|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||The Lawyer's Story: An American Tale: In Five Chapters|
THE LAWYER'S STORY.
AN AMERICAN TALE.
CHAPTER V.-AND LAST.
FEW readers of these pages will remember the old gaol of—County. But in that day it was the wonder of gaping boyhood and adult verdancy for many a mile. I have often stopped
before the door of the court-house and looked with interest on the faces of the boys that stood gazing np at the grated windows, and heard with eagerness their whispered remarks to each other on the frowning and gloomy look of the walls and barß. I say with interest and eager ness, for in my boyhood I had looked with just such eyes on the old court-honee and gaol in my native village. And I well remember my awe and terror when one day nay kind friend Mr. B , one of the leading members of the bar of the State, took me with him into the county court, then sitting for the trial of some petty offenders. I found Ashmun in a comfortable room, well furnished; and when I entered he was over hauling a pile of books which the deputy-sheriff had brought to him. " Good-morning, my dear Blackatone. Do you know now, if you had not come at thia mo ment, I might have been in a condition to dis pense with your services for the future ? I sent Mr. Deputy-Sheriff for some books. He has bromght me a supply. Look at them. Wouldn't I have been an accomplished lawyer before I had finished the half of them ?" I laughed as I glanced at the array of au thorities which the man had selected to amuse his prisoner, but demanded of my client how he came to be in that position. " Ask the sheriff. He keeps me here." "But what is the charge?" " Murder." I started—not so much at the answer as at the tone, which I recognised as the index to my client's most furious disposition. "Murder?" I echoed. " Ay, murder. They say I killed a wretch that was found dead in the highway near the town." "And did you?" "Cool, that, upon my word. Did I? Mr. Sheriff's deputy, do ua the favor to place the oak between us. Mr. Blackstone is my adviser, and we most be alone. Wait a moment, Black atone, till I ace if the gaoler is out of ear-shot. Did I kill the dog ? you asked. Well, then, I did." The matter looked serious, and I drew a chair towards the fire, and sat down, silently eying my companion and awaiting his explanation. "He waa the villain you cleared in last month. The story is rather long, but you must hear it aIL Take a cigar; I have no pipea, nor wine. The county authorities, it appears, claim a right to control the morals of all their prisoners, even the unconvicted, and I drink nothing but water here. Perhaps it is as well, for my brain is remarkably clear ; and if you will listen I think I can now give you the clew to a discovery, and the same history will aid you to advise me as to my present position. " When I left the court-room in New York I waited at the door to see your client, who I knew would be acquitted with such a witness in his favor as I saw he had. Once on the track of Gordon I determined to follow him like a hound. The crowd that came out of the court room concealed him from me till the moment he passed me. Your man was near him, and I heard them mutter an appointment for the evening. I followed the man, assured that he was my safest tool to deal with. Something about the man pleased me too. He looked like a bold fellow, and the devil in his eye was just what I liked. I doubted my ability to buy him, and so concluded to cheat him. I had my rough coat on, and following him at fifty paces distance I turned up the legs of my trousers, browned my face with a piece of bark that I picked up on the side-walk, pushed my collar under my cravat, and dipped my bootß in the first mud-hole I could find. The disguise was not perfect, bat well enough for the occasion, and I Btaggered after my man now more closely than before. Hia course was direct to a sailors' boarding-home in street, and as he turned to the door-steps I accosted him. He looked at me, but made no reply, and entered the door, while I followed and fell into a chair near the bar, calling for some liquor. " Just out of prison, penniless, and friend less, I was sure that he had not yet been sap plied with money by his employer; and I judged rightly in supposing he would be ready to drink with anyone who would pay for it. I poured four glasses of liquor into the large sand-box on the floor, while he poured as many down his throat, and they began now to tell on him. So we made an afternoon of it, and by evening he was as drunk as a fool, and as much of a fool as most drunkea men. I got out of him the particulars of hia appointment for the evening, and resolved to supply his place in the interview, come what might of it. He knew he was drunk, and I easily persuaded him to let me do so. The hour was 9. The place in the darkest part of