|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||The Hermit Convict|
THE HERMIT CONVICT.
BY THE REV. WILLIAM DRAPER.
SAM BROWN arrived at the station shortly after Mr. Sinclair, and he also heard of Mogara's rash adventure. To describe his consternation
would be to use every adjective which can in- crease the power of the word, for, unseen, he had witnessed the corroboree, and from previous experience he knew what it meant. But his thoughts went farther: who can it mean? he said to himself. Full of this he hastily de- camped when he saw the fires extinguished, and in the darkness he was not seen. When he heard about Argyle and Eaglehawk's plotting, and Mogara's departure from Burnham, he saw that she was gone into the lion's mouth, and he plainly told Captain Oliver so.
"If she escapes, it will be a miracle."
"Think you so?" replied the captain, with much alarm. "Let us go, then, and rescue her."
"Easier said than done, my dear sir," said Brown; "if you or I appear upon the scene, Isabel is done for. That's a settled thing, my word, it is!"
"Impossible," replied Captain Oliver.
"No unpossible in the case, sir. I say, how could you let her go?"
"I did not wish it. Indeed I strongly re- sisted it, but Judd said——"
"The old fool," hastily replied Brown, inter- rupting the captain, "why can't he mind his own business? He is safe. Why couldn't he be content without sendin' that poor soul to her death?" Brown, though really a good man, had his colonial notions about the extermination of
the natives. "God," said he, "commanded Is- rael to cut off all the Canaanites. These be
Canaanites; what else can they be? and what good are they? Better to get rid of the wretches, they are Heaven's foes."
Captain Oliver did not reply; he was deep in thought and greatly distressed. "Shall I never
see Isabel again?" at length he said. "Is she restored only to be cut off in her gladness and hope? Oh! Brown, what can be done?"
"The best thing you can do, captain, is to act, and let the feelings go to sleep for a spell. If my Sally had got into such quarters as Isabel, I would not leave one stone unturned to get her back again; no, I wouldn't. That's my plain way of puttin' it, sir, 'fend or please."
"My good follow, I thank you, and I know your advice is the best; but somehow all my old courage seems to have fled."
"It will come again, never fear, when we see Isabel, as I expect we shall," said Brown; "but don't let us lose any time. I think you said that the old rascal, Mister honest Argyle's friend, was lying drunk somewhere? Isabel is safe enough till that old fellow get's back to camp; if we can only follow him we may—we may——"
"Why do you hesitate, Brown?"
"I don't want to use ugly words, Captain Oliver, but if we be able to keep 'em all back in this dirty piece of colonial work, all I can say is other people's tempers will be better than
"Don't ye fancy I want to spare the var- mints," replied Captain Oliver, "the thought of their kindness to the colonel made hope——"
"Excuse me interrupting you, sir, for I can't help it, I feels mighty strong on this 'ere point. They will do you a good, I grant, but what's the odds when they will tomahawk ye the moment after? Now, we well knows that we, I mean white people, would be glad if we could have brought father and child together; but what do these infidels care for such things? Self, sir, is the only law they know, and they will kill Isabel
all for self."
They soon reached the track which led to the Vineyard. Here Bob, who with his brother had joined the expedition, was sent to see if Eaglehawk was still asleep where he had seen him. He soon returned to say he was "snoring like a rhinocerous "
"There was no fear of waking him," Bob said, "if you shouted in his ear, except you shouted brandy, but the place where he was lying smelt like a brandy shop."
"We can all lie down, father," said Bob's bro- ther, who had also gone to spy out the enemy,
"on the other side of the road in the thick grass, and see my gentleman."
"And hear him too," said Bob.
So to this thicket they adjourned, looking at the old fellow as they passed him. He stirred not at their inspection, no, nor throughout the night which followed did he appear to have moved. The morning dawned cold and foggy. The spies in their grass fortress were well pro- tected with their blankets, but Eaglehawk awoke and shivered. He arose and shook him- self, then looking cunningly around seemed to recollect the brandy bottle which Argyle had given him; then he began to search for it, and finding the broken bottle about three yards from him, he knew that some one must have been there. So he began to look about more sus-
piciously, and then he found tracks of footsteps, which discovery, combined with his depressed
feelings, so worked upon the old man that with a cry he trotted off into the bush as fast as his limbs would allow him to go. Not before he had met the due reward of his drunkenness, by sundry stumblings over logs and other obstruc- tions, did he seem to remember where he was bound to; but just as Bob lost sight of him and beckoned to his father to come on, Eaglehawk bounded off in the direct road which led to the black's camp. Captain Oliver and Sam Brown, with his son, soon reached the place where Bob was waiting for them.
"He's off to camp," said the overseer, "that's
"Right!" said Bob. "Now, father, let us go round by the creek, there is not much water in it, and if the captain don't mind wetting his feet we can come upon them like lightning."
