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around with some consternation at She caught, just then, a rustling the ugly crowd which gathered of dresses, and, looking round, saw about her carriage.
that near to her was a group of Dr. Doldy was waiting for her ladies and a few gentlemen, whose just inside the gloomy passage to faces were full of curiosity. But the court. He came out and they were not looking at her; and, helped her from the carriage. He following their eyes, she saw in a did not speak to her, and, without moment by the stir at the door any word passing between them, that the prisoners must be coming uncle and niece passively sub- in. She closed her eyes an instant mitted to the guidance of a burly and drew a long breath, and then policeman, who ushered them looked to see the first scene of her through a dingy passage, and then, triumph — Yriarte entering the opening a door, led them into the dock. murky little court. Laura was re- Yes, he was mounting the steps quested to sit down upon a narrow which led to that lofty position, bench. She glanced around, and He was the same José Yriarte that was at first taken aback by the Laura had once assured herself she mass of ugly, interested faces wbich loved ; extravagantly well-dressed, gazed on her from the partitioned a small cane in his gloved hand, a space devoted to the public. But smile on his thinly-mustachioed her eye, travelling on, immediately lips. Laura's little boot-heel ground fell upon Lewis Lingen, who sat the board beneath her foot. This just below her. The sight re- moment had an ecstacy of its own freshed her beyond measure. The for her. coolness and elegant languor of his He was followed by the other bearing gave her a sense of rock- prisoner, Anton, whose supremely like strength. She observed his handsome face elicited a subdued delicate-coloured gloves, which no murmur of admiration from the dusty papers ever seemed to soil. ladies of the “ people," who strug. She drew auguries of triumph from gled forward, reckless of the phy. the rich-hearted rose in his button- sical sufferings of others, to catch hole. And a sense of amusement a better view of him. came over her as she watched him; When he first appeared, a low for she saw that in one hand he held exclamation of surprise in a fami. a scent bottle, which, in the inter- liar voice startled Laura. She vals of looking over his papers or looked, and saw that Dorothy Silof speaking to those around him, burn stood close beside her. She he used delicately. Laura smiled must have just come in ; but she to herself; she had not thought of took no notice of Laura-her eyes bringing her own vinaigrette, but were fixed upon Anton. she supposed, Mr. Lingen's ex- Laura also looked again at the perience of police-court odours prisoners; but hurriedly dropped had taught him more forethought. her eyes, for Yriarte, leaning jaun. Certainly the atmosphere was tily upon the edge of the dock, was abominable, she realised, now smiling at her and trying to attract that her attention was attracted to her attention, as if they were at it, and the excitement of her first the opera instead of in a police entrance was wearing off. Surely court. Laura was intensely indigthe magistrate must get a head. nant-did he expect to carry off ache, she thought; and can a man his humiliation so insolently? She judge impartially with a head- looked covertly up through her ache?
eyelashes after a second, to see whether he was still watching her. clerk of the court. She kissed the No; he had turned, and, with that Bible with a little shudder, caused sickly peculiar leer which distin- by its greasiness and an involuntary guishes the man of low and selfish thought of all the lips which had amours, was scrutinising the faces pressed it before hers. The element of the ladies who stood near of the ridiculous had an annoying looking either for the recognition way of presenting itself before of an acquaintance, or for some Dorothy's mental eye at the most response to his general admiration. inopportune moment.
Dorothy had been watching him. “I had no intention of acting as She suddenly turned and looked at witness in this case," said she; Laura; and then took out her “but, as you seem in doubt with handkerchief and put it to her regard to this Italian gentleman's lips, as if to hide their expression. employment, may I be allowed to Laura now dropped her eyes and state that I have seen him recently sat motionless, for she had become acting in the capacity of model at aware that Mr. Lingen was speak- the Atlas School of Art, and also ing; that he was giving an outline in a private studio.” of the case; that he was mention- “What an extraordinary occuing her name. He was then just pation for a merchant!" remarked introducing her, as it were, and the magistrate. “Can you tell us expressing his confidence that the anything further?” to Dorothy. public sympathies would be given “ Nothing," she said, “except to a young lady who had the this, that the models at the Atlas courage to come forward in such a School are paid half-a-crown an painful case. She heard him de hour, and, by private students, scribe José Yriarte as a Spaniard even less; so that, as it seems to of good birth and high connec- me, this gentleman can hardly tions.
have been in a position to act as a “And his accomplice in this dis merchant or to lend money in the graceful case?” said the magis- manner named :” with which trate with dignity and contempt; Dorothy withdrew, followed by a “who and what is he?"
