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CHAPTER I.

blush! Nay, had often blushed, sometimes THERE lived in Bloomingdale a paragon a dozen times a day, and sometimes not of beauty_Fanny Vane. But so shy, so so often. This perhaps may account for the coy, so queenly was Fanny, amid the roses chivalrous devotion of the other sex to my and creepers of this fairy palace Blooming- little heroine. She was so gentle and timid, dale, that her lovers were in despair. and blushed, and thereby enlisted all that

Beautiful as the morning, and as rosy and manly enthusiasm and heroic devotion of fresh,this young creature was as bashful as fair, which we sometimes read, as a characteristic as seclusive as superior, and by far the most of an age called a darker one than this. naively tantalizing of all her tantalizing sex. This treasure of modern society-and my She was very quiet and still, and the light | heroine, chosen above all others of the preof her eyes was shut out by a pair of deli- sent day-lived with her guardian, Colonel cate waxen lids, and her dimples were con Roland, of Bloomingdale, of whom I should stantly kept in ambush by this shy beauty have made honorable mention before. of sweet sixteen. 'Twas said by those who Colonel Roland was a handsome bachelor knew, that her smile was glorious ; that her of forty. He was a brother officer of Fanupturned eyes spoke with angelic cloquence; ny's father, and on the battle-field had knelt that her tongue could rattle all the day, and over the dying man, and with bended ear that her laugh often came ringing from its caught the faint accents ere they passed coral and pearly fastnesses like a Swiss bell. away, which gave him his infant daughter.

But this was only hearsay. Like the But Colonel Roland was a bachelor, and so mimosa, she shrunk from the stranger's fastidious and hard to please that none of touch, and all her sweetness was distilled the thousand-and-one caps set for him by within the charmed circle of her home, and innocent young ladies and spinsters ever her loveliest smiles were lavished upon the shook his heart. He placed his little ward members of that favored band.

at a first-rate boarding -school, and beFanny Vane was an educated lady, and fore she attained her sixteenth year, the the possessor of a large estate. She had a mansion at Bloomingdale was fitted up for voice of richest melody, and could boast of her reception. Having no mother or sister many accomplishments.

to overlook his interesting protégée, he enI fear I shall not be believed, but I must gaged a Mrs. Brander, a teacher in the semspeak the truth, and say that Fanny could I inary which had the honor of finishing our

VOL. IV.

heroine for the tapis, to take charge of her “Yes, I had a chill, and a most unpleaat home. Mrs. Brander and Fanny were sant fever, but it passed off in a couple of now inmates of Colonel Roland's establish- | hours." ment. They had their apartments and at “Ah! but

you

should have sent us word tendants, and Colonel Roland had his. And that you were sick. Are we never to be so highly sensitive was our bachelor of un useful here at this beautiful Bloomingdale ? romantic forty, that he never intruded upon We sit in splendid rooms all the day idle their evenings, nor stepped in at odd hours; and luxurious, while sickness and sorrow are indeed Mrs. Brander often complained, and all around us—while our best and dearest said, to use her own expressive phrase, that friend is sick, and he will not even let a ser"he made himself entirely too scarce."

vant tell us." These two, the bachelor and the widow, “ You would only spoil me by your kindaccidentally entered the front hall together ness," said the gentleman, opening the parone day, as they came in from the street. lor door, while his lips quivered, for he was

“ Colonel Roland," said Mrs. Brander, not well, and he had felt the need of a genloitering in the hall, “where do you think tle hand in his life, though he had borne up of taking Fanny this summer?”

proudly, and would not confess it. “Indeed, I do not know, Mrs. Brander. “Perhaps you did not know Miss Fanny Fanny's tastes and habits are so very domes was a doctress," said Mrs. Brander crisply, tic that I really do not know where we must “or you would have employed her." take her."

