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and beautifully shaped - strong hands, ling web," read Rast, looking up and generous hands, faithful hands ; not the dreamily watching the brown strands taklittle, idle, characterless, faithless palms ing their place in the long braid. Anne So,.common in America, small, dainty, saw his look, and hurried her weaving. delicate, and shapeless, coming from a The girl had thought all her life that her composite origin. Her thick hair, brown hair was ugly because it was so heavy, as a mellowed chestnut, with a gleam of and neither black nor gold in hue; and dark red where the light touched it, like the red of November oak leaves, was, as usual, in her way, the heavy braids breaking from the coil at the back of her head, one by one, as she read on through Hamlet. At last impatiently she drew out the comb, and they all fell down over her shoulders, and left her in momenta
The lesson was nearly over when Rast Pronando appeared; he was to enter college–a Western college on one of the lower lakes-early in the spring, and that prospect made the chaplain's lessons seem dull to him. "Very likely they will not teach at all as he does; I shall do much better if I go over the text-books by myself," he said, confidentially, to Anne. “I do not want to appear old-fashioned, you know."
** Is it unpleasant to be old-fashioned ! | I should think the old fashions would be sure to be the good ones," said the girl. “But I do not want you to go so far beyond me, Rast; we have always been even until now.
Will you think me old-fashioned too when you come back?"
“Oh no; you will always be Anne. I can predict you exactly at twenty, and even thirty: there is no doubt about you."
“But shall I be old-fashioned ?"
“Well, perhaps; but we don't mind it in women.
All the goddesses were oldfashioned, especially Diana.
You are Diana."
** Diana, a huntress. She loved Endymion, who was always asleep," said Anne,
HE SEIZED ANNE'S WRIST, AND DRAGGED HER.' quoting from her school-girl mythology.
This morning Rast had dropped in to read a little Greek with his old master, Rast, following her opinion, had thought and to walk home with Anne. The girl so too: she had told him it was, many a hurried through her Hamlet, and then time. It was characteristic of her nature yielded the place to him. It was a three- that while as a child she had admired her legged stool, the only companion the arm- companion's spirited, handsome face and chair had, and it was the seat for the re-curling golden locks, she had never feared citing scholar; the one who was studying lest he might not return her affection besat in a niche on the window-seat at a little cause she happened to be ugly; she drew distance. Anne, retreating to this niche, no comparisons. But she had often disbegan to rebraid her hair.
cussed the subject of beauty with him. “But she, within-within-singing with "I should like to be beautiful,” she said; enchanting tone, enchanting voice, wove like that girl at the fort last summer." with a--with a golden shuttle the spark “Pooh! it doesn't make much differ
ence," answered Rast, magnanimously. cap. The rough plain costume was be“I shall always like you."
coming to the vigorous girl. “It tones ** That is because you are so generous, her down,” thought the lieutenant's wife; dear."
“she really looks quite well." * Perhaps it is," answered the boy. In the mean while Rast had gone across
This was two years before, when they to the dining-room to find Bert Bryden, were fourteen and fifteen years old ; at the commandant's son, and borrow his sixteen and seventeen they had advanced sled. but little in their ideas of life and of each “And you're really going to take Miss other. Still, there was a slight change, Douglas down the hill!" said the boy. for Anne now hurried the braiding; it "Hurrah! I'll look out of the side winhurt her a little that Rast should gaze so dow and see. What fun! Such a big steadily at the rough, ugly hair.
girl to go sliding!" When the Greek was finished they said Amne was a big girl to go; but Rast was good-by to the chaplain, and left the cot- not to be withstood. She would not get tage together. As they crossed the inner on the sled at the door, as he wished, but parade ground, taking the snow path followed him out through the sally-port, which led toward the entrance grating, and around to the top of the long steep and which was kept shovelled out by the fort hill, whose snowy, slippery road-track soldiers, the snow walls on each side rising was hardly used at all during the winter, to their chins, Rast suddenly exclaimed: save by coasters, and these few in num"Oh, Annet, I have thought of something! ber, for the village boys, French and halfI am going to take you down the fort hill breeds, did not view the snow as an amuseon a sled.
