It was only the life of Leah Mordecai that apparently was marked by no change. She was older by a few years-that was all the world saw of change in her life. To strangers’ eyes, she was still pursuing the even tenor of her life, still wearing the melancholy expression, and still envied by many for her wealth and beauty. The eyes of the world could not read the impoverished heart that throbbed within her bosom.
On first leaving college, Emile Le Grande intended to study law, and for months endeavored to concentrate his mind upon the prosaic, practical teachings of Blackstone. The effort proved unsuccessful, and then procuring employment in a well-established banking house, he applied himself to business with commendable assiduity. Yet alive in his heart was the passion so long nourished for the beautiful Jewess. He still lost no opportunity of assuring her again and again of his unchanging devotion, and constantly endeavored, by tenderest utterances of love, to gain the promise of her hand.
This persistent homage, though avoided long by Leah, became in time not unwelcome; and as month after month passed on, she often whispered to herself, “Struggle as I may against it, I do love him. Love wins love, always, I believe.”
George Marshall, realizing the fulfilment of his long-cherished dream, was in the active service of his country, a captain in the regular army. Though he was removed from his native State, no one who knew him could doubt that he stood firmly, bravely at his post of duty, ready to do his country’s work at her bidding.
“My son,” said Mrs. Abrams, in low, gentle tone to Mark one day, as she looked into the small library where he sat busily at work upon something half-concealed in his hand, “come here a mimute, won’t you?”
“Are you in a hurry, mother?” he replied, lifting his black eyes, bright with an expression of determination, and resting them full upon his mother’s face.
“No, not exactly, if you are busy; but what are you doing?”
“I’ll tell you when I come in, and not keep you waiting long either.”
Mrs. Abrams quietly withdrew, and returned to the bedside of her little daughter Rachel, who lay suffering from pain and burning with fever.
“What can mamma do for her darling now?” said the fond mother, as she bent her head over her child and smoothed back the fair hair from the heated brow; “does your arm still hurt, my lamb?” The child’s moan was her only answer.
“What a pity! How cruel that your dear little arm should have been so torn by that savage dog!” continued Mrs. Abrams, as she wet the bandage again with the cooling lotion, and brushed away the tears that she could not repress at the sight of her little daughter’s suffering.
The sound of footsteps, and Mark stood in the doorway, holding in his hand a small, dark object, and said: