|Chapter Number||XIX - XXII|
|Chapter Title||THE ESCAPE.|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||Grantford Grange|
BY MABY KYLE DALLAS.
IN half an hour tho cell door re-opened to let in the gaoler, who came to remove the remuants of Lionel's evening meal and see that all was right for the night. His searoh was brief, and ho evidently had not the slightest suspicion of what had ocourred. When it was over he ap-
proached the little table and lifted bowl and spoon from it. As ho did so his eye reBted on
tho untouched loaf.
" Haven't had much appetite, I see," he said.
Lionel shook his head,
"I should think you wouldn't,' said the gaoler. "Poor old soul, I don't believe she'll overget this. Old folks takes things hard. You must have been a pot of hera."
"She has indeed boon lind to mo," said
" Reckoned so," said tho gaoler. "Why, I had a'most to carry her down stairs, and then she held on to tho door and said BUO couldn't leave her dear nephew in priaon. The MÍSBUS cried hard to hear her. The young lady boro up pretty well ; but the old un I didn't expoot would live to get out. Ah, it oughter bo a warning to young mon to seo how people break their hearts when thoy go wrong. Well, I'll take the loaf, I suppose."
Lionel's heart gave a wild leap and stood still. His eye' was rivetted on tho broad hand of the gaoler hovering over the loaf. Should it touch it the weight might at once reveal the truth. It was a second of horriblo suspense. But a thought struck him.
Pointing to a spot upon tho floor, he cried : " Have you loBt a key ?"
And the gaoler turned with a suddon start.
"It's only a nail head, I believe," said Lionol, "Confound it, yes," replied the man. "I thought I was too cute to drop my koys about."
" I'll keep the loaf,'1 said Lionel 5 " my ap- petite may come in the night."
And the gaoler, with a rough " Very woll," left the cell, locking the door behind him.
Lionel listoned to his retreating footsteps listened to every noise within or without tho gaol-to the mice in tho walls, tho croaking of the vane upon the roof, the distant roll of a market wagon, and tho wailing shriek of tho engine as tho evening train thundered past. For'a long time ho dared not touch thoso precious tools lost chance should bring tho gaoler to his cell again. And when at last he drow them from thoir concealment, he trembled from head to foot with exoitement.
There they reposed upon his palm, glittering oven in the faint moonlight whioh reached tho littlo cell. He felt how wondrously strong and Bharp they Tyero, and how woll fitted for his purpose, and then mounted to tho window. There were nine perpendicular rods of iron, thicker thaii a man's thumb beforo the panoB. All must b< removed before ho could force his person through the aperture. It was a work of time, aid Lionol began his task, growing bolder as/time passed, and dead silence proved that all leithin the prison were asleep.
To use such caution-to descend Boftly with each red as it was removed-to keep a watoh upon the road, lost some lato passenger should deteofchim by tho moonlight-when his blood was ¿oiling with impatience, tried Lionel's norv/s BB they had never been tried in all his life/
Re could havo exerted all his strength and have forgotten everything beside in ¡hiB taBk, bat this luxury was denied him. Detection
*ould be fatal.
.Slowly tho file passed through tho rods j /slowly they were luted one by one from their places. Five wore already gone, when a sound caused Lionel to pause in lus labor-the sound of steps in tho corridor, accompanied by the jingling of keys.
For the moment Lionel bolieved that tho
noise ho made had aroused tho gaolor ; but after a brief suspenso ho carno to the decision that the sounds woro made by the feet of a great dog that roamed the gaol by night and by tho jangling of the short ohain about hiB neck. Relieved of his apprehension, ho at once betook himself to his task with redoubled energy, and ere the hour of twelve, had cleared his prison window of its overy bar. Then for the first time he looked from the aperture to tho ground below. The room was in an upper floor and many feet from the earth. To jump or fall would be to court destruction, and, as yet, none of those of whom the gipsy had spoken woro in eight. Lionol peered into the shadows anxiously, and fancied overy bush or stono a crouohing figure, until the dook of a neighbor- ing church dropped twelve^ Btrokes into tho night, when there oame from the little flagged place about the prison door a whistle, clear as that of some night bird.
Lionel cast his eye down and saw a figure standing flat against the wall, and at the same moment a pebble spun past his head into tho room. Wrapped about it was a cord; andas with eager hands the prisoner drew it up ho found at its end another of greater strength, and bolow that a heavy rope capnblo of sup- porting a great weight.
" Make it fast, my lad," called the voice of the whistler below, " and bo spry if you can. Time is flying."
Lionol glanced around. A great projecting boam caught his eye. To this ho knotted the rope, and then, olambering to tho Bill, prepared
for his descent.
One glance ho gave at the closed door, thon, clasping the rope, set his feet against the masonry, and swung clear of the wall. The ropo glided through his glowing hands. Ho hung dizzily in mid air. Then, tho window farther and earth neoror with every instant, he kept his hold, though the burning of tho flayed palms was agony, until his feet touched the ground.
There, giddy and bowddered, scarcely able to Bee or hear distinctly, he was seized upon by two stout men, who, with breathless
whispers of caution, hurried him away between
On from the prison grounds to a lonely path leading toward the woods-through long grass and tangled undergrowth-until they stood within a little hollow, where, about a fire, stood four other men-all young, all wild of look and mien-who watched the operations of on old woman who stirred some savory mess in what might have been a witche's
caldron over a fire of sticks.
Each hand flew to belt or bosom as the
stops approached; but a shrill whistlo from Lionel's conductor put them at their ease, and they moved asido to let the new-comers ap-
proach the fire.
" Welcome, lads," said one of the number.
" Good," replied the man addressed. " There's no chase as yet. But we've no time
to lose. Whore are the duds ?"
The old woman tossed a bundle of ragged men's clothing across the flames, and the young gipsy addressed Lionel :
" Put these on, sir, and make the others into a bundle. Then when you'vo smeared your face a bit, tied up one eye with a handkercker, and taken tinker's traps over your shoulder, your own mother wouldn't know you. We'll travel with you until daybreak, and whoever sees us will see nothing but a party of tinkers on the tramp. You'll need to eat and wet your wlistle before you go.--Come, old mother, is the stew dene ?"
"Ready, ready," said tho woman, as she tilted the mess into sundry panB and bowls, with a spoon in each, and tossed some bread into a basket. " Set to ; you'll need it before you have another meal, my pretty gentleman."
