Chapter 60447821

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1874-12-30
Page Number3
Word Count9826
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 - 1875)
Trove TitleMatty and her Lovers: An Australian Story
article text

Chapter II. That shrewd business man, Silas Clark, had been very uneasy of lato. He had long been awaro that his neighbor tho butcher had succumbed to the attractions of Matty. The butcher himself had never told Silas so ; tho busybodies of Pennyweight Creek had already saved him tho trouble. Tho old store keeper did not much care about the butcher, and he felt sure that Matty was equally indifferent. So, as far a3 Bunco was con cerned, Silas was easy enough. He was not angry with tho butcher ; not in the least. On tho contrary, ho felt rather Mattered, it was only natural that any man coming in daily contact with such a girl as his Matty should be so affected. Then, there was Mark Hardy. Silas already suspected the object that brought tho diffident reefer so frequently to the store, and this suspicion had already been confirmed by the inuendoes and insinuations of tho feminine gossips when purchasing their domestic requirements at tho shop. He know that later he must part with his dearly-loved AJattyj and if Mark Hardy really meant businosSj ho, Silas, after duo deliberation, decided that no obstaole should bo thrown in the way. So far as Mark Hardy was concerned, the storekeeper was alsp at case Neither of those two suitors, then, caused his inquie tude ; but tho third did; . Silas hail known. Wiilio Kush for the last two or three years, but only knew him as a no'er-dd-woll. It was truo that Silas Clark had heard a story told, how, many months ago, when Cali fornia Jack, ' overcome by the foiil air, was lying senseless at the bottbin of his shaft, and iifty excited men wero clamoring round tho windlass, not one of whom would risk an almost certain death in the forlorn hopo of saving the ' dying man at tho bottom— he liad heard, I say, how Willie ltush, dashing, through tho crowds swbrp to leap down the shaft if they refuse^, to lowe^ him. He had hoard it told, top, lipw Willie, amidst the cheers of tho men and tho tears of tho wqtneii, hud draggod the Oalifbrnian from out the vory jaws of dcatKj-^n'djv BiTcpeected iii landing him safojy iff^M^r^U0rfiilight on top. Ho liad heard al©jfflSf?afiil commented upon it, *f it's just likaiKim^ -tTiprpughly reckless to the last ? it's'a'itiil;aclp;h;6 i wasn't smothered down there.' (Perhaps it was a miracle, Mr.' Silas.) And the baro idea of his gentle Mjitiy being Baorifioqd to a man liko that filled him with riiiserabld apprehbusions. Towards ovening, when tho business o£ the Btore becamo slack, Matty was in the hanit ' of running over to the only female friend aho possessed— Mr?. Slater, tho wifa.

of tho minister, and whose residence was only a few hundred yards distant from the store ; all this was right and proper, hut it had suddenly eomo to the knowledge of hor father that iatterly, whon ho imagined her to be thus occupied, sho had nover put in an appearance at tho parsonage at all. Whero was she ? and what was she doing then ? Those were questions that naturally suggested themselves to her father. As to ?where she was, if tho old storekeeper had «ono out into the moonlight last night, round to the littles garden gate, at the back of his own store, where the monster vino, mingling with tho native creeper, twined and trailed over Matty's little summer house, he would have seoii that youn.q. lady standing in among tho silvered loaves and purple clusters, and theinoonlightstreaming through tho lattice draped her figure with a veil of fairy Jaeework. In one hand she held a rose, which her lips wore unconsciously toy ing with ; the other would have hung list lessly by her side, but Willie Rush had socured just tho tips of her tiny lingers. His figure was slightly bent forward, and he was endea voring to look into hor downcast eyes, plead ing tho while in a low, earnest voice, break ing down the barriers which hor maidenly lovo wns interposing in a half-reluctant sort of fashion, 'O, Matty, you can't think tlutt, your own heart must tell you how deeply 1 love you.'' 'And wll it be always so? AVill you always lovo me thus?' murmured the girl. 'Always, darling, do you ask? As God is my witness, as long as my heart is warm !' exclaimed her lover, jjassionato'.y. He tried to secure her waist, but with the slightest backward movement Matty checked him. Oh ! 1 do wish you would s'eo my father ; he would like you «t» much if lie only knew you. ' 'Husk!'' Footsteps wore heard. It was Californian Jack, who, having unintentionally 'sprung' tho lovers, was hastily 'backing out.' The Californian chuckled as he re treated. Ho took tho greatest interest in everything that concerned his youth ful and bravo preserver. 'Well done youngster,' he mutteied, 'but that was trump, anil well played too. There's ne'er a woman could get over that ;' and Jnolc, under the impression that he was materially aiding Willin in. his suit to the , fair Matty, hastened, jis we already know, to rclato his adventure to the butcher ; and he also took care that Mark Hardy should hear of it. 'Guess I'll send the brace of looters on the back-track. Willie shall' have tho Held to himself, anyhow,' ho said. But though old Silas did not see all this, ho huard sullioiont about it to cause him con siderable uneasiness. ' Better marry her to Mark Hardy, out of harm's way at once,' ho soliloquised ; and in ?his increasing anxiety the Mark Hardy match appeared to he tho great desideratum. Matty had been his only child, and her mother had died before Matty was six years old, and as a natural ounscqucuco tho j;irl had been in judiciously putted. Hitherto her guardian ship hurl sat but lightly upon hor father, but now tliis young Hush had appeared, and as tho naino occurred to old Silas ho muttered a soft And Matty herself — about her,, too, tho father began to lrivo some mis givinga ; ho had discovered, some time sineo, ' that liis d;iughf;«u* had ;i will of her own, and mippo.