|Chapter Title||NOT GUILTY.|
|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, BT G. A. HENTY. CHAPTER V.-Nor Guary. The schoolmaster was the first witness callea for the defence. After stating that, although no evening wu actually settled for his coming over, he expected the prisoner one evening that week, and that he had promised to bring his tools over to do a littlejobof carpentering, he also detailed his visit to the lane and the result of his olservation there, and then gave Reuben the highest character, sayin? thathebha known him for five years, and that he had an ab:olute confidence in his integrity and honesty. " He has from the first," he sid, " proved a most intelligent and hard.working boy, anxious to improve himself and to get on mn the world. I ha? learnt allthat I could teach a'm and more. He is one of the last persons in the world who I shoal conaider capable of the crime which hois eharied with. As to his. hrtag any animosity to Mr. iillson. I can swear that on many diferent occasions he has expressed his high opinion of hin, and has declared that it was quite natural that with the evidence be. fore him he should have thought him guilty of poisoning the dog." The keeper of the wayside public-house where be had breakfasted, proved that he was struck with the prisoner's appearance when heatered, that he was very pale and seemed scarcely able to wlk. lie had sked him the nearest way to Lewes, and had inquired whetlher there was any chance of getting a lift. as he was anxious to get back as soon as possible. Mr. Pnfold was the next witnecs. IIe said thatthe prisoner had been apprenticed to him four years previously, that his general u---'act had been most excellent, and that he was re markably quick and intelligent, and was an excellent workman. During the time that he had been employed he had never lest a day. " At the time he w atprenticed to you, Mr. Penfold," Ileuben's countsel askel, "were you aware that the lad had been summarily ds charged by Mr. Ellison?" "I was aware of that fact," Mr. Penfold answered; and Rleuben with surprise looked at his employer. "From whom did yon hear of it :" "I heard of it from Mr. I:lison himself, who called upon me about the matter." "How was it he came to c.ll npn you, Mr. Penfold I" "The prisoner's mother had appliod to me about apprenti:in- her son. I had asked £L) premium, and saiidthat it wasn't my custom to psy any wages for the first year. hhe said she could only afford £0, and I thought that was an end of the matter, until a few days later Mr. Ellison called upon me and said that he had heard from the schcolmas:er in his village. who was a friend of the bay's mother, how matters stood, and that her apphca tion had fallen through owing to her being unable to find more than £20. I said that this was so. Mr. Elliscn then said that he was prepared to make up the deficiency, that he had a regard for the by's father, and that, moreover, he himsýcf hal, through a asty mis conception regarding the tol:cnnmg of the dog. discharged the lad from lis vornice, and that he felt uneasy in his mind at having been guilty of a piece of injustice. Overasu above the £30 he gave me six pounds ten in order that I might pay the bo half a cro.en a week fbr the erst year,which he said would be a matter of con, saeuence to his mother. ie requeted me on no aceount to let Mmrs. Whitey know that he had intervened in the matter, but to re. present that I changed my mind and was wilting to take the L2'_ she offered as a pre mium. He was particulrly anxious on this point, because, he said, she would certainly refuse to accept assiestnce from him, owing to that unfortunate affair al.'it the dog. I may say that from that time to this I have not mentioned the fact to anyone. and the sum of £20 was inserted in the indenture of aipr?ence T'eae- was a little movement cf atpplau-se in the court as :Ir. Penfoll care his evidence, and Reuben looked gratefu!ly towards MIr. Ellison and said heartily "I thank you, air, wth all my heart." The foreman of the yard was next examinel. He confirmed the high character Mr. PI'efi! had given Reuben, anl adding that l:e kn.?w the lad never entered a plubic-house, bat spent his evenings almo,t entirely t a ot:: estdring, for that he himself ha i many ti,::.e callasinandhad upon ave:y ccoau.n fau:.d him so employed. The counsel for the ' r;cution th'inln a dressed the jary, and threw di? ce?:t u;,n Reuben's narrative, which, he ,aid, was unvi portedin any material larticular. That he met the rest of the party in the lane was liklyv enough, he may have returned there wish th after the burglary, and prohibly it was :h-re that in a quarrel over the spoil he received the blow of whi ou have heard. " My learned friend his told you to dismiss from your mind thequestion about thattioa. ingof the dog four years ago, but it it tot possible for youto do so, You have heard that the dog was poisoned, and that the evidence asu so strong that his emllover at once ies missed him. It is true that 'Mr. l:lliecn has told you that he afterwards ch: ged his mind on the subject; bat after the evidence which Mr. Peafold had given of the kindness of that gentleman's heart you will readily understand thatno great stress can be laid upon this. The matter so far from being trivial, as my friend represents it, is highly important, inas.