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VOL. XV. ISIEW DLOOMFIELD, TUESDAY, OOTOU1S11 18, 1881. NCX 42.
An Independent Family Newspaper,
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A Romance of the Sea.
TWENTY years or more back In the
past, Mrs. Forsythe, had been a
very pretty woman ; but after her hus
band had taken her to Europe, and she
returned, with her baby, she never
seemed quite the same person. A night
of Bhlpwreck and disaster, which ehe
experienced on the voyage home, had
produced a marked change both in her
looks and her happy, cheerful nature.
Just why this should have wrought
such a lasting eflect, however, was not
plain until long afterward, when people
found out all that had happened.
Telling the story herself, Mrs. For
sythe snld that Bhe had fancied from the
moment the steamer left Liverpool that
something dreadful would take place
hefore the voyage was over. The morn
ing to begin with, was dark and ialcy,
and everything had a gloomy appear
ance. Then, before they had fairly got
underway, the wind began to blow and
the steamer rolled and creaked frightful
ly. A storm was brewing, and on the
second day of the voyage It raged over
the ocean furiously.
Lying ill in a stateroom, Mrs. For
sythe knew very little about what was
going on in the saloon or how her baby
was faring with its nurse. Mr Forsythe
said, however, that there was no need
of alarm. Everything was quite as one
must expect when at sea. By and by
the storm would cease, of course, just as
the captain said it would,and the steam
er would reach her dock In New York
safe and sound, as usual. But Mr. For
sythe was engrossed in the pages of a
work on the Sanskrit language, which
he had hunted down in London, and at
such a time nothing short of an earth
quake was ever likely to disturb him.
So there was little comfort to bo gained
by his calm assurance.
The second day wore away and also
the third. Finally, night came on,
black and terrible ; then three or four
hours afterward there was a frightful
hock, which seemed to threaten the
steamer's instant destruction. Every,
thing was in the wildest confusion be
fore any one had time to think; and
Mrs. Forsythe never was aware how her
husband carried her on deck. Her one
passionate desire was to have her baby in
her arms ; but she and her husband both
searched in vain for the nurse who bad.
The passengers were crowding their
way hither and thither, shouting to
one another; the wind, rushing through
the spars and rigging, whirled the
eparks from the smokestack in every di
rection ; and the tops of the waves flood
ed the deck. A ship had run into the
steamer's bow, and she was sinking,
somebody said ; but no one stopped to
ask questions. The all important thing
was to secure a place in one of the life
boats. Mrs. Forsythe, however, clung to an
iron railing and waited waited years, it
seemed for her husband, who had gone
back to the cabin, to search again for
the child. Bhe would never leave the
steamer, she said, until it was found ;
and she did not. One boat load after
another pushed off into the darkness,
and soon the deck was less crowded.
Then she managed, by clinging to a
guard rope, to reach the cabin door.
At last, though, Mr. Forsyth appear
ed, bearing the baby, wrapped in a rug,
that he bad snatched from a sofa. Ue
had found the child lying in a chair,
where the darkness hid it until it cried.
But there was no time for explanation.
A boat was just then ready. In another
moment or two they had gained places
in it and were borne away, exhausted
The rest of the night was full of hor
ror. Threatened every moment by the
enruged WBves, buffeted by the wind,
and scarcely able to see one another, the
men, women and children In the boat
passed hour after hour praying for dny
Jight ; but when the morning, at length,
did break, it was the most terrible time
of all for poor Mrs. Forsythe ; for now
she saw Unit the baby she had been
weeping over and praying for all night,
while it had slept in her lup, under the
shelter of heavy wrappings, was not her
baby, but somebody's else.
" Oh I Will, Will I" she cried, throw
ing back the rug, so that her husband
could see the child. " Look I There
has been a horrible mistake I It Is not
our baby at all !"
Mr. Forsythe looked at the child
dumbly a moment. All young babies
had looked alike to htm until now, when
he saw that there was a difference be
tween this one and his own. Their
baby did not have black eyes and brown
skin ; nor was it as old as this child
seemed to be. But, yes, it was quite
possible that their child might be safe
in one of the other boats.
" WaitI Don'tglveup, Grace!" he
said, huskily, as he saw her beginning
to swoon. " Ours is in some one of the
other boats and we Bball find it. I
know we shall."
" My baby 1 my poor baby " Mrs.
Forsythe moaned covering her face with
both hands and sinking hopelessly In
The old sailors, who were rowing the
boat with all their might toward a ship's
sail they had descried In the distance,
leaned on their oars, and for awhile the
mutual anxiety for safety was forgotten.
