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more than friendship. “Ah!" thought I, | making myself known to Ellen, if the sus“I have it now. Would Eustis have en- picion of her infidelity was confirmed. dured, day after day, the presence of a But if it proved that Eustis only was the spirited woman who hated him, and who deceiver, I would allow him to test her did not conceal her hatred? I could not affection to the utmost until the two years have done so, nor could he. Plainly, then, of her probation had fully elapsed. her animosity was a ruse."
I had assumed at Paris the name of St. Going to sleep with resolutions of a jeal- Pierre, and retained it; trusting also for ous revenge, I would dream that I had an effectual disguise to the change of counreturned and was reconciled to Ellen. tenance which sickness, gray hairs, and a Again I pressed her to my heart, and thick beard had given me; to which I waking, cursed the idle jealousy.
added the black dress and Now, I resolved only to have revenge of a clergyman—the latter, indeed, involunon Eustis, whose triumphant countenance, tary, and brought upon me by the wear and as it appeared at the moment of my sup- waste of sad meditation. posed decease, haunted me like a vision of I arrived at New Orleans at midsummer. hell. Torn both ways by adverse jealous- The pestilence was raging in the city. The ies, I resembled an unhappy soul for whom streets were deserted. The wealthier poptwo fiends are contending. One hurries ulation had removed into the interior, or him toward the fire, the other toward the sought the cooler atmosphere of the Northice. No merciful angel interposed to res- ern States. At the hotel I recognized an cue me from their malicious talons. My old negro of my own, a carpenter by trade, cries went up to heaven in vain.
who by his industry and economy had acHaggard and despairing, I landed at quired a competency for himself and his Havre. A gift in money, amounting to a family. I had given this man his freedom considerable sum, had been sent over in and a legacy in my will. He was the the care of the surgeon to my relations. steward of the house. Trusting to his The ship, having discharged a part of her natural taciturnity and faithfulness, I sent cargo, moved off on a long voyage, and by for him to my chamber, having first darkthe promise of a sufficient bribe to be paid ened the room sufficiently to prevent too them on their return, I imposed silence sudden a recognition. I began by queson the Captain and his men. They were tioning him in regard to Eustis, and learned soon after wrecked in the bay of Biscay, with some difficulty from the old man, that and all on board lost. My secret was safe. my estates had been lately sold by him, Under a feigned name I resided a year at and that he had gone to New York, taking Paris, with hardly a companion but my with him my child and supposed widow, own direful imaginations. A hideous ex- with the intention of remaining there, as pression of despair appeared in my coun- the health of mistress, he said, had declitenance, which made all men shun me. ned very much since the death of his forMy nearest friends would not then have mer master. Struck with a sudden and known me. My body became gaunt and poignant grief, I fell with my face upon the emaciated. My hair and beard, which I bed upon which I had been sitting, and now, for the first time, suffered to grow wept aloud. The old man was very natulong, changed from dark brown to gray. rally surprised at this exhibition, and inMy gait became unsteady and irregular, quired whether master was in any way relike that of a drunkard, for which, indeed, lated to mistress. I assented, and then told I was sometimes mistaken, though scarce him the story of my wonderful resuscitation. any thing beside bread and water passed After listening to the whole in silence he
came forward and fell at my feet. He A powerful constitution, however, after wept and sobbed with emotion. He said a long continuance of this morbid misery that on first beholding me he did not think began to get the better even of despair, and was I, but that he knew me by my voice as my purse was nearly exhausted, it be when I spoke of his mistress. Confirming came necessary for me to return to America. the fidelity of the old man by a present of
During the homeward voyage I matured some valuable jewels, and the promise of my original resolution of never again a larger douceur on my return, I engaged
him to borrow for me a considerable sum, | long, looking after them; and then, more and having now the means of prosecuting like one dead than alive, went away slowly, my journey, the very next day I set sail for my feet were heavy with grief. for New York, but not before ascertaining On making inquiry of my landlady, who the exact locality of Eustis and his charge was a laundress, I learned that the supin that city.
