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"Nonsense,” said I, “'tis a place in it were the refrain of some doleful which to crow, is the graveyard. ballad. Pshaw! we are live men. We go one "Have you no meat-a fat leg of mutbetter than the mouldering bones with ton or a red sirloin of beef, eh! with their scanty record, that is not a mo- brown Yorkshire pudding?" ment's thought. I sit, on a tombstone “There be bread and cheese," said she, and see a cheerier sun and a blither day with a quaver. Her head almost rested for the stuffing of my seat."
on her shoulder. "I would no doubt thou’rt a stranger “Then Hunger shall wake Fancy," to these parts," said the old man with said I. "Fetch out for me some bread weary lids.
“Ye canno' know the and cheese I will eat it here, in this place.”
sunny place, with the landlord-and a He rose from his straw cushions and good tankard of ale.
That's it, my. tottered on feeble knees into the shadow dear." of the narrow courtyard of lichen. I bent and kissed her cheek, giving grown stones which led to the house. her arm a little pinch. I am past the And at his going the place seemed won- fopperies of youth, and it grieved my drous cheerless and quiet. The sky heart to see the maid so feeble and woe was blue almost to purple, and not any begone. She simply turned without cloud showed in the vast expanse. The quip or toss of head, and went back into trees wore the green of spring in this the house, out of the sunlight over the month of July; but the hum of insects, cobblestones. An old crow came cawthe twittering of birds, were not on the ing high up in the sky. I watched him air. An empty kennel, from which with eagerness until my eyes could see crawled a rusty chain, stood in the him no longer. Then I turned to the old shadow of the high wall, and a crazy man, thinking to take my seat at bis dovecot leaned against the red bricks, side. But seeing no chair, I went after over which climbed a cherry-tree in rich the maid. The air in the courtyard was profusion of leaves. The fragrance of cool, and pleasant, and cleanly, breaththe flowers, the rich scent of the earth, ing the fresh scent of malt and a not sluggishly intermingled in the faint unpleasing mustiness as of a wine celwind. “Surely a sweet place of repose," lar. Behind an open casement I caught thought I. "I will purchase pigeons sight of a maid washing dishes. I and a crowing cock, and I will keep popped my head in at the window. bees.”
“Now, my pretty, would you give me Footsteps sounded hollowly on the a plump, easy chair?” said I. “I would stones, and the old man, followed by a keep your master company in the sunfeeble crone, came out of the cool light." shadow into the sunlight. I was mis- The pallor and the weariness of her taken. A young girl followed the old face astonisbed me. I withdrew my man, but pale, and bent, and hollow- head rather ungraciously, and hastily cheeked, with fettered limbs and scanty climbed the steep stone steps, and so hair. A beldame of ninety was the old into the house. Fearing to pry or to man's niece of sixteen.
intrude myself upon the secrecy of the “My uncle says, 'Get ready a bed,'' placesecrecy! however absurd such an said she in a weak, monotonous voice. attribute be for a tavern open to way
"Yes," said I boisterously, “I would farers—I took the first chair that I saw, like to make a meal, too. Gracious me, a chair with stiff wooden arms. With lass, my hunger is a savage monster some pother and groaning I carried it bellowing for meat."
back to the old man by the way I had The old man was gone back to his come. I sat down beside him, and lazily chair.
set to smoking. Surely the blue smoke "There be cheese and ale," said she. of a reverend pipe was no desecration
“And a pretty maid to smile over the to the placid place. Yet the old man's froth,” said I.
slow turn of head and his unobtrusive "A pretty maid,” said she, as though sick glance of wonderment, and of
curiosity, and of entreaty even seemed jollity. Dear God! and wisp, dear a plaintive remonstrance; and almost God, the graveyard for a', the graveyard unthinkingly I watched the smoke as for a’." it was bandied to and fro and swal- “But, sir,” said the maid, facing the lowed up by the thin air, and let my pipe sun, “here it do seem a wearisome long grow cold as it hung between my lips. journey to the yard. Most of us be old We sat silent in the mellow sunlight. folks e’en at fifteen, but in the yard The shadow of the inn crawled over the not a one under ninety. I do miss me garden until it encroached even upon fayther's farmyard. I look for the us sitting there; until the old man's jangle of bells and the baa of the sheep. hair was half-burnished silver and half. And my fayther had a daw. Here the dull lead.
day is always noon, and the night la! Eagerly had I come to the inn, full of a wearyin' hour for the spirits to walk." enthusiasm at my search for my friend “Tut, tut, you want a holiday,” said Basil being come to an end; now, not- I, chewing my bread and cheese, for I withstanding, I lolled there in my chair was very hungry.
