|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||Love Stronger than Death|
LOVE STKONGER THAN DEATH.
y ii» tho Antlior of "^TilteMars," "Tins Matrimonial
i Chatter III.
X.Î.T it bo considered that tho pursuing rufllnn was Horscmonger Jack ¡ and not only was there the innnte forocity of his nature to bo encoun- tered and dealt withal. Ho wos drunk savagely, madly, unmercifully drunk ! A state of beatitude, indeed, to which ho always con- signed himself when ho had the means; possibly to drown some horrors of guilt and remorse, oven in his hardened breast. But it usually rendered him yet moro of a wild beast of prey than ho waa by nature, and ready to devour and destroy. And it scorned the poor child had awakened his drunken ire, in conse- quence of his frightened blind wife-nt least, the woman ho lived with as such-laying the blame of her not having worked sufficiently nt her basket-weaving to procuro him somo furthor means of brutish enjoyment ho bad calculated upon on the, harmless child. Ho had refused, she said, to go out into tho cold and gather
And it was between this frenzied ruffian and his tiny victim that my wifo throw herself, with the most detormined resolution to protect tlio child from his violenco, ut whatever danger to
Most fortunately, tho millan himself was struck with a kind of panio on tho appearance of my wife, with hor coverod-up head, between him and. his prey.
Ho gavo a sort of yell of dismay, Btopped short, and lot his ruthless weapon fall.
Perhaps ho took her for an nppnrition of that other moBt injured young mother; and he con- tinued in n shako and tromblo long nftor Mrs. Diamond had lot him discern tho realities of the case, by removing her Bknwl, and addressing him in her own tones and accents-in terms, indeed, of tho severest womanly reproof and in- dignation.
But ho continued seemingly too surprised and alarmed to make any retort, beyond a few mumbled excuses against tho pcrverâoncss mid laziness of tho cursod littlo paupor. îior did he attempt any opposition when my wife, catching at tho words, intimated that, as the child was not his, ho coutd have no right to lander what she intended doing, oven if his brutality would not forfeit tho nearest right, supposing him to have possessed it. And, taking the affrighted innocent by tho hand, sho statod hot- determi- nation to tho scowling Horod of loading it home with hor, and, whatover happened olso, never allowing it to return to the custody of such a brutal taskmaster, whatover tho fellow's position with tho parish pauper infants in general might bo.
She returned, accordingly, with littlo Willy for it was no other, bo suro-tripping joyfully by her Bide, nud dancing with happiness at the assurance that ho should never bo forced back to that plnco of terror and ill-usngo any moro.
And it mny bo thought, whon I recognised tho poor littlo fellow, and honrd tlio amazing providenco described with tho most rational and a=surod calmness on tho part of tlio ndniir ablo mothor of my own dear littlo ono -when I saw my Sernpha herself toddlo out to moot us from her slumbers on tho chair, throw her tiny arms round the orphan lad's neck, and ask if " dot was hor poor littlo bruddor carno back again to us from hoaven." It moy he thought, I say, that I did not refuso tho poor thing tho Bheltor and protection my wifo demanded of her fond husband for it, even in the namo of our common humanity nloue, but also iu that of the Father of Orphans Himself.
I vowed, in fact, that I would rather fight tho burly ruffian, mau to man, however inforior I wasinthew and bulk, than suffer him lo resumo his ty rannicnl possession and cruoltios on that un- fortunate littlo carcass, which wo found covered with bruises and wounds ¡ and not only from his ferocious infliction, but tho old woman's also, miscalled tho pauper child's nurse.
In truth, tho whole family seemed to have a special spito against Willy, for I did not hear they ill-treated the other children in tho old woman's chargo in anything a Uko dogreo. And it is probablo the littlo fellow's connection with the tragical ovent which had proved the ruin of the Deverell dependents, as woll as signalised the completion of thoir worthy patron, gavo them an oxtra sort of bad feeling and relcnt lessucss towards him.
I was right in ono calculation I made in con sequence of this brutality exercised -that Horso mongcr Jock would not dare appeal against my interference to the parish authorities, and en- deavor to resume possession of his yiotim. Ho dared not challenge tho explanations I would assuredly havo publicly made, in defence of my own and my wife's conduct, if a parish ever needed any for having an orphan pauper taken off its rates.
AVo had no further trouble on the subject for some time forward ; and tho more I discovered of the loving, active disposition, lively talents, and beauty of the orphan child-which carno out wonderfully when my wife, with hor own soft bnndB had given him his first gentío wash- ing, and put him in an impossibly reduced old 8uit of my painting-room velvets, in my dandy dayB-the better pleased I was with what she
and I had done in his behalf.
There was a mysterious interest, besides, with both of üb ia connection with this child. But neither of us ever for long after, I think, again alluded to the circumstances of the visitation each believed to have experienced from the supernatural world on Iiíb account, after I had exchanged expériences with Mrs. Diamond. It
seemed too sacred and awful a fact to becomo
the subject of household gossip. And when .kouly had ascertained for herself-ns sbo speedily did-tho dreadful legend of the lnd's maternal orphanage, she seemed moro than ever averse to speak on the matter. Only she told
mo more than once
Depend upon it, George, we do not know tbe whole truth yet, nor have wo seen the end
She was right, and yet tho "end of it "was nowhere apparent at tho time, nor any Bolution °f the fearful mystery of tho Red Stable made tangible by aught that had occurred. And we w«re neither enlightened nor molested by any further intercourse with that troubled mother's spirit for a good time after.
AU seemed going on well, when the circum- stance I must next narrate occurred.
I should premise that I had had the curiosity to verify some part of Horsemonger Jack's "?«relations in our sceno together, bo far as ro- uted to the Flommock family.
I learned, from moro reliable sources, that Miss Flammock-a young lady of marked intel- ectual ability and accomplishments-remained "ntnarried to now near her twenty-ninth year,
with her father, on account of her attachment to Captain Deverell ¡ a person whoso union with her ho had disapproved to the oxtont of declar- ing his intention to disinherit her if abo corriod
During tho captain's exile of seven years, Misa Hammock had remained truo to lior early affection and engagement. But tho rascally jockey had truly stated that Sir John Flam mock's ill health rendered it likely ho would not long remain an obstacle to tho lovera' wishes j but ho was supposed to bo gradually yielding to his daughter's dovotion to a suitor whom tho most partial spoke of as unworthy in aU ro spects but personal beauty of tho noblo-minded
It was destined that I should mysolf bo con- vinced of the unalterable chnractor of this senti inout towards its undeserving object, snpposing that only true which was certainly and publicly established against the hnndsomo and ruined turf gambier of Doverell Ward.
One day, when I was busy brightening to a yet moro formidable glare tho lurid rcfloetion of tho armour of my William tho Conqueror, in iny " Battle of Hastings," with the sunset of the niemorablo day, typical of tho fortunes of Saxon England, upon it, old Claymoro carno to mo from tho house, with a statement that a lady on horsoback, but without a groom, had called there, and desired to see mo.
She had declined au offor to go into tho houso, and wait while I was sent for ; saying her busi- ness was with tho gentleman, who, sho was giron to understand, was an eminent artist, and with him alone.
I carno at once, and, as I approached the lady, rierceived vory clearly that bIio was one of distinction ¡ of a vory tall person, but with in- different features, cast in too largo and strong a mould for a woraau, and vory sallow, und darkened in tho linos, as if by effects of corrod- ing anxiety. And ovor all was spread an ex- pression of languor nnd wenriucss, whioh Boomed to havo taken from her either tho will or power to sit upright in tho snddlo.
I do not know how it was, but boforo Bhohad in tho least lot fall anything that could declare tho fact, I enid to myself, " This is Miss Ham-
Sho was, indeed, a good whilo boforo she mentioned her namo, morely stating in a com- plimentary nianiior that, having hoard of my abilities ns on artist, Bho desired exceedingly for mo to do hor the favor to paint a life-size por trait of her, oxactly as I saw her then, on horse- back, and in a riding habit.
" It ia for a person," Bho added, with » faint blush, " who is very fond of horses-most par- ticularly so, in foot-and will liko bost to seo mo in that way. Not my fathor-I am Miss Platnmock, of Flanimock Hall-but another dear friend j and as I am specially desirous to surprise him with the gift, I trust I can depond upon you, Mr. Diamond, to keep my intentions and thoir execution a Beeret until I-until wo
until I shnll uiyBolf give you lcavo to doclaro
I was intorcBted in the unhappy lady's ap- pearance, and pleased by her courtcoua manner, which seomed to ask a favor in conferring ono.
But I had a suspicion whom tho portrait was meant for, und did not like that, nor tho clan- destine stylo of proceed ing marked out. How- ever, when I politely-though coldly, I fancy oxprcsacd my acquiescence, Miss Elammock took mo at once upon my word, and Bccmed desirous
to loso no timo whatover.
" If you havo canvas to begin a sketch of me, pray let us bogin at once-to-day," sho said.
" Tho friend to whom I wish to forward the
work complains terribly how long it is since ho has seen mo, and will have it. Ho must havo some refresher for his memory oro he loarns wholly to forget mo. 1 haTO got an hour to sparo for tho purpose. My father is bettor to- day, and has gone out to visit ono of his farmB in his carriage. I am only to meet him at five, at Deverell toll-bar, where I can easily rido smartly in half an hour."
I made no objection, and assuring her that she had no occasion to dismount, or make any alteration in lier picturesque Tiding-drcss, with its black velvet hat and Bcarlot feather, but could ride into my extensivo studio, and take up a position thero for the sketch, I pointed out the way, and precodod by a few short steps to open tho Rod. Stable door wider than was, of course, necessary for my own movements in and out.