posed widow was residing in the house of a A
voyage full of peril and delay brought married brother of Eustis, and that a marme to my final destination, and to the riage was talked of between the young wiscene of the greatest wretchedness and fol- dow and a rich southern lawyer, a brother ly of my life, at the close of the eighteenth of the gentleman at whose house she was month after my supposed decease. I had living. My landlady, a talkative busy-borecovered something of my former strength, dy, had interested herself very much in and being an adept in several languages, my affairs, and I dared not ask many quesI engaged myself as a teacher, and soon tions of her. Each day after this, I passfound employment, and made a number of ed by the dwelling of my beloved, and acquaintances. Such however was the loitered at the corners of the streets hard weakness of my spirit, I did not dare even by. Sometimes the nurse would appear, to inquire for the names of my former wife leading my daughter with her, and it gratiand friend, and a full fortnight had elapsed fied and soothed me to perceive she rebefore I gained resolution to pass by the sembled her mother both in feature and windows of the house where they were liv- figure, and was of a beautiful countenance ing.
and gentle disposition. You may imagine On first passing, I did not dare look up. the desire which possessed me to catch the My heart beat violently, my knees smote child in my arms as she passed by, but the together; a crowd of dreadful suscipions fear of discovery forbade it. rushed upon me, and subdued the rapture One evening, passing by on, the other of so near an approach to the sole being side, I saw a bill posted on the small house for whom I lived. Two days after I ven- opposite the Eustis mansion, signifying that tured again, but not without fear of the it might be had furnished for a moderate too violent effects of emotion upon a sys- rent. The opportunity was too good to be tem weakened as mine was by suffering and missed. Without a day's delay I took the disease.
house, and engaged as servant a German, The mansion had the name of Eustis who spoke no language but his own. The on the door. It was elegant, spacious, and windows of my new home were furnished in a wealthy quarter. Can it be, thought with blinds, through which one could see I that they are married! Then farewell without being seen. To penetrate further life, and farewell joy. But stay, I will at into the obscurity of the dwelling opposite, least inquire. A nurse-maid leading a I procured a telescopic glass, which reveallittle girl came out upon the steps. I ad- ed every thing not hidden by a shutter or dressed her, shuddering like one in an ague. a curtain. You smile,-well—it was no Does Mr. James Eustis reside here? The impertinent curiosity. girl, regarding me with a look of curiosity The Eustis mansion, as I have told you, and pity, replied that that house was not was in a fashionable quarter. Daily and Mr. James Eustis's, but that his brother nightly, equipages stood before its entrance. resided there. Another desperate effort I learned in a few days to distinguish the enabled me to ask, though my voice seem- occupants. There were but six, and at ed dead, whether a lady had come there least double the number of servants and from the South. The maid answered yes, attendants. Among the latter I observed and stooped down to comfort the little girl, a negro woman, who had served my wife who, frightened at my bearded and haggard in the capacity of a nurse, and who was a face, stood trembling, and regarding me faithful and devoted friend to her. This
askance. Putting her arms about woman, though a slave, was of a characthe child, she called her · Ellen,' (a name ter superior to her station, but subtle and which I wept to hear,) comforting her fear, intriguing. I suspected her of being in as she led her away from me. It was my the interest of Eustis. own little Ellen. I stood, I know not how One morning, while observing the oppo
site chamber with my glass, through the riage to all places of appointment. Instead half closed blinds, I saw a lady in deep of losing reputation by these wilful eccenmourning at the window. She looked out tricities I rather gained by it in the numfor an instant, and withdrew. A film ber and fashion of my pupils. My lessons came over my eyes, and prevented my dis- were in German and Italian. I left off tinguishing anything with certainty, but speaking French, and used commonly a the air and figure resembled those of my very broken kind of English, which became wife. This was the sixth occupant of the habitual. I fancied I was secure against mansion, the other five consisting of Mr. recognition. The modern Greek dialect I Eustis, his wife, and two daughters, very had learned in Egypt when a youth, and beautiful tall girls, and a lad of sixteen, his by affecting the society and sympathy of younger brother. The sixth then, I had foreigners, I passed without suspicion for a no doubt was my heart's idol.
Mediterranean nondescript. My name of The nurse came out every morning when St Pierre was understood to be an asthe weather permitted, with my daughter, sumed one. but I avoided being seen by them, though Feeling now quite secure, I sought opI watched carefully to have a sight of my portunities of introduction to the Eustises. child each day. It was the only happiness The endeavor was successful. I became of that time.
the teacher of my child. Each morning As a teacher of languages, without any I went over to her, and took her upon my special effort, I had acquired, under the knees and taught her to lisp Italian, which name of St. Pierre, a fashionable reputa- was the fashion of the day. Thus did I tion. A suspicion of insanity had attached stand upon the very threshold of a new itself to me, but the gravity of my foreign, and happier life. The quiet and sweet indeed Asiatic, manners, a lean pale visage, conduct of the child soothed away the irhollow eyes, and a voice subdued by sor- ritation and despair which gnawed at my row,
made me an object of interest with heart. the softer sex. I soon found myself ac- The manners in the Eustis mansion quainted with many persons of wealth and were gay and thoughtless. None of the good standing, who were on terms of fa- family, from the master downward, dismiliarity with the Eustises.
