List Of Contents | Contents of Elinor Wyllys, by Susan Fenimore Cooper
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allow that Charlie ever flattered; but remarked that it was his
peculiar merit, to throw a charm about the simplest water scene;
and his last view of Chewattan Lake was certainly one of his
happiest pictures.

{"dew-berries" = blackberries; "happiest" = most successful}

On their way home, Miss Emma and her companion again commenced
their quizzing system. Towards the end of the ride, however, the
young lady relaxed a little in her vigilance; when they reached a
turnpike-gate, about two miles from Wyllys-Roof, she suddenly
proposed to Bob de Vaux to run a race with Elinor and Mr.

"What do you say to it, Miss Wyllys?"

"Excuse me; I had much rather not."

"Oh, but you don't know what I mean. Now, you and Mr. Ellsworth
go cantering and trotting along, in such a sober, Darby and Joan
fashion, that I am sure Mr. de Vaux and I can turn off here, take
this by-road, which you know comes in nearly opposite your gate,
and although it is twice as far round, I bet you a pair of gloves
we are at Wyllys-Roof before you."

{"Darby and Joan fashion" = like an old married couple}

"Done!" exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth, delighted with the idea; and off
the young lady gallopped {sic} with her companion.

It is not to be supposed that the gentleman allowed the half-hour
that followed to pass unimproved. He could speak at last, and he
admired Elinor too sincerely, not to express himself in terms
both warm and respectful. Although Elinor had been for some time
fully prepared for this declaration, yet she did not receive it
without betraying feeling and embarrassment. Emotion in woman, at
such moments, or in connexion with similar subjects, is generally
traced to one cause alone; and yet half the time it should rather
be attributed to some other source. Anxiety, modesty, mere
nervousness, or even vexation at this very misinterpretation,
often raise the colour, and make the voice falter. Elinor had
fully made up her mind, and she felt that a frank explanation was
due to Mr. Ellsworth, but her regard for him was too sincere not
to make the moment a painful one to her. He was rejected; but
rejected with so much consideration, so much modesty and feeling,
so much good sense, that the very act only increased his regret.
He was much disappointed, for he had been a hopeful suitor.
Elinor had always liked him, and he had thought her manner
encouraging; Mr. Wyllys and Miss Agnes had not concealed their
approbation; and Mrs. Creighton had often told him she had no
doubt of his success. He was more than mortified, however, by the
refusal, he was pained. Elinor repeated assurances of respect and
friendship, and regret that she felt herself unable to return his
regard as it deserved. She even alluded to his generosity in
overlooking her want of personal attractions; she said she had,
on that account, been slow to believe that he had any serious
object in view. At the time he had first proposed, through her
grandfather, she herself had wished to prevent his going any
farther, but her friends had desired her to defer the answer; he
himself had begged her to do so, and named the time fixed--she
had reluctantly consented to this arrangement; and, although the
more she knew of Mr. Ellsworth, the more highly she esteemed and
respected him, yet the result had been what she first foresaw;
she could not conscientiously offer him the full attachment he
had a right to expect from a wife.

Mr. Ellsworth rode on in silence for a moment.

"Is it then true, Miss Wyllys, that I must give up all idea of
obtaining a more indulgent hearing, at some future day?"

"Judge for yourself if I am capricious, Mr. Ellsworth. Do not
imagine that I have lightly rejected the regard of a man whom I
esteem so highly as yourself. I could scarcely name another in my
whole acquaintance, for whom I should have hesitated so long;
but--" Elinor paused, suddenly became very red, and then deadly

"But--what would you say, Miss Wyllys?--go on, I entreat!"
exclaimed Mr. Ellsworth.

It was a moment before Elinor rallied. She then continued, in a
low voice, and in an agitated, hesitating manner:

"Mr. Ellsworth, I shall speak with perfect frankness; your
kindness and forbearance deserve it. When I consented to wait so
long before giving you a final answer, it was chiefly that I
might discover if I could regain entire command over feelings
which have not always been my own. I am afraid you are not aware
of this. The feeling itself to which I allude is changed; but be
it weakness or not, it has left traces for life. I was willing to
make an experiment in favour of one who deserved the full
confidence of my friends and myself; but the trial has not
succeeded; if I know myself, it can never succeed--I shall never

And then after a moment's silence she gently continued, in a
calmer tone:

"But you will soon forget all this, I trust. You will find
elsewhere some one more worthy of you; one who can better repay
your kindness."

