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IsTHTVV BLOOMFIELD, 1JV., TUESDAY, FEBEUAKY 17, 1880.
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eatlou. The Battle for the Cedars.
BY FREBSLY '. MORRIS.
WE NOW return to the man left as
Lionel Cashel became conscious of a
dull sensation of pain, and then he tried
to struggle loose from some power that
held him In Its bonds. Was he dream
ing, or was this fearful oppression
Slowly a sense of his position came
to him. He Mas not dreaming. He
realized that he was awake, and bound
and gagged. All about him was thick
" Where am I ?" was his mental ejac
ulation. Then he remembered his interview
with Valasquez , how he had retired to
the crimson room ; his feeling of secur
ity ; he had slept.
After that all was blank.
But Lionel knew that he was once
more in the power of his foe. At that
thought he struggled fiercely in his
bonds, and tried to free himself.
His efforts were all In vain.
He wearied himself, and was forced to
lie still in despair, not knowing for
what fate he was reserved. Death in
some measure seemed certain, for he
felt that he was as helpless as a new
born babe, and ValttBquez would never
let him escape alive, he knew.
How long lie had lain there thinking,
when there came a loud noise close at
hand that echoed through the apart
ment, he could form scarcely an idea.
At the sound he Instinctively tried to
cry out, but no utterance could he give
forth. That he could not shriek seemed
maddening, for he knew not but that
the person making those sounds might
The echoes died away to quietness,
a quiet as profound as that of the grave.
What appeared to Lionel a long
period of time passed.
I reality it was the space between the
departure of Valasquez from the door,
and his return with the Blave, Varcor.
Then Lionel heard the noises made in
laying the brick to wall up the doorway.
At first he did not comprehend, but
presently his horrified brain took In the
fact that he was being shut up between
walls. Occasionally he heard a sup
pressed voice that he knew belonged
Once more Lionel' struggled to free
himself, struggled fiercely till the .Cords
with which he was bound cut into his
limbs. But he did not release himself,
and he stopped at last.
lie was not aware of it, in his numbed
condition, but his powerful struggles
had partially loosened the cords that
held him, so that his next fierce effort
would iu all probability give him the
use of his limbs.
The work outside went on. It was
completed. Lionel heard his enemies
depart, and once more silence reigned.
Despair overwhelmed Lionel Cashel.
A thousand lights seemed to flash
before his eyes. Thrills of agony shot
through his frame.
" Am I dying!"' he thought wildly.
He gave one last mad effort, and his
bands were freed from the bonds that
held them. He felt that he had a new
lease of life. He sat up, and tore the
gag from his mouth.
"Thank heaven I" he cried.
Then he unbound his feet, and rose
upright. He was so stiff and sore that
he could not remain standing at first.
But presently he was able to grope his
way about the apartment. Lionel
thought it must be past morning,' long
past, but not a elngle ray of light enter
ed the room. All was darkness.
Lionel reached the solid walls, and
felt about tliem. What availed It 1
He hud released himself from a pain
ful position of body ; but, farther than
that, what availed his freedom from
bonds ? Was he any nearer to actual
liberty ? He could not feel that he
" I am shut out from light aud life
and hope," he cried agonizingly. " Oh
the devilish malignity of that villain 1"
What should his prison be but a living
tomb? He was to die a slow, torturing
death between these walls, according to
the purpose of Valasquez.
He shouted loudly for help; but the
sounds only came back to him, mock
logs of despair. Long Lionel continued
to grope about, but at length he sank
upon the floor, hungry, fatigued, and
Bleep overcame him, and for some
hours he lay locked in Us embrace. He
awoke to renew his groping about
" Would he continue that, only to
drop down exhausted at last, and die ?"
he asked himself.
Probably his action was instinctive,
like that of the prisoned bird that flut
ters Its wings against the bars of its
cage. Perhaps he had given over all
hopes of escape; but for all that, he
could not lie down calmly and perish 1
But Lionel Cashel was not to die in
At last a secret that the false master
of The Cedars had never discovered, of
which he bad no idea, was made appar
ent. Lionel's blind groplngs were not
in vain I Suddenly there was a harsh
grating sound, and he felt the rush of
He had troubled a spring, and had
caused a square In the seemingly solid
wall to swing away. After that it was
but the work of an Instant to find the
He found th opening abundantly
large for him to crawl through. He
raised himself slowly to it,' and in
another moment was out of the prison
Lionel looked about. A short distance
away, he saw outlined a faint square of
light. He made his way to it, and found
it to be, as he had supposed, a window.
