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ness, his eyes kindling as the work ad- The girl might tell, he knew not what; vanced. Every stroke of his pen came it was better, he deemed, to keep her in with greater ease until he was compelled the family and on good terms to the last to pause. The signatures of the officers minute, for, unaccountable as it might of the company were exhausted, and he seem in the calm and the lull, Mr. Kroy had not half finished his plan. He took expected a storm. He made ready for it. up one certificate, and, with contracted He sold his house, but that sale excited eyes, gazed at the signatures. Could he no suspicion, for side by side with it grew copy them exactly? He would try one, a contract for a mansion greater than it, just to see. Under similar circumstances, one which should adorn his Isle of Forwith the evil in one's nature loudly pre- tune. Some weeks passed by. The dominant, mere muscle and nerve become weeks were months, and all went so well wonderfully obedient, even as the supre- that Mr. Kroy began to carry on with macy of Good in the opposite scale bears a spirit the contract for the new house. It man on gloriously to stake and martyrdom. would be so pleasant to surprise his wife
He was surprised at the fine accuracy and Zilpha with it when they should with which he had written the name of come home. Norman Cloud. He compared the two, One evening, sitting in the library and knew full well that his co-laborer reading the third edition of an evening would never think of contesting that sig- newspaper, Mr. Kroy came upon a little nature. It was written with the very ink paragraph that turned his flesh rigid, and and pen with which Mr. Cloud had put his yet it was but an account of a robberyname to genuine certificates. Mr. Kroy a safe broken, bonds stolen, securities had taken care to secure them weeks gone—the certificates were numbered. earlier, in case of need. The pen he used Had he been less alarmed his crime was the same which Grace Clear had might have remained unknown. found upon the carpet, and taken care to A month earlier he had made very secure in case it should be needed in evi- large remittances to his wife, a hundreddence.
fold beyond her actual requirements, but “I must send that girl away,” thought he had directed her to hold the moneys Mr. Kroy, as he carefully destroyed every against a time of need. Some rumor of evidence of his work. Pen, ink, and a foreign war was his pretext to her, and fragments were hidden from mortal sight carefully she executed his design. before the man gave himself to sleep. It He had kept in readiness funds for a was wonderful-it seemed so to Mr. sudden emergency, but so great had been Kroy—the ease with which he laid him- his security that a week before he had self down and fell into slumber that night. parted with a large portion of the funds. Often he had been haunted by trouble- Where could such a man as Christosome dreams. No dream disturbed his pher Kroy hide himself, having defrauded rest that night. He awoke early, de- his fellow-men? It would be known on clared himself able to go to business, the morrow, he thought, the full enormity and, despite the warning of his physician, of luis deed, even as he knew it that night, went out. The stock deficiency was and, as he suspected, Grace Clear knew it; remedied, Norman Cloud thought--in- but she did not. On the morrow the deed he had no occasion to think other- fangs of justice would be out feeling for wise--by the private substitution of Mr. him, and he knew how the poison of his Kroy's securities. There was no longer fortune and position would feed them, and reason to fear for the company, and all strengthen the chances for his detection. went well—so smoothly, that in a week's Where could this man go? Escape by time side by side had gone forth the good steamship to his wife and child he had and the bad stock, and equally they com- dreamed of as the ultimate resort; but the manded buyers and faith.
