Chapter 126319580

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Chapter NumberXX
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126319580
Full Date1897-01-23
Page Number9
Corrections0
Word Count5966
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Weekly Mercury (NSW : 1892-1931)
Trove TitleThe Gold Seekers
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THE GOLD SEEKERS.

CHAPTER XX.— (Continued.)

By the end of a week tlicrc was a small town on the bank of the creek, with a store and two whisky saloons, and the place had be come intolerable to Ivor and Beahsire, who had a log lint built for themselves some two hundred vards ut. the cully, aw.av from tho

camp. ,The majority of the adventurers had begun surface-work farther down the gully, and somo few had struck off through tho bash, ?westward. At their sudden and unexpected change of fortune, Ivor, whose mood had hitherto been sombre, now had a perpetual Bmile upon his face, a smile which threatened at a moment's notice to become a hearty and hilarious laugh. '* Beausire, on tho other hand, seemed to grow more and more serious as the certainty of wealth became more assured. He had never previously contemplated wealth as a serious possibility ; his happy-go-lucky nature had hitherto enable him to be supremely con tented if he saw tho prospects of his weather ing the morrow in a state of comparative solvency; .the knowledge that — in all pro bability within a year or two — the morrow would be well ablo to take care of itself, had a sobering effect upon him. Ivor, on the other hand, who — ever since he had made up his ? mind to go to South Africa — had had but the one object to view, was now exultant, when ? he saw the attainment of this object within measurable distance. As matters now stood, no two better pioneers could have been found. They worked like slaves themselves, and, with the assist ance of M' Alpine. managed to get a great deal of work out of their men. Duncan got drunk with singular regularity about seven o'clock on Saturday evening, and remained so all through Sunday ; but at six o'clock on Monday morning he was at his post with the Bame regularity, looking always somewhat pensive and heavy about the eyes, but still thoroughly up to his work. During the week he studiously avoided the whisky saloon, despite innumerable invitations c n all hands. Within six weeks the whole face of tho gully was changed. The white tents gleamed in the sunshine along the whole length of the banks of the little creek, and the only wooden

ouridmgs — that is to say, the store and the whisky saloons — had quito a palatial appear ance beside their humbler neighbours. Ivor wanted an iron church to be erected ; but it was premature at this early stage of tho proceedings, and the one Wesleyan mis sionary who had ventured into the camp had fled within twenty-four hours in fear of his life. Ho was heard aftorwards to say that he did not think he should be in any way surprised at what he should see if it were his misfortune to go to the lower regions, for he had had a sample at Gwynne's Creek which would take a good deal of beating. A pumping engine, a specimen house and a small crushing machine had been erected, and it was a day of intense excitement for Ivor, Beausire, and Courtonay when the crush ing machine was ready for its first load. They knew that the mine was rich, for in

tlie preliminary workings tho men had struck pockets which were almost pure gold. When the crushers began to work Ivor was compelled to leave the shed — tho excite ment was too much, for him. He went down to the mine and worked like a horso all day, and it was only in tho evening, when the men knocked off work, that ho dared to go up to the specimen house again. Beausire and Courtcnay were standing at the door as Ivor came toward them, and he saw a man give somo information to Courtenay which made that old gentleman shout with delight, spin round on one leg, and finally seize Beansiro by tho hand and shake it as though he wished to wring it off. 'What is it?' said Ivor, breathlessly, as he ran up. ' What is it ?' repeated Courtenay. ' Why, man, tho reef is a perfect phenomenon. Thirty two ounces to the' ton at the first crushing, and we purposely didn't take the richest quartz, so that wo might not be disappointed 'by knowing the best at once. It's magnifi cent !'& and the old man rubbed his hands to gether and chuckled with delight. ' That's pretty good, I suppose,' said Beau sire. _ ' Pretty good !' shouted Courtenay. ' Ex cuse my saying so, but you must be a fool ; it is magnificent beyond my wildest dreams. One of the cheapest mines to work in tho country, too. Everything to hand— water, wood, labour, everything we can want. In five years' time, if this reef goes on as well as it promises and I think itwill — why, I wouldn't call the queen my cousin, and I can't say more than that.' ' Ah !' sighed Ivor, gratefully. After his pent-up excitement of tho day, lie had no words for the thorough realization of his hopes.

