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so that my wife might possibly believe harbour me under their roof by the that her lodger had run away, leaving name of James Selfe. Hearing that her child behind her. We remained they had a granddaughter with away from the neighbourhood for them, I naturally supposed she was nearly two months, having heard my child, but Ďrover told me she nothing, during that time, of any was not. I thought he was telling alarm about the disappearance of the me an untruth; and then his wife, murdered woman. When I ventured in a fit of anger, informed me that to return home, I found the house my child was long dead, and that shut up; the doors and windows were the young girl living at the Halting fastened; my wife and Peg Tibbins Place was the daughter of the unwere both gone. I naturally con- fortunate woman that I had robbed cluded that Mary had gone to Coyle and murdered at the lodging-house to her parents, but on going there to in London! To corroborate her statefind out, I heard that she had not ment, she showed a letter written either written or appeared there. I from America six years ago by her felt a great distrust about this flight daughter Mary, saying, that she of my wife-fearing that she might believed herself to be in consumphave found out what happened our tion, and explaining that she had lodger. I sought her everywhere, escaped there nine years ago, hoping and even put advertisements in the never again to see the face of her papers, offering a reward to anyone husband, who she felt sure had who would give information respect- murdered the unfortunate young ing her, but I never got any tidings woman, Mrs. Oliver. She also stated of her. I searched for old Peg, and that her own child had died in a found her readily enough ; she told convulsion fit, a week after the me that my wife had discharged her disappearance of the lodger, and that shortly after discovering that Mrs. she then determined to run away, Oliver had absconded, leaving her and bring the orphan infant left in the burthen of her child-saying the house to the Tilby Almshouse, that she would give up the house, where she hoped it would be well and go to the country. I thought taken care of. She described how the old woman had a strange look in she carried it in her arms all the way her face when telling me this, but it from London to Tilby, walking much might have been only fancy. She of the journey, and suffering great said she left the house at once, on hardship--sometimes sleeping at being discharged, and did not return night under a hedge, or by the to it again. The money I got by shelter of a haystack. At last she this last robbery did not serve me got to Tilby, and then, after resting long-ill-gotten gold seldom seems herself, and putting on her best to thrive. I soon entered into clothes, she went in the evening to another scheme of committing a the Almshouse, carrying the infant, burglary with some others, but we which was heavily drugged with were discovered before our plans laudanum, in a bundle under her were ripe for execution, and all were cloak. She asked to see a woman sent to prison. I was tried, and got whom she had formerly known at off with fourteen years' transporta- the Almshouse, and was speedily tion, which I spent in Australia, admitted, remaining with this person, having only returned from abroad who was old and blind, for a long about eight months ago. As soon as time. Upon leaving the asylum, I got back to England, I went off to in the dusk of the evening, she Coyle at once, hoping to find the managed cleverly to drop her bundle Drovers still there, but I heard they in the outer hall, in a little nook, and had left the hamlet, and gone to the shawl round it being of a dark settle in the neighbourhood of colour, it was not a striking object. Larch Grove, where I followed them. This feat being accomplished, she They gave me but a poor welcome, left, Tilby on the spot, repaired to and wanted me to go off again ; but I Liverpool, and got off to America. felt reckless, and as if I didn't care When all this was made known to what became of me. I wanted me by the Drovers, I was acute bread, and I threatened both Drover enough to know that they must have and his wife till they agreed to some secret motive for having taken the girl, Mary Flaggs, from the Alms- This is a sketch of my wretched life, house to live with them. I threatened early begun in wickedness; and I Drover till he had to tell me the make the confession, humbly and whole truth about her, and I learned penitently, hoping Mr. Lipwell, of that Mat Drover, when acting as Larch Grove, will take steps to prewaiter at the Tilby Hotel, had over- vent his granddaughter falling into heard Mr. Oliver Lipwell
, the only the hands of Matthew Drover, who is son and heir of Mr. Lipwell, of nearly as guilty a man as Iam myself.' Larch Grove Manor, when lying on his “Thus, my dear sir, ends this feardeath-bed, telling David Wynne, the ful narrative ; and it is our duty to master of the Almshouse, that he had dive deeper into the matter. I am privately married Miss Price, who willing to give all the assistance in was governess at the Manor, and that my power. The master of the Almsshe was his lawful wife. This hap- house, David Wynne, must be expened to be the young woman that amined as to the truth of Matthew came to my wife's lodgings for re- Drover's statement respecting the fuge in London, calling herself Mrs. private marriage of your son in Oliver, whose child had been reared London; and Stephen Cumber has at the pauper asylum, and which informed me that his wife did not die, child, if it was really true that there as she had believed she would, when was a lawful marriage between her she wrote her confession from Ameparents, must be heir to the Larch rica, but is still living at Montreal, Grove property, instead of Mr. Lip- and, of course, able to explain all well's eldest daughter. This fact that she knows of the matter. Likemade the Drovers wish to get her wise, I understand that the old serinto their power, and marry her to vant, Peg Tibbins, is yet alive, and their nephew, Mat. The chief thing her statements may be of importance. that puzzled them, how to establish Since writing the above, by a singular her claim to the property, was, that chance, I have met with the young Mat forgot the name of the church girl, Mary Flaggs, who, it seems, has where Mr. Oliver Lipwell said he escaped from the Halting Place, to was married to Miss Price ; but I avoid the contemplated marriage suggested that we should search the with Matthew Drover. She is, as yet, registers in every church in London quite unaware of her real name and for a notification of the marriage, and birth, believing herself to be the as I expected to gain something by child of the wretched criminal, Stethe business myself, I offered to go to phen Cumber. London and begin the search, but I “ Awaiting any directions you may was prevented doing so by the mur- have for me, der of the pedler, for which I am “I am, dear Mr. Lipwell, now condemned to die, and which is
“Very sincerely yours, known well enough to the piblic.
