[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.] NO ROBBERY, t!io> y BY HENRY FRITH. father of "The Mystery of Moor Farm" On the Wings of the Wind," Through Flood, Through Fire," fe., &c. CHAPTER XIII. THE PHANTOM LOCOMOTIVE. STor'RE not going to turn your back upon me, George?"; It was a heart appeal to his old love and tender- j gless which she had betrayed and yet Lucy did not eeem to think of the injury she had done. She wanted help, and did not hesitate to stoop to ob- tain it. v But Collier turned away from her, and sat in Silence looking over the railway. George," she continued, approaching, but not touching him, George, don't scorn me, for I cannot bear it. rd rather lie down upon the rails there and be killed than think you despised me. For bid times, the happy days Old times! Ain't ye ashamed to come here talking of old times and happy days ? Who made them unhappy to remember? Who but yourself turned my love to bitterness and ran away ? And now you come back Well, never mind how. Who can tell whether you are married or not F I was—I am married. Oh, George, don't be so hard You are the only person I would come to. My husband A violent expression rose to George's lips, but he controlled himself. My husband took me to India. He, I thought, deceived me; and when I found he was not an officer as I fancied, I rebelled. He is- dead I be- lieve—killed by Sepoys; and now I have come back to beg your pardon, and die most likely." George looked at her as she spoke, and she per- ceived she had made an impression upon him. She was pretty and neat, and her figure, more rounded and matronly than of yore, would have been con- sidered good by competent judges. There was a caressing look in her eyes as they met his, and his stern gaze softened as it rested upon her, for had he not loved—did he not still love, this woman, and here she was again by his side, almost touching him. He stood up beside her for a moment, and then with a sudden movement put his arm around her. hp was startled but made no sign. Correctly she had ksTmaied Collier, She had piaywu If16 Strings—his devotion and his former passion. SEe had. created sympathy for herself, and might yet obtain his assistance in her views and plans. So she did not shrink from his emi race. He clasped her tightly to his side and felt his heart beating fast against her bosom. What if she were free, she might in time be his wife, so pretty as she was and so much better in her manner- quite a lady. Lucy made no resistance. She was passive in his clasp, but her pretty head just-as it were unconsciously—dropped a little to his broad (Shoulders, and her eyes met his pleadingly. So pleading were they, that Georgo understood them at once. They appeared to ask him not to take advantage of her repentance, but to treat her well because he might win her if he chose. He was sorely tempted to kiss her, and mado as if to do so- shs never preventing him but he did not venture, and he let her go. She was disappointed, and a shade of annoyance crossed her face. She had counted on that, for she knew George Collier's nature, and felt that she might win him by permitting a caress, for which she did not care the least, except inasmuch as he might be attracted by it, and do as she required him to do. A pupil of the Syren Vivien was Lucy Layton. Collier released her with a jerk; and, as a man of his temperament might be expected to do, he kept at a distance now. He would not trust himself within reach of the woman he still loved, for he felt he might offend. But he did not know how much she wished he would offend, so that he might be made submissive; but all of course within most proper bound*. II suppose I'd better go. I don't know what people will say if they knew I was here. I can, perhaps, get a bod at the inn. though it is late." Yes, the house is pretty well closed up by now," replied George, standing hel; lessly aloof, wishing to be, but not daring to go, near her. Ye can't remain here, Lucy." No, and the child wants looking after," she answered. The child!- chill. George had quite forgotten that. She was a wife and mother; what business had he to kiss her or to love her now ? The mention of the child brought all his manhood back to its proper <hannel, and George Collier was himself again. He had bcn very nearly carried away, but the old love had been put aside. Lucy perceived what was passing in his mind, and her be' ter instincts recognised the restraint which he put upon himself, though. it was no part of hOT tortuous policy to permit him to go scot free. His care and protection—his assistance at any rate—was necessary for her, and she determined to make use of him. Where am I to go, thi,n she asked simply. 