Chapter 27265807

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberI; II; III; IV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1871-05-06
Page Number8
Word Count8615
Last Corrected2011-12-30
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleLife in the East
article text

The Storyteller.




ON attaining his one and twentieth year, Henry Fitzhardinge, the hero of the following incidents, succeeded to one of the largest private properties in England; a long minority greatly

increasing the immense wealth bequeated to him by his father. Of his family it is requisite to give some few particulars, that the reader may understand the situation of the different per sons to whom be will be introduced, and also to avoid interrupting the coarse of the narrative, as each makes his or her appearance, by expla nations of who they are and why they come upon the tapit. But we will ascend the genea logical tree no further than the grandfather of our hero, who left two sons and two daughters to enjoy his property and honors. The elder son, Philip, inherited an estate in Dorsetshire, worth about three thousand a year, whilst to the younger was left the sum of twenty thou sand pounds, and a share in a rich and very in fluential mercantile concern in which the testa tor had principally amassed his own fortune. The contrast in the character of the brothers was very great. The elder—gloomy, reserved, and cold in disposition,—soon after his father's death married a lady of similar tastes, and lived shut out from the world, wrapt in his own meditations; whilst the younger—handsome, generous, high-spirited, energetic, and of an ardent, aspiring mind,—plunged into commerce and its attendant speculations. He visited St. Petersburg, where bis extraordinary abilities as an engineer attracted the notice of the Czar, who frequently conversed with him on the sub ject of his intention of settling in Odessa. Once, when on that favorite topic, Fitzhardinge answered a question of the Emperor's in a manner that fully proved him master of his favorite science, and from that moment his fame and fortune both rose. His plans and sketches of fortifications were adopted by the Czar, who was then looked upon by all Europe as a great and enlightened Sovereign, with a gigantic mind, eager to civilise and improve the subjects in his vast dominions. Having received full power to follow up his plans and speculations, Fitzhardinge returned to England to complete his arrangements and resign his share in the firm of " Elder, Wilkins, and Co.." He visited his brother, who ridi culed his projects, regarded him as a wild en thusiast, and gave the enterprising man of the world ao cool a reception that he soon bade him farewell, and prepared to return to Bussia. But not alone did he set forth to form a home in a foreign land. A wife, the daughter of Sir Bobert Manners, went with him to share his successes and participate in his anxieties. He had little to regret in quitting England, for his misanthropic brother could never be a friend, and the fate of both his sisters was over shadowed. The elder, Emily, was like all the Fitzhardinges, very handsome, but gay, lively, and thoughtless, and threw herself and her fortune into the arms of a man whose sole recommendation was a showy person and manners, and a vast amount of assurance. He ?aid he was an Irishman, called himself Captain Shaw, and oertainly he frequented the highest society— talked well, and persuaded many besides his wife that he possessed considerable estates in Ireland—a little encumbered to be sure—but certain to turn up all clear in time. It was contrary to the wishes of all her friends that Emily became the wife of Captain Shaw, and went to Dublin accompanied by her sister Elea nor. More lovely than Mrs. Shaw, and six yean her junior, Eleanor Fitzharding was wild, eccentric, and inconsiderate, and soon vanished ' from the circle in which she had shone. Her sister said she had eloped; wjth whom no one could conjecture; but it was quite evident that the absence of one brother and the selfish supineness of the other prevented any investigation as to her &to. For five years Mr. and Mrs. Shaw kept their position. He became director to an insurance com pany established for great things, and many were doped, by the inducements held oat, to hazard their money; but suddenly the company dis solved, and Mr. Shaw was heard of no more; even Mr. Philip Fitzharding, who had now become next heir to the title of the Earl of Courtland, forgot his sister's existence. The prospect of becoming a peer had no effect npon Philip. He did not care a fraction for titles or wealth, and continued to live as usual, spending ' a few hundreds per annum, but doing good to no one. Meanwhile, under the protection of the Czar, his brother prospered, and when, after five years of married life, a son was born, he seemed perfectly happy. Four years after the birth of her brother the little Julia shed another joy upon the domestic hearth ot the English merchant, whose position seemed so firmly placed thai no storms could overthrow or shake its foundation. The year 1841 began with the cholera in Odessa, Mrs. Fitzharding was one of its first victims, and, ere many days, her dis tracted husband followed her to the grave, leaving his two children, of eleven and seven years of age, heirs to immense wealth, but orphans. Some months before their melancholy death, the Fitzhardings had spent a short time in St. Petersburg with the Princess Warhendorff, whose husband, a General, was then with the army of the Czar in Circassia. The Princess was the daughter ef an Englishwoman—one of the children of Lord Broughton, whs resided in St. Petersburg—her father a Russian Prince, highly esteemed by the Emperor Alexander, who, on the death of his favorite, conferred on his daughter, then a child, and her descendants, the title of Princess. This Princess became the wife of General Warhendorff, who, a few years