The New Bloomfield, Pa. times. (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1877-188?, November 16, 1880, Image 1
It nil U-4 . .t.1 ffiiliiiiMt i j-r-i, .... .""'o , Ki-A VOL. XIV. NE W BLOOMPIELD, 1J., TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1(3, I88O. NO. 46. THE TIMES. in Independent Family Newspaper, II PDBUBHUnaVBRITUBBDATlBT F. MORTIMER & CO. TKIIMH t INVARIABLY IN ADVANCE. One vear (Postage Free) Blx Months $1 BO 80 To Subscribers In this County Who pay In Aptancr a Discount of 25 Cents will be made from the above terms, making subscription within the County, When Vald In Advance, 91.25 Per Year. V Advertising rates furnished uponappll cation. THE SECRET MARRIAGE. THE county of Kent lia9 many objects of interest to one who will take the trouble to look for them,aud nowhere In England can a person pass a more agree able time than in this fine old maritime place. If I were asked the reason why I preferred to loiter in Kent, I Bllould And it difficult to answer, for there were so many attractions there. The land owners throughout the country are an Independent race of people, more so than I found anywhere else in England. Perhaps the fact that the lands are generally held by the tenure of gavelkind may have something to do with the character of the Kentish people. In the southern part of the county there is a flat woody tract of fertile land, called the Weald. It abounds In fine cherries, madder and an inexhaustible supply of birch, which is manufactured into brooms. In passing through this Btrip of country one's attention would have been attracted by a quaint old brick house with many gables rising above the trees which surrounded it. Squire Everleigh lived here, and so had his ancestors for many generations. Some of them had been saints and some sinners. The saints had built churches, endowed hospitals,and aided the worthy poor; the sinners had ridden at a hard pace the broad road that leads to , well, you know where. Many sturdy yeomen had their hopes wrecked when they looked upon the comely lasses whom these wicked Everleigh's of Everleigh Orange had wrought ill. The present occupant of the mansion was Miles Everleigh. It will be suffi cient to say that he followed not after the evil ways of his immediate prede cessors, but he did that which was right in the sight of all men. Therefore his days had been lengthened (when I met him) to three score and ten, and at that time he could hold bis own with the best of them when the hounds were in full cry. But if Miles Everleigh was to be found in his pew regularly each succeed ing Sunday, his handsome son Boyce was as true a scion of the sinners as his father was of the saints. If he occasion, ally showed bis face at the parish church, it was more to keep up a feeble attempt at respectability than aught else. Miles Everleigh passed many anxious days contemplating the characteristics of his eldest hope. To be sure there was some good qualities about him ; he was brave, generous and not at all vindic tive. He even at time declared himself repentant for his bad works, and there were some who thought the day ' of regeneration had not passed away from him altogether. A couple of miles in a southeasterly direction from Everleigh . Orange, In a snugly built cottage dwelt David Stracban, a broom-maker. A, daughter of eighteen years, uncommonly pretty, his wife and hlnfself .composed his household. David was a Methodist of the austere type, and his co-religlonlsts made his cottage very frequently the place to hold prayer and compare their spiritual experiences. Bessie Straohan did not give her father the satisfaction he desired in regard to her religious duties. With great difficulty she could be Induced to attend the edifying exhortations at her father's cot, and many were the domes tic broils which followed therefrom. Whether an adverse Influence had been exerted over her mind by Boyce Ever leigh, whom she met at the last Maying party, or whether it was her own per verse and obstinate will that rendered her Intractable, I cannot say, but she wag a thorn In the side of that Heaven bound family, who endeavored to subdue her flinty heart by every expedient save that recommended by the Psalmist. It was a clear, beautiful morning, and Squire Everleigh sat In his breakfasts room gazing out of the window at the extent of country before him, when a knock at the door admitted David Stracban. " Good morning, squire," he said, as he cast his eyes quickly about the apart ment; " I am glad to find you alone, for I've made bold to call and speak with you on a subject which presses hard upon my mind." "Sit down, David," said the squire, "and let me hear what it Is which dis turbs you. I hope that the fire has not got among the birches again, eh ?" " No, no it is nothing of that kind. That's bad enough, I'll own, but there may be matters worse ; and I've held my peace so long, that I fear I have wandered from the path of righteous ness by yielding to the weakness that sometimes will come over 1 my nature. If Satan