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them nothing; the expression is set. Your physi- the 300f. you promised to give him for the idea. ognomist is as great a fool as your lover, and just as Shall I pay him?" likely to be mistaken. No one except a born idiot,' “ To be sure." who is sealed on the forehead with idiotcy, would “So you really mean to write the play ?” carry his true inner character into the market world; “Yes.” and no woman ever does. But what we cannot “ Then I shall ask him for a formal conveyance perceive may not be so bad, and may be better than of all his rights to you, and give him his 300f.?" that which we think we can detect. Many persons “I wish you would." play a game of brag with those whom they meet in Brunswick received his 300f, six months before this respect, by assuming what is called an impene- the play was brought out, and when I paid him trable countenance. There is a necessity for this, those 300f. I did not know whether the play would as there is for reserve of every other kind. We see the foot-lights. Soon after Charlieu left, a young can no more with social decency express our hatred, Sicilian paid me a visit. His name was Amari. I contempt, love, horror, rage, or impatience on our had become intimate with him in a Carbonari lodge countenances, than we can the corresponding senti- while at Palermo in 1835. When we bade each ments in language. Motley in faces is our only wear other adieu we cut a playing-card into two pieces ; during life; in death we shall be fixed and consist- each of us took one piece and came to an underent, smiling and placid generally, until the worm standing that we should give the fragment to no has his turn at us where no one sees in the dark. one but a person in whom the utmost confidence
might be placed. He laid before me the half-card
which recalled all these things, and we talked freely M. DUMAS HAS THE FLOOR.
about the conspiracies organized in France and in M. ALEX. DUMAS gives in a late Paris newspaper Sicily. He detected my mind wandering away the following history of “ Mlle. de Belle Isle," and from the subject of conversation, and asked : “ Your - Les Demoiselles de Saint Cyr," his brilliant come- wits are wool-gathering ?” I confessed. “They dies:
are. You have (by unconsciously doing me a great In 1834 Brunswick one morning called at my service) made me absent-minded." He replied: “I lodgings. He came from the Porte St. Martin am very glad to hear I have been of service to you. Theatre, to whose manager he had read a piece in Will you tell me the way?" two acts. The manager had rejected it. Giving “I have for four years been trying to invent the me the manuscript play he asked me to read it, tell first scene of a comedy otherwise ready for performing me the manager had positively refused to have ance; my invention has been barren; what I have anything to do with it. I read it. The scene took in vain sought you have given me with that halfplace ainong our contemporaries. The characters card.” T was true. I was in possession of the represented were persons of the middle classes. scene of the sequin. In a fortnight my brain had
The play was built on the disappearance of the the comedy written on it, and I need scarcely add heroine, who was unable to say where she had been. I could receive no such thing as help in writing so There was no allusion to a broken ring made in it. elegant a play as "Mlle. de Belle Isle.” The gift I The whole play, and especially its execution, was as possess of writing from my mind a play from beginbad as bad could be. I told Brunswick I approved ning to end, gave rise to a singular occurrence. In the manager's rejection of the play. Nevertheless a fortnight after the young Sicilian's visit I called at Brunswick left the play with me, and said “ an im- the French Comedy to request the actors to appoint agination like mine” conld do something with the some time when they could hear me read the play. little which was in the piece. He called on me to them. I have said my brain had the comedy again in a month from then. I had examined his written on it. It so happened the day I called was piece attentively. It might be turned into a piece, a Saturday. This is committee-day at the French but the necessary developments were so great as to Comedy, so I was sure to find all the actors at the alarm me, for they led to nothing less than a five- theatre. Mlle. Mars asked me, in her dry tone of act historical comedy. Nevertheless my refusal to voice, “Do you request a reading ?” “I do, write the play was not positive, so I asked Bruns- Mademoiselle.” “What do you intend reading, a wick what were his conditions of colabor. He said : tragedy or a comedy?” “ 'Tis a comedy.” “Do * As cheap as you could desire; for I look on the you propose giving me a part in it?" "Yes, Madeplay as hopeless. If you will pay me 300f. I shall moiselle, I should offer you the leading part." "So be well contented.” I replied, —
well and so good; what day would you read ? " • That certainly is cheap enough; but I reserve“ As suits you best.” “The play is written I supthe right to increase the 300f."
