Chapter 60563069

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60563069
Full Date1864-12-23
Page Number2
Corrections0
Word Count6102
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEmpire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875)
Trove TitleUncle Tatbury's Ghost: An Australian Christmas Story
article text

CHAPTER II.

' It was Christmas Eve, and a beautiful, p\swe .breathing*

.heartiBooihirig evening it waa.

Tbe doy had been excessively hot the Bon throwing down hts fervent rays till the air Bcemedto glow with a livid heat, and the soorching-pavements had < a OBivering mtrags danoingover them .'. !.!» , :? -. .; ' >'

Latería the day. heavy usseesof olonds gathered in the west, looking very threatninp, but very-unwilling to come to tho contest . and an ominous silence prevailed, lise ; that wbioh' prosedes the crash of opposing armies.

It - promised to be a bad night for'business especially to the temporary stalls fringing the Haymarket ; and the itinerant merchants ia that quarter looked np anxiously st the sulphureous banks of vapour piled overhead.

At length it carnot Sacha flash of lightning I snob' a aintinnpns cracking peal of-thunder, rambling and shaking till it died away o,t last into a weary grumble. , As' to the rain, it fell in grear, distinoL spattering spots; eiob'ons coming;down quite independent of its neighbour, ai if it had a small private account of its own to settle with* the Çarohed earth below, and was determined to "hit him hard.''

hen the wind gavo a gusty moan) in a sort of bass voice, just by wsyiof giving tho rain a «pell-then it ran np tho scale,, touching tho uppar notes in this concert of tho elements; sind roared and. screamed in . a most dreadful manner. Then the rain fell in thiok blinding sheets; the wind driving it ia smokyjnists along tho house-tops-and thon they weñTTaVit^togeiTiér^hañaer"*añd"lightriing, wind and rain t - flashing and orashing, and howling and .spitting over the city to their hearts content

Like a man who'gives unbridled license tb'his fury, who, during the lew minutos of his passion,'breaks everything breakable ¡ and concludes by maintaining " Well, If I am a little lusty-it s soon over J . SuohJis our Australian

climate daring the Bummer mouthe. .

- People were not at "all surprised on this particular Ohrietmai, Evo when the rain ceased ? falling the «¡od changed its' stormy eosts-into 'delioiomly ecol 'breesHi and tho sun sank in the west, leaving a crimson glare on the sky, as If bloshingit thelast honr.s strife. ?-'?> >?'?

As for the stars 1 I shodldn t like' to -Say how bright and Jollj -looking Wy -eame'ont, winking and' blinking at each other, as if congratulating* themselves upon .? beiug f>rgh ont of ali-the'confusion ' that* bad reigned helor. »Vnyrupln the.olear sky overhead a'¡ regalar jewellers shop'seemed opened, with glittering trinkets hung »ll aboat lt ¡' Ia lao', when ' I say -that ' the stars" shone, as afars onjy can shine ia Australia - I need ssy no more.

Batineis wont on brisker than' ever-butchers ohopped and sawed,-and cutoff giant Joints. Joints that would persist, -in lóoking^out pf their 'Owners baskets, 'In'spite of ill endeavours''to keep-' them '. ooo lined ¡ grocers made up dainty'liUlo parcels, giving the change, and tbeícomph ments of tho season, to pretty girls. In a mauner pleasant tb-behold,- while 'the poulterer's 'shops exhibited lines of iong-neoked fowls,, Uko, row« of notes of admiration at the»

rjilen lifo.1 cheer provided, for nil-who had monejr-enonflh to . pay fur it. ' -.,."?..

The erstwhile deserted.stands at the Haymarket ^were re-arranged and re-peopled' aa. if by magib-vendors^witb anything bat musical- voices, extolling the meri's of the elli podrida ol' things new and old, and purchasers (with a good deal to buy and very little to bay it with.)^chaffer-

ing at tho prices'of the ' thousand and one* articles offend j

Leering- tho Haymarket we poss down George-street

' towards the north -and look at the ri h red bloiVoms of the { -Chtialmas busbj with its glassy -leaves painted with'rain

dropa.gjlnting ind quivering in the 'ight flushing out of the ]

Here is a blind man tinging semetbing,* the ' words' of which cannot ''be-1 distinguished, and wbi.h hasn't tve .slightest resemblance to a tune ! Never mind, for dear charity's sa&e'thrb'w a tribe In bis old hat- it is Christmas EtejK-.L-.a !;."?;:!<; I ,, ,.

