Chapter 20323805

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Chapter NumberIII - IV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20323805
Full Date1869-04-24
Page Number2
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Word Count6378
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleThe Lawyer's Story: An American Tale: In Five Chapters
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The Novelist.

THE LAWYER'S STORY.

AN AMERICAN TALE.

IN FIVE CHAPTERS.—CHAPTER III.

" Within a year Henry Gordon died, and Eve was free. Our unholy union was then made legal and sanctified by the Church. We were married in an old church in England, and thence

married in an old church in England, and thence

went to Italy, where two years later our only child was born. " But Eve was never again the Ere of other years. She faded slowly away. In vain I ex hausted every energy to cheer and comfort her. The memory of the past pressed on her with in supportable weight, and her gentle soul sought refuge from the storms of the world where the weary find certain repose. " From time to time her mind reverted to the religious instructions of earlier years, and once Bhe met in Florence a clergyman whom she had known in America, and he came to our rooms and talked gently and pleasantly with her. I watched with joy the return of color to her face as the comfort of a certain faith for the future took the place of the miserable doubts and glooms with which my philosophy had sur rounded her. " Perhaps had she lived longer the might have saved me. Perhaps had she been left to me I, too, might hare faith where now all is doubt— might have hope where now I but wander hope lessly. "My joy at her returning cheerfulness was without foundation. She was not to be with me any longer, aad the gloom which still surrounds me began to settle on my road. " Eve was sick. A fever had seized on her, and I thought she would die. I employed all the Bkill of Naples, but the disease increased and hope ended with the sunset of the fourteenth night. That long, long night of agony! Morn ing broke dimly and greyly in the east. I bad not moved from her side for seven days. She looked up at me, raised her arms and wound them around my neck, and drew me convulsively down to her and buried my head in her bosom while she spoke hoarsely and faintly and with difficult utterance. "' Walter, do you remember my mother ? I saw her in a dream just now, and, Walter, I shall never see her again in dreams, never in life, but I shall see her soon, very soon, in hea ven. Walter, say c Christ have mercy on me.' That's the first prayer your lips have uttered in years. Mother was weeping, Walter, and she pointed towards Eve, and looked so sadly and mournfully! Oh, be careful of Eve, Walter. Guard her as you would me if I were left yon. lam going now. Eve, Eve, my darling Eve— love him—love him—Walter—Eve—Eve—Wal ter—Christ have mercy on us—take—care—of— Ere—Walter!' " She was dead, and I was desolate. "The occurrences of the next four years I will pass over. Perhaps it was only accident, but three times during those yean I had met Joseph Gordon, and each time had a collision with him of more or less severity, and each time he avowed that he was pursuing me with a de termination to be revenged, as well on me as on my dead wife, whom his hate yet pursued be yond the grave. I became exceedingly nervous •bout this, and after the death of Eve I left Daples and sought concealment in Germany. " I made up my mind to lead a retired and Quiet life, if I could find a place where nothing Would remind me of the sorrowful past. " I loved that child with all the passionate, mad love I gave her mother. I wandered with her till we reached the Ehine. We remained a week at Cologne. One evening, in the street, I met a party of English gentlemen and a number of Americans. I knew the face of one of them —it was Joseph Gordon. That night I left Cologne. I was followed. My boat was attacked. I fought desperately, but was left bleeding on the deck, and Eve was gone when my senses re turned. " From that time to this I have been unable to gain any traces of my child. For several years I did nothing but search for her. You may conceive how vain was such a search. She was stolen irom me by a man who had no home, no residence, no friends. He was never heard of in America after tha*, and I only knew that my child and myself were somewhere in the broad world together, but we have never met. My search became a monomania. I travelled the world over and over again, with the mere chance that in some street, some city, or some wilderness I might light on a trace of her. You may im agine the effect which this one object of life had on a man of my temperament, and the follies i led me to commit. But my search was in vain. The Ci ordona have been well revenged. " I came home. I mean to America. My father's fortune, had, by some ahanges in the value of real estate near the city, become enormous. My mother's brother had died leav ing me a mi'lion. I was wealthy beyond ordinary counting, and I was miserable. Now, I confess to you, life began to be a torture. I resolved to bury myself in solitude and study. How well I have succeeded you may judge from the fact that for ten years I have lived alone in this house, most of the time in this room. " Do not ask me what has occurred to disturb this quiet. Perhaps it was a dream, for she Visits me in dreams. Perhaps it was a notion I have bad that I am to die before long, and that I owe Eve the promise I made her to take care of her child. Perhaps it is the yearning tender ness to look on my own offspring, to hear the words of a child's affection before I die out of the world in which I have been bo useless, so worse than useless. " Perhaps it is the love of adventure, of ex citement, or perhaps a little of all these together. Enough that my desires are aroused. I must renew the search. I need a friend, counsel, ad vice, assistance. Help me. Eve is living. My heart tells me that, though my reason may doubt it. If you will encourage me to believe she can be found I will go the earth over to find her, hold her for one moment in my arms, or if it must be I will only look one instant into her eyes (Eve's eyes), and then go to her mother and tell her she is safe." To recover a child for a father who had been the seducer of the mother, for this, in fact, was the sum of all this story, was a task that I did not covet. Besides this, if was totally out of the line of professional employment. But he did not ask this. He, in fact, only asked a friend, and friendly counsel. And when I had pene trated the folds of his mind, and learned that under that strange, wild garb was a warm heart yearning to atone to the dead mother, the early dead, for all the wrongs he had brought on her, and to obey her dying command to take care —^^ of her child, that child whose name with his own formed the last sweet sounds of those beloved lips, sounds that yet lingered in all the

