Chapter 20318530

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20318530
Full Date1868-05-09
Page Number2
Corrections0
Word Count6340
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleLove Stronger than Death
article text

LOVE STRONGER THAN DEATH.

CHAPTER II.

By the Author of "Whitefriars," "The Matrimonial Vanity Fair," &c.

THE landlord's advice was good, and I com -<*> plied mechanically, drinking the spirits off at a draught. "Well, sir, for go and stay," my prolix infor-

mant continued ; but I really think be did not himßelf like to come to the climax of his dread- , ful tale, " there wasn't the like of that beast ' ever seen, when only he could be got to show the \ stuff he was made of; but as I said before, his j temper was so vicious there was hardly any | dependence to be placed on what he would do. | " People always kept their distance, however, when they went to see him, and good reason, too, after one or two examples he made as a colt. There wasn't a groom in the whole stud durst go within a mile of him, even to give him his corn, excepting Horsemonger Jack; but he, being a gipsy, had the whisper secret. Least ways, he could keep him in order at times—not 1 always, even he. Especially the creature de tested the smell of liquors, and Jack was a little too fond of them ; but a Christian can't always study the humors of a horse. Perhaps, how ever, the truth is, Jack wae a little savage in his own ways when he was pretty full, and the brute knew it, and so wouldn't let him come nigh, even to wait on him, at those times. " Whatever his temper, we all swore by Hell fire Dick in the forest. I'd have backed him •gainst the wind with all I possessed, after I had once seen him run ; and so I did, pretty well, that famous Good'ood, and lost it, like the captain and the rest. As for the captain him self, he doted on him, thongh he durstn't never go very near him either; and what he bet upon him that day was something wonderful to hear. But who wouldn't on such a horse, when they had him in their own stables, and meant fair play ? And besides the horse, nothing that ever strode pigskin could beat Horsemonger Jack as a jockey when he chose to, and could ride the proper weights, which he can't now, he thrives ' so on idleness, and these pauper children's main tenance. "And so there was such an opinion of the pair, no one that laid his money had the least fear of winning, provided only a start could be got at. But the mischief of it was there was some sort of a quarrel between Hellfire Dick and his rider on at the race-time, and they were both as revengeful as wild cats, and he—the horse, sir—laid his plans—l have no more doubt - than if it was a Christian—to take it out of Jack j the very first opportunity; or else he had liquored up too brightly, and the creature smelt it out." But on the very course, bit, just as the judges were settling it, and a start all but made Hellfire Dick took to all sorts of games, kicking, plunging, tearing, so that no living soul durst go near for an hour, and then at last he pitched hiB jockey off, and trampled him with his forefeet so fearfully that Jack was all but killed. No other jockey durst even look at him, and, besides, he ran away, and wasn't caught again for hours ; so he didn't show at the starting-post at all, and all his engagements were declared forfeit, and the Deverell stables were discredited for ever, and the 'captain left the race-course a ruined man—almost a madman, one might cay, he was such a picture of rage and despair. People all thought he was going to commit suicide, only they were too busy with their own ups and downs to attend much to him ; and he never ?poke a word to Horsemonger Jack after the accident, or took the least trouble in bringing him to, but set off home alone in the dark. "Bo you may imagine he wasn't much in a temper to do the charitable when he got home, and found the poor tramp girl begging for food and shelter at his doors; particularly as his only chance for righting himself again was Miss Hammock's money, which she had more than beauty, though one of the best, and kindest, and tenderest-hearted ladies in the world, and doted on the captain all the more, perhaps, for being so much handsomer than herself, and so full of bis soft, blandy ways. It must have been awk ward—you see, sir ?" "How ? Do you mean to insinuate " " I don't want to insinuate anything, sir; but as the Deverells have been cleared out of the country now, and you're occupying their house there can be no great harm in telling you what was the private talk upon the people at the time," talkative Boniface continued. " I should bo very sorry to say anything against a gentle man, if he was still one, and lived at his place; bat I'm only saying as the heiress wasn't too handsome herself, it wouldn't do to have it go abroad—most likely to the father's