pose?" "Not one word of it." "I thought you Ile responded: “I grant you that right, but not said just now it was ready?” “So I did, and so I the right to give me less than 300f."
repeat; but it is not written." “ Then would three “I accept your condition, as less than 300f. would months suit you?” “A week would suit me betbe notbing."
ter.” “Pshaw! do you mean to say a week 's After this conversation four years elapsed. The enough to enable you to write a play ? " “ To be whole play was written, all oncept the first scene of sure I do." "Then 't is a three-act comedy ?" it, that scene in which a sequin is broken. At last " The comedy is in five -- not three – acts." Brunswick, becoming tired of waiting for his 300f., “Nonsense!" The actors had collected around sent Charlieu to me. “Do you intend to write the Mlle. Mars and me, and Mlle. Mante echoed, play whose idea you took from Brunswick ? ” said be. Nonsense ? What's nonsense ?" Mlle. Mars • Certainly."
answered, “Would ye believe it? This gascon is * When ?
trying to persuade me he has a piece ready, asks “O, as for that, - I have not so much as found—"| leave to read it to-day, se'ennight, and yet vows the * The catastrophe ?"
first word of it is still unwritten!" Therenpon I "No. The commencement. Why do you ask?" said, " I propose to do more than that. Would you ** Brunswick sent me. He would like to receive hear it at once, I'm ready." Mlle. Mars rejoined, “To-day? At this hour?” I answered, “ There is nothing to tell,” replied Fred, seating “ If such be your pleasure. 'Tis committee-day. himself on the corner of the table and swinging his All the actors are here. Summon the secretary of legs backwards and forwards lazily. “ This mornthe theatre. Stand in a semicircle round the ing I got a letter from an old fellow in the country, hearth, and I shall read, or rather narrate, to you reminding me — as if I could remember it - that • Mlle. de Belle Isle.'” Mlle. Mars exclaimed: “Your he and my father had been friends thirty years ago, piece is called · Mlle. de Belle Isle'?” I answered, and asking me down to his place for a few days' * It is.” She replied, “ We accept your offer.” The shooting, with permission to bring a friend if I liked." actors formed themselves into a semicircle around “And his niece that you told me of, the heirme, and I laid before them the play in so full a man- ess? ” said I. ner, Mlle. Mars insisted the vote should be taken at “0, of course he did not mention her,” said once. She feared I might give her part to some other Fred; "and I merely tell you because, if you choose actress. The vote was unanimously in favor of the to put yourself under my guidance, I may be the piece. A se'ennight afterwards I read the play means of helping you to a good thing. You know," from the manuscript to the actors. The play was he added more deliberately, « how disinterested brought out in some three or four months. What my assistance can be after the little confidences we you say about the notes which passed between exchanged last night.” Brunswick and me is true.* Although he was “True," said I, charmed with the recollection, strictly entitled to only 300f. he did receive 3,000f. “ your pretty cousin, — the secret engagement – ” for a play which the manager of the Porte St. Mar- “ Yes,” interrupted Fred; “ you know all about tin rejected, and which he had absolutely aban- it; and we know more about each other than most doned for five years. The history you give of “Les fellows; so it was natural I should think of you as Demoiselles de St. Cyr" is erroneous. This same companion for my holiday, and I'm right glad Brunswick, who pocketed, instead of 300f., 3,000f., you ’re inclined for the trip." visited me subsequently, bringing de Leuven with So saying, and silencing my renewed protestations him. The object of their visit was to lay the idea of of pleasure, Fred left me, appointing a rendezvous a play before me. This idea proved "Les Demoi- at the first train leaving for our destination, some selles de St. Cyr.” After hearing their ideas I ac- two or three hours later. cepted them upon condition they should abandon Fred Clayton and I had been schoolfellows in our the play entirely to me, they surrendering it in early days, and many of his vacations were spent in every respect absolutely to me. I agreed, on my my father's house. Of late years, however, he had part, to content myself with two fifths of the copy lived exclusively in London ; like me, a young aspiright; from that day to this they have received rant to the uncertain honors of the bar, but, unlike three fifths of the copyright.
me, possessing a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and never without a superabundance of invi
tations to dinners, balls, and concerts ; for Fred was A FLATTERING REMINISCENCE. said to be very popular, especially in ladies' society.
