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atlon. The Battle for the Cedars.
11Y l'HEHSLY W. MOIIU1S.
rTUIEItE was a souud as though the
JL door at the malu entrance was
burst open," said the master of The
Cedars. " At any rate, niy senses locat
ed the sound In that direction ; and we
will see if that is the case."
Presently they came to the long hall
of the main entrance. A gust of wind
nearly-extinguished the lamp.
' The door is open," said Evans.
" As I supposed," was the muttered
Shortly the two men stood in the
doorway. The master of The Cedars
handed his pistol to Evans, and shaded
the light with his hand. The thunder
was yet pealing in an almost continual
roar, and vivid flashes of lightning were
playing across the sky.
" Is this all that we are to discover ?"
said the master of The Cedars.
He was looking out toward the threat
ening heavens, and the lawyer felt that
he need not reply to that question, for it
had not been addressed to him.
"Ugh I" shuddered Evans, "what an
ugly storm there will be shortly I"
The light was shining on the open
door. Borne stains there attracted the
attention of Evans, and he bent down
to examine them. They were of blood.
" Look 1" he cried.
The master of The Cedars held the
Evidently the stains were quite fresh.
It looked as though they had been made
by the wiping of a bloody hand upon
Borne foul work has been done here,"
" But who has suffered V" aBked the
man by his side in so hollow a tone that
he was startled.
To Evans these stains were spots of
blood, that of a human being it might
be, and so there was no danger for him,
he could endure the sight easily ; but to
the master of The Cedars, whose nerves
were all shaken, who dared not explain
to any living creature what he feared,
they seemed, at that moment, the tokens
A flash of lightning made it as light
out-of-doors for an instant, as though
the god of day were shining, and Evans
beheld from whence the blow had come.
Stretched across the great stone steps
in front of the mansion was a large
" See!" said Evans. " What is that ?
There is an explanation of these stains
He took the light out of the hands of
the master of The Cedars and held it
down by the prostrate form.
" Cashel, it is a dead dog," he cried.
It was the body of Barbara Lindsley 's
foe. He had met a just fate at last, and
was stiff aud cold in death. Violent
enough had been the animal's end, for
he was covered with blood.
" This is not the work of spirits," cried
" Come in,and we will close the door,"
said the master of The Cedars, with a
This last discovery did not relieve
him. The death of the dog was no less
a sign of doom, be felt, in his state of
mind, than the stains upon the wall,
though it explained them. Evans had
said this is not the work of a ghost. He
believed that. The question was, who
had done it ? Could this deed and the
figure he had beheld in the west wing
be connected ? The probability of an
affirmative answer to this last question
was what caused his shuddering and
NIZW BLOOMFIELD, TUESDAY,
fears ; for, If this was so, It established
beyond a doubt the fact that the figure
was no creature of the Imagination, no
wraith, no ghost.
As the two men started ou their return
to their Bleeping apartments, a wooly
head was stuck out of a hole that led
toward the kitchen.
" 'Foah heaben, Massa CubIivI," said
a thick voice, "what am de matter? Is
dar any danger V"
"do back to your bed, you black
wench," said the master of The Cedars
crossly. u The danger is nil past."
" Was dar anybody killed ?" contin
ued the sernt, curiosity overmastering
fear of her master's displeasure.
' No 1" was the harsh reply.
Such was the character of the man,
that even terror could not melt him to
kluducss toward the black creatures,
who served him faithfully always.
" There has been an attempt at burg
lary," said Evans, as they searched once
more the sleeping apartments.
" Your ghoBt, Cashel, was, I think, a
very solid thief I"
The master of The Cedars made no
" Would to heaven I could believe
that was all I" was his thought.
" Evans, ou can sleep with me the
remainder of the night," he muttered.
Ere Evriib scarcely touched the couch,
he was fast asleep, for he considered that
all sounds were accounted for by the
theory of burglars, and that, they being
gone, there was no further danger.
But there was no sleep for the master
of The Cedars. He could only He listen
ing to the sounds of the storm without,
and thinking of the events of the night.
