|Chapter Number||VIII - XI|
|Chapter Title||THE GIPSY'S PROPHECY.|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||Grantford Grange|
BY MARY KYLE DALLAS.
THE GIPSY'S PROPHE0Y.
THERE were left beBide the lake only the little Otho and his tutor. Tho latter had dismounted, and sat upon a brokon mass of groy sandstone. Until the graceful form of the lady Geraldine hod disappeared from view, his eyes had re- mained riveted upon her. When she was gone ho covered thom with his hand and romainod
Little Otho stole toward him and stood watching him, with his young eyes grown solomn ' and earnest. Either the_ tutor had forgotten
his pupil'B proBenco, or quite disregarded it, for after o fow moments he began to mutter to him- self, and finally, lifting up his voico spoke
" Unhappy wretch that I am. Must it be for ever ? .That which should bo mine snotohed from me by another. First, my name and fortune, now my love. Miserable, miserable man, why is this doom upon theo ?"
As he spoke, ho arose, clenched his hands and lifted them towards heaven. It might have boen in prayer or in anathema. The wonder- ing child gazed on. Ho was a bravo, bright boy, and not easily alarmed. He liked his tutor. Sympathy was strong within his bosom, and ho advanced toward him until ho touched him with his little palm.
At the touch the tutor started.
'* Don't feel bad-don't look BO, Mr. Mal- colm," said tho child. " I'll bo a man Boon Mr. Otho Grantford-and I'll mako the bad peoplo give you back your fortune. Who has ' got your fortuno, Mr. Maloolm ?"
The tutor glanced downwards. HÍB dark eye met the child's, bonny and blue as tho skies above them. By an impulse he stoopod and caught the little form close to him. In all his years of caro and kindness, it was the first time he had ever caressed the boy.
The little creature loved caresses. He stole his arm about his tutor's neck, and stood bo tweon his knees, looking at him curiously.
In a moment he spoke again :
" Who took your fortune, Mr. Malcolm P You said some bad people had taken, first your fortune and then your love ; who ore thoy ? Who is your love ? Rosy used to be mino. RoBy is mine now-my true love ; so Hagar
" Rosy-Hagar ! who are they ?" asked the
"No matter," said tho child; "you never saw them. Is Geraldine your love ?"
The tutor gavo a start.
« Why do you ask ?" he said.
- ' " Because I can't think of any one else, and'
because you talked so long together, and Miss Henderson took hor away. MÍBS Henderson isn't bad, though, is she ?"
" No, Otho. Hush, ohild ?"
Tho boy played with his tutor's dark hair. -
" No matter," he said. " I will be a man soon, and you shall have half my fortuno, and we will take our true loves and run away into the greenwood and bo gipsies-happy gipsies ; and never look at books again, and never leam Latin. But first wo'll kill the man who hod your fortune. Who is he ?"
As he spoke a change carno over the tutor's features. Ho trembled from head to foot, and glared upon the pretty face before him with the eyes of a maniac.
" Kill," he said-" Kill him ! Ah, to think how little lies between me and my heritogo ! A life-a little life ! So slight a thing that the close clasping of my hands about the neok would end it. A child's life ! And we aro alone to- gether, unless some ghost haunts thoso wilds. Alone-alone ; and who would hoar-who would soo-who would fancy J had killed him ! Ah, do you know what the demon whispers to mc, little Otho Grantford? do you know, boy do you know ?"
" You hurt me," oried the ohild-" you hurt
The clutoh the tutor had fixed upon IIÍB arm
" Do I hurt you, child ?" he said. " I did > not moan to. Oh, no-I did not mean to. I Vlovo you; and yet I ought to hato you. I ' ought-In the name of Heaven, what ia
He spoke in the belief that an evil spirit had arisen beforo him. A moment's glanco assured him that the face suddenly thrust into his own, and the long, lean, brown hand whioh clutched his arm, wore human.
From some lurking-place hard by, the gipsy hag who had been Been by MÍSB Henderson in converse with the groom, had risen suddenly ; her elf locks floating in the rising breeze, her brown face browner when contrasted with her scarlet hood. She peered into the young man'B face and laughed.
"Why so down-hearted, pretty gentleman ?" she said. "That's not a face to bring a frown to any lady's. Sweet kisses come to such lips of themselves, and you Bit as though you were to be hung to-morrow. All for a lass, and the lass loves you. Cross my hand with silver, and I'll toll you how to win her."
The tutor fixed his oyes upon her and laughed harshly.
" You gipsies fancy all trouble is for love," ho said. "There are other things to mako the
" Love is the bane or half the world-gold of the other," said the gipsy. "Both work you ill. A life between you and gold, and a Ufe betweon you and love. Bh, but our gipsy lads win their loves, though they wade in blood to
"Has the fiend who whispered but now to me been with thee ?" asked the tutor.
The gipsy laughed, and held out her wrinkled hand again.
" Cross my palm, pretty gentleman," she said "and I'll road the stars for you. There are good things waiting for you. Cross my palm, and yon shall hear them. Luck's in store for the pretty gentleman yet, or the Btars lie."
"If you road good in them for me, thoy ho indeed," Boid the tutor. " I was born under an evil planet. Disappointment has been mine from the cradle. Gipsy, if there bo one star of evil omen beyond all others, thnt star is the star of my destiny. Black from the first, black to the lost. Take your Bilver," and he flung a coin to her, " but keep your good predictions, your promises of love and gold, for some mon hopeful enough to believe them. I am not."
The hag caught at the silver and ourtseyed.
