|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||Adam and Eve|
Adam and Eve.
BY MRS. PARR, Authoress of "Dorothy Fox," "The Go[?]u Smithy," &c., &c.
FROM the day on which Adam knew that the date of Jerrem's trial was fixed, all the hope which the sight of Eve had rekindled was again com pletely extinguished, and, refusing every attempt
at consolation, he threw himself into an abyss of despair a hundred-fold more dark and bitter than before. The thought that he—captain and leader as he had been—should Btand in court confronted by his comrades and neighbors (for Adam, ignorant of the disasters which had overtaken them, be lieved half Polperro to be on their way to Lon don), and there swear away Jerrem's life and turn informer, was something too terrible to be dwelt on with even outward tranquillity, and, abandoning everything which had hitherto bus* tamed him, he gave himself up to the terrors of remorse and despair. It was in vain for Reuben to reason, or for Eve to plead ; so long as they could suggest no means by which this dreaded ordeal could be averted, Adam was deaf to all hope of consolation. There was but one subject which interested him, and only on one subjeot could he be got to speak, and that was the chances there still remained of Jerrem's life being spared ; and to furnish him with some food for this hope Eve began to loiter at the gates, talk to the warders and the turnkeys, and mingle with the many groups who on some business or pretext were always assembled about the yard, or stood idling in the various passages with which the prison wasinteisected. One morning it came to her mind, how would it be for Adam to escape, and so not be there to prove the accusation he had nude of Jerrem having shot the man ? With scarce more thought than she had bestowed on many another passing suggestion which Beamed for the moment practical and solid, but as she turned it round lost shape and floated into air, Eve made the suggestion, and to her surprise found it seized on by Adam as an inspiration. Why, he'd risk all, so that he escaped being set face to face with Jer rem and his former mates. Adam had but to be assured the strain would not be more than Eve's Btrength could bear, before he had adopted with joy her bare suggestion, clothed it with possibility, and by it seemed to regain all his past energy. Could he but get away, and Jerrem's life be spared, all hope of happiness would not be over. In some of those distant lands to which people were then beginning to go, life might begin afresh. And, as his thoughts found utterance in speech, he held out his hand to Eve, and in it she laid her own ; and Adam needed nothing more to tell him that whither he went there Eve too would go. There was no need for vows and protestations now be tween these two, for, though to each the other's heart lay bare, a word of love scarce ever crossed their lips. Life seemed too sad and time too pre cious to be whiled away in pleasant speeches, and often when together—burdened by the weight of all they had to say, yet could not talk about—the two would sit for hours and neither speak * word. But with this proposition of escape a new channel was given them, and as they discussed their different plans, the dreadful shadow which at times had hung between them was rolled away and lifted out of sight Inspired by the prospect of action, of doing something, Adam roused him* ?elf to master all the difficulties ; his old fore* sight and caution began to revive, and the pro ject, which had on one day looked like a desperate extremity, grew by the end of the week into a well-arranged plan whose success seemed more than possible. Filled with anxiety for Eve, Reuben gave no hearty sanction to the experiment, be sides which he felt certain that now neither Adam's absence nor presence would in any way affect Jerrem's fate; added to which, if the matter was delected it might go hard with Adam him self. Lut his arguments proved nothing to Eve, who, confident of success, only demanded from him the promise of secrecy; after which she thought, as some questions might be put to him, the leu he knew the leu he would have to con ceal. Although a prisoner, inasmuch as liberty was denied to him, Adam was in no way subjected to that strict surveillance to which those who had broken the law were supposed to be submitted. It was of his own free will that he disregarded the various privileges which lay open to him ; others in his place would have frequented the passages, hung about the yards, and grown fami liar with the tap, where spirits were openly bought and sold. Money could do much in those days of lax discipline, and the man who could pay, and could give, need have very few wants unsatisfied. But Adam's only desire was to be left undisturbed and alone, and, as this entailed no undue amount of trouble after their first curiosity had been satisfied, it wns not thought necessary to deny him this privilege. From constantly going in and out, most of the officials inside the prison knew Eve, while to but very few was Adam's face familiar ; and it was on this fact, aided by the knowledge that through favor of a gratuity friends were frequently permitted to outstay their usual hour, that most of their hopes rested. Each day she came Eve brought some portion of the disguise which was to be adopted ; and then having learnt from Reuben that the Mary Jane had arrived, and was lying at the wharf unload ing, not knowing what better to do, they decided that she should go to Captain Triggs and ask him, in case Adam could get away, whether he would let him come on board his vessel and give him shelter there below. 1 Waal, no,' said Triggs, • I woan't do that, 'cos they as I'se got here might smell un out; but I'll tell 'cc what—l knaws a chap as has in many ways bin beholden to me 'fore now, and I reckon if I gives un the cue he'll do the job for 'cc.' ' But do you think he's to be trusted V Eve asked. ' Waal, that rests on how small a part you'm fo'ced to tell uu of,' said Triggs, ' and how much you makes it warth hu while. I'm blamed if I'd go bail for un myself, but that won't be no odds 'gen' Adam* goiu' ; 'tis just the place for he.
