Chapter 1288730

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1288730
Full Date1867-11-23
Page Number2
Corrections64
Word Count11546
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2018-03-05
Newspaper TitleThe Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)
Trove TitleRachel's Folly
article text

RACHEL'S FOLLY.

CHAPTER I.

RACHEL'S LOVERS.

THE sun was setting, shedding a blase of yellow light over the great tossing sea, over tho little village of Eastend, and over the brown cliffs running for many a mile along the sea-shore on either side of the village.

On the beaoh were groups of children playing, of girls talking and laughing together, and of men, who -some smoking, some sleeping among the boats and fishing-smacks drawn up above the tide-mark -were enjoying their day of rest

after their own fashion.

There was no afternoon service at Eastend, so the villagers always turned out to talk and pass their Sunday afternoon socially on the shore. They were a quiet sot of people -orderly, sober, industrious, regular in their attendance at churoh, hard-working, and, on the whole, pros-

perous.

Of course, when I say this, I do not mean that they were remarkably good, or better than their neighbors, but that there were few openly vicious characters among them -few cases of disorderly conduct; and the work that was

ready for their hands to do, they did willingly

and well.

Some of them were fishermen; but most of them were employed in a large building stand- ing a little away from tho village -a rope manufactory belonging to the squire of the

place.

This gontleman was tho brother of the clergy- man; and perhaps it was owing to the intorosfc they both took ia thoir people, and to the caro tbey bestowed on them, that the villagers of Eastend were such an orderly respectable set.

That particular evening of which I am writing, you might have seen among the group of girls sauntering about one so remarkable for her fresh beauty, that it was almost impossi-

ble not to notice her.

She was taller than any of her companions, and so finely mode that her badly-fitting print dress might disfigure but could not hide the perfect grace of her form. Thick gold-brown hair was coiled in masses round her head, and combed carefully away from the sweetest face that you could wish to see ; a face which, with its blue eyes and rosy lips, its dimples and its smiles, looked more like one you would expect to see in a painter's study than among a group

of fisher girls.

If you had watched her, you would have seen that amongst tho whole set of men, women, and children, she seemed singled out for kind words and kind smiles. As she sat there loung- ing against a fishing-boat, now one and then the other came to chat a moment ; and more than once some little child would leave its play to climb upon her lap and throw its arms round her neck, whilst the girls of her own age clustered round her, some sitting on the pebbly beach, some lounging about the boats, like bees round their queen.

A happier scene than Eastend beach could not be found ; and it was no wonder that the girls saw with regret the great sun sink beneath the waves, and heard the village clock chime

six.

In ten minutes after the first stroke the beach was clear, and the village street was crowded with people going to church.

I am wrong when I say tho beach was clear ; behind the black boats there was still one figure lingering-it was the beautiful fisher girl, Rachel Kently.

She had let them all go one after another, finding some excuse to linger behind ; and now as the beach was deserted by all but herself, she looked anxiously around her. " I wonder what they'll say when they miss me," she muttered to herself, as she began playing nervously with tho pebbles. " And father too ! poor father !"

Then she crept a little further in among the fishing craft and laid down her beautiful head on the bear ground, that she might be quite hidden from the view of any one on the road above. The light faded, one or two stars came out, and still Rachel lay quietly under the sha- dow of the boats, only raising her head from her hard pillow to cast now and then an anxious glance at the sea.

At length the sound of a keel among the shingles broke the evening stillness;, and then she looked up and called out clearly but gently, and without moving from hor hiding-place, " Under the big boat, Mr. Sapping." At the sound of her voice a tall young man, dressed like a gontloman, jumped from the little skiff, drew it up as high on the shore as he could, and then he too crept among the vessels on the

strand and was lost to view.

There was a long pier at the end of the village of Eastend ; a long wooden pier stretching half a mile, they said, into the sea ; and at the little round-house at its foremost end lived a man of about thirty years of age, and of a character that, in his way, made him as remarkable as Rachel Kently among the Eastenders.

He had been a sailor in early youth, and was such a desperate, daring character, that when he left the service no one regretted it. At the same time he was a clever follow-brave, and, in the service of a friend, capable of kind deeds, and even generous ones.

He lived a solitary life in tho round-house, and passed his time easily enough in putting up the signal-lights and performing other duties in connection with the steamers constantly touch- ing at the pier.

It was supposed that Tom Harding, or, as was more usually called, " Big Tom" on account of his great size, was rich. His smoll house was comfortably furnished ; he was always well dressed, and he never seemed to deny himself any pleasure or comfort on account of money. You may be sure, therefore, that there was many a girl in Eastend who smiled pleasantly on Big Tom, in spito of his reputation for fero- city; and many a mother who thought that little round house might make a very cosy home for her daughter, in spite of its being exposed to

wind and weather.

Big Tom said he wanted no wife. He de- clared that he hated women; and he never could be persuaded to go to any of the village gatherings, till one day Raechel Kently happened to come to the end of the pier to meet her father. Then Tom's conduct suddenly altered. He began to make a habit or sauntering down to the North Star Inn, near were Sam Kently

lived, every evening.

Sometimes he saw only Sam ; but sometimes Rachel would come to bring her father some message or fetch him home, and then Big Tom would walk a little way with her, and go home

very happy.

By degrees he grew bolder. He took to call- ing on Sem at his queer old boat-house ; and at length he absolutely went to church in the evening with the father and daughtir.

Meanwhile it was remarked that he was al- ways buying something or other to make that comfortable little house at the end of the pier more comfortable still ; he had it painted freshly too,' rather gaily, and made more weather tlght.

Altogether things looked very much as if Big Tom was thinking of taking home a wife, and that that wife was to be Rachel Kently. Still, whenever the neighbors joked the girl about him, and asked her when she was going to be mistress of the round-house, she only laughed it off, or blushed, and said she was too young for Big Tom's wife, and too timid to live in such an out-of-the-way place as the end of the long pier was.

The truth was, Big Tom had never yet asked her to marry him, and Rachel was not at all

anxious that he should.

Sho was a timid girl, and it frightened her to think of marrying the fierce-looking enormous man, in spite of his soft manner to her : she had heard a great deal of his former life ; she had heard him swear too ; and once, never to be forgotten, she had seen him in one of his terrible fits of passion ; and the idea of going to live alone with such a man alarmed her. But she kept all these thoughts to herself. She knew her father would be only too glad to have Tom Harding as a son-in-law: and from her babyhood she had been accustomed to give way

to his will.

So she walked with Tom, listened to him, smiled at him, and allowed him to buy her little ornaments and deck her hair clumsily with the flowers he brought every day ; and yet at night she would kneel down and pray humbly that she might never be his wife.

CHAPTER II.

BIG TOM TO THE RESCUE.

ON that particular evening of which I am writing, Tom Harding had gone into church as usual, expecting to find Sam Kently and his daughter in their accustomed places. To his surprise, the old man came hobbling in a few

minutes later alone.

Sam himself seemed astonished not to see his daughter anywhere about. He looked around anxiously, and then sat down, evidently expect- ing her soon to appear ; for every time the door opened he turned to seo who came in.

