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me shrink to the far side of the room, and there, the moment of leaving him, I returned suddenly, as trembling, and with hair erect, and eyes fixed be- if I had recollected something. “By the by, Lieufore me, remain for more than twenty minutes, lis- tenant," I said, " did Dutertre 'happen to pay you a tening through the throbbing of my heart, and visit last night?” vainly endeavoring, with the pressure of my hand, A shudder passed through him. to stay its wild pulsations. At the end of that time “Dutertre?” I mechanically closed the window, took my lamp, “Yes; he has been out since yesterday, - nobody mounted the stairs to my chamber, and went to knows what has become of him. I suppose —” bed; but it was impossible for me to close an eye. | “Nobody has been to see me," he said, in a dry I heard sighs, - the long-drawn sighs of the victim, tone of voice; “nobody." - then the savage peal of laughter.
He returned to his book, and I closed the door, as Worn out and needing rest as I was, fright kept convinced of his crime as I was that the sun was me awake. I saw constantly before me the image shining in the sky. Unfortunately I had no proofs. of Castagnac in his shirt, his neck outstretched, “ If I denounce him," I said to myself on regaining watching his victim's descent into the black depths my room, “he 'll deny everything I may say, — that of the precipice; it froze my blood. “It was he,” is evident; if he denies it, what proof of the facts I said to myself.“ But if he ever suspects that I can I bring forward ? None. My own testimony was there !" I seemed to bear the boards of the would not suffice. Besides, crimes of this kind are corridor creak under a stealthy footstep; and I not provided for by the laws. All the odium of the raised myself upon my elbow, with open mouth and accusation would fall back upon my own head, and listening ear. The sirocco had risen; it whirled I should have made a terrible enemy.” over the plain with lugubrious moanings, carrying In consequence of these reflections, I determined even to the summit of the rock the sand and gravel to wait, and to watch Castagnac without appearing of the desert. Sleep at last seized upon me, how to do so, persuaded that he would end in betraying ever; and towards three o'clock I sank into a heavy himself. I went to the Commandant of the place, slumber. It was broad day when I awoke; the and simply reported to him the disappearance of wind of the preceding night had fallen, and the Lieutenant Dutertre. deep blue sky was so calm and pure that I doubted On the following day, some Arabs coming to my recollections, and thought that I had been under Constantine, with their asses laden with vegetables, the influence of a horrible dream.
said that from the road to Philippeville, they had But I felt a strange disinclination to verify my seen a uniform hanging to the high rocks of the impressions. I went to fulfil my professional du- Kasba, with birds of prey flying about in hundreds, ties; and it was not until after I had visited all my and filling the air with their cries. They had seen sick-wards, and examined each of my patients with the remains of Raymond. It was a task of infinite more than my ordinary care, that I at last went to difficulty to recover them by means of ropes and Dutertre's room. I knocked at the door, — no ladders. The officers of the garrison devoted themanswer. I opened it and went in: his bed had not selves for one or two days to this strange adventure: been disturbed. I called the nurses and questioned they made a thousand commentaries on the probathem; nobody had seen Lieutenant Dutertre since ble circumstances of the event, then chatted on the preceding evening.
some other subject, and finally returned to their Rousing all my courage I went to Castagnac's dominoes and piquet. room. A rapid glance towards the window showed Men every day of their lives exposed to the risk me that two squares of glass in it were broken; I of sudden death have no great stores of sympathy felt myself turn pale, but recovered my coolness as one for the other: Jacques dead, Pierre replaces quickly as I could. “We had a high wind last him; and the regiment is immortal, - Raymond night, Lieutenant," I said.
