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Oh, every thing wrong. Running sick man, emphatically. “And never, at all hours down to Mr. Stutzer's I fear, it must be !" cottage, and persuading me to send “Do you think I could write it for him expensive presents; and then you, sir ?" asked the boy timidly, and doing mischief at Meiklam's Rest, getting rather red at the thoughts of annoying the steward, and very likely his presumption. doing worse things than anybody "I am sure you could. That is a knows of.”
good idea ; and I will tell you what “I wouldn't mind what Luke Bag- to say. ley says," observed Mr. Pilmer, turn- Dillon sat down before the desk, ing to the great body of his news- and, pen in hand, awaited orders. paper.
He's a cross-grained fellow; “Shall I write in your name, sir ?” he has no right to come here with his “Yes ; but you may say at the end complaints.
of the letter that I was obliged to get Ah, that's always the way. You a friend to write for me. never think Dillon does wrong; but
The lad tried the pen on a scrap of I will not be made miserable thinking paper lying near, and then comof the responsibility of watching over menced the letter in his school-boy such a headstrong boy. He must hand, Mr. Stutzer dictating each just be sent off somewhere abroad, word. He wrote as follows :where he'll learn humility and obe- "DEAR MADAM,--After all that has dience."
occurred to render us strangers to each “Dillon's a good lad,” murmured other, I would not permit myself to Mr. Pilmer, with the most provoking address you, were it not for my child, calmness, which rendered his wife's Lizette, who, surely, must be regardfeatures sharper looking than ever. ed as innocent of any fault, whatThe sugar-dish and tea-caddy were ever her parents may have done to removed from the breakfast table offend. Soon-very soon-she will be with a jerk, the sideboard cupboards an orphan, bereft of father and molocked spasmodically, and the bell ther, and perfectly friendless in the rung so violently that Foster, the world, unless you take pity on her. butler, flew from the kitchen with all All I ask for her is your protection. imaginable speed to answer it. Do with her as you will--let her
Bessie had breakfasted in her room position under your roof be ever so that morning, having felt too much humble—but I beseech of you not to fatigued after her walk the day before leave her to the care of strangers in to get up. Dillon had gone to school some public institution for the relief some hours ago. Being Saturday, it of the poor. She is delicate and frawas a half holiday, and the boys at gile—a child of tender feeling--and I Mr. Benson’s were released from pri- tremble lest she may fall into rough, son rather earlier than upon ordinary unkind hands. I have no worldly days. As soon as he was free, Dillon riches to leave to my child-not a hastened to learn how Mr. Stutzer sovereign to bequeath to her. You
He found him lying in bed, know how darkly the misfortunes of altered even for the worse since the my life enveloped me. It has pleased previous night. An expression of Providence to afflict me heavily; but acute mental suffering overspread his I shall soon suffer no more. Were my face.
little daughter in safe hands I should "My hand is just as powerless as thankfully resign life. An estimable it was yesterday, Dillon," he said, lady in this neighbourhood, Mrs. holding up his right hand with á Meiklam, of Meiklam's Rest, has hopeless look. “I have been trying promised to take charge of Lizette, at to write, and cannot make a stroke her own house”with the pen."
Dillon having got thus far with the An open writing-desk, bearing a letter, held his pen suspended over sheet of paper, lay on the little table the paper, waiting in vain for Mr. beside the bed.
Stutzer to finish his sentence. At last “Perhaps you had better not exert he looked up in some surprise. Mr. yourself for some days, sir,” süggested Stutzer was lying back on his pillow, Dillon, sorrowfully.
with his eyes wide open, but making “My dear boy, my letter must be no movement of lip, or hand, or foot, written to-day or never !" replied the though the boy saw, by the faint
heaving of the coverlid, that his tenances of those around her. Doctor breath had not forsaken him. To Ryder was puzzled ; he went to proseize his cap, and run off quickly to cure some remedies in a hopeless, Doctor Ryder's house, was the work gloomy way. While Dillon stood of a few moments, for he knew old spell-bound beside the bed, old MarMargaret, in the kitchen, would be a garet came up from the kitchen to very tardy messenger indeed. For- look at her master, and shook her tunately the physician was at home; head ominously. Lizette's cheeks behis gig stood at the door, just re- came blanched to the whitest shade turned from a long drive. Any one of paleness; and still the dark eyes who knew Doctor Ryder by sight of the tongue-tied man beamed and would think he was the last man in burned with a meaning that none the world that a boy would think of could understand. Frightful anguish running confidentially to, on behalf of those moments! Much to say, and of a very poor, sick man. His fea- no speech at command; perfectly tures were coarse and stern-looking conscious, yet powerless as one alSomething like a frown was ever on ready dead! At length the fire of his brow ; his hair was abundant and the eye died out; à calmer light shaggy; his frame terribly large and shone forth, and the gaze was lifted. awe-inspiring. He was in the hall upwards. No one thought of saying when Dillon entered, his hat not yet anything to him ; yet if words had removed from his upright locks. been addressed to him he would have
“Well, how is your friend ?” he comprehended them as clearly as ever. asked, looking sharply at the boy's At this time Mrs. Meiklam's phaeton frightened face.
