« ZurückWeiter »
foot barrel, brass mountings, curled sneaking along at a loose-jointed, catmaple stock of rifle pattern, with patch like trot, halting now and then to look box. He awaited the appointed time backward with intent, alert eagerness; of completion with the degree of pa- then resuming its slouching advance. tience that usually attends the gun lov- Josiah brought the gun to his shouler while he waits possession of a new der, but could not find a certain aim at weapon, and, knowing the value of a the distance, though that was not more craftsman's promise, added a week's than twenty rods. So he waited, with grace thereto.
his head a little raised and gun muzzle Then he haltered the two-year-old lowered, for the animal to come. within heifer that was to be the price, trade closer range. At fifteen rods it halted being chiefly conducted by barter, and, and looked backward again, and theu set forth on foot, leading the heifer. as Josiah aimed at the curved side just
The gun proved to be all that was behind the shoulder, it sprang lightly promised and more than was expected. to the roadside, faced about, and swiftIt was a beauty, according to the ly climbed the trunk of a great maple fashion of the day; it made a target al- to the first large limb that stretched most as good as a rifle at twenty rods, out above the road, upon which it and patterns with both coarse and fine crouched, eagerly watching in the dishot that were all that could be desired. rection from which it had come. Josiah Hill was pleased enough with "A-layin' for suthin'--one o' my idgit the gun to give it ungrudged praise, j'erlin's mebby,” Josiah whispered to and proud to have so skilful and hon- himself, the eye and aim following est a workman as its maker for a name- every movement, only diverted for an sake. So treading more lightly with occasional quick glance down the road. this easiest of burdens on his shoulder, The last of these revealed a glimpse of he set forth on his homeward journey, a checkered blue and white sunbonnet now making a target of a white patch and the flutter of a brown homespun on a beech trunk, now of an unwary gown, and then Ruby appeared in full crow, now of a pigeon just arrived view, picking her way along the edge from so far south that it had green wild of a muddy road, not thirty yards begrapes in its crop, while in Danvis yond the tree where the panther woods the vines were but just in bloom. crouched, watching her with cruel ea
He was at the beginning of the last ger eyes-ears pricked, the end of the mile, when he brought down one of tail twitching nervously, and hinder these travellers from afar, and debat- paws nestling under the belly for the ing a moment whether he should re- leap. load with shot or ball, decided on the “Ruby! Ruby! Stand still where you latter, so that he might, as soon as he be, for God's sake!" he cried out in a reached home, show Ruby how well the sharp, strained voice that compelled new smooth-bore could fill the place her to stand stock still before she comof the rifle. As he was returning the prehended whose it was or whence it ramrod to its pipes, his roving eyes caught the movement of some animal The panther turned the glare of its where the next turn of the road closed yellow eyes full upon him at the sound; the forest vista. His first thoughts the long barrel trembled a little as it were that it was a deer, and that it was brought to an aim, then became was out of season. Then he saw that, steady as a rock under the strain of though it was of the color, it was not the tense muscle, and obedient to the of the form of a deer. It was a panther flash of priming spat out its shaft of
A yell of pain and rage shot through the boom of the report and echo as the panther, pierced through the heart, lurched aimlessly from its perch and came down a-sprawl and half-lifeless midway between Josiah and his wife.
Still calm and collected, he began reloading as he stepped forward a pace, closely watching the great cat blindly piting and clawing the earth, and Writhing and rebounding in all the contortions of feline death throes. The last snarling gasp went out, and the muscular limbs stiffened, quivered and relaxed, but he did not go nearer the motionless tawny form until his piece was reloaded. Then, with thumb on the cock and finger on the trigger he advanced and stirred it with his foot. Not a muscle gave a responsive twitch,
and he went over to Ruby, sitting in a dumb gaze, clutching the leaves with rigid hands, never moving until, when she saw her husband so near the terrible beast, she made an involuntary warning gesture.
"Thank the good Lord, Ruby!” he cried, all of a tremble now, and his voice shaking as he knelt down beside her; and she, with her head on his shoulder, fell to weeping.
"I do know what made me, but I consaited you'd be a-coming; an' I was a-comin' aout tu meet you.”