Alley, whenoe they were to go to some room known only to Gordon. " I went, leaving Thompson asleep in hia bed. I again feigned drunkenness, and staggered against Gordon in the alley-way. I had learned enough from Thompson to be able to personate him in the dark, and his voice was easily done. Gordon waß deceived. How easily I might have killed him then, and who would have sus pected me ? But my object was not to kill him. I only wanted to find my child—the child of my lost Eve. So I talked little," refused to go with him, intimated that I had had enough to do with him, had ran great risks for little re ward, and sundry drunken demands to know what more he wanted brought him to the point. Imagine my horror as his plans began to unfold themselves. I cannot explain to you by what process of reasoning I arrived at my knowledge. His explanations were reserved and cautious, but I was not the ignorant sailor he thought he waa talking with, and he waa not as careful as he would have been had he known I was neither stupid by nature nor drunk at the time. "Blackstone, listen to me. The scoundrel has planned precisely as I told yon the last evening that I saw you. He knowa that I have made a will in favor of Eve, if she can be found. He knows where she is. Her will is made ; and although she is not yet of age he will conceal that, and no one will be able to date her birth. He will kill her next, and the in heritance will be bis!" « Impossible!" ** So you said before. I tell you, Blackstone, I know those things of those two brothers to hare conceived which were enough to d«"»» an
archangel, yet which they did boldly. I was not shocked, as you are, when I learned his fiendish plan, or heard him speak of its previous failures. I was cool, calm, apparently drunk when it flashed upon me in all its hideousness, and I unravelled its details with a skill that would have done honor to a lawyer. Yes, I did. He did not dream that I understood him. But as he instructed me in my part I listened and made rapid deductions. " First of all I was to come to this village and find Whitstone, who was to give me a di rection by which to find the penon to whom this letter is directed. That person found, I was to present the letter; and the next coarse to be pursued is indicated in the letter." " Have you read it ?" "Of coarse not. It is sealed. He told me enough to indicate all. I was to bring some one to the city with me. To meet him at the House, and receive further instructions. So we parted. " You may imagine that I felt myself very sure of my object now. I returned to my own house, assumed a more perfect disguise, and re joined Thompson on his awaking in the morn ing. I had thought of attempting to buy him, but I gave it op. He seemed ashamed of hia drunken frolic, and when I told him that he had sent me to meet his employer he waa apparently frightened. I gave him briefly the particulars of the interview, told him I had personated him to save him from blame, and ahowed him the letter which was to be delivered in this place, and offered to accompany him on the errand. He seemed to be satisfied, and we left town to gether, and travelled very comfortably till within five miles of this place. "We had taken a carriage at N , and I was driving. Thompson had been very quiet for an hour, and I began to fancy there was a look of distrust in his eye. As we entered a piece of wood he suddenly turned to me and said, ' You are no sailor.' "'Why not?' "' You drive too welL I never saw a sailor hold a rein like that' " < Show me how you would hold them,' said I, offering them to him. "' So,' said he, furiously grasping them with one hand, and laying the whole of the long lash across the Dacka of the horses, who sprang like lightning at the stroke. The next instant he turned them into the gutter at the road-side, overthrew the entire establishment, lighted on hia feet of course, but seized me by the throat before I could pick myself up out of the heap of brush into which I waa thrown. It was a short fight. He was the stouter, I the most agile. He was choking me, and I was pound ing hia face; a lucky chance offered, and I had a finger in his eye. His grasp on my throat relaxed an instant, and I tripped him into the gutter. He 6prang up with a knife in his hand, and I had but one resort I shot him dead. "As he fell the knife flew to my feet. I picked it up, and while I was looking at it a wagon load of farmers came along. One of them recognised the dead man as his brother, and it seems he was well known in the neigh borhood. I was a stranger, ill-looking, and, as was soon found out, disguised. I had a knife and a pistol in my hand, and I bore no marks of injury from the dead man. The hones had run away. It waa evident I waa a highway robber ; had attacked a peaceful man, unarmed; had stopped him on the highway, shot him, and was robbing his body