"Blessing on the pretty gentleman," she said, " and let luck come like a flock of swal- lows. The gipsy's word always brings luck. It's coming over the sea to you, my pretty gentleman, and nobbling away, she disap- peared from Bight.
The tntor arose.
"Itis late, Otho," he said; "mount Shog and ride beside. I want to talk with you."
The boy obeyed, and the two left the lake side together. They rode on in silence for some time. At last when in the fading sunlight the village appeared in sight, the tutor paused.
" You know the way to the Grange ?" ho
"You would not lose yourself were I to trust
" No indeed, sir."
"I intend to send you home alone. I have business elsewhere. Good bye, Otho."
He took the little hand and held it.
" Jî yon were never to see me again, would
you remember me, Otho ?" he asked.
" Always," said the boy. "But I shall see
you again; Mr. Malcolm."
" Con I tell ? No one can be sure of any- thing in this world."
"So our curate, Mr. Helmstone, says. I don't believe it. I know I shall have the Grange for my own and be Lord Otho Grantford when I am big. It's my luck to have it, Hagar saya. Ilogar knows more than Mr. Helmstone."
"Hogar again?" The boy laughed.
" No matter. I'm sure you'll come to dinner. I shall see you then. Good-bye."
The tntor echoed the word : " Good bye."
'There's to'be plum-pudding ot desBert," said the ehüd; "andAoio Miss Henderson wfll scold if we're late. Hi, Shag !"
And pony and'his master turned toward tho Grange .and left the tutor sitting his horse liko a Btatue* carved in stone. It was flvo minutes
before he stirred.
"Farewell, Lord Grantford-farewell," he said, at length. "Little you guess how you havo wronged me. Is it fate, as the gipsies say, and aro Bomo men ' lucky ' and Bomo unlucky ? Who is ho who is to havo my love-my dear love, who loves me ? Madness ! misory ! If she hated me it would bo easier to boar. Koop us apart, kind Heaven ! for he is to be hor husband ; and though I can bless the boy who has stolon my heritage, I must curse-I must hato the man who wods Lady Geraldine Osprey. Keep us apart, I pray, lest I slay him ! She is right -I must go."
He lifted his handB toward the sky, cast a wild glance upon tho distant towors of Grant- ford Orango, muttered :
" Nameless-lovoloss-accursed ! Surely a ban ia upon me !"
And then, setting spurs to his horse, gallopod away at a rate whioh raised clouds of whito dust upon the chalky road over which ho flow.
When ho had gone at loaat so far as to be out of sight and out of hearing, a strange thing happened. From behind a little rising ground covered with young and stunted oaks emerged a form. Seen in the distance, it appeared like some odd monster, but on a nearer approaoh the last golden rays of tho sunset revealed a wild-looking Shetland pony with a boy upon his back. It was little Otho and his favorite Shag. Advancing Blowly at first, and looking cautiously about him, the boy appeared to fear observation or detection. But soon discovering the coast was cloar, ho tossed his little Scotch cap in the air, gavo a shrill, childish cheer, and urging Shag to his utmost speed, gallopod straight back to the margin of the lake.
DINNER was waiting at the Grange. The cook angry at a delay which ruined a pet dish ; Miss Henderson struggling between a sense of decorum and a good appetite ; and Otho and his tutor not yet returned.
The lady just mentioned paced the floor and glanced from the windows and vontod hor
decorous wrath in words as decorous.
" Highly improper. A want of punctuality is a sod tiling in ono who undertakes the in- struction of youth. Sad indeed. Mr. Malcolm should remember that. We have waited for him twice to-day, love."
" Let ÜB dino alone," she Baid. " There is no noed of waiting."
And elad of the oxouse, she lod the way to the dining-room. To meet Lionel that day, as thoy ' wore wont to meet, she felt would have
been too severe a trial.
The meal paBsed in silence Miss Hender-
son's unusually sharp appetite proventod her from notioing that Geraldine made the merest pretonce of eating. And when it was ovor both ladios adjourned to the parlor.
Even through the heavy windows and dropped curtains thoy could hear the rising storm-wind blowing from the lako shore. And Miss Hen- derson liBtenod with moro andmore impatience.
" The ohild will oortainly catch cold," she said. " I must say Mr. Malcolm, though BO very agreeable in his manners, doos not do his duty. He does not enoourage solid qualities in his pupil ; though in his education Otho im- proves."
" YeB, he does improve. He is a fino boy n very promising child. The only thing that troubles mo is his wildnoBS and a cortain gipsy look ; liko his mother's, my dear-oxaotly liko
"You think she actually was a gipsy, then,
Miss Henderson ?" asked Goraldino.
" Something very odd, at least, my door." " Did she love my uncle P"
" Bless me, my door, when a lady ÍB fond of her husband does she run away from him ?"
" Certainly not. She might, though, if she hated him. Fancy tho life a woman would lead bound to one whose every look and tono disgusted her. Fanoy the acts a woman might be forced to by her abhorrence. The horriblo shomo'whioh would poBSOBa her-tho-"
She paused, hiding hor face in hor hands ; and Miss Henderson, Btupcfiod with amaze- ment, regarded her for a few moments in utter silence. Then, folding hor hands on her belt, ' she said firmly :
"My love, no person of propriety would place herself in such a position. You aro allowing your imagination to oarry you away."
Geraldine heard and forced a laugh, which musical as it was, had no mirthful ring.
" I am an odd girl," she Boid. " Don't bo angry with mo. Of course you oro right. No good woman would live for sùoh a fato."
The ladies had takon their seats bofore the low firo which, after eventide, had always been lighted in the parlor of the Grange, oven in
that bland autumn weather.
To-night' it was very acceptable, for the air had grown rapidly cold and piercing.
Geraldine sat gazing into it as though she could read her destiny in thoso blazing embers. And for a while silonco reigned unbroken. The flickering blaze and the light of tho wax candles on the chimney-piece made tho apartmont look cheerful ; but without, the moaning of the ris- ing wind gave tokon of an approaohing storm ; and as the gale grew stronger Miss Henderson aroso and approached tho window.
Putting book tho crimson ourtains whioh veiled the panes, she looked out into the night, and strove to pierce the shadows whioh veiled the road by which little Otho and his tutor muBt return to the Grange.
Light yet lingered in the leaden sky, and the dark mosses of foliage whirled backward and forward as the trees bent before the bloat ; the whirling clouds of dust and the strange lurid glare upon the horizon so often the precursor of arising tempest, were more sombre than total darkness would hove been. Miss Hender- son shuddered.
" I trust Otho will come to no ill," she said. "It is very wrong of Mr. Malcolm."
" LU may havo oome to him !" aoid Geraldine, in a low voice. "For aught you know, ho may be detained by accident."
"I hope not P' ejaculated the governess. "In that case, what would dear little Otho do ? The child would be oertainly lost !"
Geraldine had risen, and stood at Miss Hen- derson's side. It had grown darker in those few moments, and both ladies pressed closer-to the window to decern the objects dimly visible without. From where they stood they could BOO the white road winding towards the lake, and upon it a dark object.
" What is it ?" cried Miss Henderson. " What is it ?" echoed Geraldine.
" I hear the tread of a horse," said the gov- erness. "How sily I am, love-they are coming."
'j One of them," Baid Geraldine, in a husky whisper. " There is but one horse ; and that oh, Heavenly Father, have morey-that is
And with one accord both ladies left the window, and flew towards the broad hall.
" Quick, quick !" cried Geraldine. "To the gate-all of you-to the gate !"
And a troop of frightened domestics had filled the hall, and dashed out into the night upon the instant.
There covered with foam, stood the horse upon which Lionel Malcolm had ridden from the Grange ; the saddle displaced, and a few drops of blood upon his white main-blood, not his own, but human.
At the sight of this Geraldine Bank fainting into the arms of her governess.
In the first panic, all that the terrified do- mestics could do was to store at each other, and utter lamentations.
" There's been on accident !"
« Where ? How did it happen ? When ?"
They asked questions, and found no answer. Miss Henderson alone retained some of the
presence of mind on which she prided herself. '
_ " No time is to be lost !" she said. " Thomp kins, Peter, John-you three take lanterns, and go along the road. You, DUlworth, saddle a horse, and ride at your best speed for Dr. Long forth; and yon, Edwards, take the chaise, and request Mr. Helmstono to do UB the favor of coming to the Grange. He will be a comfort to us, and I fear we BOOII need comfort."
Having given thoso orders, Miss Honderson, ] assisted, by the maids, convoyed tho fainting form of Geraldine to hor own apartment, where
for a long time thoy administered restoratives ¡ without avail. At last hor oyoB unclosed ; lifo carno slowly bock ; and seeing her Bafo, Miss Hendorson could not refrain from loaving the room, and joining tho few domestics loft below upon the porch.
All distinctions wore forgotton. Thoy ro mombered only their mutual anxioty. Tho lady and the servants woro only terrified women. Eacli found comfort iu the other's presonce.
" Shag didn't como, you know Miss," said tho cook. " Perhaps Otho ain't hurt at all."
' "The child would not leave his tutor; I know his disposition," said the housekeeper, Mrs. Mead. " DoubtlesB ho'll be found watch- ing over him, MÍSB Henderson."
"Hoavon grant it!" Baid tho governess. "We should not havo loft thom alono; yot who
could foresee this !"
Tho housemaid began to cry :
" Poor Mr. Malcolm ! such a pretty man, and ' so sweet spokon. Only think of him lying doad on the road !-Oh, graoious ! oh, my ! a ghost -a ghost !"
She shrieked, and fled, for from the shadows, of tho hall omerged a figure dressed in whito with streaming hair, and clasped hands. It was Geraldine, elad in the snowy dressing-gown in which her maid had onvolopod hor. She had caught the last words, aud repeated thom :
"Doad-dead-dead on the roadl Oh, Lionel, Lionel-just OB I hod boon so oruol to you ! Oh, my love-my life-my troosure-do not dio, not to-day ! I shall never coase to be misorablo ; I Bholl think myself your murderess. Oh! Lionel, Lionol."
" She's certainly dolirious," oried Miss Hen-
And the weeping maid, who had followed her from her chamber, ejaoulated :
" Oh, Miss, I am Büro abo is. She frightened, mo BO-she did indoed-that my heart was in my mouth. Oh my poor lady-"
" Come back to your own room, Goraldine," said MÍSB Henderson, sternly.
And Geraldino passivoly obeyed. The mo- mentary excitemont eeotnod gono, and all hor strength, with it. She allowed thom to put her to bed OB a weary ohild might havo done.-Only once she spoke :
" Dead-is he really dead ?"
"We know nothing yot, love," said Miss Hon dorson. " Thoy may bo both uninjured, or only slightly hurt."
" But some one said ho was lying dead upon the road. I heard some one say that," said
" A mero Burmise-a sorvant's foolish speooh. Your cousin may bo safo."
"My cousin?" said Goraldino, dreamily. " Yes, yes-I forgot Otho. I hope the child is safo. Yos ; Otho is not homo yet."
" Gracious goodness 1" ejaculated MÍSB Hen- derson, " forgot Otho. She must bo mad."
Geraldino said no moro. Indeed, to thoso about hor, she seemed to foil asleep.
In reality it was not Bleep, but stupor. The events of [the day had been too muoh for her brain. She was already seriously ill, and in great danger ; although, in tho anxioty of the moment, the fancy never entered any one's
In less than half an hour Mr. Holmstono
arrived, hardly loss agitated than wero the in- mates of the Grange. Shortly after Dr. Lang forth, the family physician, mado his appoar ance. The governess found comfort in the presence of these two gentlemen as womon will in that of the stornor sox in timos of troublo ; yet thoy could do littlo but wait with her, watching from tho window the rising storm, and listening in vain for the return of those who had gone forth from tho Grange in searoh of tho missing onos.
By this time al) Amesbury know that some accident had befollon little Otho and his tutor, and men and boys, gontlo and Bmiple, had
turaed out with lanterns and torohes.
These lights the watchers at tho Grange could soo dancing through the darkness, and they Boemod to add to thoir anxiety and torror, for forthor and farther thoy retreated, never paus- ing, never advancing toward the Grange ; and thoy knew by thoso signs that tho loBt ones
wero not found.
Dr. Langforth took out his watch and looked at it. It was nearly ton.
" Growing lato," he soid. "I fool that I am doing wrong in waiting idly hero ; yot should any serious accident havo happened, it would bo boBt for me to bo at the Grange. This is vory strange, Mr. Holrastone."
"Strango and terrible," said the olorgyman. " I would good news would come."
" Tho accident may hato happened near the lake itsolf," soid Miss Hendorson. " Wo went there to-day, and lady Geraldino and myself rodo homo, attendod by Peter. Thoy wero to
" If that were BO, WO need not hope to seo thom for many hours," said the dootor. " In dcod, in this storm thoy will hardly reach the spot at all."
" Tho poor, poor child," said Miss Hender- son, bursting into toora. " Ho will perish oven
" Nay ; he's of sturdy Btuff," said tho doctor. "Have courage, Madam. Look-aro thoughts .coming this way ?"
" It waB but a false hope. Somo of the party had paused to examine something, and they woro going on again. At last one after the other vanished in tho distance, and the watohers at the Grange saw nothing but tho darknoss.
" It is distracting," said Miss Henderson. " I thank Heaven Miss Geraldine sleeps through
At this moment a ahriok liko that of a lost
spirit echoed throughHhe Grange, and the three who heard it sprang to their feet with one ao cord just as the door burst open and Goraldino's
maid rushed in.
"Oh, my poor lady," she cried. "Come, como, come."
And MÍBS Henderson, with hasty stops, took the way to Geroldine's apartment, tho physician and olorgyman following her.
Geraldine was lying upon her couch, her cheeks glowing, her eyes aflame.
As they entered, she beckoned them to her with her small right hand.
" Hush !" she whispered. " Hush ¡ ho asked mo the reason-he whom I loved so I could not tell him ; but I will tell you, for you are all ghoBts. It's for my brother's sake-my poor brother. I did it to save him. But the ring will kill me. Fancy his hand putting the wed- ding ring on my finger-his horrible hand. Oh, Lionel, Lionel. No-I reinembor now. I mustn't tell-I mustn't tell. Go-go-go !"
Her voice aroBO to a acreom, and Miss Hen-, I derson clasped her hands wildly.
" She is delirious," she said ; " one terrible trouble after the other. Oh, what a fearful day
tlÚB has been !"
The physician bent over her and felt the fovered pulse.
" She needs great care," he said. " Be calm, madam ; all your calmness is needed-all your strength."
And Miss Henderson, with a heavy heart and dreary anticipations, sat down beside her pupil's couch to watoh the night through.
MORNING broke over the Grange amidst olouds and moaning winds. Without was the storm, within a gloom more terrible.
Geraldine tosBed in the delirium of fever upon her couch, and there was no news of the missing or.es. When news came, it could scarcely be anything but the worst, and was now dreaded rather than hoped for.
When, from the drawing-room window, good Mr. Helmstone saw forms approaching the Grange through the dense fog, he felt a longing to fly and hide himself as a child might.
Conquering it, however,* he went down to the hall, and stood there, waiting until the footsteps ascended the doorsteps. Then he opened the door and went out to meet them.
The foremost of the group looked at the others, and then held out what he held in his hand. Some boys' clothing; a little Scotoh cap, a plaid rent m two, and a shoe. ,
Mr. HelmBtone looked, at them. One glance, sufficed. They were the garments he had often"
> seen little Otho wear.
" Whoro did you find theso ?'' ho soid.
" Down along sido of the lake," said the man, in a husky voico. "Tho clothos-tho cop-I bato to bring bad nowa. Tho cap was in the
Tho old man trombled Uko a loaf.
" My child-my poorlittlo Otho," ho gasped.
" And Mr. Malcolm-Lionol ?"
"Wo've found nothing else," said tho man. " Likoly both aro drownod. Perhaps the boy got in and the master tried to Bavo him. Wo think BO. I seom sort o' unfeeling, likely, but I don't fool so. I haven't tho knack of talking, parson."
"No, no, my friond," said Mr. Holms tono. " But this is sod nowa. I loved both tho child
and the young man. I wish my old lifo could havo been taken and thoir's spared, but God's
will bo dono."
Ho could say no moro, but turned away, boaring the garmonts thoy had plaood in his hands with him. It was, perhaps, the saddeBt moment of his long life.
Down in the kitohon tho sorvants talked the matter over, and drank a good doal of tea and some beor to consolo themsolvos. The rathor ploasant excitement which family afflictions always awaken in tho kitohon oabinotkopt thom from low spirits, though every fomalo oarriod a span olean handkerchief in hor hand, and talked of that poor, door little Otho, and poor, door, handsome Mr. Malcolm.
Miss Henderson, perhaps, Buffered moro than any one. Goraldino was unconscious. Mr. Holmstone had a courago and trust in Provi- dence which few mortals aro happy onough to posBOSB. The doctor waa grieved and shocked, but that was all. But yfhen tho oyos of the govornoBB rested on the dainty little garments ovor wliioh tho ourate bowod his hoad, her courago quite gavo way, and, for tho first time
in hor lifo she foil to the floor in a death-like swoon. ,,
" Wo shall novor BOB the ohild again," she said, whon sho recovored-"novor. I hove given up all hopo. Wero he olivo, he would have been found before now. But Mr. Malcolm -is ho also doad ? Ho was a man and a strong one. This horrible mystery-oh, this horriblo mystery. I oould havo bomo bettor to soe the littlo darling doad upon his pillow. Then we Bhould hovo known the worst. And oh, what will the worst bo when wo know it P"
Sho might well ask. In a fow hours^ the horror which hung above the orango grow BO great that oven tho domosticB coasod to enjoy it, and woro BO completely ímcomfortablo that thoy put their olean handkerchiefs away and oriod in earnoBt, with their aprons to their eyes. Tho mystery grow darker thus :
About four in the afternoon Jonathan Johns carne into the parlor, where Mr. Holmstono sat alone, and said, in a suppressed voico :
" Somebody wants to seo ono of the family, sir. Miss Goraldino ant fit to bo spokon to now, sick as sho is ; and I think you'd be bottor than Miss Hendorson. So I thought I'd ask if I should send him in. I think, sir, it's pretty
bad kind o' DOWB."
" I foar no othor oan oome to tho Grange just now," said the poBtor.
" I foar so too, sir," Baid Jonathau. " Well, I'll send him." And ho vanished.
In a momont moro a gaunt, grim-faced man stood at tho door, looking at tho pastor.
His head was Uko that of somo stern old Ro- man. His featuros cast in tho same mould. His form thin but sinewy, and his mouth ox prosBivo of resolution and détermination. He mode no inclination, no sign of roBpoot ; yet his aspoct forbado a BUBpicion of intentional rudenoss. Without a pauso he stalked in and seated himself opposite Mr. Holmstono.
" You're Parson Holmstono, I boliovo, sir,"
" Yes, my friend," replied tho old man.
" I've heord you preach often, and I've been edified for all I'm not Episcopal," said the man. " I seom to know you as if I had boen ac- quainted years. But you ha? n't soon me, it's likely. I'm Ebon Oats. Only this morning I hoard what had happened up hero. I've boon up North, to buy furs ogin the winter trado. I oomo along hum by Ontario, so's to BOO a brother o' mino, a oaptain of a boot on tho lake. I got ashore this e'en ; tho night.of tho Btorm ; tho night tho little boy was first missing."
The look, with whioh he utterod tho last words mado the old man's blood run cold.
" Do you know anything of our poor child ?" ho gaspod.
" I couidn't put my hand on tho Bible and Bay as I know," said the man. " But I bolievo for sortin that I do. There'B boon foul play, sir. The boy has boon murdered.
"Murdered! who would murdor a bnbo? Mr. Malcolm indood may havo fallon a viotim !"
Eben Oats interrupted him.
" Mr. Malcolm is safe," he said. " I never want to ßhock pooplo, but if I wasn't in the Bociety of a clergyman I couldn't call him Mr. Malcolm, quiet-liko, without a word or two
before the name. Tkoro's no harm como to him."
Mr. Holmstono said nothing, Ho could only staro at tho speakor OB one might at some fear- ful thing in Bpooohloss terror.
" I carno along by a road whore I could soo tho Lake that night. It was blowing great guns, and I'm not a member of a teetotal Booioty yot, BO I thought I'd warm myself with a dram. Thore was only one placo with a light in the window, and that was Poto Atkius'e. Ho knows mo and I know him. I went in.
Woll, wo wero talking and drinking, whon a knock oomoB on tho door and somo ono said :
" ' This is a tavern, I believe.' % ," ' Taint nothin' olso,' says Pete.
" ' Can you accommodate mc,' eays the man, ' for the night ?'
" ' Room onough,' says Pete.
" ' And in walks a gentleman. His fore- head was out and blooding, and ho looked very polo. He asked for a glass of Uquor and some- thing to cat, and sat down. Seemed to mo I knew the face, and soon it oomo to mo. The gentleman that was teaching Mr. Grantford's little boy. I alwoys_liked him. So up I walks.
" ' E venin,' says I.
" Ho nods. Bays I :
" ' You're o good way from home, air.'
" ' I am,' said ho. ' Are you a Virginian !" "I laughed.
" ' No,' says I ; ' I'm talking the Grange.'
" ' Ah,' says he. 'Yes, I sholl be farther to-
" ' Going away P' says I.
" ' Yes,' says no-' going away.'
" 'Little boy will miss you,' soys I. > " Ho mode no answer, and said I : '"You've been hurt, I see.'
" ' I was thrown from my horse,' ho said, and then got up from the table.
" ' I've changed my mind,' ho Boid ; ' I wiU go on to-night,' and ho paid Pete for his meal
and walked off.
" HÍB head was cut and his face as white as a sheet, and there was mud and dust on his olothes. 'Twasn't my business, though, for aU I knew, he'd boen in a fight, as ovory man has a right to. I'm sorry now. Parson Helmstone, the boy has beon murdered, and you can judge who murdered him."
