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secondary import, made his visit after- old clock which stood near to where he wards. Looking a little more leisurely had found the letter. Looking up to over Mr. Burdon's letter while he sat at some gilding which surmounted this breakfast, Robert noticed that the first piece of furniture, he saw, or fancied he copies of the bills were to have been saw, the very faintest outline of a face, sent by the packet so long overdue, and and the mild regard of blue eyes, which that Mr. Waddington, who had been a called up the dear recollection of his passenger - or at any rate had intended ! Probity. It faded into nothing as he to be a passenger -- in the Kingaroo, gazed, but then in a moment came back was to take the second. He had never the recollection of his mysterious visiseen that ship's arrival announced, and tant, whom the change in his fortune had he knew that she traded to London. quite made him forget. He questioned Either, therefore, Mr. Waddington must his servants again, and more closely than at the last have proceeded by some other before. No one had brought letters to route, or else he had somehow been tran- the house on the preceding day after the shipped on the voyage. After all this morning's post; and no one had been had been put together, there remained there at all in the afternoon except a the inexplicable problem, -- How did the person from a German clockmaker's in letter get into his chamber? Mr. Wad- the town, who came to fit a key to the dington not having himself written old clock in Lathom's room, “ I couldn't seemed also a rather strange thing, but help remarking of him," said the servant, of course it was possible that he might "he was such a queer-looking old man, have despatched the packet while too with a white beard, and such a hooked busy to write himself; an early post nose.” Robert could make nothing of it might bring the expected advice from at all. him.
It may have been three weeks after all It will readily be believed that Robert this that Lathom read in a newspaper the Lathom did not on that day give himself arrival of the Kangaroo, and the same up to wonder and conjecture. He had evening received a letter from Mr. Wadwork to do — work far more agreeable dington, dated London, Nov. I, which ran than that which he had believed to be as follows: awaiting him. His bills, received by private hand, were accepted at once ; his
DEAR SIR, - As I take for granted that difficulty was at an end. The congratu; from Sydney, it will
, I hope, have become
you received advices by the last packet lations of his friends were hearty and profuse.
a matter of secondary importance whether It was quite romantic, they said, to be thus relieved at the last min some duplicate despatches of which I was ute; and so it was - they didn't half
the bearer come immediately to hand or know how romantic.
not. I deeply regret to have to tell you Never doubting that the whole of this has been unaccountably mislaid, and is
that the packet intrusted to my charge mystery would be cleared up — for he
not immediately forthcoming : and I rewas a matter-of-fact, strong-minded fellow, as has been said — Lathom, when quest that you will be good enough to his first duties were performed, set him
write at once saying whether you have self to examine shipping lists, but no
received advices which ought to have notice of the Kangaroo could he see. dear sir, faithfully yours,
reached you per mail-packet.— I remain, He must wait now for Waddington's let
F. WADDINGTON. ter. He and his friends did dine together that day at the Mersey tavern, The mystery seemed only to grow and a very pleasant evening they passed. deeper. Lathom did not in reply to this But, now that his commercial trouble enter into particulars, but said that he was off his mind, the young merchant proposed to be in London as early as poswas more anxious to penetrate the mys- sible, and would wait on Mr. Waddingtery of the letter, and his first thought ton. In the mean time the latter gentlewhen he got home was to closely search man need be under no anxiety as to the the chamber again. He examined and packet of letters, as no inconvenience tried the windows and door, and looked was caused by the want of it. well at the low roof; then he moved the The next post, however, brought anwardrobe and bed, and turned round one other letter from Mr. Waddington, who or two pictures, to assure himself that no had been made miserable by the discovsecret entrance existed. Finally, he dis- ery that the mail-packet had not arrived. placed, and then replaced, a cumbrous' He wrote to say that the circumstances
under which the despatch had been mis-'ance, which I made up into a small pack laid were strange and peculiar, and that age as well secured as might be from he could not enter upon them until he wet, and provided with straps to attach it could sit down leisurely and collectedly to my person whenever it might be proto write. In the mean time he entreated posed to leave the ship. I can be on my Lathom to consider him and his brother oath that the letter for you was in this as in every way answerable for any diffi- package ; but though the package reculty that might have occurred about mained in my possession, apparently just money. The letter then went on to give in the condition in which I had put it, messages, and to speak of Probity (who believe me that, when the fair weather had written by the mail-packet), and to and the sight of land induced me to open give some Sydney news.
it again, your letter had disappeared, and Lathom and Waddington had not been I have never seen it since !” very intimately acquainted before, but Nay," put in Lathom, as calmly as he this letter showed so much kind feeling, 'could, though he felt his heart galloping that Lathom, when he got to London, under his waistcoat, “ you were, of course, met the other as an old friend. He as- a good deal agitated when you were maksured him that he was quite at his ease ing up your parcel, and the letter may concerning money, but did not mention easily have dropped out, and been, by the the circumstances under which he had motion of the vessel, jerked into some of been supplied. They agreed to dine to-Ithe innumerable crevices and corners of gether that evening, when Waddington the ship." would have the opportunity of mentioning “I have a particular recollection,” ansome matters which he longed to confide swered Waddington, “ of having put your to Lathom.
