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fact, that the barbed wire fence had been an important factor in
building up the agricultural greatness of the West. "For what
inducements," he exclaims, "does the top rail of such a fence offer to
the contemplative farmer? None, sir! His traditional laziness has been
broken up, and great material prosperity is the result."

Whatever causes have operated to produce the effect, certain it is that
the West is eminently prosperous to-day. Everywhere are seen growth,
enterprise and an aggressiveness that stops at no obstacles. Immigration
is pouring into Colorado alone at the rate of several thousands per
week. The government lands are being rapidly taken up, and the stable
industries of stock-raising and farming correspondingly extended.
Manufacturing, too, is acquiring a foothold, and many of the necessaries
of life, which now must be obtained in the East, will soon be produced
at home. The mountains are revealing untold treasures of silver and
gold, and the possibilities which may lie hid in the yet unexplored
regions act as a stimulus to crowds of hopeful prospectors. But while
Colorado is receiving her full share of the influx, a tide seems to be
setting in toward the old empire of the Aztecs, and flowing through the
natural gateway, our old Rocky-Mountain outpost. It is beginning to be
found out that the legends of fabulous wealth which have come down to us
from the olden time have much of truth in them, and mines that were
worked successively by Franciscan monks, Pueblo Indians, Jesuit priests
and Mexicans, and had suffered filling up and obliteration with every
change of proprietorship, are now being reopened; and that, too, under a
new dispensation which will ensure prosperity to the enterprise.
Spaniard and priest have long since abandoned their claim to the rich
possessions, and their doubtful sway, ever upon the verge of revolution
and offering no incentive to enterprise, has given place to one of a
different character. Under the protection of beneficent and fostering
laws this oldest portion of our Union may now be expected to reveal its
wealth of resources to energy and intelligent labor. And it may
confidently be predicted that American enterprise will not halt till it
has built up the waste places of our land, and in this case literally
made the desert to blossom as the rose. Thus gloriously does our new
civilization reclaim the errors of the past, building upon ancient ruins
the enlightened institutions of to-day, and grafting fresh vigor upon
effete races and nationalities. And now, at last, the Spanish Peaks,
those mighty ancient sentinels whose twin spires, like eyes, have
watched the slow rise and fall of stately but tottering dynasties in the
long ago, are to look out upon a different scene - a new race come in the
might of its freedom and with almost the glory of a conquering host to
redeem a waiting land from the outcome of centuries of avaricious and
bigoted misrule, and even from the thraldom of decay.

GEORGE REX BUCKMAN.

[Illustration]




LOST.


I.

I lost my treasures one by one,
Those joys the world holds dear;
Smiling I said, "To-morrow's sun
Will bring us better cheer."
For faith and love were one. Glad faith!
All loss is naught save loss of faith.

II.

My truant joys come trooping back,
And trooping friends no less;
But tears fall fast to meet the lack
Of dearer happiness.
For faith and love are two. Sad faith!
'Tis loss indeed, the loss of faith.

MARY B. DODGE.




ADAM AND EVE.




CHAPTER XXXVI.


From the day on which Adam knew that the date of Jerrem's trial was
fixed all the hope which the sight of Eve had rekindled was again
completely extinguished, and, refusing every attempt at consolation, he
threw himself into an abyss of despair a hundred-fold more dark and
bitter than before. The thought that he, captain and leader as he had
been, should stand in court confronted by his comrades and neighbors
(for Adam, ignorant of the disasters which had overtaken them, believed
half Polperro to be on their way to London), and there swear away
Jerrem's life and turn informer, was something too terrible to be dwelt
on with even outward tranquillity, and, abandoning everything which had
hitherto sustained him, he gave himself up to all the terrors of remorse
and despair. It was in vain for Reuben to reason or for Eve to plead: so
long as they could suggest no means by which this dreaded ordeal could
be averted Adam was deaf to all hope of consolation. There was but one
subject which interested him, and only on one subject could he be got to
speak, and that was the chances there still remained of Jerrem's life
being spared; and to furnish him with some food for this hope, Eve began
to loiter at the gates, talk to the warders and the turnkeys, and mingle
with the many groups who on some business or pretext were always
assembled about the yard or stood idling in the various passages with
which the prison was intersected.

