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crowd and client, he walked swiftly home, meditating, as he went, upon the seeming churlishness of human existence, in that it never gives us what we want, or gives it only in such way and shape as to neutralize its sweetness.
What, then, was the drop of bitterness in his cup of triumph
Not the paltry pride that had been attributed to him, Ņor yet the depressing reaction that comes after excitement, but an uneasy suspicion that he had helped to do an injustice. He had discovered—or seemed to discover -as the intricacies of the recent case had unfolded them. selves before him, that law and justice stood on opposite sides of it. Of his client's legal right to the property in dispute, admitting his statements to be true, there seemed to be no question ; but of his moral right to it, as well as of his own personal integrity, and that of his principal witness, Bergan had grave doubts. And these doubts had followed him, and planted a heavy footstep on his conscience, all the way down through the trial. For he was still young, his personal conscience tender, and his professional one undeveloped. His duty as a man, and his duty as a lawyer, had not yet distinctly separated themselves into opposing segments.
So, while the whole town was ringing with the fame of his successful legal début, he sat moodily in his office, a prey to troubled and half-regretful thought, until Sleep, so long defrauded of her rights, stole upon him in his chair, and held him fast prisoned in her soft embrace.
'means’ to do anything. Except me—I 'mean? to wake you up." And the doctor gave Bergan another uncompromising shake.
“ It is so good to sleep!” remonstrated the young man, in the same drowsy tone.
“It is so good to have the rheumatism, or that cream of delights known hereabout as the broken-bone fever!” returned the doctor, with cool irony. “However," he added, indifferently, turning away, “chacun à son goût." "
“You surely do not mean to leave him, in that way, Doctor," said a rebuking voice, beneath the window. Miss Lyte, fastening up a rose-bush, in the dusk outside, had heard the whole.
"Certainly not, if it pleases you to wish otherwise,'' replied the doctor, gallantly.
And returning to the charge, Doctor Remy did not remit his efforts until he had gotten the half-vexed young man upon his feet, and forced him to pace two or three times up and down the office. Thereupon Bergan was fain to avow that his limbs were stiff and sore, and he had no mind for further exercise.
“Just as I expected," said the doctor, calmly.
Without further words, he marched Bergan off to bed, and did not let him alone until, by dint of various outward and inward applications, he had restored natural warmth and circulation to his chilled, benumbed frame. In doing this, the young man was effectually roused; and memory and thought came back with consciousness.
“Doctor," said he, suddenly, "I almost envy you your profession.”
“Because, as you told me at our first meeting, your duty is always plainly one thing—to save life."
“Humph! it seems to me that yours is equally plain to save your client.”
“What! whether his cause be right or wrong?"
I save life, whether it be good or evil-a thief's or a saint's."
Bergan was silent for a moment. He felt the sophistry, but could not, on the instant, detect wherein it lay. He allowed himself to be diverted from the main question by a side issue. You
'save life,” said he, “but do you feel that it is really you? Are you never conscious of a power above you, without whose help your efforts would avail nothing?"
“Granted, for the sake of argument," replied Doctor Remy, composedly. “Then you may believe that it is not your efforts which gain a cause, but the 'power above,' of which you speak."
It is not often that a side issue leads so directly back to the main point as in this instance, thanks to Doctor Remy's mode of treating it. “I see,” said Bergan, musingly, “the difference is in the intent. Of course, God does decide the event, or consequence—that is beyond us. He can frustrate our best efforts, or crown them with success, as He pleases. Our business, then,
The First LINKS OF A Chain. "I don't beg pardon for disturbing you," said Doctor Remy, giving the sleeper a vigorous shake. “You are in as fair a way to catch your death of cold, as your worst enemy could wish you to be."
Bergan slowly opened his eyes and stared vacantly around him. The doctor's words, though they had reached his ears, had not penetrated to his understanding. As yet, he was but half cognizant of his whereabouts, not at all of his circumstances.
"Come, up with you!" persisted the doctor, “and take a turn round the room, to get the chill out of your blood. Man alive! what were you thinking of, to go to sleep before that window, with such a damp wind blowing in?"
"I did not mean to," responded Bergan, drowsily. And his eyes closed again.