when arrested. It looks mightily like it. My pockets were searched, and I suppose my watch and some other costly trifles, rather oat of keeping with my dress, helped them to a conclusion as to my character; and as I refused to give any name, here I am, waiting your advice, and committed on a oharge of murder." " Committed?" " No, I suppose not strictly committed, be cause not yet examined. But I have been here four days, and by this time Gordon must be in a tempest. lam glad you are here, for what is to be done must be done quickly. We are near the point of discovery if we are bat cautioua and swift. I have sent for you because I am a prisoner and helpless." " Have you sent for Whitstone ?" "I have not." "Send for him." In ten minutes my old friend Mr. Whitstone entered. He seemed to be as sharp as ever. " What might you wish of me, air?" said he to the supposed sailor. " Why, you ace, air, thia here charge of mur der is a pretty serious one, and I haven't exactly an idee what to do about it. I sent for a city lawyer, and he's here this morning. But he says I must hang. Now I must't Yon can fix it for me. What I want is to see the person that letter is directed to." Whitstone started and looked at me. He recognized me immediately, and saw that the matter waa serious. " So you got this out of his pocket after killing him, did you ?" " I got that from the man that wrote it." "Who was he?" " You knows him, of course, Mr. Whitatone. He told us, you see, to come up here and see you, and ask where this person lived, and take and deilver this letter ourselves with our own hands. Now I know that whomsoever it is that they'll help a poor fellow in trouble for the captain's sake, and I want to see them." " Let me have the letter, and m deliver it to-day." " Close at hand," thought L "No you don't; I wants to see the person. It's directed to Mr. Jamison; but I knows as well as you that it's a woman, and I must see her. Shell take care of me. Besides, if you don't bring her 111 send the letter to some one in New York as will pay for if Whitatone waa in a quandary. Aahmun finished him with a blow. " Come, old fellow, it'a no use bothering your self. Gordon's folks must stand by me in trouble or Til not stick to him. I'm in the market now, and the man that bids first will buy me, and it'll be too late to bid higher when I'm struck off. Mr. Blackstone yonder shall know all I know if I ain't helped somehow." " 111 be back in an hour," said Whitstone, abruptly leaving the room. "You'd better," said Ashmun, laughing. I followed Whitatone from the gaol, and set a young man whom I had brought with me on his track. Ten minutea afterwards they rode out of town, one not far behind the other, and my young man Boon brought me intelligence that he had gone to a houae in the country some miles off, whose inhabitants, he had learned, were two young ladies, with*^ housekeeper and servant*. The ladies were garden. One was named Susan Gray; of the other he could not learn the name. Susan Gray I knew, and I could »Uhn acquaintance with her. Ten minutes after thia intelligence reached me I saw from my window the return of Mr. Whitstone alone. He went
into the gaol, where he announced that • penon would call on Ashman in the evening, who would communicate with Gordon on hia behalf. Toward evening I rode out to call on Saaan Gray. My excuse was my desire to know of her welfare, having become accidentally ao quainted with her at the time of her grand father's death. She was exceedingly beautiful in the deep mourning she was wearing, and expressed her pleasure at seeing me in such an earnest way that I could not but admire and love her. It appeared that she was living in a house which belonged to her uncle, whom she described as a merchant in England. His name was Jami son. He had been kind to her grandfather, though she had never seen him until since the old man's death, when he had come to America, bringing his daughter with him. At this I began to see the end of our search. Her uncle was, of course, my witness, Joseph Gordon, though how he had succeeded in pass ing for the uncle of Susan Gray I could not un derstand. This daughter of his was probably the object of our search, brought most oppor tunely from England at the very time to fall into our bands. " Where is your uncle now ?" " He was here this morning, but has gone into town with Mr. Whitatone. He came up sud denly last week, hearing that his man was killed, and that we had failed to receive his letters. And Mr. Whitatone's visit seemed to disturb him, for he left word that possibly he might take us to the city with him to-night, and we must be ready to go on short notice." I did not wait to see Miss Jamison, but mak- ' ing their sudden departure an excuse for a short call, I returned to the village and to the cell of Ashman, to communicate with him and change our plans