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“ This greatly enraged the young lady. thought I saw that he wished to pick a She snapped at everybody who approached quarrel with me. This for many reasons her, and I was the special object of her sar- I was desirous of avoiding. I therefore casms and animosity. She treated me with transacted my business as soon as possible, extreme and ostentatious discourtesy, as and went to mount my horse and ride home. though to emphasize her dislike, and I was As I did so, Girardet placed himself directly at a loss to understand what the origin of in my path. this additional hostility could be. She may “I am a proud and restive man naturalhave attributed Girardet's failure to address ly, but marriage had improved me, and I her to something I had said to her prejudice, could see from Girardet's face that his poor the old laughter of the gossips as to my tations at the village tavern had been deep own attentions and their withdrawal may and frequent. I therefore attempted to have recurred to her morbid mind. As to pass him, but was stopped by a volley of the secret springs moving her to hate and language so coarse and insulting that I beinsult me, I know nothing. Innocent of lieve I would have struck him with the any intent to hurt or offend her, I was quite whip I carried in riding, if the bystandtranquil, meeting her stinging speeches with ers had not interfered. I was much ena laugh whenever I could; and so the year raged. passed, and in the spring of the next Annie “ You shall repent this insolence, sir!" I and myself were married.

exclaimed; but as the crowd laid hands “I should like to end my story here, on Girardet and took him into the tavern, friend,” said Manthorpe wearily, “but un- I mounted and rode home. By the next fortunately I can not. My life was all sun- day I had regained my good temper, and shine at that moment, and I was blessed resolved to forget the whole drunken scene; by a kind Heaven with the greatest, truest and for some weeks I saw nothing more of of all earthly blessings, a pure woman's Girardet. I only heard that he had belove. The spring flitted by; the summer come a deep drinker, and was seldom sopassed like a dream; the autumn followed ber; that his attentions to Miss Rurick in all its sober beauty. But with the were more open than ever; and that he autumn came the shadow that was to efface spoke of me in terms of gross disrespect. all this sunshine. One day I heard that “ This was the state of things when the Girardet had returned to his friend Hamil. woeful denouement took place. Desirous of

and with his return came the great avoiding a quarrel which I may say I feared woe of my life.”

as much on his account as my own, I reIV.

mained quietly at home, hoping that he Manthorpe got up, and going to the win- would soon leave the neighborhood. I was dow, looked out on the road. He then came compelled one day, however, to ride to a back and resumed his seat.

neighbors on business, and while passing • They will soon be here now,” he said in along a narrow road through a thicket, met the same weary, almost hopeless tone; “I Girardet riding out with Miss Rurick. A must make haste to tell you the rest. With glance at his face showed me that, early as my marriage to Annie the true happiness of the hour was, he had been drinking deeply. my life began, and I discontinued entirely Drink brutalizes all men; some it renders my habit of visiting, rarely leaving home peculiarly savage, and I saw that this was unless absolutely compelled to do so. At the mood of Girardet at the moment. I times it was necessary; business took me to therefore attempted to avoid an encounter the county town; and one court day I met with him by moving to one side of the road Girardet there. As soon as I saw him I in order to allow bim to pass. It was all in observed that he had been drinking, and vain; as I moved aside he wheeled to face the scowl on his face when his eyes met me. mine left no doubt of his feeling for me. “Stop!' he said, in the tone of a master He plainly hated me more than ever, and I speaking to a slave.


“Well, Sir,' I said, halting; I have had been an old and bitter feud between stopped. What do you wish ?'

the deceased and myself; that this had led “ • I have a word to say to you!'

to frequent altercations; that I had reSay it,' I returned, feeling my anger cently had a quarrel with the deceased, on rising

which occasion I had exclaimed, “You “ His reply was a volley of brutality which shall repent this insolence !"--and that, enraged me almost beyond control. Seeing meeting him on the high road, on the day of his condition, however, I suppressed my in- the murder, I had attacked him, struck him dignation as much as I could, and said: upon the temple with the butt end of a

"Mr. Girardet, you are under the effect heavy riding whip, and that from this blow of drink; go home and cool off : do not death had ensued. provoke me further Sir-or

“You will understand easily that this “ I was afraid to trust myself, and at- last charge was based upon the testimony tempted to pass on. As I did so, he raised of Miss Rurick, before the examining court. a heavy riding whip which he carried, and She had either not been able, I then supstruck at me; I raised my own to strike at posed, to make out precisely what occurred him in return, when his horse wheeled and during the quarrel, or she had resolved to threw him, after which, the spirited animal consign me to the State Prison, possibly to darted off at full speed. Girardet lay destroy me. On my trial, which took place quite still after falling. Then be half in presence of a great crowd, she gave the rose, clutched with his hands, and fell same testimony, and I could see that it had back. He was dead. In falling, his tem- a powerful effect upon the jury. Nothing ple had struck upon a sharp flint projecting further remained, besides the circumstantial from the road, and this insignificant object evidence of the intent; and this point, the had inflicted a mortal fracture.

Prosecutor, who was a personal enemy of “ All that occurred after this was like a mine, argued elaborately. Of the fact, he dream. I remember the screams of Miss said, that the crime was premeditated, and Rurick, the sudden sound of hoofs coming committed with malice prepense, there could on at a gallop, and the exclamations of the be no doubt whatever. The chain of evihorsemen, as they rode up. In the midst dence was complete. I had hated the deof the haze around me, I heard a voice cry, ceased bitterly; we had quarreled, on more He murdered him!'-and this voice was than one occasion; I had threatened to atMiss Rurick's. After this, I only recall tack him when we next met; then we had the spectacle of some men raising a dead met, while he was peacefully riding out body, of Miss Rurick's eyes glaring at me with a young lady; had forced a quarrel and of two persons riding beside me, upon him; had struck him with a deadly scarcely listening to my vague remonstran- weapon, as the result itself indicated, causces, until we reached the county town. We ing his death; and the Prosecutor constopped in front of a forbidding-looking •cluded by demanding of the jury a verdict edifice, the men knocked, the door opened of .Guilty of murder in the first degree.' some words passed between my escort and “ The jury took the case just at nightthe person who opened the door, and then fall. The candles had been lit, and the I was ushered in, and the door closed be- court-room, with its densely packed crowd, hind me. I was in jail.”

looked funereal in the dim light of the

sputtering tallow candles. Near one of V.

these, in its tin candle-stick, on the long “My trial for the murder of Girardet,” desk in front of the witness's stand, sat continued Manthorpe,“ took place a month Miss Rurick. She was looking at me, and afterwards. It is unnecessary to dwell I never saw an expression of enmity so upon the details—there is no time; I give bitter. Mixed with it was an utterly odiyou the prominent points only. The ous look of triumph. I think she fully ancharges against me were these: that there ticipated a verdict of murder in the first



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degree; for, in spite of the most rigid ing to me even when unconscious. I left cross-examination by my counsel, her tes- her with the motherly wife of the jailor, and timony that I had provoked the quarrel on set out under guard-a convict on the way to the high road had not been shaken, and be punished.” there were reasons connected with the time

VI. and place which told powerfully against Manthorpe stopped and listened.

The South-west had been, since its “I thought I heard them,” he said, in a first settlement, famous for lawless encoun- low voice, “but it was only the wiud in ters in which men had righted their own the dry leaves, I suppose. Well—my story wrongs, or fancied wrongs, with the pistol will not detain you much longer. I was a and the bowie knife. No citizen's life had convict in the State Prison; dressed in the been safe. Fathers and husbands went in degrading garb of a malefactor, and ordered daily fear of falling victims to the bullies daily to my work as the galley slave is and desperadoes of the region; and from ordered. I accepted all without a murmur. this had gradually resulted a resolute deter. There is something greater in this world, mination in the community to measure out than happiness, success, wealth, considerato offenders of this description the full pen- tion; it is the consciousness that you are alty of the law. This sentiment had, at innocent. With that supreme sentiment at the time of my trial, reached its height. heart, a man retains his self-respect unThe jury were almost all strangers to me, as touched, his personal pride sustains him; he the county-seat was distant from my home. is, if not happy, at least calm. I might A victim was wanted at the moment, and have been pardoned, I believe; for my dear I became that victim. Unable to agree Annie, my good friend Hamilton and others upon a verdict of Willful murder,' the spared no exertions; but I resolutely rejury brought in one of 'Homicide,' and I fused to accept a pardon, and had the fact was sentenced to confinement for ten years notified to the executive. Why should I? in the State Prison.