bufTets me, it is because my loins are not always girded. We must keep our armor bright, Squire Ever leigh." " You have not come to convert me to dissenting doctrines ?" said the squire with a smile. " It is not for the likes of me to say," replied Stracban, "whether the heart shall worship in conformity with the 'thirty-nine articles,' or by the Scrip tural rule of the simple doctrine of what you term dissenters. But the peace, if not the honor, of a man's household Is something too serious for a gibe." Squire Everleigh's face assumed a grave expression as the Bhaft of the broom-maker went home, and he Bald : "Proceed at once to the subject, David, and If I can serve you I will do bo cheerfully." "Last May come a year," Bald the man, "my daughter, Bessie, showed the first symptoms of disobedience in her life. I don't mind much these merry makings, and yet I'm not prepared to Bay there is evil in them. She attended the May party, although I was strongly opposed to her doing so. Your son escorted her home. Bessie is counted a pretty lass, and she Is a giddy one. I fear her ears have heard too much flattery for the good of her soul. I've got good reason for believing that she meets your son in her walks oftener than is proper for a maiden who would keep her name bright. Excuse me, squire, I must speak plainly. Now, I wish this intimacy stopped ; it bodes no good. My daughter cannot be mistress of Everleigh Orange, and before Bhe shall be anything else I will slay her with my own hand." He paused; he had been speaking under a great excitement, and though be endeavored to appear calm, Miles Everleigh saw In the fanatical gleam of his eyes and stern words of his Hps that he meant all he uttered, aye, and more too. So he replied, " I will have a talk with my son, this day, David. It grieves me sore to hear this, especially from your mouth, but I don't think the mat ter is so bad that we "tan not find a remedy for it. In the course of a day or two I will come over to your place myself, and perhaps I may be able to make your mind easier, at least I hope so." Squire Everleigh was for two good hours that day closeted with his son. What passed between them the world never exactly knew, but it wa& bruited about the house that the squire had quarreled with his ton, and the latter had gone to London with the intention of entering the army. There' were not wanting those who said Bessie Strachan always knew where a letter would reach Boyce Everleigh, but then it might have been a slander, for rumor is some, times a foul-mouthed Jade. The day following Strachan's visit to Everleigh Orange, the squire mounted his horse and took his way to the broom maker's cottage. He appeared to be depressed in spirits, and more than once heaved a long sigh, as if to ease his troubled mind. He had passed over more than half the distance he had to riue, wnen ce came so auuueniy to a sharp turn in the road that Bessie Strachan, who was walking there In tently occupied In reading a letter, had not time to avoid him. Neither was she quick enough in crushing the letter Into her pocket without Miles Everleigh observing the act. In her confusion she forgot Bhe was sporting an expensive ring upon her finger, and some uu pleas ant thoughts passed through the squlre'6 mind as his eye fell upon the jewel. . In her home Bessie Strachan would not have ventured upon this temerity, and It was only In her solitary walks she dared bring forth the ring in the full light of day. "Good-day, Bessie," said the Bqulie, dismounting and throwing the reins over his arm as he commenced to walk beside her. " I was Just on my way to your father's cottage. I am glad to have company, for I'm a very lonely man to-day. My son has gone to Lon don, and it will be longere he returns." He watched her face to note the eftect his words produced, but the features of Bessie Strachan were as impassive as if they had been cut in stone. " You have an expensive ring upon your hand," the Bqulre remarked. A short quick gasp and a death-like paleness overspread her face. She raised her eyes with an Imploring appeal, and Miles Everleigh could not help admit ting she was superbly beautiful. " Where did you obtain that ring ?" eaid the squire, taking her by the hand and closely examining the jewel, " I did not suppose your father could make you such expensive presents." " Nor can he," returned the girl, "It came from one whom my father does not like, and I therefore will be obliged to you if you do not mention seeing it on my finger." "Bessie," replied the squire gravely, " I fear my poor girl, you are being deceived by one very near connected with me. In short, my child, I may as well tell you that I am fully aware of the attentions my son has been paying you. Bessie, they tell me you are an Intelligent girl, more so than is common to find about these parts, therefore I entreat you not to rely upon the fair promises my son has made you ; take my advice and return him every present he has ever given you." She shook her head, but vouchsafed him no