette of young fel­lows who should all be friends. NEDS, NEDS! I am ashamed of you! MONT­GOMERIES, you should not let your angry pas­sions rise; for your lit­tle hands were never made to bark and bite." After this, Mr. BUM­STEAD seems lost for a mo­ment, and re­clines upon his nephew, with his eyes closed in med­i­ta­tion. "But let's all five of us go up to my room," he fi­nal­ly adds, "and re­store friend­ship with lemon tea. It is time for the North and South to be rec­on­ciled over some­thing hot. Come."

Lean­ing upon both of them now, and push­ing them into a walk, he exquisite­ly turns the re­frain of the re­ject­ed Na­tion­al Hymn—

'"Twas by a mis­take that we lost Bull Bun, When we all skedad­dled to Wash­ing­ton, And we'll all drink atone blind, John­ny fill up the bowl?"

Thus he art­ful­ly em­ploys music to soothe their sec­tion­al an­i­mosi­ties, and only skips into the air once as they walk, with a "Whoop! That was some­thing like a snake!"

Ar­riv­ing in his room, the door of which he has had some trou­ble in open­ing, on ac­count of the knob hav­ing wan­dered in his ab­sence to the wrong side, Mr. BUM­STEAD in­di­cates a bot­tle of lemon tea, with some glass­es, on the table, ac­ci­den­tal­ly places the lamp so that it shines di­rect­ly upon EDWIN'S tri­an­gu­lar sketch of FLORA over the man­tel, and, tak­ing his um­brel­la under his arm, smiles hor­ri­bly at his young guests from out his sun-bon­net.

"Do you rec­og­nize that pic­ture, PEN­DRAG­ONS?" he asks, after the two have drunk fier­i­ly at each other. "Do you no­tice its stereo­scop­ic ef­fect of being dou­ble?"

"Ah," says MONT­GOMERY, crit­i­cal­ly, "a good deal in the style of HEN­NESSY, or WINSLOW HOMER, I should say. Some­thing in the school-slate method."

"It's by ED­WINS, there!" ex­plains Mr. BUM­STEAD, tri­umphant­ly. "Just look at him as he sits there both to­geth­er, with all his hap­pi­ness cut out for him, and his dis­like of South­ern­ers his only fault."

"If I could only draw Miss PEN­DRAG­ON, now," says EDWIN DROOD, rather flat­tered, "I might do bet­ter. A good sharp nose and South­ern com­plex­ion help won­der­ful­ly in the ex­pres­sion of a pic­ture."

"Per­haps my sis­ter would pre­fer to choose her own artist," re­marks MONT­GOMERY, to whom Mr. BUM­STEAD has just poured out some more lemon tea.

"Say a South­ern one, for in­stance, who might use some of the fly­ing col­ors that were al­ways war­rant­ed to run when our boys got after yours in the late war," re­sponds EDWIN, to whom his at­ten­tive uncle has also poured out some more lemon tea for his cold.

"For in­stance—at Fred­er­icks­burgh," ob­serves MONT­GOMERY. "I was think­ing of Fort Donel­son," re­turns EDWIN.

The con­ser­va­tive BUM­STEAD strives anx­ious­ly to allay the ir­ri­ta­tion of his young guests by prod­ding first one and then the other with his um­brel­la; and, in an at­tempt to hold both of them and the pic­ture be­hind him in one com­mand­ing glance under his sun-bon­net, pre­sents a phase of stra­bis­mus sel­dom at­tained by human eyes.

"If I only had you down where I come from, Mr. DROOD," cries MONT­GOMERY, tick­led into un­govern­able wrath by the fer­ule of the um­brel­la, I'd tar and feath­er you like a Yan­kee teach­er, and then burn you like a freed­man's church."

"Oh!—if you only had me there, you'd do so," cries EDWIN DROOD, spring­ing to his feet as the um­brel­la tor­tures his ribs. "If, eh? Pooh, pooh, my young fel­low, I per­ceive that you are a mere Cincin­nati Ed­i­tor."

The de­grad­ing ep­i­thet goads PEN­DRAG­ON to fury, and, after throw­ing his re­main­ing lemon tea about equal­ly upon EDWIN and the sun-bon­net, he ex­tracts the sugar from the bot­tom of the glass with his fin­gers, and uses the gob­let to ward off a last ap­proach of the um­brel­la.

"ED­WINS! MONT­GOMERIES!" ex­claims Mr. BUM­STEAD, open­ing the um­brel­la be­tween them so sud­den­ly that each is grazed on the nose by a whale­bone rib, "I com­mand you to end this Con­gres­sion­al de­bate at once. I never saw four such young men be­fore! MONT­GOMERIES, put up your penknife thizin­stant!"

Push­ing aside the bar­ri­er of al­paca and whale­bone from under his chin, MONT­GOMERY dash­es wild­ly from the house, tears madly back to Gospel­er"s Gulch, and as­tounds the Gospel­er by his ap­pear­ance.

"Oh, Mr. SIMP­SON," he cries, as he is con­duct­ed to the door of his own room, "I be­lieve that I, too, in­her­it some tiger­ish qual­i­ties from that tiger my fa­ther is said to have fought so often. I've had a po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sion with Mr. DROOD in Mr. BUM­STEAD'S apart­ments, and, if I'd stayed there a mo­ment longer, I reck­on I should have mur­dered some­body in a mo­ment of Emo­tion­al In­san­i­ty."

The Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS SIMP­SON makes him un­close his clenched fist, in which there ap­pears to be one or two cloves, and then says: "I am shocked to hear this, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON. As you have no po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence, and have never shot a Tri­bune man, nei­ther New York law nor so­ci­ety would allow you to com­mit mur­der with im­puni­ty. I re­gret, too, to see that you have been drink­ing, and would ad­vise you to try a chap­ter from one of Pro­fes­sor DE MILLE'S nov­els, as a mild emet­ic, be­fore re­tir­ing. After that, two or three sen­tences from one of Mr. RICHARD GRANT WHITE'S es­says—will en­sure sleep to you for the re­main­der of the night."

Re­turn­ing the un­speak­ably thank­ful pres­sure of the grate­ful young man's hand, the Gospel­er goes thought­ful­ly down stairs, where he is just in time to an­swer the ex­cit­ed ring of Mr. BUM­STEAD.

"Dear me, Mr. BUM­STEAD!" is his first ex­cla­ma­tion, "what's that you've got on your head?"

"Per­spi­ra­tion, sir," cries BUM­STEAD, who, in his ag­i­ta­tion, is still ring­ing the bell. "We've near­ly had a mur­der to-night, and I've come around to offer you my um­brel­la for your own pro­tec­tion."

"Um­brel­la!" echoes Mr. SIMP­SON, "why, re­al­ly, I don't see how—"

"Open it on him sud­den­ly when he makes a pass at you," in­ter­rupts Mr. BUM­STEAD, thrust­ing the al­paca weapon upon him. "I'll send for it in the morn­ing."

The Gospel­er stands con­found­ed in his own door­way, with the de­fence thus strange­ly se­cured in his hand; and, look­ing up the moon­light­ed road, sees Mr. BUM­STEAD, in the sun-bon­net, leap­ing high, at short in­ter­vals, over the nu­mer­ous adders and co­bras on his home­ward way, like a thor­ough­bred hur­dle-rac­er.

CHAP­TER IX
BALKS IN A BRUSH

FLORA, hav­ing no re­la­tions in the world that she knew of, had, ever since her sev­enth new bon­net, known no other home than Macas­sar Fe­male Col­lege, in the Aims-House, and re­gard­ed Miss CAROWTHERS as her moth­er-in-lore. Her mem­o­ry of her own moth­er was of a la­dy-like per­son who had swift­ly waist­ed away in the ef­fort to be al­ways taken for her own daugh­ter, and was, one day, brought down-stairs, by her hus­band, in two pieces, from tight lac­ing. The sad sep­a­ra­tion (tak­ing place just be­fore a party of plea­sure), had driv­en FLORA'S fa­ther into a fren­zy of grief for his bet­ter halves; which was aug­ment­ed to brain fever by Mr. SCHENCK, who, hav­ing given a Bo­re­al pol­i­cy to de­ceased, felt it his duty to talk gloomi­ly about wives who some­times died apart after re­ceiv­ing un­mer­it­ed cuts from their hus­bands, and to sug­gest a com­pro­mise of ten per cent, upon the amount of the pol­i­cy, as a much more cheer­ful set­tle­ment than a coro­ner's in­quest. FLORA'S be­trothal had grown out of the sooth­ing of Mr. POTTS'S last year of men­tal dis­or­der by Mr. DROOD, an old part­ner in the gro­cery busi­ness, who, too, was a wid­ow­er from his wife's use of ar­senic and lead for her com­plex­ion. The two be­reaved friends, after com­par­ing tears and look­ing mourn­ful­ly at each other's tongues, had talked them­selves to death over the fluc­tu­a­tions in sugar; will­ing their re­spec­tive chil­dren to marry in fu­ture for the sake of keep­ing up the con­tro­ver­sy.

From the FLOW­ER­POT'S first ar­rival at the Aims-House, her new things, en­gage­ment to be mar­ried, and stock of choco­late caramels, had won the deep­est af­fec­tions of her teach­ers and school­mates; and, on the morn­ing after the sec­tion­al dis­pute be­tween EDWIN and MONT­GOMERY, when one of the young ladies had heard of it as a pro­found se­cret, no pains were spared by the whole ten­der-heart­ed school to make her be­lieve that nei­ther of the young men was en­tire­ly given up yet by the con­sult­ing physi­cians. It was whis­pered, in­deed, that a knife or two might have passed, and two or three guns been ex­changed; but she was not to be at all wor­ried, for per­sons had been known to get well with the tops of their heads off.

At an early hour, how­ev­er, Miss PEN­DRAG­ON had paid a visit to her broth­er, in Gospel­er"s Gulch; and, com­ing back with the in­tel­li­gence, that, while he had been stabbed to the heart, it was chiefly by cruel in­sin­u­a­tions and an um­brel­la, was en­abled to as­sure Miss CAROWTHERS, in con­fi­dence, that noth­ing el­i­gi­ble for pub­li­ca­tion in the New York Sun had re­al­ly oc­curred. Thus, when the legal con­queror of Breachy Mr. BLOD­GETT en­tered that prin­ci­pal recita­tion-room of the Macas­sar, for­mal­ly known as the Cack­le­o­ri­um, she had no dif­fi­cul­ty in ex­plain­ing away the panic.

She said that "Un­found­ed Rumor, Ladies, is, we all know, a de­scrip­tive phrase ap­plied by the As­so­ci­at­ed Press to all im­por­tant for­eign news pro­cured a week or two in ad­vance of its own sim­i­lar Eu­ro­pean ad­vices, by the Press As­so­ci­a­tion[A]. We per­ceive then, Ladies, (Miss JENK­INS will be good enough to stop scratch­ing her nose while I am talk­ing,) that Un­found­ed Rumor some­times means—hem!—

'The As­so­ci­at­ed Press In bit­ter dis­tress.'

In Bum­steadville, how­ev­er, it has a sig­ni­fi­ca­tion more like what we should give it in re­la­tion to a state­ment that Sen­a­tor SUM­N­ER had de­liv­ered a Latin quo­ta­tion with­out a speech se­lect­ed for it. In this sense, Ladies, (Miss PARKIN­SON can scarce­ly be aware of how much cot­ton stock­ing can be seen when she lolls so,) the Un­found­ed Rumor con­cern­ing two gen­tle­men of dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal views in this coun­ty was not cor­rect. (Miss BAB­COCK will learn four chap­ters in Chron­i­cles by heart to-night, for mak­ing her hand­ker­chief into a baby,) as prop­er in­quiries have as­sured us that no more blood was shed than if the par­ties to the strife had been a Cana­di­an and a Fe­ni­an. We will, there­fore, drop the sub­ject, and enter at once upon the flow­ery path of the first les­son in al­ge­bra."

This ex­pla­na­tion de­stroyed all the in­ter­est of a ma­jor­i­ty of the young ladies, who had an­tic­i­pat­ed a hor­rid­ly de­light­ful duel, at least; but FLORA was slight­ly hys­ter­i­cal about it, even late in the af­ter­noon, when it was an­nounced that her guardian had come to see her.

Mr. DIB­BLE, of Gowanus, had been se­lect­ed for his trust on ac­count of his pre-em­i­nent good­ness, which, as seems to be in­vari­ably the case, was as­so­ci­at­ed with an ab­sence of per­son­al beau­ty trench­ing upon the scare­crow. Pos­si­bly an ex­cess of strong and dis­pro­por­tion­ate carv­ing in nose, mouth and chin, ac­com­pa­nied by weak eyes and un­ex­pect­ed­ness of fore­head, may tend to make the Evil One but lan­guid in his de­sire for the cap­ture of its human ex­em­plar. This may help ac­count for the oth­er­wise rather cu­ri­ous co­in­ci­dence of fright­ful phys­iog­no­my and preter­nat­u­ral good­ness in this world of sin­ful beau­ties[B], Under such a the­o­ry, Mr. DIB­BLE'S easy means of fright­en­ing the Arch-Tempter into im­me­di­ate flight, and keep­ing him­self free from all pos­si­ble in­cite­ment to be any­thing but good, were a face, head and neck shaped not un­like an old-fash­ioned wa­ter-pitch­er, and a form sug­ges­tive of an obese lob­ster bal­anc­ing on an up­right horse-shoe. His nose was too high up; his mouth and chin bulged too tremen­dous­ly; his neck in­side a whole main­sail of shirt-col­lar was too much flut­ed, and his eyes were as much too small and oys­ter-like as his ears were too large and horny.

Mr. DIB­BLE found his ward in Miss CAROWTHER'S own pri­vate room, from which even the gov­ern­ment mails were gen­er­al­ly ex­clud­ed; and, after salut­ing both ladies, and po­lite­ly de­sir­ing the elder to re­main pre­sent, in order to be sure that his con­ver­sa­tion was strict­ly moral, the mon­strous old gen­tle­man pulled a mem­o­ran­dum book from his pock­et and ad­dressed him­self to FLORA

"I am a square man my­self, dear kissling," he said, with much dou­ble chin in his man­ner, "and like to do ev­ery­thing on the square. I am now 'in­ter­view­ing' you, and shall make notes of your an­swers, though not nec­es­sar­i­ly for pub­li­ca­tion. First: is your health sat­is­fac­to­ry?"

Miss POTTS ad­mit­ted that, ex­cept­ing oc­ca­sion­al at­tacks of in­sa­tiable long­ing for True Sym­pa­thy, chiefly pro­duced by over-eat­ing of pick­les and slate-pen­cils to avert ex­ces­sive plump­ness, she could gen­er­al­ly take pie twice with­out ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a sub­se­quent re­ac­tionary ten­den­cy to piety and gloomy pre­sen­ti­ments.

"Sec­ond: is your al­lowance of pin-mon­ey suf­fi­cient to keep you in cold cream, Berlin wool, and other nec­es­saries of life?"

The FLOW­ER­POT con­fessed that she had now and then wished her­self able to buy a church and a vel­vet dressing­gown, (lined with cher­ry,) for a young cler­gy­man with the con­sump­tion and side-whiskers; but, under com­mon cir­cum­stances, her al­lowance was enough to pro­cure all ab­so­lute­ly req­ui­site Edg­ing with­out run­ning her into debt, and still leave suf­fi­cient to buy ma­te­ri­als for any rea­son­able al­tar-cloth.

"And now, my dear," said Mr. DIB­BLE, ev­i­dent­ly glad that all the more im­por­tant and se­ri­ous part of the in­ter­view was over, "we come to the sub­ject of your mar­riage. Mr. EDWIN has seen you here, oc­ca­sion­al­ly, I sup­pose, and you may pos­si­bly like him well enough to ac­cept him as a hus­band, if not as a friend!"

"He's such a per­fect­ly ab­surd crea­ture that I can't help lik­ing him," re­turned FLORA grave­ly; "but I am not cer­tain that my ut­ter­ly ridicu­lous deep­er woman's love is en­tire­ly sat­is­fied with the shape of his nose."

"That'll be most­ly hid­den by his whiskers, when they grow," ob­served her guardian.

"I hope they'll be bushy, with a friz­zle at the ends and a bald place for his chin," said the young girl, re­flec­tive­ly; then sud­den­ly asked: "If we shouldn't be mar­ried, would ei­ther of us have to pay any­thing?"

"I should say not," an­swered Mr. DIB­BLE, "un­less you sued him for breach." (Here Miss CAROWTHERS was heard to mur­mur "BLOD­GETT," and hasti­ly took an an­ti-ner­vous pill.) "I should say that your re­spec­tive par­ents wished you to marry only in case you should see no other per­sons whose noses you liked bet­ter. As on this com­ing Christ­mas you will be with­in a few months of your mar­riage, I have brought your fa­ther's will with me, with the in­ten­tion of de­posit­ing it in the hands of Mr. EDWIN'S trustee, Mr. BUM­STEAD—"

"Oh, leave it with EDDY, if you'll please to be so ridicu­lous­ly kind," in­ter­rupt­ed FLORA "Mr. BUM­STEAD would cer­tain­ly in­sist upon it that there were two wills, in­stead of one: and that would be so ab­surd."

"Well, well," as­sent­ed Mr. DIB­BLE, ris­ing to go, "I'm a per­fect­ly square man, even when I'm look­ing round, and will do as you wish. As a slight me­men­to of my re­al­ly charm­ing visit here, might I humbly pe­ti­tion yon­der lady to remit any lit­tle penal­ty that may hap­pen to be in force just now against any love­ly stu­dent of the Col­lege for eat­ing pre­serves in bed, or writ­ing notes to the Ital­ian music teach­er, who is al­ready mar­ried, or any­thing of that kind?"

"FLORA" said Miss CAROWTHERS, gra­cious­ly, "you may tell Miss BAB­COCK, that, in con­se­quence of your guardian's re­quest, she will be ex­cused from study­ing her Bible as a pun­ish­ment."

After due ac­knowl­edg­ment of this favor, the good Mr. DIB­BLE made his farewell bow, and went forth to the turn­pike. Fol­low­ing that high road, he present­ly found him­self near the side-door of the Rit­u­al­is­tic Church of Saint Cow's, and, while cu­ri­ous­ly watch­ing the minor canons who were car­ry­ing in some fire­works to be used in the next day's ser­vice, was con­front­ed by Mr. BUM­STEAD just com­ing out.

"Let me see you home," said Mr. BUM­STEAD, hasti­ly hold­ing out an arm. "I'll tell the fam­i­ly it's only ver­ti­go."

"Why, noth­ing is the mat­ter with me," plead­ed Mr. DIB­BLE. "I've only been hav­ing a talk with my ward."

"I'll bet cloves for two that she didnt say she pre­ferred me to NED," in­sin­u­at­ed Mr. BUM­STEAD, breath­ing au­di­bly through his nose.

"Then you'll not lose," was the an­swer; "for she did not tell me whom she pre­ferred to the one she wish­es to marry. They never do; and some­times it is only dis­cov­ered in In­di­ana. You and I sur­ren­der our re­spec­tive guardian­ships on Christ­mas, Mr. BUM­STEAD; until when good-bye; and be early mar­riage their lot!"

"Be early Di­vorce their lot!" said BUM­STEAD, thrust­ing his book of or­gan-mu­sic so far under his coat-flap that it stuck out at the back like a cur­va­ture of the spine.

"I said mar­riage," cried Mr. DIB­BLE, look­ing back.

"I said Di­vorce," re­tort­ed Mr. BUM­STEAD, thought­ful­ly eat­ing a clove, "Dont one gen­er­al­ly in­volve the other?"

[Foot­note A: Oh, see here now, this is re­al­ly too bad! The man­ner in which the great Amer­i­can Adapter is all the time mak­ing to­tal­ly un­ex­pect­ed and vi­cious pass­es at the finest old cher­ished in­sti­tu­tions of the age is sim­ply fright­ful. PUNCHINEL­LO should pre­vent it?—Well, PUNCHINEL­LO did re­mon­strate at an early stage of the Adap­ta­tion; and the re­sult was, that all the finest feel­ings of his na­ture were out­raged by an en­su­ing Chap­ter, in which was in­tro­duced a pau­per buri­al-ground swarm­ing with de­ceased pro­pri­etors of Amer­i­can Punch­es!—EDS. PUNCHINEL­LO.]

[Foot­note B: The whole idea is noth­ing less than atro­cious; and, in our judg­ment, the Adapter's ac­tu­al pur­pose in putting it forth is to make his own su­perla­tive good­ness seem proved by a log­i­cal con­clu­sion.—EDS. PUNCHINEL­LO.]

CHAP­TER X
OIL­ING THE WHEELS

No hus­band who has ever prop­er­ly stud­ied his moth­er-in-law can fail to be aware that woman's per­cep­tion of heart­less vil­lainy and ev­i­dences of in­tox­i­ca­tion in man is often of that cu­ri­ous­ly fine order of vi­sion which rather ex­ceeds the best ef­forts of or­di­nary mi­cro­scopes, and sub­jects the av­er­age human mind to con­sid­er­able as­ton­ish­ment. The per­fect ease with which she can de­tect mur­der­ous pro­cliv­i­ties, Mor­mon in­stincts, and ad­dic­tion to mad­den­ing liquors, in a daugh­ter's hus­band—who, to the most search­ing in­spec­tion of ev­ery­body else, ap­pears the wa­tery, hen-pecked, and gen­er­al­ly in­tim­i­dat­ed young man of his age—is one of those com­mon il­lus­tra­tions of the in­fal­li­ble acute­ness of fem­i­nine judg­ment which are doing more and more, every day, to es­tab­lish the pos­i­tive ne­ces­si­ty of woman's su­pe­ri­or in­sight, and nat­u­ral dis­pas­sion­ate fair­ness of mind, for the fu­ture wis­est ex­er­cise of the elec­tive fran­chise and most just ad­min­is­tra­tion of the high­est ju­di­cial of­fice. It may be said that the moth­er-in-law is the high­est de­vel­op­ment of the su­per­nat­u­ral­ly per­cep­tive and pos­i­tive woman, since she usu­al­ly has su­pe­ri­or op­por­tu­ni­ties to study man in all the stages from mar­riage to mad­ness; but with her whole sex, par­tic­u­lar­ly after cer­tain sour turns in life, in­heres an alert­ness of ob­ser­va­tion as to the in­cred­i­ble vi­cious­ness of mas­cu­line char­ac­ter, which noth­ing less than a bit of flat­tery or a hap­pi­ly equiv­o­cal re­flec­tion upon some rival sis­ter can ei­ther di­vert or mis­lead for a mo­ment.

"Now dont you re­al­ly think, OLDY," said Gospel­er SIMP­SON to his moth­er, as he sat watch­ing her fab­ri­ca­tion of an im­mense stock­ing for the poor, "that Hope­less Ine­bri­ate and Mid­night As­sas­sin are a rather too se­vere char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of my pupil, Mr. MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON?"

"No, I do not, OC­TAVE," replied the ex­cel­lent old nutcrack­er of a lady, who was mak­ing the char­i­ty stock­ing as near­ly in the shape of a hatch­et as pos­si­ble. "When a young man of rebel sen­ti­ments spends all his nights in drink­ing lemon teas, and try­ing to spoil other young men's clothes in throw­ing such teas at them, and is only to be put down by um­brel­las, and comes to his homes with cloves in his clenched fists, and has headaches on the fol­low­ing days, he's on his way ei­ther to po­lit­i­cal of­fice or the gal­lows."

"But he hasn't done so at all with s's to it," ex­claimed the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS, ex­as­per­at­ed by so many plu­rals. "He did it but once, and then he was strong­ly pro­voked. EDWIN men­tioned the sharp­ness of his sis­ter's nose to him, and re­flect­ed ca­su­al­ly upon the late well-known South­ern Con­fed­er­a­cy."

"Dont tell me!" rea­soned the fine old lady, hold­ing up the stock­ing by its han­dle to see how much longer it must be to reach the wear­er's waist. "I'm afraid you're a cop­per­head, OC­TAVE."

"How you do cack­le, OLDY!" said her son, who was very proud of her when she kept still. 'You can't see any­thing good in MONT­GOMERY, be­cause, after the first seven or eight break­fasts with us, he said he was afraid that so many fish­balls would make his head swim."

"My child," re­turned the old lady, thrust­ing an arm so far into the char­i­ty stock­ing that she seemed to have the wrong kind of blue worsted limb grow­ing from one of her shoul­ders, "I have judged this dis­si­pat­ed young man ex­act­ly as though he were my own son-in-law, and know that he pos­sess­es an in­cen­di­ary dis­po­si­tion. After the fire­works at Saint Cow's Church, on Saint VITUS'S Day, that de­vot­ed Rit­u­al­is­tic Chris­tian, Mr. BUM­STEAD, came up to me in the porch, with his eyes near­ly closed, on ac­count of the solem­ni­ty of the oc­ca­sion, and began feel­ing around my neck with both his hands. When I asked him to ex­plain, he said that he want­ed to see whether my throat was cut yet, as he had heard that we kept a South­ern mur­der­er at home. He was still very pale at what had taken place in his room over night, when he fi­nal­ly said 'Good-day, ladies,' to me.

"MONT­GOMERY is cer­tain­ly at­tached to me, at any rate," mur­mured the Gospel­er, re­flec­tive­ly, "and has made no at­tempt upon my life."

"That's be­cause his sis­ter re­strains him," as­sert­ed the moth­er, with a fond look. "I over­heard her telling him, when she was at din­ner here one day, that you might be taken for a South­ern­er, if you only wore dress-coat all the time and were heav­i­ly mort­gaged. With­draw her in­flu­ence, and the des­per­ate young man would tar and feath­er us all in our beds some night."

Falling silent after this unan­swer­able proof of Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON'S guilt, Mr. SIMP­SON mused upon as much of the dear old nutcrack­er as was not hid­den by the vast char­i­ty stock­ing. In her ruf­fled cap, false front, and spec­ta­cles, she was so ex­act­ly the fig­ure one might pic­ture Mr. JOHN STU­ART MILL to be, after read­ing his lat­est lit­er­ary knit­ting on the Re­volt­ing In­jus­tice of Mas­cu­line So­ci­ety, that the Gospel­er of Saint Cow's could not help feel­ing how per­fect­ly use­less it was to ex­pect her to think her­self ca­pa­ble of error.

As, when­ev­er the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS gave in­di­ca­tion of a ca­pac­i­ty for speech­less thought­ful­ness, his be­nig­nant moth­er at once con­clud­ed that he need­ed an an­ti-bil­ious pill, she now made all haste to the cup­board to pro­cure that im­i­ta­tion-veg­etable and a glass of water. It was the neat­est, best-stored Rit­u­al­is­tic cup­board in Bum­steadville. Above it hung a por­trait of the Pope, from which the grand old Apos­tolic son of an in­fal­li­ble dogma looked know­ing­ly down, as though with the con­tents of that cup­board he could get-up such a schema as would be palat­able to the most skep­ti­cal Bish­op in all the Oe­c­u­meni­cal Coun­cil, and of which be might just­ly say: Whoso­ev­er dare think that he ever tast­ed a bet­ter schema, or ever dreamed in his deep­est con­scious­ness that a bet­ter could be made, let him be anath­e­ma maranatha! A most rak­ish look­ing wood­en but­ton, noise­less­ly stealth­ly and sly, gave en­trance to this trea­sury of dain­ties; and then what a rare array of dis­in­te­grat­ed meals in­tox­i­cat­ed the vi­sion! There was the Ath­lete of the Dairy, com­mon­ly called Fresh But­ter, in his gay yel­low jack­et, look­ing wore to the knife. There was turgid old Brown Sugar, who had ev­i­dent­ly heard the ad­vice, go to the ant, thou slug­gard! and, and mis­tak­ing the last word for Sug­ared, was going as de­lib­er­ate­ly as pos­si­ble. There was the vi­va­cious Cheese, in the hour of its mite, clad in deep, creamy, gold­en hue, with del­i­cate trac­eries of mould, like fairy cob­webs. The Smoked Beef, and Dough­nuts, as being more sober and un­emo­tion­al fea­tures of the pageant, ap­peared on ei­ther side the re­mains of a Cold Chick­en, as ren­der­ing pa­thet­ic trib­ute to hoary age; while stur­dy, re­li­able Hash and Fish­balls re­posed right and left in their mot­tled and rich brown coats, with a kind of com­pla­cent con­scious­ness of hav­ing been cre­at­ed ac­cord­ing to Mrs. GLASS'S stan­dard dic­tum, First catch your Hair.

Gospel­er SIMP­SON, by nat­u­ral law, al­ter­nat­ed from this won­der­ful cup­board, very reg­u­lar­ly, to an­oth­er, or sis­ter cup­board, also presid­ed over by the good old ma­ter­nal nutcrack­er, where­in the en­er­get­ic pill lived in its lit­tle paste­board house next door to the crys­tal palace of smooth, in­sin­u­at­ing cas­tor oil; and pas­sion­ate fiery essence of pep­per­mint grew hot with in­dig­na­tion at the prox­im­i­ty of ple­beian rhubarb and squills. In the pre­sent case he qui­et­ly took his an­ti-bil­ious glob­ule: which, be­sides being a step in the di­rec­tion of re­mov­ing a pim­ple from his chin, was also in­tend­ed as a kind of med­i­cal prepa­ra­tion for his com­ing ser­vices in the Rit­u­al­is­tic Church, where, at a cer­tain part of the cer­e­monies, he was to stand on his head be­fore the Ban­ner of St. Alban and bal­ance Roman can­dles on his up­lift­ed feet. When the day had near­ly passed, and the Ves­per hour for those ser­vices ar­rived, he per­formed them with all the less rush of blood to the head for being thus pre­pared; yet there was still a slight sen­sa­tion of con­ges­tion, and, to get rid of this, when he stepped forth from Saint Cow's in the twi­light, it was to take an evening stroll along the shore of Bum­steadville pond.

The Pond at Bum­steadville is suf­fi­cient­ly near the turn­pike to be read­i­ly reached from the lat­ter, and, if men­tioned in the ad­ver­tise­ment of a sum­mer board­ing-house, would be called Lake Duck­ing­ham, on ac­count of the fash­ion­able ducks re­sort­ing thith­er for bathing and flir­ta­tion in the sea­son. When July's sun turns its tran­quil mir­ror to hues of amber and gold, the slen­der mosquito sings Hum, sweet Hum, along its mar­gin; and when Au­tumn hangs his liv­ery of mot­ley on the trees, the glassy sur­face breathes out a mist where­from aris­es a spec­tre, with one hand of ice and the other of flame, to scat­ter Chills and Fever. Strolling be­side this pic­turesque wa­ter­ing-place in the dusk, the Gospel­er sud­den­ly caught the clat­ter of a fe­male voice, and, in a mo­ment, came face to face with MONT­GOMERY and MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON.

"A cold and frog-like place, this, for a lady's walk, Miss PEN­DRAG­ON," he said, hasti­ly swal­low­ing a bronchial troche to neu­tral­ize the damp air ad­mit­ted in speak­ing. "I hope you have on your over­shoes."

"My sis­ter brings me here," ex­plained the broth­er, "so that her con­stant talk­ing to me, may not cause other peo­ple's heads to pain them."

"I be­lieve," con­tin­ued the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS, walk­ing slow­ly on with them, "I be­lieve, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON, your sis­ter finds out from you ev­ery­thing that you learn, or say, or do?"

"Ev­ery­thing," as­sent­ed the young man, who seemed great­ly ex­haust­ed. "She av­er­ages one ques­tion a minute."

"Con­se­quent­ly," went on Mr. SIMP­SON, "she knows that I have ad­vised you to make some kind of apol­o­gy to EDWIN DROOD, for the ed­i­to­ri­al re­marks pass­ing be­tween you on a cer­tain im­por­tant oc­ca­sion?" He looked at the sis­ter as he spoke, and took that op­por­tu­ni­ty to quick­ly swal­low a qui­nine pow­der as a pro­tec­tion from the chills.

"My broth­er, sir," said MAG­NO­LIA, "be­cause, like the Les­bian Al­caeus, fight­ing for the lib­er­ty of his na­tive Mity­lene, he has sym­pa­thized with his na­tive South, finds him­self treat­ed by Mr. DROOD with a lack of mag­na­nim­i­ty of which even the rene­gade PIT­TA­CUS would have been ashamed."

"But even at that," re­turned the Gospel­er, much ed­u­cat­ed by her re­mark, "would it not be bet­ter for us all, to have this hap­less mis­un­der­stand­ing man­ful­ly ex­plained away, and a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion achieved?"

"Did AESCHY­LUS ex­plain to the Are­opa­gus, after he had been un­just­ly abused?" asked the young fe­male stu­dent, ea­ger­ly. "Or did he, rather, nobly pre­fer to re­main silent, even until AMEINIAS re­mind­ed his prej­u­diced Yan­kee judges that he had fought at Salamis?"

"Dear me," ejac­u­lat­ed the Gospel­er, gasp­ing, "I only meant—"

"I de­fend my broth­er," con­tin­ued MAG­NO­LIA, pas­sion­ate­ly, "as in the Antigone of SOPHO­CLES, ELEC­TRA de­fends ORESTES; and even if he has no PY­LADES, he shall still be not with­out a friend in the habi­ta­tion of the Py­lop­i­dae."

"Upon my soul!" mur­mured the Rev­erend Mr. SIMP­SON, "this is a dread­ful state of things."

"I may as well con­fess to you, sir," said MONT­GOMERY, tem­porar­i­ly re­mov­ing his fin­gers from his ears, "that I ad­mire Miss POTTS as much as I'm down on DROOD."

"He ad­mires her," struck in his sis­ter, "as AL­CMAN, of Sardis, ad­mired MEGA­LOSTRA­TA; and, in her be­trothal to a Yan­kee, sees an­oth­er SAP­PHO mat­ri­mo­ni­al­ly sac­ri­ficed to an­oth­er CER­CO­LAS of An­dros."

"Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON," pant­ed the Gospel­er, "you must give up this in­fat­u­a­tion. The Flow­er­pot is en­gaged to an­oth­er, and you have no busi­ness to ex­press such sen­ti­ments for an­oth­er's bride until after she is mar­ried. Elo­quent­ly as your sis­ter.

"I pre­tend to be no MYR­TIS, in ge­nius," con­tin­ued MAG­NO­LIA, humbly. "I am not an ERIN­NA, an AMYTE, a PRAX­IL­LA, or a NOS­SIS; but all that is in­tel­lec­tu­al­ly re­pug­nant with­in me is stirred by this treat­ment of my broth­er, who is no PHILODE­MUS to find in Mr. DROOD his PISO; and some­times I feel as though, like an­oth­er SI­MONIDES, I could fly with him from this in­hos­pitable North­ern house of SCO­PAS, to the refuge of some more gen­er­ous DIOSCURI. In the pre­sent macro­cosm, to which we have come from our for­mer home's mi­cro­cosm, my broth­er is per­sis­tent­ly ma­ligned, even by Mr. BUM­STEAD, who may yet, if I am any judge, meet the fate of ANACRE­ON, as record­ed by SIN­DAS; though, in his case, the chok­ing will not be ac­com­plished by a grape-stone, but by a clove."

"Well, well," said the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS, in a faint voice, "I shall ex­pect you to at least meet EDWIN DROOD half-way in a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON, for your own sake. I will see that he makes the first ad­vance."

"Gen­er­ous and dear tutor!" ex­claimed MONT­GOMERY, "I will do any­thing, with you for my guide."

"Fol­low your guide pen­i­tent­ly, broth­er," cried his sis­ter, pa­thet­i­cal­ly, "and you will find in him a re­lent­ing—POLYN­I­CUS. What­ev­er we may feel to­wards oth­ers," she added, catch­ing and kiss­ing the over­pow­ered Gospel­er's hand, as they part­ed com­pa­ny, "you shall ever be our cho­sen, trust­ed and only PSY­CHOPOM­POS[A]."

Hold­ing his throb­bing head with both his hands, as he walked fee­bly home­ward, the worn-out Gospel­er no­ticed a light stream­ing from Mr. BUM­STEAD'S win­dow; and, in­spired by a sud­den im­pulse, en­tered the board­ing-house and as­cend­ed straight­way to the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist's rooms. BUM­STEAD was asleep upon the rug be­fore the fire, with his faith­ful um­brel­la under his arm, when Mr. SIMP­SON, after vain­ly knock­ing, opened the door; and never could the Gospel­er for­get how, upon being ad­dressed, the sleep­er start­ed wild­ly up, made a fu­tile pass at him with the um­brel­la, took a pro­longed and star­ing drink from a pitch­er of water on the table, and hur­ried­ly ate a num­ber of cloves from a saucer near an empty lemon-tea gob­let over the man­tel.

"Why, it's only I," ex­plained the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS, rather alarmed by the glare with which he was re­gard­ed.

"Sit down, my friends," said MR. BUM­STEAD, huski­ly; him­self tak­ing a seat upon a coal-scut­tle near at hand, with con­sid­er­able vi­o­lence. "I'm glad you aroused me from a dread­ful dream of rep­tiles. I sh'pose you want me to seey­ouhome, sir?"

"Not at all," was the Gospel­er's an­swer. "In fact, Mr. BUM­STEAD, I am anx­ious to bring about a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, be­tween these two young men. Let us have peace."

"If you want to let's have peash," ob­served the other, rather vague­ly, "why dont you go fish­ing when­ev­er there's any fight­ing talk, shir! Such a course is not, you'll Grant, un­pres­i­dent­ed."

"I be­lieve," said Mr. SIMP­SON, waiv­ing the sug­ges­tion, "that you en­ter­tain no fa­vor­able opin­ion of young PEN­DRAG­ON!"

Reach­ing to a book on the table, and, after var­i­ous airy fail­ures, lay­ing hold upon it, Mr. BUM­STEAD an­swered: "This is my Diary, gen­tle­men; to be pre­sent­ed to Mrs. STOWE, when I'm no more, for a mem­oir. You, being two cler­gy­men, wouldn't care to read it. Here's my entry on the night of the cau­cus in this room. Lish'n now: 'Half-pash Ten.— Con­sid­er­ing the Demo­crat­ic sen­ti­ments of the MONT­GOMERIES PEN­DRAG­ONS, and their ev­i­dent dis­in­cli­na­tion to vote the Re­pub­li­can Tick­et, I b'lieve them ca­pa­ble of any crime. If they should kill my two nephews, it would be no hic- straor­di­nary sh'prise. Have just been in to look at my nephews asleep, to make sure that the PEN­DRAG­ONS have put no snakes in their bed.' Thash is one entry," con­tin­ued Mr. BUM­STEAD, mo­men­tar­i­ly paus­ing to make a blow with the fire- shov­el at some imag­i­nary crea­ture crawl­ing across the rug. "Here's an­oth­er, writ­ten next morn­ing after cloves: 'My nephews have gone to New York to­geth­er this A.M. They laughed when I cau­tioned them against the MONT­GOMERIES, and said they didn't see it. I am still very un­easy, how­ev­er, and have hur­ried­ly pulled off my boots to kill the rep­tiles in them. How's this for high?" Mr. BUM­STEAD fell into a doze for an in­stant, and then added: "I see the name 'J. BUM­STEAD' signed to this. Who'sh he?—Oh! i'mushbe my­self."

"Well, well," com­ment­ed the slight­ly as­ton­ished Gospel­er, "what­ev­er my be your pri­vate opin­ions, I ask you, as a mat­ter of ev­i­dent pub­lic pro­pri­ety, and for the good of ev­ery­body, to soft­en Mr. DROOD to­ward Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON, as I have al­ready soft­ened Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON to­ward Mr. DROOD. You and I must put an end to this fool­ish quar­rel."

"Thashis so." said Mr. BUM­STEAD, with sud­den as­sent, la­bo­ri­ous­ly gain­ing his feet to bid his guest good-bye, and rather ab­sent-mind­ed­ly open­ing the um­brel­la over his head as he fum­bled for the knob of the door. 'You and I musht rec­on­cile these four young men. Gooright, shir. Take a lit­tle so­da-wa­ter in the morn­ing and you'll be au­right, shir."

On the third day after this in­ter­view, Mr. BUM­STEAD wait­ed upon Mr. SIMP­SON with the fol­low­ing note, which, after search­ing ag­i­tat­ed­ly for it in his hat and all his pock­ets, he fi­nal­ly found up one of his sleeves: "My dear JACK:—I am much pleased to hear of your con­ver­sa­tion about me with that good man whom you call the Rev­erends Messieurs SIMP­SON,' and shall glad­ly com­ply with his wish for a make-up be­tween PEN­DRAG­ON and my­self. In­vite PEN­DRAG­ON to din­ner on Christ­mas Eve, when only we three shall be to­geth­er, and we'll shake hands. Ever, dear clove-y JACK, yours truly, EDWIN DROOD."

