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blood mounted to his forehead; and withdrawing backward a pace, he pulled off his hat, and bowed humbly before the representative of majestic womanhood. The homage was enough for pride, and too much for love. Jane bounded forward : their hands met ; their eyes exchanged a tale of fearful confidence; and Frank, reverting in an instant to the privileges of early companionship, clasped his blooming mistress in his arms, and imprinted a kiss upon her rich and blushing lips.
That day, however, they talked not of love. Frank, in the evening, was observed by his companions to be sullen and reserved ; the next, he was absent and thoughtful; and the next, distant and haughty. In the meantime he continued to meet Jane every afternoon. She touched his pride, shamed his prejudice, and fascinated his heart. Love lent preponderating force to the arguments of honour and reason; and after a struggle, fierce it is true, but short and decisive, he exclaimed:
“ You are right; I will, at least, deserve you, my admirable Jane! I will quit the trade.”
“ Do you swear it?” said Jane, in a voice tremulous with eagerness. “Swear it by your honour! swear it by your God!”
“I swear it by the living God!” replied Hardy. “ But alas ! he continued, “how, after what has taken place, can I subsist? how gain an honourable subsistence for you?”
“ I will beg for you through the world !” said Jane, hiding her face on his shoulder, while her heart was relieved by a burst of tears.
The plan was fixed upon; the preliminaries were arranged; and Frank Hardy was to meet his mistress the next morning, to tell her that he was about to begin, for her’s and honour's sake, the world anew. When morning and the hour came, however, it seemed to be with some apparent awkwardness and hesitation that he approached her, where she stood waiting at the appointed place, to receive him. His face was alternately pale and flushed, and his whole appearance exhibited tokens either of a night spent in debauchery, or in that wakefulness and pre-occupation of mind which disdains attention both to the animal comforts and superficial proprieties of life. Jane gazed upon him with a sickening feeling of expectation during a few moments of silence. At length he said, abruptly,
“ Well — well-all is settled ; in two weeks, or at farthest, three, Frank Hardy's occupation will be gone!”
“ Two--- three weeks!-What do you mean?” inquired Jane in a voice of terror, unmingled, however, with surprise.
“There is no need for preparing you,” replied Frank; “ there can be no need, with a woman of your strength of mind and propriety of reasoning. My father's friend, and my friend and patron, has been attacked by sudden illness, which unfits him, just at present, for active duty. Almost his whole fortune has been laid out in the pur
chase, on the other side of the water, of a cargo now waiting to be received on board. He has no absolute confidence in the skill and prudence of any other living being than myself. He has impiored me not to cast him off in his old age to beggary and destitution; and in short, I have promised — I have sworn, solemnly sworn, to make one more voyage in the Beauty. But it will be the last,” added Frank, eagerly; " it will be the Smuggler's Last Trip, and not a coin shall cross my hand in reward for services that are now hateful to my soul. So help me heaven, I will be true to my faith and my love!” Jane had not drawn breath during the explanatory speech, and at the end, with a gasp that seemed that of parting life, inquired when he was to sail ?
“ To-night,” was the reply. .
“I knew it!” said she, with a calmness of voice, which seemed terrible to her lover, when taken in conjunction with her strange wild eyes and bloodless lips. “ There will now come—what I do not know, and cannot guess at,—and yet, what my heart has prophesied for nearly three years! Will you be warned ?-No, you will not! Shall I throw myself at your feet, and pluck out my hair by the roots, and implore you to desist, for the sake of your soul—and of your God-and, oh! pitiful bathos, of your miserable, miserable Jane? No, I will not-for it would be unavailing. You will go, and you will return, and you will — no, you will not!” and laying both her hands upon his shoulders, she looked
wildly into his face, and in a whisper so filled with terrible, yet indefinite meaning, that her lover shuddered, continued with almost maniac emphasis—“Say you will not!"
“Jane,” said Hardy, endeavouring to control a sort of superstitious thrill which ran through his veins, “I do not understand you. My life has been a series of — call it shame, if you will; but a week or two more added to a number of years, can be of little consequence. The unselfish purpose, beside, of the present expedition, almost sanctifies it—and it is the last; I swear by heaven it will be the last!”
“Only say you will not!” repeated Jane, in the same indescribable whisper; “do say you will not!”
“ Jane D'Arcy,” cried Frank, in a tone compounded of surprise, and horror, “ this is frenzy!—I have always had an impression that in your singular enthusiasm there was something allied to madness. Now mark me. I am bound — strictly bound-in honour, gratitude, and humanity, to do as I have said. In three weeks, at farthest, I shall return:open your arms; bid me steadily, but tenderly, farewell — there!” Jane rushed into his arms, clasped him to her breast, and with lips as cold as death, printed a kiss upon his; and Frank, determining not to hazard another look till he was absolutely free from the thrall of his accursed trade, after replying to her embrace, turned suddenly round, and rushed from her presence.
The smuggler was correct in his calculation of time, for it was just three weeks after this interview, that the Beauty, loaded with a rich cargo, neared the Cove. It was in the dark, and at low water, the most favourable time for landing goods in the manner intended ; and a signal-light on a certain part of the cliff informed the commander that his accomplices on shore were ready. Frank Hardy, at this inciting moment, forgot Jane for the first time since he had left her. The wind, blowing from the land, was in the larboard quarter, in which a high rocky point, running far out into the sea, protected the vessel from the observation of the craft in the distant bay. Every thing was as favourable as could have been wished, and it was now getting quite dark enough for the enterprise ; although it blew what the sailors call, with the expressive coarseness of their phraseology, a snoring breeze, and the tide, already beginning to flow, rose, on meeting the opposite wind, in a rough, cross jubble.
“Luff, my lad, luff,” cried Hardy, as the vessel plunged into the vast shadow of the cliffs ; “ keep her away; give her plenty of it—do n't you see our lights along shore—there, to starboard ?”
“Ay, sir,” said the man at the helm, obeying; “ but I have just been thinking - look up at that there moonraker of a peak—if that is not something more than the beam of a tree upon the summit standing against the sky— by George ! it is down, and I am right -- there are land-sharks astir!”