' If you havo any ancestral acres to bay back which you hanker for, you can make up your mind that they' will bo yours. What ; about you now, Beausire ? .The son of a peer don t come out to Australia to rock a '?old | cradle if matters are all right at homo.' ° ? lhat s tlio worst of it,' said Beausire, with I a lon£ f«co. ' If I go home a rich and ' re | spectablo_man, they will turn mo out as a iraua. You see, Mr. Courtenay, it was my | mission in life to go to tho devil, but I am | T0^ afraid that with the liolp of old 1 (f. h(f°- t110 °1-1 gentleman will bo choated jg| of Jus due. I Courtenay laughed, as he said : 1| w, nre frank enough about it, anyhow. If - w,V ° you think abont it, Gwynne ?' M *'lat wo had bettor not count our chick W cn® before they arc hatched.' '?\r,nv D«ni01 Como to Figment,' said Court ? are right; but if my ' I'ono ofV8 anything that reof there is :r4££$2S3&-* «? L. . :

' ' I sincerely hope it may be,' muttered Ivor. In three months from the start Ivor rode into Vaughan with twelve hundred pounds' worth of gold, to be exchanged for an account at tho bank in the name of tho firm for that amount. Men givo their mines fanciful names, and Ivor had insisted — giving no reason whatever — that this mine should bo called ' The Rose of Glanwythian' So tho 'Rose of Glanwy thian Company' it was, consisting of three partners only. By the end of six months the balance in

tneir lavour amounted to close on six uiou sand pounds. This represented clear profit, after deduct ing all wages and working expenses. Tho mine was indeed a phenomenon. But wo are anticipating somewhat. When it was practically an assured fact that the reef was going to beliavo properly and yield gold in accordance with the promises of the first crashing, Ivor determined to write to Gwen and ask her to marry him as soon as ho should bo in tho position to do so, which he put, in his own mind, at about a year from that time. Ho could not longer remain in this state of hideous uncertainty as to his fate. Tliis was when tho mine had been in work ing order for about five months, and nearly seven months since he had hoard from Gwen that her father was dead. He had written her a noto condoling with her on her ^loss, and saying that so far his efforts at goldmin ing had been attended by but very slight succoss. Now all that was changed. In his own mind he put tho date only a year ahead when he could marry on an ample competency, and with a prospect of great wealth in front of him. Little wonder that all things were coulcur de rose, and that he found opportunities to laugh at every minute of the day. What a mad fool he was not to have spoken to Gwen definitely before he started ! But at that time he hardly knew that he was in love, and the slight element of uncertainty which still existed in his mind as to her affection for him added a piquancy. to the ex citement of piling up wealth. Each successive crushing more than con

