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and great physical strength, had carried him safe through the dangerous associations of river life, and secured him a host of friends wherever he was known.
Mr. Welton had known Jennie Mornington from infancy. She was the daughter of his most intimate and cherished friend—and brother ; she had been his “pet ” in childhood, and, growing up under bis eye, familiar in his family as one of his own household, she seemed to him almost as a younger sister. In addition to this, the relation he bore to her father, and the feelings he entertained for her, made her safety and honor dear to him, and he would have guarded both, as he would were she his own child or sister, or as he would his own life.
At the time of which we write, Mr. Welton had been absent for some months, on a trading trip to the South, and knew nothing of Jennie's temporary residence in the city, as we have described. Some ten days previous to her thoughtless elopement, he had closed his business, and in company with a friend, was about to take passage home. A favorite steamer was on the wharf, ready to depart, and the friends agreed to secure berths on her. On the very day when the steamer was to leave, Mr. Welton suddenly changed his mind, and determined to go on a different boat. Why, he could not tell ; but he took a fancy to take passage on another boat, although it was not reputed to be any better or faster vessel than the one first selected. He urged his friend to go with him, but he firmly adhered to his first choice. Mr. Welton was in the habit of deciding promptly, and rarely hesitated or changed his purpose when once fixed, -and the friends parted, to reach “ the up country” on different boats.
The two steamers left New Orleans at the same time, and in a run of nearly fifteen hundred miles they were never more than ten miles apart; but the one on which Mr. Welton was a passenger arrived at the city of L- , about an hour before her rival, but that bour was of great importance. The steamer on which Jennie and her false lover bad come down to had landed at the wharf but a few minutes before that on which Mr. W. had come up the river reached the same place. She was to start in the evening on her return trip, and Mr. Welton at once determined to secure a berth on her for himself. As he neared the boat, he saw a carriage drive away from her quite rapidly, and as he passed it, he caught sight of a lady's face within it that reminded him of the daughter of his friend. He went on board, but the memory of that passing glance haunted him. “Could it be Jennie? But what could she be doing there—and why?" He secured his berth, placed
his baggage in his state-room, and walked out on the guards. He was uneasy ; thoughts, troubled and anxious, were passing through his mind, and he finally came to the conclusion that it was Jennie, and that something was wrong. He determined, therefore, to go out in search of her, nor cease his efforts until his anxiety was removed.
With his usual promptness he sprang ashore, and walked rapidly up into the town, feeling assured he would know the carriage again, should he see it, or he might gain information at the hotels. Reaching the main street, in the vicinity of the - Hotel, he was about to enter, when, on looking down the street, he saw, as he believed, the same carriage coming towards him. On its arrival at the corner opposite where he stood, he approached the driver, and inquired if he had not just driven a lady and gentleman from the steamer ? On receiving an affirmative answer, he inquired where he had set them down. On being informed, a deadly pallor spread over his face, which was succeeded by a flush of excitement almost startling. He was well acquainted in the city; he knew the reputation of that house ; and the whole state of things flashed upon his mind with the quickness of thought. It must be Jennie ; the daughter of his friend was entrapped
-deceived—betrayed, and was at that very moment in the most imminent danger, yet entirely unconscious of it. The victim was already within the coils of the serpent, and her position full of peril. Welton's nature, as his mind rapidly ran over the circumstances, was fully roused
-nay, almost frenzied, and he instantly resolved to save the daughter of his friend—his brother, or perish in the attempt.
Requesting the backman to drive him to the same house where he had left the couple but a few minutes before, he sprang into the carriage, and bade him haste with all speed. He was well armed for in those days, river men were always prepared for the worst, and Mr. W. arranged his weapons so as to be easy of access, and ready for use in a moment, should the emergency demand it. He knew from the general reputation of the building and vicinity, what kind of persons he might probably have to deal with, and was prepared for the worst.
Reaching the house, he bade the driver wait his return. The door was cautiously opened at his knock, and without invitation, he walked into the hall,—for he felt sure that Jennie was in the house, and determined, if she were, to see and speak with her at every bazard. He inquired of the man who admitted him, if a couple had not recently come to the house ? His manner, and the fire that flashed in his stern and steady eye, awakened suspicion in the man, and he answered him
in the negative. Mr. W. insisted they had come there, and expressed his determination to see for himself before he should be satisfied. Advancing a step or two, he was confronted by a person who took his stand in front of him, and forbade his advance. Just there, Mr. W. found himself opposite to a door leading to the next room, and another door opening into a room beyond, being slightly open, he caught sight of the well-remembered face of Jennie. He instantly stepped forward, as if to pass in, when the person above mentioned attempted to prevent him : he might as well have attempted to smother the volcano in the moment of its eruption ! Grasping the fellow in his left hand, he hurled him, as with the strength of a giant, through an opposite door, and half-way across the adjoining room. The noise brought immediate assistance, but Mr. W. was now doubly excited, and drawing a flashing blade from its sheath, he swung it about him with terrible energy, and stalked forward, in defiance of all opposition, to the door leading into the farther room, where he stood face to face with his young friend! His excitement, his flashing eye, and the gleaming steel in his hand, while he towered up in all the majesty of his gigantic proportions, rendered his appearance terrible; and bis advent was so unexpected to Jennie, roused, too, as she had never seen him, that it inspired her with the greatest alarm. She screamed, and came near fainting, but he caught her in bis arms, and bade her be calm, for no harm should come to her. Just at that moment her pretended lover entered, and attempted to interfere ; but one look and a menace from Mr. W. sent him cowering to a distance.
