not allow it."
" And why may I not do it as well as any other perscm ? "
said Captain Newell.
** You are not * any other person,' and you know it," said
Gardis, with flushed cheeks.
" I do not choose to receive a
favor from your hands."
" It is a mere business transaction. Miss Duke."
" It is not. You know you intend to make the repairs
yourself," cried the girl passionately.
" And if I do so intend ? It will only be advancing the
money, and you can pay me interest if you like. The city
will certainly regain her old position in time ; my venture is a
sure one. But I wish to assist you. Miss Duke ; I do not
" And I— win not allow it ! "
" What will you do, then ? "
" God knows," said Gardis. " But I would rather starve
than accept assistance from you." Her eyes were full of tears
as she spoke, but she held her head proudly erect
" And from Saxton ? He has gone North, but he would
be so proud to help you."
" From him least of all."
" Because of his love for you ? "
Gardis was silent.
" Miss Duke, let me ask you one question. If you had
loved Roger Saxton, would you have married him ? "
" Never ! "
" You would have sacrificed your whole life, then, for the
sake of — "
" My country, sir."
" We have a common country, Gardis," answered the young
man gravely. Then, as he rose, " Child," he said, " I shall
not relinquish the charge of your property, given into my
hands by Mr. Copeland Gardiston, and, for your own sake, I
beg you to be more patient, more gentle, as becomes a wo-
man. A few weeks will no doubt see you released from even
your slight obligation to me : you will have but a short time
Poor Gardis ! Her proud scorn went for nothing, then ?
She was overridden as though she had been a child, and even
rebuked for want of gentleness. The drawing-room was
cheerless and damp in the rainy twilight; the girl wore a
faded lawn dress, and her cheeks were pale ; the old house
was chilly through and through, and even the soldier, strong
as he was, felt himself shivering. At this instant enter Cousin
Copeland. "Of course you will spend the night here," he
said heartily. "It is raining, and I must insist upon your
staying over until to-morrow — ^must really insist."
Gardis looked up quickly ; her dismayed face said plainly,
" Oh no, no." Thereupon the young officer immediately ac-
cepted Cousin Copeland's invitation, and took his seat again
with quiet deliberation. Gardis sank down upon the sofa.
" Very well," she thought desperately, " this time it is hope-
less. Nothing can be done."
And hopeless it was. Pompey brought in a candle, and
130 OLD GARDISTON.
placed it upon the table, where its dim light made the large
apartment more dismal than before ; the rain poured down
outside, and the rising wind rattled the loose shutters. Din-
ner was announced — one small fish, potatoes, and corn-bread.
Pale Gardis sat like a statue at the head of the table, and
made no effort to entertain the guest ; but Cousin Copeland
threw himself bravely into the breach, and, by way of diver-
sion, related the whole story of the unchronicled " wife of one
of our grandfather's second cousins," who had turned out to
be a most remarkable personage of Welsh descent, her golden
harp having once stood in the very room in which they were
" Do you not think, my child, that a — a little fire in your
aunt Margaretta's boudoir would — ^would be conducive to our
comfort?" suggested the little bachelor, as they rose from
" As you please," said Gardis.
So the three repaired thither, and when the old red cur-
tains were drawn, and the fire lighted, the little room had at
least a semblance of comfort, whatever may have been in the
hearts of its occupants. Gardis embroidered. Cousin Cope-
land chatted on in a steady little stream, and the guest lis-
tened. " I will step up stairs to my study, and bring down
that file of documents," said the bachelor, rising. He was
gone, and left only silence behind him. Gardis did not raise
her head, but went steadily on with the embroidered robe of
the Queen of Sheba.
"I am thinking," began David Newell, breaking the long
pause at last, " how comfortable you would be. Miss Duke, as
the wife of Roger Saxton. He would take you North, away
from this old house, and he would be so proud and so fond
" The place could be put in order if you did not care to
sell it, and your cousin Copeland could live on here as usual ;
indeed, I could scarcely imagine him in any other home."
" Nor myseli"
" Oh yes, Miss Duke ; I can easily imagine you in New
York, Paris, or Vienna. I can easily imagine you at the opera,
in the picture-galleries, or carrying out to the full your exqui-
site taste in dress."
Down went the embroidery. *' Sir, do you mean to insult
me ? " said the pale, cotton-robed little hostess.