-.c now sho were to rebel ? Tlio b:iro idea of this made his hair aland on :m eud. In such a ease I o doubtsd his own ability- to cope with her. However, things were going too far, lie would see and speak to her at once ; yes, old Silas decided to do that anyhow. ' Where are you going, Matty,' said her father that same evening, ou seeing his daughter putting. on her hat. ' I'll be back shortly,' answered Matty evasively, and hastily1 endeavored to mako her oxit. '.Stop, child, I've something to say to you.' Matty turned round in surprise ' .Sit down, my girl, I. wish to ask you something.'' She obeyed with a vaguo feel ing of uncasim S3, ?' You know, my child,' continued her father, ' that during tho whole of your lit'o I've studied little else than your welfare and happiness ; that I've been a kind, and, 1 fear, a too indulgent fiilhtii' toy-'C.' The old mnn hml got thus far when Matty arose and threw hor arms round hia neck — ' Oycs, dear papa, I know that; what is tho matter?' .she asked tre mulously. ' Don't interrupt me, my darling,' .said her father, fondly putting back hor clustering curia ; ' you know that whatever I am goiug to say is for your good.' Matty was getting very nervous ; with the keen perception of a woman whoso perceptive faculties are strung at their Jiigheat, a presentiment of what was coming sniuto hor — ' for your solo gopd my child. I understand,' ho continued, com ing to tho point at once, ' that you aro nnooiirfiging the addresses of that young Jtush.' It was coming now, and sho pressed hor hands tightly together to keep down her otno ti on. ' f^'ow, Matty, I have trusted you, and put no sort of restraint upon you what soever, and you hav.- deceived mo ; — nay, don't interrupt — when I supposed you to bo at tun ?Slater's you have been 'associating with this young inan, and, us I say, receiv ing hia addresses ; yes, Matty, it's not right, you have fosou deceiving yo ir old father, who did n-t di-eervo such treatment at your hands.' Sho kept herself very quiet, anil f-poko quietly enough, but sho was very palo, ' Father, you did not tell mo I was not to apeak to anyone in particular.' ?' So, 1 roli'.d so much upon your discre tion, and, it appears, 1 have made a mis take. How often havo you met this young man ? You renlly don't cure for him, Matty':'

' Father, you don't know him ; he is very different to what you think he is.' ' You havo not answered my question,' said the old man, becoming in his turn rather agitated; 'say, my darling, that you have not placed — that you do not care for him.' 'Oh! father, why shouldn't 1 like him ?' 'Matty, Matty, why don't you answer my question in a straightforward manner;' then his voice dropped to a low xjloading tone. 'Do say, my darling, that you do not care for him,'' and ho looked at her beseechingly, almost abjectly. ' I can't siy so,' said poor Matty, and then she burst into a violent fit of weeping. Old Silas sank back in his chair with a groan. ? . Matty, by a desperate effort, composed herself. Her father has adduced nothing against Willie ; it h*id been Silas's earnest, and nervous manner that had frightened Matty t She fancied he had eomo terrible accusation to bring against her lover. 'Oh? father, what has ho done ? .Every one likes Willie ! O, I'm sure you would like him very much if you only Knew him.' But hor father's worst apprehensions were confirmed ; he wanted time to compose him self ; a Hairs might not be ,so bad as he thought, but ho wanted time for reflection. ' Matty, you've upset mo more than you imagine. You had better go to bod ; you'll not leave the house to-night.' So Matty, glad to escape from tho presence of her father, retired, affected by conflicting emotions. Hor father had accused her of deceiving him, of doing something very wrong ; sho didn't know what. He had never before told her not to speak to Willie Rush, and why shouldn't she. There was no one on Pennyweight Creek, no one in .the whole of Matty's world like Willie Rush, and poor Matty, tossing slecp leasly on her bed, heard footsteps passing tho store — heard the same footsteps return, and heard them come back again, and .snowing they were her lover's she wept bitterly. But . she arose in the. moriiiug with a very different sensation pervading her being. The invigorated brain saw things in a more reflecting light. What had '' her father against Willie Rush 1 No dpubt she had acted a little wrong in meeting \\rillio so often, uuknown, to her, father, and it was natural he should feel annoyed,, at it ; but a little quiet talk with , liier father would set all things right. :. It was ^only: necessary for him to know Willie as , islib did, and things would, must, come right,;. and so Matty, after thus communing, caine. to the conclu sion that she had made' herself very miser able, and all for nothing. At breakfast the . next ., niorning no re ference was made to the- conversation of tho l-revious evening. .OidSjJas -vafi, quiet and grave, devoting apparently, a little extra attention to his paper. And as for Matty, so cheerfully and skilfully did sho perform her aharc of tho few scraps of conversation that passed between them that nobody would havo imagined, that there was any other subject jjpssessiijg for hor the slightest interest. Tji^re was little fear of tho ic0\, j)eih|j, brokou by Matty. With womanly, tact she wisely considered that . jik'e lapse of, a little time would serve to salvo over hoi* father's irri tated feelings. We lufc Mr. Mark( Hardy energetically engaged condemning himself: in tho most in temperateflanguago for the dilatoriuess which had characterised his proceedings in the matter of his love suit, and, after waiting an hour or two, then he sat down to ponder, to , think, and debate with himself upon the : course of action to be now pursued, and the i course he mentally decided upon must have '. been — if we may judge by the preparation made for it — most important, ho put him self through the most elaborate toilet, it j can't very well be described ; but it was gorgeous, and of many colorsj calculated to i lUusido tho eyes of all beholders. Thus i arrayed Mr. Mark Hardy took his way to i the store of Silas Clark. The reader has 1 probably surmised that Mr. H. is about to 1 lay his proposals of marriage buforo Miss Matty, in .which case tho reader will find i himself very much mistaken. Mr. Mark i Hardy by no moans possessed the amount i af moral courage requisite for such a despo- ?- rate coup d'clat. i 1 ' G ood morning, Mr. Clark ; it's a-going ] to be a very botdaj'.' J 'Good morning, sir,' said the bland Mr. Silas, who already regarded the rich reefer i in the prospective light of his son-in-law. '1 just called in about that account stand- , ing between us,' said Mai'k. ' ' ' Oh, ' said Silas. , 'Yea, 1 don't like my accounts standing aut over long. I likes squaring up every j month, I docs.' Mr. Silas Clark thought that a very wise j plan, , 'I quite forgot to, bring my bills with - me,' (now this-, was not true, Mr. Hardy) 1 'but if it taint too much trouble, I was ] igoing to ax yer to step over to my place for ] i few minutes, and we can square them j ip there.' -, 'Oh! no, not tho least trouble.' Those i sort of errands never troubled Silas; he ] would bo at Mr. Hardy's house iii half an lour, - ? , An hour after this conversation the old ] itorokeepor . was in the, ?act of writing are- { jeijjt for tho cheque, to which Hardy had ] just scrawled his namo with so much difli- ] ^ulty. .,..'??' . , 1 ' What do you think of my 'ouso ?' said ^ Mark. \ 'A very fine house, truly.' i 'But you ain't seen the stables, it's worth | yer while ; come on.' . , Mr. Silas Clark was always rendy to (

