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sneer.

amused him-about him, and to in- gether ; but men are so different, so dulge luxuriously every reasonable audacious-some men, at least--and fancy, willing to forsake all, and fol- Stanley, ever since his ill-omened arlow the beck of that phantom. Had rival at Redman's Farm, last autumn, he knowledge, public talents, train- has amazed and terrified me.” ing? Nothing of the sort. Had he “I think Radie, we have both patriotism, any one noble motive or

courageyou have certainly; you fine instinct to prompt him to public have shown it, darling, and you must life? The mere suggestion was a cease to blame yourself ; I think

you It seemed to me, simply, that a heroine, Radie; but you know I see Stanley Lake was a lively, amusing, with the wild eyes of the Brandons.' and even intelligent man, without any “I am grateful Dorcas that you internal resource; vacant, peevish, don't hate me. Most women I am with an unmeaning passion for cor- sure would abhor me-yes Dorcasruption and intrigue, and the sort of abhor me." egotism which craves distinction. So “You and I against the world, RaI supposed. Yet, with all its weak- die !” said Dorcas, with a wild smile ness, there was a dangerous force in and a dark admiration in her look, the character which, on the whole, and kissing Rachel again. “I used inspired an odd mixture of fear and to think myself brave; it belongs contempt. I was bitten, however, to women of our blood; but this is already, by the interest of the coming no common strain upon courage, contest. It is very hard to escape Radie; I've grown to fear Stanley that subtle and intoxicating poison. somehow like a ghost; I'm sure it is I wondered what figure Stanley worse than he says," and she looked would make as a hustings orator, and with a horrible inquiry into Rachel's what impression in his canvass. The eyes. latter, I was pretty confident about. "So do I, Dorcas,” said Rachel, in Altogether, curiosity, if no deeper sen- a firm low whisper, returning her timent was highly piqued ; and I was look as darkly. glad I happened to drop in at the mo- “What's done cannot be undone,” ment of action, and wished to see the said Rachel, sadly, after a little play out.

pause, unconsciously quoting from a At the door of her boudoir, Rachel terrible soliloquy of Shakespeare. "I Lake met Dorcas.

know what you mean, Radie; and “I am so glad, Radie dear, you are you warned me, with a strange secondcome. You must take off your things, sight, before the evil was known to and stay. You must not leave me to- either of us. It was an irrevocable night. We'll send home for whatever step, and I took it, not seeing all that you want; and you won't leave me, has happened it is true ; but_foreRadie, I'm certain."

warned, and this I will say, Radie, “I'll stay, dear, as you wish it,” if I had known the worst, I think said liachel, kissing her.

even that would not have deterred “Did you see Stanley ? I have not It was madness-it is madness, seen him to-day,” said Dorcas. for I love him still, Rachel, though I

“No, dear ; I peeped into the li- know him and his wickedness, and brary, but he was not there; and am filled with horror, I love him desthere are two men writing in the perately." Dutch Room, very busily.'

I am very glad, Rachel, that you “It must be about the election." do know everything. It is so great a

"What election, dear ?" asked Ra- relief to have companionship; I often chel.

thought I must go mad in my soliThere is going to be an election for tude." the chinty, and-only think-he in- “Poor Rachel !" I think you wontends coming forward. I sometimes derful-I think you a heroine-I do, think he is mad, Radie."

Radie; you and I are made for one “I could not have supposed such a another--the same blood--something thing. If I were he, I think I should of the same wild nature ; I can adfly to the Antipodes; I should change mire you, and understand you, and my name, sear my features with vi- will always love you." triol, and learn another language; I “I've been with William Wylder should obliterate my past self alto- and Dolly. That wicked attorney,

me.

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Mr. Larkin, is resolved on robbing the purchaser, in a day or two. He them. William is very obstinate, was already grumbling at the price, and says he is bound to sell all his and certainly would stand no trifling. rights, and that without a law suit Neither would Messrs. Burlington he cannot now help selling, and that and Smith, who, he must admit, had he has pledged his honour, in a letter, gone to very great expense in investo give them no trouble. But Dolly tigating title, preparing deeds, &c., has some sense, and has promised and who were noted as a very exme to consult some friend capable of pensive house. He was aware that advising. It must not be permitted, they were in a position to issue an Dorcas : they have done it under execution on the guarantee for the difficulties; I have offered them all entire amount of their costs; but he I possess; I wish they had anyone thought so extreme a measure would able to advise them ; Stanley I am hardly be contemplated notwithsure could save them ; but he does standing their threats, unless the not choose to do it, he was always purchaser were to withdraw or the so angry when I urged him to help vendor to exhibit symptoms of--he them, that I knew it would be use- would not repeat their phrase--irreless asking him; I don't think he solution in his dealing. He had, knows what Mr. Larkin has been however, placed the Vicar's letter in doing ; but, Dorcas, I am afraid the their hands, and had accompanied it very same thought' has been in his with his own testimony to the honmind.”

our and character of the Rev. William "I hope not, Radie,” and Dorcas Wylder, which he was happy to say sighed deeply. “Everything is so seemed to have considerable weight wonderful and awful in the light that with Messrs. Burlington and Smith. has been disclosed.”