nrmeu ine promise or tne first, and even old Courtenay threatened to be thrown off his balance by the prospect which opened up be fore him. One day all three were sitting talking in the specimen-house, when old Dnnean came in, followed by a man carrying four pieces of quartz, which seemed to be quite as much as he could carry. Old Duncan threw his hat on the floor, and cried out : ' Jist look at yon. Mon, I liae seen mony's the gold mine in this country, -but no ane that has quartz like yon. Mon, I tell ye there's more gold nor quartz intill't. Here, Howard, gie's the sma' ane first. The man handed one of the pieces of quartz to Ivor, who looked at it and weighed it in his two hands, then merely laughed, and passed it on to Beausire. ' Ay, ye may weel laugh, Mr. Gwynne. It's them that win wha laugh.' Beausire weighed the nugget and whistled as he gave it to Courtenay. ' What shall we do, Ivor? I think tliat we had better offer golden statues of ourselves to be put up in the court at Trinity Hall, eh ?' As Beausire spoke, the man Howard, who had brought in the nugget, looked up quickly and said : „ ' Were you at the Hall ? I was at King's.' ' The deuce you were ?' said Beausire. ' Then how is it you are — ' Ho didn't finish his sentence, and Howard said : ' If report speaks true, in another week — before you struck this reef — you might have been in tho same position.' _ ' By gad, that's true enough !' said Beau sire, as Howard left the specimen-house. ' Is he a good. hand, Duncan?' said Ivor. ' Ay. He'll be the best we hae.' ' Then he must have a better position at once. He can't go on working side by side with those wild scoundrels down the mine?' ' Vara guid ; but ye see, sir, I am under ground manager, an' there's nae room for anither when I'm about.' ' Then ho must be manager above ground until we can find something more congenial for him. W e can make him secretary orman ager of the whole concern, with a good salary wlion we have got the place in real working order.' ° ' Vera guid, sir : but for the present ?' Hang it, man, I don t care for the present what he does. It is not likely that I am going to let a Cambridge man and a gentle

'''' '''so inrernai ruffians just because he happens to be down on his luck if I can help it. We might have been in the same position ourselves, as he very truly says but for a stroke of luck. He is to be manager above ground at treble the wages he gets now from to-day on. Do you understand ?' Ay, sir ; I understand,' said Duncan, as he went out of the house. . Courtonay came up to Ivor, and pat tin ^ him on tho back, said : ° ' Good lad— good lad ; wealth, if it comes to you, won't do you much harm. You would never make a business man, Gwynne my son, because you would let your heart tret the bettor of your head ; but I like to see it ' I am sure you wouldn't care to see an old school or college companion down on his luck without helping him, Mr. Courtenay.' 'Not if I could help it ; but somo of them are bettor left to ruin themselves tlieir own ?way, for assistance merely prolongs tlie an ony ; but this one looks tho right sort. But now, gentlemen, if you'll excuse me, as we aro all three together hero, I think we mieht have a directors' meeting. I don't know if you have heard— but of course you havo —of bushrangers being about. There seem to be three of them— all working for their own hand, too. Now, Yauglian is a small one-horse sort of place, and a man of Kelly's typo would stick up tho bank there in broad daylight. It isn't really safe to keep any considerable sum of money there.' 'I quite agree with you,' said Boausiro. I fed an unholy thirst for gold has come over me, and I should bo very sorry to lose evon one sovereign's worth of what wo cot I used to chuck it away freely enough when I hadnt got any, but now that I see the pros pect of halving a good deal, I'm becoming a regular Bkmfhnt — in thought anyway.' ' Y?ur„ explanation isn't exactly clear Beausire, said Courtonay, ' but I think I soo ££5™ dn,i°8 *'? W1'' d° w »j, i

' That yon are perfectly right. Didn't one of these fellows murder a couple of men out Chewton way a week or two ago ?'. ' Yes. They haven't been round this way for about twenty years ; but directly there is a new rush, bushrangers are on tho track as sure as the day.' ' What do you suggest, then, Courtenay r' ' That you should wait till the next crush ing, tako in all tho gold, and ask them to transfer our deposit to tho bank in Castle maine, and say that wc only intend to keep a current account for working expenses with them.' ' I suppose they won't mind ?' ' Nor. a rap. It's only a branch of £hq Castlemaiae Bank, after all.' ' And, under these circumstances, I think I had bottor go in oftcnor with the gold. It doesn't do to have too much of it knocking about hero.' ' Quito right. Come on. They're knock ing off for the night. Let's go up to tho house and have somo food. I'm as hungry as a hawk.'