humor a rick customer ; so the stables wore inspected, the buggy was inspected and the horses interviewed ; the garden, too, came in for its share of commendation, and all the other portions of tho costly residence of tho rich roofor. 'That ore looking-glass,' said Mark, pointing to a full-length mirror, ' cost thirty pounds.' ' Oh !' said Silas, 'I dare. say.' 'Yes, and that ere pianncr cost jest one hundred guineas ; I can't play on it, you know, but it looks stylish, don't it ?' 'Very,' said Silas, a little perplexed; 'yes, it certainly is a very handsome pioce of furniture.' ? 'But,' continued Mark, 'though I can't play the thing, I'm thinking of getting mar ried.' ' Silas, failing to seethe connection between playing' the thing' and ' getting married,' simply said 'Oh.' ' Yes, I think as how 1 oughter got mar ried'; don't you?' ' I think it would be a very wise proceed ing.' Whilst making this last observation Mr. Silas Clark suddenly caught an inkling of tho obtuse reefer's drift. ' Yes,' thought Silas to himself, 'he is evidently thinking of Matty, and, moreover, moans business. How silly of himself not to have seen this before ; but since' that conversation with Matty last night his thoughts were wander ing all over the country ;'r and, thus think ing, the enlightened Silas brightened up, and bending over the table, smiled benig nantly upon tho candidate for matrimony. ' Yes, Mr. Hardy, I think that marriage on your part would be a very wise proceeding — a very commendable proceeding indeed.' Another smile. Thus encotiragod Mark Hardy screwed up his courage, stammered, became very red in the face, and finally blurted out, 'You've got a darter, Mr. Clark.' Mr. Clark admitted he had. Indeod, the conversation with Matty of tke last evening forcibly reminded kini that suck was the case. ? ..--,. 'You know, I mean, you understand,' said the embarrassed Mark. Mr. S. Clark knew and understood all about it ; and was, moreover, perfectly -willing to, assist the perspiring reefer out of his difficulty. \'I understand you, air, perfectly ; very well indeed. You render yourself very intelli gible.'. Mr. S. C. wasn't speaking sarcasti cally, you. know ; that was the. last thing he was thinking aDout. . 'Very intelligible in deod sir, and, as far as I am. concerned, : you have my full consent to address my daughter, and not only that, sir, but also my very best wishes for your success.' . , Mark Hardy was, ^e shook Silas', hand over and over ijigaipj and, ho walked to the pier glass and besto wed uppn himself a number. of approving :nbds, ^iiiks and smiles, and ; leaving jihii thus engaged old Silas hastened back to the store. Mr. Mark Hardy congratulated himself upon his adroitness. True, there was tho sanction of 'tho young lady to be gained yet, and upon this point Mark had some, mis givings. However, ho was well satisfied with himself, and not unjustly considered ? (that the sanction of tho father gave linn—Marlc — a decided advantage over his youthful rival. Matty and her father were seated at their diuner in the little room behind the, shop when the sound of a light footstep was heard upon the threshold. To old Silas there was nothing about that particular foot step to distinguish it from any other, but the irrepressible start and the unconscious Eittitude of, listening assumed by Matty told its own tale. Her father arose with a. frown ind entered the shop, whore Willie Rush had just entered. On that morning ho had been haunted with vague fears. Matty had promised to meet him, as usual, at the little garden gate the evening previous, and Willie had waited two, nearly three hours, md she never came. ' Was Matty ill ?' iie had asked himself a dozen times that norning. It was this suspense that was ;orinonting him, and that brought him to ;ho storo now. ' Good day, Mr. Clark,' exclaimed Willie, i little taken aback by the abrupt manner with ?vhich old Silas sallied forth from the sitting ?opm and confronted him. 'I, letino'sec, ,vhat did I want — Oh! tobacco.' 'How nuch ?' said Silas. Willie had moved his josition, trying to get a glimpse through the lalf-opened door — into the little parlor. 'How much?' sharply repeated old Silas. ' I — a — beg pardon,' said his confused justomer. ' Oh ! half-a-pound please.' Che fact was, Willie had come to. the »tore- solely to lessen his anxiety res pecting Matty's . health, and he was tho roughly non-plussed by the unaxpeoted, but irery evident hostility exhibited towards him ay the storekeeper. Hitherto old Silas had ifways treated Willie with blandness and. jivility, as he invariably did all his cus tomers ; but just now his manner was -most :ude, hostile in fact. As soon as Willie col ected his wits this extraordinary manner of Silas struck him with a keen significance ; a ,'f gue fear fell upon him that this manner of ;hu storekeeper, and Mattie's non appearance ast night, were in some way conneoted. But ho ventured an attempt to thaw the old nan by u cheerful allusion to the state of jusiuess upon tke Creek. But tke only reply Silas vouchsafed was to slam the tobacco down jeforo his customer. Willie pioked it up, and ingered a moment with a question trembling lpon his lips, ' Was Matty ill ?' — that was ivhat he would have given almost anything ;o kuow, but how oould he ask old Silas luch a question? Had there been nothing jetweeu Matty and himsolf such a question. ,vould have come frpm his lips freely niough, but somehow he oouldn't frame it