NR, LIPWELL'S INTERVIEW WITH DAVID WYNXE.
HAD this letter of Mr. Raynor's have been an obscure and humble reached Mr. Lipwell ten years ago, individual, gave him rather consolahe would have been full of proud tion than annoyance. Yet, he was wrath ; perfectly unbelieving of the profoundly agitated by the details truth of the statements contained in concerning the unfortunate fate of it; he would have charged the young the miserable young woman. He man with an unworthy design against felt that he was in a measure responhis honour and estate-a foul con- sible for her disastrous end. Had spiracy to humiliate him and his not he, a strong man, honoured by family; but now the case was dif- the world, though often erring in the ferent. The memory of his departed sight of God, sent a young and forson was dear to him ; the thought of lorn creature, most fragile and delithat son having possessed wife and cate, from his house, under the escort child, even though the wife might of a rough, unrefined man, whose
protection was only to be extended how faded and wan the poor girl had
his nephew had been at the inn for
an independent, unfettered while her father and she were in per-
plexity considering the extraordinary
"My supposed heirship has been diate attendance at the Manor-house.
He was a
This confession took Mr. Lipwell feelings, and he arrived at the Manor-
Wynne's own affairs, he cautiously ears when he heard his victim utter commenced what he wished to say a faint groan. respecting the private marriage of his "The money you gave her was her son with Miss Price. David answered ruin," he continued." It would have his patron's expressions of regret for been better to send her from your his misfortunes with short, sullen house penniless than with all that replies, that prevented the latter gold about her-better to have placed from dwelling long upon them; but her under the care of some kindly when Mr. Lipwell came to touch woman-than to embark her out on upon his son Oliver's affairs, a the world in that unprotected way.” wild gleam of revenge and triumph “You know, Mr. Lipwell," proshot out from Wynne's eyes.
ceeded Wynne," she was a simple, “Did you ever hear of my son hav- quiet creature, no more fitted to coning married Miss Price ?" asked Mr. tend against cunning or wickedness Lipwell, in a trembling voice.
than a child. I was sorry from I did," said David, firmly. my soul that I ever had anything to
“Was it only the idle report that say to conveying her from Larch was spread about the neighbourhood Grove. I had daughters of my own, for some time ?"
and I ought to have had more com“No, it was more than that." passion on a helpless one of their sex." “ How much more ?"
Again Wynne paused to note the My knowledge was gained from effect of this observation on Mr. LipMr. Oliver himself, on his dying well. bed; and, faithful as I was to your
"St. Mark's Church, you say?" interests, and regardful of your feel- was all the old gentleman said next. ings, Mr. Lipwell, I never let a sylla- “Ay, St. Mark's! So Mr. Oliver's ble of that knowledge pass my lips dying lips said, and he writhing in to mortal man or woman in all the agony, and the bloodlast four or five years. I respected "Hold, sir !" called out Mr. Lipthe sentiments of every member of well, in a tone of authority. the Lipwell family, and wouldn't your impertinent remarks, made purhave caused one of them to blush posely to annoy me. All that I want with wounded pride more than I'd to know you have told me. I am have cut my hand off, and how was now satisfied that my son married I rewarded for my faithfulness? By Miss Price ; his character is cleared casting me off in the hour of need, from the stigma that rested upon it, and letting rich men with high sto- in my estimation, for so many years. machs triumph over
Yes, Thank God, he was less guilty in Mr. Lipwell, your son Oliver was going before his God than I had belegally united in wedlock to Miss fore believed him to be !" Price, and the certificate of the mar- David Wynne shrank from the riage stands in St. Mark's Church, flashing brightness of the sightless London.”
