Newspaper Page Text
BLOOMFIELD, H?.A., TITESIDA.Y, NOVEMI3I5R
Au Independent Family Newspaper,
18 PUBUSHEDBVERT TUB9DAI BT
F. MORTIMER & CO.
INVARIABLY IN ADVANCE.
f 1.50 PEH YD Alt, POSTAliK Htl.H.
80 CT.1i FOH 6 MOISTHS.
To aubierlhers residing In Tms covNTr, wliere
we hiivn no postage to pav. a discount of 2S cents
(rom the above terms will be made it payment Is
made In advance
W Advertising rates furnished upon appllca
The Girl He Left Behind.
THE good ship Tauiur was bearing up
channel before a brink southwest
wind. The passengers were gathered on
deck, conversing in little groups, as they
etood watching the green English shores,
lying bright and Btill in the afternoon
light. But one stood apart from the
rest, leaning over the stern taffrail gaz
ing with fixed eyes and thoughtful face.
He was a man of about forty-five years
of age, of somewhat spare build, with
ample brown beard and bronze tanned
cheeks. A near scrutiny would have
revealed something of sadness lu his eyes
at the moment, as though the prospect
of agnin setting foot on his native land,
from which he had been absent for many
years, was not wholly one of pleasure.
George Herder had then looked for
ward to returning to England with
somewhat different feelings from those
which he was at present experiencing.
Instead of thought of wedding bells, he
was coming back with no deeper senti
ment in his heart than a desire to see
once more the friends and home of his
boyhood, before finally settling in the
country of his adoption, where he had
formed stronger ties, he thought, than
any that now existed for him in the land
of his birth. And yet a dimness gather
ed his eyes as the past came back upon
him, and his memories were neither
gloomy nor misanthropic.
On the afternoon of the following day
the Tamar dropped anchor off Graves
end. Most of the unmarried men on
board went on shore at once, and among
them George Herder. On reaching
London he took a cab, and gave the
man the address to drive to. He was set
dowrn in Heresford Iload, Bayswater, at
a house in a terrace. He gave the ser
vant who opened the door his name,
and, following her up stairs, entered the
room into which she showed him. As
he did so a man rose from the table at
which he was seated, glanced for a mo
ment at the stranger, and then came
quickly forward, and grasped him by
"George, old man, Is it you. Welcome
back to England. But I can't tell how
glad I feel at seeiDg you again, old fel
"Did you get my telegram V" asked
"Yes, I got it. I have been talking to
the landlady, and she can let you have a
bedroom here, if you like, and we can
share this room in common. The ar
rangement might suit you for the pres
ent, at any rate. What do you say ?"
"It will do capitally," answered Her
der. "It will be convenient our being
together, for we have much to say to
each other. I'll need to be piloted about
London, too; I've forgotten my way
greatly, and I find many of the places
"I thought of that, too. I am not
very busy just now, so we can have a
good deal of time together. I shall be
free every afternoon by four o'clock."
Fred. Hammond held a position of
come responsibility in the civil service.
Next day George Herder's time was
chiefly occupied in looking up the few
friends in London with whom he had
kept up an acquaintance by correspond
ence. Hammond and be had finished
dinner in their lodgings, and had pro
duced their pipes, when the former said:
"I've got an engagement for this even
ing, which it's too late now to think of
getting off. Borne very good friends of
mine, who live in a square close by,
have a sort of musical party and conver
sation. I am on quite such terms with
them as to be able to ubb the freedom of
taking you with me, if you would care
to go. I can't promise that you will be
greatly interested among a lot of people
who nre strangers to you ; but we need
only slop an hour or so, and It may be
less dull than staying here by yourself."
"I don't mind going with you for a
short time, if you can use the liberty of
introducing me to your friends," tald
Mrs. Norcott entertained a sufficient
number of guests that eveuing to fill her
drawing-rooms comfortably, without
crowding. Music, conversation and
cards for the more elderly of the compa
ny, formed the staple of the evening's
amusements. The host and hostess re
ceived Herder with agreeable geniality;
but as the people about him were all en
tire strangers, it could hardly be other
wise than that George should every now
aud then feel Botnewhat at a loss what
to do with himself. He had exchanged
a few commonplaces with an old Indian
officer to whom he had been introduced,
and was standing In a corner of the
room gazing rather aimlessly about him,
when Hammond came up and said:
"I'm afraid this Isn't very lively for
you, but I think we need not stay any
longer. I've explained matters to Mrs.
Norcott. I just want you to hear this
lady play, and then we'll go. She is one
of the best amateur pianoforte-players I
know, and I always consider It a treat to
hear her. You used to be fond of music;
I think you'll like this."
The piano stood at the opposite end of
the room. While Hammond was speak
ing, a lady seated herself at it and begau
playing. As Herder looked at her he
started so evidently that it did not es
cape his companion's notice. Was it
possible that he knew that face and
figure. The lady was middle-aged, of a
rather small and slight figure, with a
face not regularly moulded, but soft, re
fined and expressive ; brown hair, with
a ripple in it, and brown eyes. The face
had lost the rounded curves of girlhood
and all the color that once mantled in
it; the eye had somewhat faded, and
there were not wanting lines upon the
brow; but surely George could not be
mistaken. The light from a bracket
above the piano fell upon the player and
revealed her ace and figure in clear out
line. She played an arrangement of
Irish melodies, old and familiar airs all
of them, but so delicately and sympa
thetically played that the whole room
was hushed to listen. Conversation
ceased for the time, and several of the
card players from the adjoining room,
abandoning their game, came forward
and stood at the doors while the music
continued. It was evident that the skill
of the performer was well known to
many of the company. Herder listened
with rapt ears. The musio was stirring
old memories in his heart, reviving
them with a strange power. If any.
thing had been needed to confirm him
in his recognition of the performer, the
music she had happened to choose would
have done so. Were not some of these
old airs once his chief favorites airs
that used to haunt him for days together,
aud that still came back upon him now
and then ? The musio ceased ; a murmur
of applause went around the room, aud
the performer rose and left the piano.
"That lady plays admirably," observed
Herder to his companion, with an effort
to appear calmer than he really felt.
"Ah 1 I thought you would like her,"
answered Hammond. "The musio is
simple enough, but whatever Mrs. Val
lance plays is played in a way you don't
ofteu meet with."
"Vallance I Are you sure that is the
name ?" asked George, and the dlsap
polntmeut in his voice was evident.
"Perfectly," replied Hammond, a lit
tle surprised. "I know her very well.
Why do you donbt it ? "
"Oh, it's of no consequence; I sup
pose I was mistaken ; but it's very
strange." The last part of Herder's sen
tence was spoken in an absent, half
musing way, as though the speaker had
grown suddenly unconscious of his com
"What is strange ?" said Hammond.
"You seem greatly Interested in Mrs.
Vallance, George. What is the mys
"Have you known Mrs. Vallance long,
"Yea, and I have the pleasure of
knowing her pretty Intimately. There
la somewhat of a little history connected
"Is there It Would you mind telling
It to me if It is not a private matter It"
"Certainly, if you wish ; it is no se
cret. But we can't talk here. Let us
find Mrs. Norcott and ruake our adieus."
"I can toll you what I know of Mrs.
Vallance," began Hammond, when the
two men had reached their lodgings and
were again seated, each In an easy chair,
at the open window, for it was- summer
time, "in a few sentences, for it is after
all a simple enough story. When Mrs.
Vallance was a girl of twenty she was
engaged at Plymouth, where Bhe resided,
to a young fellow a few years older than
herself. Unfortunately, however, he
had not the wherewithal to keep a wife,
and with the hope of increasing his
worldly circumstances more rapidly than
he was doing in England, he resolved to
emigrate to Australia. He was to re
turn in a short time aud take the girl
out with him. In Australia he started
sheep farming, I believe; but his success
was by no means as rapid as he had
hoped for. Years passed on, and still
there seemed uo prospect of his being
soon able to return to England. At last
the girl received a letter in which her
affianced lover whose name I never
happened to hear stated that he could
not possibly say when he would be in a
positiou to fulfil his promise to her.
Under these circumstances he could not
ask her to wait any longer for him ; and
he therefore released her from her en
gagement. Well, the girl was sad de
pressed enough for a while, they say,
but by-and-by she seemed to get over it.
About this time Mr. Vallance, an old
friend of the father's, came a good deal
about the house, and it was soon evident
that he was attracted by the daughter.
Vallance was a partner in a long-established
mercantile house in London, and
was reputed to be rich. He was a kind
hearted and estimable man in many
ways. The parents looked favorably
upon his suit, and, when he proposed for
the daughter's hand she accepted him.
They were married.
