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THE STRANGE CLAIMANT; OR, TWICE WED. j CHAPTER XI.—(Continued). ^LY he spoke, in a hoarse and broken voice, thn 0aian»' said, "I took you for a wife out of very love of my heart—love that I'd have sold do sou^ have from jou in return. I have thi*8 everything that man could do, to win some- like love from you. Q-od knows I have, and you ve returned it! If you. had made up your to dislike and thwart me, why hadn't you said would have spoken, but he went on, his voice and his hand with it, above his head— «. 8aJ. why did you take me—why did you ? To be ..curse of my lifeJ Why did you let him die that jJ«ht have grown to be a blessing to me ? He was you—°h •' woman, why did you let him die ? j. Wouldn't I have saved him, Saul, if it had been 'jMble ? she said was he not my child, too ? ^Ees," he repeated, loudly; he was like you; but J* your care is all for that girl, your own; my son die and be buried-r-you care nothing. I tell you «ewc loved you; but, by all that's holy, if you make hate you, you shall rue the day, and she, too; you ft love her, and are to me like a hired servant, and 110 more." Saul,' the woman said slowly, and in her chilling "do what you will with me—I am yours, to use J? you please. But you must not harm or vex my She is mine I never gave her to you." > Yes, yes," he cried, excitedly; you can warm Sfiath.6"' ^e117; you 0411 **life *or hep» not stone, or "She has suffered by you, Saul, as it is; I have ,8,?0 you, nor any, indeed." "I. he interrupted, with amazement; by me?" She rose, and led the way to the bedside of the keeping child. Lost in surprise, he followed. With liiht and gentle hand she turned down the cover-lid, ST aside the curling hair of the little girl, under which one arm lay half buried. The long sleeve of vie night-dress, peculiarly fashioned, hid entirely hand Ibd arm. This she unbuttoned. "You never asked the cause of this," she said. He grew ashy pale in the light of the night-lamp, 44 he said, in faltering tones- "Ida said it Burnt. Yes, I told her so when she aaked herself lkbout it. It is a horrible affliction for my girl. I never it to you, Saul, or would tell you what might you needlessly. Bat do ycu remember that even- when the girl, Nelly Harts torn, told you of her "tended marriage, that the folly might be ended it jjae shame on her to have begun. You caught her the wrist and swore an awful oath? She tore "way from you with a great wrench and sprain. It was the last time we met, Meghorn, then but the scene was often and often present in my mind. I thought of it, with, oh! such a dread. Heaven for. give me! You will understand. It is worse to-night— horrible; for to-morrow is her birthday, you know— ten days since her father was lost." Saul groaned, and bowed his blanched face in agony. Ten days since, his infant bey had died. "Nelly," he fultered. "have a little mercy-be with toe as you are with your child. Think how I loved you, and what I He stopped. She slowly shook her head; then stood waiting to light him from the chamber. They said Deepgang was haunted; and the fisher- jhens wives and children used to draw nearer the fire, and look around shuddering as the wind and Waters made strange noises up its dreary pass and Overhanging cliffs; while lights unusual and stranger forms had been seen, 'twas said, at midnight, wander- ing to and fro. But the worst spirits that haunted it were invisible to human eye. Fierce passions, jealous hate, and dread suspicion dwelt in the house upon its summit, brooded in its depths, and filled the air with their repinings and lamentation?. OHAPTER XIL FLAYING THB GAME. Inta, as in passed over the lonely dwelling on the diff, brought no alleviation of the bitter draught Which those two had doomed themselves to share. Day by day the gloom and coldness of the woman increased, fast changing the fierce passion of her hus- band to discontent and aversion. Since thejd^ath of his child, Saul Meghorn decreased hourly in the futile attempts to win the love or awakeu the interest of his wife. In proportion as he felt her aversion to himself, he loathed the being on whom her whole affection was fixed; and, though never by personal ill usage, yet by Blight, scorn, deprivation of her little enjoyments of her liberty, he made the poor child feel the weight of his authority and dislike. "Yon did not want the trouble of my child," he would say, tauntingly; "no! he was Jet die, that you might fondle, and pet, and spoil that brat. Ah! it shall be little the better. Did you hear me, girl ? Go fetch some logs to the fire I" Go, Ida, dear child," the mother's unvarying, sad ▼oice would say—for she trained her daughter to the lame steady, unvarying obedience as she herself dis* played, and trod the daily, monotonous round in sub- jection; except on rare occasions, never attempting any reply or excuse, but letting him rail on—not even by a flushed cheek or rough3ned brow showing that the sense of his words had reached her. Far more welcome to him had been the angry re- tort, or weeping excuse or supplication-the fire of his own passion had then met with some other fuel than his own heart, on which to prey with devouring fury. Away with you! be off to bed, I say! to bed, child!" would be often the greeting on his return, in Mply to some of poor Ida's silent attentions, for she •eldom spoke to him now. And go, dear Ida," the mother's request, would confirm the sentence; perhaps at early twilight, or when some little interest had attached itself to the poor girl's weary hours of solitary life. Far, far worse were those fitful bursts of mad en- dearment, in