Captain Oliver was strongly excited now; he would have gone through fire after the sensual looking old black, about whom Brown said to him sotto voice, "a pretty creature arn't he, to lay hands on Miss Isabel?" It was like the ap- plication of the match to the powder. "For- ward," said the captain, "anyhow—anywhere,
so that we reach them in time."
It was a tedious and roundabout march, and they did not reach the place to which they
were bound until Isabel had been struck down.
They saw her rise, but although from two dif- ferent places they tried to cover the old black, Isabel was always in such dangerous proximity to him that they dared not fire. But as they were about to rush upon the scene at all hazards, the last blow was struck, which again felled Isabel to the ground. They saw her fall, Captain Oliver exclaiming, "My God, she is dead!" Then Brown fired, and with such sure aim that the days of Eaglehawk were closed.
A BITTER quarrel was rousing the meek and quiet temper of James Stewart into a paroxysm of mingled grief and indignation. He was sitting at breakfast, when David Argyle entered the room, with almost brutal hardness, peering out of his sunken eyes in insulting glances to- wards his partner. He saw the Bible lying open on the table, and, deliberately taking it in his
hand, before Stewart could prevent him, he threw it on the sofa, and laid down upon it. Stewart immediately arose, and, speaking very warmly, said:
"David Argyle, you may insult me as much as you please—I will try to bear it; but you shall not so insult your God."
"Who is to prevent me, Mr. Stewart?"
"I will try to maintain the honor of your Creator," replied Stewart, "even if you are determined to provoke him to destroy you."
"James Stewart, let me and my affairs alone. If you can be so civil as to cease offering prayers for me, I shall be obliged to you."
"No, David Argyle, I will not oblige you in this; as long as life lasts, I will pray that God may have mercy on your soul. The day will come when you will remember these words. May it come soon."
"You are so complimentary, upon my soul, that I must return the favor. May the day of our acquaintance soon cease. How remarkably complaisant we are to-day; perhaps you will chant the whole litany gratis."
"David Argyle, hear me. The deed of dis- solution of partnership you are well aware is prepared, and only needs our signatures to become valid. You know the sorrow, the big sorrow, which is well nigh breaking my heart, which prevents its immediate execution. It is more than probable that I shall have to find a large sum of money to save Julia from a disas-
trous loss. In that case, you also know that I could not take the station and pay you out."
"Hang the station, I have got plenty of money without it. Cursed be the day that you per- suaded me to come to this wretched hole. No society, no life, no anything, but a white-face parson and his woman, who is everlastingly say- ing to a fellow, 'now don't drink, see what it will lead ye to.' D—n the whole lot!"
"In kindness to you——"
"D—n their kindness, I say, I don't want it. I like brandy, they like water; why shouldn't I have my drink and they their's?"
"Is there any comparison?"
"Just as one likes to take it. This is a free
country, and I have a right to do as I like."
"Perhaps you have."
"Perhaps I have? Why, God help you for a poor psalm-singing, meek-hearted, defender of the oppressed, I say, I know I have, and it would take a better man than you to dispute it. Hav- ing said this, and feeling your precious book to be rather hard under my back, here take it and eat it. I recollect one part says something about somebody who did this sort of thing, and it was bitter to him, somewhere or other, I forget ex- actly where."
"May God make it——"
"Your prayers! James Stewart, can't ye stop such mouthing when I ask ye? I declare I will swear at ye if ye do it again. I am going to bully-ho my name for the hot place, and if I have no objection, what need have you?"
Stewart was about to reply, but Harry Brown, riding furiously along the road to the house, at- tracted his attention. He was indeed a mes- senger of woe, nor could he speak as he handed Stewart a piece of paper on which was written
"DEAR STEWART,—Isabel is dying; come as quickly as you can.—Yours,
He read it, handed it to Argyle, and with a look full of meaning said: "This is your work— your's and the old black together. You havo worn chains once; take care, you may wear them again. Your diabolical plot is all known. One victim is sacrificed; the other, thank God, is, I hope, beyond your reach."
Argyle arose from the sofa as Stewart left the room to saddle his horse. He could stare at anyone he disliked with a hellish look, and now he watched Stewart as he was on his way to the stable, muttering slowly, but distinctly, "Be- yond my reach!—Worn chains!—By God, the chains shall be worn by somebody else—he called him, 'the other.' Here goes for a break- fast, and then farewell to Leyton."
Stewart was not long in reaching Burnham. Here he found everything in dire confusion, everyone in dire distress. Brown, after firing his rifle, which stretched Eaglehawk lifeless on the ground, rushed forward, shouting to his sons, "Load and fire as fast as you can; give it them strong, don't spare the wretches." Then, revolver in hand, he rushed to the camp. The blacks were in flight pell-mell, they stayed not to pick up anything, it was sauve qui pent. Eaglehawk had fallen close to Isabel. He was quite dead; the woman lived, but she was in- sensible. They gently lifted up her head and moistened her lips with brandy, but there was no sign of returning consciousness. The father was almost frantic; he wept and cried out in
piteous tones, "Isabel, dearest Isabel, why, why did I suffer you to do this? My God, how is my sin punished. "I threw away my child, and Thou hast only restored her to know her worth, and then to take her away."