Fanny laughed, and her dark eyes danced “ Exactly," observed our lady of the first- with delight; for though a model woman, rate female seminary. “ If those tastes and our heroine loved dearly to vex her precephabits are allowed to grow upon her, she tress. will be fit for nothing in the world but an “I don't know what I shall do with you, obedient, yea and nay, country wife. She ladies, upon my word,” said the guardian, will indeed."

following with his eye the graceful figure of “Is it possible," cried Colonel Roland, his ward, and glancing at the drooping lid laughing," that she is so inclined ?" and pencilled brow, and knowing very well

“ I tell you that she doesn't care a fig for what disposition he should like to make of Saratoga or Newport; that she dearly loves her. Bloomingdale ; that she has a pet kitten "" and a pair of canaries, and an abominable girl after a pause. Newfoundland puppy ; that she reads Miss " I believe I am on the verge of another Bremer, and abhors that charming fellow chill,” said the gentleman; "but having so Sue. Now, sir, I ask you in the face of all famous a doctress beside me, I need not be this, is it not time to act ?”

alarmed." “ These are alarming symptoms, I con This threw Fanny into a little panic. She fess,” remarked Colonel Roland, smiling rang the bell and brought her patient a strangely.

glass of wine, and began to think about some “ Yes, and they should be checked-nip- pepper tea; but nothing could check the inped in the bud, and nipped instantly," re- cipient chill. He was led to his apartment plied the lady, bringing her finger down by his man John, and Fanny was left disupon her palm in a most emphatic manner. consolate in the wide hall. Just then Fanny entered the hall, and Mrs. Poor Fanny was restless and uneasy all Brander smoothed her knitted brows. day. In the afternoou she was found hover

“I have just heard that you were sick in ing about the sick-room, and eagerly quesbed all yesterday," said the girl to Colonel tioning all who came out of that inner sancRoland.

tum.

was she.

“Is he no better ?” she inquired of tle according to the prescriptions, and this housekeeper, who came out with a solemn threw our important little nurse in a quanvisage and some broth on a tray.

dary. “Must she awake him, or permit “ Bid Fanny come in,” said Colonel Ro the hour to pass without giving the powland; "this is not the first time I have ders !” that was the question. heard her voice to-day.”

“Fanny, I am awake," said the Colonel. Now Fanny was in her element, and a “Oh, I am so glad! You must take those pompous little nurse

Colonel | powders now; I am afraid we are too late Roland was not very sick; the cold stage with them." had passed off, and was succeeded by the Oh! no nectar was ever more delightful fever. He felt inclined to talk. His eyes to a luxurious god than were those powwere very bright, and his fine face glowed; ders to our enamored Colonel. And then but Fanny wore a very grave face indeed. the fairy nurse tripped away, bearing in She held a napkin, and a saucer of crushed her bosom his promise to send for her ice, and a spoon, and proceeded to give it to again. the invalid very carefully and gravely. She Colonel Roland himself had placed these dipped her little hand in ice water, and laid stern barriers between himself and his fair it on his head.

ward, which had been to her so inexplicable “ You have a soft little hand of your own, and tormenting. Fanny, and as cool as a cucumber," said the Why should there be no free and social invalid.

intercourse in a family so secluded ? Poor “Oh, never mind about my hand,” she Fanny tried to break down the barriers with answered, with a charming smile; “Mrs. all her might, but the obdurate Colonel perBrander pronounces it decidedly coarse." sisted. He only saw the ladies at dinner

Never had Colonel Roland seen a nurse and tea. He was usually very grave, and so quiet and thoughtful, so busy, naïve, and Mrs. Brander always on stilts; so between charming He watched her as she stood the two our heroine led a sad life of it. before a little table, arranging all things There must have been some strong reason thereon to suit her. She had darkened the which could have forced a gentleman of room, and was fixing his ices for him ; get-Colonel Roland's extreme sensibilities so reting empty glasses out of her way, and plac- morselessly to repulse the fair clinging creaing his powders just at hand when the hour ture who looked up to him as more than should come for him to take them. He mortal. Still our heroine looked for better closed his eyes, and the fairy nurse tripped days; she saw at times a light stealing from cautiously to his couch, and laid a cool cloth his dark sаd eyes, and to her this was the upon his brow, and then seated herself away faint dawn of the looked-for day. in a quiet corner with her book ; and the Great was her alarm when she saw sympbachelor-guardian thought or dreamed of toms of a relapse into that severe chilling the angel, with the soft eyes and waxen politeness, which she so dreaded. lids, who bent over his couch, and ministered a worse state than the first. She determined to him as only an angel could.

