The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18??, February 21, 1873, Image 1

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NO. 25.
It was a cold, blustering Novcm- j
her night, tlie first truly cold night J
of the reason, juid an earnest re-1
minder of the severe winter which j
was soon to hold its icy sway, j
Few there were who ventured out
of doors, unless compel 'ed by ne
cessity, an d then they hurried rap.
idly through the streets, m oruer
to get home again as soon as possi-1
bio, and drew up before a good tire, J
now indispensable.
James Wrighton was hastening!
along with the rest, but with lioj
cheerful prospect before him. No,
if one obs rved him closely, dis-
- .:
iress was very imuic uiu hi
face. Stout man as be was, lie
now and then brushed away the
tears that b iuded his eyes, and
then hurried on taster than ever.
Well might this man be sorrow
fill Any one in his circumstances
might lie pardoned tor it; for
would not the bravest heart trem
ble before the picture that rose this
night to his view ?
James Wrighton was as brave,
honest, and industrious a man as
ever lived. Although very poor,
and burdened with much trouble
through sickness at home, yet he
had always had plenty of work for
the maintenance of his wife andUvo
children. This autumn, however,
had been unfortunate for him. The
large establishment in which he was
employed was suddenly' destroyed
by lire, and he was cast out upon
t(ie world to start anew somewhere
I'lse. Far from being discouraged,
he tried in every way to get employ
ment; but all to no purpose. The
scanty amount he had been able to
lay by from his earnings was soon
exhausted, and he was beginning to
be very low spirited, when he heard j
of a new chance tor work. He ap-!
plied in vain ; and as he went home
this night, with no plan or hope tor
the future, and the insufficient pro
vision tbr thctreselit, his heart sank
within him, and he silence
the tears which he never would
have suffered 1 lis family to witness.
As he reared his home, a change
t iok place in his maimer and coun
tenance, lie stepped more briskly,
and a cheerful expression spread
over his face ; he even began to
whist'e. In a minute more the door
ofthe house opened, and a bright
little boy ran out, exclaiming :
"Hallo, papa ! You don't know
how long 1 have been listening to'
hear you whistle ?"
" i lave you been waiting dear ?" j
responded the father, as be took his i
ln.y up in his arms and kissed him
over and over again.
Then a 'air, graceful girl about
lilteen years of age met him, throw- j
ing her arms about his neck to share i
his coveted welcome.
"My own pet. Amy! What!
nhouldl do without you? And j
1 10 ware you to-night, May, dear?"
he asked, lie bent down to kiss J
bis invalid wife.
"Nicely, James,1' said his wile,!
Lightening up.
"Always cheerful and happy ! 1 !
never saw anything like it !" ex
claimed tl e admiring husband.
"Not more so than you always
are, dear," replied Mrs. Wrighton.
"Any success to-day, James?"
".mi. Marv: but it will bo nil
right oon i wi'l do my very bei t,
ft d if we all try to do that, and ;
helpourelves, (iod will not see us
sutler beyond what we are able to
"True, James. 1 low could one j
despair while yu were near to
seak such cheering words. If 1 1
only had my health, how much I ;
could help you, while now I can do
"Oh, yes, you can and do," re-,
joined the other. " Thiuk how
much you cheer and encourage me
on. But, now, what is there for
supper ? Anything ':"
" Yes, father, dear ; but not much.
Mr. Bagley did not pay me to-night,
as he promised, tor the ruffles I com
pleted. I was so disappointed ; for
I know you would l very tired,
and wasdetermined you should have
a nice, hot supper."
"Never mind," said James, smil
ing brightly, as he sat down to a
simple meal of hot corn-cakes and
some very weak tea. "How very
delicious these cakes are, Amy.
Did you make them ?'
"Yes, but mother directed me
how. 1 am glad you like them ; I
was so afraid they would be heavy,"
said the young housekeeper, blush
ing with pride and delight at her
The watchful father saw the look,
so he ate all the taster, as he re
joined :
"Splendid! Not in the least
heavy. As light as a feather!"
Having finished his meal with
great difficulty, for his heart was so
full that every mouthful seemed to
choke him, he drew his chair beside
his wile, and taking little Eddie in
his arms, while his daughter sat at
his feet with her head resting upon
his knee, began to relate the events
ofthe day, and discuss what was to
be done in the future.
During the day ot which this
evening was the close, the fashion
able store of Pag'ey & Co. had been
much frequented by gay ladies, who
looked at this thing and that, mak
ing few purchases, but much troub
le, until the wearied clerks were
nearly taxed to the extent of their
patience. A large party, the open
ing one of the season, was to take
place the following night, and all
interested therein were naturally in
a high state of excitement, buying
the last finishing touches to "set off"
already overdone costumes. One
ofthe most conspicuous of butter
flies, hovering about the tempting
counters, was Miss Edson, the hand
some daughter of a retired mer
chant. -She was what the world
terms a beauty ; and the world ad
mired her for her magnificent per
sonal apixarauce, and acknowledg
ed her a perfect queen ; but it could
make nothing of her otherwise. It
was sometimes a question whether
she had any heart within her, she
always appeared just so cold and
Not an intimate friend did she
possess. Yet she was ever sur
rounded by admirers, while no en
tertainment of any kind was com
plete without her. '!ie was the
tir.-t one to lie missed.
