Chapter 18339154

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Chapter NumberBOOK III X-(Continued)
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18339154
Full Date1875-11-20
Page Number9
Corrections0
Word Count5452
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleHis Natural Life
article text

The Storyteller.

His Natural Life

BOOK III. CHAPTER X.—(Continued.)

BY MARCUS CLARKE.

COMING, breathless, to the conclusion of this wonderful relation, Sylvia suffered her hand to fall into her lap, and sat meditative. The history of this desperate struggle for liberty was

to her full of a vague horror. She had never before realised among what manner of men she •had lived. The sullen creatures who worked in the chain-gangs, or pulled in the boats—their faces brutaUsed into a uniform blankness—must be very different men to John Rex and his com* panions. Her imagination pictured for her the voyage in the leaky brig, the South American slavery, the midnight escape, the desperate row ing, the long, hlow agony of starvation, and the heart-sickness that must have followed upon re capture and imprisonment. Surely the punish ment of "penal servitude" must have been made very terrible for men to dare such hideous perils to escape from it Surely John Bex, the convict, who, alone, and prostrated by sickness, quelled a mutiny and navigated a vessel through • storm-ravaged ocean, must possess qualities which could be put to better use than stone quarrying. Was the opinion of Maurice Frere the correct one after all, and were these convict monsters gifted with unnatural powers of endu rance, only to be subdued and tamed by un natural and inhuman punishments of lash and chain? Her fancies growing amid the fast gathering gloom, she shuddered as she guessed to what extremities of evil might such men pro ceed did an opportunity ever come to them to retaliate upon their gaolers. Perhaps beneath each mask of servility and sullen fear, that was the ordinary prison face, lay hid a courage and a despair as mighty as that which sustained those ten poor wanderers over the Pacific Sea. Maurice had told her that these people had their secret signs, their secret language. She had just seen a speoimen of the skill with which this very Rex—still bent upon escape—could ?end a hidden message to hie friends beneath the eyes of hia gaolers. What if the whole island was but one smouldering volcano' of revolt and murder—the whole oonviot population but one incarnated conspiracy, engendered and bound together by the hideous Freemasonary of crime and suffering \ Terrible to think of—yet not impossible. Oh, how strangely must the world have been civilised, that this most lovely comer of it must needs be set apart as a place of banishment for the monsters that civilisation had brought forth and bred! She cast her eyes around, and all beauty seemed blotted out from the scene before her. The graceful foliage melting into indis tinctness in the gathering twilight, appeared to her horrible and treacherous. The river seemed to flow sluggishly, as though thickened with blood and tears. The shadow of the trees seemed to hold lurking shapes of cruelty and danger. Even the whispering breeze bore with it sighs, and threats, and mutterings of revenge. Oppressed by a terror of loneliness, she hastily caught up the manuscript and turned to seek the nous*, when, as if summoned from the earth by the power of her own fears, a ragged figure barred her passage. To the excited girl this apparition seemed the embodiment of the unknown evil she had dreaded. She recognised the yellow clothing, and marked the eager hands outstretched to seize her. Instantly upon her flashed the story that three days since had set the prison-town agog. The desperado of Port Arthur, the escaped mutineer and murderer was before her, with un chained arms, free to wreak his will of her. "Sylvia! It is you! Oh, at last! I have es caped, and come to ask What? Do you not know me ?" Pressing both hands to her bosom, she stepped back a pace, speechless with terror. " I am Rufus Dawes," he said, looking in her face for the grateful smile of recognition that did not come. " Rufus Dawes." The party at the house had finished their wine, and, sitting on the broad verandah, were listen ing to some gentle dulness of the clergyman, when there broke upon their ears a cry. "What's that ?" said Vickeis. Frere sprang up, and looked down the garden. He saw two figures that seemed to struggle together. One glance was enough, and, with a shout, he leapt the flower-beds, and made straight at the escaped prisoner. Rufus Dawes saw him coining, but, secure in the protection of the girl who owed to him so much, he advanced a step nearer, and, loosing his respectful clasp of her hand; caught her dress. " Oh, help, Maurice, help !" cried Sylvia again. _ Into the face of Rufus Dawes came an expres sion of horror-stricken bewilderment. For three days the unhappy man had contrived to keep life and freedom, in order to get speech with the one being who, he thought, cherished for hm? some affection. Having made an unparalleled escape from the midst of his warders, he had crept to the place where lived the idol of his dreams, braving recapture, that he might hear from her two words of justice and gratitude. Not only did she refuse to listen to him, and shrink from him as from one accursed, but, at the sound of his name, she summoned his deadliest foe to capture him. Such monstrous ingratitude was almost beyond belief. She, too —the child he had nursed and fed, the child for whom he had given up his earned chance of freedom and fortune, the child of whom he had dreamed, the child whose image he had wor shipped—she, too, against him! Then there was no justice, no heaven, no God ! He loosed his hold of her dress and, regardless of the approaching footsteps, stood speechless, shaking from head to foot. In another instant Frere and M'Nab launched themselves upon him, and he was borne bleeding to the ground. Though weakened by starvation, he shook them off with scarce an effort, and despite the servants who came hurrying from the alarmed house, might even then have turned and made good his escape.

* Th* copyright of " His Natural life" hasbseaver thsmed by tha prafxfaton of Ths QustntltMier from Mr. Maicas CHarka

But he seemed unable to fly. His chest heaved convulsively, great drops of sweat beaded his white face, and from his eyes tears seemed about to break. For an instant his features worked convulsively, as if he would fain invoke upon the girl, weeping on her father's shoulder, some hideous curse. But no words came—only thrusting his hand into his breast, with a supreme gesture of horror and aversion, he made as if he flung something from him. Then a profound sigh escaped him, and he held out Lis hands to be bound. There was something so pitiable about this silent grief, that, as they led him away, the little group instinctively averted their faces, lest they should seem to triumph over him.

CHAPTER XL A RELIC OF MACQUARI2 HARBOR. "You must try and save him from further punishment," said Sylvia, next day, to Frere. " I did not mean to betray the poor creature, but I had made myself nervous by reading that convict's Btory." "You shouldn't read such rubbish," says Frere. "What's the use? I don't suppose a word of it's true." "It must be true. I am sure it's true. Oh, Maurice, these are dreadful men. I thought I knew all about convicts, but I had no idea that such men as these were among them." "Thank God you know very little," saya Maurice. " The servants you have here are very different sort of fellows to Rex and Company." "Oh, Maurice, I am so tired of this place. It's wrong, perhaps, with poor papa and all, but I do wish I was somewhere out of the Bight of chains and yellow cloth. I don't know what has made me feel like I do." " Come to Sydney," says Frere. " There are not so many convicts there. It was arranged that we should go to Sydney, you know." "For our honeymoon? Yes," said Sylvia, simply. "I know it was. But we are not married yet" " That's easily done," says Maurice. " Oh, nonsense, sir! But I want to speak to you about this poor Dawes. I don't think he meant any harm. It seems to me now that he was rather going to ask for food or something, only I was so nervous. They won't hang him, Maurice, will they?" "No," says Maurice. "I spoke to your father this morning. If the fellow is tried for his life, you may have to give evidence, and so we came to the conclusion that Port Arthur again and heavy irons will meet the case. We gave bim another life sentence this morning. That will make the third he'B had." "What did he say?" "Nothing. I sent him down aboard the schooner at once. He ought to be out of the river by this time." " Maurice, I have a strange feeling about that man." "Eh?" says Maurice. " I seem to fear him, as if I knew some story about bim, and yet didn't know it" "That's not very clear," aays Maurice, forcing a laugh; " but don't let's talk about him any more. We'll soon be far from Port Arthur and everybody in it" "Maurice," said Bhe, caressingly, "I love you, dear. Yeu'll always protect me against these men, won't you ?*' Delighted Maurice kissed her. "You have not got over your fright, Sylvia," he said. " I see I shall have to take a great deal of care ef my wife." "Of course," replied Sylvia. And then the pair began to make love, or rather Maurice made it, and Sylvia suffered him. Suddenly her eye caught something. "What's that—there, on the ground by the fountain?" They were near the spot where Dawes had been seized the night before. A little stream ran through the garden, and a Triton—of convict manufacture—blew bis horn in the middle of a—convict built—rockery. Under the lip of the fountain lay a small packet. Frere picked it up. It was made of soiled yellow cloth, and stitched evidently by a man's fingers. "It looks like a needle-case," said he. " Let me see. What a strange-looking thing I Yellow cloth, too. Why, it must belong to a prisoner. Oh, Maurice, the man who was here last night !" "Ay," says Maurice, turning over the packet, "it might have been his, sure enough." "He seemed to fling something from him, I thought. Perhaps this is it?" said she, peering over his arm, in delicate curiosity. Frere, with something of a scowl on his brow, tore off the outer covering of the mysterious packet, and displayed a second envelope, of gray cloth—the "good-conduct" uniform. Beneath this was a piece, some three inches square, of stained and discolored merino, that had once been blue. " Hullo!" aays Frere. " Why, what's this ?" " It is a piece of a dress," said Sylvia. It was Rufus Dawes' talisman—a portion of the frock she had worn at Macquane Harbor, and which the unhappy convict had cherished as a sacred relic for five weary years. Frere made an impatient movement, and flung it into the water. The running stream whirled it away. "Why did you do that?" cried the girl, with a sudden pang of remorse for which she could not well account The shred of cloth, caught by a weed, lingered for an instant on the surface of the water. Almost at the same moment the pair, raising their eyes, saw the schooner which bore Rufus Dawea back to bondage glide past the opening of the trees and disappear. When they looked again for the strange relic of the desperado of Port Arthur, it also had vanished.

CHAPTER XII. AT FORT ARTHUR. Ths usual clanking and hammering was prevalent upon the stone jetty of Port Arthur when the schooner bearing the returned convict, Rufus Dawes, ran alongside. On the heights above the esplanade rose the grim front of the soldiers' barracks ; beneath the soldiers' barracks was the long range of prison buildings, with their workshops and tan-pits; to the left lay the Commandant's house, authoritative by reason of its embrasured terrace and guardian sentry; while the jetty, that faced the purple length of the "Island of the Dead," -nrarmed

