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have in calling upon him, if he would name an hour convenient to himself; and I was awaiting my messenger's return with some impatience, when suddenly I heard the thump of his heavy sea boots on the deck above. In a few moments he entered the cabin, and reported that the governor was absent, but that his office was temporarily filled by a gentleman who had been good enough to accompany him on board, — the surgeon of the settlement, Doctor Molke; and then stepping aside, Doctor Molke passed through the narrow doorway and stood before me, bowing. I bowed in return, and bade him welcome, saying, I suppose, just what any other person would have said under like circumstances, (not, however, supposing for a moment that I was understood,) and then, turning to the officer, I signified my wish that he should act as interpreter. But that was needless. My Greenland visitor answered me, in pure, unbroken English, with as little hesitation as if he had spoken no other language all his life; and in conclusion he said: "I come to invite you to my poor house, and to offer you my service. I can give you but a feeble welcome in this outlandish place, but such as I have is yours; and if you will accompany me ashore, I shall be much delighted."

The delight was mutual; and it was not many minutes before, seated in the stern sheets of a whale-boat, we were pulling towards the land.

My new-found friend interested me at once. The surprise at finding myself addressed in English was increased when I discovered that this Greenland official bore every mark of refinement, culture, and high breeding. His manner was wholly free from restraint; and it struck me as something odd that all the self-possession and ease of a thorough man of the world should be exhibited in this desert place. He did not seem to be at all aware that there was anything incongruous in either his dress or manner and his present situation; yet this man, who sat with me in the stern sheets of a battered whale

boat, pulling across a Greenland harbor to a Greenland settlement, might, with the simple addition of a pair of suitable gloves, have stepped as he was into a ball-room without giving rise to any other remark than would be excited by his bearing.

His graceful figure was well set off by a neatly fitting and closely buttoned blue frock-coat, ornamented with gilt buttons, and embroidered cuffs, and heavily braided shoulder-knots. A decoration on his breast told that he was a favorite with his king. His finely shaped head was covered by a blue cloth cap, having a gilt band and the royal emblems. Over his shoulders

was thrown a cloak of mottled sealskins, lined with the warm and beautiful fur of the Arctic fox. His cleanly shaven face was finely formed and full of force, while a soft blue eye spoke of gentleness and good-nature, and with fair hair completed the evidences of Scandinavian birth.

My curiosity became much excited. "How," thought I, “in the name of everything mysterious, has it happened that such a man should have turned up in such a place?" From curiosity I passed to amazement, as his mind unfolded itself, and his tastes were manifested. I was prepared to be received by a fur-clad hunter, a coppery-faced Esquimau, or a meek and pious missionary, upon whose face privation and penance had set their seal; but for this high-spirited, high-bred, graceful, and evidently accomplished gentleman, I was not prepared.

I could not refrain from one leading observation. "I suppose, Doctor Molke," said I, "that you have not been here long enough to have yet wholly exhausted the novelty of these noble hills!"

"Eleven years, one would think," replied he, "ought to pretty well exhaust anything; and yet I cannot say that these hills, upon which my eyes rest continually, have grown to be wearisome companions, even if they may appear something forbidding."

Eleven years among these barren

hills! Eleven years in Greenland!! Surely, thought I, this is something "passing strange."

The scene around us as we crossed the bay was indeed imposing, and, though desolate enough, was certainly not without its bright and cheerful side. Behind us rose a majestic line of cliffs, climbing up into the clouds in giant steps, picturesque yet solid, - a great massive pedestal, as it were, supporting mountain piled on mountain, with caps of snow whitening their summits, and great glaciers hanging on their sides. Before us lay the town,- built upon a gnarled spur of primitive rock, which seemed to have crept from underneath the lofty cliffs, as a serpent from its hiding-place, and, after wriggling through the sea, to have stopped at length, when it had almost completely enclosed a beautiful sheet of water about a mile long by half a mile broad, leaving but one narrow, winding entrance to it. Through this entrance the swell of the sea could never come to disturb the silent bay, which lay there, nestling among the dark rocks beneath the mountain shadows, as calmly as a Swiss lake in an Alpine valley.

