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way home—that is, by the cavalier. Ma- | that no knight who ever wore mail could tilda spoke little-yet there seemed to be exceed them in zeal and self-devotion. something satisfactory even in her silence, "Let us test it," cried Matilda, springfor Seymour, when he assisted her to alighting to the edge of the bridge. "See!at the door of the mansion, would not here waves my scarf-when I toss it into have exchanged the gratification which the Run, who is ready to leap for its recovthat ride had given him, for the inheritance ery?" of an earldom.

Some days afterward there was a pleasant gathering at the fine seat of Mr. Marshall. Seymour was Matilda Chesley's escort. Ander saw them enter. He detected the tender feeling which lurked in each glance that passed from one to the other, and he could not but acknowledge that nature itself pointed out the fitness of their union. The most ardent lover standing in his place and beholding that sight, would have felt hope die within him. Reginald was no lover, yet he had determined that Matilda Chesley should become Matilda Ander, and he had not the slightest distrust of his ability to bring about that result.

Animation and gayety ruled the hour. To the surprise of the party, who had on other occasions witnessed his shrinking bashfulness, no one was more full of vivacity than the ugly scholar. The gentlemen caught themselves listening to him when they should have been attending to their fair companions; and the ladies found it possible to be entertained by one who uttered not a single compliment. A consideration which aided in this sudden change of opinion must not be overlooked. This red-haired youth was no vulgar person, but came of the ancient lineage of the Anders, and his vast estates equalled the united fortunes of any two beside of the wealthiest planters in the country.


"I am!" said Laurence Seymour, eager

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Ah, but you are not in earnest ?" "Not in earnest? Try me!" "What!" said Matilda; "would you really have us think that you would risk your life for a scarf."

"As sure as I have power to move, I would hazard it to obey you."

Matilda looked at him as he stood there with his eye flashing, and his noble form dilated, and thought she could not imagine a worthier representative of the hero of romance. Perhaps she was a little embarrassed by the consciousness that she had allowed her admiration to be too evident, for she hastened to speak.

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And what do you think of it, Mr. Ander? would you be disposed to make the dangerous leap ?"

"No!" said Reginald.

"So ungallant!" exclaimed Emily Marshall, a pretty girl of eighteen. "I would not have believed it of you, Mr. Ander."

"Hear me, however," said Reginald. "What could I expect to gain by jumping in yonder ?"

Gain?-why the love of a fair lady, to be sure; what could knight wish for more?"

"That would be a reward, indeed," replied Reginald, and as he spoke he turned from Emily to Matilda-"a most ample reward-the highest I could look for on earth; but then I ought to be in a condition to receive it. Now the love of Miss Chesley herself, I suppose, would be of little service to a dead man.'

"Ah, 'tis plain you are not in love," retorted Emily Marshall, mischievously. “A lover never reasons.'

Leaving the house, the younger members of the company strolled over the grounds. Reginald, as well as Seymour, attached himself to the group of which Matilda was the centre. They chose a path leading to a rude bridge which was thrown across the Gavin. The stream here, rapid and interrupted by rocks, flowed at a considerable depth below them. On their way thither, the subject of discourse happened to be the romantic homage paid to the fair sex in the age of chivalry. The ladies came to the conclusion that times were sadly changed since then; "Where's the harm in that ?" she said; whilst their squires earnestly protested | let the woman think for both."

"Is it so? Then I must admit that you ladies have a singular taste, if you give your hearts only to brutes."

The laugh was now on the side of Reginald, but Emily was not disposed to yield the field so soon.

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"No," he replied, "truthful and loyal. It is because I see that all ladies are not angels, that I can so faithfully serve youand Miss Emily."

The bridge was now crossed, and they pursued their walk up the Run. After proceeding half a mile or something more, the two ladies found a shady spot at which to sit and rest, while the party of gentlemen went about in search of wild flowers. Time passed and all had returned except Reginald, who was discovered plucking various plants along the water's edge at the foot of the precipitous bank.

"I wonder how he got down there," eried one, peering over the brink.

"Oh," said another, "he must have found a path by the branch yonder."

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Here, Mr. Ander," said Matilda, waving her scarf towards him, "we are going to return." He looked up an instant, bowed, and renewed his task.