after his marriage, incurred the displeasure of the Czar Nicholas, and was sent into exile. His affairs became in volved, and the first step of the Princess was to order the Palace at Odessa, with all its costly decorations, fj be sold. Mr. Fitzharding be came the purchaser; and when, three years afterwards, the General was pardoned and re stored to his rank in the army, his mansion, furniture, and other costly articles were returned in the same etate as when the Princess had ordered them to be sold. An amicable contro versy took place, settled at length by Mr. Fitz harding consenting to take a yearly stipend till the debt was paid. A sincere friendship was formed between the families, and the Princess would often say, when gazing on the sporting children, and witnessing young Henry's affec tionate kindness to his little playmates, that he should be her little Catherine's husband. Little Catherine idolised her companion, who responded to her affection by being her protector and playfellow, and was almost as sorry as his

child-wife when the time Approached for him to leave the capital and return to Odeata with hi* parento. The little Julia was left behind, and thus escaped the danger of the cholera, and tfce sorrow of seeing those her young heart cherished become its victims. The sad loes of his brother caused no emotion in the breast of the future Sari of Courtland, he only grumbled at the will hastily drawn up and signed, and by which Sir Edgar Manners was left sole guardian to the children. Chapter II At the period of Mr. and Mrs. Fitzhardinge's death, Sir Edgar Manners had retired from the navy with the rank of oommodore, a pension, and a wooden leg, and resided in a beautiful marine residence overlooking Babioombe Bay, near the much-frequented watering place Tor quay. No kinder hearted or higher principled man existed than the baronet, the appointed guardian of the two orphans; but in bis ways and habits he had become exceedingly eccentric. He was a bachelor, and at this period about fifty-eight, some ten or twelve years older than his sister, the late Mrs. Fitzharding. Passionately at tached to his profession, his reluctance, when, with shattered health and the loss of a leg, he was compelled to quit the service, was great; and his residence—Wild Drake Lodge—betrayed how closely the feelings of the sailor clung around him in his retirement. Visitors to the romantic village and bay of Babicome gased on the mixen mast of a sloop of war, with yards, rigging, <tc, which rose majesti cally from the middle of the lawn. In front was a miniature battery of four 8-pounders and a brass swirel, which regylarly every day an nounced the setting of the sun. His ohief attendant was his favorite coxswain, an Irishman, also with a timber leg. The com modore's starboard, and the coxswain, Tom De lany's, larboard leg, were the lost members. Tom was quite as eccentric in his way as his master; bat no one could manage the baronet so well, especially when suffering under an at tack of goat. The black cook of his last ship also constitu ted a part of his household establishment, which consisted besides of five male domestics and one female; this last, a housekeeper of middle age, was the only female permitted to sleep in the house; if one was found or seen on the premises after the evening gan, winter or summer, she was never employed again j and the baronet stopped Tom's and the black oook*s allowance of grog the next day. Mrs. Davis, the housekeeper, was a highly re spectable woman, and quite at liberty to employ as many females as she pleased to settle and keep the house in order, as the commodore called it, provided they did not touch or more anything in his two particular rooms, which his factotum, Tom Delany, had under his especial care, and whose duty it was to see that all the' petticoats on the premises made sail as soon as the flag was lowered, and the gun told the set of sun. ! Sir Edgar had, by the death of a relative, a | very considerable addition to his father's pro perty ; and no person was more charitable, or kind, or more liberal in the vicinity of Torquay than the eccentric Sir Edgar Manners. He kept a handsome carriage and pair of horses, but never used them except for attend ing divine service, in which dutr he was very regular. When the news reached the baronet of his brother-in-law's and sister's melancholy deaths he was shocked and grieved beyond mea sure, for he had dearly loved his sister; and Mr. Fitzharding, in his last letter to him, solemnly promised that, as soon as his son i reached his twelfth year, he would wind up his affairs in Russia, and return to England for the finishing of the education of his two children. The commodore was suffering under a severe j attack of gout, and what between grief, vexa tion, and torture, nobody save Tom dare ap proach him. It was of no use his getting into a rage with Tom, who was never in a passion, and would stump about the room as unoon oernedly as if it did not blow great guns. Once the commodore was ao furious, at Tom's apathy that, not having any missile at hand, and his gouty leg being incapable of supporting bis huge frame—for he was a very tall, large man —he unscrewed hit timber leg and hurled it at Tom's head, but missing the coxswain, who made a skilful dodge, it flew oat through the window, smashing half a dozen panes of glass in { its passage. Tom sat down very quiety, on- j screwed his own wooden extremity, and threw it out of the window after his master's. "You villain; what did you do that for P" ! roared the commodore, red with rage. " Be gor, your honor, it would not be becom- j ing in me to see yon dismasted and stranded like I a huge porpoise on a sand-bank, and I to remain with all sticks standing." i "You precious rascal !