"Better, however, than I thought," said Brown, "I was afraid they would burn her alive. She is worth a dozen dead ones yet. Hang the old rascal, he got ahead of us after all; how- ever we did the best we could, and accidents will happen. Bob, my lad, run now like an emu, and fetch up the cart."
Captain Oliver did not reply, but pressed the hand of the plain-speaking, kind-hearted man. Minutes passed away, and a full hour of deep suspense elapsed before Bob returned. He had run like an emu indeed, for he accomplished the four miles on foot and back again with the cart, in less than an hour and ten minutes. He per- fectly amazed the people at the station: first, he told them that Missee Isabel was dead, then, she was dying; next, that she had been cruci- fied or "summut like it," said he; and last of all he said, "God bless the people, go to Jericho,
but let me have the cart and a mattress."
What a house of mourning and lamentation
was this Burnham Beeches now Isabel was brought back to it still senseless, and with a great bruise upon her skull. Mr. Coles said he feared the worst, but she regained her conscious- ness for a brief period. Captain Oliver was by her side when she opened her eyes; she looked at him with an affectionate smile and tried to speak; but could only say, "Father, father!"
With his eyes full of tears he bent down and kissed her, and then she wept with him. But this seemed to retrim the flickering lamp, for
soon after she spoke in faltering words, and with much effort: "Father, dear father, I meet zoo again at the inn with——"
"Colonel Tomlinson, my dearest."
"Zes, zes, I heard him call you by name, or I would not have found zoo. All I had was— was—" she began to pause again for words, and her father anticipated some of them.
He said now: "A handkerchief, dearest." "Zes, zes, and I wrap it up and put it on—" "Sliprail."
"Zes, zes; I zee Henry take it, and I follow him, and then I——"
"I know all the rest, don't say more, dearest." "But I not know zoo, my father then; I only know Captain Oliver, my mother's master."
"Never mind, dearest, about that," said the captain, weeping bitterly.
"One thing more, father, Henry very kind to me; he zay man come take him away, no let him." She could say no more.
"Can nothing be done to save her," said Cap- tain Oliver. "Money is nothing in compari-
son——" He could not finish the sentence.
"Sir," replied Mr. Coles, "many a life in this colony might be spared if medical and surgical aid could be obtained. I dare not attempt an operation which may not after all be successful; I have not the skill to effect it, nor poor Isabel the strength to bear it." He touched her pulse as he spoke, and slowly shook his head. "One hope, my dear friend, I have, she may again be
While he spoke Isabel once more opened her eyes, fixed them tenderly upon her father, and whispering, "Father, dearest," she made a sign as if she wished him to kiss her. He did so, and then she looked at Mrs. Coles, her eyes beaming with delight; finally she fixed her gaze on something above her, breathed out the name of Christ, and Isabel departed hence without a sigh or a groan.
It was the tenth day after this second funeral, that Judd was talking with Captain Oliver about Isabel, and the life they had led together amongst the natives. Judd was telling the cap- tain how he had kept up his own ability to speak the English language by reading a piece of an old newspaper which he had found, and by writing with a piece of charcoal, after he be- came a shepherd, various portions of the Bible.
"I found, sir," said he, "that Isabel knew some few words, and after a while she caught up several more, and then I taught her what I knew, so she could understand what I said pretty well, and when she could not, then we talked together as the natives do. I dare say, sir, you remember that when I first saw you I was accustomed to make a pause after the I."
"I remember, Judd, and thought it very strange."
"Well, sir, when I talked with Isabel, I used to say to her 'I', laying force upon the 'I', and pausing to impress it upon her instead of her using the word me as she did constantly, and I got into the habit of doing so."
"I see it now," said Captain Oliver.
"We used to talk together about you, sir, and she would say, 'Father, my father,' so tenderly, that at times I could not bear it. I longed for the time to come when that savage life would end, but I little thought it would finish as it did. Ah! look—look, Captain
The captain turned in the direction to which Judd pointed, and saw two mounted police ap- proaching the house. Judd turned as pale as ashes instantly, and Captain Oliver instinctively seemed to dread something, for he immediately said: "Never fear, my good man, I will see
They dismounted at the front door, and very soon told their errand: By the information of one David Argyle, they had been commanded "to search for and to take into custody one Henry Julet or Judd, to answer before whom- soever he might be brought the charge of being a convicted felon, who had been sentenced to penal servitude for life, but was at large with- out authority or sanction."
