Eighteen years of sunshine and cloud, had served to mould the form of Ella Barnwell into one of peculiar beauty and grace. In height she was a little above five feet, had a full round bust, and limbs of that beautiful and airy symmetry, which ever give to their possessor an appearance of etherial lightness. Her complexion was sufficiently dark to entitle her to the appellation of brunette; though by many it would have been thought too light, perhaps, owing to the soft, rich transparency of her skin; through which, by a crimson tint, could be traced the “tell-tale-blood,” on the slightest provocation tending to excitement. Her features, if examined closely, could not be put down as entirely regular, owing to a very slight defect in the mouth, which otherwise was very handsome, and which was graced with two plump, pretty, half pouting lips. This defect, however, was only apparent when the countenance was in stern repose; and, as this was seldom, when in company with others, it was of course seldom observed. The remainder of her features were decidedly good, and, seen in profile, really beautiful. Her eye was a full, soft, animated hazel, that could beam tenderly with love, sparkle brilliantly with wit, or flash scornfully with anger; but inclining more to the first and second qualities than the last. Her eye-brows were well defined, and just sufficiently arched to correspond with the eyes themselves. Her forehead was prominent, of a noble cast, and added dignity to her whole appearance. Her hair was a rich, dark brown, fine and glossy, and although neatly arranged about the head, evidently required but little training to enable it to fall gracefully about her neck in beautiful ringlets. The general expression of her face, was a soft, bewitching playfulness, which, combined with the half timid, benevolent look, beaming from her large, mild, hazel eye, invariably won upon the beholder at the first glance, and increased upon acquaintance. Her voice we have already spoken of as possessing a silvery sweetness; and if one could be moved at merely seeing her, it only required this addition to complete the charm. To all of the foregoing, let us add an ardent temperament—capable of the most tender, lasting and devoted attachment, when once the affections were placed on an object—a sweet disposition, modest deportment, and graceful manners—and you have the portrait in full of Ella Barnwell, the orphan, the model of her sex, and the admiration of all who knew her.
[Footnote 3: Mrs. Younker is the only authority we have for supposing Indians poison their bullets, although we have read of poisoned arrows, and hence infer such a proceeding to be rather a supposition with her than a certainty.]
The tale and fatal secret.
The dwelling of Benjamin Younker, as already mentioned, stood at the base of a hill, on the margin of a beautiful valley, and within a hundred feet of a lucid stream, whose waters, finding their source in the neighboring bills, rushed down, all gleesome and sparkling, over a limestone bed, and