One morning it came to her mind, How would it be for Adam to escape, and
so not be there to prove the accusation he had made of Jerrem having
shot the man? With scarce more thought than she had bestowed on many
another passing suggestion which seemed for the moment practical and
solid, but as she turned it round lost shape and floated into air, Eve
made the suggestion, and to her surprise found it seized on by Adam as
an inspiration. Why, he'd risk _all_ so that he escaped being set face
to face with Jerrem and his former mates. Adam had but to be assured the
strain would not be more than Eve's strength could bear before he had
adopted with joy her bare suggestion, clothed it with possibility, and
by it seemed to regain all his past energy. Could he but get away and
Jerrem's life be spared, all hope of happiness would not be over. In
some of those distant lands to which people were then beginning to go
life might begin afresh. And as his thoughts found utterance in speech
he held out his hand to Eve, and in it she laid her own; and Adam needed
nothing more to tell him that whither he went there Eve too would go.
There was no need for vows and protestations now between these two, for,
though to each the other's heart lay bare, a word of love scarce ever
crossed their lips. Life seemed too sad and time too precious to be
whiled away in pleasant speeches, and often when together, burdened by
the weight of all they had to say, yet could not talk about, the two
would sit for hours and neither speak a word. But with this proposition
of escape a new channel was given to them, and as they discussed their
different plans the dreadful shadow which at times had hung between them
was rolled away and lifted out of sight.

Inspired by the prospect of action, of doing something, Adam roused
himself to master all the difficulties: his old foresight and caution
began to revive, and the project, which had on one day looked like a
desperate extremity, grew by the end of a week into a well-arranged plan
whose success seemed more than possible. Filled with anxiety for Eve,
Reuben gave no hearty sanction to the experiment: besides which, he felt
certain that now neither Adam's absence nor presence would in any way
affect Jerrem's fate; added to which, if the matter was detected it
might go hard with Adam himself. But his arguments proved nothing to
Eve, who, confident of success, only demanded from him the promise of
secrecy; after which, she thought, as some questions might be put to
him, the less he knew the less he would have to conceal.

Although a prisoner, inasmuch as liberty was denied to him, Adam was in
no way subjected to that strict surveillance to which those who had
broken the law were supposed to be submitted. It was of his own free
will that he disregarded the various privileges which lay open to him:
others in his place would have frequented the passages, hung about the
yards and grown familiar with the tap, where spirits were openly bought
and sold. Money could do much in those days of lax discipline, and the
man who could pay and could give need have very few wants unsatisfied.
But Adam's only desire was to be left undisturbed and alone; and as this
entailed no undue amount of trouble after their first curiosity had been
satisfied, it was not thought necessary to deny him this privilege. From
constantly going in and out, most of the officials inside the prison
knew Eve, while to but very few was Adam's face familiar; and it was on
this fact, aided by the knowledge that through favor of a gratuity
friends were frequently permitted to outstay their usual hour, that most
of their hopes rested. Each day she came Eve brought some portion of the
disguise which was to be adopted; and then, having learnt from Reuben
that the Mary Jane had arrived and was lying at the wharf unloading, not
knowing what better to do, they decided that she should go to Captain
Triggs and ask him, in case Adam could get away, whether he would let
him come on board his vessel and give him shelter there below.

"Wa-al, no," said Triggs, "I woan't do that, 'cos they as I'se got here
might smell un out; but I'll tell 'ee what: I knaws a chap as has in
many ways bin beholden to me 'fore now, and I reckon if I gives un the
cue he'll do the job for 'ee."

"But do you think he's to be trusted?" Eve asked.

"Wa-al, that rests on how small a part you'm foaced to tell un of,"
said Triggs, "and how much you makes it warth his while. I'm blamed if
I'd go bail for un myself, but that won't be no odds agen' Adam's goin':
'tis just the place for he. 'T 'ud niver do to car'y a pitch-pot down
and set un in the midst o' they who couldn't bide his stink."

"And the crew?" said Eve, wincing under Captain Triggs's figurative
language.

"Awh, the crew's right enuf - a set o' gashly, smudge-faced raskils
that's near half Maltee and t' other Lascar Injuns. Any jail-bird that
flies their way 'ull find they's all of a feather. But here," he added,
puzzled by the event: "how's this that you'm still mixed up with Adam
so? I thought 'twas all 'long o' you and Reuben May that the Lottery's
landin' got blowed about?"

