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day for the marriage was fixed upon, and a magnificent outfit was in waiting. Among the guests that were invited were two gentlemen from the West by the name of McMartin, with whom Walter had become acquainted. The oldest was in some degree a kindred spirit of Mr. Bertram. He had become an invalid in consequence of intemperance. His brother, several years younger than himself, was like a guardian angel, shielding him always from public disgrace, and as much as possible from private. He had seen the growing intimacy between Bertram and his brother, and determined, as soon as the wedding festivities were over, to return to Amherst. Two days before the wedding was to take place, strangers were seen about the store, and then all was still, a writ of injunction was served, and the story went as fast as busy tongues could carry it, that Mr. Bertram was a bankrupt, and his intended must know the fact. His pride was wounded, and he became desperate. He managed to get the elder McMartin from under the
of his brother, and drove out of town to a neighboring village, where they spent the night in drinking and carousing. There Lewis McMartin found them so inebriated that they were unable to take care of themselves. In this state, he had his brother borne to the nearest steamboat landing, and in a few hours took passage for their home.
But where was poor Bertram ? Alone in his room, without a friend to advise or direct him. He awoke, but despair rested upon his heart. He attempted to drown his grief, but this was impossible. Several weeks were spent in a state of fearful determination. On examining his purse he found that he had but a few dollars, left. With this he paid his passage to Charleston, where he hoped to find some friends to aid him in this hour of trial. On his arrival he found himself a stranger and penniless, so he walked
and down the streets, looking occasionally into the brilliant saloons that once had attraction for him. At length, wearied and sad, he leaned his head against a lamp post and wept. He stood, he knew not how long. A hand was laid upon his shoulders, and he was addressed by a tall, dark complexioned, black-eyed
He asked him in a foreign accent, “ What he was snivelling there for ?" “ Because, sir, I have nowhere else to snivel, as you please to call it." “Then if you haven't you had better come with me; I will give you better lodgings.” Reaching his arm, which Walter took immediately, they wound their way, arm in arm, through several streets, till they came to a respectable looking building inclosed by a high iron fence. They passed around to the back part of the building, and entered a side door into a long dark hall, out of which several doors opened. A shudder of fear came over Walter as he followed his guide, and as the hand of the stranger opened one of the lower doors, dark forebodings again settled
upon the heart that had once been alive to hope and happiness. They entered a small room evidently fitted for the accommodation of only one person
The black-eyed stranger knew what was necessary to rally the spirits of bis new guest.
“ Make yourself at home, sir ; you are with your friends. You will stay here to-night; I shall be engaged So you will have to entertain yourself until morning, unless some of my boys
" When you
will drop in and spend an hour with you this evening. I have a little of the good stuff here. Will you take a glass?" Opening a cupboard that was handy by, he gave him a decanter and told him to help himself. wish your supper you can ring for it, there will be servants to wait upon you." Bowing low he bade him good night," and he left the room.
Walter, being alone, asked himself repeatedly, “ What does this mean? I have no acquaintance with this gentle
Perhaps it is a French gentleman with whom my father has had an acquaintance, and I don't see how this can be either."
After taking a second glass of Jamaica, he concluded that it was a good place, and there was no use of puzzling his brain to find out who or what his
He at length rang the bell for supper. A comfortable meal was