But the prayers and lessons were over, and no Rachel ; the last hymn was sung, and still

no Rachel.

Big Tom's patience was at an end. He stoopod quietly for his hat whilst the congregation were kneeling over the prayer before the sermon, and when people rose up from their knees his place was empty. He did not quite know what he feared, or why he should find anything to be anxious about, in Rachel's absence. Still his heart misgave him that there was something wrong in it.

It was very quiet out of doors. One or two sailors lounging before the North Star, and one or two old women sitting at thoir cottage-doors, were the only human beings visible.

Tom felt glad that it was dusk. He could pass them more easily without being forced to stop and talk. And he didn't want to talk and

tell them he had come out of church because Rachel Kently was not there. However, one of them stood just in his path, and he couldn't help

himself.

'"Holloa, Harding ; why, you are out early, mate," exclaimed the man, puffing out a cloud of smoke. " Where are you steering to now ?"

Tom walked on a pace or two.

" 0, ahead," he answered, pointing seaward in the direction of the pier.

"Wind's rising ; sing you a few sea-songs to- night, I'm thinking," said the other. And then, as Tom moved on again, grunting assent, he called after him : " I say, mate, if you fall in willi young Mr. Sapping, just shout to him to stick to the land to-night."

" Mr. Sapping !" answered Big Tom, stopping short. " Is he in these parts ?"

" Down somewhere yondor. I saw him sail- ing alongside o' the pier an hour ago in that bit o' a skiff; and now she's lying nigh the boats on the beach. Hail him as you pass, mate."

Big Tom turned round slowly, and looked eagerly in tho direction pointed out to him.

"Ay, ay," he said gruffly, moving off; and then he muttered still more gruffly to himself : " And what does he want o' these parts ?"

He had a suspicion-a suspicion that mado

his fierce face look fiercer than ever-as he

walked along tho quiet dusky road in the direc- tion of Sam Kently's home.

Sam's dwelling-place was an odd mixture of boat and hut. The front looked as if it was made of a black barge, planked in and sot up endways ; and the back was a kind of hut, well tarred to make it waterproof. It was not so un- comfortable within as you might have supposed. Rachel's natty fingers had beautified it in various ways ; and the large arm-chair draw n close up to the little fire-place, with the supper- table already laid beside it, looked very inviting, as Tom gently pushed open the door and peeped

in.

"Rachel," he called; "Rachel, are you there?" And then, no one answering, he

walked in.

'Tom's eyes were sharp, and perhaps that night anxiety made them sharper. As he looked round, he noticed that Rachel's bonnet, usually hanging against the wall, was gone, and that the supper-table had only one knife and fork on it, only one plate. Sam's pipe was lying on the mantel-shelf ready filled, and beside it stood the black bottle from which Sam took his dram be-

fore going to bed. Rachel's fingers had been carefully busy ; but why was all this prepared

so much earlier than usual ?

As he was pondering this, he heard stops como softly over the pebbles. The door was pushed a little ajar, and then Rachel's sweet voice said,

" In five minutes. I shall only take my cloak

and a small bundle."

" Make haste then, darling," returned another voice, which Tom recognisod as Mr. Sapping's ; " and whilst you get your things, I'll just run down and get that rope from Hempson. Be as quick as you can ; they'll be out of church in

ten minutes."

Big Tom's bronzed face turned ashy pole as he listened ; dreadful passion and fierce grief were at his heart ; but he restrained himself, and, as softiy as he could, pushed open the door of Sam's sleeping closet and crept in, as Rachel entered the front room. Through the little pane of glass that lighted the closet he could watch her movements. And he did watch, his face growing each moment more angry and fierce-looking.

Rachel went to work hastily, collecting a few things, first from one drawer and then another ; and then she made them up into a small tight packet. Sho was very pale, and breathed

quickly and hard, like one trying to keep down sobs ; but she never hesitated. Then she threw on her cloak, and tied on her bonnet ; and giv- ing one hasty glance round on the old familiar room, muttered, " God forgive me !" and went

out.

"Heartless, deceitful little jade!" Tom growled to himself ; " but"-and he swore a dreadful oath-" she shall learn Tom Harding is not to be played with or cheated by a silly girl-" " .

And then he went as softly as he could after her out of the house on to the beach. She was walking quickly in the direction of the boat ; and in the twilight he could just see her figure standing solitarily by the edge of the sea, wait- ing for the man Tom already hated as his great- est enemy on earth.

Big Tom strode like a giant over the shingle. In two minutes he had reached the skiff, run it down to the very edge of the water, and then, before Rachel was quite aware of who had come upon her, had seized her in his strong arms and

thrown her into the boat. The next moment the sail was up, and they were dancing over the waves at a rate that soon made a long distance between them and the shore

Rachel gave a long frightened cry as she saw who had discovered hwr, and then sank down in the stern of the boat and covered up hor face in

her shawl.

CnAPTER III.

TWO VOWS.

If she had been on the land, she would have screamed and cried ; but what good would it do alone on tho great sea with that fierce angry man ? She was quite in his power, out of the reach of all human aid, for no one could hear her at that distance from shore ; and, in spite of the rising wind, he was standing out to sea.

All the horrible stories of jealousy and re- venge, of jilted lovers murdering their false loves and killing themselves too, passed through her brain, and terrified her almost to madness. Sho dared not uncover her eyes and look at his fierce face ; she dared not move ; she dared not even pray ; for, after all, might not this be God's punishment on her for thinking of do serting her old father? And then the idea of dying with this sin fresh upon her, unrepented of, even unconfessed before her Saviour, made death more awful still.

The wind blow chilly over her, the boat danced and tossed about like a nutshell upon the waves, and the spray dashed over her in continual showers ; and still he kept her before the wind, flying out towards the sea at a tre- mendous speed.

Death, thought tho terrified girl, must bo very near, very, very near. And then she put her two cold hands together and tried to say the prayer her mother had taught her before she died ; but her lips would not move ; the sound of waters rushing, rushing everywhere filled her ears, and she fell down on her face, and re- membered no more.

When she woke up again to life she was lying on a soft rug before a warm fire in a queer- shaped, low-ceilinged room, The wind still seemed whistling quite close to her, and the waves dashing and plashing round her ; but for all that she felt safe. She tried to remember where she could be, and how she had got there ; and as she lifted up her head and caught sight of the figure sitting beside her, she guessed well enough.

Big Tom was beside her, with his elbows resting on his knees and his chin on his hands, and he was looking at her with his dark angry eyes. She was still in his power, and now in that solitary round-house at the end of the pior. She put up her hands to her eyes not to see him, and she cried out,

" O, Tom, Tom, don't look like that at me ! What have you brought me here for?"

" Because you shouldn't bring shame on your old father and on me," Tom answered, never taking his flerce eyes away from her face. " You know you were as good as promised to me ; and d'ye think because Mr. Sapping's a gentleman, I'm going to let him take what's

mine ?"

" I never promised to marry you," Rachel answered passionately. " I love Mr. Sapping, and go with him I will ; he will mary me ; he

vowed to heaven he would."

