|Chapter Number||XVIII-(Continued) - XXI|
|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||The Smuggler's Ward: A Story of Ship and Shore|
THE SMUGGLER'S WARD.
A STORY OF SHIP AND SHORE.
CHAPTER XVIII.— (Continued).
BY SYLVANUS COBB, JUN.
THE sun was already up when Noel wrote from his bed, and as he proceeded to perform his toilet a variety of emotions in turn possessed
his soul. His heart felt lighter than it had
done for M>me time, and his spirit was more buoyant; yet there was fear—an indescribable sensation of dread—as though some secret enemy were near—some evil lurking at hand— which might fall upon him ere he could know it to avert it. He tried to beliere that the as* sorance of Bobert Warrington was well founded, and that all was safe and well. He finished his toilet, and sat down to await the coming of his host. Half an hour passed, and no Robert appeared. He looked at his watch and found it to be almost 9 o'clock. He opened the door by he bad entered on the night before, and looked out into a wide hall. By-and-by a senrant drew near, of whom he enquired for Bobert. "This is Mr BradfordP" * "Yes." *' My young master has gone out, sir; and he said you would wait until be came back." Noel returned to his chamber, where he passed another half-hour; and he was beginning to entertain suspicions of foul play, when a heavy footfall sounded in the hall, and pre sently the door was opened, and—not Bobert Warrington, but Guy Darringford, entered. v Ah,—and here you are, my boy!" cried the smuggler, first advancing and taking the youth's hand, and then sinking into a chair. He was evidently fatigued, and his flushed face was beaming with a wondrous glow. Noel had never seen him so strangely moved. "Guy, what is it?" " Husb, hush, my boy ! Don't say a word. I know you must have had another spell of un easiness, being left here so long; but we couldn't help it. My soul! how wonderful are the mysterious workings of Providence! Noel, there must be a good genius watching over you* Danger, perhaps death, has been at your heels this many a day, and you have been held clear of it by a fate which we had, in our blindness* denounced as evil. But let me get breath, tnd m tell you." Our hero sat utterly spell-bound until Dar ringford was ready to proceed, which he finally did as follows :— " Last night, when I had gained the pave ment under the cell window, and was waiting for you, I heard some one enter the place. At first I thought of flight; but on reflection I determined to remain where I was, and see if I could gain any information from what I could overhear. ••And did yon hear?" "Yes. But ask me no questions now. I heard nearly all, but not quite. While you and Bobert Warrington were talking I heard foot steps near at hand in the narrow court where I stood, and presently two men approaohed me. I crouched away under the arch of a small door dose by, and they passed on; but I saw their faces, and I heard their speech. The words that struck my ear were few, but they chanced to give a key to their business. ' The young chap is in this louse somewhere,' said one of them, ' and we shan't nab him to-night. But well hang on. He won't escape us again.* " The man who said that, I recognised the moment I saw him. It was Balph Pettrell, one of the most desperate rasoals of the gipsy gang we saw on the banks of the Loyne. I allowed them to gain the street, and had started to follow them, when two other men came out from the arch under the great piazza and stopped me. I was considering whether I should knock them down or not, when they made me understand that they were friends. Bobert Warrington had sent them to bring me into the house. Of course I had gathered, from from what I had overheard between that young gentleman and yourself, that he was all right; so I followed the men, and before a great while Bobert Warrington and I stood face to face. I can read human nature, when the book is open* and when I had looked fairly into Robert's face* I believed him to be a true and honest man* As soon as I was sure be meant wall to us both ) I told him of what I had seen and heard in the side court, and asked him to let me have help to follow the gipsies. He not only called help, but he went with me himself. "To make a long story short, my boy, we easily traced the rascals to a small inn by the river, where one of our men succeeded in get ing Balph Pettrell out of doors; and without more ado we seised him, and brought him to this house. He saw that his game was up, and when we had convinced him that he would go to prison if he did not make a clean breast of it, and when we had assured him that no harm should come to him, nor to any concerned with him, through his confession, he told us the whole story. "From the very first of your appearance in Kendal, Noel, Bupert St. George has boon aim ing at your destruction. Four of the very worst and most desperate of the gipsies have been in his employ, and have been constantly at our heels ; and their simple object has been to put you out of the way. They had prepared to strike in Kendal, when the mysterious cipher of Thamar sent us out of their way. With swift horses they eamo to Bristol; and last night, my boy, they lay in ambush not twenty yards beyond the point where we wore overhauled by Warrington's crew. Had wo gone on a few minutes longer we should have both been lost; for the villains were amply prepared for the work in hand. We w. re both to have been shot in our tracks! Oh, you don't know thoso Bo hemian cut throaLu! They would have shot us down with as much unconcern as you would feel in killing a viper. But your good genius was at hand." " And now?" interrupted Noel, eagerly. "Now wo are all safe, my boy;—and that is what bad kept us away frora yoa t'.ts morning. From Pettrell wo learned that Bupert J3t George had arriv. d iv Bath not many hourg before; aud early this morning Warrington and I hunted him up, and put him off our track, and upon his own. So we have nothing more to fc«r from him." " Ar» you sure?" "Sure? Do you not remember what Robert told you laat ui^hi ? You have nothing to fear from Bupert, simply b. cai.»> he has nothing to fear from you. Hobert Warrington has con- Tinced him that you Inve no shadow of a claim to Walling Mojr,— to his cause of enmity is at an end, and he has taken himself off. And, my
dew bey, under all the ckcwwtano»a,U was Tery thankful that we allowed him to go. I m confident that you would not care to proteeute him for the eril he had meditated against you." '•You were right, Guy—you were right. And O, how shall I ere* repay you for your derotion tomeP" " Don't think of that, Noel. AU I ask it to see you once settled in the full possession of your rights. That will be happiness enough for me. There was an affectionate, tender look upon the face of the strong man as he spoke, and his eyes were gemmed with tears. The youth would have asked many questions, but before he could speak farther, the door was opened, and Robert Wtfrrington entered the apartment.