^I wish you had—oh, I wish you had this fellow that's sticking his claws in me, like grapnel irons, he'd teach yon to pity another under suffering. Ring for Cesar!" Tom hopped on his one leg to the bell, and | C&ssar made his appearance. He was a stout, well-put-together black, not more than fifty, with a set of unrivalled teeth, which he displayed to advantage. When he beheld his master and Tom both without their wooden legs, and the glass of the window scattered over the floor— " Gor! what this for, massa ?" said the black. " Hold your tongue, sir," growled the baronet, " go down into the garden and bring up the two legs you'll find under the window." The black withdrew, grinning ilyly at the coxswain who, looking at his master, said: " Those two legs, your honor, were cut oat of the raizen topgallant cross-trees of the old Agamemnon; they weathered many a breeze alongside one another, and, be gor, when the one went flying out of the window, the other nearly bunted my knee off, wanting to follow; so your honor must excuse my obeying the wishes of the old stick." " If it had broken your figure-head, you old rascal, you would have felt a twinge somewhere else than in your knee; you have smashed half a dozen panes of glass; I'll stop your grog for a week, to pay for them." Tom only emiled, and Coea&r returning with the timbers, the coxswain first screwed on his own and then his master's. These kiud of squabbles happened at odd times, but only when the gout rendered the good-hearted old commodore irritable. For two days after having the intelligence of his siater's death, and that he was constituted the guardian of the two orphans, the barcnet re mained in a great state of agitation and vexa. tion; the third morning Tom was settling a cushion under his gouty leg, when the commo-1 dore commenced a conversation with " What's to be done now, Tom ?" feeling a twinge at the same time, " I am not fit for the guardianship of a young girl." " Faix, that's true, you're not, your honor," returned Tom, quite cooly, skilfully adjusting

the leg, which, rolled up and bandaged, looked like the limb of an elephant. "What do yon mean, yon villain, by saying I am not -fit ?" "Be the pipers of war, yon said so yourself, not me. I'm only an echo." "You an echo," growled the oommodore, "You're a pretty specimen of- an echo; what did yon mean? I know you thought what you said." " Well, by jabers, your honor, perhaps I did, and in reason; sure the dickens a woman you'll let sleep in the house, except old Mother Davis; if a petticoat is seen shaking in the wind after sunset, it puts you in irons; sore yon can't take care of a young girl and an heiress without lots of women." " Ha, you old vagabond, I see through your projects,'' growled the commodore, making a hideous face from a severe twinge, "you want to torn my peaceful home into a harem, and be at j your old broils, stumping about with your tim ber leg, making an old fool of yourself. Yon are half the day, as it is, grinning and chatter ing like a lame magpie, with the women that old fool, Mrs. Davis, will bring into the house, to set things to rights, as she calls it. Set thing* to ' rights, indeed, if s taming the house upside down, she means; but hold your jaw, put that table near me, and my desk, I must write for my. solicitor to come herej my poor nephew and niece must not be left with those Russian bears » mark me, if they don't show their daws some of these days." " Be gor, if they does, ould John 801 l ha* a fine pair of horns to toes them wfeh," returned Tom. " Wot so sure of that, they are a long way off; the Czar is too wide awake for John Bull - r he'll humbug him some of these days, and he'll hove to pay the piper. I don't like 'em—never did. Can't think how my brother-in-law could Ska to live inJfcat outlandish place, Odessa." " I Aught I'd a never got oat of it, whan we went there in the P-^—, frifaiev" " It's always blowing great guns in that Biaek Sea. Don't you remember Odessa, Tom P" " Ob, faix, I do, your honor, and a mighty fine placa I thought it, and your honor's sister's house was like the palace of a king. Be gor, I had good right to remember it, though yon used to say when it was dry, you were smothered with doit, and when it was wet, you were up to your knees in mod; faix, there's fine brandy then!" "Well, hold your tongue tffl I have written my letter." Three days afterwards, Mr. Cathcart, the baronet's solicitor, arrived at Wild Drake Lodge, and remained a couple of days; he then de parted for London, to confer with the late Mr. FiUharding'sLondonsouoitors,namedinhis will, and to commence at once settling the afittrs, and securing the immense fortune left to the children. By Mr. Cathcarf ? advice, a gentleman of high respeotability, furnished with ell necessary ! instructions and letters was engaged to proceed to Odessa, to bring the orphan children to Eng land. Three months passed after the departure of Mr. fiowen, the gentlasnan recommended by Mr. Cathcart, before a letter from him reached Sir Edgar Manners, the contents of whioh per fectly astounded the oommodore and his on* swain; for Tom, as usual, was present at the perusal, and taken into confidence and counsel on the contents :— " Odmba, Jane the 4th, 1848. "My dear Sir,—l arrived here from Con- I stantinople, after a rather tedious and stormy > passage in a Russian steamer. I should have j I passports, had not the letter of the Russian ' Minuter in London served me in my perplexity. I found young Master Fitzharding—who is one of the handsomest and noblest looking boys I ever saw—in the mansion of one of the late Mr. Fitzharding' friends, Count Alexis Orloff, but I deeply regret to have to tell you, neither the count or myself can gain any intelligence of the Princess Warhendorff, or your nieoe, who was with the former at the time of her parent's death. All that is known of the Princess since her husband's disgrace and death is, that she has left St. Petersburg, some say for Odessa, others for Taganrog, on the Sea of Azoff, but she has not been heard of and it is dangerous to make .inquiries after her, as she, as well as her husband, incurred