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IN JEW BLOOMFIEI7D, TUJESDA-Y, 8JEPTJEMI3JEJR 27, 1881.
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On a Fool's Errand.
IT HUNG above the chlnineyplece in
the whitewashed parlor of the little
Carolina country inn the portrait of a
young girl, in a simple dress and straw
hat, with her hands full of cherry
branches laden with fruit. It was a
southern face with a dark rich bloom of
coloring, and a passionate, half-shy half
coquettish expression which fascinated
me at the first glance; and the more I
looked at that beautiful face, and met
the gaze of the dark eyes always bent
down upon me and following my mo
tions, the more fascinated I become,
until one day I awoke suddenly to the
consciousness that I was actually in love
with a picture 1
Who was the original, I now began
to wonder? It was clearly a portrait,
and the painting still so fresh that it
could have been taken but within a few
years past. For some time I hesitated
to make the inquiry for I felt ashamed
of my own folly, and had a guilty fear
of Its being discovered and exposing me
to ridicule. But one day, finding my
good-natured landlady seated on the pi
azza just out side the parlor window,
shelling peas, I ventured to remark,
with an assumed air of indilTerence.that
was a pretty picture and well- executed.
"Is it?" she answered, glancing up
over her spectacles. " Well, I dare say
it is, though I ain't much of a jedge of
picturs. 'Pears to me, she's too peart
and sassy-lookin', aud's got a temper of
her own , or I'm mistaken. Bhe mighti
fivora axf u.'iiin r Ebed'a daughter,
Barbery a fine, bouncln, gal, who had
always more beaux on a Sunday than
most gals have in a year, and come to
pick out the wust o' the lot, after all."
"Do you know whose portrait it is ?"
" Well, I cau't say I do. We found it
here with the rest o' the furnitur1, when
we come from Gates county a while ago.
You see" brightening into interest
" the new.railroad spiled our old place
in Gates for a tavern-stand; and as me
and my old man was used to that busi
ness, we had to root up and look out for
another. And jest then old Davis, who
kept this place, died, and all he left had
to go for debt ; aud we concluded to
lease the tavern, furnitur' an all, jest as
it stood. That's how we found the
.plctur' here ; but whose It Is, we don't
" Perhaps Mr. Davis had a daughter?"
" Bless you, not He was a lonesome
old bachelor, with only half a dozen
servants to help hliu to keep tavern and
look after things. Now I think of it,"
she added, quickly, " I did hear one
of them, old Dorkey, say something
about that plctur' when he was down
here one day not long ago. If anybody
knows whose it is, it's likely to be Dor
key ; but he's moved away six miles up
the river to a little clearing of his own,
Where he's sot down to raisin' peanuts
and watermelons for the market.
" Would you believe that hla wife a
smart, steady, drivin' sort o' woman
she was, aud worth an ordinary dozen o'
her kind kept house and managed
half the business for old Davis ? I
would have been glad to keep her, for
we're gettin' a good run o' custom here,
'Which bears a little too hard on my
shoulders, couslderln' I'm not as young
as I used to be. If 'Mandy hadn't bop
ped along jest about that time, I don't
skeersely know how I should a-got
along. Bhe was old Davis' cousin, and
come a long distance to pay him a visit,
jest in time to find him dead ; and she
agreed to stay awhile and help me a
little for her board. Hue's mighty spry
and smart. Don't you agree with me,
Mr. Courtenay ? And such a store as
she sets on you 1 Why, she says your'e
a perfect gentleman ; and It was she as
br'iled the partridges for your supper
last night with her own hand. And
that reminds me," concluded Mrs. Bow
ling, bustling up, " that I'd better be
seeln' after dinner, now that these peas
I turned from the open window, and
lay down on the old horse-hair sofa fac
ing the picture. I tried to read a news
paper, but the black eyes over the chim
neypiece smiled down at me, and the
corners of the rich red Hps curved down
ward in a sort of sarcastic mockery,
until I dropped the paper and fell into
a reverie, fancying that painted form
before me a reality.
Who was it? and was she still living
and unmarried? Perhaps Dorkey
could tell me ; and I resolved to seek
him out on the morrow.
Just as I made this resolve, the door
opened and Miss 'Mandy made her ap
pearance on a rightiug and dusting er
rand. I surpressed my indignation on seeing
her wrap an old " dusting rag" around
her broom, and with it daub and smear
over the face of my divinity above the
mantlepiece. I fancied she did it with
a special spite toward the fresh lovllness
which, by contrast, rendered her own
scraggy form, sallow face, aud deep-set,
dark-circled eyes yet more unattractive.