" No one I know-no ono I over saw," oriod Mr. Helmstone. " There ore mon bad enough to bo Satan's instruments even here, but those I know are not amongst thom-no, no, no."
" ' 'Tis past believing," soid Ebun Oats ; " tho first thought on't was a blow to me, for I'd been taken m by his blue eyeB and his sweet smile ; but it was him, and if I'd known it I'd have dragged him hero alive or dead. A black- hearted vflUon-for if s the teacher and no ono else, that has murdered tho innocent, fatherless
" Hush ! hush !" shrieked the old man, ex- tending his trembling hands toward Eben Oats. "Accuse no man falsely. Lionel murder a ohild ! Lionel, with his true eyes and gontlo voice ! He loved the boy. You lie ! You oro mad ! Oh, miserable wretch that I am, why did I ever open the gates of the Grange to him ? No, no, no ! I cannot, will not beUeve it. How dore I? How dare you? Hove you looked into his face ? Hove yon heard him speak ? Ho was good-true. Besides he hod no mo- tive. The worst mea never murder without a motive. And wo ore not sure Otho is dead yet."
Eben O ate looked at the old olorgyman with no alteration of his stern expression.
" Fm. Borry for you," he said. " But I bo
liovo the ohild is murdered, and that the teacher I did the dood. As for motive, you'll find he had ono. If I was a close to him as I was that night, I'd give all the Bkins I oxpoot to soil this winter. Tho baso, blaok-hoartoa rascal-"
As ho spoko tho knooker whioh hung at tho Grange door was lifted. Tho ooho of its elong rang through tho houso, and in a momont Jonathan Johns stood before tbo two men.
" They're coming," ho said j " thoy'vo found him. Oh, Mr. Holmstono, it's too horriblo too horriblo ! Thoy'vo found littlo Otho doad !"
Tho clergyman claspod his hand to his fore- head, gazed at tho speaker an instant, and thon tho white hoad drooped, and ho foil forward
insousiblo into tho arms of Ebon Oats.
CHAPTER XI. THE ARREST.
IN tho waiting-room of a dopôt of tho Now York Central Railroad, at a brauoh which passes not many milos from Pulaski, somo ten or twonty passongors woro collootod in tho dim morning light of tho day sucoooding that on whioh good farmor Oats had informed the pastor of his suspicions. Bluo-nosed and cold thoy looked in that early hour, and BufBoiently ill-tomporod, OB mon will be who havo swallowod hasty breakfasts, whon the last morning nap has its groatoBt temptation to most sleepy mortals ; and tho conversation whioh passed among thom was neither oheerful nor amiable
"Behind timo again," said o stout gontloman in a shawl. " Upon my word I'll write to tho papora tho moment I roaoh Now York-if I ovor do ; though my opinion is, ladies and gontlomon, that nono of us will over get thoro alivo. Fifteen minutes' detention is onough to bring on a collision, as we all know."
" Laws a marsy !" oried an oldorly lady in tho corner, " what shall I do ? If you really think so, sir, I'll go bock hum."
" No use, no uso, mam," soid the old gontlo- man. " Likoly, if you do, thoy'll havo anothor to-morrow. I always wind up my business affairs, and leovo everything as I should WÍBII my widow to find it, beforo I trust myself to crooked boilers, and rusty ongiuos propellod ovor broken rails and open drawbridges by tipsy engineers."
The old lady shrieked, and o middle-aged lady in tho cornor, addressing no ono in parti- cular, remarkod :
" Tipsy ! A more sober, roBpootable sot of mon I novor know. My cousin Ann marriod one who was blown up a year after with his own engine, and lbft her very comfortable, though inoonsolablo. Tipsy ! I hope that term may not bo appropriate to some folks not o
hundred milos nonce."
" Frightful aooidonts there aro on thoso linos, it is truo," said a mau in a great coat of light purplish groy.
" Judgments for using steam instead of the good old stages," mumblod a very old man.
To whioh his son, in a rod comforter and a glozod oap, replied, in an audiblo whisper :
" You shut np, Dad, if you can't talk senso. Judgments bo flddlod."
"I declaro, William," whimporod a pretty brido in the cornor, " my Bhawl has boon off throo timos, and you'vo let mo pull it up my Bolf. When you woro paying attention to mo you uaod to bo moro attentive.
" Bother !" mutterod tho sleepy William, " why don't you pin it ? You'vo waked mo up again, and I was juBt off in a dozo."
" This ohild will hove tho croup certainly," said a plump young mothor, surveying hor infant with despairing oyes. "Mr. X., I do wish you'd soo whore the.drought comos from ; and button Potor's littlo elqak, will you ? You might attend to that poor boy."
"Thoro's no plaoe for a draught to como from," said tho spouse. " You aro always in a fidgot about something. Noxt time I oomo to tho Lakes I'll not bother mysolf with women
and ohildron if I know it."
" Thoro's the whistle," said ono.
" No, 'tisn't," said another. " Nob timo for it. Your watch is wrong."
" How cold." (
" Altogether too warm."
" Open tho window, will you, sir ?"
" I bog your pardon-I oan't havo it opon. I shall dio of ehüf."
At this junoturo tho door of tho waiting room opened and two persons ontered. Al- though thoy caine at tho same moraont into tho presnnco of tho other pasBongors, it was plain that thoy woro not companions, for ono of thom on entering joBtled the other, and, turn- ing, soid : " EXOUBO, mo, Bir," as mon only Bpoak to strangors. Ho, this Bpcaker, was a toll, fine man, with very handsomo oyos, and a
well-bred air and voice.
