Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

little man was much to be pitied. To noisy Oxford men, accustomed to fracas with barges, and town and gown rows, the whole thing might be sport, but to a delicate rose-bud like our friend it was death.

He no longer felt certain that a resolute countenance would scare off a garotter, and all the horrible stories he had ever heard of their stealthy mode of attack came trooping upon his recollection. The cold air besides was affecting him, and he now came for the first time to the conclusion that he had taken too much punch. He thought of running—what use was that ? then he began to feel cold. Well, this will never do,” thought he; "I may as well be moving. Surely I shall find a policeman or a cab in the road, and then-catch me going out again with a parcel of lunatics !" As he walked on he suddenly thought of the ball the next night, and figured himself unable to attend in consequence of a black eye or some other injury ; and he mentally saw Fanny dancing again and again with Redford, for Augustus too felt he had a rival, and a monosyllable rose to his lips which bore witness to the disturbed state of his mind. On he went with, I must confess, a somewhat unsteady gait, which however was as much due to nervousness as to punch, and on reaching the corner of the street, looked eagerly up and down the St. John's Wood Road. Not a soul was in sight. Afar off he could hear the rumble of some late cabs, but that was all. With a deep sigh, he resigned himself to his fate, and walked down the road, "the beard over the shoulder," as the Spanish proverb runs. He tried to whistle, somehow or another he could not remember the tunes he essayed ; then he lit a cigar, while all the time his thoughts would keep running on that morning's Times, which had devoted two columns to correspondents one and all frightened out of their lives by the bugbear of the age.

Presently he passed a street leading to the left : what was that in the shadow of the houses ? It did not move, yet it seemed the dim outline of a human figure. It must be

a garotter. Should he call for his friends ? Ha! three forms are indistinctly seen lower down. Surely they are Redford and his companions; and Augustas, who had stopped for a moment, was just about again to proceed, when a slight noise behind him made him turn round. There, close at his elbow with what looked like a huge bludgeon in his hand, was a man, no doubt the same who had been lurking in the shade. No time was to be lost. Soppleton just remembered Dick's parting words, struck out at the form beside him, and called out lustily for help. His foe reeled back, staggered with the blow, then with loud cries, possibly as Augustus thought for his accomplices, rushed in, grappled with him, and soon the two combatants were rolling in the middle of the muddy rond, pummelling each other to the best of their ability. Footsteps were heard running up ;—a well-known voice shouted “ Hold him tight, Sopp !" His foe's grasp relaxed, and Augustus looking up saw with delight the joyous face of Dick as the latter seized his assailant. Then his brain swam, a giddiness came over him, and for a short time he was unconscious of what was passing around. When his senses returned he found himself surrounded by most of Framwell's guests, who were, one and all, giving way to shouts of uproarious laughter. To be garotted was bad enough, but to be laughed at about it was worse, so Augustus started to his feet and angrily demanded the cause of this putimely mirth, and whether he was the cause of it.

a

[ocr errors]

)

“Most certainly not, my dear fellow," answered Dick, the tears rolling down his cheek the meanwhile. “We're only laughing-ha-ha-ba !-at the way your friend-ha-ha-ha !-has got off. He upset Redford and bolted. However, Freddy and some others are after him. Are you hurt, old boy ?"

Soppleton could hardly understand how such a slight incident could have caused so much mirth, especially as during their progress home every now and then one of the party would break out in a lond guffaw, and the rest would join him in bursts of undisguised laughter. He felt certain he must have something to do with it, so coldly declining Dick's offer of "a quiet pipe, and something hot after the row," he took the first cab he saw and drove sulkily home.

“Well Freddy,” said Dick, when on entering his rooms he found that gentleman smoking very comfortably, “things have turned out queerly, eh? I never laughed so much in my life.”

“Faith,” said Adams, “I thought the fellow had got really garotted after all," and this was the signal for a fresh round of laughter.

“I failed in my promise to you, though,” said Dick ; "for I looked at him attentively by all the lamps as we passed, and he has not a scratch ; but I think now that that is a good thing. What do you think Fred ?"

" That everything has turned out much better than if your original plan had been carried out.”

“So do I. Trust to me to work up the details. I've got an invite for to-morrow through the Fitzhammerton's, and never trust me if to-night's doings do not put a stop to Soppleton's designs upon Mademoiselle l'adorable. Tim, some hot water and tumblers. Look sharp ;" and the adventures of the night, and its probable results, were discussed till the small hours of the morning.

(TO BE CONTINUED.)

ARIADNE.

On the peak of Naxos' islet, towering to the blue

serene,
Looking o'er a hundred islands, and the waves that

dance between ;
Looking where the sparkling ocean glances from its

thousand eyes,
Looks of never-ending brightness upward to its

parent skies;
Where, as far as eye can wander, all the ocean is

bespread
With fair islets, and the azure of the heaven smiles

o'er head.

There upon the height she standeth, gazing, gazing

o'er the sea, Asking her own heart, in anguish, “will he ne'er

come back to me?Gazing ever out to seaward, while the sea-winds

gently play With the sunny golden tresses, that adowu her

shoulders stray. And her hands she clasps in anguish ; presses on her

fevered brow, •Wildly murmurs

“ He hath left me. Death! O death were welcome now." Then her head once more she raises ; looking wildly

o'er the the main, Gazing wildly, while she mutters, “Ah, he'll ne'er

come back again. Far away the sunlight gleameth on the hills that

gird the shore, There I watched my hero vanish, thence he cometh

never more. Ah! the weary, weary sunlight, ah! the mocking

joyous wave Which with ceaseless heartless clamour, doth this

wretched island lave. Die ! O die ! thou mocking sunlight, and shut out

the hateful sea Which hath borne my lov'd one from me, ne'er will

bear him back to me.