air that he breathed in all countries and at all times, I began to be ready to assist him hi ac complishing this desire; and at length, promis ing him my aid as it might be from time to time available, I left my new friend to his lonesome house. I The incidents in this Btory are hardly to be considered professional incidents. They rather came to my knowledge in a professional capacity, and it is for this reason that I have chosen to relate them as a lawyer's story. My own con nection with the incidents was from time to time during a period of several years after this. I did not at first direct any special attention to the matter. But at Mr. Ashmun's request I examined the will of Henry Gordon, which was proved in the Surrogate's office in New York city. It was in some respects curious, and I was led by its examination to look into the state of his property at the time of his death. A series of discoveries, which it is not necessary to recite here, induced me to believe that he had property tin —— County. Among other items I learned that a lawyer named Whitstone, a resident of that county, had transacted his business, and was in fact the confidential friend and adviser of both the brothers. On directing a search to the clerk of County I had returned a trust deed, executed by Gordon to the same Whit stone, for the settlement of a small income on Stephto Gray, the brother of the father of Eve, wife of Henry Gordon. I had learned that her parents were dead before her departure with Ashmun, and that they had died leaving no property. This trust deed was dated about a year after the disappearance of the younger Eve. At Ashmun's urgent solicitation I con sented to go up to — County to see Stephen Gray, and make some enquiries there. But the autumn day on which I rode into the little village of — was unpropitious for my inquiries. Stephen Gray was dyitg! So said the boys in the street as they looked up at the closed shutters of his window, where they were used to see his face on a pleasant morning in the spring time, when he was wont to sit and watch them on the shady sidewalk as they passed along to the door of the school-house. For thirty years now had the old man occupied that room and taught the village boys and maidens their first steps toward knowledge. The humble schoolmaster's influence had already been world wide, and he was proud of his life—as proud as any statesman of his hard-earned laurels or his achieved triumphs. For had he not heard of his boys in many lands ? Was not the finest book on his table a volume written by one whom he had taught till he went to college, and did not the first page of the book contain a testi mony of the boy's love and loving remembrance ? And had not Stephen Gray been named in the halls of learning, and even in the national Con gress ? There was a worn old newspaper in his drawer, carefully preserved, wherein was a report of the speech of his most brilliant scholar; and he had read over and over the passage in which the orator told the men of his nation that those were the principles he learned from his school master in the up-country. Peacefully had Stephen Gray labored, and after working well it appeared now that the time was come when he might take bis rest. He felt that he needed it, and was not unwilling to lie down. The school-house was open yet, but the boys were not called in ; and the village girls gathered for a little while each morning at their school-room, and wept while Susan Gray told them of the old man. Gentle Susan Gray! The memory of her winning loveliness comes back like a breeze of spring on a summer's day. She was a slender girl, with dark brown hair and dark blue eyes. Her cheeks were of the peach hue that is softest and most beautiful, while her chin and forehead were rounded in that perfection of contour which we sometimes see in the old paintings of Saint Cecilia She was not called beautiful, but very very lovely. The boyß loved her in her girl hood. The young men loved her in her maiden hood. The children looked fondly and smilingly up at her in the street; and the old men blessed her for an angel, as she was, flitting across their dim visions. But she had not smiled now for seven days. Just so long had Stephen Gray been lingering where the roads parted, uncertain which to take. And now he was no longer hesitating or doubtful, but was passing swiftly by the dark road of death. The light in the room was very dim, for the heavy wooden shatters were closed. Only a ray streamed through a crescent-shaped orifice and fell on the carpet near the side of the bed on which lay the giant form of the school master. His eyes were dosed, bnt the occa sional twitching, convulsive movement of his lips indicated painful thoughts. His grandchild knelt by a chair at the head of the bed. Old Mr. Johnson, the clergyman, stood on his left. Mrs. Duncan, the Scotch lady with whom he had lived for two-score years, was at the foot of the bed. Mrs. Wkitney, the best friend of Susan Gray, sat on the right side of the old man and held one of his wasted hands in hers. "My little one," murmured the thin lips of the dying schoolmaster. Susan sprang to his side, and as his eyes opened they rested on that countenance with a joy that seemed to shine out of them, as if he fancied he were already looking into the face of a seraph. " My little one, my darling bird, the old man's hour has come ; and before the sun shines on the grave of my son under the church wall I shall be with him in the quiet places of the better country." There was a quaintness in the expression which reminded all of them that the old man's love of quiet was his teacher when he thought of heaven. "Dear Susy, come closer to me while I whisper to you. I had a dream just now. I thought I was with him and with mother. Bhe was not old nor sad-eyed nor feeble, but she was young and fair as in the good days of our youth, { and she was bright-eyed and shining as the people of that country all are; and while I looked at her I awoke, and your face was over mine, and oh, how like to her face both here in the old time and there in my dream! You are beautiful, my little child, and yet the day will come when your beauty will be dust, and those dear tresses that lie now on the old man's cheek will be hidden out of sight. But what grand times we will have then, my Susy, in the good country! Heaven is close to us, dear, and lam stepping now across its borders. Yet this was heaven, too, and the faces around me were pleasant and —and—and" " Susan," said the old man, after a long pause —" Susan, the boys have been here this morn ing again, have they not ? lam glad the boys love me. It is pleasant to die out of a place where one is loved, and go to a place where all is love. Love—love! Yea, I thank God for the hope, through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

