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The leader of the band shook his head. | his model farm, and give him your adThey had no money just then, but after vice. He will drive us there on our way they had given a few performances in the to St. Vaast. And he suggests breakmorning fast at the farm. You see no objection?"

"Let us have a performance now," said madame gaily from her window. "And then, if we are pleased, perhaps the money will be forthcoming."

"On the contrary," said the squire politely, "I shall be only too pleased. Answer the note, Hilda, to that effect."

The count must have been waiting for his answer in the town, for he soon made his appearance in person, driving a phae ton and a pair of high-stepping horses. Justine rushed madly to and fro for a time, as she attended to Hilda's imperious requirements, and then Hilda herself, fresh and glowing, all her spirit and brightness restored, mounted to the driv er's seat.

"It is so kind of you to let me drive," she said, as the count handed her the reins, "for I know your prejudices are against it."

"I am only too proud of my charioteer," said the count politely; but the people of the inn all came out, and held up their hands in wonder and disapproval.

"We shall wait for you at Quettehou," said Hilda, waving her hand to the rest of us, and then she drove off at full speed.

The girl unslung her tambourine and one of the men produced a tin flageolet, and they began a shrill, noisy tum-dee-iddity, the sheep scraping the ground with their feet, and executing a few gambadoes in the direction of the maids of the inn, who had all gathered at the doorway to assist at the entertainment. The maids fled themselves with loud cries, and this proved the best part of the entertainment, especially when one of the sheep took a decided fancy to the fat cook, and chased her into a distant corner of the yard. This brought down the house, as well as showers of coin from the spectators. The girl gathered up the largesse, and tendered it respectfully to the landlord as his tribute. "Keep it, my child," said the landlord, waving his hand grandly; "it was only as a guarantee of good faith that I demanded the money. You shall have your niche in the stable for nothing." Soon after daylight next morning the wandering band departed. They were "They'll have fleet steeds that follow, satisfied with their receipts at Valognes, quoth young Lochinvar,'" quoted Tom, and anxious to get on to the bathing rather mal à propos as I thought. Cerplaces on the coast, where they expected tainly no fleet steeds were at our disposal a still more plentiful harvest. When the-nothing but the pair of horses that slight stir caused by their departure had worked on alternate days in the diligence; ceased, the bells began in a shrill, clamor- good for six miles an hour on an emerous way, and turning out to the gateway Igency, but for not a step beyond. found quite a stir going on black-robed priests, and stout elderly dames with their missals, and little bands of sisters, grey and white, gliding about. It was possible that Hilda, being an early riser, might come out too, and give me a chance of speaking to her. But I saw nothing of her, and was half dozing over my cup of café noir when I heard the laughing voice of Justine in the courtyard. There she was, talking to a servant in a shiny hat, whom I recognized as belonging to M. de St. Pol, and who had brought a splendid bouquet, with which Justine was tickling her nose ecstatically. The old squire now came out, and began to talk to the groom about his horse, which had been ridden hard and was flecked with foam. Next moment Hilda appeared, holding the bouquet and an opened note in her hand.

"It is from M. de St. Pol, papa," she said carelessly. "He wants you to see

"We shall wait for you," Hilda had said, but we felt the waiting would be very doubtful with the count in command, and with such a start too.

For the director positively refused to start on the chance of getting breakfast on the way. He knew the country, he said, which, fertile as it might be, was not prolific in good breakfasts.

"Ah, it must be barbarous," cried his wife; "a place called Quettehou for instance. Is it possible that a place can exist with such a name?"

"Another of the footsteps of your ancestors," cried the director; "Quettehou is just West Hythe, a little polished by the attrition of French tongues."

"Polished, you call it?" cried Tom. "I should say turned from good English to bad Dutch."

And then madame called out that she was starving, and led the way to the breakfast-table.

