Imatges de pÓgina

thinks, were probably inflicted by the were now speaking, ought to have ren. hand, certainly not by any weapon. There dered it evident to you that such an idea, if were no wounds from which the blood not an absurdity in itself, is, at all events; could have flowed; there was a slight dis little likely to obtain credence. People colouration of the neck under the cravat, very seldom find themselves on the spot' as though the assassin had attempted to where a murder has been committed withstrangle his victim, but Chenoweth has out some previous intention of being there. very little doubt that the excitement of the Besides, it is not supposed that the attack struggle brought on an access of the heart was made with a view to robbery; and disease, under which our poor friend was who is there in this place, or in Europe, I gradually sinking, and that in fact he died might almost say, who bore any malice a natural death."

against our poor old friend ?” “Good heavens!" cried Cleethorpe, “ But the accused man is his own son," springing to an upright position from his said the rector. “His only son.” chair. "If the doctor proves this on the “ Exactly,” said Cleethorpe," and that's trial this scoundrel will cheat the gallows!” just the worst part of the story. I sup

Mr. Drage looked up at his companion pose you don't know any of the cireumfor a moment, then said, “I think you stances of the case, but I am well posted will find that the man who made the


in them. This young fellow, some attack

upon Sir Geoffry will still by the years since, was in the Cheddar yeomanry, law be held liable for his death, even in which I still hold a commission. In a though Doctor Chenoweth's opinions were row, at which I happened to be present, he verified.”

showed the white feather, and the colonel “How on earth do you know anything was compelled to ask his father to remove about the law ?" asked Cleethorpe.

him. Sir Geoffry gave way to his temper, “In a strange way,” said the rector. which at that time was much worse than “When I first left college my father was it has been since you hav nown him, strongly opposed to my taking orders, and and, after a frightful scene with his son, when I insisted, vowed he would do told the lad to consider himself dismissed nothing for me, so I was left to my own and disinherited. I believe they never resources; and, by the aid of some old met again until the wretched night.” City friends, I obtained the chaplaincy of “Yes," said the rector, “there has been one of the jails, which I held for some another meeting between them, which Sir time, and where I studied the intricacies Geoffry himself described to me. The and working of the criminal law. A case young man came down here some weeks of this kind came under my notice. A ago with certain testimony, which, at his poacher shot a gamekeeper, against whom outset in life he had declared he would he had been heard to vow vengeance. It obtain. He made his way in the dusk to was contended for the defence that the the library, where Sir Geoffry saw him, wound was not originally mortal, but that and, after a very stormy: interview, ordered death had been brought about by the him from the house.' bungling manner in which the surgical “Now, my dear reetor,” said Captain operation had been performed. At the Cleethorpe, impetuously, “can anything trial, the judge ruled that even if this look worse for this young man? On the were the case, the prisoner was guilty of last occasion of his visit, you say, he made murder, as it was in consequence of his his way in the dusk to the library exactly act that a surgical operation was necessary. what he did to-night! What occasion was And the man was hanged !"

there for him to endeavour to see his “A good precedent,” said Cleethorpe, father again, unless he were prompted by shortly. “I hope it will be followed in a spirit of revenge, and acted on malice this instance !"

prepense. Besides, there are two other “Do you really believe that this young points which I have not yet spoken about, man attacked his father?"

but which I will now lay before you. In “ Believe it; how can I disbelieve it? the first place, this fellow was lurking Was he not caught red-handed ?”

about here this morning in a sly, underMight he not have found himself acci- handed manner. I know that, for my dentally on the spot after the attack had horse shied at him, and as soon as he rebeen made by somebody else ?"

cognised me, he pulled his hat over his face “My dear rector,” said Captain Clee- and made off as fast as he could. And in thorpe, shrugging his shoulders, "your the second place, when I mentioned the jail-chaplain's experiences, of which you fact of my having seen him to Mrs. Picker


ing-ah, yon may well sigh, I am afraid Mr. Drew was a tall, white-haired, red. this will be an awful blow to that poor faced old gentleman, of portly presence dear woman-when I told Mrs. Pickering, and pleasing manners.

One of his sons whom Sir Geoffry had, I believe, admitted was in excellent practice at the parliainto his fullest confidence, that I had seen mentary bar, and the other was a minor this youth, she seemed very much agitated, canon of Avonmouth Cathedral. His and implored me to ride back as hard as I daughter was married to the eldest son of could, and induce the young man to go away. a baronet, and he himself was in receipt The words which she used struck me very of an excellent income, so that he thought much at the time, and I recollect them himself justified in classing himself with perfectly. It is all-important that a meet the county aristocracy, and spoke according between them should he prevented,' ingly. The little pomposity noticeable in she said, showing plainly that she anti- him in general society was, however, cipated and wished to prevent a collision." always mitigated when he found himself in

She will be able to tell us what she company with Captain Cleethorpe, whose meant and what were her reasons for being sharp caustic hints he was accustomed to thus argent with you in a very short time speak of as “the language of the barNOW, 1. hope,” said Mr. Drage.

