|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||The Soldier's Wife|
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
HAIL, smiling peace! thou gentle diety. With eyes of light, and brow of purity;
Come, deck'd with olive leaves, with generous hand, And scatter thy rich blessings o'er the land.
From the time mentioned in our last chapter till the peace of 1762, what the British army returned to their native land, the adventures of our heroine were frequently attended with con- siderable danger; but it is unnecessary to minutely describe them. During that period her personal privations were great as she succes- sively followed her husband to the fields of Cor- bach, Exdorf, Warberg, Zierenberg, and Cam- pen. At one period the British troops in Ger- many amounted to thirty thousand men. Fre- quently food was so scarce, and the men were so badly provisioned that a few raw potatoes were eagerly seized on, and horseflesh was eaten with avidity. But Kate had become accustomed to everything in the shape of privation, and in the midst of hardship and apparent misfortune she was unspeakably happy in her once truant husband's love, which seemed all centered in herself and the sweet cherub that now clung to her bosom, and seemed the effectual pledge of their union. All that she now desired was a renewal of communication with her father.
At the proclamation of peace, few hastened on the homeward path with lighter hearts or more joyous spirits than Colonel Allan and his wife, for to that rank he had now attained. We shall not trace their journey; suffice it to say that, attended by the ever faithful Phelim, they passed again through many scenes endeared to both by association and remembrance; but though time had somewhat dimmed the memory of bygone visions, George instinctively avoided Castle Erenstein, though informed that it was now in the possession of the Baron von Arn- heim, and that he and the baroness lived very happily together, and had an heir to their estate. Was it that George even then dared not trust himself in the presence of the dangerous beauty? We think not; but he was too devotedly at-
tached to his heroic wife to incur the risk of giving her even a moment's uneasiness. So they passed on, crossed the seas, and arrived in London without either accident, hindrance, or adventure.
Kate had not the least hesitation in immedia- tely proceeding with her husband and child to her father's mansion. She went thither assured of his forgiveness and renewed affection if he was still alive; but she went trembling between hope and fear, for who could say what changes time might have wrought? She had not received one reply to the several letters which she had from time to time addressed to him; but then it was a period of war, which suf- ficiently accounted for the loss of written com- munications. She trembled with anxiety, and was obliged to lean on her husband for support as she approached the house in which she had spent so many happy hours.
"Courage, dearest!" whispered George; "after all you have gone through you must not
now show the white feather."
"Ah, dear George!" replied Kate, faintly smiling, "all that was so different. It is one thing to exert one's spirit and energy to sur- mount difficulties and hardships, but quite another to feel uncertain whether a precious life in which our own seems bound up is spared to us or not. Perhaps I may never see my dear father again!"
"But I am sure you will," replied George, "Come my Kate, cheer up!" said he as they approached the house.
It was still inhabited, for the open windows and the activity of the servants testified that preparations were going on for some approaching festivity.
"Perhaps he expects me," said Kate. When they reached the door she could not speak for agitation.
"Tell your master that a lady and gentleman desire to see him," said George.
They were shown into the library, in which Kate, years ago, first saw her father. Well she remembered the apartment; but the furniture was changed; no doubt some whim of Mrs. Donlavy Balfour's, she thought. The servant entered, and said that his master would shortly wait on them, which to Kate was a most cheer- ing announcement.
Kate held her little one on her knees, and fixed her anxious eye on the door. A gentle- man entered in deep mourning. Kate could distinguish no object; she put her child down, and rushed forward with extended arms to em- brace, as she thought, her father. The gentle- man looked at her with astonishment; he was a stranger! and the poor girl bursting into a flood of tears sunk on a chair. George percei- ved the mistake, and hastened to offer some words of explanation and apology. Mr. Caven- dish, for such was the gentleman's name, lis- tened with interest and sympathy to George's brief narration. He informed them that he had purchased the house from Mr. Donlavy Balfour in the year '59, but having had no previous ac- quaintance with that gentleman, he was igno- rant of his subsequent movements.
"Oh, sir, can you then tell me nothing of my father?" said Kate clasping her hands implor- ingly.
"Nothing satisfactory I fear, madam," said Mr. Cavendish. "I can but repeat what I have heard vaguely reported in the circles of fashion —that he retired into the country on leaving
"Oh, George, what shall I do?" ejaculated Kate, looking imploringly at her husband.
"As you have often done, dearest, under yet more trying circumstances," he replied; "hope for the best and you will not be deceived."
Mr. Cavendish, though a new acquaintance, proved a zealous friend, and assisted their un- wearied researches to discover the actual where- about of Kate's father, but their inquiries proved unsuccessful. All they could learn was that after the sudden disappearance of his daughter (which disappearance had been accounted for by report in a thousand fanciful ways), Mr. Donlavy entirely withdrew from the world, and might now be living at Leinster; but no one could say for a certainty that such was the case, as he had left no traces of his residence, even for the satisfaction of his most intimate friends.
