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own maid, and to get her to convey the letter privately to her young mistress; for well he knew that if it fell into Mrs. Montresor's hands, her daughter would never behold it. Le Vasseur gave Cato two dollars for himself, and two for Daphne, promising a larger reward if the letter reached its destination safely.
Cato, who seemed fully to understand his instructions, immediately girded himself for the journey; but just as he was slipping away, he encountered Miss Ram's Horn. Suffice it to say that she also held a colloquy with him, at the conclusion of which he delivered over to her the letter for Miss Montresor, and received four dollars as the reward of his treachery. He proceeded, however, to Prospect Hill, for Miss Horner did not wish it to be suspected that she had intercepted the letter. In due time he returned to his anxious master.
"Well, have you brought me an answer ?" asked Le Vasseur, almost trembling with impatience.
"No, massa, it sall come boom by-missy no have time to write den."
"But you are sure she received it? Did you see Daphne ?"
"Yes, massa, me see Daphne-all right; me see Miss Gielding tooshe was walking in de gallery wid Misses Temple."
"Daphne would not give her the letter before Mrs. Temple, I hope?" "No, no, my good massa, Daphne know better dan dat.'
Cato received two more dollars, and went away chuckling at his good luck, without feeling one iota of remorse for having deceived his master.
Le Vasseur waited and hoped in vain-no letter reached him from Miss Montresor; and he too soon found that she was really going to Europe with the Russels and the Thornleys, for Helen had at last succeeded in forcing Thornley to leave the West Indies.
At length the day arrived for the embarkation of the Thornleys, Russels, and Geraldine. They were going first to New York, and from thence to the south of France, as Mr. Russel thought that, in Geraldine's delicate state of health, a winter on the shores of the Mediterranean would be better for her than encountering at once the severity and variableness of that period in England. Mr. Thornley was delighted at the idea of spending some time in the south of France, alleging that he had always had a great desire to visit that part of the Continent. Helen, on the contrary, was vexed and disappointed at not going direct to England; but as she had agreed to join the Russels' party, she could not well refuse to accede to their wishes, especially when backed by those of her husband.
Mrs. Montresor and her daughter were proceeding down the wharf to the boat, after having shaken hands with various friends, and several coloured people and negroes who had come to see the party off, when they came suddenly upon Mr. Le Vasseur, who was waiting half way down the wooden erection. He bowed, and with a sort of desperate determination stopped Geraldine. She held out her hand to him, and he took it eagerly; at that moment a woman, who was carrying some baskets of fruit and other little matters to the boat for Mrs. Montresor, spoke to her, and while that lady turned to give sundry directions, Le Vasseur seized the opportunity to say a few words to Geraldine.
"You are going away, Miss Montresor, and I shall never see you
more; but, oh, why would you not be merciful enough to answer my letter? I know I had no right to intrude on you; but still-still-I did not think you would have treated me with such scorn."
"I treat you with scorn, Mr. Le Vasseur? I never received any letter from you-never-or I certainly would have answered it. When did you write ?"
"About ten days ago, and I sent my letter by a trustworthy servant, to be delivered to yourself."
"It never reached me-I assure you."
"Some one must have intercepted it. Pardon now the abruptness of the inquiry, but tell me, dear Miss Montresor, is it true that you are going away never to return-that you are going home to be married ?” The last words came forth in a sort of gasp,
"I, Mr. Le Vasseur! What could tempt you to think so- -who could have invented such a story?"
"It was told to me. I heard it with
Geraldine interrupted him.
"I am going to Europe, as a change of climate is thought necessary my health; and if I live, I hope to return at no distant period.” "To return as Miss Montresor?" asked Le Vasseur, anxiously. 66 Certainly; what else should I be ?"
"Thank God!" exclaimed Le Vasseur. "Then I may still cling to a shadow of hope. Dearest Geraldine! do not forbid that hope; the pain of parting with you would be death without it."
Geraldine shook her head sadly.
"Alas! I may not-must not hold out any
"You may-you must--you will!" said Le Vasseur, hurriedly, while his features were working with strong emotion.
"Geraldine!" cried Mrs. Montresor, turning sharply round, ". you must really shorten your leave-takings. Mr. Le Vasseur will excuse you. Do you not see that Mrs. Thornley is already in the boat, and is waiting there with impatience. Come, my dear."