Partier s',ïïl;dowh-George-street and a man withes rillainons'exfrèation'of'çpuntenanco -far too villionoas for

Christmas Kve^!'-^'passed,slouching down- the road V pushing ) his woy ttirouch/the'orowded thoroughfare. in" a vory

nn-Ghrlstrnas-like manner. 1 .. . ? ! ?;.-'..*,,:

Taming up Argjle-stnei? where the: water,' from the

over-charged gutters cf1 tha's'ríots above non'red down in I dismal little'cataracts -"be olambered the flight ,cf atone steps, and f merged apâà'that dreary,' nhp'rogressivo' and generally: c/i.repa tabla 'region, known as ''The Bocks.' the most' ancient 'portion if this city o| Sydney, The Bocks'Ss a locality retains 'ninon of its - eld'i vios -ind

'for sale.

J

squalor. Advat cerno 31 seems to Bayo.turned «side as it Ver golden footstepssh'upWd' this-particular point-this ana quarrelsome dogs ! ? In truth it is a desolate collection of miserable habitations) With inhabitants to mitch !

However it s poverty did not seem to ocoision any sur t prise to the min «hom I have metitiooed, (or he pursued

the sinuous turnings' in a mariner proclaiming that he had a thorough know'edge of the locel.ty. and ended hie wander- ings before älow-browed house of shabby exterior, over which hung a tigri-board announcing it to be the ' Three .Jolly Beefers/r;aBd;;'certainly, if . happiness .'conela'ed'1 in .sky-blue jacklts and vermillion faces, the three gentlemen depioted on the .sign-board looked "jolly'' enough; ' \'

As tho icdividnal paused beneath the Ailing lamp' fitted over tho ."doorway'-^-wbioh oppea-.ed ta be (a . Bore, of second entrance ¡lot conneo'.ed with the1 bar-thore:'was

time to glacoe'at his' apiJeiranoe. His clothes, were of a character kno vp as " shabby genteel," and wère rather of a fashionable style ;. but' what etruck yon at once .as being very remai k able wa«,1 the .utterly'hopeless expression of Lis face. Like a wo n but coin, there «as dill the image and superscription, bf mankind upon him-but how ' degraded end defaced!' The demon Drink, hod tet ita glare in his eye, and ita Cain-like' stamp upon-his forehead, hail wonnd .its enslavingr coils around him, fettering body and soul, robbing him pf everything that makes existence 'sweet and holy'1 atd lo'irning him notb)ng but thertfleotiôni that the world wculd be a'good deal better and wholesomer ' without him. . ' ..>.» ':T Î .? "".; .-<

A low whistle soon'gainedj him- admittance-the 'perta!

was surmounted bf an old scarlet -night-cap ' This dusky janitorWéfull; chairied.and bolted the 'door, leaving 'tho new arrival in the dark'to shbfHe along -the paiaago to the innerIvom to whichjhè 'was guided hythe clinking of

glasses and laughter within. . .

The. company'assembled ¡in this apartment''consisted ohiefly of > seafaring .mén^wbo despite tho horrible atmos- phere of the plsie wera rqariiig out some mönotondn's BOI.

song, ^thêjjpcnliarity -If- which: -lay in the repätitlöh of .corUinî'vTolde'rol^dê, -.lei's ' at the end of .about,'every four words. t This' choice melody'waa varied' by' óocááibhal catha and technical alaric indulged in by-the company. ,'

" H*order\'' 'h'ordér-l'gentlemen J -Mr. Glippèry "will oblige!/ t hooted io grimy, lockingman who seemed to havo been constituted1-president of this convivial assemblage, and who enfiír«í'bis remarks by knookiog bb'tbe'boSrd with a tumbler, 'Silence I gentlemen-.' H'orderfar Mr.

Glipperj'ssoHg!1 -,' ' .; J .. '. .',..'",'V

Thus introduced, and having first smiled benignly'at (be company in general, and frowped-in particular at an' imp» tient individual who cried. " Go it¿ Glippy '"' Mr, dippery proceeded to invite his-andience to ' come to his mounting .Ome,' in a cracked voice which- got through the song'by periodicaí'jomps- fojreibly reminding yon-of a barrèl-organ with aseveré cold settled on tts lungs! .. '

Immediately oh the entrance of'the man whomi we'h.«'ye tracked to'the ' Jolly Beef ari,' -and whose name, I rhight as well mentioDj'wns Jim Badnidgo, he was Joiaedby a tall, gentlemanly-loosing peraonogey the 'nicety-of whoso dress contrasted strangely with the rough attire of those with

whom be was aasociated.

Be at once drew the new arrival to an unoccupied corner of Ihô'room; and, without, any of- the common place' expressions usually forming' the . key to couvcr.'alion, abruptly asked * Have you sean him !1

\_^fbre .answering this seemingly important question, Mr

^ ^frildge requested to be supplied with some liquor, which he: metaphorically termed " a spider ; ' declaring that "until ho had 6Uthin- to drink he oouUn t talk nohow, na .his throat war as dry as a brickbat ! . ' :

'.Well, bo quick about it !" responded bis companion. I told you directly tho steamer arrived to let me know, and here hare '1. waited in thia bole for your coming-pirt of every night for a fortnight; Where have' you beent . .','?'