The voice of the dying teacher grew strong and bold as he uttered the last words, and' he lifted himself in his bed. " Open the shatter a little more, if your please, Mrs. Duncan." The beautiful light flushed his face with un wonted radiance, and he gazed out of the win dow at the corner of the little school-house, which stood next to his own, and at the elm tree which hung over it. The first frost had touched the leaves, and some of them were fall ing. A group of boys stood near the door, looking sadly up at the shutters as they were thrown open. The old man knew they were there, though he did not see them, but he thought and thought till his brain ached with his sorrow. "Oh, I shall not see them again! lam sorrowful exceedingly, now ; for I am leaving all that I love, and when shall we meet again ?" Then, as if he knew that his weakness was somewhat childish, he changed suddenly, and exclaimed, somewhat harshly, "Close the shutters—close them tight. Let no earthly light come across my vision. That single gleam effaced all the joy my dream had left me!" For an hour after that he lay silent, but there was a visible alteration in his appearance. His features assumed an unnatural look, and his eyes were opened from time to time, but evidently without seeing. Then he began to murmur something, at first indistinctly, but at length in a clear, full voice, and they recognised passages of Holy Writ. But, as he continued, his voice began to break. His utterance grew indistinct; he paused, opened his eyes, and stared fixedly at Susan, muttered " Hechangeth my coutenance and sendeth me away;" his hand was raised for a moment to the head of the fair girl, and he sought to bless her with his last words, but his utterance failed him, and Stephen Gray was gone to his wife, and was at rest in a quiet place. I remained at — three days, and saw Stephen Gray's body committed to the earth on which he had walked so many years. Daring these days I had not been idle in my inquiries about the Gordons, but I found that all search resulted in but one end, to wit, the necessity of consulting Whitstone, the lawyer who had been the adviser of the two brothers. He was an old practitioner, sharp at times as an axe newly ground, and I have usually found that sort of sharpness very much like the axe in its liability to have its edge turned or broken by contact with any hard substance that twists a little. He was a fair specimen of a class of lawyers whose name is legion, whose profes sional triumphs are on technicalities, and with whom the perfection of legal acumen is in tax* ing large bills of costs, or in defending criminals charged with petty larceny. :? jund my man in a den which he called an offi..e, garnished with a few chairs, a goodly array of books around the walls, and a table covered with what had once been black cloth, but was now a mass of oil and ink. A glance at his face told me I had a hard subject to deal with. Having introduced myself I stated briefly my object in calling. I had an idea that with this man I should best effect my object by bold ques tioning. To my question if he could inform me what became of Mr. Gordon he replied by a question: "Which Mr. Gordon?" " Joseph Gordon." " Might I ask your object in the inquiry ?" " Certainly. I have a large property about to be placed in my hands, which is to revert to the daughter of Mr. Gordon's brother's wife, if I can find her." " Where does it arise P I did not know she had any wealthy relatives." "You perhaps know that Mrs. Gordon was married a second time, and that she died in Florence, leaving a child surviving her. Her husband is still living, but has lost his child. This history is, of course, not new to you. I wish to ascertain whether I can make it for your interest to aid in restoring the child. Mr. Aeh mun is wealthy. If you are not already retained by Mr. Gordon so closely as to prevent your siding me, I think I can make it an object for you to be on our side." " I think not." "Why so?" 111 know no such person as you speak of. I have never even known that there was such a person as a younger Eve Ashman." " I do not think I mentioned any such per son," said I, fixiog my eyes on his face, which gave visible tokens of his chagrin at having overstepped his mark in naming the child. " Ah—yes—l—thought you said the child's name was the same as the mother's. I have some recollection of Mr. Ashmun when he was a young man. But I know nothing of him or of the Gordons of late years. After the elope ment of Henry Gordon's wife she was never heard of again by husband or brother." "Never?" "Never." " Do you happen to know the present resi dence of Joseph Gordon ?" " No ; I never heard of him after bis removal from this place." " I beg your pardon, but from your certainty that his sister was never heard of I gathered that you must have seen him from time to time." The coolness of my intimation that I did not believe him staggered the man. I hastened to add, " Mr. Whitstone, we may as well under stand each other. You know where Eve Ash mun is. If you will tell me I will pay you ten times your demand. If you will not, I must find her without your aid." " Try it," sneered Whitstone, " and we will see whose arm is strongest: yours to find, or ours to conceal." "So be it. But before I leave you let me give you a hint. I did not come here with any hope to secure your services. I wished only to know one fact; whether Eve Ashmun was alive or dead. You have not been keen enough to conceal that, and I am perfectly content with the result of this interview." And with this result I was forced to be con tent. I returned to New York and communi cated to Ashmun the success of my inquiries. It but aroused him to greater anxiety, and in deed to such insanity as made me anxious about the result; but six months of vain search i calmed him again, and I forgot him, except when I occasionally called for an hour to talk with him, or when he rushed furiously into my office with some whim in his head that I had to talk out of it. Chapter IV. I have already intimated that this story is not strictly a professional story, but is one with which I became acquainted in the practice of the profession. It has already been seen how little active part I have taken in it, and indeed

