Added: Erasmo Lane - Date: 29.09.2021 22:17 - Views: 47959 - Clicks: 5052
It is a Delaware legend, and the events of which it speaks occurred, I will say, seventy-odd years ago, when they were in the habit of lashing women in this very town of New Castle. It was on Christmas day that a little party had assembled in the old Newton mansion to participate in the festivities for which, at this season of the year, it was famous all the country over. The house stood upon the river bank, three miles and more from New Castle, and in that day it was considered the greatest and handsomest building in the whole neighborhood.
A broad lawn swept away from it down to the water's edge, and in summer-time this was covered with bright-colored flowers and bounded by green hedges. Now the grass was bleached with the cold; the hedges were brown and sere, and the huge Female whipping stories trees, stripped of their foliage, moaned and creaked and shivered in the wind, rattling their branches together as if seeking sympathy with each other in their desolation.
Inside the mansion the scene was as cheerful as life and fun and high spirits could make it.
Old Major Newton, the lord and master of all the wide estates, was one of the race of country gentlemen who introduced to this continent the manners, habits and large hospitality of the better class of English squires of his day. He was a mighty fox-hunter, as many a brush hung in his dining-hall could attest. A believer in the free use of the good things of life, his sideboard always contained a dozen decanters, from which the coming, the remaining and the parting guests were expected to follow the major's example in drinking deeply.
His table was always profusely supplied with good fare, and dining with him was the great duty and pleasure of the day. He was a gentleman in education, and to some extent in his tastes; but his manners partook of the coarseness of his time, for he swore fierce oaths, and his temper was quick, terrible and violent.
His forty negro slaves were treated with indulgent kindness while they obeyed him implicitly, but any attempt at insubordination upon their part called down upon their be a volley of oaths and that savage punishment which the major considered necessary to discipline. To-day the major had been out of spirits, and had not ed heartily in the hilarity of the company, which, despite the gloom of the master, made the old house ring with the merriment and laughter due to the happiness of Christmas time.
At five o'clock dinner was done; and the ladies having withdrawn, the cloth was removed, the wine and whisky and apple-toddy, and a half dozen other beverages, were brought out, and the major, with his male guests, began the serious work of the repast. The major sat at the head of the table; Dr. Ricketts, a jolly bachelor of fifty, who neglected medicine that he might better spend his fortune in a life of ease and pleasure, presided at the lower end of the board, upon the flanks of which sat a dozen Female whipping stories from the neighboring estates, among them Tom Willitts, from the ading farm, and Dick Newton, the major's only son.
The conversation languished somewhat. The major was as gloomy as he had been earlier in the day. Dick seemed to sympathize with his father. Tomn Willitts was impatient to have the drinking bout over, that he might go to the parlor, where his thoughts already wandered, and where his fiancee, Mary Engle, the fair governess in the major's family, awaited him. The guests at last began to be depressed by the want of spirits in their host; and if it had not been for Doctor Ricketts, there would have been a dull time indeed. But the doctor was talkative, lively and wholly indifferent to the taciturnity of his companions.
His weakness was Female whipping stories fondness for theorizing, and he rattled on from topic to topic, heedless of anything but the portly goblet which he replenished time and again from the decanter and the punch-bowl. At last he exclaimed, in the hope of rousing his host from his apparent despondency, "And now let's have a song from the major. Give us the 'Tally Ho! It was the reward given to my father for a brave and gallant deed at the battle of Dettingen, and its rare intrinsic value was trifling beside that which it possessed as the evidence of my father's valor.
My theory is that punishment should be so inflicted as to restore reason, not merely to wreak vengeance. Hang your fine-spun theories about the beggars who prey upon the community! The doctor had nothing more to say, and the company withdrew to the parlor. There, gathered around the great fireplace, sat Mrs.
Willitts and the wives of the gentlemen who had come from the dinner-table. They rose as the men entered the room, and greeted them cordially. Tom Willitts went quickly to Mary's side; aid while the others engaged in lively conversation he took her hand gently and, as was their privilege, they walked slowly up the room and sat by the window alone, Mary's face brightening as she thanked Tom heartily for the beautiful present he had sent her the day before.
I will get it and put it on, then, when I go Female whipping stories my room," said Mary. Mary Engle was the daughter of a widow in humble circumstances who lived in the village. Talented and well-educated, she had determined no longer to be a burden upon her mother, but to support herself.
She had chosen to become a governess in Major Newton's family. Young, beautiful and of good social position, she was a valuable acquisition to that Female whipping stories, and was a universal favorite, although the major could never quite rid himself of the notion that, as she was a dependant and an employee, he was conferring a favor upon her by permitting such intimate relations to exist between her and his family.
But he treated her kindly, as all men must a pretty woman. She was a girl with whom any man might have fallen in love upon first acquaintance. Dick Newton loved her passionately before she had been in his father's house a month. But she had chosen rather to favor Tom Willitts, a constant visitor at the Newton mansion, and as fine a fellow as ever galloped across the country with the hounds.
Dick had not had time to propose before the game was up and Tom called the prize his own. But Dick nursed his passion and smothered his disappointment, while he swore that he would possess the girl or involve her and her lover in common ruin with himself. Tom had been engaged for three months before this Christmas day.
