Chapter 65802954

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1889-04-12
Page Number0
Word Count12148
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleKyabram Union (Vic. : 1886 - 1894)
Trove TitleThe Curse of Carne's Hold, a Tale of Adventure
article text

ý,;,...... THIM S~CURSE OF.. CARNE'S 'HOLD. A TALE OF ADVENTURE. BY G. A -. Ifmrrr, S.ath?oe of" Under Drke's Plag, "" With Clive na " India "ACorntet ofoes," BEe. CHAPTER III. STWO QUAIR5Is. ..hree days later the shooting party as ambled. Several gentlemen came to stay at the house, while Ronald Mervyn and his .'prty, of course, put up at Mervyn-hall. The shooting was very successful, and the party were well pleased with their visit. Reginald Carno was quiet and courteous to Lis guests, generally accompanying them ' through the day, though he did not himsc?lf carry a gun. After the first day's shooting there was a dinner party at Mervyn-hall, andthofollowing evening there was one at The Hold. Lieutenant Gulston enjoyed himself more than any one else, though he was one of the least successful of the sportsmen, missing easy shots in a most unaccountable manner, and seeming to take but moderate interest in the shooting. He had, very shortly after arriving at the house, come to the conclusion that the doctor was altogether mistaken, and that Reginald Carne showed no signs what ever of being in any way different from other men. "The doctor is so accustomed to us sailors," lie said to himself, " that if a man is quiet and studious he begins to fancy directly that there is something queer about him. That is always the way with doctors who make madness a special study. They j suspect' everyone they come across as lbeing unt of their mind. tehouldn'.t be at all sor ''prised if he doesn't fancy I am cracked my .-.aelf. The idea is perfectly absurd. I .watched Carnme closely at dinner, and no one ."-',nld have been more pleasant and gentle manly than he was. I expect Iackenzie must have heard a word lot drop about this .old story, and, of course, if he did he would sat down Carno at oneo as being insano. Well, thank goodness, that's off my mind ; it's been worrying me horribly for the last few days. I have been a fool to trouble my Sself so about Mackenzio's croakings, but now I will not think anything more about it." On the following Sunday, as Ruth Powlott" wase returning from church in the morning, and was passing through the little wood that' lay between Carnesford and The Hold, theore was a rustle among the trees, and George Forester sprang out suddenly. 1" I have been waiting since daybreak to soo you, Ruth, but as you came with that old housekeeper I could not speak to you. I have been in Plymouth for the last weok. I hbar that they are after me forthat skirmish with the keepers, so I am going away for a - bit, but I couldn't go till raid food-byo to you first, and heard you promiseo that you would always be faithful to me." '" I will say good-bye, George, and my thoughts and prayers will always be with you, but I cannot promise to be faithful not ii the way you mean." - " What do you mean, Ruth I" he asked, angrily. c"Do you mean that after all these years you are going to throw me offl" SRuth was about to reply, when there was a alight rustling in the bushes. " There is someone in the path in the wood." George Foresterlistened for a moment. " It's only a rabbit," he said, impatiently. "Nover mind that now, but answer my question. • Do you dare to tell me that you are going to throw me over?" " I am Inotgoing to throw you off, George," sho said; quietly"but I am goiugto give you ,up. Ihavotried-oh,how hardlhavo tried to blioevothatyou wonldbobetter some day; but i can't hope so any longer. 'You have promised again and again that you would givoup drinking, butyou are always breaking your promise, and now I find, in spite of all you say, you still .hold with those bad men at "ar'port, and that you have taken to ' poaehing, rind now they are in searoh of you for being one of those concerned indespo rately wounding John Morton. No, George, I have for years" withstood even my. father. I have loved you ia spite of his reproaches and entreaties, but should be utterly miserable if I married you, and I have made. a promise to Miss Carne that I would give you up." " Oh, she has been meddling, has she t" George Forester'said, with a terrible impro cation. " I will havorevengo oni her, I swear I will. So it's sho who has. done the mis chief, and mado you falso to all you roemised.' Curse you, with' your smooth aeo and. church-going ways, and your canting lies, You think now that they. roe hunting me away you will take up with. someone else, but you shan't, I swear, though I swing for it." ' And he g?asped her suddenly by the Sgoat, but -at this moment there was the nd of voices on the road behind thom,and Ruth to the ground with a force that stunne her, he sprang into the woods.' A minuteo later the 'stablemen at The Hold came along the road and found Ruth still ...g'on tEi ground. " tebri minute's consultation, they deter mined to carry.her down to her father's house, as ahoy had no idea what wvs 'the best course to. pursue to. bring her round. Two of: them, .therefore 'lifted her and aprried hir down, while thi other hurried on to prepare the miller for their arrival. " Master Povleott," he said, as heentered, " your girl has hurt herself. I expect she 'slippod' on a stone" somehow, going up the :hill, and 'came down heavy; anyhow we f'nd'herlying there insensible, 'andmy two mates are bringing hor down. o saw her tio or: throe' hundred yards ahead of us as -mwe came out of the churchyard, so she could not have laid there above a minute or so when .we came up." . Ruth was brought in. Mrs. Powlett had not yet returned from Dareport, but a neigh bour was soon fetched by one of the men Swhileanother went for the doctor, and in a fow minutes Ruth opened her eyes. . 'r Don'ttalk, dear," her father said, " lis qilet for afew minutes and you will soonbe better: you slipped down in the read, you know, and gave yourself a shako; but it will ~o allnight now." . Ruthclosed her eys again, and lay quiet' 'qfr ashort time, when she looked up again and tried to sit up. - " I am better now, father." . " :'Thank God for that, Rnth.. It gave me '.'turs'when I saw yeou carried in here, I can Stoll you; but lie still a little time longer, the 'octor willbo here in a few minutes." " I don't want him, father." S" Yes, you do, my dear ; and, anyhow, as .h has boon sent for he must come and see you ; you need not trouble about going up to The Hold; it was three of the men there Sthat found you and brought you down. I will send a note by them to Miss Came tolling her that you had a bad fall, and that we will keep you here until to-morrow morning. Ilrm sure you will nothbe fitto walk uipthat hill ugain to-day. Anyhow, we willwait until the doctor comes and hear what he says." Ten minutes later $.ho doctor arrived, and after hearing Hiram I account of what had happened, felt Ruth's pulse and then oxa 'mined her head. ' " Alx, there is where you fell," he said ; "' a good deal of swelling, and it has cut the akin. However, alittls bathing with warm water is all that is wantet. There now,. stand up, if you can, and walk a step or two, dltel me if you feel any pain anywhere "Ah, nowhere except in the shonlder. ove your arm. Al, that is all right, nohing brokn Tot wnill find you a. re7 a good deal, I hove s no doubt. Well, youe must keep, on the sofa all day, and not do any tIalksn. Yotu hlave had a severe shake, that's evident, and must take care ofyouarself for a dy or two. You have lot all your colour, and your pltse is 'smsteady, and your heart heating anyhow. You must keep hlier quite quiet, iram: If I were you I would get hIr up to bed. Of course, you mlust not let her talt, and I don't want any talk going on around her, you understand 1' Hiram did understand; and before Mrs. 'lowlett returned from chapel, Ruth, with the assistance of the woman who had oome in wasin beod. I/ All rIhLts reserved