how little of the lawyer has appeared necessary in the history. A somewhat remarkable occur rence led me to a professional acquaintance with other actors in it, and to a final elucida- '. tion of the mystery which hung around the fate of Eve Ashmun. , A young man who had been a student in my ' office was assigned by the court to defend a man indicted for murder. It was a curious case. An old citizen had been knocked down in the ; street and robbed of valuable papers, and was I found dying on the pavement. He lived only ! long enough to describe his assailant, and the , next morning a man named Thompson was ar- . rested by the police as fully answering the descrip- j tion of the murderer. Withal he had blood on ; his sleeves and a slung-shot in his pocket, and answered incoherently when questioned. The case was strong against him. The Grand Jury were in session, and he was indicted the day after he was arrested, and was arraigned the next day; and on his stating that he was a stranger, without friends or money, the court assigned counsel for him, and his plea being entered he was re manded. Within a few days he was supplied with funds, and directed the young man who was his counsel to retain other and older counsel, and to spare no expense in obtaining hie acquittal Preston came to me and begged me to forego the rule I had long adopted, not to have any thing to do with criminal practice. At his argent desire I consented to aid him in the defence, and went with him to see the man. Thompson was a broad-shouldered, brawny sailor, whose stout limbs would have made him a fearful antagonist in a fair fight, and on looking at him I repented that I had accepted his re tainer. He had a bad face, a villainous face. But on conversing with him I became half satis fied of his innocence, and on learning that the murdered man's pocket-book was not taken, and that his stolen papers were returned in a few days through the post-office, I became convinced that Thompson could have had no concern in the crime. Beside all this he averred his perfect readiness for trial, and his ability to establish an alibi so clearly that there could be no doubt of his acquittal. We accordingly prepared for his trial immediately, and within four weeks after bis arrest he was on trial. I had.an interview with his chief witness the night preceding the trial. I had some difficulty in obtaining sight of him, but it did not occur to me till afterward that he avoided me inten tionally. When I did see him it was in Thomp son's cell, and without light, except the dim light from the grating. In this gloom he struck me as a fit companion in countenance for my client He was a tall, finely-formed man, dressed with considerable elegance, and was presented to me as Captain Jamison. He re presented himself as an Englishman of wealth and family, who was in the city accidentally. Thompson was his servant and travelling valet, or factotum, a sort of American dragoman. The evening previous to his arrest, that is, the evening of the murder, he was on a boat on the North River coming from Albany, with Thomp son in his company as usual. He did not reach New York till some six hours after the murder was committed. Another servant was prepared to corroborate his testimony, and would be in court at the trial. This seemed to be satisfac tory, and we parted to meet in the court-room the next morning. At 10 that evening Ashman came to my house. I had not seen him for some weeks, and was surprised at his unusual animation. . "What's the news?" " I am on the track at last." "Ah! and how so?" " I have been shot at to-night." " And you think the next shot will speed you, and you give up the search in this world. Is that the idea?" "Bah! no. Don't you understand? There is but one man in the world that would shoot me. He must be near. See! I kept the pistol ball. It is the only message I kave had from Gordon in years. But I prize it. Do you know my life has been attempted once before ?" " I have heard nothing of it." " I met, three nights ago, a man about my own size, who jostled against me on the pave ment with a force that nearly drove me into the gutter. You have some experience of my way of behaving in such cases. It was very much that way our acquaintance began. I turned swiftly enough to catch the scoundrel's arm as he aimed a blow at my head with a short club. He howled as I twisted his arm in its socket. I don't think he will use it again in a hurry. Surprised, and in fact rendered useless by the twist I gave him, he took to his heels. I should have supposed the collision accidental, but when this pistol ball came into my library window last night I began to think Gordon was about, and I strongly suspect he designs my murder." "For what possible motive can he do so ?" " Did you not tell Whitstone that I had made a will in Eve's favor ?" "I did." "He will murder me and marry Eve, who is wholly in his power. Or, worse than that, he would destroy us both, and secure my fortune to himself by a will which he would get Eve to make. I can see through it all, in a dozen dif ferent points of view." " I doubt it; it is too horrible." "I tell you, Blackstone, I know my man # Ho is one of the vilest scoundrels that the world ever produced. Such men make me believe there is a hell." "Well, you must go to-night. I have a murder case to-morrow, and I wish to be ready." " A murder case ? I will come and see you try it. Who knows how soon you may be de fending some one for the murder of your friend Ashmun!" " I will play the traitor and let him hang, if I dream there is the remotest possibility of his guilt of such a crime." " Not so. Save him if you can, even though he be Gordon himself, and let him live for me to haunt him. If I could but be a ghost; if I could but get rid of this weight of flesh; if I could but be here, yonder, everywhere, with the speed of thought; if I could but— Black stone, in pity hire some dog to kill me. I wish I were dead now. I will stand at my window to-night to be shot at. I will light the room, open the shutters, and—will that be snicide ? I am sick, tired, weary of all this. Good-night! lam going. Good night! If I could but find her!" I saw that he was in one of his strange moods, and I dared not let him go home alone; so I made him sit down, and I strove to calm him. " I know not why it is," said he, " that I have been so restless of late. I have been strongly impressed with the idea that my child is near me, and that lam soon to see her. Oh, my friend! could you but know the glory of that vision which haunts my memory! Could