" Liston here, Rachol," Tom said in a low terrible voice, and grasping her arm till she could have screamed with the pain : " I, Big Tom Harding, as never made an oath he didn't keep to, swear you shall not go with Mr. Sap- ping, ay, nor marry him neither ; for unless you give me your solemn word to marry me to-mor- row, I'll lock you in here, and you shall never come out till I come to let you out with red hands, Rachel."

The girl gave a short frightened cry.

"No one can hear you, and I am master here. The boat's below : shall I go back after him ? Say the word, girl!"

She gave a frightened look up at him, and then dropped her head on to the rug with a low miserable sob. And than, whilst she lay with her face covered up from his sight, all that she had heard of his seperate character, his fierce- heartedness, kept crowding into her poor be- wildered mind. She quite believed that he would keep his oath. And then, whilst she was thinking all tills, Big Tom suddenly rose from

his chair and moved towards the door.

Rachel sprang to hor feet.

"Tom," she screamed, running across the room in great terror, and planting her back against the door, " stop ! Listen ; do what you like to me, but don't touch him. Heaven for- bid that through me he should come to harm. I will marry you ; I will be your wife. But for God's sake don't come to me with his blood up- on your bands !"

Tom drew back, looking at her all the time.

" You will marry me, and love him!" he said a little sullenly.

" If I marry you, I will be a faithful wife," she answered indignantly.

Tom went back to his chair and was silent for a moment; then suddenly he looked up at her white beautiful face again.

" Rachel," he exclaimed, " if I take you home to your father quietly, and forgot what has happened to-night, will you swear to me, after you are my wife,never to see Mr. Sapping again ?"

She hesitated a moment. Never see Mr.

Sapping again !-never ! She meant to make Tom a faithful wife ; but it seemed hard never to see that faithful, devoted Harry Sapping again.

" Well," Tom said gruffly, " are you afraid to promise that ?"

" I swear," she answered faintly,-" I swear never to see Mr. Sapping again."

And after that Tom wrapped her in his own large cloak and opened the door, and took her out on to the pier ; and then he drew her hand through his arm, and they walked silently along the half-mile of wooden way, with the waves dashing wildly below them and the wind whist- ling round them.

. . * v . . *

And that was how Tom and Rachel plighted

their troth.

CHAPTER IV.

TAKING THINGS QUIETLY.

ABOUT two miles from Eastend, or say from the sea-shore, stood a handsome house, known by the name of Eastend-place.

In the breakfast-room of this house the morn- ing following that Sunday of which I was writ- ing in the last chapter, two gentlemen and a young lady were seated at the breakfast-table.

The elder of the two gentlemen was tall, grey-haired, and grove-looking. The younger was very handsome, and you could see by his countenance of an unusually gay temper ; al- though that morning he seemed a little gloomy.

The young lady was pretty and elegantly

dressed.

" I thought you were off to London, Harry," said the elder gentleman ; " what has made you chango your mind?"

" O, I don't know," replied Mr. Harry care, lessly ; " perhaps I shall go to-night."

Just then a servant brought in a "letter and handed it to Mr. Harry. "The man from the pier brought it, sir," he Baid ; " Big Tom he's

called about here."

Mr. Harry colored a little as he took it ; but he turned pale after he had read it, and he slipped it into his pocket quickly.

"Why, what an odd-looking letter!" ox claimed his quiok-eyed cousin Lizzie. " What is it about, Harry ?"

" 0, only some fishing-tackle I was going to buy," answered Mr. Harry, not hesitating to tell an untruth now, any more than ha had last night to poor simple Rachael. But he got up from the table ; and when he was alone in the park, he road that letter over again. It began :

MR. HENRY SAPPING ,-I know of your wicked intention towards Rachael Kently. But when you have this, she will be my wife ; and I worn you it will be a bad day for you that you speak your wicked words to her again. I' have taken an oath about it, and Tom Harding never yet forgot his oath. Look to yourself, and keep out of both of our ways.

"TOM HARDING."

He was annoyed at being threatened by a man of Tom's rank ; and he was also annoyed at hearing that pretty Rachel had escaped him and was married. It put him quite out of temper for the whole of the morning ; and he wandered about the park undecided whether to go and ask Tom what he meant by threatening him, the rich Mr. Sapping's son and heir, or to go off to London and sny nothing to any one

about the affair.

After a good deal of meditation, he de- termined on the latter course ; and, in justice to young Sapping, I must say that it was not be- cause he feared oven that fierce Tom Harding. The truth was, Mr. Harry wanted his father to pay rather a large bill ; and he knew that if his " scrape," as he called it, came to Mr. Sapping's ear, he was very certain to refuse his son th\e money and put him out of form for some time.

So, whilst poor Rachel was weeping to herself, and thinking how miserable Harry must be to have lost her, and how unfaithful he must think her, Mr. Harry was reckoning up his bills, and riding in a first-class carriage to London, and trusting most devoutly his " scrape " would not get talked of in the village, and so reach his father's ear. He thought very little' about Rachel. And then in the evening he went to a ball, and met another beautiful girl, who quite drove the little fisher maiden out of his head.

CHAPTER V.

BROKEN FAITH.

QUIET Eastend was quito startlod when ono day it became kuowu that sweet Rachel Kontly was actually married to Tom Harding.

Pooplo could not beliovo it'at first; and it was only on Mr. Sapping tho clergyman assuring thora that ho himself had joinod their handB early ono morning in tho solitary littlo church, that they woro satisfied that daring 3ig Tom had not oarriod off his pretty arize by foroo.

Almost ovoryi inhabitant of Eastend found somo oxcuso to go to tho ond of tho long pior aftor that ; and thoro, suro enough, al! evos saw auothor face and figuro than Tom's flitting

about tho ourious littlo round-house.

At first it wai) rather u Bad frightened faco, and apt to hido itself behind the muslin blinds ; but as timo went on, it grow brighter and boldor, mid by degrees, whon somo old companion loitored up to the pier-head, tho door of tho round-houso would bo opened gontlv, and protty Mrs. Harding would stop out for a few minutos'

chat.

And I can assure you, in spito of its odd position, in spite of tho manner in which sho had beou forcod into boooming ita mistross, Rachel found the littlo rouud-houso a vory com

fortablo homo.

Big Tom might bo floreo to othor pooplo, but to his young wife ho was kinder ond fondor a thousand timos thou oven handsome rnorry Harry Sapping had beou.

Nothing that sho wishod or asked for did ho dony her-nothing that ho could do for hor, or causa to bo done for hor happiness, did ho neg- lect ; and though ho was a little rough and a littlo queer, Rachel could flud nothing to oom Îilain of, or to muko her really rcgrot that sho

lad been forcod to becomo his wifo.

Tom wits generous too, as mon should bo to thoir weaker wives. Ho nover alluded to Rachel's folly, nover montionod tho namo of Harry Sapping. Perhaps it was beoauso ho kept his own oaths so firmly, whothor thoy woro good or bad, that nindo him trust his wife would do the samo ; at auy roto he novor questioned hor about it. It Bpenind as if ho lind ontiroly forgotlon that dreadful Sunday night, and ns if ho had forgotten thot Buch a porson as Mr. Harry Sapping was in oxistoneo.

