|Newspaper Title||Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953)|
|Trove Title||A Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia|
A FINAL RECKONING.' A TALE OF BUSH LIFE IN AUSTRALIA. Br G. A. HENrTY, CHAPTER L-Tuna Bnozar W?'cow. " You sare the meost troublesome boy in the ,laje, Reuben Whitney., and you willcometo a bhad end." The words followed a shower of eots with the cane, The speaker was an elderly man, the master of the village school of Tipping, near Lewes, in Saasex, and the words were elicted in no small degree by the rexntion of the speaker at his inabilitr to wrin a cry from the boy whom he was striking. le was a lad of some thirteen ears of age, with a face naturally bright and intelligent, but at present quivering with "I don't care if I do," he said defiantly. " It won't be my fault, but yours and the rest of them." "You ought to be ashamed of youorstf," the anuter said, "instead of speaking in that way. You, who learn easier than anyone here, and mald alwars be at the top of your class if you chaose. I had hoped better things of you, Reuben: but it's just the way, it's you bright bers as mostly gets into mischief." At this moment the door of the school-room opened and a lady with two girls, one of about fourteen and the other eleven yearn of age, entered. " What is the matter now I" the lady asked, seeing the Schoolmaster cane In hand and the lot standing before him. "Reuben Whitney! What, in trouble again, Reuben ? I am afraid you are a very troublesome boy." "I am not troublesome, ma'm," the boy said sturdily. "That is, I wouldn't boif they would let me alone; but everything that is done tad they put it down to me." "But what have you been doing now, Beaten :" "I have done nothing at all, ma'm ; but he's always down on me," and he pointed to the master, " and when they are always down on a fellow it's no use hs trying to do right" " What has the boy been doing now, Mr. White l" the lady asked. " Look there, ma'm, at those four windows all smashed, and the squire had all the broken panes mended only afortnight ago." How was it done, Mr. White i" "By a big stone, ma'm, which caught the frame whore they joined, and smubed them ail." "I did not do it, Mrs Ellison, indeed I didn't." • Why do you suppose it was Reuben P' Mrs. Ellison asked the master. SBecause I had kept him in half an hour after the others went home to dinner for pinching young Jone4 and making him ail out, and be had only just gone out of the gate when I heard the smub. so there is no doubt about itf for all the others must have been in at their dinner at that time." " [didn't dolt, ma'm," the boy repeated. "Directly I got out the gate I strted off to run home. I hadn't gone not twenty yards when I heard a smash; but I wasn't going for to stop to ee what it was. it weren't no btal. enas of mine, and that's all I know about it." "Mamma," the younger of the two girls said eagerly, " what be ays is quite true. You know you let me run down the village with the jelly fur Mrs. Thomson's child, and as I was coming down the road I saw a boy come (at of the gate of the school and run away, and then I heard a noise of broken tfis, and I siw another boy jump over the hedge opposite sa run too. lfe came my war, and directly - snaw me he ran to a gate and climbed er.r." . Do you know who it was, Kate " Mrs. E.a? n eked. Y-s. mamma. It was Tom Thorne." " Ic Thomas Thorne here ' Mrs. Ellison asked in a loud voice. There was a general turning of the heads of the children to the point where a boy some whtt bigger than the ret had been apparently tadrng his lessons with great diligence. "C~me here, Tom Thorne," Mrs. Elli.on ard. The boy slouched up with a sullen face. " Y, ~ henr what my daughters say, Tom. What hare you to say in replyl" " I d:in'tthrow the stone at the window," the boy replied; " I chucket it at a sparrow, nd :: weren't my fault if it missed hin and t. .ke toe window." "I 'hould say it was your fault, Tom," Mrs. Edison said sharply-" very ranch your fault, f you throw a great ,stone a: a bird wrthot taking care to see what it t ma hit. It: that it nothing to your fault in lett:ng 5arthr boy be punished for what you did. I shalt r.ort the matter to the sluire. and he will sleok to your father about it. You are a n:iei. had boy. Mr. White, I will pel:k to .iu c(bide." F'i;owed hyher daughters Mrs. Eiliecn went out, Kate giving a little nod in reply to the grateful look that Reuben WVhiter rast to. ards l.er, and his muttered " Thank you cn. " ' Welk on, my dear," Mrs. Ellison Paii; " I ill orertake you in a minute or two." "TLih will not do, Mr. White," tshe?aid when ea was alone with the master. " I have told you oTflre that I did not approve of your hrtin?r somulch, and now it is rroved that you puni.h without any nadcient cauce, and o suspicion only. I shall report the cue at ice to the Squire, and unless I am grnatly tetaktn you will have to look out for anot!.er 'I r very sorry, Mrs. Ellison,indeedl am: ad it is not often I use the cane now. If it la t tn ar.yone else I might hae believedl hi:n, Lut Etuea WVhitney is always in mischief." ".N wonder he is in mischief," the laicy said erely, "if he is pnished without a hearioc ir al the misdtet of others. Well. I shill hlve the matter in the squire's hands, but I a:n L he will a? more approve than I do of the t.lien:to nog ill'tretedt." e,uen Whitney was the ?on of cu:er near Tipping. John WLitn-y ah beh cenider a wellta do Lrnn. ht t had speculated in corn and hadl P.: it:0 lficuties. and his Iity was on" lay '-a :! oating o the millodfm. No ore knew" !'he:r tit was the result of interntion or or c-?-', lt th, jury of his neighbours w.o esat uon the inquest gatve him the benefIt of the t arIt' brtrught in a verdict of "acidelf tal li." H was ut tenant of the mill. and ? aill t}e crelters awere eatified there were u ya fewp lunds re?mininc fcr tLe wolt'w. ih tLee she ope:nied a little shop in Tiploin, s.thu: blhneou col!ection rf tinware and r:.'tmongerv, co(Lttna, tapes, uand small Ies t:r I ilhery, with toys, sweet, aund lre t'rts were small, but the squire, who S,?,Wn her hsband. ehrgerd but a noiinal r?tfr the colttage, and this was more thEn I ,the frit-trees in the garden, which ..o 0s0hei her with potatoe and ve etab!n. t..& she managed to soppart her boy and i' tth arrJau ancpemctlenwth1 auder.