you but sleep my sleep and dream my dreams! Could y«u bat see my dead wife in her magni ficent beauty—but look into the unfathomable blessing of her eyes—but hear the music of her words of perfect affection—and know that all this was once yours, but may never be yours again—never! never!—you would know the terrible meaning of that word, 'never.' The world is.full of mocking beauty. The sky weighs me down as if it were a load on my shoulders. The wind shrieks in my ears. The sunshine burns into my soul. For sky, air, and sunshine were once the joys of our young lives, and they are now witnesses of all the bitterness that curses me. But it is nearly over. This pre sentiment, if you so choose to call it, is so strong that I am not doubtful, but certain, that I shall find Eve soon. Do you think—do you think it may be in another world ? I had not thought of that before. Who knows ? Your idea may be right." "My idea?" " It was your suggestion when I came in." I talked with him for an hour, and sent him home with a servant. He laughed at the cau tion, but I insisted, and he yielded. The next day I was engaged in the trial of Thompson. The case for the prosecution was made out "without much difficulty. We cross-examined witnes?es but little, trusting entirely to our proof of absence from the city, which was ample. I had examined the first witness, who was the other servant of Captain Jamison, and whose testimony was clear and satisfactory. At the moment that we called Jamison to the stand, and while the clerk was administering the oath, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and looking up saw Ashmun taking a chair behind me. He nodded, and I acknowledged his presence by a smile, when I was startled at the change in his countenance. He was staring over my ahoulder toward the witnesses' seat, and his gaze became intense for an instant; then a smile of apparent exaltation passed over his face, and he leaned over to me and whispered: " You have him at last." "WhomP" " Gordon." "Where?" " That man on the stand." "Gordon! Impossible! It is Captain Jamison." "Ah! his mother's name. Blackstone, I can't be mistaken; that man is Joseph Gor don." Like a thunder-stroke came over me the idea that this might be true. It explained the whole mystery of the murder. The victim was mis taken for Ashmun. It was in his street, near his house, that the murder was committed. This alibi was trumped up to clear him. It was well managed, too. No wonder he had hesi tated to meet me before. No wonder I had never seen his face till this moment. That scar on his cheek was a mark in his youth. I re membered it myself twenty yean ago. All this flashed through my mind in the instant while I turned from Ashmun to the witness, and as the judge said "Proceed, gentlemen," I cannot define the impulse which induced me to abandon the case before me and demand of the witness in a tone which startled him and the whole court-room, " You name is Joseph Gordon P" "Henry Jamison," said the clerk of the court, but not soon enough to check the fury that gleamed from the eyes of the witness. I recovered my composure, whispered to Ashmun to leave the court-room and wait for me at my office, and then proceeded with the examina tion. I never recollected precisely how the trial ended. I was never, so much embarrassed, for while I was defending the prisoner the con viction was growing on me that he was guilty. The judge spared me the trouble of attending to the case. Before the witness had answered ten questions the court intimated to the district attorney that he would do well to abandon any idea of conviction, and the verdict of not guilty was recorded without the necessity of the jury retiring. While I was gathering my papers together the prisoner and Captain Jamison disappeared. An officer handed me a sealed envelope. It contained a large counsel fee, bat I never saw my client again. I hastened to my office to meet Ashmun, but he was not there. I remained till the evening, but did not see him, and called at his house on my way home. He was out. The next day I heard from his servant, who called at my office, that he had left word for me that he should be out of town some days, and I need not give myself any concern about his business. I understood the vague message, and waited patiently for news of his success. I next heard from him in a singular place. The following is a copy of his brief note: " County Gaol, December B,lB—. " Come up here and see me. Yours, " Aumnnr." I obeyed the summons with as much speed as might be. [WILL BE COKCLCrED IK OUR NEXT.]

CousrDEEABLB ezoitement was occasioned in a well-known chop-house in Ballarat, lately, by a customer taking his seat at one of the tables, and, on applying himself to a savoury plate of soup placed before him declaring that he had lost his appetite. The room contained some thirty persons at the time, and the loudness of the remark attracted general attention. The customer proceeded to say—(as the Courier tells the story)—that he felt ill and feverish, and added that a rash was breaking out all over him, but about his face in particular. A glance at the man proved the truth of his statement, for his face was com* pletely tattooed with red blisters. The general impression at once was that the man was suf fering with incipient small-pox, and his retire ment to the street was a great relief to the rest of the company, which one by one cleared out of the now-believed infected building as speedily as dignity permitted. Subsequently, the man who had caused all this terror entered the chemist's shop, and at his own request was sup plied with a black draught. This he no sooner drank than he vomited. Matters now began to look serious, and three pills were given him to take, and he was advised to go home and ob tain medioal assistance as speedily as possible. The man left, and nothing more was heard of him until the next morning, when he appeared at the shop in which he was employed, quite free from red blotches, and, in fact, in good sound health again. His complaint had simply been "nettle-rash," produced by eating fish, not of the healthiest, and the three pills taken overnight effectually removed it in the morning. This little incident, and the terror it inspired, was the subject of much merriment in the town. Gabotte robberies are reported to have been frequent in Auckland and the Thames for some time past. Ordinary punishments having been found there, as in England, to have but little deterrent effect, Chief Justice Sir George Arney has determined to put them down with a high hand. Accordingly, on a recent occasion, three ruffians, who were convicted of this offence, were sentenced by him to twenty lashes with the cat, in addition to long terms of penal ser vitude.