Obrazy na stronie


hear her question, but suddenly pathetic, who blessed her, and who laid his hand upon hers, and gave had a right to bless her, having it a strong momentary pressure. loved (she could not doubt it) her “I must know first. I must speak mother before her. Joyce did not to my wife," he said, incoherently. know what the next disclosure God bless you ! -I must ask might be,-did not think for the Elizabeth. You must wait: 1 moment that, whatever it was, it must speak to Elizabeth. But must change the whole tenor of God bless you, my dear !

her life. Nor did she think that He was already gone, hastening there was still a doubt in it,—that with long steps up the street. it might yet come to nothing, as The thought passed through Joyce's he had said. Oh no, it could not mind that this must have been come to nothing ; everything pieced a dear friend, — someone, per- in to the story. The doubt with haps, who had loved her mother: which Janet had always chilled and man with the tenderest her, that a young creature disapheart. There was something in pearing so utterly, with no one to his “ God bless you " which seemed care for her, no one to inquire to fall upon her like the dew—a after her, must have had a story true blessing; the blessing of one in which shame was involved who had always been her friend, how completely was it dissipated though she had never known him. and explained by this real tale! She did not hurry to follow him Oh, no shame! she had felt sure to satisfy herself, but went on there could not be shame—nothing quietly at her usual pace, looking but the cruel distance, the fatal at the old gentleman's long swift accident that had delayed the steps, and thinking of a camel letter, those strange elements of going over the ground. He was uncertainty which mix in every from the East, too; and he de. mortal story which (Joyce rememvoured the way, hastening to the bered from that reading which had little figure which had perceived hitherto been her life) the ancients and which was waiting for him. called fate. And what could they Joyce had the faculty of youth to be called but fate? If it had come remark all this, yet keep up her in time that letter! as letters own thoughts at the same time. which mean nothing, which are She saw old Janet standing at the of no consequence, come every day door looking out, with the hem of —and yet he had said the delay her apron in her hand, which was was nobody's fault. Was it less her gesture when her mind was fatal, less fateful than those incimuch occupied or troubled ; and dents that lead towards the end the little lady in the street stand- of a tragedy in the poets? and ing waiting, and then, her own this was a tragedy. Oh, how sad, old friend, the Colonel, hurrying how pitiful, to the Joyce of twenty up, putting his arm within the years ago! but not to our Joyce, lady's, leading her away with his who suddenly found this July head bent over her. There was a morning her vague dreams of certain amusement in it all, which youth, her fancies that had no floated on the surface of the great foundation, suddenly coming true. excitement and wonder and de- “You've been a long time away," light of the discovery she had said Janet from the door. She made. A father; and a dear old had watched Joyce's approach unfriend, the kindest, the most sym- til they were within a few steps of

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each other, when she had suddenly Janet, suddenly sitting down and withdrawn her eyes, and taken to covering her face with her apron,examining the hem of her apron, “ sae will ye be. Ye are weel off which she laid down and pinched now, though maybe ye dinna think between her fingers, as if preparing sae. it to be hemmed over again.


“Granny, have I ever given you corners of Janet's mouth were any reason to say that?" drawn down, and a line or two Janet withdrew her apron from marked in her forehead, as when her eyes. Her eyes were red with she was angry and about to scold that burden of tears which age her nursling: “I could wuss,” cannot shed like youth. she said, “that ye wouldna stra- sion of love and grief which overvaig away in the mornin' without flowed her being could only get a piece or onything to sustain ye, vent in this irritation and queruand maybe getting your death o'lous impatience. Her long upper cauld, sittin' on the grass."

lip quivered, a hot moisture glis“ It is the first day of the holi- tened on the edges of her eyelids. days, granny,” said Joyce. She She looked at the young creature, came in smiling, and put down standing half on the defensive beher book, and going up to her fore this sudden attack, yet half faithful guardian, putan arm disposed to meet it with tender round her, and laid her cheek laughter and jest. « Oh, ye can against hers. Caresses are rare in make licht o't,” she cried.

io What a Scotch peasant's house. Janet is’t to you? just the life ye've aye half turned away her own wrinkled been craving for—aye craving for, cheek. The intensity of the love - ye canna say nay.

