Chapter 19813572

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1889-04-27
Page Number785
Word Count5814
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleUnder Capricorn
article text

The Storyteller.

Under Capricers.



"Nous sommes quatres détenus, et un militaire de Noumea, Nouvelle Caledonie." That was what he wrote, their leader, a tall, thin, pock-marked man, with a military air and a

cynioal expreMion; and 70a will Admit that it was a sufficiently startling announcement, es peoially to the girl who, h&lf-dazed, road it on the blotting-pad of the office at Turtle Point Pilot Button. Marie Lassel was staying with, the family of the superintendent, Captain Grey, and had been enjoying the qaiet and eren tenour of her life in that dreamy place till this hot November at her feet and, so to speak, "the heavens fell." Events did not as a role follow one another in very quick snooession at Turtle Point, and the most generally noted were the arrival or da* partore of the Northern-going steamers, or sailing vessels whioh called In for pilots, and the fortnightly visits of the little launch Bertha, with mails, provisions, and visitors from town. It was pleasant and peaoeful, as Queensland coast scenery is wont to be, with out making any too overwhelming demands on aesthetio perception of the beautiful. The sea was almost always a great smooth, wet, lapis lazula>, or beryl; the skies sereno, and the great hills, wooded to the water's brim, dreamy with the soft purple and gray tints so peculiar to Australian forests, and in cool reoesses lovely with tree-fern and orchid and lyoopod that oarpeted the creek margins, where the rivulets ran dancing to the sea; altogether a "lotus eater's" kind of shore, and it was for that very reason and the restf ulness of it that Marie had come there from the dust and heat of Brisbane. So, lying in the "squatter's delight" under the big Moreton Bay fig that morning, she had been revelling in it all, and the latest numbers of the Graphic, brought by yesterday's boat. Then—the earthquake. "Please, Miss," queried the half-caste serving boy, with suppressed excitement, '• mas'r ses do yer speak French ?" "I, Pete? Yes, I suppose so. Why?" " 'Cos, please, there's five men in th' office, an' they oan't speak nothin' else, and the oap'n he ses they mus' a' come from some plaoe where they keeps pris'nen," panted the boy, rushing his words together after the man* ncr of his class. "New Caledonia! Surely not?" "Yes, that's it, an' they're shipwrecked, an' master ms will yer come to th' otfice, please." And off rushed the mulatto to Btare through the rails of the offioe piazza at the strange in mates of its sacred precincts. Very quietly, but with a beating heart, Marie passed through the excited crowd of coloured men and boys, sailors, and station hands, who gathered in the fenced enclosure to obtain a glimpse of the fugitives, and talk over this un expected act in the quiet drama of their lives. They touched their caps to Marie, and the ex citement deepened. " The lady's going to translate—we'll hear all about them soon. Captain Grey met her at the door, his usually genial and peaoef ul expression changed to one of wonder and anxiety. "Hyftauft is Very rooty, Marie; we sailors

don't always keep our youthful accomplish ments. Will you aot as interpreter P I see yon understand the situation. Poor creatures! You won't be afraid of them, my dear?" '•Oh no, I am only a little nervous. Oh, they are poor creatures!" Marie's faoe grew very grave and compassionate, as well it might. Grouped about the room stood or sat five weather-worn beings; the prison garments of the convicts and the uniform of the Boldier, ragged, damp with salt, faded, and stained by the yellow clay ef the coast; their hair wild and tangled ; their skins burnt ornelly by long exposure to a vertical sun ; and in their eyes a desperately hunted broken look that was ter rible to see. With one exception they had not a criminal expression, and their evident leader, Pierre Lamarque, had the air of a man of former dignity and refinement, but his faoe was bitter and sinister. He bowed to Marie very respectfully, and spoke for the others. " Madame, pardon! Mademoiselle will translate for us. I will make our deposition," and stepping to the desk he took a pencil and wrote those words with which this chapter began, and which the girl read in a voice she scarcely knew for her own. " Ask them if they know this is a Govern ment station," said Captain