Hardly had we finished breakfast when we heard a great clatter of hoofs in the courtyard, and, looking out of the window, beheld a scene which recalled something similar in "Don Quixote." A company of horse-dealers had ridden in, well-mounted, and with their horses gaily caparisoned. The leader of the band, who rode up to the door, was mounted on a bright bay of wonderful power and symmetry, his satin coat creasing like a glove at the slightest movement, and the pose of head and neck full of fire and pride, without a particle of ill-temper.

"I call that a perfect horse for har ness," cried Tom, examining his points critically. "I should like to buy that for the governor. I wonder how much he would take."

"What will I take, sar?" exclaimed the horse-dealer, who had associated so much with brother horse-dealers from the other side of the Channel that he had picked up a good many English phrases. "I will take a tousand pistoles - mille pistoles."

"Listen!" cried the director admiringly. "He says pistoles. Don't we hear the very accent of the Biscayans? Let us hear that once more. How much did you say, my friend?"

Ten thousand francs for you, monsieur," said the horse-dealer in a jocular tone, as much as to say: "I don't look for a customer in this quarter."

"Ah, but you said pistoles just now," replied the director in a disappointed tone. "Ah," replied the other, "that is just a way we have among ourselves. Pistoles! francs! What does it matter?" And with that he turned to Tom, whom he seemed to recognize as a kindred spirit. "Ah, you English have one eye for the horse. We met the young Englishwoman just now, and she would have bought the horse for the old gentleman, her papa. But she had not enough money in her purse, and though I would have trusted her willingly for her pretty face, she was too proud to be under obligation to me. But I know very well, from the look I had from the young De St. Pol, that he will pay me my price for the horse, and no doubt make something out of the bar gain. For myself, if I could afford it, I would gladly abate a few hundred francs for one little embrace from the pretty English mees."

"Look here," said Tom, doubling his fist, and tapping significantly the white hard knuckles, no more talk about mademoiselle, or

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"You ponch my 'ed," cried the horse dealer, laughing good-humoredly. "No, I not like that kind of ponch. We shall have French ponch together, if you like. Tenez, garçon! du ponch!"

While this was going on, the post had come in with our letters, and among them two rather important ones for me. Hitherto I had received nothing of importance from my uncle's estate. The lawyers had made certain advances, and would have gone on advancing; but I did not feel myself justified in launching out on borrowed money. But now here was a letter from my agent, stating that so many lacs of rupees had been remitted by an Indian bank, and that he had placed to my credit with Rothschilds of Paris the sum of forty thousand pounds- a million francs. The second letter was a polite one from the bankers themselves, announcing the credit, at the present rate of exchange, of one million ten thousand francs. Now I could buy this horse, which I had taken a fancy to, and still be a (French) millionaire.

I called Tom on one side.

"Look here, old fellow," I said, "before you bemuse your faculties with punch, I want you to buy that horse for me. We will catch young Lochinvar in spite of his start, and while you are buying the horse I will go and buy a dog-cart;" for I had seen a very nice one for sale in a coach-maker's shed that morning.

Tom managed his part of the business so well that he saved the price of the dogcart out of the ten thousand francs demanded by the horse-dealer, and in less time than it takes to record it, the horse was harnessed and taken for a trial trip round the town. He trotted splendidly, and Tom, as we drove into the hotel-yard, exclaimed,

"I say, old chap, we'll win some cups out of these Frenchies before we go back. We'll call him Contango, because you bought him out of the first coin you touched, and we'll enter him for the trot ting race at Trouville."

Madame was delighted with our pur chase, and it was arranged that she and the director should share our dog-cart, while Justine followed in the waggonette with the heavy baggage. But when the director had witnessed Contango's playful performance on his hind legs as he was brought up to the door, he decided that Justine should take his place, and that he would follow with the baggage.

"One femme de chambre the less, what does it matter?" cried the director; "but

who will fill my chair at the bureau of public instruction?"

