(ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.) SHROUDED IN MYSTERY; CIt, WHICH GIRL DID HE MARRY' BY J, SKIPP BORLASE, Author (,f "For True Love's Sake," "Thi-M Level); Wttucn," "Darker than Death," "An Ocaan Secret," "Recalled to Lite," "Riches to Stain," "Who Killed John Cameron?" "Sword and L hes," *l;oliee iiiakiter," &c. CHAPTER LXXXV. NARRATES HOW LADY HOWARTH WAS RESCUED BY HER HUSBAND AND THE PINNER. Jim NutaJl hadn't the slightest wish to linger on the way, for he was fearful of re- cognition and re-arrest. For the same reason lie eschewed the main thoroughfares, and induced the baronet to cross the river by the wishing stones instead of by the bridge, though ground was rather lost than gained by the proceeding. When some five minutes later the baronet noticed in what direction they were proceed- ing, he said to Nuttall: "We've turned up the bridle road leading to Manchester. We are going towards Ghost- P, lane. What is this for?" "Because we are going to the haunted nun- nery," replied the pinner shortly. "What? Is she there, then, after all? Yet iao, it cannot be Sir Henry uttered the first seven words in accents of surprise, but the last five words in tones of incredulity, but Jim Nuttall made answer: "She's there and yet a long way from there. I could even take you to her by a much shorter cut and without going ■*ear the nunneiy at all, but then I've got >> think of the best way of getting at her gven more than of the quickest plan of getting near her/' and perceiving, that the otd pinner was taking a kind of pleasure in being Sphinx-like and mysterious, Sir Harry forbore from questioning him further. At last the gloomy and half ruinous old house was reached, and fishing the front door Ikey out of his breeches* pockeft the dinner hurriedly inserted it in the lock. A minute later they were inside the deserted mansion, and the door was securely locked behind them. Then Nuttall heaved a sigh of apparently Intense relief and satisfaction, thereafter ex- claiming: "Now if I'd but a pot of strong old October ale, I'm blest if I wouldn't forestall my com- in, fortune by giving a guinea- for it." "You should have thought of the ale while eoming along, and when twopence would have procured the very best," said the baronet. "Coming along I thought a deal too much about my thousand pounds to risk the loss of a single moment on the way. 'Taint much more than an hour ago that I escaped from the watch, who were hauling me along in the direction of Packer street and the Flying Horse on the charge of trespass, a.nd I know not what else." "Well, well, never mind about all that now. Take me as quick as possible to my poor wife. That is to say if you really can." "Trust me for that. Come along, and you shall be with her in next to no time. I know of something tna.t'll do the business finely, and our four arms will be none too few to work it. either. It's that I've had in my Blind's eyes all the way along." With this more than ever incomprehensible utterance the pinner led the way to the secret chamber and nointed to the hole that may be .t&id to have formed its only article of furni- ture, and the rope that hung adown it. "That's the way," end Fmj going down first in order to give you confidence. First, however, we want a lighted! candle to orna- ment each of our hats with, for you see we must have our hands at liberty. There's one, and kindled in a second', too, for mine's a stunning flint and steel. Stick it in your hat band, and here goes number two in mine. Now, in another minute I'll be at the bottom of the bottomless hole, which isn't more than twenty yards deep at the most, and even part of that is above ground and only in the thickness of the brick wall, and if there wasn't once an easier way of getting down it than there is at present, why I'm preciously mistaken." The conclusion of this speech, came up out ef the apparent depth profound, and m a later Jim shouted up it: "Now then, here I be on wha.t the schul- lard's cafl terry firmer once more. Don't hs afeared, Sir Harry, for it's all plain sailing, and rm holding the rope steady at th2 bot- tom." "All right," responded the baronet, and then down' he went into the yawning gulf in turn, and directly he had landed on the earthen floor of the! subterranean, passage he exclaimed, "But where is she?" "Help me to carry this long plank," re- joined Nuttall, pointing, to the one which Halcamus Greenwood had olid down the almost precipitous incline upon a former occa- sion, which the reader will doubtless re- member. "It's to ding