What need is there of words to express grief and sorrow. Let the full volume be imagined: it will not be too much. Judd left Burnham Beeches on the following morning, and soon after, stricken, and as one in sackcloth and ashes, he was awaiting the sailing of a ship which was to convey him to Sydney. Captain Oliver saw him in Brisbane and gave him the strongest hope that he would be able to move the authorities on his behalf, so as considerably to moderate, even if he could not altogether avert, the consequences of the position in which he had fallen by the determined revenge of his implacable enemy. To Stewart, who also saw him at Brisbane, he related the history of his many crimes, of his fruitless and wretched life, with which the reader is acquainted.
Stewart saw him once more. "Keep what I have told you a secret," he said; "but should I come to a violent death, I pray you to do what you can to punish Long, the man whose temptations helped me to ruin."
CHAPTER XLVIII. TO ENGLAND AGAIN.
In pursuance of a consultation which took place between Captain Oliver and James Stewart, an attempt was made to induce Argyle to give up his merciless determination to prose- cute Judd. Captain Oliver volunteered to do this, accompanied by Mr. Coles, who had left Burnam Beeches soon after Julia Tomlinson, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Gumby, Lottie, Mrs. Judd, and Alice. The coffee-roaster and his wife had resolved to commence in "the pub- lican life," as Mrs. Gumby called it, with Lottie for a barmaid. Robert Brown was of course frantic at the separation, but there was no help for it, and so with many vows of love until death the two parted. Mr. and Mrs. Gumby make their exit from our tale at this place, and it may be explained that Lottie never became Mrs. Brown, but Mrs. Robert Wright, and this is how it came about: She went to Sydney to see her sister, who was indignant that her parents had made her a bar-maid. They con- sequently made excuses to keep her in New South Wales, and Lottie, being handsome and engaging, Mrs. George Wright's brother-in-law caught the fever. It ended with a gold ring of the very plainest workmanship, which being placed on the lady's fourth finger, Mr. Robert
Wright got well.
Mr. and Mrs. Gumby failed again. Such persons cannot have much hope of succeeding in Australia. They finally went home, and found employment as laundress and porter.
Mrs. Judd and Alice sailed in the same ship with the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Coles, Captain Oliver, and the convict Judd. The projected interview with Argyle was ineffectual. He swore with bitter invectives that ho would have Judd's life; nor would he rest until he saw him
on the scaffold. This was not his intention
when he gave the information to the authorities. But how cautious people ought to be who transact business in wooden houses. Stewart was discussing some business matters with Cap- tain Oliver at an hotel in Brisbane, not thinking how thin a partition separated them from Ar- gyle, who was in the next room. There was no noise, nor anything to induce them to think that any could hear them; but Stewart, in telling Captain Oliver the substance of Judd's con- fession, gave Argyle the clue he wanted. Judd was brought before the authorities with a view to his being sent to Sydney, and at this examina- tion James Stewart was summoned to appear. Argyle made an affidavit that he believed he could give important information concerning a murder which the prisoner had committed, for which murder he (David Argyle) had been con- victed and transported. He stated as a reason for making this affidavit his desire to clear his own character from such a foul stigma, without which he could never return to England as he wished to do. Stewart at first indignantly re- fused to answer any question, but, on being threatened with committal for contempt of court, Judd spoke as follows:—"Sirs and gentlemen all: I told Mr. Stewart as much as is charged against me, but I had no thought he would have told it again."
"Nor did I," said Stewart indignantly, "ex- cept to——"
He saw his mistake.
"Except to whom?" was the question. "Answer it, Mr. Stewart," said Judd.
"Except to Captain Oliver," said Stewart. "And I overheard it all," said Argyle.
Judd lost all hope and courage as he listened to this revelation. He had been told that the evidence respecting his case was altogether against the hope that he could ever be released; and when the probable result of his confession to Stewart rose before him, he saw there was no hope. That night he made a full public confes- sion in writing, and upon this he was committed to take his trial. The prisoner was brought be- fore the Supreme Court at Sydney, to have the papers endorsed, and he was sent to England to be dealt with as the Imperial Government might
Argyle left Australia as soon after the con-
vict Judd as he could. In the unsettled state of the late Colonel Tomlinson's affairs, Stewart could not purchase Argyle's share of the Ley- ton Station, it was therefore sold, and the pro- ceeds were divided between the partners, at least the remnants of the proceeds, for so de- termined was Argyle to put every stumbling block in Stewart's way that litigation ensued, which swallowed up much good money, and ended by leaving the matter just where it was before the proceedings commenced.
Before the final settlement, Julia Tomlinson recovered. But upon no consideration would her medical attendant advise her return to Burnham Beeches; nor was Stewart inclined again to take up his abode at a place where all was changed, and where painful reminiscences would ever occur. The subject was hinted to Julia, but she replied quickly and excitedly "No more James; no more to that place."