There was also this

passage.

“FeelThat morning, poor William Wyl- ing acutely the anxiety into which der had received a letter from Jos the withdrawal of the purchaser must Larkin, Esq., mentioning that he had throw you--though I trust nothing found Messrs. Burlington and Smith of that sort may occur--I told them anything but satisfied with him-- that rather than have you thrown the Vicar. What exactly he had upon your beam-ends by such an ocdone to disoblige them he could not currence, I would myself step in bring to mind. But Jos Larkin told and purchase on the terms agreed him that he had done all in his power on. This will, I trust, quiet them on "to satisfy them of the bona fide the subject of their costs, and also character of his reverend client's prevent any low dodging on the dealings from the first. But “they part of the purchaser." still express themselves dissatisfied This letter would almost seem to upon the point, and appear to sus- have been written with a super-napect a disposition to shilly-shally.” tural knowledge of what was passing I have said “all I could to disabuse in Gylingden, and was certainly well them of the unpleasant prejudice ; contrived to prevent the Vicar from but I think I should hardly be doing wavering. my duty if I were not to warn you

But all this time the ladies are conthat you will do wisely to exhibit versing in Dorcas's boudoir. no hesitation in the arrangements by “This election frightens me, Radie which your agreement is to be car- --everything frightens me now-but ried out, and that in the event of this is so audacious. If there be your showing the slightest disposi- powers either in heaven or hell, it tion to qualify the spirit of your seems like a defiance and an invocastrange note to them, or in anywise tion. I am glad you are here, Radie disappointing their client, you must I have grown so nervous. So superbe prepared, from what I know of stitious, I believe, watching always the firm, for very sharp practice in- for signs and omens. Oh, darling, deed."

the world's ghastly for me now. What could they do to him, “I wish, Dorcas, we were awayor why should they hurt him, or as you used to say—in some wild and what had he done to excite either solitary retreat, living togetherthe suspicion or the temper of the two recluses--but all that is visionary former 1 They expected their client, --quite visionary now."

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Dorcas sighed.

you must stay and keep me company “You know, Rachel, the world - you must, indeed, Radie,” said must not see this—we will carry our Dorcas. heads high. Wicked men and brave “So I will,” she answered ; “but I and suffering women-that is the must send a line to old Tamar ; and history of our family-and men and I promised Dolly to go down to her women always quite unlike the rest to-night. If that darling little boy of the world-unlike the human race; should be worse—I am very unhappy and somehow they interest me un- about him.” speakably. I wish I knew more about ' And is he in danger, the handthose proud, forlorn beauties, whose some little fellow ?” said Dorcas. portraits are fading on the walls. “Very great danger, I fear,” said Their spirit, I am sure, is in us, Rachel; Rachel." “ Doctor Buddle has been and their pictures and tradition have very kind—but he is, I am afraid, always supported me. In my lonely more desponding than poor

William childhood I used to look at them, or Dellý imagine - Heaven help with a feeling of melancholy and them !” mystery. They were in my eyes “ But children recover wonderfully. reserved prophetesses, who could What is his ailment ?” speak, if they would, of my own “Gastric fever, the Doctor says. I future.”

had a foreboding of ev the moment I “A poor support, Dorcas,--a broken saw him-before the poor little man reed. I wish we could find another“ was put to his bed.” the true one, in the present, and in Dorcas rang the bell. futurity.”

Now, Radie, if you wish to write, Dorcas smiled faintly, and I think sit down here-- or if you prefer a there was a little gleam of a ghastly message, Thomas can take one very satire in it. I am afraid that part accurately ; and he shall call at the of her education which deals with Vicar's, and see Dolly, and bring us futurity, had been neglected.

word how the dear little boy is. And “I am more likely to turn into a don't fancy, darling, I have forgotten Lady Macbeth than a dévote," said what you said to me about dutyshe, coldly, with the same painful though I would call it differentlysmile. “I found myself last night only I feel so wild, I can think of sitting up in my bed, talking in the nothing clearly yet. But I am making dark about it."

up my mind to a great and bold step, There was a silence for a time, and and when I am better able, I will talk Rachel said

it over with you—my only friend, "It is growing late, Dorcas.” Rachel.” “But you must not go, Rachel And she kissed her.