'You think Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON will ac­cept, then?" said the Gospel­er.

Mr. BUM­STEAD nod­ded dark­ly, shook hands, bowed to a large arm­chair for Mrs. SIMP­SON, and re­tired with much state­li­ness.

[Foot­note A: The Adapter refers con­fi­dent­ly to any South­ern fe­male novel of the pe­ri­od for proof, that sen­ti­men­tal Mag­no­lian school-girls al­ways talk, or write, ev­ery­thing ed­u­ca­tion­al, ex­cept good En­glish, when con­fer­ring with their deaf­ened mas­cu­line friends.]

CHAP­TER XI
A PIC­TURE AND A PAR­CEL

Be­hind the most sam­ple-roomey, fire-in­sur­an­ceish, and ex­press-wag­o­nized part of Broad­way, New York, yawns a ven­er­a­ble street called Nas­sau; where­in ar­chi­tec­ture is a mon­ster of such hideous mien that to be hated needs but to be rent­ed, and more full-grown men stare into shoe-stores and shirt-em­po­ri­ums with­out buy­ing any­thing than in any other part of the world. Near the lower end of this quaint av­enue rises the Post-Of­fice, send­ing aloft a wood­en steeple which is the cof­fin of a dead clock, and look­ing, al­to­geth­er, like some good, old-fash­ioned coun­try church, which, hav­ing come to town many years ago to see its city cousins, and been dis­cour­aged by their brown-stone airs, re­tired, much de­mor­al­ized, into a shady by-way, and there fell from grace into a kind of dis­si­pat­ed cross be­tween Poor-House and rail­road depot. To reach this amaz­ing ed­i­fice, with too much haste for more than a mo­men­tary glimpse of its har­row­ing ex­te­ri­or, and to get away from it, with a speed as lit­tle com­pli­men­ta­ry to the charms of its shad­ow, are, ap­par­ent­ly, the two great and ex­clu­sive ob­jects of the thou­sands swarm­ing down and up the nar­row street all through a day. Some twen­ty odd boot­shops, all next-door-but-one to each other, startling­ly alike in their de­spon­dent outer ap­pear­ances, and uni­form­ly con­duct­ed by em­bit­tered el­der­ly men of sav­age as­pect—seem to sue in vain from year to year for at least one cus­tomer; and as many other melan­choly dens for the sale of ex­act­ly the things no one but a mad­man would want to buy while on his way to a Post-Of­fice, or from it, ap­pear to wait as hope­less­ly for the first pur­chas­er. There are, too, no end of open- air deal­ers in such cu­ri­ous postal in­ci­den­tals as ghast­ly ap­ples, in­sult­ing neck-ties, and im­prac­ti­ca­ble pock­et-combs; to whom, pos­si­bly, an un­whole­some er­rand boy may be seen ap­ply­ing for a bar­gain about once in the life­time of an or­di­nary habitué of the street, but whose gen­er­al wares were never seen sell­ing to the ex­tent of four shillings by any liv­ing ob­serv­er. Still, with an af­front to human creduli­ty of which only news­pa­pers are ca­pa­ble, it has been de­clared, in print, that there are boot­mak­ers and ap­ple-wom­en of Nas­sau who con­tin­u­al­ly buy choice up-town cor­ner-lots with their prof­its; and, if it may be there­from in­ferred that the other trades of the street do as in­cred­i­bly well, it were wise, per­haps, to be fur­ther con­vinced that peo­ple have a well-es­tab­lished habit of stealthi­ly lay­ing in their new rai­ment, fruit, and toi­let ar­ti­cles while going for their busi­ness-mails, and at once re­lin­quish all earth­ly con­fi­dence in the sens­es ob­sti­nate­ly re­fut­ing the the­o­ry.

About half-way be­tween end and end of Nas­sau street stands a row of what were mod­est dwelling-hous­es in the re­mote days when the city was under the rule of the Amer­i­cans, but are now only so many floors of law of­fices. Who owns them is not known; for pro­pri­etors of re­al-es­tate in this ex­traor­di­nary high­way of an­tiq­ui­ty are never men­tioned in pub­lic like own­ers in any other street; but they are shab­by, drea­ry, hope­less-look­ing old piles, sug­ges­tive of hav­ing, per­haps, been hur­ried and tum­bled through musty law-suits scores of times, and oc­cu­pied at last by the rob­ber Law it­self for costs. On a cer­tain dark, foggy af­ter­noon in De­cem­ber, one of the seed­i­est of the fall­en brick broth­er­hood pre­sent­ed a par­tic­u­lar­ly dingy ap­pear­ance, as the gas-lights ne­ces­si­tat­ed by the pre­ma­ture gloom of the hour gleamed dimly through a blear­ing win­dow-pane here and there. The house still re­tained the nar­row street-door, hall-way, and abrupt im­me­di­ate stair­way of its ear­li­er days; and had, too, the old-style good­ly sin­gle brown stone for a "stoop," along the front fall of which, in faded white block let­ters, as though orig­i­nal­ly done with a sten­cil-plate, ap­peared the strange de­vice:

S—T—1860—X

Whether this cu­ri­ous leg­end re­ferred to the sweets or bit­ters of the ten­e­ment's var­i­ous ex­pe­ri­ences; whether it meant Sub­ject­ed To 1860 'Xe­cu­tions, or Sac­ri­ficed to 1860 'Xecu­tors, or Sen­tenced to Wait e'en Sixty 'Xi­gen­cies, did not both­er the head of Mr. DIB­BLE, who came in from Gowanus every morn­ing to oc­cu­py his law-of­fice up-stairs, and was sit­ting thought­ful­ly there­in, be­fore a grate fire, on the dull, win­try af­ter­noon in ques­tion.

Severe­ly un­os­ten­ta­tious was that of­fice, with its two ink-stained desks, shelves of let­tered deed-box­es, glass case of law-books in sheep, and vel­lum-cov­ered read­ing-table in the cen­tre of the room. Its prompt les­son for the vis­i­tor was: You are now in the Of­fice of an old-school Con­sti­tu­tion­al Lawyer, Sir; and if you want an Ab­so­lute Di­vorce, Ob­tained for No Cause, in Any State; No Pub­lic­i­ty; No Charges; you must step around to a cer­tain news­pa­per sanc­tum for your wit­ness­es, and apply to some other legal prac­ti­tion­er. In this es­tab­lish­ment, sir, after you have left your mea­sure in the shape of a re­tain­ing fee, we fit you with a suit war­rant­ed to last as long as you do. We cut your pock­ets to suit our­selves, but fur­nish you as much choler as you can stand. If you are a pursey man the suit will have no lack of sighs for you; if you are thin, it will make your waste the greater.

Mr. DIB­BLE'S usual com­pan­ion in this of­fice was his clerk, BLADAMS, who gen­er­al­ly wrote at the sec­ond desk, and, con­se­quent­ly, was a per­son of an­oth­er deskscrip­tion. A politi­cian in for­mer days—when he was known as Mr. WILLIAM ADAMS—this clerk had as­pired to of­fice in New York, and freely spent his means to at­tain the same. His name, how­ev­er, was too much for his for­tune. Pub­lic creduli­ty re­volt­ed from the pre­tence that a WILLIAM ADAMS had come from Ire­land some years be­fore, on pur­pose to found the fam­i­ly of which the later can­di­date of the same name claimed to be a de­scen­dant; and, after an elec­tion in which he had spent the last of his money, he was "count­ed out" in favor of a rather hod char­ac­ter named O'GLOORAL. Thus prac­ti­cal­ly taught to un­der­stand the po­lit­i­cal ge­nius of a Re­pub­lic, which, as glo­ri­ous­ly con­trast­ed with any ef­fete monar­chy ruled by a Peer­age, looks for its own gov­ern­ing class to the Steer­age, Mr. WILLIAM ADAMS sub­sid­ed im­pe­cu­nious­ly into plain BILL ADAMS and a book-keep­er­ship in dry goods; and was ul­ti­mate­ly blurred into BLADAMS and em­ploy­ment as a copy­ist by Mr. DIB­BLE, to whom his ex­pe­ri­ence of spend­ing every cent he had in the world, and get­ting noth­ing in the world for it but wrin­kles, seemed fe­lic­i­tous­ly legal and al­most su­per­nat­u­ral­ly qual­i­fy­ing for law-writ­ing. BLADAMS was about forty years old, though ap­pear­ing much older: with a slight cast in his left eye, a pim­ply pink coun­te­nance, and a cir­cu­lar piece of unim­proved prop­er­ty on top of his head.

"Any news?" in­quired Mr. DIB­BLE, as this mem­ber of the once pow­er­ful Amer­i­can race en­tered the of­fice and still grasped the edge of the door.

"I saw Mr. DROOD across the street just now," was the an­swer.

"And what did he say, BLADAMS?"

"That, in turn he'd see me across the street; and here he is," re­turned the clerk, ad­vanc­ing into the room.

"Ah, my dear Mr. EDWIN, glad to see you!" ex­claimed Mr. DIB­BLE, ris­ing to his feet and turn­ing about to greet the new comer. "Sit down by the fire; and don't mind the pres­ence of Mr. BLADAMS, who was once a gen­tle­man."

"Thank you, old man, I dont know but I will take a glow with you," said EDWIN, ac­cept­ing a chair and throw­ing aside hat and over­coat.

'You're just in time to dine with me," con­tin­ued the lawyer. "I'll send across to a restau­rant for three stews and as many mugs of ale. We must ask Mr. BLADAMS to join us, you see; for he was once a de­cent man, and might not like to be sent out for oys­ters un­less asked to take some."

"If they're the small black ones you gen­er­al­ly treat on, I'd rather be ex­cused," grum­bled Mr. BLADAMS, in­vol­un­tar­i­ly plac­ing a hand upon his stom­ach, as though al­ready pay­ing the penal­ty of such bi­valvu­lar hos­pi­tal­i­ty.

"Order sad­dle-rocks this time," was the reck­less re­sponse of his em­ploy­er. "Mr. EDWIN is so rarely our guest that we must do the prince­ly. You'll tell them, BLADAMS, to send plen­ty of crack­ers, and re­quest the wait­ers to keep their fin­gers out of the stews while bring­ing the lat­ter over. I've known wait­ers to have their fin­ger-nails boiled off in time, by a habit of car­ry­ing soups and stews with the ends of their dig­its in them."

The clerk de­part­ing to order the feast, Mr. DIB­BLE re­newed his at­ten­tion to Mr. E. DROOD, who had al­ready taken his ball from his pock­et and was prac­tic­ing against the man­tel.

"I sup­pose you are on your way to Bum­steadville, again, Mr. EDWIN, and have called to see if I have any mes­sage for my pret­ty ward over there."

"That's the tick­et," as­sent­ed EDWIN, mak­ing a neat fly-catch.

'You're im­pa­tient to be there, of course?" as­sent­ed Mr. DIB­BLE, with what might have passed for an at­tempt at arch­ness if he had not been so whol­ly de­vot­ed to square­ness.

"I be­lieve the Flow­er­pot is ex­pect­ing me," yawned the young man.

"Do you keep plants there, Mr. EDWIN?"

"The whole thing is a reg­u­lar plant, Mr. DIB­BLE."

"But you spoke about a flow­er­pot."

EDWIN stretched his feet fur­ther to­ward the fire, and ex­plained that he meant Miss POTTS. "Did she say any­thing to you about the PEN­DRAG­ONS, when you saw her?" he in­quired.

"What are pen­drag­ons?" asked the lawyer, won­der­ing­ly.

"One of them is a school­mate of hers. A girl with some style about her."

"No," said Mr. DIB­BLE, "she did not.—But here comes BLADAMS."

BLADAMS ush­ered in two wait­ers—one Irish and one Ger­man—who wore that look of blend­ed long-suf­fer­ing and ex­treme weari­ness of ev­ery­thing eat­able, which, in this coun­try, seems in­evitably char­ac­ter­is­tic of the least per­son­al agen­cy in the serv­ing of meals. (There may be lands in which the not es­sen­tial­ly re­volt­ing art of cook­ery can be prac­ticed with­out en­gen­der­ing ir­ri­ta­ble gloom in the bo­soms of its prac­ti­tion­ers, and the spread­ing of ta­bles does not nec­es­sar­i­ly en­tail upon the ac­tors there­in a de­spon­den­cy al­most sin­is­ter; but the Amer­i­can kitchen is the home of be­ings who never laugh, save in that sar­don­ic bit­ter­ness of spir­it which grim­ly mocks the cli­max of human en­durance in the burn­ing of the soup; and the wait­er of the Amer­i­can din­ing-room can scarce­ly place a dish upon the board with­out mak­ing it elo­quent of a blight­ed ex­is­tence.) Hav­ing dashed the stews upon the read­ing-table be­fore the fire, and res­cued a drown­ing fly[1] from one of them with his least ap­pe­tiz­ing thumb-nail, the melan­choly Irish at­ten­dant pol­ished the spoons with his pock­et- hand­ker­chief and hurled them on ei­ther side of the plates. Per­ceiv­ing that his Ger­man as­so­ci­ate, in list­less­ly throw­ing the mugs of ale upon the table, had spilled some of the liq­uid, he hur­ried­ly wiped the stain away with EDWIN DROOD'S worsted muf­fler, and dried the sides of the glass­es upon the nap­kin in­tend­ed for Mr. DIB­BLE'S use. There was some­thing of the wild re­sources of de­spair, too, in this man's fre­quent ghost­ly dis­patch of the Ger­man after ar­ti­cles for­got­ten in the first trip, such as an­oth­er crack­er, the cover of the pep­per-cruet, the salt, and one more pinch of but­ter; and so great­ly did his ap­par­ent de­jec­tion of soul in­crease as each sup­ple­men­tary lux­u­ry ar­rived and was reck­less­ly slammed into its place, that, upon fi­nal­ly re­tir­ing from the room with his as­so­ci­ate, his utter hope­less­ness of as­pect gave lit­tle sug­ges­tion of the fu­ture proud po­lit­i­cal prefer­ment to which, by virtue of his low es­tate and for­eign birth, he was as­sured­ly des­tined.

[Foot­note 1: In an­tic­i­pa­tion of any crit­i­cal ob­jec­tion to the in­tro­duc­tion of a liv­ing fly in De­cem­ber, the Adapter begs leave to sus­pect than an anachro­nism is al­ways le­git­i­mate in a work of fic­tion when a point is to be made. Thus, in Chap­ter VIII of the inim­itable "NICHOLAS NICK­LE­BY," Mr. SQUEERS tells NICHOLAS that morn­ing has come, "and ready iced, too;" and that "the pump's froze," while, only a few pages later, in the same chap­ter, one of Mr. SQUEERS' schol­ars is spo­ken of as "weed­ing the gar­den.']

The whole scene had been a re­proach­ful com­men­tary upon the stiff Amer­i­can sys­tem of dis­cour­ag­ing wait­ers from mak­ing re­marks upon the weath­er, in­quir­ing the cost of one's new coat, con­fer­ring with one upon the gen­er­al prospects of his busi­ness for the sea­son, or from in­dulging in any of the var­i­ous light con­ver­sa­tion­al di­ver­sions where­by bar­bers, Ful­ton street tai­lors, and other de­pressed gym­nasts, are oc­ca­sion­al­ly and whole­some­ly re­lieved from the mis­ery of brood­ing over their equal­ly dispir­it­ing av­o­ca­tions.

After the de­par­ture of the fu­ture al­der­men, or sher­iffs, of the city, the good old lawyer ac­com­pa­nied his young guest in an ex­pe­di­tious as­sim­i­la­tion of the stews; say­ing lit­tle, but silent­ly re­gret­ting, for the sake of good man­ners, that Mr. BLADAMS could not eat oys­ters with­out mak­ing a noise as though they were alive in his mouth. At last, mug of ale in hand, he turned to his clerk:

"BLADAMS!"

"Sir to you!" re­spond­ed Mr. BLADAMS, hasti­ly putting down the plate from which he had been drink­ing his last drop of stew, and grasp­ing his own mug.

'Your health, BLADAMS.—Mr. EDWIN joins me, I'm sure.—And may the—may our—that is, may your—sup­pose we call it Bump of Hap­pi­ness—may your Bump of Hap­pi­ness in­crease."

Star­ing thought­ful­ly, Mr. BLADAMS felt for the Bump upon his head and, hav­ing scratched what he seemed to take for it, replied: "It's a go, sir. The Bump has in­creased some since KENT'S Com­men­taries fell on it from that top-shelf the other day."

"I am going to toast my love­ly ward," whis­pered Mr, DIB­BLE to EDWIN; "but I put BLADAMS first, be­cause he was once a per­son to be re­spect­ed, and I treat him with po­lite­ness in place of a good salary."

"Suc­cess to the Bump," said EDWIN DROOD, rather struck by this piece of prac­ti­cal econ­o­my, and newly im­pressed with the stan­dard fact that po­lite­ness costs noth­ing.

"And now," con­tin­ued Mr. DIB­BLE, with a wink in which his very ear joined, "I give you the peer­less Miss FLORA POTTS. BLADAMS, please re­mem­ber that there are oth­ers here to eat crack­ers be­sides your­self, and join us in a health to Miss POTTS."

"Let the toast pass, drink to the lass!" cried Mr. BLADAMS, husky with crack­ers. "All ale to her!" "Count me in, too," as­sent­ed EDWIN.

"Dear me!" said the old lawyer, break­ing a mo­men­tary spell of ter­ror oc­ca­sioned by Mr. BLADAMS hav­ing turned blue and near­ly choked to death in a sur­rep­ti­tious at­tempt to swal­low a crack­er which he had pre­vi­ous­ly con­cealed in one of his cheeks. "Dear me! al­though I am a square, prac­ti­cal man, I do be­lieve that I could draw a pic­ture of a true lover's state of mind to-night."

"A reg­u­lar chro­mo," wheezed Mr. BLADAMS, en­cour­ag­ing­ly; pre­tend­ing not to no­tice that his em­ploy­er was reach­ing an in­ef­fec­tu­al arm after the crack­ers at his own elbow.

"Sub­ject to the ap­prov­ing, or cor­rect­ing, judg­ment of Mr. E. DROOD, I make bold to guess that the mod­ern true lover's mind, such as it is, is ren­dered jerky by con­tem­pla­tion of the lady who has made him the ob­ject of her vir­gin af­fec­ta­tions," pro­ceed­ed Mr. DIB­BLE, look­ing in­tent­ly at EDWIN, but still mak­ing far­ther and far­ther reach­es to­ward the dis­tant crack­ers, even to the in­creased tilt­ing of his chair. "I ven­ture the con­jec­ture, that if he has any dar­ling pet name for her, such as Pinky-winky,' 'Lit­tle Fooly,' 'Chignonen­ti­ly,' or 'Waxy Wob­bles,' he feels hor­ri­bly ashamed if any one over­hears it, and coughs vi­o­lent­ly to make be­lieve that be never said it."

It was cu­ri­ous to see EDWIN lis­ten­ing with chang­ing color to this truth­ful ex­po­sure of his young mind; the while, in­flu­enced un­con­scious­ly, prob­a­bly, by the speak­er's ex­am­ple, he, too, had begun reach­ing and chair-tilt­ing to­ward the crack­ers across the table. What time Mr. BLADAMS, at the op­po­site side of the board, had ap­par­ent­ly sunk into a sud­den and deep slum­ber; al­though from be­neath one of his fold­ed arms a fin­ger dream­i­ly rest­ed upon the rim of the crack­er-plate, and oc­ca­sion­al­ly gave it a lit­tle pull far­ther away from the ap­proach­ing hands.

"My pic­ture," con­tin­ued Mr. DIB­BLE, now quite hoarse, and al­most hor­i­zon­tal in his reach­ing, to EDWIN DROOD, also near­ly hor­i­zon­tal in the same way—"my pic­ture goes on to rep­re­sent the true lover as ever eager to be with his dear one, for the pur­pose of ad­dress­ing im­pla­ca­ble glares at the Other Young Man with More Prop­er­ty, whom She says she al­ways loved as a Broth­er when they were Chil­dren To­geth­er; and of smil­ing bit­ter­ly and bit­ing off the ends of his new gloves (which is more than he can re­al­ly af­ford, at his salary,) when She soft­ly tells him that he is mak­ing a per­fect fool of him­self. My pic­ture fur­ther rep­re­sents him to be con­tin­u­al­ly per­me­at­ed by a con­scious­ness of such tight boots as he ought not to wear, even for the Beloved Ob­ject, and of such readi­ness to have new cloth coats spoiled, by get­ting hair-oil on the left shoul­der, as shall yet bring him to a scene of vi­o­lence with his dis­tract­ed tai­lor. It shows him, like­wise, as filled with ex­cit­ing doubts of his own rel­a­tive worth: that is, with self-ques­tion­ings as to whether he shall ever be worth enough to buy that can­ter­ing im­port­ed sad­dle horse which he has al­ready promised; to spend every sum­mer in a pri­vate cot­tage at New­port; to fight off West­ern di­vorces, and to pay an elo­quent lawyer a few thou­sands for get­ting him clear, on the plea of in­san­i­ty, after he shall have shot the Other Young Man with More Prop­er­ty for want­ing his wife to be a Sis­ter to him, again, as she was, you know, when they were Chil­dren To­geth­er."

EDWIN, de­spite the cold­ness of the sea­son, had per­spired freely dur­ing the lat­ter part of the Pic­ture, and sought to dis­guise his un­easi­ness at its beau­ti­ful, yet se­vere truth, by a last push of his ex­tend­ed arm to­ward the crack­ers. Quick­ly ob­serv­ing this, Mr. DIB­BLE also made a final des­per­ate reach after the same ob­ject; so that both old man and young, while pre­tend­ing to heed each other's words only, were two-thirds across the table, with their feet in the air and their chairs poised on one leg each. At that very mo­ment, by some un­hap­py chance, while near­ly the whole weight of the two was press­ing upon their edge of the board, Mr. BLADAMS abrupt­ly awoke, and raised his el­bows from his edge, to re­lieve his arms by stretch­ing. Re­leased from his pres­sure, the table flew up upon two legs with re­mark­able swift­ness, and then turned over upon Mr. DIB­BLE and Mr. E. DROOD; bring­ing the two lat­ter and their chairs to the floor under a show­er of plates and crack­ers, and rest­ing in­vert­ed­ly upon their pros­trate forms, like some species of four-pil­lared mon­u­men­tal tem­ple with­out a roof.

A per­son less ami­able than the good Mr. DIB­BLE would have bor­rowed the name of an ap­pur­te­nance of a mill, at least once, as a suit­able ex­pres­sion of his feel­ings upon such a try­ing oc­ca­sion; but, in­stead of this, when Mr. BLADAMS, ex­cit­ed­ly cry­ing "fire!" lift­ed the over­turned table from off him­self and young guest, he mere­ly arose to a sit­ting po­si­tion on the lit­tered car­pet, and said to EDWIN, with a smile and a rub: "Pray, am I at all near the mark in my pic­ture?"

"I should say, sir," re­spond­ed EDWIN, with a very strange ex­pres­sion of coun­te­nance, also rub­bing the back of his head, "that you are rather hard upon the feel­ings of the un­luck­ly lover. He may not show all that he feels—"

There he paused so long to feel his nose and as­cer­tain about its being bro­ken, that Mr. DIB­BLE limped to his feet and ended that part of the dis­cus­sion by hob­bling to an open iron safe across the of­fice.

Tak­ing from a pri­vate draw­er in this repos­i­to­ry a small paper par­cel, con­tain­ing a paste­board box, and open­ing the lat­ter, the old lawyer pro­duced what looked like a long, flat white cord, with shin­ing tips at ei­ther end.

"This, Mr. EDWIN," said he, with marked emo­tion, "is a stay-lace, with gold­en tags, which be­longed to Miss FLORA'S moth­er. It was hand­ed to me, in the ab­strac­tion of his grief, by Miss FLORA'S fa­ther, on the day of the fu­ner­al; be say­ing that he could never bear to look upon it again. To you, as Miss FLORA'S fu­ture hus­band, I now give it."

"As­tay-lace!" echoed EDWIN, com­ing for­ward as quick­ly as his lame­ness would allow, and staunch­ing his swollen upper lip with a hand­ker­chief.

'Yes," was the grave re­sponse. 'You have un­doubt­ed­ly no­ticed, Mr. EDWIN, that in every fash­ion­able ro­mance, the noble and grena­dine hero­ine has a habit of 'draw­ing her­self up proud­ly' when­ev­er any gen­tle­man tries to shake hands with her, or asks her how she can pos­si­bly be so ma­jes­tic with him. This lace was used by Miss FLORA'S moth­er to draw her­self up proud­ly with; and she drew her­self up so much with it, that it fi­nal­ly reached her heart and killed her. I here place it in your hands, that you may ul­ti­mate­ly give it to your young wife as a me­men­to of a moth­er who did noth­ing by halves but die. If you, by any chance, should not marry the daugh­ter, I solemn­ly charge you, by the mem­o­ry of the liv­ing and the dead, to bring it back to me."

Re­ceiv­ing the par­cel with some awe, EDWIN placed it in one of his pock­ets. "BLADAMS." said Mr. DIB­BLE, solemn­ly, "you are wit­ness of the trans­fer."

"De­po­nent, being duly sworn, does swear and cuss that he saw it, to the best of his knowl­edge and be­lief," re­turned the clerk, help­ing Mr. DROOD to re­sume his over­coat.

When in his own room, at Gowanus, that night, Mr. DIB­BLE, in his night­cap, paused a mo­ment be­fore ex­tin­guish­ing his light, to mur­mur to him­self: "I won­der, now, whether poor POTTS con­fid­ed his or­phan child to me be­cause he knew that I might have been the suc­cess­ful suit­or to the moth­er if I had been worth a lit­tle more money just about then?"

What time, in the law-of­fice in town, Mr. BLADAMS was upon his knees on the floor, toss­ing crack­ers from all di­rec­tions on the car­pet into his mouth, like a fari­na­cious gob­lin, and near­ly suf­fo­cat­ing when­ev­er he glanced at the dis­or­dered table.

CHAP­TER XII
A NIGHT OF IT WITH MCLAUGH­LIN

Judgs SWEENEY, with a cer­tain su­per­cil­ious con­scious­ness that he is fig­ur­ing in a novel, and that it will not do for him to thwart the ec­cen­tric­i­ties of nys­te­ri­ous fic­tion by any com­mon­place def­er­ence to the mere me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal weak­ness­es of or­di­nary human na­ture, does not allow the feet that late De­cen­ber is a rather bleak and cold time of year to deter him from tak­ing daily air­ings in the neigh­bor­hood of the Rit­u­al­is­tic church­yard. Since the in­scrip­tion of his epi­taph on his late wife upon her mon­u­ment there­in, the church­yard is to him a kind of pon­der­ous work of imag­i­na­tion with mar­ble leaves, to which he has con­tribut­ed the most bril­liant chap­ter; and when he sees any strangsr hov­er­ing about a part of the outer rail­ings from whence the in­scrip­tion may be read, it is with all the swelling pride of an au­thor who, hav­ing pro­cured the pub­li­ca­tion of some drea­ry ar­ti­cle in a mag­a­zine, is thrown into an ec­sta­cy of van­i­ty if he sees but one per­son glance at that nun­ber of the pe­ri­od­i­cal on a news-stand.

Since his first meet­ing with Mr. BUM­STEAD, on the evening of the epi­taph-read­ing Judgs SWEENEY has cul­ti­vat­ed that gen­tle­man's ac­quain­tance, and been re­ceived at his lodg­ings sev­er­al times with con­sid­er­able cor­dial­i­ty and lemon-tea. On such oc­ca­sions, Mr. BUM­STEAD, in his rm­si­cal ca­pac­i­ty, has sung so close­ly in Judge SWEENEY S ear as to tick­le him, a wild and slight­ly in­co­her­ent Rit­u­al­is­tic stave, to the ef­fect that Saint PETER'S of Rome, with pon­tif­i­cal dome, would by bal­lot In­fe­Hi­ble be; but for mak­ing Call sure, and Sec­tion se­cure, Saint Re­peater's of Rum beats the See. With fin­gsr in ear to allay the tick­ling sen­sa­tion, JUDGE SWEENEY de­clares that this young man smelling of cloves is a per­son of great in­tel­lec­tu­al at­tain­ments, and un­der­stands the po­lit­i­cal ge­nius of his coun­try well enough to make an ex­cel­lent Judge of Elec­tion.

Walk­ing slow­ly near the church­yard on this par­tic­u­lar freez­ing De­cen­ber evening, with his hands be­hind his bank, and his eyes in­tent for any en­vi­ous hus­band who maybe "with a rush re­tir­ing," mon­u­men­tal­ly coun­selled, after read­ing the Epi­taph, Judgs SWEENEY sud­den­ly comes upon Fa­ther DEAN con­vers­ing with SMYTHE, the sex­ton, and Mr. BUM­STEAD. Bow­ing to these three, who, like him­self seem to find real lux­u­ry in open-air strolling on a bit­ter night in mid­win­ter, he no­tices that his model, the Rit­u­al Rec­tor, is wear­ing a new hat, like Car­di­nal's, only black, and is im­me­di­ate­ly bst in won­der­ing where he can ob­tain one like it short of Rome.

'You look so mjch like an au­thor, Mr. BUM­STEAD, in hav­ing no over­coat, wear­ing your paper col­lar up­side down, and car­ry­ing a pen be­hind your ear," Fa­ther DEAN is say­ing, "that I can al­most fency you are about to write a book about us. Well, Bum­steadville is just the place to fur­nish a nice, dry, in­of­fen­sive do­mes­tic novel in the seda­tive vein."

After two or three in­ef­fec­tu­al ef­forts to seize the end ofit, which he seems to think is an inch or two high­er than its ac­tu­al po­si­tion, Mr. BUM­STEAD fi­nal­ly with­draws from be­tween his right ear and head a long and neat­ly cut hol­low straw.

'This is not a pen, Holy Fa­ther," he an­swers, after a mo­men­tary glance of ma­jes­tic sever­i­ty at Mr. SMYTHE, who has laughed. "It is only a sim­ple in­stru­ment which I use, as a species of syphon, in cer­tain chem­i­cal ex­per­i­ments with sliced trop­i­cal fruit and glass-ware. In the pre­cip­i­ta­tion of lemon-slices into cut crys­tal, it is nec­es­sary for the liq­uid medi­um to be ex­haust­ed grad­u­al­ly; and, after using this cylin­der of straw for the pur­pose about an hour ago, I nust have placed it be­hind my ear in a mo­ment of ab­sent-mind­ed­ness."

"Ah, I see," said Fa­ther DEAN, al­though he didn't "But what is this, Judgs SWEENEY, re­spect­ing your in­tro­duc­tion of MCLAUGH­LIN to Mr. BUM­STEAD, which I have teard about?"

'Why, your Rev­er­ence, I con­sid­er JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN a Char­ac­ter," re­sponds the Judge, 'land thought our young friend of the or­gan-bft might like to study him"

'The truth is," ex­plains Mr. BUM­STEAD, "that Judge SWEENEY put into my head to do a few pau­per graves with JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, some moon­light night, for the mere odd­i­ty and damp­ness of the thing—And I should re­gret to be­lieve," added Mr. BUM­STEAD, rais­ing his voice as saw that the ju­di­cia­ry was about to in­ter­rupt—"And I should re­al­ty be bathe to be­lieve that Judge SWEENEY was not per­fect­ly sober when he did so."

"Oh, yes—cer­tain­ty—I re­mem­ber—to be sure," ex­claims the Judge, in great haste; alarmed into speedy as­sent by the con­struc­tion which he per­ceives would be put upon a de­nial. "I re­mem­ber it very dis­tinct­ly. I re­men­ber putting it into your head—by the tu­nider­ful, if I re­mem­ber right­ly."

"Prof­it­ing by your ad­vice," con­tin­ues Mr. BUM­STEAD, obliv­i­ous to the last sen­tence, I am going out to-night, in search of the moist and pic­turesque, with JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN—"

"Who is here," says Fa­ther DEAN.

OLD MOR­TAR­I­TY, din­ner-ket­tle in hand and more mor­tary than ever, in­deed seen ap­proach­ing them with shuf­fling gait Bow­ing to the Holy Fa­ther, he is about to pass on, when Judge SWEENEY stops him with—

'You most be very care­ful with your friend, BUM­STEAD, this evening JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, and see that he don't Май! break his neck."

"Never you worry about Mr. BUM­STEAD, Judge," growls OLD MOR­TAR­I­TY. 'He can walk fur­ther offthe per­pere­lick­lar with­out tum­bling than any gen­tle­man I ever see."

"Of course I can, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, check­ing an­oth­er un­seem­ly laugh of Mr. SMYTHE'S with a dread­ful frown. 'T often prac­tice walk­ing side­ways, for the pur­pose of de­vebping the nus­cles on that side. The left side is al­ways the weak­er, and the hip a tri­fle bwer, if one does not coun­ter­act the dif­fer­ence by walk­ing side­ways oc­cas­bnal­ty."

A great deal of un­nec­es­sary cough­ing, which fblb­ws this phys­blog­i­cal ex­po­si­tion, caus­es Mr. BUM­STEAD to breathe hard at them all for a mo­ment, and tread with great ma­lig­ni­ty upon Mr. SMYTHE'S near­est corn

While yet the sex­ton is groan­ing, OLD MOR­TAR­I­TY whis­pers to the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist that he will be ready for him at the ap­point­ed hour to-night, and shuf­fles away. After which Mr. BUM­STEAD, with the I holbw straw stick­ing out fierce­ly from his ear, pri­vate­ly of­fers to see Fa­ther DEAN home if he feels at all dizzy, and, being cour­te­ous­ly re­fused, re­tires down the turn­pike to­ward his own lodgin­ga with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion of step.

When night fills upon the earth like a drop of ink upon the word Sun, and the stars glit­ter like the points of so many poised gold pens all ready to write the soft­er word Moon above the bfot, the or­gan­ist of St Cow's sits in his own room, where his fire keeps-up a kind of as­pen­ish twi­light, and ex­e­cutes upon his ac­cordeon a se­ries of wild and nx­i­ti­lat­ed airs. The moist­ened towel which he often wears when at home is tur­baned upon his head, caus­ing him to pre­sent a some­what Turk­ish ap­pear­ance; and as, when turn­ing a par­tic­u­lar­ly com­pli­cat­ed comer in an air, it is his artis­tic habit to hold his tongue be­tween his teeth, twist his head in sym­pa­thy with the elab­o­rate fin­ger­ing, and in­vol­un­tar­i­ly lift one foot high­er and high­er from the floor as some skit­tish note fran­ti­cal­ly dodges to evade him, his gen­er­al nu­si­cal as­pect at his own hearth is that of a par­tial­ly Ori­en­tal gen­tle­man, ag­o­niz­ing­ly la­bor­ing to cast from him some fu­ri­ous an­i­mal full of strange sounds. Thus en­gag­ing in des­per­ate sin­gle con­bat with what, for mak­ing a fe­rocbus fight be­fore any rec­og­niz­able tune can he res­cued from it, is, per­haps, the most ex­haust­ing in­stru­ment known to evening am­a­teurs and mad­dened neigh­bor­hoods, Mr. BUM­STEAD pass­es three ath­let­ic hours. At the end of that time, after re­peat­ed­ly trip­ping-up its ex­as­per­at­ed or­gan­ist over wrong keys in the last bar, the ac­cordeon fi­nal­ly re­lin­quish­es the con­clud­ing note with a dis­mal whine of de­spair, and re­tires in com­plete col­lapse to its cus­tom­ary place of wait­ing Then the con­quer­ing per­former changes his towel for a hat which would look bet­ter if it had not been so often worn in bed, places an an­tique black bot­tle in one pock­et ofhis coat and a few cloves in the other, hangg an un­light­ed lantern be­fore him by a cord pass­ing about his neck, and, with his um­brel­la under his arm, goes soft­ly down stairs and out of the house.

Re­pair­ing to the mar­ble-yard and home of OLD MOR­TAR­I­TY, which are on the out­skirts of Bum­steadville, he wan­ders through mor­tar-heaps, mon­u­ments brought for re­pair, and piles of­bricks, to­ward a white­washed res­i­dence of small de­mens­b­ns with a light at the win­dow.

"JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, ahoy!"

In re­sponse, the mas­ter of the man­sion prompt­ly opens the door, and it is then per­cep­ti­ble that his base­ment, par­lor, spare-bed­room and attic are all on one floor, and that a cou­ple of pigg are spend­ing the sea­son with him Show­ing his vis­i­tor into this in­ge­nious­ly con­densed es­tab­lish­ment, he in­duces the pigs to re­tire to a cor­ner, and then dons his hat.

"Are you ready, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN?"

'Please the pigs, I am, Mr. BUM­STEAD," an­swers MCLAUGH­LIN, tak­ing down from a hook a lantern, which, like his com­panbn's, he hangp from his neck by a cord. 'My spir­its is equal to any num­ber of ghosts to-night, sir, ifwe­meet'em"

'Spir­its!" ejac­u­lates the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, shi­fimg his un­brel­la for a mo­ment while he hur­ried­ly draws the an­tique bot­tle from his pock­et 'You're ner­vous to-night, J. MCLAUGH­LIN, and need a lit­tle of the ven­er­a­ble JAMES AKER'S West In­di­an Restora­tive. —n try it first to make sure that I haven't mis­tak­en the phiaL"

He rests the elon­gat­ed ori­fice of the di­aphanous flask upon his lips for a brief in­ter­val of crit­i­cal in­spec­tion, and then ap­plies it thought­ful­ly to the ncuth of OLD MOR­TART­TY.

'Some more! Some more!" pleads the agsd MCLAUGH­LIN, when the Ja­maican nervine is abrupt­ly jerked from his lips.

'Si­lence! Com on," is the stern re­sponse of the other, who, as he moves from the house, aid re­stores the crys­tal an­tiq­ui­ty to its prop­er pock­et, eats a few cloves by stealth His man­ner plain­ly shows that he is of­fend­ed at the quan­ti­ty the old man has man­aged to swal­low al­ready.

Strangg in­deed is the ghast­ly ex­pe­di­tion to the place of skulls, upon which these two go thus by night Not strange, per­haps, for Mr. MCLAUGH­LIN, whose very youth in New York, where he was an ac­tive politi­cian, found him a fre­quent night­ly fa­mil­iar of the Tombs; but strangs for the or­gan­ist, who, al­though often grave in his man­ner, sepul­chral in his tones, and oc­ca­sion­al­ly ad­dict­ed to coug­birf, nust be cu­ri­ous­ly ec­cen­tric to wish to pass into con­cert that evening with the dead heads.

Trans­fixed by his um­brel­la, which makes him look like a walk­ing cross be­tween a pair of­boots and a hat, Mr. BUM­STEAD leads the way athwart the turn­pike and sev­er­al fields, until they have ar­rived at a low wall skirt­ing the foot of Gospel­er's Gulch. Here they catch sight ofthe Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS SIMP­SON and MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON walk­ing to­geth­er, rear tfe for­rrer's house, in the moon­light, and, in­stan­ta­neous­ly, Mr. BUM­STEAD opens his um­brel­la over the head of OLD MOR­TART­TY, and drags him down be­side him­self under it be­hind the walL

"Halo! Whafs all this?" gasps Mr. MCLAUGH­LIN, strug­gling aflright­ed­ly in his suf­fo­cat­ing cags of whale­bone and al­paca. "Whafs this here old lady's hoop-skirt doing on me?"

'Peace, wrig­gling dotard!" hiss­es BUM­STEAD, jam­ming the um­brel­la tighter over him 'Ifthey see us they'll want some ofthe West In­di­an Restora­tive."

Mr. SIMP­SON and MONT­GOMERY have al­ready heard a sound; for they pause abrupt­ly in their con­ver­sa­tion, and the lat­ter asks: 'Could it have been a ghost?"

"Ask it if tf s a ghost," whis­pers the Gospel­er, in­vol­un­tar­i­ly cross­ing him­self

"Are you there, Mr. G.?" qua­vers the raised voice ofthe young South­ern­er, re­spect­ful­ly ad­dress­ing the in­quiry to the stone walL No an­swer.

'Well," nut­ters the Gospel­er, "it couldn't have been a ghost, after all; but I cer­tain­ty thought I saw an un­brel­la. To con­clude what I was say­ing, then,—I have the con­fi­dence in you, Mr. MONT­GOMERY, to be­lieve that you will at­tend the din­ner of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion on Christ­mas eve, as you have promised"

"De­pend on me, sir."

'1 shall; and have be­come sure­ty for your punc­tu­al­i­ty to that ex­cel­lent and un­selfish heal­er of youth­ful wounds, Mr. BUM­STEAD."