down the door of her prison with," he added, "for there a.re doors, aye, and strong ones too, even down here. If there hadtn't been I'd have got at her and brought her out myself, for I am very sure that I could have trusted- to your honours honour about the reward?" "Of course you could," responded the baro- net curtly, and then -they went on and on in silence, carrying the plank between thorn,, until they reached the Templars' Chapel. "Now, that's the barrier that we have got to knock down," said Jim Nuttall pointing towards the mildew and fungus-covered door. "There is the keyhole which I spoke to her and she answered me back through. It's to be hoped that the hinges and the staples are corroded and' rotten, for then a swing or two of this plank will about do the business; hut if they aren't, then we have some pre- vious stItt v work cut out for us." "Speak to her through the keyhole again," rejoined! the baronet nervously." Tell her that you have come to rescue her, and not to be frightened at the noise that you are about to make." "Whv don't you tell her so yourself?" asked t.he pinner in considerable surprise. "Because I don't want her to know that I am here. There are matters between us— but there, there, you need1 not be told about thom—su I beseech you to do what I have asked of you without further question." Jim Nuttall immediately complied by put- tin" his mouth to the keyhole and; shouting through it: "Did you think I was never coming back?" Well, here I be. two and a half hours later than I promised, but I suppose it's better late than never. Fve got a mate with me, and a. big board, and the two of us are going to thump the door down, so please stand clear of it, my gal—my lady I mean—for fear that it might; fall inwards and give you an ugly Jwock." 0 In answer to these words of mingled oom- fort and warning there came from within a shrill cry of thankfulness and joy, which sti- mulated the two men to lay hold of the board t.gain, and! commence swinging it, battering- ram fashion, against the door. Bang—bang—bang—it had little effect at first., and its wielders had begun to fear that a would b&ve none, when suddenly, befara a blow only a littie more powerful than the preceding ones, the door suddenly collapsed, and fell crashing inwards, revealing in an in- stant of time the dumpy Norman pillars, the low vaulted' roof, and the sculptured tombs with their hideous phosphorescent seeming transparencies of the Templar's Chapel. On the top of one of those monuments, and at the crossed feet of the stone knight who lay recumbent thereon, tu inkled an almost expiring fragment of candle, and standing beside it, with pallid face, parted lips, and wildlv longing eyes, was Ruth Howarth, leaning for support on the cold hard marble, than which her countenance was still whiter. At the pitiful sight Sir Harry could rest- rain himself no longer, and with a glad cry he rushed past the pinner and clasped her in his arms, exclaiming the while "Ruth, my wife, I know all, and I forgive you. Your sister Rose—Rose I say, has ex- plained everything, and convinced me that you were far more sinned against than sinning in everything that you either said or did;. I am come to take you home—yes, home—as well as, I hope, to comfort and to happiness. "No, no," wailed out Ruth, to his infinite surprise, Home with you would mean Dame Dorothy over again—Dame Dorothy who murdered your first wife, and tempted your mad daughter to murder me,your second, by telling liei that I was a wehr-wolf and ought to be killed. She was to feel for my heart against my naked side with one hand and then thrust a bodkin or a scissors into it with the other. No, far rather would I remain and perish in this awful place than I would live in a palace if its roof also sheltered Dame Dorothy." "And yet, what am I talking about ?" con- tinued Ruth, passing the back of her hand across her eyes as though-to collect her scat- tered faculties. "What aura I talking and thinking about? for the old hag—the deceitful and murderous old hag—was burnt to death in the north wing. Her skirts caught fire just as she was on the point of murdering me, and with the same dagger that she slew your tirst wife with—the one that was thrust in her bedroom—the bureau with the hideous carved figures, all blood-stained. Aye, she boasted that she had done it, and oh. with what fiendish glee But as she is no more—as she has met her well-deserved fate, I will go with you—yes, I will go with thankfulness and joy, and I thank you from my heart for forgiving and