Ohaftbb XIX. THS BMtTOaLBB'fI BTOBX* " Mt dear boy." cried Robert, as he advanced, and grasped Noel's hand, " you most forgive me for leaving you so long j but really-^" "Stop, my brother," interposed our hero, with grateful/beaming look. " Darringford has told me all. I understand. I know how kind you have been." " Very well. If that ia the ease, then we can go and get some breakfast j for, if your appetite is like mine, you will not objeot to taking that as the next thing in order." Bo saying Bobert led the way to the breakfast room, and when the meal had been concluded he took Noel by the arm, and conducted him into one of the private drawing-rooms. 11 Where is Darringford P" our hero asked, when he noticed that the smuggler had not followed them. "He ohose another direction," answered Warrington," as he knew that I would see yon alone." Noel asked no mores but seating himself upon one of the soft lounges, he awaited his companion's will and pleasure. " Noel," said Bobert, when he had drawn a chair up in front of the sofa, " I desire that you will be frank and open with me in your an swers to whatever I may ask of you." " I believe you can trust me on that score." "To your honor and faith I would trust my very life," pursued Bobert; " but there may be things in the bosom of every man whioh he would wish to hold in secrecy." " From you, Bobert," said Noel, warmly, " I know not that I have even a thought that I should desire to conceal." A quick glow of gratification beamed upon Warrington's face, and having given his friend's band an instinctive grasp, he asked— " Would the possession of your estates render you satisfied and oontented ?" " I do not comprehend you," said Noel. "I mean to ask, if the full and complete pos wssion of a large and valuable landed prop rty would satisfy your longings; or is then other good you crave P" The youthful adventurer trembled. "Bobert, the mere possession of material wealth can give no man happiness. I would rather share the lot of the humblest peasant, with honor and with love, than live in a palace estranged from loving companionship." A moment's pause, and Noel added— " Ify brother, are you speaking plainly ? If rou would have me answer fairly and frankly, methinks your questions should be direct and comprehensive. "Noel,l will speak plainly. Do you still sherish the same affection for my sister that you once confessed to her ?" " Confessed ?" repeated our hero, with a start. " Has she told you P" " She has." Noel was for a time silent. What could his companion mean ? He asked himself the question, and his heart sank with the inward answer. What else could be meant save that he must rest satisfied with the restoration of his estates P what else but that this restoration must compensate him for the relinquishment of the Lady Grace's love P " Bobert," he at length said," if you imagine that the love which has burned with a flame so pure and so holy within my heart can ever be extinguished, you do not know me. Years may bear me away from her—bear me to the age of frost and decay, but never can the tide of life bear me from the one memory of all memories in wbioh the image of my love is en shrined. Grace may become anotbers, and thus crush the great hope for ever—but my love can know no abatement while I have sense and knowledge left!" Bobert turned away his head, and played with his watch sesL At length he looked up, and eaid, — "Could I have my own way, Noel, there sbonld be no bearing of you away from the ob ject of your love; but you are aware that my father's will is above mine. Grace has received an offer of marriage from the Earl of Oakhamp" ton, and the alliance is pleasing to my father. He may insist upon its consummation." "And Grace," whispered Noel, hoarsely— "does she—." He hesitated; and Bobert continued— " The earl ia young and handsome, and of good habits. He has been much ia the society of my eister, and you cannot wonder that she should hare conceived a friendship toward him, at least." " And she has accepted him P" " No." "Has not?" " Not yot." " But she has not rejected him ?" "Not directly." Noel sank back with a stifled groan, and his head was bowed. " Come, come," cried Bobert, cheerily—" we must not hare unhappiness now. Upon my soul, Noel, I believe you are the only man who could make Grace truly happy." J Our hero started back to life. " I know," Bobert continued, " that my eieter I loves you, truly and devotedly; and if jou still cherish the same feelings toward her, I may be able, through his great affeotion for his ohild, to influence my father in your favor. But hope not too strongly." "O, my Father!" ejaculated the youth, fer vently clasping his hands, " grant that this sweet cup be not dashed from my lips !" A moment more, and Bobert arose, and walked to the far part of the room. Then he paced to and fro a while, finally stopping before the occupied sofa, " Noel, I must leave you for a little time, but not for long. I will soon return." " One word befor* you go !" cried our hero, starting to his fee*. " No, not now." " Only one word." " By&nd-by you may ask a thousand ques tions, if you like; but not one now." And thus speaking, Bobert turned away. There was a ourioui expression upon his face,