of action. As I entered the gaol the deputy-sheriff in formed me that Mr. Jamison, a gentleman from the city, had gone in a few momenta before, and I was about retiring, when a loud cry within the gaol startled both of us, and we rushed to the cell and dashed open the door. The scene was sufficiently appalling. On the floor lay a stranger bloody, disfigured, and gasping, while Ashman's knee was on his breast and his grasp on his throat A fiend looked out of his eyes as he tightened his hold, and with a desperate plunge the victim soughtto escape his impending doom. At our entrance Ashman seemed to recover his senses and sprang to his feet, while his an* tagonist slowly recovered himself, and I looked at my client for an explanation before I recog nized Che face of his foe. " The wretch! See his accursed countenance! Does he not look like the hound he is ? Villain, where is my child ? Ay, dog, my child! Eve j was my wife—before men and God my wife! Long before any of your abhorred name knew her, or cursed her with hypocritical love, she was married to me! You did not know that? But since it has come to this I tell you it was so. I You lied in your throat then when you said I stole her, when you called me thief. For that I struck you. For that I would have choked your small soul out of your vile body had not these entered." The other stood trembling and half fainting before him, and at length sank into a chair and begged for a glass of water, in a faint, husky voice. This revived him, and he now seemed to gather courage from our presence. " You shall suffer for this." "Shall I? If you utter one other word of that sort I will kill you where you stand." " Mr. Sheriff, listen to him," said the other, shrinking behind the deputy, and shielding him self from Ashman's rage. " Listen to him, and remember this. I will go to a magistrate imme diately." " Ha, ha! a threat that likely to frighten a man in prison and charged with murder!" " Good, I thank you for reminding me. I'll hang you. By , I'll hang you!" And be walked toward the door. " Stop," said Ashmun, laying his hand on his shoulder. Gordon stopped, and fairly shook with terror as that iron hand fell on him. " Stop, and look at me. In my face, man, not at my buttons. Look in my eyes. So! that is something like. Now mark me. I know you, Joseph Gordon, and your whole life. Let me whisper in your ear. Lean closer and you will hang if I but name it. Did you ever dream I knew it? Scoundrel, I have every evidence I need. Hang me! Look to yourself, Mr. Gor don ; and by Him that made me, unless I know this night where to find Eve, I will apeak the word." It was a curious sight to see the eyes of those two men fixed in mortal hatred each on the other. Gordon's gaze drooped first, and he stepped a pace back hesitatingly, then suddenly drew a pistol, and with a quick aim full at the breast of Ashmun pulled the trigger, but not so quick as to prevent the blow that Ashmun leveled at him with his tremendous fist, striking with all the force of Acestes. That blow sounds now in my ears. It waa a dull, crushing, bloody blow. It felled the strong man like a log, dash ing hia head on the stone floor, and as he fell the pistol in his grasp was discharged, and the ball passed through Aahmun'a breast. He staggered against the wall, where he supported himself for a moment, and then sank slowly to the floor, and a horrible silence was now where but a moment ago was such a fury of words. The gaoler and myself stood looking at each other, and at the men on the floor. It was a strange Boene. The poor deputy-sheriff had no experience in this sort of thing, and I but little more. I roused him from his fit of terror to help me lift them to beds, and send for a surgeon without delay. There waa aheap of bedding on the floor, out of which I extracted two pallets on which to lay them, and the gaoler hastened for surgical aid. He was gone a long time, or it seemed long to me, shut in that dismal cell with two dead bodies ; for Ashmun had fainted, and the two lay as if they were dead, and I feared that unless some aid should arrive soon they would neither of them revive. The surgeons at length came; two doctors, frightened at the • cene quite out of what little wit and skill they had possessed. Each one readily assented to the propositions of the other, and these were so va rious and contradictory that I soon found I could guide them myself, and must take the responsi bility. So I begged the one to look after Mr Jamison's skull, while I examined with the other the bullet-hole in the breast of Ashmun. I readily took off his coat and vest by cutting with my knife whatever obstructed their easy removal, and then putting back his shirt I found an inner vest of silk, and in that a concealed pocket, from which fell a miniature. The dull eye of the surgeon failed to see it as I secured it and placed it in the pocket of another part of the dress. But a glance showed me » free of rare and glorious beauty. It was a face to worship with even just such idolatry as bit. I oould pardon it after seeing that The usual means