letter with my valuables, and I know ex“We had a terrible voyage,” said Wad-lactly where I put it. Nevertheless, as dington, when they were quietly seated soon as I found it wanting I made search together; “driven this way and that, and among my baggage, and all over the sometimes in great danger. We have cabin, without success. It was the only been at Rio, and glad enough we were to thing missing. Besides, there is another get there ; but our troubles did not end circumstance, which I have not liked to with reaching that port, for when we set mention, and which I mention now with sail again from thence, the Atlantic some fear that you may think me a roseemed in a more violent mood than the mancer, and distrust all that I have been other oceans had been. We were knocked telling you." about for several weeks, being often in “Not at all; I shall not in the least disimminent danger, and had wellnigh lost trust you,” answered Robert, whose cuour reckoning through the thick weather, riosity was now painfully aroused. until one morning, after having had a “Well, then, I must tell you that on violent thunderstorm in the night, we the night of the storm – which night, were delighted by a calm day and a clear you will remember, succeeded the day on sky, with land looming in the distance. which I made up my parcel - I had gone We made this land out to be Cape Finis- to my cabin much wearied, both in body terre, and the sight of it is inseparably and mind. I did not dare to undress, connected with the loss of the letter but threw myself into my sleeping-berth, which I was bringing to you. I noted where I lay tossed about by the motion the matter carefully: it was on the 10th of the vessel, and watching the flashes of October that we made the land, and on light, whose brilliancy and frequency exthe 9th I am certain that the letter was ceeded anything in my experience. Bein my possession.”
tween the flashes it was so dark as to Lathom started at the mention of the create a feeling of great horror. I could date, but did not interrupt.
keep no account of time, but fancy it may • You must know,” went on Wadding- have been midnight or thereabout when ton, “ that, before the thunderstorm, we the storm began to roll away. As the had been much in doubt as to the ability lightnings moderated, I felt my eyes of the ship to reach England, and there which had been watching them had been some talk of taking to the boats. and weary, and I closed the lids from exTo be prepared for such a contingency I haustion, but not from drowsiness, which went to my cabin, and separated from my was very far from overcoming me — I was baggage a few gold pieces which I se- too much disturbed, both bodily and mencured in the waistband of my trousers, tally. But I lay, as I was saying, with and some articles of value and import- my eyes shut, noting the increased and
increasing distance of the thunder, and Finisterre, and I in Liverpool. There is, wondering what report the captain would however, one other point which perhaps make of our prospects in the morning, you may be able to explain. My friend Chancing to open my eyes as I rolled Mr. Burdon advised me that you would from side to side, I was sensible of a soft take a duplicate packet; now the papers light in the cabin, very different from the which were within this mysterious cover vivid lightning, but yet a very decided were first copies." change from the extreme darkness. And, “ That is strange,” said Waddington ; surveying the cabin by this light, I was
“but no —
- not unaccountable after all. conscious of a figure, of not very distinct You know the way in which the clerk outline, bending over the parcel of valua- gets ready the two or three copies, as it bles which I had packed up. My idea may be, all at one time. It is very likely was that somebody who had seen me at that in his hurry on the day of the packet work in the afternoon, and guessed what sailing he may have handed Müller – I was about, had now come in the dead of poor fellow, his was a sad fate !- the night to appropriate my little bundle. In duplicate ; which would have left the this thought I scrambled out of my berth original for me. I know he asked me to and made for the intruder ; but the light put my own name on the back of the now disappeared. However, I soon got envelope in the blank space which you a lantern from the watch on deck, and still see, as he had omitted to do so examined my cabin ; but nothing was before coming to see me off. Had I amiss there. It proved to be between brought the letter to land, of course I two and three o'clock, so I lay down should have filled in the hiatus before again, and know of nothing remarkable sending on the despatch." till the morning, when we heard that the “ Yes, certainly," answered Lathom, land was in sight. East winds kept us“ you must have brought the original by from entering the Channel for a fortnight, mistake. Indeed I am truly grieved for but we got in at last, thank God ! ” poor Müller: the brothers were very
“Should you know the envelope again, kind to me when first I went out. They do you think?” asked Lathom, some- are relatives of Mr. Behrens, an old what tremulously.
friend of my family, now at Frankfort : “That should'I,” replied Waddington; Karl was going to visit the old man. It “the appearance of it is stamped on my is a sad affair." brain. I don't know anything that ever Waddington mused a long time : he gave me so much anxiety.”
was sorely astonished. At last he said Then Robert took from his note-case “It is surely the strangest thing that the cover of the mysteriously found ever was; but what could be the object letter. Waddington turned as pale as of this -- this miracle, for I can call it death.
nothing less ? Only to perplex and as* Good heavens !” he exclaimed, “this tonish two unfortunate people, as far as is the very thing. Where on earth did I can see. The letter did but reach the
person to whom it was addressed, and " I must in my turn ask your indulgent the same thing would have happened in acceptation of what I have to say, for my due course if the documents had been story is no less marvellous than yours.” left quietly in my possession. What And thereupon Lathom told how he had possible difference could it have made ?" found the packet, how it had contained Simply that I should have been a undeniable bills and other documents, bankrupt on the 10th of October !” and how he had seen a figure in his room Good God!” on the night between the 9th and 10th of October, just before he felt a paper on Before Robert returned to Liverpool, the ground.
the two men agreed that it would be very “ Have mercy on us !” exclaimed the unpleasant to have this story canvassed, other; “I should have told you that the to have their veracity — or perhaps their figure which I saw in my cabin on board sanity — doubted by matter-of-fact prigs, the Kangaroo also held a lamp, and was or to attain to the kind of notoriety which habited exactly as you describe. Why, the heroes of such adventures suffer. the same person - or being — that robbed So they kept the circumstances very me, must have taken the package straight quiet. to you."