forgetting so much." She took her husband's arm as she con- cluded and lie at once turned round towards Jim Nuttall, and perceiving from his wide- open mouth and horror-filled eyes, that he had overheard everything that Ruth had so un- guardedly uttered, lie, unperceived by her, tapped his forehead significantly with the forefinger of his disengaged hand, in order to intimate to the pinner that her sufferings had affected her reason, though he didn't believe it for a single instant himself, or at all events he had jumped to the conclusion that there was "much reason in such madness," as well as that reason, pure and simple, would return to her almost as soon as she was in the midst of pleasant and cheerful surround- ings. As for the pinner, his thoughts took the exact impression the baronet bad hoped they would as the result of his quick, pantomimic action, and, muttering half aloud, "Poor lady, poor lady!" he at once began to rack his brains concerning the best and easiest method of returning to the upper world. He knew that by no possibility would they be able to get the rescued girl up through the reputed bottomless pit into the haunted nunnery, for the rope WM not strong enough to bear two, and she certainly would be in- capable of climbing it alone. But the trap-door leading up to the viper's hole and the ruinous oastle keep? Ah that was a very different matter, for it wasn't more than some eight feet above the floor of the subterranean passage, so that Sir Harry could lift the lady up in his arms quite high enough for him (Jim) to get a good, firm grip of her from above, after he had ascended first, and, having pulled her through the orifice, he could next give the baronet some substantial assistance towards effecting the ascent also. Explaining the fact of their position and the deductions tha.t he had drawn therefrom to Sir Harry, he cordially agreed with them, and the consequence was that they were carried most successfully into effect; but, as necessarily similar description of a. twice- recorded feat would assuredly be lacking in interest, we need merelv state here that, con- siderably under an hour from the time of her being rescued out of Templars' Chapel, Lady Howarth was surrounded by every possible iuxury and comfort at Lisbon Hall, her bus- band's temporary abode, and that it was by that time sufficiently evident that horror and suffering had neither robbed her of her reason nor even to any great extent injured or im- paired her health. CHAPTER LXXXVI. MOST EXTRAORDINARY REVELA- TIONS—A CONFESSION CONTAINED IN AN IRON SNUFF-BOX. It can be every whit as easily imagined as described how, once together, mutual reve- lations and explanations led up to an almost complete understanding between husband and wife. In the course of them Sir Harry declared that Dame Dorothy had even tried to make him believe tha.t the ratafic essence had been obtained in order to poison him, and Ruth narrated how the diabolical housekeeper had prompted his innocent, half-witted daughter, twice in one night, to destroy her: on the first occasion by setting fire to her skirts, and on the second by thrusting a bodkin or scissors into her heart, because she was a wicked wehr-wolf who had destroyed her mother, and who, unless so disposed of, would ere long destroy her; going on to describe how, at a later hour, the hag had followed her into the north wing, and attempted there to despatch her herself, boasting gleefully that she had disposed of her predecessor in like manner, when she had at last felt assured that it was out of her (the narrator's) power to escape and tell the tale and how, finally, and at the last mo- ment, a retributive Providence had meted out to tier a death by fire through a candle flame igniting her skirts in a very similar fashion, save for the intervention of a living hand, as she had so fiendishly plotted with respect to her. and that this had been the beginning of the conflagration which had almost destroyed the interior of Clegg Hall. Sir Harry listened and believed, and he 'would have done so even had not the calcined bones which had been found in the ruins confirmed his young wife's tale. Little did lie dream that ere another couple of hours had passed away a much more ter- rible and appalling proof would be in his possession of the Dame's malignity and her consequent crimes—aye, even further and fresh crimes, which as yet he did not even suspect. But we must not anticipate. Leaving Ruth in charge of her old favourite, the cook, who was now housekeeper pro tern. as well, and