the anger of the Czar. From what I can learn, General Warhendorff was engaged in the merciless war now raging in the Caucasus; that his army was totally routed by the great Circassian leader, Prinoe Behamyl, and nearly all cut to pieces ; that the rage of the Czar was excessive, and of the few officers that escaped the conflict, some were disgraced into the ranks, and others sent to Siberia, while General Warhendorff was either killed or made prisoner. The Emperor confiscated all his pro perty, and it is said, even deprived his wife of her rank and of her personal estate. Be that as it may, I can gain no trace of her, or the little girl, your niece. " Master Fitzharding is greatly and distress ingly grieved at his father's and mother's death, the loss of his sister, and the misfortunes of the Princess Warhendorff, to whom he seems greatly attached; he appears extremely precocious for his yean, and vows, when a man—if he lives to be one—to return to Russia, and never stop till he finds his sister, if still in existence." "Be gor, he's a fine little fellow," exclaimed Tom, with enthusiasm, giving such % thump with his wooden pin on the floor as startled the oom modore—adding, " and Fll go with him." " You, you ungrateful rascal," exclaimed the baronet, pausing and looking over his spectacles at the coxswain; "so you'll leave me, to go stamping over that barbarous country on a wild goose chase; what the deuce good could a one legged, worn-oat piece of old jank be to a young man ? Why, you roving vagabond! by the time he's a man, you will be over sixty." ! "Well, your honor, what's sixty? Be gor, if I'm not able to thrash a half-doien of those J Russians at sixty, it's not worth living till then. t At sixty my great grandfather*—" " Belay there," interrupted the commodore, " and let me finish my letter. You never had a grandfather. It's duced lucky you had a father." "Be the powers of Moll Kelly, your honor seems to think," grumbled Tom, " that it is only the harrystocracy that have great grandfathers* My great grandmother——" j > "If you don't put a stopper on that jaw tackle of yours, I'll stop your grog for a month." "Go on, your honor; I'm all attention," quietly observed Tom. { The baronet then resumed the letter, as fol lows: — " I do not perceive that I can do any good by remaining longer here; indeed, Count Orloff strongly advises me to sail at once, as the Czar might take it into his head to prevent young Master Fitzharding's departure, he having been born in the Russian dominions. " It it certainly a most strange circumstance, the disappearance of so many persons, without leaving some trace of their path. " There is a very fine brig here belonging to Genoa. She sails in two days for Malta, where I can embark in the regular steamer for Eng land. " I have been able, through the kindness of the late Mr. Fitzharding's friends and the in terest of Count Orloff with the authorities, to ship for London, in the British barque the

Wave, all the pictures and costly effects belong- WbT to Mr. FUsharding's palace. There is a jrea* deal of excitement in this country, owing to the defeat of the Bussian armies by the great Oimssisn leader. Prince BchamyL Prince Womuow has left this for the Oaueasus, and great preparations are making to totally crash thatbraveaadgallant people. "Hoping to have a speedy passage home, and trusting to find yoa, dear sir, in good health, I have the honor to remain, yours, most obedi* «"%* "Jamb Bownr." M Well,, this is a confounded piece of business," exclaimed the baronet, testily. " What is to>b» don* ?• Here's my niece either lost or hidden somewhere amongst a horde of barbarians." "Be the immortals, it's too bad," said Sun, rubbing the back of his bead; "faix, there's bat two thine to be done, your honor," and the coxswain looked sagacious. "Well, let us hear what you have rmbbed into, your thick skulL" "Be jsjbers, we must either go ourselves to Baaria,or " " Ha, ha, ha, we'd look Well," interrupted the baronet, "stumping through Russia oa our wooden supporters. Come, that plan won't do; whaf s the other way of getting out of the difficulty?" "Isn't there a Bussian Ambassador," said Tom, stoutly, "and can't he be made answer able for kidnapping a British subject P* Sir Edgar looked thoughtful a moment, and then replied, " There's some sense in that; we ha*e an ambassador in St. Petersburg. 11l write to Lord L , and be will make inquiries in BtPetonburg after this Bussian Pnnoess and her daughter and my niece." Two months after this Mr. Bowem arrived in England with his young charge taf» and sound, and at once came to Wild Drake Lodges Chaptbe lIL Thb baronet received his orphvtnephew. with real and genuine affection. He wat a remark ably handsome, fine boy, very tall for his age, with beautiful features, and eyes black as a sloe. He appeared somewhat sad and depressed for his years, but not in the least timid or retiring in his manners. He embraced bis uncle affection ately, saying— "If I had been a man, air, I would never have left Russia without my sister Julia." Several years passed, during which young Henry, under the oare of Mr. Bowen, who was retained as tutor, progressed rapidly in bis edu cation, and became a general favorite Tom Delany took a most prodigious liking to him; stamped after him everywhere; allowed him to climb the misen mast on the lawn; fire the brass swivel at sunset; taught him to use a cutlass, steer the commodore's pleasure barge, and told him every kind of yarn about pirates and slavers, till he imbued the boy's mind with so ardent and strong a passion for the sea that, when nearly thirteen yean old, he said to bis unole, who gloried in his bold, high spirited nephew— " Uncle, I am determined to be a sailor, and yon must make me a midshipman." How a midshipman was just the very thing die baronet was wishing him to be.; be con sidered it required a few years at sea, passed amongst the true, hardy sons of Britain, to do