More is said after this; but the speak­ers have strolled to the other side ofthe Gospel­er1 s house, and their words can­not be dis­tin­guished Mr. BUM­STEAD cbses his um­brel­la with such sud­den­ness and vi­o­lence as to near­ly pull off the head of MCLAUGH­LIN; drives his own hat fur­ther upon his nose with a sound­ing bbw; takes sev­er­al wild swalb­ws from his an­tique flask; eats two cbves, and chuck­les hoarse­ly to him­self for some min­utes. 'Here, 'JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN," he says, at last "try a lit­tle more West In­di­an Restora­tive, and then we'1 go and do a few skele­tons."

He pau­per buri­al-ground to­ward which they now progress in a rather high- step­ping man­ner, or—to vary the phrase—to­ward which their steps are now very imch bent, is not a fa­vorite re­sort of the more cheer­ful vil­lags peo­ple after night­fall. Ask any res­i­dent of Bum­steadville if he be­lieved in ghosts, and, if the time were mid-day and the place a crowd­ed gro­cery store, he would fear­less­ly an­swer in the neg­a­tive; (just the same as a Pos­i­tive philoso­pher in cast-iron health and with no thun­der show­er ap­proach­ing would un­daunt­ed­ly deny a Deity!) but if any res­i­dent of Bum­steadville should hap­pen to be caught near the coun­try ed­i­tor's last home after dark, he would get over that part ofhis road in a cu­ri­ous­ly agile and flighty man­ner;—(just the same as a Pos­i­tive philoso­pher with a sore throat, or at an un­com­mon­ly showy bit oflight­ning would re­peat 'Now I lay me down to sleep," with sur­pris­ing de­vo­tion) So, al­though no one in all Bum­steadville was in the least afraid of the pau­per buri­al-ground at any hour, it was not in­vari­ably se­lect­ed by the great mass of the pop­u­lace as a peer­less place to go home by at mid­night; and the two in­tel­lec­tu­al ex­plor­ers find no sen­ti­men­tal young cou­ples ran­bling arm in arm among the ghast­ly head-boards, nor so mrh as one loi­ter­er smok­ing his segar on a sui­cide's

"JOHN McLAUGH­LIN, you're get­ting ner­vous again," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, catch­ing him in the coat col­lar with the han­dle ofhis un­brel­la and draw­ing the other to­ward him hand-over-hand. "It's about time that you should re­vert again to the hoary JAMES AKER'S ex­cel­lent prepa­ra­tion for the human fam­i­ly.—Til try it first, my­self to see if it tastes at all of the cork

"Ah-h," sighs OLD MOR­TAR­I­TY, after his turn has come and been en­joyed at last, "that? s the kind of Spir­its I don't mind being a wrap­per to. I could wrap them up all right"

Re­flec­tive­ly chew­ing a cbve, the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist re­clines on the pau­per grave of a for­mer writ­er for the daily press, and cog­i­tates upon his com­par­riorfs lean­ing to Spir­i­tu­al­ism; while the other pro­duces match­es and lights their lanterns.

"Mr. McLAUGH­LIN," he solemn­ly re­marks, wav­ing his um­brel­la at the graves around, "in this scene you be­hold the very last of maris in­di­vid­u­al being. In this en­tonbment he ends for­ev­er. Tren­ble, J. McLAUGH­LIN!—for­ev­er. Soul and Spir­it are but un­mean­ing words, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est big things in sci­ence. The de­part­ed Dr. DAVIS SLAVON­S­KI, of St Pe­ters­burg be­fore set­ting out for the Asy­lum, proved, by his Atom­ic The­o­ry, that men are neat­ly man­u­fac­tured of Atoms of mat­ter, which are con­tin­u­al­ly con­bir­ring togs­ther until they form Man; and then going through the pro­cess of Life, which is but the me­chan­i­cal ef­fect of their com­bi­na­tion; and then wear­ing apart again by at­tri­tion into the ex­haus­tion of co­he­sion called Death; and then crun­bling into sep­a­rate Atoms of na­tive mat­ter, or dust, again; and then grad­u­al­ly com­bin­ing again, as be­fore, and evolv­ing an­oth­er Man; and Livirg, and Dying again; and so on for­ev­er. Thus, and thus only, is Man im­mor­tal. You are made ex­clu­sive­ly of Atoms of mat­ter, your­self; JOHN McLAUGH­LIN. So ami."

"I can un­der­stand a maris be­liev­ing that he, him­self, is all Atoms of mat­ter, and noth­ing else," re­sponds OLD MOR­TAR­I­TY, skep­ti­cal­ly.

"As how, john Mclaugh­lin,—as how?"

"When he knows that, at any rate, he hasn't got one atom of com­mon sense," is the an­swer. Sud­den­ly Mr. BUM­STEAD aris­es from the grave and fran­ti­cal­ly shakes hands with him

'You're right, sir!" he says, emo­tion­al­ly. 'You're a goorole­man, sir. The Atom of com­mon sense was one of the Atoms that SLAVON­S­KI for­got all about. Lets do some skele­tons now."

At the fur­ther end ofthe pau­per buri­al-ground, and in the rear ofthe for­mer Aims-House, once stood a build­ing used suc­ces­sive­ly as a cider-mil], a barn, and a kind of chapel for pau­pers. Long ago, from ne­glect and bad weath­er, the frail wood­en su­per­struc­ture had fall­en into pieces and been grad­u­al­ly cart­ed off; but a stur­dy stone foun­da­tion re­mained un­der­ground; and, al­though the floor­ing over it had for many years been cov­ered with de­bris and rank growth, so as to be undis­tin­guish­able to com­mon eyes from the gen­er­al earth around it, the great cel­lar still ex­tend­ed be­neath, and, ac­cord­ing to weird rumor, had some se­cret ac­cess for OLD MOR­TART­TY, who used it as a char­nel store-house for such spoils ofthe grave as he found in his prowl­ings.

To the spot thus his­to­ried the two moral­ists ofthe moon­light come now, and, with many tum­bles, Mr. McLAUGH­LIN re­moves cer­tain art­ful­ly placed stones and rub­bish, and lifis a clum­sy ex­tem­po­rized trap-door. Below ap­pears a rick­et­ty old step-lad­der lead­ing into dark­ness.

'I heard such cries and groans down there, last Christ­mas Eve, as sound­ed worse than the Latin singing in the Rit­u­al­is­tic church," ob­serves McLAUGH­LIN.

'Cries and groans!" echoes Mr. BUM­STEAD, turn­ing quite pale, and mo­men­tar­i­ly for­get­ting the snakes which he is just be­gin­ning to dis­cov­er among the stones. 'You're get­ting ner­vous again, poor wreck, and need some more West In­di­an cough-mix­ture.—Wait until see for my­self whether it's got enough sug'r in it."

In due time the great ner­vous an­ti­dote is passed and re­placed, and then, with the light­ed lanterns worked around under their arms, they go down the tot­ter­ing lad­der. Down they go into a great, damp, rusty cav­ern, to which their lights give a pal­lid il­luri­ina­tioa

"See here," says OLD MOR­TART­TY, rais­ing a long, curved bone from the floor. "Look at that shoul­der-blade of un­mar­ried Epis­co­pal lady, aged thir­ty-nine."

"How do you know she was so old, and un­mar­ried?" asks the or­gan­ist. "Be­cause the shoul­der-blade's so sharp."

Mr. Bum­stead is sur­prised at this spec­i­men ofthe art of an AGAS­SIZ and WA­TER­HOUSE HAWKINS in such a mor­tary old man, and his in­tel­lec­tu­al pride caus­es him to re­solve at once upon a rival dis­play

"Look at this skull, JOHN McLAUGH­LIN," he says, re­fer­ring to an ob­ject that he has found be­hind the lad­der. 'See thish fine, re­treat­ing brow, bulging chin, pro­ject­ing oc­cip­i­tal bone, and these ori­fices of ears that nushtve been stu­pen'sty long Ifs the skull, JOHN McLAUGH­LIN, of a twin-broth­er ofthe man who re­al­ty wished—re­al­ly wished, JOHN McLAUGH­LIN—that he could be saf­sh­fied, sir, in his own mind, that CHARLES DICK­ENS was a Chris­tian writ­er."

"Why, thash's skull of a hog" ex­plains Mr. McLAUGH­LIN, with some con­tempt

'Twin-broth­er—all th'shame," says Mr. BUM­STEAD, as though that made no earth­ly dif­fer­ence.

Once more, what a strange ex­pe­di­tion is this! How strange­ly the eyes ofthe two men look, after two or three more ap­pli­ca­tions to the an­tique flask; and how cu­ri­ous­ly Mr. Bum­stead walks on tip-toe at times and takes short leaps now and then

"Lesh go now," says BUM­STEAD, after both have been asleep upon their feet sev­er­al times; "I think th's snakes down here, JOHN McBUM­STEAD."

"Wh'st! monkies, you mean,—dozens of­black monkies, Mr. BUMPLIN," whis­pers OLD MOR­TART­TY, clutch­ing his arm as he sinks against him

'Noshir! Serp'nts!" in­sists Mr. BUM­STEAD, mak­ing fu­tile at­tempts to open his un­brel­la with one hand ' Waizes­mar­rer with th' light?—ansh'r ire t once, Mac JOHN­BUN­KLIN!"

In their sway­ingg under the con­fu­sions and delu­sions ofthe vault, their lanterns have worked around to the neigh­bor­hoods of their spires, so that, whichev­er way they turn, the light is all be­hind them Great­ty ag­i­tat­ed as men are apt to be when sur­round­ed by su­per­nat­u­ral in­flu­ences, they do not per­ceive the cause of this ap­par­ent­ly un­nat­u­ral il­lu­mi­na­tion; aid, upon turn­ing round and round in ir­reg­u­lar cir­cles, and still find­ing the light in the wrong place, they ex­hib­it signs of great trep­i­da­tion

'Waize­mar­rer wirra light?" re­peats Mr. BUM­STEAD, spin­ning wild­ly until he brigs up against the walL

'Tshgotb'witched I b'lieve," pants Mr. McLAUGH­LIN, whirling as fren­zied­ly with his own lantern dan­gling be­hind him, and com­ing to an abrupt pause against the op­po­site walL

Thus, each sup­port­ed against the stores by a shoul­der, they breathe hard for a mo­ment, and then sink into a slum­ber in which they both slide down to the ground Aroused by the shock, they sit up quite dazed brush away the swarm­ing snakes and monkies, are fresh­ly alarmed by dis­cov­er­ing that they are now ac­tu­al­ly sit­ting upon that per­verse light be­hind them, aid, by a si­mul­ta­ne­ous im­pulse, begin crawl­ing about in search ofthe lad­der. Un­able to see any­thing with all the light be­hind him, but fan­cy­ing that he dis­cerns a gleam be­yond a dark ob­ject rear at hand Mr- BUM­STEAD rises to a stand­ing at­ti­tude by a se­ries of com­plex ma­noeu­vres, and plants a foot on some­thing.

'Tmorth'lar­rer!" he cries, spirit­ed­ly.

"Th'lar­rer's on me!" an­swers Mr. MCLAUGH­LIN, in ev­i­dent­ly great be­wil­der­ment

Then ensue a mo­men­tary wild strug­gle and imf­fled crash; for each gen­tle­man, com­ing blind­ly upon the other, has taken the light glim­mer­ing at the other's back for the light at the top of the lad­der, and, fur­ther mis­tak­ing the other in the dark for the lad­der it­self has at­tempt­ed to climb him Mr. BUM­STEAD, how­ev­er, has got the first step; where­upon, Mr. MCLAUGH­LIN, in re­sent­ing what he takes for the lad­der's in­ex­cus­able fa­mil­iar­i­ty, has twist­ed both him­self and his equal­ly de­lud­ed com­pan­ion into a pret­ty hard fall.

An­oth­er in­ter­val ofhard breath­ing, and then the or­gan­ist of Saint Cow's asks: "Dfy­ou­hear any­thing drop?"

'Yshir, th'lar­rer got throwed, frim­pu­dence to a gsn'Trrin," is the pee­vish re­turn of OLD MOR­TAR­I­TY, who im­me­di­ate­ly fells asleep as he lies, with­his lantern under his spine.

In his sleep, he dreams that BUM­STEAD ex­am­ines him close­ly, with a view to gain­ing some clue to the mys­tery of the light be­hind both their backs; and, on find­ing the lantern under him, and, study­ing it pro­found­ly for some time, is sud­den­ly moved to feel abng his own back. He dreams that BUM­STEAD there­upon finds his own lantern, and ex­claims, after half an hour's an­a­lyt­i­cal re­flec­tion, "It nush­tave slid round while JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN was in­tosh'cated." Then, or soon after, the dream­er awakes, and can dis­cern two Mr. BUM­STEADS seat­ed upon the step-lad­ders, with a lantern, ba­by-like, on each knee.

'You two men are awake at last, eh?" say the or­gan­ists, with pe­cu­liar smiles.

'Yes, gen­tle­men," re­turn the MCLAUGH­LINS, with yawns.

They as­cend silent­ly from the cel­lar, each be­liev­ing that he is ac­com­pa­nied by two com­pan­ions, and ren­dered mood­i­ly dis­trust­ful there­by

"Aina maina mona—Mike. Bas­sa­lone, bona—Strike!"

sings a small, fa­mil­iar voice, when they stand again above ground, and a stone whizzes be­tween their heads.

In an­oth­er mo­ment BUM­STEAD has the fell SMAL­L­EY by the col­lar, and is shak­ing him like a yard of car­pet

'You wretched lit­tle tar­ri­er!" he cries in a fury, "you've been spy­ing around to-night, to find out some­thing about my Spir­i­tu­al­ism that maybe dis­tort­ed to in­jure my Rit­u­al­is­tic stand­ing"

'1 ain't done noth­ing; and you jest drop me, or Til knock spots out of yer!" car­ols the story young child. '1 jest come to have my aim at that old Beat there."

"At­tend to his case, then—his and his friend's, for he seems to have some one with him—and never let me see you two boys again."

Thus Mr. BUM­STEAD, as he re­leas­es the ex­cit­ed lad, and turns from the pau­per buri­al-ground for a cu­ri­ous kind of pitch­ing and run­ning walk home­ward. The strange ex­pe­di­tion is at an end:-but which end he is un­able just then to de­cide.

CHAP­TER XIII
FOR THE BEST

Miss CAROWTHERS'S ed­u­ca­tion­al hotbed of fe­male in­no­cence was about to un­der­go des­o­la­tion by the tem­po­rary dis­per­sal of its in­tel­lec­tu­al buds and blos­soms to their na­tive soils, there­from to fill home-at­mo­spheres with the men­tal fra­grance of "all the branch­es." Hol­i­day Week drew near, when, as Miss CAROWTHERS Rit­u­al­ly ex­pressed it, "all who were true be­liev­ers of the Amer­i­can Church of Eng­land in their hearts would soft­ly cel­e­brate the de­vout Year­ly Fes­ti­val of Apos­tolic Chris­tian­i­ty, by deck­ing the Only True Church with sym­bol­i­cal ev­er­greens over places where the paint was scratched off, and re­ceiv­ing New Year's Calls with­out in­tox­i­cat­ing liquors." In honor of this ap­proach­ing solemn sea­son of peace on earth, good will to young men, the dis­ci­pline of Macas­sar Fe­male Col­lege was slight­ly re­laxed: Bible-stud­ies were no longer rig­or­ous­ly in­flict­ed as a pun­ish­ment for crim­i­nal ab­sence of all punc­tu­a­tion from En­glish Com­po­si­tion, and any Young Lady whose fa­ther was good pay could ac­tu­al­ly sneeze in her teacup with­out being locked into her own room on bread-and-wa­ter until she was truly pen­i­tent for her sin and wished she was a Chris­tian. Con­se­quent­ly, an air of un­usu­al li­cense per­vad­ed the Aims-House; woman's rights meet­ings were held at the heads of stair­ways to de­clare, that, where­as MARY AMAN­DA PARKIN­SON'S male sec­ond-cousin has promised to meet her at the rail­road sta­tion, and there­by made her pre­tend to us that the let­ter was from her fa­ther, when all the time ANN LOUISA BAKER ac­ci­den­tal­ly caught sight of the words "My Pre­cious MOLLY" while look­ing for her scis­sors in the wrong draw­er, and there­fore, be it Re­solved, that we wish he knew about one shoul­der being a lit­tle high­er than the other, (as she knows the dress­mak­er told her,) and about that one red whisker under the left hand cor­ner of her chin which she might as well stop try­ing to keep cut off; dark as­sem­blages re­sem­bling walk­ing lob­sters were con­vened in spe­cial dor­mi­to­ries at night, to com­pare broth­ers and tell how they By­ron­i­cal­ly said that they never should care for women again after what they had sac­ri­ficed for them in the horse-cars with­out so much as a "Thank you, sir," but if they ever could be brought to lik­ing a girl now, it would be on ac­count of her not pre­tend­ing to care for any­thing but money and a hus­band's early grave; and very white par­ties of plea­sure were or­ga­nized in the halls, at ghost­ly hours, to go down to the cup­board for a mince-pie under pre­tense of hear­ing bur­glars, and sub­se­quent­ly to drink the mince-pie from curl-pa­pers, ac­com­pa­nied by whis­pers of "H'sh! don't eat the crust so loud, or Miss CAROWTHERS 'II think it's a man."

In ad­di­tion to these signs of im­pend­ing free­dom, trunks were packed in the rooms, with an adept­ness of get­ting in things with springs twice as wide as any trunk, and of lay­ing cologne-bot­tles, fans, and brush­es, be­tween ob­jects with ruf­fles so as to per­fect­ly pro­tect the lat­ter, that would have put the most con­ceit­ed old bach­e­lor to shame. Af­fect­ed ten­der­ly by thoughts of a sep­a­ra­tion which, so ridicu­lous­ly un­cer­tain is human life, might be for­ev­er, the young ladies who could­nt bear each other, and had been quite sorry for each other be­cause she couldn't help it with such a nat­u­ral dis­po­si­tion and rough fore­head as hers, poor thing!—gra­cious­ly made-up with each other, in case they should not meet again until in Heav­en.—You will not think any more, HEN­RI­ET­TA TOM­LIN­SON, of what I told you about AU­GUS­TUS SMITH'S re­marks to me that Sun­day com­ing out of chapel. I didnt let you know be­fore, my dear, but when he had the im­pu­dence to say that one of your eye­brows was longer than the other, and that you had a sleepy look as though a lit­tle more in the up­per-sto­ry wouldn't hurt you, I stood up for you, and told him he ought to be ashamed to talk so on Sun­day about you, after you'd taken such pains to please him. That's just all there was about that whole thing, HEN­RI­ET­TA, dear, and now I hope we may part friends.—Why shouldn't we, MARTHA JENK­INS? I'm sure I've never been the one to be un­friend­ly, and when Mr. SMITH told me, that he guessed my friend Miss JENK­INS didnt know how much she walked like a camel, I was as sar­cas­tic as I could be, and said I didn't know be­fore that gen­tle­men ever made fun of nat­u­ral de­for­mi­ties.—Yes, HEN­RI­ET­TA, my love, I know how you've al­ways, te-he! spo­ken well of ev­ery­body be­hind their backs. Gen­tle­men give you their con­fi­dence as soon as they see you, with­out a bit of fish­ing for it on your part, and then you have a chance to be­friend your poor friends.—Oh, well, MARTHA, dar­ling, there's no need of your get­ting pro­voked be­cause I wouldn't hear you called a camel—he! he!—after you'd been so an­gel­ic with him about step­ping on the mid­dle back-breadth of your poplin—"Oh, nev­er­mind it at all-l, May­is­tah SA-MITH; it's of No-o con­se­quence!" Te-he-he-he! When is it to come off, Miss TOM­LIN­SON? When does your AU­GUS­TUS fi­nal­ly re­ward your per­se­ver­ance with his big red hand?—I havent asked him yet, Pre­cious! out of re­gard for your feel­ings. He's so sen­si­tive about hav­ing any one think he's jilt­ed her; quite ridicu­lous, I tell him.—HEN­RI­ET­TA TOM­LIN­SON! you—you'd get on your knees to make a man look at you: EV­ERY­body says that!—But then, you know, MARTHA JENK­INS, there are per­sons who wouldn't be looked at much, even if they did go on their knees for it, lovey.—M'm'm! Ph'h'h! Please keep by your own trunk, HEN­RI­ET­TA. I don't want any­thing stolen, Miss!—He! he! Of course I'll go, MARTHA There's so much dan­ger of my steal­ing your old rags!—Dont pro­voke me to slap you, Miss!—Who are you push­ing against, Camel?—Aow-aouw-k!—Ah-h-h!—R-r-r-r'p, sl'p, p'l-'l Miss CROWTHERS' com­ing!! And thus to usher in the merry, merry Christ­mas time of peace on earth, good will to young men.

At noon on the Sat­ur­day pre­ced­ing Hol­i­day-Week, Miss CAROWTHERS, as­sist­ed by her ad­ju­tant, Mrs. PILLS­BURY, had a Re­cep­tion in the Cack­le­o­ri­um, when ema­ci­at­ed lemon­ade and tena­cious gin­ger­bread were passed around, and the serene con­queror of Breachy, Mr. BLOD­GETT, ad­dressed the as­sem­bled sweet­ness. Ladies, the wheel of Time, who, you know, is usu­al­ly rep­re­sent­ed as a ven­er­a­ble man of Jew­ish as­pect with a scythe, had brought around once more a fes­ti­val ap­peal­ing to all the finer feel­ings of our im­per­fect na­ture. Throbbed there a heart in any of our bos-hem! —in any of the su­per­struc­tures of our waists, that did not re­spond with joy and glad­ness to the sen­ti­ment of such a sea­son? In view of Christ­mas, Ladies, did we say, in the words of—an ac­cept­able Rit­u­al­is­tic trans­la­tion from the Bre­viary

"Day of vengeance, with­out mor­row, Earth shall end in flame and sor­row, As from saint and seer we bor­row?"

No; that was not our style. We saw in Christ­mas a happy time to for­give all our friends, to for­get all our en­e­mies at the groan­ing board, and to keep on re­mem­ber­ing the poor. Might we find all our rel­a­tives well in the homes we were about to re­vis­it, and ready to liq­ui­date our lit­tle se­mi-an­nu­al ex­pens­es of tu­ition. Might we find neigh­bor­hoods will­ing to take the re­sump­tion of pi­ano-prac­tic­ing in the for­giv­ing spir­it of the Christ­mas-time, and to ac­cept the singing of Ital­ian airs, at late hours, with the tops of win­dows down, as oc­cur­rences not to be pro­fane­ly crit­i­cized in sleep­less beds at a time of year when all an­i­mosi­ties should be re­pressed. With love for all mankind, Ladies, where it was strict­ly prop­er, we would now sep­a­rate until after the Hol­i­days, wish­ing each other a Merry Christ­mas and a Happy New Year. Then en­sued leave- tak­ings all around; ter­mi­nat­ing with a del­i­cate con­scious­ness on the part of each young lady pre­sent that she was not to be en­tire­ly with­out es­cort on her way to her home, inas­much as there was a BILL pre­pared to go with her and be pre­sent­ed to her par­ents.

A num­ber of times had FLORA POTTS wit­nessed this usual break­ing up, with­out any other sen­sa­tion at her­self being left be­hind in the Aims-House than one of re­lief from in­ces­sant at­tempts of dear­est friends to find out what Mr. E. DROOD wrote about long­ing to clasp her again, in his last; and on this oc­ca­sion she came near being re­al­ly happy in hav­ing her dear MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON to re­main with her. MAG­NO­LIA had never men­tioned EDWIN'S name since the vir­tu­al com­pact be­tween her­self, and her broth­er, and Mr. SIMP­SON, on the Pond shore; which was, per­haps, car­ry­ing woman's friend­ship rather too far to the other ex­treme:—she might as least have said, "Are you think­ing of some­thing com­menc­ing with a D.?" once in a while:—but the Flow­er­pot, while slight­ly won­der­ing, of course, found a pleas­ant change in a com­pan­ion of her own sex and age who was not al­ways rais­ing the D. in con­ver­sa­tion.

A love­ly scene was it, and mad­den­ing to mas­cu­line imag­i­na­tion, when so many of Miss POTTS'S bloom­ing young school­mates kissed her good-bye in the porch, and gave her a last chance to tell them what he had writ­ten, then. It was charm­ing to see that willed-away lit­tle crea­ture, with­out her enam­el, wav­ing farewell to the stages de­part­ing for the ferry; and to hear the dis­ap­pear­ing ones call­ing out to her: "By-bye, FLORA, dear; EDDY ought to see you now with your nat­u­ral com­plex­ion." "Au­revoir, Pet You'd bet­ter hurry in now; here comes a man!"

"Dont stay out in the sun for us, Dar­ling, or the bel­ladon­na may lose its ef­fect."

Oh, rose­bud-gar­den of girls! Oh, fresh young blos­soms, to which we of the male and cab­bage growth are as cheap veg­eta­bles! Cling to­geth­er while ye may in the fair bou­quet of sweet school friend­ship, of mu­si­cal par­lor-sis­ter­hood. So shall your thorns be known only to each other in such fra­grant clus­ter­ing, and never known at all to Men un­less they in­sen­sate­ly per­sist in giv­ing you their hands.

While the Flow­er­pot was thus re­ceiv­ing fond good-byes, EDWIN DROOD, on his way to see her, suf­fered an in­de­ci­sion of pur­pose which might have bred dis­qui­et in a more gi­gan­tic mind than his. With the pack­age con­tain­ing the memo­ri­al stay-lace in one pock­et, and his hands in two oth­ers, he strode up the Bum­steadville turn­pike in a light over­coat and a brown study. But for good Mr. DIB­BLE'S un­de­ni­ably truth­ful pic­ture of a mod­ern lover's ac­tu­al sit­u­a­tion, he might have al­lowed mat­ters to go as they would, and sunk into an early mar­riage with­out one prayer to Heav­en for mercy. Now, how­ev­er, that pic­ture trou­bled him even more than the bump which he had got upon his head from the tilt­ing table in the lawyer's of­fice, and he was dis­posed to send the stay-lace back to the can­did old man. "FLORA and I have about equal in­tel­lects," rea­soned he to him­self. "Shall I leave the whole ques­tion to her, or my own de­ci­sion! One would be about as pro­found in wis­dom as the other. Which? I guess I'll toss-up for it."

He stepped aside from the road, under a leaf­less tree, and drew from a pock­et a badly speck­led nick­el coin. "Heads for her, tails for me," he said, with some awe in his tone. The taste­ful coin was tossed, and "Heads" stared up at him from the frozen ground. "It's her in­ning," he mut­tered, and, re-pock­et­ing the money and his hands, went on whistling. Thus the great crises of our la­bo­ri­ous human lives are set­tled by the idle in­spi­ra­tion of a mo­ment, and fate, for good, or evil, comes as it is cent.

The Flow­er­pot, ex­pect­ing him, was ready in her walk­ing dress, and, by tacit per­mis­sion of Miss CAROWTHERS, the two start­ed upon a prom­e­nade for the near­est con­fi­den­tial cross-road, each eat­ing half of an apple which Mr. DROOD had brought to dis­guise his feel­ings.

"My dear, ab­surd EDDY," said FLORA when they had ar­rived in a se­clud­ed lane not far from St. Cow's Church, "I want to give you some­thing very se­ri­ous, and oh! I'm so ridicu­lous­ly ner­vous about doing so,—es­pe­cial­ly after your giv­ing me this apple."

"Never mind the apple, FLORA. It was the fruit of our First Par­ents, and has con­sti­tut­ed the most avail­able pie of the poor ever since. Dont allow it to fet­ter your free­dom of speech, and please try to eat it with­out such a gash­ing noise."

"Thank you, EDDY. You have al­ways been lib­er­al with me. And now are you sure you wont be ab­surd­ly angry with me if I give you some­thing?"

He fell away from her a mo­ment, as half an­tic­i­pat­ing a kiss, but promised that he would re­strain his tem­per.

"Then here you are, EDDY;" and she drew from a pock­et in her dress and held out to him a small worsted mit­ten.

'You give this to me?" he said, ac­cept­ing it, and toss­ing it from one hand to the other, as though it were some­thing hot.

'Yes, dear, ridicu­lous friend; and from this day forth let us give up the cold in­dif­fer­ence of peo­ple en­gaged to each other, and be as truly af­fec­tion­ate as broth­er and sis­ter."

"Never get mar­ried?"

"Not to each other."

Under the ec­stat­ic in­flu­ence of the mo­ment, the eman­ci­pat­ed young bond­man began danc­ing and turn­ing som­er­saults like one pos­sessed but, quick­ly re­mem­ber­ing him­self, has­tened to re­gain a per­pen­dic­u­lar po­si­tion at her side, and coughed en­er­get­i­cal­ly, as though, the re­cent gym­nas­tics had been pre­scribed for his cold.

"My own sis­ter!" he ex­claimed, "a weight is now lift­ed from both of our minds, and both of us should be the bet­ter for the lift­ing-cure It is noble in you to let me off so."

"And it's per­fect­ly splen­did in you, EDDY, to make no hor­rid fuss about it."

The beau­ti­ful con­test of gen­erosi­ties be­tween these two young souls made each as ten­der to­ward the other as though the par­ents of both had been alive and fran­ti­cal­ly op­posed to their mu­tu­al at­tach­ment.

"We are both sorry that we have ever had any ab­surd en­gage­ment be­tween us," said FLORA, with a man­ner of exquisite soft­ness, "and now, that we are like broth­er and sis­ter, we need not be all the time play­ing the Pret­ty with each other, and need­nt be putting on our best things every time we have to meet. You think that my hair al­ways curls in this way, don't you, EDDY?"

"Why, you don't mean to say, FLORA, that it's all—

"—False? No, you ab­surd thing! But curl­ing irons, and oil, and crimp­ing pins have to be used hours and hours."

"Ha! ha!" laughed EDWIN DROOD, "I see the point; you've had to make-up for me. Now I dare say that you have thought my boots, which I have worn in your com­pa­ny, were the right size for me? They're re­al­ly one and a half sizes too small, and al­most kill me. As for gloves, I never wear any at all ex­cept when I come to see you."

"And my com­plex­ion, dear broth­er?"

"Oh, I know all about that, dar­ling sis­ter. I could­nt find any fault with that, so long as my own seal-ring, which you thought so rich-look­ing, was only plat­ed."

The lit­tle crea­ture burst into a laugh of de­light, and pressed his arm with sis­ter­ly en­thu­si­asm. "And we can be per­fect­ly hon­est with each other; can't we, EDDY? As a part­ner­ship for life until death should us part is no longer our ob­ject, we have no need to ut­ter­ly de­ceive each other in ev­ery­thing."

"No," an­swered the equal­ly happy young man; "as we're not try­ing to marry now, we may as well drop the swin­dle."

"And just sup­pose we'd gone on and got mar­ried," cried the Flow­er­pot with danc­ing eyes. "When it was too late, you'd have found out what I re­al­ly was—"

"And you'd have found me out," in­ter­rupt­ed EDWIN, vi­va­cious­ly.

"I should have want­ed more ex­pen­di­ture upon my­self, for giv­ing me my prop­er place in so­ci­ety, than you, with your lim­it­ed means, could have pos­si­bly af­ford­ed.—"

"And I should have told you it would ruin me—"

"And that would have made me more dis­ap­point­ed in you than ever, and pro­voked me to call you a pau­per-mon­ster.—" "And then I would have twit­ted you about being any­thing but an heiress your­self when I mar­ried you—" "—Which would have thrown me into hys­ter­ics—"

"—Which would have made me lock you up in your room, and leave the house—" "—For which I would have sued you for an In­di­ana di­vorce—" "—Thus driv­ing me to com­mit sui­cide—"

—"And bring­ing my­self under a cruel pub­lic prej­u­dice se­ri­ous­ly detri­men­tal to my fu­ture prospects."

Glo­ri­ous­ly ex­cit­ed and made near­ly breath­less by their friend­ly ri­val­ry in thus spec­i­fy­ing what must have been the suc­ces­sive re­sults of their union with­out plen­ty of money, the an­i­mat­ed pair pant­ed at each other in a kind of imag­i­na­tive in­tox­i­ca­tion, and then shook hands al­most deliri­ous­ly.

In a mo­ment after, how­ev­er, Mr. DROOD thrust his hands into his pock­ets and pre­sent­ed an as­pect of sud­den dis­com­fi­ture.

"I for­got about my uncle, JACK BUM­STEAD," he said, un­easi­ly. "It will be a dread­ful blow for JACK: he's count­ed so much upon my hav­ing a wife for him to flirt with.—There he is, now!"

"Where?"

"Amongst those trees down there—Look!"

In a small grove, skirt­ing the road some dis­tance be­hind them, Mr. BUM­STEAD could in­deed be seen, dodg­ing wild­ly from one tree to an­oth­er in an ex­traor­di­nary man­ner, and oc­ca­sion­al­ly leap­ing high in the air and slash­ing ex­cit­ed­ly around him with his al­paca um­brel­la. A hoop from a bar­rel, pos­si­bly cast out upon the road by some­body, had, ap­par­ent­ly, be­come en­tan­gled around the legs and in the coat-tails of the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist; and he, in his ex­treme ner­vous sen­si­bil­i­ty, pre­cip­i­tate­ly mis­tak­ing it for one of his old en­e­mies, the snakes, had ev­i­dent­ly fled head­long with it as far as the grove, and was there en­gag­ing it in fran­tic sin­gle-com­bat.

"Oh, take me home, at once, please!" begged FLORA, alarmed at the re­mark­able sight.

"Poor dear old fel­low!" ex­claimed her com­pan­ion, obe­di­ent­ly hur­ry­ing on­ward with her, "I shall never have the heart to tell him of our sep­a­ra­tion, and must leave it to your guardian. He'll think he's been the cause of it, by steal­ing your heart from me.—Here he comes!"

They had bare­ly time to con­ceal them­selves in the Macas­sar porch, when, with um­brel­la in full play, and the bar­rel-hoop half-way up to his waist, Mr. BUM­STEAD came bound­ing along the turn­pike with fren­zied agili­ty. "Shoo! 'S'cat, you viper! Get out!" cried he; and stopped, with an un­earth­ly cul­mi­nat­ing scream of ter­ror, im­me­di­ate­ly in front of the Aims-House, where the hoop sud­den­ly fell at his feet. A mo­ment he beat his fall­en enemy with the um­brel­la, as though madly striv­ing to ac­tu­al­ly ham­mer it into the earth; then, as sud­den­ly, sus­pend­ed his at­tack, stooped low to eye his vic­tim more close­ly, and, with a fierce pounce, had it in his grasp. "Was it only thisss?" he hissed, hold­ing it at arm's length: "Sold again: signed, J. BUM­STEAD." And, hang­ing it over his um­brel­la, he stalked mood­i­ly on­ward.

"What a strug­gle his whole lone­ly life is!" said EDWIN DROOD, com­ing out from the porch.

FLORA'S part­ing look, as she en­tered the door, was as though she had said, "Oh! don't you un­der­stand?" But the young man went away un­con­scious of its mean­ing.

CHAP­TER XIV
CLOVES FOR THREE

Christ­mas Eve in Bum­steadville. Christ­mas Eve all over the world, but es­pe­cial­ly where the En­glish lan­guage is spo­ken. No soon­er does the first face­tious star wink upon this Eve, than all the En­glish-speak­ing mil­lions of this Boston-crowned earth begin cast­ing off their ha­treds, mean­ness­es, un­char­i­ties, and Car­lyleisms, as a gar­ment, and, in a beau­ti­ful spir­it of no ob­jec­tions to any­body, pro­ceed to think what can be done for the poor in the way of sin­cere­ly wish­ing them well The prince­ly mer­chant, in his count­ing-room, in­vol­un­tar­i­ly ex­pe­ri­ences the soft­en­ing, hu­man­iz­ing in­flu­ence of the hour, and, in tones trenx­dous with un­wont­ed emo­tion, pri­vate­ly di­rects his Chief Clerk to tell all the other clerks, that, on this night of all the round year, they may, be­fore leav­ing the store at 10 o'clock, take al­most any ar­ti­cle from that slight­ly dam­aged auc­tion-stock down in the front cel­lar, at ac­tu­al cost-price. This, they are to un­der­stand, im­plies their Em­ploy­er's hearty wish of a Merry Christ­mas to them; and is a sign that, in the grand spir­it of the fes­tal sea­son, he can even for­get and for­give those un­nat­u­ral lean­er en­try-clerks who are al­ways whin­ing for more than their al­lot­ted $7 a week. The Pres­i­dent of the great rail­road cor­po­ra­tion, in the very mid­dle of a growl­ing fit over the extra cost in­volved in pur­chas­ing his last Leg­is­la­ture, (owing to the feet that some of its Men­bers had been elect­ed upon a fu­sion of Rad­i­cal-Re­form and Hon­est- Work­ing­man's Tick­ets,) is sud­den­ly and nys­te­ri­ous­ly im­pressed with the rec­ol­lec­tion that this is Christ­mas Eve. "Why, bless my soul, so it is!" he cries, sprirgjn­gupfromhis lit­tered rose­wood desk like a boy. "Here, you Gen­er­al Su­per­in­ten­dent out there in the of­fice!" sings he, cheer­i­ly, "send some one down to Wash­ing­ton Mar­ket this in­stant, to find out whether or not any of those lus­cious anatom­i­cal west­ern turkies that I saw in the bar­rels this morn­ing are left yet If the com­mer­cial ho­tels down-town haven't taken them all, buy every re­main­ing bar­rel at once! Not a man nor boy in this Com­pa­ny1 s ser­vice shall go home to-night with­out his Christ­mas din­ner in his hand! Live­ly, now, Mr. JONES! and just oblige me by pick­ing out one of the birds for your­self if you can find one at all less blue than the rest Its Christ­mas Eve, sir, and upon my word I'm re­al­ly sorry our boys have to work to-mor­row as usual Ah! its hard to be poor, JONES! A merry Christ­mas to us all Here's my car­riage come for me." And even in re­turn­ing to their homes from their daily av­o­ca­tions, on Christ­mas Eve, how the most grasp­ing penu­ri­ous souls of men will soft­en to the world's un­for­tu­nate! Who is this poor old lady, look­ing as though she might be some­body's grand­moth­er, sit­ting here by the way­side, shiv­er­ing, on such an Eve as this? No home to go?—Re­la­tions all dead?—Eaten noth­ing in two days?—Walked all the way from the Woman's Rights Bu­reau in Boston?—Dear me! can there be so nuch suf­fer­ing on Christ­mas Eve? I most do some­thing for her, or my own good din­ner to-mor­row will be a re­proach to me. "Here! Po­lice­man! just take this poor old lady to the Sta­tion-House, and give her a good warm home there until morn­ing. There! cheer-up, Aunty, you're all right now. This gen­tle­man in the uni­form has promised to take care of you. Merry Christ­mas!"—Or, when at home, and that ex­treme­ly bony lad, in the thin sum­mer coat, chat­ters to you, from the snow on the front-stoop, about the courage he has taken from Christ­mas Eve to ask you for enough to get a meal and a nights-lodg­ing—how dif­fer­ent­ly from your or­di­nary style does a some­thing soft in your breast impel you to treat him 'No work to be ob­tained?" you say, in a light tone, to cheer him up. 'Of course there's none here, my young friend. All the work here at the East is for for­eign­ers, in order that they may be used at elec­tion-time. As for you, an Amer­i­can boy, why don't you go to h— I mean to the West. Go West, young man! Buy a good, stout farm­ing out­fit, two or three ser­vice­able hors­es, or moles, a portable house made in sec­tions, a few cat­tle, a case of fever medicine—and then go out to the far West upon Gov­ern­ment-land You'd bet­ter go to one of the ho­tels for to-night, and then pur­chase Mr. GREE­LEY'S 'What I Know About Farm­ing,' and start as soon as the snow per­mits in the morn­ing Here are ten cents for you Merry Christ­mas!"—Thus to honor the natal Fes­ti­val ofHim—the Un­selfish in­car­nate, the Di­vine­ly in­sight­ed—Who said unto the lip-serv­er Sell all that thou hast, and give it to the Poor, and fol­low Me; and from Whom the lip-serv­er, hav­ing great pos­ses­sions, went away ex­ceed­ing sor­row­ful!

Three men are to meet at din­ner in the Bum­stea­di­an apart­ments on this Christ­mas Eve. How has each one passed the day?

MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON, in his room in Gospel­er1 s Gulch, reads South­ern tragedies in an old copy of the New Or­leans Picayune, until two o'clock, when he hasti­ly tears up all his soiled paper col­lars, packs a few things into a trav­el­ling satchel, and, with the lat­ter slung over his shoul­der, and a Kehoe's In­di­an club in his right hand, is met in the hall by his tutor, the Gospel­er.