“ Did not mean to!” repeated Doctor Remy, in a tone of ineffable contempt. “You might at least have vouchsafed me a newer excuse : that is worn threadbare. It has served the whole human race, from Eve over her apple, down to Cathie over her last broken doll. Nobody
is with motives, and aims, and means." (The last Doctor Remy's lips opened for a reply, but closed clauses came slowly, and in the natural, if not the logical again in silence. And, knowing that he was never at a order of thought.) “It is after we have made sure that loss for a rejoinder, Bergan suspected that the words so those three are right," he went on, “that we are freed suddenly cut off from utterance were of a franker chafrom responsibility, and can comfortably leave results to racter than his second thought approved. Before his God."
less impromptu answer was ready, Bergan, following “All very fine," returned Doctor Remy, coolly. “But out some rapid, unexplained train of thought, asked: it seems to me that our motives, means, and aims (that is “Doctor, did you ever feel remorse?” to say, yours and mine) are the same. Motive, love of “Never. That is a disease. I am in health." life ; means, a profession ; aim, money-which though in “But, doctor,” persisted Bergan, “should you call itself only a means, is the most convenient representative that a healthy body, which was incapable of feeling pain ? of all that it will buy; that is, all that supports life and Should you not rather say that it was paralyzed, or enhances its enjoyments."
ossified?” "I hope you are not serious," replied Bergan, gravely. “ Just as I should say that it was inflamed, if mere “I should be sorry to think that any man-much less pressure caused it acute pain," answered Doctor Remy. a man with your talent, culture, and opportunities for Bergan looked unconvinced, benefiting his fellows-could be satisfied with so poor “I do not mean that I never feel regret,” explained the an ambition as that."
doctor. “I have often been angry with myself for having Doctor Remy slightly raised his eyebrows. “My been guilty of a mistake.” dear fellow,” said he, “if you do not follow your pro
"A mistake," repeated Bergan, doubtfully. “Do you fession for the sake of the money that you expect it to mean a sin?" bring you, what do you follow it for?"
“I will not be particular about terms,” replied Doctor “Money is one object, of course," answered Bergan, Remy, shrugging his shoulders. “But I prefer my own, “ but I hope it is not the only one, nor even the chief one. as better expressing my ideas." When my mind takes a leap into the future, it is not so Bergan looked a little bewildered. The doctor again much fees that I think of, as wrongs to be redressed, and
condescended to explain. rights to be protected, and influence to be gained and “Like you,” said he, “ I hold it to be every man's exercised-yes, and fame and independence to be won." duty to make the most of his life—his talents, time, and
“All very good things," returned Doctor Remy, health. If he so act as to hinder the development, or smiling ; "and all very dependent on those same fees, of impair the value and efficiency, of any of these, does it which you think so little. Without money, you will not make any practical difference whether we call it a sin or do much for right, nor against wrong ; neither can you a mistake?” be independent, or famous, or influential. If I cared for “None,” answered Bergan, with scorn that he could anything of the kind, it would be for power--direct, not repress;
except that it narrows everything, aim, absolute power, over men's acts and lives. But as that responsibility, hope, faith, desire, and fulfilment-down belongs only to kings and generals, I am content to do to man's miserable self !" with
"Well,” said the doctor, coldly, “ bring me the most He hesitated.
signal example of heroism, disinterestedness, charity“ Well, what? said Bergan.
what like-that you can find ; and I will point out to “Wealth-when I get it," answered the doctor. you a plain germ of selfishness at the bottom of it.” “ Wealth, and what it brings; ease, leisure, unlimited At this moment his office-boy, Scipio, thrust his woolly opportunity and means for the cultivation of the in- head in the door with the laconic intimationtellect."
“Sent for, massa. Drefful hurry." “ The intellect, then, is your final object, your ulti- “And in good time,” laughed the doctor. “I was mate good ?” said Bergan.
forgetting my professional duty to you, which was, to hare “ Yes; it is the one thing which distinguishes man left you long ago to the sleep which you so much need, from the brutes," replied the doctor.
and which you may now safely and profitably take. Good “With the soul," rejoined Bergan.
night." "A word without an idea," returned the doctor; For some moments Bergan lay thinking over the converunless, indeed, you mean to apply it to that life-prin- sation. Never had Doctor Remy's low and limited notions ciple, which belongs to plants and animals, as well as of life been so nakedly presented to his abhorrent gaze. A men."
certain distrust and dread awoke within him, accompanied Bergan looked amazed. “Do you really make no by a chill creeping of the flesh, as at something not altodistinction," he asked, “between mind and soul ?" gether human. It impressed him that there was a dark and
“None. To me, they are synonymous terms." sinister peculiarity about this man, with the rarely culti
"Is it from the intellect, then," said Bergan, “that vated intellect and the inert affections—this man whom the moral sense comes ? ”
he had so long called his friend, and who, so far as he
As they approached, painful gasps and groans were distinctly heard from within.
On the doorstep, Major Bergan paused. “She is my old, faithful nurse," said he, feelingly. Spare nothing-no skill, nor trouble, nor expense-no more than if she were the first lady of the county.”