Except in the mere fact that we were both young“ A BEAUTY! an heiress! an eccentric guardian,
| er sons without any expectations, there was but little whose invitation includes any friend you like to take
resemblance between Fred Clayton and Jack Harris. with you for a few days' shooting. Why, my dear
My residence in London only dated back a few Fred, you have bound me to you forever by your se
months, and already the great city possessed no lection of myself. I feel quite a new man already;
charm for me; I pined for the country, for freedom, for I must confess that, when you came in just now,
and for the active life of home. I might, indeed, I was suffering from an unusually desperate fit of
with the assistance of Clayton, or through letters of the blues."
introduction from members of my own family, have “ Consequent, in a remote degree, on last night's
procured fashionable invitations, and received partial supper," suggested Fred Clayton, "and a good deal
| toleration in society; but the prospect of a crush, also on the way you remain cooped up in these dis
heated rooms, and strange faces, was a thought of mal quarters."
terror to my timid nature, especially with the underFred glanced contemptuously round my dingy
lying chance of presentation to a young lady, and Temple chambers as he spoke, - a survey scarcely
| the unhappy knowledge that my deficiencies in the necessary, considering their intimate resemblance to
art of small talk would make such a chance a perhis own adjoining rooms. However, I forbore any
spective martyrdom. No; I confessed in my own remark; indeed the delightful prospect just pre
| heart that society was not my forte; other talents ) sented to me absorbed all my attention, and I
certainly bad, — deeper, more intrinsic merits than grasped my friend's hand in a fever of gratitude.
those that passed for genuine in a ball-room, – but " Tell me all about it,” I said, “ and how you
they were merits to develop in an atmosphere of came to think of me."
peacefulness and repose ; qualities to expand in the
quiet of a domestic hearth; and a thrill of joy shot * M. Dumas refers to this paragraph in the article which he cor
through me as, cramming every available article of rects by the card we translate : “Mlle, de Belle Isle was, as all theatre-goers know, singularly successful. When Brunswick saw the favor the play commanded, he began to say to himself, may be after all he was the author of M. Alex. Dumas's comedy. There
dwell on a brilliant possibility, that Clayton's words upon he wrote his colaborer,' complimenting him on his good luck had evoked. An heiress, and a beauty, — a country in buying so much fame for a beggarly 300f. M. Dumas answered this note at once, saying: 'I am obliged to you, my dear friend,
beauty of course; blushes and simplicity, and rich, for your kindness in taking your share in the good luck which has – how rich? Rich enough to live on a grand fallen on me at the French Comedy. It would appear - do be
estate ; to keep a large stud; to dispense princely good enough to let me direct your attention to this circumstanceI am better at dialogue than at figures, for I quite forgot to add a
| hospitality? I must ask Fred. This, however, was zero to the price we agreed on for the purchase of “your” piece. secondary. I would not of course acknowledge It is not 300f., but 3,000f., my dear Brunswick, it is worth, and these
myself to be mercenary. Love must come first; 3,000f. are herein enclosed.'
"ALEXANDRE DUMAS.” I love independent of fortune,
* Like Dian's kiss, unasked, unsought
a dog-cart was in waiting to receive us; and after Love gives itself, but is not bought.”
a rather cold drive of a couple of miles we reached So I assured myself; but then, in all candor, I did our destination. not anticipate any very great difficulty on this score, Mr. Merrick's, or Miss Efling's, house, - for I did for I had ever been painfully susceptible of the ten- not know to whom it actually belonged, was a der passion. Finally, for success, I must trust some- large handsome building, situated in a fine park, what to my own individual attractions (and here a with undulating lawn and well-planted trees; so nervous tremor seized me), and not a little to the much I was able to perceive in the growing darkness. co-operation of my friend, for whose pre-engagement Our arrival had been heralded by a handsome I was more gratified than I liked to acknowledge to pointer that we found reposing on the terrace; and myself.
