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delivering him the bags, One, Two, I saw the
starting appearance come into his own eyes
that I knew to be in mine, and he said, falling

"Lord bless me, you're the prowling boy!"
"And you," said I, " are the pale young


IT seems but yesterday that I was standing
on the pleasant battery terrace at Charleston,
looking out across the tumbling green waves
towards the forts that guard the harbour; and now
here I am, in a dull house, buried, as all London
just now is, deep under a dumb flood of yellow
opaque fog, above which I see St. Paul's alone
rising enormous, as a floating ark breasting the
murky deluge.

Let me retrace those steps, and imagine
myself again at Charleston. I am staying at
the "Mill's House," a noble palace of an hotel,
in the chief street of the city. I have left my two
travelling companions, Paul Allan and Silas Allan,
of Washington county, Texas, to play at billiards,
while I stroll out on the battery, to get
an appetite for the four o'clock hotel dinner.

What a delicious July morning. What a
blue serene tide of warm melted azure floats
above the palmetto trees, and flowering magnolias
of this metropolis of South Carolina.
How pleasantly and with how lover-like a
whisper the immense waves coquettishly run
up and kiss the broad square rampart stones of
the terrace on which I stand. How deftly the
little fishing-boats scud in, with a sweep and
a swirl, taking down and huddling up their
blowzy brown sails, as they float calmly into the
inner harbour, where idle craft rock and flap in
the tepid green water!

And now, as

I am off to Charleston
Early in the morning,

let me look seaward, and note what catches
my vagrant eye, first premising that Charleston,
founded in 1670, and deriving its name from that
black-wigged debauchee Charles II., pleasantly
displays its houses on a point of land where the
Ashley and Cooper rivers meet to form its harbour,
and lave the shining coppered keels of its
Northern shipping with seventeen feet of deep
rolling brine.

I do not wonder that the Charleston people
love their sea-side walk, for the heat bursts on
you here, as from a burning fiery furnace suddenly
thrown open, and all beyond the Ashley
river, among the white cotton-fields, the heat is
Africanas the labourers are also. And as for
Augusta way, the glare from the white sand
tracts there would blister your face if it were not
for the green eoolness of the pine boughs above,
that you look up at and snatch comfort from, in
the eager manner in which a Southern glutton
drinks gulps of ice water between his spoonfuls of
intolerably delicious pepper-soup. Here, up and
down the embrasured terraces, at right angles
to each other, the fair yellow mulattoes and shiny

black negress nurses wander, with their faces
turned to the sea, wooing the fluttering breeze
that fans black cheeks and white cheeks with
Divine impartiality.

I am leaning over the clean-cut warm stones,
of the battery wall, only the faintest beads of the
spray now and then reaching my hot face, and
am dying to map in my mind the chief features
of the land-locked bay. I hear from the public
gardens behind me, where the pines grow so tall
and massy, the laughing voices of the playing
children. Suddenly the deep bay of a large St.
Bernard dog arouses me from my brown study.
I look round, and see a gentleman-like well-
dressed man, with two large dogs riotous at his
heels, one of whom, as he flings his stick into
the leaping waves, dashes in with the boisterous
alacrity of a faithful body-guard, not with the
lazy sullenness of a demoralised slave.

The dog reappears with the stick, and shaking
himself till he looks like a trundled mop, half
drenches us in the triumph of his joy.

The master's apologies for his thoughtless
companion, and my regrets that any apologies
should be thought needful, lead to a friendly

Venatico, as I will call him, begins to talk
about the fishing vessels that lie in flocks and
spots out yonder to the west, fishing for a fish
with a wonderful Indian name that I can neither
spell nor pronounce, and which is only found in
the sea round Charleston. The crews are all
hired negroes, he says, and are very profitable to
their temporary masters. Venatico bids me also
remark that, like Venice, at first view Charleston
city seems growing out of the waves.

He points me out the chief features of the
harbour. The low dark lines of shore, the
white houses of Mount Pleasant, and the low
light-coloured forts, black-dotted where the
cannons' eyes look out for the enemy blankly.

That block of a fort there, full at the entrance,
is Fort Pinckney. It is built on what was formerly
a dangerous shoal, but I believe is not
strong, or was not when Carolina first seceded.
Close by this fort is the only true channel, for,
nearer to the right, by Sullivan's Island, where
Fort Moultrie stands, it is impassable to any but
fishing-boats, the water runs so shallow.

That rising ground to the left is Mount Pleasant,
where the Charleston people retreat to
bathe and sleep during the midsummer, when
King Yellow Fever too often hoists his sickly
banner over this low-lying city. Nor must I
forget James's Island, with its old ruined fort,
or threatening Fort Sumter, that can, if it
choose, sweep the bay with its fire-breathing

Venatico points me out also, the sandy corner
of Mount Pleasant behind which lie sea-side
country-houses, the quiet joys of which he
expatiates on. Nearer to the left are the low
swamps that render the city at times so unhealthy;
for they breathe out their poison at
night, and the great heat is by day perpetually
distilling fever from their steamy vapour.

Do I see that steamer, that blows and

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