Hold..hard, noble captain ! ¡: ¡urged Mr. Bjdnidgo. apparently ' in no bnny to come to business.' " Ah ! that's suibia 'like! he added approvingly, aa ho transferred the, contents 'jot a capacious tumbler down' aa .'equally espacions throat. If .theres one thing .1 hate, it's water! I don't know' when. 'I tuk a drink of it be ore. this : last ' week or two,, land thenTconldn t help it. Now.thia 'ere

' spider1 brandy dosed, with ¡ lemonade, ain't at all bad, but water ain t no. business to be in a. publio-house, nohow ! As regardé 'where have I Un ! Why in á¿ variety 6 'places,' principally in Darlinghurst-cos' why! -Ihappened to.'turu 'into sn auctioneer s shop, and Just felt in my pockets to see whether I had enough money to'buy a weskit, when what does I do hut puts my hand irita' somebody olses pocket, and takes out ¡rt. 'portmsnteaa.' With five ¿nd.threepence in1 it I Well, 'before 1 had, time to explain the mistake, the cave collars'.'me,' and front' lis(en'ti nuffinj, Of ojorao I told the magistrats exackerly'ho* it happened, but he said be thought aa how . if I spent a fortnight inj Darlinghur-t I wduldn't'be'missed by nobody t 'You seèho didn t know as how you was a wait ng along of me here!". > ,u

" And the r young fellow? ' inquired the other,'who had allowed' his'companion to ran oa till want of breath oom

polled a i lop,-age. .? <>

? "He's rinht, ' answered Hr Badnidge " Ho arrived here before I got' into tronble. Yes, the Wonga came.in the evening afore,, and I had to carry inj young gents carpet- bag np a hill to the'lu?. Fust of all, you see ho leaves his 'swag' at the Post'Office Hotel, and then ont ho comes - gits into a Padding OÍ ' bus I RHB, ou'side, and away we goes I -When we gits oat there I nears bim 'arskin aboat a tit. BUt-beTy's bouse.-r-" ' : ",'.,'.'" . t . '

"Tatbury-Mr. Tatbury'jou mean,* interrupted the tsll

man. ,-i .; . .-.i ,<>? -~ ???.?<

-«Ah-yes -TWowedit'wassuthm" like that ! Well,' he finde the noose-a big pUcs;wi.h green palins.'rouacl the ' fron tho goos-then down the back thinkB.I, "you're up to

suthin young '. gentleman ! '- presently out ooma a yourjg 'coman-harries down to the bushes; in the back' garJiug and shake's hands with the>< yoang.felle'r. o''er the fenoj just like a seen» in a Hopera !-then he gives ber a paper -raba noséa1'and 'bb"ts off tb the hus . I meant to obtne and tell you next night-when thia; miafortunate mistake goes and peryontsme. ,1,Tiuts all "I knows about lt." And os'reward-fjrthis long piebB of jiw-work* (aa he called. (I) Mr Jim Badnidge drained bia glsasj sud requ-sicd Liza' to replenish it .whi'e hejlledj^ his pipe._ .-.

».Then heha's a^ived, his".he?-curse him P sail tbs long gentleman,"savagely!'

" (ih I a< mach as you p.'ois?, for n'l I caro ! ' ooinoidoJ Slr. Badnidge. ' ** but I s iyf Mr." Ringwood-"

""Hush'.' hissed the other.' . « Well- Chiselton- -

"Hold jour leola clatter ['growled the tall mau, era ph'asising the request with' an oath,' <'; Neither of these names will do here ! If you must have a name for rn », oall Bs Smith - that ll do - John Smith I" ,"' ,

;. Just as you please" agreed Mr. Badnidge; ''but now Mr. John Smith or Ringwood, or Ohiselton or ' whatever your pursers name |s !-contidirin''a's hov tho birds bagged, or put into your hands (which is just, os good) - what about the ?-' And Mr. Badnidge slupped his trou

sera pockets' " -, ,

AU right I '.rrsptnded lie maa, '»bom I shall for the future hame as Smith.' '.' Youro sure, jon know where . to pitch on him agaioT' , '

Aa nglt," replied tba other, emphatically striking the table with his clenched hand " as right as ninepenoe 1

What powerful virtue if cootainod in this particular Íuantity of oopp-rs'to make it shah a model. of ' correctness

cannot pretend to say. suflioe it that the «¡milo ' appeared to bare ouo weight with Mr. Smith, who took an old gold hag fromlhis pocket, oouuted out sjmo silvor, and pushed it or er to,Jim,Badnige.,. ,.' ' ", '".,,.. .". j. '

