Newspaper Page Text
FRANK M OUT I ME 11, 1
Editor and 1'roprietor. i
J Published Weekly,
At New IHoomfleld, Penn'a.
ONE DOLLAR PER YEAR
BY laiZADETII B1GEL0W.
TTJHEBE sat on the doorstep, with the
JL afternoon sunshine glinting in her
Lair and playing about the tangle of bright
lored worsteds that lay in her lap. Her
forehead was wrinkled up, and her blue,
babyish eyes had a perplexed, almost a des
pairing look in them ; for it was a very in
tricate piece of work that Phebo was en
gaged upon, and her worsteds were getting
hopelessly tangled up together. It was a
crocheted tidy, the pattern of which Seman
tfia Staples had brought homo with her
from Ipswich, where she had been at
school, and whose like had never been seen
on the Capo before. At first it had seemed
easy enough, and Phebe had worked on
gayly, knitting in hopes and fancies brighter
than the wools ; but now it was so vexing
that her face grew really distressed, and she
heaved a great sigh from the very bottom
of her heart that brought Aunt Jane to the
" Umph ! when I was young girls didn't
waste their time over such foolishness,"
aid Aunt Jano. "Spoiling your eyesight
.and crooking your back, too if you were at
the spinning-wheel "
"But, Aunt Jane, this is so lovely t And
and it's for the cabin of the Lapwing !"
And a bright, rosy flush came over Phebo's
face as she looked up cunningly into her
aunt's. " I want it to look just as pretty
and homelike as possible, you know."
Aunt Jane sniffed contemptuously, but
her puckered-up mouth relaxed a littlo.
41 You had better been a mending your
stockings. There's a whole basketful of
em on the sitting-room table."
"I forgot them, aunty. I'll go and
mend them right away," said Phebo. '-'
" 0, you needn't hurry, now. I couldn't
bear to see them setting there all day I
never did hold with such shiftless ways-so
I mended 'em myself."
" What a dear, good, old aunty it is !"
said Phebe, throwing her arm around her
neck, " and what in the world shall I do
"There, there, child 1 don't hug me!"
said Aunt Jane, smoothing her rumpled
collar. "There's Gilbert coming down
the road :" and she vanished into the
" Peor Aunt Jane 1" said Phebe to herself
with a littlo sigh. Sho never minded if
Aunt Jane was a littlo cross, for she know
what a faithful, tender heart she had, and
she always remembered the great disap
pointment of her life, which people said had
"soured" her. Long ago, before Phebe
was born, Aunt Jano's lover had sailed.out
of that very harbor that was in sight from
the doorway whero Phebe sat, and had
never come back again. "Ah, what
should I do," said Phebe to herself, "if"
and then she did give ono glance up the
road at the tall, manly figure that was com
ing that way, though before sho had kept
her eyes coquettishly averted.
" It wasn't his gait. Phebe saw it with
a pang of disappointment, though a mo
ment before you would have thought from
her face and attitude that she was perfectly
indifferent as to who might bo coming down
But who could it be? Such tall, hand
some young men were not very plentiful iu
AN INDEPENDENT FAMILY
Kockport. He must bo a stranirer. " Hut
I have seen hiin before," said Phebe to
herself, and then suddenly remembered
when. A ship, bound on a foreign voy
ngc, had put in the harbor for repairs the
day before, and ono of the village girls had
pointed out this young man, whom they
had met in the street, as its captain Caip
tain Matthews, but what could lie bo
coming here for?
He leaned over the gate and lifted his hat,
with a very graocful bow for a sailor.
"Tins is Miss Hanson?" ho said, as
Phebe went towards him, with wonder in
Phebo made a demure littlo bow.
"Can I see you alone for a few mo
ments!" ho said, in a voice that sounded
strange and husky, and impressed Phebe
with a sudden fancy that sho had, some
where, heard it before.
Phebe looked back towards the houso.
Aunt Jane was not in sight ; she had gone
to the kitchen to make biscuits for tea.
"Wo are quite alone, sir," said Phebe,
with dignity, yet not without a little tremor
in her voice, for she was a littlo afraid of
this man whose manner was so strange.
lie glanced furtively around him until
quite sure that no one was iu sight. Then
he removed his cap and a wig of jet black
hair that had covered his head, next a false
mustache and whiskers of the ' same color
and a fair-haired smooth-faced young man
was revealed. '
Phebe grew white, and started back.