ears, who wasn't agreeable to the match—that a beautiful young strolling creature like that—for I saw the body myself—with a baby in her arms, had been taken in and treated as one of the family at Deverell Lodge. So, as I have said, she wasn't, but was ordered peremptory off the premises'. And now comes the sad part of the story. But I must finish my glass before I can tell that." Mine host suited the action to the word, and feeling better for the action, continued his narrative. "Well, sir," he resumed, "Horsemonger Jack, I will say, with* all his faults, is a regular game one. So the moment he came to his senses •gain, bruised from head to foot as he was, he determined to master the beast, and punish him for his trick, come what might of it; and, besides, he was afraid to let him go looße in the country, with his fancies for biting and tearing things to pieces ; so he set off after him, and found him quietly grazing in a stubble-field. He'd had his revenge, however, and was willing to be friends again ; and Jack coaxed him till he got upon his back again ; and then, I'm told —he often boasts of it himself still—he did so whip and flog him, he was more '.ike a raw horse than a black roan that night. And he fairly conquered him, took all the pitch and toss out of him, and galloped him home that midnight through thick and thin, as if he had been Old Kick on a hurricane, only it was a bit too late for any good, of course, Hie most things in this world. And he got home, according to what he told at the inquest, about an hour after his young master had gone, broken-hearted, to bed. Indeed, there was nobody up to tell him any thing about the poor tramp girl having stowed herself away in Hellfire Dick's comfortable loose box in the riding house, and he himself was quite knocked up with fatigue and bruises, and didn't take the least pains at seeing after the brute's comforts. And so the upshot of it all was he turned the develish creature, all blood | and sweat, and foam, and wild with hunger and I flogging, into the stable—locked the door, and j took no further notice of him till morning. " You must form a notion yourself, sir, of what he found in the morning, when he "got his orders from the captain to water him at all events, if even they starved him for a day or two to bring his savageness down. Catawam-

pously chawed up, and no mistake! Poor young creature! kicked, trampled, torn, crushed, such a sight as mortal never saw before or since. And Hellfire Dick standing trembling from head to foot over it, as if he knew what ha had done. Only her child, saved by ten thousand miracles, or a mother's frantic love, alive and well, and sleeping in the empty manger trough !" It may be imagined with what emotions I listened to this heartrending aud horrible history. It was several minutes before I could speak after it. When I did at last, I inquired— " But were the facts of the case clearly proved —clearly ? Was the poor young creature re cognised, and were Horsemonger Jack's state ments concerning her admitted as such ?" " Why, as for that, there was only his word for it, and the identity could neither be proved nor disproved, for directly the jury had returned their verdict, the body was given to the gipsies, for burial after their fashion, as she belonged to their lot. And it could never be discovered what they had done with it; they would never own even to have received it, though Captain Deverell and Jack delivered it to some of the gang from the red stable themselves. And that was what Squire John Flammock made such a stir about, for he thought it a good opportunity, I suppose, to get rid of the suitor he himself disapproved of po much for his daughter. And he said everywhere that it was put out of the way on purpose to avoid identification, and hinted at some dark mystery in it all, and foul play, and what not, until it came to an open quarrel between the captain and him, and he forbade his daughter ever to think of him again, and that completed his ruin, when it came to be known he had no longer a chance for the heiress, and he was obliged to go abroad, and they sold up everything he had—and you're the tenant of Deverell Lodge, sir!" " But did nothing ever come to light on the subject ? No evidence obtained ?" I inquired, aghast at the tale. " I have never heard of any much to the purpose, though, to be sure, the blind woman— that's Horsemonger Jack's wife now—gave out at one time something queer about her seeing the captain's own self, with a lantern in his hand, guiding the poor wretched young creature over the stable-yard to Hellfire Dick's box!" the host replied, with a peculiar significance in his tones. " And her husband—he married her shortly after—says it's a judgment upon her for saying so, her going blind, and being obliged to stick to the basket-making in the dark. He keeps her nose pretty hard at