Chapter 1396876

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Chapter NumberBOOK IV XVI
Chapter TitleFIFTEEN HOURS.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1396876
Full Date1876-02-05
Page Number3
Corrections1
Word Count5477
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2008-09-28
Newspaper TitleThe Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)
Trove TitleHis Natural Life
article text

nis'Natnral'Lifc,*

Bi Marcus Clarke.

BOOK IV.

Chapter XVI.

FIFTEEN HOURS.

Smin Hew to Rex. " Reuse yourself, John, , tran's sake. -We have not n moment.

f°J n Rex passed'bis hand over his forehead wearily " 1 cnanok thi,lk- l />m br°k°U d°WD' i ,m ill" My bruin seems dead.

Ncrvously 'watching the prostrate figure on the floor she hurried on bonnet, doak, and veil, and ?°l '.winkling hud him outside the house aud Zo , cab "39, Lombard-street. Quick I" .

"You won't give me up ?" said Rex, turning

dU« Give3you upT'No. But the poBce will be

.her us so soon as that woman can speak, and her brother summon his lawyer. I know what

her promise Jb worth. We have got about

fifteen hours." .... ?» ,

«I can't go far, Sarah," said he ; " I am sleepy

""she repressed the terrible fear that tugged at her heart; aud strove to rally him. " You yo Leen drinking too uiuoh, Johu. Now sit still and be good, while I go aud get some money for v0u " She hurried iuto tho bank, and her name secured her au interview with the manager at

" That's a rich woman," said one of the clerks

to his friend.

" A widow, too I Chanco for you, Tom, re- turned the other ; and presently from ont tho ?acred presence came another clerk with n request for " a draft on Sydney for three thousand, less premium," and bearing n cheque signed "Sarah Carr" for £200, which he " took" in notes, aud

go returned again.

From the bank she was taken to Green's ship- ping office. " I want tu take a cabin in the first ship for Sydney, please."

The shipping clerk looked at a board. The Highflyer goes iu twelve days, madam, and there

is one cabin vacant."

" I want to go at once?to-morrow or next

Ho smiled. ?" I am afraid that U impossible,"

said he.

Just then one of tho partners carno out of

his private room with a telegram in his hand, and beckoned tho shipping clerk. Sarah was about to depart for another office, when the clerk came hastily back. " Just the thiug for you, ma'am," said he, " We have got a telegram from a gentle- man who hus a first cabin in the Dido, to say that his wife has beeu taken ill, aud he must give up his berth."

" When does the Dido sail ?"

"To-morrow morning. She is at Plymouth, waiting for tho mails, if you go down to-night by tho mail-train which leaves at 9.30, you will be in plenty of time, and we will telegraph."

" I will take the cabin. How much 1"

"Ono hundred aud thirty pounds, madam,"

said he.

She produced her notes. "Pray count it yourself. We have beou delayed in tho same manner ourselves. My husband is a great invalid, but I was not so fortunate as to got someone to refund nj our passage-money."

" What name did you Bay V asked tho clerk, counting. " Mr. and Mrs. Carr. Thauk you," aud ho handed her tho slip of paper.

"Thauk you," said Sarah, with a bewitching smile, and swept down to her cab again.

Johu Rex was gnawing his nails iu sullen apathy. She displayed tho passage-ticket. " You are saved I By the time Mr. Devino gets his wits together, und his sister recovers her speech, we shall bo past pursuit."

" To Sydney I" eries Rox, angrily, looking at the warrant. " Why there of all places in God's

earth!"

Sarah surveyed him with an expression of con- tempt. " Because your Boheme has failed. Now this is mine. You have deserted me once, you will do so again in any other country. You are a murderer, a villain, and a coward, but you suit me. I save you, but I mean to keep you. I noll bring you to Australia, whero the first trooper will arrest you at my bidding ns nu escaped convict. If you don't Uko to como, stay behind. I don't care. I am rich. I have done no wrong. The law cannot touch mo?Do you agree ? Then tell the mau to drive to Silver's ia Cornhill for your outfit."