restored consciousness to Ashman, but Jamison —or Gordon, v I should call him—remained insensible. The blow of Ashman, heavy mit wm, would not hare been fatal; bat his fall had cut his head, and apparently produced a fracture of the skull. The stupor continued, and the physicians had no skill to perform any surgical operations for his relief. " Has he friends ?" said the doctor. "If he has they should be summoned, for this may prove serious." I despatched a messenger for Miss Jamison and Miss Gray, and resumed my seat near Ash mun, who had begun to more, and grow restless with the sensation of weakness. I had explained the circumstance of the miniature to him, and he had been quiet for a while, but now became exceedingly uneasy. The gloom of night had settled on everything, and the prison was dismal beyond description. Notwithstanding all our care it was manifest that with the darkness a corresponding gloom was coming over his mind, and he began first to see curious phantoms, and then grew flighty, and then delirious, and at length raved terribly. Many of his fancies were queer, many startling, and some almost sublime. He saw chiefly the faces of old friends, and when they came crowding around him he would laugh and joke and play with them, and some times sing wild sons, not always in the same language, nor in two or three languages only. It was strange, marvelous, so much so that the surgeon who had remained, and who had imagined him only a poor devil charged with murder, was astonished, and at length whispered to me, " Who is he, sir, if I may venture to ask ?" " I cannot tell you," was my reply; " but save bis life, and I will see you amply rewarded." The feverish delirium passed away, and he sank into a stupor, during which the young ladies entered, and hastened to the side of Gor don, who continued insensible. They shrank with horror from Ashman, for they believed him the unprovoked murderer of their only pro tector. As they entered I looked up for a moment at Miss Jamison, thinking sadly that this was the end, and a fitting end, to the strange, mad search which my poor friend has so long pursued. At length I saw Eve Ashman, the myth of whom I had heard so maoh. For of ooarse I had no doubt that the tall and queenly-looking girl who looked around for her supposed father was the daughter of his foe. She wm certainly very beautiful Her hair was black, flowing back from a forehead of sur passing purity. But the eye I did not like. It was blue, beautiful, but bad. Could Eve Gray have had such an eye ? It changed all my ideas of her. But I had only an instant for these thoughts, as she drew back with an expression of horror from Ashman's bed toward Gordon. I left Ashman, and turned to aid them in their efforts for Gordon. For a half hour we had exerted ourselves with some success, for conscious ness seemed returning, when I turned to look at my friend. He sat apright in bed, gazing with wild, agonising eyes across the room. I followed his gaze, and saw Susan Gray standing at the head of Joseph Gordon, her right hand on his forehead, which she bathed, while the glare of the lamp shone on her exquisitely beautiful face. Then, for the first time, I saw its startling re semblance to the miniature; and as the idea flashed across my brain Ashman exclaimed, " Eve, Eve, my child! come to me, come hither. Leave him—Eve—Eve;" and he fell back ex hausted, but still lifting up his head feebly he called, "Eve, Eve. Oh, that villain! He has stolen her heart as well as my child, and she does not know me, nor heed me, nor hear me," and he was again insensible. His cry had of course startled the others as well as myself, but they did not approach the poor criminal. Only I saw Susan Gray pause, and lift her hand to her head, and gaze a mo ment, as if that cry had brought back some old memory, some dim, indistinct vision, which fled as quickly again and was gone. For a half hour he lay senseless, and then a wild, anxious con sciousness returnedl. " Bring her towanTme, Blackstone. Tell her I wish to speak to her." " Miss Gray," said I, in a low voice. " This gentleman is not what you take him for. He is my friend, Mr. Ashman, a gentleman with whom you may convene without hesitation. He desires to speak with you." "I mast have met him; there is something familiar in his voice." " There is, there is. You have heard it before. Sit down nearme, my child—rmy child—my child. Steady now, my soul. These hours are precious. No, lam not delirious again, Blackstone; no, I am not. But those two words,' my child,' well nigh made me mad with joy. Miss Gray, he called you, I think. Tell me if you remember