"Mr. Vallance took a handsome house
in London, and made a kind husband
and a generous son-in-law. But this
prosperous condition of things did not
last long. In little more than two years
after his marriage, the house to which
Vallance belonged, to the astonishment
of the mercantile world, stopped pay.
ment. The affair made a considerable
talk in the city at the time. Nobody
seemed to have anticipated the firm's
failure, and I don't think Mr. Vallance
could have had any thought of the pos
sibility of such a change in his circum
stances when he married bla wife, from
the way he took the matter to heart. He
never recovered from the shock, and in
a year after the firm suspended he died.
His widow was left almost entirely de
pendent upon her own exertions for the
support of herself and her two young
children. She removed to Plymouth
again, began to give music lessons, and
in this way has maintained herself and
her family ever since; and very nobly
she has done it. It was shortly after her
husband's death that I became acquaint
ed with her. I have given you the most
favorable version of her story. As re
gards her engagement with Mr. Val
lance, there were not wanting people la
Plymouth, who hinted their doubts as to
whether she had ever received such a
letter as I have mentioned from the
young fellow in Australia. Gossips said
that she lent a willing ear to Mr. Val
"Was it a generul report?" asked
"Well, it was not uncommon to hear
the matter talked of In that way."
"And what is your own opinion ?"
"There Is no lady of my acquaintance
for whom I have a greater respect and
liking than for Mrs. Vallance," answered
Hammond ; "and I would not believe
anything unworthy of her.
There was a short pause, during which
the two men puffed their pipes in silence.
Then Herder said :
"Miss Maurice that was the young
lady's maiden name, I think, though
you did not mention it did receive such
a letter as you describe, from her friend
in Australia ; a letter, too, that released
her completely from her long engage
ment." ' "And how on earth do you know all
this V" asked Hammond.
"For the simple reason that I am the
young fellow that went to Australia."
"You, George 1" exclaimed Ham
mond, starting from bis chair, and star
ing In his companion's face. "How is
it I never heard a word of this before ? I
thought we knew most of each other's
a Hairs as young men."
"Well, Fred, for a year before I became
engaged to Miss Maurice you were lu
Germany with your mother and sister,
and I was away, you know, before you
came back. I never mentioned my ac
quaintance with Miss Maurice to you ;
I was rather a shy and shame faced fel
low, somehow, about that sort of thing,
aud I did not tell even so close a chum
as you about it, though I was on the
point of doing so when I started so sud
denly for Australia. After that I felt
the less inclined to write about the sub
ject, my prospects were so vague, aud
uncertain in every way."
"It was rather Btrange, George, that I
never heard your name mentioned In
the matter, and there was nothing to
make me think of connecting you with
Miss Maurice's frieud. You knew Mrs.
Vallance again, then, tonight? I could
not thluk what made your manners so
"Yes, I knew her. She is much
changed, of course, though not more so,
I suppose, than was to be expected. I
left behind me a girl of twenty, with a
bloom on her cheek like a June rose and
eyes like sunshine. Both the rose-red
and the light in her eyes have faded, but
she is-etill Kate Maurice, the same sweet
looking woman I knew long ago. One
thing only made me hesitate to-night as
to whether I was not mistaken, after all,
and I don't understand it yet. I heard
in Australia that the man Miss Maurice
married was a Mr. Ewing, but I sup
pose there was some mistake about the
"It waB a mistake," Bald Hammond ;
"but I can see how it probably occurred.
The title of the firm of which Mr. Val
lance was a junior partner, was Griffith
and Ewing. Your informant must have
heard that Miss Maurice married the
junior partner, and concluded that it was
Mr. Ewing, or the story got mixed up in
some such a way."
"Yes; the more easily as it had passed
through several mouths by the time it
"And I suppose that letter of yours
expressed the real state of things with
you at the time ?"
"Exactly ; you have got the gist of the
letter quite correctly. When I wrote
that, I saw no prospect for years of be
ing able to marry. When things did at
length take a turn lu the right direction
with me, I made fair progress. And
now, though I am not a wealthy mau,
I have as much as I had any right to
"Well, George, how Is this little story
of yours to end ?" And as Hammond
spoke he looked quietly Into bis friend's
face, but with a little curiosity,
"Ah, how?" answered the other, and
the friends again for a little time re
lapsed into silence.
"Is Mrs. Vallance staying In London
any time, do you know ?" inquired Her
"She has been paying a short visit to
Mrs. Norcott, aud is to return home in a
day or two, she told me," replied Ham
mond. "Wheu do you think of going
to Plymouth yourself ?"