That gentleman having carefully conn tod the ,mo'ney as carefully stowed it sway, in bis pooket. and remarks!' " Tuu hardly, seem satitfied about It's being t.bo rigbt oovo, but yon don t maan, forfojgo fur to,think as how J could forget his .likeness to tba old chap at Yarrauill», ,os, we -eh?-you know I" andJim sharpened an'imaginary'kiiife, on hie boot, aod made a stab at thy air, by, which ploisant little piece o'f pantomime be oonvoyod the Idea of sticking, -0.plg- . .'Í ''?.',-"". '

V' Hu«h I" whispered Smith, looking round anxiously st ?the company. . - " - . ,, . ,

'''Bleas d'if I didn't think it'waa his ghost, as'I wal ohed .bim a earning over fe Wooga'a gangway :'hia eyes 'regular

¡malos of the other-"

i "Hold yonr tongue,^

wî'h an 'imprecation .which, if consummated- woald ¿av» fnd â'paenliarly blighting effect on th« visual organs of ijlr. liidnidge'. ' t i '-. '. ? ::

i 'O no, wo never mentions him i'*'-chanted that indi, vidual,''A It'a all serene, old fellow, ät'a the youngster,

safe enough'! . ;-p <.-' fui',. i ... -i. ;.- ' ii

' But now, captain, aa that affair's settled, what'a to be the next' move-and what'a 'tho little game - out at Pad- dington î'1'' ' '" ' : : ' ' ." ir.

j ''iWell Jim," replied the other, "I want your assiatanoo ont thero to-night. Since I lost saw you, I 'haven't been idle, bnt under the name o' Captain Obisèlton, 1 have been introduced to.more than ono ('highly respectable'/ family. The one I have chosen (for-our operations is that of Mr. Tatbury - the place to which you tracked young Mayland

-and I have managed to'become1 thoroughly acquainted' with tbe'premises I had'¡atended'to find a way to old Tatbury s fortune. - through his daughter, and regularly settle down till the'money wag spent ; but I am: afraid that plan won't work ; bosldes the arrival of this youngster, who ' is somehow acquainted with the^ family, makes it dangerous for me to .visit too often. '.' How, Ive deoided on making

short work of it. Through, the servants I hear that old Tatbury keeps a considerable sum ia ready cash ut home that is to pay for our trouble to-nl^ht ! . ' ;'',.'

' He is''urea'fully superstitious, oelieves-in ghosts,' and aotuallyifanoios the house is haunted !-this will assist ns wonderfully Acting the part of a ghost myself, I have no fear of any resistance on the part of Mr. Tatbury, if there thould fee,*- Mr. Smith unbuttoned his vest and showed . the tilt of abowio-koifeatackin his belt " If there thould

he/ why I have something hero'that does its work well, and dcesn t make any noise about it."

" You'll excuse me attain suoh a thing," - apologised Mr. Badnidge, ' but 1 ve always felt shaky aiñce that ere affair at the station . there's no truth ab;ut the place bein' haunted, eh 1' ;':... Y.--. -

" Haunted ? - no .'-bnt lt will be to-night, and a" .rare oonple of ghosts we'll make- icdon't want io hurt'old Tatbury, provided he Wont make a noise but if I come across that youngster, who has hunte! and 'tracked'me for the la>t four joara,- down-he goes, to follow his father. Now, Jim,'you mustn t have any more of that st off to-night -steady,.and sore, ia the motto ; and the prize is too good to throw away, so no more di ink tonight, leay!'

"All rlglu, captain, j nat one more' 'go' to steady a fellow's nerves, a&d then I'm at your servies.' How about the time? ? '-',-. '. , . .

Mr. Smith.consultod a bandeóme'watch, and said that in an hour it would be t:me enough to start; suggesting ¡he propriety of getting the ' tools" together in tho meantime - an' iúea in whioh Mr. Badnige coincided, so draining his

glass they left the pablio bonsc together.' ' ' ' .

O : » »" ' . ' m '. .

Christmas Eve . and the nlght'was far advanced^ the star's looking'quietly down on Tátbúry Hall.',-,""

The moon was in her last quarter, and ber (¡Iver edge was just appearing above South Head, throwing tho bays

on the barbour 11 rippling surface, tili it looked like a ragged

au :ible of molten silver. . .'"I""..! , ',

Night ' quiet,' quiet night-and ttbe'.sornhby.''dwarfish ttees in the oncbsnro rose ap dark and wiry from the gloom. Night s'ombre.'silent night-indTatbury Hollseemed like a mansion of the dead.,' ' , "

: The family had'retire'd.early,/each occupied with hi», or her own. thoughts. Ure',. Tilbury thought of the grand dinner-party 'coming ¿ff on the morrow., and of fifty improbable things, any of which if they "happened might mar the prospects of tho whole. '"' '?.

' Hiss Angelina dreamt of the envy of all young ladies who should ba introduced ' to the mysterious (and therefore charming) Captain Chiselton. '

.Mr.Totbury pondered on'tho probablo expense of the forthcoming fd; and wondered whether' the dreaded phantom would absent himself from Tatbnry Hill f»r that ocoasion only. While old Jonas went to bed, and in dream's recollected '-bygone^ Christinas days''ia the little shop, ia Whitechapel.