Third copies of the triplicate bills • And pretty rapidly too. You remem- arrived soon after the Kangaroo, and ber that you were at the time off Cape' dissipated all doubt (if doubt anywhere
you get it?"
existed) as to the genuineness of the It is not known in what year, but Mr. second copy. Robert Lathom went on Lathom certainly did revisit Sydney, and prospered, and was very little trou- probably to look at a grave there. He bled either by day or by night. There never married, but he grew very rich, as are, however, troubles in plenty which the Jew had predicted that he would. are unconnected with what is ordinarily For many years, it is said, he could not called prosperity, and one of these was bear to hear any event of this story even awaiting Robert -a trouble which, not hinted at; but towards the end of his withstanding that he grew rich, as old life — the part with which the writer is Behrens said he would, cast a shadow on personally acquainted — he conversed his life till his dying day. The winter very freely on the subject with his friends, was passed, the spring was passing, and and he at length gratified them by makRobert's heart rejoiced, for he had been ing a written statement. Mr. Waddingdoing so well in the past six months that ton also left written testimony behind the time might not be far distant when him. he might revisit Sydney to realize his It should be mentioned, as connected most ardent wish. At this time he re- with this story, and as further proof of ceived a letter from Ezekiel Burdon the mystery which seems to surround the which struck him down, and, as he used whole of it, that among Mr. Latoom's to say afterwards, then and there made papers was found a small slip cut from a an old man of him before he was six-and-German newspaper announcing the death, twenty. Probity Burdon was dead. . . . at Frankfort, of Karl Müller. This was Poor old Zeke wrote with much more enclosed in a piece of faded writing. feeling than had seemed to be in his paper, whereon was noted, in Lathom's nature, and in a strain that completely writing, Can this possibly have been paar unmanned poor Robert. He knew that Karl, thought to have been drowned? his child had been weak and ailing, but Behrens has not replied to my inquiry. I had never thought that she was seriously hear of three men having landed in a tout diseased. At times she would be bright on the coast of Brittany, about the time and happy; and she was unusually so on when the packet must have foundered. the last day of her life, when she had The Müllers have all left Sydney. Poor volunteered the information that she felt Karl ! quite well and strong. Three hours It was only last autumn that Mr. Laafterwards she had lain down and died. thom died, a millionaire, leaving his A letter and parcel found in her desk large fortune to be curiously subdivided. and addressed to Lathom were duly for- His lamented decease removed the last warded, and brought him probably all the barrier against the disclosure of the facts comfort which he was now likely to get. here narrated, which, it is hoped, will It is believed that these are the same prove a valuable contribution to the letter and parcel which by his most par- science of the invisible world. ticular injunction were laid upon his breast in the coffin. For many weary nights he spelt over the details of Ezekiel's most sad letter, but it was not till
From Blackwood's Magazine. after some time that he perceived the
I. curious approximation of the date of poor Probity's death to that of the mysterious
MORNING IN SPRING. occurrences about the bills of exchange. She had died at four o'clock on the after
How sweet is this grove, noon of the 9th October, only about ten
With its delicate odours hours before the letter had been spirited
Of earth and of air ! into his bed-chamber ! Mr. Wadding
How soft are the shadows ton was also struck with the almost coin
That sleep on the sward ! cidence, and said that, if the dates had
Here, love, let us rest ! corresponded exactly, he could not have
How tender the hues, avoided the conviction that the events
Like the bloom on the plum, somehow intimately connected ; but of course, as there was not exact contributor also appear to have overlooked the discorrespondence,* that idea might be dis- ference of longitude. If that be taken into account, it missed.
will be seen that, as nearly as can now be ascertained, Probity Burdon's death and the apparitions to the two
gentlemen must have occurred at the same time! * Mr. Lathom and Mr. Waddington - indeed our' ED. "Blackwood's Magazine.”
To break the enchantment,
Of the far dreaming mountains,
Oh love! in our loving
fair, The very centre of the world are we. And yet, 'neath all our happiness, there lie Dim doubts and fears, forever lurking nigh; We are so happy now, one moment's space, Then Love, and Life, and all take wing and
fly. Where shall we be a hundred years from now? Where were we but a hundred years ago? | Behind, before, there hangs a solemn veil, What was, or shall be, neither do we know. A passing gleam, called Life, is o'er us thrown, Then swift we flit into the dark unknown ; As we have come we go, no voice comes
back From that deep silence where we wend alone.