" By no means."
" Why do you come here ? Why do you sneer at my poor
clothes? Why — " Her voice trembl^, and she stopped
" I was not aware that they were poor^or old, Miss Duke.
I have never seen a more exquisite costume than yours on the
evening when we dined here by invitation ; it has been like a
picture in my memory ever since."
" An old robe that belonged to my grandmother, and I
burned it, every shred, as soon as you had gone," said Gardis
Far from being impressed as she had intended he should
be, David Newdl merely bowed ; the girl saw that he set the
act down as ** temper."
" I suppose your Northern ladies never do such things ? "
she said bitterly.
** You are right ; they do not," he answered.
" Why do you come here ? " pursued Gardis. " Why do
you speak to me of Mr. Saxton ? Though he had the fortune
of a prince, he is nothing to me."
" Roger's fortune is comfortable, but Jiot princely. Miss
Duke — by no means princely. We are not princely at the
North," added Newell, with a slight smile, " and neither are
we * knightly/ We must, I fear, yield all claim to those
prized words of yours."
" I am not aware that I have used the words," said Miss
Duke, with lofty indifference.
" Oh, I did not mean you alone— you personally— but all
Southern women. However, to return to our subject:
Saxton I0V66 you, and has gone away with a saddened
This was said gravely. "As though," Miss Duke re-
mailced to herself — '* really as though a heart was of conse-
quence ! *'
" I presume he will soon forget," she said carelessly, as
she took up her embroidery again.
** Yes, no doubt," replied Captain Newell. ** I remember
once on Staten Island, and again out in Mississippi, when he
was even more — Yes, as you say, he will soon forget."
" Then why do you so continually speak of him ? " said
Miss Duke sharply. Such prompt corroboration was not,
after all, as agreeable as it should have been to a well-regu-
"I speak of him, Miss Duke, because I wish to know
whether it is only your Southern girlish pride that speaks, or
whether you really, as would be most natural, love him as he
loves you ; for, in th*e latter case, you would be able, I think,
to fix and retain his somewhat fickle fancy. He is a fine
fellow, and, as I said before, it "would be but natural, Miss
Duke, that you should love him."
*' I do not love him," said Gardis, quickly and angrily, put-
ting in her stitches all wrong. Who was this person, daring
to assume what would or would not be natural foe her to do?
"Very well; I believe you. And now that I know the
truth, I will tdl you why I come here : you have asked mfe
several times. I too love you. Miss Duke."
Gardis had risen. "Tou ? " she said—" you ? "
"Yes, I; I too."
He was standing al^o, and they gazed at each other a
moment in silence.
" I will never marry you," said the giri at last — " never !
never I You do not, can not, understand the hearts of South-
em women, sir."
" I have not asked you to marry me, Miss Duke," said the
young soldier composedly; " and the hearts of Southern wo-
OLD GARDISTON. 133
men are much like those of other women, I presume." Then,
as the girl opened the door to escape, "Tou may gfo away
if you like, Gardis," he said, " but I shall love you all the
same, dear." ^
She disappeared, and in a few moments Cousin Copeland
reentered, with apologies for his lengthened absence. "I
found several other documents I thought you might like to
see," he said eagerly. " They will occupy the remainder of
our evening delightfully."
They did. But Gardis did not return ; neither did she ap-
pear at the breakfast-table the next morning. Captain Newell
rode back to the city without seeing her.
Not long afterward Cousin Copeland received a formal
letter from a city lawyer. The warehouse had found a tenant,
and he, the lawyer, acting for the agent, Captain Newell, had
the honor to inclose the first installment of rent-money, and
remained an obedient servant, and so forth. Cousin Cope-
land was exultant. Gardis said to herself, "He is taking
advantage of our poverty," and, going to her room, she sat
down to plan some way of release. ** I might be a governess,"
she thought. But no one at the South wanted a governess
now, and how could she go North ? She was not aware how
old-fashioned were her little accomplishments — her music, her
embroidery, her ideas of literature, her prim drawings, and
even her deportment. No one made courtesies at the North
any more, save perhaps in the Lancers. As to chemistry,
trigonometry, physiology, and geology, the ordinary studies
of a Northern girl, she knew hardly more than their names.
" We might sell the place," she thought at last, "and go away
somewhere and live in the woods."
This, indeed, seemed the only way open to her. The
house was an actual fact \ it was there ; it was also her own.
A few days later an advertisement appeared in the city news-
paper : " For sale, the residence known as Gardiston House,
situated six miles from the city, on Green River. Apply by
letter,* or on the premises, to Miss Gardiston Duke," Three
days passed* and no one came. The fourth day an applicant
i^peared, and was ushered into the dining-room. He sent
up no name ; but Miss Duke descended hopefully to confer
with him, and found — Captain Newell.
"You!" she said, paling and flushing. Her voice fal-
tered ; she was sorely disappointed.
" It will always be myself, Gardis," said the young many
gravely. "So you wish to sell the old house? I should not
have supposed it."
" I wish to sell it in order to be freed from obligations
forced upon us, sir."
•' Very well. But if / buy it, then what ? "
" You will not buy it, for the simple reason that I will not
sell it to you. You do not wish the place ; you would only
buy it to assist us."
"That is true."
" Then there is nothing more to be said, I believe," said
Miss Duke, rising.
•' Is there nothing more, Gardis ? "
" Nothing, Captain Newell"
And then, without another word, the soldier bowed, and
rode back to town.
The dreary little advertisement remained in a comer of
the newspaper a month longer, but no purchaser appeared.
The winter was rainy, with raw east winds from the ocean,
and the old house leaked in many places. If they had lived
in one or two of the smaller rooms, which were in better con-
dition and warmer than the large apartments, they might have
escaped ; but no habit was changed, and three times a day
the table was spread in the damp dining-room, where the
atmosphere was like that of a tomb, and where no fire was
ever made. The long evenings were spent in the somber
drawing-room by the light of the one candle, and the rain
]3eat against the old shutters so loudly that Cousin Copeland
was obliged to elevate his gentle little voice as he read aloud
to his silent companion. But one evening he found himself
OLD GARDISTON. 135
forced to pause ; his voice had failed. Four days afterward
he died, gentle and placid to the last. He was an old man,
although no one had ever thought so.
The funeral notice appeared in the city paper, and a few
old family friends came out to Gardiston House to follow the
last Gardiston to his resting-place in St Mark's forest church-
yard. They were all sad-faced people, clad in mourning
much the worse for wear. Accustomed to sorrow, they fol-
lowed to the grave quietly, not a heart there that had not its
own dead. They all returned to Gardiston House, sat a
while in the drawing-room, spoke a few words each in turn
to the desolate little mistress, and then took leave. Gardis
was left alone.
Captain Newell did not come to the funeral; he could
not come into such a company in his uniform, and he would
not come without it. He had his own ideas of duty, and his
own pride. But he sent a wreath of beautiful flowers, which
must have come from some city where there was a hot-house.
Miss Duke would not place the wreath upon the coffin, neither
would she leave it in the drawing-room ; she stood a while
with it in her hand, and then she stole up stairs and laid it on
Cousin Copeland's open desk, where daily he had woriced so
patiently and steadily through so many long years. Useless-
ly ? Who among us shall dare to say that ?
A week later, at twilight, old Dinah brought up the young
" Say that I see no one," replied Miss Duke.
A little note came back, written on a slip of paper : " I
beg you to see me, if only for a moment ; it is a business mat-
ter that has brought me here to-day." And certainly it was
a very forlorn day for a pleasure ride: the wind howled
through the trees, and the roads were almost impassable with
deep mire. Miss Duke went down to the dining-room. She
wore no mourning garments; she had none. She had not
worn mourning for her aunt, and for the same reason. Pale
and silent, she stood before the young officer waiting to hear
136 OLD GARDISTON.
his errand. It was this : some one wished to purchase Gar-
diston House — a real purchaser this time, a stranger. Cap-
tain Newell did not say that it was the wife of an army con-
tractor, a Northern woman, who had taken a fancy for an old
family residence, and intended to be herself an old fan^ily in
future; he merely stated the price offered for the house and
its furniture, and in a few words placed the business clearly
before the listener.
Her face lighted with pleasure.
•* At last ! " she said.
" Yes, at last, Miss Duke.*' Theje was a shade of sad-
ness in his tone, but he spoke no word of entreaty. " You
accept ? "
" I do," said Gardis,
" I must ride back to the city," said Daidd Newell, taking
up his Cap, " before it is entirely dark, for the roads are very
heavy. I came out as soon as I heard of the offer. Miss
Duke, for I knew you would be glad, very glad."
" Yes," said Gardis, " I am glad ; very glad." Her cheeks
were flushed now, and she smiled as she returned the young
officer's bow. "Some time, Captain Newell — some time I
trust I shall feel like thanking you for what was undoubtedly
intended, on your part, as kindness," she said.
" It was never intended for kindness at all," said Newell
bluntly. " It was never but one thing, Gardis, and you know
it ; and that one thing is, and always will be, love. Not * al-
ways will be,' though; I should not say that. A man can
conquer an unworthy love if he chooses."
** Unworthy ? " said Gardis involuntarily.
"Yes, unworthy; like this of mine for you. A woman
should be gentle, should be loving ; a woman should have a
womanly nature. But you — ^you — you do not seem to have
anything in you but a foolish pride. I verily believe, Gardis
Duke, that, if you loved me enough to die for me, you would
stiU let me go out of that door without a word, so deep, so
deadly is that pride of yours. What do I want with such a
wife ? No. My wife must love me—love me ardently, as I
shall love her. Farewell, Miss Duke; I shall not see you
again, probably. I will send a lawyer out to complete the
He was gone, and Gardis stood alone in the darkening
room. Gardiston House, where she had spent her life — Gar-
diston House, full of the memories and associations of two
centuries — Gardiston House, the living reminder and the con-
stant support of that family pride in which she had been nur-
tured, her one possession in the land which she had so loved,
the beautiful, desdate South—would soon be hers no longer.
She began to sob, and then when the sound came back to
her, echoing through the still room, she stopped suddenly, as
though ashamed. " I will go abroad," she said ; " there will
be a great deal to amuse me over there." But the comfort
was dreary ; and, as if she must do something, she took a
candle, and slowly visited every room in the old mansion,
many of them long unused. From garret to cellar she went,
touching every piece of the antique furniture, folding back
the old curtains, standing by the dismantled beds, and softly
pausing by the empty chairs; she was saying farewell. On
Cousin Copeland's desk the wreath still lay ; in that room she
cried from sheer desolation. Then, going down to the dining-
room, she found her solitary repast awaiting her, and, not to
distress old Dinah, sat down in her accustomed place. Pres-
ently she perceived smoke, then a sound, then a hiss and a
roar. She flew up stairs ; the house was on fire. Somewhere
her candle must have started the flame ; she remembered the
loose papers in Cousin Copeland's study, and the wind blow-
ing through the broken window-pane ; it was there that she
had cried so bitteriy, forgetting everything save her own lone-
Nothing could be done ; there was no house within sev-
eral miles — no one to help. The old servants were infirm,
and the fire had obtained strong headway; then the high
wind rushed in, and sent the flames up through the roof and
138 OLD GARDISTON.
over the tops of the trees. When the whole upper story was
one sheet of red and yellow, some one rode furiously up the
road and into the garden, where Gardis stood alone, her little
figure illumined by the glare ; nearer the house the two old
servants were at work, trying to save some of the furniture
from the lower rooms.
" I saw the light and hurried back, Miss Duke," began
Captain Newell. Then, as he saw the wan desolation of the
girl's face: " O Gardis I why will you resist me longer ? '* he
cried passionately. " You shall be anything you like, think
anything you like — only love me, dear, as I love you."
And Gardis burst into tears. " I can not help it," she
sobbed ; " everything is against me. The very house is burn-
ing before my eyes. O David, David ! it is all wrong ; every-
thing is wrong. But what can I do when — ^when you hold
me so, and when — Oh, do not ask me any more."
" But I shall," said Newell, his face flushing with deep
happiness. " When what, dear ? "
" Love me ? " said Newell. He would have it spoken.
" Yes," whispered Gardis, hanging her head.
" And I have adored the very shoe-tie of my proud little
love ever since I first saw her sweet face at the drawing-room
window," said Newell, holding her close and closer, and gaz-
ing down into her eyes with the deep gaze of the quiet heart
that loves but once.