And so we drove merrily on through a pleasant fertile country, till presently the road began to rise over a bleak hillside, and then, when we reached the top, the sea came upon us without warning the bright silvery sea dimpling in the sunshine, with a cluster of masts in the port below, and in the roadstead a fine English yacht, with her burgee flying from the masthead, which we soon recognized as the "Sea Mew." But Quettehou was passed, and nothing seen or heard of Hilda and her party.

"Well, no," replied Wyvern; "he joined us for a few hours at Ryde. Terrible sell for him Miss Chudleigh not being there. But he can't get away, there's a jolly row in Parliament. Ain't I glad I'm here! But where's Miss Chudleigh all this time?"

Tom explained as best he could. Wyvern looked grave.

"Well," he said, "it's just as well the chief isn't here. There would be a jolly row among them. What is the old squire dreaming about?"

At this moment the rest of the party from the yacht came along, Mrs. Bacon leading the way, very hot and sunburnt, with a red guide-book in her hand that wasn't a patch upon her cheeks in the way of color.

"A charming country," she cried, seizing me by the hand, while Tom greeted Miss Chancellor with quite joyous recognition; charming country, only not a nice place to stop at. Smells, smells!" lifting up her hands and nose in admira

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A pleasant bay this of La Hougue, and well known to English seamen in media val days, for here the English often landed in their frequent invasions of Normandy in the days of the Plantagenets; and from this hill, too, it is said that in later years James the Second watched the sea-fight in 1692, when the French fleet, gathered here to invade England in the interest of the Stuarts, was defeated and destroyed by the Dutch and English united. Four- tion. Experience of life, indeed, is no teen of the French ships of war lie sunk beneath the wave in this smiling bay. Fort rises grimly beyond fort on each promontory and rocky islet, picturesque too, with something of the grace of mediaval towers about them.

But the picturesqueness disappears as we approach the port, where ship-building is going on briskly, with the noise of many hammers and all the dirt and confusion of a small port devoting itself energetically to business.

guarantee against astonishment at French smells. They are so varied, with such a depth and richness of bouquet about them as to compel admiration. You miss them, too, when you leave; the air of England seems cold and chill without them. But Mrs. Bacon could not take them calmly.

They had all been for a drive almost to Cherbourg, to see the old Château of Tourlaville, noted as the ancient patrimony of the family of Ravalet, themselves noted as being the wickedest people in NorA trim boat from the "Sea-Mew," with mandy. All sorts of crimes appear in the her smart crew, lay among the Norwegian family annals, and of all these this illtimber-ships, the colliers, and trading- omened château was the scene. The brigs in their unkempt and rough-and-moine de Saire, who haunts the coasts ready trim. And presently we came hereabouts, is said to have been a wicked across Mr. Wyvern sitting disconsolately priest belonging to the fated race. Strong in front of a noisy, dirty-looking inn. His natures had these men, and wild passions, features brightened up considerably at the and chafed against the chain which bound sight of us. them to these gloomy rocks, and to a lonely, uneventful life. Their fierce longings of berseker and viking, untamed by civilization, broke out into all kinds of excess and violence. As Mrs. Bacon remarks charitably, perhaps if they had come over with William the Conqueror with the other Normans, they might have become model country gentlemen and good Christians. As it was, they got into a wrong groove, and came to the headsman's axe in a general way whenever the king's justice found its way into these parts.

Here you are then, at last," he cried, and then he was introduced to madame la directrice, who was duly welcomed.

"I shall have to send the crier round for our party," he went on; "they are scattered in all directions. It was a mistake coming here; you never know till you have seen a place. You read a flaming account in a guide-book, with all kinds of historical flummery cooked up, when all the time the place should be labelled B. H., or 'beastly hole,' as a warning to travellers."

"And Chancellor?" asked Tom. he on board?"