But to me within her rose into a heat which what is it?" said the old woman. simulated wrath.

“ It's just death. It's waur than " I'm no a wean to be made o’. death ; it's just lingerin', and longI like name o' your phrasin's. I in', and frettin' wi' my Maker for like when folk do as I bid them, what I canna have !

When we and make nae steer.”

took ye to our airms, a bit helpless “Oh, granny,” said Joyce, “but bairn, maybe there was that in our my heart is so full, and I have so hearts that said the Lord was our much to tell you."

debtor to make it up to us.

But " What can ye have to tell me? them that think sаe will find themI have maybe mair to tell you than selves sair mista'en; for He has ever ye thought upon; and as for just waited and waited till ye had a full heart, how can the like of come to your flower and were our you, with a' your life before ye, pride! And now the fiat has gaen ken what that means ?

forth, no’ when ye were a little “Granny, I have had a long talk bairn; and I aye said, “Haud a with that gentleman—the gentle- loose grip!' But now that a' the man that thought he knew my danger seemed overpast, now that mother.”

-wheesht !”cried Janet, suddenly, " And what had he to say to coming to an abrupt pause. In you? I'm thinking your mother the silence that followed they heard has been just killed among them. a slow and heavy foot, making long That's my opinion. A poor young and measured steps, advancing grasolitary thing, that had naebody to dually. They heard that among stand up for her. And sae will ye many others, for it was the time be if ye lippen to them,” cried when the labourers were coming


home to dinner-or for those who should make him open his mouth could not, the children or the wife in one of those big brief laughs were hurrying forth to carry it; that brought the water to his but to Janet and Joyce there was eyes. It was not necessary that it no mistaking the one tread among should be witty or clever. Joyce so many. Janet got up hurriedly was wit and cleverness embodied from the chair. “Wheesht ! no' to her foster-father. When she a word before him ; it's time enough opened her lips his soul was satwhen it comes," she said. Joyce isfied. had not waited even for this, but And before Peter the cloud dishad begun to lay the table, so that appeared like magic. Janet was Peter when he came in should find cheerful, and Joyce like everyday. everything ready. He came in They listened to his talk about the with his usual air of broadly smil. ripening corn, and where it was ing expectation, and took his bon- full in the ear, and where stubby, net from his grizzled red locks, and about the Irish shearers that which was

a fashion Joyce had will be doun upon us like locusts taught him, as he stepped across afore we ken,-"and a wheen Hiethe threshold. “It's awfu' warm land cattle too,” said Peter, who the day,” were his first words, as was not favourable to the Celts. he went in, notwithstanding, and Then the broth was put on the placed himself in the big chair near table and the blessing said, and the fire. The fire was the house- the humble dinner eaten as it had hold centre whether it was cold or been for years in the little family

So you've gotten the which held together by nature, and play?” he added, beaming upon which, so far as had appeared, Joyce, awaiting something which nothing could ever divide.



“Mightiest of all the beasts of chase,
Crashing the forest in his race,

The mountain bull comes thundering on."

One of the best and best-known group, has thirteen pairs of ribs, sportsmen in India has said em- and is more nearly allied to the old phatically, “ After elephant-shoot- wild cattle of England, whose last ing, there is perhaps no sport with descendants are still found in Lord the rifle to be compared to bison- Tankerville's park at Chillingham, stalking." Owing to the very pro- and under the old trees at Hamilper Government restrictions as to ton Palace. elephant-shooting, which protect The Indian bison, or more prothat most noble and useful animal perly gaur, is the most magnififrom extermination, I have had cent in appearance of all his family. little experience of its chase ; but He is an inhabitant of all the large though I cannot pretend to thorough forests of India, from near Cape knowledge of the sport, I have had Comorin to the foot of the Himalseveral opportunities of following ayas. The height of a good bull at the Indian bison, and doing battle the shoulder is six feet or more, with him in his forest strongholds. and his length, including tail,