"Phebo, dpn't you remember?" ho 6aid
holding his arms out towards' her ; and his
voice was vry different. Phebe drew near
him again, with her blue eyes fixed like one
in a dream. She touched his hand with a
sort of curious wonder, as if to discover if it
were real flesh and blood.
"O Joe, Joe 1 1 can't believe it is you 1"
she cried, then, falling into his arms. He
folded her tightly to his heart, and kissed
her bright hair tenderly. "But, Joo, tell
me how you escaped how it all happened
for I feel as if I were dreaming 1" Baid
He cast a quick, cautious glanco around
again he was used, evidently, to keeping
always on his guard and put on his false
hair and beard.
Phebe started away from him again.
" I don't like to see you with those on. I
don't believe that it is you whon I see
them !" she said.
But he gathered her into his arms again,
laughing, and began to talk, low and earn
estly, and in her eagerness to hear his ex
planations Phebe forgot his unnatural look.
As they stood there, his arm around
Phebe's waist, her hand resting on his
shoulder, a young man eamo around the
turn in tho road, in full view, though they
wore too much occupied with each other
to see him. But ho saw them, and started
at the sight, while a dark flush overspread
his handsome, sunburnt face. ,
Ho had almost reached her sido before
Phebo saw him ; when she did see him sho
stepped suddenly away from Captain Mat
thews, her cheeks flaming.
"Let me introduce you to Captain Drew
Captain Matthews," she said, with an evi
dent struggle for composure. "Captain
Matthews is an old friend of mine, Gil
bert." "I should judge so," said Captain Gil
bert Drew, shortly, making a littlo, curt
bow to Captain Matthews, but ignoring his
Ho was honest and straightforward, this
young sailor, and could not dissemble his
anger. He would not shake hands with a
man who a moment previous, had had his
aim around his sweetheart's waist.
" I think I may as well bid you good-by,
Phebe," said Captain Matthews, and held
Phebo's hand in a long and close pressure
bowed profoundly to Gilbert Drew, who re
garded him with something very like a
scowl, and took his departure.
"Well?" said the irato young captain
looking steadly into Phebe's face.
She was watching the rotreating figure
IVcav IBloomfiolcl, Pa., Juno
with anxious, it seemed to Gilbert Drew
with tender eyes, and did not heed his an
gry tone j but when sho caught sight of his
stern, set face and flashing eyes a deep flush
flickered over her face.
Sho looked relieved when Aunt Jano ut
tered a shrill summons to tea.
" You'll stay to tea, Gilbert," sho said,
coaxingly, laying her hand on his arm.
" You like Aunt Jane's biscuit so much,
you know, and and I'll forgive you for
being so rude tome just now if you'll
" It seems to me Phebe," said Gilbert,
softened, in spite of himself, by tho touch
of her hand, " that I am not the ono who
needs forgiveness. I should like an expla
nation of the scene I witnessed a few mo
" I can't give you an explanation," said
Phebe, quickly, dropping her hand from his
arm, and her face grew very grave and
stern under Gilbert's searching eyes, but
did not change color in the least.
Tho young man looked perplexed.
Phebe was always so frank and true, he
hardly knew how to doubt her, but then
there was tho evidence of his own eyes.
Phebe looked up in his face very humbly
"I can't tell you anything more.now, than
that he is an old fnend, and I was so glad
and so surprised to see him that perhaps
I wasn't quite so so ceiemonious as I
should have been."
Gilbert's brow darkened, and Phebe saw
plainly that she was not mending matters.
Sho tucked her littlo white hand inside his
large, brown one, and her baby-blue eyes
looked pleadingly up into his face.
"Gilbert, won't you trust me?" she said,
softly. " There it something that I keep
back that I can't tell you now, though somo
time I may. But you know, Gilbert, that
there is nobody in the wide world that I"
and her eyes dropped, and shy pink blush
es chased each other over her face, her
voice was very low, and faltering, and sweet
"that I ZoM-liko you."
It was tho first time that Phebe had ever
confessed so much, and Gilbert caught her
in his arms and kissed her, and drovo tho
last shadow away from his brow, and al
lowed himself to be led into tho house,
where Aunt Jane awaited them in a fever
of anxiety lest the biscuit were cold.