stopped at the cottage door. AccordI don't know how he is. I think ing to her promise, she had called to he is in a very queer way-something make inquiries for the sick man. like a trance."
Dillon ran out immediately and de“When did that happen ?”
scribed his state to her, while Doctor “Just this moment. He fell off Ryder followed, and spoke to the lady quite suddenly, when he was speaking in low, grave tones. to me.
“I will get out and go in,” said “He shouldn't have been speaking Mrs. Meiklam, who was not unskilled to you. He's too fond of talking in the knowledge of many diseases, Come on; we'll see what can be having gained much experience by done for him.”
attending the sick beds of the poor And, with great strides, the doctor and the unfortunate. The physician marched out of the house and up the assisted her to alight, and, leaning on street, looking as if about to wreak his arm, she entered the humble cotsummary, vengeance on somebody, tage, her dignified presence, though He found Mr. Stutzer as Dillon had unaccompanied by the least soupçon said, in a very strange way-quite of hauteur, evidently producing much paralyzed from head to foot. Yet it impression on old Margaret Spurs,who was not a common stroke of para- dropped continual courtesies when lysis : it was a total prostration of all she addressed her, pretending to be strength. He could neither speak nor very much more interested in her move; and for some time no one master than she really was. The very could tell whether consciousness had placid expression of the lady's face not fled too. But the intelligence of gave a sure proof, to the old woman's the eye soon put that question be- mind, that she was a “born gentleyond doubt. His gaze was now fixed woman.” In a short time Mrs. Meikupon the half-written letter on the lam stood beside the dying man's desk-now upon the faces of Dillon bed. For some time he did not see and the doctor, with an intense her, but at length his eyes turned anxiety. When his little girl ap- upon her face. It might have been peared at the bedside, the eyes turned only a fancy of Mrs. Meiklam's, but it upon her; and if ever eyes could be seemed to her that a bright light said to speak, they were surely speak- shone in them, as he moved them ing then. But no one comprehended from her, and fixed them on his child. the language. The child looked for She felt that she comprehended the an explanation of this extraordinary meaning of the look, and, stooping, silence of her father into the coun- took the little hand of Lizette in her own, as she said, in a low voice, mo- catch cold, &c., &c. Without stinting dulated so that it might not startle or staying on the way, the boy sped the invalid, though he could hear the on, till he reached once more his words
tutor's humble home. He felt very “I will take care of your little sad, for the many evenings he had daughter, until she is safely placed arrived at the cottage with his books with some one else."
under his arm, to receive instruction The only evidence he gave of hav- from the peculiarly interesting man ing heard the sentence, was the clos- who was now lying speechless before ing of his eyes, as though he could him, came back to his memory, and now rest peacefully. But bodily peace the pleasant little stories and German had not yet come. The last enemy legends he had often been told by the had still to do his work. Mrs. Meik- lips that might never utter words lam did not remain very long at the again—all rushed upon his mind, cottage. She would have taken bringing wave upon wave of sorrow, Lizette away with her at once; but till there was quite a sea of grief over the child clung to the bed-post with- his heart. Lizette's eyes were alterout speaking, when asked if she would nately fixed upon his face and her go home with her. So Doctor Ryder father's. She knew very well that said
something awful was near at hand, “Let her stay as long as she can," and within her child's heart, she was and the lady took her departure alone. trying to summon a faith that would
Dillon remained till it was time to enable her to part quietly from her go home to dinner, leaving himself father when God's messenger came only sufficient time to run quickly all for him. Was he coming soon ?--was the way, as fast as he could, to his the rustling of his wings already uncle's house, and arriving there just stealing upon the air as the soup was over. He got a scold- Dillon softly mended the fire, and, ing as usual, but was determined that ever and anon, snuffed the long candlehe would ask permission to return to wick. It was all he could do. Lizette the cottage as soon as dinner was and he exchanged no words. The
Doctor Ryder went home also, child would not go to bed when Marfor he knew his presence in the sick garet came to carry her away. She chamber could now avail nothing. firmly stood her ground, clinging to And now the dying man and the the bed-post with all her might, but child were alone, in that quiet room, uttering no cry. “Let her stay here,' with the first shadows of the long urged Dillon, coming to the rescue, as winter night casting themselves over the old woman and she carried on a bed and chair and table; and still voiceless struggle,
" there's no use Lizette clung to the bed with a ner- teasing her;" and Margaret went away vous grasp. But she dared not speak muttering, “Oh, Lord, Lord, this or cry; her very breath came and night, how I'm tortured!" went so softly, that no one could have The night wore on; the last of the heard it. For a long while she stood dreary winter nights that Paul Stutthere as motionless as her father, zer would ever feel pain, or grief, or while old Margaret, now and then, hunger, or cold, in this weary world. came in and out, each time stooping, Hour after hour passed. Silence in the and listening with her head bent low chamber still. At last, just as the over the sick man's pillow, and then midnight hour was near at hand, and going silently away again.
