hardly do for you to insinuate such a thing."
" Of course not. But I have a friend of my own
kidney who has often served me before, and I am
LIGHT AHEAD. GJj
going to make a requisition on him for this especial
" Indeed ! And who might that friend be?"
" He might be one Thomas Handy, alias, Tom
Handy a'chap of notable parts and, moreover,
is the said Tom Handy."
" And of course Tom Handy is still as ready t
serve his friend as ever 1"
" My hand for that. But how am I to manage
this for you ?"
" You must fall in with the old man."
" He don 't love me very tenderly, you must re-
" I am fully aware of that fact. But I have been
wearing down his prejudice for the past week with
might and main."
" You have ?"
" O, yes. Whenever I could manage to get
something to say about Thomas Handy, I lugged
your honourable self in, head and shoulders."
" He did n't like my company, I presume]"
"It did disturb him at first. But I surprised
him with the pleasing information that there had
occurred in you a most salutary change of late."
" O, dear ! ha ! ha ! ha ! Hush, Harry, or you
will kill me !"
" Mainly brought about, I informed him, by my
influence and example. That you had been a w T ild
boy in your time, there was no denying. But
having sowed your wild oats, you were now setting
seriously and earnestly about the business of life."
"He did n't believe you?"
" He did every word ! It would have done
your heart good to see how pleased he was. * You
see, Harry ,'"he said, 'how much depends on every
individual. We do not stand alone. Every act
whether good or evil, carries its salutary or inju-
66 BELL MARTIN.
rious effect into society, and there reproduces it-
self, often in innumerable forms. Let this truth,
my dear son, sink deep into your heart. And for
the sake of others, if not for your own, let every
act bear with it a healthful influence.' Now what
do you think of that 7"
"He'd make a first-rate preacher, wouldn't
" So I thought."
" And he is prepossessed in my favour !"
" O, decidedly. Now I want you to fall in with
him as soon as possible, for no time is to be lost,
and do the right thing by me. I need not tell you
in what way. That, of course, you understand."
" When do you think you can see him 7"
" I do n't know. I must fall in with him by ac-
cident, of course. Let me consider. At what time
does he go to the store after dinner 7"
"About four o'clock."
" Takes wine pretty freely at the table 7"
*" And is always in a good humor afterwards 7"
" I '11 meet him, then, by accident, on some cor- -
ner between your house and the store, and walk
down the street with him. As we go along, I will
do my prettiest to interest him ; so that when we
pause at the store door, he '11 say, ' Come ! won 't
you walk in, Thomas 7' Of course I will go in.
How do you like that style of doing the thing 7"
" Admirably !"
" But is he alone much in his counting-room 7"
" Yes, especially in the afternoon. There is a
cosy little office just back of the main counting-
room, in which is a large arm-chair, that has gen-
erally some attractions for him after a hearty
dinner. He will, in all probability, invite you in
LIGHT AHEAD. 67
there. If he does, you will have a fair chance at
" And I '11 do my prettiest."
" I will trust you for that, Tom. You are true
blue, when you undertake to perform a friendly
About four o'clock on the next day, Thomas
Handy met old Mr. Ware, " by accident," a short
distance from his store. During the dinner hour,
Henry Ware had artfully introduced his friend in
conversation, and by the relation of some imagin-
ed circumstances, and the repetition of some im-
agined sentiments attributed to him, very much
interested his father in the young man. He was,
in consequence, prepared to give him a pleasant
word and a bland smile, which Handy appropri-
ated very coolly and very naturally. Then, as he
was going the same way, a pleasant conversation
sprung up, which was just at a point of interest
when they arrived at Mr. Ware's store, that made
him feel inclined to invite the young man to walk
in. Of course, Thomas Handy made no excuse. In
a few moments after, he was snugly seated in the
cosy little office of which his friend had told him,
with Mr. Ware as snugly fixed in his great arm-
" Well, Thomas," remarked the old gentleman,
after he had got fairly settled, looking at Handy
with quite a complacent, benevolent expression on
his countenance, " it must be as great a pleasure to
your father as it is to ma, to know that you young
men are beginning to see with different eyes, and
to act from different views."
" Indeed, sir, it is," was the prompt, cool, heart v
less reply. " My father seems like another man.
But you can, no doubt, enter into his feelings more
fully than I can."