; 'fhere .was 'one- lonely watther, however, in the silent house. At her bedroom window sat Agnes Totbury-dear, Íileasant-voiced little Agnes-quieter than ever, 'as She obked out os the landscape bathed in thetretnblisg moon»

shine. . : ; . i , ¡ i ' .

i Ccoaaionally in onr early years Incidents tike plnoa that are i nd ¡»sol nhl y linked with the fa'ure. Ye irs may pass away, and the t-ifl rig word, the insignificant apt of1 our ahildiah days, may bs almost, forgotten ; but the seei bas grown on silently jet snro'y, and we are suddenly surprised by seeing the flower horst forth in Jill its beauty. ','. So'tilta Agnes Taibury ; she' ha'dli6Ted|']7raBÍc'"iIsVland''when a child as children do lore ; after a'feir months' absence the irtajo of her boy-iorer gradually began ki fide: "Not that something moré solid or real usnrped its plaqa. Agnes ar-und her, and when at last she received a letter from Frank boping that her childish feelings wfrennchanged- yet: fearing that they vse'o ; she f< 1; that the love of the psst had not lain dormant iii' her .breast, bat had grown with her growth and strengthened with ber strength. ,

Accustomed ss she had been to to tico the want of genuine feeling displayed by the Tatbury family, ber Leirt clung to this letter, recalling sweet reojlleottofis, ,and tho whole tendrils of her affectionate nature seemed to twine around ' the" writer.'' .

She had anticipated little Opposition on.the part of her uncle, and was therefore astonished to God [the. visits of Frank Mayland, not only dieoountenanced but entirely forbidden. . A'ddel to this wes the thought of the rapidly .approaching time of parting, lor slie knew, that in a brief, 'half.hour the last fond word, '* Good bye? would'be spoken,' and each flacling hour, pf thermorrc.w, would increase the distance between tha loving and the loved.'.' . ' ,

I Taking all this into consideration, wa may easily account foi tear-drops glistening ou the ' cheek ' of Agnes, and imagina the haste with which abe left ber place of watch- ing, to' join a figure that stood out in the clear moonlight in the space below. ... - -, ,

, Throwing a dark shawl around .her, and taking a I hat from'tho hall-pegs, ehe passed through 'the little, wicket lea iog to the baez garden. . , '' '?'.'

Upon her en rance Frank Mayland started from behind a. rose 'bush, where bo had taken,refago on heariog the door

elicited was prevent d from more than half esoaping by the

applica'.ion ,of a pair of lipa to those of Agues..

- : Of oourse there is no necessity for mé to enter,into 'the details of their ooirerfation, as they sat In that rambling, wind-shaken, anTthing-but-snmmer-lobking. summer-house We all have had some little experience of .what is usually said on euch occasions; and if I were-to tell you how thc tears of present sorrow fell fast, and how the suoshine of future happiness came bursting out of the darkness, until, the beautilul rainbow of Hope, abone glittering, pn .the clouds, why, you would say, "oh, that a old 1 - I ve heard and seen e:ougli of that myself I ' ; i i ,

However, I only want yoa to understand that there w»» - a conversation ; and also that while it was going on, two fresh arrivals drew, near tho grounds of. Tatbury Ra'1 - being, in fact, no other than Mr. Jim Badnidgo'. and his companion or employer,. Mark Ringwood, alias Captain Olliselton, or ;as we have bef .re spoken of him) Mr. John . Smith. vv '.-, .' : '. :,

shedding halo of love on all

! " It looks quiet enough, .but there ain't tevora cloud to abut up the moon's cuseed bia; e l.' remarked Mr. B.idnidge, as be deposite-i a bundle by the fence,and looked up at the bright dom« above. 'Saw, d'ye see, I think as hoir it would bo advisable to try. the front oos'yer see, this being Christmas Evo werry likely trie servants 1| be up a getting the grab ready for to-momw . and if we begin at the back, whore they, may be moving about, there s a oh moo of being interrupted in ,our work, which ain't by no means pleasant!:' . ,.;.'. V t'' ,;'

' ' Well, thWe's sei.se in that remarle,; Jim, if you never maka another !' ans vered bis oompaulon, who moreover difeoted Mr. Badnid&e to bring .the, tools rou&d to the front. .. j

\ j Tbero beneath the shade of the verandah," they sst to.

work and soon evidoncäd, by tho eoio and.quiotuesi with which'they out through a panel.of the door and withdrew" the fastenings, that neither.was a "novice'at his, present employment. . ', ',' " ' , 'I " ? ' .

