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" It's all very
do you send him there,-to be eaten And your horses sold! And a donkeyup
cart for the kids! And think of all their 'No, no,” said Gibbs. “But when clothes! Oh, Gibbs, my dear fellow, for Samela and I are married—I mean if Sa goodness' sake don't be so rash !" mela and I are married-it would be a Gibbs shifted uneasily on his gate-post. great nuisance to have him trotting in and “It sounds an awful prospect,” he murout whenever he liked ; and I believe this mured, with a very uneasy countenance. place is pretty hard to get away from Nothing to what the reality would when you are once there."
be," retorted the philosopher. Then there “ Is there anything for him to hunt ?” was a long panse, the two worthies sat in inquired Martingale.
silence on their pillars, disconsolately Sure to be-in the summer ; of course swinging their legs. in the winter he would have to vegetate "Come, I say, Johnny," said the and write his reports."
would-be wooer at last, a sudden light “ Well, there may be something in it," breaking in upon him. said the soldier, pondering over this sum well for you to sit and preach away like mary way of getting rid of a possible that ; how do you know so much about father-in-law. “ If the old boy is willing women ?” to go, it is all right; but I rather think “ Because. I've studied them,” replied you mayn't find it so easy to pack him off his mentor sententiously. to such a place—he mayn't care about “I should like to know when You wolves and vegetation."
fish all the spring ; you shoot four days a “He may not,” said Gibbs with rather week from August to February, and then a downcast face.
hunt till the fishing begins again. I'm “I say, my dear fellow,” cried Mar- sure I don't know how you square your tingale, nearly falling off his pedestal in colonel. When do you find time to study his eagerness,“ don't you be led into them ?”! this! You don't know what it is! She “Ah, that's it," said Martingale, lookhas no money, you think? You won't be ing very wise. There's a good gap beable to get away from home at all, and tween the hunting and fishing time, and what will you do all the time? Go out then there are two days a week over, not walks with Samela, eh? You'll get tired counting Sundays; and all the time you of that in time.”
devote to those musty books I occupy in “ Oh, hang it !" interposed Gibbs, studying the female woman.” “ other people do it and seem fairly “Then you've studied a bad sample. I happy. I think there's something in a kuow a lot of men who have married, and domestic-"
I can't at this moment think of one who “Oh, I know what you mean !” inter has had all those diseases yon reckoned rupted Martingale. The curtains drawn, up, or who eats cold mutton, or who and the kettle boiling over, and the cat doesn't smoke in the house if he wants to.” sitting on the hob, and you and Samela in “Can't you? Look at old Framshaw." one arm-chair in front of it. You can't Well,—but Mrs. Framshaw is a peralways be doing that ; and what will you fect Gorgon.". do when all kinds of things break out in They nearly all turn out Gorgons when the house at the same time ?-measles, they've got you ; and it doesn't follow chicken-pox, small-pox—"
that when a man says he doesn't care “You had better add scarlet fever and about smoking that he is telling the truth ; cholera. People don't have those sort of the wives make them say that. I'll tell things all at the same time."
you what, Gibbs, if I was you I'd be off.” "Don't they? You ask my old aunt ; “Do you mean at once ?”' she'll tell you. She had scarlet fever and “I do," said the counsellor, looking measles and whooping-cough and erysipe- very solemn. las when she was seven years old-all at Oh, hang it !” exclaimed Gibbs, “I the same time. Think of your doctor's can't go till the end of my month.” bills ! Think of all the servants giving “Look here,” said his friend, earnestly notice at once! Think of the cold mut- considering, why not go to my place ?" ton and the rice pudding at two o'clock ! “But your water won't carry two And not being able to smoke in the house ! rods."
“No, it won't. Well, now, supposing 6. Where the wolves are,” said Johnny, I came over here ???
trying to help him out of a difficulty. " What! in my place ?”
*« Wolves !” ejaculated the Professor. “Well, it would let you away.'