Grey, " and that they are giving themselves up to British juris diction." Marie put the questions, and liKmarque spoke earnestly in reply. " Yes, they consider that they have plaoed themselves under British protection." «• That is one thing—treaties another. We will see; but first, bow on earth did they oome P" When Marie asked that, they pressed round her, and several spoke excitedly inter rupting each other. Marie's oourage rose: standing there in her white dress, she looked round, and chose whom she preferred to aot as spokesman, and beckoned him forward. " Le Afilitairs," she said. The soldier stepped forward, a splendid young Hercules in Bpite of the misery of his condition, and with an open candid faoe, aelear thoughtful gaze in the cad gray eyes, that gave one a great sense of relief in turning from Pierre. Then simply and clearly he told the tale of their escape, how the four convicts, who, on account of good conduct, had been al lowed more freedom than some of the wretched detenus and reeidivittes about them, had in their anxiety to escape met often and generally in a cave near Noumea; how they had there hidden and worked secretly upon an old whaleboat, and placed in security from time to time por tions of their provisions; and how he, being in charge of their cells, had oonnived at it all for the sake of himself escaping from that awful place. He told also how one wild night all was ready and they stole to the cave, launched the boat, and swept away into the storm under the very guns of the battery; how, with only an old blanket for a sail, they had oome 1000 miles across the Paoifie, only onoe hailing a steamer, the attention of whose crew they could not attract; how long ago the biscuits and beef, and water had grown insufficient, and had to be carefully doled out by Pierre, and then, how in a gale they had been east ashore miles away from any habitation; how, wandor ing along the coast, they had subsisted on " ugaree" and tho raw flesh of birds they had killed, as they had no means of cooking them; and how their boat lay broken between two great tooMers, twenty miles north of the pilot Station. " And then?" asked Marie, after translating to the captain, his clerk, and the breathless crowd at the door. " And then, Mademoiselle, we found some fishermen who were like saints of God to us, for they fod and sheltered us, and would'not )et us depart till we had rested long—though we were eicapes, mittrabU— whom the very sea rejected!" " Did they send you here ?— to this Govern ment station." " They told us of it, and we came. VoiU! We give ourselves np to England." **I am sorry—very—for you. You are not a criminal." 11 Mademoiselle speaks kindly. And your Government, is it not kind also r' " Yes, of course it is. What is your name, and were you of tho conscription P" "Inn a Zouave—l was conicrit, and sent to Algiers. There I rose from the ranks, but was degraded because I struck an offioar who insulted me cruelly. Then they sent me to prison duty at Noumea. It was two years ago. Mon Dieu! I could not stay there! My name is Guillaume Dupres." Marie gave these particulars. "Thank you," said Captain Grey. " Now, I will send them down to the lighthouse, and give them decent food and clothes, but first please tell that soldier I must have his gun—no arms allowed.'* Half abashed the girl did so in her dear sweet tones. Making a military salute. Guil laume stepped forward and handed his rusty weapon to the captain. " After they have rested," said the latter, «I shall take each man into the offioe and set him to write his history. The soldier must vouoh for the truth of their statements regard- I ing their crimes and sentences. Now, my dear, would yon translate them for us in writing P I would ask Anne, but she is almost as rusty as I, and not well enough for such work, so will you do it ?" •' If the history is not too horrible," said Marie ; "it's not a kind of literature to tempt one." "Ask the soldier if they ore desperate criminals, then—though, the poor wretches look harmless enough." Marie complied. The Zouave smiled sadly. "Not so, Mademoiselle," he replied, " they are not like most there, though," and he dropped his voice ; " one was a duellist." " Oh!" said Marie, paling a little. " Yes, I suppose I can do it, Captain ; but please let me go away! lam so sick of it all—and they are half-dead." Then, with a gentle acknow ledgment to the soldier, she turned to leave. "Adieu, Mademoiselle—meroi!" and, hold ing the door open for hor, he bowed respect fully. As she turned at the aotion Bhe saw his bare brown arm upraised, and on it, clear and blue, a cross, beneath whioh, in paler colour, was Wagoned her own name, " Mawb,"