herself in tolerable comfort. She herself had been the daughter of a tradesman in Lewes, and many wondered that she did not return to her father upon her husband's death. But her home had not been a comfortable one before her nmarriage, for her father had taken a second wife, and she did mnt get on well with her step mother. She thought, thcrefore tEhat anvthtien would l1e better than r turning with Lher trlo to a home where, to tho mistress at l!ast, sthe would be most unwelcome. She had as a girl received an educattion which raied herStnewhlat aboRe1the other vil!laers of 'lipping, and of an evening she was in the habit of helling Ileuben with his lessons, and trying to correct the broadness of diatect wh;ch he picked up from the other boys. She was an active lnd bustling woman, managed her little shop well, and ept the garden with lleuten's asistance in excellent order. Mrs. Ellison had, at her first arrival in the village three years before, done much to givo her a good start, by ordering that all articles of tse for the house. in which she dealt should be purchased of ler; and she highly n preaed of the energy and independence of the yolng widow, linut lately therehad been an estrangement between tae rlnire's wife and the village slelpheeper. lrs. e.llion, whose husband owned all the houses in the village, nawell as the !and sue roud:ding it, was accustomed to speak her mind very freely to the wives of the villagers. She was kindnves itself in case of illness or distress, and her kitchen supplied soups, jellies, and nourishing food to all who rleuired it: but in return Mrs. Ellison expected her letures en waste, untidiness, and mismanagement to be listened to with respect and reverence. She sas then at once surprised anti d'ispleasedl when two or three months before, having spoken sharply to Mrs. Whitney as to the alleged de. tinquencie of leuben, she found herself todedly, though not disrespectfully, replied The other boys are al was set against my Oleuben," Mrs. Whitney said, "because he is a stranger in the village and has no father, and whatever is c one they throw it on to him. The hay is not a bad boy, ma'm-not in any way a haI boy. He mar oet into mischief like the rest, but he is not a tbit woo than others, not half la had as some of them: and those who have told you that he is haven't told you the truth." Mrs. Ellison had not liked it. She was not acc'?tomed to be answered except by excunes and apologies, and Mrs. Whitney s independent manner of peaking came upon her almost as an act of rebellion in her own kingdom. She was too fair, however, to withdraw her custom from the shop, but from that time the had not her. self entered it. Ileuben was a sourec of annxety to his mother, but this had no refertnce to his conduct. She worried over his future. The receipts from the shop were sut!idcieant for their wants, and indeed the widow was enabled from time to time to lay bt a pound against ead times, but she did not ee whalt she was to do with the boy. Almost all the other lads of the village of the same age were already in the ields, and Mrs. Whitney felt that she could not much longer keep him idle. The question was. whtt was she to do with him ? That he should not go into the fields the was fully determined, andher great wish was to apprentice him to tome trade; bat as hier father had recently died she did not see how she was to set about it. That evening at dinner Mrs. Eilison told the sluire of the scene in the schoolroom. White must go," he said, "that is qutoe evident. I have seen for ome time that we wanted a voutner man more abregat of the tir,n hanWhite is; but I don't like turning him adrit altogether; he has been hero up. ward of thirt years. WhatE ta todowith him?" Mrs. Ellison could make no tuggestion, bhut she, too. disliked the thought of anyone in the vrillae being turned adrift upon the world. "The very thing!" the squire eaclaimed suddenly. ;'ISoe will make him clerk. Old Peters has long been past his Owrk. The old man must be event~onve if he's a dag, and his voice quavers o tenai it makes the boys laugh. lie can hae his cottage rent-free and three or four shillings a week. I don't oupjeese it will be for many years. As for White, he cannot be much boe sixtiy lie will fill the place very well. I am sure the vicar will agree, for he has been spealinge to me about e'tersbeing past his work for the last five yea o. What do you say, my dear'" ;I think that will do tery welt, Wilhiam," Mrs. Ellison replied, and will get over the difficulty altogether." "So you tee, wife, for once that boy of Widow Whitney's was not to llame. I told youn you took tnose stories en trust against him toe readily. The boy's a hit of a pickle, no doubt, and I very nar gavre him a thrashing myself a fortnight since, for on going up to the seven.acre field I found him riding bare-backed on that young pony I intended for Kate." "You don't say to, William'" Mrs. Ellison ecaimed, greatly shacked. "I never heard of sch an impudent thing. I really wonder you didn't throsh him." "Well, perhae I hould have done so, my dear; but the factis, I caught sight of him some time before he saw me, and he was really sitting her so well that I could not find it in my heart to cal out He was reollydoingr me a service. The pony had never been ridden, and was as wild as a wildgoa Thomas itoo old, in fact, to break it in, and I should hare had to get someone to do it, and pay him two or three pounds for the job. It was not the first time the boy had been on hor back, I oeld see. The pony was not quite broken, and just as I came an the scen was tryingit best to get rid of him, but it couldn't do it; and I could see by the way he rode her about afterwards that Le had got her completely in hand, and a very pretty-going little thing be will turn out." "But whatdid you nsay to him. Wflliam? I am sore I should never stop to think whether he wasbraking in the pony or not if I aw him riding about." "I darrena not, my dear," the squire said laughing; "'but then, you see, yo have never benabo.r, and I have, and f an make l lowr saee,. .Ianya pony trd hormse havoe Ibroken in in myr time, and have gout orn the bai of more than one without my father knowing anthing abouat it." " Yes, bhat the were your fathers hoeam s, WillmaE." n rsd tlinonprntedl; "that maes all the difference." "I don't suppose it would have made much ditteronce to me," the squire laughed, "at that time. I was too fond of borflesh, evena from a boy. to tde pnrticular whoe re rstt wat s I g n erice. Itowever. of course, afteor waiting till he tad tone, I gae the young camp a blowine.gu ." "lNot much of a blowing.tSip, I aD ero," Mrs. Elk:e.on eaid: "and as lilkely as not a ariling at tt.e end of it." "\,ell, Mary, I must otn," the sa.lire said p:eae.intly, "that a shilling did findits oas out of mly i~nIcet into his." ' "It's tete Ld of you. Williae." ?tn. Ellicon caid indiacttlv. "'Irire is this "bu, who is notoeroul a s'caperaTCe, len the . irtinence to ale t your horsc, and you in. coorale hin his b isdeods by gioing hita a ehllor." "Well, my dear, don't you see I saved two ouads nin:et n byth t ran acoS n. tosira.?." ot uele morte eiriouslr, "I think the 1, has been maligne ; Irdon': fancy he's a ho lod at all. A little mrichief and so ,n. but noro the worse fer that. Biidtt, yu e n'k-a, I know his ather, sad .ave sat ma'iy a tib e on horeback chalttigup to him at te do-r f hi, mill, anr trae.t