At last a while Dillon was adding coals to the candle was lit, and when the moon- fire, he heard a noise, he ran to the beams came playing with a cold light, bed, Mr. Stutzer had started up, his through the window, the old woman hands were clasped, his eyes fixed closed the shutters.
with an unearthly look, and murmurWhen Dillon asked permission to ing distinctly the words, “Frances, I go back that evening to the cottage, come!” he fell heavily back to speak his Aunt declared he might go if he no more on earth. The old servant liked ; for that the sooner he caught was summoned; some struggling becold by sitting up in a nasty, damp, tween the spirit and the flesh ensued, unwholesome house, the better he and then the spirit's victory was won. would learn that her advice was not Death claimed the body: Life caught to be despised, and she hoped he would up the soul.
LIZETTE LEAVES THE COTTAGE.
“So old Stutzer's dead,” was the ob- colouring slightly. “A man's repuservation of Master Tom Ryder, as tation is always of consequence." he and Dillon Crosbie stood out in the “Pah! not such a man as Stutzer; playground, after school, next day. who'd care for the reputation of a "Pa's going to pay for the funeral, schoolmaster? Do you think I'd care and Mrs. Meiklain is to get up a sub- a jackstraw about Benson's character scription for the young one.
if he was to die to-morrow?" Yes, Mr. Stutzer is dead," said “I am sure you are not in earnest, Dillon, gravely. "I had no idea he Tom,” said Crosbie, gravely. would have gone off so soon.
But I'm sure
am, though." Schoolboy vanity might have “Then you ought to be ashamed of prompted the lad to display the ring yourself, that's all," observed Dillon, his tutor had given him as a keep- coolly. sake so short a time before, but he “Do you want to get up a fight, I felt that the gift was sacred now, he say ?" demanded Ryder, throwing would not profane it, by showing it himself at once into boxing attitude, out among a lot of careless, unthink- and assuming a threatening expression ing boys, who were inclined to make of countenance. merry even about death and burial. 'No, not in the least."
Some people say Stutzer was a “Then you wouldn't fight for old humbug,” continued Tom Ryder, who Paul, greatly as you valued him?" was aiming a small stone at the top “No, I wouldn't box about him.” of a flagstaff,“ and I wouldn't doubt You think yourself a tremendous that he was.
fellow." He was not,” said Crosbie, posi- “No, I don't. Let me pass out; tively. “I know Mr. Stutzer was a I'm going home.” good man; I wouldn't believe any- “ Fight him, Crosbie," urged three body that he wasn't.”
or four lads, gathering round Dillon, “Don't be too certain, old fellow,” eagerly. returned Ryder; “nobody here knows Not to-day." anything of him.”
“What day then ?" asked Tom. * Then they shouldn't judge of "No day, perhaps. Here get out him,” said Dillon, indignantly. “Mr. of the way of the gate.” Stutzer often told me of his past life, “Not till
fix an hour for giving and of his school in the North of Eng- me satisfaction,” said Ryder, planting land; and then, Mrs. Meiklam knows his feet firmly under him. a great deal about him.”