Gilbert was no great favorite with Aunt
Jane. Sho had always been determined
that Phebo should not marry a seafaring
man, and then tho knowledge that Phebe
might have done better, as far as money
and position were concerned, harrassed her
continually. For there was Gerald Bayno,
the great man of Rockport, tho owner of
nobody knew how many ships, and
warehouses and stock, and lands, who had
been in love with Phebe ever since she
wore pinafores, and who might havo won
her, Aunt Jane was continually saying to
herself if it had not been for Gilbert Drew.
Not that Phebo had ever manifested tho
least liking for Gerald Baync, but she could
not have been insensible to such attractions
as his, Aunt Jane was sure, if Gilbert Drew,
with his handsome face had not come in
the way, and coaxed her into fancying her
self in love with him. But Phobo was the
applo of her eye, and she hadn't the heart
to try to thwart her ; perhaps, too, sho was
conscious that it would not bo of much use
to try, for Phebo was a determined little
being whon she had once made up her mind.
Willfulness was a family trait. Aunt
Jane well remembered how being thwart
ed in his will had been tho ruin of one
member of it. That was Phebo's brother ;
from childhood all his dreams had been of
the sea, every ship that sailed out of tho
port ho followed with longing eyes,and all his
hopos and fancies flow forward to the time
whon he should be ablo to go.
But his mother was a widow, and the sea
had swallowed up so many of her kindred
her husband among thorn that she had
a droad and horror of it, and absolutely re
fused to let the boy go. She kept an un
ceasing watch over him, and when, in his
sixteenth year, he attempted to run away
he was caught and brought back, and sent
to the city to work his way up, his mother
fondly hoped, to honor and wealth in a mer
cantile house. But news of his reckless
ness and ill-conduct came continually, un
til, at last, three years from the time he
left home, the blow came that broke his
mother's heart. He had been concerned in
an extensive bank robbery and sentenced
to a long term of imprisonment, and had
committed suicide to escape it.
Poor Mrs. Hanson died in three months
afterwards, and Phebo was left to Aunt
Jane's caro j and they had lived together
ever since, in that littlo gray stone houso
by the sea. And Aunt Jane, remembering
her nephew's fate, had an almost morbid
dread of crossing Phebo in anything ; if it
had not been for that it is very unlikely that
Gilbert Drew would havo been seated so
cosily at their tea-table, with Aunt Jane's
cherished strawberry preserves put on for
his express benefit. For Aunt Jano was
ambitious, and that she was not to sec'
Phebo Mrs. Gerald Bayno was the great dis
appointment of her life.
But not the lightness of Aunt Jane's bis
cuit, nor the sweetness of her preserves,
nor even Phebe's society, was ablo to dis
pel the cloud that still lingered on Gilbert's
brow. He had perfect faith in rhebe, he
said to himself, over and over again, but
still it was not a pleasant sigjit that he had
witnessed. And Phebe seemed so strange
ly nervous and excited, so unlike herself ;
she talked perfectly at random, and even
when he reminded her that in just threo
weeks tho Lapwing would be ready for sea,
she seemed scarcely to hear him, but was
listening intently as if for a footstep on the
gravel walk, and she started and grew pale
at every slight sound. And when Gilbert
arose to tako his leave, at least an hour ear
lier than his wont, she did not ask him to
stay, but seemed rather relieved at his go
ing. Yet she stood in tho door and watch
ed him out of sight, with a wistful, anxious
look on her face.
"I'm going to bed." said Aunt Jane,
" and you had better go, too. What is the
matter between you and Gilbert. Havn't
had a falling out, have you?"
" No, no indeed I nothing is tho matter."
said Phebe, faintly. " Don't wait for mo,
Aunt Jano. I am not going to bed quite
Aunt Jane was quite sure that everything
was not right, but sho was too wise to say
anything ; she went her way up stairs, and
loft Phebo sitting alone on the door-stone.
Tho village clock struck nine just as tho
echo of her footsteps died away, and Phebo
rose, with a great sigh of relief, wrapped
herself in her cloak and drew the hood over
her head, ran lightly down tho road, climb
ed the stone wall and crossed the pasture,
then sped lightly over tho rocks to the sea
shore. it was almost as light as day, and tho
moon made a glittering wako upon tho sea
in which two or threo ships rested, with
gleaming sails, like great, white, hovering
A man started up from ono of the rocks
at tho sound of her footsteps Captain
"I am lato, I know Joe, but I couldn't
get away before ; and now I mustn't stay
long, for Aunt Jano may call me, and she
would be frightoned to death to find I was
not in the house."