noIre thnn one ClO'e ef go?l ale 'hich his wife has brought out ?im. I am nOt altc;oeher easy in mys eous:ireo alnut then. If there badebn as stesefripten goet up fr the widowa tt.i de-th,I sheould haten eut me name down for twenat ypounds, ani all thai I baoe done for her is to take eightenr. pene n.we-eKt v that cothiagc of theirs. N o, I called the e to me when he got ot, and Iredty seared he' lo:,ked a hea he saw me. When he came up I t.rsked himt how he dared to ride my horses nb;ut witllout mr leave, o)l eonrt he 'eld Ie was eu.rry, TiL tea:t nrethit g, and he ad ae d us s.ort of en cuse, th.t he usre from a child t, rem thre hor's at the nill dwn tte the era for w eer, ated that bis father ye':or.lly hE1a a yvulCt onc ortw? in that pue~idt,-k cif hh tr tie ceoii -'1,::! he used oftea to rids them :and ?t eeing he rn one h day gallrengi at usl the fieli :erd tit"oR up its hel, he w. c terrt w-It.r nhe could ,it a honir still and es ciatly !,snther he clit keee on that or y's eack. Then Le et to try. "Thttpo~ny Pf, n' him neverol fe-e sat ,:t ; tne no , wreer, u~ he h r: atn i a ilr a nead T, l :: veChiO oflt role' toe a trille, bue he moletriel h:tm at Iost: and he vl'Ult?l me tl:at he ad sever urni the stick, aed certainy he had n, ens whet I saw him. I oe lhe im. etu cre. that he knew ho ought rt.' ,? hve iino it: but that. a he iad taken r int hand., he might ~ nish it. Is it that I inothoe to haer it troeken in for Ktr, and tht a e he d to aeosentm the ponar ti, err" a la:y. 'Ih!, 1 gave him a shilleng, and t;.elt him I we-il live him fine more ohenl he coUlI teti me the leo' wo sutfidcnetaly brken mnd gent."e to c.ir Mrs. Ellison ahook her head in dernr;g.r - ", It is of no ue, Willm. ,m" talkin, ho the villgern as to the warv of their boys, if tIt o the way no-a counteract my advice." "int II don't alwrsy my dear," the ariue
said blandly. " For instance, I shall go round tomorrow ,ornine with my dog whip to 'Ihorne', and I shal offer him the choice of gving that Loy of his thie soundest thrashing he ever had white I stand by to see it, or of going out of his house at the end of the tuwirter. I rather hope he will choose the litter alternative. That hber-slop of his is the haunt of all the idle fellows in tho villa-.' I have a stroeneg ?upiion that he is in le:ruoe with the poacheis, If he doe n't poach hi?oelfi anl the first o~qertunity I get of laying rao finger upon hnllt, out he goes."' A few days later, when Kate E:lison issued front the gate of the hou I , wK;:h lay just at the end of the village, with the backet contain. ing some jelly and medicine for a sick child, she found tel?ua Whitney awaiting her. Io totehe1d tie cap. "Pleae. nmss, I made bold to come here to thank you for having cleared me." " But I couldn't help clearing you, Reuben, for you see I Knew it wasn't yoea." " Well, miss, it was very kind all the same, and I am very much obliged to you." ".But why do you get Into scrapes " the girl said; "if you didn't you wouldn't be sus. pected of other thing,. .Mamma re2l the other day you got into more scrapes than any boy in he village; and yoe look nice too. Whydo you do it:" "I don't know why I do it, miss," Reuben said shamefacedly. 'I suppose it's because I don't go into the fields like most of the other boys, and haven't got much to do. But there's nn great harm in them, mis; they are just larks, nothing worse." "Yon don't do really bad things i" the girl asked. "No. tmiss, I hope not." " And you don't tell stories, do von l" "No. miss, never. If I do anything and I am asked I always own it. I wouldn't tell a lie to rare myself from a licking." "That's right," tae glrl said graciously. She caught somewhat of her mother's manner from going about with her to the cottages, and it seemed quite natural to her to give her advice to this nillage scapegrace. "Well, try not to do these things again, Reuben, be?ause I like you, and I don't like to hear people say you are the worst boy in the village, and I don't think you are. (;od.bre," and Kate Ellison proceede'd on her way. lieuben smiled as he looked after her. Owing to his memory of his former postion at the mill, and to h:s mother's talk and teaching, Rleuben did sot enter. tain the same feeling of respect mingled with fear for the squire's family which was felt by the village in general. Instead of being two years younger than himself, the girl had spoken as gravely as if the had been twenty years his senior, and Reuben could not help a smile of amusement. "eShe is a dear little lady," he said as he looked after her, "and it's only natural she should talk like her mother. But Mrs. Ellison means well too, mother says : and as for the iuire, he is a good fellow; I expected he would have given it to me the other day. Well, now I will go up to the pony. One more lesson and I think a baby might ride it." As he walked alone he met Tom Thorne. There had been war between them since the affair of the broken window. lcuben had shown the other no animosity on the subject, as, having been cleared, he felt in no way ag grieved, but Tom Thorne was very sore over it. In the first place, he had been found out; and although Reuben himself had said nothing to him respecting his conduct in allowing him to be fogged for the offence which he himself had rommittel, others had not been so reticent, and hehad had a hard time of it in the village. Secondly, he hadlt ben severely thrashed by his father in the presence of the sqluire, the former Isrin~ on the lash with a vigour which satified Mr. Ellison, the heartiness of the thrashing being due, not to any indignation at the fault, but because the bho's conduct had excited the s luire's anger, which Thorne for many reasons was anxioas to deprecate. lie was his land. lord, and had the power to turn him out at a quarter's notice: and as there was no possi bility of obtaining any other house near, and he was doing by no means a bad trade, he was anxious to keep on good terms with him. Tom Thorne was sitting on a gate as Reuben passed. "You think you be a fine fellow, Reuben, but I will be even with you some day." " You ran be even with me now," RIeuben said. " if you like to get off that gate." "I bain't afeard of you Reuben, don't you go tothmk it; only I ain't going to do any tightingnow. Farther saysif I get into any more rows he will par te out. to I can't lick yeao now, but some day I will be even with you." " That's a gooJ excuse," Reuben sail scorn ful!y. "However, I don't want to fight if you donrt. only you keep your tongue to yourself. I don't want to say nothing to you if you uon't say nothing to me. You played me a dirty trick the other day and you got well larruppel for it. so I don't oweyou anygrudge: but, mind you. I don't want any more talk about your getting even with me, for if you do give me any more of it I will fetch you one on the nrse, ani then you willhave a chanceof getting even at once." Tom Thorne held his tongue, only relieving his feelings by making a grimace after Reuben as the latter passed on. In the various contests among the boys of the village. Reuben had proved m so tough an advernary that, although Tom Thorne was heavier and bigger, he did not care about entering upon what would be at least a doubtful contest with him. Con. tenting himself, therefore, with another mattered "I will be even with you some day," he strolled home to his father's ale-house. The change at the school was speedily made. The