It was the wisest courso Tom could have pur- sued. Had ho taunted Rachel with her Bin, BIIO was still vain and foolish enough to havo upbraided him ia return for all ho had forcod hor to givo up, and which iu her heart sho still kept repining over. ,

Tho poor child had behoved Mr. Sapping faithfully whon ho promisod to marry hor ; and in ma-Tying Tom Harding sho fanciod horsolf giving up a gentleman for a husband, and a groud houso with carriage and sorvants, and fino clothos and jewels, and all the rest that hor imoginatiou pictured Mr. Sapping's wifo would

have. She nover for an instant dreamt that

instead of dopriviug hor of woalth and happi- ness, Tom had rescued hor from ein and shame.

So, at first, she took her husband's kindness . for a \> ish tr> make up to hor for what she had lost ; and though sho was a littlo sullen and sore, abo allowed horself to bo coaxed by it, till at length sha gradually beguu to Uko it, and and thon to care a littlo about that groat rough

Tom himself.

It was a long time to do al! this-a great many summer oveniugs, whon she would sit on the wooden stepa of the pior, sowing and sing- ing, or listening to the plash of the groat clear green waves below, while Tom climbed about,

hoisting the signals, or fishing, or cleaning his' boat, but always finding time to como and talk and Bit by her; a great mony autumn and winter nights, when even besido tho cozy firo the roar of the sea and tho vihistlo of tho winds would mako her glad to como and nostlo down at his feet, and bury her head in that old rug ; a great many days and nights, days and nights, till last year seemed a long while ago.

And the lovo for her huBbsnd caine on so

gradually, that I think she scoroely know her- self that it had come st all, till one day she held a little child in her weak arms, and then, as sha murmured its father's name over it, sho burst into tears, and asked God to forgive her.

To forgive her hard-heartodnoBS, I suppose ; and after that, when she was strong and about the house again, it seemed as if a new spirit was in her, she was so Whig and gentle. (

Well for her had it been if those pleasant days had continued-if Heaven lind mercifully Bporcd her further temptation ; and well OIBO had it been for her, whon sho knoltdown besido her baby s bed night and morning, if, whon sho prayed for God's blessing on thoso dear to hor,' she had prayed for strength for herself-if, whon thanking God for His goodnoBs in giving her so much love, sho had besought Him to strengthen her to deserve and preservo it faithfully.

Rachel Harding was a careful loving mother, a gentle obedient wifo ; she read her Bible, said her prayers, went regularly to church, and, as far as appearances went, was at poace with all friends and neighbors ; and if you had told her she was not a religious young woman, she would have been very much Btartled ; but it was this very self-confidence that prevented her being really religious, really zealous in the service of

her God.

* # * * * * «

It was a pleasant early June evening ; tho sunshine was still flooding land and sea, and dancing round and about tho odd little houso at the pior-head, till every pane in the small windows Bhone like burnished gold.

Down below swelled and flowed the clean

green water, flashing under the sunlight ovory now and then like diamonds, but passing under the shadow of the pier calmly and darkly. .

In the distance two or three whito sails stood out to sea, and near at hand a few dark fishing boats floated lazily on the calm gently swelling

waves.

Big Tom had gone 'down the coast on some business; and so Rachel, with her baby in her arms, was sitting on the pier-Bteps hushing it to j sleep, and watching for the signal of his return

to go in and set the supper-t&ble.

The Bunhght now and then crept in through Borne crevice in tbo wood-v.ork, and fell on hor Bweet face and brown hair, and then a prettier picture than the young mother you might have hunted Eastend for and not found.,

Thcro sho sat, now singing a low sweet song to her baby, now listoning to tho low sweet Bong of the waves, ovil thoughts as for from her as tho sky is from tho earth, whon tho UOÍBO of something rustling and plashing gently through tho wator mado her look up hurriedly, fancying perhaps hor husband had como upon hor unawares ; and sho was about to coll out, "Tom, is that you?" whon a small boat, a tiny skiff, rounded tho hoad of tho pior. A orimson color rushod into her foco ; sho know that Bkifl' well ; there was' no occasion to look down into tho faco that was gazing up at,her from under that straw hat, to find out to whom it bolongod. Hor boort beat with groat throbs undor tho baby's slooping hood.

" Your oath, Raohol!" whispered eonsclonoo ; " got up and go away into the houso ; ho will not daro to follow you thoro."

" Ho has not como to soo mo," sho muttered to horsolf ¡ " ho doos not ovon look at mo. Of courso I sha'n't speak to him."

And so tho -foolish girl hont her head ovor hor baby, and thought, as sho did not look at the tomptor, sho was doing no harm.

" Rachal !" oallod out Harry Sapping ; " how aro you, Rachol ? Suroly you will speak tomo?"

Sho did not reply, but bont hor hood lower

ovor tho ohild.

" Suroly, Raohol, you don't think I'm such a scoundrol that you aro afraid to speak to mo. Mayn't I como up ?" called out Harry Sapping again, and pushing his hat off so that sho might seo his kiud, handsomo, pleading faco.

" Don't sir," Raohol aii8worod iu a frightonod voice; "IBWOTO novor to epoak to you. Go an ay ; ploaso go away !"

"But thoro is no harm, Raohol, you silly child ; I only Want to havo a look at you, and hoar if you aro harjpy with that groat rufllan of yours. Lot mo como up ?"

Mr. Sapping put his foot on tho first stop ; but at thut momont tho largo dark sail, whioh Rachol's quiok oyo could distinguish whilst it was still a spock in tho horizon, hovo in view. Sho Btartod to hor foot. ' ' Go," sho oxclaimod ; " or it will bo dreadful for us both." And thou

she sprang up tho stops, dashod into the house, and flung horsolf panting in hor chair,

For a few minutes sho listonod, in an agony of fear aud unxioty, for tho sound of Mr. Sapp lug's dopnrturo. Tho wator splashed and ru3hod among tho wood-work, but hor well accustomed ear could oloarly distinguish that

from the motion of a boat.

" Surely Harry would not bo so mad as to

wait Tom's roturn !"

Sho clutohod tho baby till it woko and bogan to cry, in hor anxiety ; and thon n voico oallod out, " To-morrow, Rachel ; good-byo !" and thon tho woleomo doop and rogular rushing of tho waters nimounood that ho was gone.

Tom's boat was a slow Bailor, whilo Mr. Sapphic's skiff skimmod tho waves uko a sea- bird. Now that ho was oil', sho bad no fear j so sho laid tho baby on tho bod and began Betting tho suppor, and tried all tho while to look natural, and bo- glad that hor husband was so

near at hand.

But when she lookod at horsolf in tho glass, sho saw tbal sho was doadly palo ; and hor poor fingers trembled BO, that uho could soarcoly

sot tho table.

Would hor husband notice her looks ? Had ho soon Mr. Sappiug's skiff? Would ho bo ungry ? Should sho toll him ?