to whom he gave instruc- tions that his wife and his daughter should not be allowed to come in contact with eaeh other until his return, the baronet departed with Jim Nuttall. who all this while had been feasting in the kitchen, for the old house in the wood, in order to request Mr. Radcliffe to hand the pinner over the thousand pounds' reward, and also to assure him of the recovery and safety of his daughter. He found old John in a condition in which he could barely understand what was said to him, and Parson Dick's man still in close attendance upon him; but Mrs. Radcliffe, whom the good news excited until she was almost beside herself with joy, ushered Sir Harry and his companion into the upstairs chamber in which, the corpse of Halcamus] Ureenwood still lay, begging the baronet to take especial notice of it on her husband's behalf, and telling Jim Nuttall to take all the money that he could find, adding that most of it was probably still buried in the mattress, but that she could not enter the apartment again herself. Well, Jim Nuttall found every coin, and the baronet took note that every injury which the decayed had received had been from the fangs and claws of the dog. There, too, was his pistol lying close by, and clear indi- cations that he had come in through the window, as the creeping plants were all broken, and there was garden soil on the top of tne leaden porch, on the floor of the room, and on his boots. So Sir Harry assured Mrs. Radcliffe on rejoining her, just as Parson Bellos had done, that her husband had nothing to fear as the result of an inquest or of any other legal pro- ceedings, and then set off again for Lisbon Hall, on the doorstep of that "mansion of the superb view" finding a man awaiting him who had an old iron snuff-box in his hand 'which was evidently blackened by the action of fire, and which he tendered to the baronet, saying: "This was found in the ruins of the house- keeper's room at Clegg Hall, Sir Harry, and if the fire had raged but a little bit more furiously there its contents would have been destroyed. Some of ns read what's inside, which, perhaps, was wrong, but we hope you'll excuse it, because if we hadn't done so we might have pitched the old thing away as being only a bit of useless rubbish but murder will out, they say, and 'we think you'll be able to make a murder out of what's in there just as clearly as we have done." So Sir Harry took the blackened iron (or, for that matter, it might once have been brass) snuff-box into his private study, and locked the door to guard against interrup- tion, and then, opening it, discovered some tightly-foldecl-up scraps of paper, which had evidently once been the leaves of a small account book, for there were the money columns ruled in red ink. The heat had turned' the paper brown, and he had to finger it very carefully lest it should crumble away in his touch. The writing, however, was clearly legible, and ran as follows, in a series of disconnected sentences that had evidently been written on many and divers occasions — "He has married a. ba,refooted beggar's v, ench, and he has put her over me, and I haw to obey and call her my lady '—I who have been as good as mistress here for years, and who was fool enough to hope that one day I would be the mistress. "He tires of her—aye, already—in a few months. The wine cup is more winsome to him than her beauty. He would give as much to be rid of her as six months ago he would have given to win her, and she, the fool. is jealous of me—of me who am almost old enough to be her mother, though still a handsome woma.n. or, at least, there are many who say so. She treats me like dirt because of it, but, perhaps, she will become dirt the fir "The beggar's wench bad said to me what I will never look over or forgive. Thank hf-uA en, my master could do better without her than Avithout me. I am his right hand, she onlv a beautiful picture or image. Bah and how sick of her he has become, and she at. II lays all the fault of it at my door. Well, I should feel complimented at that, for in truth he has never treated me as any other than a useful old woman. Old? I am only forty-five, and my figure is a perfect one. I'm sure mv skin is still as white as milk and smooth as satin where it hasn't been exposed to the air. "She has insulted me again. She shall die for it. Her death would be a relief to him and a joy to me. "I hate her more than ever-ten times more than ever. I hate her so much that I hate her innocent child for being so like her. "At last—at last I triumph. I have