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Jew, who was depicted “walking off He felt his way out of the room and with a leg," while the woman was pre- along a passage. The darkness was inparing for another effort. After having tense, and the silence perfect.' Sudrecommended Charles to read the letter- denly a dull red light gleamed in his press thereof, as he would find it tolerably eyes, and made him start. It was the spicy, he departed, and left him alone. light of the kitchen fire. · A cricket
The dinner was got over in time; and would have been company, but there after a time there was silence in the was none. housema silence so great that Charles He continued to advance cautiously. rose and left the room. He soon found Soon a ghostly square of very dim grey his way to another; but all was dark and light on his left showed him where silent, though it was not more than half was a long narrow window. It was past nine.
barred with iron bars. He was just He stood in the dark passage, won thinking of this, and how very queer dering where to go, and determined to it was, when he uttered a loud oath, and turn back to the room from which he came crashing down. He had fallen uphad come. There was a light there, at all stairs. events !
He had made noise enough to waken There was a light, and the Newgate the seven sleepers; but those gentlemen Calendar. The wild wind, that had did not seem to be in the neighboureddied and whirled the dust at the hood, or, at all events, if awakened, gave street corners, and swept across the park no sign of it. Dead silence! He sat on all day, had gone down, and the rain the bottom stair and rubbed his shins, had come on. He could hear it, drip, and, in spite of a strong suspicion that drip, outside; it was very melancholy. he had got into a scrape, laughed to Confound the Newgate Calendar! himself at the absurdity of his position.
He was in a very queer house, he “Would it be worth while, I wonder," knew. What did Hornby mean by he said to himself, “ to go back to the asking him the night before whether or kitchen and get the poker? I'd better no he could fight, and whether he would not, I suppose. It would be so deuced stick to him? Drip, drip; otherwise a awkward to be caught in the dark with dead silence! Charles's heart began to a poker in your hand. Being on the beat a little faster. :
premises for the purpose of committing Where were all the servants? He a felony--that is what they would say: had heard plenty of them half an hour and then they would be sure to say that ago. He had heard a French cook you were the companion of thieves, and swearing at English kitchen-girls, and had been convicted before. No. Under had heard plenty of other voices; and this staircase, in the nature of things, now-the silence of the grave!
is the housemaid's cupboard. What He remembered now that Hornby should I find there as a weapon of dehad said, “Come and lie in the hall as fence? A dust-pan. A great deal might if asleep; no one will notice you." He be done with a dust-pan, mind you, at determined to do so. But where was close quarters. How would it do to it? His candle was flickering in its arrange all her paraphernalia on the socket, and, as he tried to move it, it stairs, and cry fire, so that mine enemies, went out.
rushing forth, might stumble and fall, He could scarcely keep from mutter- and be taken unawares ? But that would ing an oath, but he did. His situation be acting on the offensive, and I have was very uncomfortable. He did not no safe grounds for pitching into anyone know in what house he was only that yet." he was in a quarter of the town in Though Charles tried to comfort himwhich there were not a few uncommonly self by talking nonsense, he was very queer houses. He determined to grope uncomfortable. Staying where he was
ascend into the upper regions unbidden. sleep. So he lay down on three hallBesides, he had fully persuaded himself chairs and put his hat over his eyes. that a disturbance was imminent, and, Hall-chairs are hard ; and, although though a brave man, did not like to Charles had just been laughing at the precipitate it. He had mistaken the proprietor of the house for being so character of the house he was in. At lavish in his decorations, he now wished last, taking heart, he turned and felt his that he had carried out his system a way upstairs. He came before a door little further, and had cushions to his through the keyhole of which the light chairs. But no; the chairs were de streamed strongly; he was deliberating rigueur, with crests on the backs of whether to open it or not, when à them. Charles did not notice whose. shadow crossed it, though he heard no If a man pretends to go to sleep, and, noise, save a minute after the distant like the Marchioness with her orangesound of a closing door. He could peel and water, “makes believe very stand it no longer. He opened the door much," he may sometimes succeed in and advanced into a blaze of light. going to sleep in good earnest. Charles
With this last sentence I ought to imitated the thing so well that in five have ended a chapter and a number, minutes he was as fast off as a top. and left you in suspense for a month. Till a night or two before this Charles But Ravenshoe was not originally in- had never dreamt of Ravenshoe since he tended for monthly publicátion, which had left it. When the first sharp sting is sometimes awkward ; in describing of his trouble was in his soul, his mind Charles's flight from home, for instance, had refused to go back farther than the I had to leave off in the middle of a chap- events of a day or so before. He had ter, in a very awkward way. But it is dreamt long silly dreams of his master, possibly better as it is. It gets very or his fellow-servants, or his horses, but tiresome, and often injures a story, to always, all through the night, with a tie one's self down to parcel it out into dread on him of waking in the dark. seventeen or eighteen arbitrary divi. But, as his mind began to settle and his sions. Let us tell Ravenshoe straight pain got dulled, he began to dream forward.
