Chapter 65530145

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Chapter NumberXVIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1891-07-10
Page Number6
Word Count7504
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEuroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 - 1920)
Trove TitleA Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia
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_A FI:NAI. R1ECKONING* .ATALEOF .Li.-'" LIFt IN AUSTRALIA. I:- 0. A. HE STY. : (HAPTER X': Ii. - Sz:trco Accousrs. Reuben soon cl, ,- - .speed of his horse. Anxious as he wva , . a :.e as soon as possible, he might, for aug: h- k:,ewr, yet have occasion to try the animal t<, tihe it-nost. and he there fore reduced the ra:ost racing pace at which he had started into an ordinary steady gallop. The horses were fresh and is good condition, and for several miles kept up the space without flagging. Then they were allowed to ease down into a walk until they got theirwind again. and then started into the pace, half canter, half gallop, which is the usual rate of progression of the colonial horses. They drew rein at last on a slight eminence from which the Donalds' stationr, a mile or so distant, could be per ceived. " Thank God," Reuben muttered to himself, "I am hack here a' last. There is no occasion for further hurry," and the horses were allowed to go at an easy walk. M'aon on horseback," Jim suddenly said, touching Reuben's arm. " Where-where, Jim ?" " Gone from de house, sah. trough dcm trees. Dare he go again, he gallop fast." Reuben had not caught siht of the figure, but he pressed his 'spars against the horses sides. " will see who it is, at anyrate. Jim, do you ride straight on to the house and say I shall be there in a few minutes." As Reuben rode at a headlong gallop towards the point where his course would probably intersect that of the horseman riding in the direction Jim had pointed out, he turned over rapidly in his mind the thought whether his anxiety for Kate Elleeon wa not making a fool of him. Why should he turn from his course just at the end of a long journey to start at full speed on the track of this fizure of which Jim had caught only a glance? Itmight be a stock man or someone who had ridden over from one ,,of the neighbouring stations to see how Donald - was getting on; but oven so, he told himself, mo harm was done by his assuring himself of that. It was not the way Mr. Barker would take to his station; had it been a neighbour -who had come over he would not be likely to leaveagain so early; neither of the constables would be riding away in defiance of his orders on no account to stir any distance from the house. Presently he caught a glimpse of the horse. san. He was not more than half a mile away now, but the view he obtained was so instanta neous that he could not distinguish any parti culars. "He is riding fast, anyhow." he said "faster than a man would travel on ordinary business. He is either a messenger sent on urgent business, or it is Thorne." He slightly altered the direction of his course, for the speed at which the horseman was travel ling must take him ahead of him at the point where Reuben had calculated upon cutting him off In ashort distance he would get a view of him, for the trees ended here and the plain was open and unbroken save by low bush. When the figure came clear of the trees he was but a quarter of a mile away, and leuben gave a start, tor he recognised at once the uniform of his own corps. It could only be one of the men let at Donald's, and, with an. exclamation of anger, Reuben pressed his horse to the utmost in pursit of the man, who was now almost directly ahead, at the same time utteringa lund The man glanced back, but to Reuben's surprise, instead of stopping, waved his hand above his head-and pressed forward. Two miles were. traversed before Reuben was beside him. " What do you mean ?" he thundered out. But the man pointed ahead. "He has carried off Mis Ellison, sir, and has shot Brown dead. I will tell you after wards. There, do you see, sir, over that brow there. At the moment Reuben sawa figure on horse back rise against the sky-line fully two milesin trout. " Ride steadily, Smithson," he said ; " keep mae in view, and I will keep him. We must overtake him in time, for his horse is carrying double. I shall push on, for I am better mnounted than you are, and he may try to double and throw us off his traces. If any thighappens to me don't stopfor a moment, but hunt that fellow down to theeand." Reuben had been holding his horsesomewhat in hand during the last mile, for he thought there must be some reason for the constable's strange conduct, but he now let him go, and urging him to his full speed, soon left the con stable behind. He knew that for some dis taneo ahead the country was flat andunbroken, and that the fu?dtive would have no chance of concealmentwhich ever way be turnmed. Upon reaching the spot where he had seemthebush rangerpass the wide plain opened before him, and he gave a shout of exultation as he saw that be had ganed considerably. The fugitive, indeed, had evidently not been pressing his horse. 