“Won't you though ?" said Dillon, “Does she know that he once catching him by the shoulder, and flogged a boy to death in his school?” whisking his great form out of the asked Tom, looking unpleasantly jo- way with a strength that gained him cular.
the admiration of the surrounding who says it ?” boys. A cheer burst upon the
air as “ An old fellow that carries mes- Dillon walked away, while Ryder, sages for our grocer; he knows some- looking very red and angry, vowed he thing of the neighbourhood where would thresh all the fellows round if Stutzer lived before he came here; they didn't disperse instantly. and he says he had to run away for The character of Paul Stutzer was fear he'd be taken up and hung. talked of at Yaxley by more than the
“Don't believe it,” said Dillon, boys at Mr. Benson's school ; but no looking puzzled, nevertheless, “its all one would have cared to mention the an invention; why didn't the old fel- dead man, had not Doctor Ryder gone low ever say so before !”
about, at Mrs. Meiklam's request, to “ Because he didn't like to turn seek for aid among the respectable people against him; but, now, that townspeople for his orphan child. ħe's dead it doesn't signify what's Scarcely any one would contribute a said of him."
farthing towards the subscription for “Yes, it does signify,” said Dillon, her, the great point of difficulty with
every body being that “ they didn't ters had been burnt months before, know anything about the poor and nothing remained but a few teacher. 'In vain Doctor Ryder, in manuscripts containing historical his rough way, said it didn't signify notes and philosophical extracts, that what he might have been, when they were of no value to any mortal, conall knew he died of want, and that veying no information as to his past his child-who, at least, could have life or his prospects for his child. It committed no crime as yet-was des- was Mrs. Pilmer's helief (at least she titute of the common necessaries of said so) that Mr. Stutzer had been, life. The people shrewdly shook all along, an impostor-that the letter their heads; and though some of he pretended to write to the mysthem, out of compliment to the phy- terious lady unknown was all a "got sician and Mrs. Meiklam, gave, here up” thing, intended to excite people's and there, a half-crown, a five-shilling pity and wonder. There was, cerpiece, or half-sovereign, the whole tainly, in her opinion, no such person collection did not amount to ten as that lady; and as to his wife havpounds. We fear Doctor Ryder be- ing had high connexions, that was all stowed some warm and not very a made up story." Notwithstandflattering epithets upon the Yaxley ing these private thoughts, expressed people, when he told of his ill-success only at home, Mrs. Pilmer was obliged to the mistress of Meiklam's Rest. to appear very much interested in
"Never mind them," said the lady. the orphan child, so completely We will return their donations to thrown upon the charity of the wide
and I will look after the or- world, when in the presence of her phan myself.” But the doctor de- friend, Mrs. Meiklam ; and to her clared he had no notion of “gratify- great chagrin, she listened to her ing the niggardly wretches” by giving scheme of taking her to the Rest, and them back their money. He would keeping her there till something else put it in the poor-box, if Mrs. Meik- turned up for her, as soon as her sam would not accept it for the child. father's funeral was over.
It was difficult for Mrs. Meiklam “And I will be glad, my dear,” to know how to proceed with respect tinued Mrs. Meiklam, "if you will to the little girl. From the letter send Dillon for her to the cottage, which Dillon Crosbie had half writ- and let her stay at your house till Í ten for Mr. Stutzer on the evening send the little phæton for her in the before his death, she concluded that course of the evening: there was some person in existence Mrs. Pilmer smiled, and rubbed her who might come forward to claim hands together, and said “Certainly, her, if this person could be found out. I will,” though her heart was full of But the letter was unfinished, and bitterness all the while. It was not, bore no address ; it was impossible however, till the day was far spent to discover a clue to her. The lady that she allowed Dillon to go for the thought of writing to her friend, the little girl, though Bessie was full of curate of Climsley, who had first curiosity to see her.
The evening mentioned Mr. Stutzer to her; and she shadows were falling thickly, as did write, requesting him to say if he the youth walked for the last knew of any friend of the poor teacher time to the humble cottage in the of languages who could be expected suburbs of the town. The funeral to take charge of his orphan daugh- was over, and now Paul Stutzer's ter; but the clergyman knew of no earthly remains lay in the damp such individual. Mr. Stutzer had burial ground. Oh, never more would not confided to him any of his family worldly cares and griefs vex his soul ! history, beyond the fact that his wife So thought Dillon, as he passed had high connexions who took no through wet streets and by dim notice of her. Indeed, it was his houses, faintly illuminated by the gas opinion that Mr. Stutzer, being of lamps, already lighted. It had been foreign extraction, had no relatives a raw day; the last of the snow had in this country. So, Paul Stutzer melted away, and now the earth was was buried in the churchyard at wet and black; everything looked Yaxley, and his effects were searched, dreary. He found Lizette sitting by and his papers read; but all his let- herself, in the room where her father