“An' I was a-comin' jest in the nick o'time, an' blessed be this gun, for she saved ye. We'll call her 'Deliverance.' Ju' look what a beauty she be! There don't ye cry optu her-salty tears'll rust her."
dom along with some clever character- it has been admirably accomplished. drawing. The shiftless Eph, who “kept 'The criticism of Browning's work, esthree dogs," is particularly well hit off. pecially in its relation to that of his
contemporaries, is discriminating and One of the most fascinating of the sympathetic, while the portrayal of his "Nugget" series, for which Fords, personality is unexpectedly vivid. The Howard & Hulbert are to be thanked, book is thoroughly readable, and promis the latest, “Quaint Nuggets," which ises well for the popularity of the atconsists of quotations from Elizabethan tractive series of which it is the initial sources. The compiler, Eveline Warner volume. Brainerd, has been particularly happy in her choice of selections from Thomas A loyal and daring maiden who dons Fuller, and the reader would gladly a trooper's dress in order to warn a have a bookful of just such alone. But prince of his peril, and a lover whom as Hall, Selden, Herbert and Walton her somewhat untrooper-like actions do not need commendation at this day, presently bring into disgrace are the it suffices to say that the entire volume central figures in Roland Macdonald's is delightful.
r:ovel, “The Sword of the King." The
fact that the tale is a first venture of The second volume of Prof. Elisha Dr. George Macdonald's son will give Gray's much-appreciated popular it an added interest to many, but tbere science series, “Nature's Miracles," is only a slight recognizable kinship beproves to be
more in- tween the works of father and son. teresting than its predecessor.
romance of advenThe sub-title, “Energy and Vibra- ture, full of incident, exciting, tion," will not give to the average read- with kindly and genial touch. er any idea of the wide range of sub- It is told in a sprightly fashion by the jects dealt with, from "noise and mu- heroine herself, whose lover is active sic" to phosphorescence and shadow, in the cause of William of Orange, and heat rays and "high explosives.” The the escapes and misadventures and last part of the book, which treats of complications in which it abounds such warlike matters as "firing a shot” inake it a decidedly lively tale. The will be found timely and up-to-date. Century Co. There is a brightness and flexibility in the use of illustrations which gives this The spirit of Americanism will be series of "familiar talks" an uncommon greatly fostered by acquaintance with fitness for the work for which it is de- a record of the "Saving of Oregon," signed. Fords, Howard & Hulbert. which A. C. McClurg & Co. publish. In
“Dr. McLoughlin and Old Oregon." by Little books about great men are sel- Eva Emery Dye, a detailed account is dom so satisfactory as is Arthur given of the faithful and undaunted Waugh's study of Robert Browning, in labors of the pioneers—missionaries, the series of “Westminster Biograph- many of them-to whom this country ies" of which Small, Maynard & Co. owes the wresting of a great territory are the American publishers. To from British encroachments. The two present in hundred and fifty heroes of this tale, which is both story small pages an outline of the events of and history, are Dr. John McLoughlin, a long life, and at the same time to the governor of the Hudson Bay Comtrace the growth of a poet's powers pany west of the Rockies, and Dr. Marand reputation was a difficult task, but cus Whitman, the American mission
even the warnings of mittee of Public Safety," and his atfriendly well-wishers, “You can never tempted rescue by the hero, who is, of get the women through,” couldn't hold course, in love with his daughter, the back from the perilous journey across Princess. The hero's sympathies-he a continent. The dealings with each is a young English architect-are, howother of rival or warring races, the ever, with the Nihilists, and he bediplomatic feats and the superhuman comes curiously involved in one of struggles of those early days are here their most audacious schemes against carefully and graphically portrayed. the Czar. The story is an exciting one,
rapid in its action and reaching a conThe Berlin papers report the finding clusion quite “too good to be true.” L. of a hitherto unknown Humboldt cor- C. Page & Co. respondence. The collection is bound in a thick volume, and contains about
A reaction against the Omar Khay. two hundred letters, written in A. von
yam cult seems to have set in. Mr. A. Humboldt's "fine crow's-foot hand- H. Miller, in an English journal, puts writing," full of confidential gossip this perplexing question: concerning the Court and political and military notabilities, and references to
What can one make of a poem (or contemporary scholars.
set of verses) whose supposed author from 1830 to 1840, some having been
may have died either in 1090 or 1126,
whose poetical writings were absolutewritten from Berlin and some from
ly unknown in the East-in his native Potsdam.
Persia as well as in India-until the
present century; whose text is so inAs each addition to the series of "Bea- definite that it varies from 632 lines to con Biographies" makes its welcome 2064 lines, and the oldest copy of whose appearance, one feels the same lively
verses was confessedly written nearly interest in the sturdy little chronology
four centuries after his death? The
most devoted professor of Higher which ushers in the more pretentious
Criticism would give up such a prob“Life” with such an engaging sense of
lem in absolute despair. its own self-sufficiency. The latest subject of biography is Commodore
A propos of the question whether Decatur, and the study, by Cyrus
Dickens is still read, the “Bookworm" Townsend Brady, does not lack clear
of The Academy says: appreciation of the vividly dramatic incidents in Decatur's history.