on alighting, we were met by Mr. Merrick, who
treated me to a long and most unequivocal stare, II.
and after greetings and introductions, hurried us off “FIFTY thousand pounds," said Clayton, in answer to our several apartments to prepare for dinner. to my inquiries, when we had secured a coupé to I shall never forget that dressing. I had heard ourselves, and were preparing it for the comfort of so much of first impressions, I believed in them so all future travellers by lighting our cigars; “ fifty implicitly, that my anxiety to produce the proper thousand, my boy, and the estate, if you consent to effect almost amounted to frenzy, and I could have take her name.""
| strangled Fred Clayton for his coolness and equa" Her naine! What is her name ?” I asked. nimity, when he good-naturedly came into my room
" Effing,– Miss Effing," he replied. “And now, to accompany me down through the ordeal of a first if you think the attempt worth making, I will let appearance in the drawing-room. you know how the land lies, and give you a sketch Miss Effing was there; and the moment I saw of your campaign. The time is short, and of course her, I understood the failure of all former suitors; I cannot insure you a second invitation if all is not I realized the almost superhuman effort that would concluded during our present trip. Now then, old be necessary voluntarily to resign such companionfellow, pro or con ?"
ship for that of the superannuated uncle, and reMy reply was given with a fervor quite warranted solved to steel myself by the constant recollection by the occasion.
of my predecessors' fates. Graceful, witty, and Fred Clayton threw himself back in his seat, and lively to a degree, no wonder the old man dreaded after arriving, by much perseverance, at a suffi- to lose the sunlight of her presence, and the affecciently comfortable position, he began his instruc- tionate charm of her manner towards himself. tions, interrupted only by an occasional puff at his With exemplary fortitude I dashed at my task, cigar, which momentary pause rendered his words and before the evening was over found myself, to all the more impressive; at least I fancied so my great surprise, established as the chosen com
“Our great difficulty," said he, “is the uncle, Mr. panion of Mr. Merrick. I listened with admirablyMerrick, — his name is Merrick. I told you before got-up-interest to long, dreary anecdotes of his past he was eccentric; but that is not the word, — ex- experiences, comprising minute details of the dates acting' describes him better. He is awfully exact and even the hours at which people, long since ing, and possesses immense influence over his niece; dead, had been born, — the memories of these old an influence so great that his choice would be hers, people are always prodigious ! — and submitted to even were she not still under age, which I believe an account of his present devotion to the collecting she is. My dear fellow, all depends upon the impres- of minerals, which now occupied all his time, except sion you make in that quarter. I cannot exaggerate during the shooting season, for the old gentleman the importance of devoting yourself from the very was very proud of still being able to carry a gun. first to Merrick, — studying his tastes, sharing his Of course I immediately professed myself an enpleasures, and attaching him firmly to your inter- thusiast on the subject of mineralogy, and was forthests. The old fellow is so selfish in insisting on with carried off in triumph to a large cavernous den, these attentions that I don't think, were I even free, to admire what he called his specimens. I could stand enough of his society to insure success. The examination of these hideous little bits of tin But there's no knowing, the prize is well worth and stone lasted, what appeared to me, about two winning, and perfectly attainable through him, and hours; and when, ultimately, we returned to the through him alone."
drawing-room, human nature asserted its rights, "And about Miss Effing?" I inquired.