" Having housed him at last?all gloomy and despondent?in a quiet tavern near the railway station, sho tried to get somo information as to

this last revealed crime.

" How came you to kill Lord Bellasis 1" she asked him quietly.

" I had found out from my mother that I was his natural Bon, and one day riding home from ii pigeon match I told him so. Ho taunted me? and I struck him. I did not mean to kill him, hut he was au old man, and in my passion 1 struck hard. As ho foll, I thought I saw a horse- man among the trees, and I galloped off. My ill-luck began then, for the same night I was

arrested at the coiners."

"But I thought there was robbery," said she.

" Not hy me. But, for God's sake, talk no more about it. I am Bick?my brain is going round. I want to sleep."

" Be careful, please I Lift him gently I" said Mrs. Carr, as tho boat ranged alongside the Dido, (jaunt and grim, in tho early dawn of a bleak May muming.

" What's the matter ?" asked tho officer of the watch, perceiving the bustle in the boat.

" Gentleman seems to have bad a Stroke," said

a boatman.

It was so. There was no fear that John Rex would escape again from the woman ho had de- ceived. Tho infernal geniiiB of Sarah Purfoy had saved her lover at last?but saved him only that she might nurse him till ho died?died ignorant evenof her tenderness, a mere animal, lacking the intellect ho had in his selfish wickedness

abused.

Chapter XVII.

TUE REDEMPTION.

¦-"That is my story. Let it plead with ?°U ^hiV1? you *rom your PurP0Se. aIld to save uer. The punishment of sin falls not upon tho sinner only. A deed once done lives in its con- sequence for ever, and this tragedy of four lives, tau tragedy of shame and crime to which my letona death is a fitting end, is but tho out-come ot a selfish sin like yours I"

It hid grown dark in the prison, and as he ceased s peaking, Rufus Dawes felt a trembling nano, seize his own. It was that of tho chap- let me hold your hand !?Sir Richard devine did not murder your father. He was murdered by a. horseman who riding with him, struck him and fled."

I Merciful God I How do you know thia ?"

because I saw the murder committed, be ranse-dont let go my hand?I robbed the

" ion!'?

"In my youth I was a gambler. Lord Bellasis I? i'n0"ey from me> nnd to Pay Wm I forged Wi, . 0«hange. Unscrupulous and cruel, S«,,M i>Ded to c3£P03e me u J did not g>? him dal, , ? !um' Por6ery was death in those nrml r 8t?,,ned eTerJ nerve to buy back the K",m?fo"y- I succeeded I was to meet wra Bellasis near his own house at Hampstead mon,. "'Iht o£- wMcI' f°u BP<**, to I»y the Ll. 7 and re,ce!ve the bills- When I saw kim murdr Pred -!'& but inBtcad of pursuing his fi«' T "fled hk P°<*et-book of my

trial ?,t ? ,Wa? afraid to S"'8 evidence at the

'^XyTand I""? ""Wd y°U" Ah ' y°U UaVe tCGwt &«£* ^ '" 6Sid RufUB DaWeS' and

make^'" °?ed Nortu- "SPaak or you will 8$r ? Maf- Reproach-ni I Spurn me I &IPd0n^,J0U «»** think worse of me did3Un0th° °tUer' his head buried in Ms hands, '^ered^rof'the'ceTl'11 * ^ ^^ ^^

had enl1,L5n*ihoilr bad PasBed since the chaplain C^bia ithe /um-"ast in hi, hand,'and m»t twlerVed' "ith semi-drunken astonish tended Tn thra|rt-ye? m#*\ He Uad in one sun s? l mstance, to have taken but blett wM con.^meilt?f,bia courtesy-for Gim matte Vi CB??8C10US of 1^ own weakness in the waited th- ?g ^rs-but os he waited and ""d at'lenrtr? » 6UP became two, the two three, ^ttle h'S ? "T tban half the conte^ of the

»» ^r morr^mU % **& and maddened

-__J^- Gnnblett was in a quandary. If

,y^T£l£!£^nSS£ta"?» Li'8" totem pur

Haren. CUrkt P eton "'¦ Tu Q<"t>ulanaer from iii.