CHAPTER XXI. A SURMISE. Life at Gwynne's Creek was hardly ideal. ' If a community consists of the scum of the earth, leavened by a few broken down gentle men, who by habit havo fallen into tho ways of their associates, it is scarcely likely that that community will behave itself as well, even, as the inhabitants of the Mile End Road. Gwynne's Creek rarely settled itself down finally to rest till about three in the morning. From nine o'clock, when the first batch of drunkards reeled out of the whisky saloon and sang themselves to sleep in their tents or in the gutter until twelve, when the last batch inarticulately swore eternal friendship at the pitch of their voices, sleep was imposs ible for the small residuum which was not drunk. After midnight tho silence was broken at intervals by the sounds of violent quarrels which ended usually with the thud of blows, followed by ominous silencc again. Now and then the report of a pistol rang out and then there would be groans and the hurrying to and fro of busy feet. In a newly formed mining camp justice does not follow inexorably on crime, and it is as well for all to be afflicted with tempo rary blindness and deafness in certain crises. Once only had Ivor and Beausire felt bound to interfere. Shortly after the first crushing two women strayed into the camp. They were treated with the utmost respect by the entire community, but like the rest of their

sex, they were not averse to admiration. They took up their quarters at the whisky saloon, as being tho only place in the camp which might pass for an hotel. They appar ently strolled into the camp merely to see life, and to do it as cheaply as possible. They were not well dressed nor were their garments innocent of rents. They brought no luggage, this being an inconvenient luxury in that part of the world. On the first night of their arrival the be haviour of the men was most exemplary. Every one was sober, and they all addressed the women in the most deferential manner. They all took off their hats to them, and one and all fell in love with one or both of them. Some of the men had wives, or had had in tho for gotten past, but that was no impediment to ii... ? x: ? e ? 4-1 ? ? n„ -u.„

second night, the quarrels in the street — if street it could bo called — where innumerable, and the sound of blows and of cursing was almost continuous for a couple of hours. On the third night pistol shots were so frequent that one would have thought a skirmish with an enemy was in progress. On the following day three of Ivor's ' hands' were incapaci tated, and two had disappeared, nor, indeed, were they ever heard of again, though two suspicions-looking mounds which Ivor dis covered in the bush might have told a tale. On that day Courtenay had come down from Castlemaine, and Ivor and Beausire had laid the matter before him. ' Women in the camp ? Where are they ?' he asked. ' They are lodging in tho whisky saloon.' Courtenay did not say another word, but walked down to the whisky saloon, and in half an hour he came out, followed by the women, who took tho road toward Vaughan, and were never seen again. ' We can't afford to havo women knocking about here until this township comes under somebody's jurisdiction and the law of the land is in force.' He said nothing more, and Ivor and Beau sire never know what arguments Courtenay had used to induce the woman to go away. They had not access to his bank-book. Ivor was thinking over the lawlessness of this strange herd of men as he rode slowly in to Vaughan on tlie morning after the con versation recorded in the last chapter. There are times when one can offer no explanation whatever to account for the turn of fortune's wheel. That fickle lady does not smile on the deserving to the detriment of the unde serving', or Dice versa.. She is apparently en tirely irresponsible, and makes the most of her privileges. If every thiug in the world were certain to result exactly in accordance with the laws o£. cause and effect, life would bo no longer worth living. It is well that there aro limitatipns to discoveries of science. It is tho element of uncertainty in every action of our lives which supplies the necessary incentive to live. Ivor could not help thinking that it was by no merit of his own that he did not occupy tho same position as did this lawless crew, over whom he found himself placed. Another day or two spent in fruitless searching for that which ho had now spent in abundance would have placed him in their position. Would he have sunk to their level ? That was tho question which he asked himself as ho rode along. Tliore were, perhaps, a dozen mon working for him who had been brought up in luxury among sweet women, and tender loving sisters; who had boon to public schools, somo to Oxford or Cambridge-— men who had had all tho possible advantages of bringing up, and, with one exception, they had lapsed into the condition of: mere anitnals. It is impossible to imagine oneself iu a totally different sphere of life. Outside influence is so often too strong for tho bias of character ; it is so easy to glide down hill. ' It waa in thinking thus that Ivor camo to the conclusion that a cortain responsibility with regard to tlieso men was laid upon him. If chance had put him in tho position in which ho now found himself, it was his obvious duty to interest himself in tho men's wolfaro. Hero was a duty even more pressing than tho necessity for acquiring sufficient wealth to enable him to marry Gwen. . He shook up his horso rmd cantcrod along into Vaughan, b ?