and once he heeiteftd, v though be would ?peek further; bat with evident effort he orer came the impulse, and left the apartment. If ever man wm bewildered, Hoel Bradford wm bewildered ea he eat alone in that drawing room. If ever man wm at a loea for thought, he wm at a low then. Deeper and deeper grew the mystery, and beyond ita intricate methee he eonld not stretch an idea of reason or proba bility. There were bright threads in the web, bnt he could trace them to no sore eonneetion with substantial forms. The young man wm floundering in his per plexity when Gay Darringford entered, and took a seat by his side. •'Noel," said the smuggler, "did yon toll Robert Warrington who I wmP" "Yes—that is, I told him you were my mother's brother. Bat—sorely, I—" "O, it's do harm," interrupted Guy, as he noticed the youth's eonfuuon. " I only wished to know how he found out the secret." " But I thought you heard our conversation in the cell." " Not the whole of it, You know Iwm in* terrupted. You told Bobert that I wm your mother's brother j and he, in tun, told you more?" " Yes, he told me—" 11 Why do you heeitateP" " Because I am repeating a private conversa tion." "It can do no harm, nor violate, confidence now," said the smuggler. " Warrington let fall a remark this morning which betrayed his knowledge of my true name; and I knew he mnst bare had the elae from you. Now I only wished to know if he told that name to yon." "He did, sir. He told me that you were Sir Oswald St. George; and he also informed me that you had been most deeply wronged by the GoTcmment." " And he told you the truth," returned the smuggler, with quivering lip. " And will you not now tell me more P" urged NoeL " I wish you would open your heart, and tell me of the circumstance that drove you from the society of your equals." " Yon shall hear it, my boy j and you should , have heard it before had I not been anxious to conceal my family name m long m possible* Noel listened eagerly. " There were in our family," commenced the smuggler, " two brothers, and one sister. Iwm the eldest. Over the fate of my younger brother there still hangs a mystery which I can* not fathom, though I am confident that Bobert Warrington poseetses a key to its eolation. There is, in fact, a mysterious chain of circum* stances seeming to connect the fates of my brother and my sister, though of the affairs of the latter I know more than of the former. But let that pMs, until some kind hand shall unfold the tangled web. When quite young I wm placed by my father in the royal navy j and just m the war with the American colonies broke out; I had been rated to the command of a brig of fourteen guns. During the troubles in Boston, while General Howe held that city, I had a transport brig and a store-ship placed under my convoy, which vessels I wm ordered to conduct safely into Boston Harbor. The transport wm accidentally blown np at sea, and the store-ship wm most adroitly stolen from me—cat oat at night—by a Yankee priva teer. It wm a bold and daring feat, and in my heart I forgave the fellow for the act. In the meantime, however, General Howe wm suffering for want of the men and stores I wm to bring, and on my arrival empty-handed, he wm bo ex- Mperated that he persuaded Admiral Shuldhsm to send me home in disgrace. It wm Mserted that I—that /—had contrived the whole plot— that I had secretly caused the transport to be blown up, and had connived with the privateer for the capture of the store-ship." A moment the smuggler pressed his hand upon his brow, and a low moan escaped his lips. The memory of the disgrace came upon him with painful effect, and the dreadful ordeal seemed again opened before him. j " But never mind. It has long since passed, and I have had my revenge. When I returned to England I was summoned before the Admi ralty, and court-martialled. I wm disgraced from the service; and my name, connected with the black and diabolical lie, wm given through the public prints! Crushed in spirit, and driven from the pale of my equals, I resolved to be revenged upon the Government that had so foully wronged me; —and I have kept my pledge. In one year I have taken from her revenue more than a million pounds sterling! You start; but it is nevertheless true. Ah, the name of Gny Darringford has been a terror to our Lords of the Treasury! Do you wonder that I suffered ?—Do you wonder that I sought revenge P—Remember—l had been driven out ( like Cain, from the society of honorable men.— Do you wonder ? " Indeed, I do not," cried Noel, quickly and heartily. "O, the blow must have been a fear ful one!" " Aye, my boy,—'twas fearful beyond com* pute!" But, Guy,—my uncle, —will you continue this dangerous life?" " Not if the Government will cry quits, and square accounts," returned the smuggler. " But she mast wash the stain from my name $ she must place me upon my true level." " And be sure it shall be done!" said Robert Warrington, who had quietly entered the room, and overheard the last part of the conversation. " It has long been known to the Admiralty that Sir Oswald St. George wm unjustly condemned. But come, good Darringford,—l would speak with you in private." Then turning to our hero, he added— " You will make yourself comfortable for the present. Before night I shall have news for you." i And thus speaking, Bobert took Darringford's arm, and left the apartment.