No ; silo trembled at tho bavo thought-BIIO

darod not. Whot would ho think of hor break-

ing her oath ? Ho would novor forgivo her novor truBt hor ngoin.

And thon sho kept murmuring, " God forgivo mo! God forgivo mo!" But it novor ontorod hor foolish, frightonod hoad to knool donn und say, "Futhor, tooch mo what to do! Help mo to do right !" ,

And so thoro sho wandered about tho room in 0 kind of giddy fear and trembling, undecided what to do, and soarcoly know ing how far BIIO had done wrong, till tho sound of TOIU'B hoovy foot ascending tho steps, and his voioo calliug hor, reoullod hor sonsos a littlo. At any rato, sho must moot him as if nothing had happonod.

Tho first glimpso of Tom's'great boardod faoo told hor ho had not soon Mr. Sapping's boat. Ho was in high good humor ; ho had mot an old sailor friend, and had dono his day's work, and was ready- for a good suppor and a quiot

pipe.

And then ho was so hungry, and busy with tho nicely-broiled steak and tho foaming beor, that ho could only find timo to praise his young ?wife's oookory as BIIO sat thoro opposito lum, protonding to cat hor suppor.

And thon (fortunately, Raohol thought) it grow dark, and sho was forced to go and put tho baby to bed ; und whon BIIO returned Tom had fallon asleep over his pipe, quito worn out with bia day's work.

It was only whon thoy woro gotting to bod that, as 'Big Tom turned to holp hor to eloso tho shuttor, ho noticed something amiss in hor usually bright face.

" What ails you, Rachol ?" ho OBkod kindly ¡ "your oyes look wild us a soared gull's¡ what aila you, my girl ?"

For an instant hor consoionco whispered, " Toll him nil, Rnchol-bo a truthful, faithful wifo !" But hor silly four como again. " Thoro's no harm done ; and I shall novor wrong him," it urged. So sho only turned away and said, " The baby hoB boon frotful, and I'm tired."

CHAPTER VI.

STORM CLOUDS.

THE next morning WOB sunny and pleasant. In spito of horsolf, as Raohol stood on tho pior heod, watching Tom prepare his boat for an othor trip down tho coast, her spirits rose. "There is no harm dono," BIIO said to horself; " and I could not holp it ; besides, I did send him away." And BO BIIO eomfortod horsolf; and then sho kiBsed hor husband, and watched him off, and tried to boliovo sho was as good a

wifo as ovor.

But sho wasn't so happy as sho had been yesterday morning. ,

And as B1)o sat sowing, whilst tho baby slopt, Bomehow BIIO didn't uko to think about Tom ; so sho thought of Harry Sapping.

What a pleasant voico ho had 1 what a hand- somo faco ! Ho was not marriod yet-und ha hod not forgotten her !

Suoh thoughts were tho moBt dangorous sho could have; nndyotsho would havo boon terribly angry had you told hor they might load to her not being a faithful wife. She trusted herself entirely.

About noon sho locked up the houso, and took her baby with her to tho village She wanted to do some shopping, and also to BOO her father. Tho truth was she was rcstloss, and found the houso lonely.

Sbo found plenty of omUBeraont in EaBtcnd ; plenty of kind words for horsolf, and admiration for tho baby ; but somehow she was not satis- fied or pleased, BO she went homo earlier than usual ; and then with trembling stops and

heart that kept telling her she was tampering with her happiness, she wont to her accustomed seat on the pier steps. What was sho going to

do?

""Nothing," sho would havo replied ; " she always eat thoro ; besidos-"

But whenover a sail came in Bight, her heart bounded and her color carno ; and sho sang no song that evening-sho was listoning much too intently. .

Poor foolish Rachel !

And the time seemed long till that skiff carno in sight ; and then sho bent over her baby, but sho did not movo away, nor even call out whon, without any word or question, Mr. Sapping fastened his boat to tho pior, and then jumped on to tho stops.

" My sweet Rachel," ho exclaimed, as ho took her hand and eat down beside her, "it seems years since wo mot; and how changed you

are!"

i " Changed !" she said in an uneasy tone. " Ah, I am older, you know ; and married life changes one."

"Idon't mean in looks," Mr. Sapping wont on ; " you aro as pretty as over, my darling ; it is to mo in your manner you aro changed. You don't caro for mo any longer, I seo."

Rachel romombered that she was a wedded j

wife- for Bho was foolish, not wicked-and answered ' gravely, " No, sir ; because I am Tom's wife now, and it would bo sinful."

Harry Sapping laughed gaily; and Rachel blushed and felt grieved, and wished herself 1 away in the round-house.

Is that oil?" asked Harry; "then you don't hate mo for myself ?" And ho again took hor hand ; and thon, as ho notiood tho wedding ring on it, ho laughed again. "My dearest littlo prudo, and how does tho ruffian uso you ?"

"Vorywoll. Ploaso, sir, don't talk of him like that," Roohol said with dignity.

",Well, I won't, if you don't Uko it. I only want to havo a littlo talk with you. ' You needn't bo afraid of mo, Rachel, or look so

crosB."

And BO thoy talkod on for half an hour, till tho sunlight, playing on tho BOO and on tho littlo houso abovo thom, began to fado. There was not much wrong in anything thoy said, or anything thoy did : thoro would havo boon no harm at all had not Rachol boon a woddod wife, and sworn nover to speak to Harry Sapping again. And when at length ho rose to go, thoy parted vory quiotly. Rachol drow book firmly from his offered kiss ; and ho for once was a littlo abashed at hor modest dignity, andprossod hor hand almost respootfully as ho got into his boat. Then ho pushed off, and sho stood watching him.

" No harm," sho whisporod to herself ovor nnd over again, as sho mountod tho pier-stops slowly and rc-outorod tho houso. "I havo Bhown him how stoady and firm I am. There is KO harm, I am sure."

And thon sho took out a small poir of ear- rings that ho had brought her, and held thom out to catch tho light ; and sha again bogan to droaui of all tho protty things whioh would hove boon hors had Harry Sapping married hor.

And theso thoughts hordenod hor oonsciouoe. Sho began to caro less about docoiving Tom, and to think ho had used her hardly in forcing her to become his honost wifo. And sho laid tho baby on hor bod, and bogan to fasten in tho now glittoring onvriugs boforo tho looking-glass, and to wonder if Mr. Sapping did roally think her as pretty as ovor.

Long as this takes to writo, it all happenod in a vory few minutos ; so fow, that whon heavy Btops coming along tho pior in the dirootion of tho land startled hor, sho quite forgot that those toll-tulo earrings woro still in hor ears, in a dreadful foar that hor husband was coming, and that Mr. Sapping's skiff must still bo in sight.

Sho caught up tho baby in an instant, aud wont into tho front room just as Tom oponod

tho door.

Hor boort throbbod with foar; but sho mauugod to toss up tho baby w ith trombling arms, and oxolaiin, "Why, Tom, how oarly you'ro homo!"

" Not earlier than yostorday," ho ropliod, in a voioe that Bounded strnngo to hor anxious car. " Isn't supper roady?"

"lu a inomont," sho said, glad to bustlo

away.

Ho had not kissod hor as usual ; ho hadn't noticed the baby ; and his oyos had a floreo light m thom, although ho spoko quiotly.

Tho youug wifo's heart sank within hor. " Somothing wrong," sho thought to horsolf, as sho began laying tho oloth. " Ho has aeon tho skiffi will ho question mo ? wliat shall I say P"

" Tho truth ; toll the truth, and all may yot bo well," whispered coiiBoionoo.

Big Tom stood loaning against tho mantol sholf, and Rachol busiod horsolf frying tho bacon bosido him. She would havo givon worlds for a kind v> ord, oven for a word on any ordinary Bubjoot. But ho took no notice of hor : ho did not ovon try to hurry hor, as ho often did whon hungry.

I am not Büro but that a singlo kiss from him in that moiuont would havo induced her to toll him tho wholo truth ¡ for all tho hard thoughts had possod away, and just thou no porson on earth Bcomod BO prooious as hor groat strong

husband.

" Aro you tired, Tom ?" sho at longth von turod to ask gontly.

" I was," ho answorod gruffly ; " but I'vo forgot all about that."

" What aro you thinking of?" she agaiu von turod to Bay in a trombling voico.

" Novor mind ; got tho suppor," ho ropliod stornly ; and thou ho went away out on tho pier.

"Holms seen Harry," sho thought to hor- solf. " What will booomo of mo ? Why didn't ho got in a rogo Uko ho used p IB any tiling-"

And thon that droadful throat of his, on tile night sho had attomptod to go away with Mr. Sapping, flashed through hor momory, and sho oould not help crying out in hor torror.

Big Tom como in immediately, and thon it was on tho tip of hor tonguo to toll him out, mid bog his forgivonoss ; but ho looked so floreo and grim, hor cow ord honrt shrank again.

" Tho bacon-fat buruod mo," sho said in oxouso. " Como to suppor, will you, Tom ?"

And then thoy both Bat opposito to oaoh other, and bogan to oat silently ; uoithor of them looking up.

In vain tho baby crowed and laughod ; uoithor fathor nor molhor had smiles to givo it. Roohol only drow it to her bosom, and triod to

nurso it.

At longth Tom lookodup, andashopushodhis plato from him, said in his gruffest tono, " Whoro havo you boon to-day, Raohol ?"

" To tho villogo," sho answorod. " I wanted to buy somo toa and sugar, and to soo fathor : fnthor's boon oiling lately, you know, Tom." Sho spoko in a low goutlo tono, vory difforont

from his.

" Has any ono boon to soo yon to-day ?" Tom

wont on.

" From tho village do you moon ?" his wifo askod, feeling Bick at heart ; not wishing to toll a lie, and not daring to toll tho truth.

" Any ono, I Boy ; any one from nnywhoro," Tom cried, thumping tho table with his great fist. " Can't you nnswor, girl P"

And then poor foolish Rachol colored up and answorod, "No ; I don't know why you aro so crosB and unkind, Tom ;" and she got up from

tho tablo and went out of tho room.

Big Tom lookod aftor hor with a puzzlod ex- pression. "I'd givo worlds to know tho truth," ho muttered ; for, by tho hoaven above me, I'd koop my oath ;" and thon ho too got up and took his pipo to Bmoko by himsolf at tho ond of tho pier.

It was tho first ovening thoy had spent apart since their morriago.

CHAPTER VII.

A l'ATAL MEETING.

WHEN Tom wont in, Ruohal was in bod, and apparently aslocp ; and early tho noxt morning Tom turnod out, and was busy with his boat ; so that husband and wifo didn't spoak to oaoh

othor until breakfast.

Rachel glanced anxiously at him as he sat down, to soo if tho fierce gloominess liad worn off at all ; but ho still looked grim ; and ho mado no remark to hor, as be was always in the habit of doing, when ho carno in.

" You won't bo away so long to-day, will you?" Bbo said, as ho rose to go out again.

"How do you know?" ho replied sharply.

Rachol colored, and said, of courso she didn't know any thing ; only sho hoped ho wouldn't bo.

Tho truth was, Harry Sapping hod told har his father, who employed Tom on theso expi ditions, intonded to go himsolf that day, and that therefore her husband would roturn about threo or four o'clock ; in consoquenco of which he (Mr. Sapping) proposed paying his visit about noon, to be sure of Tom's being absent.

Rachel followed him as usual to tho pier-stops with tho baby in her arms ; thon rather tremb- lingly sho hold up tho child to reçoive a fare- well kiss, and afterwards put up her own chook.

As sho did so the sun glittered on something half hidden in her hair, and caught hor bus band's oye, and ko put out his great fingers und took hold of those shining oarings. Alas for Rachol ! Bbo had forgotten them.

In a moment his eyes wore gleaming fiercer than over, his dark face growing livid with

anger.

" Whore did you got theso ? Who gave you thom ?" ho asked in a voico terriblo with sup- pressed passion.

Rachel's fear mado her bold for an instant.

" I've had them a long time," ehe replied in a firm voico ; " a very long timo."

Ho raised bis hand-no, ho didn't strike her to his feet, but ho pointed to the door of the house, and said in a tono that struck a cold icy fear to her heart, " That is a liol go in, and leave the houeo again if you dare !"

And ehe did not dare disobey ; and ho carno and locked tho door after her, and put the key in his pocket. ' '

I oannot dcsoribo hor thoughts or hor dread- ful fears, as she Bat for a moment palo as a oorpso on the chair into whioh sho had first dropped.

Then she got up almost frantic, and shouted for hor husband. "Como book, only come back, and I will toll you tho holy truth, as I hopo for God's pardon. Como back, como

baok !"

But in vain sho cried, in vain sho called-no voico answored hor-not a stop sounded noar ; tho dash of the wavos bolow and the Bighing of tho broozo woro tho only breaks to tho droadful

stillness.

Had Tom gono? or was ha hidden near, watching ready to pounco on Harry Sapping whon he came, like a wild beast on its proy ?

And then sho tormoutod horsolf with wonder-

ing what would happon. Would Tom keep his

droadful oath ? If he did, it would bo all her fault ; an nwful Bin would bo done on acoount of hor cownrdico and docoit. And worso, Harry's blood would bo upon hor head ; and still worso-but sho dorod not go on, sho could only hide her oyos and moan, moan till evon the noiso sho mado was droadful to hor own oar.

No thought of prayor ontorod hor hood ; sho felt as if it would bo a mockery to pray whilst a droadful wickodnoss was onaoting through hor folly. So sho sat moaning thoro, with dry parohod lips and haggard oyos, and not oven Loaring tho ory of the baby on hor lap.

How tho timo passed she know not ; it scomod ages sinoo sho had boon sitting thoro ; and yet tho clock ticking in tho corner showod only a quarter to twolvo.

. In a quartor of an hour moro Harry Sapping ought to como-what would happon then i Sho listonod intently for tho loast sound. No steamers touched at tho poor before half au hour after noon. No ono would como to tho round houso boforo thou ; and half an hour was an ago to porform a crime Sho droudod tho sound

of n bout.