lie didn't finish the flask, ho would be oppressed with an. everlasting regret. . If he did finish it he would be drunk ; and to be drunk on duty was the one unpardonable sin. He looked across tho darkness of the sea, to where the rising aud falling light marked the schooner. The Com- mandant was a long way off I A faint breeze, which had?according to Blmit's prophecy? arisen with tho night, brought up to him the voices of the boat's crew from the jetty below him. His friend Jack Mannix was coxswain of her. Ho would give Jack a drink. Leaving tho gate, ho advanced to tho edge of the embank- ment, and, putting his head over, called out to his friend. The breeze, however, which was momentarily freshening, carried his voice away ; and Jack Mannix, heariug nothing, continued his conversation. Giinblett was just drunk enough to be virtuously indignant at this in- civility, and seating himself on the edge of the bank, swallowed the remainder of the rum at a draught. The effect upon his enforcedly-tempe- rate stomach was very touching. He made one feeble attempt to get upon his legs, cast a re- proachful glance at the rum-bottle, essayed to drink out of its spirituous emptiness, and then, with a smile of reckless contentment, cursed the island and all its contents aud fell fust asleep.

North, coming out of the prison, however, did uot notice the absence of the gaoler ; indeed, he was not in a condition to notice anything. Bare- headed, without his clonk, with staring eyes and clenched hands, he rushed through the gates into the night os one who flies headlong from some fearful vision. It seemed that, absorbed in his own thoughts, ho took no heed to his steps, for instead of taking the path which led to the sea, ho kept along tho more familiar one that led to his own cottage on the hill. " This man a convict I" ho cried. " He is a hero?a martyr I What a life I Love ! Yes, that is love indeed I Oh, James North, how bnso nit thou iu the eyes of God beside this despised outcast I" And so muttering, tearing his gray hair, and beating his throbbing temples with clenched hands,'he reached his own room, and Baw by the light of tho new-born moon, the dressing-bag and candle standing on the tablo as he had left them. They brought again to his mind the recollection of the task that was before him. Ho lighted the candle, and, taking the bag in his hand, cast one last look round tho chamber which had witnessed his futile struggles against that baser part of himself which had at last triumphed. It was so. Fate lind condemned him to Bin, and he must now fulfil the doun he might once have averted. Already he fancied he could Bee the speck that was the schooner move slowly away from tho prison shore. Ho must not linger ; they would be waiting for him at the jetty. As ho turned, the moonbeams?ns yet uuobscured by tho rapidly, gathering clouds?flung a silver streak across tho sea, aud across that streak North saw pass a boat. Was his distracted brain playing him false 1?in the stern sat, wrapped in a cloak, tho figure of a man I A fierce gust of wind drove tho sea-rack over the moon, and the bout dis- appeared, as though swallowed up by the gather ing storm. North staggered back as tho truth

struck him.

He remembered how ho had said, " I will ro deein him, if I redeem him with my own blood!" Was it possiblo that a just heaven hud thus decided to allow tho man whom a coward had coudenmed, to escape, and to punish the coward who remained ? Oh, this man deserved free dom; ho was honest, noble, truthful! How different from himself?a hatoful self-lover, an unchaste priest, a drunkard. The looking-glass, in which the saiutly face of Meekin was soon to be reflected, stood upon the table, and North, peering into it, with one hand mechanically thrust into the bag, started in insane rage at tho palo face and bloodshot eyes he saw there. What a hateful wretch he had become I The last fatal impuhjo of the insanity which seeks relief from its own hideous self came upon him, and his lingers closed convulsively upon the object they had been seeking.

" It is better so," ho muttered, addressing, with fixed eyes, his own detested image. " I have examined you long enough. I have read your heart, and written out ymir secrets I You are but a shell?the shell that holds a corrupted, and sinful heart. Ile shall live ; you Bhall die I" The rapid motion of his arm overturned the candle, and all was dark.