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CHAPTER LXXI.

MR. LARKIN IS VIS-A-VIS WITH A CONCEALED COMPANION.

The time had now arrived when our In neither draft did Jos Larkin friend Jos Larkin was to refresh the figure as the purchaser by name. He village of Gylingden with his presence. did not care for advice on any diffiHe had pushed matters forward culty depending on his special relawith wonderful despatch. The deeds, tions to the vendors in both these with their blue and silver stamps, cases. He wished, as was his custom, were handsomely engrossed—having everything above-board, and such been approved in draft by Crompton an opinion” as might be published S. Kewes, the eminent Queen's Coun- by either client in the Times next day sel on a case furnished by Jos Larkin, if he pleased it. Besides these matEsq., The Lodge, Brandon Manor, ters of Wylder and of Lake, he had Gylingden, on behalf of his client, thé also a clause to insert in a private Reverend William Wylder; and in Act, on behalf of the trustees of the like manner on behalf of Stanley Baptist Chapel, at Naunton Friars; a Williams Brandon Lake, of Brandon short deed to be consulted upon on Hall, in the county of Esq. behalf of his client, Pudder Swynfen,

a

Esq., of Swynfen Grange, in the same -we must remember who we are --county ; and a deed to be executed at gentlemenand answer this sort of Shillingsworth, which he would take shabbiness, and every other endurable en route for Gylingden, stopping there annoyance, as Lord Chesterfield did for that night, and going on by next --with a bow and a smile. morning's train.

“I think so," said the Baronet, in Those little trips to town paid very a bluff, firm way. fairly.

“Well, the fact is, when I represent In this particular case his entire ex- a client, Sir Mulgrave Bracton, of a penses reached exactly £538., and what certain rank and position, I make it do you suppose was the good man's a principle--and, as a man of business, profit upon that small item? Pre- l find it tells--to present myself in a cisely £62 78.! The process is simple. style that is suitably handsome. . Jos Larkin made his own handsome “Oh; an expensive house where estimate of his expenses, and the value was this, now ??? of his time to and from London, and “Oh, Sir Mulgrave, pray don't then he charged this in its entirety think of it--I'm only too happy-shall we say integrity--to each pray, draw your pen across the entire client separately. In these little thing.” excursions he was concerned for no “I think so," said the Baronet unless than five.

expectedly. Don't

you

think if we His expenses, I say, reached ex- said a pound a-day, and your travelactly £5 38. But he had a right ling expenses ??? to go to Dondale's if he pleased, " Certainly-any thing—whatever instead of that cheap, hostelry near you please, sir.” Covent Garden. He had a right to And the Attorney waved his long a handsome lunch and a handsome hand a little, and smiled almost comdinner, instead of that economical passionately; and the little alteration fusion of both meals into one, at a was made, and henceforward he spoke cheap eating-house, in an out of the of Sir Mulgrave as not quite a pleaway quarter. He had a right to his sant man to deal with in money matpint of high-priced wine, and to ac- ters ; and his confidential friends complish his wanderings in a cab, knew that in a transaction in which instead of, as the Italians say, “partly he had paid money out of his own on foot, and partly walking." There- pocket for Sir Mulgrave he had never fore, and on this principle, Mr. Jos got back more than seven and sixLarkin had “no difficulty” in acting. pence in the pound ; and, what made His savings, if the good man chose to it worse, it was a matter connected practise self-denial, were his own- with the death of poor Lady Bracton! and it was a sort of problem while he And he never lost an opportunity of stayed, and interested him curiously—- conveying his opinion of Sir Mulgrave, keeping down his bill in matters sometimes in distinct and confidential which he would not have dreamed of sentences, and sometimes only by a denying himself at home.

sad shake of his hand, or by awfully The only client among his wealthy declining to speak upon the subject. supporters who ever went in a grudg- In the present instance Jos Larkin ing spirit into one of these little bills was returning in a heavenly frame of of Jos Larkin’s, was old Sir Mulgrave mind to The Lodge, Brandon Manor, Bracton--the defunet parent of the Gylingden. Whenever he was away Sir Harry, with whom we are ac- he interpolated

“ Brandon Manor, quainted.

and stuck it on his valise and hatDon't you think, Mr. Larkin, you case; and liked to call aloud to the could perhaps reduce this, just a porters tumbling among the luggage little.' ,

“ Jos Larkin, Esquire, Brandon “Ah, the expenses ?”