"What are you doing with that club, Mr. MONT­GOMERY?" asks the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS, hasti­ly step­ping back into a comer.

'Tve bought it to ex­er­cise with in the open air," an­swers the young South­ern­er, play­ful­ly dent­ing the wall just over his tutor's head with it "After this din­ner with Mr. DROOD, at BUM­STEAD'S, I reck­on I shall start on a walk­ing match, and Tve pro­cured the club for ex­er­cise as I go. Thus:" He twirls it high in the air, grazes Mr. SIMP­SON'S near­er ear, hits his own head ac­ci­den­tal­ly, and breaks the glass in the hat-stand

"I see! I see!" says the Gospel­er, rather hur­ried­ly. 'Per­haps you/zarf­bet­ter be en­tire­ty afone, and in the open coun­try, when you take that ex­er­cise."

Rub­bing his skull quite dis­mal­ly, the prospec­tive pedes­tri­an goes straight­way to the porch of the Aims-House, and there waits until his sis­ter comes down in her bon­net and joins him.

'MAG­NO­LIA," he re­marks, has­ten­ing to be the first to speak, in order to have any con­ver­sa­tion­al chance at all with her, "it is not the least mys­te­ri­ous part of this Mys­tery of ours, that keeps us all out of doors so nuch in the un­sea­son­able win­ter month of De­cen­ber,m and now I am pe­cu­liar­ly a me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal mar­tyr in feel­ing obliged to go walk­ing for two whole freez­ing weeks, or until the Hol­i­days and this—this mar­riage-busi­ness, are over. I didn't tel Mr. SIMP­SON, but my real pur­pose, I reck­on, in hav­ing this club, is to save my­self by vi­o­lent ex­er­cise with it, from per­ish­ing of cold."

'Must you do this, MONT­GOMERY?" asks his col­lo­qui­al sis­ter, thought­ful­ly. "Per­haps if I were to talk long enough with you—"

"—You'd lit­er­al­ly ex­haust me into not gping? Cer­tain­ly you would," he re­turns, con­fi­dent­ly. "First, my head would ache from the con­stant noise; then it would spin; then I should grow faint and hear you less dis­tinct­ly; then your voice, al­though you were talk­ing-on the same as ever, would sound like a mere steady hum to me; then I should be­come un­con­scious, and be car­ried home, with you still whis­per­ing in my ear. But do not talk, MAG­NO­LIA; for I most do the walk­ing-match. The prej­u­dice here against my South­ern birth makes me a damper upon the fes­tiv­i­ties of oth­ers at this gen­er­al sea­son of for­give­ness to all mankind, and I can't stand the sight of that DROOD and Miss POTTS to­geth­er. I'd bet­ter stay away until they have gone."

He paus­es a mo­ment, and adds: 'T wish I were not going to this din­ner, or that I were not car­ry­ing this club there."

He shakes her hand and his own head, glances up at the storm-clouds now gath­er­ing in the sky, goes on­ward to Mr. BUM­STEAD'S board­ing-house, halts at the door a mo­ment to moist­en his right hand and bal­ance the In­di­an club in it, and then en­ters.

EDWIN DROOD'S day be­fore merry Christ­mas is equal­ly hi­lar­i­ous. Now that the Flow­er­pot is no longer on his mind, the prone­ness of the mas­cu­line na­ture to court mis­for­tune caus­es him to think se­ri­ous­ly of Miss PEN­DRAG­ON, and won­der whether she would make a wife to ruin a man? It will be rather awk­ward, he thinks, to be in Bum­steadville for a week or two after the Macas­sar young ladies shall have heard of his mat­ri­mo­ni­al dis­en­gage­ment, as they will all be sure to sit sym­met­ri­cal­ly at every front win­dow in the Aims-House when­ev­er he tries to go by, and he re­solves to es­cape the clanger by start­ing for Egypt Illi­nois, im­me­di­ate­ly after he has seen Mr. DIB­BLE and ex­plained the sit­u­a­tion to him Find­ing that his watch has run down, he steps into a jew­el­er's to have it wound, and is at once sub­ject­ed to in­sin­u­at­ing over­tures by the man of ge­nius. What does he think of this ring which is ex­act­ly the thing for some par­tic­u­lar Oc­ca­sions in Life? It is made of the metal for which near­ly all young cou­ples marry now-a-days, is as end­less as their dis­agree­ments, and, by the new pro­cess, can be stretched to fit the Sec­ond wife's hand, also. Or look at this pearl set Very chaste, re­al­ly sooth­ing in­tend­ed as a pre­sent from a Hus­band after First Quar­reL These cameo ear-rings were never known to M Ju­di­cious­ly pre­sent­ed, in a vel­vet case, they may be de­pend­ed upon to at once di­vert a young Wife from Re­turn­ing to her Moth­er, as she has threat­ened. Ah! Mr. DROOD cares for no more jew­el­ry than his watch, chain and seal-ring? To be sure! when Mr. BUM­STEAD was in yes­ter­day for the reg­u­lar daily new crys­tal in his own watch—how does he break so many!—he said that his beloved nephews wore only watch­es and rings, or he would buy paste breast­pins for them Your oroide is now wound up, Mr. DROOD, and set at twen­ty min­utes past Two.

'Dear old JACK!" thinks EDWIN to him­self pock­et­ing his watch as he walks away, "he thinks just twice as nuch of me as any one else in the world, and I should feel dou­bly grate­ful."

As dusk draws on, the young felbw, re­turn­ing from a long walk, es­pies an aged Irish lady lean­ing against a tree on the edge of the turn­pike, with a pipe up­side-down in her mouth, and her bon­net on wrong-side-afore.

"Are you sick?" he asks kind­ly.

"Divl a sick, gintle­men," is the an­swer, with a slight catch of the voice,—'bless the two of yez!"

EDWIN DROOD can scarce­ly avoid a start, as he thinks to him­self "Good Heav­en! how nuch like JACK!"

"Do you eat cloves, madame?" he asks, re­spect­ful­ly.

'Cloves is it, honey? ah, thin, I do that, whin rm­ex­pec­tiri com­pa­ny. Ode­ther-node­ther, but I've come here the day from New York for noth­ing Sure phafs the names of you two dar­lints?"

"EDWIN," he an­swers, in some won­der, as he hands her a cur­ren­cy stamp, which, on ac­count of the large hole worn in it, he has been re­peat­ed­ly un­able to pass him­seK

"EDDY is it? Och hone, och hone, machree!" ex­claims the ven­er­a­ble woman, hang­ing des­o­late­ly around the tree by her arms while her bon­net fills over her left ear: 'Tve heard that name threat­ened. Och, acush­la wirasthu!"

Be­liev­ing that the ma­tron will be less ag­i­tat­ed if left alone, and, prob­a­bly, able to get a lit­tle road­side sleep, EDWIN DROOD pass­es on­ward in deep thought The board­ing-house is reached, and he en­ters.

J. BUM­STEAD'S day of the din­ner is also marked by ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. With one coat-tail un­wit­ting­ly tucked far up his back, so that it seems to be am­pu­tat­ed, and his al­paca un­brel­la under his arm, he en­ters a gro­cery-store of the vil­lage, and ab­stract­ed­ly asks how straw­ber­ries are sell­ing to-day? Upon being re­mind­ed that fresh fruit is very scarce in late De­cem­ber, he changes his pur­pose, and or­ders two bot­tles of Bour­bon fla­vor­ing-ex­tract sent to his ad­dress. And now he wish­es to know what they are charg­ing for sponges? They tel him that he nust seek those ar­ti­cles at the drug­gist s, and he com­pro­mis­es by re­quest­ing that four lemons be for­ward­ed to his res­i­dence. Have they any good Can­ton-flan­nel, suit­able for a per­son of medi­um com­plex­ion?—

No?—Very well, then: send half a pound of cbves to his house be­fore night

There are Rit­u­al­is­tic ser­vices at Saint Cow's, and he ren­ders the or­gan-ac­com­pa­ni­ments with such un­usu­al free­dom from rem­i­nis­cences of the bac­cha­na­lian reper­to­ry, that the Gospel­er is im­pelled to com­pli­ment him as they leave the cathe­dral

'You're in fine tone to-day, BUM­STEAD. Not quite so nuch vol­ume to your play­ing as some­times, but still the tune could be rec­og­nized."

'That, sir," an­swers the or­gan­ist, ex­plain­ing­ly, "was be­cause I held my right wrist firm­ly with my left hand, and played most­ly with only one fin­ger. The method, I find, se­cures steadi­ness of touch and pre­cis­bn in hit­ting the right key"

"I should think it would, Mr. BUM­STEAD. You seem to be more free than or­di­nar­i­ly from your oc­cas­fon­al in­dis­po­si­tion"

"I am less ner­vous, Mr. SIMP­SON," is the reply 'Tve made up my mind to swear oa sir.—TH tell you what M do, SIMP­SON," con­tin­ues the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, with sud­den con­fi­den­tial afla­bil­i­ty. 'Til make an agree­ment with you, that whichev­er of us catch­es the other slip­ping up first in the New Year, shall be en­ti­tled to call for what­ev­er he wants."

'Bless me! I don't un­der­stand," ejac­u­lates the Gospel­er.

'No mat­ter, sir. No mat­ter!" re­torts the mys­tic ofthe or­gan-bfi, abrupt­ly re­turn­ing to his orig­i­nal gloom 'My com­pa­ny awaits me, and I mast go."

"Ex­cuse me," cries the Gospel­er, turn­ing back a mo­ment; 'but what?s the mat­ter with your coat?"

The other dis­cov­ers the con­di­tion of his tucked-up coat-tail with some fierce­ness of as­pect, but im­me­di­ate­ly ex­plains that it most have been caused by his sit­ting upon a fold­ing-chair just be­fore leav­ing home.

So, hum­ming a sav­age tune in make-be­lief of no em­bar­rass­ment at all in re­gard to his re­cent­ly dis­or­dered gar­ment, Mr. BUM­STEAD reach­es his board­ing-house. At the door he waits long enough to ex­am­ine his um­brel­la, with scowl­ing scruti­ny, in every rib; and then he en­ters.

Be­hind the red win­dow-cur­tain ofthe room of the din­ner-par­ty shines the light all night, while be­fore it a wail­ing De­cen­ber gale rises high­er and high­er. Through leaf­less branch­es, under eaves and against chim­neys, the sav­age wings ofthe storm are beat­en, its bng fin­gers caught, and its giant shoul­der heaved Still, while noth­ing else seems steady, that light be­hind the red cur­tain burns un­ex­tin­guished; the rea­son being that the win­dow is cbsed and the wind can­not get at it

At morn­ing comes a hush on na­ture; the sun aris­es with that in­no­cent ex­pres­sion of coun­te­nance which caus­es some per­sons to foxy that it re­sem­bles Mr. GREE­LEY after shav­ing and there is an ev­i­dent de­sire on the part of the wind to pre­tend that it has not been up all night Fall­en cHm­nies, how­ev­er, ex­pose the airy fraud, and the clock bbwn com­plete­ly out of Saint Cow's steeple re­veals what a high time there has been

Christ­mas morn­ing though it is, Mr. MCLAUGH­LIN is sum­moned from his fo­ri­ly-cir­cle of pigs, to mount the Rit­u­al­is­tic church and see what can be done; and while a small throng of early idlers are star­ing up at him from Gospel­er1 s Gulch, Mr. BUM­STEAD, with his coat on in the wrong way, and a wet towel on his head, comes tear­ing in amongst them like a con­greve rock­et

"Where's tfem nephews?-awtere's MONT­GOMERIES?—where's that un­brel­la?" fowls Mr. BUM­STEAD, catch­ing the first man he sees by the throat, and driv­ing his hat over his eyes.

"What? s the mat­ter, for good­ness sake?" calls the Gospel­er from the win­dow of his house. "Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON has gone away on a walk­ing-match Is not Mr. DROOD at home with you?"

'Norrabtf v it," pants the or­gan­ist, re­leas­ing his man's throat, but still lean­ing with heavy af­fec­tion upon him "rrinephews wen 'out with 'm—fr № walk—er rrir1 night; an' 've norseer­im—since."

There is no more look­ing up at Saint Cow1 s steeple with a MCLAUGH­LIN on it now. All eyes fix upon the ag­i­tat­ed Mr. BUM­STEAD, as he wild­ly at­tempts to step over the tal pal­ing ofthe Gospel­er1 s fence at a stride, and goes crash­ing headb­ng through it in­stead.

[In the orig­i­nal En­glish story there is, con­sid­er­ing the bit­ter time of year given, a truly ex­traor­di­nary amount of soli­tary saun­ter­ing so­cial strolling con­fi­den­tial con­fab­u­lat­ing evening-ran­bling and gen­er­al lin­ger­ing in the open air. To "adapt" this novel pe­cu­liar­i­ty to Amer­i­can prac­tice, with­out some lit­tle vi­o­la­tion of prob­a­bil­i­ty, is what the pre­sent con­sci­en­tious Adapter finds al­most the artis­tic re­quire­ment of his task]

CHAP­TER XV
'SPOT­TED'

When the bell of St Cow's began ring­ing for Rit­u­al­is­tic morn­ing-ser­vice, with a sound as of some in­con­ti­nent­ly ram­bling dun spin­ster of the lacteal herd—now near at hand in cracked dis­so­nance, as the wind blows hith­er, now alar, in tin­kling dis­tance, as the wind blows hence—MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON was sev­er­al miles away from Bum­steadville upon his walk­ing-match, with head al­ready bumped like a pineap­ple, and lace cu­ri­ous­ly swelled, from am­a­teur prac­tice with the In­di­an Club. Being by that time cold enough for break­fast, and will­ing to try the virtues of some sooth­ing ap­pli­ca­tion to his right eye, which, from a bruise just below it, was near­ly closed, the badly bangsd young man sus­pend­ed his mur­der­ous cal­is­then­ics at the door of a rus­tic hotel, and there en­tered to se­cure a way­side meal

The Amer­i­can coun­try "hotel," or halfway house, is, per­haps, one of the most de­press­ing fic­tions ever en­coun­tered by stage- pas­sen­ger, or pedes­tri­an afield: and de­pends so ex­clu­sive­ly upon the imag­i­na­tion for any earth­ly dis­tinc­tion from the re­tired and ne­glect­ed pri­vate hid­ing-place of some de­cayed and mor­bid agri­cul­tur­al fam­i­ly, that only the con­ven­tion­al swing sign-board be­fore the door saves the cog­nizant mind from a painful­ly dense con­fu­sion. Smelling about equal­ly of eter­nal wash-day, ca­su­al cow-shed, and pass­ing feath­er-bed, it sus­tains a lank, mid­dle-agsd, gristly man to come out at the same hour every day and grunt un­in­tel­li­gi­bly at the stags-driv­er, an ex­pres­sion­less boy in a band­less straw-hat and no shoes to stare blankly from the door­way at the same old pole-horse he has me­chan­i­cal­ly thus in­spect­ed from in­fan­cy, and one speck­led hen of ma­ture years to poise ob­serv­ing­ly on sin­gle leg at the head of the shape­less black dog asleep at the sunny end of the bw wood­en stoop. It is the one rural spot on earth where a call for fresh eggg evokes re­mon­stra­tive and chron­ic de­nial; where chick­ens for din­ner are stern­ly dis­cred­it­ed as mere freaks of legsndary ro­mance, and an order for a glass of new milk is in­cred­u­lous­ly an­swered by a tun­bler­ful of water which tastes of white­wash-brush. Whoso­ev­er sleeps there of a night shall be crowd­ed by walls which rub off into a feint feath­er-bed of the fla­vor and con­sis­ten­cy of geese used whole, and have for his fever­ish break­fast in the morn­ing a vers­bn of­broiled ham as racy of at­tic-salt as the rash­er of BACON'S es­says. And to him who pays his bill there, ere he strag­gles weak­ly forth to re­pair his shat­tered health by fren­zied flight, shall be given in change such hoary ten­cent shreds of for­mer postal cur­ren­cy as he has not hith­er­to deemed cred­i­ble, stick­ing to­geth­er in in­ex­tri­ca­ble con­glom­er­a­tion by such frag­ments of fish-scales as he never be­fore be­lieved could be gath­ered by han­dled small-mon­ey from palms not suf­fi­cient­ly washed after pis­ca­to­ri­al di­ver­sion.

It was in at a coun­try hotel, then, that the young South­ern pedes­tri­an turned for tem­po­rary rest and a meal, and piti­less was the cross-ex­am­i­na­tion in­sti­tut­ed by the in­evitable lank, mid­dle-aged gristly man, be­fore he could rec­on­cile it with his duty as a cau­tious pub­lic char­ac­ter to re­veal the trea­sures of the larder. Those bumps on the head, that swollen eye, and nose, came—did they?—from swing­ing this here club for ex­er­cise. Well, he want­ed to know, now! Peo­ple gen­er­al­ly used two of the clubs at once—did they?— but one was enough for a be­gin­ner. Well, he want­ed to know, now! Could he sup­ply a cou­ple of poached eggg and a cup of milk? No, young man; but a slice of corned pork and a bowl of tea were with­in the re­sources of the es­tab­lish­ment.

When at length upon the road again, the bruised youth re­solved to fol­low a cat­tle-track "across bts," for the greater space in which to ex­er­cise with his In­di­an club as he walked. Like any other novice in the prac­tice, he could not di­vest his mind of the im­pres­sion, that the fright­ful thumps he con­tin­u­al­ly re­ceived, in twirling the mer­ci­less thing around and be­hind his de­vot­ed head, were due to some kind of crowd­ing in­flu­ence from the bound­aries on ei­ther side the way, and it was to gain re­lief from such dam­ag­ing con­trac­tion of area that he left the high­way for the wider win­try fields. Going on­ward in these lat­ter at an ir­reg­u­lar pace; some­times mo­men­tar­i­ly stunned into a rangy stag­gsr by a sound­ing bbw on the cere­brum or the cere­bel­lum; and, again, ir­ri­tat­ed al­most to a run by con­tus­bn of shoul­der-blade or fun­ny-bone; he fi­nal­ly be­came aware that two men were folb­wing him through the bts, and that with a close­ness of at­ten­tion in­di­cat­ing more than com­mon in­ter­est To the per­cep­tion of his keen­ly sen­si­tive South­ern na­ture they at once be­came rib­ald Yan­kee van­dals, hop­ing for un­seem­ly anuse­ment from the de­tec­tion of some awk­ward­ness in the In­di­an-club-play of a de­feat­ed but not con­quered South­ern Gen­tle­man; and, in the haughty sec­tion­al pride of his con­temp­tu­ous soul, he in­dig­nant­ly de­ter­mined to show not the least con­scious­ness of their dis­re­spect­ful ob­ser­va­tion Twirling the club around and around his bat­tered head with in­creas­ing ve­loc­i­ty, he smiled scorn­ful­ly to him­self nor deigned a sin­gle back­ward glance at the one of his two fol­low­ers who ap­proached more rapid­ly than the other. He heard the hin­der­most say to the fore­most, "Leave him alone, I tel you, and he'll knock him­self down in a minute," and, in a pas­sion­ate­ly reck­less ef­fort of sheer brava­do to catch the club from one hand with the other while it yet cir­cled swift­ly over his skull, he ac­ci­den­tal­ly brought the un­govern­able weapon into tremen­dous con­tact with the top of his head, and dashed him­self vi­o­lent­ly to the earth.

"Didn't I tell you he'd do it?" cried the hin­der­most ofthe two strangers, com­ing up; while the other cool­ly seat­ed him­self upon the pros­trat­ed vic­tim "These here In­di­an clubs al­ways throw a man if he ain't got moscle in his arms; and this here lit­tle Chival­ry has got arms like a cou­ple of canes."

"Arise from me in­stant­ly, fel­low. You're sit­tirg upon my breast-pin," ex­claimed MONT­GOMERY to the per­son sit­ting upon him

They suf­fered him to re­gain his feet, which he did with ex­treme hau­teur, and sur­veyed his bumped head and swollen coun­te­nance with undis­guised won­der.

"How dare you treat a South­ern­er in this way?" con­tin­ued the young man, his head aching in­ex­press­ibly. 'T thought the war was over long ago. If money is your ob­ject, seek out a cit­i­zen of some other sec­tion than mine; for the South is out of funds just now, owing to the mil­i­tary out­rages ofNorth­ern scor­pi­ons."

"We're con­sta­bles, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON," was the reply, "and it is our duty to take you back to the main road, where a cou­ple of your friends are wait­ing for you"

Star­ing from one to the other in speech­less won­der at what this fresh out­rage upon the down-trod­den South could mean, MONT­GOMERY al­lowed them to re­place his In­di­an club in his hand, and con­duct him back to the pub­lic road; where, to his in­creased be­wil­der­ment, he found Gospel­er SIMP­SON and the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist.

"What is the mat­ter, gen­tle­men?" he asked, in great ag­i­ta­tion "nust I take the oath of Loy­al­ty, or am I re­quired by Yan­kee phi­lan­thropy to marry a regress?"

At the sound of his voice, Mr. BUM­STEAD left the shoul­der of Mr. SIMP­SON, upon which he had been lean­ing with great weight, and, com­ing for­ward in three long skips, de­lib­er­ate­ly wound his right hand in the speak­er's neck­tie.

"Where are those nephews—where's that um­brel­la?" de­mand­ed the or­gan­ist, with con­sid­er­able fe­roc­i­ty.

'Nephews!—um­brel­la!" gasped the other.

'The ED­WINS—bone han­dle," ex­plained Mr. BUM­STEAD, lurch­ing to­wards his cap­tive.

"Mr. MONT­GOMERY," in­ter­posed the Gospel­er, sadly, Mr. DROOD went out with you last night, late, from his es­timable uncle's lodg­ings, and has not been seen since. Where is he?"

"He went back into the house again, sir, after I had walked him up and down the road a few times."

"Well, then, where's that um­brel­la?" roared the or­gan­ist, who seemed quite be­side him­self with grief and ex­cite­ment

"Mr. BUM­STEAD, pray be more cairn" im­plored the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS.

"Mr. MONT­GOMERY, this ag­i­tat­ed gen­tle­man's nephew has been nys­te­ri­ous­ly miss­ing ever since he went out with you at mid­night also an al­paca um­brel­la."

"Upon my honor, I know noth­ing of ei­ther," ejac­u­lat­ed the un­hap­py South­ern­er.

Mr. BUM­STEAD, still hold­ing him by the neck­tie, cast a fiery and un­set­tled glance around at noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar; then ground his teeth au­di­bly, and scowled

'My boy's miss­ing!" he said hiss­ing­ly.—"Yun­der­stand?—he's miss­ing—I nust in­sist upon search­ing the pris­on­er."

In the pres­ence of Gospel­er and con­sta­bles, and lofti­ly re­gard­less alike of their star­tled won­der and the young maris protests, the mad­dened uncle ofthe lost DROOD de­lib­er­ate­ly ex­am­ined all the cap­tive's pock­ets in suc­ces­sion. In one of them was a penknife, which, after thought­ful­ly try­ing it upon his pink nails, he ab­stract­ed­ly placed in his own pock­et Search­ing next the over­whelmed South­ern­er's trav­el­ling- satchel, he found in it an apple, which he first eyed with marked sus­pi­cion, and then bit large­ly into, as though half ex­pect­ing to find in it some traces of his nephew.

'Til keep this sus­pi­cious fruit," he re­marked with a hol­low laugh; aid, bear­ing un­re­served­ly upon the near­er arm ofthe hap­less MONT­GOMERY, and eat­ing au­di­bly as he surged on­ward he start­ed on the re­turn march for Bum­stead­vi­He.

Not a word more was spo­ken until, after a cool Christ­mas stroll of about eight and a quar­ter miles, the whole party stood be­fore Judge SWEENEY in the house of the lat­ter. There, when the story had been sor­row­ful­ly re­peat­ed by the Gospel­er, Mr. BUM­STEAD ex­hib­it­ed the core of the apple, and tick­led the mag­is­trate al­most into hys­ter­ics by whis­per­ing very close­ly in his ear, that it was a core cu­ri­ous­ly sim­i­lar to that of the last apple eaten by his nephew, and, hav­ing been found in an apple from the pris­on­er's satchel, might be use­ful in ev­i­dence. Judge SWEENEY wished to know if Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON had any po­lit­i­cal re­la­tions, or could in­flu­ence any votes? and, upon being an­swered in the neg­a­tive, eyed the young man stern­ly, and said that ap­pear­ances were de­cid­ed­ly against him He could not ex­act­ly com­mit him to jail with­out ac­cu­sa­tion, al­though the ap­ple-core and his po­lit­i­cal unim­por­tance sub­ject­ed him to grave sus­pi­cion: but he should hold the Gospel­er re­spon­si­ble for the youth's ap­pear­ance at any­time when his pres­ence should be re­quired. Mr. BUM­STEAD, whose eyes were be­com­ing very glassy, then sug­gest­ed that a hand­bill should be at once print­ed and cir­cu­lat­ed, to the ef­fect that there had been Lost, or Stolen, two Black Al­paca Nephews, about 5 feet 8 inch­es high, with a bone han­dle, light eyes and hair, and whale­bone ribs; and that if the said EDWIN would re­turn, with a brass fer­ule slight­ly worn, the find­er should re­ceive earnest thanks, and be seen safe­ty to his home by J. BUM­STEAD. Mr. Gospel­er SIMP­SON and Judge SWEENEY agreed that a hand­bill should be is­sued: but thought it might con­fuse the pub­lic mind if the miss­ing nephew and the bst un­brel­la were not kept sep­a­rate.

'Has ei­ther 'f you genTmen ever been 'n Uncle?" asked the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, with dark in­ten­si­ty. They shook their heads.

"Then," said Mr. BUM­STEAD, with great force,—'THEN, gen'l'men, you-knownor-wahri­tis-to-bse-'n-um­brel­la!"

Be­fore they could de­cide in their weak­er minds what the im­me­di­ate con­nec­tion was, he had left them, at a sharp slant, in great in­tel­lec­tu­al dis­tur­bance, and was pass­ing out through the en­try-way with both his hands against the wal

Early next morn­ing while young Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON was locked in his room, star­tled and wretched, the in­con­solable uncle of EDWIN DROOD was en­er­get­i­cal­ly ran­sack­ing every part of­Bum­steadville for the miss­ing man House after house he vis­it­ed, like some un­holy in­spec­tor peer­ing up chim­neys, prod­ding under car­pets, and stay­ing a long time in cel­lars where there was cider. Not a bit of­pa­per or cbth­ble­wabrg the turn­pike but he ea­ger­ly picked it up, searched in it with the most anx­ious care, and fi­nal­ly placed it­in­hishat Going to the Pond, with a bor­rowed hatch­et, he cut a bole in the thick ice, bst the hatch­et, and, after bathing his head in the water, de­clared that his al­paca nephew was not there. Find­ing an an­tique flask in one of his pock­ets, he grad­u­al­ly re­moved all the liq­uid con­tents there­from with a tubu­lar straw, but still could dis­cern no traces ofED­WIN DROOD. All the live-bng day he pros­e­cut­ed his re­search­es, to the great dis­com­po­sure of the pop­u­lace: and, with white­wash all over the back of his coat, and very clingy hands, had just seat­ed him­self at his own fire­side in the evening when Mr. DIB­BLE came in.

"This is a strange dis­ap­pear­ance," said Mr. DIB­BLE.

"And it was good as new," groaned the or­gan­ist, with but one eye open

"Al­most new!—what was?"

"Ih'un­brel­la."

'Mr. BUM­STEAD," re­turned the old man, cold­ly, '1 am not talk­ing of an un­brel­la, but ofMr. EDWIN." 'Yesh, I know," said the uncle. "AwrighL I'm If He sleepy, tha'sall" 'Tve just seen my ward, Mr. BUM­STEAD." "She puer­well, shir?"

"She is not pret­ty well Nor is Miss PEN­DRAG­ON." 'Tm­vahr1 sorry," said Mr. BUM­STEAD, just au­di­bly.

'Miss PEN­DRAG­ON scorns the thought of any blame for her broth­er," con­tin­ued Mr. DIB­BLE, eye­ing the fire.

"It had a bun-bone han­dle," flut­tered the other, dream­i­ly. Then, with a rromer­i­tary bright­en­ing—"scuse me, shir: whah'H ytake?"

"Noth­ing, sir!" was the sharp re­sponse. "I'm not at all thirsty. But there is some­thing more to tell you At the last meet­ing of my ward and your nephew—just be­fore your din­ner here,—they con­clud­ed to break their en­gage­ment of mar­riage, for cer­tain good rea­sons, and thence­forth be only broth­er and sis­ter to each other."

Start­ing for­ward in his chair, with par­tial­ly opened eyes, the white­washed and clingy Mr. BUM­STEAD man­aged to get off his hat, cov­er­ing him­self with a ban­dan­na hand­ker­chief and in­nu­mer­able old pieces of­pa­per and cbth, as he did so, from head to foot; made a fee­ble ef­fort to throw it at the aged lawyer; and then, chair and all, tum­bled for­ward with a crash to the rug, where he lay in a re­fresh­ing sleep.

CHAP­TER XVI
AVUN­CU­LAR DE­VO­TIO

Hav­ing lit­er­al­ly fall­en asleep from his chair to the rig, J. BUM­STEAD, Es­quire, was found to have reached such an ex­traor­di­nary depth in slun­ber, that Mr. and Mrs. SMYTHE, his land­lord and land­la­dy, who were prompt­ly called in by Mr. DIB­BLE, had at first some fear that they should never be able to drag him out again In pur­suance, how­ev­er, of a mode of treat­ment com­mend­ed to their judg­ment, by fre­quent pre­vi­ous prac­tice with the same pa­tient, the good cou­ple poured a pitch­er of water over his feUen head; hauled him smart­ly up and down the room, first by a hand and then by a foot; singed his whiskers with a hot poker, held him head- down­ward for a time, and tried var­i­ous other ap­proved al­lo­path­ic reme­dies. See­ing that he still slept pro­found­ly, though ap­pear­ing, by oc­ca­sion­al move­ments of his arms, to en­ter­tain cer­tain pass­ing dreams of sin­gle con­bats, the quick wom­an­ly wit of Mrs. SMYTHE fi­nal­ly hit upon the ho­moeo­path­ic ex­pe­di­ent of soft­ly shak­ing his fe­mil­iar an­tique flask at his right ear. Scarce­ly had the soft, liq­uid sound there from re­sult­ing been ad­dressed for a minute to the au­ric­u­lar ori­fice, when a sin­gu­lar­ly pleas­ing smile wreathed the coun­te­nance of the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, his eye­lids flew up like the sprig-cov­ers of two valu­able hunt­ing-case watch­es, and he sud­den­ly arose to a sit­ting po­si­tion upon the rig and began feel­ing around for the bed-clothes.

'There!" cried Mrs. SMYTHE, great­ly af­fect­ed by his pa­thet­ic ex­pres­sion of coun­te­nance, "you're all right now, si. How worn-out you mast have been, to sleep so!"

"Do you al­ways go to sleep with such alarm­ing sud­den­ness?" asked Mr. DIB­BLE

"When I have to go any­where, I make it a rule to go at once:—sim­i­lar­ly, when going to sleep," was the an­swer. "Ex­cuse me, how­ev­er, for keep­ing you wait­ing, Mr. DIB­BLE We've had quite a rain, si."

His hair, col­lar, and shoul­ders being very wet from the water which had been poured upon him dur­ing his slum­ber, Mr. BUM­STEAD, in his pre­sent new­ly-awake frame of mind, be­lieved that a hard show­er had taken place, and there­upon turned moody.

"We've had quite a rain, si, since I saw you last," he re­peat­ed, gloomi­ly, "and I am fresh­ly re­mind­ed of my ir­repara­ble loss."

'Such an open, spring-like char­ac­ter!" apos­tro­phized the lawyer, star­ing re­flec­tive­ly into the grate.

"Al­ways open when it rained, and clos­ing with a spring" said Mr. BUM­STEAD, in soft ab­strac­tion lost

"Who closed with a spring?" queried the elder man, iras­ci­bly.

'The um­brel­la," sobbed JOHN BUM­STEAD.

'T was speak­ing of your nephew, si!" was Mr. DIB­BLE'S im­pa­tient ex­pla­na­tion

Mr. BUM­STEAD stared at him sor­row­ful­ly for a mo­ment, and then re­quest­ed Mrs. SMYTHE to step to a cup­board in the next room and im­me­di­ate­ly pour him out a bot­tle of so­da-wa­ter which she should find there.

"Won't you try some?" he asked the lawyer, ris­ing limply to his feet when the bev­er­age was brought, and drink­ing i with con­sid­er­able noise.

"No, thank you," re­turned Mr. DIB­BLE.

"As you please, then," said the or­gan­ist, re­signed­ly. "Only, if you have a headache don't blame me. (Mr. and Mrs. SMYTHE, you may place a few cloves where I can get them, and re­tire.) What you have told me, Mr. DIB­BLE, con­cern­ing the break­ing ofthe en­gage­ment be­tween your ward and my nephew, re­lieves my mind of a bad. As a right-think­ing man, I can no bnger sus­pect you of hav­ing killed EDWIN DROOD"

"Sus­pect ME?" screamed the aged lawyer, al­most leap­ing into the ai.

"Calm your­self" ob­served Mr. BUM­STEAD, qui­et­ly, the while he ate a seda­tive cfove. 'T say that I can not forg­er sus­pect you I can not think that a per­son of your age would wan­ton­ly de­stroy a human life mere­ly to ob­tain an um­brel­la."

Ab­so­lute­ly pur­ple in the face, Mr. DIB­BLE snatched his hat from a chai just as the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist was about to si upon it, and was on the point of hur­ry­ing wrath­ful­ly from the room, when the en­trance of Gospel­er SIMP­SON ar­rest­ed him

Not­ing his ag­i­ta­tion, Mr. BUM­STEAD in­stant­ly re­solved to clear him from sus­pic­fon in the new-com­er's mind also.

"Rev­erend Si," he said to the Gospel­er, quick­ly, "in this sad aflai we most be just, as well as vig­i­lant I be­lieve Mr. DIB­BLE to be as in­no­cent as our­selves. What­ev­er may be his feiligs so far as liquor is con­cerned, I whol­ly ac­quit him of all guilty knowl­edge of my nephew and un­brel­la."

Too apoplec­tic with suf­fo­cat­ing emo­tions to speak, Mr. DIB­BLE foamed slight­ly at the month and tore out a lock or two of his hair.

"And I be­lieve that my un­hap­py pupil, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON, is as guilt­less," re­spond­ed the puz­zled Gospel­er. "I do not deny that he had a quar­rel with Mr. DROOD, in the ear­li­er part of their ac­quain­tance; but, as you, Mr. BUM­STEAD, your­self admit, thei meet­ing at

the Christ­mas-Eve din­ner was am­i­ca­ble; as I firm­ly be­lieve their last nas­te­ri­ous part­ing to have been"

The or­gan­ist raised his fine head from the shad­ow of his right hand, in which it had rest­ed for a mo­ment, and said, grave­ly: 'T can­not deny, gen­tle­men, that I have had my ter­ri­ble dis­trusts of you al Even now, while, in my deep­est heart, I re­lease Mr. DIB­BLE and Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON from all sus­pi­cion, I can­not en­tire­ly rid my mind of the im­pres­sion that you, Mr. SIMP­SON, in an hour when, from undue in­dul­gence in stin­u­lants, you were not whol­ly your­self may have been tempt­ed, by the su­pe­ri­or fine­ness of the al­paca, to slay a young man in­ex­press­ibly dear to us alL"

"Great heav­ens, Mr. BUM­STEAD!" pant­ed the Gospel­er, with hor­ror, 'I never—"

—"Not a word, sir!" in­ter­rupt­ed the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist,—"not a word, Rev­erend sir, or it maybe used against you at your trial."

Paus­ing not to see whether the equal­ly over­whelmed old lawyer fol­lowed him, the hor­ri­bly as­tound­ed Gospel­er burst pre­cip­i­tate­ly from the house in wild dis­may, and was present­ly hur­ry­ing past the pau­per buri­al-ground. Whether he had been drawn to that place by some one of the many mys­tic in­flu­ences mould­ing the fetes of men, or be­cause it hap­pened to be on his usual way home, let stu­dents of psy­chol­o­gy and to­pog­ra­phy de­cide. There­by he was hur­ry­ing at any rate, when a shin­ing ob­ject lying upon the ground be­side the bro­ken fence, caused him to stop sud­den­ly and pick up the glit­ter­ing thing It was an oroide watch, marked ED.; and, a few steps fur­ther on, a cop­pery-look­ing seal-ring also at­tract­ed the find­er's grasp. With these baubles in his hand the ge­nial cler­gy­man was walk­ing more slow­ly on­ward, when it abrupt­ly oc­curred to him, that his pos­ses­sion of such prop­er­ty might pos­si­bly sub­ject him to awk­ward con­se­quences ifhe did not im­me­di­ate­ly have some­body ar­rest­ed in ad­vance. Per­spir­ing freely at the thought, he hur­ried to his house, and, there se­cur­ing the com­pa­ny of MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON, con­veyed his beloved pupil at once be­fore Judge SWEENEY, and made af­fi­davit of find­ing the jew­el­ry. The jew­el­er, who had wound EDWIN DROOD S watch for him on the day of the din­ner, prompt­ly iden­ti­fied the time­piece by the in­nu­mer­able scratch­es around the key­hole; Mr. BUM­STEAD, though at first ec­stat­ic with the idea that the seal-ring was a fer­ule from an um­brel­la, at length al­lowed him­self to be per­suad­ed into a gloony recog­ni­tion of it as a part of his nephew, and MONT­GOMERY was de­tained in cus­tody for fur­ther rev­e­la­tions.

News of the event cir­cu­lat­ing, the pub­lic mind of Bum­steadville bst no time in dep­bring the in­cor­ri­gi­ble de­prav­i­ty of South­ern char­ac­ter, and rec­ol­lect­ing sev­er­al hor­rors of human Slav­ery. It was now clear­ly re­men­bered that there had once been ru­mors of ter­ri­ble cru­el­ties by a PEN­DRAG­ON fam­i­ly to an aged col­ored man of great piety, who, be­cause he in­ces­sant­ly sang hymns in the cot­ton-field, was sent to a field far­ther from the PEN­DRAG­ON mans­bn, and ul­ti­mate­ly died. Cit­i­zens re­mind­ed each other, that when, dur­ing the re­b­ef­fion, a cer­tain PEN­DRAG­ON of the cel­e­brat­ed South­ern Con­fed­er­a­cy met a for­mer re­li­gious chat­tel of his con­fronting him with a bay­o­net in the byal ranks, and im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter­wards felt a cold, tick­ling sen­sa­tion under one of his ribs, he drew a pis­tol upon the men­ber of the in­jured race, who sub­se­quent­ly died in Ohb of fever and ague. What won­der was it, then, that this young PEN­DRAG­ON with an In­di­an club and a swelled head should se­cret­ly slaugh­ter the nephew and ap­pro­pri­ate the um­brel­la of one of the most loyal and de­vot­ed Rit­u­al­ists that ever sent a sub­sti­tute to bat­tle? In the mighty metropo­lis, too, the Great Dailies—those pon­der­ous en­gines of var­ied and in­ac­cu­rate in­tel­li­gence—pub­lished de­tailed and mis­tak­en re­ports of the whole aflair, and had sub­tle ed­i­to­ri­al the­o­ries as to the na­ture of the crime. The Sun, after giv­ing a cut of an old-fes­hb­ned par­lor-grate as a di­a­gram of Mr. BUM­STEAD S house, aral a por­trait of Mr. JOHN RUS­SELL YOUNG as a cor­rect pho­to­graph ofthe al­leged nur­der­er by ROCK­WOOD, said:—'The re­ten­tion of Mr. FISH as Sec­re­tary of State by the pre­sent venal Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and the of­fi­cial coun­te­nance oth­er­wise cor­rupt­ly given to friends of Span­ish tyran­ny who do not take the Sun, are plain­ly among the cur­rent en­cour­age­ments to such crime as that in the M re­port­ing of which to-day the Sun's ad­ver­tise­ments are crowd­ed down to a sin­gle page, as usual Judge CON­NOL­LY, after walk­ing all the way from Yorkville, agrees with the Sun in be­liev­ing, that some­thing more than an un­brel­la tempt­ed this young MONT­MOREN­CY PADREGON to way­lay EDWIN WOOD. To-mor­row we shall give the pub­lic still fur­ther ex­clu­sive rev­e­la­tions, such as the im­mense cir­cu­la­tion ofthe New York Sun en­ables us es­pe­cial­ly to ob­tain On this, as upon every oc­ca­sion ofthe pub­li­ca­tion ofthe Sun, we shall leave out columns upon columns of prof­itable ad­ver­tis­ing, in order that no read­er ofthe Sun shall be stint­ed in his crim­i­nal news. The Sun (price two cents) has never yet been bought by ad­ver­tis­ers, and never will be." The Tri­bune said: "What time the read­er can spare from pe­rus­ing our spe­cial dis­patch­es con­cern­ing the progress of­S­mal­l­ey­ism in Eu­rope, shall, un­doubt­ed­ly, be given to our fe­male-re­porter's ac­count ofthe al­leged tragedy at Bumperville. There are rea­sons of man­i­fest pro­pri­ety to re­strain us, as su­pe­ri­or jour­nal­ists, from the sen­sa­tion­al the­o­riz­ing in­dulged by ed­i­tors choos­ing to ex­pend more care and money upon local news than upon Eu­ro­pean ru­mors; but we may not iqudicbus­ly haz­ard the as­sump­tion, that, were the po­lice under any other than Demo­crat­ic dom­i­na­tion, such a nur­der as that al­leged to have been com­mit­ted by MAN­TON PEN­JOHN­SON on BALD­WIN GOOD had mt been pos­si­ble. PEN­JOHN­SON, it shall be no­ticed, is a South­ern­er, while young GOOD was strong­ly North­ern in sen­ti­ment; and it re­quires no strain­ing of a point to trace in these known facts a sec­tion­al an­tag­o­nism to which even a long war has not yield­ed M san­guinary sa­ti­a­tion" The World said: "Ac­er­rimaprox­i­mo­rum odia; and, under the pre­sent in­fa­mous Rad­i­cal abuse of em­pire, the ha­tred be­tween broth­ers, first fos­tered by the eleuthero­ma­ni­acs of Abo­li­tion­ism, is bear­ing its bit­ter fruit of pri­vate as­sas­si­na­tion at last Some­where amongst our loci com­munes of to-day may be found a re­port of the sup­posed death, at Hamp­steadville (not Bumperville, as a rad­i­cal con­tem­po­rary has it,) of a young North­ern­er named GOOD­WIN BLOOD, at the hands ofa South­ern gen­tle­man be­long­ing to the state­ly old South­ern fam­i­ly of PEN­TOR­RENS. Tte PEN­TOR­RENS' are re­lat­ed, by old cav­a­lier stock, to the Dukes of Man­dev­ille, whose pre­sent ducal de­scen­dant con­bines the el­e­gance of an Es­ter­hazy with the in­tel­lect of an Ar­gyle. That a scbn of such blood as this has re­duced a fel­low-be­ing to a con­di­tion of inan­i­mate pro­to­plasm, is to be re­gret­ted for his sake; but more for that of a coun­try in which the phi­los­o­phy of COMIE finds in a cor­rupt rad­i­cal pantarchy all-suf­fi­cient first-cause of what­so­ev­er is rot­ten in the State of Den­mark." The Times said: "We give no de­tails of the Bum­stableville tragedy to-day, not being will­ing to pan­der to a vi­ti­at­ed pub­lic taste; but shall do so to-mor­row."