which he would suddenly indulge. Fine silks, or rich cloths, too, he brought, with or- naments, at times; and affected to think, in his mad Way, that she really thanked him for the gifts. The fisherman couldn't bring Buch to his wife, eh, llúatress P eh, Nelly? And she will kiss me twenty times for these. Why, this is like the one Was pitched over the cliff long aro-dost mind that, Nelly ? Ob oh! it was no use—no use, was its my girl I-was it ? She's mine at last, ha! ha I and she does love her husband—of course she does, For her child's sake she bore even with this. The fierce, strong will held the weaker in subjection. She felt herself powerless for revenge, evea had it been possible. The put usurped all — there was little perception of the preeent-no thought for the future. One sole consolation still remained. The cottage had continued, as I have said, in her possession, untouched in all its arrangements, un- entered by any foot, unvisited by any eyes but her Own and her child's. This was her sanctum, and thither she took the burthen of her griefs, and prayed, since it might not be removed, for strength to bear and not to faint on the rough way. The wife of the strange man, the recluse, almost, Of the wild Deepgang, under this influence lived so secluded, that, ere the second autumn of her fresh bridals, the merest visitor, newly come to winter at Sandcombe, was less a stranger than she; so little akin did she appear to all her old surroundings and the whilom associates of her youth. Saul's absences from his home became more frequent, and ef longer continuance. Sometimes he might be found at the Peep 'o Day. 6 drank deep and hard; he rarely exhibited any symptoms of the effects, though Nelly had learned to "ervp herself to the utmost when the heavy footstep keyDded heavier, the deep voice was raised to a higher ..ey. her satisfaction she had been left more alone late, and, when he did return, Saul wu more pre- occupied, and less inclined to acknowledge the fact of her existence. This was the best boon the wife could desire. In one of his tyrannical moments he dismissed the maid, saying the girl was now getting big enough to make herself useful; and mother and child were thus alone in the house. But Nelly took no offence at this rather she was glad to be quit of any witness to her sorrowful re- pinings, and free to indulge her self-communings as she pleased. The domestic duties of the house fell by no means heavily upon her, though it was little Ida could do to assist, even would the mother have per- mitted it. The girl exerted herself to fulfil all the requests of Meghorn, which, when he was present, were by no means few in number; but otherwise she was very quiet and not apt to exert herself; her greatest delight was when she could prevail upon her mother to accompany her as far as the Ohine, and seeking out the shadiest spot among its wild bowery walks, to fill her parent's lap with the flowers she gathered far and wide; then, seated at her knees, to make them into bunches, meanwhile singing to herself, in the sweet, low tones of a voice which seemed in- sensibly to have modulated itself to the sad atmos- phere of her unblessed home. CHAPTER XIII. SATAN WINNING. IT'S as good, ay, as a sack o' gold to my eyes, it is capt'n, for to hail in sight of ye agin. Sick o' land life!' 1J should say ye was, and the wonder is, as I said, how ye ha' stood it. Shore!' I says to that lubberly jackass Simeon Foulkes,' the capt'n'11 tire of it in six months,' I says, and tho' ye've held out longer'n I'd ha' thought was in ye-ay, it took ten year off me, it did that, when you hailed from the old place, and bid Mat Yawmans hold up his head and be a man agin." "What became of Foulkes?" asked Meghorn of his grim servitor. They stood within the cavern we have before des- cribed, which had lain for many months unvisited, and where the few articles yet remaining gave signs of total disuse. The entrance giving upon the bay was open, and the broad light of a full harvest moon streamed on the rippling sea, upon the beach, and >ver the figures of the two men as they stood in con- rA_tinn- "Went to the bad, yer honor, swamped for good and all; not like a man neither, cutlass in hand, and his feet to the enemy, nor took in fair fight, but like a weasel sneaked in a hen-roost, nabbed by the rascally land sharks, and clapped in a country jail, for a pettifogging, dirty job, as was not worth the risk of a 11 Well I" It always is the way with them fellows as can't take their liquor in times And seasons like a man," continued Yawmans with an oath. "I never did put no more faith in him than in a leaky old punt; though it warn't for me to speak agin a mate as yer honor seemed to fancy." "He had been unlucky, and I thought to give him a trial. He had a stout arm in time of need." Oh, ay, the lad had pluck, for that matter, but the gun's no use primed and loaded if there's no head to point it. It do seem to me that book larning and logic aint o' much account if it can't keep a man atraightwithhimeelf. However, as I say. he come to grief; and he knowed too much for one or two among us to be quite easy, for he never could keep his tongue from wagging." You helped him to escape V Well, capt'n, that would ha' been all very well, and we'd ha' been glad -to do it, bein' as we bore no malice agin the lad. But we'd made the coast there- abouts pretty hot, and friends were looking shy; it was full time we weighed anchor, and no time to lose. Foulkes, you see, had been spoke with, and wouldn't strike while we was in hail, but it couldn't be done. So one of the chaps got to see him by night, and