"Is

Boom! The "Sea-Mew" presently fired a gun, at the sound of which all the fishermen and seamen about the port

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Stéphanie, do not be so foolish; there is no danger. Come on!" But Stéphanie could not master her feelings.

jumped about and sacred and anathema- ready been hauled into the boat and was tized the English; and the gun signified calling to his wife to be brave. that we were wanted on board. The director, too, had arrived with the bag gage, and all was ready for going on board, only where was Hilda? where was the old squire? As for De St. Pol, nobody asked for him.

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"After all, why go on board," cried Tom, "when you don't like it? Come with us and the director too. Hi!" shouting to the director; "we have got a seat in the trap for you!"

"No, no!" replied the director; "better the sea than a raging horse. But you go, Stéphanie; we shall meet in a few hours."

"But, monsieur!" cried Justine in an aside to me, "if you are waiting for mademoiselle, you may wait long enough." Justine, I may say, had been in an awful temper at being again left behind by Miss Chudleigh. My last mistress took me everywhere, shared all her distractions "Heaven be praised!" cried madame, with me," Justine had sobbed; "but as she turned to wave a last adieu to the mademoiselle treats me as if I were a director. "I would have followed thee, Alphonse, to the death, but I infinitely prefer being safe on shore."

parcel, to be forwarded by luggage train."
What did Justine mean? Why, simply
that M. de St. Pol had no intention what-
ever of putting mademoiselle on board
the "Sew-Mew." His own yacht was
somewhere on the coast, and it was in her
that he intended Miss Chudleigh should
make a cruise. Oh, Justine was perfectly
sure of M. de St. Pol's intentions.
had been so informed by the count's own

man.

From Longman's Magazine.
ACROSS THE PLAINS.

She LEAVES FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF AN EMI-
GRANT BETWEEN NEW YORK AND SAN
FRANCISCO.

The affair now began to look awkward. Hilda might in all unconsciousness seriously compromise herself. True, her father was with her, but female tongues would say that he was not likely to be an efficient chaperon.

"Of course you will follow Hilda?" said Tom," and I will go too. We shall have to fight that St. Pol, one of us, I fancy."

PART II.

THE DESERT OF WYOMING.

To cross such a plain is to grow homesick for the mountains. I longed for the Black Hills of Wyoming, which I knew we were soon to enter, like an ice-bound whaler for the spring. Alas! and it was a worse country than the other. All Sunday and Monday we travelled through And Justine must go with us. And yet these sad mountains, or over the main it was awkward. However, we went with ridge of the Rockies, which is a fair the others to the pier, hoping that Hilda match to them for misery of aspect. and her father would turn up at the last Hour after hour it was the same unhomely moment. Up to this time madame la and unkindly world about our onward directrice had been full of pleasant an- path; tumbled boulders; cliffs that drearticipations of the voyage. But when weily imitate the shape of monuments and came to the "bord de l'eau," about which fortifications how drearily, how tamely, Justine was always singing, the aspect of none can tell who has not seen them; not things was rather alarming for madame. a tree, not a patch of sward, not one A fresh tide was coming in with some-shapely or commanding mountain form; thing of a swell, dashing among the tim-sage-brush, eternal sage-brush; over all, bers of the pier with noise and tumult; the same weariful and gloomy coloring, the boat tossed violently up and down, while it was as much as the sailors could do to keep her clear of the pier, while one of them hung on with a boat-hook to the slimy, slippery steps. Madame clung to my arm in terror. She had always loved the sea, she sobbed, but it was an ideal sea, a sea that was always calm. She had never imagined anything so dreadful as this. The director, who had made the voyage to England before now, had al

greys warming into brown, greys darken-
ing towards black; and for sole sign of
life, here and there a few fleeing antelopes,
here and there, but at incredible intervals,
a creek running in a canyon. The plains
have a grandeur of their own; but here
there is nothing but a contorted small-
ness. Except for the air, which was light
and stimulating, there was not one good
circumstance in that God-forsaken land.
I had been suffering in my health a

degrees of social rank, and offered to some great writer the busiest, the most extended, and the most varied subject for an enduring literary work. If it be romance, if it be contrast, if it be heroism that we require, what was Troy town to this? But alas! it is not these things that are necessary; it is only Homer.