“The neighbors without a word of inquiry, without the should wake a clamor in this mossy desire to speak or to know, in lethargy place, should rummage and drive away serene, and well content to sit with the the silence. 'Pon my word, you shall old clown in the silence till night should take a walk with me this very sunset." come down and the twinkle of candles The old man smiled at his apple-trees, in the windows of the inn should call heavy with young fruit. “Thou be'st a us to rest. Presently, however, came stranger for sure-naybors!" the maid, carrying a tray upon which Then I remembered with new surprise was spread my meal. She brought to how barren and deserted was the highmy knees a low three-legged table and road, how empty were the fields, and set the tray thereon. The sight of the how desolate the gardens. brown bread and the yellow cheese “The lassie shall take a walk on my richly enlivened me, and when the arm,” said I, "and see that God made maid, having gone again to the house, the world.” returned with a pint tankard of old ale “I would no' think that God might be I almost laughed aloud. I rose, and, so cruel,” said the maid. with a pretty bow to the maid and a I jumped in my chair.
“Will you wink to the landlord, took a long pull drink with me, sir?" said I with pomat the stuff, gazing over the froth as I posity to the landlord, but I could not did so at the weather-cock upon the inn otherwise than stare at the red-haired, top, all of a glitter in the reddening sun. meagre girl in the sunlight. When I replaced the tankard upon the
"Nay," said the old man, “I'll not table the maid had already tottered a
drink with thee. Jollity eno' for the few steps towards the house. I called morn, a gaudy dizened jollity, but for loudly. The sound of my voice seemed what is t end of 't?—a rainbow in as sudden as à clap of thunder in the sleeping-time. And then the going quiet place.
down of the red sun. Sure we play wi' “No, no, my dear,” said I. "you must our toys, and a lean wisdom clucks i' give a tired traveller your pretty com
the throat and calls 'em bubbles. pany and chat with him. There are
Mebbe God's 1' the bubble. Who some few questions I wish to put ye.”
knows? He drives us all into the pen. She turned about with her right hand The day be late. The dew falls very upon her bosom and her red hair falling heavy at times." in wisps upon her wrinkled finrehead.
I was sick of speech, and set to my She came very slowly and stood a few victuals with poor simulation of relish. paces distant. I slashed at the loaf When I had finished my joyless meal, with excessive zest.
I spoke again. Try as I would, my "Poor soul!” whimpered the old man. voice was bereft of its ring; weariness “A right eno’lassie was Janie, ruddy as was again stealing upon me. “I have a winter apple; ay, full of trickins and come a long distance to find a friend.
Men have pointed me out this village, arm round the maid's waist, for she · have told me that here I shall find him. seemed to have become an unwonted Pray, sir, do you know my friend, Mr. comfort to me, we passed into the house. Basil Gray ?”
The maid led me through the tiled pasThe old man never turned his palsied sages upon which the red sun shone. head. He peered at me vacantly out The reflected ruddiness of the bricks of the corners of his feeble eyes. "I prettily reddened her cheek. Together know o' the name," said he.
we went up the wide and twisted stair"He lives in the Grey House," said the case and i: to a little room, clean and maid; "an old man wi' beautiful silver white, which overlooked the old man hair. I know him, sir, in the Grey sitting solitary in the garden. Far House, where the owls hoot o' nights, away in the soft blue baze were the and ivy bursts in at the windows." ruinous tower of the church and the
"Silver hair!" said I, in dismay. "His beckoning gravestones. hair is black, and his voice loud and full. “A pretty white room, lassie,” said I. Good people, you live in this remote “Sure it be very quiet,” said she, nook out of the world, and you look at "and sometimes I think there be talkers all things through an old man's spec. in the air, and sometimes, as it were, tacles. Silver hair! Now, my pretty birds at sundown. When I be lying maid, you shall show me the house. I wake i’ the long nights, I do think the am tired of being alone. Fancy this, I blackness will some day come down have not a friend alive but Mr. Gray. upon me, and cover me up out o' sight.” In the midst of a bale hearty life to be I sat on the little bed and looked up alone! Fancy it! Now, little maid, at the ceiling, and I saw Night frowning come away.”