with parti-colored figures, olanking about their enforced business, under the muskets of their gaolers. Rufus Dawes bad seen this prospect before, had learnt by heart each beauts of rising sun, sparkling water, and wooded hilL From the hideously clean jetty at his feet, to the signal station that, embowered in bloom, reared its slender arms upwards into the cloudless sky, he knew it aIL There was no charm for him in'the exquisite blue of the sea, the soft shadows of the hills, or the soothing ripple of the waves that crept voluptuounly to the white breast of the shining shore. He sat with his head bowed down, and lus hands clasped about hia knees, disdaining to look until they roused him. " Hallo, Dawes!" says Warder Troke, halting his train of ironed yellow-jackets. "So you've come back again! Glad to see yer, Dawes ! It seems an age since we had the pleasure of your company, Dawes !" At this pleasantry the train laughed, so that their irons clanked more than ever. They found it often inconvenient not to laugh at Mr. Troke's humor. "Step down here, Dawes, and let me introduce yer to your hold friends. They'll be glad to see yer, won't yer, boys? Why, bless me, Dawes, we thort we'd lost yer! We thort yer'd given us the Blip altogether, Dawes. They didn't take care of yer in Hobart Town, I expect, eh boyß ? We'll look after yer here, Dawes, though. You won't bolt any more." " Take care, Mr. Troke," said a warning voice, " You're at it again ! Let the man alone !" By virtue of an order transmitted from Hobarfc Town, they had begun to attach the dangerous prisoner to the lost man of the gang, rivetting the leg-irons of the pair by means of an extra link, which could be removed when necessary, but Dawes had never given Bign of consciousness. At the sound of the friendly toneß, however, he looked up, and saw a tall, gaunt man, dressed in a shabby pepper-and-salt raiment, and wearing a black handkerchief knotted round his throat He was a stranger to him. "I beg yer pardon, Mr. North," says Troke, sinking at once the bully in the sneak. "I didn't see yer reverence." "A parson!" thought Dawes with disappoint ment, and dropped hia eyes. "I know that," returned Mr. North coolly. "If you had, you would have been all butter and honey. Don't trouble yourself to tell a lie; it's quite unnecessary." Dawes looked up again. This was a strange parson. "What's your name, my man?" said Mr. North, suddenly, catching his eye. Rufus Dawes had intended to scowl, but the tone, sharply authoritative, roused his automatic convict second-nature, and he answered, almost despite himself, " Rufus Dawes." ''Ob," said Mr. North, eyeing him with a curious air of expectation that had something pitying in it. *^This is the man, is it? I thought he was to go to the Coal Mines." " So he is," says Troke, " but we hain't a goto' to send there for a fortnit, and in the meantime I'm to work him on the chain." "Oh!" says Mr. North again. "Lend me your knife, Troke." And then, before them all, this curious parson took a piece of tobacco out of his ragged pocket, and cut off a "chaw" with Mr. Troke's knife. Rufus Dawes felt what he had not felt for three days—an interest in something. He stared at the parson in unaffected astonishment Mr. North perhaps mistook the meaning of his fixed stare, for he held out the remnant of tobacco to him. The chained line vibrated at this, and bent forward to enjoy the vicarious delight of seeing another man chew tobacco. Troke grinned with a silent mirth that betokened retribution for the favored convict. " Here," said Mr. North, holding out the dainty morsel upon which so many eyes were fixed. Rufus Dawes took the tobacco; looked at it hungrily for an instant, and then— to the astonishment of everybody—flung it away with a curse. " I don't want your tobacco," he said; " keep it." From convict mouths went out a respectful roar of amazement, and Mr. Troke's eyes snapped with pride of outraged janitorship. ( " You un grateful dog!" he cried, raising bis Btick. Mr. North put up a hand. " That will do, Troke," he said, " I know your respect for the cloth. Move the men on again." " Get on!" said Troke, rumbling oaths beneath his breath, and Dawes felt his newly-rivetted chain tug. It wss some time since he had been in a chain gang, and the Budden jerk nearly overbalanced him. He caught at his neighbor, and looking up, met a pair of black eyes which Cned recognition. His neighbor was John Mr. North, watching them, was struck by the resemblance the two men bore to each other. Their height, eyes, hair, and complexion were similar. Despite the difference in name, they might be related. " They might be brothers," thought he. "Poor devils! I never knew a prisoner refuse tobacco before." And he looked on the ground for the despised portion. But in vain. John Rex, oppressed by no foolish senti ment, had picked it up and put it in his mouth. So Rufus Dawes was relegated to his old life again, and came back to his prison with the hate to his kind, that his prison had bred in him, increased a hundredfold. It seemed to him that the sudden awakening had dazed him, that the flood of light so suddenly let in upon his slumbering soul had blinded his eyes, used so long to the sweetly-cheating twilight. He wss at first unable to apprehend the details of his misery. He knew only that his dream-child was alive and shuddered at him, that the only thing he loved and trusted had betrayed him, that all hope of justice and mercy had gone from him for ever, that the beauty had gone from earth, the brightness from heaven, and that he was doomed still to live. He went about his work, unheedful of the jests of Troke, ungalled by hia irons, un mindful of the groans and laughter about him. His magnificent muscles saved him from the lash; for the amiable Troke tried to break bim down in vain. He did not complain, he did not laugh, he did not weep. His "mate" Rex tried to converse with him, but did not succeed. In the midst of one of Rex's excellent tales c. London di-sipetion, Rufus Dawes would sigh