After read­ing these ar­ti­cles in the Great Dailies with con­sid­er­able dis­trac­tion, and in­fer­ring there from, that at least three dif­fer­ent young South­ern­ers had killed three dif­fer­ent young North­ern­ers in three dif­fer­ent places on Christ­mas-Eve, Judge SWEENEY had a rush of blood to the brain, and dis­charged MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON as a per­son of in­dis­tin­guish­able iden­ti­ty. But, when set at large,

the help­less youth could not turn a cor­ner with­out meet­ing some bald-head­ed re­porter who raised the cry of "Stop thief!" if he sought to fly, and, if he paused, in­ter­viewed him in a mag­is­te­ri­al man­ner, and al­most tear­ful­ly im­plored him to Con­fess his crime in time for the Next Edi­tion

Fa­ther DEAN, Rit­u­al Rec­tor of St Cow's, meet­ing Gospel­er SIMP­SON upon one of their daily strolls through the snow, said to him 'This young man, your pupil, has sinned, it ap­pears, and a Rit­u­al­is­tic church, Mr. Gospel­er, is no sanc­tu­ary for sin­ners."

'1 can­not be­lieve that the sin is his, Holy Fa­ther," an­swered the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS, re­spect­ful­ly: 'but, even if it is, and he is re­morse­ful for it, should not our Church cover him with her wings?"

'There are no wings to St Cow's yet," re­turned the Fa­ther, cold­ly,—"only the main build­ing; and that is too small to har­bor any sin­ner who has not suf­fi­cient means to build a wing or two for him­self"

'Then," said the Gospel­er, bow­ing his head and speak­ing slow­ly, '1 sup­pose he most go to the Other Church" "What Other church?"

The Gospel­er raised his hat and spoke rev­er­ent­ly:—

That which is all of God's world out­side this lit­tle church of ours. That in which the Altar is any hun­ble spot pressed by the knees of the Un­for­tu­nate. That in which the priest is whoso doeth a good, un­selfish deed, even if in the shad­ow of the scaf­fold. That in which the an­them of vis­i­ble char­i­ty for an erring broth­er sinks into the lis­ten­ing soul an echo of an un­seen Fa­ther's pity and for­give­ness, and the choral ser­vice is the mosic of kind words to all who ever found but un­kind words be­fore."

'You mast mean the Church of the Poori­tans," said the Rit­u­al Rec­tor.

So, MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON went forth from Gospel­er1 s Gulch to seek hai­bor where he might; ami, a day or two af­ter­wards, Mr. BUM­STEAD ex­hib­it­ed to Mr. SIMP­SON tte fol­low­ing entry in his fer­rous Diary.

'No signs of that un­brel­la yet Since the dis­cov­ery of the watch and seal-ring I am sat­is­fied that my um­brel­la, only, was the temp­ta­tion of the morder­er. I now swear that I will no more dis­cuss ei­ther my nephew or my un­brel­la with any livirg soul, until I have found once more the fa­mil­iar boy­ish form and al­paca canopy, or brought vengeance upon him through whom I am­nephew­less and with­out pro­tec­tion in the rain"

CHAP­TER XVII
IN­SUR­ANCE AND AS­SUR­ANCE

Six months had come and gone and done it; the weath­er was as in­or­di­nate­ly hot as it had be­fore been in­tol­er­a­bly cold; and the Rev­erend OC­TAVTUS SIMP­SON stood wait­ing in the gor­geous Of­fice of the Bo­re­al Life In­sur­ance Com­pa­ny, New York, for the ap­pear­ance of Mr. MELANC­THON SCHENCK.

Hav­ing been di­rect­ed by a su­perb young clerk, who part­ed his hair in the mid­dle, to 'just stand out of the pas­sage-way and anuse your­self with one of our Sched­ules for awhile," until the great life-Agent should come in, the Gospel­er read a few schedulis­tic pagss, prov­ing that if a per­son had his life In­sured at the age of Thir­ty, and paid his pre­mi­ums reg­u­lar­ly until he was Eighty-five, the cost to him and prof­it to the Com­pa­ny would, prob­a­bly, be nuch more than the amount he had in­sured for. It nust, then, be ev­i­dent to him, that, upon his death, at Nine­ty, the Com­pa­ny would have re­ceived, in all, suf­fi­cient funds from him to pay the full amount of his Pol­i­cy to the lady whom he had al­ways in­tro­duced as his wife, and still re­tain enough to de­clare a hand­some Div­i­dend for it­self Such was the sound busi­ness-prin­ci­ple upon which the Bo­re­al was con­duct­ed; and the mer­est child nust per­ceive, that only the ex­treme­ly un­like­ly co­in­ci­dence of at least four in­sur­ers all dying be­fore Eighty-five could en­dan­ger the sol­ven­cy of the benef­i­cent in­sti­tu­tion— Hav­ing mas­tered this con­vinc­ing ar­gu­ment, and be­come great­ly con­fused by its plau­si­bil­i­ty, Mr. SIMP­SON next gave some at­ten­tion to what was going on around him in the Of­fice, and al­lowed his over­wrought mind to relax cheer­ful­ly in con­tem­pla­tion there­of One of human na­ture's pe­cu­liar­i­ties was quite anus­ing­ly ex­em­pli­fied in the dif­fer­ent treat­ment ac­cord­ed to callers who were "safe risks," and to those who were not. Thus, the whis­per of "Here comes old Tu­ber­cles, again!" was preva­lent amongst the clerks upon the en­trance of a very thin, nar­row-chest­ed old gen­tle­man, whom they in­formed, with con­sid­er­able humor, that he was only wast­ing hours which should be spent with a spir­i­tu­al ad­vis­er, in his use­less at­tempts to take out a Pol­i­cy in that of­fice. The Bo­re­al couldn't in­sure men who ought to be upon their dying beds in­stead of cough­ing around In­sur­ance of­fices. Ha, ha, ha! An­oth­er gen­tle­man, florid of coun­te­nance and ab­so­lute­ly with­out neck, was quick­ly checked in the act of giv­ing his name at one of the desks; one clerk de­sir­ing an­oth­er clerk to look, under the head of "A," in his book, for "Apoplexy," and let this man see that we can't take such a risk as he is on any terms. A third caller, who re­al­ty looked quite healthy ex­cept around the eyes, was also as­sured that he need not call again—"Be­cause, you see," ex­plained the clerk­ly wag "tf s no go for you to try to play your BRIGHTS Dis­ease on us!" When, how­ev­er, the ap­pli­cant was a ro­bus­tious, long-necked, fresh in­di­vid­u­al, he was al­most lift­ed from his feet in the rush of oblig­ing young Bo­re­als to show him into the room of the Med­i­cal Ex­am­in­er; and when, now and then, an agent, or an in­sur­ance-bro­ker, came drag­ging in, by the col­lar, some Safe Risk, just cap­tured, there was an ac­tu­al con­test to see who should be most po­lite to the pant­ing but healthy stranger, and ob­tain his pri­vate bi­og­ra­phy for the con­sid­er­a­tion of the Com­pa­ny.

The Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS stud­ied these spright­ly lit­tle scenes with un­speak­able in­ter­est until the ar­rival of Mr. SCHENCK, and then fol­lowed that pop­u­lar bene­fac­tor into his pri­vate of­fice with the air of a man who had gained a height­ened ad­mi­ra­tion for his species.

"So you have come to your sens­es at last!" said Mr. SCHENCK, hasti­ly draw­ing his vis­i­tor to­ward a win­dow in the side-room to which they had re­tired "Let me look at your tongue, sir."

"What do you mean?" asked the Gospel­er, en­deav­or­ing to draw back

'T mean what I say Let—me—see—your—tongue.—Or, stop!" said Mr. SCHENCK, seized with a new thought, 'T may as well ex­am­ine your gen­er­al or­ga­ni­za­tion first" And %ing at the as­tound­ed Rit­u­al­is­tic cler­gy­man, he had sound­ed his lungp, caused a sharp pain in his liver, and felt his pulse, be­fore the lat­ter could phrase an in­tel­li­gent protest

'You may die at any mo­ment, and prob­a­bly will," con­clud­ed Mr. SCHENCK, thought­ful­ly, 'but still, on the score of friend­ship, we'll give you a Pol­i­cy for a rea­son­able amount, and take the chance of being able to com­pro­mise with your moth­er on a cer­tain per cen­t­age after the fu­ner­al."

'T don't want any of your plagued poli­cies!" ex­claimed the ir­ri­tat­ed Gospel­er, push­ing away the hand striv­ing to feel his pulse again

"As you have ex­pressed a de­sire to re­sign the guardian­ship of your wards, Mr. and Miss PEN­DRAG­ON, and I have agreed to ac­cept it, my pur­pose in call­ing here is to ob­tain such state­ment of your ac­count with those young peo­ple as you maybe dis­posed to ren­der."

"Ah!" re­turned the other, in sullen dis­ap­point­ment 'That is all, eh? Allow me to in­form you, then, that I have can­celled the Bo­re­al poli­cies which have been grant­ed to the Mur­der­er and his sis­ter, and alow me also to re­mark, that a dying cler­gy­man like your­self might em­ploy his last mo­ments bet­ter than en­cour­ag­ing a South­ern de­stroy­er of human life."

'T do not, can­not be­lieve that MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON is guilty," sail Mr. SIMP­SON, firm­ly. "Hav­ing his flil con­fi­dence, and thor­ough­ly know­ing his na­ture, I am sure of his in­no­cence, let ap­pear­ances be what they may Con­se­quent­ly, it is my de­ter­mi­na­tion to be­friend him"

"And you will not have your life in­sured?"

'T will not, sir. Please stop both­er­ing me."

"And you call your­self a cler­gy­man!" cried Mr. SCHENCK, with in­tense scorn 'You pre­tend to be a Rit­u­al­is­tic spir­i­tu­al guide; you cham­pi­on peo­ple who slay the in­no­cent and steal de­vout men's um­brel­las; and yet you do not scru­ple to leave your own high-church Moth­er en­tire­ty with­out pro­vi­sion at your death—In such a case," con­tin­ued the speak­er, ris­ing while his man­ner grew fe­ro­cious with de­ter­mi­na­tion—"in such a case, all other ar­gu­ments hav­ing failed my duty is plain Yon shall not leave this room, sir, until you have promised to take out a Bo­re­al Pol­i­cy"

He start­ed as he spoke, for the door ofthe pri­vate-of­fice, in­tend­ing to lock it and re­move the key, but the un­hap­py Rit­u­al­ist, fath­om­ing his de­sign, was there be­fore him, and tore open the door for his own speedy egress.

"Mr. SCHENCK," ob­served the Gospel­er, turn­ing and paus­ing in the door­way, "you alow your busi­ness-en­er­gy to vi­o­late all the most del­i­cate ameni­ties of pri­vate life, and will yet drive some mad­dened mor­tal to such re­sent­ful use of pis­tol, knife, or poker, as your mourn­ing fam­i­ly shall sin­cere­ly dep­bre. The ar­ti­cles on Free Trade and Pro­tec­tion in the daily pa­pers have hith­er­to been reg­pded as the cli­max of all that ut­ter­ly wea­ries the long- suf­fer­ing human soul; but I tell you, as a can­did friend, that they are but lit­tle more de­press­ing and jad­ing to the vital pow­ers than your un­ceas­ing men­tion oflife-in­sur­ance."

"These are strong words, sir," an­swered Mr. SCHENCK, in­cre­dubus­ly. 'The ed­i­to­ri­al ar­ti­cles to which you refer are con­sid­ered the very drought of jour­nal­ism; those by Mr. GREE­LEY, es­pe­cial­ly, being so dry that they are pos­i­tive­ly dan­ger­ous read­ing with­out a tun­bler of water."

'Yon brought the com­par­i­son upon your­self Mr. SCHENCK. Good day."

Thus speak­ing, the Rev­erend OC­TAVTUS SIMP­SON hur­ried ner­vous­ly from the Bo­re­al tem­ple; not fair­ly sat­is­fied that he had es­caped a Pol­i­cy until he found him­self safe­ly emerged on Broad­way and turn­ing a cor­ner to­ward Nas­sau Street. Beach­ing the lat­ter bye-way, after a brief in­ter­val of sharp walk­ing, he en­tered a build­ing near­ly op­po­site that in which was the of­fice of Mr. DIB­BLE; and, hav­ing as­cend­ed nu­mer­ous flights of twi­light stairs to the bfiy floor im­me­di­ate­ly over the sad­dened rooms oc­cu­pied by a great Amer­i­can Comic Paper, came into a spi­dery gar­ret where lurked MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON,

'Hard at it?" he asked, ap­proach­ing a rick­et­ty table at which sat the per­se­cut­ed South­ern­er, read­ing a vol­ume of HOYLE'S Games.

'My only friend!" ejac­u­lat­ed the bnely read­er, hur­ried­ly cov­er­ing the book with an arm "I am, as you see, study­ing law here, all abne with these silent friends."

He waved his thin hand to­ward a rude shelf on which were sev­er­al well-worn City Di­rec­to­ries of re­mote dates, vol­umes of Patent Of­fice Re­ports for the years '57 and '59, a copy of Mr. GREE­LEY'S Es­says on Po­lit­i­cal Econony, an edi­tion ofthe Cor­po­ra­tion Man­u­al, the Coast Sur­vey for 1850, and other in­flam­ing sta­tis­ti­cal works, which had been sent to him in his exile by thought­ful friends who had no place to keep them

"Cheer up, broth­er!" ex­hort­ed the good Gospel­er, 'Til send you some nice the­o­log­i­cal vol­umes to add to your li­brary, which will then be com­plete. Be not de­spon­dent. All will come right yet"

"I reck­on it wffl, in time," re­turned the youth, mood­i­ly. 'T sup­pose you know that my sis­ter is de­ter­mined to come here and stay with me?"

'Yes, MONT­GOMERY, I have heard ofher noble res­o­lu­tion. May her con­ver­sa­tion prove sus­tain­ing to you"

"There will be enough of it, I reck­on, to sus­tain half a dozen peo­ple," was the de­spon­dent an­swer. "This is a gloomy place for her, Mr. SIMP­SON, sit­u­at­ed, as it is, im­me­di­ate­ly over the of­fices ofa Comic Paper."

"And do you think she would care for cheer­ful ac­ces­sories while you are in sor­row?" asked the Gospel­er, re­proach­ful­ly.

"But it is so mourn­ful—that floor below," per­sist­ed the broth­er, doubt­ful­ly. "If there were only some­thing the least bit more live­ly down there—say an Un­der­tak­er's."

"A Sis­ter's Love can lessen the most crush­ing gloom, MONT­GOMERY."

A silent pres­sure ofthe hand re­ward­ed this en­cour­ag­ing re­minder of san­guine friend­ship; and, after the de­pressed law-stu­dent had promised the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS to walk with him as far as the ferry in a few mo­ments, the said Rev­erend de­part­ed for a hasty call upon the old lawyer across the street.

Be­nig­nant Mr. DIB­BLE sat near a front win­dow of his of­fice, and re­ceived the vis­i­tor with legal seren­i­ty.

"And how does our young friend enjoy him­self Mr. SIMP­SON, in the re­treat which I had the honor of com­mend­ing to you for hirri?"

The vis­i­tor replied, that his young friend's re­treat, by its very bfti­ness, was cal­cu­lat­ed to in­spire any oc­cu­pant with a room-at­tic af­fec­tion.

"And how, and when, and where did you leave Mr. BUM­STEAD?" rapt­ed Mr. DIB­BLE.

"As well as could be ex­pect­ed; this morn­ing at Bum­steadville," said the Gospel­er, with an­swer as terse and com­pre­hen­sive as the ques­tion

"—Be­cause," added the lawyer, quick­ly, "there he is, now, com­ing out ofa re­fresh­ment sa­loon im­me­di­ate­ly under the build­ing in which our young friend takes refuge."

"So he is!" ex­claimed the sur­prised Mr. SIMP­SON, star­ing through the win­dow.

There, in­deed, as in­di­cat­ed, was the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist; ap­par­ent­ly eat­ing cloves from the palm of his right hand as he emerged from the place of re­fresh­ment, and wear­ing a linen coat so long and a straw hat of such vast brim that his sex was not ob­vbus at first glance. While the two be­hold­ers gazed, in un­speak­able fas­ci­na­tion, Mr. BUM­STEAD sud­den­ly made a wild dart at a pass­ing el­der­ly man with a dark sun-um­brel­la, ec­stat­i­cal­ly tore the lat­ter from his grasp, and pas­sion­ate­ly tapped him on the head with it

Then, be­fore the as­tound­ed el­der­ly man could re­cov­er from his amaze­ment, or re­gain the gold spec­ta­cles which had been knocked from his nose, the um­brel­la, after an in­stant of­keen ex­am­i­na­tion, was re­stored to him with a hum­ble, al­most ab­ject­ly apolo­get­ic, air, and Mr. BUM­STEAD hur­ried back, ev­i­dent­ly crushed, into the re­fresh­ment sa­loon

"His brain nust be turned by the loss of his rel­a­tive," im­mured the Gospel­er, piti­ful­ly.

"His un­brella­tive, you mean," said Mr. DIB­BLE

When these two gen­tle­men had part­ed, and the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS SIMP­SON had been es­cort­ed to the ferry, as promised, by MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON, the lat­ter, after a long, in­sane walk about tte city, with tte tfer­rrom­e­ter at 98 de­grees, re­tired to his attic in time to sur­prise a stranger climb­ing in through ore ofthe back win­dows.

"Who are you?" ex­claimed the South­ern youth, nuch struck by the fu­ne­re­al as­pect, sex­ton-like dress, and in­or­di­nate­ly bng coun­te­nance ofthe pal­lid, light-haired in­trud­er.

'Par­don! par­don!" an­swered he at the win­dow, with nuch solem­ni­ty. "I am a pro­pri­etor ofthe Conic Paper down bebw, and am elud­ing the man who comes every day to tell me how such a paper should be con­duct­ed He is now talk­ing to the young man writ­ing the mail-wrap­pers, who, being of iron con­sti­tu­tion and un­mar­ried can bear more than L There was just time for me to glide out of the win­dow at sound of that fear­ful voice, and I clinbed the iron shut­ter and found my­self at your case­ment—Hark! Do you hear the buzz down there? He's now telling the young man writ­ing the mail-wrap­pers what kind of Car­toons should be got-up for this coun­try.—Hark, again! and the young man writ­ing the mail-wrap­pers have clinched and are rolling about the floor.—Hark, once more! The young man writ­ing the mail-wrap­pers has put him out"

"Won't you come in?" asked MONT­GOMERY, sin­cere­ly sorry for the ag­i­tat­ed being

"Alas, no!" re­spond­ed the fugi­tive, in the tore of a cathe­dral bell

"I nust go back to my lower deep once more. My name is JERE­MY BEN­THAM; I am very un­hap­py in my mind; aid, with your per­mis­sion, will often es­cape this way from him who is the bare of my ex­is­tence."

Being as­sured of wel­come on all oc­ca­sions, he ofthe big coun­te­nance went clang­ing down the iron shut­ter again; and the bnely law- stu­dent, bury­ing his face in his hands, prayed Prov­i­dence to for­give him for hav­ing es­teemed his own bt so hope­less­ly gloony when there were Conic Paper men on the very next floor.

That night, be­fore going home to Gowanus, the old lawyer across the way glanced up to­ward MONT­GOMERY S re­treat, and shook his head as though he couldn't make some­thing out Whether he had a dif­fi­cult idea in his brain, or only a fly on his nose, was for the ob­serv­er to dis­cov­er for him­self.

"Land­lord," said the stranger to the brown linen host ofthe Roach House, who was in­tent­ly pzing at him with the ap­pre­cia­tive ex­pres­sion of one who be­holds a comic ghost,—"land­lord, after you have fin­ished look­ing at my head and in­vol­un­tar­i­ly open­ing your mouth at some oc­ca­sion­al pe­cu­liar­i­ty of my whiskers, I should like to have some­thing to eat As you tell me that wood­cock is not fit to eat this year, and that broiled chick­en is pos­i­tive­ly pro­hib­it­ed by the Board of Health in con­se­quence ofthe sick­ly sea­son, you may bring me some pork and beans, and some crack­ers. Bring plen­ty of crack­ers, land­lord, for I'm un­com­mon fond of crack­ers. By ab­sorb­ing the su­per­flu­ous mois­ture in the head, they clear the brain and make it more sub­tle."

Hav­ing been served with the whole­some coun­try fere he had or­dered, to­geth­er with a glass ofthe heady na­tive wine called ap­ple­jack, the gen­tle­man had but just moved a slice of pork from its bed in the beans, when, with nuch in­ter­est, he close­ly in­spect­ed the spot of veg­eta­bles he had un­cov­ered, and ex­pressed the be­lief that there was some­thing alive in it

"Land­lord," said he, nus­ing­ly, "there is some­thing amongst these beans that I should take for a raisin, if it did not move."

Plac­ing upon his nose a pair of vast sil­ver spec­ta­cles, which gave him an as­pect of hav­ing two attic win­dows in his coun­te­nance, the land­lord bowed his head over the plate until his nose touched the beans, and thought­ful­ly scru­ti­nized the livirg raisin

"As I thought, sir, it is only a wa­ter-big," he ob­served, res­cu­ing the in­sect upon his thumb-nail 'You need not have been fright­ened, how­ev­er, for they never bite."

Some­what re­as­sured, the stranger went on eat­ing until his knife en­coun­tered re­sis­tance in the sec­ondary layer of­beans; when he once more in­spect­ed the dish, with marked ag­i­ta­tion.

"Can this be a skew­er, down here?" in­quired he, prod­ding at some hard, springy ob­ject with his fork.

The host ofthe Roach House bore both fork and ob­ject to a win­dow, where the light was less de­cep­tive, and was present­ly able to an­nounce con­fi­dent­ly that the ob­ject was only a hair-pin. Then, ob­serv­ing that his guest looked cu­ri­ous­ly at a crack­er, which, from the grav­el­ly marks on one side, seemed to have been dug out ofthe earth, like a pota­to, he has­tened to ob­vi­ate all com­plaint in that line by care­ful­ly wip­ing every in­di­vid­u­al crack­er with his pock­et hand­ker­chief

"And now, land­lord," said the stranger, at last, pulKrg a cou­ple of­long, uniden­ti­fied hairs from his mouth as he hur­ried­ly re­tired from the meal, "I sup­pose you are won­der­ing who I am?"

"Well, sir," was the frank an­swer, "I can't deny that there are points about you to make a plain man like na­self thought­fii There's that about your hair, sir, with the mid­dle-part­ing on top and the side-part­ing be­hind, to give a plain per­son the im­pres­sion that your brain rmst be slight­ly turned, and that, by rights, your face ought to be where your neck is. Nei­ther can I deny, sir, that the curl­ing of your whiskers the wrong way, and their pe­cu­liar­i­ty in re­main­ing en­tire­ly still while your mouth is going are cir­cum­stances cal­cu­lat­ed to ex­cite the liveli­est ap­pre­hen­sions of those who wish you well"

"The pe­cu­liar­i­ties you no­tice," re­turned the gen­tle­man, "may ei­ther exist sole­ly in your own imag­i­na­tion, or they may be the re­sult of my own ill-health. My name is TRACEY CLEWS, and I de­sire to spend a few weeks in the coun­try for phys­i­cal re­cu­per­a­tion. Have you any idea where a dead-beat, a like my­self could find in­ex­pen­sive lodg­ings in Bum­stead­vi­He?"

The host hasti­ly re­marked, that his own bill for those pork and beans was fifty cents; and upon being paid, cold­ly added that a Mrs. SMYTHE, wife ofthe sex­ton of Saint Cow's Rit­u­al­is­tic Church, took hash-eaters for the sum­mer. As the gen­tle­man pre­ferred a high-church pri­vate boaidirg-house to anun­sec­tar­i­an first class hotel, all he had to do was to go out on the road again, and keep in­quir­ing until he found the place.

Don­ning his Pana­ma hat, and car­ry­ing a stout cane, Mr. CLEWS was quick­ly upon the turn­pike; and, his course tak­ing him near the pau­per buri­al-ground, he present­ly per­ceived an ex­treme­ly dis­agree­able child throw­ing stones at pi­geons in a field, and gen­er­al­ly hit­ting the be­hold­er.

'You young Al­der­man! what do you mean?" he ex­claimed, with marked feel­ing rub­bing the place on his knee which had just been struck.

'Then just give me a five-cent stamp to aim at yer, and yer won't ketch it onc't," replied the boy­ish tri­fler. "I couldn't hit what I was to fire at if it was my own daddy"

'Here are ten cents, then," said the gen­tle­man, wild­ly dodg­ing the last shot at a dis­tant pi­geon, "and now show me where Mrs. SMYTHE lives.

"AH right, old brick-top," as­sent­ed the merry sprite, with a vi­va­cious dash of per­son­al­i­ty. "Dyer see that house as yer skoot past the Church and round the comer?"

'Yes."

"Well, that's SMY­I­H­ES, and BUM­STEAD lives there, too—him as is al­ways tryiri to put a head on me. m play my points on him yet, though. I'll playmy points!" And the rather vul­gar young chron­ic ab­sen­tee from Sun­day- school re­tired to a prop­er dis­tance, and from thence begpn ston­ing his bene­fac­tor to the fet­ter's per­fect safe­ty.

Reach­ing the board­ing-house of Mrs. SMYTHE, as di­rect­ed, Mr. TRACEY CLEWS soon learned from the lady that he could have a room next to the apart­ment of Mr. BUM­STEAD, to whom he was re­ferred for fur­ther rec­om­men­da­tion ofthe es­tab­lish­ment. Though that bro­ken-heart­ed gen­tle­man was mourn­ing the loss of a beloved un­brel­la, ac­com­pa­nied by a nephew, and hav­ing a bone han­dle, Mrs. SMYTHE was sure he would speak a good word for her house. Per­haps Mr. CLEWS had heard of his loss?

Mr. CLEWS could not ex­act­ly re­call that par­tic­u­lar case; but had a con­fused rec­ol­lec­tion ofhav­ing lost sev­er­al un­brel­las him­self at var­i­ous times, and had no doubt that the ad­di­tion of a nephew nust make such a loss still heav­ier.

Mr. BUM­STEAD being in his room when the in­tro­duc­tion took place, and hav­ing Judge SWEENEY for com­pa­ny over a bowl of lemon tea, the new board­er lift­ed his hat po­lite­ly to both dig­ni­taries, and in­vol­un­tar­i­ly smacked his lips at the mix­ture they were tak­ing for their coughs.

'Ex­cuse me, gen­tle­men," said Mr. TRACEY CLEWS, in a man­ner al­most stealthy, 'but, as I am about to take sum­mer board with the lady of this house, I beg leave to in­quire if she and the man she mar­ried are strict­ly moral ex­cept in hav­ing cold din­ner on Sun­day?"

Mr. BUM­STEAD, who sat very limply in his chair, said that she was a very good woman, a very good woman, and would spare no pains to se­cure the com­fort of such a head of hair as he then saw be­fore him.

'This is my dear friend, Judge SWEENEY," con­tin­ued the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, lan­guid­ly wav­ing a spoon to­wards that gen­tle­man, "who has a very good wife in the grave, and knows nuch more about women and gravy than L As for me," ex­claimed Mr. BUM­STEAD, sud­den­ly clin­bing upon the arm of his chair and star­ing at Mr. CLEWS head rather wild­ly, "ny only bride was of black al­paca, with a brass fer­rule, and I can never care for the sex again." Here Mr. BUM­STEAD, whose eyes had been rolling in an ex­traor­di­nary man­ner, tum­bled into his chair again, and then, frown­ing in­tense­ly, helped him­self to lemon tea.

'I am re­ferred to your Honor for fur­ther par­tic­u­lars," ob­served Mr. TRACEY CLEWS, bow­ing again to Judge SWEENEY. "Not to wound our friend fur­ther by dis­cus­sion ofthe fair sex, may I ask if Bum­steadville con­tains many ob­jects of in­ter­est for a stranger, like ny­self?"

'One, at least, sir," an­swered the Judge. 'T think I could show you a tomb­stone which you would find very good read­ing An epi­taph upon my late bet­ter-half If you are a mar­ried man you can not help en­joy­ing it"

Mr. CLEWS re­gret­ted to in­form his Honor, that he had never been a mar­ried man, and, there­fore, could not pre­sume to fancy what the lit­er­ary en­joy­ment of a wid­ow­er nust be at such a treat

"A jour­nal­ist, I pre­sume?" in­sin­u­at­ed Judge SWEENEY, more and more struck by the other's per­fect pageant of in­com­pre­hen­si­ble hair and beard

"His Honor flat­ters me too nuch" "Some­thing in the lu­natic line, then, per­haps?" '1 have told your Honor that I never was mar­ried"

Since last speak­ing Mr. BUM­STEAD had been star­ing at the new board­er's head and face, with a coun­te­nance ex­pres­sive of min­gled con­ster­na­tion and wrath, and now made a startlirg rush at him from his chair and fair­ly forced half a glass of lemon tea down his throat

'There, sir!" said the mourn­ing or­gan­ist, pant­ing with sup­pressed ex­cite­ment. 'That will keep you from tak­ing cold until you can be walked up and down in the open air long enough to get your hair and beard sober. They have been in­dulging sir, until the top of your head has fall­en over back­wards, and your whiskers act as though they be­longed to some­body else. The sight con­fus­es me, sir, and in my pre­sent state of mind I can't bear it"

Cough­ing from the lemon tea, and great­ly amazed by his hasty dis­missal, Mr. CLEWS fol­lowed Judge SWEENEY from the room and house in pre­cip­i­tate haste, and, when they were fair­ly out of doors, re­marked that the gen­tle­man they had just left had sur­prised him un­prece­dent­ed­ly, and that he was very nuch put out by it.

"Mr. JOHN BUM­STEAD, sir," ex­plained the Judge, "is al­most be­side him­self at the dou­ble loss he has sus­tained and I think that the sight of your cane, there, mad­dened him with the mem­o­ry it re­vived"

"Why," ex­claimed the gen­tle­man ofthe hair, star­ing in won­der, "you don't mean to tell me that my cane looks at all like his nephew?" 'It looks a lit­tle like the stick of his un­brel­la, which he lost at the same time," was the grave an­swer.

After walk­ing on in thought­ful si­lence for a while, as though deeply pon­der­ing the strik­ing char­ac­ter of a man whose great na­ture could thus at once unite the be­reaved uncle with the sin­cere mourn­er for the dumb friend of his rainier days, Mr. TRACEY CLEWS asked whether sus­pi­cion yet point­ed to any one?

Yes, he was told, sus­pi­cion did point very de­cid­ed­ly at a cer­tain per­son; but, as no spe­cif­ic re­ward had yet been of­fered in suf­fi­cient amount to jus­ti­fy the ex­er­tions of po­lice of­fi­cials hav­ing fam­i­lies to sup­port; and as no life­less body had yet been found and as it was

not ex­act­ly cer­tain that the ab­strac­tion of an un­brel­la by un­known par­ties would jus­ti­fy the crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion of a per­son for hav­ing in his pos­ses­sion an In­di­an Club:—in view of all these com­pli­cat­ed cir­cum­stances, the law did not feel it­self au­tho­rized to ex­e­cute any as­sas­sin at pre­sent

"And here we are, sir, at last, near our Rit­u­al­is­tic Church," con­tin­ued Judgs SWEENEY, "where we stand up for the Rite so nuch that strangers some­times com­plain of it as fa­tigu­ing Upon that mon­u­ment yon­der, in the grave­yard, you may find the epi­taph I have men­tioned What is more, here comes a rather in­ter­est­ing local char­ac­ter of ours, who cut the in­scrip­tion and put up the mon­u­ment"

Mr. MCLAUGH­LIN came shuf­fling up the road as he spoke, fol­lowed in the dis­tance by the in­evitable SMAL­L­EY and a show­er of promis­cu­ous stones.

"Here, you boy!" roared Judge SWEENEY, beck­on­ing the ami­able child to him with a bit of small­money, "aimat all of us—do you hear?—and see that you don't hit any win­dows. And now, MCLAUGH­LIN, how do you do? Here is a gen­tle­man spend­ing the sum­mer with us, who would like to know you"

Old MOR­TAR­I­TY stared at the hair and beard, thus in­tro­duced to him, with undis­guised amaze­ment, and grim­ly re­marked, that if the gsntle­man would come to see him any evening and bring a so­cial bot­tle with him, he would not allow the gsntle­maris head to stand in the way of a fur­ther ac­quain­tance.

'T shall cer­tain­ly call upon you," as­sent­ed Mr. CLEWS, "if our young friend, the stone-throw­er, will ac­cept a tri­fle to show me the

Be­fore re­tir­ing to his bed that night, the same Mr. TRACEY CLEWS took offhis hair and beard, ex­am­ined them close­ly, and then broke into a strangs smile. "No won­der they all looked at me so!" he so­lil­o­quized, "for I did have my locks on the top­side back­most, and my whiskers turned the wrong way. How­ev­er, for a dead-beat, with all his im­per­fec­tions on his head, I've formed a pret­ty laigs ac­quain­tance for one day. [2]

[Foot­note 1] 'Buffer" is the term used in the En­glish story. Its near­est na­tive equiv­a­lent is, prob­a­bly, our Dead-Beat;" mean­ing, var­i­ous­ly, ac­cord­ing to cir­cum­stances, a suc­cess­ful Amer­i­can politi­cian; a wife's male rel­a­tive; a wa­ter­ing-place cor­re­spon­dent ofa news­pa­per, a New York de­tec­tive po­lice­man; any per­son who is un­com­mon­ly pleas­ant with peo­ple, while never ask­ing them to take any­thing with him; a pious board­er; a French rev­o­lu­tion­ist

[Foot­note 2] In both con­cep­tion and ex­e­cu­tion, the orig­i­nal of the above Chap­ter, in Mr. DICK­ENS's work, is, per­haps, the least fe­lic­i­tous page of fic­tion ever penned by the great nov­el­ist; and, as this Adap­ta­tion is in no wise in­tend­ed as a bur­lesque, or car­i­ca­ture, of the style at the orig­i­nal, (but rather as a con­sci­en­tious im­i­ta­tion of it, so far as prac­ti­ca­ble,) the Adapter has not al­lowed him­self that li­cense of humor which, in the most com­i­cal­ly ef­fec­tive treat­ment of said Chap­ter, might bear the ap­pear­ance of such an in­ten­tion.

CHAP­TER XIX
THE H AND H OF J. BUM­STEAD

The exquisite­ly sweet month of the per­fect­ly de­li­cious sum­mer-va­ca­tion hav­ing come, Miss CAROWTHERS' Young Ladies have re­turned again, for a time, to their re­spec­tive homes, MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON has gone to the city and her broth­er, and FLORA POTTS is ridicu­lous­ly and ab­surd­ly alone.

Under the ar­dent sun of Au­gust, Bum­steadville slow­ly bakes, like an ogre's fam­i­ly-dish of stuffed cot­tages and greens, with here and there some slow­ly mov­ing ob­ject, like a loose veg­etable on a slug­gish cur­rent of tidal gravy, and the spire of the Rit­u­al­is­tic church shoot­ing-up at one end like an in­cor­ri­gi­bly per­pen­dic­u­lar leg of mag­ni­fied nut­ton.

Hot­ter and hot­ter comes the breath fiery of na­ture's cook­ery, until some of the stuff­ing boils out of one cot­tags, in the shape of the Old­est In­hab­i­tant, who makes his usual an­nu­al re­mark, that this is the Warmest Day in nine­ty-eight years, and then sim­mers away to some cool­er nook amongst the greens. More and more in­tol­er­a­bly quiv­ers the at­mo­sphere of the syl­van oven with sti­flirg fer­ven­cy, until there oozes from be­neath the shin­gled crust of a veg­e­tar­i­an coun­try-board­ing-house a par­boiled guest from the City, who, be­liev­ing him­self al­most ready to turn, drifts fee­bly to where the roads fork and there is a shade more dun; while, to the spec­u­la­tive mind, each glow­ing field of corn, or buck­wheat, is an in­cip­i­ent Meal, and each chim­ney, or bam, a mere temp­ta­tion to guess how many Swal­lows there maybe in it

Upon the af­ter­noon of such a day as this, Miss POTTS is in­formed, by a ser­vant, that Mr. BUM­STEAD has ar­rived, and, send­ing her his love, would be pleased to have her come down stairs to him and bring him a Ian

"Why didn't you tel himl wasn't at home, you ab­surd thing?" cries the young girl, hur­ried­ly prac­tic­ing a se­ries of ag­i­tat­ed looks and pen­sive smiles be­fore her mir­ror.

"So I did, Miss," an­swers the at­tached mer­ri­al, 'but he'd seen you look­ing at him with an opera-glass as he came up the path, and said that he could hear you tak­ing a clean hand­ker­chief out oftho draw­er, on pur­pose to re­ceive him with, be­fore he'd got to the door."

"Oh, what shall I do? My hands are sored to-day!" sighs FLORA, hold­ing her arms above her head, that the blood may re­tire from the too pink­ish mer­rbers.

After a pause, and an ad­just­ment of a curl over her right eye and the scar­fat her waist, to make them look in­no­cent, she yields to the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal mar­ria so strik­ing­ly preva­lent amongst all the other char­ac­ters of this nar­ra­tive, and says that she will re­ceive the vis­i­tor in the yard, near the pump. Then, cast­ing care­less­ly over her shoul­der that web-like shawl with­out which no woman nor spi­der is com­plete, she ar­ranges her lips in the glass for the last time, and, with a gar­den-hat hang­ing from the elbow lat­est singed, goes down, hum­ming un-sus­pi­cious­ly, into the open-air, with the guile­less bear­ing of one whol­ly un­pre­pared for com­pa­ny.

