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heard the sound of pickaxes and shovels, his visitor that he had the game in his and that to his question of Who was hands. there?” he had failed to get a reply. The "Well, Mr. Ts'èng," he began, as he writer excused himself for not having seated himself uninvited, “I have come gone into the graveyard, by pleading the according to arrangement to settle about lateness of the hour and the darkness of last night's job.” the night. But he "humbly ventured to Yes, yes; don't say anything more recommend that Ts'èng should look into about that,” said Ts'èng, shuddering. “I the matter."

have here two hundred taels of silver, With a look of indescribable misery, which I hope you will accept from me.” Ts’èng handed this letter to Golden-lilies, “ That is not enough," answered Lai; who throughout the morning, partly, pos. " do you think I would have buried a mur. sibly, because hers was not the head in dered man danger, had shown a much bolder front "Oh don't, don't. Well, come, I will to fortune than her lord and master had give you another fifty taels; surely that been able to do, but also, doubtless, be. will satisfy you,” said Ts’èng, who, though cause, though of the softer sex, she was anxious to quiet Lai, had an intense dismade of sterner stuff.

like to parting with his money. * Sit down and answer the letter at “ Now, look here, Mr. Ts’èng," said opce,” she said, “and while thanking him Lai deliberately, and with a threatening for his vigilance ” (“Curse him for it,” countenance, "if you don't give me down muttered Ts'èng,)“say that you will send three hundred taels, good weight, I shall at once to make inquiries.

go on at once to the magistrate's to Ts'èng did as he was bid, and then re- "Say no more, you shall have the three lapsed into blank misery. Possibly he hundred. And now, I have something to was under the delusion that remorse for ask of you - I want you to row me up to having taken the life of a fellow-creature the graveyard and show me where it is." was the mainspring of his mental agony; “Very well,” replied Lai; “there will but had he analyzed his feelings carefully, not be any one wanting to cross the lake he would have found that that feeling to-night, so we can start now if you like.” hardly entered at all into his cogitations. “Is it dark enough?” asked Ts'èng. Blank fear it was that oppressed him ; " It is so dark that you might run into fear of being dragged off to prison as a your best friend's arms without his knowmurderer — fear of having to face the ing you; and unless you have the eyes of magistrate who had so lately entertained a cat or an owl, you won't see much when him — fear of being tortured if he did not you get there." confess, and fear, if he did, of the execu- With much caution the expedition was tioner's fatal weapon. If he had been made, and Ts’èng satisfied himself, as far capable of diving into his inner feelings, as the darkness would allow, that every he would have known that an assurance care had been taken to make the newly that his crime would never be discovered, made grave as much like the surrounding had that been possible, would have lifted soil as possible. He returned, therefore, the whole weight from his overburdened with his mind now at rest, and as days soul; but now, while at one moment in went by and nothing serious occurred to his terror he almost wished that it might arouse his fears, he gradually recovered be brought to light at once, that he might much of his ordinary placidity. Not that escape írom his torturing suspense, at he altogetber escaped annoyance; for another, he tried to buoy himself up with Lai, luxuriating in his suddenly acquired the hope that it would never be found out. wealth, showed a tendency to break out One thing he had determined to do, and into riot, and in his cups he allowed him. that was, as soon as he had settled with self to talk of his friendship with young Lai, who was to call after dusk, he would Ts’èng" in a way which, coupled with his go himself to the graveyard to make quite sudden wealth, made his neighbors wonsure that the work was well done. Much der and gossip. From some of these though he hated and feared the ferryman, Ts’èng learned what was going on. The he now had a morbid longing for his ar. bare idea of his alliance with Lai becom. rival; and when that worthy appeared, he ing a subject of tittle-tattle was torture to received him with open arms.

him, and he took an opportunity of beg. Lai was as undemonstrative and self. ging the ferryman to be more cautious. possessed as Ts'èng was effusive and Being not up willing to worry poor Ts'èng, furried; and a glance at that unfortunate Lai affected to be indifferent to anything young gentleman was enough to convince people might say, and adopted altogether

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LIVING AGE.