buzz of applause, while curious "He is said to be a merchant, glances were turned upon Anton. by himself and the other defend. “A very shrewd conclusion,” said ant," answered Mr. Lingen, turning the magistrate to himself as he his eyeglass upon the handsome made a note of her evidence. gentleman referred to; “but no Dorothy, her mind relieved, sat traces of any such occupation can down on the bench in Laura's be discovered.”
place; for that young lady was “Is he a Spaniard also ?”
now called into the witness-box. “He appears to be Italian,” re Her appearance there arrested a plied Mr. Lingen," and professes to conversation which had been going be unable to speak English. But on between Yriarte and Anton we have an interpreter in court.” since Dorothy's statement. Yriarte
At this moment there was a little had been leaning towards him, and stir among the well-dressed spec had apparently been questioning tators, and a little consultation him in an under-tone; but he turned among the authorities of the court. at once on hearing Laura's voice, And then, to Laura's great surprise, and fixed his eyes on her with his Dorothy Silburn, journalist, was habitual bold stare. This did not announced, and stepped into the appear to disconcert Laura, who witness-box and was sworn by the made her statements with great composure, and quietly met his handed over to certain persons gaze several times when referring whom he would not name. to him. She drew the line so “ And these letters of Miss clearly, representing herself as so Doldy's,” said the magistrate; innocent and injured a being, and “have they been inspected? These with such apparent unconsciousness, threats are of course groundless ?” that Lingen smiled within himself, Mr. Lingen dropped his eyeglass, and, looking up from his abstracted and turned a perfectly blank and gaze upon his papers, he met expressionless countenance upon Yriarte's eyes, so full of evident the magistrate. admiration of the lady's cleverness, “I have looked at them,” he that the lawyer himself hastily put said, “and they are such as any up his eyeglass, in order to conceal engaged lady might write—such as his own expression.
any engaged lady might write," he "I first met Mr. Yriarte," said repeated with emphasis. Laura, “at a ball given by some Yriarte pulled his mustachios, Spaniards of distinction in London. and looked across at Laura. She He afterwards obtained introduc- was as imperturbable as if carved tions to my aunt, Mrs. Honiton, out of stone. and to my uncle, Dr. Doldy, and “That makes it a very serious called frequently at both houses. case," said the magistrate gravely. He proposed marriage to me, and, The prisoners' advocate now as he was highly connected, my spoke. He said that the prisoners 'uncle made no objection, and we allowed themselves to have acted became engaged. Afterwards we wrongly ; but he represented that met frequently, and, on more their punishment should be someintimate acquaintance, decided to thing nominal. The principal break off the engagement. We had defendant's circumstances had frequently corresponded during altered for the worse. Moreover, the engagement; and when it was he had no doubt expended large broken off I returned the letters sums of money during his con. which I had of his, and asked for nection with the plaintiff; and, my own. At first he said he had in fine, neither of the defendants burned them; afterwards he told could fairly be expected to mani. me he had kept a few. A short fest the same high order of motime ago I met him in Rotten Row, rality as an Englishman. Anton and he told me that he owed a was unable to speak English, and man some money; and that, my knew nothing of the laws of the letters having been in a box which country. He had adopted a simple contained jewelry, his creditor had if rough expedient for obtaining seized the box, and, discovering the money owed to him, and which he contents, refused to return them much needed. Yriarte was young, until the debt was paid.”
had not been long in England, and She then went into some par. knew little of the social customs of ticulars of the different inter the English. He had considered views with Yriarte, stating that himself seriously ill-used by Miss he attempted to get money from Doldy, and, as some of his relations her by threats and menaces. Mr. had refused to believe that the lady Lingen also read aloud some of who was known to be beautiful Yriarte's letters, asking for money, and an heiress—had accepted him and saying that Anton would wait in marriage, he had retained some no longer, and that her letters letters as a protection against their would either be published or insinuations. The fate of these
letters was a natural though very at her keenly, then rose, and brought unfortunate one. The learned her a glass of wine. gentleman spoke at considerable “Drink it,” she said; “ you will length, and drew a most touching make yourself ill, and you cannot picture of Yriarte as a forlorn and afford to do so. These people can ill-used foreigner. The hero of the take care of themselves.” story preserved his composure ad. “Yes, I suppose so; I don't mirably, and the prosecution main understand them. But, Dorothy, tained the silence which they had think of it—a man whom she has bound themselves to.
loved! Thank Heaven, I am not in But the magistrate, who much that house now.” mistrusted the appearance of the “But she did not love him," prisoners, asked so many questions replied Dorothy contemptuously. that the fabric so carefully built by "Oh yes, she did,” said Ernes. their counsel soon vanished. It tine; “ with her sort of love she was impossible to conceal Yriarte's did. But I never dreamed till now character, and Anton was too plainly how near a neighbour such love is his tool.