now. Wkilst he was thus hesitating tho storekeeper left tho storo as abrup tly as ho httd ontered it, and Willie was constrained to leavo in a still more disturbed state of mind than ho had entered with. , .. But his appearance at the store was fraught with important results, it brought inat'iers — between Matty and her fatrier^-to. a climax. ' ' Matty, ' said her, father, t tho instant ho had cloaed the door upon fao shop, ?' I hopo you thoroughly understand from what I . said last night that I desire . you'll have no further, intercourse with .that young Rush.' ' It was' coming now, ' thought poor Matty, and she had boon expecting it all day, but sho had resolved to take it as quietly as ske . COuld. , j . ? ? i - : . , : : , , ' Why musn't I speak to him, father ?' ' Why?, because 1 desire it ;. because he's not fit company for you ; because you're bringing yourself intp disrepute and ruining your prospects by it ; because —?', ;; -, The father . appeared to have plenty moro ' becatises,' but Matty interrupted him, ' ' How ? bringing myself into disrepute. ' 'Yes, you are ; any. respectable girl does so. by consorting with such a reckless young scamp as that.' ...... Matty's temperament was intensely emo tional, and she was making desperate efforts to keep calm, but ske could not patiently sit by and hear her lover abused, evou by her own father. ,,,.-..- ,:?_./!. .,,:? /'He's not a scamp, father ; nobody on' tho creek would say so, put .you. 'j. h-jv,.. sum.'k ',.'At any rate t,4.esire you'll hayp nothing further to say to him 'jf you're, njaa:bnp,ugh to imperil your ownsibest interept^.its.ijnly natural that your father should step in to guard them.' ? ..jjs .. ,.!,i;:Ti.. Mr. \Silas. , .Clark, was; rabidly getting an idea , of the v .hppelesspess of,,, his,,, task ; but he ,reso|v,e,dsi to.-inake one more! ef fort ;.,.,, he {tjjrpu$,,'lvapbeal... to.;,,|ie}.N,1j;eel ingsj; and ,'noije ?-kjiew.,!\}ettei\ j thauv-ljfi^self the highly.\vroughj:.,ejnotionftVvohij,rftcter of his ..daughteic'. ;*? Matey, ] -, Matty;,. ypii jpnin pie nipre than I can v exj}re3J3 ;-, ? 4.9 i'.PJi wish - to.;renderi UVJ miserable ,f#r ijko;,s}ibrt. re mainder, of my.iife ?, ; I)6vyoji . 'wishvtq bring aojvn;my grey hairs with sorrow id the grave?': :.,-v.r,, , .y^yo.; v|.-,;i,lu'' i i;i,'Qk,!, father, j .w^ski. you wouldn't; talk jike tliat,' sajd poor ,$afctyi beginning to pry. .,,',' (Ohr father, . j,,,uq loyb ,,V^jJlie,: and t's' you who would render mo - miserable for .life.^,;, ,;,:. ;,,v ,,;„,(,,,„,;,;; s,{., :\,rh^ ;m j ., A.fter this announceinpnt, her fa^hpt; .aipso, fmly impress, ed with., tljo gpnyicjjion that to prgjie * with, a woman - ,in :.}oye,. i jjras :, simply absurd,, .He walked towards the doorj and then turned back. .„,,,., : . ,,.'.' JVtatty, will you promise your old father one tiling?;' ,-;? . , ?-,.,.-. -'?What, fatlier ?,'!.,„ ... ,t .,, ;.,.. . , i, ' THaj; you will, ripjifiher see nor speak to fhia young ,mah.j withqiit, biy, .permission.' Jhis wojild .establish a truce between them, . and give time for consideration, and this both father and daughter appeared to under stand. 'Very well, father, I promise,' sobbed Matty;.. Jjut no thought, of. yielding, up her jpyer. .obtruded itself upon her for. a single nlpinehtl Arid thus the interview termi nated. .,.,, ,;..„,.;.;;.,..?,. i- ,;, .;.-.. ] , ,.,.,.;-. Thp,,p]d storekeeper didn't. exactly, know whether, to bo, autislied: or not'.; t his, daughter had plainly, announced jior..£qvp;fpr: AVillio Rush ; that was; by, no nioans.patisfactory, but then bIio had likewise proinised. ^either to see nor speak him again , without hia — Silas's— permission, ; aud tlii.Si'iv'as a great ppint gained; it wo^ild give him time; ho would bring her round yet. „ . ? ?;?.!? i 1!'''- ... . Chapter., III. ,.ti . Mr. James Bunco we. jiaye,aif daily, thpugh, somewhat briefly, . introduced to ... tho reader. I . darq ;. say; :, the reader^,, in ,, common, with the. wrjitp.r, has often. . been struck with,. th'e , j repiarkable resemblauoo be tween, ,, certain men ,, and certain ani mals,;aiid when this resomblanco is positive and singularly conspicuous, it. is an axiom in physiognomy that the characteristic traits of tho human are the. same as .the ..charac-' teristic traits of the animal he. resembles. Now, , , Mr. Jamos Bunco had a remarkable ? L-eseuiblance to a bulldog; ho was, heavily built, round favored, and with a .round bullet ihead; his forehead, was .square and vcifyt; lp:yy,,,ho, was square-faced, and ,, his mouth, in accordance with his other features, was remarkable, . for its squareness, and, this squareness of tho mouth can be produced only by an unusual projection of^the canine tooth, whicli. in kis case were actually largor than the' front teeth,; s the corners of.-; his mouth wore drawn down,' and his voicp deep and growling ; and a bulldog he was in cha racter as well as appearance -; lie possessed in the highest degree that kplding-on-for-eyer, tkat , wprldirenowiie~d tenacity which clinrao fcorises the bullrdog, and in the matter of his su\t .to, the fair Matty tliiB particular trait waB.greatly^esempliried.,.;, ^e; had -been told a, scpre.of times daily thftt b,e had1'iip shiow' with , hor.' filjat she ' wouldn't, lopk-.the way lie went, ! &c. , and he must have know;n it himself ; but; still he ' held on,' and latterly Matty herself had taken , especial pain's to make Mr. James Buncefecl that ho was simply 'their butcher,' and never, cquld 'expect to be anything more., The butcher,, with all his mental uncouthness, had , at , last, thpugh v,ery,,peluptant}y,! got tp.-.u^prstandythat he was despised by the girt whom tie had always regarded as a. ,'.?,siily. oliild.' ,,i^e; h^d,,gpt a glimmering that the ', silly,, pli^Ji^' from tho towering height .of hei\,isen^iylo .and ;ox quisite; mentality, :.lppkQ^utJ,pVwij(,j.ipon::his unoputU and ^brutalisec^ ^niij-fii1(!iatui:e.,witha fieelipg,v,-?ry, mucK, .disgust j, l)|it,: iiot -vithstan,uing,. this,, glpain r. 0,1 ., ipsti'ic.tive onligbtonrnpnt, Mr. James, JJunoe still '.'held on. Ooodsionaily, when serviupf Matty-,, with meat, lie essayed to asaert p.oinethujg

like equality by growling out in hia deep guttural voice a clumsy compliment. Matty paid no hood to these clumsy attempts until one day the butcher ventured upon an especial and somewhat pointed effort. Matty, without hooding his words, coolly informed him that the quality of his meat had latterly become so inferior that she feared she should be compelled to deal for the future ?with tho other butcher. Mr. Bunco's brains were rather dull, and he stood staving with open mouth ; but when lio did comprehend, his mouth closed with a sharp, dog-liko snap, and ho growled his way up to his seat in tho cart ; ho was not remarkable under any cir cumstances for physical beauty, but just thou his features were simply hideous. Notwith standing all this, Mr. James Bunco still 'held on.' But he fell into such a sulky and despondent mood, aud executed his business in such a gloomy, mechanical sort of a way, that it was pitiable to see ; but the Pennyweights — at least, in a caso like this— were not o£ tho pitying sort. California Jack having got jthe idea jnfcb his head that Bunce stood between Willie and tho consummation of Willie's happiness, proceeded, as he facetiously- termed it, ,to ' make it lively for the butcher .;'.,;and tlje ' butcher, gazing abstractedly,-, through Jija shop, became suddenly conscious, that, Cali fornia Jack was approaching., -Whqn the fact became thoroughly,:, cognisant to, hia faculties ho exp6rienced that pleasing sensa tion which we suppose the victim. -at, the stake enjoys when ho sees ; approaching the executioner with, his lighted torch. 