Sink, O sink, ye shades around me; let me ne'er

again behold This drear world which the Immortals, in dark mists

of sorrow fold."

And the day fades into twilight, and the twilight

sinks and dies And the myriad lamps of even, sparkle in the

pitying skies. When at morn the car of Phæbus bounded forth to

greet the day, Ariadne's prayer was answered, in death's arms she smiling lay.

E. D. THE GARDEN.

KITCHEN GARDEN.

a

REGARD being paid to my previous directions for the preparation of the ground, and as we are entering on a busy period for the committal of the seed to the ground and getting in the crops, let no time be lost, when the weather is favourable for this operation. In the beginning of this month make another sowing of peas, broad beans, and parsnips, on finely prepared soil ; likewise sow lettuce, radish, parsley, mustard, and cress; of celery a small quantity may also be sown for pricking out for early use. Plant out a good bed of cabbage from the autumn sown, and continue to sow a little seed every month for the next three months. Cauliflower plant out on very rich ground, and continue to sow more seed. Proceed with the main crops of potatoes, especially in fine weather ; defer planting them in wet weather, or when the ground is clammy and adheres to the foot. It is a good maxim to sow in dry weather, as the ground is left more open, and not consolidated on the seed by the tread of the foot. Towards the middle of this month every exertion will be necessary to get every spare piece of ground dug and cropped, likewise many of the earlier sown crops will require attention. As regards hoeing and stirring the ground, among all crops that are above the ground too much care cannot be taken, especially amongst the brassica tribe, as a loose surface. will allow the sun-light and air to enter the ground and throw an additional warmth to the roots, which is very beneficial to the well-being of the plants at this early season.

Sow broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Savoy ; this is also a good time to get in the main crop of carrots. Prepare the ground well by forking it over, so as to destroy slugs, as this is a crop they devour with avidity, and a break is often cleared in a few nights (in showery weather) by these pests. Quick lime is a good preventative, sown over the ground three hours after sunset. The best way is to sow the seed in drills, one fourth of an inch deep and nine inches between each drill, and that will leave room to hoe between the rows, and will assist to accelerate the growth of the young plants. Rake the ground very fine before sowing, and this will prevent vermin from burying themselves under the clods. Make a sowing of turnips every month till the end of the year, beginning with the early Dutch, early stone, and orange jelly ; the last mentioned is a turnip of first-rate flavour, and not so liable to get stringy as some of the other sorts. Swedish turnips may bé sown in November ; sow in drills one foot between each row, and thin out to five or six inches ; as soon as they have made the rough leaf, hoe between the rows to destroy weeds and insects—it is astonishing what a difference this makes in the crops. Sow round spinach in drills ; rhubarb, seakale, and asparagus. Sweet herbs may also be sown about the middle of the month, on a fine dry well-pulverized piece of ground, either in beds or drills. Cover the seed very lightly, leaving only one-eighth of an inch of soil over many of the seeds that are smaller than white clover. It is a very great error to bury seed too deep in the ground. If the main crop of onions is not already in the ground, no time should be lost in getting them in; sow in drills nine inches between each drill, on a fine rich piece of ground, as free from weeds as possible, and do not sow unless the ground will pulverize and break fine; tread the rows in with the foot, and finish off with raking the ground smooth and even all over ;—when they are two inches high, thin out to five or six inches. Sow also a bed of silver-skinned very thickly for picklers. Sow beet towards the end of the month, in drills one inch deep and one foot between the rows; when up, thin out to ten inches from plant to plant. Surface the strawberry plantations with decomposed manure, and destroy any weeds as they appear. Manure rhubarb, and dig between the rows, if not already done; fork lightly over the asparagus beds, and add a little manure on the surface; cover over seakale to blanch for use. Hoe and stake all advancing crops, and dig all waste ground as soon as vacant; this will give the kitchen garden a neat and cheerful appearance. Do not delay the getting in of the crops on all favourable occasions.

FRUIT GARDEN.

The pruning of all fruit trees must be brought to a close now, likewise the planting of the above must be deferred till next autumn, presuming that all vacancies have been filled, and if not already done, fork round the stems of the trees and mulch the surface of newly-planted trees with manure to keep the ground moist; let this be done immediately; also see that newly-planted fruit trees are secured from high winds. Any worthless sorts may be cut to within a few feet of the ground, and grafted with a superior sort. Proceed with the grafting of all stocks ; cut down raspberry canes that bore fruit last autumn; manure and dig between the rows of the previous year's wood or canes that are to bear fruit this

The present is a good time to dress apple trees that are affected with the blight : if any are past recovery, root them up and burn them ; wash the remainder with equal quantities of soft soap, black sulphur, and hot lime, mixed in two quarts of skimmed milk, put on the trees with a sash brush, the whole mixed and heated to 130 degrees, applied directly at this heat to the infected parts of the tree. This is only a preventative, and will require to be applied every year; an ouuce or two of red lead incorporated in the above will have a good effect in clearing the plants. Give vines a good mulching of manure round the stems, and attend to the training of the shoots.

season.

FLOWER GARDEN AND SHRUBBERY.

The shrubs will require looking over this month ; cut away any dead branches, and shorten back any bad and straggling shoots. Cut away any worthless ones altogether if they are over-hanging or growing into finer specimens ; but do not cut away so as to expose the remainder too much at one time, as some of the finer plants may be thrown back several years through an injudicious thinning. Prune roses ; cut out the old wood and shorten the young shoots to three or four eyes,—this mode of pruning will only take in four sections of the rose, viz., Hybrid Perpetual, Gallicia

« VorigeDoorgaan »