about Ravenshoe, and Oxford, and He entered a beautiful flagged hall, Shrewsbury again ; and he no longer frescoed and gilded. There were vases dreaded the waking as he did, for the of flowers round the walls, and strips of reality of his life was no longer hideous Indian matting on the pavement. It to him. With the fatal “ plasticity” of was lit by a single chandelier, which his nature, he had lowered himself was reflected in four great pier-glasses body and soul to the level of it. reaching to the ground, in which Charles's But to-night, as he slept on these top-boots and brown face were redupli- chairs, he dreamt of Ravenshoe, and of cated most startlingly. The tout ensemble Cuthbert, and of Ellen. And he woke, was very beautiful; but what struck and she was standing within ten feet of Charles was the bad taste of having an him, under the chandelier. entrance-hall decorated like a drawing. He was awake in an instant, but he room. “That is just the sort of thing lay as still as a mouse, staring at her. they do in these places," he thought. She had not noticed him, but was stand
There were only two hats on the en- ing in profound thought. Found, and trance table ; one of which he was re- so soon! His sister! How lovely she joiced to recognise as that of his most was, standing, dressed in light pearl respected master. “May the deuce take grey, like some beautiful ghost, with her his silly noddle for bringing me to such speaking eyes fixed on nothing. She a place !" thought Charles.
moved now, but so lightly that her footThis was evidently the front hall, fall was barely heard upon the matting. spoken of by Hornby; and he remem- Then she turned and noticed him. She stretched out asleep on the chairs—she “I won't, I won't, I won't. Not was used to that sort of thing probably without you, Welter. How can you use but she turned away, glided through a me so cruelly, Welter. Oh, Welter, door at the further end of the hall, and how can you be such a villain ?” was gone.
“ You conceited fool,” said Lord WelCharles's heart was leaping and beat ter contemptuously. “Do you think he ing madly, but he heard another door wants to make love to you ?” open and lay still.
“You know he does, Welter; you Adelaide came out of a door opposite know it,” said Adelaide passionately. to the one into which Ellen had passed. Lord Welter laughed good-naturedly. Charles was not surprised. He was (He could be good-natured.) He drew beyond surprise. But, when he saw her her towards him and kissed her. “My and Ellen in the same house, in one in poor little girl,” he said, “ if I thought stant, with the quickness of lightning, that, I would break his neck. But it is he understood it all. It was Welter utterly wide of the truth. Look here, had tempted Ellen from Ravenshoe! Adelaide ; you are as safe from insult as Fool ! fool! he might have prevented it my wife, as you were at Ranford. What once, if he had only guessed.
you are not safe from is my own temper. If he had any doubt as to where he Let us be friends in private and not was now, it was soon dispelled. Lord squabble so much, eh? You are a good, Welter came rapidly out of the door shrewd, clever wife to me. Do keep after Adelaide, and called her in a whis- your tongue quiet. Come in and mark per, “ Adelaide."