and unconsciously I stole over to the piano, where "Miss Effing is a charming girl," said Fred; Miss Effing's fairy fingers were wandering listlessly “quite young, and ready to believe anything bad over the keys; while Fred Clayton stood beside her of a lover her uncle condemns. Being an heiress looking through some music. Immediately a warnand a beauty she has already received several pro- ing glance from Fred recalled me to a sense of danposals, but all have been rejected in consequence of ger, and turning in the direction of Mr. Merrick I the suitors having had the egregious folly to pay perceived an unmistakable scowl upon his face, as more attention to the niece than to the uncle." T h e watched the party. Hastening to his side, I suc
So then the uncle was the only real difficulty ; ceeded partially in removing it, by the proposal of not a very grave one, I thought. At all events, a game of chess, which absorbed all his faculties, forewarned was forearmed, and I inwardly vowed and agonized all mine, till the general move was to tax my patience to the utmost for so great a made for retiring. stake. At the moment it never occurred to me how As I approached Miss Eling to wish her good remarkably well-informed Clayton appeared on all night, I overheard the old tyrant remark, condethat concerned our future hosts. I was only too scendingly, to Fred, "Your friend is an intelligent glad to find him so well able to advise me, and per- fellow; we sympathize, and I like him; rather suhaps a little relieved that the great result did not in-perficial in mineralogy, but we must try and remedy volve much courtship or attendance on a young lady. that by making the most of our time, as your stay
We were not long in arriving at the station, where will not extend beyond a few days. In fact the
young man quite interests me: I wish you had his was speedily represented, and Fred's answer, as tastes, Frederick."
usual, concise. So virtue was rewarded, and I had made a good - You have been admirable,” he asserted, “ and impression.
deserve, I must admit, immense credit for so fully
carrying out our plans; and I feel that I cannot III.
congratulate myself or you too heartily. Now, perThe next morning we started early, intent on the ceive the result: the old fellow swears by you, and wholesale slaughter of partridges; and on this oc- I have drawn Miss Effing's attention to the high casion Fred hurt his hand so severely as to incapaci- opinion entertained of you by her uncle. Of course, tate him from joining our future expeditions ; in to alter your line of conduct now, would be to defact, every possible combination of circumstances stroy everything. You would be accused of a rizse, favorable to my advancement in the good graces of suspected of intentions, and summarily ejected. Mr. Merrick seemed to surround me. To say what Consistency, my dear fellow, believe me, unvarying an effort it required to submit cheerfully to his per- consistency, is your only course, - unremitting depetual presence would be impossible. He appeared, votion to the ogre; delicate diffidence towards the after a little, to regard my continual companionship niece; and on the morning of our departure, when as a matter of course ; and so well had I acted my the near prospect of losing his congenial spirit, as he part, that the man actually believed I enjoyed his calls you, has unnerved our friend, a solemn intersociety. Presuming, therefore, on my established view in the library, a formal proposal, and you repopularity, I ventured casually, on an occasion that turn to town an engaged man! Is it not as clear appeared favorable, to introduce the subject of his as daylight ? - straightforward and inevitable in niece into one of our conversations.
every point, because so simple. You retain your “Ah," said he, and his face grew hard instantly, pedestal, remain consistent, and the result comes “ Bella requires to be watched closely. She is so about quite naturally, through and in consequence honest and noble-minded herself, that she cannot of that very consistency." understand the mercenary designs of the butterflies I looked at Fred with admiration : everything apthat flutter about her. But I never lose sight of peared so feasible when detailed by him in a few her; I am always there to ward off artful attentions, simple words; his very tones of semi-indifference had and keep would-be suitors at bay. I am always a wondrous power of conviction ; and, moreover, my there, and I shall be always there ; but,” he added, own common sense responded to the assertion that a changing his tone, which had been growing excited, change of manner would be fatal. I saw my way “it is well we are free from such intruders at pres- now straight before me, plain and easy as an ordient. I have never seen so little of my niece as du- nary transaction of life, and the horizon grew bright ring your visit. You have made me forget myself with hope. and her ; but then it is only once in a lifetime that Warmly thanking my friend for the invaluable one may meet so congenial a spirit as yours; and, benefit of his shrewd sense and convincing advice, as for Frederick, Bella knows, and he would not I withdrew to my room, my mind filled with more dare now," - He stopped with a growl.
