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red-handed in a murder !” exclaimed “this is a fearful deed, and the punishGrayson, seeing Blake endeavoring to ment is equally dreadful. You know pull the knife from the wound. “Don't that I am a magistrate, and must disstab him again. Oh! Harry, Harry, charge my duty.” what have you done !"
“And will you send me to prison on Blake lei loose his hold on the such a charge as this?" repeated Blake knife, and started up as they advanced. bitterly. He looked hastily about him; made The old man was silent. one or two irresolute steps ; but before “Did you ever know me to lie, Cahe could make up his mind whether to leb?” said he. fly or not, Walton sprang from his “Never, Harry, never !" horse, and flung himself upon him. “And do you ihink I'd lie now?" “ Harry Blake, I charge you with mur “I don't know," replied Grayson, der!"
“I never before saw you when there Blake stared at him. “ Me with was so great a risk hanging over you. murder? Are you mad? Why, I Oh! Harry, Harry!" continued he, didn't kill him."
clasping his hands together and look“It won't do, Harry; it won't do,” ing at the young man, with an expressaid Walton bitterly, “ I saw you with sion in which terror and sorrow were the knife in your grasp-in his bosom strongly blended,—“I had rather met —and him dead. Oh! Harry! This any man than you, here. It will make is a sad ending of this afternoon's many a sad heart in this neighborhood. quarrel.”
Why did you not promise what Adams “Will you hear me?" said Blake asked ! or, rather, why did you leave us earnestly, “and you, Caleb-you are then!" older than Walton, and less impetuous, Blake shook his head, as he anlisten to me. I came here but a mo- swered: “ Caleb, what can I say more ment before yourself. I heard a person than I have! If I repeat what I have calling for help; and galloping up, just told you, you will not believe me. found Wicklife dead, with this knife I was coming along this road; heard driven in his heart; and was endeav- the screams of this man; galloped to oring to pull it out when you came up. the spot, and found him dead with a This is truth, so help me God! Don't knife in his breast. I got off my you believe me, Caleb ?”
horse to see what could be done for Grayson shook his head, as he re- him, and was drawing out the knife plied: "“ Would that I could, Harry; when you came up. Had you been but as I hope to be saved, I saw you two minutes sooner, and I one minute stab him, I did.”
later, I should have made the same Harry clasped his hands together, as charge against you, which you now he asked, “ And do you intend to swear make against me.”. to that? and to charge me with this “But the cry—the words: Mercy, deed ?"
mercy, Harry!' He uttered your “ There is no help for it as I see, said Grayson. " The man is murdered. “He did indeed," replied Blake," he If you didn't murder him, who did ? did, indeed; I heard it myself. But he Answer me that."
did not say Harry Blake. Harry, As he spoke, he proceeded to exam- you know, is not an unusual name. ine the body, to see if it retained any “It may be—it may be," said Graysigns of life; but it was rigid and mo son, “but still we must deliver you up; tionless, with its open eyes staring at and if you are innocent, God grant the sky, and the teeth hard set, as if that you may prove yourself so; but the spirit had gone, in agony. The unless my eyes deceive me, I saw you knife had been driven so truly, that it stab that man.” must have passed directly through the “If that is your belief, God help heart, and the blood which had gushed me!" said Blake solemnly, "for you from the wound, had already saturated must be a witness against me. if I the clothes through and through, and am charged with murder, such a fact formed a small pool in the road. sworn to would hang me. But you
“Harry Blake," said the old man, as have not even looked for another murhe drew the knife from the wound, derer than me. He may be hid some
where about here. Search in the no was trace of a murderer, other than bushes, and you may find him yet.- Harry Blake. At last they both came I'll not stir."
