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-{Ml —llll ■ MM —fc| NO ROBBERY.


{Ml —llll ■ MM —fc| NO ROBBERY. It BENRY FRITH. MflUl1 tf uTht Mystery of Moor Farm,1* 01a tit JfWft 9/tin Wind," Through Flood, Through Fif", ft., CHAPTER XXI. isr I8TSHVISW WITH A SATISFACTORY RPIGUTT. I Iø. WALTER WATSON was furious when he was I f&tdf acquainted with the results of the insubordi- pU. in his pet workshops. He had viewed the lkik. in the nearest colliery with equanimity, and feld evelt condescended to "chaff" the noble owner, but a revolt in his own shops and works put things tp anite a different light. b Whatbusinesshad theworkrnen to want more money time. Were they not mere machines, intended 10 do certain amount of work per diem for so much | frtgeP To do Sir Walter justice, he had always treated his men like m chines, and did not hesitate to use them as such, but at the same time he looked titer them, and saw they were cared for, oiled and fubbed, but little polished. not nearly so well turned out indeed as the great" Watson locomotive. » Sir Walter, as we have sai i, w.r; furious, and at breakfast a report of the stale of things made him Wry "touchy." Even the sarcasms of his lady wife failed to penetrate the outer layer of indig- .n Sation which resisted all minor annoyances, and 5pt his mind unscathcd by her .'hafts of ridicule. This thing had come upon him eo suddenly that had bad no time to obtain hands to take the I places of the men, and consequently ih'ngs went on |»dly on the line for a few days. The official trial trip of the new engine h::d to be postponed; the J Special train and the champagne luncheon; the ipeeches; and tv e spending of shareholders' money, had all to be postponed till a more convenient I •C&gon. Ladv Watson followed her lord and master into the Btudy to assist him, as she sa;d, iu opening his I fOltespondence, but, in reality, prompted by euriosityand to become cognisant of all that was going OB, While thus occup'e 1 a servant entered and in- formed Sir Walter that a signa-man desired to speak 60 him. « Show him in here," Sir Walter. "Yes let the man come in, Johnston," assented the lady, seating herself in an arm chair in a judi. I rial manner. She evidently believed that the busi- I Hees required her exclusive attention. "It's about this strike, I suppose, said SirWalter. I thought the signalmen and pointsmen would be In it." "Let them go about their business," said Lady Watson, indignantly. What have a pack of men jo complain of, I should like to know r" "Not much, indeed," replied her husband. I have built them outages, drained their land, given them wages and doct' r's attendance gratis, and now gbey want mors ay." They will only drink it when they have got it," aid the lady, contemptuously. "I have no patience With your British workmen as he is here." j You mustn't be led away by prejudice," began Sir Walter But just then the door opened, and George Collier entered the room, cap in hand, coolly but respect- fully, in no whit abashed by the presence of such j grand people. "Now, man, what do you want?" was Lady Watson's encouraging address. George Collier touched hia forehead with his finger, and rep'ied: "Beggin' yer ladyship's pardon, my business is 'With Sir Walkr, my lady." Quite c o, quite so," began the baronet, nervously, but Lady Watson cut him short. So isolence, if you please, my man mind your manners. 1 here is no business which I may not tear. So go on at once, and don't be rude if you can help it," Collier glanced at Sir Walter, and then at his Wife. 14 Am I to say what I have to say, Sir Walter, fcfore the lady't" "Of course, of course," replied the chairman. Cf Only make haste, for I am very busy." Lady Watson contented herself with casting a contemptuous look at the man, and turning up her aristocratic nose at him, and saying Yes, be quick, stupid." I come here," began Collier, to tell you, Sir Walter, that the men are all out on strike at the Works, and- 11 We know that," said the railway magnate. Go en." And sir," co- tiniiecl Collier, the ring-leader of the business has been tamperin' and endeavourin' to Influence the signalmen, drivers, firemen, and ffcunters." Well ? said Sir Walter. Then, sir, the leader-bandy Sam is his name- bad papers, which prove that a most-saving your ladyship's pardon-a mo-t damned plan of Satan's own dovisin has been made ap to wreck the special trial trip on Thursday." Indeed," said Sir Walter, rousing himself. How do you know this ? Because that man Sam, he came into my box last night in the cutting yonder. Ye