'Say, greasy, it's a monkey up a stick, holus bolus. ; that is, as far as you air con sarnod. I was buying a pound. of .candles over thar,' the thumb indicated the store, ' ' when that sweet little creature slipped something into my paw, aud before I had time to see -rightly what it were J jest heard her whisper ' Willie.' Well, I dropped at once, you can kinder guess that ; and my hand closed on it like a bear's paw. on a honeycomb. What do you think it war 1 Well, I don't want to keep you in suspense ; and I kinder fancy you're dying with kuriosity to know. Well, it war a billy-doo ; yes, a genuine billy-doo, all written on the beautifullest pink paper, and smelling like a beehive, and. my stars, you should, have seen Willie when he got it — Hallo ! what's up ?' The butcher never stopped to explain what was up, .but California Jack became conscious of a slamming door and a torrent of muttered curses behind it. But the story was quite true. Willie had, indeed, received such a ' billy-doo.' iSilas had stipulated that she should neither see nor speak to her lover, but nothing had been said about writing. In order to make the most of the agree ment entered into between his daughter and himself, old Silas hastened to inform Mark Hardy that sevoral others, and amongst them Young Rush, were advancing thoir individual claims to Matty's favor, and if he, Mark, did not bestir himself, someone of the others might out-do him. Mark Hardy understood all this ; indeed, ho understood it much better than Silas supposed. He knew very well that Matty was in love with Willio Hush ; perhaps oven sho was engaged to him. But ' Geordy Mark' was by no means a- sonsi- tivo man; 'ain't none of yer squeamish sort ' ho loved to toll himself ; and it made little diiloronco to him whother Matty was in love with, engaged to, or in any way con nected with another man. So tho informa tion which would have made a worthier man pause only had the effect of hastening on our 'rich reefer.' He came to the store more frequently than ever ; and on all sorts of pretexts ; was invariably invited into the little parlor, and on one oc casion had tea there ; but ho felt so awkward on that particular occasion that ho never cared about repeating it. On each and every of these visits Mr.. Mark Hardy had set out with the firm intention of throwing himself — literally— at the feet of the fair Matty; but notwithstanding all these 'firm intentions' he had not aa yet done it. This young but sensitive girl was more than a match for tholustj 'Geordy.' She knew what he came thoro for, and she took in the details of his gorgeous attire without appoaring even to look at him, and under stood what it ineant; and with a species of furbivo enjoyment she watched, his -physical movements, .acting in concord with, his . hazy excited thoughts, and understood it.. all and just when the ' Geordy''— after many .un conscious indications of hia purpose— rhad worked himself up ? to the desperate resolve of casting himself at her feet and avowing his love, down came tho brake,' and ' Goordy Mark' found himself pulled up short. This it waB that made Mark Hardy furious, and what added more to his fury was that ho didn't know how' it was'done ; he felt himself badly treated, but in what way lie couldn't say ; he couldn't under stand, it at. all,' 'Matty was always civil to him,' ho said to ? himself, and so she was, for ' Matty ' possessed some of the real in.;' foots of a lady. 'Dang me,' said he to himself, whilst standing before his mirror and scratching his head, 'but she are a puzzle.' Obtuse as Mark was he saw at ' length plainly enough that the gaino was up — that ho had failed. Ho resolved to havo nothing more to say to her; his self-pstoom had' received a blow from whioh it could never rally. ' Sho might marry AVill ilush (ho ground his teeth at tho name), Jem Bunco, or the devil for what ho cared. A whole week had now elapsed since Mark Hardy arrived at the conclusion that he was a thoroughly rejeotod man, and Matty had been spared any further solicitation from her two obnoxious suitors. It was Satur day, «nd before tho sun set on that day an

occurrence transpired that completely drove the obnoxious two out of her mind. That morning Willie Rush washed down his sluice boxes and panned off his week's earn ings. Willie was jubilant ; the dish showed a very successful week's work. 'live ounces,' said ho, 'if there's a pennyweight.' He took it home and placed it in the scales ; but it didn't weigh five ounces, it scarcely weighed four. Willie regarded it curiously. 'It's very light, ' he muttored ; 'there's bulk onough for Jivo ounces, any how.' But he couldn't make any more of it ; so putting it in his gold- bag ho Set out for the bank. Tho manager weighed the gold, and marvelled at its lightness ; then ho put it back in his blower and examined it suspiciously, and finally carried it from the bank counter to the little room behind and looked at it through a powerful Ions. Then he wrote on a piece of paper these words : 'Fetch police — quick — spurious gold !' This dono he returned to the, counter;, -placed ; the, back, in the scales, and handed the written; paper to, the accountant, who,; , on reading, it,,, picked up his hat,, aud hastily quitted; tbe: bank. . '. : , The manager, turning to. his customer, re marked ,that,,.ifc;was ; '^:a- waym,;,day.' To this the unconscious Willie ass'onted. , ,',Lot imp. see ; .three ounces nineteen pennyweights. Is that. correct, sir?' finite correct,' says 'Willie. . ,, Tho. banker then proceeded to figure up the, amount, .aud Willie, waiting for his inpney, thought the manager very slow at his .calculation ; but he at .last, and proceeded to pay over tho money, but very carofully and tediously. By. this^ ; time the accountant .had returned, and Willie, after carefully depositing; his money in his purse, loft the bank, , but no sooner had he passed through, the door when a strong hand was laid upon his collar, and, turning hastily round, he found himself iu the grasp of a trooper. . -. . The arrest had taken him so much by sur prise' that before he before he .properly un derstood his position a pair of handcuffs were slipped over his hands. : ; ' Why, what on earth is the meaning of this ?' he burst forth indignantly. 'All serene, this ere's the man, ain't it,' Bays the trooper, appealing to the lank manager. ' That's him,' and if the police man would wait a momeut the manager would accompany them to the camp, and bring the gold with him. Poor Willie had apparently been so astounded at his sudden arrest that after the first indignant outbreak he had con tented himself with glaring upon his captors. ' What do you charge me with,' he said, sharply. 