Ho was perfeotly dreBsod, but had ovidontly rocently mot with some fall or accident, for his arms and shouldors were coverod with dust, and on his tomplowoB a grazod spot from which a littlo drop of blood still trickled. Instead of joining_ the group about tho Btovo, ho walkod to a window at the ond of tho room and bogan to wipe tho dust from his garments with his
The other man was a totally difforont parson -a coarse, dark-skinned follow, with a squat, awkward figuro, and Jewish features, without the Oriental grandour of a fino Jewish face. Ho had twinkling blaok eyeB, and closoly Bhaved hoir, and waa attired in a flashy, Btaring style,
whioh at onoe attracted observation.
His hands woro not over cloon, but thoy gUttered with rings, and on his bosom sparkled a stone intended for a diamond. Elbowing his way to the Btovo, ho stood thoro for a few mo monta warming his hands and book alternately, and then, with an inquisitive glance at the other new comer, orossed the room and stood beside him, with a loud
" Hurt yourself, I reckon."
" Not Boriously, thank you," said tho othor. " Luoky for you. How did you do it ?" " My horse throw me."
Tho answor was not given in a tone to on courage further conversation, but the man who hoard it was not one to need oncouragement.
Ho went on.
" P'raps tho oniine scored him." «No.'f
" Got him out, there ?" " N°-"
" What's your time ?" continuod ttíé sooiablo stronger taking out his watch. " If I'm right,
tho train is behind hand."
" My watch has stopped," said the othor.
" Cheap affair, likely," said tho man, wink- ing. "Don't say you bought it cheap, but ohoap at first, you know, and you'vo been took in. I'm a judge of watches ; always get a good bargain if I go with a friend to buy one, not that I'm a jeweller."
The person ho addressed looked out of the window, and answered by a caroloss
" Not I," said the1 other. " I'm ono of the partners of JoneB & Co., Simeon Blix, called Sim. by my friends for short. I don't know how I como to bo such a judge of gold and suoh things. Take it natural as brats do the whooping cough, I reckon. I say, that's a confounded pretty dodge, oint it ?"
" To what do you allude, eir P"
"That," said Mr. Blix, pointing to some letters painted on a panel of the door. " That, ' Out of respeot to the ladies, gontlomon are requested not to smoke in this room.' Phow! a pretty dodgo. If moro men wore like me, the cigars would como out wherever that was stuck np. Ladies-bah I Not that I'm a wo- man hater, sir."
The other smiled involuntarily, and Mr. Sim. Blix, considering his lost remark o glorious joke, roared loud and long.
" No, sir," he said. " When I see a hand- some gal I know it, and I let her know it, bet
your Ufe._ They say Sim. Blix is some in I ladies' sooiety, and I beliovo 'em'. It's this con founded plan of having to bo poUte to women, old or ugly, that I object to, and when I'm
married I shan't let my wife boss it, neither, j
bet your life."
The stranger regarded him with a peculiar I smile, and soid again :
"And indeed," said tho communicative BUx, I "though I am about to enter into what parsons call the ' nuptial state,' for all that. I'm to be married soon, and my gal Uves up north a bit. That's what took mo up. I went to see her.' You know a white house with wings and a ou-1 ' pola. Something they call a conservatory atop,1
and an observatory for flowers behind. Wait a bit. I don't know whioh is tho ob nor whioh is tho con, exootly. I'm not highfolutin, but tho whole placo thoro is. It's coiled " Tho Grango," bloBs you, oud what with pioturo rooms ond lib'riea, you oan't find your way about without a servant. Yes, my gal lives thoro. You look as if you'd soon a ghost. What ails you ?"
In fnot, tho person to whom this monologua had boon addrosscd had turnod palo as ashos. His bored oxprossion had ohangod for ono of doop interost, and ho answored rapidly ond oornostly :
" I know tho Grange. I am acquainted with thoso who livo thoro. Your-the lady you speak of is perhaps employed in some capa- city-"
" Ha, ho !" roared Mr. Blix ¡ " think my gal is ono of tho sorvants, do you? Hi ! I'm not offended, you know. Tho hoad cook and bottlo washor is handsomo onough to oatch anybody. I always kisB her whenever I go thero. But my gal-MOBS my oyos ! What d'ye say, now, to its being Gerry Osprey hcrsolf ?"
"Whom, sir P"
" Gorry Osproy."
" Miss Goraldino Osproy P"
" Lord, yos¡ that's good onough for you, of oourse. I coll hor Gerry. That s hor unolo's placo, you know."
" I can scarcely boliovo this," faltered tho other, spooking unconsciously aloud.
" No P woll, she's a sot up piooo enough refused all tho rich mon in tho place, thoy say. But sho's takon a shino to mo ; BO I oan't ob- ject."
" Will youromembor, Bir, that this is apublio place ?" said tho gontleman, with a flash in his bluo oyo. "You aro not owaro how loudly you oro spooking."
" Eh P Why tho duoo shouldn't I apeak loud ?" askod tho astonished Blix.
" Booauso, Bir, you aro spooking of o lady whom you must certainly dosiro to rospeot."
" Haven't said anythiug against her," said Blix, in as loud a voico as over. " Sho's a jolly gal, and I don't caro who knows I liko hor. As for 'respoot to tho ladios,' that's all bosh! When Gorry Osproy is my wifo, I'll-"
" Sir !" said his companion, growing with ovory moment moro indignant, " I, for ono, rospeot all womon, and this lady of whom you spoak as dooply as any of her sex. I cannot hoar hor namo uttered in Buoh a tone in any publio place."
" You oan't! who aro you ?" askod Mr. Blix, with his foco within an inoh of the olhor's.