Dutertre's death was soon forgotten. He was tranquilly seated at his table, his head supported by his hands, and making believe to read a book of military exercises. He looked up with his dull, ordinary look. “Only two windows blown My position in the midst of the general indifferin," he said ; " not much harm done."
ence was hard to bear; my silence weighed upon “ This chamber appears to be more exposed than me like remorse. The sight of Lieutenant Castagthe others on this side,” I said; "or, perhaps, you nac filled me with indignation, - a sort of insurleft it open!”
mountable repulsion: the wan look, the ironical There was an almost imperceptible contraction of smile of the man, froze my blood. I was sure, too, the old soldier's cheeks. « No, - it was closed, all that he watched me from a distance, as if to read the night,” he said, looking strangely at me. mý inmost thoughts; and these furtive looks of his
“Ah!” I said ; then approached him to feel his did not at all tend to reassure me as to my personal pulse." And how is your health ? "
safety * "I'm all right,” he said.
“ He suspects something," I said to myself; “if he “Good," I replied ; “ you are decidedly better, were sure, I should be lost; for he is a man that a little agitated at this moment, but decidedly bet- would stick at nothing." ter. In a fortnight, Lieutenant, you will be yourself! These ideas imposed on me an intolerable reagain, I promise. But then you must take care of straint; my labors suffered from it, and I resolved yourself; - no more green poison !"
to free myself from my state of incertitude at any In spite of the good-natured tone I assumed, my price. But how? Providence came to my aid. I voice trembled. The old scoundrel's hand, which I was leaving the hospital one afternoon about three held in mine, produced upon me the same effect as o'clock, when the corporal-nurse came to me with a if it had been a serpent's head. I could have small sheet of paper which he bad found in Raywished to fly from his presence. His restless eye mond's tunic. was fixed upon me, and its glance filled me with "It's a letter from a woman called Fatima," said nameless horror. I contained myself, however. At the man; “it appears that the creature had some sort of ik ne to: Lieutenant Dutertre, and I thought her as fair and fresh to look upon as the new-blova von wou ILE* to use this letter.**
Hiir, her lips rost and perfumed as the queen of for Tue realize of the letter filied me with astonisi ere, ber teeth as Deariy as those of the young jackall" unt: it was very rich and did little more than - But my lord doctor,“ cried the Mussula. ilitate the sun and that place of a proposed meet-, - Fatimz in not oid : on the contrary, she is youn: w but what a reverat.01. was in the signatur: apo wattiti enout to be the pride of a sultan:
du tbet.I wald i myself. this woman, whose; - I know it: iut she mar berome old. I wish to Katie Casaya, iar called out so often in his delire, see ber. Bemember. Sidi Houmaium, all TOT ium. peal ji - and love Dutertre 11 no promises of service to me." Know? i wa to meet ber, possibiy, that Raymond - Siire such is tht will of my lord,” replied Sih wanted l i ve him perinission to leave tue bor HonmajuL. * return bither to-morrow at the SAD pita. Ya, the letter is dated the 5d of Juir. It bour. but let him remember weli what I say 10 mine bay' Poor feliow' not being able to leave 'him: Fatima makes a shameful use of her beauty." tist tu pitu channg tu day, he ventured, during the Do not be uneast on my account: I will not for. fusut, alony that terrible path, and there Castag- get what you have told me." bat awaited binn: *
After presenting my hand to the good man, I took While € tuousta were passing in my mind. I my departure with the same slow and majestic step e vendeu o 18 vast of the rock on which the bos as that with which I had arrived. You may imagine prtal was buit, and found myself in front of a low bow impatientir lawaited the bour of my rendezvous vauit of brick. ODPD to the wind, according to the With Sidi Houmaium: I couid not control mr impaOriental u-uur. At tie back of this rauit, a cer- tience: a hundred times I listened for the cry of the tain Sidi Houmanum, armed with a long wooder muetzn. and even chatted with a sentinel to bil kadle, and wasriy seated on his haunches, was stir- time. At length the verse of the Koran sounded in ng into an eartuen vessel full of boiling water the the air, from minaret to minaret, over the indolent perfomed powder of Moka. It is only right that I citt. I flew to Sidi Houmaium's, and found the tuowd tell you that I had cured Sidi