Page images


As I finish the story of Jack Trevithic, which, formerly been a monk, and who had the sobriquet from the play in which it began, has turned to of " Don Antonio.” earnest, H. looks up from her knitting, and says that The new theatre was built during 1790, the first it is very unsatisfactory, and that she is getting stone being laid on 3d April of that year, by the tired of calling everything by a different name; Right Hon. John Hobart, Earl of Buckingham. and she thinks she would like to go back to the The architect was Michael Novosielski. The thearealities of life again. In my dream-world they tre opened 25th March, 1791, for music and have been forgotten, for the fire is nearly out, and dancing only, a theatrical license having been rethe gray mist is spreading along the streets. It is fused. It was called the “ King's Theatre," as was too dark to write any more, - an organ is playing also the Opera, then established at the Pantheon, a dismal tune, a carriage is rolling over the stones; Oxford Street. When the latter bad been destroyed so I ring the bell for the lamp and the coals, and by fire, the license was transferred to the house in Susan comes in to shut the shutters.

the Haymarket. The Pantheon had been under the management of Mr. O'Reilly, who in one season

contracted debts to the amount of £30,000. On THE STORY OF A THEATRE.

the completion of the new Opera, it was arranged During the past year London has lost an opera- by a committee, headed by the Prince of Wales, house, which, though in many respects faulty as re- / that it should assume his liabilities, as the condition garded its internal arrangements, was certainly of getting back his license. Thus the enterprise one of the largest and handsomest in Europe. started under a burden of £ 30,000, besides that of

The first theatre erected in the Haymarket, on the tremendous outlay for the building and opening the site of the one lately destroyed by fire, was built of the theatre. The management, before long, deby Sir John Vanbrugh. It was raised by thirty volved upon Mr. Taylor, in whose hands it remained persons of rank, who – to judge from the inscription till 1803, in which and the following year he sold of the first stone to the celebrated beauty, Lady Mr. Goold shares to the amount of £ 17,500, or Sutherland — were of the Whig party. Each of seven sixteenths of the whole, the remaining shares these individuals subscribed £1,000 towards the ex- being mortgaged to the same gentleman for £5,700. penses, and the building was opened to the public The ground was held on lease from the Crown, the April 9, 1705, with an Italian Opera, entitled " The audience and stage parts on two distinct leases; the Triumph of Love,” which was withdrawn at the end former, at £1,260, the latter at £300 per annum. of three nights, having on each occasion been per-Both leases extended to 1891. Goold continued formed to a scanty audience. It was immediately manager till his death in 1807. The great attracfollowed by “ The Conspiracy” of Sir John Vanation of his reign was Catalani, whose salary for one brugh, a comedy adapted from “ Le Bourgeois à la year was £5,000, her total profits, with concerts, Mode" of Dancour. Soon after this, Congreve, who etc., being, £ 16,700. Goold was succeeded by Tayhad a share in the theatre, resigned it, and all in- lor, who was soon engaged in Chancery proceedings terest in the undertaking. The fault of the house with Walters, Goold's executor. In 1813 the theawas its size. There was such an undulation in the tre was closed, by order of the Lord Chancellor, to voice of each actor that, in the words of Cibber, reopen the following year under the management of “ generally what they said sounded like the gabbling Mr. Waters, who purchased it under decree for of so many people in the lofty aisles of a cathedral.” | £35,000. In the mean while Taylor was a prisoner It was further objected that it was too far removed in the King's Bench. In 1813.the building was put from the more populous parts of the town. Sir John up for sale, and the whole concern was bought by Vanbrugh presently retired in favor of a Mr. Mc-Waters for £70,150. To raise the money he had Swiney, who, after a few seasons of “legitimate mortgaged the opera-house and other property to drama," returned to Italian opera. The first work Chambers, the banker, who accordingly became an of this kind produced under his management was inmate of the King's Bench, where he remained “ Pyrrhus," supported by Nicolini, Valentini, and twenty years, for some time carrying on the manageMrs. Tofts. The second of this eminent trio sang ment, and dilating on the advantages of a spot as Turnus in “Camilla," using his own language, uninvaded by the insolence and ill-humor of singers. while the rest of the company sang in English.

Amongst the earliest operas performed at this It was at the King's Theatre that Handel pro- theatre, were the “Barbière” of Facini, and the duced many of his operas, as well as his oratorio “Semiramide” of Bianchi, both superseded twenty " Esther,” which was performed for the first time in years later by Rossini's master-pieces of the same this country in May, 1732. On 10th June “ Acis names. It was here that Braham made his debut, and Galatea” was given, with dresses and decora- at once achieving immense popularity. He was the tions. The theatre was burned down 17th June, first English tenor who won a decided success in 1789, and £40,000 worth of property was lost in Italian opera. Amongst the early performers was the flames. The fire broke out a little before ten, Mrs. Billington, who was the first English woman whilst many of the performers were practising for who gained laurels on the Italian stage since Cecilia the next evening, on which was to have been a Davies and Anastasia Robinson. She was assobenefit for Signor Ravelli, the acting manager, and ciated with the lovely and talented Grasini, aunt of Mr. William Taylor, the proprietor. Madame Giulia Grisi. Ravelli was saved only by the courage of a fireman, It was at the King's Theatre that Mozart's music who rescued her at the risk of his life. The heat of was first introduced to the English public. “La the flames was felt even in St. James's Square and Clemenza di Tito" was performed on the 29th of Leicester Fields. The conflagration was said to be March, 1806, the “Cose fan tutti” on the 9th of the work of Pietro Carnivalli, the leader of the or- May, 1811," Il Flauto Magico" on the 6th of June chestra, and whose wife had been one of the leading in the same year, and " Le Nozze di Figaro" and singers. He is reported to have confessed on his “ Don Juan " in 1817. In 1806 Catalani appeared, death-bed, about a year afterwards, that he did it proving equally and unprecedentedly successful in out of revenge for an affront from Ravelli, who had tragedy and comedy. In 1818 Rossini was introgave a little jump, excusable in a man wbo had | Well, and if he was om retorted Me To been for some time eying a white bulldog, the prop mins, a pretty rosy color spreading itself ora bez erty of a shabby dog-fancier, standing suspiciously comely face, “it is n't much that a baby ice that close to his legs. Inspector Timmins started, but d eat, I suppose In be bound bris motber's the claw still kept its grasp without any of those fretting finely after him by this time; mi 0, incisions peculiar to teeth, and at last he looked Timmins ! only think if it had happened to one of down. He saw, a long way below him, a small boy, lours ! a little child, not more than two or three years old, Mrs. Timmins cangbt up ber youngest but one, crying bitterly. After two or three seconds, appar- and gave him a sounding kiss. Presently sbe ently spent in thoroughly making up his mind that up and inspected the contents of a bor, vita it did not intend to bite, Inspector Timmins stooped slit in the bid, that was hidden in a drave. She down and looked more closely. He saw a small bit stood thinking for a minute or two, and then it of pockered face, and two large bits of chubby turned to her husband's side hands, and the thing said between its sobs, “ Please, “I'm afraid we can't do it," she said, softis. -F sir, where's mammy?”

I'd known, I'd have put off buying the site Inspector Timmins was not by any means a hard frocks; but I've got 'em now, and there's so man, albeit the fog had gone a long way towards little money left, I'm afraid we onght n't to do it making him so ; so be said kindly, “ Huilo, young for the sake of our own, but — and a tear stood in 'un, what's the row! Want mammy, eh? We'l the mother's eye. find ber in a minute," as be really thought he should, “No, of course we ought o't," said Timmins, te believing that the child had strayed from his mother tily. "I told you so all along." And then a boshwhile she was looking for her luggage. They walkedness got into his throat, and after he had cleared down the platform together, the big man and the it, a silence fell for a time upon the little family. little one, the small hand laid confidingly in the The next morning Mrs. Timmins found time to great red fist; but no mammy was to be found. accompany her husband on a visit to the workhoux,

"Look here, what's to be done?” said the in- to “ look after" little Johnny. Mrs Timmins carspector, showing the child to a policeman outside, ried with her a couple of oranges, and a tin trumwhen he had satisfied himself that the last passenger pet, the confiscated property of ber son and bez. had departed.

They had nearly reached - Workhouse, when * 0, band him over to me," replied the guardian a woman, poorly clad, with a young pinched face of the law. *I 'll take him to the workhouse, and that was not without a certain wild beauty, and dihe 'll be claimed in a day or two. Come along, shevelled hair, turning the corner of a narrow street, Johnny.” The child brightened at the name; it came into violent collision with Mr. Timmins. Re was evidently the right one. - Come along, covering herself immediately, she brushed roughly Johnny," repeated the policeman, trying to lead past him, and sped at full speed down a dark pas him away. But the little hand clung to its first sage. Mrs. Timmins looked after her with some sur protector, and Mr. Timmins lingered.

prise, and the next moment she and her husband * Where are you going to take him?” he asked. were surrounded by a little crowd headed by two "K- Workbouse, eh? I'll come and look after policemen in a great hurry. him in a day or two. Poor little chap, he's a'most “ Did you see a woman pass jest now? * asked too small for a workbouse ; but there, - I've got one of them, “young and rather good-looking. torments enough at home." He hardened his She's been robbing a jeweller's shop, and we thought heart at the thought of the morning's scene, and we saw her turn this way.” consigned his small charge to the policeman's care. “ Yes, yes," replied Timmins, eagerly, catching the

When Inspector Timmins reached home he found prevailing excitement, “ she ran up against me act a greatly improved state of things. The children a minute ago. She went down that passage, sni were washed and dressed, the baby asleep, - it he pointed to the alley where the woman had disapspent a large portion of its existence in sleep, that peared. With a hasty " thank you " the policemet baby, - the fire was shining on a breakfast already hurried in the direction indicated: but they were on the table, and the fog had cleared off as the sun soon at fault again, and Timmins and his wife, har rose. The fog had cleared off also from Mr. Tim- ing followed for a minute or two, disengaged themmins's temper, and he picked up one of his children selves from the crowd and walked on. Arrired * and forthwith began a noisy game of romps. But the workhouse, Johnny was found, his puckered face in the midst of the fun, little Johnny's puckered more puckered still, crying piteously in the corne face recurred to his mind, and above the child's in dire disgrace. The nurse of the ward, and joyous shouts he seemed to hear the shrill treble crone, whose temper time had soured, pointed bim that had piped out, “ Please, sir, where 's mammy?” out vindictively. Somehow the play lost its zest after that; he “ Drat the child! I can't do nothing with him; quieted his little boy, and told him the story of the that's the way he's been going on the whole blesse morning's adventure. Mrs. Timmins was busy cut- morning. Mammy, mammy, indeed! I wish bis ting bread-and-butter, but she listened, too, and a mother or anybody else 'ud come and fetch hin cui, motherly look stole over her face.

for he's no better nor a nuisance here." “ Poor little fellow! why did n't you bring him Mrs. Timmins's bright eyes darted dagers at the here, T.? We'd a kept him for a day or two, and old dame as she passed her, and in a minute se it 's a sin to send a mite like that to the workhouse, had gathered little Johnny into her kind arms and particularly at Christmas."

was cuddling him up upon her lap, where the chil: Mr. Timmins brightened for a moment, but then sobs soon subsided under the combined intinence of looked grave again.

| kisses and oranges. The little fellow was worn og “ I had half a mind to,” he replied, "and that ’s | by crying, and he nestled directly into his new resta fact; but we have n't over and above much money ing-place, and went fast asleep, clasping one of the to last till next pay-day, and suppose he was n't to Timmins's fingers tightly in his mottled band. be claimed ?"

went to the mother's heart to have to leave him,


but she felt that in the present state of the family | Twenty pounds he might gain by it, — twen-ty funds they could not venture to burden themselves pounds," and the old eyes glittered as if key saw with this helpless child. She laid him tenderly on the coins. one of the beds in the ward, kissing the flushed Women's honesty is more assailable than men's. cheek and gently drawing away her finger.

“ Why certainly,” said Mrs. Timmins, without "Be kind to him, poor little duck," she said to hesitation, as soon as she understood, “Tomkins is the old dame," he 'll soon get used to it; but he is quite right. Of course you 're not bound to go but a baby, and it 's hard for him to be taken from trapesing all over the town, without even knowing his mother," and in an unusually subdued mood Mrs. whether you 'll get paid for the loss of time. And Timmins descended the stairs to join her husband if twenty pound is offered, I'll be bound it would below.

n't be missed out of a gentleman's pocket, and it Mr. Timmins meanwhile had been sitting on a would do us a power of good, and honestly come bench in the sun with an old pauper whom he had by, too,” she added, decisively. known in better days; a thin, chatty old fellow, with Timmins wavered. Before him, too, had arisen small, crafty eyes, and long, bony hands.

a golden vision of the comforts and luxuries those “ Got such a thing as a pinch of snuff about ye, twenty pounds might bring to his poor household. Mr. Timmins ?” he asked, peering hungrily into the He felt unusually inclined to defer to his wife's inspector's face.

judgment. “Why, yes,” replied that gentleman, “I thought “Well, I don't know that it would be dishonest," may be you'd like some, so I filled my box before I he began, “but — ". started. Have a pinch ?” He put his hand in his “Yes, yes, you tell him; he 'll do it for you," coat-pocket, and drew thence, a gold Louis qua- crooned the old man. torze snuff-box, from the lid of which beamed al. All at once Mrs. Timmins's bright eyes softened. lovely enamelled face, set round with large diamonds. “0, Timmins !” she exclaimed ; "only think! Mr. Timmins's eyes opened to that extent that there If we had twenty pounds, we could take that poor was reason to apprehend that he would never be baby as it 's heartbreaking to see up stairs. It ’ud able to close them again; his companion's glittered keep him a long time, and we'd take our chance like an old raven's; the jewelled toy lay shining on of his not being claimed. Upon my word, Timthe big palm.

| mins," she concluded, warming with her subject, “I “ Well — " at last said Mr. Timmins, drawing think it your duty, when God has sent you the a long breath. A moment after, “ Bless my soul !” means by the hands of that wretched creature, to he exclaimed, “I've hit it! It must have been put use them for the child's good.” in my pocket by that ere woman we met, with the Poor Timmins; his defences were weak! The police close at ber heels. Serve her right, if she twenty pounds. bad already assumed the form of a did get caught," added Mr. Timmins, indignantly, possession of his own which it would be a stretch of " the jade ! putting such things in an honest man's honesty to forego. Was he in a position to be so pocket. But what a beauty it is, to be sure !” He extra scrupulous ? And what was he asked to do? examined the box more closely, opened it, and Merely keep the box for a day or two. Why he found engraved on the inside, H. Stevens, 8 Prin-must-do that, at any rate; he could not spare time cess Gardens. He pointed it out to the old man, from his work within that time. Besides, in his whose crooked fingers were already hovering about heart he did long to be able to keep the boy. The the box as if they longed to clutch anything so angel of honesty spread his wings, and took flight, precious.

and Timmins and his wife walked home on excel“Look here, the hinge is a little broken ; that's lent terms with each other. why it was sent to the jeweller's most likely. I wish A day or two later the advertisement appeared, I knew the shop. It must be nearer my place than and sure enough a reward of twenty pounds was Princess Gardens.”

offered for the box. Timmins's conscience was “ Why, you 'd never, never," — the old man's ea- quite at rest by this time, and he settled with his gerness almost choked him, —"never give a prize wife that she should go to the workhouse, claim like this back, and get nothing but thank you for little Johnny, and meet her lord afterwards at the your trouble! No, no; I'm an old man ; I'll tell jeweller's shop. She, good, motherly soul, was you what to do. Wait a day or two; it 'n be ad- brimming over with kindly delight in her errand. vertised in the papers with a fine reward ; take it She carried a large basket filled with cakes and back then, and you 'll get twenty pounds, and then apples as a Christmas box to the other small workyou won't forget poor old Tomkins, will you ? " and house children, and the rosy glow on her sunny the old man subsided into a whine.

face rivalled the fruit in color. Timmins, meanMr. Timmins drew himself up. “Nonsense, / while, proceeded to the jeweller's, a large magnifiman; I can't keep it a day with the name inside. I cent shop in a broad thoroughfare. When he shall walk over with it this evening."

reached it, he stared through the plate-glass window At this juncture appeared Mrs. Timmins, with in admiration. It was already dusk, and the brilrather flushed cheeks, and rather red eyes, which liant jets of gas, sparkling upon the gems, seemed opened almost to the dimensions of her husband's to extract from them tiny streams of light, while when they fell upon the snuff-box.

within could be seen a sort of dazzling vista of gold “Mercy on us, T.!” she cried, when she had and silver. Timmins. stood gazing for a minute or heard the story. "I declare it's given me quite a two, and then walked in in the best possible spirits, turn, and turns enough I've had up stairs with that and advanced towards the counter. there blessed babe a-clinging to me as if he was my “I called about this advertisement,” said he, own, and that there beast of a nurse.” Mrs. Tim- showing one that he had cut out of the paper; "the mins was considerably excited.

box has come into my possession.” " Ah !" said the old man, laying one of his bent “O, indeed," replied the young man whom he yellow fingers on her sleeve ; " you tell him to keep addressed, with an unmistakable sneer ; “O, init till it's advertised; he'll listen to you. I deed!”

“ It happened very curiously," Timmins went on enough to drive a man out of his senses : sed the glibly. “I and my wife were walking —”

as Jobnny, too young to be conscions o te escape, “Don't tell your story to me, if you please," in- peered wonderingly up, he lifted the ti terrupted the shopman, rudely, I'll mention your arms, and kissed his curly head, sareg - We errand to my master. Here, Johnson, two upon wife, come what may, we'll do our duty to the ten."

child. He sha'n't want while we're aarting to The shopman disappeared down an inner pas- give him; and if we starve, he can bot state sia sage, and Johnson advanced from the other side of us." the shop and kept very close to Mr. Timmins in a The next day, Inspector John Timmins Eu sammanner which he could not but think offensive, es- marily dismissed from the employment of the G. C. pecially as a man of far less respectable appearance Railway Company, without a character. was left standing unwatched at the opposite counter. Worse than this, the meaning of the myste

1. rious order “ two upon ten” soon became obvious “ LAND IX SIGHT!” What magie there is in in the gluing of Mr. Johnson's two eyes upon the those words as they fly from lip to lip on board a ten fingers, five of which were resting innocently homeward-bound vessel. How the passengers cca upon the counter. Mr. Timmins began to grow crowding up to catch the first glimpse of England, very uncomfortable. When finally the first shop- nearing momentarily; what agitated grasps of the man returned and preceded him into a private hand there are between new friends, has recoroom, and Johnson, calling another man to attend ciliations between ancient foes! Watch for : to the shop, joined quietly in behind, Timmins felt moment the deck of the Flying Cloud, bee that all his good spirits had unaccountably left him, ward-bound from the Australian gold-diggins and was conscious of wearing a hang-dog look, and Yonder is a man, the centre of an excited group : he of being treated surprisingly like a criminal. is the fortunate possessor of a good binocular, an

Mrs. Timmins, with little Johnny in her hand, invaluable treasure at such a moment. On this site hovered about the door of the jeweller's shop for a sits a woman who, one may tell, from ber deep good quarter of an hour before her lord made his ap- mourning, has laid her husband to rest in that dis pearance. When at length he did so, she fell back tant land ; she strives in vain to see the coast with with a start, and looked with terrified eyes into his eyes blurred and dimmed with tears. Here is a bor face; the gas-light showed it to be of a deadly on his way home for education in the old country; white.

one may be sure, by the bright out-look be keeps “ Heaven save us, T.! what is the matter? You that the prospect before him is pleasant! there look like a ghost !”

stands a man who left England so many years ago. “ Stuff and nonsense,” he said, trying to speak that he is wondering whether any will be alive to angrily, but the words came thick and faint out of greet hiin on his return. Ah, what hopes, sabat his throat. “What! you 've got the brat have fears, what beating hearts and straining eres the

good ship bears along as she comes bounding home “ Yes, T. Poor little man, he was so pleased,” | to England! and the wife crept timidly nearer to her husband. In the midst of such a scene, four years after the “We shall never repent it anyway, I'm sure. I events narrated in the last chapter, a husband and could n't have eaten my Christmas dinner com- wife were standing together, quietly and earnestly fortable, if we had n't done it, but have n't you, - gazing towards land. The woman's face was pale have n't you got the money ?”

and calm, but a wistful look in the gray eyes, and “Yes, I've got the money," he growled between some deep lines about the mouth, told their story of his set teeth.

past trouble. Her husband, a hale buriy northMrs. Timmins felt such a lump rise in her throat countryman, from the class perhaps of yeoman that she spoke no more till they were at home and farmers, looked as if no cloud had ever rested on in their own room. There she could no longer re his handsome face; both were plainly, but well strain her tears; they streamed down unnoticed dressed. “Well," the man was saying, "I're come over the new Christmas bonnet-strings that she had back to old England a sight richer than I left it, that tied with such pride an hour before. “0, Tim-'s certain. That last haul did my business, and glad mins!” she pleaded, " I can't bear this. Only tell enough I shall be to be safe at home again"; then, me what it means."

as his wife did not immediately reply, he added. “Means !” he exclaimed at last, turning savagely kindly : “ Come, cheer up, Jane. I know what upon her; "it means that I've been treated like a you 're thinking of; but you need n't be so downcommon thief. They don't believe a word of my hearted. We 're sure to find him." story, as any one might bave known they would n't. “Ah, I don't know," the woman said, sadly, be They don't prosecute, but they are going to write may be dead and gone by this time, poor darling. and inform the Company. It means that I shall | If he is alive, he must be seven now. My baby, mr lose my situation and my character, and be ruined baby, how could I leave him!” as sure as you 're a living woman; thanks to you "Well, my girl, I don't wonder at it," replied and that cursed brat!”

the man in his hearty voice. “You'd have stuck As he spoke, he raised his boot in his blind pas- to him, I know, as long as you had a bit of bread sion and launched a furious kick at little Johnny. to put into his mouth; and wben you had n't, I It missed the child, but it struck the wood-work of don't know but what you did the best you could for. the chimney-piece, and made a dent in it. The him." sight sobered Timmins, in a moment. He looked. The woman looked up gratefully to her big busat his heavy boot, and the mark which it had made, band, but tears filled her eyes. She took the great and then at the little child at whom the kick had brown hand and stroked it, saying, softly, “ You are been aimed. Turning away, he hid his face in his sure you forgive everything that went before, - behands and fairly burst into tears. “God forgive fore I left England ? " me,” he said, " I 'm worse than a brute ; but it's! “Why, what are you talking about, Jenny?

[ocr errors]


Did n't I tell you the day we married that bygones' “You wrote to the wrong place, most likely,” should be bygones ; eh, little woman ? and have n't suggested the husband : "however, it was lucky you you been the best of wives to me for three years remembered the jeweller's address all right, for if since then? It's just the sight of England makes he had n't acknowledged the receipt of the twenty you foolish and nervous-like. You'll be all right as pounds we refunded, and promised not to prosecute, soon as we get there." There was a little pause, we could n't be here; but as to Johnny, you 'll see, and then the wife said, timidly, —

Jane. We'll find him out, and we'll have him “ Harry, - I've never told you exactly how I | home, and bring him up to be honest and true, and came to leave my baby, and to — to take the box. | we 'H find means to reward those that have been I should like to tell you now.”

kind to him, never you fear,” and he stooped down “Well, my dear,” he answered, without a shadow and kissed her. crossing his face,“ tell me now, if it will be any Thus it was that the mother of the deserted comfort to you; but don't feel obliged to."

child returned to England, — the happy respected “ No,” she replied, drumming softly with her wife of an upright and successful man, yet yearning fingers upon the side of the vessel, “ I should like to for her lost darling with a longing that never faded do it. After, - after he deserted me, you know, we or grew dim. Daily, during the homeward voyage really were starving, my baby and I. That morning she had pictured the meeting between herself and we bad been wandering about all night in the cold, her boy, until she could almost feel the clasp of his and he cried for bread, and I had none to give him. arms round her neck, but as the Flying Cloud *Ah, me! I can hear that little cry now! At last, neared England, a miserable restlessness took poswe came near the railway station, and I could see session of her, - a sick fear lest she should not find the warm fire through the waiting-room window; her child. Her husband was very kind, very tender I thought my baby would die soon if he was n't fed, with her, but he had no power to still the terror and all the courage went out of me. I put him that filled the mother's soul. It was on a rainy down by the entrance, thinking perhaps some pas- morning early in Christmas week, that Henry senger might take pity on him. And then I watched, Boultby, the fortunate gold-digger, and his pale under cover of the darkness, and saw them take him wife, landed at Wapping, and as soon as they had to the workhouse. O, what a miserable, miserable deposited their luggage, they started together to seek place for a little child !”

for the Timmins's. They went first to the old lodg“My poor girl!” said her husband compassion- ings to which little Johnny had been traced by his ately, as she stopped, choked by her tears.

| mother. The door was opened by a man whose "The next day I was prowling about near the Aushed cheeks and jovial smile told, even more workhouse, - I could n't go far from it, it always plainly than the sprig of misletoe in his button-hole, seemed to pull me back, — when I came to a jewel- that he had just risen from some Christmas festivity. ler's shop, where a lady was going in with a snuff- “ Walk in,” said he, civilly, when he had heard box to be mended. I could see her unfolding the their query," and I'll inquire.” He did so, and a parcel, and then the jewels sparkling upon it. I pleasant chatty woman came out, with a baby in longed for the food that it would have bought, and her arms. “If you please, ma'am,” she said, "the thought how cruel God was to give her that splendid Timmins's left here three years ago and more. My costly thing, and to take my baby, my only treasure, husband was made one of the inspectors to the G. from me."

C. Company when Mr. Timmins got into trouble, She waited a moment, and then went on, her and as he could n't afford to keep on these lodgings, eyes fixed upon the dim outline of the distant shore. we took 'em off his hands." “ The shopman left the shop, and the lady walked Henry Boultby turned to smile cheerily at his towards the door holding the box. I don't know wife before he asked, “What trouble was it?" what possessed me then. I rushed in, and snatched “Why, sir, I don't know that I can rightly tell it out of her hand, and ran away. There was a hue you. It was something about a gold snuff-box that and cry for police, and the next moment I could | Mr. Timmins was thought to have stolen, and he hear them behind me. I tried to go faster, but on was dismissed from the Company's service. His turning a corner I ran up hard against a man. It character was cleared afterwards by some letter stopped me, and then the horror came upon me of from Australia, and my husband said the company feeling myself a thief. I had never stolen a crumb would have given him another situation, but they before. I could not give myself up, and be dragged never could trace him. But lor', ma'am,” she exto prison, but I slipped the box into the man's pock- claimed, suddenly breaking off, “ do let me get you et, and ran on. I thought he would feel it drop, a chair. You look ready to drop." and give it directly to the policemen."

Henry Boultby scarcely waited to thank the as" And you are sure that was the same man who tonished woman for her information, before he bore took little Johnny ?” asked the husband; "it hard-off his wife to the cab that waited at the door. She ly seems likely."

cowered in a corner of it, and shivered as if with "I am sure ; his name was Timmins, too,” she cold, but said never a word. answered: “it was given in the paper, with the ac “Don't take on so, Jenny," urged her husband, count of his having claimed the reward. I saw it drawing her shawl more closely round her, " for my after I got to Australia."

sake, don't. You could n't dream you were doing “What made you think of going there?"

him such an injury, and we shall find them, I'm “Well, when I knew that my boy was safe ont of sure. Try to think of some other place where they the workhouse, I determined not to die as I had may be heard of.” thought I should, but to try and live for his sake. She shook her head hopelessly at first, but after a Free passages to Melbourne were being offered then moment said, eagerly, “K- Workhouse! they to women and girls, and I resolved to go away, and might know there." earn money somehow to support him. I've never Thither the cabman drove, and upon inquiry it heard of him since. I wonder why they have never appeared that the return of the basket which had answered my letters."

contained Mrs. Timmins's Christmas gifts, had occa

« PreviousContinue »