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TO MOTHERS.

THB sTHANGE CLAIMANT; OR,…

MINIE; THE MISEK'S DAUGHTER.

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MINIE; THE MISEK'S DAUGHTER. It had been a year of torment to the miser. There had been a commercial crisis, and he had lest money. He determined to repair his losses, even at a risk, and fitted out another vsssel. But grown more timid and suspicious in money matters than ever, he could find no one to whom he was willing to trust the vessel. One day he brought home a huge mastiff, and com- municated his will to his daughter thus: Minie, I'm going to Smyrna, to see if I can't pick up a little, after all these losses, and I leave you in charge here. Below, in the rock cellar, you'll find an old tea-chest. It's nicely hid away, and it is full of money, or I mean there is a little gold in it. I thought it best to have something past all possibility of loss, for a nest egg, you know. Now, I leave you to take care of it, my girl. You can take out of the little leather purse what money you absolutely need mind, now; only what is absolutely necessary to your wants. You are an honest, true girl, I know, and will live just as if your father's eyes were on you. I would trust my daughter through thick and thin. Besides this, there is deposited in the safe at the bank, all my bonds, and stocks, and securities. Those, of course, you will not meddle with. "Now, I shall be gone a long time, and folks may try to persuade you to think I'm dead; those folks who want to get at my money; some greedy fellow, perhaps, who will hope to marry you, so as to share in the old man's gold. But don't believe them. I shall come back before two years are out, or if I don't, just wait. I may turn up again when I am not expected. Bat at the end of five years, when you are twenty-one, if I haven t come, then you may reckon I'm dead, and open my will. You won't mind living alone, I know. You are used to it, and instead of me, in the long winter evenings, you can talk to your dog, Boatswain, here. He is to be your guardian. Don't mind buying him meat. It will cost a great deal, to be sure; but to starve him would be 4 penny wise, pound foolish,' when there is such a treasure in the cellar to be guarded, and yourself, too, daughter. He is a powerful beast; no man could stand against him. He will be a better protector than your poor old father. Now, Minie, keep close. Let no one come to see you. Never betray the money down below. It is all I have sure, you know; all the rest is but paper. Guard it well. Be a faithful watcher for your trust- ing old father. Haven t I been kind to you ? Haven't I loved you better than any one who ever stepped on this earth ? Then be obedient, and I will come bome to bless you. Don t get acquainted with your neigh- bours. Shun everybody. But you may go to Mr. L.'s and read, as usual. They are a good family. I am not much afraid of them; but. leaat said, soonest mended;' so keep your tongue between your teeth even there. As for the rest, they only want a chance to rob you, so avoid them." Minie, or Wilhelmine, remembered her early ex- perience with the museum, and believed her father. She let his commands take the force of holy writ to her lonely, grieved, and fond heart, and after he sailed, submitted to her still more solitary life with zealous patience. No sooner was it known that the old man was gone, than the pitying villagers began to flock down to the cottage to see Minie, and ask her to their houses, or offer to spend part of each day with her. She heard them with confirmation of all her former suspicions, and she refused every advance scornfully. The ntxt day, when a fresh detachment arrived, they found her door locked, and defended, besides, by the dog, while she sat upon an almost inaccessible cliff, and laughed at them, not loud, nor insultingly, yet they could see her satisfaction. It exasperated them, and she began to be hated on her own account, especially as a few weeks proved that she was even more penurious than her father. She often met with abuse when she entered the village, which she was obliged to do every day, in order to reach the pastor's house, where she faithfully pursued her studies. At the end of the year, when she began to expect her father's return, she might be seen every morning and evening upon the cliff, looking out to sea; and every day upon entering Mr. L.'s library, she sought first for the newspaper. She saw news there at last; news that fell upon the aching suspense of her heart, like the sentence upen a criminal's. The Sea Foam, owner Peter 0., cast away on the coast of Oandia, and all on board lost." The good pastor talked to her of consolation and resignation; but he found, to his surprise, that although upon the first shock ef the news she had felt the grief of orphanhood, yet upon thinking of it she was sure her father was alive. She told his last words to Mr. L., and, contrary to his advice, persisted in her determination to live as usual, for at least five years from the time of his departure, expecting his return, and obeying his commands. She therefore went home, and kept faithful watch over the charge left to her. And if she could not sleep at night for thinking over the horrors of her father's possible death, she got up, and