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what you or I would have done in his he was almost idolized. He had not be
lace. He promised, whatever it might at home for some days, and his absence e, to comply with it. had created the most serious apprehen. “I hoped it would be so,” said the widow, sions. I had under taken to remove them, with a voice still feebler, “but dared not It was at the end of the severe January rely on it, lt is—that before I die, you of the present year; for two days previous should make me yours. Call me but your a snow storm had raged with unwood wife. I shall then be the happi, st of wo. violence; the streets were every whet: men, and have nothing further to wish for.” covered to a depth of from three to four The request was a singular one, but feet; and when a projecting corner or ac, Quarz had promised, and really the en-cidental winding had created a particular gagement bound him to nothing, for, in a current of air, the drift had risen to a height few moments, the tie would be broken by even dangerous to the incautious walker, the divorce of death. It had just commenced to thaw, and the He therefore consented with a good cold was much more intense than it his grace, and sent for a notary pub ic. The been during the frost. With an involu. deed was drawn up in due form. He tary shudder, I wrapped my cloak more signed it. The doctor signed it as a wit. closely round me, and with unsteady sers ness. The widow, with a trembling hand, waded through the masses of melting snow, affixed her signature to the paper; and all in which, at each moment, I sank above was over. But all was not over. the ancle. I might, perhaps, have been “Doctor" cried Mrs. Quarz, jumping cnclined to turn, for the chill of the right nimbly, and completely dressed, out of seemed but to second the internal strug. bed. “I am not so near the point of gle with which I committed myself to the death as you imagine, and have every in-dens of infamy and vice; but that image clination to live long for my husband.” of the aged mother, as she wept in all ile Now look upon the tubl au. The as-agony of hopeless solitude, over the tonishment of the two witnesses—the no-oblighted prospect of her son, rose res'; tary, wiping his spectacles, thinking his before ne; i heard the heart-thrilii eyes deceived him—the doctor biting histones with which she called on the absen. nails at being deceived, as well as the Williers—" my lost, my ruined child," rest. Only think of a doctor being taken still linging in my ears; and I hurried on, in with the determination that no effort of Quarz, who was well pleased with the mine should be wanting to restore that adventure, said smilingly aside, “A good child to her arms. If I needed any addi. actress, 'faith ! Isl were an author I would tional inducement, I had but to recall the write a part for her.” silent anguish of Miss Williers, and I sell The curtain sell. Madame Schindler armed for any conflict of mind or body was young and pretty, and rich besides. to which I could possibly be exposed. I pursued my way, therefore, down l'—
street, with renewed energy. The heavy
The Hazard Table. damp on the lamps, completely obscured their briliancy, and left hardly light sus.
N O F I C T I O N . ficient to show the pallid and shivering
forms of the wretched victims of vice, I well remember the night when, at whom the cravings of want had driven the request of his mother, I set out to lookout even on such a night as this to earn in one of the private gambling houses of a miserable subsistence. I shuddered at New York for the dearest friend of my the solicitations, in which the ulmost ef. college days. Henry Williers, in mind as forts could not conceal the hollow tones well as person, was eminently calculated of hunger and disease; and, turning from to conciliate the affections of all around the costly avenue of egilded fashionable him; and I thought he must be changed commerce, I passed into the first of a suc. indeed, if I could not win him back from cessian of streets which were to lead me the fatal pursuit to which he had addicted to the object of my search.
A series of involved turnings, led me, after a walk of some five or ten minutes, to a retired street, which I had no difficulty in recognizing as the place I was in quest of. I gazed anxiously around t discover the house to which l was directed, but the uniformity of all those neal me, presented almost insuperable difficulties. The lower part of the house seen.ed from the close outside shutters, to partake of the nature of a shop, whilst the windows of the upper stories gave promise of comsort very inviting to those whom the label of “Furnished or Unfurnished Apartments,” might tempt to look towards them.
