Colonel Dumont gave his protege much good advice, and, as his failing health had infected his usually cheerful spirits, he said that they would probably meet no more in this world. He frankly told him that he should remember him in his will, and wished him ever to regard Emily in the relation of a sister.
This last wish seemed like a positive prohibition of the fond hope he had cherished, of regarding her in a nearer and more tender relation. He congratulated himself on the decision with which he had resisted the temptation to avow his love.
This injunction of Emily’s father could be interpreted in two ways,—as a requirement to preserve the present friendly relations, or as a prohibition against his ever making her his wife. The latter method of rendering his meaning seemed to him the most in accordance with their relative positions, and he was compelled to adopt it.
After renewing his thanks to his benefactor, he took his leave with a sad heart, and departed from the mansion which contained his newly-found yet now rejected love.
is ’t ye do?
Witches.—A deed without a name.”
In the management of his estates, Colonel Dumont had, for many years, been assisted by an only brother. This brother was directly the opposite of himself in character, in aims, in everything. Even in his childhood this brother had displayed a waywardness of disposition which gave the promise of much evil in his future years. As the seed sown so was the harvest. Parental instruction, counsel and rebuke, were alike unavailing, and he attained the years of manhood morose and unsympathizing in his disposition, avaricious and hard with his equals, and cruel and unjust towards his inferiors. His selfish mind, his low aims, and his tyrannical character, had long been preparing him for deeds of villany and injustice.
In the earlier years of his life he had been a merchant in New Orleans; but, being universally detested for his meanness and duplicity, in a season of general panic in the financial world he was completely ruined, by the want of those kind offices which are so freely interchanged in the mercantile community. In this dilemma, he asked his brother’s assistance. Colonel Dumont examined his affairs, and, considering his position in the community, with the almost hopeless embarrassment of his concerns, concluded that success under these circumstances was impossible. He frankly and kindly informed his brother of his conclusion, and offered him a share in his planting operations. His brother—Jaspar—was sorely wounded in his pride by this reply. It generated in him a sentiment, if not of malignity, at least of hatred, and from that day he was his brother’s enemy. Jaspar’s business was gone, and he never allowed his spirit of revenge even to interfere with his interest; so he availed himself of his brother’s offer.