I was innocent; it was not I, it was the “ When this verdict was brought in by the Law which was guilty. Pondering hour jury I looked at Miss Rurick. I can only after hour, in the darkness, on my hard describe the expression of her face as one prison bed when all others were asleep, of fierce joy. She hated me, and her this thought incessantly recurred. “The hatred had been gratified.

She hated me Law is an oppressor, a tyrant that crushes for making her the laughing stock of the I am innocent. Twelve men; with a gossips; for leaving her to love Annie, and Judge, and a constable behind them, have for being the cause of the death of Girardet, stolen my good name and my personal libwhose great wealth had been within her erty from me as a thief robs a home, or a grasp. Such women appear now and then. highwayman a wayfarer of his purse. I am But the race is not perpetuated. Heaven powerless to resist. I yield to brute force. makes thein barren.

All that remains to me is what no power “I was reconducted to jail. My trial can take from me—the resolute will not to and conviction nearly broke Annie's heart, cringe to the brutality I suffer under. To but she bore up bravely, and cheered me to accept a pardon is to acknowledge my guilt. the last. You are unmarried, you tell me, I will accept none; I will escape if I can.' friend. Pray to heaven to give you, as its And from the day when I entered the prison greatest blessing, a devoted wife. I saw I began incessantly to revolve the means of Annie every day, and had the unspeakable freeing myself from the hands of that mishappiness of reading in her tearful eyes, called Justice which I loathed, and in my an expression of tenderness which showed inmost heart defied. You may not fully me that I was far dearer to her in my dark understand the sentiment I shall here briefly days than I had ever been before. When touch upon. It is that of many a victim of the hour of parting came, she clung to me, wrong. If pride remains to a man, he desobbed upon my breast, and fainted, cling- fies oppression, and resolves to meet force



with force. It is only when his pride is sured me on this point. Ten miles from broken that he cringes, and mine was un- the city, in an obscure swamp, he had a broken. I resolved to escape if I could. friend on whom he could rely, he said, and

“A year or two after my incarceration the we reached this man's cabin before dayinoment came. As before, I cannot enter light. On the next night, wearing a suit of into every detail-time is wanting. There his cast-off clothes, I set out for home. I was in the prison a man of sixty, convicted remember well my feeling as I approached. of killing another in a brawl. This man I had traveled on foot, and came in sight had been employed by my father once, who of the familiar fields, the grove, and the had rescued his family from starvation. house peeping from foliage, just at nightAs soon as he saw me, he recognized me, fall. My heart throbbed. A poor convict, and I recognized him. A sudden glow on degraded by a vile punishment, I was about his brutalized face—for prison brutalizes— to hold in my arms, clasped to my ragstold me that he remembered. From that Annie! moment he seized every opportunity of being " It was only long after dark that I dared alone with me, and talking of “old times." to steal from the woods into the house by a There was a secret bond between us. Soon side door. All had retired. I ascended he began to speak of his schemes to escape the broad staircase with its carved mahogfrom the prison--the one which promised any baluster, in a sort of dream. I opened most success being to undermine the wall the door of Annie's chamber, in which a of his cell which adjoined my own—and at night lamp was burning dimly.

She was length, after many months, our plan was sleeping uneasily, and I heard her sigh, but determined upon, the work begun. Three an object by the bedside suddenly arrested months afterwards the plaster between the my attention. It was a cradle in which a stones had been so loosened that it only re- little rosy-faced babe was asleep, lapped in mained to remove it and the stones and lace. At this sight a thrill passed through escape.

me, and I felt the blood rush to my face. “I remember hesitating on the night pre- I stooped and caught the child to my heart. ceding that fixed upon for making the at. At the same instant Annie woke with a tempt. I shrunk from it as from a confes- start, recognized me, clung to me with sobs sion of guilt. But the consciousness of of joy, and I clasped mother and baby in wrong

had hardened and embittered me. my arms, close to my breast, covering them I felt, to the very bottom of my heart, an with kisses, and crying like a child. inexpressible hatred of the power in whose “Before morning I had left home far begrasp I was writhing. Society had struck hind, and reaching a wayside railway station me down with its brutal bludgeon. I was about sunrise, took the north ward bound prostrate, but I was not cowed. Force train which stopped in passing for a moment. against force !—and I fell asleep resolutely I had no apprehensions. In the well-dressed determined to carry out the project, risking gentleman, with a glossy traveling satchel failure or success. It succeeded. The night and clean shaven face, no one was likely to was intensely dark, a storm was raging, the recognize the escaped convict. All had been mutter of thunder drowned the noise made arranged. I would find a safe retreat, write in removing the stones. A break was made in due time to Annie, and she was to disin the wall. I and my companion, who had pose of my estate privately in the manner I long before opened communication with me indicated, go to New Orleans, take the through the thin compartment dividing the steamer to Havana and thence to New cells, passed through; we were free. York and rejoin me. During my imprison

