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Bart Ridgeley ebook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about Bart Ridgeley.

When Thorndyke recovered, they had reached Judge Markham’s gate; and springing unaided from her saddle, Julia turned to him with all her grace and graciousness fully restored.

“Many thanks for your escort, Mr. Thorndyke.  I shall expect you at eight.”

At about that hour, a boy from Parker’s brought her the following note: 

“THURSDAY EVENING.

Miss Markham:—­Pardon, if you can, my rudeness of this afternoon.  Kindly remember the severity of my punishment.  Believe me capable of appreciating a heroic act; and the womanly devotion that can alone reward it.  From my heart, I congratulate you.

“With the profoundest respect.

“W.  THORNDYKE.”

As she read, a softer light, almost a mist, came into the eyes of the young girl.

“I fear I have done this man a real injustice.”

CHAPTER XLVII.

THE TRIAL

The March term of the Court at Chardon was at the beginning of its third and last week.  The important case in ejectment of Fisk vs.  Cole, was reached at the commencement of the second, and laid over for the absence of defendant’s counsel.  This directly involved the title of Cole to his land; a title that had been loosely talked about, and generally supposed to be bad.

In the fall of 1837, a stranger by the name of Fisk appeared in the country, placed a deed of the land in question on record; gave Cole notice to quit, commenced his suit, and leisurely proceeded to take his evidence in Conn, and Mass., and get ready for the trial.  Bart’s trial of Coles’s first case had rendered the latter an object of interest; and it was generally felt that the new case was one of great oppression and hardship; and popular opinion and sympathy were wholly with Cole, and all the more so, as the impression was that he would lose his land.

The people of Newbury, however, really believed that if Bart would return and take the case in hand, in some way, he would win it; but the Court had commenced, the case was called, and he still lingered in the East.  In the spring before he left Newbury, he had spent much time in examining the case, looking up the witnesses, and with such aid as his brother, the Colonel, could give, their names had been obtained and they were all subpoenaed to attend.  Among them were two or three old hunters and soldiers, on the Western frontier.

Ford was in the case, and had made up the issue, and at the trial, Bart had intended to secure the aid of Wade or Hitchcock.  Except himself, no one knew much of the case, and none had confidence that Cole would prevail in the trial, and a general feeling of despondency prevailed as to his prospect.  On the afternoon of the third Monday, Bart reached Chardon, from Albany, secured a room, assembled his witnesses, talked up the matter with the old hunters, and by his quiet, modest confidence, and quick, ready knowledge of all the details, he at once put a new aspect upon the defence.  Wade was also in Chardon, and on that evening, Bart laid his programme before him and Ford, who were not more than half convinced, and it was arranged that Bart should go forward with the case, to be backed and sustained by his seniors.

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