Now you need not object, be- ment, or toiling up hill as a recreation. cause I shall do it in any case, although The two little boys at the fort, and what we are grown up, and I am going to col- Scotch and New England blood there was lege. Probably it will be the last time. in the town, held a monopoly of the I shall borrow Bert Bryden's sled. Come coasting. along."
“There they go!" cried Bert, from his All the boy in him was awake; he perch on the deep window-seat overlookseized Anne's wrist, and dragged her ing the frozen Straits and the village bethrough first one cross-path, then another, low. “Mamma, you must let me take until at last they reached the comman- you down now; you are not so big as Miss dant's door. From the windows their Douglas.' heads had been visible, turning and cross Mrs. Bryden, a slender little woman, ing above the heaped-up snow. “Rast, laughed. Fancy the colonel's horror, and Ame Douglas,” said Mrs. Bryden, she said, “if he should see me sliding recognizing the girl's fur cap and the down that hill! And yet it looks as if youth's golden hair. She tapped on the it might be rather stirring,” she added, window, and signed to them to enter with watching the flying sled and its load. out ceremony. "What is it, Rast? Good. The sled, of island manufacture, was large morning, Anne; what a color you have, and sledge-like; it carried two comfortachild!"
bly. Anne held on by Rast's shoulders, "Rast has been making me run," said sitting behind him, while he guided the Anne, smiling, and coming toward the flying craft. Down they glided, darted, hearth, where the fort ladies were sitting faster and faster, losing all sense of everytogether sewing, and rather lugubriously thing after a while save speed. Reaching recalling Christmas times in their old | the village street at last, they flew across Eastern homes.
it, and out on the icy pier beyond, where "Throw off your cloak," said Mrs. Cro- Rast by a skillful manoeuvre stopped the mer, “else you will take cold when you sled on the very verge. The fort ladies go out again.”
were all at the windows now, watching. "We shall only stay a moment," an How dangerous !" said Mrs. Bryden, swered Anne.
forgetting her admiration of a moment The cloak was of strong dark blue wool before with a mother's irrelevant rapidity. len cloth, closely fitted to the figure, with "Albert, let me never see or hear of your a small cape; it reached from her throat sliding on that pier; another inch, and to her ankles, and was met and completed they would have gone over, down on the by fur boots, fur gloves, and a little fur broken ice below!"
“I couldn't do it, mamma, even if I “Does he? How strange! How did tried," replied Master Albert, regretfully; he come here?" “I always tumble off the sled at the street, " He was born here: Dr. Gaston told or else run into one of the warehouses. me his history. It seems that the boy's Only Rast Pronando can steer across slant- father was a wild younger son of the secing, and out on that pier."
ond Peter, grandson, of course, of the “I am very glad to hear it,' replied Mrs. original Peter, from whom the family deBryden ; " but your father must also give rive all their greatness--and money. This you his positive commands on the subject. Peter the third, only his name was not I had no idea that the pier was ever at-Peter, but John (the eldest sons were the tempted."
Peters)-wandered away from home, and “And it is not, mamma, except by came up here, where his father's name Rast," said the boy. 'Can't I try it when was well known among the directors of I am as old as he is ?"