“ The rest was not difficult. The night ment she had adopted the little son of a was so dark that we left the city without poor half brother of mine who had died rebeing observed; but with morning would cently, and this child was to accompany come light and our parti-colored prison garb her; you know him as my nephew Charles. would betray us. My companion re-as- The baby was my little Annie. I need


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only add that in due time every arrange- events as this occurred, must be "out of ment was carried out. I purchased this joint;” and the bleak November day was small cottage in what I supposed to be an in unison with my musings. I reached the undiscoverable nook; Annie came; we have cottage and dismounted. The trees were lived tranquilly, but some evil fate has be- bare, and the vine covering the porch leaftrayed me. My retreat has been discovered. less; all was desolate. The place seemed I hoped to spend my last days here with deserted. The gate swung mournfully upon my dear Annie and my children, but Provi- its hinges in a light breeze that was blowdence has otherwise decreed. I am once ing. As I dragged my feet toward the more in the clutch of the law, but, thank house, the dead leaves rustled under my God, the degrading dress and life of a pris- tread. I reached the porch, crossed it, and on cannot degrade an honest man." with a shrinking heart knocked at the door.

Ile stopped suddenly and listened. “Come in!” said a calm and cheerful Through the little window I saw Mrs. Man- voice, which made me start, sending the thorpe and Annie entering the gate in the blood to my heart. Steps were heard in the paling fence, Charles following with the familiar sitting-room, the door opened, and baby on his shoulder. All were laughing, Manthorpe stood before me. and Annie was clapping her hands to amuse I must have given way to a wild ebullition the child, who crowed delightedly, while the of joy. I caught both Manthorpe's hands fond mother turned her head and looked at and exclaimed, the little group with a smile of happiness. “You!” I shuddered. At the same moment, a heavy A calm smile came to bis face as he drew tramp! tramp! tramp! came up the stair- me in.

It was the police officer coming to “Yes, I am home once more, my dear end my interview with Manthorpe. friend, and have no longer anything to

The key was inserted in the lock, it fear.” turned, and the door opened.

All the little family were assembled in the “Come on-time's up!” said the brutal cheerful room, before the blazing fire. They voice.

greeted me with affectionate warmth, and From below came the sound of footfalls then I heard Manthorpe's story, which may and laughter. A chill passed through me be summed up in a very few words. Ile as I heard little Annie exclaiming:

had been conducted to the State Prison from “Papa ! papa ! — where are you, papa? which he had escaped, but instead of being Oh! we have had such a happy ?!” confined in a cell, he was ushered into the

I looked at Manthorpe. He was as pale office of the Superintendent, who, without as death, but advancing toward the police speaking, held out to him an official paper. officer, said in a firm voice,

He took it and glanced at it, found it was a “Ready.".

pardon from the Executive, and handed it VII.

back. These scenes took place in the month of “ I will not accept a pardon; I am innoSeptember. Early in November, after an cent,” he said. extended hunting excursion in the Allegha- “Read it," said the taciturn official. nies, I was back at my friend B- -'s, and Manthorpe read it, and found that the one morning set out with a heavy heart to pardon was based upon the statement under visit the bereaved family.

oath, by Miss Rurick, that in the encounter “ I was never more depressed; indeed, the with Girardet he had simply defended himhunting excursion spoken of had been made self, and that the deceased had come to his to distract my thoughts, if possible, from death by falling and striking his head upon that last scene which I had not the heart to a sharp flint in the road. When Miss Ruspeak of further. I remember sighing wea- rick made this statement she was dying of rily as I rode toward the small mountain yellow fever. It was the last cry of a guilty cottage, thinking that a world in which such conscience seeking relief from remorse.

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