List Of Contents | Contents of Elinor Wyllys, by Susan Fenimore Cooper
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and Sam, now somewhat exhausted by fatigue and agitation, were
taken on board. Hubbard was quite insensible; young Van Horne,
the physician, thought his appearance unfavourable, but instantly
resorted to every means possible under the circumstances, with
the hope of restoring animation. Still nothing was seen of Harry;
his entire disappearance was quite incomprehensible.

"It must have been cramp; yet I never knew him have it, and he is
one of the best swimmers in the country!" said de Vaux.

"He must have felt it coming, and had presence of mind to loosen
his hold of Hubbard at the same moment he cried for help,"
observed Smith.

Bruno was still swimming, now here, now there, encircling the
Petrel in wider or narrower reaches, howling from time to time
with a sound that went to the hearts of all who heard him.
Different objects floating about beguiled the party for an
instant with hope, but each time a few strokes of the oars
undeceived them.

Suddenly Bruno stopped within a short distance of the Petrel, and
dove; those in the boat watched him eagerly; he rose with a sharp
bark, calling them to the spot; then dove again, rose with a
howl, and for a third time disappeared beneath the water.
Convinced that he had found either Harry or the negro, de Vaux
threw off his coat and plunged into the water, to examine the
spot thoroughly. The dog soon rose again with a rope in his
mouth, pulling it with all his strength, uttering at the same
time a smothered cry. The rope was seized by those in the boat,
and de Vaux dove; he touched first one body, then another; but
all his strength was unequal to the task of raising either. After
a hurried examination, it was found that one body, that of the
negro, was entangled in a rope and thus held under water from the
first; while Harry's leg was firmly clenched in the dying grip of
Black Bob, who must have seized it as Hazlehurst passed, and
drawn him downward in that way.

In as short a time as possible, Hazlehurst and the negro were
placed in the boat by the side of Hubbard, who had not yet showed
any sign of life; every effort was made to revive them by some of
the party, while the others rowed with all their strength towards
the shore.

All watched the face of Van Horne, the young physician, with the
greatest anxiety, as he leaned first over one, then over another,
directing the labours of the rest.

"Surely there must be some hope!" cried de Vaux to him.

"We will leave no effort untried," replied the other; though he
could not look sanguine.

The boat from the most distant point, rowed by the steward and a
boy from the farm-house, now joined them; and those who could not
be of use in assisting Van Horne, passed into her, taking their
oars, and towing the boat of the ill-fated Petrel with her
melancholy burden towards the beach. Bruno could not be moved
from his old master's side; it was painful to see him crawling
from one body to the other, with as much watchfulness, as much
grief, and almost as much intelligence as the surviving friends;
now crouching at the cold feet of Hazlehurst, now licking the
stiff hand, now raising himself to gaze wistfully at the
inanimate features of the young man.

The shower was passing over; the rain soon ceased, the clouds
broke away, the sun burst again in full glory upon the bay, the
beach, the woods, throwing a brilliant bow over the island. But
three of those upon whom it had shone only an hour earlier, were
now stretched cold and lifeless on the sands; while the mourning
survivors were hanging in heartfelt grief over the bodies of the
two friends and the negro sailor.


"And e'en to wakeful conscience unconfest,
Her fear, her grief, her joy were his alone."

{Reginald Heber (English poet, 1783-1826), "Morte d'Arthur: A
Fragment" lines II.534-535}

THE melancholy disaster of the Petrel happened on Monday; it was
not until the Thursday following that the evil tidings reached

Elinor, accompanied by Mary Van Alstyne, set out quite early in
the morning to pay some visits at different country-houses in the
neighbourhood. They had been out some little time, having driven
several miles, and made three or four calls, when they reached
Mrs. Van Horne's. On entering the parlour they found the mistress
of the house was not there, but a much less agreeable person, the
elder Mrs. Tibbs, the greatest gossip in Longbridge.

"I am glad to see you this morning, young ladies," she said.

"Thank you, ma'am; it is a very pleasant morning, certainly,"
replied Elinor, as she took a seat on the sofa.

"Very pleasant, yes; but I was fearful you might have been kept
at home by the bad news we Longbridge people have just heard."

"It does not seem to have kept you at home either, Mrs. Tibbs,
whatever it may be," replied Elinor, smiling; for she knew that
any news, whether good or bad, always set this lady in motion.
Little did the poor young girl suspect the nature of the
intelligence that awaited her!

"No; I thought my good friend, Mrs. Van Horne, might feel uneasy
about her son, and came over to be with her."