* The right of rapnbliahinf " Adam and Ere" in QoMULKodhMtonparcluMd 67 the proprirtonof Uw
'Tad Diver do to oar'y a pitch-pot down and set an in the midst o' they who couldn't bide his stink.' ' And the crew V said Eve, wincing under Captain Trigga's figurative language. ' Awh, the crew's right enuf—a set o' gaahly smudge-faced raakils that's near half Maltee and t'other Lascar Injuns. Any gaol-bird that flies their way 'ull find tbey's all of a feather. But here,' he added, puzzled by the event,' how's this that you'm still mixed up with Adam so? I thought 'twas all 'long o' you and Reuben May that the Lottery's landin' got blowed about ?' Eve shook her head. 'Be Bure,' she said, 1 'twas never in me to do Adam any harm.' 'And you'm goin' to stick to un now through thick and thin ? 'Twill niver do for un, ye knaw, to set his foot on Corniah ground agen ?' 'He knows that,' said Ere, 'and if he gets away we ehall be married and go across the seas to Borne new part, where no one can tell what brought us from our home.' Triggs gave a significant nod. ' Lord !' he exclaimed,' but that's a poor look-out for such a bowerly maid as you be. Wouldn't it be better for 'fee to Btiok by yer friends 'bout here than ' 'I haven't got any friends,' interrupted Eve promptly, 'excepting it's Adam aud Joan aud Unole Zebedee.' ' Ah, poor old old Zebedee!' sighed Triggs ; ' 'tis all dickey with he. The day I started I see Sammy Tucker to Fowey.and he was tellin' that th' ole chap was gone reg'lar tottlin* like, and can't tell thickee fra that; and, as for Joan Hocken, he says you wouldn't knaw her for the same. And they's tooked poor foolish Jonathan, as is more mazed than iver, to live with 'em; and Mrs. Tucker, as used to haggle with everbody so, tends on 'em all hand aod foot, and her's given up praichin' 'bout religion and that, and's turned quite neighborly, and, so long as her can save her daughter, thinks nothin's too hot nor too heavy.' 'Dear Joan!' sighed Eve; '"he's started by the coach on her way op here now.' ' Whether she hath or no I' exclaimed Triggs in surprise. ' Then take my word they's heard that Jerrem'a to be hanged, and Joan's comin* up to be all ready to hand foi'f ' No, not' that,' groaned Eve, for at the mere mention of the word the vague dread Deemed to shape itself into a certainty. 'Oh, Captain Triggs, don't say that if Adam gets off you don't think Jerrem's life will be spared.' ' Wa-al, my poor maid, us must hope so,' said the compassionate captain ; ' bat 'tis the worst o' they doin's that sooner or later th' endin' of 'em must come. 'Twould never do to let'em prosper allays,' he added with impressive cer tainty, 'or where 'ud be the usa o' parsons praichin' up 'bout heaven and hell ? Why now, us likes good liquor cheap to Fowey, and wance 'pon a time as had it too ; but that han't bin for twenty year. Our day's gone by, and so 'ull theirs be now; and th' excise 'ull come, and revenoos 'all settle down, and folks be fo'oed to take to lousterin' for the bit o' bread they ates, and live quiet and paceable, as good neighbors should. So try and take heart, and if so be that Adam can give they Bailey chaps the go-by, tell un to come longs here, and us '11 be odds with any o' they that happens to be follerin' to his heels.' Charmed with this friendly promise, Eve said 'Good-bye,' leaving the captain puzzled with speculations on the female' sex, and the many curious contradictions which seemed to influence their actions ; while, the hour beingnow too late to return to the prison, she took her way to her own room, thinking it best to begin the prepara tions which in the case of Adam's escape, and any sudden departure, it would be necessary to have completed. Perhaps it was her interview with Captain Triggs, the sight of tho wharf and ships, which took her thoughts back and made them bridge the gulf which divided her past life (mm her present self. Could the girl she saw in that shadowy past—headstrong, confident, impatient of sufferhig and unsympathetic with sorrow—be this same Eve who walked along with all hope and thought of self merged in another's happi ness and welfare ? Where was the vanity, where the tricks and coquetries ! passports to that ideal existence after which in the old days she had so thirsted ? Trampled out of sight, and choked beneath the fair blossoms of a higher life, which, as in many a human nature, had needed sorrow, humiliation, and a great watering of tears, before they could spring forth the flowers for a fruit which should one day ripen into a great per-' fection. No wonder then that she should be shaken by a doubt of her own identity, and, having reached her room, she paused upon the threshold and looked around as if to satisfy herself by all those silent witnesses which made it truth. There was the chair in which she had so often sat, plying her needle with such tardy grace, while her impatient thoughts did battle with the humdrum narrow life she led. How she had beat against the fate which seemed to promise nought but that dull round of oommom place events in whioh her early years had passed away ! How as a gall and fret had come the thought of Reuben's proffered love, because it shadowed forth the level of respectable routine, the life she then most dreaded! To be courted and sought after ; to call forth love, jealousy, and despair ; to be looked up to, thought well of, praised, admired -these were the delights she had craved, and these the long ings she had granted. And a sigh from the depths of that chastened heart rendered the bitter tribute paid by all to satiated vanity and out-lived desire. The dingy walls, the ill-assorted furniture (her mother's pride in which had sometimes vexed her, sometimes made her laugh), now looked like childhood's friends, whose faces stamp themselves upon our inmost hearts. The light no longer seemed obscure, the room no longer gloomy ; for each thing in it now was flooded by the tender light of memory—that wondrous gift to man, which those who only sail along life's summer sea can never know in all tha heights and depths revealed to storm-tossed hearts. ' What, you've come back !' a voice said in her ear, and looking round Eve saw it was Reuben, who had entered unperceived. ' There's nothing fresh gone wrong ?' he wked. ' No, nothing;' but the sad •mil* she tried to gift him wtleooM with wn ao akin to ten thai
Reuben's face assumed a look o doubt "Tin only that I'm thinkin' how I'm changed from what I was,' Baid Eve. ' Why, once I couldn't bear this room and all the things about it; but now, 0 Reuben ! my heart seems like to break because—perhapß 'twill soon now come to saying good-bye to all of it for ever.' Reuben winced. • You're fixed to go, then ?' ' Yes, where Adam goeß I shall go too—don't you think I should ? What else h left for me to do?' * You feel then you'd be happy—off with him —away from all and—everybody else ?' ' Happy! should I be happy to know he'd gone alone ; happy to know I'd driven him away to some place where I wouldn't go myself ?' and Eve paused, shaking her head before she added, * I he can make another start in life—try and begin again——' ' You ought to help him to it,' said Reuben promptly, * that's very plain to see. 0 Eve ! do you mind the timeß when you and me have talked of what we'd like to do—how, never satis* fied with what went on around, we wanted to bo altogether such hb some of those we'd heard and read about ? The way seems almost opened up to you ; but what shall I do when all this is over, and you are gone away ? I can't go back and stick to trade again, working for nothing more but putting victuals in myself.' For a moment Eve did not speak; then, with a Budden movement, she turned, Raying to Reuben: ' There's something that, before our lives are at any moment parted, I've wanted to say to you, Reuben. "Tis that until now, this time while we've been altogether here, I've never known what your worth is—what you would be to any one who'd got the heart to value what you'd give. Of late it has often seemed that I should think but very small of one who'd had the chance of your liking, and yet didn't know the proper value of such goodness.' Reuben gave a look of disavowal, and Eve continued, adding with a little hesitation : 'You mustn't think it strange in me for saying this. I couldn't tell you if you didn't know how everything lies between Adam and myself ; but ever since this trouble's come about, all my thoughts seem changed, and people look quite different now to what they did before; and, most of all, I've learnt to know the friend I've got, and always had, in you, Reuben.' Reuben di.l not answer for a moment. He seemed struggling to keep back something he was prompted to speak of. «Eve,' he said at length, • don't think that I've not made mistakes, and great ones, too. When first I fought to battle down my leaning towards you, why was it ? Not because of doubting tbat 'twould ever be returned, but 'cos I held myself too good a chap in all my thoughts and ways to be taken up with such a butterfly concern as I took you to be. I'd never have believed then that you'd have acted as I've seen you act -1 thought that love with you meant who could give you the finest clothes, and let you rule the roast the easiest; but you have shown me that you are made of better woman's stuff than that And, after all, a man thinks better of himself for mounting high than stooping to pick up what can be had for asking any day. * No, no, Reuben ; your good opinion is more than I deserve,' said Eve, her memory stinging her with past recollections. 'If you want to see a dear, kind-hearted, unselfish girl, wait until Joan comes. Ido so hope that you will take to her. ' I think you will, after what you've been to Jerrem and to Adam. I want you and Joan to like each other.' 11 don't think there's much fear of that,' said Reuben. ' Jerrem's spoke so freely about Joan that I seem to know her before ever having seen her. Let me see, her mind was at one time Bet on Adam, wasn't it ?' '1 think that she was very fond of Adam,' said Eve, coloring ; ' and so far as that goes 1 don't know that there it any difference now. I'm sure she'd lay her life down if it would do him good.' ' Poor soul 1* sighed Reuben, drown by a friendly feeling to sympathise with Joan's unlucky love. * Her cup's been full, and no mistake, of late.' ' Did Jerrem seem to feel it much that Uncle Zebedee 'd been took bo strange V asked Eve. ' I didn't tell him more than I could help,' said Reuben. 'As much as possible, I made it out to him that for the old man to come to Lon don wouldn't be safe, and the fear of that seemed to pacify him at once.' •I haven't spoken of it to Adam yet,' Baid Eve. ' He hasn't asked about his coming, bo I thought I'd leave the telling till another time. His mind ?eems set on nothing but getting off, and by it setting Jerrem free.' ' Bat Reuben made no rejoinder to the question ing tone of Eve's words, and after a few minutes' pause he waived the subject by reverting to the description which Eve had given of Juan, so that, in case he had to meet her alone, he might recog nise her without difficulty. Eve repeated tho description, dwelling with loving preciseness on the various features and points by which Joan might be known ; and then Reuben, having some work to do, got up to say good-bye. * Good-bye,' said Eve, holding out her hand. * Good-bye. Every time I say it now I seem to wonder if 'tis to be good-bye indeed.' •Why no; in any way you'd wait until the trial was over?' ' Yes, I forgot. Of course we should.' * Well, then, do yon think I'd let you go with, out a word ? Ah ! Eve, no. Whatever others are, nobody's yet pushed you from your place, nor never will so long as my life lasts.'
