Imatges de pÓgina
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to be;

perience of law breaking was derived from “I will not have you talk in that manner," occasional attendance at the magistrates' said Madge, laying her hand lightly on his meetings, where poaching and affiliation arnı, and looking up earnestly into his face. cases were the only troubles to the bench. The Reverend Onesiphorus Drage had But that a woman could be found who not for some months past told himself that merely did not shrink from the man who he had conquered his wild absorbing had endeavoured toentrap her into an illegal love for Mrs. Pickering, and that he only alliance, but actually announced her in- regarded her as a sister. There are so tention of fulfilling the contract and defy- many of us who on certain subjects are ing the world, was entirely beyond Mr. frank and loyal to all others, and eminently Drage's comprehension.

deceitful to ourselves. When the rector “ And now you have heard all, and are left Mrs. Pickering's presence, he made his in full possession of each circumstance of way to Sir Geoffry, whom he found still the case as it now stands, what do you engaged in colloquy with the gardener. recommend should be done?” asked Madge. The old general was very pleased to see his

“I confess,” said the rector, with a very clerical friend, shook him warmly by the blank and perplexed look, " that I am quite hand, and promptly declined to enter into unable to advise you. I have never come any of the church-congress questions or across so determined a character as Mr. arguments which Mr. Drage had eagerly Vane appears and this woman seems, submitted to him, alleging that he had from what you say, to be a perfect match for business of more pressing importance, on him. It is, of course, most horrible to have which the rector's advice was required. to sit by and witness an open infraction of Up and down the carriage sweep in front the law, but we have at least the satis- of the house walked the two gentlemen for faction of knowing that we have done our more than an hour; the subject of their best to prevent it, even though the warn- conversation being the same as that which ing was not attended to."

had occupied the general and Mrs. PickerAs you say, we have done our best, and | ing on the previous evening. Even at there it must end. I am heartily sick of greater length than he had spoken to his the trouble and vexation it has caused me. housekeeper, Sir Geoffry explained to his If there had remained in me one lingering friend the story of his earlier life, the sepaspark of affection for my husband, it would ration from his wife, the duel with Mr. Yeldhave been extinguished by this last and ham, the interview with Gerald when he greatest insult. My pride tells me that I bade the boy renounce his name and his have already proceeded too far in this position, and the recent interview when he matter, and that when he hears what I ordered Riley to turn him from the door. have done, as he will hear, sooner or later, If he had any doubt of the feelings with he will ascribe my actions to my continued which this narrative would have been reattachment to him, and my unwillingness ceived, the behaviour of his companion to see him taken by another woman.” would have soon settled his mind. Mr.

“Your pride may teach you that, but I Drage listened silently to all from the have been reflecting as you spoke,” said commencement of the story until the end. Mr. Drage, “and my conscience teaches He never made the slightest verbal interme that we should not suffer this sin to be ruption; but as Sir Geoffry proceeded, the committed without one further attempt to rector's head sunk upon his breast, and his prevent it. You have seen Mrs. Bendixen, hands, which had been clasped behind him, and she has refused to listen to you. I will at last formed a refuge wherein his agitated go to London and search for Mr. Vane; face was hidden. he is a man of the world, and will more When the story came to an end, there was readily comprehend the difficulties which a long pause, broken by Sir Geoffry's saying: beset him, and the danger in which they “ There is not much need to ask your are liable to result.”

opinion of my conduct in this matter, I see “He is a desperate man,” said Madge, plainly that you are of the same mind as " and one who would flinch from nothing Mrs. Pickering, and consider that I have where his interests were involved or his acted wrongly.' safety at stake. I should dread any meet- “I do," said Mr. Drage, raising his ing between you.”

head, "most wrongly, and unlike a parent, “I am grateful for your interest in me, unlike a Christian, unlike a gentleman!" said the rector, with the hectic flush rising

“Sir!" cried the old general, stopping in his cheek, “ but I do not fear much for short in his walk, and glaring fiercely at myself; and even were he to kill me his friend.

your line

" I repeat what I said, Sir Geoffry Heriot, in his most irrational moments. She did and defy you to disprove my words. Was not say this to the rector, with whom she it like a gentleman to watch and spy upon simply condoled, but she felt tolerably the actions of your wife and her partner in certain that the day would not pass over the ball-room; was it like a Christian to without the subject being again broached shoot down this man upon the mere sup- to her by the general. position of his guilt ?"

She was wrong. In the afternoon she “Shoot him down, sir ?—he had his received a summons to the library, and chance," cried the general.

found Sir Geoffry awaiting her. “His chance!” echoed the rector, “I will not trouble you to commence severely. “What chance had a dilettante reading just now, Mrs. Pickering," said he, poet, painter, musician, what not, a lounger as he saw Madge opening the newspapers in drawing-rooms and boudoirs, who pro- which had just arrived from London. bably never had a pistol in his hands in his “ I want to talk to you upon a matter of life? What chance had he against you, a some importance, not quite in trained man of arms ? Was it like a father perhaps, but one in which your strong for you to condemn this lad for keeping the common sense cannot fail to advise me oath which he had sworn to keep at his well and usefully. You have heard me dying mother's bedside; to hunt him from mention my friend Irving ?” your house when he came with his long- “Mr. Irving, of Coombe Park ?" sought proofs of that mother's innocence ?" “ The same; I have told

you

of

my long " You are a hard hitter, sir,” said Sir friendship with him, and of his determinaGeoffry, eyeing him sternly. "You don't tion made long ago, and abided by ever spare your adversaries!”

since, to enter into no speculations which “Not when I think that there is a chance I do not approve of. Strange to think of rousing in them a spirit of remorse, or that a man of a City position and financial prompting them to actions of atonement.” knowledge should choose to be governed in

“Pardon me one moment, said Sir his investments by an old Indian officer, Geoffry. “Before we talk of remorse and who knows little of money matters, and atonement, I should point out to you that has never been on the Stock Exchange in I am not the only one to blame in this his life! However, Irving is a Scotchman, question. I am hot-tempered, I allow it. and a great believer in luck; and as the first Nature and the life I have led settled that dabble on which I advised him turned out a for me; but this boy is as hot tempered as lucky hit, he has relied upon me ever since, I am, and has an insolent way with him, and has not done badly on the whole.” which is in the highest degree provoking. “Surely that is a mild way of putting However, we have talked enough on my it,” said Madge. “I think I have heard farnily matters for the present. Let us go you say that Mr. Irving is one of the richest in and see what Mrs. Pickering has pro- men in England ?” vided for lancheon.”

“ So he is; and that is so well known The rector knew his friend's peculiarities that the mere advertisement of his name is too well to attempt to renew the conversa- a mine of wealth to any affair with which tion at that time, and silently followed him he may happen to be connected, such coninto the house.

fidence does it inspire. Rich as he is, Before he went away the rector found though, he still likes making the money, an opportunity of telling Mrs. Pickering still takes a pleasure in adding to his heap, the subject of the conversation he had had crescit amor nummi-what was it we used with Sir Geoffry, and spoke earnestly about to say at school ? Irving has been specuits unsatisfactory termination.

lating very little lately; indeed, I began to Mr. Drage imagined from Sir Geoffry's fancy that he had given it up altogether. tone, and from the abrupt manner in which But of late I have had several letters from he had brought the discussion to a close, him, each increasing in warmth and keenthat he was still highly incensed against ness about a certain mining company his son; but Madge was much more called the Terra del Fuegos, in which he is sanguine on being able to bring Gerald half persuaded to embark." back to his proper place in his father's “The Terra del Fuegos?" repeated Madge. heart. She knew that, however harsh and “That is the name. Surely, Mrs. Pickercurt the general's manner might be to Mr. ing,” said the old general, jocularly, “ you Drage, or to any other of his friends, she are not a shareholder in that promising had a mollifying power over him, which, undertaking ?” duly exercised, never failed to soothe him “No," said she, “and yet the name

on.