It looked out upon the grounds behind
the stone mansion.
Lionel returned to the secret door.
He closed it, and that which had been
intended for his tomb was sealed again.
He cautlously removed the sash of the
window. Just to one side of it were
the clambering branches of a huge
grape-vine. It took Lionel but a few
seconds to lower himself to the earth.
It was night, and it had been twenty
four hours, fully, since he had been
carried from the crimson room by his
All was quiet. The stars twinkled in
the heavens. The great mansion Btood
outlined against the sky. Not even a
breeze rustled the foliage of the trees.
How fearfully calm the scene was I
" Heaven cannot always smile on
that villain," thought Lionel. "His
day of doom will come some time."
It was the wedding eve of Victoria
De Vere and Vincent Sherwood. The
De Vere mansion was brilliantly light
ed, aud it was a gay scene on which the
lamps shone. There was quite a crowd
of people, some of them from the neigh
borhood, but most of them invited from
Baltimore. The false muster of The
Cedars was iu attendance. It was part
of a plot that he should be there. Other
wise his anger at Barbara LIndsley
would have kept him away.
The solemn ceremony that made the
twain one flesh had occurred, at the
The guests presently repaired to the
dining-room, where a eumptuous repast
was awaiting them of which they pro
ceeded to partake. It was nearly finish
ed when Valasquez, glancing down the
long table, beheld a' face that startled
" I am a fool still," he thought. " I
saw that man once before, and let Lis
resemblance to him frighten me!"
But after supper Valasquez sought out
Eobert De Vere.
." You have a guest here whose name
I wish to know," he said.
' "Well?" Robert returned.
" He Is a tall man, and has a long red
beard. Do you remember him 1"'
"Yes ; his name Is Victor." '
"From where V" continued Valas
quez. " Oh I there he Is now."
" The same," said Robert. " He Is
from Baltimore, I believe, Mr. Cashel.
To tell the truth, I kuow very little
about hi 11. He Is a friend of MIbs
LIndsley. Shall I Introduce you V"
"It Is not necessary," replied Valas
quez. A few feet away, Victor turned to one
side. To ell appearances he bad not
seen the false master of The Cedars.
Victor continued on through the par
lors, making his way slowly through
the gay and fluttering assembly. Evi
dently, he was searching for some one.
It was Barbara LIndsley ) and he dis
covered her presently, unattended.
" Miss LIndsley," he said, " will you
promenade with me on the piazza?"
" Certainly," Barbara replied.
" I will not promlsa to remain out
here long, Mr. Victor," she said gayly,
when they reached the piazza.
For a full minute Victor did not
speak, Barbara keeping silent too. Of
what was this silence augury ?
Suddenly Victor laid his hand upon
the one resting bo lightly upon his
" Miss LIndsley, I was not without
an object In wishing you to come out
here," he said, while his voice trembled
a little ; " an object of the very greatest
importance to me."
The girl's heart throbbed with delight.
That beginning could lead iu but one
" Miss LIndsley you know but very
little about me," Victor continued.
" Perhaps you consider me as merely an
"No, not that, Mr. Victor," Barbara
said. " Please do not speak so."
"Iam under a cloud at present,"
proceeded Victor, feeling that he was
making a stammering effort; "but I
hope aud believe It will clear away ere
If a man's success in love aftalrs de
pended on the cleverness with which ha
could express himself, how ill the best
men would fare 1 Victor paused, seem
ingly at a loss how to continue.
" Go on," whispered Barbara softly.
What a blessed aid were those two
little words !
"Oh Miss LIndsley 1" Victor said pas
sionately, "I love you with all my
heart. I do not ask you now .to say
that you love me; but, if you feel that
there Is a possibility of your ever doing
so, please tell me that I may hope."