-uch as here we find that again the dogs have been poisonedjust as on thu first o:ccasitn. It is clear that burglars from London would be ignorantof the whtreoaboats of the kennels, and were not likely to have come do:,n pro rided with a store of l oliserne menat, had they not known from persons wall ac.iuainted wi'h theplace, of the otps that would have to be taken before an entry cull be ffect-ed into thehoase. Yurill threfrre eeo the extrait importance of this lnt. "I am porfeetly rady to admit that the eri derce is of awhollr circumltantial nature, but from the nature of the cuase it is neeewsar' that this shbould be so. Had Mrs. or Mr. Eliena awoke when the thiets entered their roam, it is probable that much more evidence would be fo;rtheoming. It is. however, for you to weigh the prot-hbilitio of the core. You have to consider whetherthe theory which Iha·re laid bhfore yon as to tle connection of the prisoner with this affair, or this wild story which he tells you, is the most probeble." The judge then summed up with a Istrong ibl agsinst Reuben. He told them that evidence for character was, of course, of importance, but thatit must nct be reied ul?n too far. The prisoner appeared mtdoiubtef]ly to be intalligent and well-condhted, but unfort.unst-ly his ex perienco told him that many criminals weremen of unosualintelligence. Stress had been laid by the coun?sel for the defence upon the fart that the pois?n?r was not knorn at any time to have onsaorted with nuspicious characters, but s·"Ibs?edby specslart ? ?ent with the anthar.
this after all was only negatie evidence. Aflisin of this sort weroe always conducted with EeCrcgv, and hail oa of ithes men cuesa dccin from London, as was probable enough, to m.ke n luiris s as to houses which could be berokn into with a Ir,:pec; of good hooty, Le woull naturally not nihe himself c;,nlicuuu:o . T11,o, had heaird the two stonies and must ju ige for temzI-.les, but he arred with the coonsI.l 1for the Fpe:ocfciou, that the fact that the ti.nctr hat been di.chargefl by Mr. Ellison for p10s n ino a do,-, and that on the night of the rbt! rr other logs were found poisoned. and that prolably by some one ncluaintel with the locality, could not but have an intlnence ur1on their minds. At the same time e he would tll them. that if they Lud a doubt in their minds it 0w.05 their duty to give the prisoner the benefit of that doubt. T!. jury coorulted t'zether fCr a mtinute or twoin the jury.tf-a and then eI ronsed eth:r desire to retire. A buzz of talk areoe in the court when they hbd let., Opinion was divided as to what the verdict would be. When the counsel for the defence sat down the general opinioi was that the prisoner would bte certainly acqliitted. but the apeech of the courrel for the prosecution, and the eummuing up of the judge, had caused a reactioe, and few doubted now that the verdict woull be guilty. So Reuben himelf thou:ht. It was, he felt: lard that, standing there to be tried for bur lary, the deci ion sheu!d. in fact, depend upon that unjust charge which had four years ago bton brl:coht against him. Ittec:n was in tt:. habit o(f what he callel arguina thinsa out by himself. and as he stood there waiting for the verdict he tried to put himself in the position of the jury, and he felt that in that case ht should ha:ve diticulty in coming to It w,o n:,t until aft r the lamps had been lighted that the jury returned into the box. The crier ehouted fr olrder, and there was not a sound !:card as the for, man toll the judge that they were not agreed upon their verdict. "Then you must go back, gentlemen, until you are," the judge said. " We are elreven Ione way and roe the ether. Won't that do. my lord i' "No, sir," the judge replied. "Youmuast e u:animoiu." The jury again retired, the judge and counsel went oi to dine at the hotel, and almost all thb public trooped out. Two hours aInter, as the iury did not return. Reuben Whitney was taken back to