" Very truly said. None but a father can pos-
68 BELL MARTIN.
sibly realize, fully, a father's feelings under such
circumstances. For my part, I can say, that the
change which has become apparent in Harry, has
taken a mountain from my heart."
" No doubt of it, sir ! No doubt of it !" was
Handy's fervent response. "For the change in
Harry has been great indeed."
" Indeed it has."
" And I most earnestly trust that he will abide
" Abide by it 1 He must abide by it, Thomas !
I cannot think of his going back again. It would
almost kill me. Q, if he only knew the world of
misery I have suffered in consequence of his past
life, he would die rather than think of returning
to his previous habits !"
There was a tremulousness and a pathos in the
old man's voice, that even reached, in some de-
gree, the ice-bound feelings of the young man with
whom he was conversing. But the "effect was
neither deep nor permanent. The selfish end he
had in view, quickly dispersed even these small
touches of nature.
"The influence of habits, confirmed by long in-
dulgence, are not thrown off in a day, Mr. Ware,"
he replied, in a serious tone. " Both Henry and
myself will have to struggle manfully before we
have fully conquered. And struggle we will. In
this effort we need all the kind consideration and
aid that we can receive from those upon whom
we have any claims."
" And surely you have both, Thomas."
" We have, so far as our condition can be ap-
preciated. But you, who have never felt the
force of such habits as we have contracted, can
no more fully sympathize with us, than we can
fully sympathize with you. Do you understand
LIGHT AHEAD. 69
" I do. But why do you speak thus ?"
" I have been led, almost involuntarily, to say
what I have, Mr. Ware, from from "
" From what, Thomas 1 Speak out plainly."
The young man hesitated for a few moments,
as if deliberating some question in his mind, and
then said, in a serious tone
" I had no thought of saying what I am now al-
most compelled to say, seeing that I have excited,
unintentionally, a concern in your mind. You
must not, of course, intimate to Harry, even re-
motely, that I have said what I am now about
" O, no, of course not, Thomas."
" You know, then, I presume, that he has been
addressing Bell Martin 7"
" I learned from him yesterday that her father
had consented to the marriage."
" So I heard last evening."
" But he thinks it time enough for them to get
married in a year from now."
" Do you know that the first effort Henry made
to reform his course of life, was after his affections
had become fixed upon Bell ?"
" I do not know it certainly."
" It is true. We are intimate friends, and I know
it to be true. He loves her fondly and passionately
and is, of course, very much disappointed at the
stand which her father has taken. A year is a long
time to wait."
"It is a good while but it will soon pass
To him it will not. The hours, and days, and
weeks, will drag wearily and heavily. To speak
frankly and seriously, Mr. Ware, I fear for its
effect upon him. You know his ardent temper-
70 BELL MARTIN.
ament, and how little used he has been to self-
" You speak seriously, Thomas."
" It is because I feel serious in this matter. I
am much attached to Harry, and whatever deeply
concerns him concerns me."
" In what way do you fear that it will affect him
"Indeed, sir, I can hardly tell myself. But I
have a vague fear that I cannot shake off a dim,
troubled idea that has haunted me ever since I saw
his strong manifestation of disappointment. For
relief of mind, he may fall back in some weak
moment, upon old and exciting pleasures, and
then his danger would be great, very great. I
tremble to think of it."
" You certainly alarm me, Thomas."
I do not wish, Mr. Ware, to disturb your
mind, and would not do so, did I not feel so deep
an interest in your son. An ounce of preven- .
tion, you know, is worth a pound of cure. It is
in the hope that through your influence all dan-
ger may be put far away, that I now speak to you
as I do."
" Thank you kindly, Thomas. I feel the force
of your generous interest. But if that is all, we
need not^disturb our minds. They might just as
well be married now as a year hence."
" So I think. There can be no reason for
" None at all. I will see Mr. Martin, and have
that matter settled at once."
" You have indeed, sir, taken a load from my
mind," said Handy, earnestly and sincerely.
Then, after a brief pause for reflection, he added :
" Urge Mr. Martin to permit the marriage to
take place at a very early period. I shall never
feel that Henry is perfectly safe, until this new
IN DIFFICULTY AGAIN. 71
relation is formed. Then, all danger will be
' It shall take place soon, I pledge myself for
that," replied Mr. Ware. " I understand Bell's
father as well as he understands himself, and I
know how to take him. Trust me, sir ; they shall
be married as early as they wish."