"Mrs. Van Horne! Has anything happened to the family?"

"You haven't heard the news then?--I am surprised at that. But
here is an account of the accident in the New Haven Eagle. It has
made us all feel quite dreadfully at home!"

"What has happened?--Pray tell us!" exclaimed Elinor, now looking

"Here is the account; but perhaps you had better let Miss Mary
read it; she was not so intimate with the deceased."

"What is it?--let me see the paper, Mary. An accident to one of
the Van Hornes!" and she took the sheet from the table. Her eye
immediately fell on the following article:

"Our city was painfully excited this morning by the intelligence
which reached here, of a distressing accident to a beautiful
little schooner, the property of Hubert de Vaux, Esq., of New
York, which was seen in our waters only a few days since, and
attracted universal admiration in our port."

Elinor's eyes could see no farther; she stretched out the paper
to her cousin, saying in a faint voice, "Mary, read!"

Mary Van Alstyne took the paper, and continued silently to look
over the passage.

"This little schooner, bound on a cruise of pleasure, had reached
Martha's Vineyard, when, during the sudden squall which passed
over this section also on Monday, she capsized, and melancholy to
relate, four persons lost their lives. The party consisted of Mr.
de Vaux himself, Colonel Stryker, and Mr. Van Horne, of New York;
Charles Hubbard, Esq., the distinguished young artist; Henry
Hazlehurst, Esq., our secretary of Legation to the court of
Russia, where he was shortly to proceed with Mr. Henley, our
Envoy; and also Frederick Smith, Esq., a young gentleman from
Philadelphia. There were in addition five men in the crew. We
regret to add that Mr. Hazlehurst and Mr. Hubbard, a negro sailor
known as Black Bob, and another man, name not mentioned, were
drowned; the bodies were all recovered, but every effort to
restore life proved unavailing."

Mary Van Alstyne had strong nerves, but the suddenness of these
melancholy tidings, and a dread of the effect upon Elinor, made
her turn deadly pale.

"Tell me, Mary," said her cousin faintly.

Mary waited a moment to recover herself, when the question was
anxiously repeated. She took Elinor's hand and sat down by her
side, using every precaution of delicacy and tenderness in
breaking the bad news to her cousin; she approached the worst as
gradually as she could, and mentioned every favourable
circumstance first; while Elinor sat trembling in every limb, yet
endeavouring to retain command over her senses and her feelings.
But it was in vain; when Mary was at length forced to confess
that two of their friends were among the lost, Elinor put her
hand to her heart, while her eyes were fixed on her cousin's
lips; when the name of Hazlehurst was at length reluctantly
pronounced, she started from her chair, and fell quite insensible
on the floor, at her companion's feet.

It was a long time before she could be restored. Mrs. Van Horne
and the doctor, who was happily in the house, did all in their
power to relieve their young friend; and Mrs. Tibbs was really
quite distressed and mortified, when she found the effects of her
allusion to the accident were so serious.

"Poor young thing!--I'd no notion, Mrs. Van Horne, that she would
have taken it so much to heart. Do you suppose she was engaged to
one of the young gentlemen?"

An imploring look from Mary Van Alstyne said to the doctor as
plainly as look could speak, "Do send her away!"

The doctor was very ready to do so, and by virtue of his medical
authority requested the gossip to walk into the other room, where
he permitted himself to give her a sharp reprimand for having
been in such haste to tell the evil tidings.

It was some time before Elinor fully recovered her consciousness;
her first words expressed a wish to be carried home.

"Home, Mary," she said faintly.

Mrs. Van Horne, who was deeply interested in her young friend,
was anxious she should remain where she was until her strength
had entirely returned.

"I am strong now," said Elinor feebly, making an effort to rise.

Mary looked inquiringly at the doctor.

"You shall go in a few minutes, my dear Miss Elinor," said the
doctor after an instant's hesitation; he thought it best that she
should do so, but determined that his wife and himself would
accompany her to Wyllys-Roof.

"Mary," said Elinor, with an effort, looking towards Mrs. Van
Horne, "ask if--"

Mary guessed that she wished to know if the Van Hornes had heard
anything in addition to the account in the paper. Without
speaking, she looked the question.

"We have had a few lines, sent us by Mrs. de Vaux from New York,"
said Mrs. Van Horne, gently.

Elinor closed her eyes, and fell back again on the cushion.

"You must not talk, my dear," said the doctor kindly.

