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CONTAINS SEVERAL SURPRISING ADVENTURES, WHICH WILL PROBABLY BE QUITE NEW TO THE
The immediate consequences of the recovery of Mr. Tuck's pocket-book, and the discovery of the thieves who stole it, were, the disgrace of the two brothers, and their high-spirited mother, in the estimation of their uncle, who swore he would neither spend another copper for their benefit while living, nor leave them a dollar at his death; and the determination, on the part of Mr. Tremlett, to abandon our hero to his fate, and never see him again.
As it may appear somewhat unaccountable to the reader that Julia Tuck should have got possession of the pocket-book, we will explain that circumstance. When the two brothers were taken home to their mother, after they had been picked up in the river, she found the pocket-book in Tom's cap; and on being accused of stealing it, his brother Sam made a full confession, while the other justified himself on the ground that she had herself taught them to look upon their uncle's property as their own. Upon which the lady read them a lecture on the enormity of their guilt, and endeavored to explain to them the difference between taking possession of their uncle's money before and after his death; a distinction which Tom Tuck still persisted in saying he could not clearly comprehend. His mother, in examining the pocket-book, found that it contained but little money, and that the other papers, which she supposed to be valuable, were but little injured by the water. She intended to enclose it in a wrapper, and drop it into the post office, directed to her brother-inlaw, as soon as it should be dry; but the unexpected summons to appear at the house of Mr. Tremlett, had prevented her from doing so. Little Julia heard all the conversation between her mother and her brother; and when she heard her favorite accused of the crime that she knew they were guilty of, she ran home and took the pocketbook from her mother's bureau, and returned it to her uncle, as has been already related. And in doing this, the young lady was not influenced solely by a love of justice; she had conceived a great fondness for our hero, which she evinced on all occasions, without much reserve; and her brothers not having always treated her with becoming kindness, she was glad of an opportunity to do them an injury, at the same time that she gave her favorite a proof of her regard for him. The mortification and anger of her mother was intense. They almost converted her maternal love into hatred to her own offspring; and she returned to her home with her heart full of revengeful feelings, which she burned for an opportunity to gratify.
Although Mr. Tremlett determined, in the first excitement of his feelings, to turn his adopted son into the street, and to steel his heart forevermore against all kindly feelings toward the human race, and particularly orphan boys, yet when he reviewed the whole affair in his mind, and considered the youth of the boy, his temptations, the examples that had been set him in his earlier years, and his own culpability in not teaching him more pointedly than he had done, to do no evil, the guilt of the youngster did not appear so enormous, nor his nature so depraved as at first. And then the gratitude of the lad
in refusing to pawn his watch, because it had been given to him by his father, was a proof that he was not destitute of generous qualities. In truth, Mr. Tremlett did not reason with himself long, before he was astonished that he should ever have thought of parting with his son; and on visiting the boy in his chamber, as he lay asleep, all his fond feelings were revived, and he felt that he loved him more tenderly than ever. 'If the good and pious only were entitled to our love,' thought Mr. Tremlett, “how many would go through the world unfriended and desolate!'
On consulting with Mr. Hodges, the boy's teacher, that discreet gentleman, against his own interest, advised Mr. Tremlett to send the boy to a private school in the country, where he would be free from the influence of such companions as the Tucks, and not exposed to the thousand temptations that surrounded him in the city. This advice Mr. Tremlett could not but acknowledge w
Very just and proper; and although he would gladly have kept the boy with him at home, yet professing to have the child's permanent good at heart, he agreed to be governed by it; and Mr. Hodges having recommended a school kept by a clergyman of his acquaintance in one of the pleasant towns in the interior of Massachusetts, it was resolved that our hero should be sent there without delay. As he was too young to travel alone, and his father's engagements being such that he could not accompany him, Jeremiah Jernegan was selected, as being the most suitable person in the employment of Tremlett and Tuck, to take charge of the young gentleman, and deliver him at his place of destination; and it was on this important business that Mr. Tremlett wanted to speak with Jeremiah, when he called him into his private office. The poor clerk was overjoyed at this proof of his employer's confidence, as well as delighted at the thought of travelling in company with our hero, although this pleasure was not without its drawback; as he would be deprived, on his return, of the gratification of seeing the lad for a very long period, if not for ever.