Thus much gained, Handy soon after arose, and
bade Mr. Ware good day.
IN DIFFICULTY AGAIN.
ONE morning, a week after the interview men-
tioned in the concluding portion of the last chap-
ter, our two young men met, as usual, at the office
cf Henry Ware, which was still retained, and all
the appearances of studious attention to business
" You look grave, Harry," remarked his friend,
as he came in.
" I look no graver than I feel," was the gloomy
" What has turned up now 1 Are we never to
be done with these cross purposes 1"
" I 'm afraid not. It seems as if the old Harry
himself had turned against us. If it had not been
for that cursed affair in Chestnut street, all would
have gone on swimmingly. But that, I see very
plainly, is going to mar the whole plot."
" Old Martin has given his consent to an early
" So he has. But"
72 BELL MARTIN.
"But what 1"
" Bell, confound her ! can 't get ready for two
months to come !"
" The devil !"
" Ain 't it too bad !" And Ware paced the floor
of his office with hurried steps, his countenance
expressive of anger and disappointment. " Can't
get ready for two months ! Confound it ! Why, I
could get ready in two days, and so could she, if
it were not for some romantic notion she has prob-
ably got into her head. They 're all a set of silly
fools any how !"
" You'll soon take the romance out of her, if
you ever get a chance !"
"Won't I? She'll not have much left, six
months after we 're married, if that event ever
" Not for two months, you say 1"
" Too bad ! Too bad ! But can 't you change
" No. I tried last evening, as far as I could. But
it was no use. She says that she cannot possibly
be ready before the middle of May."
" That trial will come up on the first."
" So Blackstone says."
" What then is to be done 1"
" That is a question easy to ask, but difficult to
answer. I see no chance of escape from the
" I can tell you of one way that occurs to me at
" Name it, then, for Heaven's sake !"
" Absent yourself from the city on the day the
case is called. It will then have to go on without
you, or be postponed, so that you will have time
to get married before it again comes up."
" The very thing !" ejaculated Ware, striking
'iN DIFFICULTY AGAIN. 73
his fist with his open hand, his whole countenance
brightening up. "It's the very thing, Tom! And
I 'if do it."
"There will then only remain one danger."
"What is that?"
" Your name will be called as a witness. Should
any one there, who knows Bell's father, inform
him of the fact, the jig will be up for you as effec-
tually as if you had made your appearance."
" True true," and the countenance of Ware
" And the danger would be greatly increased,
were the names of the witnesses published, which
will in all probability be the case."
" Still it is the only course that promises any
" It is ; and therefore the only course you can
" Do you intend remaining, Tom V
" I havn 't made up my mind yet."
" You had better go also."
" Why do you think so 1"
" As we are the two principal witnesses on the
part of the prosecution, our absence will make it
absolutely necessary to postpone the trial to
another term. If that can be done, I am safe."
" That is true again. I will go."
''Now I begin to see a little daylight ahead,"
remarked Ware in a more cheerful tone. " We '11
outwit Mr. Attorney General in spite of his teeth."
" Mr. Ware, I believe." said an individual, enter-
ing at the moment.
" My name," was the half haughty reply, for the
individual who addressed him, had not, to his eye,
the appearance of a gentleman.
"You are required to appear and give bail to
the amount of four thousand dollars as a witness
in the case of the State vs. P ," was the mo-
74 BELL MARTIN.
notonous response of the visiter, who added In
a moment afterwards, " The bail is required by
twelve o'clock this morning,'' and then with-
Neither of the young men spoke for nearly five
minutes after the officer retired. At length Ware
said, in a low but firm tone :
" It 's all over, Tom ! The fates are against me.
I might as well give up at once. But it is hard,
devilish hard ! after all the trouble I have taken,
thus to have the cup dashed to the earth, at the
moment it is about to touch my lips !"
" It is hard, Harry. But you must bear it like
a man. Something yet may turn up in your fa-
" I have ceased to look for it. The effort to get
bail will, no doubt, lead to a full exposure of the
" Things look cloudy enough," remarked Harry,
after musing for some time. " I do not see any
way of escape."
