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vincing. Riley, sorely against his will — young man, Margaret,” said the rector, infor he is almost heart-broken at the turn quiringly. affairs have taken-will be called upon “ Then," said Madge, “I speak what is to prove the original quarrel between the the fact. I knew him intimately for two father and son; when Sir Geoffry told him years, saw him constantly, shared his conthat he had discarded and disowned his fidence, knew the inmost workings of his son, whose name was never again to be mind, and never saw aught that was mean mentioned in the household. Riley will or dishonourable. And he bas been arrested further prove that on a recent occasion the for this crime !" young man came to Springside to seek an “The evidence was so strong,” said Mr. interview with his father, entered the house Drage, “that it would have been imposat the same time and much in the same sible to avoid arresting him, even if the manner as he entered it to-night; and that expression of public opinion had not been he, Riley, was finally ordered by the loud against him.” general to show George Heriot the door, “ That evidence shall be overthrown; and never give him admittance again. that public opinion turned in his favour !" Cleethorpe, who had some slight acquaint- cried Madge. ance with young Heriot several years ago, “That can only be done by directly will speak to meeting him in the afternoon, proving George Heriot's innocence,” said and to the young man's evident desire to the rector. "And who can do that?" avoid recognition; and I should almost “I can," said Madge. “I, who stood by, think, Margaret, if you are sufficiently re- powerless, and saw the attack made upon covered, that you will be called upon to Sir Geoffry, which I was helpless to prestate why you were so strongly anxious vent: and who saw my dear friend and that a meeting between the two men should master struggling with a man whose back be prevented.”
was then towards me, but whom I after"All these facts that you have alleged wards recognised, when, after Sir Geoffry will be taken as reasons and motives, pro- had fallen prostrate, he ran past me, and bable inducements for him to commit the hurled me to the ground.” crime. What proof is there that he did “And this man was not George Heriot?” commit it?”
“No, that I can safely and positively “As circumstantial evidence it can hardly swear.” be stronger. He is seized upon the spot “ Thank God !” said the rector, reveimmediately after the commission of the rently raising his hands, “thank God for crime; the body of the victim is in his that! That our old friend should meet arms; his clothes are stained with blood. a sudden and a violent death is in itself When you couple this with the enmity awful enough, without the horrible idea known to exist between him and the mur- that he died by his son's hand.” dered man, with the fact of his presence “What is the first step to be taken that at the place from which he had been more Gerald can be at once set free ?" than once ejected and warned, with the “Nothing can be done to-night, Marfact that he evidently shunned discovery garet,” said the rector, quietly," and it is and recognition-witness his behaviour absolutely essential that you should now to Captain Cleethorpe-however unwilling have thorough quiet, and not move until one may be to believe in the existence of you have been again seen by the doctor." such monstrous guilt, the charge seems to “But am I to lie here while he remains me impossible of refutation."
in prison with this fearful charge still “The crime is one which it would have hanging over him; with the belief in his been impossible for George Heriot to have guilt yet universal? Oh, it is monstrous committed.”
to think of such a thing. I cannot and “One would think so,” said the rector, will not bear it !" “ but still, sons have been known
"Margaret, listen to reason. No informal " It is not as a son that I speak of George steps can be taken ; all our proceedings Heriot; it is of himself,” cried Madge. henceforward must be taken under legal “He is too gentle-hearted, too brave, too guidance, and nothing can be done to noble, to injure any human being, much less rescue this unhappy young man from the his father, whom he always held in affection position in which he is placed, until his and reverence, notwithstanding the bad public examination." treatment he had received."
“ His public examination! Will he have "You speak as if you had known this to take his trial in court?”
“He will first be examined before the “my testimony shall fully clear him of the magistrates, and upon the result of that charge.” examination depends whether he will be And at the same time that it does so, sent for trial or not; that result, mean- it must implicate another. That is the while, rests upon the quality of the evidence point I want to urge upon you ; that is the which you will give on his behalf. And point which you do not seem to see.”. you must remember, Margaret, that your I see it fully, perfectly, and plainly,” evidence will not merely have the effect of said Madge, “ in all its most horrible signiclearing George Heriot, but will have the ficance. Oh, if you did but know what effect of putting the officers of justice on you are asking me to do, in bidding me the track of the actual murderer.”
give up the name of the real criminal! If “ What!” cried Madge, starting up in you did but know what accusations of consternation. “Is that so ?”
heartlessness and wickedness you are bid. “Unquestionably. You, in your position, ding me call down upon myself!" must not merely show that this young man "Stay," cried the rector, suddenly again did not commit the deed, but that some rising from his seat, and clasping her arm one else did. A minute's reflection will with agitated, trembling hand.