I " All right Jem,'-'whispered Mr. Smith, aa they slipped off their, hoots sod stepped about," light as'oaf, in the pístate, i' ííow for the ghosts dress-hand us the .wind-' logsheet !" ; . ' '" . ,> ' / "":.'.," '., '. , i J"m unrolled it from tho bundle-his hand,sbekiDg ex*

ceseively na ho did to. . .

1 '' Why.,-* bat ethe matter,'man?' asked his oompanipn.

'«Ybü tremMêliké'a leaf!,',, '.,:lv-'",* '., ?". ' .'> I

I '.'Hang it ali!" mattered Jirnvsnrli1y I don't Jielfk finoy thia affair since yon mentioned about tho honso being haunted. In fact,slnoc that-'ere Job.st. YarranHla,,I ve hilera felt shaky, in the dark! . I know ,as bow',« dead.msu t U no tsleV and,I ain't got no bause to,' be ,afeard'pn that account. But

, i-Korr,',íhés,'Jeni',!;allyou've got io dp al pies?t,ti itt t°>

follow me, and.ktbp quiets . I ll manageuthe restii But, if ] ihe o'd-Voinari1 iMe tob (Vighten-jd tb'Soream, and 'thbitld pjjjif, dal, ¡ wJy;.i)l*Vt^*W* ?yo^-';o'itljr:don t tjtahei more, .

ni ue over ib than yóu'oatt.hélp'"-í .?« >:. <\ ¡. <? ?? . ' -? ? i ¡ ! Up the broad flight of stalrS'stoîe the.two meit-luit In their hearts, and mùrdoi1 jd,their,ipinds- o'n'lhp holy poaco b'réathïng"évo"of Christmas!.«. ; - ,'v¿. ¡a',.4. .:, v

The one called Enillh lad the way Uko ono ocoustomol | to tho place ; and halting before Mr. Tatbury s licJroom ¡

djoo'r (in orderadjuit his grave-like attire) he 'quietly Urned iho.handle, and glicoî softly into the roam. . ,

j I asid that on thia partiontar evoulng Mr. Tatbury' re- tired to bed early, He did so ,'but not to r»t. , : i: . j Mr, Tatbory couldn't make it out.. He- bad, not finido a

hearty,meal before going'tb b;d,. so bIs,rest!ésnesi,fçouId pot proceed from his supp;r. ? Ha had not' bsen.'annbyed or' excited to any extraordina y decree - sb it eonldfi,trbe'tbat. At all erentB something Uy heavy on.hls oinitâenoe-ç'orfiis s'oniaoh-and mired ."kind , nature e «-it^ttii«$orer.'* from bia eyelids . , ', .-. , ... x" ; .

j Ha thought of ell manner of unpleasant things^too ! ' He caitup in his mind-like »' long column1 of ^fig^rès^-thè' events of the the three hundred: andraiity odd days which had ejipeod Bines the |revious'ObrÍ8tm>s ; and,vtheqibedid 1 i aid them up^'and saw ' ,whot they, came to ¡» be.felt, very dismliafieJ with the result'.' Tn particular he felt that ho had aotèd'véry uugràte fbilly 'to theson pf h is old friend' Mr. Mayland ; and at last got so miserable over: his refleälioni ' that,'he groaned aland -then lie.tossed the,bedclothes from' him, and peered out into/the dim half-lighted room. ,. ; -.,.

: The bed was surrounded, with,, mosquito-curtains, ,and through these he bVii'd see ' bu-, impe'rtoo'tly-r-nbvertheless Bomething-very %hile,! 'stsrted 'npbn hia vision ; and ' his' excited fancy speédly framed the dreaded speotre bf Tatbury;

Hall, sitting ju tho corner^ ..r;Tíi-ifí!.-> -j- ;¡\;>;r< o 'i ¡

: Mri T«lbury,f(rie'd to 'fpopV, psoh.'.V the ides -h.ut.after, some futile «t empts to make something really definite and earthly of the quiet,"*' immoveable ' thiog, ' from '. bis' then pressnt poiitiau* he;, muiter.d'snfncient.ooursgo.to-slip out of bed, apd found to his great relief that tbe," ghoBt " con- sisted of some.- drapery hanging oh the towel-horse,

.' ! Again-Mr. Tatbury'tried'io woo 'fib lo sleep,;'buf bis, afdio jscs* were rejected. He burled his head In the pillow draggel the.'beJ-olo he» over it,-breathed regularly, and tried ton obeat himself i into tho belief: that he waa 'f going

off.' bot tbe attemf t waSjO, wretched fallare, and he thrust ont his ho id .add opened his, byes 'despairingly, at the very instant ' that the'bedroom1 door 'slowly opoaed 'and a tall figure in spectral garments atoleinto the apartment

There wasinp :rni>t«ko about, it this ,tin\e ! 'The thing glided, along-noiscl^asly as though it¿vero .treading, on clVuia-towards a,lArbo rosawooï oibirjet that fillei, or almost lilied, the further ¿nd bf the room'.-' ; ' '

To aay that Mr Tatbury was frightened -would convey brit a alight idea of hie feelings. The perspiration . ti ickle 1 in beads from bis,forehead, ¡and,,poured, from every pore, ' while. he,experienced a atracge^sensation all over, his head, as if every bair was making ^ a long'try, a strong try' and a try altogether . t> shove his night-oap off'l < He'was too mnoh, al armed;, to move» andi therefore male no effort to awaken Mrs.-Tatbiiry.:. but Jay watóhíng with, dilated eye- balls tho mbremekts pf Iiis unweloome,visitor.