out and stood in the road. With a strange reliance on the word “Do you find nothing ?" inquired of the man, whom they would not be- Blake earnestly. lieve, when he asserted his innocence, Grayson shook his head, as he said: they left him, and commenced a search “ I didn't expect to; but you wished along the road. And there stood the me to look, Harry, and I had a hard culprit motionless—making no attempt duty to perform ; and so I thought I'd at escape, and watching them with an humor you first. I knew it was useearnestness, only accounted for by the less." fact that on their success his life de “Well, well," said Blake; everypended. At a short distance from the thing goes sadly against me. You spot, and in a part of the bank, on the musi do your duty. I am your priroadside, where Blake said that he had not been, there was a foot-print. It But," said he, seeing them moving was indistinct, but as far as could be to where the horses were, “ what do judged, when compared with Blake's you intend to do with that?” And he foot, it coincided in size and form. A pointed to the dead body. little further on, was another, and also " Catch me a-touching it!" said the marks of a struggle in the road. Walton. “ Caleb choose to pull the Here, too, were the same foot-prints; knife out of him. I wouldn't ha' done and these, too, in dimensions, corres it. It's the crowner's business, that is. ponded with the foot of Blake. We'll send him here. Come, Harry.
" It's singularly like mine,” said It isn'ı our fault—but you must come, Blake, placing his foot on the track.
“It had ought to be," said Walton Blake, without further remark, gravely; “unless your foot has alter- mounted his horse; and waiting until ed its shape, within the last five mi- they were also on theirs, they rode off nutes."
in company, taking the direction to the Blake made no reply to this insinua- residence of the nearest magistrate, tion, but stood looking with an expres- where, in due form, Harry Blake was sion of deep trouble at the foot-print. delivered over to the mercy of the In the meantime, the others continued law, and arrangements were made their search up and down the road, for the removal of the body of Wickand in the bushes. The marks of the liffe. struggle were numerous; but there
ABOUT five miles from the tavern men most branches, which towered so high tioned in the last chapter, stood a spa- aloft, that its voice, as it poured forth cious brick house, one story high, with its song, seemed carolling midway below eaves extending within reach of tween earth and sky. A sequestered the ground, and tall pointed windows, lane, crowded with trees, that drooped perched along its roof, as a substitute almost to a mounted horseman's head, for second story lights. It was a ve- led from the house to the highway, nerable, grey, old house, which seemed which was at least half a mile distant. to have dozed away, amid the great Altogether, it was
a rural, snug, shadowy trees which crowded about dreamy old house; and in it was one it, becoming hoary and antiquated, of the snuggest rooms, fitted up
with yet retaining an air of substantial com- little knick-knacks rare in those days fort. Creeping vines, of various kinds, --with snowy windows and bed curclambered about the windows, and in tains, and a bed as white and snowy fissures of the walls, forming a green as the curtains, fit only to be occupied, mat over much of the roof, and steal. as it was, by the most beautiful little ing up the trunks of the old trees; fairy of a girl that one's eyes had ever which formed the home of many a rested on, and that was Mary Linbird, who peeped into the narrow win- coln. dows, or mounted on one of the top At about eight o'clock, on the morn
ing of the day succeeding that in which thought belonged exclusively to her; occurred the incidents narrated in the and although she endeavored to bear last chapter, and in the small room just it cheerfully, yet at times she could mentioned, sat a very beautiful girl, not help thinking how snug and happy with glossy golden hair, engaged in and comfortable the old gentleman sewing; though it must be confessed would look if he were only snoring that her eye was more often wandering away in the easy arm-chair which through the window, and along that stood in the chimney corner, although deep vista-like lane, down which her it was but eight o'clock in the mornwindow looked, than fixed upon her ing. work; for it was nearly the hour at She threw aside her work, and was which Harry Blake usually contrived, rising for the purpose of adopting this on some pretext or other, to find his last plan, when she heard the dashing way to the house, to see how she was, of hoofs in the lane. “It's too late," and ask a few questions, and make a thought she, “ but I'll keep him waitfew remarks, the nature of which was ing," and down she sat, out of sight of best known to herself. That day, how the window, so that she could not see ever, he was behind his time; but still the new comer, for she did not wish she felt sure he would come. He had Harry should know that she had been said nothing about it; but she expected watching for him. The noise of the him as much as if he had; and was hoofs increased ; and the horseman endeavoring to select one out of half- dashed at full gallop to the door. This a-dozen slightly coquettish ways of was not like Harry. He generally receiving him, which just then pre- came fast enough along the road, but sented themselves to her mind. At he did not gallop to the door like a first she thought that she would keep madman. It was not respectful, and him waiting for her-a very little time she would tell him so; still, he might —just enough to make him more glad be in a hurry. It argued a strong deto see her, when she came; but then, sire to see her, and that was some palshe should be as much a sufferer as liation. There was evidently a stir be. he; for, impatient as he might be be- low, in front of the house, and she low, she would be equally so above; even heard his name mentioned. so she abandoned that.