eyes, now turned full upon him. He Wynne paused to see the effect of had failed in his object of wounding his words on the old man's facé. his former patron's proud spirit, and What a fearful expression was in his he felt abashed. eye as he scanned the agitated fea
“ Leave the room now, tures of his companion !
please," said the blind man, stretch“ Are you prepared to take your ing forth his hand for the silver bell oath of all this ?'* demanded Mr. Lip- on the table before him. "I have well, after a pause.
learned of you all I want to know." Ay, ready at a minute's notice; and Wynne dared not utter another prepared to add that I think the syllable; all his effrontery lad foryoung woman came by her death saken him, and he slunk off like a through foul means. I think the dog in disgrace-while Mr. Lipwell Drovers murdered her."
murmured to himself, once again, the David expected to see Mr. Lipwell words, “St. Mark's Church, London," grow still more pallid than before, that they might become fixed in his when he made this astounding de- memory. claration; and it was music to his
if you CHAPTER XXX.
THE WINDING UP.
And now, reader, there is not much his son's child was alive, and fully more to relate of this strange narra- identified. What his wife thought, tive. Mr. Raynor was written to, when she became aware that her and desired to employ all possible daughter could no longer be regarded means of discovering the truth of as heiress of Larch Grove, can inore Stephen Cumber's statements, re- easily be imagined than described ; specting the birth and parentage of yet, she betrayed no violent feeling the girl known as Mary Flaggs; on the subject'; she was too haughty and he succeeded in finding the regis- to make an open display of disapter of marriage of Oliver Lipwell pointment. Maria confided to her and Sarah Price, at St. Mark's father the fact of Mr. Raynor's atChurch; where was also registered tachment to her, and the state of her the baptism of their child, Sarah own feelings with regard to him ; Lipwell, with the date of its birth and, as Mr. Lipwell had the highest and christening ; the old woman, Peg confidence in the clergyman's worth, Tibbins, who was called upon to he gave his consent to their marriage: give her testimony, having declared Lord Dulheadie, of course, easily that she carried the child to that resigning all pretensions to Maria's church for baptism on the day it was hand, on learning that she was no christened. She also stated that longer the wealhty heiress, whose Mrs. Cumber's own infant died at the thousands a-year were to build up his lodging-house in London, previous to ruined fortunes. Maria was presented her dismissal from her service. Ste- with a portion of £15,000; while the phen Cumber expired in prison of living of Larch Grove--now vacant fever, before the time appointed for by the death of its former possessor his execution, thus escaping an igno, --was given to Mr. Raynor. minious death; and both Richard Arthur Hopton, who had suffered Drover and Mat managed to flee the much anxiety during the period of country before steps were taken for our heroine's absence from the neightheir apprehension ; while Mrs. Dro- bourhood of Larch Grove, was, of ver and Margaret, being privately ex- course, highly astounded and deamined by Mr. Raynor and Mr. Lip- lighted to ascertain that there could well, confessed that they both were no longer exist any obstacle, as reaware of who Little Flaggs really was garded birth on her side, to his venwhen she arrived at the Halting turing to renew the sincere profesPlace from the Tilby Almshouse. sions of love he had made to hef, Mrs. Cumber was written to, and while believing her to be the grandasked to come to Europe, for the daughter of the village innkeeper. satisfaction of Mr. Lipwell'; and, as All his fears now were that he might she no longer had a husband to dread be looked upon as inferior to her. meeting in England, she complied. But his aunt felt that if there was with his wishes, having received a' anything that could reconcile her to large sum for her necessary trouble the loss her daughter had suffered, it and expenses. This woman clearly would be to see her nephew the husnarrated what she knew respecting band of the newly-found heiress. In the orphan placed by her in the Alms- the estimation of our heroine-who house. Her statements, made on must now be called by her proper oath, carried conviction to every name of Sarah Lipwell—there exmind; and the old lodging-house, isted no reason why she might not where she and her wretched husband consider Arthur Hopton as her fiancé. had lived in London, being searched, Perhaps, the greatest happiness she the coal-vault was discovered con- experienced in discovering that she taining, under its flooring, the skele- was of gentle birth, instead of the ton of a human form, thus leaving no daughter of the criminal, Stephen doubt that Stephen Cumber had told Cumber, consisted in contemplating his story but too correctly. Mr. Lip- how she would now be the equal in well required no further proofs that rank of the lover whose addresses she