James Fenimore Cooper.

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The last had a rhinoceros."

" Rhinoceros ! Why, there was but one,
lately, in all Europe. Neither the Zoological
Gardens nor the Jardin des Plantes had a
rhinoceros. I never saw but one, and that
was in a caravan at Rome, that travelled be
tween St. Petersburg!! and Naples."

" Well, sir, we have rhinoceroses here, and
monkeys, and zebras, and poets, and painters,
and congressmen, and bishops, and governors,
and all other sorts of living animals."

" And who may the particular poet be,



Mr. Bragg," asked Eve, " that honours
Templeton with his presence just at this mo
ment ?"

" That is more than I can tell you. Miss, for,
though some eight or ten of us have done little
else than try to discover his name for the last
week, we have not got even as far as that one
fact. He, and the gentleman who travels with
him, are both uncommonly close on such
matters, though, I think, we have some as
good catechisers in Templeton as can be found
anywhere within fifty miles of us."

" There is another gentleman with him, do
you suspect them both of being poets ?

" Oh no, Miss; the other is the waiter of the
poet : we know this much, as he serves him at
dinner, and otherwise superintends his concerns,
such as brushing his clothes, and keeping his
room in order."

" This is being in luck for a poet, for they
are of a class that are a little apt to neglect the
decencies. May I ask why you suspect the
master of being a poet, if the man be so
assiduous ?"


" Why, what else can he be ? In the first
place, Miss Effingham, he has no name.""

" That is a reason in point," said John
Effingham ; " very few poets having names

" Then he is out on the lake half his time,
gazing up at the < Silent Pine/ or conversing
with the < Speaking Rocks,' or drinking at
the ' Fairy Spring.' "

" All suspicious circumstances certainly,
especially the dialogue with the rocks, though
not absolutely conclusive."

" But, Mr. John Effingham, the man does
not take his food like other people. He rises
early, and is out on the water or up in the
forest all the morning, and then returns to eat
his breakfast in the middle of the forenoon.
He goes into the woods again, or on the lake,
and comes back to dinner, just as I take my

" This settles the matter. Any man who
presumes to do all this, Mr. Bragg, deserves
to be called by some harder name, even, than
that of a poet. Pray, sir, how long has this


eccentric person been a resident of Temple-
ton ?"

" Hist ! there he is, as I am a sinner ! and
it was not he and the other gentleman that were
in the boat."

The rebuked manner of Aristobulus, and
the dropping of his voice, induced the whole
party to look in the direction of his eye, and
sure enough a gentleman approached them in
the half-rustic dress which a man of the world is
apt to assume in the country an attire of itself
that was sufficient to attract comment in a
place where the prevailing wish was to be as
much like town as possible. He came from
the forest, along the table-land that crowned
the mountain for some distance, and followed
one of the foot-paths that the admirers of the
beautiful landscape had made all over that
pleasant wood. As he came out into the
cleared spot, seeing it already in possession of
another party, he bowed, and was passing
on, with a delicacy that Mr. Bragg would
be apt to think eccentric, when suddenly
hesitating, he gave a look of intense and eager


interest at the whole party, smiled, ad
vanced rapidly nearer, and discovered his en
tire figure.

" I ought not to be surprised," he said, as
he advanced so near as to render doubt any
longer impossible, " for I knew you were
hourly looked for, and indeed I waited for your
arrival ; and yet this meeting has been so un
expected as to leave me scarcely in possession
of my faculties."

It is needless to dwell upon the warmth of
the greetings that followed. To the surprise
of Mr. Bragg, his poet was not only known,
but evidently much esteemed by all the party,
with the exception of Miss Van Courtlandt, to
whom he was soon cordially presented by the
name of Powis. Eve managed by an effort of
womanly pride to suppress the violence of her
feelings, and the meeting passed off as one
of mutual surprise and pleasure, without any
exhibition of emotion to attract unusual com

44 We ought to express our wonder at finding
you here before us, my dear young friend,'


said Mr. Effingham, still holding Paul's hand
affectionately between both his own ; " and,
even now, that my own eyes assure me of the
fact, I can hardly believe you would arrive
at New York, and quit it, without giving us
the satisfaction of seeing you."

