“But, tell me, Rebecca,” said the rabbi, suddenly stopping in his agitated walk. “How did you come into possession of that book?”
“Indeed, Rabbi Abrams, that is a mystery. In packing and unpacking, preparatory to leaving the Queen City, I accidentally found this Journal in an old portmanteau that my husband sent up from his bank one day, among a lot of rubbish. It had lain there a long time, I judge. Can you clear up the mystery, my husband?” she said, turning to Mr. Mordecai.
“Let me see it,” he replied; and taking the Journal from her hands, he held it in his grasp as though it were a deadly thing, while he eyed it strangely from side to side.
“I think, I think,” he said slowly, as though abstracted and confused; “I think this is the book Mingo gave me the morning after—” Then he was silent. “Well, he found it in the lodge, I guess,” he continued. “I remember his giving me a small book that morning, and I laid it away somewhere, to look at when my mind was less agitated. I had forgotten it.”
“A kind fate has preserved it, husband, so that we might be avenged,” said Rebecca.
“Keep it securely then, as it will be needed in the future. You are a wise, good woman, a wise little wife,” added the husband, with all trace of displeasure toward her banished from his face.
Her mission accomplished, Rebecca, leaving the distressed family to find solace for their sorrow as best they could, returned home to gloat on the perfection of a scheme that would bring sorrow and desolation to the happy Cuban home.
The war still raged. The whole world, one might dare to say, was more or less agitated by this conflict. Vigilance, tightening its grasp here, redoubling its blows there, watching the inlets and outlets everywhere, had taught a once happy people that war was no holiday sport. But the great end must be reached, the end of the “War of the Rebellion” with the government intact. To accomplish this, every means was deemed fair and honorable. Blockading, starvation, destruction of property, the torch-yea, any and every appliance that would tend to subdue a hostile people, was brought into requisition to maintain the Union.
So, before the third year of the memorable civil war had run its bloody course, want almost stalked abroad in this fair Southern land. But for the successful, though occasional ventures of some friendly vessel, that succeeded in running the blockade, bringing stores necessary for the comfort of a war-worn people, dire want might have reigned supreme in many a household, where wealth and luxury once dwelt. So much for the good accomplished by those bold adventurers of the sea. And yet there were blockade-runners-a few, a very few, thank Heaven-who were but a set of human vultures, preying upon their fellow-beings, and who, for a sum of gold, would lend their hand