to check him ere he congealed completely. Fanny sat with her book in her hand, and One day after dinner she watched her opthe room was cool and still, and the fevered portunity, and gently approached him as he invalid reposed with a smile upon his lips. sat smoking a fragrant cigar in his long An hour thus passed away, and then ano. piazza. He saw her, as with timid step she ther, and still she watched beside her pa came and stood in the door. His heart tient, now looking at her tiny watch, and yearned for her, but he sat as frigid as a then casting a dreamy glance at the pow-statue. She leaned against the pilaster, and ders, for it was time for them to be taken then looking up, she said very gravely, “I

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came to tell you that I fear you do not love to join a party to Saratoga, she said, and inme any more."

sisted on taking Fanny with her. To this “What!” cried the Colonel, starting, for the guardian consented, but added that if he loved Fanny very much.

Fanny went he must go too. This speech Do

you love me now as you did when nearly finished our heroine. Her timid eye you were sick ?"

the stump

had ventured a peep at the distant gentle“Yes, a thousand times more. I love man, and happened to catch his, as he said you, Fanny, as--as-my own child," said with peculiar emphasis, that“ if she went the gentleman with emotion.

he must go too." “Then why do you never call me to you?

As a faithful narrator I can no longer Why do you never seek me ? I can re conceal the truth. That mischief-loving boy, member when I was a very little girl you Cupid, was at Bloomingdale, bent on misused to take me in your arms, and sing to chief of course. Having first wounded the me with your great voice, and I used to pull Colonel's stout, well-preserved bachelor your hair, and slap you, and pinch you; oh! heart, he had now aimed at Fanny's, and those were rare old times. Do you not re had a mind to draw and shoot away at hers member?"

too. Mrs. Brander's heart he let alone, for “Yes; but Miss Fanny is a grave, digni- she was a widow, and Cupid knew required fied, modest young lady now.”

no assistance from him. I do assure my “I know,” said Fanny, blushing ; “but readers, that Miss Fanny Vane was more the distance between us is too great, I think, afraid of our heroic Colonel than of an alliand I fancy it increases every day.” gator; and, to speak truly, that brave officer The Colonel threw

away

of his was becoming rather cowardly himself. cigar, and there was a soft mysterious light Thanks to Mrs. Brander's eternal tongue, which came over his manly face, and his for had it not been for that unruly member firm lips quivered into a sad sweet smile, Bloomingdale would have been as silent as and the tall man trembled; but subduing the the island of Juan Fernandez in its grave. emotion which had almost conquered as The widow, unannoyed by Cupid, and brave a soldier as ever fought for his coun full of her Saratoga trip, was ever in high try, he turned to the simple, delicate crea chat, and kept a retinue of milliners and ture by his side, and said, “Shall I tell you, shop-boys in her wake. Every day she Fanny, why I never seek you now? Shall drove to town-for the Colonel lived on the I now open unto you the great unrevealed heights—and returned with a carriage load secret of

my
heart?"

of trumpery. Fanny, too, plunged into this “No, no," cried Fanny; for like lightning sea of gew-gaws and frippery, which frea thought flashed across her young untu- quently makes up the sum total of ladies' tored heart.

cares and hopes. She was always very Poor Fanny was near fainting at the bare grave and profound when consulting about mention of this naughty secret in the great summer hats, visites, boxes, laces, and Colonel's heart.

gaiters. In her dress our heroine was very “I beg ten thousand pardons,” she cried, coquettish, which the Colonel admired of and she said a hundred foolish thivgs, and all things. Her fine arms, rounded shoulsped away to her room.

ders, rich long hair, magnificent eyes, and At tea, Fanny was as still as a mouse. graceful, undulating form, would have made Colonel Roland feared that he had hushed the fortune of many ladies. To Colonel the silver voice for ever. What had he said Roland, Fanny, in her zephyr dress and or done to bow the lovely head so complete-dazzling complexion, her snowy arms and ly! Mrs. Brander talked away pompously delicate and dainty feet, her languid eye, about herself and her affairs. She wished and dimples, and clustering hair, were be

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wildering, amazing, and confounding. The scending upon the gallant officer and his man began to walk like a somnambulist; beloved ? to watch with a quick pulse for the fairy figure gliding always away from him, and

CHAPTER II. to catch the light of those eyes which were all in all to him.

MRS. BRANDER was a shrewd lady, a very It was the fifth of July. Twilight was shrewd lady. Colonel Roland's shy attengathering over the earth, and Fanny sat in tions to Miss Vane did not

escape

her

eye. a summer parlor, breathing odors of rare And Mrs. Brander, like all her sex, could sweetness, and luxuriating in pensive reverie. easily distinguish between parental attenColonel Roland came in nervously, and sat tions, guardian attentions, and lover attendown on a sofa at a respectable distance tions. Now this was too bad. The widow from his ward.

had counted on the Colonel as her own, and “ Fanny, will you come here and sit be- she was determined not to give him up

withside me on the sofa ?” he asked.

out an effort. She had quitted the semi“I-1-believe," said Fanny, risiug and nary at the north, not so much to take care blushing very much-“I believe Mrs. Bran

of the motherless girl as to set her cap

for der wants me.”

the Colonel. His fine eyes, noble brow, “And you will not come! I think the dis- lofty mien, splendid person, reserved but tance between us is too great. Do you not courtly manners, and magnificent estate, bad remember when you were a very little girl,' actually impressed her Yankee heart. She &c. ?"

had been laying preliminary snares for him, " But you must excuse me just now; Mrs. but had not commenced the game in real Brander

earnest. In truth, she was laying up stores “ Is gone to tea with that dear gossip of and ammunition then to commence the hers, Mrs. Betts, and I shall have you all to siege. How mortifying to be anticipated myself this evening."

by that sly Fanny! She would not stand “Oh!” cried Fanny in alarm, “why did it, that she wouldn't. Therefore Mrs. Branshe leave me aloue !"

der was in the house, though she had met "Am I nobody, then, Miss Fanny ?" Colonel Roland on the street, and told him “Oh, yes—a great deal ; but-" she was on her way to Mrs. Betts'. She

“ But you are afraid of me, upon my entered just as Colonel Roland had made a word. Well, Fanny, I am going away; I place for Fanny on the sofa. She entered, am going to Cincinnati—will you sit by me I say, at this interesting moment, preceded now ?"

by a dandy servant man, bearing two brilFanny glided to the sofa, and sat about liantly-lighted candelabras. No wonder the four feet from her guardian.

Colonel winked and blinked his eyes, and "Fanny, you do not love me."

Fanny could not face the light. The girl was silent, and shook her curls “It is very warm," said the Colonel to the low over her glowing face.

lady, who, to judge from appearances, was "You shun me as you would a leper.

very cool indeed. Oh, I wish I were sick again!"

“Do you think so ?” she answered spiteOh, twilight! twilight of the fifth of July.fully, glancing over her shoulders at the You were the hours of love! Soft, and drooping Fanny, who, like a crushed violet, gently tempered, and pleasant to hearts was sweet to the last. which loved. Who dared invade thy chosen “I have news for you, Fanny; but I do sanctum, the summer parlor of Blooming. not wish to deepen your blushes. Allen: dale? Who dared to raise thy mysteri- Grey - our Allen — your Allen — is in ous curtain, which was so beautifully de- | town.”

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