killed her, and, better still, I was able to whisper my hate into her ear before I did it. The world will think that after that accident on the stairs she destroyed herself through an insane jealousy of me. Her husband thinks it already. Even the doctors don't suspect any other. She has to be buried in unblessed ground like a brute beast. My cup of joy is full. "Her daughter grows yearly more like her. The little minx already begins to order me about. She looks at me with her mother's eye, I hate her, too, and I will gratify my hate by winning her love and driving her mad. Her father is much am ay. The horrors of the north wing are handy. I know some ghastly tales, too. Yes, I will drive her mad. "He has brought me another mistre&s. Yes, after all these years he ha.s brought me another mistress. Again a, girl, and again I have to give up my keys and rule. Once more I am a very menial. Oh I hate her as much as I did the other, and I will be avenged on her also. I shall die the mistress of Clegg Hall, or I shall die mad—mad through disappointment and spite. I 'wonder whether I am at all mad as it is? Well, no matter, I will be mad with a method—at all events till I have settled also with her. "I shall settle with her this very night, and, as my own time can't be far off, I will leave him this record as a legacy." This was all, but it came as a full elucida- tion and clearing up of the mystery which Ruth's story had only in part unravelled. "One day she shall know of it," he mut- tered to himself, "but at the present her nerves are not strong enough to bear it." He then locked the box and its restored contents carefully away, and went to see his afflicted daughter. (To be continued.)
LIBERATOR FRAUDS. THE PROPOSAL TO HOLD A "RE- LIEF" SUNDAY. A letter on the "Liberator" Relief Fund, bea,ring the signatures of Lord Kinnaird, Dean Fairrar, Archdeacon Sinclair, the Rev. Uriah R. Thomas (chairman of the Congregational ligrc Union of England and Wales), the Rev. Dr. J. Monro Gibson, the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes the Rev. Dr. R. F. Horton, the Rev. Dr. Clifford, tlhe Rev. Mark Guy Pearse, the Rev. J. Morgan Gibbon, and the Rev. H. Arnold Thomas, calls attention to the proposal to have a "Liberator" Sunday on the first Sunday in next month, July 7, when the special claims and distressing need of the a..red and destitute victims of the Liberator disaster may be declared from every pulpit in the land, and all the worshippers present i n, at least R-iver) an opportunity of contributing something to the fund for their reLeT. The letter heartily commends the proposal to Christian Churches of all denominations, and states that copies of a pamphlet, entitled "Liberator Victims, a. First Charge on Christian Charity," will be forwarded in any number desired by the Rev. J. Stockwell Wiajtts, hon. secretary, 16, Farringdon-street, E.C.. to clergymen or ministers willing to distribute them among the members of their congregations.
TWENTY-NINE MEN KILLED A Reuter's telegram from Massachusetts says —A terrible explosion of naphtha, at- tended by great loss of life, occurred on Fri- day at Mr. Henry Langley's harness establish- ment—a four-storey building, in this city. The premises, in which 37 workmen were em- ployed at. the time, were destroyed, and only eight of the men were reported to have es- caped. Seven dead bodies have already been recovered from the ruins, while 22 are miss- sing.
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SILENT SISTERS. They had quaielled in girlhood and mutually declared their intention never to speak to each other again, wetting and drying their fore- fingers to the accompaniment of an ancient childish incantation, a.nd while they lived on the paternal farm they kept their foolish oath with the stubborness of a slow country stock, despite the alternate coaxing and chastisement of their parents, notwithstanding the per- petual everyday contact of their lives, through every vicissitude of season and Aveather, of sowing and reaping, of sun and shade, of joy and sorrow. Death and misfortune did not reconcile them, and when their father died and the old farm was sold up they travelled to London in the same silence, by the same train, in search of similar situations. Service separated them for years, though there was only a stone's throw between them. They often stared at each other in the streets. Honor, the elder, married a local artisan; two and a half years later Mercy, the younger, married a fellow workman of Jane's husband. The two hus- bands