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B If 11 : itlii If I iff iitK
JClAit MORTIMER, 1
Editor and Proprietor. t
la rublished Weekly,
At New Bloomfleld, .Tenn'a.
ONE DOLLAR PER YEAR!,
THE TWENTIETH OP DECEMBER.
DROPPING upon ono knee, be peered
once more into the dead face, then
winding his hand in the man's neckcloth,
he dragged him over the ground towards a
deep gully at the lower part of the grounds.
It was not far. I listened and heard the
body crash through the brush, and thud
among the stones below.
It was a course of the utmost shallow
ness to pursue, if concealment was the
.guilty man's aim as it must have been.
But he seemed to realize his guilt so fully
that I think it dazed him.
He strode away under the larches to the
house. I never stirred for many a long
hour. I was trying to decide what I ought
Of a certainty I never thought of ex
posing the matter of bringing Lindsay's
father to justice. I was only confused by
the .horror and suddennessof the matter,
and uncertain how I could best help those
I loved. I could not decide then.
But after I had sought my bed, and lay
on my sleepless pillow, I made a plan. If
the body lay where it was it would be dis
covered, and the secret ferreted out. At
the bottom of the gully was a bed of bushes
and brambles and tho corpse was probably
concealed among these. It was not safe
there, but a little further along, upon the
hillside, was an old well. Hero it would
never in our generation, at least be found.
There, on the following night, I would place
it. All my life I had been a tough and
powerful woman. I knew that I had suffi
cient strength left to do that for Lindsey.
I fell asleep just at daybreak ; for I was
not quite independent of the infirmities of
my sixty years in spite of the dangers of
the hour ; but when I arose and heard the
birds singing, it seemed as if it must all
have been some horrible dream.
If it was only a terrible vision. Colonel
Walton had dreamed it too, for he came
down to breakfast with a palid face and
bloodshot eyss. Mr. Guthrie was already
in the breakfast-room. Ho stood at a win
dow trimming his delicate nails with his
pen-knife when I went in to see if the table
was all right.
" Good-morning, Guthrie 1 The major
has left us 1" said the colonel.
I felt myself tremble.
" What? already?" asked Guthrie, turn
" Yes. He walked down to the landing
for the early boat."
I saw Guthrie smilo then, but I suspect
ed nothing. They sat down at table,' and
the colonel's hand trembled as ho cut the
steak. I could not bear to look at him, and
I came out.
I did not understand it until later, but af
ter this I noticed that Guthrie often observ
ed me closely during the next two days.
As I had planned I went, the next night,
after the moon had set, to tho gully. I
went down into it, and searched every spot
large enough to set my foot on, and not a
token of that dead man's body could I find.
I concluded,that the colonel had taken it
away and buried it. How, when and where
I could not guess. .,.
But I knew afterwards, that, in his sleep
ing thoughts, and in his waking ones, Co
lonel Walton believed that dead face lay
AN INDEPENDENT FAMILY
among tho brambles at the bottom of that
gully. Ho novcr went near it. The next
day Guthrio left us.
Others beside myself saw that Colonel
Walton was a changed man. Ho was pal
lid and haggard. Sometimes he would
shut himself up in his room for days ; and
then ho would bo in a constant haste and
flurry with business, coming home at night
ready to drop. Ho talked of selling tho es
tate ; several gentleman came out from tho
city to look at it.
This distressed Lindsey very much, for
she was fond of Larch Lanes. But I thought
I knew how hateful the place must be to
tho man, with that still gully lying behind
the trees. No words can tell how I pitied
Nearly two months went by. Ben and
Lindsey wanted to bo married. Lindsey
purposed to ask her father again for his
consent. They had made so many plans
those two happy young things I
She saw her father so seldom that she
was obliged to seek a chance of meeting
him so sho set upon an evening and wait
ed for tho boat to come in. It was a chilly
fall night, and a fire was kindled in the li
She wandered around there, now sitting
for a moment in the easy chair before the
grate, now looking out of the window, now
going to the door to listen for carriage
wheels. She was a little nervous and ap
prehensive of disappointment, for her fath
er was more difficult to approach than ever
Suddenly there were voices in the hall,
and the colonel entered with Mr. Guthrio.