took him a dram Simeon had particularly a liking for we cast off and on till the next day, and the news went round the place, that when they went to fetch him to court, he was found dead in the ceil-they said he'd poisoned himself. "It could nohow be helped, ye see, capt'n, and, after all, it was one for us all" Poor wretch!" said Meghorn, with a tinge of re- gret in his tone. The mate stirred up his pipe with his finger, and puffed in silence. With a delicate reserve he had modestly forborne to make himself the hero of the tragedy, as he might have done. But he left Saul little in doubt thereby, for he knew the man who had so long been his associate, and valued him none the less for his resources under stern necessity. And you, what have you been about 7 the superior inquired, after a pause. Off and on, yer honour, here and there, up and down; fairly afloat at times, and aground 0' the shoals. I was doing a bit in the bacca line, whfn you give hail; not so bad, nuther, but I threw it al i up when I heerd the old call, and old times seemed to come over me afresh." Ay, ay: and old times and better ones wa'U have too, Mat," said the pirate. It's no small game we'll lly at now; I'm sick of it—sick to death! I long for the brave faces and the glorious lads to rally round me once again; the fair sails shall again swell to the breeze, our music has slumbered too long, and they have'forgotten its voice, but by——— we will Bhowthem it is not dead, and our flag shall again be the terror of the sea!" He raised his arm as he spoke, and swept it over his head; his dark eyes flashed, his breast heaved, and his mighty form seemed to dilate with pride of power and dominion. I,. Ay, that's the capt'n!" exclaimed Yawmans, with an oath; the glorious times I did think was gone for ever come back while I hear you speak." And you have gathered so. many of our men ? the old set V Have I, yer honor ? ay -and they answered to the. call, as I've seen 'em in bygone days to your call from the forecastle, that, let the winds blow and the thun- der roll as it would, we always heerd, and gave us fresh strength and daring to do. Come, capt'n j they'd come through fire and blood to your call 1' "My brave lads, my faithful felloe, t" said Meg horn. "And she's all ready- stores aboard — bound for f "You shall know, Mat; get all halÍds aboard; with those you have named, we shall need but two fresh ones, and to you I leave that. For, Mat, remember, in the rank you fill, my command will be but nomi- nal." "Ay, ay, capt'n, it's all well enough between us two, but devil a bit would the men take Atat Yawmans for head. They like me well enough, but it's Saul Meg: horn they awear by; it's him they flgbt for, and it's that name, capt'n, has stirred many a lad, while hit breath was going from his body, to lift his hand in the fray." They shall have better cause* they shall, and I swear it," said Saul, with knitted brows and flash*- ing eyes, as he struck his breast with his clenched fistl Ay, and I shall lead them on to victory, till the world rings with our names. U Have-you seen her, p "r, Ay, ay, eapfnt his majesty might be proud of her, as I am, to set foot upon her planks." "You went below ( Ay, yer honor, you've been sparing to yourself, by my word; though, for the ^t, you'd make milk- sops of the lads, with thesjMQe you've left 'em. But the inner cabin was locked. "And will be; it I have stints myaelf. Mat, I've got luxuries there. A lady beaMng company." "A what I" Yawmans started and dropped his pipe. My wife I said the pirate, turning upon his sub- ordinate the full force of his gate. At the words, the grim mate lifted his tarpaulin hat, but continued to stare at his "commander in mute aotonisbment. She has been ailing of late, and the sea voyage may do her good," pursued Saul, gloomily, and in a tone which the other well understood not to mean trifling. "Yes," he continued; we shall have a lady aboard the Daredevil, and we shall ifnd our hands none the less steady, nor our guns Ion sure for it, Mat Yaw- mans He would have been a bold man who had dared contradict those words-like the look which accom- panied them, more of defiaQce than affirmation. Whatever thoughts the mate had. he kept them to himself. # r Yes," said Meghorn, after a brief pause, so we lift anchor, and quit this abcursed coast the first week in the month, Yawmanl-wind and weather according." "Wind and weather always did favour you, eapfn," growled the other, as the subject being apparently dismissed, he replaced his hat and stooped to search for an available remnant among the fragments of his E* succeeding, the*e ja little doubt but he viewed the accident as the bat ill omen attending the pro- jected innovation of the feminine element in the free- booters' domain. I don't think I hll,ve any more to say, Yawmans; keep close, get the la.ds in tow, and letfme find them and you at the other meeting-place round the coast." "Ay, ay,capt'n; all shall'be done." "And remember, not one is-to know of what I have just told you." Was there any need to say that now to Mat Yaw- mans?" returned the mate, with an air of wounded innocence. "Thirty years, yer honor, aboard and ashore, might ha' give you ION notion of the old craft better than that." Meghorn waved hia hand in depreatios, and in token that he assented to the justice of the other's remark. A few brief words closed the interview; then the mate-having lighted a lantern swung at his belt- disappeared by the way we saw the pirate enter on a former occasion, and Meghorn was aione." (To be continued.)


" ' "'" THE LADIES." .

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