'Spurious gold, young man ; the gold I've just purchased from you is spurious, or at least tho half of it is.' » 'Spurious?' 'Yes, spurious, of courso you know all about it. We've suffered pretty considerable loss that way lately, but I think we can now congratulate ourselves upon having a spell,' and thus speaking. the manager treated him self to a self-approbativfl wink. Willie paused for a moment, raising the cool handcuff to his burning forehead like a man in anxious thought; then, regarding the manager contemptuously, ho said— - ? ;:. 'If there is any foreign mineral, pyrites, or anything of that, sort amongst tho gold you ought able. t.o. , detect it, and you must be a confounded idiot not to know that from manufactured, spurious gold.' Ho said this, with such vehemence and ap parent indignation that his accuser regarded him steadfastly for a few moments. Then he smiled,',.' It's no use, young man, the spurious gold mixed with this is manufac tured.' , ; ' It's a damned lie.' 'Just so; I may bo wrong you know,' said the manager sarcastically, ' but I'll take the responsibility anyhow.' Tvyo hours af tor this it became known all over Penny weight Creek that Willio Hush had been arrested on the charge of selling 9purious gold. . . ? . ' Mr. Jame3 Bimce was tho first to carry tho intelligence to tho store of Silas Clark ; and judging from the manner in which he set about it, it would .appear , as , if jijr. ? James Bunce had been revelling in anticipation of this luxury, fpr, some, days past. ..;,.,, was Matty's ,,'pustom to-pur.chaso her [neat for, the;: Sunday- on;;Saturday oven pig,, and pu .this particular -.Saturday Mr. James Bunco had anticipated his, usual thno of calliug by at least two hours. The butcher was never' very remarkable for personal beauty, but to-day a species of fiendish glee Bat upon his sensuous features, and the fact of his having just emerged from his blood stained greasy shambles added nothing pic turesque to his general appearance. ' Good evening, miss,' ho said, scarcely able to contain himself, as Matty appeared, ' did you hear tho nows.' ' I've heard nothing in particular,' said Matty, indifferently. ' ]Nro !' tho butcher's hands were rubbing together iu great glee. ' Well, I'll toll you. That 'ere Mr. Rush is in the look- up.' Matty stared, a? if not rightly compre hending him.' ? ' Fact, though, no matter wot yer think. 3aw him being marched up tho streot ; all in handcuffs, too. . Right up the street and into the logs— tho jail, you know. Tho trooper had him by tho collar, and tho banker and the clerk a following of him.' Tho butcher thrust forward hid face, and keenly watched the ott'eot of his communica tion ; but, beyond tho pallor whioh oyer rprcad Matty's features, and a strange light ;liat glittered for a moment in her soft brown syes, she showed no emotion. ' What is lie acoused of,' she said, at last.

'Oh, he's been a-making bad gold — BpurioiiB gold, they calls it — and a-trying to palm it off on the bank. But he warn't smart enough — no, not smart enough, and they nabbed him. Bad case ; expect he'll be lagged,' and the butcher snarled - and chuckled simultaneously, and in a inannei peculiarly his own. 'Its a base lio, altogether,' exclaimed' Matty indignantly, 'and I don't believe a word about it.' The next moment, how over a faint but contemptuous smile flittod over her face, and she felt humiliated, not at the word which had passed her lips, perhaps for tho first time in her life ; but at tho knowledge that she had been betrayed into discussing anything concerning Willio Ilush with such a man as that before her. Sho adjusted the meat on tho dish calmly enough, and mechanically gathering tip her skirts from contact with the butcher — as if from some odious reptile — passed into the house. But though Matty heard it for the first time from the butoher, .her father had heard something about it jan hour previously, and without saying anything to. his daughter had hastened out to. ascertain if,. the; report was justified.- He returned to tho -store just ;as the butcher drove away, and on entering the kitchen founci Matty, pale as - death, and trembling with excess of agitation, seated in a'chair. She stretched out her. hands to him appealingly, ' Oh, father, what is it; tell me quick. ' Her father approached with concern ; never before had he seen her in such distress. , ; ; , , ' Have,. you heard, my child ?', , MOh, yes father, do tell mo all !. IJon't keep, me in suspense. I can bear anything but that.' ....._ .. ,: , ','v\Yell, my dear, he has been arrested on a charge of; selling spurious gold.' - ' ' But, father, ho has not done it. You know that !' ... 'Matty, I've only just left the bank manager, . and I fear it's only too true. The whole affair appears to be clear enough. Ho brought spurious gold to the bank, aud sold it ; the manager detocted it, and gave him in chai-ge. That's all wo know about it at present. ,; But, my darling,' her father 'lovingly stroked her hair. He had nob the least doubt but that Willie Kush was guilty, and so, pf- .course it was now all over between him and Matty. Old Silas, therefore, could afford .to be 'magnanimous, and moreover, he was anxious to temper the blow to his lamb. ' But, my darling, although I fear this un fortunate young man is guilty, still, lot us hope for the best ; it might turn out to be a mistake after all.' Matty was on her feet in a moment. ' Oh, father, yon don't mean to say that yon bo liovo — -that; — that you believe him guilty ?' 'My gjrl, the proofs are very convincing, very convincing indeed.' 'It's false,', she burst forth, indignantly. ' It's a baso .fabrication. He's not capable of any such thing. Father, you know that as wollasldo.' But her.fathcr only shrugged his shoulders. Willie Bush was now removed out of the way for over, and he — Silas — was content to put. up with a great deal. ' It will blow over,' ho said to hiinsolf, 'and then it will all como right.' 'Father,.'. said Matty, anxiously, 'you will go quick, and get him out ; you know what I mean — bail him out, I think they call it ; won't you ? ' ..,..- ' What '! I bail him out ! ' exclaimed Silas, in astonishment; 'why you must be taking leave of your senses, child.' 'You. don't believo he did it, father? Nobody dare say so, and he shan't stay there all night.' 