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ascent that he required. He olambered up tt the window, and as he neared it beard Phil's voice, in wild and excited accents, whio-H brought every syllable to the listener's ear. It is your fate and mine," the young maf was saying. Try as you will, Cecil, yof cannot avoid it. You shall be my wife-II Never! never Cecil's voice was heard tt •T- For one moment Captain Lester paused. Was it only an ordinary love declaration that he had come to hear P But Philip's rasping voioe went on—rising as he proceeded almost to a scream. You shall be my wife or you shall die t tell you I have read it in your hand, in thi stars that control our destinies, yours and mine, and I know that it must be true I It you are never my wife, there will be shedding of blood, and it must be yours, I tell you—not mine—not mine!" Come one step nearer and I shall fire," said Ceoil. And as Lester gained the window he saw, to his inexpressible relief, that she was armed. She had in her hand a little shining weapon-a mere toy, as it seemed. and yet of deadly meaning a small revolver, which Lester recognised as one that he had seen in her father's study. Her face was pale, but very determined, her hand was pen feotly steady, her oahu eyes were fixed OB Philip's face. And Philip? What was that thing half. hidden in Philip's lifted band, as, with bodj bent and supple sliding movement", like thoM of a tiger in a jungle, he drew a little uearei to his prey P A bright, keen-edged, pointed knife I It needed only one glanoe at that poised quivering weapon, only one glanoe at Philip's wild, demoniao face, to assure Lester of what he had dimly suspected. Philip Maitland was mad A dangerous lunatic at large, and threatening the life of Cecil Char* teris I He threw himself into the room by the open window; but-as it seemed for the moment—all too late I Philip's hand was on Cecil's ahoulder-thf knife was at her throat. Then a report wat heard a little puff of white smoke was seen, Man and woman recoiled from each other- Cecil to throw herself into Harry Leaterq arms; Phil to sink fainting to the grounds Cecil had fired upon him, and she had taken good aim. Is he dead ? Is he dead p., she cried, again and again. Vb, Harry. I could not help it. He waa mad—he would have murdered me—or—indeed, I think that h< was mad ?" He wa&quite mad," said Captain Lester qo gravely, and you fired only out of Belt defence. You acted quite rightly, my deaf And now, let us look—stand aside for j| moment, my darling, aud let me see hit face." If Is he dead ?" said Cecil once again. A.n< then she burst into passionate weeping for th. sake of the man who had been her pUymatfl and her friend. • • • • • Phil was not dead, though wounded in th< shoulder. He wat seriously ill for a time, but ultimately recovered nia bodily strength, though nothis reason. The secret which had been kept from Cecil as well as from himself lay in this hereditary taint; his father and grandfather, as well as several others of his relations, had been attacked by violent homicidal mania, and it was scarcely to be expected that he should escape, The rector was very much blamed for not having sufficientlv proteoted his daughter, but, as he said, the outbreak was so sudden that it had not seemed necessary for him to sudden her by a warning. Poor Phil had to be consigned to a lunatic asylum, and Cecil was so muob affected by the shock that a couple cf year( passed before she could make up her mind te marry her faithful lover, Harry Lester. Bui the marriage took place at last. The pistol had been taken by Philip from the rector's study, but Cecil had managed to gain possession of it, and possibly saved hot life by that timely shot. In one point Phil'fl predictions were fulfilled to the letter, for h< saw the bloodshed in Cecil's hand, and thi possibility of murder and sudden death. Hi| mistake lay in the interpretation of those mi# leading and baffling lines in which he pro* fessed to read fI the fate of Cecil Charteris.11 [THE END.]