[ He was received obsequiously at tho bank, i All the clerks know that this was Gwynne j of Gwynne's Creek, who was going to be a ' millionaire before many .years were over, and oven bank clerks havo respect for an actual or a prospective millionaire. ' Is tho manager in ?' ' Yes, sir ; tho manager is in.' ' Would you bo good euougli to ask him if he will sec mo P' In an instant tlie clerk came back to say that the manager was disengaged, and would be delighted to see Mr Gwynne. ' Glad to sec you, Mr. Gwynne. I hopo tho mine is going on well.' ' There is nothing wrong with tlie mine ; but I came to speak to you about something which has rcfcrence to it.' ' You havo my attention, Mr. Gwynne.' ' Courtonay was saying yesterday that he thought that as there was a good many bash rangers about, it was not very safo to keep any considerable sum of money in the bank here, and that we had better removo our de posit to Castlemaine, and retain only a small current account here for working expenses. I suppose it doesn't matter to you in any way, being a branch from Csstlemaino ?' ' Not in the least — in fact, what you pro poso is very Aviso. It i3 twenty years since there wero any bushrangers about here, but now I have heard of at any rate three separate men. Whether they are working in company or not I don't know, but I for/ one shall be glad to know that my responsibility in case of being ' stuck up' is lessened.' 'Very well, then; I should be glad if you would transfer our deposit as soon as poss ible to Castlemaine.' ' Certainly ' said the manager, in a doubt ful tone of voice. 'You have brought in your last crushing, I suppose, Mr. Gwynne?' ' No, we don't crush again till Tuesday ; after thftt wo aro going to* crush oftener, as we don't want to stuff to be lying about longer than necessary.' 'Very wise, very wise. Then I suppose that I shall transfer your deposit after next Thursday ?' ' No, now, if you please, as soon as you possibly can.' The banker looked anxiously at Ivor as he said : ' But you have no deposit at present, Mr. Gwynne.' ' What ?' roared Ivor, as he bounded off his chair. ' There are between six and seven thousand pounds in your hands, sir !' ' Excuse me, Mr. Gwynne, there is nothing at all ; you drew tlie whole of that sum, as you know perfectly well, last Monday.' Ivor stared at the manager in a stupid way, hardly knowing whether to denounce him as a liar and a thief, or to knock him down out of hand. He did neither ; he merely said in n Quiet voice :

' If this is a joke, sir, it is a very stupid one. I have not been within five miles of Vaughan since last Monday week.' The manager shrugged his shoulders. He was convinced that Ivor was lying, and yet ho had always regarded him hitherto as a man of the highest personal character. ' And yet you drew more than six thous and pounds here in this very room in my presence last Monday.' . - Ivor stared at him in dumb amazement'. ' Let me recall the circumstances. You ' came in here about eleven o'clock last Monday morning, dressed very much as you are now, and said that you — that is, the firm — had de cided to buy new machinery at once, and that you were going up to Melbourne on the after noon train to purchase the machinery ; that, as you wanted the machinery at once, and as you were not known in Melbourne, you had determined to pay cash for it, and that you would draw the whole of your deposit for that purpose. I thought it rather a quixotic proceeding, as Courtenay's name is good enough in most places ; but as I knew you, I didn't think any more about it. You took the money in notes and a little loose gold, and signed a receipt for it.' Ivor, who during this recital was trying to remember what he had actually dono on Mon day, now said, in a hoarse voice : . ' May I see that receipt ?' ' Certainly.' The manager rang tho bell and gave some instructions to a c.lork, who returned almost immediately. ' Thank you. That will do,' said the mana ger, and the clerk left the room. VV i+.li Ilia lin.nrln 'nrnssprl fin-nlir rlmtm nn a«o.