VOL. XLIX

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so defiant a tone, that he brought Ts’èng pear, every approaching horse's hoof once again to his knees.

brought hope, which as often was destined To add to Ts’èng's anxieties, little to be disappointed as the tramp died away Primrose was seized one evening with a again in the distance. Meanwhile Primviolent headache and every symptom of rose grew worse and worse. As night high fever. For three days the child lay came on unconsciousness set in; and just tossing to and fro with burning skin, before dawn the little thing gave a deep parched mouth, and throbbing head; and sigh and passed into the land of shades. when, at the end of that time, these symp- Both Ts'èng and Golden.lilies were toms abated, their origin was made plain completely crushed by the ruin of all their by an eruption which was unmistakably hopes; and when Tan made his appear. that of smallpox. The doctor who was ance towards noon, they scarcely heeded summoned felt the pulse of the sufferer his explanation that he had waited all and prescribed ginseng, and broth made of night at the doctor's house, expecting his cassia shoots, in accordance with the dic. return from a distant professional visit, tum of the highest authorities. But to and that, when morning came, he bad this orthodox treatment the disease de thought it best to come back, even with. clined to submit. The virulence of the out the doctor, to report bis want of suc. distemper was unchecked; and though cess. Golden-lilies paid numerous visits to the Much sympathy was felt with the sorshrine of the Goddess of Smallpox, and row-stricken parents at the loss of their spent large sums of money in the pur-only child, and many were the visits of chase of offerings to that deity, the child condolence which Ts'èng received during daily and hourly grew worse, until the the ensuing days. Among others, a reladoctor bad unwillingly to acknowledge tion called, who, after having expressed that he could do nothing more. It is dif. his sympathy, added with evident reluc. ficult to say which of the parents during tance, “There is a matter, my brother, these dark days suffered the greatest about which I feel bound to speak to you, mental agony. Golden-lilies' distress was although I am most unwilling to trouble that of an agonized mother, tortured by you about ordinary affairs at such a time the fear of losing her only child; while as this.” Ts'eng's grief at the possible loss of his “ Please don't let my affliction interfere fondling was aggravated by a supersti with any matter of business," said Ts'èng. tious belief that his own crime had brought “Well, the fact is,” said his guest, this misery upon him. Even the doctor, “that the other morning – it was, I re. accustomed as he was to displays of affec- member, the morning after your little one tion, was touched by the grief of the young departed for the Yellow Springs couple, and, forgetful of all professional my servants came home very much the etiquette, he recommended Ts'èng, as a worse for wine and opium; and on my last hope, to send for a quack practitioner, asking him for an explanation of bis conresiding at a town some twenty miles duct, he said that a man of yours named away, who had, he said, acquired a repu. Tan had kept him up all night drioking tation for the successful treatment of sim- and smoking at the opium tavern in the ilar desperate cases.

town. Can this be true?" Eagerly catching at this straw, Ts’èng " It is quite impossible,” replied Ts'èng; wrote a note begging the doctor “to deign " for the whole of that night Tan was to visit his straw hut, and to bend his twenty miles away, at the house of a docomniscient mind to the case of his insig. tor to whom I had sent him.” nificant child,” and bade Tan carry it at “Well, I have brought my man,” said once to its destination. But since the the other, " that he may repeat his story night when Ts'èng had been obliged to in your presence, and that, if necessary, place his secret in the hands of his two we should confront him with Tao.” servants, their manner had been less re- “ Let him come in, by all means," said spectful than formerly, and sometimes Ts'èng. even defiant. To Tań the present mis. In obedience to a summons Tan's acsion was evidently distasteful; and it was cuser entered the room. He was a dissionly by the promise of a handsome reward pated-looking fellow. His face was thin that Ts’èng at last succeeded in getting and drawn, and of that peculiar mahogany him off. During the whole afternoon of hue which is begotten by long-continued that day, time seemed to the watchers to indulgence in the opium-pipe. From the stand still; and towards night, when they same habit his teeth were blackened, and hoped that the expected doctor might ap- the whites of his eyes looked as though