any interest in, or curiosity A thought occurred. Could I become the about me. I was a teacher, a fashionable instructor of my daughter, what an oppor- nuisance, and the ladies of the family tunity would that be! It was first neces- learned in a few days to disregard my pressary however, to increase my disguise. ence, as though I had been a dog or a de
My former friend Eustis, had been ab- pendent relative. My teaching hour was sent from the city, and was now returned. after breakfast, before visiting began. My I learned with certainty that my wife was child and I were left together in a library living with his brother, but in a secluded adjoining a parlor, immediately under the manner, never appearing in society, and apartments of my wife. seldom leaving her chamber, which was The child became attached to her teachin the rear of the mansion. But two The nurse left us alone together, months time was wanting to complete the sometimes for more than an hour at a time. two years of probation, and the marriage I improved the opportunity, by asking a was already talked of as an event to be number of questions. On one occasion, expected. It was even said that the pre- Eustis came into the room, parations for the wedding, which was to be daughter sat upon my knees with her costly and magnificent, were in progress. small fingers twisted in my beard. He There was no time to be lost.
scowled upon my daughter, and turned more effectual concealment I adopted the away hastily. She trembled violently and long robes and turban of an Asiatic. An clasped me tightly in her arms. At the old scar across my forehead had re-opened same moment, I heard a lady's footstep in when I had a fever at Paris, and healing the hall. Eustis met the lady as she came badly, disfigured my brows, giving them an forward, and I heard the salutation that he unnatural contraction. My lessons were gave her lips. given privately. I drove in a close car- They returned into the room where I
was sitting. The child slipped from my opportunity show itself. It has not yet knees and ran forward to embrace her mo- come. ther. I sat for an instant like one turned As Eustis left the room, my daughter to marble, pulseless and breathless. But looked after him with an expression of fear, the firm will did not desert me, and with and turning to her mother, stammered out a grave Asiatic salutation, I rose and push- some childish expressions, and then said ed forward a chair for the lady. Eustis very distinctly, " Mamma, I've got a stood by in silence, while Ellen questioned secret, but I'll tell it to you first, and the teacher in her mild way, about the pro- getting up on my knees, she whispergress of her child. I replied in broken ed, “I'd rather have you for my papa than English and in a thick voice, avoiding her him ;' then running quickly to her mother, glance with my eyes. She was pale, fee- she whispered the same to her, but loud ble, and emaciated, but wore an assumed enough for me to hear. cheerfulness which cut me to the soul. Ellen blushed and silenced the child, My confidence in her was restored. and after a brief interchange of indifferent
Finding the disguise quite perfect, I be conversation, she thanked me for the kindgan to feel at ease in it, and like one who ness I had shown her daughter, but signiwatches from a place of concealment, felt fied at the same time that as it was her guara strange pleasure in the deception. dian's wish that she should be sent into the
Eustis appeared to me in a new light. country for her health, the lessons would He seemed harsh, selfish, and haughty. be discontinued for the present. Already he entertained the bitter feelings There was no alternative. I must take of a step-father.
my leave, or discover myself, and that, “You find it a very pleasant occupa- too, instantly. The former counsel pretion, doubtless,” said he to me, satirically, vailed. I wished my revenge to be com“this teaching of babes to lisp languages.' plete. I rose and withdrew. I bowed respectfully, assenting.
A month's interval remained, for it was “ It is a waste of time and money, sir, understood that the marriage would take for fashion's sake,” he continued. “Chil- place on the 1st day of October. Eustis had dren forget languages as quickly as they hired and was furnishing a splendid establearn them."
lishment. He came and went in his own I answered in Italian, a language which carriage, with liveried servants, paid, as my he spoke fluently, that it was a fashion in- jealousy informed me, out of the proceeds deed, but I thought a very elegant one. of my estates. Each day Ellen rode out
He turned to Ellen. “Dearest, I would with him. They went alone together. send her into the country. The air of New For six days or more I observed them from York does not suit the child."
my windows. They sat upon the same She made no reply, but took her daugh- seat in the carriage, he often with his arm ter in her arms, and after giving it a long about her waist. I sharpened my revenge silent embrace, turned to him a look very upon such sights. I resolved almost unsad and petitioning, as if to say, “It is my consciously upon his death. sole comfort, and would you take this Various rumors confirmed my suspicion away.”