sanguine projects, more tangible hopes, than I had Mr. Merrick was then aware of Clayton's secret | yet indulged in, since the beginning of my advenengagement. This accounted for what had already ture. somewbat puzzled me, - his apparent indifference to the young and fascinating lawyer's constant tête
IV. à-tête with his niece; but his marked emphasis on At length the momentous morning dawned. We the word now solved the incongruity, and also be- had prolonged our few days' stay to a week, and trayed what would have been his tactics, had he not our host had evidently determined not to renew his felt secure; and yet such knowledge argued a more invitation, spite of the manifest pleasure my comintimate association with Fred's affairs than I should pany gave him ; so, almost before I could realize it, have expected from a man whose present hospitality the eventful day arrived. was founded on a thirty-years-ago acquaintanceship I passed a sleepless and disturbed night, several with his father ; but, on reflection, I detected in it times starting from a confused, dreamy rehearsal of an act of generosity on the part of my friend, who the interview I intended demanding in the morning, had evidently taken the old man into his confidence, to fancy I heard whispering voices and confused to set his mind at ease, and leave him perfectly free sounds about the house, quite impossible at that late to be won over by me.
hour. Visions floated before me of the already apSo time wore on, and, as the day fixed for our de proaching future; the events of the last few days parture approached, I began to feel a trifle qualmish, seemed to spread back over half my life, so great in spite of the undeniable favor shown me by Mr. was the importance attached to their issue ; and now Merrick. It was all very well to have secured the the culminating point was reached, I felt already uncle, -if I had secured him; but was I certain of the foreshadowing of my victory; for, had I not fulsecuring the niece? I had scarcely exchanged half filled every condition? — had I not accomplished a dozen words with her. Old Merrick had remorse- the task in which every other competitor had failed ? lessly absorbed every second of my time, - the And the question of the young lady's possible oppocovers all day, mineralogy and chess all the evening, sition was merely doubtful enough to give excitetill the very sight of a chess-board generated a nau- ment to the dénouement. Did not all young ladies sea that I have never since got rid of; and the sus- first oppose, and ultimately yield, with very little picion that the lady had been too much overlooked persuasion, to all parents and guardians ? How in our calculations, suddenly struck me with an un- much more so then in the present case, where the comfortable sensation of doubt.
circumstances were so exceptionally strong in my I determined to speak to Fred, and seized the favor! opportunity that evening, when Miss Effing had re- I had not been long awake, and was debating in tired, to propose a cigar on the terrace, - a propo- my own mind whether or not to start on an early sition to which Fred readily consented. The case walk, and by a dose of fresh air to brace up my
shattered nerves and stimulate them for the coming “ Please, sir, Mr. Merrick wishes to speak to you." scene, when I was startled from my cogitation by a The door of my room was wide open, and on its tap at the door, and almost immediately Mr. Mer- threshold stood the old butler, grave and severe of rick's valet stood before ine. This was a most un aspect. I followed him silently, too full of bitterness precedented occurrence; hitherto a servant had for words, but solacing myself with the reflection never entered my room without being summoned, that in my host I should find a thorough sympathizer and this man seldom even then.
in my overwhelming anger and indignation. A vague presentiment of evil seized me, and I I was ushered into a small sitting-room, where Mr. turned uneasily to look at him. One glance sufficed ; Merrick, in a flaming red dressing-gown, and absohe was ghastly pale, and seemed half insane with lutely purple with fury, was pacing up and down alarm, Utterly unable to conjecture the cause, but like a wild beast in a cage. Before I could open certain that something terrible must have happened, my lips he turned sharply round on me, and roared I gasped, " What is it?"
out, -"So, sir, do you know I have sent for the “O, sir! don't you know ?" said he, -" are police? Do you know you can be taken up for this you sure you don't know? They 're gone, sir, - conspiracy? I see it all now, the infamous plot, bolted,- Mr. Fred and Miss Bella, - the two of and the part you were brought here to play. Fool them, and the new maid, off in a post-chaise three that I was !"-"But, Mr. Merrick," I began. good hours ago; and who's to tell the governor I “Silence !” he exclaimed. “Do you dare to don't know; I dare n't."