Eve shook her head. "Be sure," she said, "'twas never in me to do Adam
any harm."

"And you'm goin' to stick to un now through thick and thin? 'Twill niver
do for un, ye knaw, to set his foot on Cornish ground agen."

"He knows that," said Eve; "and if he gets away we shall be married and
go across the seas to some new part, where no one can tell what brought
us from our home."

Triggs gave a significant nod. "Lord!" he exclaimed, "but that's a poor
lookout for such a bowerly maid as you be! Wouldn't it be better for 'ee
to stick by yer friends 'bout here than - "

"I haven't got any friends," interrupted Eve promptly, "excepting it's
Adam and Joan and Uncle Zebedee."

"Ah, poor old Zebedee!" sighed Triggs: "'tis all dickey with he. The day
I started I see Sammy Tucker to Fowey, and he was tellin' that th' ole
chap was gone reg'lar tottlin'-like, and can't tell thickee fra that;
and as for Joan Hocken, he says you wouldn't knaw her for the same. And
they's tooked poor foolish Jonathan, as is more mazed than iver, to live
with 'em; and Mrs. Tucker, as used to haggle with everybody so, tends on
'em all hand and foot, and her's given up praichin' 'bout religion and
that, and 's turned quite neighborly, and, so long as her can save her
daughter, thinks nothin's too hot nor too heavy."

"Dear Joan!" sighed Eve: "she's started by the coach on her way up here
now."

"Whether she hath or no!" exclaimed Triggs in surprise. "Then take my
word they's heerd that Jerrem's to be hanged, and Joan's comin' up to be
all ready to hand for 't."

"No, not that," groaned Eve, for at the mere mention of the word the
vague dread seemed to shape itself into a certainty. "Oh, Captain
Triggs, don't say that if Adam gets off you don't think Jerrem's life
will be spared."

"Wa-al, my poor maid, us must hope so," said the compassionate captain;
"but 'tis the warst o' they doin's that sooner or later th' endin, of
'em must come. 'Twould never do to let 'em prosper allays," he added
with impressive certainty, "or where 'ud be the use o' parsons praichin'
up 'bout heaven and hell? Why, now, us likes good liquor cheap to Fowey;
and wance 'pon a time us had it too, but that ha'n't bin for twenty
year. Our day's gone by, and so 'ull theirs be now; and th' excise 'ull
come, and revenoos 'ull settle down, and folks be foaced to take to
lousterin' for the bit o' bread they ates, and live quiet and paceable,
as good neighbors should. So try and take heart; and if so be that Adam
can give they Bailey chaps the go-by, tell un to come 'longs here, and
us 'ull be odds with any o' they that happens to be follerin' to his
heels."

Charmed with this friendly promise, Eve said "Good-bye," leaving the
captain puzzled with speculations on women and the many curious
contradictions which seem to influence their actions; while, the hour
being now too late to return to the prison, she took her way to her own
room, thinking it best to begin the preparations which in case of Adam's
escape and any sudden departure it would be necessary to have completed.

Perhaps it was her interview with Captain Triggs, the sight of the wharf
and the ships, which took her thoughts back and made them bridge the
gulf which divided her past life from her present self. Could the girl
she saw in that shadowy past - headstrong, confident, impatient of
suffering and unsympathetic with sorrow - be this same Eve who walked
along with all hope and thought of self merged in another's happiness
and welfare? Where was the vanity, where were the tricks and coquetries,
passports to that ideal existence after which in the old days she had so
thirsted? Trampled out of sight and choked beneath the fair blossoms of
a higher life, which, as in many a human nature, had needed sorrow,
humiliation and a great watering of tears before there could spring
forth the flowers for a fruit which should one day ripen into great
perfection.