wearily. "There's something on that fellow'B mind," thought talented and scheming Rex, prone to watch the signs by whioh the soul is read. "He has Borne secret which weighs upon him." It was in vain that Rex attempted to discover what this secret might be. To all questions concerning his past life—however artfully put— Rufus Dawes was dumb. In vain Rex practised all his arts, called up all his graces of manner and speech—and these were not few—to fasci nate the silent man and win from him some confidence. Rufus Dawes met all his advances with a cynical carelessness that revealed nothing; and, when not addressed, held a gloomy silence. Galled by this John Rex had attempted to practise those ingenious arts of torment by which Gabbett, Vetch, or other leading spirits of the gang asserted their superiority over their quieter comrades. But he soon ceased. "I have been longer in this hell than you," said Rufus Dawes, " and I know more of the devil'B tricks than you can show me. You had best be quiet" Rex neglected the warning, and Rufus Dawes took him by the throat one day, and would have strangled him, but that watchful Troke beat off the angered man with a favorite bludgeon. Rex had a wholesome respect for personal prowess, and had the grace to admit the provocation to Troke. Even this instance of self-denial did not move the stubborn Dawes. He only laughed. . Then Rex came to a conclusion. His mate was plotting an escape. He himself cherished a notion of the kind, as did Gabbett and Vetch, but by common distrust no one ever gavo utterance to thought* of this nature. It would be too dangerous. "He would be a good comrade for a rush," thought Rex, and resolved more firmly than ever to ally himself to this dangerous and silent companion. One question Dawes had asked which Rex had been able to answer: " Who is that North ?" "A chaplain. He is only here for a week or so. There ia a new one coming. North goes to Sydney. He is not in favor with the Bishop." "How do you know?" asked Dawes, opening his eyes. ? "By deduction," says Rex, with a smile that waa peculiar to him. "He wears colored clothes, and smokes, and doesn't patter Scripture. The Bishop dresses in black, detests tobacco, and quotes the Bible like a concordance. North is sent here for a month, as a warming-pan for that ass, Meekin. Ergo, the Bishop don't care about North." Jemmy Vetch, who was next to Rex, let the full weight of his portion of tree-trunk rest upon Gabbett, in order to express his unrestrained admiration of Mr. Rex's sarcasm. " Ain't Dandy aone'er?" said he. "Are you thinking of ooming the pious?" asked Rex. "It's no good with North. Wait until the highly intelligent Meekin comes. You can twist that worthy successor of the Apostles round your little finger!" " Silence there!" cries the overseer. "Do you want me to report yer?" Amid such diversions the days rolled on, and Rufus Dawes almost longed for the Coal Mines. To be sent from the settlement to the Coal Mines, and from the Coal Mines to the settle ment, was to these unhappy men a "trip." A*. Port Arthur one went to an out station as more fortunate people go to Queenscliff or the Ocean Beach now-a-days for " change of air."