Tho latter saluted Lindsey with profound
courtesy. At the first opportunity she
asked her father if she could speak with
him for a moment.
"You want to ask about that wedding, I
suppose," ho answered, carelessly. "You
may bo married any time you please say
the twentieth of December."
Lindsey came out radiant, but in a littlo
" I am afraid Mr. Guthrio heard what my
father said," said she, "for I saw him
smile. What a cold-looking, handsome
man ho is 1"
The colonel rang for wine. As usual, he
had supped in town. Lindsey was in my
room, talking over her plans for the wed
ding, when tho library bell rang again, and
Tip came up to say the colonel wanted mo.
"Surely they don't want supper ! 'Tis
ton o'clock," said I.
I went down. The colonel sat at the ta
ble ; it was Mr. Guthrie who saluted me
and bade me be seated. He himself brought
me a chair and thon locked tho door.
"This will socure us from interruption,"
he said, in his smooth, cold voice. M I
shall detain you but a few moments, Mrs.
I glanced at tho colonel. Ho was look
ing steadfastly at Guthrio, who, after a mo
ment drew from his breast a two-edged silver-handled
clasp-knife, and laid it upon the
" Have either of you ever seen that be
fore?" Ho asked.
The colonel gave an inarticulate cry. My
breath stopped, for I knew it was the knife
with which Major Southly was killed.
" Do I need to say any more ?" asked
There was a silence of several moments.
The colonel sat with his hands clenched
upon the arms of his hair, and his livid
face bent towards the floor.
" How much do you know?" he asked at
length, in a stifled voice.
" I know that you killed Major Southly
in a quaiTcl near tho summer-house, last
August, and that you threw his bodv into
a gully not far from the spot. I know that
Mrs. Douglas, here, was witness to the deed.
Las she was iu the summer-house at the time
it was committed""
I could not boar to witness the unuttera
ble agony of Colonel Walton's face. It was
evident that he had dwelt enough upon the
circumstances to instantly fully realize the
IVow IBloomfield, IPn,., May
situation. My heart bled within me nt tlm
next sound of his broken voice.
"What do you intend to do?"
"On conditions, nothing."
Mr. Guthrio was standing upon the hearth
rug, his white hands locked behind him,
looking down at us, calmly and keenly.
" What do you want ?" asked the colonel,
in a broken tone.
" The hand of your daughter."
There was another silence.
"If Miss Walton becomes my wife, "Mr.
Guthrio went on, " I shall never use my
knowledge of your guilt to your harm.
Major Southly shall rest where I buried
him. But, otherwise, I shall make the mat
It was then that tho colonel looked up
and gazed at mo.
"I interred tho body with my own hands
upon tho night of tho murder," said Guth
I saw that tho colonel looked at me with
a littlo hope. He felt and knew that I was
It is true that I was but, just then, the
sweet face of my darling, full of its sacred
happiness, rose up between us, and I felt a
flame of indignation, that she should bo
sacrificed to save her selfish father, sweep
across my brow. As ho looked at me his
eyes dilated with the last horror of despair.
Ho rose, tried to speak, threw up his arms,
and fell in a fit at our feet.
We brought him to without raising the
house, though with much difficulty. At
length he lay upon the couch, sensible and
miserable, ove whelmed with physical and
mental suffering. At last ho asked for
" She has retired," I said.
"Send her down here to sit with mo. Tho
rest of you leave mo," he said.
I went up and woke Lindsey, who lay
dreaming in tho sweetest peace. She started
"Your father has been quite ill," I said.
"He is better now, but he wants you to
come and sit with him."
"Why, my father was never sick before 1"
she said, hurrying to dress.
I watched her go down. Her hair, in all
its confused curls, clung about her throat.
She had forgotten tho cord of her wrapper,
and it swept its whole length around her.