Rest­ing an elbow upon a bw iron patent-pump, near a rus­tic seat, the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, in his vast linen coat and im­pos­ing straw hat, looks not un­like an ec­cen­tric gar­den stat­ue, upon which some prud­ish slave of modem con­ven­tion­al­i­ties has placed the sum­mer at­tire of a west­ern ed­i­tor. The great heat of the sun upon his back makes him ir­ri­ta­ble, and when Miss POTTS sharply smites with her fin the knuck­les of the hand which he has aflably ex­tend­ed to take her by the chin, more than the usual symp­toms of acute in­flam­ma­tion ap­pear at the end ofhis nose, and he bbws hur­ried­ly upon his wound­ed dig­its.

"That hurt like the mis­chief!" he re­marks, in some anger. 'T don't know when I've felt any­thing smart so."

"Then don't be so hor­rid," re­turns the pen­sive girl, tak­ing a seat be­fore him upon the rus­tic set­tee, and ab­stract­ed­ly ar­rang­ing her dress so that only two-thirds of a goi­ter-boot can be seen

Munch­ing cloves, the aroma of which ladens the air all around him, Mr. BUM­STEAD con­tem­plates her with a calm­ness which would be en­thralling, but for the ner­vous twi­stirg ofhis fea­tures under the tor­ments of a sin­gu­lar­ly ad­he­sive fly

'I have come, dear," he ob­serves, slow­ly, "to know how soon you will be ready for me to give you your next nu­sic-les­son?"

"I pre­fer that you would not call me your 'dear,'" was the chill­ing an­swer.

The or­gan­ist thinks for a mo­ment, and then nods his head in­tel­ligsnt­fy. 'You are right," he says, grave­ly, "—there might be some­body lis­ten­ing who could not enter into our real feel­ings. And now, how about those mosic-lessons?"

"I don't want any more, thank you," says FLORA, cold­ly. "While we are all in mourn­ing for our poor, dear ab­surd EDDY, it seems like a per­fect­ly ridicu­lous mock­ery to be prac­tic­ing the scales."

Fan­ning him­self with his straw hat, Mr. BUM­STEAD shakes his bushy head sev­er­al times. 'You do not dis­crim­i­nate suf­fi­cient­ly," he replies. 'There are kinds of nusic which, when per­formed rapid­ly upon the vblin, fife, or ket­tle-drum, cer­tain­ly fill the mind with sen­ti­ments un­fa­vor­able to the deep­er an­guish ofhu­man sor­row. Of such, how­ev­er, is not the kind made by young girls, which is at all times a help to the in­ten­si­ty ofju­dicbus grief Let me as­sure you, with the can­dor of an idol­ized friend, that some of the sad­dest hours of my life have been spent in teach­ing you to try to sing a hu­mor­ous aria from DONIZETTI; and the mo­ments in which I have most sin­cere­ly re­gret­ted ever hav­ing been bom were those in which you have played, in my hear­ing, the Drink­ing- song from La Travi­a­ta. Be­lieve me, then, my de­vot­ed pupil, there can be noth­ing at all in­con­sis­tent with a preva­lence of pro­found melan­choly in your con­tin­ued pi­ano-play­ing; where­as, on the con­trary, your sud­den and per­ma­nent ces­sa­tion might at least sur­prise your friends and the neigh­bor­hood into a hght-heart­ed­ness tem­porar­i­ly oblivbus of the mem­o­ry of that dear, miss­ing boy, to whom you could not, I hear, give the bve al­ready be­stowed upon me."

'I loved him ridicu­lous­ly, ab­surd­ly, with my whole heart," cries FLORA, not al­to­geth­er lik­ing what she has heard. 'Tm­re­al sorry, too, that they think some­body has killed him"

Mr, BUM­STEAD folds his brown linen arms as he tow­ers be­fore her, and the dark cir­cles around his eyes ap­pear to shrink with the in­ten­si­fy ofhis gaze.

'There are oc­cas­b­ns in life," he re­marks, "when to ac­knowl­edge that our last meet­ing with a friend, who has since ntys­te­ri­ous­ly dis­ap­peared, was to re­ject him and imply a pref­er­ence for his uncle, maybe cal­cu­lat­ed to as­so­ci­ate us un­pleas­ant­ly with that dis­ap­pear­ance, in the minds of the cen­so­ri­ous, and in­vite sus­picb­ns tend­ing to our early cross- ex­am­i­na­tion by our Irish local mag­is­trate. I do not say, of course, that you ac­tu­al­ly de­stroyed my nephew for fear he should try to prej­u­dice me against you; but I can­not with­hold my earnest ap­proval of your ju­di­cious pre­tence of a sen­ti­ment pal­pa­bly in­com­pat­i­ble with the shed­ding ofthe blood of its de­part­ed ob­ject If you will move your dress a lit­tle, so that I can sit be­side you and allow your head to rest upon my shoul­der, that fen will do for both of us, and we may con­verse in whis­pers."

'My head upon your shoul­der!" ex­claims Miss POTTS, star­ing swift­ly about to see if any­body is look­ing 'I pre­fer to keep my head upon my own shoul­ders, sir."

'Two heads are bet­ter than one," the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist re­minds her. "If a lit­tle hair-oil and pow­der does come off upon my coat, the lat­ter will wash, I sup­pose. Come, dear­est, if it is our fete to never get through this hot day alive, let us be sun­struck to­geth­er."

She shrinks timid­ly from the brown linen arm which he be­gins in­sin­u­at­ing along the back ofthe rus­tic set­tee, and tells him that she couldn't have be­lieved that he could be so ab­surd. He draws back his aim, and seems hurt

"FLORA," he says, ten­der­ly, "how beau­ti­ful you are, es­pe­cial­ly when fixed up. The more I see of yon, the less sorry I am that I have con­clud­ed to be yours. All the time that­ny dear boy was try­ing to in­duce youto re­lase him­fromhis en­gage­ment, I was think­ing how nuch bet­ter you might do; yet, be­yond an oc­ca­sion­al en­cour­ag­ing wink, I never pve the least sign of re­cip­ro­cat­ing your at­tach­ment. I did not think it would be right"

The as­ser­tion, though su­per­fi­cial­ly true, is so im­per­fect in its de­lin­eation of ha­bit­u­al con­duct li­able to an­oth­er con­struc­tion, that the ag­i­tat­ed Flow­er­pot re­turns, with quick in­dig­na­tion, "your arm was al­ways reach­ing out when­ev­er you sat in a chair any­where near me, and when­ev­er I sang you al­ways kept look­ing straight into my mouth until it tick­led me. You know you did, you hate­ful thing! Be­sides, it wasn't you that I pre­ferred, at all; it was—oh, its too ridicu­lous to tell!"

In her bash­ful con­fu­sion she is about to arise and trip shyly away from him into the house, when he speaks again.

'Miss POTTS, is your friend­ship for Miss PEN­DRAG­ON and her broth­er such, that their ex­e­cu­tion upon some Fri­day of next month would be a spec­ta­cle to which you could give no pleased at­ten­tion?"

"What do you mean, you ab­surd crea­ture?"

'I mean," con­tin­ues Mr. BUM­STEAD, "sim­ply this: you know my dou­ble loss. You know that, upon the per­son ofthe male PEN­DRAG­ON was found an apple look­ing and ta­stirg like one which my nephew once had. You know, that when Miss PEN­DRAG­ON went from here she wore an al­paca waist which looked as though it had been ex­posed more than once to the rain. —See the point?"

FLORA gives a star­tled look, and says: 'I don't see it"

'Sup­pose," he goes on—"sup­pose that I go to a mag­is­trate, and say: 'Judge, I voted for you, and can in­flu­ence a large for­eign vote for you agaia I have lost a nephew who was very fond of ap­ples, and a black al­paca un­brel­la of great value. A young South­ern­er, who has not lived in this State fong enough to vote, has been found in pos­ses­sion of an apple sin­gu­lar­ly like the kind gen­er­al­ly eaten by my miss­ing rel­a­tive, and his sis­ter has come out in a waist made of sec­ond-hand al­paca?—See the point now?"

"Mr. BUM­STEAD," ex­claims FLORA, af­fright­ed by the ter­ri­ble men­ace of his man­ner, 'T don't any more be­lieve that Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON is guilty than I, nysel£ am; and as for your old un­brel­la—"

'Stop, woman!" in­ter­rupt­ed the be­reaved or­gan­ist, im­pe­ri­ous­ly. 'Not even your lips shall speak dis­re­spect­ful­ly of my lost bone- han­dled friend By a chain of unan­swer­able ar­gu­ment, I have shown you that I hold the fete of your south­ern ac­quain­tances in my hands, and shall be par­tic­u­lar­ly sorry if you force me to hang Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON as a rival"

FLORA puts her hands to her tem­ples, to soothe her throb­bing head and dis­play a bracelet

'Oh, what shall I do! I don't want any­body to be hung! It most be so per­fect­ly awful!"

Her touch­ing dis­play of gen­er­ous feel­ing does not soft­en him On the con­trary, he stands more erect, and smiles rather tri­umphant­ly under his straw hat

"Beloved one," he nur­nurs, in a rich voice, '1 find that I can­not in­duce you to make the first ad­vance to­ward the nu­tu­al avow­al we are both long­ing for, and nust there­fore pre­cip­i­tate our hap­pi­ness nyseE My poor boy would not have given you per­fect sat­is­fac­tion, and your mo­men­tary lik­ing for the male PEN­DRAG­ON was but the ef­fect of a tem­po­rary de­spair un­doubt­ed­ly pro­duced by my seem­ing cold­ness. That cold­ness had noth­ing to do with my heart, but re­sult­ed par­tial­ly from­ny habit of wear­ing a wet towel on my head I now pro­pose to you—"

"Pro­pose to me?" ejac­u­lates Miss POTTS, with height­ened color.

"—That you pick out a wor­thy man be­long­ing to your own sec­tion of the Union," he con­tin­ues hasti­ly. "Here's my Heart," he adds, going through the mo­tions of tak­ing some­thing from a pock­et and plac­ing it in his out­stretched palm, "and here's my Hand,"—plac­ing there­in an equal­ly imag­i­nary ob­ject from an­oth­er pock­et—'Try the H and H of J. BUM­STEAD."

His man­ner is as though he were com­mend­ing some patent ar­ti­cle of un­ques­tion­able util­i­ty.

"But I can't bear the sight of you!" she cries, push­ing away the brown linen arm con­ing after her again

Tak­ing away her fin, he pats her on the head with it, and seems mo­men­tar­i­ly sur­prised at the holbw sound.

'Fu­ture Mrs. BUM­STEAD," he cheer­ful­ly replies, at last, "ny ob­ser­va­tion and knowl­edge of the women of Amer­i­ca teach me that there never was a wife going to In­di­ana for a di­vorce, who had not at first sworn to love, as well as honor and obey, her hus­band. Such is woman that if she had felt and said at the altar that she couldn't bear the sight ofhim, it wouldn't have been in the power of mas­cu­line bru­tal­i­ty and dis­si­pat­ed habits to drive her from his side through all their lives. There can be no bet­ter sign of our fu­ture hap­pi­ness, than for you to say, be­fore­hand, that you ut­ter­ly de­test the man of your choice."

There is some­thing ter­ri­ble to the young girl in the orig­i­nal turn of thought of this fas­ci­nat­ing man Say what she may, he at once turns it into vir­tu­al de­vo­tion to him­self He ap­pears to have a per­fect­ly dread­ful power to hang ev­ery­body, he con­sid­ers her strongest avow­al of pre­sent per­son­al dis­like the most promis­ing in­di­ca­tion she can give of eter­nal fu­ture in­fat­u­a­tion with him, and his pow­er­ful mode of rea­son­ing is more pro­found and com­pos­ing than an ar­ti­cle in a New York news­pa­per on a War in Eu­rope. Ren­dered dizzy by his meta­phys­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion, she aris­es from the rus­tic seat, and is fly­ing gid­di­ly into the house, when he leaps ath­let­i­cal­ly after her, and catch­es her in the door­way.

"I mere­ly wish to re­quest," he says, qui­et­ly, "that you place suf­fi­cient re­straint upon your nat­u­ral­ly happy feel­ings to keep our en­gage­ment a se­cret from the pub­lic at pre­sent, as I can't bear to have boys cal­lirg out after me, 'There's the feller that's goirf to get mar­ried! There's the feller that's goirf to get mar­ried!' When a man is about to make a fool of him­self it is not for chil­dren to re­mind him of iL"

The door being opened be­fore she can an­swer, FLORA re­ceives a part­ing bow of­Gran­dis­or­ri­an el­e­gance from Mr. BUM­STEAD, and has­tens up stairs to her room in a dis­trac­tion of mind not un­com­mon to those hav­ing con­ver­sa­tion­al re­la­tions with the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist

CHAP­TER XX
AN ES­CAPE

The be­wil­dered Flow­er­pot had no soon­er gained her own room en­joyed her ag­i­tat­ed ex­pres­sion of fece in the mir­ror, and tried four dif­fer­ent­ly co­bred rib­bon-bows upon her col­lar in suc­ces­sion, than the thought of­be­con­ing Mr. BUM­STEAD S bride bst the charm of its first wild nov­el­ty, and be­came ut­ter­ly ridicu­lous. He was a man of com­mand­ing stature, which his linen "duster" made ap­pear still more bng the dark cir­cles around his eyes would dis­ap­pear in time, and he had an abu­sive way of re­fer­ring to women which made him in­ex­press­ibly grand to women as a true po­et-soul; but would it be safe, would it be re­li­gious­ly right, for a young girl, not yet con­scbus of her own full power of an­nu­al mon­e­tary ex­pen­di­ture, to blind­ly risk her nec­es­sary ex­pens­es for life upon one whom the cost of a sin­gle im­port­ed bon­net, in the con­tin­gen­cy of a Gen­er­al Eu­ro­pean War, might plunge into in­ex­tri­ca­ble pe­cu­niary em­bar­rass­ment? Pos­si­bly, the Gen­er­al Eu­ro­pean War might not occur in an or­di­nary mar­ried-life­time, as France was no forg­er in a con­di­tion to men­ace Eng­land, Rus­sia would be wary about pro­vok­ing the new Prus­sian giant, and Aus­tria and Italy were not like­ly soon to for­get their last mil­i­tary mis­ad­ven­tures; yet, while all the great Amer­i­can jour­nals had for the last twen­ty years, pub­lished daily ed­i­to­ri­als, by young writ­ers from the coun­try, to show that such a War could not pos­si­bly be avert­ed forg­er than about the day after to­mor­row, would it be ju­di­cious for a young girl to marry as though that War were ab­so­lute­ly im­pos­si­ble? No! Her woman's heart stern­ly re­it­er­at­ed the piti­less­ly neg­a­tive; and, as the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist had plain­ly evinced an earnest in­ten­tion to let no for­eign mil­i­tary com­pli­ca­tions pre­vent her mar­riage with him, she felt that her only safe­ty from his mat­ri­mo­ni­al vb­lence nust be sought in flight

With whom, though, could she take refuge? If she went to MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON, all her dear­est school­mates would say, that they had al­ways bved her, de­spite her great faults, yet could not dis­guise from them­selves that she seemed at last to be fair­ly run­ning after Miss PEN­DRAG­ON'S broth­er. Be­sides, Mr. BUM­STEAD, of­fend­ed by the seer­ring want of con­fi­dence in him evinced by her flight, would prob­a­bly, take mea­sures pub­licly to iden­ti­fy MAG­NO­LIA'S al­paca gar­ment with the cov­er­ing of his bst un­brel­la, and thus di­rect new sus­picbn against a sis­ter and broth­er al­ready both­ered al­most into hys­ter­ics.

Dur­ing the last few weeks, an at­tack of dys­pep­sia had laid the foun­da­tion of a mind in the Flow­er­pot, as it gen­er­al­ly does in other young fe­male Amer­i­can board­ing-school thinkers, and she was now ca­pa­ble of that sub­tle line of rea­son­ing which is the great com­men­da­tion of her sex to a rec­og­nized per­fect in­tel­lec­tu­al equal­i­ty with man. Once de­cid­ed by her ap­pre­hens­bn of a Gen­er­al Eu­ro­pean War, against mar­riage with J. BUM­STEAD, she took a rather ir­ri­ta­ble view of that too at­trac­tive de­vo­tion­al nu­si­cian, and in­ferred from his not being wealthy enough to stand the test of pos­si­ble transat­lantic hos­til­i­ties, that he nust, him­self have killed EDWIN DROOD His un­brel­la, it was well known, had been pre­sent at that fetal Christ­mas din­ner, and a thought­less in­sult of­fered to it, even by his nephew, might have made a demon of him Sup­pose that EDWIN, upon re­turn­ing to the din­ing-room that night, after his tem­po­rary ex­er­cise in the open air with MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON, had found his uncle, flushed with cbves, en­deav­or­ing to force a so­cial glass of lemon tea upon the um­brel­la, under the im­pres­sion that it was a per­son, and had un­think­ing­ly ac­cused him there­at of­be­ing mo­men­tar­i­ly un­set­tled in his fac­ul­ties? Prob­a­bly, then, hot words would have passed be­tween them; each telKrg the other that he would have a nice headache in the morn­ing and find it im­pos­si­ble not to look very sleepy even if he fixed his hair ever so elab­o­rate­ly. Bbws might have fol­lowed: the uncle, in his anger, hew­ing the nephew Knb from limb with the carv­ing knife from the table, and sub­se­quent­ly car­ry­ing away the re­mains to the Pond and there cast­ing them in. Sup­pose, in his nat­u­ral ex­cite­ment, the uncle had hur­ried­ly used the un­brel­la, opened and held down­ward to carry the re­mains in; and after con­ing home again, and snatchirg a nap under the table, had for­got­ten all about it, and thus been ever since in­con­solable for his al­paca bss? As the young or­phan ar­gued thus ex­haus­tive­ly to her­self the ex­treme prob­a­bil­i­ty of her sup­po­si­tions made her more and more fren­zied to % in­stant­ly be­yond the reach of one who, in the event of a Gen­er­al Eu­ro­pean War, would not be a hus­band whom her head could ap­prove.

After pen­ning a hasty farewell note to Miss CAROWTHERS, to the ef­fect that ur­gent mil­i­tary rea­sons obliged her to see her guardian at once, FLORA bst no time in­packirg a small leather satchel for trav­el Two bot­tles of hair aD, ajar of glyc­er­ine, one of cold cream, two boxes of pow­der, a pack­age of extra back-hair, a phial of­bel­lador­ma, a camels-hair brush for the eye­brows, a rouge-saucer for pink­ing the nails, four flasks of per­fumery, a de­pila­to­ry in a small flagon, and some tooth­paste, were the only ar­ti­cles she could pause to col­lect for her pre­cip­i­tate es­cape; and with them in the satchel on her aim, and a bon­net and shawl hur­ried­ly thrown on, she stole away down-stairs, and thus from the house.

Has­ten­ing to the Roach House, from whence start­ed an om­nibus for the ferry, she was quick­ly rat­tlirg out of­Bum­steadville in a ve­hi­cle re­mark­able for the great nun­ber and va­ri­ety of nois­es it could make when mad­dened into mo­tion by a span of equine ri­vals in an im­memo­ri­al walk­ing-match

'Now, BON­NER," she said to the driv­er, tak­ing leave ofhim at the fer­ry-boat, 'be sure and let Miss CAROWTHERS know that you saw me safe­ly ofla and that I was not a bit more tired than if I had walked all the way."

Blush­ing with plea­sure at the im­plied com­pli­ment to his equipage from such lips, the skilled horse­man had not the heart to ob­ject to the wild­ly nx­i­ti­lat­ed frag­ment of cur­ren­cy with which his fere had been paid, and went back to where his steeds were tak­ing turns in hold­ing each other up, as happy a man as ever bst money by the change in woman

Reach­ing the city, Miss POTTS was prompt­ly wor­shiped by a hack­man of marked con­ver­sa­tion­al pow­ers, who, whip in hand, as­sured her that his car­riage was wide­ly cel­e­brat­ed under the ti­tles of the 'Rock­ing Chair," the 'Did Shoe," and the "Glid­er," on ac­count of its in­cred­i­ble ease of mo­tion; and that, owing to its exquisite ab­bre­vi­a­tion of trav­el to the emo­tions, those who rode in it had ac­tu­al­ly been known to dis­pute that they had rid­den even half the dis­tance for which they were charged. Did he know where Mr. DIB­BLE, the lawyer, lived, in Nas­sau Street, near Ful­ton? If she meant lawyer DIB­BLE, near Ful­ton Street, in Nas­sau, next door but one to the sec­ond house below, and di­rect­ly op­po­site the build­ing across the way, there was just one span of­buck­skin hors­es in the city that could take a car­riage built ex­press­ly for ladies to that place, as nat­u­ral­ly as though it were a sta­ble. It was a place that he—the hack­man—al­ways as­so­ci­at­ed with his own moth­er, be­cause he was so fa­mil­iar with it in child­hood, and had often thought of driv­ing to it blind­fold­ed for a wager.

Proud to leam that her guardian was so well known in the great city, and de­light­ed that she had met a char­i­o­teer so minute­ly Ia­mil­iar with his house of­busi­ness, FLORA stepped read­i­ly into the prov­i­den­tial hack, which there­upon in­stant­ly began Rock­ing-Chair-ing Old-Shoe-ing and Glid­ing Any one of these cel­e­brat­ed pro­cess­es, by it­self might have been de­sir­able; but their in­dis­crim­i­nate and im­petu­ous con­bi­na­tion in the pre­sent case gave the Fb­w­er­pot a con­fused im­pres­sion that her whole ride was a startlirg se­ries of in­ces­sant sharp turns around ob­du­rate street com­ers, and kept her plung­ing about like an early young Protes­tant tossed in a Romish blan­ket. In­stinc­tive­ly hold­ing her satchel abfl, to save its frag­ile con­tents from frac­ture, she rocked, shoed and glid­ed all over the in­te­ri­or of the ve­hi­cle, with­out hope of gain­ing breath enough for even one scream, until, near­ly un­con­scbus, and, with her bon­net driv­en half-way into her chignon, she was helped out by the hack­man at her guardian's door.

'I am dying!" she groaned.

'Then please re­mem­ber me in your wfll, to the ex­tent of two dol­lars," re­turned the hack­man with nuch humor. 'You're only a lit­tle sea-sick, miss; as often hap­pens to peo­ple in­hun­ble cir­cum­stances when they ride in a ker­ridge for the first time."

Still pant­ing Miss POTTS paid and dis­charged this friend­ly man, and, wea­ried­ly en­ter­ing the build­ing folb­wed the signs up-stairs to her guardian's of­fice.

After knock­ing sev­er­al times at the right door with­out reply, she turned the knob, and en­tered so soft­ly that the ven­er­a­ble lawyer was not aroused from the slum­ber into which he had fellen in his chair by the win­dow. With a copy of Put­nam's Mag­a­zine still grasped in his hon­est right hand, good Mr. DIB­BLE slept like a drugged per­son; nor could the young girl awak­en him until, by a happy in­spi­ra­tion, she had snatched away the month­ly and cast it through the case­ment.

"Ami dream­ing?" ex­claimed the aged man, when thus sud­den­ly res­cued from his dead­ly lethar­gy at last "Is that you, my dear; or are you your late moth­er?"

'I am your ridicubus­ly un­hap­py ward," an­swered the Fb­w­er­pot, tr­ermbus­ly 'Oh, poor, dear, ab­surd EDDY!" "And you have come here al­lab­ne?"

'Yes; and to es­cape being mar­ried to EDDYS per­fect­ly hate­ful uncle, who has the same as or­dered me to be­come his ut­ter­ly dis­gust­ed bride. Oh, why is it, why is it, that I nust be thus per­se­cut­ed by young men with­out prop­er­ty! Why is it that per­fect­ly hor­rid mad­men on salaries are al­lowed to claim me as their own!"

'My dear," cried the old lawyer, lead­ing her to a chair, and striv­ing to speak sooth­ing­ly, "if Mr. BUM­STEAD de­sires to marry you he most in­deed be in­sane. Such a man ought re­al­ly to be con­fined," he con­tin­ued, pac­ing thought­ful­ly up and down the room 'This most have been the idea that was al­ready turn­ing his brain when—bless my soul!—he ac­tu­al­ly in­ti­mat­ed, first, that I, and then, that Mr. SIMP­SON, had killed his nephew!"

'He thinks, now, that I, or MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON, may have done it,—the hate­ful crea­ture!" said FLORA, pass­b­nate­ly.

'I see, I see," as­sent­ed Mr. DIB­BLE, nod­ding "When he has you in his head, my dear, he him­self trust clear­ly be out of it You shall stay here and take tea with me, and then I will take you to FRENCH S Hotel for your ac­com­mo­da­tion dur­ing the night."

It was a sight to see him ten­der­ly help her off with her bon­net; and sug­ges­tive to hear him say, that if a man could only take off his brains as eas­i­ly as a woman hers, what a re­lief it would be to him oc­ca­sion­al­ly. It was cu­ri­ous to see him peep into her bot­tle-filled satchel, with an old man's free­dom; and to hear him au­di­bly won­der there­at, whether, after all, men were any more ad­dict­ed than women to the so­cial glass when they want­ed to put a bet­ter face on af­fairs. And, after the wait­er bring­ing him toast and tea from a neigh­bor­ing restau­rant had brought an ad­di­tion­al slice and cup for the guest, it was pleas­ant to be­hold him smil­ing across the of­fice- table at that guest, and en­cour­ag­ing her to eat as nuch as she would if a mem­ber of his sex were not look­ing 'It most be ab­surd­ly ridicu­lous to stay here all alone, as you do, sir," ob­served FLORA.

"But I am not al­ways alone," an­swered Mr. DIB­BLE 'My cler­ic, Mr. BLADAMS, now tak­ing a va­ca­tion in the coun­try, is gen­er­al­ly here though, to be sure, I may bse him be­fore bng He's turned lit­er­ary."

"How per­fect­ly fright­ful!" said Miss POTTS.

"He has set up for a ge­nius, my child, and is now en­gaged upon a great Amer­i­can novel Dis­con­tent­ed with the law, he is giv­ing great at­ten­tion to this; but Free Trade will not, I am afraid, albw any Amer­i­can pub­lish­er to bring it out"

"Free Trade?" re­peat­ed FLORA.

'Yes, my dear, Free Trade; that is, while Amer­i­can pub­lish­ers can steal for­eign nov­els for noth­ing they are not gaing to pay any­thing for na­tive fic­tion."

Yawn­ing be­hind her hand, the Fb­w­er­pot ma­nured some­thing about Free Trade being pos­i­tive­ly ab­surd, and her guardian went on: "Nev­er­the­less, Mr. BLADAMS is gaing on-with his work, which he calls 'The Am­a­teur De­tec­tive;' and if it ever does come out you shall have a copy.—But, by the by," added the lawyer, sud­den­ly, "you have not yet fully de­scribed to me the in­ter­view in which poor Mr. EDWIN'S uncle of­fered to be­come your hus­band."

She pve him a full his­to­ry of the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ists hand­some offer to her of his H and H; adding her own final de­ci­sion in the mat­ter as pre­cip­i­tat­ed by the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a Gen­er­al Eu­ro­pean war, and Mr. DIB­BLE heard the whole with an air of stu­dious at­ten­tion.

"Al­though I have cer­tain­ly no par­tic­u­lar rea­son for be­friend­ing Mr. BUM­STEAD," said he, re­flec­tive­ly, 'T shall take mea­sures to keep him from you Now come with me to FRENCHS Hotel To­mor­row I will call there for you, you know, and then, per­haps, you may be taken to see your friend, Miss PEN­DRAG­ON."

Hav­ing ob­tained for his ward a room in the hotel named, and seen her safe­ty to its shel­ter, the good old lawyer vis­it­ed the bar-room of the es­tab­lish­ment, for the pur­pose of as­cer­tain­ing whether any evil-dis­posed per­son could get in through that way for the dis­tur­bance of his fair charge. After which he de­part­ed for his home in Gowanus.

CHAP­TER XXI
BEN­THAM TO THE RES­CUE

Eu­ro­pean trav­ellers in this coun­try—es­pe­cial­ly if one eco­nom­i­cal con­di­tion of their con­ing hith­er has not been the com­po­si­tion of works of imag­i­na­tion on Amer­i­ca, suf­fi­cient­ly con­temp­tu­ous to pay all the ex­pens­es of the trip—have, oc­ca­sion­al­ly—and par­tic­u­lar­ly if they have been in­vit­ed to write for New York mag­a­zines, take pro­fes­sor­ships in na­tive col­leges, or lec­ture on the en­cour­ag­ing Con­ti­nen­tal progress of sci­en­tif­ic athe­ism be­fore Boston au­di­ences;—such trav­ellers, we say, con­vinced that they shall bse no money by it, but, on the con­trary, rather san­guine of mak­ing a lit­tle there­by in the long run, have oc­cas­b­nal­ly re­marked, that, in the Unit­ed States, women jour­ney­ing abne are treat­ed with a chivaMc cour­tesy and def­er­ence not so ha­bit­u­al­ly prac­ticed in any other sec­ond-class new na­tion on the lace of the earth.

What, oh, what can be more true than this? A lady well strick­en in years, and of ad­e­quate pro­trac­tion of nose and rec­ti­lin­ear un­de­vi­atbn of fig­ure, can trav­el abne from Maine to Fbri­da with as per­fect in­rami­ty from of­fen­sive mas­cu­line in­trus­bn as though she were guard­ed by a reg­i­ment; while a some­what younger girl, with curls and an in­no­cent look, can not ap­pear un­ac­com­pa­nied by an es­cort in an Amer­i­can om­nibus, car, fer­ry-boat, or hotel, with­out ap­peal­ing at once to the finest fa­ther­ly feel­ings of every manly mid­dle-aged ob­serv­er whose wife is not watch­ing him, and ex­cit­ing as gen­er­al a de­sire to make her tip so­cial­ly de­light­ful as though each gen­tle­man­ly eye seek­ing hers were in­deed that of a ten­der sire.

Thus, al­though Miss POTTS'S bnely stay in her hotel had been so brie£ the mys­te­ri­ous Amer­i­can in­stinct of chival­ry had dis­cov­ered it very early on the first morn­ing after her ar­rival, and she arose from her delicbus sleep to find at least half a dozen writ­ten of­fers of hos­pi­tal­i­ty from gen­er­ous strangers, stick­ing under her door. Un­der­stand­ing that she was so­journ­ing with­out nat­u­ral pro­tec­tors in a strange city, the thought­ful writ­ers, who ap­peared to be chiefly West­ern men of im­plied im­mense for­tunes, beg­gsd her (by the del­i­cate name of "Fair Un­known") to take com­fort in the thought that they were stop­ping at the same hotel and would pro­tect her from all harm with their lives. In proof of this un­selfish dis­po­si­tion on their parts, sev­er­al of them were re­spec­tive­ly ready to take her to a cir­cus-mati­nee, or to drive in Cen­tral Park, on that very day and her prompt ac­cep­tance of these sig­nal ev­i­dences of a dis­in­ter­est­ed friend­ship for wom­an­hood with­out a nat­u­ral pro­tec­tor could not be more sim­ply in­di­cat­ed to those who now freely of­fered such friend­ship, than by her drop­ping her folk twice at the pub­lic break­fast table, or send­ing the wait­er back three times with the boiled eggg to have them cooked right­ly.

FLORA had com­plet­ed her chem­i­cal toi­let, put all the bot­tles, jars, and small round boxes back into her satchel again, and sat down to a sec­ond read­ing of these grat­i­fy­ing in­ti­ma­tions that a pre­pos­sess­ing fe­male or­phan is not nec­es­sar­i­ly with­out as­sid­u­ous pa­ter­nal guardian­ship at her com­mand wher­ev­er there are West­ern fa­thers, when Mr. DIB­BLE ap­peared, as he had promised, ac­com­pa­nied by­Gospel­er SIMP­SON.

'Miss CAROWTHERS was so ex­cit­ed by your sud­den flight, Miss POTTS," said the lat­ter, "that she came at once to me and OLDY with your farewell note, and would not stop say­ing 'Did you ever!' until, to re­strain my ag­gra­vat­ed moth­er from fits, I promised to fol­low you to your guardian's and as­cer­tain what your good-bye note would have meant if it had ac­tu­al­ly been punc­tu­at­ed"

'Our rev­erend friend reached me about an hour ago," added Mr. DIB­BLE "say­ing that a farewell note with­out a comma, colon, se­mi-cobn, or pe­ri­od in it, and with every other word be­gin­ning with a cap­i­tal, and un­der­scored, was cal­cu­lat­ed to drive friends to dis­trac­tion. I took the lib­er­ty of re­mind­ing him, my dear, that young girls from board­ing- school should hard­ly be ex­pect­ed to have ad­vanced as far as En­glish com­po­si­tion in their French and nu­si­cal stud­ies; and I also re­lat­ed to him what you had told me of Mr. BUM­STEAD."

"And I don't know that, under the cir­cum­stances, you could do a bet­ter thing than you have done," con­tin­ued the Gospel­er. 'Mr. BUM­STEAD, him­self ex­plains your flight upon the sup­po­si­tion that you were pos­si­bly en­gaged with n$rcel£ my moth­er, Mr. DIB­BLE, and tie PEN­DRAG­ONS, in killing poor Mr. DROOD."

"Oh, oughtn't he to be ashamed of him­self when he knows that I never did kill any ab­surd crea­ture!" cried the Fb­w­er­pot, in earnest dep­re­ca­tion "And just think of dar­ling MAG­NO­LIA, too, with her poor, ridicu­lous broth­er! You're a lawyer, Mr. DIB­BLE and I should think you could get them a habeas cor­pus, or a di­vorce, or some other per­fect­ly ab­surd thing about courts, that would make the judges tell the ju­ries to bring them in Not Guilty."

Fix­ing upon the bvely young rea­son­er a look ex­pres­sive ofhis af­fec­tion­ate won­der at her in­spired per­cep­tion of legal pos­si­bil­i­ties, the old lawyer said, that the first thing in order was a meet­ing be­tween her­self and Miss PEN­DRAG­ON; which, as it could scarce­ly take place (al things con­sid­ered,) with pro­pri­ety in the pri­vate room of that lady1 s broth­er, nor with­out pub­lic­i­ty in his own of­fice, or in a hotel, he hard­ly knew how to bring about

And here we have an ex­am­ple of that dif­fer­ence be­tween nov­els and real life which has been il­lus­trat­ed more than once be­fore in this con­sci­en­tious Amer­i­can Adap­ta­tion of what all our pro­found­ly crit­i­cal na­tive jour­nals pro­nounce the "most elab­o­rate­ly artis­tic work" of the grand­est of En­glish nov­el­ists. In an equiv­a­lent sit­u­a­tion of real life, Mr. DIB­BLES quandary would not have been eas­i­ly re­lieved; but, by the magic of artis­tic fic­tion, the par­tic­u­lar kind of ex­tem­po­rized char­ac­ter ab­so­lute­ly nec­es­sary to help him and the novel con­tin­u­ous­ly along was at that mo­ment con­ing up the stairs of the hotela

At the crit­i­cal in­stant, a ser­vant knocked, to say, that there was a gen­tle­man below, "with­afaceas­b­ng­mear­rum, sir, who axed me was there a man here av the name av SIMP­SON, Miss?"

Tt is JOHN—it is Mr. BUM­STEAD!" shrieked FLORA, has­ten­ing in­vol­un­tar­i­ly to­wards a minor,—"and just see how my dress is wrin­kled!"

'My name is BENI­HAM—JERE­MY BEN­THAM," said a deep voice in the door­way, and there en­tered a gloony fig­ure, with smoky, light hair, a cu­ri­ous­ly long coun­te­nance, and black worsted gloves. 'SIMP­SON!—old OC­TAVIUS!—did you never, never see me be­fore?"

"If I am not great­ly mis­tak­en," re­turned the Gospel­er, stern­ly. '1 saw you stand­ing in the bar-room ofthe hotel, just now, as we came up."

'Yes," sighed the stranger, '1 was there—wait­ing for a West­ern friend—when you passed in. And has sor­row, then, so charged me, that you do not know me? Alas! alack! woe's me!"

'BENI­HAM, you say?" cried the Rit­u­al­is­tic cler­gy­man, with a start, and sud­den change of coun­te­nance. 'Sure­ty you're not the rol­lick­ing fel­low-stu­dent who saved my life at Yale?"

"I am! I am!" sobbed the other, smit­ing his bosom "While study­ing the­ol­o­gy, you'd gone to sleep in bed read­ing the De­cameron. I, in the next room, sud­den­ly smelt a smell of wood burn­ing Break­ing into your apart­ment, I saw your can­dle Men upon your pil­low and your head on fire. Be­liev­ing that, if ne­glect­ed, the flames would spread to some vital part, I seized a wa­ter-pitch­er and dashed the con­tents upon you. Up you in­stant­ly sprang with a the­o­log­i­cal ex­pres­sion on your lips, and en­gaged me in vi­o­lent sin­gle con­bat "Mad­man!" roared I, "is it thus you treat one who has saved your He?" Falling upon the floor, with a black eye, you at once con­sent­ed to be rec­on­ciled; and, from that hour forth, we were both men­bers ofthe same se­cret so­ci­ety."

Leap­ing for­ward, the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS wrung both the black worsted gloves of Mr. BEN­THAM, and in­tro­duced the lat­ter to the old lawyer and his ward.

"He did in­deed save all but my head from the con­fla­gra­tion, and ex­tin­guished that, even, be­fore it was nuch charred," cried the grate­ful Rit­u­al­ist, with marked emo­tion.—'But, JERE­MY, why this as­pect of de­pres­sion?"

'OC­TAVIUS, old friend," said BEN­THAM, his hol­low voice quiv­er­ing "let no man boast him­self upon the gai­ety ofhis youth, and fond­ly dream—poor self de­ceiv­er!—that his ma­tu­ri­ty may be one of rev­el­ry. You know what I once was. Now I am con­duct­ing a first-class Amer­i­can Comic Paper."

Com­mis­er­a­tion, earnest and un­af­fect­ed, ap­peared upon every coun­te­nance, and Mr. DIB­BLE was the first to break the en­su­ing deep si­lence.

"Ifl am not mis­tak­en, then," ob­served the good lawyer, qui­et­ly, "the scene of your daily loss of spir­its is in the same build­ing with our young friend, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON, whom you may know."

"I do know him, sir, and that his sis­ter has late­ly come unto him His room, by means of out­side shut­ters, was once a refuge to me from the Man"—Here Mr. BEN­THAM S face flamed with in­con­ceiv­able ha­tred—"who came to tell me just how an Amer­i­can first- class Conic Paper shouldbe con­duct­ed"

"At what time does your rush of sub­scribers cease?"

"As soon as I begin to charge any­thing for my paper."

"And the news­men, who take it by the week,—what is their usual time for swarm­ing in your of­fice?" "On the day ap­point­ed for the re­turn of un­sold copies."

"Then I have an idea," said Mr. DIB­BLE. 'Tt ap­pears to me, Mr. BENI­HAM, that your of­fice, be­sides being so near Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON'S quar­ters, fur­nish­es all the con­di­tions for a per­fect­ly pri­vate con­fi­den­tial in­ter­view be­tween this young lady here, and her frieal, Miss PEN­DRAG­ON. Mr. SIMP­SON, if you ap­prove, be kind enough to ac­quaint Mr. BEN­THAM with Miss POTTS'S his­to­ry, with­out men­tionirg names; and ex­plain to him, also, why the ladies' in­ter­view should take place in a spot whith­er that sin­gu­lar young man, Mr. BUM­STEAD, would not be like­ly to prowl, if in town, in his in­spec­tion of un­brel­las."

The Gospel­er hur­ried­ly re­lat­ed the ma­te­ri­al points of FLORA'S his­to­ry to his re­cov­ered friend, who moaned with all the more cheer­ful parts, and seemed to think that the se­ri­ous ones night be worked-up in conic miss-spelling for his paper.—"For there is noth­ing more hu­mor­ous in human life," said he, gboni­ty, "than the de­fec­tive or­thog­ra­phy of a fash­ion­able young girl's ed­u­ca­tion for the solem­ni­ty of mat­ri­mo­ny."

Fi­nal­ly, they all set off for the ap­point­ed place of re­tire­ment, upon rear­ing which Mr. DIB­BLE vol­un­teered to re­main out­side as a guard against any pos­si­ble in­ter­rup­tion. The Gospel­er led the way up the dark stairs ofthe build­ing when they had gained it; and the Flow­er­pot, fol­low­ing on JERE­MY BENI­HAM S arm, could not help glanc­ing shyly up into the melan­choly face ofher es­cort, oc­ca­sion­al­ly. "Do you never smile?" she could not help ask­ing

'Yes,"he said, mourn­ful­ly, 'Isome­times: whenl clean my teeth."