Long wolves, you know,” explained “ You abominable old humbug !" cried Johnny. Gibbs, jamming his stick into the other's “ What do you mean by long wolves, waistcoat, and nearly sending him over sir ?" demanded Mr. Prendergast. backward. “I see what you're after ! “Faith, I don't quite know myself, You want Samela for yourself, and my confessed the other. • Easier to shoot, I fishing as a little amusement into the bar- suppose. Some one once complained of gain! I'll see you somewhere first !" rabbits being too short-eight inches too
When these two debaters on matrimony short. Now, these wolves are of the long came in to dinner, they found that they breed, they" were to be deprived of the society of their Mr. Prendergast looked at Gibbs as only lady-Samela had a headache and much as to say, “ You are responsible for was not visible. Perhaps Mr. Prender the introduction of this lunatic," and then gast had not looked forward with much glared savagely at his vis-à-vis. But the pleasure to his dinner that night, but if he soldier sat with an imperturbable look on had known what he was to go through his handsome face, twisting his mustache, while it was taking place, we think he and quite unconscious of having said any. would have followed the example of his thing out of the way. daughter without so good a reason. The Here Gibbs interposed. “He's mixconversation soon turned on sport, as it ing a lot of things up. You great owl,” was sure to do when Martingale made one he said, glaring angrily at his friend, of the party. If it had been earlier, hunt “ what are you talking about? There's ing would have been the topic to be dis no fishing in Oonalaska, and no beetlescussed ; if it had been later, shooting- and no wolves, either,” he added in desnow fishing held the field.
peration. Then the conversation drifted “Ever fished in Sutherland ?” inquired in another direction, and, as soon as he Martingale of the Professor.
could, Mr. Prendergast made his escape. No, sir, I have not,'' replied he. “You played it rather rough on me,
Fishing is getting played out in Scot- old man, said the soldier afterward, land, I think,” went on Johnny.
" about that place." “It is possible," said the old gentle “ The old boy was getting angry,” said
The fact is of the less moment to Gibbs, “ and besides, what I said was me as I never intend to fish in Scotland.” true. There are no beetles in Oonalaska,
“Ah," said the other, who could I bave been looking up the authorities, hardly conceive of any one not wishing to it's too cold for them." fish somewhere. “I dare say you are “ Then you won't send your father-inright; Norway is better, but Norway is law there? not what it used to be.”
“I think not,” said Gibbs. “Probably not,” grunted the torment- try and find a warmer place for him.”
*« Well, old chap," said Martingale as “Oh, no.
Newfoundland is better, he got into the dogcart the next morning, but the mosquitoes are very bad there- “if I can be of any help to you I will. eat you up ; and then there's that place You may rely on me ; but if you have a looking at Gibbs—“Oonoolooloo—what crisis try and have it on a Saturday. I is it?"
can always get away that day or Sunday ; Oonalaska,” supplied Gibbs, wishing but I believe that the fish run better about his friend would be quiet.
this part of the month, and it might be Oonalaska, a fine place difficult for me to leave them in the inidfor sport that !” thinking he would do dle of the week, though, of course, if it the latter a good turn. * Fine place for was very important I would try and man-beetle-hunting''--suddenly remember- age it.” Then with a few last warnings ing more about the old man's proclivities. the soldier climbed into his seat and drove
I never heard of the place,” said the off, having performed what he considered old man, staring across the table at Mar- to be his mission, tingale.
The following day Samela was still in
visible, and Gibbs spent his whole time on another meeting than this. He had anticithe river, fishing and communing with pated some difficulty in gradually withhimself. The water was as usual in order, drawing the light of his countenance from and there were plenty of fish up; a man Miss Prendergast; he had thought it had, as it were, only to put forth his hand quite possible that bis courage might be and take them. But even a clean-run, rather put to the test when he had to meet inexperienced salmon will become uneasy her pleasant smile with one just a little when the fly and all the casting line fall in less pleasant, and show her, gently but a lump on to his nose ; and the best gut firmly, that he only looked upon her as a will go if the whole force of a powerful casual acquaintance. It was only a strong greenheart is used to rip it up from a ris- confidence in his moral capabilities which ing fish.
“ He was thinking he was fish- enabled him to prepare for the contest he ing for a sbairk, maist of the day,” said expected. But now it was she who was Archie grimly on his return to the inn that cool, she who seemed indifferent, she who night. Gibbs lost fish and broke gut, and appeared resolved to treat him as she finally, when trying furiously to lash out might treat a gentleman, whom she had an impossible line, got his book fast in an met yesterday, and to-morrow was going alder behind him and broke the middle to say “good-bye” to. Never a whit had joint of his rod. Then he gave up his Gibbs calculated on all this ; and when paraphernalia to the disgusted Archie, and he tried some small blandishments
for slowly sauntered home by himself. Out the strong determined man was already of chaos he had at last evolved order, and beginning to find the ground weak below his mind was made up. He would not him, and his moral courage slowly oozing make any attempt to woo Samela, not out-it was still the same, they had no watch her sketching, or ask her to tea; effect at all. above all, not give her an opportunity of Before dinner was half over Gibbs sitting and looking fascinating in his arm- abandoned himself to gloomy forebodings. chair. In coming to this conclusion he he forgot all about his good resolves — was influenced by the facts, that he knew they became to him as if they had never nothing about her and her father, that he been—thin phantoms which had never could not afford to marry, and, finally, really occupied his mind. He cast about that he was not at all sure that he was in for some cause for this change. Had love with her. A good deal of what Mar some bird of the air brought to her ears tingale had said he knew to be nonsense ; the somewhat free conversation which had but still, if a man will talk enough non been carried on about herself and her sense some of it will find a home for itself, parent the day before ? Had those sagaespecially if it is poured forth on a Sunday cious-looking black-faced sheep, or some morning by a man, looking as wise as roe crouching in the fern close at hand, Solomon and Rhadamanthus combined, delivered a message to her as the modern perched on a gatepost.