that his magnificence was at my cost. His countenance darkened to a frown. Four plantations of the widow's, it was Turning away hastily, he left us, and I said, were sold by him in Louisiana, reheard the hall door close after him. alizing half a million. The marriage was
The hour, the very moment, had arriv- held to be a mercenary project. The steped. I deliberated.
child would be defrauded, perhaps killed I was once more alone with my wife and by neglect. My own name my child. My disguise, thought I, is so mentioned. People seemed to have forgotperfect, I need have no fear of detection. ten that the child must have had a father, If I declare myself now, what proof shall and a widow a husband. But that was I have to justify my revenge on my be- nothing. trayer? Nay, what proof have I that he The days went rapidly by. There has wronged or deceived me? I must wanted but ten to the fatal first of have proofs relevant and sure. Let the | October. I bethought me of the negro nurse. I will try her, thought I, with a tive I put a number of questions relative bribe.
to the approaching marriage, and gathered This woman was an Ashantee, a tribe thus much :—That the marriage was a noted for cunning and intelligence. She forced one, and was contrary to the inclihad attached herself to Ellen with the feel- nation of the weaker party.
That it had ing of a foster mother, and exercised a been urged repeatedly by Eustis, but that great influence over her. Late that eve- Ellen had put it off from month to month. ning I watched for her at the corner of the That it had twice before been agreed to, street, under the lamp, and as she passed and deferred by her repugnance. That me I called her by name.
Eustis disliked the little girl, and succeedLinda, for that was the name of the ed in removing her from his sight. That slave, carried a letter in her hand. As I Ellen had fallen sick in consequence, and touched her shoulder, she started, and un- was thought to be very ill, but that the consciously let it fall. A glance upon
A glance upon the marriage preparations went on as if nosuperscription showed the hand writing of thing was the matter. my wife, which was large and peculiar. I Gaining confidence by degress, the wostepped forward and set my foot upon the man communicated a variety of minute inletter to hide it from Linda, and then spoke formation, confirming my worst suspicions. to her. A slouched hat and a heavy cloak of any injunction laid upon her mistress concealed my dress and features.
by the former husband, however, she either “Your mistress is not well,” said I, had no knowledge, or would communicate “but I have a receipt that will cure her.” none. “Who are you?”
Finding that nothing further could be "I am a magician. Your mistress is gathered from this source, I sent her away, dying of an evil-eye.”
and presently took up the letter which was The woman was silent for a moment, and directed to James Eustis, Esq. I took it seeing the impression which I had made, I home to my lodgings, and sat down with a threw back the cloak and showed the beard palpitating heart to its perusal. and features of the Italian teacher.
It was a sad and humble petition for the “Lor bless us, master, is it you?”
restoration of her child. It alluded to the “You know me? Well
, here's money. injunction, in a spirit of acquiescence. She You can keep a secret, Linda. Tell no was ready to accomplish to the letter the person, not even your mistress, nor Mr. will of her former husband, but asked for Eustis, that you have seen me here, and I gentleness and forbearance from his friend will give you more money.”
and successor. “Lor! master is very generous—mas
Figure to yourself, if possible, the agony ter is a great gentleman : massy! I'll go to of grief, passion, and remorse, that posworld's end for him!”
sessed me through that dreadful night. "You were sent to Mr. Eustis with a Nature struggled with will. I longed, with letter.”
a feverish impatience, to go instantly and “Yes; Lor me, where is it! I've lost clasp her to my bosom. Duty and incliit! What'll Missus say to that! Christ nation urged it; but the desire of a more a' massy, I'm very miserable. O, good full and perfect revenge, aided by a singugentleman, find me the letter!” said she, lar feeling, in which there was a mixture of fumbling confusedly in her dress, and look fatalism, a kind of “ biding of the time,” ing up and down the pavement. “I'll held me back. O, for a grain of common give 'e back ’e money, and a sight more to sense to break in upon and spoil the plots find 'e letter."
of all high tragedies ! “Meet me here to-morrow at this hour, The next day, I met the woman at the -it is nine o'clock,—and you shall have appointed place and hour, and gave her the the letter and money with it; but be silent letter sealed as I had found it
, and with now, and answer every question I ask you, the same impression. My own seal ring and take care how you deceive me, for fear was the counterpart of my wife's, with a of the evil-eye that's on your mistress and slight difference in the engraving of the may be set on you too.”
names, which would, I thought, escape deWhile she stood trembling and atten- | tection. The initial letters of both our