Chapter 111337370

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Chapter NumberLXXXVII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1873-12-13
Page Number4
Word Count1936
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Newcastle Chronicle (NSW : 1866 - 1876)
Trove TitleRuth Hall
article text


Chapter LXXXVII.

INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE LITERARY BOOK SELLER AND MR. WALTER. ' Female literature seems to be all the 'rage now,' remarked a gentleman, who was turning over the volumes in Mr. Devehn's book-store, No. G, Literary-row. ' Who are your most

successful lady authors?' ' Miss Pyne,' said Mr. Develin, ' authoress of 'Shadows;' Miss Taft, authoress of- 'Sun beams ;' and Miss Bitman, authoress of ' Fairyland.' ' ' I have been told,' said the gentleman, ' that ' Like Sketches,' by ' Floy,' has had an immense sale — a larger one, in fact, than any of the others ; is that so V 'It has had a tolerable sale,' answered Mr. Develin, coldly. ' I might have published it, I suppose, bad I applied ; but I had an in different opinion of the literary talent of the authoress. The little popularity it lias hud is undoubtedly owing to the writer being a sister of Hyacinth Ellet, the editor of 'The Irving Magazine.' ' ' But is she his sister 1' said the gentleman; ' there are many rumours afloat ; one hardly knows what to believe.' ' No doubt of it,'' said Mr. Develin ; ' in fact, I, myself, know it to be true. ' Floy' is his sister ; and it is altogether owing to the transferring of her articles, by him, to the co lumns of his paper, and his liberal endorse ment of them, that she has had any success.' 'Indeed!' said the gentleman, 'why, I was a subscriber both for ' The Standard,' when her first article appeared in it, and also for 'The Irving Magazine,' and I am veiy sure that nothing of hers was copied in the latter until she hud acquired an enviable popularity ull over the Union. No, sir,' said Mr. Walter (for it was he), ' I know a great deal more about ' Floy' and her writings than you can tell me, and some little about your self. I have often heard of the version you give of this matter, und I came in to satisfy myself if it had been correctly reported to me. Now, allow me to set you right, sir,' said he, with a stern look. 'The Editor of ' The Irving Magazine ' never recognized ' Floy' as his sister, till the universal popular voice had pronounced its verdict in her favour. Then, when the steam was up, and the loco motive whizzing past, he jumps on and says, ' How fast we go !' ' ' I think you ure mistaken, sir,' replied Mr. Develin, with a faint- attempt to retain his position. 'I am not mistaken, sir; I know, person ally, that in the commencement of her lite rary career, when one or two articles of hers were copied into his paper by an assistant in the office, he positively forbade her noin da }iliime being again mentioned, or another of her articles copied into 'The Irving Maga zine.' lie is a miserable time-server, sir. Fashion is his god ; he recognises only the drawing room side of human nature. Sorrow in satin he can sympathise with, but sorrow in rags is too plebeian for his exquisite organi zation.' ' , ' Good morning, Mr. Develiirr'good morn ing, sir. The next time I hear of you giving a version of this matter, 1 trust it will be a correct one,' added he, with a stern look. ' Well,' exclaimed Mr. Walter, as he walk ed down the street, ' of ? all meanness of which a man can be guilty, the meanest, in my estimation, is to rob a woman of her justly-earned literary fame; and I wish, for the credit of human nnture, it were confined to persons of as limited mental endowments and influences as the one I have just left.' ^HAl'TER LXXXVIII. ARRIVAL 01' MR. WALTER — BANK STOCK AND CERTIFICATE. ' Oh, how frightened I wus !' exclaimed Nettie, as her mother applied some healing salve to a slight burn on her arm ; ' how frightened I was at that fire!' .' ' You mean how frightened you were ttjler the fire,' replied her mother, smiling , ' you were so bewildered waking.'up out of that sound sleep, that I fancy you did not understand much about the danger till after good Johnny Gait saved you.' ' If I did not love Neddy so much, I should certainly give Johnny Gait my picture,' said Nettie, with a sudden outburst of enthusiasm. ' I will see that Johnny Gait is rewarded,' replied Ruth. But this is the day Mr. Wal ter was to have come. 1 hope Johnny Gait will meet him at the depot as he promised, else he will be so alarmed for our safety when he learns of the fire. Dear me ! how the rain comes down ; it looks as though it meant to persevere.' ' Yes,'find pour-severe, too,' said Nettie, with an arch look at her mother. Katy and Ruth had not finished laughing at this sally, when Mr. Walter was announced'. ? His greeting was grave, for he trembled to think of the danger they had escaped. After mutual congratulations had been exchanged, ' a detailed account of their escape given, and Johnny Gait's heroism duly extolled, Mr. Walter said : — ' Well, I am glad to find you so comfortably housed after the fire ; but the sooner I take all1 of you under my charge the better, I think. What do you say to starting for ? to-mor- row? Are you sufficiently recovered from your fright and fatigue 1' ' Oh, yes,' replied Ruth, laughing : ' do we not look as good as new) Our wardrobe, to be sure, is in rather a slender condition ; but that is much easier remedied than a slender purse, as I' have good reason to know.' 'Very well, then,' said Mr. Walter, 'itiis understood that we go tomorrow. I have some business to look after in the morning ; shall you object to waiting till after dinner I' ' ' Not at all,' replied Ruth. ' In my opinion nothing can equal the forlornness of forsaking a warm bed to start breakfastless on a journey with one's eyes half open.'