upon the child. I thought the old man smiled faintly "But God is with you," said I, and at something in my speech. I cannot when I had said it I looked for Him at say. I spoke very tenderly, for a sud- my side and found Him gone. I turned den pity and a new sympathy bad come
to the maid, and knew the child's sollinto me for the frail child. Perhaps tude, and heard the echoes of the talkers some day I shall need the like, thought and the hovering winds. I pined to see I. So I put my arm round her waist, her lips blossom into smiles. And, as in and we went together into the house. languid negligence she smoothed her When we reached the steep steps I saw hair before the open casement, I be. upon the topmost a little child. This thought me of a precious jewel-one pleased me greatly. "And whom does which I had set great store by-a gem this mite, this · flower-maiden belong of lustre and elegance, a delight for to?” said I. “Now, little one
young eyes. I searched my wallet and and play with me. Many years have found the gem. This I fastened at the gone by since I was a little child. throat of the maid. My heart grew Come along. Put on the bonnet, and we sick at its lack of lustre. The smile will gather pretty posies and weave
of the maid was the smile of autumn in daisy-chains. Dear me, it seems that a garden of flowers. my mother taught me but yesterday.” “Oh!” cried I, “jewels glitter bright
I talked iike a pantaloon. The little est at dawn. Wait till the sun like a child climbed up and stood in the door- giant comes out of the east. Wait for way, its tiny thin finger in its mouth, the lark and the new flowers of dawn. and its round grey eyes looking into Then we will be gay, you and I.” my eyes, and looking out at something “After the night, sir," said the maid. far away, something which seemed to I looked out upon the dolorous garden, catch my breath, to lay an icy finger upon the lazy crone, upon the gilded upon my heart.
fields. "I am tho tired,” lisped the little “After the night,” said I, taking the creature; "and mummy thayth the maid's hand in mine. She put on her pothieth 'll die in my hot bands."
white bonnet and we went out of the I said never a word, but still with my room. Opposite to us was a door ajar.
Of late inquisitiveness had grown upon feet. There I was fain to sit and muse, me. I had much difficulty in refraining looking into the still black waters, from pampering the habit. I pushed which seemed to have in hiding the the door a little wider and peeped in silence of the dead. But my friend I looked into a darkened room; I saw called me, and we journeyed on together in the gloaming a tumbled bed. A still hand in hand. With each step upon our sick man eyed me with glassy eyes. I way I seemed to draw nearer to the felt that one more wrinkle was scrawled thoughts of the antiquated maid at my upon my face.
side. Myself was not left behind, for The sun was ripe for setting as the the pleasure and lustiness of youth took maid and I set out upon the white road a new color. Feeble knees and waning between the hedges. The doors of the courage were carrying me out of the octtages were shut. The flowers in the ken of the world. Yet my mind's calm gardens were in rank disorder and was rather the calm of a child's awakchoked with rank weeds. Only one ening to the morn than the lazy ease of man we saw. He sat outside his cot- falling to sleep at the slow coming of tage door with his grindstone in front night. We climbed a steep and rocky of him-a very old shrunken man, busily way, full of ruts and holes, and upon grinding his scythe. But his fingers our eyes, when we turned an angle of were so weak that the steel scarcely the road and came out from under the grated upon the stone, and made only a gloomy cedars, suddenly shone the red low humming sound, soft as the hum of windows of a house standing gaunt and bees in a distant hive.
solitary and watchful upon a crest of “ 'Tis Simon, the mower," said the the bill. maid; "he be forever grinding his
“There be the Grey House," said the scythe, but, la, he'st too weak to snap a maid, kneeling down amidst the long twig,” she smiled compassionately.
green grass. The grinder never turned his bent The evening was glorious. head nor stayed his profitless labor.
Here was left behind the toil and fret "All day long," said the maid, “all day of men's business. And while I was long sings the drone of his scythe; and looking under my hand towards the the childer used to sit quiet at the win- brightness, a strange company of men dow watching wi' their eyes of mice for defiled between the iron gates of the the sparks to skip fro' the stone. Their house, carrying a burden upon their yellow hair was just golden in the green. shoulders. I sat down with the maid But the childer a' gone back fro' the by the roadside, and waited until the window, and all the white summer day procession should come up with us. the buzz shakes i’ the air. Ay, and l’ When they were come near I shouted, winter. Oh, sir, the sun climbs up sick “Is Mr. Basil Gray at home?” and sulky, and crawls lik' a fat snail The weedy men paused. They put d' the blue, and goes down by the Black down their burden in the dust. They Mill, and the darkness eats him up. I shot furtive glances the one to the other. do feel that my heart is o' glass and be “Ay, sir, ‘at home' that he be,” shrilly nigh to breaker' when the chill night laughed a wizened little man who led sneaks in at the keyhole. I do miss the the way with a lighted lantern and a cluck'n' hens in the sunny dust and the mattock. douce-smell’n hay."