what follows." “Well,” she said, turning round They had not noticed Charles, though sharply,
he had been so sure that they would “Come back, do you hear ?" said that he had got his face down on the Lord Welter; “where the deuce are chair covered with his arms, feigning you going ?”
sleep. When they went into the room “ To my own room.”
again, Charles caught hold of a coat “Come back, I tell you," said Lord which was on the back of a chair, and, Welter savagely, in a low voice. “You curling himself up, put it over him. are going to spoil everything with your He would listen, listen, listen for every confounded airs."
word. He had a right to listen now. “I shall not come back. I am not In a minute a bell rang twice. Almost going to act as a decoy-duck to that man, at the same moment some one came out or any other man. Let me go, Welter." of the door through which Lord Welter
Welter was very near having to let had passed, and stood silent. In about her go with a vengeance. Charles was two minutes another door opened, and ready for a spring, but watched, and some one else came into the hall. waited his time. Lord Welter had only A woman's voice-Ellen's—said, “Oh, caught her firmly by the wrist to detain are you come again ?". her. He was not hurting her.
A man's voice-Lieutenant Hornby's “Look you here, my Lady Welter," said in answer, “You see I am. I he said slowly and distinctly. “Listen got Lady Welter to ring her bell twice to what I've got to say, and don't try for you, and then to stay in that room, the shadow of a tantrum with me, for I so that I might have an interview with won't have it for one moment. I don't you." mind your chaff and nonsense in public;. “I am obliged to her ladyship. She it blinds people, it is racy and attracts must have been surprised that I was the people ; but in private I am master, do object of attraction. She fancied heryou hear ? Master. You know you self so." are afraid of me, and have good cause to “She was. And she was more so, be, by Jove. You are shaking now. Go when I told her what my real object “ Indeed," said Ellen bitterly. “But step. I stayed in this house because I her ladyship's surprise does not appear loved to see you now and then, and to have prevented her from assisting hear your voice; but now I shall leave you.”
it." “On the contrary," said Hornby, “See me once more, Ellen-only once “she wished me God speed-her own more ?" words."
"I will see you once more. I will “Sir, you are a gentleman. Don't tear my heart once more, if you wish it. disgrace yourself and me if I can be You have deserved all I can do for you, disgraced — by quoting that woman's God knows. Come here the day after toblasphemy before me. Sir, you have morrow; but come without hope, mind. had your answer. I shall go.” . A woman who has been through what I
“Ellen, you must stay. I have got have can trust herself. Do you know this interview with you to-night, to ask that I am a Catholic ?” you to be my wife. I love you as I “No.” believe woman was never loved before, “I am. Would you turn Catholic if and I ask you to be my wife.”
I were to marry you ?” “You madman! you madman !”
God forgive poor Hornby! He said, “I am no madman. I was a mad- “Yes.” What will not men say at such man when I spoke to you before; I times ? pray your forgiveness for that. You “Did I not say you were a madman? must forget that I say that I love you Do you think I would ruin you in the as a woman was never loved before. next world, as well as in this ? Go Shall I say something more, Ellen ?". away, sir; and, when your children are “Say on."
round you, humbly bless God's mercy “ You love me.”
for saving you, body and soul, this “I love you as man was never loved night." before; and I swear to you that I “I shall see you again ?” hope I may lie stiff and cold in my un “Come here the day after to-morrow; honoured coffin, before I'll ruin the man but come without hope.” I love, by tying him to such a wretch as She passed through the door, and left myself."
him standing alone. , Charles rose from “Ellen, Ellen, don't say that. Don't his lair, and, coming up to him, laid his take such vows, which you will not dare hand on his shoulder. to break afterwards. Think, you may “You have heard all this,” said poor regain all that you have lost, and marry Hornby. a man who loves you—ah, so dearly! “Every word,” said Charles. “I had and whom you love too."
a right to listen, you know. She is my “Ay; there's the rub. If I did not sister.” love you, I would marry you to-mor- “Your sister?”, row. Regain all I have lost, say you? Then Charles told him all. Hornby Bring my mother to life again, for had heard enough from Welter to underinstance, or walk among other women stand it. again as an honest one? You talk non- “Your sister ! Can you help me, sense, Mr. Hornby-nonsense. I am Horton ? Surely she will hear reason going."
from you. Will you persuade her to “Ellen ! Ellen! Why do you stay in listen to me?". this house? Think once again.”