But while I was completing this arrangement, I suddenly heard a great cluttoring on the stones of the precinct, and, looking back, I perceived that Miss Elaroraoek's horso was rearing wildly, snorting, and glaring, with its largo eyes dilated to twice their proper size, boforo it. In fact, such a picture of terror and refusal in tho view of sonic torrible object that at onco struck upon me tho conviction how unapproachably naturo excels art, in the contrast of the frenzy and horror of the attitude at once assumed by this living, frighted creature, and that whioh I had so laboriously worked out upon my canvas.
And the restlessness continued to such an ox tent that, porfect horsewoman aB Bho evidently was, Miss Flammock appeared to me in no little danger of being unseated by her animal's des- perate plunges and efforts not to respond to her impulse forward into tho Red Stable. A struggle, indeed, commenced, of which I was for some time a really anxious and alarmed spec- tator, especially as the young lady's temper seemed rouBod, and Bhe applied the whip rather unsparingly to her steed's smarting flanks.
Still, without cfTecting the object. It went through every variety of manoeuvre of which a well-bred and well-trained creature of the kind is capable rather than obey. But Miss Flnm moek was equally obstinate.
" Don't bo alarmed for me, Mr. Diamond. I never knew Gentle Dick, as I call him, so per- verso before. But I must get tho better of him, or we shall never get him into the place at all ; and I can't be painted, I Biipposo, in the open air," she said, resolutely.
But, on a sudden, I noticed that she herself gave over the struggle, and Btared, with an as- tonished look, over the tossing neck and mane of
"Dear me,Mr. Diamond !" she then exclaimed, in an offended and much-Burprised accent, " what can be the meaning of such antics aB those that young woman yonder in the shadow is playing, and which are frightening the bruto from his obedience ?-the young woman in the tattered red cloak, with tbatdreadfully bloodless face, who keeps waiving us back like a mad crea- ture from the horse-box there !"
I waa struck dumb for a moment. Thon I answered, unadvisedly, perhapB, but, in my con- sternation, hardly knowing what I said
" Upon my honor, madam, thero îb no living creature within this placo with mo 5 and, if you see anything, it is the justly-irritated apparition of the unhappy female who was murdered
'At to! tho
yOB, who waB murdered, I do verily bolioro-in tho foulest and most barbarous manner possible, in this building, though pretended by tho agonoy of a bruto liko tho one you cannot force now to oross this unhallowed threshold, either by coaxing or whip."
Boforo I had well uttcrod theso words, I ro ponted thom. I saw that Miss Flainniook turned of a deadly pnlcuoss.
"You, also, then," sho said, with passionato disdain in her tonos, " sharo tho unjust sus- picions of my prejudiced father, and tho scandal of tho low, knavish wretches about hero, whom tho Dorerells havo always been obliged to cooroo roughly into some doeenoy of bohaviour, and abstaining from downright open pillage of the Crown. I am sorry I havo troublod you at all, thcroforo, but will not ropeat my orror."
Sbo drew the ruin to turn her now very will- ing atccd's heud, when I saw her put hor hand to her own in a dizzy manner, and sliuddor and bond backward in tho saddle ns if falling over. Of course, I sprang forward, and gavo what as- sistance was in my powor ¡ und, as MissElam mock still continued ill, mid complained of in- creasing giddiness, I insisted on hor going to tho houso, and alighting, to partako of some
I boliovo sho was too much confusod and stricken in lier own miud to ranko tho refusal sho otherwise might, and allowed mo to lead tho hor60, and prop hor occas onully, uutil wo reached tho gate of tho houso. By that timo, my wife, hearing aoinotbing from ouo of tho maidservants, carno out, and anxiously shared my olforts to bo of sorvico in tho restoration of my visitor to her oouiposure.
Wo prevailod upou Miss FlanimooV, but, I beliovo, rather from her own consciousness of inability to proceed than anything else, to alight mid ontcr tho houao. But tho very first uso she modo of somo return of a feeling of tho situation, under tho hillueiieo of acordinll ad- ministered, was to burst into tenrs, and mako an nppcul to tho kind, ministering follow-woman besido lier, againBt what sho declared to bo tho hardness and injustice of a strangor ngninst ono of (lie noblest, though most unfortunato and porsoeutod of mon. And hurriedly describing our Bcono at tho Maria-Martin stabling, de- manded, sobbingly, of ray wife, whether I had not made a most ungontlemanly and unlinnd sonio jest of her, protonding that a miserablo tramp girl, who, Bho supposed, waB Billing to me as a model for somo nrtistic purpose, was tho phantom of an unfortunato, whoso doplor ahlo oud had years beforo brought so muob un moritod obloquy on Coptain Deroroll aud nil
nbout him ?