I pressed my hand against my bosom to ascertain if the pistols with which I had armed myself, were still there, firmly grasped my stick, and crossed to examine more closely the the house opposite.— There was no appearance of a door, yet
small ball, between the outside entrance
and an inner door completely covered
1 was convinced it was the place I sought, fallen in the rear, pushing a door, immediand I moved a few steps aside to searchately opposite the staircase,motioned to me fe an entrance, when a tall figure, wrap-to enter a long and low room, crowded ped like myself in a cloak, crossed the with figures, all of whom appeared deeply street, approached me closely, and a voice interested in their various occupations.-in rather gentlemanly tones, though mark-l did not at first see Villiers. Close on ed with a slight Irish accent, said, “This my right lay the remnants of a supper, to is the house. I think, sir.” which full justice appeared to have been The question tallied so completely with done, for but a few fragments remained what was passing in my own mind, that I to satisfy the appetite of one or two, who, answered involuntarily, “I believe so.” having been too late for its first glorics, My new acquaintance, however, seem- were now voraciously swallowing whated, notwithstanding his remark, to enter-ever remained that was eatable. tain no doubts on the subject; for, turning “They sup early, sir. We are always short into a very narrow passage, which too late,” said my companion; and, throw. the darkness had hitherto prevented meing back his cloak, he instantly attacked from observing, he approached a small the remaining viands, with great zeal. door, or rather, pannel in the side-wall, “I thand you, I am not hungry,” I reand knocked three times gently. i kept plied, gazing, at the same moment on the close by his side. We heard the grating form and features of the speaker. Sucof iron, as a chain was thrown inside ceeding events imprinted his appearance ncross the entrance. The door was then on my memory with but too fearful disopened so far as to permit a strong glare tinctness. He was one of the most powof light to fall upon us, and a face was pro. erful looking men I ever met. About six truded through the opening which accu- sect high, and made in proportion; his rately recognoitered the person of my frame was remarkable rather for strength companion, who stood foremost. The and weight, than activity. The face, as scrutiny seemed satisfactory, so far as he his eyes were bent on 1he supper-table, was concerned; but a short whisper en had nothing in it peculiar, except that the sued, in which the phrases, “new face,” projection of one of the front teeth broke “fresh stranger,” were barely audible.—the regularity of the features. The door was then opened to its full. He looked upwards, however, as he. width, scarcely sufficient, indeed, to ad-addressed me a second time, with, mit us singly, and I found we were in a “You don't eat, sir;” and I almost
shrank from the expression of his eyes, as they met my view. Small and deep-set, bf a light gray color, but appearing at first view darker, from the overhanging and closely-knit brows which shaded them, they seemed to combine in them all of fêtosity and cunning that ima#. could picture. I moved hasily from beside him, and walked towards the other end of the room. On one side was the fire-place, around which were grouped, busily engaged in conversation, half a dozen persons, whose countenances too plainly showed that they had nothing left to risk. Opposite was placed a large table, the most conspicuous portion bf which was a circular revolving centre piece. It was divided into sinasl cumpartments colored red and black, and the game seemed to be regulated by the colour into which might j. to fall a small .." ball, which an attendant rolli. round the edge of a circular part.— Beside this person were pasted the regu. lations of the roulette-table; and I gazed for a minute or two on the game, of which I had often heard as the most iuinous among the vårieties of play. Few, however, appeared, on this evening, to be its votaries; and I turned to a round table, bćcupying the whole end of the room, about which were thronged all who seem. o really engaged in the occupation of the ače: p My first glande fell on Williers. He was sitting directly opposite to me, leaning his face on his o hard, whilst, with nervous anxiety, he watched the person who was throwing dice. A small pile of counters lay immediately before him, and his right hand rested carelessly on them; but his attention was completely rivited to the progress of the game. . The muscles of Willier's face worked ; a moment with convulsive energy; ut; steadying himself by an effort—apparent to me, at least, he pushed across the *. about one half of the counters before im. my You are fortunate to-night, Mr. VarI turned, and saw, receiving the countèrs, with an air of cool satisfaction, the
proceedings of Williers to allow me to dwell upon anything else. Alas! how changed he was from the Williers of any college days' He was pale, almost ghastly; but a hectic flush of unnatural red flitted across his check, and showed more plainly the ravages of dissipation. His elegant form, always slight, and now greatly attenuated, seemed unfit to associate with the reckless coun. tenances of those who surrounded him. His dark hair, which l had so often admired, at presert, extremely long and disordered, was thrown back from his brow, as though its weight was too much for him to indure; He was not now betting, but seemed to have reserved himself until it should come to his turn to take the dice-box. I sighed involuntarily, and I suppose audibly, for Williers glanced quickly round and his eye met mine. For one moment a burning blush crimsoned his cheek, and a spasmotic affection seemed to fit across his brow. It was but for a moment.— He looked, rather than nodded a recogni. tion, and turned to watch the game. “You don't slay, sir!” said the voice of Varney at my elbow. “Come, just by way of a flyer, I'll bet you, a twenty he throws this time either a duce or an ace.” “Very well,” said I, mechanically, and not sorry to throw away a trifle to avoid observation. The throw was four and one, and I was in the act of handing over to Varney the amount which l presumed I had lost, when the voice of Williers prevented me. “You need not trouble yourself to pay that bet, sir,” said he, cobllv. “Who says so?" cried Varney, with à loudness which instantly commanded the attention of all present. * I do,” answered Williers, quietly: “the odds were in your favor; you made only an even bet. By the rules of this table it cannot stand. Banker, does the gen. tleman loose his money?” The mah looked for an instant at War. ney, and evidently hesitated; but the tone and manner of Williers prevailed, backed as it now was, by that of a number of
than with whom I had entered. I barely young men around the table, and with
hoticed him, however, for my feelings
manifest reluctance, he decided that the
were too much interested in the wretched bet was off.
