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her master yet to do. But Simon still the air of Tobereevil. Tibbie would now refused thus to protect himself. It was like have failed to remember when aspiration tearing his soul from his body, the thought after the miser's money-bags had first of signing away with his own hand his struck root within her; but it was rank long-worshipped money-bags and wasted and strong, and could not now be torn
away, and it had crushed every other As for Tibbie, why she so wished to see passion of her nature. that will made might well have been a Whilst Tibbie was in the midst of her puzzle to any one. Con was as happy as a active operations, she was shocked by hearfool could be, roaming about the country, ing a rumour that Paul Finiston was in fostered by everybody, and always pleased the country, and that very evening fell to with the variety and freedom of his life; stitching together the stuff which she had always coming back from each fresh ex- bought so cheap from the pedlar. Nerer pedition to sit at the feet of blooming before had she had the heart to bring it out, Nan Kearney, watching her blissfully as and now, as she hurried to her treasury and she wove her baskets, and crowing for joy drew forth the stuff which was sufficient at if she stopped to pat him on the head. least to cover her respectably, she cursed But this was not the way of life that her ill fortune which furnished her with only Tibbie had marked out for him. She was a web of cloth, at the moment when she willing enough that he should be fed about needed clothing ready made. However
, the country, and that strangers should she hacked it with blunt scissors, and give him clothing out of pity, but she sewed it with a rusty needle; and though desired that he should keep close by the she lost a whole day over it, she was in miser of Tobereevil, that he should sing the end well bedight, and felt magnififor him, dance for him; so that, while she cent enough in her appearance to awe carried on her persecution, the fool might the whole mountain world. She washed be as a refuge to the wretched old man, her face in a somewhat superficial manner, who should turn to him for relief, and and further arraying herself in a mothperhaps do out of gratitude that which eaten cloak, little worn, but of ancient he refused to do from fear. Con hated date, departed on her search for news of Tobereevil, and had no use for money. Paul; having first looked in at the door Were he owner of all the miser's wealth it of Simon's den, and advised him to look wonld be hard to make him comprehend sharp after his keys, for she was just that such was the case; still harder to make stepping out at the risk of her life to him assume the rights of mastership, and watch some ill-looking characters whom
Tibbie would certainly have all the power she had seen prowling about the place. in her own hands. What use would she Having thus provided for her master's make of her power, and how enjoy her comfort during her absence, she took her good fortune? A miserable creature clothed way to the mountains. The Kearneys in rags, with her arms folded grimly, and would give her news, if any news were a dreary, dreamy look in her half-shut to be had. Their young gossoons were for eyes, she prowled about the old moulder- ever upon the foot. And as Con would ing mansion, listening to the groaning of very likely be found hovering about their the trees, and thinking about that huge place, so Con should be Tibbie's excuse for iron safe which was built up in the wall coming panting up the hills. somewhere, and of which she was deter- Much amazed were the young Kearneys mined one day to have the key. When to see Tibbie on the mountain; even more Tibbie came to Tobereevil long ago she so than they had been to see Con arriving
a respectable poor woman, seeking amongst them upon the shoulders of a for help for her little nephew, and had gentleman. Very few in the country knew travelled a long way to bring him under a great deal about Tibbie. The mother of the notice of his kinsman. When she pre- the Kearneys had never seen her before, so sented herself at Tobereevil her utmost that the gossoons had to whisper her: ambition had been a cottage, rent free, and “Mother, mother! it is the miser's Black a small pension or dole of clothing for little Cat!" Con. These denied, she accepted the per- “I don't see no cat wid the good woman," mission to shelter herself in the kitchen said Mrs. Kearney. “Only our own poor of the mansion, and to pick up scanty food pussy goin' to meet her on the brae.” as remuneration for her services in the The gossoons laughed in chorus, and house. But it seemed that greed was in plucked at their mother's skirts. They
cried that the world was coming to an end, till her fury amounted to madness, but for the Black Cat had got a gown! beyond the reach of her own voice this
Whist, will ye !" said Nan. " It's creature could make no sign. All Tibbie's Tibbie from Tobereevil.”