" I hopo a gontleman."
" And ain't I one P ,phow ! I'll bet a dollar now you aro swoet on Gorry Osprey yoursolf some of tho trash sho's givo the saok to. I saw your look whon I talkod about tho Grango.
You d botter-"
Tho 8ontonco WOB novor finished. A strong right hand, that had clinohod and quivered for the last fow moments, did it's will ut last, and knooked Mr. Sim. Blix down. With such forco, too, that ho saw stars, and hoard Niagaras, and loy gasping for breath upon tho boro boards.
His fall brought tho group, muoh inorcosod in dimensions sinco the opening of our ohaptor, from tho Btovo side, and a tumult onsuod, ovory one talking at onoo.
" Poor follow ! is ho hurt ?"
" Poor indood ! He's booon insulting a lady. I heard thiB gentleman say BO."
" No ono bas a right to commit assault and battory. Our livos wouldn't bo safe."
" Insulting women oughtn't to bo bomo." " Pick him up."
" Lot him lio there-good for him."
" I say, stronger, what did ho do to you P"
Tho victim of tho blow raeanwhilo slowly re- gained his sonsos, and tho giver thoroof Btood with flashing oyo, and oloudod brow, obovo him, as though tomptod to repeat it should his antagonist riso.
Just thon the bell bogan to ring furiously, and all was forgotten in the hurry of tho mo mont. Pooplo abandoned the scene of aotion, and flow for their bags and bundles ; and Mr. Blix struggled to h¡B foot, with an oath.
" I'll havo my revenge I" ho shoutod. "I'll mark you ! Look at tho blood pouring from my head ! It's broke, I'vo no doubt ! Is thero a policeman horoabouts P"
As though ia answer to his query, ovon as ho spoke tho door oponed and two mon, whoso calling no mortal could for u momout havo doubted oven in plain clothes, stood amongst
One advanced, the othor quietly looked the
" Do quiot, good folkB," bo Baid. " You shall none of you bo left behind j but no ono can leave the room just now."
" We can't bo detained by a row botwoon a couple o( blackguards !" shouted the ill-torn pored man in a shawl.
" My things is all aboard," squealed tho old lady, and erics of-it's too bad ! impudont, what do thoy moan ?" fillod tho room.
Mr. BUx alono was satisfied.
" I've got witnoBsos that ho knookod mo down," ho cried ; " thoy aU saw it. Look at
my hoad. I'l^ givo him whatever thoro ¡B to
give him by low. Assault and battery. I can prove it." Ano} a volley of oathB rang on tho
The poUooman lietonod quietly.
" If this is true, it's aU tho worse for you," ho said, addressing tho gentleman who had in- flicted tho blow. ' " You aro Lionel Malcolm. Don't dony it ; wo know you. You aro my prisoner. '
He drow o pair of handouffs from his pockot, OB ho spoke, and the other policeman oponed
" Three minutos to roach tho oars, ladies and gentlemen," ho said ; and the words acted Uko magic.
Tho most ouriqus forsook their posts, and Simeon Blix alono romoinod to observo tho
" The cars arc off", sir," said the policoman at
" Deuco take the cnrB," said Simeon, " I won't be hustjed off. I a'n't a stranger. I'm, OB you may say, ono of the family up at tho Grango. Going to marry into it. Lionel Mal- colm! Hang it. Tho tutor, is ho P I'll swear to him as a blood-thirsty roBoal, for one."
Lionel stood quietly with his arms folded on
" For what am I arrested ?" ho asked, in a calm tone. " I have been guilty of no oflbneo, unlosB the chastisement of this insolent bruto bo one. Yot your manner loads mo to fancy Borne grave charge has boon modo against mo."
"No monia bound to criminato himsolf," said the pohooman, who kept his hand upon Lionel's shoulder. " But wo are old hands. Gammon won't go down with us. You know what it is, and had best not talk. It might do you harm."
"What is the charco ?" ropooted Lionel.
The policoman rogurded him with tho s torn, cold eye of ono whom much experience in OTU men and ovil doods has mado suspicious.
" The ohorgo," he said, " is tho murder of your littlo pupil, Otho Grantford, Mr. Mal-
" Otho Grantford !" ejaculated Malcolm ; " Otho Grantford ! Surely no harm has como to tho boy ! Not MB murder ! You wish to shock me ! The child is injurod-ill-in danger
-but not murdered.'"
"Yourpupil, Otho Grantford, has eortoiruy been murdered," repeated the policeman. " On that charge I arrest you."
" You acouso me of it I me, merciful Heaven ! I have gone mad, or this is some horriblo dream ! Who dares acouso me of that deed ? Horrible 1 horrible! horrible!"
Lionel Malcolm sank* upon a bench over- powered with emotion, hiding his face in both hands, and Simeon BUx stared at him with a mingled look of triumph and terror on his
"If you want evidence as to his blood-thirsty disposition," ho said. " I can give it, you know. Everybody that was in the room saw him at- tack mo, you know-eh P"
The poUooman made no answer. He was ob- serving Lionel's emotion with the eye of one who askod, " Is this guilt or innocence ?"-ond when he spoke it was in a more friendly voice.
" Mr. Malcolm, the bell is ringing. It is my duty to take yon back to PuloBki. If you con promise to go with us quietly, there'll be no
need of these," and he clinked a pair of hand- cuffs, which ho hold, togothor.
"I B1IQ.11 make no attempt to escapo," said Lionol. " This chargo is so outrageous that it will bo easy to disprovo it." And without an- other word ho left tho waiting room with the two policomon.
[TO HE CONTINUED.]