“No,” said Charles. “She was right. “I shall never leave thinking; but You are mad. I will not help you do my determination is the same. I tell an act which you would bitterly repent you, as a desperate woman like me dare all your life. You must forget her. tell you, that I love you far too well to She and I are disgraced, and must get ruin your prospects, and I love my own away somewhere, and hide our shame What Hornby would have answered, in the body and limbs as above, in deep no man can tell; for at this moment black, with the feather end of the pen, Adelaide came out of the room, and it becomes simply appalling, and will passed quickly across the hall, saying strike terror into the stoutest heart. good night to him as she passed. She Is this the place, say you, for talking did not recognise Charles, or seem sur- such nonsense as this? If you must prised at seeing Hornby talking to his give us balderdash of this sort, could groom. Nobody who had lived in Lord not you do so in a chapter with a less Welter's house a day or two was sur terrible heading than this one has? And prised at anything.
I answer, Why not let me tell my story But Charles, speaking to Hornby my own way? Something depends even more as if he were master than servant, on this nonsense of making devils out of said, “Wait here;” and, stepping quickly the ace of clubs. from him, went into the room where It was rather a favourite amusement Lord Welter sat alone, and shut the of Charles's and Lord Welter's, in old door. Hornby heard it locked behind times at Ranford. They used, on rainy him, and waited in the hall, erectis au- afternoons, to collect all the old aces of ribus, for what was to follow.
clubs (and there were always plenty . “There'll be a row directly," said of them to be had in that house), Hornby to himself; "and that chival- and make devils out of them, each one tous fool. Charles, has locked himself worse than the first. And now, when in. I wish Welter did not send all his Charles had locked the door, and adservants out of the house at night. vanced softly up to Welter, he saw, There'll be murder done here some over his unconscious shoulder, that he day."
had got an ace of clubs, and the pen He listened and heard voices, low as and ink, and was making a devil. yetso low that he could hear the It was a trifling circumstance enough, dripping of the rain outside. Drip— perhaps ; but there was enough of old. drip! The suspense was intolerable. times in it to alter the tone in which When would they be at one another's Charles said, “Welter," as he laid his throats ?
hand on his shoulder.
Lord Welter was a bully; but he was
as brave as a lion, with nerves of steel. CHAPTER XXXIX.
He neither left off his drawing, nor
looked up; he only said_“Charley boy, CHARLES'S EXPLANATION WITH LORD come and sit down till I have finished
this fellow. Get an ace of clubs, and
try your own hand. I am out of pracTHERE is a particular kind of Ghost or tice.” Devil-which I used to draw very Perhaps even Lord Welter might dexterously at school, and of which have started when he heard Charles's I would give a wood-cut here, did voice, and felt his hand on his shoulder; this magazine allow of illustrations, but he had had one instant-only one which is represented by an isosceles instant-of preparation. When he heard triangle (more or less correctly drawn) the key turn in the door, he had looked for the body; straight lines turned up at in a pier-glass opposite to him, and seen the ends for legs; straight lines divided who and what was coming, and then into five at the ends for arms; a round gone on with his employment. Even 0, with arbitrary dots for the features, allowing for this moment's preparation, for a head; with a hat, an umbrella, we must give him credit for the nerve and a pipe. Drawn like this, it is a of one man in ten thousand ; for the sufficiently terrible object. But, if you apparition of Charles Ravenshoe was as take an ace of clubs, make the club unlooked for as that of any one of