' Naught else occurred to disturb him
or the slumbering Evans. Morning
dawned, and he arose. He went down
to the library ,leaving Evans still asleep.
Presently the negro servant, Sant
" 'Clar' to goodness, Massa Cashel!"
he exclaimed, "somebody hab gone
killed old Leo."
" I know it," said his master gruffly.
" Have him taken away from the door
way ; and be sure that the blood on the
door is washed off."
The storm had lulled as suddenly as it
had arisen, the sky had cleared, and the
sun came up in golden splendor. The
man threw open a window of the libra
ry, and looked out. The birds were
singing in the still damp trees, and all
nature was bright and fresh, seeming to
be rejoicing that the storm was past.
The master of The Cedars began to
feel better. He wondered if, after all,
his imagination had not deceived him
to a certain extent. The sunshine, the
light of day, dispelled his fears. He felt
ready to believe that Evans's idea was
the correct once. The figure that he
had seen was naught but some robber,
bent on plundering. And the robber
had killed Leo.
How easy it was for the man to per
suade himself, now, that the theory
which was acceptable to him, which
quieted his fears, which lulled his appre
hensions, was the correct one.
" Bah !" he said finally, "that thought
of mine was a mere absurdity. I must
have been badly frightened to be eo
deceived. Ha, ha I can I not stand the
sudden flash of light shining upon a tall
Victor experienced a feeling of Intense
relief. The figure that had been buffet
ed so cruelly was not that of a human
being, he perceived at length, but was,
instead, a mere image, a model. '
V What means this wild Bcene?"
He thought of the reality it might
portend, and shuddered. Was the idiot
being trained so that he could be the
means of a terrible retribution ?
Surely, no other inference could be
Victor turned away from the window
and went back toward the stable. His
clothing was soaking wet from the fall
ing rain, but he had now no wish to
enter the hut, for he knew not what
kind of a reception he might meet.
Victor was a brave man when circum
stances demanded, but be was not one
to rush recklessly into danger, and he
realized that there might be great dan
ger in entering this place.
" I prefer the companionship of my
horse to that of these people," he said
to himself. " I can endure.this disagree
able condition that I am in till morn
ing." He entered the stable, and stood by
his animal. He heard the fierce sweep
ing of the storm, and the crash of fall
ing timbers in the forest : he realized
that he had mude a narrow escape. The
shelter of this rude hut was safety ; the
wandering along a lonely woodland path
in UiIb storm was peril, and perhaps vi
At length the storm began to die
away : In Its very violence it had soon
spent Itself. The thunder and light
ning ceased, the wind howled no longer,
and all became calm. Victor looked
out from his shelter. In the heavens he
beheld here and there a stur, and knew
that the clouds were scattering.
Presently a tinge of gold appeared In
the east: the approach - of the king of
day was being heralded. The rosy tinge
widened out, and soon the morning
light became moreappurent.
Victor led his horse out from the sta
ble and mounted. The hut in which he
had beheld such a wild scene could now
be plainly seen. Victor fixed Its out
lines in his mind, so that he might re
member them. He easily found the
brushy path by which he had come, and
entering it, rode slowly away. If he
could retrace the1 way by which he had
come, he would at last be able to extri
cate himself from the forest.
Victor's progress was slow and diffi
cult. The overhanging branches were
wet. At times he encountered huge
trees that had been blown across the
path by the storm. Other paths diverged
from the one In which he was, and he
could only be guided by chance in his
course. He felt that it was only aimless
wandering, aud he might continue thus
for hours before he could right himself
" If there was but one entrance to this
forest," Victor muttered, " I would
never escape from It ; but I know that a
hundred puths must lead out of it, and
I shall trust to good fortune to guide me
into some of them. If I . continue to
travel, I must strike the boundaries af
ter a while."
The sun rose up from the east, mount
ing high in the heavens, till at length It
rode straight overhead. It was mid day
and Victor was still wandering. He be
gan to feel despairing. It would be ter
rible to spend another night in the
woods. Already he was wretchedly fa
tigued, and he pitied the poor beast car
rying him so faithfully, knowing that
his fatigue must be greater ; but at last
he suddenly emerged from the forest in
to an open field.