the Fur Company. John Pronando, who · Hear the child!" said Mrs. Cromer, must have been of very different fibre from going back to her seat by the fire; one the rest of the family, liked the wild life would suppose he expected to stay here of the border, and even went off on one all his life. Do you not know, Bert, that or two long expeditions to the Red River we are only here for a little while-a year of the North and the Upper Missouri after or two? Before you are eighteen months furs with the hunters of the Company. older very likely you will find yourself His father then offered him a position out on the plains. What a life it is !" here which would carry with it authority,
The fort ladies all sighed. It was a but he curtly refused, saying that he had habit they had. They drew the dreariest no taste for a desk and pen like Peter. pictures of their surroundings and priva- Peter was his brother, who had begun dutions in their letters homeward, and real-tifully at an early age his life-long task ly believed them, theoretically. In truth, of taking care of the large accumulation there were some privations; but would of land which makes the family so rich. any one of them have exchanged army Peter was the good boy always. Father life for civilian? To the last, thorough Peter was naturally angry with John, and army ladies retain their ways; you recog- inclined even then to cross his name off nize them even when retired to private the family list of heirs; this, however, was and perhaps more prosperous life. Cos- not really done until the prodigal crowned mopolitans, they do not sink into the ruts his long course of misdeeds by marrying of small-town life; they are never provin- the pretty daughter of a Scotchman, who cial. They take the world easily, having held one of the smaller clerkships in the a pleasant, generous taste for its pleasures, Company's warehouses here-only a grade and making light of the burdens that fall above the hunters themselves. This was to their share. All little local rules and the end. Almost anything else might ways are nothing to them: neither here nor have been forgiven save a marriage of anywhere are they to remain long. With that kind. If John Pronando had selectthis habit and manner they keep up a vasted the daughter of a flat-boat man on the amount of general cheeriness-vast in-Ohio River, or of a Pennsylvania mountdeed, when one considers how small the ain wagoner, they might have accepted incomes often are. But if small, they are her-at a distance--and made the best of also sure.
her. But a person from the rank and ** Rast Pronando is too old for such file of their own Fur Company-it was as frolics, I think," said Mrs. Rankin, the though a colonel should marry the daughlieutenant's wife, beginning another seam ter of a common soldier in his own regiin the new dress for her baby.
ment: yes, worse, for nothing can equal “ He goes to college in the spring; that the Pronando pride. From that day John will quiet him," said Mrs. Bryden. Pronando was simply forgotten-so they
“ What will he do afterward? Is he to said. His mother was dead, so it may have live here? At this end of the world—this been true. A small sum was settled upon jumping-off place?"
him, and a will was carefully drawn up “I suppose so; he has always lived forever excluding him and the heirs he here. But he belongs, you know, to the might have from any share in the estate. old Philadelphia family of the same name, John did not appear to mind this, but the Peter Pronandos."
lived on merrily enough for some years
relatives, and win his way back into the
“He does not know anything about his
" Then some one ought to tell him."
“Why? Simply for the money? No: let him lead his own life out here, and make his own way," said Mrs. Bryden, warmly.
“What a radical you are, Jane!"
"No, not a radical; but I have seen two or three of the younger Pronandos, of the fourth generation, I mean, and whenever I think of their dead eyes, and lifeless, weary manner, I feel like doing what I can to keep Rast away from them.”
“But the boy must live his life, Jane. These very Pronandos whom you describe will probably be sober and staid at fifty: the Pronandos always are. And Rast, after all, is one of them."
But not like them. He would go to ruin, he has so much more imagination than they have.”
And less stability ?"
"Well, no; less epicureanism, perhaps. It is the solid good things of life that bring the Pronandos back, after they have indulged in youthful wildness: they have no taste for husks."
Then the colonel came in, and, soon after, the sewing circle broke up, Mrs. Cromer and Mrs. Rankin returning to their quarters in the other cottages through the walled snow-paths. The little fort was perched on the brow of the cliff, over
looking the village and harbor; the winLOIS HINSDALE.—[SEE PAGE 230.]
dows of the stone cottages which formed
the officers' quarters commanded an unafterward, until his sweet little wife died; interrupted view of blue water in sumthen he seemed to lose his strength sud-mer, and white ice-fields in winter, as far denly, and soon followed her, leaving this as the eye could reach. It could hardly one boy, Erastus, named after the mater- have withstood a bombardment; its walls nal grandfather, with his usual careless and block-houses, erected as a defense disregard of what would be for his advan- against the Indians, required constant tage. The boy has been brought up by propping and new foundation-work to our good chaplain, although he lives with keep them within the requirements of a family down in the village; the doctor safety, not to speak of military dignity. has husbanded what money there was But the soldiers had nothing else to do, carefully, and there is enough to send and, on the whole, the fort looked well, him through college, and to start him in especially from the water, crowning the life in some way.