thegaol and the court closed. At 9 o'clock in the morning awarder entered. "The juro have come back into the court," he stid. "ifhey are going to return a ver. diet." Iteuben was again placed in the dock ; the seats open to the public quickly filled as the news spread through the town severa of the members of the bar dropped an, ndthen the judge came to and took hls eat. Reuben had occupie the lime in trying to judge from the fares of the jury what their verdict was going to be. They looked sulky and tired. But as Beu. ben's eye rented on Jacob Priestley, whom heat once recognised among the jury, the smith gave him an eneouragong wink. At least so Iteuben thought, but as the next moment he was looking as surly as the rest, he thought that he must have been mistak'n. " Aro ou agreed, gentlemen, as to the ver. diet you fnd in this case " the judge asked. " We are, my lord," the foreman replied "Do Tou had the prisonr guilty or not guilt l' "lot guilty, my lord." "Very well, gentlemen," the judge said tartly. "It is your verdict, not mine." At the foreman's word a thrill had run through the court, for when it was known the evening before that eleven were one way and one the other, the belief had been general that the majority were for a conriction. Reuben himself bad so understood it, and the verdict was a complete surprise to him. The constable raised the bar for him to leave the dock, and as he moved out his friend the schoolmaster ushed forwardad shook him warmly by the "Thank God for that verdict, Reuben. I am indeed rejoiced, and I own I hardly ex. pected it" ' I didn't expect it at all," Reuben samid in a choked voice, for his rudden liberation had shaken him more than his arrest or any of the subeqluent proceedings had done. "I eongratulate you heartily, Reuben," Mr. Ellison sai., putting Ids hand on his shoulder. The s luire hal waited at Lewee until 10 o'clock on tao precious evcn:ne, and had driven over again the first thing inthe morning, to anxious wan te about the verdict. "I din't hbeeve you guilty this time, my boy, from the first. I was glad indit,, to Lear theoverdict, for after the judge'e summing up I was sorely uneasy. And now, Iteultn, I hope," he said, as they entered the trest, "that you have quite forgicvn me for that old business. It has been the unfor. tunate cause of getting you into this ameir. Had it not been for tht, e ono one would ever for a moment have doubted the truth of your story." " There is nothing to forgive, rluire," Reubea said. "I never blamed you for it from the tirst; and even had I done so. your goodness. of which I enly heard yesterday, would have made up many times for any mitake yeu rmay have made then." ' That is right, my lad," the a uire said. "I am glad that matter is made up. And now I will not keep you, for I know you will want to be off home to your mother." lcabu n walked quietly home, so as to give the schoolmaster, who had hurried on ahe.d, time to break the news of his acquittal to his mother. Mrs. Whitney had remained in court during the trial, but had retired when the jury left to consider their verdict, being completely overcome with agitttion and excitement The schoolmaster had slept in the house, and hadl penuadel her not to go to the court in toe mornmo, fearing as he did that the verdict would be a hostile one. She completely broke down when she w!trs toll the news, and was still robbing when lteub-n arrived. The schoolmaster at once took his leave, leaving mother and son toether:, and promnet them ti return in a day or two. When he again came over he rsaw at once thatt ,rs. WL:ney was looking dt:rea.ed and unharpr. "\?st do you think, Mr. Shreinoury: reulen, tas that he sthall goatread out to Aus. talia. I tave talkel1 gai:-.t it till I am ho.rse, fut it's no gol. I hope you will persuaie him Sto givle :p uch a mad idea." "I wii hPor whit he has to te first, Mrs. Witle.r. IRt--kcu has generally agod deal to ony for lis odie (f a qeotion, and I must hear his r :.sn Lefotre I can argue against them. Nov, i.uk, sehat h?ave you to say for your. I ma-de up my mind ne.ile I wan in gaol," ItuoLn repl!id, ' that if I was acluitted I .eould go right awy. Thes things stick to a roan all through his life. That first affair four nears age nearly got me transported noe,, and if a smah! matt.-r like Itst did me such harm, 'hat wtll thin do ? If I had beeh proved to to i:..ic·at it would have kin dittereut, hat as it is I believe nioJce l e out of ten in court thought I was gauilty, and I am convinced that the jury wre eleven' :one against me, ealy the twelth was tn:erobhtinat than they were, a?l sthr atr e in. I beliere it wae Jacob I'iest Iy thle blacksmith who ht!l out, for ttho .ube of old times. At any rate, a great many Ieople rill th!nk me euilty all their lires untis som.e. thii; turllu0 to prorve my inoce:.ce. Mother ae, we mt-ht settle stmewho-rn et.