There was an additional reason Stewart was advised by no means to risk any further expen- diture upon the property, and so Mr. Sinclair foreclosed the mortgage under circumstances for which no better term can be found than this—it was a robbery of the orphan. In the settlement of their Australian affairs, therefore, James Stewart found himself looking pensively at the word minus to which he added the following expressive words: "All but £500;" and Julia Tomlinson's position was the most literal il-
lustration of the adage, "Riches have wings." Of all her late father's investments in Aus- tralia, she could claim nothing. But the exe- cutors became partners, and their stock hence- forth was joint stock; and people who knew said that the income which was left was very ample, and the union was most desirable. Mr. and Mrs. James Stewart left Sydney for Eng- land about three months after the ship which conveyed Judd to the same destination. A black servant sailed with them, who wore a black livery with epaulettes, and a black hat with a rosette, and there was a waiting ser- vant, also black, who was in the habit of play- fully calling her fellow servant "her Billy."
FIVE YEARS LATER.
In prospectu, five years seem like an age; in reality, like a dream. Henry Judd reached England in due course, was arraigned on the charge of murder, pleaded guilty, and was exe- cuted. The indignation which was felt against him was expressed in loud and measured male- dictions; the one redeeming point in the man's life weighed less than a feather in the scale. His crimes were all exposed, and they con- demned him beyond the possibility of forgive-
ness. He heard his second dread sentence un-
moved, and left the bar prepared for the worst. Judd was a sincere Christian now. By tho kindness of the commander of the vessel, many interviews had taken place on the voyage home between the convict and his all but heart broken wife and daughter. Judd told them plainly that he had no hope; that even if he could escape the capital punishment, he could not en- dure the thought of penal servitude to the end of his days, under the aggravated circumstances with which it would be inflicted. "Moreover," said he, "death has set its seal upon me; I feel, I know it. It is better for me, for all, that I should be gone."
"My life," said he to Mr. Stewart, "has been a great mistake. I might have succeeded well had I kept to the simple path of honest labor. I wanted pleasure, and money to gratify this craving; yet when the tempting bait was in my hand I had no enjoyment in it. The sting which the dearly-purchased gratification naturally fostered struck deep into my con- science, and I never had a moment's rest. If I tried to read, my thoughts were elsewhere. The duties and pleasures of home were as thorns in my side. I could not bear to look upon inno- cent ones, who I well know believed implicitly in me, while I was a hypocrite, a slave to vice. Many a time, whilst in the midst of my com- panions who were carousing with merry glee, I felt a soul abhorrence of their boisterous mirth, and longed for a quiet place in which to pray. But could I pray? I have knelt sometimes, but not a word would come, although I am sure that God was very merciful to me. He in mercy sent me to yonder land, and has brought me back again to end my days, where I deserved to end them years ago."
"Now here is the secret, and this is the issue of God's mercy, as I view it. Had I ended my career before I was sent to Australia, I had
surely perished, body and soul together. But He interposed; He put these years between the
great crime and the final doom, and now I die with mercy written upon every moment that remains for me to live. I am not afraid to die."
Argyle's vengeance followed the wretched man to the last; he made an application to be ad- mitted to the prison to gaze upon his victim's dying moments and, had sufficient influence to gain his object. As Judd was undergoing the usual preparations for the scaffold he made an effort to speak to Argyle, but the latter refused to hear him or if he did hear he steadily fixed his lips so as to appear totally unconcerned. But as the dead body was brought in the man's vengeance was burnt out—an ashy pallor over- spread his countenance, which evidenced strong inward feeling, and he hastily quitted the sceue to indulge in one of the most drunken orgies which ever disgraced the name of man.
But in a small room a few weeks later there lay a poor suffering creature, slaughtered by the vices of a sensual life. Was it possible that such a creature could be penitent and waiting patiently for the hour of his departure? It was. Many years had elapsed since Mrs. Argyle had died, but her dying prayer had been registered in Heaven's book of remembrance; and next to the prayer the answer was written, "The prodigal is come home at last." Poor follow! what a journey had he run since the morning when Richard Rouse enticed him away from his usual routine of simple farm life. But he came home at last, he was in his right mind also, and when he closed his eyes upon earth he whispered, "Mother, David is coming." All his remaining money he bequeathed to Alice Judd. Stewart saw him by his own request, and a most affecting reconciliation was the result. How Argyle blamed himself, and heaped upon his own head a host of sins, of which he said in bitterness he had been guilty, many pages would be required to tell. He breathed out his last breath in Stewart's arms, the victim of a vicious life cut off in his very prime.
Mr. and Mrs. Stewart had purchased a villa in the neighborhood of Richmond, where they were now living. There were additions to their family circle in the shape of two children, who, though not quite old enough to occupy a place at the parents' table, yet held a very consider-
able portion of their loving affection. Isabel was the elder, and James Tomlinson Stewart the charming baby.
