Bad Hugh eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 488 pages of information about Bad Hugh.
that none but pleasant memories should be left to him of this, his only sister.  But ’Lina did not die, and as her disease had from the first assumed a far more violent form than Adah’s, so it was the first to yield, and February found her convalescent.  With Adah it was different.  But there came a change at last, a morning when she awoke from a death-like stupor which had clouded her faculties so long, as the attending physician said to Hugh that his services would be needed but a little longer.  Physicians’ bills, together with that of Harney’s yet unpaid, for Harney, villain though he was, would not present it when Hugh was full of trouble; but the hour was coming when it must be settled, and Hugh at last received a note, couched in courteous terms, but urging immediate payment.

“I’ll see him to-day.  I’ll know the worst at once,” he said, and mounting Rocket, who never looked more beautiful than he did that afternoon, he dashed down the Frankfort turnpike, and was soon closeted with Harney.



The perspiration was standing in great drops about Hugh’s quivering lips, and his face was white as ashes, as, near the close of that interview, he hoarsely asked: 

“Do I understand you, sir, that Rocket will cancel this debt and leave you my debtor for one hundred dollars?”

“Yes, that was my offer, and a most generous one, too, considering how little horses are bringing,” and Harney smiled villainously as he thought within himself:  “Easier to manage than I supposed.  I believe my soul I offered too much.  I should have made it an even thing.”

Hugh knew how long this plan had been premeditated, and his blood boiled madly when he heard it suggested, as if that moment had given it birth.  Still he restrained himself, and asked the question we have recorded, adding, after Harney’s reply: 

“And suppose I do not care to part with Rocket?”

Harney winced a little, but answered carelessly: 

“Money, of course, is just as good.  You know how long I’ve waited.  Few would have done as well.”

Yes, Hugh knew that, but Rocket was as dear to him as his right eye, and he would almost as soon have plucked out the one as sold the other.

“I have not the money,” he said, frankly, “and I cannot part with Rocket.  Is there nothing else?  I’ll give a mortgage on Spring Bank.”

Harney did not care for a mortgage, but there was something else, and the rascally face brightened, as, stepping back, while he made the proposition, he faintly suggested “Lulu.”  He would give a thousand dollars for her, and Hugh could keep his horse.  For a moment the two young men regarded each other intently, Hugh’s eyes flashing gleams of fire, and his whole face expressive of the contempt he felt for the wretch who cowed at last beneath the look, and turned away muttering that “he saw nothing so very heinous in wishing to purchase a nigger wench.”

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Bad Hugh from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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