reply. "Answer me one question, child, and I will swear to you on the honor of a Christian man, I will never repeat your reply, s it too late ?" He gazed into her eyes meaningly as he waited her answer. Springing a few paces from his side 88 if she had encountered a peril in her path, she regarded him with distended eyes. "Whoso accuses Boyoe Everleigh of dishonor is a slanderer. What I am, I am; but know you, Squire Everleigh, that I am as worthy this day to sit at your board as any of the gentry you so frequently entertain. And perhaps I've as good a right, too." She spoke so quickly Bhe had not time to arrest the last sentence, nor had she tact enough to correct It. The squire looked at her with a curious expression. " What do you mean by 'as good a right V " he asked. "Suppose Boyce Everleigh makes me his wife!" she said. " Ob, is that it," replied the squire ; "then all I have to say Is be would do a very foolish thing for himself as well as you." By this time they had come within sight of David Strachan's cottage, and Bessie requested him to proceed alone as she did not Intend going home just then. Miles Everleigh had a long interview with David Strachan, and when he started on his return he remarked, "Deal gently with the lass, David, and perhaps all things will come right in the end My son will probably be gone a long time, and ere he returns, the matter will have cooled down, and Bessie may have an industrious husband." Whatever the thoughts of Squire Everleigh were on his homeward ride, they certainly were of a nature to dis turb his equanimity. He fldglted un easily in the saddle, and otherwise be trayed tokens or unrest. He was a shrewd man, and, as the world went, was just; but be could not divest him self of a certain pride of life wherein bis birth and station had cast his lot, and those Incautious words of Bessie Strachan gave him food for unpleasant reflection, "and perhaps I have as good a right too." He never would believe his son would stoop to an unworthy connection, and he was ready to quarrel with him self for the thought. Neither did he like to admit that Boyce had purposely wrought shame to one who, if she was beneath him in station, had been more than his equal in honor until he had met her. It was in no enviable state of mind that Squire Everleigh alighted at his door. Boyce Everleigh reached London, and with remarkable expedition purchased his commission and joined his regiment. England was then arming in hot haste to defend the Sultan against the Czar. Within two months Boyce Everleigh had left England to join the army in the Crimea; but before he departed he found time to make a hurried visit to Kent, and meet the broom-maker's daughter. When he parted from her he placed a letter lu her hand, saying : " Bessie my own, if I should never live to return, you will take this to my father, and ask him to open It In your presence. Now good-by, darling," and he kissed her, and jumping upon his horse, was gone. "What ails the girl?" said David Strachan one day to his wife, "she does not mope, nor does she complain, but she Is ready to attend prayer as the best of us, and she seems so, earnest, too, 'tis a strange thing for her who used to be so wilful." " Harken, husband," said his spouse, "if she has found grace we ought rather to rejoice." "And so we do," replied the broom maker, "but yet I can't help feeling surprise notwithstanding my gladness. But the point which puzzles me is, if she really has had a change of heart, why don't she talk of religion ? That's what I don't understand." His wife did not or could not answer his question, bo the conversation was dropped. 'Tis true David did give up the theme, and he endeavored from time to time to engage his daughter in relig ious conversation without any success. She did not rudely repulse him, but she evinced no inclination to listen to the exhortations he profTed. She now rarely left the house, and passed much of her time in reading the newspapers and in writing. England and her allies were thunder ing at the walls of Sebastopol, and Bessie's heart beat painfully when she ran her eyes over the list of casualties which frequently appeared In the papers. Thus time wore on, and many a heart ached and sighed for the hour that should restore the loved ones again to their accustomed places. But there was to be heavy and untold grief ere Eng land's soldiers should march home again, and Bessie was to have her hour of Borrow. When the "Six Hundred" rode out from under the Russian guns, Boyce Everleigh's steed came back riderless, and the newspapers, giving an account of that mad charge, paid a glowing tribute to Captain Everleigh, who was numbered among the slain. Before Boyce Everleigh left England he provided Bessie with an ample sum of money, and she had never used a penny of It yet. Now she immediately formed a resolution as daring as it was perilous. She would not and could not believe Boyce Everleigh dead. She would proceed to the Crimea , herself, and if her darling was really slain, she would recover