Chawhb It. THB NHW P.M. "He is a good man," said sweet old Mrs. Alwyn, the mother of the local C.P.8., and the leader of all that was worth leading in Borne, the pretty township which was the centre of a great sugar-growing industry in a Northern riverside district. "Yes, I think the new police-magistrate is a great acquisition to oar circle." 44 Then," laughed Mrs. Dene, the young wife of the bank manager, whom he had just brought up from Melbourne, a girl-graduate, womanly as wise, "Major Spenoe^s social success is assured. lam so glad you like him ; he came up in the Ointra with us, and Fred was charmed with him. My cousin, too, knew him in India ; they were together in the Bengal Artillery, before the Major was ap pointed Commissioner of Bokuldiir, in th« Madras Presidency; that was eight yean ago." 441 expected," said a bright girl who sat on the veranda steps swinging her tennis-racket, 44 to see some curry-devouring alarming old Anglo-Indian, bnt the Major has agreeably disappointed me. He Is awfully grave and reserved though. I suppose it is only my fancy, but I can't help thinking he has had some dreadful trouble—he has a look as though he had." 441 think so, too, Louie; perhaps that has helped to make him the good man and true gentleman that I believe him to be," said Mrs. Alwyn. Louie sang softly a few lines from " Cleansing IW'—• For the heart muat be tried by sorrow Aa the gold is tried by fire. Adding " Ah, well! time will prove, Mrs. Alwyn, but I don't care for mysteries myself." 4( I read," said the bride, " a little sketch of his official life in a Madras paper, and it spoke so highly of his' services in Bokuldur. The people seem to have had unbounded faith in him, and he wa« evidently much beloved by the English as well as by the native population. The article spoke of his faithful and most con scientious devotion to dnty, and patient atten tion to detail, and to Hindu prejudices in the administration of justice. The district ap peared to havo been a very troublesome one Enviously, but the Major ovidently performed is difficult task admirably. I have the paper and will send it to you, Mrs. Alwyn." "Thank you, dear. After all, this Major Bpenoe will find his work here very monotonous, I expect. However, as they say, it is always the unexpected that happens, and this morning he received a telegram summoning him to Turtlo Point, of all place* !" 44 Turtle Point Pilot Station P" queried the dootor's sister, looking up from a cap she was designing for that worthy. 4( I suppose that is the place where the escaped prisoners from New Caledonia are?" 44 Yes. Captain Grey is anxious concerning their disposal. The magistrate left early this morning. Ho was anxious to round the Bluff before high tide, and then had a tweutv-nve mile ride before him. The Courier said the men would probably be returned to Noumea— the bust oourae, perhaps. Wo have criminals •nough of our own, bnt tho noldier scarcely eomea under that head," said the dootor's lister. 44 No, but he in a deserter, and the Major seemed to think it extremely unlikely that any exception would be tnado in hin favour." Very soon the ladles parted; but the subject of their gentle chat was already at Turtle Point, and for three people at least a door had opened to future issues undreamt of a week before. Truly, as Mrs. Alwyn had quoted— 44 It is the unexpected that happens." Marie Laasel and the polioe-magistrate from Borne sat talking pleasantly under the great fig-tree that evening, while Captain and Mrs. Grey strolled about in the garden enjoying the moonlight, and the cool breeze that swung the Japanese lanterns in the fig-tree. Marie, lean ing back in the cane chair, looked wistfully at the grave bronzed man, whose word, she thought, might have much to do with the f ate of those miserable men whose faces haunted her— the Zouave's especially. She knew Major Spenoe had been, to the lighthouse to see them, and had read some of the statements she had translated the day before. Sad enongh they were, but none so sad, she thought, as the soldier's whioh she had only finished an hour before. She dared not, however, ask questions so soon, as it might be considered a liberty. So Marie Smiled to hide her anxiety, and remarked to her new acquaintance: 1 * * Major Spence, will you tell me about India? It is a country that has always had a kind of fascination for mo—though, perhaps, if I knew it better I might be disillusioned; do you think •o?" He laughed, as he replied: 44 Yes and No. If you went there you wonld probably be disenchanted in some respects—in others agreeably surprised." 