squiregenerally carried out his resolutions while they were but, and on the very cay after his onversation with his wife on the 'ubject he went first to the vie.r and arranged for the retirement of the clerk and the instalrcnet of W1hite in his place. nad then went to the school. house and informed the master of his intenrticn. The latter had t ii expecting his d i'aissal since Mrs. Ellison had spoken to him on the previous day, and the news which the squire :ave him wasa relief tohim. His ,mlcmo'uts as c:erk would be smaller than thoee he receivred as schoolmster; but while I.e would not be able to discharge the dat;co of the latter for very much longer, for he felt the hjrs were gettino too much for him, Le would be able to rform the very easy work entailed by the c.erkship for many years to come. It wnas, to, a Jsiition not without dignity, and, indeed, in the eves of the vil!age the dclrk was a '-c"sace df far greaterimlrtance than the tchoolmaster, Its therefore tharkfully aceel-ted the o.rr, andI agreed to give up the school as acon as a suhbtitute could be found. In these days anyCne was conusideret good enough for a village schoolmaster, and the I-et was generally tllled by men who had failed as tradestmen and in everything else th'c put their hands to, at whotebo, sle lnluhcatun for the cfice was that th.y weTe allot reat tand writ,-. Istead of advertis:inrc. however, in the eenty paper, the luire wro:e to sn otd celleie frienl who was now in charte cf a I.Lenta parish, an;d naked thim to choes a mon ior the l',t. "I den't want a chap who will cram all sorts of new noti es into the heads of the chil Iren." the s.luire said; "I don't think It weauld do them 'a.ny goO, or fit them any better for their lstationS. 'te boys have got to be farm labihourers and the ei:l to be their wires. and if they can read really well and write fairly it's about as much as they want in the war of learning: hlt I think that a really eon:est scrt of man mi-ht do therm ?ood othe,'wise. .A echolmaster, in say mind, should te the lehrgrman's best assistant. I di nt know. soy dear fellow, that I c:n ex lain in words me're exactl:r what I moan: but Sthink you wil undlerstrnd e. andm will send down the srcrt f man I want. The co:tane is a comforltable sne, there's a good Lit of garden attached to it, and I den't nrind paying a few shiclings a.wsek mere than I do noew to get the sort at man I want. If he hes a wife, so much the better: she might teach the gir's to sc:r, which weuld to. to ninel out of ten. a deal mere tre tihan reaoisig and writing, and if sh* could use her ieedle and make uat dries'-s and that sort of tling she might adde to their incorre. Not one wrman in fil, mn the village can make hier own clothes, and ther have to go to a place three tri? awayn to get themn dne."'' A wa~ek latr the sluire ree-ired an answer from ,is friend. saying that he ha-l clhosen a snas and .is witfe whoes Le th:ughit would suit. " 'The po.r fe!low was rather a Ciyri-l," hc stil : "e is a wood engiraer by trade, but he fe II down-itairs and hurt lie tack. The dioctor iwhno ::tentel htm at thie hb?sliotal spoke to te stst him he said thathemnight, under favour. ablhe circums:tances, get hetter in time, hut that h9 was d'eleaei ant absolitely ieedd change of air and a country life. I have teen him several tins, r. nl have been much sltruek with his inte.ligeoco. iehas ton nmu(h dekressed at te .ing forIiid ea to work. t hat L c , .red up greatly since I told him of s-cur ester. Iha e no iobte he will do well. I hase selectedlhim rot anly for that rea' , etat lv c as,' hS wife is as suitable a, he it. She is an admirable soang wyman, and was a drlesmaker betre the married her. She is teli ghted at the idea of the ehacege, for. although the money will l veryv much leas than he earned at his trade, she hh always ICen afraid of h:s health giving way, and ia convinced that fresh air and the garden you speak of will put new life into him." Ike s;uire ro ?:t quite etafied with the
letter; but, as he told himself, he could not I expect to get a man trnined specially as a r scloolmaster to accept the post; and at any- c rate, if the man was not satisfactory his wife i was likely to be so. He accordingly ordered ] his groom to take the light cart over to Lewes the next day to met the coach when it came in, anl to bring over the, ew es:h:,lrnacster, a his wife, and their belon-ins. 3Mrs. 1:lliscn at once went down to theo village and got a woman to scrub the cottage c from top to bottom and put evcrything tidr. Tho furniture wenot with the hore'', and had been pLovided by the slaire. Mrs. Ellison went over it, and ordered a few more thin:s c to make It more comfortable for a married t couple, and driving over to Lewes ordered a carpet, curtains, and a fee; other little com. t ftors for it. James Shrewsbury was, upon his arrival, t much pleased with his cottage, which con trastedl strongly with the room in a crowded street which he hal occupied in London, and his wife was still more pleased. t "I am sure we shall be happy and comfort. a able here, James," she said, " and the air feels t so fresh and pure that I am consinced ou will soon got strong and well again. l'hat is money to health? I am sure I shall be ten times as happy here as I was when you were I Darning three or four times as much in Lon. don." Thesquire and Mrs. Ellison came down the t next morning at the opening of the school, and f after a chat with the new schoolmaster and his wife, the squire accompanied the former into the school.room. "Look here, boys and girls," he said, "Mr. Shrewsbury has come down from London to teach you. lie has been ill and is not very strong; hope you will give him no trouble, and I an tell you it will be the worse for you if you do. I am going to look into matters myself, and I shall have a report sent me in regularly as to how each of you is getting on, with a special remark as to conduct, and Ican tell you if any of you are troublesome you will End me down at your father's in no time." The sluire's words had considerable effect, and an unusual quiet reigned in the school after he had left and the new schoolmaster opened a book. They soon found that his c method of teaching was very different to that which they were accustomed to. There was no shouting or thumping on the desk with the cane, no pulling of tars or cuting of heads. Ererytling was explained quietly and clearly; and rwhn they went out of the school all agreel that the new master was a greit im provement on Master White, while the master i himself reported to his wife that he ha I got on I better than he had expected. CIIAPTER II.-TItE PoasoScn Doe. The Iwys soon felt that Mr. Shrewsbury really wished to teach them, and that he was ready to asist those who wanted to get on. In the afternoon the echoolmaster's wife started a sreing.dclass for the girls, and a week or two 0 after he came the schoo!master announced that such of the elder clas of boys and girls who chose to come in the evening to his cottage could do so for an hour, and that he and the boys would read, by turns, some amusing book while the girls worked. Only lReuben Whitney and two or three others at tint availed thems-lres of the invita tion, but these spoke so highly of their evening I that the number scon increased. Three-quar ters of an hour were spent in reading some 1 interesting work of travel or adventure, and then the time was occupied in talking over what they had reed, and in expa!ining anything which they did not understand: and, as the evenings were now long and dark, the visita to the schoolmaster soon came to be regarded as a privilege, and proved au incentive to work to i those in the lower cl?