Miss Kdsou was being waited
upon by the ge tlernanly proprie
tor himsel'. Mr. Bagley was among
the number of those wlio fluttered
about the light Miss lidson's, and he felt quite satisfied
With the position so much so that
he Was considering within himself
when would is.' the most opportune
time to suggest to her an opportu
nity he could mention of changing
her name.
The young lady had bought n '
fi'W articles, and was chattering ;
menninglessly with Mr. Bagley ,when j
her eye fell upon some beautifully i
wrought nifties, blie examined one
clos.'l v ; then said :
"Where do you get such exquis
ite ruffles, M.r. Hagley? Are they
imported from Paris?"
"Oh, no; they are made here.
Hand manufacture. 'I hat which
you hold in your hand was made by
a girl only fifteen years old."
""Is it possible ? Who is she ?"
"Only one of those low sewing
g'r!s. iter name is Wrighton, nud
lives on Kltoii street, I beiieve."
"Ah, indeed ! It's too bad, isn't
it? I sometimes pity tbo?e crea
tures. It is a hard ;ite."
"They don't need pity," replied
Mr. Bagley. "Why, I wouldn't
trust one of them out ot my sight
in the store. All they want is to
steal "
Miss Edson soon left the store,
and went to her elegant home,
and spent the evening quietly ; for
it was not one to tempt callers, even
for the sake of a smile from a fair
The next night the long-anticipated
party drew together, for the
first time that season, the elite of
the city. The guests seemed to
have vied with each other for the
most fascinating appaaranca, suc
ceeding to such an extent that, a
gayer assemblage could hardly be
met with.
The evening advanced, and the
arrivals ceased. Although the
rooms were crowded so that one
would have supposed it difficult to
tell who were and who were not,
yet there was one for whom every
one looked, but whom no one found.
As the time wore on. everyone ask
ed : "Where can Stella Edson be?"
But no one could answer the ques
tion. The party was over ; the last
guest had gone ; but the much de
sired one was not among them.
Great was the wonder ; for never
was she accustomed to absent her
self, and she had announced her
full intention of going ; had even
promised her hand for some of the
Miss Edson had thought very
much of her conversation with Mr.
Bagley, and the more she thought
the more she was puzzled. "Sure
ly," said she to herself, "a girl that
can do such work as that, and does
it for a livelihood, cannot be verv
low down ; it is an honorable call
ing, and deserves praise, not censure.
I would like to see such a person,
and judge for myself I have noth
ing to do this afternoon, and the
walk will do mo good before that
hot party. I have a great mind to
go out and find her, so as to satisfy
Queer words for Stella Edson to
utterthe proverbially proud, cold,
fashionable Miss Edson, who never
was known to stoop below a certain
level, much less descend so low as
this. But she was odd in somethings,
every one said ; and when she made
up tier mind, or took a fancy to
anything, it was of no use to gain
say her.
She said nothing to any one ot
her intention, only mentioned to her
maid that she was going out, and
that it was uncertain when she
should return.
Dressing herself in a very plain
suit and with a thick veil, so that
she never would be recognized, she
ventured forth. She came at length
to a part of the city entirely new
and unknown, but she saw it was
not a bad locality, only the abode
of poverty. She was obliged to
make many inquiries, nut only for
the street, but a'ter that tor the
house. Her courage began to fail
her t little when she at last found
it; but having gone so far in her
purpose, she was not the tine to tur i
back from it now.
Her knock was answered by
Amy herself!
"1 came to inquire." said Miss
Edson, "if anyone lived here
named Wrighton."
"There is a. family here by that
name," replied Amy, pleasantly;
"it is, my own. Will you walk in?"
Amy took her caller into the com
mon room; but there was no one
there. Miss Kdson saw everything
at a glance, without appearing to ;
and although the room was poorly
furnished, she was struck with the
extreme tidiness of everything.
Amy seated herself in some em
harrassment?and waited tor her visi
tor to announce her errand, which
Miss Edson did, after hav ng noted
what a pretty girl she was talking
to, and how different she found
everything from what she expected.
"Are you the young miss who
made those beautiful ruffles which
Mr. Bagley has for sale?"
"Yes, ma'am," replied Amy,
blushing deeply, but why she hard
ly knew ; yet her heart was in a
"I have been admiring them;
they are lovely indeed. Yon must
earn a great deal of money by such
tine work ?"
Amy hung her head but made no
"I presume you think I am inter
fering where I have no right,"
said Miss Edson. "Pray excuse
"No," said Amy, looking up;
"not that, but you are very much
mistaken. I earn verv little, in
deal." "No ; 1 can make a number in a
day, now that I have become ac
customed to it. But the pay is very
small," said Amy timidly.
"Do not think me meddling if I
ask you how much are paid for one,"
said Miss Edson. "! have a good
object in doing so."
"I am paid twelve cents apiece,
when I get my money," answered
"Good heavens !" exclaimed the
other, starting to her feet. "Are
you telling me the truth, child ? Of
course you are ; your face shows it
plain enough ! Twelve centsapiece!