time was come and he knew that he could Mr. Kroy did not dismiss Grace Clear. not get off undiscovered. Even could
he, there was the Atlantic cable, and no ed himself in a travelling suit, plain and hope helped him that he could cut that unpretending, that there might be nothbefore taking his departure. Where could ing in it to betray him by description, this man go? He thought of his boy- and descending stairway and hall he hood's home among the Green Mountains; walked out of his house for the last time, but there he knew no soul to whom he almost without a pang. There was some could go and cry out, “ Hide me while thing that arose within him bright and justice rides past." There was one place, elastic, a something akin to relief in if only he could get to it. He remem- casting off the old shell of Christopher bered it so well, although he had not Kroy, and emerging into a new existence, thought of it in years. It was a cave on even though it be that of a defrauder a lonely mountain side, where the rocks flying from justice. He walked on half lay piled around. Once he had crawled jubilant. It was nice, he thought, to be into it and peered up through its fissures relieved from all the old business and to watch the great cumulous mountains annoying cares. He passed the pile of of cloud pass by. He thought of the cave marble that was growing into his future with a shudder. That would not do for home and paused a moment. He smiled him. The dimness, the rocks, the moun- grimly. tains, the winds, they cried so there; the “Looks well at midnight, doesn't it, thunder, it shook the solid earth among Mr. Kroy ?" questioned a voice, and from the hills; he remembered the presence of one of the marble blocks a boyish figure Nature ;-one and all these things kept uprose. the man from hiding in the cave, even “ You here at this time of night? What could he find it as a man as he left it as a for, may I ask, Morton Cloud ?" questionboy. Where could he go? Silently he ed Mr. Kroy. gathered together the small parcel of “I couldn't sleep very well, sir, so I moneys that he had prepared and made got up and came out. I am boarding not ready for flight. There was not one par- far from here," said Morton. ticle of sentiment in his leave-taking.
you should be able to sleep. Already the house was another's; its con- At your age I could sleep the night tents soon would be. John, the boy he through,” said Mr. Kroy. had been so proud of, that he had expect- “I am hardly a boy now; twenty years ed to see taking his place at the summit have made me feel old," said Morton; of an American's ambition, for one minute "but sir, if you had such trouble as I have the father's heart softened. He took a on your mind at this minute you could not step in the direction of his son's room, as sleep.” though he would fall on his neck and say, “What is the matter, boy? Out with "I have sinned, my son, I, your father; it, and if I can help you I will." but for the sake of the father-love that “ You will, Mr. Kroy," ejaculated Moryearns in my heart for you, forgive me ton. “Don't forget your promise;" and and help me to hide myself from my sin.” Morton told a long and painful storyInstead of doing that, he carefully en- the story of his mother's life in brief, and closed a certificate of deposit in a Boston the cause of his present emotion. He bank in his son's name and sealed it. The had found a portion of a letter to himself man had long been playing with tempta- from his mother, which had in some way tion, and this certificate, dating three gotten into the mail. It was but a fragmonths toward the past, was but one ment that he had found, betraying the precaution. “Poor fellow!" sighed Mr. fact that more had been written. "MorKroy, and there lightened upon him the ton," he had read, “ my only hope now thought that, after all, if John had died lies in your finding your way hither and in his exceeding illness at New Haven causing ṁy release.” He recognized the it might have been better." John slept. writing. In vain did his father, to whom Midnight approached. Mr. Kroy dress- he had gone in his pain and agony of
mind, assure him that the letter was a as to the best means of carrying oa fragment of one that had been sent while the search for his mother, for in vain had Mrs. Cloud was in the Asylum at Hart- the youth begged and entreated his father ford. Morton did not believe it; beside, to tell him where his mother was detained. the very paper on wbich it was written By stratagem of one kind and another betrayed the lie Mr. Cloud had sought to Mr. Cloud had concealed from his son the lay over and cover it with.
place of Mrs. Cloud's confinement. Mr. Kroy listened to the story to the “That is a brave boy, Jane,” said Dr. end of it, and then he said :-"What can Firm;“I—I shouldn't mind adopting him I do to help you, sir ?"
one bit, if you didn't think it foolish in “O, if you only would let me have an old fellow like me.” money enough to go to Europe and search Miss Firm was preparing her annual for my mother, I will work for you, I “Offering to the Orphan Asylum," & will serve you all my days, if need be, to work she expended a good deal of represrepay the debt," said Morton, drawing sed sentiment and emotion, duly mingled near and nearer to Mr. Kroy. He stretch- with brain and muscle, upon. ed out his hand almost with the air of a “You don't say so, Benjamin! I never beggar.
thought that of you." “Don't touch me, youth, stand aside, "Nor I of you, Jane; but, of course, I and see what I can do for you." Mr. Kroy mean to inherit after you." took out a bit of paper, on which, by the “You know you'll outlive me a great light of the gas, he traced in pencil a brief many years, so don't be calculating on instruction to his wife. He then gave the that,” said Miss Firm. youth the necessary amount of money to “No, I don't know any such thing, nor cross the ocean, and the bit of paper which do you either. The chances are all against would secure his protection when there. it. Just look at the physicians that hare
“God bless you forever and ever," said fallen in this city at middle-life," and Dr. Morton, choking with emotion.
Firm began counting them out on his “Look here, young man! You seem fingers, but Miss Firm stayed his countto be grateful. I hope that you are what ing to say:you seem.
Now promise to do what I “ You misunderstood my meaning. I ask you when I ask you."
have enough of my own to live on, thank “I have promised, Mr. Kroy, even Providence and my father for that. You though it takes all my life long to repay may adopt as many Morton Clouds as you you," said Morton.
like." “Then go—a good voyage and pros- “With your full consent and cordial perity, with trouble if ever you forget approval, Jane ?” he asked, looking across your promise."
at the garment she was sewing on. “Amen!” said Morton Cloud, and “On one condition," she said. a something in his own voice recalled “What is it, sister ?" to memory the singing of Zilpha in the “ That they shall all call me Aunt church at New Haven. Mr. Kroy Jane." passed on his way, and Morton Cloud " Which I cheerfully promise in the went to his boarding-house to think. name of my bairns; but, as I have fully Mr. Kroy was the very last man in the determined to have Morton Cloud for my city to whom he would have gone for eldest son, you will have a good while aid, or from whom he expected it. to dream about it yet, for it will be some
“ There! he thought in his young months before he comes back. Why, experience, “it is the last time I will ever what an old fool I am. Why didn't I go judge a man hastily. Mr. Kroy is a great with the boy? I declare, if I thought the deal better man than I ever thought him next train to Boston would get on in to be." Morton was early on his way to time for the steamship, I'd go as it is." New Haven to consult Dr. Firm and Dr. “It would do you a deal of good, Ben
jarnin. I wish you had thought of it hiding-place when Grace Clear paid her earlier."
visit to Mrs. Twining. He had read the “Jane! you don't mean that you daily reports of the newspapers; he knew would have given your consent to my just where he had been sought, and the going."
course that, had he taken it, would have “How could I keep a man from going been fatal to his plans. with his boy, and my nephew too ?" said At midnight he had knocked at the Jane Firm, a smile going up her face and small house of Mrs. Twining, and gained settling in her good brown eyes.
admittance. The despised woman who “Oh, sister! Do you mean it? Are dwelt there, and whose condition he had you in earnest ? Would you let me go? so often spurned from his notice, hid him If you knew how I have longed to go in security from the hundred hands of for the past ten years."
the law outstretched to grasp him. Day “Go, then!” she said. “Why not?” by day, with trembling, he saw the
"Wait!” said the doctor, and he rush- sum of the reward for his capture ined down to his office, and drew on his creased. How could he know at what boots with haste, and was off down point he might be betrayed and delivered Chapel Street. A telegram shot along up to justice. On the day when Grace the wires and reached Boston two hours Clear paid her visit--although no reason in advance of the train that conveyed could be assigned for the act—the man Morton thither. Unfortunately Morton grew suspicious. He lost faith in Mrs. had undertaken to leave America with an Twining. He had in his own nature so assumed name, therefore the telegram little of trueness and honor that he could did not find him, and Dr. Firm stayed at not understand how so much poverty home, to the exquisite delight of Jane, could resist the temptation of such large his sister, who never could be heroic, she reward. declared, for more than a half hour at He left the house, stealing out softly any one time.
by midnight, unknown to any member Christopher Kroy's house was closed. of the family, and found his way to the An officer of the law paced up and down woods of Maine. Under pretence of a his large flagstone, and ragged little be- fishing excursion, he purchased a suit ings crept close to the steps and peered of clothing such as the lumbermen of into the windows, eager to see the man Maine are used to wear, and labored at that “the papers said so much about." subduing the forest. In his boyhood he
Grace Clear had somehow learned of had cut wood in Vermont, and his skill the family of Mrs. Kroy in Brooklyn, and came back. He worked with a will, and, when the storm broke over the Kroy working, hid himself until the excitemansion-for it was three days ere the ment was spent. disappearance of Mr. Kroy came to be Three months intervened. During the suspicious, and the rumor that he was a first two months of that time a private defaulter and an issuer of fraudulent stock detective had carefully watched every spread—the girl determined to find them movement of Mrs. Kroy and Zilpha. and to hide herself there until Mrs. Kroy Under various disguises he went where and Zilpha came home, which she knew they went. On the same steamer that they would do when the dreadful news conveyed John Kroy across the Atlantic reached them.
