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Cummins, Maria Susanna, 1827-1866 [1857], Mabel Vaughan. By the author of The lamplighter. (John P. Jewett and Company, Boston) [word count] [eaf533].
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“Men of thought! be up and stirring
Night and day;
Sow the seed, withdraw the curtain,
Clear the way!
Men of action, aid and cheer them,
As ye may!
There's a midnight blackness changing
Into grey;
Men of thought and action,
Clear the way!”

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The village in which Mr. Vaughan's homestead was located
was fortunate in having been started (to use a familiar expression)
by a number of intelligent and enterprising men, who
had, through their praiseworthy exertions, given the place an
established character and a prominence among the thriving
towns of the country. Beside churches of three different
denominations, it now boasted a neat school-house, an extensive
flour-mill, and a handsome block of stores, the upper story of
which constituted a convenient and capacious town-hall, which
was first made use of for the purpose of public speaking on the
night of Percival's address. This latter circumstance, together
with the wide-spread popularity of the young orator, caused
the occasion to be one of universal interest, and at an early
hour the spacious room was thronged by an eager and attentive
audience. A stout and honest trader, a supervisor of the
of the town, occupied a seat on the platform at the left of
that intended for the speaker; and in a similar place of honor
on the right sat Mr. Vaughan, who, as the oldest citizen, the
largest land-owner, and, above all, the perfect type of a grave,
respectable gentleman, invariably received from his fellowtownsmen
similar voluntary marks of distinction and deference.

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The hour appointed for the address was just at hand. No
orator had yet made his appearance, and a murmur of disappointment
and inquiry was beginning to circulate through the
crowd, when the tall and commanding form of Percival issued
from its midst. With a perfectly calm, unruffled air he
ascended the platform, shook hands with Mr. Vaughan and
the supervisor, and looking round upon his audience with a
smile of approbation, sat down and exchanged a few words
with the gentlemen on either side of him. Then, observing
that the hand of the clock pointed exactly the time agreed
upon, he signified by a gesture his readiness to commence, and
the sturdy trader, in fulfilment of his functions, rose and introduced
him to the audience, who having in the meantime scanned
his countenance and proportions, and, as American citizens
are wont to do, established their individual opinions of his
merits, greeted him with a unanimous and unqualified round
of applause.

It was at this moment that Mabel and her nephews, somewhat
heated and out of breath from their hasty meal and rapid
walk, entered the gallery, which, although the entire assembly
was freely interspersed with females, had been especially
reserved for ladies.

“There's Miss Vaughan and her boys,” said a cousin of
Melissa, wife to the innkeeper, addressing herself to two young
girls whom Mabel was in the habit of instructing in the Sabbath
School. “Move up, Elizy. Can't you make a little room,
Euphemy? I want to offer her this seat here in front. La,
now! don't she look splendid? If the speaker could only
catch sight of her, wouldn't he be inspired?” And standing up
and gesticulating violently to Alick, she contrived to let him
understand that his aunt could be accommodated beside her, to
which place Mabel was with some difficulty piloted; and after
thanking the obliging landlady and expressing a hope that she
should not incommode any one, she seated herself, and as the
din of applause subsided, her eye for the first time sought the

Had the young man indeed depended on Mabel for his

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inspiration, he could scarcely have bestowed on her a more earnest
look than that which met her gaze, as at this moment he lifted
his face and fixed his full blue eye upon her. As she encountered
that expressive glance, her face, neck, and brow were
suffused with crimson; and when next it was turned upon his
audience, she listened with straining ear and breath suspended,
as if the fate of nations hung upon his first word.

“Aunt Mabel,” exclaimed Murray, in an eager, excited
whisper, at the same time leaning forward from a seat behind
her and striving to attract her attention, “It is, yes, it is our
hunter—our prairie friend—our fellow-traveller!”

“Hush!” cried Alick, in an earnest, dissuasive tone; his
quicker sensibilities revealing to him at a glance the emotions
which were depicted in Mabel's countenance; “There is no
need to tell her that; she sees, she knows.”

There was indeed no mistaking the identity of the two individuals,
for except that the wide-awake hat was laid aside and
the hunting-suit exchanged for one of plain black cloth, the
Percival who stood before them now, was the Bayard who had
bade them farewell less than half an hour ago.