good deal all the way; and at last, whether | charioting his foes; and then when I go I was exhausted by my complaint or poi- on to remember that all this epical tursoned in some wayside eating-house, the moil was conducted by gentlemen in frock evening we left Laramie, I fell sick out coats, and with a view to nothing more right. That was a night which I shall extraordinary than a fortune and a subsenot readily forget. The lamps did not go quent visit to Paris, it seems to me, I out; each made a faint shining in its own own, as if this railway were the one typineighborhood; and the shadows were cal achievement of the age in which we confounded together in the long; hollow live, as if it brought together into one box of the car. The sleepers lay in un-plot all the ends of the world and all the easy attitudes; here two chums alongside, flat upon their backs like dead folk; there a man sprawling on the floor, with his face upon his arm; there another half seated, with his head and shoulders on the bench. The most passive were continually and roughly shaken by the move ment of the train; others stirred, turned, or stretched out their arms like children; it was surprising how many groaned and murmured in their sleep; and as I passed to and fro, stepping across the prostrate, and caught now a snore, now a gasp, now a half-formed word, it gave me a measure of the worthlessness of rest in that un-ble lands; as the gull, who wings safely resting vehicle. Although it was chill, I was obliged to open my window; for the degradation of the air soon became intolerable to one who was awake and using the full supply of life. Outside, in a glimmering night, I saw the black, amorphous hills shoot by unweariedly into our wake. They that long for morning have never longed for it more earnestly than I.

And yet when day caine, it was to shine upon the same broken and unsightly quarter of the world. Mile upon mile, and not a tree, a bird, or a river. Only down the long, sterile canyons, the train shot hooting and awoke the resting echo. That train was the one piece of life in all the deadly land; it was the one actor, the one spectacle fit to be observed in this paralysis of man and nature. And when I think how the railroad has been pushed through this unwatered wilderness and haunt of savage tribes, and now will bear an emigrant for some 12. from the Atlantic to the Golden Gate; how at each stage of the construction, roaring, im promptu cities, full of gold and lust and death, sprang up and then died away again, and are now but wayside stations in the desert; how in these uncouth places pigtailed Chinese pirates worked side by side with border ruffians and broken men from Europe, talking together in a mixed dialect, mostly oaths, gambling, drinking, quarrelling, and murdering like wolves; how the plumed hereditary lord of all America heard, in this last fastness, the scream of the "bad medicine wagon,"

Here also we are grateful to the train, as to some god who conducts us swiftly through these shades and by so many hidden perils. Thirst, hunger, the sleight and ferocity of Indians are all no more feared, so lightly do we skim these horri.

through the hurricane and past the shark. Yet we should not be forgetful of these hardships of the past; and to keep the balance true, since I have complained of the trifling discomforts of my journey, perhaps more than was enough, let me add an original document. It was not written by Homer, but by a boy of eleven, long since dead, and is dated only twenty years ago. I shall punctuate, to make things clearer, but not change the spelling.

"My dear Sister Mary, I am afraid you will go nearly crazy when you read my letter. If Jerry" (the writer's eldest brother) "has not written to you before now, you will be surprised to heare that we are in California, and that poor Thomas ""

We

(another brother, of fifteen) "is dead. We started from in July, with pleanty of provisions and too yoke of oxen. went along very well till we got within six or seven hundred miles of California, when the Indians attacked us. We found places where they had killed the emigrants. We had one passenger with us, too guns, and one revolver; so we ran all the lead We had into bullets [and] hung the guns up in the wagon so that we could get at them in a minit. It was about two O'clock in the afternoon; droave the cattel a little way; when a prairie chicken alited a little way from the wagon. Jerry took out one of the guns to shoot it, and told Tom drive the oxen. Tom and I drove the oxen, and Jerry and the passenger went on. Then, after a little, I left

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