4'You are making me impatient—now—for instance?" So he talked, forgetting reserve and gravity, and became bright and enthusiastic, as he told of life in tho Great Empire, and gave graphic sketches of Bokuldur, doings that delighted the Captain and Mrs. Grey, who came to listen, and mada Marie wonder how she oould at first have thought this man unapproaohable and sardonic. They chatted long on many Indian topics, from the philosophy of the Brahms "Somaj," and Arnold's "Light of Asia," to ourry-making and mango chutney; and then Marie gave the Major some idea of Queensland life in city, country, and bush (for they were all familiar to her) in her inimitably realistic style; so that when they went in to supper they felt as though they had known each other for more than a few hours. 44Miss Lassel," he said, by-and-by, "I understand you acted as interpreter to these escapees—a trying task for you. I have read all the histories but one." Marie looked up with earnest eyes. "Did you think them very culpable ?" she inquired; the sentences seemed very heavy to me." " Heavier than those we give for such com paratively light offenoes; but don't waßte your sympathy on these men; they are scarcely worthy of that, and Pierre Lamarque especially —an educated swindler."

"Yes, I know; bat the soldierP He Una criminal." " No, and a different type of man altogether I should imagine; bat I reserve judgment till I have read Tub story—to-morrow if you %ill let me have it, though, of course, there is no need of the translation—it was a pity to give you the trouble of translating them." "We did not think then of your coming ; but the soldier's story is the saddest true one I ever read." Marie's eyes filled slowly. "We will discuss it to-morrow. I should not have introduced the subjeot to-night. The Zouave is fortunate in having awakened suoh sympathy. I only hope he deserves it—poor fellow. Good night, MisßLassel." "Why does this bright frank girl interest me so much P" thought the Major, looking out on the crinkled moonlit sea. " I suppose be* oauso she is genuine and sympathetic. I never knew one quite bo free from all affecta tion." As he closed his window the moon glinted sharply against a strange gold ring he wore of Indian workmanship. The look that puzzled Burne crept over the man's face. " Poor little Buna! She was candid enough, poor little soul." " Where are you running to Marie f" asked Mrs. Grey. " Just over to the offioo with this paper; H'» my last translation." " Wait, dear; John and the Major are writ ing in tho office, and don't wish anyone to go in. Marie, I should like to hear that story. Will you read it by-and-by while I finish mending the socks P" " Very well," said Marie. An hour afterwards they sat under the tree, the paper in Marie's hands, and busy Mrs. Grey, with workbasket and sewing, ensoonoed in the big chair. Major Spenoe came through the little white gate, lifting his sun.helmet. ?•Good morning, ladies," he said; «• do I interrupt Miss LaaselP" "Oh, no," replied Marie; "I have not begun to road it yet. It is the soldier's story.'* " May I listen too P I was going to ask for it, but I would rather hear it so—please f" The girl hesitated, flashed, then with a sudden thought noddod. •• Yes, you may; bat do not criticise it—it ii a rather literal translation. I thought that best." •?You were right; a free one might hair* tempted you to draw on your imagination a little. Now, we are all respeotful attention." Major Spenoe seated himself half-reclining on the grass, near the chain, and where, looking up gravely from under the brim of the sun helmet, he saw Marie's pore changeful face aa she read. Marie did not think how fair a picture she made, sitting there, all in dainty pink, against the rough bark of the old tree* with a flowering orchid in one of its forks drooping over her and dressing her soft dark hair with oroarav stars, while the sun made a dancing network of light and shade over them all, as with a clear rich voice that thrilled and trembled sometimes she real:— THE ZOUAVE'S BTOBT. "My name in Guillaume Dupr£s. I was born at Mu<?ou, in the Cote d'Or. My father was a man esteemed much, and a public notary of the towu, but he died