NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES
3 3433 08253139 7
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDE N FOUNDATIONS.
' We're all going to the West Indies." p. 17
LE T ) TO THE LIGHT
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OPPOSITE THE JAIL
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A L F E E I) IS! A R T I E >T ,
i\o, li!4 CHKSTNL'T STiiKtT.
THE NEW YORK
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AS TOR, L|([email protected]
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Entered aceoniini; to 'Act o: Cniv.nv s. -.n tlui vo^r IsCG. by
JAMES S. CJ.A^'jy.^..
In the Office of the Clerk of the ptstruVcxxK't 2>$the I-!astern District of
, - ^ * < c c e c
At the closo of a volume written by
me some time since, entitled " OPPOSITE
'>? c '*
THE JAIL,'' \vbieh the publics has been kind
3 D o 1 1 o ; j 3
enough to i-e^elve- ."\vHh much favor, I
o -) ~ - ' > *
promised to follow -the fortunes of Alice
J j' 3 < > J
and the others connected with her.
In the following pages I have endeavored
to make good that promise, with what
success I leave tho reader to determine.
MARY A. DEXISON.
CHAPTER I. PAOS
THE COUSINS 7
ETTA M'WHIRT 19
AT SEA 30
THE VOYAGE 36
CAEKIE'S RESOLUTION 41
HARRY LOWRIE 43
DEATH AND BURIAL AT SEA 57
BAREADOES AND SUNRISE 69
THE NOTABILITIES 77
THE ENGLISH GIRL , 84
THE COFFIN UNDER THE ROOF 91
AT HOME IN GEORGETOWN 109
THE CREOLE MISER 120
A CHALLENGE ACCEPTED 160
A SLIGHT MISTAKE 163
POOR BRITANNIA 177
CHAPTER XVI II.
SIGNS AND OMENS 185
LETTER FROU LUCY TO I\lus. LITTLEJOLIN 01
THE OI?H\N ASYLUM 208
THE POY.'ER OF RELIGION 217
Ur THE ESSEQ.UIBO 237
EXTRACTS FROM A LCJTEK FROM LUCY 251
PLAGUE SMITTEN 253
TIIE FEVER DOES ITS \VoiiK 272
A FEW COMER 2SO
SOME CONSOLATION 2S8
ANOTHER VICTIM 298
OLD AUNTY HEARS TUE I\E\VS 309
THE SHADOW OF DEATH 316
THE TORNADO AND ITS CONSEQUENCES 325
HOME AGAIN 335
TUE GOVERNOR'S PARTY 3-!3
THE RIGHT DECISION 31G
LED TO THE LIGHT.
"And oh ! the atmosphere of horns ! how bright
It floats around us when we sit together
Under a bower of vine, in summer weather,
Or round the hearthstone on a winter's niuht."
WO young girls were busily setting a
tea-table. The white cloth was laid,
the cups and saucers of fine china arranged
in their places, and a tall, dignified, black
woman was at that moment entering by
an opposite door with the silver.
The room was large, old-fashioned, and sunny;
furnished with elegance, and betokened wealth and
a LED TO THE LTCT7T.
" Why don't Lion come ?" cried tlic younger of the
"How long the week has seemed!" said Lucy,
older by two years than her companion.
" Yes, it always does seem long when Lion irocs
away if it is only for a day," returned Carrie.
"Aunty, suppose you get tea on, maybe it will bring
"You superstitious creature!" cried Lucy.
" Hark ! I'm sure somebody's coming ! Yes, there
they are. Tom's met him here they come !"
Lionel entered a little bundle carried carefully
under one arm. Kisses and exclamations were
over, when the young man laid down his package
with something like tenderness. They crowded
" Off, all of you !" cried the elder brother, with a
wave of his hand. "Aunty, bring in the tsa ; pre-
sently I'll tell you what it is."
Back fell the crowd ; still, however, eyeing the
package, tied with red tape, that laid on the table.
Lucy, dark-eyed and loving, rapidly placed the
chains; in came aunty ebon face set in white turban
TITE COUSINS. 9
bringing tlie urn and the delicate tea-biscuit. All
sat down to the table, mightily amused with the new
dignity it had pleased the lovely master of ceremo-
nies to assume.
For Lionel was the. head of the household. "Father
and mother were both gone, and upon him devolved
the dignities and the cares of the little family, con-
sisting of a Mstcr, a second cousin, likewise orphaned,
and Tom, a, young man of eighteen. As for Lionel,
he was but twenty-seven young, indeed, for a respon-
Hbility involving so much care, such thought and
"Lion's got an office, I think," whispered his
Bister Carrie. Carrie was what most people denomi-
nate "a sweet little thing," childish, pretty, and only
"How did you like the Secretary of the Navy?"
nsked Tom, thinking he had a clue to the secret.
