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Hold on,” and he gave a shout up the cliff, and the basket began slowly to ascend. The two men gazed at it in silence till it reached the summit, when, with a rapid swirl, it disappeared.
“Thank God, she is safe," said Hawkstone.
“Look, look !" cried Barton, catching hold of Hawkstone in alarm. “ Look how fast the waves are coming. They will be on us directly.”
“Yes," said Hawkstone, "there will be barely time to get the two of us up unless they make great haste. I don't know why they don't lower at once. Something must have gone wrong with the rope, but they will do their best, that's certain.”
They waited in anxiety amounting to horror, as wave after wave, larger and louder, roared at them, and rushed round the rocks on which they were standing. Presently down came the basket, plunging into the retreating wave.
“Now, then, sir, in with you,” said Hawkstone.
you are here."
“Nonsense, sir, there's no time for talk.”
“I will not go without you. Let us both get in together."
“The rope will hardly bear two. Besides, I doubt if there is strength enough above to pull us up. Get in,
Barton still hesitated. "I am afraid to leave you alone. Promise me if I go that you will not I can't say what I mean, but if anything happened to you I should be the cause of it.”.
For shame, sir, shame. I guess what you mean, but I have not forgotten who made me, though I have been
le them. , and he mediately he sound about five lescended
give over ve lass or old. Shut reep tight e basket oly away
sorely tried. In with you at once.” He suddenly lifted Barton up in his arms, and almost threw him into the basket, raising a loud shout, upon which the basket again ascended the cliff more rapidly than on the first occasion. Hawkstone fell upon his knees at the base of the cliff, while the waves roared at him like wild beasts held back from their victim. He was alone with them and with the God in whom his simple faith taught him to trust as being mightier than all the waves. Downı came the basket with great rapidity, and Hawkstone had a hard fight before he could drag it out from the waves and get into it. Drenched from head to foot, and cold and trembling with excitement and grief, he again shouted, and the basket once more ascended. He remembered no more. A sudden faintness overcame him, and the first thing he remembered was feeling himself borne along on a kind of extemporary litter, and hearing kind voices saying that he was "coming to," and would soon be all right again.
Luckily there was no scandal. It was thought quite natural that Hawkstone should be with Nelly, and Barton was supposed to have been there by accident. Of course, we knew what the real state of the case was, and were glad that Barton had got a good fright; but we kept our own counsel.
VERY soon after the events recorded in the last chapter, the Reading Party broke up, and it only remains now for the writer of this veracious narrative to disclose any information he may have subsequently obtained as to the
fate of his characters. Porkington still holds an honoured position in the University, and still continues to take young men in the summer vacation to such places as Mrs. Porkington considers sufficiently invigorating to her constitution. They grow better friends every year, but the grey mare will always be the better horse. One cause of difference has disappeared. The Drag died very shortly after leaving Babbicombe; not at all, I believe, in consequence of her ducking in the harbour; but, being of a peevish and "worritting" disposition, she had worn herself out in her attempts to make other people's lives a burden to them. I do not know what has become of Harry Barton ; but I know that he has never revisited Babbicombe, nor even written to the fair Nelly. I suppose he is helping to manage his father's cotton mill, and will in due course marry the daughter of a wealthy manufacturer. Glenville has become quite a rising barrister, popular in both branches of his profession, and has announced his fixed intention to remain happy and unmarried till his death. Looking into the future, however, with the eye of a prophet, the present writer thinks he can see Glenville walking arm in arm with a tall, graceful lady, attended by two little girls to whom he is laughingly talking—but the dream fades from me, and I wonder will it ever come true. Thornton, of course, married Miss Delamere (how could it be otherwise), but, alas! there are no children, and this unhappy want is hardly compensated by the indefatigable attentions of Mamma Delamere, who is never weary of condoling with that poor, desolate couple, imploring them to resign themselves to the fate which has been assigned to them, and to strengthen their minds by the principles
of true philosophy and the writings of great thinkers ; by which she hopes they may acquire that harmony of the soul in private life which is so much to be desiderated in both politics and religion. Nobody knows what she means.
Nelly was not forgiven for one whole year. When she and Hawkstone met, they used only the customary expressions of mere acquaintances; but lovers are known to make use of signals which are unperceived by the outside world; and, after a year's skirmishing, a peace was finally concluded, and a happier couple than John Hawkstone and Nelly cannot be found in the whole country, and I am afraid to say how many of their children are already tumbling about the boats in the harbour.
The colonel died, and Mrs. Bagshaw lamented his death most truly, and has nothing but gentleness left in her nature. Her daughter has married the young artist, whose pictures of brown-sailed boats and fresh seas breaking in white foam against the dark rocks have become quite the rage at the Academy.
The minor characters have disappeared beneath the waves, and nothing remains to be said except the last word, “ farewell.”
Oh this earth is a mineful of treasure,
A goblet, that's full to the brim,
The thing that's most pleasant to him ;
Throw heart and soul into my song ;
And merrily row it along.
Hurrah, boys, or losing or winning,
And pull it clean through to the end.
I'll admit 'tis delicious to plunge in
Clear pools, with their shadows at rest; 'Tis nimble to parry, or lunge in
Your foil at the enemy's chest ;