And Lionel, by this time dressed in his new attire, sat down on the green grasB amongst
It was a haäty meal, but a hearty one. Over and over again tho dishes were filled and emp- tied ; and at last the young follow who seemed to be master of the ceremonies started up.
" Come, lads," he said ; " no time to spare. Stow your grub, and hand round the demijohn. Health and good luck to the gentleman, and may the Btars make his heels light I"
Each of the group swallowed a draught of the liquor in the veBsel passed from hand to hand, and then, leaving the old woman busy with her own meal, set out on their journey.
Almost in the dark at first, for the moon had sot, and tho stars gave faint and fitful light ; but by and by, when thoy had well passod that part of the country familiar to Lionol, in the gray and misty twilight whioh precedes the dawn ; and at length in a flood of golden light, under a sky full of many-tinted clouds.
When every cottage window glistened liko molten silver, the leader of the little band turned toward Lionel.
"We must leave you hore," he said. "It's your own fault if you're taken after this. Trust to tho tinker's dress for this day, and bo wary. Good-bye, and good luok to you."
_ " I thank you all," said Lionel. " Woro I rioh I would do something to ropay you. As it is, I have a little monoy, which you will picoso me by accepting."
He took forth his purso, and held it toward the gipsy ; but the latter shook his head,
"'TiBn't often wo rofuso money," ho said,
" but we can't take that^ We know, somo of us, what it is to bo hunted Uko a wild beast. You'll need it all. Only, look you, when you meet a gipsy in trouble, think of to-night, and don't go against him. Good-byo."
" Good-bye, and a million thanks !" said
And the noxt moment ho stood alone upon tho road-alone, in his tinker's dress, with furnace and soldor-pot on his shoulder, and a jingling ring of keys over his arm.
" No one would have recognised in him any- thing but the wandering workman in searoh of jobs. Buteafo though ho knew himself tobo for the moment, tho knowledgo of his position dawned upon him in all its horror for tho first time, as ho stood watching tho retreating forms of his guides.
Ho was no longer in tho prison ; he was free ; but, alas ! unless somo evont almost miraculous took place, freo for what? To wandor over tho world, nameless and liomoloss, forevor more ; to feel that where his namo was spoken it was mingled with words of hate and horror ; to know that honest mon wore full of zeal to have him dono to death as a wild
beast who had stolen iuto some shoop-fold to rend the young lambkins of tho flock ; to fly while life should last before the haunting
horrors of a felon's doom !
This was his portion-this !
But with it all carno one pure consolation: Goraldino trusted, Geraldine pitied, Geraldino loved him. Come what might, ho had the memory of her oarosBing touch, of her pure kiss, to Bustain him. Tho worst was passed when she first put her hand in his, and told bun
of her faith in his innocence.
So struggling with his emotion, Lionel plodded on his way, putting with overy hour now miles botwoen hiinsolf ond tho pursuora who might oven now bo on his track.
THE sun was sotting ; the last goldon rays wore scattered over a gipsy camp, bronzing the dark faces upturned toward the sky as their owners lollod or lay upon the grass.
Suppor was cooking ovor tho firo, and tho tents were pitched for tho night. Tinkor's tools and furnaces wero tossed hore and thore, and more than ono game at cards was going on amidst tho dusky groups of lithe, alondor
Somo of the women wero lazily chatting, some clumsily mending tattered garmonts, others nursing babes with oyes like jet boadB, and tiny hands, marvellous alike for symmotry
One woman, whom wo havo Boen, Bat undor a tree, watching a boy amongst its branches a boy who looked as much a gipsy as tho rest,
and whom wo should not havo known for Otho
Grantford by any outward tokons of dresB or
The handsomest by far of all tho gipBy chil- dren he cortainly was, and Hagar watched him swinging, half elad, amongst the boughs, with mighty prido.
At last sho called him.
"Como down to your mammy, little lad," and ho came at once, springing to her side with a laugh of perfect gleo.
" Put thy hoad in mammy's lap," she said, " and tell her, dost like being a gipBy ?"
" Bettor every day," said the boy. " And tell mammy why."
" I'm out of doors all day," said the child. "No one over says to mo, 'Havo you learnt your lesson ?' I don't have to study ; I don't sit wishing I was a bird, in a musty room, with a grammar before mo. I don't bato any- thing as I used to hato Latin. I'd like to soo Geraldine, and Miss Henderson, and Mr. Mal- colm, but I wouldn't go back to the Grange for
" And dost lovo mammy, lad ?" asked Hagar. " Dearly," said tho boy.
And she fondled him and played with bimi much as some splendid tigress might with hor frolicsome young.
Then, lying on hor lap, with his faoo up- turned to hers, the boy coaxed his gipsy mo- ther to sing to him, and though tho words of the song wore coarse and wild enough, there' was music in tho rendering of the tuno, as muoh, perhaps, as there might have boen, had it been caroled by some world-famed prima
Suddenly, as Hagar sang, a hand came down on her shouldor, and a voice whispered in hor
" You haven't lost your voice yet, I seo, Ha- gar. By Jove, it's a pity you haven't had a chance in tho opera. You'd have mado a for- tune, you would."
Hagar turned, with a sudden pause in her song, and found Simeon Blix beside her.
Almost unconsciously she gathered her boy in her arms, and looked at him angrily.
" What brings you here ?" she said. Sim. laughed aloud.
"I an't como to take the brat," he said. "There, now, put yourself at ease. I was afeared, to tell the truth, you'd got sick of him, and wanted to send him back, so I come over to advise you not."
The woman laughed.
"You never were half a gipsy," she said. " Don't you know us better ? My boy loves his mammy. I love him dearly. Old Som couldn't part us, unless he wanted to lose his horns and his eyes. Hey, my lad, shall thoy take you back to the Grange? Here's one oome for you."
Otho drew himself up and folded his arms.
" I'll never go away," ho said. "I'll kill them if thoy try to take me."
" My own lad spoke then," said Hagar. " And what are you now ?"
" Little king of the gipsies," said Otho.
" He looks it," said Hagar. " Nay, Sim., wo are not tired of each other yet, and I wish only that I dared maroh np before the Grange windows and cry, * See, you couldn't keep my pretty lad from his own mother, if she is a gipsy woman.'"