whon my brother and I were young boys. He loft my mother not rich, but wise and careful. She sent us to the school at the Lycee, but it was hard for her, and at fifteen my elder brother was placed in the office of a merchant. Bat Jacques was fragile always. For me, I too at sixteen sought to help them. I loved machinery, and would be an engineer. My mother agreed, and I entered the great workshop. It was rough, but I waa glad—-by-and-by I would invent, improve, become rich for my good mother. N'import* t it was but a boy's dream. Three yean passed. My poor brother was tall and handsome, bat not strong. His pain was terrible at times; ha complained never, but worked bravely for the little mother. We were all' she bad—we two. Then came the conscription—it was for the German invasion—what in it you call itP Franoo* Prussian war. Troops wero needed, and in oar distriot and section there were many corner it 9. A lot fell on our Jaoqaes—he who was my mother's chief stay. She wept, aha oould not let him go; and he was not fit, though he looked noble. " ' Mother,' I said,' be tranquil. I will go —I who am strong, yet can earn less.' Jacques protested, it was vain; I went to the Mairie— one might provide a substitute; it was done. I marched with the regiment. " One wild night I was in Paris, on patrol duty m *"• street. There had been a reneontrt, a skirmish, and behind a barricade I heard a ory, ' Mon pi-re !mm pb-e !* It was the voice of a young girl. There were some wounded on th« ground, and the ambulanoe party was busy. The dead lay in the gaslight; it was terrible— but Paris was used to suoh sights then. W« passed the barricade—l was in charge of the patrol—then we found a captain of artillery, dead, and a young girl of seventeen sitting br him crying and sobbing. It was very pitiful. I approached with respect. She was modest, gentile, and very unhappy. " ' Mademoiselle, permit me,' I said. * Can I help you ?' She started and dung to the wall, white and afraid. "' Leave me,' she replied,' and let me die.' "' Mademoiselle,' I answered, 'yon may trust me. In the name of the Holy Mother, I wish only to aid you. Have you not friends ?' " She wept as she said,' No. We came from Nisraea; wo have none.' " ' And your house P' I inquired. «" It is gone—burned I A shell fell and my old nurse, my dear bonne, is killed! Ah! mon pere, apeak to mo !' "It was terrible. I too wept—l was not ashamed. " ' And your name ? Pardon 1' "« Mario Oavalle.' " She fell back white and faint. I ran to the ambulanoe surgeon; we spoke hurriedly. There was, he said, a good woman who lived in the next rue near the gates, an aubergiate, who made of her inn a hospital for the sick and wounded and destitute, where the sisters of Notre Dame de Miserioorde oame to tend them; he would send the poor girl there in the waggon just departing. It waa a terrible taafc

to take bar from her lather—fainting, but wild with grief. Then I took charge of the captain's body; and we carried it aadly to quarter*. Day and night I saw the white face of the poor child so yomng, and so desolate. She was ill, ana the nuns at the aubergt nursed her. I wrote of her to my mother—she would pity the girl who had none. The surgeon sent to Nismes, but her uncle was dead; theihad none who oared— not one—save the eoiuerit. "Marie recovered, but was still sad and white; it vu I who took to her all her father left. It was not much. My mother sent for her to oome to M&<,on; she had no daughter, she needed one. Jacques was growing feebler it was desolate sinoe I had cone, and if she came they might help, might comfort, one another—they two. So the surgeon obtained for Mam a passport through the Prussian lines, and she went to my mother's oar*. "I was sent to the frontier then; and after Metz was lost and all was ended I wentbaok toMivononWe. I found poor Jaoquea dying, but Marie was the light of our house—of that Ido not speak here. I prayed for dismissal; it was denied; in two month* I was drafted into a Zouave regiment and ordered to Algeria. It was cruel, unjust, but to complain —that was in vain. To Jacques J arid— • Adieu'-t-it was for ever—but God is merciful —my brother is happier than I. Marie CavaJle helped my mother, she taught music in Macon, she painted, she embroidered, she was as an angel from the good God to us, wise and gentle. We loved each other Marie and I, and before I left we were betrothed. It was wicked to send me away—l who should have worked for all. I served in the colony two Em, row