" In that you are not wrong, dear sir ; cer
tainly, nothing would have deprived me of that
pleasure, but the knowledge that it would not
have been agreeable to yourselves. My sudden
appearance here, however, will be without
mystery, when I tell you that I returned from
England by the way of Quebec, the Great
Lakes, and the ' Falls,' having been induced
by my friend Ducie to take that route, in
consequence of his ship being sent to the
St. Lawrence. A desire for novelty, and par
ticularly a wish to see the celebrated cataract,
which is almost the lion of America, did the

" We are glad to have you with us on any
terms, and I take it as particularly kind that
you did not pass my door. You have been
here some days ?"*


" Quite a week. On reaching Utica, I di
verged from the great route to see this place,
not anticipating the pleasure of meeting you
so early, it is true ; but hearing you were ex
pected, I determined to remain, with a hope,
which I rejoice to find was not vain, that you
would not be sorry to see an old fellow-travel
ler once more."

Mr. Effingham pressed his hands warmly
again before he relinquished them, an assur
ance of welcome that Paul received with thrill
ing satisfaction.

" I have been in Templeton almost long
enough," the young man resumed, laughing,
" to set up as a candidate for the public
favour, if I rightly understand the claims of a
denizen. By what I can gather from casual
remarks, the old proverb, that 6 the new broom
sweeps clean,' applies with singular fidelity
throughout all this region."

" Have you a copy of your last ode, or a
spare epigram in your pocket ?" inquired John

Paul looked surprised, and Aristobulus him-


self a thing of unusual occurrence was a
little daunted. Paul looked surprised, as a
matter of course ; for although he had been
annoyed, since his arrival in Templeton, by the
curiosity that is apt to haunt village imagina
tions, he did not in the least suspect that his
love of the beauties of nature had been imput
ed to devotion to the muses. Perceiving, how
ever, by the smiles of those around him, that
more was meant than was expressed, he had the
tact to permit the explanation to come from
the person that had put the question, if it were
proper it should come at all.

" We will defer the pleasure of an expla
nation," continued John Effingham, " to an
other time. At present, it strikes me, that the
lady of the lawn is getting somewhat impatient,
and the dejeuner a la fotirc/iette, that I have
had the precaution to order, is probably wait
ing our appearance. It must be eaten, though
under the penalty of being thought moon
struck rhymers by the whole state. Come,
Ned, if you are sufficiently satisfied with look
ing at the Wigwam in a bird's eye view, we


will descend and put its beauties to the more
severe test of a close examination."

This proposal was readily accepted, though
all tore themselves from the lovely spot with
reluctance, and not until they had paused
again and again to take another look.

" Fancy the shores of this lake lined with
villas," said Eve, " church towers raising their
solemn summits among those hills, each moun
tain crowned with a castle or a crumbling
ruin, and all the other accessories of an old
state of society, and what would then be the
charms of the view !"

" Less than they are to-day, Miss Effing-
ham," said Paul Powis, " for though poetry

requires you all smile is it forbidden

to touch on such subjects ?"

" Not at all, so it be done in legitimate
verse," returned the baronet. " You ought to
know that you are now expected even to speak
in doggerel."

Paul ceased, not knowing what excuse to
make, and the whole party walked away from
the place, light-hearted and laughing ; Aris-



tobulus being quite as merry as any of
them, though he scarce knew why. But it
was a ruling trait in the character of this
person never to suffer himself to get behind the



" It is the spot I came to seek,
My father's ancient burial-place ;
It is the spot, I know it well,
Of which our old traditions tell."


FROM the day after their arrival in New
York, or that on which the account of the
arrests by the English cruiser had appeared in
the journals, little had been said by any of our
party concerning Paul Powis, or of the extraor
dinary manner in which he had left the packet
at the very moment she was about to enter her
haven. It is true that Mr. Dodge, when he
arrived at Dodgeopolis, had dilated on the sub
ject in his hebdomadal, with divers additions
and conjectures of his own, and this, too, in a
way to attract a good deal of attention in the


interior ; but, it being a rule with those who
are supposed to dwell at the fountain of foreign
intelligence, not to receive anything from those
who ought not to be better informed than them
selves, the Effinghams and their friends had
never heard of his account of the matter.