" Mr. Victor, you may hope," said
The two stood there, uttering no other
Victor felt the hand that he held in
his tremble a little. And that clasping
of hand was enough for them then.
" Let us go in," whispered Barbara
presently. " We shall be missed."
So they went in, a new-found happi
ness in each heart. Victor could not
appropriate Barbara, and he was content
to let her mingle with the other guests.
A few hours sped. . Barbara wondered
if the master of The Cedars was watch
ing her; for it appeared to her that she
could not get out of his view. Yet he
did not approach near enough at any
time to converse with her.
At length, feeling that his very gaze
was hateful, and anxious to get out of
his sight if only for a few moments, and
wishing also to be alone with her happi
ness for a short time, Batbara sought
the conservatory, which was near. A
colored lamp cast a dim light around.
Barbara found the place deserted, and
she seated herself on a rustlo bench,
while the spicy fragrance of the flowers
refreshed her senses.
Scarcely, however had she taken her
seat, when she heard a step, and the
false master of Tho-Cedars entered.
"Fulrest of the flowers, Miss LInd
sley," he cried.
" Mr. Cashel, compliments are un
necessary at present," said Barbara, as
she rose to go.
"Stay, Miss LIndsley," the man said,
in a low, smooth tone ; "I wish a word
with you. I beg your pardon for what
said that was offensive the other day.
If you will promise to say nothing about
my proposal, I will give you my word
to trouble you no more on that sub
ject." . ,
" Your request Is a strange one," the
girl said freezlngly. " However, I will
state, for your satisfaction, that I have
not mentioned it nor do I expect to."
In view of a wicked plan that he bad
devised, those were the very words that
the villain wished to draw from the girl.
He had realized that he should scarcely
dare put his plan In execution if she
had mentioned to any one his proposal
and her refusal. But she had acted in
that matter as he had hoped and believed
she would, and he felt that he could
proceed without any danger of suspicion
falling upon him.
Barbara turned away. As she did bo
Valasquez sprang forward, and, seizing
her, placed his hand over her mouth.
She tried to scream, but could not ; for
that cruel presure kept her silent.
" Silence, or you shall diet" hissed
the villain in her ear.
Barbara sank cold and white in his
She had minted with fright. He tied
a handkerchief about, her mouth, and
with another bound her hands. Then
he lifted her, and carried her out into
There was no moon, aud clouds were
sailing across the heavens. It seemed
as though nature, even, was favoring
the dark plans of the villain.
Valasquez was In the rear of the De
Vere residence, aud evidently there was
nothing to hinder him from carrying
away Barbara LIndsley. He hastened
rapidly along. Suddenly he darted away
from the house into the shadow of some
trees. H4 paused beneath one with low
brandies. The mournful cry of the
whip poor-will sang out upon the night
The sound was a signal. It was an
swered, repeated, and answered again.
Then a crouchiug figure crept up to
" Varcor," he said in a cautious whis
per. " Massa Cashel," was the equally
" Here she is, Varcor. Be careful."
And Varcor, the slave, received Bar
baraLindsley in his arms.
In a few minutes, Valasquez was back
in the brilliantly lighted parlors. He
entered from the piazza. His absence
had not been noticed by any one.
" I scarcely dared hope for such suc
cess," was his triumphant thought as he
mingled in the gay scene. " I feared
fate would give me no opportunity to ac
complish my purpose ; but I could have
wished for no better luck. If I had had
the arraaglng of it all beforehand, I could
not have managed matters better."
The bride and groom were, according
to arrangement, to depart for Baltimore
on a train at a little past midnight, most
of the guests accompanying them. It
was not till preparations began to be
made for this departure, that the absence
of Barbara LIndsley was discovered.
At first no great alarm was felt, for It
was thought that she would yet appear
But she had utterly disappeared, and
no trace could be found ot her about the
residence or grounds.
" What can have become of her ?"
was the question that was asked frequent
ly, but remained unanswered.
The Baltimore guests could not re
main, and took the train at the appoint
ed hour, pale with alarm at the startling
and tragical termination of the evening's
gayetles. Of course, Victoria and her
husband did not now dream of leaving.