may remem- ber me, Sir Waiter; Collier's my name." u Yes; I remember you were instrumentalin:saving gay son a short time back." Are you the man who ran an engine after Mr. Edward and brought him home?" inquired Lady Watson, with some civility and much interest in her tone and manner. "Yes, my lady," replied Collier, respectfully. Then I am sure I beg your pardon," said Lady Watson. "I took you just now for one of those abominable men who are on strike. Here, take this, Collier; we are very much indebted to you, and Sir Walter shall promote you at once." I We have been thinking of it," said the chairman, but nothing is arranged." Collier bowed deeply, pulled his hair, and stam- mered his thanks, as he pocketed, in a very crumpled condition, the Bank of England note for ten pounds, which Lady Watson had in her gratitude and jrepentance handed to him. "Now what have you to say about this business, Collier? said Sir Walter. « Well, sir. I have brought these papers, which I think will surprise you and show you the evil designs of the men." I 61 How did vou become nossessed of thesa ?' asked Printing of every Description r the chairman, aiTer EeHfglance^tt tlem? "They 1 appeal important, indeed J Yes, sir, Sandy Sam, he came into my box and wanted to hully^me mto j«inin' flie*league against the line. Of course, I wasn't goin' to, but I played foxy' and led him on to tell me things. I could see he was dangerous, and didn't know how to manage him until he said he wanted to learn the signals, so as to talk with his mates and spoil the traffic. He is a big fellow," continued Collier, after a pause, and I didn't see my way t.tackle him, but I found him easy at last." You fought, then ?" said Lady Watson. No, my lady, I offered to show him the private signal# "What!" exclaimed Sir Walter. "Told that scamp the signals. Here's a nice mess you have got us into." No, sir," said Collier, quietly, yet with an eager- ness in his voice. No, sir. I only offered, t had just released the wires, and I made him a conductor. When the current was going hard it flashed through him, and knocked him senseless. I pretended he could hear the words in the wire,, and I nearly killed him. We've got him at the cottage, and here's his papers." Bravo, Collier," said the baronet; "ypu have done well. These papers will give me power to checkmate the men, and they will soon return. I will not forget you. Th.ere is a meeting fo-morrow, and I will bring your conduct forward. You shall have the next vacajjt station, or be superintendent here, which ever you like." "I'd rather remain in the neighbourhood, Sir Walter, if all the same to you." I 4c Ero ycto. shall," said the chairman; I will see about it. Meantime go home, afid leave these things with me. I will go and see this Sandy Sam, and send him to the hospital, which is more than he deserves." Good morning," said Lady Watson, very gra- ciously. I will see that you are not forgotten, Collier." The signalman, making a~~respectaral reverence, withdrew; and as he walked home he" encountered Lucy Layton, to whom he related his adventuri, tnd the handsome way he had been treated. *Ah. you'll be wanting a wife now Geora*" sata tui quondam name, archly; "and 1 have some newii for ffou. I've got a nice cottage on the 'hill. Lady Deane's agent has let me have it cheap; and now I shall be able to She suddenly stopped, confused at her folly in so nearly committing herself as to her schemes. To what [It asked George Collier. "Nothing," she answered, evasively. "But I need no longer trouble you, George." The child and I will be able to look after each .other. Good-bye." "I wish I was its father," said the love-sick signalman, as Lucy left him. I will be, too, or I'll be danged- What mysterious fate Collier anticipated for him- self we do not know; but something terrible no doubt, for he strode down the road hastily without turning round to look after Lucy. She had heard his expressed wish, and blushed and smiled under her wide hat as she pursued her way to her new home. CHAPTER XXII. If A DEEP-LAID RIOT." THE papers which Collier, by his presence of mind, had gained, and put into the possession of Sir Walter Watson, wore very important. They revealed a diabolical plot which would be more astonishing, by some deemed incredible, did not the annals of rattening, Irish outrage, and French crime tell us that the facts of life far exceed in horror the imagination of the writer. Yet the men who had planned a swift and sudden death for the large and influential company who had intended travelling upon the railway