away with the remains of his Russian education. But Henry was not likely to forget either Russia or her language; young as he was, his thoughts were often fixed upon his lost sister, and his beautiful playmate, the Princess War hendorfTs daughter. Still treasuring in his mind his determination, when a man, to go search for them. In the meantime, intelligence readied Sir Edgar Manners, from the British residents in St. Petersburg, that all trace of the* Princess Warhendorff was unaccountably lost; from what he could learn—for it was a subject dan gerous to touch upon, lest the inquiries should come to the knowledge of the Czar Nicholas- General Warhendorff commanded the second army sent against the Cauoasan leader, and was •gain defeated and cut to pieces. The general, it was said, was mortally wounded and carried off by the Prince, who was furious against hit prisoner, from his terrible severity towards the Circassians, whilst the Emperor, frantio at the repeated losses he had sustained in bis war with the brave Circassians, degraded and banished most of the officers who escaped from the ter rible disaster, the whole of the Warhendorff estates were confiscated, and it was only by great intercession, and her^wn rank and connection with the Imperial family, that the Princess was allowed to retain "her own family estate. On hearing of her husband's wounds and captivity, the Princess left Jit Petersburg, to proceed, it was said, to Odessa. She travelled on foot, taking with her the two children and | two female attendants; and, for protection, her head steward, Ivan Gorteare, a serf by birth, but a remarkable man, in many respects, for his situation. He had always been attentive to the person of the general, and had accompanied him to the Circassian war, was Dear him when wounded, and saw him taken prisoner. He then effected his escape from the country, and returned to St. Petersburg; immediately after which the Princess left the -capital, and was traced to within a few leagues of Taganrog— not Odessa—where all tidings of her were lost. " A pretty country that to live in," grumbled the baronet, after reading the letter and stating the contents to his attentive listener, Tom De lany, who was screwing on his false leg for the day. "No less, Tom, than six individuals swallowed up as if by an earthquake; and to say no trace of them can be found —fiddlesticks. Do you ' think such a thing could happen in this country ? Ha! there's a twitch! Bow's the wind, Tom ?" " Wind's east and by north, your honor; faix, it's very odd, but I think this hero timber leg of mine is growing; I feel as if I had a cramp in j my toe." " It's this infernal wind," growled the baronet, "it has as many lives as a oat. I wonder what J all the other points of the compass are at! But there, stir your stump, and order James to j take the carriage to meet the London mail. I expect my old comrade, Captain Pack, to arrive by it." With Captain P young Henry Fitzhard ing was placed as a midshipman, to the great astonishment of all who knew of the immense for tune to which he would succeed, but our young ' hero was delighted; he seemed to have some plan or project in his young brain, which he was resolved hereafter to pursue; besides which, a natural lpve of the sea aided his incli nation to become a sailor, and a saftor in right earnest he became. On board the frigate was a young gentleman named Edgar Erwin, a j handsome, lively, high-spirited boy, to whom I our hero became greatly attached, for, like him self, he was an orphan, and in many respects : alike in disposition and temper, but widely dif ferent as to the smiles of fortune. Edgar Er win was the adopted child of a highly respec table old naval officer in the service of his coun try, who had lost an arm, and though he served

many yean after, never mm higher than •lieu tenant.- Just twelv* months before his death, he con trived to get hk adopted sob appointed at a midshipman on board the frigate. This, with hit blessing, and aboat a thousand pounds, wa« all the worthy lieateaani wu able to do for bit protegei D fr»g»te sailed nearly all round the world, aodwas six yean absent from Eng land. Several boat actions with piratical and ?lave Tessel* took place, in which Henry j Fitsharding gained great credit for cool courage and gallant spirit. With a boat's craw and six marines he boarded a large piratical craft, on the coast of Mexico, under a terrible fire, and after a desperate resistance took her and carried her out from under a heavy battery. This was considered by Captain P as a most gallant and daring feat. On his BBturn to England he passed his ex amination with great credit, and shortly after was appointed first lieutenant of the Grampus brig, about to be sent to put a stop to the slave trade on the coast of Africa. There b/ also dis tinguished himself, and returning to England he resigned his commission, as he was now twenty one, and the time had arrived to carry out his long contemplated expedition. During the nine years he had served in the navy bis education had been carefully attended to, having, fortunately, a highly-talented and worthy chaplain on board the frigate. Henry Fitxhardlng read hard all the leisure hours he had ; kept up a constant study of the Bussian language, which he spoke like a native; he also studied Italian and French, in which his natu ral talent enabled him to attain proficiency. On returning to England his first care was to. get his friend Edgar Erwin, who had also passed his examination, an appointment as third lies tenant on board the splendid screw frigate, the ——, commanded by old and gallant Captain P—, then fitting out as one of the Black Sea. fleet—for war now seemed inevitable—all classes being justly and greatly exasperated by the atrocious act of the Russians destroying the Turkish fleet at Sinope. This appointment Henry had been able to effect through the in- j terest of Lord Courtland, an eccentric noble man,'but