hope was this: that the wind might blow a Then the house-mother crossed herself great storm, and tear up many trees by the and went out to meet the guest, expecting roots, so that Simon should have to write some new message of cruelty from the land- to his agent to come and look to the timber. lord. But Tibbie had been busy manufac- If the Wicked Woods refused to help her, turing a smile, as she climbed
the moun- then was she surely lost indeed. But just tain all the way from her own door. And at this time the winds were lighter than she now hung out her smile, which, though usual, and the trees stood safe. a little pinched and darkling, was the best Tibbie desisted a little from railing at she could produce.
her master, and unable to stay within doors “Och, och! I'm tired wid yer moun- from impatience, went out into the woods tains," said Tibbie. “ An' I ax parding, and mumbled her threats and desires to Mrs. Kearney, for lookin' the faviour of a the grim oaks. She puffed her puny breath sate to dhraw my breath. I'm sarchin' wid into the face of the grey heavens, and anxiety for that poor foolish boy o' mine, waved her lean arms, and called on the an' I thought I knowed where to look for winds to get up and bestir themselves. Con, him whin I took the road to yer house." who had unwillingly, and through fear,
"Oh, ay!” said the house-mother, ready accompanied her from the mountain, sat to laugh with relief, finding that only Con in the branches above her, and grinned at was demanded of her instead of an extra her wrath, and pelted her with acorns. At pound of rent. “'Deed it's little out o' last the storm answered her challenge, and this he's been since the night he hurt his came down with fury. foot, an' young Misther Finiston hissel Simon bad heard many a storm, but he carried him here to us on his shouldhers." shuddered at this one. The old house shook
" Anan!” said Tibbie. “ An’ who is and groaned, pieces of its roof fell in, and young Misther Finiston ?”
some of its walls were broken. Down came “Yer masther's nephew, Misther Paul, scores of the trees, crashing and creakan’ no other,” said Mrs. Kearney, who was ing, and making a thunder of their own not very sorry to see the old woman's amidst the noise that was abroad. Tibbie chagrin. “ An' a gran', an'a kind, an'a croaked for joy when she saw the fallen beautiful young gintleman he is; and the giants lying prone in the thickets, and she fine man to be over us some day, plase the purred over Con as he set off for the Lord ! But come in an' take a rest to nearest posting village with Simon's letter yersel' an'an air o' the fire; an’if ye'll ate to the agent. The agent grumbled to hima couple o' pratees, I'll have them roasted self as he obeyed the summons, for Tobein a crack !!
reevil was not a pleasant place on a winter's Tibbie smothered her wrath and went into day. the Kearneys' cabin, and did not go down Arriving there, however, he got such a the mountain again till she was assured welcome as he had never got before. Tibbie, that her enemy was indeed in the country to propitiate him, had prepared a room for as she had heard, and that he had been him in the under-ground story, in a part recognised among the people as the miser's of the house which was quite out of the heir.
way of old Simon's tottering steps. Here
she had built a roaring fire to keep out the CHAPTER XXIV. THE BLACK CAT MAKES
cold, and served up a fine roasted pullet, A SPRING.
which she had procured with some difNow the great desire of Tibbie's soul ficulty from a neighbouring farm. Here, was, that the agent should at once make too, she laid her plan before the lawyer: his
appearance at Tobereevil. A bold which was to draw up a will as he and she move must be made, and ignorant Tibbie should please, and procure Simon's sighad already done everything in her cause nature to it on pretence that it was a writ that her unaided powers could do. She of ejectment for one of his tenants, for could devise new plans even now in her whose holding the lawyer had found a brain, but she needed the lawyer's help to better tenant. Simon must be got to sign carry them out. Tibbie, who could neither the paper without reading its contents. read nor write, stood at the mercy of Fate. The plan was a daripg one, but was proShe might chafe in ber wretched kitchen nounced worth the trial.