to hate.” The result was that the prisoners “Have you met him ?” asked were committed for trial by jury, Dorothy, with a look of suppressed as the magistrate considered the curiosity. She was intensely puzzled case too serious, and the necessary by the depth of Ernestine's agitapunishment too heavy, for it to be tion, and the knowledge she seemed decided in a police court. As soon to possess of Laura's relations with as this was known, Dorothy went Yriarte. straight away to her home and “ Never," answered Ernestine. b'ırried to her drawing - room. “Well, I recognised him, and There she found Ernestine walking his accomplice too; oddly enough, up and down in a state of sup- I had seen them both before with. pressed excitement, her face pale, out being aware of it. I have a bar hands clasped tight together. tenacious memory for faces. Do
“ Is it over 5” she exclaimed, as you remember one evening long Dorothy entered.
ago, when you were coming here “Yes,” said Dorothy, sinking with me from Mrs. Vavasour's, we into a chair, quite exhausted with met a little dandy who you said her rapid walk.
had followed you from the hospi. “Is he found guilty ?”
tal? He admired your personal “He is to be tried by jury; and appearance, and you did not return it is expected, I heard, that he will the compliment; I remember you get penal servitude for life.” said he ought to be put under
“What !” cried Ernestine, in a sanitary regimen. He remarked tone of voice that electrified that you were a deuced fine woman Dorothy; “No-surely you don't as we passed him in the street. Do mean it?"
you recall the man I mean?” “ Indeed I do.”
“I think so,” said Ernestine. “Penal servitude for life !" re “Yes; I remember the man who peated Ernestine ; “Oh, how shock said that as we passed, just under ing-how shocking! How wicked a lamp-post. And that was Yriarte ! she is—how cruel! when she-oh, I wish I had not seen him ! I wish it is too terrible to think of.” And, I had never heard of him! Oh, quite overcome with agitation, Dorothy, it is making a weak fool Ernestine covered her face with of me, this helpless position in the trembling hands. Dorothy looked midst of such a hateful tragedy."
“Dear Ernestine, I think you are When, after some moments of a nervous, and exaggerate the horrors sad silence, she raised her head of the affair. Yriarte richly again, Coventry stood opposite her, deserves his punishment, and Laura his eyes fixed upon her with is quite proud of having accom a strange expression in them plished the duty of punishing which deeply moved her. They him.”
were full of love and a yearning “But she-how dare she take up desire to help her. such a task ? I wonder the Dorothy was not in the room. heavens did not fall on her. There is something priestly in Dorothy, don't talk to me; I am the poetic character. Poets are provoked into saying foolish things. truly the elder brothers of the I begin to see that this world race, and the younger members of is a mystery to me.”
that great family are penetrated “You are in it, but not of it,” by their insight and aided by their said Dorothy; “ you are the most spiritual experience. The true unworldly person I know, and I am ghostly father is he who can quite glad you recognise the fact breathe the rarified air of those at last. Don't put on your heights of the spirit where poetry hat in such a hurry—you are not finds her home. fit to run away to your work yet. Ernestine, looking up into his And you have not heard about my eyes, recognised in Coventry the recognising Yriarte's fellow-pri ideal father confessor. This unsoner.”
worldly being would read rightly “ Well ?” said Ernestine, an opened heart, and was incapable wearily.
of any of the pettinesses of or“I knew him at once; I have dinary human nature which make seen him sitting as a model at half- confession unsafe. a-crown an hour many a time. A “He ought not to be so heavily splendidly handsome fellow; all punished," she said, full of excitebody, and no brains—regularly run ment, and seeming not to remember to beauty as a plant runs to seed. that Coventry had only just come A mere tool in Yriarte's hands, evi. into the room, and had not been dently-he had never had any money present during her talk with to lend Yriarte, it was perfectly Dorothy. “He does not deserve plain on the face of it. The whole it, and it is wicked that she should thing was so easily seen to have be able to crush him merely for her been got up to frighten Laura, that own selfish ends—that his whole I don't at all wonder at the talk I life should be sacrificed so cruelly heard about a heavy sentence.” in order that she may be rich.
“Dorothy, don't tell me any Now I can believe in the accusamore; I am sated with horrors.” tions of cruelty which are made
Dorothy opened her eyes very against women-I never could wide indeed. “Horrors ?” she before. But what can be more repeated; "why, this is not so hideous than for a woman to condreadful."
demn a man to the life of a convict “Oh, it is, it is,” said Ernestine, because he is in her way? Why passionately ; “why, the world is could she not stab him, or pay an heartless—cold, cruel-yes, heart assassin ? Such a deed would
have been angelic by the side of She dropped her face upon her this, which civilisation permits and hands, which were clasped on the justice shields. I understand now table before her.
how vivisection can exist; there