By Adelaide C. Waldron.
Softly there sounds above the
Of the wide world’s deafening din,
An echo of song from a far-off time,
Deeper and sweeter than poet’s rhyme,
Whose tidings of joy and whose message sublime,
“Heaven’s peace on earth, and good-will to mankind,”
Fill me with force; I yet will find
The way to enter in!
* * * * *
CHRISTOPHER GAULT.—A STORY.
By Edward P. Guild.
In the summer of 1879 I went to a quiet town in north-western Massachusetts, with the object of getting a few weeks of much needed rest and recreation. It had been four years since the first appearance of my name as “Attorney and Counsellor at Law,” on the door of a small Washington-street office, just below the Herald Building in the city of Boston; and, as I had worked all that time with hardly a thought of rest, I decided to take a good, respectable vacation.
Hopkins, who had an office on the same floor, advised me to go to H——, in Franklin county, where I could find the purest of air, splendid scenery, good trout fishing, and entire freedom from fashionable boarders. As this was just the bill of fare that I wanted, and as Hopkins was born and brought up there, and ought to know, I thankfully accepted his advice.
A week after my arrival I met Christopher Gault, who was boarding not far from Deacon Thompson’s, where I had my quarters. A friendship at once began to grow between us, and our time was largely spent in each other’s company. I found my new acquaintance a very agreeable companion, and, moreover, an unusually interesting young man. He was then about twenty-six years old, of medium stature, dark brown hair, and closely-cut side whiskers and moustache. His talents were brilliant and varied. Mathematics were his delight, and he had well chosen the profession of a civil engineer, in which, as I afterwards learned, he was already gaining distinction in my own city of Boston. He was an ardent admirer of nature, and was always ready for a ramble with me over the hills or through the woods; always closely observing the formation of the rocks, and capturing any interesting specimen of mineral, plant, or bug that came under the notice of his sharp eyes.
In conversation, which we often enjoyed on the broad piazza, Gault was exceedingly entertaining, and usually took an absorbing interest in the subject under discussion; but at times he would sit silent as though engrossed in other thoughts, and often with a very apparent look of melancholy in his face. One day when I had been noticing this, I said:—
“Gault, you are growing too serious for your age; you ought to get a wife.”
He smiled a little quickly, and resumed his former expression, without replying; but after a moment drew from his pocket book a photograph, and placed it in my hand.