kind, generous and affable, and who had taken an especial liking to the young man he considered at the heir to his title, and who was always cordially welcomed to his house and reluctantly parted from when his duties called him to his ship. A short time before the war began, the two gentlemen were seated together in his lordship's library, and talking confidently and earnestly— the younger imparting wishes and designs, the elder listening with pleased interest, when, after a short pause, Lord Courtland, who was a hale, stout, fine-looking old man, observed, "Then, of course, you have abandoned all further intention of serving in the navy P" " For eartain reasons I have at present, my lord," returned our hero, " though, now there is every prospect of a fierce war, I should have wished to serve Her Majesty; but I desire to remain unshackled, having, as I conceive, a sacred duty to perform—which is, if possible, to discover my long lost sister. I intend to purchase a large yacht, and join the fleet in-tbe Black Sea, and hope to go into action as a vol unteer on board the same, ship as my friend, Edgar Erwin; but at the same time remain free, so as to be able to be guided by circumstances." " Then you have an idea of penetrating into Russia ?" " I have, my lord." " It's a dangerous experiment," said his lord ship, thoughtfully. " I should not like this old title and place to fall to the next heir after you." "And who is the next heir, may I ask, my lordP" " The son of your father's eldest sister. She married, you know, of course, a Captain Shaw, an Irishman, a scheming adventurer, who, some time after, contrived to gull the public by some monstrous scheme of condensing sun beams, and thus being able to produce solar heat in the depth of winter; the eompany|propoted to sup ply the publio with all kinds of tropical fruits, besides melons, cucumbers, Ac., at a price much less than a cabbage." " By Jove," laughed Fitsharding, «he surely did not get fools to put their names to so absurd and ridiculous a farce ?" "He did, though. The sun beams were not to be condensed—they dissolved, and so did the company, and your worthy unole decamped, some say to Australia, with ten or fifteen thou sand pounds." "And has not been heard of since," remarked Henry, " for my uncle, Sir Edgar Manner*, has exerted himself to trace him, as my poor father left a legacy of five thousand pounds to his ohildren." " Oh, depend on it," said his lordship,« either himself or his son will turn up one of these days. But you were talking of a yacht; I can recommend you one. I see you have enrolled yourself in the Royal Yacht Club. Well, Lord Brougbton built a magnificent ship yacht, over 300 tons, intended for a trip round the world, but it seems he has accepted a diplomatic mis sion to the Court of — —, and I know he will be glad to get rid of the concern. If you like I will write to his lordship. Money is no ob ject to you, the wealthiest commoner in Eng land." " I shall feel greatly obliged if you will, my lord. Whatever price Lord Broughton names, I am quite ready to give." '"Well, I wUI write to-night." After spending a very pleasant week a* Court land Tower, and completing the purchase of the yacht, which was lying in dock in Portsmouth, Henry sot .out for Wild Drake Lodge, to stay a short time with his worthy uncle, and to settle matters with his lawyers. " Well, Harry, my boy," exclaimed the old commodore, who was hale and hearty as ever, as they sat rojoying their wine and walnuts in the dining-room of WUd Drake Lodge, the win dows overlooking the beautiful bay of Babi combe—" Well, Harry, how do you like his lordship ? A straightforward, honest old fellow, I am told." " He's juat what a nobleman ought to be, air '—courteous, kind, and affable. I like him very much. He is rather diegusted at the delay there hae been in declaring war, and be refuses to have anything to do with Government. They have been vacillating, and raining, be says, our future prospects in this war, which is de clared at laet." " He's quite right; it's a confounded shame. That massacre at Sinope might easily have been prevented—it's a disgrace to England. I sup pose you will now abandon your project of going into the interior of Buseia; it would be mad' ness." " Ho, indeed, my dear sir, I have not; but I will be cautious and guided by circumstances. I have purchased Lord Broughton's yacht, and, by great good lack, stumbled upon a few old

tew. of the Grwapas) who served with me on the African oout kat year, and now I'm looking oat for a sailing master, who will hare to take charge of her, should I be absent myself.** " Whaf • her rig and tonnage, Harry ?" "She is rigged like a corvette, sir, carries eight 12-po«nders, and ha» » crew of eighty men and officers." " Ha, by Jove, yoa oan stand a brash with a Russian sloop of war, should you meet one." " Faith, I hope so, sir, and beat her too," re plied Henry, with a merry laugh. " I should like that brash very welL" " You are sore to be in the thick of it, Harry," returned the commodore, " especially as your old commander and old friend are both to be there." "Bytbe-by, sir," said Fitzbardtng, "hare you. heard anything about my uncle and aunt, theShaws? Yoar lawyers, I heard, put re peated advertisements in the papers about the legacy left them. Then there's my aunt Elea nor, who used to be such a beautiful girL It appears so Tery extraordinary that, from the period of her elopement from her sister's house, she was never heard of, nor does it appear any one oan say who- she eloped with. If with an unworthy person, surely his first aim would be to demand her fortunet a sum of fire thousand pounds would sorely be an object to an adven turer." "Thereis something very strange about the whole aftair," said the baronet, gravely; " the money still lies in the firm of Elder, Wilkins, and Co., bearing interest. Your aunt Eleanor, I always heard, was of the most romantic, ec centric turn of mind, and