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over; but presently a faint soft gurgle, like a dying sob, came through the murk. With all his might, he dashed towards the sound, and laid hold of a hairy chin just foundering. “Rise up, old chap,' he tried to shout, and he gave the horse a breath or two, with. the broad-brimmed hat above his nose. Then Marmaduke rallied for one last fight, with the surety of a man to help him. He staggered forward to the leading of the hand he knew so well, and fell down upon his knees; but his head was clear, and he drew long breaths, and his heart was glad, and his eyes looked up, and he gave a feeble whinny.
BAT OF THE GILL.
Upon that same evening, the cottage in the gill was well snowed up, as befell it every winter, more or less handsomely, according to the wind. The wind was in the right way to do it truly now, with just enough draught to pile bountiful wreaths, and not enough of wild blast to scatter them again. “Bat of the Gill,' as Mr. Bart was called, sat by the fire, with his wife and daughter, and listened very calmly to the whistle of the wind, and the sliding of the soft fall that blocked his window-panes.
Insie was reading, Mrs. Bart was knitting stockings, and Mr. Bart was thinking of his own strange life. It never once occurred to him, that great part of its strangeness sprang from the oddities of his own nature; any more than a man who has been in a quarrel believes that he could have kept out of it. Matters beyond my own control have forced me to do this and that,’ is the sure belief of every man, whose life has run counter to his fellows, through his own inborn diversity. In this man's nature were two strange points, sure (if they are strong enough to survive experience) to drive anybody into strange ways-he did not care for money, and he contemned rank.
How these two horrible twists got into his early composition, is more than can be told; and in truth it does not matter. But being quite incurable, and meeting with no sympathy, except among people who aspired to them only, and failed—if they ever got the chance of failing—these depravations from the standard of mankind drove Christopher Bart from the beaten tracks of life. Providence offered him several occasions of return into the ordinary course; for after he had cast abroad a very nice inheritance, other two fortunes fell to him, but found him as difficult as ever to stay with. Not that he was lavish upon luxury of his own, for no man could have simpler tastes ; but that he weakly believed in the duty of benevolence, and the charms of gratitude. Of the latter, it is needless to say that he got none; while with the former he produced some harm. When all his bread was cast upon the waters, he set out to earn his own crust, as best he might.
Hence came a chapter of accidents, and a volume of motley incidents, in various climes, and upon far seas. Being a very strong active man, with gift of versatile hand and brain, and early acquaintance with handicrafts, Christopher Bart could earn his keep, and make, in a year, almost as much as he used to give away, or lend without redemption, in a general day of his wealthy time. Hard labour tried to make him sour, but did not succeed therein.
Yet one thing in all this experience vexed him more than any hardship; to wit, that he never could win true fellowship, among his new fellows in the guild of labour. Some were rather surly, others very pleasant (from a warm belief that he must yet come into money), but whatsomever or whosoever they were, or of whatever land, they all agreed that Christopher Bart was not of their communion. Manners, appearance, education, freedom from prejudice, and other wide diversities, marked him as an interloper, and perhaps a spy, among the enlightened working men of that age. Over and over again, he strove to break down this barrier ; but thrice as hard he might have striven, and found it still too strong for him. This and another circumstance at last impressed him with the superior value of his own society. Much as he loved the working man-in spite of all experience of him that worthy fellow would not have it, but felt a truly and piously hereditary scorn, for 'a gentleman as took a order, when but for being a blessed fool, he might have stood there giving it.
The other thing that helped to drive him from this very dense array, was his own romantic marriage, and the copious birth of children. After the sensitive age was past, and when the sensibles ought to reign, for then he was past five and thirty, he fell (for the first time of his life) into a violent passion of love for a beautiful Jewish maid barely turned seventeen; Zilpah admired him, for he was of noble aspect, rich with variety of thoughts and deeds. With women he had that peculiar power, which men of strong character possess ; his voice was like music, and his words as good as poetry, and he scarcely ever seemed to contradict himself. Very soon Zilpah adored him; and then he gave notice to her parents that she was to be his wife. These stared considerably, being very wealthy people, of high Jewish blood (and thus the oldest of the old), and steadfast most-where all are steadfast-to their own race and religion. Finding their astonishment received serenely, they locked up their daughter, with some strong expressions; which they redoubled, when they found the door wide open in the morning. Zilpah was gone, and they scratched out her name from the surface of their memories.