'He thinks he has a long journey befor him," Reuben muttered. " I fancy he's mis taken. He thinks he's only got a constable after him, and that he can easuy nid himself of him whenever he comes np to him. No doubt he learned from some of the convicts that everyone is away, and therefore thinks himself safe from all pursuit when once he has wiped, out Smithson. All thebetter. I shall over take him all the sooner." Such indeed was the view of thebushranger, who kept along at a steady canter, troubling himselt very little about the solitary constable whom he believed to be in pursuit of him. When, indeed, on glancing round he saw that his pursued was within a quarter of a mile of him, hezeined in his horse, and turning, calmly awaited his coming. Reuben at once checked the speed of his horse. He knew that theman was said to bea deadly shot with his pistol, but he was con fident in his own shill, for, with constant and Essduous practice, he had attained a marvellous proficiency with his weapon. But le did not care to give his foe the udvantogo which a man sitting on a steady seat possesses over one sitting in the saddle of a galloping horse; he therefore advanced only at a walk. The bushranger put down the channe in speed to: fear caused by his resolute attitude, and shouted : "Look here, constable; youhad best turn your horse's head and go home again. You know well enough that one constable is no match for me, so you had best rein up before I put a bullet in your head. If you shoot you are just as likely to kill the young woman here as you are me, and you know I don't make any mistake." Reuben was already conscious of his disad vantage in this respect, for the-bushranger held the girl on the saddle in front of him, so that her body completely covered his. She was enveloped in a shawl which covered her head as weltl as her figure. Her captor held her tightly pressed to him with his left arm, whilehis right was free to use a'pistol. Renben checked his horse at a distance of rome fifty yards, while he thought over the bestcourse to pursue. As he paused, Thorne, fopthe first time, noticed that it was an offieer with .?hom he had to deal, and not with the constable who, as he believed, was the only one in the district. He uttered a savage.ex elamntion, for he felt that this materially altered the cenditions of the affair. "Oh, it's you, is it i" he said; "I thought it wasonly one of your men; butthe advice I gavreis asgood foryou as forhim. I advise yon to turn back before all my mates are down on you." "Your mates will never be down on anyone again, Tom Thorneme," Reuben said sternly. " We have wiped out seven of them, and the other isa prisoner." "'It's a lie!" the bush-ranger said furiously. "They are two hundred miles the bash. " . " -ere, but they are not neow, Thornm. " They are lying under the ashes of that but of yoners close to the tree whereyou buried your treasure; and it's I who am going tobrave help, not yen. Hy men will be up in a-few minutes," and he glanced round at the constale,-whom the bush-ranger now perceived for the first time less than half a mile away. Renben's words had the effect they were in tended to excite. They filled the bush.ranger with fury and desire for vengeance, iWhile the sight of the approaching constable showed him that unless he took prompt measures he would have trwo advernsarties to fight at once. WVithout a moment's hesitation he set espurs tohis horse and dashed at Renben. VWhen-wethin twenty yards he fired. Reuben felt a sharp pain as if a hot iron had been passed across his cheek. Thoene uttered a shout of exultation us he saw him start, but, as he kept his seat, again raised his hand to fire. In an instant Reuben discharged his pistol, and the bush ranger's weapon dropped from dis hand, "for Reuben's bullet'passed through his wrist. Throwi'igthe burden beforebhim headlong to the groond Thorne drew a pistol with his left ha~nd,and the two shots rung out ag?ain at al uostuthe same intant. Renben, however, was slightly the quickest, and this saved his life. Hi bllet passed through the bush-ranger's body, while Thorne's pistol was diverted some what from its aim. and the bullet struck Reuben'a left shoulder instead of his head. In an instant he had drnwn another pistol. "Surrender, or I fire l" and then seeing, by the change in the bushranger's face and by his oliapsing figure, that he was kadly hit, he waited, still beeping Thorns covered withe muzzle, for the bushranger had a charge left in thepistolwhich he still grasped in his left band. Twice Thorne rind to ra se it, but in vain. Then be reeled in the saddle, thie nistol dro1lped from his hand, and he fell heavily over oi th e ground. Reuben at once leaped from his horse a ndl rn to raise Kate Ellison, who lay motionlese on the ground as she had been thrown. Removing the shawl wrapped round her head he found she was insensible. Kneeling beside her, he - aised her head to his shoulder, and a minute later the constable galloped up. "Badly hurt, captain?" he asked as he f zPbihed by specil semogemenet ab the author,

