The warden, moved by the spark of generosity his soul possesses, has brought some cologne, and silently places it in Franconia’s hands. She advances to the cot, seats herself near the head of her dear departed, encircles his head with her left arm, and with her white ’kerchief bathes his face with the liquid, Harry holding the vessel in his hand, at her request. A candle sheds its sickly light upon the humid walls; faintly it discloses the face of Daddy Bob, immersed in tears, watching intently over the foot of the cot. “Missus Frankone is alw’s kind to mas’r!”
“I loved uncle because his heart was good,” returns Franconia.
“’Tis dat, missus. How kindly old mas’r, long time ago, used to say, ‘Good mornin’, Bob! Daddy, mas’r lubs you!”
How firmly the happy recollection of these kind words is sealed in the old man’s memory.
In which regrets are shown of little worth.
The reader may remember, that we, in the early part of our narrative, made some slight mention of the Rovero family, of which Franconia and Lorenzo were the only surviving children. They, too, had been distinguished as belonging to a class of opulent planters; but, having been reduced to poverty by the same nefarious process through which we have traced Marston’s decline, and which we shall more fully disclose in the sequel, had gathered together the remnants of a once extensive property, and with the proceeds migrated to a western province of Mexico, where, for many years, though not with much success, Rovero pursued a mining speculation. They lived in a humble manner; Mrs. Rovero, Marston’s sister-and of whom we have a type in the character of her daughter, Franconia-discarded all unnecessary appurtenances of living, and looked forward to the time when they would be enabled to retrieve their fortunes and return to their native district to spend the future of their days on the old homestead. More than four years, however, had passed since any tidings had been received of them by Franconia; and it was strongly surmised that they had fallen victims to the savage incursions of marauding parties, who were at that time devastating the country, and scattering its defenceless inhabitants homeless over the western shores of central America. So strong had this impression found place in Franconia’s mind that she had given up all hopes of again meeting them. As for M’Carstrow’s friends, they had never taken any interest in her welfare, viewing her marriage with the distinguished colonel as a mere catch on the part of her parents, whose only motive was to secure themselves the protection of a name, and, perhaps, the means of sustaining themselves above the rank disclosure of their real poverty. To keep “above board” is everything in the south; and the family not distinguished soon finds itself well nigh extinguished. Hence that ever