the grindstone now, and it may be she deserved it, if she knew things, and wouldn't state them fairly out, for the sake of getting such a rascal as that for a husband! But there was a judgment indeed upon Hellfire Dick! Captain Deverell, his own seif, although the jury only gave a deodand, and said nothing about destroying the animal, took a poleaxe in his own hand, and went into the stable alone—a thing he never durst do before— and fairly hacked the poor devil to pieces, and had him buried under his own stall, hoofs, and tearing teeth, and all! And delicate-handed, refined young gentleman as he is to look at, he seemed quite to take a pleasure in doing it, for he was a long time about it, and wouldn't have any help, and though people were glad of it in the main, I remember I was quite horrified when I heard the brute's shrilling and yelling out with the pain, and the dreadful dying groans!" I went back to my new home a wiser, and most certainly a sadder man, in possession o this tragic history. But I took care not to breathe a word of it there. But I must confess I sank yet deeper in melancholy reflections, when I found myself at last left at Deverell Lodge, with only women, children, and an old worn-out serving-man, for company and allies. To be sure, the man had been a soldier; but he had suffered under a sunstroke, and was by no means any miracle of intelligence at best. Fortunately, we were all very weary that first night of our abode at Deverell Lodge, and sleep befriended us. Neither was there any kind of disturbance. The day that followed was a glorious one for sunshine ; and under the influ ence of the splendid luminary, which once more shone out, much that had seemed so dismal and portentous the night before resumed the appear ance which had in the first instance charmed my fancy. My wife began to discover that the place, though too large and rambling, abounded in cupboards and conveniences for housekeeping, very unlike a modern London house. There was room for everybody without joatling. The child could play about in ths grounds, wherever she liked, without the necessity of being watched, and with no fear of being run over. Even the dreaded Maria-Martin stable itself lost a good deal of its terrors when I announced that I found it exactly suitable for the purposes of the great work of art I contemplated, and which, in fact, threatened to require a canvas room as sizable as the scenes of a theatre. But it was in reality a long, wide, well-contrived apartment, capitally lit from its high skylight for my purposes, and not letting in more draughts than might reasonably be expected of a wooden-walled chamber, left for five years now untenanted and uncared for. And I had deter mined not to be appalled by the fearful tale I had heard, and its associations with the place, from making a use of it which I thought mußt prove my chief, if not only, recompense, for re solving to brave the unpleasant impressions I had received, and remain in my dear-bought, cheap experience of an advertised country house! Yes, though on examination I found the stall still remained in which the horrible tragedy must have taken place, rendered further con spicuous by the irregular paving of the cobble stones there, and a sort of denting in the floor, as if by the much trampling and ferocious hoof ing in that terrible onslaught. And although, moreover, I half persuaded [myself I still dis cerned traces of gore in the sharp strokes of the iron-shod feet of the brute-homicide! With regard to the infant, victim in the affair, I must, however, to my shame, confess that the good intentions I had formed in its favor melted away on cool reflection and consideration. What, indeed, had I to do to trouble myself concerning a little pauper orphan, when I had so many anxieties of my own to attend to ? He was too young for me to allege any possible use for his services, though, indeed, my wife's compassionate and tendor heart would have accepted any reason for an act of kind ness to an ill-used orphan like this. And last, but not least, I grew to entertain no slight dread of again offending Horsemonger Jack. His character was infamous for almost every degree of criminality the law docs not condignly punish. His failure on Hellfire Dick, and the ruin of his patron, had disqualified him as a jockey, as well as his growing too heavy for average weights. He was too lazy to work;

