« НазадПродовжити »
“ We must have witnesses,” I said “Only this evening! and whither when it was finished.
away so soon, old fellow ?" lir. Thorneley rang the bell. “ Tell I muttered something about busiThomas I want him here, and come ness. back yourself.” The two men return- “ Business! Come, I like that. You cd in a few moments,-coachman and have changed your nature, John, if footman; and before those two, with you go after business the first evening unshaken hand, with a face of rigid of your return from Switzerland. Why, firmness, Gilbert Thorneley wrote his . I didn't suppose you would have stirname; the servants affixed their sig- e red if my old uncle yonder had sent natures, and the deed was done for you to make his will, leaving me
When we were alone I rose to de- his sole heir.” And he laughed his part, and bade him good-night. As I old hearty joyous laugh, which had left the room I looked back at the old been music to me from the time when man. He had sunk in his chair, and I fought his first battle for him at his face was buried in his hands, Rugby. Now it filled me with an unbowed and bent beside the fire, with accountable dread; now it fell on my his thin gray locks straying over his ear as the knell of times which were forehead, as if some bitter blast had never more to come back. So near swept over him and left him desolate; the truth too as he had been, talking
-thus I saw him for the last time on in his own thoughtless, light-hearted earth.
way. What spell was over us all that I left that house with a heavy secret fatal evening? Perhaps—I think it locked in my breast, with a weight on must have been somall the dark shaheart and brain, and heeded not the dows which were gathering over my blinding, drizzling rain as I bent my soul revealed themselves in my counfuotsteps rapidly homeward, longing tenance, for I saw him look at me only to reach my quiet chamber, where with the kind solicitous look that I might commune with myself and be never became a manly face better still. I am not an inveterate smoker; than his. but when I want to think out a knotty “I'll tell you what it is, dear old point, when I wish to obtain a clear John,” he said, putting his arm within view of any difficult question, I can mine; “ you are looking terribly hipquite appreciate the aid which a good ped about something or another, and cigar affords one. This night I was any thing but the man you ought to dazed, bewildered, and mechanically I look, after such a jolly outing as sought my old friend in my breast- you've just had. Come, I'll go home pocket. I stopped beside the window with you, and we'll have a prime of a large chemist's shop at the corner Manilla, a steaming tumbler, and a of Vere street and Oxford street to cosy chat together; and if that doesn't strike a light, when some one hastily send the blues back to the venerable passed out of the shop and ran full old party from which they are generagainst me.
ally supposed by all good Christians “Kavanagh !” “Atherton !" The to come, why, as Mr. Peggotty hath man of all men in the world to meet it, I'm gormed !"" And again that that night! What fatality was it that fatal influence stepped in, making me was hedging me in and fencing me its agent to bring upon us the ineviround, without any agency of my table To be ; and putting his friendly own?
hand from off my arm, I said, “ No, " Who would have thought of seeing Hugh, not to-night ; I have need to be you here ?” he exclaimed as he grasp- alone. Indeed I am too tired to be ed my hand. “I had no idea you had good company even to you.” returned even.”
“Well, good-night then, my friend ; "I came back this very evening.” I'll betake me to mine uncle, and see
how the old man is getting along this to leave me in peace?-because I damp weather. Lister said he should won't lick him.” look in, so we can tramp home toge- “Why not, spooney ?” ther. But I won't be shirked by you “Because I don't wish to." to-morrow, Master Jack,—don't think “That won't go down here, you it; and I shall bring somebody to fetch know, Atherton; you must give your the Swiss toy I know you have got reasons." packed away for her somewhere in “He's got something the matter your knapsack. Good-night, good- ' with his right arm, and he can't hit night."