" When show you that George Heriot's innocence you first came to this place, the hand of cannot be established until some other man Providence led me to you, that I might is proved to be guilty. Who that other be of service to you, a service which you man is, the magistrates will look to you afterwards repaid a hundred-fold by your
care of my motherless daughter. Since Madge fell back on her pillow in a state then we have been thrown constantly of collapse. “I could not do it,” she mur- together, and you have shown that you mured, “ I could not do it.”
believed in my devotion to you by making “Could not do it,” repeated the rector, me the confidant of your life's history. Is bending over her in astonishment. “Do this confidence to be brought suddenly to you know what
are saying? You could an end, at this most momentous crisis of not, or, rather, you would not give up to your life, or is it to be extended ? Speak.” justice the name of the atrocious villain “ I allow all you say,” said Madge. “I who cruelly murdered a weak and unof- grant that to no one perhaps in the world fending old man. Margaret, did I hear you am I so thoroughly known as to you; but aright?"
I do not see what you now wish me to But still she only murmured, “I could do !” not do it!”
“ To let me be to you now still your con" Then will it go hard with George fidant and adviser. It is impossible for Heriot's chance of escape," said the rector. you say, to make public the name of this
“Oh, no," moaned Madge, tossing rest criminal. Can you not tell it to me, that I lessly on her pillow, " the magistrates will may consider what, under the circumHe must be saved.”
stances, is best to be done ?” “Then,” persisted the rector, "you must 'I cannot, I dare not !'' give up the name of the man whom you The rector reflected for an instant, then saw struggling with Sir Geoffry, and by with a sudden lighting up of his face, he whom you were hurled to the ground.” turned to her suddenly and said: "Sup
But Madge only murmured, “I could pose I, too, have my secret in this matter; not do it! I could not do it !”
suppose I, by certain chance, know who The rector rose from his chair and committed this crime, and tell the name to began pacing the room.
you-what then ?” * Margaret,” he exclaimed, stopping “ It is impossible for you to have this short by the bedside, and again taking her information; the secret is known to me hand, “ do you know the importance of alone on earth,” said Madge, gazing in what you are saying, and the effect of the astonishment at his eagerness. determination you have arrived at ? Do “Not to you alone !” he cried, bending you know that this young man's life is in closer to her and dropping his voice. “It your hands ? That according to the weight is known to the murderer--to your husattaching to the testimony which you may band !" be able to give, he will either be set free Madge uttered a short sharp cry. or sent to the gibbet? And yet do you did you learn that?" she whispered. hesitate ?"
• No matter how I learned it, so that I “He shall be set free,” cried Madge; | know it now, while there is yet time for
me to consider what is best to be done. knocking at his door, and by his servant's Margaret, you must trust in me and leave informing him that a gentleman, whose all to me now, as you have done before. card she had brought with her, was in the You know how thoroughly I appreciate study very anxious to see him. Taking the difficulties of your position. You know the card from the servant's hand, and how sacredly I will guard your name and reading on it, to his intense astonishment, fame; you know that this matter in which “ Mr. L. Moss, Thavies Inn,” the rector life, and more than life, are at stake, re- bade her say that he would be down in a quires the fullest and calmest considera- very few minutes, and immediately plunged tion.
into a cold bath which was awaiting him. Just then the servant, tapping at the Much refreshed in body and brain by this door, announced that Doctor Chenoweth proceeding, Mr. Drage on emerging was had arrived, and was waiting to see Mrs. yet unable to understand the object of Mr. Pickering. And the rector took his leave Moss's visit. of Madge, promising to be with her early “Moss," he repeated, glancing at the the next day.