No more was said; for they were en­ter­ing the room of which the tone and at­mo­sphere were those of a re­ceiv­ing-vault XI] Shades of QUINT­TI­IAN and Dr. JOHN­SON, what a sen­ter­ce!

[Foot­note 2] Quite in­de­pen­dent­ly of any spe­cif­ic de­sign to that end by the Adapter, this Adap­ta­tion, care­ful­ly fol­low­ing the orig­i­nal En­glish nar­ra­tive as it does, can not avoid act­ing as a kind of prac­ti­cal—and, of course, some­what ex­ag­ger­a­tive—com­men­tary upon what is strained, forced, or out of the line of av­er­age prob­a­bil­i­ties, in the work Adapt­ed.

CHAP­TER XXII
A CON­FUSED STATE OF THINGS

The prin­ci­pal of­fice of the Conic Paper was one of those amaz­ing­ly un­sym­pa­thet­ic rooms in which the walls, win­dows and doors all have a stif£ un­salient as­pect of the most hard-fin­ished in­dif­fer­ence to every emo­tion of hu­man­i­ty, and a per­fect­ly rigid in­sen­si­bil­i­ty to the plea­sures or pains of the ten­ants with­in their im­pas­sive shel­ter. In the whole con­fig­u­ra­tion of the heart­less, un­cha­iac­ter­ized place there was not one gra­cious in­equal­i­ty to lean against; not a ledgs to rest elbow upon; not a panel, not even a stove-pipe hole, to be­come dear­ly fa­mil­iar to the wist­ful eye; not so nuch as a gsr­ri­al crack in the plas­ter­ing or a com­pan­ion­able rat­tle in a case­ment, or a lit­tle human ob­sti­na­cy in a door to base some kind of an ac­quain­tance upon and make one less lone­ly. Through the grim, un­twin­kling win­dows, gap­ing sul­len­ly the wrong way with iron shut­ters, came a dis­cour­agsd light, strained through the nar­row in­ter­vals of the dusty roofs above, to dis­cov­er a largs cof­fin-co­bred desk sur­mount­ed by ghast­ly busts ofHER­VEY, KEBLE and blair;J31 a small­er desk, over which hung a pic­ture of the Tonb of WASH­ING­TON, and at which sat a pal­lid as­sis­tant-ed­i­tor in deep mourn­ing open­ing the comic con­tri­bu­tions re­ceived by last mail; a still small­er desk, for the nom­i­nal writ­er of sub­scrip­tion- wrap­pers; files of the Evan­ge­list, Ob­serv­er and Chris­tian Union hang­ing along the wall; a dead car­pet of church­yard-green on the floor; and a print of Mr. PARKE GOD­WIN just above the man­tel of mon­u­men­tal mar­ble.

Upon find­ing them­selves in this tem­ple of Monus, and ob­serv­ing that its pe­cu­liar ar­range­ment of sun­shine made their com­plexb­ns look as though they had been dead a few days, Gospel­er SIMP­SON and the Flow­er­pot in­vol­un­tar­i­ly spoke in whis­pers be­hind their hands.

"Does that roombeb­ng to your es­tab­lish­ment, also, BEN­THAM?" whis­pered the Gospel­er, point­ing rather fear­ful­ly, as he spoke, to­wards a side-door lead­ing ap­par­ent­ly into an ad­join­ing? apart­ment

'Yes," was the bw re­sponse.

"Is there—is there any­body dead in there?" whis­pered Mr. SIMP­SON, trenubus­ly. "No—Not yet"

"Then," whis­pered the Rit­u­al­is­tic cler­gy­man, "you might step in there, Miss POTTS, and have your in­ter­view with Miss PEN­DRAG­ON, whom Mr. BEN­THAM wfll, I am sure, cause to be sum­moned from up-stairs."

The as­sis­tant-ed­i­tor of the Comic Paper steal­ing soft­ly from the of­fice to call the other young lady down, Mr. JERE­MY BEN­THAM made a sign that FLORA should folbw him to the sup­ple­men­tary room in­di­cat­ed; his bw- spir­it­ed man­ner being as though he had said: 'Tf you wish to look at the body, miss, I will now show you the way."

Leav­ing the Gospel­er bst in dark ab­strac­tion near the black man­tel, the Fb­w­er­pot alb­wed the sex­ton of the es­tab­lish­ment to con­duct her fu­ne­re­al­ly into the place as­signed for her in­ter­view, and stopped aghast be­fore a hugs black ob­ject stand­ing there­in.

"What? s this?" she psped, al­most hys­ter­i­cal­ly.

"Only a safe," said Mr. BEN­THAM, with in­ex­pli­ca­ble bit­ter­ness of tone. 'Mere­ly our fire-and-bur­glar-proof re­cep­ta­cle for the money con­stant­ly pour­ing in from first-class Amer­i­can Comic jour­nal­ism"—Here Mr. BEN­THAM slapped his fore­head pass­b­nate­ly, checked some­thing like a sob in his throat, and abrupt­ly re­turned to the main of­fice.

Scarce­ly, how­ev­er, had he cbsed the door of com­rn­mi­ca­tion be­hind him, when an­oth­er door, open­ing from the hall, was noise­less­ly un­latched, and MAG­NO­LIA PEN­DRAG­ON glid­ed into the arms offer frier­al.

"FLORA!" nur­nured the South­ern girl, '1 can scarce­ly cred­it my eyes! It seems so long since we last met! You've been get­ting a new bon­net, I see."

"It's like an ab­surd dream!" re­spond­ed the Fb­w­er­pot, won­deringa ca­ress­ing her. 'Tve thought of you and your poor, ridicu­lous broth­er twen­ty times a day. How nuch you nust have gone through here! Are they wear­ing skirts fuU, or scant, this sea­son?"

"About medi­um, dear. But how do you hap­pen to be here, in Mr. BEN­THAM S of­fice?"

In an­swer to this ques­tion, FLORA re­lat­ed all that bad hap­pened at Bum­steadville and since her flight from thence; con­clud­ing by warn­ing MAG­NO­LIA, that her pos­ses­sion of a black фаса waist, slight­ly worn, had sub­ject­ed her to the omi­nous sus­pi­cion of the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist

'I scorn and defy the sus­pi­cions of that enemy of the per­se­cut­ed South, and high-hand­ed wooer of ex­clu­sive­ly North­ern women!" ex­claimed Miss PEN­DRAG­ON, vete­mer­Hy. 'Ts this Mr. BEN­THAM mar­ried?"

'I sup­pose not"

'Is he vis­it­ing асу one?"

'I shouldn't think so, dear."

'Then," added MAG­NO­LIA, thouait­My, "if dear Mr. DIB­BLE ap­proves, he mght be a friend to MONT­GOMERY and my­self, and, by being so near us, pro­tect us both from Mr. BUM­STEAD. Just think, dear FLORA, what heaps of sor­row I should en­dure, if that base maris sus­pi­cion about my фаса waist should be only a pre­tence, to fright­en me into ul­ti­mate­ly re­ceiv­ing his ad­dress­es."

'I don't think there's асу clanger, bve," said Miss POTTS, rather sharply.

"Why, FLORA precbus?"

"Oh, be­cause he's so ab­surd­ly fas­tid­i­ous, you know, about reg­u­lar­i­ty of fea­tures in women."

"More than he is about brains, I should think, dear, from what you tell me of his mak­ing bve to you"

Here both young ladies trem­bled very mich, and said they never, never would have be­lieved it of each other; and were only rec­on­ciled when FLORA sobbed that she was a poor un­mar­ried or­phan, and Miss PEN­DRAG­ON moaned piteous­ly that an un­wed­ded South­ern girl with­out money had bet­ter go away some­where in the desert, with her crushed broth­er, and die at once for their down-trod­den sec­tion Then, in­deed, they em­braced tear­ful­ly, and, in proof of the per­fect restora­tion of their de­vot­ed friend­ship, agreed never to marry if they could avoid it, and told each other the prices of all their best cbthes.

'You won't tell your broth­er that I've been here?" said the Fb­w­er­pot 'Tm so ab­surd­ly afraid that he can't help blam­ing me for caus­ing some ofhis trou­ble."

'Can't I tell him, even if it would serve to anuse him in his des­o­la­tion?" asked the sis­ter, per­sua­sive­ly. 'T want to see him smile again, just as he does some days when a hand-or­gan-man's mon­key cbibs up to our win­dows from the street"

"Well, you may tell him, then, you ab­surd thing!" re­turned FLORA, blush­ing; and, with an­oth­er en­brace, they part­ed, and the deeply mo­men­tous in­ter­view was over.

When Miss POTTS aral Mr. SIMP­SON re­joined Mr. DIB­BLE, in tte of­fice of the lat­ter, across tte street, it was deck­led that tte flighty young girl should be made less ex­pen­sive to her friends by tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion in an eco­nom­i­cal board­ing-house, and that the Gospel­er, re­turn­ing to Bum­steadville, should per­suade Miss CAROWTHERS to come and stay with her until the time for the re­open­ing of the Macas­sar Fe­male Col­lege.

Sub­se­quent­ly, with his home­less ward upon his arm, the be­nig­nant old lawyer un­der­went a se­ries of scathing re­buffs from the var­i­ous high-strung de­scen­dants of­bet­ter days at whose once lux­u­ri­ous but now dark­ened homes he ap­plied for the de­sired board. Time after time was he re­mind­ed, by un­speak­ably ma­jes­tic mid­dle-aged ladies with bass voic­es, that when a fine old fam­i­ly bses its for­mer wealth by those vi­cis­si­tudes of for­tune which bring out the no­blest traits of char­ac­ter and com­pel the let­ting-out of a few damp rooms, it is sig­nif­i­cant of a weak un­der­stand­ing or a de­praved dis­re­spect of the dig­ni­ty of ad­ver­si­ty, to ex­pect that such fam­i­lies shall bse money and bwer their hered­i­tary high tone by wait­ing upon a par­cel of young girls. A few Sin­gle Gen­tle­men de­sir­ing all the com­forts of a home would not be con­sid­ered in­sult­ing un­less they ob­ject­ed to the but­ter, and a cou­ple of mar­ried Child­less Gen­tle­men with their wives might be par­doned for re­spect­ful­ly ap­ply­ing but the idea of a par­cel of young girls! Wher­ev­er he went, the re­proach of not being a few Sin­gle Gen­tle­men, or a, cou­ple of mar­ried Child­less Gen­tle­men with their wives, abashed Mr. DIB­BLE into help­less re­treat; while FLORA'S in­creas­ing guilty con­scbus­ness of the im­pla­ca­ble sen­ti­ment against her as a par­cel of young girls, cul­mi­nat­ed at last in tears. Fi­nal­ly, when the mis­er­able lawyer was be­gin­ning to think strong­ly of the House of the Good Shep­herd, or the Or­phan Asy­lum, as a last re­sort, it sud­den­ly oc­curred to him that Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN, a dis­tant wid­owed aunt of his clerk, Mr. BLADAMS, had been known to live upon board­ers in Bleeck­er Street; and thith­er he dragged hasti­ly the de­spised ob­ject on his arm

Being a widow with­out chil­dren, and re­lieved of near­ly all the weak­ness­es ofher sex by the sys­tem­at­ic re­fusal of the op­po­site sex to give her any en­cour­age­ment in them, Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN was a re­lent­less ad­vo­cate of Woman's In­alien­able Rights, and only wished that Man could just see him­self in that con­temptible light in which he was dis­tinct­ly vis­i­ble to One who, soon­er than be his Legal Slave, would never again ac­com­pa­ny him to the Altar.

'I tell you can­did­ly, DIB­BLE," said she, in an­swer to his ap­pli­ca­tion, "that if you had ap­plied to be taken your­self I should have said 'Never!' and at once called in the po­lice. Since SKAM­MER­HORN died deliri­ous, I have al­ways re­fused to have his sex in the house, and I tell you, frankly, that I con­sid­er it hard­ly human If this girl of yours, how­ev­er, and the el­der­ly fe­male whom, you say, she ex­pects to join her in a few days, will make them­selves gen­er­al­ly use­ful about the house, and try to be com­pan­ions to me, I can give them the very room where SKAM­MER­HORN died."

Per­ceiv­ing that FLORA turned pale, her guardian whis­pered to her that she would not be alone in the room, at any rate; and then re­spect­ful­ly asked whether the late Mr. SKAM­MER­HORN had ever been seen around the house since his death?

'To be frank with you," an­swered the widow, "I did think that I came upon him once in the clos­et, with his back to me, as often I'd seen the weak crea­ture in life gping after a bot­tle on the top shelf But it was only his coat hang­ing there, with his boots stand­ing below and my nuff hang­ing over to look like his head."

'You think, then," said Mr. DIB­BLE, in­quir­ing­ly, "that it is such a room as two ladies could oc­cu­py, with­out awak­ing at mid­night with a strange sen­sa­tion and think­ing they felt a su­per­nat­u­ral pres­ence?"

"Not if the bed was right­ly searched be­fore­hand, and all the joints well pep­pered with mag­net­ic pow­der," was the as­sur­ing an­swer. 'Could we see the room, madam?"

'If the shut­ters were open you could; as they're not;" re­turned the widow, not of­fer­ing to stir, 'but ever since SKAM­MER­HORN, start­ing up with a howl, said 'Here he comes again, red-hot!' and tried to jump out of the win­dow, I've never opened them for any sin­gle man, and never shall I couldn't bear it, DIB­BLE, to see one of your sex in that room again, and hope you will not in­sist"

Bro­ken in spir­it as he was by pre­ced­ing hu­mil­i­a­tions, the old lawyer had not the heart to con­test the point, and it was agreed, that, upon the ar­rival of Miss CAROWTHERS from Bum­steadville, she and FLORA should ac­cept the mem­o­rable room in ques­tion

Upon their way back to the hotel, guardian and ward met Mr. BEN­THAM, who, from the mo­ment of­be­com­ing a char­ac­ter in their Story, had been pos­sessed with that mys­te­ri­ous mad­ness for open-air ex­er­cise which af­flict­ed every ac­quain­tance ofthe late EDWIN DROOD, and now salut­ed them in the broil­ing street and solemn­ly be­sought their com­pa­ny for a long walk. "It has oc­curred to me," said the Conic Paper man, who had re­sumed his black worsted gloves, "that Mr. DIB­BLE and Miss POTTS may be wflKrg to aid me in walk­ing-off some ofthe dark­er sui­ci­dal in­cli­na­tions in­ci­dent to first-class Hu­mor­ous Jour­nal­ism in Amer­i­ca Read­ing the 'proof of an in­stal­ment of a comic se­ri­al now pub­lish­ing in my paper, I con­tract­ed such gloom, that a fran­tic rush into the fresh air was my only hope of on es­cape from self de­struc­tion. Let us walk, if you please."

Led on, in the pro­found­est melan­choly, by this chas­tened char­ac­ter, Mr. DIB­BLE and the Flow­er­pot were present­ly toil­ing hotly through a suc­ces­sion of grievous side-streets, and for­lorn short-cuts to dis­mal fer­ries; the state of their con­duc­tor's spir­its in­clin­ing him to find a cer­tain re­fresh­ing­ly solemn joy in the hor­rors of­pedes­tri­an­ism im­posed by ob­struc­tions of mer­chan­dise on side-walks, and re­peat­ed cünbings over skids ex­tend­ing from store doors to drays. In­spired to an ex­traor­di­nary flow of ma­lig­nant an­i­mal spir­its by the com­plex­i­ties of trav­el in­ci­dent to the odor­ous mazes of some hun­dred odd kegs of salt mack­er­el and boxes of­brown soap im­pres­sive­ly stacked be­fore one very en­ter­pris­ing Com­mis­sion house, Mr. BEN­THAM light­ened the jour­ney with anec­dotes of self made Com­mis­sion men who had risen in life by break­ing human legs and city or­di­nances; and dwelt emo­tion­al­ly upon the scenes in the city hos­pi­tals where ladies and gen­tle­men were brought in, with nails from the hoops of sug­ar-hogsheads stick­ing into their feet, or limbs dis­lo­cat­ed from too-lofti­ly piled firkins of but­ter falling upon them Through in­cred­i­ble hard­ships, and amongst as­tound­ing com­pli­ca­tions of horse-cars, tar­get com­pa­nies, and bar­rels of ev­ery­thing Mr. BENI­HAM also amosed his friends with cir­cuits of sev­er­al ofthe fine pub­lic mar­kets ofNew York; ex­plain­ing to them the re­la­tions ofthe var­i­ous mi­as­mat­ic smells of those quaint ed­i­fices with the var­i­ous dev­as­tat­ing dis­eases ofthe day, and ex­pa­ti­at­ing quite elo­quent­ly upon the po­lit­i­cal cor­rup­tion in­volved in the rent­ing ofthe stalls, and the fine open­ings there were for Cholera and Yel­low Fever in the Fish and Veg­etable de­part­ments. Then, as a last treat, he led his pant­ing com­pan­ions through sev­er­al live­ly up-hill blocks of drug-nils and to­bac­co firms, to where they had a dis­tant view of a ten­e­ment house next door to a kerosene fac­to­ry, where, as he vi­va­cious­ly told them, in the event of a fire, at least one hun­dred human be­ings would be slow­ly done to a tum. After which all three re­turned from their walk, firm­ly con­vinced that an unc­tu­ous vein of humor had been con­sci­en­tious­ly worked, and ab­stract­ed­ly wish­ing them­selves dead.

The ex­hil­a­rat­ing ef­fect ofthe ge­nial Conic Paper man upon FLORA did not, in­deed, pass away, until she and Miss CAROWTHERS were in their ap­point­ed quar­ters under the roof of Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN, whith­er they went im­me­di­ate­ly upon the ar­rival ofthe elder spin­ster from Burasteadville.

"It could have been wished, my good woman," said Miss CAROWTHERS, cast­ing a rather dis­parag­ing look around the death- cham­ber ofthe late Mr. SKAM­MER­HORN, "that you had as­signed to ed­u­cat­ed sin­gle young ladies, like our­selves, an apart­ment less sug­ges­tive of Man in his wed­ded as­pects. The spec­ta­cle ofa pair of pegged boots stick­ing out from under a bed, and a razor and a hone grouped on the man­tle-shelfa is not such as I should de­sire to en­cour­age in the dor­mi­to­ry ofa pupil under my tu­ition."

"That's mrhto be de­plored, I'm sure, CAROWTHERS," re­turred Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN, severe­ly, "arxf sorry ami that I ever mar­ried, on that par­tic­u­lar ac­count Td not have done it, if you'd only told me. But, see­ing that I mar­ried SKAM­MER­HORN, and then he died deliri­ous, his boots and razor most re­main, just as he often wished to throw the for­mer at me in his rav­ings. Once mar­ried is enough, say I; and those who never were, through hav­ing no pro­pos­als, nust bear with those who have, and take things as they come."

'There are those, I'd have you know, Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN, to whom pro­pos­als have been no in­duce­ment," said Miss CAROWTHERS, sharply, "or, if­be­ing made, and then with­drawn, have given our sex op­por­tu­ni­ties to prove, in courts of law, that dam­ages can still be got I'm afraid of no Man, my good woman, as a per­son named BLODGE1T once learned froma jury, but boots and ra­zors are not what I would have fa­mil­iar to the mind of one who never had a hus­band to die in rag­ing tor­ments, nor yet has sued for breach"

"Miss POTTS is but a chick­en, Til admit," re­tort­ed Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN; 'but you're not such, CAROWTHERS, by many a good year. On the con­trary, quite a hen Then, you being with her, if the boots and razor make her think she sees that poor, weak SKAM­MER­HORN a-rang­ing round the room, when in his grave it is his place to be, you've only got to say 'A fool you are, and al­ways were,'—as often I, nysel£ called at him in his life­time,—and off he'H go into his tomb again for fear of broom­sticks."

'FLORA, my dear," said Miss CAROWTHERS, turn­ing with dig­ni­ty to her pupil, "if I know any­thing of human na­ture, the man who has once got away from here, will stay away. Only sin­gle ghosts have at­tach­ments for the hous­es in which they once lived. So, never mind the boots and razor, dar­ling which, after all, if seen by ped­dlers, or men who come to fix the gas, might keep us safe from rob­bers."

"As safe as any man him­self young woman, with pis­tols under his head that he would never dare to fire if rob­bers were no more than cats ram­pag­ing" added Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN, en­thu­si­as­ti­cal­ly. "With noth­ing but an old black hat of SKAM­MER­HORN'S, and walk­ing-cane, kept hang­ing in the hall, I haven't lost a spoon by tramps or cen­sus tak­ers for six mor­tal years. So, make your­selves at home, I beg you both, while I go down and cook the liver for our din­ner. You'll find it ten­der as a chick­en, after what you've broke your teeth upon in board­ing-schools; though SKAM­MER­HORN de­clared it made him bil­ious in the sec­ond year, for­get­ting what he'd drank with sugpr to his taste, be­fore­hand"

Thus was sweet FLORA POTTS in­tro­duced to her new home; where, but for look­ing down from her win­dows at the fash­ions, mak­ing up hun­dreds of­bows of rib­bons for her neck, and mak­ing-over all her dress­es, her woman's mind most have been a blank What time Miss CAROWTHERS told her all day how she looked in this or that style of wear­ing her hair, and read her to sleep each night with ex­tracts from the pages of cheery HAN­NAH MORE. As for the ob­ject near­est her young heart, to say that she was whol­ly un­ruf­fled by it would be in­ac­cu­rate; but by ad­dress she kept it hid­den from all eyes save her own

[Foot­note 1] Or­di­nary read­ers, while ad­mir­ing the heavy humor of this un­ex­pect­ed open-air episode, may won­der what on earth it has to do with the the Story, but the cul­ti­vat­ed few, un­der­stand­ing the in­ge­nious me­chan­ics of nov­el-writ­ing, will ap­pre­ci­ate it as a most skil­ful and happy de­vice to cover the in­ter­val be­tween the hir­ing of Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN's room, and the oc­cu­pa­tion there­of­by FLORA and her late teach­er—an­oth­er in­stance of what our pro­found­ly crit­i­cal Amer­i­can jour­nals call 'lartis­tic—elab­o­ra­tion" (See cor­re­spond­ing Chap­ter of the orig­i­nal En­glish Story)

CHAP­TER XXIII
GOING HOME IN THE MORN­ING

After hav­ing thrown all his Rit­u­al­is­tic friends at home into a most un­holy and ex­as­per­at­ed con­di­tion of mind, by a steady se­ries of vague re­marks as to the ex­treme like­li­hood of their unit­ed im­pli­ca­tion in the pos­si­ble deed of dark­ness by which he has bst a broad­cloth nephew and an al­paca un­brel­la, the mourn­ful Mr. BUM­STEAD is once more await­ing the dawn in that pop­u­lar re­treat in Mul­ber­ry Street where he first con­tract­ed his taste for cloves. The As­sis­tant-As­ses­sor and the Al­der­man of the Ward are again there, tilt­ed back against the wall in their chairs; their shares in the Con­gress­b­nal Nom­i­nat­ing Con­ven­tion held in that room ear­li­er in the night hav­ing left them too weary for fur­ther lo­co­mo­tion The de­canters and tum­blers hurled by the Nom­i­nat­ing Con­ven­tion over the ques­tion of which Irish­man could drink the most to be nom­i­nat­ed, are still scat­tered about the floor, here and there a for­got­ten slung­shot marks the places where rival del­e­ga­tions have con­fi­dent­ly pre­sent­ed their claims for recog­ni­tion; and a few bul­let-holes in the wall above the bar enu­mer­ate the var­i­ous paus­es in the great de­bate upon the per­ils of the pub­lic peace from Negro Suf­frage.

Re­clin­ing with great ease of at­ti­tude upon an un­cush­ioned set­tee, the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist is aroused from dreamy slum­ber by the turn­ing-over of the pipe in his mouth, and ma­jes­ti­cal­ly mo­tions for the ven­er­a­ble woman of the house to come and brush the ashes from his clothes.

"Wud yezhave it filled again, honey?" asks the woman 'Sure, wan pipe more would do ye no har­rum" Tntoosh­leepy," he says, drop­ping the pipe.

"An' are yez too shlapey, asthore, to talk a lit­tle bissi­ness wid an ould woman?" she asks, in­sin­u­at­ing­ly. "Couldn't yez be af­ther payin' me the bit av a schore I've got agin ye?"

Mr. BUM­STEAD opens his eyes re­proach­ful­ly, and wish­es to know how she can dare talk about money mat­ters to an or­gan­ist who, at al­most any mo­ment, may be obliged to see a Chi­na­man hired in his place on ac­count of cheap­ness?

'Could the haythen cray­ture play, thin?" she asks, won­deringa.

'Thair­vairim­i­ta­tive," he tells her;—'Cook­wash­iron' rf eat­bird­snests."

"An' vote would they, honey?"

'Yesh—'f course—thair­vairim­i­ta­tive, I tely1," snarls he: "do'tcheap­zdirt"

"Is it vote chaper they would, the haythen naygurs, than daycint, hard­workiri white nin?" she asks, ex­cit­ed­ly. 'Yesh. Chi­nesecheap­la­bor," he says, bit­ter­ly.

'Och, hone!" cries the woman, in an­guish; "and fhats the poor to do then, honey?"

'Gow­est; go'nfarm!" sobs Mr. BUM­STEAD, shed­ding tears. 'Td go rri­self if a-hadrft bst dear-er-rerel­a­tive.—NepheWn' um­brel­la."

"Saint PAY­I­HER! an' fhats that?"

"ED­WINS!" cries the un­hap­py or­gan­ist, start­ing to his feet with a wild reel 'Th' pride of­sun­cle'sheart! I see 'mnow, irish'fectb­nate­man­hood, with whale­bone ribs, made 'f al­paca, andyet­soy­oung. 'Help me!' hic­cries; 'PEN­DRAG­ON'sash'nate'n me!' Mc­cries—and I go!"

While ut­ter­ing this ex­traor­di­nary burst of feel­ing he has ad­vanced to­wards the door in a kind of de­mo­ni­ac can-can, and, at its close, abrupt­ly darts into the street and fran­ti­cal­ly makes off

'The cross of the holy fa­thers!" ejac­u­lates the woman, mo­men­tar­i­ly be­wil­dered by this sud­den ter­mi­na­tion of the scene. Then a new ex­press­bn comes swift­ly over her face, and she adds, in a dif­fer­ent tone, "Ode­ther-node­ther, but its coonin' as a fox he is, and its off he's gone again wid­out payirf me the schore! Sure, but Til folbw him, if it s to the wur­ruld's ind, and see fhat he is and where he is."

Thus it hap­pens that she reach­es Bum­stead­vi­He al­most as soon as the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, and, folb­winghim­to his board­ing-house, en­coun­ters Mr. TRACEY CLEWS upon the steps.

'Well, now!" calls that gen­tle­man, as she looks in­quir­ing­ly at him "who do you want?"

"Him as just passed in, your Honor."

'Mr. BUM­STEAD?"

"Ah. Where does he play the organ?"

"In St Cow's Church, down yon­der. Mass at seven o'clock, and he'll be there in half an hour."

"It's there Tllbe, thin," ram­bles the woman; "and bad luck to it that I didn't know be­fore; whin I came to ax him for me schore, and might have gone home wid­out a cint but for a good lad named EDDY who gave me a sthamp.—The same EDDY, I'mthinkiri, that I've heard him nut­ter about in his shlape at my she­bang in town, whin he came there on po­lit­i­cal busi­ness."

After a start and a pause, Mr. CLEWS re­peats his in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the Rit­u­al­is­tic church, and then cau­tious­ly fol­lows the woman as she goes thith­er.

Un­con­scious of the re­mark­able fe­male fig­ure in­tent­ly watch­ing him from under a cor­ner of the gallery, and oc­ca­sion­al­ly shak­ing a fist at him, Mr. BUM­STEAD at­tends to the nu­si­cal­pait of the ser­vice with as mich artis­tic ac­cu­ra­cy as a hasty head-bath and a glass of so­da-wa­ter are ca­pa­ble of se­cur­ing The wor­ship­pers are too busy with ris­ings, kneelin­ga, bow­ingg, and mis­cel­la­neous de­vout gym­nas­tics, to heed his ca­su­al im­per­fec­tions, and his headache makes him fierce­ly in­dif­fer­ent to what any one else may think.

Con­ing out of the ath­let­ic ed­i­fice, Mr. CLEWS comes upon the woman again, who seems ex­cit­ed

"Well?" he says.

"Sure he saw me in time to ship out of a back dure," she re­turns, sav­age­ly, 'but ifs shtrait to his bo­ord­ing house Tm going afi­her him, the spalpeen."

Again Mr. TRACEY CLEWS fol­lows her; but this time he al­lows her to go up to Mr. BUM­STEADS room, while he turns into his own apart­ment where his break­fast awaits him "I can make a chalk mark for the trail I've struck to-day," he says; and then thought­ful­ly at­tacks the meal upon the tabled

[2] At this point, the En­glish orig­i­nal of this Adap­ta­tion—the 'Mys­tery of ED­WIN DROOD"—breaks off for­ev­er.


CHAP­TER XXIV
MR CLEWS AT HIS NOVEL

Thrown into Ren­brandtish re­lief by the light of a gar­ish kerosene lamp upon the table: with one dis­cour­aged lock of hair hang­ing over his nose, and straw hat pushed so fir back from his phreno­log­i­cal brow that its vast rim had the fine artis­tic ef­fect of a luge saint­ly nim­bus: Mr. BUM­STEAD sat gy­n­mas­ti­cal­ly cross­wise in an easy-chair, over an arm of which his slen­der lower linbs limply dan­gled, and elab­o­rate­ly per­formed one of the grander works of BACH upon an ir­ri­ta­ble ac­cor­dion. Now, wink­ing with in­tense ra­pid­i­ty, and going through the nus­cu­lar mo­tions of an ex­citable per­son res­o­lute­ly pulling out an ob­sti­nate and in­ex­pli­ca­ble draw­er from some­where about his knees, he pro­duced sus­tained and mourn­ful notes, as of ca­nine dis­tress in the back­yard; anon, with eyes near­ly closed and the straw rrin­bus slid­ing still fur­ther back, his ma­nip­u­la­tion was that of an ex­ces­sive­ly weary gen­tle­man slow­ly com­press­ing a large sponge, there­by squeez­ing out cer­tain chok­ing snort­ing gut­tural sounds, as of a class softy study­ing the Ger­man lan­guage in an­oth­er room; and, fi­nal­ly, with an im­pa­tient start from the un­ex­pect­ed slum­ber into which the last shaky pi­anis­si­mo had mo­men­tar­i­ly be­trayed him, he caught the un­tamed in­stru­ment in mid-air, just as it was treach­er­ous­ly get­ting away from him, fran­ti­cal­ly bal­anced it there for an in­stant on all his clutch­ing fin­ger-tips, and had it pris­on­er again for a re­new­al of the weird sym­pho­ny.

Se­ri­ous­ly of­fend­ed at the dis­cov­ery that he could not drop asleep in his own room, for a minute, with­out the nusic stop­ping and the ac­cor­dion try­ing to slip offa the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist was not at all soft­ened in tem­per by al­most si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly re­al­iz­ing that the far­ther skirt of his bng linen coat was stand­ing out near­ly straight from his per­son, and, ap­par­ent­ly, flut­terirg in a heavy draught

'Who's-been-ope'niri-th'-win­dow?" he stern­ly asked, 'Whafs-mear­ring-'f-such-a-gale-at this­time-'f-year?"

'Do I in­trude?" in­quired a voice cbse at hand.

Look­ing very care­ful­ly along the still ex­tend­ed skirt of his coat to­wards ex­act­ly the point of the com­pass from which the voice seemed to come, Mr. BUM­STEAD at last awoke to the con­vic­tion that the ten­sion of his gar­ment and its breezy ag­i­ta­tion were caused by the tug­ging of a human fig­ure.

"Do I in­trude?" re­peat­ed Mr. TRACEY CLEWS, drop­ping the skirt as he spoke. "Have I pre­sumed too great­ly in con­ing to re­quest the favor of a short pri­vate in­ter­view?"

Slip­ping quick­ly into a more gen­teel but rather rigid po­si­tion on his chair, the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist made an airy pass at him with the ac­cordbn.

"Any doors where youwas­bom, sir?"

'There were, Mr. BUM­STEAD."

'Peo­ple ever knock whenth' want­ed t-come-in, sir?"

"Why, I did knock at your door," an­swered Mr. CLEWS, con­cil­i­at­ing­ly. 'T knocked and knocked, but you kept on play­ing and after I fi­nal­ly took the lib­er­ty to come in and pull you by the coat, it was ten min­utes be­fore you found it out"

In an at­tempt to look into the speak­er's in­most soul, Mr. BUM­STEAD fell into a doze, from which the crash of his ac­cor­dion to the floor aroused him in time to be­hold a very cu­ri­ous pro­ceed­ing on the part of Mr. CLEWS. That gen­tle­man suc­ces­sive­ly peered up the chim­ney, through the win­dows, and under the fur­ni­ture of the room, and then stealthi­ly took a seat near his rather lan­guid ob­serv­er.

'Mr. BUM­STEAD, you know me as a tem­po­rary board­er under the same roof with you Other peo­ple know me mere­ly as a dead- beat May I trust you with a se­cret?"

A pair of­blurred and glassy eyes looked into his from under a huge straw hat, and a husky ques­tion fol­lowed his:

"Did y ever read WORDSWORTHS poem-'f-th' Ex­curs­bn, sir?" "Not that I re­men­ber."

"Hen, sir," ex­claimed the or­gan­ist, with spas­mod­ic an­i­ma­tion—"theris not in your hic­spe­ri­ence to know howssleepy-I am-jus'-now." 'You had a nephew," said his sub­tle com­pan­ion, rais­ing his voice, and not ap­pear­ing to heed the last re­mark. "Arf 'num­brel­la," added Mr. BUM­STEAD, fee­bly.

'I say you had a nephew," re­it­er­at­ed the other, "and that nephew dis­ap­peared in a very nys­te­ri­ous man­ner. Now I'm a lit­er­ary man.

'C'd tel that by yr-header­hair," ma­nured the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist "Left y'r wife yet, sir?"

'1 say I'm a lit­er­ary man," per­sist­ed TRACEY CLEWS, sharply. 'T'm going to write a great Amer­i­can Novel, called 'The Am­a­teur De­tec­tive,' found­ed upon the story of this very EDWIN DROOD, and have come to Bum­stead­vi­He to get all the par­tic­u­lars. I've picked up con­sid­er­able from Gospel­er SIMP­SON, JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, and even the woman from the Mul­ber­ry street place who came after you the other morn­ing But now I want to know some­thing from you—What has be­come of your nephew?"

He put the ques­tion sud­den­ly, and with a kind of sup­pressed leap at him whom he ad­dressed Im­mea­sur­able was his sur­prise at the per­fect­ly calm an­swer—

'1 can't r'men­ber hic­s­act­ly, sir."

'Can't re­mem­ber!—Can't re­mem­ber what?"

"Where-I-puft."

"It?"

'Yes. Th' um­brel­la."

"What on earth are you talk­ing about?" ex­claimed Mr. CLEWS, in a rage. "—Come! Wake up!—What have un­brel­las to do with this?"

Rous­ing him­self to some­thing like tem­po­rary con­scious­ness, Mr. BUM­STEAD slow­ly climbed to his feet, and, with a wild kind of swoop, came heav­i­ly down with both hands upon the shoul­ders ofhis ques­tion­er.

"What now?" asked that star­tled per­son­age.

'You want f know 'bout th' un­brel­la?" said BUM­STEAD, with straw hat amaz­ing­ly awry, and linen coat a per­fect map of creas­es. 'Yes!—You're crush­ing ire!" pant­ed Mr. CLEWS.

"Th' un­brel­la!" cried Mr. BUM­STEAD, sud­den­ly with­draw­ing his hands and sway­ing be­fore his vis­i­tor like a linen per­son on springs —"This's what there's 'bout't Where th' um­brel­la is, there is Edwin also?'

As­tound­ed by, this be­wil­der­ing con­fes­sion, and fear­ful that the uncle of Mr. DROOD would be back in his chair and asleep again if he gave him a chance, the ex­cit­ed in­quisi­tor sprang from his chair, and slow­ly and care­ful­ly backed the wild­ly glar­ing ob­ject ofhis so­lic­i­ta­tion until his shoul­ders and el­bows were safe­ty braced against the man­tel-piece. Then, like one in­spired grasped a bot­tle of soda water from the table, and forced the re­viv­ing liq­uid down his star­ing patiertf s throat; as quick­ly tore off his straw hat, newly moist­ened the damp sponge in it at a neigh­bor­ing wash­stard, and re­placed both on the aching head and fi­nal­ly, placed in one ofhis tren­u­fous hands a few cloves from a saucer on the man­tel-shelf

'You are bet­ter now? You can tel me more?" he said rest­ing a mo­ment from his vi­o­lent ex­er­tions.

With the un­set­tled air of one con­ing out of a com­pli­cat­ed dream, Mr. BUM­STEAD chewed the cloves nusirgty, then, after nod­ding ex­ces­sive­ly, with a hideous smile upon his coun­te­nance, sud­den­ly threw an arm about the neck ofhis re­stor­er and wept loud­ly upon his bosom

'My freri," he wailed in a damp voice, "lemme con­fess to you I'm a mis'able man, my ffen'; per­fect­ly mis'able. These cloves— these in­sid­i­ous trop­i­cal spices—have been the­ba­ne­ofhyex­is­tence. On Chrishm's night—that Chrishrris night—I toog­toomany. Wha'scons'q'nce? I put rri nephew ari rri un­brel­la away some­where, an've ne­verb'n able ter­re­men­bersince!"

Still sus­tain­ing his weight, the au­thor of'The Am­a­teur De­tec­tive" at first seemed non­plussed but quick­ly changed his ex­pres­sion to one of abrupt in­tel­li­gence.

"I see, now; I begin to see," he an­swered slow­ly, and al­most in a whis­per. 'On the night of that Christ­mas din­ner here, you were in a clove-trance, and made some se­cret dis­po­si­tion, (which you have not since been able to re­mem­ber,) of your un­brel­la—and nephew. Until very late­ly—until now, when you are near­ly, but not quite, as mich under the in­flu­ence of cloves again—you have had a vague gen­er­al idea that some­body else most have killed Mr. DROOD and stolen your un­brel­la. But now, that you are par­tial­ly in the same con­di­tion, phys­i­o­log­i­cal­ly and psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly, as on the night of the dis­ap­pear­ance, you have once more a par­tial per­cep­tion of what were the facts of the case. Ami right?"

"Hats it, sir. You're a ph'bs'pher," im­mured Mr. BUM­STEAD, try­ing to brush from above his nose the pen­dent lock of hair, which he took for a fly.

"Very well, then," con­tin­ued TRACEY CLEWS, his ex­traor­di­nary head of hair fair­ly bristling with elec­tri­cal an­i­ma­tion: 'You've only to get your­self into ex­act­ly the same cfove-y con­di­tion as on the night of the dou­ble dis­ap­pear­ance, when you put your um­brel­la and nephew away some­where, and you'll re­mem­ber all about it again You have two dis­tinct states of ex­is­tence, you see: a cbven one, and an un­cloven one; and what you have done in one you are to­tal­ly oblivbus of in the other."

Some­thing like an oc­cult wink trem­bled for a mo­ment in the right eye of Mr. BUM­STEAD.

'Tha's ver1 true," said he, thought­ful­ly. 'Tve been 'Mvi­ous rrisel£ fre­quent­ly. Never c'd r'men­ber whar­lowed."

'The idea Tve sug­gest­ed to you for the so­lu­tion of this mys­tery," went on Mr. CLEWS, 'Is ex­pressed by one of the great­est of En­glish writ­ers; who, in his very last work, says;'—in some cases of drunk­en­ness, and in oth­ers of an­i­mal mag­netism, there are two states of con­scious­ness which never clash, but each of which pur­sues its sep­a­rate course as though it were con­tin­u­ous in­stead of bro­ken Thus, if I hide my watch when I am drunk, I most be drunk again be­fore I can re­men­ber where.'[2]"

"I'm nor­radrink'riman, sir," re­turned Mr. BUM­STEAD, draw­ing cold­ly back from him, and es­cap­ing a fill into the fire­place by a dex­ter­ous surge into the near­est chair. "Th' lemon tea which I take for my cold, or to prVer­it the cloves from dis­agree­ing with me, is nor­rin­tox­i­cat­ing."