Chaptsb XX. AIT AFSKi IK FLWH AHD BLOOD. Gradually the footfalls of the departing pair died away in the distance, and the wanderer was once more alone. The heavy damask curtains, hanging in folds of purplo and gold, so shaded the arched win dows that the light was softened and subdued almost to the temperament bf eventide, and the far part of the room, stretching awaj into pillared alcoves, hang with sombre drapery, fairly lost its distinctness of outline. The marble lion, and the quaint unicorn—one upon each aids of the elaborately wrought fire place —seemed to move in the faint shimmer, as though making ready to leap over the golden crown that stood out in relief above them. One of the bells of St. James' struck the hoar of ten, and aa the rich, sonorous tone* died away upon the air, a strange feeling possessed the youth,—* soft, toothing influence, a* though •
charm had been east upon hit spirit PrMentlj he heard • right nutting in the distance, and apon looking up he M Urn drapery of one of the alcoves dnwn aside. With a wild bound ing of th« heart he leaped to hi* feet, and itood like one entranced* In the far part of the room, against the heavy drapery which had been let fall behind it, etood the oelestial phantom of hu oft-repeated vision. It* whiteness, like light, had lost none of iU parity) bat iU dauling, blinding brilliancy was gone. The face was as beautiful as ever; bat not now, M before, that ethereal, neboloot gleaming. Noel moved not—he spoke not,— bat with enraptured gase he strained bis eyes toward the dimly lighted reeew. Slowly the beautiful presence moved toward the centre of the room, where the light of day bathed its form and features. What is that change P It is the same form —the same sweet face, and yet it is not the same. And that rising and falling of the snowy bosom? Hark! A breath—a sob! A single step the youth advanced, and then stopped, fearful that he should dispel the vision. Involuntarily he opened his arms, and the soft, liquid light of his eye was sapernaL There was a movement, as of the flitting of a shadow —a low cry broke the air,—and on the next moment Noel clasped his arms about a form of life and substance; other arms were twined about his neck—and a head was pillowed upon his bosom. "O, my brother, my brother!" fell from the angel's lips i and then, lifting her head from its tear-wet pillow, she gaied up into the youth's face. As Noel met that gase the cloud was rent in ?ander. Up frorn^ the past was lifted the dark curtain, and his memory went back to the be ginning. Now he knew his angel visitant —the ideal had become real, and the phantom pre lenoe had come to him a material form, warm with active life. The celestial had taken on the terrestrial—and he beheld his own, his loved, his loving, his earthly sister! The flood of joy was whelming, and with tears and sobs—with words of wonder and of praise —the brother and sister held each other in warm and rapturous embrace. " O, my sweet sister, tell me, if you can, what it all means. It is to me like the supernal flash* ing of light that blinds and bewilders.** They had seated themselves upon a sofa, their hands lovingly interlocked. "Do you have no remembrance of your ?ister Esther?" "It may be a phantasy of the imagination," replied Noel, as the charmed sound echoed in his ear, and in his soul; " but still that name appears familiar. It calls up from the mystic chambers of memory emotions that could not respond to a mere myth. But, Esther, is my face familiar to you ? Would you have known me elsewhere ?" "Aye, as though we had never been sepa rated." •• And how ? How have you held my image so strongly?" Esther looked up, and with a beaming smile replied— M To the world, Noel, the story might seem wild and incredible, and. be termed foolish and visionary; but nevertheless it is true, though very wonderful. I am older than you, and can remember an event which can hardly be re flected in your remembranoe. I allude to the death of our father." " I have pictured such a scene to myself," Noel said ; but I am fain to believe that there Ban be little of absolute memory in it. I pro bably reoeived the impression from the oft repeated account of the scene given me by the woman who, at the time, I believed to be my mother." "It must have been so," returned Etther, with fond, devoted gaze into the frank and manly face of her brother; " for you were too young to have retained an impression made upon your sense at that period, without later assistance to memory. Even I remember it but as an isolated event, mnch of what followed being all blank. Of my. voyage aoross the Atlantic I can remember but little. But I can remember how I used to sit, hour after hour, and through the whole weary day, and cry for my brother—for little Noel; and from thai time your image has been fixed in my mind, and in my heart—growing with my growth, and developing into youth, and into manhood, as my own spirit found growth and develop* ment. Nine years after we reached this country, one evening in early autumn —I think it must have been between 9 and 10 o'clock—as I sat alone in one of the smaller drawing-rooms, a strange sense of drowsiness came upon me, and I sank beneath its influence. It was not like sleep, for there was a chill upon me, aad I shuddered and shivered, as though in the hands of a power which I could not overcome. My eyes were fixed upon the burning taper as I sank back, and in a moment more those beams had spread out, over a vast space, into ten thousand twinkling stars, and I found myself on the deck of a