" La, Mr. Courtenay," she exclaimed,
turning and affecting to become aware
of my presence; "who'd have expected
to find you shut up here ? Heading ?
Well, you are a literary character ; only
I'm afraid it ain't good for you, if you
came to these parts for your health.
The piney woods is a powerful aid of the
lungs. You ought to walk about 'em
more, and drink the tar-spring water.
I make a p'int of going to the tar-spring
every day or two, and won't object to
showing you the way for once, if you'd
choose to go along with me and little
black Prue. I take Prue along for want
of more congenial company," added
Miss 'Mandy, with a pensive simper.
I felt a little startled. More than once
of late I had fancied that Miss 'Mandy
treated me with a favor which she
vouchsafed no other man in whose com
pany I had beheld her. I had observed
that she had somewhat smartened her
dress, appearing in ear-rings and a pink
neck ribbon, and that to-day her hair
was twisted into innumerable little wiry
rings and spirals above her forehead.
She had offered to make me turpen
tine tea and pine-cone cordial, as being
beneficial to the general health, and
here she was actually endeavoring to
inveigle me into a lonely walk through
the pines at the sentimental hour of
I hinted how delighted I should be to
some time avail myself of her kind of
fer. To-day I had business which would
take me to a distance. And, before Miss
'Mandy had time to complete her dust
ing of the parlor, I was on my way to
I found the old man seated lazily in
front of his log cabin, surveying with
an air of satisfaction his pigs and
chickens, and his patches of peanuts
and water-melons, while his accomplish
ed wife artistically moulded a pot of
freshly-churned butter. They received
me with great politeness; and, after
some preliminary talk, I inquired about
' Well, sar," said Dorkey, thought
fully, "I can't igzactly say who dat'
plctur's meant for. I neber saw any
body like it, nor nigh so han'some.
But dat plctur' was made leeme see,"
putting his knuckles to his bald fore
head" but leetle more'n fouryears ago,
by a painter-gen 'leman as was etoppln'
at Marse Davis' tavern for Bake ob his
healf. He had conniption, but de piney
wood cured him. ,Pears to me he guv
ole Marse Davis dat plctur' when he
went 'way; an' I heered marse say
'twas powerful like, 'cep not so han'
some as llosey. Dat was wot he call
her liosey," concluded Dorkey with
My heart gave a glad little throb.
The picture was painted only four years
ago, and Rosey must now be In the full
bloom of her youth and beauty.
" And are you sure, Dorkey, that you
do not know who this Miss ltosey
" Slio's death, sab. Nebber heered
'bout her 'cep' dat onct, aud do' know
no more 'bout her dan de man in de
moon ef dar is any man up dar," he
Passing over this astronomical point,
I inquired the name of the artist who
had painted tiie picture.
"His name? Well, I done enemost
forgot it. He came roun' to my cabin
onct an' made a plctur' o' my pigs and
chickens. Say, Clo," he called, to his
wife" say, ole woman I wot de name
o' dat geu 'leman come to my cabin onct
and took my pigs and chickens ?"
" Nebber beer o' no gen'lemau stealln,
yo' pigs an' chickens," responded Chloe,
" Oh, bIio I You knows well nuff wot
I means," returned the master of the
" Ef you meens de gen'lemen wot
painted your stock," retorted Chloe,
with strong emphasis, and an air of in
finite superiority " his name was Roos
ter." "Rooster?" I repeated, vainly search
ing my memory for the name of some
artist resembling this euphonious appel
lation. Suddenly a light flashed upon me.
" Was it Royster ?"
" Jes so, sar jes so! Dat's de berry
name 1" and Dorkey cast a triumphant
glance at his mortified better-half. "She
think she mighty smart woman, sar,"
he whlspered,"butshe don't know eb'ry
t'ing. He, he!"
Leaving them to settle this difference
of opinion as they might, and declining
the hospitable offer of a watermelon,
while I slipped something into Glide's
hand as a soother of her wounded feel
ings, I returned to my tavern-lodgings.
It was sunset aud they were milking
the cows in the little meadow-patch
through which my path lay, and I
caught sight of Miss 'Mandy leaning
pensively on the rail-fence, with a bunch
of flowers in her hand, which I felt
sure were intended for me. Fortunately
she had not perceived me, and I evaded
the snare and slipped through the
That night I wrote to Mr. Guy Roy
ster, artist, and in precisely ten days
therefrom received his answer.