leaped off his bores. for the blood was stream iag down RIenben's face, and his left arm hung usel o s s. "Nothing to speak of, Smithson. See to Miss . Ellison first. There is some water in my flask in the holster; just bring it here and spsinkli her face. I hope she is only stunned; but that scoundrel threw her off with such force that she may well be badly hurt." "Is he done fur, e.ptain 1" the man asked, glancing at the prostrate figure of tho. bush ranger as he proceeded to obey Reuben's in structions; " because if you ain't certain about it, I had better put a bullet into him. These fellows are fond of playing 'possum and then turning the tables upon you." "There is no fear of that, Smithson: he's hard hit. I hope he's not dead, for I would rather that he were tried for his crimes." It was some time before Kate Ellison opened her eyes. For a moment she looked vaguely round, then, as her eyes fell upon Reuben's face, she uttered a little cry and raised, herself into a sitting position. "What is it, Captain Whitney? Are you badly hurt?" "Thank God you have recovered, Miss Ellison. You began to frighten me horribly. I was afraid you were seriously injured. Do not look so alarmed. I can assure you I am not much hurt; only a flesh wound, Ifancy, in the cheek, and abroken collar-bone." "And you have saved me again, Captain Whitney?" • "Yes, thank God, I have had that good for tune," Reuben said quietly, " and this time for good, for Tom Thorns will never molest you again." "But can't I do something? Your face is bleeding dreadfully. Please let me bind it up,". and tearing off the bottom of her dress, she proceeded to bandage Reuben's face. The constable took off the black silk hand kerchief which he wore round his neck. "I think, miss, thiswill make a sling for his arm, and when that is done the captain will be pretty right. Do you think you can ride back, air?" he asked when he nhad fastened the handkerchief, ' or will you wait till I ride back to the farm and fetch help" . !'I can ride well enough," .Reuben .said, trying to rise to his feet, but he found himself unable to do so. The bali after breaking his collar-bone had glanced. downwards, and the wound was a more serious one thaen he had imagined.- "No, I don't think I can ride back, Smithson." "There is a light cart at' the farm," Kate Ellison said; "please fetch that.- I will stop here with Captain Whitney till you come back." "I think that will be the best way miss," the constable agreed, and mounting he rode off at once. It was an hour and a half beforehe returned, bringing the cart; but before he arrived Mr. and stre. Barker had ridden up on horseback, the former having returned from his visit to the farm just as the constable rode in. While they had been alone 'Reuben had heard from' Kate what had taken place. . "I did as you told me, Caplain Whitney, and did not go outside the door. The con stables kept a very sharp look-out, and one of them was always on guard by the door, so there really did not seem any possibility of danger. This morning as I was washing up the breakfast things with hre. Barker, a shot was suddenly fired outside the door, and before Ihad time to think what it meant that man rushed in. He. caught me by the wrist and said, 'Come along, it' no use screaming.' Mrs. Barker caught up something and rushed at him, but he knocked her down with the butt end of his pistol. Then he caught up her shawl, which was lying on the chair close by, and threw it over my head, and then caught me apandearried me out. I tried to struggle, but he seemed to hold me as if I were in avyce. I heard Alice scream, and then I must have fainted, for the next thing I knew was that I was beine carried along on horseback. I was so muffie'a up; and he held me so tight, that I felt it was no use to struggle, and I made up my mind to lie quite still as if I was still in sensible, till he put me down, and then-I think I intended to try and seizehis pistol, or to get hold of a knife if there was one, and if I could not kill him to kill myself. There did not seem the least hope of rescue. Mr. Barkerwas away and would not be back for hours. I sup posed that the constables were shot, and all the menround were away with you; and from the distance you said yon were going, I did not think you could be back for days. Presently I felt him stop and turn his horse, and then when he spoke I knew that he had not killed both the constables, and that one of them had followed him. When you answered [ thought it was your voice, though it seemed impossible; but I could not be sure, because I could not hear plainly through the shawl Thlen the pistols were fired, and I suddenly felt myself falling, and I did not know anything more till I saw you leaning over me. But where are all the others, and how is it you arehere alone? Of eourse you must have turned back before you got to where the bushrangere'were." "No, SI am glad to say