seems to be familiar to me. Where can I brain in endeavouring to assort and re-adhave heard it?"

just the jumbled mass of letters before her. Most probably it has caught your eye. It was of no use, she would give it it up when you have been kindly reading over for the present, her head might be clearer to me the prices of stocks and shares, another time perhaps. She opened her and, being an odd name, has remained on desk, intending to lock the paper away in your memory. However, Irving, though it, when suddenly she started and uttered more' predisposed in favour of this con- loud cry of joy. From the small leather cern than of anything else which I can note-case at the bottom of the desk, one of remember for many years, has abided by the few relics of Philip Vane which she his old practice of referring to me for his possessed, she drew a long strip of paper, final decision. I have read through all the with a column of letters in consecutive printed documents connected with the order on either side inscribed in the followundertaking, which in themselves are emi- ing manner: nently satisfactory; but I require a little

A-F further information on certain points, and

B-R wrote so to Irving. He referred my letter

C—M to the company, who must consider his

D-B cohesion to their undertaking of great im- and so This column was headed portance, as they proposed to send down "Writing." Under the other, headed two of their body, the chairman and the ge- “Reading,” these letters were reversed. neral manager, to explain matters to me. “My memory serves me well,” said

“ The general manager !" cried Madge. Madge, with delight, “and I am repaid for

" And the chairman,” said the general. having kept this note-case and its contents "I forget their names, but I have them so long. This is a key to some cipher somewhere in the printed papers. These which Philip must evidently have used at gentlemen will be down here to-morrow or one period of his life. Let us see whether the day after. Of course they will stay in it fits this message. If it does, I think the the house, and I will ask you to be good translation will not be difficult.” enough to make preparations for their re- She turned the slip of paper with the ception.”

“Reading” side uppermost, and by its aid Madge took the first opportunity to commenced deciphering the telegram and escape from the library, and seek the soli- arranging it into plain language. After tude of her own room, while Sir Geoffry some minutes' hard labour, she read the was prosing on the mention of the general following as the result: manager, and gave her the clue to the train “ You must come up at once. Irving is of thought which the name of Terra del impracticable, and refuses to join until he Fuegos had started. Philip Vane was the sees his friend Sir G. H.'s signature to the general manager to the Terra del Fuegos. deed. That signature must be procured at She recollected Mr. Drage having obtained any price. Come up at once." that information from his father's clerk in “ That signature must be obtained at the City. And he was coming there to any price,” repeated Madge. “I don't think Wheatcroft! He must not see her there. it will be obtained. I am sure it will not if She must find some pretext for absent. I am a match for Philip Vane !" ing herself during his stay. Could this visit to Wheatcroft have any connexion with the telegram which had summoned him from Sandown, and which, as she be

EXTRA DOUBLE NUMBER FOR lieved, was the original of that of which

CHRISTMAS, 1871, Rose had forwarded to her the copy? What connexion could there be between SLAVES OF THE LAMP. the two events she could not tell, but that there was a link between them she firmly Now ready, price 5s.6d., bound in green cloth, believed.

THE SIXTH VOLUME She took the paper from the pocket of

OF THE NEW SERIES OP the dress which she had worn while travelling, and spread it out before her. She ALL THE YEAR ROUND. pored over it for an hour, puzzling her

To be had of all Booksellers.

JUST PUBLISHED, THE

ENTITLED

The Right of Translating Articles from ALL THE YEAR ROUND is reserved by the Authors.

Published at the Ofice, 26, Wellington St Strand.

Printed by C. WHITING, Beaufort House, Duke St. Lincoln's Inn Fiolds.