But the rocky spur which supported on its rough back what there was of the town wore a most woe-begone and distressed aspect. A few little patches of grass and moss were visible, but generally there was nothing to be seen but the cold gray-red naked rocks, broken and twisted into knots and knobs, and cut across with deep and ugly cracks. I could but wonder that on such a dreary spot man should ever think of seeking a dwelling-place; and my companion must have interpreted my thoughts, for he pointed to the shore, and said playfully, "Ah! it is true, you behold at last the fruits of wisdom and instruction, a city founded on a rock." And then, after a moment's pause, he added: "Let me point out to you the great features of this new wonder. First, to the right there, underneath that little, low, black, peaked roof, dwells the royal cook, -a Dane who came out here a long time ago,

married a native of the country, and rejoices in a brood of half-breeds, among whom are four girls, rather dusky, but not ill-favored. Next in order is the government-house, — that pitch-coated structure near the flag-staff. This is the only building, you observe, that can boast of a double tier of windows. Next, a little higher up, you see, is my own lodge, bedaubed with pitch, like the other, to protect it against the assaults of the weather, and to stop the little cracks. Down by the beach, a little farther on, that largest building of all is the store-house, &c., where the Governor keeps all sorts of traps for trade with the natives, and where the shops are in which the cooper fixes up the oil-barrels, and where other like industrial pursuits are carried on. A little farther on you observe a low structure where the oil is stored. On the ledge above the shop you see another pitchy building. This furnishes quarters for the half-dozen Danish employees,― fellows who, not having married native wives, hunt and fish for the glory of Denmark. Near the den of these worthies you observe another, — a duplicate of that in which lives the cook. There lives the royal cooper; and not far from it are two others, not quite so pretentious, where dwell the carpenter and blacksmith, - all of whom have followed the worthy example of the cook, and have dusky sons and daughters to console their declining years. You may perhaps be able to distinguish a few moss-covered hovels dotted about here and there, — perhaps there may be twenty of them in all, though there are but few of them in sight. These are the huts of native hunters. At present they are not occupied, for, being without roofs that will turn water, the people are compelled to abandon them when the snow begins to melt in the spring, and betake themselves to seal-skin tents, some of which you observe scattered here and there among the rocks. And now I've shown you everything, — just in time, too, for here we are at the landing."


We had drawn in close to the end of

thinly tenanted by a few common fowl, and across the yard to a road which skirted its lower extremity and was accessible by an open gate. No human figure was in sight; nothing was visible in the hot stillness but the scattered and ripening crops, over which, in spite of her nervous solicitude, Miss Whittaker cast the glance of a connoisseur. A great uneasiness filled her mind as she measured the rich domain apparently deserted of its young master, and reflected that she perhaps was the cause of its abandonment. Ah, where was Richard? As she looked and listened in vain, her heart rose to her throat, and she felt herself on the point of calling all too wistfully upon his name. But her voice was stayed by the sound of a heavy rumble, as of cart-wheels, beyond a turn in the road. She touched up her horse and cantered along until she reached the turn. A great four-wheeled cart, laden with masses of newly broken stone, and drawn by four oxen, was slowly advancing towards her. Beside it, patiently cracking his whip and shouting monotonously, walked a young man in a slouched hat and a red shirt, with his trousers thrust into his dusty boots. It was Richard. As he saw Gertrude, he halted a moment, amazed, and then advanced, flicking the air with his whip. Gertrude's heart went out towards him in a silent Thank God! Her next reflection was that he had never looked so well. The truth is, that, in this rough adjustment, the native barbarian was duly represented. His face and neck were browned by a week in the fields, his eye was clear, his step seemed to have learned a certain manly dignity from its attendance on the heavy bestial tramp. Gertrude, as he reached her side, pulled up her horse and held out her gloved fingers to his brown dusty hand. He took them, looked for a moment into her face, and for the second time raised them to his lips.