in the regiment, and became a utapant. I was to have leave soon, and I hoped before long to retire—to marry—to support my mother, and wife—to be happy. One night in barracks, a colonel of cuirassiers —a wealthy man—who had been at Mucon, insulted me. He was ivrogne—he spoke lightly of my Marie Oavalle. He lied. I demanded an apology. He spoke worse, lying as I knew, and I struck him before them all— le scetirat. It was because he made me desperate, and I was very powerful then. He fell heavily, and lay senseless. I was arrested. The Colonel was much hurt; it was concussion of the brain, bat he rooovered. For me I was tried by oourt martial, condemned to be degraded, sent back to the ranks, and drafted into a garrison oom pany, soon departing from Brest, for prison duty in New Caledonia, and in charge of a cargo of recidivistee. It was horrible! Mon Dieu! I saw in court only the white face of my little girl, always as I saw it hut at the little gate at MtU,on, among the vine-leaves-very sad at parting, but so beautiful! I asked for paper and pen in the guard-room; they brought them, and I told Marie all; but I know now they read my letter and burned it, and wrote briefly, cruelly. Then came an answer, all read before I saw it, ' My poor Guillaume,' she wrote. * you shall not go without one meeting —one farewell. Look for us at Brest, we shall be there.' We steamed from Algiers to Mar seilles, then took the train from Brest, but always Inr only one faoe,and read her fetter again and agajn. I should see her and my mother onoe more, though only to say good bye. When we arrived they did not oome to the fort. I had no word, no message. The steamer was to leave the next day; asour corps marched to the pier, I looked into the faoes of the people. I saw them not. " A gamin pulled my sleeve with rudeness—l turned—there was in his eyes an intent, an understanding. Otimgat*i*t jeered at our sad march—so did he. He threw a stone—l watohed—then another—l saw paper round it; it fell into my havrssaok. Our corporal did not see, my comrades made no sign; it was sab. The Uttle f«v>» ran off whistling •Olrofle'fairly. " We steamed away at evening, ta belie Fran* irtaw very dim and far; at the stern I was UoM attest, then I took out the stone. Helas! it was my last letter from Marie. 'Dearest, adieu! The good God keep yout Return Home day. I will wait, and love you always. They prevent us, we are sent back to Muoon. Ala*!—Mabm.' I hid the paper. Sea and sky ?warn and faded before me. My heart was Itmknt) " Two more years I served at Noumea. It Was horrible there—vile. I oannot write of those thing* I saw, I heard, that they required of me to do. It was as if, I thought at times, 1 had entered le* eiyftr* without djing. But always the memory of Marie was as a light even in that place; there were letters for me, I have heard, but I never saw them; then a paper Cam* from Mttvon; cholera had broken out thwe> I turned the paper, there was a cross against the list of those who had died. Mon Djeu 1 1 read but one name. < Marie Oavalle.' Of that time I can tell no more—things faded. 1 was long in the hospital with brain fever, but 1, who wished to die, oould not. When I be came conscious, I found as I lay feeble that the man in the next bed was from Mucon, but just oome to Noumea, another militaire. He spoke of the great sickness, how my mother ana my fiancee had nursed the sick, how good they were, and how they thought me dead, and prayed morning and evening in the church of St. Jean for the repose of my soul. A letter came for him one day; it told of my mother, whom bis sister loved, saying that she had gone into an asyle for the old and poor, but that the rent of our old home bought her some com forts. She longed to hear more certainly of me —would he inquire ? for he waß of the free corps. So he wrote; for me a letter to her, he was a good man, the doctor never knew, the Sister of Meroy smiled and said nothing. "A new thought came to me: I would escape, would watch my chance and desert. To France I could never return; but the world was wide, and I might some day, somewhere, make a home and send for my mother—a wild thought, but I lived for it. She was all I had —all. "I returned to the gaol, and found that some of my company of detenus were plotting an escape. They were not bad oases, or rtridi vittes, or of dangerous character. Had they been such I would have acted differently. My longing grew. I told Pierre Lamarqne, the chief conspirator, of my suspicions, but pro*