Welton immediately inquired of Jennie what brought her there, and she frankly, and with guileless innocence, revealed all to him, as she would have done to her father. She was promptly told that she had been the dupe of a villain, and was informed of the character of the house she was in, and the inmates that surrounded her. She comprehended all,-believed all, and with trembling alarm, entreated Mr. Welton to save her from her peril. Of course he would : be therefore, bade her not fear, for no harm should come to her that his arm could prevent. But he determined before he left, to settle with the wretch who had so heartlessly deceived her, and turning to look for him, he was gone. Fear of the threatened doom which the villain saw awaited him, had induced him to make good his escape, while an open door remained. Bidding Jenny take his arm,- for she had not yet even removed her bonnet since her entrance, so prompt had been the movements of Mr. Welton,-he led her from among the affrighted and
trembling inmates of the den, to the street-to the carriage which was in waiting, and drove rapidly down to the steamer.
In a few hours, they were on their way up the river again : she, inexpressibly grateful for her deliverance ; he, happy that he had thus been able to save from ruin one, who was almost as dear to him as his own child. In two days be delivered her safely to her astonished and grateful parents, who had until that moment, been unconscious of her danger.
Our story is told—"as 't was told to us.” We have not seen our informant for three or four years, but the details of the adventure are as vivid in our recollection, as on the day we heard them. If others are as much interested in reading the story as we were in listening to it, our labor in penning them will not have been altogether useless.
DECISIONS OF THE LATE G. M. OF MICH.
We give the official decisions of the late Grand Master, as reported by the Grand Lodge of Michigan; without intending, however, to endorse them all.
1. Question.-Can a Warden of a Lodge U. D., be elected Master after the Lodge receives a charter ?
Answer.—He is eligible to the station. Appointment by the Grand Master confers all the privileges of the usual election. The rule that a W. M. must first have served as Warden, was established to secure experience and capacity in the work which can be seen as well in the Lodge working U. D., as under a charter. In recommending a charter to the new Lodge, the Grand Master in effect commends the operative skill of the three principal officers.
2. Q.-Can a Lodge ballot to confer the second or third degrees at a called communication, or only at a regular ?
A.-In accordance with common usage in the State, I have several . times replied that the ballot for the second or third degrees might pass at other than regular communications; but upon careful examination, I am disposed to reconsider and reverse this opinion, and now recommend the Grand Lodge to declare by especial edict, that all balloting for degrees must take place at regular communications only.
3. Q: What is the object of the ballot for the second and third degrees? Is it to determine the candidate's proficiency in the work of the preceding degrees, or to ascertain whether he is still worthy ?
A.-Both a new and further qualification being now required.
4. Q.-What is the effect of a foul ballot for the second or third degrees? Does it stop the candidate's advancement as for the first degree, or only till he be re-examined in open Lodge, and a new ballot ordered?
1.—This point ought to be fixed by the by-laws of the Lodge. If not so fixed, the ballot may pass at any subsequent communication, when the order of balloting is announced by the W. M. Under the former ruling that the ballot might pass for the second or third degrees at any called communication, it was decided that no business could be transacted save that which was expressly set forth in the call. All Brothers having “due and timely notice" of this, the rights of objecting Brothers would thus still be preserved.
5. Q.–After a candidate has received, and exhibited suitable proficiency in, the first or second degrees, ought he to be prevented from advancement in any other manner than by preferring charges against him in due form?
A.—The secret ballot is an inalienable Masonic right; and as one Brother has no Masonic right to know how another casts his ballot, he has no right to ask his motives. More than this, a Brother has no right to disclose how he balloted, else by general disclosure the right of secret ballot is taken away. It is unquestionably the duty of a Brother, as a general rule, to prefer charges against an unworthy E. A., or F. C.; but numerous exceptional cases may occur where this cannot be done without injury to other parties, or perhaps violation of personal or professional confidence, or other serious inconveniences. A Brother may deem it his duty to delay a candidate's advancement on the strength of mere suspicions, which it would be wholly wrong to impart. By the use of his privilege he can postpone that advancement until those suspicions are either cleared up, or assume such a tangible shape as may warrant the preferring of charges in due form. A Brother, it is true, may abuse this Masonic right, and thereby block the wheels of the Lodge, but this is another matter entirely, and as amenable to Lodge discipline as any other known offence.
6. Q.-How ought the sense of the Lodge to be taken in matters of business ; by ayes and nays, or the uplifted hand ?
A.-As the by-laws prescribe. The quiet, distinct method of the uplifted hand is preferable, and more in accordance with usage. It is, or ought to be, a cardinal principle in the Lodge to act in all things with dignified decorum, removed as far as possible from the habitudes of the town meeting or political caucus.