'It appears, however, that they do say so,' said her father, s'and he is likely to stay there for, over, a3 f ar as I'm concerned.' ' Oh dear ; what shall ,1 do. Oh how you hate, him and — and me too. Oh the wretches, to 'say such things. I must ;go iip' — she was behaving so strangely that her father ran to her in alarm ; but the violence of her emotions had boen too great ; .she was alread bordering on hysterics, Silas was frightened, ? ' Kitty, run over for Mrs. Slater ; quick girl,' he shouted; 'no, stay hero with your mistress ; perhaps you are better with her. I'll go.' Mrs. Slater was soon there, and under her womanly influence tho excited girl grow calm again. As for her father, he kept out of tho way. ' Once lot her jjet over it,' ho said to himself, 'and it will bo all right.' ,. TJiolong, droary Sunday passed; dreary in deed to tho restless, uorvous girl. Beyond making another effort to intorust her father on behalf of Willio sho did nothing, could do nothing. But her father mot it all ; fervent eutreaties, violent reproaches, and wild threats, according to his own j-rogramme — that is to say, he put up with it. ' Poor thing,' he consoled himself by saying, ' but it will blow over directly, and thon it will come all right. ' - On tho Monday morning Matty arose from hor sleepless couch ; she must act now ; her father — her only friend — had abandoned her, and she must act alone. She superintended the preparations for breakfast, but before her father appeared at the tablo Matty was knocking at tho door of Mr. Walpole, the logal adviser of Ponnywoight Creek. This was not tho lawyer's place of busi ness, and moreovor, it was unusually early ; but, understanding who it was, and that tho business was urgent, Mr. Walpole gave Matty an audience. The excitod girl poured forth her story in disjointed, confusion; the only thing that tho lawyer could make of it was that Willie Rush stood acoused of some crime of whioh ho was entirely innocont. But it so hap pened that Mr. Walpole had heard some thing about the affair before, otherwise he

never have understood from poor Matty's incoherent story 'what it was all about. ' You will go and get him away and toll them all about it, ' sho had said, and from this Mr. Walpole concluded that she wished to retain him for the defence. With some difficulty the astute lawyer calmed her, and made notes of such informa tion as she could supply; but seeing that tho whole burden of Matty's tale consisted of vehement declarations of hor lover's inno cence, tho information was not of much value. Matty, however, was much comforted, the lawyer was ready to take up the case; ho would set about it at once, lie said, no ? time was to bo lost, tho trial would como on to-morrow, but —hero the lawyer paused thoughtfully aud put a question — ' Did your father Bond you, Miss Clark?' 'No,' said tho girl, faintly, 'butthatdid not matter, did it V' 'Well, there were certain expenses to bo incurred, fees, several things.' Poor Matty had never thought of that. 'All thoso things will be paid, sir.' Sho couldn't tell how just then, but she made up hor mind to pay them somehow. ? Mr. Walpole began to seo how the land lay ; but Silas Clark was known to be well off, and the lawyer concluded to go on with it, and Matty hastened back home. 'Matty, whore havo you been,' said her father, sharply. It was such an unusual thing for Matty to go out without announc ing it, and thus early too, that he became suspicious. 'I've been up tho street, father;' and even this little evasion was repugnant to the feelings of the truthful girl. ' Where have you been to up the streot.' She hesitated a moment, and thon spoke up bravely. ' I've been to seo Mr. Walpolo.' Of course her father understood it all, and spoke severely : ' You do not appear to understand that by following this mad, this improper course of conduct, you are bringing yourself into great disrepute.' Sho made no roply; she hardly seemed to caro now what was said or thought of her. 'Have you had your, breakfast,' said her father. ' Yes— no — that is, I don't want any.' Old Silas, from over his paper, looked with a strange expression at the restless, agitated girl. Ho was not much less dis turbed himself, but ho managed to conceal it bettor. Presently Matty arose and approached him. , '.Father, I want some money, please.' ...,',' Very woll ; but I thought you paid all your bills on Saturday.' ' Yes, but I want this for myself.' . ' tWhat for ?' ho continued sharply, seeing his daughter hesitated. _VTo pay the lawyer to defend Willis Rush, she said, with desperate calmness. He father gavo vent to something very much like a curso. He had never been heard to do so before, but ho thought if there was any man upon earth justified in expressing his feelings thus strongly he was that man. Here was his only child, whom ho cherished, with such love— she who through all theso years had been so good, so gentle and obe dient—now rising up against him, despising his counsels, setting at naught his wishes, trampling his love and tenderness undor foot, and flying at his face in open rebellion ; and Silas, wrapped up in his selfish love, fairly groaned in spirit. , He turned upon - hor with a species of angry agony distorting his features. Sho had risen up to meet it, pale, calm, and with that resolute spirit glittering in her eye whioh he so much'feared. 'Not a penny.' He ground tho words between his teeth, and, in a manner of speaking, spat them out at her almost, so fierce was the scorn which accompanied them. 'Not a penny for any such scoun drel, 'and he passed out, slamming tho door behind him. She sat down wearily resting her head upon her hands, externally quiet and calm enough, but within, torn by the most rend ing emotions, dark, drear and agonising. Presently her father looked iu at tho door, 'Matty, you'll leave tho house no more to-day. , It appears you're not only anxious to ruin yourself, but desirous, also, of drag ging me down with you. I shall now go over to Mr. Walpole, and repair tho mis chief you've alroady done.' The door slammed again, and she was once moro alone. Sho sat thoro for somo minutes in a state . of mental chaos ; her great lovo — now tho very essence, tho very soul of hor existence — obscuring and crowding.out every other sense ; sub ordinating and crushing down every moral faculty to its supremo god-like self. Before her ovor-wrought brain and distempered fancy was conjured up tho vision of hor lover in his prison cell ; appearing and dis xppearing like some horrid, over-recurring nightmare. In half an hour more sho had entered the sffico of Mr. Walpolo. The lawyer eyed the girl in astonishment. ' Why, Miss plark, your father has just been here and instructed nio not to proceed with tho defence in this caso. ' ' I understood,' sho said, quite coolly, ' that you had agreed with mo to go on with it. Tho acute lawyer looked at her intently, ind was startled at the strango wild light in hor eyes, at hor stony aspect and con strained movotnents ; nothing escaped him. He appeared to comprehend it . all, and rising suddenly ho took Matty by tho arin rad led hor to the door. 'My child,' he 3aid, tenderly, 'you must go home and rest yourself ; you are not well. You see, your father has cautioned mo not to proceed iu ;his case ; as far as he is concerned he'll mve nothing to do with it, and the expenses