-c where we ain't knownr; bht I should never feel safe. Years en someiie from Lewes might uee meand tell thoert 3r, or Tom Thorne might kehp cn my track, I eo-c:t rick it. I have been to Mr. Ienfold.and besps if Iam detrmitdl toe go h-u illi cancel c:oo identure f:r me. I have n3 IouLt I shall fond work of some cert cu: there. I am a I-retty goad workman :now at my own craft, and ifIcan't get work at that I cao tyron mny hand to omething eLe. My onlt troubleis about mother. I want her to1o with toe. I could make a living for hber out there, but sl:e nren't have it. She says silx m:tlhs at se-a will killhber, anl then ,helts all tortL of ideas in her henlaboutthlietivtIes. IIo,ewever. I hope that in two or thre,' yoars' time I shall be able to drte an-I tell hr that I have confortably ettkd , ant five a g3od bon?e ready for htr to come to anos f thittn she will joIn me." "Nerer.". Irs. a itner oidexitedtr. '"I nas born oat L?es nil hiave lived tnear it all tr days, and I will die her'. 1 amon not goi::n to tramp all over the woril andt set:le down among black p opleu in or!tandish pr:te. I could not do it, Mr. Shreshbury; it's cruel of hEm to ask me." The schoo:macter was eilent for a minute. lIe saw that Ilouko's mind wasn ,mly made up, and i hecould triot eny the force of his rema.?iieo'. It was true that t:eny peoile still conside re-I him guiltr: it was true that this sto"y oight cmpup asin years en and ruin his life; It dit scem that the b-t thing he could do was to cave the country. ,Australia is not so hn a place as you fancy, Mrs. Whitlney." healid at last. "T.ey do have troubles wuih the natives certainly in the outlylin~ ,settleentf, tut in the totns yeu hare lo more trouble then you have here. esides, evry ye-ar toe white eopulou.tion in in crewaing ano the insck dimlnishing. Six months'5vo'rgte is not so drocaltl as it seems. And thlough I do think that if IleuEit goes out it will be bettor fcr you to romain quietly here till he ha a home preoared for you. I think that wahen the timce comes you will chance yourmind about it As to Reuben himself,
I must own there's a good deal of force in what he says, and that until those Thorne have been sent out of the country his story mi?ht follow him. And I have no doubt he w'oubl d well out there. lie is a good work:::n for h;i na?e, and, as he eny., can tur Li?a ilan to almost anything. Labour is sder:o out t, r e , and hasihe has gut hie head C ,lrai..1 l ;:h: r:ct way I hara no doubt t!at he woil l ..li o:, his feet.' "I didn't expect this of you, ' ,r. ShOrcws~ bury," Mrs. Whitev sai, tbe'inning t, cry. "I thought you won!id have taken ny hart, and no0r you are going right 'ainst me." ' Not against you, tIre. Whitney, for I think that Rlenubn's plan is bt for you both. Ite cannot but sfiter if he remains here, and you wtllbe unhappyin seeing, him uffer. Greua as the loss would be t) you, I believe that you would be happier here alone than yeaou woull be were you to see hi' in constant trouble and worry. At any rate you would have the option, if you found life intolerably dull here, of joining him out there at any time. ut hoe do roe intend to get out, Reuben :" he anled, seemng that Mrs. Whitney made no answer but again relapsed into tears. "I shall work my way out," Reuben replied. " I can do any rough work, as a smith or a carpenter, and I should think I ought to get me pal:ao for my work. Anyhow I hare got twelve pounds slved tup, and if I can't get out free. that and my wore, t,..' '*.-? me." I In a short time Mrs. Whitney, thnrmg tnat Reuben was not to be shaken in his determina. tion, ceased to oppose it, and began to busy herself in preparations for his departure, which he hbl arrangel$ to take phace a. soon as poosiile. A day or two before starting hbe walked over to say good-bye to Mrs. Shrews bury. He stoppeil as hepassed the smithy, an 1 ie:ng Jacob Prie.tley at work aone he went in. "Ah, Reuben, is it yon'." the smith said. "Better here than in the dock at Lewes, eh ? I hears a talk of your going to foreign parts." II "Yes, I am off," Reuben said, "and 1 harve just come over to say good-bye to Mrs. Shrow.bury, so I looked in as I pasedl, knowing as you were one of those who found me not guilt, and would perha's give me a shake of the hand b.lfore leaving ' "Thaft'will I, lad. Yes, I found you not guilty, and I je-t tipped you a wink from the teo to let you know as it were all right: but, my eyest what a game we h had of :r. Never had such a game in all my born days." And the blacksmith sat down on a stool to indulge in a creat fit of Laughing. "What was the game?" Reuben asked. "Well, you know, Stokes,hewastheforeman, and a Cockney sort of chap he be. He turns round inthe box and says he, ' In coarse you are all agreed.' 