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SECOND FLOOR ROMANCE.

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XORJIAX ROSS, FOR THE MURDER,…

WEDDING SUPERSTITIONS.

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THE DOCTOR'S VICTIM: * STORY…

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would remove his diffiewties-n-iale him a t rich man, enable him to quit Thistleden. and enjoy a. life of pleasure and luxury somewhere in England, where those who knew of his assumption of Steenie's naaie could uol trouble him. And, instead of going home, the laird stayed in the city until dusk, when, with his bonnet down over his eyes, and his plaid wrapped around his neck, to hide his iden- tity, he walked slowly along the West Port, in search of the men who, he believed, would carry out the scheme upon which lie had resolved. He dare not enter the whisky shop which Burke and Hare frequented, for fear of being recognised by someone; and for nearly three hours he patiently perambulated the vicinity of their haunts before Burke, alone, emerged from the public-house. I want a few words with you, Mr. Burke," whispered the laird, taking Burke's arm. "A!) Is it you, Ia.ird ? What's the job this time? Got another shot for us at Thistleden?" "Xot exactly. Do you happen to know where Mary Paterson lives now?" "Ay. She bides with a man named Lind- say and his wife, in a cottage cut on the road to Buckstane. And the other leddy lives with them." "What other lady'(' asked the laird. "They call her Mistress Steenie Macduff. I was out there yesterday, buying old shoon, for trade'—and the scoundrel gave vent to a laugh—"hasn't been very good lately, and I saw your niece and Mrs. Steenie in the garden. While I was bargaining with Mrs. Lindsay over two pairs of brogues, a boy from the city brought a. letter and asked if Mistress Steenie Macduff lived there; he had a letter for her from Buchan, the agent in George-street." "Is the cottage a. big one?" asked the laird. "Xo there'll be only two bedrooms, so far as I could see." "inen Mary and the other woman will sleep together. Burke, would you like to earn a udred pounds?' "That uep<auus; what do you want done for th-i money?" "Put the two women out of the 'way for tne, and the money is yours." "But how, laird ? They never go out after dart -that I know, for I have been watching for your niece some time. And Lindsay is (tt hor.te by six every evening." "A pound or two of gunpowder would do it," whimpered the laird. "But where could that be got? I could not get it. What excuse could I give for "wanting such a quantity?" "The store over at the quarries 'would supply you. Two men who meant to succeea would have no difficulty in getting into the store, and the rewt would be easy enough. A long piece of stving, damped and rubbed with the powder, would burn long enough to enable you to get far away." "Sure the ould man himself must be at your elbow, or you couldn't think of such things," answered Burke. "We could, maybe, manage it that way, but how much of the money will you pay down now?" "Ten pounds," promptly replied the laird. "Xot enough. What would hinder you telling us to go to Jericho after the job was done ? We must have at least the half of the money in hand, or I don't touch it." "You can't have so much. All I have is a. pound or two over twenty; and, if I had a thousand. I wouldn't trust you with more. Take that, or I'll say good night to you." Burke was too avaricious to refuse, and lie clutched the little bundle of C-1 notes handed to him by the la.ird, saying: "Consider the job done; we'll come out to Thistleden at dusk to-morrow evening for the rest of the money. Mind and have it ready." And Laird Macduff returned home with an fixuitant- feeding, not a ark of compunction finding its way into his breast for the two ner-,r relatives who were to be removed from his .th by a violent death. Burke now rejoined his companion, Hare gru«i biiugly asking him where he had been so iong. "Come out, and I'll tell you," and the mysterious way in which Burke spoke enabled Hiure to guess that there was work to be done in their own special line. "We have got a little business to do, some- time to-night. The laird has been here, and lie wants us to get rid of two women for him. The scheme is a bit risky, but the pay is good. I have got J620 on account." "Twenty on account? And as much more to come, I suppose? Burke, we'll be gentle- z, men yet, my boy." "Eighty pounds to come, Hare, if we manage the affair properly. We're to make a bit of a hole in a cottage wall, fill the hole with gunpowder, and set fire to itL" "Risky, did you say? It's too dangerous. Where are we to get the powder?" "Steal it. There is plenty kept in the quarsy huts not far from the oottage where fehe women are living." "If we 'were caught, it would be a hanging •ifiner, Burke." "So would our 'shot' business, you fool, tmd we have managed that all right. But if you are too much afraid, say the word, and I'll do it myself." "No, no; I'm not afraid. Let us start at once." "What? Where are the tools for breaking into the quarry store? Come down to my house and have some supper; there will be plenty of time to get through with the other business." An hour afterwards, when it was still but l.ne o'clock, the two men left the city behind, hut in a. direction almost opposite to that they intended Afterwards to proceed. But they knew the necessity of not being seen to go in the direction of the quarry or of the cottage occupie-d by the Lindsays. The old proverb that "Satan helps his own" was once more exemplified. Though defended by a strong door and huge padlock, Burke had not much difficulty in obtaining ingress into the roughly-built little building used as a powder store at the quarries. But the stock ofgunpowder in the store happened to be small, and Burke was somewhat doubtful of the effect that v dd be produced by the two, little linen bags of the explosive they carried away with them. It was a. very dark cloudy night—"couldn't have suited them better," said Buike, as they neilnd the doomed cottage. They had not met a single human being since they left the shelter of an outhouse, prior to crossing the country "towards their destination. A long piece of string had been carefuHy prepared, to do duty as a fuse, and, creeping stealthily across the little garden in front of the cot- tage, the two men examined the stone wall underneath the window of the room in which, as Burke declared, slept the two women, Mary Paterson and her aunt Alice. "We're in luck," whispered Hare "here's a stone out; hole left for air-feel it," and, seizing Burke's hand, he guided it to the hole, Burke being partly "moon-blind," and not able to see much in the dark. get away—I'll do it," said Burke, z, and Hare w& ready enough Lo obey. Thrusting the two bags of gunpowder into the square hole, one of the bags being open, with the end of the string in it, tied securely, so that when he took the string 'vith him it would not come out of the bag, Burke went the length of the string, keeping to the back of the cottage, lest any passer-by should see the burning fuse, and then, his com- panion having supplied him with a scrap of burning tinder, procured by a flint and steel, Burke lit the string, crossed the warden leapt the wall, and ran off silently in his bare feet as fast as he could. "Stop, you fool Let us make sure that it goes off!" said Burke, his more timid accomplice being desirous of getting a way quickly. A couple of minutes--they seemed ten to the two waiting men-and then a sheet of flame, followed by a terrific explosion, was the signal for the flight of the perpetrators of the diabolical crime. Not until they were completely exhausted, and had put a couple of miles between them and the scene of their awful outrage, did they stop. "I say, Burke, we have richly earned that money. Do you think we shall get it ?' (ToU continued. Commenced Mcy 12, 1895.)