Eben Holden, a tale of the north country eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about Eben Holden, a tale of the north country.
man, with an aggressive red beard; the blithe and sparkling Earl of St Germans, then Steward of the Royal Household; the curly Major Teasdale; the gay Bruce, a major-general, who behaved himself always like a lady.  Suddenly the floor sank beneath the crowd of people, who retired in some disorder.  Such a compression of crinoline was never seen as at that moment, when periphery pressed upon periphery, and held many a man captive in the cold embrace of steel and whalebone.  The royal party retired to its rooms again and carpenters came in with saws and hammers.  The floor repaired, an area was roped off for dancing — as much as could be spared.  The Prince opened the dance with Mrs Governor Morgan, after which other ladies were honoured with his gallantry.

I saw Mrs Fuller in one of the boxes and made haste to speak with her.  She had just landed, having left Hope to study a time in the Conservatory of Leipzig.

‘Mrs Livingstone is with her,’ said she, ’and they will return together in April.

‘Mrs Fuller, did she send any word to me?’ I enquired anxiously.  ’Did she give you no message?

‘None,’ she said coldly, ’except one to her mother and father, which I have sent in a letter to them.

I left her heavy hearted, went to the reporter’s table and wrote my story, very badly I must admit, for I was cut deep with sadness.  Then I came away and walked for hours, not caring whither.  A great homesickness had come over me.  I felt as if a talk with Uncle Eb or Elizabeth Brower would have given me the comfort I needed.  I walked rapidly through dark, deserted streets.  A steeple clock was striking two, when I heard someone coming hurriedly on the walk behind me.  I looked over my shoulder, but could not make him out in the darkness, and yet there was something familiar in the step.  As he came near I felt his hand upon my shoulder.

‘Better go home, Brower,’ he said, as I recognised the voice of Trumbull.  ‘You’ve been out a long time.  Passed you before tonight.’

‘Why didn’t you speak?’

‘You were preoccupied.’

‘Not keeping good hours yourself,’ I said.

‘Rather late,’ he answered, ’but I am a walker, and I love the night.  It is so still in this part of the town.’

We were passing the Five Points.

‘When do you sleep,’ I enquired.

‘Never sleep at night,’ he said, ’unless uncommonly tired.  Out every night more or less.  Sleep two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon — that’s all I require.  Seen the hands o’ that clock yonder on every hour of the night.’

He pointed to a lighted dial in a near tower.

Stopping presently he looked down at a little waif asleep in a doorway, a bundle of evening papers under his arm.  He lifted him tenderly.

‘Here, boy,’ he said, dropping corns in the pocket of the ragged little coat, ’I’ll take those papers — you go home now.

We walked to the river, passing few save members of ’the force , who always gave Trumbull a cheery ‘hello, Cap!’ We passed wharves where the great sea horses lay stalled, with harnesses hung high above them, their noses nodding over our heads; we stood awhile looking up at the looming masts, the lights of the river craft.

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Eben Holden, a tale of the north country from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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