we succeeded with that part of the work, Miss Ellison, and have wiped out the bushrangers altogether. We lrve gotone'of. them a prisoner, but all the vestof the:gang are killed. The distanceis not quiteso far as we thou"htitwas. It was a thirty miles' march and two sixties. We attackedthem at daybreak on the third day afterleaving." "But it is only the fourth day to-day, is it not? At least itseems so tome." ",t is the fourth day, Miss Ellison. When we found that the leader of the gang was not with them, and I learned from the man we had taken prisoner that he had started to ride back here twenty-four hours before, I was naturally very anxious about you, knowing as I did what desperate actions the man was capable of. So we started at once, and, after a sharp fight with the blacks, got down in the evening to the waterbole sixty miles on our way back, where we had camped the second night out Of course the horse I had ridden could travel no further, but I pushed on with my black boy on two of the horses which we had taken from the bushrangers, and which had been led so far. We made another forty miles by midnight, ans then halted till daybreak to give the horsed rest, but they were so done up th mormng that we could not get them much beyond a foot pace. When we came to the first settlement we exchanged them for fresh ones and galloped on, and thank God we are just in time." The tears were standing in the girl's eyes, as she laid her hand on his and said quietly: "Thank you. Then you have riden a hun dred and fifty miles since yesterday morning, besides having two fights, and all because you were uneasy about me?" "I had, as yousee. roodreason to be uneasy, Miss Ellison " At this moment a horse's noots were heard approaching, and Jim galloped up. He had on arriving at the station been unable to obtain any information as to what had taken place. Mrs. Donald was in a dead faint. Mrs. Barker had iust before he arrived riddei off to meet her husband; but the dead body of the con stable by the door and the disappearance of Kate showed him what had taken place, and he at once started after his master. His horse, however, was a very inferior one to that ridden ty Reuben, and until he met the constable returning he had been obliged to folsow the track of the horses in freet, so he did not arrive at the rcene of the fray till half an hour after its con lusion. ' He uttered exclama tions of dismay at seeing his master's condition, for Reuben had been gradually growing faint, and could now scarcely support himself on his elbow. ' Jim, however, had taken the precaution to snatch a bottle of spirits from the shelf before he started, having an eye to his own comforts as well as to the possibility of its being reguired. He now knocked off the neck and poured some into the cup of Reuben's flask and put it to his "Thank you, Jim; that is just what I wanted." "3fMassa lie down quiet," Jim said, "no good lay quietina Ihalf dreamy state until Mr. and Mrs. Barker rode Up. Kate rose to her feet as they approached, hut she was so stiff and bruised with her fall that' she could scarcely move forward to meet Mrs. Barker, and burst into tears as her friend threw her arms round her. S" That's right, my poor child." Mrs.- Barker said; ".a cry will do you good. Thank God, my dear Kate, for your rescue." "I do indeed, Mrs. Barker. It seems almost a miracle." "Captain Whitney seems to spring out of the ground whenever he's wanted. Hoe seems hurt badly. The constable said it was a broken collar-bone, but it must be something a good deal worse than that." "Oh. don't say so, Mrs. Barker, after what he's done for me. If he wereto die!" "There, there, don't tremble so, child; we must hope that it is not so bad as that; but he would hardly be looking so bad as he does for onlyabroken collar-bone. My husband broke his one day the horse ran away with him among some trees, and Ihe was up and about again in a day or two. "Is lhe badly burt, do you think, John ?" she asked her husband who was kneeling besides Reuben. "I hope not," thle settler said. " Be ought not tobe like this only from a wound in the collar ibone; but of course it may have glanced down and done some internal mischief. I am inclined to tbink that it is extreme exhaustion as much as anything-the reaction after a tremendous nervous excitement." "He has ridden a hundred and fifty miles since yesterday morning," Eate said, " and has had two fights besides this. Directly he knew that the leader of the bushrangers had escaped he came on by himself." ,Oh! they caught the bushrangerso did tley'?" Mr. Barker said joyfully. "I was afrold by his getting back here so soon that they must have missed them somehow, and found they wereon the wrong scent. And he has ridden allthe way back, hbo he? A very zealous officer, Miss Ellison, a very zealous young ofilcer indeed." But Kate was too anxious and chaken to mark the sigaifcanc of Mr. Barker's tone. "Don't tease her." his wife said n is low voice. "She is terribly upset and shtae and can hardly tad, -Al Iwhat is that?"