They found that Lord William Harvey had only just returned from a lengthened captivity in France; he could therefore give them no in- formation, and if he could, he was the last man to whom Kate would apply, so fearful was she of bringing him a second time in contact with her husband. They were however fortunate in meeting with Captain Fitzmorris, who proved, what he had ever been, a valuable friend. He had, notwithstanding his apparently unfavorable exterior, succeeded in winning the affections of a sweet girl, who set more value on unblemished honor and an upright, manly heart, than on mere
external advantages, and he was now her happy husband. In Mrs. Fitzmorris Kate found what she had never before known—a sincere female friend, and she derived great comfort and solace from her society.
In walking through the park one day Kate happened to encounter a lady in a chair, whose elegant dress first attracted her attention; and on looking more closely she was not slow in re- cognising Matilda Chambers. It was but the work of an instant to stop the chairman and ex- claim, "Oh, dear Matilda! tell me where is my
"Before I can answer that question, madam, you must tell me who your father is," said Ma- tilda, with perfect self-possession.
"Surely I am not so altered but that you must recognise me," said Kate. "I am Kate Donlavy, or rather was—"
"Your senses wander, madam," said Matilda. "I never saw you before in my life, and am not accustomed to parley with strangers. Go on," she added, addressing the chairman, who obeyed the orders given, and Kate was left standing
overwhelmed with astonishment.
"Can I be so altered?" she exclaimed. "Oh, no, it is impossible; she must have motives which induce her to feign strangeness.''
Then first the truth flashed on Kate's mind, that Matilda wished to keep her from communi- cating with her father. Just then Fitzmorris
"You see that chair, Captain Fitzmorris," said Kate. "I entreat you to follow it, and ob-
serve where the lady who is within it alights. Pray do not lose sight of her, till you are as- sured of her residence, and I shall be for ever grateful."
With a nod of intelligence Fitzmorris darted off, and kept in sight of the chair, till he saw the lady alight at a house in C— Square. He immediately recognised her as one whom he had previously seen in the company of Mrs. Allan, before she set out on her adventurous journey to join her husband. When the lady had entered the house, Fitzmorris inquired of the chairman her name, and was informed that she was the Honorable Mrs. Townley.
WOULDST thou persuade me I am not myself? Root out all memories—razing from my brain The record of the past—its tears and smiles— Its hopes and fears—its all of bliss and woe!
WHEN Kate, through the information of Cap- tain Fitzmorris, was enabled to ascertain the locality of Mrs. Townley's dwelling, she deter- mined on visiting her, and by some means draw- ing from her the information she required with regard to her father. She therefore lost no time in proceeding to the lady's house, and obtained admission before the mistress of the mansion had time to give orders for her exclusion.
We most inform our readers that despairing of ever seeing Lord William Harvey again (his lengthened absence having occasioned a general report of his death), Matilda Chambers had consented to give her hand to Mr. Townley, who, under the Pitt administration, was one of the leading politicians of the day; a man of abilities, who thought he discerned in her bold, energetic spirit, qualities which would amply compensate for her want of personal beauty. Besides she was one of the most fascinating and graceful women of her time, and a consummate mistress of that tact so necessary in the wife of a public man. Mr. Townley had long admired Matilda, and it was through her interest with him, that she had been enabled to procure Kate's employment as the minister's confiden- tial messenger. Mrs. Townley played a despe- rate game; she had given her hand to one who believed himself possessed also of her heart, while in reality her whole soul was still devoted to Lord William Harvey, to the only man she had ever loved; and whether living or dead, his lordship was never likely to have any successor in her affections. Yet she married, because she loved wealth, and power, and magnificence; she loved too to drown the remembrance of the past in the vortex of the world, and in its noisy scenes of excitement to forget, if possible, her- self! She was thought indisputably the heiress of Mr. Donlavy Balfour's fortune; believing that after what had passed, and the interval which had elapsed, Kate would not re-appear to assert her rights; or, if she did, it would pro- bably be too late, for Mr. Donlavy was not in a state of health to warrant the supposition of his surviving long. After many fruitless efforts to discover his child, he was finally persuaded that she was no more; he then executed a will in favor of Mrs. Townley, his step-daughter.
Now, even if Kate were living, Mrs. Townley argued, it would be easy to keep her out of her father's way till his demise would place the future beyond her power. Her chagrin and vexation were therefore great when she was ac-
costed in the park by Kate, and saw her in the bloom of health and spirits, whom she had secretly hoped was dead. But her self posses- sion as we have seen, was great, and acting on the suggestion of the moment she disclaimed a recognition of Kate, though she had formerly professed for her the most unbounded affection. Kate however was conscious of Mrs. Townley's insincerity, and probably would never again have held communication with her had she possessed any other clue to her father; for though she had applied to all his former friends and ac- quaintances whom she remembered, she could only learn from them that he had gone no one knew whither, but probably to his native coun- try. Accordingly, having no alternative but that of repairing to Mrs. Townley's, poor Kate, accompanied by her husband, called on the lady. When they were announced, Mrs. Townley hastily desired the servant to say she was not at home; but the order was given too late; her
visitors had entered.