Houmaium of wortbr coffee-sbop keeper closing his establishment a lialignant skin diseast, against which the doctors - Well?" I inquired, out of breath. of his country trad yainly employed all their pana - Fatima is waiting to see yon, my lord," replied ecas ani amita Tbe good fellow showed me real | Sidi Houmaiam. gratituie in mare All around his botéga, or coffee- He fastened his shop, and then, without further Nop there was a ivan covered with cushions. on explanation walked ofi abead of me. As be went which were svad five or six Moons, wearing the forward without once turning his head, and with his ni ter with a tassel of blue silk; all sitting with i bernour almost sweeping the ground, I could bear cromed brun and hall-closed eyes, the chitruk in bim reciting I know not what litanies, in Arabic. tbrir lips, tanto in silence the aroma of the tobacco After awhile. quirting the high street, he entered of Turkey an' tut bean of Tonguin
the narrow passage of Suma, in which two persons I cannot tell you why the idea had suddenly come cannot walk abreast. Tbere, in the black mire of into my mind of consulting Sidi Houmaium. It was the gutter, under wretched stails, swarm a popalaone of this strange impulses that are not to be ex- tion of sboemakers, morocco-embroiderers, dealers plained. tive causes of which are untraceable. I in Indian spices, aloes, dates, and rare perfumes ; entered the busiya with a solemn step, to the great some going and coming with an apathetic air, others bewildernavut of its occupante, and took my place squatted with their legs crossed under then, dreamop the divan pidi lioumanum, without appearing ing of heaven only knows what, in the midst of an to reagoize me, came and presented me with a atinospbere of blue smoke, which escapes from their chilupuki arvi a cup of boiling-bot coffee. I sipped mouth and nostrils at one and the same time. the beverave, putied at the chibouk: time moved Suddenly, in one of the innumerable turnings of *lowly, ani vowards six o'clock the sanctified voice the passage, Sidi Houmajam stopped before a low of the martin called the faithful to praver. All door, and raised the knocker. rose, passing tiseir hands over their beards, and took I shall want you to come in with me to act as their way to the mosque. At last I was alone. interpreter," I said to him, in a low tone.
Sidi llouma un cast an uneasy look around him. - Fatima speaks French," he answered, without then came to use, bowed himself, and kissed my turning his head. land. - What bringe my lord the doctor to my At the same moment the shining face of a negress bumble dwelling?" he said. " What can I do to appeared at a wicket in the door. Sidi Houmaium be of service to him?"
spoke a few words in Arabic: the door was then ** I want you 10 introduce me to Fatima," I re-opened, and quickly closed behind me, the negress
vanishing by a side-door, and Sidi Houmažum re* Fati.ng, the Moor? ”
maining outside in the passage. After I had waited
for some minutes, and was beginning to grow impa- My lord, in the name of your mother, do not go tient, a door on the left opened, and the negress renear this woman!"
appeared, making me a sign to follow her. I mounted * Why not?*
a few steps, and found myself in an interior court, * Because she is the perdition of the faithful and pared with small China tiles in mosaic. Several of the infidel, - of all who approach her! Do not doors opened into this court. The negress led me see her!"
into a low room with open windows, furnished with * Sidi lioumaium, my resolution is unshakable. silk curtains of arabesque pattern. A large amberIf Fatima poslemas a charm that destroys, I possess colored mat was upon the floor, round the sides of one that preserves , if hers gives death, mine gives which there were a number of Persian cushions; life, youth, and beauty. Tell her that, Sidi Hou- the ceiling was ornamented with arabesques of inmaium. Tell her that the wrinkles of age vanish terminable fantastic fruits and flowers. But that at my approach; tell her that were she old, ugly as which at once attracted my attention was Fatima a witch, I could charm away her ugliness, and make herself, seated on a divan, her eyes veiled by long
black lashes, her upper lip slightly shadowed, her! The expression of my face must have told him nose long and thin, and her arms loaded with heavy that I came for no good to him ; for the moment he bracelets. For a few moments the Moresque looked saw me enter, he rose as if he were stupefied. at me out of the corner of her eye; an arch smile "0!- is it you ?” he stammered, putting on a then half-parted her lips.