'Of course I can't go to your house, I)ut- 1' No, -I suppose nor," he answered, scarcely heeding what he said, as his attention was taken up by his duties, "No, ye can't go to my house," he added, more steadily there would be fine gossip." ■f 11 What do I care for gossip, she said. And now, George Collier, I've something to ask of you; nobody tells me truth about it. Where's father P" "Your father? Jack Raymond, d'ye mean? Why, don't ye know, Mrs. Layton ?" "Know—what? Don't call me Mrs. Layton, George. I don't know anything, I went to find him, and he wasn't at home." "Yes; he is at home," replied George, solemnly. He is at home. He'll never come back here again. | He's dead." "Dead! Dead! Oh, George Collier, ye don't mean that ? Tell me now.- at once ? She was greatly excited and perplexed. Ho remained silent, and in the few moments which elapsed, the whirring noise of the blazing gas was distinctly heard by both. P I Yes he was killed on the railway the very Ilight you ran away with that soldier." t. "Yes. Goon; goon. God help me!" f Well, _that night—three years ago, nearly, I gupb,oise it is-h saw a gbost-an appearance.
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A gnost! gasped the woman. Go on." "Yes, two ghosts," he said. One was a female figure; the other a man, or the appearance of a man; and they passed the line yonder by the tunnel. What's the matter ? Lucy had turned as white as a sheet, and sank down upon the bench in temfied silence. After a minute or two she again looked up. Her face was ashy pale her eyes were staring into vacancy. The child she held in her arms uttered a plaintive cry, and she roused herself to quiet it. Well ? she said, hoarsely. Ye frightened me, that ye did," said the signalman. I never thought ye believed in ghosts any more than me. Howsomdever, poor old Jack he sees them, and he makes nc 0SS the line to find out whether they were the appearances he had seen before, ye remember ? "Yes, yes, I see it all now. Ob, father, father, I've killed you! It's a judgment on me." fi "You're off your head a bit to-night, I believe," remarked the signalman, not very sympathetically. "What had you to do with it. He never knew ye runned away. Bill told me. He saw ye. Ah, he did." "And told father? It killed him. Oh, father —poor father "Killed him! No. The train killed him. He was huntin' for these 'appearances' and the 'fast goods' -that very one as is a comin' up presently- Joe Brown was drivin' it-come out of the tunnel and knocked poor Jack over. He didn't suffer, poor chap. It was all done in a wink like. It wasn't your fault, Lucy." The honest guileless man even then attempted to console the woman who had so ruthlessly wrecked his life, and who had caused her father's death. Don't touch me," she almost screamed. I tell you I killed him. There was no ghost. Frank and I crossed tha line many a time, and we did it that night too." (J t! -• »a This fact took time to penetrate to'George's brain. I Stubborn things, like facts did, as a rule, take time to reach his mind if they were unconnected with the railway and its signals. But in a moment or two he perceived that the "appearances" were due to Lucy and her lover. George Collier turned away, and looked out at the door of the signal-box. He was not in a mood for love now. CH AP • • It was a lovely night, nearing the witching hour. The stars glittered overhead, and winked through the gathering moisture. The moon was setting already, and only a faint gleam was in the sky. All was blue—a beautiful sapphire blue-and not a breath of air was stirring. There w. s a noise of some kind borne to the signalman upon the air. It came from the direct&n of the "shops" some distance away, and had not Collier vv^S.t'un that nobody was likely to bring out a locomotive at thatjSoifo, that an engine was slowly coming up the jine. He listened for a second or two longer, and the 1 noise increased in ever-rising loudness. He hurried down the steps to the metals, and lay down upon the permanent way, with his ear upon the rail. "Good God!" he muttered, "there's something coming up, and I've had no warning. It's not a special; it isn't fast enough. It ain't a I goods;' iL's not heavy enough. It's an empty engine, I'll be bound! An empty engine! There was nothing very alarming in an engine without a train; such engines are known on the railway as empty," but the time and the mysterious manner of its slow