A kind of spasm crossed his rugged features, and throwing himself down on a bench beside the door, he left the doctor to enter alone.
FEELING HIS WAY.
knew, had not ill deserved the name; a peculiarity that could not fail to be pernicious to lives and characters too intimately connected with him.
Meanwhile, much to his surprise, as well as gratification, Doctor Remy was hastening toward Bergan Hall. Maumer Rue being suddenly seized with alarming symptoms, the Major's head man, Ben, had been despatched to Berganton, with instructions not to return without a physician. In his haste and anxiety, it had not occurred to the Major to make any exception, though he retained a sufficiently angry reminiscence of Doctor Remy's cool and satirical demeanour, on the occasion of his ill-fated visit of reconciliation to Bergan, to have prompted one, if he had bethought himself of it in time.
Ben, therefore, having sought two other representatives of the medical profession without success, finally presented himself at Doctor Remy's office. There the doctor found him, on quitting Bergan's room; and in very brief space
of time the two were driving swiftly up the long avenue, through a moonlight that was scarcely less illuminative than sunshine, and far more beautifying, by reason of the soft charm with which it enhanced beauties while it concealed defects.
It was the first time that Doctor Remy had entered upon the territory of Bergan Hall. He was surprised both at its extent and its signs of opulence. As he passed the stately, deserted mansion, showing so fair in the moonlight, under its grand, sheltering oaks, and came in sight of the populous negro quarter, and the far stretch of cultivated fields beyond, his face was alive not only with interest, but with something deeper still : it might be calculation.
“ A fair inheritance !” he said to himself. “Miss Astra will be a most eligible parti. I wonder if that will is made !"
The Major was standing in the door of his cottage as the buggy drove up with the doctor.
"So it's you, is it?" was his curt salutation. And his tone and look said plainly enough, “I wish it were anybody else !"
But Doctor Remy, though generally armed at all points against such looks and tones, now seemed to take no notice.
“Yes," said he, good-naturedly, “it is I. Harris and Gerrish were both out, and Ben had to take me or nobody. Allow me to assure you that he chose wisely, for, if the case be what I suspect, from his account, it does not admit
It follows, therefore, that the sooner I am introduced to the patient, the better.”
If the doctor had been studying his speech for the last half hour, it could not have been more skilfully constructed. The Major's irritation instantly gave way, partly melted by the doctor's good-humour, partly forgotten in a sudden rush of anxiety.
"Come on, then," said he, turning to lead the way to old Rue's cabin, which was but a little way from the cottage.
Rue was lying on her bed, propped up by pillows into a half-sitting posture. Her breath came raspingly and painfully, and she had the dingy pallor wherewith disease is wont to write itself on the African face.
“Is it death ?" she asked, hoarsely, when the doctor had finished his examination. “Because, if it is, I should be glad to know in time to send for Master Bergan-I mean, Mr. Arling."
Doctor Remy looked down upon the blind woman with a grave, almost a frowning face, which she could not see. “So you are attached to Mr. Arling,' said he.
Certainly, sir," replied Rue, simply. “He is Miss Eleanor's son, you know.”
“Your case is not desperate this time," said he, "though I can see that it is painful. Your cold, being unwisely left to run its own course, has resulted in inflammation of the throat, and partially of the lungs. But it is not beyond present relief, nor permanent cure, I think. At least, we shall soon see."
There was no question of Doctor Remy's professional skill. In Berganton, his scientific superiority had early been recognized by the community, and tacitly conceded by his medical brethren. Yet he could hardly be said to be popular, even with his patients. There was no affection mingled with the respect accorded to his talent. It was intuitively felt, if not clearly understood and expressed, that, though he brought every resource of science to the sick-chamber, he brought nothing else. He was as cold and pitiless as his own steel probe or lance. And there are times when a deep, human sympathy on the part of the physician is as real a medicament to the sufferer as any set down in the pharmacopæia; in which fact many a genial quack finds his account. It had come, therefore, to be very much the Berganton habit to reserve Doctor Remy's skill for severe accidents, for consultations, for the awful conflict of life and death over wasted forms writhing with sharp pain, or locked in moveless stupor. But the thousand pettier ills of life, which asked for tender consideration almost as imperatively as for medicine, preferred to commit themselves to the fatherly kindness of good old Doctor Harris, or the warm-hearted enthusiasm of
the last medical arrival, Doctor Gerrish, whose scientific attainments had, as yet, to be taken for granted, but whose smile was a veritable cordial.
