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sides of the room, which takes the place of
a dozen tables. And a third- advantage is
that we get a good piece of perpendicular
wall on which to hang pictures, a mirror,
casts, etc., etc

Nobody who has not seen it can have a
complete notion of what a comfortable, cozy
and picturesque result this arrangement pro-
duces. In its origin it was purely accident-
al ; but it would be a good thing to copy,
and seems to me the right solution of the
difficulty always found in treating these
rooms with sloping sides. The second cut.
No. 8, is another solution 6f the same prob-
lem; but this belongs to a modem-built
house, and the owner, who was not the
builder (if he had been, such a thoughtful
architect as he is would have left no flaw nor
botches in his work), has been obliged to
take things as he found them. The sloping
ceiling starts from a point nearer the floor
in this instance than in the other, leaving
just room enough to put some low book-
shelves against the upright portion in one
place, and a sort of deep cupboard against
it in another. In the comer an easel serves
the purpose of a wall, and supports a water-
color drawing (and in this case what a lovely,
tender specimen it is of the beloved old
lile in front of the easel
5, low, roomy Chinese bam-
us to its embraces, that we
to the sloping wall if we
»ut an Oriental could have
mbination of luxury as this
>latform beneath the seat
sy rollers, and we have a
The back is lowered to a
we have a bed ; while the
us arms, long and broad,
height, are a library shelf,
dining table, or a rest for
And all so quietiy managed
fuss 1 There's a shop in
a harmless young man is
Dit a newly devised chair, in
e well-known crowd that
iown the street, from mom
I nothing to do but to look
working for a living. This
certainly earns his living,
immense deal of exercise
5 chair. He shoots it out
; it up with imaginary bed-
into a badly designed nap

on the fancied mattress. Then he has a
nightmare dream, and springs up as if he
were shot, and gives the cogs another
wrench, and makes the bed into a table,
which he sets out with china and eatables,
regardless of cheapness. The inventor hav-
ing forgotten to provide chairs for the com-
pany, the eating the banquet has to be dis-
pensed with, and the young man, joyful at
his escape from an indigestion, dances about,
turns more cogs, and applies himself, by-
means of his tongue and a lead pencil, to
doing up a great deal of correspondence,
still with no chair to sit on, at a writing desk
that has been made by upsetting the dinner
table and turning the bed inside out. There
is, in fact, nothing that can't be made out
of that piece of fumitiu-e ; but, although the
young man comes up smiling after every
gymnastic feat, the spectators seem impressed
with the fact that the advantages of the
chair are dearly bought at such a sacrifice
of time and muscle, and they pass on
reflectively to the next window-show.

All that was pretended to be accomplished
by this elaborate machinery is done without
effort and without loss of time by this sim-
ple cheap Chinese chair, and widi far more
comfortable results. Light cushions are
easily added, and, covered by tasteful woman-
ly hands, make the chair more easy to the
invalid or old person, who has more leisure
than the most of us to enjoy it ; but the well
person does not need such additions, for the
bamboo makes a sufficiently soft and springy

The owner of this sky parlor and of its
belongings has found a use for Japanese
scrolls that shows how fit they are for deco-
ration, and yet that to use them for this pur-
pose does not oblige us to fix them perma-
nently on the walls. One end of the roll
lies on the book-case or cupboard under the
sloping roof, and being held in its place by
a book or bronze laid in front of it, the
other end is carried up and fastened at the
angle where the sloping roof and the flat
ceUing meet. The two scrolls in the draw-
ing are decorated with colored figures on a
gold ground, and they light up the comer
of the room very cheerfully, and so take off
fix)m the stifftiess of the ceiling-angles, giv-
ing, though quite unintentionally, something
of a tent-like expression to the room. Of
course, it would not often be desirable to
use the scrolls in this way ; but rooms roofed
like this are common enough, and this hint
may help some one who does not know how
to use the sloping wall.