his body and bring it to England, if prayers and supplication and patient search could accomplish it, Squire Everleigh had received the news of his son's death with feelings of the deepest anguish. His only child, who had prattled so lovingly upon his knee, was stricken down, and he was left alone In his old age, with no heir to his house. No wonder the poor old squire wept. But when he saw the broom-maker's daughter enter his house habited in the deepest mourning, and present him a package in the band writing of the son whose death he mourned, the scalding tears , coursed down bis cheeks, and his grief was too strong for silence. , "And you, my child, what do you here?" he eaid. "Do you come to mingle your tears with a lonely old man?" There was a preternatural light in the girl's eyes that rendered her strangely beautiful. " Bead," she said. The old 'Squire with trembling hands, tore open the letter and saw with un feigned astonishment the marriage cer tificate of Boyce Everleigh and Bessie Strachan. It was duly authenticated, and regular in all particulars. " And so you were his wife ?" he said. " I come to crave nothing at your hands," replied Bessie, " save a small boon. If my husband be really dead, all I ask his father is to accompany me to London and secure my passage to Se bastopol." 'Squire Everleigh gazed at her with surprised. " You surely do not mean this?" he said. "Be quick," she replied, "let me have your answer. Will you go with me or not ?" "It is madness to attempt it; don't think of such a thing," he said. " It is enough," she replied hoarsely. I will go alone. Olve me that certfl- cate, and now good-by." She was about turning away, when 'Squire Everleigh laid his hand upon her shoulder. Her heroism so Increased her beauty that he thought he had never before gazed upon a woman so lovely. " Forgive me," he said, " if I ask you again if you have calculated the difficul ties which will attend this journey ?" "All all," she replied. "Do you , still hesitate ?" " No," he answered ; I will go with you. When shall we set out?" " Now this moment," she replied. , " Sit down, then," he said, as he left the room. Directly he returned and said, "The carriage will be ready in a few moments ; have you money for your journey?" " More than sufficient," she replied " only let's be quick." " Patience, patience, Bessie," he said " this seems like a dream to me." " Here they come," she said, and run ning out she sprang into the carriage, followed by the half bewildered old 'squire, and were soon rolling away to London. It was a clear, cold day when Bessie Everleigh landed In the Crimea. She had been treated with marked courtesy on board the steamer In which she had taken passage, and she was properly supplied with letters to certain British officers who were expected to aid her in her enterprise. But she found great dif ficulty after her arrival, in obtaining in formation of the whereabouts of those she was seeking. The answers to her inquiries were sometimes very contra dictory. Some officers whom she ex pected to Bee were reported to be at a dis tance, while they were actually on the spot ; others were said to be present who were far away. In great perplexity Bessie spent nearly two days of fruitless inquiry. Everything appeared to be In confusion, and her anxiety was great. At last she found an officer to whom she had a letter. " Be calm, madam," he said, " when you hear what I have to relate. Many mistakes often occur in summing up a list of killing and wounded, and I am happy to be the medium of communica ting to you that your husband is alive, but he is badly wounded." Poor Bessie until this moment had acted the part of a heroic woman ; but when she heard her husband was living the fortitute that had hitherto sustained her failed, and she wept frantically. " When can I see him when can I see him ?" she asked eagerly. " Soon, very soon, my dear lady," was the reply ; " I will go to the hos pital and you shall accompany roe. Of course the surgeon's authority is neces sary in this case ; but he is an old school fellow of Captain Everleigh's, and you will have no difficulty, I apprehend." The meeting between Captain Ever leigh and his wife was too sacred for pen of mine to describe. There are some things too holy for description. How faithfully she nursed him many knew, and when he was well enough to rise from his bed, many of his fellow-sufferers shared her ministering attentions. Scores of brave fellows this day recall the kind attentions of the splendid Mrs. Everleigh. There are lights to-night in every room at Everleigh Orange. There is music too, and every face wears a smile as the gallant Captain Everleigh is wel comed home by the old 'Squire. There are plenty of handsome women in the old hails, and as the 'squire moves about with his daughter-in-law upon his arm he confesses with a conscious pride that, the exceeding beauty and quiet dignity of the broom-maker's daughter will not suffer by comparison with the best-bora of Kentish dames. uimvKJ ' ' " ''' '