half of tho paper, tho manager pointed to the receipt as it lay on his desk. Ivor scanned it carefully, and then, with a sort of groan, he muttered : ' Oh, Heaven ! It's Lowe !' ' I beg your pardon ?' ' That signature is a forgery.' ' You mean that you have forged your own name ?' ' No, no, man ; I didn't mean that. What was the man like who signed this ?' ' Really, Mr. Gwynne, I don't know if you mean to insult me or not. You must know that you signed it yourself.' Ivor, with a weary sigh, sank into a chair. ' Excuse me,' ho said after a time. ' lam rather upsot. I did not sign that receipt, but a man so like mo signed it that you are quite justified in your mistake. The man who signed that is a Jew called. Lowe, who I thought must havo been hanged long ago. I was imprisoned at Kimberley and only just escaped hanging by a liair's-breadtli for a murder which he committed. Beausire Ifnows the story only too well.' The manager, now knowing that the re sponsibility lay with him, apologized to Ivor, who interrupted him by saying : 'It is I who owe you an apology. It cannot be helped. If 1' had thought that that scoun drel had not got his deserts long ago, I should possibly havo mentioned his existence to you. I thought ho was dead,' 'We had better avoid any mistake in the future, at any rato, Mr. Gwynne. Yoir havo always signed for the firm so far. Hadn't you better alter yonr signature, or sign tho full namo of tho firm, instead of having this stamp. I have all your threo signatures separately, but no signature for tho firm.' 'Yes, it was foolish to put all this part of tho business in my hands.' ' It was a very bold stroke on that man Lowe's part. You might havo cliangcd your signaturo. How did lie know it.' ' I don't know. Wo were rather intimato on the steamor on the way out fromEngland, and I daro say ho got hold of my signature. Ho is as cunning aa Satan.' ' It -is a very unpleasant business. Am I to understand, Mr. Gwynno, that I am exoner ated from blame.' c- A « e ? t ? ? _ . i . . .

xib iiu- as j. um concorneci, most corrainly. I suppose that he must have guessed that I had grown my beard. Hang the man! This is tho second time he has come across my path. It trill bo iU for him if he risks a third, I oxpecfc

ho is one of that bushranging gang, and may havo seen mo over and over again without my knowing it. It is lucky for you, sir, that you mado no bones about paying over that money. Ho could have shot you in your tracks if you had refused ; he is as desperate a ruffian' as steps tho earth.' ' I don't think that such a mistako will/ occur again, Mr. Gwynne.' _ ' No, ho is not likely to attompt tho same game twico ; but I shall be surprised if we don't hear of him cigain. By the way, you might got somo of these notes stopped yet.' ' Yes, I shall givo instructions at once. I am more troubled than I can express over this business, though I must confess that I don't see how it could havo been helped.' ' Don't worry about it. It is a great mis fortune ; but it was nobody's fault.' As Ivor rode back to the camp it suddenly struck him that Courtenay had asked him, somo months before, if he had not seoii him in Castlemaine, and ho had answered quito simply that he had not boon in Castlemaine. Courtenay must have seen Lowe. Ivor cursed himself for a fool ; but he really thought that Lowe must have long since gone to liis ac count. ; * It was not pleasant news that Ivor had to tell his partners, but tlioy received it with tho utmost equanimity. Courtenay patted him on the back, and said : ? ' Never mind, Gwynno, old man. I dare say it was good for us. Perhaps we were getting too greedy. Wo shall' make all that up, and more, in two or threo months. There is no mistako about the Rose of Glanwythian.' ' I suppose we shall,' said Ivor as he rose to go to bed. ' But what annoys me is that that infernal ruffian Lowe is abroad still, and that I am so exactly like the scoundrel.'