The silence that succeeded the first burst of enthusiastic
welcome which had greeted the speaker was so intense and
profound, that even the warning words of Alick sank to the
faintest whisper, lest they might disturb the motionless expectancy
which prevailed through the assembly, as Percival, in a
clear and melodious voice, opened his address by a simple
statement of the causes and motives for his presenting himself
before them.

His calm but earnest manner, his language, at once plain,
forcible, and marked by perfect truth, and, perhaps, more than
all, his commanding presence, and an eye which seemed to address
its appeal to each individual heart, had the effect of at
once concentrating and riveting the attention of an audience
composed, for the most part, of plain and unpretending, but
intelligent and self-respecting men. Accustomed to the noisy
rant and bombastic parade of professed caucus oratory, and
manfully steeled against the wily sophistry and noisy

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partizanship of the greedy aspirants after popular favor, they were all
the more ready to give a willing and impartial hearing to one
who, unshackled by the excitement of political ambition, made
no appeal to their prejudices or their passions, but addressed
himself, and recommended his cause, to that sound reason and
enlightened conscience on which they prided themselves as free
men and worthy citizens. Thus, as he stated his argument in
plain, unvarnished terms, many a corroborating and assenting
nod, on the part of the audience, proclaimed their conviction of
its truth. As he announced the conclusion to which he himself
had been led, a murmur of approbation seemed to intimate that
each mind acknowledged him as its fit interpreter; and when,
finally, with that pathos and eloquence which have their source
in the deep emotions of a true and noble nature, he sought to
rouse them, and bid them listen to the solemn call of duty, the
heart of the multitude throbbed responsively, like the heart of
one man.

No studied oratory, no hollow declamation, could thus have
fired with generous warmth that rude, but candid and earnest
assemblage. The secret of the speaker's power lay in his sincerity;—
in the fact that the cause which he came to proclaim
had stirred and roused his own spirit like a trumpet-call. He
had hitherto voted at the polls, and expressed his political views,
as a simple, conscientious discharge of manly duty; but, busy at
home, and seeking nothing from abroad, he had wisely forborne
to put himself forward as a gladiator in party strife. The case,
however, was changed now. A great issue had arisen and a
great crisis was at hand—an issue between injustice and oppression
on one side, and the law of right and humanity on the
other. The crisis involved a country's prosperity and a nation's
honor. Therefore a true man (and such was Bayard Percival)
could not remain a silent and inactive spectator, in a scene
where he was nobly fitted to bear a part. He knew his power
and felt his responsibility. His power was that of an honest
man; his responsibility, that of a Christian. Had it been otherwise,
he might have spoken to closed ears and failed to
convince a single heart. But a character as free from wild

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fanaticism on the one hand, as from cold conservatism on the
other, had given him the people's confidence; while the purity
of his motives and aims inspired him with a wisdom and a
power which caused his words to be received as little less than

“Had one come among you,” exclaimed he, “who, possessed
of the spirit of misrule, prompted by one-sided and misdirected
zeal, or excited by a blind enthusiasm, should bid you
set at defiance every claim but that which he came to advocate,
and rush into indiscriminate warfare with the enemy
against whom all his passions were inflamed, I would simply
charge you to beware, lest, while seeking by desperate and
unsanctified means to promote the welfare of one brotherhood
of men, you trampled under foot the rights, the property, and
the lives of another, which should be to you equally dear and

“But, on the other hand, I would with equal fervor bid you
beware of that sluggishness of the soul, that fatal indifference
to truth and humanity, to which our very prosperity renders us
prone, and would charge you as freemen, as citizens, and as
Christians, to maintain inviolate the principles which you profess,
and stand ever as sentinels on the watch-tower reared for
the protection of civil liberty and the promotion of individual
freedom. We may not at once extirpate the poison which has
distilled itself into some portion of our body politic; but we
can at least guard the members which are free from its subtle
influence, and preserve pure and unsullied those fresh fountains
of strength which are at length destined to infuse new health
and vigor throughout the length and breadth of the Republic.”