"Didn't see him," was the short reply.
"Perhaps, then, you held audience with the Sec-
retary of War?" persisted Tom.
"No, I didn't."
" Well, you saw some secretary, I conclude."
10 LED TO THE LIGHT.
*' Yes, I ook a fancy to go to Greenleaf 's Point to
see the old house Grandma Irving used to live in, in
Washington's palmiest days, and there I saw listen
children the ancient black walnut secretary, that
went with the house when it was sold, and will stand
by it, I expect, till it tumbles down, as it seems likely
to do before long."
" Pshaw ! you're the blindest fellow when you've a
mind to be," cried Tom, pulling at something he
called a moustache, nervously. " Keep your great
secret to yourself, if you like; nobody wants it,
I can tell you."
" Be more respectful, sir, if you please," replied
Lionel, gravely, looking over to Tom, as he lifted
a cup and held it suspended half-way between
his lips and the table. " Know that if you
are not, you highly offend a United States
Consul." Having said which he pompously sipped
" O, Lion !" a cry of surprise and delight went up
as the girls sprang from their seats, and forthwith
Lionel Irving was a lion.
" A Consul ! only think of it," and Lucy stood at
THE COUSINS. 11
arm's length, admiring him, her great dark eves
stretched to their widest dimensions.
<! 0, Lion! where is it? Take me with you," cried
his sister Carrie, capering about his chair, her fair
locks dancing, her blue orbs laughing. " Do tell us
where it is ?"
" Guess," said Lionel, not a little elated at his new
" China," suggested Tom.
"I don't fancy chop-sticks and mice," replied
Lionel. " Catch me dining with barbarians."
Lucy, who had unbounded respect for Lionel,
guessed Liverpool, at which Tom laughed, and
called her a little goose. Timorous Lucy tried to
shrink into nothing, but the red spots on her cheeks
denied her invisibility.
"I'll be bound it's in the Caribbean Sea," Tom
went on ; " or in some out-of-the-way-place, too insig-
nificant to be put on the map. You have never
done your country any service, that you should be
given an important post. Ha ! I fancy I see your
on top of some Indian bungalow."
" Where do bungalows grow," asked Lionel,
12 LED TO THE LIGHT.
gravely. Tom coaxed his whiskers and blushed ;
he was a miserable scholar, and could hardly have
told the capital of Mexico.
" Please tell us, Lion," coaxed little Carrie, and
her sweet face and sunny eyes did the business.
Lionel could not tease her.
" Well, Sis, I'll tell you," said the tall, heavily
whiskered young man. " But remember, it's to be a
secret a great secret. Here, child, your ear," and
he whispered loudly for the gratification of the com-
" South America, my dear child, the tropics, you
know in an English colony named Guiana ; in a
city called Georgetown, on the Demerara River,
where there are plenty of alligators, monkeys, and
" Yes, and cholera and yellow fever thrown in,"
growled Tom, in sotto voce.
"Say, Tom, would you like to go with me? just
for company, you know."
The young man almost sprang from his seat.
To tell the truth, Tom had fallen in with a reck-
less set of fellows and had seemed for the last
THE corsixs. 13
two laontlis to be gliding away from Lionel's in
Storming about it did little good. Tom only re-
minded Lionel that he was not his father, and
Lionel felt hurt and offended at his ingratitude.
How to save him he did not know. An irreligious
man himself, though strict in his morals as any
Pharisee, he could not tell what part of Tom's
character to assail. If he could but get him away
from these deadly influences keep him with his
sisters and himself, till the immature phase had gone
by, and reason might be used with better effect, he
thought he could save him. Therefore, when this
office was proposed to him by a friend, he gladly
accepted the position, feeling the need of an object
to work for, and to bear him out in his resolutions.
Lionel smiled at his brother's enthusiasm.
" Ah ! but the cholera and yellow fever !" he
said dolorously, mimicking Torn.
" Well ; if you took them I could nurse you," said
" I'd rather have a woman, say little Cad, or Lucy,
here 110, no you'd get scared and be off."
14 LED TO Till-: LIGHT.
" But it's a terrible place, isn't it, Lionel,'"' said
Carrie. " I don't believe I should like to go."