Tho interruption war caused by a low groan from the fallen bushrnoger. I " Shoot him dead, sab,'" Jim, who was supporting his. master's' head, exclaimed. "Don't let dat fellow come 'live no longer."' "I can't do that, Jim," Mr.. Bar .er said, moving . towards the fallen. man. "The man is a thorough scoundrel, amurderer, and'a obber; but he is-harmless now. One cannot wish he should recover, even for his own sake, for there is enough against him to hung him ten times over. However, we must do what we can for the poor wretch." So saying he mixed some brandy with a little wateriu the cup, and pcured it between the bushraeger's lips. "Is it mortalt" Mrs. Barker asked as he re joined her. "I think so," hoe said; "I fancy he is shot through the lungs." - "rou oust really sit down, Mies Ellison; you look as white as a ghost, and we cannot have you on our hands just now. We have got them pretty full as they are.- Ah! here comes thecact." The constable bad put a quantity cf straw in the bottom of the light cart, and Barker and Jim raised Reuben and laid him in it. " We must take the other too," Mr.' Barker said; _" the man is alive, and we can'tieave him here." "'tes," Kate said; "he must go too. He did Reuben a great wrong many years ago. I hope he will confessea it before he dies." Mr. Barker glanced at his wife as Kate used the young officer's Christian name; but she was not thinking of Captain Whitney, but of the boy Reuben who had been accused of poisoning her father's dog, and of committinga burglary from his house. u "You had better get up in front with the constable, Miss Ellison." the settler said When the two wounded men had been placed in the cart; "you certainly are not fit to ride.- Or, look here, the constable shall take my horse and I will drive, and then I can look aflter you, and you can use me for a prop if you feel weak; but before we start 1 must insist on your taking a sip of braundy and water.- It is no use your saying so," he persisted as the girl shook her head.. Il' " e shall have you fainting before you get home if you.don't;.!' - - .. Keat'" didasshoe was ordered. r fr.Baerker. then helped her up to her seat.' As she got up her eyes fell upon Reuben's face.: "Oh, Mr. Barker!" she said, "he looks dead. You are not deceiving me, are your" "Bless me, non " the settler said cheerfully. "My opinion is that he's dead asleep. The loss of blood, the sudden re-action after the long excitement, and the exhaustion of his ride have completely overcome him, and my opinion is that he is sound asleep." "Jim, do you lead your master's horse, while the constable takes the other, and then you two had better ride on and helo Mrs. Donald to get thiigs ready. Get a bed up at.once for Captain Whitney, and get some clean straw in the outhouse with one of the rugs over itforthe other." - So saying he touched the horse with the whip, and the cart moved slowly on with Mrs.; Barker riding beside it. She would have gone on ahead to have assisted in the preparations, but she expected momentarily to see Kate faint, and thought it better to remain with her in case her assistance should be required. The journey oc cupied some time, for Mr. Barker picked the way carefully so as not to jolt the cart, Mrs. Barker- endeavouned to keep Kate's attention fixed by asking her questions as to what she had heard about the expedition, wondering when it would return, and whether any of the settlers were hurt. When they got within half a mile of home she said: "I think, dear, you are looking a little better now. I will ride on. Fortunately there is the beef-tea we made last night for Mr. Donald. I will get it made hot, and I will get a cup of strong tea ready for on - That will do wonders" When-the cart arrived Mrs. Donald ran out, and as Kate descended clasped her in a long embrace. - - "Come straight in here, my dear,"' Mrs.: Barker said. " I have got a basin of cold water and a cup of strong tea, and the two. together will: do marvels. We will attend to your wounded hero." Reuben remained perfectly quiet and inert as he was lifted out and carried into the house, where a bed had been made up for him in a room on the ground floor. "Just lay him down. Throw a blanket over him, and let him lie perfectly quiet." S"Do you think he is really asleep " Mrs. Barker asked as she looked at the quiet face. "I do, really," her husband replied. "Put your ear closeto his mouth. He is breathing as quietly as achild, and," he added, placing his fingers on Reuben's wrist, "his pulse is a little fast, but regular and quiet; twenty-four hours of 'sleep will set him up again, unless I am greatly mistaken.. I don't expect that this wound will turn oat anythingvery serious. Let me think. Was it not this afternoon that Ruskin said he would be back again I" "Yes, either yesterday or to-day." "Thatis lucky. He will be surprised atfind i;g two new patients on his hands now. I will go and have a look at that poor wretch in the shed. Give me a cupful of beef-tea; I will pour a spoonful or two between his lips. You had bettergo and look after Kate. You will not be needed here at present. If your master wakes, Jim, let us know directly," he said to the black, who had seated himself on the ground by the side of Reuben's bed. "I can't call the poor fellow away from his master," he added to his wife as he closed the door behind them: "but I am really anxions to know what has taken place out in the bush, and whether many of our fellows have been killed. If, as Kate said, she heard the captain tell the bush-ranger that all his band had been killed, except one who is a prisoner, it has in deed been a most successful expedition, and we colonists can hardly be sufficiently grateful to Whitney for having rid us of these pests. What with that, and the thrashing the blacks have had, we shall be able to. sleep quietly for I months, which is more than we have done for a long time." Kate came out of the room with Mrs. Donald a minute later. The basin. of. cold water i d the tea had the effect Mrs. Barker pre dieted. A little colour had returned into her cheeks, and she looked altogether more like herself.. "How is he?" Mrs. Donald asked. "In my opinion he's doing capitally, Mrs. Donald; his pulse is quiet and even, and he's breathingr as quietly as a child, andI believe he is simply in a state of exhaustion, from which he is not likely to wake till to-morrow morning, and I predict that in a few drays he will be up and about. Indeed, if that bullet hasn'tmisbe. haved itself,' Isee no reason why he shouldn't be up to-morrow." "Thatis indeed a relief to us both," Mrs. Donald said, while Kate could only clasp her hands in silent thankfulness. "And now. how is your husband ? I hope he is none the worse for all this exertion." S"LHe was terribly agitated at first," Mrs. Donaldsaid. 'I fainted, you kIow, and he" got out of bed to help me up, and it was as much as I could do when I recovered to get him to lie down, for he wanted to mount and ride after Kate, although, of course; he is as weak as a child, and even with my help he could scarcely get into bed again. Fortunately Mrs. Barker ran in, before she started on horseback to fetch you, to say that Sthe constable was off in pursuit, and thatquieted him. Then I think he was occupied in tring to cheer me, for as soon as he was in bed I broke down and cried till the constable came back to say that Captain Whitney had overtaken and shot the bushranger." Three hours later, to the great relief of all. the surgeon arrived. He was firsttaken in to look at Reubeo, having been told all the circum Sstances of the case, and he confirmed Mr. Barker's opinion that he was really in a deep sleep. - - "1 .would not wake him on any account," he said; "itis a great effort of nature, and he cnftE '?yiu'th 'g about tho woun'dtill-he doe. The bushranger was still uncoiosneou, though occasionally broken words came from his lips. The surgeon examined his wound. "Hfeishot through the lungs," he said, "and is bleeding internally. I do not think there is the shadow of a chance for him, cni no one can wish it otherwhie. It will only save the colony the expense of his trial. And nrow for my original He was some time in Mr. Donald's room, and when he came out proceeded at once to mix him a soothing drraght from the case of medicines he carried behind the saddle. "We must get him off to sleep if we can,"he said, "or we shall have him in a high state of fever before morning. A man in his state can't go through sssch excitement as he has done without psaysing tise penalty. And now, I suppose, 1 have done," he sasd with a smile as Mrs. Donald left the room with the medicine. " Yes, I think so," Mrs. Barker said; "if yoen had come an hour earlier I should have put this young lady under your charge, but I think that the assurance of my husband that Captain Whitney was doing well has been a better medicine than you could give her." "N'o wonder she is shaken." Mr. Rushin re marked. "Mrs. Barker tells me you had a heavy fall, too, Miss Ellison." "Yes," she replied. "I was stunned for a time, but beyond being stiff and bruiEaed I am none the worse for it." "Look here, Miss Ellison," the doctor said, after putting his fingers on her wrist, "I suppose you will want to be about to-morrow when our brave army returns. Now there is nothing you can do here. Mrs. Donald can nurse her husband, the other two require no nursing. Mrs. Barker, I am sure, will take 'charge of the house, and therefore, seriously, I would ask you to take this draught I am about ttormi for ou, and o o upstairs and go tobed and sleep tall morning." g "iI could not sleep," Kate protested. "'Very well; then, lie quiet without sleeping, and if in the evening you find yenou are restless you'can come down for an hour or two; but I really must insist on your lying down for a bit. Now, hMrs. Barker, will you tlake this medicine u8p end put this yaung lady to bed." - "I hope she will get offito sleep,", Mre. Barker said when she came do-wnstairn again. "I haur as doubt whatever atiut it," Mr.

Rushin replied. "I have given her a very strong slceping-draught, far stronger than I should thinL of giving at nnv-other time; but after the tension that the poor girl must have gone through, it would need a strong dose to take effect. I think you willhearnothingmore of her till the morning." . Indeed it was not until the sunwas. well up the next morning that ateo Ellison woke. I She could hardly believo'that she had slept all night, but the - eastern sun comining in through her window showed her that she had done so.. She still felt bruised and" shaken all b over, but was otherwise herself again. She dressed hastily and wenut downstairs. " That's right, my dear," Mrs. D3arker, who was already busy in the kitchen, said.. '' You look bonny and like yourself." "How are my brother and Captain Whit ney ?"' Kate naked. " I don't thinku Mr. Donald is awake yet," I Mrs. Barker replied ; " but "Captain WhiEney liehas just gone out to the shed with my husband and the surgeon." - . " Gone out to the shol !" Kate repeated in astonishment. - " Yes, smy dear. That poor wretch out there i is going fast. He recovered consciousness t about tro hours ago. 'ITe constable was sitting up with him. He asked for water, and then lay for some time quite quiet. Then he said--' Ant I dreaming, or. was it Reuben Whitney I fought with ?' Yes, it- was Cap tain Reuben Whitney, our inspector,' the constable replied. "For a time he lay quiet again, and then i said : ' I want to see him.' . The constable told I him he was asleep and couldn't be woke. " 'Is he badly wounded?' the man asked. 'I know I hit him' 'Not very badly, I hope,' the constable answered. ' When he wakesask him to come to me,' the man said. I knowI am dying, but I want to seehim first. If he can't come let somebody else come.' The constable came in and roused the doctor, who went out and saw him, and said he mightlive three or four hours yet. Soon after waids, just as the sun rose, Jim came out to say that his master was awake. Mr. Ruskin went into him and examined his wound and probed thecoureo of the bullet. It had lodged down just atthe bottom of the shoulder-bole. I- am glad to say hIe was able to get it out. When he had done he told his patient what the bushranger had said, and Captain Whitney in sisted upon going out to him. " It won't do him any harm, will it ?" Kate asked anxiously. " No, my dear, or Mr. Ruskin -would not have let him go. I saw him as he went out, and shook -hands with him, and, except that nasty bandage over his face, he looked quite himself again. As I told you, a broken collar bone is a mere nothing, and now we know where the bullet went and have got it out, there is no occasion for the slightest anxiety. Here they come again, so you can judge for your self." A very few words passed between Reuben and Kate, for Mrs. Barker, who saw how nervous the girl was, at once began to ask him questions about what the bushranger had said. "He has made a confession, Mrs. Barker, which, your husband has written down, and Mr. Ruskin and Smithson have signed. It is about a very old story in which Iwas concerned when a bay but it is a great gratification forme to have it cleared up at last. I was accused of poisoning a dog belonging to 3Mis Ellison's father, and was tried for a burgary.committed on the promises, and was acquitted, thanks only to Miss Ellison's influence exerted on my be half, I fear," he said with a slight smile, "somewhatillegally. However, theimputation would have rested on me all my lifeifithad not been for Thorne's confession. I thought that he did the first affair. I knew that he was con cerned in the second, although I could not prove it; but he has now made a full confession, say ing that he himself poisoned the dog, and con firming the story I told at the trial." "Oh, I am glad !" Kate exclaimed. " You know, Captain Whitney, that I was sure of your innocence, but I know how you must have longed for it to be proved to the world. What will yo do, Mr. Barker, to make it public "P' "I shall send a copy of the confession, pro perly attested, to the magistrates of Lewes, and another copy to the paper which, Captain Whitney tells me, is published there weekly." " I suppose there is no hope for him ?" Kate asked in a low voice. "Heis dying now,' Barker said. " Ruskin is with him. He was fast becoming uncon scious when we left him, aad-Ruskinseaid tha the end was at has.. - A quarter of an hour later the surgeon came in with the news thatall was over. " Now, Captain Whitney, you must come into your room and let me bandage up your shoulder properly. -Thadn't half tme to do it before." " But you won't want me to lie in bed or any nonsense of that sort?" Reuben asked. " I would if I thought you would obey my orders; but as I se no chance of that, I hall not trouble to give them. Seriously, I do'not think there is'any necessity for it, providing always that you will keep yourself- very quiet. I shall bandage your arm across your chest, so'there can be ne movement of 'the shoulder, and when that is done 1 think you will bhe all right." There was only one more question which Reabenhad to ask withregard to the event of the preceding day-why it was that Smithson did not gotohis comrade's assistance. He then learned:that Thorne rode quietly up to the back of the house and dismounted, then went to the statle, where Smithsonwas asleep, havingbeen on guard during thenight, and pushed a piece of woodunder the latch of the door, so that it could mot be raised. Having thus securely fastened Smithsonin, he bad gone to the front of the'house, and had apparently shot down the @onstable there'before the latter was aware of his presence. Smithson, awakened by the shot, tried in vain toget out;,and was only released by Mrs. Barker when she recovered from the stunning blow which the bushranger had struck her. He had then mounted at once and followed in pursuit. In the afternoon the party returned from the bush, having experienced no further molesta tion from the natives. Nothing occurred to interfere with the progress of Reuben's wound, and in'the course of a fortnight he was again -able to resume'his duties. b he complete des truction of-the -ang of bushrangers, and the energy with which they had been pursued into the very heart of the bush country made a vast -sensation in the colony, and Reuben gained great credit and instant promotion for his conduct. A month after the return of theparty from the bush Mr. Donald was about again, and, as the danger was-now past, he abandoned his -idea of selling-hirproperty. The course which events took can be judged by the icllowing long conversation between - lrs. Donald and her nister three months later. " Well, Kate, after all he has done for us, of course I have nothing to say against it, and I don't suppose you would mind if I had; still, I do think you might have done better." " I could not have done better," Kate said hotly, " not if Ihhadbhad thel pick of the whole "fell, not in one way. my dear, for you know that personally I .-ike him almost as well as you do. Sti ll,I do think it is a little -unfortunate that-we ever knew him before." "And I think it's extremely fortunate," HKate said stoutly. " Ifit hadn't been that he had known us beforeo'aind cared for me--he Ssays worshipped, but that's nonsense--ever since I was a child, he would never have made that terrible-ride, and I--" "Oh, don't talk about it, Kate; it's too dreadful even to thinkrof now. Well, my dear, no -doubt it's all for the best," Alice said, phiiosophicolly. "At onyrate, you are quite happy, nd he is a noble fellow. But I hope for your sake that he won't stay in the police. It would be dreadful for you when he was plenty of others left in thamolony." "I-told him so yesterday," Kate said, shabyly.. "I said, of course, that I didn't want to influence him." - Alice broke into a laugh. "You little eose, as if what -you say doesn't influence him."' Three weeks later Reuben received a letter from Mr. -Hudson. "My dear Whitney, I am glad to hear from you that you are engaged to ·be married, and Sthe circumstances which you tell me of make it a most interesting affair. If I were you I should cut the constabulary. I inclose a paper from Wilson giving you three weeks' leave. Come down to Sydney at once and talk it over with me. You know I regard youn as my son, and I am going to have a voice in the matter." Reuben went down to Sydney, and after oscertaminghis views, Mr. Hudson went into teni and forthwith arranged for the purchase for him of a partnerehip inthechielengineering firm in the town. Wthen he told Captain Wilson what he had done the latter declared that he had robbed the-colony of its beet police officer. Reuben protested aginst the generosity of the old settler, but the latter declared ho would have no nonsense.on the subiect. Sam one or tne rices men in tle colony, he said, " and it's hard if I can't spend my money as I choose." There is little more to tell. Reuben became one of the leading citizens of Sydney, and twenty years afterwards sold his business and returned to England and bought an estate not far from Lawcs, where he is still living with his wife and family. He was accompanied from Australia by hs mother, who, in spite of herstrongobjcctions to the sea,went ant to live with him two years after his marriage. The only point upon~ which Reuben Whitney and his wife have never been able to come to on absolute agreementis as to which owes most to the other. [nEE Ewn.) In 1818 Ur. Aranold discovered- in the island of Sumatra a flower which an author has called "the magnificent.Titan of the vegetable king dom." The circumferenceof the fully.expanded flower is eft., its nectrium -calculated to hold rnine pints, the pistils are as _large a cow's horns, and the entire weight of the 1;ieom is computed tobe 1lb.