Rufus Dawes, overpowered by the revelation so suddenly made to him, had remained for a few moments motionless in his cell, expecting to hear tho heavy clang of the outer door, which should announce to him the departure of the chaplain. But ho did not hear it, and it seemed to him that tho air in the cell had grown suddenly cooler. He went to the door, and looked into the narrow corridor, expecting to soe tho scowl ing countenance of Gimblett. To his astonish- ment the door of the prison was wide open, and not a soul in sight. His first thought was of North. Hod the story ho had told, coupled with tho entreaties ho had lavished, sulliced to turn him from his purpose ?

He looked around. The night was falling sui lenly ; tho wind was mounting ; from beyond the bar came the hoarse murmur of nu angry sea. If tho schooner was to sail that night, she hud best get out into deep waters. Where was the chaplain ? Pray heaven the delay had been suffi- cient, aud they had sailed without him. Yet they would be sure to meet. Ho advanced a few steps nearer, and looked about him. Was it possible that, in his madness, the chaplain had been about to commit some violence which had drawn the trusty Gimblett from Ilia post? " Gr-r-r-r I Ouph !" The trusty Gimblett was lying at his feet?dead drunk I

" Hi I hobo I Hillo there I" roars somebody from the jetty below. " He that you, Muster Noarth I We ain't too much tiatu, sur !" Krom the uncurtained windows of the chaplain's house on tho hill beamed the newly-lighted caudle. They in the boat did not seo it, but it brought to the prisoner a wild hope that made his heart bound. He ran back to his cell, clapped ou North's wideawake, and flinging the cloak hastily about him, came quickly down the steps. If the

moon should shine out now I

"Jump in, sir," says unsuspecting Mannix, thinking only of the flogging he had been threatened with. "It'll be a dirty night this night I Put this over your knees, sir. Shove her off I Give way!" And they were afloat. But one glimpse of moonlight fell upon the slouched hat and cloaked figure, and the boat's crew, engaged in the dangerous task of navi- gating the reef in the teeth of the rising gale, paid no attention to tho chaplain.

"By George, lads, we're but just in time I" crieB Maunix; aud they laid alongside the schooner, black in blackness. " Up ye go, yer honor, quick " The wind had shifted, and was now off the shore. Blunt, who had begun to repent of his obstinacy, but would not confess it, thought the next best thing to riding out the gale was to get out to open sea. "D-the parson," he had said in all heartiness; " we can't wait all night for him. Heave ahead, Mr. Johnson !" And so tho anchor was a-trip as ? Rufus Dawes ran up the side.

The Commandant, already pulling off in his own boat, roared a coarse farewell. "Good-bye, North ! lt was touch nnd go with ye I" adding, "Curse the fellow, he's too proud to answer."

The chaplain indeed spoke to no one, nnd plunging down the hatchway, made for the stern cabins. " Close shave, your reverence I" said a respectful somebody, opening a door. It was ; but the clergyman did not say so. He double locked the door, and hardly realising the dauger he had escaped, flung himself on the bunk, pant- ing. Over his head he heard the rapid tramp of feet and the cheery

Yo hi-oh ! and a rumlxilow !

of the men at the capstan. He could smell the sea, and through the open window of tho cabin could distinguish the light in the chaplain's house on the hill. The trampling ceased, the vessel began to move swiftly?the Commandant's boat appeared below him for an instant, making her way back?the Lady Franklin had set sail. With his eyes fixed on the tiny light, ho strove to think what was best to be done. It was hope- less to think that he could maintain the im- posture which, favored by the darkness and con- fusion, he had hitherto successfully attempted. He was certain to be detected at Hobart Town, even if he could lio concealed during his Jong and tedious voyage. That mattered little, how- ever. He had saved Sylvia, for North had been left behind. Poor North I Ab the thought of pity carne to him, the light he looked at was suddenly extinguished, and Rufus Dawes, com- pelled thereto os by an irresistible power, fell upon his knees and prayed for the pardon and happiness of the man who had redeemed him.