taunt me? Have I not forbid Frederick Clayton The man might have gone on speaking forever, - this house scores of times ? and, in letting Bella ask in fact he did go on; but beyond those few first him here for a few days, could I refuse her first rewords, not a syllable was intelligible to me. My quest on coming of age ? Could I turn a guest, first impulse was to bound up and strangle him then though uninvited, out of a house that was not my and there, but the effort was a miserable failure, and own? A guest, indeed !-a swindler, a blackI fell back powerless, paralyzed.
guard, probably paid to amuse the uncle, and keep No suspicion of a possible mistake; no crumb of him off the scent." comfort in a momentary feeling of incredulity, sus- His voice rose higher and higher as he proceeded; tained me; the man's manner bore the stamp of at the end he actually shrieked. But this was untruth; his terror was too real, his statement too bearable. My own temper had been severely tried, concise to leave room for a doubt. It was by no and endure more I could not. process of reasoning, by no mental review, by no “Mr. Merrick," I said, hotly, “such language, recapitulation of events that the light broke in on even under the circumstances —" me, but suddenly, in an instant, with the violence of “Can't you leave off acting even now?” he burst a galvanic shock, I realized how completely I had in. “Confound your gaping look of innocence! been sold, utilized, taken in!
Do you see this ?” he cried, exhibiting a crushed At last, a movement on the part of the servant letter, which he kept clenched in his hand. “They attracted my attention; he was handing me a letter, are married by this time, and your villany has so far and had probably been describing how it came into succeeded; but the triumph shall not last long. I his possession, but of this I had not heard a word. will hunt the scoundrel and his contemptible accomMy sensations can be neither imagined nor described plice -- yes, you through every law court in Euwhen, on looking at it, I recognized the writing of rope; I will publish his infamy in every newspaper, my traitorous friend. Had the viper left his sting and proclaim it throughout the civilized world! there? I hesitated to touch the dishonored paper. You shall not escape me, you shall not !”. At that moment a violent ringing of bells an- The madman shook his fist in my face, and glared nounced Mr. Merrick's levée ; and throwing the at me like a tiger; but, staggered as I was by such note on the table, the distracted valet rushed from revelations and accusations, I nevertheless made one the room, muttering "I cannot tell it, - I cannot; more attempt at a protest. “Your nephew — " Thomas must go to him."
I began. Alone with my enemy, I screwed up my courage "My nephew!” he yelled, “ do you think that and broke the seal. The note was short, and ran reptile is my nephew? No, my fine keeper, I am no as follows:
longer your dupe ; I can see now through your shal"DEAR JACK, — Pray accept my best thanks.
| low shamming, and I order you to leave my house.
Do you hear leave it instantly, or I will bid my But for your efficient aid we could never have suc
servants kick you out," he cried, pointing to the cessfully hoodwinked old Argus. You are an apt
door as he spoke. pupil, and I sincerely wish you equal success in all
I hesitated; Fate seemed too cruel. I felt that your future undertakings. “ Yours, by all the bonds of gratitude,
the smallest justification or explanation would lessen "FRED CLAYTON."
my misery ; but before a sound could pass my lips, "P.S. -- Bella insists on apologizing; so I enclose.”
he had raised his hand with the savage menace, –
* One word more and I give the order." There was then another epistle! I looked about: There was nothing for me but to retreat; and reit had fallen on the floor. I opened it mechanically, treat I accordingly did from the room and from the and read,
house, leaving instructions with the servants to send * DEAR MR. HARRIS, — I hope you will forgive my belongings to the railway station, - that station Fred. What he did was for my happiness. We from which I had driven only a few days before have long been attached, and secretly engaged; but with such pleasurable emotions and ambitious my uncle was so obdurate and so vigilant, that an hopes. elopement was our only refuge, and, but for your Mr. Merrick's unexpected reading of the case assistance, could not have been effected. Trusting had indeed brought my wrongs to a climax. It soon to receive from your own lips pardon for a harm- was not enough to have been the tool, the dupe, the less stratagem, believe me, yours (by the time you catspaw of one I believed my best friend; I was also receive this), * BELLA CLAYTON EFFING." to be stigmatized as the confederate, the paid agent