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they had been smoke-dried. On entering With wild fury Ts'èng kicked at the he bowed his knee, and then proceeded to bowing head of his follower, and might give a circumstantial account of the night probably bave been charged a second in question. At first Ts’èny had treated time with manslaughter, had not his guest his accusations with contempt; but the dragged him by main force back to his remarkably coherent manner in which the chair and dismissed Tan from the room. man retailed his story, suggested doubts It was a long time before Ts’èng could to his mind, which tortured bim with mis. recover his composure. His nerves were givings. Without waiting for the conclu completely unstrung, and he trembled like sion of the man's statement, therefore, be a leaf. His friend, who was a determined summoned Tan to face his accuser. With fatalist, used every argument at his coma glance Tan took in the position of affairs, mand to soothe his remorse and regrets. and having with a considerable effort He pointed out that Heaven having mastered the uneasiness which the crisis doomed the death of little Primrose, nothprovoked, he stood ready to brazen it out. ing could have prevented it; that even if

“ This man tells me," said Ts’èng, “that the doctor had come, he could not have instead of carrying my letter to the doctor lengthened out her life one moment be. the other evening, you passed the night yond the time allowed her by the Fates; drinking and smoking with him at a tav- and that, therefore, though Tan's conduct ern in the towa. Is this true or false ?" had been infamous, it had not in any way

" It is false, your honor; and I can only influenced the result. “ I quite admit that suppose that this man, to whom I have the man deserves punishment for his disonly spoken once or twice in my life, must obedience, and I would suggest that you bave invented this story out of spite, or in should now order him to be bambooed on order to shield, in some way which I do the spot. It will satisfy justice, and will, not understand, his own conduct from at the same time, be a relief to your feel. blame."

ings." “ Are not you ashamed to tell such a lie It will certainly be a relief to me to in the sight of heaven?” said the man, see the fiendish brute suffer,” said Ts'èng, quite taken aback by the coolness of the "and it shall be done at once.” So saydenial; “ but fortunately I have some evi- ing, he directed three of his servants to dence of the truth of my story, which you seize Tan and to flog him in be court. will find it hard to meet. Did you deliver yard. The men, who were evidently not your master's letter to the doctor ?" unused to the kind of business, dragged Certainly I did."

the offender in and stretched him face That is curious ; for I happen to have downwards on the stones of the yard. here a letter which I found on the floor of One then sat on his shoulders, another on the room we occupied at the tavern, and his ankles, while a third, being provided which I strongly suspect is the letter you with half a split bamboo, prepared to in. were intrusted with. Will you see for Aict chastisement. At a signal from yourself, sir, whether this is your_letter Ts'èng the concave side of the bamboo or not?” said the man, handing to Ts'èng descended on the back of the thighs of an unopened envelope, which he produced the culprit with tremendous force and from bis sleeve.

effect. The wretched man's frame quivWith a trembling hand Ts'èng took the ered throughout, and as blow after blow letter, and at a glance recognized it as the fell he uttered cries for mercy, and bitter one he had written with such eager haste, groans which would have appealed to the and with such a longing hope. The heart of any one whose feelings were not thought that but for the treachery of the deadened by mental tortures. But Ts'èng, wretch before him his little Primrose in his present unhinged frame of mind, might have been still with him was more had no mercy, and if a restraining hand than he could bear. For a moment he had not been outstretched he would have fell back in his chair with quivering lips allowed the wretched man to die under and cheeks as pale as death, and then the lash. As it was, his friend interfered, as suddenly the blood rushed headlong and warned Ts’éng that the punishment through his veins, and with wild eyes and was becoming excessive. To this remonuttering savage curses be sprang from his strance Ts'éng yielded, and the blows chair and rushed upon Tan, who, accept. were stayed. But Tan, whose cries had ing the turn things had taken, had fallen gradually died away into silence, remained on his knees, and was performing the motionless, and unconscious of the mercy kotow with every token of humble sub- which had been extended to him. Seeing mission.