ship, in the midst of a track less ocean. At that moment I saw with spiritual vision, and seemed to comprehend the past, the present, and the future. I knew that yon had sought your hammock, and I descended to the place of your repose. You had just fallen asleep; but I knew that I had the power of making myself visible to you; so I laid my hand upon your arm, and called your name. You ; opened your eyes and looked upon me, and I , knew you as I had known you ever. Your every feature was as familiar as though we had spent the years agone in each other's close com panionship. I spoke words of cheer and com fort to you, promising you peace and joy in the future j and I held out to you a wreath of laurel. Then you stretched forth your hand, and an irresistible power drew me away." ''Strange! Oh, how strange!" murmured Noel, scanning again and again the features of his sister. " flow distinctly and vividly every line and shade of that vUion is fixed upon my memory! Ah, Etther, my sister, you may never know how often the words of that heaven-sent messenger have guided my feet from error. In the dark hours of danger they have given me strength and oourage, and in the still darker hours of temptation they have lighted me on in the path of machood and duty. And you came again. I saw the celestial forja onoe more on board that same ship." " Aye," returned Esther, while a shudder shook her frame from head to foot. " That was a fearful scene. I was asleep in my bed, when I was disturbed by a low rumbliag sound, which gradually increased to a terrific roar, as though the whole grand artillery of heaven bad ex ploded above my head. Again I was upon the deck of the Hector. The men were rushing toward the stern of the storm-riven bark, but you were not with them. I turned to the bows, and aaw you there. Mercy! what a sight*
The frim spirit of destruction already had the fated ship in its grasp. Bat I knew yoa were ?tie, and I whispered to you,—• Be not afraid, my brother iI am with the*!' Did yoa tee me thenr 11 Sm the* tO ! how plainly !—how joyfully! Bat tell me, Esther, —Did yoa ever inform Bobert Warrington of this oireaautanoe ?" «¥•»." " Before he went to India V* "Yei." " And I can now aoeount for his seemingly strange eondaet when I told him the same story, one evening, on our homeward royage. Bat what could he hare meant by saying that his sister's suspicion mast be right? I had never spoken to her of this." Esther gated up into her brother's face, and a quiet smile lurked about the corners of her mouth, and twinkled in her lustrous eyes. H The Lady Oraes and myself hare been inti mate from early childhood." « Well—" " And she knew my eountenanee — every feature of it." Noel returned his sister's earnest gaze, utterly unable to comprehend her aim. She noticed perplexity, and still smiling, she j proceeded— " Methinks, from all I have heard, that Grace had studied your own face not a little. There, don't blush, JBToeL I will tell yoa the secret. I think, if you and I were to stand side by side, and look into a mirror, yoa would acknowledge that one who had seen the sister, and marked her features, ooold not pass the brother by un noticed." " Esther, I think there is • similitude in our features." " I think there is, Hod i and in this remark able similitude lies the secret of Grace's emo tions upon beholding you.** " And you think, sweet sister, if I had not re* sembled yoa so strangely, Grace would have failed to notice me with interest ?" Noel said this in a sportive mood; but the ?mile quickly passed away, and a slight flash came in its place. «O, no," Esther replied—"l meant not that I only alluded to the osuse of the saspioion which she entertained, and which she gave to her brother. Ah, I much fear me that even her first impressions were deeper than surprise, and far more lasting." A short silence, and Noel said— "Of coarse yoa have known the brother, if yoa have known the sister. Perhaps, Esther, ' you may, ere long, know Bobert Warrington better yet." Either blushed; bat her blush was tempered with a hsppy smile, as she frankly replied— "I understand yoa, Noel j and I freely admit that while you have loved the sister, I have loved the brother; and my only prayer in that direction is that we may both be hsppy in our choice." 11 Ah, Esther, I know not that I shall ever possess my ohaiee." •' Bat yoa can hope P" "Yes," fervently ejsAulstedour hero; "and when that hope fades away, God grant tnat it may be into the brighter realm of fruition." For a time the brother and sister sat in silence. Their conversation had been free and uncon strained, like as though they had met thus alter only a short separation. Theirs were hearts made for the abode of sympathy and affection —fashioned by the hand of God after the image of His own love; and thus peculiarly fitted for the reception of those remarkable impres sions which had flashed their emotions to the brain, and led to strange and startling episodes in their lives. By and by a look of sadness rested upon Noel's features, and raising his eyes, he mar mured— "O, that our mother had lived to see this happy moment!" " Our mother!" repeated Esther. She seemed upon the point of saying more; but with an effort she put back the words, and gased silently into her brother's tearful eyes. She arose from her seat, and Noel followed her example. She turned toward him, and was once more clasped in her brother's embrace j and a sweet, warm, impulsive kiss, through which their hearts sent forth whole t Jines of love, was the only token of the brief parting.
Chapctb XXI. ooHOumov. " Now, my boy," cried Bobert Warrington, entering the room, and soiling bit friend by tbe hand and drawing him toward the door. " Ere we eat our dinner the last sand in your glass of doubts and fears shall hare dropped through for ever. Come." "So soon!" murmured Noel, unconscious of what he said, bat moving as one in a dream. " Yes, yes. Come,—everything is waiting." So saying Bobert led the bewildered yonth from the apartment—thiongh the long hall, through an ante-room, and finally into the grand drawing-room of tbe dwelling, where a dozen or more people were oolleoted. The first face which oar hero recognised was that of Captain M'lror, the commander of the Atlas, and hastening forward, he grasped the old man by the hand, exclaiming, as he did so— " My dear captain, this is a pleasnre indeed !*' " Aye, aye, my boy; and a trne pleasnre it is to me also," returned M'lvor, while a gleam of intense satisfaction lighted his eyes. Noel could speak no further with his old com* mander, for Bobert led him away to another part of the room, where stood Lord and Lady Warrington, together with the smuggler, and three old attorneys, in powdered wigs. When cordial greetings had been interchanged, one of the dignitaries, who wore the ermine of the King's Bench, called upon the captain of the Atlas, and having taken a roll of papers from the table, he asked— " Captain M'lror, is this the person whom you took from the wreck of the American ship Hector, between ten and eleven years ago ?" " It is, your honor." 11 You are confident ?" " I am." " Depositions hare already been taken from yon concerning the youth's account of himself at that time. This signature is yours ?" " It is." 11 And this is the individual alluded to therein ?" " It is, your honor." The judge turned to Noel, and with a bland smile remarked— " The proceedings in your favor hare been closed these two hoars ; bat as a final cast of eridenoe we only required tbe recognition of Captain li'lvor to place the whole thing beyond doubt. These papers and broad parchments are now yours; aad oar earnest prayer is, that England may hate reason to be proud of your aooossion.'*
[ Ac thejudge concluded he placed the roll ia oar hero's hand, and ere Noel could recover himself from hi* bewilderment all had left the room save Lord and Lady Warrington, Guy Darringford, Robert, and himself. For a time no one spoke, though all Memed full of desire to do so. There were eager glaneee from one to another, as though the time for explanation had come. Finally Lord Warrington motioned the com* pany to be seated, and then toraing to the wait* ing youth he said— " Koel, to me has been left the task of explain* ing the various circumstanoea which bare thai far conspired to make up the measure of your destiny." Despite his anxiety, Noel could not but re member that two sweet faces were missing, j He was wondering why Grace and Esther were not there, when the words of the old noble aroused him. " When your mother was yet but a girl, she had the fortune, or misfortune, as you may please to term it, to fall in lore with a young baronet, from the north of England, named Maloolm St George." "HowP" exclaimed the smuggler, starting from his teat. «My brother, Malcolm Bt- George, did you say f "Be easy," urged Warrington, motioning the astounded man back to his seat. MBo easy, and you shall soon understand it. It it as I hare said, Sir Oswald—your brother Malcolm was this young man's father." Then turning to Noel, he continued— " Your mother's father objected to the match j and when, in time, the youthful couple were clandestinely married, his rage knew no bounds. Barbara—that was your mother's name—being an only child, had supposed that her parent would forgive her when he knew that the mar* ' riage had been consummated | but in this she was mistaken. He not only discarded her, but forbade her ever to enter his doors again. Sir Malcolm owned a small property in Westmore land, and thither he took his young wife, where dwelt his only sister, Esther. Now, this sister had married a man of Welsh descent, whose name was also St. George—the son of a branch of the old family." | " Then my father and Guy Dar—or, I should say, Sir Oswald St. George—were brothers P" interrupted Noel, excitedly. " Exactly," returned hit lordship. " But when these marriages took place Sir Oswald had been most wickedly traduced and disgraced from the navy, and had disappeared from the country; or, at least, so it was supposed, for none sus pected that he and the daring smuggler of the Irish Sea were one and the same person. But after your sister (who was named for her aunt) and yourself were born, your father suffered so muoh from the persecution of his wife's relatives, and particularly from her father, that he was forced to flee the country j and he sought re fuge in America. Your aunt, whose death you witnessed at Kendal, suffered so muoh mortifi cation and grief in the diagraoe of her brother, that she finally persuaded her husband to take the same route; and they, too, went to America } but they did not find your parents. " When you were two year* old your father sank under the weight of disease and misfortune, and died in abject porerty. Shortly after this bereavement your mother received a letter from her father, in which he freely forgave her all past offences, promising that if she would re turn to his arms, to bless his old-age, she and her children should inherit his estates. Bar bara resolved to return i but she could not find means to pay the passage of both her children; so she left her son in the care of a kind-hearted widow—a Mrs Bradford—promising to send for him immediately npon her arrival in Eng* land. She found it difficult to make this choice —it pained her to the heart, —but Esther was the more delicate, and hence her selection. As for the mattter of leaving either of her loved ones behind, it was simply a choice between that and begging. She could not do this latter thing—she could not do it! . " By one of those peculiar circumstances of chanoe which sometimes turn up in human affairs, Esther St. George, your aunt, had also lost her husband, and had taken passage in the same ship with your mother and sister. Esther had no children, and upon their arrival in Bog land, Barbara, who did not wish the world to know how poverty-stricken she had been, got her sister-ia-law to claim you as her own son, and under that guise to send for