I Without the slightest''noise, the cabinet opened its

'recesses, and'tbe G^uie wai'gliding to the door by which it bad entered, when a sound struck.upon-the ear of-Mr. Tatbury tbat at once arossed.bim from.inaction- that was, 'the rattling of his cash-box! '' "' '

> We heard Mr. Tatbury on" s previous ocoasion assert that' 'jhe warnt afraid bf, aoythipgihe ¿ouldi lay hold of ; " and I.must say that,-however devoid of moral he was not destitute of physical courage. Now he no, sooner heard, the* jingling of: the golden coins together, than ho reasoned instantly:. "vTuat.box ia too heavy to ba oarriad hy spectral fingers I '., and with a dreadful roar., acrarabled oat of .bed, and rushed at the figure,, grappling as.be did so,not.with * thin air but v. ¡th roil flesh and blood in the shape of long ' John Smith, the burglar I -

' !-'Thieves (.Fire! Murder!.' toresmed'Mr .'.Tatbury, as he snatched, frantically at his cash box, and hung on to the

intruder like a bull-dog. ' . ,

! "Thieves ! - Fire!" Murder !" 'shrieked Mrs. Tatbury, whom 'the'souffle bod awakened, and- who,- not knowing what was fie matter,- thought there could be no harm in following her husbands cry !,... " ... r- .. . , ,

' i "Jim (''hissed Mr: Tatbury s assailant, " quiet the old woman I ' " ,.

Jim appaarod from the landing placej but quieting a woman,(old or young, at all times a difficult matter!) was on this ' occasion put out bf the question altogether by the lady darting to tho window, throwiag it open, end scream ¡ag frantloally-fdr'aiaistanoe'; ?'? : - . ¡ ;

Jim darte t forward,' but .could not drag her from tho 'oisement. Tho blind waa, torn, downland a bright flood of moonshine shimmered through the'room. " . ,

j Mr Tatbury still hung ott* tb'hiS' saSh'-bor, bot was evidently growing woiker.'the-burglar pressing heavily on MB chest with 'the sharp single, of .bia. elbow digging into Mr Taibury'a throat in a very .uppjeasapt, manner ! í

{ Mr. Tatbury's breath o uno .and .went ia convulsive jerks, ins hands retuedi and Mr.. Jphn Smith, having drawn the ?" tickler" from its sheath,, had his arm raised to give the finishing stroke* when ttío'do r waa .dashed violently opon and-he foaad him e f in the sturdyjgrasp :bf Mr. Tathory 's tfbos'fcl ... ' . ;

' Leaving his. old, and now insensible. antagonist, the' burglar grappled, for.life or death with bis now aiskilant.

' Over and over they rolted, like wild beastB-but the new córner bad the best of it, and as be held the other' with foo» upturned in the moonlight, he ejaculated the tingle word

[ " Ringwood I .. . f.

: At (báñame Mr.Bii'n'dge released tho, straggling Hrs. Tatbury - looked opon'" Mr. ? -Tatbury s Ghost "-gasped, ' ". Mayland - Yarraniola ! and with a terrifia yell, darted

from "the room-, and was beard rolling down the stairs' -

1 And now. other s'eepy, and perplexed performers appeared on the scene-Mr. Jonas, Brooïes and old Gabriel, while the ¡ alarmed neighbours began td venture in at back and front'

abd crowded up to tho »osne of-bittle

1 Once the burglar managed lo-loostnrbis knife, bat the stroke at Frank,Mayland sT>feàsS was à Taultyjon?, and the 'next instànt'tbe weapon lay. at the other side, of the room; then he olutohed'-'-his revolver; and this time the'chances seemed in his favour there was' a quick blinding flish a; ringing report and with a*emvalsivo leap "Mr. Tat bary's Ghost ' staggered book aid fell at'the feet of Agnes.

I Before, however, the burglar Smith co-ild regain bis feet, he was deprived Sf ooasoiousnesB by old .Jonas, who struck bim severely across the forehead with a «bair - observing, as ho did so, that "there wasn't inj/ bushrangers 'in .Whitechapel'! V -r - - i.' : . !,..'. O .. v. s ..».