Then, changing his tone from that of earnest appeal to one
of simple, descriptive power, he directed the thoughts and
attention of his audience to that beautiful sister soil, then beginning
to be the subject of national legislation, and painted,
with all the warmth of the enthusiastic traveller, and all the
simplicity and force of the practical husbandman, the beauty,
the wealth, and the resources of that favored land. His countenance
and words bore the impress of perfect truth, as, in

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an unvarnished narrative of facts, he described the richness of
her virgin soil, and the nature and extent of the productions it
was capable of yielding. His eye glowed with the animation
of the sportsman, and the inspiration of the poetic soul, as he
dwelt on the grandeur of those primeval forests in which he
had hunted, and roamed, and meditated, his broad chest seemed
to expand and his form to rear itself to increased height, as he
expatiated on the generations of noble men and women which
such a land was capable of inspiring to high thoughts and generous
deeds. And when, finally, having stirred the hearts of
the assembly by his faithful representation of what this fair
domain might, at no distant period, become, he commended her
to their brotherly love, all were not only ready, but eager to
extend the right hand of fellowship to their young and promising

But there was another and darker side to the picture, and this
he now hastened to set before them in all its sad deformity
and gloom. He employed no fanatical abuse or tirade for the
furtherance of his purpose, but with calm, prophetic warning,
pointed to the blight already hovering in the air, the cloud already
darkening in the distance and threatening to overshadow and
destroy the fair harvest of men's hopes. “To what,” asked he,
“are you indebted for your own unexampled prosperity? is it
not to the equality of human rights, the dignity which attends
free and honest labor, the universal education of your children
and the spread of Gospel truth? And shall any or all
of these be denied to our sister territory? I charge you, as those
who have a voice in this great decision, to answer the solemn
question—shall that fatal institution be suffered to settle down
upon the land, which dooms one race to slavery and dishonor
and another to stagnation and decay? Shall that rich soil become
the ground of the task-master,—those noble woods the
retreat of the fugitive? Shall progress be checked, and the voice
of truth be silenced, and man's better nature crushed? Forbid
it, Heaven! Forbid it, ye who by word, by look, by honest
vote, may command one breath of influence and bear a freeman's
part in averting so fearful a catastrophe! Let it not be said

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that the poison has penetrated to the seat of life, and that here,
in the heart of our free and enlightened State, there are traitors
to the cause of truth. Let us at least, a united and determined
band, present our closed ranks against the inroads of perfidious
counsels, and let the district which we serve be foremost in
proclaiming that—Nebraska shall be free.”

At this period in Percival's address, the audience, who had
more than once expressed their enthusiasm by unqualified
applause, rose simultaneously from their seats, and amid the
waving of hands, hats and handkerchiefs, caught up and echoed
by common consent his closing words—“Nebraska shall be

Great as was the clamor, however, it subsided almost instantly,
as looking around him with unmoved countenance he continued
in a calm, earnest tone. “I have not come hither my friends,
so much to excite, as to convince you—not merely to rouse
your generous patriotism, but to urge upon you now, and in
view of similar contingencies, that fair, firm and consistent action
by which alone you can lend your aid to the security and
extension of the cause of freedom. It is because a crisis has
arisen, to which the nation at large seems strangely indifferent,
and because such occasions must from time to time occur so
long as we are a people divided upon one great topic, that I have
endeavored to awaken you to the importance of the event; for
while I may speak and you may honor me by a hearing, responsibility
and action belong to us all alike. As good men and
true, let us see to it then that in our hearts and in our homes,
in the every-day walks of life, and at the polls, we cherish and
maintain those high and sacred principles which policy, reason,
and an enlightened christianity, alike approve.” Then, with the
solemnity and fervor of one whose daily walk with God kept
him ever mindful of the Sacred Presence, he commended the
assembly to the guidance and direction of Him in whose hands
all men are but as instruments, and the address was ended.

From the commencement of the lecture to the moment when
applause was at its height, the impulsive and excitable disposition
of Murray had exhibited itself in the animation of his

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countenance, the eagerness of his gestures, and the vehemence
of his cheers; Alick, in the meantime, remaining thoughtful,
quiet and attentive, manifesting to those around him no other
sign of emotion than that conveyed by the intense earnestness
with which his eye was fixed upon the speaker. The most
ardent sensibilities, however, are seldom those which appear on
the surface, and the soul of the elder boy was none the less
stirred, that it found no outward expression save in a single
movement, which appealed to but one person present, and that
perhaps the only one in the throng capable of appreciating his
delicately organized and susceptible nature. At that crisis in
the feelings of the assembly when with one accord they rose
and joined in common acclamation, the youth might have been
observed to leave his seat, a little in the rear of Mabel, and darting
down the aisle which divided the gallery, ensconce himself
on the lowest step directly beside his young aunt, who turned,
met the earnest look which he fixed upon her face, responded
to it with an answering smile, clasped his extended hand, and
the boy feeling himself to be understood by the only being whose
sympathy and approbation he craved, was satisfied and content;
nor did he once again change his position or remove his eye
from that of Percival until the close of the oration.