So the agent made out the will. At one found favour in his eyes. With a slice of time Tibbie wrangled with him over the the Tobereevil property, together with a share which was to be the price of the goodly sum of money as a reward for his lawyer's service, but her greediness was faithful service of many years, this hitherto soon silenced, and she was forced to listen luckless rogue thought he might live to to reason. Next morning the agent strolled call himself thrifty after all. out to look at the fallen trees, and to pick Who should arrive into the midst of the up some simple peasants who should act supper-party but Bid, the “ thraveller," she as witnesses to the will.
having stepped down the mountain to help Now it chanced that Mrs. Kearney's the gossoons to carry the faggots home. “soft gossoons” were hanging about the So the agent, looking about him, saw a woods in hope of a job at the agent's group of persons from whom to choose the hands. They had not gone up to the door witnesses to Simon's signature of the will. and asked to be hired to help with the He chose Bid and Nan, and accosted them timber, for they knew, had they made so very civilly, explaining that Mr. Finiston bold, that their suit must have been denied. was making new arrangements for some of So they lingered about the wood, and his tenantry; a piece of news which made when the agent chanced to meet them he them turn pale; and that he wanted two found them useful. They were set to honest persons to witness the signing of work all day at getting the timber carried some deeds. to carts upon the road; their wages to be “I won' go!" whispered Nan, plucking the faggots which they could pick up Bid by the corner of the cloak.
"How do when all was done. And even those wicked I know bud it's to put my mother ont of faggots were precious in the winter time; her hole undher the hill ?" though people would say that they brought "Aisy, aisy, asthore !” said Bid. “It's no good to a hearth; though evil sparks not for the likes o' you that they'll be did fly out of them while they burned, and signin' papers at Tobereevil
. When they strange visions loomed forth out of the want yer mother out o' her hole they'll white clouds of their smoke as it curled in put her out by the shouldher, widout the sinister wreaths up the chimney. Towards splash o' a pen an' ink. Bud they're evening pretty Nan came down the moun- brewin' some quare dhrink for the owld tain, with her yellow locks blowing on the man to swally down-that's Tibbie an" wind, carrying a little can of buttermilk the lawyer—or my name's not Bid. I seen and two tin mugs, and attended by Con, them cosherin' wid their heads together who danced on before her, bearing a large this mornin' as I skirted through the wooden dish of cooked potatoes. And threes here, an' they too greedy wid their while the gossoons made a merry supper talkin to see my shadow on the gravel.”. on the stump of a tree, the lawyer mused “Well, my good woman, can you make at some distance and made perfect his little up your mind to spare us ten minutes of plans.
your valuable time ?” asked the lawyer, inThis lawyer was a man who at the out- tending to be witty. set of life had declared to himself that he “Ay, ay !" said Bid, carelessly," we would make money without scruple. In won't disoblige a gentleman.” But when his profession he had cheerfully accepted his eyes were turned away she glanced at all disreputable business, and taken care him swiftly and keenly from under the to make his spoils of any prey that fell to white silk fringing of her knowing, knitted his share. And yet somehow he had been brows. And she followed him to the house, unlucky until now. Dishonesty had not holding by Nan's unwilling hand. rewarded him as he had had a right to It was getting dusk, and quite dark in expect. At times he had even had stings the miser's chamber, where the light was of harrowing doubt, as to whether integrity so scantily admitted. Tibbie brought in might not, after all, have paid him better in an armful of faggots, and made a brilliant the end. He lived in a country town where blaze on the hearth, so that the whole of people's deeds are easily made known, and the gloomy room was filled with a dancing, he knew an attorney of thorough honesty uncertain light. Simon remonstrated, who had made a good thing of his fair wringing his hands at the waste. Our agent was now past success in “Stop, woman
n! you will drive me mad his own peculiar line of life, and found it with you extravagance!” he said, snatchtoo late to start afresh on any other. Thus ing at the half-burnt sticks. it was with him when Tibbie's little plot Anan,” said Tibbie, “is it wax candles
şe want? Gi'e me money, an' I'll see remember I told you it was necessary to about the buyin' o' them.”
have two witnesses." “ Candles !” cried the miser, with a “Oh !” said Simon, relieved, and laying shudder, as if there had been talk of shed- down his pen. “I thought, I thoughtding his blood.