" You'd best not try it," said Sim., " and look hero, young un, they've got a bigger lot of books, and a good rattan, too, for you, if they only catch you. But, I say, Hagar, you're bolder than I would be to stay BO noar."
" The bolder the safer," said Hagar. "After the things that have happened, who could say anything but that a gipsy boy looked like the one that was to be heir of the Grange, and is deod now, and the child knows what to say.
"Whoso child are you, lad ?"
" Mammy Hagar's," soid Otho.
" And where have you lived all your life ?" " Wherever she pitched her tent." "And. what's your name ?"
" Lot Had."
Sim roared with laughter.
" As far as I can guess, lyin' _ comes more easy to him than book learning did," he said. " Come, that's good. There's a five cent piece for you, and you go on, and you'll be an out and out gipsy before long. Has he got eo far as prigging anything yet ?
Hagar Bhook her head.
"No need ofthat," she said. "He'd rather give than take. He's got a king's heart. Come, Sim., the stew is done. Will you eat with us ?"
" Thank ye-no," said Sim., with a face of disgust. "I'm putting up at a hotel-lam. They have I can't say how many courses at dinner, and no end of dishes. You don't lick I anybody's wooden spoon there, nor grub up
moat with your fingors. I an't half a gipsy now, that's certain, for I don't covet my peok of dirt. I'll just talk to them I know a bit, not to look proud, and thon go. Well,'good by. There's a dollar or two for you, and keep thoyoung un safo."
Efe walked away and Hagar looked after him. " You're a queer ono," she muttered. " I don't trust you ; but my wishes danco with yours, and there's no reason to bo afraid of you. Como, lad."
And the child, whoso young appetite was too good to bo spoilod by gipsy sluttishnoss, was soon wielding his spoon with the best.
_ Meanwhilo Sim. loungod about tho camp until his eye caught that of a long, lean man, with a crafty foco and dancing oye, to whom ho made a signal, which, Blight as it was, was understood, and in a little while was joined by him in a sheltored spot distant from tho gipsy group, who woro contending for tho contents of the pot Uko so many animals.
It was Aaron Had, Hagar's husband, whom ho thus honored, and when the two sat sido by Bido, tho gipsy villainy of both faces soomcd to stand out more vividly.
Aaron was handsome, though too loan and long, and Sim was almost hideous; but the expression of each countenance was identical.
They lookod nt each other for awhile, then Aaron spoko.
" Well, what d'ye want of mo ?" " Business," said Sim.
" To bo paid for ?" askod Aaron.
" Of course. Nobody around to hear ?"
" Not a soul."
The two men glanced over thoir shoulders, and drew olosor together.
" I say," said Sim, " sho's taken a mighty notion to the young 'un."
" Yos," growled Aaron. " Havo you ?"
" No," answered Aaron ; " I aint tho kind toi take suoh notions. Ho's in my way. Sho'l got us in trouble yet. I've been in troublo often enough ; I don't want no more of it."
" What d'ye let her keep bim for ?" askod
" You forget what Hagar Í8,^ I guess," said
" Sho's a tigress," said Sim.
" And you'd Uko mo to tako a tigress's whelps from hor, would you ?" asked Aaron.
"When loree won't do fltratagom will," ho said. "Look hero, Aaron: 'tiBn't part of my plan to hovo hor koop tho young un. No mat tor why, 'tisn't my plan. I want to got rid of him, and who knows when his precious mothor may chooso to havo him turn up. Womon an't to be truBtod. Of course you'll bo glad to bo rid of him, and I'm ready to tako him off your hands ; only the thing is to nianago it. Hagar could get tho truth out of anybody but you iu the camp ; so you must holp mo.
" I know there's a chanco of getting an inoh of oold stool in your flesh, so I'm willing to pay for tho troublo. You sharo her tent, and as her husband, can't bo suspectod for coming in and out. Whon the moon's down to-night-and sho sots at one-can you bring tho boy out-
Tho gipsy shook his hoad.
" It will bo hard work," ho said. " Hagar sleeps lightly ; a touch wakos her ; and sho is always on tho watch. Whon Bho lios down sho takes this lad of hers on hor arm and holds tight lo his clothes, and no moro lets go than if her life dopoudod on it ¡ and sho wears a knife next her heart, and her othor hand sho koopa freo to use it. Try taking the lad yourself, Sim."
" It's dangorous work, I know," said Sim. ; " but look here. Hore's a dose for her. It won't hurt her, but sho'll Bleep sound after it. You can givo it to her in a drop of liquor ; and for tho matter of that, tho boy might as weU take some too. We'll havo no troublo thon un- til morning."
" Then tho stars holp tho man sho suspootB,"
" You don't moan to lol her guess that you're
had a hand in it ?" said Sim.
" She may know it," said the gipsy, solomnly. " Hagar can road past and future sometimos.
" Stamp around, and swear, and threaten, and protond to look for tho brat," ho Baid. " It's easy to gammon womon, after all. Toll hor you half suspoot hor, and offor to ohoko somo body for being at the bottom of it."
" PorhapB it wouldn't do," said tho gipsy. " Besides, I don't lovo to thwart Hagar. I'd rather pleaso her."
" You'ro afraid of her," said Sim. The gipsy shook his head.
" You'ro right," ho Baid, " I am afraid of
But his oyo gUttored as it foU upon tho purse Sim. swung upon his forofingor,
" The job is worth tho whole of this to mo," said the latter. " Como now, try it. Take the powder."
Another gleam carno into the gipsy's oyo. His bony fingors suddenly clutched Sim's cravat.
" Dog !" ho muttered, " if I thought-But you don't dare-"
" Let go 1 Dare what ?" asked Sim. " To poison her !" said the gipsy.
" Plague you, no ! I'd havo the wholo tribe at my heels," said Sim. " No, if s only a sleep- ing powdor. I'd take it myself, I would in-
The gipsy dropped his hold.
" I'm a fool," ho Baid j " but you're a crafty one, Sim., and I never trust you. Hurt her and your doom is scaled. You know that."
" Of course I do. I'm quito brotherly to Ha- gar. Wouldn't think of hurting her," aaid Sim. " WeU, Bholl I have the brat?"
Tho gipsy folded his arms.