-es, only these in thel fint place being admitted to them. lReuben worked hard all through the winter and made very rapid progress, theschoolmaster, seeing how eager he was to get on, doingevery- 1 thing in his Iower to help him forward, and lending him books to study at home. One morninc in the spring the squire looked in at Mrs. Whitney'sshop. "Mrs. Whitney," he said. "I don't know what you are thinking of doing with that boy of yours.ra Mr. Shrewsbury gives me an excel lent account of him, and sars that he is far 1 and away the cleverest and most studious of the boys. I like the lad. and owe him a good turn for having broken in that pony for my daughter; besides, for his fathers sake s should like to help him on. Now, in the firt lace. what are you thinking of doing with him? "I am sure i am very much obliged to you," Mrs. Whitney said. '"I was thinking when he gets a little older of apprenticing him to some trade, but he is not fourteen yet." "The best thing you can do, Mrs. Whitney. Let it be a good trade, where he can use his wits-not a butcher, a baker, or a tailor, or anything of that sort. I should say an up. holsterer, or a millwright, or some trade where his intelligence can help him on. When the time comes I shall be glad to Iay his aplren. tice fees for him, and, perhaps. when you tell me what line he has chosen. a word from me to one of the tradesmen in Lewes may be a 1 help. In the meantime, that is not what I have specially come about. YoungF?nch, wh, looks to my garden, is going to leave, and if you like your bay can have the place. My gardener knows his business thoroughly, and the bhr can learn under him. I will pay him fire shillings a week. It will break ir into work a little, and he is getting rather old tor the school now. I have spoken o Shrewsbury, and bhe says that if the boy is di e togo on studying in the evening, he will d his work and help him on." "Thank you kindly. sir," ars. Whitney said; "I thinkit will just be the thingfora yearcrsobefore heis apprenticed. He wae saying only luast night that he was the bigrest baoy in the school; and though I know helikkes learning, he would like to be helping me, and feels somehow that it isn't right that be should be goingon schooling while all the other boyrs at his age are doing something. Not that I want him to earn money, for the shop keeps us both, but It's what he thinks bontit." "That's natural enough, Mrs. Whitner, and anything the boy earns with me, you see, rou canu hut by, andit will comreolfa usefdl to him sme doe." Heuton was glad whaen be heard of the arrann gement, for although, as his mother had said, he wans fond of school, he yet felt it as a sort of reproach that, while others of his age were earning money, he shonld be doing nothi:g. lie accepted the ofLer of the school. m:t'er to continue to work at his studies in the 1 evening, and in a week he wrs ins'alted in Ton rinch's place. The arrngecmeet was not the squire'sa origieal idea. but that of his younger daueghtleru, who felt a sort of proirietury interest na Ireuln. pasrtly becauae her evidence had cleared him of tthe accuatioo of breaking the i windows. partly because he had broken in the layi fcr her; sowhen e'e he-rd that the lI y anw lering, she had at i,:e asked her fat cr that lb:Puen should take his place. " I thir.nk he is a good ,llyr, lapa" she said : "and:f he was deste n ouh to brc'k in my leny I am sure he will te clver cnugh to wheel :i.e w.hel-terrow and pull needs.' "I should think he wou ld, laie." her father sxit laughing, "' aithogh it doesi not nactle follow: still, if yeu gusru.tee tLat he is a c od iov, I will siee atut it." "'a?mran dusn't think he is a ry gorod boy," Kate said; "bu ryou se, I apa. ma.na is a w o-an, and prhai a sh.e n oe't vl -. stand tovs and giraas oe -Il as I ,. I think he's ,god, an he t.!d me Le uver told stories." The souire lauhed. "' I dut know what ytur m a. ra wece:d sayr I that, puss. nor whether tshe would a creethat you under -and teo s a "d garLs better than she does. iHowever. I will taske your olinion this time an i give Icb an a chance." The rubjict was not menti?ened a-ain in Kete's he-aing, hut sh?e was greatlo plead cce moIring at seeing lIeueslr at work in the " ;?lol motrniur, leuben." she said. "hoced morning. trai," he replied, touching his hat. "I am glad you have cmn itn To-'s pllace. and I her? you willb h,:e gd an not get into scrapes. for I told l ap; I thou:.ht y(u would Lot: and you ree if you o e wll tuom round andhibetmee ae." "I wil try not to get into s:crape. Miss Kate," Leubn said; "I don't do it olten, you know.and Iden't think there will te much chance of it here.' Kte nodedl a::d walked cn. awl Ilouben went salbut his work. These was, how. ever, much more opiportunity for cettr:g mto scrape, than leuten imacined, aitho;.ugh the crapes were not of the kir.nd he had 1iotured. ICeine ncturcall caretiwa, he had not beh n there a week tftorei:n his eagerresse to get home to a porticularly interesting book, he foErgot to carry cut hes orders to shut the cucumber I frames, and sharp frcat com,.g on in the night the plants were all killed. to the immnns e in dign!ation of the gardener, who reported the fac: with a very eciclu face to, the s luire. " I am afraid that iboy will rever do, squire. Such carelessvess I never did see, and them plants was going on beautifullr." "Confound the young rasal ." the ?.ctre said wrathfully, for he was fond of cucumn r. SI will speak to him myself ; this sort of thing will never do." And raccordingly the squire sptake somewhat sharply to P'.entn, who was really sorry for
the damage his carelersmers had caused ; and no not only promised the squire that it should not occur'ain,but mcntallyresolvedvcryfirmlythat it should not. Ieo felt very shamefacd when Kate passed him in the garden with a serious shak'e of her ho-d, ig fying -,that she was ;hacked that he had the, earlygotinto a scrape ani discredited her reaoonmendation. 'The lesi was a lseful one. Hlenceforth tleuocn paid closer attention to his work, and even the gardener, who regarded boys ashis great trial in life, expresced himself satisfied with him. " Since that aflair of the cucumbers I must own,squire," he said a month later, "that he is the best boy I have come across; he attends to what I say and remembers it and I find I can trust him to do jobs that I have never been able to trust boys with before. He seems to take an interest in it, and as he is well spoken and civil, he ought to get on and make a good gardener in tim.?? "I am glad to hear a good account of him." the squire replied; " he is sharp and intelligent, and will make his way in life, or I am mis taken. Ilia father was an uncommonly clever fellow, thouch he mcle a mess of it aust at the end, and I think the toy takes after him." Among teuben's ether dutes was that of feeding and attending to the dogs. These con. listed of two Eatten, a pointer, and a large house-dog. who was chained up at the entrance to the stables. Reuben was soon excellent friends with the sporting dogs, but the watch. dog, who had probably been teased by Reuben's predecessor, always growled and ;bowed his teeth when he went near