And so it was this flash of gratitude for a peril escaped which procured for young Tom Tubbs the situation of clerk in the office of Cameron and Ray, the application for such situation having been urged by the ambitious Mattie, who felt her dignity considerably increased when she could speak of Brother Tom in company with Messrs. Cameron & Ray. And it was also a part of the same gratitude which suggested the huge package of merino and gingham, calico and linen, together with the handsome silk shawl and black lace veil, which a few days later was left by the express boy at the door of the farmhouse for Miss Betsy Barlow, who in a long letter overwhelmed Katy with her thanks, and nearly let out her visit to New York, as yet a secret to Mrs. Wilford.
THE SEVENTH REGIMENT.
Does the reader remember the pleasant spring days of four years ago, when the thunder of Fort Sumter’s bombardment came echoing up to the Northern hills and across the Western prairies, stopping for a moment the pulses of the nation, but quickening them again with a mighty power as from Maine to California man after man arose to smite the maddened foe trailing our honored flag in the dust? Nowhere, perhaps, was the excitement so great or the feeling so strong as in New York, when the Seventh Regiment was ordered on to Washington, its members, who so often had trodden the streets with a proud step, never faltering or holding back, but with a nerving of the will and a putting aside of self, prepared to do their duty. Conspicuous among them was Mark Ray, who, laughing at his mother’s fears, kissed her livid cheek, and then with a pang remembered Helen—dearer even than his mother—wondering how she would feel, and thinking the path to danger would be so much easier if he knew her love was his, that her prayers, her wishes would go with him, shielding him from harm and bringing him back again to the sunshine of her presence.
And before he went Mark must know this for certain, chiding himself for having put it off so long. True she had been sick and confined to her room for a long while after Aunt Betsy’s memorable visit; and when she was able to go out, Lent had put a stop to her mingling in festive scenes, so that he had seen but little of her, and had never met her alone. But he would write that very day. She knew, of course, that he was going, bidding him Godspeed he was sure, for her whole heart was with the gallant men who had stood so nobly against the enemy, surrendering only because they must. She would say that he did well to go; and she would answer “yes” to the question he would ask her. Mark felt sure of that; but still the letter he wrote was eloquent with his pleadings for her love, while he confessed his own, and asked that she would be his wife—would give him the right to carry her in his heart—to think of her as his affianced bride—to know she waited for his return, and would crown it at last with the full fruition of her priceless love.