bis condition, the servants carried him off

6 Muro

to bis bed, where, under the influence of out, “ What is the warrant for?" restoratives, he was by degrees brought der," answered the man, as he laid his back to life. But it was many days before hand on Ts'eng's arm. It was fortunate he was able to move ; and even then his for Ts’èng that he did so, for without some weakness was so great and his nerves so support he would have fallen prone to the shattered, that he had the air of a inan re ground. As it was, it was as much as the covering from a long illness. lf, however, two men could do to support bis tottering Ts'èng bad hoped that the punishment steps for a few yards, and then his legs would have produced penitence, he was refused to move, and his head fell forward much mistaken. At the best of times on his chest as he dropped off into a dead Tan's temper was not good. He was by faint. Seeing the condition of their masnature morose and revengeful, and a cer- ter, the coolies brought forward his sedan, tain want of courage in his composition and the policemen accepting their aid, put disposed him towards deceit. With re- the inanimate form of their prisoner into gaining strength he brooded more and the chair, and directed the coolies to carry more over the treatment he had received, it to the prison at the district magistrate's and he vowed a fierce vow that for every yamun. The distance was not great, and blow that had been inflicted on him he the coolies, anxious to save their mas. would exact a tenfold vengeance.

ler from additional shame, hurried fast Meanwhile the anxiety, grief, and ex: through the streets. On arriving at the citement of the last few days had reduced yamun, they entered the front gales, and Ts'èng to the verge of illness, and his gen. were then directed by the policemen to eral debility added a new cause of anxiety turn off to the left through a door, the to poor Golden-lilies' already overbur. insignia of which, a painted tiger's head, dened bosom. So serious was his condi- with huge, staring eyes, and widely opened lion, that she persuaded him to pay a visit (jaws, marked it as the entrance to the to his brother at Soo-chow, for the sake prison. Passing through this they entered of the change of scene and air. The rein- a narrow passage, at the end of which was edy was exactly what he required; and a courtyard, where the coolies were oro after a fortnight's absence, he wrote to say dered io put down their load. It had that he was so much better that he should never been the fate of either of these two follow his letter at the interval of a day. men to find theinselves within a prison

By this time Tan was able to walk, and before ; and the sights which met tbeir so soon as he was assured of the date of eyes made them shudder to think what his master's return, he absented himself their master's feelings would be when he from the house for the rest of the day. awoke to consciousness and found himself Towards evening he returned, and though in such a place. his mood was exultant, he was strictly In the courtyard itself, groups of pris. reticent as to his doings while abroad. oners, bound with heavy chains, were His fellow-servants were too busy to be huddled together, whose appearance was inquisitive; and as his enfeebled condition enough to carry horror and compassion to still prevented bim from serving, he was the minds of all but those case-hardened left to himself.

by habit. Their faces were thin and worn, The next day, towards evening, as and bore the cadaverous hue which is Ts'eng's chair iurned into the road in commonly begotten by want and foul air; which bis house stood, two police runners, while tlie listless expression of their eyes who had been sitting on a doorstep oppo and the languid movements of their limbs site, rose and crossed over to Ts'eng's furnished additional testimony to the state gateway. At the familiar shout of the of weakness to which they had been rechair coolies, Tung-chia lai-lo (“The mas- duced. The condition of their persons ter bas come ”), the big folding-doors were was filthy in the extreme. Skin disease thrown open, and the bearers were on the in every form was rife among them; and point of crossing the threshold, when one it was plain that a rich harvest was ripen. of the policemen advanced, and producing ing for death within the walls of the jail. a warrant, ordered the coolies to stop and As the poor wretches crowded round the Ts'èng to dismount. Instinctively Ts'èng sedan.chair to see who could be the new obeyed, and was for the first moment or arrival who came in such state, the coolies two so dazed that he hardly seemed to be instinctively drew back; and if the head aware what was going on. By degrees jailer had not made his appearance at the the dress of the policeman, with bis red- moment, and with a sweeping blow and a tasseled official cap and long robe, helped curse driven bis charges backwards, the bim to realize the situation, and be gasped | still insensible Ts'èng would bave been