Chapter XXXVI. At length the dreaded day was over, the triil waa at an end, and, in spite of every effort made, Jerrem condemned to die. The hopes raised by the knowledge of Adam's escape seemed crowned with Bucceaa when, to the court's dismay, it wa» announced that the prisoner's accuser could not be produced ; he had mysteriously disappeared the evening before, and in spite of a most vigor ous search was nowhere to be found. But, with minds already resolved to moke this hardened smuggler's fate a warning and example to all such as should henceforth dare the law, one of the cutter's crew, wrought upon by the fear lest Jerrem should escape and bsffle the vengeance they had vowed to take, was got to swear that Jerrem was the man who fired the fatal shot; aud, though it was shown that the night was dark and recognition nut to impowible, thja evident*
was held conclusive to prove the crime, and nothing now remained but to condemn ihe cul prit. The judge's wordß came Blowly forth, making the stoutest there shrink back, and let that arrow from the bow of death glance by, and set its mark on him upon whoße face the crowd now turned to gaze. ' Can it be that he is stunned ? or is he har dened V For Jerrem stands all unmoved and calm ; while, dulled by the sound of rushing waters, the words the judge has said come booming back and back again ; a Bickly tremor creepß through every limb, and makes it nerveless ; a sense of grow ing weight preßseß the flesh down as a burden on the fainting spirit; one instant a thousand faces, crowding close, keep out the air; the next, they have all receded out of sight back into misty space, and he is left alone, with all around faded and grown confused, and all be neath him slipping and giving way. Suddenly a sound rouses him back to life—a voice has smote his ear and cleaved his inmost soul; and, lifting his head, his eyes are met by sight of Joan, who with a piercing shriek has fallen back death-like and pale in Reuben'B outstretched arms. Then Jerrem knows that hope is past, and he must die, and in one flash his fate, in all its misery and shame, stands out before him, and reeling he totters, to sink down senseless, and be carried off to that dismal cell allotted to those condemned to death ; while Reuben, as test he can, manages to get Joan out of court and into the open air, where Bhe gradually comes back to life again, and is able to listen to such poor com fort as Reuben's s&d heart can find to give her. For, by reason of those eventful circumstances which serve to cement friendships by suddenly overthrowing the barriers Time must otherwise gradually wear away, Reuben May and Joan Hocken have (in the week which has intervened between her arrival and this day of trial) become more intimate and thoroughly acquainted than if in an ordinary way they had known each other for years. A stranger in a large city, with not one familiar face to greet her, who does not know the terrible feeling of desolation which made poor Joan hurry through the crowded streets, shrinking away from their bustle aod throng towards Reuben, the one person Bhe had to turn t"> for sympathy, advice, assistance, and consolation ? With that spirit of perfect trust which her own large heart gave her the certain assurance of receiving, Joan placed implicit reliance in all Reuben said and did; and seeing this, and receiving an inward satisfaction from the Bight, Reuben involuntarily slipped into a familiarity of speech and manner very opposed to the stiff reserve he usually maintained towards strangers. Ten days were given before the day on whioh Jerrem was to die, and during this time, through the various interests raised in his behalf, no restriction was put upon the intercourse between him and his friends ; so that, abandoning every thing for the poor soul's welfare, Reuben, Joan, and Jerrem spent hour after hour in the closest intercourse. Happily, in times of great ex tremity the power of realising our exact situation is mostly denied to us ; and in the case of Joan and Jerrem, although surrounded by the terrors and within the outposts of that dreaded end, it was nothing unfrequent to hear a sudden peal of laughter, which often would have as sudden an end in a great burst of tears. To point to hopes and joys beyond the grave when every thought is centred and fixed on this life's interests and keen anxieties is but a fruit less vain endeavor ; and Reuben had to try and rest contented in the assurance of Jarrem's per fect forgiveness and goodwill to all who nad shown him any malice or ill-feeling, to draw ?ome satisfaction from the unselfish love he showed to Joan, and the deep gratitude he now expressed to Uncle Zebedee. What would become of them ? he often asked, when some word of Joan's revealed the altered aspect of their affairs; and then, overcome by the helplessness of their forlorn condition, he would entreat Reuben to stand by them, not to forget Joan, not to forsake her. And Reuben, strangely