Mrs Judd, soon after the death of "her poor Henry," as she called him to the close of her life, became very feeble, and from this sign of the approaching end she passed into imbecility, and finally became deaf and dumb. But she
lived several years, with Alice as her constant companion, a strong, hearty-looking man assist-
ing to the best of his power in this very pious
act. To be sure he had another object, but what of that? There are thousands whoso gaze is fixed upon a specific object, but all the time they are carefully watching something else. But one morning the assistance of the strong man took another turn. He very politely es- corted Miss Alice to a church, and as politely assisted her back again; and before the expira- tion of a week from that day a brass plate upon the door of Mrs. Judd's house bore the name of
"Chas. Lambert, coal merchant." It was not very long after this that the family removed from Richmond, where they had settled from a desire to be near Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, and henceforth Mrs. Judd became an inmate of her son-in-law's new house, which he had erected in his own premises, a large coal wharf near Campdentown. Here the business flourished, and the family increased, and their happiness also; the days of captivity were ended, and Alice's sorrowing early life was changed into a constant succession of bridal days, for her hus- band was a good follow, and she rejoiced with an exceeding joy. Time rolled on, and the sky of their lives was unclouded, save by one event which had been long expected. One morning the servant went upstairs to carry Mrs. Judd's breakfast to her, but she had passed away in the night, evidently without pain for she looked as if she were asleep. They buried her at Southampton as she wished, and as they re- turned from the grave Stewart said, "One more victim of poor Judd's self-indulgence. May God Almighty grant that she may be the last."
MR. SEPTIMUS LONG.
By the evening train from Southampton to London Mr. Stewart and his companion, Mr. Lambert, returned home. In the same carriage with them there was a traveller who was ex- tremely taciturn, scarcely deigning even to no- tice his follow travellers. As the train reached Basingstoke he left the carriage, placing a small book on the seat he occupied. Accident- ally, as it is termed, Mr. Stewart took up the book, as travellers sometimes do in a railway carriage, but his surprise was something above mere curiosity as he read the name on the cover—Septimus Long, Bonsal, Leyton, Suf- folk. In a few minutes afterwards the owner of the book re-entered the carriage, and the train again started. Stewart was hardly the man to be capable of duplicity, yet he could not help practising a little diplomacy of this cha- racter in order to see the effect of certain reve- lations which he resolved to make to Lambert about poor Judd. The train had reached the little but picturesque village of Basing when he begin his investigating conversation.
"Our friend's life has been a very painful ex- perience, Mr. Lambert."
He had given the latter a hint about the ob- ject he had in introducing the subject.
"Very, indeed, sir. I am surprised that she bore her heavy troubles so patiently."
"You knew her many years ago?"
"Yes, Lambert. I lived in Southampton when her husband was a clerk in a merchant's office."
"Mr. Hartlop, I think, was the name, was
"It was. He has retired from business now, and is resident in London, but is very feeble."
"What position did you say he occupied? I mean the husband of our deceased friend," said
"He was a clerk; perhaps you never heard that I was in the same gentleman's employ."
"Yes, I did; but——"
"I know what you are going to say, Lam- bert. You are acquainted with the £40 cheque
The book, which Mr. Long had again com- menced reading, was at this point of the con- versation closed, and the reader drew his cap over his eyes and turned his head away from the speakers as if to sleep. It was very evident that uneasiness the first had begun to pinch
"The cheque was a forgery, I believe?" said Lambert, continuing the conversation.
"It was, and as rank a piece of rascality as ever was tried in a court of justice. But while
our deceased friend's husband was the real criminal, there was someone else who held the dish to receive the money."
"Indeed! Who was that?"
"He had some companions, so he told me; one of them took the cheque to the bank, ob- tained the money, and kept it. He did not touch a penny of it."
"Diamond cut diamond?"
The agony of the listener was now most vividly apparent. He raised himself up, and, opening his valise, he drew out a railway guide, and began to study the names of the stations with the greatest eagerness. Stewart saw his object; he was contemplating an exit from the carriage at the next station, and as they were nearing it, he resolved to strike conviction home to the wretched schemer. The clue was given by Lambert who inquired, "Indeed, this was a complex affair—who was the rascal that was brother to Judas in this villiany?"
"He was, by position, a gentleman, resident in Suffolk," replied Stewart, "but as arrant a knave as any that have ever worn a felon's chain. But for that man, Judd would never
have been the man he was."
"Why was he not arrested?"
"Because it was not known until lately. But David Argyle, as well as myself, knows perfectly well that this Long—that is his name—was a participator in the events which led to the murder at Leyton."
"I deny that," said Long, now speaking almost in spite of himself. "I happen to know this Mr. Long, and can say he had nothing to do
"Indeed!" replied Stewart, "excuse me in saying that you are misinformed; I had this from the convict Judd himself, and it has been witnessed before competent persons, who may perhaps be induced to deal with it."
"What did he say?"