you herself. Esther readily agreed to the arrangement; and very shortly afterward she fell in with Guy Darringford, whom she recognised to be her long lost brother, Oswald. To him she confided the task of seeking you, and believing that he would work more lealously if he thought it was her own child be was to seek, she did not let him into the secret of your true birth. On his first visit to America he found that Mrs Brad ford had moved, and he could gain no trace of her; but he was told that the child he sought had once a sister, and when he returned he asked Esther the meaning of it. She knew not how far she might implicate herself by denying the rumor, so she confessed that she had had another child, but that it died before she left America. And the smuggler kept up the search, believing all the while that he was searching for his sister's child instead of his brother Malcolm's." At this point Lord Warrington paused, and Sir Oswald said, with muoh emotion— " I cannot blame my sister for the deception of later years, for her mind has been sadly shattered —so much so that I have no doubt •he had come to forget that our dear Noel was not really her own child. Her memory had failed her, and she evidently had gained an im pression of truth from the long-cherished false hood. But she should have told me the truth in the beginning." •' Never mind, Sir Oswald," returned War rington. "fet the past of error be forgotton and forgiven, as the king hath this day done by you. Do you realise that you once more stand ( free and unbowed, among your true peers P" The restored baronet was moved to tears of joy and gratitude. Then turning to our hero, the old noble pro ceeded — " With the facts and ciroumstances of the smuggler's search you are fully acquainted, and upon only one important subject are you now in the dark. Listen, and I will give you light: Within a few years after your mother's return to the home of her earlier days her father died; but he had com • to. love his daughter very dearly, and had hoped that ha should behold his grandson before he had done with earth. But that privilege w<u denied him. Still he had determined, if pas *ibio, that a male heir of his own blood should succeed him. Knowing not what diffltuhios mi^ht be thrown in the way alter he was gone, he drew up a new will, and obtained « patent from the king for its religioni observance. By those instrumente his titlai and estates were to remain in wardship until thi
?oa of hii daughter was found, or until absolute proof had been pretested of his death. It ffH alto provided that the heir should take the family name, to which, of course, under the iftWg he U entitled. This will was made privately, and lodged in faithful hand*, with express in structions, baoked by Royal content, that it should not be opened until the Lady Barbara gave her consent. And heace you can understand why your mother continued to keep her seoret, and why the Lady Esther St. George held it saored to the last. She feared that there might be male relatives of the family who, if they gained knowledge of your ezistenoe, would seek 70a out to destroy you. It seems, however, thai you were open to the same danger on the other hand; for that hotheaded young Welshman, Bupert, believing you to be the son of his unola, feared for his own estates. There was one per son, not a member of the family, who knew the seoret of your birth—an old gipsy woman, named Thamar, who onoe nursed your aunt through ft fit of delirious fever; and to tht shrewd planning of this woman, so far at the settlement of the Westmoreland property is con cerned, we owe much." "But," continued Warrington, arising, and grasping our hero's hand, " all is now clear and plain, and well established. The estates of your maternal grandfather, his family name, and hii titles, are now yours." % "And that grandfather," whispered Noel, whose heart was hushed in eager suipense,— " Who was he ?" "Your mother's father was Lord Henry If ilbourne, Earl of Oakhampton." "And I—l " "You are Lord Noel Milbourne, present Earl of Oakhampton." « Just Heaven! Can this be " Thus far had Noel exol'aimed when his eye caught a scene that held him utterly spell bound. Up from the lower end of the room, just emerging from the broad way which had been opened by withdrawing the heavy hanging*: by the Moorish arch, approached Grace War* rington and his sister Either, leading between them a mild-eyed, beautifolwoman, in the prime of life. A moment the lovely trio stopped— then she who stood in the centre broke from her companions, and with a low, stifled cry of de lirious joy, she sprang forward and caught the entranced youth in her warm, love-tempered em braoe. "My son! my son I O, my son I" And un able to articulate more she hung upon the neck of her long-lost boy, sobbing as though her heart would burst with its wild flood of ma ternal rapture. Fondly—tenderly—for the time forgetful of all else in the world—did Noel hold that sacred form in his manly arms; and as he gazed into the love-lit face he knew that he could safely cry,—"My mother! My own, my own deft* mother!" The hearts that for a time throbbed so pain" fully in their delirium of joy had been hushed to a more quiet and peaoeful realization of the blessed reunion 1 the tears had been wiped away; and the young Earl had resigned big mother to a seat. And then Noel turned toward Grace War* rington, and put forth both his hands. She looked to her father, and met a kind smile of approval. That was enough. On the next moment she had pillowed her head upon the bosom of the man whom, above all else in the world, she truly and devotedly loved. And so the Earl of Oakhampton had sued for the Lady Grace's handj and, in truth, hi had won it, and her whole heart with it! " Now," said Robert WarringtOD, with eager tremulousneas, " I have a*favor to ask of yon, Lord Noel; for henceforth you are the head Of the family, and must direct its affairs." The youthful earl cast a sidelong glance ftt his sister Esther, and in her blushing, downoaat, yet earnest look, he read the favor they would ask. He took her band, and led her forward. He hesitated, and turned toward the Lady Bar bara— " With your permission, my mother." "Yes, Noel—yes." Then be placed the hand of his sister in the keeping of his dear friend, s tyinz, as he did so— "There, t >ke her, Robert j and if your joy in reoeiving the boon is as great as is mine in be stowing it, you must be happy indeed."