approach, quite unannounced, puzzled the man. It's curious, by "Jingo! he said, as ho rose and ascended the steps. Then taking his lamp he left his signal at danger, and leaned out as far as he could to get a look a4* the intruder, and hail the driver. There way no mistake about it- An engine was coming along the line, tender first, at a slow speed, but increasing its pace as it pro ceded, as the signalman's practized ear doteeted a< so n as the locomotive camo round the curve. is the matter inquired Lucy, Anything wrong, George r" He made no answer, and she relapsed into Silence and distressful thoughts. Collier was hanging out his lamp. The engine came on, unheeding the red danger signal in the lantbcrn Mid on tie semaphore. It approached with a gliHng,chos'ly motion; the great wheels rovol dug-almost noiselessly it seemed. No steam issued from the valves; no whistle sounded through the troos and awoke the echoes from the hill behind th- m. A thin stream or smoke and steam r;+■ r>-T\ the funn l, and the Phantom f" -» — Lng ne gi'Scd on, I in ver tacv the like of this," said the terrified signalman. "It doesn't look natural. Who's below r' he shouted, as the engine approached, the beat of the huge connecting rods being imperfectly audible No t-nswer was retiirnel. The huge machine glided on majestically, and n ver slackt m d speed, nor was any whVle sounded, The signals were dead against; the driver. "Hallo!" shouted Colli-r, leaning oat of the w -till up, man. StoP!" There was no reply. W,th unabated, even with increasing Spe. d, the engine passed on dark and weird in the starlight, and disappeared in the shadow of the tunnel. There was a lad lying on the footplate. The engine was a runaway from the shed. So much George Collier saw-no more. CHAPTER XfV. A TERRIBLE RIDE. HE had scarcely time'to warn the next box, when, he he;), d the fast goods" approa hing. A sudden. thought occurred to him. He was sure that the goods had( two engines attached, and the pilot, as he knew, went no farther than N If he could get it detached, the runaway might be caught btfore any mischief was done. He blocked the line at once and callcd Lucy. Can ye stand by the instruments for a bit 2" ho asked. "Ye used to know them." I remember them well," she answered, seeing that something was wrong and she might help. "Ye I can signal well enough." I nen wait there till I come back," he said. Mind the child put him on the floor." "It's a girl, George," she said, as she laid the infant in the coiner, well wrapped in a shawl. .1 It She's fast asleep now." Scarcely had she turned when the fast goods drew out of the tunnel, and pulled up in ^response to George's signal, Here we are, stopped again," shouted the man Who wsia driving the foremost engine, ox "pilot.
VVhal s the mati.T to-nlglw ? I IwlievJ this cutting's bewitched." t¡ Did ye pass an engine ?" inquired George. A big one, tender first, goin' slow." "Aye, and says I to my mate, I says, that's the 4 Watson.' Didn't T, Fred ? Yes, we both says it," assented Fred, who did not wish to be left out of the question and discovery. We've no time for talking," replied Collier; "uncouple your 1 pilot' and let's follow him up; the governor's son is aboard of it. I saw the gold band on his cap." Young Master Edard on that big engin', why she'll drag his arms off if he tries to run her. Lord A'mighty Fred, take up." All right," replied the at tive Fred. Here's a pretty row. Stop the trains behind us, and we'll pick him up. Ready, mate?" "Aye, aye. Stand char, George." I'm goin' with ye. I've got a mate in the box all right. Now, run to the cross-over, and I'll put ye across to the up-line." The engine rapidly reached the points, and with the hand-lamp George signalled to the box, and Lucy rapidly changed the points from the box.' They've got a pretty bit o' start," remarked the driver, as he put on the steam and pulled up his lever. "These goods engines ain't as speedy as they used to be." H Scarcely were the words spoken when the tunnel was gained, and in two minutes the engine had emerged at the other side, and pulled up to inquire whether any warning had come from the next box: ahead at the station two miles away. No," replied the man "I heard nothing pass.' I suspect ye're all on a wild goose chase-a phantom engine lie the old story my grandfather told about a ship- Tell it to your grandmother," retorted Collier. "I saw it w;th young Master on it." Go on, then; ye're all clear. I'll protect ye, said the old man, not meaning to usurp the func- tions of Prov'dence, but intending to stop all