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A heap

the kitchen, muttering to himself as idiots day he would have laughed at it. But now, do, and nobody was minding him. He being in despair, he felt differently. was an idiot from birth, one of those who Within the next half-hour the whole "live among the people.” He wandered castle was astir. All the people of the from place to place, and was welcome place knew that a strange thing was about everywhere; for people say such as he bring to happen. Lady Archbold, docile for luok.

once, hurried on with quivering hands her This poor lad was sitting in the kitchen most sumptuous riding-habit, and placed of the castle of Camlough while Katherine a hat with long feathers and jewelled Archbold lay dying up-stairs. The cook buckle above her ghastly face. A litter had placed meat and beer before him, but was constructed and covered with a rich the fool had heard rumours of the trouble coverlet, and the insensible maiden was that was in the place, and he would not eat placed on it, supported by pillows and as usual.

Not that he cared much for the swathed in costly wrappings. young lady herself, for she had often tor- of June flowers lay on her feet.

Sermented him; not that he cared much for vants in splendid liveries mounted the Lady Archbold, who seldom bestowed notice finest horses in the stables, and carried on such as he; but his simple heart was baskets of fruit and flowers, and vessels of sore for Sir John. Sir John always threw silver and gold, upon their saddles. The him a shilling when he passed him, and antique jewel-hilted sword, or skein, which sent him to the cook to get his dinner; i was the most precious heir-loom of the and he nodded to him and smiled at him, family, and the ancient banner with their and Con the idiot knew a smile from a arms, were carried conspicuously in front of frown.

the procession. Six stout retainers carried Two or three servants were talking of the litter on their shoulders, and the woful the deadliness of the child's disease, of the parents rode a little in advance on either uselessness of doctors, of the grief of the side. A crowd of servants, labourers, father and mother, and of fifty things tradespeople, and tenants, who poured out besides. All at once Con started from at short notice from the settlement of Cam. his seat, and sped to the kitchen door. lough in the lap of the Golden Mountain,

“Hallo, my boy !" cried the cook, "you made a motley rear-guard to the train. stay here for the night!"

Down the rugged passage of the steep But Con only flung a grin of delight mountain came winding slowly this mournover his shoulder, and disappeared; not out ful and vainglorious procession, with the of doors, but, to the dismay of all present, glory of the midsummer morning flashing up-stairs, where he had no business to be. on the rich draperies of the litter, the pale

Sir John, sitting by the side of his adorned figure of the prostrate child, and daughter, with his face buried in his hands, the awed, wondering faces around her. felt a touch upon his shoulder, and looked And far on before them fled the swiftup with a great start. There were Con's footed fool, the herald and vanguard of the white face and black eyes gleaming at him train, with his arms extended as a signal of in the dull light of the sick-room.

alarm, and all the fires of the sunrise burn“Master!" said the idiot, caressingly. ing in his eyes.

Sir John was about to shake him off, Early that morning little May had but the great tenderness and sympathy in climbed the belfry to send the wishes of the lad's face caught his attention.

her heart to her sick dream-playmate. With Master, take miss down mountain !” two level hands above her eyebrows she had said the fool in an excited whisper; and he screamed aloud, so sharply that the crows pointed with his finger to the open window, started cawing out of the ivy. beyond which the day was already break- “Aunt Martha," she cried, flying into ing, leaving the dark peaks of the hills all the breakfast parlour, " there is a strange naked against the pale rifts between the slow procession coming down the Golden clouds.

Mountain." “ Father Felix, master! Father Felix, “Guests returning,” said Miss Martha, master!"

comfortably, speaking from behind the Sir John started again, and a flush rose steam of her teapot. to his face. He guessed on the instant at “ There are no visitors at Camlough this the meaning of the fool. Every one in the long, long time," said May, who was as country knew that the sick were brought pale as the white rose in the garden. to Father Felix. Many and many a time · That is true,” said Miss Martha, doubt. Sir John had laughed at the folly. Yester- fully, “ but what are you afraid of ?"

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