The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, June 01, 1886, Page 190, Image 20

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Of family treasure it had been the solo repository; and
the receptacle perhaps of many a family secret Im
mensely large dark rooms oened on long and gloomy
hulls and ghostly passages which led to vaults beneath,
into whose mysteries few had tho desire and none the
courage to penetrate. Its moss-grown walls, to which
the ivy clung, and over which the morning-glory dis
played iU royal purple, were shaded by the larch and
willow; in front a broad lawn stretched away, and from
the richly curtained windows of my own room I looked
out on ships at soil Here I ofteu sat, and childlike
mused for hours and hours, happy in the love which my
father lavished upon me, and grateful for tho care with
which my slightest wish was gratified.
Adjoining my father's estato was that of another
eer, whose daughter Isaliol, of exactly my own ago, was
my constant companion. Whatever might have been
tho charms of my own mthoii, Isabel was very, very
beautiful. Her form was willowy and graceful, her hair
was raveu black, her complexion olive, mid her eyes a
dark brown, deep and lustrous. Her wishes were my
wishes, her friends were my friends; I shared her joys,
and her griefs 1 made my own. Tho same teachers in
slrucfckl us; we studied our lessons from tho same book.
Thus passed our childhood. When we had arrived at
the ago of ninxUti years our friendship had not waned;
if Nwsibln it was doejior and firmer than ever beforo.
" About this time a French teacher was engaged to
instruct us in the language of his people, Louis was
young, vivacious and agreeable; and under his tutorship
we mado rapid progress. When wo rodo out he accom
panied us, and he was our companion in many a ramble
across the fields and through the woods in search of
ferns and flowers. As might have lieon oxected, this
daily intercourse led to yet more intimate relations.
Isaliel ami I were young and thoughtless; Louis was full
of the passion of his race, and ho fell a victim to its
fierce consuming fire. I supoed Imiliel to be the ob
ject of his love by reason of the marked attention he
jMiid her. Uuoonscious alike of its presence and of its
nature, a change took place in all my feelings. This
change I knew afterward to have been the beginning of
a pnssiou which gave rise to hoiea, alas ! never to lie re
alised. I fell madly in love with our French tutor.
When he smiled on me I was happy; when ho sought
Isaliel'a society I was miserable indeed. At last he
turned from her and devoted himself to me exclusively;
my cup of happinais was full. Contrary to what I had'
feared, and what I had existed WM't affection for
me underwent no change. Thus a winter and a spring
Miaed by, and with its balmy air, its clear blue sky, its
bird ami flowers, the month of Juno came on.
"Iu the uorthwest corner of the old hall was a room
whoso interior had never lieen seen by myself, or by any
living servant; and even my fther had never with
in iU walls. Its heavy oaken door, with its rusty lock
aud the dusty cobweb which enveloped it like a screen,
were evidence of iU long disuse. Among the servants
waa a tradition that, during a past generation, Ud,
Alioe a beautiful and accomplished daughter of the4
house was wont to meet her lover in this very room.
Her lover was of a family at feud with her own, and he
was forbidden to seek her hand. But through the
bribery of a servant, he gained access to his lady's pres
ence, and here in this ghostly chamber they secretly
kept their tryst One night they were discovered by an
angry brother, who fought with and slew the lover with
his mistress standing by. Shrieking she threw herself
upon her lover's corpse; when removed, her reason had
tied forever. Not long afterward she died a maniac, tear
ing out handfuls of her golden hair, and raving to the
lost her lover's name. The room in which the tragedy
took place was closed and never afterward reopened.
"This tale was told me by my nurse over and over
again. So firmly did the servants believe in this legend,
and so filled were their minds with superstitious fears,
that not one of them could be induced to approach the
threshold of what they termed the haunted chamber.
Beneath a portrait in my father's room, hung a large
and rusty iron key. This the servants said belonged to
the door of the haunted chamber, from which they
fancied issued sounds of mortal combat In vain I ar
gued that what resembled scuffling wan only the sound
of the scampering rats.
"One day I asked my father if he knew what the
room contained why it remained a sealed aud almost
forgotten mystory. He Bhook his head sadly in reply.
With his hand resting upon my hair he said,
'"My doar child, in this world are many, many
things it wore better never to have known, or if known
bettor they were totally forgotten. This is one of them.
The threshold of that chamber I have never crossed;
neither did my father, nor his father before him. To
stand within its walls, or to penetrate its mysteries, I
have no desire; and I hope I never shall have. Go, my
dear child, to your studies never mention the subject
"As may be supposed, this, instead of satisfying my
childish curiosity, served to inflame it the more. I
mused over the mystory by day, and at night my dreams
were of a glwstly creature with pleading eyes and stream
ing hairwho kept pointing to the portajs of the haunted
" One day in confidence I whispered the tale to Louis.
He laughed in scorn.
"'Fudge! It is but the fancy of some daft crea
ture,' he said.
" Next day, however, he asked me to repeat the story;
I did so. Instead of jesting, he listened attentively.
When I had done he asked me to show him the door of
the haunted room. I complied, clinging to his arm, fear
ful lest evil might befall him.
"From this time forward a change came over him
hardly preeeptible at first, but more aud more plainly
marked each day. Formerly he was gay and sprightly
and free of speech; now he was fitful, uneasy and taci
turn. With Borrow I observed the change. How bit
terly I upbraided myself for having told him the weird