We may not probe the reflections which coursed through
the mind of the boy, far less can we follow all the windings of
that train of thought and emotion which partially revealed
itself in the face of Mabel, as she, too, watched the expression
of Percival's countenance, and drank in the inspiration of his
words. For the first half-hour succeeding her entrance she
was wholly engrossed by the tumultuous and agitating thoughts
which attended her recognition of the speaker. Already,
though known to her only by the report of his manly virtues,
she had imaged him to herself as the impersonation of all that
was truly noble, disinterested, and heroic; and now, in addition
to every other claim which he possessed to her esteem, respect,
and gratitude, he had suddenly proved to be identical
with the man who, years before, in the hour of her bitter agony
and humiliation, had won for himself a lasting place in her

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memory and her prayers, and who once more, on this very day,
had by his zealous efforts in her behalf confirmed her sense of
deep and personal obligation. No wonder then, that from the
moment when the harmonious tones of his voice fell upon her
ear, confirming, as it were, the evidence of her other senses, she
was for a while unconscious of the subject of his discourse,
and realized only his individual presence.

She could not long, however, continue indifferent to the topic
which evidently, for the time, engrossed all the powers of his
master mind, and reacted proportionately upon his audience.
Her kindling eye and cheek soon gave evidence of the intelligence
with which she grasped the ideas, and the fulness with
which she shared the enthusiasm of the speaker; the tear
which now and then trembled on her eyelid, was significant
of the sensibility awakened by the pathos which marked some
portions of his appeal, and when, finally, the Christian orator
commended them all to the keeping of their common Father,
her face was expressive of the fervent aspirations of the uplifted

The heart that has been stirred to its utmost depths by the
power of an eloquent and truthful tongue, shrinks almost with
a sense of pain from those common-place questionings and
rejoinders which disturb an elevated train of thought, and grate
harshly upon the refined taste. Thus, the impulse which led
the shy and reserved Alick to exclaim in a whisper to Mabel,
as soon as the address drew to a termination, “Let us try and
get out before the crowd, Auntie,” met with a corresponding
prompting on her part; but finding that the suggestion could
not be carried into effect without indecorous haste, and the possibility
of giving offence, she made the best of her situation,
suffered herself to be carried along with the rest of the throng,
and responded good-naturedly to the various comments and
criticisms upon the orator and the oration which saluted her
on every side. Murray, meanwhile, acting as their pilot, made
himself, as he never failed to do, universally popular by his
boyish gallantry to the farmers' wives, his rattling and jocose
conversation with sturdy and rough-looking men, and his droll

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and mischievous pranks with little children, and boys of his own
age, preserving, at the same time, a spice of aristocratic dignity
which characterised him, and so marshalling his aunt and
brother through the thickest of the press, that to their astonishment
they found themselves among the earliest to leave the

“Isn't he a splendid fellow, Aunt Mabel?” exclaimed Murray,
as they hastened in the direction of home. “Didn't you
feel proud of him? I did. Wasn't it grand to think our
prairie friend turned out, after all, to be the orator of the

“Yes, very,” replied Mabel, in an absent way; but Murray,
too much excited to need further encouragement, rattled on
for some time in a similar strain, and closed by saying in a
tone of confidence, “Al liked it, I know, because he didn't say
a word; he never does when he's pleased; but,” added the boy,
who had now learned to love and appreciate his brother,
“he'll prove it to us one of these days, I expect, in a way
that speaks louder than words.”

“Alick will not forget it very soon, shall you, Alick?” said

“Nobody who heard it will ever forget it,” said Alick.

“Aunt Mabel,” cried Murray, “did you see how interested
grand-father was?”

“Yes, Murray, he looked ten years younger than usual

“And he will bring Mr. Percival home with him, wont he?
I saw him shaking hands with him after the lecture.”

Mabel had no doubt of it, as their uncle Harry had assured
her that his friend brought a note of introduction to her

“Well here we are,” cried Murray, as he threw open the
house door. “Aunt Sabiah talks about coincidences. We
have got one to tell her now that will make her open her

“My sister, Miss Vaughan—my daughter—my grandsons,”
said Mr. Vaughan, with ceremonious gravity, as about

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half an hour later he ushered Percival into the parlor, and
introduced him to his family.