But he stopped with this whisper; and the ** Ay,” returned Tibbie, “ye'll be wantin' terror that had crossed his mind remained some kind o' light to see to write yer unconfessed.
“Now, my good woman, step forward "Write my name !" echoed the miser. with your young friend,” said the lawyer.
“How am I to know, barrin' what I'm “Your name, if you please, and then you tould ?" snarled Tibbie. “Yer agent tould will make your mark.' me to have a light in the place, bekase Bid looked steadily at the lawyer for a the masther had to put his name to some moment, with her keen old
then papers widout delay. He said it was to turned to the miser. squeeze money out o' some robber o a “ Misther Finiston yer honor,” she said, tenant, bud maybe he was tellin' lies-only “afore I put my name to that paper
would it's not me that ought to be blamed !” ye just read it out loud to me, that I may
Simon pricked up his ears. True, there know whether my own little farm isn't was something to be done in the way of in it?” an ejectment; a higher price to be put “ Bid !” cried Nan, aghast. For Bid did upon some cabin, or piece of bog; a pro- not own a square inch of land in the world, spect of another bit of gold to be added to nor a roof to cover her. the heap. Well, well, he would put another “ Nonsense, woman,” cried the lawyer. stick upon the fire. Extravagance was, “Mr. Finiston, will 'do no such thing. after all, pleasant when there was a reason Your farm! Why where is your farm, and for it, and when it did not go too far. I can tell you without the papers ?” What was keeping that man when the “My own purty little farm down the thing could be done at once ?
valley," said cunning Bid. “You see, sir,” said the lawyer, bustling “It's not in it. There's nothing about in, “I have had such a busy day of it after it," urged the lawyer, and put his hand on that timber. I think I explained to you the paper, as if to prevent Simon from long ago all about the necessity for this lifting it up. If he had not done this he document.
Sorry to give you so much might have carried his point. But the trouble, but things must be properly miser’s irascible temper would not bear
even the appearance of control. “Ay, ay !" said the old man, trying to “I will read it !” cried Simon. “You recollect. His memory was beginning to must leave this point to me, sir. I will fail him, though his sight was very keen. read it if I please, and as often as I like Well had the forgers contrived that the too.” He had got possession of the paper light should come from the hearth, so that and held it to the light. the table on which the paper lay should The lawyer saw that he had been too be in shade.
hasty. “I beg your pardon, sir,” he said, "You read it all over the other day you“ but let me entreat you not to attempt it remember,” said the lawyer, boldly, and till you have better light. We shall get a only opening one fold of the paper as he candle by-and-bye, or, better still, wait till laid it flat on the table for the signatures. to-morrow. Daylight costs nothing, ha, ha!
"I did not read it,” said the miser. In the mean time let us get on with the "Not that I recollect."
signatures. Your name, my dear ?” to "Oh, I assure you you did, sir. Your Nan. mind is so full of business that little But Simon held the paper. He looked things may escape. You'll remember by- at the lawyer's uneasy face, and a cloud of and-bye.”
suspicion came into his wary eyes. Bid The old man reflected pitifully for a had done her work and was too wise to moment, and then, by such feeble light as say more, but she edged herself in between he had, scrawled his name.
the miser and lawyer, foreseeing that the “What are those figures at the door ?" paper might be snatched from Simon's he cied, suddenly, as he peered through the hand. The attempt was made as the old shifting lights at two shadows in the dis- man stooped to bring the glare of the firetance.