Manor, if you please" and to see the

people read the inscription in the hall Mr. Jos Larkin smiled--the smile of his dingy hostelry. Well might the said plainly, “what would he have good man glow with a happy conme live upon, and where?” We do sciousness of a blessing. In small meet persons of this sort, who would things as in great he was prosperous. fain "fill our bellies with the husks" This little excursion to London that swine digest; what of that would cost him, as I said, exactly VOL. LXIII.-NO. CCCLXXIV.

12

66

.

“Well, yes.

£5 33. It might have cost him So now having taken all measures, £13 10s., and at that sum his expenses gliding among the portmanteaus, figured in his ledger ; and as he had hand-barrows, and porters, and the five clients on this occasion, the total clangorous bell ringing, he mounted, reached £67 10s., leaving a clear lithe and lank, into his place. profit, as I have mentioned, of £62 7s. There was a pleasant evening light on this item.

still, and the gas-lamps made a purpBut what was this little tip from lish glow against it. The little butterfortune, compared with the splendid cooler of a glass lamp glimmered from pieces of scrivenery in his despatch the roof. Mr. Larkin established himbox. The white parchment—the blue self, and adjusted his rug and mufand silver stamps in the corner-the flers about him, for, notwithstanding German text and flourishes at top, the season, there had been some cold, and those broad, horizontal lines of rainy weather, and the evening was recital,“ habendum," and soforth— sharp; and he set his two newspapers, marshalled like an army in procession his shilling book, and other triumphs behind his march of triumph into Five of cheap literature in sundry shapes, Oaks, to take the place of its deposed in the vacant seat at his left hand, prince? From the Captain's deed to and made everything handsome about the Vicar's his mind glanced fondly. him. He glanced to the other end of

He would yet stand the highest man the carriage, where sat his solitary in his county. He had found time fellow-passenger. This gentleman was for a visit to the King-at-Arms and simply a mass of cloaks and capes, the Herald's Office. He would have culminating in a fur cap; his shoulhis pictures and his pedigree. His ders were nestled into the corner, and grandmother had been a Howard. his face buried among his loose mufHer branch, indeed, was a little under flers. They sat at corners diagonally a cloud, keeping a small provision- opposed, and were, therefore, as far shop in the town of Dwiddleston. apart as was practicable—an arrangeBut this circumstance need not be in ment, not sociable, to be sure, but, on prominence. She was a Howard— the whole, very comfortable, and that was the fact he relied on-no which neither seemed disposed to dismortal could gainsay it ; and he turb. would be, first, J. Howard Larkin, Mr. Larkin had a word to say to then Howard Larkin, simply ;, then the porter from the window, and Howard Larkin Howard, and the boughtone more newspaper; and then Five Oaks' Howards would come to looked out on the lamp-lit platform, be very great people, indeed. And the and saw the officials loitering off to Brandons had intermarried with other the clang of the carriage doors ; then Howards, and Five Oaks would natu- the whistle, and then the clank and rally, therefore, go to Howards; and jerk of the start. And so the brick 80 he and his, with clever manage- walls and lamps began to glide backment, would be anything but novi ward, and the mail train was off. homines in the county.

Jos Larkin tried his newspaper, and “He shall be like a tree planted by read for ten minutes, or so, pretty the water-side, that will bring forth diligently ; and then looked for a his fruit in due season. His leaf also while from the window, upon receding shall not wither.” So thought this hedge-rows and farm-steads, and the good man complacently. He liked level and spacious landscape ; and these fine consolations of the Jewish then he leaned back luxuriously, his dispensation-actual milk and honey, newspaper listlessly on his knees, and and a land of promise on which he began to read, instead, at his ease, the could set his foot.

shapeless, wrapt-up figure diagonally Jos Larkin, Esq., was as punctual opposite. as the clock at the terminus. He did The quietude of the gentleman in not come a minute too soon or too the far corner was quite singular. He late, but precisely at the moment produced neither tract, nor newspaper, which enabled him, without fuss, and nor volume-not even a pocket-book without a tiresome wait, to proceed or a letter. He brought forth no cigarto the details of ticket, luggage, selec- case, with the stereotyped, “ Have tion of place, and ultimate ascension you any objection to my smoking a thereto.

cigar ?" He did not even change his

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