had no real grievances to be redressed, and certainly no "grudge" against the ladies and gentleman of the party. They only knew the manager of the works, the locomotive foreman an i inspector, and the chair- man. j) A Yet to sacrifice these men, to payoff a fancied "grurlge," and an imaginary injury, they were willing to consign 100 people to destruction, and if not absolute death, horrible mutilation. Let us see what they intended, and how, under Providence, the scheme beiame known indepen- dently of the papers, which wsre vague, in the hands of Sir Walter Watson. We will disclose this scheme by-and-by, and meantime we will see what steps the astute Sir Walter took to find out whether tLe danger was imminent or not. The papers hinted at a revenge; but the nature ,7" of this the engineer who had been deputed to examine the line could not make out. Apparently all was safe. The trains continued to run, in an irregular fashion, it is true the passengers wera not many, and the guods traffic had been practi- cally suspended for fear of some catastrophe, and for want of hands. nl-, The lailway strike movement was spreading, J and threatened at one time to lead to serious con- sequences. The shops were silent, the furnaces cold. Loco- motives were only partially examined, and drivers, guards, and firemen difficult to procure in numbers sufficient to conduct the traffic with due regularity. How was this state of things to be remedied r To surrender would not do. Promises must be kept if made, but Sir Walter was not a man 0 promise unless he had previously made up his mind to perform anything. Sandy Sam was still lying senseless, and, though not dead, he had received such a shock as would in- capacitate him from work or mischief for some time. No intelligence could, therefore, te expected from him, and yet it was very necessary to discover the meaning of the hints which daily reached the chair- man concerning the instability of the line and the dire consequences that would ensue if a train, worked by strangers, passed over. it. The discovery came about in a curious way, and was made by Edward Watson by what apparently was "the merest accident. The lad's engineering tastes had so developed 2aat his indulgent father had determined to have him practically and properly educated for the profession he desired, and, with a view to such" a course, he permitted him to accompany the eng-inr-er on his surveys, ko., and so Edward picked up some con- siderable knowledge of levelling, &c., gained a smattering of facts, metals, minerals, and the weather effects upon the former, which would prove useful acquirements in alter life. One evening, when returning along the kwiag- Cth <of the canal, he was thinking- how silent the ij £ hbovffhp*d_was.Jio teai*. was, as foiweriy. Executed at the Chronicle Office, Penarth. rattling^ over the prttiy viaduct teaf spannecTthe icturesquea dell, ia twaamer so green with fern and léaf, now thare and damp in the dying year's em. brace—misty and desolate. Edward stood still to gaze upon what he, almost regarded as a ruio. For nearly a week the traffic had been interfered with, and the angry men de- clared they would wreck any train that passed out of H guided by strangers. They were quite ready and determined to do it. But Sir Walter, as his son knew, was not to ho baffled. He had secured the Services of several drivers and firemen, labourers would act as guards, and young Edward himself had volunteered to drive the first train if his father would permit it. This the directors would not allow; but the lad was keenly alive to the necessity for caution, and had inspected the line very carefully with the engineer and gangers." As he, proceeded along the towing path of the canal, he fancied he perceived a twinkling light iA the darkness of the dell. The railway passed, at a considerable elevation, above the ravine, which it spanned upon a simple-looking, and apparently inae- cure viaduct of wood. The rails were laid upon the timbers, and sup- ported by beams fixed to the sides of the narrow gorge, at the bottom of which, a. rivulet trickled and turned aside to find its circuitous path to the larger Btream that fell into the sea higher up the coast. It was in this ravine high'up amongst the de- caying bracken and autumnal-tinted foliage, that Edward Watson perceived the light. „At first the young man was inclined to pass on, for the^evening was damp and chilly. He had a long day's work, and before him, on the morn, he had to accompany the special, train to test the line with his father, the engineer, [and