him, and Leucben never dared venture within the length of his chain, but pushed the brwl containing his food just within his reach. One day he had been as.t on an errand to the stables. lie forgot the dog and ran close to the kennel. The animal at once sprang out. Leuben made a rush, but he was not quick enough, and the dog caught him by the leg. Leuben shouted, and the coachman ran out, and seizing a fork struck the dog and compelled him to loose his hold. " as heh bit you badly, Reuben " " Well, he has bit precious hard," Rieuben replied;" Ithink he has nearly taken a piece out of my calf," as, on pulling up his trousers, he showed his leg streaming with blood. " Put it under the pump, lad; I will pump on it," the coachman said." Ile's a bad tem. pered brute, and I wonder the squire keeps it." "Thebrute ought tebe killed,"Reube grumbled angrily: " I have never teased it or worried it in any way. I wic;h ou had stuckt that fork into him instead of hitting him with it. If yoe hadn't tien within reach he would have taken the bit out of me; lie will kill somebody some day, and it were best to kill him first." Ihe coachman pumped for some time on Reuben's leg, and then going into the kitchen he got some strips of rag from the cook and bound it up. " You had best go home now," he said; "I will tell the gardener when he comes round what haha ppened to yon. I donbt you will have to lay up for a dayor two." As Reuben limped home he met Tom Thorne walking with another bor. " Heillo, Reuben!" the latter exclaimed: "what's come to you? yer trousers be all tore." " That brute of a honse-dog at the squire's has had hold of me," Reaben answered; "the savagebeat has had a try a good many times, butthi time he got bhold, and he has bit me SReuben had to keep his leg quiet for three days, butthe third evening he was well enough to go down the village to the school-houe. After the lesson was over he walked for some distanceup the road, forisleg was vrery stiff, and he thought it would be a good thing to try andwalkitoff,asheintended to go to work next morning. On getting up early In the morning, however, he found it was still stiff and sore, bathe tbought he had better go and try to work forabit. "I am lad you are back again," the gardener said when he saw him, "for there's a lot of work on hand; but I tee you are still lame. The coachman tells me it were a nasty bite." "it's pretty sore still," Reuben replied, "and I don't thik I can walk abaut much : but I thought I might helpin some other way." " Very well," the gardeer said; " there are a lot of plants which want shifting into larger pots. You do them, and I will take up the fork and dig upthat piece of ground I want to put the young lettuces into." Reuben worked hard till half-past eight, and then went on to his breakfast. On his return he was told the squire wished to speak to him. "It's about that dog, I expect," the gardener remarked "I sapposeyou know he were poisoned last night l" "No, I didn't know,"Reben replied; "but it's a precious good job. I wish he had been ioisoned before he got his teeth into me," Reuben on going round to the back door was asown into the library, where the squire was sitting. The coachman was with him. "Nowthen, Reuben," the squire said. "I want you to tell me the truth about this mstter. The coachman told me three days ago that you had been bitten by the yard-dog, and I made up my mind to get rid of him on the finrst op. Sportnit, bt I Ad be was poisoned yesterday evening.' He toppedas if expecting Reuben to say something, but the boy having nothing to soy merely replied: " Yes, sir, so the gardener has told me." "What do you know about it, Reuben P' "I don't knew anything about it, air," Reuben replied, openig his eyes. "Now, look here, Iad," the sqtire said gravely, "I am disposed to thlnk well of you. and although I consider it a serious offence your poisoning the dog, I shall consider it very much worse if von dmy it" "Blt I didn't poison it," Reuben affirmed; "I never dreamt of such a thing." The squire set his lips hard together. "Just tell me your story over again," he said to the coachman. "Well, yterday evening, squire, I went down into the village to buy some 'hca: just u I got back to t ge out runs a boy. It was too dark formeto ee his face, but I nasturally supposeditwereRenben; so I seid, 'Hello. Reuben, bow's the legP But the moment I spoke be turned off lro the path andran away. 'ell, I thought it was queer, bat I went on to thestable. Aboutaquarterofen hour after. ward as I wa a-caleaning up the bits. I heard Weolt howl; he kept on at It, so I took a lantern and went oat to see what was the matter. Hwastrollin abot and seemedvery bad. I stood a-lookin sthimwondeung what were best to do, when sudden he avea sort of vell androlled overand h e wa dei. . Ithought it was no good tellina you about it till this morning: and t~nkiog it oer, and rseeingh bow sudden lo it was, I cme to the 'linion u how he had been poisoned, and natnll think. ing that,as be had bit Renbn, and a how Reuben said he onght tobe killed, and seeing as I had met t-e bov a quarter an hour before the dog was took b~l , it cose tome as ow he had done it. This moring I knew for certain as the dog had been poisoned, for just outside of the reachof his chain there was that piece of paper a-lyingas you have got beforeyou." It was a picee of bhe paper, about four inches srquare, on which was 'ainted "Rat "Ya hoar that, Reuen; what hare yon to say?" the stuire asked. " I have cot nothing to say, sir,'" Reuben noswerel, "except that whoever the boy was it woea't me, and that I know nothing about it." "Wiell, Renuben, it will be easy for you to dlarvyourr!lf hy saying where you were at the time. 'hat a clock wua it, Robert, that you saw the bor c" "It wnssjit a quarter past eight, squire; the Fu ar r truc k j ust ,? l o lmadthe gate." "WVere you out or at home at that hour'" "I was cut, ir. I wentto the schol ma'ters." "What time did von leave there I' " I left at eight, sir." "Then if you got in just after eight it is elear that you werenot the boc," the saquire said. " If our mother tells me thiat vu were in at fce .irotes last eight that settles thequeation as far s y.a are e aeerned." "I di :n't get is till balf..pst eilgt, sir," Reaten said. lI walked about for a bit after I came out fromn school to try and get the tiff. noes oCt of my leg, .o 0. ti be able to come to work thi' eorning," "Wocs aovoze with you, Renben? Is there Inryn_ to s~y wat you did with yoirsell ti-tw-en eibt a?n I!flf ?st righti" N' o. sir." litut, atsl ,uot et!y. "I diln't s eak tea soul and didn't tee a scul. so for as I know. frla the time I came cu; o: the gate of the sc:o-l-hoaus till I c·: ho e." "D)oes ycur mother edl taok?et of this poiscn ?' the sluire Fs:d. pn ing to the pap'.r. Reuen locked at the Ilair. "Ye,. sir: Mirolieve s.hut ." " Well. my lasd." the t,. .rC c iI. "av. mus:t sCknowletgc tht el, 1t-... Ir c k c?cv ugly casin.t you. Ycu are k':;wn ;c ho.oet lt:s lid fckiah' r eair.t the c:., liturdlV enough, I al!it. A t-o aiutvt.,v r.u. -ao "i, by t:obertin the dirk comig, out iof th:. cat.er,. and that he wasa thole e r nr.o ' ,d puttor ioe irtved by the fact that he ran away when s;oken to. A quart.r of an hour later 'the dec diles of poei-n. TFe rpicon ecu er.ainle could getat thas, and by Tear orn adtission rou were out and sboat at the time the do. iasspois?ned. The c.s, laoks rey bhad agaiast yoa."