"Excuse my glove," she said, with a little smile.

"Excuse mine," he answered, ex

hibiting his sunburnt, work-stained


"Richard," said Gertrude, "you never had less need of excuse in your life. You never looked half so well."

He fixed his eyes upon her a moment. "Why, you have forgiven me!" he exclaimed.

"Yes," said Gertrude, "I have forgiven you, both you and myself. We both of us behaved very absurdly, but we both of us had reason. I wish you had come back."

Richard looked about him, apparently at loss for a rejoinder. "I have been very busy," he said, at last, with a simplicity of tone slightly studied. An odd sense of dramatic effect prompted him to say neither more nor less.

An equally delicate instinct forbade Gertrude to express all the joy which this assurance gave her. Excessive joy would have implied undue surprise; and it was a part of her plan frankly to expect the best things of her companion. "If you have been busy," she said, "I congratulate you. What have you been doing?"

"O, a hundred things. I have been quarrying, and draining, and clearing, and I don't know what all. I thought the best thing was just to put my own hands to it. I am going to make a stone fence along the great lot on the hill there. Wallace is forever grumbling about his boundaries. I'll fix them once for all. What are you laughing at?"

"I am laughing at certain foolish apprehensions that I have been indulging for a week past. You 're wiser than I, Richard. I have no imagination."

"Do you mean that I have? I have n't enough to guess what you do mean." "Why, do you suppose, have I come over this morning?"

"Because you thought I was sulking on account of your having called me a fool."

"Sulking, or worse. What do I deserve for the wrong I have done you?"

"You have done me no wrong. You

end short off in a precipice, and that if you stumble or lose your footing as you cross them horizontally, why you go shooting down, and you 're gone; that is, but for one little dodge. You have a long walking-pole with a sharp end, you know, and as you feel yourself sliding,

day. I stumbled and fell; I slipped, and was whizzing downward; but I just drove in my pole and pulled up short. It nearly tore me in two; but it saved my life." Richard made this speech with one hand leaning on the neck of Gertrude's horse, and the other on his own side, and with his head slightly thrown back and his eyes on hers. She had sat quietly in her saddle, returning his gaze. He had spoken slowly and deliberately; but without hesitation and without heat. "This is not romance," thought Gertrude, "it's reality." And this feeling it was that dictated her reply, divesting it of romance so effectually as almost to make it sound trivial.

reasoned fairly enough. You are not obliged to know me better than I know myself. It's just like you to be ready to take back that bad word, and try to make yourself believe that it was unjust. But it was perfectly just, and therefore I have managed to bear it. I was a fool at that moment, a stupid, impudent it's as likely as not to be in a sitting fool. I don't know whether that man posture, you just take this and ram it had been making love to you or not. into the snow before you, and there you But you had, I think, been feeling love are, stopped. The thing is, of course, for him, you looked it; I should have to drive it in far enough, so that it been less than a man, I should be un- won't yield or break; and in any case it worthy of your-your affection, if I hurts infernally to come whizzing down had failed to see it. I did see it, — I upon this upright pole. But the intersaw it as clearly as I see those oxen ruption gives you time to pick yourself now; and yet I bounced in with my up. Well, so it was with me the other own ill-timed claims. To do so was to be a fool. To have been other than a fool would have been to have waited, to have backed out, to have bitten my tongue off before I spoke, to have done anything but what I did. I have no right to claim you, Gertrude, until I can woo you better than that. It was the most fortunate thing in the world that you spoke as you did: it was even kind. It saved me all the misery of groping about for a starting-point. Not to have spoken as you did would have been to fail of justice; and then, probably, I should have sulked, or, as you very considerately say, done worse. had made a false move in the game, and the only thing to do was to repair it. But you were not obliged to know that I would so readily admit my move to have been false. Whenever I have made a fool of myself before, I have been for sticking it out, and trying to turn all mankind—that is, you—into a a fool too, so that I should n't be an exception. But this time, I think, I had a kind of inspiration. I felt that my case was desperate. I felt that if I adopted my folly now I adopted it forever. The other day I met a man who had just come home from Europe, and who spent last summer in Switzerland. He was telling me about the mountainclimbing over there, how they get over the glaciers, and all that. He said that you sometimes came upon great slippery, steep, snow-covered slopes that


"It was fortunate you had a walkingpole," she said.