but addicted crazily to drink, and every other kind of low pleasure. He was a poacher, htfd been tried for sheep-lifting, and was thought to have had a sly hand in a burglary or two, accompanied with violence, that had lately occurred in dwellings in the forest. He was the terror of his compeers, and a cruel wife-beater, although she was blind, and devoted her whole time to an industry that was the mainetay of the | family. As for his mother, who leased out the small children from the parish, under the pre tence of nursing and rearing them, she was noted for being almost as savagely dissolute and drunken as himself. And now I reflected that I should at times be obliged to leave my family under the weak pro tection of an infirm, half-simple old man, how ever picturesquely his grey hair floated a la Belisarius, about his shoulders, and brave and faithful as I knew he was. Therefore, I thought it best, though with a pang atheart, not to con cern myself any more in the fate of the luckless orphan of the horse-slain tramp girl, but to let it go with the rest of the wrongs and miseries of the world I had no means to prevent or cure. I do not think I was at all influenced in this resolution by an uncouth and most unexpected overture of seeming amity and conciliation I received from the outrageous fellow himself about a month after my settlement at Deverell ; Lodge. I had just got my grand project into some sort of bearing, and was making the rough car toons of my battle piece on a conspicuous scale> when one day the man (if I must call him so) intruded himself, quite unannounced, and, I am sure, undesired, into my large and rather cold and exposed studio. But he was familiar with j the inns and outs of the place, and did not seem to stand on any ceremony with a stranger, who was now well known in the district as neither rich nor influential, nor even on terms of acquaintance with any of its great people and squires. I confess, indeed, I was rather startled by the visit, and glanced at a revolver I kept loaded in seven chambers on a shelf for horse-brushes and curry-combs, well out of reach of little Serapha, who was always playing in and out of the studio. And he noticed the drift of theglance, for he screwed his ugly jaws into what he possibly meant for a pleasant smile, and wished my " honor " the best of good mornings, and apolo gized for coming in so on the " sudden-loike," because he knew I was always at my " pictur's " there, and the " crabby old 'un " at the house had told him to make himself pcarce there, come for what he might. And now he had come'd on a herrand he thoufht would be " obliging" enough to my honor, who, as he heer'd say, had but a small family, and no real occasion whatsomever for the stabling. He was intrusted with a " 'ansome hofler," for he thought I might almost &ck what rent I thought proper, in reason, for the entire out building, to be used as such, accordingly, by a gent, who wanted accommodation for a rare great stud he was intending to horganize in that part of the country, which was so well adapted for training purposes, besides there being several good hunts in the neighborhood. I noticed that while he spoke he kept his eyes almost staringly fixed on the cartoon I was busy upon at the time of his entrance. It represented a powerful horse, rearing affrightedly, and snorting high in the air, from some supposed formidable object on the ground, Probably, a Saxon perishing under a Norman lance, but still defending himself with shield and spiked mace. And such a develish leer came over the ruffian's face as he looked, that that alone would have determined me on a re fusal, if consent would bring me so ineligible a neighbor. For I thought it likely Horsemonger Jack had interests of his own in the issue of his application. I, therefore, answered drily enough, that although I did not want the outbuildings for horses, I did for other purposes, and had no intention or wish to let them on any rental what ever. And I added, no doubt with significance, that I thought there had been horse-doings enough on the premises to dispense with any more. " And yet your honor's making on 'em your self on that there paper, and as nat'ral-like as the thing itself," he replied, with not unskilful flattery. "I am sure that 'ere tearing, pawing hanimal is as like our Hellfire Dick, that was, when he was a trampling and smashing the poor girl as " "Oh, you witnessed that truly diabolical piece of work, did you ?" I could not help in terrupting him. I saw that his swarthy, leopard-spotted com plexion changed to a ghastly hue as I uttered the words, and he quite stammered, as he answered— " Lord help you, sir! Do you think I would have seen it done, and not have saved the poor young critter with life and limb ? Bad as I may be, I ain't quite the devil in Christian clothes either, or a Deverell! Especially," he con tinued, in great confusion, after pronouncing this name, " the poor victim being an old acquaintance of my own, and one I was always partial to when I was with the captain in Ire land." " Oh, you did know where she came from, did you ?