misedthat I would not betray them if they wonld agree that I should go, too, to Aus tralia. I told them my history, they trusted me, for they knew that the place was as hell to me. So, when all was ready, and the boat stored in a cave where the tide came in, we stole softly down the embankment in the dark and sailed away through the storm. Ours was a horrible voyage under a burning sun— sea and sky everywhere. Our sail, a blanket, scarcely sheltered us. The water grew scarce, the biscuits were almost gone. A ship passed far off; we would not signal—she might be French. Days after a British steamer passed, bat we oould not hail her. (Some of the men grew wild with fever and weakness. It was necessary that we should be very firm, Pierre and I. At last after three weeks of anguish, a strong wind arose and we were driven on the coast. "Of that we have told in our evidence; we are now at the meroy of the Government of this colony; in whose hands we place our selves. That justice will be shown to us we know. That meroy may be granted to us also we humbly hope. For myself—this is my true history—it will be seen that lam no criminal, no oonviot, bat a soldier of another nation. I have deserted my post as it was intolerable, cruel, unjust to plaoe me there. "I wish but to be an honest citizen, to labour that I may earn enough to be able to send for my mother. We are both law-abiding and honourable citizens. v In the name of heaven, I pray those who govern this oountry, upon the shores of which we are cast, to oonaider my case, and to give me the pity and justice that my own denied to inc. " QvihLAxntn Dupbbs. " Turtle Point Pilot Station, 1 lth November, 18-." Marie ceased with an appealing thrill in the tone in which she read the last lines. Mrs. Grey wept over the little socks, quite regardless how her tears hindered needle and thread. "Poor fellow!" murmured the Major; "it is a pitiful ftory. There's a ring of truth all through it. He has been shamefully treated from the first." "Of course he has!" cried Marie, all her soul shining through the tears in her ores. "lam so glad you are interested, Major Spenoe, because I think—l suppose—yoar influence may do so much in obtaining justice for him." " Softly, my dear young lady. Do not de pend too muon on that. I "am no oraole, and, if I were, my dictum would not be absolute. This is a question for the Chief Secretary's depart ment." " I know.; but still they have sent for you;" —Marie was always frank—* 4 and influence is so much; /am going to use mine, such as it is." " Indeed!" he exclaimed. The Major smiled as he uttered the word, but he did not laugh at Marie, as she had half expected. Itwasoneofhis " ways" to respect earnestness in anyone, and to treat honest enthusiasm with grave attention, even if it was Quixotic. "My, dear, what can you do?" cried Mrs. Grey, rounding her wet pretty blue eyes, and making query points of her eyebrows. " You ltnow my ooosin is editor of the iW, and I am going to send him a copy of the story (subject to permission, of oouraei, and ask him to publish one of his splendid leaders. It would inflTf"** the public, and might"—Marie blushed at her own audacity—"bring some pressure to bear on those who do speak the • absolute dictum.'" "Even supposing that your oousJb agreed with you," remarked Major Spenoe, " editors, if they are wise, abstain from tilting against Government windmills." "What windmillP — Oh, Major Spenoe! don't tell me that the return of these men is a foregone conclusion!" "As regards the oonvicts, I think no—a- I read the clause—and treaties, you know, Miss Lassel. most be sacredly observed.'* "Of ooorss. but the soldier P—he is no oon tiot" "The Zouave stands on aa altogether different footing, and his case will reosive the most carets! consideration. At present, ladiw, I make no promises, but you nu»v trust me not to work on the opposite side. I have a heart, I believe"—he smiled sadly—" though that is not always a self-evident fact." He rose, lifted the helmet, and passed out of the garden with a quiok military tread. "He is gained," cried Marie joyfully and confidently, " though he is too official to own it!" "Through you, then!" exolsimed Mrs. Grey; "if I had read, the story I should have burst out crying in the midst ox it!—and men hate women who cry!" "What of Captain Grey, then?" laughed the girl as she ran up the step* with her papers; " I am going to write to Ted. i Nothing venture, nothing gain.' Au rtvoir!" TtO BB COXTntUID.I