might bo groat, very great ; but nevermind, novcx- mind,' ho continued, hastily, as an intense look of anxiety crept over the girl's face, 'I'll see what can bo done. Now, go home, my child, and go to bed.' Even this was sympathy to tho poor girl, and a great sob arose in hor throat, but with a desperate effort she controlled it. Her lips moved to thank the lawyer, and to assure him that some day ho should be paid, but no sound came from them. ' Come, my child, run away home, and don't worry yourself any moro about it.' Matty hastened out, and the lawyer closed the door upon her hastily. 'The girl is upon the verge ot hysterics,' ho muttered ; ' Oh, Jupiter, supposo aho had broken out hero.' Tho baro thought of tliis narrowly-escaped predica ment made the lawyer's hair stand on end, anil ho was by no means the sort of man whose equanimity was easily disturbed. He seated himself at his desk, tossing his head, as it were, from one hand to the other, as if dissatisfied with himself. 'Confound it,' he growled, 'that chit of a child has regu larly fooled me, arid the- devil alone knows to what l'vo now committed myself ; can't recover from hor father, that a certain.' The lawyer had reason to bo angry with himself. For tho lirst time in hi« profes sional career lie had allowed something like human feeling's to intrude in that ollice, and he now naturally entertained a hearty con tempt tor himself. 'But, nevermind, never mind,' he muttered, as his thoughts dis solved away into another channel. Knowing as we do tho warni friendship existing between Willie Hush and ' Cali fornia J auk,' the reader will perhaps feel curious to know how the latter took the news of tho arrest of his bravo preserver. There was another man on the creek, an old

crony of tho butcher s, who was smitten with tho samo curiosity, or at least ho was smitten with a curiosity to know how ho would take it, for Jack had hot then heard of it. So tho old crony, in order to gratify the aaid curiosity, posted away to the domicile of the Californian, 'I say, Jack, havo you heard the news ?' ' I^ews ; damn the nows ; what hows ? ' It was evident tho butcher's orony was not a favorite with the Oaliforaiaii. ' Why, that er'o young higbot Hush tried to raise the bank with some bogus gold, but it didn't wash ; he's in limbo now; thought perhaps — ' What the crony thought never transpired; tho next moment he found himself iipon his back with the monster list of Californian .Jack in uncomfortable proximity to his nose. That Jack was slightly disturbed was evident ; but the orony afterwards declared that he (Jack) was ramv-ing mad. 'It's an infernal, thundering ? lie, ' yelled Jack. ' Oh ! oh ! don't, don't,' moaned tho crony. ' I didn't mean no harin. I heered it. Everybody has heered it.' By this time Jack had recovered himself, and ho inquired sarcastically ' Areyoniiieh cut.' 'Oh- yes, orful.' 'Will, never mind, get up. I want to give you some advice.' Before cornptying with this injun ction the crony crept out of reach, and then rose up, eyeing tho Culifornian suspiciously. ' Oh, don't be afoered ; taint worth while, I've dope now ; but don't you go and hoar any thing like that again, not tho least bit like it j ' you savvy ?. ( 'ause if yer do why there'll be' a row, and l'vo a notion you'll be in it.' The crony's curiosity was thorougly satisfied, and 'he slunk away. But though tho ? Californian had so deli cately insinuated the incorrectness of what the orony had 'heered,' he nevertheless hastened up to the town with certain vague f cnr3 which wore only too well confirmed. , Of course Jack concluded that it was 'all some blank, blank, mwtiiko' which would be soon cleared up, but ho felt, to uso his own term, ' ' considerably riled. ' Some wild idea of rushing into tho bank and scalping tho manager upon tho spot, or of storming the gaol and releasing his pro it'ili; floated through his troubled brain, but on second thought ho abandoned these pro jects as likely to ho attended with incon venience. So Jack did nothing that evening, and tho whole of tho Sunday but walk restlessly about in a state of distraction, Tho trooper eyed him with suspicion, and his friends with anxiety, but towards Monday ho calmed down a bit. Ho had sought the opinion of every miner on tho creek, and they, one and all declared the affair to be a mistake which would bo cleared up at the trial. ' The Cali fornian, too, had thought of tho lawyer, but ho knew that lawyers did not work for nothing, and money was a commodity which Jack was not much burdened with ; never theless ho resolved to do — as ho exprossod it — his 'level best,' and thus wo /hid him . on Monday morning counting up his hard earned savings. 'Taint mnoh, ' ho mut torod, ' ' taint enough I know ; howsoever tlinr's the claim and the other things yet.' An hour later ho had sold his claim to a party of Chinese, sold his gun and such few movable effects a9 he possessed, sold his hub and horso, but it cost him a hard struggle to part with the latter animal; he drew its head into the hut, blubbered over it a while, and finally led it away and sold it. Tho proceeds of all this Oaliforiiian Jack took up to tho lawyer's oflice, but the lawyer ignored him altogether . 'Already retained,' ho said,' 'and for tho defence.' But tho monoy ?which Jack had obtained with so much dilii ulfcy ho insisted upon leaving, 'iriight be wunted,' ho pleaded, ' might ooiHe in haiidy anyhow,' and ho ' wasn't a-going to carry it back, anyhow,' and so the, motley was left. Sir. Walpole begun to think the case '(i rather singular one, and already began to

take an interest in it. But Californian Jack, not content with this, humbly asked if he couldn't be of service. ' Go any where?' he said interrogatively; 'fetch, anything, or anybody '!' he asked, with ob stinate persistency, and Mr. Walpole, des pairing to get rip of him in any other way, intimated that if he — Jack — was any where about ho would let him know if wanted; and so, in order to be in tho vicinity, Jack took his seat upon tho steps of the oitice door. In the meantime the lawyer had several interviews with his client, but to the lawyer they were the reverse of satisfactory, for Willie persisted in declaring that tho gold, whether good or bad, had come direct from his claim', and that was all he knew about it.