card, “ Moss, of Thavies Inn; surely that
was the name of the firm of London attorDuring the various phases of sorrow neys, so celebrated for their conduct of through which the Reverend Onesiphorus criminal business, whom Mr. Drew said he Drage had passed in his lifetime; when had retained. What on earth has the man his lot was cast amongst felons, who either come to me for? The last person in the openly jeered at his ministration, or pre- world to give him any information or help, tended to believe in it, with a view to the more especially situated as I now am. improvement of their position; when the What on earth can he have come to me wife of his youth was gradually fading for?” away before his eyes; when he himself
Then Mr. Drage thought that the best was wrestling with temptation, striving to way to obtain this information was to finish do what he imagined to be his duty dressing himself, and go down and see. towards that dead wife by blotting Madge's The rector had not formed much idea of image from his mind; he had never spent a what a London criminal attorney would night of greater agony than that which he probably be like, but on entering the study went through after quitting Wheatcroft. he was certainly astonished at the compaNot once throughout the night did he miss rative youth of the gentleman whom he hearing the clock's weary record of the saw before him. Mr. Leopold Moss was passing hour; and as he lay tossing rest- a man of apparently not more than thirty lessly on his bed, the difficulties surround- years of age, with sharp aquiline profile, ing the case which he had taken under his and keen bright eyes. He was dressed charge seemed to become increased and very plainly, wore no jewellery, save a thin magnified. How George Heriot was to strip of gold watch-chain, and, until be saved, except by the sacrifice of Philip thoroughly warmed to his work, spoke in Vane, the rector could find no means to a soft voice, and with a certain amount of discover; and though Margaret had not what was almost diffidence. But, if you absolately told him the name of the mur inquired amongst those who knew, you derer, he had learned it under such cir- would learn that there was no man in the cumstances as would render it almost im- legal profession to be compared to Mr. possible for him to disclose it to the law. Leopold Moss in his manner of grasping a Harassed by these two contending emo- subject, or in his method of dealing with tions; now nearly driven to madness by its details. In the conduct of certain great the reflection that the young man of whom legal commercial cases, with the woof of Margaret thought and spoke so highly which a strong criminal warp was interwas lying in prison, accused of an atrocious mingled, he had held his own against the crime, of which he was wholly innocent; ablest men at the bar, and even the great now racked with fear at the idea of being Mr. Barnstaple, Q.C., had admitted that compelled to divulge the secret gleaned nothing was more pleasant than to be infrom Margaret, whom he so deeply loved, structed by Leopold Moss, nothing more the wretched rector became thoroughly worn vexations than to be opposed by him. “Our out towards morning, and as the first signs dear Leopold,” Mr. Barnstaple would reof renewed life were audible in the house, mark, “has not the misfortune to be like he fell into a deep slumber.
myself, a man of pleasure. He prefers Chitty From this he was aroused by a loud to Kitty, and Blackstone to Burgundy, consequently he gives one the most con- quently happens that it has become a founded amount of trouble to be prepared joke against the doctor, and on his return for the precedents and opinions which we we were prepared to banter him as usual ; know he will bring forward against us. but he made his way straight to me, and Our dear Leopold is an exceptional in- asked me to come out into the ante-room to stance, but great ability is seldom allied talk over a matter on important business. to virtue; the latter charming quality more
When the door was closed, he told me often accompanies stupidity, and the two he had just returned from seeing a Mrs. together form the favourite compound out Entwistle, who appears to be some relative of which judges are made.”
of the accused, and a young lady named But although Mr. Leopold Moss, by Pierrepointthe exigencies of his profession, was com
“Good heavens ! Rose Pierrepoint," inpelled to devote a large portion of his time terrupted the rector. to study, which in itself possessed a fas- “Yes,” said Mr. Moss, “I think that cination for him, he by no means led the was the name. At all events, this Miss hermit life which Mr. Barnstaple ascribed Pierrepoint is engaged to be married to to him. A knowledge of man was, as he young
Heriot. They were in an awful rightly imagined, as useful to him as a state of mind, for the superintendent down knowledge of law, and he went a good deal here, at Heriot's request, had telegraphed into society (not amongst those peculiar to Miss Pierrepoint the news of the arrest
, classes more affected by Mr. Barnstaple), and the ground of the accusation. Their where his strange experiences and con- first thought was to send for Doctor Asprey, versational powers rendered him a great who seems to be a kind of ami de la favourite.