My letter, he said, had followed him
about lu his autumnal wauderlngs
among the Virginia mountains, which
accounted for the delay in answering.
The picture regarding which I inquired
had been copied by himself, some four
or five years previous, from an original
portrait, belonging to Mr. Davis, at
whose inn he was at that time staying.
Mr. Davis had allowed him to keep the
original, which was the work of bis old
friend and preceptor, a distinguished
artist. It was a portrait of a member of
the Tyrcll family, of Marsden county.
This was in brief all that he could tell
me in regard to the picture in which I
took so much interest.
"TheTyrells, of Marsden county."
The words seemed to present so direct a
clue that, with a sort of romantio en
thusiasm, at which I have since marvel
ed, I resolved to follow it up. It was
but a ride of forty miles to Marsden
county a region famous for partridge
shooting; and on this pretext I went
It was easy to find the old family seat
of. the Tyrells grand-looking still,
though the picture of neglect and decay.
A few of the old slaves still clung to the
place, and spoke with affectionate pride
and regret of their former owners, who
had all passed away.
Twenty years ago, they said.there had
been old massa and missis, and young
Marse Harry, and Mies Lilly and Miss
Lucia. Miss Lilly married and went
North, where she died of grief for the
loss of her husband. Next Miss Lucia
died In New Orleans of yellow fever.and
and old massa and missis soon followed.
Marse Harry had been wild-like, and
never lived on the plantation ; and it
was now hardly a month since they had
heard of his death ; and what was going
to happen next, or who the place was
now to belong to. they could not tell.
"What became of Miss Rosey?" I
said, at a venture.
" Miss Rosey ? Oh, you means Missis
Brown's darter MIsbIs Brown as was
housekeeper to ole missus. Well, Bhe
and her mother lived here till Marse
Harry come home from college; aud
she was a mighty purty young creeter
den; and powerful sp'll by her moder,
and ole massa and missis, too. She
looked too high, and want to marry our
Marse Harry, and he was Just dat wild
'bout her. So ole massa an' him had
some words 'bout it ; and on his death
bed old marse made him promise neb
ber to marry her. So he went 'way, an'
nebber come back ; and Missis Brown
aud Miss Rosey dey went 'way, too, an'
we nebber heered nullln' 'bout 'em
" Did Miss Rosey have her portrait
taken while she was here?"
An old woman who had been nurse in
the family, answered this question.
Old marse had a "painter gentleman"
to come and take the portraits of each
of the family, and among the rest, Miss
Rosey 's because she was so pretty.
" But she warn't no great lady, Miss
Rosey warn't leastways not a real, lady
like her young missises, what had de
Tyrell blood In dar veins," she added
proudly. " An' she nebber could get
ober It, her tryln' to worm herself into
dar family and settin' ole marse aud
Marse Harry ag'in each oder.
I returned slowly to the old farm
house at which I had engaged a night's
lodging. Disappointed at the result of
my search, I made one more attempt,
by inquiring of my host, at supper, if
he could tell me what had become of the
Tyrells' former housekeeper, Mrs. Brown
and her daughter, Rosey.
The farmer looked up at me with sud
" I suppose you're on the same errand
that Mr. Walters was that lawyer's
agent that was along here a week ago,"
he said. " He wanted to find Miss
Rosey, and he put a notice in the papers
that there was something to her advan
tage. You haven't found her yet, It
seems, sir. Well.now, it's a quar' thing
that Mr. Harry Tyrell should have
willed all his property to her. She'll be
a rich woman ; for though the estate's
been neglected, It's valuable still, and
could easily bring a fortune under prop
Before I left Marsden county, T got
from my entertainer the address of Mr.
Walters. Through him, if successful,
I might yet find the fair object of my
I had now a double Inducement ; for
the fair Rosey was an heiress, and also,
as appeared from her retaining the name
of Brown, yet unmarried. And so, elate
and full of hope, I returned to my old
quarters among the health-giving
"piuey-woods," where Mrs. Bowling
welcomed me with a motherly kindness,
and the assurance that my brief jaunt
must have done me "a power of good,"
judging from my brightened looks.
After our early supper, I repaired to
the little parlor, and seating myself on
the sofa, gazed long at the beautiful, co
quettish face on the wall opposite.
At least twenty years had elapsed
since that portrait was taken. "Rosoy"
was now probably a tall, graceful woman
of say thirty-five or thereabouts.
Well, at that age many women are
more beautiful and attractive than in
their youth, and I why, I was myself
nearly thirty. No great difference after
And just here Miss 'Mandy came in,
with some gay knitting in her hand,
seated herself in a low rocking-chair,
facing me, aud exactly beneath the
I glanced from her thin sallow visage
to the blooming face above, Involunta
rily contrasting the two. Then a sud
den idea occurred to me. Dorkey had
heard Mr. Davis mention Rosey, and
Miss 'Mandy, being Davis' kinswoman,
might know something about her. So
" Miss 'Mandy, did you ever know a
young lady by the name of Rosey
She looked up quickly, and pursed her
lips into a demure smile.
" Why, Mr. Courtenay, what do you
want of Rosey Brown?"
" Oh, I have heard of her," I said
convinced that I was again on the track,
and proceeding cautiously. " She was
engaged once 1 Mr. Harry Tyrell."
" That was a long time ago. Rosey'a
no doubt forgot all about him before
this. He was a weak, no account sort
of a chap," she added, coolly, aa she
turned "a round" in her knitting.
" What has become of Miss Brown ?"
I ventured to inquire.
" Well she ain't very far away from
" Not far from here."
" Miss 'Mandy broke Into a laugh.
" Why, Mr. Courtnay, you don't real
ly mean to say that you don't know
that I'm Rosey Brown, and that's my
I could do nothing but stare at her
" To-be-sure, time and trouble and fe
ver and ague, do change a person," pro
ceeded the lady, In a depreciating tone ;
" but I tlfought anybody could see the
I looked up, and, sure enough, there
now dawned upon my perception a
ghost-like resemblance between the two
faces. But how could I otherwise have
ever suspected it?"
" They used to call me Rosey for a pet
name," proceeded Miss Brown, coquett
ishly, " because they said I looked so
blooming. But it came to be awkward
In time, so I dropped it In time for my
real name of Amanda. Why, Mrs.
Bowling and all of 'em could have told
you that I was Rosey Brown, and I'm
sure I thought everybody knew the por
trait was mine."
I was too much shocked to reply.
Here had I been searching for weeks for
the original of that plolure, only to find
her where I had first seen her under the
picture Itself. And now that she was
found, my dream of romance vanished ;
nor could even the thought of her newly-
added golden charms revive my interest
In Miss Rosy Brown.
How she received Tier change of for
tune I do not know, for I left the "piny
woods" inn before the news reached her,
doing her the good turn to communicate
her whereabouts to Mr. Walters ; and
so my romantic trip about a picture
remained to me " A Fool's Errand."
Mr, Griffin's Smart Dog.
THE Omaha Bee, says : There is a
dog on the corner of Brancroff
street and Willow avenue, Council
Bluffs, which recently displayed such
marked detective ingenuity as to certain
ly merit notice, if not a &tar. This saga
cious animal belongs to M. O. Griffin.
It seems that Mr. Griffin was awakened
in the night recently by the barking of
his dog in the yard. He got up, took
his revolver, and went down there.
Not seeing or hearing anybody, Mr.
Griffin repaired to his room and retired.
But still Leo kept up his growling and
barking something louder than before.
Mr. Griffin again arose, went down
stairs, and stepped out into the yard,
with revolvel in hand. The dog ap
proached him, licked his hand.and then
ran and leaped over the fence. The dog
apparently meant his master to follow
him. This Mr. Griffin did. He follow
ed the dog to the cellar door of bis store
and found that an entrance bad been
effected by breaking the hasp off the
same. Mr. Griffin entered the cellar,
and, notwithstanding be missed noth
ing, he knew some one had been in the
cellar and bad tried to get into the store
above. At this Leo was satisfied and
ceased barking for the night. The next
morning Mr. Griffin's attention was
called to loud barking by Loe. He step,
ped to the front of his store. JThe dog
had stopped a man on the sidewalk and
would not allow him to pass. The gen-tleman-at-large
told Mr. Griffin that if
he didn't take care of bis dog he would
shoot him. At this juncture Mr. Grif
fin Invited him Inside and there took
the liberty of accusing him of breaking
into his store the night before. The
man said be was insulted by such base
insinuations, and started for the door,
when Leo followed him out and kept
up his barking. Mr. Griffin was so
sure that be was not mistaken that be
reported the case to Police Headquarters.
The man was arrested and taken before
'Squire Burke, where he confessed that
the dog bad found him out, and that be
had tried to break into the store, but
Leo had kept him from accomplishing
bis purpose. He remarked that be
would leave Council Bluffs immediate
ly and go over to Omaha, where be did
not believe that the dogs could be so
3" He who buys what be doe not
want will soon want what be cannot buy.