were friends and often visited each other's houses, which were on opposite sides of the same sordid street, and the wives made them Avelcome. Neither Honor nor Mercy suffered an allusion to the breach. It was understood that their silence must be received n silence. Each of the sisters had a quiverful of chil- dren, who played and quarelled together in the streets and in one another's houses, but not even the street affrays and mutual grie- vances of the children could provoke the mothers to words. They stood at their doors in impotent fury, almost bursting with the torture of keeping their mouths shut against the effervescence of angry speech. When either lost a, child, the other watched1 the funeral from her window, dumb as mutes. The years rolled on. and still the river of silence floAved between their lives. Their good looks faded. The burden of life and of their childbearing was heavy upon them. Grey hairs streaked their brown tresses, then browr hairs streaked their grey tresses. The puckers of age re-placed the dimples of youth. The years rolled on, and Death grew busy among :he families. Honor's husband died, and Mercy lost a son, who died a week after his wife. Cholera took several of the vounger children. But the sisters themselves lived on. bent and shrivelled by toil and sorrow even more than by the slow frost of the years. Then one day Mercy took to her deathbed. An internal disease, too long neglected, would carry her off within a week. So the doctor told Jim, Mercy's husband. Through him the news travelled to Honor's eldest son, who still lived with her. By the evening it reached Honor. As Honor entered Mercy's sick room, with pursed lips, a light leaped into the wasted, wrinkled countenance of the dying creature- She raj sea herself slightly in bed, her lips par- ted, then shut tightly, and her face darkened. Honor turned angrily to Mercy's husband, who hung about imputently. "Why did you let her run down so low," she said. "I didn't know," the old' man stammered taken back by her presence even more than by her question. "She was always a woman to say nothing." Honor put him impatiently aside and examined the medicine bottle on the bedside table. Isn't it time she took her dose?" "I dessav." Honor snorted rathfully. "What's the use of a man?" she inquired as she carefully mea- sured out the fluid and put it to her sister's lips, which opened to receive it and then closed tightly again. "How is your wife feelin' now?" Honor asked after a pause. "How are you now. Mercy?' asked the old man awkwardly. The old woman shook her head. "I'm a-goin' fast, Jim," she grumbled Avea.kly, and a tear of self pity trickled down her parchment cheek. "What rubbidge she do talk." cried Honor sharply. "What d'ye stand there like f1 tailor's dummy? Why don't you tell her to cheer up ?" "Cheer up, Mercy," quavered the old man oarsely. But Mercy groaned instead and turned fret- fully on her other side, with her face to the Avail. "I m too old, I'm too old," she moaned. "This is the end o' me." "Did you ever hear the like ?" Honor asked Jim angrily as she smoothed his Avife's pillow. "She was always conceited about her age. getting herself up aos the equals of her elders,a.nd here am 1. her elder sister, a-s carried her in my arms when I was five and she was two. still hale and strong, and with no mind for underground for many a long day. Nigh three times her age I was once. mind you. and now she has the imperence to talk of dyin' before me." She took off her bonnet and shawl. "Send one o' tlie kids, to tell my boy I'm stay in," here," she said. "And then just you get 'em all to bed—there's too much noise about the house." The children, who were orphaned grand- children of the dying woman, were sent to bed, and then Jim himself was packed off to refresh himself for the next day's labours, for the poor old fellow still doddered a.bout the workshop. The silence of the sick room spread over the whole house. About ten o'clock the d.iet'ir came again and instructed Honor how to alleviate the patient's last hours. All night long she sat Avatohing her dying sister, hand a.n eye alert to anticipate every wish. No word broke the awful stillness. The first thing in the morning Mercy's married daughter, the ouly chiild of her's living in London, arrived to nurse her mother. But Honor indignantly refused to be dis- possessed. "A nice daughter you are," she said, "to leave your mother a. day and a night without a sight o' your ugly face!" "I had to look after the good man and the littie 'uns the daughter