But as tho clook told ton minuto» to twolvo, that sound carno-como quita close ; and thon, to her torror, sho hoard stops on tho pior-Btoirs, and n voico colling goutly, " Raohol, Enohol !"

Sho hold hor breath to liston for Bomo signs of her husband's being near, but nono carno ; and Hairy Sapping kept on calling her byname.

Thon sho took courage, and crept to tho window looking out ovor tho soa, und oponod it.

" Go awaYi" olio oallod out in a voice that sounded sharp and harsh ; " for God's sako go away ! Tom IIOB discovered us, mid ho is fear- fully angry ; your lifo ia in daugor !"

" What nonsonso, child ! Tom's not suoh a ruffian," laughod Harry. " Como out, or lot mo in ; thoro s a darling."

" For God's Bake," sho oriod again, " go, go !" And as sho spoko a dark shadow carno noross from tho othor sido of tho pior. Sho Bcroamad, and hid her oyes. O, heaven, what was to follow ? But whou sho looked nguiu tho littlo boat was dancing ovor tho wnvos at a little distance, with Hurry Sapping in it ; and thon the shadow of Tom's great figuro turnod the corner away from hor sight, und sho heard his heavy stops coming down tho pior iu tho direc-

tion of tho land.

Harry Sapping was still safo ; but Tom wns pursuing him.

Roohol soid, " Thank God !" and tho words seemed to bring somothing to horromombranoo ; and BIIO flung horsolf on hor kuoos in tho muidlo of tho floor und prayod-prayod as sho novor in all hor lifo had prayod boforo-that God would provent this sin, would holp hor to provont this

torriblo ovil.

And it Boomod to calm her. Sho put on hor bonnet und ahawl aftor that, and putting tho baby within roaoh, BIIO oponod tho wintlow and managod to orawl out, and thon, with hor ohild in hor arms, sho ran down tho pior uftor hor

husband.

A bravo rosolvo was in the young wife's heart. Slio would provont her husband from doing this sin, nt any risk, ovou if hor own lifo should havo

to bo sacrificed.

So on sho ran, only stopping at tho ond of tho pier to inquiro whioh way hor husband had

gono.

But no ono scomod to know. Tom Harding passed so ofton, that no ono mnrkod his coming and going. Sho ron on, looking wildly about ; but ovory thing was quiot and poacoful, and thoro was no sign of oithor hor husband or Mr. Sapping.

Which way should sho go? Should sho toll any ono hor groat fear, and ask for holp ?

Sho looked round, and whilst sho was hosi* fating slio noticed ,thut small skill' lying on tho boach empty.

"Ho has gone homo. Tom has followed him," she oriod almost aloud ; and thon, swift as a young fawn, in (pito of hor burdon and tho hot sunshino, sho sot off running along tho dusty road towards Eastond place.

Hoodloss of puBSors-by, or of thoir wondering looks, tho poor frightonod girl kept up hor hoadlong spoed till alio rooohod tho lodgo-gotos of tho groat place ; and thon, as BIIO burst in upon tho gato-kcopor, sho sank with a torriblo ory upon tho ground.

Fortunately tho woman know hor, and in an instant sho had taken tho baby from hor arms, and was vainly trying to understand the quos tion Rachol was sobbing out OB sho lay gOBping

on the floor.

"Tom-my. huBhandP" at longth BIIO munoged to say audibly.

" Ay, child ; ho's como and gono," answorod tho woman. " Did yo want bim P"

" Gono !" oriod tho poor wifo, springing up with now lifo ; " gono, did you say P Whoro, 0, whore? Which way ? Tell mo quiok, for tho sako of Mr. Sopping-for tho Boko of us

all."

" Why, what ÍB tho mattor? tho hoot's sont yo mad, answorod tho gatokeopor, looking with somo fright into Rachel s flushod faco. " Sit yo down quiet, Mrs. Harding, whilst I fetch Miss Lizzie ; BIIO'S outsido ;" and without waiting a roply, tho woman ran out, and in a momont almost returned with a kind, pretty-looking young lady.

" I am sorry-" sho bogan, taking Rachel's hand ; but Rachol olutohcd hold of hor hko a mad woman.

" Mr. Harry !" slio oxolaimod. " 0, Miss, toll mo whoro ho is. My husband's after him, Miss,

and there'll bo awful wickodnoss dono if ho finds

him ; and it's all my fault. Can't you holp mo, Miss ? For tho love of hoavon, holp mo I

Tho young lady turnod deadly palo. " Your husband was at tho placo bali an hour ago, inquiring for my cousin Harry. What doos ho

want with him ?"

" Ho's Bworn a droadful oath against him," Rachel almost shriokod. " Whioh way did ho go ?" and catohhig up hor baby, Bbo turnod to-

wards the door.

Mis» Sapping followed her. "I told him Harry was going to London by tho next train," she exoluimed. "Let us go to the railwaysta- tion. O hoavon! help us !"

And thon Rachel sprang off, and Lizzie fol- lowing her, away both tho girls ran, tearing ovor the fieldB and along the lanes towards the

station.

A train was on tho point of starting for Ran- ford, tho junction where all passengers from Eastend changed for London ; and thoy had only just time to got thoir tickets, and moko a hurried inquiry if Tom or Mr. Sapping hod boen

Boon about tho station.

One guard alono had noticed a tall man, whom ho thought was Tom Harding, rush in juBt in timo to catch tho train that had started about half an hour ago for Ranford ; but no one hod soon Mr. Harry Snpping, and Harry Sapping was well known to ovory person about

tho station.

Lizzie Sapping, though palo as death, was moro calm and collected than tho poor wretched young wife, and she gave orders that should Mr. Harry Sapping appear and tako a ticket for London, he should be desired to return im- mediately to Eastend-place ; and she scribbled a fow words on a piece of paper, and dosirod that it Bhould bo given to him or sent to the groat house. And then sho took her scat by Rachel, and tried to comfort her and horself with the hope that they might reach Tom before Harry left Eastend, and that, aftor all, all might yet bo well.

And poor Rachol shrank back into the corner of tho carriage, aud thought that the train would never start ; and' though hor bloodshot eyes stared about hor, Bhe was like one in a I trance, and BOW nothing. '

At length the engino began to make some signs of doparture; the great boll rang, and just thon there woro shouts-a well-known voice called out, " Ho, thero, guard ; opon the door!" and then those bloodshot eyes of Rachel's did see a figure fly past tho carriogo, and knew that it was Mr. Harry Sapping.

Tho guard clung to thoir carriage, and called in, " I couldn't help it, Miss ; he's off ; you must stop him at tho junction ;" and thon they steamed slowly out of tho Btntion, and there thoy all wero rushing into tho vory dutches of fierce Tom Harding.

It was very terrible, vory terrible to both tho women ; but Lizzio Sapping had no guilty con- science to add to her fears. Rachol s tortured

hor liko a fiend.