light on the sheet. The agent snatched, " The witnesses,” said the lawyer. “You | but Simon's grip was hard. He kept the
parchment, and slipped out of reach of police,” he said, with a scowl at Tibbie. the lawyer's arm on his knees before the The gossoons who were listening in the hearth. A shriek and a curse told that the hall set up a cheer at these words, and keen eyes and keen wits had mastered its set off as volunteers on this mission. Then, contents in less than a minute. The lawyer and only then, did Tibbie lift up her voice suddenly disappeared from the room, and and howl as one baffled and undone. She
soon driving along the high road, hurried away to hide herself, and the cursing his own folly, which in grasping messengers departed. And Simon doubletoo much had deprived him of the little locked his door and barricaded his winadvantages which he had enjoyed at Tobe-dows, and sat all night long on the watch reevil. He at least could never show his with his pistols by his side. face to the miser again.
As for Tibbie, she simply put her arms akimbo and faced her angry master.
LOST EXPLORERS. “Hag!” he shrieked, “I'll have you
THE LOST SOON FOUND. hanged for this!"
THE expedition so properly, and, as some “No you won't,” said Tibbie. “It would think, so tardily sent out in search of Doctor cost too much money. An' besides, nobody Livingstone, reminds us how many of our would hurt me for sthrivin' to get the best travellers have lost their lives under rights for my poor boy. If ye weren't so circumstances which long remained unill-hearted I wouldn't have had to take the known. Not that many amongst us believe law into my own hands. Judges an' in such a fate for the heroic Livingstone ; lawyers could see that quick enough." most of us assert that he is, must be, shall
Begone out of the house !" cried the be, still living; the indomitable faith on miser, foaming with rage. “Never let me this point entertained by the late Sir see your face again !"
Roderick Impey Murchison is widely felt. " I'll go when I'm ready,” said Tibbie. True, Livingstone has been away from us “An' that's my thanks for my long sarvice. just six years, in an almost unknown part An' there's Paul Finiston come home, of Africa; and we know that more than pryin' about the counthry an’ watchin' to five years ago he described himself as become down on ye. It's little pace ye'll ing, through hunger and fatigue, “ a mere have when he gits next or near you, an' ruckle of bones;” but still we have heard nobody here to purtect ye.
from him, or rather of him, occasionally, This was Tibbie's last hope, that dread since; and experienced geographers can of Paul would cow the old man's anger, name a spot where they believe him to be at and make him loth to be left alone. She this moment. A few brief sketches will had made a great mistake, however, and show how many explorers, on the other she quickly found it out.
hand, have sunk under their privations ; " Paul Finiston,”_said the miser, sud- their fate being ascertained very soon, or denly calm. “ Is Paul Finiston in the after a long interval, or not at all. country ?”
The boys' favourite-everybody's fa“ That he is, yer honor,” said Bid, step-vourite-Captain Cook, rendered a famous ping forward and dropping a curtsy: “An' amount of good service before his lamentas party-lookin' a gintleman as ye'd meet able death. "Beginning with the year 1768, in a day's walkin'."
he made three distinct and very lengthened Simon's wrath had subsided strangely, voyages of discovery to the vast Pacific and he looked timorous and eager.
Ocean. His first voyage lasted till 1771, and “ You know where he is to be found ?” the narrative describing it was drawn up by he asked, quickly.
Doctor Hawkesworth. In 1772, he started “I think I could find him out, yer off on his second voyage in the Resolution, honor,” said Bid.
his former ship having been the Endea“ Then go to him,” said Simon, " and vour; in about two years he circumnavigive him a message from me. I will have gated the globe in a higher southern latitude him here and he shall work for me. He than had ever before been attempted, and never tried to trick me, nor to worry me, made vast additions to the knowledge benor to rob me e !"
fore possessed of the South Pacific Ocean. He seized the pen beside him, and He himself wrote an account of this voy. scribbled some words on a scrap of paper. age, the unpretending and manly style of The paper
which rendered the book generally accept“ Send the first person you meet for the able. No previous commander of a ship
he gave to Bid.