The next day our hero left his happy home, in company with Jeremiah. They were accompanied to the steam-boat by Mr. Tremlett, who had reserved some very solemn advice to be imparted to his son just before they parted, thinking it might make a more lasting impression upon his mind, if delivered at such an impressive moment. But when the time arrived, the old gentleman was so full of grief, that he found it impossible to utter a word; so he pressed the boy's hand, and silently invoking the blessing of heaven upon his head, he turned from the boat and left him.
Now, although Jeremiah was a very suitable person, in one respect, to have the charge of our hero, yet he was in another quite the opposite, seeing that he had never been but a short distance from home, and that he was totally unacquainted with the ways of the world, as well as the ways of stage-drivers and steam-boat agents. It was almost night when the steam-boat left the dock, and as it soon grew dark, our travellers went up on to the promenade-deck to look at the stars, and to enjoy the novelty of being afloat in the night. While they were leaning over the railing, making their remarks on every thing that struck them as being curious, a stranger approached
them, with a segar in his mouth, and after listening to their conversation a few moments, he ventured to address them.
Charming evening, gentlemen,' said the stranger.
Yes, Sir, it is, very lovely,' replied Jeremiah ; "I was just remarking to my young friend here, that the solemn grandeur of the scene was very impressive.'
• Upon my soul,' said the stranger, ‘I was just thinking that very thing myself; what a liquid appearance the water has !
• Very,' replied Jeremiah ; it is a pleasant thing to travel ; there is such a constant succession of new and surprising scenes, that one has hardly time to dwell upon his own sad feelings.
• Yes,' replied the stranger; 'but d—n it! I have got sick of it, and I am now going home to settle down quietly on my own farm, where I can eat my own eggs, and drink my own cider.'
• Ah! there's a pleasure in that, too,' said Jeremiah. “Pray have you travelled much ?'
• Not much,' said the stranger ; 'I have been as fur as Rome, and once I was as fur from hum as Batavia. I have got a sister married in Vienna, which I go to see once a year; and once in a great while, I go to see my uncle, in Pekin.'
You must have been a very great traveller,' said Jeremiah. • I do n't call that nothing at all,' said the stranger; ‘I mean to go to Niagara next fall.' • How long since you were in Batavia ?' asked Jeremiah.
Only last spring,' replied the stranger. • Our house has some correspondents in Batavia,' said Jeremiah ; * we received a large consignment from them last week. I suppose you know the firm of Gluttstiver and Gruntwitchel ?'
“No, I can't say I did,' said the stranger. “I thought I knowd all the merchants in that place, too. Have they been long in business ?'
“Oh, it is a very old house,' replied Jeremiah ;' our firm have been in correspondence with them for a great many years. And pray what is the quality of the coffee there ?' asked Jeremiah.
•Thed -st stuff I ever swallowed in my life! nothing like as good as you get at the Eagle, in Palmyra. I would as soon drink the water out of the Grand Canawl,' replied the stranger, with some warmth.
• Your account does not agree with my impressions at all,' said Jeremiah ; 'I thought the coffee was very fine.'
* All humbug !' said the stranger; “it is not worth that !'
So-so,' said the stranger;' the fact is, it was built up too suddenly. Folks said 't was a very flourishing place, and so 't was; but 't was all flourish; and now it's going down hill fast enough.'
• Perhaps its rise was too sudden,' replied Jeremiah ; .but it was always a matter of wonder to me, how such a city ever sprung up at all in such a place.'
• It is no wonder at all to me,' said the stranger; 'it was all done by speculators.
• Not unlikely,' replied Jeremiah; “human nature has doubtless been the same in all ages; and I suppose there were speculators even among the Palmyrenes.'
The stranger now perceived that his segar had gone out while he had been talking to our travellers, and he left them to get a light.
• That is a very remarkable man !' said Jeremiah. Only think of it, Jack; he says his sister lives in Vienna, and his uncle in Pekin; and that he has been in Batavia, and Palmyra, and Rome! Perhaps he has kissed the Pope's toe.'
'I guess he did,' replied our hero, ' for he had a dreadful disagreeable breath. The bell now rang for supper, and our travellers went down into the cabin, where they sat opposite to the communicative stranger; but as they were all very hungry, Jeremiah asked no farther questions about Palmyra, neither did the great traveller appear at all disposed to communicate any further intelligence respecting the famous places where his aunts and uncles resided. But when they landed the next morning, another agreeable gentleman addressed Jeremiah, and asked him if he had much luggage.
• Not much,' replied Jeremiah, ' but what I have, is of some consequence; and I am very anxious about it, because the most of it belongs to this young gentleman, who is placed in my charge.'
'I suppose there is nothing of much value in it ?' said the stranger.