out. He'd have no chance against We shook hands, and he turned me. I know all about it, but the other down Vere street. An impulse,- fellows don't, and they think he can't blind, unreasoning, -seized me a min- fight; he bade me not tell any one. ute afterwards to call him back and That's why they are always at him to ask him to come home with me; and make him pick quarrels. They set I followed quickly upon his footsteps. him on at me; but I won't fight him, The evening was very dark, and the not for the whole school, masters and rain beat blindingly in one's face, so all.” that it was difficult, with my near Such was Hugh Atherton as a boy; sight, to distinguish his figure ahead such was he as a man,-ever generous amidst the numerous other foot-pas- and noble-hearted. I thought of him sengers. After a few moments I gave as then, I thought of him as now, reup the chase, half angry with myself membering all our long friendship, our for having been the sport of a sudden close intimacy, with the weight of that fancy. As once more I turned round dread secret upon me, and with the to retrace my steps, a woman passed indescribable sense of coming evil me at a hurried pace, and as she clinging to me. I wished I had yield. passed she almost stopped and gazed ed to his request, and allowed him to intently at me. A thick veil prevent- accompany me home; I wished I had ed my seeing her face, and in po way persevered in going after him; in was her figure familiar to me; but short, I wished anything but what the gesture with which she stared at then was. Were those desires troubme was remarkable. and for a moment ling me a taste of the vain, futile, a matter of wonder; then I forgot the heart-bitter wishes which the morrow circumstance, and rapidly made my was to bring forth? So, with the way home, thinking of the strange cold wind whistling round me, and revelations I had just heard ; thinking scattering the dead leaves across the of Hugh Atherton and our chance desolate square, where stood the house meeting; thinking of the days past wherein I dwelt, the rain beating and the days to come-of much and against my face, and the sky above many things which belong to the story black and lowering, I reached my I am telling of the time when I was home, wet and weary. a boy again at school, senior in my Methodical habits to a man brought form and umpire in all pitched battles up to the law, who has any pretence and the petty warfare boys wage with of doing well in his profession, become one another, when that little curly like second nature; and when I had headed, blue-eyed fellow, with his divested myself of my wet garments, cheeks all aglow and his nostrils big I took out my journal and made an with indignant wrath, had come to me, entry as usual of the date, object, etc.. a great burly clumsy lad of sixteen, of my visit to Mr. Thorneley; and and laid his plaint before me:
then I wrote out a brief memorandum “Please, Kavanagh, the fellows say of the same, which I addressed to I'm a coward because I won't lick Hugh Atherton in case of my death, Tom Overbury. Will you tell them and carefully locked it up with some very private papers of my own, about “There's a fine to-do at Smith and which be already had my instructions. Walker's, sir, this morning. I just This done, I smoked a cigar, drank a met their head-clerk as I was coming tambler of hot brandy-and-water, and here." went to bed, thoroughly tired out. I sprang up in bed as if I had been Bat I could not sleep. For hours I shot, the old fancies and dread of the tossed restlessly from side to side; prerious night returning with full force. Bow and then catching a few moments "Smith and Walker's!" I cried; repose, which was disturbed by the “ what is the matter there?” most horrible and distressing dreams. “Well, sir, I couldn't quite make Toward morning, I suppose, I must out the particulars, he was in such a at last have fallen into a deep slum- hurry; but old Mr. Thorneley's been ber-s0 profound that I never heard found dead in his room this morning, me old laundress's hammering at the and they suspect there has been foul door, nor the arrival of my clerk, nor play. Mr. Griffiths—that's the clerk the postman's knock.
—was going off to Scotland Yard. At last I awoke, or rather was It's a terrible thing, an't it, sir, to be Isakened. The day had advanced hurried off so quick? and none of the .
be bours; all traces of last night's best of lives too, if one may believe nin seemed to have vanished, and the what folks say. It's shocked you, sir.
a shown full and bright in at the I see; and so it did me, for I thought windows. Beside my bed stood Hardy, of Mr. Atherton and what a blow like old clerk.
it would be to him.” - God bless you, sir, I thought you'd Whiter and whiter I felt my face serer wake !"
was getting, and a feeling of dead sickI wish I never had, for I am aw- ness seized me. The man whom I ally tired. How are you, Hardy? had seen and spoken with but such and how is all going on ?"
few short bours since lay dead! the Quite well, sir, thank you; and I secret of whose life I possessed, knowhope you're the same. We've wanted ing what I now knew of him, and what og badly enough. There's that Wil- had been left untold hanging like a iams, he's been here almost every day, black shadow of doubt around me; he
sing and tormenting about having was gone from whence there was no te mortgage called in; and Lady returning,-he was standing face to Oraskirk, sbe called twice, and seemed face with his Creator and his Judge! h some trouble. Then there was a By this time Hardy had left the queer young chap from the country with room, and I proceeded hastily to dress Along case about some inheritance; in myself, feeling that more was coming short, sir, if you had been at home we than I wotted of then, and that the I might have been no end busy-what fearful storm which was gathering with the old ones and what with the would quickly burst. Rew;" and Hardy cast a sigh after the Scarcely was I dressed when I possible tips and fees of which my ab- hear: a loud double-knock at the Bence had deprived him.
office-door, and directly after Hardy's * Well, I'll see to it all as soon as I voice demanding admittance. I openhave dressed and had some breakfast. ed my door. I suppose they've brought it up, and “Sir, there is a police-officer who so the hot water?"
wishes to see you immediately.” * Some time ago, sir; you slept so I went out into the sitting-room. A Alate that I ventured to come in." detective in plain clothes was there;
All right. Isball be ready directly.” I had known the man in another 1. Hardy still lingered, and I knew business formerly.
by his face there was some news “What do you want with me, eming.