"Thank Clod!" he cried in his de
light. During all the day he had not found
a single habitation ; but . now he soon
discovered a dwelling-house. Upon in
quiry, he found that he was but a few
miles from Fairmount. '
Victor obtained food for himself and
horse, and was then directed on his
right course. He had no more difficulty
aud by the middle of the afternoon
By the next morning he was recover
ed from his fatigue. Fortunately, the
drenching that the rain had given him
did not make him ill.
The afternoon found him riding down
toward the place that just now held the
strongest attraction for him of any in
the world. He was now below The Ce
dars when he beheld a figure ahead of
him mounted, and trotting slowly along
the sight of which made his pulse
quicken. It was Barbara Lindsley ; and
he hastened the pace of his horse so
that he might overtake her.
While he was still some distance be
hind her, another person appeared - to
view, coming from the opposite direc
tion, a man. When he met Miss Lind
sley, he bowed low to her.
As heapproached,Victor's face flushed
hotly ; then he rode straight ahead, not
giving the man who was passing him a
It was the master of The Cedars. He
seemed fascinated; for bis eyes fixed
themselves on Victor's face, and after
he was past his head was turned to
continue his gaze : he even checked his
horse that he might follow Victor with
his eyes. ,
" Am I cursed ?" he cried.
The color that had faded from his face
JANUARY 27, 1880.
" It is but a strange resemblance," he
muttered. " Bah ! what a coward I am
growing to be, frightened, as it were,
by a mere shadow. His beard was not
long and coarse and red, but black and
Victor did not look back. He soon
overtook Barbara Lindsley. The girl
was thinking of the change in the mas
ter of The Cedars. The last time he had
met her, he had passed with a cold
stare, this time be bowed as though he
might be her very slave.
" Good-evening, Miss Lindsley," Vic
tor suld, Interrupting Barbara's thoughts.
She had been so absorbed that Bhe had
scarcely noticed ' his approach ; not
turning her head to see who it was.
Now, however, she gave him a quick
glance of recognition.
He rode along by her side, and they
conversed merrily. Very Boon De Vere's
residence was reached.
"You are coming in, Mr. Victor, of
course," said Barbara, after he had as
sisted her to dismount. (
"Yes," he returned.
He accompanied her into the house,
having given the horses Into the charge
of a Bervant. They found Victoria in the
parlor, to whom Barbara Introduced
Victor. Then muslo and conversation
followed, as usual.
Presently Itobert De Vere entered.
He already knew Victor, as he had been
present a portion of the time on the oc
casion of his previous call.
"I have Just met Cashel," Itobert said,
when the first greetings was past; "and
he Informs me that an attempt at bur
glary was made in his residence last
Victor paled a little; but, as it chanced,
no one noticed that,
"The attempt was unsuccessful, "Rob
ert continued; "but that great brute of a
dog that he owned was killed. I am not
sorry for that part of the affair, for that
creature was too fierce and cruel to
Barbara's face flushed a little. That
dog had been a terror to her : was it
strange that an emotion of pleasure en
tered her heart, gentle and tender though
it was, in hearing of his dea th? ,
"I suppose that there was but one dog
at The Cedars answering to your descrip
tion, Mr1 De Vere," said Victor quietly;
"and I had thought that he perished pre
viously : but I presume it was not eo. I
am glad, with you, that he is at last dead,
for he was. a dangerous brute. I dare
say that Miss Lindsley is equally rejoic
ed that he is slain."
Questions followed, of course, and for
the first time Victoria and Itobert learn
ed of Barbara's escape. Victoria re
proached her that she had not spoken
of the affair before, and Barbara could
not explain what bad prompted her to
keep her adventure a secret from them.
The moments fled all too quickly for
Victor, and soon, he was compelled to
leave the presence of the women he
What Barbara Lindsley feared was be
tokened by the courtesy of the master
of The Cedars, When he met her, came
to pass. Owing to that fear, his po
liteness had chilled and frightened her
more than his previous coldness and
haughtiness had. And what she feared
was a renewal of his attentions.