CHAPTER XXli. Or.D DUNCAN GOES TO IIIS ACCOUNT. Despite that Ivor knew in his own min,d that success was assured in the end, this delay was very galling to him. Ho had hoped to be able to go home and claim Gwen as his bride by the end of a year, and now they had to start again. He seemed always to be start ing again ; it was nearly two years since he had left England, and now ho was only start ing. This continual delay was heartbreaking. He chafed against it, and became fretful and short-tempered with the men — so different from the Ivor of six months before, who had a laugh for every one and everything. How ho cursed that villain Lowe, who had twice come across his path, and both times had temporarily ruined him. It was hardly likely that he would daro to show his face again in a place where he had- brought off al ready one successful coujp. And yet ho was, as Ivor had said to the bank manager — ' a desperate ruffian.' Ivor almost wished that he might meet him face to face. He had a long account to square with him, and he would prefer to settle it in person rather than allow it to bo settled by the law of the land.

He sighed as he thought that there was very little chance of his ever seeing him again. With six thousands pounds,, supposing that he had managed to get all the notes cashed, he ought to be satisfied for sometime to come. Ivor could not understand how he escaped from Africa, seeing that he was surrounded by a cordon of watchful detectives only toe eager to bring him to justice. No, he must give up all hopes of personal revenge, and allow matters to run their natural course. Lowe was probably on his way to Europe to spend the money which belonged to his victim. However, a career of crime can not last forever, and there was enough against Lowe, should he ever bo caught, to hang him ten times over. Ivor had to content himself with these re flections on that point, but thore was another matter which no amount of reflecting could alter. Gwen had not answered the letter he had written her six months before. He had written again after four months had gone by. He little knew that what he meant to be an acknowledgement of his affection, appeared to the reader cold and commonplace diffi dence. . Ho was a poor lover at best. Women, even in these dull, unromantic days, likejiheir lovers to be ardent. Gwen knew that Ivor was not indifferent to her, and yet he could write in this way. She began to bo impati ent with him, and finally decided upon a course of action which at least had the effect of making him thoroughly miserable for a long time, and which made him swear by all that he would remain a bachelor for the rost of his life. This determination, however,

m u, ..uy m wmun ne least expected, as we shall see. ? In the meantime he was thinking that in three or four weeks at the most he must hear from her in answer to his second letter, which he prided himself would bring matters to a crisis and cloar away any possible mis understanding there may have been. In the meanwhile he worked like a man PQSsessed. Old Duncan was far from woll, and on several occasions lately had been un able to attend to his work, and Ivor insisted on doing tlio work himself. Beausire and Courtonay wero not in tho least degree cast down by the loss of tho six thousand pounds. What was a mere bagatelle like that in com parison with tho millions which thoy were go ing to make ? They constantly rallied Ivor on his taci turnity, and assured him that as tar as. they wero concerned, thoy would just as soon'liave lost the money as have it. ' But Ivor was not to bo comforted. He blamed himself, in a foolish, way, for having been born like such a detostablo villain as Lowe, and then, besides, neither Beausire nor Courtenay wore in love, and tliat made all tlio differenco in tho world. The weeks wore on, and still no news camo from Gwen. Ivor became moroso, and even Beausire, who was prepared to do anything for him or accept anything from him, confided to Courtenay that ' Ivor was deuced hard to get on with these days. I have never seen a man change so much in my life. Ishall havo to go and find amusement elsewhoro.' Beausire, finding that Ivor was rarely now in a mood for talking, or, in fact, for doing anything at all save work like a horso and smolce a great deal moro than was good for him, wont on two or throo occasions into

oastiemamo irom baturday to Monday. At first he camo back looking very much bored, and asseverating that nothing in tho world would induce him ever to put his nose inside the place again except on business. ? ? ( To he continued) .