* Yes, it is rather valuable,' said Jeremiah ; 'and for the greater safety, I have put my purse into my valise, as I have heard of a good many robberies on board of steam-boats.'
• You did right,' said the stranger; I always keep a bright look-out myself; which is your luggage !
Those two trunks,' said Jeremiah, pointing to them. •Where did you say you were going to ? inquired the stranger.
• We are going to Willow-mead Academy, said Jeremiah, in Berkshire county, Massachusetts.'
* Ah! it's the very place I am going to myself!' said the stranger ; 'my youngest brother is there at school. But I forget the name of the principal ?'
The Reverend Doctor Whippy,' said Jeremiah.
• Yes, that is it,' said the stranger; ' and a most appropriate name, too, for my brother writes me he is a devil of a fellow for whipping.
This piece of intelligence was rather unpleasant to our hero, who seemed to have taken a dislike to the stranger. When their trunks were taken up to the stage.office, the stranger very kindly offered to take charge of them, upon which Jeremiah thanked him for his politeness, and told him, as they were not much used to travelling, he would be obliged if he would keep them with his own luggage until they got to Willow-mead; all of which the stranger very obligingly promised to do. They rode all day, and about eight o'clock in the evening, at the place where they stopped to change horses, they met the returning coach. It was a cloudy night, the wind blew strong from the east, and it was very dark. When Jeremiah and our hero got into the stage again, they did not observe that one of their number was missing, and being fatigued with riding, they soon fell asleep, and did not wake again until it was midnight, when they stopped at an out-of-the-way tavern to change horses. The wind had increased, and it rained very hard, and our travellers were stiff and cold ; their legs were cramped, and they felt very wretched. It was a long time before the tavern-keeper opened his door; and
when he did, his bar-room presented a most cheerless and dreary appearance. There was no fire, and only one small tallow candle burning in a huge tin candle-stick. The tavern-keeper himself was very tall and thin; bis hair was long, and so was his face, and in fact every thing else about him, except his answers, which were very short and crusty. And indeed his ill-humor was not to be wondered at : to be roused out of a pleasant sleep, in the middle of a cold, rainy night, to admit half a dozen temperance customers, could not have been very soothing to the feelings of a publican.
As it was necessary to pay for the next stage at this house, Jeremiah put his hand in his pocket to take out his purse, and to his great horror discovered it was not there. He procured a lantern from the landlord, and searched the coach, without finding it; and then he remembered that he had put it into bis valise for safe-keeping. Jeremiah now began to make inquiries for the obliging stranger who had so generously undertaken the charge of his luggage; and he was terrified beyond expression, when he was told how that kind gentleman had pretended to have left one of his trunks behind him, and bad taken a seat in the returning coach, which they met at eight o'clock. On inspecting the boot of the stage, it was farther discovered that he had taken with him our hero's trunk, and Jeremiah's valise.
Our travellers were now in a most uncomfortable situation, for the driver of the coach not only refused to take them a mile farther, unless their fare was first paid, but the tavern-keeper refused to give them a bed, although he consented to their remaining in the bar-room until it was day-light. Jeremiah begged hard for a little fire, as the night was cold, and their clothes were damp; but this the host also refused; and indeed he would not even allow them the light of the miserable tallow candle ; but, having first locked all the doors, and taken a five cent piece and two bung-town coppers out of the till, he retired to bed, and left our hero and Jeremiah in darkness. They were too cold to sleep, and so they sat close together on a wooden bench, without any back to it, and tried to divert their thoughts from their uncomfortable situation, by relating the many unpleasant dilemmas in which they had both been placed before. Once,' said Jeremiah, I should have considered it a great happiness to have obtained such a shelter as this cheerless bar-room affords, on a night like this. Then why should I repine at what I should once have felt myself called upon to give thanks for ? I will not; but let us rather, John, kneel down, and thank the Giver of all good things, that we are not exposed to the piercing wind, and the cold, driving rain.'
• I have no objection,' said our hero; and so they knelt down, and Jeremiah prayed thus :
0, Lord, God! we give thee humble and hearty thanks, that thou hast created us in such wise that our happiness is not dependent upon the outward circumstances and conditions of our bodies; and though we do not exult because that they who are clothed in soft raiment, and who fare sumptuously in rich men's houses, are not happier than we, to whom thou hast wisely denied these things, yet we rejoice, O Lord ! that to the meek and humble, the outcast and the wretched, thou hast graciously been pleased to manifest thyself,