your mother." " I sometimes think I do. It is so long ago. I am not sure." " Ah, how could you forget P I could not, if I lived ten centuries of jutt such years as I have lived. Did you love your mother, child ?" " Oh, yes, I loved her, and though I cannot recall features, yet there has never been a day of my whole life that I have not thought of her as an angel presence. Yes, I loved her." "And so did I. Oh God! yes, I loved your mother." " You ? What right had you to love her P" " Hear that, ye dwellers in the unseen world! Eve's daughter asks me what right I had to love her mother! Answer her, since she would not yet believe me if I dared to tell her! Listen, child. Do you remember any of the soenes of jou childhood?" " Some quite distinctly." " Do you remember a home under the hill-side, with a blue bay stretching out before it, and flowers on the terraces, and a fountain, and a large dog with shaggy hair, and a boat, and two white ponies, and a low carriage, and a drive along the beach?" " Strange! I begin to recollect all that. What can it be?" " And now again. Do you not remember a morning in June ? The sun shining on the bay; a little child, playing in front of the cottage, strays down to the beach, and slips from a rock into the water. The dog rescues her, at the in stant that her father and mother rush down the lawn." " I see it. I remesiber. The dog was Marco —was not that his name ?" " And again. Do you remember leaving that home ? Do yon remember a night on the Rhine —a dark night—a boat drifting down ? Yon lay, wrapped in a cloak, on deck. A man lay near you. Now, can you recall an attack, a fierce struggle, shouts, cries, and bloodshed, or did you sleep through it all P" «Oh no; I awoke; I remember it well now. I have not thought of that in years." " Tell me what followed." MI wm carried away. I cried aloud, and wm •topped. I shrieked till they stifled me. After that my memory it not distinct. I remember
wandering a long while through many places. As I grew older my memory grows more clear. I know I wm brought here, and I wm told that my father had waited long to see me, but that he died before I came; and so his father took me and brought me up, and I lived with him till he died. You remember that, Mr. Black stone. But how do you remember all these things, sir?" "I! Look at me. Hold the light, Black* stone. Look in my face and tell me if you see aught familiar." 1 "Nothing." " Eve! Eve!" he cried, in a wild, mournful, broken voice; and then in a loud, clear tone, that seemed as if it might reach the country on the other side the river, " Eve! Eve!" Susan Gray again leaned forward, as if the cry were familiar, " Eve!—not jou—not you. Dead Eve! my Eve! my own lost darling I am calling now. They say that the words we utter here are heard »n heaven. Ere—darling—come back, and tell her who I am! Is she not yours, your child, your last gift to me ? I would so love her if she looked but kindly at me. God, let her come back one instant now, and tell her child I am her father!" "My father!" " Now, Eve, hear that! What are you doing that you do not break your bonds P Oh, poor, frail child! If I were there, and you here, and you called me thus, I would burst the bands of death, and come back to the earth to answer you. Oh, come to me!" "Does she answer?" It wm the low, hußky voice of Gordon that spoke, and alow laugh fol lowed it that wm full of malignity. " Does she answer ?" Uncle! do you know this man P Is he my father?" " Joseph Gordon, I have hated you and yours with unearthly hate. But I will forgive you all; I will love you; I will call you friend, brother, anything; I will make you rich ; I will die and give you half I have (the other half for her), if you will but tell that girl the truth, and let her whisper the blessed words of a child's love in my ears to-night!" " I do begin to believe that you are my father," said Susan Gray, who had been deeply moved by the earnestness of Ashman. " The voice of Eve spoke then. Say on," said Ashmun, gazing at her with a look that wm piteous in its mournful anxiety. " Bat see. Fool that I wm. Child, child, come close to me— lean down here! Would you know your mo ther's face if you met her, if you saw her now P Does it haunt you through the long years ?" " I dream of her sometimes; but I have thought those only dreams." "Blackstone, quick—quiok! That picture— quick, lest I die! Look at that! Is it she? You know it ? It speaks to you even mto me. Thank God for that! My prayer is an* swered. Eve has come back—my child, my child!" He did not embrace her, nor did she yet ap proach him any closer.' She held the picture a moment in her hands, and a gleam, a glow of light and joy spread over her face as she recog nized the angel of her dreams, and she knelt down by the side of his pallet and buried her face in the clothes, and sobbed out her thanks to