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In our small New York — or why not say
our small American — ^rooms, since a large
room is certainly the exception? — ^in our
small American rooms, then, we want to
leave the floor as free as possible, and to
put on the walls whatever can be conven-
iently given to their keeping. The Moorish
gun-rack, cut No. 9, which Mr. Lathrop has
copied from the photograph of one of Reg-
nault's pictures, "The Guardian of the Ha-
rem," an Algerian subject, i? a hint of what I
mean. It would make, with the shelf above
it, a most convenient hat-and-umbrella-rack
for the entry ; but, of course, its pleasantest
use would be to support some choice arms
on the rack, and vases, or casts, on the
shelves. With the Turks and Algerians
these shelves are common enough, and they
are painted all over in bright, harmonious
colors ; flowers and ornaments on a blue or
green-blue ground — ^the same sort of deco-
ration that is seen on their camphor trunks,
and on cradles and family chests and cup-
board doorsf in Germany. If it could only
be done well by our ordinary painters — ^if
they had the natural eye and feeling for it
which even these rough Turks and rude
Fatherland peasants have, we could get a
little more color and cheerfulness into our
^ooms. But we are driven for anything of
this sort to the most expensive places, and
whatever we get there is a luxury, and we
have to watch over our purchases and our
dearly bought decorations as if they were
croupy children. At Herter*s and at Cot-
tier's there are several pretty hanging-shelves,
or 6tag^res, as we like to call shelves in French.
They sometimes have little cupboards below
the shelves in which frail objects of curiosity,
or beauty, or both in one, can be kept under
lock and key.

This clearing of the floor and so making
up somewhat for the scrimped rooms we
most of us have to live in, is a point of no
little importance in relation to comfort, and
yet it is one we seldom give much thought
to. The tendency is to crowd our rooms
beyond their capacity, by which we make
ourselves very uncomfortable, and destroy
the value, as decoration, of many pieces,
and their real usefulness as articles of furni-
ture. What with easels, chairs not meant for
use, little teetery stands, pedestals, and the
rest of the supernumerary family filling up
the room left by the solid and supposed use-
ful pieces, it is sometimes a considerable test

of one's dexterity and presence of mind to
make one's way from end to end of a long
New York drawing-room. Mignon's egg-
dance was as nothing to it. In such an
enterprise these unfortunate people are much
to be pitied (they are all men, of course),
whose feet are not only too large for the
work they have to do, but are unmanagea-
ble besides, and always throwing out to
right and left, and getting their owner into
scrapes. A New York parior of the kind
called " stylish," where no merely useful
thing is permitted, and where nothing can
be used with comfort, is always overcrowded;
things are bought from pure whim, or
because the buyer doesn't know what to do
with her money ; and as the parlor is only
used on what are called state occasions,
what would be the good of having easy-
going, comfortable things in it ? So every-
thing bought for show goes there ; and as
the temptation to New York rich people is
to be all the rime buying things for show, the
inevitable result is, that in time the intruding
camel crowds out the occupant of the tent

Scattered through this article are four or
five wood-cuts that have been lost like little
Bo-peep's sheep, and are just now come up
cheerfully huddling together, at the very
tail-end of rime. Cut No. 10 is of a wriring-
desk, which looks plain enough ; but the eye
of faith can enjoy its solidity, the elegance
of its moldings, and the dead luster of its
black surface relieved here and there with
mahogany-red or russet details.

No. 1 1 is a good hint for a screen, out of
a Japanese picture-book; the stand is framed
together and decorated with a painted pat-
tern, and the screen itself is made of breadths
of some prettily patterned material hanging
loose by rings from the topmost rail. These
strips are sewed together at the top, but near
the bottom they are allowed to part, and
the decorated framing of the screen shows
between the openings.

Nos. 12 and 13 are specimens of the
small grates I spoke of in a former article,
as promised us by the Cottiers. They are
now come, and are even better than we had
looked for. Mr. Morris himself designed
some of the patterns, and some of his pret-
tiest poetry has got itself mixed up with this
cast-iron work, and is quite at home there.
These fixe-places are as good as they are
handsome, and give out as much heat as if
they were ugly and clumsy.

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* Mv heart's uneasiness is simply told,
I liate the Greeks, although they give me gold.
Tills firm right hand shall foil my Yemen's ends.
If Heaven will kindly save me from my friend*."
After Dryden.

** Let me present my friend," said Eunice
at ODce, without the slightest confusion.
Xolan meanwhile was sitting listlessly on
did not understand one

! ! Mons. Philippe ! " cried

him eagerly ; and, as he

ssed him in French, say-

isent you to the Major

officer :

iend, Mons. Philippe, a
>ther in his business, to
!nce in Paris he has left
dies. He is kind enough

to act as the intendant of our little party.
May I ask you to address him in French ?"