Chapter XIIL THE COMMANDANT'S BUTLEB. Rufus Dawks had been a fortnight at the settlement when a new-comer appeared on tho chain gang. This was a young man of about twenty years of age, thin, fair, and delicate. His name was Kirkland, and he belonged to what were known as the " educated" prisoners. He had been a clerk in a banking house, and was transported for embezzlement, though, by some, grave doubts as to bis guilt were entertained. The Commandant, Captain Burgess, had em ployed him as butler in his own house, and bib fate was considered a " lucky" one. So, doubt less, it was, and might have been, had not an untoward accident occurred. Captain Burgess, who was a bachelor of the " old school," con fessed to an amiable weakness for blasphemy, and was given to condemning the convicts' eyes and limbs with indiscriminate violence. Kirkland belonged to a Methodist family, and owned a piety utterly out of place in that region. The language of Burgess made him shuddtr, and one day he so far forgot himself and his place as to raise his hands to his ears. "My blank 1" cries Burgess. " Tou blank blank, is that your blank game ? I'll blank soon cure you of that!" and, forthwith ordered him to the chain gang for " insubordination." He was received with suspicion by the gang, who did not like white-handed prisoners. Troke, by way of an experiment in human nature, perhaps, placed him next to Oabbett. The day was got through in the usual way, and Kirkland felt hia heart revive. The toil wan severe, and the companionship uncouth, but, despite his blistered hands and aching back, he had not experienced anything so very terrible after aIL When the muster bell rang, and tho gang broke up, Rufus Dawes, on his silent way to his separate cell, observed a notable change vt custom in the disposition of the new convict. Instead of placing him in a cell by himself, Troke was turning him into the yard with tbo others. " I'm not to go in there t" says the ex-bank clerk, drawing back in dismay from the cloud of foul faces which lowered upon him. "By the Lord, but you are, then!" say* Troke. " The Governor saya a night in there MI take the starch out of yer. Come, in yer go." "But, Mr. Troke " "Stow yer gaff," says Troke, with another oath and impatiently striking the lad with hi-* thong—" I can't argue here all night. Get in." So Kirkland, aged twenty-two, and the son «•( Methodist parents, went in. Rufus Dawea, among whose sinister Demon s this yard was numbered, sighed. So fierce wrs. the glamor of the place, however, that, nhfu locked into his cell, he felt ashamed of that eig!., and strove to erase the memory of it " WL;it '* he more than anybody eke ?" said the wretch* I man to himself, aa he hugged his misery close. About dawn the next morning Mr. North—