sat leaning her head upon "Bosen," and finding consolation in his rough sympathy. Of course her strange conduct was much talked of, and surmises were made as to why her father had so strictly enjoined upo-> her this solitary life in the cottage. It began to be whispered that he had hidden treasure there. This suspicion was confirmed by her caution about the bouse. It was observed that she never took her dog to the village with her, but left him on guard at home. It was a primitive plac^, and such a thing as house-breaking had never been known there, so that few people imagined the lonely girl to be in any danger from robbers. She herself was the only one who thought such a thing probablr. Therefor*, not much caution was used in the village in speaking of old Peter's treasure, and it was ooce fully discussed at the tavern, within hearing of a travelling tinker or pedlar, who, however, drove to distant parts without seeming to entertain any evil designs. But be was thinking the matter over more than an honest man would imagine worth while, and he had promised to return with a new supply of tin utensils at the end of three weeks. Meanwhile there was another arrival in the village. It was the nephew of Mr. L, who had come to study with his uncle before entering college. He was in his twenty-first year, of a noble and thoughtful mind, and a face doing justice to his fine nature. The morning after his arrival, be was reading in the library, when his attention was attracted by a shout- ing in the street, and looking out, he saw a tall, slender girl, very poorly clad, walking in proud quiet- ness, with a crowd of school children behind her, taunting her, and abusing her with every vile word. Her face was pale, and her eyes fixed upon the ground, but her head was not one whit lowered. Frank L. concluded that she was insane, since that affliction is the one most derided by children, and seeing her approach the door, he hastened to open it and give her shelter. After she had entered, he stopped out into the street to threaten the boys with punish- ment, and to shame them into more manly conduct. They dispersed in confusion of face. When he re-entered the library, the strange young girl sat in one corner, a huge volume before her, her elbows on the table, and her bead on her hands but she was not studying. She was trying to restrain her tears, and ignore his presence, with her pale cheek flushed, her eyes wide open, and her lips tight pressed to prevent quivering. Seeing that she wished not to be spoken to, he left the room, but returned imme- diately for his book. He found her with her he^d buried in her arms, sobbing so violently that she did not hear him enter. He sought Mrs. L. to inform her of the strange gueet; and Mrs. L. told him the girl's whole history, awaking for her a deeper interest and admiration than even her proud, wil* beauty had inspired. He longed to be of some service to the forlorn girl, but could only see her safely home, by following at a respectful distance, she having declined his attendance when it was proposed by Mrs. L. Frank never permitted her again, during his stay, to pass unprotected through the town. He watched her coming and her going, and she knew to whom she owed the freedom from annoyance which she now enjoyed, though she never thanked him. But not the less did she feel and acknowledge, in her poor, for- saken heart, a sense of protection and dependence that made life a thousand times sweeter. Civility was so I rare in her experience, that it inspired her with fervent gratitude. About two weeks after his arrival, Frank heard the I neighbours talking of the miser's daughter, on the I village green, and observed that the pedlar, who was listening with furtive eagerness to the gossip which he I carefully provoked, seemed to want to know a great deal about the situation, &c., of the house. His sus- picions were aroused, and he kept his eye on the man. When the pedlar took his departure, Frank went quickly to the neighbourhood of Minie's cottage, and concealed himself among the rocks. It was not long before he heard the tinman's cry, and Minie came out to exchange old tin and rags for new utensils. Bosen followed her. The man insisted upon carrying her purchases into the house, for the purpose of seeing the faateniagf, probably. Having observed narrowly the doors and windows, he drove off. As Minie then began to work in her garden, Frank could not leave his hiding place without attracting her attention, and afraid of being thought imperti- nent, he remained quiet. It was not long before he I heard stealthy footsteps and a panting breath near him. He was well concealed, and the tinman took a place ot espial quite close by. ".Hem," he muttered, I fancied the house leaned against a rock. It's got a stone cellar, now. There's 'I' that confounded dog!" After another survey, he began to descend, and tlune s notice was caught. She looked keenly at the pedlar. Aha," he muttered again. You'd better have been IPSS curious." He swung himself carelessly down, as If he had only climbed the rocks to looi at the sea, and returned to his quarters at the Red Lion. (To be continued.)

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I LADIES' COLUMN.

USEFUL HINTS.

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VARIETIES.