While all thought the incident of the sudden
return extraordinary, no one felt disposed to
judge the young man harshly. The gentlemen
knew that military censure, however unplea
sant, did not always imply moral turpitude,
and as for the ladies, they retained too lively
a sense of his skill and gallantry to wish to
imagine evil on grounds so slight and vague.
Still it had been impossible altogether to pre
vent the obtrusion of disagreeable surmises,
and all now sincerely rejoiced in seeing their
late companion, once more among them, seem
ingly in a state of mind that announced neither
guilt nor degradation.

On quitting the mountain, Mr. Effingham,
who had a tender regard for Grace, offered her
his arm, as he would have given it to a second
daughter, leaving Eve to the care of John Ef-


fingham. Sir George attended to Mademoiselle
Viefville, and Paul walked by the side of our
heroine and her cousin, leaving Aristobulus to
be what he himself called a " miscellaneous
companion," or, in other words, to thrust
himself into either set, as inclination might
dictate, or accident offer. Of course the parties
conversed as they walked, though those in ad
vance would occasionally pause to say a word
to those in the rear, and, as they descended,
one or two changes occurred, to which we may
have occasion to allude.

" I trust you have had pleasant passages,"
said John Effingham to Paul, as soon as they
were separated in the manner just mentioned.
" Three trips across the Atlantic in so short a
time would be hard duty to a landsman, though
you, as a sailor, will probably think less of it."

" In this respect I have been fortunate, the
Foam, as we know from experience, being a
good traveller, and Ducie is altogether a fine
fellow and an agreeable messmate. You know
I have had him for a companion both going and


This was said naturally, and, while it ex
plained so little directly, it removed all unplea
sant uncertainty, by assuring his listeners that
he had been on good terms, at last, with the
person who had seemed to be his pursuer. John
Effingham too well understood that no one
messed with the commander of a vessel of war,
in his own ship, who was in any way thought
to be an unfit associate.

" You have made a material circuit to reach
us, the distance by Quebec being nearly a fourth
more than the direct road."

" Ducie desired it so strongly that I did not
like to deny him. Indeed he made it a point,
at first, to obtain permission to land me at New
York where he had found me, as he said ; but
to this I would not listen, as I feared it might
interfere with his promotion, of which he stood
so good a chance, in consequence of his success
in the affair of the money. By keeping con
stantly before the eyes of his superiors^ while
engaged in the discharge of important duties, I
thought his preferment would be more certain."'

" And has his government thought his per-


severance in the chase worthy of such a re
ward ?"

" Indeed it has. He is now a Post, and all
owing to his good luck and judgment in that
affair ; though, in his country, rank in private
life does no harm to rank in public life."

Eve liked the emphasis that Paul laid on
" his country," and she thought the whole re
mark was made in a spirit that an Englishman
would not be apt to betray.

" Has it ever occurred to you," continued
John Effingham, " that our sudden and unex
pected separation has caused a serious neglect
of duty in me, if not in both of us ?"

Paul looked surprised, and, by his manner,
he demanded an explanation.

" You may remember the sealed package of
poor Mr. Monday, that we were to open to
gether on our arrival in New York ; and on
the contents of which, we were taught to be
lieve, depended the settling of some important
private rights. I gave that package to you at
the moment it was received, and, in the hurry of
leaving us, you overlooked the circumstance."


u All very true, and, to my shame, I confess
that, until this instant, the affair has been quite
forgotten by me. I had so much to occupy
my mind while in England, that it was not
likely to be remembered, and then the packet
itself has scarcely been in my possession since
the day I left you."

" It is not lost, I trust !" said John Effing-
ham, quickly.

" Surely not ; it is safe, beyond a question,
in the writing-desk in which I deposited it.
But the moment we reached Portsmouth, Ducie
and myself proceeded to London together, and
as soon as he had got through at the Admi
ralty we went into Yorkshire, where we re
mained much occupied with private matters of
great importance to us both, while his ship was
docked ; and then it became necessary to make
sundry visits to our relations "

" Relations !" repeated Eve involuntarily,
though she did not cease to reproach herself
for the indiscretion during the rest of the

" Relations ," returned Paul, smiling.