“ You have heard of Mi. Thorne were one of the last persons who saw ley being found dead, sir?”
him alive.” * Yes—my clerk has just told me. “But not the last,” I said, still blind What did he die of?"
to the fact pointed at. “Mr. Ather. “ He was poisoned, Mr. Kava- ton, his nephew, was with him after I
left. I met him going there at the I felt the man's eyes were fixed on corner of Vere street.” me as if he could read in my soul and There was a peculiar look on the sce the fearful dread therein. I man's countenance of compassion for could have hurled him from the me, I had almost said. window.
“Mr. Kavanagh, sir, I had rather “ Who is suspected ?" I asked as have cut off my right hand than that calmly as my parched tougue would you should have told me that, for let me speak.
you've both been kind gentlemen to The man did not answer my ques. me and mine. Vr. Atherton is tion.
arrested on suspicion of haring ad“ You were with him last evening, ministered the poison to his uncle. sir, were you not?"
When you remember where you met 6 Good heavens !” I exclaimed, him, you can guess what your evicompletely thrown off my guard; dence will be against him. Here“they surely don't suspect me!” Mr. IIardy! Help!”
“Not that I'm aware of, sir; but I remember nothing more, for I had your evidence is necessary, since you fallen back insensible.
TO BE CONTINUED,
"Not as the world giveth give I unto you."-ST. JOHN 14th.
BREAK not its sleep, the faithful grief, stili tender;
God gives at length His own beloved rest;
Still press the cross of patience to her breast.
Stir not the air with one sweet, lingering cadence
From life's fair prime of love and hope and song;
To that high trance of conquered peace belong.
Hush mortal joy or wail, hush mortal pæans ;
Ye cannot reach that Thabor height sublime
Seems nearer than the sights and sounds of time.
[ORIGINAL.) TWO PICTURES OF LIFE IN FRANCE BEFORE 1848.
drawbridge, over which the ruthless
hand of 1793 has effaced the ancient TIE HOME OF THE GUERINS.
arms of the Guérins. The great flag
stones of the court-yard were loosened Those who are familiar with the and uprooted long ago by the drainage journal of Eugénie de Guérin, know from the stables, and in the angles of that in Languedoc, near the towns or the wall grow holly and elder bushes, villages of Andillac and Gaillac, and not too aristocratic to take root in not far from Toulouse, there is an such a soil. These gates stand open ancient estate called Le Cayla; but always, admitting wayfarers who may they know little more than this of the wish for a cup of water from the place where Maurice and Eugénie de bucket hanging behind the door, or Guérin passed their youth in the quaint for a plate of soup to eat, sitting in and beautiful simplicity that stamped the sunshine on the broad steps that their genius with so marked an indi- lead down into the court-yard from the viduality.
kitchen, an important department in The peasantry of that region are this venerable homestead. wedded to old habits and traditions, Within doors blazes a goodly fire and the ancient families are imbedded on the hearth, a whole tree, standing like rocks in the land, says Lamartine, on end, sending its smoke up a great (from whose "Entretiens” many of chimney through which daylight is these local details are taken), and are visible, and ready to give a comfortnobles by common consent, because able greeting to Jean, or Gilles, or the château is merely the largest ruin Romignières, when they come to talk in the village, and every one goes of corn or sheep with the master, they there as to a home to get whatever he sitting on the stone settles, built into Deeds in the way of advice, agricultu- the wall, he on one of those walnut ral tools, medicine or food.
arm-chairs standing between the kitchLet us in imagination visit the Châ- en table and the fireplace. See the great teau of Le Cayla, as it was in the copper boilers standing round the wall, year 1837, for we must make our first and those immense soup-tureens, ornaacquaintance with it when it is graced mented with coarse painting, and the by the exquisite presence of those two, big dishes for the fish that they catch whose names are fast becoming house- in the mill-pond once in three years. hold words on both sides of the Atlan- There — we have looked long tic-Maurice and Eugénie de Guérin. enough; pass through this long smoke
It is not like one's dream of an dried corridor to the dining-room, ancient castel, this spreading, rectangu- where masters and servants take their lar house, built of brick and stone after meals together, excepting on state oca fashion of Henry the Fourth’s time, casions, the menials standing or sitand perched on the summit of a sharp ting at the lower end of the unbleached declivity. There is little to distinguish cloth. it from the great farms of the country Now down this little flight of steps round, but a half-ruined portico, pro- to the salon, which is all white, with a jecting over the flight of stone steps, a large sofa, some straw chairs, and a pointed turret, and the grooves of a table with books upon it. Yes-here