adopted strange theo ries, detested the idea of marriage, said it was a- j chain that crashed young hearts, and other absurd and unworldly ideas. However, let her ideas be what they may, her disappearance for so many years is unaccountable, unless she is dead; even then, one would imagine, intelligence of the event would reach her relatives. But with respect to your aunt Shaw, and her dissi pated, rascally husband, they must have gone to Australia or America with the money they swindled from others." "Swindled, uncle! nay, net swindled," cried the young man, in a deprecating tone. " What the deuce else oan you call it, Harry," said the old Commodore; " all those kind of companies are a set of swindlers and robbers. But if they are dead, I wonder young Shaw does not claim his share of the legacy left them. He was a lieutenant in a regiment of infantry ; but was allowed to sell out, instead of being turned out, for some gambling or swindling transaction. He also was a scamp; bat a deuced handsome fellow, they say. Maybe he also went off to Australia." "Well, well," observed Henry, in a serious tone, "I regret all this; if I could find aunt Shaw I should be delighted to assist and relieve her from her difficulties, and pay any liabilities her husband may have incurred." " What," sharply cried the commodore, " pay fifteen or sixteen thousand pounds to enoourage a rascal to swindle the public again; serve them all right. I won't leave one of the set a shil ling, rather give it for the relief of our brave soldiers, should they want it, and they will, be fore this war ends, I prophesy. Your aunt Shaw was warned enough not to marry that fel low. By Jove! if you had told her to marry him, she would have protested she would die first." " I perceive, sir,", said his nephew, laughing, " you have not relented in your feelings for the fair sex; we should be miserable without them." " The deuce we should," exclaimed the baro net, "don't see that at all; I'm not miserable, never was miserable, but there's that rascal, Tom Delany, going to make a fool of himself jrith his grey hairs and wooden leg, he's actually going to marry that other old fool, Mrs. Davis, and all to make me comfortable, he says " Fitzharding laughed joyously. " He says," continued the commodore, " tha^ I could not lire without Mrs. Davis ; that she made love to him, and if he did not return it, some one else would; and so, to save me, he sacrifices himself, the rascaL" " Well, upon nay honor, uncle; I think Tom has done a very wise thing. Mrs. Davis is a very nice person, not more than seven or eight and-forty, perhaps fifty, and Tom swears he is only fifty-eight; so they are not so badly matched after all, and Tom is a fine-looking fel low still. So, my dear uncle, you will be no thing the worse by the change." " Oh, you don't know that rascal so well as I do. As soon as he is married hell try and get some women into the house to help his wife; I shall have to shut myself up. The next thing that will happen is, Caesar will be wanting a wife; by the law, Harry, there will be a Turkish seraglio here by the time you come back." Chaptib IT. "Hoiks!" exclaimed our hero to a young naval officer he met at the hotel entrance, one evening, about a month before he left England, I " what are you going to do this evening ? Let us take a peep at the opera." " Agreed," returned the gentleman addressed "the Queen goes to-night; I never saw Her Majesty; and, as I sail for the Baltic in a few days, I should like to have a look at the lady I am going to fight far." "*Very good," said Fitzharding, « we will go to the pit; Ido not with to meet any town ao quaintanoes; lam nearly knocked np with a round of balls, fgteg, and concerts. I intend sailing myself next month." " I wish it was for the Baltic you were going, Fitzharding; you would like the trip there bet ter than to the Black Sea." " Yes, if it was a mere trip of pleasure so I might; but such is not the case." At an early hour they left for the opera, and found, as they expected, a crush; in fact, the house was crowded at a very early hour. As our hero had aeon Her Majesty several times, and under much more propitious circumstances, near the entrance of the pit he parted with his young friend, who was determined to push his way down as near to the royal box as possible, while Fitzbarding remained where he was, leas inconvenienced, and where he could have a fair view of all the rank and fashion assembled in the boxes. ?From his wealth and position as next heir to the Court land title, Fitzharding had the entre j to the first society in the metropolis; bis ex- ? ceedingly handsome person, graceful manners I and affability, with a natural frankness of dig position, made him a favorite everywhere, and many a bright eye, that night, rested upon the I dark orbs of the handsome lieutenant with more ' than common interest. But, strange to say, though extremely partial to female society, as most naval men are, and baring passed many weeks exposed to the glances of some of the brightest eyes in Eng land, he escaped unscathed. JsVrong boyish