i'. Ilook upon' it as a judgment," Mrs, Powlett said upon her return, when she heard the partieulars. "If she had been with moet ohapel this would never have hap. .~pned. Itl a lesson to her that no good can come of her sitting under that blind guide, the parson. I hope it will open her oyes, and that she will be led to Join the fold." "I don't think it is likely, IIesba," HIiram said, quietly, " and you will find it hard to persuade her that that loose stone I suppose shetrodonwas droppedspecialinto the roadto trip her up coming home from church. Any how, you. can't talkabout it to-day; the doctor's orders are that she is tobe kept per fectly quiet, that she is not to talk herself, and that there's to be no talking in the room. He says she can have a cup of tea if she can take it, but I doubt at present whethersho can take even that; the poor child looks as if she could scarce open her eyes for anything, and no wonder, for the doctor says she musthave fallen tremendous heavy." erns. Powlett made the tea and took. it upstairs. Any ideas she may have had'of improving the occasion, in spito of the doctor's injunctions, vanished when she saw Ruth's whito face on the pillow. Noiselessly she placed the little table close to the bedand put the cup upon it. Ruth opened her eyes as she did o. "Here is some ton, deario," Hesba said, softly. " I will put it down here, and you can drink it when you feel inclined." Ruth murnured : "Thank you," and IIesba stooped over her and kissed her cheek more softly than she had ever done before, and theuwent quietly out of theroom again. - "Sholooks worse thanI thought for, Hiram," she said, as she proceeded to help the little servant theykept to lay thecloth for dinner. " I doubt sho's more hurt than the doctor thinks. I could see there were tears on her check, and Ruth was never one to cry,'not oven when she was hurt over so much. ' Of" conrse, it may be because she is low and weak ; still I tell you that I don't like it. Is the doctor coming again I" '! Yes ; he said he would look in again this evening." " I don'tliko it," Hosba repeated, "and after dinnerl will put onmy bonnet and go down to the doctor myself and hear what he has got to say about her. Perhaps ho would tellmo more thanho wouldyou. . He knows what poor creatures men are. They just get frighted out of what wits they've got, if you lot on anyone's bad ; but I will got it out of him. It frets me to think I wasn't there when she was brought in, instead of laving strangers messing about her." It camo into Hiram's mind to retort that beingawaj· at that moment was a special warning against her going to Dareport, but the low, troubled voice in which she spoke and the furtive passing of. her hand acros' her check to brush away a tear, effectually silenced him. It was all so unusual in the cas of He.sba, whom, indeed, he had never seen so soft and womanly since the first day she had crossed the threshhold of the door, that he was at once touched and alarmed. "I hope you are wrong, wife-I hope you are wrong," he said, putting his hand on her shoulder. "I don't think the doctor thought badly of it, but he seemed puzzled like,- I thought; but if. there's trouble, Hesba, we will bear it together, you and I; it's sent for good, we both know that. We goes the samb way, you know, wife, if we don't goby the same road." The woman made no answer. That moment the girl appeared with the dinner. Ilesba te .but a few mouthfuls, and then saying sharply that she had no appetite, rose from the table, put on her bonnet and shawl, and without a word walked out. She was away longer than Hiram ex pocted, and in the meantime he had to answer the questions of many of the neigh bours, who, having heard from the woman who had been called in of Ruth's aseident, came to learn the particulars.: When Hesba returned she brought a bundle with her. "The doctor's coming in an hour," she said. " I didn't got much "oat of him, ox copt" io. 'said it. had 'been a shook 'to • her system, and. he was afraid that thiero might he slight concussion of the brain. He said if that. was so we should 'want some ice to put to her head, and I have boon up to 'lTho Hold and soon Miss. Carne. I have heard Ruth say they always have ice up there, and she has given me some. Sh was just coming down to inquire about Ruth, but of courso'I told her sheo couldn't talk to nobody. That' was the doctor's orders.- Has she moved sinces hayve been away f" . Hiran'mshook his head. '" I have been up twice, but she was just lying with her eyes closed." . . "Well, *I will go and sit up there," Hesba said.: .Tell that ngirl if she makes any noise,' out of the 'house she goes; and the best thing you cdn'do is to take your pipe arid sit in that arbour"outside, 'or walk up and down if .you ain't keep yourself warm; and don't let anyone come knocking at the door and worriting her. 'It will be worse for them if I las to come down. . , Hiram. Powlett obeyed his wife's parting injunction and kept on guard all the after noon, being absent. from' his usualplicoe'in church for, the first time for years. In the evening there was. nothing for him to dosin the house, .and his, wife being upstairs, he followed.his usual custom, of droppihg for half andnr into th sanuggery, at the Carnes Armns.,- , " Yes, it's true,"'he. said, in answer to the question of his croniest " Ruth has had abad' fall, andtthe doctor this afternoon says as she has got'a slight :oncusslon of the brain. He said hohoped sho 'would got over it, bdthlie looked serious-like when he came downstairs. It's a bad affair,' I expect. But she isin God's hands, and a better girl never stopped, though I says it." There was a murmur of regret and.. consolation among the four smokers,. but they saw that Hiram was too upset for many words, and. the conversation turned into other channels for a time, Hiram taking no share in it, but smoking silently. " It's a rum thing," he said 'presently, during a paunso in tihe conversation, " that a man don t know really about a wnomn's nature, not when he has lived with her for years and years. Now there's my wife Hesba, who has got a tongue as sharp as anyone in this villago." A momentary smile passed round the oirele, for the sharp ness of Hesbaln Powlett's'tongueo was notori ou. . " It scarce seemed to me, neighbours, as oho had got a soft side to her or that she cared more for RIuth than she did for the hiouso-dog. She always did her duty by her, I will say that for her; and a tldior woman and a better hoursewifo there ain't in the country round. 13ut duty is one thing and love is another. Now yon would hardly believeo it, but I do think that IIesba feels this business as much as I do. Yeou woulin't have knowed her; she goes about tihe house with her shoes off as quiet as a mouse, and she speaks that soft and gentle you wouldn't know it was her. Women's queer crceatures anyway." . There was a chorus of assent to the propo sition, and indeed the discovery that Hesba Powlett had a soft saide to her nature was astonishing indeed. For thri?e days Ruth Powlett lay.uioon scious, and then quiet and good nusing and tile ice on her head had their effect, and'one evening the doctor,.on visiting her, said that he thought' a changeo had taken place, and that she was now. sleeping naturally. Tho next morning them was consciousness in her eyes when she opened them, and she looked in surprise at the room darkened by a curtain pinned across the window, and at Heasba, sitting by her bedstead, with a huge night cap on her head. ' What is it, mother, what has hap pened P".. " You hroe been ill, Ruth, but thank God you are better now. Don't talk, doear,. nnd dion't worry. I have got some beeoof-tea warninig by tihe fire; the doctor said you wore to try and drink a cup when you woke, ani then to go off to sleeop again." Ruth looked with a feeble nurprise after Iesoba as slio left the room, missing the sharp, dnecisive foot-tread: In a minute she re-, turned as noiselessly as she had gone. " Can you hold tie sup yourself, Ruth, or shall Ifeed yosU?" , ' Ruth nlt out her hand, hut it was too weak to hold tho cuy. She was iabl, how