" Captain Ducie and myself are cousins-ger-
man, and we made pilgrimages together to
sundry family shrines. This duty occupied us
until within a few days of our sailing for Quebec.
On reaching our haven, I left the ship to visit
the great lakes and Niagara, leaving most of
my effects with Ducie, who has promised to
bring them on with himself, when he follows on
my track, as he expected soon to do, on his
way to the West Indies, where he is to find a
frigate. He owed me this attention, as he in
sisted, on account of having induced me to
go so far out of my way with so much baggage,
to oblige him. The packet is, unluckily, left
behind with the other things."

" And do you expect Captain Ducie to ar
rive in this country soon ? The affair of the
packet ought not to be neglected much longer,
for a promise to a dying man is doubly binding,
as it appeals to the generosity of us all. Rather
than neglect the matter, I would prefer sending
a special messenger to Quebec."

" That will be quite unnecessary, as indeed
it would be useless. Ducie left Quebec yes-


terday, and has sent his and my effects direct
to New York, under the care of his own
steward. The writing case, containing other
papers that are of interest to us both, he has
promised not to lose sight of, but it will accom
pany him on the same tour as that I have just
made, for he wishes to see the Niagara and the
lakes also. He is now on my track, and will
notify me by letter of the day he is to be in
Utica, in order that we may meet on the line of
the canal near this place, and proceed to New
York in company."

His companions listened to this brief statement
with an intense interest, with which the packet
of poor Mr. Monday, however, had very little
connection. John Effingham called to his cou
sin, and, in a few words, stated the circum
stances, as they had just been related by the
young man, without adverting to the papers of
Mr. Monday, which was an affair that he had
hitherto kept to himself.

" It will be no more than a return of civility
if we invite Captain Ducie to diverge from his
road, and pass a few days with us in the moun-


tains," he added. " At what precise time do
you expect him on the canal, Powis ?"

" Within the fortnight. I feel certain he
would be glad to pay his respects to this party,
for he often expressed his regret at having
been employed on a service that exposed the
ladies to so much peril and delay."

" Captain Ducie is a near kinsman of Mr.
Powis, dear father, 1 ' added Eve, in a way to
shew her parent that the invitation would
be agreeable to herself; for Mr. Effingham was
so attentive to the wishes of his daughter, as
never to ask a guest to his house that he
thought would prove disagreeable to its mistress.

" I shall do myself the pleasure to write to
Captain Ducie this evening, urging him to ho
nour us with his company," returned Mr. Ef
fingham. " We expect other friends in a few
days, and I hope he will not find his time
heavy on his hands while in exile among us.
Mr. Powis will enclose my note in one of his
letters, and will, I trust, second the request by
his own solicitations."

Paul made his acknowledgments, and the


whole party proceeded, though the interrup
tion caused such a change in the figure of the
promenade as to leave the young man alone
by the side of Eve. By this time they had not
only reached the highway, but had again di
verged from it, to follow the line of an old
and abandoned wheel-track, that descended the
mountain along the side of the declivity, by a
wilder and more perilous direction than suited
modern enterprise, it having been one of those
little calculated and rude roads that the first
settlers of a country are apt to make, before
there is time and means to investigate and
finish to advantage. Although much more dif
ficult and dangerous than its successor as a
highway, this relic of the infant condition of
the country was by far the most retired and
beautiful, and pedestrians continued to use it
as a common foot-path to the Vision, The
seasons had narrowed its surface ; the second
growth had nearly covered it with their branches,
shading it like an arbour, and Eve expressed
her delight in its wildness and boldness, mingled
as both were with so pleasant a seclusion.


Glimpses were constantly obtained of the lake
and the village while they proceeded, and they
who were altogether strangers to the scenery
were loud in its praise.

" Most persons who see this valley for the
first time," observed Aristobulus, " find some
thing to say in its favour; and for my part, I
consider it as rather curious myself."

" Curious !" exclaimed Paul ; " that gentle
man is at least singular in the choice of his ex

" You have met him before to-day," said
Eve, laughing, for Eve was now in a humour
to laugh at trifles. " This we know, for he had
prepared us to meet a pjet, where we only
found an old friend."