"I am come, Matilda," said Kate, "to request you will give me my father's address."
"Your father, madam!" said Mrs.Townley, slightly coloring, and raising her eyebrows; "I do not know either your father or yourself."
"This subterfuge is as unavailing as it is un- worthy, madam," said George. "My wife has already been recognised by numerous acquaint- ances of Mr. Donlavy Balfour's as his daughter. If he is living, as we have every reason to hope, he will most assuredly acknowledge her; but if he is dead, her claims are undoubted as his heiress."
"You speak haughtily, sir," said Mrs. Town- ley; "but high sounding words are of little avail against right. I am Mr. Donlavy Bal- four's only daughter and heiress, and have cer- tainly no inclination to assist an imposter to such information as might enable her to annoy me with future importunity."
"It is well, madam, that your sex protects you," said George, sternly. "If there be any imposition it rests with yourself, who probably were well aware of the part you were acting in separating a father and daughter, who but for
your machinations would no doubt have been reconciled, notwithstanding Mr. Donlavy's dis- appointed views in his daughter's marriage."
"He had indeed a daughter," said Mrs. Townley, coolly; she disappeared in company with some low companion; she was traced to Germany, where her infamous conduct was such that those who took any interest in her welfare mourned over her loss of all womanly shame. She travelled in male attire, accompanying a soldier, and it is supposed perished by an acci-
"She has not perished, madam!" exclaimed George; "and as for the calumny which you have heaped upon her, it is utterly false. You, the pretended friend of my innocent wife! you who devised everything for her flight, who even urged it on her inexperienced youth, promising to obtain a reconciliation with her father, you, who knew her innocence, knew that she had but quitted her father's protection for that of her husband—how dare you then, madam, to utter a word of reproach?"
"I dare what I feel my duty, sir, and would never encourage either vice or imposition," said Mrs. Townley. "I know nothing of the young person who accompanies you; she may be your wife or not; but were she really the person she represents herself to be, she would do well to hide her blushing head, after the life she has been leading, and not seek to intrude herself into company which her presence would con-
"Your words are lost on me, Matilda," said Kate, with mild firmness. "You know in utter- ing such slanders how undeserved and ground- less they are. If I had ever injured you in word or deed, I might expect retribution at your hands; but what have I ever done to merit this
"You have taken from me the only precious thing I ever had in life," exclaimed Mrs. Town- ley, impetuously; then hastily correcting herself, "you would take it from me, I mean."
"To what do you allude?" said Kate.
"To my father—to my father, of course," said Mrs. Townley; "you would deprive me not only of his inheritance when dead, but his affection while living."
"I would deprive you of nothing," said Kate; "I entreat, I beseech you to tell me where is my father; and so far from injuring you with him, I will use my utmost influence to promote your interests. Tell me, Matilda!—tell me, and I will forgive all!"
"Mightily generous, madam!" cried Mrs. Townley. "You will forgive me, will you?— forgive my refusing to believe your forged tale.
Once for all, I will tell you nothing—will have no further intercourse with you. Leave me, sir!—leave me, madam! I will be mistress in my own house!"
"Come, dear Kate," said George, "we will seek information elsewhere, and shall doubtless be more successful in the end. The British is- lands are not so broad and long that we cannot search them; and you will ere long find your father,"
"And if," said Mrs. Townley, "you found him whom you call your father, and if he really believed you to be his daughter, think you he would not spurn from his presence one who had brought disgrace on his name? But your boast is vain; you will not trace him out."
"I will, madam," said Kate, "unless death should cut short my purposes; I will; and if all other means fail, I will conquer my reluc- tance, and apply to Lord William Harvey, whom I know to be in town at the present time."
It was the first intimation Matilda had re- ceived of Lord William's being alive. Her countenance suddenly changed, and she sunk fainting on a couch. Kate would instantly have attended her; but George insisted on leading her away, though he summoned Matilda's ser-
vants to the assistance of their mistress."
I LOVED thee once—but thou wert then so fair In form and seeming mind, I could not choose
But worship thee. But form, and mind, and heart Alike are changed.
GEORGE and Kate had scarcely departed from Mrs. Townley's when another visitor entered, but he came unannounced; it was Lord Wil- liam Harvey, still the handsome and accom- plished man of fashion, but altered by his cap- tivity, and yet more by the unsubdued passions of his heart. He found Mrs. Townley just re- covering from a fainting fit. On his sudden entrance she uttered a piercing scream, and once more relapsed into her former state. He stood for a moment contemplating the woman he had once idolized; but the expression of his face was stern and unpitying. While he gazed on her she opened her still beautiful eyes, which rested on him with surprise and joy.
"You are doubtless surprised to see me, madam," said his lordship, calmly. "I am come to ask for an explanation, which I will however defer till you are more composed."