—and she wasn't a gipsy tramp, as you pretended at the inquest ?" I returned, with a glow of horrow and indignation rising irrepres sibly in my breast. I felt almost assured that I was looking upon a murderer, and one of the most unmanly brutish, and inhuman sort imagination could conceive, or the gibbet reward. But I was startled with another idea in his reply. "To be sure I know'd the poor soul in Ire land, but not on my own account. She was the captain's sweetheart when he was with the ridgment at the Curragh, not mine. And she come'd over here after him to bother and annoy him with her baby, and spoil all his prospects with the heiress young lady at Squoire Flam inock's; and he served her quite proper in turning her out of doors in the wind and rain. I And if she couldn't take an hint, but must go intruding herself in^ strange places—in a stable to sleep—leastways, a tan-house, which she didn't know what might frequent it or not — though, to be sure, she was locked up pretty safe " "Ay ! on the outside, was it?" I exclaimed. "Who told you that? I mean, whoever dares to say so ?" the wretch barked at me. " Why, if Bhe had locked herself in on the inside, she need not have been afraid of any in trusion ; and how could you have let your tiger horse in ?" I retorted. " Didn't the captain always hang the key in one particular place we both knew of, to pre vent all danger of any one but ourselves going

into Hellfire's quarters ?" the stupid villain re turned. " And did he on this night, when he must have known that ?" " No, he didn't—he didn't! She had slipped in unknown to him; he locked the place up purposely to prevent her from lurking about the premises, as she threatened to annoy him* and spoil his chances with Miss Flammock; and he didn't even come down with the key, but flung it me out of his window." " Did he, indeed ? And yet you said a mo ment ago you and he had an agreed-upon place where you always stowed it out of harm's way." The fellow looked confused, and stroked his bristly chin for a moment, as if endeavoring to recollect himself more clearly. " Well, sir, I bean't no lawyer," he said, at last; " and I don't know what it is you are trying to make out. The jury was satisfied* and you can't try a man twice for—for murder, or anything. To be sure, nobody was tried* and nobody's going to be. All I can say is, it was her own fault more than anybody else's, hunting after a man that didn't want anything further to do with her, and it wasn't at all ladylike, which she always stuck up for, though her parents were poor bogtrotters. It's true they gave themselves out to belong to the old kings of Ireland; but that was all Irish bothe ration! Served her right, I say, however it came about; and I wish there was more on 'em got their gooses cooked in the same way that's set themselves up for annoyance to a man, whether they're his wife or no." " And was this unhappy girl Captain Deve roll's wife, then?" I exclaimed. "If so, lam certain murder has been committed—probably at his cowardly instigation, and by your ruffianly deed!" " Mind what you're saying, sir. There's law for the poor as well as the rich; and Captain Deverell have his friends still in the world to take his part, and who hey all along. Mind what you say, or you'll be in for it, too!" " Leave my place, ruffian, and without a mo ment's delay." " I'm going, all in good time, when I've done my errand. But as for you to go for to say, or to suspect, or to 'int, that I saw Nora Clara undergoing her proper punishment without pur wenting it, if I could—and I was almost as done up as a child that night with the creature's doings to myself, as if I had fallen from a house top—it is a lie, whether you are a gentleman or not; and I don't think you are. What's a pictur'-man, anyhow ? But you might as well poison the people's minds with saying you saw it yourself, since you can draw the animal—and just when he was trampling her down, too, with his eyes the color of red-hot fire, and bis mane sticking bolt upright between fear and rage." "Leave my premises!" I now fairly thun dered ; and I really think I made a move to wards my revolver. But the rascal cooled down rapidly on its occurring to him that he had somehow committed himself, or remember ing that he was not going at all on his proper cue. " I'm off, sir! I'm off! You needn't scream to the ladies at the house. I'm sure they're timid enough, and starts if one only peeps in at a window. But I didn't mean to offend. De fence, and not defiance, is my motto as well as the wolutteers," he resumed, respectfully enough, and making a slight movement, in com pliance with an imperative gesture on my part. " And I hav'n't said my say out yet, wot I was commissioned to propose, and you needn't re fuse, because you think it's me making the offer, and that I can't pay the rent slick to the mark. It's Captain Deverell himself, sir, that wants a part of his own place back for horses ; and one gentleman oughtn't to spite another, if he can oblige him. isn't like a poor person. They're to be treated anyhow, and trampled on all their lives