Gentle as sho waa by naturo and habit, my wifo lind a good deal of firmness also. Possibly silo was not plcnsod at tho disparaging question as regarded mo. Sho answorod, thorofore, by an observation to the effect that, if Miss Flam mock had seen anything of tho kind sho men- tioned, it must havo been the spirit of nu in jurod and barbarously-maltreated young orea turo, whatever olso sho might bo, and which oould not rcBt, nor ever would, until hor cruel murder was avenged, and her child, it might bo, roinstnted in its just rights mid position.
" What child ? Whnt do you moau ? Is this a lunatic asylum, and aro you all mad people boro?" Miss Flannnook inquired, as wildly as if abo wero herBolf cnlitlod to a strnit-jacket among us, in that cubo.
But, precisely as sho put tho question, tho two children-who had been out in tho forest gathering blackberries, to amuBo themselves, and compose tho staple of a much-relished pud- ding-entered, with their arms round each other's necks, and tho little boy carrying a basketful of tho fruit, eagerly Btrolchod out for his mammy's notice, So now ho called Se rnpha'B mother his mother too!
Ho was wondorfully improved in health and appearance, beautiful child nB bo had always been. But tho moment Miss Flammock cast eycB upon him, sho sliriekod aloud
" Good heaven ! what is this ? It is Dovo
roll's very picture-his imago-with tho excep- tion of tho black eyes ! Who enn it bo ?"
" It is tho murderer's son ? I do not doubt
it now at all!" exclaimed my wife. "I am satisfied now, pleaso or displcaso whom it may, that the poor young creature-tho mother of this hapless orphan-met her barbarous fate, if not by Captain Dovoroll's contrivance, by his connivance or appointment, that lie might marry a wealthy hoiross, and repair tho fortunes his prodigality had waBted with her gold."
" If this child is that woman's infant, my father has been right all along in his hateful imputations, and Devorell is tho most savage of nssaBBins, unworthy of any human woman's re- gard !" shrieked Misa Flammock.
And, rushing forward, Bhe seized the boy with such violenco and ferocity, ob it were, of examination, that ho wrenched himself away with moro strcngtli than seomod possible in so small a frame, and fled to my wife, screaming and crying for rofugo. Sho covorod him with her arms, and Scrapha was at his side in an instant, shrieking to papa to save thom both from tho wicked lady who was trying to hurt her Willy dear. Even then she seemed not able to separate her childish destinies from the boy's.
But Miss Flammock had by this timo gained Bomo composure, though she listened with 'a species of stupefaction rather than attention to the narrative my wife now thought it proper to make of the story of little Willy, so far ob she herself or I wore aware of it ; and all the timo I saw that sho furtively, but with tho most de- vouring scrutiny, examined tho child's faeo and figure in the minutcat details.
" Except tho eyes-except tho large, black, liquid eyeB-ho ia Dovereli's exact likcnesa and copy to avery camol's hair stroke!" wo heard her murmur at last, after a considerable pause of silence had awaited her comment on tho revelations made. " Those, I suppose-the eyes-are his wretched-yes, his murdered
mistress' !-murdered to mako mo a wretched wifo ! I am convinced, if only by the dreadful vision I havo myself seen to-day j and thus I tear him from my heart and memory together !"
And she made a violent gesture, bb if heaving some heavy weight from her cheat; but at the samo moment the unhappy lady sunk in a swoon
on the floor.
When Bhe recovered from it, sho seemed, however, to recover, in some marvellous manner, the firmncBB and obstinacy of character which had hitherto supported her against her father's wishes, and, possibly, the convictions of her own powerful mind. She demanded to Bee the child again, whom my wife had-prudently, as I thought-removed from tho room j and this time behaved to it with a careBBing gentleness that speedily won upon the affectionate and I- generous nature of the little fellow.