It was fastened hurriedly at the throat with
a littlo coral pin, and upon her cheeks still
lingered tho flush of healthy sleep. In the
hall she met Guthrie, who regarded her
steadily, but sho took no notice of him,
and went on to her father. When the door
closed after her, I sat down upon the stairs
and wept in an utter abandon of despair.
I have no doubt that Guthrio quietly went
to rest in the chamber assigned to him.
Ho could afford to sleep ; his interests were
safe. Ho had perfected his part with a do
liberation which admitted of nothing but
success. Of course Lindsey would not lot
her father go to tho gallows.
When I rose, the next morning, I did not
venture to disturb them in the library. I
went about my tasks, feeling their insignifi
cance, and so weighed upon that when I
heard the servants laughing in the kitchen, I
stepped to the door and looked at them in
wonder. Tip asked timidly if I were ill. I
told her no, though my very soul was sick
within mo. I remember now that they all
regarded mo with pity, and I heard a whis
per that " the old lady was breaking up."
It was past nine o'clock when I ventured
to send Tip to the library to see if the
colonel would take some breakfast. She
came back saying that he was asleep.
I went up and softly opened the door.
Lindsey was not there, and the colonej lay
upon the couch, before the fire, in a light
slumber. Thcro was an oppressive stillness
in the room, and O, how terribly wan and
ill the colonel looked I Ho had a look of
doep sickness and ago upon him, and for
the" first time, I noticod streaks of white
among his Jialr and beard.
I came out without waking him, and
went up and knocked at Lindsey'g door.
Mr. Guthrio had breakfasted and sat upon
the piazza, smoking.
Lindsey's door was locked, but sho came
and let me in. Evidently sho had not slept
any. She was pale, her eyes were heavy,
and there were blue shadows under them.
"Is my father wanting anything?" sho
I said no. I could not speak again. I
made myself busy spreading up the bed
while she stood listlessly brushing up her
Sho laid down the brush, finally, and sank
into a seat, as if her strength had suddenly
"Aunt Manny," sho said "when Ben
calls to-day, tell him I cannot see him.
Tell him I can never see him again. I am
going to marry Mr. Guthrie,"
I broke out crying.
"I would see Ben if I could," sho added,
in a suppressed voice. " I dare not. I am
afraid that I haven't strength to co throudi
with it myself. But I shall try for my fath
" No fear, poor clear, that they will let
you fall back !" I sobbed.
She made no reply.
"Be very kind to Ben, Aunt Manny,"
sho said, after a moment. " Cheer him all
you can. The twentieth of December I am
to marry Mr. Guthrie."
She turned as pale as a sheet with the
last words, but sat calm and quiet.
"Father will give you money. You
must get me ready," she added.
" I will not 1 I will not put my hand to
such wickedness 1" I cried.
"But the marriage will take place just
tho same," she said, quietly. "It will be
better to have things in order."
"And what then?" said I, looking at
her in wonder.
"I am going to Guthrie Falls to live, I
I did not ask her how much she knew.
What did it matter ? She was to be sacri
ficed ; that was tho main thing. Her fath
er had pleaded with her, and her love for
him had dono the rest.
Well, what could I do but see Ben, wit
ness his passion and despair, send for the
very seamstress who had been already en
gaged for preparing Lindsey's outfit, and
arrange everything for the wedding?
Guthrie had the wisdom not to force his
attentions on Lindsey. Ho seldom visited
tho colonel, either. He seemed quite wil
ling to keep out of sight Of tho misery he
But on the morning of tho wedding, he
came and presented Lindsey with a deed of
his splendid homo at Guthrie Falls.
In spito of the best medical care, tho
colonel had not yet left tho house. He
looked poorly enough. There were to bo no
guests. Lindsey looked like a lily. I was
afraid sho would faint ; but she made the
responses calmly and steadily.
The wedding ring was tho most magni
ficent diamond I ever saw. Sho had sent
Ben back his sapphire, kissing it first and
then burying her face in her hands.
Tho marriage service ended. Mr. Guth
rio kissed his wife, and I kissed her pale
cheeks and lips, and held her head for a
moment, not iu congratulation, but out of
tho undying love of my heart. " Dear
Aunt Manny," sho murmured, and thon
turned to her father. Ho put his aims
about her and held her to his breast. When
ho released her, her face was quite radiant.