"This is Wednesday ; I think I shall
go on Friday or Saturday. Wheu I
have got my things out of the ship, and
arranged one or two small matters of
business, I shall have nothing further to
keep me in London, and I am anxious
to see my old aunt. She is almost my
only relative now left. I was a favorite
of hers, you remember."
"I think you are perfectly right in
visiting her at once," Hammond answer
The Friday evening following found
Herder at Plymouth. Early next morn
ing he visited his aunt and one or two
old friends, and then made his way in
the direction of the house in which he
spent his boyhood. It lay two or three
miles out of town, and Herder found
it again without difficulty. A few villas
had sprung up in the neighborhood, but
otherwise the place and Its surroundings
were little altered. Time had been less
busy In this part of the vicinity of Plym
outh than ia most others.. George
walked around the house, stood gazing
over the low garden fence for a while,
and then strolled away In the direction
of the hills la the rear. By-and-by he
came upon a stream flowing between
grassy banks, and shaded by willow trees.
The recollections of the place came fully ,
back upon hint now, aud he recalled
point after point in the landscape. As
he followed the windings of the stream
he felt himself once more ou familiar
ground, and he almost forget for the
moment the years that had elapsed since
last he trod these same paths. He had
fallen into tne sort of reverie which the
circumstances- naturally induced, when
he reached a point where the stream
widened into a little pool, with an over
hanging rock ou one side, and on the
other a close Hue of willows, whose
drooping boughs swept the clear-brown
waters beneath. A boy who was on the
bank fishing, looked up as Herder ap
proached. He had a frank, intelligent
face and brown- waving hair.
"Good sport this morning ?" asked
Herder, accosting him.
"Not flr6t-rate ;" and the speaker lifted
the lid of a small creel that lay on the
grass beside him, for the stranger's In
spection of the morning's take.
"This used to be a good spot, and this
is not a bad morning either; a little
bright, perhaps," continued Herder.
"The river is not so good as it once was,
I tblnk,slr; at least if all the stories old
fishermen tell of it are true ; but I dare
say these old chaps forget or exaggerate.
I get a good lot of fish sometimes,
though generally higher up than this.
Do you ever fish here, sir? I never saw
"I did once,'r answered George; "I
think I knew every yard of it from this
to the Bridgend Inn. Is the inn still to
"O yes ; but I suppose it would be old
Marley who kept it when you were a
boy, sir ?" His nephew, Fred, has it
"Ah, so old Dave is gone."
The two fell into a conversation about .
trout fishing and all pertaining to It. In
a little while the youth left the pool and
moved slowly up the stream, Herder
walking by his side a frank, bright, in
telligent boy, who gossiped on with
the open-hearted freedom of an English
youth. What was it in the tones of his
voice, every now and then, that puzzled
Herder with a faint sense of familiarity?
He looked more narrowly at his com
panion's face, and as he did so another
face came slowly back and filled bis
mental vision. A strong desire to learn
his young companion's name possessed
him and he asked it.
"John Vallance," was the answer.
"May I ask yours, sir ?"
George seemed to hear the words with
no feeling of surprise, but he was con
scious that his Interest In the youth be
side him deepened with tlie confirma
tion of his suspicion. He hesitated for a
moment and then told his name.
"Herder," repeated the youth; "I
know that name. There's anoldlady,
Miss Field, who lives near us, a great
friend of my mother's, who has a nephew
named Herder. She often talks of him.
George, she always calls him. But he's
in Australia ; been there for ever so
Herder did not answer ; the two re
sumed their talk upon fishing, and from
that it turned upon other subjects. Her
der encouraged young Vallance to talk,
and gradually drew from him the lead
ing particulars of his life. He spoke of
his mother, his sister Katy, himself and
his school life, freely and unconstrained
ly, for there was nothing to conceal.
The two had now reached the Bridg
end Inn, a small, old-fashioned-looking
hostelry, frequented by anglers, stand
ing close to the bank of the stream,
where it was crossed by a rustic wooden
bridge. Herder and John Vallance
entered the cool, little sanded parlor, and
George ordered some refreshments. The
host brought them cold meat, bread and
cheese and a jug of beer; and off these
simple viands the two made a merry
When Herder had paid for the refresh
ment, and John and he were leaving the "
inn, after chatting for a moment with,
the landlord, George said to his com
panion : "It's time I was making my
way to Plymouth again. There used to
be a short path back to the town from
here, across the hills. But I don't think
I could flud it myaelf, now."
"Yes," answered John ; "I can put
you upon it in a few moments. I shall
keep along the river for a bit longer, I
thluk. There's the road, sir. Keep