who, amongst other vagaries not approved of by his bishop, had a habit of prowling about the prison at unofficial hours—was attracted by a dispute at the door of the dormitory. " What's the matter here!" he asked. " A prisoner refractory, your reverence," says the watchman. " Wants to come out" "Mr. North! Mr. North!" cries a voice ; "for the love of God, let me out of this place!" Kirkland, ghastly pale, bleeding, with hia woollen shirt torn, and bis blue eyes wide open with terror, was clinging to the bars. "Oh, Mr. North! Mr. North! Oh, Mr. North! Oh! for God's sake, Mr. North!" "What, Kirkland!" cries North, who was ignorant of the vengeance of the Commandant .What do you do here ?" But Kirkland could do nothing but cry, " Oh, Mr. North! For God's sake, Mr. North!" and beat on the bars with white and sweating hands. " Let him out, watchman!" says North. "Can't sir, without an order from the Commandant" " I order'you, air," North cries, indignant. "Very sorry, your reverence; but your reverence knows that I daren't do such a thing.'' "Mr. North!" screamed Kirkland, "Would you ace me perish, body and soul, in this place ? Mr. North! Oh, you niinisters of Christ wolves in sheep's clothing—you shall be judged for this! Mr. North, I say." " Let him out," cries North, stamping his foot. " It's no good," returned the gaoler, " I can't. If he waa dying, I can't" North rushed away to the Commandant, and the instant his back was turned, Hailes, the watchman, flung open the door, and darted into the dormitory. "Take that!" he cried, dealing Kirkland a blow on the head with his keys, that stretched him senseless. "There's more trouble with you aristocrats than enough. Lie quiet" The Commandant, roused from slumber, told Mr. North that Kirkland might stop where he was, and that he'd thank the chaplain not to wake him up in the middle of the night because a blank prisoner set up a blank howling. " But, my good sir," protested North, restraining his impulse to overstep the bounds of modesty in his language to his superior officer, " you know the character of the men in that ward. You can guess what that unhappy boy has suffered." "Impertinent young beggar!" Bays Burgess. "Do bim good, curse him! Mr. North, I'm sorry you should have had the trouble to come here, but will you let me go to sleep ?" North returned to the prison disconsolately, found the dutiful Hailes st his post, and all quiet "What's become of Kirkland?" he asked. " Fretted hisself to sleep, yer reverence," says Hailes, in accents of parental concern. " Poor rng chap! It's hard for suoh young 'uns as ,sir." In the morning, Rufus Dawes, coming to his place on the chain gang, was struck by the altered appearance of Kirkland. His face waa of a greenish tint, snd wore an expression of bewildered horror. " Cheer up, man!" said Dawes, touched with momentary pity. "It's no good being in the mopes, you know." ' "What do they do if yon try to bolt?" whispered Kirkland. " Kill you," returned Dawes, in a natural tone of surprise at so preposterous a question. " Thank God!" aays Kirkland, "Silsnce!" cries Troke. "No. 44, if you can't hold your tongue I'll give you something to talk about March!" The work of the gang