" I don't want him," ho said. " I'm afraid of trouble from the keeping him ; but for aU that I'd not say yes if Hagar did not favor him be- fore me. It used to be Aaron she looked for
now it's only the lad. Tho brightest eyes in the camp ara hers, but thoy turn from mo whon a Uttle child is near. I'm an idiot about Ha- gar, and perhaps it's bettor to bo rid of tho boy now, for if it went too far I might do him a mischief. Only last night I watched him sleep- ing in her arms, and had my hand on my knife withoutknowing it until I saw herlookingatme."
" Yes," said the wily Sim ; " you seo ho's aU she has left of that grand marriage of hors. No wonder Bho is fond of him."
" Is it for his sake-for tho sake of that blue
eyed dead man-she loves the child?" hissed the gipsy. " Don't tell mo that ! She says she never loved him-she never did- Yes, it ÍB his child as weU as hers. You BhaU havo him, if I die for it. A gipsy's love is strong-a gipsy's hate is stronger. I hate the boy now
I hate him. She shall not nourish him und caress him. She shall never seo him again. Wait for me to-night, and1 take your money back; there are things brighter than gold to gipsy eyes."
Aaron had lashed himself to fury. His eyes glittered, and his Ups worked. One hand clutched something in his breast, and Sim. shrank from him half terrified. Suddenly, how- ever, Bteps approached, and in an instant the gipsy lay on his back, carolling a drinking song, careless and merry as a child to aU outward
" Wait until the moon is down," he said, in a whisper, between the versos of his song, " and I'll bring the lad for you. Wait under the hol- low oak by the hiU side. I'U not fail you."
And Simeon BUx nodded and sauntered away. An hour after this it was quite dark, and Aaron, with the strange, gliding step peculiar to him, made his way to his tent. There, as he expected, ho found Hagar and her child.
All day the boy had frolicked and now, tired out, he reposed upon his mother's knee; his eyes half closed, his Ups apart, the red flush on his dusky cheek a pure carnation. He looked very like Hagar ; so Uko that there was no look of his dead father in his face. Tho thought struck Aaron on the instant. He eat down by Hagar and put his arm about her. She permit- ted it but made no response ; aU her caresao were given to the child upon her knee. Aaron's blood began to boil, but it was not his interest to betray his feelings at that moment.
" He's a pretty lad," he said. I " None prettier," said Hagar.
" And like you," said Aaron.
t " I'm his mother," said Hagar. And no re-
cognition of Aaron's gallantry came into her face BB she spoke.
It was plain the child was far doaror to hor than her husband. .
Aaron ground his tooth and took hiB arm from his wife's waist but ho did it with no hasty movomont which might alarm her, and busied himself at onco with a bottle and somo cups which wero in a corner on the ground.
" It's ehül to-night," he said, in a voico which grewahttlo husky. "A drink will do us no
harm ; and the ladJ Bhall havo Bomo, too, sweetened and wntorod. Hoy, lad !"
Hagar nodded. Sho oould drink Uko a man, with thoso red, woman's lips of hera. The boy laughod. Ho felt that it was manly to be al- lowed to tasto the liquor in that bottlo so pecu- liarly Aaron's property.
So tho gipsy pourod tho drink into cups, suited ono to a child's toste, and then stood
with tilo tiny powdors hidden in the palm of
one haud. ,
' So imbued was ho with faith in Hagar's sa gaoity, nay, in her supernatural knowlodgo of what ocourrod, that ho dared not mingle thom with tho liquor. Tho very thought of it turnod
him cold with fear. '
Ho triflod with tho oups, rattled them norv ously, inadó a pretence of fiUing thom moro fully and then looked at Hagar. Her oyo ^vas on tho child. ,
Still kooping his own upon it, ho lifted the first papor bofrween his fingers, and slowly filtered tho contents luto tho cup ho, had pro pared for Otho. Then ho looked again. This time ho mot his wife's burning, blaok oyo. It only laughed on him and turned away. Sho suspootod nothing.1 So, conscious that this was the time to act, the othdr powder droppod from its papor into tho oup under hiB hand-and still his motions woro unnotiood. If Hagar thought anything it waa that Aaron waa in- dulging in an oxtra libation on his own account. But Otho olainored for his promised draught.
" Givo tho child hisfeup," said Hagar, a littlo testily ; and Aaron roached tho two towards
mother and child.
AB ho did so his hand Bhook Uko that of 01.0 with tho ague.
"Aro you cold?" asked Hagar.
" Yes," answered tho gipsy ; and ho spoko tho truth. Ho was cold as ico to tho very
" Wrap yoursolf in a blanket," said Hagnr.
"No," Baid Aaron, "the drink will warm mo ;" and ho omptiod his oup at a draught, and filled aud emptied it again. Hagar followod his oxamplo.
But Otho, with a child's puro tastes, did not,
after all, Uko the coveted bovora'go, and took, only a sip or so, despite the attompts of Aaron to make him swallow all, '
" Alono with him, tho gipsy would havo forced tho draught down tho boy's throat but his dread of Hagar mado nothing possible savo a little playful urging.
Ho was obliged to bo content with mattera as thoy wore, and sat at last, watching the two as thoy lay down sido by Bido in their humble bed. Hagar moved drowsily, and Boomed al- ready in a sort of dream, but the boy roinainod awako longer than usual, for Aaion saw his blaok oyoB glittering in tho shadows Uko two
Ho crouohed near tho entrance of tho tent, keeping tho ourtaiu lifted, that tho moonboams might fall on the imior space.
He hold his broath and liatoned, and soon Hagar bogan to broatha heavily. Tho boy only gavo an oooasional ohildish yawn. Tho clock of a churoh within oarabot rung out tho hour of ten. Thou tho quarters, then cloven.