Miss Sabiah made her usual stiff courtesy, but the young
people, to the no small astonishment of Mr. Vaughan, came
forward, almost before the words had left his lips, and shook
hands with their guest, not with the air of those who are making
a new acquaintance, but with the prompt cordiality with
which one welcomes a familiar friend; while the smiles which
were interchanged, and the mutual congratulations and good
understanding which succeeded, proved them to have previous
knowledge of one another.

“You perceive, Sir, that I am not a stranger to your family,”
said Percival. “I had the pleasure of travelling in company
with them, this afternoon.”

“And we,” said Mabel, “in our anxiety to do honor to our
expected guest, suffered him to walk nearly a dozen miles over
the prairie. We could not have taken advantage of your kindness
with a quiet conscience, if we had known the effort you
would be called upon to make this evening.”

“I assure you, that neither walking nor public speaking are
an effort to me,” said Percival. “I have accustomed myself,
in the superintendence of my farm, to twice the amount of
exercise I have had to-day, and, perhaps, the same cause has
insured me healthy lungs. I only hope that yourself and my
young friends here feel as little sense of fatigue as I do.”

They all disclaimed any weariness from their journey; and
then, to relieve Mr. Vaughan's perplexity, Percival gave an
outline of their little adventure, treating the matter lightly,
however, and claiming no merit for the essential aid he had

As it appeared, upon inquiry, that he had had no opportunity
for refreshment of any sort since he halted at a village tavern,
a little before mid-day, Mabel hastened from the room, “on
hospitable thought intent,” and while Mr. Percival engaged
her father upon the subject of agriculture, and especially Harry's
successful farming, in which the old gentleman had never
before appeared to take the slightest interest, she assisted

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Melissa in spreading a table and preparing an inviting repast.
All were soon gathered round the neat and plentiful board, at
which Mabel presided with as much grace and dignity as if she
had held the seat of honor in her father's New York mansion,
with Robert, the well-trained waiter, standing behind her chair.
Aunt Sabiah, who had long since resigned all responsible
offices, occupied a seat at her niece's right hand, and, as she
only joined the rest for sociability's sake, kept on with her knitting—
that favorite employment which she now no longer pursued
from habit merely, since Alick, Murray, and even Harry,
despite his former raillery, had long since found a way to give
shape to the warm stockings, for which they were indebted to
her industry. Mr. Vaughan, contrary to his usual habits,
sipped a cup of chocolate, while Percival and the boys (boys
are always hungry) did justice to the cold ham, bread, and
tarts. The appetites of all were fully satisfied, however, and
still they lingered at the table. Mr. Vaughan, ordinarily silent
and reserved, was roused to animation and interest, as he conversed
with Percival on the great events of the day. Sabiah
forgot her shyness, and the drowsiness which usually overtook
her at intervals was effectually dispersed, as their young guest
illustrated the subjects under discussion by many a sparkling
anecdote or striking incident. The boys were encouraged to
contribute their share to the social interchange of thought; and
Mabel's opinions and feelings were deferred to with that consideration
which highminded men are ever ready to pay to
intelligent women. Thus midnight found them still enjoying
each other's society, and it was not until the loud striking clock
reminded them of the hour, that, with mutual expressions of
surprise at its being so late, the little party separated for the

“Good morning, Auntie,” cried Murray, as, the next day soon
after sunrise, he called to her from outside the pantry, adjoining
the kitchen, where she was busy in making some preparation
for breakfast; and, as he spoke, the affectionate, thoughtless
boy flung open the blinds and disclosed the figure of Mabel

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standing just within the open window moulding some biscuit
with the cover of the dredging-box which she held in her hand.

His salutation was responded to with heartiness and good
humor, nor did the young housewife blush, or seem in the least
disconcerted, upon perceiving their guest, who, dressed in his
hunting suit, and with rifle on his shoulder, was leaving the
house with the boys, and who, like them, paused to inquire
after her health and speak of the beauty of the morning.

And why should she blush? On the contrary, she had
reason to be proud of the picture which the sunshine revealed,
as it streamed through the apartment. The spotless shelves,
with their glittering rows of pans, the almost polished floor, the
exquisite order and neatness of all the domestic paraphernalia,
were only equalled by the good taste and harmony observable
in the person of the fair mistress of the establishment, who,
attired in a simple lilac print (none the less becoming to her
faultless figure because her own hands had made it), with a
snowy collar, and smooth, glossy hair, stood radiant with the
beauty of the girl, and serene with the chastened benignity of

“We have heard some wild ducks in the direction of the
river,” said Percival, “and are going to have a shot at them.”