Then she What could be going on there? She thought of taking her sewing in the wide was dying to know. There was no hall, and of stationing herself on one way of learning, unless she went to of the old settees which garnished its the window, so as to look over the sides, and that she would be there very projecting eaves of the house; and leisurely at work, and, of course, would ihen she could be seen. No, no; she not see him until he came up and spoke would not do that. Still the stir into her; or, perhaps, might accidentally creased, and she caught the sound go out just as he was coming in. That, of voices in earnesi conversation; too, she abandoned; and then she fan- but Harry's voice was not among cied that she would stroll out and meet them. She could hold out no longer. him in the lane; and, it must be con- She drew a chair near the window. fessed, that she inclined more towards and stood on it, at some distance this plan than either of the others; for from the glass; but still the envious she had accidentally met him in this eaves projected so as to shut out way before; and on these occasions all view of what was going on below. Harry always tied his horse to a tree, It was too bad !—but see she must. and walked with her to the house; She then went close to the window. and although the distance was short, But even there, nothing was visible; they sometimes consumed a great deal for the speakers were close under the of lime in going it, and he had an op- house, and not even the smallest tipportunity of saying much which not end of the coat skirt of one of them unfrequently he was unable to say at was visible. Poor Mary! she stood on the house ; for her father was almost tiptoe, and even on the chair, but still as fond of Harry as his daughter, and those unlucky eaves thrust themselves had so much to tell him about his between her and the object of her crops, and about this thing and that, wishes. She went back to her chair, and so much to ask him, that he some and sat herself down, wondering why times infringed upon time which Mary they built such ungainly old eaves and
cornices; which were fit only to annoy said she, and by way of verifying her
“ Don't come down here, Mary,” lected that she knew nothing definite said he.
of the evil which threatened Harry There was something in the tone of Blake. his voice, and in his manner, and even “ I can hear it now, father," said in this injunction, that caused Mary to she eagerly. “ Tell me at once, what stop, as if she did not understand him. has happened to him, and where he is.”
“Go to your own room, my child: “ He has been arrested, and is in we are very busy here."
prison,” said the old man, watching Mary half turned to go, for she saw her pale face, as she sat with her eyes that he was much agitated; but as she fastened on his, and the tears still on did so, the name of Harry escaped her her cheeks. lips.
“ Is that all ?" said she in a half He is not here,” said her father. whisper. “Tell me all-why is he “ Has anything happened to him?" there?" asked she, in a faint voice.
“ He has been arrested on a very seYes, yes," replied the old man. rious charge,” said the old man slowly, “ He's in trouble; but he is well. Go and by his manner endeavoring to preto your room, and I will be with you pare her for the communication he had in a few moments.”
to make. Mary got to her room, she scarcely “ Will it affect his life ?" demanded knew how, and threw herself on her she, at once catching at the heaviest bed, drowned in tears. “ He's well- punishment of the law. “ Will it thank God for that,” sobbed she. “I affect his life? Tell me that." am sure I'm very grateful that he's "If it is proved, it will," replied the not ill-very grateful--poor Harry old man. -in trouble, too, and I, like a good-for “ What is it? what is it?" said the nothing minx as I was, have been girl, rising and grasping his arm. “Fathinking all the morning of nothing but ther, tell me, I charge you, and on teasing him. He was too good for me. your word, tell me truly." They all told me so-so patient, so Her father put his arms around her, kind, so good-humored-and I—I'll and strained her to his bosom, and never forgive myself—I never will looked in her face without speaking, never !” She buried her face in her until she repeated her question. Then pillow, and sobbed there, until the door he said, in a scarcely audible voice, opened, and she felt her father's arm “ He stands accused of murder.” around her.