Still tho black diamonds glittered in the
At last, when the midnight hour was tolled, the broath oamo regularly, A littlo hand olosed, as a baby's might, about Hagar's finger. Otho was OBloop. ,
Anron'B hoart boat faster, tho moon lont him littlo light now, for Bho was weU nigh biddon behind the distant lulls. Ho droppod the our tain of tho tent and bent ovor the couoh. His quick ear proved'to him1 that both Blumborod. Then ho Btruok a match upon the framework and lookod upon tho beautiful pioturo of the gipsy mother and her child asloop in oaoh other's arms. Tho sight inspirod \him with fresh courage. Why should this child be oil the world to Hngor, and he loss than nothing ? With a muttered curso ho started to his full height, straight and lithe and soft of foot as any Indian. '
Tho moon was quito gone now, and only the starlight foil upon tho gipsy camp. Boypnd it, in tho distance, aroso tho dark form of the hol- low oak where at moon-set Simeon was to await his coming. ,
Tho gipBy lookod towards the Blooping pair. His long, brown fingers unloosened tho chubby fiat from its oloso clasp and softly drew tho boy from his mothor's aims. Hagar novcr moved. She lay so vory Btill, so utterly motionlosB, that a tembló fear cropt into tho gipsy's heart. What if tho drug had proved a poiBon ? Ho ventured to touch her ¡ Bho waB wami with life and health. It was only sloop ; but sleep deepor than had over wrapped her sonsos boforo. So sound was she that he ventured to lift the
boy in hiB arms quite from the boa. Ile struggled in his sloop. Sho nover moved. '
Aaron moved away with the ohUd ; a fpw steps brought him to tho oponing pf the tent; a few, moro and ho was outside tho ourtaiu. Perhaps tho night air ohilled tho boy-porhaps
Aarons nervous olutoh awoke him. At all
evonts tho lids lifted suddenly and tho eyes be- neath them flashed upon Aaron with tho bril- liancy of terror in their dilated pupils. '
" Mammy-mammy-mammy Hagar!" oriod the urohin. " Como-come ! they aro taking me away from you !"
"You littlo fool, bo still," whispered Aaron, stifling the Bmall voico with his brown hand, and listening for the Bounds which ho fancied the ory must bring.
But Hagar neither moved nor oriod out ; and
in a moment her husband was ro-aasured.
Ho put his Ups to Otho's ear and whispered : " Hist! do you want to bo taken from your mammy? The peoplo from the Grange are after you. If you want to go, say so-I don't
" No, no," said tho boy, " I want to Btay with her. I Uko her heat. I love hor and Bho loves me. I'm her gipsy lad, and she's my mammy."
" Bo quiot then, growled the gipsy. " Sho's coming after us as fast as sho can. ("The stars grant that's a lie," ho added to himself, aB ho glanced ovor his shoulder.)
But the Btars favored him, and Hagar still lay in hor doath-Uko slumber within the tent.
The long limbs of tho gipsy bore him swiftly, yet cautiously, over the ground. Dark as the moon's sotting had left the night scono, he could still distinguish tho dark forms strewn upon tho grass. It would havo been dangorous for any of those eyes to flash upon him, for Hagar would have loarnt the truth by dawn, and her vengeance would bo prompt.
She would hate the man who robbed her of her now found pot, and, oven if no harm could como to him in consequence, Aaron would have borne anything better than Hagar's hate. In the depths of his wild gipsy heart he loved his wife intensely. It was a floree, passionate love of the senses, rather than the BOUI, it is true, but it was love after all.
Ho could not let this child of tho dead hus- band she once loved Bhare her caresseB. Ho could even have crushed out the Uttle life in his jealous hate that she should value it. But with her eye on him he had often fondled tho boy to
win her favor.
Had Death, in proper person, foUowed on the gipsy's heels, ho could not have taken hiB noise- less way through the sleeping groups with a more deadly terror at his heart.
At last he had passed them all ; the camp lay behind him a mass of shadows in the shady hol- low, and he stood under the hollow lightning
riven oak tree face to faco with Simeon Blix.
" I've brought tho kid," ho whispered ; " take him and go. I can't stop-I can't wait to talk to you. Go."
Otho heard, and his little lips quivered :
" Where's my gipsy mammy ?" ho said. " I won't go without her.
Simeon uttered an oath.
" You'U do what you're told," he said. But the gipsy pat his fingor on his lips.
"Hismammy is coming," ho said. "She's waiting to bring the things. I brought him away because the gentlefolks at the Grange aro after him-you understand."
"I understand thoro's to bo no squalling," said Sim. " You've kopt mo waiting a thunder- ing time, and you haven't dared to quiet mat tors as I showod you how. What's he awako
Ho said this in a whisper, and Aaron re spondod in the samo tone.
" She is asleep-sound as tho doad. Tho child refused to drink. You must do your host now, and tho stars help you if our lads catoh you at tho work-you'd Bwing without judgo or jury."
Sim. opened his vost and exhibited a braco of pistols.
" I'd murder ono or two of tho loan devils first," he said.
" WoU, go, if you like. Tho soonor the hot- ter, confound you."
Ho took Otho in his arms. Aaron had waited for no parting salute, but glided oiyay without a word, and when,ho had gone, Sim. placed tho boy on tho ground, and knolt down to bring
thoir faces on a lovol.
Thon ho unbuttenod his vost.
" Look here," ho aaid ; " what aro thoso ?" " Pistols," sajd tho boy.
"What aro thoy for?" askod Simoon.
'To shoot with," said Otho.
"Vory good," said Sim. "Now, look you hore, as suro as you yoU, or hollor, or kick, or call your mammy, or show any of your airs, I'll put ono of 'oin to your ear and t'other to your broast, and shoot you into bits so small they'll never bo piokod up agaiu. You hear that? Vory woll, romombor it, I'm goin' to tako you with mo a uumbor of milos. You'll find out why whon I toU you, and whoro whon you got thoro. You aro to show no tantrums and do no talking, You'll not bo hurt, and you'll not bo stnivod whilo you inind. If you don't mind, whj, you'll bo ,murdorod, and you'll no ver soo your mammy agaiu. If that's a treat you like to oxpoct, which is more than I con Bay for myself, for she's a kind of tigress in petticoats, to my fancy." ,
Tho boy's OJCB iloshod.
"Sho's1 pretty and good," ho said. "I don't boliovo sho's coming. ? I hato you! I hate you!" and ho stamped his littlo foot.
" Np love's loBt bctwoen us, then," said Sim., clutohing tho boy's arm as ho inado an effort to escapo. " Como with mo, and your mammy '11 follow. Now liston. You'ro to walk bosido mo as fast as you can, and as quiot as you can, or you know tho qonscquoncoB, Thom pistols aro loaded. One of 'oin I'll hold in my right hand whilo wo walk. Make a noiso if you daro.