leav prêt besi witl the
the Bu ngr
"111 havo two mnmmys, ond so shall 'Aplin'" ho exclaimed, m delight "I ought to hnvo two mammrs, to moko up for tho ono that was killed by tho wild horse ' AVhcnovor I see ker, sbo seems to smile, and say I shall, but I havo not seen hor for a long timo now Evci since now mamma nus so good to mo "
" Yts dear boy, I will be Ins Bccond mamma Yes, Ahs Diamond, you must let mo sharo youl holy deed," Miss riammock said , adding softly to hoiself, "I shall nciei be a mother now, unless to this poor oiphan hoy I will do nil I can to l cpmi tho mischief my w ealth has already wrought tho poor lad, Mis Diamond, with my wealth itself, when I hivic it ni my powei And, nias ' I fear I did not regret the coi taint) that it soon will bo so much this moin ingas I now do Poorfnthor' at whntnco't ofsonownud watchfulness hnvo you prosciud
mo from a murdoiei's nrnis' Continue tlio
mothoryou have hitherto been to linn, dmr, kind Airs Diamond God will reward you, if nothing else does I did not behevo tlio stoiy
I thought it was ns I was told- is tho villain, Hoisemonger Jack, sworo to ino , and that tho woman was an acquaintance of his own only I did not 01 on know tho pool victim's infant sur
vived, but foi his barbarous fothci, I louounoo lum foi ovoi, and now '"
Sho io«o with dignity, and looked solemnly up« aids, as sho uttored tho words, and upon my sacred truth, I did most distinctly hear at tho moment, a sound hko a long, melancholy flont of music from nu Eohan hmp fiom tho Red Stablos to my cars '
Shoitly after wai ds, Miss Flammook took hor donuituro, again on horsobaek, lofusnig all tit tondnuco, and assuring us sho was quito well ns beforo, and would spcodilv pay us and our pi elly little ones a visit again
It was tho case, I havo no doubt, that from that timo sho bioke oil all coricspotidoiice with Captain Dovoiell, and that needy unddospoiato proflignto, who imagined himself on tho point of retí loving all ho had lost, in o pecuniary souse, by tho death of his ontlnalled lioiuss' progenitor, w as foiccd to tho conclusion that
somothn g hud ocourred to make ins hopes / ab
Al tho samo timo, ho might reasonably ap pithend that his demands foi explanation novel reached Miss Flnminock-wore intercepted or | thnt tho usual cliaimol uf communication,
llorseniongcr Jack, lind at last sold linn to the futhei, in conBoquonco ol tho fuiluro of funds wluoh followed, when Misb Flaminock no longer dovotod all hci pm ato resources to his emolu
Whatoier tho ltnnulto, ho determined to re- turn to England, at ovory risk to his poisonal safety fiom his creditors, and ascertain what ho
had to fern
It was to this lesolutioul was mdobtod, I suppose, for a ^ ísit I rccoivod, just as I was putting tho last touches on my great picturo of tho " Battle of Hustings," and coiisidcimg the best means of conveying ii to London for ex- hibition at the Aendomy
It was tho nightfall of a windy, wet Milich day, in tho spring following my amvul at Doio rcll Lodgo, when two persons prcsontcd them selves, uudoi old Clnymoro's comoy, in my studio Liko Miss Flummock, they lind ufusoil to outoi the house, mid dcBiied an uitcniew with the " artist gentleman " alone But they had tho civility lo wait while tho old Boldici bioughtuio wold of then request, and I gave
ordois for then admission
Ono was a remarkably tall and elegantly mado young man-" aristocratic," as tho pliruso runs, ovon to excess, m tlioiofinomont and ginee of his nppenrnnco nnd innnnors But a mo- ment's considoialion dissipated tho first fnvoi nblo liupicssion The originally oxtromoly handsomo face wub so deeply marked by tho traces of ovil passions and dissipation-to o tlogreo, indeed, that nnoluntnrily compelled mo, in my own mind, to liken him to ono of Milton's fallon angels
Tho othei who cime with lum, nnd wIiobo odious physiognomy looked deni linn deemed m oiery sense, was Hoisomongei Jack Nor did I think his appcainnco nt all nnproicd by having changed his coarso couutiy clothes for a misfitting gloom's lnory , evideutly all second
I know Captain Deverell nt onco by his hko ness to his boy, and I did not gi\o him timo to e\plnm who ho was bofoio I pronounced tho name, with a cold expression of my wish to know what had procnicd mo tho honor-with a peculiar stress on the word-of tho visit '
Ho smiled bitterly, and folded Ins arms ovoi a cloak ho wore, ns I thought at tho time, to steady himself undei somo strong omotion And I could seo that his eyes peered forward into the gloom oier tho fatal stall of Hell Ii ro Dick, witn a fearful and yet earnestly anxious pryinguess of obsorvntion
But ho replied, with seeming sangfroid
" I am obliged to you for the expression, Mi
Diamond There aro not so many people in this part of tho country as there woro once who
deem the visit of a Doverell an honor But
you aro no sti anger, I am aware, to moBt of tho pnrtiouluiB of my unhappy fortunes Still, I confess I should fool much gratified to ascertain how you carno so readily to know mc, who am becomo, as it weic, a stranger in tho houBe of my ancestors ?"
" Trom the likeness of the boy, you know, su ' I told you nil about it, how tho painting gentleman took'd lura away from mo, and would havo it the child was yours and Miss Nora Clare's ' But it's my belief the ghost told him all about it ' ' said tho trainor, in a curiously affrighted and panic striken way , but anxious probably to get beforo mo in an ex- planation of tho moans by which I knew bo
much as I did j
"Tho ghost' Surely a man of tho world, and a man acquainted with the laws of human existence like Mr Diamond, cannot give credit to the superstitions of peasants and clod hoppers '" said Captain Deverell, smiling scorn fully
"There aro laws, I firmly behove, Mr Deie roll," I answered, " above mere material regula tions and experiences For example, smile as you will, but I conscientiously behove I have seen the spurt of the injured woman who perished so terribly m this very ínclosure ' But tho direct information I may see occasion to let you know I am in possession of, I derive from tho lips of the horrid ruffian who stands beside you '" I said, in my turn
" Me, sir '-mc, Mr Diamond ' How can you say so'" yellea the fellow, m reply.
