“She seems to be heading right up the straits, and acts as if they meant to try and run through the Narrows yonder,” Amos suggested.


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“And what about the poor old man?”

[pg 40]

“They are not designs,” said Epstein, a little petulantly, I thought.

cation; it was on philosophic grounds also that he made the characters of the seed and the fruit the basis of his arrangement, while the German botanists, paying little attention to the organs of fructification, were chiefly influenced by the general impression produced by the plant, by its habit as the phrase now is.

The next day, came a ray of light in the bothered gloom. And the question of the boarding kennels was dropped. The Mistress received a letter from Cyril’s mother. The European trip had been cut short, for business reasons; and the two travellers expected to land in New York on the following Friday.


“Just at this moment Squire McBee came up with his prisoner in charge; and Steigal and Grisson soon after joined the party. The dying outlaw, as he lay stretched upon the ground, begged for water, and Leiper took a shoe from one of Harpe’s feet, and with it procured some for him near by. McBee now told him that he was already dying, but they should hasten his death; time, however, would be given him for prayer and preparation for another world—to which he made no reply, and appeared quite unconcerned. When asked if he had not money concealed, he replied that he had secreted a pair of saddle bags full in the woods on an eastern branch of Pond River, some twenty miles from its mouth. From his description of the branch, and their knowledge of the country, they concluded that there was no such water-course, and gave little or no heed to his story; but a report, however, has gained some currency—for the truth of which we cannot vouch, that a considerable sum of specie has been found, within a few years, near the head waters of Pond River.


[pg 187]


2."Most kind!"




Mrs. Coventry preserved a semblance of good spirits during the uncomfortable hour that followed. She warbled a few English ballads while her husband scowled in a corner and Mr. Kennard turned over the songs for his hostess. He alone of the company appeared quite unaffected by the strain in the atmosphere.


When the horses were called for the second heat they came up looking well. Both had cooled out admirably. Johnny Hartman, a white jockey, and one of the best riders on the turf, was upon Duane, Steve not being able to resume his mount. Up to this time Boston had never been marked by whip or spur, except in his first race, when he sulked when touched with a spur. He had won all of his races running purely on his courage. Col. Wm. R. Johnson, the “Napoleon of the Turf,” who was managing him in this race, procured a cowhide, and when he mounted Cornelius gave it to him with instructions to use it if necessary from start to finish. There was no delay at the post; the drum tapped, and they were off, followed by the continuous cheers of the crowd. I doubt if a more closely contested match for four miles was ever run over any course than was waged between these two great horses in this second heat. It was literally a fight to the death. With every muscle strained, every sinew drawn to its utmost tension, they raced head for head the entire distance. Duane was on the inside and held it to the finish, although Boston made repeated efforts in every mile to take it. It was drive, drive, drive; death or victory. First the head of gold striped with white would for a moment show in front, then the head of bronze with the white spot gleaming like a star of hope would take the lead, but never more than a scant head would at any time divide them. As the head of either horse would show in front their respective friends would give a ringing cheer, but as mile after mile of the mighty contest was measured off by the long, low, powerful strides of these great racers and the desperate character of the race became more and more apparent, the excitement became too intense for shouting, and as the horses turned into the stretch on the fourth mile for the run home nose to nose, bit to bit and stride for stride a stillness as of death came over the crowd. Not a shout, not a word, not a whisper was heard. The stable boys and rubbers with bated breath and bulging eyes stared with almost agonized expression on their faces up the stretch where the desperate battle was being fought. The lemonade vender gave up all thoughts of trade, and even the wily pickpocket forgot his calling for the moment, and his hand, still clutching his ill-gotten gains, trembled with excitement as he watched the flying stallions and heard the ceaseless patter of their hoof strokes.


“Oh,” cried the girl, flushed and wild, her eyes gleaming through an angry dew of pain, “what word is there that is violent enough? He was happy and good, and there were—there might have been—people who could have loved him, and—and made him happy. When one comes in, one who had no business there, one who—and takes him from—the others, and makes a sport of him and a toy to amuse herself, and flings him broken away. It is worse than murder—if there is anything worse than murder,” she cried.


"No, he's to all intents and purposes an utter stranger to me," Arthur agreed.

. . .