Sim, arose as lie spoko and walkod on, koep ing a tight gre Bp of tho littlo follow's wrist, and awed by tho throats ho had hoard and the lono linoss of thoir situation, Otho offorod no roBist anco. In his littlo heart he know that no good was intendod by this man, that his now-found mother would not follow him, and folt impeUod to burst into crios for help, and struggle with tho strong brute whoso fingers closed, yioe-liko, about his wrist ; but already ho had loaraod to fear doath beyond all olso, and his love of life soolod Ina baby Ups.
Ci'UBhiug back sobB and toare, ho marohed by Snn.'B Bido for two hours at least, and munfuUy forbore lo slacken his pace until his oyes grow hoavy and MB brain giddy with B'oop. Even then ho stumbled on ovor tho rough road, until Simoon reluctantly adinittod that ho was "used up," and took him on his arm for tho romaindcr of tho journey. i
It ended about daybreok, whon thore aroso upon Sim.'s sight a groat wagon with a covorod top, wailing without horses in tho road out sido of what soomod to havo boon a largo onolosure of rough boards, now nearly demo-
lished, o i i
Boforo this Sim, paused and whistled half a tune. Tho other half was whistled in answer from within, and in a moment a man half dressed, and with a blanket over his shoulders,
" You ?" ho said. " And that's tho boy, hoy ? Well Mr. Blix, you do look like a family man, I must say."
"I didn't como to talk about my looks," ho said testily. " If you've got a placo to put tho brut, put him thoro, and como back to mo. Hang it, I don't oaro if I never play child's nurse again. Got him out of my sight. I don't think ho'U rouso up npw until morning."
The man took tho sleoping child in his arms, and wont behind tho boards through what had boon a gate.
Ho was absout ton minutos, porhaps. Thon ho returned with a oouplo of oigars, a bottle and glasses.
" I can't ask you in," ho said, " booauso tho ladies haB retired. But hospitality is a thing I never neglects. Allow mo to offer it in kind of out o' door way. Sit down, Mr. Blix., Horo's a plank, softest side up. Your health,'
Ho filled the glosaos as ho spoko, and passed one to Sun., who took it, as woll as a cigar, whioh, whon' lighted, proved by its odor lo bo a vory oheap one'indeed, and thus for tilted, bogan his conversation.
"Your company starts to-morrow, Mr. Ginger."
" To-day air," aaid that gentleman. " It's nearly five o'clock."
" So it is, by George," Baid Sim. " We 11, when you go you tako him along with you."
.'Tho boy? Of course," said Gingor.
" You know what I want?" aBkod Sim.
" To havo him kopt out of tho way," said Gingor.
"Certainly," said Sim. "I board him with you, because you'vo told mo you'ro on your wuy to tho West and California, and not likely to bo back. I'll pay you what I promisod, and that's somothing worth your whilo to got a month, Keop me informed of your whoroabouts, and it shall bo sent rog'lar. We'll cull it a bill for liquor or cigars. I'm to bo marriod to a tip-top, genteel lady, with a fortuno, and I don't caro to
tell her all about it."
" No, no," said Gingor, " wo don't toll all
our socrots to our hotter halves, I know a
married gent's feohngs. I'm one myself, sir."
" Vory well," said Sim. " Now look hero. There's a woman who will be at hor wits' ends about tho cub. Sho's the one I want to keep him from for a whilo. Ho'U ask for her-calla hor bia mammy. Maybo abo is his mother ¡ that's nothing to you. But you must coax him to bo quiet, by promising sho sh di come, until ho forgets her. It you make him fond of you, and of the company, and xnako a professional card of him, good-I don't core. I shan't ever want to introduoo him anywhore. Ho hasn't any particular name just now, and if you could make him toko to some common ono, good again. I shan't inquire much about him, and whon your bills como due, Mr. Sim, Blix an't hkoly to have run away, eepeciaUy after ho'B a marriod man. Don't tell anybody how you carno by him, and don't let him talk to strangers for a year or so."
"All right," said Mr. Gingor, " You neodn't
"I don't," eaid Sim. "It's nothing to feel ashamed of if I am found out. Only there's no
nood of it."
Mr. Ginger nodded, laughed, and handed the bottlo to Sim. Sim. took it and refilled hiB glasB.
" A( pleasant journey for yoursolf and the company," ho said.
"Thank you,"ropliod Mr. Gingor; "I hopo to havo one. Any journey that took me away from this unappreciativo p lace whero the grand baro-bock act, or oven the flying trapeze, is taken no more notice of by the prosa than com- mon tumbling and summersaulting, would be a pleasant one, air."
Sim; laughed and noddod, tho circus man- ager bowed, and the pair parted-Sim. saun- tering lazily away in the grey dawn with a satisfactory feeling that he was out of danger.
"Hagar may change her mind when she chooses," ho eaid. "She'can't spoil my game by bringing her brat back to the Grange ; and 111 manage that she never gueasoa I have any hand in this affair. As for the rost, they think he's dead, and wiU make no search whatever, and I can manage Dick. You'ro a made man, Sim. Blix, if you did start in Ufo a tinker's lad."
So i peaking, he cut an unwieldy kind of ca-
per in the roadi flung away tho stump of Mr.' Ginger's wretched cigar, ' lit a fine one from his own case, and smoked himself away from the spot as speedily as might be.
MEANWHILE Aaron Had wont back to the tent where IIÍB wife Btill slumbered, and, finding oil quiet, flung himself down upon a mat to
He folt vory guilty and vory anxious, but nevertheless ho found slumbor almost as soon as he sought hor, and soon lost a'l consciousness of tho past or tho present in hor ombraco.
Hours passed. The sun aroso ovor the gipsy eamp ; its idlo dwollors bogan to awake ; pre- parations for breakfast woro commoaoodj babios bogan to cry, ohildron to fight or play, mon to gathor togothor tho tools of their trado tho tinker's furnaoos, soldor pots, and rings of koys,-and women to scold shrilly.
Bluo smoko aroso from tho now kindled fires and savory odors from sitnrnoring kottles ; Btill Hagar's tont remained as it had boon all night -no one in it stirred. ,
Not until tho far away church clock had sounded tho hour of ton did tho gipsy womon open hor dark oyes. Even then sho closed thom again dreamily, and turned her hoad as ono might who had determined to sleep again j but in so doiug sho stretched out her arms to olasp something,' found thom ompty, and started up in a sitting position gazmg about her wildly.