God that she had at length found a father and a mother. And then she rose, and looked in his face, and spoke, slowly, clearly, and distinctly: " I cannot yet understand my own history. Before I can determine whether my duty is to obey you m my father I should know the circum stances of ray birth. I wish to know what rela tion you bore to my mother." "It is your right. I wm her lawful, hus band." "Liar!" muttered Gordon. " No, Joseph Gordon, lam no liar. In those blessed days of youth, when Eve Gray wm my boyhood's idol, my companion and my friend, we were as closely bound together m ever man and wife. One pleasant morning, I remember it as if it were yesterday, we rode together over these hills, among which I am now lying, and came to a dark forest where we were wont to leave our horses and walk. We sat down on the bank of | the river, and as the swift waters flowed toward the sea we wrote on three torn leaves from my tablets our vows of marriage. One page we committed to the water to bear it to the world- WMhing sea, and one each of us kept. It wm childish, but it wm solemn. A month after that we parted. Open that miniature. Two of those leaves are there, wound with her hair. " I went and returned after long wandering, and she told me of all your and your brother's cruelty. Ay, she told me how he wronged her. How he basely struck her, like a dog that he wm. The little blood I have left boils with hatred as I recall the story she told me of his and your foul treatment of that angel girl, that I would not have had harmed for all the stars of heaven. Then she came to me, homeless m she wm, and found rest. Yea, rest. In some drunken brawl, some hideous debauch, some vile scene of riot and wrong, your brother's Tile existence escaped; and Eve wm free in man's sight and God's sight to be my wife. She wm such before, but we repeated our vows. You may find that record, too, in the proper place. This child the sole fruit of our union, you stole from me; you, Joseph Gordon, stole from me; and have sought to teach to forget me. Her heart and mine are beating close together at last. Now die, and if, when you stand at the bar of God, before you turn your back forever on the world of light, you see Eve Gray an angel there tell her that her Eve rests at length in a father's arms." He held oat his hands, and she accepted his embrace, and pressed her lips to his. As he felt that pressure a thrill passed through his frame, j a strange, unearthly smile lit his splendid fea tures, and then he fell back on his couch insen sible. It wm the last unclouded ray of reason that lit his soul, and when sensation returned sense did not return with it. My story is nearly ended. The passions of his life had their end in the miserable imbecility of his age. His sins were punished. His life had been one of storm, ending in along, gloomy lwiligt£ which preceded the night. He wm readily discharged from custody when the circumstances became known; for although the array of proofs remained unchanged, the case wm very different when the prisoner ceased to be a poor sailor, and became a man worth a million. Gordon wm removed from the cell, and lin gered in a doubtful state for nearly or quite three years, and then died. Miss Jamison, as she wm called, the beautiful girl that I had mistaken for Eve Ashmun, wm in fact the companion of Gor don in wickedness. She had been allied to him for some yean, and wm doubtless fully informed of all bis plots. She disappeared shortly after the events which I have described. I continued to be the adviser of Af*"wm t or rather of hi* representatives; for his property
was placed in the hands of a commission until Eve's majority, when we arranged so that she had control of it. For many yean he used to be seen daily driving down town, and always with Eve by his side. I do not think she ever loved him, though she devoted her life to him. But there was nothing left of the lovable in his character, and he grew more imbecile as he grew older. He was docile to Eve, peevish and dis agreeable to all others. In brief, he was the wreck of a noble man. One autumn night, when the curtains were drawn close around him to keep out the night air, and Eve had smoothed his pillow and left him to repose, he dreamed a dream. And in his dream Eve, his dead Eve, as he onse called her, beckoned to him as she had not before in years, and he uttered a loud cry of joy. " Eve! dear, dear Eve!" said he; and then, as she was going away, he called out: " Eve, wait for me!" Eve, the living, heard him call, and she came down to his door and listened, but all was still; and she looked in, but the drapery had not moved; and in the dimly-lighted room she went up to the bed and drew back the curtain, but he lay calmly there, and she thought he was sleep ing, with peaceful dreams, and so she went away and left him. But he was dead. THE END.