The women passengers near Mrs. For
sythe took the unknown little child
from her lap and hushed its crying, and
tried to comfort her with their sympa
thy ; but she did not hear them. Then
there began again after a few minutes,
the click of the rowlocks ; the boat went
on steadily in the direction of the white,
fluttering object coming up on the hori
zon ; and Mr. Forsythe held his wife's
pale face against his shoulderand waited.
Something iiiust certainly happen to
put them in possession of their little
girl again, he thought. It was too dread
ful to think about.
But there was no other boat in sight
anywhere on the ocean ; only the sail
in the distance,' which continued to
come nearer. This Mr. Forsythe watch
ed Intently, with the others, whispering
encouragement to his wife from time to
time. The ship had already, perhaps,
rescued some of the other boats, and
his mind was full of comforting sugges
tions, which, an hour or two later, bow
ever, deserted him when they all were
safe on the ship's deck. No one had
seen any of the other boats. Nothing
whatever was known of the wreck of
the steamer, the captain said. The fact
and reality presented no disguise of
hope. They had lost their nurse and
child In mid ocean, and there was not
the ghost of a probability that they would
ever see either again. They could only
sail away with the ship to Its destina
tl nation the same as the steamer's.
" I never shall see my baby again.
Will I Mrs. Forsythe said, strangely
calm and looking far back in the wake
of the ship. " Never, never again I'?
He led her down into the cabin ; and
she put out her arms for the other baby,
that had taken the place of her own.
It looked up from the woman's lap
where it was lying, laughed and stretch
ed its little arms toward her. From
that moment she adopted it to her heart
and kept it close to her.
Mr. Forsythe used to say, years after
ward, that her heart would have been
broken had not the child won her affec
tion by the strange preference it showed
for her ; and, after they had arrived in
New York, and tried, by advertising In
the papers and every other means in
their power, to ascertain the fate of
their own child and to whom this one
belonged, it was thought best by him to
keep their misfortune a secret between
them and carry the unknown baby
home with them as theirs. That was
how it came about the neighbors did
not know that their son was really not
their son until until morn than twenty
years afterward. , -
He was named Rupert and grew to be
a tine, handsome boy ; but he did not
resemble either Mr. or Mn. Forsythe.
Home even said that he looked like a
Bpaulard, and they themselves wonder
ed not a little, as the years went by,
who his parents were. The passenger
list of the steamer in London, they
ascertained, did not contain the . names
of any persons In the cabin with an in
fant except themselves ; nor could they
remember having seen or heard another
child durlug the three duys they were at
sea before the accident occurred. It did
not seem probable, either, that the child
could have belonged to any of the steer
age passengers, for, In that case, It would
not have been in the saloon. By degrees
however, the past faded away and spec
ulation about the boy's parentage hud
far less luterest for them than what Ills
future was to be. He was bright and
full of spirit; and, under Mr. Forsythe's
scholarly manlpulallon,developed prom
isingly from year to year.
Bitting before the library fire winter
evenings, Mrs. Forsythe used to watch
both with great pleasure her husband
bent over his favorite books, with Itu
pert's glossy black head close to his,
busy with the same employment. Bhe
would build catles for the boy, too, now
and then, and dreaded a little the lime
when he would go away to college,where
Mr. Forsythe iutended to send him;
but it turned out, strangely enough,
that before that time came her thoughts
were turned back again to the baby she
had lost, and all her affection and an
guish for It were painfully revived.
One afternoon, several years after the
event which has been related, Mr. For
sythe brought home with him from the
city an odd-looking man, to take charge
of his stable and garden. He had a
weather-beaten face, was short and thick
set, limped badly, had rings in his ears,
and wore the sailor's conventional pea
jacket and turpaulin hat. It was also
discovered, when he had been about the
premises for a few days, that both of
his arms were profusely decorated with
India-ink anchors and stare and that one
of his fingers was missing.
"You see, ma'am, I ain't much to
look at, bein' rather the wus for wear,"
he said to Mrs. Forsythe, apologetically;
"but I can cut and splice 'round the
grounds and have an eye to most any
thing that comes handy."
This assertion proved to be quite true;
and, taking up his quarters in a little
room over the stable, he soon made him
self at home and indlspenslble to the
family. He had been at sea nearly all
his life, he said, until he injured one of
his feet. After that be had been obliged
to make a shift to do something else,
and hud hit on gardening.
" It's a sort o' life that's gut poetry in
It, you see," he explained, while trim
ming the vines around the piazza, "and
I kinder took to it one way and an
When asked how it came about that he
had lost the missing finger of his right
hand, he scratched his head rtfleotively
a moment, then sat down on the piazza
steps and fell into an autobiographical
mood that was not anticipated.
"Unless I'm off my reckonin', It was
hard on to eighteen year ago that the
thing happened." he Bald. "I'd been
crulsln' 'bout the Pacific, and gut sort
o' tired o' the thing. So I took a fancy
inter my head to try somethln' steady
aboard o' a Liverpool steamer. Luck
was always agin me, though, whenever
I tried settlln' down to anythln' reg'ler;
and the steamer went down afore we'd
been out four days." '
He paused as Mrs. Forsythe came
over to the end of the piazza where her
husband was bis auditor, and then con
tinued: " It was all over in ten minutes, you
see; and the first anybody knowed,
they were either splashin' round lu
one o' the boats or rollin' on the waves.
In ourboat there was more'n a dozen
men an' women; but afore mornin' only
my mate and me and a little babe was
left. She turned right over, you .see,
in spite of all we could do, and emptied
everybody Inter the trough o' the sea.
My hand gut caught, somehow, in the
rowlock, and I give it such a yank that
It tore that finger clean off; but I wasn't
slow, for all that, in a-climbin' onto the
bottom o' that boat. My mate he'd gut
there fust and lent me a hand.
" ' Jack, my man,' said he, a breathln'
like a whale, 'we're in for it this time,
" ' Bo be It,' said I, for I was a little
reckless in those days ami didn't care
much what happened."
" But you said," Mrs. Fbrsythe inter
rupted, nervously interested, " that
there was a baby J"'
'! Yes, ma'am. Tom, my mate, had
gut a-holt of it somehow la in the water
while tryln' to save its , mother. 'Look
a-'ere, Jack,' said he, when we was
astraddle the boat.
" Here's the baby that belonged to the
woman in the bow. What on earth'U
we do with It?" " Hang on to lt,I sup
pose, for we can't throw it overboard,
"And was it alive?"" Mrs. Forsythe
" Oh 1 yes, ma'am. Alive and well.
Tom wrung out his shirt and wrapped
the little thing up with It; and then we
took turns a-holden' it an' keepin' it
warm agin our bodies till mornin'.
A Portagese brig picked us up then,
along with a lot of the Albion's passen
gens that it had already rescued."
" The Albion 1" exclaimed Mr. For
sythe, starting from his chair. " Was
that the name of the steamer ?"
" It was my baby I my baby 1" Mrs.
Forsythe cried, now losing control of
herself and dropping down in front of
the man. ' Tell me more all quick.
" Why, ma'am" he said, rathei
startled, "that's just what another lady
said, when we took the child aboard the
the brig. 'It's mine! rnlnel' said she
glvin' a shriek and runnln' toward us.
Are you the same lady ?"
"No, nol But where is tbe child?
What became of it?" .
" The lady took it the fureign-lookln'
lady. You see Bhe had lost hern aboard
the steamer, and when she saw that
this 'ere baby was not the one, I says :
'Ma'am, it's the baby of the woman
that's drowned. My mate here saved
it." Then she hugged it in her arms
and cried over it, and said she'd keep it
Mrs. Forsythe stood up, placed her
hands to her head and tried to enter
the house; but she would have fallen
had not her husband thrown his arm
about her and helped her in.
A few minutes afterward he found
tbe old sailor limping up and down the
lawn in the dusk, with bis hands in his
pockets, meditating evidently on the ex
traordinary effect his narrative had pro
duced. Tbe brig, he said, was bound to
Lisbon, and carried them and the pas
sengers it had picked up to that port.
The woman who had taken the child
looked like an Italian, but she Bpoke
English as well as anybody. He didn't
know what her name was ; but when
she left the brig at Lisbon she went to
some place in the south of France, from
which she Bent back fo his and mate
himself a purse of five hundred franos.