In this suggestion the Major Morales,
who was already a little suspicious, when he
found a woman conducting the principal
conversation of this interview, found a cer-
tain excuse. The Spanish officers in the
Government of Louisiana all spoke French,
as the people did who were under their
command. They were, indeed, in large
measure, chosen from the Low Countries that
they might be at home in that language.
But there was no reason for such selection
in the appointment of officers who served in
Mexico, like Morales ; nor could Eunice, at
the first glance, be supposed to know whether
he spoke French or not.

In truth, he did speak that language very
ill. And after a stately " Bon jour," his first
questions to Mons. Philippe halted and
broke so badly, that with a courtly smile he
excused himself, and said that if the lady
would have the goodness to act as inter-

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preter, he would avail himself of her media-

"Your name is not mentioned on this
lady's passport, Monsieur Philippe."

" I was not in Orieans when it was grant-
ed. It is, I believe, a general permit to the
Donna Eunice Peny and her party."

"Have you, then, lately arrived frem

" The worshipful Don Silas has just now
sailed for Paris. For myself, I only over-
took the ladies, by the aid of horses often
changed, at the rapids of the Red River.
I count myself fortunate that I overtook
them. His Excellency was himself {leased
to direct me to use every means at his com-
mand in their service, and I have done so."

Nolan would not have said this were it
not true. Strange- to say, it was literally
and perfectiy true. For one of the absurdi-
ties of the divided command which gave
Louisiana to one Spanish Governor and
Texas to another at this time, was the pre-
posterousjealousy , which maintained between
these officers a sort of armed or guarded
relation, as if one were a Frenchman
because his province had a French name,
and only the other were a true officer of
the Catholic King. An absurdity, but not
an unusual absurdity. Just such an absurd-
ity, not twenty years before, made the dis-
ccwd between Comwallis and Clinton, which-
gave to Washington the victory of York-
town, and gave to America her independ-

So was it, that while the Marquis of Casa
Calva at New Orleans was Nolan's cordial
friend, the Governor Salcedo, who had suc-
ceeded De Nava at Chihuahua, was watch-
ing and dogging him as an enemy.

" Will my lady ask the hidalgo what was
the public news in Paris ? Our two crowns,
—or, rather, His Catholic Majesty's crown
and the First Consul of France — they are
in good accOTd ? What were the prospects
of the treaty?"

"France and Spain were never better
friends," replied Nolan, " if all is true that
seems. The public journals announce the
negotiations of a treaty. Of its articles
more secret, even the Major Morales will
pardon me if I do not speak. He will
respect my confidence."

The truth was, that even at this early
moment a suspicion was haunting men's
minds, of what was true before the month
was over, that by the treaty of Ildefonso
the Spanish King would cede the territory
of Loui^ana to Napoleon.
Vol. XI.— 33.

Major Morales had heard some rumor of
this policy even in San Antonio. The allu-
sion to it made by Nolan confirmed him in
his first suspicion, that this young French-
man, who could speak no Spanish, was some
unavowed agent of the First Consul, Napo-

If he were, it was doubtless his own busi-
ness to treat him with all respect.

At the moment, therefore, that Nolan
confessed he must speak with reserve, the
Spaniard's doubts as to his character gave
way entirely. He offered his hand frankly
to the young Frenchman, and bade him
and the lady rely on his protection.

"Your party is quite too small," he said.
" I am oi5y sorry that I cannot detail a fit
escort for you. But I am charged with a
special duty — the arrest of an American
freebooter who threatens us with an army
of Keimy, — Kenny — tuckians. The Amen-
cans have such hard names! They are
indeed allies of the savages! But I will
order four of mv troopers to accompany
you to Nacogdocnes, and the Commandant
th^e can do more for you."

Nolan and Eunice joined in begging him
not to weaken his force. They were quite
sufficient for their own protection, they said.
The servants were none of them cowards,
and had had some experience with then-
weapons. But the Major was firm in his
Castilian politeness. And as any undue
firmness on their part in rejecting so cour-
teous an offer must awaken his suspicions,
they were obliged to comply with his wish,
and accept the inopportune escort which he
provided for them.