OkTTAXH Jack, the famous leader of the Modoo Indians, appears to be not altogether a stranger to cirilised life. A. reporter of the Portland (Oregon) Herald lately obtained tome aeoount of his past career from an old lady named Airs Joseph Knott, living in that city. In the year 1851, while living at Oanonville, Douglass County, an Indian boy oame to the hoaae ot Mr and Sirs Knott and requested to lire with them. He was one »l the Rogue Hirer Indians, and belonged to the tribe then settled on Oow Creek. He seemed to be an aotire, shrewd boy, sad ao« oordingly received permission to remain in the Knott's house, wbero he stayed several years. He' insisted on having what he called a " Boston" name, and was therefore known as Tank, after one of Mrs Knott's own sons, who was his oonstant companion. The boys grew up together, but Jack one day, har* ing taken offence at being toU to leave the room, loaded his_rifle with tho intention of shooting Muster Levi Knott, a member of the Knott family. This evidence of a hasty temper led to his expulsion from the house of the Knotts, and Juek disappeared, to be heard of. do more until ho became I earl or of the AfodoM, except on one occasion, in 1855, when he Wll ill-advised euough to murder a lady by name Mrs Harris, after which ebullition of his still ill-regulated temper he retired to the Oooie Lake country. Jack's mother was a full sister to Rogue River Join), who attempted to seize the steamer Columbia while she luy at anchor in the harbor of Orescent City, and also a half sister to the war-ehi«»f Sara, of the same tribe, and to Chirtf Jon, who ruwivnrl that appellation from hariug fought General Joe Lane. Captain' Jack, tberofxe, comes of «n adventurous stocks but though he Ims now become glorious, owing to his h«»iij« deQed tho wholo power of the United Sttites, it is doubiful whe'her, as thing! hare turned out, he would not tanye been wiser had he remained in obscurity under the hospit* able roof of Mr and M» Knutt. It is of course dMi^hrful to e«oape from a ?ultry town to tho poac-ful meadows and groresj and the churtu* of rural scenery are doubly deliglitiul when enhanced by musioand flirtation. 1 here cm, tti ror «re, be little doubt, that the Helvetia M onnenhor Staging Ghoife of New Yoru, »uo were uccompunied by ladiet, would have h*i a v?ry pletnura day at College Point had it not been fur nn untoward incident, which somx*h.t nium-d tho afternoon's onjoy ment. Ah their Mhiu'iii,.! wu> leaving the pier a gang of thim pickpockets made a rush to get on board. The choir did not show an equal solicitude to receive them* and, in f»ct, iuc executive committee, assisted by two policcrui v who hud been invited (in oaae of ouch acei cntb) to join tho pwtj, pushed them h%r\, »iul two pi-kpo k«t<« were thrown overboard, iue g.nt< then mult> an onilaught with Urge p*vnnj Jurn-a, lii»)C-.ng down several of tb» eiour-imi id.i-ni fi.viurii<!j two or three •kulls. Tho il«*ck «a< soon c iv.r-d -with blood | the poiiwrneri mid ««xoar»ioiii«tu d»w their revolvers »o<» lire . «" th« u»'»r. wounding acre* ral. The i-.,.n ii.«n r.u>*b<i off. the pickpooketf flrine'thi-ir pii-'O1- »t. tin- rh-.r, s.-reral of whom were onrne«i in*^rn| iblt»ri> the otbms, where V^ were att«»«<«»d t>y » surgeon who happened «F be on board, and two ol them on arriving aft New York were takes to the Bellemo HotpttaU