" Nonsense it's as good a country as ever was,"
Lionel responded, as lie lifted his papers and untied
them. " Come, girls, put up the gas, bring the
shade the green one ; that's it : and now, as every-
thing is fixed to my satisfaction, we'll glance over
the ' doekcrments,' as old-fashioned people call them.
Don't they look solemn. Now, I'll tell yon what,
if Uncle Harry consents, I'm going to take you all
out with me -Tom, Lucy, Carrie, and Lilly, here,
who hasn't so much as asked me one question, a
fine piece of good manners." (Lilly was a green
There was utter silence for a moment, though eyes
sparkled, and cheeks grew red.
Then Tom took two steps forward, clenched his
hand, and gave vent to a a deep masculine " Hur-
rah !" He could say no more his joy was entirely
too strong for words. He had always had an intense
desire to travel, and only waited with great impa-
tience the time when he should be of a^e. He
never felt more affection and reverence for " brother
THE COUSINS. 15
Lionel ' : than at that moment. In less than ten
minutes he was cleaning his gun in the back garret.
The <- v irls were slower in expressing their opinion.
O - ^ *
They looked at one another, and then at Lion, as if
not quite comprehending,
" Over the sea," cried Carrie ; " to be tossed up
and down, and lay in one of those queer little berths
for ever so Ions:. And we must leave Nattie, and
little Molly, and our hunchback, and school dear,
dear. I don't know as I wnnt to. Lion."
Lion thought of the scourge, consumption, that
had laid low so many members of his mother's family,
and decided as he saw the lustrous eyes and vivid
color, that his will was the best.
" Think of the pine apples, Cad, the oranges,
whole groves of them and trees full, growing; right
by one's door! Think of the luscious bannnijas,
the great red pomegranates. Think of the towering
" ' Land of the jaguar, parrot., and palm,
Land of the forest, savannah, and plain.'
" Think of the lemon-groves and the cactus flowers."
"And pine-apples really do grow there where
16 LED TO THE LIGHT.
you can see them ?" cried Lucy. " I should like to
see pine-apples growing."
"So you shall, you dear, ignorant child," said
Lionel, who overlooked the fact that Lucy was
seventeen, so small and slight she was.
" But dear me, the new dresses we must have !"
exclaimed Carrie, her little face taking on a look of
"Dresses," said Lionel, smiling behind his paper;
"the first thought! Can't you make do what you
Carrie burst into a sharp, womanish laugh.
" Oh ! If you insist upon our going," she said,
"you must provide us with every thing we need.
My blue silk will do, but then I want another for
change, and plenty of cool, handsome dresses. And
there's Lucy we must get her out of the way
of wearing black, as if she was in mourning all
the time. She will want, let me see a new-
"Stop, Carrie; talk that over among yourselves,"
said Lionel, with a little impatience ; " will a hun-
dred dollars do? Don't bore me, please, ubout
THE COUSINS. 17
" A hundred dollars ! only think, Lucy, a hun-
dred dollars ! why, yes, plenty, and thank you. We'll
have some to give away, too," she whispered aside to
her cousin ; " won't we make our poor little hunch-
back happy ? But we can't go shopping alone, you
" The shopmen might easily cheat us," laughed
Luc} r . " I wonder if Mrs. Littlejohn would chaper-
on us ; she is always so kind and willing."
" We might call and see. Aunty," cried Carrie,
as the woman came in for the tray, " have you heard
the news ? We're all going to the West Indies ; only
think ! where you were born."
The woman shook her turban and felt in her
pocket for her glasses which she always put on as
she was inclined to talk, as others do who intend
" Laws, chile !" she cried, still fumbling, " yer
gwine to leave ole aunty in dis yer great house all
Carrie was sobered in an instant, and ten minutes
after she was hanging on Lionel's arm, imploring
that olcl aunty might not be left behind.
18 LED TO THE LIGHT.
" What in the world are you begging me in that
manner for, child? didn't I intend to take aunty
from the very first, to the land of her birth ? Leave
old aunty here alone ! Tin incapable of such deep
" O, Lion ! you are the most delightful man in the
whole world I"
" I dare say I am just at present," said Lionel,
" No, always, and always will be, you dear darling
brother, you 1"
" For what is life ? At best, a brief delight,
A sun, scarce brightening, ere it sinks to ni
A flower, at morning, fresh, at noon, decaye 1,
A still, swift river, gliding into shade."
" Every human being is born to influence some other human
P| RS. LITTLE JOHN'S snug sitting-
1% room was not a whit altered. The
y same vine-pattern in the green carpet,
the cactus wall-paper, the bamboo chairs,
the flowers in the window all cool,
green, and summer-like, though the
thermometer was down among the twenties outside.