'Agreed ashowP' saysL ' Why, agreed, as he's gpllly, in course,' says hbe. 'onthngsofthesort;'sayel. 'believee be's as innocent uas a child t or.' Then they all coms round me and jaws; but seeing as I wasn'tgoingto give in, Stokes he asked the judge for leave to retire. !'Well, when we retre they all pitches into me, and says as it's monstrous one man should hold out agin eleven, and that even if I didn't feel sure myself I ought to go as the others went. So Ididn't say much, but I sits myself down and brings aout a big caank of tread and bacon as my good woman had put into my pocket, and I begins to t. 'Look you here,' sas I, ' I ba' got four parcels like this: to.day beFridy, and I can hold on easy till Tuesday. That's how I looks at it. T young chap ain't had nothing to do with this 'ere robbery, and I ain't going to see he transported for what he neer done.' "Well, there we sits. Somntimes they would all talk at once, sometimes two or three of them would give it me. Ten o'clock comeC and they got desperate like, for only one or two of them had put anything into their kpocets, thinking that the matter was suro to be finished that night. When the me.ages were sent oat againas we couldn't agree, I sits down in a corner and says I, ' I ain't a selfish man, and anyof you as changes your mind can have a share of what I have got.' I doze off, bt I hears them jawing away among them. selves. It might have been two o'clock when one of them comes to me and gives me a shake, and says he,' Give us a cut of that bread and bacon; Iam well-nigh starved. hae got a wife and children to think of, and it don't matter to me whether this chsp goes to BDtany Bay or whether he don't; it ei.n't seem to me a certain ceso all along, so I will go along with you.' "Graduallr two or three more omnes, and when it got light I could see as some more was hesitating, so says I, ' Lookee here, my friends, those who has agreed to give this young chap another chance has lessened my stock of trea and bacon tretty conAiderah!e, and I ain't got more than enough for one more, so who's the nexti' Four more spoke out at once. I divides the bread and bacon among them; then, as there was nine of us a&in three, we goes at them and tells them how wrrong it is as we was all to suffer from their obstinaey, and we works on their feelings about their wives and children, an t!.en says I, 'I call it down. right ridiculous, when there's a hot breokfast on twelve table waiing for us, as three men should keep the rest from tucking in, just accuse ther won't give an innoc:nt lad the benefit of the doubt.' "Well, that finished them. The thought of the hot brenkfast madle the othr chaps so ravenous as I believe they would have pitched into Stokes and the other two if they hadn't have given in. So they comes round, and we sends out to say that we had agreed on the vardict. It were the best game I ever seed in mvlife." ;' Well. Jacob. I am sure I am heartily grate ful to you, and I shall not forget your kind. ness, though what made you so sure of my innocence while all the others doubted it I do:i't know." "Lor', RIeuben!" thesmith said,"there ain't nothing to thank me about. I didn't know nuwght as to whether you was innocent or guilty, and it was a good job for me as I had made up my mind anLut that the:e verdict afore I went sote ourot, for I should never have made head or tail of all that talk, and the fellows with white har cn thle top of theirheads as kspt bobbing up and own al asking all sorts of questions was enouoh to turn an honest man'sheal. The quc:tion was settled when Mliss Kate Ellis n-that's the little un, you know-ca?'e in here. Says she, ' Jacob, yo ore 0n this jury, I Lear.' ' Yess miss.' says I. 'Well, I hope youa are going to find RIeuten Whitney innocent' .says she.' 