She was to go to Guthrie Falls that very
night. A splendid sleigh, Mr. Guthrie's,
was brought to the door immediately after
the sorvice. I could hear the bolls jingling
as I wrapped Lindsey up, in her chamber
" It's a terrible cold night, and growing
colder, dearie," I said. "I wish it were
not so far. But you must keep well cud
dled down under the robes."
I was about to fold a crimson shawl
around her, under her cloak, but she put it
"Not that; it looks like blood." she
She caught up a littlo wadded sacoue of
" This will be warmer," she added.
Terms: IN ADVANCE
One Dollar per Year.
At last she was well robed from head to
foot. A cloak of superb Russian sable en
veloped her whole figure. So she came
down, was kissed by her father at the door
and handed into tho sleigh by Guthrie.
The air stung my face like fire as I leaned
from the hall to look after her. She called
her last good-by and they were off. There
were only " the two. Guthrio drove the
splendid Black Hawk horses, while Lindsey
sat well sheltered from the cutting blast.
After making her comfortable, he did
notSpeak to her. Ho was probably busy
with the prospects of his marriage ; he
must have had expectations of some dfficul
ty in perfecting his happiness.
On they glided. They had twelve" miles
of travel before them. It was bitterly
cold and every moment growing more so.
Guthrie showed signs of suffering, at
last ; thrashed his arms across his breast,
and muttered that he was chilled through.
As the wind fell, the cold became more in
tense, and ho finally settled into a position
of stolid endurance.
Tho horse travelled swiftly. The houses
trees and fences glided swiftly by yet the
white, crisp road stretched miles before
A numbness and torpidity settled upon
Lindsey. Yet she did not suffer much, and
waited patiently for the end.
At length the horses wound smoothly
about a turn in tho road, and sho heard
their hoofs strike the bridge just below
"Are wo most there ?" she asked.
Her companion did not answer.
The sleigh whirled on past a building
and finally up an avenue. Out of her muf
flings she could see a light. The horses,
made a turn and stopped at the door.
As the jingle of the sleigh-bells paused,
the door flew open, and a man came down
"Fritz is away.sir; I will take the hor
ses," he said.
Mr. Guthrio did not stir nor answer.
" Shall I help the lady, sir?" asked the
man, advancing to the sleigh.
The servant stepped forward and held
the lantern to his masters face, while the
horses impatiently pealed their bells.
"Good heavens! he is stone dead 1" he
It was true. Mr. Guthrio, exposed by
his driving, had frozen to death beside his
bride. They carried him, a stiff corpse,
into tho house.
And so ended the twentieth of Docembor.
Soon, very soon, we had Lindsey among
us again. Before the spring, the sapphire,
was back upon her hand the diamond laM
Sho was was mistress of tho magnificent
Guthrie estate. Guthrio had surely inten
ded to make her happy in his way.
It was rather a fortunate thing, for Ben
Arundel, looking upon Lindsey's broken
father in the light of a tyrant, refused even
a wedding supperat his expense, ne wm
not wealthy, and it was well that Lindsey
had means of her own.
But the colonel never recovered from his
mental and physical injury. Ho was soon
a foeblo old man, so pitifully patient, that
Ben, at last, relented in his resentment.
When tho baby was born, he consented that
Lindsey should namo him for her father.
The littlo one was the last gleam of sun
shine on Colonel Walton's life. Ho died
blessing him, and it was to tho ehild tw
he left the larger part of his fortune. Lind
sey was pleased to have it so.
As for myself, lam still AuntMannv
an old woman in tho corner but well-loved,
i loei, when my darling comes and lavs hv
boy aoross my knee, and then nuts her own
sweet cheek against my breast. We are
very happy at Guthrie Falls, for all sad kg.
sociations are overborne by an active, sunny
life. Larch Lanes was snlri oT a
filled up the gully, in total iffnoian f
past, and planted a vineyard over it.