"I don't care how bad it looks," Reuben aid passionately; "it waa't me, squire, if that were the last word I evehd to speak." "Verywell," the ~auire aid coldly; "in my mind the evidence is overwhelming against you. I have no intention of pursuing the a matter further, nor will I, for your father's I and mother's sake, bring public disgrace upon 1 you; but of conse I hall not retainyoun here farther, nor have anything to do with you in the future." Without a word Reuben turned and left the room. Had he spoken he would have burst I into a pasion of tears. With a white face r he walkedthroughthe village and entered his c mother's shop. t "What! backagain, Reuben " she said. j "I thought yourleg was too bad to work." " It ien't my leg, mother," he said in as choking voice. " aoqure has dismissed me. lie says I have poisoned his dog." "Says you poisoned his dog, Reuben! t Whatever put suchan idea into his head " " The coachman saw aboy coming out of the t yard at a quarter pateight last night It was too dark for him to say for certain, hut he thought it was me. A quarter of an hour I latr the deg died of poison, and this morning they picked up a cover of one of those rat- a powders you sill. I couldn't sar where I was I at a quarter lpast eight when the coachman n saw the boy ; for a you know, mother, I told c you I had walked outa bit after I caee out from the school to get the stifness out of my I lea. So altogether the squire has made u his a mind 'ti me. and so he has sent me away." IReuten had summed up the points againt I hims.elf in ahroken voice, and now brokeinto I a paesiin of tear. His mother tried in vain to I pacidf him, Iuat indeed her own indignation at her Loy eing charged with such a thing 1 was so great that she could do little to console him. "It's shameful:" she exclaimed over and over again. "I call it downright wicked of the squire to aespect you of such a thing." " Well, mother, it does look very bad against me," lteuben said, wiping his eyes at last, "and I don't know as the euire is so much to be blamed for sur?ecting me. I knowand you know that it wasn't me; but there's no reason why the squire should know it Somebody has poisoned his dog, and that somebody is a boy. He knows that I was un. friendly with the dog; so puttingthing to. gether, I don't see as be cold help suspecting me, and only my word the other way. It seems to me as if somebody must have done it to get me in a row, for I don't know that the dog had bit anyone else. If it is anyone, 1 pect it's Tom Thorne. He has never been friends with me since that affair of the school window." "Iwillgoat onceand speakto his father," irs. Whitney said, taking down her bonnet from the wall "?lo, mother, you can't do that," Reuben exclaimed; "we have got nothing against him. The squire hs ten times as goodreon to suspect mes Ihave to euspectTom Thorne; so as we know the quire's wrong, it's ten times aslikelywe shall be wrng; bede, if be did it, of course e would deny it He is the worst liar in the vlge, and then folks world say I wasn't sied with doing it my elf,but I wanted tothrow the blame on to him st ashe didonme before. No,itwon't do mother." n. Whitney saw that it wouldn't do, andntdown gain. Reuaensat thinkiog for some time. '' Imust go away, mother," he said at last " Ican't stop here. Everyone in the rillage will get to know of it, and they will point at me as the boy as poisoned the squire's dog and then lied about it. 1 couldn't stand that, mother." " Andyou shan'tstrnd it,' my boy," Mrs. Whitney said, "not a day. I wil rire up the cottage and move into Lewes at once. I didn't go there before, for I am known there, and don't like folk to see how moh I have come downin the world." " No, mother, you stop here and I will go up to Iomdn. they say there is lots of work there, and I suppose I can get on as well as another." " I wll not hear of you doinc such a thing. I shbouldneverexpecttohear of you again. I shbuld alwa)s be thinking you had got run over or were starving in the streets or dying in a workhouse. No, Renben,mv plan's best. It's just silliness my not lihkin to settle in Lewes for of course it's better going where one is notr, and I shouldbe loat ina strange place. No: I daresay I shall find a cottage there, and I shall manageto get a living some. how-perhap? pen a little shop like this, and thenyo can be appresticed and lie at home." An hor later irs. Ellison called. IReuben had gone otairm to lie down, for his leg was ve~ypainfol. irs. Whitney did not give her visitr time to begin ' I know wharyou have alled about, Mrs. Ellison. and I dot want to talk about it with ou. The quire has grievously wrunged my bor. wouldn't have believed it of him, but he'sdoueit; sonow, ma'am, Igivea week's noice of this houne,and here's my rent up to that time, and Iwill send you the hers when I go. And now, ma'am, as I dou't want any words about it I thinkit will be better If you go at once." Mtrs. Ellison hesitated a moment. mever from the time she entered the village a the squire's wife had she been thau spoken to; butshesaw at once in M.s. Whitney's face that it were better not toreply to her. and that her authority as the squire' wife had for ones altogether aishted. Se theefore took upthe moner which Mrs. Whitney had laid on the counter, and without a word left the shop. " I do ioeve, William," sheeid, as. greatly rufled and indignant, she gave an account of the interview to the squire, "that the woman could have slpped my face if I had said any. thing. She is the most insolent creature I ever met." - Well, my dear,' the squire said seriously. " I ean hardy wender at the poor woman's in. dignation. She us had a hard time of it, and this must be sad blow. Naturally she believe in her ton's innocence, and we must not sl'ogrther blame her if she resents his dismissal. It's a sad bounces altogether, and I know it will be a worry andtroubleto me for month,. Mind, I don't iloubt that the boy did it: it does not senm poesible that it should Ie otherwise, still it is not asoolutdly proved: and upon my word I wish naw I had said nothingstallabout it I like the boy, and I liked his father befre him: and a-thiasstorymust get aboaut, it evs notbut dohim erious damage. Altogether it is a most tireome buosines., and I would give a hundred pounds if it hadn't tsken place." "IrelIw donot see why roa should worry aboutit, 'Willinm. Theboylhasalwaysbeen a troublesome boy, and perh? thislemon may do him ood." The quire did not attempt to argue the quesion. He fe. really anryed and ut onut, adafter wandering over the grend and stables. he went down to the 'chool.huese after the children had been