Mr. Ellsworth chafed a little under this suggestion; though not
so much as a more passionate man might have done.

"To forget one of so much womanly excellence as yourself, Miss
Wyllys, is not the easy task you seem to suppose."

Elinor could have sighed and smiled as the thought recurred to
her, that Harry had not found it very difficult to forget her.
They had now reached the gate, on their way home, and turning
towards her companion as they entered, she said:

"I hope, indeed, you will always remember that you have very
sincere friends at Wyllys-Roof, Mr. Ellsworth; believe me,
friends capable of appreciating your merits, and aware of what is
their due."

Mr. Ellsworth thanked her, but he looked very evidently
disturbed. When they reached the piazza he helped Elinor from her
horse, perhaps more carefully than usual; Miss Emma Taylor and
her cavalier had already arrived; and the young lady immediately
attacked Mr. Ellsworth, bidding him remember his bet. When Mrs.
Creighton stepped from the chair, she looked for her brother and
Elinor, a little curious to discover if anything decisive had
passed, but both had already entered the house.

Mr. Wyllys learned in the course of the day, from Ellsworth
himself, that he had been rejected; he was very much
disappointed, and more disposed to find fault with Elinor than he
had ever been before.

"I am afraid you have not acted wisely, Elinor," said her
grandfather; words more like a reproof than any that Elinor could
remember to have heard fall from his lips, addressed to herself.

Miss Agnes also evidently regretted her niece's decision; but she
said nothing on the subject. As for Mrs. Creighton, she thought
it all easy to be understood.

"You may say what you please, Frank, about Miss Wyllys, but you
will never persuade me she is not a coquette." 

But this Mr. Ellsworth would by no means allow.

Elinor laid her head on her pillow that night with the unpleasant
reflection, that four persons under the same roof were
reproaching her for the step she had taken that day. But she
herself knew that she had acted conscientiously.


"Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold."
Henry IV. {sic}

{William Shakespeare, "Richard III", II.iv.39}

THE Petrel was a very pretty little schooner, pronounced a crack
craft by the knowing ones. She sat so buoyantly on the water when
motionless, and glided along so gracefully when under way, that
even landsmen and landswomen must have admired her. Let it not be
supposed that the word landswomen is here used unadvisedly:
although the Navy Department is decidedly ungallant in its
general character, and seldom allows ladies to appear on board
ship, excepting at a collation or a ball, yet it is well known
that in some of the smaller sea-port towns, the female portion of
the population are so much interested in nautical matters, and
give so much time and attention to the subject, that they are
looked upon as very good judges of spars and rigging; and it is
even affirmed, that some of these charming young "salts" are
quite capable of examining a midshipman on points of seamanship.
If fame has not belied them, such are the accomplishments of the
belles of Norfolk and Pensacola; while the wives and daughters of
the whalers at Nantucket, are said to have also a critical eye
for the cut of a jib and the shape of a hull. Hubert de Vaux
hoped they had, for he thought it a pity that the Petrel's
beauties should be thrown away.

On the morning they sailed, when Elinor had watched the boat as
she lay in the river, they had been waiting for Bruno. Harry
wished to carry the dog with him; but after following Hazlehurst
to the boat, he had returned home again; he was, however, enticed
on board, and they hoisted sail, and slowly moved out of sight.

In spite of some little delay, the Petrel made a very good day's
work. That night and the following the party slept on board, and
seemed very well satisfied with their quarters; they intended to
run out of sight of land before the end of their cruise, but as
yet they had landed every few hours for fresh water, vegetables,
milk, &c.; as it did not enter at all into their calculations to
be put on a short allowance of anything desirable. On the
afternoon of the third day, the Petrel reached the wharf of a
country place on Long-Island, where the party landed, according
to a previous invitation, and joined some friends for a couple of
days' shooting, which proved a pleasant variety in the excursion;
the sport was pronounced good, and the gentlemen made the most of
it. Mr. Stryker, however, complained that the pomp and
circumstance of sporting was wanted in this country.

"So long as we have the important items of good guns, good
marksmen, and real wild-game, we need not find fault," said

Many lamentations succeeded, however, upon the rapid
disappearance of game from all parts of the country.

"There I have the best of it," said Mr. Stryker to his host. "In
the next twenty years you may expect to find your occupation
gone; but I shall at least have fishing in abundance all my days;
though at times I am not quite so sure of the brook-trout."