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left in his chair. Scarcely less repulsive not, but he was aroused from it by the than the prisoners was the jailer, but for entrance of the prisoners from the court. different reasons. There were no signs yard, who were being driven in for the of want or ill health about him, nor was night. Already the platform was full he dirtier than Chinamen of his class enough, but with these new arrivals the generally are, but a harder and more ma overcrowding became excessive; and as lignant face than his it is impossible to the weary wretches struggled with their imagine. And that these outward signs little remaining strength for the places were but the reflection of the savage cru. nearest to the gratiog, they jostled Ts’èny, elty of his character, was proved by the and fought across him like wild beasts, look of abject terror with which the pris. adding a new horror to his misery. The oners regarded him. In a voice thick and atmosphere of the den became also even grating, he ordered two of his myrmidons fouler than before; and what with the to manacle Ts’èng, and then to carry him heat and stench, Ts'èng began to feel into one of the cells which formed the feverish and ill. His head ached fiercely, eastern and western sides of the court his skin burnt, and his mouth was dry and yard. Even from the outside these places parched. In his agony he called aloud looked more like wild-beast dens than the for water; and though at first bis cries dwellings of human beings. The roofs were disregarded, his importunity pre. were low, and a double row of strong vailed with a prisoner less callous than wooden palisades, reaching from the the rest, who filled a tio mug from a tub ground to the eaves, guarded them in which stood in the middle of the cell. front. loto one of these dungeons, over The act of moving the water caused a whose portal was inscribed, as if in bitter fetid stench to rise from the slimy surface mockery, the motto, " The misery of day of the reservoir; and so foul were the may be the happiness of to-morrow, contents of the mug, that, thougli burning Ts'èng was carried. The coolies, deter- with fever, Ts'èng could scarcely make mined to see the last of their master, fol. up his mind to taste them. But thirsty lowed him in. As they reached the door men will swallow anything; and at last be they recoiled as though a blast of a char. drained the cup to its dregs, and even nel-house had rushed out against them. returned it to his benefactor with grateful Never were human seases assailed by an thanks. atmosphere more laden with pestilence All night long he tossed about, burning and death. After a moment's hesitation, with fever and tortured by delirium. His however, they mustered up courage to restlessness earned for him the anatheenter, and waited just long enough to see mas of his fellow-prisoners, who, having their inaster laid on the raised wooden been long inured to the foul atmosphere platform which extended along the side of the den, slept in comparative quiet. of the den. As they were not allowed to As daylight dawned the figures about him do anything for him, and as the turnkeys mixed themselves up with his delirious promised that he should be looked after, dreains, which, however, could add ooth. they escaped into the open air.

ing to the horrors actually presented to True to their word, and possibly in the his eye. Shocking as had been the ashope of a reward, the turnkeys applied pect of his fellow-prisoners in the courtwater to Ts'eng's face and head, and suc. yard the day before, it was nothing to be ceeded in reawakening life. At first he compared to the condition of many of began to move restlessly, and to moan those whose weakness had prevented them piteously, and then opened his lack-lustre from groping their way into the outer air. eyes. For a moment or two he saw noth-One group of these were huddled together ing, but by degrees his power of conscious at the end of the platform, whose ema. sight returned, and he looked wildly round ciated bodies and look of fierce agony told the cell. His first impression was that only too plainly that they were starving. he had passed into a land of eternal pun. One of their number had already been ishment, such as he had heard Buddhists released from his tortures by death; and speak of, and he shrieked aloud for mercy. the rats, more conscious of the fact than The sight, however, of the policeman who the jailers, were gnawing at the only fileshy had served the warrant on him, recalled parts of his skeleton-like form. A like to his recollection the circumstances of fate was the only portal of escape left to his arrest; and as his real condition those about him, and eagerly they desired dawned upon hini, he sank back on the to meet it. Ever and anon sleep relieved stage, overcome with horror and despair. Ts'eng's eyes from the contemplation of How long he lay in this condition he knew these horrors, and then in his dreams, as

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