"There is none, I presume," Ware gloomily
replied. " Any how, I shall prepare myself for the
A FURTHER PROSPECT.
IT was just eleven o clock when Henry Ware
received the notice requiring him to give bail, as
mentioned in the last chapter, and at twelve that
day bail had to be produced. The unexpected
A FURTHER PROSPECT. 75
aspect which this difficulty, already well nigh in-
surmountable, had assumed, made the young man
feel like giving up all further efforts at compassing
a concealment of his visit to P 's establishment.
After a long silence, in which his own mind, and
that of his friend, were searching, but in vain, for
some new expedient, Handy asked, in rather a
" Can you think of nothing, Harry]"
" Nothing," was the brjef, gloomy response.
" Who will go your bail T'
" Can 't you ]"
" Of course I would not be received, in conse-
quence of being a witness myself. Nor am I at all
sure that a similar notice to yours will not be
served on me before the next hour."
I see the difficulty."
" But you must have bail."
"I know that too well. And yet, I can think of
no one except the old man. But it will never do
to make application in that quarter."
" Can 't you humbug him into it in some way 1"
" How 1"
" I don 't know exactly how. But still, may it
not be done 1 Can 't you invent a plausible story
that will mislead him in regard to the real facts in
the case, and so get him to stand by you 1"
" That Alight be done, though I do not exactly
" Has he given any attention to the case T'
" Not much, I believe. When the affair occurred,
it was a kind of three days' wonder with him, as
with others. Since then, I presume, he has scarce-
ly thought of it."
" Suppose, then, you trump up some story about
your knowledge of an old quarrel between P
and , and that you have been summoned to
testify in regard to that 1 Don 't you think that
76 BELL MARTIN.
you might come it over him in some such style as
" That 's it again !" ejaculated Ware, starting to
his feet, and beginning to walk about his office
with a quick step, while the dark shadow that had
rested upon his face, was quickly dispersed by an
exulting smile. " You are certainly rare at inven-
tions. But for you, I never could have got along
even half so far as I now am, in this most per-
" You think it can be done without difficulty 7"
" O yes. He '11 believe any well told tale just
now. Still, I dread to approach him on the sub-
ject, for fear that something in my countenance
or tone of voice may betray me. There is so
much at stake, and I feel so deeply on the subject,
that I am beginning to lose the calm assurance
that has thus far stood me such good service."
" How would it do for me to go to him T'
"I am sure I do not know. He would very
naturally wish to know why I did not see him
" Of course he would. But I can manage him
well enough in regard to that. The last interview
I had with the old codger gave me a clue to his
character. I read him like a book, then, and know
him now from A. to Z."
" If you are perfectly willing to go, Tom, I shall
be glad enough to have you do so, and am satis-
fied to trust the matter to your sound judgment.
But time presses. I must be at the Court House
in less than an hour, or there will be the devil to '
Ten minutes after, young Handy entered the
store of Mr. Ware, with a manner perfectly calm
and assured, while there sat upon his countenance
an expression of concern, not deep, but clearly
defined, and not to be mistaken.
A FURTHER PROSPECT. 77
" Ah, good morning, Thomas I am pleased to
see you," said Mr. Ware, encouragingly. " Walk
back into the counting-room."
Handy followed the old gentleman into his
Counting-room, the door of which Mr. Ware closed
after him, purposely, in order that their conversa-
tion might be private. The coming in of Handy
made him think of his son, and he felt desirous of
conversing more in regard to him, with one who
was on such intimate terms with, and seemed to
iake so deep an interest in him.
" Well, Thomas," he said, in a cheerful tone,
after they were seated, " what news is stirring in
your way V'
" Nothing of consequence, except" and then
he hesitated and looked a little grave.
" Except what, Thomas ?" asked Mr. Ware, ex-
hibiting some little concern of manner.
"To be plain, honest and frank with you at
once, Mr. Ware, a course that I always like to
pursue, I have come in this morning to see you
about an annoying circumstance that has occur-
red to Henry."
" To Henry T' said the old man, with anxiety.
" What of him, Thomas?"
" Oh ! it 's nothing at which to be alarmed.
In fact, it is nothing but a little matter of annoy-
ance to him."