dismised. "Have you heard, Shrew?sbnry, about that boy Whitnev'?" "*so, sir.I have heard nothing about him," the ?choilmostersid. "He rwes here yestr dyevetingas usual. His leg is no wone,I be. Thse dog.bites are alwaya s nasty thinr?." "I wishithadbeen worse," the squire id tetily; "thenhee would have been laid up qnietly at home instead of being about mm chief." - Why, w?hathashe done, sir?" the school. master askedin surprise. The squire related the history of the dog's death and of hr interview with Reuben. The schoolmaster looked serims and grieved. "What do you think of the mater, Shrews burj " the quire asked whenhe had finished "I would rather not ive any opian," the schoolmaster re'lied qmetly. "'That means you think Isom wromng,"the squire sid aokl. "Well say it out, man; yuo won't offend m e. I am half indlinee to think I was wrong myself, and I would as lief be told so as not." "I don't my you are wrsng. sir," the school. m r aid. "except t5at I think you auamed the bsy'e guilt toomnch as a matter of coure. Now I have seen a great delof him. Ihavea gremtlilng forhim, a?d believe him to be not only ai gola y intelligent and hard.working h t, bate prfetly trathful and open one. I ellow that the drcs n as are much gaiust him. bet theeridence is to my mind eompletely overbalanted by his akolotedenial. Yhoumut remember that he saw that you were quite one. rinced of his milt, and that in your eves his doial would be an sar?antion of the offnece. Therefore, rou see. he had no struMngmotive for retliog a lP. Who, kilkd your dog I do !:·: hnow, but, from n kowledge of his P rac:,r sni .asurorce of his trnthfiness. I a' perfectly c'i-ncued that Reuben Whitney 4:3 no: do it. The bor is in soame wav ver utiefir to teath Ier'I I tleach. I hearthat hi. ftLer w' in a C .-e,, .: in as a miller, ol hle ~nother is 'f c? r 'ent cltass alt'rgeher . c t.e or w'i-nenr th' -dllee. The toy . a r:ae r., -'. al iat hi,. a tho' ' ht : e,- ., t-i h:a i, ol h b ,,t his . part ilr.c',i?'e :l tc no: ao ' ien ' l::r y is, t r da . when I .ve n.t fi:t qui:'e equal t myr work hearol .i trr to ie: t!:,-o:?r ·a theyr tr 'el o:t. 'l ,lr he. a '?"t h.t:n a~s w11 ! a good in:ele?, and nao .? ti isa o c o n. I
feamo ould make me believe that he poisoned yurn dog." Bthesaidhe rwished it was klled," the squire urged as ddefence of his own opinin. "He mid so, squir, at the time he wal smartingwiththepsin of a sevr bite, and I thinkpro? blyhemeant no more thana man who derthe same circumstances would say, 'Confoundthedog!' oreven a stron thr ath." Mr. Ellisonwas ced, for when in wrath he was himself given to use traonpeapresio. . :"Idon't mknowwhat to say, Sbh.-wbo?y," hesaidat lat. "Iam afraid have made a mes of it, butcertainly as I fiat heard it the seseuemedtoadmit of no doubt. 'Pan my word I don't knowwhat to do. Mywife has just been up to me Mrs. Whitn, and the woman blaed ot at her, and wouldn't let her say a word, but gave notice that she should ivreupthehouse at the endofthe week. Ifit adn't been for that might arve done some. thing: but Mrs. Elison was very mnh aggneed st her maner. Altogetherit one of the most annoying things I ever had to do In the evening the schoolmaster put on his hat and went up with his wife toMrs. Whitney. The women had seen a good deal of each other, as they both stood somewhat art from the restol the i and in thought and speech difiered widely the labourers' wies, and on evenings when the sewing clan did notmeet the schoolmaster's wife often went up for an hour or two to r. Whitney's, or the latter came down to the Shrewcbury' eottage. 'We have come up, M. Whitney," the schoolmaster said as they entered, " to tell you how sorry we are to ber tht you are going to leave, and that we are still more sorry for the cause. Of course neither my wife nor myrelf believe for a moment that lekben poisoned the squire's dog-the idea is preposteros. Itold the squire as much t-day." Mrs. Whitney burst into tears. She had et up allday sustained lortl byidie thu end pay by the dire that Reuben should notse that ih felt it; bt the t hoht that all the illage would believe Reten guilty had ct herto the best, and shhadfelt o unwillingto fare anyone that as soon s Mrs. Ellison had left she had dclosed the shutters of her little shop; bt she broke down ncwfromher relief at haring that someone besides herself beheved the boy to be innocent. "I don't know what I shll do without you, Ire. Whitney," Mrs. Shrewbury said when the widow recovered her composure. "I?ahl miss you dreadfully. Is it quite settled that you wll got." "Quite settled, 'Jrs. librowabory. I wouldn't stop in the squir' house for anhour longer than I could help after his belierg Reuben to be gully poisoniog hin dog, oa not beliervg the boy when he mid be had nothing to do with it; e ought to have known my bo better than that. And he comsr.: up only the other day and pretendig he felt a kindness for my dead husband." "I think the squire was too hbaty, Mns. Whitney," the schoolmaster said. "But, you see, he did notknow Reuben aswedo; andl think, if you will excuse my saying so, you have been a little hasty too. The squire came in tome to tell me about it, and I could ee he was?not ated in his mind, evenbefore I gave him my positive oplno that enn bena innocent; andI do think thatif yo had not given Mm ElmisO notion so ehryytbe quire would have taken lack his words, and mid that, at anyte, uthere was noting ab solutely ?ved he would hold his judgmmt in sape un the matter was cleaed up." "And having everyone pointing the Oger at my boyin the meantime? No, thank you, Mr. Shrewsbury, that would not do forme. I was nota it hasty. Mrs. Ellison cme in here prepared to talk to me about Beuben's wicked. ness; I saw it in her face, so I wouldn't let r openherlip. If shehad Ishould have given her pice of mymindthat she wouldn't have forgot In ah y." " I en te undertand your feeg. Mrs. Whitney," the schoolmaster said, "and I have no doubt I should have acted as you did if a son of mine bad been suspected in the same way. Still I think it'a pity: for if leuben had stayed here there would have been more chance of the matterbeing cleared up. How ever, we won't talkabout that now. Now tell me what are your plam." Mrs. Whitney told her risitors what she b?d determined uptan As Lewes was only four miles off the schoolmaster said that he and his wife woul ometimes come over to see her. and that he hoped that Reuben, whatever trade he war apprenticed to. world still go on with his studies. He would give him any arice or assistance in his power. The net day Mrs. Whitney nd Reuben moved with all their belongings to Iewes. ono as Nxroo.