racks.” “ I am not quite so clear about that;" “ This is a sad affair, Mr. Drage," said said Cleethorpe. “She must have fallen the lawyer, after the first greeting had with terrific force, and Chenoweth is as been exchanged, “very sad indeed! A yeti by no means certain that there is not great loss to the county society, poor Sir concussion of the brain. What chance Geoffry, man of military celebrity, and all can have taken her there just at that that kind of thing. And what a dreadful moment? I am most anxious to hear her weapon to place in the hands of the lower account of all she saw. My own impres- orders.” sion is that she must have come suddenly “Weapon! lower orders! What do you upon the scene, and fainting away with mean, Mr. Drew ? horror, struck her head against the corner “Mean, my dear sir. Don't you see that of the window as she fell.”

in the desperate Radical times in which At this moment the butler opened the we live anything which gives the lower door and annonnced Mr. Drew.

orders a chance of turning round upon their Mr. Drew was the senior partner of a superiors is eagerly seized by them. There firm of solicitors in large practice at is not a Sunday paper throughout the Springside, agents to the principal landed kingdom that will not put forth flaming proprietors resident in the neighbourhood, placards, “Murder of a baronet by his and, as representing the English interest of son.' Our poor friend was not a baronet, the leading members of the Indian colony but they don't know the difference, and there located, correspondents of many legal would not mind if they did, as it makes practitioners in India, to whose interests such a good line in the bills." à clerk was specially relegated. With “That Sir Geoffry Heriot is dead, is criminal business: Mr. Drew's firm had unfortunately too true,” said Mr. Drage, little or nothing to do'; prosecutions for “ but it has yet to be proved that he was trespass, poaching, encroachments on right murdered ; and when that has been proved, of way, and such like simple matters, comes the question, by whom ?". they undertook as part and parcel of their “Quite right; my dear sir, right in every land-agent practice, but all heavier cases particular. Doctor Chenoweth stopped they declined. In the present instance, me as I was driving out here, and told me however, Mr. Drew, having been sent for there was some doubt as to the cause of by the rector, who knew him to have been death. But I explained to him the law on occasionally employed by Sir Geoffry, that point, which holds that—exactly-you made a point of attending in person, the know. Well then comes the question of London solicitors for whom Messrs. Drew identity; this young man was seized in the and Dean acted as agents having specially room, actually bending over the body. I requested that every attention might be looked in at the Guildhall as I passed, and paid to him; and the facts of the case, so the superintendent told me that his shirtfar as Mr. Drew could collect them from front and hands were stained with blood. several distinct and opposing narrations, What do we want more? Motive! That, promising to afford a certain amount of oddly enough, I think we shall be able to wholesome civil as well as criminal liti- prove !" gation.

“You don't mean to say that Sir Geoffry

ever took you into his confidence, Mr. acknowledged the lad's goodness, and menDrew ?” said Cleethorpe, turning upon the tioned his intention of receiving him back, lawyer shortly.

and“I really don't see why he should not "My dear sir-my dear sir," interrupted have done so," retorted the old gentleman. Mr. Drew, “you can say all this to me, be“The private affairs of some of the oldest cause I know your excellence of heart, and and noblest families in this country, sir, all that sort of thing; but if you were to talk are in my keeping; and I have never heard in this way to Messrs. Moss and Moss, of any one accuse me of betrayal of confidence. Thavies Inn, London, whom I shall inHowever, as it happens on this occasion, struct to get up the case, they would laugh the information I received was not from in your face! The idea of talking about Sir Geoffry; indeed, it has only just come proving our poor dear friend's intention. to my knowledge. This is not the first visit Facts, my dear sir, are what will go down in this young man has paid to his father since a case like thisfacts, and nothing else !" Sir Geoffry has resided at Springside." “Then you are not going to get up this

“How on earth did you learn that ?" case yourself, Mr. Drew ?” asked the said Captain Cleethorpe.

captain. "In a perfectly proper and legitimate "No, I am not, Captain Cleethorpe," said manner you may be sure,” said Mr. Drew, the old lawyer. “I have had little or no his red face redder than ever with excite practice, I am happy to say, in criminal ment.

business, and as this is a most important “No one questions that for a moment, case, I shall instruct Messrs. Moss, who are my dear sir,” said the Rector, quietly, certainly at the head of that branch of the but it seems odd that you should be profession. I telegraphed to them just aware of a circumstance which is not now, and shall expect one of the partners known in the household."

down by the first train to-morrow morning. “Pardon me,

said Mr. Drew, “it is He will require to see all the witnesses, known in the household; to two members and this man Murphy, of whom we have of it at least. The fact is, my coachman is just spoken.” keeping company, as the lower orders call "You mean Riley, Mr. Drew." it, with a girl who is housemaid here. The " Very likely, Captain Cleethorpe. I am coachman happened to be in town when the not expected to remember the names of news of the murder arrived, and ran up the servants of all my clients. However, here with all the rest of the people. Here Mr. Moss will require to see him, and he saw the girl, who reminded him that above all Mrs. Pickering." some weeks since she had told him, as she “I am sorry to say that Mrs. Pickering was one day passing through the passage, still remains in a state of unconsciousness," she had heard a loud contention of voices; said Mr. Drage. the one being Sir Geoffry's, the other being That's bad,” said the lawyer; “let us that of a stranger in the library, during hope she will be better in the morning. I which the bell was rung violently; that am very curious to hear what she has to she lingered to see the result, and finally say in this matter. Now, gentlemen, goodsaw Sir Geoffry's body-servant, Murphy, night. Mr. Moss will come straight to my or some Irish name, which I cannot exactly office, and I will bring him up here at once. recollect, show a young man to the door; Mr. Drew shook hands with the rector, that same young man she said she had just bowed to Captain Cleethorpe, and took his seen accused of the murder and taken departure. The other gentlemen were away into custody."