A good education he green height with buttressed majesty. considered the best investment of all." During eight months of the year the offi
“In a fresh-water college ?" said Mrs. cers played chess and checkers, and the Cromer, raising her eyebrows.
men played fox-and-geese. The remain“Why not, for a fresh-water boy? He ing four months, which comprised all will always live in the West."
there was of spring, summer, and autumn, " He is so handsome," said Mrs. Rankin, were filled full of out-door work and enthat he might go Eastward, captivate his joyment; summer visitors came, and the
United States uniform took its conquering slender, low-voiced Miss Carew, who was place, as usual, among the dancers, at the thirty, but appeared twenty, after the picnics, and on the fast-sailing fishing- manner of slender yellow-white blondes boats which did duty as yachts, skimming who have never possessed any rose-tints or over the clear water in whose depths fish dimples, having always been willowy and could be seen swimming forty feet below. amber-colored. Miss Carew sailed, for a These same fish were caught and eaten- summer's amusement, through the Great the large lake trout, and the delicate white- Lakes of the West; and then returned fish, aristocrat of the fresh-water seas; Eastward with the opinion that they were three-quarters of the population were fish- but so many raw, blank, inland oceans, ermen, and the whole town drew its food without sensations or local coloring from the deep. The business had broad- enough to rouse her. The week on the ened, too, as the Prairie States became island, which was an epoch in Rast's life, more thickly settled, namely, the salting had held for her but languid interest; yet and packing for sale of these fresh-water even the languid work of a master-hand fish. Barrels stood on the piers, and brisk has finish and power, and Rast was melagents, with pencils behind their ears, ancholy and silent for fifteen days after stirred the slow-moving villagers into ac- the enchantress had departed. Then he tivity, as the man with a pole stirs up wrote to her one or two wild letters, and the bears. Fur-bearing animals had had received no answer; then he grew bitter. their day; it was now the turn of the Then Walters came, with his cadet's deep creatures of the deep.
experience in life, and the youth learned “Let us stop at the church-house a mo- from him, and re-appeared on the surface ment and see Miss Lois,” said Rast, as, again with a tinge of cynicism which filled dragging the empty sled behind him, he Anne with wonder. For he had never walked by Anne's side through the village told her the story of the summer; it was street toward the Agency.
almost the only event in his life which "I am afraid I have not time, Rast." she had not shared. But it was not that
“Make it, then. Come, Annet, don't he feared to tell her, they were as frank be ill-natured. And, besides, you ought with each other as two children; it was to see that I go there, for I have not called because he thought she would not underupon Miss Lois this year.'
stand it. “As this year only began last week, "I do not like Mr. Walters,” she said, you are not so very far behind," said the one day. girl, smiling. “Why can you not go “He was very much liked at the Point, and see Miss Lois alone ?"
I assure you,” said Rast, with significant “I should be welcome, at any rate; she emphasis. By the ladies, I mean, who adores me.”
come there in the summer. “Does she, indeed!"
“How could they like him, with that “Yes, Miss Douglas, she does. She important, egotistical air?" pretends otherwise, but that is always * But it is to conquer him they like," the way with women. Oh! I know the said Tita, looking up from her corner. world."
“Hear the child !” said Rast, laughing. “You are only one year older than I “Are you going to conquer, Tita ?" am."
“Yes," said Tita, stroking the cat which “In actual time, perhaps; but twenty shared the corner with her-a soft-coated years older in knowledge.
yellow pussy that was generally sleepy “What will you be, then, when you and quiet, but which had, nevertheless, come back from college ? An old man ?" at times, extraordinary fits of galloping
“By no means; for I shall stay where around in a circle, and tearing the bark I am. But in the mean time you will catch from the trees as though she was possessup with me.”
ed-an eccentricity of character which the Handsome Rast had passed through his boys attributed to the direct influence of novitiate, so he thought. His knowledge Satan. of the world was derived partly from Miss Lois lived in the church - house. Lieutenant Walters, who, although fresh It was an ugly house; but then, as is often from West Point, was still several years said of a plain woman, “so good!” It older than young Pronando, and patron- did not leak or rattle, or fall down or ized him accordingly, and partly from a smoke, or lean or sag, as did most of the
VoL LXIL.--No. 368.-15