The maid turned to the west. I bent I spied furtively at the glazed win
over the box, and read my friend's name dows, but no children looked out upon
upon the lid. Death took me by the us thence, and the forsaken nests of hand. Presently the little band pro birds in the thatch were draggled and ceeded on their way. The maid and I in wisps like a widow's weeds. Not followed afar off. When darkness was long after the maid and I came to the come I tottered to my musty snowy village well. The hoary stones were chamber in the little inn. The wan green in patches. The brown shreds of child led the way, carrying a candle. I a broken pitcher lay in the dust at our sat at the open window. For a long
. time I watched the sexton laboring by never a white among them; no, nor yet the stilly light of his lantern and the a soul that had a white man's speech. yellow crescent moon in the graveyard Our captain, who had come to see the of the "Village of Old Age."
start, stared to see me mix with such a WALTER RAMAL.
gang, and set me down as mad. Had there been coin to be raked in by the job, well and good; but to thrust one
self on blacks, be shorn of meat and From Temple Bar. sleep, and run a certain risk of disA DAY IN GOA.
composure, and all for a fad! Faugh! If one talks of Bombay to people who "I go on Haj, to the shrine of a great have been there too, they invariably saint,” said I, with humility befitting clasp their hands, raise their eyes to the occasion. But that only made matheaven in ecstasies, and exclaim, “The ters sillier still, and we changed the dear, dear place; the finest city of all subject of our talk. India; so thoroughly English! and did In the course of the afternoon a sad you see their railway station, quite the mortification overtook me. The Mosgrandest thing out?”
lem master of the Rajabpuri, and nis Yes, I did see “quite the grandest “Malam Sahib," or mate, came up, with thing out," and came away from it out slate in hand and a book on navigaof countenance and in a pet.
tion. On the page of the book held A doctor ashore had told me it took open for inspection lay a problem and but sixteen hours to reach Goa by rail, six examples. To the five which stood yet, when ready to start, with all my first our master pointed in quick sucwraps around me, I found it took forty- cession, and between each point tapped eight hours each way. To one a little hinself with the tip of his finger, smiled pressed for time, that seemed rather affably, and nodaed. At the sixth he much of a good thing; so I bent my frowned, and sighed, and shook his steps in the direction of Hadji Cassim's head, Malam Sahib meanwhile politely steamers.
pressing his slate and pencil on my atGetting a native, who had half-a- tention. The problem was quite bedozen words of pigeon English on his yond my power of solution, and our tongue, to come to my aid, I under- conference broke up with mutual sastood that one of these steamers, the laams and a dumb show of civil adieux, Rajahpuri, was to leave for Goa at My lamplight dinner was eaten at a noon next day, and to make the run, bench on deck. Later on that which wind and weather permitting, in had been my board became my bed twenty-eight hours. After bargain- also, so that, in this case at least, he ing for passage, I hunted up the butler, who pays for his board pays for his and gave him a couple of rupees to bed likewise. spend on a chicken in the bazaar, with Fathers and mothers led their offcurry and cheese, and a pinch of coffee spring-lovely bronze angels—by the for chota hazri. Those little matters hand to see me eat, and between my of necessity seen to, I took my tifin several mouthfuls I smiled on the conivery reasonably at the Apollo Bunder, pany, with motions of gentle salutaand thereafter went a-shopping, and tion. Poor little toddling dears! they bought Surat ware, and Kashmir silver- were as glad to see a Christian at his work, and chutney. As for that chut food as Christian infants are to see a ney, it is as well, perhaps, that those beast of prey crunch bis bone in the who shall have its eating did not see, Zoo. And if the beast of prey crunches as I did, its making!
his bone in the same happy spirit of Next morning I took one of our boats affording instruction and innocent deand pulled in to the quay alongside light as that in which I ate my curry which the Rajabpuri lay moored. before the multitude, he is a worthy Aboard her was a mighty throng, but and amiable beast of prey.