moved by the Bight of this poor giddy nature's overwrought emotion, would try to calm him with the ready assurance that while he lived Joan should never want a friend ; and, touched by his words, the two would clasp his hands together, telling each other of all the kindness he had showed them, praying God would pay him back in blessings for his goodness. Not_ were theirs the only lips whioh spoke of gratitude to Reuben May; his name had now become familiar to many who through his means were kept from being ignorant of the sad fate which awaited their boon companion, their prime favorite, the once madcap, rollicking Jerrem; the last one, as Joan often told Reuben, whom any in Polperro would have fixed on for evil to pursue, or misfortune to overtake, and about whom all declared there must have been "a hitch in the block somewhere*, as Fate never intended that ill-luck should pitch upon Jerrem." The repetition of their astonishment, their indignation, and their sympathy afforded the poor fellow the moat visible satisfaction, harassed as he was becoming by one dread which en tirely swallowed up the thought and fear of death. This ghastly terror was the then usual consignment of a body after death to the sur geons for dissection, and the uncontrollable tre pidation which would take possession of him uach time this hideous recollection forced itself upon him, although unaccountable to Reuben, was most painful for him to witness. What difference could it make what became of one's body after death ? Reuben would ask himself, puzzled to fathom that wonderful tenderness which some natures feel for the flesh which em >>odies their attractions. But Jerrem had felt a passing love for his own dear body—vanity of it had been bis ruling passion, its comeliness his great glory; so much bo that even now a positive •satisfaction would have been his could he have pictured himself outstretched and lifeleet, with lookers-on moved to cnmp.istinn by the dead grace of his winsome face and slender limbs. Joan, too, was caught by the *arae infection. Not to lie whole and decent in one's coffin—oh, it was an indignity too terrible for contempla tion ! and every time they were away from Jerrem she would beset Reuben with entreaties and questions as to what could be done to avoid the •ataatropue.
The one plan he knew of had been tried, and tried too with repeated success, and this was the engaging of a superior force to wrest the body from the surgeon's) crew—a set of sturdy mis creants with whom to do battle a considerable mob was needed ; but, with money grown very scarce and time co short, the thing could not be managed, and Reuben tried to tell Jonn of its impossibility while they two were walking to a place in which it had been agreed they should find some one with a message from Eve, who, together with-Adam, was in biding on board the vessel Captain Triggs had spoken of. But, in- Btead of the messenger, Eve herself arrived, having ventured this much with the hope of hearing something that would lessen Adam'B despair and grief at learning the fata of Jerrem. ' Ah, poor sawl!' sighed Joan, as Eve ended her dismal acoount of Adam's sad condition, * 'tis only what I feared to hear of. But tell un, Eve, to lay it to his heart that Jerrem's forgived un every bit, and don't know what it is to hold a grudge to Adam ; and if I speak of un, he says, " Why, doan't I know it ain't through he, but 'oos o' my own headstrong ways and they sneaks o' revenoo chaps," who falsely swored away his blessed life.' ' Does he seem to dread it much ?' aaked Eve; the sickly fears which filled her heart echoed in eaoh whispered word. ' Not that he don't,' said Joan, lifting her band significantly to her throat "Tis after. Oh, Eve !' she gasped,' ain't it too awful to think of their cuttin' up his poor dead body into bits ? Call theyselves doctors !' she burst out; ' the gashly lot! I'll never let wan o' their name come nighs't to meagen.' ' Oh, Reuben !' gasped Eve, 'is it so ? Can nothing be done ?' Reuben shook his head. 'Nothing now,' said Joan ; ' for want o' money, too, mostly, Eye—and the guineas I've a-waated! Oh, how the sight o' every one rises and chinks in judgment 'gainst my ears!' 'If we'd got the money,' said Reuben, sooth ingly, ' there isn't time. All should be settled by to-morrow night, and if some one this minute brought the wherewithal I haven't one 'pon whom I dare to lay my hand to ask to undertake the job.' * Then 'tis no use harpin' 'pon it any more/ said Joan, while Eve gave a sigh concurring in what she said, both of them knowing well that if Reuben gave it up the thing must be hopeless indeed. Here was another stab for Adam's wounded senses, and with a heavy heart and step Eve took her way back to him, while Reuben and Joan continued to thread the streets which took them by a circuitous road home to Knight's Passage. But no sooner had Eve told Adam of this fresh burden laid on poor Jerrem than a new hope seemed to animate