about to follow, when the butler presented That, left uncontradicted, would be an himself and said, “That the young woman important piece of evidence,” said Mr. who had been sitting up with Mrs. PickerDrage.

ing had come to say that the lady had just “It is indeed !” said Mr. Drew. “But opened her eyes and mentioned Mr. Drage's what do you

mean by left uncontra- name, and hearing that he was in the dicted ? How could it be contradicted ?” house, she expressed a wish to see him im

“Suppose,” said Mr. Drage, with hesi-mediately." tation, suppose it could be proved that “I will come at once,” said Mr. Drage, Sir Geoffry was sorry for having spoken to then muttered to himself, “Now I shall his son as he did on that occasion, that he learn the truth in this horrible affair !"

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am sure,

face; you blush too much, and a bright the friend of her own memory that she colour is very vulgar. But you must not was sorely vexed. think that I mean to discourage you. On Rambling in an alley, among all the the contrary, I will turn you out quite dewy rose-trees, she came upon Mr. Lee. pretty if you will let me. Only put your- He seemed as wretched this morning as self in my hands, and I promise you shall he had looked happy last night. He was have a title before a year is past.”

pale and worn, and his dress was out of May listened in silence, glowing with order. the condemned blush, at the sudden reve- “You look as if you had been up all lation that she had been found so unpleas- night'!” said May. ing. The startling promise with which 6 I have been

up all night,” said ChrisKatherine finished her speech had not the topher, “but I shall now go and dress, so desired effect in elating her spirits. as to appear as if I had had my sleep like

“But I do not want a title,” she said, other people.” slowly, “and-and" She was well “But what is the matter with


now? aware that Katherine was a skilful artist You know that you are going to be happy. of the toilet. “I like a clean face, and II was about to congratulate you, but your intend always to have one. If I am ugly face does not invite me." as God made me, then I choose to remain “You are a true-hearted girl, and may ugly.”

the world never spoil you! I believe that "Who said you were ugly? Not I, I I have made one friend here at least.”


you are an obstinate, old- “That is true, if you mean me," said fashioned little goody, and I don't mind May, kindly. “I would do anything in my telling you so to your face. The world power to help you out of your

difficulty. has gone round a few times since your But I have reason to believe that you will respected Aunt Martha learned those very be happy before long. Indeed, I speak the prim notions which she has so faithfully truth. I wonder if I ought to tell youhanded down to you: what in her day “You ought to tell me everything-I was propriety is now mere affectation. have a right to know!" cried Christopher, However, promise that you will stay with eagerly. me, and I shall see about your conversion “Well, then, she admitted to me last leisure.”

night that she intended“I don't mind staying," said May, "Intended what?" interrupted Chris“since you wish it so much. But I mean topher. “ Intended to destroy me—to spoil to keep to my own way of thinking all the all my life? I saw it long ago, though I

strove to shut my eyes to it. It is coming So Katherine had her way; but her plan upon me now, and I deserve it." was nevertheless not to be fulfilled.


'Why do you interrupt me?" said May, The next morning May was up early impatient in her turn. I had good news and abroad among the flower-gardens. She to give you, and it seems you will not had got a letter from home which should have it.' have been given to her last night. Aunt “Forgive me! But did you say good Martha bade her return without delay. news? My head seems confused. Did you “Paul has arrived,” wrote the old lady, mean to say good news ?" “and he wants to see you. At any rate, it “I understood from her," said May, “ that is time for you to come home.”

wife." May was not so much astonished at the “ Did you ?” said Christopher, joyfully. news as she would have been but for that "God bless you; you are a staunch friend. unpleasant conversation with Miss Arch- What a wretch I was to doubt her! What bold. So he was already come to seek an evil-thinking coward! No doubt she Katherine, and Katherine, if she had truth has a right to be capricious if she pleases. in her, ought to be wed to Mr. Lee within A girl like that does not readily throw hera month. What could be done for Paul; self away; but when once she makes up the good-natured boy who had been so her mind she is true as steel. I will not say kind to her in Dublin The Paul described what thoughts were in my mind when I by Katherine had passed away from her met you; but think what a ruined creature mind; becoming but one of the crowd of I behold myself, both in heart and in fortune, those fine lovers of Miss Archbold, of in my whole life's career, when the devil whom May had been hearing much since gets into my head and makes me fancy she she had come to Camlough. It was for may be false! I deserve to suffer well for

she intends to be


at my


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