"Stay, stay, my lord!" cried Mrs. Townley, darting from the couch, and eagerly seizing Lord William's arm. "I well know for what you come, Upbraid—reproach me—overwhelm me with your wrath, if you will; but do not leave me yet. Alas! I thought you were no more!"
Perhaps Lord William's heart was softened by that humble appeal—by that soft, pathetic voice, which stirred up the memories of the past. He sat down beside her on the sofa; even took her cold, shivering hand in his; then paused as if he knew not how to begin. "You thought me dead, then?" he said.
"I did, my lord," she replied.
"And you are married?" he exclaimed. "Yes," said Matilda, hesitatingly.
"Why?" he asked abruptly; for man, though himself often inconstant, always de- mands constancy, even from the woman he has
"Why?" she repeated, looking up; "be- cause I was alone on earth—quite alone! One man only showed me kindness, and took interest in me; one only did not turn from me with loathing and disgust, when disease stripped me of all pretentions to what the world calls beauty. One only penetrated the veil that hideous defor- mity had thrown over my countenance, and could appreciate the mind and heart which the fearful malady had left untouched—that gene- rous man was Mr. Townley."
"And you love him, Matilda?" asked Lord
"I am grateful, my lord," she replied, in her low, melodious voice.
"Yet once you loved another!" said Lord Willam; "and he loved you fondly," he con- tinued, "until—"
"Until he grew weary, and others ceased to admire!" said Matilda. "I know, my lord," she continued, "that you loved me once. I valued that love above Heaven's choicest bless- ings; but when decay came, you were the first to make me conscious of the awful change."
"You wrong me, Matilda," replied Lord Wil-
liam. "Had your heart been what I fondly believed it—generous, upright, and noble—no mere change of countenance would have estranged me; but when I saw mind, heart, and temper warped; malignant feelings rising in a bosom which I had deemed fit for the abode of an angelic spirit?—then indeed I learnt to say— I loved thee, beautiful and kind, and plighted an eternal
So alter'd are thy face and mind, 'twere perjury to love
Mrs.Townley did not upbraid him; she was subdued, and wept.
"Let us forgive, and forgot the past," said Lord William. "You are married, madam, to a man who was once my intimate friend. I am perhaps less of a man of fashion than I was; but were it not so, I would not wrong Mr. Townley by a thought. Shall we be friends?"
Mrs. Townley's hand still rested in his. At that moment Lord William was the master of her destiny; but few men, however, "sin, ex- cept to their own liking;" and his lordship's heart and fancy had now no room for any other image than that of Kate.
"I see we have made peace," said he; "and now, madam, I entreat you to tell me what in- duced you to spirit away my promised bride."
"I, my lord!" cried Mrs. Townley, starting as though an adder had stung her. "I!"
"Yes, you, madam! She told me so herself; and said you had advised and assisted her flight."
Mrs. Townley became as pale as death. "You have seen her, then!" she exclaimed.
"I have; or, rather, I did see her in '59; but I saw her too late."
"And you have not seen her since?" she in-
"No," replied his lordship; "and it was for that reason, to speak truly, that I sought you to-day."
"For that you sought me! What would you with her now, my lord? She is married,"
"I know it; but the marriage could even now be dissolved," said Lord William.
"And if it could, my lord, you surely would not marry her with a blight upon her name! You would not dare thus to disgrace your an- cestry!"
"I know not what I should do!" he exclaimed. "I only know that at all costs I would snatch her from her husband's arms, and punish his presumption. I ask no more!"
"And how can I assist you, my lord?" said Mrs. Townley.
"You can help me to discover their retreat," he replied.
"Impossible, my lord. We have not met these years."
"But I have reason to be assured that she, and the fellow calling himself her husband, have arrived lately in London," said his lord- ship.
"That may be," said Mrs. Townley; "but if so, they have long ere this departed."
"For where, madam?"
"I know not, my lord."
"Why, then, do you suppose them gone?" inquired Lord William.
"Naturally, in search of her father," replied Mrs. Townley.
"And where is he?" demanded his lordship. "Really, my lord, people take me for a town directory," said Mrs. Townley. "How should I know everybody's movements?"
"You must know your stepfather's address,
"We have not met for a long time," said Mrs. Townley.
"But you must have heard of him! Come, madam," said Lord William, impatiently, "you know more than you will acknowledge. You have been the means of separating me from my promised bride; why do you now refuse me the opportunity of meeting him who has injured me, that I might avenge my wounded honor? Why—oh, why did you snatch the cup of happi- ness from my lips."
"Why!" exclaimed Mrs. Townley; "because my agonised heart could not bear to see you enjoy that happiness with another, which I conceived was meant for me! Why?—because you first taught me the exquisite enjoyment of being loved, and then ruthlessly snatching my life's brightest flowers, trampled them beneath your remorseless feet. My lord! my lord, you cannot fathom a woman's love; how then can you think to measure her vengeance and des- pair?"