"I don't think Jonathan will be able to exterminate all the trout
in the land," said Hazlehurst, although he is a shamefully
wasteful fellow; but I really think there is some danger for the
oysters; if the population increases, and continues to eat them,
in the same proportion they do now, I am afraid Jonathan of the
next generation will devour the whole species."

"Jonathan" = the American (from "Brother Jonathan")}

>From Glen-Cove the Petrel made a reach across the Sound to
Sachem's-Head, where Mr. Stryker enjoyed to perfection the
luxuries of clam-soup, lobster-salad, and chowder.

Their next port was Nantucket. They happened to arrive there just
before a thunder-shower, and Charlie Hubbard was much struck with
the wild, desolate look of the island. He pointed out to
Hazlehurst the fine variety of neutral tints to be traced in the
waves, in the low sand-banks, and the dark sky forming the
back-ground. Nantucket is a barren spot, indeed, all but bare of
vegetation; scarcely a shrub will grow there, and even the tough
beach-grass is often swept away in large tracts; while the forms
of the sand-hills vary with every storm. The town itself,
however, is a busy, lively little spot--one of the most nautical
in feeling and character to be found on the globe. The chief
interests of the inhabitants centre in the ocean; and even the
very ornaments of their houses are spoils of the deep, shells and
fish-bones from distant latitudes, and sailor's fancy-work in
various materials, all connected in some way with the sea.
Charlie made a sketch of the island, and determined to return
there and paint a picture of some size. The next day, which was
Sunday, they remained at Nantucket; there is a pretty little
church in the town, and Charlie, Harry, and Mr. Smith attended
service there; the rest of the gentlemen preferring to idle away
the morning in a less praiseworthy manner.

One of young de Vaux's crew was taken sick here, and he was
obliged to secure another man before leaving the island; it was
easy to do so, however, as one who was waiting for a passage to
New York soon offered, and the matter was settled.

Early on Monday morning they again made sail, for Martha's
Vineyard; from thence the Petrel's head was to be turned
southward, and after coasting the eastern shore of Long-Island,
they expected to return to the wharf at Broadlawn, as fast as the
winds would carry them. The Vineyard, owing to a more sheltered
position, bears a different aspect from the barren sands of
Nantucket; parts of the island are well wooded. Choosing a
pleasant bay known to their pilot, where a rude wharf had been
built, the party landed and prepared to dine, and pass some hours
there. They were no sooner on shore than Mr. Stryker made his
arrangements for fishing; having secured bait, Dr. Van Horne and
himself, with one of the men, took the Petrel's boat and rowed
off from shore, changing their ground occasionally, until they
had turned the point which formed the bay on one side, and were
no longer in sight. De Vaux and Smith took their guns and went
into the wood; Charlie brought out his sketchbook, and was soon
engaged in taking some tints, in watercolours, from a heavy bank
of clouds which had been slowly rising in the west for several
hours. Hazlehurst was lying on the grass near him, with a
spy-glass, watching a couple of sloops in the distance: turning
his head accidentally towards the spot where they were commencing
preparations for dinner, Harry saw one of the men, the new
recruit, whom he had not yet remarked, looking at him closely. It
struck Hazlehurst that he had met this man before; the sailor saw
that he was observed, and after a moment's hesitation he
approached, touching his hat with the common salutation of a
seaman, and looking as if he wished to speak, but scarcely knew
how to begin.

"Have you anything to say to me, my friend?--It strikes me I have
seen your face somewhere lately."

"If you are Mr. Hazlehurst, I guess, sir, you seed me not long
since," replied the man, a little embarrassed.

It suddenly flashed upon Harry's mind, that it was during the
Stanley trial that he had seen this person; yes, he could not be
mistaken, he was one of the witnesses for the plaintiff on that
occasion. Hazlehurst gave him a keen look; the fellow faltered a
little, but begged Harry to step aside for a moment, as he wished
to speak alone with him. They moved to the adjoining bank, within
the edge of the wood, and a conversation followed of some
consequence to Hazlehurst, certainly. After a few prefatory
remarks, this man offered to make important revelations, upon
condition that he should be screened from justice--being
considered as state's evidence--and rewarded by Harry for
volunteering his services; to which Hazlehurst readily agreed.

We shall tell his story for him, rather as it appeared at a later
day, than in the precise words in which it was first given at
Martha's Vineyard. By his disclosures, the villany {sic} of Clapp

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