Christmas Day-and tho sun shone out, right merrily . Christmas Diy-and tho bells leaped .for joy, to think of tho peace and goodwill to men that oarne upon'the earth - once, and for ever.'" ?' * u '?>? '?

j Euashiny, : Jolly-faced, : heart-beaming s love-arousing Christmas Day !-on wbioh if a man suffers an ill-homopred expression to dwell on bia foo», he ought to bang opon.a gallows as high os that of Haman.

: But Christmas "Dij'har ita" influence óñ the hardest of hearts, and over the > most ill-natured temperaments-a

feeling pervading the crustiest of mortals, and tempting him to lay aside bis peevishness;< for this day only'- justas ha lungs up his greatcoat and umbrella lu the hill, until the sunshine again glves'plaoe lo rain. «'".' ' "?

¡ Well,'when theî burglar, fc'mltb, on our Christmas morn- ing carno to his senses . he did eb to .find himself tied np hand and foot with a clothes-line,; in fact there was such a superabundance of koo's;' (every one' having lent a'bald to tio'up thl desperado,) »hat it seemed anjimprolablo obihoa of his ever being; unloosed again ! : ,' ¡-: >?? .

; As lo Mr Jim Bsdnidgc,'her had tnissod his footing, at the head of the stairs, ana had t een precipitated dcrn the' -whole flight, with siioh violoaoe -that bis nook was,

broken there and then an event whioh probably, saved its' being doué in a' more scientific * manner at some later

period ' - " .' : -

i Frank Mayland, tho Gho.it ot'Tatbury. Hall, awoke to consciousness. »nd to thc faot'that somebod.i wai standing at 'the bedside, with two Uar dimmed éyeB, looking down to his. Mr.' snd Mr«. Tatbnry weré there too with old Jonas and the doctor ' and creh Mis« Angelina' (who had doable ' looked boreel' into her bodella xber on tho first alarm) mea

tally Confessed that' Frank Mayland was not, suoli a bad looking fellow, after all !

; O' coursa Mr. Tatbury was profound in bis expressions of gratitude, -laoghod heartily-at tho idea of hading so lcrig mistaken Frank for a ghost 'and. urged bim to make some request, the' fulfilment of wWoh would be an adequate return for the Bîrvloe he had renderod. ; . " (i. ,

j Porno mon - if they áre warmed up to make a generous Off- r feel, sorry dircotly the offer, baa been made. Now, 1 should be sorry to assert that thia was the essa with Mr. Tatbnry, but, certainly, he Iqoke'djeryraurh'relieved when Frank asked'bim for the hand of: Agues-long-loYod and long-loving 'Acnés ¡7-ss his,only reward. ',' '" ' ?? ' '

: -Somé je¿rs°have;pássed , '.and many Obrislmas 'chimes have rung pince the' 'imowhen theio inoidonts occurred but never again has'Mr. Tátbury hid reason'to believe that bis li uso fs haunted He now lites, on In-undisturbed , serenity (as far M'ghosts are concerned ,andls altogether

as h'ppy as a mari ought to bo, who made his fortune from fiyepence ha penriy I , ? ' "" ,-';'" ', " ' '

{ Old Jonas and old Gabriel .still linger on, as talkative and stubborn os ever,'arid still possessing a firm he'icf in tho merits of the ' little'sbpp.iu Whitechapel'" 'As to'Miss Angelina' she is still untoarried, and it is the opinion of all, that ber temper has not improved with agenr a ; :

( As to . Agnes, sne;hns beaa.M a. Frank . Mayland some years. Her husband has been fortunate in mere respeots than ono-fortunate tn buaiùcss, as wèll ns'in marriage,

and they are" now residents in - the Monaro district, Frank' having repurchased Yarraullla. . - . ? ?

It is there,-dear1 reader,'1. would ask yoa'td aoaompany pie, before we wish-each other tho compliments of tho

season,andaay '«goolbye.'* » ' .'-?' tu. ....;.« ' I

Ills Obrlatrh'aS'Eve again,' and the 'Australian bush is ! (right with' a thousand bue*, and merry 'with the whistle' and clatter of birds with ïostloss winga. 'Tho creek whian In Its windings nearly surrounds tue-Btattou, is lined on

either side with tho *' mini ita' or wattle-tree co:orcd with gOrgoous gármonts of scented go'clen flowors. '-"'

' Now Uha; (.uu goes down in hasto . birds hash th air clamour, and the orenk tinkles onward into tho Bindows,

with a quiet gentle song. ,

j Regardless ot the bloa'og night, ¿wi figures areaitlipg op the rite'r hank,' looking back to other ifruf.s, t'o.Cbriaiv nias days passel long, long ago" And ea Agnes Mayland lb.uki of'allihe grief th.l i-hi'sA have bcon, and o.' all tb* lore that it she leans back-witb. a «¡«1» and a tjmilo on the manly breast of "Uncle Tatbury'a Ghost:'' . ' "