They sat down together on a rock, his
arm around her waist, her eyes looking up
into his. Ah I if Gilbert Drow could have
seen her thon his faco would have worn a
darker cloud than it did now. Ho was a
fool to have faith in her after what he had
seen, you think ? Well, ho thought so
himself afterwards. Only onco in their
long talk for Phebe forgot that she ought
uot to stay did they mention his name. ,
"You are going to marry Gilbert Drew?"
the young man said.
" Yes," said Phebe, simply.
"Not if he knew, I fancy, Phebo I"
And the man's tone was hard and bitter.
" I think sometimes that ho must havo
; Terms t IN ADVANCE.
One Dollar per Tear.
heard it from some of the village gossips ;
there aro so many who would enjoy telling
him," said Phebe. "But of course he can
not know all."
" He never shall know all, Phebo. Pvo
made you wretched enough 1 You shall
never bo troubled by me again."
"But I couldn't live without seeing you,
Joe," cried Phebo ; "and there may yet
come a time when we can see each other
openly, without fear or disgrace."
The young man shook his head hope
lessly. " Wo will wait and hope, Joe," she whis
pered. "Now I must go. No, no, you
must not go homo with me 1 You might
bo seen ; it was very dangerous for you to
come to-day; and I am not afraid. I
shall wait to see you in your boat before
TJie young man got into a row-boat, whoa'
rope he had fastened to a stone, and was
soon rowing away to where his ship, the
Winged Rover, lay at anchor, looking like
a great, black shadow in tho moonlight.
Phebe turned towards the house. There
was no light to be seen in any of tho win
dows ; it was evident that Aunt Jane was
sleeping the sleep of tho just, unconscious
of her niece's absence. So Phebe walked
leisurely along, now and then casting a
backward glance at tho Winged Rover.
But when she come within a few feet of the
pasture bars sho started back with a low
cry of alarm ; a man stood leaning over
them in careless attitude, watching her in
tently. "Pray don't let me alarm you, Miss
Phebe," ho said, reassuringly, and as he
lifted his hat Phebe recognized Mr. Gerald
Never agreeable in its expression, his
face now wore a look of malicious triumph
that made it positively repulsive to Phebe ;
sho saw at once that he had witnessed her
meeting with captain Matthews ; she re
membered with a thrill of terror that he
might have hoard all their conversation.
" Will you allow me to accompany yon
home ? It is not safe for you to be out eo
late alone," he said quietly.
Phebo drew herself up haughtily. Hi
tone and manner deceived her. He had
not heard, or ho would not be so calm, she
" I don't need any escort for so short a
distance, thank you," she said, coldly, at
tempting to pass him.
He stepped before her and whispered a
few words in her ear. A low, half-stifled
cry broke from her lips, and her face grew
" And you listened 1 I wouldn't have be
lieved that, even of you 1" she cried.
"No, I didn't listen. I didn't need to.
I knew it before," he answered coolly.
"And you will use your knowledge?
You will bring disgrace and ruin upon him
and mo ?"
"Isn't it my duty? unless I have my
pay for keeping your secret."
Phebe's lip curled contemptuously.
" And your pay ?" she asked, haughtily,
iu spile of her terror.
"Can you ask? Don't you know the
ono treasure without which the whole world
is valueless to me ?" And he took in his, one
of the hands that hung limp and nervele.
at Phebo's side.
"'0, how can you bo so cruel ? What
have I ever done to you that you should
persecute me so 1" cried Phebe passion
ately. " Cruel to you, Phebe ? If you could on
ly understand how much more my love i
worth to you than Gilbert Drew's, how
much happier you must be as my wife t
Why, his is only a boy's fancy that ho yiVA
forget in a twelvemonth, while I will chor
ish you so tendorly, always, Phebe I"
Phebe drew her hand away.
"I will nevorbe your wife," she saM.
firmly, emboldened by his softened tone.--Surely
one who professed to lovo her u,
much could nevor persist in bringing BcU
sorrow upon her as he had threatened 1
CONCLUDED NEXT 'WEEK..