Christopher Bart, being lawfully married—for the local restrictions scorned the case of a foreigner, and a Jewess—crossed the Polish frontier, with his mules and tools, and drove his little covered cart through Austria. And here he lit upon, and helped in some the miseries of the grand tour, the son and heir of Philip Yordas. Duncan was large and crooked of thought-as every true Yordas must be—and finding a mind in advance of his own, by several years of such sallyings, and not yet even swerving towards the turning goal of corpulence, the young man perceived that he had hit upon a prophet.
For Bart scarcely ever talked at all of his generous ideas А prophet's proper mantle is the long cloak of Harpocrates, and his best vaticinations are inspired more than uttered. So it came about that Duncan Yordas, difficult as he was to lead, largely shared the devious courses of Christopher Bart, the workman; and these few months of friendship made a lasting mark upon the younger man.
Soon after this, a heavy blow befell the ingenious wanderer. Among his many arts and trades, he had some knowledge of engineering, or at any rate much boldness of it; which led him to conceive a brave idea concerning some tributary of the Po. The idea was sound and fine, and might have led to many blessings; but nature, enjoying her bad work best, recoiled upon her improver. He left an oozy channel drying (like a glanderous sponge) in August ; and virulent fever came into his tent. All of his eight children died, except his youngest son Maunder; his own strong frame was shaken sadly; and his loving wife lost all her strength and buxom beauty. He gathered the remnants of his race; and stricken, but still unconquered, took his way to a long-forgotten land. The residue of us must go home,' he said, after all his wanderings.
In London, of course, he was utterly forgotten, although he had spent much substance there, in the days of sanguine charity. Durham was his native county, where he might have been a leading man, if more like other men. Cosmopolitan,' as he was, and strong in his own opinions still, the force of years, and sorrow, and long striving told upon him. He had felt a longing to mend the kettles of the house that once was his : but when he came to the brink of Tees, his stout heart failed, and he could not cross.
Instead of that, he turned away, to look for his old friend Yordas; not to be patronised by him, for patronage he would have none; but from bankering after a congenial mind, and to touch upon kind memories. Yordas was gone, as pure an outcast as himself, and his name almost forbidden there. He thought it a part of the general wrong, and wandered about to see the land, with his eyes wide open, as usual.
There was nothing very beautiful in the land, and nothing at all attractive, except that it commanded length of view, and was noble in its rugged strength. This, however, pleased him well, and here he resolved to set up his staff, if means could be found to make it grow. From the higher fells, he could behold—whenever the weather encouraged him—the dromedary humps of certain hills, at the tail whereof he had been at school-a charming mist of retrospect. And he felt, though it might have been hard to make him own it, a
deeply-seated joy, that here he should be long lengths out of reach of the most highly illuminated working-man. This was an inconsistent thing; but consistent for ever in coming to pass.
Where the will is, there the way is, if the will be only wise. Bart found out a way of living in this howling wilderness, as his poor wife would have called it, if she had been a bad wife. Unskilful as he had shown himself in the matter of silver and gold, he had won great skill in the useful metals, especially in steel—the type of truth. And here in a break of rock he discovered a slender vein of a slate-grey mineral, distinct from cobalt, but not not unlike it, such as he had found in the Carpathian mountains, and which in metallurgy had no name yet, for its value was known to very few. But a legend of the spot declared that the ancient cutlers of Bilboa owed much of their fame to the use of this mineral in the careful process of conversion.
I can make a living out of it, and that is all I want,' said Bart, who was moderately sanguine still. 'I know a manufacturer, who has faith in me, and is doing all he can against the supremacy of Sheffield. If I can make arrangements with him, we will settle here, and keep to our own affairs for the future.”