He was to be married in the coming spring. There was to be a theatrical exhibition in the Newton mansion this Christmas evening, in which the young people were to participate. A temporary stage had been erected at one end of the long room, and at an early hour seats were placed in front of the curtain, and the guests took their places, conversing with much merriment and laughter until the bell gave the al for the performance to begin.
She tripped in smiling, and began the recitation with a vivacity and spirit that promised well for the excellence of her performance throughout. Upon her throat she wore a diamond brooch which blazed and flashed in the glare of the foot-lights. There was an exclamation of surprise on the part of the gentlemen present, and the sound startled Mary. She paused and looked around her inquiringly. Just then Major Newton caught sight of the brooch. With an ugly word upon his lips, he sprang from his seat and jumped upon the stage.
There was absolute silence in the room as Mary, pale and calm, replied:. It was stolen from me. You are a thief! In an instant she tore it from her dress and flung it upon the floor. The major leaped toward it and picked it up quickly. Mary covered her face with her hands, and the crimson of her cheeks shone through her fingers.
Tom Willitts entered just as the last words were uttered. Mary seemed fainting. He flew to her side as if to defend her against her enemy. He did not know the cause of her trouble, but he glared at the major as if he could slay him. But as he tried to place his arm around Mary, she shrank away from him; and giving him one look of scorn and contempt and hatred, she ran from the room. From the room to the great door in the hall, which, with frantic eagerness, she flung open, and then, without any covering upon her fair head, hot with shame and disgrace, and maddened with insult, she fled out into the cold and dark and desolate winter's night.
Scarcely heeding the direction, she reached the river's shore; and choosing the hard sand for a pathway, she hurried along it. The tide swept up in ceaseless ripples at her feet, the waves breaking upon the icy fringe of the shore, each with a whisper that seemed to tell of her dishonor. The wind rustled the sedges upon the banks and filled them with voices that mocked her.
The stars that lighted her upon her mad journey twinkled through the frosty air with an intelligence they had never before possessed. The Female whipping stories, far out upon the river and in the distant town, danced up and down in the darkness as if beckoning her to come on to them and to destruction. Her brain was in a whirl. At first she felt an impulse to end her misery in the river.
One plunge, and all this anguish and pain would be buried beneath those restless waters. Then the hope of vindication flashed upon her mind, and the awful sin and the cowardice of self-destruction rose vividly before her. She would seek her home and the mother from whom she should never have gone out.
She would give up happiness and humanity, and hide herself from the cold, heartless world for ever. She would have no more to do with false friends and false lovers, but would shut herself away from all this deceit and treachery and unkindness, and nevermore trust any human being but her own dear mother. And so, over the sandy beach, through mire and mud, through the high grass and the reeds of the water's edge, tangled and dead, and full of peril in the darkness, with her hair disheveled and tossed about by the riotous wind, but with not a tear upon her white face, she struggled onward through the night, until, exhausted with her journey, her wild passion and her misery, she Female whipping stories her mother's house, and entering, clasped her arms about her mother's neck, and with a sob fell fainting at her feet.
There was an end to merriment at Female whipping stories Newton mansion. When Mary ran from the room, the company stood for a moment amazed and bewildered, while the major, raging with passion, yet half ashamed of his furious conduct, walked rapidly up and down the stage, attempting to explain the theft to his guests and to justify his conduct. But Tom Willitts, shocked at the cruel. And before the major could reply he dashed out to pursue Mary and give her his protection. He sought her in vain upon the highway; and filled with bitterness, and wondering why she had so scorned him, he trudged on through the darkness, peering about him vainly for the poor girl for whom he would have sacrificed his life.
She never could have intended seriously to keep the brooch. It's the kind of humor that puts people in jail. She either was made the victim of a pretty ugly practical joke, or else some one stole the jewel from you and gave it to her to get her into trouble. If she had stolen it, she certainly would not have worn it in your presence this evening. It is absurd to suppose such a thing. The doctor left the house, and the company dispersed, eager gossips, all of them, to tell the story far and wide throughout the community before to-morrow's noon.
When Mary had revived and told, in broken words, the story of her misery and disgrace, her mother soothed and comforted her with the assurance that she should never leave her again; and while she denounced Major Newton's conduct bitterly, mistake he would find that he had made a mistake, and would clear her of the charge. Where did you get the brooch, Mary? It was cruel, cruel! You must not, for your own sake, for mine, hide the name of this criminal. I will die first.
I would rather have this misery than his conscience. Tom Willitts knocked at the door. Tell him never to come to this house again. Engle met Tom at the door. He was filled with anxiety and terror, but he rejoiced that Mary was safe. Engle told him that Mary refused to see him. He was smitten with anguish, and begged for a single word with her.
Engle, suspicious, because of Mary's words, that Tom was the criminal. I heard Major Newton's language, and saw the brooch upon the floor; and when Mary fled from me, I pursued her, wondering what it all meant. Prove that you were not.
Until then she will not see you. I beg you, for yourself and her, to tell the truth about this, if you know it, or at least to persist till you discover it. Tom went away distressed and confounded. She suspected him. No wonder, then, she had spurned him so rudely. He thought the matter over, and could arrive at no solution of the difficulty. He had sent her a bracelet which she had promised to wear, but she had not worn it. It was impossible that this brooch could have been substituted.Female whipping stories
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