him. Something was still to be done! There yet remained an atonement which, though it cost him his life, he could strive to make to Jerrem. Throwing aside the fear of detection whioh had hitherto kept him skulking within the little vessel, he set off that night to find the Mary Jane, and, regardless of the terrible shame which had filled him at the bare thought of confronting Triggs or tny of his crew, he cast himself upon their mercy, beseeching them as men, and Cornish men, to do this much for their brother-sailor in his sad need and last extremity; and his appeal and the nature of it had so touched these quiokly.stirred hearts that, forgetful of the contempt and scorn with whicb, in the light of an informer, they had hitherto viewed Adam, they had one and all sworn to aid him to their utmost strength, and to bring to the rescue certain others of whom they knew, by whose help and assistance success would be more probable. Therefore it was that, two days before the morning of his sentenced death, Eve was able to put into Reuben's hand a scrap of paper, on which was written Adam's vow to Jerrem, that, though his own life paid the forfeit for it, Jerrem's body should be rescued and saved. Present as Jerrem's fears had been to Reuben's eyes and to his mind, until he saw the transport of agitated joy which this assurance gave to Jerrem he had never grasped a tithe of the terrible dread whioh during the last few days had taken such a complete hold of the poor fellow's inmost thoughts. Now, as he read again and again the words which Adam had written, a torrent of tears burst forth from his eyes ; in an ecstasy of relief he caught Joan to his heart, wrung Reuben's hand, and from that moment began to gradually compose himself into a state of greater ease and seeming tranquillity. Confi dent, through the unbroken trust of years, that Adam's promise, once given, might be implicitly relied on, Jerrem needed no further assurance than these few written words to satisfy him that every human effort would be made on his be half ; and the knowledge of this, and that old comrades would be near him, waiting to unite their strength for his rescue, was in itself a balm and consolation. He grew quite loquacious about the crestfallen authorities, the surprise of the crowd, and the disappointment of the ruffianly mob deprived of their certain prey ; while the two who listened sat with a tightening grip upon their hearts, for when these things should come to be the life of him who spoke them would have passed away, and the immortal boul have flown from out that perishable husk on which his last vain thoughts were still being centred. Poor Joan! The time bad yet to come when she would spend herself with many a sad regret and sharp upbraiding that this and that had not been said and done; but now, her spirit swal lowed up in desolation and sunk beneath the burden of despair, she sat all silent dose by Jerrem's side, covering his bands with many a mute caress, yet never daring to lift up her eyes to look into his face without a burst of grief sweeping across to shake her like a reed. Jerrem could eat and drink, but Joan's lips Dever tasted food. A fever seemed to burn within, and fill her with its restless torment; the beatings of her throbbing heart turned her first hot, then cold, as each pulse caid the time to part was hurrying to its end. By Jerrem's wish Joan was not told that, on the morning of his death, to Reuben alone ad mittance to him had been granted ; therefore when the eve of that morrow came, and the time t<» oay farewell actually arrived, the girl was ?pared the knowledge that this parting was more than the shadow of that last good-bye which so
aoon would have to be said for ever. Still the sudden change in Jen-em's face pierced her afresh, and broke down that last barrier of con trol over a grief she could subdue no longer. In vain the turnkeys warned them that time was up, and Joan must go. Keuben entreated too that they should say good-bye; the two but clung together in more desperate necessity, until Reubeo, seeing that further force would be re quired, stepped forward, and Btretching out his hand found it caught at by Jerrem, and held at once with Joan's, while in words, from which all strength of tone seemed to die away, Jerrem whispered: 'Reuben, if ever it could come to pass that when I'm gone you and she might find it some day in your minds to stand together— one—say 'twas the thing he wished for most— before he went* Then, with a feeble effort to push her into Reuben'b arms, he caught her back, and, straining her cloße to his heart again, cried out,' Oh Joan ! but death comes bitter, when it means good-bye to such as you.' Another cry, a closer strain, then Jerrem's arms relax—his hold gives way, and Joan falls Btaggering back ; the door is opened—shut; the struggle ib past, and, ere their Bad voices can come echoing back, Jerrem and Joan have looked their last in life. (WILL BE CONCLUDED IN OUR NEXT.)