"That a certain Mr. Septimus Long, whose name, by-the-bye, sir, I saw in the book which y0u have been reading——"
"It is not mine, sir; it is Mr. Long's book. I do not deny that I know him."
"There can be no difficulty about this," replied Stewart, hastily. "I see you, and you see me; I think that we should know one another again if we should ever meet. If I should take the trouble to call upon Mr. Long to answer a few questions, there could be no mistake about his identity, for I understand he has lived in Suffolk some years."
"I am to understand then, sir, that you in- tended your conversation about this desperate criminal for my especial edification?"
"As you please, Mr Long," replied Stewart, "for I have little doubt that you are the man, unless you have borrowed Mr. Long's valise
The climax was reached, and the rage of the detected man was great. He cast off all re-
"I am Mr. Long, and be it known that Mr. Long defies any attempt which you can make to do him harm. If you will give me your card, sir, all further proceedings shall be through my
"With all my heart, Mr. Septimus Long; and then we can talk about the hundred pounds, and the acres of land, and the forty pounds which Judd promised to pay to a certain person."
"Do you mean to charge me with this?" said Long, now boiling over with rage.
"I charge no one. Facts, stubborn facts, bear witness to certain ugly things. I say no- thing more than these facts substantiate."
"And may you and your facts be cursed to- gether, that is my answer Mr. Meddler," said Long, opening the carriage door as the train stopped at the Hartley Row station. "I am glad that my journey ends here."
"Not here, Mr Long," replied Stewart. "Your journey does not end here."
"What do you mean?" said Long, turning very pale.
"Your journey may end by your train run- ning off the track suddenly, and then where will you be? Repent, man, and make restitu- tion. They are dead to whom it might righteously be made."
"That is my business, Mr. Stewart; but——" The train started as he was speaking, and the words were not heard; but as Stewart looked back he saw Long standing in the same place, gazing along the road over which they were hastening towards London.
OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN INTO THE FIRE.
In a very excellent inn near Odiham were three bronzed-face men, about whom it will not be necessary to make any mystery, seeing that they are Mr. Sinclair and Brown, late overseer of Burnham Beeches, but now of Brisbane, and a son of the latter.
It was during a residence in Mr. Samuel Brown's house, near Brisbane that the visit to England was projected, for medical advice urged upon Mr. Sinclair the necessity of travelling, and the suggestion was very congenial to the desires of both. In the discussion which ensued, the travelling fever took possession of Mr. Brown, and increased to such an extent that he resolved to accompany his old friend, and, being assured that such a journey would be as good as an education to his son, he resolved to take him also. Thus it was that they reached their native country after an absence of many years.
The voyage greatly benefited Mr. Sinclair, but on the contrary sadly prostrated the natur- ally weak constitution of his daughter. On ar-
riving at Southampton, he therefore procured for her a temporary resting place in a boarding school. She readily assented to this plan, as her father intended to travel very much, and she knew that she was unequal to much fatigue. So, after spending a few days in Southampton, Mr. Sinclair and his two friends started for London, with the intention of calling, on their way, on the Rev. Mr. Coles, who was living as the curate of a small parish near Odiham. How near friends are to each other sometimes without knowing it. Certainly Mr. Stewart had no par- ticular reason to regard Mr. Sinclair as his friend, but had he known what had occurred
since he left Australia, and what were the in- tentions of Mr. Sinclair towards his wife, he would have taken some trouble to seek him out. On the other hand, had Messrs. Sinclair and Brown known that at the time they were start- ing from Southampton, the body of Mrs. Judd was being committed to the ground, "earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes," they would have delayed their journey in order to be pre- sent at this solemn service. As it was, they reached Odiham about four hours before Mr. Septimus Long.
The latter individual having discussed the merits of a cup of tea in the bar parlor, in which very agreeable duty he seemed to have
forgotten the unpleasant rencontre which led him to this quiet town, forthwith inquired for the coffee-room. In this room the three Aus- tralian travellers were seated round a table, which bore abundant evidence that business of some kind was being considered.
"I beg pardon, gentlemen," said Mr Long, "I did not know that the room was occupied."
"Oh! never mind," replied Mr. Sinclair,
"you won't disturb us."
"Not if I smoke a cigar either, perhaps?"
"Bless your heart, smoke a hundred if you like, we are tolerably well tanned with smoke,
"Rather so, or 'twould be a caution."
"Ah! I see. Australian? No offence I
"Offence? Offence to be called an Austra- lian? I should think not, why we glory in it. 'Tis the land of the brave and the free. Of-
fence? No fear!"
"Nay, we can't give up that song, sir, that is pure English," said Mr Long
"I don't know your name, sir, but I can toll you if that sentiment, or song, or whatever you please to call it, is pure English, Australian freedom beats English liberty hollow."
"Right, neighbor Sinclair, one scorns to want more room to breathe here. Few people I think could live in this country after being long in
"Perhaps so; but English manners and cus- toms are so refined," said Mr Long.
"Not a bit more than ours, sir, only we have a knack of being a little more honest than some people. We don't forget to speak our thoughts right out, and we generally reckon up people tolerably correct—my word we do."
"Indeed, Mr. Sinclair—for I perceive such is your name—I would not be offended now if you tried your skill upon me. I should like to be convinced of your boasted power."
"Would you now? 'Tis rather an unusual thing to do, but if you will write your name on this piece of paper I will tell you something about yourself, I fancy."
"Very unusual indeed, but I have heard about your wonderful acuteness as a people, and, by the way, I had a practical example of it this evening as I came from Southampton."
"My word," said Brown, "how was that?"
"Why, I met with an individual in the train who had been in Australia for some years, he was particularly uncivil. There is my name; I expect you will judge me by the handwriting
"Humph! 'James Stewart,'" said Mr. Sin- clair, opening his eyes very wide. "Brown, look, nicely written, isn't it? Do you know the kind of chap you met in the train; was he tall or short, stout or thin?—the color of his hair even may be important. I suppose, Mr. James Stewart, you have heard that in our country we are clever also at tracking?"
"Yes; but what is that to our discussion?"
"Oh, nothing particular, eh Brown? Your son there could tell us a tale or two now, couldn't he? just to amuse us."
"A few, I think, Mr Sinclair, my word!"
"But you could not track in this country?''
said Mr. Long.
"Humph! That depends upon circum- stances. You have asked me to try my skill upon you, here's a venture. I believe this lad could track you anywhere."
"Why me in particular?"
"Because you have given us a wrong name." "How do you know, sir?"
"By your hesitation, by your trying to dis- guise your handwriting, by your trembling as if your were committing a forgery, and finally be- cause you have attempted to throw us off a true scent; you travelled with a Mr. James Stewart this evening, and you have assumed his
"Indeed!" said Long, with a contemptuous
"Yes, sir, indeed. Australians open their eyes very wide. Mr. Brown, we had better gather up our papers and have a smoke, and
then to bed."
"Oh! pray don't let me disturb you, gentle- men, I am going to my own room, and will leave you to yourselves. I wish you good evening."
"The same to you. Don't be offended with us, I told you we were a very candid sort of
"So it seems, Mr. Sinclair; you have given me a practical illustration of it."
He left the room as he spoke, muttering to himself, "Australia, indeed! I should like to transport the whole race."
That night a portmanteau was taken out of Mr. Sinclair's room and a small writing-case
was extracted from it; the writing-case contained some unimportant papers and a twenty pound note. The portmanteau was found in Mr.
"Fortunate," said Mr. Sinclair, the next morning when the theft was discovered, "I knew that follow was a rogue by his eyes. It was sharp of us though, to put the thousand pounds in your bag, Brown, and the marked
note in the writing-case."
[To be Continued.]
B.NK.M.-Bunkum, or moro proporly Bun ' combo, is n usoful word whioh linglund has
horrowod from Aicorion, and which bids fair to ho naturalised among us. The origin of the phrase, talking Buncombo, or talking for Bun- combe, ia rolatod in Whoolor's History of North Carolina :-" Several yours ago the membor in Congress for the district of Buncombe roso to uddrces the Houao, without any extraordinary gifts cither in mannor or in matter to interest the audionce. Mauy mombors aroao and loft the hall. Very naively ho told thoso that romained
that thoy might go alao, as ho should speak for . Bomo timo, but was only spouking for Bmiooinbo." Tho word haB also oome to signify what ia some- times called boah. " Our people," says " Sam Slick," in " Human Naturo," " talk ii groat deal of nonsense about omunoipation, but thoy know its all Burfcombo." Til England tho Parliamen- tary reporters have tho power to doprivo Bun- combe iu oithor Houso of all its power to roach tho place for whioh it ia inteuded, by the Biinple plan of refusing to make a note of it. But no such powor oxista in tho United States ¡ und ho who spoaks for Buncombe, though ho connot obligo the Houso to liston to him, can compel the oftleiul reporters of the House to toko down his words, and eua compel tho Congressional Qlohe, or the Standard of Washington, to print thom at the expense of tho country. No won- der that Buncombe is a greater nuisaiico in America thuu it is likoly to be in Euglaud. Di'ciens' " AU the Year Sound."
THE Bianor'B SEBMON.-A bishop proachod. Tho congregation subsequently requested him to publish his sermon. The bishop was delighted. " And ao," said ho, with jocoso affability, to the senior churchwarden, "tho people were much pleased, oh ?" " Well, you see, sir, replied the
_HW»I. « our folks would like to know summat
they would like, 'COB" (hero he puuaed, and then added, confidentially), "it wor very hot weuther, you see, and EO-when you wore preechin' they wor all asleep."