"That's a gun from the shore," Bays Partridge,

the mate, "and they'ro burning a red light. There's a prisoner escaped. Shall we lie-to j"

" Lie-to !" cries old Blunt, with a tremendous oath. " We'll have suthin else to do. Look

there I"

The sky to the northward was streaked with a belt of livid green color, abovo which rose a mighty black cloud, whose shapo was ever chauging.

Chapter XVIII.

THE CYCLONE.

Blunt, recognising tho metorie heralds of danger, began to regret his obstinacy. He saw that a hurricane was approaching.

Along the south coast of the Australian con- tinent, though the usual westerly winds and gales of the highest latitudes prevail during tho greater portion of the year, hurricanes are not uufrequeut. Gales commence at N.W. with a low barometer, increasing nt W. and S.W., nnd gradually veering to the south. True cyclones occur nt New Zealand. The log of tho Adelaide for February 29, 1S70, describes one which travelled at the rate of ten miles an hour, aud had all tho veerings, calm centre, &c., of n true tropical hurricane. Now, a cyclone occurring off the west const of New Zealand would travel from tho New Hebrides, where such storms are hideously frequent, and envelope Norfolk Island, passing directly across tho track of vessels coming from South America to Sydney. It was one of these rotatory storms, an escaped tempest of the tropics, which threatened the Lady

Franklin.

The ominous calm which had brooded over the island duriug the day had given placo to a smart breeze from the north-east, and though tho schooner had been sheltered at her anchorage under tho lee of the island (tho " harbor " looked nearly duo south), when onco fairly out to sea, Blunt saw it would be impossible to put back in the teetli of the gale. Haply, however, the full fury of tho storm would not overtake them until they had gained sea-room.

Rufus Dawes, exhausted with tho excitement through which ho had passed, had slept for some two or three hours, when he was awakened hy the motion of the vessel going on tho other tack. He roso to his feet, and found himself in com- plete darkness. Overhead was tho noise of trampling feet, and he could distinguish the hoarse tones of Blunt bellowing orders. Aston- ished at tho absence of tho moonlight which had so lately silvered the sea, ho Hung open the cabin window and looked out. As wo have said, the cabin allotted to North was ono of the two stern cabins, and from it tho convict had a full view of the approaching storm.

Tho sight was one of wild grandeur. Tho ..huge black cloud which hung in the horizon had

changed its shape. Instead of a curtain it was an arch. Beneath this vast aud magnificent portal, shone a dull phosphoric light. Across this livid space pale Hashes of sheet-lightning passed noiselesBly. Behind it was a dull and threatening murmur, made up of thc grumbling of thunder, tho falling of rain, and the roar of contending wind and water. Tho lights of tho prison-isliind hud disappeared, so rapid lind been the progress of the schooner under tho steady breeze, and the ocean stretched around, black and desolate. Gazing upon this gloomy ex- panse, Rufus Dawes observed a strange pheno- menon?lightning appeared to burst upwards from tho sullen bosom of tho sea. At intervals, darkly rolling waves flashed fire, and streams of flame shot upwards. Tho wind increased in vio- lence, aud the arch of light was fringed with rain. A dull red glow hung around Uko tho reflection of a eonllngration. Suddenly a tremendous peal of thunder, accompanied by a terrific downfall of rain, rattled along the sky. Tho arch of light disappeared, as though some invisible hand had shut the slido of a giant lantern. A great wall of water rushed, roaring, over the level plain of the sea, and, with an indescribable medley of Bounds, in which tones of horror, triumph, and

torture wero blended, tho cyclone Bwooped upon

them.

