The New Bloomfield, Pa. times. (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1877-188?, January 27, 1880, Image 1
VOL. XIV. THE TIMES. in Independent Family Newspaper! II PUBLISHED BVKRT TUBRDAT BT F. MORTIMER & CO. P INVARIABLY IN ADVANCE. Oiin ymr (Postage Free) $1 M flix Mouths " " 80 To Subscribers in this County Whopnyln Advanck b Discount of 2ii(nts will be niaile from (He above terms, ninklng subscription williln the County, Whcu l'aid In Advance, $1.25 Per Year. W Advertising ratea furnished uponappll atlon. The Battle for the Cedars. 11Y l'HEHSLY W. MOIIU1S. CONTINUED. 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 reply. 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 light close. Evidently the stains were quite fresh. It looked as though they had been made by the wiping of a bloody hand upon the door. Borne foul work has been done here," exclaimed Evans. " 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 of doom. 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 form. " See!" said Evans. " What is that ? There is an explanation of these stains of blood." 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 Evans. " Come in,and we will close the door," said the master of The Cedars, with a shudder. 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 audible reply. " 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 appeared. " '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 burglary" 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?" Viotor muttered. 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 drawn.- 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 olent death. 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 again. " 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 reached Fairmount. 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 glance. 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 returned. 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 silken." 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 night." 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 live." 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 loved. 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 ease. 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 my estate?" "Yes, I am aware of it," Barbara mur mured faintly. "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 NO. 5. 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 home gladly." 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 win. 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 rapidly. 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 tress I 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 Cashel." " 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 be off." "He looks kind ob genteel," said Sant. " 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 crustily. But Sant's services were not neces sary in the case, for at that, moment a tall figure appeared at the door of the library. " Dar he am, now," said Sant. To be continued.