' ' Floy' ' said Mr. Walter, taking a pack ago from his pocket, ' I have obeyed your di rections, and here ii something which you may well be proud of; and he handed Ruth a paper. It ran thus : THE SKTON BANK. IX TnE CITY OF — . Capital Stock, 2,000,000 Dollars. Shaues, 100 Dollars Each. He it known tluxt Mrs. liuih Hall, of ? , is entitled to mm hundred shares of the Capital Stuck of theJteion. Hani; and to hold the name, subject to thn con.ilitiuns and stipulations contained in the Articles of Association of such Institution, which shares are transferable on the Books of the Asso ciation by the said Mrs. Jiulh h'all or h:r A tlur ney, on surrender of this certijkatr. In whereof, iC-e., uCe. '? There,' said Mr. Walter, 'imagine your self, if you can, in that dismal attic one year ago, a bank-stock holder ! Now confess that you are proud of yourself.' ' We are' proud of her,' said the talkative Nettie, 'if she is not proud of herself. Don't you think it is too bad, Mr. Walter, that mamma won't let Katy and me tell that ' Floy' is our mother? A little girl who lived at the hotel that was burnt up, said to Katy, that her uncle had just given her 'Life Sketches' for a birthday present, aiid told her that she must try and write as well as ' Floy' one of these days ; and Katy looked at me and I looked at Katy; and oh, isn't it too lad, Mr. Walter, that mamma won't let us tell, when we want to, so much ?.' ' Well,' said Mr. Walter, laughing, ' I have only one little; remark to niaku about that, namely, I have no doubt you-two young ladies discovered some time before 1 did, that when your mamma says *Vo, there is an end to all argument.' Chapter LXXX1X. THE LAST VISIT TO HAKItV's GRAVE. The' morning of the next day was bright and fair. After dinner, our travelling party entered the carriage in waiting, and proceeded on their way ; the children chattering as usual, like little magpies, and Ruth* and Mr. Walter occupied with their own solitary reflections. One of the greatest luxuries of true friend ship is the perfect freedom one feels, irrespec tive of the presence of another, to indulge in the mood of the moment — whether that mood be grave or gay, taciturn or loquacious, the unspeakable deliciousncss of being reprieved from talking at a mark, hampered by no fear of incivility or discourtesy. Ruth had found this n great charm in the society of Mr. Wal ter, who seemed perfectly to understand and sympathise with her varied moods. On the present occasion she particularly felt its value — oppressed as she was by the rush (if thoughts, retrospective and anticipatory — standing us it were on the threshold of u new epoch in her changing existence. ' Where are we going, mother ?' asked Katy, as the carriage passed through a stone gateway, and down a dim avenue of ancient trees. 'To dear papa's grave,' replied Ruth, 'be- fore wo leavo this part of the country.' 'Yes!' murmured Katy, in a low whisper. It was very beautiful, that old avenue of pine-trees through which the setting sun was struggling faintly, now resting like a halo on some moss-grown grave-stone, now gilding some more ambitious monument of Mammon's raising. The winding cemetery paths, throng ed by day with careless feet, were silent now. No lightsome laughter echoed through those leafy dells, grating upon the ear which almost listened for the loved voice. No strange eye, with curious gaze, followed the thoughtful group, speculating upon their heart's hidden history ; but now and then n little loitering bird, tempted beyond its mate to lengthen its evening flight, flitted, with u brief gush of song, across their pathway. Hushed, holy and un profancd, was this Sabbath, of the dead ! Ach ing hearts were throbbed with longer ; weary feet were still ; busy hands lav idly crossed over tired breasts ; babes, who had poised one tiny foot on life's turbid ocean brink, then shrank back affrighted at its surg ing waves, here slept their peaceful sleep. The moon had silvered the old chapel tur rets, and the little nodding flowers glistened with dew-drops, but still Ruth lingered. Old memories were thronging thick and fust upon her ; past joys — past sorrows — past sufferings ; and yet the heart which felt them all so keenly, would soon lie pulseless amid these moul dering thousands. There was a vacant place left by the side of Harry. Ruth's eye rested on it — then on her children — then on Mr. Walter. 'So help me, God !' reverently murmured the latter, interpreting the mute appeal. As the carriage rolled from under the old stone gateway, a little bird started from out its leafy nest, thrilled forth a song as sweet and clear as the lark's at heaven's own blessed gate. ( 'Accept the omen, dear Ruth,' said Mr. Walter. ' Life has much harmony yet in store for you.' ?? THE END OK RUTH HALL.