Rufus Dawes comprehended that the elements had come to save or destroy him. In that awful instant the natural powers of the man roso equal to tho occasion. In a few hours his fate would be decided, and it was necessary that ho should take all precautions. One of two events seemed inevitable?ho would either be drowned where he lay, or, should the vessel weather the storm, lie would ho forced upon deck, and tho desperate imposture he lind attempted bo discovered. For a moment despair overwhelmed him, and hocon tcmplated tho raging sea as though he would cast himself into it, and thus end his troubles. The touos of a woman's voico recalled him to himself. Cautiously unlocking tho cabin door, ho peered out. Tho cuddy was lighted by a swinging lamp, which revealed Sylvia question- ing one of tho women concerning the storm. As Rufus Dawes looked, ho Baw her glance, with an air half nf hope, half of fear, towards tho door behind which he lurked, and he understood that she expected to seo tho chaplain appear to com- fort hor. The thought gave him un idea. Lock- ing the door he proceeded hastily to dress him- self in North's clothes. Ho would wait until his aid wns absolutely required, and then rush nut. lu the darkness, Sylvia would mistake him for tho priest. He could convey her to the boat? if recourse to tho boats should be rendered neces-

sary?and then take the hazard of his fortune. ' While she was in danger, his place was near her.

From tho deck of tho vessel thc scone was appalling. The clouds hud closed in. The arch of light had disappeared, and all wan a dull windy blackness. Gigantic sens seemed to mount iu the horizon and sweep towards and upon them. It was as lliough tho ship lay in thc vortex of a whirlpool, so high on each side of her were piled the rough pyramidal masses of sea. .Mighty gusts arose?claps of wind which seemed like strokes of thunder. A sail which had loosened from its tackling was torn away and blown out to sea, disappearing like a shred of white paper to leeward. The mercury in the barometer marked 29'fJO. Blunt, who had been at the rum bottle, swore great oaths that no soul on board would Beo another sun ; and when Partridge rebukod him for blasphemy at such a moment, wept spirituous tears.

Tho howling of tho wind was benumbing ; the very fury of sound enfeebled while it terrified. The sailors, horror-stricken, crawled about the deck, clinging to anything they thought most secure. It wns impossible to raise the head to look to windward. Tho eyelids wore driven together, and the face stung by tho swift and biting spray. Men breathed this atmosphere of salt and wind and became sickened. Partridge felt that orders were useless?the man at his elbow could not have heard them. The vessel lay almost on her beam-ends, with her helm up, stripped even of the sails which had been furled

upon the yards. Mortal hands could do nothing

for her.

By fivo o'clock in tho morning tho galo had reached its height. Tho heavens showered out rain audlightnings ; rain which the wind blew away before it reached the ocean, light- nings which the ravenous and mountain- ous waves swallowed before they could pierce tho gloom. The ship lay over on her side, held there by tho madly ruBhing wind, which seemed to flatten down the sea, cutting off tho tops of tho waves, and brenking them into fine white spray, which covered the ocean, like a thick cloud, ns high os tho topmast heads. Each gust seemed unsurpassable in intensity, but was succeeded, after a pause, that was not a lull but a gasp, by one of more frantic violence. The barometer stood nt 27'82. The Bliip was a mere laboring, crazy wreck, that might sink at any moment. At half-past three o'clock the baro- meter had fallen to 27'02. Save when lighted by occasional flashes of sheet-lightning, which Bbowed to the cowed wretches their awestricken faces, this tragedy of the elements was per- formed in a darkness almost palpable.

Suddenly the mercury rose to 29*90, and, with one awful shriek, the wind dropped to a calm. The Lady Franklin had reached the centre of the cyclone. Partridge, glancing to where tho great body of drunkeu Blunt rolled helplessly lashed to the wheel, felt a strange selfish joy tbiill him. If the ship survived, tho drunken captain would be dismissed, and he, Partridge the gallant, would reign in his stead. The schooner, no longer steadied by tho wind, was at the mercy of every sea. Volumes of water poured over her. Presently Bhe heeled over, for, with a triumphant scream, the wind leapt on to her from a fresh quarter. Following its usual course, the storm returned upon its track. Tho hurricane was about to repeat itseli from the

north-west.

The Bea, pouring down through the burst hatchway, tore the door of the cuddy from ita hinges. Sylvia found herself surrounded by a wildly-surging torrent which threatened to over whelm ber. She shrieked aloud for aid, but her

voice was inaudible even to herself. Clinging to tile mast which penetrated the little cuddy, she fixed her eyes upon tho door, behind which she imagined was North, and whispered a last prayer for succor. The door opened, and from tint tho cabin came a figure clad in black, She looked up, and tho light of the expiring lamp showed her a face that was not that of the man she hoped to see. Then a pair of dark eyes beamiug ineffable love and pity were bent upon Uer, und a pan- of dripping arms held her above the brine as she had once been held in tho misty mys- terious days that were gone.