representative of their old mistress Diana ! “Of course I will be perfectly pleasant No; he thought it was more likely that and courteous to her," thought Gibbs ; Martingale was the cause. He was a fine“but l'll take care it doesn't go beyond looking man ; he was rich ; moreover, his that ; I am sure it is the right thing to brother was a peer, and Johnny bore the
And having so determined his little prefix to his name which is somecourse he became cool and almost com times supposed to carry weight with some fortable again.
girls. What a viper ! thought Gibbs; Samela joined her father at dinner. and how indecent of the girl to show her Her paleness might be attributed to her feelings so soon! indisposition ; but was it due also to her The dinner crawled along, and at last headache that she seemed disinclined to Samela rose, and with a little bow to Gibbs talk to Gibbs, disinclined to laugh as she left the room. And then another astonused to laugh, to inquire about his sport, ishing thing happened! The old man and to ask what funny speeches Archie became-not genial, for that was not perInight have made that day? Had she too haps in his nature, but as little disagreebeen making up her mind ?
able as he could manage to be. He pulled Gibbs had been looking forward to quite up his chair to the fire, asked Gibbs if he
was not going to have a little more whis- He hurried down into the dining-room, key, and said it was a cold night in quite marvelling what could cause the somewhat a friendly tone.
proud and independent girl to speak in Can it be possible,” thought Gibbs, such a fashion,--the horror and despair in as he abstractedly poured out for himself her voice rang in his ears still. Mr. Prena very strong glass of Clynleish, “that dergast soon followed, and announced that this ancient antiquarian knows his daugh- his daughter was again too unwell to come ter's feelings, and is showing his compas- to dinner ; then as had been his habit latesion for me in this way !” And he looked ly he inquired with some interest about with the greatest abhorrence at the Pro- his companion's sport, and proceeded to fessor, who forth with began to give a dis- give a long description of the difference jointed account of his adventures on the which exists between a moth and a buthill that day. Night brought no comfort terfly. to Gibbs. He anticipated a sleepless one;
After the old man had disappeared but perhaps his hard day's fishing in the Gibbs put on a cape and went out down high wind, perhaps the agitation in his the glen. It was a wild wet night ; the mind, perhaps even the glass of whiskey water was running here and there over the aforesaid stood his friends. After tossing road, and he had to splash through it ; about in a restless way for twenty minutes the wind howled over the unsheltered he dropped into a deep and dreamless moor and drove the rain smartly in his sleep.
face ; but the turmoil suited his humor, The followirg day things were as they and he was glad it was not calm and fine. had been, only worse. Samela avoided For he saw now—he seemed to see plainhim, and the day after they were no bet- ly, and he wondered how before he could ter,
The only ray of light thrown on have been so blind—that the piteous "I Gibbs was from the corrugated counte cannot'' referred to himself. That old nance of the old Professor, whose friend- Professor had no doubt been making inship seemed to increase every hour. Then quiries as to his–Gibbs's—means, had Gibbs became unhappy, he lost half the found them satisfactory, and now discovfish he hooked, and he jumped upon cred that the girl was the obstacle, and he Archie in a way that made that worthy's was showing her that she would have to hair stand on end.
follow his judgment in the matter and not She's heuked him," the latter whis. her own wishes. pered to Jane (he had acquired somehow Poor Gibbs! Never till that night had an exaggerated idea of his master's wealth his pride received so great a shock. He and importance), “ and now she's playing was not a man who in any way plumed him, and he's gey sick wi't, I can tell himself on his influence with women, he you ; but whether he will stand the strain had never in the smallest degree consido't, I canna say." Archie was nothing if ered himself to be a lady-killer ; but so not cautious. ' I'd like fine to see you far his acquaintance and experience with trying that game on wi me, Jean, ma the gentler sex had been pleasant and lass!" and then the colloquy ended in easy. He had made many friends among the usual way.