pleaded. "Then what do you mean by desertin' them no\?" the irate old Avoman retorted. "First you desetts your mother and then your hush: nd and children. You just go back to them as needs your care. I carried your mother in my arms before you was born, and if she wants anybody else now to look after her let her just tell me so. and I'll be o in a br, ce o' shakes." She looked defiantly at the vellow, dried up creature in the bed. Mercy's Avithered lips tAvitclied, but no sound came from them. Jim, strung up by the situation, took the word. "You can't do no good up here, the doctor says. You might look after the kids down stairs a bit when you, can spare an hour, and I've got to go to the shop. I'll send you a, telegraph if there's a change," he Avhispered to the daugh- ter, and she. not wholly discontented to return to her living interests, kissed her mother, linge- ed a little and then stole quietly away. All that day the old women lingered together In solemn silence, broken only by the doctor's visits. He reported that Mercy might last a couple of days more. In the evening Jim re- placed his sister-in-law, who slept perforce. At midnight she awoke and sent him to bed. n The sufferer tossed about restlessly. At 2.30 she awoke, and Honor fed her with some broth as she would have fed a baby. Mercy, indeed, looked scarcely bigger tha,n an infant, and Honor had the advantage of her only by being puffed out with clothes. A church clock in the distance struck three. Then the silence fell deeper. The watcher drowsed. The lamp flickered. tossing her shadow about the Avails as if she, too, were turning feverishly from side to side. A strange ticking made itself heard in the wainscoting. Mercy sat up -with a scream of terror. "Jim," she shrieked. "Jim Honor listened, her blood curdling. Then she went towards the door and opened it. "Jim," she said in low tones, speak in" to- wards tne landing, tea ner it s nonnu •- only a mouse. She was always a nervous little thing." And she closed the door softly* and pressing her trembling sister tenderly 11 ba.ck on the pillow tucked her up snugly jIl the blanket. Next morning, when Jim was really Pre" sent, the patient begged pathetically to have a grandchild with her in the room, dajr an night. "Don't leave me alone again," s"e quavered; "don't leave me alone, with not » soul to talk to." Honor Avinced, but sa1 nothing. The youngest child, who did not have to go to school, Ava-s brought—a pretty littxO boy with brown curls, which the sun, streanl- ing through the panes, turned to gold. The morning passed slowly. About noon Mercy took the ch:ld's hand and smoothed his curls. "My sister Honor had golden curls hke that," she whispered. "They Avere in the family, Bobby," Hono an,swered. "Your granny had them, toO, when she was a girl." There Avas a long pause. Mercy's Avere half glazed, but her vision Avas inwafa now. "The mignonette will be growing in the meadows, Bobby," she murmured. "Yes, and the heartsea-se," said Hon<>r softly. "We lived in the country, you know, Bobby." "There is flowers in the country," BobbY declared gravely. "Yes, and trees," said Honor. "I wonder if your granny remembers when we were larrupped for stealing apples ?" "Aye. that I do, Bobby. He, he the dying creature, with a burst of en- thusiasm. "We Avere a pair of tom-boy3* The varmer he ran after us, crying, 'Ye Ye but we Aveuldn't take no gar. He, Ilet lie Honor wept at the laughter. The nati^e idiom, unheard for half a century, made hef face shine under the tears. Don't let your granny excite herself, Bobby. Let me her a drink." She moved the boy aside. and Mercy's lips automatically opened to the draft. "Tom was wi' us Bobby," she gurtrlel, still vibrating with amusement, "and he tumbled over on the heather. He, he "Tom is dead this 40 year, Bobby," Avliin1" pered Honor. Mercy's head fell back, and an expression of supreme exhaustion came OA~er her face- Half an hour passed. Bobby was calle<- down to dinner. The doctor had been sent for. Suddenly Mercy sat up Avith a jer?' Mercy bent toward the side of the ted. "A?' is Honor still there? Kiss me. Bobhv." 11e hands groped blindly. the old women's withered lips met. Ac" in that kiss Mercy passed away into the greater silence.-L. ZangAvill, in "Outlook.