As Matilda, who had been leaning upon a small tree, drew back, her foot slipped slightly upon the mossy turf, and obeying the instinctive impulse to grasp a limb with her other hand, the scarf escaped her, and falling, was caught midway the descent by a shrub which extended itself from a chink in the perpendicular cliff.

"It is gone now," she said, smiling, "beyond the power of knight-errantry to rescue. But is not that the trunk of a tree yonder? Let us cross to the other side upon it."

The object she referred to lay twenty feet higher up the stream. It was found to be a large pine, the victim of some violent gale, and which had for years spanned the narrow pass separating one hill from the other. The water was tumbling full seventy feet below, and the sight of so narrow a bridge might well give trepidation to any one not gifted with steadiness of head. Indeed, Emily grew a little pale, while the features of more than one of the gentlemen assumed a sudden gravity. But Matilda was in her element. "Come," she said, "I'll show you the way."

"No, no," interposed Seymour, "let me go first.'

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"The ladies first, is the rule, sir," returned his mistress, springing upon the end of the log.

"Hold-hold!" cried Reginald from the spot where he was standing, beneath the suspended scarf.

"Never mind, we'll wait for you, sir, on the other side," and Matilda made another step.

Reginald at this seemed much agitated, and his eye lighting on a slender grapevine which by dint of clinging to the feeble shrubs, which here and there grew out of the cliff, had managed to reach the very top, he at once began to ascend by it.


The attention of the party at the pinelog was of course drawn to the adventurous climber. On his way he was seen to reach forth and seize Matilda's scarf. he neared the summit a jutting thicket concealed him from view, but it was only for an instant.-The topmost shrub had parted it hold, and man and vine fell, one undistinguishable mass, to the bottom.

There was a cry of horror from the spectators, and all instantly sought the circuitous path which led below. When they arrived at the spot, which was not until after the lapse of some minutes, they found Reginald sitting up and quietly extricating himself from the vine which had entangled him in a knot as curious as that of Ulysses. He was fortunately uninjured. The thick foliage of the vine contributed not a little to his safety, and the small bushes which had successively yielded to the momentum of the descent must have done much to diminish its violence.

Availing himself of the knife, promptly put at his service by one of the bystanders, Reginald was soon able to stand upright, relieved of his shackles. His first action was to deliver the scarf to its fair owner. Then he begged her acceptance of the fruit of his exploration-the sadly crushed, yet still beautiful nosegay of wild-flowers.

The little group at this instant received a sudden increase. Half a dozen others of the strolling company at Mr. Marshall's, led by whim or accident up the northern side of the Run, had observed Reginald's misadventure, and hurrying down the bank had crossed the stream at a spot where some flat stones made a convenient


"But I did not climb after the scarf." "No?-what then?"

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fording place. Among these was Mr. | ing was not worth one life, now it is worth Rennoe, who, while the rest pushed for- a dozen; let us hail the progress of unwards, uttering half a dozen inquiries at a breath, kept himself for some moments in the background, and narrowly watched. the demeanor of Miss Chesley and Reginald. What that penetrating observer witnessed by no means pleased him, but he suffered no sign of dissatisfaction to disturb the serenity of his countenance. Stepping up, and mingling easily with the party, he made just such observations as came most decorously from a well-bred, elderly man, of benevolent temper and grave habits.

Reginald, on his part, after a lively response to the sympathetic expressions of his Mentor, renewed the gay converse with the ladies as if altogether unmindful of his presence.

Setting their faces homeward in animated mood, they all forded the Run upon the stones, climbed the steep, though not precipitous hill on the northern side, and then paused to recover breath near the smaller extremity of the old pine log. Matilda and Reginald happened to be some paces in advance of their companions. Come," cried the sprightly Miss Marshall, let us share the benefit of Mr. Ander's disquisitions ;" and when Reginald turned at the sound of his name, she said to him laughingly, "I think, sir, we shall see a lover in you after all; at any rate you are fast lessening the disqualification of too much wisdom."

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"How so, if I may presume to ask, Miss Emily?"

"Oh! don't you remember the solemn manner in which you assured us this morning that a silken scarf was not a fit thing to peril one's neck for? that cliff yonder tells that your opinion has changed."


"I think not," rejoined Reginald. ascended the grape-vine for an object, and though I tumbled to the bottom, that object was gained, and I after all stand here safe and sound."