wuss than in that stall." And he glared a ferocious glare towards the scene of the hideous tragedy, .and continued looking in that direction fixedly, while I made my answer—and longer too. "Captain Deverell!" I repeated, scornfully, and yet much struck. " Why, Captain Deverell's as poor as anybody, starving on the continent, to avoid his creditors and a prison in England." "He ain't starving. There's one looks arter him there that isn't quite an angel to look at, but as good to him and his'n, so far as she knows of 'em. I don't live so altogether on baskets or snaring pussycats as some pretend. And good's my right! I lost my character through the set of 'em ; and what's a poor man without a character ? Well, I don't mind tell ing you, sir. Squire Flammock's in a sad, ailing way, and everybody says, and the London doc tors too, he can't live long. And when his toes are once to the daisies, Miss '11 be left her own mistreßS, and see if there's anybody else in the whole world she'll prefar to my master, the captain, then!" the rogue replied, still gazing steadfastly forward, as if, I thought, to avoid my eye. Bat suddenly I saw his own dilate, and an expression of surprise and terror creep over his ugly mug, as if a policeman's lamp had been turned upon it, to analyze its villainous lines. " I don't care for all the captains and Miss Flammock fools in the world," I said. " You have your answer. They shan't set a foot, either of them, in my place, and it is mine as long as I pay my rent, and Captain Deverell lives. But what are you petrifying at there ?" " Why didn't you tell me, sir you had ahorse there a copying from ?—and as like Hellfire Dick as if he was alive again! only all covered mouldy like, like a sour maggerel! Have you been a digging him up, or how—how—how is he there ?" " It's your own black conscience doing it for you, you devil,, or devil's familiar!" I exclaimed, " There's nothing there but an empty stall. But you buried the horse-tiger there, I know, and he I may well haunt you, or your more savage mas ter, for the cruelty of the vengeance you took on what was more your own deed than the wretched brute's." " It was he served him out so—he alone—the captain's own self. But to be sure there is no thing. It was my fancy, and that nasty, liver coiored sun through the chinks in the red wall. This is the pole-axe he did it with, however!" The fellow returned, bearing a rusty weapon of the sort mentioned, after palpably convinc ing himself of the groundlessness of his fear. I liked neither his action nor his look, and took up my revolver. " Put that thing down, and go!" I said, calmly, but in a manner that showed I meant to be obeyed. He dropped it at once, and, slightly retreating from me, resumed, with great effrontery— " That shan't be a quarrel between us. I don't relish the touch so much as all that. But what's

your answer for booking, sir? Let me advise you as a friend. Take the odds while you're offered them, for, if the captain marries Miss Flammock, he'll pay off his debts with her money, and then he'll come into all his rights again, and what you've paid will go for nothing, and you'll have no more right nor power to be here than I have now." There was some reason in this way of putting it; but I was so disgusted and irritated with the importunity of the horried ruffian before me that I merely passionately repeated the words— " Leave my premises before I kick you out of them! That's my answer. Are you going wehr wolf?" " You're not man enough for me at all events, wolf or not besides, if it weren't for those bar kers of yours. Well, see if I stand your friend when the captain comes back again, or not, and before he does, if I can see my way to it with out injuring myself." This I felt and accepted as an open declara tion of war, and thenceforth examined the load ing of my revolver with particular care, and fired off all the barrels in succession every now and then, to let all whom it might concern know I did so; and it much diminished any repug nance I might otherwise have felt to an open act of hostility on my part, which was shortly after wards urged upon me by my timid, nervously sensitive wife herself! It was a very singular circumstance—quite as singular as anything that had yet befallen any of us, or our intruders, in those strangely-haun ted and portentous premises. Weoccupiedas oursitting-room the apartment where we had lighted our first fire in the house, and eaten our first meal, which I have previously described as having windows to the ground. ' And here it was that my wife's piano and books were placed. And here it was she assured me —and my own experiences more than justified me in crediting—she had the strange adventure lam about to relate. She was sitting one day at her work-basket near the fire, with the ball-end of some scarlet worsted in it, knitting little Serapha a