There was something so striking in the energy, the tone, the very attitude in which she uttered those words, that they made a risible impression on Lord William. He gazed on her in silence, as she stood drawn up to her full commanding height, her eloquent eyes speaking yet more than her words, her graceful action more than either. She saw the effect which she had produced. She was not acting; all she looked, spoke, expressed, was really felt by her; but her clear intellect worked its subtle machinery, even in the midst of excitement and agitation, and she observed every shade of varied emotion in her listener's face. "What would you learn from me?" she
"One simple thing, Matilda—Mr. Donlavy's address. Captain Allan's, I remember, I can obtain at the War office," replied Lord William.
"I know both," she replied; "this hour, this minute, could I give you the clue you seek."
"Then why withhold it?" said his lordship.
"Because I am a usurer, and would have my price," said Mrs. Townley.
"Speak, speak," exclaimed his lordship, "I will fulfil any conditions."
"Oh, no," said she, mournfully, "not mine!" and as she spoke she clasped her graceful hands, and her elegant figure drooped like the slender
stalk of a flower.
"All, all! any you impose!" cried Lord William, taking both her hands in his, as he stood before her fascinated, and wondering how he had ever ceased to admire that woman.
"Restore to me then," cried Mrs. Townley, with passionate earnestness, "restore to me the only treasure I ever coveted. Titles, fortune, splendor, I could spurn them all as useless dross; but give me back your heart! Oh, give it back! I cannot live unless the vanished dream of my ex- istence be once more renewed! With me, love has not been the passing amusement of an idle hour. I have loved but once; heart, brain, and soul have concentered in that passionate love! I
have lived on it through days of torture, made it my food and sustenance, till it became incor- porated in my very being. Oh, let it not all be in vain!" she continued, in the most musical of voices. "I can—I do forgive all past wrong,
contempt, and suffering. I will efface their
very traces from my brain; but give me back
your love! You must, you will! Oh, give me
back your love!"
We know not how far Lord William's virtue and honor would have stood the trial of temp-
tation. He was considerably moved, perhaps he momentarily forgot his passion for Kate when he saw that elegant woman a suppliant before him. At that precise moment Mr. Townley entered. He was a dignified man of an habitually calm temperament, little disposed to jealousy; but still he saw, or thought he saw onough to warrant his displeasure Ho walked quietly up to Lord William with a bow, as though he had been observing court etiquette, and remarked in a calm tone that he should be happy to meet his lordship when and where he pleased, and to leave to him the choice of
"Alas, sir!" exclaimed Lord William, "here is some fatal mistake. I swear to you that I have never injured you, nor conceived a thought contrary to your honor!"
"Indeed, sir!" exclaimed Mrs. Townley, "my lord speaks truly. I alone am guilty. On me alone let your vengeance fall, I beseech you!"
"Retire to your chamber, madam," said Mr. Townley, sternly, "nor presume to dictate to the man you have so deeply wronged. You think perhaps that I have not overheard your eloquent appeal to Lord William, or that I have not understood its meaning? Retire I command you."
She would still have spoken, but her husband
"Believe me, madam," said Lord William, "that if I am compelled to meet Mr. Townley, I will for your sake spare—"
"I require none of your consideration, my lord," said Mr. Townley, but still in a calm tone. "It only remains to arrange when we may most conveniently meet."
"You may hear of me at any time at Will's, sir," said Lord William, retiring with a bow.
THY face is pale, my lord; can this be death?
ON the day following the eventful one which we have spoken of in the preceding chapter Colonel Allan was returning on horseback from visiting a friend a few miles out of London, on the western road. He rode leisurely along, about sunset, pondering, not unpleasantly, on the past, present, and future of his existence. He was one of those few happy mortals who are
contented with their lot. When he looked back on the past, he saw a bright if not a long array of triumphs and successes, of almost unmingled joys in devoted love and friendship. When he contemplated the present, it was one of calm, undisturbed happiness; the only thing that in the least annoyed him being the uncertainty with regard to Kate's father; but that, time would remove; and as regarded the future, it seemed to promise undimmed prosperity.
To be a more contented or a happier man than Colonel Allan, would scarcely be possible; and so he thought as he moved onward, and pictured to himself the fond welcome, the warm greeting that awaited his return, when his young and lovely wife would meet him with the same de- light as though they had been parted for years.