women, hardly, he thought, any enemies. Now it happened one night, after dress. And now, without his having anything to ing for dinner, that Gibbs was going down say in the matter, he was being thrust on the passage, when, as he was passing Mr. an unwilling girl ; how unwilling he was Prendergast's room, he heard two words to some extent able to measure by the exspoken in a low passionate voice. They ceeding bitterness of the cry he had heard. were only two words--“I cannot ;'' but If spoken words have any significance, there was an intensity in the way Samela then her feelings against him must be uttered them which bit itself, as it were, strong indeed. into the brain of the hearer. Our fisher The following morning Gibbs received man had felt little scruple when chance put a telegram, asking him to go that night to him in a position to listen for a moment Inverness. The affairs of a minor for to Archie's plainly expressed opinions, whom he was a trustee were in a somebut he was no eavesdropper ; he would what complicated state ; it was a question have cut off his right hand sooner than whether they ought not to be thrown into have stood to try and hear what followed. the Court of Chancery, and the matter
had to be decided one way or the other away in a natural manner and amused his at once. The London lawyer happened companion ; and now he racked his brains to be in Scotland at the time, and so to think of commonplaces with which to offered to come as far as Inverness ; in.
pass the time. deed, was on his way there when the mes. But it was bard for him to think of such sage was sent, and Gibbs felt there was no things in the state of mind he was in. course open to him but to go there also. For what had been at first mere admira
There was a wedding in the strath that tion had grown into love ; it had thriven day and all horses were in great demand ; on opposition ; the more hopeless it had so to suit the convenience of his landlord seemed the more it had flourished, and he sent his portmanteau down early in the the deeper it had struck into his heart. It day to the station, saying that he himself gave a sore shock to his honest pride to would walk. As be came down ready for think that he should so soon have become the journey and passed the door of the an object of aversion to the girl. Minsitting-room, Mr. Prendergast and his gled with this feeling was one of intense daughter came out, the latter in her hat pity for his unwilling companion, and he and jacket.
swore to himself that he would bite his “I am sure," said the old
man, that tongue out before he would say one word you will be kind enough to escort my to her of what he felt. daughter so far as the post-office. I have Gibbs made some remark about the a foreign telegram to send of great im- night, and then the two went on in portance which I cannot trust to a mes silence. Daylight was gone, and the senger and some inquiries will have to be
moon was peeping up above the fir wood made about the place it is going to. I which covered the hill in front of them. can't go myself owing to my sprain” (got The air was warm and noist, and the on the hill the previous day), "and Mr. larches and the primroses, which grew Macdonald tells me that a trap will be call- here close up to the heather, made it ing at the post-office in an hour's time sweet. It was such a night as might well which will bring her back."
draw out the boldness of a shy lover or Gibbs listened to this long harangue the eloquence of a silent one. Thousands without believing in it. It seemed to him such would be abroad at that time, in to be an obvious excuse for forcing on a
crowded cities and fresh country lanes ; tête-à-tête walk between Samela and him some in hope, some in fear, some with self. If a telegram really had to be sent, happiness before them, some, as he was, , it could be sealed up, and the inquiry miserable. The man could hardly realize made by letter. He looked, while the that only a few days before his greatest father was speaking, at the girl, and he anxiety had been about the weather, his was greatly struck by the change in her greatest trouble, a fish getting away. face and manner. She was very pale, and had since then conjured up for himself seemed nervous and hesitating, as if she many vivid pictures of possible happiness. wished to say something and did not dare ; A week ago, if the realization of the a great contrast to the blithe lady of a brightest of them had been a matter for week ago. Gibbs looked inquiringly at himself to decide, he would have hesitated her, thinking she might make some excuse to confirm it; and now, some cold fate herself, but she kept her eyes fixed on her had cut the string on which he found too father; so he had no alternative but to say late his happiness had been secured. that he should be only too happy to be of Samela answered his remarks with any service ; and then the two passed out monosyllables. He thought it was useof the lighted room into the twilight road. less to try and force on a conversation,
His first feeling was one of hot anger and for a long time they walked on in toward Mr. Prendergast. What a brute silence ; but at last this silence became he must really be,” he thought, "to force oppressive to him and almost unbearable. the girl to take this walk with me to-night They had come to a woody bit of the road when it is quite plain she doesn't want to which lay in deep shadow, the moonbeams come. How hateful it must be to her !" not yet being strong enough to force A week
he would have been delight themselves through the firs. Here Samela ed to have had the opportunity of such a stopped suddenly. Gibbs thought she walk : he could have at any rate chatted must have dropped something. "What