'Idon't know noinig saoutt, "a.as; 'folks seem to think as he did it.' Then she went at me and told me that the was sure you was innocent, and the squire he was sure, and he would be mighty put out if you was found guilty. So Itold her natural that the squire's being a good landlord I wouldn't dlisoblige him cn no account, and she might look upon it as good as settled that you should be found inno cent. So she tells me not to say a word to anyone, and I ain't, not even to the ould woman:; but in courose I don' consider as she meant you." Reuben coull not help laughing as he learned that -e had b:en ac'itted, not fronm an belief in hbi innocence on the rprt of the jcry, but br the intervention on his behalf of the girl whm hadI bfore foeuht his battles. Shakin' hands with Jacob, hbewent on to the s'honemaster's. .ts he waes .itting there chatting with lr and MIr. Shrews.ury, he saw Kate Eltis:n ,rn, cut ot h*r father's gae :don.: the rrld with her laskit as usual. Cat'hIn up0 his ::t he ran cut and soad tza'ea.!e I aw irtn h.r. .h. PReubent ." she sail with a 'mile and a nod, " I am clad to s:e you tfore you gno, for hr. Shre?rlury told ii.e y:ersay vo are oin to leave Lesand e:lirate. I a 't am-- " nd h?e hesitated a lotl'e. " very -l'd that they found you innloce?nt. I w.s quite sure you would not di such a thing." " I tm clod I came ovor to day.o tls Rilli son,''" Reluben esaid quietly--" very L?l at I hare met you, for I havle just l-rnel from Jaeob srelriet th.t it i' tn you l am in letted that I am notin the j re'nt l mooner t a nl- o:ler in aol under sn;unce ef trans?or~-tiou." The girl ilushed up hotly: " Ja:ob Priestley is aery wroin to have spoken haocut it. I told him he was novor to "nI hope rou will not blame him, 3tis :!i. son; he told me he hat naver n'or" rn a rord to nvteO d?, but te thouh5t teu 'lit not nmnn it"e . '!"lv to me. oI l ' c?: I l.e :as :~~mien. for ' shall carr away at:h me ocr outhe sea a !dop pritt ! s wslich wil Ins: ns!tng as I live fr the kindnesi yea have h.oan me, note inhl nrow but al:raos-- kind:oes which has saved me from a territle r unish' ment (or an offnc el f which 1 wainnoe:nt. Mtar tod ,less you, Mi's Ellini, and render ycor life a huppy eve." " Good-bye, i:ulen," the cirl gaisl gntly. ' I hope you may do well in the yes 11nd you ar' going to." S? sayin., she went oni her :rrndn. lteuben stood watching her until she e:ntered one of the c-tayes. then. putting cn hit up, he retuornet a the s:rholmoster's. A week later Reuben was wandering al-ng the si:de of the Londcon I)ocks, looking at the vees lying there, and somewhat confused at the noie -id b::stleofloltilng anklunloadingth'?t wa? going on. Hle hid come up the night before by the carrier's waggon, and had slept at the inn where it stopeed. His porting with his muther had been a vrery sad one, but Mrs. Whitney had so far come round as to own that she thought
that his plan was perhans the best, although ,he still maintained that she should never venture herrelf upon r di-ant a jourrey. He had iromis~ e that, should she not rhat'gC her mind on ttI, paint, he wrilI, whe:lor s?:c. ca,,ful or not, cn:ae hL:na to seeo her. The suire h:l ddriv.: orr tl, d'lyh o,:y lrhe loft to say gao! -rve to him. lie hal, through Mr. Sthreo?rsLr, ?direcly La lh: rdn that hoe was going, oliered to hly tp.wards paving his passage-money, lat tas ti. r teoaben had gratefully, though framly. de:lineo to aceopt. " iWell, Reuben, I ih va evcry good luck on your adventure," h.e a I; "the place you are going to will be a great coutry oner of these tarr, and you are just the feltow to make your way in it. i an sorry yea wouldn't let me help you, te ause I a~r in a way, you know,at the bottom of this business which has driven yout frola: h?rne." "Thankyou, ;seire,for your kind intention," Reubea answered, "but I am so much in your debt now that I would rather not go further into it. I am old enough now to make my own wayinlife; myonly regret in the matter is that I cannot persuade my mother to go with me." "I think she is right, Reuarn," the squire replied; "you can transplhnt a young tree easily enough, but you can't an old one. Some. how they won't take root in new foil. Well, tIn. I wish you every success. I suppoe I shallhear through threwesury from time to time how you arec gCns on." As Reuben walked along the dckhoe stopped to read the notices of their tdestination afixed to the shrouds of most of the vessels. IIe had already gene on board three or four whichiwere loading for Australia, but in none was there a v'ancy for a carpenter. le stopped before a fine.looking harque to which no notice was attached. "Where is she going to l ' he asked a sailor who was passing along the gangway to the ?hcre. "Shr'sbound for Sydney." the sailor said: "she warps rot of !ock to niht, anrd takes on beard a cargo of prisoners in the Medway." "Do you mea mwn entenced for transpor. tation?" Reubn askeld. "Yes," the man said, "and I wish she had any othersort of cargo. I have tbe-n out with such a load before, and I would as soongo with a cargo of wild beasts." Reuben felt a sudden chill as he thought how 'narrow had been his escape of forming one of a