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'I should have paid Miss Matilda a poor compliment, I think, to have jeoparded a thing even of so little worth as my life for a bit of silk, which will be valueless next summer, when she throws it aside for another.'

"What did you seek then, sir ?" "The preservation of her own life.” "Her life ?-you speak riddles, Mr. Ander."

After remaining silent for a moment to enjoy the spectacle of the eager faces which were turned towards him from all sides, Reginald replied: "I could not bear to see her about to incur almost certain death by crossing on that pine."

Matilda now spoke quickly, “Do you think so meanly of my rural accomplishments, Mr. Ander? ments, Mr. Ander? I must show you how easily and safely I can traverse that fine broad bridge."

As she advanced to execute her purpose, Reginald interposed himself, saying earnestly: "Hear me, and you will not. As it is but a short distance between the two houses, I came to Mr. Marshall's from home this morning on foot; I crossed this decayed log, and it so trembled and cracked beneath me that I was satisfied that it could not again be passed without great risk."

The stillness that succeeded this declaration was interrupted by Emily's ringing laugh.

"Ah!" she said, "I fear me, sir, you are deluding us. This story sounds much like an afterthought a ruse to divert our minds from the mad knight-errantry of your recovery of the scarf."

"It is so, doubtless," observed Matilda; "but I am sorry Mr. Ander that you have so soon become ashamed of the heroism which has excited the admiration of us all. Yet we must convince you that we are not cravens to be frightened so easily."

Thus saying, she made a light bound that brought her upon the trunk only a few feet from the edge of the declivity. Reginald at once leaped upon the log so as to face her.

"Indeed you must not go, Miss Ma

tilda; or, if you are determined to persist, I go first to prove whether it be safe or not.' Matilda was moved by his earnestness, and several others of the party-Laurence Seymour among them--advanced to urge that both should withdraw from the log. Reginald then said, "This is a matter, however, very easily tested; Miss Emily will you venture your dog in the trial?" The young lady assenting, he whistled to the fine Newfoundlander, and extending a short stick, and calling him by name, said, "Here, Wodin, fetch it!"

The animal made an uncouth gambol, and kept his eyes intently fixed on the fragment of wood. Reginald cast it from his hand so that it landed on the opposite hill; Wodin at the same instant gave a great spring to the very middle of the pine. The huge trunk shook with the concussion, and there was a dull cracking around. The dog whined, and crept crouchingly to the other side. No sooner had he reached it than the old log fairly parted asunder, and both ends fell with a thundering noise into the bed of the Run. The mirthful band were seized with a feeling akin to awe, as they watched the descent of the ponderous logs, and saw how they were dashed into a dozen fragments upon the rocks below. Meanwhile Wodin's whine gave place to a vehement bark as he stood on the very verge, and gazed alternately into the stream and across the chasm at the company from which he was so suddenly divided. Then, as if a thought had struck him, he seized in his mouth the stick for which he was sent, and bounded away to the fording place. After the lapse of a minute or two, during which the silence remained unbroken, the noble fellow arrived, and after leaping joyously around his mistress, walked up to Reginald, and with an indescribable air of self-complacent dignity redelivered into his hand the bit of wood.

"That's a fine dog!" said Reginald, patting his head. "I am glad you have returned safe."

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impassioned words could be. Unable for the moment to utter an articulate sound, and yet conscious that some expression of thanks was called for from her, she felt ashamed and embarrassed.

It may be that Reginald desired to relieve her, for, addressing himself to Miss Marshall, he remarked: "I informed your father this morning of the dangerous state of this log, and he promised to give directions for its immediate removal. Probably some servant has been remiss in executing the charge."

The conversation now became general, though a thought less animated than at the outset of the walk.

Simon Rennoe hung in the rear, his mind occupied with uneasy reflections. Before him was the same homely, carrotyhaired youth, whom he accompanied from Europe, but how unlike now to what he then seemed! Awkward, shy, unpolished, and slovenly, the youth was in one day transformed into a hero, the envy of stately men, the admiration of beautiful women. Did the change favor the execution of Mr. Rennoe's purposes? Hardly! yet something much worse threatened. Reginald had evidently attached himself to the lovely Miss Chesley, and was making every effort to win her affections. But

Simon Rennoe never looked at an obstacle except to strengthen his resolution to overcome it. Reginald Ander," was his mental soliloquy, "you shall still be mine!"