I find among the conventionally "edsketch, also, of national life in the first
ucated” members of the new genera
tion a large ignorance of Dickens. I part of the nineteenth century it is ex
find, moreover, among the educated tremely interesting. Small, Maynard
members of the elder generation a & Co.
narked disinclination to read Dickens
over again. On the other hand, you Lively doubts as to the actual identity have this undoubted demand for Dickof that personage who is now figuring ens among the class which "takes out" as the Czar of all the Russias will be books from public libraries. The conlikely to beset an imaginative reader of
clusion is obvious. Dickens is "read," “The Black Terror," by John K. Leys.
but mainly by “the people.” Your "culIt is an ingenious and diverting tale,
tured" person prefers Thackeray. I
do myself. But I can quite believe whose plot turns upon the spiriting
that Dickens, if he is conscious of his away of a Russian government official,
present vogue in England, is quite satone Prince Kropenski, by the “Com- isfied with the direction it has taken.
BOOKS OF THE MONTH.
Allen, Grant: a Memoir. By Edward Person in the House, The. By G. B. Clodd. Grant Richards.
Burgin. Hurst Blackett. Bachelors, A Book of. By A. W. Fox,
Quaint Nuggets. From Fuller, Hall, M. A. Archibald Constable & Co.
Selden, Herbert, Walton. Gathered
by Eveline Warner Brainerd. Battle of Dorking, The New. By
Fords, Howard & Hulbert. Price Grant Richards.
$0.45. Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Dalmatia, River of Pearls, The. A Chinese Ro
Rambles and Studies in. By Robert mance. By René de Pont-Jest. John Munro, M. A., M. D., F. R. S. E.
Macqueen. Wm. Blackwood & Sons.
Robert Orange. By John Oliver Browning, Robert. The Westminster Hobbes. T. Fisher Unwin. Biographies. By Arthur Waugh. Russian Empire, The Rise of the. By
Small, Maynard & Co. Price, $0.75. Hector H. Munro. Grant Richards. China: The Long-lived Empire. By E. Sanskrit Literature, A History of. By R. Scidmore. The Century
Arthur A. Macdonnell. Wm. HeinePrice, $2.50.
mann. Darwinian Armor, More Loose Links
Son of the State, A. By W. Pett in the. By P. Y. Alexander, M. A.
Ridge. Methuen & Co. John Bale.
Spendthrift, The. By Francis DodsHamlets, Some Notable. By Clement
worth. Grant Richards. Scott. Greening & Co.
Sword of the King, The. By Ronald Holy Spirit, The Work of the.
Macdonald. The Century Co. Price, Abraham Kuyper, D. D., L. L. D.
$1.50. Translated by Rev. Henri de Vries, Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, The Early and authorized and approved by the
Poems of. Edited with critical introAuthor. Funk & Wagnalls Company.
duction by John Churton Collins.. Price, $3.00.
Methuen & Co. Images of Good and Evil. By Arthur Things Seen. By G. W. Steevens. SeSymons. Wm. Heinemann.
lected and edited by G. S. Street. Lexicography, English, The Evolution
With a Memoir by W. E. Henley. of. The Romanes Lecture. By James
Wm. Blackwood & Sons. A. H. Murray, M. A. Henry Frowde.
Up in Maine: Stories of Yankee Life Mafeking: A Diary of the Siege. By
Told in Verse. By Holman F. Day. Maj. F. D. Baillie Archibald Con
Small, Maynard & Co. Price, $1.00. stable & Co.
Village Notes. By Pamela Tennant.. Nature's Miracles. Familiar Talks on
Wm. Heinemann. Science. Vol. II. Energy, Sound,
Voices in the Night. By Flora Annie Heat, Light and Explosives.
Steel. Wm. Heinemann. Elisha Gray, Ph. D., L. L. D. Fords, War and Labor. By Michael Anitch. Howard & Hulbert. Price $0.60.
kow. Archibald Constable & Co. No Room to Live. By George Haw. Yangste Valley and Beyond, The. By
Introduction by Sir Walter Besant. Mrs. J. F. Bishop. (Isabella L. Wells Gardner.
Bird.) John Murray.