ever, slightly to raise her head, and Hosba hold the cup to her lips. " What have you done to your feet, mother 1" she asked, as she' flunished the broth. " I have left my shoes downstairs, Ruth; the doctor said you were to be koet quiet; now try to go to sleep, that's a dear. Sho stooped and kissed the girl affce tionately, and Ruth, to her surprise, felt a tear drop on her check. Soe was wondering over this strange circumstance when she again fell asleep. In a few days she was about the lrgnse again, but she was silent and grave, and did not gain strength as fast as the doctor had hoped for. However, in three weeks' ti-o she wains well enough to return to The Hold. Hiram had strongly remonstrated against. her doing so, but she seemoed to set her mind upon it, urging that she would be bettor for having something to think about and do than, in remaining idle at home; and as the doctor was also of opinion that the change would be rather likely to benefit than to do her harm, Hiram gave way. . 1 The day before she left she said to ler father: "Do 'you know whether Georgo Forester has been caught, or whether he 'has got away 7" " He has not been caught, Ruth, but I don't think he has gone away; there is a talk in-the village that he has been hiding down at Dareport, and the constable has gone over there several times, -but he can't find signs of him. I think he must be mad to near when he knows he is wanted.; I can't think what is keeping him." "I have made up my mind, father, -to give him up. You have been right, and I know pow heowould not make me asopd husband; but please 'don't' say anytng against him-; it nl hard enough as it i." .. Hiram kissed his daughter. "Thank God for. that news, Ruth.. I hoped after that poahing business you would see it in that light, and that he wasn't fit for a mate for one like youn Your mother' will be glad,, child. She ain't like the same woman as she was, is she 2" "No, indeed, father, I do not iseem to know her." " I don't. know as-I was ever so knocked over in my life as I was yesterday, Ruth, when your mother came downstairs in her bonnet and shawl, and said, ' I am going to church with you, Hiram.' I didn't open mylips until we were half-way, and then she said asn how it had been borne inon her as how her not being here when you. was brought in' was a judgment on her for being away at Dareport instead of being at church with us;.and she said more than that, as how, now she thought over it, she saw as she hadn't done right by me and you all these years, and hoped to make a bettorwife what time she was left to us.. I wasn't sure all church time 'as it wasn't a dream to sea her sitting there beside me, and joining in the hynms, listening attentive to the parson as she has always been 'running down; She said on the way home she felt just as she did when she was a girl, five and twenty years ago, and used to conom over hero to church, afore she took up with the Methodies." Ruth kissed her father. "Then my fall has done good after all," ash said.' " It makes me happy to know It." " I shall be happy when I see you quite yourself . again, IRuth. Come back to us soon, dear.' "I will, father ; in the spring I will come homo again for good, I promise you," and so Ruth returned for ai time to The Hold. " I am glad you are back again, Ruth," Miss Carne, who had been down' several times to see her, said. "I told you not to hurry yourself, and I would have done with out you for another month, but you know I am really very glad to have you back again. Mary managed my hair very well,' but I could not talk to her as'I do to you." Ruth had not been many. 'hours in the house beforo she had learnt from her follow servant that Mr. Gulston had been two or three :.times over since the shooting party, and that the servants in general had 'an opinion that lihe cane over to see Miss Carrie. " It's' easy to see that with half an eye," one of-the girls said, " and I think Miss Margarnt likes him too, and no wonder, for a properer-looking man Is not to be seen ; but I always thought she would have married her cousin. Everyone has thought so for years.". "It's much better she should take the sailor gentleman," one . of the elder women said.. " I am not saying anything against Mr. Ronald, who is as nice a young gentle man as one would want to see, but he is her cousin, and. I don't hold to marriage among cousins an'how, and especially in. a family like ours.' ,"I think it is bettor, for us not to talk about it at all," Ruth said, quitly: ;: '.L don't think it right and proper,. and it will be quite time enough to talk about' Miss Mfargaret's affairs when we knowisho is en gaged." -• -. - - . The others were silent for-a minute after Ruth's remark, and then the under-houso maid,', who had been. an old playitate of Ruth's, said;'.: ' • "You iever .have ideas like other people, Ruth Powlett. - Itis a family- thing,.and we can't soay a word -about people in the house. without being snapped up.'" , "- . " Ruth is right," -the other said, "and. your tongue runs too -fast, Jane; as Ruth says, it will be quite time -enough to talk when Miss Margaret is engaged; till then, the least said the better." In truth, Lieutenant Gulston had been 'several times at The Hold,. and his friend the, doctor, seeing his admonition had been altogether thrown away, avoided the subject, but from his gravity of manner showed that he had not. forgotten it; and he shook his head sadly when one afternoon the lieu tenant had obtained leave until the following -day. "I wish' I had never spoken. Had I not been an old fool I should havo known well enough that he was fairly taken: by her. We have sailed together for twelve years, and now there is an end to our friendship. I hope that will be all, and that he will not have reason to be sorry that he did not take my advice and drop it in time. Of course she may have coaped, and I think that she has done so; but it's a terrible risk terrible. I would give a year's pay that it shouldn't have happened." - An hour before Lieutenant Gulston loft his ship Ronald Mervyn- had started for The Hold. A word that had been said byayoung, officer of the flagship who was dining at mess had caught his ears. It was concerning his first lieutenant. " He's got quite a fishing mania at pro sent, and twice a week he goes off for the day to somne place twenty miles away Carnesiforl, I think it is. He Iooes not seem to have nmuchl luck; anyhow, he never brings any fish home. He is an awfully good fellow, Gulaton; the beet first lieon tenant I eversailed with by a long way." VWhat Ronald Merrvyn heard 'was net pleasant to him. He had noticed the atten tions Guloton had ,paid to Margaret Carnme at 'the ball, . and. had . been by : no means pleased at meeting him installed at The Hold with the shooting party, and the thought that :hoe: had been .twice a week over in that neighbourhood •causedanangrysurprise. Thie next morning he therefore telegraphed home for a horse to moot himn at thle station, and started as soon as lunch was over. He stayed half an hour at home, for his house lay on tihe line be- I tween the station and Carnm's Hold.. The answer he received from his sister to a ques tion he put did not add to his good temper. Oh, yes. Mr. Gulston had called a day or two after hlie had been to the shooting party, and they had heard he had been at The Hold soveral times since. i Whent he arrived there, Ronald found that Margaret and her brothler were both in the drawingroom, and'he stood chatting wvith them there for some time, or nrthbr lchatting with Margaret, for Reginald was dull and moody. At last the latter sauntered away. " What's the matter with yenou, sir P" Margaret salid to her cousin. "You don't seem to be quite yourself i Is it the weather F Reginald is duller and more osilent than usual; has hardly spoken a word to-day." " No, it'd not theo weather," he replied, sharply. " I want to ask you a question, ,. :'-Well if you ask it civilly," the girl re plied, " I[will answer it, but certhinlly not otlherwise."

" I hear, tous tfat euilor fellow has been coming hero severul.times. W'.?hat does it mean .' Margaret GCearr? htisahck her head haughtily. " -"TVhat lob"? iiawn, Iohnald, by spaking' ini.tht too e'; you out of your mind 7" "'ot. more than the family in general," he rellied, grimly '" but you have not an swere my. questiou." a' Iha'o not 'asked Lieutenant Gulston what lie comes here for," she said coldly : " and besides. I do not recognise your right to ask me such a question.". S"Not resoglse tmy right,", he repeated passionately. "I shouldhavothought that a man had everyT right to ask such a ,ucs tion of the -wdmnn ho is going to marry. ' "Going to nmarry," she" repeated, scorn fully ; " at any ruot, this is the first I have heard of it." . t 4' It has 'always been a settled thing," he said, " and you know it as well as I do. You proemised me ten years ago that you wouldboe my wife some day." ".'Ten yearse ago-Iwas a child, Ronald. How can yeou talk like this I . You know we have always been as brother and sister to gether. I hiieo never thought of anything else of lato.e. You have been home fourjor five months,; anyhow, and you have had plenty of time to speak if you wanted to. You never said a word to lead me to beli vs that you thought of me in any other way than as a cousin." . "I thought we understood each other, Margaret." ' "I thought so too," the girl roplied, "'but not int the same way. .Oh, iRonald,-don't say this;' we have always been such friends, and perhaps years ago l mlght havo.thought it would bosoimething hi? o'; Ibutsinuc then ,I have grown upi 'ad grown wiser,and even if I had loved you in the way you speak of, I would not.hive married you, becauso I itm surom it would be bad for us both. We have both that terrible curse in our blood, and if there was not another man in the world I would not' -"I don't believe you would have said so a month ago," Ronald Mervyn said, looking darkly at her. ,"This Gulston has come between us, that's what it is, and you can not deny it." "You are not behaving like a gentleman, Ronald," the girl said, quietly., ' You have no right to say such things.' "I have a rig lt to say anything," he burst out. "You havb fooled me andti spoilt my life, but you shall regret it. You think after all these .years I am to be thrown by like an old glove. No, by Heaven; you may throw me over, but I swear you shall never marry this sailor or anyone else, whatever I do to prevent it. You say I have the curse of the Carnes in my blood. You are right, and you shalh have cause to regret it." He leapt from the window, which Mar garet had thrown open a short time before, for the fire had overheated ,the room, iran down to the stables, leapt on his horse, and redo off at a furious pace. Neither he nor Margaret had noticed that a moment before a man passed along the walk close under the window. It was Lieutenarnt Gulston. Hoe paused' for a moment hs he heard his name uttered in angry tones, openid the hall door without ceremony, and hurried towards that of the drawingroomo. Reginald Carne was standing close to it, and it flashed across Gulston's mind that he had been listening. He turned his head at the sailozis quick step. '" Don't go in there just at present, Gulston ; I fancy Margaret is having a quarrel with her cousin. They are quiet now, we had best leave them alone." "He was using very strong language," the sailor said, hotly. "I catnught a word or two as I passed the windows." "It's a family failing. I fancy hlie has gone now. I will go in and see. . think it were best for you to walk .off for a few minutes, and then come back again. People may quarrel with their relatives, you know, but they don't often care for other people to be behind the scenes." "No; quite right," Gulston answered; "the filct is,. for the moment I was fairly frightened by the violence of histone, and really feared that he was going to do some thing violent. It was foolish, of course, and Ireally. beg your pardon. Yes, what you say is quite right. If you will allow me I will have the horse put in the trasp again. I got out at. the gate and walked across the garden,.tulling, the man to take the horseo straight round to the stables ; but I think I had better go and come ngain another day. After such a she has gone through, Miss Carno will not care about -having a stranger here." ' " No, I don't think it would be bett," Reginald Carne said. " She would Wonder whyyou did. not come, a nd would, likely enough, hear from her maid that you hiad been -and gone away again, and might guess you had heard something of, the talking in there. No, I think you had better do as I said-go away and come back again in a few minutes." - * The lieutenant accordingly went 'out and walked about the shrubbery for a short time, andthenreturnede. Miss Canm did not appear at dinner, "but sent down a message tosay that shehad so bad,a headacho that she found sheo would not be able to appear that ove?in--.. ' -,' . Reginald Cmrno did not play the part df host .so well so usnal., At times' he was gloomy and abstracted, and then he reused .himself and talked- rapidly. Lieutenant Gphleton" thought 'he was seriously discom posed at the quarrel between his sister and his cousin ; :and hoo determined, t ntnhy rate,, not to take the present occasion to carryi out the intention. he ,had formed, of., telling Reginald Carno that 'he was in love with his sister and' hoped that he -would .have no objection to his telling-her so, as 'he hada good income besides his pay as first lieite nant. - When. the 'men had been sitting silently for some time after wine was put on the table. he said: ' " I think, Came,' I will notestop here to night. - Your siter is 'evidently .quite upset with this affair, and nowonder. I shallufeel myself trop, - and would rather come again somo other time if ,you will let me; If you lot -your man,put the horse in the trap I shall catch the 10 o'clock train comfortably.: / '- ... " Perhaps" that weild be best, Gulstdn. I am diot a.very lively companion' at' thoCli st of timsi, and family qiirrels aro'uimpleosant -enough for.a stranger."' .' i S~ewminittes hlate'r: Lieutenant Gulostou wias onhisiway-to the station ')Hehndmmuchl tothink -about on hise 'way home. Ina one respect he had overy rcasbn to be well satis fled with what hlie hind heard,:is 'if bai, left no doubtivhatover in his milid that)dargyiret Carne hd refused the offer of her cousin, and that tholatter had believed thatheihad boeen refused because she loved him, Charlie Gulston. Of course, she had not said(s; still, she could not have denied it, or her cousin's wrath would nob: have beecn turned upon him. - Then wis sorrf such aquarrel had ever taken place, as - it would probably, lead to a .breach between the two families Ife knew Margaret was very fond of her aunt and the girls. - Then the violence with which Ronald Mervyn had spoken :caused him a great deial of uneasiness. W esitpossibletlhat a sane man would' have gnone on like that I W"a 'it possible thatthe curse of the Carnes was still workingj This was anunpleasantthought?, but -that ?which followed was still snore anxious. - ' '- :: : - .. ', SCertainly, from the tone of his voice, he had believed that Ronald Mervyn was on the point of using violence to Margaret, and if. the man wis not altogether right in his head there was no saying what he mightdo; as for hhnsolf, he inlnughed 'at-thothhrcate that had-been utterednagiinst Ihml. m?Md or sane, he had. not the ilightest fearcrof :Ronald fMervyn; .'But if, as was likply onoiigh,' this mad-brained fellow triedi,to fix a qumrrel upon him in some 'publid way, itnmilght'-bo horriblyunploennt, so unpleasant that he did notoare to think of it. He consoled hinself by hoping that when Mervyn'a firmtburst of passion had' calmed down he might look-at the matter in a more -reasonablo -light, n ud see that, at any-' rate, he could-not bring about a publio quarrol withont - Margaret's namo being iseome way drawn into it; that her coustn eould not wish, however angryho might bo with her, .,-/- " . It wans an unpleasant business. : If ar garet accepted him, he wonld take her away from all those associations. Itwasmarvellous

itiat she was so bright and cheerful, knowing this horrible story about that Spanish. woman, and that there was a taint in the blood. , That brother of hers; too; :was, enoughlto keep the story always im her mind. The doctor was certainly right about him. Of course, he wasn't mad, but there'was somethinsr strange about him, and at timres you caught him looking at you in an unplea sant sort of way. " Ho is always very civil," the lieutenant muttered to himself ; " in fact, wonderfully civil and hospitable and all that.. Still, I never feel quito at my ease. with him. If I had beon a rich man, and they had been hard-up, I sus o errlaylvo suspected that there was a design in his invitations; andthat he wanted me to marry Mar'aret; but, of course, thatis absurd. . Ho cant. tell thatI have a penny beyond my pay ; and a girl like Margaret might marry anyone she liked,'at any rate, out of Dereqnshire. Per hap hlie may not have liked the idea of her marrying this coasin of hers ; andnno doubt ho iaright there. And seeing, as I dare sny he did see, that I was taken with? Margaret, he thought it better to givomoe a chance than to let hermarry Mervyn. " .. "I don't care a snap whether'allher rela tions are madlor not. I know she is as free from the taint-as .I am; but itfcan'tbe wholesome for a girl to live in such an atmosphere, and the next time I go over I will put the question I meant to put this evening, and if she says yes, Iwill very soon get lher out of it all." And then thelieu tonant.indulged in visions of pretty houses. with bright gardens looking.over the sea, and finally concluded that a noar Ryde or Cowes would be in severy. ay.-best and most :,convenient, .as beingliandy. to 'Portsmouth, and' far .removed- from Devon shire andits 'assoclations. " I hopo:to get my stop in about a year.; and then I will go on half-pay. I have capital interest, and I daro'say my cousin in' the Admiradty will be able to get me ia dockyard appointment of some sort at Portsmnonth ; if not, Ishall give it up .I am not going to knock. about ,the world after I am married." .. This train of. thought occupied him until anlmost mechanically ho left the train, walked down to the water, hailed a boat, and was taken alongside his ship. CHAPTER. IV. M'argaret Carna's. mcssage as to her ina bility, to come down to dinner was scarcely a veraclous one. She was not given to hdad aches, and had not, so far as she could remember, been once laid up with them, but afterwhat had been said, she 'did not ifeel equal to going down sthirs and facing Charlie Gulaton. She had never admitted to herself that sh loved .'the young sailor whohad for the last few. weeks been so 'much at: the house, andof whose reason for so coming she had not the slightest doubt ; but now. as she sist'aloio in the room, she knew well enough theanswcr .she should give to. his question when it came.., ,At present, howover, the discovery of her ownfeclings caused alarm rather than plen 'sure.- There had been no signs of fear in her face when her cousin raged and threatened, but she did not believoe that the threats o ere empty ones; he had often frightened her- when she was a child bpy furious burst{, of passion, aind although ait was many years since shte h:ul seen him thus, she felt sure . he would do as .he had threatened, and that he was likely enough" to take siany' stop that might occur to him in his passion to carryout his threat. * Although she 'had put a bold front on it, Margaret felt at. heart that his reproach was not altogether unjustified. There had been a boy and girl understanding between them, and although it had not been formally rati fled of Into years, its existeneo- was tacitly recognised in both families, and until a few months before she herself had considered that' in the natural, course of events she would one dayjbo RonaldMerTvn's wifo.t SIHad he reproached lier gently, she )vousld have asked him to forgivoe er forclhanging her mindnqw, that: years had wrought. a changein herfeelings, but the harshness auid suddenness. of his attack hihl roused her pride, and driven lher totako up the grounmd that there .was no' 'formal engagement between- them, and' that as he had not renewed the subject for years, she was at perfect liberty to consider herself free. She had spoken. but this truth in. saying that their near relationship was in her eyes abar to their marriage.. 'Of late years she hadi thought much more than she had when a'girl over the history of the. family and the curse of the Carnes, and although sheohad tried :her best to prevent herself- from broading over the idea, she could 'not -. disguise 'from herself that her bIrnthor was at times strange and unlike other -inon, and lier reculle tious of Roiiald's'outbursts of temper, as a boy, induced" the suspicion that' he, too, had not altogether escaped the fatal. taint;: Still, linad not Charlie Gnlston come across hier path,, it was probable that she would have drifted onas before, and would, when the time came, hnaie accepted Ronald Mervyn ias her husband.' .The next morning, when Ruth Powlett went as hssad to call her mistress, she started with surpriseo as sle opened the door, for the blind was already tip and 'the window open. Closing the door behind her, she went in and placedtheojug of hot watershe carried by tie washlstand, and then turned round to arouse 'her mistress.. As she" did so a low cry burst from her lips, and she grasped a chair for ' support.- The white linen was stsiineodwith blood. and Margaret lay there, 'white and still, with her eyes wide open and fixed indeath. The clothes were drawn a short way down in order that the murderer mnight strike at her heart. Scarce had' she taken this in, when Ruth felt the roomeswim round, her feet: failed her, and she fell insensible on the ground. In a' few minutes the cold air streaming in through the open windlow aroused her. Feebly she recovered her feet. and sup pertingherself .against the wall, staggered towr.'ds the 'door. As she did so, her eyes fell upon an 'object lying by the side of ' the bed. She stopped ait once with ninother cry,.pressed her hand on her forehead, 'and stood as if fascinated, with her eyes fixed uponit. Then slosly andreluctantly, as if forced to act against her will, she moved to wards the bed, stooped and picked..up 'the object she hadsen.. ' 'She had recognised it' it once. :It waas a largo knife with a prling bliide; :ind ii'silver plate lot into the bicklhorn handle, with a nime'-"' Geo.Foroeter'"---engr ?'ed .upon it. It wtas a knife she, hoerself had given to her lover a yer before.. It was opeoupnd stained with blood.. For a minute. or, two she stood gazing at it in blhnk hIorror: Whhat eiould she do--whit lshoald she do P She thouhlit of the boy who had been her playmate, of the man she had loved, and whom, though, she hhad east him off, she' had nbever quite cosed to love.' She thlought of his athior, theold man who had always been kind to hler. If she left this silent witneSs where she had found it, there would be no deubt what would come of it. For some minutes she stood irreolute. " Godforgive me," she said, at lost; " I cannotdo it." SShe closed the knife,'put itintoherdress, and then turned roand ausnin. Sh? dared not look at theo'bed nOl, 'fir sheL'felt herself 'in'somdo'ay an aecom?nlicb"in'her mistress's msirder, andshe made her way to the door, opeied it, and then hurrield down stairs to tihe kitchen, whero the servants, lwho were just 'sitting down to breakfast, rose with a cry as she entered. ',' TVhat is it, Ruth I What's the matter ! ITsave yollu'asen anything ?" Ruth'slips moved but no sound came from them.'her face was glhstly white, and her eyes full of horror. '-. .. '" What is it, child P" tlohe 'old cook said, advanoing iand toucisngi her, 'wlsehil the others shranke back, .frightened it . bher' aspect. . " "Miss 3fargaf'r is dead," oamenit last slowly, from hebr lips.' " She has been 'mur dered in the night," atd she reeoled anid would have 'fallen again uhad not the old servant cauglat her in her arms• and pleed her in a chir. A' cry of horror and surprsoe. had .broken from the servants, then cameo 'a hubbub of talk. " It ean't bo.trie." " It is impossible.'! "Ruth must huae fanoed it." " It noser could be." And then. they looklted in ench otler's faces as if seeking a eonflrnatlon of their words.

S" I must go up and see," the cook said. " Susan and Harriet, you will come along with me; the others see to Ruth. Sprinkle some wateron her face. She must have been dreaming." . . Affecting a confidence which she did not: feel, the cook, followed timidly by the two frightened girls, went upstairs. She stood for amoment hesitating before she opened the door; then she entered the room, the two girls not daring to follow her. She wont a step into the room,. then gave a little cry and claRsped her hands. " It is true." she cried, " M3iss3argaret hine been murdered 1" " Then the pent-up fears of tile girls found vent in loud screams,which were ehoed fromn the group of servants who had clustered ht the foot of the stairs in expectation of what was to come.. " :: A moment later the door of Regitiald Carne'sroom opened, and he came out partly ,dresseed. .. " What is the matter?' What is all this huibbub about ?" ! M?iss Margaret Is murdered, sir," thi two rirls burst out, pausing for an instant in their outcry . i S":Murdoted " he repeated in low .tones. "You are mad; impossible I " and rushing 'past them lie ran into Margaret's room." " Ahl"ho exclaimed, in along,lowuotoof pain and horror. " Good God, who can have done this ?" and he leaned .against the wall and covered his face with his hands. The old servant had nadvanced to the bed,'and laid a .hand.on tho deoad girl. Sne now touched her master. : : .. . -. , {. . . :.;".You had' better go." away. now, Mr.; Reginald,' for; .ou 'can do '?othig. '" She isncold, and' musthavoe :been dead hours. Weo must look the door up till the polico So'sayinig,. she gently led him from the room, closed the door and locked it. Reginald Carne staggered back to his room. " Poor master,".. the. old servanit said, looking after him. " Thiswill be atorriblo blow .for him; he and 'Miss Margery have always been together. There's no saying what mayoome of it," and sho shook her head gravely ; then she roused herself, and turned sharply on the girls. ' " Hold your noise, yon foolish things ; what good will that do Get down-stairs at once.' Driving them. before her, she went down to the kitehen, and on to the door leadlingto the yard, where 'one of the maids was at the moment telling the grooms what had hap 'pencil. ' 1 / ' "Joe, get on a horse 'and 'ride off and fotch Dr. Arrowsmith. He can't be of any good, but he ought to come. Send up Job H.arpur, the constablo, and then ride on to DMr..Volko; . he is the nearest magistrate, and will know what to do." Then she went back into the kitchen. " She has come to, Mrs. Wilson ; but she don't seem to know what sihe is doing." " No wonder " the cook said, " after such a shock as she1 has had ; and she only just getting well'after her illness. Two of you run upstairs and get a mattress off her 'bed and two pillows, ' and lay thein flown in the servants' hall: then take her iii theroe and put her en them. Jane, get some brandy out of the cellaret and bring it hero ; a spoonful of that will do hiergood." : A little brandy and water was mixed, and the cook poured it between Ruth's lips, for she did not seem to know what was said to -her, and remained still and impassive, with short sobs bursting at times 'fromh erlips. Then two servants half lifted her, and took her into the servants' hall, and laid her down on the mattress. All were .sobbing and crying, for Margaret Carno had been greatly loved by those around her. In half an hour the doctor arrived. " possible the news is truo ?" he asked as Iheo leapt from his gig ;' the faces of those around were sufficient answer. " Good heavens, what a terrible business I Tell Mr. Came I am hero."' . Reginald Carne soon came down.. Ho was ovidently, terribly, shaken. : I?o held out his hand in silence to the doctor. " What does it all mean P" the latter said, huskily : " it seems too horriblo to be true. Can 'it be that.your sister, whom I have known since slo was a child, is dead ? Mur dered, too; itseems impossible.".. " It does scom impossible, doctor ; but it is true. I have 'seen her, myself," and lie shuddered. " She has been stabbed to the heart.'.' - The doctor wiped his eyes. " Well, I must go up'and see her," he said. " Poor child, poor child. No, you need not ring:. I will go p by myself." Dr. Arrowsnaith h anttended the family for many: years;,. and. know perfectly which was Margaret's room. The old cook was, standing 'outside- the door ,of. the drawing-' room. ' ' ' ' "Here is the key, sir. I thought it bottcr 'to lock the door till you came." " Quite right," the doctor replied. "Don'' 'let anyone' up till Mr. Volkes'comes. " The' servant saidhlie was going for hin'. Ah, hero is Harptir. That is right, Hlarpur ; you had better come up with me, but I shouldn't' touch ainything if I were you till Mr. Volkes comes; besides, we shall be having the chief constable over hero presently, and it is better to leave everything as it is.' They entered the room together. "Dear, dear, to think of it now," the con stable murmured, standing awe-struck at the door, for the courmo of his duty was for the most part simple, and lie hau never before been face to face with a tragedy like this. The doctor moved silently to the bed and leant over the dead girl. " Stabbed to the heart," he. musmured, " death must have been in-,sttaneous. Then he touched her arm and tried ti, lift it. " She has been dead hours," tho said to the constable, "s:x or seven ' hours, I should say. Lot us lookrounid. The window is open, you see. Can the murdererhave entered there I" Hoelooked. out.' The wall was covered with ivs, and a inassive stem grow- close 'to the 'window.'" Yes," lie went on, " an' ative man could have climbed that. See, there arc some leaves osi the ground. I thinl, I arpur, your' best plan will be to go down and take your station there and scO no' one comes along or disturbs anything. See, this jewel box -onu thotable has.been brokcnopen:annd the "contetscl re gone,, and I do not see Her i~ttch anywhei-e. WVcll, that, is enough to 'do at present ;:,wo wil lioekthis roomnup again ,until MLr..Volkes comes.:". ' :;.:, , I :.lWhen they'. came downstairs,; the' cook again came out. ," '' '? .::' : "Please, sir, willyou come in here? Ruith Powlett, Miss ,ergorot's maid, seems very band; 'it was she who first found it out, and it's naturllvy"givei her a terrible shook; Shi came down looking like a mid woman, then she fainted off, and she doesn't seem to rhave any sort of consoiousnues yet." ; Ruth Powlett I why, I'have beeon' at tending her for. the last three weeks. Yes, such a shock. may be very serious in her case," and thodoctor went in. " Have you any sal volatile in the house I" he asked, ifter hehud felt her pulse.' " Therm's some in thie medlicuno chest, I think, sir, but I will soon see." She went out anid' presently returned withl a bottle. Tho. doctor poured i teaspoonful into a glass and added a little water. . Thcn he lifted:Ruth's head and forcedit between hbrlips. 'Sho gasped once or twice, and theoi slightly opened hercyes.' . : , "Tbhst is right, Ruth," the deeoctoir sialdl cheeringly,'." try and rouse' yourself, child. You remember me, don't you ": Ruth opened her eyes and looked up. ",That's right, child, I mustn't have you on my hsnds again, you know." Ruth looked round with i puzzled iir, then ti sharp look of.pain crossed lier face. . "I know". Ruth,' said' the doctor, iboth ingly.; " it i' terrible' fdr:c overyone, but least. terrible:for yaor ypoutig nistress : she piased seisav painleasly, and wfent at osce from Into dh. v atrono lovned her, y ll kuow;.it, may, be that oed has spared hermnluch lnhappiness.' . ' ! Rutl.h bsurstinto a pareoxysm of crying; the doctor nodded to tihe old servlant. "Thit's what 1 wanted," hoe' whisporod, " sho will bo better after' this ;' get aensp of. hot tea for her, or beef ten will be better still if you hlave any; mokeher drink it, alnd then l~vo.ehor for a time.... I? .will soc her againI presoently.'." .'. .. I Tmmnoediately the dootor left him, Reginasld Csrno.uwrotoa telegram to the' chief cositalde of the county, and despatchedl a servant with

orders to gallon as he could to th rtation and send i; off. Mr. Volkes, the magistrato, arrived half an liour later, terribly shocked by the news he had heard. He at once set about making in quirics, and heard what the doctor and con stable had to say. No one else had been in the room except the old cook, Mr. Carne, ant the por girl's own maid. "It would be useless for you to question the girl to-day, Volkes. She is utterly prostrate with the shock, but I have no doubt she will be able to give her evidenco at the inquest. So far as I can see there does not seem to be the slightest clue. Apparently some villain who knows something abeotthe house 'has climbedl through the window, stabbed her, and made off with her jewel le'"It Is a hideous business," the magis trate said; " there has not, been? such a 'startling crime conunitted: i the, count in sal'my: expiriene.' And to thinlk thaliMar ,gairet Came should be .the victim, a' girl overyona liked; it is terrible, terrible. What's your opinion,'doctor ? Some wander ingk tramp, I suppose f" " I suppose so. Certainly it can be none of the neighbours. In the first place, as you say, everyone liked her, and in the second, a crime of that sort is quite out of the way of our quiet Dovonshiro people. It must have been some stranger, that's evident. Yet on the. other hand it is singular that the man should have got into liher room. I don't sup pose there has been a window fastened or a door locked on the ground floor for years ; the idea of a burglary never occursti anyone Iherie. By the way, thlibjoroisr ougit to be informed at once. I will speak .o Carne about it; if we do it at onsce,.h'oill have time to send over this evening and sumnmon a jury for to-morrow ; the sooner it is over the better. Directly the chief constable arrives he will no douibt send round ordors overy where for- tramps and 'suspicious persons to be trreeted. Plymouth 'is the place where they are most likely to get some clue ; in the first place it's the largest town in this part, and in the second there are sure to be low shops where a man could dispose of valu ables." In the afternoon, Captain Hendricks, the chief constable, arrived, and tool: them all in hand. In the first place ie had a long pri vate conversation with John Ilarpur, who lhad been steadily keeping watch in the garden beneath the window, leaving him S?ith strict ordersto let lino onone approach the spot. ' Captain IHendricks, with ia sergeant who had arrived with hisi, made a thorough search of the bedroom. Then he heard from everyone who know ansything about the matter, with the exception of 1Tuth Powlett, for Whom the doctor kaid absolute quiet was 'necessary, all that they knew about it. Then he obtained a minute description of the isis ing watch' and jowels, and telegrapheod it to Plyinoutli.andExeter. Having done this hle went out intod the' girden again, and there a close seiirclh'" 'as made -on the grass and borders for'tit6 nairks of footsteps. Whens all this was'sdosos he had ai long private conversa tions with RTginaldCarne. The 'neows f f"IMargaret Carne's' merder created an :oxciteminnt in Carnleford scllh an had never been, equalled since 'the day when Lady 'Camno norderedl her child aand the Curseo of Carne's Hold began its work. There was not a soul in the valley bunknew her personally, for Margaret had taken great interest in villago matters, had sceon that soups and jollies were sent down froem the Hold to those who'were rick, haid begged many a main off his rent when Iaid up or out of work, and hsad many pensioners wlho received weekly gifts of uminey, tea, or other little luxuries. She gave prizes in the 'school; helped the parson with his choir ; and scarcely a day passed without her figure being seen in the streets of Carnesford. That shecould be murdered seemed incredible, and when the news first arrived it was received with absolute unbelief. When such confir mation vasreeeived thlat doubt was no longer possible, all work in Carnesford was sus pended. Women stood at their doors and talked' to their neighbours ild wept freely.. Men gathered hi knots and talked it over and uttered threats of what they would do if they could but lay hands upon the murderer. Boys and girls walked up the hill and stood at the edge of tile wood, talking ini whispers and gazing on the house as if it presented some now asdnmysterious attraction. Inter in the day two or three constables Arrived and asked nmany questionsas to whether any one had heard anyone passing through the street between 1 and 3 in the mooning, but Carnesford had slept soundly, and nio one was found whoIe Ihad boen awake between those hours. Thelittle conclave in the sainctum at the Carne's Arms met half 'an hour earlier than usual. They found on their" arrival there a stranger chatting -with the landlord, who in troduced him to them as sMr. Itentford, a dc tective officer from Plymouth. " : "A sad affair, gentlemen, a sad affair," Mr. Rentford said wheu'they had taken their seats and lit their churchwardens. . "AA sad hn affair, I should say, as over I iar ena gaged in." "Itf is that," Jacob Caroysaid. " Here's Mr. Claphurst here. who has been here, malt and boy, for nigh eighty years. He will tell you that such as this has never happened in this part in his tidme." "I suppose, now," the detctive said, " there's none in the village has any theory about it; I nmean," he went on, as none of his hearers answered, "no one thinks it can be anyone but some tramp or stranger to the distriot 1" 4 "It can't be no one else," Jacob Osroy said, "as I can see. What do you say, Hiram Powletti I should say no one couid make a nearer gauess than you can, seeing as thley say it was your Ruth as first found it oat." " I haven't seen Ruth," Hiram said; "the doctor told me, as he came down, as she was iquito upset with the ig'.t, and that it would be no good' my going up to see her, as she would have tokeep still aday. So I can't see further into it- than another; but surely it must be some stranger." " There was no one about hero so far as you have hlird, Mr. Powlett, who had any sortof grudge against this poor lady 1"'.' . 1' Not.a soul, Mas far:as Iknow," ? -I?na riplied. '" Shib conld spenk'upsbar,'' as I. hisve hcard;icould Miss Camo,' to a slatteruiiy 'iousewife or a drunkenhusband-; butI never heard as she made an enemy by it, though, if she had, 'he would have kept his tonbiegu to himself, for there were not many here in Carnoesford who would lhave beard a word said against Miss Came and sat quiet over it." S"No, indeed." Jacob C:arey afirnned, bringing down his fist with a hbuavy thump on his knee. "The squire and his sister were both well liked, and I for one woulu' have helped duck anyone that spoke against them, in the Daro.. She was the most liked, perhaps, because of her bright face and her kind'words, and being so mouch down here .moung us; but the squiro is well liked, too ; he is not one to laugh and talk as ho was, but he is a good landlord, and wllalwvays ibve 'a quarter's rent to a man as gets bohindhand for no fnnlt of his own, nndif there is a onm plaint abouta leaky roof or any repairs that want doing, the thing is dlone at once and no more talk about it. No, they have got no enemies about hero as I know of, oexcept maybe it's the Iaohers downat Dareport, for thouglh the squire, don't shoot himself, he preserves,?striotly, and. if i poacher's caught he gets senrit to: the quartfer sessions as sure as Besides," theo old clerk put in, " they say as Miss GaCrno's watch and things lihas been stolen; that don't look as if it was done out of reven'gd, od it ?" Well, no," tho detective said, slowly "- but that's not always to be token as a sigtn, bcausc you see if' anyone did a thing like that. out of revenge, they-would naturally tikhaissy anything that'hsy handy, so as to inusko it look mis if it weredonofor theft." "The idea 'wRs a niw': ontto hIis listeners, and' they simoal:d ore' it silently for some minutos. - ....... " L;rd, lWhat eovil w ya?tlhsre are in the 'vorld," Reuben Clsphurst said at' last. "Wickednuess withouat end;. Nsow what do you messo out of this, ,ieterP . Of course these tlhings come naturalto you." The detective shook his head. " It's too early to form an opinionyet, Mr. Claphurt ; much too early. I dare any we shall put two

and two together and makl four presently, but at present you see we have got to learns all the facts, and yon who live cloea ought to know more than we do, and to be able to put I us on the track to begin with. You point me out a clue, and I will follow it, but the a bost- dogs can't hunt until they take up the o " That's true enough," the blacksmith I said appnrovingly. "Id l ether been any strangers eltopIing .en the village lately ?" the detective asket. " Therohave been a few stopping off and on hereo, ortaking rooms in the village," the landlord answered ; " but I don't think there has' beoon anyone flahing on the stream j for the last few days." :. I don't mean that class; I mean tra?mp.". . "'hat I-can't tell you," the landlord re plied; "'we don't take teamps in.her ; they .n goneral'go to Wilding'e beershop at'tlhe ,other end of the villrgo. He can pnt up four or five for the night, and in summer he is often full, for we arn just about at long Sday's tramp out from Plymouth, and they often make this their first stopping-place out, or their last stopping-phice in, but it's e.getting Inte for them now, though nmany come along after the harvest is well over. Still, you know, there nauy have been one there yestelday, for aught I know." "I will go round presently and ask. Any .one who was here the night beforo migiht well have lain in the wooda yesterday, and gone up and done it." I don't believo as you will ever find any thing about it. Thereo' a curse on Carne's eold, as everyone knlows, And curses will work themselves out. If I were the sqlnre, I would pull the place down, every stick and stone of it, and I would build a fresh l no bit away. I wouldn't usaeo much as a brick or a rafter of tlhe old place, for the cause might stick to it. I would have overythiug neow from t topto bottom." "Yes, Ihave heard of the Curse of Carne's Hold," the dctaetive said "'A inan who worked with me, and comes from this part of the country, told me all about it as we came over However, that has nothing to do with the case." "It's partly the curso as that heathent woman. as Sir Edgar brought home as his wife laid on the place,"' the old clerk said, positively ; " and it will go on working as long as (arna's Hold stands. That's what I says, and I don't think as anyone else hero will gatnsay me." "'i'hat'e right enough," the blackamith agreed, "I thinklwo ar all with you there, Mr. Clapnhurst. It ought to have been pulled down long ago after what has hap pened there. "Why, if Mr. Carno was to say to me, ' Have the house and the garden and all rent free, Jacob Carey, as long as you like,' I should say, ' Thank you. squiro, but I wouldn't move into it, not if you give me enough beside to keep it up.' I call it just flying in the face of Providence. Only look at 1iram Powlett there; he sends his daughter up to be Miss Canoe's maid at the IHold, and what comes of it? Why, she tumbles down the hill a-going up, and there she lies throee weeks, with the doctor coming to see her every day. That was a clear warning if over there was one. Whoeever heard of a girl falling down , and hurting herself like that ? No one. And it wouln not' have happened if it hadn't been for the Curee of Carne's Hold." " I shouldn't go so far as that," Hiram Powlctt said. " What happened to my lass had nothing to do with the Hold ; shomight have been walking up the hill at anytimo. .tgir may put her foot on some loose stone and fall without it having anything to esay to the Hold one way orthe other. Beside, I-have never heard it said asthoecursohad aught to do xecopt with the family." "I don't know about that," the smith ro plied. "That servant that was killed by the Spanish woman's son ; how aboht him b It seems to me as the curse worked on him a bit too." "So itdid, so it did," Hiram agreed. "I can't gainsay you there, Jacob Curoy; now youn put it so. I see there is sometlhing in it, though never before have I heard of there bei? anything in the curse except in the W"iy, didn't Milos Jefferies, father of one of the boys as is in the stables, getl ls brains kinked out by one of the old squiro's horses 1" " So he did, Jacob, so he did; still grooms does get their brains kicked out at other places besides the Hold. But there is some thing in wlat you say, and if I had thought of it before, I would never have let my Ruth go sip there to service. I thought it was all for the best at the time, and you knows night enough why I sent her up there, to be away front that Georgo orrester ; still I might have sent' her somewhere else, and I weould have done if I had'thought of what you are saying now. . Sure enoughno good has come of it. I can't hold that that fall of hers had aught to do with the curse of the Camnes's, but this last affsir, which seems to m*e worse for her than the first, suro enough comes from the curse." " Who is tbis Georgo Forrester, if youe don't mind my asking 'the question?l' the detcotive aoild. " You see it's my business to find out about poople." " Oh, George hadn't nothing to do with this business," fIiram replied. " HIo's the seon of a famn r 'near here, and has always been wild and a trouble to the old man,: but he's gone away weeks' ago. He got into a poaehing scrape, cn-i one of the keepers was 'hurt, and I msppeeo lie thoeght lhe lad best be out of it, for a time ; anyhow, heo' has gone, but he weren't that esat of a chap. No, tishere?as no harmes in George Iorroster, not in that way; loe was lazy and fonder of a glass than was good for hiim, andu hoe otinto bad company down at lDaroport, ulan that's whiatled him' to this poaching beninexs, I expect, becauese there was no call for hid to go poaohiny. His fatlher's got a tidy farm; and lie wanted for nothing. If he had been there he couldn't have wanted to ?etal Miss Carnm's jewellery. He was passionate 'onongh, I know, and manny a 'quairrel has he 'h' ad with his ifatheor; ut nothing would have :madolamo believe, cven if he lead beoon hero, thaf'61d Jim? Torrestr's son haed a hand in 'a black'business like this; so don't yos vo'to takdo sich a notion as that into your head'!" r -li' few.ouid.not be: likeoly to hare. any q'uaduiri we:llVsith' Sid i C?rne l" the'dectbtiv. aked. ' S" Quarrel-no," iirm replied sharply, for he resented the ide that any possible sus plcion of Margaret Carno's murder shoauld be cttached to a man with whoms Ruth's amneo had been connected. "I don't suppose Miss C ame ever spoke a 'word o himl in her . lifo. W?lat Isheould shile Sspeak to him for? Wihy, hel had left the Snbnday -oichool yeers befeoro he toolk to seeing after it. 'Tain't as if he had been' one of the boys of the villa~ee." - A eJacob Carey, R.euben 'Clhplhreat, and tholmndlord ecel goave in nsenetca'enl u'ur l to Ilinrm'e nevsls,-tis detectiso did snot thsink worth w-silo to lpurano the psohetn-ther, o?r thcro ceally seoemed nothing to connect "thies.G orgo Foeresel cr i~ niy way Withls3f'r .goret Carno'ee deatlih;" • . . ' " "WVell," hloe sid, tlielsg up his hat, "I weill ge romned 'to this bhccrhop you npeak of and uiake iqneiries as to' w er ni'o r a mp s lirve boeen o tayilg there. It is qiito eer thais young lady didn'tc:t ut endt to ierself. mhat wehasve goo trin 1uad out in, WVeo was "th man that did itoP'' - . " ", ~'L:" o? evessO - ' - u -)