Presently," said Geraldine, without moving an inch.
Say but one word to save me from despair!" urged Le Vasseur, in a low voice.
"I can only say farewell, and may God bless you!" replied Geraldine, as the tears streamed down her cheeks.
He wrung the hand which he still detained, but Mrs. Montresor seeing Mr. Ludlow approach at that moment, caught hold of Geraldine's arm, and putting it into Mr. Ludlow's, begged him to escort her daughter to the boat, and see her placed safely in it; then, with a very slight and very stiff inclination of her head to Le Vasseur, who remained standing like a statue, she followed her daughter to the end of the pier.
Helen was seated in the boat with her little boy and his attendant; Geraldine was placed next to her, and there certainly was a strong contrast between the faces of the friends. Helen's cheeks were glowing with animation, her eyes sparkling with joy, although she was leaving her father and so many friends, while Geraldine looked pale and out of spirits, and her tearful eyes and quivering lips showed that she, at least, was not insensible to the pain of parting scenes. But if the contrast was remarkable between the expression of the countenances of the two friends, how
much greater was it not between Helen's countenance and that of her husband! Mr. Thornley came walking slowly down the wooden pier, looking the picture of wretchedness: if he had been tearing himself from all he loved on earth he could not have seemed more wobegone. He stopped to speak to Le Vasseur.
"How I envy you remaining in this beautiful island," he said. "You cannot think with what regret I leave it."
"Would that I were going instead of you!" ejaculated Le Vasseur; "I would give worlds to be a passenger in yonder ship. How hard are the decrees of fate!"
"Hard! Cruel-often!" exclaimed Thornley, bitterly.
Le Vasseur walked down with Thornley to the foot of the little pier, that he might have one more near glance at Geraldine. His whole soul was in that glance, and Geraldine's white cheeks became crimson for a
"Come, Edward, they are getting up the sails, you see. Mr. and Mrs. Russel have been on board for some time; there's room for you near papa."
Thornley stumbled, and would have fallen into the sea as he was about to step into the boat, had Le Vasseur not promptly caught hold of him, and saved him. They shook hands as warmly as if they had been the dearest of friends, while Thornley said, almost with a groan,
"Farewell, Mr. Le Vasseur; I trust that we may soon meet again !" When and where were these two to meet again?
Great were Mr. Le Vasseur's sorrow and disappointment at Geraldine's leaving the island. He had nourished hopes-vague as they were- -that some lucky chance would befriend him; that he would escape from the domestic tyrant of whom he was now heartily tired and ashamed; that he would procure an official situation in some other island, where his antecedents were not so well known; that perhaps Geraldine would then listen favourably to his suit, and he would commence a new phase of life in a happy home, with a beautiful, amiable, and accomplished wife.
As he gazed on the spreading sails of the ship which was to carry to distant scenes her whom he had hoped would, in future, have been his guardian angel, his heart sank within him. When she waved her handkerchief to her father, mother, and friends, he waved his to her, though he almost feared that the mute farewell had not been meant for him; and he strained his eyes to look at her as long as he could perceive her diminishing figure on the deck. When, at length, the persons on board the receding ship could no longer be distinguished, the hot tears sprang to his eyes, falling in large drops over his flushed cheeks, and he felt as if all had become dark around him.
"Oh, Geraldine!" he exclaimed, in the anguish of the moment. "Pure, bright, beloved being! dearer to me than all that this world holds, are you lost to me for ever? Will she ever think of me in my desolation? Alas, no! And if she ever should do so, it could only be with pity or with disdain. Would that I were dead, and out of all this complicated misery!"
SHALDAZZAR IN DREAMLAND.
BY W. CHARLES KENT.
VOLUPTUOUS hours yield visions of delight
So silent rapture and serene repose,
'Mid radiant pomp that gladdens while it glows,
That broods in revel o'er the creaming bowl.
The grasp of Hope: like garden blooms that fade
Thus dream-encircled on his couch of pride
To him, the Prince of Orient luxuries.
Divine emotions. O'er his brow no gem
Where beamed through tender leaves the flush that flows
Beneath whose shade he dreamed a golden dream,
In lamp replenished burnt the flickering oil,
Through Arctic snows where frozen winds were dumb;
O'er billowing crests of blue Egean brine;