While indulging in this train of thought, the colonel was suddenly roused from his pleasant vision by the snorting and restive plunges of his horse, which was unwilling to pass a broad white gate that led into a meadow, and accord- ingly began a series of caprioles not very agree- able to his rider. This circumstance alone at- tracted the colonel's attention to the field, which otherwise he might have passed unnoticed; and looking over the gate he perceived a man run- ning, and without coat or hat. He made directly for the aforesaid gate, and clearing it with the agility of another Actæon, continued running towards the country. His appearance showed him to be a gentleman. The colonel's curiosity being excited, he turned his horse's head, more however with the idea of offering any assistance, if it should be required, than to satisfy his curiosity; but he soon perceived that he was only distressing the runner, who re- doubled his speed, and sought to escape obser- vation by keeping within the shadow of the hedge at the road side. An impulse which he could not repress induced Colonel Allan to enter the meadow; it was nearly dusk, though objects could still be distinguished. He had not pro- ceeded far ere he came to the apparently lifeless body of a gentleman, weltering in blood which had flowed from a fresh sword wound. One sword lay bloody on the field; a second, beside the unfortunate gentleman, was unstained. Moved by the sincerest compassion the colonel stooped, and untying his cravat bound it like a scarf over the bleeding wound, on which he had previously placed a handkerchief steeped in water from the ditch. In performing this opera- tion he bent down over that inanimate form, and on closely observing the features he started with horror and surprise as he recognised a counte- nance on which his eye had previously rested. He had seen it but once; but that once under circumstances never to be forgotten—it was Lord William Harvey, his only earthly enemy.
In vain did the colonel look round for assist- ance; no human being seemed near. He raised the body in his arms, to see if he could carry it alone; and before he was aware of it his own clothes became saturated with blood. He found the weight of that tall athletic man too much even for his great strength to support, and de- termining to ride to the village of Knightsbridge for assistance, he again laid the insensible form on the ground, and turned to the gate to take his horse, which he had left there tied up; but before he could reach it, three laborers, stalwart, honest-looking men, suddenly darted on him, exclaiming, "We zeed you do it, sir!—we zeed you do it! Zeed you murder the poor gentle- man, stooping down over him; and we'll make bold to take you, gentleman though you be!"
"Nonsense, friends," said the colonel, some- what angrily; "I went to the assistance of the poor gentleman, and have been binding up his wounds. Here, you are three strong fellows, help me to carry him to Knightsbridge, and I will reward you for your trouble."
"Zeed you ever the like!" cried one of the men. "Why his blood is on your clothes! His very blood! If a poor fellow kills a man when he's taken a drop too much, and they get to quarrel over their drink, he's hung for it; and I don't zee why a gentleman murderer should escape either!"
"Off with your hands, fellows!" exclaimed the incensed colonel. "Don't you see that through your brutal ignorance you hinder my obtaining aid, and the poor man is left to perish!" So saying, he flung of their grasp, and prepared to mount his horse; but the rustics clung to the stirrups, hung on the bridle,
and soon by their cries and halloes brought others to their aid.
Colonel Allan found himself a prisoner on a charge of murder, and was borne through Knightsbridge, and even to London, amidst the
groans and hisses of the populace, while the body was placed on a rude bier, and being un-
known was conveyed to the nearest hospital. It being too late for any examination to take place that night, the unfortunate colonel was lodged in prison till the morning. He was pale, but self-possessed, conscious of his own inno- cence, and relying on the justice of his cause, he entertained no doubt of his final acquittal. All his anxiety was for Kate, whose agony he pic- tured to himself, when she should hear of his arrest on so frightful a charge as murder.
Few men improve in character, in he course of a few years, as George Allan had done. Without losing any of that elegant ease and light-hearted gaiety which had ever distinguished him, he had acquired a solidity of judgment and firmness of will, which gave dignity to every look and motion. Through the kindness of an official who had civilly accosted him, and as- sisted in preserving him from the outrage of the mob, the hapless prisoner was provided with the means of writing a letter, to break the intelli- gence as gently as he could to his wife. He wrote briefly, narrated the circumstances which had led to his arrest, and urging on Kate the necessity of courage and fortitude, reminded her of the trials she had already passed through, and the many deliverances she and himself had received from the hands of a beneficent provi- dence, to whose care he now committed her until some light should be thrown on the mysterious murder of which he was unjustly accused. He concluded by desiring her to place herself under the protection of Captain Fitzmorris, and to make his situation known to his late commander, General Conway, who would certainly come forward in his behalf; and elucidate evidence in his favor, wherever it could be procured.
When poor Kate received the startling and dismaying intelligence she was momentarily ex- pecting her husband's return, and in her plea- sant reveries alternately walking between a window which commanded a view of the street
and a bedchamber in which her little one slept, and as she bent over and kissed him, she felt her heart overflowing with gratitude; and could she have embraced her beloved father also, she was conscious that her happiness would be complete. Even while she thus dreamt, her husband's letter was placed in her hands, in- forming her that his name was branded with the accusation of murder. For a moment rea- son seemed to stagger; then casting a hurried glance on the sleeping child, she wrapped her- self in a hood and cloak, and crept quietly out of the house, lest Phelim should be aware of her intentions, and insist on following her for protection, when she felt that her sorrow would
be best borne alone.
HO! to the rescue, some one!