Inez, meanwhile, wild with curiosity and
excitement, as the colloquy passed through
its different stages of suspicion and of con-
fidence, had not dared express her fear, her
amusement, or her surprise, even by a
glance. She saw it was safest for her to
drop her veil, and to sit the impassive Cas-
tilian maiden, fresh ftom a nunnery, which
the Major Morales supposed her to be.

As for old Ransom, the major-domo of
Eunice's establishment, he sat at a respect-
ful distance, heeding every word of the con-
versation, in whatever language it passed,
with a face as free from expression as the
pine knot on the tree next him. Once and
again he lifted his eyes to the heavens with
that wistful look of his, which was rather
the glance of an astronomer than of a
devotee. But the general aspect of the
man was of an impatient observer of events,
who had himself, Cassandra like, stated in

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advance, what must be and was to be, and
was now grieved that he must await the slow
processes of meaner intelligences.

At last his patience was relieved. Major
Morales drew from his haversack a slip of
paper, on which he wrote :

" By order of the King :
Know all men, that the Lady Eunice and Lady
Inei, with Mens. Philippe, the intendant of their
household, vrith one Ransom and four other servants,
hare free

Pass and Escort
to the King's loyal city of

Swi Antonio B^xar ; under direction of the mili-
tary commandant, and after inspection by me.

. Major of Artillery.
Long live the King ! **

He then told oflf a corporal or sergeant
with three troopers, and bade them, nothing
loath, accompany the Orleans party to Nac-
ogdoches. He gave his hand courteously
to the Sefiora Etmice and Mons. Philippe ;
touched his hat as courteously to the Seno-
rita Inez, and even threw his party into mil-
itary order as the others passed, and gave
them a military salute as his last farewell.

** Save me from my friends," said Nolan,
as he joined the Donna Eunice after this
formality was over, and each party was out
of sight of each other. " Save me from my
friends. This civility of your friend the
Major is more inconvenient to us than the
impudence of my Captain on the prairie

"I see it is," said Eunice, thoughtfully.
"I am afraid I have done wrong. But
really, Captain Nolan, I was so eager to
take you under our protection, — I knew my
brother would be so glad to serve you, — I
thought the Governor had this very purpose
in his mind, — that I thought, even if the truth
was for once good policy, I would tell him
the truth still!"

And she pretended to laugh, but she
almost cried.

** Of course you could tell him nothing
else," said he.

" Indeed I could not. Nobody could ask
me actually to betray you by name to yoiu:

" I hope not," said the Kentuckian, laugh-
ing without reserve. "If indeed they are
my enemies. I wish I could tell them at sight.
If they would show their colors as they
make us show ours, it would be well and
good," he added. " If when we see a buck-
skin rascal with the King of Spain's cock-
ade, he would wear a feather besides, to say
irtiether he is a Texan Spaniard or an

Orleans Spaniard, that would do. But pray
do not be anxious, Miss Eunice. My anx-
ieties are almost over now. I can take good
care of myself, and the King of Spain seems
likely to take care of you. I am well dis-
posed to believe old Ransom, that your
father has gone to the King* to teU him all
about it"

Eunice said that she did not see how he
could speak so. How could he bring his
party up to them, if there were these four
spies hanging on all the way ?

"I can see," replied Nolan, laughing,
" that dear Ransom would like nothing bet-
ter than to blow out their brains, and throw
them all into the next creek. But really
that is a very ungracious treatment of men
who only want to take care of fair ladies.
We must not be jealous of their attentions."

Then he added more seriously :

" I am afraid this meeting may cut off
from me the pleasure of many such rides as
this, and, believe me, I have looked forward
eagerly to more of them than was reason.
As soon as these fellows will spare me, I
must ride across and meet my party, and
warn them not to come too near your line
of travel. But I can put another * inten-
dant ' in my place, and, if need be, more
than one; and I can leave you the satis-
faction, if it is any, to know that I am not
far away."

" If it is any ! What would my brother
think if he did not suppose that five of you
were behind Inez, and five before ; five on
the right hand and five on the left. Still I
suppose we are perhaps even safer now."
This somewhat anxiously.