" My- littlo lad," sho criod-" my littlo lad ;
whore is he P"
Thoo, with hor oyos flashing, sho sprang to hor foot and shook Aaron Had awako.
" Whoro is tho 'ohild ?" she asked.
" Run out to play, I supposo," grumblod tho gipsy.
Hagar wont to the ontranco of tho tont.
" Lob !" sho callod, giving tho boy tho namo sho had ohoson for him-" Lot, como to your mammy !"
Thoro waB no auBwor.
Sho called again, louder than boforo. Again, stiU in an angry sort of soream, and still thoro
was no responso.
At last a woman carno to tho spot on whioh Hagar stood. t
" Your lad has not beon out hore," sho said. " I bogan to got a bit for my man two hours ago, and I havou't moved moro than a yard from the firo. Nobody has como from your
tent all that whilo."
Hogar stared wildly at hor, and bookonod to somo half-grown boys.
" Find my littlo lad," sho said, " and I'll givo you moro than you'd steal in a day. Ho's wandered off after horries, no doubt. Toll him his mammy wants him."
Then Bho wont back, and hastily put 0n hor shoos and dross, wluoh sho had flung olf tho night boforo on laying down, and bogan to aid tho soaroh in hor own person.
As our readers already niuBt guess, it was all in vain. No traoo of tho boy was visiblo.
With ull hor shrowduoss tho gipsy never onco suspected Aaron. Hia aoaroh for tho boy Boomed as earnest as her own, and his fear that the fraud praotisod had boon discovered by Otho's friends, porfuctly genuine,
Over and ovor again ho spoko of the propriety of dispersing for a timo, that tho camp might not bo descondod upon and brought to justioo, and bewailed his hard fate as1 ono brought into trouble by tho whims of others. lu iact, ho proved himself a consummate actor, and warded off all suspicion.
It scorned hardly possiblo that mortal man could havo onterod the camp, and hor tent, and taken tho child from hor arms, without awaken- ing hor ; and Hagar could only bolievo that ho
had bcou onticod to loavo her of his own freo will. But who, unless indeed tho guardians of tho child had disoovorod him, could havo had
any motive for tha aet ? Surely not Simoon Blix. II was to his intorost that tho boy Bhould
bo safo with her.
Yet sho suspected him, and ,omployod thoso who woro equal to the task to spy upon bim Sho sent an old woman of the tribe also to tho Grange, to seo if auy thing unusual had ooourrod thero. Hor oinissarios roturnod with nows of Simoon which satisfied her that ho was in bia accustomed haunts, and with tho information that Riohard Osproy was still master of tho Grange, ondthat Miss Geraldino wore the doop ost mourning for hor cousin Otho.
When all inquiries had bopn mode and every dwelling for milos around spied upon and soarohod, and tho exoitemont whioh had sus- tained Hagar was gono, tho gipsy mother sank into a stato of fearful dospondonoy. ,
Since sho had had her child onco moro bo sido hor, all tho affection of whioh she was pos- sible had uprison in her BOUI. She loved him botter than hersolf, and hor prido was oven grcator than her love., Tho thought that all this whilo ho had novor boon fond of hor-that ho had stolon'from hor to somo strangor in tho night-was almost maddening; and whon abo
looked on tho othor Bido of tho pioturo and ' fancied him in tho power of somo ono who would ill-uao bim, hor heart blod and her brain
Whichovor ' way she turnod tho now-born tondornoss was made a pang to her, and tho mystery of tho tiling was its worst feature.
So whon overy art was exhausted that gipsy ounuing could dovise-whon sho had trnvellod milos and penetrated hundreds of dwellings and worn horsolf to a shadow by sloopless, almost hungorloss toil-Hogar gavo way at last and sat in hor tent brooding ovor her loss, or lay at tho bottom of tho gipBy wagon, ill enough, Heaven knows, to warrant tho decoctions of roots and horbs tho old women sought to make
Thoro was no oflbrt to arouse herself, no in- torost manifested in anything that occurred; and Aaron, rackod by remorse, bogan to fanoy, as the time passed on, that his beautiful Hogar
would die from Bheor sorrow.
It was woll for Simoon Blix and his plans that Aaron had no idea of tho ohild's wliorc abouts at this juncture.
MB. OIKQEB AND BIS PUPIL,
WHILE tho gipsy mother thus mourned hor ohild, Mr. Gingor s circus company journeyed towards tho Wost, bearing littlo Otho farther and farther from thoso who would have given so much to know his whereabouts ; farthor and farther, too, from all who would havo aided or
The petted hoir of Grantford Grange, and of lato the cherished plaything of his gipsy mothor | tho child had novor, in his briof life, hoard a harsh word addrossod to him ; and though ho now found himsolf amongst strangers, had no
dread of them.
The objects ho saw about him pleased and in- terested him. The trained horsos excited his utmost admiration, and the freo and easy man nors of tho ladies and gontlomon of the com- pany won hia heart. To bo pormitted to rido upon the wondorful pony, who did such as founding things OB ho was said to do, was honor enough for the young Otho. Soon ho forgot to wonder why his gipsy mother nevor carno, and to think of her only occasionally. The affection which had grown so suddenly within his breast was not dead yet, but the child was of an elastic torpcraraont and .too oasly interested in the present to grieve greatly
over the past.
Besides, he fondly fancied tho_ whole world made for his ploaBuro,.and his littlo will tho law that ruled tho universe.
Tho womon of the company admirod tho protty child and wero fond of having him about them. The olown, who in private life was Mr. Jenks, took a grand liking to bim and promised him that he should be a clown himsolf when he grow big enough.
Mr. Gingor, eyeing him with a professional glance, declared that he certainly would " take with an intelligent audience of females ;" and tho beUo of the company assured him she thought Bhe'd wait for him if he'd only promise to grow up as handsome as ho had begun.
It was grand sport to Otho, alroady an excel- lent rider-for he had the most careful master s te learn feats of equestrianism suited to the ring-to bo taught to dance upon the tight rope and to be instructed in wondorous sommer souita by the ring-master, who in his overy-day clothes was by no means the spruce personage he appeared to the admiring public.