He built him a cottage in lonely snugness, far in the waste, and outside even of the range of title-deeds, though he paid a small rent to the manor, to save trouble, and to satisfy his conscience of the mineral deposit. By right of discovery, lease, and user, this became entirely his, as nobody else had ever heard of it. So, by the fine irony of facts, it came to pass—first, that the squanderer of three fortunes united his lot with a Jewess; next, that a great cosmopolitan hugged a strict corner of jealous monopoly; and again that a champion of Communism insisted upon his exclusive right to other people's property. However, for all that, it might not be easy to find a more consistent man.
Here Maunder, the surviving son, grew up, and Insie, their last child, was born ; and the land enjoyed peace for twenty years, because it was of little value. A man, who had been about the world so loosely, must have found it hard to be boxed up here, except for the lowering of strength and pride, by sorrow of affection, and sore bodily affliction. But the air of the moorland is good for such troubles; Bart possessed a happy nature; and perhaps it was well that his children could say, "We are nine; but only two to feed.'
It must have been the whistling wind, a long memorial sound, which sent him, upon this snowy December nigat, back among the echoes of the past; for he always had plenty of work to do, even in the winter evenings, and was not at all given to folded arms. And before he was tired of his short warm rest, his wife asked, "Where is Maunder?'
I left him doing his work,' he replied; he had a great heap still to clear. He understands his work right well. He will not go to bed till he has done it. We must not be quite snowed up, my Mrs. Bart shook her head; having lost so many children, she was anxious about the rest of them. But before she could speak again, a heavy leap against the door was heard ; the strong latch rattled, and the timbers creaked. Insie jumped up, to see what it meant; but her father stopped her, and went himself. When he opened the door a whirl of snow flew in, and through the glitter and the futter, a great dog came reeling, and rolled upon the floor, a mighty lump of bristled whiteness. Mrs. Bart was terrified, for she thought it was a wolf, not having found it in her power to believe that there could be such a desert place without wolves in the winter-time.
“Why, Saracen !' said Insie; 'I declare it is! You poor old dog, what can have brought you out this weather?'
Both her parents were surprised to see her sit down on the floor and throw her arms around the neck of this self-invited and very uncouth visitor. For the girl forgot all of her trumpery concealments, in the warmth of her feeling for a poor lost dog.
Saracen looked at her, with a view to dignity. He had only seen her once before, when Pet brought him down (both for company and safeguard), and he was not a dog who would dream of recognising a person to whom he had been rashly introduced. And he knew that he was in a mighty difficulty now, which made self-respect all the more imperative. However, on the whole, he had been pleased with Insie, at their first interview, and had patronised her-for she had an honest fragrance, and a little taste of salt—and now with a side-look he let her know that he did not wish to hurt her feelings, although his business was not with her. But if she wanted to give him some refreshment, she might do so, while he was considering.
The fact was, though he could not tell it, and would scorn to do so if he could, that he had not had one bit to eat for more hours than he could reckon. That wicked ostler at Middleton had taken his money and disbursed it upon beer, adding insult to injury, by remarking, in the hearing of Saracen (while strictly chained), that he was a deal too fat already. So vile a sentiment had deepened into passion the dog's ever dominant love of home; and when the darkness closed upon him, in an unknown hungry hole, without even a horse for company, any other dog would have howled; but this dog stiffened his tail with self-respect. He scraped away all the straw to make a clear area for his experiment, and then he stood up, like a pillar, or a fine kangaroo, and made trial of his weight against the chain. Feeling something give, or show propensity towards giving, he said to himself that here was one more triumph for him over the presumptuous intellect of man. The chain might be strong enough to hold a ship, and the great leathern collar to secure a bull; but the fastening of chain to collar was unsound, by reason of the rusting of a rivet.
Retiring to the manger for a better length of rush, he backed against the wall for a fulcrum to his spring, while the roll of his