After they bad squandered the money,
they shipped on an English vessel for
a voyage to South America, and had
never since seen or heard of anybody
who was aboard the Albion when she
That was all tbe Information that
could be gained from the man, but
neither Mr. or Mrs. Forsythe doubted
that the child was theirs. The woman
who had taken it was probably the
mother of Rupert. In other words, by
a strange series of events, they had ex
changed children. Sitting before the
fire-until far into the night, Mrs. For
sythe brought back out of the dead past
her little girl's face and lived over again
much of the agony she had experienced
long ago. The child bad been alive all
these years, perhaps while she believed
her drowned. Bhe had been growing
up somewhere with strangers believing
them her parents, calling another
woman mother. They had seen the
little thing begin to walk and had taught
her the first words she spoke. Possibly
they had also watched her grow to be a
fair young glrl,and she was their daugh
ter now. Or perhaps, after all she was
dead, burled away off In a foreign land ;
and, instead of the tall, slender girl who
resembled her, there was only a little
child's tombstone standing In some lone,
ly, forgotten place, where the weeds
grew over the mound before It. Oh I
was there any way she could find her,
that she could know the truth ? Could
not tbe whole wide world be searched ?
Mr. Forsythe said that the list of pas
sengers who sailed on the ill-fated steam
er could, of course, still be found In the
account the newspapers published of the
disaster, Bad possibly it might give some
clue to an Italian lady among them, but
he met with disappointment when he
looked over the list the next day, in the
city. None of the passengers appeared
to be Italian.
" We must write to tbe oompany's
office In Liverpool," Mrs, JiTorsy tbe said,
."and find out whether the list In the
papers was correct. Oh 1: Will, I would
like to go over there myself!:
A mouth later, when lb was ascertain,
ed that there had been two passengers
from Bayonne on the steamer, a Madam
Lolzeau and Mile. Beaufort, the wish
Mrs. Forsythe had expressed began to
be seriously considered. It seemed to.
her (jiite probable that Madam Lolzeau
was the lady who had taken her child,
and she could not rest until she had
made an effort to find her. In fact,
when autumn came and Rupert entered
college, Mr. Forsythe was prevailed on
to set out on the undertaking, and they
sailed direct to Franee. Tbe interest of
tbe story, however, as it was told after
ward, lay more- wiih Kupert, perhaps
during the next year than with the
wanderings of his foster parent, for
accident gave him an opportunity to
distinguish himself before he bad com
pleted his second college term.
In his nineteenth year young Forsythe
was tall, broad shouldered, energetic,
and attractive looking. He had well
shaped features clear olive complexion,
black curly hair, and dark eyes, that
gave his face a bright, intelligent ap
pearance. Whatever he undertook to
do he did with a will, whether It was
mastering tbe grammar of .a dead lan.
guage or performing feats, in tbe gym
nasium, and accordingly, it was not
long before he became popular.
While skating on a lake near the col
lege, one moonlight night in January,
with a merry company of students .and
a bevy of fair companions from tbe
town, it chanced that a serious mistake
befell one of the young ladles, and that
Forsythe, like the true knight he was,
risked life and limb to rescue her. She
had ventured alone on a dangerous
place in the Ice and fallen through.
The crash and her scream threw every,
body Into confusion for a moment, and
tbe crowd that rushed to her assistance
made the chance for her escape from
drowning very critical, as the ice in all
directions near her instantly threatened
to give way; but Forsythe, qulcker-wlt-ted
and more self-possessed than the
others, shouted to them to stay back,
and then, throwing oft his coat, began
to creep out on the ice alone.
"Don't be frightened! Cling to the
ice! I will reach you in a moment!"
he Bald, encouragingly.
The young lady Miss Beatrice Llnds
ley) was too terrified, however, to know
what she was doing ; and, instead of
holding on and waiting she tried to raise
herself out of the water. This struggle
exhausted her strength, and she soon
fell back, uttering a faint cry, and sunk
out of sight.
Forsythe kicked off his boots, threw
himself forward, and the next moment
had his arm around her and was floun
dering in the midst of the broken
It was a desperate maneuver, and,
had not his companions by this time '
obtained some boards and come to his
relief, might not have proved a success,
ful one. Miss Lindsley was now uncon
scious and difficult to hold ; but he man
aged, by making a great effort, to fight
his way to the place where the boards
made the ice firmer. Then, with aid,
he drew the young lady from the water
and carried her to her frightened friends
on the shore.
The next day the affair was the chief
topic of conversation among the stu
dents and in town. Mr. Lindsley, who
was one of the prominent citizens, call,
ed on Forsythe, to express his gratitude
in flattering terms ; and the local paper
published a glowing account of the acci
dent, congratulating the community on
an escape from a sad calamity and char,
acterizlng Forsythe as exceptlonably
manly, brave.and dariug. Miss. Linda
ley was, in fact, the handsomest and
most accomplished young lady in the
town and, consequently, held a high,
place in the estimation of her many
" I would rather be Forsythe, than,
have the learning of the whole faculty;