“ Murder !" ejaculated she faintly, He raised her, folded her tenderly to whilst her hands fell to her side. his bosom, and placed her in a chair. “ Charged with murder! Why, Harry
“ Courage, Mary, courage, my little Blake would not harm a worm.” girl,” said he, in a tone which certainly She exiricated herself from him, was not a model of what he recom- made something like a step, and had mended. “ Show yourself to be a wo not her father caught her, would have
fallen. She had fainted. · Yes, yes, father, I will, I will,” The old man hugged her to his bo
som again and again, kissed her lips will become of your peer
little and cheeks, and called her by name. Mary, if any harm should befall you?
“I knew it would kill her! I said But we won't talk of that,” said she it would kill her! My own dear, dar- quickly, for she observed that her ling little girl. Mary, Mary, speak to words sent a sort of spasmodic shiver. your old father! She's dead! She's ing over him. “We won't talk of it, dead!"
nor think of it. I'll come to see you Fortunately the noise made by Mr. every day, Harry, and will spend all Lincoln reached some of the females of the time I can with you, and we'll be the house, who better understood the quite merry and cheerful here; and I mode of administering to her illness. can fix up your room, and do many litBut it was not until he saw her eyes tle things to make everything neat open, and the faint color once more in and comfortable here; and I'll tell you her cheek, that Mr. Lincoln could be the news, and will read and sing to induced to quit the room.
you-Harry,” said she, placing her When she recovered, Mary was wil- hands on his shoulders, and lookiogrup ful, for once in her life. In spite of all in his face, “I'll sing the song you that they could say, she insisted that asked for yesterday, when I was vexed, her father should have the horses har- and refused. I'll sing it for you now, nessed to the waggon, and drive her dear Harry—I will—I'll never refuse it to the prison where Harry was. They again. Shall I sing it, Harry? Sball argued and entreated; they spoke of I, dear Harry ?" A painful sickly her ill health, of the danger to herself; smile flickered across her face; a sinbut it was idle. She said that they gle feeble word, the first of the song, were all against Harry; that he was like the faint warbling of a dying bird, innocent; that he declared himself so; escaped her lips, and she sank sensethat she believed him, and that go she less on his breast. would, if she went on her bare feet, “Take her away! Take her away !" that he might see that she at least was exclaimed Blake franticly, holding still true to him.
her out in his arms towards her father. At last they yielded to her importu “ Unless you would drive me mad, nity, and she took her seat at her fa- take her away!" ther's side. How unlike the light The old man seemed stupefied, but hearted girl she had been but a few he mechanically reached out his arms hours before. During the whole drive toward her; but Blake again caught she spoke not a word, but appeared so her to his bosom, and kissed her neck, calm, and comparatively so cheerful, face, hands, and even the long tresses that her father kept equally silent, un- that fell across his face; and then til they stopped in front of the gloomy reaching to her father, said, “There, old building in which the prisoner was go, go; don't stop another instant.” confined.
Mr. Lincoln took the frail form of As she entered bis room, and caught his child in his arms, and moved to the sight of him, she sprang forward, and door. clasping her arms about his neck, wept “One word, Mr. Lincoln," said like a child; and he, throwing his Harry; one word before we part. powerful arms about her, and clasping Whatever the result of this accusation her to his bosom, kissed her cheeks may be, even though it end in my-and lips in a strange passion of joy and deaih-Í am innocent. The time will grief.
come when I am proved so: and O! I “ I am come, Harry, I am come, beseech, if I lose my life, that you will said she at last. “ I have not deserted protect my memory with Mary.”.
The next instant he was alone; and “ Dearest Mary, you, at least, be- throwing himself upon a chair, he sat, lieve me innocent ?" said he, in a low with his face buried between his earnest voice, holding her off from hands, until aroused by the entrance of him, so that he could look in her face; the lawyer who had been retained by but without relaxing his hold on her his friends; and who now came to waist.
consult with him as to the sieps re“Yes, yes, I do, I do! I never doubted quisite for the management of his it for a moment. But O! Harry, this is defence. very dreadful-very dreadful. What