For some reason-probably as a step to Major Bergan's favour-he was putting forth all his skill. In one respect, he was always admirable ; he never hesitated to put his professional hand to any business that might seem to be. long more properly to the nurse. Rue's attendants were ignorant and awkward ; if Doctor Remy had not helped to carry his orders into effect, progress would have been slow. As it was, the treatment was prompt and effective. In about an hour, the acute pains had ceased, respiration had become less difficult, and Rue having devoutly thanked the doctor, under God, for relief so speedy and so grateful, had turned on her side for a complete selfsurrender to the delightful druwsiness that was stealing over her.
Coming out, Doctor Remy found Brick waiting for him, on the bench where he had left the Major.
“ Is gramma goin' to get well ?” he asked, anxiously.
“ Certainly,—in a few days,” returned the doctor. “Where is your master ?”
The negro pointed to the Major's cottage. “Ole massa is thar," he answered. “He tole me, when you's t'rough, to ax you to come an' see him.”
The doctor turned in the direction indicated, but was plainly in no hurry to reach the goal. He walked very leisurely, stopping now and then, to look round on the moonlit landscape. Not till he seemed to have settled some knotty point to his satisfaction, did he enter the cottage.
The Major was seated at the table, with his bottle and glass before him. He did not need to ask Doctor Remy how the case had gone; that had already been made known to him by the mouths of half-a-dozen eager messengers. He merely said, in a tone that was half a protest :
“I never expected to be so much obliged to you, Doctor Remy. I should be sorry to lose my faithful old nurse. She is the last link between me and my early days. Is she out of danger?”
“For the present, yes. And in the morning, I will look in to see how she goes on ; that is, if you wish.”
“I shall take it as a favour,' returned the Major, in a tone that was almost courteous. “Sit down, before you go, and take a drink.”
Doctor Remy quietly took a chair, but shook his head at the proffered glass. “No, thank you," said he. “We physicians need to keep our heads clear and our nerves steady; and brandy does not conduce to either.”
“ It never hurt mine," answered Major Bergan, rather surlily, as if he suspected a covert insinuation in the doctor's words.
“Perhaps not,” replied Doctor Remy, indifferently. And, glancing out of the open window, he added, “ A fine place you have here."
“The finest in the county,” replied the Major, with
frank pride. “That is, as far as soil and crops are concerned. The old Hall is out of repair, to be sure, but it can be restored to its former grandeur, whenever I see fit.”
Doctor Remy gave his host a long, penetrating, comprehensive look. “I should advise you not to neglect the work too long," he observed, gravely, “if you have it much at heart."
Major Bergan set down the glass that was on its way to his lips, and looked wonderingly at his guest.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because a man of your age, with your habits, breaks down soon, when once he begins."
“ My habits, growled the Major, drawing his eyebrows into a heavy frown, “what do you mean, you insolent scamp?"
“I mean,” replied Doctor Remy, composedly,“ habits at once active, careless, and self-indulgent; such as riding or walking in the heat of the day, spending hours in the rice fields, rising early and sitting up late, eating ad lilitum, and drinking ad infinitum."
The summary was too truthful, and the tone too professional, for the Major to retain his unreasonable anger. He merely asked—“How do you know that I do these things?”
“By your looks."
“Pshaw !” exclaimed Major Bergan, with a scornful curl of the lip.
Doctor Remy smiled, with the calm unconcern of a man who knows his ground. “Your looks tell me more that,” said he.
“If they tell you anything but that I am well-perfectly well— they lie," answered the Major, bluntly.
“I am glad to hear it,” replied Doctor Remy. "Doubtless, then, you sleep sound and soft."
“No, I don't,” grumbled the Major, with unsuspect. ing frankness, “I sleep like a man tossed in a blanket.”
“And probably you have pleasant dreams."
“On the contrary—a perfect Bedlam of furies and horrors."
“And I suppose that you never have headaches, or dizziness, or vagueness and loss of sight.”
“I have them all,” growled the Major, with an oath, “every miserable item of them. I had an attack, about a fortnight ago, that actually laid me up in bed for a day! I wonder what it all means !".
Doctor Remy forbore to signalize his victory by so much as a triumphant look. “ It means,” he answered, quietly, “that you will be none the worse for a little medicine in the house, as a provision for future attacks of the sort.”
And opening his pocket medicine-case, Doctor Remy selected three or four small phials, and began to measure, mix, and fold up powders, with a dexterity that it pleased the Major to witness. He noticed, too, that the doctor's brow was deeply knit as he prosecuted his task, and that he held one of the phials suspended, for a moment, over
the small square of paper, before discharging its contents. All this looked as if his case was getting due consideration, and the Major was proportionably gratified.