May I recount the experiences nearly twelve feet. His chest is of a short trip to one of the jungles broad, with deep and powerful of Southern India, and invite the shoulders ; his neck, which is sunk reader to accompany me while I between the head and the back, retrace the tedious journey from short, thick, and heavy. The hind the Indian station, tread again the quarters are lower than the fore, forest paths beneath the whisper- and fall suddenly from the ridge of ing bamboos, under the guidance the back. He has short, stronglyof the wild shikarri, and meet the jointed legs, with arms exceedingly noble herd in the silent recesses of strong and muscular. He carries the wood.

his massive, full - muzzled head Before going further, let me say nobly, with the muzzle rather a word in description of the Indian thrust forward, and his peculiar bison, as no live representative eye, with pale slaty - blue pupil, has ever been brought to Europe, gives him a somewhat grave and and lest the reader should, as many serious expression. The whole people have done, confound him forehead is covered with hair of a with the American bison (Bison greyish colour, which darkens into americanus), or the true bison of brown or black on the rest of his Europe (Bison urus or Aurochs). body, while his legs are white. These two have fifteen and four- He has hardly any hair behind the teen pairs of ribs respectively. shoulders, and the quarters are geneThey belong to the same sub- rally quite bare. He carries grand family, Cattle (Bovinæ), but are horns, which are smooth and pomembers of the Bisontine group; lished, though in old individuals while the animal known as the In- they are broken at the tips, and dian bison belongs to the Taurine rough with rings at the base.

The gaur is one of the most wary fell. The huge head lowered of animals. He ordinarily wan- threateningly over him, and the ders in the hills, but in boisterous massive horns ploughed the earth weather, and when bothered by a first on one side and then on species of gnat, he descends to the the other. Fortunately they themlower country. Gaur are generally selves kept away the crushing found in small herds of from six force of the shaggy forehead, and to twelve, but occasionally larger their wide sweep and incurved numbers are congregated. There is points made the attack harmless. seldom more than one bull with the The victim had the presence of herd, but these herd bulls are by mind to avoid each savage dig, and no means the great object of the to kick the bison on the muzzle hunter's ambition. The old solitary with his nailed boots in return. bull, who disdains to join the com- Most fortunately, the great beast mon crowd, and who roams the took the hint and made off, leaving forest in sulky majesty, is the the sportsman to gather himself treasure which is most keenly together and congratulate himself sought for, and whose chase gives on his escape, quitte pour la peur.the greatest perfection of sport. But this danger is a most unusu

The bison is naturally courage- al occurrence, and generally the ous, and has the credit of being courage which makes a wounded sometimes fierce and dangerous. bison turn to attack his pursuer He does not generally commence signs his own death-warrant, as it hostilities, though natives will tell gives an opportunity for a finishing many tales of bulls charging the shot. traveller unexpectedly from behind I had been quartered for some cover, and many forest men will months at the pleasantest cantonrefuse to act as guides in the parts ment in Southern India before I of the jungle which they frequent. was able to spare ten days for a There is no doubt that he must short campaign in the jungle, and be approached with care if he is to try to realise the dreams of bigwounded, and, even in the most game shooting which had been exrecent days, narrow escapes have cited by the vivid writings of great been recorded in his chase. In the Nimrods, and the graphic descripIndian papers a few years ago were tions of sporting adventure which told the experiences of a well- old Anglo-Indians pour fourth in known soldier and sportsman, who such profusion. I had heard of was shooting in the Mysore jungles, a State forest, about 150 miles and wounded a bull. Unfortu- distant, which had not lately nately he moved forward, and the been visited, and which was said bison caught sight of him before he to hold bison, tiger, sambur, had reloaded. He was in the act chitul, and other game in most of slipping fresh cartridges into his promising quantity and variety. rifle, when the bull turned and An appeal to the Resident proshowed fight. The breech action of cured me the necessary permission the rifle became jammed for a mo- from the native authorities to shoot ment, when the enemy charged. in the district, to get all assistance No shot could be given to stop the from the officials, and to get necesonslaught, and the bison pursued sary supplies of food for master the sportsman round and round a and servants from the headmen of bamboo clump till he tripped and the villages. A week previous to

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