--for in his utter confusion and humiliaOn the second day of her search she tion he fled to his mother and sister-was rewarded by finding the place. She there went a detective; for no told her story of the house and the furni- doubted, not for a moment, that John ture, what John had done, and what the had knowledge of his father's locality, servants had done, and made known her and that some time, at some place, he errand in seeking them. Christopher would join them; but as the weeks went Kroy was beginning to feel secure in his on, and the very minutiæ of the lives of
the lonely wife and children were dis- aloud, and unconscious of everything save
Only one letter went across the At- whom my heart prompts me to go for lantic from the wretched soul who work- aid except yourself. I told you of my ed in Maine woods. It was addressed meeting with Mr. Kroy, and how unexto Morton Cloud, and bade him com- pectedly he gave me money to carry out municate with his wife the fact that it my plan. He wrote a few words to his was his wish that she should remain wife, which he told me would be all that away from America. The letter was so I should need to insure the funds I might written that it might have fallen into the require. The note he addressed to Mrs. hands of Justice itself without convey- Kroy at Paris. I went to Paris, but Mrs. ing any knowledge of its actual meaning. Kroy had gone to England. I went to That letter never reached Morton Cloud. England, and missed meeting her there.
I have since that time traveled a thou
sand miles, and now have lost all trace of “There now, Benjamin, don't you see her locality. that it was all for the best that you did “I cannot understand why it is, but not go to Europe with your eldest boy," this morning I picked up an English mid Jane Firm to her brother one day newspaper and saw a reference to a great in the early spring-time. “Who now, American steamship company's bonds do you suppose, would have set my arm being almost worthless, etc., through the as you have done? I should have wait- action of its officers in issuing false certified until you came home before I would cates of stock. Do tell me what it all have trusted another doctor with it." means. But this is not my present ob
“Nonsense, Jane,” said Dr. Firm; but ject in writing. I am entirely without although he said nonsense and tried to funds, having failed to find Mrs. Kroy. smile disdainfully, he drew his chair My hope and expectation were so strong nearer to the place where his sister sat, that I did not pause until I was reduced and looked affectionately at the arm care- to a few shillings. I am teaching Engfully fastened to its place. Miss Firm lish in a little village school in Germany had, in house-cleaning, fallen and broken until such time as I can get foreign aid. her arm the day before.
I know perfectly well that
have no “I've something here, Jane,” he said, earthly claim upon you, and yet I frankly producing as he spoke letters and papers, ask you to send me money enough to for he had just come up from the post-of- carry me on my search. I cannot even fice.
promise to repay it, for Death may claim “What is it? let me see," and she looked me ere my obligation to you be cancelled. hungrily toward the pile of letters he car- I have written to Mr. Kroy twice, but no ried. Jane Firm had looked longingly reply has come to me, and my earnings toward every letter that had come into are not sufficient to give me more than the house for years. She had for a few bread, but for that I am thankful. I feel months lessened her vigilance, but when confident that you will not disappoint her brother said, “I've something here, me. If you do, I must appeal to my father, Jane,” all the hunger came back.
and that appeal is death to my prospect “Give it to me!" she demanded. of success. Give my kind regards to your
“Wait until I see what the boy says. sister, Miss Firm, and accept the gratiWhy, Jane, it is from Morton, and I'm tude of an unfortunate youth, compelled afraid he is in trouble, or he wouldn't find by Nature to sad service. If I can but time to write a long letter to an old fel- find my mother I shall be happy. low in America." So speaking he rent
“Yours respectfully, away the envelope and began to read