The next day he called at De Vere's,
and asked for her. Barbara was in her
room when she was told that he was
waiting in the parlor. Her first im
pulse was not to see him : then she ar
rived at her old conclusion. She would
always treat this man as politely and as
kindly as possible, so that inall the fu
ture be would be able to find no ground
of complaint against her.
She went down. The meeting was
somewhat embarrassing at first ; but the
master of The Cedars made no reference
to the past, conversing on commonplace
topics, so that presently she felt more at
It was toward the close of his call that
he referred to a fact of great importance
to the Rlrl.
"Miss Lindsley," he said, "I suppose
you are aware of the fact that I am In
volved in a great law suit in regard to
"Yes, I am aware of it," Barbara mur
"Miss Lindsley, all danger of my los
ing my property is past," he continued.
"I have discovered a will that settles the
matter forever in my favor. My late
uncle, Herbert Cashel, in that will, be
queaths all his possessions to my father
and his heirs."
Barbara felt ready to faint. If this
were true, she would never be mistress
of The Cedars, could never claim the
home of her dead father. By a strong
effort, however, she kept herself calm.
As the master of The Cedars rode
home, after his departure from the De
Vere residence, he felt Jubilant.
"Ha, ha!" he laughed to himself,
" she heard of that suit, and of course
wanted nothing to do with a man who
would probably be impoverished. But
this true annoucement of mine will
affect her so that I shall win her yet.
Yes, I shall win her yet; for she will
realize that there can be no possibil
ity of a doubt of her being mistress of
The Cedars." ,
Meanwhile, poor Barbara was In her
room, finding relief in tears.
" Oh that I could forget and never
know him more !" she sobbed ; " never
look upon his face again ! I believe that
for that I could relinquish all chance of
ever possessing my dear dead papa's
The master of The Cedars had called
his strange fears absurd ; had declared to
himself that they were without founda
tion ; yet it was not quite possible for
him to drive away all doubts. But he
decided that if the thing which might be
heralded by that night of alarms should
come to pass, he would pursue a bold
course; a course he believed would
Yes, a bold course ; as bold as some of
the schemes of his past life !
A few weeks passed.
During that time no ghostly shape,
nor real presence that could terrify,
came to disturb the master of The Ce
dars. At the twilight of a September even
ing he was in the library, that apart
ment where he spent most of his waking
hours. A fire was blazing in an open
grate, casting its ruddy glow upon the
walls aud furniture. The lamps were
pot yet lighted. Out-of-doors it was
very unpleasant. A damp, chilling
mist was falling, gathering in heavy
drops upon the foliage of the trees, and
a cold wind was blowing. Previous to
the near approach of night the sky bad
been of a dull, leaden color ; but as night
settled down the heavens grew black
The master of The Cedars sat by a
table, partially in the shadow ; but oc
caslonally,when he would turn his head,
the firelight showed his face plainly.
He was looking well. Latterly he had
been in high spirits ; for all of his plans
seemed prospering. Why .should he
not look well and be in good spirits t
Was be not sure of winning in the great
suit of Cashel verwa Cashel V
Then The Cedars should have a mis
Sant came in to light the lamps. He
did so, and the bright light made the
library seem very cheerful in contrast
to the lowering gloom without. Sud
denly the door-bell rang.
" Answer that ring, Sant," command
ed the master of The Cedars.
Sant obeyed. He soon returned.
" A man out dar : says him wants to
see you 'bout umportant business, Massa
Cashel," he announced.
"Where Is his card?"
"He didn't gib me no card, Massa
" Did he tell you his name V"
" No, Bah."
" Some vagabond, I suppose," said the
master of The Cedars. " I don't want
any thieves here over night ; tell him to
"He looks kind ob genteel," said
" Why does he not state his busi
ness?" grumbled the master.
He considered for a moment, and then
evidently changed his mind.
"Show him in," he said to Sant
But Sant's services were not neces
sary in the case, for at that, moment
a tall figure appeared at the door of the
" Dar he am, now," said Sant. To be