Why, Mr. Bagley charges three
dollars for the plainest, while some
lie asks as high as five dollars for!
And what do you mean by your
last expression when you get your
mouey? Doesn't he pay you
promptly ?"
"No. ma'am; it is very seldom I
can get it. And when I tell him
we need it very much to buy some
thing to eat he sometimes laughs at
me ; but sometimes gets angry, and
says he is doing me a favor by keep
ing me employed, out ot mischief."
"horjiow many does he owe von
now ?"
"For sixteen "
"That would lie one dollar and
ninety-two cent, tbr what he will
get not less than forty-eight dollars,
supposing he sells them at no more
than three dollars apiece, which
would be a low price tbr him," said
Miss Edson, after she had figured
it a little. "Is this the man who
hopes to secure me for his wife?"
she thought within herself.
For a few minutes there was an
unbroken silence. Miss Edson sat
m deep thought, while Amy feared
very much that she hail done some
thing wrong in telling what she
had, especially as she did not know
who her visitor was.
At length, the lady said: "I
know Mr. Bagley very well, and it
you work for him any more, shall
see that you are better paid. I will
undertake to pay you now tor what
vou have done, and will settle it
with him myselt, for you need the
i i t i i i '
money. Ami she handed Amy a !
money. Ami she liaudeu Amy
five do'lar bill.
"I have no change," saitl the poor
girl, about to return it.
"No matter; you have earned it
all ; you shall not be paid at the
rate of twelve cents any longer.
Say no more about it. I wish now
to talk of something else. Will
you not tell me about your family
and circumsta' ees ?"
As soon as Amy could sufficient
ly master the tears of gratitude that
came thick and fast, she told her
visitor all she desired to know
faithfully, without in the least try
ing to excite sympathy. Miss Kd
son saw and feli that it was only
the strict truth, and her. heart
warmed towards this worthy, un
fortunate family.
Ah ! devotees of the fashionable
world, how would your lips have
curie I in scorn, and your eyes flash.
ed with contempt and derision,
could you have seen the tears that
blindeil the eyes of the queen of
your circle, as she sat in a very
humble room, listening to a simple
tale of woe; yes, a subject so com
mon that it could be heard at any
time, without taking the trouble to
go and hunt it up, as she had done..
But Miss Edson was far from
thinking of her fine friends; she
was thinking what a new world had
been suddenly opened to her view ;
what an extensive sphere of life she
had now for the first time received
a glimpse ot, when a groan from the
neighboring room drew her atten
tion. "Will you excuse me a moment?"
asked Amy. "I fear mother may
be wqrse."
Mrs. Wrighton had been taken
quite sick the previous night, but
during the day had slept most of
the time, so that nothing serious
was anticipated. Now, however,
she woke up in a much worse state,
and Amy was gone so long that
Miss Edson ventured to peep
through the door; but when sne
saw the condition of things went in.
Amy was holding her mother's
head, and trying to quiet her to
sleep again ; but without avail, for
the disease was much worse.
Miss Edson glanced at the feeble
fire, beside which little Eddie lay
sleeping, threw off her cloak and
hat, and, sitting down at a little
taole, took out a small note-book,
from which she abstracted some
blank leaves, and wrote some brief
directions. She then went to the
bedside, and said to Amy :
"I will take care ot your mother,,
while you do these errands. First,
send a good physician here ; then
leave this note at a gnxser's ; after
which take this to a druggist, and
wait for what he may give you to
bring back. There will be nothing
to pay."
Amy could do nothing but obey;
and after she went out Miss Edson
seated herself by the bedside, and
began to do what she knew how to
quiet the poor woman.
Presently the doctor arrived, and
proceeded to examine his patient,
while soon after Amy came in,
loaded with a variety of articles,
and medicines from the druggist's,
which would all bo needed for the
comfort of the invalid. Not long
after, the grocer's man brought a
quantity of fuel and delicate pro,
visions, upon which .Miss Edson dU
rected Amy to make up a good fire,
while she would attempt to make
something which Mrs. Wrighton
would lie ab e to eat.
The doctor spoke encouraginglv
of his patient, and baring done all
that was necessary went away,
promising to call in the morning.
As James Wrighton came within
sight of his house, after another un
successful day, trying in vain to
whistle, his face instead ot wearing
,, , ,. , , r '.
that o' the most intense surprise,
. i i .i u i .
iitics nu mm. liymi mean
in the house?'' he exclaimed ; "and
it's flashing, too it must be on
fire !" l'Mti which he ran in wild
excitement, and burst open the door,
lie stopped on the threshold, how
ever, i'liecomraon room was lighted
with one caudle only ; but from the
door of the inner streamed a flood
of light which almost dazzled his
unaccustomed eyes
"What does all this mean?" he
asked Amy, as she met him with a
smiling face.
"I shan't tell you till yon kissme."
7he bewildered father com formed
to the condition, and then Amy
told him all that had taken place.
"Who is the kind lady?" asked
" I don't know. In fact, so much
has been going on that I have had
Continued ou fifth page.