fol- lowing trains. Again the chase was renewed and this time con- tinued. The small wheels of the goods engine were revolving at a tremendous pace—a rate they had never been intended to run-along the leveL; rattling and roaring; along the embankment, catch- ing a glimpse of the dawn, and then plunging into a cutting in which the fit e was reflected, and seemed to surround the engine as in a conflagration. Then again emerging as the banks on each side sank down with a rapid roar, and gave place to fields, the furrows in which leaped across from side to side, and the fence raced the engine to the end of the field, till it came to a sudden stop, and held its breath as the rapid locomotive disappeared again. It was a terrible ride, and none of the men on the pursuing engine knew how far or how fast the run- away might have run. A curve was rapicly turned after about fifteen minutes' racing, u3^| l9ng piece of straight line, terminating in .a steepisn gradient, j,ed into the Great Hamble Station—a busy place, with chimneys and furnaces roaring, wheels whirring, and much clanking of great hammers day and night. We shall get a glimpse of her now," said the engine-driver. "If we can't catch her up on the level, she'll kill somebody sure as d ath." Is the mail due, George? asked the fireman. "What has the down mail to do with it," he replied. We're on the up line." li; "This much," continued the fireman. "There's cross-over points near here By Jove there's the mail, and we can, perhaps, race the I vVatson.' ,t. "There she is," exclaimed George, unheeding the fireman. Now let us wire in and catch her up." I say no," interposed the fireman. Look here, mate, you knows as well as me that we can't catch up the runaway on the down grade. We must catch: her before that and keep her fast, else she'll run ahead even at her present speed." i1 "What do you mean then-be quick?" "Let us hurry to the points "ahead, where she is about now. Cross over, get the line blocked, and run in on the down line and pull her up. There's ft l&tatle, listen I — "Good for Fred," was the driver's reply, and, with a rush of steam, I the" goods" engine soon covered the intervening ground. The runaway engine was nearing the top of the incline on the up line. The men proposed to cross to the other metals, and run alongside them to catch the loose engine, CLIAP < George Collier ran up into the box, and told the signalman. Altering the points, and blocking the line between them, these two men waited the result. The engine sped on now at a furious pace, and a regular chase began. U The huge locomotive had all this time been going leisurely, but, just as it had passed the long curve, a somewhat rude shock had released the break, till then partly on the tender wheels, and had awaked the lad lying upon the footplate. He rose staggering to his feet, and gazed dreamily around. What did. it mean ? His first idea was that it was a terrible dream, but the increasing pace, the regular beat of the pistons, the rattle of the tender, soon aroused him to a smise of his position. The engine had got loose. It was running away with, him! What's that! A whistle behind him. The r. shrill sound thorough'y awoke him to his danger. He had no idea where he was, and expected almost instant death. But the lid had presence of mind enough to blow the whistle and to try to shut off. the steam. But the regulator was new and stiff. It would not move. He could net close the valve! The whistle was heard, however, both by the pursuing engineers and by the men near the Great Hamble Station, *here some consternation was felt at the already signalled approach of the Phantom. Preparations had already'been made for turning the engine into a siding, but the news from the last box that a boy was on tho footplate, changed these ideas, and the line was c'eared, whilo an engine was already moving upon the other line ready to start at speed and grapple it. However, ad these precautions were happily un- necessary. The boy was surprised and de ighted to hear the goods engine gaining upon him, and though, he could not shut the regulator valve, he was able by tremendous effort to pull back the lever and so reduce the steam a little in the cylinders. This effort was nlmost more than he could accom- plish, but fortunately practice -stood him in good stead, and in a few miles more the engines ran side by side. The driver of the goods engine then went for- ward, and, biding his time, leaped upon the broad plate and buffer-beam over the front wheels of the •now Mvairic* la a moment he had gained the- foot-