"I thought this scoundrel was playing mo fahe I hate thought bo for a long time, but
if I once discover--"
A terrific gleam lighted in the young man's eye, and he seemed to glide from the topic,
rea« as t of i Dm
Iti toi -] anj the
] poi yo qu
eaving his threat unfinished, but evidently im- ' >resscd upon tho cowed and trembling wretch >esido him , while Captain Dovcroll continued, vith an easy gracefulness and courtCBy that for ho moment imposod upon mo also
" It is very truo, sir, that a poor, silly young ^rcituio, who had been vory deni to mo when I was a ) oung madman, nt tho outset of life, and removed freinai! good aduce and control, did leave her povcili stiiekon homo and piirontago in Ireland-would follow mo over heio, with a view to mm all my piojpects with a woman nhejso porsonal nppcniaii"c was bj no means of 11 enssuring character against the insinuations of bei rotations, who protended I only sought hor for her molloy And I do not pi ofess to a man of tho world, whom I can havo no interest to deceive-liko jouisilf, Mi Diamond-but that theio was good reason foi the suspicion But I did not wish, of coma, to fin nish pi oofs against ni)self, and, thoiefoie, I was, with much lcluctancc, dm cn to older my biniitiful miatiess to lcnvo mo at liberty to pursue mi fortune I was oven, I admit, drivcu to uttor despan mid dospoiation by tho fniluro of a means of íolicf on which I lind stakod my all But upon my honor as ii gcntlomau, I decline I tako it upon my sahution, smco j ou look so lncreduloua of that ns«oicration, Mi Diamond -I liad nothing whntcver to do with placing her in the position whole sho carno h) hor acci
dental, but truly tembló, death Whut do j ou moan, sn, by mooklin' mo with that gionnP Do j ou doubt tlio woid of a gentleman ?" ho bioko oil', m a i ago
" It was no expression eilhct of assent or an) other feeling on my pin t, Mr Dovorell," I ro plied, feolmg ni) own licait sot off boating ion fast "I tutored no sound whale!or?"
"No, sn-no, captain, ita sho at it again' You remember what 1 told )ou about hcrmak ing her nppearanco to tho child, and-and the horso to mop ' saul tho jocki), who lookod lind, and wIiobo teeth chalti rod with fear "And that's ono of tho misons whyl'io got ) ou to como mid talk to tho good gentleman hero )otiraclf, mid get linn to seo things lonson able like mid gno us lm.o to tnko (ho body up and gue it Christian burial nt list It'll lteici rest lill then depend upon it, su, oi lemo oil tormenting all concerned And )on 1 now, sir, how I liinicrinonstritid with )ott befóte I could mako up ni) mind and tuin thatdioad I ful tearing eicaturo into tho stable, villero j ou
protended lo have hidden hu out of Bight of a
| roaung company )ou oxpeeted from tho laces,
not to sliaiuo lour wifo and tho mother of yotti only child, until you could make up Ulinga to acknowledge lui and lum propeily ' But I ow ii I km wsho was thero, myownwi etched blind
creatuic that no» ia told mo it all us soon as I
cunio m, and how Bho lind Been j on lighting tho pool, fool Bore, bioken hcaitcd, but nlwii)a lov nig and faithful joimg el enturo, lo tho place And I lot tho key tall twico-and )ou picked it mid put it in my hand twico again-mid govo mo a bumper of brandy neat-before I could mako up my mind to it ' So I sa), and would befoio ull the judges and piries in the land, it whs inoio you than mc a hundred tunca (hat did it ' But I don't boliovo it, oven that that troubles lui so much, and won't lot hor lune rest, for, in com so, what bIio considoia tho lundi at miasuri) of allis to bo buried imdei u heap of cobblestones in a stable, with tho murdorous bruto that bIow'iI hor-out of tho way of tho crownci's 'quest, and Sir Tolin Flammook his inquiries to put his duughloi up
to the truth "
I saw whore this betraying accomplice wiib looking willi ull (ho might of his etony, yellow, bloodshot oyes '
"Do not concern yourself any molo on Ibis point, Mr- I have noiei hoard youi real numo , but trust to seo you hang by your truly culled nick one before I hine done willi you," I Bald, with a really uiipcrniituiul clfoit at calm- ness, while Captain Devcioll BOcmcl literal]) petrified by tho lovclation "If the boil) of that unfortunato betra)od woman is buriod undor tin stones tliore, with tho cm non you sjmk of, I will speedily do what in mo lies to quiet bel portuibed spirit by romoval to a molo hallowed giaic "
" Cowardly scouudiel ' you will nobly deserve tho tallows indeed' ' exclaimed Captain Dover oil, i allying with a grent effort " And, mean while, you have rumud yourself iib well as mo , for it is plain this man you havo lovealod all to is my cnomy, and will mako his market with Sn John Hammock with tho papers that weio buried with her ulso in tho htilo iron easket eho brought thom in, which proves that Nora Claro waa in reality in) wifo ' Hor puiontngo all that is necessary to pro/o mo-to provo mo -what would these (hsioiorioa not proio mc tiaitor? und-and )ourBclf' '
" Good sakes, sir, don t mako auch a rumpus' What does it matter now whothoi sho was your wife or not ' And don t you como prepared to make an oller that no man in Ins senses-no man that is not over well oil m his circumitnn
ces himself-and w hut's a paintor cliup ? could dream of refusing' Mr Diamond, I promised I'd stand your friend, and I'vo pi c
vailed on the captun togo snacks, to the tune of ten thousand pounds oven, with )OU, if you will hide oil you know, and nil the ghost has rowculcd and give mo the child to smuggle over to foreign ports for ovci out of tho wuy-and stand master's friend, with the conveniences of tho houBO here, which ia Iiib own property, to carry out his courtship with Miss 1 lammook, now the old squiro is drawing so fust to tho end of his reign and tyranny!" said tho meditating power, Btepping back, though, from tho glance that fell upon him from my eyes
" Rascal ' But I did intend-I do intend, Mr Diamond-to mako you any offer within tho bounds oi reason, that will leave mo, I may say, any fair margin to recover ra) self from tho utter poverty nnd degradation into which I find myself plunged For I must confess I um driven also from the Continent by some unhappy follies I havo committed thcic " Dovcrell now resumed, putting a strong curb, I could easily Bec, on his haughty and ireful temper, und tak ing tho courso pointed out to lum by Ina menial
" I have no other resource, though I do not Bcruplo to avow that I Bhall have to overcome a strong personal repugnance to tho arrangement which, whoover sees Miss Flammock must appreciate Why, again, do vou aigh, like a broken hearted woman, Mr Diamond '"
"You seem to know tho sound, Mr Dovcrell, but I cannot congratulate you on you knowledge Look you here, sir '' I replied, indicating my revolver by a gesture, " I will rather discharge every barrel of tina pistol into different parts of my body, ending with ,the brain, than consent to become the accomplice of tho vilest asflassin tho world has ever seen or beard of, in his almost equally nefarious designs on tho person
T Indi nug whc oft will thal
hgl licit self tho get rufi nig
jot t hal and fortuno of ono of tho bestand most honora bio of ladies Who is well awaro, also, of tho reasons thoro mo to look upon you, nt all ovonts, as tho most perfidious of seducers and betrayers
of fomalo mnoconco m tho world '"
"There, at least, you mo mistnkon, Mr. Diamond If it is tho only manly and gonor ous act of my enreor, I married Noia Claro It is truo sho would on no other terms consent to bo mino, mid I loved her to disti action onco -I lovo hor still, 01 this undying romorso nnd anguish would not bo gnawing nt my honrt, though it doos not tnko tho foi in of vulgar superstition I soo no ghosts, noveltholess, that mangled form is noror absent fiom my sight '" Dovoroll now cxolnimcd, with n convul sivo shuddoi
But ho spcodily rogamod his habitual self
" Lot mo now ronow tho olfor I ninko for your assistant», sir, and it is vciy littlo I io quno Simply the shollei of this roof, wluoh is rightfully mino, to obtain an mtoi now with Misb Hummock I know bIio ennnot seo mo
without my lesuming tho empire I havo nlwnys had o>ei hor affections, with a glance, m spito of all (ho fulhors m tho world' I shall bo niastorof hoi lnheiitanco tho moment it lapsos to hoi, mid hor fa thor is most osBinedly dying
non ' '
" Ho is dond! and tho mtcrviow you domnnd can bo hud now at onco, upon tins blood-stainod llooi '" saul an aw ful voioo nt this niomont, which lind hithoito taken no simio m tho col- loquy
And, m truth, Miss Flammock, who lind been enabled foi tho íirst timo foi months, by hoi ftithoi's lolcaBo from sufloring, to como out, and had yielded to her strong desno to seo tho child of hoi biubarous lover again, but had con ceulod hoisolf bohind my gi cat bnttlo canvns on heming stringcis announced-Miss Ham mock mado her uiilookcd foi and truly eiusliing omoi gonco on the scone '
" He is diud, and his daughter is hoio, Maik Do\oioll' to tell you with her own lips, nineo you will not behovo m hor woids at n diBlnnco,
that she has lcnouncod foi o\oi from tho bot-
tom of hoi heart, and in that fntlioi's dying enr, who blosscl hor for it ns ho died, tho folonious mid iinnatuial sluyor of his wife, and thomolhoi of his only lawful child !"
It would bo impossible for pon mid ponoil to do justico lo the honor of rotubution Msiblo m Doioiolls handsome, bul fiendish, visago as tho ruinous decree wus pionouncou
" I am an uttei und hopoless boggni, thou '" he shrieked, gnashing his teeth, " and must ox pinto tho niadncss to which 1 wa» diivon by ¡ losing all my criiues wcio poipotiated to gauil
Bo it so-1 accept my fulo ' Norn, sintoitis you glaring so whitely al mo fiom your un hallowed grave, your longouiico ahull bo accom- plished-fully accomplished '" ho lcitcratod, with gi Hiding futy und despulí in ovorytonoj mid, making ii sudden dm tat my îoiolvci bofoio I could multo any clloit alprovontioii hotuinod round on Hoisemongor Tack, shattered lus un shapoly Bkull with a bullit, put tho wuiipon to his own, and committed mm dei and Biucitlo almost m a bieath
Ho bud howoier, still power to slaggoi foi
waul to Ihn filial hoisc stall whcio ho fell dead with a groan , willoh I knew no1 nliothci li was all Ins own, or tho mangled clay beneath gavo that last utteranco of gnof and anguish ovci
tho n revocable docd
Old Cluymoio after« auls averrod ho hcaid tho slu ill yell of a hoi se, as if m triumph mid joy, when the first shot wasflrotl, happening fo havo lomuiiied at hand, not much lolislimg two sliungeis with his muster in that romoto spot But I hcaid it not Perhaps it was but his
T ) 4 # * *? *
All tins occuriod so many y caps ugo, thal it is possible I may bo mistaken, or oxaggoiato m
somo of tho minoi details But of tho main facts them is not, and thoio cannot bo, tlio shadow of a doubt.
No ono can disputo, at all ovonts, what all tho nonspapors icportod at tho time, thal tho disiu tonnonl of tho body of u young femulo floin u atablo in HumpBliiio, whero sho had bcon foully niurdorcd, actually took placo.
As for the min dor and suicido-tho Dovorclls
nero ícported aub)oct to paroxysms of madnoss, und no one wus suipiisod at tho captam's ox plosion of wrath with his trainei, and tho net of solf destruction aftei it
And how can tho othoi puiticulais ko gum say ed whon at this momont tho bel 1b aio ringing to anuouncu the min ringo of my daughter, Scinplia, with the hen of that ancitnt race, whoso legitimate bath lins been established, and position moro than ustoied by tho bequest of Miss rinmmock, of Flununock Hall, who adopted lum for her own child, and dying unmarried, left tho bulk of her propcity to tho boii of liol who had been »o cruelly uquied on hor account, and whoso love foi bun had proved " Stronger
lip wlioso religion is ever on his lips 1ms Beldara any of thut volunblo treasure in his hoart, it keeps watch, like a hvoriod porter at hiB door, but there ib nobody at home, and thoro ia nothing to Btenl, if it wcro woll lodged in his soul ho would not bo bo afraid of its escupo Ho who vouches for his own truthfulness by an oath will tell a ho tho next momont without n blush
Dkath ami> Sifpi -In brotherly cmbraoo walked tho Angel of Shop and tho Angel of Death upon tho earth It was evening Ihoy lind themselves down upon a hill not far from the dwellings of men A melancholy silence provailed around, and the chimes of tho evening bell m tho distanco ceased Still and silent as wns thoir custom, sat theso two bonoficcnt genu of tho human race, their ariBB cntwinod with cordial familiarity, and soon the shades of night gathered around thom Then aroso the Angol of Sleep from his moss «rown couch, andstrowed with a gentle hand the invisible grains of slum ber lho ovening breem wafted thom to tho quiet dwelling of the tired husbandman, enfold- ing m Bwcet sleep tho inmates of tho rural cot tage, from the old man on the stuff down to tho infant in the eradlo lho sick forgot their pain, the mourners thoir grief, tbo poor their cm o AU oyes closed His task accomplished, the benevolent an^el of Sleep luid lumsolf again by tho side of Ins gravo brother " When Aurora awakes," exclaimed he, with innocent joy, "men praise mo as their friend and benefactor Oh, what hnppineBS, secretly and unseen to confer such benofits ' How blcsBcd aro wo to bo tho invisiblo messengers of tho Good Spirits ' How beautiful is our silent calling '" So spake tho friendly Angel of Slumbor Tho Angel of Death Bat with still deeper melancholy on Ina brow, and tears. Buch as mortals shed, appeared in his large dark eyes "Alas'" Bald ho, "I may not, hko theo, rejoice in the cheerful thanks of mankind they call me, upon tho earth their enemy and joy killer " ' Oh, my brother, replied the gentle Angel of Slumber, " and will not tho good mon, at his awakening, recogm/o in thee his friend and benefactor, and gratefully bless thee in his joy' Aro wo not brothers, and mmiBtors of one Father?" As ho spake, the I oye« of tho Death Angel beamed with pleasure,
und again did tho two friendly gonn embrace
,w each other.