No wonder, then, that she should be shaken by a doubt of her own
identity; and having reached her room she paused upon the threshold and
looked around as if to satisfy herself by all those silent witnesses
which made it truth. There was the chair in which she had so often sat
plying her needle with such tardy grace while her impatient thoughts did
battle with the humdrum, narrow life she led. How she had beat against
the fate which seemed to promise naught but that dull round of
commonplace events in which her early years had passed away! How as a
gall and fret had come the thought of Reuben's proffered love, because
it shadowed forth the level of respectable routine, the life she then
most dreaded! To be courted and sought after, to call forth love,
jealousy and despair, to be looked up to, thought well of, praised,
admired, - these were the delights she had craved and these the longings
she had had granted. And a sigh from the depths of that chastened heart
rendered the bitter tribute paid by all to satiated vanity and outlived
desire. The dingy walls, the ill-assorted furniture (her mother's pride
in which had sometimes vexed her, sometimes made her laugh) now looked
like childhood's friends, whose faces stamp themselves upon our inmost
hearts. The light no longer seemed obscure, the room no longer gloomy,
for each thing in it now was flooded by the tender light of
memory - that wondrous gift to man which those who only sail along life's
summer sea can never know in all the heights and depths revealed to
storm-tossed hearts.

"What! you've come back?" a voice said in her ear; and looking round Eve
saw it was Reuben, who had entered unperceived. "There's nothing fresh
gone wrong?" he asked.

"No, nothing;" but the sad smile she tried to give him welcome with was
so akin to tears that Reuben's face assumed a look of doubt. "'Tis only
that I'm thinking how I'm changed from what I was," said Eve. "Why, once
I couldn't bear this room and all the things about it; but now - Oh,
Reuben, my heart seems like to break because perhaps 'twill soon now
come to saying good-bye to all of it for ever."

Reuben winced: "You're fixed to go, then?"

"Yes, where Adam goes I shall go too: don't you think I should? What
else is left for me to do?"

"You feel, then, you'd be happy - off with him - away from all
and - everybody else?"

"Happy! Should I be happy to know he'd gone alone - happy to know I'd
driven him away to some place where I wouldn't go myself?" and Eve
paused, shaking her head before she added, "If he can make another start
in life - try and begin again - "

"You ought to help him to it," said Reuben promptly: "that's very plain
to see. Oh, Eve, do you mind the times when you and me have talked of
what we'd like to do - how, never satisfied with what went on around, we
wanted to be altogether such as some of those we'd heard and read about?
The way seems almost opened up to you, but what shall I do when all this
is over and you are gone away? I can't go back and stick to trade again,
working for nothing more but putting victuals in myself."

For a moment Eve did not speak: then, with a sudden movement, she
turned, saying to Reuben, "There's something that before our lives are
at any moment parted I've wanted to say to you, Reuben. 'Tis that until
now, this time while we've been all together here, I've never known what
your worth is - what you would be to any one who'd got the heart to value
what you'd give. Of late it has often seemed that I should think but
very small of one who'd had the chance of your liking and yet didn't
know the proper value of such goodness."

Reuben gave a look of disavowal, and Eve continued, adding with a little
hesitation, "You mustn't think it strange in me for saying this. I
couldn't tell you if you didn't know how everything lies between Adam
and myself; but ever since this trouble's come about all my thoughts
seem changed, and people look quite different now to what they did
before; and, most of all, I've learnt to know the friend I've got, and
always had, in you, Reuben."

Reuben did not answer for a moment. He seemed struggling to keep back
something he was yet prompted to speak of. "Eve," he said at length,
"don't think that I've not made mistakes, and great ones too. When first
I fought to battle down my leaning toward you, why was it? Not because
of doubting that 'twould ever be returned, but 'cos I held myself too
good a chap in all my thoughts and ways to be taken up with such a
butterfly concern as I took you to be. I'd never have believed then that
you'd have acted as I've seen you act. I thought that love with you
meant who could give you the finest clothes to wear and let you rule the
roast the easiest; but you have shown me that you are made of better
woman's stuff than that. And, after all, a man thinks better of himself
for mounting high than stooping to pick up what can be had for asking
any day."

"No, no, Reuben: your good opinion is more than I deserve," said Eve,
her memory stinging her with past recollections. "If you want to see a
dear, kind-hearted, unselfish girl, wait until Joan comes. I do so hope
that you will take to her! I think you will, after what you've been to
Jerrem and to Adam. I want you and Joan to like each other."

"I don't think there's much fear of that," said Reuben. "Jerrem's spoke
so freely about Joan that I seem to know her before ever having seen
her. Let me see: her mind was at one time set on Adam, wasn't it?"

"I think that she was very fond of Adam," said Eve, coloring: "and, so
far as that goes, I don't know that there is any difference now. I'm
sure she'd lay her life down if it would do him good."