" Speak out plainly and to the point, my young
friend," Mr. Ware now said, in a firm, decided
" It is, in fact," resumed Handy, " only one of
the results of former imprudent associations. Our
sins often visit us with penalties, after our earnest
repentance, and repudiation of them."
" Speak plainly, Mr. Handy."
" I will, sir. It is now nearly a year since Hen-
ry and myself were induced, among other indis-
78 BELL MARTIN.
cretions, to visit P 's gambling rooms, and en-
gage in play. Three months' experience, howev-
er, completely cured us of our folly. During that
time both Henry and myself became acquainted
with P , and also with several regular visiters
at his establishment. Among these, was an ill-
conditioned, quarrelsome individual. One night
a dispute arose between him and P , when a
brief rencontre ensued, in which he was severely
beaten. Henry and myself were both present,
and saw the whole affair. Ever since that time,
it appears, that this individual held a grudge
against P , and has, I am told, frequently in-
sulted him with the intention of drawing him into
another fight. A few weeks ago, as you will
remember, he quarrelled with P , and was kill-
ed. Now, some one has informed Blackstone,
the Attorney General, that we we're present at
the former affray, and he has summoned us both
to appear as witnesses in the case. But what he
wants us to prove, is more than I can figure
" Is that all V 1 said Mr. Ware, breathing more
" That is the whole merit of the case but it is
not all that troubles Henry's mind."
" What does trouble his mind?"
" The fact that he has been required to give bail
for his attendance as a witness."
" Why has that course been pursued ?" asked
Mr. Ware, gravely.
"I must explain a little to make that matter
clear to you. When Henry first learned that the
Court required his attendance, he went to the
State's Attorney, in the hope that he could induce
him to Ieav 7 e his name off, stating to him, frankly,
that his presence in such a place was at a time
when he had suffered himself to be led away into
A FURTHER PROSPECT. 79
irregular habits, by injudicious association, and
that he had very particular reasons for wishing
this fact not to see the light, as he feared that it
would now lead to a false judgment in regard to
him in quarters where it was of the utmost mo-
ment that he should be thought of favorably. But
Mr. Blackstone could not be induced to waive his
evidence. At a subsequent interview, when he
had fixed in his own mind about the first of May
as the da)' of his marriage, he mentioned to Mr.
Blackstone that he expected to be unavoidably
absent from the city, at the time the case would
be called. To prevent this, he has been required
to furnish bail."
" Why did he not himself mention this to me,
Thomas 1" asked Mr. Ware.
" I urged him very much to do so," was the cool
reply. " But he said that he was so much troubled
and mortified in regard to it, that he felt sure,
that, in making it known to you, he would be lia-
ble to misapprehension, and be judged more se-
verely than he deserved. I dp really feel sorry
for him he takes the whole thing so hard. And
it does seem hard when a young man is trying
his best to do right, that the consequences of old
indiscretions should visit him, and threaten dis-
grace and injury."
" What amount of bail is required ?" asked the
old gentleman, in a thoughtful tone, after Handy
had ceased speaking.
" Four thousand dollars."
" Four thousand dollars !"
Yes a most exorbitant bail. And it is the
fact of such a large security having been requir-
ed, that troubles Henry so much, though I tell him
that it does not reflect upon him, but upon the
party who stands the prosecution."
" Certainly it does not reflect upon him. It only
80 BELL MARTIN.
shows that his evidence is considered of great im-
portance, and that a strong barrier is to be put in
the way of his absenting himself at the time of the
trial. Of course I must go his bail, and it might
as well be done at once. Will you go with me to
the Court-room ]"
" O, certainly, sir ! Certainly !" was Handy 's
ready and pleased response, as he rose from his
chair. In a few moments after, he left the store,
and, in company with old Mr. Ware, took his way
to the State House.
" I HAVE passed safely another dangerous strait,
with rocks and reefs on every side," said Ware to
his friend, the next day, as they sat conferring in
regard to some future course of action. " With such
a pilot as your very excellent self at the helm, I
begin to feel as if I shall yet gain the desired
" The devil is good to his own, you know, Har-
ry. We must put our trust in him, and I doubt
not but that he will be true to the end."
" So I begin to feel. Still, doubt and uncertain-
ty hang darkly over the future."
" So did it yesterday, in regard to bail. Yet,
when the effort was once made, how the difficulty
vanished, like smoke !"