And the old house burned on, burned as though it knew a
contractor's wife was watting for it. "I see our Gardis is
provided for," said the old house. " She never was a real
Gardiston— only a Duke ; so it is just as well. As for that
contractor's wife, she shall have nothing; not a Chinese
image, not a spindle-legged chair, not one crocodile cup — no,
not even one stone upon another."
It kept its word : in the morning there was nothing left.
Old Gardiston was gone !
THE SOUTH DEVIL.
The trees that leanM in their love unto trees.
That locked in their loves, and were made so strong,
Stronger than armies ; ay, s tr o n ger than seas
That rush from their caves in a storm of song.
The cockatoo swung in the vines hdow,
And muttering hung on a golden thread.
Or moved on the moss*d bough to and fro.
In plumes of gold and arrayed in red.
The serpent that hung from the sycamore bough.
And swayM his head in a crescent above.
Had f<^ded hb head to the white limb now,
And fondled it dose like a great blade bre.
On the afternoon of the 23d of December, the thermome-
-ter marked eighty-six degrees in the shade on the outside
wall of Mark Deal's house. Mark Deal's brother, lying on
the white sand, his head within the line of shadow cast by a
live-oak, but all the remainder of his body full in the hot sun-
shine, basked liked a chameleon, and enjoyed the heat. Mark
Deal's brother spent much of his time basking. He always
took the live-oak for a head-protector ; but gave himself vari-
ety by trying new radiations around the tree, his crossed legs
and feet stretching from it in a slightly different direction each
day, as the spokes of a wheel radiate from the hub. The
live-oak was a symmetrical old tree, standing by itself ; hav-
ing always had sufficient space, its great arms were straight,
stretching out evenly all around, densely covered with the
small, d^u-k, leathery leaves, unnotched and uncut, which are
as unlike the Northern oak-leaf as the leaf of the willow is
THE SOUTH DEVIL.
unlike that of the sycamore. Behind the live-oak, two tall*
ruined chimneys and a heap of white stones marked where
the mansion-house had been. The old tree had watched its
foundations laid ; had shaded its blank, white front and little
hanging balcony above ; had witnessed its destruction, fifty
years before, by the Indians ; and had mounted guard over
its remains ever since, alone as far as man was concerned,
until this year, when a tenant had arrived, Mark Deal, and,
somewhat later, Mark Deal's brother.
The ancient tree was Spanish to the core ; it would have
resented the sacrilege to the tips of its small acorns, if the
new-comer had laid hands upon the dignified old ruin it
guarded. The new-comer, however, entertained no such in-
tention ; a small out-building, roofless, but otherwise in good
condition, on the opposite side of the circular space, attracted
his attention, and became mentally his residence, as soon as
his eyes fell upon it, he meanwhile standing with his hands in
his pockets, surveying the place critically. It was the pld
Monteano plantation, and he had taken it for a year.
The venerable little out-building was now firmly roofed
with new, green boards ; its square windows, destitute of
sash or glass, possessed new wooden shutters hung by strips
of deer's hide ; new steps led up to its two rooms, elevated
four feet above the ground. But for a door it had only a red
cotton curtain, now drawn forward and thrown carelessly over
a peg on the outside wall, a spot of vivid color on its white.
Underneath the windows hung flimsy strips of bark covered
with brightly-hued flowers.
" They won't live," said Mark Deal.
" Oh, I shall put in fresh ones every day or two," an-
swered his brother. It was he who had wanted the red
As he basked, motionless, in the simshine, it could be
noted that this brother was a slender youth, with long, pale-
yellow hair — ^hair fine, thin, and dry, the kind that crackles if
the comb is passed rapidly through it. His face In sleep was
THE SOUTH DEVIL.
pale and wizened, with deep purple shadows under the closed
eyes ; his long hands were stretched out on the white, hot
sand in the blaze of the sunshine, which, however, could not
alter their look of blue-white cold. The sunken chest and
blanched temples told of illness ; but, if cure were possible, it
would be gained from this soft, balmy, fragrant air, now
soothing his sore lungs* He slept on in peace ; and an old
green chameleon came down from the tree, climbed up on the
sleeve of his brown sack-coat, occupied himself for a moment
in changing his own miniature hide to match the cloth, swelled
out his scarlet throat, caught a fly or two, and then, pleasant-
ly established, went to sleep also in company. Butterflies, in
troops of twenty or thirty, danced in the golden air ; there