similar party. However, he stepped on board, and went up to the mate, who was superintend ing the cargo, "Do you want a carpenter for the voyage outh" "A carpenter," thematerepeated. "Well, yes, we do want a carpenter; the manwho was to bavegonehas been taken ill; but you are too young for the berth. Why, you don't look more than eighteen; besides, you don't look like a carpenter." "Ian a millwright" Renben sad, "and ti capable of doLg ny ordmary Jobs either in carpentering or smithwork. I as tenti. monihls here from my late employers." "Well, you can see the cptain if you like," the mate said; "you will find him at Mr. Thomuson's office in Tower Street No. ii." heuben at once made his way to the office. The captain refused at first to entertain the a. plication on the ground of his youth, but ship carpenters were scarce, the time was short, and there was a tiffculty in obtaining men for convict ships; therefore, after reading the very warm testimonial as to character and ability which Mar. Penfold had given Reuben, he agreed to take him on the terms of his working his p snge. Riuben went back at once to the inn whre he had stopped, and had his chest taken down to the docks, and went on board the P.tramatht, which at high water warped out of dock into the stream. CHAPITE VI.--Os ~I VtoruE. The next day the I'aramatta weighed anchor and proceeded down the river. Reuben had no time to look at the passing ships, for he was fully occupied with the many odd jobs which are sure to prnt themselves when a ship gets under weigh. The wind was favourable, and the Paramata ran down to the mouth of the Medway before the tide had ceased to ebb. She anchored for three hours and then made her way up to Chatham, where she brought up close to the government yard. It was not till late in the ceenong that Reuben had finished his work and was at liberty to look round and to tako an interest in what was going on on deck. "This is your first voyage, my lad, I reckon"" an old sailor, who was standing lean. ing against the bulwark smoking his pipe, re. marked. " Yes," Reuben said cheerfully, "this is my first voyage. I hare shipped a carpenter, you know, to work my way out to Sydney." "Yen could not have chosen a better ship than this 'ere barkee," the sailor said; " though I wish she hadn't got them convicts on ?ard. She will sail all the faster, 'cane? , you see, instead of being choked up with cargo, the de:k hlow there has been set aside for them; that will make easy sailing and quick sil:ng; hut I don't like them for all thit. They are a lot of trouble, and they has to be watched night and day. There's never no saying what they might be up to: there's mostlv trouble on beard with them. Then one can't help being sorry for the poor chaps, though they does look such a villinous b?d lot. They are treated mostly lk, dogs, and I havreb been on bokrl ships where the rations was not what a decent dog would look at." " But I thought there was regular food according to a scale," Reuben said. "Ay, there's that," the sailor replied, " and the Government officers see that the quantity's right; but, Lo' bless yot! they don't troble as to quality, and some of the owners bohays up condemned stores and such like; anything, thinks they, is good enough for a convict ship-biscusts as is dropping to pieces, salt junk as 'as been twenty years in cask, and which was mostly horse to begn winth. No wonder as they grumbles and gwls; a con. rict is a man, yo ee, though hbe heaconict, I and it ain't in humannature to eat such muck I as that without growhlin." S"What tonnage is the vessel " Remben asked. "'Leren hundred and fifty ton, anda fine and roomy a slhip as threis inthetrade, and well o-icered. I have made thres wang with the captain and rst mate, and the second mate waswith as Ion the last vyage." "Howmany handsr aethere altogether? " Twenty.-fe, counting Sou as one, and not a.conntingthe two stewards," "~Weareging to tak mie somepaen ? I gee." IRebensaid. "I havebeean at wor? 1 putting up pegs and shelves for themn." "Yes, there's eight or ten paseagers, I hear,," the sailor said. "Pasengrs don't mostly like goitg by eonvict hips, hatthen the faereare lower than by other ressels, and that temptsa few. Besides, thePsramatta is known tobea fanethip, and the?hipper h a good name, so we shall have a betuerlas of 1 passengers, I expect, than auslly royages 1 witheonvict ships; and besidesthepauenger 1 there will be the ofieer of the convict goas andasurgeon,sowe shall bepretty fallft" I " Andwhat willmy duties be whenweare ( at esea " "It just depends on the eaptain," thesailmor said. " You willbe put in a watch and work with the