" Only ! Miss Effingham. Do you estimate
poets so high, and old friends so low, then ?"

" This extraordinary person, Mr. Aristo
bulus Bragg, really deranges all one's notions
and opinions in such a manner as to destroy
even the usual signification of words, I believe.
He seems so much in, and yet so much out of
his place is both so ruse and so unpractised


so unfit for what he is, and so ready at every
thing, that I scarcely know how to apply terms
in any matter with which he has the smallest
connexion. I fear he has persecuted you since
your arrival at Templeton ?"

" Not at all ; I am so much acquainted with
men of his caste that I have acquired a tact in
managing them. Perceiving that he was dis
posed to suspect me of a disposition to ' poetize
the lake,' to use his own term, I took care to
drop a couple of lines, roughly written off, like
a hasty and imperfect effusion, where I felt sure
he would find them, and have been living for a
whole week on the fame thereof."

u You do indulge in such tastes, then ?" said
Eve, smiling a little saucily.

" I am as innocent of such an ambition as of
wishing to marry the heiress of the British
throne, which I believe, just now, is the goal
of all the Icaruses of our own time. I am merely
a rank plagiarist, for the rhyme, on the fame of
which I have rioted for a glorious week, was in
two lines of Pope, an author so completely
forgotten in these palmy days of literature, in


which all knowledge seems condensed into the
productions of the last few years, that a man
might almost pass off an entire classic for his
own without the fear of detection. It was
merely the first couplet of the Essay on Man,
which, fortunately, having an allusion to the
t{ pride of kings," would pass for original, as
well as excellent, in nineteen villages out of
twenty, in America, in these piping times of
ultra republicanism ! No doubt Mr. Bragg
thought a eulogy on the ' people ' was to come
next, to be succeeded by a glowing picture of
Templeton and its environs."

" I do not know that I ought to admit these
hits at liberty from a foreigner," said Eve, as
suming a look of seriousness not altogether in
unison with her feelings, for never before, in her
life, had our heroine so strong a consciousness
of happiness as she had experienced that very

" Foreigner, Miss Effingham ! and why a

" Nay, you know your own pretended cos
mopolitism ; and ought not the cousin of Cap
tain Ducie to be an Englishman ?"


" I shall not answer for the ought, the simple
fact being a sufficient reply to the question.
The cousin of Captain Ducie is not an Eng
lishman, nor, as I see you suspect, has he ever
served a day in the British navy, or in any
other than that of his native land. 11

" This is, indeed, taking us by surprise,
and that most agreeably !" returned Eve, look
ing up at him with undisguised pleasure, while
a bright glow crimsoned her face. " We
could not but feel an interest in one who
had so effectually served us, and both my

father and Mr. John Effingham "

" Cousin Jack," interrupted Paul, with em

" Cousin Jack, then, if you dislike the
formality I used ; both my father and cousin
Jack examined the American Navy Register
for your name without success, as I under
stood, and the inference that followed was
fair enough, I believe you will admit your

" Had they looked at a register of a few
years' date they would have met with better


luck. I have 'quitted the service, and am
now a sailor only in recollections. For the last
few years, like yourselves, I have been a tra
veller by land as well as by water."

Eve said no more, though every syllable
that the young man had uttered was received
by attentive ears, and retained with a scrupu
lous fidelity of memory. They walked some
distance in silence, until they reached the
grounds of a house that was beautifully placed
on the side of the mountain, near a lovely wood
of pines. Crossing these grounds, until they
arrived at a terrace in front of the dwelling, the
village of Templeton lay directly in their front,
perhaps a hundred feet beneath them, and
yet so near as to render the most minute object
distinctly visible. Here they all stopped to
take a more distinct view of a place that had
so much interest with most of the party.

" I hope you are sufficiently acquainted with
the localities to act as cicerone," said Mr.
Effingham to Paul. " In a visit of a week
to this village you have scarcely overlooked
the Wigwam."

VOL. i. o


" Perhaps I ought to hesitate, or rather

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Online LibraryJames Fenimore CooperEve Effingham : or, Home → online text (page 12 of 13)