Doctor Remy ended by pushing a dozen or more of tiny folded papers across the table. “Take one, in water, every two hours,” said he, “till the symptoms abate; that is, of course, when you have another attack. There are enough for several occasions; I know you do not like to send for a doctor, if it can be avoided. At the same time," he added, “ take care to drop those careless habits that I mentioned."
The last sentence brought a cloud to Major Bergan's brow; but the doctor gave it time to dissipate while he packed his medicine case, and chatted pleasantly about its convenient arrangements. “And now," said he, rising, “ what else can I do for you?”
“Nothing that I know of,” replied the Major, "except it be to present your bill. What else can a doctor do ?”
“ Several things," answered Doctor Remy, lightly. "Make your will, for instance."
The Major laughed outright. “I should say that was a lawyer's business,” said he.
“So it is. But do you not know that I once belonged to the bar ?"
"I do remember hearing something of the sort, now that you remind me of it,” rejoined the Major, drily. “I don't think any the better of you for it.”
"Nor any the worse, I hope," returned Doctor Remy, placidly. “At all events, I always advise my patients to make their wills. There is nothing like a mind at rest about the future, to prolong life.” He seemed to speak carelessly, yet he fastened a keen look on the Major's face, nevertheless.
The latter only smiled. “When I want my will made," said he, coolly, "I will employ you to do the job."
“He has made it already, as he said he would," thought Doctor Remy to himself. “And the chances are that he won't live to alter it.”
“I shall be very much at your service,” he answered, aloud. “And now, I must be getting townward; I have to see another patient this evening.''
The Major followed him out, and stood for some moments watching the retreating buggy. Doctor Remy, looking back, saw him there in the moonlight, and a strange, furtive look came into his eyes.
“I have given Providence' a chance," said he to himself, “Let us see what it does with it.”
Major Bergan, meanwhile, was muttering, “What did he mean, I wonder, by talking to me about my will ? It is certainly no concern of his. Does he really think me near death ?” And the Major shivered, as if there had been an uncomfortable chill in the thought.
"Uncle Harry,” said a clear, sweet voice, close at his elbow. He started, and turned quickly round.
A slender, girlish shape, a graceful head, drooping like a lily on its stem-a fair, pure, bright face—this was
the vision that confronted him, and carried him back to his youth, and to the love of his youth ; the untoward course of which had doubtless helped to make him the man that he was.
“ Clarisse " he exclaimed, trembling, and feeling as if he were in a dream.
The vision smiled. “Do you not know me, uncle ?” it asked, in its sweet tones; “I
am Carice." “Ah!” said the Major, slowly, and as if but half awake. He took his piece's bands, and gazed earnestly in her face. “ You are like your mother, child, or like what she was at your age, much more than you are like the child that used to play around my knees—let me see, -six-eight-nine years ago.
I missed her, Carice, when she stopped coming, I missed her.”
“She missed you too, uncle," replied Carice. was very fond of you."
“Then why did she stop coming ?” asked the Major, gloomily.
“Because, uncle," answered Carice, simply, “she grew old enough to know that it is a child's duty to obey, and not to question.”
The Major's brow darkened; but he looked sad, too. “I never laid it up against you, Carice,” he said, with a significant emphasis.
“Nor against anyone, I hope," replied Carice, coax. ingly. “Oh, uncle, ought not this long feud to cease ?
Major Bergan shook his head. “ There is no feud between you and me, child,” said he.
“But, as for your father," he went on, with a kindling eye and a roughening voice, “when he
Carice laid her hand upon his arm. “ As you were just saying," said she, gently, “he is my father. And, dear uncle, a daughter's ear is easily hurt."
The Major stopped, and nearly choked himself with the sentence so suddenly arrested on his lips. “Then, what are you here for ?” he finally blurted out, halfwonderingly, half-sternly.
“Ah!” exclaimed Carice, in a tone of sudden recol. lection, “ I had nearly forgotten my errand, in the pleasure of seeing you."
The Major's face grew soft again. He put his hands on Carice's shoulders, turned her toward the full moonlight, and looked long and earnestly in her face. "How beautiful you have grown!” said he, with even more of wonder than admiration in his voice; “I am not sure but that you are still more beautiful than she was. don't look as if you belonged to this earth, child ; and there's not a bit of the family look left in you. certain that you are Carice Bergan, and not a change
“Quite sure, uncle," she answered, smiling. “Ask Rosa, there, if I am not.” She pointed to her maid, who had accompanied her, and stood waiting near.
“ Then, Miss Bergan," said the Major, making her a courtly bow, “what can your old uncle do for you?”
"Nothing, at present,” she replied, "except to let me