“I shall come home with a proof of my skill; see if I don't,
Aunt Mabel!” cried Murray, running forward and gaily tossing
his cap in the air.

Percival and Alick followed, laughing at Murray's confidence
and zeal. Mabel wished them success, and stood looking after
them a moment, her rosy-tipped fingers, slightly besprinkled
with flour, resting meanwhile on the moulding board; then
closing the blinds, without, however, shutting out from the
mind's eye the image of that manly form and open countenance
which carried with them a cheerful and magical influence, she
quietly resumed her occupation. After delivering the pan of
biscuit to Melissa's charge, and leaving to her, also, the cooking
of Bayard's prairie fowl, in the serving of which she was an
adept, Mabel joined her aunt in the parlor, and had not yet laid
down the Bible, from which she had, by Sabiah's request, been

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reading a chapter aloud, when the sportsmen returned from
their excursion to the river-side.

“Ah, you have been fortunate, Murray!” said she, as she
observed a pair of silver-breasted ducks, which the latter had
thrown down upon the grass.

“Yes,” said the boy, in a slightly disappointed tone, “but
Alick shot them.”

“Murray spoke just before he fired,” said Percival, “and
startled them so that they rose; then Alick fired the other barrel
and shot them on the wing.”

Mabel looked meaningly at Murray and laughed.

“I know,” said Murray, good-naturedly. “I thought of it
myself; it is just as you always say, Auntie; I do the boasting
and Al carries away the prize.”

“Must you leave us so early?” said Mr. Vaughan, in a tone
of positive regret, as immediately after breakfast Bayard's
horse was brought to the door.

“I fear I must, sir,” replied Percival, turning away from
Rosy's picture, at which he had been gazing attentively; “a
similar duty to that which brought me here last night summons
me to-day to a distance of some forty miles; but I hope at some
future time to have the privilege of enjoying and returning
your hospitality.”

Mr. Vaughan, seeming for the first time to realize that his
present home could be rendered attractive, pressed upon Bayard
his desire to welcome him there as often as might be, and
still further astonished his family by declaring that he was soon
going to see Harry, and would take the same opportunity of
paying Mr. Percival a visit.

Mabel was standing on the door-step when Bayard came to
bid her farewell. He had shaken hands with Sabiah in the
inner room. Mr. Vaughan and the boys had walked down to
the roadside, where James was attaching the saddlebags to the
saddle. For the first time, therefore, she saw him apart from
the rest of the household. She gave him a few last messages
for his mother; then, as he lingered, evidently loth to depart,
she said in a hesitating, tremulous voice, “It is now more than

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six years, Mr. Percival, since you did me a kindness which
few would have attempted, and which few could have done.
I have never thanked you; I never can,—but I trust you
believe that I can never forget it.”

“Miss Vaughan,” said he, “I did only what common humanity
demanded of one who had the soul of a man; it has
been left for you to teach me the higher and holier lesson of
what may be accomplished by a woman. Your brother makes
no secret, with his friends, at least, of the priceless blessings
which he owes to a sister's love.”

“Harry has an appreciating disposition,” said Mabel, “and
his good heart makes him grateful for the affection and kindness
which he always feels to be beyond his merits. The
events of that night, which are so fixed in my memory, have
happily passed from his, but of your consistent friendship in
later years he can never say enough.”

“It is a friendship which is invaluable to me,” said Percival.
“Harry is a noble fellow,—worthy of the sister who has made
him what he is. I am most proud and happy to have met
you again, Miss Vaughan.” He paused, seemed anxious to add
something more,—hesitated, and then, with an embarrassment
foreign to his usual manner, bade her an abrupt farewell.

Mr. Vaughan and the boys, after seeing him ride off, walked
slowly back to the house, and the ordinary events of their
daily life succeeded. But, although Percival had been their
guest for one night only, his presence and influence had left
no ordinary impression upon every individual of the family,
and it was long before any of them could cease to be conscious
of the void which his departure had created in their circle.

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Cummins, Maria Susanna, 1827-1866 [1857], Mabel Vaughan. By the author of The lamplighter. (John P. Jewett and Company, Boston) [word count] [eaf533].
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