several drivers and firemen who had been induced to come and assist in working the trains. The pltfn had beenkept secret, and no opposition was suspected from any of the malcontents who had remained quite quiet. The light kept moving about in a most mysterious manner, like a Will of the Wisp, and after watching it for a time, Edward Watson saw it ascend on one of the supports of the bridge. Someone is climbing up there. There can be no reason for that. We tested the timbers to-day, and all were right. Fancy old Maraton troubling himself about it again." But as he reflected, the young man perceived another light, then another, till finally four lamps were vis bie underneath the bridge immediately be- neath the metals. There is something here we don't know the meaning of," muttered Edward. "I will make a little closer inspection." He at once left the towing path and ascended the hill; then, turning into the gully, he made his way steadily and aa noiselessly as possible up the bed of the rivulet. The lamps were quite distinct now, and occa- sionally a blow of a hammer was heard, echoing from the sides of the ravines. Edward Watson still kept on, and climbing with great caution, succeeded in concealing himself from sight, even had the darkness of the evening not enshrouded him. I I The villains! I know them now," he muttered to himself. There's Coles, Stanley, Rayburn, and Bistlett. Ha, my friends, so I have got you at last." He waited for some time, and saw the men deliber- ately cutting through the supports of the bridge and unscrewing the bolts. Were a train to pass over the metals that night, it would be wrecked" to a certainty. This, then, was the manner in which the men on strike were about to be revenged upon those who had taken their places. Edward Watson recognised them all by the light of the lanthorns which each man carried; but to, make sure the young man waited, and when the men descended from the bridge he followed them. They struck up the gully, and then descended again upon the railway, so that they might remain un- perceived. But they were recognised beyond a doubt. Then Edward hurried home and informed his father of the trap that had been laid by the ringleaders, and the diabolical act they intended to commit. > Leave them to me," said Sir Walter. I will c&eckmate them. I think we'll put an end to the strike now, Edward, you have done a good day's work." Dear child! said Lady Watson," his ttfe might have been sacrificed." "And many more," said her husband. Ie Mine., amongst them, and the new hands." They are easily replaced," replied Lady Watson. « Common people like that are very plentiful. I suppose it is a dispensation." You needn't find fault," said her husband. If it hadn't been for a common person-" We will no discuss such vulgar probabilities. What is must be, I suppose. But about these wretches," asked her ladyship. To-morrow will find us victors," said the chair- man. "Edward has given us a weapon to meet them with. I intend to invite them to my party,' and if they will not come, to carry them, and then see how they will behave." The matter was discussed, and next morning the train was msde ready at the "shops," The new comers not taking charge, but coming to be in- structed in the signals, and the length of line affected by the strike—some twenty-five miles just then—and'all the drivers in the branch had struck. A great crowd of malcontents and idlers were gathered to see the train off. Amongflt the foremost were the four men indicated by Edward Watson and Sir Walter calling to them, induced them, though with a very bact. grace on their part, to ap- proach the train. You know that we have supplied the places of the drive rs and firemen, and I am glad to see that no outrage has been committed or damage has been done to the line. I am not wrong in supposing that you, as Englishmen, are above such unfair play." The majority of the men honestly repudiated any underhand proceedings. (J a > i Suppo e now," continued Sir Walter, that I Y, u to prove your words. I', acted honestly by you, and until the evil examp was set you, you all did well. Suppose I ask for some of you to accompany me as security for the safety of the line ? "'Ve'd go," said several voices. "There's been no underhand dirty work with us. We think we ought to get what we ask for. We fight fair." An elderly man stepped forward and said Sir Walter, you have always been considerate. We ar not murderers. We are striking for a right,. not fç. to injure you personally and we deny that Snv one has iniured VQll or vours."