FROM a feeling of compassion, and in order that the wounded man might not be left to the care of strangers, Colonel Allan had intimated to those who guarded him the rank and name of Lord William Harvey, feeling sure that they would command especial attention, and that he would be conveyed to his friends. The very circumstance however of his stating thus much operated disadvantageously to the accused. If not guilty, how came he so well acquainted with every circumstance connected with the unfortu-
Poor Kate had hurried to the prison whence the letter was dated, hoping that she would be permitted to see her husbsnd. She walked on, unmindful of the rude jests and impertinence of several idlers, who were induced to accost her by seeing a lady alone and unprotected in the streets at night. On reaching the prison she was roughly refused admittance; neither prayers, nor tears, nor bribes, would move the stern gaoler; so Kate sat shivering on the cold stones at the door of that dismal dwelling, till the grey light of morning came, and then she as vainly as before renewed her prayer to be admitted. As she stood leaning against the grating through which the resolute face of the turnkey was alone visible, her hood accidentally fell back, and in her agitation she thought not of replacing it. Her lovely face—lovely even in sorrow—at- tracted the attention of the passers by; but poor Kate was unconscious of the rude gazes directed towards her, and sat down again at the door. Her wonted courage and presence of mind for this once utterly failed; she was stun- ned and bewildered, and there she sat till noon, when a gay and fashionable-looking man accosted her with "My pretty maid, you have chosen a dull cage if you would enter that dismal hole!"
"Oh, sir, I wish I could enter it; but they will not let me in," replied Kate, weeping.
"But whom would you see there, my dear?" "My husband," said Kate, "who is unjustly imprisoned. But he is innocent, sir, indeed he
"And to whom have you applied for admis-
"To the man at the grating, sir," said Kate.
"Oh, he cannot admit you, my dear," said the gentleman, with an impertinent familiarity, which at any other time Kate would indignantly have resented, but which now passed unobserved, so absorbing was the vast agony that filled her mind. "If you will come with me," added the gentleman, "I will take you to one who will give an order for your instant admission."
"Will you, sir—will you indeed?" exclaimed Kate, weeping with joy; oh, if you will I shall be truly grateful."
"Well, come then, we'll not waste time," said the young man smiling, and, taking her hand, he led her away.
Before Kate became the least conscious of her
imprudence in thus trusting a stranger she found herself in a chair, and moving at a rapid rate to the other end of the town. When re- flection returned she attempted to stop the chairmen, and ineffectually made an effort to open the window, but found she was a prisoner. Perceiving through a crevice the countenance of one of the men, she saw him smiling, and began to fear she had indeed fallen into a snare, and presently she remembered that in her intense anguish at her husband's situation, she had neglected to fulfil his instructions to communi- cate with General Conway and Fitzmorris, and had brought herself into difficulties from which her escape was uncertain..
While thus painfully ruminating, several peo- ple passed the chair, but it was closely curtained with thick silk. She contrived, however, to tear a small hole with her hands, and was that en- abled to look out. She saw that she was being carried across tbe park in the direction of Ken- sington, and that too at a rapid rate; but she soon became cool enough to watch her oppor- tunity. She therefore kept quiet for awhile, and the chairmen consequently slackened their pace, imagining that she meant to offer no fur- ther resistance. They even ventured to rest the chair on the ground for a moment, contrary to the instructions of their employer, who had dis-
appeared. At that instant a gentleman in black passed. He was tall and erect, but walked with a deliberate step; his countenance was noble, expressive, and full of thought. In a momentary glance Kate recognised that gracious countenance; it was one not likely ever to be forgotten. It was but the work of a moment for Kate to dash her hand through the glass, and cry, "Oh, sir, save me! help me!"
She knew to whom she spoke, and she knew her appeal would not be in vain. The gentle- man looked up, as if awoke from a dream, and darted forward with an agility rather produced by energy than youth, for he was no longer young. The chairmen seized the poles and were about to hurry on; but with a voice of authority, he commanded them to set down their burden. There was positively something electric in that voice; the men looked up in wonder, and with something of awe; but their promised reward recurred to memory, and they were again going
"On your peril!" continued the gentleman holding up a large stick, which he usually car- ried more as a staff than an offensive weapon.
At the first touch of this hard piece of oak, the one man relinquished his hold of tbe chair, and slunk back; but tbe other fellow seemed more resolute, and could he have carried his
burden alone, would certainly have proceeded. As it was, he made some skilful efforts to parry the blows that fell thick and heavy on his broad
"Here my fine fellow," cried the gentleman, to a half-wild looking man who was run- ning along without a hat; "you have a good piece of oak there; give this fellow a thrashing, and you shall have three crowns for your pains!"
"Faith, an' it's myself, your honor, as would do it iligant, widout pay or reward," replied he; "but it's afther seeking my misthress that I am."
"Phelim! Phelim!—stay, dear Phelim!" ex-
claimed Kate from the chair.
'Arrah, sure an' its misthress Allan's self, and no mistake! Faith, your honor, it's myself as will tache the ill-mannered baste dacency!" cried Pholim, who was already beginning to show his pugnacious powers on the culprit, while Mr. Pitt drew forth Kate more dead than alive from her confinement.