forced and sickly smile; “I did not expect to see " Come in, my lord doctor," she said, boldly; you." The only answer I made was to show him " Sidi Houmaïum told me you were coming to see the letter he had written to Fatima. me. I know what brings you. You are good enough He turned pale ; and after looking at the letter to interest yourself in poor Fatima, who is growing for several moments, would have sprung upon me ; old, for she will soon be seventeen. Seventeen! but I stopped him. Yes ; poor Fatima will soon want to have the beauty “ If you move another step," I said, putting my of her youth renewed!”
hand to my sword, “ I'll kill you like a dog! You I did not in the least know what answer to make; are a scoundrel! You have murdered Dutertre! I I was confused; but I suddenly remembered the ob was in the dissecting-room below, and heard all. Do ject which had brought me.
not deny it. Your conduct towards this unfortunate " You joke delightfully, Fatima," I said, seating woman is odious. Listen! I might give you up to myself on the divan. “I have heard your wit justice; but your dishonor would redound upon us praised not less than your beauty, and I see that it all. If you have any courage left, destroy yourself. was justly praised.”
I will give you till to-morrow; to-morrow, at seven “ Ah, indeed !” she said. “And by whom, pray?” | o'clock, if I find you living, I will myself drag you “ By Raymond Dutertre."
before the commandant." “ Raymond!”
I left him without waiting for any answer, and 6 Yes; the young officer who recently fell into the hastened to give orders to the sentinel to prevent abyss of the Rummel. Your lover, Fatima." Lieutenant Castagnac from leaving the hospital on She opened her large eyes with surprise.
any pretext. I gave the same order to all the at“ Who told you that he was my lover ? ” she tendants, and made them responsible for any neglicried, looking strangely at me; “ it is false! Did gence or weakness. I then took my way to the he tell you so ?”
place where I was accustomed to dine, as if nothing « No; but I know it. This letter proves it, - this had happened ; I was gayer than usual, indeed, and letter, which you wrote to him, and which was the sat at table till past eight o'clock. Since Cascause of his death ; for it was in attempting to come tagnac's crime had been materially proved to me, I to you in the night that he risked himself on the felt pitiless ; Raymond cried to me for vengeance, rocks of the Kasba, and perished in the attempt." and I was determined that he should not cry in
I had hardly pronounced these words when the vain. Moresque rose abruptly, her eyes glittering with After leaving the dinner-table, I went to a rosinsombre fire.
seller and bought a large torch, such as our spahis “ I was sure of it !” she cried. “Yes; when the carry on the occasion of their night-fêtes. I then negress came and told me of what had happened, I went back to the hospital, and directly descended to said to her, “ Aïssa, it is he who has done this, - it is the dissecting-room, taking care to double-lock the he, the wretch!!” And as I looked at her, unable door after me. The voice of the muetzin announced to divine the meaning of her words, she came to me, the tenth hour, the mosques were deserted, the and said in a low voice, " Will he die? - do you night was profoundly dark think he will die soon? I should like to see him seated myself before one of the windows, breathbeheaded !”
ing the mild gusts of wind, and giving myself up to She had seized me by the arm, and looked wildly the reveries which had always been so dear to me. into my eyes ; I shall never forget the look of her How much suffering, how many inquietudes, I had passion-lighted face.
gone through during the past fortnight! I had “Of whom are you speaking, Fatima ?” I said, endured nothing like it during the whole of my greatly moved. “Explain yourself; I do not under- previous existence; and I now feel as if I had stand you."
escaped from the claws of the Spirit of Evil, and “ of whom ? — of Castagnac! You are the hos- was enjoying the first taste of my reconquered pital doctor, - give him poison ! He is a villain. I liberty. knew that he had a grudge against the young man, Time passed thus ; the patrol had already twice and I refused to lure him ; but Castagnac threatened relieved the sentinels, when suddenly I heard the to come from the hospital, and to beat me if I did sound of rapid but stealthy steps on the stairs, not obey him in writing that letter. See! - here is then a knock at the door. I made no answer. A the letter he wrote to me.”
febrile hand groped for the key. “ It is Castagnac!” I will not shock you by repeating all that Fatima I said to myself, while my blood ran cold. told me of Castagnac, - how, after betraying her, he' At the end of a couple of seconds, a voice cried : had brutally ill-treated, and occasionally even gone“ Open the door!” I was not deceived ; it was he. so far as to beat her. I left the Moresque's house He listened for a while, and then tried to force open with a heavy heart. Sidi Houmarum was awaiting the heavy oaken door. me in the passage, and we wound our tortuous way! A short silence followed, then a second attempt. back to the spot whence we had started.
I kept myself motionless, and held my breath. “ Take care, my lord doctor," said the worthy Something fell upon the step, and then I heard the fellow, looking at me from the corner of his eye, sound of retreating feet. I had escaped death. " the Angel of Evil is hovering over your head!” 1 But what would he do next? For fear of a new shook his hand, and bade him fear nothing.
and more violent attempt to burst open the door, I My resolution was taken. Without losing a mo- drew the two heavy iron bolts with which it was ment I entered the hospital, and knocked at Cas- furnished. tagnac's door.
I then went back to the window, whither a • Come in!” he cried.
strange and alarming sound had attracted me. I
looked cautiously out. A shadow was moving in as naughty or nonsensical. The case in question, the darkness along the ledge from which poor Du- however, he considered to be, though far trom the tertre bad gone to destruction. The moon had most aggravated, vet perhaps the strangest record u risen on the side of the city, and the shadow of the marital delinquency, and, moreover, as remarkable hospital was thrown broadiy over the abyss ; but I a freak as could be found in the whole list of human had no doubt that the form moving towards the oddities. window at which I was standing was that of Cas- The story referred to was first publisbed in the tagnac, of whose murderous intentions also I had no vear 1818, in a book called Political and Literary doubt.
Anecdotes of his Own Time, br Doctor William Peering through the darkness, I saw that the would- King, Principal of St. Mary Hall. Oxon. Doctor be murderer was advancing with his back pressed King's Anecdotes, it may be noted, are chiefly against the wall, the abyss in visible in the darkness memorable from the fact that they contain an interbefore him. He moved slowly and with all possible esting record of the secret visit to London paid by precaution. I shouted to him the death-cry: - Rav- Prince Charles Edward, the Pretender, in the monet mond, where are you going?”
of Sptember, 1750, and his presence in the house But whether it was that he was prepared for of Lady Primrose, where, indeed, Doctor King hari whatever might happen, or that he had more sang- an interview with him. In another portion of his froid than his victim, the wretch only answered by book the doctor tells the story of - the man wbo ab a mocking laugh.
sented himself for a long time from his wife * ; this " You are there, then, -- as I suspected, - Doe man not having any real right to the cognomen of tor! Wait a bit ; I'll come round the other way. Wakefield with which Hawthorne endowed him: for We have a little account to settle."
his proper name was Howe. We will proceed to I lit my torch, and held it over the precipice. put our readers in possession of the facts of the case * It is too late, I cried; " look down at your as they are set forth by Doctor King.
Mr. Howe is described as a sensible, well-natured The immense shelves of the abyss, with their man, with an estate of some seven or eight hundred black shining rocks heaped into wild shapes, were pounds a year, united to a roung lady of agreeable illuminated to the bottom of the valley. It made person and manners, and in every respeet an exceleven me giddy to look at, and I shrank back from lent wife, who came of a good family in the West the sight. But he, -- he was separated from the of England, and whose maiden name was Mallet. gulf only by the length of a crick, -- with what ter Two children were born of this marriage, neither ror must he have been struck!
of whom, however, lived to attain the age of fifteen. His knees bent under him, - his hands clutched Doctor King seems to have known Mr. and Mrs. at the wall. I held out my toreh once more. An Howe about the year 1706. enormous bat, driven away by the light, took wing We pause a moment to state that the Doctor's and wheeled in dismal circles around the flame; and Anecdotes were not published until long after far, far down, the waves of the Rummel glittered in his death, which happened in 1763. They were the immensity. - Mercy!” eried the wretch, in a written, nevertheless, it is evident, with a view to broken voice.' "Mer
publication. In a preface be states that he was in I had not courage to prolong his agony, but threw his seventy-sixth year at the time of his jotting the blazing torch out into the black abyss. How down the notes, memoranda, and detached pieces slowly it seemed to sink into the depths below!- which constitute his book. Most of the Anecdotes, down!-- down! But before its flame was extin- he affirmed, were derived from bis own knowledge; guished in the river, a dark shadow for a moment the rest were related to him by friends, upon whose came between it and my sight, and I knew that honor and veracity he could depend. justice was done.
The Howes lived in a house in Jermyn Street, On leaving the dissecting-room, my foot struck near St. James's Church. They had been married against something on the stairs. It was my own some seven or eight years, and were generally resword, with which Castagnac, with bis habitual per- garded as a very happy and comfortable couple. fidy, bad intended to kill me; in this way thinking One morning Mr. Howe rose early, and informed his to make it appear that I had committed suicide. As wife that he was obliged to go as far as the Tower I had expected to find, the door of my room had to transact some particular business. At noon the been broken open; my bed had been turned over, same day, Mrs. Ilowe received a note from her husmy papers scattered about. He had plainly deter-band, apprising her that he was under the necessity mined to rob as well as murder me. This discovery of starting for Holland forth with, and that he shoald completely removed from my mind the feeling of in- probably be absent three weeks or a month. The voluntary pity with which the wretch's terrible end month passed ; two months, – then three months, had inspired me.
but no tidings were received from Mr. Howe. His wife grew seriously alarmed. She was at a loss to
understand the meaning of his absence. His silence WHY DID HE DO IT ?
was still more inexplicable. She could only imagine The reader who is acquainted with Nathaniel | that his abrupt departure might be due to pecuniary Hawthorne's delightful Twice Told Tales, may bear embarrassment. It was possible, of course — though in mind a curious little sketch included among from nothing he had ever said was she justified in them, and called Wakefield. “In some old mag- such a suspicion — that he had, unknown to her, azine or newspaper," wrote Hawthorne, “I rec- contracted some large debt, or incurred some serious ollect a story, told as truth, of a man - let us call liability, and bad fled the country to be out of the him Wakefield --- who absented himself for a long way of his difficulties. time from his wife." The fact, the writer goes on to For some time, in addition to her alarm at bis say, thus abstractly stated, was not to be regarded absence, she lived in a fever of apprehension of the as of an uncommon kind, nor, without a proper dis- demands of creditors, of seizures, executions, etc. tinction of circumstances, to be condemned either | But nothing of this kind happened to trouble her.
As time went on it was thought advisable to inquire quenting a little coffee-house in the neighborhood of into the position of Mr. Howe's affairs. His estate his lodgings, he had enjoyed the curious pleasure of was found to be perfectly free and unencumbered. reading in the journals the progress through ParliaNot only that, all the bills of the tradespeople with ment of the Act which his wife had applied for in whom he had ever had any dealings were found to order, on the supposition of his death, to obtain a have been paid up to the time of his going away, legal settlement of his affairs; yet he had not been and among his papers were discovered formal re-tempted even then to reveal the fact that he still ceipts and discharges from all persons with whom he existed. had had any kind of monetary transactions. The Further than this, Howe had contrived to make months grew to years, yet still came no news of the acquaintance of one Mr. Salt, a corn-chandler, missing Mr. Howe. His wife was at length com- who lived in Brewer Street, in a house opposite to pelled to apply for a special Act of Parliament to that occupied by Mrs. Howe. At length he came to precure a proper settlement of her husband's estate, be on such friendly terms with Salt, that he usually and a provision for herself out of it during his ab- dined with him in Brewer Street once or twice a sence, and under the uncertainty as to whether he week. From the windows of the room in which was alive or dead. By and by the poor woman they dined, it was not difficult to look into Mrs. was to be still more sharply tried. Her children Howe's parlor, where she generally sat and received drooped and faded, and at last were taken from her. her friends. Salt, who all the time believed that She then — left entirely alone — thought proper to his guest was a bachelor, frequently recommended reduce the number of her servants, and her house- him to pay bis addresses to his own wife, describing keeping expenses. She removed from Germyn Mrs. Howe as a well-to-do widow, and in every reStreet, and became the tenant of a much smaller spect a suitable match. For seven years before house in Brewer Street, Golden Square.
Howe disclosed himself he was in the habit of atSeventeen years had passed away. Mrs. Howe tending service every Sunday at St. James's Church, had long since mourned her husband as dead, and and from his seat in Mr. Salt's pew he obtained a forever lost to her. Late one evening, while she view of his wife, though he could not easily be seen was at supper with certain of her friends and rela- by her. tions, – Dr. Rose, a physician who had married her . The real cause of his most extraordinary conduct sister, being of the company, — there was brought Howe would never confess, even to his most intimate in and handed to her a letter, the writer of which, friends. Dr. Rose was of opinion that Howe would not subscribing his name, requested her to grant never have returned to his wife at all, if he had not him the favor of a meeting upon e following even- been, as it were, starved into surrender by the exing in Birdcage Walk, St. Jam Park. When haustion of his means. It was supposed that he she had read the note, Mrs. Howe, somewhat puz- took with him, on his leaving Mrs. Howe, a sum of zled by the nature of its contents, passed it on to about two thousand pounds; and that living in a Doctor Rose, as she said with a laugh, “ You see, very frugal manner, he managed to subsist upon this brother, old as I am I have yet found an admirer.” during the whole period of his absence, his store deDoctor Rose examined the note. His face assumed creasing every day as it became necessary to supply a very grave expression. Then, after carefully his recurring wants. Earning nothing, as his purse studying the missive for some minutes, he announced shrank, he was compelled to choose between starvahis conviction that he knew the handwriting. He tion and return to his wife. He chose the latter was persuaded the letter was written by no less a alternative, after a struggle, perhaps, and some subperson than Mr. Howe. The company were greatly mission to the first approach of privation. Yet at astounded. Mrs. Howe was so much alarmed and any time during his seventeen years' seclusion, it affected that she was seized with a fainting fit. had been open to him to quit his obscure lodging Upon her recovery, however, shortly afterwards, it and solitary life in Westminster, and share the was resolved that she should, at all events, attend comparative affluence and comfortable home of the proposed appointment in company with Doctor | his wife. Rose and his wife, and the other ladies and gentle There is no hint that anything like incompatibilmen then present.
ity of temper had been the cause of Howe's abanOn the following evening, therefore, attended by donment of his spouse in so strange a way, and for her friends, Mrs. Howe presented herself in Bird- so protracted a period. Reluctant as he had been cage Walk. The little party had not been at the to return, yet that step once taken Howe would not appointed place more than five minutes when a appear to have repented it. He never regarded stranger approached them, listing his hat and bow Mrs. Howe as a shrew, to be dreaded and avoided, ing politely. He was at once recognized. He was but much rather as a good wife to be cherished certainly Mr. Howe. He embraced his wife, offered and loved. Doctor King relates that he had seen her his arm, walked home with her, and the reunited | Howe after his return addressing his wife quite couple lived together in great harmony up to the in the language of a young bridegroom ; and the day of Howe's death, which did not happen until Doctor had been assured by some of the most intimany years afterwards.
| mate friends of the married couple, that the husWhat had he been doing? where had he been band treated his spouse during the remainder of hidden during the long period of separation ? their joint lives with the greatest kindness and af
He had, it appeared, never quitted London. On fection. But, of course, the inquiry is inevitable, his abrupt departure from Jermyn Street he had re- If he was so fond of her, why did he treat her so paired to an obscure lodging-house in a small street cruelly ? in Westminster, and there had hired a room at the Any explanation of the matter can only be of a modest rental of five or six shillings a week. | conjectural kind. It is possible that the wife, unChanging bis name and disguising himself in a known to herself, had in some way offended or black wig - for he was a man of fair complexion- roused the jealousy of her husband, though he never he had remained in this secret retreat during the afterwards thought it worth while to own as much, whole time of his absence from his wife. Fre- and that with the view of punishing by frightening