In the terror of that moment she felt tho cloud which had 80 long oppressed her brain pass from it. Tho action of the strange man before her completed mid explained the action of the convict chained to the Port Arthur coal waggons, of tho convict kneeling in tho Norfolk Island torture chamber. She remembered tho terrible experience of Macquario Harbor. She recalled the evening of the boat-building, when, swung into the air by stalwart arms, she had promised tho rescuing prisoner to plead for him with her kindred. And regaining her memory thus, all tho agony and shaine of the ulan's long lifo of misery became at onco apparent to her. She understood how her husband lind deceived her, and with what base injustico aud falsehood he had bought her young love. No question as to how this doubly-condemned prisoner had escaped from tho hideous isle of punishment .she had quitted occurred to her. She asked not? even in her thoughts?how it had been given to him to supplant tho chaplain in his place ou board thc vessel. She only considered, in her sudden awakening, the story of his wrongs, re- membered only his marvellous fortitude nnd love, knew only, in this last instant of her pure, ill-fated life, that os ho had saved her once from starvation and death, so had ho come again to save her from sin and from despair. Whoever has known a deadly peril will remember how Bwiftly thought then travelled again through Buenos clean forgotten, mid will understand how Sylvia's retrospective vision merged the past into the actual before her, and how the shock of recovered memory subsided in the grateful utter- ance of other days?" Good Mr. Dawes I"

The eyes of the man aud woman met in one loug wild gaze. Sylvia stretched out her white hands and smiled, aud Richard Devine under- stood in his turn tho story of the young girl's joyless life, and knew how she had been sacri-

ficed.

In tho great crisis of our lifo when, brought face to face with annihilation we aro suspended gasping over the great emptiness of death, wo become conscious that the Self which we think

knew so well has strange and unthoiight of capacities. To describe a tempest of tho dements is not easy, hut to describe a tempest of the soul is impossible. Amid tho fury of such a tempest a thousand memories, each bearing in its brensttho corpse of some dead deed whoso influence haunts us yet, are driven Uko feathers before tho blast as unsubstantial and ns unregarded. The mists which shroud our self-knowledge become trans- parent, and wo aro smitten with sudden light ning-liko comprehension of our own misused power over our fate. This much wo feel mid know, but who can coldly desciibu tho hurricane which thus o'erwholms him. As well ask the drowned mariner to tell of the marvels of mid sea when thc great deeps swallowed him aud tho darkness of death encompassed him round about. Thef.0 two human beings felt that thuy had done with life. Together thus, alone in the very midst and presence of death, tho distinc- tions of thu world they were about to leave dis- appeared. Their vision grew clear. They felt as beings whose bodies had already perished, and as they clasped hands, their freed and naked souls recognising each the loveliness of tho other, rushed trembling together.

Hume beforo tho returning whirlwind, an im- mense wave which gliinuiered in tho darkness, spouted up and towered abova tho wreck. Tho wretches who yet clung to the deck looked shuddering up into tho bellying greenness and

know that thu cud wns come.

i:nu or hook Tim roniiTU.

EPILOaUK.

As day dawned on the morning nfter tho storm, tho rayB of the rising sun fell upon an object which floated on the surfaco of the water not far from where tho schooner had foundered.

This object was n portion of the liiaimuast hcad of the Lady Franklin, and entangled in the rigging wero two corpses?a tuan and a woman. Tho arms of tho man wero clasped round tho body of thc woman, and her head lay on his

breast.

The Prison Island appeared but as a long low lino on tho distant horizon. Tho tempest was over. As tho sun rose higher tho air grew balmy, tho ocean placid ; and, golden in the rays of tho new risen morning, the wreck audits

burden drifted out to sea.