attachment,- strange and romantio as it aey ap» pear, influenced all hit action* and swayed hj» feelings. Though only eleven yean old when he he* last beheld the Princess Warhendorff in B*. Petersburg, he remembered her parting wovdfr with a strange vividness. As she kissed bar favorite—for she was exoeedingly fond of the fine, high-spirited boy—the Princess said, at the ?aw her little daughter Catherine wind her arm* round hu neok: " Bemember, Henry, and keep it in your little heart, that Catherine, ifr yon both live, is to be your wife, whatever happene,1* and tears stood in the Princess* eyes, for, as she spoke, she had a foreboding of evil in her heart* she feared, dreaded, and trembled at the name of the Czar. " Bemember those words.* "Twill never forget them," replied thebop firmly, kissing the lovely ohild, who knew net what the words meant, only that Henry, was always to love and take care of her and be wife her. And those word* had remained engrave* on bit " heart of hearts." Often in the lonely hoom of his watch, on far off seas, he repeated those words to himself, exclaiming—•Bwejy > rarely, all cannot have died, or be totaßy lost, the Princess, Catherine} my sister Julia j I shall be a man by-and-bye, and I swear I will devote my life to trace them." Leaning against one of the pillars of the fit, Fitiharding stood listening to the Tuiiitulibf tones of the enchantress Grisi, who waa never in-better voice, when the entrance of the QoetA and Prince Albert created a momentary move* ment amongst the audience. "It does not re quire much penetration in a foreigner tojudge how our fair Queen rules in the heart* of her subjects," thought our hero. As he looked alenf the line of boxes directly facing the royal box, suddenly his eyes were arrested by the face of A young girl seated in the front row, between two elderly ladies, evidently of rank. Was it Us* contrast, or what was it that struck Fitshardmg with a strange feeling, as his eyes rested upon on* of the loveliest faces imagination could piotaa) or conjure up; but it was not the beauty of the. face that so struck him, for startled he vm. But as he gazed, some .vision of the past floated in indistinctness before his sight, and left a ooa fusion and bewilderment over bis mind n& thoughts. The curtain fell, and in the moms*. tary murmur of applause, Ac., the young girl he was gazing at got op and retired to the seoond row, seating herself by the side of another youf girl, almost as beautiful as herself, though of a totally different stamp. Urged by an irresistible curiosity, he gently and by degrees moved on to obtain a nwisi view. After a time he gained a closer positim * but, in doing so, brought bis own very tall figvm into more prominence. The curtain drewop,, and the audience again became absorbed in the scenes of the popular opera then performing. "I certainly have seen features reteublmf both those young girls, somewhere," soliloqnjatd our hero, but where, he could not determine* " She is wonderfully beautiful," he mentafy ex» claimed, referring to the one he had int netioed; "but I am not going to fallialev* with those beautiful eyes—large, dark, and lot* trout as they are." At that moment the two girls, for neither could be more than seventeen or eighteen—hen* pened to turn their eyes across the pit, aad it ohanoed for a second, one—not the dark-eyed beauty—let her glance rest upon Fitahardißg. As she did so, the oolor forsook her cheek. Fitzharding did not imagine it, he was too near to mistake. She did change color, and wish a> slight start, turned to her companion. Shoals* instantly let her gase rest upon him—it was a look of not more than a second's duration. Bhe did not turn pale, but her color heightened a* she changed her position, and both then gated on the stage. "This is very singular and very strange," thought Fiisharding. "I shall never get than dark mnd extraordinarily beautiful eyes on* «f my head; and that fair blonde too, positively turned pale." He was not a vain man; but it is uselesste declare he was unmoved. He was undoubtedly bewildered by the manner of the two girls, who were especially elegant in their attire. They did not look towards him again} aad, anxious to find out who the two elderly *~*n were, and a stout, handsome, and stately-looting old gentleman, who sat on the back teat of the private box—he moved on to where he saw a gentleman of his acquaintance sitting with a party of showily-dressed ladies; he was a rega lar townsman and knew everybody; to our ham thought that from him he could gain the infor mation he required. As he moved on by degrees, but keeping lit attention on the box, the ourtain fell earid % thunder of applause—the opera waa flniahadt and looking back, to his infinite dismay, ha ha. held the wholejparty that so interested fan* tea** ing the theatre, and a whole bevy of fcfc teas taking possession of the vacant places. " I will go out, and see if I can have agkaee at them, and, perhaps, make out who they •*%• toliloquised Fitzharding; but to effect hk exit speedily was out of the question. When he did get out and proceeded to the box ontiaisja. he could perceive numbers going in sod eat* but no trace of the party he was to anxieae about could he discover. Passing the initialise, he proceeded to the circle where the private has was situated, and, finding the box-keeper, «ee> menced inquiries; and, feeing the somewhat surprised box-keeper with a half-sovereign, re* quested to know who it was that occupied tba fourth box from the stage. " It's a private box, sir," said the man, " ha* longing to the Countess of S . The flnt party that occupied it are strangers to me, quite strangers. The present occupiers—*'' "It is the first party whose names I moat wished to know," interrupted our hero, meek. chagrined. " I regret, sir, I cannot inform you; they came with a private card from the countess her self. No doubt," insinuated the keeper, Mby judicious inquiries at the countess* mansion in May-fair, you will gain the information you re quire." Fitzharding smiled, thanked the man, and da parted, returning to the pit to rejoin his friend, with whom he promised to sup. For several days, nay, weeks, Fitzbarding could not banißh the remembrance of the dark eyes of the fair incognito from his thoughts: a likeness to somebody haunted him, whilst the young maiden with the blonde hair, and deep blue lovely eyes, also occupied a portion of hie reflections. That she suddenly tamed pale when her eyes mot his, he .could swear; he waa quite close enough at the time to notice every feature and change in those two beautiful facet tbat attracted more eyes than his. However, he became so occupied in fitting out his yacht, aad settling his affairs, that in time the dark eyes of his unknown beauty began to fade from his thoughts. (to be continued)