"Let him go, Phelim!—let him go!" said Kate. "I am not hurt—only frightened, and that through my own folly, in trusting to the offers of service made me by a stranger. Oh, sir!" she continued, clasping her hands, "how shall I ever pay the debt of gratitude I owe you?"
"I am already repaid for my slight services. madam," said Mr. Pitt, who had instantly recognised Kate. "Ere now you have obliged me in important matters, and Pitt is not the man to forget services. But may I have the honor of seeing you home?"
"Alas, sir!" said Kate,dejectedly, "I dread to enter my home. Yesterday it was a home of joy; to-day it is the abode of misery and des- pair!"
"May I ask, without offence, madam, what has happened to darken your bright prospects?"
said Mr. Pitt.
Kate briefly explained her husband's position,
and showed Mr. Pitt the letter she had received from him on his arrest, at the same time giving him an account of the manner in which she had
fallen into the power of the man who had so basely betrayed her confidence. "But you, sir," she continued, "you will help us. You will see that justice is done us. I know you will; you can do everything!"
"Can I, think you, madam?" said he, in a sad tone. "You forget that I am out of office, and have no power."
"But you have influence sir," said Kate, quickly. "I have heard, and I believe you can at pleasure mould men to your will."
"I have outlived my influence," said Mr. Pitt, with a sigh; "but I have not survived my sense of honor, nor my interest in my friends. I have no power, as I before remarked; but I have still a vigilant eye, and will watch over Colonel Allan's safety as though it were my own, see that his defence is ably prepared, and pro- tect you in his absence."
Kate had no words to express her gratitude; but her looks eloquently spoke her thanks. "And now," continued her kind friend, "you must go home, madam, and endeavour to tranquilise yourself."
"But cannot I see him first—see my dear husband? Oh, sir! if you knew all that we have passed through together—scenes of danger, distress, and death—you would not wonder that our hearts are doubly united."
"I do not, dear madam," he replied, in a voice of the gentlest sympathy. "If, as I feel sure, the brave gentleman's heart and mind corres- pond to yours, I can well understand your devo- tion. Come, then, we will visit him together; they can scarcely refuse me admission."
So saying he despatched Phelim for another chair, and placing Kate in it, first proceeded with her to General Conway's, explaining the colonel's position, and entreating his assistance in elucidating the affair. General Conway readily promised every aid in his power, and proved his sincere interest by immediately set- ting out to visit the magistrate before whom he thought it likely the prisoner's examination would take place. Having taken these mea- sures, and dispatched Phelim to inform Captain Fitzmorris of what was going on, Kate and her kind protector proceeded to the prison, and on the application of the latter, were admitted to an interview with Colonel Allan. By this time Kate had re- covered much of her fortitude, but it nearly gave way again as she threw herself into her beloved husband's arms, in that dismal abode; she, however, made a strong effort not to dis- tress him by her emotion, and to show as much composure as she could command. "See, dearest," she whispered, "I have brought you a friend who will defend your innocence."
"General Conway?" said George, inquiringly. "No, sir," said Mr. Pitt, advancing with noble frankness, and offering his hand, " not Mr. Conway, but one who is equally desirous of showing himself your friend, as far as his abili- ties reach. The general will visit you in the day; at present he is busily engaged in efforts to elucidate the unhappy circumstances which have led to your detention on what all your friends must believe an unjust charge."
The colonel thanked Mr. Pitt with grace and dignity; but his gratitude was far more warmly expressed when he understood the important service he had rendered to Kate. "To you, sir," he exclaimed, "I have for years owed tbe happi- ness of my life. It was through your instru- mentality that I was blessed in a reunion with this dear lady when I was most unworthy of her
love and devotion."
"Nay, sir, he slanders himself" said Kate, "he has ever been what you see him now, the
best and dearest."
"Ah, madam," said their friend, "Heaven has more happiness yet in store for two such hearts as yours. Providence will never leave its work incomplete, but will assist you out of your present distress, and crown all with supreme felicity."
"I cannot think otherwise, sir," said the colonel; "for this dear one's sake it must be so. Appearances, it must be confessed, are greatly against me in this unhappy affair; but doubt- less they will be explained satisfactorily. I should however like to hear how the unfortunate gentleman is going on."
"I can inform you, sir," said Mr. Pitt, "for I heard something of the business this morning, though I was far from suspecting who had had the misfortune to fall under so sad an accusation.
My Lord William Harvey has this morning been removed to the Earl of Bristol's mansion, where, though not dead, he lies in a raging delirium.
Were he sensible, I an sure that as a man of honor he would clear you of all suspicion."
"Alas, sir," said the colonel, "my lord may
not have seen the hand that struck him, and if not, might suspect me, for he is ignorant of my character, and we have long been enemies!"
Mr. Pitt started. He glanced one penetrating look at the face of the prisoner; the scrutiny seemed to satisfy him, and not a shade of doubt rested on his mind when he pressed the colonel's hand, and departed to rceconduct Kate to her sorrowful home.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]