During the remainder of the afternoon, which was spent pleasantly, but more quietly, in the house, Rennoe seized every opportunity to study the character of Matilda Chesley. Sometimes he conversed with her alone; sometimes he joined in the talk with others; sometimes he was a mere unnoticed listener. The choice of his future plan of operations depended upon the result of his scrutiny, and a mistake here might be irreparable. She appeared lively, high-spirited, fearless-was this the result only of temperament, or did it proceed from a deepseated, energetic enthusiasm? If the latter were the case, how unspeakably dangerous for one like Reginald to be associated with her. The few hours devoted to the examination enabled that consummate judge of human nature to take the complete measure, as he believed, of her mind.

He found her accomplished, amiable, in- | Administration. Seymour had little capigenuous, intelligent. There are few men tal, but he had powerful connections. whom these qualities, added to rare exter- Rennoe showed him how easy it would be nal charms, would not fascinate; yet to obtain admission into the company upon Rennoe was well aware that Reginald was highly advantageous terms. He suggested of no common stamp, and he satisfied also the most advisable method to pursue himself that Matilda wanted that vigor of in making his advances, and offered to intellect, that inborn power, or genius, secure in his favor some of the leading which can hold attractive communion with men of the company. The young man, a lofty, comprehensive spirit like the stu- ardently desirous of wealth, because he dent's. She could not sympathize with would thus be able the more confidently him, nor he with her. Her superiority to claim the hand of Matilda, was dazzled morally was not less marked than his in- with the prospect afforded him of the tellectually. That Reginald could suc- speedy realization of his most sanguine ceed in making himself loved by Matilda hopes. He believed Miss Chesley herself he believed quite possible, but that he already won, and had little apprehension, should be lastingly attached to her seemed notwithstanding the affair of the log, in contrary to the course of Nature. A regard to Reginald. Not gifted with great heart may become devoted to a Rennoe's clear insight into character, he great head, but a great head never fails to did not know his rival sufficiently well to despise a great heart. fear him. Less than ten days after the party at Mr. Marshall's he set out on his journey.

So argued Rennoe, and his measures were taken accordingly. Reversing what would have been the conduct of an angry father, he determined to break off a threatened match by apparently furnishing every facility for its accomplishment. His pupil should be indulged with the society of the beautiful girl till appetite became cloyed.

It may appear to some that very little of the wisdom of the serpent was shown in this choice. To throw a youth just freed from scholastic seclusion into unrestricted intercourse with a charming woman, had danger; Rennoe was not blind to it, but he was a bold as well as a wary player. His keen eye perceived that Reginald had a competitor in Laurence Seymour, and ignorant as he of course was of the incidents of the first meeting, he knew well enough that nothing could give so much zest and ardor to the suit as the presence of a rival. Hence Seymour must be removed from the scene. A fertile mind had little difficulty in devising the means. A company was forming in a different part of the colony, with a view to carry on some extensive mining operations; (the period in which these occurrences took place, it is to be observed, was about the middle of the last century.) A large body of land was secured, but in order to ensure success certain privileges were needed to be obtained from the government at home. It was important, therefore, to procure influence with the

Reginald, little guessing what instrumentality had caused the departure of the handsome Englishman, was disposed to avail himself of it to the utmost. He made frequent visits to Mr. Chesley's and each visit seemed to increase not only his prospect of success, but his interest in the pursuit. The strong motive which had first engaged him, a compound of pride and love of mastery, was no less influential than ever, but softer feelings had gained concurrent sway. He began to look upon Matilda Chesley not merely as the woman whose hand Laurence Seymour must not gain, but as a person attractive for her own sake.

Simon Rennoe, who intently watched the progress of affairs, became alarmed, yet was he tempted into nothing precipitate. Reginald could not be always at Mr. Chesley's, nor was he yet so deeply love-stricken as to be able to occupy every vacant hour in thinking of Matilda. These hours, therefore, that were spent at home, made Rennoe's opportunity. He used them to direct the mind of the youth to the most congenial and exciting topics; and he put into his hand books best calculated to inflame his love of power. The plan worked well. Oftentimes Reginald would go to his mistress, pondering not on her charms, but on bold deeds and magnificent schemes. It was agreeable to enjoy the present with her, but his mind

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