It was quite deserted when the two girls, Carrie
and Lucy, were ushered in, but presently the old
general entered, his long, white hair more like a
20 LED TO THE LIGHT.
shaggy old mane than ever, but iri his eyes the bright
happy spirit never slept.
" Ah ! young ladies, your very humble servant.
You have called to see Mrs. Littlejohn, who, as usual,
is over there among her cherubs. It is her hour, you
see, and nothing ever turns her from that duty. I
tried it a few times, but I'm too blunt ; it takes a
woman with her fine tact and quiet words. Why,
my dears, if you'll believe me, there are some of
these precious rascals that the very jailers are afraid
of, but like wild animals that know r their keepers,
they actually stand in awe of that little woman, and
she can make them talk, aye, and think. But
foolish old fellow that I am, I'm always prais-
ing my wife, as if her deeds did not do that suffi-
"Lionel has got an appointment," said Carrie,
when the conversation had opened in another
" What, pray?" queried the captain.
" Consul to Demerara."
"You don't say bless me! Why, what does the
fellow want of a consulate, when he has plenty to
ETTA M'WHIRT. 21
stay at home upon? The roving young dog! And
so you'll lose your brother, hey ?"
" 0, no ! we are going."
The general snatched ofF his spectacles, and re-
garded them with a long stare.
" You are going ? I should like to know how any
man in his senses could think of the thing? Why,
nay dears, do you want to be eaten up alive by the
pho-pho ! what business is it of mine ? Do you
regard life as an incumbrance to be but but I'm
an old fool but seriously to go there for a trip
may be a very nice thing, and all that, but to stay
to settle down in swamps of malaria that's a
different matter. However, don't let me frighten
you, my dears ; no doubt it will be a very nice thing,
only I wish, as I suppose that obstinate fellow that
brother of yours has decided the programme, that
you could have gone out with my friend Gilder-
sleeve, who must be by this time on his return
V < '
O! we si. all miss seeing Mrs. Gildersleeve !" said
v ' ^ 4
" Yes, I'm sorry for that," Carrie echoed.
22 I.ED TO THE LIGHT.
"Never mind, my dears, you will probably see
her out there, with Mrs. Littlejohn and myself, if
you stay long enough. I promised my wife that
pleasure long ago."
"That will be delightful!" said the girls, to-
" You'll take them down in that black and yellow
country," laughed the general. "Provided old
Neptune don't white-wash them, such another twin
pair of rosy cheeks will be hard to match in the
"West Indies. Your brother must take good care of
you ; and as to Tom, present him with my compli-
ments, and tell him not to keep shop on board."
" Keep shop on board ! why, what can you mean,
"I'll tell you, my dear," said the old general,
laughing, "when I was a younger man, I took a
voyage with one of my captains, and there were
two or three merry young fellows aboard. In the
morning I frequently heard one call to the other,
asking if he ,vas going to keep shop that day, or
if he would come over and tend for him. In the
due course of time I found out, though it puzzled
ETTA M'WIIIRT. 23
me a long while, it meant nothing more nor less,
than meeting to drink with each other, and as
they all kept shop, there were a good many glasses
drunk between sunrise and sunset. However, I soon
broke up the practice, and I shall advise Tom, if
I see him, not to keep shop at all. But there comes
my wife I'll leave you and her to negotiate mat-
ters, and go read the morning papers."
Mrs. Littlejohn entered, serene and gentle as
ever. Like a breath of balmy air, like the perfume
of some fragile flower, like the soft touch of the
sun upon the pallid cheek of the sick, so was the
presence of this lovely almoner of heaven.
" I was going this morning to see our little friend,
Etta," she said, as they unfolded their errand ;
"but I will put the visit aside for this morning.
On second thought we'll do the visiting and the
shopping in one. I'll just order the carriage; will
The girls expressed their thanks. The carriage
was brought round, and an hour sufficed for their
purchases under Mrs. Littlejohn's management. She
dealt with one firm, invariably, and knew how to
24 LED TO THE LIGHT.
economise her time, though she rarely attempted
what is called " beating down 5: the prices of the
goods. It was understood that she wanted the
right article, it was also understood that no un-
fairness in dealing must be practiced upon her.
Even the worldly-wise and the irreligious dealt
"on principle " with Mrs. Littlcjohn.
Then came the visit to Etta, the hunchback.