'Of course not," as­sent­ed his sub­tle coun­sel­lor, 'but, in this coun­try, at least, chron­ic ine­bri­a­tion, clove-eat­ing and even opi­um- tak­ing, are strik­ing­ly alike in their as­pects, and the same rules may be safe­ty ap­plied to all My ad­vice to you is what I have given Cause a table to be spread in this room, ex­act­ly as it was for that mem­o­rable Christ­mas- din­ner, sit down to it ex­act­ly as then, and at the same hour; go through all the same pro­cess­es as near­ly as you can re­mem­ber; and, by the mere force of as­so­ci­a­tion, you will enact all the final per­for­mances with your un­brel­la and your nephew."

Mr. BUM­STEAD S arms were fold­ed tight­ly across his manly breast, and the fine head with the straw hat upon it tilt­ed heav­i­ly to­wards his bosom

'I see't now," said he sofi­ty 'bone han'le 'n fer­ule. I r'mem­ber thresh­ing 'mwith it I can r'memb'r carry'ng—" Here Mr. BUM­STEAD burst into tears, and made a fren­zied dash at the lock ofhair which he again mis­took for a fly.

'To sum up all," con­clud­ed Mr. TRACEY CLEWS, shak­ing him vi­o­lent­ly by the shoul­der, that he might re­main awake long enough to hear it,—"to sum up all, I am sat­is­fied, from the fa­mil­iar knowl­edge of this nastery I have al­ready gained, that the end will have some­thing to do with ex­er­cise in the Open Air! You'll have to go out­doors for some­thing im­por­tant And now good night"

"Goomight, sir."

Re­tir­ing sofi­ty to his own room, under the same roo£ the au­thor of'The Am­a­teur De­tec­tive" sti­fled at him­self­be­fore the mir­ror with marked com­pla­cen­cy. 'You're a bng-head­ed one, my dead-beat friend," he said, arch­ly, "and your great Amer­i­can Novel is like­ly to be a re­spectable suc­cess."

There sound­ed a crash upon a fbor, some­where in the house, and he held his breath to lis­ten It was the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist gping to.

[The few re­main­ing chap­ters with which it is pro­posed to con­clude this Adap­ta­tion of'The Mys­tery ofEd­win Drood" should not be con­strued as in­volv­ing pre­sump­tu­ous at­tempt to di­vine that full so­lu­tion of the lat­ter which the pen of its lament­ed au­thor was not per­mit­ted to reach. No fur­ther cor­re­spon­dence with the tenor of the un­fin­ished En­glish story is in­tend­ed than the Adapter will en­deav­or to jus­ti­fy to his own con­science, and that of his read­er, by at least one un­mis­tak­able fore­shad­ow­ing cir­cum­stance of the orig­i­nal pub­li­ca­tion, which, strange­ly enough, has been whol­ly over­looked, thus fir, by those spec­u­lat­ing upon the fate of the miss­ing hero.]

CHAP­TER XXV
THE SKELE­TON IS MCLAUGH­LINS CLOS­ET

Night, spot­ted with stars, like a black leop­ard, crouched once more upon Bum­stead­vf­fle, and her one eye to be seen in pro­file, the moon, glared upon the help­less place with some­thing of a cat? s noc­tur­nal stare of glassy vi­sion for a stu­pe­fied mouse. Mid­night had come with its twelve tin­kling drops more of opi­ate, to deep­en the stu­por of all things al­most unto death, and still the light shone lurid­ly through the win­dow-cur­tains of Mr. BUM­STEADS room, and still the lone­ly mu­si­cian sat stiffly at a din­ner-table spread for three, where­of only a gob­let, a cu­ri­ous an­tique black bot­tle, a bowl of sugpr, a saucer of lemon-slices, a de­canter of water, and a saucer of cloves ap­peared to have been used by the soli­tary diner.

Un­con­scious that, through the door ajar at his back, a pair of vig­i­lant human orbs were upon him, the rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist, who was in very low spir­its, drew an ema­ci­at­ed and rather un­steady hand re­peat­ed­ly across his per­spir­ing brow, and talked in deep bass to him­self

'He came in, afr1 beirf bris­g­ly walked up'n-down the turn­pike byPEN­DRAG­ON, and slammed him­self down-'n-that-chair," ran the so­lil­o­quy, with a ghost­fy nod to­wards an op­po­site chair, drawn back from the table. "Ine­bri­ous boy!' says I, stern­ly, 'how-are-y1- now?1 He said 'PooraweH;' 'rf werf down on-er-floor fes'hleep! I w"s scan'l'ized.—Whowoonbe?—I took rri um­brel­la 'rf thrashed 'm with it, re­mark­ing 'F'shame! waygup! mis'able­boy! 's poorysight-fr-'nun­cle-t? see-'s-nephew-'n-this-p'ff­i­cal-c'ndifn.'—Hslep on; 'rf't last I picked up him, 'rf un­brel­la, 'rf took'm out f some cool place fsh­leep't off Where'd' I take hmrf? Thash­waz­mar­rer —whered' I leave'ni?"

Re­peat­ing this ques­tion to him­self with an al­most fren­zied in­ten­si­ty, the gloony vic­tim of a treach­er­ous mem­o­ry threw an un­earth­ly stare of­b­bod­shot ques­tion­ing all over the room, and, after a sway­ing mo­tion or two of the upper half of his body, pitched for­ward, with his fore­head crash­ing upon the table. In­stant­ly re­cov­er­ing him­self and start­ing to rub­his head, he as sud­den­ly checked that pal­lia­tive pro­cess by a wild run to his feet and a hideous belbw.

"Ir'memb'r, nowГ he ejac­u­lat­ed, walk­ing ex­cit­ed­ly at a se­ries of ob­tuse an­gles all over the apart­ment. 'Got-'t-knocked­in­to-rri- head-'t-last Pau­per bur1! ground—J. MCLAUGH­LIN. Down'n cel­lar—cool­placefe' man's tight—lef ml un­brel­la there by m'stake —go'rf geft­thish­nirft—"

Man­ag­ing, after sev­er­al in­ac­cu­rate aims at the door­way, to plunge into the ad­ja­cent bed­room, he present­ly reap­peared from thence, veer­ing haid-aport, with a light­ed lantern in his right hand. Then, cir­cuitous­ly ap­proach­ing the ne­glect­ed din­ing-table, he grasped with his dis­en­gaged dig­its at the an­tique black bot­tle, missed it, went all the way around the board be­fore he could stop him­self clutched and missed again, went clear around once more, and fi­nal­ly ef­fect­ed the cap­ture. "Th 'peared t be two," he rmt­tered, plac­ing the prize in one of his pock­ets; and, with a tri­umphant stride, made for the half open hall-door through which the eyes had been watch­ing him

The owner of those eyes, and of a sur­pris­ing head of florid hair, had bare­ly time to draw­back into the shad­ow of the cor­ri­dor and no­tice an ap­proach­ing face like that of one walk­ing in his sleep, when the clove-eater swung dispirit­ed­ly by him, with jin­gling lantern, and went fierce­ly bump­ing down the stair­way. Close­ly, with­out sound, fol­lowed the watch­er, and the two, like man and shad­ow, went out from the house into the quar­ry of the moon-eyed black leop­ard.

Fully bound now in the sin­is­ter spell of the spice of the Moluc­ca is­lands, Mr. BUM­STEAD had re­gained that con­di­tion of his du­plex ex­is­tence to which be­longed the dis­po­si­tion he had made of his lethar­gic nephew and aaaca un­brel­la on that con­fused Christ­mas night; and with such re­al­iza­tion of a dis­tinct du­al­i­ty came back to him at least a par­tial rec­ol­lec­tion of where he had put the cher­ished two. Find­ing Mr. E DROOD rather over­come by the more fes­tive fea­tures of the meal,—notwith­stand­ing his walk at mid­night with Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON,—he had al­lowed his avun­cu­lar dis­plea­sure there­at to be­tray it­self in a thresh­ing ad­min­is­tered with the un­brel­la. Ob­serv­ing that the young man still slept be­side the chair from which he fell, he had ul­ti­mate­ly, and with the un­brel­la still under his arm raised the di­shev­elled nephew head-down­ward in his arms, and im­pa­tient­ly con­veyed him from the heat­ed room and house to the coolest re­treat he could think of There de­posit­ing him, and, in his hurry, the un­brel­la also, to sleep of£ under re­viv­ing at­mo­spher­ic in­flu­ences, the un­seem­ly ef­fect of the evenings ban­quet, he had gone back on both sides of the road to his board­ing-house, and, with his boots upon the pil­low, sunk into an in­stan­ta­neous sleep of un­fath­omable depth Dream­ing to­wards morn­ing, that he was en­gag­ing a large boa-con­stric­tor in sin­gle com­bat, and strug­gling en­er­get­i­cal­ly to re­strain the fe­ro­cious rep­tile from get­ting into his boots, he had sud­den­ly awak­ened, with a crash, upon the floor—to miss his un­brel­la and nephew, to for­get where he had put them, and to % to Gospel­er's Gulch with in­co­her­ent charges of larce­ny and manslaugh­ter. All this he could now vague­ly re­call, his pre­sent psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tion, or trance-state, being the same as then; and was going en­tranced­ly back to the hid­ing-place where, with the best of mo­tives, he had for­get­ful­ly left the two ob­jects dear­est to him in life.

On, then, pro­ceed­ed the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist in the tawny light of the black leop­ard's eye: his stealthy fol­low­er trailirg close­ly after in the shade of the road­side trees where the star-spot­ted leop­ard's black paws were plunged deep­est. On he went, in zig-zag pro­fu­sion of steps and oc­ca­sion­al high skips over in­ci­den­tal shad­ows of­branch­es which he for snakes, until the Pau­per Buri­al Ground was reached, and MCLAUGH­LIN'S hid­den sub­ter­ranean re­treat there­in at­tained. It was the same weird spot to which he had been brought by Old MOR­TAR­I­TY on the win­try night of their un­holy ex­plor­ing party, and, with­out ap­pear­ing to be sur­prised that the en­trance to the ex­ca­va­tion was open, he ea­ger­ly de­scend­ed by the rick­ety step-lad­der, and held him­self steady by the lat­ter while throw­ing the light of his lantern around the mouldy walls.

His im­me­di­ate hic­cup, pro­voked by the damp­ness of the sit­u­a­tion, was an­swered by a groan, which, in­stead of­be­ing solid, was very hol­low, and, as he peered vi­va­cious­ly for­ward be­hind his ex­tend­ed lantern, there ad­vanced from a far cor­ner—O, woe­ful man! O, thrice un­hap­py uncle!—the spec­tral fig­ure of the miss­ing EDWIN DROOD!

After a mo­ments in­spec­tion of the ap­pari­tion, which paused ter­ri­bly be­fore him with hand hid­den in breast, Mr. BUM­STEAD placed his lantern upon a step of the lad­der, drew and pro­found­ly labi­at­ed his an­tique black bot­tle, thought­ful­ly crunched a cou­ple of cbves from an­oth­er pock­et—star­ing stoni­ly all the while—and then ad­dressed the youth­ful shade:—"Where's th' un­brel­la?"

'Mon­ster of­for­get­ful­ness! nxird­er­er of mem­o­ry!" spoke the spir­it, stern­ly. "In this, the last rough rest­ing place of the im­pe­cu­nious dead, do you dare to dis­cuss com­mon­place top­ics with one of the de­part­ed? Look at me, uncle, clove-be­fogged, and shrink ap­palled from the dread sight, and pray for mercy"

'Tshthis prop'r lan­guage t ad­dress-f-yr-rel­a­tive?" in­quired Mr. BUM­STEAD, in a severe­ly re­proach­ful man­ner.

"Rel­a­tive!" re­peat­ed the ap­pari­tion, sepul­chral­ly. "What sort of rel­a­tive is he, who, when his sis­ter's or­phaned son is sleep­ing at his feet, con­veys the un­con­scious or­phan, head down­ward, through a mid­night tem­pest, to a place like this, and leaves him here, and then for­gets where he has put hirri?"

'1 give't up," said the or­gan­ist, after a mo­ments con­sid­er­a­tion

'The an­swer is: he's a dead-beat" con­tin­ued the young ghost, bsing his tem­per. "And what, JOHN BUM­STEAD, did you do with my oroide watch and other jew­els?"

'Mushtve spiftm on the road here," re­turned the nus­ing uncle, faint­ly re­mem­ber­ing that they had been found upon the turn­pike, short­ly after Christ­mas, by Gospel­er SIMP­SON. "Are you dead, EDWIN?"

"Did you not bury me here alive, and cbse the open­ing to my tonb, and go away and charge ev­ery­body with my rm­rder?" asked the spec­tre, bit­ter­ly 'O, uncle, hard of head and par­a­lyzed in rec­ol­lec­tion! is it any good ex­cuse for sac­ri­fic­ing my poor life, that, in your cloven state, you put me down a cel­lar, like a pan of mDk, and then could not re­men­ber where you'd put me? And was it noble, then, to go to her whom you sup­posed had been my cho­sen bride, and offer wed­lock to her on your own ac­count?"

'1 was act­ing as yr-ex­ecu­tor, EDWIN," ex­plained the uncle. 'T did eVthing forth' besht"

"And does the sight of me fill you with no ter­ror, no re­morse, un­feel­ing man?" groaned the ghost

"Yeshir," an­swered Mr. BUM­STEAD, with sud­den en­er­gy. 'Yeshir. IWr­rorse­ful on 'count ofth' un­brel­la. Who-d'-y-lend-'t-to?"

It is an in­tel­lec­tu­al char­ac­ter­is­tic of the more ad­vanced de­grees of the cbve-trance, that, while the tranced in­di­vid­u­al can per­ceive ob­jects, even to oc­cas­fon­al du­plex­i­ty, and hear re­marks more or less dis­tinct­ly, nei­ther ob­jects nor re­marks are pos­i­tive­ly as­so­ci­at­ed

by him with any per­spic­u­ous idea Thus, while the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist had a blurred per­cep­tion of his nephew's con­ver­sa­tion­al re­mains, and was dimly con­scious that the tone of the su­per­nat­u­ral re­marks ad­dressed to him­self was not whol­ly con­grat­u­la­to­ry, he still pre­sent­ed a phys­i­cal and moral as­pect of dense in­sen­si­bil­i­ty.

Mo­men­tar­i­ly non­plussed by such un­heard-of calm­ness under a ghost­ly vis­i­ta­tion, the ap­pari­tion, with­out chang­ing po­si­tion, al­lowed it­self to roll one in­quir­ing eye to­wards the open­ing above the step-lad­der, where the moon­light re­vealed an at­ten­tive head of red hair. Catch­ing the glance, the head al­lowed a hand be­long­ing to it to ap­pear at the open­ing and mo­tion down­ward.

"Look there, then," said the in­tel­ligsnt ghost to its uncle, point­ing to the ground near its feet

Mr. BUM­STEAD, rous­ing from a brief doze, glanced in­dif­fer­ent­ly to­wards the spot in­di­cat­ed; but, in an­oth­er in­stant, was on his knees be­side the un­de­fined ob­ject he there be­held. A keen, breath­less scruti­ny, a fren­zied clutch with both hands, and then he was upon his feet again, hold­ing close to the lantern the thing he had found.

The barred light shone on a nusty skele­ton, to which still clung a few mouldy shreds left by the rats; and only the cel­e­brat­ed bone han­dle iden­ti­fied it as what had once been the mad­dened find­er's idol­ized Al­paca Un­brel­la.

"Aha!" twit­ted the ap­pari­tion, "tfen you have sorre heart left, JOHN BUM­STEAD?"

'Heart!" moaned the dis­tract­ed or­gan­ist, fair­ly kiss­ing the dear re­mains, and re­stored to per­fect speech and com­pre­hen­sion by the awful shock '1 had one, but it is bro­ken now!—AHie, my bng-lost AlKe!" he con­tin­ued, ten­der­ly apos­tro­phiz­ing the skele­ton, "do we meet thus at last again?—'What thought is fold­ed in thy leaves! What ten­der thought, what speech­less pain! I hold thy faded lips to mine, Thou dar­ling of the April rain!'

Where is thine old fa­mil­iar al­paca dress, myAl­lie? Where is the canopy that has so often shel­tered thy poor mas­ter's head from the storm? Gone! gone! and through my own for­get­fi­il­ness!"

"And have you no thought for your nephew?" asked the per­se­ver­ing ap­pari­tion, hoarse­ly.

"Not under the pre­sent cir­cum­stances," re­tort­ed the mourn­er; he and the ghost both cough­ing with the colds which they had taken from stand­ing still so bng in such a damp place—"not under the pre­sent cir­cum­stances," he re­peat­ed, wild­ly, mak­ing a fierce pass at the spec­tre with the skele­ton, and then drop­ping the lat­ter to the ground in nerve­less de­spair. 'To a sin­gle man, his um­brel­la is wife, moth­er, sis­ter, ven­er­a­ble maid­en aunt from the coun­try—all in one. In los­ing mine, I've bst my whole fam­i­ly, and want to hear no more about rel­a­tives. Good night, sir."

'Here! hold on! Can't you leave the lantern for a mo­ment?" cried the ghost But the heart-strick­en Rit­u­al­ist had swarmed up the lad­der and was gone.

Then, gping up too, the spec­tre ap­peared also unto two other men, who crawled from be­hind pau­per head­stones at his sum­mons; the fece ofthe one being that of J. MCLAUGH­LIN, that ofthe other Mr. TRACY CLEWS. And tte spec­tre walked be­tween these two, car­ry­ing Mr. BUM­STEAD S skele­ton in its ha«l.m

[1] The cut ac­com­pa­ny­ing the above chap­ter is from the il­lus­trat­ed ti­tle-page ofthe En­glish month­ly lum­bers of'The Mys­tery of Edwin Drood;"—in which it is the last of a se­ries of­bor­der-vig­pettes;—and plain­ly shows that it was the au­thor's in­ten­tion to bring back his hero a fivfcg man be­fore the con­clu­sion of the story.

CHAP­TER XXVI 
FOR BET­TER, FOR WORSE

Miss CAR­ROWTHERS hav­ing gone out with Mrs. SKAM­MER­HORN to skir­rrish with the world of dry-goods clerks for one of those alarm­ing sac­ri­fices in fem­i­nine ap­par­el which woman un­selfish­ly, yet never need­less­ly, is al­ways mak­ing FLORA sat alone in her new home, work­ing the lat­est bead­ed pin-cush­ion of her use­ful life. Fre­quent­ly ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the truth ofthe adage, that as you sew so shall you rip, the fair young thing was pass­ing halfher valu­able time in rip­ping out the mis­tak­en stitch­es she had made in the other half, and the se­vere moral dis­ci­pline thus en­dured, made her mad, as equiv­a­lent vex­a­tion would have made a man the re­verse of that word. Flip­pant so­cial satirists can­not dwell with suf­fi­cient sar­casm upon the dif­fer­ence be­tween the in­vin­ci­ble ami­a­bil­i­ty af­fect­ed by art­less girls in so­ci­ety and their oc­ca­sion­al bit­ter­ness of as­pect in the pri­va­cy ofhome; never stop­ping to re­flect that there are sore pri­vate tri­als for these in­dus­tri­ous young cro­chet crea­tures in which the thread ofthe most equable fe­male ex­is­tence is nec­es­sar­i­ly worsted. Miss POTTS, then, al­though look­ing up from her try­ing worsted oc­cu­pa­tion at the ser­vant who en­tered with a rather snap­pish ex­pres­sion of coun­te­nance, was guilty of no par­tic­u­lar­ly hyp­o­crit­i­cal as­sump­tion in at once suf­fer­ing her fea­tures to relax into a sweet­ly pen­sive smile upon learn­ing that there was a gen­tle­man to see her in the par­lor.

"MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON,'" she soft­ly read fiomthe card pre­sent­ed. 'Ts he alone, BRID­GET, dear?"

"Sorra any wan with him but his cane, Miss; and that he axed me wud I st­hand it be­hind the dure for him"

There was a look of des­per­ate pur­pose about this. When a sen­ti­men­tal young man seeks a pri­vate in­ter­view with a mar­riage­able young woman, and reck­less­ly re­fus­es at the out­set to re­tain at least his cane for the so­lu­tion ofthe in­tri­cate con­ver­sa­tion­al prob­lem of what to do with his hands, it is an in­fal­li­ble sign that some madly rash in­ten­tion has tem­porar­i­ly over­pow­ered his usual sheep­ish im­be­cil­i­ty, and that he maybe ex­pect­ed to speak and act with al­most human in­tel­li­gence.

With hand in­stinc­tive­ly pressed upon her heart, to mod­er­ate its too san­guine pul­sa­tions and show the del­i­cate lace around her cuffs, FLORA shyly en­tered the par­lor, and sur­prised Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON strid­ing up and down the apart­ment like one ofthe more comic ofthe trag­ic ac­tors ofthe day

'Miss POTTS!" ejac­u­lat­ed the wild young South­ern pedes­tri­an, paus­ing sud­den­ly at her ap­proach, with con­sid­er­able ex­cite­ment of man­ner, "scorn me, spurn me, if you will; but do not let sec­tion­al em­bit­ter­ment blind you to the fact that I am here by the re­quest of Mr DIB­BLE"

'T wasn't scorn­ing and spurn­ing any­body," ex­plained the star­tled or­phan, coyly ac­cept­ing the chair he pushed for­ward. 'Tm sure I don't feel any sec­tion­al ha­tred, nor any other ridicu­lous thing"

'For­give me!" plead­ed MONT­GOMERY. 'T reck­on I'm a heap too sen­si­tive about my South­ern birth; but only think, Miss POTTS, what I've had to go through since Tve been amongst you Yan­kees! Fancy what it is to be sus­pect­ed of a im­rder, and have no po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence."

'It nust be so ab­surd!" im­mured FLORA.

'Ive felt wretched enough about it to be­come a con­trib­u­tor to the first-class Amer­i­can comic paper on the next floor below me," he con­tin­ued, gloomi­ly. "And here, to-day, with­out any ex­pla­na­tion, your guardian de­sires me to come here and wait for him"

'Im sorry that's such a trial for you, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON," sim­pered the Flow­er­pot. 'Per­haps you'd pre­fer to wait on the front stoop and ap­pear as though you'd just come, you know?"

"And can you think," cried the young man with in­creased ag­i­ta­tion "that it would be any trial for me to be in your so­ci­ety, if—? But tel me, Miss POTTS, has your guardian the right to dis­pose of your hand in mar­riage?"

'I sup­pose so," an­swered FLORA, with in­no­cent sur­prise and a pret­ty blush; "he has charge of all my money mat­ters, you know."

"Then it is as I feared," groaned her ques­tion­er, smit­ing his fore­head. 'He is com­ing here to-day to tel you what man of op­u­lence he wants you to have, and I am to be wit­ness to my own hope­less­ness!"

"What makes you think any­thing so ridicu­lous, you ab­surd thing?" asked the or­phan, not un­kind­ly.

"He as good as said so," sighed the un­hap­py South­ern­er. 'He told me, with his own mouth, that he want­ed to get you off his hands as soon as pos­si­ble, and thought he saw his way clear to do it"

The girl knew what bit­ter, in­tol­er­a­ble emo­tions were tear­ing the heart ofthe ill-lat­ed se­ces­sion­ist be­fore her, and, in her own gen­tle heart, pitied him.

"He needn't be so sure about it," she said, with in­dig­nant spir­it 'T1 never many any stranger, un­less he's awful rich—oh, as rich as any­thing!"

"Oh, Miss POTTS!" roared MONT­GOMERY, sud­den­ly, fold­ing-down upon one knee be­fore her, and scratch­ing his nose with a ring upon the hand he sought to kiss, "why will you not be­stow upon me the heart so gen­er­ous­ly dis­dain­ful of ev­ery­thing ex­cept the most ex­treme wealth? Why waste your best years in wait­ing for pro­pos­als from a class ofNorthem men who oc­ca­sion­al­ly ex­pect that their brides, also, shall have prop­er­ty, when here I offer you the name and hand of a lov­ing South­ern gen­tle­man, who only needs the pay­ing off of a few mort­gages on his es­tate in the South to be be­yond all im­me­di­ate clanger of star­va­tion?"

Turn­ing her pret­ty head aside, but un­con­scious­ly al­low­ing him to re­tain her hand, she faint­ly asked how they were to live?

"Live!" re­peat­ed the im­petu­ous lover. "On love, hash, rm­tu­al trust, bread pud­ding any­thing thaf s cheap. I'll do the wash­ing and iron­ing my­self "

"How per­fect­ly ridicu­lous!" said the or­phan, bash­ful­ly turn­ing her head still fur­ther aside, and bring­ing one ear-ring to bear strong­ly upon him 'You'd never be able to do flut­ing and pink­ing in the world."

'I could do any­thing with you by my side!" he re­tort­ed, ea­ger­ly. Oh, Miss POTTS!—FLORA!—think how lone­ly I am My sis­ter, as on may have heard, has ac­cept­ed Gospel­er SIMP­SON S pro­pos­al, by mail, for her hand, and is al­ready so busy quar­relling with his moth­er that she is no longer any com­pa­ny for me. My fete is in your hands; it is in woman's power to ei­ther make or marry the roan who loves her—"

"Pro­vid­ed, al­ways, that her legal guardian con­sents," in­ter­rupt­ed the be­nig­nant voice of Mr. DIB­BLE, who, un­per­ceived by them, had en­tered the room in time to fin­ish the sen­tence.

Spring­ing alert­ly to an up­right po­si­tion, and cough­ing ex­ces­sive­ly, Mr. PEN­DRAG­ON was a shame­faced re­proach to his whole sex, while the young lady used the edge of her right foot against a seam of the car­pet with that ex­treme so­lic­i­tude as to the re­sult which is al­ways so en­tire­ly de­ceiv­ing to those who have hoped to see her show signs of painful en­bar­rass­ment

After sur­vey­ing them in thought­ful si­lence for a mo­ment, the old lawyer bent over his ward, and hugged and kissed her with an unc­tu­ous­ness jus­ti­fied by his great age and ex­treme good­ness. It was his fine old way of­bestow­ing an in­es­timable bless­ing upon all the plump younger women of his ac­quain­tance, and the bene­dic­tion was con­ferred on the slight­est pre­texts, and im­par­tial­ly, up to a cer­tain age.

"Am I to con­strue what I have seen and heard, my dear, as equiv­a­lent to the con­clu­sion of my guardian­ship?" he asked, smil­ing­ly.

"Oh, please don't be so ridicu­lous—oh, I never was so exquisite­ly ner­vous," plead­ed the help­less, flut­tered young crea­ture.

"I reck­on I've be­trayed your con­fi­dence, sir," said MONT­GOMERY, des­per­ate­ly, 'but younust have known, fiom­hearsay­at least, how I have felt to­ward this young lady ever since our first meet­ing and should not have ex­posed me to a temp­ta­tion stronger than I could bear. I have, in­deed, done ny­selfthe honor to offer her the hand and heart if one who, al­though but a poor gen­tle­man, will be rich­er than kingp if she deigns to make him so."

"Why, how ab­surd!" ejac­u­lat­ed the or­phan, quick­ly. "It's per­fect­ly ridicu­lous to call me well off and how could I make you rich­er than kings and things, you know?"

The old and the young men ex­changed looks of un­speak­able ad­mi­ra­tion at such touch­ing arf­less­ness.

"Sweet in­no­cence!" ex­claimed her guardian, play­ful­ly pinch­ing her cheek and pri­vate­ly sur­prised at its floury feel­ing "What would you say if I told you that, since our shrewd EDDY re­tired from the con­test, I have been wish­ing to see you and our South­ern friend here brought to just such terms as you ap­pear to have reached? What would you say if I added that, such con­sum­ma­tion seem­ing to be the best you or your friends could do for your­self I have de­ter­mined to deal with you as a daugh­ter, in the mat­ter of see­ing to it that you begin your mar­ried life with a daugh­ter's por­tion from­ny own es­tate?"

Both the young peo­ple had his hands in theirs, on ei­ther side ofhim, in an in­stant

'There! there!" con­tin­ued the ex­cel­lent old gen­tle­man, "don't try to ex­press your­selves. FLORA, place one of your hands in the breast of my coat, and draw out the par­cel you find there. That's it. The ar­ti­cle it con­tains once be­longed to your moth­er, my dear, and has been re­turned to me by the hands to which I once com­mit­ted it in the hope that they would­p­re­sent it to you. I loved your moth­er well, my child, but had not enough prop­er­ty at the time to con­tend with your­fa­ther. Open the pared in pri­vate, and be warned by its moral: Bet­ter is wil­ful waist than woe­ful want of it."

It was the stay-lace by which Mrs. POTTS, from too great per­sis­tence in draw­ing her­self up proud­ly, had per­ished in her prime.

'Now come into the open air with me, and let us walk to Cen­tral Park," con­tin­ued Mr. DIB­BLE, shak­ing off his mo­men­tary fit of gloom, '1 have strange things to tell you both I have to teach you, in­jus­tice to a mich-in­jured man, that we have, in our hearts, cru­el­ty wronged that ex­cel­lent and de­vout Mr. BUM­STEAD, by sus­pect­ing him of a crime where­of he is now proved in­no­cent at least I sus­pect­ed him To­mor­row night we most all be in Bum­steadville. I will tell you why as we walk."

CHAP­TER XXVII
SO­LU­TION

In the dark­ness of a night made opaque by ap­proach­ing show­ers, a man stands under the bw-droop­ing branch­es ofthe edge of a wood skirt­ing the cross-road lead­ing down to Gospelei's Gulch.

'Not enough saved from the wreck even to buy the mer­ci­ful rope that should end all my humor and im­pe­cunb­si­ty!" he nut­ters, over his fold­ed arms and heav­ing chest '1 have come to this out-of-the-way sub­urb to end my mis­er­able days, and not so nuch as one clothes-line have I seen yet There is the pond, how­ev­er, I can jump into that, I sup­pose: but how nuch more de­cent were it to make one's qui­etus under the merry green­wood tree with a cord—"

He stops sud­den­ly, hold­ing his breath; and, al­most sin­ul­ta­ne­ous­ly with a sharp, rush­ing noise in the leaves over­head, some­thing drops upon his shoul­der. He grasps it, cau­tious­ly feels of it, and, to his un­speak­able amaze­ment, dis­cov­ers that it is a rope ap­par­ent­ly fas­tened to the branch­es above!

"Won­der­ful!" he ejac­u­lates, in an awe- strick­en whis­per. "Prov­i­dence helps a wretch to die, if not to live. At any other time I should think this very strange, but just now Tve got but one thing to do. Here's my rope, here's my neck, and here goes!"

Heed­less of ev­ery­thing but his dread in­ten­tion, he rapid­ly ties the rope about his throat, and is in the act of throw­ing for­ward his whole weight upon it, when there is a sharp jerk ofthe rope, he is drawn up about three feet in the air, and, be­fore he can col­lect his thoughts, is as abrupt­ly let down upon his feet again Sin­ul­ta­ne­ous­ly, a sound al­most like sup­pressed swear­ing comes very clear­ly to his ear, and he is con­scious of some­thing dimly white in the pro­found dark­ness, not far away.

"Sold again: signed, J. BUM­STEAD," ex­claims a deep voice. 'T thought the rope was caught in a crotch; but 'twas­rit. Try"t once more."

The as­tound­ed hear­er feels the rope tug­ging at his own neck again, and, with a half com­pre­hen­sion ofthe sit­u­a­tion, calls "Stop!" in a suf­fo­cat­ing voice.

"Who's there?" comes from the dark­ness.

"JERE­MY BEN­THAM, late pro­pri­etor of first-class Amer­i­can Comic Paper.—Died of Comic Se­ri­al—Want to hang my­self" is the jerky reply from the other side.

'Got your own rope, sir?"

"No. One fell down on my shoul­ders just as I was wish­ing for it; but it seen» to be too elas­tic."

'That's the other end 'f my rope, air," re­joins the sec­ond voice, as in wrath. 'T threWt over the branch­es and thought it had caught, in­stead of that it let me down, sir."

"And drew me up," says Mr. BEN­THAM.

Be­fore an­oth­er word can be spo­ken by ei­ther, the light of a dark-lantern is flashed upon them There is Mr. BUM­STEAD, not three yards from Mr. BEN­THAM; each with an end ofthe same rope about his neck, and the head ofthe for­mer tur­baned with a damp towel

"Are ye men?" ex­claims the deep voice of Mr. MELANC­THON SCHENCK from be­hind the lantern, "and would ye madly incur death be­fore hav­ing taken out life-poli­cies in the Bo­re­al?"

"And would my uncle cel­e­brate my re­turn in this style?" cried still an­oth­er voice from the dark­ness. "Who's that spoke just then?" cries the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist The an­swer comes like the note of a trum­pet:— "EDWIN DROOD!"

At the same in­stant a great glare of light breaks upon the scene from a bon­fire of tar-bar­rels, ig­nit­ed at the high­er end ofthe cross­road by young SMAL­L­EY; and, to the min­gled be­wil­der­ment and ex­as­per­a­tion of Mr. BUM­STEAD, the ra­di­ance re­veals, as in noon­day, Mr. SCHENCK and his bng-lost nephew stand­ing be­fore him; and, com­ing to­wards them in fes­tive pro­cess­bn from Gospelei's Gulch. MONT­GOMERY PEN­DRAG­ON with FLORA on his arm, the Rev­erend OC­TAVIUS SIMP­SON es­cort­ing MAG­NO­LIA, Mr. DIB­BLE guard­ing Mrs. SIMP­SON, Mr. CLEWS arm in arm with JOHN McLAUGH­LIN. Fa­ther DEAN arel Judge SWEENEY, Miss CAROWTHERS, and the SMYTHES.

'Try­ing to hang your­selves!" ex­claims Mr. DIB­BLE, as the throng gath­ers cu­ri­ous­ly around the two gen­tle­men of the rope. "And my old friend BEN­THAM, too!" cries the Gospel­er. 'How per­fect­ly ridicu­lous!" war­bles FLORA.

Star­ing ma­jes­ti­cal­ly from one lace to the other, and from thence to­wards the iHumi­natirg bon­fire, Mr. BUM­STEAD, quite un­con­scious of the pic­turesque ef­fect of the towel on his head, de­lib­er­ate­ly draws an an­tique black bot­tle from his pock­et, moist­ens his lips there­with, pass­es it to the Comic Paper man, and eats a clove.

"What is the mean­ing of this gen­er­al in­tox­i­ca­tion?" he then asks quite severe­ly. "Why does this mass-meet­ing great­ly under the in­flu­ence of in­fe­ri­or liquor as it plain­ly is, in­trude thus upon the last hours of a Rit­u­al­is­tic gen­tle­man and a hu­mor­ous pub­lish­er?"

"Be­cause, Uncle JACK," re­turns EDWIN DROOD, hold­ing his hands cu­ri­ous­ly be­hind him as he speaks, "this is a night of gen­er­al re­joic­ing Burasteadville, in honor of my reap­pear­ance; and, di­rect­ed by your land­lord, Mr. SMYTHE, we have come out to make you join in our cheer. We are all hearti­ly sorry for the great an­guish you have en­dured in con­se­quence of my un­ex­plained ab­sence. Let me tell you ow it was, as I have al­ready told all our friends here. You know where you placed me while you were in your clove- trance, and I was o un­be­com­ing­ly asleep, on Christ­mas night. Well, I was dis­cov­ered there, in less than three hours there­after, by JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN, who car­ried me to his own house, and there man­aged to awak­en me. Re­cov­er­ing my sens­es, I was dis­gust­ed with my­self ashamed of what had hap­pened, and anx­ious to leave Bum­stead­vi­He. I swore 'Old Mor­tar­i­ty1 to se­cre­cy—"

"—Which I have ob­served," ex­plains MCLAUGH­LIN, nod­ding

"—And start­ed im­me­di­ate­ly for Egypt i11 Illi­nois," con­tin­ues Mr. DROOD. "There I went into rail­road­ing am en­gaged to a nice lit­tle girl there; and came back two days ago to ex­plain ny­self all around, re­turn­ing here, I saw JOHN MCLAUGH­LIN first, who told me that a cer­tain Mr. CLEWS was here to un­rav­el the Mys­tery about me, and per­suad­ed me to let Mr. CLEWS work you into an­oth­er visit to the cel­lar the Pau­per Buri­al Ground, and there ap­pear to you as my own ghost, be­fore fi­nal­ly re­veal­ing ny­self as I now do."

The glassy eyes of the Rit­u­al­is­tic or­gan­ist are fixed upon him in a most un­com­fort­able man­ner, but no com­ment comes.

"And I, Mr. BUM­STEAD," says the old lawyer, "most apol­o­gize to you for hav­ing in­dulged a wrong sus­pi­cion. Pos­si­bly you were rather rash in charg­ing ev­ery­body else with as­sas­si­na­tion and larce­ny, and of­fer­ing to marry my ward upon the strength of her dis­like to you; but we'1 say no more of those things now. Miss POTTS has con­sent­ed to be­come Mrs. PEN­DRAG­ON; Miss PEN­DRAG­ON is the be­trothed of Rev. Mr. SIMP­SON,—"

"—Miss CAROWTHERS hon­ors me with a mat­ri­mo­ni­al pref­er­ence," in­ter­po­lates Judge SWEENEY, gal­lant­ly bow­ing to that spin­ster.—

"—BreachyMr. BLOD­GETT!" siais the lady, to herseK—

"—And three wed­dings will help us to for­get ev­ery­thing but that which is bright and pleas­ant," con­cludes the lawyer. Next steps to the front Mr. TRACEY CLEWS, with his sur­pris­ing head of hair, and arch­ly re­marks: T be­lieve you take me for a lit­er­ary man, Mr. BUM­STEAD."

"What is that to me, sir? I've no money to lend," re­turns the or­gan­ist, with marked un­easi­ness.

'To tell you the truth," pro­ceeds the au­thor of'The Am­a­teur De­tec­tive," —"to tell you the whole truth, I have been play­ing the de­tec­tive with you by order ofMr. DIB­BLE, and hope you will ex­cuse my prac­tice upon you"

"He is my clerk," ex­plains Mr. DIB­BLE.

Where­upon Mr. TRACEY CLEWS dex­ter­ous­ly whips off his brush of red hair, and stands re­vealed as Mr. BLADAMS.

Mere­ly wait­ing to gran­u­late one more clove, Mr. BUM­STEAD set­tles the rope about his neck anew, squints around under the wet towel in a cu­ri­ous­ly ghast­ly man­ner, and thus ad­dress­es the meet­ing—

"Ladies and geril'men—I've lis­tened to y"r im­pu­dence with pa­tience, and on any other 'cas­fon would be happy to see y"al safe home. At pre­sent, how­ev­er, Mr. BEN­THAM and I de­sire to be left alone, if'ts all th same t you You can come for the bod­ies in th' morn­ing"

'BEN­THAM! BEN­THAM!" calls the Gospel­er, "I can't see you act­ing in that way, old friend. Come home with me to-night, and we'll talk of start­ing a Re­li­gious Week­ly to­geth­er. Thafs your only suc­cess­ful Amer­i­can Conic Paper."

"By Jove! so it is!" bawls JERE­MY BEN­THAM, like one pos­sessed 'T never thought of that be­fore! I'm with you, my boy. "And, hasti­ly slip­ping the rope from his neck, he hur­ries to his friend's side.

"And you, Uncle JACK—look at this!" ex­claims Mr. E DROOD, bring­ing from be­hind his back and pre­sent­ing to the melan­choly or­gan­ist a thing that looks, at first glance, like an in­cred­i­bly slim lit­tle black girl, head­less, with no waist at all, and bal­anced on one leg

Mr. BUM­STEAD reach­es for it me­chan­i­cal­ly; a look of in­tel­li­gence comes into his glassy eyes; then they fi­ir­ly flame. "ALLIE!" he cries, danc­ing ec­stat­i­cal­ly.

It is the Um­brel­la—old fi­m­il­iar bone-han­dle, brass fer­rule—in a bran-new dress of al­paca!

All gaze at him with un­speak­able emo­tion, as, with the rope cast from him, he pats his dear old friend, opens her halfway, shuts her again, and the while smiles with in­ef­fi­ble ten­der­ness.

Sud­den­ly a shriek—the voice of FLORA—breaks the si­lence:—

"It rains!—oh, rry com­plex­ion!"

'Rains?" thun­ders the re­gen­er­at­ed BUM­STEAD, in a tone of in­con­ceiv­able tri­umph "So it does. Now then, ALLIE, do your duty," and, with a soft­ly woo­ing, hos­pitable air, he opens the um­brel­la and holds it high over his head

By a com­mon in­stinct they all swarm in upon him, cran­ing their heads fir over each other's shoul­ders to se­cure a share of the Prov­i­den­tial shel­ter. The glare of the great bon­fire fills upon the scene; the rain pours down in tor­rents: they crowd in upon him on all sides, until what was once a state­ly Rit­u­al­is­tic man re­sen­bles some tremen­dous mon­ster with sev­en­teen wrig­gling bod­ies, thir­ty-four legg, and an al­paca canopy above all.