"I shall never travel without one again."


Never, at least," smiled Gertrude, "with a companion who has the bad habit of pushing you off the path."

“O, you may push all you like," said Richard. "I give you leave. But isn't this enough about myself?"

"That's as you think."

"Well, it's all I have to say for the present, except that I am prodigiously glad to see you, and that of course you will stay awhile."

"But you have your work to do."

"Dear me, never you mind my work. I've earned my dinner this morning, if you have no objection; and I propose

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to share it with you. So we will go back to the house." He turned her horse's head about, started up his oxen with his voice, and walked along beside her on the grassy roadside, with one hand in the horse's mane, and the other swinging his whip.

Before they reached the yard-gate, Gertrude had revolved his speech. "Enough about himself," she said, silently echoing his words. "Yes, Heaven be praised, it is about himself. I am but a means in this matter, he himself, his own character, his own happiness, is the end." Under this conviction it seemed to her that her part was appreciably simplified. Richard was learning wisdom and self-control, and to exercise his reason. Such

was the suit that he was destined to gain. Her duty was as far as possible to remain passive, and not to interfere with the working of the gods who had selected her as the instrument of their prodigy. As they reached the gate, Richard made a trumpet of his hands, and sent a ringing summons into the fields; whereupon a farm - boy approached, and, with an undisguised stare of amazement at Gertrude, took charge of his master's team. Gertrude rode up to the door-step, where her host assisted her to dismount, and bade her go in and make herself at home, while he busied himself with the

bestowal of her horse.

She found that, in her absence, the old woman who administered her friend's household had reappeared, and had laid out the preparations for his mid-day meal. By the time he returned, with his face and head shining from a fresh ablution, and his shirt-sleeves decently concealed by a coat, Gertrude had apparently won the complete confidence of the good wife.

Gertrude doffed her hat, and tucked up her riding-skirt, and sat down to a tête-à-tête over Richard's crumpled table-cloth. The young man played the host very soberly and naturally; and Gertrude hardly knew whether to augur from his perfect self-possession that her star was already on the wane,

or that it had waxed into a steadfast and eternal sun. The solution of her doubts was not far to seek; Richard was absolutely at his ease in her presence. He had told her indeed that she intoxicated him; and truly, in those moments when she was compelled to oppose her dewy eloquence to his fervid importunities, her whole presence seemed to him to exhale a singularly potent sweetness. He had told her that she was an enchantress, and this assertion, too, had its measure of truth. But her spell was a steady one; it sprang not from her beauty, her wit, her figure, it sprang from her character. When she found herself aroused to appeal or to resistance, Richard's pulses were quickened to what he had called intoxication, not by her smiles, her gestures, her glances, or any accession of that material beauty which she did not possess, but by a generous sense of her virtues in action. In other words, Gertrude exercised the magnificent power of making her lover forget her face. Agreeably to this fact, his habitual feeling in her presence was one of deep repose, sensation not unlike that which in the early afternoon, as he lounged in his orchard with a pipe, he derived from the sight of the hot and vaporous hills. He was innocent, then, of that delicious trouble which Gertrude's thoughts had touched upon as a not unnatural result of her visit, and which another woman's fancy would perhaps have dwelt upon as an indispensable proof of its success. "Porphyro grew faint," the poet assures us, as he stood in Madeline's chamber on Saint Agnes' eve. But Richard did not in the least grow faint now that his mistress was actually filling his musty old room with her voice, her touch, her looks; that she was sitting in his unfrequented chairs, trailing her skirt over his faded carpet, casting her perverted image upon his mirror, and breaking his daily bread. He was not fluttered when he sat at her well-served table, and trod her muffled floors. Why, then, should he be fluttered now? Gertrude was her


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