Now Etta was not one of the interesting class
of invalids, surrounded with flowers, kind attentions,
and though in the midst of poverty, lighting it
with her cheerfulness. Many such there are, doubt-
less : I have seen them, and most beautifully do
they illustrate the brightness of that faith which
hangs the sick chamber with tapestry, more glori-
ous than any ever wrought on the wondrous frames
of Gobelin ; but poor Etta M'Whirt was not of
such as these. As homely in features as deformed
in body, she presented at once a union of ill-temper
and unloveliness. Her mother was a coarse, cross,
hard-working woman, not over neat or cler.n, and
though loving her child with a kind of fierce,
absorbing affection, she seldom or never spoke a
ETTA M'WHIRT. 25
cheering or pleasant word to her. This, however,
was during the first part of their acquaintance.
In her uncouth way, poor Etta was getting very
affectionate, and Mrs. Littlejohn was able to dis-
cover some latent germs of gratitude and even
of faith springing up in her path.
Etta lived in a miserable thoroughfare, that
Lionel had found out. Driving rapidly one day
he ran down a little boy, who, daring to impru-
dence, had ventured to cross his track when it
was too late to check the speed of the horse, so
Lionel, intent upon making what reparation laid
in his power, visited him till he was restored to
health, and a good place procured for him. The
poor, deformed, unhealthy girl, his sister, appealed
to his sympathies strongly, and he commended her
case to his friend, Mrs. Littlejohn. So she had ever
since been under the supervision of this kind woman,
and Lucy and Carrie were regular visitors.
Dirt and confusion reigned in the small alley,
squalor and filth looked out of the doors and
windows, misery seemed brooding over the house-
tops Etta was in bed, groaning, her mother in an
26 LED TO THE LIGHT.
out-house near by, washing. The floor was wet with
a recent ablution, but as it had been only scrubbed
with a soiled broom, it presented none of the charms
of fresh cleaning. Etta's low forehead gleamed like
a bit of white marble under the tangled masses of
her dark hair, but it was furrowed as the brow of
age ; and her sloe-black eyes had a restless glitter
that proclaimed incessant mental unrest. A box
of paints lay on the table at the side of the bed,
and two or three not bad pictures, which the poor
girl had conceived and executed in the midst of her
pain. She had some genius for drawing, and Lucy
had devoted a few hours through the week to her
improvement in that art.
"^ T ot so well to-day, Etta?" asked Mrs. Little-
John, as she stood by the poor bed, the only really
clean and comfortable thing in the room.
" 0, ma'am !" groaned the girl, " I've been long-
ing for the touch of yer hand ; oh ! it's mis'able I
am, indeed, to-day," and the haggard cheeks grew
wet with fast-falling tears. " If the Lord he'd only
put me out o' my misery, I'd be glad."
" Perhaps lie sees you are not ready, Etta."
ETTA M'WHIRT. 27
"Yes, and perhaps He don't see that I'm in
misery, an' racking pain. O ! don't tell me, it's a
purpose He does it for what I don't know surely
it's not wicked I've been leastwise, not very ; won't
the young ladies sit down ? Ah ! an' it angers me
like to see such faces, all full with health, an' me, a
poor sick body with ne'er a moment of ease."
" We all pity you, Etta," said Mrs. Littlejohn,
" Sure, I see that, or it's not in a place the likes
of this ye'd corne ; there's but few comes here, of
your sort, and when they do, I hate most of 'em for
the airs they put on. Ah ! if I was out of the
world, sure it would be better for me and all con-
" But, Etta, Carrie and Lucy have come to bid
The girl looked up wonderingly, as if not com-
" They are going away, across the ocean, to remain
for some time."
" And I'll not see them again ?"
" Not for a year, maybe, Etta," said Carrie.
28 LED TO THE LIGHT.
" A year ! a whole year ! Surely I'll be dead by
that time ah! it's another judgment on me 1
mourned wid what I had, and now they're going to
be taken away. I count them among the best
blessings, and how will I do widout them?" Tho
girl commenced to sob piteously, and in the midst
of it her mother came in a red-faced, frowsy crea-
ture, with arms bare to the elbow.
" What's bin doin' now ?" was her first salutation,
" the girl's as cross as the evil one hisself at tho
best of times me patience is entirely worn out wid
"O, motliM-I don't, don't!" sobbed Etta, waving
her arms, desperately: "the young ladies is going
off, an' I'll niver see 'em again the only comforts
I had. and they're to be taken from me."
"Whist, girl an' if ye're going away I must
say I'll be sorry, too," she said, her voice and
manner subdued. " It's the real ladies ye arc HI