Valasquez played his part well. He
seemed anxious and excited about Bar
bara, but still he did not carry his acting
far enough to cause suspicion that it was
" The last I beheld of her," he remark
ed to Robert De Vere, seemingly inci
dentally, "was to see her go out on the
piazza with that stranger whose name is
Victor, as you informed me this even
ing." "With whom ?" cried Robert.
" With that tall, red-whiskered fellow
who you said was from Baltimore. I
have not noticed either one of them
" By heaven I Cashel," cried Robert
excitedly. " I have not beheld him for
some time, either. If he has wrought
any harm to her he shall rue it"
" But I can scarcely lay her disappear
ance at his door," Robert added. " He
seemed too frank and noble to be'guilty
of suoh a crime."
But Victor had disappeared, too, as
well as Barbara, and his absence was not
lu his favor at that. '
The hours of the night wore away,
and still there was no sign of Barbara
What cjuld be done? Literally, noth
Poor Victoria's bridal eve was clouded
by the darkness of this mystery. She,
poor girl, wept long and violently on
her young husband's breast. What
dreadful secret might be hidden under
Barbara's disappearance! Perhaps, O
dreadful thought 1 she had been murder
ed, and was lying somewhere under the
black night, cold, aud stained with
But Victoria's paroxysm of fright and
grief passed away after a while, and she
became calm enough, but was pale and
The fact that no Idea could be formed
as to what had become of Barbara,
rendered his disappearance the more sad
to her friends. The very mystery of her
fate would cause the imagination to con
jure up possibilities the most torturing.
Morning dawned. Henri Valasquez
went to The Cedars.
What could be done ? Must Barbara's
friends sit calmly down and await a de
Would the mystery ever be explained?
The girl might as well have been carried
to an invisible world by some strange
power, for all the conjecture that could
be made of her whereabouts.
" I shall go to Fairmount and notify
the sheriff of Barbara's disappearance,"
Robert answered. " Perhaps the officers
of the law may be able to aid us in our
search for her."
And, after partaking of a hasty break
fast, he mounted a horse, and rode rapid
ly away toward Fairmount. Reaching
the town, he performed the duty he had
Imposed upon himself, and then sought
out the Mountain City House, the best
hotel in the place.
" Hat a young man by the name of
Victor been stopping here lately?" he
asked of the clerk. '
" He has," was the answer.
" Where is he now ?"
" He went to Baltimore this morning,
on the 3.30 express."
This seemed to Bobert De Vere a con
firmation of the vague suspicion he had
before entertained. He had been mis
taken in Victor, he feared. After all, he
was a villian, and to him could be traced
the cause of Barbara's disappearance.
" What could be bis object ?" was the
query that suggested itself to Robert.
Several possibilities suggested them
selves. The most plausible idea was that
Victor had been Barbara's suitor, and
had been refused. Then, ah! if bis
suspicions were correct, this then was
easily followed to a conclusion.
" I will follow him to Baltimore," was
Robert's hasty thought. " I will pursue
him, and if he or any of bis" tools have
abducted or otherwise harmed ber, let
them beware I"
As these thoughts passed through his
mind, Robert had been standing in the
office of the hotel.
" When is there another train for Bal
timore ?" he now asked of the clerk.
" At eighteen minutes past ten, about
an hour hence," was the reply.
Robert wrote a note explaining his
continued absence, and gave it to the
sheriff, whom he found upon the eve of
departing with s posse for the scene of
the mystery. Of course, Robert had no
intention of detaining him from proceed
ing. All means possible must be used
for the discovery of Barbara.
The train thundered along at the ap
pointed moment, and Boon Robert was
going as rapidly toward Baltimore as
steam and iron could bear him.
Mr. Victor had gone to Baltimore, as
the clerk had stated ; but when Robert
De Vere had nearly reached the city a
train passed speeding westward swiftly.
Victor was on the tmin. He was ac
companied by a couple of experienced
But he knew naught of the disappear
ance of Barbara LIndsley.
The motion of a carriage, and the cool
night air blowing upon ber, brought
Barbara LIndsley to consciousness. She
opened her eyes to find herself bound
hand and foot, with a bandage tied over
her mouth. At first she thought she was
in total darkness, but she soon perceived
an opening ahead, and, outlined in that,
the head aud shoulders of a man. To be