SHE LOST SOMETHING. While seated upon a rustic bench in Central Park last Sunday afternoon enjoying the ties of Nature and interestedly watching tllfl passing croAvds of pleasure-seekers, 1 was made the innocent observer of as neat a. bit of comedy acting as anyone could wish to Avitne&s,. seat wa,g slightly removed from the public path and I w¡¡,s screened by some friendly bushes, 0 I could very readily hear and see what wa9 passing in my immediate vicinity Avithout being seen. I had not been seated in IllY bower very long before there came str<ilhQ» doAA-n the path a young maid., a most charm-U^ girl, who recently made hei debut, and who has been decidedly one of the belles of the sea- son. With her as her escort was. a young ieI" IOAV very well known about town and much liked, both by the men and girls- Rumour says, and, in fact, has said for sou10 time, tiKi-c they are engaged a-nd the engage ment is shortly to be announced. Wheth^ they are engaged or not I knoAv not, but it 1 very evident that there is an understajtdmS between them. I wa;ciied tlieiii as tli-y ca-IJ'e along and was vastly aonused in noting love-iike glances Avhieh constantly between the?n, while it was very evident that tiiey Avere unconscious of every fact excep6 that they were together. As they neared niy bench, unconscious of my presence, I distinctly heard a little click on the path and notice that the young woman stopped perfectly sti"- She did not move a,n eyelash, but slowly a. bright cerise tint stole into her cheeks. "What is it?" said he.. She considered for a moment, then a l°°f of determination set the corners, of her m-out'j and she said—"I have just dropped a'a' stopped. He looked back hastily and took step or two from her. While his glance away from iier she moved <->wiftly. A Paij blue band of silk elastic lay at her feet, now hidden by her spreading goAvn. A mag- nificent fine opal buckle surrounded with rnonck at one end of the half-yard length t,a made the "click" a.s it struck the pav3in H'.t.. "Oh, there it is," said she, smili.ig, Ivit sweet self possession. He picked it up. The buckle was warV}' and as his fingers clasped it I co'¡Jd see t ù8 blooa mount to his face. "Wait a moment. while I put it on," said "hed her colour never wavering. He BREATH16, hard. It was early in the afternoon A the park was crowded-still, if she could st»D it he could. Then, Avithout a trace even of a twinkle her eye, she lifted her arms and clasped t dainty band round her throat. It just the blue matched the faint line of colour in » t SOAATI, and the opal gleamed a fitting eneuth her chin. Then they continued thei Avalk and, were soon lost to sight. If by ohan this, little item should meet the eye of the in^ reste persons, I sincerely trust she will for^' my presumption in daring to recite the here, but the item wa.s too good to be lost.
REMARKABLE EIRE AT CROYDON. A WELSHMAN'S RESIDENCE 111, FLAMES. At an early hour on Friday morning bioke lout at Wvstbury, Grant-road, ;[ Croydon, the residence of a Welshman oa11?, e Mr. Richard F. Jorwa, and, although local firo brigade was promptly in attenda" and there Avas a plentiful supply of water, house, with its valuable contents, Avnfl *° ive "t.s' destroyed. It appeared that between and one o'clock, when the other r the household, consisting of the honsekeei* and servant, had retired to rest, Mr. Avho is an old gentleman, 76 years of noticed a strong smell of burning, and going upstairs he found a strong fire ra>?'j io his bedroom, where a sealskin jacket ao some newspapers had by some means becG vd ignited. An ailarm Avas at once raised, e in a very short space of time engines arriving from the CroArdon Central South Norwood, Thornton Heath, a.nd Gicen. The fire had UOAV obtained a. JJI hold on the premises, which Avere alight » top to bottom. It Avas only Avith the P?ej to difficulty that Mr..Tones could be indnc^ leave his bedroom, in which was deposited peity of great value. The Croydon, Nor*1' and Thornton Heath Brigades Avere sooi1^. the spot at work, and ome of the dents succeeded in entering the rear of house, Avhe.re he and his men came across -cli- hoards of silver, gold, and copper, the J^d mulations of years' savings. It Avas P £ e of in the firemen's helmets, and taken oharS by the police, and the owner Avas tak4"' 0f a.n adioining house. Jones was the pict abject despair, but bis joy on seeing dis- money was inconceivable. The money ^jier covered filled the helmets of ten firemen- valuables Avere discovered and saved house, Avhieh Avas burned to the ground- /\neSr 40 firemen were engaged in fighting the » and, at the suggestion of a friend, Toileg rst sented them with 4s., to be divided them for their exertions. The building is OAvned by Mr. Munday, of Trafalgar-8^ jqjje Greenwich, is not insured. The damag0 is estimated at £ 1,500.