child's bo dice. Serapha had at the time an ailment, and had cried herself into a sleep, Bitting on a stool, with her head on her mother's lap ; when Mrs. Diamond—whose eyes, as she told me, were fixed on the dear one's little fevered face, while her fingers mechanically pursued their occupation— was aware of something standing between her and the light from one of those long narrow windows—some transparent, but visible, object there. And looking earnestly she fpund herself gradually making out the outlines of a female form of a good stature, and very finely shaped especially in the bust. And yet it presented it self so gradually, and, as it were, gliding out of the air, that she kept fancying herself mistaken, and was smiling at the powerful play of the imagination, when, quite of a sudden, it seemed the form grew perfectly made out, and solid; and appeared to be that of a young female, in a sadly tattered and discolored garb, with naked feet, long streaming hair, and a bundle, with a crushed old straw bat on her arm. All, indeed, there was to distinguish this object from a poverty-stricken stroller girl on the tramp was the exoessive paleness of her countenance ; with the dreadful exception, certainly, that my wife, whose mind was not occupied with theories of color to account for it, declared that she con ceived at once that what I had taken for patches of scarlet cloth were " gouts of gore." And yet my wife assured me she was not ter rified—not even alarmed! The figure, she said, looked through the panes (which were a little frosted) with so benignantly tender an expres sion towards her—my wife's—sleeping child, in its large, soft black eyes. So far from that, she told me, that when the figure made a mournful, but earnest, gesture to wards herself, my wife softly transferred her sleeping child's head to a comfortable cushion of the half-woven lamb's wool garment on the arm chair, and complied with the unspoken request. When she got to the window, however, the figure had passed from it, and had already glided —it could not be said to walk—to some distance over the lawn, which was mealy with a slight fall of snow. It could not indeed have touched the ground, for there were no footprints; but going on a trifle further, it turned its lovely, deathly white visage again, and repeated the gesture with an unearthly blanched hand again, high up in the bright, sunshiny air! I suppose the courage Mrs. Diamond dis played in this fearful contingency was not her own, but given to her. She has always assured me she did not make a moment's hesitation in following, but actually drew a warm shawl she wore on her shoulders, through chilliness, in the house, over her head, and obeyed the super natural visitant's plainly-implied bidding. In the continuance of this marvellous incident, Emily stated to me, she followed on, a similar distance remaining between herself and the ap paration the greater part of the way, for a con siderable space, during which they passed down the glade I have mentioned as conducting to the high road. But not the whole distance. The phantom turned aside by a narrow path way in the forest, where I am quite sure Mrs. Diamond had never previously extended her rambles, even under my care. I did not even know myself, I believe, that this side pathway led by the direct and shortest cut to the village, if the few scattered cottages and squatters' huts near about Deverell Ward Lodge could be called so. But so it proved ; and my wife, perceiving that she was meant to go this way, still complied. In fact, she stated, the apparition turned its long-tressed head, in a natural, corporal sort of way—excepting that even its pallid face had now disappeared, and there was only something darkly indistinct, and of a corpse-like hue, to be seen under the hair— as if to make sure that she was following. And on it went till they came iv sight of a hovel, the first in the village by that way, near a haggard-looking clearing in the forest, with gnarled stumps and roots jutting out in every direction, and descending by some broken ground to the edge of the brook occasionally alluded to before. And there it stopped, and, turning again, wrung its pallid hands, as it were in an appealing agony of supplication, and vanished at once and totally out of sight! And precisely at that moment the screams of an affrighted child came to my wife'e hearing, and a little boy all in rags and tatters, rushed out of the cottage pursued by a burly ruffian, with a big milkstool in his hand, with which he was swearing to " extarminate " the unfortunate little creature " from head to foot!" Man as I trust I have shown myself in some dreadful emergencies other than are on record here, I confess I was frightened afterwards with the mere account of my wife's courage on this occasion! TO BE CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT.