Chapter 1335194

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Chapter NumberXXVIII
Chapter TitleTHE TOMLINSONS AT HOME.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1335194
Full Date1871-03-25
Page Number3
Corrections15
Word Count8810
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2016-10-03
Newspaper TitleThe Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)
Trove TitleThe Hermit Convict
article text

THE HERMIT CONVICT.

By the Rev. William Draper.

Chapter XXVIII.

THE TOMLINSONS AT HOME.

Three months had worked wonders at Burn-

ham Beeches. Carpenters and bricklayers added

material comforts to the house, and new, sub-

stantial furniture proclaimed the ample means of the proprietor. In the first place, the dining

or living room was a plain, uncarpcted apart- ment, with chairs, a dining table, some pictures, and a small sideboard. From this a door led into the colonel's office or private room and an- other small room, in which Mr. Gumby luxuriated; and beyond that another, called Mr. Wright's, in which that gentleman read, smoked, wrote, kept accounts; slept, and in short reigned supreme. Mr. Wright was a comical fellow, but he had one great fault—that of carrying practical jokes beyond the boundary

of forbearance.

"Gumby, how are you this morning?" "Pretty well."

"And your amiable lady—is she well?" "She is quite well also."

"And your excellent daughters?" "I am glad to say well also."

Mr. Gumby was allowed two minutes rest, I then the teasing commenced.

"Gumby! Any tobacco in the store?" "Yes, sir; plenty." "Will you fetch me some?"

He had already in his room sufficient to last any ordinary smoker for six months. Mr.

Gumby, like an automaton, performed his bid- ding. This time he had five minutes rest, suf-

ficient to allow him to commence some sort of work, and then as surely came, "Gumby!"

"Yes, Mr. Wright."

"Have you any matches?"

Many an hour was wasted in this way, but Mr. Gumby took it all in good part. He had an easy place and a good salary, and Mr. Wright made up for this sort of bye-play by many acts of kindness.

It was a comical exhibition to see Mr. Gumby on horseback, and Mr. Wright, knowing this, generally managed that one or two of these little episodes should take place every week. The first time he managed tolerably well, the only inconvenience which followed was the usual stiffness; but Mr. Wright then conceived the idea of giving him a regular jibber to try his skill upon. He started freely, and for about two hundred yards the horse trotted as if he meant to get over his work well, then he stopped short, nearly pitching Mr. Gumby over the highest of his calculations—viz., over the horse's head. Mr. Gumby turned red, then looked at the horse, who had his ears down, his front legs stretched out as if ho meant to have a little bit of spurt. At last off he started at a gallop, shaking his rider somewhat roughly.

Mr. Gumby held on by the saddle and pulled hard at the rein; but the creature had began

his tricks and now intended to conclude the

performance. After about a mile of this inter- lude, during which Mr. Gumby lost his hat, worked his trousers up to his knees, and per-

spired most vigorously, the jibber began to jib; he danced and jumped off his fore legs—"No-

thing could have been finer," said Mr, Gumby, "if I had not been on his back,"—and finally darting ahead, he bolted into the midst of a swamp, and then stopped, tossing his head and then lowering it most ominously to the level of

his knees.

Let Mr. Gumby tell his own tale: "I did not know what to do; I said, 'Go on,' and back he went; I pulled the right rein and he began to jump; I pulled the left and he made signs of lying down; I struck him with the rein—for I had already dropped my whip—and on he went into deeper water; I shouted 'Stop!' and then he backed into a bed of soft mud, in which he began to flounder; I pulled, he snorted; I let go the rein, which had become unbuckled, and then he begun to prance, until finally he rose upon his hind legs and allowed me quietly to slip into the mud, which, fortu- nately, was not very deep. Having thus un- ceremoniously got rid of me, the ungrateful beast walked quietly out of the swamp, leaving me to walk after him. He quietly trotted home; I as quietly walked home. Mr. Wright was waiting to welcome me, and he could not help laughing at the pickle I was in. I more than suspected that he knew what the horse was, but as he assured me that this was a com- mon occurrence, I quietly said to myself, 'first and last.' I never rode that horse again." However, these two were first rate friends. Mr. Gumby was good tempered in the super super- lative degree; and after a while Mr. Wright found extraordinary pleasure and enjoyment in occasional visits to Mr. Gumby's house. Why? Mrs. Gumby frequently inquired, but of course Mr, Gumby knew nothing about the matter.

It is probable that Julia Tomlinson might have figured as the betrothed of a certain Mr. W. but that another well-known gentleman who lived not anything like ten miles from Ley- ton Station had engrossed all the spare atten- tion which that young lady could give. It was in the drawing-room that this affair was settled,

and for ever after this most comfortable and

elegantly furnished apartment formed an event- ful addenda to the various episodes of Mr.

Stewart's life.

Let me describe the room: It was the only portion of the house which was of brick and plastered, with stucco ornaments, cornices, and ceiling centres, which were cleverly adapted for ventilation also. A chimney was built out into the room, with a simple mantelpiece. Over this mantelpiece a large pier glass, rearing its head to the ceiling, invited the attention of any who desired to consult their physiognomy. In that glass there might occasionally be seen a very pretty reflection if anyone had entered the drawing-room noiselessly. Let none imagine that it was otherwise than "all right," for the exceedingly amiable smile of the lady and the manly, fond, returning glance of the gentleman was a sufficient assurance that it was a very politic and correct sort of thing for thom to esteem one another. It must not be forgotten either that there was always a third personage in the room during this courtship, and this was the father of the lady. The father of the lady! Yes; rather singular—was it not? But then he never spoke—he only looked at the lovers; and there was no spot in the room to which they could retreat but his eyes were upon them. Nevertheless, the eyes never moved, nor did the colonel ever leave the place where he was fixed. He looked very magnificent in his massive gilt frame, and was the supreme object of attraction amidst twenty oil paintings which decorated the walls—the work of his hand, whose likeness, so cleverly drawn by an eminent London artist,

seemed to survey that which he had painted

with evident satisfaction.

The remaining portion of the room was worthy of the taste of such a connoisseur. A massive loo table in walnut, beautifully inlaid with Australian woods, upon richly curved scrolled feet, stood in the centre; this was covered with a thick tapestry cloth. There were six chairs to match, with crimson cushions, two arm- chairs, en suite, and a sofa of so inviting a cha- racter that it seemed a sin not to lie down upon it and resign one's self to the repose which it promised. Then there were ottomans, young, middle-aged, and old. Nota bene, the age is intended to represent the size of them. They rose upwards from about a foot square to the imposing circular edition of the same work, by which mechanical arrangement eight persons could sit in a circle, back to back, as if they were tied to a stake, and only required the fag- gots and the fire to finish them off most gloriously.

In none of all the families upon earth did love shine brighter than at Burnham Beeches. First there was a father's dear love; then, is it profane to say, there was, though unseen, the in- fluence of a sainted mother, breathing an atmos- phere of love which surrounded both father and daughter? and there was that daughter's fondest, dearest love, not lessened to the father when it took into its confidence, as a lover, a Christian friend, an uncompromising champion of truth.

But this is how it came about, for the history of all courtships is a thing not to bo passed over lightly. So a great many people think; yet one would like to know how Job succeeded in getting so curious a creature for his wife. As we read her words—"Curse God and die"—

she seems to have been a queer woman. Who can tell, though, what they would be tempted to say in such a case! It was about two months after the colonel had arrived at Burn-

ham Beeches that Mr. James Stewart rode up to

the front door of Colonel Tomlinson's house. He alighted, fastened his horse to a post which was fixed there for this purpose, and walked into the house with as firm a step as if it be- longed to him, his real purpose being to lay a plot by which he conspired to carry off one of the most costly and precious jewels in that dwelling. Ho felt not the slightest compunction at what he was about to do, but walked boldly into the colonel's office, and made his demand without so much as an expression of regret. The discussion which ensued was rather lengthened; but at last the colonel left his visi- tor to exert the some powerful influence upon Mr. Gumby if he wished and considered that he had any such valuables to part with while he went to seek his daughter, to consult her about this outrageous demand.

Some of the preliminaries may be omitted. The lady was "not in the least surprised, she had suspected the man from the first."

"What do you say about it, dearest?"

"I leave it all in your hands, dear papa."

"No, Julia, no, it is your happiness that I have to consider. James Stewart is in a good position; I should say he is likely to be rich. His partner has signified his wish shortly to return to England, and, upon conditions, he will give up all his share in Leyton Station. These conditions James Stewart will be able to fulfil, and your fortune, dearest, will bo ample for all your necessities, apart from expectancies to which I need not farther allude."

"There is one thing, papa——"

"Stay, my dearest, I ought to tell you a very important matter which may weigh much with you, but is less than nothing in my estimation. James Stewart was a convict."

A shadow of pain passed over the counten- ance of Julia as her father spoke these words; she even started, and raised her hands as if in deprecation of such a charge; but ere she could reply, Colonel Tomlinson added, "I know of a certainty, however, that he was not guilty of the crime for which he has suffered—yes, most terribly."

The colonel then related that which the reader already knows—the charge under which James Stewart was condemned and reached these shores. Before ho had finished, Julia placed her hand upon her father's shoulder, and gradually allowed it to steal round his neck,

where her arm rested until he had finished the terrible narrative. Then she arose, and, facing her father, exclaimed——

"I knew it not, dearest papa, but I thought that there was, at times, a melancholy look upon

his face. I understand it all now. He told me

so kindly, so feelingly, and so modestly that ho did indeed love me; but he added it seemed to him to be presumption to aspire to that which he feared he could never reach. Dearest papa," continued Julia, "I am, you have often said, enthusiastic, but never so much as I am now, when I say——

"I love him for the dangers he has passed,

And he will love me that I do pity them."

"Ah, ah! Good, good!" exclaimed the colonel, laughing. "The fair Julia taking the words of the gallant Othello!"

"Who loved so true, papa, that——"

"He murdered his wife! Well, well, Julia, darling, you will not beat him in that, I know. My dearest, may heaven bless this engagement. Stewart is a regular Nathanael, I believe. You should have heard him put the question."

"Pop the question, papa."

"No, no, you satirical young Rosalind; he has done that already in another place. I said put the question; it was thus—'Colonel Tom- linson, will you let me have your daughter Julia? I will pledge you my word no man on earth shall love her more, or take more care of her, than I will."

"Just like him, papa."

"Humph! you appear to know him tolerably well," replied her father, laughing, "Well, he stopped short at those words, and then I began. But if my life had depended upon it I could not help showing some pleasuro at his words, and I know he saw what I felt for his face thawed from the pallor of ice until it rose to fever heat. Then I left him to cool."

"The best thing you could have done, papa." "By this time it is possible that he has cooled, a little. I expect to find him, under the influ- ence of my long absence, rapidly sinking to- wards zero; and if we remain talking any longer, he may perhaps get far below it, and then what becomes of your lover, Julia?"

"I warrant a few words from you will warm him, papa."

"Or perhaps from you, Julia. Shall I call

him in?"

"Oh! dear papa—yes—papa—only—no— now don't, papa—you speak—please now, do!"

The colonel was gone before she could say all she would have uttered, and the little heart of this gentle, loving creature, palpitated as hard as it could beat for minutes—yes, minutes after-

wards.

In about five minutes Colonel Tomlinson re- turned with James Stewart, and mutual ex- planations commenced. The fine, open eyes of the young man beamed with delight as the tall, honest, and warm-hearted father announced his consent to the engagement, and with a trembling voice said: "Stewart, my lad, I have nothing better to givo you than my Julia. If she be- comes your's, take care of her, I charge you, as you hope to stand well with your Judge at last. She is a dear girl, and you aro worthy of her."

"Thanks, my dear sir," replied Stewart, "many, many thanks. I feel that I have no right——"

"Now, please to lot all that drop, my dear fellow, the past with all of us may have bitter recollections. In your case let it not once be mentioned."

"Again and again, thanks," replied Stewart. "How can I, how shall I say enough?"

"By simply loving this little piece of flesh and blood as the Scriptures command you, I have no other anxiety; no, not one, thank God. I know whom I have believed, and rest on His promise; where He is, there shall I be at the end. Now, in your hands, all my doubt about Julia ends. May God bless you, my children, ever bless you!"

Tho old man turned away his head as he spoke, and both Stewart and Julia were in tears. But after the lapse of a minute, during which Stewart had sat down on the sofa by the side of his betrothed, the colonel turned round, and with a benignant smile said: "I suppose, Mr. Stewart, I may be excused now for a reasonable period."

"Only for a very few minutes, dear papa!"

The few minutes, however, were extended to more than half an hour, and it is more than probable that the interview would not have ter- minated so soon but lunch was announced, and this eating and drinking breaks up many a happy companionship. The author is separated from his papers, the merchant from his ledger, the clergyman from his study and his books, even the most faithful lovers must give up the sweetness of companionship for this necessary gratification.

One of the wisest ordinances of Omniscience is

that which compels us all to seek our food. It is the mainspring of everything. The key which winds up the spring is hunger, and thirst oils the key.

So James Stewart became a very frequent

visitor at Burnham Beeches.

CHAPTER XXX.

SUNDAY AT BURNHAM BEECHES.

It is 9 o'clock. Breakfast is over, and upon the verandah there is standing the colonel, Miss Julia, Alice Welland, and Mr. Wright.

"You may be sure, Miss Julia, he will not come to-day."

"If the 'he,' Mr. Wright, was a certain young gentleman whom I know, there might be some doubt." Julia laughed as she spoke.

"But as 'the he' happens to live some dis- tance away, the inference is that he will be drawn by magnetic attraction," said Alice.

"Excellently said," replied Mr. Wright, "a challenge, I expect, is it not?"

"Just as you please to take it, Mr. Imperti- nence," said Julia.

"Then suppose I take it kindly."

"The best thing you can do, depend on it,"

said Colonel Tomlinson; "these two young ladies are a match for any young follow living."

"That ought to be modified, papa. We will

never allow our personal friends to be misrepre-

sented."

"Which means of course, dearest, that Mr. Wright has misrepresented Mr, James," roplied

the colonel.

"Hardly so, dear papa; but you know he lets no one alone, and this is Sunday, too."

"You want to keep all your thoughts to your- self and Mr. Stewart," said Mr. Wright. "So be it, Miss Julia, we never shall quarrel about that, I do assure you. You must allow me the privilege of a little by-play, I could not exist

without it."

"As much as you please, Mr. Wright, so long as you do not trespass on personal feeling,"

said Julia.

Mr. Wright had fallen into a little disgrace with these young ladies by paying marked attention to two courtships in his one person. He had sought the affections of Miss Julia Gumby, and obtained her assent to the engagement; but after giving her every reason to believe that he was sincere, he made some very significant ad- vances towards Miss Alice, and a council being held between that young lady and Misa Julia, it was unanimously agreed that Mr. Wright must be kept in order. He understood them, and saw that his new investment was likely to turn out a blank. It was fortunate that Mr. Stewart and his partner, Argyle, rodo up as Julia spoke about trespassing on personal feeling, for Mr. Wright turned very red when he saw the bearing of the allusion, and being as hasty as he was at other times good tempered, he was about to reply, but the new arrivals turned the

current of the conversation.

Every one at Burnham Beeches was expected to attend church, so there was a very respectable congregation, which, if it was small, was at least attentive. How well-educated men—many of them collegians with honors attached to their names, and who know their duty to their Maker —can consent to live themselves without the semblance of religion, and surround themselves with men and women with accountable souls without providing one grain of spiritual instruc- tion, is one of the mysteries of human nature. Colonel Tomlinson argued thus: "I believe in God, and can subscribe to the Apostle's Creed. Is not that belief all a sham, if I, as an employer of labor, get all I can out of men's bodies and altogether neglect their souls? Besides this I am," said the colonel, "a professed servant of the Almighty. I am bound to be as jealous of the honor of His name, His day, His worship, and His Gospel, as I am of the Queen whom I serve. I therefore do my best to provide the means of worship, and it is my wish that all whom I employ honor me by honoring the Creator. Better seasons, bettor profits, greater prosperity might rest upon and bless the whole land and its proprietors if this was the rule."

Miss Thomas presided at the harmonium, and at 11 o'clock Cecil's anthem "I will arise" pro- claimed the commencement of the service. All the congregation stood up, and as the anthem was concluded, the solemn pleading, "Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord, for in Thy sight shall no flesh living be justified," pre- pared the way for the appeal to unite in general confession and thanksgiving. The "Venite" was chanted, and so were the "Glorias" and the "Jubilate," but all the rest of the service was the quiet earnest pleading or thanksgiving of men and women who felt their need, and thus

approached near to God to beg Him to supply

it.

The sermon was as simple as the prayers. The preacher did not read but used his notes rather extensively. Perfection in anything is not for earth; the minister at Burnham Beeches Church was as conscious of this as any ono, but he was sincerely devoted to his work. There was no attempt at eloqueuce. He tried to do well all that belonged to his office, but failed in the estimation of some. There were those who thought that he ought to read his sermons, others considered that his notes spoilt him. Then there were some who objected to the length of his discourse—he was never a long preacher, thirty minutes was the limit. But it is orthodox to find fault, and perhaps it has its advantages, for it keeps poor human wisdom in its proper place, and makes the minister depend wholly on wisdom from above. Mr. Coles was not an ambitious preacher, but he had this tes- timony, that he pleased God. His text this morning was from the forty-sixth Psalm, the grand old favorite with Luther, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in

trouble."

There was one who was deeply affected by it. Not very much has been said about her. Mrs. Welland's troubles were not such as are very common to man, nor did there appear any means by which she could hope to escape from them. At times the thought about her lot was too much for her. Tempted to believe that God had forsaken her, she passed her years as one in a dream. Her happy youth, her promising marriage blasted, in one moment, for it was so that it came upon her; the life which followed was bitter in the extreme.

Mr. Colos spoke with much feeling upon the mysterious dealings of Providence; how very frequently a whole life appeared to be passed under the cloud; but Israel's leader was in that cloud, and the redeemed host of God might truly rejoice, for "God was our refuge and strength. He overwhelmed Israel's enemies of old, there was not one of them left, and He is

still a very present help in trouble." "Trust Him," said the preacher, "He has never failed in his promises to me, He will surely perform all you need."

It was usual to conclude the service with a hymn, but upon this occasion benediction was pronounced, and the congregation separated.

The minister had to preach again at 4 o'clock at a place about five miles distant, and it was no uncommon thing for some of the young people to accompany him. To-day the colonel and his daughter, with Mr. Stewart, Mr. Wright, and the two Miss Gumby's, and Miss Thomas, formed the clergyman's escort. Argyle was not well, and so decided to return home, and as a portion of the road which the company had to traverse was his way homeward, he also formed one of

the numerous cavalcade. It has been saidthat this cavalcade formed the clergyman's escort. In point of fact the colonel and his party only accompanied him on his return, the minister preferring to be alone previous to holding a ser- vice; but as all things come to an end so did this service. The sermon was on Sabbath break- ing, and some remarks in it provoked a discus- sion on the journey homeward in which the colonel, Mr. Stewart, and Miss Julia sustained a part, the minister being frequently appealed to when some knotty point required the opinion of a theologian.

The colonel was hardly satisfied that Mr. Colos' definition of the obligation of the Christian

Sabbath was correct.

Said he, "I cannot feel that the first day, Sabbath can be maintained upon the obligation

of the Fourth Commandment."

"I did not say so, colonel," replied Mr. Coles. "My argument was this: a Sabbath is a neces- sity. Grant this, and the question arises whether a general Sabbath is an absolute com- mand, or whether every man may keep Sabbath when he pleases."

"Not a very safe way of putting it," replied Colonel Tomlinson; "state the question thus, and it seems to me that there is no meaning in a day of rest."

"Exactly so, colonel, I contend that a uni- versal Sabbath is binding as a perpetual obliga- tion upon every man. The alteration of the day does not much matter, provided it is Sabbath with all; but there is good Scriptural warrant for the first day, and with this the com- mand in the Decalogue claims strong relation- ship."

"And the design was infinitely wise," said

Mr. Stewart.

"Yes," replied the clergyman, "for though it is said that 'the Sabbath was not made for man, but man for the Sabbath,' yet incidentally the

Sabbath must have been an ordinance of God in prospectu, for man's especial benefit."

"Ah, now I agree with you," said the colo- nel, "and thus there is reason in observing the day of rest, not only as a command, but as a necessity, a privilege, and also—we must not forget this—as a memento."

"I always look upon the stick-gathering man's condemnation," said Julia, "as a hard thing. It is said he did it to make a fire; it was a very harmless proceeding after all."

"Yes, young lady, but the old law being of necessity exact, even to the most minute defini- tion of right and wrong, an offence against so plain a command as that which this man com- mitted was very marked. You recollect that some went out on the Sabbath to gather manna and found none, and God was very angry with

them. The command was at that time an in- stitution only as it had been known from the commencement of time. After it had been

written on the tables of stone, Moses gathered all the people together and said, 'Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sab- bath day.' Now, the case of the Sabbath day stick-gatherer is preceded with these words, 'If a soul doeth aught presumptuously &c., that soul shall be cut off from among the peo- ple.'"

"This man did it presumptuously then, you think?"

"Exactly so, Miss Julia, there cannot be a doubt of it. He wilfully despised the command- ment; he was cut off."

"But by the same rule, Mr. Coles," said Mr. Stewart, "are not we as guilty as that man was? We do many things which were forbidden of

old."

"Presumptuously ? Intentionally? Wil- fully? eh!"

"No, no! I do not mean that," said Mr.

Stewart.

"We have no such regulations in the New Testament," said Mr. Coles.

"But the one strong case of non-necessity," said Colonel Tomlinson. "If there can be no necessity shown, is there not guilt?"

"Well, conscience and the Word of God must decide the necessity theory. To eat must be a necessity, but I do not see that cooking what we eat is!"

"We must feed the animals," said Mr. Ste-

wart.

"And perform our necessary toilet," said

Julia.

"But not blacken our boots," said the colonel. "No; and the whole case," said Mr. Coles, "may safely rest upon the conscience of a good

man."

By this lime they had arrived at the station, and the colonel inviting the clergyman to take dinner with them he cheerfully assented, only craving permission to feed his horse and attend

to some minor domestic matters.

"Which are works of necessity," said the

colonel.

"Just so. Colonel Tomlinson; my horse would cry out against the law as very unreasonable if I was to neglect his food."

"One question more, Mr. Coles: Would you cut his food, if it was green-stuff, for instance?''

"Certainly not Colonel, this may be done late enough on Saturday to suffice for good and pro- per food on Sunday."

"Ah! I see! We are not far off, I am per- suaded. We have been running in parallel lines and both lines are reasonable. Good-bye. In

fifteen minutes we dine."

"I will be there, colonel."

"And now young ladies, three, and young gentleman, one, you must have thought us very rude," said Colonel Tomlinson, "but we have been discussing a religious topic, which became so very interesting that we—or, speaking for myself,—I forgot that there were others in our company."

"Don't mention it, colonel," said Mr. Wright, "we also have been holding a discussion. Did you see the old lady in the corner seat?"

"For shame, Mr. Wright, said Miss Thomas, "she is a very good old woman, I am sure!"

"No doubt; I said nothing to the contrary; but as a fidgety old maid, the thought would in- sist on having a place in my mind, whether old maids or old bachelors were equally to be con-

demned?"

"I expect you took the practical part of the question, and, determining not to be a bachelor, you inflicted a penalty on those who differed from you."

"Yes, Colonel Tomlinson," said Lottie Gumby, "he was right savage about it.''

"And you did your best, Miss Pretty-one, to goad him on to a climax, I expect!"

"Now, Colonel Tomlinson!"

"Ah! I know, I know," said the colonel; "but dinner is waiting. Julia and Mr. Stewart are already at the house. Miss Thomas will dine with us, and I suppose we shall see you all

at 7! Adieu!"

CHAPTER XXXI.

AN ALARM.

Mrs. Welland took her Bible into the din-

ing-room shortly after Colonel Tomlinson and the rest had left, and Alice, with an interesting book, adjourned to the verandah, both having the same purpose in view—viz., a quiet after- noon's reading. The elderly lady was very soon deeply immersed in a retrospective view of past events, suggested by the sermon of the morning. More than an hour thus passed away, and Alice, finding that the book with all its attractions failed to keep her awake, went into the garden, and as this was always a favorite spot with her, she wandered up and down admiring the flowers, and plucking some to form a nosegay. At length she reached the extreme limit of the kitchen garden, and after watching the bees she took out her watch, and finding that it only

wanted half an hour of the timo which was

fixed for dinner on Sundays, she set out to re- turn, when a loud shriek reached her ears, which

was followed by another, and again by a third. Much alarmed, Alice ran hastily up to the house, and found Mrs. Welland lying on tho floor ap- parently dead. She looked around and outside the house, called, shouted, "Is anyone here?"

but not a sound could be heard. The house-

maid was gone to Mr. Brown's, and there was

no one within reach of the house nearer than

Mrs. Gumby. To run to her she thought would be useless, for she had a most unhappy habit of falling into hysterics under the least excite-

ment. Alice was no mere novice in such casual- ties, but she had never known her mother to be subject to fits, moreover she had been so well, so quiet, and composed, that her present condi- tion was unaccountable. However, no time was to be lost; she felt that the pulse was beating very strongly, the breathing being quiet, so, ap- plying stimulants, after a while Mrs. Welland moved her hand to her head, then opened her eyes, and fixing them on Alice said, "Where is

he?"

"Who, dearest mother?" said Alice, with tears in hor eyes.

"Where is he?"

"Don't, now don't look so, dear mother, I am here, your Alice! What is it?"

The terrified woman kept hold of Alice's hand, which she had seized, with the strength of a vice, and still kept rolling her eyes to the right and left as if she was looking for something.

But now the sound of horses cantering up the road was heard, and in another minuto Julia Tomlinson and James Stewart arrived. Alice called to them, and Julia coming in first, with an inquiring look, bent down by the side of Alice and whispered, "What is it?"

"I do not know. Where is the colonel?"

Julia immediately dispatched Stewart for him, and returned to find Mrs. Welland sobbing bitterly. This was continued with increasing hysterical signs, during which Colonel Tomlin- son came in, and, with Mr. Stewart's aid, Mrs. Welland was carried to her room and laid upon her bed. Here she became quieter, and again opening her eyes she fixed them upon Colonel Tomlinson, and in a whispered voice said, "I

have seen him."

He needed nothing more to tell him who she meant. With a look of intense vexation he re- plied, "It is come then. Poor Kate, your life

has been a bitter one.''

Explanations followed as far as the colonel felt that he was at liberty to give them, and Mrs. Welland was left in charge of Alice and Julia, while the gentlemen adjourned to partako of a hastily prepared dinnor. This was always a cold collation on Sunday, but not lesB sumptuous on this account. Over the wine the colonel re- lated somewhat of Mrs. Welland's troubles, ex- cluding everything of a personal character which he considered it unnecessary to introduce. He had only just completed the narrative when Julia appeared, and announced that Mrs. Wel- land wished to speak with him.

It was customary to conclude the Sabbath with a conversational service, which, on moon- light nights, was attended by others, in addition to the family and Mr. Coles. A scriptural inci- dent, such as a miracle, or a part of Jewish his- tory, and at times a whole chapter, was read by each in turn, and thon a conversation ensued.

Anyone was at liberty to illustrate by their own experience the subject of the evening or any part of it, and very frequently some lively and instructive discussions ensued. The clergyman always presided, and upon difficult questions simply read the opinions of eminent writers, who had commented upon the text. At 8 o'clock the conversation was brought to a close, the evening hymn was sung, and an extempore prayer concluded the Sabbath services.

After the service this evening, the colonel re- quested Mr. Coles and Mr. Stewart to favor him with a few minutes, as he wished to consult them upon an important and pressing matter. Of course they assented, and into the drawing-room the colonel led the way.

"My dear sirs," said he, "I am surrounded with difficulties which threaten much vexation and trouble. I told you, after dinner, somewhat of dear Mrs. Welland's troubles. What think you?"

"That her husband is near at hand?" said Stewart.

"True; and has appeared to her," said the

colonel.

"And is the same man whom you saw at Mr. Baines' station," continued Stewart.

"No! Is he though?" said the colonel. "How do you know this, James? Are you

sure of it?"

"Quite sure, colonel. I had it from his own lips. Had not Argyle so foolishly, as I think, attempted to arrest him, something might have

been done for him."

"But surely, James, you could not have re- commended any step by which our friend would have been again troubled with so abominable a

wretch?"

"I do not know, colonel; I saw him under circumstances which would have melted the stoutest heart."

"So have I, James, seen many of these fel- lows weep in their cells as if their heart was breaking, but they were as bad as any devils in hell could be, after the sickness was over."

"Ah! but this man is an extraordinary crea-

ture."

"Indeed he is, James!"

"I do not mean that he is so, as you look upon his character and history, Colonel Tomlin- son. He is a wild man, but retains many of the remnants and recollections of an early reli- gious education."

"But even this, James, surely ought not to have any weight with you in the face of his most frightful turpitude."

"Will you excuse me, gentlemen, both of you?" said Mr. Coles, "I am evidently judging the question upon premises which are most un- satisfactory. What has the man done?"

"He has committed forgery and murder,"

said Colonel Tomlinson.

The clergyman lifted up his hands in horror as he replied, "And he is the husband of our good friend?"

"Yes."

"This is frightful indeed," said Mr. Coles.

"But is there no forgiveness for such?" said

Stewart.

"Forgiveness to the uttermost, if such truly repent, and ask for pardon through Christ."

"I believe this, Mr. Coles, and I would fain seek the guilty creature, and try to reclaim him."

"Stay, stay, James!" said Colonel Tomlinson. "Your strong Christian principles may carry you beyond the bounds of prudence. My feel- ing hovers between love and esteem for our dear friend, Mrs. Welland—who is, in fact, Mr. Coles, no other than Mrs. Judd—duty to the state, and a hope to save this guilty creature from final ruin. Allow me to ask a question—Would more commiseration for the sufferings of a con- victed felon be considered a sufficient plea why he should be again received into favor, confi- dence, and love? I confess that I am unable to see it in this light."

"Undoubtedly you are right, colonel," said Stewart, "if strict justice is insisted on."

There was silence for a minute or two, and then Colonel Tomlinson said, "This man is amongst the blacks, a large tribe of which is camped in the neighborhood. We shall have to rout them out of their haunt."

"Pardon me," said Stewart; "I feel strongly about this poor follow. What think you—would it be safe to go to the blacks' camp, and try to speak to him? I am ready to go."

"Very generous and good, indeed, James. But what would your object be? To restore to Mrs. Judd an unworthy husband? I do not think that any of us would thank you for such philanthropic zeal; for I must give you credit for a feeling which I could not sympathise in. If you were to lose your life in the attempt, I know of more than one who would rather that the criminal came to grief than his victim."

"Many thanks, colonel, for such words."

"There is a point which I think you have not considered," said Mr. Coles. "Will not this man be a constant plague to you now?"

"I have thought of that, my dear sir, and more than that. We shall all be in danger every hour of our lives. Even to-night I must set a watch around the premises."

"God is our refuge and strength, colonel; a very present help in trouble."

"True, Mr. Coles; and now is the time to practice what you preached."

"My labor, then, will not be in vain. Good night, my dear friend. 'Joy cometh in the morning.'"

So the Sabbath ended, with another illustra- tion of the truth, "We know not what a day may bring forth."

CHAPTER XXXI.

REVELATIONS FOR ALICE.

Mrs. Judd was seriously ill the next morning. The long and terrible strain upon her nervous system had received a severe shock, of a far more serious character than any she had yet ex- perienced since the terrible night when Judd committed the murder at Leyton. It was ne- cessary to keep her very quiet and to administer soothing medicines, and even these failed for some time to produce any satisfactory effect. It was more than three weeks before she was able to leave her bed, and fully a week longer before she appeared amongst the family. In the meantime the blacks appeared to have removed away from the neighborhood, for nothing further was heard of them, which was a source of great congratulation with all.

It was about a month after Judd had ap- peared so suddenly to his poor wife that she was sitting in an arm chair. "My child," she said to Alice, "I want to talk to you. You remem- ber, my dear, that Sabbath when Mr. Coles preached from the text, 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.' It was on that day I had my fright. Your father appeared to me."

"My father?"

How carefully the secret had been kept from the daughter may be conceived.

"Yes," said Mrs Judd, "your father. Lis- ten, dearest, it is a tale of sorrow as well as hor- ror that I have to tell you, but I think you ought to know it, even though the knowledge may be as it has been to me, a source of the deepest grief. About thirty years ago I was married to your father, we were not young, but we had known each other for some years. He was not vicious, but I could not call him steady, nor was I at that period so consistently regular in religious observances as I ought to have been. Had it been otherwise perhaps I might not have suffered the afflictions which I have undergone.

"For a time we were tolerably happy in a nice comfortable home at Southampton. Your father always represented himself as engaged in cus- tom house work, visiting the ships which came into port. I soon found out, however, that a great deal of smuggling was mixed up with his employment; I more than suspect that it was his sole pursuit. How foolish I was not to in- quire more closely into his life than I did. But my father knew him, and liked him; and many an evening they sat over their pipes and grog, talking over their adventures and the people amongst whom they spent their lives, for my father was the captain of a trading vessel, and sometimes your father would go with him, es- pecially when he crossed over to France, which he did frequently.

"I think it was about three years after we were married that one night your father brought to our house three rough-looking men. They were bold, reckless fellows; one might have seen that at a glance, bit I was not prepared for such iniquity as they were capable of. They had been talking, smoking, and drinking about an hour, when one of them said, 'Perhaps the dame would so oblige as to allow them to have a little private chat about some very important business, which, as it concerned the customs, was necessarily a secret.' I replied, 'between my husband and myself there are no secrets, but I do not want to be mixed up with anything

you do."

"'Oh!' said the man, 'missus is cross.'"

"' Yes,' I replied, 'I am cross, and more than that, I am insulted by my house being invaded by those who cannot mean good, when they wish to send the mistress away from her own fire-

side.'

"' Oh! Kate,' said your father, 'it is not so bad as that. You shall know all by-and-by.'

"'I don't want to know, Henry,' said I, and

left the room.'

"Well, my dear, the men remained till near midnight, and were drunk before they left.

Your father came to bed nearly as bad as they, and nothing more was said that night. In the morning he said 'that a very profitable pro- posal was made to him by these men, by which he could make a lot of money very quickly.'

"Then he told me that one of them was the owner of a ship which did a little free-trading."

"Smuggling," I replied.

"'Well, smuggling,' he said, 'but we like the

other word best.'

"'Henry,' said I, laying my hand on his shoulder and kissing his forehead, 'we may be happy without these ill-gotten riches, every penny of which may be taken from us in a moment. If you embark in this matter you will kill me, and it may be, your babe also. Do not, do not, I entreat you; do not do this wicked thing.'

"'I will not,' said he, and he went out.

"The day passed away, and he did not come

home until night, when he told me that he had seen the men, and had declined their proposal. Moreover he had heard of a situation, and he was going to apply for it. he obtained that situation, Alice, and I thought we should be happy yet. Shortly after you were born.

"I will not enter into the particulars of our removal from Southampton, but merely tell you that it was mainly brought about by the convic- tion of James Stewart, for forgery.

"I see you start with surprise. I do not wonder at it. I was more astonished than you were; grieved, heart-stricken, half insane, when I found out that your father was the forger and James Stewart his victim. He had, unknown to me, become involved with those men, and being threatened by one of them with summary proceedings in the shape of an anonymous letter to his employer, if the sum of forty pounds was not paid within a week, he forged a cheque for this amount, obtained the money, and sent James Stewart into gaol.

"We soon removed into Suffolk, and for a time your father went on steadily. He was em- ployed by a person who knew him in Southamp- ton, and through whose influence he also ob- tained another office, that of manager or secre- tary to a farmers' club. I did not know till long afterwards why we removed to Suffolk, or any- thing about the forgery; in fact, your father's life was one continued series of deceptions.

"One night I was sitting alone, waiting for him to come home, it was market night, and occasionally it was late before the farmers left the town. I had put you to bed and sat down to work; suddenly I heard footsteps approach- ing the house very hurriedly. I had risen to open the door, but before I could do so your father rushed into the room. Our house had no passage, so the front door opened into the room

where I was sitting.

"'My good God,' I exclaimed, as I saw him, what have you done?' I did not think of the words, but spoke in the impulse of the moment, in a way which I could never account for.

"'Done!' he cried, 'why do you ask me?' "'Because there is blood upon you,' I said. "'Blood!' he replied, 'where?' "'On your head,' I cried out.

"He misunderstood me. I meant that there was blood on his face, but he took it in another sense, that blood rested upon his head. He burst out, 'Tis the blood of young Rouse, then!'

"'Who?' I exclaimed, in horror, for the truth began to flash upon my mind.

"Oh, hang you!' he replied, 'give me some

water.'

"No!' said I, 'go to the sink and get it your- self Judd, you have reached the height at last.'

"'What height?' he exclaimed, 'the gallows? Never! I'll cut my throat first.'

"It was then that I fell down on my knees by the side of your cot, and cried out, 'O, my God, hear me, from this moment I take this child and we will together seek our way through this world. O, God, protect this babe, her father

is no more.'

"He had come to my side as I spoke, and his appearance was altogether wild and ghastly.

"'Kate,' he said, 'I am lost, I know, but I have heard that a wife, of all others in the world, should defend and shield her husband. Will you betray me?'

"I hesitated, for I could not speak. If any- one had given me a thousand pounds I could not have replied at that moment, and he again put the question to me.

"I said,' Go; go, Judd, the place is not safe for you. Murder will out. I feel something within me which tells me that the messengers of vengeance are after you.'

"'Where, where?' he cried, and with a shriek he rushed from the house. I tried to restrain him, but in vain, he was gone. I saw him again but only for a few minutes. In a few days I left Suffolk to visit my aged mother, and soon after I heard that your father was in custody upon another charge, and upon this he was convicted

and transported for life. Alice, I never saw him from that day until the Sunday when you found me, as you say, senseless upon the floor.

"I was reading my Bible and was thinking, when, hearing a rustling noise, I opened my eyes and saw a man standing on the verandah.

"'Who are you?' I exclaimed, 'and what do you want?'

"He did not reply, and I repeated the ques- tion. He then said, 'Kate!'

"I heard no more but fell from my chair, and when I came to myself you were kneeling by my side. You know the rest.'

It was an effort for Mrs. Judd to get through this history, and as she concluded Alice found that she was completely exhausted.

It was, therefore, with intense pleasure that she saw her mother drop off into a profound sleep. She sat by her side watching her, and thinking over the revelation to which she had listened; but the longer she thought the deeper became the impression in reference to that mother's love. "Bless you, bless you," she ex- claimed mentally, "may God Almighty bless you, indeed, my mother."

[To be Continued.]