" Dear Miss Eunice, you are never so
safe in this world as when ^ou make no pre-
tense of strength, while, m truth; you are
well guarded. When I am weak, then I
am strong." This he said with his voice
dropping, and very reverently. "If this is
true in the greatest things ; if it is true in
trials where the devil is nearest, all the more
is it true in the wilderness. A large party,
with the fuss of its encampment, attracts
every Bedouin savage, and every cut-throat
greaser, within a hundred mUes. They
come together like crows. Bi^t a handful
of people like yours will most likely ride to
San Antonio without seeing savage or
Christian, except such as are at the fort and
the ferries. Then the moment these four
gentlemen are tired of you, I shall be in
communication, and my men in buckram
will appear."

" Men in buckram ! that is too bad^" said

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Inez, who had joined Aeir colloquy.
" Where may your men in buckram be just

" They are a good deal nearer to us than
your admirer, Major Morales, supposes.
£ut he is riding away from them as fast as
he can ride, and they are riding away from
him at a pace more moderate. You shall
see, Miss Inez, when the camping time
comes, whether my men are in buckram, in
broadcloth, or in satin."

Sure enough, when the sun was within an
hour of setting, as that peerless October
day went by, the little party, passing out
from a tract rather more thickly wooded
than usual, came out upon a lovely glade,
where the solitude was broken. Two tents
were pitched, and on one of them a little
T:)lue flag floated. Three or foiur men in
leathern hunting-shirts were lying on the
ground, but sprang to their feet the moment
Sie new party appeared.

" My lady is at home," said Nolan, resum-
ing the mock air of formal courtesy with
which he and Inez so often amused them-
selves. " My backwoodsmen have come in
advance, as puss in boots dfd, to arrange for
my lady's comfort."

"Are these your men? You are too
careful. Captain, or too careless, I do not
know which to say. Too careful for me,
and too careless for your own safety."

" That for my safety," said the reckless
yoimg man, snapping his fingers. " If your
ladyship sleeps well, we ask nothing more.
To say true, my lady, I am the most timid
of men. Praise me for my prudence. Were
I not caution personified, I should have
commanded William yonder to fly the stars
and stripes over your majesty's tent. But I
had care for your majesty's comfort. I knew
these greasers would know those colors too

" And he has ! and he has ! oh, you are
good. Captain Nolan I See, Aunty, the flag
Siat flies over us I "

There is many a girl in Massachusetts
who reads these words who does not know
that the flag of her own State displays on a
blue field a shield bearing an Indian proper
and a star argent — which means an Indian
painted in his own manner as he is, and a
star of silver. But in those days each State
had had to subsist for itself, even to strike
its own coin, and often to fight imder its own
flag ; and this New England girl, who had
never seen New England, knew the cog-
nizance of her own land as well as the Lot-
ties and Fannies and Aggies, the Massachu-

setts girls of to-day, know the cognizance of
England or of Austria.

"Welcome home, ladies," said the tall,
handsome young soldier, who took Eunice's
horse by the head, while Nolan lifted her
fix)m the saddle.

" This is the ladies' own tent, Captain. We
have set the table in the other." And the
ladies passed in at the tent door to find the
hammocks swung for them, two camp-stools
open, a Httle table cut with a hatchet from
the bark of large pines, and covered with a
white napkin, on which stood ready a can-
dlestick and a tinder-box, and another rough
table like it, with a tin basin frill of water,
and two large gourds, tightly corked, on
the pine carpet at its side.

" We are in a palace," cried Inez. " How
can we thank these gentlemen enough for
their care?"

"I must tell you who they are. Why,
WiUiam, where have the others gone ? Miss
Eunice, Miss Inez, this is my oAer self, Wil-
liam Harrod. William, you knew who these
ladies were long before you saw them.
Ladies, if I told you that William Harrod
was Ephraim Harrod's brother, it would not
help you. If I said he was the best marks-
man in the great valley, you would not care.
When I say he is the best fellow that lives,
you must believe me."

" Leave them to find that out, Captain."

" The Captain tells enough when he says
you are his other self. In a country like
this, one is ^lad to find two Philip Nolans."

Old Ransom and his party, meanwhile,
were a little disgusted that the preparations
they had made for the mistress's accommo-
dation on her first night away fix>m the river
should be thus put in the shade by the unex-

Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 87 of 163)