that afternoon was the carrying of some heavy logs to the water-side, and Rufus Dawes observed that Kirkland was exhausted long before the task was accomplished. "They'll kill you, you little beggar!" said he, not unkindly. " What have you been doing to get into this scrape ?" "Have you ever been in that—that place I was in last night f asked Kirkland. Rufus Dawes nodded. M Does ths Commandant know what goes on there?" " I suppose so. What does he care ?" " Care ! Man, do you believe in a God ?" "No," says Dawes, " not here. Hold up, my lad. If you fall, we must fall over you, and then you're done for." He had hardly uttered the words, when the boy flung himself beneath the log. In another instant tiie train would have been scrambling over his crushed body had not Gabbett stretched out sn iron hand and plucked the would-be ovicide from death. " Hold on to me." says the giant, " I'm big enough to carry double." There seemed to be something in the tone or manner of the speaker which affected Kirkland to disgust, for, spurning ths offered hand, he uttered a cry, and then, holding up his irons with his hands, he started to run for the water. " Halt! you young fool," roared Troke, raising his carbine. But Kirkland kept steadily on for the river. Just ss he reached it, however, the figure of Mr. North rose from behind a pile of stones. Kirkland jumped for the jetty, missed hia footing, and fell into the arms of the chaplain. " You young vermin—yon shall pay for this," cries breathless Troke. " You'll see if you won't remember this day." "Oh, Mr. North," says Kirkland. "why did you stop me? I'd better be dead than stay another night in that place." "You'll get it, my lad," says Gabbett, when the runaway was brought back " Your blessed bide'll feel for this, see if it don't" Kirkland only breathed harder, and looked round for Mr. North, but Mr. North had gone. Tbe new chaplain was to arrive that afternoon, and it was incumbent on the old one to be present at the reception. Troke reported the ex-bank clerk that night to Burgess, and Burgess, who waa about to go to dinner with the new chaplain, disposed of his ease out of hand. " Tried to bolt, eh! Must stop that fifty lashes, Troke. TeU Macklewain to be ready—or stay, m tell him myself—m break the young devil's spirit, blank bim."

"Yea, sir," sayß Troke. " Good evening, sir." " Troke —pick out some likely man, will you, ? That lost fellow you had ought to have been tied up himself. His flogging wouldn't have killed a flea." " You can't get 'em to warm one another, your honor," says Troke. "They won't do it" " Oh yes they will, though," Bays Burgess, " or I'll know the reason why. I won't have my men knocked up with flogging these rascals. If the scourger won't do hia duty, tie him up and give him five-and-twenty for himself. I'll be down in the morning myself if I can." " Very good, your honor," says Troke. Kirkland was put into a separate cell that night; and considerate Troke, by way of assuring him a good night's rest, told him he was to have "fifty" in the morning. "And Daweß'll lay it on," he added. " He's one of the smartest men I've got, and he won't spare yer, yer may take your oath of that" • [TO BE CONTINUED.]