"Poor soul!" sighed Reuben, drawn by a friendly feeling to sympathize
with Joan's unlucky love. "Her cup's been full, and no mistake, of
late."

"Did Jerrem seem to feel it much that Uncle Zebedee 'd been took so
strange?" asked Eve.

"I didn't tell him more than I could help," said Reuben. "As much as
possible I made it out to him that for the old man to come to London
wouldn't be safe, and the fear of that seemed to pacify him at once."

"I haven't spoken of it to Adam yet," said Eve. "He hasn't asked about
his coming, so I thought I'd leave the telling till another time. His
mind seems set on nothing but getting off, and by it setting Jerrem
free."

But Reuben made no rejoinder to the questioning tone of Eve's words, and
after a few minutes' pause he waived the subject by reverting to the
description which Eve had given of Joan, so that, in case he had to meet
her alone, he might recognize her without difficulty. Eve repeated the
description, dwelling with loving preciseness on the various features
and points by which Joan might be known; and then Reuben, having some
work to do, got up to say good-bye.

"Good-bye," said Eve, holding out her hand - "good-bye. Every time I say
it now I seem to wonder if 'tis to be good-bye indeed."

"Why, no: in any way, you'd wait until the trial was over?"

"Yes, I forgot: of course we should."

"Well, then, do you think I'd let you go without a word? Ah, Eve, no!
Whatever others are, nobody's yet pushed you from your place, nor ever
will so long as my life lasts."




CHAPTER XXXVII


At length the dreaded day was over, the trial was at an end, and, in
spite of every effort made, Jerrem condemned to die. The hopes raised by
the knowledge of Adam's escape seemed crowned with success when, to the
court's dismay, it was announced that the prisoner's accuser could not
be produced: he had mysteriously disappeared the evening before, and in
spite of a most vigorous search was nowhere to be found. But, with minds
already resolved to make this hardened smuggler's fate a warning and
example to all such as should henceforth dare the law, one of the
cutter's crew, wrought upon by the fear lest Jerrem should escape and
baffle the vengeance they had vowed to take, was got to swear that
Jerrem was the man who fired the fatal shot; and though it was shown
that the night was dark and recognition next to impossible, this
evidence was held conclusive to prove the crime, and nothing now
remained but to condemn the culprit. The judge's words came slowly
forth, making the stoutest there shrink back and let that arrow from the
bow of death glance by and set its mark on him upon whose face the crowd
now turned to gaze.

"Can it be that he is stunned? or is he hardened?"

For Jerrem stands all unmoved and calm while, dulled by the sound of
rushing waters, the words the judge has said come booming back and back
again. A sickly tremor creeps through every limb and makes it nerveless;
a sense of growing weight presses the flesh down as a burden on the
fainting spirit; one instant a thousand faces, crowding close, keep out
the air; the next, they have all receded out of sight back into misty
space, and he is left alone, with all around faded and grown confused
and all beneath him slipping and giving way. Suddenly a sound rouses him
back to life: a voice has smote his ear and cleaved his inmost soul; and
lifting his head his eyes are met by sight of Joan, who with a piercing
shriek has fallen back, deathlike and pale, in Reuben's outstretched
arms.

Then Jerrem knows that hope is past and he must die, and in one flash
his fate, in all its misery and shame, stands out before him, and
reeling he totters, to sink down senseless and be carried off to that
dismal cell allotted to those condemned to death; while Reuben, as best
he can, manages to get Joan out of court and into the open air, where
she gradually comes back to life again and is able to listen to such
poor comfort as Reuben's sad heart can find to give her. For by reason
of those eventful circumstances which serve to cement friendships by
suddenly overthrowing the barriers time must otherwise gradually wear
away, Reuben May and Joan Hocken have (in the week which has intervened
between her arrival and this day of trial) become more intimate and
thoroughly acquainted than if in an ordinary way they had known each
other for years. A stranger in a large city, with not one familiar face
to greet her, who does not know the terrible feeling of desolation which
made poor Joan hurry through the crowded streets, shrinking away from
their bustle and throng toward Reuben, the one person she had to turn to
for sympathy, advice, assistance and consolation? With that spirit of
perfect trust which her own large heart gave her the certain assurance
of receiving, Joan placed implicit reliance in all Reuben said and did;


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Online LibraryVariousLippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVI., December, 1880 → online text (page 3 of 20)