And. whilo the manager was calculating on the'profit which the ohild would certainly bring to him-for his beauty was something unuBual, and his apitudo for such training as was neces- sary quite remarkable-Otho believed that tho
only reason for aU this riding and posturing, and those hourly gyronastio exorcises, was the desire to obey his own request.
Even had ho known tho port assigned him, his notions on the subjoot wero so vague that ho would probably havo hailed tho idea of be- coming one of Mr. Ginger's proformors as a vory pleseant ono.
By the timo thoy reached tho first Western, village in whioh this latter gentloman hoped to, meet with an appreciative audionco, Otho waa so far forward in his education as to be ready to appear in somo easy though showy foats of horsemanship, and was provided, to his groat joy, with a suit of flesh-colored tights and any quantity of gilded trappings, and to be an- nounced in tho biU as " Maator Augusto Gon- zalez, the infant Wonder of the World."
Thon, whon tho oirous tent was pitched, and tho crowd of gapers gathered beneath it; when tho olown, all red and white, a sort of comio ghost to look at, propounded old conundrums to tho ring master, and waa horsewhipped for being sauoy to Mademoiselle Florina, when that lady took flying loops ovor rampant steeds and kissod her hand to tho audience, as sho flow through a paporod hoop, and tho whole com- pany appeared in what Mr. Gingor was pleased to caU the " Grand Moral Spcotaole of Crossing tho Dosort j"-tho pony boro tho smiling boy into tho'ring, and tho manager found ho had beon right about his proving " a cord," for every ma- tron and ovory matrons daughter grow onthu siaBtio over tho beautiful littlo darling, and thoro was moro applause elicited by this simple por formanoo than by the most diffloult aorobatio foats of Monsiour Montifalli, who, if tho truth woro stated on tho bills, had " astounded all the Boientitto world by his mysterious triplo somer-
In ono word, tho debut was a success, and
Otho'B foto was soalod.
It was pleasant enough for tho boy at first, but tho timo soon came when hiB fun grew to bo_ vory hard work indeed. In appreciative neighborhoods throo performances were given o day, and at oaoh the child appeared. His in- clination at first, afterwards hiB prido, sustained him through tho fatigue ; but, at last, both for- sook him, and all he longod for was rest.
Thou bogan tho conflict botwoon tho manager and the ohild, which no ono who witnoasod it ovor forgot.
Mr. Gingor had tamed many a rostivo horse, but ho found the taming of tho littlo oreaturo, whom he could havo lifted with ono hand, a task of far groator magnitude.
_ Sometimos, whon all was ready and the au- dionco woro oalling for tho boy, Otho would soat himsolf upon tho ground and, folding hia baby arms, dolaro that ho would not ride that day. Roinonatrnnco was of no avail, ordors woro unhoodod, throats disregarded. Only by shoor >bruto forco could tho manager oonquor the olf who opposod him all his little might.
But, by this foroo, ho did conquer at lost. Tho littlo heir of Grantford Grange grew to foar the weight of tho circus manager's rough hand. Ho loarnt what blows woro. Ho learnt to tromblo at tho orack of tho whip, and to danoo and rido and loap, smiling and kissing his littlo hand to tho applauding audience, whilo his heart was so full of woo that it is a wondor that it did not break outright.
Tho ladies of the company said sometimos that it was " a shamo of Mr. Gingor," but, after all, tho child's fato was only theirs. Thoy smiled whon thoy wero wrotehod, thoy dancod whon thoy longed to lio down and die
Moro than ono had a tipBy husband who boat her ; and sometimes whon Mademoiselle Fio- rina's spouso (for Mademoiselle in private Ufo was married and named Smith) led bel" out with a Btnilo on his rouged lips, mid the query :
" Woll, Madomosollo, shall wo let thoso ladies and gontlcmon seo how wo can rido ? and tho clown mado a groud protonco of falling into spasms of admiration at tho sight of tho lady, and WUB flogged for kissing lils hand by tho ring-master-poor Madomoisollo's arms wore black and bluo with pinohes, and tho two had only given o slight intermission to a most fe- rocious quarrol, to bo resumed whon thoir part of tho performances was ovor.
So Otho's trials woro, after all, in thoir oyos, tho common lotof humanity ; and as Mr. Ginger had mado (ho statement that ho had taken tho boy out of charity, and must moko what ho could by him, no ono ventured to interfere.
Throo times tho boy had strivon to elude tho oyes about him, and escapo from the company, with a vaguo hope that, if ho ran far enough, ho would find oithor tho gipsy oamp or Grant ford Grange.
Ho had no idoa of tho distanoo ho lind travollod, or tho locality in which tho circus tent WBB pitohed, save that ho hoard a good doal of going wost.
In tho oast, thon, ho should find thoao ho sought, and thither his littlo stops invariable
Ho was always brought hack, howovor, and on hie return folt henvior blows, and heard moro nngry throats ; BO that, at last, ho gave up all hopo, and resigned himBolf to his daily tasks-his littlo spirit quito cowod and broken.
Every wook ho booamo worth moro to Mr.
The famo of his protty aorobatic exploits travelled from ono western villago to tho othor, and the anouncomont of tho arrival of MaBtor Augusto Gonzaloz brought a little throng to witness his performances.
Sometimes tho womon would gather about tho 'little oroaturo-almost like a fahy in his glittering oostumo-and kisa him, and ask him
" if he likod to dance and rido."
To many a motherly soul, with her own babies about hor, the ohild longod to answer that ho was unhappy, nnd to beg her to take him back to Ungar, or oven te the Grange- the mild restraint of whioh would have boon
Heaven to hini now.
But ho dnrod only utter tho smart sayings taught him, and to declare himsolf as happy as the day was long ; for close hosido him stood tho ring-moBtor, or achill g his gilded whip, and flaying, with an unctuous Btago roll in his
" Answer the ladies, littlo Master Auguste. Bless you, Madamo, he's boon ohio to rido ovor Bince ho loft his mother's arms, and took to the
tight rope whon othor children aro in thoir
Then the boy would bow, and trip away, kissing his hand as he went, ond tho admiring audionco would think him " such a happy child." And ohildron would envy him his glittering
dress and freodoin to ride thoBe wonderful steeds. And away in his own little orannie, tho weary ohild would hido his hoad upon his pUlow, and murmur :
" Oh, Mammy Hagar, why don't you ever como? Have you loft off loving your gipsy boy ?"
[TO BE CONTINUED.] '