Varney said nothing aloud, but my blood curdled, as I caught the scowl of demoniac malignity with which he glared across the table, and as he ground his teeth, I heard him muttering—“D n him, I'll be revenged " It now came the turn of Williers to take the box. the table, all his counters that remained, and scarcely waiting until an equal number were raised against them, he threw the dice without naming any number. “A main, sir,” said the banker. “I had forgotten,” said Williers; 'seven's the main.' The dice rolled out, and the next moment heard the announcement, “Deuceace—caster looser!” * Nicked out, by Jove!” said one near me. “He’s smashed now ; he's lost a devilish deal to-night.” My ear caught the words, but my gaze was still on Williers, and I started at the wildness visible in his demeanor. His eyes were expanded in a ghastly-stare, whilst his hand passed rapidly over his pockets, as if to see whether there were yet remaining in them any thing to stake. “Shall I pass the box, or will you take a back, sir,” said the banker. “Pass on. But no l no! who will set this watch,” cried he, as he pushed forward a huge gold repeater, which had been given him by his mother, and which I knew he therefore highly valued. The stake was unusual, and no one replied. * It is worth two hundred,” said Wil. liers. Who will risk one hundred against it 7” He paused. “Or fisty,” he added. A note was thrust from behind me into the ring, while I was myself pushing forward the money in place of the watch, which I was determined to save. Williers raised his hand, as if to throw ; and I feared I was too late, when suddenly pausing, he said, "Whose money is that, banker?” “A gentleman's opposite,” said the man, looking at Warney. o “I do not bet with that person,” said Williers, decidedly. “Will any one else set me?” Fvery eye was turned on Varney, and his huge form seemed literally to dilate with rage, as he exclaimed furiously,
lie pushed into the middle of
“Beggar ! what mean you? Dare you insinuate that I play unfairly 1" Williers did not reply, but eyed him with cool contempt. The question was again put, and with a still more serocious tone. Williers looked full in his face, and taking up his watch, said slowly---" Do I insu, uate 1 The matter is now beyond insinuation. It amounts to certainty.” There was one moment of silence. A rush succeeded, and my eye caught the glympse of Williers, as he fell senseless on the floor, while the fierce eyes of his opponent gleamed brightly above him. ... “Aye, give it to him!” shouted a number of voices. “Teach these beggerly fops what it is to meet with a gentleman of science " I, pushed hastily, forward, and pulling a pistol from my bosom, cocked it, and exclaimed, “The first who touches him dies” Varney drew, back in terror; I slowly raised my friend from the ground, and with the assistance of one or two of the more gentlemanly-looking persons around me, endeavored to recal animation. His forehead had struck in his fall against one of the legs of the table, and the blood was flowing profusely from the wound. n a few moments he revived. His eves glared wildly around, when suddenly springing from our grasp, and shouting-Z. “Defend yourself, coward!" he precipi. tated himself on the form of Varney, who stood gazing on the scene, in evident tri. umph, The movement was so unexpected as to throw us into momentary confusion, and rapid blows were exchanged between the combatants, before any one could in. terfere to separate them.
* Rouse the ruffian,” said villers—
“Let him come on again.”
The tone was so hollow that I could scarcely recognise it, but I had still time for thought. An examination into the circumstances was immediately proceed. ed with, which ended in my liberation, and in the detention of Williers. The pri. vate room was allotted to him, and we enIered together, He threw himself on a chair in the apartment; pressed his hands convulsively against his forehead, and shrieked in tones of bitter desolation,--"My God —my mother!—Ellen 1" I drew near to him, and placing my hand on his, said, “Williers, d ar Williers, recal your senses—be yourself, and all will yet be well.” He started at my touch, sprang from his seat, and with all the violence of a maniac, screamed, “Off—touch me not—it's a lie! I didut" do it. Who says so 7 No! no no " The excitement had exhausted him,
not, but mechanically obeying the impulse, and again he sank back on the chair; but he had descended about half way down a minute had scarcely elapsed, when he the stairs, when a burst of execration from leaped upon the floor, and, while his whole the rooms above, followed by a rush to-frame shook with horror, and his eyes wards the door, warned me that we had glared at the door, as if he saw there the not a moment to lose. spectre of the murdered man, shouted,— I gave Williers a violent push forward." Look! look there he is. See the blue The muffled door below gave way to an flames | He beckons—he seizes me ! Oh! impetuosity that defied all barriers. The save—save—save me !” astonished watchman yielded to the sum- * # * * o mons of an armed, and, apparently, despe- . But why should I recall the horrors of rate man. The outer door opened. that long night! Fit after fit foliowed cf * Thank God " I exclaimed, involenta-frantic despair, succeded by the weakness mily, (though along with us rushed into the of exaustion. At times, it was with diff. air severas of those who had been above) culty that I, with the aid of my servant when a firm grasp was laid on my collar, (whom I had sent sor) could restrain him
and I found that we were in the hands of a strong body of watchmen, whom the noise above had summoned to the spot. 'Some of them made their way up-stairs, while the others guarded their prisoners. The former soon returned bringing with them the lifeless body of Warney, and se. veral of the men I had seen in the hazard - room. The rest in the confusion had managed to escape. We were all march•ed to the watch-house. Since the discovery of Warney's death, Williers had not spoken; but as I got closer to him in the narrow entrance of the police office, I could hear him mutter. ing to himself—“Ruined –aye, ruined and now a murderer! Oh! God! a mur- therer s”
from some act of desperate violence;—