Young de Vaux had in fact written a line or two to his mother,
who was in New York, by the boat which he sent off immediately to
engage a small steamer, as soon as the squall had passed over;
and this note had been considerately forwarded by Mrs. de Vaux to
the Van Hornes, as it mentioned the safety of their own son. It
ran as follows:

"Martha's Vineyard.

"MY DEAR MOTHER:--We are greatly distressed by a melancholy
accident which befell us scarce an hour since. The Petrel
capsized; most of our party are safe; but two of my friends are
gone, Hazlehurst and Hubbard! You will understand our grief; mine
especially! We shall return immediately.

"Your son, H. de V."

The doctor handed this note to Mary, at a moment when Mrs. Van
Horne was bending over Elinor.

In a few minutes Elinor made another request to be carried home.

"Pray take me home, doctor," she said; "I can go now."

The doctor felt her pulse, and observing that although very
feeble, she seemed to have command of herself, he thought the air
and motion would be of service. The carriage was ordered, she
took a restorative, and making a great effort to rally, leaning
on the doctor's arm she walked to the door. Dr. and Mrs. Van
Horne accompanied her, as well as her cousin.

"Thank you," she said with her usual gentleness, as she remarked
their kind intention, and then throwing herself back in her seat
she closed her eyes; her face was deadly pale, large tears would
force themselves slowly from beneath her eyelids, and a shudder
pass over her limbs; and yet it was evident she made a strong
effort to control her emotion. There was something in her whole
expression and manner, that bore all the stamp of the deepest
feeling; it was no common nervousness, no shock of sudden
surprise, nor merely friendly sympathy; it was the expression of
unalloyed grief springing from the very depths of a noble heart.

Even Dr. Van Horne, whose nerves had been hardened by the
exercise of years amid scenes peculiar to his calling, could
scarcely refrain from shedding tears, as he looked with
compassion and with respect at his young friend. She seemed quite
indifferent to the observation of others; her heart and mind were
apparently engrossed by one idea, one feeling, and all her
strength engaged in facing one evil.

Mrs. Van Horne had not supposed that the bad news would have
affected her so deeply, nor was Mary Van Alstyne prepared for the
result; but however Elinor might have hitherto deceived herself,
however much her friends might have misunderstood her, the truth
was now only too clear; her heart had spoken too loudly to be
misunderstood--it was wholly Hazlehurst's.

They drove on steadily and slowly, the silence only interrupted
by occasional remarks of Elinor's companions, as they offered her
some assistance. When they came in sight of the Hubbard cottage,
Mary Van Alstyne's heart sunk anew, as she remembered the blow
which had also fallen upon their good neighbours.

Elinor's efforts for self-command increased as she drew near
home--for the sake of her friends, her aunt and grandfather, she
strained every nerve; but on reaching the house it was in vain,
her resolution gave way entirely when she saw Bruno lying in his
usual place on the piazza. She became so much agitated that it
was feared she would again fall into a deep swoon, and she was
carried from the carriage to a sofa in the drawing-room. Neither
Miss Agnes nor Mr. Wyllys was at home; they had gone to their
afflicted neighbours the Hubbards. An express had brought a
report of the melancholy catastrophe, not half an hour after
Elinor had left Wyllys-Roof in the morning; the lifeless body of
our poor young friend, Charlie, was to reach Longbridge that
afternoon, and Hubert de Vaux had come to request Miss Agnes to
break the sad truth to the bereaved mother and sister. Jane also
was absent, she was in New York with the Taylors; but Elinor's
faithful nurse and the old black cook came hurrying to her
assistance, as soon as they knew she had reached the house so
much indisposed.

{"express" = special messenger}

Miss Agnes was sent for; but Elinor had revived again when her
aunt returned, though she was still surrounded by the anxious
circle, Mary, the Van Hornes, her nurse, and old Hetty. When she
heard the footsteps approaching, she made an effort to raise
herself, with a sort of instinctive desire to spare her aunt a
sight of all her weakness.

"You had better lie still, my dear Miss Elinor," said the doctor
kindly, offering her a glass of some restorative.

Miss Agnes entered the room and advanced anxiously to the sofa.

"My poor child!" exclaimed Miss Wyllys. "What is it,
doctor?--illness?" she added anxiously.

The doctor shook his head. "She heard the news too suddenly," he

Mr. Wyllys now followed his daughter. Elinor turned her eyes
towards the door as he entered; a cry burst from her lips--she
saw Hazlehurst!

Yes, Hazlehurst standing in the doorway, looking pale and
distressed, but living, breathing, moving!

In another second Elinor had started to her feet, sprung towards
him, and thrown herself in his arms--heedless of the family,

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