On thoy wont through tho green fields and lanes, with tho Bunshino pouring down on thom, and tho pleasant summer air blowing in at tho opon windows ; what a sight to look upon with thoir weary oyes !-On thoy went, nearer and nearer to what thoy darod not think of.

Post tho banks-tho Bhining rivor-the green woods-tho grazing shoop-the white cottages -tho old ohurohos-on, on, till thoro, as they strotolfod out their hoads, thoy could soo in tho distanco tho groat town of Ranford, with its largo stotiou and its complication of iron rails.

"Ranford Junction-ohango for London," rang in their oars ; and then, as tho train stopped, thoy sprang out. The moment was

come.

But Ranford was a largo placo, and many porsons got out there, not only to chango for di lieront trains, but for the placo itself; and ns tho two girls stood looking around thom thoy saw orowds of pooplo, but noithor of thoso thoy sought. Thoy hoard, howovor, from ono of the portors that Tom Harding arrived by tho pre- ceding train, and had not boon Boon to loavo tho station or to go on by nuy othor. Evidently ho intondod awaiting thoro tho arrival of Harry Sapping ; BO thoir only course was now oithor to got Harry off boforo thoy oould moot, or bo ready to provout any niisoliiof Bhould thoy soo

oaoh othor.

Miss Sopping was busy hunting for hor cousin ; and she wns just about to procuro the assisi anco of tho station-master, whoa Mr. Sapping ooma loisuroly along tho platform, look- ing about him ns indifferently us if no such porson ns Tom Harding was in existence When, howovor, ho saw his cousin's palo face, bosido tho still moro agonised ono of Rachel, ho Btartod, and carno hastily towards thom.

" Thoro is somothing torribly wrong, I fear," Miss Sopping bogan, with whito lips ; " I can- not gather from this poor girl tho wholo story, but you, Harry will probably understand it. Tom Harding is aftor you with deadly throats of vongoanoo.

" 0, Mr. Snpping," Rachol murmurod, vainly ondoavoring to Bay mora through her parched lips,-" O, Mr. Sapping, go-" but sho inter- rupted horsolf with a violant scream, as sho pointed in the opposito direction.

Climbing down tho platform, crossing tho rails, with his torriblo faco turnod towords thom, carno Big Tom Harding. On ho came, looking noithor to tho right nor to the loft ; and thon Harry Sapping, with sudden fury at tho hated sight of him, shook off his cousin's hand, and hoodless of the Bhouts of tho guards, jumped on to tho rails and wont with olenohod lists to moot him.

What thoy said no ono know-what thoy did no ono saw ; for cries of torror and shouts of dangor from all parts rang through tho station ; and a fow yards off carno thundering in the exprosB train on its dircot routo to Bourn borough,

A wild soroam-a seroam that mado itsolf

hoard for miloB and rang abovo all thoso cries and shouts-followed ; a woman's figuro flew riUhor than ran across thoso torriblo rails ; and thon carno un awful minuto, during whioh carriogo after carriogo flow by, and no oyo daro look what that dark objoot was undor tho wheels, and ovory oar still rang with a doath-shriek !

And whon it was gono, thoro stood a big whito-faood man and a woman dinging to him, and a fow yards from thom lay a crushed form and a pool of blood ! Harry Sapping WUB killed -and Rachel's daring had savod hor husband !

And aftor thnt, for days and days Raohol's lifo was a blank to hor-a blank during which that dioadful story spread through tho country, and thoro was no tonguo to tell whothor tho dead man had rosily dosorved Tom Harding's bitter hotrod, or whothor his frightful ond had overtaken him in tho commission of a boyish folly.

Tom told out tho story of his angor boldly enough ; ho avowed that ho was pursuing Mr. Sapping with tho intention of punishing him ; but no question ovor drew from him if ho really iutondcu to take tho life that had boon BO aw- fully dostroyod under his oyos.

That tho aocidont was ontirely Mr. Sapping's fault thoro woro plenty of witnesses to provo, poor wcoping Lizzio amongst thom ; and so Tom was allowed to go homo to tho miserable littlo hoUBO, whero Rachol lay raving and shouting to him to savo Harry Sapping ! And ns ho listened, though ho hotod that namo, ho could not holp wishing with a Bbuddor that his had beou tho lifo taken, and Mr. Sapping's spared.

What was lifo to him now, with that torriblo memory to haunt him, aud his trust in his young wife gono ? Aud in his despair tho floreo man hated tho light of day, and hatod to wake up to it.

But as the darkest hour is boforo tho dawn, so thoso dark days heralded a mora poacoful lifo. In his misory his heart became softened. Ono morning, by Rnohol's Bido, ho groaned forth a prayor-a prayer that for years had novor Easscd his lips ; and it brought book his boy

ood and childhood-times when his couBciouco had no heavy weights on it or blaok shadows, and, in spito of himsolf, ho laid his head on his palo wifo s pillow and burst into tears. (

And thon as reason gradually carno back to Raohol, sho murmurod in his ear hor confession of tho past, praying him so humbly to forgivo her weuk deceit, that, in his softened humor, ho dared not dony hor tho pardon ho felt ho neodod so torribly for his own life

It took months and mouths to restoro that littlo homo to its former poocefulnoss ; butpoace oame at longth, and of a more onduring kind ;

for tho husband and wifo had learnt to trust oach othor and distrust tbomsolvcs, and both of thom remembered thathaditnotbeenfor theirsin, the homo of good Mr. Sapping had not been son less, and that to God's mercy alono could thoy look for forgiveness for tho past.

NEEDLES wore first made In London hy a nogro from Spain in tho roign of Queen Mury. Ho died without imparting the seorct of his art. Tho art was recovered in 1665. Elias Growee first taught the English to make neodles, but tho art was again lost for nearly »'century, when it was again recovered by Christopher Greening, who settled at Long Oredon, in Buckinghamshire. Nocdlos aro now chiefly mado at Hedditch, in Worcestershire, Hatherage, in Derbyshire, and in andnoar Birmingham. Some years ago, 100,000,000 noodles a week

wero mado in Hedditch.

UNIVERSAL BENEVOLENCE.-The law of bo ncvolenco applies to man as man ; that is, to man irrespective of any of tho temporary rela- tions in which he may stand to us. It makes no matter whether he bo of our kindred or of anothor, a fellow-citizon or an alien, or of our religion or of another, it is enough that ho is a

man; and this ontitles bim, under the law ' of God, to all the benofits of the daw of be- nevolence 'Nay, in one Bonse, the fewer the ties that bind him to us, the more glorious is the act of goodness, becauso it is_ undor these

circumstances that wa can ohorish tho least ^' hope of roward, and tho moro evident will be the proof of our disinterestedness. It,would havo been noble in Howard to hove visited tho prisons of England alono, but it was moro noble to oxtend his inquiries to Franoe, the national

enomy of England. It would have been glon- > ours to have died a martyr to the cause of bene- volence at home, but how much more sp was it to dio in a remote province of the Russian em- pire, in o town of which the existenco would scarcely be remembored but for the fact that i it

witnessed IIÍB last deeds of mercy and guards 4 his sacred remains until the morning of the re- surrection. r k -