maison at Mrs. Entwistle's, and his first Such was Mr. Leopold Moss. He rose thought, after comforting the women, was from his chair as the rector entered the to hurry back and secure me. I returned room, and returning his host's salutation with him to Mrs. Entwistle's, and we sat commenced by saying:
talking long into the night. In the course “You are doubtless surprised to see me, of the conversation I learned that you had Mr. Drage, not having had any intimation at one time warmly befriended Miss Rose of my coming. The fact is, I have come Pierrepoint and her sister, Mrs.—Mrs. down here about that bad business that Pickering," he said, referring to some happened last night, and have called upon notes, “ who was housekeeper to the late you to ask for certain information and Sir Geoffry; and I determined upon coming advice on behalf of my client Mr Heriot.” down by the first train, which left Padding
“Your client Mr. Heriot ?” exclaimed ton at six o'clock, and seeing you before the rector, in surprise. “Why, Mr. Moss, I took any further steps in the matter. I understood that your firm was instructed And now if you will please tell me, as to get up the case for the prosecution.” succinctly as you can, all the facts of which
" It was rather a complicated matter,” you are in possession, but not stating ang said Mr. Moss. “Mr. Drew, of this place, impressions which you may have formed." did telegraph up to instruct our people, but the telegram did not arrive until late
The Back Numbers of the PRESENT SERIES of in the evening, long after business hours,
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CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS, How was that ? By whom were you Are now in print, and may be obtained at the Omce: retained ?"
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STORY E.OUR LIVES.FROM
BY THE AUTHOR OF “HESTER'S HISTORY."
THE WICKED WOODS OF that half of his wild things had been said
before she began to guess what he was TOBEREEVIL.
"I feared I should bring my shadow with
me,” he was declaring when she caught CHAPTER XXI. THE END OF CHRISTOPHER'S the drift of his words," and I tried to keep
away, and I could not. The memory of So the little party returned home under your
me, and brought me back a cloud of gloom. As Miss Martha sat to your side. I love you as no one will down thankfully under her own roof she ever love you again. What does it matter? called herself an old fool for castle-building You pity me I know, Some day I may be and match-making, for worrying herself at glad to remember it, but now it cannot her time of life when she ought to have help me. For I have been fool enough to peace. May felt like a stranger in return- hope that I could win your entire love: ing to her home. Something bad gone out that you could save me from a curse; of her life, and something had come into that I might live and die as blest a man At, sinde she had last crossed the threshold as love ever made happy. Your pity has Lof her familiar room. But that was her twice warned me, and yet I speak to you
I own affair, and the walls must not know like this; but it is because
will never it. Paul looked pale and worn when he see me any more. I chill you with my took his place at table with them that even presence, and I am going away. I trust ing; as unlike as possible to the joyful you may be happy. I hope that Mr. Lee Paul who had sat down there on that first may love and cherishevening, now more than a month ago. Here Paul paused and panted, and looked
He had fallen back so completely under able to punish Mr. Lee if the devotion of the old shadow, that he was saying to him that unknown rival should be found faulty self as he ate his bread, that he was a man in its measure. Before he could finish his accursed, who could never expect to be sentence the parlour door was thrown open, loved. Already here was the working of and Bridget thrust herself in, with a slý his evil influence. These friends who had subdued grin upon her buxom face. gladly welcomed him had grown cold and “There's a gintleman outbye wants to constrained. A shadow had come see ye, miss. Despert anxious he is, miss, May who had been so blithe with him at the if ye plase.” first. He would take leave of her to-night, “A gentleman!” said May. With new and for the future think no more of being life dancing at her heart, with an inclihappy.
nation to laugh and to cry, with fear and The little brown parlour was full of star. delight, and a slight sense of the ridilight, when Miss Martha went out to talk calous all struggling
within her at once, she to old Nannie about the pigs. And Paul seized upon some flower-pots and began snatched the opportunity, and began to say settling them in their stand, that Bridget farewell to May.
might not see her face and the shaking of He began to say it so suddenly, she was her hands. A gentleman! Bridget's anso utterly without the key to his meaning, 'nouncement was as strange as if she had