others, except that they may not send you aoft : tha: depends on the turns that yo ehiprlel." Ss hippel as carp enter and to make myself ?er.eralluseful, sad to obey orders. Ishall I be happy to to onything I can; hard workin bettor tth-.n doing nothing any day." " Ta:'t the sort, my hd," the sailoranid heraltr. " Now I am ,alhker, but, blessa vaur besrt: except putting a patch on a sail Itow andtthen, there's nothing to do that way, ond when not so wcanted I am one of the onlinarycrew. tIll if you works your uassge it aini't to be cepe:ted as ther will drive you the same as a ran as is paid. Ie's a fair mno is the skipper, ano you won't find sourfl put upma n loar-d the Psaramtta." " Can't I o oup aloft now " Ieabemn asked. I |woalI rather ac:ste--m myself to it while we are liyg rtealc, than go up when the indi's bltowing and she is heeiing over." " G;o up: to h s:rre you can, anJ I will go ua wi:h you oand tell suu s:n', of the names of 1 thel ropes, andl pat moa up to things. T'here's a phature in ha- liaga alit who lon ms in anyway :.each.:at!e. Soe of tbef hors oa c-ames on leard a ship ain't worth the:r oa!t in thee dais." The sailor lIl the way up the shrods. ]ernlcn lfoun it a~ica more dsihl.u!t than it locked. ie h..t seen the sxilort ruuninC up a nct !?own, nnl it lochkI as ecup as mountiol a SlIter; but th,- s-clh:es?s of thenratlines, which, is the eail-r tolt i:n., was the nome of the I "?Es of rope whE;ch answered to the rounds of a lat llr, roado it at first awkwartd. When tha'E re:hel the main-top the ailor told him to sit !own and lack round quietly, till he hbeamo necrto.med to the height. "It looks unnatral and risky at first," he ?it, '"but when y?u get :acc:stoane to it, you will feel just as safe when yu are astra itdle the end of a rat, andl thIe shii TO!ling fita t take her inusout, as if you wore stantding on the deck." As P.eubzn had henl the salers Ianglingand joking aloft, as ther hauled oua the earings of the sails, he hatd no doubt that what the sailor said was true; but it s'emed to him that he should never accustm himself to sit at the endof aspar withnothing hut the water at a vast depth below. It would be bad even with he ship lying
quiet ?s at present, it would be terrible with the vessel in a heavy sen. The sailor now told him the names of the mrnta anl stays, giring him a general idea of t, , wor;: aloft, and presently naced him whether he would like to return to the deck rnor or to mount a bit higher. Although le!slen was now becoming accustomed to the pnaition, hs would, had be consulted his inner feelingo, have rather gone down than up, but he thought it was better to put a good face on it, and to accustom himself at once to what he would probably have to do sooner or later. Holding on tight then, and following the in. structions of his companion, he made his way up until he was rested on the cap of the tep gallant mast, holding tight to the spar which towered still higher above him. He was sr. prised at the suie and strength of the psrs, which bad looked so light and slender from below. " Very welldone, lad," the salor said appro ingly. "You would make a good sailor in time if you took to a seafaring life. There's not one in ten as would get up there the first time of going aloft. You don't feel giddy, do you?" "No," Reuben replied, "I don't think I feel dd but I feel a strange shaky feeling in my "That will soon pas off, the sailr said. "You look at them ills behind the town, and the fcrts and works up there. Don't think about the deck of the vessel or anythin, bt st as if T were sittingin a chair Reuben did as the sailor instructed him, and as he did so the feeli of which he wa before conscous psed completlyaway. "I feel all right now," he said, after sitting quietlr fora few minutes. "All right, then; down we go. Don't look lbelow, but just keep your eyes in frot of you, andneer leavego of one grip till you manske sure of the next." Five minutes later bhe stood on the deck. "Well done, my lad, for the first time," the fiert mate said, as Reuben put his foot on the deck. "I have had my eye on yon. I shouldn't hare let you go beyond theto at the fret trial; but I didn't think would go higher till you were fairly up, otherwise I should have hailed you from the deck. You ought not to have taken him up above the top, Bill I he had lost hi head it would ha?e beenallen with him. "I culd se he wasn t Rmgg o lses ms bead. Trtme fornot leadin a yeng hand nto danger. He was a little fr td en he gt into the top, hut after he had sat down a bit his breath come quiet and regular gain, and Icold e therwaas no chan e of his neve (ingo" (To nE corenroED.)